Friday, June 29, 2012

June, You've Flewn.

Lots going down in Mogantosh Town. 

School runs. 

Constant pop-outs to the supermarket to 'just grab a couple of things.' We are eating insane amounts at the minute. I blame the fat baby. 

She's into everything! 

And I'm sure her and Teddy are in cahoots. 

Keiths's office is coming along. That's taking up lots of our time and energy right now. It is SO EXCITING!

The hugely talented Morgen Figgis is building it. His lovely wife Mignon is a buddy of mine so she came over to hang out and help me start repainting the kitchen while the kids watched Mamma Mia. 

It's been all action around this joint. 

These two girls really adore each other. It's a struggle trying to meet everybody's needs but I'm instituting a system called Ten Minute Mummy where once a day, I have to sit and play or do whatever they choose and the other kid can't interrupt or ask anything. I am only available to that one kid for that ten minutes. The big ones, anyway. George is all Mummy, all the time, and my body is pretty angry at me about that. 

Craft before breakfast for the T Bone. 

And now, school holidays! And next week, my birthday. Hip hip huzzah! Happy weekending to you all out there. x

Monday, June 25, 2012

Blueberry Pannacotta

My boy Ted is mad for cooking. He loves to watch Masterchef when he's allowed, says he wants to be a baker when he grows up and likes nothing more than to hang out in his bed reading cookbooks.

A little nerd after my own heart. Here he is, brandishing a whole lotta butter, and dressed in the apron that belonged to my Mums beloved Nanna Goodie. Teddy's great-great grandmother!

Here's a recipe we've made a couple of times lately, originally from the back of a muesli packet, slightly modified. It's simple, with some great kid-friendly steps in it, and it's very rewarding at the end. Also, any excuse to cook with immune-boosting blueberries at this germy time of year.

Blueberry Yoghurt Pannacotta 

1.75 tsp tsp gelatine powder (or near to!)
300 ml cream
1/4 cup caster sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla paste or essence
1/2 cup Greek yoghurt
1/2 frozen blueberries

1. Pour 2 tblsp cold water into a small bowl and add the gelatine until it absorbs.
2. Combine cream, sugar and vanilla in a small pan and bring to a simmer. Stir in gelatine and whisk until dissolved. Remove and whisk through yoghurt. Divide berries between your moulds (if you have them) or little ramekins, teacups or bowls (if you don't.) I use our everyday orange ramekins and this mixture makes four decent little servings.
3. Pour cream mixture over the berries and refrigerate until set (about three hours - an after school cooking session should get dessert prepped in time for dinner.) 
4. Then enjoy while your little kids tell tales of the world. Today:  what Ivy learned at school.   'You should say 'I did a pass-wind, Teddy. It's the polite way.'

Who knew?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

That Time Keith Kissed A Princess

So Georgie is teething this week, or stretching her naughty muscles, or both. We have had a few days where she won't sleep unless tucked up in arms and patted.  Now my neck has gone out in protest. Aye chihuahua! The only way to describe the pain of turning my head to the left is in the 80's classic term of agony. IT WRECKS. Man, it wrecks.

Boring boring.

Instead I'll tell you about Ivy's public speaking challenge. All the kindy kids are giving a one-minute speech this term on the subject 'Me'. Ivy has made a set of palm cards with little pictures to remind her of her main points. They are: princesses, fairies, cherries, books and the family. Keith and I listened to a run through a few days ago and suggested tat she might try saying two things about each item once she had glanced at it.

'For instance, ' I said, ' When you look at the princess picture you might say princesses live in castles, and they become Queens.' 'Or you could say that Daddy once kissed a princess', Keith suggested.

That sounded like a good story. I raised an enquiring eyebrow. 'Not true, ' Keith said,  sotto voce. 'But it's a good one to spread around.'

I cannot tell you how funny it has been to us ever since, when Ivy gets to that part of her speech. 'I love princesses because they are beautiful, ' she says, 'and also, my Daddy kissed one once.'

