Tag Archives: parenting

4

10 Apr Dexter

first lookMy big little man,

1459 days we’ve spent together but it’s been 1460 nights.

35, 040 hours have past since you were first laid upon my bare breast and you looked straight at me, straight in my eyes, and they said -

I KNOW YOU.

That first night with you beside my bed I couldn’t sleep a wink. I couldn’t believe you were here. I couldn’t believe you were mine.

So perfect, so sweet smelling. That didn’t last.

D Man and mama

Countless heartbeats have passed between us but your heartbeats are your own now. I used to feel every one, but you are getting more distant as you turn from a baby into a boy. In a few more blinks of my eyes you’ll be a man.

They always said it goes fast, and it does. Not the nights. The endless, drawn out nights where you cried, or were ill, and I held you, but they seem so far away now when all you want from me is maybe a quick cuddle or to take you for a pee before you roll over and snuggle your face into Rat and spoon that toy that is no longer bigger than you.

You’re so confident and smart. You chat to people, and you charm them with your funny wit or silliness, unless you drive them nuts with your whining. That happens too.

You surprise me and delight me endlessly and I really couldn’t be prouder of you.

D man almost oneToday you are four.

The first birthday that I won’t be with you all day.

I feel a healthy dose of mother’s guilt over that, but it’s also the first birthday that your Papa has spent the whole day with you. He’ll show you a grand old time and we’ll kick it large on the weekend with a chocolate cake bigger than your head.

When we were leaving the supermarket today I gave you and Kiki a biscuit. You were stoked, but your cranky pants sister didn’t want it and she hit it out of my hand and onto the ground.

Then she wanted it, naturally.

I refused to give her another, and nor would I pick the one up off the carpark floor, and she squawked and squawked. As we were driving off she suddenly went quiet. I figured she was inhaling a really huge breath in order to give it some more however when I turned she was eating half a biscuit.

D man about twoYou had split yours and passed it over in the backseat.

Now, don’t get me wrong, boy, you are a stinker when you want to be, and you torture that poor sister of yours, but in that moment I saw your true character, and you’re a good dude.

Happy birthday, D Man.

I love you to the shops and back,

Mama xxx

DSC_0289 D Man 4

Milestones, tears and lunchbox scrolls

1 Apr scrolls

Kiki's first day of kindyKiki’s little body looked so tiny when her new pink and turquoise butterfly bag was hoisted onto her back.

She wouldn’t let me carry it for her even though with her water bottle and lunchbox it was kind of heavy. She was well chuffed to finally have a school bag to call her own. Maybe she’ll grow up to be lover of fine handbags, or kooky carriers that look like animals.

Or just a crazy bag lady.

Walking up the footpath, heading to her first day of daycare, my heart was as heavy in my chest as her bag looked on her shoulders.

Always fiercely independent Kiki wouldn’t even let me help her by taking some of the weight, so I left her because essentially that’s what this day is about.

The second cutting of the cord.

She’s been looking forward to this day for weeks, always sad when we drop D Man off, always wanting to stay and play with the kids. She’s ready. I have no doubt, it’s just that it’s come sooner than I thought and my heart is a little heavy.

This is a milestone. For Kiki and for myself.

Next Monday I’ll be starting a new job. My first day of work in four years. Technically, between writing books and blogs and scripts and stuff I have barely had a single day off, but now I’m GOING TO WORK.

Somewhere that will require pants and a bra.

Kiki’s first day at kindy is a turning point that marks the beginning of big changes in my life, and all our lives, and her smiling face as she was smearing Clag glue all over paper with more abandon than I would never allow at home reminds me that this the beginning of a new era and not just the end of an old one.

She’s only going two days a week, but right now that feels like a lot.

Kiki's first day of kindyI felt quite brave walking in but 15 minutes later as I kissed her little golden head goodbye I was quite shaky on the insides.

I gathered my things and called goodbye to her one last time, but she didn’t even turn to look at me as she was engrossed in something new and exciting.

It’s lucky, I suppose, because she would have seen tears welling in my eyes and a spectacularly wobbly lip as I severed that umbilical cord just a little bit further and say farewell to my baby.

