Welcome to A Cauldron Of Thoughts. An outlet for the things brewing inside of me.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Noah Branches Out With Food

So Noah, always a good eater, has decided it's high time to experiment further with food. You'd think this would be further cause for celebration, but you'd be wrong. So here's what happened.

The boys were quietly having lunch (quietly always putting me on alert) when I heard Noah start to giggle. I thought he was sharing a private joke with his brother, but then I heard Gabe say: "What's so funny Noah?" So, I came around the corner to find out myself. I was greeted by Noah's infectious, toothy grin... the one where his cheeks puff out and his dimples shine through. I smiled right back at him. "Whatcha up to little one?" And through his giggles he said: "I stuck cheese up my nose."

And that was it. Straight out, no pretense, no sense of protecting me from the truth...

Shocked. It's the only word to describe how I was feeling by what I'd just been told. Sure, other moms reading this will think - oh that happens all the time... I know kids do this sort a stuff all the time but Gabe was my first and he never did anything remotely similar to that. Gabriel spoiled me.

Within the span of two seconds these thoughts crowd my head:

Can he breathe? Of course he can, he wouldn't be laughing otherwise.

Where did he get this idea from? No clue.

How do I get cheese outta his nose? ?

Noah will cause lots of visits to the emergency room, won't he? Yes!

Ok. I fetch Kleenex and Q-Tips. I can do this, it's not brain surgery... well maybe. And he's still laughing. We finally get the cheese out. I'm surprised to see that it's a sizeable chunk. How was he breathing??

I ask him, calmly, to please not do that again and fully expect that that will be the end of it. Lesson learned.

The following week, he repeats the same experiment with a chocolate chip cookie. Kid You Not. What The Hell? Didn't we just go over this?

Visions of emergency rooms dance through my head...

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

An Early Morning with Noah

I'm not a morning person, nor have I ever claimed to be one. My children know this but insist on torturing me by waking me up during daylight hours. Some friends told me I would become a morning person when I had children. Never happened... and I don't speak to those 'friends' anymore. Oh, I'm up and all, but how coherent on any given day, is anyone's guess. Some days the answer to that becomes evident, like when I decide it's best to store the coffee cream in the cupboard, or when I run the washing machine without actually including the laundry. But it's the days when either Gabe or Noah decide they absolutely must get up between 4 and 6 am to party with me that I find the toughest... and sweetest. I swear sometimes that Gabe and Noah are connected psychically, because just when one is ready to go back to bed and my fantasies of more sleep seem a close reality, the other decides that 5 minutes of rest for me is quite enough. And so it was, that my morning today began at 6:30am. With Noah.

I can tell when he's not gonna just roll over and go back to sleep. I'm his mother after all. But that never stops me from giving it my best shot.

Noah (whispering): Mama, I want to put a shirt on and I need some food.

Me: (In my head, I'm actually praying that if I don't answer him he'll a) forget b) fall back alseep or c) have mercy on the soul of the one who birthed him).

No such luck.

Noah: (yawning) Mama, I want to put a shirt on and I need something to eat.

Me: Really Noah? Cause look, it's still dark outside (and to present the obvious to him, I point in the general direction of the window), and you're yawning, a sure sign that you're still tired...

Noah: No.

"No." Simply stated and right to the point. It means "I'm not buying your tricks." I love children for their honesty, but I could use a little humouring right now. I try again. Cause I'm not a quitter.

Me: Don't you wanna stay and snuggle with me under the cozy blankets? (Note all the temptation I've packed into this one short sentence: snuggle, me, cozy, blankets. How can he resist?)

Noah: No.

This second "no" is nothing like the first. It's the "no" signaling that I've already lost the battle. It's the "no" that says: "I have a plan and you're coming with me. Accept my will now and things will go alot easier for you." I decide to give in.

Me: Ok Noah, let's get up.

This is met with the type of enthusiasm usually reserved for the toy section at the store.

So, my still sleepy baby crawls over to me, puts his arms around me, and tucks his face into my neck. I stop to get a shirt, then carry him downstairs to the couch where I sit him down beside me. Immediately, he crawls into my lap and asks to watch PlayHouse Disney. Ok, I say as I flick on the tv. He seems quite content. I'm happy too, but want to get the food show on the road, so we can both head back to bed.

Me: What would you like to eat Noah?

Noah: Nawphing.

Me: (Nothing?? Are you kidding me??? I think to myself). I thought you were hungry honey?

Noah: No.

Another "no" stated emphatically. This has happened before and I've come to realize that these moments are our most special times together. Noah is never still except during these requested snuggle times and all I have to do is sit quietly and hold him. This magic lasts for about an hour when Noah finally turns to me and asks me to take him back to bed. So, I do. I snuggle in beside him for the 20 minutes it takes for him to fall back asleep and happily, I feel myself drifting off too. Moments later, I feel something else too. A light tapping on my shoulder and I roll over to see. I greet Gabriel with a big smile on my face, showing him all the love I have for him in just one look.

Gabriel: Good morning mama! Wanna come race with me on the Wii?

Me: Sure, let's go.

Did I even get 5 minutes of fantasy sleep? Not sure. Not sure I really care either cause I'm getting more magical time, this time with Gabe. If I have to be up during daylight hours, I can't think of two better reasons to be up.

Book Review - Covet by J.R. Ward

In the world of paranormal romance, J.R. Ward is huge. Best known for her Black Daggar Brotherhood series which centres around a bunch of hard-living, heroic vampires, Ward is back venturing into the world of Fallen Angels. Covet is the first in this new seven book series, one for each of the deadly sins.

