Down the rabbit hole

Gosh I never realised how much my newest obsession would take over my life!!
If I’m not baking or decorating cakes, I’m researching techniques, watching YouTube tutorials, flicking through endless Facebook pages of fantastic out of this world cakes, testing recipes and yes … More than a little eating cake too!!

I feel like I’m falling down the rabbit hole in Alice in Wonderland and discovering this amazing world I never new existed.

There are times I doubt my abilities, usually half way through a cake when I remember that no one has taught me anything and I’m really just making it up as I go along, but boy is that a fun thing to do!

I’ve made some lovely “cake friends” been inspired on infinite levels, but I think the thing that’s made the biggest impact on me…. Is that when I finish a cake, I look at it and think “I made that” and I am CHUFFED!! I haven’t felt like I was good at anything since … Who knows?

I love my life and my kids, but having a little mini achievement in cake form every now and then has been good for my confidence and good for my soul! Don’t get me wrong, I’ve still done those 6 loads of washing, emptied and stacked the dishwasher an obscene amount of times and cooked meals too but in between all that I’ve made something to be proud of and that’s rather cool.

So here’s a few of my latest cakes. As I fall deeper down the Rabbit Hole.

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Are my devices dictating my days?

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It’s nearly 10 at night, my boys have been interrupting my sleep most nights lately and I’m tired…. But I’m also trying to sort something through in my head and I’ve found this to be a really good way of doing that… So here goes.

Today I spent 3 hours at a shopping centre.

My 4 year old was at Kindy today, and my friend and I decided to do the grocery shop in tandem. 2 grown ups, 2 kids, possibly easier than each doing our own separately. Definitely more fun.

As often happens with us, we got distracted. Shopped a lot, spoiled our kids, had a cup of tea and shared a muffin, and finally got around to food shopping while causing the average shopper to look over at us and frown..”why are these two grown woman laughing and having such a good time at Coles?”
Which we thought was quite hilarious but I’ve been thinking about it all day….

Why?

Well, today I went grocery shopping, spent time with a friend, and my baby and had a great time. Nothing too crazy about it…. So why isn’t every day like that?

My name is Tanya and I AM AN ADDICT

Not a substance, not alcohol or even smokes…. Im a technology junkie….
It must stop.

Today I was in the moment. Even though I did get a bit frustrated as the hours (did I mention it took 3.) ticked by. That was only because I knew poor Taj was going to be lucky to catch an hours sleep. Mostly I was just happy to be there, at that time, with those three people.

Stay with me….

When I’m at home, it can be quite different. I must admit my devices are my go to thing, when I’m frustrated with the kids, I pick up my phone and txt a friend. Could it wait until I next see them for coffee and a chat? Absolutely. Does it? No….

When the kids are having lunch (yes I’m ashamed of this one ) I more often than not, grab my 5 minutes quiet time with a cup of tea and my iPad. I play a game of words with friends or draw something, I catch up on some adult goss and ogle some inspirational cakes on facebook and then get back to the mummy and housewifery and cake making jobs I have to get to.

Am I saying I’m a bad Mum? No I’m not. I still feel confident that I am a good mum to my boys. Am I as good a mum as I can be? No. Am I a present Mum…. Not all the time no… And thats where things are going to change.

My husband and I were in the lounge room the other day. Our 1 year old was up past his bedtime (again) and I was waiting for him to burn out before giving him a breastfeed (yes… Still… But thats a whole other blog) and try him back in bed. So it’s 8 o’clock or later… I’m playing scramble with friends on my iPad. And Mr T is throwing a balloon around the room. Am I paying him attention… No not really (8 o’clock, surely that’s me time right?) and Taj walks up and hits me square in the face with a balloon. And my husband says “yeah I agree Taj, your little brother iPad is getting more attention than you tonight. ”

I HATE to admit this. But he was (a little bit) right. Sure it was late and I was tired and frustrated, but does that give me the right to not be present? How many funny things do I miss my 1 year old do, how many conversations have not been had with my 4 year old, or have I missed hearing him have with his brother (or a batman action figure for that matter) or not had with my husband (only during ad breaks of course)

If being present makes grocery shopping fun, does it make cleaning the toy room fun? Am I going to get all spoon full of sugar happy with the kids in the morning when I’ve packed my phone, iPod and iPad away?

