Working Adventures + Food!
The area I'm working in reminds me a lot of Multnomah Village in Portland, Oregon but not as built up. It has a bit more to go before it will hold the full old fashion charm that Multnomah Village does, that and it's a little more spread out here.
Im currently living with a family of 5. The parents, their 2 boys and one of the grandmothers of the boys.
I moved in on a Wednesday night with them, giving Sam a big hug before I headed out for 6 weeks. Now only seeing Sam "and company" on the weekends.
I left Oregon knowing that this situation I was putting myself into was going to be a bit tough but I wanted to help and bring as much positive energy as I could into their house! And smiles, lots of smiles! So I've been working on adjusting to a new household and slightly different family dynamics then what I'm used to. This isn't the kind of work I typically do but it's one of those common everyday jobs that many of us find ourselves naturally doing.
My Weekly Routine
What I do during the week days is pretty much this:
I wake in the morning and try to get a workout in of some sort. I can find time to get more of a workout in during most late mornings/ early afternoons regardless of if the kids are home or not. Sometimes we go to their backyard and the kids ride bikes while I jump rope and do other things.
And then there is also the local YMCA. I did a trail pass and then got a one month pass.
I help the boys with breakfast, making their bed and getting ready for school. I've been focusing on teaching them how to be more independent with getting themselves dressed and ready for the day.
Sometimes I walk the oldest boy to pre school and other times I stay home with their mom and grandma while their dad takes the boys to pre school and daycare.
I usually make the ladies and I breakfast and lunch. I've also been helping with a lot of organizing within the house and helping to get rid of things.
There are days where organizing is all that is done it seriously takes all day! However I enjoy organizing and downsizing AND helping others downsize so I'm definitely not complaining. I also adore the mother of the boys so it's a fun time to hang out with her! We have a lot in common and she's seriously an angel!
At night I put dinner together and get it on the table for everyone.
On the weekends I try to leave on Friday night or Saturday morning for Sam or Shelly's house tell Sunday. There's usually something fun going on in the city or a place Shelly wants to take me to see. So it's my break between weeks and still allows me to see the sights.
I bought a pre paid bus pass so I could travel between houses and other places with out bothering the family or my friends but the dad m has made it very clear that he doesn't want me taking the bus because that's not what he'd make any of his friends or family members do.
So that's nice of him and I guess I'll just save the bus pass for when I'm done working for them and I really do need it to get around.
A few meals and veggies dishes I've cooked up
Cook quinoa, and then cook up whatever veggies you have laying around the counter or fridge. I have sweet potato, onion and zucchini in this one.
When quinoa is finished I mix 2 raw eggs into the pot. And let it sit tell my veggies are all cooked. If I have any protein that needs to be used up I'll add that too. I added shredded /roasted chicken to this one.
Then I stir it all together in a pot and then pour it into a baking dish, lightly sprinkle with Parmesan cheese if you like (I did half sprinkled in cheese for this one) and put in the oven to cook the egg and melt the cheese. I did 350 degrees for 15min. or so.
One night we recently had these amazing homemade meat pies delivered with veggies. A neighbor dropped dinner off for the family.
Man! I could have eaten the entire tray, they were amazing!!!
Homemade Meat pies, I added the carrots.
Sliced whole carrots lightly coated in oil (I used olive oil but coconut oil would be good as well) cinnamon, cumin and a pinch of salt, baked in the oven at 400 degrees for 10 minutes or depending on how soft you want them. I must give credit to a certain "hot babe" for giving me this idea.
Coat in olive oil or coconut oil, sprinkle on Thyme, rosemary, sea salt & pepper. Let them roast in the oven on 400 for about 25min.
I've been working with the oldest boy on eating better. He's got a love for processed and soft foods and only them. So there has been a lot of veggie and fruit tasting lately. This silly kid has a hard time even liking fruit!
We go out of the house as a family + me on occasion. Otherwise that's pretty much my routine, with weekends off when I go out with my friends.
We went to Olympic park together, last week. It's where (you guessed it!) the Olympics were and we visited a children's art show that was made up of children from all over Australia.
The use of layering paints at this age is pretty creative.
Then we went to a playground and park on the grounds that was SO cool! I haven't enjoyed a kids park this much since I was a kid! There was lots of exploring to be done and not enough time in the day!
