31 January 2013

Baby love

M visited me while I was in the shower to ask, "Mum, why did you have two kids?" and of course, I cracked up. I knew what she meant, as I'd just heard screams and shouting between her and her brother. She then said "if you had three kids, and if they were boys, then I had two brothers, I would kick them out of the house. I really would." I was laughing so hard by this point she looked at me in disgust and left the bathroom.

I'm currently reading the second book written by the Duggars, who have many, many children. 18? I'm not sure, and honestly, it's so many more people than I can contemplate living with, much less parenting. I simply cannot imagine how this works. My hands, my mind, my body and my heart are torn in different directions with just two children. I feel that I am constantly asking my kids to wait while I finish one job to get to one of them. My new mantra with my kids is "one thing at a time". I need to tell them, many times a day, that Mummy can only do one thing at a time. I should probably change that to concentrate on one thing at a time. My brain just fries when they are hammering me with questions, requests and physical demands. I become flustered and cranky. I'm hoping that is normal.

Much of the time I am absolutely certain that two children is enough. Enough. Any more of anything and it will send me over the edge of the precipice that I seem to teeter along the edge of. I feel claustrophobic and exhausted. I love them, they're my funny little people and they are beautiful. But tiring, oh yes.

So then there are the few moments where I miss having a tiny baby. Birth. I'd love to give birth again. Breastfeeding. Just being with my baby. Believe me, these moments are few and far between, but they do come. I saw a couple wandering around a shop the other day and they were both just grinning from ear to ear - they were shopping for the baby that they had just discovered they were having. I reveled in their joy, their naivety, their innocence. My kid interrupted my reverie by announcing, quite loudly, that he needed to do a poo right then. Right, back in to reality.

In summary, I'm just saying that babies are fun. But no, I'm not having another one.


30 January 2013

Raindrops keep falling

So, the rain hit hard just before Australia Day and the much anticipated long weekend. As we often do, we left it just too late to book accommodation for a little weekend away and for once we were so glad. Because, you know, it's flooding. Kind of everywhere around us and anywhere we would have gone to stay.

Saturday, it rained. We did the food shopping, we grabbed some food and then we walked all the way to Target to pick up a layby and look for a few things we needed. M and O were having great fun running in and out of the aisles, laughing and being silly. O has been a  little sick, coughing (to the point we had him checked by a doctor as it was a strange cough), so this running caused him to cough quite a bit. I had run out of water and tissues, so I picked him up and started to wak to the front of the store to grab both as he was snotty. And then, he gagged. Gagged a little more and then we were in full vomit mode, the whole lunch all over himself and me. In Target.

Itay grabbed wipes, a new tshirt for O and we managed to clean the major part of it up. I'll spare you the details, but let us just say my less than ample cleavage saw a whole lot more action than it needed to. Public vomits are so... public.

Sunday, it rained. We decided to try going to the movies, which went badly. Itay ended up having to take O out about 20 minutes in to the movie and they stayed out the rest of the time. M started asking "when is this going to end?" about a third of the way through. I ate a ridiculous amount of crap at the movies and felt just awful that afternoon. My damn sugar addiction. It was a cooped up, boring day.
 
Monday, more rain. Seeing the theme? I decided to attack M's room and she "helped". This meant taking everything bak out of the bin and telling me why I couldn't throw it out. I actually threw hardly anything out, one small bag and I may have snuck a large shoebox robot out too. Just don't tell her. We went through textas, organised her drawers, changed the shelves around a little bit and just tried to get some order in to that crazy accumulation of stuff. Job done!
 
We had a quick drive out to M's school to check the roads but the floods hadn't quite peaked at that stage and we couldn't get through. Sushi for lunch followed by a screaming melt down by M. The kind where people stare. She apologised when we got home and this made me cry a bit. She does get it, she knows what is happening and it is just sometimes all to much for her to process - the "kidness" of wanting something, the sibling jealousy and the sense of entitlement (which I know we have assisted in creating) versus the knowledge she has of what is right and how should behave.
 
So, a very quiet weekend as many people in QLD and far north NSW would know. The vomit was the highlight. Joking.

23 January 2013

Island adventure

We went on a little island adventure late last year, with Itay and the kids picking me up from work in Brisbane and heading up north... just as the rain began to fall. It was quite grey and a little bit chilly - nothing like rain to try and dampen spirits when you are on a mini-holiday! We explored, drove around the island, found a lovely lake and watched the birds paddling about. We saw hundreds of tiny baby frogs hopping off the path as we walked by.

