Lonely

So it has just not been a great week.  And as much as I’ve tried to keep busy and keep moving forward things are just getting me down.  I’m sure its a combination of things, a large part of which is that I miss my mum.  As much as I don’t conciously think about her, she is always somewhere in my mind and some days it is harder than others.  I get very lonely, extremely lonely in fact.  I’m one on those people who can be sorrounded by people but still feel completely alone.  When my husband is around and my kids are up and happy I am fine but my husband tends to work evenings and cooking for one just isn’t fun.  I tease my husband that I got married so I would never again have to cook for just myself.  I say it like a joke but he and I both know that I am serious.  He feels guilty alot, which always makes me feel worse.  So whenever a shift comes up at work I tell him to take it, whenever overtime is offered I tell him I’ll be fine and that I’ll see him in the morning.  It’s hard.  I feel very isolated.

I don’t have someone to talk to everyday.  My friends fell by the wayside as I got married and had my two beautiful boys.  And although I’ve made new friends and have this new family of in-laws nothing compares to your oldest friends and your mum.  And they are now all gone.  I have a wonderful dad and a brother who I love but both have their own busy work lives and don’t live as close as I would like.  And you know, they’re men.  It’s just not the same.

Tomorrow was suppose to be my family day.  Just me, my husband and my kids.  It was what I wanted and what I needed.  But instead we will be having my parents in law over.  It is my own fault.  My husband is working the day of my inlaws family easter thing and won’t be able to make it and he has been a little down about it.  And I love him and want him to be happy so I told him to call them and that we could see them.  His family don’t realise how much they hurt my husband by not calling or visiting him.  They never make an effort and we have for a long time, now that we have kids part of me thinks I have to make more of an effort and the other part just says whats the point.  It’s hard.

But at the end of the day my husband will be happy, my kids will more than likely be full of sugar thanks to the Easter Bunny (aka me who has been making cupcakes and chocolates all night) and I will pretend for one more day that everything is fine when all I want to do is cry.

How to make scrolls

Scrolls are super easy and you can make both sweet and savoury versions.  Even if your short on time and ingredients I guarantee you can whip these together.

The very basic version –

* Puff pastry (I keep this permanently in my freezer as it has a multitude of uses)

* Something to stuff it with!

Roll up, cut into slices.  Bake in the oven at 180 degrees for about 15 minutes.

Cheesymite scrolls – spread puff pastry with vegemite, sprinkle on tasty shredded cheese.

Pizza scrolls – spread puff pastry with tomato paste (I use a pizza one), then add diced ham or bacon, and any veggies you like (I tend to use capsicum, red onion, tomato, mushroom).  You could also try salami or shredded chicken, pineapple, or use pesto instead of tomato paste.  Don’t forget to sprinkle with cheese!  Pesto goes great with chicken and parmesan cheese (yum yum!).  Or try spinach and fetta cheese.

Nutella scrolls – spread puff pastry with nutella and sprinkle on some chocolate bits.

Cinnamon scrolls – spread puff pastry with butter, then sprinkle on cinnamon and brown sugar.  Extra yummy if you let the bottom caramalise (easy to peel off and eat if you bake it on baking paper or in muffin cases).

Apple scrolls – mix together finely chopped apple, raisins, brown sugar and nutmeg.  Sprinkle over puff pastry.  Brush with melted butter.

Do you have any other ideas for scroll flavour combinations??

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Sorting out the mess that is my life!

So you could say my life is a bit of a mess.  From the outside I’m sure it looks rosey, but the reality is that it is chaotic at best.  Some days are harder than others and often the only thing that keeps me together is my gorgeous boys smiles.

I love my kids but it is damn hard work.  Hubby’s work is so up and down that I never quite know when he will be home.  And I hate more and more that he is working afternoons.  He is missing the boys tantrums, witching hour, bath time and bed time.  Over the weekend he finally saw what I go through on a daily basis and I think that was important.

