seasons
seasons
seasons

seasons

Its another rainy Sunday over here. I hardly got any sleep last night, Asher has been teething, so he was up three times, and Mila was up once. Seeing that the rain was still coming down this morning my heart dropped a bit. I don’t mind the rain, but I was really hoping to set the children loose outside and catch a ‘mom nap.’

Instead I promptly built the kids a tent in the living room and took advantage of the cold weather to turn the stove on. We made a beautiful batch of blueberry muffins. Its a recipe I adapted from Pinterest to be vegan and a little less sugar, but still awesome, fluffy and sweet. I have included it down below.

Bakery Style Blueberry Muffins

2 Flax eggs (1:3 Tbsp flax to water)

1C raw sugar

1/2 C coconut oil

1 C almond milk

1 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2tsp salt

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

2 1/2 C flour

1 1/2 C blueberries

  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Mix the flax seed and water and set aside for ten minutes. Do the same with the milk and the apple cider vinegar until lumpy.
  • Mix dry ingredients together.
  • When flax and milk are complete mix them with the sugar and coconut oil.
  • Mix wet and dry together and fold in blueberries.
  • Place in muffin tins, makes about 18 and place in oven for 25-28 minutes.

 

Unfortunately this quiet, slow morning was a little overshadowed by Mila’s behaviour. Everyone says three’s are worse than two’s and I wasn’t sure how or why but I am starting to feel like I understand that quote a little better now.

Recently we have been dealing with an extraordinary amount of naughty behaviour. Mila steals from the cupboards and the fridge. Anything she can get her hands on. I limit the sweets a lot, and I often ration the fruit in the house because she would eat me out of house and home and I could never afford to buy that much fruit (we already eat so much fresh food!) And I find it often has nothing to do with hunger, its simply because its available, and when I say “no, wait until lunch,” if I leave she just helps herself anyway.

So this morning, while I tidied the kids’ rooms she stole a muffin as they cooled on the counter. She drew on her face with markers after I scolded her for that and sent her to her room. And she cleaned out her drawers in her dresser, spreading out all her clothes and socks and undies. She is always getting into the medicine cabinet in the bathroom, and locking herself into rooms to do naughty things and get into things she knows she isn’t allowed to touch.

I thought maybe I just need to spend more one and one time with her, so I bought some activity books we could do together; but she just cries, gets frustrated and says she wants to quit, no matter how much I encourage her. I typically just end up doing it for her, so thats been a bit of a bust.

I’m not sure what to do. She knows its wrong because she scolds her brother for these things. I hate constantly yelling at her, and try to instead praise her when she does something right, but lately thats nothing! Every chance she can get she purposely does something naughty.

So today I feel rather defeated and sad. Its been nearly two weeks of this and I know it has to end soon. I never thought the 18month old would be the easier of the two, but its starting to look like it.

At least I can eat away my sorrow now, right? What do you do with your naughty toddlers and how did you teach them to not steal food?

 

sat nam

 

M

 

 

lost
lost
lost
lost
lost

lost

My daughter lost her beloved Bwanket (Blanket) this weekend. We didn’t realize until we were already on our way home that it was missing. She was falling asleep in the truck, chilled from the air conditioning, eyes heavy from all the walking and excitement the city has to offer. She whined to me, eyes closed, lips downturned in a pout, “mummy, I want my….Bwanket!” she managed the last word with a bit of drama.

I flipped around in my seat and began scouring the back of the truck with my eyes. It wasn’t there. In fact, I hadn’t remember seeing it since we were out walking in the middle of a city through a residential section. Why were we there? For a community garage sale. It was my husband’s idea, one that I was reluctant to agree on (I had had other plans) but sometimes you just do things for your spouse when you see that look in their eye saying “I really want you to come.” We went, it was a disaster (two kids yard-saleing, HELLO) but there is where I will leave it, because what is done is done.

I semi predicted the disaster awaiting us, but I could never have predicted the loss of Bwanket. You see, when you become a parent and your child chooses a Lovey, you protect that Lovey with your life. You do not leave home without it. You do not leave your location without double checkin, triple checking it’s availability. If it is not in their hand it is within your reach. AT. ALL. TIMES. It is the Ultimate Pacifier.