I’m not saying I never spend time with the kids. I do. Lots of it, we still make things, and cook together, jump outside, play cubby houses, but maybe we don’t do that enough, maybe those times when I sneak off for a cuppa and ”my fix’ something really magic would have happened with the 3 of us and I missed it. MAYBE and heres the kicker, maybe, I can be the person that makes people frown and say “why is that grown woman having so much fun” all the time. Because life is pretty fun, and having friends, and kids and (most the time) a husband is pretty great, and if we weren’t rushing around trying to get things done, or trying to get “me time” or whatever other reasons we have for not being entirely present with those who we love the most, we’d find that
THIS MOMENT, RIGHT HERE, WITH THESE PEOPLE IS ALL THAT MATTERS…

Sometimes it’s hard to judge ourselves as mothers. It’s a tough gig and sometimes you take whatever help you can get. I have a friend in qld who I really only talk to on my devices. Our friendship would not exist now without reconnecting on Facebook and chatting on words with friends and realising we have similar values and beliefs. There were days when I was getting used to being a mother of two where those conversations were a lifeline.
Now, though, the devices have become a lifeline… And I’m not evening sinking.
I have some really good stuff going on at the moment. My life is good, My kid are fantastic and I want to be present for them.

So it’s time to ease up on the technology…. Less iPad and iPod and More I paint, I play-doh, I play and I pretend.

Im not saying my devices are evil… Maybe just that excessive consumption may be harmful to your health.

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Roller coaster rides

Things have been a bit crazy around our house lately.

It’s our first school holidays, our younger boy, Taj, just started walking and their Nana came and spent a week here for Taj’s first birthday.

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None of these things in themselves turn your life upside down but all combined with being a crazy cake lady, it makes for a pretty full on couple of weeks. First of all, Taj turned one…. Being the crazy cake lady that I am I set myself quite a challenge. A 3D treehouse based on the raa raa the noisy lion cartoon. The kids actually behaved themselves and I managed to get the cake done in a day. I am unbelievably happy with it.

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That day I had baked a giant carrot cupcake and a dozen carrot cupcakes, so when may husband went to pick my mum up from the airport I couldn’t resist and threw together some matching raa raa cupcakes a for his party. (I am such a sucker!) its amazing what you can achieve when the kids go go to bed and stay in bed!

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Having my Mum here is so nice, she adores her grandsons and they adore her. Especially Jayden who has cottoned on to the concept that nana doesn’t see him all the times so will buy him pretty much whatever he wants.

He has been asking for about a month for a toy that shoots spiderwebs like spiderman. When I said no for the hundredth time he suggested that maybe Nana might like to buy it for him.

When we walked into the shop my 4 year old led us to the toy section, then walked up the aisle scanning the bottom right corner of each shelf until he found it. He didn’t ask for anything else. That was it. We paid and he was a super happy lad… Until 5 mins after we opened it but that’s another story!

The day after mum got here, I got up early and finished the giant cupcake

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Then we had Taj’s first birthday party. We are a lucky family and have such amazing people in our life, it was a very low key but special day (cake went down a treat too!)

We also managed a 70th birthday party, an evening at the Theatre. Mary Poppins the musical. If you get a chance to see it you simply must!, a few cup of tea dates, a trip to the zoo and I also made this cake

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When mum goes home I always feel a bit low. It’s so hard not knowing when I’ll see her. Jayden also gets more demanding. Nana played with him WHENEVER he wanted! so surely mum should too. Taj started walking this week as well, and that’s been the biggest drop on my roller coaster! I’m so proud of him… But he seems to be so excited that he can’t sleep at night. I’m spending a few hours settling him in the evening. A few times it’s been midnight!!!!

