Wednesday, 25 April 2012

How to get your kids to eat spinach

I'm sure I'm not the first parent to admit to not liking spinach. In fact, I'm not really a green veggie kinda girl at all. Unfortunately, it's so healthy it needs to be eaten. Given our recent spell of bad health, I'm determined to get more of those "tastes bad but it's good for you" veggies into myself and my kiddos.

With Elena finally getting her appetite back I decided to try a new recipe - ok, it's not really a recipe but something I just threw together. I'm finding it's more fun to do it this way than to have to follow a recipe. (Also easier with two kiddos running around while I'm trying to cook) Of course, it doesn't always work out but thankfully I have a hubby who is willing to eat just about anything I put on the table. 

So, back to lunch - I had some spaghetti noodles left over from the homemade chicken noodle soup I had made the day before and I scrounged through our fridge and pantry and came up with these ingredients:
- cubed bacon
- cream
- parmesan cheese
- frozen spinach
- minced garlic

I fried up the bacon in a big saucepan.  After removing the bacon, I sauteed the garlic and spinach (which I defrosted in the microwave for 30 seconds or so) in the remaining bacon grease. I turned the heat down and slowly added the cream and parmesan cheese. Seasoned with a little salt and pepper - then returned the bacon to the mix and added the spaghetti noodles into the pan. Warmed it all up a bit - served with more parmesan cheese on top and we had one satisfied customer :)

Monday, 16 April 2012

Two day getaway

Last week David and I snuck away for two days......

Ok, who am I kidding? When you have kids you can't really "sneak" anywhere, but we did manage to plan a two day getaway at a cute little beach place that we snagged with a 50% off Groupon-type deal. After almost six weeks of passing around various flu bugs, colds and infections within our family, it was great to get some down time, relax and recharge.

We dropped the kids off at Grandma's house on Tuesday morning and checked in to our little beach chalet that afternoon. It was a great place we'd been to before and we like it because you get your own little apartment with a fully equipped kitchen, a sitting room, two bathrooms and a loft style bedroom upstairs. It was kind of funny when I walked upstairs and saw a single bed and crib in addition to the double bed. It was already set up for our family, so I had a constant reminder of my kiddos. :) 

We didn't have anything planned except to rest and veg. We watched lots of TV shows, read books, played games and slept! I had all the food mostly prepped before hand and we enjoyed leisurely and late meals - something which never happens with kids! Here are a few shots from our trip:

Berty Ocas Apart Hotel - Bertioga, SP
(Only 45 minutes from our house!)
The entrance to our Chalet.
On the way to the beach armed with chairs and a big umbrella
A short walk to the beach.
Almost there...
Relaxing and reading. Can't remember the last time I had
more than 10 minutes to read a real book! 
Not all fun and games - this is the traffic I had to contend
with after picking up the kids from Grandma's house.
So there you have it - we really enjoyed our time away and the kids had fun at Grandma's house. We are planning one more trip to the beach with the kids next week. Should be fun!

Thursday, 5 April 2012

The Magic Sleep Formula

Sleep. Aaaaah, wonderful, glorious sleep. Something we can't live without. Some need more than others - and I am definitely one of the some. My roommates at boarding school always laughed at me for being in bed before "lights out" and my college roommates couldn't believe how much I napped.

So I knew I was in for it when I started having kids. I regularly had naps before I was pregnant and definitely enjoyed more sleep during my first pregnancy. I was thrust into the sleepless nights right from the get-go with Lucas - my labor started at 6:00pm and my little darling was born at 6:45am - 12 hours awake straight through the night. Can you believe I was actually falling asleep in between contractions at the end? 

Now I have two little ones and I can't remember when I got an uninterrupted night of sleep. When Lucas was just about learning to sleep through the night I was so pregnant with Elena that I would have to get up three times at night just to pee.

All moms know all about bedtime routines and nap routines and hope that with a lot of hard work, patience and a dose of luck, the kidlets will learn to sleep through the night sooner rather than later. Of course, that doesn't account for colic, poopy diapers in the middle of the night, teething, sickness, and siblings! 

I had a handy chart that I used for nap/sleep reference and it told me how many naps the average child would take, for how long and how long they would sleep at night. Of course it's not as simple as 2 +2 = 4 and if I shorten one nap, another will be longer, and if I cut out all naps the night time sleep will be longer. If only! 

Some days I wish I had the magical sleep formula that would guarantee me at least 7 hours of sleep. But alas, it evades me and every night I go to sleep thinking, "tonight may be the night" - and it never is. Of course, I know veteran moms will tell me "this too shall pass" and I will long for the nights when my little boy comes crawling into bed to cuddle with me - but couldn't I just get one good night's sleep?

**disclaimer - my kids really are pretty good sleepers - we have just had about 6 weeks worth of sickness in the family and it's thrown them into a loop and mommy's sleep bank is depleted :)
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