I’ll pick her up after lunch. Just a short day on your first day, but I made sure her lunch was a special one, because she’s also mega proud of her new lunchbox. It’s just like her big brother’s, you see, and she thinks he’s pretty cool except when he’s licking her hair, sticking dinosaurs down her nappy or stealing her food.

scrolls2Cheesy lunchbox scrolls

Yield : 10 

What you will need :

  •  1 ½ cups plain flour (I used spelt)
  •  1 ½ cups wholemeal flour (I used spelt)
  •  3 teaspoons baking soda
  •  1 pinch Salt and cracked black pepper
  •  60 grams chilled butter, chopped
  •  ¾ cup milk
  •  3 tablespoons Mrs Balls Chutney (or whatever chutney floats your boat)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 rashers of bacon, diced
  • 2 teaspoons dried mixed herbs or thyme
  • 2 spring onions, finely sliced
  •  1 ½ packed cups grated cheese
  • 1/2 zucchini grated
  •  Extra milk, for brushing (may require more)

scrollsWhat you will need to do :

Preheat oven to 210°C

Fry off your bacon until cooked and yummy. Set aside to cool.

Quick-whisk the flour (don’t forget my whisk trick, just whisk it! Place the flour into a bowl and give it a good whisk to aerate and remove lumps. My cheats’ version of sifting)

Add baking powder, salt and pepper and herbs in a bowl and add the butter then using your fingertips, rub in the butter until the mixture resembles rough breadcrumbs. Toss in your chopped spring onion.

Make a well in the centre. Combine the milk with ½ cup water and pour the liquid into the well. Using a flat bladed knife, cut through the flour mixture until it comes together as a rough dough. If it’s too dry, add a little more water a teaspoon at a time.

Tip the dough onto a work surface dusted with flour and knead lightly until it can form a ball. Don’t overwork it. Roll out the dough to a rectangle approximately 30 x 40cm in size.

Mix your tomato paste and chutney together and smear over the entire surface, then sprinkle with cheese, cooled bacon and grated zucchini.

Roll up to form a big cigar. Slice the roll into pieces approximately 2cm wide and place scrolls so they are touching each other on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Brush each scroll with a little extra milk

Chuck them in the oven and bake for 25 minutes or until cooked through and crunchy. If the scrolls start to brown too quickly cover with foil
.

Cool on a wire rack then break apart.

kiki's first day of kindy

Failing motherhood and a penis in the meat department.

31 Jan D Man and Kiki
So sweet and innocent looking....

So sweet and innocent looking….

Sometimes I see these beautifully compliant children standing nicely beside their parents at the supermarket and I wonder if they’ve been doped.

Their parent is often casually blipping their groceries through the self-service check out, taking their time as though they’re not harbouring a child-sized time bomb in their trolley, and these lovely children are waiting patiently, maybe they’re even helping and smiling and chatting cutely.

My kids don’t do that.

Ever, that I can recall.

I guess it may have happened once or twice but the other mortifying experiences are burnt into my brain.

Sometimes I see child in a cafe and they sit nicely on their butts and drink their drinks happily without blowing bubbles, spilling it, digging their hands in it, or fighting over whose glass is whose. They dexterously dip their chip into a little tomato sauce and politely eat it.

My kids don’t do that either.

Recently in the supermarket my two were screaming at each other in the meat department.

They were loud. Really loud.

Not having an argument per se, more like screaming like two cavemen over the final dinosaur drumstick before the apocalypse set in and everyone died horrible deaths from acid rain and starvation. Know what I mean?

Using my public mothering voice I asked them to please be quiet as the other customers did not want to hear their screams, growls or blood curdling war cries.

 D Man was laughing manically between screams, tormenting his sister who was trapped in the pram, darting out of her reach before she could tear a clump of hair from his scalp, and Kiki was busting it up a notch from Feral to Foul.

I asked firmly for it to end.

Nada.

I whisper-growled with the quiet death tone for them to stop.

Nada.

There was a grey-haired, bespectacled lady perusing the lamb cutlets who was trying to pretend we did not exist. Fair play. I could seriously have walked out and left them there, hopping a cab to the airport and diving onto a plane to Puerto Rico.

When the final screech made my ears bleed I hissed at D Man to quit it and he proceeded to pull down his pants and waggle his penis at the pork cutlets.

Madame Grey Hair could no longer resist and she gave me a withering glare coupled with a tut.

Little terrors

Little terrors

‘I know, they’re foul and should never be allowed out. Their mother should be ashamed.’ I said in complete exasperation.

Lately I feel whenever I ask them to do anything they do the exact opposite. Even if it endangers them ; running on the road, wildly swinging sticks or sporting equipment, or just slapping each other upside UFC style.

Trying to get D Man to get dressed is unbelievable.

