Toddler- 1 Mummy – 0


That Eve is a cheeky child. For not even being quite 2 she already has tongue-in-the-cheek sense of humour. She tests me tests me, tests me in a way that Isla just never did (or at least I don’t remember her doing.)

The other day I’m stood there chatting to my neighbour and Eve is playing in the front garden. When she notices the road…

Now here is when I should mention that I am trying to bring up my child to assess their situation. If they can climb up something in the park that’s fine, but they have to be able to do that and get down too. By themselves. If it feels to high or unstable then they’re probably not ready for it. I would say to them – try again next time, keep trying and you’ll get there, don’t worry. I’m not trying to be unhelpful or unkind (or even discourage) but I think sometimes it’s best that they are aware of their ability and the potential dangers, for themselves. An ability to make their own decisions for themselves is important to me.

Another example is that children fall over, trip, fall off something – as all young children do. My two get up, dust themselves off and get on with it. From the very beginning I made little to no reaction at small falls. I watched them, checked they could get up, that they weren’t harmed from wherever I was and they just got on with it – if you leave them to it. So I’ve never had children cry and wait for you to be there and pick them up after very small, insignificant events. Classic crocodile tears you could say.

It has meant a few nail biting ‘is she ok?!’ moments where I’ve deliberately held back for what I believe is for the greater good. It means now at four and one and a half years. I have two children that get up and get on with a little knock or fall. I know that they cry and come to me if they are truly hurt or in need.

I read this back and want to be clear. I am a responsive and reactive parent. But I believe that I can’t follow them around and be there for every little thing. They need to have the skills necessary to deal with these things just like anything else. I believe I am equipping them for their lifelong journey. Not just for the first few years where I’m on hand day in day out.

I guess the point of telling you all that is that it’s difficult to maintain that mentality when concerning a road or running away/out of the play park and out of sight. I try hard not to run after Eve when she does this – to try and not turn it into a game. But at the same time the potential for ‘bad things’ to happen is so great in those moments that is hard not to react in such a way.

Anyway, back to the road. I can see her a meter ahead of me looking at me with her foot just on the edge of the pavement. With this big grin on her face. I try to ignore her believing it to be a mixture of her being tired and wanting attention as I’m chatting. But sure enough she steps on to the road. ‘No Eve’ I say. grabbing her and putting her back on the pavement. ‘Not on the road’. ‘We stay on the pavement’. I put her down.

She waits all of, I dunno, two seconds?! And does it again. This time I’m crosser. I want to get my point across. I repeat what I’ve said before in a more assertive way. I put her down.

She does it again. It is becoming a game. And not a very funny one. Nor a safe one either.

I pick her up and carry on chatting. She screams, squirms, kicks. So I say ‘no road Eve’ and put her down again. She goes straight for it. So I put her in the house. I close the front door behind me which results in a blood curdling scream I let her go on a few seconds and open the door.

It takes her all of a few seconds to run out of the door into the road.

I give up on my conversation with the neighbour, apologise and say my goodbyes whilst grabbing Eve. I go inside and start the bedtime routine.

It’s hard not to feel like Eve one that one… But i’ll be back… And eventually she’ll get it… Right?!



Performing runs in the family, a few generations on my side and I’m not sure how far back on John’s but he has been performing since he was at school. He’s actually very talented both musically and dramatically. He was always being told, you can do this, you’ll go far, why not try this etc. It was just not something he wanted to spend his life doing.

Annnywaaay… I’ve always wondered whether the girls would enjoy/choose to do musical, drama things. They’ve always seemed aware that people will watch them and look at what they are doing and certainly play up to that.

Over the past few days Isla has been putting on ‘shows’ . Isla has a lovely friend who has musical parents and when they get together they have such wonderful involved imaginary play I get quite envious watching them. They fully immerse themselves in the world they create.

This time they were characters in a show, the magical fairy, the fox, the butterfly, the super star. They gave us tickets, the lights were turned off, the curtains drawn. It was wonderful to be witnessing such creativity and imagination.

The show itself was completely MAD! As one might expect, no story or coherence other than the idea that they were being somebody/thing and had dressed up. But it didn’t matter because  they were having a wonderful time and furthermore, it was encouraged. We clapped, we helped, we listened and watched. We gave what was a chaotic mishmash of dancing, shouting, singing, playing the time of day. Kids have to be allowed to be kids after all…

Greens + Grains = Super Salad


We had a BBQ this weekend with family it was lovely weather and we were lucky to be outside all day! Anyway, we all brought something to the table as it were and my offering was this green grain super salad.

