Wednesday, June 30, 2010

My Drug of Choice

My drug of choice is "SLEEP". I discovered this in the last week after getting at least 6 hours straight sleep every night. Its like I am on a total high, like someone has slipped something into my drink. Everything is lovely and even when the kids are being naughty they are still as cute as pie. Six hours sleep you say, that isn't much. Well you know what, I'm OK with six hours and I don't want to push my luck, I am thankful for what I am getting.

For those of you without children, you have NO idea. Oh yeah young people I hear you saying, "what I go out and don't sleep all night sometimes". Yes that may be, but you haven't felt the result of continued loss of sleep on a daily basis, for months on end. Every night only sleeping in 2 to 3 hour segments. Yes it adds up but you can never really get into that nice deep sleep that makes you feel alive in the morning.

There is a reason they use sleep deprivation as a form of torture, it makes you go loopy. New mums you haven't lost your marbles , you are just not getting enough sleep. I have a 5 month old boy who is only just now starting to sleep through (due to hunger). Over those months I thought I had permanently lost brain cells. I was forgetting everything, getting grumpy at the kids all the time and feeling overwhelmed by the simplest of tasks.

Well now after the week of at least 6 hours straight sleep every night I feel fantastic. I have my energy back. My memory is slowly returning, although I still forget at least 4 things on the shopping list that is mainly because we have baby meltdowns half way through. I feel like a normal human again and as I said everything my kids do seems to be absolutely wonderful. Probably because my kids are wonderful, super cute and so kind and caring (yes I am their mum I am allowed to say that).

The first child is usually a bit of a shocker on the sleep front, mainly because you are unaccustomed to getting no sleep. Then you child hits 3 or 4 months and starts sleeping (normally) and you get all hormonal and think it would be wonderful to have another child.

WARNING: Having a second child means a lot less sleep. For some reason having a second child makes the first child mysteriously wake every night in between the babies feeds. Also day time naps for mumma just are not in the books, as there is a toddler running around hitting you with the nearest toy every time you close your eyes. Thanks to the Wiggles you also get a "WAKE UP MAMMA". If by any chance both children happen to sleep at the same time, you are so wired from lack of sleep that all you can do is race around like a headless chock trying to get everything done, cleaning, cooking etc etc etc.
So all I can say is think wisely before you let the hormones take over.......Sleep is special.... Talking about sleep I think I will retire now and get my 6-7 hours worth ahhhhh life is good.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Chocolate Gateau - Easy Recipe

Yes I actually made this, for people that know me they would be amazed.  Granted it doesn't look super pretty but dam it tasted good.  If only I had coffee essence as the coffee version tastes even better.  I thought I had better share this recipe as if I can make it then pretty much anyone can make it.

I can't take credit for this recipe, the lovely golfers at Pahiatua golf club are and in particular Nola Fergus is responsible.  The Golf club publishes a recipe book every year, including their favourite recipes and dam they are brilliant, these ladies are geniuses.

Sponge - gateau
Beat 4 large eggs, add 1 cup sugar and 2 Tbsp. Hot water, beat until thick.
Fold in 1 cup self raising flour.
Bake in 2x9inch (23cm) tins.
20 minutes at 198.C

Chocolate:-Use above mixture, using only 3/4 cup of flour and 1/2 cup of cocoa powder.
Add extra 2 Tbsp. Water.
Ice with chocolate icing.

Coffee:- Same mixture add 1 Tbsp. Coffee essence.
Ice with coffee icing.
Filling:- 4 oz (125gm) butter, 4 Tbsp. Boiling water, 4 oz (125gm) sugar, vanilla essence.
Beat until thick.
For chocolate cake add 1 tsp. Cocoa to filling ingredients.
For coffee cake add 1-2 tsp. Coffee essence.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Proud Mumma moment

It was Friday evening and Hubby called up from work saying should we go out for dinner tonight. Since it had been over 6 months since we had been out to dinner with the kids I said "Why not". So he booked in very early to avoid the crowds that are inevitable at Monteiths on a Friday.

So we turned up at about 5:15pm and I could see the people around us doing that 'oh no they have kids' look, although I think the two high chairs should have clued them on to that one slightly earlier. We secured both kids in their highchairs, and only put the 2 year old in there so that she couldn't escape. It was great, lovely food and a good atmosphere. Luckily it was slightly loud in there so when my daughter decided to use her outside voice we didn't get any stares. It was great, as she is old enough now to understand manners and listens when we explain why she should or shouldn't do something. Whether she actually does it is another thing.