I ask him politely 10 times to get dressed and it’s not until I lose my shit, threaten violence and walk half way out to the car that he takes any notice….. and don’t get me started on bedtime.

Or teeth cleaning.

Or,

Or,

Or…..

Lately, I’ve been feeling like I’m failing motherhood.

I regularly lose library books, children’s socks and my cool.

I always forget the nappy bag, and 9 out of 10 times it doesn’t matter, but that other time?? Yep, at the mercy of kind strangers in the midst of a poonami.

I thought I’d be a Madonna-esque mother. Not pointy bra and crotch grabbing Madonna, but more like a gently smiling, blue swathed virgin, without the virgin bit.

I doubt Joseph ever walked in from a day hammering wooden nails and Mary thrust a whining, squalling, grubby faced Jesus in his hands as she hissed was going for a run before she killed someone.

I also doubt her sandals would have coped well cross-country.

There’s definitely a couple of minutes a day where they’re delightful, sometimes it’s even at the same time as each other. I love them dearly, don’t get me wrong, but I am struggling.

I’m not afraid to admit it to you for a few reasons.

One is that you’ve already seen my many lumps and bumps both literal and figurative, but also because if I’m struggling then surely, amongst all of those with it, onto it, composed, groomed mothers, there’s a couple of stragglers limping through to bed time daily wondering when the relentlessness will ease.

Since I started writing this I’ve had a mega breakthrough with D Man by taking away TV privileges. Do something the first time I ask, or that’s it for the day.

It’s working!!

One small win for Mama Bear and I feel like I can cope for another week.

It’s all about the little victories when the battle seems never ending, innit?

Me. All. Over.

Me. All. Over.

If you like what you’re reading why not like my Facebook page now or subscribe via email, to be sure to always keep up with the Holsbys.

 

If your desk reflects your brain, your car reflects your….?

16 Jan *source*
DISCLAIMER : Not actually going to ever firebomb my car, nor do I suggest you do.
*source* DISCLAIMER : Not actually going to ever firebomb my car, nor do I suggest you do.

*source*
DISCLAIMER : Not actually going to ever firebomb my car, nor do I suggest you do.

I’ve heard it said that your desk, and the clutter or lack thereof may reflect the way you work and the way you think.

As I currently sit here typing I’m looking at a soft toy dog, a Quad Copter, boxing wrist straps, a cloth wine gift bag from my book launch 2 MONTHS AGO, a silk scarf, two note pads, 5 million Woolworths animal cards that I never put into an album, various pieces of unopened mail probably not containing love letters, a parking fine and some paw paw cream…. and an empty coffee cup.

Sometimes people ask me how I manage to do everything I do.

The answer is simple.

When most stay at home parents clean, I do more fun stuff.

The result is this blog, and a less than pristine house.

I’m fairly ok with the concept that the inside of my head is a tad on the unruly end of the spectrum and I’ll never suffer from obsessive compulsive disorder.

 I actually tidied my desk today….. Well, technically, it’s the dining table.

I do have a tidy desk in a tidy office but the second I sit in said office my offspring take it as a sign to pull everything out of the kitchen drawers, chase each other with crab crackers and metal skewers and go hand skating on my CD collection.

BS, Before Sproglets, I was never fanatical about my car interior, but I never had extraneous stuff or rubbish in my car either.

That said, I also NEVER had dried yoghurt sprays up interior car doors, seats or windows, fossilised apple cores, sand enough to bank up New Orleans should they require again, odd socks, random toys missing limbs and petrified rice crackers.

What if the state of your car interior is indicative of your soul?

I’m stuffed. Frankly.

Let’s just face it.

In my defence, my little driver’s area is actually really rather neat.

Perhaps there’s an area of my soul that’s not in danger of immortal peril.

My personal space in the car has small amount of sand. A dried up, vaguely cheesy wet wipe in the console (I tried to sort that yoghurt problem but I was driving), an eaten pear core (not mine, handed to me whilst driving yesterday and on exiting the car my hands were already full), otherwise not too bad, in the grand scheme of car filth. I’ve seen way worse.

But, really, what if it is representative of a part of my psyche???

Shudder to think.

While I’m on the subject, I may as well confess to the state of the children’s seats.

Do you allow your children to eat in the car?

Don’t.

Ever.

I do, and when my children are finished with those chairs I will not be putting them on eBay. I will be giving them to the science department of the university to run tests on.

There is a microcosmos going down in the cracks of those chairs that consists largely of crumbs, squashed sultanas and bum sweat.

I wish I could find the ideal car food for them but I’m still searching.

