Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Choose Your Own Adventure Story

I was just reminded of how much I loved those kind of stories when I was a kid by a really cool giveaway at Scrap Doctor blog. The stories where you got to pick what happens next and turn to the appropriate page. I think it catered to my desire to be in charge. :)

My Lastest Op Shop Find

I love going op shopping! The fact that its an activity that is generally inexpensive (helps me keep to our budget), is about recycling 20th century clutter and is fun to find a few treasures amongst a lot "I can't believe this isn't in the bin" stuff makes it something I can do fairly regularly. At the moment its also one of the ways I get some time to myself and are able to switch off from looking after young kids.

Well on my last outing I found those gorgeous retro dinner plates. A set of 8 Crown Lyn Forma Meri Meri Kiwi designed and made stoneware. Really I just liked the picture and the colour and thought I could use them for our first Passover dinner I am planning for our family to celebrate in a few weeks. Didn't realise they are actually worth something!

On reflection I also like them because they are a reminder of something I feel God is saying to me at the moment. That, I am unique! Finding them was a once off, that there was 8 of them was also unique. The fact that I like them and bought them is unique! In this season of life when it is busy, tiring, full on with repetitive tasks that make me feel like I'm not really achieving anything its a reminder I need.

So I want to say appreciate your uniqueness, what you like, the way you do things. You are wonderfully made!

Friday, March 25, 2011

This Past Week

OK its been a hard week. I have been getting by on far too little sleep and consequently feel like I pushing myself all the time to get through the day. Some days that's from the moment I wake up. I have also been in a lot of pain with my back and also struggling emotionally. Hard to tell whether its because of lack of sleep or something else. So in the midst of "I don't like my life at times" I found these pics taken during the week and they do make me smile!

Cardboard box fun! :)

My daughter holding her flowers, actually weeds collected from our unkempt garden. Love her choice of footwear. :)

Shaan doesn't have a lot to say yet but he does still get stubborn about a few things. One of those is eating plums whole including the seed (sometimes it gets spit out) instead of cut up as Mum would prefer. Here's the result. Love those cute eyes! :)

Another food shot. Really he's not going poomph at Mum's sushi rolls instead he was making noises with his sister. :)

This one looks like he is hoeing into the food. He's actually using it as a means of getting all the tomato sauce off his plate. :)

Our gorgeous 8 week old baby. When I'm not too tired to engage with him he makes me smile a lot. :)

On one of the days when I felt so lousy from the moment I woke up until the end of the day I saw these in the shops. It actually helped me look forward to something- birthdays! And mine is only two weeks away...

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Two in Cloth Nappies

I used cloth one size fits all nappies for both my first (Mother Ease) and second (Happy Heinys) babies on a full time basis. But because No 3 was an unexpected surprise it meant there would only be a 18 month gap between second and third and consequently I would have two in nappies. So when I was pregnant I had to decide whether I wanted to have two in cloth nappies. I know, all that washing!

Crazy me decided to go ahead and do it anyway. Yes it is a lot more washing. On the upside I love that I don't have to think about fitting the cost of disposable nappies into our budget each week and cloth are so cute. I did use disposables for the first two weeks after Dhiraj was born and it did get to me the waste in resources. One use and it then sits in landfill for 200 years. That's crazy!

Now I have gotten use to the routine of having both boys in cloth. Shaan is even using them this year at the family day care he goes to one day a week which is great. Not sure how I will go getting them dry come winter though.

Going with cloth nappies also meant I got to buy a new set of OSFA nappies for Dhiraj as the other nappies were being used. This time I decided to go with a new Aussie designed nappy Monk N Bear.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Boys in Motion

My favourite photos of my boys from this week as suggested by Home with the Boys taken on a kindy day. I am enjoying those days as the house is a lot quieter, the pace of the day slower and I get my jobs done with some help from my little helper Shaan. At the moment I think he's still getting use to playing on his own without his big sister. So he likes doing lots of stuff with Mum.

So here's Dhiraj (7 weeks old) chilling out on the couch. He's my gorgeous, smiley baby. Loves looking at faces especially those he knows and giving big smiles.

Really cute- Shaan playing with the Winnie the Poo tree house that was actually Kalyani's pick from the toy library. Poo and Tigger go to sleep-ssh, ssh, have baths and chat with each other- Lad, li, la, la. He's version of what they are saying to each other.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Monthly Menu Planning

I was checking out a new (for me anyway) Aussie blog Planning with Kids on the weekend and there were some great posts on menu planning. There's even a free menu planner to use. Yeh- organisational tool! Inspired I thought I would have another go at writing up a list of meals I could cook for our family this coming month. Its something I have tried several times in the past and have just got stuck with it. Well this time wasn't any different. So I have decided that what works for some does not work for me.

