Tuesday, September 27, 2011

10 things you didn't want to know about me

Two posts in one day? I know right!? But I was tagged in this one by Jess at Diary of a Stay at home Mum. So time for some over-sharing! I have decided this will be a mix of things you didn't want to know and things that you don't really care about, because (a) honestly I am boring, and (b) I don't really have many juicy secrets.

1. Today I have found myself saying "Georgie, don't put the toilet paper in the toilet!" Never thought those words would come out my mouth, but Georgie has decided that the toilet is a perfect little baby-sized mailbox and tried to put a whole roll of toilet paper in there. Fortunately I stopped her on that one. Things I haven't stopped her with have included; a neurofen dropper, a book, a pen, and numerous toys. Fun times.

2.  Today I am going to do my best beached whale impression at the pool and am busting out the maternity togs.

3. Yesterday I had a slight panic attack when I thought that Georgie had swallowed a $2 coin. Thankfully, she had just stuffed it behind the bookcase... but that was a scary five minutes. (Best Mum ebber!)

4. Even though I've only got one child, I still have probably changed more nappies than many parents. I worked in childcare for 3 years, and in that time would have changed (at least) 20 nappies a day. So in 3 years I probably would have changed more than 4400 nappies. Plus, I have probably changed (at least!) 5 nappies a day for Georgie in her lifetime, which is about 2100 nappies. So, so far, I have changed about 6500 nappies.... and I'm not finished yet!

5. I was a cheerleader in high school... really lame I know, but at the time it was uber-fun.

6. Following on from number 5, I used to be able to do the splits. Pretty sure I'd break/tear something if I tried to attempt them now though.

7.  My belly has been dancing all day, I swear this baby is going to be an acrobat or a gymnast or something.

8. Some days I hear Georgie wake up, but I don't actually stop blogging/cleaning/reading etc, until she's really awake..... and cranky. Does that make me a bad person?

9. I sing loudly in the shower. In fact, I sing loudly everywhere.

10. My husband took an asian salad to work today that had like half a cabbage in it, and has now rung me up to complain about a sore tummy. He is so sleeping on the couch tonight.

Now I'm supposed to pass this on to 5 people. I have no idea if these people will even want to do this, so they can feel free to pass if they wish!

1. Amy at Things I Never Knew
2. Amy at Amy Lime and Soda
3. Crazy Sister at Graze If You want to, but don't eat dirt
4. Emma at Desert Ramblings
5. Cill over at Yes I said four.

Also linking up with Jess for I blog on Tuesdays :)

Tasty Tuesdays: Chicken and Bacon Risotto

I have a serious love affair with risotto. It is one of my absolute favourite foods. If I had to pick my last meal on earth, risotto would definitely feature heavily in there somewhere. Until recently I had never made it. It just sounded too tricky. I'd heard that you have to stir and stir it, and can never leave it alone and so it was something I just put in the 'too hard' basket. This turned out to be a huge mistake, because while risotto can be a little time consuming, it really isn't harder than many other dishes I make and it is so worth it. The recipe I'm going to share is a low-fat (ish) version, so I don't use cream or any really high-fat ingredients like that, but it is still really nice. But, if you've never had risotto before, do yourself a favour and order it at a fancy restaurant some time where they will use all manner of bad-for-you ingredients. Because a really amazing risotto is seriously awesome.

That's about enough of that now.

So here is a recipe I've kind of pulled together that encompasses a few of my favourite flavours. It actually didn't go that well this time. I have made it better, but for some reason it wasn't quite as perfect as I have made before... but you know that's life.

Chicken and Bacon Risotto

Serves 4-6 (depending on how hungry you are)

500g chicken thigh fillet, chopped
1 onion, chopped
20g butter
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 zucchini, shaved into ribbons
Sun-dried tomatoes, thinly chopped (I'll leave amounts up to you as I go a little overboard)
10 button mushrooms, chopped
4 pieces of bacon, diced
Shaved Parmesan cheese
2 cups aborio rice
6 cups of chicken stock (hot)
2 cups white wine
Thyme (fresh or dried)
1 cup of Greek low fat yoghurt or sour cream

First, fry your onion and half the garlic in the butter. Then add the rice and coat it. Then add a ladleful of stock at at time, stirring regularly. As the rice absorbs the stock, add more. You can also add the wine in between the stock.

While you are doing this, you can also fry the chicken and bacon and the other garlic clove in a separate pan.

