Posts tagged mummy
Things I Know

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- Strawberries will not jam if they are too wet.  Even washing them can upset the delicate balance of water to pectin (lets not get into weeks of rain). Leaving them to dry for a few hours after washing is often necessary.  Particularly sodden berries often require the addition of rhubarb, raspberries, or apple pectin.

- "Once begun is half done" only applies in certain circumstances.  Exclusions include but are not limited to:

     - The washing...starting is the easy part

     - Picking up little tiny pieces of Playmobil.  This is the task that NEVER ends.

- The correct way to hand-wash dishes is to wash cutlery first, then glasses and cups, moving on to plates and bowls, then pots.  This is to ensure that things that go IN your mouth are washed with the cleanest water.  The position of glasses and cutlery may be reversed if and only if dinner was particularly greasy and may hamper the sparkling shine.

- Having babies that sleep through the night does not make one a better parent, only a better rested one.

- Being at home all day with small children can be like being pecked to death by ducks, whilst at the same time being the most wonderful and amazing thing one ever does.  Yesterday's work included playing circus as Ellis "tightrope walked" on the low walls all the way to town.

- On days where the pecking outweighs the wonder, the magical combination of wine + hot bath + crazy-loud African pop can turn it all around.

- Clean sheets straight off the line are worth doing laundry for. 

- Toys are essentially pointless.  Cats, camping gear and sticks are all one really needs.

- The kinds of friends that one wants coming round to the house are the kind one doesn't feel the need to clean for.

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As Promised

Pictures of Fringe:

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(I kept looking up at the sky because it was flying ant day and the hoards of them were creeping me out.  Just thinking about it makes me itchy)

Recipe for not-ella (I added a couple of tablespoons of creamed coconut and used peanut oil and OMG astounding.  But it broke my food processor...)

Ultra cute baby pics:

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(did I not promise the baby pics?  Oh, dear. Sorry! How will you ever cope? In the bottom one, she's doing her new favourite thing, blowing raspberries.  Honestly, sometimes the cuteness actually hurts me.)

Ok, the sun is shining and its a day of rotating three year olds at my house, so we are off to the park for the day to the detriment of the washing.  I mean, the clothes are already rotten so what does another day matter?

*Photos by Kev. Photoshoppery by me.

16 Weeks and A Knit

Our little pudding is 16 weeks old!  FOUR MONTHS!  How did that happen?  She's going to be leaving for collage soon...It has more than flown by, but then it seems like she's always been here.

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And so, our 16 week round up:

Likes:

- Rolling. Particularly at inappropriate moments, like when trying to sleep. She then sees me at night and wants to have deep and meaningful conversations (these actions MAY have resulted in a threat to send her to an Antarctic research station).

- Her bath and swimming.

- Sitting and standing.

- Her brother. When she can focus on the moving blur that is Ellis Sol, she is all smiles and coos for her big brother. She even tolerates his irritating scratching
tickling

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Dislikes:

- Her mother eating dairy, soy and possibly beef.

- Being left whilst other people clean, cook, go to the loo, talk, sleep or any other non-baby activity

- Cars.

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And her jumper: its the owlet pattern sized 6 months in Debbie Bliss Donegal Luxury Tweed Aran. The colour is a grey/purple, but I think its been discontinued as it was in the John Lewis sale. I didn't add the buttons for eyes, as I couldn't face sewing them all on and then inevitably re-sewing them. Next time, I would also add a bit of length to the body of the knit as we are all quite long waisted people and its going to get short before she fills it in. Otherwise, a fantastic, easy knit.

Ellis thinks it tastes good too.

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What We've Been Up To
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So its been a week without you.  How are you, dear blog?  Well?  I bet you've had sunshine and the like, haven't you...admit it.

We've had rain. Rain. Rain and more Rain.  My laundry is actually rotting.  In my life, it never occurred to me that laundry could rot.  But it can.  And it stinks to high heaven as it does it.  We are all ever so slightly stinky (when we actually have clothes to wear).

Other things:

- I cut my own fringe (aka bangs).  Its cute.  I like it.  I'll show you some time.

- Georgia can roll.  Both ways. And kind of scoot around.  I forgot to appreciate immobile babies while I had one.

- Ellis' capacity for mischief only seems to increase with age.  Why didn't anyone warn me? 

