Tuesday, 30 November 2010

The Gallery - Week 37

This is my first week posting and the theme is celebrations.

My picture is the first one taken of the Pudding.  I had a very difficult pregnancy plauged with hyperemasis gravidarum, heavy bleeding, the loss of Pudding's twin worries about spinabifida, she didn't grow for the final 3 weeks and when i went into labour i suffered a major cord prolapse (umbilical cord preceeds baby into birth canal).  We were told afterwards that the odds of her surviving in my situation were only 5% and the fact that she survived with absolutly no brain damage was a miracle.  I can honestly say i have only ever felt that thankful once before (that's a story for another day) in my life.

The Pudding born at 5:48pm on 20th February 2010 by Emergency C-Section.

Running errands

is what i have mostly been doing today.  Dropped the Munch off at playschool before heading to St Annes to pay the remainder off the Christmas Party for our group from Breastfeeding Support group.  Pretty hairy as it's the first time i have ever driven on ice, got even dicier when i went round a corner and the car skidding and hit the kerb!  Thankfully both the Pudding and i were ok and the car only got a bent wheel which has now been bent back into shape.  Went to Tescos and got the ingrediants for Christmas Pudding Mark 2 hopefully this one will turn out better than the last.  Picked Munch up from playschool, had lunch, did some domestic drugery, took the car to have new front tires fitted (garage fixed the wheel for free so very happy), was planning on going to the Sensory Session afterwards but was a bit late so called in to see my mum at work.  Lots of opportunity for nana to show her grandkids off.  Then decided as it was so cold to go and pick Hubby up from Uni save him freezing appendages off at the bus stop (i do want more children.)  Came via KFC and now going to have a shower, wash hair, relax and go to bed as i'm knackered.

Only down side to today is Munch fell over her own feet not watching what she was doing and fell face first into the corner of the bin.  She has a graze it's swollen and has a nasty looking bruise on her cheekbone right near her eye.  Worried people will think i've clocked her one.

Monday, 29 November 2010

Crafty afternoon

Today we forewent going out to our usual 'groups' what with the frost, Munch is under the weather and i am was feeling very CBA.  We had a lazy morning reading, singing songs and watching some T.V.  Just bofore lunch time it started to snow and Munch got very excited and rushed to the window saying Santa must be coming soon, only to be disappointed when it stopped a couple of minutes later.

This afternoon we had a bit of a crafty/messyplay session, where we had a go at making homemade christmas wrapping paper.  Our first attepmt was to have munch stand in the paint and walk up and down the paper.  It didn't turn out quite as i'd hoped, but she had great fun making it.  Secondly i cut stamps out of potatoes
(we have from L-R a christmas tree, star, angel, and the word Ho)

then used these to stamp on the paper.  It took a few attempt to get the height of the stamps right but it is my first time. 

The Munch putting the stamps to good use

and the finished product hanging on the line to dry

Just before we finished i left Munch alone to answer the phone and in that couple of seconds she also managed to paint my cooker and 2 doors!  Once finshed we went upstairs for a much needed bath and straight into pjamas.  Back down into the warmth of the living room to snuggle up with mummy and watch 'The Snowman.'

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Christmas Pudding Disaster

I retrieved both my Christmas Cake and Christmas pudding from their dark cool hiding place this evening in order to 'feed' them both (pour more copious amounts of alcohol over them) only to find when i opened the christmas pudding a section of it around the edge had mould growing on it.  I cut it out and it was only on the surface but didn't like to chance it so binned the lot.  I'm really disappointed and upset as it was my first one and we were trying to make it into a family tradtion.  I made it on Stir up Sunday and we each took a turn stiring 3 times east to west and made a wish.  I feel like it has all been a waste now.  It's not even the loss of the ingrediants that bothers me so much as the loss off the effort and the excitement Munch had knowing she was making it and she would get to eat it on Christmas day.  I feel like it has all been a waste of time and the whole traditional value has been lost for us.

