Thursday, March 31, 2011

Oh Brother!

Last night Angus and I had a rather amusing conversation. We seem to have been invaded by a plague of moths over the past couple of months. Mainly confined to the kitchen, but they have still managed to ruin many an unopened packet of food in my cupboards. Extremely frustrating. I'm being driven to the brink of madness by them actually. To the extent that I have forked out a significant amount of cash, on a range of Tupperware containers... gotta love that air tight seal!

Anyway, Angus was close by my side, as he is most nights when I'm cleaning up the kitchen, when a rogue moth flew straight at my face. As I smacked at it (and let fly with a rather choice expletive... I know, mother of the year) I remarked how annoying moths are. Angus chimed in with the following list of things that are also "annoying".

First came Mosquitos. "Mozzies are annoying Mama". Yes, they are.
Next we had flies. "Flies are annoying Mama". Uh huh.
Then it was spiders. "Spiders are annoying Mama". Most definitely.
And who could forget cockroaches. "cock-o-roaches are annoying Mama". Yuck yeah!
He paused... thought for a moment... and then casually announced, "Felix is annoying Mama".

There it is. The knockout punch. After almost 9 months of getting to know his sweet little brother, Angus has no qualms about including baby Felix in the category of 'insect species'. I'm not sure which part I appreciate more. The fact that he was being stone. cold. serious when he said it or that he is so brutally honest when it comes to his feelings. Ah, brothers! 

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Humble Meat Ball

I don't enjoy cooking all that much. The prepping. The timing. The lottery on whether it's going to be a smash hit or a total dud. Then, cleaning up afterwards, not fun at the best of times, let alone if the dish has completely flopped. However, I do love baking. A cake, biscuit, slice or dessert. Bring it on. But I never pretend to like cooking. For all my negativity, I do have a couple of signature meals, of which I have conquered and mastered, many times. I could even fool people to believe I'm an alright cook when I prepare the handful of dishes I do best. A phony? Maybe.

I first made this meatball recipe 7 (or so) years back. It was an instant hit with Scott (who might I add is not too fussy when it comes to the food I make, he's very supportive of everything I endeavour to cook. Bless him). So I decided to take the balls to the streets... well at least branch them out to my family... confidently bringing a batch of them along to one of our large get togethers. The fussiest of food critics... my Dad... even liked them and my brothers? Well, they devoured the plate in less than 5 minutes. Encouraging!

Anyway, over the years I have made these babies on countless occasions, for friends and family and they are guaranteed to impress the masses. I've shared this recipe at the request of numerous satisfied customers, who have added the recipe to their finger food menus for parties. They're quick. Basic. Flavoursome. 

Meat Balls

500g mince meat (I have only ever tried beef... boring I know... but this recipe could be substituted with chicken or lamb nicely)
1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs (possibly the most time consuming part, breaking the bread into tiny pieces)
2 tbsp tomato sauce
1 tbsp fresh or 1 tsp dried oregano (finely chopped)
1 onion (finely chopped, the finer, the better)
1 egg (lightly beaten)
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp fresh or 1 tsp dried parsley (chopped)
1 tbsp olive oil (for cooking)

Combine all the above ingredients, roll into balls. Whichever size suit the need. Small are great for taking along on a plate to a party. Larger size is perfect to top of a yummy pasta dish.

Enjoy the taste... and simplicity!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Short Break

It is hard to describe how much I enjoyed the last few days. We decided to take advantage of a 'too good to refuse' offer, for two night's accommodation, at a cottage retreat in Salamander Bay. A place we have stayed at previously and one we will almost certainly stay at again. Being our first getaway since Felix was born, the change of scenery felt so refreshing, even if only a short break. I didn't take one phone call. Send one text message. Nor did I touch the internet once... no laptop in the luggage helped. Just my boys and I. Perfection.

We talked and laughed and played. Took leisurely drives through the 'Blue Water Paradise', as it is so aptly named. Ate dinner out in Port Stephens both nights... and altogether, such a rarity. Slept in and hungrily tucked into deliciously naughty breakkies. Made the most of the pool right outside our cottage door. Everything at our own pace and with no restrictions on our time. 

