Thursday, May 27, 2010

When Milestones Collide

As you know, I was the poster mother for crunchy granola with 'Salina.

While I still hold firm on a lot of what I did with her (breastfeeding, baby-wearing, pottying) with Paris, there are some things I am not so hardline with Paris (nappies, solids, cot).

'Salina developed her own routine during the day (and I was able to follow it easily - of course, it helps to not have to conform to ANYONE ELSE'S timetable there) but with Paris it has not been so easy (as I have whinged about previously).

In the last week, we have decided on a daytime routine and imposed it on her - partly to get her to sleep better, partly because from next week, there will be blocks of time when V has her by himself without access to the boob-solution.

She has taken it like a duck to water.

In fact, yesterday she had it so down pat, she wasn't letting a little offering of solids stand in the way of the 9.30am nap...

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Pumpkin Soup

Still trying to find my blogging mojo - must have put it in one of the boxes I have yet to go through when I was sorting out the office.

Paris is 22 weeks and 1 day old. We have been yes/no double guessing ourselves with solids for a few weeks. Yes because when she has access to it, she devours it and wants more. No because her once a day waste disposal habit (IYKWIM) seems to S.T.O.P. and I reread all the literature and feel like I am torturing my child.

Currently, we are on a yes cycle, and on Saturday I bought a pumpkin. Pumpkin is one of those vegetables that is part of our family folklore. Actually, it is the only vegetable that is part of our family folklore.

Apparently, my aunt used to be a rather fussy eater and not a great "doer" when a baby (read modern day lactose intolerance symptoms without the diagnosis) and so being introduced to pumpkin saved her.

My father also has a tale about fattening bulls for sale on pumpkin.

I also remember a stigma attached to it when I was a child of certain families referral to it as "pig food" because they would never contemplate putting it on their own table.

Being a Queenslander, Pumpkin Scones are also inextricably linked to a (now) historical figure in our state psych.

Before V came to Australia, Pumpkin to him was a vegetable only ever found in pies.

My pumpkin soup recipe is dead easy, and is one of those "collective subconscious" recipes where the copyright belongs to everyone.

Put some butter and olive oil in a pan (because you feel like a chef when you mix up the start like that).

Add some roughly chopped onion and garlic (good cooking is all about starting with onion and garlic, isn't it?)

Add peeled and chopped pumpkin (toss out the seeds - go on, I know you also have that little "I could roast them" voice but the whole cleaning them and then doing it - FAR TOO DIFFICULT. Oh, and if you put them in the compost, be prepared to overcome the whole "what a waste" little voice as you pull out the million pumpkin seedlings that are in your future.)

Add stock (I am a convert to Vegeta myself - sprinkle and add water, but pretend you are all faluting with saying "add stock")

Boil until all mushy. Mush.

Eat. We had some leftover garlic butter so I tossed crusts that 'Salina chopped off her lunchbox sandwiches (which I save in the freezer because that little voice sometimes gets through) and baked them - BEST CROUTONS EVER!.

Of course, Paris gets a version without the oil, butter, onion, garlic or stock bits - and her mush is much more sieved than ours.

Check it.**

(Anyone else wonder what bulls look like after eating pumpkin? Must ask BB if she could photoshop us something.)

So - tell me (or blog it and link me) YOUR best soup recipe.

** (oh, and yes, we got a new highchair - decision making was one of $$ as there was this one, and then the ones that were over 3 times the price. Of course, degree of difficulty was we didn't like the colours available - just the display one. One of the pluses of living in a smaller community is that you can ask for the display one and you will find out you KNOW the manager who you have to ask and he will do it then and there for you...)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Five Months

Do you know, this "create post" window has been open ALL WEEK for inspiration and time to unite forces and put something on my little blog.

On Monday, there was going to be a round-up of our whirlwind visit to Vegas (Bris-), some yarns about some of the characters we know down there and a hugely hilarious (in hindsight) adventure involving a trip to the museum, a non-city driver, one-way streets and the subtleties of pre-teens taking the proverbial out of their non-plussed chauffeur.

On Tuesday, it was going to be an update on the house of lurgy, and how that trip had included the discovery that we were not sadistic enough parents to be truly successful at nose-sucking.

On Wednesday, there was going to be a very quick something JUST to get a post out there - it probably would have involved either a recipe for Chocolate Hedgehogs (and how I am unfortunately TOO GOOD at making them) or a witty 'Salina moment (aren't they all).

Yesterday, it was going to be all about the 150 day mark...

And here we are today - and I have my first second moment alone with the computer (the first was 7 hours ago, where everything up to this point was written). The stars align, and now all I have to do is muster a little inspiration and creativity for the rest.

