Friday, 30 October 2009

Lemon Trees

I've started a new blog. Yes, another one. But since I am now studying nutrition and a lot of my posts are heading in that direction, I decided that I'd like to keep the family posts separate to the food ones. So check out my new nutrition blog. Named Lemon Trees as we all call little Emily, Lemon Tree. Weird, I know. Lol.

Don't forget to follow me, or bookmark me! You never know what you might learn :D

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Spooky times at Nanny’s house…

My Mum always throws such good parties. I do enjoy the wonderful family evenings we have at her house.  She has built this gorgeous, big house out in the countryside. It is such a homely, welcoming place.  With half of the family working shifts it is often difficult to find a night when everyone is free so Mum has decided just to have lots of regular family get togethers, and who-ever isn’t working can come along.

Barney spent the entire week worrying about the fancy dress Halloween party. His main concern was whether Rosie would be scared of all the spooky costumes; a fair enough concern. But as the day approached he found more and more things to worry about; what if the car ran out of petrol? what if it was too windy? what if he felt ill? what if, what if, what if… I started to wonder if we would make it out of the house.

Anyway, the day came and to help him overcome his nerves and feel some excitement I took him out shopping for accessories for his Halloween costume.  Barney had decided that he wanted to be an ugly witch, and that Rosie would be his black cat. So he bought a witches hat, and I sewed on some dangly spiders to it, at his request.  I made Rosie a pair of cat ears and drew on some whiskers with eye liner.  Tarja wanted to be a Mummy and still had all the bandages from last year, so it was just a case of wrapping her up.  Badger went as Ozzy Osbourne, in a costume that he borrowed from a friend.  Marty and I went as Dracula, and a vampire slayer. Ok, so I was a nun, but I was a vampire slaying nun. Lol. ( I must just say that Marty, not being used to wearing makeup, slept with his makeup on, and then went shopping in the town the next morning without realising he still had it on!! )

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Everyone made such a fab effort with their costumes. We had a grim reaper, a naughty fairy, a clown, ‘Walking with dogs’ the Red Indian, a dead princess, a vampire girl, an alien. But the most amazing costume by far was my Mum as Cruella D’Evil!  Funnily enough, Rosie was terrified of her, but fine with the grim reaper!

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Mum cooked up an awesome feast as always.  And about 4 different desserts to accompany it.  Then we played some games.  Apple bobbing was a laugh; no one could believe how fast Jimmie could grab an apple with his teeth! It was un-human. Then we played a game of pumpkin pitch n putt, which every one enjoyed, but especially the kids. We all voted for the best kids and adults costume.  Barney was overjoyed at winning the best kids costume.  Whilst our clown and grim reaper came joint first in the best adult costumes (we weren’t allowed to vote for Cruella, since she had bought the prizes!)

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It was a fun night, and all the kids were extremely well behaved.  Rosie stayed up right until we left at 10.30 – 3 hours past her bedtime, without so much as a groan.  Barney was in great form considering his week of worry.  We all came home stuffed to the gills with yummy Mummy food.  I’m quite looking forward to the days when I’m a Granny myself and can hold big family events with all my precious kiddies and grand-kiddies!

You can see the rest of the nights photos in this album….

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Almost crawling

It’s been a long time since I managed some regular blog posts. Partly because everyone had the flu and I was far too busy taking care of them all. And partly because I am now studying my diploma in nutrition.  The course is very in depth, and not at all easy. But I am loving it because I am learning about my favourite subject.  I can tell you anything you want to know about flatulence now after my chapter in Carbohydrates! Now I am learning about proteins and amino acids.

Rosie is almost crawling.  She was very unwell for 2 weeks with a nasty flu.  Constant temperatures, the worst runny nose and a hacking cough. The cough is still lingering but she’s vastly improved. However, being ill taught her how to whinge and moan – something that she never did before!  Now she is quite content to whinge and moan at any opportunity.  I think it is partly due to frustration.  She is bored sitting flat on her bum and wants to be off exploring everything around her.  She can get up onto all fours (as in the photos below) and she rocks back and forward a few times; then sits up and gives herself a big clap for doing so well! No matter how far out of reach we put things, she still doesn’t take that step of faith and try to move herself. But I guess that goes perfectly with her placid, calm personality.

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She is however, trying to talk.  Just like Barney did… she is learning to talk before walking. But she won’t talk on demand.  For instance, her favourite book is full of dog pictures. She will sit quietly turning the page saying ‘doggie’ in the sweetest, cutest little gentle voice. But if you ask her to ‘say doggie’ she just smiles at you.  She is trying to say our names.  Ookie for her little big brother.  Jjjjjjjjjuuuu for her big sister.

