Saturday, July 7, 2012

Good-bye,"Ange at home", hello Workingmamamadness

I've started a new blog...come over and have a look:


Thursday, May 3, 2012

Is it just me, or is packing to go away (for only two days)very stressful?

Today I'm packing to go away for the weekend. The weekend. Two days,two nights. So why,why,why,is it so stressful? Is it just me?Is it my terminally perfectionist personality?Is it because I have to try on fifteen outfits to decide what to wear out to the 50th birthday dinner we are going to?Is it because I have a three year old who is excited about going away and also needs a detailed explanation about every single item we are packing?

I feel stressed. Somebody tell me to stop being a silly woman and relax...oh, that's right, my husband did! Going away should be a small pleasure, shouldn't it? A chance to get away from home - from the domestic chores that mock me all day long. A chance to spend quality time with family who live in another town.A chance to go out for dinner (I am looking forward to that).

So, to go away for only two days, I need to pack my clothes (who would think it'd be so hard?) I wish I had a pair of jeans I could call my favourites, that feel like my tracky dacks,but look nice, so I could just wear them all weekend. Alas...sigh...

I also need to pack for a three year old,and for all the accidents, spills,possible puddles and mud we might encounter. Not to mention making sure that I've packed the clothes that I know he'll wear. Most days there's a total rejection of anything I offer. Granted - it isn't packing for a baby - but it has its own issues.

Then there's the packing of a bit of food. Despite my lovely sister-in-law telling me there's no need to bring anything, with our family's diet - gluten free for the kids, grain free for us, mostly sugar free too- we need a few things we can eat when we get a bit peckish, as a three year old will, about 15 times a day.

And let's not forget that we'll need supplies in the car. Entertainment supplies, cuddly supplies,food and drink,and a thermos for the adults.

So I suppose I should stop procrastinating and just bite the bullet,and pack.

At least scribbling in my blogg has released a little of my tension. Oh and the cup of tea and tiny little macaroon.

Friday, April 27, 2012

From Scratch

Yesterday,I made a whole lot of stuff from scratch, without even realizing(until later) that over at Inner Pickle, Fi has set a MONTH of making things from scratch. So I guess I started early.
I made a big plateful of picklets for the kids.Made from whey,yoghurt,milk,water,gluten free flour and two eggs. They were delicious (yes- I snuck a couple,despite my Paleo diet! I'm afraid it's not always perfect).
After that I made  "cream cheese" (yoghurt labna) into marinated cheese. I put balls of the stuff into a plastic container (which happens to have a little basket in it), along with sprigs of thyme,lemon rind,garlic cloves and seasoned salt (no msg or nasties).Then I covered it in a good quality olive oil.

I love marinated feta,but I'm always disappointed that the shop bought stuff is marinated in a mix of olive and canola oil. And canola oil is best left for bio-fuel.

 My marinade ingredients.
 The cream cheese which had been on the bench for 24 hours- no muslin,so I used tulle - works just fine!

 Popped the marinade ingredients into the container,added the cheese,topped with oil. Sorry the photos are so bad.I just can't seem to get a decent pic with my camera when it is dark.Always too much flash or not enough!
 Then I used the whey to make sauerkraut. I got the idea from Sarah Wilson.But I also have the recipe in my Nourishing Traditions book, by Sally Fallon. So I cut up the cabbage, pounded it for ten minutes and popped everything in the jar. I hope it all works out,because I'm not a big fan of shop bought sauerkraut, but after reading about how great it is for our bodies,I'd like to eat more of it.
So, there you have it - all made from scratch.

What's next? I don't know. I don't have a working oven at the moment,so no baking.But we are managing just fine with the stove top, rice cooker,weber and barbeque.Charlie is a large consumer of rice crackers - perhaps I ought to give that a shot? I believe Inner Pickle has a recipe....I'll check it out after netball this morning. Must dash...

Sunday, March 4, 2012

What to do when you feel lousy and can't do much...

Well, I think it's a great time to catch up on ideas. I've not had much time for thinking and contemplating beyond the weekly food menu, how to improve my paleo diet, and the shopping list ( I do a lot of thinking about food!).