For once I was fully prepared, I am notorious for forgetting important things. I even remembered to bring my daughters travel colouring set that I put together for her. I made that out of an old zip up diary and she loves.

Whilst sitting there I did comment to my husband that we had a cone of silence around us. Where there was at least one table free right the way around us. I giggled to myself as I always used to be one of those people that say "oh no not sprogletts (children)". Now I am one of the people with the dreaded sprogletts.

When we had been there an hour and were just about to leave, a lady came up to us and said "I just want to let you know that you have beautiful kids and they are so well behaved and quiet". Ahhhhhh at that moment I felt like the best mum in the world.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The little things

Some people get their thrills out of going to concerts, going on overseas trips or buying new fast cars. Myself I get excited about the small things in life. I always have and hopefully always will. Don't get me wrong I love new cars etc, but I probably get more excited by the number of drink holders than the actual car (sorry car enthusiasts).

Its the small things that make me happy. A caramel cappuccino, poached eggs on toast oh and I hate to say it but a McDonalds breakfast. Sunshine on your face after days of rain. The smell of nice clean washing coming in from the line. Gentle raindrops on the roof when you are about to go to sleep. The smell of freshly cut grass. It has always been the small things that put a smile on my face and make me truly happy.

Since having children I feel like those happy moments have been multiplied. It seems every time I turn around my daughter is doing something that makes me smile and laugh. Like when I ask her if she can do something for me and she says "oh no I can't, I too busy", don't worry she still has to do what I ask but I get a good laugh as well. Then when my son smiles and giggles at me, I wonder if anything could be as special as that.

I am lucky that I get such happiness out of the small things as life is short and unpredictable at the best of times. So I think we need to enjoy every moment especially when it comes to spending time with your family and friends.

Live life and love every moment.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Packing for 2 kids

We are going for a short visit to my mums house this weekend. I was just getting used to travelling with my two year old daughter. She is potty trained now so her bag is substantially smaller than it used to be. I just pack her clothes as I would pack my own, maybe with a few extra pairs of underwear and pants. Since her clothes are soooooo much smaller than mine it means she only needs a little bag.

Now I have to pack for a 5 month old as well, oh man. It seems silly that when you go and visit someone for two days that you take 50 bags and just about need a roof rack to hold everything. Ok it isn't hat bad, at least there is a cot, blankets and thousands of toys at mum and dads. Otherwise that car would really be packed to the rafters, with porta cot, blankets, teddy's for baby, nappies, clothes and toys for my daughter etc etc etc. Not to mention the two Nelly's (my daughters little soft toy doll she sleeps with).

Why two Nelly's you ask? Well after my daughter got so attached to the first Nelly, I decided if I wanted to wash the doll I was going to have to get a second one to add to the rotation. This worked well for a few months, I would sneakily switch the Nelly's to wash one and give her a nice clean one to cuddle. That is until she discovered the second Nelly in the washing basket. Well she came into the lounge with the BIGGEST smile on her face declaring "Two Nelly's". Alas we haven't been able to separate the two Nelly's since. On the bright side, I'm just pleased we didn't get four Nelly's like some people do, otherwise we would now be lugging around all four Nelly's at once.

Nappies are another thing I hate packing. Now I am a reusable Nappy girl, Tots Bots reusable nappies are my nappy of choice, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE them. I usually lug around my bucket with clean fluffy nappies in it, my nappy covers and material wipes. But I am afraid to say that I have had a sick little girl all week and have had to wash multiple sets of sheets, bedding, clothes, carpet, towels plus the normal washing. After this mamoth washing week I am kind of over washing. The fact is that I have just cleared the back log of dirty washing that was sitting in the garage, or should I say consuming the garage. Now I have one large double bedroom dedicated to clothes racks and drying washing with one poor little dehumidifier.