She fell asleep in the truck fine without it as I frantically ripped apart bags and any compartment, looking for it even though I knew it wasn’t in there. I felt sick. It was gone. I even found one on Ebay and scooped it up before we were home because I felt so awful. I knew she wouldn’t want it, because it wasn’t HER blanket. Hell, I didn’t even want it. Ebay Blanket hadn’t gotten puked on in Costa Rica because she was carsick. Ebay Blanket didn’t know her newborn smell. It wasn’t there for sleep training, Saturday morning cartoons, airport layovers, sick days, weekend trips and hotel stays and picnics. I couldn’t help but cling to the idea that the fabric somehow held those memories and without it I would lose them. Without it, Mila was somehow less like Mila.

Mila is my tough, live-in-the-moment girl. She is like a little Faerie, she doesn’t walk, she dances on her tip toes everywhere she goes. When things happen it’s like water off a ducks back, nothing seems to affect her. She rarely pouts for more than a minute. She’s never butt hurt, she doesn’t hold grudges and she doesn’t compromise who she is because someone didn’t like it. She is so far into the moment I am inspired by her. So when I explained to her Bwanket was gone, she frowned and looked down at her hands and slowly said “okaaaaay…” took a deep breath as if digesting this horrible information and went back to playing. At bedtime she reiterated she knew Bwanket was gone but that we would find it soon. She didn’t even cry until day two. And I was crushed even more over that.

Didn’t she miss it? Didn’t she need it? Or was I the one who needed it more than her? Was I the only one who associated its presence with her identity?

I think we do that with most material possessions and that is why they are almost a bit of a poison to us. We associate them with our worth and self image, without realizing thats not our True Self at all. It feels like our true self, despite it really only being our Ego. Our True Selves do not need possessions, labels, images or judgments. Our True Self does not desire for more, or cling to past events as fundamentals of our identity. Our Ego does.

Despite all of this I still went to the ends of the earth for find Bwanket. I looked because I still believe in treasuring some things. I think its healthy to surround yourself with things that truly make you happy, and Bwanket most definitely made the cut. I knew possibly where it was, but I was no where near the city to go and look, so I took to Facebook for help. By the evening, after many shares and posts to additional Facebook pages, it was found.

I felt utter relief and joy that it had been located. I snuck into Mila’s room and told her the good news and her face lighting up made my life. That blanket sparks absolute joy in that girl, and while the reminder that possessions can at times be a burden if they cement you into a box of self-imagery or the past; when something sparks joy, it should ultimately be loved and kept and treasured.

Bwanket is home now. Safe and sound in her arms. Mila was beyond thrilled, and me? Well you could say I was over the moon too.

sat nam

M

weekend delight
weekend delight
weekend delight
weekend delight
weekend delight
weekend delight

weekend delight

Instead of my usual Sunday self care routine of rest and relaxation bordering on laziness; I had something a little different going on. I had a child free day planned as I had a workshop in the city booked. I spent the morning with the littles and just after lunch I was rushing to the city. I got to the studio and when I went to open the door it was locked shut. I had this looming feeling something like this might happen in the days leading up…call it the pessimist in me, but I stood outside for a moment. Made a few phone calls. Looked around, mind racing, shrugged and decided to get a coffee at the shop down the street.

My mind wanted to tell me of course this would happen. Make a victim out of me. Make the worst out of the situation. Make a villain out of the studio and everyone involved. Once upon a time I would have agreed with my ego. But I have since learned better, I have since cultivated a new part of me. The positive me. The compassionate me. And therefore I made the best of it.

Its hard for me to say that I haven’t always been like this. But it is true. I was probably the unhappiest person I know, and it was completely my own doing. Sure. I have had some crappy circumstances, but these do not define me, and are no excuse for being compassionate or not. No matter the situation compassion is always the right response. It is always appropriate.

And by choosing compassion I automatically turned back to love, and chose happiness. Happiness is 100% a choice, not something your acquire, or obtain, or a status. Shitty stuff doesn’t just happen to good people, it happens to everyone. We have little control over these things. But we do have a choice in how we respond, interpret and act in response to the things that happen to us.

So choose love. Choose happy. Choose compassion.

I was a little disappointed because I really wanted to do the class. I had the ‘missing out,’ feeling. My mind was showing me snippets of what I thought was going on in the class and I didn’t want to be left out. But I felt in my heart that things would work out. I didn’t KNOW what had happened, that it had been cancelled, so how could I assume anything at all?  But despite all of this disappointment I had fun.

