Saturday, July 30, 2011

Babycakes with Butter Cream

I had such a ball at my baby shower. I honestly believe there is something almost tribal about getting together with your closest gals and celebrating the imminent arrival of a new babe. Like a rite of passage into motherhood. And downright good fun too. I organised my own shower and actually wanted to. Lots of games, plenty of laughs and a smorgasbord of deliciousness to feast on. 

I love a good cupcake and found this recipe about 5 years ago. It's straight out of a Women's Weekly pocket book of Cupcakes and Cookies. Soft and spongy cake, topped with super sweet butter cream. Mouth watering. I made these (only a larger cupcake version) for my own baby shower and they were a smash hit. One of my sister-in-laws still talks about them. Tomorrow, her son's (my nephew) wife is having her baby shower, so I thought it would be perfect to whip up a batch to take along. Here is the recipe, it's a cinch!


125g butter, softened and chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
150g (2/3 cup) caster sugar
3 eggs
225g (1 1/2 cups) self-raising flour
60ml (1/4 cup) milk

Butter Cream

125g Butter, softened and chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups icing sugar
2 tablespoons milk


Preheat oven to 160 degrees. Line two patty pans with paper cases
Combine butter, vanilla extract, sugar, eggs, sifted flour and milk
Beat on low speed using an electric mixer until ingredients are just combined
Increase speed to medium, beat about 3 mins or until mixture is smooth and pale in colour
Divide mixture among cases and bake approx 15 mins
Turn cakes top side up on a wire rack to cool
Spread tops of cakes with butter cream and decorate as desired

The pinky hues for decoration as we know bubs is a girl!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Neopolitan Dreams

At the moment I'm having another one of my flashbacks to childhood and rediscovering the delicious joy that is neopolitan icecream. My Dad used to buy the old No Frills 5 litre tub. It was HUGE. And back then, none of us kids cared in the slightest that it was No Frills. Because it tasted goooood. I used to request a big scoop of strawberry, a big scoop of chocolate and a teeny scoop of vanilla. Funny how times change, as these days vanilla is probably more my preferred flavour out of the three. Hot summer nights, sitting in front of the tele, feasting on a bowl of neopolitan. Happy, lasting memories.

We are big icecream fans in this house. Though it's primarily Scott and I who do the scoffing and it's always once the boys are tucked up in bed. I am still quite staunch on my rule of limited sweets for Angus, and Felix is yet to try icecream. My thoughts are that if they enjoy yoghurt instead and think of it as a treat, then they're not missing out. Angus does have a scoop of icecream on occasions though and when he does, he loves it.

This icecream has had such an influence on me that every time I see anything decked out in brown, pink and white, I instantly think dessert. Those sweet, creamy colours I have adored so very much, for so many years. I know it won't be long before we're battling two little big men for our share of the Neopolitan dream. Maybe I'll keep up the yoghurt charade just a little bit longer.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Best Laid Plans

For the first time since my return to work, I woke this morning rearing to go. I didn't sleep through the alarm. I had my outfit sorted. The boys outfits sorted. Bags ready. Hair washed and straightened. The sun shining (for once). Even my makeup glided on just so. I was on time and keeping cool. Angus rose in a good mood and keen as mustard for his 'new' preschool, as he calls it. Alas, my poor baby Felix was not on the same calm and collected path.

His little nose was congested, eyes stuck together, one of them only partly open. He looked like he had gone 10 rounds in the ring of a world title boxing match. It broke my heart to see. With that, the day changed shape. Phone calls were made. Corporate attire ripped off and exchanged for Mama about the house clothes. And a whole new focus... making my little man better. I felt SO incredibly guilty, calling in a sickie on my third week back. I am a lucky Mama having such understanding, supportive colleagues. At times like these, I beat myself up enough, without having to contend with pressure from work.

By 10am, his messy little face was back to normal. I'm always amazed how babies/children can look so off colour one minute, then in the next breath, they've all but recovered. Felix's miraculous improvement filled me with relief. I was so worried about him in those early morning hours. I'm crossing my fingers that everyone will be fighting fit for tomorrow, so I can at least make an appearance at work for the week. But just to be safe, I might refrain from being completely organised this evening, as the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.

