Category Archives: Things I like
… a little part of my birth story in the boonies
I know, I know, I didn’t post anything for … *ahem* … three months … oups … . Well, I got busy and the time was flying. Sorry about this.
But today is a special day. I just had to write a post. My little baby, or rather my little boy, turns four years old.
I can’t believe it’s been four years since the Hubs got very pale, nearly passed out in the hospital and was ordered to leave the room where I was giving birth. My midwife told him she could take care of me, no problem, but he would be on his own lying unconscious on the floor.
But still she had to call another midwife to help her. One was pushing my belly downward while the other was trying to get hold of the baby’s head. I felt like a … (piece of meat/cow/fill in the blank) with the two women working on me and finally, plop, he most precious little baby on earth was born.
The whole labor was rather fast I believe. Prior to my arrival at the hospital I didn’t have any contractions. The normal procedure here in Paradise is to induce after a woman is passed 41 weeks. With other words, from zero to fully open in less than 10 hours.
Oh yes, at one point during labor – mainly to make some small talk with the midwife because the Hubs had left the room (see above) – I raised the question of an epidural. Her answer was ‘Oh, this you should have asked the doctor before you came down here to the labor room. Now it’s too late.’ And I thought ‘B*tch, the last time I’ve seen this doctor was some 8 hours ago and I had no clue how painful this was going to be. … Gotta hang in there. … It’s just a matter of time. … Millions of other women did it before me. … I can do it.’ And so I did. The outcome: healthy baby, healthy mommy and all the pain was erased from my memory. Oh, and a very sick daddy after he came back to the room and saw my placenta lying around.
Fast forward four years. During this time we have mastered appendicitis and are living with food allergies and seasonal allergies causing eczema and sneezing/coughing.
These days, with his ‘old and wise’ age of four years, ‘Timan’ knows that if he stays clear of eggs, dairy, corn, chicken, fish, tomatoes and the products made with them, he stays perfectly healthy without itchy skin and if he would stay indoors 24/7 he wouldn’t cough or sneeze. The latter is nearly impossible for a 4-year-old boy who likes to run, jump, climb and explore nature.
But of course he likes to have his cake and eat it too.
What better activity for a kid to do during the ‘tropical winter’ school holiday than baking his own birthday cake.
Allergy Friendly Chocolate Cake (dairy free, egg free, corn free)
1 1/4 cup whole-wheat flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
60 gr dark chocolate (check ingredients for traces of milk)
60 ml virgin coconut oil
1 cup warm water
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp lemon juice or apple vinegar
Preheat oven to 180C/350F/Gas 3-4
Mix all dry ingredients except the chocolate.
Break up the chocolate into pieces, add coconut oil and melt it in a small sauce pan, stir until combined. Add warm water, vanilla extract and apple vinegar, stir well after each addition.
Mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients until combined and no lumps left.
Pour into 8″x8″ tin and bake for about 30 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean. Don’t overbake.
Let cool for some hours.
20 gr dark chocolate
40 ml coconut oil
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp soy-milk
2 tsp vanilla essence
Break up the chocolate into pieces, add coconut oil and melt it in a small sauce pan, stir until combined. Add brown sugar, stir until all is melted. Add soy-milk and mix. Bring to boil and simmer for 2 minutes while stirring. Remove from heat and stir constantly for another 5 minutes. Add vanilla essence, stir. Pour over cake. If you want to add some sprinkles, now it’s the time. Unfortunately I didn’t find any without ‘Timan’s allergens here in Paradise. Set aside for another hour, you might want to cool it if you live in a hot climate.
This recipe is made up of other recipes I found on the internet but adapted to the items you can buy here in Paradise. You can also use Cacao powder instead of chocolate, but you’ll have to adjust the fat content (oil) in the recipe. Check out this baking ingredient substitution table.
‘Timan’ loved the cake he made and the Hubs liked it too. I liked it anyway. Remember, I’m the one with the sweet tooth. 😉 It’s an easy egg-free, dairy-free and corn-free chocolate cake with chocolate glaze and it’s super-yummy and moist. Enjoy.
What other simple and easy cakes you make for your kids with food allergies?
… after coming home from preschool, or on a lazy Sunday afternoon at home when the Hubs is not around.
Living in a tourist destination has one major drawback when your spouse is working for exactly this industry.
Odd working hours and being away from home during the weekend happens on a regular basis. Bummer.