So I made the executive decision, I am having two days off from reusable nappies. Sorry earth but I am tired and need a break. Oh I know you don't get a break from being polluted but sometimes a mumma needs a rest. Talking about taking a break, I just remembered that my little man is now on solids so I have to pack all of those goodies as well (sigh). Again I usually make my own food for him, but I think I will just pop to the supermarket and take the easy way out this time. Thank you modern society you really do make things easy for us when we really need it.
Oh well I should probably stop writing about it and actually get started packing.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Lego my hero

I visited my parents this weekend and when I left they sent me packing with my old Lego from when I was a child. I have to admit I was DAM excited about getting home and having the chance to play with it. Although I didn't know if it would be the same without the other half of it. My brothers half that is. I always had the houses, post offices and a few cars and trucks. My brother had the roads, space ships and other vehicles. Basically between the two of us we had a little Lego empire. Cue evil laugh (Mew ha ha ha ha ha).

Anyway after getting the Lego home, my daughter and I spent 2 hours sorting it out and putting it into its little slidy trays. That was a great job for a 2 year old as she LOVES sorting colours. To be honest it was a life saver and a great way to waste away the hours. Especially when a certain mumma forgot that there was a 4 hour power cut. So there we were sitting in the lounge in our PJ's playing with Lego until 2pm.

Had I realised there was going to be a power cut I would have had us all showered and dressed by the cut off. Alas I was fighting a bug and relaxing watching TV when KA-BANG everything turned off. Well the look on my daughters face was priceless, wide eyes and hands in the air she said "What did you do, Mumma?". Even after the explanation she still wasn't very happy. But I now think she understands as yesterday the TV flicked off (due to some sky TV problem) and she turned to me and said "Ah its the power, aye mum". You have to love 2 year olds and their ability to pick up new words in a flash.

After power had been re-connected and all was right in the world again, I had a chance to play with my Lego. Yes I said my Lego and I will play with it as much as I want, I may be in my thirties but Lego is a toy for everyone. I made my daughter little houses that she could pull apart, open doors and windows and put mail in the little mail boxes. I always thought my daughter had a short attention span, something I am guessing her mother gave to her. Well when she is playing with Lego the short attention span just disappears. She played with the houses I built her for over an hour and keeps on coming back to them.

Although she is to small to make anything fun with the Lego boy can she have fun playing with it and putting the Lego flowers and trees inside the Post Office. Anyway I have to go and make more fun things with my Lego.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Home grown

I knew I was getting old when I started to watch the news, preferred staying in rather than going out and started growing my own vegetable garden.

I grew up on the farm so I am used to seeing giant vegetable patches that produce all of your vegetable needs. When I moved to the city and lived in rented properties I had all but given up on the idea of producing my own vegetables .
Cue TV cooking shows that had chefs growing their own kitchen
gardens. For example, James Martin Digs Deep and
River cottage, which I quickly become addicted too.

Hubby and I were inspired, surely we could grow something in our tiny wee 2 metre square garden. By this time we were living in our own home, so we could dig up what and where we wanted, to create our little slice of vegetable paradise.

We started small and brought in some actual soil and sheep poo thanks to dad (our section was all rocks and clay). Hubby was in control of most of it as I was known to be a bit of a black finger (aka every plant I touched, died). That was until at 7 months pregnant Hubby decided to go and play Grid Iron Football and totally destroy his patella (the thing that holds your knee together). What followed was a few weeks spent in hospital and months of not being able to move from the chair. He gave me strict instructions while in hospital, "I must take care of the garden and NOT let anything die". Crap I thought, how the hell am I going to do that.

Alas the stress of killing his garden made me spend many hours out there taking care of it. Which made me realise something important. In order to be a green finger you actually had to put some time and effort into your garden.

So without realising it Hubby had created a big fat pregga lady who was now obsessed with gardening. Some people get cats or dogs when pregnant. So that they can nurture them and take care of them, its just what pregnant people do. Well my baby was my garden and boy did I go nuts nurturing it. Hubby would quite often look out the lounge window to see a 9 month pregga person pulling out the few remaining shrubs and digging up the garden to create more space for my precious vegetables. He would quite often bang on the window with his crutch yelling at me to get in side and stop doing crazy things, that it was dark outside now. I would religiously water it and fertilise it every week. Yell and squash bugs if they dared to attack my precious wee pants.

All this pregnant green finger craziness created a brilliant productive little vegetable patch that not only provided our vegetable needs but our neighbours as well. Now alas we have moved to a bigger house and have had to start all over again. I will post our successes and failures of dealing with a slightly different environment, our new gardens and crazy looking bugs when I get the chance. In the mean time happy gardening.

