We interrupt this blog to bring you a recipe: 13.4.16

If you have a child who is prone to fussiness when presented with food, might I suggest the little beauty that is EGG FRIED RICE.

EFR is going down a freaking storm in our house at the moment and it blends the holy grail of pre-school nutrition: protein, carbohydrate and vegetables.

It is also, as an aside, what catnip is to cats for any grown men in the household. James only needs to scent the slightest whiff of EFR to materialise within an instant in the kitchen, with a bowl and grasping hands like a grown Oliver Twist, murmuring ‘please Wife, can I have some more?’

Anyway, back to the recipe.

It is really really piss simple is EFR, which is another reason for it being so universally adored by our family. This recipe is a cobbled together hybrid of various takes on it that I have tried over the years, so I probably need to credit it to multiple sources. I imagine good old Annabel Karmel is in there, and maybe Abel and Cole and probably a couple of jolly Pinteresters, so two thumbs up to you all.

You should dig out the following:

A carrot
An egg
A bunch of spring onions. Probably droopy if our house is anything to go by
Frozen peas
Basmati rice
Soy sauce

In all honesty, I imagine you can chuck whatever veg you like into this (Grated courgette? Baby corn? Chopped sugar snaps? GO WILD) and it’ll work, this is just the failsafe with Blake.

Chop up your spring onions as finely as you can safely do. I would definitely recommend picking a big duck-off knife to do this and muttering to yourself under your breath in a poor french accent for bonus fun points.

Peel and top and tail the carrot, and then grate it. I’ve probably done the grate-ones-own-finger-like-a-moron gag on the blog before, but it goes without saying that I will shave a layer of skin off my thumb and end up sporting a Spiderman plaster in the grating process.

Crash a frying pan onto the hob, slop in some oil and warm it through.

Crash a small saucepan onto the hob, fill with water and set to boil.

Gently fry the carrot and spring onion. You want this to cook nice and quietly, like a good boy, whilst you’re cooking the rice so for goodness sake keep the heat low otherwise you will burn it to buggery.

Measure out a child’s Ikea cup of rice and pour into your boiling water with a glug of oil to prevent it clumping together like a rice-meteorite. Cook for however long it states (12 mins?) and then drain.

By this point your veg should be soft. Crank the heat up a little and chuck your rice into the veg pan. You want it to sizzle and pop. Fry it for a couple of minutes.

Sling in however many frozen peas you fancy. Stir stir stir until they’re cooked through.

Crack your egg into a little bowl and whisk it up with a fork. More French accent silliness.

Push your rice and veg to the side of the pan to create a well in the centre and tip your egg into this. Let it cook through, like a little mis-shapen eggy island in a sea of rice goodness. Then stir it through the rice – the act of doing this should break it up into little pieces.

Last but crucially, whack in some soy sauce and stir to mix. I have no clear guidance on quantity – maybe a tablespoon – but I would say not to be too pre-occupied by it. I allowed myself to be totally distracted by Blake flinging mud at the Conservatory window the other day and turned my rice brown due to the quantity of soy I’d inadvertently glugged in, and Blake and James still shovelled it down like it was the tastiest thing I’d ever conjured.

Serve it up in little bowls. Blake, bizarrely, is a massive fan of Salmon at the moment so I tend to bake a fillet while I’m doing the rice and flake this in with it. You could also add chicken for an additional protein hit, or even prawns if your child is a total maverick.

And if you’re cooking this for adults, or your child has a taste for such things, I don’t think you’d go far wrong adding in some chilli and ginger at the veg frying stage.

All totally do-able in 30 minutes. Smashing.

Dazed and Mumfused is on Twitter @dazednmumfused, Instagram: dazedandmumfused and Facebook: facebook.com/dazedandmumfused

Hormones

I am in a perfect rage today. An absolute humdinger of a stinking, snarling, steaming bad mood.

This is really not like me. At least, I think it’s out of character. We’ll have to see what James’ eyebrows do when he reads that statement. Ordinarily I am a bit a naggy cow, slightly chaotic in my approach to life, occasionally neurotic about things, but moody? No, I don’t believe so. I ride on a relatively even keel, I laugh a lot of things off and if I find myself in a grump I can usually talk myself down pretty quickly.

But not today my friends. If I’m honest, this rage was been building since yesterday when, like an utter bell-end, I smashed the side of my head into my parents’ garage door. I know I know I know, the rational argument here is that the fault for walking into the door lies with me, but I blame that smug, yellow tosser of a door anyway.

