my-speck

i'm pregnant and it's going to be a rollercoaster

How to keep a secret… and Happy Birthday… Dear Daddy! March 30, 2012

On Wednesday night, Daddy was a little late coming home.

 

Which was good as it left us a little time to try to wrap a present and make a birthday card.

 

Little O helped stick the paper on with sticky tape, and drew some lovely “O”s on a piece of paper to make a card.  Because we  need to wrap a special present for Daddy because it is his birthday tomorrow.

Then we had to hide the present.  Because it isn’t Daddy’s birthday until Thursday morning.  Tomorrow morning.

Then we had to find somewhere to hide the present.  Because we don’t want Daddy to know about it until Thursday morning. Tomorrow morning.

We decided (O decided) that a good spot was under his dressing table.  Little O insisted on hiding it there himself.  He dropped the heavy gift about 5 times getting it up the hallway.  Because it was heavy.  Because hiding it under the dressing table Daddy won’t know and won’t see it when he comes home.  And we can give it to him in the morning.

….

 

Daddy comes home about 10 minutes later.  Little O jumps out of bed, calling,

“Daddy, Daddy.  You’re home.  We have your present for your birthday but it’s hidden under there,” points to the dresser, “and it was very heavy and I carried it down the hall and mummy said be careful but we can’t give it to you until tomorrow but it’s a secret because it’s your birthday and it’s a bit heavy and we wrapped it and drew some O’s and it has some paper and sticky tape and we mustn’t tell you because it’s a secret for your birthday, alright?”

In one big single breathed monologue.

 

Luckily he didn’t know what it was when we were wrapping it – he’d never seen a tortilla press before.

 

Happy Birthday Daddy!

 

angel food cake! yum

P.S.  and I forgot to take a photo of the Angel Food Cake that I made on request.  But I got one of the only remaining piece after it was eaten.  Recipe tomorrow…

lighting the candles

 

apple poppyseed cinnamon muffins September 28, 2011

The muffins we made on Saturday are a staple around our house – simple, sugar-free (just honey), take about 5 minutes + cooking time, and can be done with pretty much any fruit you have about.  The original recipe calls for blueberries, but we usually do apple.  They are so simple, kids can help measure, mix, spoon and they are ready in a jiffy.

cupcakes! AKA apple cinnamon poppyseed muffins

apple poppyseed cinnamon muffins

1 banana, mashed

¼ cup vegetable oil

⅓ cup honey

¾ cup milk

1 cup wholemeal self-raising flour

1 cup white self-raising flour

½ cup poppyseeds

big dash ground cinnamon

finely grated zest 1 lemon

2 medium-large granny smith apples, diced 1cm or smaller cubes

method

  1. Mix together banana, oil, honey and milk.
  2. Add the flours, poppyseeds, cinnamon and zest and mix very lightly (remember that muffin batter should only be just mixed).
  3. Stir in the apple.
  4. Spoon into 12 lightly greased muffin pans. Bake in a preheated moderate (180°C) oven for about 20 minutes.

notes

  • serve warm! they don’t need butter that way
  • they freeze well
  • works fine with frozen/defrosted bananas (i always put my oops forgot about those bananas in the freezer for cooking.  Just skinned and in a freezer bag/container.
  • you can substitute pretty much any fruit, or a combination, or put more or less to your tastes.

variations

blueberry

substitute 1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen) for the apple, and omit the poppyseeds, cinnamon and lemon zest.

source

the original blueberry recipe from: Creber, Ann. (1988) The Almost Healthy Cookbook p13

 

 

P.S.  Always looking for new muffin recipes – let me know if you have a favourite!

 

I won!! I won!! I won!!! (something for once, and something good!~!) and… the start of a rocky road adventure August 6, 2011

Hello,

here I am, quietly spending my Saturday experimenting with gelatine, agar and a few different varieties of a strawberry jelly… Because my sister and I are trying to create our own version of the marvelous Noosa Chocolate Factory rocky-road that is sold at the Jan Power markets here in Brisbane.


It is totally addictive and amazing.   I’m just lucky I don’t have the energy to walk the 30 minutes to the city on a Wednesday yet when it is sold so I can buy it regularly… (though note to self: that may change. Bulge around the middle from baby-stretch: advises against incorporating this outing into the weekly routine. Taste-buds and sugar-receptor centre of brain advise: the case for – walking would burn off enough energy to eat a lot, surely that would compensate… and there is a playground, pool, etc at Southbank on the way, so it combines as a good kids outing)…

So the homemade marshmallow is done.  Thank-you to David Lebovitz for the recipe.

