Thursday, February 28, 2013

Recipe #6

Hi Clanettes - lets go with a nice light hearted post! My fave recipe of the week..

Spicy Cajun Chicken with Smashed Sweet Potato & Fresh Corn Salsa

- the BEST Jamie's 15 minute meals recipe yet in my opinion!

Found the recipe online finally - see here! (I substituted Okra (YUK!) for green beans)

An amazingly tasty, super speedy, fresh and delicious meal... LOVE x x

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


Seeing the consultant yesterday has really thrown me into a tail spin and I am feeling very over whelmed. I had not expected to be so fearful of the road to recovery!

As ever, there is always a time and place and everything has its purpose though, and I was reminded last night that coincidences often happen for a reason.

Last night, the full moon, there was a world wide Womb Blessing atunement (see here, where over 30,000 women joined to share a meditation and give and receive energy. How timely that it should fall on an evening when I could really do with a little boost.

I attended the first Womb Blessing at the Yoga Sanctuary last August with Lucy (and weirdly, looking at posts around then, I don't think I mentioned it! Shocking!! How bizarre what you think you talk about and what you actually do!). Since then more and more women have got involved and there is now an atunement every couple of months.

The coincidence here is that this is the first one I have felt utterly compelled to do, since my first experience last August. Lucy was worried that I might not want to go ahead after my stressful day, but it was exactly what I needed and we had a great evening, with lots of talking and sharing.
Am I unique in wanting to be aware of more? I am often surprised at how much I need a spiritual opportunity in my life, and how much I miss it when I don't achieve it as often as I would like. I guess the more unsettled I feel with the world at large, the more I retreat and re-connect with myself and my own ancient wisdom.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Back from the consultant

So this is the post we've all been waiting for. The one that I have been whinging on about. Just what is wrong with my Back? Can this women just move the hell on and get back to running?

Well, truth be told, I can't remember what the consultant actually said right now. There is a term, but it slipped into the recesses of my brain when my brain realised that I'm not crazy and that there is a problem.

I need to wait for the consultants letter to arrive to explain precisely what the issue is, but its genetic, its affecting 3 discs in my spine and I need to have surgery to fuse it. I will be in hospital for 4 nights, on bed rest for 2 weeks and then a slow recovery for up to 8 weeks...

That kind of hit me in the face really and that's why I stopped listening. My biggest fear this morning was being told there was nothing wrong, that I have a mental block against long term exercise. That I'm crazzzeeeeee.

Then I was told that there is a problem and I could see an image of my spine on the screen and it is clearly deformed, the middle one of the three affected vertebrae is set back from its neighbours and there is no fluid left. Or something. As I said, I don't really remember.

I'm scared. There are numerous expletives that better describe my feelings, but scared is a good one. I have talked endlessly about the pain, but I really thought that it would be something as simple as a trapped nerve, or my coil is in the wrong place and is touching something it shouldn't be. Not that I would need 4 nights in hospital. The pain is what scares me more than anything right now.

I have cried in the gym with Lucy, when she had to hit emergency stop on the treadmill because my leg had stopped moving. I have stood and cried on Vikki's doorstep when I couldn't bump the pushchair up her stairs. If Paul is late home from work and the children need to go to bed, I have been on my knees dressing Niamh and not been able to get up and I have distracted the kidlets from my temporary immobility with silly games. I have been terrified.
At the end of a busy day, my back pain makes me cry (and at all times really, we all know I love a good cry). But if the pain of recovery is worse than that, then I don't think I can bear it.

Man I hate my attitude. There are people with more pain than me in their lives, and they don't have the option of recovery.

Both my mother and my sister have had this surgery. I had never considered this would be similar. Their's was such a long time ago - when my mother had hers done it was pioneering surgery. I was small and terrified of the mahoosive scar she had running up her back. I was at university when my sister had hers done, so I don't have any real memories of it.

How the hell do I end a downbeat post like this?

With a spine joke of course! x x

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Sum it Up on Sunday

Its been half term, and we have had a very busy week! I have really struggled with my Back this week, and I think that its a combo of having all the kidlets at home and being super busy and not getting enough sleep.. Still, I see the consultant tomorrow and am hopeful of a solution. 

I feel like my blog has gone from this super exercise fueled upbeat whirlwind to this whingy food focused narrative and I apologise. It was been 2 months since I was last able to run and over 4 weeks now since I have used my beloved turbo. I have decided that if the consultant found nothing in last weeks MRI, then I have to get back to doing something. I miss the post-exercise highs, the fatigue of having pushed myself and the over-all feeling of achievement. I miss my gym camaraderie with Lucy and I am feeling soft and sloth like.

So back to this week..

On Monday we went to Elle's house for afternoon coffee and play - she blogged about it here. It was good see everyone, and I'm sorry you were feeling nervous Elle x x
The bigs both took their own amusement (Lochie in the form of his Tablet, Bebe in the form of colouring pencils) and they were great with the smaller children.
Louise particularly had a game with her 'Who know whose nose', that she clearly plays a lot with Bethan, see here - fabulous for toddlers! Niamh LOVED it! (As did Bebe!!)

