28 February 2012

On Sunday...

We woke up to streams on sunshine through the curtains and I was surprised. Hadn't it been bucketing rain through the night and all through Saturday? We spent the morning in limbo, not quite knowing what to do. Ideas of visiting the Gallery of Modern Art is Brisbane were shot down. The kids were begging for the pool. We wandered about, slowly and not moving forward with any ideas. In the end, it was easiest to head to the pool. 


Then we went out to grab lunch and had burgers at Grill'd. Love this place. The kids adore the brown cardboard boxes, the fat fries, the juice boxes and the colouring pencils. We love the panini and the yummy burgers, the Moroccan lamb is my favourite.



We tried out our old PFD vest on O, but he hated it and cried in true terror when we tried to show him how he floated in in. On the other hand, M hadn't seen her vest in almost a year and she was loving it. Much concentration was required to put it on and off all by herself.


She was crazily excited by this lady bug.


O was loving the kids pool. I also love the expression on Itay's face in this photo! 

After being in limbo, the pool, lunch, a quick trip to the shops and some bargains for next summer, we had a great morning. I even managed to sneak in a short nap. Love it!

What did you get up to on the weekend?

27 February 2012

Mornings

Just like millions of homes around the world, mornings are little crazy and just a bit stressful at our house. Even though we generally iron on Sunday nights or the night before, and we prepare our fruit, snacks and even cut up the sandwich stuff for lunches, mornings are still hard.

I get a few moments of sitting down time (usually I apply my eye make up and read a few blogs at the same time) but mostly it is just game on for those couple of hours. I make my porridge and I eat it standing up while making sandwiches, making whatever food will be rejected by the kids that morning, packing last minute "dry" snacks for lunch boxes, preparing dinner, and hanging a load of washing and then Itay leaves. He helps in all this, don't worry, he's not sitting on his bum the whole time!

Then it's my turn to shower and so the kids don't kill each other and I can shower in relative peace, the TV often goes on. Then my kids turn to lumps of impenetrable, unmoving dough. I have my quickie shower and then shove a bit more breakfast and green tea in. Dress the boy, remind M to put her uniform on about ten times. No exaggeration. Do her hair. Remind her to eat. Remind her to put her socks on. Repeat.

Brush their teeth. Wash their faces. Begin to give warnings, we're leaving soon. Finish my hair, get dressed, brush my teeth. Take M's lunch box and drink bottles out of the fridge at the last minute, pack bags, shoes on the boy. More warnings that we are leaving. Does anyone need to go to the toilet? Bags in to the car. Come on kids!

Last minute requests for inappropriate food like crackers, frozen peas, ice blocks. Last minute "I want to take this for show and tell" and O will usually take his shoes off. Then he'll climb in to his car seat, and straight back out. I'm so frustrated by this point that I can hardly speak. Arghhhhhh.

Mornings. What are they like at your place?


Vegemite all over his face, green pen all over his hands.
Luckily he is cute.

24 February 2012

What's for dinner?

I'm running behind - this is what we had for dinner last week:

Home made pizza - chilli prawns with salsa verde
Swordfish steaks with corn on the cob and home made chips
Leek and chicken patties with cous cous and salad
Piri Piri chicken with salad
Bacon, eggs and raw salad vegies
Home made beef (and left over chicken mince!) burgers on Turkish bread
Beef stirfry with egg noodles

And this week:

Thai chilli prawns w/ home made garlic bread and salad
Salmon patties, corn and salad
Toasted sandwiches (easy Sunday night meal!)
Satay chicken with peanut sauce, vegies and rice
Panko and herb crusted fish w/ potato rosti and salad
Sausages w/ pasta, tomato and basil salad
Spicy chicken, yellow rice and peas

Still working on the new meal plan for this coming week. Any great ideas for me?!

