Friday, April 24, 2009

Some pants for Emma

These ones were made out of my favourite pyjama pants that had a persistent hole at one seam - I repaired it twice and then gave up.

These are made out of two fabrics that Emma chose on two separate visits to the fabric shop. I didn't have enough of either to make an entire garment, now that she's getting bigger!

And just for fun, my creative "space", characterised by a lack of space ;)

and one of my creative inspirations:

My new toy

Magimix 3200

I've never had a food processor before. It's very shiny! It came with a dough blade, a whisk blade, a cutting blade, and three discs. Three different sized bowls. Twelve year motor guarantee. Drool drool.

There's a lot of from-scratch food preparation on Failsafe. I figured I could do with the helping hand.

Here's the first result:

A yummy scroll. Not a cinnamon scroll because we're not allowed cinnamon. Yes, it's mostly eaten, lol!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

'Lemon' poppyseed muffins

'Lemon' poppyseed muffins (makes 12)
1 3/4 cups self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup white sugar/caster sugar
1 tbsp poppy seeds
1/4 cup/60g butter, melted
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup good vanilla or natural yogurt
1 egg
2 tsp citric acid dissolved in 1tbsp water
Mix dry ingredients in a bowl.

Mix wet ingredients in a separate container.

Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix gently until combined - don't overmix.

Spoon into muffin pans.

Bake at 180 degrees for about 15 minutes (I think my oven runs hot/cooks fast, so adjust accordingly)
Poppy seeds are apparently an excellent source of calcium and manganese, and a good source of iron and protein. My kids just like them on bread.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Why I breastfeed in public

Why I breastfeed in public

Perhaps it makes most sense to start this essay with the myths about why I might breastfeed in public. These are all 'reasons' that have been put forward by people from my city over the past week:

1. I'm selfish. I don't quite understand this one. It brings me no particular pleasure to breastfeed in public. It's about my baby, not me. Her needs, not your preferences, nor mine.

2. I'm irresponsible. This one makes even less sense than the previous one. Surely it would be irresponsible not to feed my baby - if I'm feeding her breastmilk, or even formula, I'd say I've got at least one part of this parenting gig right.

3. I like to titillate (pun intended) and/or offend members of the public. I'd love if no-one was offended or seeing it as a sexual thing, because it's not. I take no pleasure in people's negative reactions. Look the other way if it offends you; if it arouses you, you have issues.

4. I want people to share in my moment of joyous bonding with my child. No, honestly, I don't want you to share anything. Just don't look!

5. I'm making a political point. Actually, I will be on Thursday when I attend a nurse-in outside the WA Premier's office, but I can honestly say that if you see me feeding my baby on a bus or in a shopping centre, I am not trying to make a point.

OK, so the real reasons ...

... there's only one. My baby's hungry: she has a right to eat, and this is how I feed her (a method which is the biological norm for our species). I really don't need any other reason.

Additional points

1. I don't breastfeed with a blanket over my baby's head. For those who choose to, fine, but I think it draws more attention to what we're doing, and more to the point, it would annoy my baby incredibly.

2. I also don't show much, 90 per cent of the time, when I feed. Not because I'm particularly concerned about modesty, but because I don't see the need to. Babies do go through stages of being very curious and unlatching all the time to look behind them, or being fussy at the breast and going off and on. At these times, you might catch a glimpse of a nipple, if you're staring at me. You'd definitely see more with some of the 'fashions' people choose to wear in public. I've breastfed a toddler in Brunei and Dubai airports, and on Royal Brunei Airlines flights, with no problems, and those are places with far more conservative views than Perth, Australia, surely!

3. Babies are unpredictable in their feeding times. To try and force a baby into a feeding schedule so that one can plan outings around feeding times, can be dangerous for the baby and detrimental to the breastfeeding relationship.