And since then, not a fat lot has been right. Early this morning, Blake happened to mention that he was not too keen on his new automatic Spiderman toothbrush. HOW MARVELLOUS! I thundered. GREAT NEWS! I bellowed. At which point my four year old cocked his eyebrow, cleared his throat and backed slowly out of the room.

He and his father have since adopted the do-not-make-eye-contact-or-wake-the-beast technique, staying broadly out of my way and diligently applying themselves to some baking while I raged up and down the stairs with no clear idea what the heck it was I was trying to accomplish aside from making my mood clear to everyone between here and Moseley.

Nothing much has been safe today.

I have muttered furiously at James’ laptop. I have sworn at the TV. I have shouted at a bagel, flicked the Vs at the rain, thrown a hair-grip at the wall, kicked the bin and pulled all manner of faces at a toilet in Costa as I contorted myself into some sort of backwards sodding yoga pose in order to prevent Blake from falling down said toilet whilst covering his ears to drown out the noise of the hand-dryer from the neighbouring toilet.

(While I’m on the subject, THANK YOU WHOEVER IT WAS THAT INVENTED HAND-DRIERS, GUARANTEED TO SEND ALL UNDER 5S INTO A WAILING FIT OF WOE.)

And having spent the past 40 minutes gladly crashing the iron into the ironing board and burning the merry sh*t out of a top, I can only conclude that forces are at work here.

These are hormones that we speak of. Of the pregnancy kind I suspect.

I don’t recall them troubling me when I was expecting Blake (again, we’ll see what James’ eyebrows do when he reads that) but they have completely hi-jacked me today. I have been quite, quite batshit. Sorry James. Sorry Blake. I do hope I wake up in a better mood tomorrow because if not I really cannot think what this will mean for my up and coming turning of the ripe old age of thirty bloody two.

So from my brooding little black cloud over here, over and pissing well out.

dazedandmumfused is on Twitter @dazednmumfused, Instagram: dazedandmumfused and Facebook (blah bloody blah) facebook.com/dazedandmumfused

Secret beer

image

The thing with having a secret beer after your grumpy pregnant wife has gone to bed is that you are meant to dispose of the evidence afterwards.

BUSTED 😉

dazedandmumfused is on Twitter @dazednmumfused, Instagram: dazedandmumfused and NEWS FLASH Facebook: facebook.com/dazedandmumfused

dazedandmumfused has been on long-term sick leave

Something very unexpected, and utterly ironic happened today. This blog has been nominated in the MadBlogAwards Best New Blog category.

I nearly peed myself when that tweet landed this afternoon, and not even for 24-weeks-pregnant reasons. Imagine that! The worst maintained blog in the history of blogs has been nominated for something. So long has it been since I blogged anything that I had issues remembering my login details earlier. I last blogged in January.

And yet a gorgeous person somewhere, it appears, actually went to the trouble of nominating me for an award. Nothing could have surprised me more. Frankly, it is a perpetual surprise that anyone pays the blindest bit of attention to me as I wang on about the completely unoriginal subject of parenting being more than a little challenging at times.

So I reasoned the very least I could do was pop my head above the parapet and explain my absence.

If you read the last blog you’ll know I am up the veritable duff once again, and that things have not been particularly straightforward. At the last count I can list hyperemesis gravidarum, symphysis pubis dysfunction and migraines on my list of pregnancy related quirks. Which essentially translates to feeling like I am constantly on the verge of Noro after not sleeping for 5 days, having been kicked in the crotch with a steel-capped boot, combined with a banging headache and the inability to see out of one eye. It’s been quite the hoot.

It’s left me rather sad. Generally you’d think that being pregnant is a lovely, fluffy, beautiful 9 months. As a woman, when push comes to shove and putting feminism aside for a second, something boils down to the fact you were designed to be able to make and sustain a baby. I know that’s a gross over-simplification for many, for so many reasons, but I can’t get away from this voice in my own head that says ‘this should be the most natural thing you can do.’

And so having the joy ripped out of this time has been hard. I know I am not the first to feel this way and I certainly won’t be the last. Others who have faced a difficult pregnancy, I imagine, will know what I am trying to describe. Having the ability to enjoy these 40 weeks, being challenged at what feels like a fundamental level, has rocked me back.

