Wednesday, 21 March 2012

And Now For Our Next Trick...

The twins are now mobile. Not walking, but mobile. Very Mobile.

Before 8.30am, I had to pull an old milk carton off of Gareth - he had pulled it out the trash bag. Gareth thinks the Trash Bag is A Very Fun and Exciting Thing. His preferred way of getting about is rolling, and he does it very quietly. This means looking behind me every time I move, to make sure I'm not about to step on a chublikin.

Molly crawls, and because she puts her hands down with much purpose, she is a little noisier. She also likes to hold on to my trouser leg or robe to steady herself when she stands. Now, whenever I'm in the kitchen - I feel a little tug at my trousers.

Meal times are interesting. I don't have a high chair, so I feed the twins one at at time, holding them on my lap. Trying to hold and feed one baby, while keeping the bowl out of the reach of the other baby requires some skill. A third arm would be very useful.

Up until today, one thing has guaranteed me a bit of peace. Putting one baby in the jumperoo, and one in the baby walker. That came to an end today. I'd put Gareth in the jumperoo, and after a spell of his usual Sailor's Hornpiping, he had a nap (Hurrah!). I put Molly in the walker, on the rug, so she couldn't go anywhere. Like I do every morning, I went to make my breakfast. Put on the milk for the porridge, turned round, thought my eyes were playing tricks on me (I'd only had one cup of coffee).

Molly had climbed out of the baby walker, and was standing next to it. In the 2 minutes it takes to make the oatsosimple, I returned her to the living room rug about 4 times. Miss Molly does like to get about.

Yes, making and eating breakfast without having to move a tot a dozen times would be nice, but it's great to see them come on, and develop, and have fun. As their birthday approaches, I wonder what else my terrific twosome will have managed to get up to in their first year. Whatever happens, life certainly won't be dull.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Getting Out and About

I was remarking yesterday, in a woman's group I am part of on Facebook, that I don't get out and about with the twins nearly as much as I should. It's not just the effort of getting 2 small children changed, dressed, fed, and loaded in to the car. It would be easy to use that as an excuse, but that's not it.

The urge to be a hermit, to hibernate, to close off, is something I've had to fight for as long as I can remember. Sometimes, going out just seems like so much effort. Maybe it's a little depression, maybe it's introversion, I just can't remember a time I didn't feel this way.

Recently though, something has began to stir within me. A desire to get out, not, perhaps to actively engage (although I think that will come, with time). I want to show our small part of the world to my children. I want them to find the joy, and the adventure, and the possibility in the everyday.

I want my children to smile at spring flowers, to laugh on swings, to make faces at new tastes, and new experiences.

I want them to live an abundant life, and that's not going to happen if I never take them anywhere. It helps, sometimes, to try and see the world through their big blue eyes - full of fun, and excitement.

So, today, I got them dressed, I packed the changing bag, and loaded them into the car. We only went to a nearby Mall, but where we went doesn't matter. What matters is that we went, and that I'm now resolved that this is just the first of many mini-adventures.

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Treats, Not Rewards.

Sometimes, as a mummy, mostly at home, it can feel as if the days and weeks run into one another. If it wasn't for my housekeeping schedule, or remembering that on Sunday's (or Saturday evenings) we have to go to Mass, I would probably only have a vague idea of what day of the week it is.

That's not a complaint, but sometimes, I think we all need a little variety. Something to break up our days. We get so caught up with what we feel we SHOULD be doing, that we forget that sometimes we need to take the time to do things because we WANT to. Sometimes we equate treats with rewards, when really, they are very different things.

Rewards are based on performance: 'If I get all the clean laundry folded and put away before 11.30am, then I'll reward myself with a chapter of the book I've been reading.'

Treats are based on feeling, and on love. Treats place the value on the person, rewards place the value on the person's actions.

While there is obviously a place for both, I think that in this modern age, we often forget to treat ourselves, just because. We look for justifications for having that piece of cake, or that lipstick, or that book, or even just that half hour to ourselves.

It's good to have goals, and to work hard, and to do your best. Of course it is. I certainly think God wants us to strive, and to achieve. He wants us to have an abundant life.

So many of us though, equate our achievements with our worth. Our worth and dignity do not come from our achievements. They come from the fact that we children of God, and have been fearfully and wonderfully made.

Please, if you are a mother, put aside the laundry, or the dusting for a moment, and do something for you. If you are working, and tired, do something that will refresh you.

Realise, that regardless of whether or not you tick all the boxes on your To-do list today, you are enough, you are special, you are worthy, you are deserving, and you are loved.

Don't reward yourself today, TREAT yourself instead.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Easy Meal for a Meatless Friday.

We Catholics are in the midst of Lent. That means Friday's are meat free. If you don't like fish, or just prefer to have a fully veggie option here is a really easy recipe. Vegetable and Goats cheese tart. These amounts give 2-3 generous servings.

One block ready made puff pastry.
2 red onions, or about 6 shallots
1 red bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tbsps brown sugar
2 cloves garlic (crushed)
1 tsp (approx) dried oregano
olive oil (for sauteeing)
goats cheese (enough to generously dot the top of your tart)

Preheat oven to whatever temp it states on your pastry. Leave the pastry in the fridge until you're ready to use it.

Heat some olive oil in a frying pan, and gently fry the onions, we're looking for softening here, not frazzling. When you detect a change, add the peppers and garlic, then the mushrooms. Fry until mushrooms are pale golden.

Add the balsamic vinegar, sugar, and oregano. Cook for 5-10 minutes. Turn off heat.

Get your pastry. Roll it out to desired size and thickness. With a knife, score a border of just less than 1 inch all the way round. prick the middle part of your tart with a fork. This will stop this part puffing up, and leave you with a nice raised border.

Tip veggies into centre of tart, trying to keep them within the border. Dot with goats cheese and season to taste.

Bake until the pastry is golden, and the goats cheese is melty.