I purchased these cute little fellas on my lunch break at work last week... and I finally found a home for them... on top of the fireplace, keeping the clock company. 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Behind Bars

Felix has upped the anti with his curious ways. He is one tricky customer and being one step ahead of him is often not enough these days. He uses objects to stand on and gain some height to reach the top of bench tops, tables, cabinets. He lays waiting for me to forget the latches on the kitchen cupboards, then strikes when I'm not looking or when my hands are full. He knows when to pick his moments and where the exposed areas are. 

I knew it wouldn't be long before he figured out how to negotiate his way through my clever 'dining chair blockade' across the staircase. Last week he cracked it. Like a stealth mission, one night when I was busy in the kitchen, he burrowed under the wooden bars at the base of the chair. Then with snake like agility, he slithered up onto the first step. And took off! He was on the fifth step by the time I realised and much to his delight, I let him go. Standing close behind him, I wanted to see just how far he would go. Right to the top he climbed, cruised across the landing and into his room. No. fear.

So the old safety gate was dug out, dusted off and installed, without delay. Our stairs are steep, like most terrace houses. Thankfully they are carpeted (in the most 70's green colour no less, one day we'll renovate!) which is a little safer than the wooden variety. I wasn't willing to take any chances with my cheeky monkey though. The gate is fiddly and awkward and more of a squeeze for Scott and I to use the stairs. But at least it's secure and Angus thinks it's fantastic. He has created his own chill out space, a place to play without disruption from his inquisitive little brother. Felix is not entirely pleased with the setup however and still thinks if he shakes the bars hard enough, he'll lead the revolt and have a jail break on his hands. 

Teething babies and satin ribbons... inseparable! 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Raging Roads

About 6 years ago, I was the victim of a really nasty road rage incident. Driving home from work one evening, Scott in the passenger seat, a parked car pulled out in front of me. I had time to stop, but only just, so I gave a quick toot of the horn and didn't think much of it. At the next set of lights, about 100m down the road, I noticed a female get out of the passenger side of the car behind me. Everything happened so quickly, I had no idea what to do. She opened my door, attempted to smack my face and then proceeded to spit... yes, spit all over me. One of the most revolting and scary experiences I've ever had. It was all over in seconds, before she took off back to the car, and the male driver sped off, mounting the footpath as they went. We reported it to the police and months later they caught up with the culprits. By this stage, I was keen to put the whole ordeal behind me, so I didn't press charges. It seriously changed my approach to driving and keeping my doors locked at ALL times.

Then last Friday evening, I had another incident of road rage thrust upon me. This time, with both of my boys in the car and no husband in the passenger seat. I had just pulled out of the car park after work and was waiting to turn out of a small lane onto an exceptionally busy 3 lane road. The car behind me started beeping long and loud, the minute it pulled up. The weather in Sydney was atrocious. Raining, cold, the roads like an ice rink and the cars were streaming by continuously on the main road. At first I didn't realise I was the one being beeped. Surely no one would be beeping me waiting for a break in the traffic?! I was wrong. The impatient, sorry excuse for a man behind me was literally sitting on his horn, harassing me to move my car out into oncoming traffic.

When I finally moved out into my lane, I noticed him pull out quickly behind me and move to the lane next to mine. I was furious. Stupidly, I wound my window down and motioned for him to do the same. He let fly with a barrage of heated words (none swearing thank goodness, I despise when people are abusive using foul language) about how I needed to learn to drive and that I had plenty of opportunity to pull into the traffic. I told him I had two babies in my car and I was in no way putting my family at risk for a matter of seconds, nor was I going to put oncoming traffic under pressure to break in wet conditions. He yelled back that he also had his child in the car, clearly trying to make a point. I was rattled, shaky and angry. The hide of him. A professional looking male, behaving that way towards a Mother with her children in the car. I was disgusted. This is the city I have always known and loved. But this is also the world we live in nowadays. I'm sure there were cases of road rage long before my time. Though the frequency and intensity is like never before. Indeed, the roads are raging. 

