Why won’t you just eat?

Dear Shreddies,

I love you. I really do. But my oath child you test my patience some times. 

Especially when it comes to food. You love breakfast; cereal, breakfast biscuits, toast, yoghurt, you will happily eat them all day long if we let you. The problem, dear child, is that you won’t eat much else. Oh sure if it’s sweeties or crisps or chicken nuggets from a certain fast food place you’ll happily munch but actual food? Unlikely.

Don’t get me wrong, some days I seem to get it right and you eat a breakfast, lunch and dinner that are all different. But other days you seem to survive on half a bowl of soggy cereal and whatever snack foods you can swipe off your brother. It is vexing. 

Tonight you happily pulled your bowl out the cupboard for dinner but when presented with it and it’s portion of mushroom risotto you didn’t even look at it. You were quite happy to steal my mango smoothie ice lolly though and then take my strawberry one when you’d finished (so much for mummy having a treat after dinner). So it’s not that you weren’t hungry.

I think you just have an incredibly sweet tooth that you feel you must satisfy as often and as deeply as possible. Hence you’re favourite reply to “What do you want for breakfast/lunch/dinner?” is the simple “Cake!”
None of this would really be a problem, not really really except for one thing. One little problem we have that is worrying your mother quite a bit. You see, my sweet boy, you have been wearing the same size trousers for over a year. That’s kind of uncommon for a 2 year old but given they were too long and are now all a bit short, probably okay. Except… Except now they keep falling down. My chubby little boy has become rather skinny and I’m worried about it. I’m worried about you.

Frankly I have enough weight worry in this house between your little sister and me so I would appreciate you not adding to it. It’s not like we don’t have food that you have enjoyed eating at some point, you’ve just taken to refusing all but the sweet stuff, and breakfast. So please, please do me a favour. Eat? Just eat more than a bowl of cereal and a few crackers each day. Throw in an apple, a couple of those ridiculous pink yoghurts you love and maybe a tiny bit of whatever we’re having for dinner? Please? Please? For me? For you? 

With all my love,

Mummy
(DB)

Make it happen Monday

First Monday of a new month!

Starting with last month let’s see how things have gone.

Well, first of all I bought some new trousers except they don’t quite fit. So still working on changing my size. I stopped the fitness challenge I was doing and changed to doing a proper post natal exercise routine as I posted on Friday. I’m doing okay so far but I keep missing days.

As for food, we’ve been eating a lot of junk lately 😦 and I keep forgetting to make up my oats and then scrambling for breakfast in the morning. But we’re all drinking mostly water, though Shreddies still drinks a lot of cow’s milk but he is only 2. 

This month I’m hoping to keep that all going plus finishing or almost finishing a crocheted blanket I’m making as a thank you for my aunt. Partly because I’ve been working on it for ages and need to give it to her and partly so I have time to work on Biscuit’s blanket before the cold weather hits and she starts to need it. 

I’m also trying to really push my studying. I love studying and learning new things. I recently did a few courses on Coursera that I still need to write up notes for so I’m hoping to get at least one course worth finished this month so I can start looking for new courses to keep me occupied. 

Are you doing anything new this month?

Take care

DB

Fitness Friday – Summer fitness challenge

This actually kind of blew up my Facebook when I posted it almost 3 weeks ago but it’s taken me a while to get around to posting it here properly.

While sorting out clothes I found a pile of jeans, shorts and such that just don’t fit. All pre-pregnancy stuff that I haven’t yet been able to get back into. There were 10 items in totally that just didn’t get up over my bum or did but wouldn’t fasten comfortably or not.

So I announced on Facebook how annoyed I was about this. Then I added that not only was I going to try hard over summer to fit back into these clothes but for every item that still doesn’t fit by the time Porridge starts school (Aug 15th) I’ll donate £10 to charity.