It’s not banana. No way.

That gack gets squished everywhere and by the time the mercury hits 35C my car reeks like a gorilla’s yawn.

It’s also certainly not muffins, crackers, sandwiches, or anything that may crumb because by the time my tiny beasts are done with it the morsels left in the chair cracks are enough to feed a sponsor child.

I regularly think about cleaning the car out.

I think about it hard…. but when it comes to getting the extension cord and the vacuum cleaner and, and, and….. the thought makes me need to have a cup of tea.

Or bottle of wine.

I know you’re thinking why not a car wash?

Love, love, love the idea but then I’m stuck sitting there with toddlers while they detail my car for a million dollars.

Maybe I should simply start driving Mister H’s nice tidy car more often because no matter how hot it gets it never smells like cheesy banana.

In fact, it’s so beautifully clean that sometimes I just want to sit in there in the late afternoon, lock the doors, turn up Triple J and leave the kids to the witching hour.

To be honest, a large part of me thinks perhaps it would be easier if I just firebomb the family wagon, get myself a cheeky car loan and buy that Mustang I’ve always fancied myself driving.

Can you get baby seats in a ‘Stang?

*** THIS IS A SPONSORED POST. ALL THOUGHTS ARE MY OWN***

Cook Once, Feed All COVER_lr

Cook Once, Feed All is about making your life easier whilst preparing nutritious and quick food for your family. Hailed by Mouths of Mums as the ‘must have recipe book for all families’, this book is a collection of family friendly recipes, all accompanied by stories from my life.

If you subscribe now to the Keeping Up With The Holsbys mailing list you will automatically receive my new mini-eBook ‘A Bit On The Side’  - A collection of fabulous summer salads and side dishes.

To order your hardcopy of Cook Once, Feed All ($35) head to the Holsby Shop right now.

If you like what you’re reading why not like my Facebook page now or subscribe via email, to be sure to always keep up with the Holsbys.

Get your filth on in the Mud Kitchen

21 Dec kiki mud kitchen

mud kitchen collageKelly over at Be A Fun Mum is always so inspiring. She’s a beautiful mother. Thoughtful, thought provoking and gentle.

Not to mention fun.

She totally lives up to her name. Whenever I do anything super fun I think of her so when I set up my mud kitchen I dropped her a line straight away.

I’m down with dirt. I’m down with mud.

I can be a fun mum too.

Some things in life are quite simply meant to go together.

Gin loves tonic, a pie lives for sauce, feet adore massages and children delight in dirt.

A friend of mine was talking about setting up a mud kitchen in her garden complete with muffin trays and wooden spoons and my initial reaction was of fear of mess.

I’m often prone to this fear.

Then I thought about it.

I’ve been working on my acceptance of messy play for as long as I’ve had children and I think for the most part I’m winning. I can mix the Play Dough colours now without so much as a shiver, and when I find paint all over the children, and floor, I can now laugh rather than freak out… too much.

Texta/crayons/pencil on the couch or walls still gets me where it hurts however, but I imagine nary a parent out there is down with furniture enhanced by toddler graffiti.

The more I thought about my friend’s idea, the more I realized that the mud kitchen is actually quite genius.

To read more about setting up my mud kitchen pop over to Be A Fun Mum here.

Cook Once, Feed All COVER_lr

Cook Once, Feed All is about making your life easier whilst preparing nutritious and quick food for your family. Hailed by Mouths of Mums as the ‘must have recipe book for all families’, this book is a collection of family friendly recipes, all accompanied by stories from my life.

If you subscribe now to the Keeping Up With The Holsbys mailing list you will automatically receive my new mini-eBook ‘A Bit On The Side’  - A collection of fabulous summer salads and side dishes.

I’m extending my freebie offer to keep up the Christmas spirit.

To order your hardcopy of Cook Once, Feed All ($35) head to the Holsby Shop right now. You will also receive the Cook Once Feed All eBook (worth $15), plus the new eBook ‘A Bit on the Side’ (worth $5) as a bonus gift in your inbox today.

Three for the price of one, and you save $20.

If you like what you’re reading why not like my Facebook page now or subscribe via email, to be sure to always keep up with the Holsbys.

The joy of giving.

19 Dec guilt free truffles (2 of 1)

guilt free truffles (1 of 1)I recently popped over to Woolies Babies and Toddlers for a little chat about giving, and Christmas, and I dropped off a couple of recipes for some homemade truffles.

I usually really love Christmas.

