A Worm Farm!

Some of my favourite memories as a child involved playing in the mud. Squishing it between my toes, making mud pies, or digging in it. I absolutely loved it.

This weekend while I started some pretty massive yard work, part of which involved moving some bricks that had been separating my garden area from my yard. It was hot, and the work was harder than my lazy self thought it was going to be. I pulled up one brick and noticed the fat end of a worm working his way down to dirt.

That was the end of the yard work. I suddenly had a flash back to a daycare idea I had Рcreating a Worm Farm. A way for kids to study what it is that worms do and how they do it.  I spent the next few hours with Ibrahim digging in the dirt in search of worms.

Fast forward to this morning where I had everything I needed to set up this little experiment.

We started off by putting a layer of rocks in the bottom of a clear vase. The rocks are supposed to help with air circulation…or something like that. I don’t know…I just put them there.

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Next, I put alternate layers of dirt and sand – this is so that (eventually) the kids will be able to see how the worms mix the soil up.

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We topped it off with some finely chopped banana peel (worms need to eat you know!) and our worms.

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After we checked it out and made a few observations, we covered it in black construction paper. Why? Because worms generally don’t like the light and would burrow into the center of the vase and now let us see what they’re doing! By covering the vase, they will (hopefully) stay closer to the edges and we can study their movements over the next few days/weeks. ūüôā

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Zombies? Yes please!

In today’s Monday Moves post I’m sharing my new fitness motivation…Zombies!

Now – this combines 2 things that I love. First running – in this case, from zombies (though you can certainly do this walking…I actually went out for a walk with Adam last week using this app and I’m happy to report the both of us survived!) The second thing is RPG. Yes…it’s a health driven Role Playing Game. And it’s¬†so awesome!!

The app is called Zombies, Run!¬†and it’s basically like listening to an audio story. It starts out with a helicopter crash…you are the lone survivor and you have to run (or walk) to safety. You’ve got a radio and there’s someone guiding you … warning you of nearby zombies…asking you to pick up medical supplies…telling you how close you are to their safe base. As you walk or run (in real life) you are notified in your ear piece that you’ve found items. On my first run, I found axes, baseball bats, first aid kits, water, a CDC box, trousers and a package of underwear. (lol!!) These items are stored in your app – and then when you get home from your run (or walk…or bike ride, whatever, you get the idea!) you go to your app and then you play your game! You trade your items, build your township, boost morale, etc. It’s almost like a Farmville type of game.

One of the cool features is the ability to turn on zombie chases. Now…I thought “whatever, you’re going to have zombies growling in your ears, lame.”

It’s not. You hear a moan…a groan…then you get “WARNING, ZOMBIE SWARM 20 METERS BEHIND YOU” ¬†and then a radar blip sound starts going off. I swear to God – your heart pumps and you move your butt to get away! It’s exhilarating! Sometimes they’re faster than others, but regardless, you need to try to outrun them.

So if you ever see me walking down the road or around Beaumaris Lake and I suddenly look panicked and start running – you’ll know why!

Friday Fun

Wow, I’d posted a pic on Instagram what seems like forever ago all excited because I’d made a plan (almost) for daily blogs. Yeah…the best laid plans, right?

So, I’m actually going to try. Previously, my posts have been very word heavy…so I’m going to try to just stick to my daily ¬†mini themes and hope that it can inspire the writer’s bug in me that needs to get out.

Here’s the plan:

Mondays – Moving (health/exercise related stuff)
Tuesdays – Tasty (food!)
Wednesdays – WIP (stands for Work In Progress for whatever the current craft is)
Thursday – Thoughts (whatever’s on my mind)
Fridays – FUN (daycare stuff? my own fun?? whatever’s fun at that time!)
Saturdays – Shopping! (this is a stretch for me, as it’s not an activity I much enjoy!)
Sunday – family

So – on to Friday’s fun. I’m actually SO excited for this! I found an awesome website of a fellow Canadian Home Daycare Provider. She has amazing stuff in her back yard for the kids to do…and I’ve been planning on making my yard equally as fun for the last few years. It’s just that…well, I had a baby 2 years ago, then last year, I had an infant to try to work around.

