Back to School

At dinner time tonight, I asked my biggest what he was most looking forward to about going back to school tomorrow.

“I’m most looking forward to seeing my new teacher and learning lots of new things from her,” he said.

Not a bad response from a kid who is a few months shy of six. He’s a bit of a sponge, my biggest, with a real love of learning that I hope never leaves him. I’m sure he’ll be a reluctant, grunting teenage boy at some point, but I hope he retains this thirst for knowledge, even if he has to hide it from his pimply teenage friends.

The summer holidays have been mostly brilliant, with very few moments where I’ve had to referee feral behaviour. We’ve been astounded by the way our boys have spent nearly every waking moment together and it seems to have strengthened their bond; when the littlest started back at kindy a week or so ago, his big brother kept calling down the stairs to me: “Is it time for kindy pick-up yet?”

It’s going to be pretty quiet around here tomorrow morning…I don’t know if I’m looking forward to some time to myself, or whether I’ll actually miss my wee buddies a little bit.

I suspect it might be a combination of the two.



Back in the Game

Crikey. It feels like forever since I’ve had the time and mental capacity to blog. I wonder if anyone’s actually still here? Hellooooo?

Between escaping the cold weather for a family holiday to the Sunshine Coast, and organising our kindy centenary celebrations, I feel like I’ve been absent from real life for quite some time. The holiday in the sun with my boys was just what I needed, coming back relaxed and rejuvenated, but it seems a distant memory now as I’ve been spending every waking moment researching, planning, photocopying, meeting and organising.

Caloundra Sunshine Coast Caloundra Sunshine CoastThe centenary celebrations – high tea on an almost non-existant budget – were yesterday, and I can’t tell you how relieved I am that it’s over. Everything turned out amazingly, we had a far greater turn-out than expected, and everyone had a lovely time….but not having to spend my spare time organising everything feels pretty darn good.

Centenary Celebrations St Clair Community Kindergarten High TeaNow, I can concentrate on the big list of things that has been shoved aside for the past few months, and spend more time playing with my boys instead of asking them to hang on just one minute while I finished making a call or sending an email or finding more historical information.

And I might blog a bit more regularly again too, yuh-huh.

Lunchbox Ideas: Carrot & Zucchini Muffins

Yesterday saw Tiny starting back at kindy. We’ve had a lovely summer holiday, but I think we were all ready to return to some form of normality and routine. Tiny was excited to go back (mostly to play with the cars, he told me…but he looked pretty happy to see his teachers and friends as well), although he was meltdown-tired at the end of the day. This term, we’re mixing things up a bit, with two short afternoon sessions (with most of the wee friends he made last year), and two longer morning sessions (with just one or two of his friends). I haven’t said too much about the changes, mainly because I don’t want to preempt any anxiety or nervousness he might be feeling, but did make a big deal about buying him a new lunchbox.

Well, I actually bought him a fishing tackle box to use as a lunchbox. Separated into six different-sized compartments, it’s perfect for filling with a variety of preschooler-sized snacks.

A couple of weeks ago, I set about having a bulk baking sessions while Pickle had a sleep. The idea was to pop the majority of the goodies in the freezer, to be defrosted as and when they were needed for the lunchbox. These carrot and zucchini muffins are so easy, incredibly moist and tasty, and freeze really well.

Carrot & Zucchini Muffins Carrot & Zucchini Muffins Carrot & Zucchini MuffinsCarrot & Zucchini MuffinsCarrot & Zucchini Muffins – makes 12 mini- + 9 medium-sized muffins

3/4c flour
1/2t salt
1/2t baking soda
2t cinnamon
1t allspice
3/4c brown sugar
3/4c mixed sunflower seeds and pumpkin kernels
1/2c oil
2 eggs
2 medium carrots
1/2 medium zucchini

Preheat oven to 190degC. Grease or line muffin pans.

Sieve the flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and allspice into a large bowl.

Add the sugar and seeds; mix well with your hands until well combined.

Beat the oil and eggs in a small bowl; add the carrot and zucchini and mix well. Add to the dry ingredients and fold together until just mixed.

Spoon into muffin pans; bake for 15-20 minutes or until cooked.

Fun with Food: the first lunchbox

Today is a big day in the Tall, Short & Tiny household. Tiny will be going to his first ever kindergarten session.

IMG_2122I’m nervous and excited and apprehensive for him, and flabbergasted as to where the years have gone since he arrived. But I’m mostly excited, because he’s definitely ready for the social interaction, the learning, the teaching, the independence that this will bring. And yes, if I’m totally honest, I’m a little relieved to think I’ll have three afternoons a week with just one child. At the moment, I feel as though I’m not offering Tiny as much of me as I should; as Pickle gets bigger and more demanding in new ways, it’s harder to spend time having fun with my big boy.

Anyway, given that this is the first Fun with Food linky post, I thought I’d share my thoughts on putting together Tiny’s first lunchbox.

Who would have thought such a small plastic box could be cause for so much over-thinking?

IMG_2120I’ve read the guidelines that the kindy sent with our enrolment pack. Fruit, carbs, healthy snacks, no peanuts. Sounds simple enough, but I’m feeling the pressure to create the perfect afternoon tea box for my little man’s first day on the job. He won’t need a full lunch, but he’ll be busy and I don’t want to send him off with one measly banana and have the teachers think I don’t feed my child. I know it’s silly, but I don’t want to be judged on what I put in for his snack. Thankfully, I already offer him mostly healthy choices on a daily basis (I say mostly because some days…well, some days it’s easier to reach for a cookie than an apple, right?), so I should be able to nail this little plastic box.

BentosPinned from here

I absolutely love the idea of little bento box lunches and snacks. However, at not-quite-three, Tiny is likely to knock over his lunchbox at some point, therefore to begin with, I think single, larger items are going to be best. I do think I can stretch to cutting some shapes in some bread or cheese though!

Here, then, I give you my first ever attempt at a lunchbox:

IMG_2121Plain, brown rice cakes (because that’s the way he likes ’em), carrot sticks, cheese circles, a cheese and parsley mini muffin, and a banana.

Fun with Food

Fun with Food is a way for you to share your foodie (mis)adventures with other people. You don’t have to be a superb cook, or produce Masterchef-quality plates of food; this will be a place to share new and favourite recipes, meal plans, cooking on a budget, lunchbox ideas, new products, kitchen successes and disasters (because we all have those!) and maybe some handy tips for getting fussy kids to eat their dinner!

The linky will open on a Tuesday and stay open for a week, so I hope you’ll share your kitchen adventures, and be inspired by what other people are doing in the heart of their homes.

Fun with Food(I’m working on getting a scrolly grab button thingy for next week, so bear with me!)

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