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Time Limit Creations

V has a witching hour – she usually wakes up around 9-9:30 pm, at which point, she refuses to go back to her car seat or crib.  How does she know?  I don’t know.  What I do know is that if I ever want to do anything, I have to do it and finish before that time.  So here is how I chose to spend that time limit.

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Yesterday, I made this stir-fried tofu, green beans and mushroom dish that was a bomb.  M totally loved it and so did I.  So I wanted to make it again.  By the way, the secret to making crispy tofu that sops up yummy sauce is to use corn starch.  I used medium firm tofu (firm is too hard.  Medium gives the end result a nice contrast in texture – crunchy on the outside but soft on the inside.) and cut them into pieces just right so it does not fall apart while you are working with it.  Then you just coat it in corn starch and deep fry it till golden brown.  It stays crispy as long as you let it cool in the air, not in a container. Seriously, corn starch should a staple in your pantry if you love Chinese food.

The secret sauce is David Chang’s (Momofuku guy) Octo Vinagrette.  It’s from his Fried Chicken recipe which you can get here.  Make a big batch of the sauce because you will want to use it for everything.  Trust me.  The rest of the stir fry is just technicality.  Make sure your pan is smoking hot before you put the oil in.  Once the oil is in, you have to put the ingredients in or it will burn.

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.Today, I found these cute scalloped cups for baking mini cakes or sponge cakes.  So I made it.  Here is the recipe.  Super airy and light.  Yum.  Pillowy softness.

Secretly Content

It’s funny.  When M goes out, I get to ‘create’.  Whether be it cooking, sewing or baking, it’s my time to enjoy.  I know, most of you will think, “But, that’s work!”.  I love it.  In fact, when M gets home from work, I always trade off with him and as much as dinner needs to be prepped and cooked, it relaxes me.  So, secretly, I am happily content when I am home and the kids are asleep – let me reiterate, WHEN THE KIDS ARE ASLEEP.

Tomorrow is M’s sister’s bday and they are coming over for the morning and staying for lunch.  Again, I secretly enjoy cooking for them (even though they don’t put in the same effort when we come over, but that’s irrelevant.) because I get to make new things or let them try stuff I make.  They usually love it. 

The kids went down with some difficulty tonight. M had to go to V twice after I put her down and we ended up sleeping her in the car seat.  Z took a while to get settled, making tons of excuses and whining before going to sleep.  “My hair, it’s in my face (oh yeah, he has long hair hat he does not want cut. And we like it long, too.).”  Mixed in with some crying and whining, “My eyes, they’re (I’m not kidding.  This kid uses contractions.) wet.” “I poked my eye.”  Finally after about 15 minutes of trying to comfort him and talking him into sleep, he relents. 

So I rush down to the kitchen to start my creations.  (See next post for details.)

Summer, here we come!

Yesterday was officially the first day of summer vacation for all of us.  I saw my family for dinner of burgers and salad. It was delicious.  

Today, we times everything so our plans worked out with Ws nap schedule beautifully. 

First, we took the kids to the Brookbanks Park on their bikes while W napped in the stroller. By the time we headed back, it was close to 10:30.  


So off to The Evergreen Brickworks we went. We met my brother and his daughter there, had Jamie Kennedy’s famous French fries and walked around exploring the ecosystem.  The kids played a little in the Children’s Garden, watering some plants and painting rocks. Michael napped Willow in the Tula. 

Our last activity of the day is swimming at the YMCA and all of us went in the pool. It was so quiet due to the fact that it’s a long weekend. I think the swimming tuckered W out.   She’s been sleeping since 3:47pm.  The kids are playing in the mat room while we wait for W to wake. 

We’re going to go for dinner after at Tasty Delight on Leslie. It’s our favourite go-to inexpensive place for food. Then it’s home time for bed. 

Overall it has been a great day. Now, this is how you do a staycation!

Miracle Nap

It’s not often that my babies will nap for an hour or more without too much effort. I took the girls to the parkway plaza just to get out of the house and to visit the library. 

