A little bit of sweetness for your Christmas Eve...

You really, really, really must go here for a beautiful display of absolute decadence....Enjoy !!

Christmas Wish

All I truly wanted for Christmas this year was to be home with my babies on Christmas morning and to deliver another healthy baby a few days after....Well one wish down and one to go !!

We had a great Christmas eve with the kids and it couldn't imagine it any other way.  We had numerous invites to parties but honestly I just wanted something really low key.  We all got in our jammies around 6:30 and watched a few Christmas cartoons while munching on some tasty goodies.  The kids got to each open a gift and then we put out lunch for Santa and his reindeers.

Now they are both snuggled into their beds eagerly anticipating what Santa will bring them tomorrow !

I tried to snap a few pictures of the kids before they went to bed but Laila is at that lovely age of not wanting to pose for pictures and Hayden thinks it is funny to act like a little goofball in most of the pictures so when I did get a good one of her he was doing something silly.  {sigh}

I will make do with what I took and hopefully get a few better shots of them tomorrow morning.



On the baby front I guess we are good to go on Tuesday as my blood pressure has settled down and baby is still moving around like crazy.  We had an U/S done on Tuesday because my doctor just wanted to ensure everything was in fact progressing as planned.  Baby is still breech (which I pretty much figured) and is weighing well over 8 pounds now with a ton of hair.   Hubby and I both said "Yup sounds just like a Suleman baby to us".

Well must run and wake "Santa" as he has fallen asleep with Hayden.  The old guy still needs to put a few toys together before tomorrow morning ! (At least it's not a Thomas the Train table with all the lovely pieces to assemble like we had a few years back.)

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and hope that your time with family & friends is wonderful and joyous !!

God Bless,
Michelle

So now we wait...

And honestly I don't do "waiting" well !!  I had my 2nd to last Dr's appt on Friday and my dr found my pressure to be elevated higher then she would have liked.  I regularly sit around 120/80 bit it was much higher then that.  Baby is measuring around the 38week mark so even if she had to come now all would be fine with the delivery.  She sent me for a bloodwork which I did Friday and U/S which was scheduled for today but has since been moved to tomorrow.

I did however have a GP friend check my pressure on Saturday morning and it was still very high.  I had started to experience headaches so he advised I should just go to the hospital with the fear of pre-eclampsia.  So off I went and they were great at the hospital....after running some tests it was determined that I was fine but should really just try to rest as much as possible and they used those dreaded words "Bed Rest".  I know I'm lucky with just only a week left but really did it have to be the week leading up to Christmas.

My two best pals are gone on vacation and both called yesterday to find out how things were going.  After a good cry I felt better and know that it is what it is but I know they both feel very bad being away when I could use them the most.

I'm very "A" type and totally need to control everything in my families life but now must do it from the bed.   There really isn't much left to do....gifts are bought and wrapped, Christmas dinner ingredients are bought and just ready to be cooked (which hubby can clearly do),  everything is set up for baby's arrival and hubby cleaned our house last night !  So here I sit this morning in bed just waiting !!

Hubby was planning on taking the kids out for lunch and maybe try to get that elusive Santa picture today.  But the weather is crappy and I'm sure the roads are messy so I would much prefer them to just stay home cozy and warm with me.

I honestly can't believe that Christmas eve will be upon us in 4 days and I really wish to be here Christmas morning to see the kids open their gifts !!

I hope everyone is enjoying the holiday with loved ones and you have a wonderfully festive break !!

I will continue to update here on the baby's status and hopefully hubby can put up a small post if I actually need to go in earlier then next Tuesday but I'm not banking on him know how to actually do that so I will post when I get home.

Merry Christmas !!
Michelle

"Yes I Did" Friday

I thought I would join in the fun this week with the "Yes I did" blog carnival hosted by Jeanntte at "And on to today" !

Yes I Did ....Make an appt to get my hair cut where I take my kids to get theirs done. And Yes I Did ....get a far better cut then I did with the big salon that I paid almost triple the amount for the last time.

Yes I Did... Feed my kids popcorn for dinner one night but added a large glass of milk to go with it.

Yes I Did ....stay home from last Saturday until yesterday because it was just to cold to go outside.

Yes I Did....nothing most days while Laila napped in the afternoon this week. Yes I did....just watch movies and TV shows instead of preparing more for Christmas.

Yes I Did...buy my Christmas Turkey in a box this year. It's just the four of us this year and I couldn't be bothered with a big bird as I'm going into the hospital a few days after Christmas. I hope it's good because it was more expensive then a regular old bird.

Finally Yes I Did.....Just eat a huge carmel square for breakfast this morning but now I'm starting to feel very ill but it was very good at the time.

Stop by Jeanette's Blog to see what everyone else did this week !!

Virtual Cookie Exchange


Thank you Tracy for hosting the Virtual Cookie Exchange  - If you want to see all the yummy recipes you can find them here !

Chocolate Coconut Fancies Squares

These are one of my most favorite squares and I honestly have a problem stopping at just a few....

What you will need:

1st layer: (Crust)
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine
  • 1/4 cup of white sugar
  • 3 tbsp cocoa
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups crushed Graham wafers
  • 1/2 cup coconut
  • 1/2 cup nuts
2nd layer: (frosting)
  • 1/4 cup margarine
  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp hot milk
  • 1/2 tsp almond flavoring
3rd layer:
  • 2 squares of chocolate
  • 1 tsp  margarine
4th layer:
  • 1/4 cup coconut 
How to make them:
  1. For the 1st layer put the butter or margarine, white sugar, cocoa, vanilla and egg in a double boiler and cook  on med-low until smooth - approx. 5 minutes.  Add crushed graham wafers, coconut and nuts to mixture and remove from heat.
  2. Press into a lightly greased 9 x 12 pan.
  3. For the 2nd layer mix together margarine, hot milk, icing sugar and almond flavoring - Spread onto 1st mixture.
  4. Melt the 2 squares chocolate and 1 tsp of margarine and let cool - pour on top of frosting layer.
  5. Sprinkle remaining coconut on top.
  6. Place in fridge until cooled.
Enjoy !!

Still hanging in...

I'm finding it a little stressful this year trying to get everything done before Christmas.  I think the added stress of the new baby arriving shortly after hasn't helped my "A" type personality either.

This weekend was a bit of a bust mainly because of the stupid winter weather.  I was sad to have to cancel dinner with two friends on Friday night due to crappy road conditions.  I was so looking forward to a girl's night out with ladies to just relax and share a few laughs.  We hope to meet before Christmas if our schedules can sync to the same day.

Saturday our cleaning ladies are scheduled to come so we cleared out just before 11 am.  I had booked haircuts for Laila and I which is always a fun filled adventure with her.  She will not sit in the groovy cars they have and her dad usually has to hold her in a chock hold.  Well it was not different Saturday except she cried so hard this time her little nose started to bleed.  Poor little ladybug !!   But she needed the cut badly so we soldiered on to get it done.  Daddy took the kids for a quick lunch while I got my haircut.

Afterwards, we went to one of the local malls as the boys need to sell some popcorn for the Scouts and it was surprise a crazy mad house....I grabbed some lunch there and then met up with them afterwards.  Thank god the previous scouts had sold all but 3 boxes before we got there so we only needed to stay about 15 minutes.