Monday, July 25, 2011

Home Sweet Home

It's nice to have a weekend away. Even if they are a little tiring. We headed up to the mid north coast to stay at our favourite short break location. They had a great Winter deal on the bungalows we've stayed in before and it's fast becoming a family tradition for us to stay there. We all seriously needed the change of pace and scenery. The dreadful weather in Sydney delayed us leaving on time on Saturday morning and the usual 2.5 hour drive took us about 5 hours. Realising 40 minutes in that I could not for the life of me remember if I had switched the heater off, then having to turn back to go home and check, largely blew out the travel time. And of course, I HAD switched the heater off anyway. Felt like a right fool, I did.

The last leg into Nelson Bay gave us torrential rain and flash flood conditions. We're no stranger to the wild weather in that area. Most times we holiday there, it rains for at least part of the stay. It just wouldn't be the same if it didn't. By Sunday morning though, we were graced with a far different picture. Crisp, crystal clear skies and gorgeous sunshine. We took the entire day in our stride. Leisurely meandering from point to point. Enjoying the time together as a family. Well, mainly enjoying the time. I did comment to Scott on a few occasions, that I think we best wait a couple of years before attempting any holidays of length. As much as we love getting away and as fun as it is sharing precious memories together, the boys need their routine. Being away from the home base is hard work. 3 days and 2 nights is quite enough, before everything starts to turn pear shaped.

After last night's effort of sleeping on a single mattress with Felix, because he was a little congested, therefore restless and crying out every 10 or so minutes, I'm glad to be home tonight. Back to our chaotic form of routine. Back to our basic, healthy meals. Back to the variety of toys on hand... and my Macbook kind of toy. And back to our warm, cushiony, comfortable beds. Home. sweet. home.

Fingal Bay

Friday, July 22, 2011

Be kind to your knees...

Back in 1999, when The Sunscreen Song came out (or Everybody's Free to wear Sunscreen), it didn't take long for it to be played within an inch of it's life. And so it should have been. It was a brilliant creation. Beautiful piece of music and clever lyrics. Words to live by, in my eyes. One line in particular, would make me laugh every time I heard it. To this day, it has stuck with me. In 1999, it was kind of funny, to a bouncy, energetic 20 year old. But this week I have been thinking about that line and what it means. Often.

Since carrying two 10 pound babies, my knees aren't what they used to be. I noticed after Angus was born, they would ache more regularly and at times kneeling or squatting down would take extra effort. Despite this I continued to run. I love running and it makes me feel good. It sheds the post baby kilos quickly and that's important. Yes. Important. Then, once Felix had arrived, the familiar twinge made a return. I put on oodles of weight when carrying him and once more, my knees bore the brunt of pressure. Yet soon after he was born, I started running again. Mainly on the sand, to cushion the impact, but running all the same. I also live to dance and at times, like a mad thing. Hours and hours of high energy fun. And I love doing this in killer heels. In fact, I have always had a penchant for killer heels in general.

Then this week I experienced a few days of crippling pain. Every time I went to bend or crouch down to change or bath the boys, my knees would seize abruptly. I was having a chat with some friends at work yesterday. All enjoying a bit of a chuckle about Homeshop products and my Ab Pro Circle, purchased with the intention of providing 'rock hard abs'. One of the more 'mature' ladies of the group quizzed me about the effect working out with this contraption has on my knees. And it hit me, like a tonne of bricks. I am that line in The Sunscreen Song. I finally understand the importance of 'be kind to your knees... you'll miss them when they're gone'. It has only taken me 12 years. Now if it isn't already too late, I'm going to work on being a little kinder to them.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Appreciating Home

We've hardly left the house this week. Aside from a super quick trip to fill up the car with petrol and pick up groceries, we have been home bound. And I haven't really minded, everything we've needed has been right here. Angus and I have been fighting whatever god forsaken virus we've had and our place feels warmly inviting at the moment. Due to Felix's hoard of birthday gifts, there are plenty of new toys and activities to busy the boys. All new distractions. We had a day and a half of gorgeous sunshine. Chilly. But it cast such splendid light.