On Tuesday Paul went to Edinburgh over night with work, so he was at home in the morning and during the afternoon we dropped him at the airport before going swimming with Dave and Maia. Amala wasn't feeling very well, so Lucy stayed at home with her. Dave was super helpful, as I was in 'el crippo' mode by the end. Crouching in a shallow pool and playing with 3 children doesn't help my current Back predicament. But they loved it, and that was the main thing. (Dave and Lucy are so generous with their time. Adult/child ratio in the pool means I can't take my three by myself, so they go with us during school holidays and everyone gets to swim. Which means Dave was doubly generous making sure to come despite Amala being poorly. Thank you so much xx)

My sister, Emily visited, with my Nephew, Leif, and I talked about our lovely day here.

I also planted my first seeds of 2013. My friend Jo, who I have mentioned before, has started a new blog dedicated to her gardening exploits (see here) and it inspired me to make a start.

I planted lavender, mint and coriander. I was so surprised at the minute size of the lavender seeds and at how strongly they smelled of lavender!! One of my plans this year is to tidy up the front garden and I thought I would have a crack at growing some lavender from seed - I love plants from seed because its just me and my effort with their growing energy and potential, so its more rewarding that I can put that energy back into our garden. (Plus its cheaper!).

I also ordered an amazing bargain from Van Meuwen last Sunday. At the end of March I will get 70 perenial shrubs (plug sized) delivered for the bargain price of £9.99 (total of £13.95 with postage)
 Stunning Herbaceous Perennial Collection - just £9.99
Please share this offer:     Facebook        Twitter  

*Offer valid on the perennial collection only, strictly 1 special priced pack per order. Order code VMNE32Z activates offer. Offer ends midnight Sunday 17/02/13 and cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer or promotional voucher code.    

Limited stocks available of this fantastic offer -  you must place your order by latest midnight tonight, Sunday 17th February!
This collection of over 70 plants is fantastic value - containing at least 12 varieties all perfect for creating that magical herbaceous border you've been dreaming of. From statuesque delphiniums, to superb foliage plants such as heuchera, these plants will keep your garden full of colour throughout the summer. Once established, there are enough plants in this collection to create not 1 but 2 borders 6m long.

To get this collection for just £9.99 follow the links in this newsletter to automatically apply the discount. Or quote order code VMNE32Z in your shopping basket. Please note, the discounted price will appear in your shopping basket.
PLUS don't forget - P&P is FREE on all orders over £50 (after discounts)

Bumper 70+ plant perennial collection worth over £70 now just £9.99 with your discount.

For my birthday last year (see here and here - how little was Niamh! How short was my hair!), we tidied the garden and sorted out my sacred space, but it now needs filling and I will have more than enough to do this with my the end of March! Paul (who doesn't usually get involved with the garden) is going to dig everything over for me and I am SUPER EXCITED!!

A lovely day at Maddalena's house, which I blogged about yesterday here. and then Felting in the evening - see that post here.
I also had my hair cut and feel much better for it. I'm still growing it out, but the back is sooo much neater now!

Today we went to Louise's house, and again the Bigs were amazing with the smaller children. So proud of them.
Vikki and I have been working on a project for Barney this week too. When they go to their speech and language group, they are learning to use 'PECS' (The Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) is a successful approach that uses pictures to develop communication skills. It is appropriate for children and adults with a wide range of learning and communication difficulties including autism. See here) and so we took a gazillion photos of absolutely everything in their flat and all the people in Barneys life, so that we could laminate to our hearts content and make 'PECS' accessible to Barney at home.
 Barneys Aunt and uncle (Hi Liz!!)
A typical breakfast for Barney.

I hope the idea will make life easier for Barney, and ultimately Vikki (and family) - in my ideal world (that probably only exists in my head,) they will be able to use the pictures to teach Barney how to show them what he wants and so ease his frustration. 
Vikki, I hope I didn't force the idea on you, thank you for letting me take over..!!
Thank you for letting us use your laminator Rach X x

Saturday and Sunday
A quiet weekend, spent doing quiet activities indoors (It is 0 zero degrees outside and snowy!). Paul and the Bigs gutted the upstairs and I skyped with my Mum. I think we are all quite reflective at the moment. Perhaps my sombre mood has effected everyone, but I think we are all in limbo at the moment.
Lucy took me to the gym this morning (Sunday) and I did a gentle Vereo workout, I feel good right now but am fearful of payback as the day goes on. I was brave and got on their scales and was rewarded with being half a stone lighter there, then I am at home, and I had had breakfast and was fully clothed there too - YAY!
I also went in the pool, but it was super busy and I got out in frustration after 15 mins. I am either quicker than I was, or the fast lane was full of slow people today. I am not the worlds quickest swimmer, but I do follow etiquette - if you're going quicker than me, I will wait at the end of my length and let you over take  me. Why does no one else do this??? Why do slower people insist on trying to get a head of you at the turn and then just slog it out? So FRUSTRATING! Ahem. Sorry Clanettes, rant over!!

Happy Sunday - a checklist for me to work on x x

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Baking at Maddalena's

Our friend Magda invited us to her house on Thursday, we did some baking with her son Basti (Sebastian), she cooked us an amazing lunch and the Kidlets made full use of their trampoline in the back garden. We had a great day and I thought I would share some photo's with you Clanettes..
 I love this shot - Bebe proudly held up her cake pop for me to photograph and it slipped down the stick as I took the photo, I love her face in the back ground!
 What an amazing assortment of cakes!
Love this shot too - sugar fuelled outside play. A good one of Bebe mid air.

Thanks so much for having us Maddalena x x x