I’m feeling pretty frustrated about how little quality time I get to spend with Jayden with Taj being so demanding at the moment. Jayden and I were so close when it was just he and I, now there’s very little time to do things together without Taj coming in and fighting for my attention (he has a short temper and makes things quite difficult!) plus he’s a school boy now and that is definitely becoming evident. He’s always asking to play games rather than play with his mum.

So I guess what I’m getting at, isn’t it funny how you can be on top of the world one minute and feeling so flat the next. I’m sure getting some sleep will help… But how does a 1 yr old wield the power to affect an entire family dynamic? WHY has my boy who has slept through just about every night since 6 weeks old decided to defeat me? I’d be pretty lost without my great friends to vent to that’s for sure. That has honestly taken me 4 hrs to write in between all my Mummy jobs and I am shattered!!!! So thanks for that my blog diary 🙂 I feel better now!

Things I had forgotten from last time around …

My 7 month old is on the move. I am terrified!!!

Of course he is my second so I’m not quite as caught by surprise as I was with every turn my life took when Jayden was born. However Jayden was quite lazy and didn’t crawl until 10 months. Taj is moving from room to room now at 7 months. I’m impressed and proud, but also sad at how fast he’s growing up, and truth be told, a bit annoyed too!

It is soooo much more work. Vacuuming, which was a once a week chore is now a daily task that I have to try and fit in while both children are occupied but not asleep. I am constantly “tidying” (or more accurately put, cleaning up after my whirlwind almost 4 yr old) and all of a sudden we just seem to have too much STUFF!!! There are little spaces everywhere that Tajy can crawl into but not crawl out of!

Our gap between boys is larger than most of my friends’ kids at just over 3 years, and I am feeling the gap mostly in that I had forgotten how much harder a 0-2 yr old is to look after than a 2-4 yr old.

From around 2 years old I could put Jayden in the bath and then go and get his dinner ready, or get ready for work (when I worked nights) all in the next room, and all the time listening and talking to him. But my hands were free! Now I’m back to sitting in a puddle on the bathroom floor, while I try to correctly anticipate each boys hunger/tiredness level and time the dinner, bath, bed routine correctly… Time management at its most difficult and that’s only with 2 – you ladies with 3 or 4 kids are amazing!!

Being that I am a sucker at heart, and love seeing Jayden’s face light up at the sight of a tree. Jayden and I dug out the Christmas box this week and erected our tree, in the process creating a giant, twinkling, dangerous obstacle for Taj to be constantly drawn to!

I had forgotten the simplicity of being able to say “no” or “stop” to a child and them understanding!!!!

Taj is a great sleeper, which in honestly I had not been prepared for at all. Jayden was a nightmare from birth – 3 inclusive. No joke!!! He needed to be rocked to sleep as an infant (our fault) and poor Jon and I would have to tag team in our efforts to put him to sleep at night. He would wake for 2-4 breastfeeds a night and when he was 14 months and I cut out the breastfeeds he just went on waking for a bottle. When we transferred him from a cot to a toddler bed, he would let us tuck him in, wait til the door was shut, and hop right on out and sleep on his carpet!!! We tried EVERYTHING, he did that for about 9 months and then one day just decided to stay in his bed….

Anyway, all that kept in mind, the part I was most terrified about having another baby was the sleepless nights. Especially considering that I really was only getting sleep for the last 2 months before Taj was born. Taj has slept through 10-12 hrs 95% of nights from about 6 weeks. He is AMAZING! I did use sleeping bags with him from about 6 months, try VERY hard to never rock him to sleep unless he’s very distressed and think we’re generally just much calmer with him but that part has been a lovely surprise.

Even with all the surprises having two kids has brought, and all the little details I had so conveniently forgotten, I’m finding it truly amazing to see how two little people, from the same parents, brought up in the same environment can differ so dramatically.

I wonder in what other ways they will differ and what common interests they will share.

