popping in

Pip’s list: for times when stringing words together in any coherent manner is just absolutely not going to happen.

I am…

making a ripply crochet rug.
cooking about to head to my kitchen to make banana cake and mung bean kichari.
drinking coffee, spearmint tea and water.
reading Murray Bail’s Eucalyptus after just finishing Tim Winton’s The Riders a few nights ago.
wanting to clean my house Mary Poppins style.
looking for some motivation today.
playing hide and seek every day.
wasting time.
sewing nothing! Must change that.
wishing I would go to bed earlier, but each night I defy myself and stay up late. Damn you Nashville!
enjoying the beginning of Autumn. Oh, how I love love love Autumn.
waiting for some new shoes for Pixie in the post.
liking seasonal yummy delicious Autumnal foods.
wondering whether I will get a new job soon… and what it will be like to leave my girlies.
loving wearing my slippers for the first time this year.
hoping to start a new bedtime routine with the change of season.
marvelling at how well Birdie is going at kindergarten.
needing to do some life admin.
smelling eucalyptus and peppermint oils in my oil burner.
wearing jeans and cardigans and light scarves and loving it.
following my heart.
noticing subtle shifts in the weather, the skies, the landscape.
knowing that when my motivation is lacking, a new day is around the corner.
thinking about putting the kettle on.
bookmarking job advertisements…
opening pencil cases for the kiddies.
giggling at the antics of two sisters.
feeling a little bit tired, a little bit slow, but also optimistic.

Link up in the comments below if you decide to play, so I can pop over and have a read. xo

feeling grateful

Yesterday I caught myself saying a number of variations of:

I AM HAVING THE WORST DAY.

I started stomping my feet a bit and frowning. I growled at the girls and I ate pizza and a magnum for dinner because I had the WORST DAY and I totally deserved it.

I woke up this morning feeling a little ashamed. Because the night before my WORST DAY I was busy signing petitions and sharing things on facebook and getting so so so very angry about the terrible situation asylum seekers are finding themselves in Australia’s abysmal detention centres. I listened to the voices of real asylum seekers as they rang to inform our Asylum Seeker Resource Centre about what has been going on at Manus Island the past few days. I read articles about shit shit shit stuff. I thought about the pregnant women being separated from their small children to be brought to the mainland to give birth, often in late pregnancy with dubious support prior. I thought about our Government thinking that this is an OK thing to do. I thought about all the people I know who don’t give a shit or don’t care to research this issue or don’t care enough to look outside their own lives and care about someone else’s.

And then I had the nerve to wake up yesterday and go about my day as if it was the WORST DAY. Which it absolutely, totally and completely was not.

Sure, I may have had a few hiccups in the morning. I may have come up against some challenges.

Sure, I may have left two folders worth of confidential kinder documents on the roof of my car while I buckled up the Pixie and drove off only to realise when I got home that they were gone and have to drive back to find said documents and USB stick sprawled over the main road, run over and ripped and broken, over an area of about 100 metres and then have to run around like a mad woman collecting papers and stopping traffic and being beeped at by a very large truck and angry truck driver man while my children cried in the car. It wasn’t the best.

But it most definitely was NOT the WORST.

I woke up this morning, in a warm cosy bed, I went to a yoga class and was stretched and pulled in all directions by my teacher. I meditated and went home. I fed my two delicious girls breakfast and took them out for a coffee. I gave my big girl vitamin c and good things for her cold. I went to the shops and bought us food and nourishment. I came home and tucked them into warm beds and sat and had a cup of tea. I checked the internet at my leisure and read some blogs. I thought about what I will wear when I go out for dinner tonight.

I feel grateful. So very, very, very, grateful.

homemade natural cold and cough remedies for kids

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I mentioned the other day that little Birdie woke up feeling unwell. Yesterday the first words she sobbed upon waking were: MUMMY! MY NOSE FEELS TEWWIBLE! 

Through the sharing of mummy wisdom, lots of reading, along with help from my naturopath sister (how lucky am I to have one sister who is a midwife, and another a naturopath?!) and consultations with my own naturopath I realised that my cough and cold repertoire has expanded a little since this post almost two years ago.