This year I’m struggling to get in the swing a little, it seems like Christmas has kinda snuck up on me and I’m not quite ready. I need another month, please.

I’m going to officially wrap presents today and stick them under the tree in hope of getting with the vibe.

Remember that feeling you’d get in your tummy on Christmas Eve as a child?

You’ve laid out some biscuits and milk for Santa, and a carrot or two for Rudolph. You get packed off to bed with wishes of sweet dreams, but you know full well that you are not going to sleep tonight.

No way.

You’re going to wait up to see Santa.

You don’t care about tradition, or religion. You care not for the family lunch your mother has been preparing for days. You’re not fussed about carols or cards, because all you can think about are those shiny, colourful packages under the tree with your name on them.

To check out the rest of this post pop over to Woolworths Babies and Toddlers here

guilt free truffles (4 of 1)

Cook Once, Feed All COVER_lr

Cook Once, Feed All is about making your life easier whilst preparing nutritious and quick food for your family. Hailed by Mouths of Mums as the ‘must have recipe book for all families’, this book is a collection of family friendly recipes, all accompanied by stories from my life.

If you subscribe now to the Keeping Up With The Holsbys mailing list you will automatically receive my new mini-eBook ‘A Bit On The Side’  - A collection of fabulous summer salads and side dishes.

I’m extending my freebie offer to keep up the Christmas spirit.

To order your hardcopy of Cook Once, Feed All ($35) head to the Holsby Shop right now. You will also receive the Cook Once Feed All eBook (worth $15), plus the new eBook ‘A Bit on the Side’ (worth $5) as a bonus gift in your inbox today.

Three for the price of one, and you save $20.

If you like what you’re reading why not like my Facebook page now or subscribe via email, to be sure to always keep up with the Holsbys.

10 Survival Tips to Get Through Toddler Mealtime

24 Nov
Toddler mealtimes made easy

How’s D Man’s NCIS haircut?? That was the day Mister H decided he would be on hair cut duty.
His privileges were revoked.

It’s enough to instil fear in the most hardened of hearts. Toddler meal times can be a battle of the wills but if you have a little patience, and a little wine you can get through anything!

I popped together a survival guide over at My Little Sunshine House to help you get through the danger zone.

 

 It’s the end of the day, you’re tired, your edges are frayed and you will love your children just a little bit more once they’re asleep in bed.

You can see the light at the end of the tunnel but you have the final hurdle to go….

Arsenic Hour.

I’ve long referred to the dinner/bath/bed routine as the Vortex and sometimes an hour can feel like a week.

Or a month.

Don’t get me wrong I love my kids, and generally speaking they’re pretty good feeders but dinner can be the camel that breaks the squaw’s back.

No wonder I love wine so much, right?

I’ve popped together a few survival tactics to help you make to bedtime without losing your cool, doing your block, and yelling until the neighbours close their windows (hypothetically speaking, not an actual eventuality).

To read the rest of this post, pop over to My Little Sunshine House here.

I am launching my new book on the 28th November. The countdown is on!

Cook Once, Feed All COVER_lr

Cook Once, Feed All is about making your life easier whilst preparing nutritious and quick food for your family. This book is a collection of family friendly recipes, all accompanied by stories from my life.

If you subscribe now to the Keeping Up With The Holsbys mailing list you will automatically receive my new mini-eBook ‘A Bit On The Side’  - A collection of fabulous summer salads and side dishes.

To pre-order your hardcopy of Cook Once, Feed All ($35) head to the Holsby Shop right now and you will be the first to receive the hard copy book after it launches on the 28th. You will also receive the Cook Once Feed All eBook (worth $15), plus the new eBook ‘A Bit on the Side’ (worth $5) as a bonus gift in your inbox today.

Three for the price of one, and you save $20.

Winning :-)

If you like what you’re reading why not like my Facebook page now or subscribe via email, to be sure to always keep up with the Holsbys.

 

Facing Fears, and Five Spice Szechuan Roast Chicken

21 Nov roast szechuan chicken

szechuan and five spice chicken ingredientsWhen your child is terrified of something forcing them to do it goes against every fibre of your being.

We started swimming lessons a few times with D Man but he hated it so much we stopped for a year and a half. We started again a few weeks ago.

Hated it. Hated it.

Hated. It.

There was a dude teacher there who was quite simply the ‘toddler whisperer’ so we switched to his class hoping it would be better… hmmmmm, not so much.

D Man liked this guy better, but the crying and clinging like a limpet continued. It was really heartbreaking to watch.