23 February 2012

Sunday with friends


Ahh, summer days, drifting away... Love Sundays in the sun. We met our darling friends L, J and E at Pottsville on Sunday for beach time and a picnic. We flopped about in the warm water at the river mouth, watched the kids (who played together so well!) and chatted. We caught up on news, shared stories and just generally enjoyed the company of beautiful friends. It was so relaxing.


After just enough time in the sun, we moved back in to the park, under the shade of the paperbark trees and had a little picnic.


The kids did a little loving. Aren't they just ridiculously sweet? O just adores E. Each time we visit her, he is so sad to leave her company. He falls asleep in the car or after she leaves and the moment he wakes he calls out for her and wants to go back and play some more. He just loves her so!



It was such a blissful Sunday, we're going to do it again very soon.

22 February 2012

Crafting it up


Early morning craft activities. Colouring wooden shapes to spell out her name. 
Yes, the sheets do have crafty marks all over them.


Another early morning art adventure. I loved this one, her cat looks so great! 


Afternoon painting. "I wish we had one of those wooden things that I could put my paper on and paint on it. Like a wooden triangle thing, you know Mum?". "An easel, bub? We do have one honey, it's out the back."


Count down to prep - Itay made this for her and they marked it off each night. 
Just had to take a photo before it went in the bin. Isn't it sweet?

19 February 2012

Dreaming of beach style {via Pinterest}

I've spoken about this before, the fact that I thought I didn't have a particular style. A style at home, I style that I dreamed of for my home. Then I thought a little, and I realised that I do have a style that I would love to surround myself in, a style that I aspire to. I spoke about that here. More beauty, more pins, more beachy, coastal, airy, lightness. Blues.








1. What a view!
2. Blue glass bottles
3. Beach glass
4. To relax on this deck!
5. Simple but beautiful
6. I really do adore succulents.
7. Gorgeous chandelier

Joining in with Tina Gray {dot} me, piquing her Pinterest today!

18 February 2012

Natural colour

I've spoken previously about my recent mission to reduce the additives, colours and preservatives in our diet. Another example popped up today. M has asked for a few different items in her lunch box lately, and in an attempt to make lunch a little more interesting for her, we decided pikelets might be nice.

Unfortunately I didn't have time to look for a recipe and make them, so Itay bought some from Woolies and I planned to make some over the weekend. Now these pikelets have the colour 161b in them - annatto. This is a natural food colouring, adding yellow colour to foods. Read about annatto here. Some kids and adults ahve had horrible reactions to annatto, even though it is a natural additive.

I'm a bit embarrassed, as pikelets are just pancakes with sugar in them, and smaller. I can do that!

16 February 2012

Oh, the hair.

A few days before Christmas, I had my hair cut. With very little thought or preparation, I had it cut shorter than it has been in years. It went from half way down my back, touching my bra strap, to above my shoulders, with a fringe.

Here's me before the chop. Please note, this photo was taken very shortly after my hair had been cut and styled, the previous hair cut. It didn't look like this every day! It was also much longer when I had it chopped.


And then here's the after, chopped short, with a fringe. Now I look at that photo and think it looks lovely. I kinda does. But that day was the only day it looked like that. I hate blow drying my hair and I can never ever style my fringe that way. I just don't seem to possess the skills!

 {I think I may be wearing the same top in both photos!}

I can see that the fringe does actually seem to suit me, now I see those photos together. It make my forehead look less, well, huge. But truly I detest this hair on my head at the moment. Are there any magic fixes? I never wear my hair out now, my fringe is always (always) pinned back and I hate how short it is. Ugh! It is amazing just how much a lack of hair confidence can affect your daily life. First world issues, I know!

14 February 2012

Ducks on Friday

I'm so enjoying Fridays with my littlest man. He loves walking M in to big school, and he peers eagerly in to her classroom. "I go big school too, Mum?" He's a little sad and quiet as we say goodbye to her and several times throughout the day, he asks where she is.

