doilies

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We had a birthday party this morning for a friend of Birdie’s. I’m always searching for new things to make and sew for small people – post toddlerhood, pre school years. This skirt has been a bit of a go-to pattern over the last six months. This time I sewed on some doilies of my Nana’s my Aunty was – shock, horror – about to throw in the bin. I gratefully snaffled up an entire garbage bag of these gems and they have found a place in my overflowing sewing cupboard. How could she! Now aged in her seventies she was both bewildered and bamboozled that I wanted anything to do with a doily, and still can’t really understand what I wanted with them.

Well, here is one reason why I wanted them. A good reason, no? I also use them to wrap presents, to give faces and wings to my felted chooks, to put hot cups of tea on, to put vases on, to throw around the place and let them rain down around me… no, not really.

I do like a good doily. Do you?

school lunches: a whole new world

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Birdie started four year old kinder last week. And I started my new occupation: kinder lunch maker. As the title suggests, it’s a whole new world.

Last year she only needed a snack which I found difficult enough sometimes, particularly when we don’t eat much dairy, and the kindergarten has a no egg and no nut policy to boot.

We are big nut and egg eaters and I find my options slightly limited when they are taken out of the picture. Factor in a fussy four year old who keels over at the sight of anything green and only eats two mouthfuls at any given time and you’ve got some challenges on your hands!

Last night I was motivated by my sister to make some gelatin jubes for the kinder lunch box today (my favourite recipe here). What is meant to take 15 minutes ended up taking two hours after I accidentally blended up a foil easter egg wrapper in the final mixture (Prince Charming is still questioning me on how it got into the blender… I have no answers), moments before I was ready to pour into the moulds. Bye bye to over 10 tablespoons of grassfed gelatin (anyone who has ever bought this will be feeling my pain), two oranges, a few apples, acai powder, flax oil and some sweat.

Yes: I did shed a tantrum induced tear over the kitchen sink as I poured my foil laden tincture into the compost.

By this time I had also run out of most of my ingredients resulting in the jubes (pictured in heart shapes above) tasting rather foul in my humble opinion, but both kids were asking for more this afternoon, go figure.

The girls are going through such a fussy time, being forced to make kinder lunches has motivated me to find some meals I am happy to feed them, that they are equally happy to eat… no easy feat.

Birdie came home from kinder the other day and said in disgust: “Alexander ate a little tomato today.”

“Oh, did he get it off the plant?” I asked.

“No, it was in his lunch box.” she replied, her face filled with horror. To open her lunch box and discover a cherry tomato is one of Birdie’s worst fears. This is what I am dealing with.

In my searches this week I’ve found a few new, a few rediscovered, and a few daily used (by me) resources:

:: This Whole Family

::  Well Nourished

:: Jude Blereau – my favourite family friendly chef lady ever

:: IQS for kids

:: My sister :)

How do you organise your kids’ lunch boxes? I’d love some more ideas…

headspace, balance, and other anomalies

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I am on a continual quest to find these things on my path through motherhood. Sometimes I feel it hits – voila – a moment, a space, a sensation in the air: you can breathe and stand tall and freely. A time when the toys are in baskets and the washing is semi-done, the children are fed and semi-clothed, the beds are made and we have semi-slept. You smile and they smile and on you go. Other times it’s like wading through a relentless, chaotic, burdensome day of the groundhog. Like one of those dreams where you are trying so desperately to get somewhere and you try to move your limbs, and it hurts, but you’re swimming through wet concrete, it’s sticking to your skin and pulling you backwards and downwards.

As a mother, I am forever yo-yoing between these two places and in amongst the grey matter that resides from here to there. Things are changing, nothing is stagnant. There are continually things to learn, to be, to do. It can be overwhelming.

Will we parents ever get to the other end? I think part of it is just accepting that perhaps we won’t. To find those joyous moments amongst the chaos, to hug and kiss and love our children and read them that extra bedtime story they so long for, to stay here, in the now, and not worry about what is happening tomorrow, and the next day, and the next. To remember why we do what we do, to focus on the values of family and connection, and what that means for you, and yours.

Do you know what I mean?

meal planning

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The last six months have been probably the fullest, busiest, craziest six months in my short history of parenthood thus far. With me heading back to work three days a week, Birdie starting three year old kinder plus a day of childcare and little Pixie going to childcare one, then two days per week, along with Prince Charming working his regular two jobs, our lives were jam packed with drop offs and pick ups, tearful goodbyes and all the in-betweens – cooking, cleaning, dressing, bathing, and so on. I’m not sad at all that the juggle of those six months are now behind us. We are starting the year with a clearer outlook and a readjustment of priorities. After seeing my little Bird develop a tendency towards being anxious and panicked, and less like her normal cheerful and bubbly self over these past six months, we all knew it was time to make change. She was not the only one feeling like this.

So. Last week was my final week of working three days. From this week onwards I’ll be working 1.5 – 2 days a week on average and the plan is that I will have a little bit more time, more energy for my girlies and will slowly wind down between now and end of April towards maternity leave, again!

And more time means one thing in this house: meal planning! Oh how I have missed being able to actually think about what we are going to eat for more than five minutes before we actually need to eat it.