Covet introduces us to Jim Heron, a newly fallen angel, recruited to save the souls of seven people from the seven deadly sins. Although it's a classic battle between good and evil, Ward's characters are always interesting because they walk a fine line between these two polar traits. Jim was an assassin in his previous life and seems to have plenty to make up for. His first assignment involves saving one Vin Di Pietro from the evil that has a deep claim on his soul. He also has to unite Vin with his true love, (of course) and it is only through her that Vin realizes what he's been missing all along (of course).

I'd first like to state that I am one among the legion of fans who absolutely crave reading the next installment of Ward's Black Daggar Brotherhood series. I recommend them to anyone who loves the paranormal romance genre, or vampires, or fast paced action, or sassy dialogue. That being said, I was excited to hear about Ward's new foray into the angel realm. And so, it was with a fair bit of excitement and anticipation that I began reading Covet.

I will say, I think it's an ok start to the series. It's left alot of questions to be answered and I suspect will be answered throughout the next six books. I'm interested to see where she's going to take this Jim character, how she's going to explain the whole fallen angel bit, and love her newly created villain Devina, so evil, she must be the Devil's left testicle. I must admit, I wasn't emotionally invested in her two lead characters who form the romance duo. I found them flat and predictable. Even the plot and action moved along a tad slower than what I'm used to with Ward's work. As the first work in a series, I am willing to cut it some slack and as a fan, I will definitely be looking to give book 2 a read.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Clifftop

Standing at the edge
Her toes curled around sharp rock
Cutting into the soft soles
Of her feet.

The wind whips her long hair around
And she's half blinded by the kiss.
As it has always been,
Make the choice; live with the consequences.

Looking down
Into the abyss
She did not come here alone,
Yet here she stands - solitary.

The wind whips again
Wrapping her long skirt
Around her legs
Binding her to the spot.

She is in between
At a crossroads
Everywhere and nowhere
All at once.

The step, whether forward or back,
Won't just take her
But everyone else
She knows and loves.

Either way
Everyone is entangled
The weight of the world is...
Well, you know.

The wind stops; the stillness is absolute.
She takes a step.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

2010 - A Brief Visual

I want to be happy again.

I want to achieve financial independence and be able to take care of my family. Maybe this will be the year that my own business takes off.

I want to be a good mother. I think I'm doing a fine job so far, but I always want to do better. Gabriel and Noah deserve nothing less.

I want to feel butterflies in my stomach. I want to feel that secret smile, that's attached to my heartstrings, spread across my face.

I want to feel good about myself again. I want to reclaim my sexy, physical self.

I want to go back to my writer's group that I enjoyed so much being a part of. I love to write. It's the perfect therapy. This will be the year I start to write the book that's been brewing inside of me since I was a little girl and preferred playing vampires over Barbies.

I have a busy 2010 ahead...

Monday, December 21, 2009

Crème Brûlée French Toast

This dish has become a tradition for us on Christmas morning. I love it because I prepare it the night before then take it out the following morning and pop it into the oven. So breakfast is taking care of itself, while we all enjoy our morning together. Oh, and it's delicious to boot!


1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons corn syrup
an 8 to 9 inch round country style bread
5 large eggs
1 1/2 cups half & half cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon Grand Marnier
1/4 teaspoon salt


In a small heavy saucepan melt butter with brown sugar and corn syrup over moderate heat, stirring, until smooth and pour into a 9x13x2 inch baking dish. Cut six 1 inch thick slices from centre portion of the loaf, reserving ends for another use, and trim crusts. Arrange bread slices in one layer in baking dish, squeezing them slightly to fit.

In a bowl whisk together eggs, half and half, vanilla, Grand Marnier and salt until combined well and pour evenly over bread. Chill bread mixture, covered, at least 8 hours or up to 1 day.

Preheat oven to 350F and bring bread to room temperature.

Bake bread mixture, uncovered, in middle of oven until puffed and edges are pale golden, 35 - 40 minutes.

Serve hot French Toast immediately.

Makes 6 servings.

This recipe is courtesy of Epicurious.com

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Flore's No-Bake Cake

I attended a funeral yesterday for a woman I barely knew. She was part of my extended family, mother-in-law to a cousin who I'm close to. I like to attend funerals because it is often the best glimpse at who the person really was and what effect they had on those closest to them on this Earth.

Flore was 93 when she died. The same age as my beloved great-grandmother Molly was when she died 10 years ago. Flore's family rose one by one to speak of the love she brought into each of their lives and how much they would miss her. Like Molly, she brought people together over her cooking. Family was important to her. Feeding those she loved was her joy.

As a person who loves to cook and share good times over food, I understood her desire to create memories not only for herself but for those who surrounded her with love. I was delighted to see that her family put together a small sampling of her favourite recipes to share with the rest of us. Included in the buffet following her service, was Flore's no-bake cake, a favourite of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. I tried a piece, thought it was terrific, then channelled Molly by getting another piece, wrapping it up in a napkin and tucking it away in my purse. (Molly was famous for 'pilfering' food at the Chinese buffets. She always carried a shaker of cayenne pepper around in her purse too, but that's another story.) So without further ado, I give you Flore's recipe for her no-bake cake:


2 Tbsp of butter
2 egg yolks
500g of icing sugar
30 tea biscuits, broken into small pieces
175 ml. of strong coffee
2 Tbsp of cocoa powder
1 Tsp of vanilla
a pinch of salt

In a big bowl, mix the icing sugar and cocoa powder. Add the salt, butter and hot coffee and mix well. Add the yolks and vanilla and mix well. Fold in the tea biscuit pieces. Press the mixture into a pyrex dish and cover it with waxed paper. Refridgerate for one hour. Cut into squares to serve. Watch the people you share it with smile. Enjoy!