Sunday, May 24, 2009

Gluten Free doesn't have to be boring!

Even though at the moment we are very 'relaxed' about being GF and CF in our foods, we find that overall they increase the health of every member of the family when we do have them. Some foods I simply haven't changed, we still drink soy milk, we have rice biscuits and so on.

Recently I explored into different ways of making fun foods that suited the gfcf diet and found a few. One which we particularly love from - the Rainbow Cake.

For this one I simply use a gf buttercake recipe mix and colour each portion with vegetable colours. We've also made them as cupcakes, it's a lot of fun to make and makes the fairly plain but tasty recipe just that little more interesting.

It's also great to get Jono into the kitchen and creating, he enjoyed making these cakes as it was just so different to what we have done before, and he enjoys playing with the colours as we go.

Another great place for GF recipes is omnomicon, the recipe she's got here for the pancakes simply looks amazing, and can be adapted for gfcf very easily. (of course, don't make cheddar ones, but just plain ones if cheese is not on the diet... or change to a soy cheese).

Another great recipe place is Gluten-Free Mommy, this site is a wonderful range of recipes, from breakfasts through to dinners, even multi course meals! In planning dinners week by week this is a great resource for trying a few new recipes to introduce to the family a few new flavours and interests while finding favourites, or new twists on favourites.

If I try something and it doesn't quite work for some reason... well, I have 2 dogs ;)

Pasta Tricks

I'm trying to do a bt more planning ahead with our weekly meals, and decided to go with the 'pasta' night. I'd found a spinach and ravioli stir through sauce that I wanted to try... but wasn't confident how the kids would go with it. So I made a lightly curried meat and beans to go with it... and debated on keeping some pasta plain in case they didn't like the sauce, but decided to go with the sauce and just see.

When I served up I was very pleasantly surprised by how much everyone loved it... it got devoured! I got Daniel to grab the pot and bring it to the table so we could dish up seconds, which we all enjoyed.

Jono enjoyed it so much, he wanted thirds.. and the pot was a little too far to reach, so he stood up, got up on his chair and climbed across the table to reach it. He stayed kneeling on the table and started dishing himself a spoonful, and then another, and then another... all of a sudden Rob grabbed his plate and dished himself jono's spoonfuls onto his plate. Jono grabbed a fourth spoonful and as he lent over his plate to place it on he realised the rest was gone!

He laughed, a little... 'haaa ha', and went right back to dishing up more pasta!

Rob got his extra, Jono got his extra and we all had a laugh with him at the pasta disapearing off his plate ;)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mothers Day! (did you bring a tissue?)

For all the Mums, New Mums, Older Mums, Multiple Mums, Adoptive Mums, Mums-to-be, Grandmums, and just the nice lady that all the kids call Mum... HAPPY MOTHERS DAY!

It's 6:30am here, and I'm the first one awake, I've grabbed my laptop and headed downstairs, it's quiet, the birds are in the backyard on the trampoline, the sun is just getting over the hills and the birdsong is ringing in my ears. I have a cuppa, a water, and am keen to get into my home gym and move my muscles. My children all wanted to sleep together last night so I have 3 kids in the one bedroom, mattresses on the floor and general chaos... they love it.

Yesterday I thought of getting gifts for my children to thank them for making me a mum, for it really has given me so much to be a do a reverse Mothers' Day, I ran out of time but the sentiment is there, perhaps this post is my gift :)

My life before kids was a world of difference to what it is now. I have 3 children, which is enough a challenge in it's own right. I had then close together, around 22 months apart, so my oldest was five when the youngest was born, when you are at home, with no car and no friends nearby... this is also a challenge. My second child is Autistic, and yes of course this is a challenge.

Being a mother of a special needs child is definitely a greater challenge, as the 'book' really doesn't have much information covering these type of situations. The needs that occour are different and the ways to handle them depend a lot on how you are within yourself. Are the rewards greater? You know what, Im going to say not really... it's just that you become better tuned at looking for them, and you celebrate the smaller things with more intensity than what perhaps you usually would.

I still remember when Jono was first able to feed himself by himself with a spoon. No, he wasn't holding it right, no it wasn't tidy, but by joves he could do it, he was around 3.

I remember him getting on the internet and downloading and installing games on to the computer, without help, when he couldn't read, and couldn't talk enough to ask us for help, he was 5. We were amazed about this for years.

