Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Sleeping Like A Baby

someecards.com - People that say they sleep like a baby, probably don't have one.

I went back to work in the office today. It's been almost 12 months since Seb was born, 5 hospital stays, 3 major operations, a house move, really a lifetime.

So where do you think I was last night? The educated guess would be that I was tucked up in my bed with the electric blanket cranked up high, getting an early night so I can wow everyone on my first day back.

That was the plan anyway.

But instead of enjoying my soaring electricity bill and snuggling deep down into my doona I was doing happy laps in the car at midnight last night.

Rewind back to a snotty little boy running never ending temps. Seb had a miserable day, and once he woke in the afternoon at 2pm, did not go back to sleep. Instead he tortured me by alternately wailing, grizzling, vomiting, or occasionally (as Nurofen did its job) playing. When midnight rolled around and Husband and I were trading off grizzly baby for dish washing duty I finally got the idea to throw him in the car and go for a drive.

Madeleine (now 12) welcomed new teeth with pain and misery (for her too). Lorelei however introduced them gently and sweetly, usually surprising us by biting us with them before we noticed them.

Seb seems to be taking after his big, big sister and will be ushering in each new tooth with as much effort and attention as could be demanded by such a little being.

I don't know why it took me so long to think of the car. It always worked for Madeleine. So even though he complained loudly at being taken out into the cold, midnight saw the two of us rolling gently around the winding corners of my suburb at low speed. I went through as many curves and chicanes as possible, and let the sway of the car do its work.

8 minutes in he was snoring, and I turned the car around to go home. It didn't last all night, but it did break the wakeful cycle that he couldn't seem to snap out of, and between the two of us I would say Husband and I each got about 3 hours sleep.

Better than nothing. Ever taken your unhappy bub for a car ride to put them to sleep?

Monday, July 29, 2013

Toosh Coosh: Review and Giveaway



Every Friday night we bundle up the kids and head over to Husbands parents home for a big, fat, Lebonese,  family dinner.

It's not fancy.

There are 25 of us these days, before anyone else decides to drop by. Which they do. With so many to feed, and so many babies floating around, seating and eating time comes at a premium with first in, best dressed, and everyone else stuck looking after toddlers and babies until a seat becomes available.

We sit on couches, mismatched dining chairs, odd coffee tables lying around, whereever we can really.

The big kids can be found clustered on chairs and arms, usually playing some ridiculous game while they absent mindedly eat their food. Toddlers are usually gathered together on mini chairs round a coffee table, or more likely on laps as we try to wrangle them into eating.

We have a little odd one out. Niece age 4. Too little for the big kids, too big for the little kids (who unfortunately walk all over her). She's the most awkward, and it was her I had in mind when I got the opportunity to do a review for Toosh Coosh.

With the clever Jo Turner (Toosh Coosh genius) at the SPBCE

I picked up my Toosh Coosh from the SPBCE a few months back. It was one of the few things on my list to buy that day. We don't want to buy another high chair for Sebastian (now 11 months), but Lorelei is still too little to be sitting comfortably at the table with us, and we like to eat together as a family. So Toosh Coosh, with it's soft rubbery-like seat, seemed like a great idea to bridge the gap between high chair and dining table seating. Even though she is a little younger than the target demographic (3-8) Lorelei loves being that little bit higher at the dinner table - it means that she doesn't have to sit on her knee's to get the height she needs and unlike a plastic seat we have bought before, Toosh Coosh stays in place on the chair and doesn't slide around.

I took my Toosh Coosh along to a Friday night family dinner to road test it with Miss 4 year old niece, just to see how it fares with the target age. The booster was perfect for her, giving her height and comfort and earning a big, toothy, grin of approval. Funnily enough, all our toddlers had to give the Toosh Coosh a whirl as well once they saw their older cousin sitting in it, and it was being dragged from one end of the place to the other all night.


I see even more potential for our Toosh Coosh - it's light, so I can see us taking it along to restaurants where you often can't fit more than one high chair at the table. Also to the movies where the hard plastic boosters provided just aren't designed to keep little bottoms comfortable for 90 minutes plus previews.

Toosh Coosh retails at $49.95 (or you can bag a sibling pack for only $90) and comes with a free copy of Jo's ebook - Mealtimes Without Mayhem - for those of you, like me, that enjoy getting your family together for a meal.

And because whenever I find a product that I just love I have organise one for my readers to win too! Thanks to Jo Turner at Toosh Coosh, I have one to give away to my readers. Easy entry via raffle copter below, and I'd specially love it if you would drop by Jo's facebook page to say hello!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you want to catch more of my adorable niece, she can be found over at my SIL Salz blog.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

A whole other language



I'm not so old. I was a teenager when Internet use for recreation became routine in the household, and went in chat rooms every night to talk to teens in other countries. (More likely overweight, sleazy men in other countries)

I remember scoffing at my big sister (8 years older) for not knowing what "lol" and "lmfao" and "brb" meant. We slapped each other with fishes (still not sure why) in my chat room and pinged each other.