Michael had mentioned using Camilla on Willow for teething and I thought to buy a box – might as well.  10 vials for $8.99 or 30 for $15.99 – that was a no brainer. 

MImmediately after I purchased it I gave W a dose.  She liked it and kept opening her mouth for more.  She was due for her nap in about less than an hour so I’d hoped for it to work by then. 

After a visit to the library and the grocery store, she grew tired and started to fuss.  So I left the mall to walk outside.  The humidity level had dropped to 37% by now and you could really tell the difference.  The winds were blowing and it felt nice.  

By the time we reached home, she was already asleep.  Being hot and tired I didn’t want to walk anymore. So I parked her and played with Violet.  I was worried she would hear Vs voice and wake up.  Luckily she didn’t and ended up sleeping for almost an hour – which is so rare!

Family Summer

I’m so thrilled that summer is here.  This year we’ve decided not to enroll the older kids in camp because we want to enjoy spending time with them. Instead we will travel and have stay cations. 

Already we’ve taken out our little plastic pool, water guns and the summer toys. Our deck is also ready anytime we need to use it. 

Everyone’s got a ride on toy – even Willy. There are bikes and scooters for all. 

Today’s forecast has been humid from the start. Due to the rain, we’ve experienced 100% hunidity since the morning. The high temperature will reach 31 degrees. 

So we are keeping cool staying indoors. I had just put together the dutalier chair from a friend and am  sitting on it with Willy napping in my arms while V and I watch a tinker bell movie. 

Teething Troubles

I guess those nights where Willow stayed awake for 3 hrs were nothing compared to the last two nights.  Last night was especially brutal.  

Haven’t had breakfast yet. My hips, neck and Back are aching. Even my ankles are aching. I don’t even know what to do anymore. I feel like crying as I’m going crazy with this sleeplessness. 

I’ve read that the real teething lasts for about 8 days, with the teeth/tooth erupting at about day 5. This feels likes its been happening for quite sometime now. 

I’m trying to be so patient but all I’m going with is sleep I managed to get from 8:30-10pm and then from 1:20-5:30. The 1st hour and a half was the only time I slept in the bed without her on me. 

(As I type this, she just began to calm down. I’m hoping she will sleep for at least 2 hrs.). 

You see, people who say that you gotta nap when the baby naps don’t know the real truth about baby sleep.  You see, I used to be able to put her in the crib and walk away and then she would sleep.  But in times like these where she is teething, it doesn’t work. 

So not only am I beyond exhausted from a lack of sleep, I also cannot rest because I’ve got to nap her on me.  The swing was not successful and a stroller nap will be short – guaranteed under an hour. I’m screwed either way. 

And to make things even more challenging, my 4yo is home as school ended the first week of June. Being a stay-at-home parent is tougher than most people think.  Don’t ever let people tell you that it’s not. 

Normally I manage because I let her watch an hour of tv, then we do some drawing or writing and play outside. By that time W would’ve slept for 1.5-2 hrs and then we go to the library or park. 

I’m hoping she will have three good naps at least. 

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(Wow, I can’t believe this is my 100th post for the year. We are 1/3 of the way through already…well, almost.)

The morning was rough for all of us. Z woke up screaming and crying at 5am. He never went back to sleep because he had done #2. V was also up early and neither M nor I got a good night’s sleep either. Breakfast and dinners have been a struggle lately with Z. Couple that with V screaming because she wants to eat our food instead of hers, it makes for a crazy meal time. It is stressful. So I decided not to take the kids to Roywood and stay home instead.

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Google is great for finding things. So I found this activity that would engage him for at least half an hour. We had all the supplies at hand and he loved it. Thank goodness he did because V was asleep in the wrap and there was not much I could’ve done to play with him.

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This is a warm, happy baby after a wrap nap.

