Tag: Children

rolling with the bad and the good

Our son recently had a blood test to see where his allergies were at, the good news was that lentils have made a significant decrease, but the elusive and more valued dairy, egg and nuts have continued to be stubborn and have gotten, slightly worse.  To say I was disappointed was an understatement. I remember asking our specialist

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Happy Easter

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Above, taking the plunge with large easter moulds…very tricky – I used white chocolate on the detail and chocolate for the rest (all dairy free by Sweet William)

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I made some rice chocolate using rice puffs and dairy free chocolate – these turned out quite tasty!

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Strawberry hedgehogs, dipped in white chocolate and chocolate chips (all dairy free by Sweet William)

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Some examples of the white chocolate and chocolate truffles I made, with a few sultanas for garnish.

This year I decided to be a bit more adventurous with the Easter treats for my dairy allergic son; you can see the results above.  For some reason things taste better when they look different to the norm, and when they are packaged in gold foil!

Happy Easter!

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A Boy’s Bestfriend

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Magnet takes her first bath – the wheelbarrow was my son’s idea – ingenious!

After many requests from our son for a dog, we finally got one!   What a dog she is, an absolute delight!

We have nicked named her ‘Magnet’, because wherever we go, she draws a crowd, people stop her for a pat, she is taken off for photographs with children and families, little children line up to take her for a short walks, talk about celebrity!

Many a child and parent are heard to fondly yell out “there’s Schnitzel Von Krumm” – meaningless to you unless you have read the much-loved, Lynley Dodd‘s “Hairy Maclary” series of books; ‘Schnitzel Von Krumm’ is a feisty and endearing Dachshund character, immortalised in many of Lynley Dodd’s children’s books.

We were a bit nervous getting a dog given the allergies and asthma our son has, and the notion of having a dog, seemed to be a stretch and perhaps a recipe for disappointment.   We talked to our son’s Allergy Specialist who suggested we take the dog on a trial basis,  to see how he goes allergy/asthma wise.  In short our strategy was to tell our son that we were just looking after the dog whilst the owner was on holiday – brilliant idea!  If it didn’t work out our son would be none the wiser and he wouldn’t be devastated to give the dog back.

I started researching a low shed, low allergy dog, I was quite keen on a ‘oodle crossbreed that is one of the Labradoodle, Spoodle, Cockerspoodle doggy types; these breeds have a curly coat (low shed) which is good for allergy/asthma sufferers.  My husband was aghast!  He wanted a big dog, a Labrador!  Well that wasn’t going to work because of the amount of shed that happens with their coat, so we compromised with a Dachshund.

A bit of research later (many conflicting reports) and I discovered that short-haired Dachshunds are also low shed and some allergy/asthma sufferers found they had no problems with this breed.   We found an awesome breeder who understood our situation and was happy to take the dog back, if for any reason she didn’t work out.  I am happy to say eight weeks later, all is well and we are keeping Magnet!

My son adores her, he wishes she could swim and fetch – but we can slowly teach her that.  Magnet is an older dog having had three litters, she has come to our home as part of her retirement plan : )

She likes nothing better than be next you, she loves going for walks – but not too far with those little legs!  She loves chasing the swans (who are so much bigger than her), ducks and seagulls at the river, and yes she has small dog syndrome – she barks at the big dogs!

Most of the photographs shown have been taken by my son – who clearly is documenting almost every day of her time with us.

We hope that we will enjoy Magnet for many more years, and watch her grow up with our son, fingers crossed it will all work out, allergy and asthma wise.

Wish us luck!

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Gratitude, Appreciation & Abundance

Last year, I remember it being around August, I set myself the challenge of producing a photography book of our son’s life – around 5 years of images, it was going to be a special gift for my husband, a Father’s Day present. Of course when I embarked on this challenge I had no idea that it would take sooo much time, I don’t know if you are the same, but we take a great deal of pictures, store them to computer and never print them. So you can imagine covering a time span of birth to 5 years, it is a long time, two laptops, three hard disk storage bricks, it’s huge!

The process of going through thousands of photographs, was joyful, many tears of gratitude, it made laugh at moments forgotten, I smiled when I remember how fragile my son was when he was born, and now he is this robust, confident and happy child.

