Monday, October 29, 2012

Feeling like I live in some sort of cartoon

We popped to my parents house to check on things while they were away on holiday the other day and I needed to pick all the tomatoes off their plant because a cold front was moving in and we knew they wouldn't be doing any more ripening on the plant.

I had Sophia and Jaiden with me, so I went out the back door, leaving Soph and JJ to watch me through the glass back door. I was picking away and while I did Sophia managed to slip outside to help me pick. I didn't think anything of it cos JJ was still inside, until it came to us going back inside...

Jaiden loves to play with Nana's brooms, which are usually stacked next to the back door. I'd deliberately moved them away from the door cos I didn't want him blocking us out with a broom in the way. However I obviously hadn't moved them far enough away....

Because sure enough, he'd somehow jammed a broom between the back door and a box that sits at the end of the kitchen. I was able to push the door open a couple of inches, but no more. Soph and I were trapped outside, with no phone, no keys, and no one to help!

I did my best not to panic and after uttering a "help me God" prayer, I set to jiggling the door back and forth to try to get the broom to move lower. Luckily it was jammed with the broom bristles at our end, and even better, the door doesn't go right down to the ground, but is slightly raised. I managed to jiggle the broom down to the ground and then shove the door to force to against the bristles and open. Thank God!

I found my phone and called my mum, trying not to laugh too much about what might have been!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Spring forward, Fall back

The clocks changed last night.

Kids' internal clocks do not change overnight.

They woke up at their usual 6am, which was now 5am.

Menard took them downstairs at 5.45am.

I got up at 7.30am (which used to be 8.30am, and about the time JJ gets tired and demands mummy).

M went back to bed.

We're going to the 11am service at church, which is what would have been 12 midday yesterday.

So we're obviously having our extra hour this morning.

The way I see it, Menard is getting his extra hour to sleep. I just get an extra hour looking after the kids!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Wear your cape with pride

This is a word of encouragement for mums, inspired by a friend's facebook status about her son wearing his superhero cape, and then she went on to say she was off to do some cleaning, and I asked if that would be while wearing a cape?!

Hey mum, yes you, the one over there feeling frazzled. You are a hero. You run your home despite a million adversities, you take care of your kids come rain or shine, sickness or health, you cook, you clean, you do a million and one things and yet there's no company award or pay bonus for doing what you do.

But you know what? You're a super hero. You are!

So go ahead, wear your cape with pride, knowing that you're the best woman for the job.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


sickness bug over the weekend

coughs and sneezes and head cold since yesterday

need to upload photos from my camera

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

soothing sisterly love

Jaiden had had over a month of waking up in the night due to teething (4 teeth in 4 weeks, it was a nightmare!)

Once he was done teething he just got in the habit of waking, and we (Menard and I) were so tired that we'd just bring him into bed with us and let him at it with the mummy milk. But I wasn't getting any much sleep, nor was Menard, and I was also getting terribly sore because it wasn't really that he wanted the milk, he just wanted something something to chew on. One night I dreamt that I was a sausage being chewed on!

So, we decided it was time to fight back. We'd try the controlled crying method - checking on him, making him comfortable and safe, but ultimately, if necessary, letting him cry it out rather than sticking him on the boob at the slightest whimper.

We arranged for Sophia to stay at grandparents for a few nights (we had her during the days!) put Jaiden's cot in Sophia's bedroom, and went for it. Wednesday night - he slept through*! Thursday night - he slept through! We concluded that we were waking him, and he was waking us, and that really, it might be best for all concerned if he stayed in that bedroom with Sophia once she was back with us. Menard did a whole heap of work moving things around and making it possible to have Soph's bed on one side and JJ's cot on the other.

On either the Thursday or Friday I was chatting with Sophia, explaining what was happening, and generally trying to big up the idea of the two of them sharing a room. She was all for it, which was a blessing! I was explaining that JJ might wake up in the night* but that it would be ok. She could sing 'Twinkle twinkle' to him (he responds well to that song when she sings it to him, it's very cute). She had a little practice, but then she came out with "STOP CRYING, BE QUIET JAIDEN, I'M SLEEPING". And I thought, yes, that's more likely to be an accurate representation of what will happen!

* When I said that he slept through, what I meant was that although he woke up once or twice, it was only to have a tiny cry or a little chat and then he self-settled back to sleep. When he'd been in our room, he knew we were there, and immediately wanted out.

Monday, October 22, 2012

The parable of banana

There's been sooooo much going on round here, and I desperately want to revive this poor neglected blog. I won't make any promises, cos those always get broken, but I will try to do better.

