my-speck

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

Gastro, dryers and reminiscing about childhood. Dream house requirement #1. June 2, 2012

Filed under: baby stuff,Parenting,Raising a Child — rakster @ 4:02 pm
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I mentioned when talking about Girraween that little Miss L had the gastro bug. I should have realised before we left, but silly me, I didn’t. She is such a happy little thing you see, even when she is sick she’s really happy, so it’s hard to tell how affected she is.

Anyway, we returned from Girraween with a lot of washing to do. Including the rewashing of the clothes and bedding I’d had to handwash in the absolutely f*ing freezing water on Saturday morning in the bathroom at the campground as I knew the amount of clothes I’d brought wasn’t going to cut it with a vomiting babe. There is only so clean you can get something with freezing hands and cold water in a small basin.

Monday Little miss L was still sick. So counting Thursday, when she was at daycare and it started with a few poos that caused a megasauras (mega-sore-ass in our family), it was Day Five. Cue trip to doctor just to be on the safe side. Doctor sent me straight to the hospital. So I spent Monday most of the day in the emergency children’s. Outcome was that she was slightly dehydrated, but since I’m a breastfeeder and she is a very healthy 11.something kilograms at 11 months (and officially the same or more than her three year old brother), that breastfeeding would get us through without any jabs or tubes. Hurrah.

Home again to try to sort through the gargantuan pile of laundry. Started to get there on Tuesday. Chris started to vomit on Tuesday night. Thankfully he can manage to use the facilities. Still not much fun with a sick husband, recovering babe and a pile of laundry that I could at least now see over.

Wednesday night, finished something I was working on and due this week at about 9:00 pm after working solidly since putting the kids to bed at 7. I’d been working on it for a few nights straight. Went to watch an hour of escapism TV, only to hear a noise through my headphone that didn’t sound quite right. Mmmm. Not right, the nearly-3-year-old had emptied his stomach. Throughout the bedroom.

Which would have been fine, you know, apart from THE WASHING!!! Aagggh… At least he is better with being able to aim for a bucket than a nearly one year old..

We had a conversation on Thursday night at our house where we both recalled that both of our mothers have separately offered to buy us a dryer in the past/recently. And you know, we turned them down, because we live in the sub-tropics of Brisbane. Where it’s supposed to be perfect the next day or something like that. So washing dries in the sun pretty quickly and well. And we have a laundromat at the end of our street for when we get desperate. But we wondered, have we been silly?

But if I recall my childhood correctly, my mum did have a dryer at home. Which she got installed when my three sisters were in primary school. There was a huge room solely for laundry in the house. And mum got gas piped in (if it wasn’t there already), or at the very least got the room modified so that she could get a commercial grade and sized gas-powered Maytag dryer installed. And it was huge and efficient and awesome.

And that’s what we’ve decided. In our dream house in which we will have a large utility room we will also have a large industrial sized dryer which we can use on the occasion that the gastro bug or some other such thing strikes down our household and soils our laundry….

It it weren’t raining I would be off to the shops now to buy a lotto ticket.

 

Girraween … May 30, 2012

Filed under: camping,family,Parenting,Raising a Child — rakster @ 2:47 pm
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Girraween National Park, on the border of QLD and NSW, south of Warwick, was the destination for our camping trip last weekend.

It was great.  Lovely crisp days with amazingly blue endless skies.  Freezing cold (like minus 3 or something) nights.  We were joined by some great friends, and did some wonderful walking on both days.  The photo below is up at the top of The Pyramid.  It is a steep climb/walk straight up a granite-faced rock.

 

Did I ever mention that I’m not so keen on heights?  Not petrified, but not enamoured with them either.  Climbing up for me was a big challenge.  I don’t like going up steep inclines where I feel one false move could mean I slip to my death.  Which is a bit of an exaggeration really, as the granite face of the rock is really grippy and if you fell you’d probably just end up with a lot of gravel rash.   But nonetheless, rationality doesn’t come into it all that much for me when I’m trying to climb.  Going down is fine.  I can see where I’m going to fall then so it’s not an issue.  Figure that.  Anyway, with a lot of support and encouragement (and assistance by handing the baby in the backpack right on over to G for the full trip up and down) I made it all the way up and that is us on top.  Glorious!

 

at the top of the rock - The Pyramid - Girraween National Park

It was absolutely freezing at night, and little Miss L came down with a bad case of gastro which made nights in the tent (wearing all our clothes and with limited bedding) pretty tricky (you can see where I’m going with this but I’ll spare you the details), but the days made up for it.

Yay for camping!

