Archive for May, 2008


Cooking disasters!

I love cooking, and would go so far as to say that I am an OK cook.

HOWEVER. This past weekend I tried out some new recipes from a couple of well known chefs and NOT a bloody one of them turned out!!

Firstly, on Saturday night I thought I would cook Ian a delicious and labour-intensive meal. My menu plan included two recipes from Gordon Ramsey’s book, A Chef For All Seasons.

For our starter, I made potato gnocci. I have made gnocci before with great success with a different recipe, and the photo on this one looked gorgeous. HOURS later, having followed the recipe to the very letter (which is really unusual for me!) I discovered that the gnocci disintegrate to the consistency of wallpaper paste upon contact with boiling water. This did not amuse me because seriously, the recipe took an AGE to prepare.

For our main course, I made chicken tagliatelle, which was much nicer. The sauce was lovely, but I had to substitute a different kind of mushroom for the morels listed in the recipe as I couldn’t get any in Belfast. I was still a bit disappointed with the results though because the ingredients were very expensive and it didn’t TASTE expensive, if you know what I mean!

For pudding, I made chocolate mousse. This was my own recipe, and was the nicest thing about the meal.

I love the look of Gordon Ramsey’s book- but find the ingredients hard to come by in Northern Ireland. There are other recipes I will definitely try though. I don’t know what I did wrong with the fecking gnocci, but there is a note written in the book now to remind me- something I often do! πŸ˜€

THEN- last night I baked myself a trout, and used a recipe out of one of Rick Stein’s books. I love his recipes and they have never yet let me down. His recipe for mussel tart was a knockout on Boxing Day last year when I cooked for my family!

However I was in the middle of making the tricky and heavily butter-infested sauce for the fish when my gorgeous younger son started screaming down the monitor at me! Needless to say, by the time I came back downstairs, the sauce had separated and my temper evaporated!

Poor Ian. He has had to put up with a whole weekend of poorly cooked food and even poorer temper! πŸ™‚


Big changes coming for my kids

Ricky is starting nursery school in September. They are both in daycare at the moment, which is good but for the first time this will be a formal learning environment. smile.gif

Ricky has somehow been accepted into a REALLY wonderful school that I didn’t even dare to hope he’d get into. They only have 26 pre school places, and the primary school attached to it is absolutely first rate. Plus Robbie should get in no bother now as well when the time comes. woot.gif

We both work full time, and unfortunately need before/after school and holiday cover for the boys. Our existing daycare provider don’t do drop offs and pick ups, so we’ve had to look into finding a new place for Ricky.

We went to look at a place right beside the school last week, and it’s fine. It’s also cheaper than we’re paying at the moment, about Β£300 or $600 a month cheaper which is not to be sneezed at! My only reservation is that I think they have fewer carers per child than there are at our existing place. However needs must… 533.gif

They also have a place for Robbie, and we’ve come to the decision to move both the boys to the new place mid July to give them time to adjust to the new regime before Ricky starts school in September.

I’m terrified about the move. Ricky’s been there since he was six months old and has obviously made good friends and strong bonds with his peer group. Robbie has settled in there really well. The girls who care for them have become friends and they are SO good with the kids.

Plus- this is the biggest thing- the kids spend all day, every day, five days a week in this place. It is vitally important to me that they are happy at daycare. So, it is going to be a big “removal of comfort blanket” to me as well as to them to move them. unsure.gif

I have to drop the forms off to the new daycare place tomorrow and will then have to give notice to our existing provider. I’m sure they won’t bat an eyelid, but it feels like handing in my notice at work or something!! biggrin.gif

The new place has a bedding in period, so Ian and I have taken three week’s leave in July. The first two weeks will be spent on holiday in Donegal with the boys, and the third week will be spent getting them used to the new place.

That also means that for the month of July, we won’t be shelling out the usual Β£1200/Β $2500 a month daycare fee- which will certainly help us enjoy ourselves on holiday! laugh.gif

Obviously we’re talking to Ricky a lot about it. He’s very excited about going to school and makes me drive past it all the time! laugh.gif However no matter how many times I tell him that his existing peer group aren’t going there (none of them got in blink.gif ) I don’t think he is registering that yet. I’m trying to concentrate on how many new friends he’s going to make.