Once this is done and the rice is cooked well (it is worth tasting it to make sure, if it's not just add more liquid until it is), add your zucchini and mushrooms to the rice. Stir.

Once the vegetables have softened, turn the heat off and then add the tomato, chicken and bacon and the thyme. Stir. Then add your yoghurt or sour cream and mix it in. Add however much of the yoghurt/sour cream you think you need to give it a creamy texture. I generally just add a couple of dollops until I get it right, so you may not need a whole cup.

Finally serve in bowls and sprinkle with Parmesan.

Risotto is one of the few things I know Georgie will eat- she just loves it!


A few tips:

-Risotto uses a liquid to rice ratio of roughly 4:1, that is 4 cups of liquid to every cup of rice. So if you want to up the ingredients to feed more that's one thing to bear in mind.
- It is not necessary to heat the stock before using it, but it's one of those little things that just seems to make it better.
- White wine makes a risotto so much better, so when I can I tend to use it, but it is not necessary.
- The key to a good risotto (I think) is not to stuff it full of ingredients. You're better off letting a few choice ingredients shine, rather than using too many, otherwise it ends up more like a fried rice.
- You have to use a risotto rice (I've always used aborio), plain rice will not work.
- Risotto is much better with Parmesan cheese on top

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


I had a foodie post all written and lined up for Tasty Tuesdays, (yes I know, I've been a slack bum in that department) but today it has to take a back seat because I have News!! (with two exclamation points!!)

First, guess who is walking!? It's funny, I know it's not like earth-shattering or anything, but the simple truth is that it is for us. We are currenty in the city again for a week so Georgie can see the allergy doctor and for Shane to do a course for a couple of days. Today we have spent all day out and Georgie has been the world's best baby while being carted around town all day, and then when we got back to the house, I just put Georgie down and she just started toddling around! She was laughing and thought she was just the cleverest thing out and Shane and I were just so happy and excited!

I'm so glad that she decided to wait until Shane has been able to be around, it would have been a bit sad if he'd missed it. It's like all of a sudden she's just decided 'Hey, I can walk!" and off she's gone. She's probably taken about thirty steps, and she falls down, but then just stands up again- her balance is so good and it's just so awesome to see! Not ground breaking... but really fantastic if you're her Mummy. I will post a photo some time soon.

The next bit of news relates to the egg allergy. We saw the specialist today and he was actually pretty nice (after we were warned that he wasn't exactly a 'people person'). He did the tests and she reacted to egg, but it's not very serious. Apparently up to 70% of children grow out of egg allergies and since hers isn't very severe, there's a good chance she could too. In the meantime we are to keep away from whole eggs, but should be right to start testing her out again on things that are cooked very well like cake and biscuits.We will go back and review it when she's two, or maybe two and a half. So that was really good news.

So there you have it. I'm sure I could write this post much more creatively, however I'm pretty knackered after a huge day. But I just wanted to share!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Things I'd tell myself....

I was thinking the other day of some of the things I would tell pre-baby Robyn. I'm sure most Mums out there have one of these lists, but here's mine:


1. Enjoy the fact that you are a high priority. Relish the fact that you can be a bit selfish. When you have children, your needs are always going to come second (or third, or fourth), whether it's your need for sleep, for space, for a toilet... whatever. You are always going to have to come after the little Emperor (or Empress) who is about to enter your home. You may think that there will still be some time for you, and there will,  but I promise, even when you have time to yourself, it is never the same as it was pre-baby. It is a fact.

2. Buy stuff now. Your husband wants a fancy bass guitar? Let him buy it. Or a new computer? Yes. You want a good vacuum cleaner? Get it. Because you will not be able to afford these things easily after you have children, they will just not be a priority. But make sure you buy important stuff. You will really be grateful for things like a good washing machine, fridge, freezer, vacuum cleaner, dryer, air conditioners in bedrooms etc. On the other hand, things like nice couches and carpets and rugs are not as necessary as you think. You buy nice, expensive stuff like that? And your baby will vomit on it.

3. Continuing on from number 2. Money is not as tight as it will be post baby. Things are much easier to afford when you have two incomes. But at the same time, try to learn how to live on one income before the baby arrives, and then you will not spend the first year of your baby's life slowly learning how to manage on less while interest creeps up the balance on the credit card, having to use your end-of-financial year tax bonuses paying off said credit card. Then you will put the credit card away, and while it will feel very nice to have no money on the credit card and lower the limit right down and know you will never get back up there again... it would have been even nicer to have been able to spend that bonus money on things like clothes or shoes or vacuum cleaners.

