Monday, April 29, 2013

Monday Menu

Thanks for welcoming back this regular post. It was fun for us to go back and look at what we ate last autumn for inspiration, so I decided I wanted to bring it back. Thanks for sharing your menu too. Vegetables from our garden are featuring again - salad, carrots, parsnips, spaghetti squash, garlic, ruby chard and celery. We didn't grow potatoes and pumpkins so found some at our local fruit & veg shop.

M: Osso bucco and baked potatoes.
T: Pumpkin soup & cornbread.
W: Roast spaghetti squash, potato gratin, roast carrots and parsnips, and ruby chard.
T: Pumpkin, bacon and pine nut salad for lunch and blue cheese, pear and rocket salad for dinner.
F: Roast lamb and vegetables.
S: Toast, after eating too much pear and almond cake!
S: Chilli con carne & sweetcorn pudding.

Sorry I didn't photograph the cake, it was seriously good, so good I'd like to make it again this week.

What about you, did you bake Anzacs this week?

Sunday, April 28, 2013


"A portrait of my child, once a week, every week, in 2013."

I have wanted to join in Jodi's portrait link up for some time. During their stay in hospital the girls both had nasal gastric tubes taped to their face (it felt quite momentous when we removed them for the final two days when they could eat exclusively from me!), and whilst we could see past it often it pulled on their face and irritated their eyes. So we have kept the photos of them private. Since coming home I've been quite busy as you can imagine. So after 3 weeks I feel a bit more organised.

I think it will be important to capture the girls separately as well as together, as cute as twin photos are!

So here are my first two portraits. Credit to Rob who took them.

Maggie sleeping peacefully. Don't let that fool you, even though she's still only 2880g she can make a lot of noise!

Elisabeth's expression here is priceless! They are becoming so alert and taking in their surroundings and us.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Friday Flowers

Despite being neglected our flower garden is still producing blooms. The local fruit and veg shop always sells potted Chrysanthemums around Mother's Day each year. We bought a few last year then planted them out in the garden.
So we have been rewarded with flowers to bring in this year for vases.
Rob ducked out yesterday and picked up another 8 plants.

Thanks for your comments and suggestions about privacy and blogging. It feels right at the moment to bring back my regular food and gardening posts and I'll throw in a few baby posts in between. Might even join in Jodi's 52 portrait series. The thing is, I really value my online community of friends, and some of you have helped me in ways you might not have imagined by sharing your lives and experiences. I think it is important to not just take from friendships, be them real or virtual, but to give back as well. Which forms part of my desire to keep blogging.
The girls had their 4 month vaccinations on Tuesday and are not quite themselves yet. I'm hoping to get a few power naps in this afternoon, so best go.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Monday Menu is back for 2013

I threatened to post and here it is. Rob is cooking up a storm while I feed the girls. He's particularly happy as the garden is providing parsnips, carrots, garlic, celery and silver beet. The tomatoes eggplants and basil are still hanging on, just. Although I did find a moment to bake some gluten free hazelnut brownies the other day, it felt good to be back in the kitchen. We even had two of the NICU nurses down to the hut for a roast beef lunch to catch up. I think they just missed cuddling the girls!

M: Lamb stew.
T: French cheeses for lunch. Roast lamb shanks with a quince jelly glaze and potato stacks.
W: Pumpkin soup.
T: Tomato, basil and mozzarella salad. Roast beef, with baked potatoes and roast parsnips, carrots and beetroot. Nigella's chocolate cheesecake.
F: Leftover roast vegetable risotto.
S: Beef stew pie, mash and broad beans.
S: Beef stew.

Also Sunday breakfast in bed was back. Buckwheat pancakes with poached quinces and yoghurt.

What's been on the menu at your place?

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Today, I know...

Baby snuggles are the best type of snuggle.

I can sleep through the girls crying, lights on and Rob poking me!

