ailbhe: (Default)
The house was a pit and a disaster, so we left it behind. We stopped at Elle's Baguettes for sandwiches ) and then posted some party invitations at the post office, and then I cycled us in to town and out again to ERAPA.

We went down by the river ) and then we arrived early for the home ed group. We had our lunch and the first people to arrive were people I already knew and so it was lovely and pleasant.

Everyone had a lovely time until Linnea came up to me sulking. I was non-pushily nice to her for a few minutes and extracted the fact that she doesn't want to play that game because it's "horrid," a word which, as Susan might say, "real children never say." Further queries elicited the information that the game was robbers and cops. And she wasn't allowed to be a cop, apparently.

Emer found a doll as large as herself to play with, which was disconcerting to catch out of the corner of my eye.

So Linnea didn't mind much when we had to leave early, and we arrived in John Lewis in time to get both children fitted for new sandals. It was a bit of a production. ) and Rob phoned as my transaction was ending and I told him where we were.

So I brought everyone back to the Parents' Room and while Linnea was sitting on the loo Rob came and found us. And we talked briefly about dinner and I made a couple of phonecalls to sort out money and we went out somewhere Linnea remembered going for Freya's fourth birthday, a little over a year ago.

They had a good, cheap children's menu so that was lovely. I had a brief interaction with neighbouring diners, because I am an interfering kind of person. )

After we had finished our meals - during which Emer demonstrated that spaghetti-twirling is easy really, but eating very hot food is hard - we had to cycle home without lights. Well, I had a rear light. I didn't enjoy that. Rob and I both had hi-vis vests on but he'd forgotten his lights and my front dynamo-light wasn't working. We must look at that soon.

Emer fell asleep on the way home and is in bed asleep even now. Linnea did some of her restaurant-kiddie-pack puzzles while Rob made up her bed and now she's gone to bed too.

My turn next.
ailbhe: (Default)
As if the day couldn't get any better! After all that, for the cakes I made were rich and chocolatey, and they cooled while we ate lunch, which were perfectly boiled with runny yolks - and because Emer won't eat the yolk of an egg, I had TWO. I ate mine with my egg, and hers spread on toast. Yolk-viscosity is something which I strongly believe to be firmly in the lap of the gods, so I was pleased they came out so well.

After lunch the girls ate the cake-mix left in the bowl / on the mixing spoon. Then they washed their faces and we had visitors. The children spent a long time painting and then a long time rampaging. I got totalk to an actual adult in actual daylight, and caught up on some of their news ecksetra.

Because we have daylight now no-one realised how late it was getting until Rob came home, and he cooked sausages and broccoli for dinner, and then he and I sat down and did a proper mealplan, bringing us up to Tuesday 17 March - I've just realised we ought to have planned something green for that day but there you go.

I've been browsing the moneysavingexperts website but have a nasty feeling I'm already doing most of what's recommended. We are going to downgrade a lot of our food shopping - Farmer's Market local veg rather than True Food Co-op local organic veg, for example - but there are lengths to which I cannot bring myself to go. I will probably manage, though, if the credit crunch gets any crunchier (we recessed slightly today - Rob was told that his overtime no longer has time off in lieu guaranteed, which, given that he's guaranteed overtime and not paid for it, is a pain for us).

Today I baked a huge, shiny loaf of white bread. It remains to be seen how crusty it is. I have to eat a loaf of brown bread first.

Oh, but life is tough sometimes!
ailbhe: (Default)
I've made toast with the last of Monday's white bread. And I have coffee.

It's a good morning so far. I had a nasty dream which woke me before the children or the alarm, but it didn't leave a bad taste in my brain. Alien invasion and every citizen a spy, combined with Emer staying still so she wouldn't be spotted and Linnea trying to find somewhere better to hide - either she did or she didn't but I never found out.

I've managed laundry and dishwashing and childwrangling. The radio is interesting, for a change, and I'm learning stuff about brains. And fire.

Emer and Linnea are in good moods and very friendly.
ailbhe: (Default)
I loved the Maggie books. And quite liked some of the Kevin and Sadie ones. But a nice moon always makes me think "a braw bricht moonlicht nicht the nicht".

We had a gorgeous moon on Saturday night, and Emer and Linnea had a lot of fun looking at it. It was even right on our street, at the end, so we walked towards it until we had to stop to go into our house.