We went to the Sydney zoo which is pretty huge, positioned on the side of a hill that overlooks the harbor and straight across at the opera house and harbor bridge.
Its a lot like the San Diego zoo in size but I think both have strengths and weaknesses.
The weather was very overcast and a little chilly that day but turned out to be great for the zoo! It's spring break here, now so normally the zoo would have been packed. That day was just right! Did I mention that it poured down rain just as we arrived, so we sat in the car for 20min tell it passed and then went in. As it was raining I was really hoping we could just go back home. So glad it stopped!
This kid! He's to funny!
The oldest boy is really into the fact that I'm an artist and EVERYONE he and I are around, kids or adults he says, "Do you know that she's an artist and that she's from America!?"
I have to admit that it's pretty cute.
I picked him up from pre school one day and as I approached the circle of kids awaiting pick up, his teacher said, "we hear you are an artist." Yep, word gets around.
Walking him home, that same day he said to me as we walked out of his pre school yard:
Boy: Are we walking?
Boy: Ohh! (Whining)
Me: I don't have a car
Boy: Next time drive your car from Portland, Oregon"
Kids crack me up! If he only knew the distance! And if only that was a possability.
Both these boys have been a struggle for me in different ways.
The oldest boy and his food and now he's going thru an attitude phase where he's back talking a bit and just being rude on occasion. But he's also made huge progress with me! He's eating better and he doesn't ask for desert every night after dinner. In fact he's actually turned down desert and I'll tell you that brought a HUGE smile to my face. I wanted to do an air pump with my hands, immediately followed with a happy dance!
I got him to drink a smoothie with kale as one of the ingredients and a fresh juice with carrot in it. Both things he despises normally. However he didn't know those items were in his drinks either! I may have avoided mentioning those ingredients when he asked me what was in it.
Juicing is wonderful but also $$$ because it takes so much produce to make just one descent sized glass.
Apple, carrot, and orange juice I made. I would have added ginger if there was any in the house.
Mango, pineapple, a little pineapple juice if the pineapple is from the can, banana, kale, and coconut water smoothie
So when I started working with the kids, neither knew how to take their shirts off or put them on!
This morning the oldest boy got dressed on his own and made his bed and his brothers bed without being told. He came out and told all the adults in a very proud voice of his acolplishments.
Yet another acomolishnent I'll totally take credit for too! All these little things are making me feel so good about the work in doing with and for this family.
The oldest likes to help in the kitchen so yesterday we made apple sauce (they've never heard of it) in the slow cooker.
If it's not the consistency you'd like, cook it longer.
And guess what!? The oldest boy claims he doesn't like it! Ugh!
Due to a heap of bananas in the kitchen that were getting ripe FAST! I made some pancakes as a mid morning snack using only mashed bananas, 2 eggs, and (optional) chia seeds and cinnamon.
I used olive oil in the pan to prevent sticking.
I enjoyed these plain and honestly just the mashed bananas with cinnamon tasted delicious before they were cooked. The oldest decided he approved of these as long as they had golden (maple) syrup on them.
We also made chocolate chip cookies on his request and he said he didn't like those either! Maybe it's because I snuck a cup of oats into it when he wasn't looking and he seems to not like anything with oats in it.
I like mine cold and as is but you might like it with toasted almonds, maple syrup, honey, brown sugar or milk added on top.
The mother has been enjoying this for breakfast as well. I add extra milk to hers because Australians aren't really use to the texture of oats.
The little boy... How I struggle with him? Well he's in his terrible 3's so he's super charming as well as a boy with a temper!
Sometimes I'll ask him a question and his response will be, "yes your majesty!" With this adorable face! Other times I hear him yelling at his dad, "you idiot!" with loads of anger behind his voice. Or "I hate you!" So he and I are working on manners and not saying "hate" or "idiot". Time outs are getting old though! I'm brainstorming ways on how to get through to him faster. On the other hand he eats anything! He's an incredible eater! So really it's just breaking him of bad words, anger and getting him to use the words "please" and "thank you." more.
They are just kids though, growing up and going thru what kids do. It's been imtresting as the boys and I find ourselves testing eachother often.