Apricot Coconut Balls (three ingredients!)

The kids go to a daycare/preschool where I provide the lunches.
They also have a nut free/egg free policy.

Sometimes it’s hard to make snacks for them.
Dried fruits are easy but something I think my children see them less as the treat they are and more as something to be consumed in great amounts.
So I make these babies

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Because I have to make them, obviously they are a treat.

Ingredients

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1 cup (ish) dried apricots

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2/3 cup desiccated coconut.
Plus extra for rolling in.
About a tablespoon of coconut oil (couldn’t get a nice photo because it’s a friggen tablespoon of oil, okay?)

Method
Chuck it all in a blender or food processor until it looks like this:

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Use a Heaped teaspoon and roll it into balls.
Then put the extra coconut in a container and roll the balls in it realise by doing that it doesn’t really stick so gently pick up a small amount with each ball and squeeze it until it sticks to the outside.
Repeat.

Store them in the fridge because then they’ll stay in shape on account of coconut oil solidifying below about 20 degrees celcius.

Pro tip

Store them in a container that is not clear so the kids can’t find the hiding spot

Bribery Or Work Ethic

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I took Dexter to the shops.
I let him look around and find a toy he fell in love with.

Then, we bought a money box.
I introduced the idea of pocket money for chores and saving toward a goal.

Every letter he completes (as above) gets him 50c
He gets pocket money at the end of the week provided he does his jobs.
He can earn extra by doing other big jobs like cleaning his sister’s room.

Part of me feels like this is bribery.
I’m bribing him with money to do things I want him too. Part of me knows he should probably do some of them anyway without reward because it’s what is expected.

But what is expected isn’t something that this not quite five year old can comprehend.
I certainly think it’s less emotionally damaging than “it makes Mummy happy when you clean your room”
I am also hoping it teaches him the value of work and what he owns because that can be an issue.

What do you think?
Do you give your kids pocket money?

Don’t Know How To Parent

It’s a tough place to be.
I don’t know what I’m doing.
Although I can’t turn around without someone telling me how to do it, that’s just not helpful.
It’s always condescending.
Always along the lines of Dex not having special needs, him just needing discipline.
Why would I need help if I could do it right.
Always bring brushed off.
Asking, begging for help because I just don’t want to be a mother right now please just take them for a night
And not hearing anything.
Bringing it up two weeks later when I still just needed one fucking night and being told well I know you’d never actually do anything to hurt them so it doesn’t matter.

Being so distant from your other half you don’t even know who they are or what they like anymore.
Not having a night with them in over 6 months.
Not having a proper conversation other than what bills should be paid or what groceries need buying because you’re either interrupted or just too fucking tired and burned out to do anything else.
Wishing you could change it but just not having the strength.
Wondering if your relationship will survive another year. Month. Week.

Waking up and loving them so so much but dreading having to do the same shit over and over. Feeling so fucking guilty because you’d just like a little break. A little help.
But no one else had help and they had more kids/less time/worked more and they survived.
Why shouldn’t we.
Why can’t I?

I feel like a failure and I just don’t know how to fix it.
I feel like I’m crazy.
Maybe the things I feel aren’t really there.
Maybe I don’t really need help and I’m just imagining it’s this hard.
Because if I really needed it, someone would help, wouldn’t they?

We Don’t Do “Girl” Things

I was recently told by a little four year old that I cannot like Batman – I’m a girl.
After explaining to her that there are no such things as girl things and boy things there are just things and I’m a girl and I do like Batman, she quickly decided she liked Batman too.

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If we did “girl” things, look at the cuteness we’d miss out on.

The kids have toys they’re given that are assumed to be gender exclusive like ninja turtles and doll houses.
They share and don’t care about it.
Dex loves the doll house.
Lola loves the train set.

Dex has hot pink lunch box containers.
Lola loves Batman.

i’m not piercing Lola’s ears either.
Because I’m not going to do Dex’s unless he asks, why would I do hers?

It frustrates me that my kids are constantly coming home telling me what’s girl things and boy things and I have to constantly tell them that it’s just things.
All of it is just things.

It reminds me of a picture I’ve seen that is your to choose a gender appropriate toy for a child.
It said “do you operate it with your genitals?”
Yes: not a toy for children
No: boy or girl.

The Constant In His Life

Life is all over the shop at the moment.
Lots of hours at work, being cared for by his aunty and by friends and a new childcare a couple days a week were he hasn’t quite found his footing yet.

Sensory_Toy_Hunter_Hedgehog-2_1024x1024This little guy has been Dexter’s constant.
His sounding board.
When he doesn’t quite know what’s going on or why, or how he feels, this little guy gets a squeeze and his world is centred again.
We were given this to review from Bumpy Land after chatting to her about my fears of Dexter having sensory processing issues.

I expect it to help a little bit.
I did not know how much it would actually help.
Dex has started recognising when he’s upset, uncentred and just not feeling all together and asks for Maxxy (which he has named his Hunter Hedgehog) and you can see him visibly unwind. It is amazing.