It was wishful thinking to expect it to last. Early yesterday afternoon, the darkness rolled in, a frosty wind kicked up and my washing whipped around on the clothes line. So much of my time lately, involves hanging washing out, then getting it back off the line a couple of hours later, while it's still damp and icy. Then moving it to various piles in the lounge room. Wet. Wetter. Wettest. Then strategically dangling it over our 6 dining chairs. Right in front of the heater. Close to the heater. And in the general vicinity of the heater. I eventually work them up the line to poll position in front of the heater. Fold the dry ones. Then the process starts again. It really is as relentless and boring as it sounds. Though it has sharpened my production line skills.

Angus and I snuck in a little outdoor time though. Blowing bubbles, freezing our little fingers off and for Angus, playing hide and seek under bed sheets on the clothes line. Just as I recalled I used to as a child. Except we had the great Aussie hills hoist and always far more sheets hanging out to dry. Though I think we have quite enough washing in this household for now. So another Winter's afternoon sets in. Another day at home. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Baby Locks

I faced the realisation over the weekend... my baby boy was growing a mullet. It really crept up on me. One minute I was admiring his gorgeous, soft as silk fly away's. The next, it hit me that those fly away's were fast becoming long, straggly, out of control dirt catchers. There was no choice. I had to act. So baby Felix received his very first hair cut. Mama style. Then I remembered, there was a time when I used to cut Angus' hair quite well also. Before it looked like the mixing bowl do the poor kidlet lived with for over 2 years. I am pretty happy with how Felix's turned out. He looks so neat and tidy. Actually he reminds me of a little lego figurine now. A real little big man. Still my baby... but the way he's growing, it would appear, not for much longer.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Hazy Rose Cottage

Today I decided to dig out my treasured assortment of Lilliput Lane collectables. I've had them securely packed away since we moved into our place (almost 2 years ago) and I have missed them. Because they're so precious, it's difficult to find a spot safe enough to display them. With 2 boisterous boys bouncing around, space for fine ornaments is limited. Each was given to me by my Mama, on various momentous occasions, including birthday's, passing my music exams and when Scott and I were engaged. 

Handmade and hand painted in Cumbria, England. Exquisitely intricate detail in every piece, they are a beautiful collector's item and every one has a true story behind it. They have all been modelled on real homes in England, adding to their unique beauty. They even come with their own set of deeds confirming the model is a true and authentic original. So I get to keep my very own little pocket of English countryside, in ceramic form. 

I could see myself pottering blissfully, in any of the delightful cottages, tending to the glorious gardens. It would be wonderful to see them in the flesh one day, but until then, I have my replicas. This little treasure is called 'Hazy Rose Cottage' (Longleat Wiltshire). It also doubles as a fragrant burner. A tiny scented cone fits under the cottage and when lit, a thin stream of smoke escapes through the chimney. And just like a real chimney, the brickwork has been designed to darken over time, with each use. How I love Lilliput Lane.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Hazy shade of Winter

July. Cold, miserable, uninspiring... July. Days are greyer. Nights longer. And no matter how hard I try to avoid the inevitable lurgie of Winter, it always catches up with me, in July. I spent much of today lounge bound. Body aches, heavy head, throat like a cactus has lodged itself in it. On the upside, it was nice to be at home all day, with my 3 boys. Doing nothing in particular, having nowhere to be. I threw dinner together in the slow cooker first thing this morning, just so I didn't have to think about it again for the rest of the day. The slow cooker has been receiving a huge workout of late. It's worth it's weight in gold.

Poor Angus is battling a chesty cough too, as per usual it seems to gain momentum in the evenings. I can tell he isn't quite himself, as he is highly emotional and gets cranky at the drop of a hat. I was completely floored when in a moment of frustration, he let the 'F' word fly at Felix. He has never intentionally used a swear word in context before. I could not believe what I was hearing. Whilst I did see the amusing side, there is no way I let on to Angus I was thinking like this. Instead both Scott and I explained it is unacceptable to use such a word and quickly moved on. Felt sort of hypocritical, given that I do swear myself. I think this is the wakeup call I needed to curb my outbursts of colourful language going forward. If for no other reason than to avoid being a total hypocrite. 

