My Little Ladybug at nearly 14 months ....

Looking back at previous posts I realized it was time for a little Laila update ! Where do I start with my little ladybug ~ she is just the picture of perfection and I'm seriously not sure how we got so lucky with her.

She is a mild-mannered little girl that only throws the occasional "fall on the floor" tantrum (In her defence it usually has something to do with her big brother tormenting her in some way). But let me tell you little sista' takes no crap from anyone especially her big brother. I have come into the toy room after one of these tantrums and she is more then likely the one on top delivering the smack down. When she laughs (and it's often) its one of those "deep down in your belly" laughs that is just contagious and makes you laugh.

Ladybug is an awesome sleeper ! She goes to bed at 7:30 every night - her routine is so easy...bottle, brush her two teeth, read a book (if she lets you), put her in her sleep sac (seriously all babies should be put in these from birth), place her in the crib, lights out and we don't hear from her until after 8:30 the next morning. After our failures with Hayden and sleeping I was determined that this time around would be different. I read Dr. Ferber's book before she arrived and we followed his method with fabulous results.

Because of all the sleep she gets at night and with Hayden's crazy schedule she has pretty much gone to one longer nap during the day which doesn't seem to affect her "happy go lucky" mood.

She is my little eating machine...seriously there is nothing that our little ladybug won't try. Again, with all struggles we have had with Hayden and his limited food likes I was personally determined to not have this happen with her. I tried to breast feed her but it just wasn't in the cards for us so to save mommy and baby lots of frustrations she was bottled fed until around 8 months old when we started to introduce the "real" food to her.

I purchased a book called "Baby Blender Food" and it was probably one of the best books I have ever bought. It laid out 125 different recipes that were categorized according to age and covered a variety of different food groups. I started her off simple with the basics and gradually introduced different foods. I also purchased these ice cube trays but they were designed as individual cubes that had lids attached to make it easier to freeze food. I say "Hallelujah " - this again was a great invention by I'm sure a mom frustrated with the plain old ice cube trays and food getting freezer burn on it.

Today I have to say she has developed quite a palette and will take pretty much anything and everything that is offered to her. I can not tell you what a relief this is to me as I have worried and continue to worry about Hayden's eating habits. Some of Laila's favorites are Chicken Stew, Salmon & Broccoli, Shepard's pie, Beef and Broccoli and anything with beans in it. There is not one fruit that she will not devour when given - I'm so looking forward to summertime and the abundance of fresh fruit that we can get. She loves a yummy apple sauce I make or possibly a bowl of pudding for dessert. She is a great drinker of milk but also lovers her yogurt, cottage cheese or just regular cheese. Cheerios or puff wheat are a favorite snack.

The one thing that I have done with Laila is greatly limited the amount of sugar and "bad" fats I will allow her to have. She really didn't have any sugar type food until her 1st birthday when she was given a cupcake to munch on. I think she has only had a french fry a few timesl. I really think that because Hayden was exposed at a very early age to this crap it somewhat tainted his taste buds. But I have to also say that Faruq and I have totally changed our eating habits in the past few years. We are far more open to trying new things now and our diet has been overhauled to go back to more "whole" food eating and less processed foods. I'm sure we will have battles with Laila but I'm really hoping food isn't one of them.

She still is half walking and half wounded solider crawling around the house. And you know secretly, I will miss her little crawl. It's what made her unique to me and it just means she is growing up !!

Teeth are slowing coming in. Her front two teeth came down just before Christmas and I can feel 3 or 4 on the bottom trying to make their way up. I was getting a little worried about the lack of teeth but our pediatric dentist told us not to worry until around 16 months and that that longer they stayed inside the gums the harder and stronger they are when they make their appearance. Again all in good time !!!

As second time parents we have learned to sit back and let her develop at her own pace. I think with Hayden I was so caught up in the "Well my kid is doing this" syndrome that I just didn't relax and enjoy him more. With Laila she will do things when she is ready and we don't need to push her. Honestly, I think with the first you are just so scared that you are going to screw them up you tend to make decisions and choices that you probably wouldn't make with #2.

Here's to the next 14 months !!

Jazzing it up a bit...

I found a great site that has lots of free backgrounds to jazz up your blog so I have been doing a little updating. Still not totally sure this is the one for me but it's a little fancier then what I had.

We had a great Saturday !! Took the kids swimming then to the library for some new books. The boys dropped ladybug and I off for her nap then they proceeded to do the grocery run.

