Wish I could get a picture of

My husband and a mover-guy are in the balcony, lowering our sofa down to the ground from the second floor. It's the first snow storm of the year and everything is covered in snow! Not to mention, our flat (apartment) is the second floor of a heritage house here and the floors are slanty ... Seriously slanty. Anything round, including the wheels on our son's high chair, will roll to the middle of the house. (Unfortunately, "anything" also includes cat vomit ... Ewww)
So it's very dicey right now, with two men and a large leather couch that came in by the balcony but during less inclement weather, on a balcony seemingly designed to dump you off into the street. I'm just trying to stay out of the way and entertain the baby ... I want to be involved but there's barely enough room for one person, never mind three!
Tag me #sittingonmyhands
But - here is a picture I took from our window this morning, showing what we woke up to, having decided today was packing the Uhaul day and tomorrow is the drive out of town day.

Mostly Mommy

Quiche glorious quiche

I absolutely love making quiche again!
I went off it for years and forgot pretty much everything since my kids are often fussy eaters or at the very least, they don't like the same things. Really though, once it came back to me, I realized how flexible they can be. The one in the picture below has cauliflower, mozzarella and ripped up pepperoni slices. Really, anything goes and because of the secret I'm about to share with you, it's a great weeknight meal. It's also great if you make several on Sunday and heat them up for a few night's meals.

The crust is the big secret. This is a delicious, flaky crust and it whips up in no time at all with ingredients most of us have on hand.
2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup COLD water (I put ice cubes in during the whisking stage)
Mix flour and salt in a bowl
Separately whisk ice cold water with olive oil - you'll see it thicken and this is good! Pour into the flour and mix with a fork until it becomes a ball of dough. Press into your quiche pan. tada! Put it in the fridge until you use it.

As I said, the quiche pictured has cauliflower (tastes amazing in quiche!), pepperoni pieces and mozzarella. I steamed the cauliflower and after it cooled a bit, I put the cauliflower and cheese into the quiche shell in the pie pan. The custard (that's what they called the egg mixture that I pour in to bind everything together) is one that I took away from the Swiss cheese and mushroom quiche recipe from the Moosewood cookbook.
Three or four eggs, depending on your quiche pan size and fullness. I use four but I don't end up using it all so ... you'll figure out what works for you.
4 eggs
1/4 cup of milk
3 tbsp flour
1 tsp mustard powder
Pepper and salt

These are fly by the seat of my pants directions but I haven't had a quiche fail yet.

Let me know how these instructions work for you and I will post improvements to the recipe and/or instructions.

When the snow starts to fall

Well, that's a crazy-making lead in!
First of all, there should be a mountain of snow outside the door of my current residence here in Montreal, Canada, and there is none. There's been a light snowfall but it was washed away by rain - which is normal for where I've been for the winters of the last 15 years, British Columbia.

Secondly, I am so relieved that the snow is behind schedule as we are about to drive, with our worldly belongings, across the country - Montreal to Vancouver.
Although we have a total of six kids in our blended family, only our youngest, 7 month old DS, will be in the vehicle with my DH and me.
Thank goodness! The car battery couldn't charge ALL of our devices for that long!
We have a wonderful vehicle for the trip and we are planning to rent a Uhaul as well. Unfortunately, when I asked them if their vehicles have winter tires, the response was a rather flippant "it's hard to put them on and take them off but feel free to buy some yourself". Seriously. If that is an indication of future customer service, I'm looking at alternatives. Anyone have any ideas?
We will be tweeting and blogging merrily across the country "when the snow starts to fall"! Won't you join us?
Mostly Mommy

My holiday wish

For the holiday season of 2012, my wish is for my whole family to be together.

We have one of these modern "blended" families. It's been a struggle for all of us (this story goes well beyond a seasonal wish) because we are geographically separated. Not just a short drive either. Three of the kids are about 5000 miles away - and one of them has been temporally separated from us in such a painful rendering, I don't touch on that spot.

Between my husband and I, we have six children, with 5 parents. I'm so grateful for the time we spend together but it's been piecemeal so...

In my holiday wish, we are all in the same place at the same time, enjoying the emotional wealth that our big family affords.

Is Santa/the universe listening? I think he/it is.

Towards that end, the MostlyMommies family is about to embark on a cross-country journey. Join us! And please - seriously - keep an eye on us as we drive because it's winter and ... well, it's cold, snowy and just a little scary!!!

Mostly Mommy

Food my kid will like! Shepherds Pie with a Christmas twist

Wow! That's what I'll say about this meal.
Then I will say - ALL of the kids and adults at the table ate until we could eat no more.
THEN I will say I got them to eat peas, broccoli, corn, potatoes, beef, pork and turkey. All of that, all of them.