4. Expressing milk and feeding it from a bottle when I'm right there is pretty pointless, and can also cause mastitis, supply drops and nipple confusion, again endangering the breastfeeding relationship. In addition, many mothers - myself included - find it extremely difficult to express any significant amount of milk.

5. I am not 'staying home until my baby weans'. Two years or more? HAH. That's just silly.

But really, as I said, none of these reasons matter. It's a human rights issue. My baby has the right to eat. Period. Breastfeeding is the normal way to feed said baby, and not breastfeeding has many risks or costs to baby, mother, and society in general.

Failsafe garlic steak with couscous salad

I invented this tonight. It was quite tasty for a Failsafe meal, though not as good as the Moroccan-spiced version I used to make :(


however much steak serves 4 ppl (I think I had about 600g of blade steak, but that's just a guess, and I know some people are big meat eaters and some aren't)
1 cup couscous
chicken/vegie stock
1/2 red cabbage, chopped
1 large leek, sliced
1 stick celery, finely chopped (I don't actually like the taste of celery, so VERY finely chopped )
2 cloves garlic, crushed
garlic salt
sea salt
failsafe oil/butter


Rub some garlic salt into the steak and grill/pan fry as you like. Rest the meat after cooking.

Meanwhile, heat a couple of tsp oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add the garlic, leek & celery and cook until softened. Add cabbage and about a 1/4 cup chicken or vegie stock. Bring to the boil, and cook, stirring, until cabbage begins to soften; then turn heat down and leave at a low simmer until needed.

Add 1 cup of boiling water or stock to the couscous in a heatproof bowl, leave for 5 minutes and then fluff with a fork. Combine cabbage mixture and couscous. Season with a little ground sea salt.

Slice steak thinly and serve on top of couscous/cabbage mixture.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Just a simple knit top, but I'm pleased with how well it fits. The fabric cost $3 from the op-shop and it's a lovely weight for autumn. I get warm easily so the sleeve length is perfect!

And here's my little boy getting crafty:

Thursday, April 9, 2009

What a week

I had a horrendous assignment due last Friday, and then I got an extension until the Monday, but it just consumed my mind, and I was going insane because crafting is my release, and I couldn't do any.

I did eventually submit it on the Monday, but then I had to catch up on all the laundry that had been neglected while I was consumed by this assignment.

There was much more cleaning I should have done, but I gave up. Hah. I'll never get the hang of the cleaning part of being 'domestic'.

So, I made a little horse soft toy, for a secret swap. Since it's through the babywearing group, I made it out of a piece of a woven wrap. He was very cute, but I packaged it up before taking a photo! I'll have to hope the recipient posts a photo. He was made using a pattern I picked up for 50c at an op-shop.

And I finally got up the courage to make myself a piece of clothing. My previous efforts have been somewhat half-hearted, I have to admit. It's just a basic boat-neck, 3/4 sleeve knit top, and I've had the pattern for ages but had trouble finding suitable fabric. Well, the purple interlock I got for $3 at the op-shop was perfect, hurray. I'm so pleased with the fit! I *did* take photos, but am not going to upload them until tomorrow, because we're shaped until then and the internet is painfully slow. Boo.

I also have an angry political post brewing, which doesn't really belong here but I may post anyway. You've been warned.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

The Failsafe journey

I've set a date for starting the Failsafe elimination diet - April 18th, so I guess we'll be eating any chocolate we get for Easter in a week, or hiding it away for an amines challenge.

Some of the behaviours and reactions we're hoping to avoid include:
- bedwetting
- irritability
- excessive defiance
- aggression
- anxiety and emotional over-reactions
- tantrums

At this stage, I'm not planning on going dairy- or gluten-free, as I'm pretty sure our problems are going to lie squarely with salicylates and possibly amines, along with the artificial stuff we've already been trying to avoid. Both the children eat a LOT of fruit. That should make the diet fun, huh?

As I said to my partner, if it doesn't work, it's only three weeks of inconvenience. If it does, hopefully we'll all be much happier.