Thursday, April 28, 2011

such a bad idea

Nutella Cookies.

I could happily consume a jar of Nutella very quickly, now it seems I could happily consume a jar of Nutella plus 125g of butter plus more sugar than I like to think about in almost the same time.Such a bad idea.

Another bad idea?

Baking these cookies when one's youngest is battling serious constipation. Need I elaborate?
Didn't think so.

Sadly that didn't put me off the final product in the slightest.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

sharp as a ... not so sharp thing

I may not be breastfeeding anymore, I may be getting much much more sleep than I was a few months ago but still, the babies have stolen my brain.

I forget names (I never, ever used to forget names), if something's not written down it ceases to exist for me, I spent a morning with a friend recently while her birthday present languished forgotten in the boot of my car (that'd be you H), I accidentally logged myself off Springpad and drew a complete blank on my password thereby risking my very existence.
I make lists of things I need to tell friends, I've downloaded an App to help me keep track of my cycle, if it wasn't for facebook I'd be forgetting birthdays left, right and centre. I grapple to find the right words and more often than not, I don't.
I make teetering piles of items I Must Remember to Return to my Mother, I stick Post-It's on the front door to remind me to turn the sprinklers off.
I have to remember to remember in a way I've never done before.

However ...
I can detect the distressed cry of a child of mine almost before it's uttered.
I can sense an ominous silence.
I can judge the millimetre difference between adventurous clambering and certain death.
I can pick up the first faint signs of fever on a warm brow.
I can accurately predict how various bodily functions will affect the play of our day.
I can feel hunger.
I can smell fear.
I can read their little body's language better then I can my own.

And ...
A few weeks back we all spent the night at my mother's house. I was awoken from a deep (and somewhat wine-induced) slumber by the sound of something falling to the floor in the kitchen.
In a nanosecond I knew exactly where I was, computed that the dogs hadn't barked so the source of the noise couldn't be too sinister, heard my parent's door opening and could tell, by the sound of the footfall, that my mother was going to investigate.
I jumped out of bed to join her and she started when I appeared at her side, as silent and stealthy as a ... well, silent stealthy thing.
While she stood in the doorway still shaking off the fog of sleep and trying to work out what I was doing, I established that the breadboard had fallen over, knocking a cup to the floor. I cleaned up, gave her a hug, turned off the light and was back in bed and asleep before she'd gotten back to her room.

Intuition, experience, logistics - same skills, different applications. Like the difference between book smarts and street smarts, for now I've traded social smarts for parental smarts.
And I'm a pretty sharp parent. As sharp as a ... well, a very sharp thing.

Monday, April 25, 2011

sunday evening (well it was when I started)

I've mentioned before how Frieda's not as into craft as I am. But still I persist.

Being a non-religious traditionalist I like the idea of ritual around annual holidays, if Easter isn't going to be about the resurrection of Christ I'd still like it to be about more than just chocolate. I'd like to imbue it with traditions that give it a relevance to our family, rituals the girls can look forward to and participate in, special Easter activities and festivities.
At the very least have a few tricks up my sleeve to occupy us during the 4 day weekend, the weekend in which winter traditionally puts in its first earnest appearance.

So I blew some eggs (my eyeballs are okay, thanks for asking), bought some stockings, unearthed the wallpaper glue, dug in my precious paper stash to cut some scraps and got two eggy-related projects ready for Frieda and I to tackle during Stella's naps.

Sad to report Easter craft semi-fail on both accounts.

We kicked off with egg-dying.
Frieda only wanted to use dhania leaves, 
[Discard collection of feathers, leaves and assorted lace we'd collected during the last week.]
and only wanted to use one per egg.
[Abandon mental image of lavishly dyed and decorated eggs.]
Then she wanted to stir vigourously.
[Watch despairingly as lone leaf undulates in waves of tea.]

The best of the bunch ...

Moving on.

During the next nap we decoupaged the hollowed eggs. Or rather I did. It went something like this:
'What stinks Mum?'
'Something smells really bad, this glue smells really bad.'
'No it doesn't.'
'Then this egg smells really bad.'
'No it ....' I lean in for a sniff, 'DOES! It smells really really bad! I'm sorry baby, you must've gotten the one egg which didn't wash out properly. Chose another one.'
'No thanks Mum, I think I'll go and find Dad.'

I halfheartedly decorate two eggs alone. Hey, at least I got a moment alone!

Maybe next year ...

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

millions of children are assuming everything is amazing and will always be that way *

The other day we visited our favourite place and I packed a small chocolate bunny in our picnic. I told Frieda we were going to practice egg-hunting and hid it while she closed her eyes and counted to ten.
Then I did the whole 'cooler, warmer, very warm' thing until she returned victorious with her prize and plopped down onto the blanket next to her sister (still as yet unaware of the joys and lifelong relationship with chocolate she will no doubt embark on in the near future) to unwrap it.

