27 February 2013

Silly Saturday

It was one of those weekends where life just didn't go to plan. It was nothing major, just little bits and pieces of annoying. M had a party on Saturday morning, she's a big girl now so this was the second party where I've been able to drop her off. She had a great time and loved her pink nail polish. Pamper party is a theme that she just lives for, and she loved it.

 
She's showing me her thumb nail, whcih had a little flower sticker on top of the nail polish. Bad focus on my part, but you can see her stick on sparkly earrings, right?
 
We headed to the beach after the party but after even more rain and semi-flooding recently, the water was brown, full of crap and not at all enticing. I'll normally swim anywhere but this was not nice, and the kids were pretty upset. They couldn't believe that we would take them to the beach and then not allow them to swim. What the?
 
I had what I thought was a great idea to take them in to see the sand scultptures in Surfers Paradise. We weren't sure how the scultpures would have survived given the awful weather, but a little bit of searching ion the net assured us it was all OK.
 
 
Each sculpture was covered with a tarp and they looked pretty good, we only saw one that looked a little damaged.
 
 
I'm not quite sure what this beast was. Obviously there is a zebra there, but was it leaning on an unfinished elephant? The kids were a bit underwhelmed by the scupltures. Maybe if they'd actually been built on the beach they may have been a little more excited? O couldn't quite figure out how they were made. In the end he didn't even care.
 
Actually the beach in Surfers was closed and roped off, red flags and huge sighs, helicopters hovering. See all those people in bikinis and swimming in the water? The beach is closed for a reason, but these people just ignored and climbed through the make shift fences and put up with the helicopter trying to flush them out of the water. Persistent tourists!
 
 
M loved the "make your own sand scuplture" tent, we had to drag her away.
 
 
The kids were becoming obsessed with getting an icecream, possibly because the event was sponsored by... Streets Icecream. I've mentioned before that O won't eat any iceblocks on a stick because it will melt on him, so the little Streets van was not helping us. Instead, we dragged ourselves over the road in to Cavill Avenue, mecca for millions of tourists on the Gold Coast.
 
 
Want an icecream? By this stage the kids were hot, we were all sweaty, we were running out of water and the kids wanted a damn ice cream. It was not a fun outing, by this stage.
 
 
$15 later (oh yes, $15 for three icecreams) they were quiet. Until O fell face forward off the bench and hurt himself. He was OK, but teary. (He accessorises -  puts his hat backwards and wears his slapband. He is cool. Even though I tell him wearing your hat backwards its a bit silly and doesn't protect your face, which is why we wear hats.)
 
Agghh. It all sounds quite petty but it was just... annoying. Trying to plan fun, low-cost activities (beach! BYO lunch!) and then ending up with bored whingy kids is just plain annoying.
 
I sound like a kid. I'm having a whinge. I hope your Saturday was better?

25 February 2013

Beach. As usual!

A couple of weekends ago it pittered and pattered rain and we wondered, should we stay or should we go now? (Bonus points iof you get that song/band reference.) We decided to go and the day ended up being brilliantly sunny and quite hot. Mini road trip was on!

 
Kids in the car. Please tell me that we are not the only parents who resort to technology to get a minute of silence? A few minutes of just no whinging. Exhale... quiet!
 

Seven Mile Beach. Freaking gorgeous, right?
 
 
There were a few huge trees washed up on the beach from the recent flooding - this one is bigger than it looks in this photo!
 
 
She just loved watching these horses on the beach. Love her here, leaning against the car with the shovel.
 
 
Blue bottles everywhere. No swimming for us at Seven Mile...
 
 
So after a few hours of enjoying the huge, empty beach, lunch and sliding down the sand dunes - we headed a bit further back up the coast to Byron, and ducked in for a swim at Main Beach. I haven't been to Byron in a couple of years, and it felt so odd. Growing up on the North Coast, I've seen Byron change so much over the years, I've lived there, visited friends regularly (well, not ever enough!) and now it feels very, very different. It looks very different. I used to think I'd like to live there again one day, but now I'm not so sure.
 
 
 
This little dude gets cold so quickly. He loves the water but he goes purple.
 

 
The kids were loving the little pools but both Itay and I had forgotten to put sunscreen on earlier in the day and I was really feeling it. (I ended up with a beetroot red forehead and a mild case of sunstroke. Itay and I both had sunglass marks on our faces. Of course we covered the kids up and they wore hats. Sigh.) So it was time for gelato. Chocolate for the kids. They were l o v i n g it.
 
