Sunday, November 16, 2008

Welcome Aboard the Tuna Boat

So... late this morning, after NOT eating breakfast, my hungry daughter comes at me, armed with a Disney Cookbook , brandishing a recipe for Tuna Boats. "Can we make them, Mom?"

The interesting thing about this is that I have a very distinct and clear memory of making tuna salad with my mom when I was about Blythie's age. So, of course, I agree.

Ingredients are compiled, some on hand, some Daddy has to go out and buy. And Tuna Boat construction begins.

Was I ever as charming and unique as any of my children? I find it hard to believe. Now, don't get me wrong, there are days (quite a few of them in fact) when I can only just barely restrain myself from choking Blythe to death. But this morning was not one of them. She was patient and helpful and just about the cutest thing ever.

I only hope that years from now, on a chilly Sunday morning, her daughter will ask her to help make a tuna salad something. And she might just remember this one:

Tuna Salad Boats
1 bell pepper (we had red)
two stalks of celery
1 medium dill pickle
1 can of tuna in spring water
1/4 of mayo
tsp of dijon mustard
some fresh ground pepper
1 pita bread
tbsp olive oil
dash kosher salt

Preheat oven to 350. Cut pita bread into wedges, about the shape of a sail on a sailboat (you will have some pieces that won't look like sails--that's okay). Brush olive oil on wedges, sprinkle with a little salt and bake them for about 8 minutes or so.
Cut bell pepper into quarters (after removing seeds, of course). I diced the top and added it to the salad. Dice the celery and the pickle and put in a medium sized bowl. Drain the tuna and add to veggies. Add mayo, dijon mustard and mix well with a fork. Grind some pepper over bowl. About this time, your pita bread should be done. Fill your boats, and top with the baked pita "sail". I used a toothpick to ensure structural integrity to the boat.

Enjoy with beverage of choice.
Now, if you will excuse me, I have to go strangle the child who has decided it would be fun to throw cheerios all over the floor. Did I really say my kids were charming?

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Ridin' the TTC on a Saturday Morn

There is something so magical about riding the subway train for little kids.

Okay, perhaps some of that magic is lost if they ride it every day as their primary mode of transportation, but for my kids, it is definitely not the everyday experience. So, today's trip downtown to pick up David's running kit for the Toronto Marathon tomorrow was a fairly cool experience. We managed to get the first seat in the lead car, so we got a front seat view of the trip through the tunnels riding "Downsview." Cameron was all big eyes as we walked down the stairs and across the platform to wait for the train. We even got a chance to talk to the driver a little bit as he explained why were were stopping at one point.

After meeting Spongebob Squarepants and picking up David's race kit, we headed back home. On our train ride back home, Blythe waited for the front seat to open up with the attention and patience of a striking cobra. She popped up and ran towards it even before the gentleman had vacated the seat, almost pushing tired Saturday morning commuters out of the way in her haste.

On the ride home, we popped in and out of tunnels on the Yonge Street Line. At one point, we saw a little boy waving from a walkway above the track, and the driver honked his horn.

"So, why do train engineers like little kids so much, Mom?" Blythe asked.

"I guess because little kids know how cool their job is driving trains. And the engineers want to show the kids how much they appreciate that."

"Well, it is a cool job, Mom. I think I want to be an engineer when I grow up."

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Chilly Nights and Blogs

I've been trying on all sorts of new styles to my blog, these days. No one is actually reading the blog, other than me, of course. But hey, a girl can dream...

I'm not actually sure who my audience is yet. Again, not because no one is reading it, but because in order to write something, you have to know who your intended audience is. I think, as bloggers, we've all done the self censorship because you're trying to be cool, or you don't think people want to hear about this or that. But the truth of the matter is, I'm blogging because I want to. So I guess I'm sort of writing to myself...or those who I perceive as being like me.

It's so easy to get caught up in perfectionism, isn't it? I've been trying to live the Nike slogan and Just Do It. My problem is that I get all caught up in what I think things should look like, that I never actually get around to doing it. And you can really stymie yourself that way. I'm taking an organizational class online right now, and I've learned that I do this little Jedi Mind Trick with myself all the time when it comes to my house and organization. "Well, it'll never look exactly as I want it to look, so why even bother..." Never mind that I've never taken the time to sit down and just imagine what I want these spaces in my home to look like and feel like at all.

Mediocrity gets a bum rap. There is something to be said for those that have the courage to follow their convictions and just do it, regardless of what others might thing or say. I always used to love those poor souls that volunteered to go first in Alice's Scene Class at Stella Adler. They did get chewed out quite a bit, sure. But they also had the courage to not fear failure so much that they felt helpless and unable to act (both literally and figuratively).

So, as the days get shorter and the nights longer, I'm going to make a concerted effort to blog a little every day. I've a feeling it'll be a little strange and very hodgepodge. I've lots to say, though. About being a parent of three children, about being a parent of a little girl, about being a parent of two little autistic boys, about moving 5 times in eight years of marriage...

Monday, October 06, 2008

May You Live In Interesting Times...

You know the Chinese have an old curse.

May you live in interesting times.

And we sure live in interesting times. I'm watching Richard Fuld get stretched over the coals for the policies of Lehman Bros. In the words of one analyst I read this morning, he should plead the fifth. Of course, he's not going to. He sure seems to want to clear his name. I guess these guys just feel entitled to making so much money. I guess there is no such thing as too much money to these folks.

And is it just me, or does the whole self righteous tone of the questioning today have a nasty odor of populist grandstanding and hypocrisy?

I wish that the wild ride would slow down a bit, but I have the suspicion things are going to get a bit worse before they get better. I just hope we can still afford to move back home when the dust settles...

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Blythie's view as a consumer

"Mom, if anything happened to Willie Wonka Candy and they went out of business, I would be really bummed. Because I really like Nerds and Gobstoppers and a lot of Willie Wonka Candy."

"And I also really like Wrigley's Chewing Gum, which is something I'm going to miss when we leave Canada."

"But Blythe, Wrigley's is an American company, based out of Chicago, actually."

"Really? Well, no wonder I like them so much. I'm from Chicago, too, you know."

Friday, October 03, 2008

Parenting Multiple Kids on the Spectrum

Okay, so I've been reading about the Discovery Channel's special Autism X6. And while I have a lot of empathy for this family and their struggles, am I the only one who wonders why they have 6 biological children with autism to begin with?

At some point didn't they think to themselves, "Gee, maybe we should just concentrate on the children we have here, or look seriously at adoption if we want to grow our family?"

I have three kids, two of which are autistic. I love each of them and I thank God and the Universe for them every day. And there is a part of me that desperately wants to have more. But I also think that it would be kinda irresponsible for us to bring another child into the world, given that two of the three that I have are already autistic. 1 in 3 odds I might play in Vegas, but not with the lives of my existing family, not to mention the life of that new child.

Because nobody sets out as the goal of parenthood to raise autistic children, right?