PS: All the pictures are actually of my little garden.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

I thought putting my latest creation up here might encourage me to paint more, sorry about the photo it is a little wonky, but the painting is hanging up in the front door area and I couldn't get a better angle.  At the moment I am just painting to decorate our house which is very bland with hardly any pictures on the wall.  Also painting pictures for family presents, poor people, when you give someone a painted picture they feel obliged to hang it up even if they don't like it.  But we have a rule for grown up Christmas presents, that we only give presents that we made.  It makes you think and be a little creative and so much fun.

Monday, June 7, 2010

A little ray of sunshine on a cloudy day

I was sitting down finally having a rest after putting both kids to bed.  Tired after a night of taking care of a little girl with a tummy bug, changing sheets after sheets.  Washing clothes, clothes and more clothes after she was sick on us all.  When the door bell rang, I got a little ray of sunshine.  Clare from goshorty was stopping by to drop off the dribble bibs and beanie that I had ordered for my little man.  Wow they are cool, not sure what it is about baby gear but it is so dam exciting.  I wish I could sew but alas I can't and even if I could I doubt my creations would be anywhere as brilliant as these goshorty ones.

Check out her website, facebook page and blog
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Sunday, June 6, 2010

Man flu has arrived

OK man flu has officially hit our house. Lucky for me, the rest of us have already had it, so I only have the one grown man to take care off. OK apart from the fact that we have a sick wee girl that must have a tummy bug today.

I can't blame hubby for feeling so sick though , I had this flu about three weeks ago and it was hideous, in fact at one stage I remember saying "Oh my gosh I think I have the man flu" it was that bad. In saying that, I was at my sickest during the week so I was looking after both kids at the same time as feeling like a bus had run me over. Sure I wasn't paying them my fullest attention, after all I did have trouble keeping my eyes open. But baby had clean nappies on and they were both being fed. Unlike hubby I found it very difficult to get any sleep during the day time and I fully blame the Wiggles for this. Every time I closed my eyes my daughter would race up to me and yell "WAKE UP MUMMA, WAKE UP".

Bonus is that I am now feeling pretty dam spiffing and I am all ready to be nurse to hubby (get your mind out of the gutter please). For the first time in ages I also have full sympathy for how his is feeling. Normally I am the fit and healthy one who never gets sick and although I try to take good care of him I really don't feel very sorry for him (I will admit to that). Now having crawled my way through the flu with only Pandol (thanks breast feeding), I am being the best nurse ever. I am anticipating his every need, making sure he is fully hydrated and fed. Gosh I am feeling all saint Teresa-ish here. Lets hope this flu doesn't last too long, I am not sure I can do this sainthood thing for any extended period of time.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Play and activity mat

When I was pregnant with my first child I decided to start something that would keep me busy and utilise my creativeness.  I came up with this giant activity mat.  It was hard to get a picture of this one as it is giant, about three meters by two meters.  I painted onto the calico with material pants, that you iron on after the paint dries.  I painted a collection of pictures and words on the mat and also added numbers, English and Arabic and the alphabet. I initially wanted to put a waterproof cover on the back but due to the lack of my sewing skills and my uncooperative very old sewing machine, I pulled out of that idea. 

My two year old is just really starting to enjoy it and loves me shouting out a word and she then runs and jumps on the matching picture.  It is also great for my 4 month old little boy to roll around on as it stops him eating hairy carpet.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Inside Acitivies with my 2 year old

Making Finger puppet butterflies

It has been raining for way to long now, so I decided that I needed some special activities for my little girl to do.  While watching some of the many hours of Kids Zone that I seem to be watching these days, I saw this idea and thought it was brilliant.  My daughter loves stickers and zooming around like a crazy person so something that incorporates both was a goer.

Remember that all I did was cut out the shape (note to self, try and make sure the next butterflies don't look like she is giving the finger).  My daughter stuck the stickers on, where ever she wanted to.  Then I wrapped a bit of cardboard around my finger and stick that to the back of the butterfly after she had decorated it and we were ready to fly.

After this we proceeded to zoom around the lounge being butterflies.  This held my daughters attention for a good 30mins, which is kind of a record with her.  I am now motivated to do more fun activities.  More updates soon.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Crazy, messy, clean

I made a pact with myself recently, to keep myself and my house in a presentable state. Simple task you may think, alas not when you are me. Its not that I am a messy person its just that I seem to have inherited a lazy gene, when it comes to keeping a nice house. Add to that mix, the fact that I have a 2 1/2 year old little girl that is like a toy hurricane and a 4month old little boy to take care of.
So I set myself the following rule: I will have the house and myself in a presentable state at all times.
This means that anyone can knock on my door at any point in the day and I will not be embarrassed about what I am wearing or the way my house looks. When I say at any point in the day I mean after 9am and before 9pm any other time you may catch me in my snuggly PJ's.