Ivy finishes her talk with an elaborate, deep, Elizabethan bow-flourish.

I love that crazy kid.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Night Story

Georgie's sweet baby face blinks and yawns in the morning light that seeps through the blinds. She's been whimpering and tossing all night long, while Keith and I tried to decode her odd symptoms. One hot red cheek. General malaise. Teething? Ear infection? It's a midnight mystery.

Early-hours dosing with Nurofen. Sleepy, chilly kitchen minutes spent emptying the medicine basket looking for a damn dropper. Each parent holding down one arm as she fitfully thrashes between us. Turns stroking and checking her hot little head. Dad holding her perched on his shoulder for one long hour. Mum propped up against the windowsill for another. We mumble updates to each other.

Dummy search and replace.



Meanwhile, one big kid wets their bed. Another has a nightmare.

We walk the halls.

The hours tick on.

Keith has a healing scab on his forehead from days earlier when a the sounds of a screaming nightmare from down the hall sent him flying out of bed and into a wall.

In the morning, all three awake, cheerful and chirpy as baby birds, clamouring for breakfast. Keith and I rub the grit from our eyes, and stretch our aching bones. The night slips away and the day begins.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Dads Are Rad

On Monday morning we picked Keith up from the airport.

By lunchtime, I was overcome by a massive wave of tiredness. Clearing plates in the kitchen, I mentally plotted the afternoon - jobs to do, hours till bedtime, the mental state of each child and the accompanying rest/activity ratio required.

'Shall we watch Annie this afternoon?' I asked. I figured I could lie down then at least and maybe even sneak in a micro-sleep.  

'Well, we were going to play Uno,' Keith said. 'And then I said I'd play Fraggle Rock and do some puzzles and maybe read for a while. I'm not sure we'll have time for a movie. Is that OK?'

OH SWEET LORD DADDY IS HOME, I thought. I am released from the need to strategise and coordinate this family every moment of the day. And then I went to bed and slept the sleep of the zombie dead.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

One More Sleep!

It's been a busy couple of weeks. Go-go a go-go! Keith has been in the States and I've been solo mumming it. Fish fingers, Masterchef, don't-make-me-come-in-there, exhaustion, newfound respect for single mothers. I feel nervous when he's away. I don't like talking about it online. But he's back tomorrow! Early morning pick-up adventure to the airport tomorrow morning. Ivy has made a big sign but alwasy mixes up her 'b' and 'd' so it reads 'Welcome Home Babby!'

Ted hasn't been 100% well. He's been quiet, listening to his ABBA CD and reading cookbooks. He'll be so happy to see his Dad. Our lovely friend Les has been  especially sweet to Ted as a surrogate Dad while Keith has been gone, but he could really do with some Daddy hugs. (And I think Keith needs to hold his little boy close too.) 

Ivy has been her usual flamboyant,  creative and funny little self. 
Luckily, Nanna has been a massive help. 
Pop too!

Ivy did her reader  with Dad via Skype.

And Geoge, my sweet baby,  has been crawling into every corner of the house, eating like a demon, powering through about three outfits a day and enthusiastically embracing life.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Dream Poo.

Last nights dream: Halfway through putting on a load of washing, I realised that instead of putting the clothes into the machine, I was throwing them into the pit of our composting toilet. I had to fish each item out, one by one, and clean the shit off.

Clearly, I have too much poo and too much laundry in my life.

So today, I am ignoring the laundry altogether and painting the first coat of blackboard paint onto the wall opposite the front door.I have this vision that this wall can welcome us and all our visitors with pictures and words that make us smile. It may not come off, but in my head it's lovely.

 I've been undercoating and painting away while listening to BBC4 Woman's Hour.

Happy days.

Next, I'll finish sanding back and painting the dresser that was part of my grandmothers wedding set to sit in front of the wall. Just have to get to the hardware store to buy some paint the exact shade of pale, greyish green of the pumpkin on my dining table.

Bugger the washing.