Homemade pretzels!

As always, I started from something on Pinterest. (Click here for original recipe I am, working from.)
I love pretzels. I can't remember the last time I had them. It never occurred to me to make them myself so when I saw this recipe and it looked easy I thought why not? If the kids like them even better but at least I'll probably like them.

Magic dessert with one healthy ingredient

Okay this does not even count as a recipe since it really only has the one magic ingredient. Anything I add after that is just the cherry on top... Hmmm, come to think of it, I think I'll try cherry sometime!
It really is as easy as this.

Baby diapering innovation I can't wait to use

Remember I saw those cool sticker thermometer thingamabobs last week? They're on the way ... but now I've seen this new thing and I am so excited!
I have always (and if you do the math, I've been diapering for ... 8 or 9 years of the last 12 so LOTS of diapering) had trouble with squirmy babies during diaper changes and don't even get me started on the "kicks in the face vs. kicks into a full diaper mess, which is worse" debate! This new, mom-designed SnuggWugg let's you change your baby from pretty much any age at which point they start kicking and rolling over, and not suffer ill consequences.
Not only is that a miracle I am anxious to experience as my DS is 6 months now and really getting into the squirmy stage but the story behind the SnuggWugg is one of the "yay Moms" feel good stories of 2012. Head over and read about the SnuggWugg and it's inventor, Lisa Cash Hanson.

I want a SnuggWugg but I was also motivated to continue being creative and positive! In the long run, that may be even more beneficial!

Mostly Mommy

Gorgeous new swaddling blankets

I can never seem to have enough swaddling blankets and these lush, rich colors from aden + anais are going to be a welcome addition to my home. I love muslin fabrics! These colors are just beautiful and I think they are visually stimulating for Arthur.

Baby Gear: aden + anais Swaddling Blankets - Its a Wrap Colorful Swaddling Blankets

from: The Land of Nod
These swaddling blankets also come in bamboo in different patterns.

Baby Gear: aden + anais Grey Swaddle Blankets - Grey Bamboo Swaddling Blankets

from: The Land of Nod
Did swaddling work for you? If not what did? I also wear my baby in a wrap and he nurses and sleeps there while I ... blog! It's the only way to get those moments in!
Mostly Mommy

New tools for parents! Continuous monitoring fever stickers? YES!

Alright, who invented these and didn't tell me? I mean really, a cute sticker I can leave on to monitor my wriggly baby's fever? Genius. I just wandered across it like that but it makes me wonder "what else am I missing?"
Physio Logic Fever-Bugz Stick-On Fever Indicators - I don't want my son to get sick but I do want to try these so.... ;-)

Activities for autistic children online and offline - UPDATED

Hi Mommies! (mostly)

I feel bad when I see our visitors return and find no new activities posted! So this morning, I am putting in some time to list for you my favorite activities (both online and offline) and crafts. While they are fun to do with all your wee ones too, these can be especially fun and stimulating for autistic children.

Free home safety starter kit - still child proofing after all these years!

From HomeMade Simple, visit this page for a free starter kit as well as several videos and tutorials on home safety for children. There are First Aid kit lists too and I absolutely have to put together one for the car.
I am amazed child proofing doesn't seem to end at any age!

What's the last thing your wee (or not so wee) one got into?
HomeMade Simple free home safety starter kit

Stop your iPhone from tracking you in iOs 6

This is a short video tutorial I made showing how to disable the newly re-added tracking feature in iOs 6.
If you've upgraded to iOs 6 on your iDevice or if you have an iPhone 5, you may want to stop your iPhone from transmitting information about your habits to advertisers. Some people don't mind being tracked. I am not one of them.
This step takes less than a minute and keeps a little more of your information private - why give away your information? Maybe someday they'll offer an incentive to give this information out but until then, I will continue to disable these functions as often as possible.
The written steps follow the video below.
If you need more help, add a comment below and I will help if I can.

How to disable the tracking in your iPhone running iOs 6.
Go to Settings.
Go to General. (This caught me by surprise since I was looking under Privacy.)
Go to About. (Again, considering all the other options under General, About seemed like the least obvious place to put this option.)
At the very bottom of the About menu, choose Advertising.
Turn the switch On to limit your iPhone tracking you.

Cradle cap home remedy

Cradle cap
Or "cradle crap" as we've lovingly renamed it in our house. Bane of bald or peach fuzzed kids like mine because its so immediately visible on the scalp and it just won't go away with bath time. It can though! And without anything harsh so here we go.
You will need:
A shallow bowl with a little (maybe a tablespoon or two? I don't know ... A thin layer on the bottom of your bowl.)
Soft baby brush (they seem to come in every baby kit thing out there - where are all these babies with enough hair to brush?)
Get a little bowl of olive oil. My go-to oil! 
Dip your fingertips into the oil and then massage the oil onto your baby's scalp.
 I was quite generous because he seemed to really enjoy the massaging too. At this point is when I got my little guy into his bath and brushed the cradle crap out but you can brush before the bath time. Depends on your preference.