I got my favourite latte from Starbucks, asked for a grande (medium) and got a venti (large.) I got some uber cute succulents for my indoor garden. I chatted with a shop owner of a neat vintage furniture store. I treated myself to new silky pyjamas and jeans from Aritzia. I even missed my kids. I caught myself cooing at babies in the mall and looking for my own to hug and hold. Thats when I knew my cup was full, that it was time to go home.

Which was a delightful feeling after the trying week we had. The whole weekend was restorative, although busy. It was full of fun adventures, with and without the children. The sun was shining and the days warm. We had mini donuts, balloons, morning walks and afternoon naps. The kids were really great, and although we miss Daddy dearly we have managed okay as he has been gone on a trip since last Friday.

I am hopeful for future workshops and delights. I am proud of my choice to see the positivity in the situation. I’m grateful for all the beauty in the moments of our days together this April weekend. I can’t wait to see what this next week will hold!

Wishing you all a wonderful start to your week and encourage you to find the positives in whatever you may face.

sat nam

M

  • saturday from hell
  • saturday from hell
  • saturday from hell
  • saturday from hell

saturday from hell

So I took my kids to this live action concert today starring Mike the Knight, Franklin, Max&Ruby and the Backyardigans…a.k.a an uncomfortable amount of men in tights. I had this feeling sitting through it would be like a lunch date in the 7th circle of hell but what I didn’t know was this day was only beginning.

My kids started the day as they normally do when we have to be somewhere by a certain time. Fighting, crying, misbehaving. I tried my best to be patient and get through it the gentle way, I swear I did, but we are going on day four of Asher incessantly whining all day everyday, and I’m not sure why. Anyway. I ended up losing my shit and sitting outside with my phone while they pounded on the door. I bawled to my husband begging him to make it stop. I feel bad because I can’t imagine what it’s like being on the other end and not being able to do a thing really help.

Eventually I got my shit together and went inside and carried on with the day. They eventually parted ways, Mila downstairs and Asher to his sister’s room to mess shit up and I was left in the peace. The drive up was relatively uneventful until I stopped to use the restroom at Chapters. I considered a Starbucks and a book for later. Or a new tarot deck I hadn’t decided yet.

I decided to forgo the starbies because I was getting one later after the show. And I realized how little time I had to look for a book so we ended up peeing and rushing back to the car; where the most bullshit happened.

I locked my fucking keys in my car. With my kids. And phone. And everything. I screamed and pounded on the van windows. I checked all the doors and told the kids to stay calm. A lady watched this whole ordeal and I yelled in desperation, as if she might have a magic fob within her granny purse to somehow fix this whole situation “I locked my keys in my car!” And she just said “oh dear,” her face all scrunched with empathy and kept walking. My mouth fell open as I watched her make a beeline for the entrance and not turn back. I flagged down another lady and she let me use her phone to find a locksmith. I couldn’t hardly understand the guy but he said he was on his way.

I tried to keep the kids calm whilst waiting. My teeth chattering my legs shaking in the sub zero temps. And yes. I bring winter gear when traveling but that too was in the car.
Mila begged me to “just open the door mommy,”
“I can’t honey it’s locked,”
“Oh noooo!” She wailed. “You got to get the KEY!”
“I know honey. It’s okay. Someone’s coming to help,” I said and she continued to cry while Asher, having already been crying for 10mins could only sniffle and try and catch his breath.

Omar or whatever his name was, showed up and 2mins and $100 later we were in the car heading to the concert. We showed up just as the first half was completed and the start of the intermission.

Out of mommy guilt and desperation to turn the day around I bought the kids these magic wands for ten bucks each (each) that light up. They thought they were cool but I felt as if though I may or may not have a seizure at any moment. I also had several WTF moments on the way home when I thought I was being pulled over but it really was just the flashing of the lights in the wands.

We made it home safe though. We got our Starbucks (actually it was 2nd Cup barf), we visited a good friend soon to be mommy, whom we gifted all of Mila’s old clothes to, and I learned a valuable lesson to never put my keys down unless I’m in the damn car. One that, unfortunately I was just reminding myself of when the whole thing went down. But we made it. It sucked. It passed. I vented. And I’m moving on. It is Sunday, my day of lovely relaxation and self care, and I have all day to do it.

Wishing you all a lovely Sunday.

sat nam

M

asher turns one part II

asher turns one part II

He came into this world quickly. I vividly remember looking at the clock and seeing it was 1:23 when we got to the top of the hill outside the valley we live in. 15 minutes from the city I was seriously considering pulling over and calling an Ambulance, as per requested by my OB, but I felt there wasn’t enough time to wait for them. This baby was going to come soon.

