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I find myself at home alone on a friday morning. Daddy has gone to work taking little R to daycare on his way and I’m waiting to head off to the hospital to start my 3rd treatment.

I’m feeling contemplative for 2 reasons:

1) Its amazing how ‘incomplete’ I feel when I’m on my own now. I can count on both hands the number of times I have been on my own since little R was born. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve been alone at home since she was born. No wonder I feel like a part of me is missing when she isn’t around. The baby next door started crying about an hour ago and I jumped up out of my chair by instinct. Having a baby with little support has been a challenge for sure, but it sure is worth it! I love her with every tiny fibre of my being and am having the BEST time watching her grow into a beautiful little person.

2) I can’t even begin to express how my life has changed since starting this arthritis treatment. I spent 3 years in horrendous pain at night and over half of that sleeping sitting up at 45 degrees because lying flat was impossible. Not only can I lie down like a ‘normal’ person next to my husband (who spent 18 months cuddling up to my 7 pillows) but I can sleep all night without even the slightest twinge of pain in my spine. UNBELIEVABLE. Its like someone turned off a switch and the pain disappeared. I am grateful beyond belief that my specialist agreed, without any tangible evidence, that I have auto-immune Psoriatic Arthritis and stuck with me down this long and frustrating journey to treatment. I am also immensely thankful that Medicare has a subsidy programme that pays for my treatment, because at $3,300 every 8 weeks, I would not otherwise be able to have it.

I have so much to be thankful for and that is just the tip of the iceberg!

Here are a couple of photos of Ruby I took yesterday, munching on a mango pip and scoffing some yogurt (on her own, mind you – what a big girl!)

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So I bit the bullet and made the first bento ever. Well, first made by this mama and first presented to Ruby that is.

Its taken quite a long time for me to finally get down to making a bento lunch for my baby. I’ve been reading various blogs for a little while including Julie’s wonderfully insightful blog Teaching “good” eatersWhat’s for lunch at our house & Bent on better lunches.

I unfortunately chose a day when I really didn’t have anything that went together particularly well but I guess thats the beauty of bento, you can put together little pieces of different things and it looks exciting.

I chose stars as the theme because its probably the most popular word in my little darling’s growing repertoire. Plus I happened to have a collection of star cookie cutters (none of which were actually small enough for most of my needs so I ended up cutting a lot by hand).

Unfortunately I don’t have ANY bento supplies at all so once I’d made everything I had to scratch around for things to use. It doesn’t look great but it serves the purpose I guess.

So, here it is: a peanut butter and honey star-shaped sandwhich on wholegrain bread that I flattened with a rolling pin first, 3 multigrain vita-weat crackers with star-shaped slices of cheese, a container of baby garden peas (which is pretty much the only green veggie that she will eat that isn’t hidden in some other food), star-shaped pieces of watermelon, sliced kiwi fruit on a skewer (the middles look like stars!) and a cup of yogurt:

First ever Bento!

Check out the little cup that Granny gave my darling when they were visiting last December, he’s the cutest little bright yellow melamine duck with a cute little lid that fits on too:

Duck cup

I am pleased to report that lunch was a real hit! I lost count how many times I heard her squeal out a high pitched “thtar!” It was lovely to watch her little face light up each time she found a new one, very cute.

Thanks to all the bento bloggers and encouraging mums out there for the motivation to finally give bento a try!

I was in the mood to bake something for Ruby today and found this recipe for chewy banana oatmeal cookies. I made quite a few changes: included about 1/4 cup raisins, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, reduced the amount of sugar because it seemed an awful lot, used half wholemeal flour. They turned out HUGE so next time I will make them smaller (more Ruby sized), they still turned out too sweet so next time I will again reduce the amount of sugar and I’ll go 100% wholemeal flour because they will be even better. They turned out yummy and chewy and full of oaty, raisiny, walnutty goodness! Here is the amended recipe:

  • 1 cup all purpose flour (or wholemeal)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup unpacked brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large mashed ripe banana
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups quick oats
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 175°; line two baking sheets with baking paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon & nutmeg.
In a large bowl, with a mixer, cream together the butter and the sugars on medium speed. 
Add the egg, followed by the mashed banana and vanilla extract.
Working by hand, stir in the flour mixture and the oats until just combined and no streaks of flour remain, stir in the chopped walnuts & raisins. Drop small tablespoonfuls of the dough onto prepared baking sheets. Bake for about 10-12 minutes, or until cookies become light brown at the edges.
Let cool on baking sheet for 3 or 4 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Store in an airtight container so you don’t eat them all in one sitting!

So I’ve been thinking about starting up the old blog again but am still very much in two minds about it all.

As you can see if you cast your eye down the history it never really got off to much of a start and ended quite early in my pregnancy. I just didn’t have much to write about except bloating and morning sickness. Then in the crazy days after our angel was born, I REALLY didn’t have any time to spare. I also feel a bit odd writing down my thoughts for everyone to see, maybe that would improve with time? I know my brother would be happy if I decide to start up again but he probably wouldn’t have the time to read it more than once a year without nagging him.

Perhaps I’ll see what response this post out of the blue generates and make my decision later…