I know you’re thinking that we could have just not done it, but swimming is a pretty important life skill when you’re an Aussie. We spend a lot of time around water. I don’t care if he can’t do freestyle or butterfly, I just want him to be able to not drown.

I took him this morning and we sat by the side of the pool awaiting our turn and he started to get stressed and make a little high pitched keening sound.

Swimming is fun, babe. Once you get used to it, you’ll really love it.

But, Mama, I’m scared.

My heart clenched.

I know, honey, but I promise that you don’t need to be scared because everyone here wants to help you to do this. What’s the scariest bit?

I don’t want to get my head wet. (doesn’t want to mess his hair… get’s that from his Nana)

Cool, we’ll tell your teacher.

Ssssscared.

I then realised that life is scary, and it’s good to be scared because that means you’re doing something new and pushing yourself. It’s ok to be scared and if you do it anyway, you might get something great out of it.

I told him that. I also told him I’d buy him a chocolate Paddle Pop if he got through the class.

He was a different boy.

Seeing my child conquer fear is not something I’ve had much of yet, but the pride I felt watching him paddle and blow bubbles and smile and laugh without the sheer terror and tears of previous weeks was such a moment of elation for me.

No idea if next week will be as good but a glimmer of the water babe he may one day be was enough to make me persevere.

Brilliant swimming boy!

He earned that Paddle Pop… I earned a sexy roast chicken.

I first experienced the joys of Szechuan pepper at Neil Perry’s Spice Temple. He created chicken that positively made your mouth go numb… mixed with a saketini and my whole head was numb by the end of the night. I haven’t gone that far with this chook.

This level is fine for the kids, in fact, Kiki couldn’t get enough of this, practically crawling onto the table to gnaw the carcass.

That’s my girl.

szechuan and five spice chickenSzechuan Chicken with Crunchy Noodle Salad.

Yield : 4 adults, or three adults and 2 toddlers

What you will need :

For chicken –

  • 1 whole chicken (free range organic is yummiest)
  • 2 tablespoons szechuan pepper
  • 1 tablespoon 5 spice
  • 2 pinches salt
  • 2 wedges of lemon

spices in mortar with pestleFor crunchy noodle salad - 

  • 2 carrots, julienned or grated
  • 1/4 cabbage, julienned
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced diago
  • nally
  • 1/3 cup combined of sesame seeds, sunflower seeds and slivered almonds
  • 1 packet of crunchy fried noodles
  • 1 bunch fresh coriander, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/4 white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • Sri Racha chili sauce for serving

Preheat oven to 190C

Stick your spices and salt into a mortar and pestle and give them a jolly good grind. Rub liberally all over your bird and pop the lemon up it’s butt.

szechuan and five spice chickenDrizzle with oil and pop onto a roasting rack. Pour a cup of water into the tray and stick her in the oven. After 45 minutes, turn it over for half an hour before turning it back again. I do this to ensure that the juices stay in, and it crisps evenly all around…. but if you can’t be bothered I totally respect that.

While your chook is roasting, throw your nuts and seeds into a dry fry pan and lightly toast them. Set aside to cool.

Toss all of your chopped vegetables and coriander into a large bowl and mix to combine.

Make your dressing by combining all together and giving a good stir. Add noodles and nuts and dress salad just as you’re about to serve so it retains its texture and crunch.

roast szechuan chicken

I am launching my new book on the 28th November. The countdown is on!

Cook Once, Feed All by Danielle Colley

Cook Once, Feed All is about making your life easier whilst preparing nutritious and quick food for your family. This book is a collection of family friendly recipes, all accompanied by Danielle’s often funny and charming story telling.
Hailed by Mouths of Mums as the ‘must have recipe book for all families’

 

To order your hardcopy of Cook Once, Feed All head to the Holsby Shop right now.

You will also receive the Cook Once Feed All eBook (worth $15), plus the new eBook ‘A Bit on the Side’ (worth$5) as a bonus gift in your inbox today.

Three for the price of one, and you save $20.

Jaeda, A different kind of perfect.

19 Nov jaeda 3

Jaeda and AngeAnge’s life is pretty perfect to anyone looking in from the outside.

A handsome husband she adores and he treats her like his queen. They live in a perfect part of Australia’s Sunshine Coast, and life was exactly what every girl would dream for herself.

Jett, their firstborn, was a happy and healthy baby, who grew into a clever and curious toddler. When baby Jaeda came along, the very picture of perfection, it truly seemed as if life couldn’t get any better.