THIS YEAR IS THE YEAR! ¬†I have pallets that I’ve nabbed and am creating a water wall, a sand wall, a music (aka NOISY) wall and one that I’m going to fill with trinkets (latches, hooks, those door stops that make that awesome “twang” sound, etc). ¬†I’ve got all the stuff for these and we (my mom’s helping me out with this) have just been waiting for appropriate weather to finish it all up. We thought we’d be done 2 weeks ago – but we had wicked, wicked wind (90+ km/hour) which isn’t exactly conducive to spray painting!

There are just a few things that I need to finish up to get the yard I’m really looking for.

  1. an old wheel barrow. It doesn’t need to function – I really just want a space to make a mud play area (yes, mud!!) that the kids can gather around to play in.
  2. some sort of way to put up a privacy/shade screen on my chain link fence. I’m thinking of the ones I’ve seen on apartment balconies.
  3. a bucket – I’m on the lookout for a fun/funky/farm style type of bucket
  4. some sort of outdoor flooring that’s not going to cost me an arm and a leg – and that won’t get HOT in the sun.

I’m so excited to get this done, I could pee! I can’t wait – once it’s done, I’ll post up pics, so keep an eye on my instagram or facebook ūüôā

 

Someone bring me something pretty…I deserve it today

Poop. It happens. I’ve had enough kids to have dealt with more than my share. Also – it’s a part of the job I have.

But in all my years of butt changing – I have never had to deal with the child who plays with the poop. You know the one, you see pictures of poop smeared on walls, toys, cribs, bedding…it’s nasty. And then God gave me Ibrahim.

I *thought* I was giving him a few extra moments to finish…uh…depositing. Little did I know that he was withdrawing. Absolutely disgusting. His little “exploration” has left me with a small pile of toys to clean and sanitize, the wall and carpet to scrub, his clothes to wash…and my own socks, pants and shirt….it was everywhere.

So.

Very.

Gross.

To all the mamas, papas, and caregivers out there that have had to deal with this…You deserve an award. Something big. Something Shiny. Something filled with chocolate or caffeine. Something encrusted with diamonds. Anything to take away the memory of what you just dealt with.

Also – if you managed to clean it up without gagging, You get a sticker too.

 

Now that we’re running – what are we wearing?

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My $6 running top. Deals are awesome.

So – finding¬†modest running wear is tough. It seems that everything must be skin tight or barely there. Neither one of those fits in with my preferences. Right now I’m running on the treadmil in the privacy of my own home so what I wear isn’t all that important other than getting the sweat off of me quickly.

I wear yoga pants (not running tights) and was using my husband’s long sleeved shirts for tops. The problem is – cotton t-shirts can make you super sweaty and gross. So I went on the search for something I could use. If you’re lucky – you can buy stuff from places like The Running Room or Nike or even Old Navy in the winter that are long sleeved – however, I often found them to be too tight.¬†I recently grabbed this top from Old Navy because it was on sale for $6. Why¬†wouldn’t you buy it at that price?

So I searched on. I found a company called Friniggi out of Botswana. They had breathable tops with matching hijabs. Bonus! 2 in 1! I got a top but then suffered from 2 problems. ¬†First – I have freakishly long arms – they are so long I’m more chimpanzee than human (ha, ha!) I have some seriously long arms here. So my running top from Finiggi is¬†short in the sleeve.

Running top & hijab from Friniggi.com
Running top & hijab from Friniggi.com
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Great to run in, jut a bit short in the sleeve for my long arms. This top from Friniggi is otherwise fantastic.

Problem #2 was the hijab. I love it – I do – but I measured according to the instructions on their website not once or twice or even three times. Nope, I measured at least 5 times to be sure the fit was right for me. But it doesn’t fit me well. It’s too big and I end up having to wear an underscarf with it AND pinning it down just to wear it comfortably. Not how it’s supposed to be. I do like the cut around the shoulders though – that’s cool. They were super kind and supportive in trying to fix it for me (kudos for that!) and did end up refunding me for the hijab – which was also cool. I do¬†love the breathability of the top. It was AWESOME on a very hot summer day and a 40 min run. If it weren’t for my apish arms – I’d have been very happy. Oh – I forgot to mention -this top and hijab came with a cool drawstring backpack that I totally wasn’t expecting!

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My top from LiaWear Action – and me, regretting not buying a hijab from them when I had the chance.