:)

love M

P.S. and we still use our macpac backpack all the time – I just got another one so we can do stuff like this and carry both kids at once. wonderful.

 

Eating : a balancing act May 22, 2012

Filed under: cooking,eating,family,Parenting,Raising a Child — rakster @ 9:46 pm

I had to take a photo tonight at dinner to remind myself and record the fact that my son will eat dinner.

On occassion.

20120522-214257.jpg

If in a restaurant.

Mmmmmmmmmmmm.

Grrrrrrrr.

I have made the same meal at home (pad thai) plenty of times and he won’t even try it.

And here he is not only serving himself a whole plateful, but eating it too!

I’m happy and frustrated simultaneously :)

 

Love Mum

P.S. The 11 month old weighs the same as the 2yr 11 month old in our house.

 

The family outing May 19, 2012

Our family went out to brunch this morning to celebrate Aunt Rhyan’s birthday.

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We were in safe hands with the rescue team on standby in case of emergency..

 

Books April 28, 2012

Filed under: Parenting — rakster @ 8:52 am

The current fascination with dragons means we need some new books.

Any suggestions on books for boys with Dragons?

Picture books are great, but little O will happily listen to a bigger kids book that we read a chapter at a time at night time…

Your thoughts?

thanks!

 

when Robots attack! April 14, 2012

Saturday morning was robot time at our house this morning.

 

robot. saturday morning robot

We found the pipe cleaners and raided the recycling box.

New Robot met old robot,

“See, you’re just like me – a robot.  We are both robots, right?”

Hello robot!

and there was a lot of playing.


happy weekend everyone!

 

Angel Food Cake – recipe March 31, 2012

Filed under: cooking — rakster @ 10:19 am
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angel food cake

it’s essentially a big fluffy sweet sponge cake held up with a LOT of egg white.  Apparently Betty Crocker did one in the 70s/80s in Canada that my lovely other half was partial to eating when his mom made it.  I’m a bit of a packet cake snob, and when a cake is as easy as this, who wouldn’t be.  I think if you wanted to play around with it and cut this cake up to make a shaped kid’s birthday cake, it would work pretty well too – it is tough enough / not too crumbly at all while still being pretty light.  And because it’s so light (and sweet) it’s one of the only cakes I’ve ever made where my two year old has actually eaten the whole piece of cake and not just the icing!

angel food cake! yum

ingredients

1 cup (240g) cake flour (*see note)
¾ cup + ¾ cup white sugar (177g + 177g)
12 egg whites (room temp for best whipping – but they are easier to separate when cold.  Also as even the smallest speck of yolk will make them not whip up well, suggest you separate them one by one into a second bowl before adding to the rest of the whites in the main bowl – it would be a shame to get to the 12th egg and get some yolk in!)
1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract (and optionally ½ teaspoon almond extract)
1 ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
½ teaspoon salt

equipment

25 cm (10 inch) angel food cake tin OR ring tin OR bundt tin.  A tin with a hold in the middle!
stand mixer / hand-held beaters
a bottle or something to invert the cake tin onto so it ‘hangs’ upside down

method

  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F). Make sure that your 25cm (10 inch) ring tin (or special angel food cake tin if you have one!) or bundt tin is clean and dry.   Basically you need a tin with a hold in the middle so the cake cooks evenly and isn’t gooey in the middle!  Do not grease the tin.  The ungreased tin allows full rising as the cake sticks to the sides on baking and the tin then holds the cake ‘out’ to stop it collapsing.
  2. Sift together the cake flour and ¾ cup of the sugar, set aside.
  3. In a very large very clean bowl (any amount of oil, dishwashing liquid or residue could deflate the egg whites), beat the egg whites along with the vanilla, cream of tartar and salt, to medium stiff peaks.  You could try this by hand but there is quite a bit of mixing, so a stand mixer works best, but you could do it with a hand-held if needed.
  4. Gradually add the remaining sugar while continuing to whip to stiff peaks.
  5. When the egg white mixture has reached its maximum volume, fold in the sifted ingredients gradually, one third at a time. Do not over-mix.
  6. Put the batter into the ring pan. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes in the preheated oven, until the cake springs back when touched.
  7. Balance the tube pan upside down on the top of a bottle, to prevent decompression while cooling. Yes, this sounds strange, but the cake is so light it won’t ‘fall’ out of the pan while cooling even though it is inverted.
  8. When completely cool, run a knife around the edge of the pan and invert onto a plate.
  9. Serve with fresh or poached fruit in season and whipped cream or a strawberry or passionfruit style syrup-sauce.  Or for kids with whipped cream and sprinkles!  We served with fresh whipped cream (with a small amount of icing (confectioner’s) sugar and vanilla extract added).

