Monthly Archives: March 2011

Cooking adventures

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I have a love-hate relationship with cooking. I do like to cook, as long as I have a step-by-step recipe to follow and it’s something simple and tasty. I don’t like to cook when it comes to complex recipes and the end result is a pile of dishes to wash (my dishwasher is not great and doesn’t was pans properly). I also like to understand how a particular ingredient works. For example, almost all recipes of cakes require plain flour. Can I replace plain flour with ground almonds in all cases? And if I can, does it make sense to keep adding baking powder or I might as well remove it from the recipe? I was thinking about looking for classes that teach these things – because read a recipe I am perfectly capable of. It’s replacing and combining ingredients that I’m crap at.

Having said that, I decided to easy my anxiety by baking muffins, based on a recipe that Lelei posted on her blog (Light Blueberry Muffin – in Portuguese). I didn’t have blueberries, so I tried with banana and walnuts, and instead of ground almonds, I used linhaca flour (sorry, no idea what’s the name in English). I have to say that 1) it doesn’t look as nice as hers, 2) it didn’t grow at all, 3) it has a weird omelette-like consistency. Note for self: if using big pieces of banana and walnuts again, use the blender or mash the banana and cut the nuts in fine pieces. The taste is ok, I suppose. As per recipe, I used strawberry protein, so it’s a funny taste of banana and strawberry – a very common combination here, especially for babies porridge/dessert. Let’s see how it tastes tomorrow.

=> Next time, I’ll try with ground almonds, which is the same I use for the chocolate brownie. I’ll also try to bake the brownie with sweetener instead of sugar. And I also want to try baking scones, but I’m thinking about asking the recipe to my neighbour.

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For troubled times, it’s good to know

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Sometimes being a mum just seems too much work for one poor soul. It’s very demanding physically, mentally and emotionally, but – in most cases – it pays off. And for those times that we think it’s a little bit too much for us to cope, there is a study showing that the size of our brains is related to the period mothers breastfeed their babies. So far, so good for baby Laura. 10 months later and she has a lot of breast milk, much more than normal. Will I – or my breasts – survive this mission until she is two years old?

To read more, click on the link: Mothers’ hard work pays off with bigger brains for their babies

Mr. C sent me this link as a way of congratulating me for the good job, he says. My poor exhausted mind thinks it’s more like a carrot on a stick for the donkey to keep moving forward.

Drops

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* I honestly don’t know how some mothers can be mothers and still look beautiful, glamourous, young and fit. I feel like I’m 50 years old, but a 1930’s 50 years old, not a 2011’s 50 years old. Where’s my energy gone? I avoid as much as possible looking in a mirror because I don’t like what I see. By the way, we only have THREE mirrors in the house – two are in the bathrooms, where we can only see our faces and nothing more, and one is in the hallway, and I can’t see anything as it was placed too high.

* Laura hasn’t been well and it kills me to see her poorly. She hasn’t been well for a while now, going from a cold to another and now to an annoying diarrhoea (geez, had to Google this word in English). And the worse thing is that all we can do is give her fluids and wait. Really?? She went back to breastfeeding full time, since she doesn’t want to eat and now she can’t eat many things. She even lost weight, dropping from 50th to 25th in the UK growth chart. She is even tinier now. I’m  really sad and worried and angry at myself. Is it normal for a baby to get ill all the time? When she was 100% on breast milk she didn’t have anything, but as soon as we introduced solids – and the winter arrived – voila – cold here, fever there, blocked nose everywhere.

* And the British summer time that came to mess up ever more the life of a 10 months old child. I don’t complain because I’m loving all the day light, but little one decided she is sleeping at 8pm (7pm in her biological clock), but waking up at 6am (5am in real life). What the heck?!?!

* On the (very) cute side, she is now babbling loads of funny things. One of these days I even heard her say something similar to “I like it” when daddy offered her some banana. Ablueh, Agdot, Bigdo and others are also her new words.

*  We went to our neighbours home for a coffee – well, I had a hot chocolate and Mr. C had wine – and a chat. They are a really nice couple and we’ve been trying to organise something for ages. Little Laura wasn’t her normal self, as the night before the diarrhoea got really bad, but we managed to have fun. They also showed us the house, which was great. I was curious to see it – I’m always curious to see people’s homes – and really liked it. Now I need to sort out our place before we can invite them for coffee. And I need to look for some vegan recipes as the girl is vegan – by the way, she cooked an AMAZING vegan scone – I had two. For those who don’t know, vegan are vegetarians that don’t eat any dairy products and eggs (nothing from animal origin basically).

* I haven’t been talking much about the home decoration, but it’s mainly because I haven’t had much time, inspiration and the right items to work in the house. But I haven’t given it, and hopefully before I go back to work, there will be improvements.

* Mr. C is kicking me out. G’night

Last photos, last post

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I’m really tired – I had so much to write, but time is not on my side. So, to wrap up the night, here are some random photos.

Spring is in the air, everywhere I look around

While mum had a shower...

Mum is never tired of kissing these cheeks

Peek-a-boo!

Peek-a-boo 2!

Peek-a-boo 3! And there are another 10 of these...

And good night everybody, sleep tight!

Daddy’s little girl

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Lots of people say that Laura looks a lot like me. Funny enough, she has a lot of her daddy and maybe even more than my characteristics. Ok, she has the big brown eyes, but even those are not as dark as mine. Her hair, so far, is lighter than mine, very similar to her daddy’s (now, because he was blonde when he was born). Her smile is his. Nose, ears, feet. Even my mum now says that Laura is just like daddy!

Here are some photos of him when he was a baby .

Little monster

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Baby Laura is a healthy active baby, very vocal and social. Great, isn’t it? Well, not all the babies think so. Whenever she sees a baby or child, she screams in happiness, and 10 out of 10 times, she scares the baby and bring him/her to tears. This week we went to the supermarket nearby and she saw a 2 or 3 year old boy and as usual, she started screaming like crazy, pointing at him, with the biggest smile on her face. A 3 year old is not a baby anymore, right? Right. Still, the boy got scared and hid behind his mum, who had to explain to him that the “little girl is making funny noises because she is happy”. Later on, a member of the staff told Laura “so you are the little girl that was making all that noise!”.

Geez, I was telling the girls on Friday that it feels like I lock her in a dungeon the whole day and when I allow her to go out, she is so excited with the world outside that she can’t help but scream in happiness.

But for the records: I don’t lock her in a dungeon!

Hey DJ!

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It’s a long (1’40”) video, but if you have the time, watch at least one minute of it. Little Laura is DJing in her musical table, dancing to the banjo and waving to the crowd! It’s one of my favourite videos of her.