Showing posts from 2015

A day of sunburn

Funeral was yesterday and I decided to take public transport. Never again. I work about half an hour from the suburb this cemetery was in, but bus/train/bus combo was going to take an hour, so I left 90 minutes before. My workmates had left an hour before me as they wanted to get lunch. I didn't want to make a day of so decided to work a bit longer and come along afterwards. I arrived at the train station with 40 mins to go and the bus to the cemetery was 20 mins away. It didn't look far in the map so thought I'd just walk there and get there early. I walked. And walked. And walked. Faster and faster. The footpath ran out and I had to detour round a block so I wasn't walking on a road full of trucks. I was 20 mins late when I finally arrived :'(

Then I tried to find the chapel it was in. I've never been before so had no idea from the map. My hope was to either sneak in at the back or wait outside the chapel and join in as they moved to the crematorium. I finall…


Tomorrow is going to be a very strange day.

We received the sad and unexpected news last week that a colleague had had an accident whilst walking back to the office after work, which resulted in a severe head injury. The next update from his family came as a shock to us all as we hadn't realised the severity of it; sadly they informed us he had not survived the injury and died two nights after the accident.

I won't go into details out of respect to him and his family, but just to say he left behind a wife and two children, which is just heartbreaking. Added to that that his death was unexpected, and at Christmas time which to me always seems worse - a constant reminder of what's been lost at a time when everyone is happy and enjoying silly season.

Tomorrow is his funeral.

I have so far, managed to avoid all funerals except two. One was a child who was killed during a sporting accident while I was at school. I didn't know him, and I don't recall much about the funer…

Waffles for dinner

Not as bad as it sounds, honestly. I had chicken defrosting but realised, too late, that it needed marinading, so back it went into the fridge for the next night and I had to think of something to feed two hungry boys. G will have a go at pretty much anything but E is quite picky. We didn't have much in the way of meat and he won't eat veggies unless they're hidden, and I needed to make something quickly.

Suddenly it came to me - savoury waffles! I found the recipe in the Breville sticky waffle recipe book online, and followed it exactly, except I also added chopped rocket and spinach into the mix. Next time though, I would really cut the oil down... the bacon added so much fat to the mix there was oil dripping out of the waffle maker and it took me quite a bit of work to clean it afterwards - not to mention the effect on your body of too much oil.

My waffle maker does a flower pattern, which when separated makes 5 heart shaped petals. G ate a heart and E managed about 2..…

First birthday party preparation

Have been flat out lately, as you can probably guess by the lack of posts! Work and travelling to and from work take up 10 1/2 hours, then I try to cook and eat dinner, bath the kids and get them to bed at a reasonable hour, do washing/washing up/tidying etc and work on galleries for my photography business. I end up getting to bed at midnight, get woken once or twice to feed G, and then up at 6 to get ready for work. I really do need more hours in the day.

Oh, and I finally got my car back after 6 weeks at the repairers. The boot is still out of square but I've taken it back once already so they could get it to actually shut without having to be slammed, and I can't afford more time off work driving out there and shuffling about with hire cars again.

During my expressing breaks at work, I take my tablet with me and note down any ideas I have... from boring ones like what chores need to be done or what food we've run out of, to ingredients from Pinterest for dinner and ide…

Lucky to be alive

Had a very scary experience last week.

On Monday, I dropped both boys off at the local daycare (as they don't yet have spots on Monday at the daycare near work) and continued on my way to work. Was about 15 minutes into the drive when I entered the tunnel which takes us under part of the city. Was happily on my way in the left lane and made my way past a truck in the middle lane, which for once was moving slower than the left. I was doing about 5kms below the speed limit, not bad for the end of peak hour (was running half an hour later than usual that day). I felt relieved... I hate driving next to trucks.

Barely had I felt that, when I felt a very unwelcome hit to the rear drivers side of my car. Truck had changed lanes without leaving sufficient space (cameras in tunnel showed a clear lane behind me). I took my foot off the accelerator, but didn't brake, to give the truck room to stop. But he didn't slow, and being a heavy vehicle, kept pushing the rear end of my car unt…

Postpartum recovery the second time around

Chalk and cheese!

The second time round for me was SOOOOO much easier. Two reasons:
1) I had a vaginal birth this time round.
2) I'd done all the hard work - learning to breastfeed, handling a baby, learning their hungry/tired/change me cues the first time.

So, number one. Obviously, I could get up and walk right after the birth (although I chose to spend the day lying on the sofa!). I did require stitches and my midwife left the catheter in for 24 hours, so there was some slight discomfort from the stitches, but nothing compared to major abdominal surgery. Mostly it was just being really careful walking up and down stairs the first few days, and I think a lot of it was just the thought of accidentally tearing a stitch that made me so ginger.

Lochia was pretty much gone to alba within about a week and a half, two weeks. I went through about 4 packs of maternity pads, and then i think a pack of regular ones before switching to pantyliners. From memory I was completely free of them …

More on the return to work

I mentioned last post I was going to start preparing dinners ahead of time. I have managed so far to do that, and it has saved a bit of time. It has meant that while not on the table at 6pm which would be ideal, at least this week E has been eating by 7pm and we've been able to get him through the shower, cleaned teeth and to bed mostly on time.

