It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Chocolate Mousse recipe

Another Chef Michael recipe. (I’m still exploring through Fast Flavours, so fun!)

Ingredients
:
225g (8 oz) dark chocolate
300g (10 oz) silken tofu. (Should be 1 pkg.)
125 mL (1/2 cup) sugar
5 mL (1 tsp) vanilla

Method
:
Break chocolate into small chunks and melt in double boiler over simmering water, stirring gently. Remove upper pot from heat.

Puree tofu, sugar, vanilla and every last drop of chocolate into food processor, and puree until smooth.

Serve and share immediately, or chill for an hour to firm up a bit.

Eeeeeasy…

March 26, 2013 Posted by | food | , | Leave a comment

Refreshed. Aaaah.

How rude! Mary vanishes for a week with nary a word of warning. Sadly, I have no excuse. Nothing dire happened, except plain old bad manners: I had a week off!! I also, without any advance planning, too my week off immediately before two short weeks, given that I also take Good Friday and Easter Monday.

And now I am all refreshed and ready for action, and I have a gentle return to regular-type work. Love it when holidays work that way.

I knew I was ready for work on Sunday because I was able to sit down that night and come up with a list of activities and crafts for the week in about ten minutes. The previous week took an hour, and my list was mediocre. So sad.

I knew I was ready for work on Monday, because the kids were just so CUTE, and FUNNY, and SWEET!!! … all day long! A week ago Monday, they were cute, yeah, but they were also WHINY and SQUABBLY and just a bit EXHAUSTING, frankly. All day long.

Part of that is perception, of course. When I’m happy and energized, the bad stuff doesn’t grate, and I can see the good stuff. When I’m tired and irritable, I feel the bad stuff, and it’s the good stuff I gloss over. It’s not that they’re doing anything different, it’s just what resonates most with me.

There’s a lot more to it than that, though. I noticed this when my kids were little, I notice this in the daycare: So much comes down to me. The truth of the matter is that the adult in the room, to a very large degree, sets the emotional tone of the daycare. If I’m happy! and friendly! and funny! … so are the children. If I’m gloomy and cranky and thin-skinned … so are the children.

It’s not a 100% correlation, of course. They are human beings, not programmable robots (darn it), human beings who come with their own moods. Sometimes a kid is stuck in “funk” and no amount of jollification in my soul is going to shift them out of that. (In that case, I put them in bed. A kid stuck in funk is almost always tired.) But it’s the rare child whose chipper happiness can survive in the face of adult surliness, and that’s a sad, sad thing.

Generally, though, children want to have happy interactions. They thrive in emotional sunshine. Have you ever seen a bunch of toddlers fake-laugh with each other, just because they love to laugh? They want to be happy. (This week, that’s ADORABLE! Last week? It was just LOUD.) If I’m upbeat and positive, the whole tenor of the room changes.

And when I don’t feel all sunny? Then I do my damndest to fake it till I make it. Did you know that studies show that when you put a smile on your face, no matter how cranky you feel, your mood improves? I noticed that for myself years before I read those studies. So, to the very best of my ability I smile, and I am gentle, and I am kind. A lot of the time, it works (remember my Happiness Project?). It works to the point that my mood genuinely turns around, and the smiles and laughter and play are not fake at all.

Sometimes it doesn’t, and the smiles and laughter and play are borne of effort. Effort that must be maintain All.Day.Long. In the face of the constant demands and emotional volatility of the average toddler — times FIVE. That’s exhausting. I had reached that point the week before last. But!! A week off, with a little travel, a lot of friends, a little shopping, a bit of sewing … and I am happy once more! Genuinely. No fatigue.

And the kids?

TOO DAMNED ADORABLE FOR WORDS.

Love my job.

Now I just need to arrange to have a week off, oh, every other month. That’d be perfect!

March 26, 2013 Posted by | daycare, holidays, socializing, the dark side | 4 Comments