Holding its plump chocolately goodness in her hand she turned to me with a grin and said, 'And when I've finished Mum I'm going to hide an Easter egg for you to find.'
'Oh, I didn't bring another one sweetie, but that's ok, enjoy yours.'

There was a long pause as she looked at me earnestly. And then, with only the smallest trace of reluctance flickering deep inside her big blue eyes she said, very seriously, 'Well then you can have half of mine Mum.'
Could you hear the sound of my heart breaking into a million shards of love and tenderness?

Could there be a greater act of love from a nearly 4 year old?

* from the Manifesto of Encouragement , one of those things I'm usually deeply cynical and boring about, but this line got me - and a couple more over there if I must be honest.

Remember to stop and view the world through the eyes of children. There is no happier place.

mein gott it's goot!

Stella can't eat bananas. Seriously, I may as well feed the child a bag of cement.
Frieda's not that into them.
I'm not a huge fan having eaten far too many when I was pregnant with Frieda (Oh wait, I'm seeing a correlation here ...).
Husband likes bananas but can't really be expected to solely consume all the bananas which still somehow manage to make their way into our house.

Banana bread however - we'll all happily eat that. (Except Stella who still has the whole er ... solidity ... issue to contend with.)

And really, when it comes to banana bread there is no contest. Julochka's Grandma Goot is The Ultimate Banana Bread Babe of all time.
Don't take my word for it. Make one today.
With or without chocolate.

And incidentally, a good Mama, when baking banana bread a couple of days before Easter, takes the time to blow the eggs required in order to have blown eggs (or hollowed eggs) available for decorating over the Easter weekend.
This Mama was good, but who knew blowing eggs was such hard work!
I think I may have had a harder time than the chicken who originally produced them.
Seriously, for someone who narrowly managed to avoid natural labour twice this was some exertion. I had to check my eyes for burst blood vessels afterward.

I think we'll only have a few eggs around for decorating this year ...

Sunday, April 17, 2011

sunday evening

Maybe that's all I got this month: Sunday evenings.

I got plenty to say, could make time to say it. Admittedly I've been spending plenty of time on Pinterest but still, I really should be able to manage more than this. But you know, sometimes you just don't feel like doing your homework.
I guess I'm holding my breath, sliding up that squeaky bedroom window, and with my shoes in my hands darting across the damp dark lawn to swim in the lagoon, pretending there's no school tomorrow.


This time of year, my god it is sublime. It's ... subtle. Subtle in a way that February in Cape Town is utterly not. Clarity, cut, colour - it's like the seemingly endless days of late summer/autumn are each perfect diamonds, most definitely gems, each one handcrafted for perfection.
The temperature is perfect, subtle. The breezes are soothing, subtle. The light is clear and gentle, subtle.
It's marvelous.

I've been cooking. Clafoutis, it's my new best thing. Ragu, it's my other new best thing, and just to stir things up a little, we're eating it with yoghurt Naan. We're like, so cosmopolitan.

I've been dusting off the old CV (not updated since 2009 I discovered), and have made a list of potential people/companies to send it out to. Nothing like expressing your satisfaction to make one dissatisfied. 
I'll send some emails this week. 
Wait, maybe next - who takes anything seriously in the short week before Easter? Who takes anything seriously in the short week after Easter for that matter?
I'll send those emails soon.

But mostly I've been remembering this and this and omg actually just all of this - wowee to the motherfucking zeee, life this April is good.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

sunday evening

Eating previously melted white chocolate covered wafers found in the bottom of my bag. Found while looking for my diary which seems to have disappeared leaving me in fear for tomorrow's lack of lists. Lists which would no doubt help reboot my brain. My brain which is still ailing after last night's festivities. Festivities which looked something like this ...

I have no words to describe such an evening.

Where the hell is that diary??

Thursday, April 07, 2011

7 april

A friend had a baby this morning. No doubt she spent the day in that happy hormone cloud, the weight of her newborn boy in her arms the only thing anchoring her to earth.

In the same hospital another friend sleeps on a chair tonight, by the bed of her child, awash with fever, awaiting test results in the morning.

Across town, yet another friend lies in Recovery. The results of her PET scan earlier this week were good, but despite this she had major precautionary surgery today, removing all the glands and some of the neck muscles from the side of her face.

Mutual friends of hers and ours took their son home today. Born 6 weeks prem he's been declared healthy and strong and released, to meet for the first time the world outside, and his eager older brother.

And another aftershock hits Japan.

Life is weird.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

autumn camping

I've said it before, and I'll say it again ...

 ... we love to camp.