As I looked at the start of this year, I reflected on the year that had been, there was no greater reminder than my son’s life, the gratitude I have for this person, this unique being on the amazing planet, this creation – his is indeed, a miracle.

So I start this year feeling very grateful for the joy of having this little boy and sharing it with this awesome person, my husband.  I would also like to thank a friend of ours – Mark, who gently asserted that he should take some photographs of our son at the tender age of 9 weeks and then at the age of three.  Mark did this for free, his work was professional, beautiful and now such a special memory of how tender, precious and fragile our son was, and he now stands before us a confident, 123cm, 24 kilo 5-1/2-year old; where did the time go?

So thank you Mark for this gift you have given us, we really didn’t want to do it, but now we fully appreciate what you did and we are forever grateful.

And if you are wondering how you can convert your digital photographs into a publication, there are so many company’s that offer this online, I chose blurb.com.  The pages for our book weighs in at 224 pages – it will print out like a coffee table book, no photographs falling out or fading, just an enduring publication of our son’s start to life.

I have now set myself the challenge of doing a book a year – because there are just too many photographs to go through if you only do it every five years; too many red eyes to fix!

As I head into 2013, I don’t have any New Years Resolutions, just a feeling of gratitude, appreciation for the life I have and I would like to say thank you God, for all the blessings in my life.

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Morning Tea Cookie with ‘tude

I have been hunting around for a morning tea snack for my son, it needed to be high in fibre, low in sugar and fats…and I found a recipe that I loved instantly!  Intro… Nutrition Australia, a great place to find some interesting recipes that are healthy and tasty too!  They had a delicious looking Sultana and Cocoa Cookie Recipe. it looked very nice, two of my son’s favourite ingredients,  surely this would have to be a winner.

As is my way, I have modified the recipe and it was a huge success, we even sent some to school for the Teachers and they gobbled them up and inquired if they could perhaps have 100 more (they are working on numeracy…clearly!).  The best part of this recipe was that it was a lovely ‘hands on’ experience for my son, he loves baking; there is always a reward- just wait 15 minutes!

Sultana and Cocoa Heavenly Cookies

  • Weet-bix crushed
  • 1/2 cup of organic sugar
  • 1/2 cup of chickpea flour
  • 1/2 cup of Atta flour (Indian wholemeal flour)
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons of Valrhona Cocoa (if not using dutch pressed cocoa – then up the amount to  4 tablespoons)
  • 1 pinch of salt (iodised)
  • 1 cup of sultanas
  • 50 grams of refined coconut oil
  • 60 ml of hot water
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract

Place the Weet-bix in a food processor or blender and blitz until its fine in appearance.  Pop the decimated Weet-bix into a mixing bowl, add all the dry ingredients (excluding the sultanas) and mix well, finally, mix through the sultanas.

Mix the wet ingredients, use only half of the hot water and add to the dry mix in the mixing bowl.  Mix the wet and dry ingredients until a dough ball forms, add more hot water to reach a glossy dough ball consistency; too dry and it will be impossible to roll into walnut size pieces – just add more hot water…slowly please, too wet and you won’t be able to do much with it – don’t despair just add more flour.

Take a spoon full of the mix roll into balls, pop onto a parchment lined baking tray, flatten each cookie gently with a fork.

Bake in a 180’C oven for about 10-15 minutes.

The cookies are delightful, robust in flavour and satisfyingly indulgent….and what’s more they are good for you!  Needless to say I will be making them again and again…

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Aargh, home made ~ Gold Chocolate Coins

Yes I know, you are looking at these home-made golden coins, and you might be thinking – why not buy them – why go to the hassle?  Well, one outrageous, life threatening allergy to dairy, and a 5-year-old boy who wanted gold pirate coins ~ need I say more.  The gold chocolate coins you buy in the store are typically made with dairy, so a no go for us.

So for ‘Talk like a Pirate Day’ all I could do was make some chocolate buttons; not enough notice…only found out three day’s before that the Teachers were handing out gold chocolate (dairy) coins to all the pre-primary children.   However, since then I have been on a quest and have found a golden chocolate maker at a local store for $11!