We got home Saturday afternoon to find that our cleaning ladies had been here but didn't manage to get the work all done.  They had brought 3 instead of the regular 2 girls and we told them that didn't need to clean the basement so what the hell had they done for the time they were here.  We have had a few issues in the past but before we made a judgement call to fire them we wanted to talk to the main girl.  Hubs called her because I was just pissed off and supposedly they arrived almost 90 minutes late and stayed 90 minutes instead of the 3 hours we pay them for.   She then had the nerve to ask if they could come back on our dime of course to finish the work they didn't get done.

I have a couple of issues with this....1) she brought someone new into my home that I was not familiar with 2) We pay them each $20/hour IMO too much but I'm 9 months pregnant and needed the help but because there was three of them they split the money 3 ways and still didn't stay long enough to cover what we left. 3)Then asked to come back for more money and finish the job.

We were beginning to wonder if it is because we live in a nice large home in a nice neighborhood that she felt she could just start changing the rules of the game.  I think we were pretty fair in the beginning with her and tried to work to their schedules but always felt like we were the last in her line.  She is a nanny working her weekends as a cleaner and I know that she wants to make as much money as possible but I really felt as if we were being taken advantage of so we just fired them and cut our losses.

So I sit here now with no cleaning lady and honestly at a time when I really need one.  I have placed a few calls with our old cleaning services to see if they could possibly pick us up again but I'm still waiting to hear back from them.

Sunday we decided that Ladybug and I would just stay home instead of going to the Christmas party at the hubby's work.  It was so cold and honestly I just couldn't take her out again.  After the party the boys went onto a hockey game and arrived home around 8.

So all in all it was a bit of a bummer weekend but onwards and upwards we go...We are expecting warmer temps by Wednesday so that should brighten the moods of all.

Baby is still kicking up a storm and is more then ready to come on out...I'm feeling very, very large and just want it to be done.  15 days and counting unless the little lady decides to come early which is a total possibility.

I hope all your Christmas preparations are going well and you will be ready for the big day !!  Only 10 days until Christmas eve !!

Chow for now - Stay warm !!

Mother Nature you suck...but so does our city council !!

Seriously, Calgary has been hit with crappy weather for the past 2 weeks and I have had just about enough.  I know I live in a country that has winter but for heavens sakes winter hasn't even officially started yet.

We live in a city that has a city council that doesn't believe that we need better road clearing services.  With a population of over a million people and with a great majority actually having to drive these roads everyday to and from work I for one say they do.

Last week we had a very serious fire that destroyed 5 homes all because the fire trucks could not reach the houses...they were not located in rural section of the city but a residential area within the city.  That could have very well been any of us.

We have a whole community in another area of the city that were not able to get their cars out because they were completely buried under snow drifts but even if they could have gotten the cars out they couldn't drive their roads as they were completely impassable as well.    The city it would be at least 3 or 4 days before they could get out and plow them out.

Even emergency personal needed to abandon their vehicles and walk by foot to the people requiring medical attention.  As someone who is in her 36th week of pregnancy that causes me great stress.

When is the city going to wake up and realize this is not going to stop happening every year !!!  They need to formulate a new plan to effectively deal with something that is going to keep coming back.

There is a civil election coming this year so maybe it is time that the people of Calgary wake up and put their votes to good use by replacing the ineffective mayor and council we currently have running this city.

So dear Mother Nature can you please stop dumping snow in Calgary at least until our city can clear out what you have already gifted us with !!

Best thing ever...

Not sure about you all but the worse part of putting up our Christmas tree was ensuring that the 1000 lights were connected and working.  Honestly, it would take hubs a few hours just to find where a string had come unplugged (and of course because it was older I didn't have the strands that if one light went out the others stayed on...that would be too smart).   I know last year we had a section that he just couldn't figure out so I started grumbling quietly about getting a "prelit" tree this year and he totally agreed.

So this year we trudged off to 6 different stores looking at all the lovely "prelit" trees and trying to decide which one we were going to make our own.  I could see hubs already figuring out what he would do with all the free time he was going to get from buying me one of these babies.

After what seemed like hours I finally decided on an a lovely 7 1/2 foot  Oregon Pine with 800 clear lights on it but sadly found out that this specific store was sold out.  The sales clerk checked and one of the stores on the other side of the city had 3 so off we went to get the one.  Bonus was they were on sale for 35% off that day....it ended up being around $250.  My 6 year old wanted to put it up the day we got home (which was two weeks ago) mainly because he associated the tree with Santa coming and wanted to ensure he covered all the bases early.

But we decided to wait to after Ladybug's birthday last week...I figure it's going to be hard enough having her birthday in December we don't need to overshadow it with Christmas.  So the other day while the boys were gone to work/school and Laila was napping this very pregnant mama pulled out the tree to see if it was really going to be that easy to put together.   Honestly, I'm not sure why we didn't get this tree years ago.....it was so easy.  It took me maybe 2 hours from start to finish and I have to say it is just lovely !

I left ornaments for Hayden (with assists from  Laila) to put on when he got home but all in all it was the easiest assembly we have ever had.  So if you are in the market for a new "fake"tree I would strongly suggest getting a "prelit" one.

Here is a picture of the final product (I will try to take a better one later as this pic isn't the greatest and really doesn't represent how pretty it actually is).



My favorite time of the day (at least) for the next few weeks is coming downstairs early in the morning, turning the lights on the tree and enjoying my morning cup of tea in peace and quiet !

Now I'm in the mood for Christmas and all the joy it brings !

Inexpensive Teacher's Gifts

This year Hayden has 6 teachers that I require Christmas gifts for and remembered something I had stashed in my "To Do One Day" pile a few years back. They are super cute and very inexpensive but just a little time consuming.  I have showed them to my girlfriend who is a teacher and she loved them so I feel pretty confident his teachers will appreciate them.


What you will need :

  • A shadow box frame (I got 8x10 frames at Michael's for $12.00 on sale)
  • Crayons - I did buy a few new boxes but you could use your kids old ones.
  • Piece of cardstock to print the name and letter on.
  • Glue gun
How to make them:
  • I used Powerpoint on my computer to print the first initial of the teacher along with their first name (some may use Mrs or Ms Last Name but our school goes by first names for the teachers)
  • Place crayons over the large letter by cutting crayons to the appropriate sizes.  I just used a sharp knife to this.
  • Once you have them all in place start hot glueing the crayons to the paper.
  • Place finished  picture in the frame and you are done !
Each one took approx. 2 hours to do but it was probably me being fussy on how I placed the crayons on the sheet.

(Credit to Testosterone Times Three where I originally found the idea)

Rolo Cookies

I received these as part of a cookie exchange this past weekend and have to say they are very  tasty cookies.  Once I stock my cupboard with Rolo's I plan on making a few batches myself.  I thought I would share the recipe here because it's just that good !!

What you will need:



1 cup of sugar
1 cup of brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup of butter
3 1/4 cup of flour
3/4 cup of cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
8 packages of Rolo's

How you make them:

  • Combine first 5 ingredients in a bowl and then the remaining in a separate bowl.
  • Add dry mixture to wet one - Mixing with hands.  (This will be very messy)
  • Flatten a small amount of cookie dough in your hand and wrap the rolo in the dough making it the center.
  • In a small bowl of white sugar roll the dough and place on a greased cookie sheet, flatten slightly with a fork.  
  • Bake for 8 to 10 minutes at 350 F
(I would have posted a picture of the ones I received but they have all been eaten.)

    All I want for Christmas....

    Is my two front !!!

