Happy Birthday to me!

So today I am 29, the last year of being in my twenties…I am actually looking forward to being thirty.  Just me?

Anyway, I thought I would post a few old pics of myself just for kicks…also how much does Bean look like me as a baba!!

image

My hair was SO blonde. Humph

image

image

Middle bro and me for what must have been my…24th Birthday

image
25th Birthday
image

VIP @ V festival on my 26th Birthday

image

Love this coat and the fact that my fringe is the same as Beans

image

Me and my middle bro…same age gap as Bean and Bites incidentally.

image

POSER! I used to love this skirt from Tammy girl I think…phahaha

33 / 52

A portrait of my children once a  week, every week in 2013

wow, this week has been so full on I can’t even say what I have been doing, life seems to be throwing a lot of them at me at the minute, but I won’t complain..!

image

Bites and errr a lot of grass on her head.

I feel I need to give the story behind this picture…my Mum has been a bit ill the last few weeks so I have been walking her dogs on a Tuesday for her when she works late, this Tuesday I happend to be getting in her washing aswell, I had just popped it inside the house and as I wa walking back round the corner to collect the girls and head off into the woods I hear from Bean “I will put grass on your head and you will like it because you are a lady” Ermmm what, said I and then rounded the corner to this…Bites laughinf her arse off and Bean, putting cut grass on her head.  They are such weirdos.

image

Bean…just running!

From the same day, up the woods Bean running along her secret path.

The week that was Instagrammed : Week 6

I’ve been a bit crap this week I have to say so this post is going to be a little light on words…

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Wednesday 1

Reading her most favourite book

Friday

“Parenting”

I had seen a lot of buzz recently about this book ‘French Children Don’t Throw Food‘ and thought I would give it a read.  Don’t get me wrong, my children aren’t angels to any degree but one thing I can always rely on is their appetite, Bean has loved food from her first taste of butternut puree and Bites although a little hesitant to start never fails to amaze me at what and how much she can put away bearing in mind she has NO teeth…9 months old and nada.

Friday 4

Anyway, I digress (as usual!) as I said Bean has always loved food and I can hands down say I have never cooked anything that she wouldn’t eat, the stronger the flavour the better in all honesty. Cue our family trip to South Africa earlier this you to introduce the girls to the rest of the family, and suddenly getting her to eat became a Task, rather than something that just happened naturally, and it was every meal, obviously we were worried she was ill to start with and also worried about her waking up or generally just starving but she maintained the eating little routine for the entire 3 weeks, bar a 3 helping round of Jamie Oliver’s pregnant Jools Pasta, a somewhat staple in this house that thankfully my FIL also loved to make. At first we tried to bribe and coerce her into eating but after 2 days I decide to let her run with it, going by the thinking that if and when she was hungry she will eat…which she did albeit it sporadically but also random non meals.

My husband was beside himself, I was trying not to let it bother me too much but it did you can’t help but worry at such a drastic change in your child’s behavour. I am still not 100% as to what bought it on, the heat, the constant stimulation (cousins running round and TV on 24/7) or perhaps it was just the only thing she could control when everything as she knew it had changed – she was sleeping in a room by herself that she had never seen before and in a double bed and she was as good as gold so for that we thanked our stars…I think sleeping randomly trumps eating randomly I could not have coped with anymore interrupted sleep at that point especially as her sister was still waking for a night feed or two.

However, upon returning home she was back to her old ways, thankfully. But more recently it has become a battle at meals times, how much of it is my own making I’m not sure – my girls go to bed earlyish Bites @ 6.05 and Bean after the night garden (which I record incase its a bad day and she goes to bed earlier @ 6.20) so my evening schedule is a bit rushed, Bites eats no later than 4.30 as a general rule but that is too early for Bean but most days she wants to eat then with her sister and I am not joking it is SUCH a process, we can easily spend an hour at the table as she chats and faffs her way thought the meal, asking me to feed her when she is more than capable or wanting to sit on my lap and I know the reason is because I am feeding her sister so obviously she is getting less attention from me, but I can’t wait to give Bean her dinner when her sister is in bed it’s just too late (they are early risers so late bedtime means she would still wake the same time and be grumpy all day, not my idea of fun) so in the end I have to cut her meal time short and get them in the bath…but I can’t help but worry that she is not eating enough. I have cut out her afternoon snacks to make sure she is hungry enough to eat in a more concentrated manner althewhile I have this niggly feeling that really she still needs her afternoon snack as toddlers calorific needs are so great and she is always busy busy busy.