The kids love "a new house", as they call holiday accommodation, and this one was simple but perfectly located directly across from the beach. They sat on director's chairs, facing out to the ocean, watching the waves while munching on kangaroo chippies (Jumpys, I think they're actually called!) and it was so sweet. Sitting together, peacably, chatting. rare moments, indeed!

Going to sleep with the sound of the waves pounding the beach was both beautiful and difficult. Waves are loud!

I braved the pool with the kids, even though it was quite cold. We laughed and had fun, played with action figures in the water and told Itay he should really get in. I make a promise to myself to go for a swim every chance I get, no matter how cold. O's lips go purple and he begins to quiver with cold, he's first out but M is developing sucha love for the water, she is usually right in there.

Listening to O laugh when we went "bumpy bumpy" (4 wheel driving) was so funny. Big bumps made him laugh out loud! Loved that neither of them were scared or difficult as we drove, they were patient when we and others were stuck in the sand, they just watched, asked a millionty billionty questions, but most of all, enjoyed the moments.

 
 
Grey day, but pretty sights.
 
 
Angry ocean.
 
 
On the Sunday, we met up with quite a few people from the 4WD club Itay is in, and went driving. Or 4 wheel driving, as I suppose I should say. Lots of sand driving.
 
 
We're bogged in the sand here. The kids are watching  everyone dig us out and eventually use a crazy invention called an exhaust jack. This a big inflatable bag that you position under the car, attach  the pipe to the exhaust and the exhaust magically fills the bag, lifting the car off its' belly and enabling us to place some traction under the tyres.
 
  
 
The day turned sunny and quite hot as we drove inland over the sand. 


We were the only ones out of about eight cars not to get stuck in this huge sand pit - lots of fun and an adrenaline rush as we churned through the soft sand!

It was also our wedding anniversary on the Sunday - 12 years on and here we are. We've never really celebrated our anniversary in typically romantic ways. I think the most "romantic" anniversary was spent in Thailand, which was lovely. Other years we have just gone out for sushi, some years we've done not much at all. This year was very much a family adventure, and I think we all loved it.

22 January 2013

Lunch box love

A year ago, I wrote this post about school lunches - what wold we pack? A year ago, we were eaglerly awaiting the very first day of school. This year, we know the drill. She's excited, we 're almost ready and I think we're all kinda happy to get back in to a routine. So looking back, how did we go? What did she eat? Here was my list, with my current comments after each food.
 
I’ll use cutters to make sandwich shapes - didn't do this. M would still love it, so we should.
Pita with homous, salad and meat - yes, a regular.
Wraps - a regular. She got bored of plain old bread pretty fast so wraps are her thing.
Fried rice - yes, loved this.
Cold pasta salad - we did do left over pasta a few times, she likes this.
Mini pizzas - no, didn't do. Although we should, she's like this now.
Borekas and boiled eggs - yes, she loves these
Sushi rolls - no, but she bought them on one very special day from the canteen. Does that count?!
Home made sausage & hidden vegetable rolls w/ tomato sauce - no, but gosh I'm smart. Should do this.
Soup in a thermos for winter - didn't do. No soup for you.

Now, snacks.
Yoghurt covered rice puffs - yes
Soy snacks - yes
Home made muffins - my kids hate any savoury muffins I make. She did take some banana ones though.
Home made muesli bars - Oops, forgot to make these!
Crackers, cheese slices, olives and cherry tomatoes - yes
Yoghurts, frozen - we didn't freeze them. Good idea though Blythe, we'll do them this year!
Chopped fruit - yes
Pikelets - yes, but she hated my home made ones. The pre-made ones have bad numbers in them. No way.
Fruit on skewers (paddle pop sticks) - nice idea, but the fruit would go brown in her lunchbox. Didn't do.
Coconut & fruit juice balls - yes
 
We also did popcorn, rice snacks, rice and corn thins. Salmon patties. Meatballs. She was pretty easy with food through the year, and we have a good idea now of how much food to actually pack.
 
Drinks - she only had water. She had a poppa/juice on the special canteen days (there were about six days throughout the year that they had special meal days) but otherwise water. She was meant to take two drink bottles in each day but she told us she was only ever using one of them, so we cut it down to one after a term or so.
 
We packed as much as possible the night before and made sandwiches fresh in the morning, with ingredients already cut up. We had aa good little system going and so hopefully we'll just move back in to that in a few weeks. Um, actually 11 days now!