One day, when Jaeda was six months old she became gravely ill. Their bouncy, smiling girl was listless and drowsy, and her fevers were through the roof. Like any concerned parents Michael and Ange took her straight to the medical centre where they were told she was suffering tonsilitis and she needed to sleep it off.

Nothing to worry about.

Six hours later, after watching her baby rapidly deteriorate, and become more lifeless by the minute, Ange’s maternal instinct told her that something was dreadfully wrong. She rushed her daughter to Emergency. They discovered afterwards, had Ange not trusted that instinct, baby Jaeda would have survived the night.

Whilst at their local hospital, Jaeda began to have seizures and finally a lumbar puncture revealed that she had meningitis and after doing a culture they discovered that she also had HSV encephalitis causing massive swelling in her brain.

Encephalitis is not actually a virus, but a term used for inflamation of the brain caused by a virus. There are a number of virus’ that can cause viral encephalitis including rubella and measles, but Jaeda’s was caused by the herpes simplex virus. Someone with a simple cold sore came into contact with Jaeda, and instead of her coming up with a standard blister, the virus went into her system and headed for her little brain.

Coming home after 33 days in hospital.

Coming home after 33 days in hospital.

They were rushed to Brisbane Hospital where a PICC line (intravenous line) was put into Jaeda’s little arm to pump antibiotics straight into her system. CT scans revealed that the swelling of her brain had caused significant damage to her front and left lobes.

Ange and Mick were told their little girl would never be the same again. As she was so young and undeveloped, there was no telling the extent of the damage, or what it actually meant for their futures and they would just have to wait and watch their little girl develop and see how she progressed.

Only time would tell.

Ange and Jaeda stayed in the hospital 24/7 for 33 long days. With no family support in Queensland, her in-laws came and took her toddler, Jett, to their home on the Central Coast. Although she knew he was safe, it was the first time she’d been away from him for such a long time, further tearing at her heart. There were many tears shed, and many nights just watching her baby, praying for divine intervention.

Ange never gave up hope as she was simply grateful that her child has survived this horrific illness.

Jaeda and jett

Ange knows Jett will grow up to be an accepting and caring man because of his sister.

Slowly, day by day, a little light came back on in Jaeda, and when she looked into her Mama’s eyes and her smile returned Ange knew that no matter what happened, everything was going to be alright.

Jaeda is now a bubbly and happy 2 and a half year old girl, and to look at her you would never guess there was anything awry.

The doctors explained to us that when a baby receives a brain injury, sometimes the other parts of their brain learn to compensate and they adapt. Generally, if this is going to happen, it will happen in the first 2 years. It’s been two years now and although there are signs of improvement, we don’t think that will happen with Jaeda.

It was only when she missed reaching milestones, that we all take for granted in our healthy children, that the extent became apparent. Most babies will clap or wave by 12 months, but Jaeda did not. Most children will reach up to be picked up, Jaeda did not.

Ange found herself staring at other children and comparing them with Jaeda and she began to obsess over the things that Jaeda could not do.

I realised I needed to focus on the things that Jaeda could do. I need to remember that we are lucky that our sweet girl is still with us, and remember that she is amazing in so many ways. She brings us so much joy.

When Jaeda did finally clap recently, Ange was the proudest mum in the whole world. The whole family did a happy dance.

Jaeda suffered hearing loss and cannot speak, so she communicates with ‘gaga’ sounds. She’s trying to talk but the words simply don’t form, and if she’s excited or frustrated that can become squealing.

People ask me to control her, or make her stop. I always thought I was the kind of person who didn’t care what people thought, but when I see people looking at my child and rolling their eyes I can feel myself become a Mama Lion. Don’t you dare judge, I think, you don’t know what my little girl has been through.

When Ange was given hearing aids for Jaeda, she discovered that the angry looks stopped. Now Jaeda looked like there was something wrong and people cut her some slack.

JaedaWhy does a disability have to be obvious for people to be kind? Why do you need a symbol like hearing aids to stop the cruel stares? I just want to protect my baby because she hasn’t got a voice. I always feel like explaining what’s happening with Jaeda, I feel with anyone we speak to, no matter how close they are to us, that I have to tell them what she is achieving and what she is not. I feel better in myself if everyone has an understanding as to what is going on in her little brain and how she is progressing.

Jaeda has started at a mainstream kindy now, with her school being given inclusion support by way of an extra teacher at hand. Being integrated with ‘normal’ children is proving to be wonderful for her development. It is also affording Ange a much needed break from the rigours of parenting a child with demanding needs.