We even managed to spend a half day at a local fun park. Let's just say Nelson Bay's version of DisneyLand... otherwise known as "DizzyLand", was every bit as piss weak as it's title suggests. Though it was very memorable and boy! did Scott and I share a few (hundred) laughs. Braving wind and rain to get there, only to have Angus throw a substantial pink fit over the pirate ship ride (or DizzyLand's version of the pirate ship) the minute we set foot inside. But after some coaxing and encouragement, he began happily flitting from ride to ride, like a bumble bee in a daisy patch. While Scott and I were content to watch him having a ball. 

It almost sounds silly to say, but I think spending the weekend together, as a family, without any of life's usual distractions, rekindled the spark in all of us. It's easy to become wound up in the daily grind, as both Scott and I tend to do. Every so often I think we need to stop, step back and appreciate the unique qualities each of us bring to the table. Individually and as a family. This weekend, we did just that.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Wave Watching

I have one word for this week. HECTIC. It seems the days have whizzed by at the speed of light right under my nose. In a few instances, I have literally needed to stop. breathe. think. my next step through. The old head in a whirling twirling state of dizziness. 

Yesterday, in particular, was a marathon effort. Washing. Cleaning. Cooking (I even had Scott's dinner ready by 10.30am)... Oh! and of course being Mama to 2 boys. It always pays to be organised during the day, when I'm heading out to dinner with the gals. Last night we did tapas in Balmain. Then, still feeling rather peckish (I find Spanish often does that to me) we sauntered on down the road for a cheeky gelato and coffee (a little more of the gelato than coffee for me!) Plenty of chatter. Laughs. And even a touch of counselling... quite the standard practice on our night's out.

We continue to wade through some challenging times. Our little family of four. Angus is a delight and a demon, in the same breath. He is still not entirely 'down' with the preschool gig. Wavering from enthusiastic to downright apathetic in a matter of minutes. It is confusing. It is tiring. It is upsetting. I accept that it is totally normal however and all part of the journey. I know we simply need to ride it out.

Actually, I'm constantly amazed by him. We shared some quality time alone together yesterday. While Felix napped in his pram. He was keen to go to the park, initially. Though I could tell by his mood once we were there, he yearned to be somewhere else. The ocean swell had caught his eye, as we walked down the coastal path on the way to the park. We stopped to look at the waves crashing onto the rocks below. "I just want to watch the waves Mama" he kept repeating the whole time we were at the park. In all honesty, I knew precisely how he felt. They were mighty impressive. Moments such as this, fill my heart with endless joy. I gaze at my boy and see an inquisitive, bright, mature little man. 
Then on the way home in the car, he flipped his lid over Felix "looking" at him in a way he's not comfortable with... and I'm reminded that indeed he is only three.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Precious Memories

My Nana and Papa, on Mama's side, were the only grandparents I ever knew. Dad's parents both passed away when he was still a teenager. Nana and Papa lived a short walk from us. Two streets away to be exact. Growing up, their place served as a second home for my brothers and I. Always warm and welcoming. Always buzzing with activity. Always there. My Mama and her siblings also grew up here. A quaint, full brick house, on a large block. Huge gum tree out the front and the most magnificent wisteria vine I've ever seen, like a plush, purple carpet covering the entire carport. The backyard was quite the secret garden. Brimming with annuals. Brilliant shady trees. A perfectly manicured lawn. Posy upon posy of sweet-peas and snap-dragons. Poppies and violets. I picked them all. Nana and Papa certainly had the greenest of thumbs.

Nana loved to cook AND bake. My, did she also love to fuss. Over everyone. She spoilt each of her grandchildren rotten to the core. As with her great-grandchildren, when they began arriving in the latter years of her life. Some of my happiest, most cherished memories derive from my Nana and Papa. The most incredible rainbow, multi layered birthday cakes. Prepared with tender loving care, year after year. Deliciously mouth watering. Streets blue ribbon icecream, freshly made jelly and cans of fizzy drink on tap. Especially refreshing after a long day at school or on lazy Sunday mornings. 

Nana busy in the kitchen, the wireless blaring. Then every so often, peacefully dozing on the lounge in the sunroom, The Midday Show nattering away on the tele. Papa working hard in the gardens or writing the story of his life at the kitchen table. He loved and lived to write. The corner shop, across the road. Nana sneaking a lazy 2 dollar coin into my pocket every week, to spend exactly how I wished. The decisions! 2 dollars worth of bullets and spearmint leaves at the corner shop or the latest Smash Hits mag. Simple. Sweet. Beautiful times. 