We then go off on our own adventures. We play in the park. We visit the cool toy shop and we sit for ages playing on the train table and looking at the fish. My attention is purely on him. We buy a little treat. "Sparkly cupcake, Mum", a little cupcake with sprinkles. He chooses a DVD and watches it peacefully, with no big sister brawls and interuptions. He fights his afternoon sleep - being awake is too much fun!

He's super excited to pick M up from school. We pack our bread crusts and off we go to feed the ducks in one of the canals close to our home. The kids love it. The goose freaks me out. It's taller than M and man, it honks. It's huge! No photos of the goose, I was too busy holding my camera, bags, bread and kids out of the goose path!


Oh, I love her socks. She did this herself. Do you remember rolling down your school socks?


He likes to throw whole pieces of bread. Poor ducks!



I can see that we're going to enjoy these Fridays.
Planning days and activities that the boy will enjoy, and scooping the girl up in the afternoon for more moments together.

12 February 2012

Dreaming of a reading nook {via Pinterest}

Oh, how I do love to read. It's one constant in my life. Most people who know me will easily be able to tell you, "she loves to read". I think reading is just something I will always adore. I can't help reading anything, everything, just turning the pages. So, in the spirit of last few dreaming of... Pinterest posts, here's another dream.

A reading nook. A place to lay back, sip on a cool drink or a tea and just read. Basically, just like a daybed, only inside.













Linking up with Tina Gray {dot} me today.

10 February 2012

What's for dinner?

This week, we're having:

Chermoula prawns (Yes, I know, we had it last week too. So good!)
BBQ at the beach
Fajitas
Pasta marinara
Nachos
Sausage risoni
Homemade pizza

Feeling uninspired today. Must snap out of that!

8 February 2012

When do you know your family is complete?


A couple of weeks ago, I was lucky enough to meet a precious 4 day old baby girl. A sweet girl with tufts of dark hair, who reminded me quite a bit of my own girl when she was born. I was surprised when a friend asked if I’d felt clucky when I visited this beautiful baby, surprised because it hadn’t occurred to me. I can honestly say I didn’t feel clucky. I felt so happy for my girlfriend, the baby was super sweet but no... my ovaries didn’t sigh.
A few days later, I was searching for a particular photo and I came across a couple of videos of my boy. Oh baby boy. I cried tears of so many mixed emotions. I miss having a little baby. That video made me clucky!

Over the weekend, some friends announced their pregnancy. A wedding night baby. And oh, what a strange effect it had on me! Envy, at their newlywed, loved up bliss, their first pregnancy progressing, a healthy pregnancy. (I didn’t get that experience.) A new little baby.

Do you ever really know you’ve completed your family? Most days (and nights) I feel that I know I’m good with two kids. I have two hands, two kids, I feel that as the kids are getting older we’re beginning to get out, move around and their independence makes life just a little bit easier. Mentally, I feel exhausted by my two children. Challenged and over-challenged. Often, I have two or three voices talking to me at once, asking questions. My patience and energy are already stretched. My sanity is just hanging in there!

Now love... I know that can be expanded. It's something I wondered and worried about before O was born. Could I love him as much as I love my firstborn? The answer is well and truly, yes. Oh yes, I love my little guy. I know I could love another child just as much, just as intensely.

But it's not on the cards. It's not a likely possibility. And then. In another heartbeat, being tuned in to my body sometimes makes me sad. I'll always know when ovulation occurs. I love and miss breastfeeding. So round and round it goes, even though it's not really on my mind. The wondering is there, but not the intensity. I just wonder.

(I also feel blessed that I have been given the privilege to be a parent, and that I have the choice. I know dear, darling people who do not have this choice. )


M, a few days old.


O, one day old.

7 February 2012

Sunday evening bliss

We changed things up over the weekend. Instead of heading to the beach early morning, we packed up our BBQ goodies, boards and beach towels and enjoyed a late afternoon swim followed by a BBQ in the evening light. It was just so divine. All four of simply loved it. Itay and I looked at each, frequently saying, "isn't this fantastic?!" and we all just absorbed the light, the sun and the change.






