Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Happy {8-month} Birthday, Little Man

It's a very special day for us here: our Littlest Man is 8 months old today.  Here is his journey so far.

Here he is!  
Born 29 October 2009
... after a long and difficult labour (as usual), ending with my first and last caesarean.  

Here are Little Man and Middle Man on New Year's Day.
Brothers Forever!

Enjoying his first ever swim: Little Man at Clontarf in February 2010.

Little Man gets his first (of many) colds.  April 2010

Finally, Little Man is crawling and pulling himself up.  
Always trying to keep up with those brothers of his.
June 2010

Friday, June 25, 2010


Feeling so sick all week.  And the kids too.  Really need one of these to make me feel better.  Mmmmmm, chai latte...... 

Oh, and perhaps a holiday too.  Somewhere warm, sunny and very exotic.

Have a lovely weekend!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Finally, I get a minute...

Well the big day has been and gone - my Middle Man's Number 3 party that is.  I'm always amazed at how hectic the build-up to a party is, and only a few days later you're left wondering what to do with all the spare time you suddenly seem to have.

I did promise some pics of the three cakes I made for my MM's party but, not surprisingly, amidst all the rush and craziness in getting the kids out the door and to the party I completely forgot to take photos of the Lightning McQueen birthday cake and Number 3 cupcakes.  So my apologies for the poor quality, but here are my snaps of two of the three cakes.

cake #1: the one that went to Occasional Care

...and here is the only photo we have of the Lightning McQueen cake.  Look at the smile on MM's face!

So in place of this year's photos I thought I'd get out photos of all my past cakes, just to see how far I'd come.  Here they are:

Big Man's first birthday: Mr Birthday

Big Man's second birthday

Our Big Man also had a Lightning McQueen cake for his third birthday, very similar to Middle Man's, but we had so much fun at his beach party that we completely forgot to take any photos.

Big Man's fourth birthday (a mini-golf party deserves a mini-golf cake)

Middle Man's christening cake

Middle Man's first birthday: a cake in the shape of the dinosaur from his Paper Eskimo invitation

Middle Man's second birthday: an Iggle Piggle cake

The MOTH often asks, usually on that really stressful day-before-the-party, why I bother to make my own cakes.  I just love it!  I enjoy baking, I love seeing people enjoy eating my cakes, and most of all I like seeing my boys excited about their birthday cake.  It's heartwarming shouting at the kids for the zillionth time to "Shut the fridge door" because they keep opening it to look at their cake.

My next project though, well that's one I'll discuss later.  The ideas are slowly taking shape in my head.....

Thursday, June 10, 2010

It's a Number 3 Party!

It's an exciting week for us this week. 
Our Middle Man turns 3!

It just melts my heart to see him so excited about his Lightning McQueen party this Sunday.  

This year we made the decision to outsource all of the kids' parties as life is just too hectic with three children.  MM has therefore chosen to have his Number 3 party at our local play centre, Wizzy World.  My only job is to bake, bake and bake.  The first cake is for him to share with his friends at Occasional Care tomorrow; the second cake is one in the shape of a  car tyre with one of those edible images of Lightning McQueen stuck on top (his choice, not mine); and finally some 'Number 3' cupcakes for the grown-ups at his party.

I will post some party pics sometime next week, but in the meantime I think I will reminisce about this very special week in my life three years ago...

"Welcome to the world, Baby Boy"
13 June 2007

Brothers meet for the first time.
Who would ever have guessed that they would grow to be the bestest of buddies!

Here they are a couple of months ago.  
Neither is a leader and neither is a follower.  They're just brothers whose relationship is based on simple, pure love.  And a common interest in cars and trains.

"Happy Birthday Week my darling boy!"
Your smile always makes my heart swell.

Monday, June 7, 2010

A Special Request

When I was a little girl I was an early riser.  It was not unusual for me to be up anytime between 5 and 6am requesting a delicious breakfast, usually pancakes or porridge.

One of my special favourites is now a favourite of my sons'.  And they too are early risers.  My mum regularly reminds me that it's Karma.