So I searched on – and came back to someone who made a custom top for me years ago – LiaWear Action. I told her what I needed, she asked for my measurements and the look I was going for – and voila – my most favourite running top ever was born. ¬†It’s long enough for my arms – loose enough to keep me happy, and moisture wicking. ¬†It covers all of my needs. Latifa is great at what she does – and super professional. I plan on ordering more from her (next order is for one of¬†her hijabs…I didn’t get one and now our dollar SUCKS so I have to wait!) I have even worn this top as just a regular old top out and about because I love it that much.

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Obligatory “action” shot of my LiaWear Action top. God – I took these pics when the leaves were still green…I think this was actually August. It only took me 5 months to actually get them on my PC to write this blog post!

Run with me!

I started running a few years ago – not thinking I’d like it but wanting to find a way to exercise that wasn’t going to take a whole lot of equipment. A¬†friend recommended to me an app called C25K¬†– that stands for Couch to 5km. Did you see that? It said COUCH. So yes, even if you’ve been sitting on your butt eating nachos… you can do it. ¬†You will amaze yourself. And even better – it’s a free app!

Anyhow – fast forward. I got pregnant, stopped running, had the baby, started running, got really busy with life and then fell (almost) into depression again…and got back into running in December of 2015. I love running. Who knew I’d say something like that? Not me, that’s for sure, but I really do love it.

So I thought how great it would be for you all to join me! No – I don’t expect you to come run with me in my house – or on the same routes I take when I run outside (though that might be fun come warmer weather!)… but if you have a phone, you can download the app – and plug along with me! If you follow the app – you can get up to running 5km in 8 weeks. Does that mean you have to follow the app religiously? NO! ¬†Take longer if you want! But – try to run “with” me 3 days a week. ¬†I aim to run Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays. ¬†Then you¬†can post your results to facebook or Instagram (or both!) and tag me in them!

Who’s ready to join me?

Heads Up folks, I’m Merging myself!

CC Robert Crouse-Baker https://www.flickr.com/photos/29233640@N07/
CC Robert Crouse-Baker
https://www.flickr.com/photos/29233640@N07/

So for some time now I’ve had different pages for different parts of me. I had a blog and page for the Muslim side of me (along with some other fabulous ladies), I have a Facebook page for my daycare, one for my Scentsy biz, and this blog and its page where I used to post regularly (and where I plan to get back into doing that).

But I realized something – I have been spreading myself over so many different areas that I’m losing focus. ¬†No wonder I haven’t been able to write! When I sit down to write, I think to myself “I should be working on Scentsy stuff” and when I work on Scentsy, I think “I should be working on Daycare” and when I work on daycare…well — you see where this is going.

So I’ve decided that I’m going to merge myself into just one page. One instagram account, one twitter, one blog….1 page.

Now – I don’t want people to think I’m going to be spamming them with stuff to get sales. Or with kiddy baby daycare stuff. ¬†No. ¬†My page (and blog) has always been about me – and a place where other women could come to realize that being a perfect mom is impossible and that having your kid run around with underwear on their heads while you’re trying to serve dinner is normal (hey, in my world, it is!) Yes, I will be sharing stuff from the business that I do – that means messy¬†crafts, yummy smells, pretty room decor. ¬†It also means talking about what I’m currently reading, things that are going on in the news or the latest craziness that is my life.

Ah…I feel better already!

My brother…he’s awesome.

a11210b891c500a69ed714f47d794b35-5641fe15f0dcf-heroMy brother – he’s always just been…a little brother to me. ¬†You know how that happens – how you don’t see people as they are but rather how you remember them most? I find it usually happens with kids you haven’t seen in a long time. You see them at, say – 18 months…and then you don’t see that family for 2 or 3 years and for some strange reason you expect that baby to still be 18 months old.

For me it was the same with my brother. For some reason, in my mind – he is eternally this chubby little 8 year old kid proudly puffing out his tummy in his red plaid shirt and black leather tie (yes, that happened)

But, he’s much older than 8. And he’s pretty amazing if I do say so myself. And every year he grows his facial hair to raise money for cancer research. Last year he wrote a touching Facebook tribute to my dad…this year, it’s the lead post in ¬†his Mo Space. ¬†So, I’m now turning the rest of this posting over to my brother…and asking that, if you have the funds…please consider donating to the cause. ūüôā

On December 20, 2013, I lost my father to cancer. It wasn’t the prostate or testicular cancer that Movember donations go toward, but that’s not the point for me. My dad fought for eight years, against five cancers (counting two tumors as one occurrence, because they came up at the same time). He took chemotherapy with a central veinous catheter, with an IV, and with the oral drugs. He had radiation therapy for both of the lymph nodes, and the brain tumor that he ultimately couldn’t beat.

