Words To Live By:

"The work will wait while you show the child the rainbow, but the rainbow won't wait while you finish the work."

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Goodbye Goodnites!

My name is Lindsey and I'm the mother of a reformed bedwetter.  I hesitated to even post this online because the child who suffered with bedwetting is quite sensitive about it.  It didn't seem to matter how many times we tried to be reassuring or supportive. It didn't matter how many times we told him he wasn't the only one and that there's a significant family history of bedwetting.   Lately, it had become a BIG HUGE EMBARRASSING fact of life for the kid.

After endless purchases of pull ups and goodnites, conversations with the doctor, trying to wake at regular intervals,  limiting drinks before bed, and (mistakenly) just winging it, we discovered a (highly expensive) product that saved the day (so worth it!)

If you have an older bedwetter (remember my kids are 7&9... and in the interest of protecting the privacy of the one who dealt with this,  I'm not narrowing it down), give the Chummie Elite Bedwetting System a try.  We purchased ours on Amazon.ca, albeit somewhat leerily.

We started using it layered (underwear,  sensor,  good nite, pajamas.)  The first few nights were rough.  Waking up multiple times, having to change the underwear and clean the sensor with each awakening.  I'm not one for stripping a bed at 2 a.m. so that's why we opted for the extra goodnite layer.  I feel for mothers of newborns everywhere. 

Fast forward a few nights and he was down to the alarm going off once a night and dealing with it himself - the bedwetting diminishing from a full soak to just a dribble and many mornings waking up dry.  Another week went by and we waved adios to the goodnites. 

Then the true test: would he wake up to pee during the night, wake up dry, or flood the bed again without any system (AKA cyborg gear) or backup protection.  We made it a week without any incidents at all.  We had a dribble incident one night after that initial week, but he woke himself up before it was a mess. We've made it another two weeks without any accidents or minimal wakeups.  Success!

I'm raving about this product.  Pricey, yes.... but so worth it for a solution that worked effectively and gave him so much confidence, never mind the cost savings of the goodnites. (A box of 44 cost approx. $24.  We paid approx. $90 for our system.  I figure that's about 5.5 months of goodnites we would have paid for... and no extra bedtime expenses ever again!  In July we can call it even.)  I'm so happy to see him proud of himself and lose that embarrassment that seemed to hit him hard Every. Single. Bedtime. And. Every. Single.  Morning. 

I'm the mother of a reformed bedwetter... and I feel like I probably wouldn't be saying that for years if we hadn't given this system a try.  Goodbye goodnites.  We're glad to see you go! 

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Incredibly Delicious Bread Machine Cinnamon Rolls

I found a fabulous deal on a bread machine via Amazon.ca just before Christmas and I've been using it sporadically for this and that.  Then Christmas and the various hosting opportunities arrived and I had no room for it in my kitchen so I placed it in the basement out of sight.   Last week, I decided to bring it up again and test some recipes.  Some were just "meh" (not horrible... but not delicious).   Others have been pretty darn good.  

These cinnamon rolls though... they go way beyond "pretty darn good" and right into "incredibly delicious."  I've been craving cinnamon rolls all week, but in my mind, they're a weekend treat.  This is probably because of the time factor involved.  I struggle enough to get three of us out the door with somewhat healthy lunches, a belly full, and hopefully teeth brushed.  If clothes match and we remembered our gloves, that's just a bonus.  Forget time to proof a batch of cinnamon rolls, bake them, and clean the sticky fingers after they've been devoured.

Yesterday, I did some quick online reconnaissance to find a bread machine recipe I could use for the dough portion.   I found this one from Food.com and this one from Happy Hooligans.  Then I decided to just do my own thing, leaning heavily on the first recipe, and was filled with shock and delight at the ooey-gooey perfection that sat upon our plates for a very short period of time this morning.  

Bread Machine Cinnamon Rolls:

Dough:

1 cup warm milk
2 1/2 cups flour
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon yeast 


Filling:

3 tablespoons butter, softened
1/3 - 1/2 cup brown sugar
4-5 tablespoons cinnamon


Glaze:

2 tablespoons butter, softened
1/8-1/4 cup cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 tablespoons milk


Add dough ingredients to bread machine in order listed (or check your user manual and see what order you should add them).  Before adding yeast, make a well in the dry ingredients, add yeast, and ensure it's not touching your wet ingredients.   Set bread machine to dough cycle and let it do it's thing. 