I set this pact with myself as I was sick of looking like a homeless person, who was living in a tip (ok my house wasn't that bad). We never used to get random visitors, we always had some sort of warning. So when hubby told me that we were having visitors in 10min,s I would literally scream and race around the house like a looney toon. Picking up toys and books and throwing them in the nearest cupboard. Shoving dishes in the already full dishwasher and vacuuming right up until the second that the visitors knocked on our door. I would have to get hubby to answer the door as by that time ,I had built a bit of a sweat up, from running around like a mad person. Plus I usually had to race upstairs to put some half decent clothes on and lashings of mascara.
Since we moved and Hubby became best friends with the neighbours, I have had multiple random visits throughout the day and evening. I love this new neighbourhood and the fact that we have neighbours that we like, but it has made me realise that my house isn't the tidiest and I have often been embarrassed by the mess. This is magnified as the neighbours house is spotless at all times. It also made me aware of what I wear and the fact that I hardly ever put on make up any more. After having a child you can sometimes get in a rut when none of your clothes fit properly but you refuse to wear maternity clothes as you are no longer pregnant. Well, my son was 3 months old and I actually fit my clothes so I had no excuse to be wondering around in my track pants (with holes in them, in the butt area to be specific). Added to that is the fact that I like looking nice and having a clean and tidy house. It makes me feel at peace with the world.
So I am embarking into a cleaner and more fashionable lifestyle. I struggle, I am trying to retrain my mind. So that I put things away, clear the benches every night and make sure all the folded washing is away each night (that part seems to be the struggle). Not sure where I got this lazy streak from as my mother is a clean freak and to top it off my mother-in-law is even more of a clean freak. My ultimate goal, the point that I know I have reached total cleanness is if I pass the Mother-In-Law test. If she comes to my house and doesn't try and clean or tidy anything, then I will know I have reached the peak of cleanliness, my Mount Everest of clean and tidy, my ultimate aim. OK in all honesty I will probably never reach that summit and I should probably make a more realistic aim, like reaching the cleaning summit of Mount Fiji or Mount Cook. After all I would like a life as well as a clean house.

Do not fear tidiness will prevail. I will not fall victim to my own laziness.

I feel like a Hippy tonight

Tonight I feel like a bit of a hippy. We have just finished dinner of Dahl (lentils) curry with homemade preserved lemon.  I will follow that with a homemade double layered butter cake with butter icing (not so healthy, I know). I would have included a picture of the lentils but lets be honest, they don't look pretty.

I have not included a recipe for the Dahl curry, as I am not sure if anyone would actually be into that. Plus I have no idea what I actually put in it. I am a bit of a random chef and throw a bit of this and a bit of that, then if it doesn't taste quite right I throw a bit more in. Plus I used my secret spice mix from my mother-in-law (authentic Indian).

I have to say the curry was exactly what we needed, both Hubby and I were feeling a little unhealthy and lacking in vegies. Plus it tasted dam delicious, warmed the cockles of my heart, it did (smiling as I say that). Perfect for this cold and rainy weather we have been having.

Hubby is a bit reluctant to just eat vegetables so I threw a tin of tuna at him, I think he realised afterwards that he didn't actually need it. The perfect mix to the meal were our homemade preserved lemons, that hubby made(will put a seperate post on these). These weren't actually that preserved as they had only been in the jar a week, but we were too excited not to try them.

To follow soon will be my lovely butter cake, iced pink just to annoy the boys of the house, there is nothing more amusing to me than watching two guys digging into a pink cake, with hundreds and thousands on it. I double layered the cake just to put more butter filling/icing in it.  I also swiped some strawberry jam in between the layers as well. That will end the healthy start to my meal as I know how much butter and sugar went into this cake, not for the faint hearted I have to say.

For the cake I used the Butter Cake recipe in the Edmonds cook book, and butter filling for the filling and icing. I LOVE THE EDMONDS COOK BOOK, it is my present of choice for people leaving home, it has every basic recipe you could need in just the one cook book. I have lots of other cook books but that is the only one I refer to regularly. Love you Edmonds.
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