Today, as I drove down the street where they used to live. I was hurting. Emotionally. Physically. I could feel the pain surging through me. Their house no longer stands where it once did. A much bigger, bolder, uglier house towers over the block where so many memories that shaped my life were born. It is 3 years this month, since Nana passed away. 4 years in May, since Papa passed. I miss their home. I miss them. Not so much the fragments of themselves they were reduced to towards the end. Definitely not the pain of dementia they (we all) endured. But I miss the grandparents I held so close, for most of my life. It makes me sad that they never met my boys. That very thought leaves an empty feeling in the pit of stomach. I do appreciate they both made it to their nineties. They had a good innings. They left the world a better place just by being a part of it and we were all so lucky to keep them in our family for so long.

Then there is this pretty treasure. I admired this ornament every day of my life, from as far back as I can possibly remember. Sitting proudly, among many other precious bits and pieces, in the glass display cabinet in Nana & Papa's dining room. It's a Royal Winton Grimwades, which means little else to me, other than it was made in England. It is bright. It is delicate. It is loved. And I'll take good care of it forever, because it belonged to my Nana... which means more to me than anything.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

This week I'm Grateful

I really have a hoard of things to be grateful for... every week... but it's kinda fun picking a few that top the list. So without further ado, joining in with Maxabella to deliver my greatest gratefuls this week:

Rockmelon - Is there anything sweeter? Honestly?? When they coined the phrase 'nature's candy'... in my eyes, they were talking about rockmelon. I love this time of year, as every rockmelon I buy tastes exceptionally delicious. Maybe it's the luck of the draw or it could be years of practice, at selecting the tastiest rockmelons... and I have learnt some hard lessons along the way, nothing more disappointing than taking home an inferior melon. I am ever so grateful for this juicy shot of Vitamins A and C.

Children's Panadol - My boys have both been unwell this week. Actually it's almost two weeks since the virus entered our household, this week they each hit rock bottom. In one of many desperately helpless conversations with my Mama, I asked her just how she coped when my brothers and I were little. Seven children, no panadol to speak of and just as many horrible, frightening, lingering viruses to deal with. Her response (and probably the only one she could give), "it was damned hard". Damned hard is right. I am grateful beyond words this week for panadol. This cherry vanilla elixir, soothes my poor babies at the height of a burning fever and eases their Mama's overwhelming anguish at the same time.

A seat with a view - A perfectly positioned bench seat along the picturesque Coogee to Bondi coastal walk. A favourite pit stop of mine when I'm traipsing up and down the coastline, with babe in pram. It overlooks a local icon, known as Wedding Cake Island (essentially a large group of rocks off the coast of Coogee). After several kilometres of pounding the pavement it is a welcome sight and mildly therapeutic to boot. 
I am always grateful for this beautiful scene and thought I would acknowledge it this week in particular.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Grease Monkey

I often wish we knew a mechanic. Out of all our family and friends, not one of them decided to walk the auto mechanic career path. How inconsiderate! We have a few carpenters, a builder or two, an accountant, electrician and financial planners all over the place. But no mechanics. There are two main reasons I would love to know someone in this trade. Firstly, because I think Grease Monkey is about the coolest nickname you can give a person, based on their chosen field. But probably more importantly, to get an upfront and honest opinion on whether I'm being completely and ludicrously duped, each and every time my car is in for any type of work.

My latest example of where a Grease Monkey friend/relo would have come in handy, happened today. About 3 months ago, a fine looking, smooth talking, british salesman knocked on our front door, selling a voucher style arrangement for a local autoshop. Now, I am normally a "thanks-very-much-but-no-thanks" kinda gal when it comes to door-to-door sales. But on this particular day, I would describe myself as a tad vulnerable. House a pigsty. Christmas just around the corner. Hot, muggy day. The boys all scatty. AND most notably, I was actually looking for a new mechanic. I gave the dealership where we bought my car the big flick some years back and the mechanic I had been using, was just a logistic nightmare. So this voucher appeared to be a good idea and if nothing else, it would introduce me to a convenient, local mechanic. Win win. Sort of.