You need to add your own chocolate

The box comes with only four chocolate moulds

Chocolate coin making station

Pressing out the foil, ready to stamp onto the coins

The making of this Pirate Treasure is tricky, like following a treasure map!  And the embossing of the pattern, near on impossible, you must have the chocolate at the right temperature, but all of this is not important, because my little boy loves that the chocolate is in golden foil, chocolate coins are now in the realm of magic and wonder!

What is it about packaging that makes the ordinary – extraordinary?  His feedback “delicious – can I take the golden coins to share with my class?”  Love his generosity.

For the record, there are four chocolate molds in the box,  and we made a huge total of 8 coins!  Ha!  My son and my husband had one a piece – hence only 6 for the photograph!

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Fun at the Agricultural Show

When I was little, my Dad used to take my sister and I to the Perth Royal Show.  Fast forward several years and my husband and I were delighted to take our 5-year-old to the Royal Show, a first time for him.

What I love about the ‘Show’ it is wonderful blend of country and city: agricultural events, mining equipment, old farming machinery, fast rides (very scary), performers, best in show events – from cakes, quilts, dogs to livestock, tourism showcases of towns and produce from Western Australia, fast food, games alley, equestrian events, show judging of animals,  chair lifts, show games, and of course the much treasured show bag!

It was refreshing to see some great free activities for the kids, and we had a great time at the ‘Scouts’ enclosure, where they had a ‘boot camp’ bouncy castle and some fun games, including a popular air-pressured, rocket launcher.

My son played the clown game for the first time and managed to win an Elmo!  He was thrilled, and I was so surprised!  It was good to see somethings never change, like the carnival atmosphere around the ‘House of Horrors’ and the ‘Ghost Train’ which was well away from the children’s section, but had to be traversed to get to the chair lifts, it was spooky, noisy and fun!

Entry for children under 13 is free, show bags can set you back $12-24, rides and show games around $6-8.  Our little guy lasted 2 hours, we were grateful to get home!

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spider man show bag – much treasured!

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Splash: Being in the Moment

You can only admire the tenacity and stamina of children, even though my son Bobby is covered in a viral rash all over his torso, with no other symptoms, he was determined to go out and splash the puddles!

Bobby was due an almond food challenge on Monday, we were psyched and ready to go.  Sunday night he broke out in a rash, which might have been an allergic reaction, so we immediately gave him an anti-histamine and followed our anaphylaxis action plan.

After consultation with his specialist and because the rash is still present 48 hours later, it might be a response to a virus.  Who knows, all I know that whilst I feel stressed and worried, he cheers me up with his good humour, his sense of adventure and the joy of childhood.  His sense of fun and energy pushes me ‘to be in the moment’, and how could you do otherwise, when he’s jumping in puddles and making a splash!

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Beware Dinosaurs

One of my (5-year-old) son’s favourite books is “Harry and The Dinosaurs”, so when we found out there was going to be a Dinosaur Exhibition at the local Science Museum we were keen to take a look.

The idea was exciting, but when we got there the scale of the Dinosaurs and the sound track (think ravenous hungry sounds), was enough to have my son race out the door and not look back.  After some reassurance, “the dino’s are not real, they are just big toys, with batteries that make them move,” etc, etc, he did go back in for a short while.  The  exhibition was a bit too big and scary for my son, so we spent time in the other part of the Museum and he loved that.

A few days later I could tell that the Exhibition was still playing on my son’s mind, my husband mentioned that he had a bad night’s sleep, my son asked “did you have a bad dream about the Dinosaurs Daddy?”

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When I am BIG

My son loves anything to do with Fire Trucks, he often says “when I am big, I will be a firefighter, just like Fireman Sam (kid’s animation).”

When we discovered there was a Fire Station Museum in our own city, we decided to take him for a visit, he was a bit disappointed that there weren’t any new fire trucks only the ‘old ones’.  I thought it was a neat little space, it also had information on the State Emergency Services and interpretive information on natural disasters and fire prevention.  Needless to say that the visit was only 10 minutes, but it was kind of nice to find something ‘new’ in the City I have been in since I was a kid.

My son later told me that he would now like to be a Policeman, because they chase the ‘baddies’ and lock them away!

Time will tell what he wants to do, I just hope he finds something he is passionate about, last week he wanted to be a mechanic, now that would save me a great deal of money!

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