We arrived around 3;00; just enough time to get to our room when things started getting heavy. The primal instincts a woman has while giving birth began to take over. The rocking, the moaning, the twisting, the constant discomfort riding the waves of contractions. And 36 minutes later there he was his tiny 5lb 14 oz body, pitiful weak cries. I observed him while I could as he laid at the foot of the bed for a time, for delayed cord clamping. He was brought to the warmer where he was assessed; he had a frighteningly low apgar score of 1 at birth and a 4 at five minutes.

He was brought to me, his bow furled, eyes glaring, nostrils flaring and stared. I got the impression he was mildly underwhelmed with everything. Strange, considering his entrance into the world was nothing short of a whirlwind.

IMG_7415

Because of his gestational age and his difficulties breathing due to transient tachypnea, critically low glucose and a loud heart murmur to boot- he was whisked away to the NICU where he would be until he was 8 days old. It was only eight days, but it was hard. They crawled by. It was constantly an adjustment. From settling into my room in the L&D ward, waking to the sound of babies crying and blindly looking for my own until I realized where I was. Setting alarms to pump every three hours and walking my little syringes of colostrum down the hall, around the corner, down another hall, across the corridor, through the Pediatrics Unit and into the NICU to our pod. To eventually walking from the RMH through the snow and ice, through the hospital, up to the second floor, down the hall, to the Pediatrics Unit…at all hours of the day and night.

IMG_7431

My husband and daughter were at home; my husband feeling anxious due to a lack of nothing to do but wait, constant waiting, and my daughter due to a lung infection. She was banned from the NICU and RMH, and understandably so. They stayed home to get her well for when we made the big move home.
Those eight days were spent mostly skin-to-skin, pumping, wolfing food down as fast as I could and rushing back to his side. I had few visitors, but cherished when I did. It got incredibly lonely and I hardly left that ward.

Asher stayed true to his nature and surprised us in the NICU with how well he did. Each day he surged forward and never made a step back. His glucose stabilized and his heart murmur thankful was resolved- his pediatrician was prepping us for EKG’s and potential surgery. He shook his head and said in his 25 years as a Ped, he had only twice had a baby with that loud of a murmur that resolved normally. We just counted our blessings.

IMG_7466

He ripped his fourth NG tube out a few days later, and we decided to see how he would nurse. He had always tolerated his feeds, but sometimes needed a topping up, or would be too sleepy at his next scheduled feed after a nursing session and the NG feed was a break for him. He stayed strong, and even took to a bottle at night, allowing me to get a solid four hours sleep versus having to traverse through the wintery weather to nurse him.

IMG_7506

I spent my 23rd birthday in the NICU with him, where he gave his first ‘gas’ smile. I was surprised with a lovely Valentines card made by his nurses. And what better day to go home than on Family day, which was what we did.

IMG_7530

Asher’s first year started off challenging and continued throughout. I was pushed to my limits. I learned more than I ever thought I could, and persevered past anything I ever had before. I really do believe that our greatest transformations happen during our greatest struggles, which I feel happened here.

I don’t feel like the same person as I did last year. I feel like I zipped myself out of that body, and stepped into another. I’m more at home than I ever have been. I’m happier, positive, excited for life, a feeling I cannot recall in having for a very long time.

So while I felt driven to my limit, I am eternally grateful for all I endured, because the seeds I sowed through it all have grown. And the fruit it bears turns out to be pretty damn sweet.

I can’t imagine my life without you; all your seriousness, and all your sensitivity. The calculating, observing nature you possess. I’ve always loved that you saved your smiles for me.

image

Happy Birthday Darling.

 

*ps I cannot for the life of me figure out why my photos are magically rotating, so forgive my crap technology skills*

asher turns one part I

asher turns one part I

It’s that time of year again. One of those moments that make you sit down, a little numb, in quiet disbelief that another year has passed. Big events such as my babies’ birthdays, my wedding anniversary, the day we bought our first house together…they all bring me to my knees a little. Make me thankful for all we have endured, for all I have learned, for all that is to come.

