Friday, July 30, 2010
Thursday, July 29, 2010
I have recently added a new addition to our playroom (ie. our tiny little living room)- a basket filled with silk and muslin scarves. North has just started to develop an interest in costumes and imaginary play, and I was seriously considering getting him a gorgeous set of rainbow silk scarves for his upcoming second birthday when it dawned on me- there are tons of cheap and colourful scarves at the op shop!! I marched to the closest one and proceeded to buy a variety of colours at around $3 each (they sell for $16-$20 each in most online Steiner/Waldorf stores).
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Monday, July 26, 2010
My little one doesn’t need a lot of convincing to eat his bread, but to spice up mealtimes or for a healthy treat sometimes we shape our buns into little animals. Using our basic bread recipe, I rip off a piece of dough about the size of my fist and add features, then brush with a beaten egg and add the final decorations. In the past we have made teddy bears faces with currents for eyes and a nose, little fish with pumpkin seed scales, lizards with sunflower seed skin and in this photo- cinnamon turtles with clove bud eyes.
Bread can be a healthy and energy laden snack for your growing toddler that is calorie dense and provides a variety of minerals, vitamins and dietary fiber. Pair it with hummus, various nut butters or avocado for added fat and/or protein.
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Friday, July 23, 2010
North is nearing two years old and I still haven’t spent a night without him. I can’t imagine doing so anytime soon. As for the days, I happily leave him for two hours twice a week at the gym creche while I take a yoga class or pop over to the cafe for a coffee and a bit of a breather before getting some errands done. He knows the girls that work there well, and he enjoys having a free play with the other children. I’m also happy to leave him for longer periods of time with his grandparents or with close friends in my Mother’s group who I trust and know he feels comfortable and secure with.
But this weekend has presented a bit of a bump in the previously gentle and mindful childcare settings I have immersed him in. Through his business, my husband and I are meant to entertain another couple at the footy game and none of my usual childcare settings are available, which has left only one other option: a babysitter. There is a lovely girl who sits some children we see around the neighbourhood and throughout the week at various activities, who is more than willing to help out. The plan being that she will arrive at home while North is down for his nap, and when he wakes up she will play with him, perhaps take him to the park and start getting his dinner ready. Overall she will be spending about 4-5 hours with him before we arrive in time to read a book, have a cuddle and put him off to bed.
But something just doesn’t feel right about this plan. I am mulling and stressing over it and am surprisingly emotional about the whole thing. Am I being a crazy, pregnant overbearing parent or is there more to these feelings? I just hate the idea of him waking from his nap to a girl he hardly knows and having to “brave it out” for 3-4 hours. I hate the pressure and expectation for him to grow up, to force him to act older than his age in situations like this. It feels cruel to put him in a situation like this without choice and understanding. I know he won’t cry the entire time. I know that he’ll be upset at first, he’ll become distracted after 5-15 minutes and then play with the sitter for a little while somewhat contentedly. But I also know he will be up and down emotionally, he will be extra sensitive the entire afternoon and will most likely get upset and cry for mama more than he usually does. I know that he will try, in the most brave and admirable way to be strong while he tries to figure out where we've gone and when we're coming back. But that's just it, most of all, I hate that he doesn’t have the mental and emotional capacity to understand why this drastic change in routine is taking place. I am afraid a feeling of abandonment will maim his little soul. It just feels so unfair and selfish- why should I put him through it? I am now in this very moment crying and I can’t tell if it’s because I am heavily pregnant, emotionally holding onto something that I should be letting go of, or because I really am a crazy clingy cancerian mama.
Why do other mothers seem so much more able to let go when it comes to childcare for their little ones? What is the right thing to do in this situation- follow my heart, or my head?
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
* Fill a large pot with cold water and add salt.
* Peel, and cut potatoes in half and place them in the pot.
* Bring the water to a boil and cook until tender throughout (approx 40-50 minutes)
* Remove the potatoes from the water one at a time with a slotted spoon.
* Place potatoes through a ricer and let sit in a soft mound on the counter.
* Let the potatoes cool long enough that the egg won't cook when it is added.
* Drizzle the mound with the beaten egg and sprinkle 1/2 cup of the flour across the top. Use you hands to gently mix the ingredients together and very lightly knead, adding the rest of the flour if the dough is too sticky. The dough should be moist but not sticky and feel almost billowy.
* Separate into 8 pieces and gently roll each piece into snakes the thickness of your thumb.
* Use a knife to cut pieces every 3/4-inch (see photo).
* Dust with a bit more flour and set each gnocchi aside until they are ready to boil.
* Bring a pot of salted water to boil.
* Cook the gnocchi in batches by dropping them into the boiling water about 15-20 at a time
* They are cooked when they float back up to the top.
* Scoop them out of the water a few at a time with a slotted spoon ten seconds or so after they've surfaced
* Place them on a platter or large plate that has been drizzled with olive oil so they don’t stick to one another or the plate.
* Continue cooking in batches until all the gnocchi are done
* Add sauce- pesto or tomato are hits here, but I am sure a cream sauce would be nice also
* Makes 2 very large serves
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Monday, July 19, 2010
Sunday, July 18, 2010
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Friday, July 16, 2010
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
When I want to feel a little less I-haven't-had-a-shower-in-three-days-and-my-my-tracksuit-is-my-staple-outfit and a little more regal, scones are the perfect homemade accompaniment to a cup of steaming hot tea.