While I've been in hospital this week the text messages between my 12 year old and I have been flying thick and fast. But it takes me FOREVER to decipher her messages. Sometimes I swear what she write would make more sense as an optometrists board.

For example:

- sys luv u 2. The "love you too" bit I get, but "sys" took me a while (see you soon)

- kk. Okay? 

- ttyl . Talk to you later, thank you Tigger for your TTFN (ta ta for now) for some reason I made the connection here

- Like for a tbh. I see this one on Facebook from the various teens at our dance studio all the time, and I have yet to figure out what tbh means. Enlighten me if you can so I don't have to admit ignorance to the tween

And finally, one that sums up exactly how I feel whenever I get a text from my tween:

- Idk wat u sed mum - What the? I'm guessing I don't know what you said?

Does your kid have their own language that makes you feel old? I am definitely not feeling all that cool anymore, as I struggle to keep up with her.

**Incidentally my spell check had a field day with this post. If any real errors slip through the net, blame the text speak for confusing both me and the computer!**

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Sweet as Sugar


I had been tapping on the computer enjoying a few blissful minutes of nag free time. Seb was asleep, Lolly apparently immersed in her Lego, and Maddy old enough to stay out of mischief anyway.

But I jerked upright when I heard satisfied little rumbles from the kitchen.

"Mmm, num num".

Racing into the kitchen found Miss 2 licking the contents of the sugar jar from the kitchen bench. She may or may not have tried to bite me when I interceded on behalf of her teeth and cleaned up the increasingly sticky mess.


I should know better than to let my attention wander when that one is awake.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Late Night Groceries

Late night grocery shopping is back to being my thing lately. There was a time when I did it during the day, even with 2 babies, but terrible two and grabby zero are not a good combination so we are back to late nights by myself or with the tween.

It's either that or continue to regale the locality with Lorelei lying on the floor kicking and screaming because she can reach all these fantastic things - but I am cruelly not allowing her too - and Sebastian gleefully ripping down my blouse because every wants to see my boobs, don't they?

I can't count how many times I have dragged her from a store one armed with Seb on the hip because she has dropped and is dangling, flailing, anything to try and make a spectacle of all of us. Go ahead and judge, I am that mother that you purse your lips at, raise your eyebrows, and even possibly suggest that I shouldn't have kids if I can't control them.

Back to late night shopping where Madeleine at least does not throw a tanty when deprived of something she wants. Barely though. No one can sulk like a 12 year old.

I had pondered my way through the deli, forcing the girls to shave some more meat for me because they were out of my variant. (They really try to make out like that's such a hardship). Tossing my wrapped bundles into the trolley and considering the bakery treats just behind me when Madeleine stage whispered

"Mum! That's not our trolley"

What the? Looking down into a trolley packed with fruit and veg, I realised that an older gentleman was giving me the hairy eyeball as I made off with his carefully selected produce. Ripping my deli goods from his trolley and tossing it into my own I scurried away, scolding Maddy loudly for tampering with other peoples trolley's.

For the next few aisles, every time he came upon us he would scurry back to his trolley and watch us pass with suspicious eyes.

Whoopsie.

Ever blamed your child for something you did? Pinched someone elses groceries? Or is that just me?

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Chicken Mince Sausage Rolls

I wrote recently about my experience with both turkey and chicken mince, and promised to share the sausage roll recipe I used.


These tasted so delicious, and I am stoked that I managed to sneak some spinach into them. The tightarse in me was so impressed that there is actually a legit and tasty use for celery leaves, so now whenever I am using celery for something else, I will chop up the leaves and freeze them for using in sausage rolls some time.

The recipe:

Ingredients:

500 grams of chicken mince
1/4 cup of chopped celery leaves
100 grams of chopped spinach
1 chopped and deseeded red chilli
1 tablespoon of dried rosemary
1 tablespoon of crushed garlic
1 diced onion
2 eggs beaten
1/2 cup of breadcrumbs
3 sheets of thawed puff pastry

High in protein? Tick. High in iron? Tick. Seriously yummy? Tick, tick, TICK!


1. Preheat oven to 200 C. (Fan forced)
2. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl (excluding 1/2 your beaten egg mixture).
3. Divide into 3 snakes, and lay down the middle of each puff pastry sheet. Fold the mixture into the middle of the pastry, using the remainder of the beaten egg to seal the edges.