My cough and cold remedies as of today…

// Rest, rest, rest!

// Water, water, water! (Preferably warm, I use cooled boiled water)

// Chesty cough remedy tea and cough syrup with manuka honey and apple cider vinegar as previously mentioned.

// Olive leaf extract. Its antibacterial properties help to combat yucky germs. From the end of a silver spoon they lap it up. Yum.

// Vitamin C. Good quality. Powder form. Say no more. (We use this.)

// Depending on the nature of the cold/cough, we use a vapouriser with eucalyptus oil.

// I also often mix together some sweet almond oil (or other base) along with a few drops of peppermint or eucalyptus oil to rub on little chests and backs before bed.

// Warm baths with a few drops of essential oils, with the bathroom door closed to trap the steam.

// We always eat lots of kiwi fruit and strawberries when we are unwell for the vitamin c content.

// Garlic, ginger, tumeric, etc – get it into the kids in any way possible! Try using it in stir fries, soups, muffins, teas…

// I also love, love this immune boosting chicken soup by Teresa Cutter – whether you are ill or not, it is delicious!

// Lastly, for those times when home remedies just don’t cut it and you need to move onto store bought medicines, I am a huge fan of the Brauer range which, in Australia, you can buy at the chemist. They are homeopathic remedies and are always our first port of call before moving onto panadol (yes, we use panadol, not on a whim or without consideration, but when it is needed). My only suggestion regarding the Brauer products I have used is that you must follow the dosage to a TEE otherwise the results will not been as successful – in our experience. (NB of course you always follow dosage instructions when giving medication, I mean more specifically following the timeline of doses: don’t miss any. You will understand when you read the instructions.)

We obviously don’t use all these remedies at once, but I pick and choose depending on the type of cold, the season and so on.

I’m sure there are so many more, what do you do at your place?

*Please note, I am not a medical professional nor claiming to be qualified in anything but mothering. If you choose to use any of the above remedies, make sure you research them yourself so that you are aware of the pros and cons, if any, and can decide for yourself which suit your child and family best. Don’t just take my word for it… this is the internet, afterall. (For example, babies under 12 months old should not consume honey… etc, etc.)*

on the menu

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Cooking, cooking, always cooking. I borrowed Supergrains: Cook Your Way to Great Health by Chrissy Freer from a friend, so that has influenced our meal planner this week.

Here’s what’s cooking at my house:

Monday // pesto pasta with slow roasted tomatoes with a few modifications

Tuesday // tofu and veg stirfry with brown rice

Wednesday // lemon, herb and oat crumbed fish with salad or veg (from the Supergrains cookbook)

Thursday // chickpea, tomato and quinoa soup with pesto toasts (also from Supergrains)

Friday // bacon, spinach and leek frittata

Saturday // leftovers and/or homemade spelt pizza with whatever is in the fridge on top

Sunday // (I’m going out for dinner!) but the rest of the family will have either roast chicken with veg or healing chicken and millet soup (surprise, from Supergrains) depending on the weather along with the state of Birdie’s cold which she woke up with this morning.

What’s on the menu at your place?

balancing act

Last night, after spending an afternoon (an entire afternoon) cleaning the house (but oh my it was lovely to get up to this morning!) and crashing on the couch to do our online organics order and meal planning for the week and paying some bills and watching some boring television, Papawho and I were finally ready to go to bed.

Then there was that awkward moment when I saw him packing his runners and putting his sports bag out on the couch at the same moment that I was organising my yoga gear for the following morning.

We paused.

“Are you going to the gym in the morning?” I asked.

“Yep, I was planning to?” Came his reply.

“Oh… I was thinking of doing yoga in the morning.”

Silence. We niggled this way and that, both wanting to start the week on a good note, both having goals that we want to achieve and things we want to do outside this parenting gig. Neither wanting to stop the other from doing and achieving and enjoying; on the contrary, we both make a real effort to support each other to do and achieve and enjoy things for ourselves… yet here we were, both wanting to do something, each hanging on to our own for dear life.

A little tug of war.

In the end I set my alarm super early and managed to squeeze in twenty minutes of yoga at home before the Pixie woke up. (Naturally, being a pixie and all, she likes to wake at ungodly hours each morning. Apparently that is what naughty pixies do.) Papawho went to the gym and squeezed in a workout before he went to school.

