Strange nocturnal toddler

5am…?  What’s the deal? 
“Mummy… Mummy cuddle” says Miss Bee.

After going to bed at 1.30am after watching the New Year fireworks on TV then finishing the movie I was not prepared for that rude awakening. 

Darling hubby suggested bringing her into our bed. Bad idea.  She was rocking and rolling trying to initiate a conversation about Hey Dugee and Peppa pig whilst doing some sort of contortionist acrobatic trick. Then started up about playing with her new Ikea kitchen.

Luckily for me darling hubby volunteered to get up.  

Now for the weirdest part.  I slept until 9. Went out expecting to tag team so he could sleep.  But apparently she’d played at the kitchen briefly,  run off into the lounge area… Been removed amidst tears while mean daddy closed the doors. Russled about on her kitchen briefly… Then lay on the familyroom rug and fell asleep in situ until 9!

Darling hubby got to sleep (probably somewhat uncomfortably)  on the adjacent lounge as he wasn’t game to move Sleeping Beauty.

Clawing back from festive eating: Obesity battler. 

Can’t complain too much only gained 800g.  Already lost 600g of that.  

This year I’m looking forward to losing at least 5kg in my day dream state… 10kg.  Perhaps I’ll cut the difference and make it 7.5kg?

I’ve lost weight before.  I’m currently nearly 50kg lighter than my highest known weight. I say known as there was a point I refused to weigh myself. I did it myself,  I know what to do. I also know the last few kilos are the hardest. 

For many years I sat about 5kg lighter than now.  But then I had an accident which resulted in me completely ruining my knee while riding a mountain bike. I couldn’t drive for 5 months,  I had surgery to repair it,  I was on crutches for months and needed physio and hydrotherapy. All that enforced sitting played havoc with my weight.  I managed to only gain 4kg.  Then I started IVF while still on crutches… 2 years of hormones, intralipids and prednisone saw me up 10kg.   Then there was finally a high risk pregnancy where I wasn’t allowed to exercise and had to rest heaps.  That left me 22kg heavier postnatally. I’ve clawed my way back slowly.  Tried to battle the stress eating demon, mostly winning lately.  

I have the last 5kg to go to reconcile life events.  To find me again. 

Kofta with tarted up naked Greek salad

I couldn’t resist tarting up my Greek salad tonight. Since having pomegranate with avocado I’m addicted. 

I started with a regular Greek salad 

Tomato cubes

Feta cheese cubes

Diced cucumber

Diced red capsicum 

Black olives to taste

I skipped the onion as I didn’t fancy it today

Instead I added

Diced avocado 

Seeds from half a pomegranate

With all those flavors bursting through I didn’t think it needed a dressing. It didn’t.  But if you had to, a small drizzle of lemon juice would suffice. But at least try it naked first. Serve on a bed of ripped cos lettuce. 

Kofta consisted of beef mince with lashings of garlic,  chilli,  paprika, pepper, cardamom and parsley. Fresh parsley would be perfect but I only had dried.

If you were feeling exceptionally decedent add a spoon of yogurt onto the cooked meat. I didn’t though. 

Play, inquiry and Reggio in grade 1

I’m starting at a new school next year. 

After years of teaching preschool and early intervention I’m taking the leap into grade 1. 

I’ll have a unique opportunity to jump in with fresh ideas.  My principal is looking for change and wants me to implement playbased learning.  Which is what I do on preschool and with Miss Bee. 

This  challenge will be doing all this with a different curriculum, documenting adequately for assessment and winning the parents over.  

I think I’ve pinned about a million pins to inspire me. 

My Miss Bee

She loved Christmas.  Her Ikea kitchen,  the Christmas lights,  baby Jesus “baby dee sars”,  eating chocolate for breakfast and generally getting thoroughly spoiled.

Three years ago I said to my hubby that I had reached breaking point with IVF.  That if the cycle starting in January wasn’t a success I would have to walk away with empty arms.

The line in the sand is a fluid one.  Often thinking you’ve reached your limit only to redefine limits.  For me,  when the emotional pain of failure outweighs the emotional pain of walking away it’s time to stop trying.

The other day I did the craziest thing.  I saw a long term neighbour who lives down the street walking his dogs. I know for him and his wife the line was drawn.  Hope was lost.  They walked away without a baby.  I ran up and called out to him.  I asked the unthinkable question infertile couples don’t want to be asked.  I asked if they were done,  completely done?  At first he said yes.  But then I took a deep breath and explained my rudeness. You see,  I have a chance for dreams in my hands.  I have 6 frozen embryos.  He said he’ll speak with his wife. More than anything I pray they try again.  Miss Bee is a crazy, naughty,  clever,  charismatic little human who lights up the darkness with her radiance. I pray that they could have that light too.