Linnea thinks there are astronauts living on the moon wondering what it would be like to live on Earth.

Emer says "No fink so."


Today went well. In all, we had four adults and five toddlers and one baby, today. Lucky I did a big baking earlier in the week because I haven't had time since. I hope to get some fresh done tomorrow.

I really must read up on how to bake bread with a soft upper crust.

And show Rob Chocolate Fix, the game Linnea played.
ailbhe: (Default)
The children did lovely things to my sorted piles of clean and dirty laundry, which I have callously disarranged since. But I had a domestically productive day and Emer spent the whole day naked (except for a brief period when she wore a double string of painted wooden beads around her waist) and Linnea helped me tidy up and got two tidy up stickers and both children had a bath and Linnea cooperated beautifully while I washed and conditioned her hair. I did mountains of laundry - almost all of which has already dried - including Linnea's quilt and stuff. I also baked three loaves of bread and cleaned the kitchen of the accumulated grime of ages, including the patina of hand-grease on the oven handles. I totally failed to get the water-stains off our glasses, even with vinegar and scrubbing, but restored the teaspoons to a Stepfordian shine.

We ate baked beans, pitta bread, and pickle for our lunch. The beans were a different brand to usual and had sugarin them, which tasted really odd to me, but the children didn't mind.

In the afternoon, we had two sets of visitors, and much tea, bread, and talking. The five mobile children played beautifully together and the baby was adorable and ate a lot. Then they all went away and Rob came home and we had a stir-fry for dinner, and next Rob and I are going to sort through the in-use clothing and cull, cull, cull. Clean clothes just get used up and dumped in corners, so we try not to have too much in use at any given time, but if we go away - as we did in December - we pack enough to last without doing laundry. We also tend to save our newest and nicest clothes for then.

Speaking of newest and nicest, I was given a skirt today which someone was given by a friend who bought it on Ebay and didn't like it. It's branded L. K. Bennett, is made of green velvet (viscose and silk) with sparkly trim, originally cost £119 (though has clearly been on sale several times at lower prices) and is very nice and wholly unlike anything I would usually wear. Where shall I go in it? Must I buy it some shoes? I definitely need to buy it a top.

Two loaves

Mar. 2nd, 2009 11:57 am
ailbhe: (bread)
I'm waiting to bake them. They are sitting like lumpen blumps now, hopefully planning to rise.

The children washed themselves, once in hand sanitiser gel, and then again with soap and water to get the gel off. They also eventually agreed to eat.

I can't get them out of the house today. But perhaps just stopping the whinging is a high enough goal.
ailbhe: (Default)
A few minutes ago the doorbell rang and Maria handed me a cup of coffee from the Workhouse Coffee Shop169. She didn't come in as they were on their way to the post office and we are grossly antisocial today, but she is my hero.

I just finished mixing today's bread170 and now I'm sitting here with the coffee, feeling luxurious and liked171.
ailbhe: (bread)
1 lb flour
1 tsp yeast
1 tsp sugar
3 tsp mixed spice

1 egg, beaten
enough rice milk to make up to 1/4 pint
1/4 pint hot water

Sift dry ingredients together.
Mix the rice milk into the egg and add the hot water carefully, so the egg doesn't cook.

Stir the wet into the dry and then knead with oiled hands.

Leave to rise.


That's as far as I've got. When it's risen I'll knock it back, probably add some raisins in, leave it to rise again, then bake it fairly hot.

We Shall See. I've never put mixed spice or egg in bread before.
ailbhe: (Default)
109We had takeaway pizza instead of a nervous breakdown, and later 110I painted lovely faffints. 111Rob baked cakes, muffins and flapjacks.

112We went to BfN and I worked for the whole time. 113Then I baked a cake for Mary and 114she came to visit. 115I cooked lunch for myself and the girls. 116After dinner I had a hot bath, and when it was cooler 117Emer joined me for a play.

118The BfN class came to my house and 119everyone brought treats. 120The children were marvellous.

121We went to the Farmer's Market and in spite of being late we were in time for the girls to have sausages and 122we got plenty of veg of kinds which will last in storage for a couple of weeks. 123We bought Linnea a clock for her bedroom wall. At home, 124we settled almost all of the details of our Great Expedition at Easter. 125We had visitors who brought a funky wooden balancing toy with bricks and a swinging platform and things. 126I had a phonecall with a friend.