One thing is for sure, the greatest gift I have given Jayden, is his brother Taj. They adore each other and watching them play is the highlight of every day.

Anyway, I’m off to vacuum, tidy a toy room and childproof a Christmas tree.

Until next time …

The year Jayden met Batman

When I read The Earth Abides by George R. Stewart, the one thing I loved was the way that they named the years.

In their post-apocalyptic society they decide not to continue keeping time as we had done previously and instead of having a numbered year, each year would be named based on something that stuck in their minds.  I can’t remember them all now, but they were things like. The year the grasshoppers came, The year Jessie learnt to read, The year of the great fire etc

This year has been full of ups and downs. We have lost and gained family members and had too many hospital visits, but I’d like to think when I look back on 2011 that I get this image, and think of it as “The year Jayden met Batman”

It was a great way to spend time as a family, seeing the joy on our son’s face.

We went to the Gold Coast to visit my Mum. We hadn’t seen Nana Max (as she is affectionately known to my kids) since May and Taj had done a lot of growing since then! I struggle not living close to my Mum. I’d love to have her over for dinner, to pop round and discuss our latest reads over a pot of tea. I did miss her a lot when I first moved to WA but I miss her 10 fold now I have kids and I can’t share the hilarious things that they do!

Sometimes I think the anticipation is just as good as the thing itself, This was almost the case with this trip. Jayden was telling anyone who would listen, even before Bali, that he was going on a holiday to see BATMAN! When he said Batman, his voice would get very serious and there would be a huge hand gesture to go with it. It was really exciting. I made sure to introduce Jayden to Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and Scooby Doo via cartoons so he could get the most out of this trip and his reaction didn’t fail to disappoint.

The first day we had a quiet day, after traveling all night. Jon and I took it in turns to have a nap while Jayden and his Nana had some bonding time and Taj caught up on his sleep. I think they had a great day together.

The next day Jayden woke up and said “Now we can go see Batman!” There was no distracting him. As we walked into the gates of Movieworld you could see he was overwhelmed. There was just so much to look at. We took a seat at the Looney Tunes “What’s up rock” show, well more accurately we sat on a curb… We watched the whole show, which was actually pretty good, he took some pictures and watched it but as soon as it was finished… you guessed it. “Now we can go see Batman!”

I had organised to meet a friend of mine from school at Movieworld. Alana and I hadn’t seen each other since high school and hadn’t really been friends since 97 or so, so it was exciting to catch up. We’ve recently reconnected through “Words with Friends” of all things, and it’s so nice to reconnect with someone who you have so much in common with. We have the same family values and the same opinions about most things so I was looking forward to seeing her.

We went over into the WB Kidz zone and despite all the amazing rides, couldn’t distract Jayden even for a second, from the fact that he hadn’t yet seen Batman. So I got a 2 minute chat with Alana, her partner and niece before admitting that if I wanted to make it through the day, it would be best to locate Batman ASAP!

We headed back to Batman’s alleyway, but it was empty…

I popped my head into the photo counter and asked when we might expect to see him and the ULTRA FRIENDLY photographer sorted out a good photo package for us and 2 minutes later, my 4 year old, who for all intents and purposes fully believes this scary serious, masked man dressed in black to be the ‘caped crusader’ wanders away from me without even a backwards glance!!!!! Honestly I’ve got it on video!!!

I had been a bit worried that when it came down to it he would be afraid of Batman but he definitely wasn’t! Jayden had a little chat, a photo taken, gave Batman a high five and came back looking about 6 months older. He was so proud of himself!

I won’t forget that 5 minutes as long as I live. It was the memory of a lifetime for him.

We turned the corner and Flash and Green Lantern had just walked out onto Main Street. Jayden just about screamed and went and had his photo taken with them. When the Green Lantern showed him his ring, Jayden asked if he could have it and was a little disappointed when he was told that he couldn’t! We went for a walk to catch up with my friends and then poor Jayden burst into tears. It had all just hit him. I guess he must have felt a little like a 13 yr old at a Justin Bieber concert! He had met his idol! Batman!!!!

