Saturday, March 24, 2012

Introducing B4, aka Mylo

Yesterday, 23 March 2012 @ 6:32pm Mylo William (aka B4) officially joined the BE Hive!!

Today Mini Man met his little brother for the first time... after the initial confusion subsided curiosity took over... I think our boys are going to be great mates :)

My heart sings to think of all that is to come for our little family... Looking forward to lots of adventures ahead as they grow & play together. Daddy BE is going to be in his element racing around with our energetic little boys :)

My 3 boys!
Curiosity takes over :)
Just hours after birth, exhausted from a speedy exit!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

On humidity, moisture, rain & MOULD... "Rain, Rain Go Away!"

So the BE Hive is currently getting it's first real taste of tropical wet weather. After 3.5 years of living in the dry desert climate of Alice Springs, the rain... it's not so bad... it's the symptoms of the rain that have me, well, LOSING MY MIND!

I'm 38.5 weeks pregnant. So over the last 2 weeks I have been busily nesting & preparing for the imminent arrival of B4. This has involved cleaning, washing, folding, organising, sorting and setting up our 'nursery' space. I was feeling quite good about being relatively prepared for our new arrival.

For the past week or more we have been experiencing some pretty steady downpours. Our pool is overflowing, the gardens are overgrown, the grass is long, the yard looks like a swampland. There is moisture EVERYWHERE. Earlier in the week I noticed a little mould on a couple of things in the bottom of our walk in robe and made a note to purchase a few more of those 'damp rid' moisture absorber thingos, to help prevent further infestation. Well... I had a couple of outings & forgot to get them, until today, I finally remembered them today. I was feeling pretty good about getting that sorted!

I had also in the process of cleaning & sorting for B4's arrival, found a number of our baskets and other storage bits had become covered with mould. I'd dealt with these, treating them with 'oil of clove' to kill the mould spores and cleaning them.

This afternoon after successfully stocking up on 'damp rid' thingos, I decided we should get them in place doing their job in the walk in robe. Upon taking a closer inspection of the clothes in the robe, shoes at the bottom and a few other items in our room I found that the small amount of mould had now multiplied into a ridiculous infestation. Too late with the 'damp rid' thingos :(

Almost EVERYTHING in our walk in robe had some amount of mould growing on it. Then on further investigation of the rest of our room I found mould EVERYWHERE: on hats hanging on hooks on the bedroom door, on my nappy bad also hung on the door, on suitcases stored in another robe in the room... then I looked in the 'sunroom' beside the robe, which is going to be our 'nursery' space for the first few months and I found the bassinet starting to grow mould, the recliner growing mould, the baskets with baby clothes in them growing mould... pretty much mould everywhere. All. My. Hard. Work. WASTED. Then I looked further through the house & found the car seat I washed last week also covered in mould. Mould growing on the fabric of our dining chairs. The baskets I'd treated last week growing new mould. Pretty much mould growing on almost everything in every corner of the house.

How did I react? Tears. Lots of tears. I blame hormones (100%).

Did the tears help? A little, but now I think there's mould growing on the moisture in my eyelashes!

So, a good portion of the afternoon spent cleaning. Lots more cleaning to do tomorrow. Thankfully Mr BE is a good helper/doer of things that need to get done. With teamwork we should get this mould issue under control before B4 arrives... I'm just a little concerned that the forecast isn't going to help much with the drying of stuff that can't be put in the dryer... please "Rain, Rain, Go AWAY"!!!

iPhone PWAU Lite... I seriously don't like what you have to say!!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

[in the kitchen] Banana Cake

This Banana Cake is quick & easy, a great way to use up any bananas that have passed their prime.

My original recipe inspiration comes from a fantastic Family Circle Kids' Cookbook I was given for Xmas when I was around 13. A lot of my baking & desserts originate from this book, because they are quick & easy to make AND they are simple but delicious tastes... but with most of them I've "pimped" them to suit my tastes, or more adult flavours or just because I like messing around with recipes to see what I can concoct!

What's in it...
  • 100g butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup SR white flour*
  • 1 cup SR wholemeal flour*
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup sultanas (optional)
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed

    *note: I have successfully substituted gluten free flour in this recipe, it still works fabulously
Put it together...
  1. Preheat oven to 180C.
  2. Grease & flour a small loaf tin, or line with baking paper.
  3. Melt the butter in microwave safe mixing bowl.
  4. Add sugar, vanilla & egg, beating well with a wooden spoon until smooth.
  5. Sift in flours, don't stir yet.
  6. Add milk, mashed banana & sultanas, stir until just combined.
  7. Spread evenly in tin & bake for 35-40 minutes or until cooked through & golden on top.