New Updates

For the last week now, Z has been more and more inclined to wear underwear during the day. He manages to hold in his pee and in fact, we have to remind him to pee so he does not have accidents. It’s great not having to clean up after him for #2’s. They are super messy. I’ve been doing the same with V and putting her on the potty for #2. So far, it has been successful. I think he is going to be diaper-free before he turns 3 for sure. Yaya! /p>

Sleepwise, naps for Z are still easy – as long as I’m the only one home. If M is home, too, it changes things. After he brushes his teeth, I kiss him and tuck him in his crib and walk out. Night time is a little different. He wavers back and forth between me and M. But the screamings in the mornings are gone now. A sleeps for about 10.5 hrs and has been napping for about 1.5-2 hrs during the day. V naps in the swing and I try to watch the time to make sure she is not overtired – I.e, not staying up for more than 2.5 hrs at the most. Today was a great day for her – 3 naps for a total of 2 hrs 50 min altogether. I feel great.
Another development is with Z’s tooth rushing. Ever since we let him use the kids’ fluoride toothpaste, Bucky Beaver’s cotton candy or bubble gum, he has been so enthusiastic about brushing his teeth. He even takes his time to brush and spit. Z also stopped biting the bristles so I think we will not be buying replacement toothbrushes as often.

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Our little girl is so proud when she gets the chance to stand. I let her hold on to the walker and she was able to stand for a minute on her own. I think shel’ll be an early walker for sure.

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Old toys are so much more exciting when they have not been out in a while. It’s like having a new toy! Z was pretending to fix something here.

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V loves to drink from a straw sippy cup. I gave her some water and when I took it away from her, she started screaming and complaining. So I switched it to formula (which she never took to in a bottle), and she drank happily, sipping more than she can swallow. She was on sitting on the potty at the time. She only peed though.

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I bought Z flip flops with sports balls on them. I made him put them on after his nap but hester complained that the astir between his toes was hard and hurting.

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Grandpa came for a visit and stayed longer after lunch. M had to run an errand so I was home with three sleeping people. As i heard Z’s little footsteps, I walked over to the stairs to meet him. V woke as soon as she heard his voice. Then we checked on gramps in the spare room and he had just woken, too. They were all happy.

It takes V a while to warm up to people but when she does, she is the sweetest little girl. She even went to gramps on her own and sat on his lap. So cute.

First Family Road Trip

Our road trip started out a little rocky- we weren’t as organized or prepared as we usually are when we plan for trips. It was a big rush to get out of the house because we were trying to get on the road for Vs nap. We even forgot Peso 1 and 2 at home.

I drove first. Getting over the border was a long wait – an hour. M had to do an emergency bottle pee for Z because he had to go. V had fallen asleep for an hour but woke up in tears. I think she was having a bad dream. We stopped at Target in Buffalo for a break – food and shopping.

We didn’t shop for long because we thought we would stop by and shop at another Target with more time. We got a jug of milk, some Mac n cheese (for dinner last night), chocolate marshmallows, and milk straws. After lunch was the rest of the drive to Rochester.

M drove this time and it took less time than we thought. We were thrilled to be out of the car and unpack in the hotel room. I have to say that the hotel is very clean and we really liked the fact that our room rate came with dinner on the week nights.

Immediately, Z wanted to go swimming he’d been so excited about it that I think it was part of the reason why he didnt nap in the car. Neither did V, actually. So as fast as we changed, we went down to the pool and stayed for 30 minutes, before Z quickly announced he had to do #2. And we were out and up in our room.

Dinner was on the house and both kids, unfortunately, had Mac n cheese. M ran to Wegman’s to get salad and veggies. Both kids were starving so I let them eat. V fed herself from the bowl

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That night, both kids were asleep by 7:30pm. It was a little rough because both kids wanted me but we also only had one bed to sleep on. M and I had some quiet time once the kids fell asleep to just sit and plan our next day. We lwent to bed around 8:40pm since that was Vs first nap.

Sadly, both of us kept waking up throughout the night because it was our first night. Subconsciously we were also checking to make sure neither one of the kids, especially V, was getting close to the edge of the bed. At one point, she was sleeping across the lower half of the bed, on top of Ms legs.

It was one of those, “OMG, it’s only 12:30 am?” nights. Those nights when the time just don’t seem to move fast enough…if you know what I mean.

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