Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Health Food

It's been another slow week.  I'm so grateful that regardless of the lack of activity, the time continues to pass at a decent pace. 

I've been busying myself with the business of finding new recipes.  John and I are currently attempting to remove all gluten, dairy, eggs, garlic and brown rice from our diets. I am doing this because...well, I have to. And John is because he's a nice husband and wants to make meal planning easier for me. The above foods seem to be a cause of inflammation for me, and removing them from my diet (hopefully not a coincidence) seemed to alleviate some of my pain. Now, most people understand the "why" of removing wheat and dairy, but garlic and eggs...no, they weren't a random choice. I had a blood test done to see if I had subtle sensitivities to foods that might be creating inflammation, water retention and malabsorption of vital minerals and other nutrients. Anyway, enough on that.

I made it to the kitchen once, this week.  I made a quinoa salad.  It was quite tasty!  I got the recipe from a friend earlier this week.  I soaked the quinoa overnight to sprout it (easier for digestion) and put it together this afternoon for lunch.  It wasn't as flavourful as I expected it to be, but for a very healthy meal, it was enjoyable.  John also made a beet salad, which I loved even more- so fresh and tasty.


The Night Before:


Rinse 1 cup Quinoa well, drain.

In glass containter, soak Quinoa with 1 cup fresh water and 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar (or 1 Tbsp lemon juice)
In The Morning:
Bring 1 cup of chicken stock to boil.  Add soaked Quinoa (drained) to mixture and bring back to boil.

Turn heat to low, skim off foam.
Simmer, covered for 15-20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.
Cool Quinoa.

carrots, grated, as much as you want.
1 tsp fresh grated ginger (I doubled it)
3 chopped scallions (I doubled this, as well)
1 clove minced garlic
1/2-1 tsp red pepper flakes
some chopped fresh cilantro
Separately mix:

2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp honey
3 tbsp lemon juice
a very tiny bit of cayenne
1 tsp sea salt
1 dollop of peanut butter
Eat.  =)


Chop beets into bite sized pieces.  Cook.  Cool.  Add Vidalia onion and fresh parsley.  Drizzle with a little bit of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  Toss.  Chill.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


John called and said he was coming home for dinner, so Joshua and I went outside to wait for him.  We sat on the front steps.  Joshua calls them his "thinking chair" (from Blue's Clues).  It reminded me of how quirky he is and how much he makes me laugh, so I thought I'd write about a few of his "things."

(he LOVES hats)

He is learning to bargain with me:  "Just one more chocolate chip cookie, Mommy," he says, holding a finger up in front of me.  "Just one more," he keeps reassuring.  Sometimes I say okay because I can't resist.  Usually I say no, and it breaks my heart.

This morning he got an M&M for going potty.  But the one M&M turned into five or so because they were stuck together.  Melted together, I guess.  He came over to me and said he didn't get a blue one.  Always curious about what he's up to, I said okay.  I held out the container.  He changed his mind and took a yellow one.  He ate it.  He looked at me.  "I don't like yellow," he said, making a face.  "Joshua likes blue."  So he took a blue one.  He looked at me again.  "I don't like blue," he said, and reached for a yellow one.  He at it.  Made a face.  "I don't like yellow.  Joshua want blue."  I ended his game.  He cried.  I tried not to laugh.

(getting an M&M snack at Christmas time)

He used to wake up every morning and say "POTTY"...and potty he would go.  Now he wakes up and says "train table!!"  John tries to put him on the potty.  To change his diaper.  To get him dressed.  Joshua kicks and screams and cries because he needs to get to his train table.  He doesn't want breakfast.  He doesn't want lunch.  He just wants to play with his trains.

When Joshua plays with his trains, he decides which trains will be on the track.  The ones that are not must be on their sides, on the table.  If I reach out and pick on up, setting it back on the wheels, he reaches out and knocks it over again.

He has a sticker book.  "Joshua can do it all by 'self."  He doesn't like me to help him peel the stickers off the pages.  But he couldn't do it all by himself at first.  Now he can.  I don't know how it happened.  But when he takes them off, sometimes they rip.  That upsets him.  So I watched him one day and noticed him about to rip the legs off a cow.  I reached over to help.  "Joshua can do it all by 'self."  I thought quickly.  "Joshua," I said.  "We can do it together- teamwork."  He contemplated my offer, then reached for my hand and pushed it over to the sticker.  "Everybody," he said.

