Friday, July 30, 2010

Sanity...

I am having a sanity day.
In other words, I am not studying. I have been studying every day for the past 4 weeks I think, and I've had enough. Munchkin has had a cold for over a week and this wee Mummy is exhausted. I am slurring my words. There have been quite a few nights lately in which I've had 3 or 4 hours of broken sleep. It does have a way of creeping up on you. I wonder how obvious it will be in the assignments I've been handing in??? Did 2 this past week, have another 3 plus a small test over the next 3 weeks. It is never-ending. Bring on summer break. It's only 17 weeks away for me! What an eternity that feels like. But then Munchkin is already 10 weeks old, and it's hard to believe he is growing so fast and the time has gone so quickly. People tell me this will get easier. I sincerely hope they are not lying.
We are off to the doctor to check on the cold again today. And I need to buy him more clothes...again. He outgrew all his newborn clothes at 8 weeks old, and I didn't get enough long sleeved singlets when I got him new clothes (and here I thought we'd not need more clothes until summer or autumn because we'd been given so many - yeah, the only issue is that they are all short sleeved things and he fits them now and it's still the middle of winter!!!). We are down to 2 pairs of bootees too - extras my mother-in-law made when we realised how quickly he was outgrowing his other ones. Keeping up with a growing baby is complicated!
Amy

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Colours of the Rainbow

I was so impressed with my mother-in-law's gorgeous Rainbow Silverbeet (chard) on a recent visit that I just had to capture some of their glorious colours...aren't they amazing? And to think that all this is edible?!?! Did you know that silverbeet is rather good raw in salads? I don't much fancy the flavour when cooked, but enjoy popping it in salads to add variety, especially when it looks as good as this!



















Herb Garden

This is my herb garden at present...




I haven't managed to plant any herbs in the garden at our unit, so came up with this solution so I could have some fairly fresh herbs for cooking. I've found in the past that cut herbs don't seem to keep well in the fridge. Putting them in water has improved their condition and longeivity. I usually pop a plastic bag over the top too. I simply pick some more every week when gardening or visiting at my parents. Hopefully come summer I might put a few herb plants into the garden here, but in the meantime this system works really well.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

It's chaos round here...

My life is somewhat chaotic at present. I started study again last week. About 3 months earlier than I would have chosen, but that's the way it has to be.

Three things now control my life: Munchkin, study, and sleep. It's a constant battle between the three.

I will hopefully find some semblance of normal functioning as the weeks progress, but until then communication could be somewhat sketchy.

Amy

Friday, July 9, 2010

JArtichokes

I was given a small Jerusalem Artichoke tuber last year. We didn't quite know where to put it, as they get rather large and my parents had not experienced them before, so didn't know if they liked them...it ended up at one end of the raspberry bed. I love the beautiful sunflower-like flowers they produce. I'd had a JArtichoke before but had to move before getting to eat any, so wanted to have another go. In case you are wondering, I call them JArtichokes because I like the odd way it sounds, and am a bit lazy about rattling off Jerusalem Artichokes all the time!

We wondered for awhile there if it would ever flower...but it did!

Just this week we finally managed to have a dig and see what it had produced. My mum thought there might only be a few tubers as that's all she'd found when pulling out the dead branches, but here is our haul.
Turns out they were just down 30cm or so. We are quite impressed that all this came from a small tuber. And they were inadvertently planted on top of the concrete wall foundations so didn't have a great deal of soil available! I was surprised at how big some of the tubers were. I kept thinking that would be the end of them, only to turn up some more with my next prod of the fork!

My parents recently tried some roasted JArtichokes and quite liked them, so are quite chuffed at our produce. The only issue is that we really left it a bit late to be digging them up. They don't keep well once dug, so it would have been better to have started earlier (as soon as the plants died down) and dug them up progressively as we ate them...but we had more important things to do these past few months! Grin.

Apparently, Jersusalem Artichokes are very good for us. Or rather, they are very good for the flora living in our guts, which feed of nutrients in the JArtichokes. Aren't they the oddest looking things, all knobbly and sticking out in all directions?!


