We actually almost stuck to our meal plan last week – hurray!! Got in a bit of a muddle on Saturday when I realised that I hadn’t bought anything for our Beef Stroganoff (oops…) but my Other Half came to the rescue and rustled something up. And then we ate out last night as we’d been to a birthday party late into the afternoon.

Oh, and the Tomato & Crispy Crumb chicken was de-licious, I took a photo but I don’t think it does it justice as my presentation skills aren’t up to much!

So, for this week:

Monday: Creamy pesto chicken

Tuesday: Sausage special

Wednesday: For the kids – Salmon fishcakes.  For us (as neither of us like fish): Make your own

Thursday: Chilli & rice

Friday: Homemade pizza and wedges

Saturday: Kids joint birthday party so probably party food.

Sunday: Beef & vegetable casserole

Make your own stands for anything you can rustle up from the cupboard you are welcome to eat.  Usually an excuse to gorge and eat bad things 😉

This is part of a Mrs M’s linky #mealplanningmonday.  Visit here for more ideas.

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This is perfect for the months when we experience a lot of rain (when do we ever not?!?)

What you need:
– Empty drinks bottle
– Scissors
– Ruler
– Pen for marking
– Things to decorate the bottle with

What you need to do:
– Cut the top of the bottle (see photo)

– Mark the sides at intervals using your ruler for accuracy (or just guess depending on serious your toddler is taking it!)

– Decorate the bottle using stickers/sparkles/glitters/whatever you like!



– Find suitable place for water gauge outside.  NB: You may need to weigh it down initially.  We had several false starts when ours blew away in the bad weather!


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We had the amazing planning skills to make sure that all our birthdays fell within the same pay packet.  My Other Half is first, 11 days later it’s Eli’s birthday, 5 days after that it’s Meg’s and 6 days after that it’s mine.

The only positive I have discovered thus far is that my Other Half can’t forget, because they all come at once.  That said, he does struggle to remember the dates our children were born and on at least two occasions I’ve overheard the GP’s receptionist double checking that he is the father as he gets in such a muddle.

I’m unsure of where I sit on the whole birthday parties issue.  When Meg was a baby we put on this huge first birthday party for her, which was mostly attended by our adult friends.  I think there were three children there of a similar age. 

Last year, Eli was less than a week old so we just had family round and whilst she had a superb cake (as a lover of all things cake related, you should have guessed it would feature heavily!) we didn’t do anything special.

This year we’re doing a joint party for Meg and Eli.   As it’s Eli’s first birthday I feel guilty that we aren’t pulling out all the stops for him.  I’ve invited two children of a similar age to him and the rest of the children coming are closer to Meg’s age. 

I know he won’t remember but I will.  When I look back at the photos of Meg’s first birthday and then Eli’s, I’m worried that I will always feel that rush of guilt.  I already feel bad that I have hardly any photos of Eli, compared with the number I have of Meg.  This is just another thing to worry over!

After discussing this issue several times over with my Other Half (who’s choice was to do nothing for either of the children) we settled on having a semi decent party but at home. 

We didn’t want to fall into the trap of having to be bigger and better each year (there’s no way our bank balance would allow it either!) and had aimed to stick to the “one friend for the number of years they are” rule but I don’t think we’ve done too badly. We have only invited children Meg actually talks about, and if we weren’t part of a community of friends who’ve all had children at the same time as well as Meg attending nursery then I think three friends would be about right.

I’ve even pushed the boat out and invited some of Meg’s friends from nursery.  This actually fills me with dread as I don’t do well in big social situations and I really dislike having to make small talk.  But I’m fairly sure she will end up going to primary school with two of the children so it makes sense to build bridges (at least, that’s what I’m telling myself whenever the panic sets in!)

We’ve hired a bouncy castle and I’m going to plan some games that the older children can join in with.  Whilst we’ve gone for ‘simple’ and have planned it to be in the afternoon so we don’t have to provide food, I still can’t stop worrying.  The weather has been so rubbish lately I’m wondering whether we should hire a hall ‘just in case’ otherwise the bouncy castle will be a no go.  And what games are easy enough for three year olds to grasp?

See, now I’ve blogged myself into a panic!

On the plus side, I’ve asked my friend to make the cake (see, here it is again) so that’s one less thing to think about.  Now I’ve just got to rouse my brain cells and plan some party games, and buy some decorations, and make sure my Other Half clears the garden and buy and wrap presents…

*potters outside and has a little scream*

I’m sure it will all turn out fine…these things always do.  Now if I could just hold on to that positivity…

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I’ve seen this line appearing all over the place today, Twitter & Facebook as well as the news pages. 

This is my two cents on the subject…

It’s completely pointless.

First, you have the health implications.  Does a 13 year old girl know her family history?  At 13 I was completely unaware that my family has a history of breast cancer, something that taking the pill can increase the risk of.  Or that on my dad’s side there is a history of high blood pressure.  How many other girls are in the same boat?  I actually didn’t find out about either of these things until I was pregnant with Meg and I asked my mum.

Not to mention my own experience with the pill, I have tried at least eight versions…all of which have had negative side effects.  The last one I was given actually gave me permanent PMT and my OH thought I’d lost the plot for a while.  Without ongoing discussions with my GP, I would never have thought to try other pills or even other contraceptive methods.  How will these girls get that advice?

Secondly, if a teenager is going to run the risk of having unprotected sex (in terms of pregnancy risk) I think they will carry on regardless of where they can get the pill.  I can see the logic in suggesting that young girls would be more likely to go and get the pill if they didn’t have to make an appointment but really, if they are having sex then it should be an informed choice, made by someone who is mentally and emotionally mature enough to be having sex.  For that person I don’t think it would be difficult to make an appointment with their GP and obtain a prescription.  The ones who aren’t able to make that sound judgement call are probably not likely to get the pill at all, wherever it’s offered.

And I’m confused about how ‘they’ think a private appointment with a GP is less favourable than asking in a public place for the pill.  If these teenage girls are too embarrassed to go and see their GP how will getting it over the counter be less embarrassing?

According to the article I read on BBC news, the scheme will have to meet certain guidelines:

“These include that the girl is able to understand the advice of a health professional, and the likelihood she will start having sex regardless of whether she gets access to contraception.”

How on earth can a pharmacist make that kind of judgement?  I personally don’t hold out much hope for my local pharmacy.  When Eli was on his various medications for his reflux I would often be left waiting for 15-20 minutes before the bright spark faffing around at the back (supposedly getting my prescription) would come and ask me what medication I needed.  And I was on repeat prescription!  I can honestly say I wouldn’t trust him to offer me sound medical advice.  Nor would I want to disclose my personal life to him.  He looks like something from the dark ages.

Further to this, they say that:

“The health professional must always encourage a young person to talk to their parents or another trusted adult about their sexual health.”

Erm, if that was likely to happen then surely they would already have spoken to a trusted adult…who would have advised them to go and see their GP in order to get the pill?

I honestly don’t see this as the answer.  To me it’s like we’re saying “yeah, sex is nothing, go ahead and best of all, you don’t even have to tell anyone.”  Young girls need to be educated, to be taught that sex is a HUGE deal, not something to be taken light heartedly. 

And more than that, we need to keep communication lines open.  Maybe I’m just looking at this situation through the blinkered eyes of a parent…I truly hope that when it gets to that stage of her life Meg feels that she can come and talk to me.  It would break my heart to think that she was sneaking off to get the pill without me even knowing about it. 

Rant over…

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