He has a favourite blankie that he holds to his face and breathes deeply into it when he is tired or just wants some comfort. 
(Joshua and his blankie after a nap)

All the Thomas trains have numbers.  Thomas is one.  Percy is six.  James is five.  Toby is seven.  So when Joshua counts, he often counts by trains:  "Thomas one, Edward two, Henry three," etc.

(Me and Joshy on his birthday trip to the aquarium)

Joshua's favourite foods are oatmeal, waffles, chocolate chip cookies, carrot sticks, grapes, frozen raspberries and chicken.  He can't stand "hammyburgers."  But he likes the meat and the bread seperate.

He can now go up the stairs with no hands to assist him.  This freaks me out every time.  I stay close behind him. 

Ever since Joshua learned how to talk, he has repeated what he is saying over...and over...and over...and over again...until the person he is addressing his words to repeats him.  And not just repeats him, but repeats him exactly as he is saying.  He is now trying very hard to put sentences together, so it's a great opportunity to help him with his grammar, since he wants to hear us say back everything he says to us.

Much of what Joshua says is no discernable to anybody but John and me.  When he was first saying words, he couldn't say "Grandpa."  Then one day he heard my mom calling him from upstairs.  "JIM!"  Joshua heard her.  "JIM!,"  he repeated.  And "Jim" it was for a long time.  When talking about him, I'd say, "Grandpa Jim."  Eventually Joshua was able to say, "Papa Jim," and Papa Jim it has been ever since.  His great-grandfather, who we started calling "Grampy," is now Bunky.  It's going to stay that way.  Bunky likes it.

(with Nanny and Bunky)

Joshua is learning about emotions.  If I'm having a painful day, he looks up at me with his chin down to his chest and says, "Mommy sad."  Then I muster up a smile for him and he breaks out with his sun-shiney smile and says "Mommy happy!"  He has a scared face, a sick face, a grumpy face and a surprised face, too.

He LOVES music.  His favourite song is "I Like To Move It" on Madagascar.  He seems to prefer that genre of music overall, though neither John or I listen to it.  He came with his own musical preferences.  He dances.  He sings along whenever he can.  He holds the DVD player in the van and repeats the "Thomas the Tank Engine" song over and over, singing along. 

John brought his guitar out the other day.  Joshua ran around shouting "GEE-TAR, GEE-TAR," with great enthusiasm.  The he made up his own song.  "Fire truck, an-gook (ambulance), fire truck, an-gook, P'EECE car!!"

I love that little boy so much.

(his new smile)

Friday, July 16, 2010

In My Kitchen

I cooked this afternoon.  First time in over a month.  I don't even want to think of all the things I ate during that time of absence.  I was just too sore.  Today, I managed to make a meal.  It made me quite happy.  So happy that I had to take a cell phone picture:

Chicken Marinara (tomatoes, chicken, eggplant, green peppers, onion and seasonings) on Gluten-Free Pasta, with a side of Yellow Summer Squash, Zuchinni, Parsley and Sea Salt.

We bought the produce from a Farmer's Market- fresh and bursting with flavor.  Yum.

Friday, July 2, 2010


Splashin' in the water under a big "Pepsi" umbrella, fresh grass clippings floating on the surface of the water, sprinklers, popsicles, sand pails, picnics, swinging, starry skies, camping, beaches, bonfires, badminton, dandelions, jumping rope, long walks...all the memories of summers past.  I love summer.  It's the perfect time to create memories.  All the seasons are, really...but summer is bright, filled with sunshine and cool water, lemonade, sunburns and...well, it's summer now, so summer is on my mind.  And I'm lovin' it, despite the intense humidity here.  I am so grateful for central air!

Our backyard is very small.  Not at all reminiscant of the yard I grew up in- big, grassy, surrounded by trees- and oh, sweet privacy!  But we've made the most of our small space.  I have a small flower bed, and John keeps an array of herbs in pots of different shapes, sizes and colours.  On our deck, we have a table that will seat four, with four chairs and an umbrella.  Joshua has a small slide, a little-tike sized basketball net and now a kiddie pool.

Earlier this week, my friend Raina came over with her son. Joshua and Andrew spent most of the time playing in the living room while Raina and I shouted over the screeching, squeals and laughter. They stayed for four hours and it was a blast. They did spend a short time in the kiddie pool in our backyard and thanks to Raina, I have a few pictures.  Here's one of them-- neither of them wanted to sit in the water at all:

And here's a few pictures from the park:

I love how this one turned out:

Looking forward to more sunny summer days- though it's hard to believe it's already July! 


It's been a bit of a slow week, which would explain the lack of activity on this blog.  I've spent most of the week in a recliner popping pain killers, so hopefully my acupuncture appointment is slightly effective.  It's going to take a few sessions to really notice a difference. 