Well today I learnt it might be best if I stick to being content with the "if nothing else" part. I wouldn't say they did a number on me. But, as many things are in life, the voucher deal wasn't all it was cracked up to be. Who knew the parts for a service, a couple of new tyres and pink slip would be quite so... expensive... even with my special voucher in hand. As far as I can tell, they did do a fair job though. After 14 years of owning cars, you'd think I might have caught on by now. There is no such thing as a 'great deal', in the Grease Monkey jungle.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Bubba's Midnight Burger Barn

Back in the day, around the time when Scott and I first started going out, I used to wear a bright green singlet. It was one of my faves. It carried a graphic on the front, of an American style diner, with a slogan that read: "Bubba's Midnight Burger Barn... We serve it up hot all night long!" Suggestive much?? Hmmm, maybe it didn't strike me that way... back then.

Anyway, Scott, being the tongue in cheek stirrer he always has been, used to hassle me as to where this elusive Burger Barn was. Yes. cheeky! It wasn't long before I was dubbed THE Midnight Burger Barn. Scott's nickname for me happens to be Bubba/or Bubs and indeed I do make a mean hamburger. So the title has stuck ever since. Sure, the super slim-line, brilliant green singlet doesn't quite fit the bod these days. Let's face it, I don't wear it anymore and feel it might take a small miracle to ever slip back into it again. But I'm not throwing it out, just yet. Afterall, it has a bit of nostalgia about it and a soft spot in my heart.

So tonight, the burger barn was in full swing. Whilst I'm a bit over the whole cooking business of late, I do enjoy rustling up a tasty burger. With the works. I decided not to capture my amateur work of art however and instead, acknowledge this beast of a thing. Made here in our area, by a local hamburger shop, where they seem to enjoy producing giant burgers. Yep! They broke the record for the world's biggest hamburger in June of last year. And while the one below is a slightly smaller version, she's still a beauty! This was on display at the festival we went to on Sunday and it is EVERY bit real. Kind of makes you wonder, what possesses people?! Bubba's Midnight Burger Barn is certainly no match for the likes of this.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Daydream Believer

I found myself involved in a fair amount of daydreaming today. Daydreaming about when the household will finally be rid of this nasty, contemptible virus running through it. Poor Felix has also been struck down with it. Give me strength. Give me strength. Daydreaming about just how awesome it would be not to have to cook meals. ever. Well I wouldn't mind occasionally, only when I choose to, that is. Enter my daydream about having a personal chef. On hand, in our home, at least say, four out of every seven days. I'd even clean up the kitchen afterwards with a smile. Reasonable? It's hardly greedy.

Then I received a random phone call, which set my cloudy, fanciful mind off into a whole other dimension of daydreams. Of the holiday kind. About 2 years ago, we stayed at a lovely retreat in Port Stephens. It was a nice, family getaway, with a pre-toddling Angus. We thoroughly enjoyed every minute of the stay, as it was well before the onset of terrible two's and other such dramas. Anyway, the chirpy and mildly persistent lady, on the other end of the line today, offered me a *special deal*. Only offered to previous patrons of the retreat. So on and so forth. It was all a bit spur of the moment and I am the kinda gal who likes to mull things over somewhat before committing. So I politely requested if I may be able have a think about it... (re. do the sums on whether I see it as good value)Of course, the lady was obliging and is calling me back tomorrow to see if I would like to go ahead.

Well, think about it, I have. I haven't stopped thinking about holidays/holiday destinations/deals/specials/inclusions, since. It's turned my daydream state into a state of preoccupation. I'm leaning towards taking the offer. It does measure up and it will come in handy to have a mini-break stored in the pipeline. It has been almost 18 months since we travelled anywhere. Though all the while I can't help envisaging my true 'dream' destinations, The Maldives or The Greek Islands or if money were no option, both. For the moment, I think these will remain just that. Daydreams.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Festival Fun

There is something intoxicating about a festival. Street fair. Local show. Whatever name it goes by. They're just downright fun. We went along to the annual 'Spot Festival' yesterday afternoon. Little family of four getting out and amongst it, in the magnificent Autumn sunshine. A film inspired theme was felt throughout, with The Australian Film Festival and Randwick Ritz Cinema being the force behind the whole production. And of course, all the usual trimmings of a community festival.

Market stalls dotted along the streets... usually bustling with traffic. Entertainment on stage for the duration. An absolute plethora of mouth watering international food stalls providing a feast for the senses. The incredible Spanish, Turkish and Indian aromas, among others, blended together, teasing our taste buds as we meandered through the streets. Angus made the most of the free jumping castle in Kid's Corner. While Felix slept soundly in his pram, the entire time we were there.