    My little guy lost his other front tooth yesterday....It looks so strange but he seems to be coping well.  Eating is a little tricky but it will be like that for awhile so he needs to get used to it !



    Sadly to me it means he is just growing up and I'm losing my "little tiny man" !

    Hello Winter.....

    Well this is what we woke up to this morning in Calgary....Welcome to Old Man Winter !  I guess he is here to stay for awhile now.











    So for all my new friends in the States and other parts please don't be too jealous of all the snow I have received because I would gladly send it all your way....I really need to work on moving to a warmer climate.

    Happy Saturday Everyone !!

    Happy Birthday to my Little Ladybug !!!!

    I can't hardly believe that our little Laila arrived two years ago today.  We prayed for you and I truly find it hard sometimes to put into words what you mean to our family.   I thank god everyday for you and know you are a true gift.   I'm so excited to be part of your life as you get older and I'm so proud to be your mama !!







    Enjoy your 2nd birthday Laila and know you are loved very, very much !!

    Birthday Pictures

    We had a very low key little party for Ladybug last night...just us and close family friends but it's pretty much all I could handle this year.  We had a great time and Laila seemed to really enjoy herself !!






    Happy Birthday Sweet Laila !!

    I'm just pregnant...

    not dying !  Yesterday before Lady Bug and I left to run errands I figured I would shovel the driveway.  Hubby has been getting home late every night and leaving early in the mornings so it hasn't gotten done.  Now we didn't even have that much really but just enough to bug me.

    I got Laila set up in the van with a movie and started to clear the little bit of snow.  Truth be told it was beautiful out and I was actually enjoying the nice cool breeze plus the little bit of exercising was probably doing me some good.

    When all of a sudden I heard "Young lady" (I seriously didn't even look up since I haven't been "young" in many, many years).  But I quickly realized my neighbor was talking to me when he came outside with his shovel and was intent on taking over shoveling my driveway.  He was furious that someone in "my condition" (his words not mine) would actually attempt to do something so silly.  I just know Faruq will hear an ear full the next time he sees him.

    I had pretty much finished by the time he came out but I let him finish what was left and went on my way to run errands.

    Now today he is nowhere to be found and we got over 20 centimeters of snow and could really use his help !!  But I guess Faruq will have the pleasure tomorrow trying to dig us out !!

    Now I'm in the spirit...

    I did a little updating tonight to get myself in the mood for the festive season upon us.

    I hope you enjoy the new tunes as well !!

    Can we top this...

    After fuming last year about our family Santa picture I quickly started to see the humor in it and we actually ended up sending it out as our family picture in the Christmas cards. While we mom's dream of that wonderful pictures with kids smiling and sitting pretty on Santa's lap it doesn't always turn out that way.

    We actually got really lucky last year....the kids picture alone with Santa was great and the family one was just down right funny !!





    I suspect any pictures with Santa and Laila this year will be more like the 2nd one but she could surprise us.

    Just call me Gloria.....

    Honestly, the last few weeks I have felt as I'm getting my ever expanding behind handed to me on a plate every day. I'm really trying to enjoy these last few weeks of pregnancy but it's been tough to stay positive and maintain that glorious pregnancy glow that all us gals get !

    Really I'm just feeling more and more like Gloria from the movie Madagascar.  I have successfully managed to gain more weight with this pregnancy then either of my other two and I'm really feeling huge now.  Sleep is a luxury when I manage to get it and it is never enough.   Little kicker decided it would be a hoot to flip herself into a breech position for the last trimester so I feel as if a watermelon is sitting on my bladder and I might as well just take up residence in a bathroom.



    My nearly 2 year old has decided that it is a great time to start exercising her "independent" streak and refuses to listen to me at all. She has become the Tasmanian Devil creating mess after mess for me to clean up.  When daddy arrives home nightly I'm pretty much ready to throw in the towel and give the game up.


    And not to ever be out done by his sister Hayden has been an interesting little human to be around lately....everyone says he will return to normal programming when he hits 7 but man it has been tough the last few months.  I so wish my polite and quiet little man would return to me.

    Now I'm faced with Christmas and everything joyous about that holiday...I have almost finished my shopping because I knew when I was pregnant two years ago at this time I was not in any mood to fight the crowds at the malls.

    We are going to put the tree up on Sunday after Laila's birthday Saturday and maybe try to throw a piece of  garland over the bannister.   The boys both start their Christmas breaks on December 18th and I'm really looking forward to just having a quiet few weeks before the new little kicker arrives.

    Okey Dokey pity party is done at least for now.  I have another yummy Christmas recipe that I will post shortly to add a little sweetness to your holidays !

    Michelle's Yummies

    These are a great treat at Christmas and the bonus is they are super easy to make. Be warned they can be very addictive so make sure you make an extra batch or two !

    What you will need:

    1 tsp of Oil
    1lb of White Arctic Melting Wafers
    4 Cups of Golden Graham Cereal
    1/2 Cup of Cranraisans
    1 Cup of Salted Peanuts (I have used unsalted and it was still yummy)

    How to make it:

    • Melt the white wafers and oil together - stirring constantly for 1 minute or until completely melted on medium heat.
    • Mix cereal, peanuts & cranraisans together in a separate bowl then pour melted wafers over mixture and stir until completely coated.
    • Pour mixture onto a parchment lined baking sheet and put in the fridge for 1/2 hour.
    • Break into bite sizes pieces and enjoy !!

    Martha's Peppermint Fudge

    I have tried many times through the years to make fudge and it is the one thing that I have never quite mastered until now. I received my latest copy of Martha's Everyday Food and found the perfect fudge recipe.

    I made it last week and when it turned out I have since made it numerous times with the intend of taking it to a cookie exchange this week.

    Makes 36 Squares

    Nonstick spray for baking pan
    2 1/4 Cup (16 Oz) Semisweet chocolate chips
    1 cup of round peppermint candies (plus 18 for garnish)
    3/4 cup Heavy cream
    3 1/2 cup mini marshmallows
    5 tablespoons unsalted butter
    1 1/4 cups sugar
    1 teaspoon coarse salt

    Method:

    Lightly coat a 9-inch square baking pan with nonstick spray.Line pan
    with two pieces of parchment paper in both directions, leaving 2
    inches over overhang on all sides.

    Place chocolate in a bowl.

    In food processor , pulse candies until finely chopped.

    In a medium saucepan, combine candies, cream, marshmallows, butter, Sugar and salt over medium-high. Whisk until smooth 5 minutes.

    Pour mixture through a strainer into baking pan and refrigerate until set (approx. 3 hours). Cut fudge into 1 1/2 inch squares.

    With a sharp knife cut 18 candies in half; press candy half into each
    Square before serving or packing.

    Still here...

    I have started a number of posts but finished none of them in the past few weeks. Life is busy but I'm sure no busier then everyone else.


    The flu found our house just after Halloween which took Faruq and Hayden out of commission for almost a week. You know my husband must be sick if he took time off of work. Hayden ended up down at the Children's hospital one night but thankfully was diagnosed with just the regular old flu but was given Tamiflu as a precaution.

    During that time Laila and I tried to stay clear of them as it would be not a good thing for me to get sick this late in the pregnancy. I thought we were in the clear until one evening Laila woke up screaming and had vomited in her crib. In the hour she was in there she spiked a fever of 105 and because we weren't able to get any Tylenol to stay down we had to make another trip to the Children's hospital. She is prone to have Febrile Seizures and did in fact have one before we got her to the hospital. After 7 hours of waiting in the ER we had managed to break the fever and she seemed to be back to her happy self. We really felt we dodged the bullet with that one.