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There were so many other fantastic memories of that day, when he watched the Batman show and walked away shaking after watching Batman be taken into custody and then fought his way through some dancing Ninja’s to save the day. When he went on a ride in a car and gave up half way and walked back, or the second time he visited Batman and took his Daddy down to meet him,  I could go on and on.

Poor Taj didn’t get up to anything exciting at Movieworld. He spent most of the day in the pram, and getting frightened by the big costumed Bugs, or the crack of Catwoman’s whip.

Daddy and Nana Max loved seeing everything from Jayden’s point of view. It was pure joy to watch.

Batmobile at Gotham City Cafe

I managed to sneak in my first roller coaster in about 10 years, while Taj had a nap! And I still feel really bad for laughing when a mystery man opened a door while we were in the queue straight into Alana’s back, I hadn’t realised how hurt you were. Sorry Lana!!

At 3:30 pm they have the end of day parade. We sat down on the curb again, giant stuffed Batman in hand, courtesy of Nana. Bugs and Lola come down in an old fashioned car, Sylvester in a cat head shaped car, Daffy and Tweety, The Scooby gang, The Joker, Justice League, Catwoman, Batman and the Batmobile, and the stunt car. They get down the end of main street, circle around again. This time the looney tunes pull out a wicked little dance sequence and everyone interacts with crowd. I can’t say enough how fantastic these guys are. They really make the time to make the kids feel special. It was magical. Batman goes past high fiving everyone and then gets to Jayden. Batman crouches down, points at the Batman toy and tells him (Jayden or the toy?… not sure) that he’s cool, gives him a high five and a ruffle of the hair. Honestly he made Jayden feel like the most special person on the planet and Mum and I were there sitting either side of him with a little tear in our eyes. The Flash was great too and remembered Jayden and had a chat.  They all made sure that we had a fantastic day and we really enjoyed it.

The rest of the holiday was great too. We went to Seaworld, and Jayden went on the flume ride and held his hands in the air and screamed as the boat went down the ramp. I was so proud. Both the boys seemed to love the dolphin show, and I LOVED it when a dolphin came up next to us from her pen and started clicking in conversation. Honestly, they are amazing creatures. Mum and I had a fantastic High Tea and I came home with a beautiful glass teapot and some “blooming tea” which I LOVE! Jayden bonded with Mum’s partner Wayne over some xbox games and Taj took his first 3 crawling steps (but saved the real crawl for his Mum when we got home)

We had such a great time, but for me the whole holiday is summed up in that first picture. I smile every time I look at it and love hearing Jayden tell his friends. I went on a holiday and I saw ‘My friend Batman.’

Back from Bali

Well I had planned on blogging each day that we were in Bali. If you don’t keep track you always seem to forget the little things.  However I had also anticipated that my six month old would sleep!!  What with all the the sun and swimming. Since the latter never happened nor did the former!

We left for Bali on the 17th of October. This was the second time for Jon, Jayden and I. First time with two kids. And the first holiday with Jon’s Mum. Both the kids flew pretty well – it’s roughly 3 hours flight from Perth. Taj slept for a little and Jayden entertained himself with his iPod, watching a few cartoons and playing some games. Before we knew it we were getting whisked off by two porters carrying our luggage and off to find a van big enough to fit all of us, our luggage and the stroller!

It’s so strange having the kids in the car with no car seat and SO much more work! Taj is fidgety at the best of times so having him on your lap with so much to look at out the windows is a pain in the bum!  I love the feeling you get when you land in Bali. It’s only 3 hours away and it truly is a different world. Talk about a culture shock.  Children riding mopeds in horrendous traffic. Babies jammed in between parents on mopeds. Side by side markets selling the exact same items, massive KFC’s in the middle of a closed down row of shops… Just bizarre really!