I know it can't be festival time EVERY weekend, though I do love Sundays like these. Being there lifted my dark mood right out of the depths it has at times plunged to, over the past week. All the long days and sleepless nights filled with sickness and tears, we've experienced so regularly of late. The miserable thought of those moments didn't even scrape the surface, during an afternoon of festivity, together, on our local streets, just a stone's thrown from our doorstep. 

Saturday, March 12, 2011

This week I'm Grateful

It's been a rather testing week, with my eldest little-big-man being struck down with, what would seem, a flu of sorts. Currently we're awaiting tests to confirm yay or nay on the dreaded whooping cough. So the latter part of this week has been decidedly blaaah.

I do however, have many things to be grateful for and what better way to pick myself up than to acknowledge a few of them... thank you lovely Maxabella, for providing the source of inspiration (especially this week):

A Happy Home - When one of the troops is down for the count, it becomes more apparent than ever how important a roof over our heads is. We have spent most days this week hauled up at home. I couldn't imagine how difficult these times would be if we didn't have a home AND a very happy one at that.

Electricity - Because until you are forced to manage without it, over a 4 hour period, in the evening... you don't even begin to realise just how much you need it, depend on it and miss it like crazy! 

Sunshine... BRILLIANT sunshine! - The earlier half of this week graced us with a couple of sparkling sunny days, which always makes me feel more alive,  energetic and satisfied. If for no other reasons, than it provides the perfect environment for air drying the mountains of washing we create AND it makes our park play sessions, so immensely pleasant and enjoyable.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


I am constantly amazed at how cheap and simple trinkets seem to bring such joy and amusement, for so many hours, to my children. All children, for that matter. Earlier in the week, Angus was rifling through a stash of odds and ends on the kitchen bench and came to me with something that had caught his eye. It was actually a left over from the prizes collection I'd put together for his party back in January (let's just say I'm a little 'behind' on my filing). A small, clear plastic egg, containing a miniature stegosaurus figurine, entombed in bright, blue, slime.

The interest in the little dinosaur lasted approximately 17 seconds. Once Angus saw just what this slime could do, he was captivated. Granted, the first few touches caused him to squirm and squeal... yes, squeal! My big, tough boy. But for the duration of this week, the fascination with this 'blue jelly' as he has dubbed it, has entertained him for as long as I have allowed it to. I can only take so much of stretching, twisting, hurling, bouncing, blue slime (or jelly) around the house. It has, however, brought a great deal of pleasure to me also. Watching his face light up at this wondrous substance.... of which might I add here, the consistency has improved out of sight since the slime in my day, which used to stick to and stain everything it came into contact with. Explains why my Mama was never too keen on us playing with it.

It has been nice to see him genuinely excited with something, after being quite unwell for the last couple of days and spending ALOT of time at home. I wouldn't have guessed that a random $3.95 purchase, over a year ago, that has been sitting in the cupboard ever since, could bring such fun and frivolity to my 3 year old big-boy. Yet it has.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The power of a shower

Those first couple of months after the birth of (both) my boys, I loved nothing more than a long, hot shower. It delivered such therapeutic, even healing, properties for me. The harrowing few weeks after Angus was born especially, as he was a January baby and suckling newborns like to stick close, regardless of the outside temperature. I can remember feeling instantly revitalised as soon as I turned on the taps (at times these showers were so lengthy, my skin shrivelled beyond prune status, to a white, pulpy consistency). I used to enjoy long showers pre-motherhood, mainly when I wasn't feeling the best. But they used to serve more as a functional exercise, than a treat.

These days, I can not get enough of the shower. If I could conduct my entire life from the shower... I would. Kramer style (as in 'The Shower Head' episode of Seinfeld... with the exception of preparing meals of course, hygiene people!). Although it isn't always the sanctuary I'd like it to be, with Angus making it his business to know exactly what I am washing and how much longer it will take to do it. Most days, I do manage to indulge in a completely private affair and it's a part of the day I certainly look forward to eagerly. 