    I'm really the only one that hasn't gotten sick over the last few weeks and I'm truly grateful for that. I only have 32 more days until our new baby arrives and honestly it can't come soon enough for me. I'm at the stage where no sleeping position is comfortable and sitting is even tougher. The baby has turned herself into a breech position so I'm feeling an incredible amount of pressure down below and feel as if I have to pee every few minutes. Swelling in my hands and feet are lovely as well. But through it all I'm really trying to enjoy this last month as this will be my last pregnancy for sure.

    I think we are ready for baby to join us...I have bottles ready, clothes washed and sleeping arrangements figured out for when she comes home. After two there really isn't much we haven't experienced.

    I'm ready for Christmas - kids gifts are bought and just need to be wrapped. I'm so glad I started that process back in August so now I don't need to fight the crowds in the malls. We are going to put up our tree the week after Laila's birthday and I hope it have it all put away the day before I go into the hospital. Our celebration is going to be pretty low-key this year but we will still cover all the important parts for the kids. Honestly, I'm looking forward to December 18th as Hayden starts his Christmas break for 3 weeks and shortly after that Faruq will start his break as well.

    The kids are both good - Hayden is loving his new school (as are we). He is completely wiped at the end of each day but the things he is learning amazes us and he just received a very good report card for the first half of school. It really wasn't a surprise as the teachers are great at keeping us updated and informed on his progress. The only thing that was noted is that he needs to try to offer answers before be asked to. Poor kid is still painfully shy but has started to get better with participating in the group discussions.

    Laila is doing really well....we have purchased a bed for her but have yet to move her over. It is set up in her room and she seems to be comfortable with it but honestly it's more me being selfish with my need for full nights sleep. She will sleep 12 to 14 hours straight in her crib and mama loves that. We figured we would need to move her out before the baby's arrival but as of now I'm not going to rush it and have purchased another smaller crib for the new addition.

    Laila is definitely entering the terrible "2" stage and is for sure my "spirited" child. She has taken to throwing things when she is told "no" and pretty much tunes me out when I'm trying to discipline her. My patience is running a little low these days so that only adds to my overall frustration. I keep repeating to myself that this too will pass but I'm not sure some days it will be quick enough for me. I can't believe that she will be 2 in a few weeks.

    That's what we have been up to the last month...I can't hardly believe it has been that long. I will try to post a few of my favorite Christmas baking recipes for ya' all to enjoy !!

    Chow for now !

    Halloween ' 09

    Because I wasn't feeling great leading up to Halloween this year we decided to cancel our planned party and just have a low-key quiet evening with just the 4 of us. It was so great to just relax, carve a few pumpkins and just be together !

    Hayden was pumped about going out this year as Optimus Prime sadly Laila was none to thrilled about donning her Lion costume but in the end they both lookws so cute.


    I opted to stay home and hand out the candy while Faruq took the kids around our block. We didn't have any snow but the wind was really strong and cold so they didn't stay out too long. For the small time they were out man they collected a ton of candy so they were both pretty happy with their haul.


    Once Laila was out and getting candy in her bucket she realized that this was actually a pretty good holiday to celebrate. Here are a few more of my favorite photos from last night...




    I hope you all had a great Halloween and everyone got lots of treats !!!

    Our new normal (it would seem)....

    If you have not heard, talked about and worried about H1N1 I'm sure you must have been living under a rock on a remote island. We have be inundated with news reports from almost every angle. I must admit at the beginning of it all I had taken the stance that I was not going to immunize my family with the new vaccination that has been made available to supposedly help fight this deadly form of the flu.

    After I stopped listening to the media and our top health officials I started to seek out people I know personally in the medical community that would give me very honestly answers to my questions. For a multitude of reasons I have changed my thinking with regards to getting the vaccination. It is a very tough decision to make (honestly one of the toughest as a parent) and not one that we came to lightly. But in the end Laila and I are both listed in the "high risk" category and it has been suggested all along that we indeed should be vaccinated.

    I know being pregnant with my other two kids my immune system was always severely compromised and I still have 2 months left before our 3rd baby is born. One of my biggest fears was actually being in the hospital during the Christmas season when they expect the pandemic to be at it highest. While I could keep Laila and I house bound for a few months we still have two other family members that need to be out on a daily basis so that really won't help us.

    We went on two different days to get the shots for our family and both days have been turned away from the clinics because their were already too many people in the lines. I'm not prepared (possibly not even able) to stand in a line for up to 8 hours either by myself or with my family. There is no need of that and I truly feel that our provincial health officials have totally failed the citizens of Alberta. They cause this panic in everyone and reassured us that there are shots for every person in the province only to now tell us there will be a shortage (temporary we hope but still a shortage). The clinics are closed today and will re-open early this week and I have heard that it will only be available to the "high risk" group.

    I will be in line once again this week and try to get the shots for at least Laila and I. I can only hope that the people that have made such a mess out of this whole situation pay the price down the road and not be re-elected into office.

    National Miscarriage and Child Loss day (long post)

    When you embark on starting a family nobody ever tells you about the possibility of miscarriage or at least in my case no one ever did. Growing up my mother had suffered multiple losses but it was never really discussed. All of our friends were having babies and the world was a happy place.


    We got pregnant in January 2002 and while it wasn't a planned pregnancy we were over the moon and eagerly started to plan for the arrival of a sweet baby. Well god had different plans and I miscarried that baby in the 10th week. We were devastated and honestly I have never felt so alone with my grief. Faruq was my rock but I know that he was hurting as well. I'm not sure how we got through the first few weeks but somehow we managed to.

    After consulting with our doctor she felt that we could try again after 3 months but honestly it took us almost 7 months before I felt I was ready. We managed to get pregnant within a few months of trying and again we were over the moon. While the first loss was still fresh in my mind I just assumed it would not happen to us again....boy was I naive to that thinking. At almost the same time frame as #1 we lost baby #2 and while the experience was different the grief was even more intense.

    This time it took a lot longer for me to come to terms with this lose and I honestly started to feel that this was not meant to happen or maybe we had waited to long to start a family. Our GP decided to refer us to the local OB to look into further tests to determine if there was in fact a medical reason for these losses. Of course, being in a smaller city it took almost 2 months to get this appointment. During this time Faruq and I talked a lot and I mean a lot about what was happening. I was racked with grief for not being able to have a baby and I now suspect that a lot of women have these same feelings.

    The day arrived to meet with the OB and after what seemed like a thousand questions he wanted to run some tests to get a feeling for what was happening. I went for some routine blood work and tests then waited for the follow-up appointment the next month. Well I was shocked when I received a call a few days later from the OB saying he thought I might in fact be pregnant. He wanted my HSG test done to confirm it and he would call the next day. I rushed to have the test done again and sure enough I was pregnant but my fear was instantly back as well.

    He booked an U/S immediately and we got to have a look at our sweet baby. Everything looked great and we started the wait again. Once I passed the 10 week mark I started to breath a little bit easier. It was pretty uneventful really for the next 7 months and on July 3rd, 2003 we were blessed with a beautiful little boy. Hayden Alexander was a gift from god and the light of lives.

    We decided when Hayden was year old that we wanted to add to our little family and we set out trying to conceive another baby. After trying for almost a year and we went back to our OB to see if we could figure out the problem. During this time Faruq found out that we were going to be transferred to Calgary within the next 3 months so our OB just referred us to the Regional Fertility Clinic located in that city.

