25 February 2016

Parenting at the Pointy End

Feeling sad and nostalgic - and wishing I had a time machine

Last night I lay awake writing this post in my head. This week I've been discombobulated, out of sorts, tearful and nostalgic as the reality of this latest stage of parenting has made itself felt. I feel the need to put it all into words, so I can reconcile myself to our new reality: My kids aren't little any more.

Every stage of parenting (and life) has it's pain and its rewards. It's just very easy to slip into a wee bit of melancholy when you compare your rose-tinted memories of "the simple fun-filled days" of yesteryear with the serious business of parenting a teenager and an adolescent, with one lone seven year old bringing up the rear.

I've been overwhelmed with nostalgia for the days when homework was simply reading a PM book together each night and I could relax a bit knowing that we had years ahead of us to get our parenting crap together, years to figure out "adulting", years for our kids to nail the academic side of life.
We had a reassuring buffer zone of time.
It's OK, I kidded myself. By the time we get to High School we'll have it all figured out. We'll know what we're doing. We'll be sorted.

20 February 2016

Allergy-Friendly Chocolate Cake (that Actually Tastes Good)

chocolate fudge cake recipe - gluten free, dairy free, egg free, nut free, refined sugar free (and still tastes good)

Last week I hosted a wee last minute birthday surprise for a dear friend, who was right in the middle of a "Daniel Fast" - three weeks of eating nothing but vegan food, but with the added complicated of no gluten, no sugar, no caffeine and no alcohol. Awesome time to have a birthday, right? Not.
To put it plainly my friend had pretty much resigned herself to not celebrating her birthday, because, how?

A birthday with raw nuts, fruit and veg. I mean, not even a birthday cake?

We couldn't have that.
I remembered my clever friend Delissimon's amazingly easy, egg-and-dairy free chocolate fudge cake that I've made on a number of occasions, and decided to try and adapt that, to make it completely Daniel Fast friendly. thereby supplying my fasting friend with a birthday cake that sat within "the rules" of her fast.
Even after messing with the recipe to replace sugar with coconut sugar etc, it still tasted like a chocolate cake should - light, fudgey, rich and a wee bit decadent. The verdict from the birthday girl was a big thumbs up.

After posting photos on Instagram, I had a bunch of requests for the recipe, so I decided to share my version of it with my adaptations to make it everything-free.
This version used decaf coffee instead of plain water which gave it a rich fudgey flavour. As well as tasting great and being allergy friendly, it's ridiculously easy to make.

Here it is:

11 February 2016

This is Normal (apparently)

All Dogs Have ADHD - by Kathy Hoopman

Sometimes everything works. Every now and then we have a day - or a few days in a row even! - where everything just flows. There are no meltdowns, no raised voices, no tears or tantrums. There is no reason to tear out my hair or wish human ears came with a volume control.
Sometimes, every now and then, I feel like a good mum. Like we've figured it out. Like we are winning.

And then there are the other days.
The days where nothing works.
The days where we are like kittens in a bag, scratching at each other. The days where if it's not one kid crying/shouting/fighting/whingeing, it's another. Scrapping and answering back. Needling each other. Melting down over the littlest things. I should be bald by now with the frequency of these days.

09 February 2016

"Style-Challenged Mum gets Rescued by Personal Stylist"

A fashion adventure for the style challnged

It's been really hot lately, hasn't it? The sticky, humid, icky type of hot that you get in exotic places like Queensland and Singapore. The type of heat that makes you want to go to the shops in a sarong. The type of heat that makes those of us carrying "a little bit extra" wish we'd had more self control when we visited Little and Friday for donuts (cos every donut is now being carried on our hips, weighing us down and make us sweat in the flippin' sweaty heat).

But this isn't a post about the heat. Or about losing weight, getting fit or making any kind of resolutions.

No. This is a post I'm writing because I am excited about a Christmas present I got that is gonna help me make the best of who I am, my body (as it is now) and my wardrobe. See, for Christmas I got a voucher for a style makeover with a personal stylist.

05 February 2016

A Ubiquitous Post about Change, New Schools & Time Flying

Starting new schools can be scary and overwhelming

Look at them.
There they are all dressed up in strange new uniforms on the first day of school.
New schools for both, and a new era for us all.
One of them is off to High School. He is very chilled.
One of them is off to Intermediate. She is overwhelmed and struggling, trying to be brave.

I look at this photograph and my heart is kind of bursting. With pride, with love, with the need to throw my arms around them and squeeze them tight.
They are my babies. They are growing up. Way too fast.