Our calendar has been so chock a block lately that I have been running around like a mad person.  On Saturday we went to a lovely 2nd birthday party and my husband was suppose to go to work in the afternoon.  Unfortunately I had a minor meltdown from just being sore, run down, still sick, and dealing with the boys that he had to call in so he could spend the day with us.  So we ended up having hubby home for 3 days with us when he shift got cancelled on Monday.

Turns out I managed to get alot done.  We hit the shops more than once, stocked up on food, and looked into organisational items.  I’m starting to get fed up with the stuff lying everywhere around the house!  Someone off the AMBA facebook page recommended vacuum storage bags for clothes, so I went out and bought a whole heap.  So the last two nights I have been busy sorting and storing all the boys clothes that no longer fit in hopes of another baby in the future.  It feels good to finally be clearing some space.

I also went to Bunnings and got some shelf rack things for my pantry and got some more sistema bakery containers from Woolworths.  I had previously started my pantry and have been doing it in stages – this will hopefully enable me to finish it and it will stop driving me quite so crazy.

And on top of all that I managed to cook the boys some mini muffins, cooked hubby some regular muffins, and made some banana bread.  This morning I even managed to make the boys and hubby an omelette each (the boys refused to eat it – ho hum), some vegemite scrolls and some pizza scrolls.  Not a bad effort.

I still have alot I want to get done but at least I have made a start and I feel good for it.  My stress levels have been high and I have been very down in the dumps but I am doing something about it.  I’m getting out and meeting new people, sorting out my house and making plans for the future.  Its all about little steps.

Lunch ideas!

So lunch time can be a pain in my house.  It’s a busy time of day for us – the boys are in a transitional stage where they are starting to only have one nap a day.  Some days though they still have two.  Either way is fine, it just makes life a little tricky as we never know when we get up what kind of day it will be and this can often limit our lunch choices as hubby leaves for work around this time too!

As the boys are now approaching 14 months they generally eat what we would eat.  I say generally and what we would eat for two reasons.  The first being that I am a crap eater!  I have ALOT of issues sorrounding food and am more than likely not a good role model – I skip meals constantly and eat emotionally.  Unfortunately this is what I learnt as a child and I am trying very hard to not pass these traits onto my own kids.  The second being that due to my husbands hours it is very rare that we will all eat a meal togther.  Hubby eats dinner at work, I eat dinner long after the boys go to bed, and lunch is much the same!

With lunch I try to make it an item that the boys can feed themselves.  They love to feed themselves and it can be a struggle to get a spoon in their mouth (more tips on this later).  So lunch in our household can consist of any number of things and here is just a few ideas.

* Last nights dinner – I often make my dinner with enough for the boys to have the next day for lunch or their own dinner

* Omlettes – its the end of the week and the vegetables are starting to look a bit sad, cut them up, put them in a bowl with some eggs and make an omlette.  Cut into slices its a great fingerfood!

* Fried rice – another great way to use up a few leftovers, including the rice that didn’t all get eaten the night before 🙂

* Chicken or beef strips – these can be marinated and cooked under the grill, in the frypan, or steamed.

* Hard boiled egg – cut into pieces

* Cold meat – ham, turkey, silverside, all the stuff from the deli

* Baked beans or tinned spaghetti – quick and easy!

* Cooked pasta – my kids will sometimes even eat it cold and plain, or you can mix it with some veggies, or add some sauce.

* Vegetables – my boys love being able to pick up the individual peas, corn kernels and beans (this is great at dinner time too!)

* Zucchini slice – or any other vegetable type slice

* Cheese rolls – these are messy and a bit more expensive than a sandwich but its a nice change and great when your out and about

* Rice cake / corn cake – topped with just about anything!