    After waiting almost 6 months I got the call that we had been waiting for. We had our appointment booked for the next month. I was again naive in my thinking that once we went into the RFC that I would magically get pregnant and life would be good. We met with the doctor and again we had to go for more tests which of course met waiting longer. We booked the follow-up appointment and were sadden to find out that we had what was called "unexplained infertility". Basically, that means there was no medical reason why we shouldn't get pregnant.

    He suggested we start with IUI's and if need be move to IVF treatments. We had our first IUI treatment and I had totally convinced myself it was going to work the first try. It did work but unfortunately we were devastated when we lost the baby again at 10 weeks. I felt gutted but this time it was a little easier to deal with because of the beautiful little boy I had at home.

    We waited 3 months and tried again but sadly again this baby was not meant to be and I miscarried at 10 weeks again. By this time I think I was just numb to the pain and honestly just expected this to happen. I decided that I needed to take a break from the medication and the treatments so we put my file "on-hold" with the RFC. I have been and will always be a firm believer that god has a plan for us all and this was mine for good and bad.

    I started to search for something else but didn't really know what that was.....again god delivers when you most need it. I was reading the Calgary Herald and came upon an article about a lady who is an acupuncturist practicing in Calgary and dealing with infertility. I made an appointment the next morning and after the first appointment knew I was in the right place. I cried (a lot) and she listened to me. I truly felt she understood what I was going through. We started treatments and after 3 months I was ready to try again at the clinic.

    I booked an IUI for that month but secretly had already set myself up for the loss. I believe that it was my way of coping with the possibility of loss. "Don't get connected and you won't be as hurt when that day comes" was my motto !! Sure enough we got pregnant and the waiting game started again, we went for the 6 week u/s and again it all looked great. Week 10 came and went but honestly I had so many days when I kept saying " This is it I'm losing the baby". But it was not to happen this time and we were again blessed with a beautiful little girl on December 5, 2007 that we named Laila Quinn !!

    After a year we once again had to decide if our little family was complete and honestly you would think that I should be happy with two beautiful kids but there was something inside of me saying "No you aren't done yet". We contacted the RFC to see if we could do three more IUI's to see if we would be blessed with baby #3.

    Our doctor wanted to run the standard tests again but felt there was no reason why we couldn't start the IUI's. I went for my first IUI on April 8th and received a call from the clinic the very next day. They wanted to see us to discuss the test results. I immediately thought they had found something that might prevent us from getting pregnant again. Low and behold we discovered we were pregnant two weeks later. They booked the 6 week scan and I was to see the doctor at the clinic right after. The scan looked good and there was in fact a little baby brewing in there.

    When I met with the doctor after the scan she informed me that one of my tests came back with not so favorable results and that it could make it near impossible to get pregnant. But she said that I had obviously proven them wrong and in these types of cases were very pleased to be wrong. We are now almost 27 weeks pregnant and expecting our 2nd little girl on December 26th.

    I believe that god does have a plan for everyone and through my grief I tried to maintain that faith. I now look at my sweet angels here with me on earth and wouldn't trade them for world.
    Infertility and the lose of children can be devastating and life changing but while I will never forget the 4 precious angels that were not meant to be with me here on earth I thank god everyday for the 3 children he has blessed us with.

    I mourn with all the parents that have lost a child and I'm so glad that the world recognizes today as National Miscarriage and Child Loss Day - May all of our angels rest in peace.

    God Bless !

    Happy Birthday to my Beloved !!!!

    Well I guess it is Happy "belated" Birthday now...Faruq celebrated his 43 birthday on October 13th.

    It was a pretty low key year as far as celebrating....he didn't want a party or presents so for once I honored that request. We both tend to buy ourselves things through the year so really don't go all out on our birthdays but for some reason he usually tries to sneak a little gift in there for me cuz that's just the type of guy he is.


    I love my husband so deeply that sometimes it hurts. He is my partner in this lifetime and I'm so grateful for that fact. Our relationship has not always been this strong and in the early years we were tested greatly on whether our love was enough to keep us together. After some self-exploration we both realized that it was indeed enough and we have now been together for 18 years. We don't take each other for granted and respect one another.

    I'm the first to admit I'm not the easiest person to love. But Faruq just loves me for who I am and that includes all the little quirks that I have. He is the most easy going person that I know and truly tries to treat everyone with dignity and respect.

    He is a wonderful father that shows his kids a tremendous amount of love. He can be strict but in a kind way. He works very hard to provide us with a good life and I'm grateful that this allows me to be at home with our children.

    {Hayden & Daddy}

    {Laila & Daddy}

    Happy Birthday Faruq - We love you very much !!

    Long time no blogging...

    Life is hectic with lots of stuff going on and honestly sometimes I find I have lots that I could blog about but honestly I sometimes don't know where to start...so I just don't blog at all.


    Here's a little recap of what's happening with the Suleman's....

    Hayden is totally loving is new school and continues to thrive. Faruq and I both have come to realize that the small classes are just what he needed. He gets constant one-on-one attention from the teachers who are all very passionate about their jobs. They have gone on a a few fields trips already. He is making new friends (even a little girlfriend that is very sweet on him). It is refreshing to go to the school everyday to pick him up and see that he is so very happy at the end of the day.

    Faruq has joined the Parent Advisory committee for the school and is excited to get involved with the process of making the school even better then it is. He is very busy at work but has managed to find a good balance between work and home lately. It so nice that he can take Hayden to school most morning as well...sadly he does work a lot of later nights but it's worth it for them to have that time in the mornings together (Plus it saves Mama & Laila getting ready to go in the mornings).

    Beavers has started again for the year and Faruq has volunteered to be a leader this year. He figured he was there most nights anyway so he mights as well become a leader. They certainly needed more this year as the number of new beavers have gone through the roof. I think they have something like 30 in the troop compared to 12 last year.

    The kids are in swimming on Saturday mornings and I have missed taking Laila to her lessons but I shouldn't really go into the VRRI pool (because it's heated and fairly warm) until after the baby arrives. These lessons go until October 31st and they will start them again in the new year.

    Laila has started a weekly Kindermusik class with me on Wednesday mornings and seems to be enjoying it thus far. Last week was a bit of a mish mash but I think she wasn't feeling well and honestly just didn't want to be there. The classes run through to the end of January so we still have lots of weeks for her to start loving it !

    Baby is doing well but seems to have taken a liking to DWTS and tends to re-enact the dance numbers every night starting around 3am which has made Mamad a little tired. I'm getting so big and find it tough to sit, walk or sleep. But it's only 88 more days until this little arrives so I'm trying to just enjoy the last few months of pregnancy.

    We had some crazy weather here in Calgary the last few weeks and it had been very,very warm. I was secretly wishing that fall would arrive and I think I have gotten that wish. It is definitely gotten colder but fall is my favorite season and I'm truly enjoying it now.

    I have gotten about 1/2 my Christmas shopping done and feeling pretty good that I can get the rest done in the next few weeks. I remember when I was pregnant with Laila a few years back at this time of the year the mall was the last place I wanted to be during the last month of pregnancy.

    We had planned to spend the week between Christmas and New Years in Kananaskis but sadly that won't be able to happen this year with us having the baby during that week. Hayden seems a little bummed about it but we figure we can get out sometime in February for a little get away.

    That's about it...busy and pretty boring really !!