I whipped a yummy pizza and apple crisp for supper. I made the apple crisp in my slow cooker and would have to say it was just okay. For me the best part of the apple crisp is the crumbly almost crispy part on the top and with the slow cooker that just didn't happen. But it was worth a try anyway and the family still thought it was pretty darn tasty.

After the kids went to bed hubby and I watched this past weeks episode of The Biggest Loser. God are they ever going to get rid of Joelle. She must have a horseshoe up her butt...I just think there are thousands (if not more ) people that would love to have the chance to be on that show and she continues to just bitch and gripe the whole way thorough. I get totally motivated to go workout every time I watch this changes lives !!

Trying to watch season 1 of Heartland as well - love that CBC has it on their website free of charge with no commercials ! It's neat that it along with the newest CBC drama Wild Roses is filmed in and around Calgary. Both shows are pretty good - Anyone else a fan ?

Tomorrow is a stay inside, cozy up to the fire and watch movies, read books or for me most likely tinker away on the computer day.

Hope your Sunday is an enjoyable one !! Stay warm it's going to be another cold one out there !!

Baby it's cold outside...

Holy Crap I foolishly thought we were done with the bitterly cold weather that had plagued Calgary for the last month or so but sadly that doesn't seem to be the case. Old mother nature tricked us with some nice warm days this last week but man it got cold yesterday and we are in for at least a few more days of it.

So the kids and I have been hanging close to home doing crafts, watching movies and generally just "hanging out" !!

We plan on hitting a great second hand bookstore tomorrow and stopping by our Second Cup for a warm cup of hot chocolate.

Have a great weekend and stay warm !!

Food on the brain ....

One of the other shows I love is "Top Chef" amazes me every week what these chefs can turn out in a moments notice. I guess that's why they are called "top chefs". I personally love Stefan and Fabio !! (I'm a sucker for an accent)

I always get so inspired to be a better cook after watching these shows and I do try a few new recipes but the family always wants the old favorites so I just give up on the "Fancy" cooking.

A girl can dream can't she !!

Hell's Kitchen is back...

Starting next week Gordon Ramsey is back !! Love him or hate him (I'm in total love) he is back for the 5th season of Hell's Kitchen.  

Let the screaming begin !!!

Wordless Wednesday - February 12th

My hope...

for all women to have relationships like these ones.   I know I'm blessed to have such women in my life and I'm truly grateful for that.

Enjoy !!


Laila and I were playing in the toy room this afternoon and I had started to sing the song "Wheels on the bus" when she got up off her little sofa we were sitting on to walk across the room to the shelf where all her books are and actually picked that exact book off the shelf. I might have shown it to her maybe twice before...little ladybug kinda freaked me on.

Coincidence ?


Is the day. I'm not American but it will be an incredible day for this world. Change is coming and it starts tomorrow. I have a pretty strict "no-tv" rule in the mornings before school but tomorrow is different and the kids and I will be sitting and watching the inauguration of the new president of the USA. I can't wait to see it !

Will you be watching?

A Useful Site...

A friend just sent me this and I thought it was pretty neat...Have a look !

Thanks Rosie !!

My other love affair...

About 6 months ago I started an affair that is still going on today and it's with my slow cookers.  I love them and the great meals they are producing for my family.  I'm all about less time in the kitchen.  I would love to say I'm a fabulous cook and spent hours everyday preparing not only delicious but more importantly nutrition meals for my family but that just ain't the case with two small kids.

I purchased my first slow cooker years ago and honestly never really used it.  This past summer I actually sold in in a garage sale and figured that was the end of that great idea.   Then I happened upon "Fix it and Forget it for Slower Cookers" in Costco one day and was magically hooked again.  I bought another slow cooker and started turning out these amazing dinners.  I then purchased another smaller slow cooker that would actually better serve our small family on a day-to-day basis.  It's all about the proper size people when cooking in these things.

I love my little 4 quart Cuisinart Slower cooker - it has a high/low setting with a warm feature once the cooking time is done.  I would spent the little more and get one that has these setting as it's great if you aren't home when it finishes cooking - it's just keeps the stuff warm vs. burning it.  I do have a much larger 8 quart cooker that I will use if I'm actually doubling recipe but really I find it just too big for everyday.  

I have made everything from Oatmeal for breakfast to Hamburger soup (so yummy) to my dad's famous meatballs and spareribs (don't tell him but I think they actually tasted better in done in the slow cooker).  I probably have the slower cooker going at least 4 days a week and the smell that greets us when we come home from a busy day is awesome.