- The rain is causing my garden to rot as well.  On the plus side, the slugs are happy and leaving my kitchen alone.

- I bought a fantastic new cookbook.  Its the Veganomicon.  I wanted something I could just pick up and be able to eat just about everything.  I made the fudgey wudgy blueberry brownies. They were astoundingly good, but the Not-ella...it deserves its own post!

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- I also made this awesome vegan mac 'n' cheese, as suggested by Ami.  Oh my it was soooo good.  In fact, I liked the cheese sauce so much, I made it tonight for the white sauce in lasagne, but with nutmeg and garlic. It too was a hit.  Thanks, Ami!

- We took the kids swimming at the weekend [Rant about out of town leisure centres with no buses on a Sunday has been deleted].  Ellis played for 2 hours, then slept for 3!  Georgia loved the pool too.  But I have to say, everytime I go, I always miss freshwater swimming out of doors.

- I have been knitting up a storm.  So many things have been on and off the needles this week.  I promise a bit of a show and tell tomorrow...

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The World According to Ellis

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Ellis: "My friends are going to America with me and Santa to drive in a fire engine putting out fires".

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Ellis, in tears: "Mama, make the rain stop"

Mama: "I can't"

Ellis: "But you said you were the boss!" and starts sobbing.

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Ellis: "When I grow up, I'm going to get big, big, bigger like you.  And have superpowers."

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Ellis, seeing a driving instructor in a car: "That's my driving instruction.  I have two driving instructions."

Mama: "Oh, yeah?"

Ellis: "Yes.  I'm taking my test tomorrow."

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Ellis, at 5am "Mama, wake up. Its Sunnytime.  Its not dark, because you have to get up. 'Cause its sunny"

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Ellis: "Grammy lives on an airplane...with a dinosaur"

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After being in the bath for 20 minutes: "I need to get out.  My back and my feet are getting wet"

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Daddy: "How many legs do you have?"

Ellis: "Two, Three, Four, Five"

Daddy: "You don't have 5 legs"

Ellis: "I do because I'm a octopus"

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Unintended Consequences
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Six weeks ago, I gave up dairy to see if it helped with Georgia's fussiness.

At first, I honestly didn't know what to eat. My meal plan was largely built around cheese...halloumi salad, broccoli cheese muffins, mexican, tortellini. not to mention coffee.  With Milk.  A lot of milk.  Those first few days were really hard.  I was hungry all the time.  I was afraid to eat out, for fear of not being able to reliably find anything I COULD eat.  I bought and tried every kind of alternative milk product on the market.  As soy is often linked to dairy allergies, that was out.  And black coffee is not for me.

A few weeks on, I was getting in the swing of it.  I had found that coconut milk makes a tasty coffee and my meal plan has a definite Mediterranean feel to it. At the same time, we realised that part of Georgia's grumpiness was that she wasn't getting enough sleep and couldn't be awake for more than an hour and twenty minutes at a time.  

The transformation was astounding.  Georgia went from a fussy wee thing to an extremely happy chilled out little girl.  Wanting to see if it was the sleep or the dairy that was improving her mood, I added a generous handful of cheese to my dinner one evening.

The next morning, unsurprisingly, Georgia woke up a rather unsettled little girl. Dairy was definitely out for her. Rather more surprisingly was that I also woke up with terrible stomach cramps. I felt sluggish and awful all day.   I realised it wasn't the first time I felt like this.  In fact, MOST mornings, prior to giving up dairy, I woke up with stomach pains. I just thought it was 'one of those things'. It seems that dairy is out for me too.

When embarking on this 'experiment', that is all it was.  A few weeks, months, maybe a year until I could happily eat dairy again. However, it seems that my future is now dairy free.  

It amazes me that something I have eaten every day of my life can be so bad for me.  And of course, its in everything, so not only am I not eating dairy, but things like cakes, chocolate and the like almost all have milk in them. And many of the non-dairy alternatives are filled with chemical alternatives that I do not particularly want to eat. So my consumption of those things is essentially non existent.  In fact, I only have a few teaspoons of sugar a day now (in said cup of coffee).  Most of all, I feel great!  Fewer mood swings, more energy.  

Unintended consequences, but we are all better for it.