That’s why you find ‘Timan’ and I usually on the beach on Saturday, not only because it’s fun, also because I have to get him out of the house before the roof starts falling on our heads. But on Sundays we stay home because everybody else is going to the beach.
I need my space and can’t stand it when other people drop their possessions closer than 100 yards from my towel. This may sound a little bit spoiled, I know, but usually there are not too many people around, on some beaches you won’t find anybody else at all during the week.
But to keep a 3 1/2-year-old-boy busy doing something by himself on Sunday it not always easy, but it’s feasible. Even without TV. Take the early morning for example. I already trained him to start the day slowly. It was hard work at the beginning, but the little man seems to understand that Mommy needs to sleep in once in a while. At least for one more hour. Nowadays he wakes up briefly around 6:15am, turns around, closes his eyes, sleeps some more, does this maybe twice,
by the time it’s around 6:45am he jumps out of bed, grabs his juice next to the bed (lovingly put there by me the night before), slurps it down, I hear the door to the bathroom open and close. Then he jumps on my bed and plays with his LEGOs (also lovingly arranged there the night before by me). I guess he can’t be without me. Sigh. But he plays quietly for another 30 minutes. Mission accomplished. Yeah.
Around 7:30am I slowly open my eyes and watch him playing until he looks at me and chirps ‘Morning Mommy, did you wake up?’ followed by a ‘I wanna have pancakes … NOW’. And off we go.
And the calm and the quietness are over for the day. Until he feels like coloring:
Cars of course.
A butterfly … and another one … and another one … and another one … and another one …
How are you getting some time for yourself during the weekend when your partner is not home and your little one has no intention of taking a nap ?
During the last weekend we had carnival time in paradise. It was the 2nd edition under the theme ‘Melting Pot of Cultures’ after its relaunch last year. The first ever ‘Carnaval International de Victoria’ took place in 1972 as a part of the 200th Anniversary of the first settlement of the islands.
Together with many local floats and groups delegations from 33 international destinations, which included UK, Trinidad, China, Korea, Indonesia, South Africa or Germany to name a few, took part.
Last year we were in the hospital because of ‘Timan’s ruptured appendix, so we were missing out on this, but this year we went to see parade in town.
It’s very different to the ‘Fasnacht’ from my childhood, with frightening wooden masks or lots of painted faces and colorful dresses. And not to forget the ‘Guggemusig’, a sort of brass-band that doesn’t quite hit the right note, plays very, I mean VERY, loud and is accompanied by even louder drums. It’s definitely worth to check out too. Oh, and don’t forget, the best part of it happens during the night in the alleys of the old town. Unlike here in paradise it’s essential you dress up yourself in a costume and you need to have stamina. However, every couple of hours you can ‘warm up’ in a Bar with some hot or cold alcoholic beverage. You’ll need this to make it through the night. February or early March is usually still very cold and snow is not unusual.
But back to our very own carnival in the tropics. Here you can wear what you like, but light summer clothes are preferable. And this weekend was cloudy but HOT, HOT, HOT.
What makes it so special is that you are right in the middle of everything. Remember, the paradise is very small. Compared to the other ‘big and famous’ carnivals ours is tiny, but literally in touching distance. You actually have to make sure some of the costumes don’t poke you in the face.
So come and enjoy some impressions of the ‘Carnaval International de Victoria 2012’:
Everybody loved the Samba Dancers from ‘Notting Hill Carnival’.
My son however didn’t seem to be very interested.
Until I realized that he was actually VERY interested,
he simply preferred a different perspective. 😉
We had a great time and hope we’ll get to see a similar spectacle again next year at the ‘Carnaval International de Victoria’.
How is your Carnival? Is it based on ancient or heathenish customs or do you celebrate an elegant venetian version?
Are there things in your life you can do blindfolded? Things you would never fail, even if you wanted to? Things you could do any time of the day or in the middle of the night without light? Like raid the fridge for example. 😉 I’m sure there are.
Well, here you find some of mine:
Five things I do well
• Eating chocolate. No wonder, I grew up in the country producing the very best chocolate. Seriously. If you’ve never tried Swiss chocolate, you don’t know what you are talking about. I can eat it any time, no matter what I’m doing. I just pop a piece into my mouth and woops, it’s gone. Easy.
And by the way, I can do the same with espresso, coffee, cappuccino and wine. I kid you not.