Christmas: Vegetarian GF pecan and cashew “meatloaf” with cranberry glaze

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Let me clarify I am not a vegetarian but my older daughter has decided she is.  She and another family member are also gluten free. Lots of recipes included walnuts… Someone else is allergic and mushrooms two others don’t like mushrooms. Repeat after me… I love Christmas cooking. Think of it as a challenge… Kind of like a crazy version of a cooking show. Many recipes I looked up as gluten free included oats, which are not actually gluten free. GF oats are from what I gather are rice based and need cooking before including into recipes.  Those cooked oats don’t appeal to me as a “meatloaf” ingredient.  Trying to filter out recipes with meat,  GF oats, walnuts,  other gluten and mushrooms was frustrating me.

The more recipes I looked at the more I thought they’re pretty much like meatloaf but with lentils and crushed nuts instead of minced meat. Being a game cook and not finding a recipe which suited my fussy family members  I’ve designed my own recipe.

Ingredients:

2 tins of drained red lentils (I chose tinned as it not only saved time but are seasoned)

200g pecans

150g cashews

2 eggs

1 small onion

1/2 Tablespoon mixed herbs

1/4 cup dried craisins

2 cloves minced garlic

Glaze:

1/2 jar of cranberry jelly (check it’s GF)

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Method:

Turn oven on moderate.

Process cashews so that some are fine others slightly chunky, put into large bowl

Process pecans so that some are fine others slightly chunky, put into large bowl (process separately as they have slightly different density)
Process onion to a fine mince, add to bowl
Tip 1/2 tin drained lentils into big bowl

Process the rest to a paste, add to bowl

Break 2 eggs into the bowl

Add herbs, garlic,  craisins.

Mix thoroughly.

Line a large meatloaf pan with baking paper.  Press mix into tin.

In a small jug or bowl mix cranberry jelly and balsamic vinegar. Spoon over the loaf to evenly cover.

Bake (I had to guess this)  45 minutes. Cool in tin to serve cold. If serving hot I’d think it best to let cool 5 minutes before cutting into thick slices.

This is it cooling in the tin.

Serving suggestion:
Served best with ham, walnuts, mushrooms and fresh non GF bread. Skip the GF oats.

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The brochure version of life

My brother is currently visiting Paris over Christmas.  He posted a photo of a poster they spotted encouraging people to travel to Australia. It depicted kangaroos bounding down a pristine white beach. 

Have you ever noticed how the brochure for life and the reality are often very different? 

Christmas is a time for many “brochures” many images about what life at Christmas “should” look like.  

A beautifully decorated Christmas tree with an avalanche of gifts when for some the reality is very different. Perhaps a tree with multiple gifts doesn’t fit your financial budget. Perhaps decorating or shopping doesn’t fit your time budget. Perhaps you’re struggling to find space to even fit a tree in cramped housing,  or have no housing at all.  Perhaps you’ve lost a loved one and can’t even contemplate Christmas. 

Yet the message is clear. Happy families with beautifully wrapped gifts under a magnificent tree laughing,  smiling then sharing a sumptuous feast that rivals a professional chef.  

Nobody else burns the turkey.  Everybody else has kilos of prawns.  Christmas cake is homemade and never dry. Children’s wildest dreams come true.  You’re a perfect host, with handcrafted decorations, bespoke food and quality appreciated gifts in coordinating wrapping papers.  

Truth is more like dashing to the shops Christmas Eve after realising you’ve forgotten someone’s gift… I guess a box of chocolates it is then.  Getting distracted and having slightly too brown shortbread.  Screaming for the millionth time “I said DON’T TOUCH the presents under the tree”. Being woken too early after going to bed late. After all you had to get up again at 4am because Santa forgot to eat his cookies.

Christmas is trying to explain to your disappointed child that Santa’s budget didn’t extend to that very expensive must have item.

After presenting the hard fought for and planned meal you feel kind of annoyed to scrape it into the bin barely touched because they are full from gobbling up their entire Christmas stocking contents before 8am. 

Then you dream that perhaps next year you’ll go away and pay someone else to cater.

Yep,  not the brochure. Reality.  Tears. Overspending.  Frazzled nerves.  Time with family,  even the ones who fit the “you can choose your friends but you can’t choose your relatives” category. Crowded shops after busy carparks.  Hopefully some smiles,  laughs,  feelings of love.  

Then,  just as you thank God it’s over you debate Boxing Day sales only to remember that now you need to plan New Year’s Eve. 

PS back to the kangaroos brochure.  I’ve never seen a kangaroo on a beach. 

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