Once dough cycle is complete, roll out dough on a lightly floured surface until you get a nice even rectangle.  Mine was about the size of my cutting board... but that doesn't really help, does it? Approximately 9"x12" give or take. 

For the filling, spread your butter evenly across the dough.   Sprinkle your brown sugar across the butter. Sprinkle your cinnamon across the brown sugar.   Add some nuts or raisins if you're into that kind of thing.  We gave them a pass this time around.  I already have one kid who refuses to eat these (I know... he's strange!) and the other would probably turn his nose up at them if he found an extra surprise.  Wait... why didn't I add extra ingredients?  I could have split the whole pan two ways!

Lightly grease a 9"x13" baking pan.   I used butter.  Once your dough has been topped, roll into a tight log - use the long side of your rectangle, people.  Pinch the seams to keep it all together.  Cut into 12 equal portions (they should be about an inch or so thick.)   There's a nifty dental floss trick for cutting these... but we only had mint flavour and opted to use a knife.   Place in your greased baking pan, leaving a bit of room between rolls for expansion.

Now.... here is where you can decide whether these babies are going to be popped in the oven right away, or saved for the morning.    Cover with plastic wrap.   If you want to bake them "now", let rise on the counter for another 45 minutes or so.   If you are saving them for morning, place them in the fridge for a slow rise overnight.  I'll be honest and I actually left them on the counter for a bit.... and then put them in the fridge.
In the morning, take your prepped rolls out of the fridge and set your oven to preheat to 375.   Bake for 20 minutes approximately - until golden brown.   Our oven took 24 minutes but it can be temperamental.  

Mix up your glaze while these are cooking.  Let your baked cinnmon rolls cool slightly - very slightly - and spread or drizzle with your cream cheese glaze.  Serve warm!  Straight from the pan.

I know it sounds like a lot of work.... but it really wasn't.  And did I mention they were incredibly delicious.  If your family doesn't mind a tasty carb binge and sugar overload, they'll shower you with affection.  You're welcome.


PS. I've heard you can freeze your prepped rolls.  Just let them defrost on the counter 10-12 hours to rise again after freezing.    Also, the glaze recipe makes a lot of glaze.  I only used half.... so you could reduce the recipe.  Or make another batch of cinnamon rolls later in the week.  






Friday, February 6, 2015

Smoothies and a Painting

Do you ever have one of those weeks where you just want to crawl in bed and stay there?  Monday was a snow day, and as much as I love my boys, I don't always care for thw noise they create.  By Tuesday afternoon, I had a full-on pillow over the head, turn off the lights migraine.  The Advil eventually dulled the pain and my family should love me.  I sucked it up and managed to create a yummy dinner (tex-mex stuffed peppers) without vomiting or passing out.  That's a win, isn't it?

By Wednesday morning I was feeling human and I made it through work and even had a productive day in the office yesterday.  (Oh, hey!  Guess what?  I have a new part-time admin job.... that works with our home life. Score!)  Despite feeling more human, the headache lurked... waiting to ambush me on my only free day (that would be today) - a day with a to-do list a mile long including some Wisdom and Whimsy deliveries.  (Sorry, Aidan!)

So a wise girl rearranges her life... and puts on her sweat pants,  swallows some more Advil, keeps the water glass filled, and takes it easy.  And if taking it easy means painting a sign base, so be it. (Sometimes I find creating without expectations to be The Best relaxant.)

And then my energy levels plummet and I think "Oh, maybe I should have just stayed curled up on the couch..."  and "It's such a gorgeous day, but I wish the sun wasn't so bright!" Ah well...

Now it's lunchtime. I have nil appetite and no wish to take more Advil. I hit the kitchen and hope a smoothie might revive me a little. (Actually,  I make a lot of smoothies and it's usually just to ensure I'm getting a healthy breakfast that's portable. Its just today's variety that we're hoping is a pick me up!)

This beauty may resemble the radioactive love child of a bowl of Cheetos crossed with a creamsicle.... but it's all goodness!   So what's inside? Carrot juice, frozen mango chunks, a banana, and some vanilla yogurt for protein. Maybe the yogurt wasn't the healthiest addition, but hey, at least it's not vanilla ice cream! 

Blended with my $10 Wal-Mart bargain individual Hamilton Beach blender and it's a delicious burst of sunshine in your mouth, creamy and refreshing.  Here's to kissing the remnants of this headache goodbye!