I'm toying with the idea of making another, but would it feel the same?  Also i don't know what went wrong this time and therefore how to prevent it again. 

Thankfully the Christmas Cake was fine!

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Grasshopper Pie

The grasshopper pie i made this afternoon to follow our roast dinner, from the new Nigella cookbook my wonderful husband surprised me with last week. 

Friday, 26 November 2010

Animals and Ethics

One of the hubby's modules in for his degree is 'Animals and Ethics' and currently they are looking at the un/ethical treatment of animals used in the food prodution industry.  This has incited numerous debates in our household over the last week as it is a subject i feel very strongly about.

One thing i have never understood is how easy it is to be blinded by a situation.  An example of this is my mum, who flat out refuses to buy anything other than free range eggs as she doesn't approve of battery farming or keeping chickens in barns.  However she will quite happily by a cheep chicken to roast despite the fact that the poor animal will have been kept in very similar conditions as one producing cheep eggs.  How can one feel so strongly about a subject but only direct it to one aspect?

Unfortunatly with the economy being the way it is, most familys (ours included) cannot afford the luxuray of buying free range, organic produce.  Every week i stand in the supermaket in the meat isle frozen with indecision between cheep meat that i venomously appose the production methods of and free range organic meat that our budjet really can't afford.  Do i essentially support a cause i despise in order to feed my family? or do i leave us short of money in order to support my ethics?  What sort of example am i setting to my children if i am telling them to stand up for what they believe in, yet not doing the same myself?

The unfortunate truth is its a vicious cycle by buying the cheeper meat (or veg for that matter)  i am putting money into the producers pockets allowing them to continue and  I don't see a feesable way to break the cycle.

I have considered many compramises including purchasing the RSPCA's freedom food approved meat.  Yet after reading the producers guidelines of what is acceptable and what is not in order to gain their seal of approval, i don't really think the way the animal's are treated is any more acceptable.  In fact it makes me shudder to think of how the non freedom food animal's are treated if i disaprove of what the RSPCA deem acceptable.

To name but a few of what the is acceptable to gain freedom food status - i use the example of chickens as that is what we mostly eat. 

The chicken's only need to be allowed 2.5cm of access to food per bird.

In the 3 days prior to slaughter they only need 3 hours of darkness.

There only needs to be 2m of perch per 1000 birds.

There only needs to be 30cm between adjacent perches (fancy sleeping with someone elses bum in your face! i know i certainly wouldn't like it)

The birds are allowed up to 4% of burns on their feet.

This is just a few examples from a very very long document on guidelines for producers.  The full documents can be viewed online here.

The current compromise i'm looking into is cooking vegetarian meals 3-4 nights and buying the sort of meat i don't feel wracked with guilt over buying.  Now i just have to find some good vegetarian recipies.

I would like to point out that all views expressed are my own personal opinions and that i fully support the work of the RSPCA and believe they do a wonderful job and have supported the charity myself on several occasions.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Thursday Madness

Thursdays are always a bit of a funny day in our house.  We have a realtivly laid back time until lunch time when everything all kicks off and doesn't stop (for me at least) until gone 10pm.  This morning was as usual very relaxed we had breakfast got dressed watched a little Charlie and Lola did some playing. 

When suddenly i look at the clock and realise it's 11:55am, quickly run about like an idiot getting pudding up from her nap and getting both girls ready to go out, bundle them into the car to the children's centre for Breastfeeding Support group.  Todays talk was absolutly fanscinating and on the subject of milk donation.  Unfortunatly it's too late for me to pursue this time around but if (hopefully when) i have another baby it is definatly something i would like to do.  I didn't realise just what a big differance it can make, nor just how expensive it is.  We were told per litre it is worth over £100.00!!!  For those of you unfamiliar with the concept the principle is breastfeeding mum's in addition to feeding their own babies express milk into supplied containers which they store in the freezer.  A representative will call and collect the frozen milk whereby they take it to their facitlities for storage and do some sciency stuff to it (pudding was attempting to pull the christmas tree over at this point so i was a little distracted) then it is shipped out to mostly neo-natal units to feed premature babies.  This is a very short synopsis but you can find more information here.