So I'm pretty much over Winter right now. I'm longing for August. The tail end of Winter. The promise of longer days. Warm winds. The first buds of Spring on the plants and trees. Everything is just a little bit easier to handle when it's not raining, gloomy and freezing. Roll on Spring, roll on.

Roses we gave Mama/Nana for her birthday... gorgeous colour!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

New Beginnings

I am officially back in the work force. It's been a whirlwind few days, but I made it through the tough two, relatively unscathed. I am nursing a nasty cold, though I'm not surprised given the emotional stress I placed on myself this past week. The early morning starts in freezing temps probably haven't helped either. It was hard leaving Felix. Really hard. The first day, he didn't take it too well. Neither of us did. I made a point of being extra strong, for his and Angus' sake. Then in the afternoon, when I picked him up, the tears bubbled over. He looked so tired, so quiet, so traumatised. Angus, on the other hand, was a picture of happiness. His new preschool has ticked all the boxes for the little big man and on this count, I am thrilled. Day two was another difficult departure. Again, I was forced to detach myself from the emotion of the situation and just do what I needed to do. Therefore the relief that flooded through me when I arrived to pick Felix up and he was playing contentedly, dissolved some of the anguish and guilt I had been feeling. Day two, was a better day.

Work itself was surreal. Getting up to speed with changes, sorting out my workspace and trawling through the 5000 odd emails (!) consumed most of my time. And after only two days, it felt like I had never left. I do love the company I work for, the people make it all the more special and I could not have felt more welcome upon my return. I feel the next couple of months will be about fine tuning. The drop off's. The pick up's. The hours in the day and making the most of them, in order to feel like I am contributing the best of myself to my role. All I can do is try.

It was my beautiful Mama's birthday yesterday and of course, I didn't get to see her, due to being at work. So today, the boys and I spent quality time with her at home, playing, singing and feeding the tamest of tame birds. My parents have a plethora of birdlife in their garden and they know when they visit, they always receive the good stuff. Magpies, lorikeets, kookaburras, butcher birds, crested doves, the list goes on. Feeding them, provided some much needed moments of calm with the boys. It could be a coincidence, but I have a feeling the two days of care have caught up with us all. I'm looking forward to the downtime with my boys, until work next week.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Baby Steps

Although he isn't technically walking as yet, I couldn't resist popping Felix into a little pair of pre-walker shoes. I find few things more adorable than a baby's first shoe. I think it is way too cute that Dunlop make volley's for babies, but I am so glad they do. Angus had a pair of these when he was first toddling also. They are cheap and very basic, but just perfect for finding one's feet and becoming accustomed to a life of wearing shoes. Once he is up and racing, I'll invest in a decent pair of leather pumps for getting about in. But for the next few weeks I'll enjoy Oooing and Ahhing over the little retro treasures on his tootsies.

Today was my last day of maternity leave. After 13 months, I go back to work tomorrow and it feels strange. I am nervous, emotional, apprehensive, focused, organised... and funnily enough a tiny bit excited, about forging yet another path on our journey. I know the change will bring high's and low's of every description, but we'll take them all in our stride. Baby steps. For all of us. That's what it's all about.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Deception is something I am not good at. I don't enjoy playing tricks on people or fooling them into believing I'm something that I am not. I could never rip anyone off financially, because my sense of honour and pride would not allow it. The guilt to me, would not be worth the gain of such a thing. I am fiercely independent, ask for nothing and love the feeling of standing on my own two feet. I am certain these are all reasons why I find it so difficult to understand and accept when I am on the receiving end of deceptive behaviour.

