Thursday, 30 June 2011

So ..back to work

I've had a call from a very lovely childminder, who is willing to charge a retainer of 16 hours per week which means that going back to Uni is back on! So I've been contemplating the changes this will mean. Kira still does not enjoy being with anyone else but me and very strongly protests even if I leave her with Daddy for a few minutes. I'm worrying a little bit and probably need to start letting Daddy have more time with her and get her used to someone else having cuddles. I'm hoping to first start going to the childminders just to have playtime, then maybe start leaving her for an hour at a time and hopefully not have too much distress by the time I'm back in full time Uni.
While I was at the local children's centre I happened to mention to one of the staff about ways to ease children into childcare. Her helpful advice was that children should be left at least an hour a day on their own so they learn independence and that you should achieve this with controlled crying. I was a bit taken aback that they were advocating leaving babies unsupervised for any length of time let alone an hour every day! I told her that that was not the sort of thing I was considering and then she told me that I would be putting my child through "torture" by leaving her with a childminder if I had not "broken her attachment". That was it and I nearly bit her head off and had to go cool down for a bit before I said something I was going to regret! I have no intention of "breaking" my childs attachment to me and I certainly will not be leaving her alone and unsupervised to cry. Now I've calmed down a little I think it must have been a personal opinion rather than some sort of policy they have, but this woman is fully trained in childcare as she was giving us examples based on her professional experience. I'm half tempted to write to the centre and suggest perhaps they need to train their staff better!
Anyway, I could rant on all day about how wrong that kind of approach is but I have to say I'm still wondering what is the best approach to take. I was lucky enough to not have to go to work with the others until they were 18 months old and they were more than happy and very ready to go with someone else by that point. But poor Kira will be 9 months old when I go back, which was the peak clingy time with my other two, the exact time they scream when you leave the room. What is the best way to ease the transition? Any suggestions for gentle way of getting her ready anyone?

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Sugru



Sugru is air curing silicone that you can use to repair or even make things better. I've lost count of the things around here that had to be thrown away due to snapped handles, missing knobs or other annoying plastic bits breaking or cracking. I'm really exited by this stuff, it could be so useful! Might try some out for my shoes, I have a lot of shoes that are too uncomfy to wear.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Pink Pancakes and Veggie Boxes

So my quest to be more healthy and lose some weight continues.....and yes I am failing miserably, having just eaten two bagels with cheese for lunch and yesterday having whipped up home baked biscuits in a flash after finding bare cupboards. Must start getting more exercise as cutting down on yummy food is so hard :P

I still get my veg box every week and have now added some milk to my order as it's cheaper than the stuff we get from the milkman..go figure. Non homogenised so the cream goes to the top, lovely! But they only deliver on a Tuesday so still have the milkman the rest of the week. One pint was not going very far so we've switched to getting a 2 pint milk bag every day, yes a bag! You get a jug thing (called a Jug It) which has a lid which pierces the bag, actually works really well. The picture looks a bit odd, must have taken it at an angle, it isn't really so big at the top..

Last week I had leftover beetroot and decided to try something new. Half I made soup with, which I froze into little single size portions for me to eat in the day. The other half I made Pink Pancakes with, beetroot pancakes sound ikky but were actually really nice, sorta like carrot cake is nice. Recipe is from Able and Cole.

Pink Pancakes

Beetroot for breakfast may feel like sunbathing in the rain but on a really warm day!

Makes about 6 medium-sized pancakes (a perfect breakfast for 2)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 mug of plain white or wholewheat flour
  • 2 heaped tsp of baking powder
  • ¾ mug of apple juice
  • ½ mug of finely grated raw (or cooked) beetroot
  • ½ tsp of mix spice
  • Olive oil
  • Butter and honey, to serve
Whisk the egg until frothy. Add flour, baking powder and salt.

Pour in the apple juice. Give it all a good whisk.

Fold in the beetroot and spice.

Warm a frying pan over high heat. Brush on a bit of olive oil. Drop in dessert spoonfuls of the pancake batter into the centre of the pan.

Grab a spatula. As soon as the pancake starts to bubble up in the centre, flip it over and cook for 2 minutes or so, until cooked through. Don't be tempted to press the pancake down in the pan as it cooks as this will press out all the lovely air bubbles that make it nice and fluffy.

When all your pancakes are cooked, add a dot of butter on the top of each, and then serve with a drizzle of honey and a nice cuppa.
The batter is really bright pink!

Actually tasted really good!



Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Jizo

I always wondered about the little figures in the Japanese film Princess Mononoke (which I love) These creepy little guys are "spirits of the forest". I've come across these trype of little figures who live on mountains by the roadside in a few different films I've seen and always wondered if they were based on some kind of cultural thing.

I just came across the Japanese Jizo Statues. In Japan Jizo is worshipped as the guardian of the spirits of miscarried, aborted or stillborn babies. I can see where the Princess Mononoke animators got the idea from. Parents place toys and offerings, or little hats and bibs by the statues asking for protection of their child's soul. Something about this idea really appeals to me. I think I may just craft a little Jizo of my own for my garden. I like that they have a cultural way of acknowledging the loss of an unborn child, it's a shame we don't do something similar here.














