Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Help! They've got me surrounded!

The twins are becoming increasingly mobile. Molly is crawling, and Gareth gets about by a combination of rolling and wriggling. It's not graceful, but it gets him from A to B.

One off-shoot of this new found mobility, is that they now want to explore beyond the living room. More than once I've been washing dishes, or preparing dinner, and heard or felt a wee tot behind me. Not ideal given a hot oven, or the fact that Gareth wants to chew on the manky broom at every opportunity.

Another small issue is that Molly wants to be right at my feet when I'm feeding Gareth. Which is fine. The problem is when she starts trying to bite my legs, or Gareth's feet. Not ideal.

They're an adorable pair of rascals, and no real bother, but we're outgrowing this house. In the mean time, it's a matter of keeping everything out of reach, looking behind me before I take a step back, and wearing thick trousers to protect myself from sharp little baby fangs.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Where Have All the Good Socks Gone?

Socks are my nemesis. Not just any socks, baby socks. I'm convinced there is a sock-monster somewhere, trying to drive me crazy.

I have twins, so that's twice as many socks to put on feet, and twice as many socks to go missing. I'm convinced I put more socks in the laundry, than come out at the other end.

Socks are one of the biggest cause of delay when it comes to getting out the house. Yep, that's right, I'm slowed down by socks.

I often clothe my baby girl in skirts and dresses, the main reason being, because then I can put her in tights. Pain in the neck to get on, but once they're on, she can't get them off! Ha! One down.

The baby boy is another matter, he hates having socks on, and pulls them off at the first opportunity. I can put socks on him, followed by his coat, and by the time the coat is on, he's either pulled off or wiggled his feet out of the socks. I tend to put him in the stroller first, because when I put the baby girl in first, it only gives the boy another opportunity to discard his socks.

He even manages to wiggle out of them in the stroller. I'm forever finding socks stuffed right at the bottom of the foot muff.

You know those mittens that are attached to a piece of yarn? I'm seriously considering doing that with socks. In the mean time, it's on with searching in the toy box, in the dryer, and under the sofa, before figuring that the boy won't be scarred if we put pink socks on him this one time (this week, again).

What are the little things that drive you dotty?

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Doing Little Things With Great Love.

Whatever our station in life, sometimes it can feel as if we're simply going through the motions. We can undervalue ourselves, and the work we do. Motherhood has certainly brought these moments for me. Moments I've been so tired, I've seemed to go through a day, or even a week on auto-pilot. Days where the rhythm of feeding, changing, washing, laundering, and cleaning, have felt like a forced march. When I worked full time outside the home, there were days I felt like an automaton. I'm sure that most of us have had days when we've felt this way.

We keep going, and the best thing to keep us going, is love.

For lent, I'm trying to focus on the Little Way of St Therese of Lisieux, on doing little things, with great love.

I may not be in a position to feed the homeless, but I can make a pot of soup for my family. With great love.

I can make a cake, and open up my far from pristine home to friends. With great love.

I can let a stranger go first in a queue with ill-grace. Or with great love.

When I pray, I may not be able to offer God much in the way of time, but I can offer my small prayer. With great love.

That's the marvellous thing about The Little Way. It's a path we can all walk. It's a great equalizer. Sometimes we feel too small, too inadequate. We feel like what we do can never make a real difference. We only see glory in the big things, the foreign missions, the food banks, the homeless shelters.

Not all of us are called to that kind of service, but we are all called to serve. And our service, however small, DOES make a difference.

Love, not greatness of deed renders value to service. Sometimes the love itself lies in doing something, even when we really don't want to do it.

Sometimes it lies in making a meal you don't particularly like, because your spouse enjoys it.

Sometimes it lies in giving a harassed mother a kleenex for her child's snotty nose.

Sometimes it lies in sharing a table in a coffee shop with a lonely, elderly person, and just having a chat.

We can all do small things. Some of us can do great things, but what a marvellous world this would be, if we all did small things, with great love.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Rewarding doesn't mean Easy.