This morning, I had a call from the Visa Fraud Protection Squad to inform me of suspected fraudulent activity on my credit card. We went through a series of verification details to ensure I was who I said I was (ironic really) and it was confirmed that an individual half a world away in Canada had used my credit card details to attempt to purchase $500 worth of groceries. While I was incredibly grateful to Visa for their speedy action in identifying this situation and ensuring it did not go any further, I couldn't help feeling annoyed and rattled. In fact, I felt a little shaky throughout the entire phone call.

The idea of someone, somewhere in the world tapping into my private space and using my information for their own gain, with no consideration for my personal situation, disgusts me. I feel fortunate not to have lost any actual money as a result of this weird ordeal, but the inconvenience it has caused is frustrating and senseless. I am without a credit card for 7-10 working days and the automatic direct debits I have drawing from the card ALL need to be changed. Some of my bills are due to be paid in the coming days. The cyber world is a vast expanse, filled with many wonderful things, but on days like this, I'm bluntly reminded of the unavoidable sinister side that lurks beneath.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Keep on Running

Two days of perfect Winter's sunshine make for a very good weekend. Yesterday I hit the sand running. It was bitter. Just myself and one other lunatic freezing our butts off doing laps of the beach. I only managed 8 laps (4km), because it was cold. Real. COLD. By lunchtime, I had thawed out enough to enjoy a picnic with my boys at Watson's Bay. Barramundi, calamari, chips and salad on the menu. Such a delightful spot to be on a chilly July afternoon. The boys, so worn out from their adventures, were both asleep by 6.30pm. Just in time for Mama to slip out the door for some dinner and a movie with a good friend. Potato gnocchi with chicken, pumpkin & spinach in a creamy white wine sauce for dinner. Absolutely sensational. Feeling way too full for dessert, we rolled on down to the cinema and shared many a belly laugh watching Bridesmaids. One of those films that is so wrong... but so right.

Today, Scott and I continued our training plan, with another 10km time trial. Both making significant improvements on our times from last week. No mean feat in the blustery conditions thrown our way. Trying to run headlong into gusts of wind, upwards of 30km/h, is strenuous, yet exhilarating. Inhaling the arctic fresh air, certainly dusts away the cobwebs. Slowly, slowly, I am starting to feel shreds of former fitness coming back. It has taken some time to reach this space, but my endurance is increasing and my mind is focused. It's not easy maintaining the enthusiasm from day to day, but when I do get the opportunity to run, I snap it up eagerly.

Due to the gale force winds, we retreated to a more sheltered area of the park, than we normally take the boys to play. Protected by a cluster of brilliant trees, we found an ideal spot to set up camp. Angus delighted with darting in and out of the little nook hidden beneath a canopy of branches and leaves. The little monkey would throw his ball as far as he could and whilst I was retrieving it, hide behind the massive tree trunk or amongst the low lying branches. In and out and round and round he went, giggling and squealing with delight. How lucky we are to have a place we can go, where imaginations are free to run wild.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Batten down the hatches

I never know how to react at that awkward moment, when I sense someone might cry. I know I personally don't enjoy crying in front of others, so I half expect most people don't enjoy crying in front of me. Today was Angus' last day at his preschool. Although there have been some tumultuous times over the past 5 months, he has also grown very fond of the teachers and children. One teacher in particular, a lovely young lady called Fiona. She is calm, bright and always smiling. She took a shine to Angus early on and the feeling was more than mutual. She only found out today that it was to be his last day. I felt for her, that teary look on her sweet face when I came to pick Angus up was more than a bit touching. Angus gave her a big hug and kiss goodbye. I still don't think he comprehends it was his last day at that preschool. I am hoping the transition will not be too rough on him.

Felix and I took a little trip in to visit the centre he and Angus will be starting at next week. Meeting the teachers and seeing the surrounds eased my concerns a little further. I needed to do this, the pressure of worry I have on my mind at the moment is not sustainable. I can't keep fretting like this or I will be no good to anyone. So this mini orientation was a very healthy thing for me. I have no doubt the boys will both take some adjustment, but like everything, we will plug on together. It was reassuring to see just how close their rooms are to one another and that they have a common outdoor play area. Just knowing they are there together helps immensely.