notes

  • to make ‘cake flour’ – measure 2 tablespoons corn flour then add plain (all-purpose) flour to make up one cup (240g) total.  Sift 4 or 5 times until very well combined.  The cake flour has a lower protein content than normal flour and should be a lot lighter.
  • there is a lot of mixture – it overfills my 23 cm bundt cake tin
  • apparently (according to someone in my house) you also need to add a small amount of sprinkles to the cake mixture (as you mix in the flour) so that the cake is flecked with little colourful bits.  I’d say about 2 tablespoons would do it.
  • This cake is super-sweet.   Hence the decoration / serving with poached fruit.   No need for icing on this baby.
  • Egg yolks? Got a few left over after making this cake?  How convenient that this cake goes so well with ice cream!  Make a batch or two.  Or some home made custard.  Or a creme pattisserie to fill a fresh lovely custard tart.  Or a batch of choux pastry nuns filled with custard.   Mmmm.  So many options!

source

Modified from a recipe on www.food.com (12591) 29 March 2012

 

Made for our daddy’s birthday this week!

 

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

 

Boobie boobie boobie March 29, 2012

One of the songs O sings in music class is about a little box.  As part of the song, someone chooses something to come out of the box, and then it makes a noise.  Cue this week’s contribution from little O:

Music Teacher: “O, what would you like to be in the box today?”

O: “Boonie.  Boonie in the box.”

Boonie is one of little Luna’s nicknames in our house.  Nothing to do at all with the Australian cricketer.  Just “Luna Boona” gets shortened to “Boonie”.  It’s an Australian thing.

 

The teacher looks a little confused, who wouldn’t with someone saying “Boonie” as though you should know what that is.

 

I point to Luna’s head to indicate he means her.   Then wonder if I should be encouraging a song where my second child is put in a box.  Oh well.  The teacher goes on:

“Baby? Oscar wants to put a baby in the box.  That’s a good idea.  What should the baby say when it comes out? Wah, wah, wah?”

Oscar: “No. Baby’s don’t say ‘wah, wah, wah’.  They say ‘boobie, boobie, boobie’.”

At this point the teacher cracks up laughing so hard she can’t talk for a minute.  She tries to regain her composure as she says:

“Oscar’s right, babies do say ‘boobie, boobie, boobie’.  Everybody, let’s put the baby in the box now ..”

And we all proceeded to sing the song and then say “boobie, boobie, boobie” when the baby came out of the box.  Nice.

 

Another breastfeeding is just the norm in our household snippet bought to you from the mouth of a babe.

breastfeeding is the norm. Me feeding little O when he was 14 months at a friend's wedding. In a totally not breastfeeding friendly dress. It worked nonetheless. (And yeah, I can't remember what we were talking about but S is obviously demonstrating something).

Love mum

 

Things to do while the baby is sleeping… (or things I have done while the baby has been sleeping) March 22, 2012

Some days the babe sleeps for but 45 minutes at a stretch before for some reason or other we need to get in the car and go somewhere or gets woken by something (or someone)…  Not like the first lucky child who had a bit of a routine and actually two good-length daytime sleeps until he was over 1.

 

But some days I do get a bit of a break when the older one is at daycare, and the younger one actually goes to sleep for a bit.  It’s hard to plan anything, because you just never know what is going to happen, but sometimes it’s just fun to pretend the sleep will a bit and just get stuck into doing something that it would be impossible to contemplate getting done with a baby underfoot.

 

This week I had two days where sleep happened.

 

The first day, I did the tax.  Well, when I say, “did the tax”, what I actually mean is get all the bits of paper and emails and other nasty things that need to be gathered to complete “the tax”, write a letter to the accountant explaining what I couldn’t find, put it in an envelope and label it “Urgent”.  Because of course I’ve left it so long that it is now somewhat urgent (oops, sorry).

 

The second day, I made a pie.  Yes, a pure escapism from reality PIE.  Lime marshmallow pie. And totally forgot to take a photo, so all you’ll get is the last-remaining wedge photo from the day after (we had people over people, we didn’t consume the whole thing ourselves – just in case you were wondering).

Lime Marshmallow Pie

 

Yum.

 

Lime Marshmallow Pie. Recipe courtesy David Lebovitz’s Ready for Dessert.

 

Yum.  Did I say that already.

 

I know which task I enjoyed more!

 

Have you baked anything good recently?? What do you do if you kid’s are asleep and you’ve a few minutes to yourself?? What would you LIKE to do?

Lime Marshmallow Pie slice

ooops. It seems to be getting smaller...