But the jelly layer isn’t going so well.

 

But I won!!

Frustrated, I returned to my computer to once again find some recipes for a fruit jelly and see what I could tweak after attempt #4 is not quite right… And got sidetracked reading a few blogs…..

 

AND DISCOVERED THAT I WON BABYMAC’S FABULOUS 5 YEARS BLOGIVERSARY GIVEWAY!!!!  Yes, me, I won!!

…  And the first thing I think I’ll enjoy is a glass of great champagne.  As I was just saying on facebook yesterday: “breastfeeding, bouncing and thinking, ‘oh yeah, I could go a cocktail’ while listening to the dj on jjj at the moment.. Greatest hits of my previous life as a clubber :)”.  So next DJ set I put on I can express some breastmilk in advance, pass off a feed or two, have a nice glass of champagne and bounce along myself.

 

Thank-you BabyMac!

-r

 

P.S. Notes on the rocky-road adventure to follow tomorrow.

 

A memorable trip…. with sausage and prunes but no playdoh. February 10, 2011

Hello!

I’ve lots to write but little time. Life is a bit of a blur at the moment. One needs time to make icecream and other savoury snacks to fulfill the pregnant urges (more on that another day). Oh yeah, and work fits in there somewhere too.

A snippet from last week.

The plane trip from hell….

We took a trip to Melbourne for an extra-long weekend.  It was awesome overall, which I’ll get to in another post.  But today, a bit about the flight, sausages, prunes and playdoh… (more…)

 

Baby Food – you’re onto Indian. Our little curry muncher. While your tastebuds are still developing anyhow. January 30, 2010

Hello!

So.  You tried my favourite food today: Indian Palak Paneer (or spinach and cheese curry).  I’m not sure you ‘loved’ it as much as I do, but you sure did eat some. Palak Paneer is the top of my food list. Don’t know why – just love the stuff. Actually I do know why. Spinach and cheese and curry. All rolled into one. For a vegetarian. Delightful. We make it with fresh ricotta as a substitute for real paneer, and it works out great.

Palak Paneer on the way ...

It's coming close but you don't seem sure

We cooked it last night for dinner, same as usual, just with no salt.  We’re getting closer to just feeding you what we eat with some slight modifications.  Anyway, I have been feeling a little lacking in iron, and was having a spinach craving, so your dad cooked it up.

Baby Food - indian palak paneer (spinach cheese curry)

Palak Paneer (Spinach Cheese Curry) for you..

And so you got it for dinner tonight as we’re running low on other home-cooked baby meals.

Eating the curry

yum?

You still prefer apples though – it’s apparent from your facial expressions.  It’s fun to watch your face when new tastes are introduced.  We’ll keep at it.

baby eating the curry

Mmmmm. Tasty?

I’ve read and heard that children’s tastebuds develop over time and it’s likely you’ll reject things you once ate happily when you get a bit older. So, for now, we’ll just let you eat a wide range and hope that somehow even if in the shorter term you start to refuse to eat a bunch of them, that the tastes sink into your subconscious and as you grow older you’ll grow back into them.

Love you
mum

 

Beach holiday June 7, 2009

Hello Speck!

Here we are – we are all in a big house right on the beach at Byron.  Lovely with a view straight through from the living area and kitchen across the garden to the ocean.   The sea is a bit choppy and dirty due to all the recent rain and storms, so its not great for swimming, but the beach is good for walking… Its been a full moon, so every night you can see a trail into the distance across the waves and the ocean, leading out to a large fat full moon.  From your dad and I’s bedroom you can see straight out, so we’ve been sleeping with the curtains open and waking to the rising sun.  Lovely.

Galaktoboureko

Otherwise – its a full house and we are all having lots of fun.  Mostly cooking and eating.  Tonight we’ve got two desserts – I’ve made my greek galaktaboureko for the first time, and your Aunt St has made a gluten and dairy free lemon meringue pie…  Then for entree K has made chick pea pancake / fritters with an olive tapenade, olive boccocini and fresh lovely local roma cherry tomatoes.  There is stuffed capsicum and tomatoes coming for main, with meat for those who have that, and then stuffed squid too.   I think everyone was in the kitchen cutting, stuffing and cooking at the same time at one point,  enjoying the laughter and the good smells.  Notice I’ve started with the dessert.   Funny that is still my focus.  I’ve definitely had cravings or more like lustings for sweet food during my pregnancy with you.

