Pancake Day

(I actually did this on Sunday as a school morning is not one on which I am happy to be adventurous with my children’s breakfast.)

This is far from being a foodie blog and I’m by no means a great cook or know much about food tech or nutrition, but it is pancake day and one of my biggest anxieties is how my kids eat…

As 5 year old O is a fussy eater (“I forgot to try it” being what she says every day about school lunch), I have to find ways of making things secretly healthier and just packing more nutrition in. It rarely works as she can instantly perceive a ‘weird taste’. Sometimes I prematurely jump for joy (inside, wouldn’t want her to see my victory of course) when I think she likes something as she is chewing and giving me me a thumbs up and little nod…….But this soon turns into a grimace as she swallows, “ew no no don’t like it, don’t like it!” The hidden ingredients sometimes betray me and reveal themselves in the post swallowing taste.

But at least it is too late to spit it out, so that’s something!

One of the few things she likes is pancakes. I’ve managed to make them by doing what everyone seems to have been doing the last couple of years – eggs and a banana. I add a bit of flour to firm them up (I don’t believe gluten is all evil, but I base that on nothing whatsoever.) I also try my best to not add refined cane sugar or I add something else instead as she definitely gets enough of that elsewhere.

The traditional method is great but this time I wanted to put more nutrition into them so I”d googled a few recipes and all seemed to use egg whites (extra protein) and oats.  Sunday morning combined with accurate measuring does not suit me so I guessed amounts….

Step One Make Pancakes

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These aren’t particularly sweet but usually this doesn’t matter as we are adding toppings. I also put a tablespoon of a milled seed mix to put some hidden good stuff. I put it all in the nutri bullet an wiz up till its liquid.

Grease pan (medium heat) with coconut oil (or whatever you prefer), pour in batter till you have a pancake about 7 or 8 cm scross. Cook 1 side until firmed up round edges and little bubbles appear then turn over, less than a minute more and they are ready. Just don’t look away as they cook fast and can burn easily.

Please Note – I don’t flip or toss…

Step Two Place pancakes on table surrounded by an array of jars, maple syrup and chopped fruit.

Step Three Watch out of the corner of your eye as 5 year old tastes and actually enjoys your work.

orlipancakes

The 1 year old who is not too fussy yet, but is developing likes and dislikes for sure, for some reason does not like pancakes. You can never have it all.

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Daddy Caspi will always be happy with pancakes in any form.

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Three out of four isn’t so bad!

Maple syrup goes down fine but at some point that word which we try not say as its connotations are as dark as speaking ‘Voldemort’ aloud, is squeaked out,

“Nutella”

I’ve tried to find healthier substitutes but nothing has worked on her yet (hence not putting sugar in the pancakes) so pass the Nutella. A little in moderation is Ok….right?

Well

It didn’t do me any harm did it?

happyme

Anxiety and iPads

Hands up, who suffers anxiety? Wow that’s a lot of hands! Me too. There are varying degrees and I’m very fortunate not to suffer with it as badly as some. It’s important we recognise when this crosses over from the usual everyday anxiety everyone experiences, to a problem that prevents us from living contented lives.

I’ve always had social anxiety and then there is mum’s anxiety. (And there’s the anxiety about posting this post about anxiety.)
arghsmlAll mums, all parents, of course feel anxious about their kids frequently for many reasons.
Many can brush it off and get on with their day, or set it aside to worry about later. Others are more plagued by worrisome thoughts and dilemmas. I have that occasional unhelpful inner voice which asks things like ‘am I ruining my child and turning her into a person who will be a completely terrible adult??’ The sensible part of my brain tells me  “no of course not” and I can logicise and convince myself. I do a lot of logicising. There are always questions, questions, questions. Whether its over what they eat, or don’t, how they behave or whether I’m behaving in the right way and setting a good example. Can I just get on with my life without my brain interfering??
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 One of my anxieties is over screen time. Yes TV too but mostly Big O and the iPad.
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One of O’s favourite things is watching youtube kids on the iPad. I do ration it but at times she watches more than I’m happy about yes I know I can just walk up and switch off but I’ve learnt to pick my battles).

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So she was off school for 3 days with a virus, following half term (that’s being in the house – not out of it, for over a week, with a 5 year old with an ungenerous attention span and a teething 1 year old. Its a wonder we made it through!)  Sure we did the arts and crafts, the drawing, the reading, card games, watched a film or two, we even managed to sit in silence for a time whilst the calpol kicked in. But at some point, the iPad beckoned like a siren calling and it was impossible to resist. She was happy, I could do some work whilst the little teether had a nap. Most mums just wouldn’t worry about it, rightly so, its just the ipad and its a great tool. But my brain doesn’t work that way (we’ve all seen the facebook posted articles like ‘Why Screen Time will Ruin your Child’, one of those lovely articles there just to prey on one’s anxieties). I’m sure I, you too, watched a lot of TV growing up, and our parents didn’t agonise over it. But now we are so immersed in constant news/fake news, you can’t go a day without hearing someone stating “DO NOT DO THAT, IT IS BAD FOR YOU”.

I told myself to get perspective, “she wasn’t well and you all needed a break, so it did no harm.”

Until Daddy Caspi said he’d asked O ‘Why do you love the videos so much?”

She replied “Leave your answer in the comment section below.”

Maybe my child really has been brainwashed by YouTube kids channel!
Have I ruined her brain?

Am I totally overthinking this? (the answer to this is always Yes)

All I can say is thank goodness she got back to school!

(I”ll still be letting her watch YouTube…)

brains

Hello first post…

As you can gather by the blog title my name is Elinor. This is my family.caspifamsml

I draw…I cringe at calling myself an ‘artist’ because I’m just not sure I deserve to own that title, hopefully I will eventually (maybe you’ll let me know when I’ve gotten there). SO for now…I draw.

I say draw….I draw when I get a spare moment or two, here and there. The truth is I could spend more time to doing it. The problem is at times I am so tired that I lack any motivation to pick up a pencil. At the moment however, I’m using every bit of effort to keep the current sparkle of motivation going. There is a reason for all this…get ready for the excuse…I’m a mum. I have two young children of the female variety. Big O is currently 5, Little A is 16 months (and has just woken up from her nap so I will have to pause here…..)

They both keep me busy, even when one is at school and the other is sleeping I’m busy with preparing for them to occupy my time later on (cooking, cleaning, carreening ever closer to anxiety induced insanity, that sort of thing) But now I am promising myself to draw every day.

For quite a while now I’ve done work for others in the form of pet character portraits (which you are welcome to explore if you’d like to visit my site or facebook). I’ve loved doing these and won’t be stopping but I’ve got to find time for something else too.

So this blog will mostly be sketches or paintings inspired by my family or personal experience (as FringeMama – I’ve had a fringe forever and as ridiculous as it sounds, it is my most recognisable feature) with the occacional ‘other thing’ thrown in. As my brain is all over the place (baby brain is forever), so is my work. Thanks for reading and hope you’ll like the pictures.