Robbie, I clearly can’t prepare as well. I don’t know what I can do. 533.gif

Thanks for letting me get this out- it’s causing me stress but I hope it will work out for the best for everyone. smile.gif


Please support my friend Lauren!

I have a dear friend called Lauren who sadly found out a while ago that she has Lyme’s Disease. This is passed on by ticks, and has really devastated her.

She has a blog, the link is below. Please stop by and have a look- this is one lovely woman with a gorgeous family, and I am so sorry that she has to suffer like this.


Eavesdropping on Ricky

Our baby monitor is still in Ricky’s bedroom, even though he’s three. He’s used to the little night light on it, and you can still hear Robbie because he’s in the next room with both doors open.

Our night time routine involves reading Ricky two books, which he chooses himself, while he sits up in bed, and then he lies down and we sing him “Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star” so he knows it’s bed time.

When we get downstairs, he then spends the next half hour or so singing and talking to himself before he goes to sleep. Whilst sometimes you wonder why, when he’s so tired, he can’t just go to sleep, it can be very amusing to listen to!

Last night, my Dad called round to give Robbie a birthday present, and as he’s just come back from a trip to Iceland, he had brought Ricky a toy polar bear. Ricky has some favourite stuffed toys, but was really taken with the polar bear (who is now named Fred).

Ricky’s best and favourite stuffed toy is a sheep, somewhat originally named by my then toddler son “Baba”. Baba normally has pride of place in Ricky’s bedroom, and even accompanies him downstairs every morning. Woe betide the parent who forgets to put Baba to bed with Ricky.

Last night, however, Ricky said he only wanted Fred the polar bear to come up to bed with him when the time came. I insisted that Baba go too, because I knew there would be a crying fit later if Baba was not present… πŸ˜€ Ricky made me put Baba on his bedside table, cuddling Fred instead when he was having his books read to him.

I came downstairs and settled back into my chair. A few minutes later, all I can hear through the monitor is the following-

“FRED! You are a NAUGHTY polar bear!! (smacking noises) Go to the bottom of the bed! (flinging noises)

BABA!! Come here….no, please don’t cry, Baba, I love you! (kissing noises) There there Baba!”

So, I guess in the grand scheme of things, Baba was the winner.


My little guy is one today!

Robbie has his first birthday today- I have no idea where the past year has gone to, but having two children has been the best thing about it!

Robbie is the most heavenly child- sweet, good humoured, reassuringly plump and always good for a snuggle. He isn’t a big crier and is hugely outgoing and fun to be around. I am remarkably blessed.

Here are two pics- one from a year ago today, and one from last weekend. He’s so dreamy! πŸ˜€

Β Photobucket



Update on the Pink Sandal Saga

OK, so I caved to pressure!! πŸ˜€

After several hours of sustained nagging from Ricky yesterday, and a further meltdown upon discussion of me buying him blue sandals, I decided that life was too short and bought him a pair of pre-authorised pink sandals.

They are about as butch as I could find. Previously, I found a grey pair with a little pink on them. These were rejected by my gorgeous son on the basis that “they weren’t very sparkly”! Ian and I could not contain our mirth when he said this and I had to turn away so he couldn’t see me laughing.

I think the little love wants Lelli Kelli shoes (the ones with the grotesque advertisments with a bunch of six year olds wearing so much make up that they look like they’re in drag), as he keeps going on about sparkly bits!

Hopefully, what I have bought will be something of a compromise. My search for a cheap pair of Timberland sandals, size 10.5, blue, continues!

Β Photobucket


The Early Works of R.G. Doherty

Ricky drew these on his etcher-sketcher earlier. Not at all bad for a three year old, I think! πŸ˜€ Remember the name, folks!!! In years to come, he can keep me in the manner to which I would like to be accustomed! πŸ˜€

A Scary Ghost-

A Clown-

I’m loving these first recognisable pictures! Tomorrow, I plan to take him into the garden with some paint and let him do his worst! I don’t think the inside of the house could cope! πŸ˜€

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