07 December 2013

the secret life of Santa

 Although we were really the ones providing the christmas present (at the childcare christmas concert, parents were asked to bring a gift-wrapped book for their child), that anomaly no longer mattered when we saw Ava jumped with joy after unwrapping what "Santa" gave her this year. The way I see it, she really did believe that Santa remembered what she likes. And I know, if needed be,  I would provide for a gift- wrapped book next year, the year after and the next, just as happily. 

03 November 2013

vegan banana and date muffins

Dedicated to anyone who is curious about vegan cakes/cupcakes/anything. This recipe is pretty good. I have a son who’s unabashed in his declaration that he’s ‘allergic to vegetables’ (he says that veggies make him feel puke-y). This son of mine has tasted these muffins and... wait for it... loved it. 

Vegan Banana and Date Bread

I made this into muffins as I packed them for the kids’ lunchboxes.

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup raw sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 ripe bananas (mashed)
  • 1 cup dates (sliced)
  • 1/2 cup apple puree
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
Optional: I added a handful of chia seeds and pumpkin seeds

Preheat oven to 325 degree. 
In a bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In another bowl, combine apple sauce, vegetable oil, dates, and mashed bananas (plus chia/pumpkin seeds). Stir until all ingredients are combined.
Add your wet ingredients to your dry ingredients. Stir until all ingredients are mixed through.
If making muffins, scoop the batter into the muffin tin. If making bread, pour into a baking pan.
Bake for 20 minutes.

strawberries & cream

If you're pressed for time but still wanted to bring 'homebaked' cupcakes to your child's birthday celebration at childcare, what would Betty Crocker do? Damn right, she whips up a box.

Follow the packet's instructions. 

Now the fun part:  assembling and digging. 

I will say that the star of this show is the strawberry jam I bought at my son's school fete. And fresh cream.

Decorate. Voila! Pink deliciousness for the little kiddies. 

29 October 2013

a tiny break

Most recently I did something quite radical (for a practical me, at least), I booked the two little kids extra days at childcare. I work three days a week while the kids are at school/childcare. Normally on my days off work, I have my two non-school age kids tagging along with me while we go about our errands. I was T.I.R.E.D.  and felt the urge of taking a tiny break. (Two years ago, I did something similar- I travelled by myself to the US. I didn't think I could have afforded an overseas travel this time around). So for two days per week for one month, I had the whole day to myself.

I was elated at the idea that I didn't have to be anywhere, at anytime. For someone who has thrown the switch full-on to motherhood, there was a chance I could have felt a teeny-weeny bit guilty. That anxious practical side of me shouting that I’m spending too much money to be able to enjoy a limited amount of time child-free. But, there was none of it!

There were a few mornings that  I went back to bed after I've sent the kids off to school. There were regular unhurried sessions at the gym. A lot of window shopping. Many coffees by my lonesome. There were afternoons catching up on entertainment news and reality show reruns. I downloaded romance eBooks - devouring every detail no matter how cheesy, no matter how predictable.  I even laid low on social network.

And you know what, it’s reassuring to affirm that I haven’t forgotten just how to be myself, by myself. That underneath the all consuming cloak of motherhood, when I get a chance at re-experiencing my child-free self, it really is ‘all still there’.

"just because" roses from the hubby. 

20 October 2013

sun-day sunday

Warning: excessive iPhone snapshots happening in 3...2...1...

It's still officially spring in my part of the world but we've been experiencing warm, humid days already. Save for the bushfires happening in New South Wales, we live for sunny days. We particularly love sunny day Sundays that we can spend pottering around the home- baking like calories don't count, boogie-ing like nobody cares and swimming like summer never ends.

04 October 2013

two years old

My dearest 'vanna, 

Two years ago, I gave birth to a little girl. You. All 2870 grams, 49.5 centimetres of you. Look how much you've grown in two years. No longer a baby, you've crossed over into the wonderful stage of toddlerhood. 

You'll eat pretty much anything, at this stage. Chocolate is still your favourite though (ha! Big surprise, not). You'll drop everything if you see that a piece chocolate is on offer. 

You are a typical generation alpha. The iPhone or the iPad is your thing. Your vocabulary includes "you tube", and "low battery", among others. 

You have the boys wrapped in your little finger. You scream with glee when your dad comes home. Your brothers indulge you. You'd have them chasing you around all day if you could, and they probably would too. 

You have a BFF. His name is Orlando. When I ask you how school was, you try to string along a sentence but the message is always, "lando this, lando that." 

You seem to favour the word "mine." Once I caught you talking in your sleep and you said,  "miiine, miiine!" And today, when you woke up, you noticed that your brother Nicolas was playing with your bike, guess what your first word for the day was? Your second most favourite word is "no". Sometimes I wonder if you relish saying "no" just to do the complete opposite of what I'm asking. You are feisty like that. 

I find that you're a tactile, touchy-feely little person. Your iloveyous come with a kiss. Your sorrys are followed with hugs. When you try to sleep at night, you like holding my hand. You are affectionate like that. 

As you can see, I can talk so much about you. I could come up with a sonnet about you, in the first instance. I would if you want me to. 

Happy 2nd birthday, Savanna! You bring us pure joy. I try to be a better person because I'm your momma. I love you, today and always.

first sight: 28 September 2011

23 September 2013

no bake Oreo pops

These ones are quick and easy. Watch out for the little hands- oreo pops are quite popular with kids. 

Let dry. Decorate. 

Can be presented like this: 

19 September 2013

to crop or not to crop

As if my middle child still requires more ego booster, he came home with a Special Award from kindy this week. We are very proud that my hubby and I have been playfully referring to him as the 'awardee'. The equally proud awardee doesn't hesitate announcing it to everyone who listens. Needless to say, his special award "for following the star rules at all time" now holds centrestage in our fridge real estate.