Today I have felt crappy. Just all round yuck-O. I felt tired, due to a 5 hour stint in Angus' room last night, settling the poor little guy. He is sick AGAIN, with his umpteenth bug, infection, whatever non-descript type of malady it is that children seem to contract the split second they start preschool for the first time. My misshapen stomach, always on my mind of late. The Ab Circle Pro appears to take a little longer to develop those 'rock hard' abs I was hoping for. Who would have thought?! Maybe a little more patience is required on my part, of which I don't really have at the best of times. It might have been the muggy, bordering on oppressive, weather we had today. Or maybe the moon just isn't in my phase right now. I think I'll go with that. Though everything did look a little brighter this evening, post relaxing shower. Let it be said that the power of a shower, works a charm. every. time. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

It's written in the sky

Such a splendid day today. Brilliant sunshine. Refreshing breeze. A calm and warmth, only felt in the Autumn months. One of those 'gift from above' days. I have been churning through the washing this week. Busily at it, like a soldier ant, running loads, pegging clothes, sorting and folding pile, upon pile, of fresh. crisp. washing. Ahhh, bliss.

The parks have also received a substantial work out so far this week. Yesterday, we had a great catch up at a brand new park (always interesting checking out the wares) with my mother's group. Five mama's. Nine kidlets. It was actually alot more fun than it sounds. It's been quite some time since we've caught up with the kids in tow, always hard to organise with varying days of preschool etc. We're more into the 'Mama's night out' kind of catch up these days anyway. Though it was still nice to have a totally-broken-shout-across-the-swings-squillion-interruptions-type-of-conversation. The kidlets also had a ball in their own little worlds and it was heart warming to watch them interact.

Today we managed two park visits. An old fave in the morning and the local park, in our street, this afternoon. There is just something about this weather that makes you want to lap up every second of park goodness... while it lasts. We witnessed a rather curious declaration above the Coogee basin, whilst playing in the park this morning. I wonder who it was meant for? And was the recipient even looking at the time? Due to a fairly strong wind, the sentiment didn't last long. No sooner had the industrious little sky writer finished off the last letter of 'baby'... the 'miss u' was disappearing into the ether. Like a puff of smoke. It was gone. I guess you couldn't ask for much more, when your message is written in the sky...

Monday, March 7, 2011

Fantastic Plastic

It has been around for a while. Since the 1950's to be precise. The decades have been and gone. But this little beauty has managed to stand the test of time. The products have evolved, expanded and kept pace with the needs of it's advocates. It still carries the lifetime guarantee for quality. Yet for me, it has always expressly epitomised domesticity. Pure and simple. From my Nana, to my Mama, to me. It could even be for this reason, that I am a sucker for Tupperware. And. I. mean. sucker.

My earliest memory of Tupperware was a buttercup yellow jelly mould, complete with heart and star and tree shaped attachments. I would be so excited whenever Mama suggested we make a serving of jelly, using the Tup mould. The anticipation when we carefully peeled back the plastic shape, to reveal a mountain of sweet jelly with a pic on top! The snack cups, cake container and cooler jug are among other favourite items I can recall so well from Mama's 'plastic' kitchen cupboard. The colours were so vibrant (circa 1980's... so decidedly retro to boot) and enticing. The collection would get quite the workout by my friends and I, who loved the fact we were allowed to play 'house' using the contents of the Tup cupboard.

There are a few things that haven't changed all that much over the years. There always seems to be somebody in the circle of friends/family/workmates/neighbours, trying their hand at selling Tupperware. And if there aren't any sales demonstrators in the circle, there are sure to be born party hostesses, who simply love nothing more than to get their party on (and receive as much free stuff as possible). A good friend of mine has recently started selling again and naturally I wanted to support her first party back in the saddle. So guess where I spent my Sunday afternoon?!

I am still wooed by the excitement of a new piece of Tupperware. Mesmerised by the colours. Amazed at the number of products that perform functions I've never even thought of, let alone needed... yet I absolutely must have. In my kitchen. NOW! Although I definitely went along with my list, containing a few key items I required. Following 3 hours of gossip, giggles, an eye-catching display of wares AND a fascinating preso, I sheepishly left with a healthy order of fantastic plastic to add to my very own collection.
(Note: I did not purchase every piece from the attractive display below... phew!)

Saturday, March 5, 2011

I am grateful...

This week I am joining in with Maxabella's Grateful posts... for the very first time... to share a couple of items that are particularly high on my list of gratefulness for the week:

1. My boys... including the man-child I am married to! They are the sunshine on my greyest days, they are the world to me and although sometimes they (all) run me ragged with their needs and wants, I adore every single part of being a Mama and a wife to them.

2. THE best pizza... under the sun! Feeling exceptionally grateful for our fave local pizza place, which delivers straight to our door, the most delectable pizza I've ever tasted (and oh! I've tasted a few). It also holds possibly the coolest name for a pizza place since Fat Pizza... The Jilted Anchovy! Awesome!!