127We went to Meeting and the kids had a great time. People were apparently pleased to see us. 128We got a ton of laundry done. 129We chose some more things to get rid of in The Great Decluttering Project (ongoing since approx 2003). 130We got to bed comparatively early.
ailbhe: (Default)
4 cauliflowers, small
2 winter cabbage
4 kilos of carrots
2 large parsnips
1 swede
14lb onions
14lb potatoes
1 jar raspberry jam
8 chipolata sausages

Now we need to write a proper meal plan and figure out how to stick to it. And this time, it needs to include lunches.

And curry.

And be 50% vegetarian.


Today was Baby Jo's third birthday; on her birth day I was 9 weeks pregnant with Emer and Jo's sister Iz came here while Jo was being born. We all went to hospital to welcome her home, and Rob held the new baby on his shoulder, the second new baby he'd held that way ever, and he and I both new that the baby we were growing was the best idea since Linnea.

Linnea was amazed and thrilled and wanted her own baby sister.

Yesterday a friend asked me to be on her list of People With Whom The Toddler Can Be Left while she has her new baby, due any minute now. I was very pleased to accept. She seemed to think I was doing her a favour; I feel honoured. It's an important job, caring for the toddler while the baby is being born. The carer is involved in something that is necessary and exciting and helpful and good. Baby Jo hardly knows us, really, but I feel very special towards her.


Today we also bought Linnea a clock for her bedroom, and Linnea finally chose a picture for me to paint on her bedroom wall; she wants a rainbow, with rain and sun and a pot of gold, and a panda, a zebra, and a bird. Rob and I were thinking tester pots.
ailbhe: (Default)
Today started at 4:30 am, when I realised that there were two girls in our bed; Emer woke up, saw Linnea, and decided it was a good time to party. "Yay-ya! Yay-ya!" she cried, and all hope of sleep was lost.
Domestic morning )BfN Anniversary Party )
Ice-lolly/bin tantrum )
Impromptu visits )
Sudden guests - I blame the patriarchy )
Rob is a great cook. )
We had apple and lychee sorbet for dessert, which was lovely. And I ought to be writing up that article on feeding an older baby, and doing my BfN homework for my course; I have another class tomorrow, after Linnea's swimming lesson.
ailbhe: (Default)
Today, from [livejournal.com profile] baratron, we received the kind of care package that makes you go all teary when you open it. It contained food. And because it came from [livejournal.com profile] baratron I didn't even need to read the packets - none of them. And there were a lot of packets.

There are biscuits, and cereal bars, and chocolate, and fruit, and chocolate biscuits, and fruity cereal bars, and bars that are really flapjacks, and I didn't have to read a single packet, and particularly I didn't have to read a single packet while hanging on to a toddler with one hand and supporting the baby in the sling with the other while I bent down to reach the shelves, and I am so, so happy.

Thank you.

No really, [livejournal.com profile] baratron, thank you. This is incredible. I owe you for this. We all do. This is wonderful.

Wonderful.
ailbhe: (Default)
Two small loaves of bread, which would be perfect if I hadn't forgotten to take them out of the oven, and two small loaves of bara brith, which are still in the oven. Linnea loves it and we're eating the bread for our lunch.

Unbleached stoneground white flour isn't the same as "normal" white flour at all.

I also called the bank and got them to refund a charge for a failed direct debit. That was nice.

Oh, and I spoke to the neighbours about the fence.

And hung some laundry. There's another load finished now; need to hang more.
ailbhe: (cake)
Linnea is eating her very first bread. I did the weighing, she mixed and kneaded and shaped, I put the oven on and put it in. It's a bit dark - it didn't prove long enough and so didn't rise and is dark-crusted and dense - but it tastes wonderful.

I wonder will we leave any for Daddy?
ailbhe: (food)
I started yesterday around 8 am with six Weetabix, about 500ml of rice milk, and two mugs of tea. Shortly after noon I had lunch - a baked potato with chili con carne and a side order of coleslaw. About four I had a snack of a banana and some tea. And for dinner, around six, I had two helpings of mixed bean casserole with couscous. Before bed I had a hamburger, two apple fritter things, some biscuits, and a lot more tea. About typical for my appetite recently.