I asked Ange if she ever wonders why me?

No, never. I believe only special people are chosen to handle this. I wish she didn’t get sick, but she did. My husband has been my biggest saviour throughout this. He is the meaning of a best friend, my greatest buddy and together we can do anything. I look at him everyday and thank god he is mine. Without this man I couldn’t have handled the past 2 years.

Ange would like to start a support group for mothers with children that have disabilities. Any disability.

Jaeda and I spend a lot of time awake at night. She just rocks and hums for hours in her room, but while she’s awake, I can’t sleep. I would love to jump online and have a read about parents feeling exactly the same as I do. I want parents to have a laugh about how some people handled a situation they experienced and shine a light on how someone else handled something.  Just talking about it, realising you are not alone, gives you strength.

She would love to create a symbol for people to wear, like a pink ribbon, so that people can recognise that their child is different and perhaps not be so quick to judge behaviours. Ange believes that her darling Jaeda is indeed still perfect, she’s now just a different kind of perfect.

jaeda 3If you are interested in joining a support group for parents of special needs children, or would like to help Ange set one up, please contact me and I’ll get you in touch with each other.

If you have any ideas for a symbol, Ange would love to hear your thoughts.

I am launching my new book on the 28th November. The countdown is on!

Cook Once, Feed All by Danielle Colley

Cook Once, Feed All is about making your life easier whilst preparing nutritious and quick food for your family. This book is a collection of family friendly recipes, all accompanied by Danielle’s often funny and charming story telling.
Hailed by Mouths of Mums as the ‘must have recipe book for all families’

I am giving away 1 Cook Once, Feed All ebook a day until the big launch party!

For your chance to win Cook Once, Feed All today pop over and like the Keeping Up With The Holsbys Facebook page, and leave me a message about your most loved family meal. Winners will be announced tonight and will recieve the ebook before it is launched.

If you subscribe now to the Keeping Up With The Holsbys mailing list now you will automatically receive my new mini-eBook ‘A Bit On The Side’  - A collection of fabulous summer salads and side dishes.

To pre-order your hardcopy of Cook Once, Feed All head to the Holsby Shop right now and you will be the first to receive the hard copy book after it launches on the 28th. You will also receive the Cook Once Feed All eBook (worth $15), plus the new eBook ‘A Bit on the Side’ (worth $5) as a bonus gift in your inbox today.

Three for the price of one, and you save $20.

Hooking up with the IBOT gang because I’m blogging on Tuesday. Check out EssentiallyJess for more cool blogs.

HOLSBY TV Iron Chef:Suburbia

17 Nov

I recently met, and developed a little lady crush, on the wonderful Mandy Dos Santos, nutritionist from Little People Nutrition.

It was refreshing in this day and age of hyper-sensitive eating (for which there is an important place – I’m not poo pooing), to find someone who has a very similar food philosophy as myself.

We discussed this sympatico over a schooner of beer and a bowl of fries and we decided we really needed to do some cool shit together.

A pair of busy mums, living a good two hours drive from each other, cool shit was hard to co-ordinate…. and then there was this.

Going head to head in the kitchen two suburban Iron Chefs battled it out over the kitchen bench only to be judged by the harshest critics in the world.

Those Japanese actresses are a piece of cake compared to…

The Toddler.

I present to you

IRON CHEF : SUBURBIA

Our guest iron chef was victorious this time, but stay tuned for more opportunities for Mrs H to win the crown.

To see the complete recipe for the brown rice sushi check it out here

To see the complete calamari recipe check it out here

I am launching my new book on the 28th November. 11 days….The countdown is on!

Cook Once, Feed All COVER_lr

Cook Once, Feed All is about making your life easier whilst preparing nutritious and quick food for your family. This book is a collection of family friendly recipes, all accompanied by stories from my life.

If you subscribe now to the Keeping Up With The Holsbys mailing list you will automatically receive my new mini-eBook ‘A Bit On The Side’  - A collection of fabulous summer salads and side dishes.

To pre-order your hardcopy of Cook Once, Feed All ($35) head to the Holsby Shop right now and you will be the first to receive the hard copy book after it launches on the 28th. You will also receive the Cook Once Feed All eBook (worth $15), plus the new eBook ‘A Bit on the Side’ (worth $5) as a bonus gift in your inbox today.

Three for the price of one, and you save $20.

Winning :-)

If you like what you’re reading why not like my Facebook page now or subscribe via email, to be sure to always keep up with the Holsbys.

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