Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Baby Quesadillas: Chicken and Black Bean

I've been scratching my head the last little while trying to come up with some more finger foods the boy-o can eat to encourage him to feed himself more often. With this ridiculously cold weather we haven't gotten out much the last week and the fridge was looking pretty bare. Then I remembered we had a can of black beans and decided to try making up a simple quesadilla for the boy-o and made myself a breakfast one by adding an omelette to mine. I used up little bits of stuff we had in the fridge and it was a huge hit! So it's definitely going on the menu rotation from now on.

Chicken and Black Bean Quesadilla for Baby:


- one tortilla wrap cut in half
- black bean (or assorted bean) pureed
- a few pinches of grated cheese, or some sliced cheese
- a little bit of ripped up cooked chicken
- a spoonful of rice


1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees,
2. Combine black bean puree with chicken bits and rice. Mix well.
3. Spread black bean mixture on one half of the tortilla.
4. Add cheese on top of bean mixture and place other tortilla half on top.
5. Place on baking rack and bake until tortilla is lightly toasted and filling has melted. Remove from oven and LET COOL. Do not serve to baby hot! You can cut up the tortilla half into 4 little triangles to serve and let baby hold it, or rip into bite sized pieces depending on self feeding ability level.

TIP: Be careful not to overfill the tortilla as that will make it harder for baby to eat. A little goes a long way!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Creating Keepsakes: Foot Prints

It's no secret that babies grow too fast--one minute they're tiny and totally helpless, and the next minute they're stealing your glasses and crawling away with them shrieking like a total mad man. (or maybe that's just what happens in my house?) Anyway, the bottom line is that it's really nice to make some keepsakes from when they were tiny and little to help you remember later just how tiny and little they really were. 

One of my favourite ways to do that is by getting an imprint of their hands or feet in Salt Dough. When your little one is really little that can be a bit challenging though as you need to press their hand/foot rather hard into the dough to get a good imprint. If this is likely to be an issue for you--have no fear! Rather than press their hand or foot INTO the dough, you can leave a paint print on the dough instead. 

We decided to make a footprint ornament for each of the grandparents for Christmas, and we did ours with blue acrylic paint and Salt Dough. Here's the instructions for making your own Salt Dough keepsake using Acrylic paint:

Ingredients for Salt Dough:

- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 cup salt
- 1/2 cup water


1. Mix together flour, salt and water until dough forms. Add water slowly to make sure you don't over water dough. If dough is too sticky, add more flour.
2. Roll dough out to desired thickness.
3. Apply paint to bottom of child's foot with paint brush and plant their foot firmly on the salt dough, trying to push down each toe to make sure they leave a print.
4. Wash off baby's foot and trim around foot print to remove extra dough. Poke hole through the ornament to thread with string later.
5. Leave ornament somewhere warm to dry (like on your radiator), flipping occasionally. It took two days for us. (We didn't bake ours as is traditionally done because of the paint--but if you wanted to bake before you applied the footprint cook for approx. 2 hours at 250° F)
6. Once the ornament is dry thread a small string or ribbon through the hole and tie! 

Now, you might be thinking to yourself Christmas just ended, why post about this now?? Because you can make all sorts of things out of Salt Dough besides a Christmas ornament and it makes a really great activity for when you're housebound from snow or rain, especially since it uses materials almost everyone already has at home.

Your Turn: What's your favourite way of 
preserving special memories of your little one?

Friday, January 24, 2014

I'm Turning ONE Today: A Poem

Today one of the boy-o's little friends is turning ONE and it's hard to believe that we're getting to that point already. Time sure does fly, and I know my mama friend is a little stunned that it's arrived. I decided to put together a little poem in honour of Mr. C's birthday. This one is for you guys:

Wishing you the Happiest of Birthdays!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Sensory Play: Magic Mud

We've talked about making your own homemade sensory toys before (like the bag, bottles and tube) but there are all sorts of other fun sensory play activities you can do too! Everyone in our household has been hit with a stomach bug this week, so the last few days have been pretty miserable all around with little chance of getting outside. Daddy was home from work today sick too, so we decided to have some group sensory fun this afternoon to help cheer everyone up a little bit and we made MAGIC MUD.

MAGIC MUD is so much fun to play with and although it can make a big mess it's really easy to clean up afterwards and washes out of clothes no problem. It tastes horrible, so if your little tries to stick some in their mouth they likely won't try that again! (and it won't hurt them if they do eat it)

So to make your own MAGIC MUD you'll need:


- 2 cups of cornstarch
- 1 cup of water
- a large tray
- a tarp or newspapers (for easy cleaning)
- play clothes or a smock
- a damp rag for clean-up


1. Lay your tarp or newspaper on the floor to cover the area you want to play in.
2. Combine cornstarch and water in your tray and let sit for a minute for the water to dissolve into the cornstarch.
3. Set the tray down on your tarp and start playing!