He went through hell five times, and the emotional toll on my family was almost as harsh. This is why I began participating in Movember: to hopefully save others from going through what my dad did, and perhaps to prevent other families from going on this same rollercoaster ride of remission and metastasizing. And the way I see it, if you can cure one type of cancer, you’re one step closer to curing them all.

Thanks for reading, whether you plan to donate or not.

To donate to Brad – Please click here.

Adam came home the other day filled with excitement.

“Mom, can we get a 6 pack of coke?”

This is unusual…so I say, “Well…what for?”

“Not the can kind, we need to get the bottle ones. You know, the big bottles?”

I nod my head, “Yes, I know what you’re talking about…but why do we need to get 6 bottles?”

“Well – I have this¬†great idea! All we need to do is tie 3 bottles on each of my legs! Oh…I’m going to need to figure out some wings, but oh well – I’ll tie 3 on each leg and then I can shake them up – and somehow we’ll get the lids off – and then….I CAN FLY!!!”

Image courtesy of  Nasa.  https://www.flickr.com/photos/nasacommons/4858567480
Image courtesy of Nasa.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/nasacommons/4858567480

An Update on Me

Back in July, I posted this picture on my Instagram page.

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It got a lot of people worried…so I thought I would fill in my health woes. ¬†I’m not sure if you’ll remember, but back when I was pregnant, I was admitted to the hospital with strange stomach pain. ¬†The doctors couldn’t decide if it was my gallbladder, an ulcer, or just a whiny pregnant lady. ¬†I thought for sure it was my gallbladder. ¬†I mean, I was in some serious pain – bad enough that I went to the hospital. ¬†The doc told me to lay off coffee and left it at that.

It wasn’t the coffee.

Since the baby’s been born, I’ve been on and off with the crazy stomach pain. ¬†I thought it was due to eggs – it seemed that every time I ate an egg, my stomach would go into terrible spasms. ¬†I went to my Family Doctor who listened to me and ran a whole bunch of tests. ¬†She sent me for allergy tests to see if the egg was an issue. ¬†She sent me for a bunch of blood work to see if anything showed up there. ¬†And she sent me for a CAT scat to see if, God Forbid, there were tumours.

Turns out that I’m not allergic to anything (yay!) and that, thank God, there are no tumours. ¬†However, my blood test did show something. ¬†I have Celiac’s Disease.

Now, before this diagnosis, I thought Celiac Disease was a fairy tale…that all this “gluten free” stuff I’d see was over kill.

Lord, how the tables have turned!

My stomach pain is real guys. ¬†To me, it’s the equivalent of swallowing razor blades and then having labour-like contractions in your gut. ¬†I get the brain fog (here I thought my inability to write my blogs was due to the loss of my muse…turns out, I couldn’t even physically think clear enough to string words together). ¬†I felt like I was getting dumber and dumber by the moment…losing my ability to think things through. ¬†Nope – Celiac Disease. ¬†I also get this horrible itching, burning rash on my hands and legs. ¬†Once it even came on my face. ¬†Other issues include depression and thyroid problems. ¬†All of these (and likely more) are due to Celiac’s Disease.

So – what is Celiac Disease? ¬†“Celiac disease is a medical condition in which the absorptive surface of the small intestine is damaged by a substance called gluten.¬†Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, triticale, barley. At present there is no cure, but celiac disease is readily treated by following the gluten-free diet.” (Canadian Celiac Foundation)

The solution is simple enough – don’t eat gluten. ¬†Trouble is – it hides in a lot of things like Soya Sauce or even your face creams. ¬†I’ve been avoiding it for about 3 weeks now – and though I know that there’s still a ways to go before I really start feeling well again – I can already tell if I’ve eaten something that’s got gluten in it.

So, take it from me guys – if someone you know is suffering from odd stomach pain – a simple blood test is all you need to diagnose this. ¬†Avoiding gluten is relatively easy. ¬† I know some people who still “gluten binge” every now and then…I don’t think I will be one of those people…the pain that I get is too much for me to take lightly.