During the talk members of staff from the children's centre had taken some of the older children outside to play. My local one is attached to a school for children with special needs and so they get to play out with the school children.  Anyway all the other children troop back in at the end of the group with one noteable exception, the staff are searching the room and the playground for Munch, who appears to have dissapeared off the face of the earth.  Finally 10 minutes later she is found in the classroom with the other children, apparently when they were called in after their break she followed them in hung up her coat with theirs and got on with the work alongside them.  It was just so typical of her that i couldn't help but laugh.

After retrieving the Munch we all trouped round the corner to the baby clinic, halfway there i was wishing i had thought to retrieve the buggy from the boot of the car.  Got the Pudding weighed she is now 18lb 2oz which explains my aching arms.  Whizzed back home for lunch, put the wee one down for a nap, played stickle bricks and  coloring with Munch, then miracles of miracles while i nipped to the loo she feel asleep!  That is practically unheard of, but i took the opprtunity to get some much needed rest myself as she had had me up at 4am wanting to come downstairs to see if Santa had been yet, she was not impressed when i explained that she still had a month to wait before Santa would be bringing her presents.

After our naps we had a quick tea and a swift changeover as i walked out to go to my BSL class as Hubby came home from Uni.  BSL tonight was a hoot as the lady who normally assists took the first part of the class and she showed us some pure deaf signs (which means they have no words to describe what your signing.) It involved ALOT of funny face pulling and the whole class was in hysterics.  I love this course, i've never been much good with languages but this just seems to click with me, maybe because it's all visual i don't know.

So now as it's very late and i'm struggling to put a coherant sentance together i'm off to my bed to prepare for the ordeal in the morning that is the tescos shop! du du DUUUUUNNNNNN! 

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Time for me?

Recently the Munch Bunch has been spending Wednesday afternoons at our local children's centre taking part in their 'a short break for parent's' sessions.  She was offered a 6 week course of them so they could moniter her behaviour and give us some feedback and advice as she was becoming increacingly hyper and agressive.  Thankfully her behaviour has improved!  An additional aim of the sessions was as titled supposed to be a short break for me, however after coercing lunch down the two kids, getting them ready to leave (obviously the eldest absolutly MUST undress while i get the small one's bum changed, coat on, shoes on and in the car seat) find somewhere to park, get them out the car, drop Munch off, bundle Pudding home, play with her, settle her for a nap, i am left with a scant 45mins for me.  I fantasize all morning what i could with those 45 mins (read, surf the net, nap, watch daytime tv, knit all rate highly) yet somehow when i finally reach that pinnacle moment of me time i always, always, always get caught up in doing some time of domestic drudgery.  Oh the washing machine's just finished i'll just..., hmmmm mantlepiece is looking a bit dusty i'll just..., ironing pile is getting a little high i'll just..., you get my drift.  Anyway to reach my point, today was the last of the sessions and i have yet to spend any time actually having a short break. 

I really don't know how people do it.  I don't seem to have enough hours in the day to be as hands on a mum as i want to be, keep the house looking respectable, do any of my hobbies and get enough sleep.  Is it just my crap planning? or is this a problem plauging all mums?  and no matter what i do i feel like i'm letting someone down and feel guilty.  Spend one on one with one of the girls and feel guilty about the other, spend all day with the kids feel guilty for letting the housework slide, do housework feel guilty about not spending enough time with the kids, do a combination of those and feel guilty for not spending time on me or the hubby.  It feels like life is one big vicious circle of guilt, i'm sure their must be some way to find a balance out there, i just haven't found it yet.