So, it seems I have caught a bug. I've been feeling very low and had nasty stomach cramps too. Thankfully, no vomiting or diarrhea, but still feeling quite awful.

So rather than be frustrated, I've decided this time is actually a gift to be savoured. It's an opportunity to rest, because it is obviously something I need, and a chance to take time to  do nothing at all.

So, I'm in bed, writing this and doing some thinking and researching.

I've been thinking about the garden. I can't wait til we sell our block of land so we can spend some money developing our house block. I want to move the vegetable garden up close to the house, build a chook(chicken) yard nearby, and bring in a whole lot of fill so that we can have a LEVEL garden. I'm really sick and tired of having to have raised terraced beds. We lose so much water, and digging, planting, pushing a wheel-barrow and carrying things up and down a hill is just proving to be too challenging. It has led me to being very neglectful of the garden. So, that's the long term plan...

The short term plan is to start showing some love to my garden again. We've had a long hot summer (it's still happening), which makes for loads of lovely beach time, but very little loving of the garden. My garden isn't reticulated. I don't have the time or inclination to stand out in the Aussie sun, watering the garden for hours on end. Consequently, everything is suffering from a lack of water. Why won't it just rain???

So, I need to pull up many dead plants, put in a whole lot of organic matter, and rejuvenate the soil before I start planting out in late Autumn. I don't really want to do many of those jobs until the weather is cooler. So perhaps in the Easter holidays, I'll get a start on that.

Then I'll start planting out broccoli,beetroot,cabbage,carrots,lettuce,Asian greens,onions, spinach (lots and lots of this) and peas.

I've also been thinking about recipes. I recently got hold of this book: Bridging Foods:

I'm going to try out these recipes this week:
  • Thai Fish Cakes
  • Pumpkin and Tuna Sushi
  • Coconut Chicken and Asian Salad
  • Fish Tacos
I'll let you know how they turn out.

Oh dear - I seem to be thinking about food again! There's no way around it. A family has to eat.

I've also thought about getting more time to myself. I've come up with a tiny little plan to get 30 minutes of swimming laps in. Apparently the quietest time for lap swimming is between 2.30 and 3.30. On a Wednesday I'm not teaching period 6, which means if I left a tiny bit before home-time, I could manage a half hour in the pool. No one will miss me, and I'll get a well deserved 30 minutes to myself. Yippee! It's certainly worth a try.

I have to admit, though feeling sick isn't pleasant, it was nice to have some time to do nothing much at all.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

How to do it?

How do we do it - working, mothering,partnering- without losing our "selves" along the way?

My question comes from a place I've found myself in - a place I don't want to be in- but, nonetheless, I am.

I knew it wouldn't be easy to go back to work again, to three days a week, but I had hoped I would be able to juggle it, along with all the other roles I have, in an elegant fashion.

But, here I am, fumbling, dropping the balls, grasping desperately to pick them all up again...

Things coast along reasonably well when we get into a routine, when I stick to the "plan", but when events conspire against me, everything tumbles.

This past week has been difficult, and I feel exhausted. It is noone's fault. It is just how life can be.

The week started with Lily feeling sick. She is our most available and able, willing babysitter. With her out of action, the rest of us have to do a little more to keep our littlest one occupied.

Then both Freya and Charlie had colds. That meant more tiredness and misery.

I too fell down with the dreaded lurgy. Only I soldiered on, kept working, kept mothering, kept house-wifing.

Then Mike went away overnight on Friday and came home Saturday afternoon, sleep deprived and suffering from a terrible toothache. His toothache had him out of action all weekend, doped up on painkillers and feeling awful.

Then Freya got something in her eye, it was swollen and sore, and she really wasn't up to doing very much.

Add to this netball trials, grocery shopping, after school tutoring (I'm the tutor, and I finish at 5.15pm, twice a week), meals to be cooked, laundry and general mess and mayhem caused by a three year old.

I find my brow furrowed. I have to tell myself to stop frowning. I feel stressed. Getting dressed for work is so, damned hard...could I please just wear my sweatpants??? I fall into my chair at the end of a long day and fall asleep at 8pm. I can't find time to exercise, let alone meditate....

