An Update on The Status of my Breastfeeding Antics.

You may or may not be interested to know that I have finally given up breastfeeding Izzy. In total, I fed her for 34 months. My first ever midwife once told me that breastfed children are very clever, if this is true then Izzy’s going to be a genius.

I pretended to give up in August this year but really gave up mid September. This came about after Fergus, my very pro-breastfeeding and tolerant husband, began to hint that it might be time to consider life without a baby/almost fully grown child stuck to my boobs. I knew that when Ferg began to think enough was enough that maybe enough really was enough.

By this stage we were down to just one marathon feed at bedtime. I would love to say that I was reluctant to give it up because my breasts were heavily laden with milk and the desire to nurture my last child just overwhelmed me, but there was barely any milk left in the old dears by then. No, the fact is that an hour long breast-feeding session gave me the chance to have a ruddy good read.

Oh the joy! The other two kids were downstairs silently watching telly, (they knew better than to invoke my wrath by interrupting “Izzy’s bedtime routine.”) and I was lying in bed, snuggling my very snugly Izzy and reading a good book. Does life get any better?? Any Mum knows, that a bit of quiet time where you get to do something you love, is a very precious thing. So precious in fact that I was extremely reluctant to give it up. The idea of losing my little oasis of peace and calm in an otherwise hectic and full day was quite frightening.

Anyway, one day, when Izzy said she wanted, “dudu”, as we called it, (Bit embarrassing, but at least not as bad as “bitty”) I just said no. I told her she was a big girl now and didn’t need it any more. It was awful! She looked up at me with her big, mournful baby-blues and seemed so confused and sad. My resolve obviously wavered but I stood firm. She kept asking for a few days or so and then stopped. Just like that, done. I was gutted, I’d secretly hoped she’d put up more of a fight and give me an excuse to start again. But of course she didn’t because she didn’t need it any more.

It’s usually such a joyful occasion when our kids reach their milestones, but sometimes it’s quite sad and signifies the end of an era. At least I can say with certainty that I gave this particular era all I had. Bye bye milky boobs, you’ve been super.

My little Izzy. So totally OVAH breastfeeding. Yeh, she is quite big and yeh it did look a bit weird.IMG_3061.JPG

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Right, that’s it. From now on I’m going to be an excellent Mother.

Today is one of those days where I woke up and thought to myself, “Today, I shall be excellent at Mothering. I shall not scream at my children, I shall not arse about and then be late for school drop off, I shall remember to read with my son as soon as we get in from school, I shall make a packed lunch for my son in preparation for tomorrow, I shall start dinner before 4.59pm and I WILL bath them!” So far so good, (apart from arsing about and being late and the screaming. There was a little bit of screaming…) but I still have the last and worst hours of the day to get through.

So let me tell you about the excellent things I did which have made me an excellent Mother today. I ignored Maisie when she decided that slow-mo was the only speed she could possible achieve on her balance bike on the way to school this morning. Amazingly she was neither stolen nor killed when I went ahead of her. Instead she caught up. Wow, what a revelation. Normally I just scream something like, “I can’t do this every morning Maisie, you are driving me mental, HURRY UP! I said HURRY UP! Why do you have to go slowly when we’re late? You’re soooooo annoying! Arghhhhhhh! Grrrrrrrrrarrr!!”

Err, ok that’s the only quite-good thing I’ve done today, but I’m definitely thinking more and more about being excellent. The trouble is, me. My disorganization means I’m usually a bit late, which means I’m usually a bit stressed, which means I’m usually a bit horrible to my children. What makes you late Emma? I hear you ask with genuine curiosity. Well, usually Candy Crush, or Bubble Witch Saga, or feeding my Dinosaurs, or checking out the deals on flash sale websites. Basically anything but getting on with being a mother. Why though? It doesn’t make sense, surely I’d have learnt by now that life is better when we’re on time and relaxed? But no I haven’t, look at the time now for example, it’s 3.04pm and I need to leave to pick up Sam, but I’m typing. What a twonk.

Anyway, gotta run!

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The Many Faces of Maisie Moo. Smiling.

My daughter Maisie has a beautiful smile, but as soon as she sees a camera, something very odd happens to it. This is what I’m talking about…

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…and my favorite.

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I think we’ll just keep practicing…

Kids Eggy Peggy Chicky Fried Rice

This recipe was born out of desperation and turned out pretty well. I had some left over roast chicken and some slightly moldy red pepper (Mmmm, yummy…) and just chucked it in with some other stuff I had lurking around. With all of my recipes, the veg and meat are pretty much interchangeable. If your child doesn’t like peppers then put something else in they’ll actually eat.

Ingredients

Chicken breast and leg diced (enough for however many kids you have)
One red pepper
A handful of peas
A handful of chopped mushrooms
One onion chopped
One garlic clove crushed
1 desert spoon of Thai fish sauce or reduced salt soy sauce
A good ol glub of Toasted sesame oil if you have it, sunflower or vegetable oil if you don’t
One egg.
Wok

Firstly, put your rice on to boil, then gently fry the mushrooms, onions and crushed garlic together in the oil until soft then put aside in a little bowl. Fry the chicken in the remnants of the oil and add the peas and peppers when the chicken is heated through or browned if fresh.