It is possible that in the absense of the proper instrument I may
have resorted to using a paint brush to seal the pastry with egg

4. Cut each pastry roll into 4 smaller rolls
5. Place on wire rack and cook for 20-25 minutes



Devour with tomato sauce.



***Thanks to Steggles for putting me on a mission to try out some different ways of using chicken and turkey mince***

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Nothing Says Magic Like Disney


It's been a  little over three years since our family (minus x2 babies) returned from our 6 week USA Disney adventure. And not a week goes past that someone doesn't say "do you remember?" or "We were there!" (most often said when Tink flies over Cinderella's castle at the beginning of a movie, or when watching crimes shows based in New York).

I forgot that the Disney magic is also there at the Disney on Ice events. I haven't been with Maddy since she was about 8 (around the time we started saving for the USA), and probably wouldn't have gone again with Lolly till she was at least 4.


But I won tickets last month from Tina Gray dot Me, so it was no hardship to invite along Maddy's best friend (another Disney fan) and schlep the whole kit and caboodle along to the show.

Making the day out more affordable?

1. Parking at Homebush isn't too bad compared to city venues, reaching $16 for 3 hours, but there is actually plenty of free street parking about 15 minutes walk away
2. You are allowed to take your own food and drink into the venue. I don't fancy your chances if you turn up with a pizza or an esky, but some lollies, chips, fruit, and water bottles were just fine for us, and meant that I was able to resist their plea's for fairy floss and popcorn (with difficulty still, since it's me who wants it more than the kids)

Since the tickets and food didn't come with a price tag, I did buy Lolly the obligationary light toy. I have ALWAYS bought one for Maddy, because when the lights go out in the venue, it's so magical to have a million light up toys flashing and whirling around you, and Lolly was entranced with hers, kissing it as the lights flashed, and hugging it to herself during the show.


I will admit that Lolly was possibly a little young for the show. At 2, she enjoyed it alot, watching with wide eyes especially during the first half, but by the second half she was sitting on the floor at my feet playing with her light toy and stealing her sister's lollies from her handbag.

When those lights went down and Tink zipped out and around the stage I sucked in my breath. It was as good (almost) as that feeling of stepping through the gates at Disneyland and seeing Sleeping Beauty's castle loom in the distance.

Interestingly enough, now that she is a little older (12), Maddy was more appreciative of the actual skating than she has ever been before, oohing and aahing appropriately at all the complex stunts.

All my favourite princesses were featured along with the best songs and scenes from their movies. I was tickled to see Lolly really get up and grooving to the Hi Ho song in Snow White.

I'd be hard picked up choose my favourite costumes and routines from the night but I've tried:

-The knives and fork skaters, all wrapped up in their own napkin for Belle's scene
-The various fish and underwater life that smothered the stage in their bright flueorescent costumes for Ariel
-Th gorgeous, lit up, golden carriage that drew Cinders out, and Tink took for a whirl in the final scene.


And because I'm one of those people who know people, we were invited along afterwards to a VIP party to get photo's with Snow White and Dopey, and enjoy more sugar than I would normally have let them consume in a month, much less an hour. We met up there with my SIL Salz, and her little princesses where we overran the place with 3/4 of the children at the event belonging to us.

Candy bar at the VIP party

Lolly distinguished herself by posing on the stage only to fall backwards off it 2 seconds later. The PR person was far more anxious than Salz or I, who could not stop giggling long enough to rescue the poor kid.

The moment captured, as she starts to fall
My 2 top tips for visiting Disney on Ice this year? (Which by the way, appears to have plenty of awesome seats left for sale, from $28.50 which isn't too shabby a price tag at all).
1. Dress your little Miss as a princess. I was drowning in a sea of princesses, and I Lolly would have been so disappointed to not be dressed up. If you want something a little more special than the mainstream, mine came from Fairytale Treasures, who has simply stunning princess dresses
2. Take CASH. The merchandise stalls were only dealing in cash on my night (not sure if it was a malfunction or standard) but even if they gets those EFTpos machines up and running, waving the right money at the girl and knowing what you want will get you served while she is in the process of helping someone else dither along through the important decision of Cinders or Tink.

Enjoyed a little Disney magic recently or heading off yourself to Disney on Ice?

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Never Say Never: A Foray into Turkey and Chicken Mince

I've mentioned before that I'm trying to cook more for my family this year. This adventure causes more misses than hits, but my menu is getting more and more varied every week, and I feel pretty good about the nutrition going on in our house.

So even though I am not a food blogger, I knew it was the perfect opportunity when Steggles contacted me to try out some of their products. When I agreed, I honestly was imagining a roast chook and some chicken breasts, things I am reasonably familiar with.

