Monday, 25 January 2010

Pizza, Little Piggies and Paul O'Connell

Today we had a brush with stardom. After a sunny visit to the playground, we went to La Cucina for some yummy pizza (the only way we could persuade Roo to leave). 'Look who it is...' said Lee to me as we went in. And there, sitting alone with a bowl of soup was the great Paul O'Connell, the Munster rugby captain*. We were shown a table, but then Paul left and they put us at his table! You could say Roo took his place, because he sat in the very same seat that Paul had just vacated (it was still a little warm). Roo himself was oblivious of course as he devoured two slices of Margherita pizza. He was disappointed earlier in Little Piggies when he was told he didn't need new shoes yet. I told him he'd have to eat lots so that his feet would get bigger.
*(People say Superman goes to bed in Paul O'Connell pyjamas. To tell you the truth, we think Paul made himself scarce when he saw Poonch coming in;))

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Jamie's pancakes

These go down very well with the boys.... just mix together:
1 cup of self-raising flour
1 cup of milk
1 large egg, preferably free-range or organic
A pinch of sea salt
1 pear, grated.
Then fry with a few knobs of butter and eat with gloopy, creamy stuff, Nutella, bananas, or whatever takes your fancy.

Friday, 22 January 2010

Inspiration for toddler meals

Rollercoaster has some of Annabel Karmel's recipes for fussy eaters on their website. They are appetising excerpts from a new book she has written which looks quite tempting. I'm reading her Superfoods book at the moment in an attempt to get Roo to eat more veg. Last night we had pasta in Hidden Vegetable sauce with Mascarpone. Very nice and... Roo even ate some of the sauce as it was smeared onto his pasta. That means he ingested onion, carrot and courgette, as they were cooked and then pureed into the sauce.
But perhaps more remarkably, he quite knowingly gobbled down COURGETTES, yes green vegetables (aka zucchinis) as he helped to make the muffins they were stuffed with. CBeebies I Can Cook is such a fantastic programme. You'll find more toddler-able recipes on the I Can Cook website.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Tootling about on my ownio...

Back to quilting yesterday for the first time since Christmas. A little reluctantly... but after five minutes I was hooked again and couldn't wait to get stuck in. I really value the couple of hours I have to myself while Mum takes care of the lads. I can run about doing errands afterwards too. (Literally run- something I can't do when I'm with Roo and Poonch, 'slow down Mummy,' Roo says when I'm walking with him. I love running/skipping about. It's funny the things you have to stop doing when you have children!)
Anyway, I was just thinking yesterday, how God really does answer your prayers sometimes, even if you haven't actually outright asked him. The day before was a really horrible day. I felt really down for no real reason, was getting much too frustrated with the boys over trivial things, Louis cut his mouth twice, Lee was anxious about a talk he was giving that evening and I hardly noticed him I was feeling so cross... lots of little things, one after the other.
And then yesterday, things just turned around. It was a lovely dry day, Mum was here to help, the lads were in good form, I zoomed around town on my own, then came home and we all took off for a walk down the lane. And I got to confession at last. With a lovely priest, Fr Brendan, in the Augustinians on O'Connell Street (that's the spot in the picture). I had wanted to (and not wanted to, if you know what I mean) go for a while, but I can't bring the lads in obviously! I know a good few Irish Augustinians, but I'd never met this guy before. He must have moved to Limerick after the last Chapter meeting. We had a little chat and he was telling me he was in Australia (every state by the sound of it) for 40 years. I think there's something about Augustinian priests. I just really like the vast majority of the ones that I've ever met.
Thank God for days like yesterday.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

On the water front, we had an absolute downpour today and our water came back. Hooray! Not having it really made me think that we actually waste water a lot of the time. It's so easy to take water for granted, isn't it? It's so precious, yet so readily available to us. Say compared to some people in developing countries who can't access clean drinking water.
We were really quite lucky, unlike many people who were without water for days and days, or who experienced burst pipes and even flooding due to the exceptionally heavy rain.

Monday, 11 January 2010

A brrrrrry cold new year

Here's my first post of the new year. We had our now-traditional Christmas: both Grannies and Uncle Bee staying with us, turkey, gingerbread stuffing (which didn't appeal to me this year... hmmm) etc. Roo understood about Santa for really the first time, but because he'd met him at Montessori, he was answering 'is Santy coming?' with a wrinkled nose and 'Noooo!' (because in his head he'd already given him some goodies.) It meant for some shocked faces from shop assistants and the like though.
It has been veeerrrrrry cold here for quite a few weeks. Yesterday it even snowed. I mean proper fluffy, dry, powdery snow that stays in drifts instead of melting on contact with the ground or going brown and sludgy.
Roo and I were outside in it: he in his super duper cosy waterproof boiler suit, me collecting snow to melt for toilet flushing. Yes, the wonderful snow brought with it some less appealing aspects such as frozen water supplies and lack of showers or laundry washing. Now I know how my Mum felt when it used to snow when I was a child. She'd give out about the roads and stuff and I'd think, 'how could you not like the snow?' But even boring Mummy-me was taken aback at how beautiful everything looked in the snow. I walked down our ordinary little lane marvelling at how gorgeous it had become: the branches of every tree and bush swaddled in white.
We have become quite well acquainted with some of the local birds due to the cold spell. The two wagtails we knew already, but there is a pair of robins who, over the last couple of days, have got close to us, literally. One of them came into the utility room a few days ago, and another day he kept flying up to the window to let me know he was hungry. We don't get many birds near our house because there is very little cover/vegetation except around the perimeter, so it's nice to have some contact with them. I love seeing their little footprints around the place.
This year I would like (in no particular order)
1. the boys to get over their interminable colds/ coughs/ runny noses. I am fairly fed up with snot at this stage
2. to get out of this cold, poorly designed house. But that's dependent on no.3 happening.
3. someone to make an offer on our lovely house in Waterford
4. to have a healthy baby
and some other things too, I'm sure, but that's all I can think of just now.