Flying with toddlers

Toddlers are not the easiest creatures. Being easy is not in their nature. So, when we decided (last minute change of plans from driving) to fly for our holiday, I was honestly a little panicked.
I had been planning for probably a full week to keep Chloe busy in the truck for the 16 hr drive(and that’s only one way!) I had movies, colouring books, bubbles for pit stops etc. The day before we were going to leave, we had to change our plans to drive because of highway conditions.

After a quick unpack of some of the things I could no longer take or no longer needed, I had to rethink entertainment. Luckily, the 16 hr drive got changed to an hour and a half flight. Not bad at all! And, on Canadian north, the airline we flew on, a meal is served (yes, even on the short one hour and thirty minute flight!) so I knew that would help if Chloe was cranky.

When Chloe was a baby, she went on a plane a few times. By the time she was just over 1, she has been on 7 flights. All which were good except for one. But all were also an hour and a half or shorter. When traveling with a baby, the easiest and recommended thing to do is feed them (breast or bottle) on landing and take off. Not only does it help with their ears, it put mine to sleep for all or the majority of the ride.

For this trip, I checked out the rules of motherhood and for love of cupcakes.

On the day we left, Chloe had to be woken up at 5:30 am. So early for her! I had her backpack filled with books, colouring books, stickers, Dora figurines, Easter eggs with little toys in them, crayons, markers and a homemade activity. In my bag, I had snacks and treats.

On the two blogs I checked out, I read that a sucker can help with the ears on landing and take off. Chloe had never had one, so I knew she would be very happy to try one.

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This kept Chloe very, very happy.

Right after takeoff, the flight attendant brought a colouring book and crayons for Chloe. I had brought some anyway for Chloe, but extra was nice since we were going to be on holidays for a week and a half.

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Chloe was really excited to colour in the book. New things are exciting.

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After she worked on the colouring book for a while, I brought out a book I got at a garage sale for $1. It’s a magnet book with magnetic animals. Chloe thought it was pretty neat.

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The next thing I pulled out of her bag was little plastic Easter eggs with different little toys inside. One had a necklace and ring, one had a mini camera, one had a little frog and lizard.

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After that, drinks and food came so that kept Chloe entertained for the rest of the flight.

What activities do you do to keep your kids entertained on flights?

Breakfast: it’s what’s for dinner

Every once in a while, we like to change things up at dinner time and have breakfast instead!
We had a bunch of odds and ends in out fridge that needed to be used up, so I figured it was omelette time.

For our omelettes, I cut up some deli meat (turkey), red pepper, mushroom and tomato.

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Unfortunately I forgot to add fresh spinach and basil from our garden. Basil and eggs go together so well!

Anyway, I made a two egg omelette for Chloe and I to share. I whisked up the eggs, added salt and pepper and put them into a pan. I forgot my non-stick pan isn’t so non-stick anymore. Should have added oil… So it didn’t look the prettiest in the end.
I put the ingredients on and added some cheddar cheese.

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To top it all off, I cooked up some bacon for the side.

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I’m not big into eggs. Sometimes they hurt my stomach. But every once in a while, I really enjoy having them.

Do you ever have breakfast for dinner?

Summer spaghetti

This recipe for summer spaghetti threw me off a bit. The sauce is referred to as a gravy. Which it is, but using chicken stock instead of beef. But it was really weird to think about spaghetti in gravy.
Anyway, I obviously got over it and made the dish.

The first step was to make a marinade for the chicken and marinate 20 minutes or overnight. Of course I chose neither. I marinated for about an hour and a half.

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The next step was to cook the chicken and set it aside.

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While the water is boiling for the spaghetti, the gravy is started.
Melt the butter and olive oil in a pot and add the garlic.

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After the garlic becomes fragrant (when is it not?!), the flour is whisked in.

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After that comes the chicken stock. For me, it took a little while to thicken.

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Fresh basil is then added to the gravy. Then the cooked spaghetti is added in with Parmesan, chicken and the tomatoes.

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The final product was really tasty. I wasn’t expecting it. That gravy word threw me off.
Adrienne (see her guest post on white cake) was over for dinner and she quite enjoyed it. Chloe’s bowl was empty (mind you, she did not have any tomatoes) and Matt also enjoyed the dish. I will make this again. The only thing I would do differently would be to add more basil. I couldn’t taste it.
But I’m already planning on putting this dish into an upcoming weeks meal plan. It was so good!

