Sunday, October 24, 2010

You Put WHAT?!?!? WHERE??!?!?

Pre-Children, a blog title like that would have sent my mind racing for the dirtiest, raunchiest corner it could find.

Post children, the first images that come to mind undoubtedly involve mobile phones or other valuables of an electronic nature and a certain machine that goes flush.

Yesterday however, it was a recipe that had me asking that very question...

I was on the hunt for something quick, easy and healthy when I came across a recipe for quesadillas (yum!) that a quick glance showed to have no more then 5 ingredients.

Wraps/Corn Tortillas (yup)

A nice strong cheddar (sounds good)

mushrooms (ooh! Nice!)

jalapeno peppers (cause some like it hot!)

and bananas (uh...ex squeeze me? Come again?)

Yup. You heard me.


As in the fruit.

Pardon me for my culinary ignorance, but to be perfectly honest, the thought of bananas and cheese did not exactly float my boat. While my mouth did begin to water, it was more in the "I think I'm going to be sick" way as opposed to the more traditional "oooooh! Gotta get me some of that!"

So yes, I was more then a bit skeptical.

But then I continued to read the recipe and the woman who contributed it confessed to having the same doubts when she first saw it. she then went on to guarantee that the sweetness of the banana actually set off the cheesiness of the cheddar and that with a bit of salsa or guacamole on the side, the dish was a real winner.

So I gave it a try.

Mad and all as it sounds, she was right.

The banana and cheese quesadilla (even seeing it written together is just wrong) was a hit.

The gruesome twosome cleared their plates and asked for more.

My husband, who turned an odd shade of green when I told him what we were having, gamely gave it a go and surprised even himself by actually liking it (although he did say that he would have enjoyed it more had he not known about the bananas.)

I ate all of my own and then (because they're just so darn easy!) made another batch tonight to eat while watching the X Factor results show where, even odder then bananas and cheese co existing in a most harmonious way, Wagner lives to "sing" (and I use the word loosely) another week.

Will wonders never cease?

Now, for your culinary enjoyment, I give you....

Banana and Cheese Quesadilla

Place half of your wraps/tortillas on a baking sheet (or 2) sprinkle with cheese, mushrooms, jalapenos (opt.) and um... bananas.

Cover with remaining wraps/tortillas and place in the oven on about 180c/ 350f/gas mark 5 or 6 for 10 - 15 minutes or until cheese is melted

Serve with salsa and Guacamole and enjoy!

No, seriously, you WILL enjoy these!

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Price of Peace

It is 8:00 pm.

Miracle of miracles, the Snot Queen is not running rings around the house high on batteries (or whatever it is that she runs on!) Instead, about a half hour ago, she disappeared upstairs with her dad for stories and bedtime.

Now, she did not go quietly. If I recall correctly there was much objection and demands for juice and "Ballerina Dolly," who is not, as the name may suggest a ballerina or any sort of dancer for that matter. She is instead the armless, knickerless, rather manly looking knock off barbie doll we picked up at a shopping mall for 3 euro last Saturday when we were naive enough to leave the house with her doll buggy but no dolly to ride in it.

Her wardrobe consists of a rather garish (is there any other kind?) silver mini dress and a pair of what, were she a real life woman, would probably be 9 inch hooker heels in scarlett red.

Very age appropriate.

Combine this with the pink faux fur coat she likes to regularly sport around the house whilst wearing mammy's heels that are far too high for even mammy to walk in and not much else, and I occasionally get a sinking feeling in my belly when I think about my eldest daughter's future career prospects.

But that is soul destroying fodder for another day...

Tonight is all about the sleep. The Snot Queen you see, has given up her daytime nap.

In exchange for a slight (re: MASSIVE) tendency to turn into something of an antichrist between the hours of 6 and 7 (am and pm that is) we now have a child who falls asleep each night at 7:30pm with nothing more then a couple of stories from daddy and the brittle presence of a plastic, amputee, drag queen to keep her company.

It took 2 years, 9 months and the better part of my sanity, but as I sit here writing these words and waiting for my husband to come back from the shop with a celebratory bottle of white and some cheese n onion crisps and , I can honestly say...

It was worth it.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Style Watch

The Snot Queen has taken to dressing herself. She has been at this for a while, but lately has taken a much more militant stance when it comes to what she will (and more to the point what she WON'T wear)

Currently in are dresses. Not just dresses, but party dresses. Princess dresses. The kind of dresses sensible mothers keep wraped in plastic and save for special occasions. These have become her day to day wear.

A trip to the library? Hmmmmm.... Perhaps that little number she wore for our wedding last year...

Going to the park? Oooooh! The swanky New Year's outfit my Aunt bought her!

A trip to the shopping centre is deemed worthy of nothing less then the flamenco dress my sister in law picked up for her in Spain last year.