3. Cadbury Dairy Milk white Bubbly Chocolate... always a bar of this chillin' in the fridge, ready and waiting after a loooong day. Taste. Texture. Just like an Aero bar... but made with Cadbury chocolate! ALOT to be grateful for here.

Friday, March 4, 2011

One month on...

So this week has marked one month since Angus started preschool. We made it through the first month! Quite the achievement for all of us. When I think back to that first week. The first day. The orientation. I am so relieved that in fact everyone was right. It does get easier. Slowly, but surely, we have formulated our (semi) routine and it works for Angus, which in turn works for me. I am still one of the last parents to drop off and one of the first to pick up. But again, it is working for all involved.

Preschool has certainly already provided many wonderful enhancements to my big boy's development. He is making friends. All. by. himself. He even has a girlfriend. Already! He had spoken of her early on and we assumed it was a name he had just remembered. It has since been confirmed to me by one of his teachers, who tells me that Angus & April are inseparable (April, how cute... and she IS cute!) He comes home with stories about his teachers, his lessons and other children. He has learnt to say 'hello' and 'goodbye' in French. And the artwork. Oh, the artwork. At this stage I am relishing every abstract scribble on the page. Sure, there probably will come a time when I'll happily 'file' them away in a recycling style setup. But for now, they fill me with pride and are a visual reminder of how far my big boy has come.

My days, sans Angus, have also started to take shape. I find myself utilising every minute of those two days per week, to fit in catchups with friends or family. To get tedious, administrative type chores out of the way and to devote a little of the time, to working on me. Long walks on the beach or at the park are out of the question when I've got two boys to tow around, but with just the one babe in pram, it's a piece of cake. Then before we know it, Felix and I are heading back to collect our favourite preschooler. Doesn't it just melt my heart each and every time I walk through the gate and see his cheeky, sweet face light up when he first notices me. Only matched by the reaction on both my boys faces when they see each other again, after being apart for the day. It is love, love, LOVE. And in that instant, I couldn't be happier. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Growing Pains

Unfortunately I'm not referring to the 1980's sitcom kind of growing pains. Rather the type that take a perfectly delightful, happy, wee babe and make him a miserable, howling, clingy mess. Felix cut his third tooth today. Much like the first two, it popped up without a great deal of warning (other than the incessant flow of dribble). One thing is for sure, once they've sprouted, the little blighters inflict some intense discomfort on my sweet cherub. 

It was a long, exasperating, slog of a day. A tantrum here and there, plenty of sibling jealousy and lots and lots of tears. But, we made it through. Just. This kind of day has a habit of occurring whenever Scott is working late (or working later than usual that is). However, (and dare I say this too loud for fear of repercussion the next time he's not here at bedtime) the boys often settle better and a little earlier when Scott isn't here. There, I've said it. Sometimes I think the excitement of time spent with Daddy, is just all too much for the little fellas.

Something that does make me smile at the end of a day like today, is seeing these picci's, snapped yesterday afternoon, on our park adventure. I thought it was time to introduce Felix to the baby swing, which he has been eyeing off longingly the last few times we've been at the park. The first couple of minutes were pure joy and laughter, for all of us. The next couple, not so much. For Angus in particular, who flew into an unprovoked rage over why Felix should "not be in the swing anyway Mama". Topped off with shrieks of "get him out" noisily reverberating throughout the playground. I guess it's true that growing pains take shape in many forms, at various stages. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Helloooo Autumn!

As much as it tried to give the impression it was striving to be drab, miserable and grey. The first day of Autumn turned out to be quite the contrast. At least it was in my little part of the world. A sultry heat to kickstart the season, coupled with good strong winds, made for dream run clothes drying conditions. Then for a few hours in the afternoon, a brilliant display of sunshine. I lost count of the number of dragon flies and butterflies I saw darting and flickering around the place. A gorgeous sight to behold, but SO incredibly difficult to capture a shot of. Damn it! 

So instead, I opted to shoot a few snaps of the ever impressive Coogee Beach. I never seem to tire of photographing this location. Maybe because it is perpetually changing appearance and has particularly stunning angles. A scene for every season. For every mood. The boys and I wandered on down to the park for some afternoon amusement and a necessary recharge. I am often reminded of just how lucky we are to live in this majestic area. Today was no exception. 
Hello Coogee in Autumn! How you doin'?