Sunday, 12 June 2011

Mama Is

Came across this brilliant little online comic with a breastfeeding/babywearing theme, and this one really struck a chord, go check it out http://www.mamaiscomic.com

Saturday, 11 June 2011

WTF?!

So for some reason I felt the need to google my name as there was a discussion on radio 4 about online profiles and how you may want to check out what comes up about you on google.
All looks fairly normal, Facebook, picasa the usual...and then there is this
(there was a link here to a wierd peruvian travel page with loads of my pictures and random text)


Seriously WTF? I tried emailing the website but it bounced back. Any clue as to how I can get my pictures off that site? I'm assuming it's some kind of weird bot trawler type thing ...very very odd. It's kind of scary as there are mentions of a lot of the different sites I use...creepy :S

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EDIT: sorry to anyone who clicked the link it was sending out viruses

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Right Where I Am - One Year, 8 Months and 22 Days

Thanks to Angie for initiating this project. Read more here.
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I miss her still, pure and simple. But it is more fuzzy these days, it is a sad story, a tale in the past, one that is told and retold in my head over and over. I play back my memories and the littlest things bother me. I don't remember kissing her, how could I have not kissed her!  But now, at least, the replay is not on repeat, I can put it back in it's case and leave it on the shelf. But her absence pops up now and then and it bites like a dagger to the heart. The mother with a baby and toddler, a "born in 09" t-shirt in the pile of second hand clothes, her name mentioned, silly little things.

I feel my own mortality terribly these days and  I am hyper aware of just how, temporary, everything is...like the sands of time are slipping straight through my fingers. I am very mindful of everything, happy moments, pretty objects, sunny days, delicious food, people I love, every little new thing Kira does. I make a very deliberate effort to find simple things to be happy about, even if it is just that nothing is going horribly wrong at this very moment, or that we have a roof over our heads. This has stopped me from going over the edge and ending up with more of the little razor blade scars I have on my arms from when I was a teenager. 

I have still not visited her grave, in fact is has now been so long I wouldn't even know where it is any more. I feel terrible that we couldn't afford her a proper grave with her own headstone. She's in a space for 12 lost babies, it pains me that I don't know where she is. So much of the time I can't face the reality directly, it still feels so raw, like going there and seeing it would be just too real. I bought a little stone with her name on and I've been meaning to take it to her for over a year but can't quite bring myself to face it. 

I have identical baby boxes for all my children, neatly labelled with their name and date of birth on.  I have become almost scared of her box...it feels like that scene from Dune "what is in the box? .....Pain"  The first thing on the top is my husbands poem to her "A Letter To My Lost Daughter" too much for me, just too much to bear to read it.  

I'm meeting a lot of new people, going to all the baby groups and such, discussion always turn to how labour went and how many kids you have. Mostly I edit Bella out and I feel guilty for doing so but I can't stand the horrified looks you get and the dark atmosphere it brings when you talk about it openly, which is only as everyone can empathise with how it would have been to lose their child. There was one discussion about reduced fetal movements and going into hospital to get it checked out and how silly they felt when everything was fine, and the "oh yes I did that too, ha ha" from the group. I kept my mouth shut and felt bitter about it as I have learned to do.

I am far more cynical and impatient, trivial facebook posts about just how terrible life is irritate the hell out of me beyond belief. I have become a fundamental atheist, God talk makes me rage, those little pictures with little bible sayings, or "everything happens for a reason" type stuff. I have however retained my sense of humour, pitch black though it now may be. Actually thinking about it I really am a very strange mix of crazy happy high on life itself  "look rainbows YEY!" and dark cynical "F&*K your pathetic drama" . Who knows *shrug* I lost myself and now I'm a complex mash of all my experiences..... but then again who isn't I suppose. I'm running through life, kicking and screaming, laughing and crying and almost, almost enjoying the rollercoaster again.
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P.S
Here is something that made me smile today...this guy is currently ranking number 1 in the Next Catalogue model competition, awesome! ...go vote for him :D Reality FTW!



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Yummy Stuffed Courgettes with Chorizo

This recipe is based on one from one of those free supermarket magazines but with a few bits added in by me. I didn't believe that courgettes could taste so good, I'm not usually a fan! There is a glut of courgettes in my veg box at the moment so I needed to find a good way of using them up. This might not be the best one for the kids though unless they are good with eating stuff like this, I know mine would all make a fuss! It's great for the odd occasion when you are on your own and uses a lot of stuff that is usually lying around in the fridge.

Large courgettes x 3 (also good with peppers or tomatoes)
olive oil
2/3 garlic cloves (I used a whole wet garlic from my veggie box)
1 large grated carrot
chopped chorizo (sausage, bacon or ham would be good too or even a pepperami)
a handful of raisins or sultanas
50g breadcrumbs
1 egg
fresh basil
fresh thyme
50g cheese

pre heat over to 200 (fan180)
boil the courgette whole for 5 mins, leave to cool a bit then cut in half lengthways. Scoop out the flesh, chop and fry it for 5 mins with the garlic. Chuck in a bowl with all the other ingredients and half of the cheese. Spoon the mixture back into the courgettes and top with the rest of the cheese. Bake for 20 mins. Enjoy :)