Reaching my limit

So it’s been almost a week since my last blog post.  In that time I have been so unwell I ended up in hospital, my husbands little run about car has completely died (needs a new engine so bye-bye car) and we have attended a family wedding.

To say I am exhausted is such an understatement.  I have hit my physical, emotional and mental limit in the last few days and have been craving time and peace.  But when you have twin toddlers that does not come easily.  Thankfully my time in hospital was only short and although I am still not better (fingers crossed I feel better by the end of this week) I weirdly appreciated my time in hospital.  I know hospital is a place that no one wants to be, least of all me – I actually have a lot of bad associations with hospitals and will usually point blank refuse to go, but this time I was ready to go.  And my experience was actually really pleasant.  It was the first time in such a long time that anything was about me.  The nurses and doctors look after you, it’s quiet, it’s tidy and there’s no children demanding your attention.  I am well aware that you are all thinking that I am crazy but the time in hospital was what I needed (except for the needles which really hurt!!!).

So as I’m still not well I have been trying to rest at home.  Let me tell you it’s not working.  The wedding we attended was lovely but I was really not well enough to enjoy it or feel anything but sick and stressed and it’s very hard to manage a wedding with small children.  Thankfully our boys have always been very well behaved at these sorts of events so were quiet for most of the ceremony and managed to stay amused for a couple of hours at the reception (until I decided we had all had enough and it was time for home).  We had so many people comment about how well behaved the boys were that I felt I needed a sign that read ‘thank you,’ as I had no voice for most of the evening and was straining to try and be polite.

Add to my lack of rest is the fact that we now have to rely on only one car, so anything that I have to do has to be done first thing in the morning before hubby goes to work and takes my car.  Due to his hours and how far away from home he works public transport is not an option, so until we can work out finances for a new (second-hand) car and find one that’s within our very minimal budget we will have to get by on just my car.  No idea how that is going to work at this stage but while I’m still sick it doesn’t really matter as I’m not that keen on going out anyway!

Hopefully this is it for our bad luck but who knows, I’m just trying to take it as it comes now and deal with one hurdle at a time as I can’t afford to get anymore stressed.

Sick, sick, sick

So I am sick and feeling pretty awful.  I don’t cope well when I am seriously ill, as my body tends to go into shutdown mode.  So it’s a real struggle at the moment to try and rest, deal with the pain from being sick and still be a good mum to my kids.  All I want to do is curl up in bed and rest (I haven’t slept much unfortunately) but that’s just not possible when hubby has to work and I’m left home with two very active toddlers.

Thankfully my toddlers can be very sweet and one of the boys will often come up to me for a kiss or a cuddle which just melts my heart.  They don’t give kisses yet but hopefully that will come soon!  I’ve taught the other one, who had the broken leg and is still extremely moody and hard to handle, how to blow kisses as he’s not as affectionate but I still want to create that bond.

I always put my kids first and me being unwell does not change that.  Yesterday in my fevered state, instead of resting I went and picked up a toddler sized kitchen that I’d bought off ebay.  Watching them play with it today, opening up cupboards, pretending to eat cookies and wash dishes was so adorable.

kitchen

Adjusting my road map

I’m not feeling well so it’s just a quick post today.

My life is not quite going in the direction I expected.  I had this plan in my head (like a map of how everything would happen – see below) and due to a range of circumstances completely beyond my control it feels like that’s all been torn into pieces.  The sadness has been coming and going for the last week and I’ve tried really hard to just keep going and not fall into a depression over something I can’t control.  As much as I have tried to adjust my little road map in my mind I’m stuck.  I’ve been dreaming of how my life would play out for so long that it’s really hard for me to comprehend that it’s not going to work that way.  It sounds ridiculous I know!

As much as I am sad, I should be really happy too, because despite some bad news I’ve been offered an incredible opportunity and I need to pull myself back together, take that as a sign that I need to focus on something else for a while and run with it.  As I still try to process it all I am keeping myself busy planning to finally get on top of projects around the house.  I’ve had a list for quite a while of what I wanted to do when we had some money and time.  And since I have been saving for quite a while I can now do some of the things that will make our house more ours, which should make all of us happier and more comfortable.

 

my map

My original road map

 

Image credit – Blank Treasure Map courtesy of Tim Vandevall

The reality of having twins – being individuals

twins - individuals

Parenting twins really can be a hard task, because not only are you teaching your children but you also need to educate your family, friends and even strangers along the way. I don’t know what it is but people seem to think that just because they are twins that they aren’t individuals. The biggest mistake you can ever make is not to treat a twin as an individual!

My twins are both boys, which is actually quite wonderful, but just because they are both boys does not in any way mean that they both like the same things. And this is true for identical twins as well. Twins do not always like the same things! Identical twins are not identical in every single way, they will have their own likes and dislikes and I’m sure their own little quirks too.

Yes twins do tend to have a lot in common. I’m not going to get into the nature vs. nurture debate, but honestly they were in the womb together, were born together and are brought up together in the same environment so yes they do have a lot in common and will develop some of the same interests.

Both my boys like cars, trucks and megabloks. They both enjoy reading but one will sit and read a book a lot more often than the other. They both love outside and our dogs but one will constantly ask to go outside, the other won’t care. One will sit and watch the world go by, while the other is too busy tearing around the world like a maniac. They are twins, they do like some of the same things but they are still very much individuals.