My baby is one today. And I don’t quite know how to take it. You may already know that he came to us early; in many ways. He was a bit of a surprise if you will. I wasn’t ‘ready’ to be expecting again, so it was a complete shock…but there he was, bouncing on the screen, little heart a flutter and it was magical; I knew it would be okay. I continued to be surprised again, when the doctor accidentally let us know the gender at my 35 week appointment. And again, when my water broke in the wee early morning hours of February 8th, 2015 at 35weeks 4 days gestation.

Life has a way of sending you exactly what you need before you even know you need it; and I’d say my boy has been exactly that for me. Asher has made me question everything about myself, every decision I have made. He has forced me to evolve by challenging me in every facet of my life. Because of him I have nurtured my gentle, patient and compassionate sides. I have slowed down, immensely in my day-to-day life. He shook me right to my core, causing me to ask all the questions I needed to ask to set me up for the rest of my life. Little Mila, she was only the beginning, the spark of it all, and Asher was the catalyst.

Thank you my Asher-boy for picking me to be your mummy. For encouraging me to metamorphose into the person I am now. I am eternally grateful for you, and your dear sister. I love you more than I could ever say.

Mila Turns Three

Mila Turns Three

December 23rd invokes different feelings in everyone. For many it is the sheer excitement that in a few days there are presents and feasts and family and delight. Perhaps your family is already together in celebration of the holidays. Or maybe, its just “two days before Christmas.”

For me, December 23rd has the same excitement and joy in waiting for Christmas, but for other reasons. And three years ago it was filled with another kind of anticipation. I was swollen with the third trimester of my pregnancy, getting more and more uncomfortable by the day. I wasn’t due until January, but every evening while I lay in the bath I would place my hands on my stomach, envision them blending through the layers of skin and muscle and fat to surround the baby. I would envelope the baby as I would a precious pearl. I pictured myself holding them close to my heart, tucked under my chin and whispered,

“Whenever you’re ready, I’m here. It might seem like a scary journey, but I promise I will be waiting for you on the other side. You are SO loved already. So any day you choose for you birthday is perfect for me.”

I would say this over and over all while feeling reassuring kicks.

At my 37 weeks appointment I was assigned a new doctor as my other one had gone on holidays to Africa. My new doctor found the heartbeat, the reassuring ba-dum ba-dum as fast as a hummingbird. She pulled out her tape and measured me. She paused. Measured again. Frowned.

“You’re measuring awfully small.”

“I get that a lot.” I said.

“You’re only measuring at 33 weeks.”

I immediately felt icy all over. That was rather small.

“I want to get you an ultrasound. I want to see the blood flow from you to baby, there could be an issue with the umbilical cord. I want a non-stress test, blood and urine.” she said quickly writing up the requisition.

The ultrasound receptionist laughed at me when I asked for something before Christmas. “How could you possibly think you could get in?” I gave a meek “Sorry,” Feeling bad but angry. I wanted to shout at her “because there could be something wrong!”

I explained my issue of being unable to get an ultrasound to my Doc upon coming in for the others tests. She sighed, shook her head and hooked me up to the machine to measure the baby’s activity.

She seemed frustrated with the results of my blood, urine and non stress.

“I want you back in two days.”

The next week was filled with hospital visits and urine cups. It was as if she had a sixth sense, an inkling something was going to go wrong and by damned she was going to catch it at the first hint. She performed a bedside ultrasound on the evening of December 22nd.

“Baby’s head and height are measuring correctly…but the little belly is small. Babe isn’t getting the proper nutrition. I don’t know whats going on..I’d rather keep them in there so they can be bigger…weight is just over five pounds..” she muttered more to herself.

“Come back tomorrow morning.” she said after wiping up the ultrasound jelly.

I packed my bags that night.

My grandfather called me, later that evening.

“Hows my great-granddaughter?” he asked. “Why didn’t you call and tell me she was here?”

“Papa what are you talking about?” I was sitting in the nursery rocking chair, jittery with anxiety and now rather confused.

“The baby isn’t here yet, I don’t even know if its a girl, and you know I would call you as soon as I have the baby.” I laughed.

“Oh..Well alright then.” he said a little miffed.

“I’m going in tomorrow for some testing, I’ll call you if anything happens…but…you thinks its a girl eh?”

“Its a girl…Night sweetie,” he said.

“Night Papa.”

The next morning, the non-stress test revealed that the baby was slowing down. There was more and more time between each sleep cycle, and was staying awake for less time. My urine also showed the hint of a sign of preeclampsia as the proteins were on a steady incline.