This morning the girls and I spent an hour and a half cleaning out our fridge while PC was at work. It was actually frightening to see its contents, vomiting (literally: vomiting) out onto the kitchen floor. Needless to say, there was unfortunately a lot of waste and horrid, nasty things hiding in the dark depths that I never want to have to think or talk about again. Like in most other areas in our life, we are now ready for a fresh foodie start and I can see what we’ve got to work with.

This week we are planning on having:

:: Lentil loaf with sweet potato mash and veggies (using a combo of this, this and this recipe I reckon, all of which I’ve cooked before but I am missing at least one ingredient from each so there will be a lot of improvisation – ah, time for cooking improv, my favourite thing!)

:: Scrambled tofu and veg using a recipe I’ve made up myself after lots of failed and dry scrambled tofus!

:: Quinoa salad and roast veg.

:: Coriander chicken burgers and salad.

:: Stirfried brown rice with toasted nori and sesame, with maybe some avo, homemade hummus and veg, recipe from one of my all time favourite recipe books.

:: BBQ something and salad.

In the past two days I’ve made hommus, almond milk, chicken stock, candy bars (one of my fave recipes!), smoothies, egg free mayonnaise for this preggy belly (naughty!!!), and a variety of other meals around these staples. Yay. I’m baaaa-aaaackkk!

purple

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It was my second pregnancy which brought about the notion of colour. Suddenly the colour yellow was flooding my thoughts, I was buying yellow things for my house, the calendar on the month Pixie was due was covered in splashes of yellow. It was everywhere.

This time, it’s purple. It lights up in the corners of my eyes, it warms my brain to look at it. And then, I was given this amethyst, and three others, by my aunty. She didn’t know I was in the middle of a private purple fest, she just knew she had to give them to me.

It’s such a strange and surreal experience, pregnancy. This clash of reality and spirituality colliding in real life, in this moment, in the here and the now. Fill in this form, fill in that form, buy this, buy that, get organised, do it right, have The Tests, etc. Then this other side, a closing in, paring down. A little bubble with just you and your baby. Outside that bubble, it doesn’t matter if you have the singlets folded or the right colour jumpsuit or the ergonomic pram or the form filled out. Who cares.

Did you have a colour for your pregnancy? I would love to hear about it.

teary

2015-01-15_1421359253 I’ve spent most of the weekend awash in a flood of hormonal tears. After spending the day out Saturday I was exhausted and… hungry. Worst pregnancy combo ever. I wanted to get a pizza and dear Prince Charming suggested we make some toasted sandwiches instead. He held back smirks as my eyes quickly welled up.

“Why are you laughing at me?” I moaned, “It’s not funny.”

“I’m not laughing!” Came his reply as he turned to look the other way.

Sure PC, sure.

I removed myself from the room to cry some more in private on the couch. A bit of channel flicking did the trick; as they say with kids, there’s nothing like the power of distraction. Prince Charming came in with some toasted sandwiches for me and tried to make a joke. I made some sort of miserable response and he threw a tea towel at me, laughing. It hit me in the eye and the flood gates opened again.

Oh dear. My red eyes this morning made me laugh.

I am trying my best to let the ebbs and flows of pregnancy take me with them, knowing that each phase is short and they come and go like the wind. Mostly I’m taking note of all The Emotions and able to quietly continue on with my day.

But really, when a pregnant lady wants a pizza, wouldn’t it be easier to just say yes? ;)

books to read during pregnancy // revisited

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When I was sorting out the photo situation here on the blog, I stumbled across this post – my top five books to read during pregnancy. It has been one of the most popular posts on motherwho so I thought I’d add to it a little. Those books are probably still my go-to books three pregnancies in (although I can’t find my Sheila Kitzinger book – if any of my lovely friends have borrowed it… hint hint!). But there are a few more I am adding to my ‘to read’ list this time around, for when I find the motivation to move on from the pile on my bedside table (see picture!).

My number one to-read book this time is Rhea Dempsey’s Birth With Confidence: Savvy choices for normal birth. My sister has a copy of this and I am waiting in line! I absolutely love Rhea Dempsey and have seen her speak a number of times. Last pregnancy I also attended one of her weekend birthing workshops which was very valuable. I was so motivated after the Pixie was born I even got information about becoming a birth attendant myself via Rhea’s training… but then lack of sleep knocked some sense into me and I put the idea on the back-burner.

You’ll also see, amongst a few old favourites on my bedside table, a copy of Sheila Kitzinger’s Rediscovering Birth. I actually bought this book in between number one and number two, as it’s a great read not just for prospective parents but for “anyone interested in birth and women’s lives and wellbeing,” which as it happens, is me, pregnant or not. I haven’t delved far into this book but I would highly recommend what I have read to date (along with anything else with Kitzinger’s name on it!).

And of course, it wouldn’t be a pregnancy book list without mentioning Ina May Gaskin. I will definitely be adding one or two of her books to my shelves (again) in the coming months.

In addition to books there are so many excellent birthing videos to watch, and then of course books for when the baby is actually earth-side… these may have to wait for another post though.

Have a lovely weekend folks x