The other thing is potty training…she got it so quickly and so well I was flabbergasted and then 10 days a go poo-gate began. No telling me she needed to go even if I asked her and then just doing it, in her knickers, on the floor…it is driving me crazy we even had a poo painted bed (it was nap time to be fair to her and it leaked out the top of the pull up so she was obviously intrigued and touched it) but I am at a loss for how to deal with it – the shouting hasn’t worked, neither has telling the poo off(!) and asking her all the time just gets her (understandably) irate.

So, I am giving this book a go to see if the French have insights to offer on the matter, it’s my first foray into parenting books / advice I’ve always trusted my gut and when really panicked looked to the best known parenting sites on the web – NM & MN and I think that was pretty much in the breastfeeding days anyway…

But, dear reader if you have any advice or amazing resource I should know about please please share..or just let me know I’m not alone. (or have you read the book – what did you think?)

Tasty Thursday : Curry from scratch

I love curries.  There I said it, it’s not a secret anymore.  If like me you have been watching the amazing Rick Steins “India” series on the beeb recently you may well have also been a little curry obsessed.  But, but I do have a dirty curry secret, I have never made one off the bat no recipe I was always too scared to just wing it.  My Dad makes amazing curries from scratch and in all my life I have never seen him use a recipe for a curry and my Father in Law is another amazing cook owing to a job that meant a lot of travel so hopefully they will be proud of me!

 

Anyway, a few words before I launch into the recipe; I always use chicken thighs if I am doing a chicken curry, they are sweeter, don’t dry out as much as breast and they are higher in protein so I can rest safe in the knowledge that it is extra good for my girls, who are both big curry fans.  I have put the Rick Stein book on my birthday wish list so lets hope it appears!

So here we go:

  • 4 skinless chicken thigh fillets, cut into bite sized chunks
  • 1/2 sweet potato, cut into bite sized chunks
  • 1/2 Green pepper, cut into bite sized chunks
  • Small red onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Good grating of ginger ( I tend to freeze mine on purchase and break off / grate what I need as I go…no need to peel then!)
  • Can chickpeas
  • Can tinned chopped tomatoes
  • 3 – 4 mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • Heaped teaspoon ground coriander
  • Heaped teaspoon ground cumin
  • Heaped teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric

Heat you oil (veg / sunflower not olive oil) in a big frying pan and brown your chicken (I tend to coat mine in a bit of flour first but feel free to leave this step out) remove and let it rest on a plate. Add your onions, ginger and garlic.  Keep it moving so not to burn and once it gets that smell that only onions frying have just before they get soft add in your spices (the seeds might POP), again keep it moving so not to burn anything and getting that horrid acrid smell.  When it does smell delicious and spicy add your chicken back in along with the potato, pepper and mushroom and give it a few minutes to colour up a bit before adding in your drained chickpeas and the tomatoes.  Let it simmer with the lid on for the first 15 minutes then turn up the heat with the lid off for the last 5 – 7 minutes to let it thicken up.

Curry

Tada…fancy plating ain’t my thing unfortunatley

 

Serve with rice, naan bread or rotis, lime pickle (why is this SO good?!) and chutney.  I was really pleased with this and as it makes such a big quantity hubby took it to work for lunch and received lots of looks and sniffs from two of his Indian colleagues, they were very impressed with my efforts – I was so chuffed you can’t believe!

Anyway the moral is, step away from the pastes and jars of sauce and give it a go I think you will be pleasantly surprised.  And thanks to Steph @ Imcountingufoz for the virtual kick up the arse I needed, there’s no going back now.