“Go home, get your bags. I wanted to leave this baby in to cook a little longer, but I feel that perhaps they would do better out than in at this point. I get the feeling you’ll probably go in to labour around 25th or 26th but the holidays are always crazy, lets just do this before Christmas.”

Nearly eight hours later I was holding a little girl. My labour was the perfect length, enough time to adjust, short enough to not be frustrating. My nurse was kind and loving, attentive and experienced. She walked me through everything, encouraging me in the shower, giving us the space we needed as a couple, as a team. She got me through the transitions, where I wanted to give in, crying because of the pain, feeling defeated because I just could not get through one. more. contraction.

But I did. And at 9:27 there she was. Pink and puffy and tiny. No screams to announce she was there. Just calm, serene, beautiful.

The doctor examined my placenta and discovered why Mila wasn’t receiving the correct nutrition: Velamentous Cord Insertion. Instead of the umbilical cord inserting correctly in the mass of the placenta, it had inserted into the membranes. It traveled unprotected by the heavy insulation of the Wharton’s Jelly where at any time it could have ruptured and she would have been a stillborn. At the time, we were all unaware of my other condition, Succenturiate Placenta, where I had a miniature accessory lobe of the placenta still inside, which would give me all kinds of issues in the coming weeks.

Aside from already feeling blessed by holding a healthy baby, I felt doubly blessed now as I tucked her beneath my chin like I always imagined and breathed in the smell of her head. I was just so grateful she had made it Earthside safely.

 

The last three years have been full of life, love, adversity and triumphs. Mila has grown into a fearless, tenacious, funny little girl. She loves to run and dance. She loves to be naked outside, running with her dogs, wild hair trailing behind her. She reminds me of a carefree little forest sprite. She’s caring and cuddly, shares with her brother and is so concerned when he wails. “I lay with you.” she says to me, every night as I tuck her in to bed. And I can’t help but crawl beneath the covers and breathe her in like I always used to when she was oh so small; her inhales and exhales growing longer as she fades off in to sleep.

 

Happy Birthday my Love. I’m so glad you picked me to be your Mommy. You’ve been the best Christmas gift I have ever got.

Cookies, and a Flu Bug

Cookies, and a Flu Bug

I’ve been meaning to post every week, and had one in the making but I was unable to finish due to the level of suck-age this week has reached. Asher started showing signs of coming down with something Sunday when he had two very long naps (why am I complaining? Well, this is the kid that has never slept, so when he does, while I take the damn blessing, the length of naps worried me.) He also couldn’t keep his eyes open that evening, falling asleep in the car to the family’s house. Falling asleep in my arms while there. Then sleeping all night.

Monday I wondered if he was suddenly narcoleptic, the kid couldn’t stay awake and if he was he was whining and rubbing his eyes, miserable, but still unsure what exactly was causing his sleepiness. Early Tuesday morning, around 3am he got sick in his crib, so I finally knew he had some kind of flu bug. All day Tuesday, and now Wednesday he has slept on and off for most of the day. Been bombarded with a persistent fever and has had dose upon dose of Tylenol just to keep it down and him comfortable, as well as two baths a day trying to cheer this little water baby up.

The crying, and sleepless nights for me have worn on me. I called my mum crying this morning, begging her to help me, and in her calm “mom” voice she answered my prayers,

“I’ll shower and be right over,” she said.

 Hallelujah.

I’m not the sick one, but I just really needed my mom.

And a nap. Which I later got.

I have been unable due to circumstance, do much in the name of self-care, which I am adamant about. My arms and back ache from holding my squirming baby and doing no yoga. My neck is tight, my jaw strained from clenching in my sleep as most of my sleeping hours have been done sitting upright in my rocking chair. But what I really wanted tonight, aside from my baby to feel better, was a cookie. So I turned to baking therapy, nearly my favourite past time.

I’ve been baking gluten free, and sugar free lately, but tonight, no. There was no way in hell I was baking healthy. I needed some good old-fashioned sugary goodness in my veins.

These Chocolate Snowflake Cookies, are both festive, easy, and a family favourite. My mom made these every year around Christmas, and we gobbled them up, much like anything my mom makes.  So if you’re looking for something fun to make with your kids, this is a great recipe for little hands too- especially the rolling part.