A beautiful Sunday evening.

5 February 2012

Thailand dreaming {via Pinterest}

Ahh, another load of picturesque pins, dreaming of a summer holiday. This time, we're going to Thailand. We wish, right? My dad is in fact travelling to Thailand as I type these words. We've just dropped him off at the Airtrain. He really is going to Thailand, for a whole month!


A dining pod, somwhere in Thailand.


 The Library, Koh Samui.


Hilton Hotel, Thailand.


Villa Amanzi in Phuket



Festival of Lanterns


Oh, to be flying to Thailand today. the beaches, the people, the food. Oh!

I'm joining in with Tina Gray {dot} me, for Piquing My Pinterest again this Sunday.
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3 February 2012

Now I'm a school mum

Although I knew school would be a big change in my girl's life, I didn't really think about the fact that school would add yet another dimension and yet another role to my life. I'm now a school mum. I wash and iron her uniforms, I ball up little white socks and I have to think about packing food that will be still be edible in the QLD heat, after sitting in her bag.

The mother guilt has already set in. For the first couple of days, I was able to stay and chat with other parents in the morning and afternoons. Now I take my girl to school, stay with her until the bell rings and then I race back to the car and head to work. While she's little and just beginning this journey, I need to stay with her until class starts. This means that I'm now starting work half an hour later, which results in returning home from work half an hour later.

I'm not able to really connect with other parents or her teacher, I'm not able to volunteer my time and to become involved. My girl is picked up four afternoons a week by after school care, which is her old daycare (and is still where O is cared for), so it is all familiar. But still, someone else is driving my girl, picking her up, asking her how school was. I have thought of her every day at 3pm this week, hoping she is OK.

She loves it and I think she really gets in to the independence. She's embracing it. On Wednesday she was not so keen to go to school and it broke my heart, but off she went and she was smiling by the time she walked through the door.

It's such a journey of emotions and feelings, this growing up, this watching her grow in to her own being. I love that she smiles at kids and chats to them before class, it warms my heart that she is making friends. She didn't know anyone at all when she started. So I'm proud and emotional. And guilty. But this is what needs to happen for us, and it's working OK right now.

I read this great Open Letter to School Mums by Sunny Mummy the other day. A really great read. Point #5 was particularly poignant.

So, I'm now a school mum. Bring it on.

2 February 2012

Tennis

At the beginning of January (I know, I know!), Itay and I ventured out on a real date. We dropped the kids off at daycare together, drove to work together. Wooo, fun! Rare!

My mum picked the kids up, gave them dinner, bathed them and put them to bed. Meanwhile, Itay and I headed up to Brisbane, to watch a couple of matches of tennis in the Brisbane Open.


We saw Bernard Tomic win, which was great, considering we were pretty much his "home" crowd.



We saw Andy Murray play, which was really interesting, as he's in the top ten ranked players in the world.




It was just so relaxing to sit quietly in the car with Itay, to walk with just him, to discuss where to park with just him, to enjoy a passion of his with him, my husband. Even if the seats were hard and it hurt my bum.

Hmm, that is, until at 8.54pm (late!!) I saw a missed call and a text from Mum. The kids were still awake and O was throwing a huge tantruam, M was sitting on the lounge with her hands over her ears saying "I can't listen to him". Man, those kids are hard work sometimes, and not just for us!

A couple of phone calls and texts later, they were asleep. Phew! My poor mum. Itay and I had a great outing together and I wished that I'd booked tickets to go to the final with him a few days later. Next year I will. I'll take cushion for my bum though.

Loved date night!

My baby boy


Boyo.