    Baby Update

    I had my first OB appt today and all went very well. But to my surprise I found out today that we will actually have a wee baby before the end of the year. With a planned c-section as this baby will be they actually like to deliver them around 37 weeks to ensure that I don't in fact go into natural labor. When I delivered Laila that OB left his patients until around the 39th week.


    My actual date for 37 weeks would have been 24th December but I begged them to go a few days later because I would have been in the hospital during Christmas which would have been a great for the kids. As well, I didn't think the wee one would have liked to have her birthday on Christmas Eve. As it is I'm sure she won't even think December 26th is that hot but it's a bit better then the original date.

    So I guess I know what my New's Years eve plans are for this year and I couldn't be happier to be cuddling a new precious life.

    We have less then 100 days until our family is complete and I can hardly contain my happiness !!

    Weekend

    We had a pretty good weekend...very low key and not a lot of plans. Friday evening we went to Costco and did a little grocery shopping then grabbed some supper. We got home early and after getting the kids to bed I decided I would try to read a little of "Twilight" but honestly I think I read two pages then went to sleep myself.


    I was thinking how great everyone is in bed before 9 and we will be up bright Saturday morning to get ready for swimming lessons at 11.

    Well, Hayden had another plan...around 1:30am he woke screaming with pains in his stomach. I knew he wasn't constipated so we were a little worried it was something more serious. We tried to call Healthlink (it's a call center we can call to talk to nurses and it's available 24 hours a day) but after being on hold for almost 1 hour we decided it was best to just take him to our Children's hospital. Off they went and didn't return home until almost 9 am Saturday morning. Thankfully, it was just pain old gas pains and nothing major. But my plan of everyone being nice and refreshed did happen.

    We did take the kids to their swimming lessons and came home right after. Hubs and the kids took a long nap in the afternoon while I went to Safeway for a few more groceries. We got the kids in bed early last night and I managed to actually read a few chapters of my book.

    Sunday is being spent at home just relaxing !! I put a pot of Hamburger soup on for supper and plan to whip up some cheese biscuits to go with them. Hayden and Faruq are watching the Transformers movie for the 100th time. Laila should be waking from her afternoon nap shortly.

    I hope you all had a lovely weekend !! Big TV week coming up - DWTS and Grey's are back for the new season !!

    Me and TV

    I would love to say I followed my original plan to rid my family of the ever evil TV as I had intended to this summer but I just couldn't do it....I'm weak !!


    Hubs and I talked about it {alot} but I just couldn't bring myself to cancel it. I admit I enjoy watching TV !! {there I wrote it}. I don't have near the time to watch as much as I would like but with the magic of PVR's in multiple locations throughout the house I manage to catch a lot of my favorites. I'm not sure what we did before PVR's but it has certainly helped me maximize my viewing time.

    In particular of I love Reality Shows {huge gasp} again it feels kind of dirty to type that. I love Survivor, Big Brother, The Bachelor and Bachelorette, DWTS, ANTM, Project Runway, Hell's Kitchen, Top Chef and of course every version of The Real Housewives !!

    Hubby loves comedies so we watch The Office, 30 Rock and my personal favorite King of Queens.

    I will periodically check in on the ladies of The View or Oprah but Laila and I both enjoy a daily dose of Ellen !! Of course, my most guilty pleasure is watching Coronation Street which I have been a follower of for almost 20 years now. But mostly during the day if you pop by my house I will most likely have The Food Channel on in the background for noise.

    So....I guess I am weak but honestly TV gives me a little mindless relief I need from very hectic life as a mama.


    Everything old is new again.....

    And let me tell you it comes at a price. I will back up a bit...Laila is not a TV watcher which I'm not complaining about but there is the odd time where I could really use a half hour to say have a shower. I have tried many, many shows none of which have kept her interest for more then a few minutes. But we happened upon "The Big Comfy Couch" one day and all I can say is the rest is history !! I remember this show when Hayden was a youngster but he was more the Thomas the Train fan so we never watched it.


    Well our little Laila loves the show !! I'm sure if allowed would sit for hours and watch it. I thought it might be neat to get her a Molly doll or even the dust bunnies from the show so I started to look around but the show was produced in the late nineties so there is nothing in the stores. I have found a few DVD's but they seem to be few and far between. I figured Ebay would be my only hope and sure enough there is tons of this stuff on there but for selling for double or triple the original cost.

    So, whats a good mommy to do except order some of it. I think I have convinced myself that I am in fact not crazy and that she will indeed love the Molly doll and two dust bunnies I have ordered for her. I don't even want to write the price I'm paying for these treasures because I'm sure you will think I'm crazy !!

    So hopefully by the end of the week we will have 3 new members of our family and one very happy little girl ! Will post pictures upon their arrival !!

    Birthday Weekend

    Well I turned 41 on Friday and honestly can say that I really don't feel any different !! I still have the stinkin' head cold and have been trying to relax as much as I can this weekend so most of the partying will need to take place down the road.


    Hubby surprised me with a lovely cake and beautiful flowers on Thursday night.



    Faruq booked our sitter for Friday night and we went out with friends to The Keg for supper and laughs. We had a wonderful time and the meal was amazing.

    It was nice getting out without the kids for the evening although I guess Miss Laila decided that bedtime was going to be a challenge for Lindsay (our sitter). But when we arrived home everyone was sound asleep so we actually managed to watch a movie before bedtime.

    My girlfriends had planned a lovely day in Kananaskis on the Saturday with spa treatments and dinner but we had to postpone it due to me being under the weather. We hope to do it later this month. Can't wait to get away ladies for a day of pampering.

    So instead on Saturday evening hubs and I watched The Real Housewives from New Jersey and Atlanta plus we managed to catch the latest season of Project Runway. Pretty good evening in my books.

    I didn't even get dressed to today and have managed to get a few nice naps in...I'm starting to feel more like myself and hope that this is the end of the cold for me. It's so tough when you are pregnant because you are really restricted on what you can and can't take.

    We have had beautiful weather in Calgary this past week and I think the forecast is for sunny skies for the next 5 days. It would be so lovely to have a nice fall/winter season this year.

    It has been a lovely weekend even with this silly cold and couldn't think of any other way I would have like to spend it.

    I hope you all had a great weekend !!

    Things I know for sure ....

    There are many things in our lives that we don't know but here are a few of the things I know for sure....

    • I have a great hubby who loves me unconditionally and for that I'm truly grateful.
    • I have two wonderful kids that are just plain beautiful and perfect in every way.
    • I'm 22 weeks pregnant with my 3rd and final baby.
    • I will be 41 on Friday and for the first time in many years I'm not looking at that as a bad thing.
    • I'm grateful for the group of ladies that I'm surrounded by and I'm honored to call them my sisters.
    • I have taken control of my life and will not allow people that are suppose to be closest to me criticize me any longer. This truly makes me sad but I know it is what is best.
    • I have a beautiful home that we have worked hard for and that I'm very proud.
    • I'm not perfect and I accept that that is okay !
    • I can be weak but now fully admit it and get great comfort from the support of others in similar situations.
    • I am an "unfinished" book with the best chapters yet to be written !
    I feel somewhat sad that it has taken me 4o years to realize that I'm great just the way that I am. I may have weakness and faults like everyone else but truly have learnt to embrace and love myself.

    One gift that I will strive everyday to give to my children is "self worth". They will know that it is okay to make mistakes and to learn from them. My hope is that it doesn't take my children as long to know that they are perfect just the way they are !