Many people were a bit worried that I was going to be pushing myself too much as this basically amounts to dropping 2 dress sizes in 9 weeks. However most of the work I need to do is not loosing weight (though dropping an extra pound or 10 wouldn’t hurt). Most of it is healing my separated stomach muscles (diastasis recti if you want to get technical). Basically my stomach muscles pulled apart when I was pregnant and they haven’t come together properly yet. Mostly because I stopped doing my physio exercises.

So I’ve been doing Sara Haley’s 4th trimester dvd workout for the past 3 weeks to help bring things back together and hopefully fit back into most of those clothes. So far I know at least two items out of the eight now fit; a pair of jeans and a pair of shorts.

I’ve also started to cut down on the amount of junk food I’ve been eating, particularly fizzy drinks and sweets. It’s all adding up bit by bit so hopefully I’ll be able to pull my muscles back and then I can focus on loosing some of my jiggle.

When I started this back on the 10th of June I took the pictures below so I could have some kind of visual of how much my body has changed. Next week I’ll be about halfway through my challenge so will show you some more up-to-date pictures and share some struggles and tips as well as an accurate count of what now fits.

Are you doing any fitness challenges this summer? Or do you have a regular fitness routine you’d like to share?

Take care.

DB

The “Designated Photographer”

Working it Wednesday.

With 3 kids there is almost always someone who feels left out. Even just with the two boys trying to share toys this can happen. Someone is doing something the other wants to and there is almost always tears. 

Today, for example, I needed to fold laundry so put Biscuit in her door jumper for the first time. Porridge had a small turn “looking after her” (read: bouncing her about) then went to do something but quickly returned only to find his brother had taken over and flat out refused to let him near Biscuit. There were tears and Porridge did his trademark stomping-off-while-you’re-talking-to-him which he always does when upset, even when you’re trying to make the situation better. I need a new strategy for dealing with that… But that’s another post.

Anyway, he eventually returned after me calling for him several times and I employed my new favourite tactic in these situations; “Designated Photographer”. In other words I gave him my phone and asked him to take pictures of his siblings playing. 

This works well for us because it gives the photographer something to do, it makes them feel important but also included and it often makes the other brother want the job so they end up switching after a while so they both take turns better. I’ve used this not only for times when they’ve been fighting over their sister but also with fights over building blocks; “Can you take some pictures of that cool thing he’s building?” Crayons; “Can you take a picture of your artwork so we can keep it for always?” Even fights over the Wii controls; “Can you take a cool picture of your brother playing the game?” I’d say it works about 80% of the time, the rest of the time they’re too tired or hungry to want to behave.

I’m not sure how long this will keep being successful but I’m happy that it’s working for now. 
What about you, do you have any special way to deal with sibling fights caused by the need to share?

Take care
DB

Wordy Wednesday – When Blargh hits

Everything here has been chaos. 

It started really on Wednesday with the terrible new of the tower block fire in London. For some reason I can’t shake the feeling of sheer horror I have about the situation. It then led to me thinking a lot about my mum (who lived in a tower block) and my dad, grandpa and uncle who all live in the same tower block in the town I grew up in. And so my emotions have been a mess.

Then on Friday Porridge had his graduation ceremony. From pre-school obviously. I cried a bit seeing him up on stage singing away with his friends. He now keeps asking when he’s going to start school and my heart aches a little every time. I’m totally going to be the parent in tears his first day, and possible for the whole first week… Or month. 

Mr. DB had both Friday and Monday off which meant that a lot of things got done (graduation ceremony, mortgage, visit to the car dealership, sorting car insurance etc.) But also a lot didn’t get done (housework, fence painting, gardening etc). Plus our washer/dryer has been acting up for 3 weeks now. I think it’s finally sorted itself out but who knows, I’m almost afraid to use it again. And with 3 young kids, one with reflux, we create quite a bit of washing.

So yeah, emotions going crazy, stress level is high and then we end up in a heat wave. Neither Biscuit or I cope well with the heat. She’s got sweat rash all over her torso and has been throwing up even more than usual and I’m not sleeping properly and struggling to think straight. The weather is supposed to break overnight though so hopefully tomorrow is better.

