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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Snow Job

It's been snowing for a while now and has finally started accumulating. It's going to be one of those days where you have to shovel the same spot like 3-4 times.

P1: I am finally feeling somewhat satisfied with the direction of my career aspirations right now. Here is the update of my plans for the near future:

1. Two more weeks until I complete my first course for my Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology, then I begin my second course, Theories of Personality.

2. March 10 - Meeting with CEO or corporate research company to discuss wellness seminars and fitness classes I will do for some of their corporate clients.

3. March 17 - Meeting with miscarriage/infertility counsellor who works with my sister-in-law (the ob/gyn) to discuss mentorship opportunities. She is also the one who teaches a certificate course in this type of counselling. I think I may begin some of the courses in May when I have child care for Little A.

4. March 30 - Audition to teach fitness classes at Toronto Athletic Club. I'm very nervous about this as I haven't taught anything except spinning in a few years. Fortunately, it's a core conditioning class and I have been doing pilates, so I should be okay.

5. July - Apply for peer counselling position with Planned Parenthood.

P2: So for all of these dates I have booked above, I have Sherma, who we have hired to watch Little A 4 days a week starting at the end of April, coming to babysit her. I think this will be a good way to slowly get Little A used to being away from me and Adam. But I admit I am really anxious about it...both that Little A will be traumatized and that Sherma will quit because Little A screams the whole time. I am starting to worry that her degree of attachment is abnormal. I cannot even leave the room for a split second without her becoming hysterical.

Little A is proving to be a very spirited little girl, much like her big sister. She is currently going through the stage that Big A also went through, where the minute you try to lie her on her back to dress her or change her diaper, she starts screaming, flips over, and starts crawling away. She also bit me on the arm yesterday when I was trying to put her in her snowsuit!

Big A has a terrible cold, making her incredibly miserable. She is so congested, she had to repeat herself 8 times this morning, until she was in tears, to ask me for her bunny mittens, because I couldn't understand what she was saying. She also has a sore throat. So I bought her Vicks Vaporub and Sucrets for kids. There aren't many options for kids because you are not supposed to give them liquid cough or cold medication anymore. The Sucrets are supposed to be for kids 6+ but my sister-in-law (the doctor) said I could give her some in moderation, especially because she is very big for her age. Unfortunately, she LOVES the taste so now I fear she will have a sore throat every day until she is 16. Again, it's so hard to know when something really is wrong with your kids!

Oh well, my own experience proves that Sucrets are relatively harmless. In the absence of other candy, my friend Rachelle and I used to eat like 4-5 cherry Sucrets at a time. I remember sucking on them on jumping on her bed (Oy, eating medicine like candy AND doing so while jumping on the bed, recipe for catastrophe - what would our mothers think???). Well, we survived. This also reminds me of the favorite game Rachelle and I had (we were very strange children), which involved putting her parents' comforter over our heads and walking down the stairs to see if we could do it without tripping and falling. We generally did fall and tumble to the bottom of the stairs in a fit of giggles. Somehow the carpeting at the bottom and the comforter itself seemed to ensure we never actually hurt ourselves. Nevertheless, if I saw my kids jumping on the bed sucking on medicine or going down stairs with a blanket over their heads, I'd FREAK!

F1: Here are some of the things I'm cooking up this weekend: Pasta with a creamy roasted red pepper sauce and Thai green chicken curry. For the pasta sauce, I use silken tofu instead of cream because Adam won't eat a cream-based sauce. He is weird about dairy. He HATES cheese and will only eat it on pizza, he loves yogurt, milk and ice cream, but he won't touch any sauce made with milk, cream or sour cream. Oh well, this is a good trick for vegans.

Pasta with Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Sauce:

1 lb whole wheat short pasta (fusilli, rotini, penne, rigatoni, etc.)

12 oz silken tofu
1 jar roasted red peppers with liquid
2 cloves garlic
salt and pepper, to taste

Puree all ingredients in food processor until smooth. Add a bit of the cooking water from pasta to thin out a bit. When pasta is done, toss with a bit of olive oil and then pour sauce over top and mix through. Top with veggies of your choice (sometimes I do steamed asparagus but this weekend it will be rapini again, sauteed with a bit of olive oil and garlic) and plenty of parmesan cheese.

Thai Green Chicken Curry:

1 lb boneless/skinless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
2 tbls Thai green curry paste (different brands have different levels of heat from none to scorching, so taste before using and adjust amount accordingly)
2 tbls chopped fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbls fish sauce
2 dozen mushrooms, cut in half
2 red, yellow or orange bell peppers
1 head of broccoli, lightly steamed
1 can light coconut milk
1 bunch of green onions, thinly sliced

Add a tsp of veg oil to pan, if using chicken breasts. Cook chicken over medium heat until starting to brown, but is not entirely cooked through. Add curry paste, ginger and garlic, cook another minute or so. Add fish sauce and veggies and then cook, stirring frequently for another 3-4 minutes. Add coconut milk and turn heat down to medium low. Simmer for another 10 minutes. Add green onions at the last minute. Serve over brown rice.

Note: I rarely will specify adding salt to a recipe because everyone is trying to avoid sodium these days and it is really a matter of personal preference. But when making a sauce with tofu, you really need some to bring out the flavour. The Thai curry needs no additional salt because the fish sauce is very salty.

Rice is one of my favorite foods, we eat TONS of it in our house. I'll eat white rice at a restaurant but only make brown at home. Brown basmati is wonderful with Indian food and I often use a Korean short grain (slightly sticky) rice for things like Thai curry. But pretty much any rice will do with my recipes.

F2: Today during my workout I was able to do one set of 4 chin ups and then a set of 5 chin ups! I'm so proud of myself (and thanks for the tip Elin!).

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