Monday, 30 January 2012

This week's menu.

As a busy mother of 3 children, wife and dog owner extraordinaire, I often struggle to find time to sit down and plan ahead. This weekend however, thanks to Mr being on good form and the children largely creating their own fun, (ergo trashing their bedrooms, but then we can't have it all!) I was left to my own devises with a cup of fresh coffee and my recipe books, for a small amount of time on Saturday which, not only, gave me time to plan the meals for the week ahead but also order all the ingredients online with (I don't often order from one specific supermarket, I usually use which ever one is closest, has the best deals or has recently sent me money off vouchers. I'm fickle like that.)
So, the fruits of my Saturday afternoon left me feeling slightly proud of my achievement and I wanted to share it all with you. I do love to cook, as I am a busy working mum, I rarely find time to cook everything from scratch everyday. However, due to my poorly start to the year, the children struggling to get back into the "school" routine and the miserable weather making us incredibly lazy I have decided that this week, everything will be home-cooked from scratch. for our evening meals.
I own and use a variety of cookbooks, this week, all the recipes have come from Lorraine Pascale's Home Cooking Made Easy and Gino D'Acampo's Italian Home Baking.
Monday: Duvet Day Chicken & Noodle Soup Served with Filone Rustica
Tuesday: Really Slow Roasted Pork Shoulder with Crispy, Crispy Crackling and Garlic Roast Vegetables
Wednesday: Beer Battered Fish with Oven Baked Chips
Thursday: Creamy Pancetta Pasta with Mushrooms and Parmesan Served with Stromboli
Friday: Warm and Cosy Coq au Vin
I have also made provisions to make my own Sausage Rolls, Granola Bars, Ciambellone and Panini al Latte for lunch boxes as well as a Pea & Mint Soup, Prosciutto & Brie Toasties and Satay Chicken for lunches at home and a Ciambellone loaf or two to get us through the week.
I am not against fast food or quick dinners in the slightest, but after nearly a month of 'not finding the time', I needed to make a change. I know we will all benefit greatly from an injection of home cooking and baking over the coming weeks. I am very lucky that my children are all great eaters and will try anything that they know mummy has stood in the kitchen preparing for ages (5+ hours in the case of the slow roasted pork shoulder!) and they love being part of the creation process.
I am thoroughly looking forward to preparing it all, enjoying the delicious smells of fresh-baked breads in the house and, of course, eating it all!
My husband will not be looking forward to cleaning up the kitchen after me!
Have a lovely week everyone!

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

My baby starts school.

Today is a day I have been dreading for some time. For purely selfish reasons I might add.

My daughter, aged just 2 1/2 took her first tiny, size 6 (almost 7), steps into the real world. Without me.

Gut wrenching is a good way to describe my feelings. My god I miss her tons already and it's only 9.43am and I have already cried buckets since 9.15am.

The fact that she couldn't wait to go tells my head that she is ready, brimming with confidence and that she is in a hurry to grow up. "but she's my baby" my heart wails.

We've talked about it and mentally prepared her loads as experience with the boys has shown this helps them to adjust to their new educational surroundings. And for leaving their parents.

I'm not sure I was mentally prepared though. And although she was very excited and I know she will thrive in a new environment with her peers, I know I would have quite happily and selfishly kept her at home until she started full time school. I also know that this would have held her back.

I know every parent believes their child is special/talented/gifted and to be honest every single child will excel in their own unique ways. My little girl is very special though. She is the absolute light of my world, my best friend, my confidente, my partner in crime and I am wholeheartedly in love with her.

Don't get me wrong. I do not favour any of my children. Letting the eldest boy go was equally difficult as it was my first time letting someone I love so much go out into the world to fend for themselves. Boy wonder no 2 was a little easier as I knew he needed more than I alone could give him and boy has he thrived! I love all my children equally and they are all special to me in their unique little ways.

So why is this time so hard? Maybe it was because she arrived in this world unplanned. Maybe it is because she nearly never was as she took nearly 20 minutes to draw her first breath. Maybe it's because she is my baby and I know I will never, ever, get to do this again. Maybe I will never know the answers and just continue to feel this way about all the steps my children slowly take away from me.

I just hope that I never, ever not feel anything. Because to feel THIS, reminds me of just how much I love each of them so much that my heart wants to burst.

And there's my positive.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

New year. New hair.

A bit of a catch up between friends.

Dear blog,

I'm sorry I haven't been very chatty lately. I've had a lot on what with Christmas, work, hospitals, family dramas etc. so I thought I'd better clue you in on the latest.

To be honest, I'm not feeling so hot. I've had 2 LOOP procedures (where they use a searing hot loop of wire to cut away a cone biopsy of tissue/ affected cells) performed and I have had some complications.

The second procedure was "precautionary" and I am to undergo some further preventative treatment until I have the next smear test to determine if the cells have come back or multiplied or whatever. I am bleeding really heavily and when I am not, I may as well be. The worrying part of it all is that if my cells change or come back in May, there is no buffer zone. They have taken it all away and I don't know if it grows back or just scars where it is?

In short I have narrowly missed invasive cancer by 2.5mm. Not much is it.

The second procedure has disturbed my coil so this week I am finally having that removed too. It seems this method of contraception is no longer available to me, which is a shame as it was the only one that worked! Oh well.

Pregnancy is a big no no until I have 2 clear smears. Unprotected sex is also off the menu for 6 months but my libido has pretty much left the building.

As for my mental state, well, I've given up drinking. Drinking when in the wrong frame of mind just brings me further down. It's a depressant. And I'm pretty low as it is.

I have self prescribed an on-going course of st johns wort to keep me going. I don't want prescribed anti-depressants. Nor do I want nhs therapy. I kind of know where I want my mood to be and everyday I am battling to get there.

Some days are easier than others.

Having children already makes me feel very lucky and their innocent little faces are enough to keep me getting up everyday and working on to make their lives as happy as possible. With them I feel like I have purpose.

Insomnia had started to take hold though so I'm clinging on with what's left of my chewed-to-the-quick excuse for nails.

Bear with me.

Mrs Bean x

For all those fighting and not sinking.

Depression Awareness

Thank you to Mocha Beanie Mummy for this wonderful post

For our dear friend. The Bloggess.

Saturday, 31 December 2011

2011, the end.

2011 has been a difficult year from the off. I am glad it is nearly over. It's not quite ending on the high I would like but a new year brings with it new hope. We have said farewell to some important people and welcomed newcomers into our lives, we have stayed strong for those that have needed us and leaned on those strong people around us when we have been weakened. "For better, for worse, in sickness or in health, for richer, for poorer" are all vows that have been tested personally or watched 3rd hand throughout. We have all come through the other end and new beginnings are upon us. So, new friends or old, distant or departed, a toast;

Happy New Year x