We also won some pendants from the facebook page and I am not obligated to review these at all but they have helped as well and I wanted to mention them.

Lola has this one:
SONY DSCAnd Dex has the red one of these:skullpendant_1024x1024These have been fantastic for out and about.
My two have always been fidgeters.
As far as I know, Lola has no sensory issues beyond being an almost 3 year old that has to touch everything. Which is horrid on grocery runs etc as the kids get bored easily.
Cue these guys, which can be rubbed, chewed, put on and off, and when they slide their teeth over them they make a slight squeaking noise.
Suprisingly nothing irritating, but the kids are overjoyed they can make such a noise.
I notice the difference if I don’t have these when we go shopping within about 5 minutes of the grocery trip.
I’m buying more so they can have different colours and styles.

Last thing that comes along on our trips is this:

hairytangle_1024x1024The tangle toy is great because it can be stretched out at pictured, it can be squished into a little ball and pretty much everything in between. It is a puzzle so all the little individual parts come apart, but only Dex has been strong enough to actually pull it apart – Lola hasn’t and I haven’t had an issue with her.
These hang out in my bag for those times when you were just popping in somewhere and it became a longer wait than you expected – usually I pick Pat up from work and these come out when the kids are becoming restless.

I don’t know how I did everything without these before.
It just seems now that I was making it unnecessarily hard on myself.

Jules who runs Bumpy Land literally lives this stuff.
She knows what you’re going through and she knows what you need.
it’s why she opened the store.
Not only that she is a WAHM and I love nothing more than supporting the little guys.

*As stated we received a tangle toy for each child and a Hunter Hedgehog for Dexter. All opinions stated are my own

A Shift

DLast night I had a moment.
An actual pivotal moment.
And I felt like something massive had happened. I was buzzing, wondering who I could call and tell.

I was lamenting to my friend Ben (who, by the way is fucking amazing. He is always there to listen to me bitch and moan and just continuously tells me I’m awesome. Everyone should have a friend like Ben. You ROCK Ben!) about how shitty everything is.
My car is fucked thanks to the hail.
My son isn’t learning what he wanted to be learning 8 months ago and now, has no interest in it because he has been told he can’t do it – his words, not mine.
No money.
No time.
No motivation.
The usual problems.

I was looking through pinterest (as one done when they are feeling like their children/house/life isn’t clean/pretty/organised/new enough) and I thought to myself – immediately telling Ben of course – that hold up, I’m a heaps better parent than I think I am. And I’m capable of a lot more than I think I am.

I can teach Dex to write his name. And about the dinosaurs. And about planets. And colours and why they mix together to make the colours they do and why we bleed when we fall and cut our knee and why promises are so important.

I can take them on walks and ask questions and just be with them.

I have been thinking for so long that they need daycare to learn. But really, all they need is me. A Mum who has just realised she is a lot more capable than she has ever given herself credit for.

I do not need a new car. I do not need a new lounge. I do not need to work 8 hours a week when financially, it makes no difference either way.

I  need to catch bugs with my kids. And teach them how to properly make their beds and use a potato peeler and how to swim and how to laugh wholly and cry shamelessly and love fully.

I need to be.

I know it was all I wanted as a child. My mother to spend time with us. And I know she did sometimes, but usually she was just so BUSY. I don’t remember a lot of things from my childhood with my Mum. Which makes me sad and I’m sure it makes her sad.

I don’t want my own children to be like that.
Especially not Dex. He goes to school in a year.

I know I will miss him like nothing else when he does.
And I know I’ll have wished I spent more time with him when I could.
So why not?

Don’t get me wrong – I know there will still be moments where I wish I worked full time so someone else had to deal with the butter they were throwing at each other/floor/lounges when I fell asleep during a movie we were watching after a shitty night.

BUT

Maybe I’ll remember to laugh after I’ve gone cranky a little more, too.

Am I Old?

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I often find myself wondering if I’m old.
Wondering if others at not quite 26 find themselves looking at wrinkles on their forehead.
If others at not quite 26 have knees that get sore when it’s cold.
If others at not quite 26 worry too much about jobs and debts and cleaning and all that other monotonous shit that makes itself seem so fucking important.

It was on one of these days when I was glancing in my rear view mirror at Dex, caught sight of my wrinkles as I squinted and frowned – they look so deep!
Dex suddenly said to me “Mummy, I’m four – am I old?”

To which I replied “of course not! You’re very young – you’re only four and some people live to be one hundred and four even! ”

But what does that mean Mummy?

“It means that to someone who is one hundred and four, Mummy even seems very young and that means we have a lot of years left and a lot of living to do.”

And it was that simple.
I’m not old.
I have a lot of living left to do.
I think sometimes we need to treat ourselves to the gentleness with which we treat our children.
We would never close them off to a possibility such as living to the longest and fullest as possible – why limit ourselves?

I have a lot more living to do.

And some wrinkle cream to buy.