 
O is so funny - he won't eat an icecream if he thinks it is going to melt on him. So he won't eat an icecream on a stick, only in a cup or a tube. Funny face.
 
We headed home, the kids were tired and so were we. A very sweet little road trip.

22 February 2013

padlocks to show your love

Have you heard about love padlocks? I've read about them in a blog, somewhere in blogland, and when I saw these few padlocks affixed to the wire fencing at the North Burleigh Lookout, I knew what they were. M was fascinated.


 
In a few locations around the world, such as in Rome, couples engrave their names on the padlocks, lock to a fence and then throw the key in to the water below. You can even buy padlocks and keys at some locatins, if you so feel the desire to be all romantic. And you weren't all that organised beforehand...
 

 O didn't care, he was just enjoying the wind.
 

Mum, take a photo with them all spread out. And then can I take a photo?  So, think about a padlock to tell someone you love them. Could be a cheaper alternative to an eternity ring?
 
 
It was so windy up there! But so beautiful. Check out O's hair, he looks like he is about to take off. It had been such a dull weekend, bad weather and cooped inside made me feel really down. This blast of sea air, wind and rain woke me up and injected some much needed positive energy !

20 February 2013

Imaginary play

Like so many parents, we have too many toys. We've recently had a cull and we're trying to be more thougtful about the toys we do bring in to our home. December was pretty huge for the kids, as we had Hannukah, grandparents visiting from overseas and Christmas. Typically, that combination brings quite a bit of stuff in to the house. Gifted out.

We tried to choose the gifts we gave the kids very carefully. For Hannukah, they each received a new board, M her first (foam) surfboard and O a good quality body board. That's a post for another day, just know they both love their boards!

I was pretty stoked with two gifts I bought via a daycare fundraising catalogue - a felt pita bread/sandwich set and a set of six helmets.

 
If you've been reading fro a while, you know Itay is Israeli and we like to celebrate and embrace our culture. I think food is almost the best way to totally enjoy and immerse yourself in a culture. Israeli food is good, so good. Stuff that Aussies think is "health food", like hommous and pita "sandwiches" is just normal fare in Israel. So, how fun is it to have a play pita set?!
 


 
Here's M, serving us up on a rainy Saturday. Love her apron, a scrap of material that she loves and uses for so many things!
 

 
O, enjoying his felt lunch.
 
 
M, working hard in the little cafe she set up.


 
Reading her dessert menu to us. Listen up, people.
 
The set of six helmets/hats includes the usual, police, fire fighter, builder, pirate, hmm... and another I can't remember. But look at this cute one: 
 
 
 Here's O the Knight and his gallant steed. Oh, and his green slap band that was a much asked for Christmas gift also.
 
 
Any cuter? Not possible. There are strict rukes with the sword, he knows if it goes anywhere near any part of anyone's body, it's gone. He usually sticks to this rule.
 
Love this imaginary play. These two gifts have been fantastic for extending and promtoing imaginary play. So many uses for helmets, so many scenarios to create.

19 February 2013

I forget what I was going to say...

I think my short term memory is fading. Truly, it's a bit worrying. I got the kids out the door easily this morning, then as I drove away from school (early!) I reached for a drink from my water bottle and realised... I had left my lunch at home.
 
I left my wallet at work last night. I forget to pay bills, return calls, do my tax. My brain is just so jumbled up with all the other stuff that I feel like there are holes in my memory.
 
I try to write lists but I spread them out between too many note books, my phone, my Outlook calendar at work...and so the holes in the net just get that little bit wider. I have started to suffer from insomnia again and that makes me tired and taht makes me forget things... which makes me frustrated and worry a bit too much which keeps me awake at night which makes me tired which makes me forget things.

 
I bought a very cool family calendar this year and while we miss the pretty pictures, I love that each of us has a space on the calendar. It helps a little bit. I need to write more stuff down. My head is a jumbled up mess, never sure whether it is raining or sunny. Just like this weekend was.
 
I can't write shopping lists. I can do the extra stuff (I'm really good at checking if we have shapoo) but all the little bits and pieces for meals that are in our heads and not from recipes? Forget it. Salsa for fajitas? Nope. Lettuce for Caesar salad? Um, no. Itay wants to kill me. Really, he does. Speaking of killing me, I accidentally bought home brand cream cheese the other day. Major, major sin people!
 