Which honestly can be hard to manage. You want to have quiet time with one and the other will want in on it, which can then cause a meltdown for either one or both twins. They will want different things but both at the same time. It’s difficult but you learn to do it all. You teach taking turns and hopefully patience (I’m not sure we have learned patience yet) and as they get older they will hopefully have a better grasp of it all. They need to know that they are individuals, and as a parent of twins I need to encourage them to be individuals. If they don’t want to play the same sports or musical instruments or whatever, you know what that’s fine (it’ll be much more work but if they were all born as singletons you wouldn’t force them to do what their older sibling did so why should twins?).

You can read more on my reality of twins series here!

Not quite Meal planning

So I haven’t meal planned for several weeks now.  There have been lots of reasons why, from the simple I can’t be bothered to not having the time and energy.  I also have lacked the motivation.  I’ve been struggling a little to cope since one of my twin boys broke his leg, so I made my life simpler by cancelling things, postponing others and not putting pressure on myself to do everything.  What I can tell you about this break from planning is that we have not starved, we actually haven’t completely blown the budget but we have been buying more than we should.  While this is ok once in a while it is not a long term solution.

Thankfully my prior meal planning and bulk cooking has more than paid off, allowing me to have this ‘time off,’ while still having meals available for hubby to take to work every night, and even a few things for me.  Our freezer was literally that full a couple of months ago that we plugged back in our mini bar freezer (so we essentially had three freezers full of stuff!).  It has meant that my husband has had loads to choose from, the boys have had a range of lunches, dinners and snacks (I make mini quiches, scrolls, as well as muffins in bulk and freeze them all) and I haven’t really had to worry about it.  I’ve probably had pasta Bolognese what feels like a week straight (in reality it was like 3 nights in a row and then every second night for a few more days) but it was easy, filling and satisfying.  I’ve also had a bit of take away, toasted cheese sandwiches for dinner and who knows what else!

So now that we’ve been on holiday and I’m feeling better I have to really get back to planning, cooking and restocking!  The boys have almost nothing left so they are definitely my first priority, hubby still has quite a lot left, and I’m in desperate need of more Bolognese sauce.  I have been using a lot from my pantry, but there is still quite a few odds and ends left and I still have a lot of meat (we did do a meat shop a couple of weeks ago) so I’m hoping to get through the next week without a trip to the supermarket.  I stocked up on bread and milk Thursday night so really there is no reason to go (it doesn’t mean I wont).  So although this week I don’t have an actual meal plan as I have no idea what I will make for myself, I do have a plan on the other bits and pieces I plan to make, which is as follows.

* Muffins – a savoury version or two, I’m thinking a corn one (tinned), a pumpkin one (still got some pumpkins we were given) and if I can find the time also a tomato one (tinned)

* Muffins – sweet version, probably an apple one (lots of tins of apple still) and maybe banana (got some going brown)

* Quiches – mini version for the boys (we have stacks of eggs and I will just add in whatever else I can find)

* Savoury scrolls – I’ve got a little salad that is looking sad which is perfect for these and I’ll add a little ham

Hopefully that will clear a little more space in my cupboard, so that when I head back to SPC in the next few weeks and come back with another car load full I will have a space to put it all!  And it will refill the boys very bare looking space in the freezer, as well as fulfilling my need to do some baking.  In another week or two I may get back into the swing of meal planning, but personally I am in no rush and might instead look at changing my strict planning to a more relaxed version of bulk cooking.

I also managed to make a pumpkin and ham frittata yesterday, which is pictured below.  Don’t ask me how it tastes (I don’t like pumpkin or eggs! lol), I’m waiting on hubby to have some for lunch for the verdict.

frittata1

Our veggie patch – planting

One of my goals when we bought our house was to utilise a vegetable patch and grow our own food.  We had pretty much everything we needed, except the time and/or energy (ok lets be honest – the motivation!).  Last year it was all about the boys all the time so I just ignored it and kept saying we’ll do it, we’ll do it.  And then this year I kept looking at it going it’s just a massive weed patch and it will take forever (and every other excuse I could think of).  A few months ago it was really playing on my mind, and one day I just got up from what I was doing, went out there and started pulling out all the weeds.  A full day of work later and not only had I pulled out the weeds with the help of hubby and the boys watching from their swings, but I had also planted out a whole range of seeds and some seedlings I had been given.  I was happy.

We had planted seeds of peas, beans, lettuce, spinach, carrots, bok choy, pak choy, spring onions and garlic in our veggie patch, as well as seeds of coriander and tomato into seed trays.  I had also planted a pick as you eat variety of lettuce and spinach, some broccoli, cauliflower and strawberry seedlings.  I mulched it all, watered it all and surveyed my hard work.

2013-06-23 16.24.29 2013-06-23 16.42.15

Before and after mulching.  It doesn’t look like much but each mound is a row of vegetables!

2013-06-23 16.42.30 2013-06-23 16.42.36

On the left spinach and lettuce plants so that we can begin picking them while we wait for the row of seeds to grow, and on the right broccoli seedlings (they are a little hard to see).

2013-06-23 16.59.42

Some strawberry seedlings, in a strawberry that I’ve been meaning to use for ages!

This was all done back at the end of June, but if your keen to start your own veggie patch or even just grow a few herbs follow my page as I’ll be providing a basic how to get started in the next week or two.  I’ll also be posting some of our progress photos and let you know what has worked and what hasn’t.  Remember it’s not too late to start growing something edible in your garden and you don’t have to start big, just a couple of pots is all it takes!