Five months ago, Paris blessed us with her presence and has been a joy and delight (most of the time) ever since (especially when gives us a chance to recharge our batteries to enjoy her).

While she was an angel for the first 4 months about sleeping at night (surprising me that such babies existed in nature when she was 8 weeks old), for the last month she has not been quite as compliant.

She has fought a hard fight with oral thrush which we SERIOUSLY hope we have kyboshed this round - we lifted our foot off the pedal a little early last go round and it came back. I think that has had a major impact on her sleep (and spews and general demeanour).

Paris has also been on anti-biotics for the last week, as our visit to Brisbane co-incided with her getting her first head-cold. As her sister was a terror with such things galloping to ear infection, I subjected her (and V) to the torture that is saline solution squirts and sucks for the nose. It has answered a few questions in my mind about those rogue nurses who seem to delight in pain - it must be acquired from having to do such things to patients.

The good news is we didn't end up with an ear infection (and pink medicine). The bad news is we did end up with a lung infection (and white medicine).

As a result, she now understands hypocrisy (yummy medicine, nom nom) and physical humour (you gotta laugh when the yellow medicine gets raspberried).

We did attempt solids a little earlier, but have only recently resumed this experiment. While she LOVED the opportunity to eat (definitely my child), the much lauded "she will sleep so well on solids" myth was blown well out of the water, and we had a very bound up bouncing baby for a few days.

As a result, we will have to contemplate shopping for a high chair in the next few days. Last go round, 'Salina's uncle found a very old high chair during council cleanup and it was "improved" for free... It certainly took out the decision-making.

We will also have to contemplate other household improvements soon, as "rolling as a method of transportation" has been joined by caterpillaring. She has us lulled into a false sense of security by her inability to control which direction she actually moves at the moment, but I figure once she gets that bit out of the way we will need geographic barriers between her and electrical or plumbing features.

This little household appliance, however, has been a godsend in getting anything done! I had a sling (Slingalong sling) last go around, and it was so wonderful I passed it along to a friend. I am still kicking myself about being so shallow (didn't like this season's prints) and not buying their brand this time - I bought another far inferiour sling that is only now becoming slightly usable. However, the Hug-a-bub (pictured) I picked up 2nd-hand and it has recently come into its own!!

I know that I will never be that all-singing, all-dancing 1950s housewife, but I must admit a little humming did pop out while doing the groceries with her the other day...

And as for that other bright-spot in my life? 'Salina is going great guns. While she is also a fan of the hedgehog (not as huge as her mother or V, admittedly - mainly because we don't let her) she does a fairly good line herself in cake-mix, pikelets and recently dinner (a family favourite - pasties). The apron was a gift from her to me for Mother's Day - I love an apron and often buy them for others and am so chuffed that I now have one from her!

Anyhow - baby noises mean that my time here is done - "see" you all soon...

Friday, May 07, 2010

Unruffled by raffles...

There was a raffle for fundraising at school this week.

For 50c each, anyone could buy a chance to win - 1st prize a very schmick Breville coffee machine, 2nd prize a basket of "mumsy" stuff, and 3rd prize a voucher for a local fish and chippery.

Setting the bar low, a book of 4 tickets was sent home to each of the 200 families - that is, they expected each family to sell $2 worth of tickets.

They don't know our extended family.

'Salina, wishing to spread the opportunity, wanted us to flog tickets to them - we persuaded her to do the hard yards on the phone herself.

So with sales of 10 tickets here, 10 tickets there and a few more to another branch, she soon had a list of prospective winners. We agreed to match her personal contribution dollar for dollar, and so by the end of the day she had amassed $41 of ticket sales.

She went to school and spent the whole of one lunch break writing tickets for all of her customers.

The raffle was drawn last night - and one of our tickets won the $25 voucher for free fish and chips.

I have held the voucher in reserve for a night I REALLY don't feel like cooking - which no doubt will come soon.

I did the maths. I subbed her outstanding ticket sales as well as our own - and so for an outlay of $31 I have scored $25 value. Ah, I am extremely tinny!!

Our weekend will be fairly quiet - we have tentative plans to go to Brisbane NEXT weekend (at one stage we thought about it for this one, but too short a notice) and so this one will be close to home.

I have a leg of lamb in the freezer to cook myself (and the family) a traditional meal, and 'Salina and V have been whispering in the kitchen about secret shopping trips.

Oh - and if any Brisvegans want to be part of a small gathering of internetty and other-worldy friends while I am in the vicinity, let me know - probably involving a park and kids.