What arrived was HEAPS of chicken and turkey mince, along with a few GINORMOUS chooks. I have never cooked with chicken or turkey mince before, and these chickens were seriously huge, way bigger than the scrawny things I have been picking up for $4.99 at the supermarkets.

Theres more mince hidden underneath, lots and lots of mince

Turkey mince. Colour me stumped. But since I had everything I would need in the cupboards, I tried my hand straight away at the bolognaise recipe included from Steggles and was stunned at the result. The mince was easier to cook with than beef mince, breaking up into nice little grains instead of the clumps I usually get, making a much nicer consistency. Visibly its a little lighter to look at, but the kids didn't notice anything about the appearance or the taste. Husband and I could tell we were eating a different meat, but not in a bad way. Just in a, tastes slightly different, but still very bolognaisy, way.


Given that turkey mince is a bit of a super food, high in protein and low in fat, I'm happy to make the change for our bolognaise now. (We have spag bol at least once a fortnight). Particularly because I'm supposed to be on a high protein diet these days since the Crohns disease diagnosis, but I haven't made great strides in making any dietary changes.

Fast forward a few days, and I had good reason to be thankful for those huge chooks. With my sister and her kids visiting from interstate for the holidays, my home became the visiting point for all our family to see her, and I was able to pull together Sunday lunch for 12 thanks to Steggles.


We haven't had a Sunday roast since I was a little girl, so I was kind of proud of myself for whipping one up with apparent ease. I thought there would be stacks of leftovers (I cooked both chooks), and planned to do chicken Caesar salad for lunch the next day, but it didn't really pan out that way. The kids picked those chooks clean, nibbling every last bit of meat from the carcass. I also gave my very first gravy a try, using the juices from the chickens and mixing with a bit of flour and stock, and it was SO YUMMY! I am never using tinned gravy again now that I know how easy it is to do my own.

My cutie pie niece making sure she doesn't waste anything

With all that mince left in my freezer though, I put the call out for more idea's for using it up. And here are some of the idea's thrown at me from some of my genius Facebook followers:

  • Burgers
  • Meatballs
  • Meatloaf
  • Honey Chicken Rissoles
  • Lasagna
  • Chicken and Rice balls
  • Spring Rolls
  • Thai Green Curry
  • Sausage Rolls


There is plenty more in that list for me to try, but I wanted to cook something completely new to me so I started out with sausage rolls. They turned out so well, I will be sharing the recipe on the blog over the next day or two.

The final verdict? Am I a convert? Absolutely. I will be keeping chicken and turkey mince in our diets, especially since it is so much healthier than beef mince, and we do actually eat a fair amount of mince meals in this house.

Thank you so much to Steggles for this amazing opportunity. Scratch gravy, sausage rolls, turkey meat, these are all new to me and I probably would never have tried them without the push. I encourage everyone to spread their wings (bahaha) and give turkey and chicken mince a whirl if you haven't already.

**Just in case it was not clear, I received some product to try out. The adventure was my own, and the risk of trying out my culinary efforts was my family's. I also received some Roosters merchandise, however my husband forbade me from parading it around lest anyone think we are anything less than devout Eels supporters in this home *cough* #couldcareless *cough*

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Snot, Tears,and Rubber Gloves

It's been a week of snot and tears in the Mummy Hearts household. Both babies have bronchialitis, Seb worse than Lolly.

Baby 1 in a Nurofen induced coma

Seb even had a late night visit to the hospital, because the poor kid was struggling to breathe, throwing up his bottles, running a high temp, and was just generally miserable.

Baby 2 in a Nurofen supported playtime.
He drifted off to sleep 2 minutes later
Lolly is a nightmare when she's sick. Her routine tantrums and screaming have become so frequent it's eerie when the house is quiet - kind of like being in the middle of a cyclone and waiting for it to start again.

I took both babies for a visit to the doctor earlier in the week, and made sure Seb went first. Lolly is inclined to be aggressive suspicious of anyone not me strangers so I try to let her watch Seb go through the motions so she doesn't bite off the doctors finger when he tries to look in her mouth.

You can imagine how thrilled I was when my normally feral, sick little toddler proudly whipped up her top so that the doctor could listen to her chest. You could have heard crickets chirping though when a sad, sorry, half deflated, originally inflated rubber glove fell from her tummy.


It would have been nice if there was an explanation to offer the doctor for apparently pinching the surgery resources while he was out of the room, but I had nothing.

It turns out one of the lovely pediatric doctors on call at the Emergency ward had used it as a distraction for Seb while he was giving him a checkup. And Lolly had since claimed it as her own and decided that her tummy was the safest place for it to be.

Have you liked me on Facebook yet? Apparently it's where all the cool kids hang out.