Ingredients were:

  • Quinoa
  • Lentils
  • Broccoli
  • Edamame (soya beans)
  • Kale
  • Courgette
  • Avocado
  • Seed mix (Pumpkin, sunflower, sesame)
  • Vinaigrette dressing with lemon juice

So first of all I have to admit to only remembering that I was supposed to be taking something to this BBQ the night before and only had a couple of hours in the morning to cook/do it all before needing to leave. So I took some shortcuts which I wouldn’t normally – but it speeded up the process and made it a little easier. I brought pre-cooked lentils, quinoa, ready to eat edamame and a bottled vinaigrette instead of making mine with fresh herbs.

I roasted off some broccoli, to add some texture. I love broccoli this way – nigella has a lovely recipe where you roast it with lemon and parmesan – really very tasty and so simple. I did mine at 180 for about 10 mins, maybe more (you’ll notice I’m not that good on the details) I’m much more of a keep checking and look and taste rather than precisely timing it all sorry – I’ll try to get better for the recipes I add on here! Same goes for quantities…

I put the broccoli, lentils and quinoa in a bowl seasoned and added the vinegrette and lemon juice to taste.

I steamed my baby courgettes (sliced) and kale for 2-3 mins I wanted them al dente to still have a bite, good strong taste and to hold their shape. I then mixed them in some garlic butter (crushed garlic cooked off in some butter) to give them a nice flavour. Then added these to the mix along with the pre-cooked edamame beans.

I also roasted some kale. This takes a couple of minutes at 180, so I turned my oven down to about 100 just so there was less pressure of it burning so quickly. They were probably in for about 4-5 minutes. But I check them frequently. I did need to shake them around a bit otherwise they crisp up nicely on top and remain soft underneath.

Roasted kale

Roasted kale

I then roasted of my seeds, I think this brings out the flavour and makes them crisp to eat.

Roasted seeds

Roasted seeds

Because I was taking all this somewhere else, I took the avocado still intact (so it didn’t go brown) and boxed up the roasted kale and seeds so they would’t loose their texture sitting in the salad until lunch.

If I was just making this before sitting down to eat – with no transportation issues – I would have added everything together including the cut avocados and tasted, adjusted the seasoning or dressing and served…

Nearly all mixed through

Nearly all mixed through

It was pretty to look at, tasty to eat and you felt healthy eating it! Happy cooking!

*sorry about the slightly blurry pictures – didn’t realise in my rush at the time – they will improve! *

A mind of its own


I’m not sure whether this post is going to really lead to anything. But I got this sudden urge to write. An urge to write but not about anything specific. Just a chance to clear my mind.

I get this occasionally when I have a lot of thoughts and/or emotions going around my head. I never know quite how to put them down. You always think they will come out clealy and succinctly but the reality is that they don’t always make sense. I guess because it’s such a personal thing and there are so many influences it’s often hard to articulate them in the first place.

You think you will respond a certain way and you don’t, you think something is going to be ok and it isn’t, you don’t realize your anxious about anything and then all of a sudden you can’t sleep.

My head and my feelings. Sometimes they coincide, other times they seem in conflict with each other. You have to try and work through it and figure it out I guess. Pinpoint the cause.

Maybe that’s what I’m doing, I feel as though I’m playing catch up. I’m feeling and thinking something I haven’t quite figured out yet. I’m sure I’ll get there.

It’s a weird thing really, that we have a mind that plays such an integral part of our beings and yet, sometimes I’m aware of how true the saying ‘a mind of its own’ is.

So watch this space, it could be as simple as I’m needing to buy a roof box to being worried about John not sleeping to… to… anything! It’ll come and be resolved. For now though, my rambling is over. But my ever over-thinking mind is on a roll.

I’ll keep you posted. Once I’ve figured it out…

working it through


John was away on a course this week, it’s not out of the ordinary, this is one of the changes that has occurred over the past 6 months. Once a month John goes away to help deliver a course.

It just so happened that this course was only a 45 minute drive away so he was able to come home late and leave early every morning. So he’s been leaving at 7 and back at 7 monday, 6.30 tuesday and away overnight on wednesday, back at normal time ‘ish’ on thursday. It’s not a big deal. I get it and we’ve agreed that this is a good thing for him to be doing and I can manage.