I forgot how fond the Balinese are of children. Every Taxi driver, waitress and shop attendant made an effort to talk to the boys. Many of them asking Taj “Where you from?”  I couldn’t tell you if they really did expect him to answer or not? The Taxi was about 30 minutes to Nusa Dua. We’d never stayed in Nusa Dua before and I was really looking forward to seeing it for myself. The pictures looked like Paradise and it did not disappoint.  We waited in the lobby to get checked in and the boys were presented with a little stuffed toy each. We had a beautiful welcome drink and then headed up to our two bedroom apartment.

We were so keen to get in the pool I actually forgot to take pictures of the apartment when we arrived and it ended up pretty messy afterwards so I have no pictures; but it was a lovely large 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom, self contained apartment with a large balcony.

We had a quick look around, dumped the suitcases and dashed off to check out the swimming pool. All the way through the plane ride, customs and the taxi ride, Jayden had been asking to go for a swim so we didn’t make him wait much longer.

Taj’s first holiday and also first time in a swimming pool

The pool was a nice big two tiered lagoon style pool. With little island of palm trees which helped separate it up and made it easy to find your own little patch to play around in.

Jayden had a really great time swimming with his Daddy and showing off. He really got his confidence up in the last few days and was swimming with his vest quite a long way unsupported by us.

The first night for dinner we were tired and didn’t feel like venturing far. The hotel had Chinese themed buffet dinner so we tried that … It was nothing to rave about and quite expensive really. Jayden ordered a hot dog from the menu. What came out was a horrible sausage on a crunchy bread roll filled with salad. Nothing like the menu picture but he did eat the sausage and chips.

Then there was some entertainment as a band came around and sang in a Chinese style. They asked for our request and we requested Twinkle twinkle little star (for the kids) and Pretty Woman which they did and it was very sweet. Jon got up and tried to play the double bass and Jayden was dancing away on my lap.

We got a little fright when we got the bill though, it was nearly $100 which is expensive for Bali really.

The Buffet breakfast was pretty good and Jayden enjoyed his fair share of Waffles and Eggs. After Breakfast it was usually a swim while Taj napped in the pram. One day we went down the street to a few markets on the road. I bought some sunglasses and dresses but nothing major. Nusa Dua really is much more relaxing than the Kuta/Legian area. I found the market stall owners in Nusa Dua very friendly and perhaps the prices are slightly steeper than in Kuta but it’s worth it if you ask me.

One day (don’t ask me which one … I was pretty sleep deprived) we took a blue cab to Tanjung Benoa and got a glass bottom boat over to turtle island. Jon, Jay and I had done this trip last time we were in Bali and this time probably wasn’t quite as good. The boat driver didn’t stop for very long to look at the fish which was really the reason I had wanted to do it. Jayden loved seeing the big turtles though and even got in with the bats!! He was very upset with me for telling him that they were too scary for me and there was no way I was getting in there!

We ate most nights at Bali Collections which had a really nice atmosphere, tasty, very reasonably priced food. We would feed 3 adults and a kids meal, all with drinks for around $40.  We pack a spray bottle and fill it with drinking water to cool us down in the heat. One day we were having lunch at one of the Prada restaurants at Collections and Jayden turned around and shot a waitress square in the face with the water! Luckily she thought it was quite funny. A few times the waitresses took Taj for a little walk so we could quickly wolf down the last of a meal. What I wouldn’t give for an uninterrupted meal sometimes! One morning after a 6am wake up Jayden was really hungry so Jon took him to breakfast on his own. When my mother-in-law Bernice, Taj and I headed down we ran into them heading back up to get ready for a swim. Jon took Taj with him and on day 5 I got my first enjoyable breakfast! It’s the little things!

Most of the time really was spent around the pool. Sometimes with a well-timed-in-between-breastfeeds-cocktail. It must be the heat but those cocktails really go to my head, and I find it hard to justify the $10 per drink that they charge at the hotels.

We did head down to the beach club one day towards the end. It honestly looks like a postcard.

Jayden, Bernice and I indulged with a gelato while Taj had a nap with Jon at the bar listening to Bob Marley. The pizza there was actually really good and the water cool and refreshing compared to the bath water temperature of the hotel swimming pool.