Today I had six Weetabix, bread and jam for lunch, crisps and biscuits for the afternoon snack, two helpings of the same bean thing for dinner, and I do not feel hungry. I'm kind of wondering what's happened. Have I finally made up for all I lost through illness? Is that it? Can I go back to eating about what Rob does again?

Or will I wake in the night and gnaw off his leg and finish it raw?
ailbhe: (Default)
I've just eaten the last bit. I think it makes Emer cranky and pukey, so I'm cutting it out for a week. Tomorrow will be Day One of No Chocolate. After that I'll know whether I can have it in moderation or maximation. If I have as many kids as I hope to, I'll end up with a shortlist of foods that reads "gluten free pasta; vegan vitamin pills" and that will be it. Yeesh.

Still, it gives us more motivation to cook high-sugar high-calorie snackfoods. Banana cake is on the list again, this time with either self-raising flour or adequate baking powder. If it works, I shall post the recipe again.

Need more homemade cake recipes. Cakes which can be eaten in one hand as one jiggles around the room singing "Jumping up and down on the big [colour] tractor" to the toddler, patting the baby on the bum between bites. No dairy, no soy, preferably "Method: Put in magimix and whirr. Transfer to loaf tin. Put in oven and bake." Anything more complicated than that is beyond us at present.

Tomorrow we're having roast chicken for dinner. "Put in oven and bake. Dismember. Snarf."
ailbhe: (Default)
While I was in hospital, I had to make sure to eat no dairy products and no soya. This is because I have an intolerance to these foods which manifests as a really upset stomach, and I'd just had gastroenteritis followed by abdominal surgery. Not upsetting my innards further seemed only sensible.

I was in recovery over the official lunch period, so I first encountered a problem when I went up to the ward and they said they'd bring me something to eat because I'd missed it. I explained; they said "Did you tell anyone?"

Yes, I told everyone before I arrived in to hospital. "No, did you tell anyone up here?"

No, I just got here. It's in my notes. "You'll have to see the dietician."

Fine.

Meanwhile, they found me some cream crackers and some bourbon creams and a cup of black tea. Luckily I remembered these problems from when I was in with Linnea when she stopped breathing at 11 weeks, and from when I was in for perineal repair when Linnea was 8 months, so we had already planned for my mother to bring me food later.

The dietician arrived with the week's menus. She and I looked at them. She didn't know what was in any of the dishes. She didn't think the kitchen could produce dairy-free versions of most things, either. So, based on what I had already eaten in the hospital canteen when I was in for antenatal appointments around lunchtime, I told her which dishes did and did not make me ill.

That's right, the patient who was out of post-op recovery less than two hours told the dietician which hospital meals did and did not contain dairy.

So based on that we chose a menu. She offered to have something special and light cooked for me that evening, since I had just had surgery and most of the women would eat something light the day of surgery. She asked me for suggestions. "Pasta in a tomato-based sauce?" I couldn't see how that could be difficult.

Rob and my mother brought me fruit, biscuits, and cereal bars. And a carton of rice milk.

That night I got a miniscule portion of overcooked pasta in some kind of goo. It strongly resembled the toddler ready-meals one can buy to microwave, in fact - the ones Linnea rejected from age 16 months on, which was fine since we mainly got them for travelling when she was 15 months.

Breakfast the following morning, a nice junior midwife spent ages trying to find out what was in the cereals. They arrive on the ward decanted into unlabelled boxes, you see, and she couldn't find anyone who knew where the boxes were to read the ingredients from. She also couldn't remember the list of thigns I told her to look for - whey, casein, soya, soy flour, skim milk powder, milk, butter, yoghurt, cream, cheese, etc. She settled for bran flakes in the end, ebcause they were 100% something or other. I had my own rice milk on them. At least it was food.

Lunch was either nasty dry fish without sauce (a block of fish, some potatoes, and some kind of veg) or salty pork ghoulish. Dinner was, er, the other one of those.

Next day I still couldn't get out of bed to eat, due to a killer headache, but the nurse or midwife or whoever it was didn't believe me, so I had to wait until Rob got there to get my breakfast. He brought me muesli from home. Fab. Lunch was a baked potato so vile that Linnea refused to eat it, even though she was thrilled by the idea of eating in hospital. Dinner was more dry, nasty fish, with potatoes and veg.

