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Tuesday is church bazaar day. Not every week, but often, I head off with Twinkle Toes to the town 30 minutes away where the church bazaar is open from 12:30-4:00. There is another used clothing store and a secondhand bookstore as well, so we do our thrifting rounds.

I started doing this semi-regularly on Tuesdays since I started maternity leave. For just about as long, I have noticed another woman and her daughter doing the same rounds as us. I’d run into her in the church bazaar, and later we’d run into each other at the NOVA store.

One time, oh, 6 months or so ago, the other baby girl was out of her stroller and crawling around on the ground. Twinkle Toes was seated in her stroller, staring at the other girl with an expression that can only be described as the baby equivalent to WTF? It appeared to dawn on her that it was possible to NOT be in a stroller while shopping, and this was a revelation, indeed. But I kept Twinkle Toes seated and attached. Aside from acknowledging each other, the woman and I never spoke — until this week.

As we’d already been through the church bazaar, Twinkle Toes was mighty fed up with being in her stroller by the time we got to the NOVA store. (I’m sure her wet diaper wasn’t helping matters.) So we were toodling around, looking at clothes for me, and dishes, saving the toys for last, when along comes the other woman and the other little girl. Oh, Twinkle Toes so badly wanted to get out of the stroller! The two girls were intent on looking at each other.¬†Who is this curious other person who is the same size as me? They both seemed to be thinking. Feeling somewhat self-conscious about keeping Twinkle Toes in her seat, I decided I’d give her a chance to walk around, too.

What followed was magical:

Twinkle Toes stood up and the two girls stood facing each other for quite some time just looking at each other. TT looked a little confused about it at first, but the other girl had a perma-grin on her face. She came closer, and they sized each other up. Tentatively, TT reached out to touch Other Girl. She touched her dark hair. Her fingers went to Other Girl’s eyes and cheeks, but gently. TT took a couple of steps and OG followed, presenting herself and standing in TT’s trajectory as if to say “pay attention to me”. They kind of circled each other this way, facing each other, TT looking at me occasionally, but totally taken with OG. Then, slowly, gently, tenderly, TT reached toward OG with her hands on her shoulders and bent forward and gave her a hug. She gave her a kiss on the cheek, and a hug. This was repeated a few times, and a few times required some motherly support so the two didn’t topple. They did eventually plunk down on their bums — one by accident, the other to join her — and stood up together, and poked each other’s belly buttons, and tried to find their own belly buttons. Eventually, this became a game as one imitated the other, aware that they were communicating with their actions. They made very few sounds. TT tapped a plastic bag I had slung over the stroller handles. She grinned and laughed, and OG came over and did the same. Then TT laughed, and OG laughed. Then TT took OG’s hand, and they started walking (TT leading) through the aisle.

It was adorable and magical. They looked at the necklaces together, they imitated each other with putting them on, and took hands and walked some more.

I’ve never seen something like this before!

OG is two weeks older than TT, who is 15 months old. Unfortunately I didn’t have any way to take a picture of their hugs and new friendship. But I’m hoping to see them again next week, and I’d like to give OG’s mom my phone number. Maybe a play date?

As I type this, TT is in bed — has been for 2 hours now — and has woken up already 3 times. With a stuffy nose. Is it too early to start blaming her friends? Yeah, I’m saying it’s all OGs fault. She had a runny nose on Tuesday. Now Twinkle Toes is all stuffed up. I’m totally placing the blame. ūüėČ




Oh, the turkey soup ran out, so yesterday I made a pot of beef soup. It is dee-licious and helps my congestion and sore throat enormously. Unfortunately, Twinkle Toes has been on a sleepless bent, and no matter how much soup I consume, I don’t think I can overcome this cold at the current rate of 2 or 3 hours of broken sleep a night! Help!

Twinkle Toes, the baby who slept through the night at only a few weeks old, and was consistently good about sleeping, even putting herself to sleep, now wakes up every hour or two. Sigh.

Oh, first I thought it was the diapers were too small, and so I went up to the next size prefolds hoping more absorbency = less wetness = less wakeups. But no, then Twinkle Toes got some teeth, and teething pain kept her up and nursing. Somehow, I think she got into the very bad habit during that time of only sleeping if one of my nipples was in her mouth. Invariably, milk would let down and she would drink, but not because she was thirsty. This meant more peeing, more wet diapers and also waking up with burps… vicious cycle!

