2014 Project (week 37)

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We’ve been thinking a lot about Alex and how we parent him versus how we parented Nate at the same stage. He has been going through a bit of a rough stage with us lately (he is 2 after all) and somehow Chris and I feel like we have forgotten all of the important stuff we read about in books while Nate was just a baby (you know, when you think you’re really busy but actually you do have time to read about parenting techniques). We seem to have forgotten that he is younger than Nate and in a different developmental stage. We’ve been focused on his acting out and very physical nature without embracing his quiet moments. After all, children are just as complex as adults and can’t be painted with a broad stroke. He’s not the bold one, he’s not the crazy one, he’s just Alex and we love him. Here he is having a little read to himself and correctly identifying most of the words in the book. I easily overlook these moments because I think, great he’s happy doing something so I can get something else done. But what I need to do is sit down with him and praise him for being a sweet, clever and kind boy.

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Avocado Chocolate Pudding

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It has been far too long since I’ve posted a recipe. I’ve been sitting on this one for a while, but every time I’d go to shoot it someone (ahem, Chris) would eat the chocolate! This is a really easy and quick way to make chocolate pudding that is somewhat healthy. It’s lovely right away, but is even better if you let it set in the fridge for a few hours. It’s incredibly rich, so serve it with fresh berries to lighten it up. I’ve used full fat milk and sugar here, but if you wanted to make it even healthier you could use soy or almond milk and a sugar substitute. The best thing about this desert it that it counts towards your five-a-day!

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What you need:

  • 100g dark chocolate
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 50-75g sugar (depending on how sweet you like it)
  • 150g milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)

Melt the chocolate, milk and sugar together over a low heat (or use a double boiler to be sure it doesn’t burn). Stir in the vanilla and cinnamon until combined. Place the avocado and chocolate sauce into a food processor and blitz until completely combined. This may take a few minutes and you want to make sure you don’t have any big green lumps in it. Carefully pour into ramekins or small bowls and let set in the fridge for a couple of hours. You can eat it right away, although it won’t be as firm and will have a slightly green taste from the avocados. This goes away as it sets. Serve with fresh berries and enjoy!

2014 Project (week 36)

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There is nothing sweeter than these boys (when they want to be sweet to each other). Alex is still getting used to Nate being at school. Today he only had one shoe on and I asked him if he was missing something, meaning his shoe. He answered “yeah, I’m missing Natey.” Aw, my heart.

This picture was taken after dinner today. They were running around like crazy people because a big hungry tiger was coming to eat them. I was doing the dishes and realised the screaming stopped, so I looked out the window and saw them lying on the ground looking at the clouds. I quickly snapped this with my iphone before they caught me. I really wish I knew what they were talking about. it was probably dinosaurs.

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First Day of Pre School!

natepreschoolYesterday was a pretty big day, it was Nate’s fist day of pre school! He was in childcare from 9-20 months when I went back to work between kids. Aside from that, he has been attached to my hip. I never really wanted him to be in childcare and love being home with the boys (even through the tantrums) and always felt Nate was getting enough stimulation and socialisation with us and our friends. I never once worried about how Nate would handle going to school because he has been so confident and brave lately, and I wasn’t disappointed. He woke up chirpy and excited, picked out his favourite outfit (his Irish football kit) and sang a little song about going to school all the way down the road. When we got there, he ran straight in and never looked back. I’m so proud of my little guy and love seeing him so delighted to be big.

So Nate has transitioned to pre school without a hitch, but the rest of us haven’t really. Alex was fine yesterday because we visited a friend, but today he was at the door crying “I want Natey, I want brother, I’m upset” and he didn’t want anything to do with me. They are so close to each other and I completely underestimated how different this would be for Alex. On top of that, his routine is completely out of sync. I pick up Nate around the time Alex is used to napping, so he’s a big cranky mess.

I spent most of the weekend weepy and grumpy about sending Nate to pre school. Until I read about a five year old boy that lost his battle with cancer over the weekend and realised that I should be proud and grateful that Nate is reaching this milestone. He’s a happy, healthy little boy that is moving on to the next stage of his childhood. It is definitely hard to realise that he belongs to the universe, not just to me and Chris. I am so thankful that I get to fill my days with my two little guys while I can.

On Monday morning, I was pretty excited for Nate and super positive about dropping him off, but I got a little worried by changes made to the facilities and about the brief and abrupt conversation I had with his teacher. There was nothing really terrible, just not the best vibe for a first day. Nate also came back exhausted and had the absolute worst tantrum we’ve ever experienced. He yelled for an hour and then finally fell asleep on the floor from around 2:30-5pm. I was ready to throw in the towel, but Chris cheered me up with ice cream and Bad Neighbours on DVD).

Today was much, much better and he seemed to understand that yesterday afternoon was pretty bad for everyone. My expectations my have been too high, so we’ll see how things go in the next few weeks. Chris and I have talked about it a lot and have decided to only send Nate 3 days a week so that he’ll still have plenty of time with his brother before real school begins next year. Since I am home, I want to be with him as much as I can because you never get these precious years back. As long as Nate and Alex stay happy, we’ll all be fine.