4.  Do important stuff now. Wills are important but expensive. Things like health insurance and life insurance can be expensive but they can also be very important if you can make the budget stretch that far. Organize yourself as best you can before the baby is arrives because it will be the last thing you will want to do once they are born. Take care of yourself too. This is extremely important. Chances are those few extra kilograms will become a lot more than a few once you add pregnancy weight gain, tiredness and lack of time to exercise your life. Be as healthy as you can now so you can bounce better afterwards.

5. Enjoy your husband. Get to know each other well and build a good relationship now. Develop a sense of humour and the ridiculous. Because when you have a screaming infant and are both at a loss and are feeling distinctly un-funny and unhappy, sometimes his bad jokes and laughter and love and the good memories of time you spent will keep you from stabbing him with a pen.

But finally, despite all this....

Don't wait. Don't hold back for the perfect time. There is rarely a perfect time for children, because children are not perfect. They are messy and difficult and as much as you would like them to be little dolls or robots that do exactly as you want, they aren't. They are tiny humans who are wonderful and frustrating and amazing. And you will love them more than you thought possible.

Linking up with Shae at Yay For Home for Things I know.


Grateful for books....

I love reading. I just love it. I think it is one of the things that keeps me sane. I have always been a big reader.I love the escapism of reading, the space that it gives me.

I remember going to the library and reading in lunch breaks on days when my friends were being mean in primary school. I also remember countless times when Mum would ask me to do something, and I would say "Just let me finish this chapter," and then I'd read three more! I think I used to frustrate the life out of her but she was very patient with me.

Obviously my baby is a good sleeper because I will quite happily stay up at night for extra time to read... I'm not sure that this habit will be able to continue as my family grows and my tiredness increases.  But even then I still love reading, I have to be very tired before I will not pick up a book for at least 5 minutes before bed. I will even forgo sleep for reading! I also tend to watch very little TV because I would rather read a good book. But I just love the way it clears my head and helps me to switch off.

I rarely have more than one book on the go. I like to finish one before I start another. I am the kind of person that will read almost anything. I enjoy romantic/comedy/fluff books because they require absolutely nothing of me, and they can be reasonably easy to put down. I love fantasy/adventure series and enjoy thriller/mystery books (as long as they're not too gory) and I also love biographies and histories.  I have trouble with study or informative books though... I'd much rather read a story. It is rare for me to not finish a book, even if it's pretty bad I still want to find out what's happened.

I read quite fast. I'm not trying to boast, but it's just a fact. I remember when I got hold of the last Harry Potter book, I started it in the afternoon after I finished work at 4:00pm in the afternoon and finished the book at 1:00am the following morning and I think I did absolutely nothing else in between, just 9 solid hours of reading. When a book is fantastic I have a lot of trouble putting it down and often read well into the night just to finish it.

Take this week for instance. I went to library last week and got some new books out. Last Friday I got six books that I've never read before.  A Jodi Picoult (Vanishing Act), three books by Nicholas Sparks (Dear John, The Lucky One, The last song) one by Sophie Kinsella (Confessions of a Shopaholic), and a Bryce Courtenay novel (Brother Fish). They were not the type of books (for me) that I had to devour, but I have stayed up quite late for a few nights just to have uninterrupted reading time. I have now read all of them except for Brother Fish and am currently on page 71 of Brother Fish. But I know that it will probably take me a couple of days to get through that, as Bryce Courtenay's books are always so packed with information. His books are not the kind of books (for me at least) that I can just read without stopping, they take time to process.

I just love words. My whole family has always been like that, especially my Mum. She had to give up reading when we were younger as she said she used to hide from us kids when she got a really good book. I can see myself having to do the same thing. But I don't know if I could stop reading, maybe if I only read books that I've read before and that are easier to put down?

I am very, very grateful for words. I am grateful that I have the ability to read well, and have so many good books available. I am grateful for the escape and the comfort that reading gives me. Today is RUOK? Day, and I know that for me personally, reading is one of the things that helps keeps me okay. Reading gives me an out, it helps me from being in my own head too much and over-thinking.

What about you? What is one of the things that keeps you ok?

Linking up with Kate for Thankful Thursdays.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Love, Love, Love.....


If there's one thing I know, it's that parenting has taught me so much about God's unwavering, unconditional love for me.

