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Friday, March 12, 2010

TGIS - Thank Goodness It's Spring!

P1: I called my "phone pal" today for the first time. Well...it's not really what I would call counselling, but I think it will probably still be a worthwhile volunteer job. The woman is from Jamaica and has 3 daughters: one in Montreal, one in New York and one here in Toronto. She didn't mention a husband. I don't think she entirely understands my role because she wanted to know if I would drop by sometime, which I don't believe is allowed with this particular program. It was difficult to understand her and, unfortunately, she was unwilling to turn off the "Dr. Oz Show" blaring on the television in the background. Oh well, if just shooting the shit is helpful to her and makes her feel less socially isolated, that's good enough for me.

On Wednesday I met with the CEO of the corporate fitness company. It looks like we will be collaborating on a seminar about fitness in June. But the big news that day was Sherma came to watch Little A and she didn't cry the whole time! Just part of the time. But it's clear that Little A will survive being without me and, I'm sure, will eventually love Sherma too. Whew, what a relief! Now I'm much less stressed about next week when I have a fitness class audition on Tuesday and a meeting with the miscarriage/infertility counsellor on Wednesday and have Sherma coming to watch Little A both days.

P2: On the whole, Little A has been a delight this week. However, she is at this annoying stage where she does something that gets her scared or frustrated (let's say, pulls herself up to standing on a piece of furniture) and then cries, so I go get her but she goes right back and does it again...and again. I know it's just a stage, but aarg! She has also suddenly decided that she likes only fruit and proteins (cheese, fish, meatballs) and now throws bread, bagels and any other carb except cheerios (Barbara's Breakfast Os, actually) on the floor. This is a complete reversal and so frustrating! I now don't know what to feed her for breakfast because she was having toast with almond butter but she just throws that on the floor and screeches now. She won't eat eggs or anything from a spoon so I don't know what kind of protein I can give her that's "breakfasty".

A bit of bathroom humour: One night this week Avery pooped in the bathtub. I heard Adam yelling and came up the stairs. He pulled her out of the tub, drained the tub, cleaned it out and then had to refill the tub. All the while, she was happily sitting on the bath mat and pooping again. Ha ha! I thought it was hilarious, although Adam was much less amused.

Big A has been a real challenge this week. I think we've had conflict every morning and I'm just at the end of my rope. Please, someone tell me that the terrible twos end by age 5!!! I've given up hope that they end at 4 seeing as she'll be 4 in May.

We did get good news about her schooling, however: Big A was accepted into the junior kindergarten at the bilingual alternative school in our neighbourhood! AND, although she does not yet have a spot at their daycare, she does have a spot at the daycare in the community centre where she takes swimming and where Little A and I go to music class, and they will bus her to and from the school each day. This means we are guaranteed care for her Monday to Friday from 7:30am until 6pm. Yippee!! Meanwhile, Little A will start in September (hopefully) at Big A's current daycare. This will be a bit of a schlep seeing as these two places are in opposite directions from our house, but ultimately, it's not too bad and definitely much better than our other options.

F1: I'm making this pasta dish this weekend. Another that uses silken tofu instead of cream, but it tastes really rich. I use canned wild salmon because it is fast and economical, but you could certainly use poached fresh salmon instead. I always serve it with steamed asparagus with a squeeze of lemon. And although it's not authentically Italian to serve cheese on pasta with seafood (not authentic to use tofu either!), I love this dish with a liberal sprinkling of parmesan.

Creamy Salmon and Dill Pasta

340 grams silken tofu
1 tbls dried, or 4 tbls fresh dill
2 cloves garlic
1 can, undrained, wild salmon (skinless and boneless)
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp sea salt
pepper, to taste
1 lb whole wheat penne or other short pasta

Throw tofu, dill and garlic into food processor or blender and puree until smooth. Pour into medium sauce pan over low heat and add salmon, along with liquid from can, lemon juice and zest and salt and pepper. Simmer about 5-6 minutes and add some cooking water from pasta until desired consistency is reached.

F2: You have probably read conflicting things about when it's best to exercise: morning, afternoon or evening. The truth is, whenever you are most likely to do it is the best time! For most people morning is best because there are fewer things likely to interfere, but if you are a committed afternoon exerciser, that's just as good. Late evening can interfere with your sleep, but if you do it at least 2 hours before your bedtime, you're probably fine.

Oh, and a misconception that really irks me is people thinking that you are more likely to gain weight if you eat after a certain time of day. That is ridiculous and NOT supported by research. The problem with evening eating, is people are more likely to sit in front of the television and eat unhealthy, snack foods. But if you eat 2,000 cals a day, it doesn't matter when you eat them. In terms of energy levels, however, it obviously makes more sense to spread out your food intake over the course of the day. Anyways, Adam and I rarely eat dinner before 8pm (horrors!) because we like to wait until the girls are in bed.

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