Wanted to write and let you know we are still thinking of you.   L has been singing you songs as we went to the market and shopping today – he and his sister are quite excited that you’re coming to join us soon.   They are coming for a sleepover this friday night so they get one in before you arrive.  We’ve promised to cook smoothies for breakfast.  Anyway, L has been asking all about you – if you can hear yet, how big you are etc.  We’ve told him you can hear us, a bit like what you can hear when you’re underwater.   So, you’ve been getting renditions of songs learned at kindi and prep that he wants to share with you.

lemon meringue pie

And you are obviously gettting well fed.

Hope you’re well. Off to the beach for a walk.

love mum

 

excited. you are now officially full term and can come on down anytime. Week 37 hoorah. June 4, 2009

Hello little one,

how are you tonight?  I’m exhausted.  I gave up on working for a bit today and took some time out to go grocery shopping with your dad.  We now have hospital snacks for the birth bag.  And some food for this weekend!

YAY – we are going to the beach again.  S arrives tonight from Sydney – you and I are going to the airport to get her – and then after our visit to the obstetrician tomorrow we will head off down the coast.   The others will come a bit later in the day after work.   AHHH.  4 days of nothing.  and friends in a house on the beach.  and food.   I’m going to cook Galaktoboureko.   Yummo.

And we are going to swim.  It might be a bit cold.  But whatever.   I’m hotter than normal still..

So.  You’re obviously moving downwards as those sharp twinges that the pregnancy books warned me about are happening in much more earnest than before.  I believe its your head banging against my cervix.  A bit like shooting pains up from my groin.   But I’m thinking its a good pain as it means you’re moving closer to engaging.  So its all good.  Keep it up.  And you’re still totally crazily active at the moment.  Its like vesuvius down there in the lump that is my stomach.   So you’re doing something.  I have heard that generally babies go quiet for a day or two before coming out, so I reassured S today on the phone that you weren’t going to arrive early while we were at the coast.  She was a bit worried you might just pop on out.  And that everyone at the house would then want to accompany me to the hospital.  I said that they’d all just stay in Byron & then come and visit after you arrived, and that she would be lucky as she’d be one of the first to meet you.   Which got her excited.  But then she exclaimed, “But we couldn’t have the Bombe Alaska.  I mean, we could bring it to the hospital but I don’t think they’d let us light it!”

Mmm..Bombe Alaska.  See, you can look forward to a life with us of eating well.   I am looking forward to S’s Bombe Alaska and the beach…

yum yum

love mum

 

cooking again. Carrot cake today. April 6, 2009

Hello Speck!

I’ve braved the disorder of our house to cook again this afternoon.  Carrot cake.  Its in the oven now. So the house is hot.  I think its about 28 degrees, which isn’t too bad, but its been raining for the past four days, and just started again, so its that lovely Brisbane humid heat.  The skin pressed between my boobs and you in my stomach is exceedingly hot.  Such is life.

carrot cake before we ate it

carrot cake before we ate it

carrot cake after we ate it...

carrot cake after we ate it...

Your dad and I went for a big walk this morning.  It was a nice break and ’cause I stopped lots to stretch out my back, wasn’t too hard on it.  I slept badly again last night.  Right on time as soon as I enter the third trimester my sleep has deteriorated again and the good hormones seem to be taking a break.  Damn damn damn.  But typical.   Yoga on Friday night helped with the back, but the pain just comes back, no matter how much I stretch.  We walked around a lot yesterday too – markets, Mick’s Nuts and general back and forth.   And exercise does help, but I think from now on in its just discomfort from what the books and people tell me.  Not that it seems to bother you at all :)

you and me at week 28

you and me at week 28

We also had a Speck-watching event on the back deck yesterday with your Grandad and Uncle Jake & your Dad, Aunt 3 & T.  You move around so heartily that its pretty easy to work out where you are and what you are doing.  Lots of pushing up with your feet near my stomach while everyone was watching.   You were doing the ‘tent pose’ for a while, so we grabbed your foot on either side with our fingers on the ouside of my belly.  Your foot is pretty big.