Get your soft brush - the really soft, not-good-for-much-else, bristled kind only - and massage the scalp in small circles.
 After about 30 seconds to a minute, take a look at the brush. Egads! See that cradle c(r)ap on the bristles? 

Give the brush a rinse and repeat over the entire area affected by the yucky stuff. I said until the brush is clean when you look at it but of course, use your own good parenting judgement. If the scalp appears to redden, stop. Try again later and be more gentle with the brush. The oil really, really is the trick since it loosens the cradle cap bond to the skin. The brush is just a little leverage.
Now bathe that baby! Shampoo the scalp gently and rinse away the rest of the oil and cradle cap.
Quite likely, you have a smiley cradle cap free (for a while) baby, ready to be scooped up into a warm baby towel.
Let me know how it works for you below!

Mostly Mommy

Diaper shortage - where can I get the best prices on diapers now?

There I was, changing a diaper and watching the presidential debate, when I read the tweet that struck fear into my heart like so many mommies around the world - "disposable diaper shortage likely, stockpiling underway".
Stockpiling? Diapers? A diaper shortage crisis??

A fatal explosion at a factory that makes the super-absorbent particles I often find on my son's bum has left the world wondering how to cover their behinds, pun intended. Check out this article at BabyCenter: http://blogs.babycenter.com/mom_stories/100112-worldwide-diaper-shortage-imminent-prices-may-skyrocket/

Sure enough, I checked Walmart where I order my huge box of diapers and it arrives at my door without my being led through aisles of "I didn't know I needed that until I saw it" baby items. Sure enough... The diapers that were $50 earlier this week (!!) are now $65. And there is no way the effect was felt THAT fast so tsk-tsk Walmart for hiking up the price, knowing parents were running for their wallets, screaming "oh my god, what if I have to switch to cloth?!?"

So, I tried my other source of free shipping diapers, at Well.ca. Guess what? $50 still! AND I joined the baby club there so $45!
I liked it so much, I'm giving the MostlyMommies readers this free $10 off $40 coupon code to use on their site. If you enter this coupon code in your cart, you will get $10 off your $40 purchase (buy diapers!) and the kind people at Well.ca will give me $10 off my next $40 purchase too! It's all win-win-win today so here is the coupon code and I really recommend you take advantage before diaper prices change legitimately - they also have great prices on the rest of your family's pharmacy and baby gear needs.

Coupon code: MostlyMommies

New look going live

Alright! I went through a couple of growing pains but I think we are ready to get to adding the content now! Tag me #bitingoffmorethanIcanchew

Instagram, Facebook Page, blog - what's next?

Well, there is the MostlyMommies' Twitter account too. If people decide to follow, I'll add the games and apps links for toddlers there as well. Right now though, I am excited about the addition of an Instagram feed on our homepage, games page and blog. I have set it up to show the hashtag #mostlymommies so that Mommies on Instagram (there are lots of us!) can see their baby and toddler pictures on the MostlyMommies website!

How cool is that? You can show your baby their own picture - on the MostlyMommies website! Then find a game you both enjoy or visit the blog for more crafty and fun ideas.

Of course, it will have to be removed or moderated at least if it is abused so let's enjoy it!

Mostly Mommy

Blog style change up! What do you think?

Okay Mommies! Progress is good and I am updating the MostlyMommies blog. If you've arrived and it's hideous, my apologies - hopefully in the next 39 minutes or it will be less so!

Cardboard stackers! A craft you can actually play with after you're done crafting!

Okay, any age kid will enjoy making the craft, with different skill levels totally adaptable by mommy! And then ... Drum roll ... Any age kid will enjoy playing with the result! These little stackers can be made in varying sizes and colors. They can be used simply as building blocks (sort of) or, I just imagined some sort of Star Trek-style 3D Tic-Tac-Toe! Use the colors to make that one work or come up with your own game and that'll be part of the fun! Thanks for this great craft post goes to... Meaningful Mama

Meaningful Mama: Day #161 Cardboard Stackers

Kids respond to color and choice when they're eating

I found this great idea for serving toddler snacks in an ice cube tray! Serve colorful toddler-sized snacks in an ice cube tray - it refers to another article I read about how children prefer choice and color at meal time. Kids prefer choices and colors when eating I still love the oatmeal pancakes recipe I posted here a while back but I'm always looking for ways to get the kids to eat healthy!