If your kids are anything like mine, then they hate anything remotely slimey like cooked onions or mushrooms, so what I do is use my hand blender to mush the garlic, mushrooms and onion together with a splash of water and the Thai fish sauce, then they don’t know they’re eating it. He he he…

Once you’ve made the sauce, put it aside and beat your egg, when it’s all mixed together, move the food in the wok to one side and tilt the wok so the food is on higher ground (if you know what I mean…?) pour the egg mixture into the lower part of the wok and make sure it’s over the heat, then stir the egg until it’s no longer liquid and mix in with the other ingredients. If the rice is ready then add it now. At this point you need to turn up the heat and add the sauce, making sure you stir constantly so the food doesn’t burn. Add the punch of salt, taste and if to your liking serve.

I have to say, I was very surprised to find the fish sauce in my food cupboard, it must have been left over from a Jamie Oliver recipe, but thank goodness it was, I usually use soy sauce for these types of meals but had run out!

Hope you like it!

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Ballet Day

I love YouTube. This morning I fancied finding out how to create the perfect ballet bun and YouTube showed me exactly what to do. In fact it showed me two ways, one of which involved some sort of hair donut which we didn’t own. Anyway, what joy! We made a bun and it looked pretty good until it collapsed and then it turned into a ponytail which was acceptable, if not as ballet-ish.

On the way to ballet, we always pass a dance shop and this morning we popped in to buy some ballet tights. Low and behold just next to the till, they had some hair-donut things, whoop whoop!

So we arrived at Maisie’s ballet class, put on the new tights and put in the hair-donut. It looked ridiculous. Of course it did, she’s three and the bun is almost as big as her entire head, so, as she walked into class, with a massive, over-fussy, donut stuck to her head, I crept away before the ballet teacher could catch my eye and give me a look I’m sure she’s given hundreds of other keeno Mums before me. Personally, I’m feeling inspired, next week we’re going to try a French plait. Might start my research now…

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When we went down to the woods today…

We’ve had a lovely Sunday. Despite the fact that Isabelle decided it was only right and proper that I should sleep for 2 & 3/4 hours last night, we all managed to enjoy the sunshine and go to the park. We played football, practised balance biking for Maisie for the 2nd time and took Izzy out for her first ride on the push trike. Maisie got her balance bike for Christmas and I’m very pleased with it, thankfully Maisie rather likes it too. It’s a bikestar balance bike that I got from Amazon, (I’ll do a piece on balance bikes soon!) image What frustrates me about balance bikes is that people who review balance bikes always say, “They’re AMAZING! My child simply looked at the balance bike and could COMPLETELY ride a real bike without stabilisers straight away!” This has not happened for my children so far. Sam didn’t just simply get it straight away, it took him about 4 or 5 practices (still not much), Maisie today sort of limped on it all the way to the park and back again which was pretty painful to watch, but nevertheless she had a lovely time. I’m sure she’ll get it soon, but she didn’t get it today which left me feelng like she’ll never get it. At moments I found myself acting like a drill sergeant, clapping my hands and commanding her to go faster, to look straight ahead and stop mucking about. Poor kid. Sometimes I just completely miss the point. But it would be nice if I didn’t feel like everyone else’s children got it STRAIGHT away! So, for all of you mothers out there who are out with their child who’s having their first few gos on the balance bike, don’t worry if they don’t get it in the first minute, it just takes a bit of practice and they will eventually get it and probably love it. They may not love it, but that’s ok, they’re not freaks, they just don’t like it right now. Ok, deep breath, rant over.

So, to football, we all played, well Izzy sort of played, she mainly just stumbled around on the grass with arms outstretched asking for the ball and then falling over – brilliant. I was in goal quite a lot, which was fine, but perhaps a waste of my skills, anyway, it was funny and sunny and we all enjoyed being out of the house.

After football we played in the park and the woods and generally just got beautifully tired out. Sam and Maisie are playing so nicely together at the moment. It’s as though someone flicked a switch that made them both realise that playing together is completely awesome and much better than Mickey Mouse Club House. Having said that, when we got home, Fergus and I were very quick to seperate the eldest two and give them some down time, (secret code for avoiding potential conflict due to extreme tiredness), you know what I’m talking about parents. All in all, a lovely day with minimal shreeking. Hoorah!
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Marscalicious Pasta

pastaMarscalicious Pasta

As a student, I always used to love adding marscapone cheese to pasta because it was easy and tasty, so the other day I saw it on the shelf in Sainsburys and wondered why on earth I hadn’t used it in kids meals! Marscapone cheese is pretty calorific but currently Izzy is barely eating anything, Sam’s a beanpole and Maisie wont eat it anyway, so calories are just fine as far as I’m concerned.

Ingredients
A splash of vegetable oil
4 heaped desert spoons of Marscapone cheese
A hefty splash of semi skimmed milk
A handful per child of the kids favorite pasta shapes.
Approx 15 fennel seeds crushed
A meat of your choice (we used ham tonight, but chicken works really well too)
A green veg of your choice (we used broccoli but peas work well too)
Half a crushed garlic clove (that was in a portion for 3 kids)

Method
Heat the oil on a medium heat. Put your pasta on to boil. If you’re using raw meat then brown the meat, if you’re using a cooked meat then add the broccoli first to soften it and then add the meat. When the meat is cooked and the veg is soft then add the marscapone and stir. When the marscapone has melted down then add the crushed garlic and fennel seeds (fennel not compulsory if you havent got it!) and stir. Add enough milk so that the mixture is a good saucey consistency. When the pasta has boiled just add the pasta to the mixture and serve.

The only trouble with this meal is that it’s incredibly tempting for the hungry mummys who are doing the cooking… left-over snack alert!!!