The visuals...
Steps 1 to 6
Step 7
I have adapted this from the original recipe over the years, mainly adding sultanas or other fruit/nuts, reducing the sugar by 1/2, and substituting 1/2 the flour for wholemeal. Sometimes I will use honey instead of sugar, depending on my mood - the amount of honey I use also depends on my mood & whether I have added sultanas (which increase the sweetness).
I have also recently become a fan of baking cakes in loaf tins, it makes cutting up & storing slices a lot easier than round tins.  It's also a lot easier to cut a 'small slither' than it is to cut a small wedge.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

MayBE BayBE Today, Tomorrow, Next Week? Soon, Definitely Soon...!

Today B4 is 38 weeks plus 1 day...

I remember being at the same stage of my pregnancy with Mini Man.  I had myself convinced he would come early.  In preparation I had finished work 4 weeks before my due date.  After 2 weeks off work I was happily taking in some 'free' time after having set up the nursery and done most other bits & pieces one tries to achieve before the life altering arrival of your first born.  Then I waited... and I waited... and I waited and Mini Man stayed put!!  Eventually arriving 11 days after his ETA, having had to be induced.

Now that we're at the 38 weeks mark second time round I just don't know what to expect.  Everyone has a theory, apparently 2nd/subsequent babies come earlier.  Furthermore according to several people I've spoken to in the last week I'm either still carrying high or I'm now carrying low?  It should be noted that these 'experts' are either people I have not seen or met prior to that statement being made or people I've barely spent time with during my pregnancy and are not members of the medical profession specialising in anything to do with pregnancy or babies!  I do know this much, labor will start when baby is good and ready, or when B4 is over baked enough that the 'establishment' decide it's time to entice baby out...

I've been experiencing braxton hicks for the past week or so.  I am definitely experiencing them with greater intensity the past few days.  Each time I feel one, I wonder if the real thing is about to kick in.  I know when they aren't the 'real deal' my memory of my first labor is still there... but at the same time you still question, is this it, is it starting?

Up until a few days ago the braxton hicks were TERRIFYING me.... I was quite happy for B4 to stay snug in the womb.  I was feeling anxious about coping with the changing dynamic in the BE Hive.  I was feeling worried for Mini Man and how he is going to cope with the 'competition' for our attention and how we were going to manage that, making the transition as easy on him as we can.  I was feeling fears for how Mr BE and I would navigate our days with sleep deprivation (the memory of newborn days with Mini Man are vivid!) and the demands of not one but TWO little people who will be relying on us for their everything.  I was worried for Mr BE and how he'll cope after his paternity leave is up & he has to return to the office somehow manage to productively get through each day in a demanding job.  I was worried for myself on how I'll cope when he's not home to help all day!  And I was worried for how our relationship will be affected by even less time to give to each other.

Now?  Well now, I can't wait to meet this new little person we have made.  I know that we already love B4 unconditionally and that our hearts have room for both Mini Man and B4.  We are not the first couple to have a second child, it can be done, many have done this before us and survived.  But it is the first time we've had a second child, so it's both scary and exciting all at once.  I know my fears are natural and I know that we will be OK, we will do the very best we can for B4 and Mini Man.  They will both know they are loved and wanted.  My fears will drive me to the best I can.

I also know that Mr BE & I will do the very best we can for each other.  I know that, because it's what we always do.  Mr BE is my rock, as I've said before, without him I wouldn't be on this motherhood journey, I am on this journey because I chose to do it with him, you can read more about that here.  I know that each day I watch him with Mini Man and have him by my side and somehow I love him a little more than I did yesterday or maybe it is just that each day I am reminded that I love him and why.

So, come on out B4... we're ready*.  The BE Hive needs it's fourth.  Your clothes are washed & folded.  Your nappies are stocked.   Your room is ready.  Your bed is made.  Your brother is excited to meet you... although to be honest, he may not yet have fully grasped the reality of all this baby talk, but he will & he's going to love you SO MUCH.  Mummy & Daddy can't wait to see you, to hold your little hands, to touch your little feet, to stare at your little face and to get to know you.

And of course we can't wait for the answer: Are you Mini Man's little brother or are you his little sister?

*Although, it would be awesome if you could refrain from making your grand entrance in the wee hours of the night... since the BE Hive is so far from family, it's friends we will be relying on to look after your brother, AND it'd be super if we didn't have to A) call & wake them AND B) wake him and drop him to them confused & unsettled in the middle of the night.... ;)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

[in the kitchen] Roasted Sweet Potato, Pumpkin & Feta Quiche

As I have said previously, I do love to cook. I enjoy both making meals and baking. Recently I discovered just how easy quiche is - for some reason I had not ever made an 'authentic' quiche, only savoury impossible pie (which is also good of course, but that's another post!).

A few weeks ago I wanted to make a light meal that used up the contents of our crisper and also used a some feta that I'd bought and managed not to use for it's 'intended' purpose. I also had some cream that had been purchased for another use that hadn't eventuated. After a quick google to find the basics for a quiche filling, a check of the freezer to confirm there was some shortcrust pastry laying in waiting and confirmation of sufficient supply of eggs I had whipped up: Roasted Sweet Potato, Pumpkin & Feta Quiche for a scrumptious Sunday dinner. It came out of the oven looking pretty special... and the first bite was bliss... one of those smug cooking moments where you just can't believe how delicious this 'invention' of yours is! Backed up by approval from the belly of B2, it was a hit!