18 January 2013

Rubbish


This girl is creative, thoughtful, emotional and emotive. She loves to write and draw. She hears things and is present, and hears too much at times. She is impulsive. She's afraid of big dogs. She cried when she didn't see her Aba for a whole day. She asks the weirdest, funniest questions and drives me crazy with her constant, incessant chatter.
 
She has a healing touch in her hands, her little massages are so delightful and she just knows where to place her hands to give energy. (I received an electric shock a couple of weeks ago and felt very, very unwell afterwards. The kids tuned in to this and allowed me to just rest on the lounge while they played around me. M asked if a massage or a rub would help, and you know what, it did.) She has always loved applying make up to my face, even if it was pretend make up, just water and cotton buds as a tiny girl. She loves to brush hair, put in clips and rub mositeriser in to anyone who'll let her. She says "I love you" a hunderd times a day, writes love notes and can be so very kind and caring.
 
She also says "it's all my fault" and "I'm rubbish". She is challenging and extremely bossy. But where does she get "I'm rubbish" from? Someone - me, a teacher - must have said "that's silly" or "rubbish" in answer to something, and somehow it has turned in to her taking this on herself, that she is rubbish. Her ideas are rubbish, she sometimes says. This worries me.

17 January 2013

ice ice baby

Take one large-ish container. Walk around the house and pick up just a few of the small toys that you walk over. Drop in to the container. Fill with water. Squash the filled container in to freezer.

 
If you're really bloody organised, or just a better mummy than me, do one layer, freeze and then trip over a few more toys the next morning and do another layer.
 
 
Grab salt, some sort of brushes, warm water and syringes. Not with needles in, just, you know, the dropper type.
 
 
Once children are over the fright of their toys trapped in ice (oh yes, there were tears!), tell them that really truly, they can get the toys out. They just have to work at it. And it may take some time. Don't let them east too much of the salt.
 

Meanwhile, you can read a magazine in peace. Summer holiday fun. Love it!

16 January 2013

Tourist in our town

Recently the in-laws visited from overseas. We treated them to a night in Surfers Paradise, because you know, everyone (?!) seems to want to holiday there. As a resident of this tourist town, we couldn't actually remember the last time we'd been in to Surfers. So it was fun, and the hotel was just something else. The QT Hotel was just wild. I'd been here before it was reincarnated, once organising a conference here so it was very strange to see this complete transformation. Retro, chic, colourful and funny.

 
The mini bar. Loved it! Nudie rudie swizzle sticks, amazing chocolate, one of those coffe pod thingos everyone raves about, gourmet chips... There was even a bottle of vodka in the freezer!
 
 
Not your every day gingerbread man!
 
 
Bedside bird. 
 
 
I am now lusting over massive knitted poufs. Yes please!
 
 
The kids tested them out. Love a pouf. Is that how you even spell it? 
 
 
 
Macarons in the sweet little cafe area. Look at his face! Home made fresh lemonade as a welcome drink, seriously? So lovely and so refreshingly un-hotel-ish.

 
She thought this wall was as cool as I did! 


I could have taken a photograph of each and every circle. I tried to hold back.


 
  Note paper in the room - black, with white pencil. These things impress me! Very cool visit, and I imagine staying here is even more fun. The in-laws loved it. I'd recommend it if you're looking for somewhere in Surfers. It's just enough out of the strip but very close to the beach. Apparently the restaurant downstairs is amazing too. Lesson: sometimes it really is fun to suck it up and be a tourist in your own town!

15 January 2013

Old Year/New Year

It seems that around the same time each year, we visit Fingal Head. It's always at the very end or the very beginning of the year. We've been going since M was just 12 weeks old! It is a simply gorgeous beach, not too far from us but a trip "over the border".  We trek through a long, shady path, carrying all the beach stuff we seem to have deemed essential. I was going to say we have less stuff now than we did back in 2006, but I'm not so sure! We used to have the pram, beach tent, baby bag, our towels and food. Now we don't need a pram, but we have an umbrella and at least two surfboards, along with a whole lot more food!

 
New beach umbrella, as chosen by the boys. It does the job, but I probably would have chosen something like this. Oh well, send the boys to Bunnings and you get what you get!
 
 
You know where this foot is going, don't you? He's a wrecking machine!
 
 
She does a dance by the ocean.
 
 
There's a version of the Giant's Causeway here, similar (but smaller!) than the famous hexagonal rock formations in Ireland. A great photographic comparison of the two here.
 
 
We ate our picnic in the park, dodged bull ants and cruised back home. Old year/new year tradition at Fingal. Love it so!