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After a week or more off sick, the kids are now off on school holidays for a week.  Above is a photo of Barney all dressed up for the school Halloween party. Tonight we are going to a fancy dress Halloween party at Mum’s house, so we will be sure to take lots of photos.  It should be a good night.  I think it is going to take me the whole day to get everyone ready and dressed up!  Blog post to follow :D

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Tired, so tired

Oh what a horrible week it has been. Everyone except me has been ill. Tarja was off school for 4 days, Barney has been off all week, and little Rosie is sick as sick can be. She is a mysery! Barney was a missog as well for most of the week, and neither Barney or Rosie wanted to sleep. So Marty and I have been up doing shifts every night. Barney or Rosie sleeping in bed with me. Waking up every 20 minutes to cough, or sneeze, or moan and cry. Everyone has had temperatures. Everyone has been off their food, and lethargic. Everyone except me that is. I've been the one playing nurse. And boy am I shattered!

Everyone apart from Rosie seems to be improving now. Lets hope Rosie follows. The poor darling also has her second tooth trying to break through, which isn't helping her to feel any better. (Can you spot her first tooth in the photo?)

Friday, 16 October 2009

Rosie's first Ice Cream

So cute. Rosie enjoys her first ice cream, on Barney's birthday.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

We come in peace....

This just cracked me up.

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Hosting a 6 year olds birthday party at home is hard work!

Yes, this Saturday Barney had his sixth birthday party. Although he isn’t actually six until Tuesday.  He was insistent on having a party, but I knew that a huge big town hall affair like the other kids had wasn’t going to be good for him.  So we decided to invite a few children to the house for a relatively quick (2 hour) party.

Just before the children arrived Barney realised he had swallowed his wobbly tooth!  Hence his face in this photo.

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The party went pretty well. He got lots of lovely presents and all his school friends were really well behaved.  Marty took charge of organizing the games; pass the parcel etc.  There were moments when I could tell he was trying his best to cope with things. Like when he was opening his presents and some of the boys kept letting balloons off around the room. It was stressing him and he complained, but he held it together.  The only hugely memorable ‘aspie’ type moment was when all the children went up to his room to play.  Marty and I stood outside the room to listen in.  Barney was shouting at all the children to sit in a straight line in front of the bed whilst he went though his ‘bedroom rules’.  I could hear the strain in his voice as kids kept messing around and talking over him. To his credit he got them all to  sit quietly and listen!  He went though 9 rules before I had to come in and let the children be free again.  Marty and I were actually quite torn standing outside the room listening to this poor child trying to get everyone to play the way he had envisioned it. 

But aside from that he had a really great day. He has been in great form today, playing with all his new toys.  And he still has his real birthday to look forward to on Tuesday.

Friday, 2 October 2009

Making raw granola from sprouted buckwheat

It’s been about 18 months, maybe longer, since I last made a batch of cereal.  But it’s so easy to do with a dehydrator, and so tasty, not to mention jolly good for you!
I used sprouted buckwheat to make my cereal.  I bought the buckwheat in Tesco’s and have been using it to make veggie-burgers etc.  But it can be easily sprouted to become more nutritious, more enzyme packed, and much better for the digestion.  Sprouting a grain allows it to make its own enzymes, which aids digestion and means that your pancreas doesn’t have to work quite so hard. Keeping the grain raw instead of cooking it means that none of those precious enzymes, or any of the vitamins and minerals are destroyed.
I sprouted the buckwheat by soaking it over night in water. Then letting is sit in a colander for 2 days, thoroughly rinsing 3 times a day. 
The making of the granola only took me 5 minutes of work. I put the buckwheat into a large bowl and mixed in some olive oil, a cup of honey, some crushed almonds, a cup of ground sesame seeds, a cup of ground linseed (or flax), then threw in some dried cranberries, a few goji berries, raisins, and a few pumpkin and sunflower seeds.  It was so delicious that I could have eaten it like that!
I dehydrated it on a very low heat using my excalibur dehydrator, using the setting for ‘living foods’.  It took over 24 hours to totally dry out.  Dehydrating means that the food feels like its been cooked, but has the same nutrient content as if it was still raw.
We ate a bowl of our gorgeous granola in fresh almond milk, so it was a totally vegan breakfast.  And there’s lots left over. Yummy.
This is the sprouted buckwheat. You can see the little shoots that have appeared…
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Next I added all the other raw ingredients…..
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Then I dehydrated it for a long time… (you can see Kale Chips dehydrating too)…..
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To make yummy raw granola, with fresh almond milk….
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Rosie at 9.5 months old.

A little video update of Rosie.

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