Ithe meantime, I've been doing as much as I can from a chair.  Joshua knows most of his letters and can count from one through three, and six through thirteen.  I can't convince him that he should acknowledge numbers four and five.  He's got impressive fine motor skills and absorbs things like a sponge, as most kids do!  So I started writing down words so he understands that letters actually mean something when they are put together.  What better way than to start with his name?  Then I had him trace each letter.  He was really good for his first try!  I really wish I had a camera!!  I'll try and take a picture later on John's cell.  At least I have a whole whack of pictures already stored on the computer.  I'll have to make use of them.  A blog without pictures is...well, a blog without pictures.  And I prefer visual enhancement. ;-)

Yesterday I got to feeling guilty about Joshua being cooped up so much during the week, so I asked him what he wanted to do and decided that I'd do whatever he said.  I can afford to over-do it on Wednesday nights because John's off on Thursday so I can recover.  He said "outside!"  It was the answer I dreaded, but guilt can drive a person to do crazy things, sometimes.  The guilt was unmerited, I suppose...after all, I need to get better.  Our life will improve tremendously when I do.  But I struggle with guilt often, because there's so much I want to do NOW.

Well, we found our shoes and sandals and were out the door in five minutes.  No sooner did we leave then I realized Joshua had a dirty diaper.  I decided I wasn't going to spoil his fun by making him go back in the house, so I just hoped nobody would be disturbed by the mildly offensive odor.  I looked around for something fun for Joshua and easy for myself.  I scanned the neighborhood.  The baseball game!  We live kitty-corner to a baseball field and as on most summer nights, there was a game.  We headed over and I held Joshua on the top of the tiered seats and he watched in fascination for a long time, occassionally yelling out with excitement.

For myself, I was rather disappointed, listening to a group of angry fathers complaining about the game and being poor losers (in 'honor' of their sons) in general, yelling out to their kids to try harder, stay focused, etc. in threatening voices.  I was grateful they didn't use profanities.  Joshua is such a parrot these days.
After a while, Joshua turned to me and said "no baseball," so we meandered over to the tennis courts, then basketball.  The park across the street is a great place to take Joshua.  When he isn't fascinated by the sports (and there is ALWAYS a group of guys playing basketball, from sun-up to sundown), he can run around in the trees and grass, finding acorns, sticks, and chasing squirrels.  Here's a picture I took of the park last summer- it's the view from our front lawn:

By the time we reached the middle of the park, I realized we were pretty close to the library, so we went in and read a few books.  I tried to explain to Joshua that he needed to be quiet, but this seemed to make him louder.  "Library quiet!" he shouted excitedly.  I started to feel bad for all the noise, especially when one lady's cell phone rang and she even left the building to answer it.  It was close to bedtime anyway, so we left after reading through a few books.  It gave me a chance to sit and rest.

A hundred feet from home, my right leg started to malfunction and I forced the panic back.  Twenty feet and both legs were malfunctioning.  I started scolding myself for going so far, but really it wasn't so far at all.  Just in my world.  I let go of Joshua's hand and asked him to stay close to me, and I dug my fingers into a few trigger points.  It got me to the front door. 
We got inside and Joshua phoned John at work to tell him about our walk and to request sound effects from John's audio board.  Firetrucks, ambulances, police cars and animals.  John is great about it, playing as many sounds as he has time for during a call.  Joshua requests one after another, and when he runs out of ideas, he starts all over again. 

When Joshua was ready for sleep, I put him in his "big boy bed."  I tried a few months ago but he wasn't digging it.  I couldn't blame him- the bed is in a different room, where the walls are painted bright green, decorated with Thomas the Tank Engine decals and brightly comforter, curtains and accessories- it's altogether lovely.  But also very strange and unfamiliar to him.  So I spent a lot of time with him in his new room over the last few days, reading books on the bed and getting familiar with the space.  I think the wall decals helped the most- he loves to go in and look at them.  I ask him what their names are.  He knows them all.

While Joshua was eating dinner earlier in the day, I went upstairs and moved his favoured stuffed animals, pillows and blankie into the bed, set up a side rail using two white shelf pieces that do the job perfectly- and asked Joshua if he wanted to sleep in the crib or the "big boy bed."  He chose the bed and to my surprise, he fell asleep almost right away and stayed there the whole night.  He hasn't napped there yet- his nap today was in the van on the way home from an appointment.  I think that might be a little trickier, since he fights naptime tooth and nail most days.  We'll see.

When I'm able, I'll post pictures of his room.