My alternative to a weekly/ monthly menu planner is the following:
Monday- Stirfry/ Veg curry
Tuesday- Pizza/ Wraps
Wednesday- Meat curry (Make double quantity and use for Saturday or Sunday lunch)
Thursday- Beans/ Dhal and rice
Friday- Pasta/ Quiche (Use leftover vegies in the fridge)
Saturday- Protein and veg/ salad
Sunday- Easy meal. Eg soup

Notice I haven't included a leftovers night because at the moment we use the leftovers for lunches. I am also choosing not to do freezer meals at the moment because my hubby wasn't always enthusiastic about a reheated meal and I am trying to spend less time on meal prep on the weekends.

Now as to why this kind of loose planning suits me better. Two main reasons are to do with how I shop and my view of cooking. I find it hard to list meals so far a head of time because I prefer to buy what's on special and what's in season. So the meat and vegetables I have each week will vary according to those criteria. So for me its easier to cook a meat curry based on whatever meat was on special.

The other reason is to do with the fact that I don't just cook to put a meal on the table for my family. Though some days that is the reality. I love cooking as a way of being creative. I love trying new dishes. One of the blessings of being married to an Indian is that I have had the chance to learn a whole new cuisine. I love coming up with a dish to cook based on what I have available in the fridge or freezer. Of course I still rely on a base set of dishes I know most members of the family like and these get cooked regularly. In this season of life I am mainly cooking things that are not very involved and can be prepared a head of time.

So talking about being creative I used up more of the feta on a Greek pizza I made for dinner. Also did a standard one for those who are less adventurous. That could be everyone except me.

So how do you organise your meals? Do you list out the specific dishes or prefer a looser plan like I do?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Do I cry or laugh?

In my line of work it pays to have a sense of humour. Like this morning for example. I had set up all the things I needed to give Dhiraj a bath. I had prepared the water, got out the shampoo and flannel to have a go at the cradle cap he has at the moment, had his clothes and nappy ready. He was quietly waiting in his chair for me to bathe him. Then I heard a very loud scream from Shaan. I went out into the kitchen to find he had gotten his chair and climbed up to grab one of the eggs I had just collected from the chook pen to cook for dinner. There was yellow, fresh egg all over the floor and on him too. Of course he was crying because the egg had broken. I decided to take him to the bathroom too and put him in the bath to clean up. Dhiraj is still waiting for his bath. I whip off Shaan's clothes including his nappy to discover that he has actually done a poo. I am trying to get him not to move so I can clean his bottom. Instead he starts getting upset and moving away from me, of course, leaving droplets of poo on the bathroom floor in the process. By now Dhiraj is crying, Shaan is crying, I have egg to clean up, poo to clean up and 2 kids to bath and dress. Ok I decided to laugh about the comedy of how much could go wrong. After all it was all fairly easily resolved.

Oh and the good thing is I still got to use the one egg remaining on the bench to cook dinner. I had some feta to use which I don't normally cook with. So I made a feta, bacon and pumpkin frittata. Only thing is on tasting there's probably a bit much feta in it in proportion to the other ingredients. Could have done with a few more eggs in it (I used 3) and pumpkin. Still I enjoyed cooking it. My cooking has been very average of late because mostly I have needed to do really easy meals and I have also have been too tired to put much thought and love (as Carla from Top Chef would say) into it.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

My life at 5 1/2 weeks

Well this is what my life looks like now. Everywhere I am, our baby boy Dhiraj is. Sleeping next to me while I scrapbook. Actually at times he does sleep in his own room especially in the evenings. But at the moment he can be unsettled during the day with getting to sleep and staying asleep for very long. Thankfully he doesn't wake at night except for feeds and goes straight back to sleep.

My life is:
* Full of interruptions which the book I'm reading on organising says is a big time waster. Maybe sometimes its a good thing to waste time especially on your kids.
* A few too many late nights including staying up to watch American Idol. Then too many early mornings. Feeling exhausted pretty much all the time.
* Too much thinking and then feeling terrible that I not coping with more at the moment. Eg parenting, relationships, remembering things.
* Feeling brain fog.
* Receiving encouragement and support through my girlfriends.
* Experiencing God's grace through my husband. Appreciate those cups of tea in the morning when they happen.
* Trying out a new discipline strategy with my daughter to address the tears and whinging we get over decisions we make that she doesn't like.
* Enjoying the big smiles I get from Dhiraj.
* Washing, washing and more washing!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Mondays at Home

Mondays are our only at home day for the week now. I so enjoy having that time at home with the kids. We spend time playing, getting through washing, cleaning up the house from the weekend and enjoying not having to be anyway at a certain time.

Yesterday we had another unusual summer downpour of rain. It was an open invitation for them to go and out and get wet. It has been very hot here! Something about seeing them having such a good time playing in the rain was refreshing for me watching them. The simplicity of it!

Then having a ride with Dad on his bike when he gets home.

Doing the Happy Dance

Pretty excited that I completed my first layout in ages. I used the photo from my last post and inspiration from Sharmaine's sketch.