As you can possibly tell from my almost incoherent ramblings, my brain is reverting to mush again. Oh well. Best to just eat cake.

love you
mum

 

Yoga mark two January 29, 2009

Good Morning Speck,

How are you? Very quiet down there again, perhaps you’re busy digesting the large amount of food I have consumed in the past 24 hours. Some days I seem to just need to eat a regular amount yet other days I just feel like I’m starving and need to eat everything in sight. Yesterday was one of those days.

Your dad and you will be pleased to know that despite my tendency to eat relatively crap food and make little effort when it’s just me, I went and did a big healthy shop when I got home from work on Monday night, so we’ve been snacking on guacamole, peaches, nectarines and almonds mostly. One of my friends from work made me a huge batch of Indian rice custard after hearing about my recent addiction, so as that has no sugar but just reduced milk that is pretty good too. And I made palak paneer last night so we both got our spinach quota for the week.

What else? Well, I seem to be moody again. I helpfully told someone at work today who pissed me off only ever so slightly that ‘I don’t give a s* anyway, I’m having a baby and will be leaving and won’t be here when it happens anyway’.. Mmm, not really what I was thinking, just an over zealous outburst.   Your fault again.

Also went along to yoga last night.  Coke-meister bailed on me but I went anyway.  It was a normal level 1-2 yoga class at the great studio I went to with you dad for a while over a year ago.  We both enjoyed our courses there a lot, and the teachers are really good.   It was interesting – I got to do a few different exercises while everyone else did headstand and shoulderstand and a few other abdominally-taxing exercises, and I have to step in rather than jump, but it was good.  I think I’ll keep going to pregnant yoga when I can also, but this is a good option for me for the next period as we move back and forth between Sydney and Brisbane.  My ankle is much better and I have got a brace for it which helps with remembering to keep it in mind.

I didn’t feel you kicking around much last night but I think you were definitely on the left side still – you put me off-balance slightly.

Hope you’re well.

love you

mum

 

eating frenzy January 13, 2009

Dear Speck,

Yesterday was a day of eating. I arrived at work and ate my large bowl of yoghurt and fresh mango. Soon after, deciding I was still hungry, I moved onto grapes. The large bunch I’d bought into work (intending that it lasted until Thursday) lasted until just before lunch. I took lunch early, cause I was feeling a little peckish. Lunch was a large bowl of chilli beans, which your dad had cooked the day before. It was pretty filling, but only made it until about 2pm when I needed more. 2 nectarines downed for afternoon tea / snack.

Went home and despite the fact it was 4:45 decided a snack of jam-drops (yes, I got around to cooking them on Sunday) was definitely in order. Ate those. I started with one but then decided as I went that 5 large jam-drops was a much closer estimate of the volume required to fill the obviously gaping hole in my stomach. Then your dad had a pack of corn chips so I had a few (it was just a few)… Then I figured baclava was needed too. So I ate that. Just one piece (they are little pieces, only 2cm square!)…

Buying the baclava. I only bought a half a kilo, which, as you can see from the size of the tray on offer, was very restrained of me. And I have been sharing it. Mostly.

While eating these delightful treats I was busy thinking about dinner and dessert ’cause I knew these would only fill me up for a while. This really is a distinct change from pretty much the whole first trimester when I avoided the kitchen and couldn’t really be bothered to think about food at all. So while eating at home I started cooking. First up was french vanilla ice cream with a fresh vanilla bean and lots of cream. Made the custard, put it in the fridge, then started on the sauce. I wanted to make fresh blueberry ripple ice cream, so using the kilo of fresh blueberries I got on the weekend, I added a little sugar and cooked a blueberry jam. Mashed up the blueberries a little and cooked on high heat. It tasted good. Froze the ice cream and then combined in beautiful purple swirls and stuck in the freezer for after dinner.

Assembling Dinner: leeks underneath, cheese on top, pastry nice and crispy

Dinner itself I decided that I wanted fresh leek, fetta and tomato flan. So made a cheese, wheatgerm flaky pastry, then did the leeks and the onions and baked it all into a big flan. Your dad didn’t seem happy that dinner was so late: 8:15 pm; but for me, it was the perfect timing between my last snack and an early bed (eating all day is just exhausting). Dessert of the blueberry swirl ice cream followed.

Yum, yum. I was famished all day, but managed to satisfy the hunger pains and keep myself occupied. Suffice to say I was replete at the end. And I didn’t do any bike riding ’cause I just didn’t have the time.

Enjoy!

love mum