Now with this cold of hers-ours, she’s stuffy, but she also seems to have two more teeth coming in. … and¬†I am one tired mom.

I can’t fight a cold if I’m exhausted! I’m using saline spray to ease the congestion, hompeopathic throat spray, herbal teas, this fab beef soup, zinc and vitamin D supplements, coconut oil on poor chapped lips and nose… But what a world of good it would do if baby would let me sleep.


Any ideas on how to get Twinkle Toes to sleep longer on her own? Just plain encouragement would be good, too!

I’m opposed to crying it out, but have tried “crying in arms” with varying degrees of success. I’ve had¬†Rupert go in and rub her back or rock her back to sleep to break the milk habit, but although he often manages to get her back to sleep, it usually isn’t for long. An hour later, she’s up again. Last night was particularly rough, and still no signs of a nap on the horizon this morning .

Here at Cat Creek house, we’ve all been showing the signs of a long winter without enough vitamin D. Twinkle Toes has had Roseola and¬†an ear infection. Meanwhile, Miss Teen¬†progressed from¬†a sore throat last weekend to stuffiness¬†which she¬†passed onto Twinkle Toes who is now a snot-machine. Last night my immune system started to cave into the pressure,¬†and this morning I have the beginnings of a sore throat and sinus congestion. Yay! So far, Young Jedi and Rupert have not succumbed.

Lest I start to wallow in my problems, what’s a green, whole-foods woman to do? Turkey soup, of course! I had turkey soup for breakfast, two bowls of it. Twinkle Toes can’t feed herself soup yet, so I fried up a couple of eggs in butter with a sprinkle of sea salt, and drizzled the broth over them for her.

A good bone broth soup is my go-to remedy for colds and other ailments. Here are some of the things I do to make a rich, thick healing broth:

Be prepared. Save and frreze all bones from roasts or other dishes. When it comes time for soup, you will have a good selection to choose from. I also freeze the ends and peelings¬†of veggies that we don’t eat — carrot, parsnip¬†and celery stems and tops, etc. Add them in with the bones for more flavour.

Know your flavours. I prefer turkey soup over chicken soup, so I like to keep some turkey bones on hand to throw in with my chicken carcasses. I find the soup has more flavour that way. Pig’s feet are great for making a super thick broth, and lamb has a distinctive flavour. Another combination I like is pork, beef and lamb.

Low and slow, baby. Initially bring the water with the bones to a boil, but then turn down the heat and allow it¬†to simmer on low for 24 hours or more. Make sure your stove top does a good simmer, or you may have to keep checking the soup that it doesn’t cool down to bacteria breeding temps, and doesn’t run away and start boiling when you aren’t looking.

Be a leachy leech. Add some acid in the form of vinegar or lemon juice to to encourage the bones to let go of a little more of their mineral and gelatin goodness.

Be picky. After the bones have simmered for a good long while and cooled, strain the liquid. I use a slotted spoon to scoop out all the bones and veggie ends. These I pile into a stainless steel mixing bowl and I then sort through it, separating any bits and pieces of meat or marrow from the rest. Depending on how well cleaned off your bones were, there may be a fair amount of meat to throw back into the pot. Everything else goes into the garbage. Although I would prefer to be able to compost this waste, I am content to know that I got the maximum nutrition out of the food.

Build it up. Now that you have a wonderful rich broth, you can put some aside to freeze or just start throwing in whatever else you want in it. In our house, parsnips are an absolute must, as is cabbage. I love cabbage. It is inexpensive, usually locally grown and very nutririous. For even more bang, add sauerkraut instead–bonus points if it’s home made.¬†Try celery, some diced tomatoes or whatever is in season. I prefer to not include starchy food like potatoes, rice or noodles as they just disintegrate into mush and change the consistency of the soup. Besides, you don’t need all that starch.

Spice it up. Experiment with your favourite flavours. I like to add bay leaves, coriander seeds, red pepper flakes, garlic, sea salt and whole pepper corns.

I’m off to get another bowl … hopefully in a couple of days I’ll have this¬†spring cold licked!

What are your go-to cold remedies? Do you have any soup-making tips?

My Etsy Shop

A little bird told me…

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