I love my husband, very much. I love my family and friends. But the love that I have for others is so different. It is an equal love. There generally is some give and take. The love I have for Georgie is consuming. It is completely unconditional and undeserved. I love her because she is mine. Not because of anything she has done or is going to do. But because she belongs to me.

Some nights, especially when I've watched a sad movie, or read something emotional in a book. I just want to go in to Georgina's room while she is sleeping, and wake her up and just love her. Cuddle her, play with her, make her smile. I just love her so much. But that kind of love is very selfish. It is all about me, enjoying her. The best thing for her is not be woken in the middle of a restful sleep. So I don't.

That got me to thinking about God. Why He doesn't give us blessing upon blessing. He gives us just what we need. But He doesn't bestow present after present upon us like a guilt-ridden parent. He knows that we need to learn how to earn our way, so He doesn't let us win that million dollars in the lottery. He knows that we will be better for the trials, even though He hates to watch us in them. He loves us enough not to spoil us, to only give us what we need, not what we want.

Some days with Georgie she only has a small sleep. She normally sleeps for at least one and a half or two hours, and is much better for it. But occasionally and for no apparent reason she might decide to only sleep for forty minutes. And this always seems to happen on the days when I could use a nap too! But (mostly) on the days when she wakes up screaming and upset I go to her. I comfort her despite the fact that I might want to have space to be away from her. Because she needs me and I love her. And if I can't get her back to sleep we play and laugh even though I know she will be grumpy and unhappy later on in the day because she could have slept more.

And God does that too. He comforts us and helps us, even when we are doing things that He doesn't like. He continues to take care of us and bless us even though He knows that the path we've chosen is not the right one and will lead to unhappiness.

He is good. All the time. He is the best Father, the best parent. And it doesn't always come easily. But He loves us enough to love us unconditionally, unselfishly and extravagantly.

This one's linking up with Jess for I blog on Tuesdays... come check it out!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sunday Song: Fancy a giggle?

Shane made me listen to this song this week, and oh it made me laugh! I could just picture myself doing it. By The Clancy Brothers and Robbie O'Conell.

Friday, September 9, 2011

5 Things I know

1. I wanted to go to the pool. I have been desperate to go for a swim ever since it opened a couple of weeks ago, but held off because Georgie and I have been sick. Now, today, when Mum said she would look after Georgie this afternoon (because she's still got a runny nose and isn't well enough yet) it is raining. Raining! Not fair! It is cold and wet and miserable and it's like winter is taunting me, saying 'You only thought I was gone'.

sadly, not today

2. I though the rain might mean that Shane got to stay home today, which would have been lovely, but alas, he is stuck in the shed doing maintenance.

3. Rainy days are made nicer by the fact that today is my churches monthly Kids Play morning, so I get to go along and drink coffee and watch my baby play while I chat to other lovely ladies, and we alternate between moaning about our children and watching them with pride, instead of watching Georgie bang at the screen door wanting to go outside.

4. No matter how much she frustrates me, or drives me crazy sometimes with her busy, busy little hands that won't leave anything alone, there is still nothing like walking in to a little girl who has just woken up and gives you the biggest grin. It is the nicest part of the day (closely followed by the end of the day when she goes to bed).

That smile makes everything better

5.  I know that the Government is far from perfect, but I am still very very grateful that we live in a country where I can be given a little bit of money because I stay home looking after my child. We just got all our Family Assistance for the last financial year (we elected to get it in a lump sum) and it is really, really nice to actually have savings again!

Linking up with Shae at Yay for Home for Things I know today, and Glowless for Flog Yo Blog Fridays.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Thankful that pain is temporary

I don't tend to talk too much about it. But I suffer from pelvic girdle pain during pregnancy. It's not terrible- there are many worse things that can bother a woman during pregnancy. But it hurts. This time around it's a little bit worse too.

It's generally not too bad during the day when I'm doing and moving. But by the end of the day, when I stop a little, the pain starts. It gets worse when I've had a day when I've done too much. It's in my right hip and stretches down my leg to my knee. I have a bath almost every night to help with the pain and it does help, but when my muscles relax I have a really hard time getting around. The sharp jabs of pain can floor me sometimes, and there is a dull ache that creeps down my leg as the pain gets worse. It's really hard to sleep. I wake myself up when I try to roll over in bed sometimes, and getting up in the middle of the night can occasionally drop me to the ground (thank God Georgie is a good sleeper!). But most of the time, it improves during the morning and then goes downhill in the afternoon.