Chocolate Snowflake Cookies     Yields 24 small cookies

1 Cup of Flour

1 Cup of Sugar

½ Cup of cocoa powder

1 Tsp baking powder

½ Tsp salt

4 Tbsp of butter

2 Eggs

1 Tsp vanilla extract

Icing sugar for topping

*** Because I am dairy and egg free, I subbed coconut oil, softened, for the butter, and flax eggs (1tbsp ground flax: 3tbsp of water) for the eggs. ***

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Mix together your dry ingredients, whisking well.
  3. Then add your wet; butter, eggs, and vanilla. It will be a firmer dough, but if you feel you need to, you can add a splash of milk/almond milk, but don’t make it too wet.
  4. Form little balls of dough and roll them in icing sugar. 
  5. Set on parchment papered cookie sheets. Bake at 400, for 8-10 minutes.

 

Cool and enjoy! I washed mine down with a cup of Vanilla Almond milk. Happy Holidays from my family to yours!

 

xo

M

 

  • Halloween, Thanksgiving, and a Birthday
  • Halloween, Thanksgiving, and a Birthday
  • Halloween, Thanksgiving, and a Birthday
  • Halloween, Thanksgiving, and a Birthday
  • Halloween, Thanksgiving, and a Birthday

Halloween, Thanksgiving, and a Birthday

It has been quite the week in our little world. We prepared for Halloween by buying candies early and polishing them off before Halloween (we do this literally every year.) I threw up some decorations the day before, as well as carved our pumpkins, which turned out pretty good for free hand sharpie carvings!

 

In our town the downtown shops celebrate and give back to the kids by handing out candy. Its from 4-6, so before things get dark, and anyone with little children just loves it because they don’t get scared since its light out, and they get a pretty good haul just by hitting the few streets that make up the downtown core. We went for an hour only and Mila will have enough candy to last her until Christmas. (realistically with the help of her dad, probably till next pay day, but whatever, no judgement here.)

 

My husband and I dressed up too this year. I wanted to be a Dead Prom Queen, so I wore my old prom dress, and did a neat make-up job. It was fun but I was sure glad to wash off the fake blood. It was crusting in the brisk weather we had! Justin was going to go as my dead date, but naturally he changed his mind last minute and wanted to do a scary clown face. I gave him the make-up kit and said I wasn’t going to help, but he begged me so I broke down and ended up doing most of it LOL.

 

Mila was Princess Ariel, and Asher was Franken-baby. He was rather unimpressed with Halloween, but I feel he will come around when he can actually enjoy the fruits of his labour. Anyone outside of Canada will see what it is like to have a true Halloween in the Northern Hemisphere, because yes, they were wearing winter coats. But hey, there was no snow on the ground, so we considered it one of the better Trick or Treating climates.

 

November First was my family’s late Thanksgiving dinner (happy Samhain everyone!) and we stuffed ourselves all day and had naps on the couches and ate pie and candy leftovers and drank bottle after bottle of wine. It was lovely and loud and colourful and messy, kind of like my crazy Italian side of the family.

 

And last but not least, in no chronological order, on October 29th my Papa turned 81. He’s very inspiring to me, and my little boy reminds me of him so much, in his personality, and in the little looks he gives me. We love you Papa and Happy Birthday!

 

How were your Celebrations? Do you have any special traditions at Halloween?

 

(P.S for whatever reason, the photos of my grandfather wouldn’t upload! My face looks like Asher’s did- clearly not a fan of Halloween eh?)

  • Psychics, Succulents and Sundays
  • Psychics, Succulents and Sundays
  • Psychics, Succulents and Sundays
  • Psychics, Succulents and Sundays

Psychics, Succulents and Sundays

Yesterday was Sunday, which is my favourite day of the week. It is my day to decompress, relax and mentally prepare for the week ahead. In fact, I call it Self-Love Sunday in my house, because I mindfully go about my day, just listening to my body and my soul and nourishing it with whatever it is asking for.

 

I start it with a lovely cup of coffee, or tea, or lemon water, whatever it is I need that day. Traditionally, the children and I have my homemade vegan pancakes, maple syrup and a side of fruit. We lounge in our pajamas for the morning; I don’t rush to curl my hair, to do make-up. The laundry gets washed, I tidy the kitchen, candles are burned, muffins are baked, we sit in the sun and later, nap in it.

 

Mila does a craft and I arrange fresh cut flowers, we watch a movie, we stretch out in mommy’s bed, we cuddle, we eat the muffins we baked. We do yoga, mila plays with my sea shells, and crystals and river stones. We drink tea and do puzzles while supper simmers.