It is so, so, so very easy to fall into the who is worse off game with our partners. It is hard to make sure that in amongst parenting, working and being a family, that we each get time to ourselves to maintain a sense of self. We are continually learning. We don’t always get it right. Do you?

How do you make sure you each get what you need while parenting small (or big!) children? How to you make sure you are present as a parent when you need to be? How do you support your partner whilst making sure that you too are fulfilled? I would love to know. x

eating

One of the questions most commonly asked amongst my friends:

What’s for dinner tonight?

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We are a bunch that love to cook and swap recipes and inspire each other in this way. Another one of the most commonly repeated phrases:

I’m so bored with cooking! I don’t know what to make! I’m sick of all my recipes!

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I love hearing what my friends are making for dinner. It’s more often than not something I haven’t thought of making myself, which encourages me to try something new. I love hearing what other people’s staple meals are and what they cook if they have nothing planned and nothing in the fridge (this happens around here all too often due to bad planning on my part).

In saying that, as a rule I fill out a meal planner each week. I have tried to do this fortnightly or monthly but the longer my plan goes for, the more likely I am to run out of food or not have the ingredients I need so weekly works best for us.

I am finding it especially hard to think of things to eat while the heat wave continues in Melbourne. Yuck! We don’t have very good air conditioning so it makes it difficult to cook anything extravagant. I’m using my slow-cooker a lot as it doesn’t heat up the kitchen, along with the BBQ.

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This week we are having:

Monday // chicken, barley and veg stirfry

Tuesday // lentil dahl in the slow-cooker with brown rice and greens

Wednesday // salmon on the BBQ and salad

Thursday // brocolli and chickpea noodles

Friday // ooh potentially have a girlfriend coming over for a movie night so will put some more thought in here!

Saturday // rice paper rolls with raw satay sauce and salad (sounds la-di-da but is ridiculously easy)

Sunday // kid friendly pad thai with tofu

When I’m thinking about what to cook I have some basic rules. We are currently trying to eat more fish so I’m trying to schedule that in once a week. We eat red meat about once a fortnight and chicken around once a week. We don’t eat pork aside from bacon every now and again from our free-range butcher. Outside of that we eat vegetarian meals mainly based around legumes or another protein combination. I limit tofu to once a week, if that, due to high levels of processing and being unsure about my thoughts around soy consumption for the kidlets. That’s about it!

What’s for dinner at your place tonight?

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Some other food related posts you might be interested in:

Ditching the big guys

When breastfeeding costs more than formula

Comfort food

Feeding a small child: what has worked for me

 

books and a bandwagon

I have officially jumped on the Leonie Dawson bandwagon and a couple of weeks ago bought her 2014 workbook. It has been a bit of fun so far, and as such last night I finished a list of 100 things I want to do this year. I actually found this an incredibly hard list to write! It contains a lot of things including activities related to personal, spiritual, family, financial and relationship goals.

One of my 100 things is to read at least 20 books in 2014. We are a household of book lovers and love nothing more than cosying up together to read. I’m already a bit behind my target having only read one book over summer, but I’ve almost finished number two. Perhaps if I stopped writing lists and read books instead I might work my way through a little faster…

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Earlier in January I read Burial Rites by Hannah Kent. I loved this book. It was beautifully written and Hannah Kent has a wonderful way of portraying the varying positions of each of the characters.

I’m currently reading The Trees by Conrad Richter. I’ve almost finished this one and have also loved reading it. Conrad Richter did a lot of research into the era in which the book is set, and the language is beautifully poetic and true to the nature of the time. I think this is the first of a trilogy, I’m not sure I would continue on with it though.

Next on the to read list are:

/The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton

/Life of Pi by Yann Martel

/Brooklyn by Colm Toibin

/We Are Water by Wally Lamb

To name just a few from a long list!

(I have also just bought Birdie Shaun Tan’s The Lost Thing for her fourth birthday in April… I’m totally organised!)

Do you like books? What is your favourite?

Does anyone have any other suggestions for wonderful brilliant amazing books that I absolutely must must must read?