We've been a bit run down round our way lately. Thankfully, kids and hubby seem totally better, but I'm having a harder time shaking whatever this is. I'm going to start prayers to be healed from this cold/ virus, at the start that seemed silly, after a month of coughing, sneezing, and generally feeling rubbish, not so much.

One funny by product of this, is that it's made me focus more on my vocation as wife, mother, and keeper of the home, and it's made me want to be better at it. Maybe it's because doing a little every day seems so much less exhausting than leaving it and doing a huge clean and 12 loads of laundry in one day. Perhaps it because the kids are so much easier when they are entertained and having fun (aren't we all?). Perhaps it's because I want my husband to come home from work, to a clean and relaxing home. I'm not sure what the motivation is, and really, it doesn't matter.

My life is extremely blessed and rewarding, but that doesn't mean it's always easy, or that I don't get exasperated at times. I do.

I'm human.

I suppose that in the past, I've had a slightly naive view of what it means to live out your vocation. I thought it would be pretty easy, and natural, and, to be honest, a bit dull.

How wrong I was.

My life is baffling, relentless, exasperating, mucky, and exhausting.

It's also fun, love-filled, surprising, challenging, and blessed.

Even in my most eye-watering moments, when I desperately need to blow my nose, but first of all have to change the baby boy without him putting his foot in the contents of his nappy, and corral the baby girl before she wanders into a trash bag, I realise I'm blessed.

I truly believe this life is my vocation. It's not always easy, but it's blessed

This lent I aim to focus on living my life as a prayer. I'll ask for some help in the form of  a hymn:

'Lord for tomorrow and it's needs
I do not pray
Keep me o Lord from stain of sin,
Just for today.'

Living out this life, one day, one nappy, one meal, and one blessing at a time.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Recipe - Peanut butter choc marble cupcakes, with nutella filling.

I was in a baking mood today. A month of no baking came to an end, and I decided to go all out. These cupcakes are incredibly rich just as they are, but if you want your guests unable to move, you might want to add a chocolate or peanut butter butter cream frosting.


4oz softened unsalted butter
2oz crunchy peanutbutter
5oz superfine sugar
3 medium eggs
6oz self-rising (cake) flour
pinch salt
tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp cocoa powder.
Nutella, to taste.


1) Preheat oven to 180 celsius (360 f) make sure shelf is in centre of oven.

2) In a mixer, beat together butter and peanutbutter until creamy and well incorporated. Add sugar and beat until fluffy.

3) Beat in eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

4) Sieve in flour, salt and cinnamon. Mix on slowest setting until just mixed.

5) Remove one third of batter, into this, sieve the cocoa, mix.

6) Place the cocoa cake mix back in the main bowl, and mix lightly, for a marbled effect.

7) Place cupcake cases in a 12 hole cupcake tin.

8) Part fill the cases with cake batter, put a dollop of nutella (about 3/4 tsp) in the middle, top with cake batter.

9) Bake in centre of oven for 15-20 minutes, or until lightly browned and springy.

10) Enjoy, and don't plan any strenuous activity for the rest of the day. ;)

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Hamming it Up

As readers of this blog will know, I'm trying to be more aware of what my family and I are eating. I'm also trying to be more aware of what we're spending. This means planning ahead, and sometimes, getting a bit creative in the kitchen.

Today, I made one modest piece of ham stretch to 3 meals.

First, I boiled the ham. I then removed it, allowed it to cool slightly, and sliced it. Meal number one is obvious - boiled ham, which will be served with potatoes and veg. The ham is in the freezer, ready to be used another day.

I also kept some of the ham, and diced it. This will be mixed tonight with mushrooms, garlic, onions, and cream cheese to make a yummy sauce to serve with pasta. Meal number 2.

Meal 3 is one of my favourites, and something I (and most Scots) grew up on. Ham and lentil soup. I just added chopped onion, carrots, and turnip to the ham stock. Stirred in a couple of good handfuls of red lentils, and let it simmer away.

Delicious! x3.