However, normally when John is away Monday to Thursday he has a lieu day on the Friday. For me, this makes up for me having to manage the girls and household while he has been away.

This week he didn’t have one. He left for work this morning saying he thought he wouldn’t be there for long, he was tired after the course so he’ll let me know. I hadn’t heard anything so I emailed him asking what he was going to do. He’s staying. Things are busy. He might leave a bit early.

Is it selfish and completely over the top to be annoyed, I ask myself? I’m frustrated that I have had to put the same amount of effort into feeding the girls, managing the house and all the day to day tasks that I would normally do when he’s away for the week as I have had to do this week.

It’s not a case of having or not having the lieu day today. If it’s not offered to him for doing this most recent course, because the hours weren’t as long as they normally are, I can’t complain it’s not his fault. However, those exceptions this time around have made little difference to my experience of John doing this course, other than not being alone to sleep.

I don’t feel this is recognized though. I am a silent party in all of this. And the fact that the excuse in the email is that things are really busy at work drove the nail in the coffin for me. This is your home life which you have been away from since monday. Things are busy here.

Perhaps it is the lack of acknowledgement, perhaps it is the feeling as though he could have pushed for a lieu day or my feeling that he still deserved one or at least something in return for working outside the ‘norm’.

Because what do I get? What do I get in return for caring for and managing everything at home that allows John to go away and be involved in the course that he does.

Grrrr! Rant over. I feel better now.

It’s now a day later and I’ve calmed down – ha! And clearly this was what was going on in relation to my last post.

A lot of this is out of his hands, I do appreciate that. I know it isn’t what he would choose. I guess it’s hard to hear excuses, as they offer me little consolation for the reality of the situation. It’s sad to say I almost rather he had been away this week as he normally is. I would then feel my situation when he is away is more recognized and appreciated by his day off in lieu – I get a break and hand with the girls that day. They get a day with their dad.

Anyway, I’ve shared all this with John now, so I don’t feel so guilty about posting all this and I’ve got it off my chest. I also feel in a better place because I’m not just being reactionary. I’ve given myself time to ‘cool off’ and think about it. I guess it really comes down to feeling understood and appreciated for what I go through when John goes, or works late.

So I guess if I wrote this post now about it all. It would be written in a much different light, but I’ve left it as the original – I guess to remind myself that emotions are transient and it’s ok. Sharing and being honest with John about what I was thinking and feeling meant we could work through it together. I have to remind myself that he isn’t in my head to know how i’m being affected by things and I’m not in his head to know how he is either. Our actions aren’t the whole picture in understanding where we are each ‘at’. There were apologies and explanations on both sides and I believe we’re only stronger and better for that.

A glorious day


Yesterday was a lovely day, the weather was lovely and we were able to get out on a beautiful walk. The girls truly enjoyed.

We came across a beautiful meadow that was full of wild flowers, nothing particularly special, just daisies and butter cups etc. They were all lovely and tall; waist height for Eve and thigh height for Isla.





The fascination came from the butterflies. It was wonderful to sit there watching my daughters running through a field chasing butterflies. It is a thing of storybooks for me – I have no memories of doing this myself. They were so engrossed it was magical. So simple. Yet they were loving it as much as i’ve seen them enjoy anything.

What a joy!

Veggies for lunch


So I’ve been trying to get Isla to eat some vegetables at lunchtime when she’s at nursery. It’s fine when we’re at home, they can be warm, but clearly cooked cold veg is not her thing. She had been having papers, olives, tomatoes, corn and cucumber but it’s hit and miss.

So I got a little bit inventive and quite excited at the idea of giving her some shaped raw carrot. I had bought some flower cutters for her flower themed birthday party this year (there will be an update on this) and used them on some thinly cut carrot rounds.
I pick up Isla after her lunch and I’m a little bit surprised that she doesn’t mention them – she normally does when something different is in her lunch box. Thinking she’s forgotten to say anything to me I giddily open the lunch box to find staring back at me ALL the carrots!

I’m in shock, my plan has backfired. I really didn’t see it coming.

So I enquire, very nonchalantly, ‘how come you haven’t eaten any of your carrots Isla?’ ‘Oh’ she says, looking up at me, ‘I thought they were paper.’

What can I say? What can I say?!