Pages

Saturday, 13 September 2014

You Weren’t Ok– And that is Ok

I'm sharing something that happened this week that made me sad. Twice I experienced someone going through a hardship/concern/deep pain and they broke down and tears flowed. They both apologised for this - one for "being unprofessional" another for "ruining your lunch".  This happened on "R U OK?” week.

HoldMe

Can I please please please just put this out there to the universe and to you the people I care more than a stuff about, you will never ever have to apologise to me because your heart needed healing and you felt I could help?? Even if it was just to let you talk or hold your hand.

I am not good at asking for help. I need to get better. Having a child and being away from family meant that I have had to learn to. The hardest thing I had to say once was “I am really lonely”. I just needed some company and I didn’t want dragon to get caught up in my loneliness as a parent without a support network beyond my nuclear family. So I believe these people were stronger than me because they let their emotions flow in front someone that they never thought they would do it in front of. It bought them some time. To process. That is so beneficial to a heart that is heavy.

That is all. Much has been made about mental health this week. I am leaving this right here  - sometimes the heart needs healing so the mind doesn’t fall down the rabbit hole. An apology makes me sad because a ‘thank you’ is more than enough.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Oat, Banana & Chia Pancakes

Weekends and pancakes go hand-in-hand for us these days and in our household their ‘portability’ and capacity for disguising additional ingredients from the toddler Dragon they have featured a lot in the “starting solids” journey.

I have been asked for the recipe a few times recently so I am documenting it here to let my friends bookmark/evernote away for their convenience and hey you might like them too!

This version makes for a good breakfast and a hearty ‘on-the-go’ snack and is versatile enough to accommodate variations such as dairy-free, egg free, low/no gluten, banana free as needed so I’m including some substitutions for you.  They can be done in a blender, thermomix or with a good old cake mixer.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 – 2 tblsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup milk (more if needed for consistency – I have used coconut milk with success too)
  • 1 banana (apple sauce can be used as a substitution)
  • 1/4 cup greek yoghurt
  • 1 egg (optional)
  • 1/2 cup self raising flour (plain flour + baking powder can be used to)
  • Butter/coconut oil/macadamia oil for cooking
  • Optional  - berries

Method

  1. Grind the first two ingredients in your TMX (sp 8, 5 secs) or blender – this is optional but if you skip this step you need to soak in milk for longer (20-30  mins);
  2. Add milk, enough to cover the mix. The longer you leave it, the more gelatinous the batter will be from the chia seeds. Leave it to soak for at least 10 mins. Great chance to get your skillet or electric fry pan ready;
  3. Break the banana into pieces, add the yoghurt (again you can vary the quantity according to taste). Yoghurt adds a nice tartness, makes the pancakes silky soft and balances out the banana sweetness;
  4. Add egg and your dry flour of choice. I use self raising or add baking powder to help keep air in the batter as the banana can make it stodgy;
  5. There is no need to rush to the skillet, the batter softens a lot from resting. Now I mix in berries by hand to keep then intact and have them burst with juice when you go to eat them.
  6. Cook them on your skillet/frying pan – be patient you want them to cook right through. I used a salted butter because the butter actually adds a nice balance to the banana sweetness;
  7. Serve – sprinkle of cinnamon, sliced bananas, yoghurt and a drizzle of pure maple syrup or agave syrup and you’re away!

Variations

  • Using coconut milk? Squeeze on some lime juice and grate some palm sugar to serve. Great with sliced strawberries;
  • Use buckwheat flour – really let it soak;
  • Make a berry coulis – so quick with frozen berries and a little water gently heated on the stove;

BananaPancake

And don’t let this image of Dragon fool you – she loved these pancakes. She was just majorly offended to find blueberries in them. Even though she once ate it by the puBlueberriesnnett full this time last year, they now receive an undeniable reaction. She still waved her arms enthusiastically demanding  more but I had to be ‘that’ parent and pull out the blueberries and wait for her to inspect it before demolishing it.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Crazy Colourful Bath Fun

As my days with dragon are starting to decrease as increase my days at work, I feel the need to make sure she gets to do something special on our day together.  The weather had turned a bit and a park playdate was going to be weather dependent so I decided we had better make the most of the day before the pre-nap crankiness set in!

BathPaints

A wakeful night for the whole family meant the morning routine was a little out of whack. Miss would be needing a bath so a bit of mucky fun seemed in order before that.

I had seen several suggested bath paints online and knew there was a great recipe out there to contain the mess to the bathroom!

I settled on using the method from The Idea Room.

But not being one to follow recipes to the letter, my version turned out like this

  • 1/2 cup cornflour
  • 1/4 cup Baby wash/shampoo – this was a chance to use up the sample packs and brands we don’t normally use
  • 1/4 cup lukewarm water
  • Food colouring
  • Plastic fork for mixing
  • Bath scrub for the tub
  • Paint brushes, sponges

I added a little more water as I wanted a runnier consistency because I wasn’t necessarily convinced they would come off so easily!!

I mixed up the first 3 ingredients then poured it into our tray. I decided to use our much beloved Weanmeister freezer pods that were awesomely useful to us during our early days of starting solids and continue to prove their utility in our home.

I went a little heavy handed with the food colouring so be warned!  Also I had an impatient ankle biter confused by what was being made on the kitchen counter and was convinced she was hungry as well as curious!  Give them a good stir to absorb the colours and keep the corn starch from separating.

Dragon had a silly load of fun – we made sure that the session was accompanied by lots of warm water  - it was a little nippy, intense colours and a need to clean brushes.  It was testing for mummy to see the crazy colour mixing but what fun for the dragon. I was frequently ordered to keep the supplies of warm water coming  so I gave up the constant running and turned on the warm water helped move around the excess colour.

Clean up is a breeze too – grab that bath scrub and encourage them to start wiping as you pour the warm water. Once the colours were nicely diluted, I popped the plug in and filled up the tub. Fears that I may have colour dipped my child into looking like a smurf were soon allayed. I rubbed a bit of coconut oil on her skin for extra cleaning measure. It made the bath a slip n’ slide which only added to the fun! 

So throw on some fun tunes, strip them off and let them go for it! My very happy little girl enjoyed a lovely nap after all her fun and this evening insisted another bath was necessary and gave her Dad a run for his money when he tried to get her out (I forgot to put away the paint brushes!!!)

Warning: Please keep an eye on your little at all times. The soapy paint makes the tub slippery. Do not leave them unattended and frequently dilute with water to wash away the soapiness. I used less soap than the original recipe required.

And the Winner is …

The very lovely lady, Dawn had her name drawn for the Green Dragon Epsom Bath Salts and they are on their way to her so hoping she can fit that long walk, a hot soak with these salts and maybe even that book while you’re there!! She deserves it for sure!

Anyway I’m looking forward to sharing some with my osteopath this weekend and have to stock up myself!!  So if you missed on out on the draw please check out Green Dragon, I promise you won’t be disappointed.