Today is my Dad's birthday. My Dad is great. Probably the best Dad in the world. Growing up I had a joke with my Dad. I used to tell him he was the best Dad I had ever had, He used to tell me I was the best oldest daughter he had ever had. No truer words have been spoken!
I'd like to be nominated as Mother of the Year please.
I'm a nurse.
We went to a Birthday party last weekend at Blackbutt Reserve. The park rangers brought the kids into the koala enclosure and let them take turns stroking a baby Koala.
There was so much more to the Catalina Festival that I want to share with you. There were camels walking around giving rides - Bizarre!
We went to a fantastic festival today. It was at Rathmines park, our local park only 5 minutes from our house. Normal a quiet park with a small kids play area, this weekend it was transformed for the Catalina Festival. There was an old RAF base in Rathmines during World War II and an annual festival celebrates the history of the area along with an assortment of fun stalls and fairground rides.
I was glad I had recharged the camera batteries because I had the "twitch" as my friends have called it! I was taking photos left right and center. Here is a collage of the old US cars and army trucks. I have lots more photos of the general day which I hope to post later. I hope you are having a relaxing weekend!
It was a scorcher today. When I picked the kids up from school I was hot and bothered from rushing away from a busy hospital ward, many jobs left undone. The kids had pink flushed faces and looked like wilting flowers with their heavy school bags on their backs. I knew I needed to call into the local post office to collect a parcel, a job that meant delaying getting home where we could chill out.
There was only one thing for it... bribery!
We drove to our local shops where I bought three ice-creams, sat the kids on a low windowsill and left them cooling down while I went inside the post office to collect the parcel. Not a word of complaint came out of their mouths, they were too busy licking for their lives as the ice creams melted as fast as they could eat them!
I took this photo on my mobile and sent it in a text to Byron. We giggled as we pressed send, imagining him in his office wearing a shirt and suit trousers tapping away on his keyboard. The kids huddled around the phone waiting for the reply... They laughed as it came through...
They spent the car ride home arguing if he meant it or was being sarcastic. The youngest thinking Dad was genuine but the older two grinning cynically. Oh how quickly they loose their innocence, too much time spent around their mother!
Since moving to Australia 4 years ago we have had to learn about a whole new variety of insects and bugs. For the first year we were very cautious about every creepy crawly that we found with more than two legs. Gradually we have got to know the good from the bad but every now and again we are still left a bit confused.
Last week Rhiannon said there was a green bee in the garden. I was suitably distracted while cooking dinner and murmered something vague like "That's nice dear" She saw it again today. This time it wasn't moving so she had a closer look. So did I ! It truly is a fuzzy bee with an iridescent green shimmer. So far my Australian friends think I'm nuts. They keep telling me it is probably a fly. I know flies can have that blue green shimmer but I think this is a bee. Have you seen anything like it?
Gareth was so excited all holidays waiting to go on a "Mission Impossible" day at a local sports center.
When the day finally arrived he went with his friend Tommy and they spent the day running around an assault course, over mountains of foam blocks, under nets and benches, swinging on a rope into a sea of smaller foam blocks, bouncing along trampolines and generally using up a months worth of pent up energy!
Worth every dollar!
When I was 17 I worked in a large shop in their clothing department. I didn't like my manager much and she didn't like me. She set me a challenge to remember the 4 number code of each and every individual item of children's clothing stocked in the shop. A week later she tested me. I failed miserably.
She liked the racks of clothing 100% full at all times. I liked helping customers choosing. Sometimes I talked them into buying an extra matching item. Other times they just left empty handed but happy. I figured as long as they enjoyed stopping in then they would come back another day. I thought I could see the big picture. But then my manager would spot that a rack of green corduroy trousers was not 100% full and she would go mad. She thought she could see the bigger picture.
She arranged for me to be moved to the customer service desk where I excelled at helping people. My new manager liked me and I liked her. I will never forget overhearing the clothing manager describe me to another member of staff. "Gina doesn't know s***" I disagree.
Now before I get too deep describing how we are all individuals and that I was just not suited to the first job let me say that I was not mentally scarred by those words. I was embarassed at the time but I rose above them. I found a job I loved when I started nursing. I surround myself with people who make me feel good about myself. My current Nursing Manager thinks more highly of me than my first manager did. She thinks I do know s***. In fact she wants me to stand proud in front of my collegues this coming Thursday and tell them loud and proud. Gina Baynham DOES know s*** !
My floors are dirty. The dishwasher is sitting full of clean dishes while the dirty breakfast bowls balance precariously on the counter top. The washing machine needs to go on or there will be no clean socks in the morning. The bins are over-flowing and I'm still in my pj's.
Safe sea water swimming pools refilled by the tides every day, rock pools, soft golden sand, free entry and you never know who you will bump into!
Here it is. Our fresh new template!
We've gone for simple and understated. We may tweak things around a little over the coming weeks but for now we are really happy to be able to finally personalise our blog with a header photo. If I can work out how to I hope to change the photo occasionally. For now we just want to make sure that the blog loads correctly and we don't lose any old info. It took 4 years before we felt brave enough to venture away from our basic blogger template, Thanks Mr B for doing all the background "stuff"
Time for a glass of wine I think!
