Seriously? Basil!

Just a quick post this morning.

I’ve talked about my son’s food allergies before.  His dairy and flaxseed allergies are diagnosed and he is followed by a pediatric allergist to track their evolution.

However, the little guy has been having reactions to something else and we just couldn’t put our finger on it.  As it happens, most of his reactions would happen when he would eat chicken at daycare.  Except we tested for chicken and his allergy test came up negative (not to mention that he eats the stuff at home with no problem).

Eventually, we figured that he was allergic to a herb or spice.  Yeah, that’s helpful.  Companies aren’t required to list all the spices used in their ingredients so we had to go through some trial and error.

And yesterday, when he had another reaction at daycare (this time, he wasn’t eating chicken) we finally figured it out.  The culprit is basil!

His body’s reaction isn’t as strong as it is to dairy: just a few small hive spots here and there and the contour of his mouth becomes red (kind of like a clown face), but neither bother him.

But seriously, who in the world is allergic to basil?  LOL!  I didn’t even know that such an allergy existed (though, I figure I shouldn’t be surprised.  I mean, everyone’s immune system has the potential to react to anything I suspect).

Our Easter Sunday

We had a wonderful day today despite the fact that the little guy is sick.  The weather was very nice and we didn’t have to get dressed in a whole bunch of layers to go outside.  Because, of course, now that Charles knows how fun it can be outside, he wants to go all the time.

I got him dressed and the first thing he spotted when we crossed the street to the park in front of our house was a bird.  He, of course, wanted to get up close and personal and try to touch it.

The bird mustn’t have felt that the little guy chasing it was a predator, because it stayed on the ground and just kept its distance on foot.

After a while, I grabbed my son and walked with him to the park.  He had lots of fun climbing up the stairs, going down the slide, looking at me through the clear plastic bubble window and going on the swings.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

When we got back inside, the little guy had some water and a snack and I had fun styling his hair (because it’s long enough now that I can actually do something with it!).

P1000227

We also had a lovely lunch with my sister, brother and grand-parents.

As the day went by though, Charles became more and more whiny and his cold was clearly gaining some ground on him.  So, we used a three-fold approach to help him feel less miserable.

  1. Lots of mommy cuddles (because, in his book, daddy cuddles just don’t seem to work when he has a cold…)
  2. Letting him eat what he wants (because he pretty much outright refuses to eat anything when he’s sick and my partner and I prefer he eats something to nothing)
  3. Swapping bath time with a shower with mommy (combining mommy cuddles, a back massage with the stream of water and clearing up his nose with the steam that the shower produces!)

Crossing my fingers for Little Dude to kick his cold in the butt during the night!

How was your Easter Sunday?

Our Trip to the Ecomuseum

Today, I decided to bring my son with me to visit the Ecomuseum zoo.  You see, now that spring seems to finally be here, he has been absolutely fascinated by the wildlife that he can observe through the various windows in the house.  He gets all excited when he sees birds and squirrels and such so I figured a zoo would be a great place to bring him.

He had a blast!

The ecomuseum is open throughout the year and allows visitors to see all of the wonderful animals (mammals and reptiles alike) that we can find throughout Quebec’s St. Lawrence Valley.  There are so many species to see and the site is quite large.

P1000199

After paying my 15$ admission fee (my son got in free because he is under 2 years of age), we were immediately greeted by a man holding a small snake.  After assuring him that my son wasn’t afraid of snakes (I mean, we do have reptiles at home), he started talking about the snake to my son.  Even though Charles didn’t understand what the man was talking about, he was captivated and dividing his attention between the man and the snake.

After that, we went outside.  We saw a whole bunch of animals ranging from the snowy owl, to the common raven.  We saw an American porcupine, an arctic fox, raccoons, a white-tailed deer.

After walking outside for a good hour with the little guy (who was such a sweetheart; he held my hand the whole time as we went from animal to animal), we went back inside to see the fish, turtles, snakes and some rodents doing their thing in a nighttime setting.