Amy

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

I've Got You

This morning we have a crying baby. Not sure exactly what is wrong, but it might be that he has a bit of a cold. I had one last week, and Munchkin seems to be a bit glugged up this week. He is not a happy chappy. As he's normally pretty relaxed and cheerful, something is definitely up. I was holding and rocking him a few minutes ago (he's now with his dad), and found myself saying, "You're okay. I've got you. You're alright." Now, I completely realise that everything doesn't suddenly become all roses and sunshine just because Munchkin is being held by his Mummy. I don't know what is wrong, and I don't know how to fix it. There's not really anything much I can do, other than hold and rock, and reassure. This, I think, is how things are with me and God sometimes. I desperately want him to make me all better, to take away the pain, the discomfort, the grief, the loneliness, and all the muck of life. But he doesn't. Does that make him any less a heavenly parent? I don't think so. While sometimes he does change the circumstances surrounding my life, sometimes his role is more like mine has been this morning. He holds me, he rocks me, and he tells me that it is going to be okay because he is here. And somehow, everything does feel better because I am held. Even when things haven't changed, I feel somehow comforted. Like Munchkin does right now, being held and rocked by his dad.

Hebrews 13:5-6 says that God himself tells us he will never leave us, or let us down. I used to wonder how he could possibly say he never lets us down. I have frequently felt left down when life didn't turn out nicely. But then I realised that the Amplified translation explains it better. What he means when he says he won't ever let us down, is that he will never release his hold on us. He will never put us down. I tried doing that just a few minutes ago. I thought my small son was sufficiently asleep that I could take him out of the wrap and put him in his pram. Ah, nope, Mum. Not a smart idea. He noticed. He told me all about it. I had put him down and he was less than impressed! He is feeling miserable enough this morning that all he wants is to be held. So we've given up on putting him in his bed for now at least, and are holding him. See, that's the thing with God. He NEVER puts us down. He is always holding us. He might be holding us in the rain and wind and trials of life, but he IS holding us.

Amy

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

I am a Hobbit

Yesterday I had an egg on toast for breakfast. First Breakfast. For Second Breakfast I had porridge with sultanas, pecans and yoghurt. Shockingly, I don't think I had morning tea.

Overnight (i.e. since dinner time) I ate 2 delicious muffins (blueberry ones given to us - I have since received the recipe!), a banana, and some dried dates and sultanas. A fairly light overnight offering.

I am currently on First Breakfast for today, after about 3.5 hours sleep...and no, that wasn't all in one batch either. Munchkin had a hungry night. First Breakfast today is porridge with yoghurt and blueberries from the freezer. Munchkin will want his breakfast soon too, I am guessing.

If you've ever watched or read The Lord of the Rings - The Fellowship of the Ring, you may recall a scene where Aragon is leading the Hobbits to the elf city of Rivendell. They want to stop and eat, but they've already had breakfast. Their response is along the lines of that was First Breakfast, and what about Second Breakfast? Aragon is obviously not familiar with the eating habits of Hobbits. They do not stop. Aragon does, however, concede to throw a couple of apples their way.

Hence, I am a Hobbit. My eating habits have always tended towards Hobbitousness. I eat often, and I eat small. Boyo, on the other hand, can pack away a fairly large tea and happily not eat again for hours. It doesn't seem to matter how much I try to squeeze in there, I will still invariably be hungry within a couple of hours. This Hobbit-like characteristic is somewhat annoying. I can get really ratty when I'm hungry. And I mean REALLY ratty. Irrationally so. Usually when we are out and about and I have, yet again, forgotten to supply myself with suitable rations! We still manage to forget that the first thing one should always do when Amy is ratty is to offer food...whether or not I think I am hungry. You never know, sometimes I am and don't realise. Either way, food is a good starting point! I now try to carry some nuts and raisins in my handbag for these such occasions.