So, what makes MAGIC MUD so awesome you ask? The fact that you get to watch it change states right before your eyes. If you keep a pile of it moving in your hands it looks like a solid, and as soon as you stop and hold it still it seems to melt away between your fingers! You can scoop it up, melt it between your fingers, make a ball with it, squish it, draw in it with your fingers and then do it all over again! As you can tell from the photos, the boy-o had a great time and it pretty much blew his mind! Photo #2 is my favourite... he looks so intense trying to sort it all out. 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Polar Vortex and Playdates

Where I live the weather has been pretty crazy for all of 2014 so far, fluctuating between -40 with the windchill to a balmy +8. The terrible weather has made it really difficult to get out and about and cabin fever has set in pretty hardcore a few times. We don't have a car so we rely on getting around via public transit which can be quite difficult when it's cold and snowy because the sidewalks often aren't ploughed which makes pushing a stroller down the street near impossible. (I seriously need to look into getting some skies for that baby!)

One of the ways that we've tried to help combat the cabin fever of the Polar Vortex is to set up playdates with some of the other local mamas. This way we don't need to travel very far and we get the chance to socialize with each other while the babies play together. We've decided to take turns hosting the playdate each week so no one person has to host all the time, and I think it'll be a really great way to help beat the Winter blues!

These playdates give us mamas a chance to have some real adult conversation and get to know each other better, and the babies get a change of scenery and an opportunity to break up their day a little bit. It's also really great because it's helping to teach them about sharing. Of course they have no idea what that's all about yet, but it's great to expose them to it early so that they learn to take turns.

I can't wait till this Polar Vortex crap is done, but at least there's some silver lining to it!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

9 Months Old!

Today the boy-o turned 9 months old, and I can't believe how fast the time is flying!!

Weight: 21 lbs
Height: 29 inches
Teeth: 7 (!)
Crawling and pulling up on everything in sight!

Monday, January 20, 2014

First Weekend Away!

So this weekend was my first trip ever away from the boy-o, who will be 9 months old tomorrow. Before I'd never been gone more than 5 or 6 hours in a row, and he's been asleep for at least a couple of those hours. Well, this weekend I was gone from Friday evening to Sunday late afternoon. TWO WHOLE NIGHTS. It was a friend's birthday, and she wanted to go to Niagara Falls to celebrate. It was certainly difficult to go, and I knew that I would miss the boy-o like crazy--but it seemed like an important thing to try out. (Thank God for texting!)

In the end it turned out just fine. I had a lovely weekend away with friends, and the boy-o and daddy had a good weekend at home together getting to spend some quality time with each other. There was much cuddling and rejoicing when I got home again today, and it feels good to know that I was missed too.

Also, I got to do some pretty cool things this weekend. I held a huge lizard thing, and had a parrot perch on my arm at the Wild Bird Kingdom. We saw the Falls lit up at night, ate some delicious food, and I SLEPT IN for the first time in 9 months, not just one day, but two mornings in a row. Heaven!

Of course I felt guilty for leaving the boy-o behind and I was thinking about him a lot, and ended up picking him up two little souvenirs to commemorate our first real time apart. He liked the Moose a fair bit as he's super soft, and I think the little bear backpack will be totally adorable once he's a little bigger and can wear it.

So, overall it was definitely a positive experience and I'm really glad I went. Although I'm exhausted from the late nights, and traveling etc. I'm also refreshed in a whole different way and I'm looking forward more than ever to getting back to the serious business of play with my baby boy!

How old was your little one the first time you went away without them?

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Baby Friendly Zucchini Applesauce Muffins

Muffins make a great snack on the go--they're portable, delicious, and when they're made right, they can be quite healthy too! These muffins were made especially for the boy-o. They've been adapted so that the applesauce replaces the oil, the sugar has been halved, and I've substituted whole wheat flour in place of white flour. They were definitely a big hit and boy-o approved! The muffins stick to the wrappers a little bit because there's no oil, but they're so tasty you'll nibble all the crumbs right off!

Zucchini Applesauce Muffins (With Wholewheat Flour)


- 3 eggs, beaten
- 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 cups grated zucchini squash
- 1 TBS vanilla
- 3 cups wholewheat flour
- 1 TSP salt
- 3 TSP cinnamon
- 1/4 TSP baking powder
- 1 TSP baking soda


1. Combine eggs, applesauce, and sugar. Mix till well blended. Add in zucchini and vanilla, mix.
2. Combine flour, salt, cinnamon, baking powder and baking soda together. Sift into wet mixture and stir thoroughly.
3. Fill lined muffin trays to half full and bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into middle comes out clean.