 

We break bread together when Daddy gets home. Us adults sip wine, we chat about our day, and we eat frozen fruit for dessert. The kid and I have lavender infused baths with Epsom salt. We read books and she asks questions about the Universe and I sing lullabies. Asher nurses and I cuddle him close as he nuzzles his fleece blanket.

 

And then its over. This restorative, calming, nourishing day. But I feel refreshed and prepared for whatever is to come. I also get to process all that happened since my last day to refresh.

 

This past week was a big one for me. I finally finished my succulent propagation. They took off and now I have way too many succulents! I ran out of pots to plant them in in fact. It was almost too easy to do, but I plan to use them as little gifts for friends at Christmas this year.

 

I also happened to book with a psychic and got my reading last Monday. She is from Kelowna B.C and we did it over the phone. It took about an hour, and was very reasonably priced for how accurate she was and for the length. Her contact info is included at the end of this post.

 

I’ll start this off with- I LOVE going to psychics. We have one that comes to our town every few years with a travelling Carnival and she has been surprisingly accurate for me, and I have seen her on several occasions.

 

What I loved about my reading with Allyson was, while there were some things that were known to me (I’m not psychic but I have a deep intuition that I tap in to and just KNOW many things before they happen or as they are happening) but there was so much that took me by surprise.

 

My career and what I am going to do with my career has been very agonizing for me. I love massage therapy, but I want to do something more with it, and branch out. I have this strong compulsion to want to go back to school and just learn everything, but I’m unsure of where to start! I know I would love and be talented in the medical field, but I worry about maybe not loving it as much as I think I will. And eventually feel trapped because all I will have to sacrifice, and the family will sacrifice in order to obtain a bachelors degree. So, I keep going back in forth, and talking myself out of short programs by telling myself I’m more talented and should assert myself to the greater good, to go big or go home.

 

What stuck out in my mind most with Allyson is she mentioned that I have this desire to self sacrifice in a big way, I wanna save the village!; and it was because I have done it so many times in my past lives; I’ve been the doctor, I’ve been the nurse, I’ve ran the apothecary, and that is why I feel so much desire to do this again and to go back to school for something medical. But she also mentioned that this life isn’t for that. She sees me doing what I always said I wanted to do as a child- Be a Mom. Just be a mom, and enjoy the family life, take things slowly and really let the joys of life sink in.

 

And in that moment it all made so much sense. I already knew my logical mind was talking myself in to things and out of other things and clouding the answer inside of me, but I just didn’t know how to switch that off! Allyson’s message really helped me tune in and hear what it was that I really wanted.

 

She encouraged me to call upon Archangel Jophiel- the Angel of Beauty whenever I wanted to search for a career or course option. She spoke that my next career would be creating beauty and showing people the beauty in the world and not the pain.

 

And so I did. And would you believe it, if I said, one day later I found something that speaks to my soul?

 

I start November 15th.

Allyson’s webpage can be found at here.

 

 

Below is my recipe for Sunday Morning Vegan Pancakes. Feel free to substitute milks, oils or flours for gluten free versions (oat, buckwheat, and other blends have worked well for me.)

 

I typically double the recipe because they freeze well, you just pop them in the microwave for 30 seconds and then toast for a few minutes and its like you made them fresh. Perfect for those busy mornings with hangry toddlers!

 

Sunday Morning Vegan Pancakes

Yields 12-15 pancakes

 

1 1/4th cup                 Flour

1tsp                            Baking Powder

1tsp                            Baking Soda

1/2tsp                        Salt

1tsp                            Cinnamon and a dash of Nutmeg

2tbsp                          Melted coconut oil and extra for the pan

1/3 Cup                     Warm water

1-1/4 cup                  Vanilla almond milk

1tsp                            Vanilla

 

  1. Turn your pan on and heat at just above medium (about a 6)
  2. Whisk together your dry ingredients.
  3. Melt your coconut oil in the pan or microwave it and add it to your mixture. Make sure to grease the pan before adding the batter.
  4. Use warmer water and it will prevent your coconut oil from solidifying again, then add your milk and vanilla.
  5. Whisk together and work out all the lumps. Turn down your frying pan to medium or just below. (about a 4) Using a 1/4th measuring cup (perfect size pancakes) pour in the batter. Once lightly brown and bubbling on the top flip!
  6. nomnomnomnom Enjoy!