Jon and I were both able to grab 2 hours each and sneak off to the Spa for a pamper session. Foot bath, body scrub and body massage. It was really relaxing and enjoyable at the time but god my shoulder blade hurt the next day. Not sure if it was her or just from rocking my 8 kilo baby 2 hrs a day but I could barely move my arm the next day. After the body scrub you got coated in yoghurt and then hopped into a gorgeous bamboo flow shower to clean off. It was quite hilarious hearing Jon talking to a honeymooning couple we met in the pool, explaining to them how after the massage they coat you in MAYONNAISE!!!

Traveling with 2 kids one of which is 6 months old never seemed like it would be an easy task and I think we did do pretty well. The first night trying to convince Taj to sleep in the portacot was definitely the hardest, having to tag-team Jon at 2 am because I was exhausted. Closely followed by 10:30pm flight being delayed until 11:15 with no seats to be found in the part of the airport we were. I’m so glad I chose to be cheeky and lie Jayden down in a cafe’s booth (at the price of two coffees – thanks Bernice!) So he got a little rest, they both slept on the plane home as well so it wasn’t a complete nightmare.

I was really sad to leave Bali this time around, and now all we have to do is work out where we should stay in March!!

Well this blog has taken me all day to write, in between coffee with a friend, 3 loads of washing and general kids stuff. Now I’m off to tidy up before the hubby gets home! Until next time …

Fruit

Getting my son Jay to eat has always been a battle. The day he realized that sandwiches existed it’s been difficult to feed him anything else.

He’s 3 and a half and his dinners are generally pasta. Lasagna, bolognaise, spinach and ricotta cannelloni, cheese and vegetable ravioli etc. He does like curried sausages and a creamy thai chicken I make, butter chicken all with rice but put a piece of broccoli on his plate and he will refuse it. Pea in his dinner – he’ll gag!

He ABSOLUTELY refuses fruit. He hasn’t eating anything apart from 1 banana when he was 18 months old or so. It’s not that I don’t eat fruit. I do all the time! Originally it was a textural sort if thing I thought he’d outgrow, but it’s still well and truly present.

I manage to make his dinners healthy with “hidden veg”. My lasagna has roasted pumpkin pieces and grated sweet potato, zucchini, carrot and mushroom through the sauce. Pureed sweet potato makes cheesy mac nice and orange, and my spinach and ricotta cannelloni has a rich hidden veg sauce.

He is much harder to fool with fruit! I have tried fruit kebabs, frozen pureed fruit icy poles, pureed apple containers (one or 2 mouthfuls might have gotten in when he was around 1), dipping pieces in yoghurt or dips … I’ve tried bribing him, forcing him (only once or twice) and leaving it lying around to see if he’ll just pick it up… NOTHING

When Taj was born I had high hopes of using him to set a good example to Jayden and it appears to be working!

When I feed Taj I always tell Jayden what he’s eating. Vegetables or fruit and that’s why Taj is growing big and strong. Sometimes I ask Jayden if he wants some but other times I just tell Taj how lucky he is to get such yummy dinners.

Today Jayden was playing with his stuffed spiderman like a baby. Spiderman got very sad, and I was told he needed some “noodles and vegetables.” Jayden set up a high chair and got a spoon and bowl. I had been intending to heat up Jayden’s dinner of Spag Bol to share with Taj but instead I put some pureed Banana, Pear and Mango I had in the fridge in a baby bowl. Spiderman had a taste, Mummy had a taste … Then Jayden sat down and tasted… 5 minutes later he was asking for more. He could see how excited I was and he got really excited too. He ended up eating the whole lot 1/2 a cup or so I guess.

I told him how proud I was. He told me that he is going to grow big and strong now – then we called his Daddy. “I ate fruit!!!”

To so many people that wouldn’t be worth talking about I’m sure. But I try to celebrate all of his achievements and for us, this was quite a good one!