This afternoon, I finally caved. I have been trying to avoid the installation of Operation: batten down the hatches for a while. But I've had enough of tripping over utensils and containers that have been pulled out and scattered all over the floor by the busy hands of Felix. I actually thought I might get away with not securing the kitchen cupboards and drawers with latches this time. I wasn't a big fan of them when Angus was little. They're fiddly and ugly and require more effort each time we need to get anything out or put anything back in. But they were a necessity then and they're a necessity now, in the wake of cyclone Felix.

Little buddha... always looking for something to destroy in the kitchen... like my cupcake stand! 
(I love how the size 2 jumper Nana knitted for him is more a midriff top, than a jumper... SUCH a chubba).

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Party Animal

All the talk of Felix's birthday celebrations, resulted in a couple of weeks of party fever around here. With Angus enthusiastically leading the charge. It appears he is at the right age for being 'in the mood' to party, at any time of day. There has been chatter around guest lists, themes, food and decorations. Reflections on his own 3rd birthday party in the park and the balloon twister who came along to entertain him and his friends. The boy has a memory like an elephant.

The other night, whilst I was tidying the kitchen after dinner, an excitable Angus came bounding in. He beckoned me to follow him to the lounge room, where an apparent 'party' awaited. The guests included Felix, myself and Angus. Daddy was also invited, once he arrived home from work. I could swear I'd seen the sight that met my eyes somewhere before. Maybe because it bore an uncanny resemblance to Angus' famous towers that pop up all over the place. Though this time, there was less order to the compilation... but then I guess, it was a party.

Precariously jumbled, between two lounges, was a conglomeration of toys... evidently partying very hard. I'm still not quite sure how this constitutes a party, but I appreciate his imagination and love his perception of one. The beauty of his party... he happily agreed to tidy it all up afterwards. And he followed through with that promise. Collecting every single toy. Doesn't hurt to learn the responsibility that comes with throwing a party. Even from an early age... there is always a clean up.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


What a week! I feel like a spinning top at the hands of an overzealous child. Round and round I go. I decided we would keep Felix's 1st birthday celebrations simple. Low key and relaxed. When in actual fact I forgot, I don't know how to relax when I have more than a couple of people coming over. My mind goes into overdrive and doesn't give my body a chance in hell of keeping up. From one thing, to the next, I skip. Last night, we celebrated as a family. A good old fashioned kid's party. Complete with pies, sausage rolls, cocktail frankies and cake!

Today, we celebrated with a handful of friends for a birthday brunch. Although it was partying on a small scale, there were still 8 children and 7 Mama's... in our tiny house. By any definition, it was chaos for a few hours. But it was fun. There was plenty of food and drink and laughter. AND another birthday cake. I made two cakes for Angus' 1st birthday, so thought I'd stick with tradition. Plus, everyone loves cake. This one was inspired by The Women's Weekly Animals birthday cakes book. I always use the term 'inspired', as my attempts often don't turn out looking much like the pretty picture in the book. This cake was no exception. It resembles a teddy bear... which it should... but he was all out of whack. I need to brush up on my cake making skills if I'm going to continue my 'home made' birthday cake tradition as the boys get older. It did taste nice though (although I will add, that Felix threw both pieces of my cakes on the floor, hmm!)

So my baby boy is 1. It has been a wild ride, this past year. It has flown by like a bullet train and at the same time, in parts, time has stood still. He is the most delightful little boy I could wish for. Strong, outgoing, loving and charming. I said to Scott yesterday, "I adore him even more than that first moment I laid eyes on him". This best describes how I feel right now. That magical moment when I first met both of my boys is etched in my memory forever. Those individual experiences are filled with so much love, I was certain I could never love them more. But I have... and I do. This morning, Felix woke crying at 2.30. I was tired, as per usual. I'd stumbled into bed around midnight, after completing the finishing touches for his little party today. Instead of feeling cranky and frustrated, I was only too happy to give him a cuddle in the wee hours. Let him snuggle deep, his chubby, warm body resting on mine. He is 1. This milestone is special. I'm going to enjoy it for all that it is. A year goes by in the blink of an eye.