Category Archives: Uncategorized

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.


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.


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


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


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!

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.




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.


Heads Up folks, I’m Merging myself!

CC Robert Crouse-Baker
CC Robert Crouse-Baker

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.
Image courtesy of Nasa.

An Update on Me

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



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.

What’s with people stealing my bottles?

It’s not often that I get a day off in the middle of the week, but it happened a few months ago. ¬†No daycare kids at all, and all my own (except for the baby) were at school. ¬†It was very nice.

So – I sat down in front of the tv and folded laundry while I binged on Supernatural. I was happily folding away while Ibrahim was jumping in his jolly jumper when I heard my house alarm alert me that someone had opened my garage door.

The first thought to go through my mind was that it was my brother-in-law come to borrow a tool or something…but I knew he’d have at least let me know he was coming. ¬†I got up to look out my window to see who was there…that’s when I saw some strange man coming out of my garage – and he was taking our recycle bottles!
Photo Credit Johnny Grim

I was¬†so angry! ¬†I mean…it’s just my recycle bottles, but seriously, the nerve of the guy – to go into my garage and just take them?! ¬†So did what any rational woman would do – I ran outside and confronted him. ¬†By the time I’d gotten outside and run to the garage, he’d gone back in for seconds.

“Excuse me,” I screeched, “what do you think you’re doing?!”

He jumped, turned around and said, “I’m sorry, man, I’m just hungry man!”

The guy did not look hungry…or homeless. ¬†He was beefy looking and clean cut. ¬†He kept apologizing to me and telling me he was hungry…but there was a moment when something in his eyes flickered and my anger switched immediately to fear.

Here I was, alone…in my garage with a stranger who was bold enough to break in to it ¬†in the first place. ¬†I’d left both my house phone and¬†my cell phone inside. ¬†No one knew I was there. ¬†My neighbours were all gone to work. ¬†The only person who knew I had gone outside would have been the baby…I realized that there was not a single person¬†who could have helped me had something horrible happened…and so did he.

I backed out of my garage and told him to go…he kept apologizing and I said “Just GO!” and scurried back to my house.

Then I decided to call the police. ¬†They rushed over – seriously…there were like 4 cars that were here within minutes (as they considered it Break and Enter in progress I think). ¬†They found him (and my bottles)…and then gave me hell.

“What if he’d had a knife or a gun? ¬†What if he had beat or raped you… or worse?” they admonished me.

And they were right!  What if something had happened?  Why did I feel such an urge to go out and protect my stupid bag of recycle bottles?!

Recipe Request – Oozie

Oozie is a recipe that I discovered a few years ago. ¬†Apparently, it’s a traditional Palestinian dish…but I’ve had people of other backgrounds tell me it’s from their region. ¬†I just throw my hands up in the air – it’s delicious and I make it…I leave it there. ¬†ūüôā

Anyhow – I made it last weekend when Mr. D’s family came over for¬†iftar.¬† There were a few requests for me to pass the recipe on…this is the easiest way.


1 kilo cubed meat (we use lamb OFF the bone)
4 cups water
2 carrots, rough chopped
2 celery sticks, rough chopped
2 onions, quartered
2 bay leaves
3 cardamom pods
2 cinnamon sticks
salt & pepper

1/4 cup each, pinenuts and almonds
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup peas (fresh or frozen)
2 cups cooked basmati rice
1 package phylo dough
melted butter (probably 1/2 cup or more)

1.  Add first set of ingredients (meat, spices, water) to a stock pot.  Bring to a boil and simmer 40 minutes.
2.  Meanwhile, toast nuts in olive oil.
3.  When meat has finished cooking, remove it from the stock (reserve for soup if you like) and add it to a large mixing bowl with rice, peas, nuts, cinnamon, and cloves.  Mix well.

*Next ¬†comes making the packets. ¬†This can be time consuming. ¬†I have found that if I make my rice/meat mixture the day BEFORE, it’s much easier to make the packets, as the heat of the mixture doesn’t affect the phylo dough as much.

1. ¬†Heat oven to 350¬į
2.  On a clean, flat work surface, lay out a sheet of phylo dough, lightly brush around the edges with butter and fold sheet in 1/2.
3.  Add 1-2 serving spoons of rice mixture.
4.  Fold over edges and brush with butter to seal.
5.  Place edge side down onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
6.  Brush tops with more melted butter and bake for 20-30 minutes until golden brown.

I love these as they’re much like a pita pocket – you can grab a little puff ball and snack on it (no forks/knives required!). ¬†I also like to make them ahead of time – they can be easily frozen before baking them, or even after and just reheat them quickly.


One last shot

It’s been nearly a year since I’ve blogged. ¬†I’ve wanted to…then I’ve wanted to delete the whole thing and never look back.

You see, there are posts that I’m proud of and some that I’m ashamed of. ¬†And…ever since my dad passed away, I haven’t been able to get up the nerve to do get back to it the way I was before. ¬†And it’s odd – I can’t even explain why that is. ¬†What does my dad’s death have to do with whether or not I write?

Anyhow – I’ve decided that I’m going to give it one last shot. ¬†So let’s just see how this goes.