His eyes have turned from brilliant, sky blue to green and are now very similar to mine, with a ring of yellow around his irises.
His speech is beginning to blossom and while he can be quite difficult to understand, he really is much more vocal and expressive. He says some cute and funny things, as all kids do! Hodilay instead of holiday, banklet instead of blanket. His best little mate’s name is Maurice, but O calls him “Aurice”, without the M. My heart just sighs each time he says these cute things. He says hilarious things like “I will. I can. I do” about... almost anything he really wants to do. He calls me BBBBBBBB Blyyyyyyyyyyyyythe.  So funny.

He still sucks his thumb.
He’s still a little tiny thing. He weighs just over 12kg and a few of his little shorts are size 0, though generally he is in size 1. He may just graduate to size 2 for some winter clothing!

He has basically toilet trained himself. We really have not put any effort in at all, the kid does it all himself. The house will go quiet and I’ll find him on the toilet, reading a book and doing a poo. He no longer wears a pull up during his day sleep and while he does wear one at night, he has woken us a few times to ask for helping doing a pee. Only once has he gone in his pull up, and he kept saying “did a wee wee in my bed Mummy”, although he hadn’t, it was just in his pull up. He was quite sick that night (croup) so all in all, he’s just so amazing! We’re considering taking his pull up off at night to see how that goes, it would lovely to have it done before winter and colder nights hit.
He loves sport. He loves to watch tennis, cricket and football. He loves to play his version of all these sports and he is so adept with a ball, it’s amazing! He’s going to start playing soccor at Kindy, he begged to do it. Pease, pease play soccor? PEASE Mummy, PEASE. he doesn't get the ball sport thing from either of us, although Itay is in to tennis!

He loves the water, he loves playing in the pool or at the beach. We started back at swimming lessons last weekend and he simply adored it! The teacher called him a water baby, he was just so happy in the water. Love this!
He wakes up between 5 and 5.30am and comes in to our room, snuggles in between us. He then kicks, talks, squirms, tries to play with our phones, brings puzzles in to the bed, books, balls... and then we get up. This morning I dragged myself out of bed at 5.05am (for the first time in forever!) and went in to our bathroom to get ready. The little boy was in our bed, sleeping. Sleeping! He never, ever does that! Itay was watching him and we looked at each other in disbelief. He actually slept for another hour in our bed. Amazing!

He loves books and reading. His favourite book is Dig Dig Digging and we have read it so many times that he can actually “read” it himself now. So ridiculously cute to hear him recite it! (I highly recommend this book for any little boys who love diggers, tractors etc, uses repetition, rhyming and a nice little “go to sleep” message at the end.) We can often find him sitting quietly in his room reading his books.
He loves anything with wheels. I think I mentioned the worst parenting decision we’ve made, back at Christmas? I got him a little skateboard. He adores this thing, even though it’s a “sitting down” skateboard. It’s terrifying! Motorbikes, push bikes, skateboards, tractors, trucks – they all stop him in his tracks. Loves, loves, loves things on wheels!

Food. O has been a hit and miss little guy with food. He doesn’t eat much and he’s reasonably picky. I think he’s improved quite a bit but he can still have BIG moments about food. At the beginning of the year, Kindy began to provide food, so now all we pack is O’s water bottle. It turns out the he is almost always eating all of the food provided and quite often he is one of the very few who are doing so. We think he likes to show off at Kindy! He is beginning to try new foods a little more easily which I’ve been very impressed with. His favourite foods are pasta (specifically spaghetti), rice, the plainer the better, chips (ho hum), strawberries, pretty much any junk food. He won’t eat many raw salad vegies at all, although we put them on his plate every.single.night. If we give him steamed carrots, peas, corn, he loves them. I can’t believe I allowed the kids to become so addicted to Nutrigrain for breakfast, but I did. Sigh. When I began to go crazy about sugar, we didn’t buy anymore. M has yet to figure out what she will eat easily for breakfast, but O loves my porridge.

My sweet, darling boy. He’s just so... boy. I love him so. His laugh is ridiculously infectious and he laughs a lot. Sweetest sound ever. He’s divine.