Pregnancy and having a baby have in no way allayed the frequency of my need for food. Quite the opposite in fact. Munchkin is so named because at as early as 6 weeks pregnant I got a case of the serious munchies. I suddenly started finishing dinner before everyone else (this is quite remarkable - I am not known as a fast eater!). I would wake up in the middle of the night (sometimes several times) with a growling stomach, feeling almost physically sick from my need to eat. During pregnancy, I did get morning sickness...it was a constant yucky feeling from week 8 till about week 15-16. But I didn't eat to stop it. I had a little homeopathic remedy to use, and eating didn't really help much anyway. Nope, I just ate from sheer hunger. By 9 weeks pregnant, I couldn't fit any of my trousers. And I just couldn't seem to stop eating!

In the hospital, eating was an issue. I was there for 12 days around Munchkin's birth. Every time someone came to visit me, they brought food (my reputation is well known in my family, and my new friends here are catching on fast!). I ate through 1kg of mandarins about every 2 or 3 days. Fruit is not featured highly on the hospital menu. Dinner was brought to me at 4:30pm. Breakfast wasn't until 7am. I was up every 1-2hrs during the night, either from needing the loo, being incredibly uncomfortable and needing to roll my whale-like body over, or because some idiot had decided to talk right outside my room, or the garbage trucks had turned up at 3am outside, again. You get the general idea. Creamed rice, mandarins, muesli bars and whatever other offerings compassionate people brought me were consumed in the wee watches each night.

Things haven't changed much since. I had a couple of weeks just after having Munchkin where I had no appetite. But being up several times a night does have an effect eventually. Have you ever noticed that the more up and awake you are, the more you need to eat to fuel your body? I guess it makes sense that my eating habits are very Hobbit-like. I mean, yesterday I was up at 4:30am. So I ate breakfast (number 1) around 6-7am, then needed something more by 10am. Morning tea would just not be enough, so I opted for breakfast number 2. It did manage to tide me over until lunch.

Well, this Hobbit has now consumed her First Breakfast and is needing to organise breakfast for her young son, who has been wide awake on her lap while typing this (thank you, Munchkin, for not needing to eat just yet so Mummy could write her blog!).
Happy eating, folks!
Amy

Monday, July 5, 2010

The Cost of Living: Rice


I suddenly decided this morning that I wanted to know how much it costs us to eat rice. I have no idea why, I just randomly decided I wanted to know. It might have something to do with the fact that I bought a nice 5kg bag of Basmati rice at the supermarket on Saturday. It cost just under $15NZ (it was on special but I can usually get it for around this price), so that left me pondering just how much it really cost us. Per meal, I mean. So I got out the trusty kitchen scales and weighed 1 cup of rice. It came to around 200g. My 5kg bag of rice at $15 equates to $3/kg. Which equals $0.60 per cup. Boyo and I currently eat around 3/4c of rice per main meal, so that would be 45cents. But I usually cook 1 1/2c so that a couple of meals go in the freezer for Boyo's work nights. Either way, it comes out pretty cheap. Now obviously the rice we buy is not locally grown. New Zealand doesn't really have great rice-growing conditions, nor cheap enough labour I imagine. So my rice comes a long, long way. If I want to eat local, kumara and potatoes are more appropriate staples. We do eat these, but find that rice is such a great food source that I am loath to part from it in order to eat more locally. Especially when we are having to watch the cost of our food so closely, rice is a terrific source of cheap, nutritious food.

There you go. If you've ever wondered how much rice costs per meal, now you know. Next time I cook kumara and potatoes I might just throw them on the scales first, and work out how much they cost us per meal. Just because I am curious by nature.

Amy

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Back to 'Normal?'

Tomorrow my son will be 6 weeks old. It is hard to believe! The past week has seen so much change in him. He is now grinning, kicking his legs, watching people move around the room, and generally more alert and interested in the world. I am still not getting much sleep, but things seem to be gradually changing in that area too.

Today I cleaned the bathroom. This is the first time since he was born. It has been somewhat neglected, left to random wipes from others from time to time when it got really grotty.

Does this mean that things are returning to 'normal' for me? Not that my life will ever be the same again, but I am hoping that the fact that I've finally cleaned the bathroom again might mean that I am coping okay with life...I guess the real test will be whether it gets cleaned again next week...

Amy