When we were ready to leave, I let him choose a stuffed animal in the gift shop.  He was tired, but totally happy when we got to the car.

P1000206

Of course, in the 15 minute drive that brought us back home, the little guy fell asleep.  Perhaps it had something to do with all the walking he did *whistles innocently*.

P1000209

Our Daycare Bag(s): The In-Between Season

I don’t know what the weather is like in your neck of the woods, but ’round here Mother Nature always seems to get flustered when she’s trying to transition between seasons.  In the last three days, we’ve gone from 15C, to 25C to -15C and back up to 0C.  We’ve had grey skies, clear skies, rain AND snow.  Because of this, it’s far from easy to know how to dress the kiddo in the morning.  Soooooo, I thought I’d let you guys take a peek in our daycare bag.

Not one, but two bags.

Not one, but two bags.

We’ve all heard the expression “less is more” right?  Well, when you have to prepare a daycare bag for the in-between seasons, more is more ;).

The basics: these are things that are in the bag all year-round

P1000195

  • An epinephrin injector and a bottle of banadryl for Little Dude’s dairy and flaxseed allergy.
  • A changing pad, some coconut oil, about 10 bamboo inserts (and the same amount of flushable liners), 3 envelope covers, a box of wipes and some plastic bags to put the dirty/wet diapers in.
  • A pay-by-the-minute cell phone and its charger : ok, I think this needs a bit more explaining.  You see, neither my partner or I need a cell phones as we are both easily reachable at our jobs (and we have a landline at home).  We decided to buy a cell phone about a month before Charles was born in case there was an emergency while we were with him.  Seeing as the bag follows the baby, the cell follows us as well.
  • His vaccination booklet, medicare card and hospital card

To protect him from the elements (we “mix and match” the winter and spring gear to adapt to the weather)

P1000197

  • A winter coat and winter pants.  A winter hat, neckwarmer and a pair of mittens.  (We used to have his winter boots in there too, but now they are too small so we have to settle for his spring footwear).
  • A fall/spring 3-in-1 coat (waterproof/windbreaker outer shell, fleece jacket, put the two together to make a warm coat), splash pants, a pair of thin wool gloves, rain boots with an optional fleece liner for cooler days.
  • Some shea butter to protect his face from the cold and the sun (because, let’s face it, he does not keep the neckwarmer over his mouth and cheeks).

Other stuff

P1000198

  • A change of clothes: two pairs of socks, a pair of pants, a pair of shorts, a T-shirt and a long sleeved shirt.
  • Once a week, I also include a 20oz jug of coconut milk for him to drink and for his daycare provider to cook with when needed.

What’s in your daycare/diaper bag?

Ten Thought Tuesday

TTT

  1. I’m 20 weeks along today.  Can you believe it?
  2. We haven’t caught anything in the potty yet.  My son waits until his diaper is on before relieving himself.  BUT, he does like sitting on his new “chair”.
  3. The weather here is all over the place.  Yesterday it was 25C and rainy and tomorrow it’s going to be 0C with a chance of snow.  I mean, come on Mother Nature, isn’t is spring yet?
  4. The little guy’s new favourite breakfast food is oatmeal.  When I tell him it’s time for breakfast, he enthusiastically grabs the box of oatmeal (that he chose when we went grocery shopping together) and sets it on the table and then helps me put everything else we need on the table.  Then, he helps me prepare it.  His favourite part though is eating it! ;)
  5. Today, I’ll be making these delicious energy bites for the accountants at the office where my partner works.  They’ve been putting in so many hours to get the tax returns done before the end of the month and I think they all deserve a little treat (my partner included).
  6. Sunday, my partner made some delicious brownies to bring to work yesterday (we follow the recipe without adding the espresso and they are absolutely divine!).  Needless to say, the triple batch he whipped up didn’t last very long at the office.
  7. I can’t wait for the park in front of our house to become more dry so that I can bring Charles during the weekend or once he’s home from daycare.
  8. Yesterday for lunch, I made some hot brie, turkey breast and pear sandwiches.  So yummy!  (Hum, I think I may be in need of a snack, this is the third point in relation to food lol).
  9. With today’s weather the way it is, I’ll be making the most of being indoors and try to tidy up the house.  I’m feeling loads better now that I’ve been resting for two weeks so I actually have the energy to do some cleaning (yay!).
  10. I think it might be leopard gecko mating season; my female has been digging like mad for the past three days.