Since that maiden quiche adventure we have now enjoyed many quiche meals over the past few weeks... deciding it will remain a regular fixture for enjoying with a salad on these hot summer nights. The leftovers are also fabulous for lunches either cold or reheated, so this one's a winner in our book.

What's in it...
  • 100g sweet potato, cubed
  • 100g pumpkin, cubed
  • 1 1/2 sheets shortcrust pastry
  • 3 eggs
  • 250mL (1 cup) milk
  • 330mL cream
  • 2/3 cup (50g) grated cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives or shallots
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 50g feta, cubed
Put it together...
  1. Preheat oven 220C
  2. Place cubed sweet potato & pumpkin on a tray & roast in the oven for approx 25 minutes.
  3. Grease pie dish and line with shortcrust pastry & 'blind bake' for approx 15 minutes - while vegetables are roasting.
  4. Spread the roasted vegetables & feta over the shortcrust base & sprinkle with grated cheese & chives/shallots.
  5. Whisk the eggs, add the milk, cream nutmeg & salt & pepper to taste & whisk until mixed.
  6. Pour the egg mixture over the filling in the shortcrust base.
  7. Place in the oven & bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden and cooked through.
  8. Remove from oven & allow to cool slightly
    On first removing from oven the filling will be high in the base, the egg mixture will 'settle' back down into the base after a few minutes.
  9. Serve with a fresh salad... YUM :)
Steps 1 - 3

Steps 4 - 8
  • I try to roast extra vegetables to freeze/store for our next quiche or for tossing over a salad later, saves a bit of time for the next meal
    AND saves energy as you don't need to turn the oven on for as long next time ;)
  • Use alternative fillings (eg. whatever you have lurking in the fridge) with the same egg mixture ratio to make any variation of quiche!
  • I keep a supply of long life cream & milk tetra packs (available in the 'grocery milk' aisle of the supermarket) in our pantry to use for quiche when I don't happen to have the fresh dairy in the fridge.

Friday, March 2, 2012

On Father Son Relations...

Mini Man has the best Daddy in the whole wide world.

My {heart} lives here.

My son & his Daddy have an amazing bond.  From the first days in the hospital with Mini Man I have been in awe of of Daddy BE.  Watching him with our son while we where both overwhelmed with the emotions of welcoming our little guy into the world (and I was overloaded with the happy love hormones coursing through my veins) confirmed what I already knew, he was going to be the best Daddy in the Whole. Wide. World.

Now of course, he's not perfect, no one is.  He stumbles sometimes, doesn't get all the stuff right.  Is hopeless at things like: packing appropriate lunch for an outing; remembering all the right things to pack into a bag for an outing; putting singlets on the right way round.. the really super important sort of stuff that generally ends up the expertise of Mummies.  But all of that aside: he is heavily involved in the daily routine and what Daddy brings to the table is so much more important than matching outfits!

Breakfast is Father Son time, while Mummy gets to sleep an extra 30mins, or sometimes more... I am spoilt!  Every morning Mini Man 'helps' Daddy reverse the car out before he heads to work.  All day I answer questions about 'where Daddy gone?' and am repeatedly confirming that yes, 'Daddy gone work'... and as the day draws to a close  I am constantly asked 'when Daddy home?'... it is incredibly cute and it makes my heart sing to know that he loves his Daddy so :)

When Mini Man hears the garage door open, his face lights up with delight, coupled with a squeal of 'DADDY' and a run at high speed to the front door where he waits (im)patiently until Mummy says it's ok to run to the carport (after Daddy has stopped the car).  Regardless of the time of day, Mini Man gets a period of uninterrupted time with Daddy from the minute that car door opens.  They will take the dog for a walk, have a ride on the scooter, take the trike out for a spin, have a swim in the pool or go and look for 'shishies' (aka, fishies) in the creek behind our house... Time permitting, there is often a combination of these.

Last weekend Daddy BE & Mini Man had an expedition to the local tackle shop to buy a fishing rod and several attempts over the weekend to land the big one went unsuccessful, much to Daddy BE's dismay.  They tried the beaches and had a go down at the small creek behind the house.  Tonight... SUCCESS... they caught their very first fish!  Daddy BE took Mini Man down to the creek for a Friday evening adventure as soon as he arrived home.  It was a joy to see the smile on Mini Man's face as they came home & hear the garbled story in toddler speak of the one that didn't get away.

Ok, so Mini Man is a little short on smiles here... but when telling the story there were definite smiles!
I think seeing his first live fish on a hook was a little confronting ;)
Mini Man gets so much from this time with Daddy, but I know too that Daddy BE revels in the simplicity of this time with his son after a hard slog at the office... and besides who doesn't feel great basking in the glow such adoration!