It’s all happening today…

Today I am 38 weeks pregnant.

Last night was the last time I will ever sleep in my own bed, cuddling my ‘only’ child.

At 6pm today, I am being admitted to hospital, as because I am having an elective c-section (due to medical reasons), I need to start a course of steroid injections before the surgery.  My antenatal consultant stated that I could have had the injections as an out-patient, but because of complications that could arise, she would rather that I just go in today as an in-patient, and “see it out”.  I thought it best to follow her advice.

On Monday, 1 June 2015, our second ‘bundle of blue’ will be ‘hatched’ in to the world.  I have no idea on the time of the surgery yet, although I have been told that because I will already be an in-patient, it is more than likely going to be the first or second section of the morning.

I’m nervous.  No.  I’m terrified.  I have what is known as the ‘second child fear’.  I suppose I should have tried to tackle this much earlier, but I have been assured from so many people that my thoughts will disappear.

Basically, I am worried that Gning is going to feel neglected when Donut comes along.  Is he going to be jealous..?  I don’t think so…  He’s been cuddling me, and asking questions – for probably the past 6 months – and asking if he can “shake Donuts hands” when he’s here.  I don’t think the problem is with Gning.  No.  It’s me.  I’m scared that I cannot love a second child…  Will I be able to love Donut as much as I love Gning?  Will I have to share the love..?  According to everyone I have already spoken to, they are empty anxieties.  I will always love my little man as strongly as I do now; and when Donut arrives, and is in my arms, apparently, there’s another “bubble of love” that will pop, and it’ll be like I double the amount of love I have to give.

I’m ok.  I promise!  It is just the nerves talking…

It’s 9:10am, Saturday morning.  I’ve been up for a little under an hour; and I already have my lunch in the slow cooker.  We’re having braising steak, in a mushroom gravy, with baby new potatoes (with the skins still on); buttered with herbs.  It was delicious last time we had it, and I imagine it’s going to be just as lush this time – although hubby dearest is disagreeing me with, as he and mushrooms just don’t see eye-to-eye…  Ahh well.  It just means more for me 😛

I have a relatively full day today.  You know – considering I said that I am going to try to have a lazy day at home, before heading up to my parents, so they can ‘escort’ me to the hospital.  Plans never seem to follow through though, when you want a quiet day.

So, this is the last post I am making as being a parent to an ‘only’ child.  The next post I write will no doubt be to introduce our latest addition 🙂

Until then, have a wonderful weekend x

Advertisements

Slow Cooker Chicken & Tomatoes

This recipe is slightly different to my Italian Chicken in Tomatoes; where as I used slightly different ingredients, and I cooked this using my slow cooker (crock pot).  However, if you don’t have a slow cooker, you can very easily make this in the oven too.  I have included both methods – one for the slow cooker, and the other for the oven.

I absolutely, well and truly think that this recipe beats my previous Italian Chicken in Tomatoes.

Enjoy x

 

Ingredients

1 (or 2) chicken breasts per person

Garlic and herb cream cheese (I used Asdas’ own)

1 tin of peeled, plummed tomatoes

3 tablespoons olive oil

A “good shaking” of paprika (I used approx. 1 dessert spoon)

Salt & pepper

About 80g of your favourite hard cheese (red Leicester, Cheddar, Cheshire, etc.)

 

Method for the slow cooker

Using a sharp knife, butterfly the chicken breasts (this is when you slice the chicken breast in half, but not all the way through).

IMG_4765

Using a butter knife, spread a “good” quantity of the cream cheese inside the chicken breast, then close it back up.  You now have a “stuffed chicken breast”.

Place the breasts inside the ceramic pot/bowl, inside of the slow cooker; trying not to overlap each piece.

DSC00081

In a jug (or bowl), pour the tinned plum tomatoes, and “mush” them up with a fork.  If you prefer a smoother sauce, you can blend the tomatoes instead.  When you are happy with the consistency of the tomatoes, add the olive oil, paprika, and salt & pepper (to taste).  Give a final stir.