I remind myself constantly that we are very lucky. There has never been a time that I have regretted our decision to try for a second baby or underestimated our fortune in making one. But there have been and still are days when I have found myself utterly defeated by the hyperemesis. It has been a long, hard six months. With Blake there was this constant bubble beneath the surface as we looked forward to becoming three, a giddy anticipation of what was to come. The absence of that this time around has been crushing. And my mojo for this blog has somewhat disappeared in the midst of it all.

But then came today. Someone somewhere had a little faith in me, for which I am so thankful. I felt the tingle that for me comes with the prospect of dashing some words off and pushing them out into the great unknown. So here we are, a blog/apology of sorts. Perhaps this is a turning point – it certainly feels like a commitment to try and write a little more often. Thanks for reading. Hopefully see (read?) you soon. X

HG and me

Here we go then. This is not a chipper blog I’m afraid. Come back once there is a new baby here and I am crackers once again with sleep deprivation if that’s what you’re after. This is just me being honest, which is what I always set out to do with this blog, and attempting to rewire a little of this mind of mine which has unravelled somewhat of late.

I am 13 weeks pregnant. And losing weight. Let me add a caveat now, I’m not writing this blog with the intention of having a moan. I know I am lucky. We have one beautiful child and we are 13 weeks in to the journey to have another. That is very precious. But I also have to try and make some sense of these past few weeks because they have been hard.

Hyperemesis Gravidarum. Property of the Duchess of Cambridge, a small proportion of pregnant women and now me.

What can I tell you about HG? Only my experience, which may be unlike anyone else’s, but has been raw and tested me to my very limits and continues to do so.

HG is utterly, shockingly debilitating.

Rolling nausea that reduces me frequently to a foetal like creature on the sofa, in bed or in the worst cases flat on the floor, trying desperately to breathe through it in some ironic parody of labour itself. I cannot function, at times I cannot even walk.

Sickness, even when there is nothing left to give back. Snorting, coughing, gurgling like some kind of half-human Gollum-esque creature, forever carrying a bowl around. James’ grim face and worried eyes. Battling anxiety at Doctor and Midwife appointments that there is nowhere close enough to me to be sick if needs be.

Utter exhaustion, that type that brings me to my knees and sends me crawling for the nearest quasi-comfortable surface where I will be out cold for minutes or hours.

The total contraction of my world. Unable to look after Blake in any way beyond switching on the TV. Bored but without the ability to focus on anything. Lonely, stuck in this limbo state where the only contact with my family and friends is through my phone when I am not so nauseous that I cannot look at the screen. And with nothing to say to my husband when he returns from work and cracks on with all the chores and parenting I am unable to do beyond thank you, and I’m sorry. Life lived in my bed, the bathroom, the sofa.

Thirsty. Achy. A failure. Signed off work with no idea when a respite will come. It could be next week. It could last the entire pregnancy.

On the scale, my HG is mild. I know people who have suffered far worse, read the horror stories of people sick 50 times a day, hospitalised through dehydration. I have found the points in the day when I can manage a little food and drink, and I have been incredibly lucky to have enough friends and family around me to look after Blake. Support groups online. And two Doctors who were kind (kind enough to make me weep with relief), who took me seriously and are working with me to find medication that will help me survive however long I need to survive.

And yesterday a little ray of hope. My 12 week scan. Making it to the appointment after some violent sickness in the morning and seeing as if in a dream a tiny person on screen, kicking and bopping for all it’s worth, so like its big brother at the same stage. A small slice of perspective to cut through these long debilitating hours and recognise that somewhere down the line it will be OK, and life will be different and chaotic and wonderful. X

Four-isms 13.11.15

We have a Boiler engineer servicing our Boiler

Engineer: Where’s your meter please?

Me: It’s just here in the Lounge.

Blake: I am watching Snowman and Snowdog!

Engineer: Oh yes! Isn’t that a lovely doggy?

Blake: Yes. IN A MINUTE HE WILL BE DEAD *massive smile*

Engineer: Oh. Right.

*silence*

Blake: See? THE DOG IS NOW DEAD.

Engineer: Oh.

dazedandmumfused is on Twitter @dazednmumfused and Instagram: dazedandmumfused
image

The trappings of motherhood

When not at the bottom of your handbag, raisins will be everywhere else.
When not at the bottom of your handbag, raisins will be everywhere else.