I have to sort my head shit out. My memory is shot. Long term, I'm pretty good. What to do?

6 February 2013

Sticks and moans

 
After last weekend, one whole long weekend trapped inside, we were all desperate to get to the beach this weekend. And so we did. There was quite a bit of debris on the beach, but just as we arrived, it was efficiently being scraped off the beach by a super fast little digger, much to the delight of all the kids. The water was surprisingly clear, with enough sticks around to play with and not feel like you were dodging them in the water.
 
 
Our favourite little spot. Protected, close to a few waves, usually not too difficult to find a parking spot.
 
 
A smile for Mummy, the annoying photographer and M in the background.
 
 
I am not sure what was going on here, but it makes me laugh! Maybe it was "enough photos, Mum!".
 
 
Saturday was a whole lot of beach, shopping, sushi and cooking at home. I forgot to put sunscreen on my arms and chest before the beach so I spent the evening burning and screaming as my daughter lovingly appplied cold Aloe Vera gel to my skin. I have this weird aversion to cold anything on my skin and especially on my back. She knows it makes me scream so she actually volunteers to do it and then laughs. Evil child.
 
Sunday. We had so much on the "to do" list and I knew the kids would make it just that little bit (who am I kidding, little bit? a lot) more difficult to get it all done. So Itay took the kids back to the beach and I stayed at home to wash and vacuum the car, get ride of the ants that felt that the rain gave them an excuse to nest in our door seals, then take photographs. Selling the car.
 
I also mowed the lawn. And now I hurt. So. damn. unfit. They were still at the beach after all this so I got my eyelashes tinted and bought a new, very loud turquiose/blue handbag. On sale of course.  
 
These small people are exhausting, before I even open my eyes. O has a revolting new habit of crying before he even gets out of bed. It hurts my brain. The arguements about everything, anything, no matter how small. Every request is pretty much followed by a no or a whining voice telling me they wish something else could happen instead. I have to sort this shit out, because it is making it all feel very, very hard. need to sort out my head, a better way of dealing with it all, a more positive approach. Need to do something. Ideas?

5 February 2013

Now she is SO old




My daughter is in Grade 1. Parents all over Australia are going through this weird mix of relief (sorry, is that just me?), nerves, anxiety and amazement that their kid is at school, or back at school in our case. Grade 1. She was counting down the days and was super excited. Her little prep class from last year would be split up and she has a few friends in her new room, but she was excited to meet new friends too. I love that she embraced the concept of making new friends.

 
Here she is at her little desk. Serious stuff now, she has a desk! She also has a little drawer, full of her own stationery, painstakingly labelled and named and labelled and named. No books to cover yet, no doubt I'll be cursing about that this time next year.
 

 
Here she is getting a  little overwhelmed by first day butterflies, doing a great job keeping it together and not wanting any tears to escape. I think Itay and I were acting a little bit silly which either embarrassed her or made her laugh/cry.
 
I insisted on walking her to her classroom on the second day and making sure she had friends to hang out with. Third day onwards, she insists I stop at the two minute droppoff zone, watch her cross at the pedestrian crossing and then she is all by herself. Her choice, her independence. She doesn't look back. Amazing, huh?
 
Apparently homework starts coming back this week, which should be interesting. Fitting it in was hard last year and that was just reading and practising sight words. I'll let you know how we go.
 
I hope it's going well for you, if your little person has started school or is back in to the journey of school this year!

1 February 2013

Tie dye party

The young lady headed off to a party in the park at the beginning of January. She was so excited about this one - a tie dye party! I was fascinated to see how it would all work, as I have memories of stained laundry sinks, rubber bands and marbles. Here's what how it worked. It was much simpler and perfect for kids!

 
The kids worked witha  white pillow case which was soaked in water, squeezed out and then laid out flat. The material was then pinched in the middle and twisted in a spiral movement so the material curved around in to the shape below. The spiral shape was then secured with elastic bands.
 
That's not a very good descrioption at all, is it? Terrible, actually. 
 
 
M was trying to figure out just what to do.
 
 
Start by painting the colours on to each section of the pillow case.
 
 
Turn the shape and paint each little section witha  different colour, then turn over and do the same on the other side.
 
 
Here she is with the finished, painted pillowcase. We took our wet pillowcase home in a bag, unfurled it and lay it out in the baking hot sun for a couple of hours. When it was dry, it looked amazing. I still haven't taken a photo of the finished product, so I'll do that and post it later.