Post-holiday – again

 

Hi all, I’ve been absent for a while as you probably noticed. We took a week off and went to Denmark for a family vacation with the monkeys and my brother plus his family. Let me tell you this was a totally different kind of holiday from what we’ve experienced just 3 weeks ago when taking a timeout in Italy! 🙂 But it was no less fun and enjoyable and first and foremost: it was spending quality family time together all the 5 of us, something we really needed to do. We captured playgrounds in the woods or at the beach, conquered numerous castles and watched the Royal Guards and Horses on duty. We had a lot of Danish ice cream and some nice BBQ-lunches in the sun. We got drenched on a walk as short as 150 meters and discovered the fun of Viking Chess Battles with the whole family.

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Due to those vacation and the following Easter weekend which we spent with hubby’s family at the cottage, I haven’t tried new or transformed old gluten-free dishes lately but I do have a number of delicious meals queuing which I will of course write about here shortly. So be prepared for gluten-free versions of traditional food such as Lasagna or pie and culinary experiments including Quinoa and Buckwheat and yet another new bread.

Back home – holiday review

 

Puuh, I really cannot believe we’ve been back for 4 full days. But we have. We are so, so back. We returned home monday night to a nicely quiet house with 3 peacefully sleeping monkeys snuggled up in their beds, convinced and trusting that Mom and Dad would be back by the time they wake up the next morning. And within the blink of an eye holiday mode was off and we were back to business as usual. Looking back it feels as if these 5 alone-days are far longer away than just half a week. In the last 4 days back home I’ve been busy doing all the laundry that already piled up, packing away all the things we’ve just moved over to my parents’ „just in case“ and – first and foremost – preparing the middle monkey’s 6th birthday. (which was a hit, I can tell you!)

In the middle of my family, my life, of all these little bits and pieces, of all these everyday issues I felt strangely different to before the holiday: I felt – and still feel – relaxed. These 5 days in Italy were so much worth all the planning, organizing, preparing, worrying. It was just so exactly what we had needed and it did us beyond good. All my worries were put aside and they really did stay in their corner. I missed the kids occasionally and I was really looking forward to coming back home to the three of them. But it was definitely not like I was homesick or unable to sit back and relax.

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It was ‚La dolce vita‘ at its best: Sleeping in, eating, drinking, eating, walking in the hills and / or along the beautiful coastline of the Mediterranean Sea or taking a sunbath on the terrace. The weather was warm and sunny, and I got a really nice tan. 🙂 We had time to talk but didn’t spoil the mood with too heavy topics. We were just happy to be around each other – uninterrupted. During those days in Italy we felt an almost unknown feeling of freedom – simply because we were free: free from responsibilities, time pressure, duties, work, schedules. Nothing needed immediate fixing. No mediating, no consoling, no bitching, no looking after and no caring about – at least not actively. It felt really really good and it was the recharger we longed for.

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For me Italy also meant: gluten-free-free. Before we took off I decided to take it easy with gluten-free foods in order not to spoil the holiday and having all those delicious Italian dishes in mind already. No sooner said than done. I had white bread, pasta and dessert the first day. Grissini, pizza slices and again bread the second … and then: along came the point when my digestive tract said „Thanks. But, NO thanks.“ It was really astonishing. It took only very little to have all my old and long forgotten inner construction sites return. So I tried to avoid gluten whenever possible for the rest of the time, and honestly – I’m still struggling with the effects of those two easy days and I have put myself on a stricter-then-ever diet since our return. I can see improvement though. 🙂
Anyway, this little ‚thing‘ could not decrease the great benefit of this holiday, it was just a side effect to be noticed.
Consequently I will publish another great gluten-free recipe tomorrow. It is easy, but not quick. And it’s an all-time favorite in my family.

The difficulty of taking it slow

The last 2 weeks were really tough around here: One after another monkey got sick, all with the same kind of throat infection – all likewise bad tempered, unbalanced and suffering. Each mother knows these spirits during a child‘s sickness usually come in waves – now imagine 3 monkeys, a new sick one every second day. I had all different moods and stages here on each single day. Yippie.

Here comes the first chance for me to just lean back, relax and: take it as it is, take it slow, take it easy. I failed. I just cannot do this, I am incapable of that. When I stay at home with sick kids it‘s not me thinking „Now let‘s have a nice and cosy time, shut the blinds, watch silly movies, eat what we‘re up to and just take our time to recover. I‘ll help you with that.“ Instead I let the kids watch silly movies an eat what they want while I try to get as many things done around the house as I possibly can – things which were way off the list yesterday but now that I‘m home anyway… Silly me! I don‘t know why it‘s so hard for me to just let go, take it slow. I ended up pretty stressed and annoyed by the situation and ached for the moment when the front door opened and hubby came home. Chance clearly missed.

BUT the second chance was waiting just around the corner. The kids were recovering and pretty much ready to return school and kindy when I myself suddenly buckled. I felt a mix of everything – sick in anyway. So I took thursday and friday off and tried to relax and recover. It started promising: hubby drove the kids to school so I could remain in my PJs and go straight back to bed for another 3-hour-sleep after the troops had left the field: Check. It was marvelous! And really relaxing indeed. Then, on thursday, I got up, showered and dressed. Quickly hang up the washing before shopping the groceries just to be back in time so I managed to walk to school to pick the boys up. Yeah. Not marvelous, not relaxing. In the afternoon I felt more sick than ever. Chance missed – again.

The final chance came the next morning, again I went straight back to bed for 3 more delightful hours. When I got up, I made myself a nice breakfast, talked to my best friends on the phone, read the paper in the sun room, had a chat with Miss Monkey who came back home from school early. I took things very slow, closed my eyes when something worth cleaning/tidying/washing/… came into focus, I walked slowly to pick the boys up and even slower back home with them. By the end of the day I indeed felt recovered, refreshed, good.

Well, that wasn‘t all too difficult, I thought. So why…? And: It was worth it seeing the effects. Still… We‘ll see how it goes the next time around.