All about the north

Around our house, we have a lot of different things from the north. Matt is half Inuvialuit, making Chloe a quarter Inuvialuit. She was born in Yellowknife, NWT, and we lived there for a year.

I got an idea for a northern theme from a recent gift for Chloe.
I set up anything I could find. Books, a colouring book, figurines, art, stuffed animals and ice box.

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The first thing Chloe did was start colouring the inukshuk page in her colouring book. During this time, I read to her from a book about polar bears.

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Next, I read a book about animals that live on the land and a book about animals that live in the water. For each animal in the book, I would ask her to find the same animal out of her stuffies and figurines.

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Caribou

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Beluga whale (Chloe’s favorite- she sleeps with that stuffie every night!)

After that, she started reading the books on her own, while I read different books out loud to her.

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The first day we did this, we ended by looking at the different artwork she had. We discussed what it was and looked at each piece together.

A few days later, I pulled out ice I had put a bit of food colouring into and had left in the freezer. I put it into a bigger bin and added some water. It had a neat effect.

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I also added a bunch of ice cubes to the bin and put it outside. I put out the arctic animals and started placing them in the bin to show Chloe.

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While Chloe played with the animals, ice and water, I talked about how certain animals live in the water and how others would go in the water and on land.

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Then I noticed Chloe was trying to eat the ice cubes.

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So instead, we started talking about ice. We talked about how it felt: rough and smooth, slippery, cold.

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I think Chloe enjoyed all of the activities we did. It was educational, fun and important.
And the ice/water bin has inspired a new idea for Chloe and me to try. Stay tuned for another ice/water blog in the near future!

Banana oat cookies

One of the first recipes from Pinterest that I started making on a regular basis was the banana oat cookie. My original pin ended up not working anymore, so I deleted it.
The recipe is actually the easiest recipe ever, though.

Get two ripe bananas. I used ones from the freezer and let them thaw for a few hours.

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Add one cup of quick oats to the peeled bananas. Or get your helper to do it!

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When I make these I usually add a handful of chocolate chips, but to my shock and surprise I was OUT of chocolate chips. Horrific, I know! So this time I added a handful of Reese chips.

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My helper and I took turns mixing everything together.

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Then I scooped out each individual cookie. I made them small, but you could make them any size.

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During the 14 minute wait in a 350 degree oven, my helper was patiently watching over the cookies.

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Finally, the cookies were ready and my helper got to have herself a delicious bedtime snack!

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Painting outside

Last week it was very nice out. We did a lot of playing in the backyard. But it seemed like Chloe got bored of the usual. She wanted to be outside, but sometimes she didn’t really know what to do.
She really loves painting and I had a few activities in mind to do. For her birthday, she got an easel, so that made it easier to take painting outside. The first activity we did was paint on the easel with water colours.

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Chloe thought this was awesome. She quite enjoyed this.

The next activity we did was rock painting. I grabbed a little bucket, gave it to Chloe, and told her we needed to go find some big rocks in our yard.

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Of course she went for the huge rocks. I had her pick out 3 rocks and we brought them back to our painting space.

I put paint into washed out yogurt containers, with a paint brush in each.

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I let her get to work on the rocks. She painted them all at the same time and not in the way that I was thinking. But that’s ok, because it’s her activity and she can do what she wants.

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The plan for these rocks is to hide them out in our yard and go hunting for them. But we haven’t gotten to that yet. Rain followed the nice weather.
These two painting activities were fun, easy and quick. I think Chloe was pretty happy she got to do them.

Butternut squash Mac and cheese

Feeding a toddler can be challenge. Trying to get healthy foods into them can be even more difficult.
Today’s recipe brings butternut squash into a kid favorite.
Here is the original recipe .
First thing, I put the peeled and cubed squash into a pot with veggie broth (recipe called for chicken stock), milk and garlic. I let it boil until the squash was cooked.

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During this time, I was also cooking my pasta.
When the squash was cooked, I put into a blender and puréed it.

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After the sauce is puréed, it is added to a bowl with the macaroni and the two cheeses. I used cheddar and mozzarella because it is what we usually have in the house, even though the recipe calls for different cheese.

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Once it is all mixed up, it is put into a greased casserole dish and topped with panko.

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The dish is baked for 25 minutes and then put onto broil for a few minutes. I should have had mine on broil for a few more minutes.

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I have made this a few times, and my daughter absolutely loves it. Noodles are one of her favorite things to eat.

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