The week that was instagrammed : Week 5

Phew, this week has been a BUSY one. Thursday night I actually went to bed at 9pm and my husband reliably informs me that he came to see if I wanted tea at 9.15pm and I was asleep, now that is living the dream right there!

Linkign up with Hannah

Linking up with Hannah

Sunday

After a late night Hog Roastin’ we were ready for a chilled out day, we headed to the ford (river crossing) down the road from us, had a nice stroll nosing at all the über houses and a play in the park.  I deposited the hubby and children at home before picking up my friend for a quick mooch about our local antique / second-hand place,a tea and cake and for once a uninterrupted child free chat! Then it was home, in the car and off to a local pub we hadn’t tried for an early dinner and then a good run about in the pub garden for the girls – they loved it, although I am worried Bean is something of a ring leader after she managed to gather all of the kids there into a sports day style racing game which had us and Bites in hysterics.

Monday

As usual my lovely Mum watched the girls for a few hours for me, she isn’t 100% at the minute but insisted on having them as she misses them otherwise, typical Nanny! So I made her lovely egg mayo rolls for lunch as a thank you, then it was home and back to wrecking the front room and garden…business as usual then.

Tuesday

Hello rain!  Our planned morning stroll was cancelled in favour of cookie making with our besties…sprinkle central is all I can say, great fun was had by all. Lunch followed by a trip to good ol’ Sainsbos where I treated my girls to a puzzle and dinosaur coloring book (Bean) and Besty the Bee (chosen by Bean for BItes). Home and back to wrecking the house, Beans room this time.  Great fun, I could watch the for hours they interact in such a lovely, funny and sometimes a bit to boisterous!

Wednesday

My beautiful but feisty Nan of 82 came down to visit with her equally beautiful and feisty sister (Great Aunt @ 80) we had a lovely morning and lunch time walk into the woods, they left early to miss the traffic bless them…and no doubt bicker all the way home.  I made Lorraine Pascals sweet and sour balls for dinner and I cannot say who loved them more, me, Hubby, Bean or Bites who ate THREE aswell as rice and sauce followed by pudding. Youch.

I also submitted a picture to Clemmie @ GasandAir blog as she was writing a post on out Post Partum Tummies, something we rarely if ever mention let alone show, but after the disgraceful behaviour of a certain magazine over Kate, Duchess of Cambridge’s appearance 26 hours post baby I felt compelled to shake my stick in their direction – the post is now up so please read it, spread the word, and comment…we need to stop this degradation of women and our figures at all times in our lives. (I have written about how cross the media & toy manufactures annoy me before…)

Thursday

Not sure what I was playing at today as I decided to go on a mission…Food Shopping, new sunglass shopping (I lost my beloved but ancient D&G’s) home for lunch then back out to get Bites weighed (18lbs 7oz) Park, met friends hunted for new fairy doors, dragged ourselves to the village shop for ice cream – BIG mistake sharing with Bites, it looked like she had a beard by the end of it and I was wearing more of it than I ended up eating. Back to the car, dinner, bath and bed for the babes…instead of just chilling out I went on a mexican food mission and cooked up a little feast, and then passed out.

Friday

Bit more work for me, then home to address the issue of my extremely messy house and huge pile of clean washing to be sorted whilst the girls slept, naturally they had other ideas and instead of doing it around them i thought ‘Stuff it, it can wait a few more hours I NEVER get to do fun stuff just me and them’ so we hot footed it to Wellington Country Park for a stroll to find the Dinosaurs, look for ducks and had an early tea. Lush.

Saturday

No baby sitter means Hubby is Hog Roastin’ solo tonight.  Chilled out day really, bit of housework, bit of family play time, Beans first hair trim by a pro (yes, i butchered her fringe once and never again) and a solo trip for me to a Nearly New sale for a mooch…picked up a few bits and bobs. Ready to recharge now for the next week…

Thanks again to Hannah for this fab linky!