This morning my 4 year old has put in a Special Request for one of his favourite breakfasts (and one of my childhood favourites too).  Semolina Pudding.  Perfect for a cold winter's morning.

I found my particular recipe here but my mother's recipe was very simple: milk (as much as you want), a tablespoon of sugar per person, and enough semolina to thicken it slightly (usually about a quarter of a cup).  

Just like many other families of young children, we have 'food issues' too.  Our 4 year old is anaphylactic (to dairy, crustaceans and tree nuts) and our almost-3 year old is a Failure to Thrive.  As a result one can't drink cow's milk (or soy, goat's or sheep's milk) and the other must have full fat cow's milk.  I am forever preparing two breakfasts, which used to be a pain but is now just a part of life for us.  To make matters worse, it seems our 7 month old also has food allergies.  We suspect dairy, bananas and the dreaded peanut, but won't know for sure until he's 12 months old.

Anyway, the recipe above is delicious, whether you make it with dairy milk or rice milk (which is actually quite tasty).  Luckily for us almonds aren't tree nuts but in fact seeds.  We're over the moon about that because they are so so good for you.  I hope you like it.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

The Cutest Booties on the Block

My little 7 month old bruiser has had cold feet the last couple of weeks.  His chubby little feet (the chubbiest of all three of my babies) are simply too big to fit into his big brothers' hand-me-down shoes so it was time for some online shopping for a pair of baby booties.

Being my third boy I haven't really had the need to buy much for him, so it's very exciting when I finally do.  As a result my little boy is the proud owner of this pair of boots by Alex & Ant.

They're a little tricky to slip on, but I figure that makes it harder to lose them too.  And he looks oh-so-cute in them.  I just wish I'd bought the navy pair too...

Thursday, June 3, 2010


Now that I have three little boys to look after (and for whom I need to fill the fridge every few days) grocery shopping is not as simple as it used to be.  

Personally, I love doing my groceries online.  My local green-grocer delivers for the price of a coffee and gingerbread man, and they always choose better fruit and vegetables than I would pick in their store.  Every now and then, however, I love to walk through their shop and do my own shopping and today was one of those days.

Boy am I glad I did!  They had the most gorgeous raspberries on special and I immediately thought of one of my favourite recipes: Nigella's Chocolate Pavlova.  It's one of the easiest and most delicious desserts I can make.  Just take a look at it!

I love all of Nigella's desserts.  They're exactly what they should be: rich and comforting.  You can find the recipe on her website here.  It's easy enough to make for the family but delicious and attractive enough to make when entertaining.  The choice is yours.

Now, I must clear something up.  When I started this blog I intended to write about my journeys as a wife and mother: all the things we do each day and places we go.  A sort of memoir, I guess, for my children to read one day.  Obviously food would be a part of it, but I didn't intend to post two blogs back-to-back about food.  Obviously I'm a hungry, breastfeeding mum who just can't get food off her mind.

Come to think of it, my next post should be about exercise.  Or perhaps some lite recipes.  Yeah.  That's what I'll do.  In the meantime, however, it's off to the kitchen to separate some eggs, whip the cream, grate some chocolate...

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Nikki's Chicken Soup

The last week's journey has taken us through the world of tummy bugs.  My pet hate!  

Thank goodness for Nikki's chicken soup.  We've all been surviving on toast, rice, ice blocks and jelly so it was a special treat for us all tonight to enjoy this dish.  Here is the recipe if you want to try it too.  I must admit that I've tweaked it a little (sorry Nikki) but it's still good and very close to the original.

6 corn-fed chicken thigh fillets
Half a bunch of celery (including some of the leafy bits), sliced as thinly as possible
3 medium carrots, grated
1 brown onion, finely diced
2 packets Continental chicken noodle soup
Large pinch of salt
1/2 a cup of rice

Fill a large saucepan with 6L of cold water.  Add the chicken and bring to the boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.  Take the chicken out with tongs and roughly chop.  Return the chicken to the water along with all the other ingredients and stir well to mix.  Bring the soup to the boil again, then reduce the head and simmer for another 10 minutes.  And, as Nikki says, "Your soup is ready!"

The best bit about this soup is that the quantity is huge and it's suitable to freeze.