It means lots of trips to the physio. I go there fortnightly generally. I would go every second day if I could, but unfortunately my bank balance can't allow it. So I make do with being taped up every now and then and wearing an attractive belt when it gets really bad.

It's not fun, but at the same time I try not to make too much of it. Most women have one thing or another than bothers them during pregnancy, and at least my back rights itself straight after the baby's born. It may even get better by about 35 weeks or so with any luck, as I think it did with Georgie.

But it has made me realise how very fortunate I am. I am not the fittest or healthiest person on the planet by any means. I could definitely take better care of myself in regards to diet, fitness and sun safety. But at the same time, I am healthy. If I wanted to train my body to climb Mount Everest I probably could (although not while pregnant obviously!). But I am capable. My body does not hold me back. Sometimes I hold myself back with my bad habits, but my body is strong and well.

For me, this pain is temporary. I know it is. Other people are not so fortunate. Many, many people deal with debilitating pain on a day-to-day basis. Other people's bodies are not so capable. So I am grateful. Sometimes it is really tough. But I know the road I am walking is a short one. This pain is not a life sentence. When this baby is born I plan on working my butt off to try and get back into shape. And I can. And that's a really good thing.

Today I'm linking up with Kate for Thankful Thursdays- come check it out!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

You Belong to Me

Some days being your Mummy is the easiest thing in the world. Some days you are just a little packet of loveliness and joy and you are everything that is wonderful in the world. Some days you frustrate me so much I could quite happily just put you down and scream (and to be honest I do).

You are a busy, busy little person. And you are growing madly at the moment. You are not walking just yet, but are so incredibly close. I love watching you do things. You are a bit of a thinker. I don't know how your Dad and I produced a thinker. But we did. You don't just blunder your way into things, you do things slowly. You tend to take your time and are very careful when you try something new.

You are so cheeky, and you are such a Daddy's girl. I get up you and get a cheeky grin in return. Your Dad reprimands you for the smallest thing and you dissolve into a puddle of hurt childhood femininity that completely disarms him. (Glad to see you've got things figured out early)

You love the puppy, you two are such good friends, and Chloe thinks you're wonderful because you feed her so much.

I love watching you grow. You are a sticky, snotty little bundle of pain and difficulty at times, but you are mine and I adore you.

You belong to me.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Father's Day: Lesson Learned

For Fathers Day this year, I decided to take and frame a cute photo of Georgie. I had a really cool, creative idea in my head, it was a great idea, but really hard to execute! Here's how it went.

Okay Mum, I'm here... why?
Oooh Look!
Almost smiling....
Now I'll stand up and try to pull it off the wall
I've had enough now!!

 Finally we got a keeper! It's not exactly the designer shot I had in mind,
but she's smiling and that's all that counts!

Lesson learned: It's generally a silly idea to try and get a 14 month old baby to smile in a specific pose. But we got there in the end! Oh and if you are ever silly enough to try something similar- get a friend to help! Or else holding them in place with your foot tickling them can also work! Oh, and I definitely don't see a career in photography in my future...

Happy Father's Day Shane!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

We work

Today has been hard. Just really, really hard. Georgie has been a mega-poop. I have hardly been able to go two feet away from her all day, and even then she's still been cranky! I think she might be a little sick.

It didn't help that at lunchtime when I'd gotten her down for her nap, the fire alarm from the school across the road went off (for 20 freaking minutes) and woke her up way before she was ready to be awake. Plus, it was Shane's first day back at work after a week off. Today has just been really hard work.

But fortunately, there was some work around town so Shane came home tonight. And when he walked through the door a little before seven, it was just so good, you know? The sun just broke through the clouds. Georgie was in the bath, and it's not like she got happier or anything when she saw her Daddy, she was still cranky and tired and very ready for bed... but suddenly it didn't seem like such a big deal. I put her to bed and then collapsed a little because I was just spent and I didn't have anything planned for dinner. But even that didn't matter too much. I ended up making a quick risotto which was really, really good (I'll have to share the recipe sometime soon).

But things were just better, easier, because Shane was home. I wasn't alone. He was funny and made me laugh and he cared about me and he was just there. And it made all the difference in the world.

So today as I link up with Kate for Thankful Thursdays, I am just really thankful for my husband. He is by no means perfect, but he is exactly right for me. And somehow despite all our crazy and our faults, we work.
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