Pour the tomato mixture over the chicken breasts, and place the lid on (I got my son to help me with this).

DSC00083

 

DSC00084

 

Turn on your slow cooker to “HIGH” for 5 hours, or “LOW” for 8 hours.

DSC00086

When there is only approx. 30 minutes to go, carefully lift the lid and sprinkle some grated cheese over the chicken breasts.  Replace the lid and allow to continue to cook.

Serve with anything you like (veg, potatoes, pasta, rice…).

Enjoy!

DSC00093

DSC00100

 

Method for the oven

Preheat the oven to 210C (190C for fan assisted ovens).

Using a sharp knife, butterfly the chicken breasts (this is when you slice the chicken breast in half, but not all the way through).

Using a butter knife, spread a “good” quantity of the cream cheese inside the chicken breast, then close it back up.  You now have a “stuffed chicken breast”.

Place the breasts inside an oven proof glass / ceramic dish; trying not to overlap each piece.

In a jug (or bowl), pour the tinned plum tomatoes, and “mush” them up with a fork.  If you prefer a smoother sauce, you can blend the tomatoes instead.  When you are happy with the consistency of the tomatoes, add the olive oil, paprika, and salt & pepper (to taste).  Give a final stir.

Pour the tomato mixture over the chicken breasts, place the lid on and place in the centre of the oven for 30 minutes.

When the time is up, sprinkle the grated cheese over the breasts, replace the lid, and cook for a further 30 minutes.

Serve with anything you like (veg, potatoes, pasta, rice…).

Enjoy!

Frugal Christmas – Homemade Hand Warmers

Christmas is magical.  I love getting in to the Christmas Spirit, and I have to admit that I am one of the sad people who will play a Christmas songs CD in my car almost right the way through December.

Well, it’s fast approaching, and although it’s still only November, I can officially say I’m almost completely done with the Christmas present shopping.  I only have to buy one more thing for my father, and then I have to buy my (1 year old) son his presents.  There’s still plenty of time.

A lot of people have lost the true meaning of Christmas.  Yes, gift giving has become the norm, but too many people are expecting lavish gifts that will break the bank, and will melt your credit card…  And that’s just one person out of the twenty or so you have to buy for.

I love homemade gifts.  Some items are really useful, some are really yummy, and some make you look at them and wonder what on earth you’re going to do with them…  Afterall, where I’m from, it’s still the thought that counts, and I’m easily pleased with anything I’m given.

A while ago, I found a webpage that teaches you how to make rice-bag hand warmers.  I can’t find the original post, but thankfully, there are plenty of pages that teach you this if you google it.

Here’s my take on the idea, and I will be making them for a few people on my gift list.

What you need…

Material (cotton, muslin or flannel – Any colour and design that you like!)

Matching thread

Sewing needles or a sewing machine

Long grain rice (I’ll be using white)

Dried herbs (rosemary / lavender / peppermint / etc.)

OR

Essential oils (whatever you like!)

What to do…

1.  Cut your material into squares.  You’ll need two squares for each bag…  You need to cut them approximately 4″x4″.

2.  Turn the patterned sides towards each other (so it’s plain side out) and stitch all sides, but leave about an inch on the fourth side.

3.  Turn the bag the ‘right way out’.

4.  For oil scented rice, you need to mix approximately 1-teaspoon of essential oil to 1lb of rice.  I find the easiest way to cover all the rice here would be to put it all in a large food bag, seal it and shake, shake, shake!

5.  For herb scented rice, I use approximately 3-tablespoons of dried herbs to 1lb of rice.  Ensure you mix it all together!

6.  Use a small funnel, and pour your rice mixture into the bag until it’s about 3/4 full.

7.  Carefully turn the remaining open sides of the bag over, and sew them shut.  Check the perimeter of the bag to make sure there are no small holes where the rice would escape…

There you go!!  With a little practice, making these bags would take you about 5 minutes each.

To use…

Place the bag in the microwave, on medium high, for 2 minutes (adjust time accordingly for your microwave).  Your hand warmer should stay warm for approximately 30 minutes!