I know when my kids leave home I will provide them each with a slow cooker if nothing else !  I will post some of our favorite recipes over the next few days so maybe they will become favorites for you !

Hayden Happening's

Hayden is in Kindergarten and loving (almost) every moment of it. Homework has been challenging but he is getting it done. He (and us) love his teacher. She is first year but has a huge amount of energy and rules that class like a veteran. Hayden is learning at a amazing rate - he has gone from being a non-reader to have a huge vocabulary. His penmanship is getting better every week.

He is learning about patterns now and opposites so it has been a fun experience for us all. Learning is so wonderful !!

He had advanced 3 levels in swimming since September and I can't believe how amazing he is doing. The VRRI rocks for swimming lessons and we are so glad we moved him there last year.

Piano is coming along. Getting him to practice is a bit of challenge but we have asked him to stay with it until May then we will decide whether he continues next year. Dang the lessons are expensive and if he is not committed to them the money can be spent else where.

The other new activity he is doing this year is Beavers and while he doesn't say much about it seems to enjoy the weekly meeting.

Happy Year ~ 2009

I decided instead of starting a new blog I would just try to continue with the one I have already started. Soooo " Forgive me father for it has been almost a year since I posted in this blog" ...there forgiveness asked for now let us continue.

Life is damn good !!! Even though oil prices are at an "all-time" low and we have lost a small fortune (and no we are not poor so don't offer to send money) in the stock market we have realized that our life is so rich in other ways. We have two beautiful children that are both happy and healthy, I have an amazing husband who provides me everything I need and in turn I hope I provide him with what he is needs. We have a great home and all the comforts we could be possibly need.

This year for us is going to be a year of "Simple Living". No non-essential spending will occur and we are going to enjoy just being with each other. I'm slowing down and enjoying the finer moments in life that we may have passed before when are lives were overwhelmed with other stuff. My kids are growing so fast and sometimes I find it hard to believe how fast it is truly going by.

I have been following a few ladies that I have come to admire for the choices they are making in their lives. They are not driven my "material"l wealth so their kids don't have closets full of clothes or the latest and greatest toys but they do have inter- happiness and contentment which I know realize I desire as well. I want my kids to understand what true happiness is and I don't believe it is surrounding yourself with "STUFF". The time we spend with our kids (especially now) is vital.

One big thing we have changed is no TV (except the occasional video) in our house. I have seen the effect that TV can have a young child and frankly it scares me. Hayden becomes all most "zombie" like when watching TV and then afterwards is tired and moody. Plus we get bombarded with the requests for all the food and toys he has seen advertised on the commercials. We went through 6 months of endless nightmares at night and now realize it was from shows like Scooby Doo. So now we pull out the board games and spend hours as a family laughing and bonding over a Monopoly or Scrabble board. It is priceless to me.

I have also cut out most refined sugars and bad fat from our diets. We are eating "whole" as much as possible and organic if available. Again, when Hayden gets sugar I honestly didn't think it effected him but man was I wrong. Maybe it wasn't effecting the mood but certainly the appetite. Without the fillers he is now eating pretty much what we are eating and has already gained 3 pounds. I always knew he was lacking in his diet but didn't know how to fix it. It's easier now because he is a little older and I can offer choices that makes him feel like he is part of the process.

They always say you learn from your mistakes and I certainly did when it came to Laila. I was committed to getting her sleeping and eating properly from a very young age. For the most part I feel that is a total success so far. She has slept in her room from 2 months and sleeps at least 12 hours a night with one nap during the day. She self-soothes herself to sleep at night and back to sleep if she happens to wake during the night which to this day Hayden still can't do.

As for eating that is yet another success story. The girl can eat and eat she does. I picked up a book called "Baby Blender Food" and it was the turning point for me and it helped me ensure Laila transitioned to solid foods because once again that did not go well with Hayden. Laila will eat almost anything we give her and I can't even say enough what a relief that is to me. It is a joy to watch her try new food and see her reaction (good or bad) to all that is in front of her. I have my own personal issues with food and work very hard to not pass those on to either child.

I see the effect that a proper sleep and eating pattern can have a child and I love it. We made mistakes with Hayden that are by no means his fault but he has been made to suffer with them so this year we are really focussing on helping him overcome these issues. It all takes time but we are both sure he will be stronger by years end.

Well that's pretty long post but that is are plan for the new year and we have to say it's pretty darn exciting - can't wait to share all the success and failures (I'm sure there will be a few) with you all !!!