Friday, September 27, 2013


Our current BBQ is 8 years old. It still works (barely) and is propped up on a brick where a leg fell off and is certainly showing its age. I think we should use it till it dies but Byron keeps wandering over to the BBQ section in every DIY shop we go into "just to have a look"  I'm sure you can just imagine his face when he saw this beauty recently!

Birthday hint? Fathers day? Christmas? Unless he wants ten years of gifts rolled into one then I think this BBQ will just have to stay in his dreams! 

Sorry Mr B!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Ollie's place!

In the last year there has been a new addition to the Baynham family. Little baby Oliver arrived in April to make Byron's nephew Kerry and his new wife Sarah a proper little family! In all the photos we see of him on Facebook he looks like the cutest little boy ever and we can't wait to see him when we go to Wales next year. Imagine our excitement when we came across this shop in a local shopping center... Ollie's Place!
It would be easy to spend a small fortune in there with all the cute clothes with Ollie's name stitched into them. We bought him his birth present there and made sure to include the cute plastic bag in the parcel for Sarah to use again. Now that Byron's parents are here we thought we should bring them in to have a browse. Rhiannon found a cute vest for him that we will send home in Myan and Den's suitcase...
If you are reading this Ollie, you come from an amazing gene pool. We can't wait to see you in January to cover you in hugs and kisses. Has anything in the photos caught your eye? Any advance requests? What about the soft Koala on the shelf at the back? One of everything in your size? Shall we put the application in to remortgage the house now? 

See you soon handsome. xo

Saturday, September 21, 2013

The in-laws have landed!

I can't believe it has been two years since Byron's parents visited us last. The time has gone so quickly. It feels very deja-vu having them here on almost the exact same dates two years later. I expect they see big changes in the kids. With both girls now in High School they really are growing into their own individuals and Gareth seems a lot less childish now that he is nearing the end of Primary school.

It is always a bit gut-wrenching waiting to see one another after so much time has gone by. What will they look like? Will they have aged? Will they still be as robust as the last visit or will frailty have started to creep in? I am very glad to say that as they arrived they still looked well and although tired Byrons Mum certainly had a wicked twinkle in her eye. No change there it seems!

It took a couple of days to adjust to the new time zones and they are looking remarkably comfortable having mid afternoon naps in our two red armchairs. A bit too comfortable if you ask me. I'm beginning to worry that they may not want to return home at the end of their three week visit!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Organisation V's Chaos

As we approach the end of another school term we all long for a change of pace, a change in routine. Over the last few years of combining raising kids/running the house/working as a nurse I have had to learn to be organised. This is not a quality that comes naturally to me as many of my friends will know, particularly friends who knew me in my teens and early twenties. 

For example as an 18 year old nursing student I shared a room in a rental house with Fiona. I'm going off on a tangent here... There was a weekend that I was planning to spend at home in my parents house. As I glanced around my shared room in the rental house I took in the pristine half that Fiona's bed was positioned and the chaos around my bed. Not having the time or inclination to do a proper tidy I scooped every one of my belongings off the floor and threw them onto my unmade bed. The finishing touch was a shake of my duvet which I then placed on top of the bed hiding all the mess beneath. I may then have had a wicked twinkle in my eye as I tucked things in here and there and made the shape of my belongings look like a sleeping person. The addition of a black soft toy to the pillow area to look like hair was the icing on the cake. Fiona came home from work late in the evening and walked into the dark supposedly empty bedroom... Surprisingly she still talks to me...!

Back to now. See how far I've come.... One of my stress saving organisational ideas I have discovered over this term is money. Lots of small change to be precise. This term I have eliminated the dreaded panic on Thursday night when the kids need their various coins for Friday sports and for their lunches that they get from the canteen as an end of week treat. Each Monday when I do the big supermarket shop I get out some cash and then go to the customer service lady and she gives me all the small notes and coins I need for the coming weeks activities, piano lesson, school excursions, sports, canteen etc. I lay it all out and then scoop it into a ziplock bag that I hide in the kitchen where no-one will raid it and at least it is one less thing to cause stress. I am looking forward to school holidays and taking a break from needing to be so organised. 

That wicked twinkle is making my eye twitch again... Roll on holidays!!!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

To plant a garden...

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Getting older.

I just have to share this photo with you. My little boy is getting older and more and more grown up each day. I know that when my kids were younger they seemed to change every week. Learning new words, crawling, walking, running. Now the changes are more subtle and creep up on me until, boom!, I see a pose or a moment and I think "You are growing too fast" "Slow down!" 
This photo is definitely one of them!

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Close to our hearts.

When we emigrated to Australia 8 years ago the girls were given a little locket each from their Granny and Grandad Joe in Ireland as a "Goodbye" gift. As a seven year old girl Sian was likely to lose or break such a delicate gift and so it was saved for special occasions.

This weekend we were heading down to Sydney to my brothers house to celebrate my nephew's birthday. It was a fun family occasion and like all of our special days here in Australia the one thing missing was Granny and Grandad and Auntie Carrie in Ireland. What I didn't realise until Sian showed me was that she had worn her special locket that day. Symbolically it made us feel like they were with us.

Modern technology is so amazing as we used our phones to take photos and little movie clips that we were able to email to Ireland as we were driving home on the Freeway. It was so nice to know that as our day was ending and theirs was just beginning they were waking up to messages of love flying through cyberspace before we had even set foot back inside our own house. An old fashioned gift and modern technology blended together to keep us all close. 

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Chicken selfie!

Rhiannon has become very clever at taking and editing photos on her ipod. Every so often she will show me one and I will say "I want a copy of that!" Here is one that she took last week with Betty and Wilma. It makes me laugh. I just love it! 

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Father's Day 2013

Fathers Day this year started out with lots of fun gifts for Byron (mainly of the edible and drinkable variety) 
As always a giant Toblerone that we expect to have shared out with us!
Then it was off for a walk through Newcastle where we found this bizarre gold and rich red draped sofa in the middle of the path going through the foreshore?! It didn't seem to be connected to any particular hotel or restaurant? I'm sure we weren't the only people to use it  for an impromptu photo shoot!

It's so nice that we can still celebrate Fathers Day as a family. As the girls grow older and their own lives get busier I hope that they always have the time to stop and celebrate Fathers Day with the man that has loved and protected them from the day they were born. 

And on that same note I too wish my lovely Dad a happy Bonus Fathers Day over in Ireland. He gets to be spoiled twice. Once in June when Fathers Day is celebrated all over Ireland and again in September when Australia celebrate their Fathers Day. Here is a funny photo of my Dad and me taking a "selfie" back in 2008. 
I think it may have been one of Dads first times being made to pose for a selfie and I can read in his face "What on earth is she up to now?" but I love that he put on his smile and let me mess away with the camera.
Happy Fathers Day Dad. You will always be loved.