I took photos, of course.

This is the best one. 

I want to share what really happened.

What? Is that... on the background?

Ayyy... my sweet Savanna-banna, throwing a random tantrum over there. Not everything is about you, my darling. 

18 September 2013

gastro girl, this

Hi, I’m Rosee and I had a colonoscopy done recently. Gaaah, I wish there was a more ‘glam’ way of admitting that. If you’re not familiar with the term, colonoscopy is a medical procedure that examines the large bowel. The gastroenterologist uses a colonoscope (a long, firm, flexible plastic tube with a video camera at one end) instrument to get a magnified view of the colon lining. (Thank you google for this information.)

Why did I have it done? I have always wanted it done. Not for kinks, trust me. I have a very strong family history of colon cancer and ever since it has shattered my (our) world, I was always curious about the status of my colon. My GP, recognizing that I am a little panicky, first suggested yoga and exercise. I did both (I still do). It hasn’t given me peace of mind though. I went back to my GP and she has decided to write me a referral. Hurrah!

In a perfect world, I would have done it on the very first instance. In my not so perfect world, I had to get the hubby to keep his work calendar free. I needed someone to drive me to and from the hospital. He rescheduled a business trip once I have locked in an appointment. I had to arrange extra day care for my two non-school age kids. And well, I had to talk myself through the process.

Nothing more confronting than facing one of your greatest fears. I'd get so paranoid I commiserated over the unknowns. My hubby cheered me on. He says, early detection is key. Riiiight?

So off I went. But first, I met with a nurse to discuss the infamous colonoscopy preparation. Apparently this is the hard bit. They weren’t kidding.

For four days pre-op, I followed a strictly low fibre diet. White rice, white bread, no fruits, no veggies. The logic is that high fibre food leaves residues in the colon. The goal is to empty my bowel so that the gastroenterologist can examine it.

 I missed having fruits the most. I ate kiwi fruit on the first day, realised it was banned then decided to consume it anyway. Felt like cheating but my gosh, when it was prohibited, the kiwi fruit tasted really really good.

No food was to be consumed after 6pm on the night prior to the procedure. By 6am, the day of the ‘great emptying’, I had to start drinking 3 litres of water mixed with glycoprep solution. Holy frickin’ gag! I gagged. It was, for lack of a better description, just salty water. Yuck.  

I was told that the ‘great emptying’ was going to occur an hour after drinking the solution. Yes it did. Bottoms up! 

By 1pm, hubby dropped me off at the hospital. I met the nurse, the gastroenterologist, and the anaesthetist. Now the anaesthetist- I have a love affair with, due to their offering of general anaesthesia- comes in, inserts a needle and says ‘ this will put you to sleep...’

Then.. I woke up. Procedure done.

I was ushered into a recovery room. They provided coffee, sandwiches and cookies. It was my first food for the day and it was possibly, the most satisfying meal I've ever eaten. 

The nurse came back to deliver the result of the procedure: NORMAL. No polyps. Colon in good condition. Thankful, happy, joy, joy! They recommended I  have another check in 5 years. Yucky glycoprep solution- pffft, I will do that again. All that trouble for my peace of mind was totally worth it.

Have you thought about the health of your colon? Information is key. Early detection will save lives. Head on over to  http://www.bowelcanceraustralia.org/.

06 September 2013

full hands

September 1 was Father's Day in Australia. Our party of five went for a drive down the Gold Coast to celebrate the day. Found a spot in a park, we settled there for the day. We basked in the warmth of a beautiful spring day, just enjoying each other's company. The kids ran around, I brought out homebaked cupcakes, we talked a little, we laughed a lot- it truly was, "Sunday's best".

Nelson, my hubby aka father of three, always says our hands are never empty. Understatement of the year, I respond. Have I mentioned the important bit about having three young kids? I think you're  a truly rich man when your children run into your arms each time your hands are empty. Count yourself lucky, Nelson (haha). 

Here are our Father's Day snaps through my iPhone:

03 September 2013

An hour in Savanna-land

'Cause this is her world and we just happen to live in it. 

I have two words: oh boy. If it looks like a tantrum, sounds like a tantrum, it is most definitely a tantrum. Crazy and funny. It is beautiful. 

And then she giggles. The sound of it is like candy wrapper at Easter. Uninhibited and indulgent. It is beautiful. 
I want more. 

02 September 2013

let's just pause for a moment

I WISH there was a use-by-date for grieving. A rule that says grieving ceases after a period of time. That five years after my parents have passed away, I would remember them and it wouldn’t hurt as much.
That, when my 10-year old went on his first camping trip, I didn’t wish I could Skype my parents for the occasion.
That, when my 4-year old says the darnedest things, I didn’t think of how much it would have amused my dad.
That when my little girl was born, I didn’t imagine my mum were there to meet her.
Grieving, I find, is an infinite process. I lost my parents and my heart was broken. Yet the world continues to spin on its axis and I continue on with my journey. It’s curious- I go through my life happily content and then someone does the most random of actions and my bubble collapses.

My existence is peppered with episodes of longing.
Wishing. Wanting. Needing.

01 September 2013

monkey love

Dear ‘vanna,

You fell off the kitchen chair today. You cried like it was my fault. Just so you know, you stopped using your high chair after you turned one year old. No more feeding you as you can feed yourself, thank you very much. And most definitely no more high chair, you are no longer a baby, thank you very much.

You are a spitfire. Easily pleased, you clapped your hands and said “well done” to your brother yesterday. On the other hand, when you’re mad - you are crazy mad and refers to one of your brothers or both as “him”. Just “him”. Him making you cry. Him making you upset.
You are a monkey princess. I’m so blessed that you are mine.


P.S. your dad would say the same things. He loves you just as much.
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