I remember the first time he came home from school with a piece of paper with his name written on it, it was crude, it wasn't all the letter, but it was his, he would have been 6. Just this year he chose a pair of sneakers to wear on his feet rather than sandals all year long, the confining space on his feet didn't worry him as much, he's now 8.

I've had more than one person comment lately how well I do with Jono, my level of patience, the way I handle him, the way I comfort him. I thank them for the comments, but that has been 5 years in the making. The person I was when I found out about his condition, is a completely different person to the one I am today... and I am grateful.

I am grateful for the lessons to my own heart about what it means to be a Mum, to any child. I am grateful to have Jono in our family, and that we have all 'had' to learn to be more patient with each other. I am grateful for all my children, and I hope they never feel like we 'play' favourites, but that we are treating each one as individuals. I am grateful for my husband, and for his family with their unity and the complete acceptance and love they have for us. I am grateful for my family, my Mother and my brother and the amazing childhood and great childhood memories I have with them.

And I am grateful for my Mum, and the positive heart she always taught me to have, the acceptance of my self and the 'healthy ego', to do more, to try more, to be different and to not be afraid of it. I so hope I can impart that on my children.

So, Happy Mothers Day, to all Mums! May you celebrate your motherhood, in all it's 'glory' and be a better person because of it.

I have to share this, I found it this morning and it's just inspired me so much, I feel it's relevant to every child, to have a mother with this kind of heart, and if you aren't that mother yet, give your children time, they are working on it :)


A little boy was feeling sad. He had been born with a disability that made him walk, talk, and move differently from other children. The little boy was sad because some of the kids in the neighborhood had been making fun of him. His mother took him by the hand and led him to the full-length mirror she kept in her bedroom.

“I’m crippled and useless. The kids say I am.”

“You’re my perfectly beautiful son.”

“Mommy, how can you say that when you know how I look?”

“You’re my perfectly beautiful son. You look like your daddy. You’re lucky, my pet. He’s handsome and strong. Can’t you see? You belong. Be proud, my beautiful son.”

“My feet drag on the ground. I fall down all the time.”

“You’re my perfectly beautiful son. And when you fall down, you get right back up. You’ve never stayed down and I know you won’t now. Get up, my beautiful son.” ... continues

You can read the rest here, at the Baltimore Family Examiner.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Words to do with Renovating

There has been a tonne of renovating going on in Jonathan's life recenelty and more to come yet.
We have taken out half the garage and built a new room - which will start it's life as a gym. While getting the gym done, we decided to get a few last things done to the kitchen... and then after the kitchen looked at the bathroom and started to pull that apart, along with the toilet. Next we are tackling a pool and outdoor stuff.

Meanwhile at school, they are gutting and rebuilding approximately 3/4 of the school buildings as well as putting in new buildings. So he's getting it all over in his life (poor boy). I have to say he has handled it remarkably well, and been very settled throughout, probably a lot less stressed or concerned than what Rob and I have been.

As a result of all the reno's, we have had a few classic moments that I really want to share. The first when we had an electrician here fixing the lighting in the bathroom.

The electrician arrived quite early - around 7am, on a weekend, and Jono was sleeping in. He did all his preparation work, cut new holes in the ceiling for new fixtures and got everything ready to the point he needed the electricity to be turned off. He let us know it was going off, we shut down computers, turned off the telly and let him get on with what he needed to do.

Around 5 minutes later, the electrician came downstairs with a huge grin on his face and a story for us "your little fella is quite funny" he says.

Jono had awoken, and as usual headed for the light switch in the hallway to turn it on (it was 9 o'clock in the morning an broad daylight, it didn't need to be on, but such is his habit). He reached for the switch and 'click'... nothing happened. 'Click', still nothing... 'click, click, click, click, click', pause... then a little voice 'uh-oh'. Another pause... then... 'I can't see, I can't see, I can't see!"

We all cracked up laughing and spent the next few days saying to Jono 'click.. I can't see' and he's been giggling with us. Lovely to see he has a sense of humour about himself.

The other incident that's kept us laughing has to do with shoes. We've had a shoe rack near the front door for years, and with the renos have opened another space in a cupboard under the stairs with heaps of room for schoolbags, lunchboxes, iceskates, and the shoerack.

I moved it in one night when he was in bed, so he wasn't aware it had happened. The next morning when he woke, he came down the stairs and noticed it straight away. "Where's my shoes??"... on top of "I can't see" it's been a great week, both for his intiating conversation, and for the family funny bone :)