I’ve been observing myself recently. Generally I am very much locked inside my own little head, in my own little bubble. Do you know how it is? You are just plodding along thinking What on earth am I cooking for tea, and did I submit that brief at work, and what on earth shall I buy so and so for Christmas and SHIT did I lock the front door.

Generally my own little brand of madness trots on merrily and I think and mother my way through the day without stopping and really observing myself or my surroundings.

But of late, observe myself I have, and it has been quite telling indeed. What it has done is thrown into sharp relief just how much of a Mum I am these days. I know that sounds ridiculous and you are probably thinking FFS Sian, he’s just turned four, how can you only just be realising that you’re a Mum??!

But what I mean is that there are various habits and reactions and trappings to life these days that seem, to me at least, to be uniquely those of a Mum. I imagine they ring true for lots of other Mums. Or not. Either way, here is my take on the trappings of motherhood:

1. Ikea is a credible choice for a day out with your child. Ikea is bloody brilliant. A million things to look at/break for both you AND your child, soft play, indoor play space, Mr Whippy, quirky toys, a plethora of stuff you had no idea you needed, tiny pencils, and a restaurant blessed with an air-con system that SIMPLY MUST pump SWEDISH MAGIC into the atmosphere because your child will eat whatever the hell you put in front of them. We are going tomorrow. I cannot wait.

2. Your standard reaction to ANY type of emergency is to grab a baby wipe.

3. There are approximately ONE MILLION raisins in the bottom of each of your handbags.

4. You rock. Somewhere, in the numbing eternity of those first few weeks of holding a baby on your shoulder all night and all day, you have pre-programmed yourself to rock in any situation that finds you standing stationary. Chatting to a colleague at their desk? You’re rocking slowly-slowly-back-and-forth. Drying your hands under the dryer? You’re rocking. Standing by the slide at the playground. Rocking. Stirring pasta. Rocking.

5. You attempt to burp adults. James has now accepted that, fairly frequently, I will absent-mindedly reach over and rub his back.

6. Your attitude to body fluids is disgusting. Your previous self would watch how you deal with your child’s various drips and howl. You happily accept a snotty kiss that deposits a clump of neon green snot straight into your mouth. You scrub poo out of pants without gloves on. You wipe noses with your sleeve or worse, bare hand. You slosh wee all over yourself while emptying the potty. You scoop gigantic turds into the toilet without even batting an eyelid.

7. Buying clothes for your child is more exciting than buying for yourself *wails*

8. You are so accustomed to unseasoned food that, on the rare occasions that you eat out, you spend the entire night alternatively chugging litres of water because your body has no idea how to deal with the salt and then weeing like there is no tomorrow.

9. You hide in the cupboard under the stairs and stuff chocolate into your mouth whilst calling no sorry sweetheart, Mummy forgot to buy the Chocolate Buttons over your shoulder.

10. You chop your own food into tiny pieces.

11. You never go to the toilet alone.

12. Anything more than one glass of wine (and I mean ANYTHING – THE MEREST SNIFF IS ENOUGH) has you snoring like a nuclear drone and then cutching your head and staring longingly at your bed for 12 hours while your child smashes a Spiderman into your forehead and emits toxic farts.

dazedandmumfused is on Twitter @dazednmumfused and Instagram: dazedandmumfused

The bossiness of three year olds: part 1

Hey there Mummers. How’s that toast of mine looking?

It’s just toasting.

OH MY ZEBRAS*. CHOP CHOP

dazedandmumfused is on Twitter @dazednmumfused and Instagram: dazedandmumfused

* OH MY ZEBRAS is a little phrase that was swiftly introduced a few weeks ago when our little potty mouth rolled in from Nursery and spent an entire evening shouting either OHMYGOD or OHUMGEE which we eventually worked out to be infant speak for OMG. Full credit for the genius substitution of Zebras goes to my colleague Davinia, although Blake has worked with the theme and we also regularly hear OH MY TIGERS and OH MY CUCUMBERS.

Outsmarted by a three year old: part 2

WHAT are THESE Mummy???!?!!!!

Those are your new Winter gloves.

WHAAAAAAT???

Winter gloves. To keep your fingers warm in the cold.

I think you’ll find that they don’t fit Mummy.

Oh they will. Bring them here and I’ll help you.

*Saunters through to Conservatory. Glances over shoulder. Smiles.*

That’s going to be a big fat no, Mummy.

dazedandmumfused is on Twitter @dazednmumfused and Instagram: dazedandmunfused