Last night was the first night that Sophia and Jaiden have shared a room (ok, so they sort of did on Friday, but we ended up bringing Soph's mattress out onto the floor of our bedroom, due to her being poorly... blah blah, big sickness bug, everyone poorly, weekend gone, and that's that!)

We put Jaiden down first and waited for him to go to sleep (we started putting him down awake last week, Wednesday. It took him half an hour to settle the first night, with a couple of checks and cuddles, but now he seems to have got the hang of it and only cries for less than a minute), and then we put Sophia to bed. She's always been a chatter in bed, and we were hoping that she wouldn't wake up her brother. But since on Friday night he slept through tears and puking and much noise and chaos, I was fairly confident he'd be ok.

Menard and I were shattered, so we went to bed too, and listened to Sophie over the baby monitor, attempting not to fall asleep before she did!

And this is one of the things I heard her say. I have no idea what the meaning of this parable is, but I'm sure Sophia could have told you last night!

"...and Jesus said, "here's a banana for you, Sophie, and here's one for you...." "

There you have it, the parable of the bananas.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Chocolate pumpkin and banana muffins

1 and 1/2 cups wholemeal flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon cocoa
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
2 mashed bananas
1/3 cup applesauce
1/3 cup milk (we used skimmed)

Mix flour, baking powder, cocoa and sugar in a bowl.
Mix all the other ingredients in another bowl.
Mix wet and dry ingredients together.
Spoon into mini muffin cases and bake at 180C/350F/gas mark 4 for 25 minutes until they stop singing!
Cool on a cooling rack. Consume.

I used up my self-raising flour in the last recipe, so this time we just used plain.

Again, the applesauce is a replacement for oil and could be replaced back again!

Since the last recipe wasn't that sweet, I decided to experiment with a quarter cup of sugar in this recipe. I expect it could be substituted for honey, although you make need to adjust other liquid levels.

Ok, so they're done. They're slightly odd in that they've puffed up and the outside is crispy, and the inside is a bit gooey on some of them. The ones we've tried we've just sort of squished flat in order to eat them.

Soph thought they were delicious, mind you she would have eaten all the mixture if I'd let her!

Overall, they're quite banana-y and chocolate-y and pretty yummy really. And they've gotta be pretty healthy too!

Courgette, Carrot and Sultana Muffins

1 (generous) cup of self raising wholemeal flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup grated carrot
1/3 cup grated courgette
1/4 cup sultanas
1 egg
1/2 cup applesauce (I used home cooked from scratch)
1/2 cup milk (I used skimmed)

Mix together dry ingredients (inc carrot, courgette and sultanas)
Mix together wet ingredients
Mix wet and dry together
Spoon into mini muffin tins or cases (we used mini muffin silicone cases)
Cook at 180C/350F/gas mark 4 for about 20 minutes. (Carefully) listen to see if they are still making noise, cook a little longer until they're quiet, or test with a skewer or toothpick and cook until it comes out clean. We made 28 mini muffins

As you can see, there's no fat and no sugar, with the applesauce replacing them both. Some of these turned out a little bit dough-y in the middle, think I needed to cook them just a little bit more. They weren't very sweet at all. I think a couple of tablespoons of sugar or honey would probably make them more appealing.

I think they'd be better cooked slightly longer, and with a little more sweetener.

Sophia says she doesn't like the carrot ones, but I pointed out a couple that I said didn't have carrot and she wolfed them down. Ok, so that was a lie, but I was pretty sure it was her hatrid of carrot that was colouring her judgement! While I've written this I'm pretty sure she's had at least one more (hence my reason for doing mini ones!), so I think they've gone down well.

If you don't have applesauce, I'd suggest perhaps use 1/4 cup of oil and 1/4 cup sugar or honey, less if you're happy with a less sweet version.

I took photos, but will have to add them later

Mega muffin bake up

My sister Hannah shared with me her (or that she'd acquired) recipe for beetroot, sweetcorn and carrot muffins. She absolutely loves them. Sophia loved them for the first 2 that she ate, but after that she said that she absolutely did not want to eat them (thank goodness for the freezer, anyway!)

Anyway, all that inspired me, along with a muffin 'formula' I found in The Tightwad Gazette, to attempt to create some fruit and veg muffins of my own (with the intention that they be healthy ish snacks and would sneak some fruit and veg into my daughter!)

And the day for that grand bake up is TODAY.

I intend to share my recipes, and our reactions to them!