We went along to the Young Peoples Theatre this week to watch a production of Pinocchio. It is a small theatre in the middle of Newcastle and the majority of the cast are school aged children. The shows that they put on are so professional. The backdrops, costumes and props are all made by parents involved in the company.
Some of our friends kids are a part of this theatre but not this actual production. We went along together to watch the play and I got more fun from watching the reaction of our kids than anything else. They were on the edge of their seats and the squeals of excitement and gasps of horror all through the play was unbelievable!
They don't allow flash photography during the show as it would distract the kids on stage. I am so naughty, I couldn't resist taking a sneaky picture in the dark on my mobile phone. I hope no-one from YPT reads this blog. I don't want to be the first mum to be put on their audience black list!
We started this blog back in 2005, using a standard Blogger template. As I have visited more and more of your blogs I am amazed at the designs and individuality they display. For ages now Byron and myself have said we should do a make over of sorts. I know there are many affordable blog makeover fairies out there but being stubborn we are determined to do this ourselves.
We want to keep the basic number of columns and proportions the same so that the formatting on the older posts doesn't look like a kid on a sugar rush! In our family, I take the photos and fix cut knees, Byron being a computer programmer fixes anything pc related. He has been modifying a potential new design and I have been shown how to crop a photo to an exact number of pixels for the header bar. I always crop photos to a size dimension (6x4 etc) so this pixel stuff is new to me. In theory we are not too far away from me giving Byron a few family pictures for him to insert in the header of the new design. I am hoping that in the future I would be able to replace the header photo now and then especially at different times of the year: Christmas, Easter etc.
I just thought I would pre-warn those loyal readers of ours (especially grandparents and those less computer literate) not to think you have lost the link to our blog if someday soon you log on and it doesnt have the familiar colour scheme! For those more seasoned bloggers, Dont raise your hopes too high, compared to some of the unique blogs you have designed and written this will be a simple make over. Sorry to keep you in suspense. Hopefully over the next week we will update the template. Looking forward to your feedback when we do!
Today was unexpectedly exciting! We arranged to meet some friends at a local beach to let the kids play and picnic together. When we arrived we saw a camera crew from NBN.
There was a flurry of activity and excitement at the far side of the public baths. We could see a swimsuit clad woman posing for photos wearing a tiara and holding a trophy while a little girl played nearby.
We had walked in on a photoshoot for Mrs Australia. Not to be mistaken for Miss Australia, this is an International beauty pageant for married women.
The girls squealed with excitement as they ran to get a closer look.
I was also squealing with excitement with camera clutched in my hand as I know a good blog entry when I see it!
The girls obliged with posing dramatically for me as Mrs Australia was photographed in the background, her little girl playing at her feet.
We headed back to our picnic and a suitably unexcited Gareth and carried on with our day. A short while later we saw Mrs Australia walking towards us. She was on her way to a bikini change. Monica, being the brave one among us, said a cheerful "Hi" and the next thing we were all chatting like old friends.
Like many parents of young kids we don't go out as much anymore. Babysitters are expensive and unless we are invited to a specific event we generally don't use one. What we do enjoy doing though, after the kids have gone to bed, is making a nice dinner and sitting down with a bottle of red and some candles. Making time to do this once during the week means we actually have to sit and talk. Shock, horror, no tv to fill the silence!
I select my wine by....
It's Sunday afternoon. A day for chilling out and relaxing. Yesterday and today my alarm went off at 6am to wake me for work at the Blue Hospital. I was running the Medical ward today which scared the pants off me but it went fine... apart from the grumpy old men. There seemed to be a disproportionate amount of them on the medical ward. I put on the calm soothing voice and smiled through my teeth as I made beds, helped with showers, changed dressings, dispensed tablets... At last 3.30pm arrived and I handed over the drug keys and waved goodbye to those grumpy old men and headed home... to my very own one!
Lets vote: Who do you feel most sorry for: Mr B or me?
Votes in the comments section below!
I have been having fun in recent months on a website called Picnik where you can edit and add text onto your photos for free. You can also make great collages. Many of the photos posted on my blog over the last week have been edited using Picnik first. I know I have already posted some tomato photos but I can't resist just adding this one last collage...
It doesn't seem long ago that I rocked my little Millennium baby to sleep and tucked her into her baby basket next to our bed at night. She seems so grown up now in the day time. Running through the house like a tornado.
We took delivery of a big bag of coffee beans last week. They were roasted on a coffee farm in Byron Bay on Tuesday night, couriered to our friend David on Wednesday and then exchanged hands on Thursday morning in the school car park.
I'm getting old. As you may have worked out from the previous post I need glasses. I'm 36 now so I guess it is all downhill from here (sigh!) Shall I wait for the giggles and ridicule from family and friends or shall I just start the ball rolling here and get it all over and done with?
Have you ever heard that expression before? It's one I have heard used in Dublin where I grew up but I don't know if it is one used in other places? I guess it is supposed to mean that you are stressed from the tips of your toes all the way up. Occasionally my head is so full of "stuff" that it feels like my eye balls will pop out, luckily it hasn't actually ever happened!