* Sandwiches – you can put anything in them, but to be honest the boys don’t have these yet, but lots of their friends do

* Sausage rolls / party pies – I make my own and they are filled with veggies, but you can buy them

I’m sure theres lots more but that all off the top of my head!  I’d love to know what you feed your little ones for lunch.

Snack ideas!

When the boys first starting having snacks on top of their main meals and milk I was at a complete loss as to what to give them.  So after scouring the internet and finding the same old things over and over, I spent some time really browsing my local supermarkets to try and find ‘appropriate’ things to give the boys.  This is what I have come up with, if you have any other suggestions I would love to hear them!

* Fruit – banana, apple, pear, grapes, strawberries, watermelon, apricots, peaches, plums (my kids love it all!)

* Cheese – cut into cubes or strips, depending on what stage of teeth and chewing your little ones are at

* Rice cakes / corn cakes – we get the really thin ones and I spread them with avocado or vegemite (this is sometimes lunch too with some fruit)

* Jelly – you can make it from scratch, buy the packet stuff (which I still love!) or buy the baby jars of ‘gel’

* Custard – home made or jars

* Roll ups – you can make them yourself from fruit if you own a food dehydrator (I will post more on this later), or I got this tip off another mum of multiples – Cut crusts off bread and flatten it, put some cream cheese and vegemite (or cheesymite) on it and roll it up.

* Sultanas, and other dried fruits – I buy in bulk 2kg bags and switch between sultanas and the dried fruit mix

* Museli bars / fruit sticks – my almost 14 month olds love fruit sticks as they can pull and bite bits off but museli bars are still a bit too much for them.

* Pikelets – yum, yum!  You can make the standard and have them plain or put a bit of jam on them, or you could make flavoured ones – banana or apple – I have also been told to give quinoa ones a go as a lunch alternative.

* Muffins – store bought, packet mix, or make from scratch.  Apple, apple and cinnamon, apple and raspberry, blueberry, raspberry and white chocolate, orange and poppyseed, banana, I could go on and on but you get the idea!

* Biscuits – again home made or store bought.  You can buy kid ones or just buy the normal.

* Yoghurt – again store bought or make your own.  We use the easi-yo system which honestly I love!  It means I can make yoghurt whenever I feel like it and it lasts alot longer.

* Ice cream – my boys have had store bought one day while we were out, but I also make them a yoghurt based version which I either spoon feed them or put on sticks for them to eat (with daddys help) like an icypole.  This has been great on the recent hot days!!

I’m sure there are lots more, but these are what I feed my little ones.  I try to mix it up and make sure they get lots of fruit and dairy but the odd treat here and there doesnt hurt them.

Check out my recipe for Apricot and Coconut Balls and Apple Balls, perfect for small hands!

For meal ideas try here.

Multiple Birth Awareness Week!

So life, as always, is crazy and I have so much to write but today is dedicated to multiple birth awareness week.

This week is so important to me and thousands of other parents, as it celebrates the amazing-ness of having twins or more. AMBA (Australian Multiple Birth Association) and its many clubs spread throughout Australia celebrate by hosting varying events for members. This years events include zoo visits, picnics, barbecues, markets and other playdates. It’s so wonderful to be able to share ideas and experiences with others in similar situations.

Personally I consult AMBA’s facebook page on a daily basis, asking questions myself and reading answers on a range of other topics. Anyone can ask questions and the lovely admins are always so helpful! AMBA also has a forum where you can start a conversation on any topic and many members find immense support through that. Clubs themselves offer the opportunity to meet other mums (and dads) who are local to you and many are able to offer regular meet ups, hiring of equipment (breast pumps, books, etc) and monthly newsletters. Whichever option suits you there are literally thousands of others ready to share parts of their journey with you.

I highly recommend AMBA to any parents of multiples, as no matter what stage of pregnancy or age of your multiples there is a wealth of knowledge you can access and learn from.

http://www.amba.org.au
Forum – http://www.amba.org.au/forum
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/AustralianMultipleBirthAssociation