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The photo above is of one of the s'mores we made at the weekend with homemade graham crackers.  Yes, it has milk in it.  Yes, I ate one.  Yes, we all paid for it. But they WERE good.  

On Blogging
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In January 2007, Kevin and I started blogging as a way of keeping connected to my family in the US as we awaited the birth of our first son.  The blog went through the ups and downs of having a tiny pre-term newborn, who turned into a high need baby that challenged us in ways that we never knew possible.

The blog puttered along with sporadic posting and some pretty heart-wrenching happenings over a 2 year period.  However, at the start of March 2009, I decided to commit to blogging more formally as my 'hobby', started this blog as a record of our lives and creative endeavours. I promoted it, got some tutorials on some crafty websites and saw my readership grow substantially.  This week will see Slugs on the Refrigerator hit 40,000 page views, 400 posts and 200 subscribers.  Unbelievable. 

I can not describe how much blogging has meant to me.  I have been able to be creative in a sphere (writing) that I had been told throughout my life I shouldn't bother with as I wasn't very good at it.  I have also used the blog for exploring other areas of creativity like photography, knitting, and sewing that I didn't ever consider previously.  I have connected with people all over the world and built real and meaningful friendships.  I have built a circle of stones of people that strengthen my own beliefs of parenting, green living, attachment parenting, etc etc, that I didn't have in real life.  Most importantly, I have this amazing record of our life over the last 8 months (and going back to pre-Ellis in unpublished archives) that covers everything from our favourite recipes to notes to myself to our lazy afternoons

And that is the crux of why I blog.  I moved to the UK with 2 suitcases 8 years ago.  My childhood possessions, my memories, the people who knew me from the time I was knee high to a grasshopper are all based 1000s of miles away.  I didn't know how much I would lose when I left them all behind and I don't want Ellis or any future children to be without some record of their early journey in this world.  Or, God forbid, something happens to Kevin or I and they have nothing but a handful(OK, thousands) of pictures to piece together their life with us here in the UK (if something does happen to us, my younger brother will get custody of the children and they will go to live in America).  I look back on my archives and I am proud of the collection of things I have to send with them into the future..the memories, the stories, their mother's painful ramblings.

But recently, I have really struggled with blogging.  Maybe its that my initial enthusiasm has waned.  Maybe its that my fear has been realised that I had creative energy only when I longed for a second baby and now that I am pregnant, I don't need that outlet.  Maybe it has to do with the reality that my competitive streak has kicked in once I learned how one gets more readers, I began to desire that above other reasons for blogging. Maybe I read too much about how to blog. I began to Twitter, because that's what you DO. I began to chart other bloggers' stats, as well as my own. I began to see it as a sport, rather than a gentle pastime.

And so, knowing that there is an 'audience', I have found myself on and off writing for what I thought the 'audience' wanted. Unsurprisingly, I find myself struggling to write anything I can be proud of.  I look at some posts and I think, "Why on earth did I post that?" (Hence why I deleted the previous post after publishing it, in case any of you caught it).  I have every so often thought to myself that we should go and DO something because it would be very bloggable.

Don't get me wrong, I don't think there is anything amiss with seeking out or even creating "bloggable moments" in my life.  Because I want to capture the beautiful and funny, the blog is a useful tool for making space for those moments in my life. But the problem comes in when we stop creating something to share, but create something to get and keep readers.

And so, I find myself in need of taking a wee break from this sphere to rethink what I am doing.  Reinvest in blogging for myself and the reasons I want to blog.I know some of your are bloggers, but most are not.  So I am sorry if this discussion of blogs and blogging has bored you to tears.  I can guarantee future posts will go back to the navel gazing of the ever-expanding variety.

And so I will leave you for a while.  It may be a day or two, it might be a week.  Heck, I could be back tomorrow.  I don't know.  Feel free to check back, or subscribe or not.  I'll leave it to you.  I may be on Twitter, I will probably be on Facebook and I will definately be at Cafe Creme on a Friday morning at about 10am scoffing bacon baguettes. 

In the mean while, enjoy Ellis' new theme song.  It took 45 minutes to get him dressed this morning.  Developmentally, I would have thought it made more sense to get over the "I want to be naked all the time" phase BEFORE actually learning how to undress oneself.  No such luck in this house.

The Nields - Shoes:Farewell My Pants

See you soon!