    I'm truly blessed and that is something I know for sure !!

    We can finally exhale ....

    For the past 3 months we have been living with some amount of fear that hubs may actually lose his job because his company was going through a reorganization after purchasing another O&G company. While his bosses kept reassuring him that his role was in fact secure you really can't relax until the "official" letter is handed to him.

    Faruq is one of the hardest working and most committed people I know - there are countless times that he has given up his personal time to ensure that people have the information they require. He doesn't do this because he is a "bum" kisser he does it because he has great integrity and morals. He is often frustrated with people that take the slack approach to doing their job and finds it somewhat disheartening.

    He has worked for this company for 18 years this month and honestly after so many years wasn't sure where he would go if he was let go. I think it is different if you are the one choosing to leave a company vs. being told to leave. I'm sure with his experience a new job would not have taken long to secure but extra stress was not something we needed at this time especially with a new baby arriving in January.

    We tried to continue with life as normal during the last few months but honestly it did weight on our minds. I'm always amused with people who aren't in the O&G industry and their cavalier attitude towards people who are in this field. You see life is not as rosy as they would like to portray that it is. This is in fact the darker side of the industry but unfortunately it is something that needed to be done to ensure the continued growth of the "new" Suncor".

    Faruq finally did receive his confirmation letter this past week so now we can exhale and continue to live our life as we have been doing. Sadly, we have some very good friends that have not been so fortunate and now are faced with the task of finding new jobs and we are praying that they will secure employment very soon.

    Week 2

    Well second week went even better then the first at Hayden's new school - We are adjusting to the new schedule and honestly have to say it's been pretty easy. It was lovely having daddy off for most of last week but secretly I'm more organized when he is not home. For me I know when there is someone else around I tend to slack off a bit (okay a lot).

    I wasn't sure how the early mornings were going to go but once we are up and dressed the rest is easy. We have the luxury of daddy taking him at least 3 mornings a week so I can let Laila sleep a little later on those mornings. She and I usually head down to get him at the end of the day but there is the odd day dad can get away and pick him up. It's super that they provide before/after school care for the "just incase" moments. I anticipate a few of those in the new year with the new baby.

    I'm still loving the uniforms as it just makes it easier when trying to decide what to wear in the morning and I guess I'm lucky because Hayden has never complained about wearing them.

    He has 5 teachers and they are all lovely - You can honestly tell they are passionate about what they do and it shows with the way they interact with the kids. The "real" work has started but the homework is not to bad as of yet....they have said it shouldn't be more then 30 minutes a night due to the fact they have so much time in the class to complete work. I think Hayden is finding it a little different with only 7 others in his class - definitely no day-dreaming this year.

    The schedule works well with only 3 classes a day, a lunch break and 3 recess breaks It's a long day and we can really see that he is tired when he comes home but we knew that this year at any school was going to be tough. He has always gone to school in the afternoon so mornings were pretty leisurely around the Suleman's.

    They have already gone on their first field out to Canmore for a hike and we have gotten notice of two more upcoming outings. After hearing a few "nightmare" stories this week about some of the classes in the CBE I'm just so happy that Hayden is going to Delta West. It was not a cheap venture but one that I know will have lasting effects.

    I can hardly wait for Laila to start Pre-K there in a few years !!

    My little Laila girl....

    So my Laila girl has always been a really good eater but recently has decided that it is her right to exercise the word "NO" (a lot) while I try to feed her. She used to devour pretty much everything and anything that was put in front of her and I always try to offer variety as not to get tired of the same foods. But the last few weeks have been a bit of a struggle for her and I.

    While I don't want to cater to this new found freedom she is exhibiting. I have tried to limit her to a few choices at each meal but I don't want her to starve either. It's new territory for her and I but I'm standing my ground and trying to maintain a healthy eating regiment as I have seen the benefits. It's super hard but I remember very well the torment we went through with Hayden's eating habits and I don't want to go down that road again. I figure this too will pass if we just wait it out.

    The other puzzling piece with Laila is whether to move her from her crib before or after the baby arrives. She loves her crib and sleeps very well in it. She has never tried to crawl out of it and if she had I would have recognized that as "the sign" and moved her to a bed. I started her in a Gro-Bag (sleep sac) from around a month old so I know that restricts her from actually trying to escape from the crib - again it has been a godsend in helping her establish an amazing sleeping routine. I'm a little selfish on this one as well because I love my sleep (especially now being pregnant) and wonder if moving her to the bed will ruin the really good thing we have going.

    I'm not sure I want the headache of trying to adjust a toddler to a bed and having to care for a new baby in the new year - Any thoughts on what would be best ? We have already decided the baby will bunk with us for at least the first few months then eventually she and Laila will become roommates but we need to change the bedrooms around to achieve that goal.

    On a funnier note she is getting so smart and trying to mimic everything mama does during the day...from sweeping the floors, to folding laundry, and my personal favorite putting things in the microwave (namely bunny) and trying to heat it up (It's right at her left as it's under our kitchen island).

    Daddy is totally the love of her live and it is obvious that the feelings go both ways as he is very smitten with her as well. They have even started a little tradition on Saturday mornings of making a run to Starbucks before Hayden and Mama get up.

    Hayden still pretty much just tolerates her but I think it is getting better with him away at school all day - he has time to hang out with his new buddies and not have a meddling little sister in his business all the time (and let me tell you she gets in his business a lot). She is definitely not a "wall flower" and will stand her ground when she feels it's important which we know will serve her well later in life.

    We are all very curious to see what will happen in January when the new baby comes home - we figure it could go either way right now but we are hoping for the best. She will soon figure out that to the new baby she is the "rockstar" and will be idolized so we are thinking it will all work out.

    I still have a hard to believing that she will be 2 in a few short months..... where has the time gone !!

    Apple vs. Blackberry...

    And we aren't talking about the fruit folks....hubby has finally gotten fed up with not being able to reach me during the day if I'm out and about. He wants to upgrade my (perfectly good but very old) cell phone to a new fancier one.

    We are big Mac users but I'm not totally convinced that I want the iPhone. I have been given by said hubby 3 iPod Touch's and return each of them to the store because I felt the battery life was inadequate.



    Faruq has had a Blackberry for as long as I can remember and he really likes it. I was looking at the updated version to his though the Blackberry Curve.



    My other question is do I need to change carriers if I go with the iPhone - I'm with Telus right now and honestly don't have a problem leaving them but my current contract is still in effect there until the new year.

    So which one should I pick ?

    We survived Day 1...

    Well we managed to get everyone dressed and ready to go to Hayden's new school yesterday for 9am. Hayden was a little grumpy as was my normally "happy-go-lucky" Laila. My kids like their sleep and don't like to be woken up. But this is our life now and they will just have to adjust to it.

    I think we all had a few "nervous" bugs in our tummies going into the school and didn't really know what to expect. But upon entering we were instantly put at ease. The staff was so friendly and made us felt welcome immediately.


    They had everyone meet in the gymnasium and once the staff was introduced the kids were called by their homeroom teachers to be taken to their classrooms.

    It was funny because when we got into the gym I kept thinking that there were a lot of kids still missing but realized that this was all there was because of the fact there is only 120 students in the whole school. They had the upper grades come in at 11 yesterday.

    We got to help Hayden take his supplies up to his class but were asked to leave while they set up their desks and cubbies on their own. Again, I was way more emotional then my kid ! We were told that once they were done the kids would come and get us.