How are you doing today?

The Babies ‘R Us 3-In-1 Potty Chair: First Impressions

*Disclaimer: This is not a paid endorsement of a product.  It is just my honest opinion on a product that I recently bought*

So, I finally took the plunge and bought a potty for my son.  After a couple of hours of online shopping and review reading (no joke!), I finally settled on the Babies ‘R Us 3-In-1 Potty Chair.

There it is!

There it is!

It hasn’t had much use yet, but so far there are quite a few things that I like about it.

Pros

1.  It’s compact and can likely fit in a small sized washroom.

Nicely sized.

Nicely sized.

2.  It’s gender neutral: grey, white and lime green.

3.  It is 3-in-1, meaning that it can serve as a potty seat, as a training seat and as a step stool.

You've already seen the potty seat.  Here's the training seat and step stool.

You’ve already seen the potty seat. Here’s the training seat and step stool.

4.  It only has four pieces to it and is easy to assemble and disassemble.

P1000191

5.  There is a built-in urine shield (as opposed to a removable one as I saw on a few of the potty seats I looked at today).

6.  The lime green part is a foam cushion which gives me the impression that it will be more comfortable to sit on.

7.  It doesn’t have any bells or whistles.  No lights, no sounds, no batteries.

8.  There aren’t any textured parts or crevices, which means that it will likely be easy to clean.

9.  At 20$, it’s a great value – especially when you don’t really know what you’re getting into with regards to potty training.

Of course, for all its positive points, there are also aspects that I don’t like as much.

Cons

1.  It is easy to take apart.  Maybe a little too easy.  The lime green foam part in particular is very attractive and is one of the first things that my son grabbed.  He then proceeded to make a necklace out of it and parade around the house with his new find (which is cute because it hasn’t come into contact with any waste yet, but…).

2.  The step stool seems a little unsteady to me.  Though it does have grips on the bottom to avoid that it slips, there is no base that attaches to it so I find it lacks stability.

3.  Because the base is the same size as the top (as opposed to the base being a little larger than the top part), it can be unsteady for a newbie toddler trying to get on by himself as best he can.

What my son thinks of it

Little Dude was positively beaming when I sat him on his potty (fully clothed) the first time.  He then spent the rest of the evening either carrying his new seat around, trying to sit on it by himself, or using the foam part as a necklace.  When he signed that he was done with his bath, he enthusiastically pointed to the potty and so I sat him on it asking him if he needed to go pee-pee.  Though he didn’t pee, he happily stayed on it for a minute and then got up.  I put a diaper on him and then he spent the next 5 minutes getting on (or trying to) and off his potty.

So far, everything looks positive.  Little Dude likes it and though he has no conception of what it’s used for yet, he’s interested in sitting on it.  Onwards we go!

Rating

I’d give it 4 out of 5 stars for now.  I’ll update as it gets more use.

What did you use for potty training?

A Little Trinkle

I’m thinking of investing in a potty.

I wasn’t planning on it.  I always figured I’d wait until my son had the words for “pee” and “poop” so that he could ask to go to the potty.  Actually, I figured I’d do the three-day potty training during spring break 2015 or summer 2015.

The thing is, though, my son peed on the floor again this evening and some of my neurons connected.

Ok, maybe I should rewind a bit and explain what my son was doing sans diaper.

You see, Charles likes his routines.  He likes to know what to expect.  One of his favourite parts of bath time is when he gets out.  That’s when I wipe him down and then wrap his torso in a towel and call him my little Greek god.  He just beams and walks proudly out of the washroom in his “toga” to see his dad.

Then, if I don’t catch him in time to put his diaper on, he generally finds a place to squat down and leave a little puddle of urine before continuing on with his business (namely trying to get away from me so I can’t catch him and get him ready for bed).

