Saturday, April 23, 2011

My Favourite Things: Onesie Extenders

Raindrops on roses and onesie extenders....

As moms we all have those things (objects, products, inventions, etc) that we love and that save time or money and make life easier and more enjoyable. Here is one of mine: Onesie Extenders.

What are "onesie extenders", you ask? Well, onesie extenders (or garment extenders) are little pieces of cloth with snaps on them that add length to your onesies. As the mother of a baby with a long torso who also uses cloth diapers, I find these little things to be absolutely brilliant.

They are great if you would like your onesies to:
  • fit long torsos
  • fit more easily over cloth diapers
  • fit for a longer period of time (for example, a 6 mos onesie may be extended to fit as a 9 or 12 mos onesie)
  • fit chubbier babies
  • fit babies who are thin and long... or tall? I guess that depends if they've started to stand :)
The brand I have are the iPlay Snap N' Grow Garment Extender. They come in a 3 pack and each extender has a different snap size (small, medium and large) so you will be equipped to extend most onesies.

I purchased my extenders at Birth Source (storefront) for $7.99. You can also order from them online, but their site is undergoing some renos so you'll have to contact them as the extenders are not listed on the site right now.

So, when the dog bites and bee stings I take comfort in the fact that, at the very least, my little onesies can be extended. Nice.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Reality TV At Its Best

We are a family of 4. Currently, there is a window in our home that enables us to clearly watch the goings on of another family - a family of 5, to be precise. We feel so privileged to be able to observe how they live their family life and, in many ways, they're a lot like us.

For example, one parent stays home and looks after the kids while the other is out bringin' home the bacon; the kids whine and complain when they're hungry and are subsequently fed by a parent who has lovingly prepared a meal for them; we see them tucking their kids into bed; tidying up; doing home renos; giving birth; carrying out personal grooming routines; putting groceries away and generally providing for and protecting their kids.

There are some differences, though.

Firstly, the "bacon" isn't really bacon or any other packaged or even butchered meat product - it's freshly killed fish, rabbits or birds. The kids squak and cheep instead of whine. The lovingly prepared meal consists of a parent ripping small pieces of bloody flesh (lovingly?) off a carcass. The parents tuck their kids into bed by gathering them up, sitting on them and then nestling them down into a bed of grass by employing a kind of rocking motion (it's quite fascinating, really). For them, tidying up is moving grass and twigs around into a certain desired configuration. Home renovations are done with sticks and who-knows-what. Giving birth may have been a stretch... we'll call it hatching. The main grooming routine is preening. They put their "groceries" away by pulling the aforementioned carcasses over to one designated pantry/carcass area. And, finally, they protect their children by making sure they don't get eaten by crows while still in the egg and corralling young hatch-lings as to avoid death by falling... or rather landing, as it may be...

And also, they're eagles.

There are many different eagle-cams (cameras mounted in actual, wild eagles' nests) that you can stream live - LIVE! LIVE EAGLES! - and watch as they sit on their eggs and the eggs hatch and, well, I've already described examples of everything you can see. The window for the bald eagle-cam is almost always open on our computer so we can hang out with them all day long. If you're really obsessed you can even watch some of them at night when the camera goes into night vision mode.

We've had so much fun watching Mommy Eagle, Daddy Eagle and their three eaglets. It's like they're part of the family. Check out the eagles we've been watching here, but beware! You get so you don't want to miss anything!

Photo Credit: Dave Menke/US Fish and Wildlife Service

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Healthy Homemade Granola Bars!!!

I'm so happy. I finally found a homemade granola bar recipe that my family (aka 5 yr old daughter) will eat. And they hold together. Yeeeehaaaaw! So, here it is if you want to give it a try. I love it because it is sweetened with maple syrup (and very little, actually) and you can change it up according to what people like or what you have on hand.

(I've adapted Ellie Krieger's original "Fruity, Nutty, Whole Grain Bars" from her book, The Food You Crave: Luscious Recipes for a Healthy Life.)

This is easiest with a food processor. Otherwise you may have to use your hands to really mix it.

1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup shelled sunflower seeds
1/4 cup ground flax (or whole)
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/4 cup spelt flour (or other flour)
1 cup combo of dried fruit and/or chocolate chips
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup raw chopped almonds
1/2 cup nonfat dry milk
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
2 large eggs

1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
2. Grease a 9x13-inch baking pan or use parchment paper.
3. Place dry ingredients in a food processor and pulse until everything is well blended.
4. Add maple syrup and eggs and pulse until everything is well blended.
5. Spread the thick batter evenly into the prepared pan and press with your hands (wet your hands slightly so it won't stick). Bake until lightly browned, about 15 to 20 minutes.
6. Allow to cool for 10 to 15 minutes.
7. Cut bars into desired size and shape. I cut mine into 20 bars - they end up being about the size of a store bought bar.

Once they are completely cool, you can store these fruity, nutty, chewy, healthy granola bars in an airtight container for up to 3 days. ( I keep mine in the fridge for a lot longer.)


* I like to use 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips with the dried fruit
* I use currants instead of raisins because they are not so "juicy" and they are the size and colour of mini chocolate chips (I'm a sneaky mommy...)
* To make a nut free version for school snacks I substitute pumpkin seeds or hemp hearts for the nuts
* Substitute whatever you like! Go crazy! Add more fruit and cut out some of the seeds, or add more nuts instead of the fruit or whatever. This recipe is VERY versatile.
* I get my granola bar fixin's from the Bulk Barn.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Okay, okay, fine already. I'm typing...

So... I've been having this conversation with myself.

"Um, so are you gonna write anything on that blog you set up?"

"Yes. Of course."

"Great. When?"



"Ya, soon. Like, maybe next week... or the week after.... or something..."

"It's already been five days since you set it up. Maybe you should just jump in!"

"But I still don't know what all the settings are for and you can put all these little boxes and links and pages up and I haven't got the slightest clue how to do any of that stuff yet."

"So, who cares?"

"Plus, I've never blogged before and I've only read a couple of blogs and did you know that there's this whole blogging community out there?! I had no idea. All these moms just blogging away and they do contests and write amazing articles and they have themes...."

"Great. It will be fun to join them."

"But I haven't even written the "About Me" part yet. It really has me stumped. I have no idea what to write "about me". And who wants to read a blog where they know nothing about the person who's writing it? I don't know. This could take awhile."

"That's ridiculous. Just start with a post saying... I don't know... 'Hi! I'm starting a blog!'"

"Puh-lease. That sounds totally lame. I really need to think about this. Strategize, plan it out, come up with some kind of through-line."

"Your blog's called Stray Matter."

"Oh. Ya, right."

"Jump. In."

"Hmph. Okay, fine. Jumping.... in...."