    His biggest complaint about it all was there are only 4 other boys in his class and 10 girls but his dad tried to reassure him that in a few years that might actually be a good thing. Hayden still wasn't convinced but did manage to make one buddy .

    After we were done at the school we took the kids out for lunch and a little shopping at Toys R Us then we all headed home for a little afternoon nap.

    I have been plagued with mixed feelings all summer on whether we did the right thing by moving him to this school but after yesterday I truly know it was the right decision for us. I only hope that he will thrive in this environment and will enjoy learning.

    Today is the first full day of classes so I'm anticipating a very tired little boy when he comes home but I'm sure he will adjust this new routine very quickly.

    Chicken Bruschetta

    One of my favorite appies is Bruschetta so when I came across this recipe in Rose Reisman's cookbook "The Complete Light Kitchen" (one of my all time favorite cookbooks by the way) I knew it would be a keeper and it totally is.

    (This was the leftover from the night before which I served with wild rice and steamed corn - It was still very yummy but I found the chicken lost it's crispy taste from being stored in the fridge)


    Prep Time: 15 minutes
    Cook Time: 11 minutes
    Serves: 4

    What you will need:

    4 skinless boneless chicken breasts (about 1 lb)
    1/4 cup all-purpose flour
    1 egg
    2 Tbsp low fat milk
    1/2 cup dry seasoned breadcrumbs (I just used the plain ones I already had and they were fine)
    2 tsp vegetable oil
    1 1/2 cups diced plum tomatoes
    1/4 chopped green onions
    1 Tbsp olive oil
    1 tsp minced fresh garlic
    pinch salt and freshly ground pepper
    3 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
    1/4 cup chopped fresh basil (I used the fresh dried I had in the fridge)

    How you make it:
    1. Preheat the oven to 425 F. Line a baking sheet with foil and coat lightly with cooking oil.
    2. Working with one at a time, place the chicken breast between two sheets of waxed paper and pound to an even 1/2 inch thickness.
    3. Place the flour on a plate. Beat the egg and milk together in a shallow bowl. Place the breadcrumbs on a separate plate.
    4. Spray a large non-stick skillet with cooking oil, add the vegetable oil and place over medium-high heat.
    5. Coat each flattened chicken breast in flour , dip n the egg mixture, then coat in the breadcrumbs. Cook for 3 minutes per side or until browned and almost cooked through. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet.
    6. Stir the tomatoes, onions, oil, garlic , salt and pepper together in a bowl. Spoon over the chicken breasts. Sprinkle with the Parmesan. Bake in the center of the oven for 5 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the tomato topping is hot. Sprinkle the basil overtop and serve immediately.

    One thought I had was to make the tomato mixture the day before and let it sit in the fridge overnight so the flavors would really come through.

    I think this would make an awesome appetizer as well and you could just cut the chicken into bite size pieces.

    (I totally forgot to snap a picture before we dug in tonight but we are going to have the leftovers tomorrow for lunch so I will take a pic then.)

    Stop by Kelly's Korner for more yummy dinner recipes !!

    Martha's Beef Stew with noodles

    So for years I have made a very favorite beef stew recipe but have always found it somewhat cumbersome to make. But hooray I have found one in the latest Martha Stewart magazine that is really easy and tastes almost exactly the same as the old recipe I have.

    The bonus with this one is it makes the gravy while it's cooking in the pot on the stove. I am to say the least "challenged" when it comes to making gravy. I have tried for years and honestly I know just give the task to Faruq when he is home.

    So on one of those cold winter nights I think might be coming soon give this a try and I'm sure you won't be disappointed.

    (I forgot to take a picture of my stew so I snagged a pic from her magazine but honestly mine look identical to this picture)

    Prep Time: 15 minutes
    Total Time: 1 hour

    Serves 4 (we actually got more like 6 to 7 servings)

    What you will need:

    1 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
    2 pounds boneless beef chuck. (cut into 1/2 inch cubes)
    coarse salt and ground pepper
    1 medium onion sliced lengthwise
    2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
    3 cans (14.5 ounces each) reduced-sodium chicken broth
    1/2 pound carrots, cut into 1-inch chunks
    2 medium russet potatoes, peeled an cut into 1-inch dice
    2 cups egg noodles
    3 Tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
    1 tsp red-wine vinegar ( I omitted this and it was fine)

    How to make it:
    1. In large Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat oil over high. Add beef, season with salt and pepper. Cook until seared and brown about 6 minutes.
    2. Add Onion and season again with salt and pepper. Cook until onion begins to soften (reduce heat if necessary) - about 5 minutes.
    3. Stir flour until beef and onion are coated and cook 1 to 2 minutes (do not burn).
    4. Add broth + 3 cups of water, stirring and scraping up browned bits. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer and cook until beef is tender - about 25 minutes.
    5. Add carrots and potatoes - cook until potatoes are tender - about 10 minutes.
    6. Add noodles and cook until tender - about 8 minutes
    7. Season with salt and pepper.
    8. To serve, stir in parsley and vinegar.
    A few things:
    • Cutting veggies into evenly sized cubes helps to ensure that they'll finish cooking at the same time.
    • It can be frozen in airtight containers for up to 6 month. Thaw in the fridge before reheating. Honestly, I have never had enough stew leftover to even consider freezing it.
    • I honestly didn't season with salt quite as often as the recipes says and it was still very yummy.

    Well for sure it's a......

    Baby. We had our 18 (actually 19) week scan on Tuesday and all looks great for the latest and last addition to the Suleman family.

    We have a very active little bean and the the technician actually had a bit of a hard time doing the scan. This really didn't surprise me in the least as both Hayden and Laila were exactly the same way at their scans for 18 weeks. But the tech was very patient and managed to get all the measurement she needed. Unfortunately for most of the scan the little kicker had it's hands of their private parts (again just like other two) so it was beginning to look like we wouldn't find out the sex. I really wanted to know this time so I could start clearing out either boy or girls clothes.

    I think she knew we really wanted to know so tried for almost another 10 minutes. Low and behold right at the very end it did move it's hands for a second to reveal it's bits. We couldn't see any little boy bits so the technician really felt it was a little girl. Secretly, I was so thrilled with that news but again for the selfish reason that it will be easier to bunk the baby and Laila together.

    My guess is this baby will be longer then the other two and I think will look just like Laila when they come out. Hayden is still just indifferent to the whole idea of another baby and is glad that he will not have to share his room. Daddy is thrilled for another little girl but I laughed when I heard him telling Hayden the other night that "the power" in the house has officially shifted to the girls (like they ever had the power in the first place).

    I honestly can't believe that we are 5 months into this pregnancy. I know that January will come very soon and it will all be over. I'm actually very sad about it ending and will miss being pregnant. My problem was getting pregnant and endured many years of infertility but honestly being pregnant was some of the best months of my life. We are blessed beyond words with 3 little ones and can't wait to watch them grow.

    Here are a few pictures from our U/S and have to say they look identical to both Hayden and Laila's.



    Unrelated to baby news we are just trying to enjoy the last few days of summer vacation. Hayden starts back to school next week and I'm glad for him. We haven't done much this summer and I know he has found it a bit boring. I think once he settles in and makes new friends life will be better for him.

    So come next week it will be just me and my little lady at home. I'm looking into signing her up for a few classes as my time will be a little limited in the new year.

    I hope everyone in Calgary is out trying to enjoy the last few days of what I think is our summer ! I have a feeling we are going to have an early fall.

    Chow for now !