So what I've done is to meal plan (not unusual for me) but to specifically pick quick to prepare meals, or meals which can be half done in advance, and have chopped all the veggies ahead of time and sealed them in containers in the fridge. One meal this week had a sauce and a marinade, so I was able to actually marinade the meat overnight (and man it tasted good!! - E ate all his dinner that night!). Another I've made the pastry for instead of buying it, and I've had pre cooked chilled rice in the fridge ready for fried rice.

This is my meal plan. Excuse the messiness - at some point I'll do up a template and laminate it so…

Return to work after maternity leave

Ah, the inevitable return to work. I actually started a week early, going in for a few days to do a handover with the girl whose job I'm going to be doing for a year, while she goes on maternity leave. I'm not officially starting until this week. So not only am I going to have to juggle the nighttime routine after work for two children now, but I'm also going into a new job. Funnily enough, after all I've experienced with my two different births and now looking after my two boys, a new job seems so much less daunting than it would have several years ago!

Still, I did struggle with those two days I did last week. With the first day, I finished work at 5 and picked up both kids, but with the extra pickup (2 diff daycares) there was an extra 15 mins of time added on to my journey. Got home after 6, hubby was working that evening and so that left me to settle a tired baby, cook dinner, feed both of them, shower one and bath the other and get the first to bed, breastfeed th…

7 months old - and a big decision

Clearly I shouldn't have been so smug about his sleeping in my last post; now, at 7 months old, he wakes 3-4 times a night on average. He's still a good day sleeper with 2 naps averaging 2 hours each, and even if he doesn't get that he's still such a happy baby :)

He's started commando crawling. We have to figure out what to do with the power cables that run across the lounge room floor to our laptops. He loves them and pulls himself towards them to attempt to chew on them. E knows G's not supposed to be near them and is a great help in alerting us if we haven't noticed. He also loves tissues and will pull himself across half a room to get to one... which he will then chew and eventually gag on. Lovely. :)

And in about three weeks, G goes to daycare for the first time. We had a real struggle with daycare; I had his name down at the one near my work which E goes to since I was three months pregnant. As of now, we still do not have a place for him there. Luck…

Starting solids - purees

I had read up on baby-led weaning when E was young, and that's how we started him on solids. It made a lot of sense to me. Unfortunately, and I don't know if it was the method that didn't suit him or if he'd have been fussy if we'd started the traditional way, we didn't have much luck with him eating. He'd happily chew on a bit of apple, but never swallowed much at all, and there wasn't much change with this up until 9 months.

With G, I decided to try purees. I was going to wait until 6 months, but at 5 months he was attempting to grab my fork when he sat on my lap at dinner. One night he lunged forward and managed to hit my plate with his fist! I figured that meant he was definitely ready to start weaning onto solids. (A note for my US readers - weaning in UK and Aus means to start feeding solid foods, not necessarily stopping breastfeeding/formula).

I started off with boiled pumpkin around 5 1/2 months - just a taste. He made the funniest face at the…

6 months old!

Wow! So much for getting back into blogging. I can now see why bloggers i'd followed after E was born, after having their second child really slowed down their posts.

So, G is now 6 months old. He's growing up so fast. Three days after his half-birthday, I put him on an unpadded carpeted floor while i put his nappy in the bucket and washed my hands. He sat for a minute or so then fell backwards as he usually does - but this time received a tap to the head from the floor instead of a soft mattress. He was surprised by this but all of a sudden, when i sat him on something softer, he stayed sitting up for quite some time! He clearly had had the skill but found lying down was easier until the tap on the head made him think twice.

Speaking of nappies, our cloth nappies are still going strong on their second child :) I tried him in them at 5 weeks old, but he was leaking through a lot. I figured it was because he was still too small, so back into disposables and I tried again at 7 w…

4 months postpartum

Yeah... it's been a while! I'm still here, so busy with two kids and trying to get my photography business up and running. But it's all been positive, I've had my first paid clients this year and we've settled into a routine of sorts at home... the kids are doing well together but the house is a mess. Oh well. Still room for improvement.

What there isn't much time for is blogging. I'm hardly reading any blogs, let alone writing, most of my time on my computer is spent either on Facebook or on my business - editing photos or researching props (I photograph newborns so use bowls, fabric backdrops, basket fillers, tiny gorgeous clothes and hats). Today i've finished cutting and sewing 224 yards of tulle for one adult size tutu, and have another 76 yards to go for a baby size one.

Baby is currently asleep but the toddler now wants me to go play Lego with him... I think most of my posts from now on are going to be short. I'm going to start with the first…

Copycat Starbucks double chocolate muffins

This recipe is from Honey and Fig's Kitchen, I've just adapted it to use cup measurements. Makes some quite tasty muffins! I got 8 large and two small muffins from the recipe.

It uses a whole half cup of cocoa! Oh yes... this is a chocolately muffin and no mistake :)

1 2/3 cups SR flour
1/2 c cocoa
3/4 c sugar
a pinch of salt
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
4 tablespoons fresh espresso (or 1 T instant coffee)
2 large eggs
250 grams greek yogurt
4 tablespoons buttermilk
1/3 cup olive oil
3/4 c chocolate chips

Mix all ingredients except chocolate chips together until just moistened (a few lumps are ok). Fold in the chocolate chips. Bake for 8 minutes at 220c, then lower the temperature to 180 and bake another 15 minutes.

Makes 9 large or 12 medium muffins.

I chose to use a mix of caramel and dark chocolate chips.