Mastitis is horrid. Truly. I haven't felt so sick or such pain in a long time. Labor, amniotic fluid needle drains and caesarian recovery included.

Sun, fresh air and daylight are lovely things.

Babies can poo and vomit all over the place. Although they seem to save it up for Papa.

I know I was adamant about no pink. But I have to admit, it suits our baby girls very well.

Even doing one trivial house chore a day, like dusting, makes me feel like I've achieved so much.

Rob and I are a good team. Yesterday was our 2nd wedding anniversary, we celebrated by visiting my GP for a flu vaccination. French cheese for lunch. An afternoon snooze. Rob made us mini roast lambs (he used shanks) in quince jelly with potato stacks and peas. Then more sleep.

German Shepherds are very tolerant dogs. Both Nigella and Claudia have accepted the girls into their pack. They don't always approve of their crying though.

That for tiny babies, Maggie and Elisabeth are full of character! Today they are 18 weeks old (4 weeks corrected). I got my first pre-feed, eyes open smile from Maggie today.

My blogging may be less regular, although looking back on last year, I don't want to stop. If I have time I might even bring back Monday Menu, even if only for our interest. I don't know about you, but I'm finding blogger a very tiresome program to comment on your blog posts, especially on my phone. I find Instagram or even Facebook so much easier for interactions. But I am still reading your posts. I find blogging a slightly selfish hobby at the moment, but I do want to record this very special year in our lives.
I've been thinking too about our privacy, and what to share. Do any of you have thoughts/concerns/opinions about that?

Sunday, April 7, 2013


Autumn is our favourite time of year in Tasmania. Clear blue skies, the weather can still be warm and sunny, but the evenings are chilly enough for warm blankets, ugg boots and snuggling up in the hut. The light has a golden quality to it. We have planted a number of deciduous trees so we wait to see their leaves change. Our menu changes to our favourite comfort foods, curries, braises and roasts. Rob's favourite fruits are ripening: coxes orange pippin apples, quinces and Comice pears. It seems perfect that although the girls were born at the beginning of the hottest summer in over 100 years, we have brought them home as the seasons change over for our babymoon at the hut.
I remember reading about Jodi's, of Che & Fidel (sorry no link can't figure that out on the phone blogger app), babymoon after the birth of her daughter Poet. At the time I thought what a lovely idea, and parked the idea in the back of my mind. So here we are day 5 and despite living on maybe 6 very broken hours of sleep a night, Rob and I are smitten. So are Nigella & Claudia. I knew we were ready last Monday and am so glad I pushed for us to get roomed out and home. We are getting to know our girls little quirks, snuggling, napping, dealing with wet nappies and clothes, feeding them 3 different dietary supplements, and the associated spills. The girls, we think, are beautiful, we delight in their little smiles, their wide-eyed interest in their new home and fur-sisters.
I admit I still cry silent tears sometimes, thinking about how far away their homecoming seemed when the girls were born. How scared we both were that we may not bring both or any babies home. I am present and drinking it in, despite the brain fog that hangs over me. Rob is a dear, keeping me well fed, and letting me nap first in those few moments when the girls are both asleep. I woke up the other night at 11pm after crashing on the bed, and he was sitting next to the cot in our room, holding a dummy in each mouth while playing calming music on the iPad, apparently both Maggie & Elisabeth had been crying whilst a few metres away I slept soundly. I love watching him snuggle them, his broad hands hold them just right.
I best go, a wee babe needs feeding, and if I'm lucky I may get time for a shower afterwards!

Thursday, April 4, 2013


Finally, after 112 days in hospital, Maggie and Elisabeth came home to the hut yesterday afternoon. Can't quite describe how it made me feel. Exhausted, elated, tears, joy, gratefulness, love.
We will miss the nurses, Drs, and support staff at the Royal Hobart Hospital NICU, but will be visiting often for check ups. Sorry to be so brief but I have some girls I need to snuggle.

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