But on a serious note I believe there are some things I’m really good at:
• Negotiating a compromise. There is so much more in this world then just black and white. And to successfully handle the most unfavorable situation I’m trying to find the way in the middle. Maybe this is a female trait or it’s an in my genes, who knows?
• Getting what I want by being persistent and not giving up. If I really want something or want to reach something, I know how to make sure I’m getting it. I guess some people (aka the Hubs) would say I can be a pain in the neck at times.
• Scuba diving, obviously. When I was working in the diving industry it would have been very bad and dangerous if I wouldn’t have had the skills.
• Staying in shape (despite the chocolate, or maybe because of it). Unfortunately we can seldom buy the ‘real stuff’ here in Paradise, so I’m eating less of it. Or maybe it’s because I love the dark or bitter varieties most. And these are the ones that don’t stick to the ribs. ;-). But seriously, I don’t do sports, but I’m always doing something, hardly ever sit down. Luckily I don’t gain weight and can eat whatever I like. But I do eat it in moderation and I don’t overdo with the ‘unhealthy’ things, I’d rather have a salad with balsamic vinegar and olive oil and my veggies need to be crispy.
However there is always room for improvement, there are several other things I also would like to do well. I may even give them a try, but I screw up. At least it seems to me I can’t get it right. Sigh.
Five things I’d love to do better
• The whole parenting-thing. I try to do my best and I’m learning every day, but sometimes it’s rather nerve-wrecking. I believe every parent knows what I’m talking about. Luckily it already started to get better since the tot is in pre-school, maybe I just had a little parenting-burn-out and needed some time for myself.
• Having more patience and being calmer, more relaxed. I’m already doing much better then I used to do some years ago. Maybe it has to do with getting older and more mature, or maybe it has to do with being a mother.
• Cooking. Without a cookbook I’m lost, the only things I can do well are the meals I’ve done many times in the past. I’m so glad I have the Hubs. He’s the person, who puts together a splendid meal with the things he finds in the house. And this man has never ever in his life used a cookbook. My baking skills are not too bad though.
• Drawing. I would love to be able to sketch from scratch. But my drawings are always looking, hmm, a bit odd.
• Singing. I’m reasonable good under the shower, none of my neighbors has ever complained. But that’s about it.
Hop over to those lovely ladies and check out the other entries if you like.
I’m curious, what are the things you can do with your eyes closed? Or maybe you want to tell me about the things you would love to do better, but just can’t do it right?
I was not compensated in any way by the company mentioned in the picture, although I wish they would send me some of their products. 🙂
And we had another awesome week in Paradise. The tot was in school, the Hubs was off work for a couple of days and what does the Mommy want more? Nothing, nada, nixinixnix. Ok, a little sunshine would have been nice too, but we managed without.
This week I realized several things, some rather important things.
1. My husband is actually able to morph back into the person he was before ‘Timan’, even before we were married. This week we did things we used to do prior to the arrival our bundle of endless energy, just the two of us.
2. We went for a cappuccino in the morning to our favorite coffee shop,
we went for lunch like a couple on a date, we talked and smiled and talked and laughed and enjoyed. But to top it all: we went SHOPPING, shopping for clothes and shopping for shoes, shopping for the Hubs to be exact!!! And it was even his own idea. 🙂
3. I was very surprised. Usually he’s getting goose bumps and runs for cover when I mention the S-word.
4. And yeah, the other thing we did too.
5. And then I cracked my toe. Outch. No, hold your horses, it happened later.
The Hubs and ‘Timan’ were happy doing dude things, like wrestling and such, while I was happily watching from the side.
But the guys wanted Mommy to join in the game. And since I’m doing everything for my men, I gave in. We had lots of fun, for a short while. I was running around and jumping like a deer and … kicked the corner, the tot’s indoor tricycle, the couch, I can’t remember what. Now my toe is almost double the size and blue. I spare you the photo. And I started wondering why do I always hit the 4th or the pinky toe and never the big ones? But never mind, at least I don’t have problems getting into shoes. Flip-flops have plenty of room.
6. My final lesson this week: twosome is awesome, but threesome is best (despite the toe).
And with this I wish everyone an awesome twosome, threesome, plenty-some weekend (or a lonesome one, if you prefer).
For more of those important lessons life is teaching you, head over to ‘Life Ever Since’:
Do you end up with casualties too when you’re roughhousing with your men? Or is it just me getting to old for this stuff. Sigh.