So, why the potty?

I realized today that his bath lengths vary considerably.  Sometimes he’s in the tub five minutes before signing to me that he is all done, other evenings he can play and play for 45 minutes before being ready to move on to the next part of his routine.  But each time, invariably, he ends up peeing on the floor if I don’t get a diaper on him within two minutes of getting him out of the tub.

Besides, what do I have to lose?  We’re going to have to invest in a potty sooner or later anyways so it’s not like I’m going to be buying something that won’t be useful somewhere down the line.  Plus, there are some people that do elimination communication (or EC) as early as the newborn days, so I suppose it makes sense to give partial potty training a go at 16 months.  Also, he’s already gotten used to waving bye bye to his flushable liner when I’m done changing him (of course, he also likes to wave bye bye when his father or I use the toilet too :D.  I figure that I can start out slowly and encourage him to use the potty when he’s done with his bath and see where things go from there.

Make sense?

Care to share your potty training experience?

Share it Saturday: Simple Chickpea Curry

I thought I’d go ahead and share some of my favourites when it comes to meals around here.  I was thinking of sharing a recipe every week to two weeks.  Today, I’d like to share a curry recipe (I LOVE curries!).  It’s made with chickpeas, but you could easily substitute for chicken or shrimp if you wanted to.  I like to serve this with rice, but it’s also great with some mini pitas to soak up all the curried goodness at the end!

Simple Chickpea Curry (4 portions)

P1000184

Nutrition facts (per portion): Fat: 5g, Protein: 6g, Carbohydrates: 21g, Energy value: 160kcal

Source: Kilo cardio – alimentation, exercice et motivation pour atteindre votre poids santé

Ingredients

  • 10 ml (2 tsp.):  olive oil
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup):  onion, chopped
  • 10 ml (2 tsp.):  curry powder
  • 20 ml (4 tsp.):  all purpose flour
  • 250 ml (1 cup):  reduced sodium chicken stock
  • 90 ml (6 tbsp.):  lite coconut milk
  • One 796 ml can:  chickpeas
  • 250 ml (1 cup):  broccoli
  • 250 ml (1 cup): cauliflower
  • 250 ml (1 cup): red and orange bell peppers
  • To taste:  salt, pepper, cinnamon, ginger

Directions

  1. Sauté onion in olive oil.  Add curry powder and ginger.
  2. Add flour, stir and add in the chicken stock and coconut milk.  Bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat, add the chickpeas and veggies and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are cooked to taste.
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste.  Serve immediately.

Hints!

  • Double the amount of chicken stock if you want more curry sauce.
  • Save time by preparing your ginger in advance.  Just peel a few hands of ginger, puree with some olive oil and freeze in some ice cube moulds.

If you like this recipe, you can download a nifty pdf printable version.  Just click on the link beside the image!

Simple Chickpea Curry

 

 

 

 

Simple Chickpea Curry

 

 

 

Do you have an awesome recipe to share?

Splish Splash!

The little guy has discovered a love of spring.  Yesterday his daycare was closed so we hung out together.  He was thrilled to be able to walk around and explore without being stuck in a big snowsuit and mountains of snow he couldn’t climb. We made the most of the awesome whether and walked to daddy’s office to bring him some supper (it’s income tax season so Mr. Accountant has been needing to put in a whole lot of extra hours).

P1000159

I’d brought the small stroller so that I could put the little guy in if he got tired of walking.  Of course, Mr. Independant had other ideas and pushed the stroller for almost the full half-kilometer that separates our house from the daddy’s workplace.

I also got him to try on his new rain boots.  Oh boy, such joy!  His face was priceless when he heard the splashing noise it made when he explored the small puddle in our driveway.  After that, there was no stopping him: he decided to explore each and every puddle in our street.

Of course, “exploring” also meant getting up, close and personal with the water by kneeling and sitting in it *facepalm*.

P1000180

And by the time he was ready to go back indoors, he was both very wet and very pleased with himself.

P1000168