This morning my darling husband noted that, because I get up at 6 a.m, and he sleeps on til 7, that I should use that extra hour to get ready for work, so that the hour from 7 - 8 a.m (when we leave the house) won't be so stressful...I don't think he saw the irony in it at all- that hour is the only one that I get where I don't do anything much, other than drink a cup of tea, read my favourite blogs and forums.

When am I supposed to have some time to myself? How do you juggle it all? Any suggestions?

I'd love to be a stay at home mum, as I was the last three years, but I can't keep that up. The mortgage needs to be paid, and the children like to be fed. I also don't want to lose my permanent position at the school.

So, what I need is is useful, helpful ideas. Some family support would be nice, but that is sadly lacking.

Soldiering on.....

Friday, February 10, 2012 course...and feeling the consequences.

 We had Lily's birthday this week, so there had to be cake. It was Gluten free, but still cake, grains and sugar and all, so not really Paleo. It was delicious, and we all enjoyed it. I did feel very tired the next day. But that may be due to going back to work three days a week.

Then, yesterday, I made a huge batch of mini meringues, for my friend's 50th party (which is on tonight). They were a great success. I made vanilla, coffee and chocolate meringues. Of course, I had to sample each flavour, and then have only one more, then another, then another...Oh no, that sugar just had me gasping for more. Not good! They tasted lovely though.
However, deviating off the Paleo road wasn't a great idea. I was feeling tired anyway, probably from working, however, I spent the afternoon feeling quite fatigued, and ended up with a headache which I needed painkillers for. Now I've woken with a sugar-hangover. My head hurts and I still feel tired after a full night's sleep.

Was it worth it? No, not really. I'm annoyed at myself for slipping. Especially as I had weighed myself that morning and was so pleased that I'd lost some more weight.  What's worse is that I feel lousy today, and we have a party to go to tonight. I'll need an afternoon nap, I think. But I won't beat myself up about it. There's no point. Instead, I shall learn from my mistake, and will be staying away from the dessert table tonight. Instead, I want to indulge in a couple of glasses of champagne. I think it is an auspicious occasion which deserves toasting (my lovey friend, Carolyn's, 50th birthday.)

Other than this slip-up, I think the Paleo way of eating is becoming second nature. I do really like that I feel healthy and energetic on it. I also like that my clothes feel loose, and my tummy isn't bloated anymore. It's worth the sacrifices to feel good.

Saturday, January 28, 2012


Things are going well.
I know this is working on the family when I can smell bacon and eggs cooking in the kitchen, and who is cooking? My 11 year old daughter.

Since I stopped buying bread, making cookies and muffins and cakes with wheat flour, and generally getting rid of gluten, Freya has noticed a marked improvement in her skin - she has struggled with eczema her whole life - much like Charlie.

He too has had a marked improvement. I noticed he was a little scratchy in his sleep a couple of nights ago - after he'd been to Day-care. I'm just not sure what to do about that. My carer is wonderful, and provides food for all meals and snacks, which makes things easy for me. I'm guessing that if I insist on Charlie being gluten free, I'll have to pack his food. Of course it is worthwhile if it makes a difference to his health.

I'll talk to his carer next week, and start thinking about how to tackle it. I do worry that if he has different food to everyone else, he'll feel left out, and of course he loves bread, pastry and other gluten foods, so if his playmates are eating it, he'll want it too. But he going there three days a week, so it will make a difference.

I'm supposing that as a carer, she must have to deal with other allergies? Anyway, something to think about.

I start back at work this week - three days a week. A bit of a shake up for this family. Last year I worked one day a week, sometimes two, so a regular three days may affect us. Everyone will have to make adjustments - not just me. At least I'll have a four day weekend. That's when I'll be trying to get the food organised. I think to maintain a healthy diet, we really do have to work at it. And why shouldn't we if it means our health is assured? It's worth the effort.

Speaking of which, I think it might be time for my caveman to get out of bed - so I'll fire up the stove and sizzle up some bacon and eggs, perhaps some tomatoes - plenty growing in the garden, some mushrooms. Yummy!