Wednesday, 21 February 2007

Happy Pancake Day (Yesterday!)

So, to celebrate Shrove Tuesday, I decided to make pancakes with the kids. I've successfully converted my husband to American pancakes, rather than the crepe-like English ones, so I happily bought some Canadian maple syrup (100% pure!!) in anticipation. I don't really like the English pancakes. There isn't enough substance there to hold my attention; they're too thin. I tried to make some, but they seem so rubbery to me. It's just not right!

I've got a fab recipe for "Fast and Easy Pancakes" that allow me to mix everything in the blender. Fun! With my recipe and maple syrup in hand, I set about to make some pancakey goodness.

Here are a few tips to help you make your Pancake Day a smashing success (next year):

1. Do not try to mix pancake batter and make blueberry sauce at the same time, with one child on either side of you.

2. While you remember not to do that, also remember that melting sugar on the stovetop does not make a syrupy concoction equal to light corn syrup. In fact, it solidifies on contact with a cold liquid.

3. Also while you are not doing this, don't leave the blender (containing half the ingredients needed for a scrummy pancake dinner) plugged in, without the lid, in close proximity to an over-eager 3 year old.

4. Don't forget that sugary, eggy milk makes floors, walls, ceilings, and hair sticky.

5. Melted sugar is hot. Do not touch it with your bare hands.

6. Once you start cooking the pancakes, don't forget that the bacon is cooking under the grill in the oven. Charred bacon doesn't go very well as any meal side-dish, especially pancakes.

Happy Pancake Day!

Saturday, 17 February 2007

Three's Company

Although life with three kids is going better than I had imagined in those fear-filled pregnancy days, chaos rules with an iron fist. Getting out of the house before 10 am is a major accomplishment. Usually, the 3-year-old Oldest Child will refuse to get dressed on her own, the 2-year-old Middle Child will decide to have a bath in his clothes, and Baby Child will have a poo-splosion (maybe two) and need at least two more feeds before we leave the house. Oh, and I won't have even showered yet, because I'm far too groggy before 8 o'clock to think clearly about my time management issues.

Once I get out of the house and Oldest Child into Nursery, things move along relatively easily until I take the younger ones to playgroup, the park, or maybe the doctor's office. Once there, Middle Child will disappear, with a devilish laugh, the second he sees me hike up my top to feed Baby Child. He may decide to break valuable items while he's out of arms' reach. He may also get into fist fights with other toddlers, just to add a little spice to his day. The baby usually decides to lay on another poo-splosion, just as I've taken off her nappy and run out of spare clothing.

So, after having all this fun, we come home for lunch and attempt to get out the door again, to pick up Oldest Child from Nursery. This is often a bit easier with only two, but I don't count on it.

Thankfully, I've been referred to a volunteer group called Home-Start. There will soon be a lovely volunteer that will come to my house 3 hours a week to help me with my kids. She will help me wrangle the kids for an outing, and come with us on said outing. She is even willing to look after them so I can take a nap for an hour or so! Heaven.

I love my kids, but sometimes I need a hand now and then. Being signed up with Home-Start is the most exciting thing that's happened to me since having Baby. The volunteer hasn't come yet, but I've met with the director. I'll keep you updated.....

Sunday, 11 February 2007

Brother, where art thou?

My brother will soon be coming to live with us for a few months. Not sure when, exactly, because the days keep changing. But soon. Woot! I am excited. For the past two years he was away on a mission for our Church, but he's been home for the past 3 months, living with Mom and Stepdad in Wales. Where the only job he's been able to find is at the cinema, a 20-minute drive away, for £4.95/hour.

He called a few employers around our area, and got three job offers over the phone in one afternoon! His new job pays £7.00/hour, with a raise after his probationary period. Wales is such an economically depressed area, it's really disheartening. He has been working so hard trying to find a job, and has gotten nowhere. I can't imagine what it must be like for people raising a family and trying to make ends meet.

So now he will be staying with us while he works, and poor Middle Child is being turfed out of his bedroom! Luckily he's only 2 and shouldn't mind so much. Oldest Child and Middle Child will be sharing a room again, but this time Middle Child not in a cot anymore and I'm nervous about the results. They just might kill each other in there, when no one's looking.

Baby Child is still in our room, which is going surprisingly well. Middle Child would not sleep through the night until he was in a room on his own. In a two bed house, that meant we had our bed in the living room for a while. Nightmare. I'm sooooooo glad to be in this bigger, 3-bed house. We've lived here for over a year now, and I still have warm feelings of contentment when I compare it to the shoe-box we were living in before.

Ach, I'm rambling. Maybe next time I'll post about something actually interesting.

Saturday, 10 February 2007

Best policy

Welcome to my little corner of the internet. The inspiration for the title of this blog is my own bookshelf at home. It sits atop our clapped-out piano, stuffed to the gills with books, papers, pens, games, toys, and even nappies and wipes. My head is a bit like that actually; filled to overflowing with ideas and thoughts, most of which are child related and dusty.

My husband plans to put more shelving up in the house today, so instead of all this crap accumulating in one spot, I can spread it out a little. The clutter will dissipate, temporarily, then breed. That's how it works in my house. Tidiness is a journey, not an event.


So today I got my hair cut. I'm happy with it, so all is well. However, the salon doesn't accept switch cards. I had to walk across the street to get money out of a cash point and come back again to pay. The funny thing was, I did this after my hair was done. I could have walked away, never to return. It made me wonder about people's honesty in general. Would anyone really do that? If this place had that problem, wouldn't they have asked for my wallet or keys as collateral? I felt a little bit odd, walking around with my stolen hair. Well, not stolen, but I could have! Even though I walk past that place every day to take my daughter to school! I like them, for thinking I'm an honest person. I am (really!), but it's nice that honesty is automatically assumed instead of noticed with surprise.