All going well you should see another post on Friday. 

What about you? What’s the weather doing were you live and how is it effecting you?

Take care

DB

Wordy Wednesday

When the cheese is the wrong colour.

Porridge has never liked cheese he can see. He likes macaroni cheese and Kraft cheesy and cheese on his pizza and Philadelphia cheese on bagels and such. But if he can see the shape of a bit of cheese he won’t touch it. 

Except, his preschool keep giving him cheese sandwiches and he keeps eating them. 

At the weekend we had burgers for dinner together with those individually​ wrapped cheese slices. For whatever reason Porridge got very excited by the cheese and begged for it in a sandwich. We obliged. Then when I did the food shop we bought more. Well, sort of. I tried just getting regular cheese packaged in slices thinking this would be better for him. Big, big mistake.

On Monday he asked for a cheese sandwich so I made it with the new cheese. The new cheese is a slightly different shade of yellow. He would not the new cheese. He point blank refused. We have Brain Quest cards that are like little quiz cards that we use to keep him at the table longer so he eats more. 10 questions it took to get him to eat a quarter of the sandwich. I refused to do more questions or make anything else. So he refused to eat and went to bed having only had a slice of toast, that quarter sandwich and a tiny bit of cornbread the whole day. 

I was so stressed out at him for not eating the cheese sandwich that I screamed my head off and shouted a few choice swear words right in his face. Then I called Mr. DB and made him come home so I could pop round to a neighbour for a cup of tea and a calm down. 

Tonight I made pork chops served with salad and couscous. I expected a fight to get him to try the couscous but both Porridge and Shreddies ate it all without complaint and asked if we could have it more often. 

I will never understand the eating habits of children. 

Foodie Friday – Mum’s Fruit Loaf

My mum wasn’t a very good cook, something I only realised later in life as I tasted other people’s cooking. Sorry mum. One thing she was good at however was baking. In particular she made a fruit loaf that everyone seemed to love.

Now unfortunately my mum passed away suddenly almost 3 years ago and took the recipe with her. You see, I’d never asked for it and the one recipe book of hers we found we threw out thinking there was nothing in it we needed to keep. It’s possibly the only thing of hers I wish we’d kept but didn’t.

So, last week I suddenly got it into my head to try and recreate this fruit loaf. I figured I’d Google a few recipes and pick the one that seemed most like it and go from there. If only it had been that simple. All I could remember about the recipe was that mum added chopped nuts for my dad, it had cinnamon in it, the mix got poured into the tin and she didn’t soak her fruit. My mum was a simple baker, if she could get away with throwing it all in the mixer at once and turning it on that’s what she did so I knew I needed a simple recipe that didn’t involve soaking fruit.

I couldn’t find one. I found something with a search for “Scottish fruit loaf” that looked similar enough but the mix was so dry it didn’t pour and once baked crumbled so badly I cried. I tried the same recipe again but with added milk to get the consistency better. It worked but still not like mum’s.

The whole thing left me feeling a bit low to be honest. So I had a chat with a friend about it and she asked what was different between what I had made and mum’s version. That was easy, mum’s was bigger and browner on the inside. This lead to the realisation that she had probably used brown sugar, more specifically Demerara because that’s the only brown sugar I ever remember there being in the house. 

Back to Google and I found a Delia Smith sultana loaf recipe that looks right, has the little spots on it from the sugar that I remember from mum’s loaf. However it requires soaking the fruit in tea. I don’t remember there being tea in mum’s loaf. But, now I have a new starting point and at some point in the next few weeks when I’ve replenished my supply of dried fruit and eggs I’ll have another go.

I’ll probably never get it exactly the same as mum’s but if I can get it almost there I’ll be happy. I’ll also write it down and save it in a million places and teach my own kids don’t ever need to go on such a strange recipe hunt.
Are there any family favourite recipes your family pass down? Do you know them?

Take care

DB