Reader, I had that same fish three times. For all I know it was vat-grown and as they hacked off a lump it grew back. It was served with horrible new potatoes (really, they did something to new potatoes to make them really unpleasant) and very very boiled veg.

I ate. I know that food is necessary to recover from having holes hacked in one. I ate everything that I could choke down. The only meals I didn't eat all of were the baked potato and the final lunch, which was yet more blasted fish and since I was going home in 30 minutes I decided to skip it in favour of eating almost anything else.

Next time I shall go in to hospital with a little recipe book, or possibly a camp stove.

Still, last time I was in hospital to have a baby the food was worse.
ailbhe: (Default)
Last week the inimitable [livejournal.com profile] flybabydizzy came and cleaned our house. And talked to us. And played scrabble with us. The house looked like the housework fairies had come in the night and transformed it, especially the kitchen. Now they're gone, and with me post-section, they're not coming back. It's all I can do to end the day with the three of us fed and not covered in our own excretions. Or each other's, come to that; I got copiously peed on yesterday.

Also yesterday, Rob and I had a weird conversation on IM.

ailbhe: Unless you've moved the oats, I can't reach the slow cooker, you know
rob: I didn't know that
ailbhe: It's a big stretch
ailbhe: I can't do big stretches
rob: I could come home and tip it in in half an hour - I forgot to bring my lunch so could pick it up then
ailbhe: Hee, that would be helpful
rob: ok, I'll do that. It'll only be a flying visit mind you
ailbhe: Or I could do it in a saucepan, but then what about your lunch?
rob: I'll take it back here
ailbhe: No, I mean f you dn't come home I can do dinne rin a pan
ailbhe: but you have no lunch
rob: If I don't come home I'll have to buy something

So he came home, filled the slow cooker with the prepped dinner, hung out the laundry, kissed everyone, picked up his lunch, and left.

It wasn't until the potatoes were almost done and it was about serving time that we realised the slow cooker had been off all that time. So we invoked the microwave, which was... ok.

I really need to move stuff so I can reach everything in the kitchen again. Being out of action causes all kinds of chaos.
ailbhe: (Default)
Saturday morning was brightened by a delivery of 70% chocolate from Hotel Chocolat, courtesy of [livejournal.com profile] mouse262, whom I don't even know. Thank you. The kindness of strangers knows no bounds. It's lots of little batons, which I have been eating in the mornings so's not to keep Emer up all night.

At some point - two points, actually - we cut my hair. First Rob stood behind me and chopped a straightish line off, then I decided it wasn't short enough yet but I was too tired to do it again, and the next morning Rob cut it shorter. I washed it. It's fine. It's roughly straight if I brush it all back, takes much less time to brush in the mornings, can still be tied back, etc. It can't quite be worn down, because it falls forwards, and I hate hair in my face, but it's a great time saving over what I had before.

With any luck, my hair is also not pregnant any more and I can stop gunging up hairbrushes. Yeurgh.

It's shorter than it's been since I was seven. It only just passes my shoulders.

A Fine Day

Sep. 17th, 2006 07:39 pm
ailbhe: (Default)
Emer is officially over her growth spurt. How do we know? We both woke rested this morning. Rob actually sat up and drank tea in bed, before Linnea made him get up. I stayed in bed much, much longer.

So today was good. Rob has also cut my hair; it's just beyond my shoulders now, so it looks about the same from the front but should take much less time to manage. I really do think I will find a hairdresser and make someone else cut my hair into something that can be combed in 30 seconds or less without a mirror, and remain ok with a bike helmet. No idea how though.

I've posted a poll in my due date community about birth. I'm interested to know how many of "us" managed a normal birth. And in what people's expectations of recovery were like; I know almost everyone I know personally was surprised by how long it took them to recover from birth, even the ones who had lovely natural no-trauma deliveries without complications.

Linnea and Rob went swimming this morning, with friends. Then they came here to lunch, until their toddler got tired and high-pitched and was brought home. Rob made beef stew for dinner - my being ill is expanding his cooking repertoire enormously - and we ate it out in the garden.

Rob has had some upper back pain and a weird jumping arm and a stiff neck. Tomorrow morning we'll call the doctor, see if he can get an appointment.

I'm reading Fforde's "The Big Over Easy" and being irritated by myself for not getting all the references. Must Try Harder.

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