And her absolute favourite, wear it every day that it isn't in the wash, worn so many times the black velvet polka dots are now small grey smudges, is her Christmas eve dress from last year. Paired with a kicky little pair of bright pink sneakers and she's ready for anything.

Right now she's downstairs eating "Dragon Cereal" (better known as Tesco "Rice Snaps") whilst wearing a very mod looking pink and black belted mini dress complete with black leggings, a fluffy pink jacket with teddy bear ears and a winter hat.

Gok Wan, watch out.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Thoughts on The Day

Almost 12 hours later and I am still buzzing.

It was amazing. I was truly overwhelmed by the whole experience. I honestly don't think that I have even finished absorbing everything that happened today, but I'll do my best to write it out here.

About two weeks ago, I had the bright idea to sign up Cork City as part of the 2010 Quintessential Breastfeeding Challenge.

What with Ireland having the lowest breastfeeding rates in Europe (we are however, top of the charts when it comes to the production of powdered infant formula!) and with many Irish mothers citing "being uncomfortable feeding in public" as reason not to breastfeed, this seemed like a great chance to:

a) show the country that public nursing is not "obscene," nor is it comparable with "pissing in the street," as one noted Irish Late night talk host and early morning radio presenter once suggested. and

b) create a supportive atmosphere for breastfeeding mothers to come and meet other breastfeeding mothers.

Well, the entire thing took on a life of it's own and over the course of the last week I have been inundated with calls from the media. We have been featured in every major newspaper, approached by two television networks and I was even interviewed on the radio (where one listener later texted in to say that my feeding the snot queen was "vulgar.")

One of the main questions people asked was, "How many mums to you expect to turn out on the day?"

Media Answer: "We have about 50 - 60 confirmed and are waiting on further numbers!"

Honest Answer: " There's a good chance it will just be me, my neighbor and a creepy looking man in a dirty trenchcoat taking "unofficial" photos for his non existent website."

I could never in a million years have predicted what really happened.

At 9:30, people started arriving. I figured that when things died down, I'd get the chance to sit and have a coffee, maybe grab a bite to eat.

They never died down. The line kept growing and we quickly ran out of sign up sheets and had to start writing on the backs of the old ones.

When 11:00am rolled around, we had 97 mothers, 106 nursing children, their older siblings and a strong showing of supportive husbands, partners and family members.

We spilled out of our allocated area and took over the entire upstairs section of the food court.

There were nursing mothers everywhere.

It was beautiful.

There was no shame, no worry, no desperate shushing of a child in the hopes that they would wait until you got home or found the "Nursing Room/change room/wheelchair toilet" which is generally a lonely place with a bad smell.

There was no looking around to make sure no one was watching before you latched your child on for a feed.

There was no apologizing to companions as you popped on a hungry child as if you were doing something wildly inappropriate and they were being extremely gracious for overlooking your public indecency.

There were just mothers and babies, families out for a good day. People mingled and chatted as though they'd known each other for years and the children played and slept and nursed and did all the other things that children do.

At one point, I was standing chatting away to another mother when the tiny one ran up crying as she'd taken a tumble and wanted a cuddle. Without missing a beat and without any awkward pauses, I whisked up my 28lb, 15 month old toddler, latched her on and continued on chatting as though nothing out of the usual had happened.

It was amazing.

It wasn't about "bottle bashing" and it wasn't about berating non nursing mothers for the choices that they've made.

Instead, it was about showing the country that nursing is normal. That the primary function of breasts is to feed children and that there is nothing wrong with making it an accepted part of public life.

Today we had almost one hundred women feeding their babies simulataneously in a shopping center in the heart of Cork City as though there was absolutely nothing odd about it. And guess what?

There wasn't.

Thank You

I would like to say a HUGE thank you to the 97 women, over 100 children and all of the proud papas who filled the mezzanine area of Mahon Point to bursting this morning at 11:00am. We more then surpassed our goals! To put it in perspective, last year in Ireland, around 75,000 babies were born. Of these, 41,250 were latched on after birth, 21,000 were still nursing at 4 months and 938 were still being exclusively breastfed at 6 months. To get 97 breastfeeding mothers and their children to simulataneously nurse in a shopping center in Cork City with ten days notice (a number which is equal to 10% of the babies who are exclusively feeding at 6 month) is nothing short of AMAZING!!!!! I am so proud of us all. It was incredible, it was beautiful, it was Natural. Most of all, IT WAS NOT OBSCENE!!!!! To the many, many mums who turned up on the day and to everyone rooting for us at home, to everyone who travelled from as far afield as Dublin and Galway and those from up the road, to the mothers of newborns, wobblers, toddlers and school age kids who came out and nursed their babies because it's the normal thing to do, Thank you. From the bottom of my heart (and boobs;D) I thank you.