Sunday, February 27, 2011

Birthday ideas

It is someone's Birthday soon...
When we went shopping this weekend we passed through a great store that sells all sorts of  covetable things.
Our "soon-to-be-13-year-old" saw this day bed...
...and thought it would be the perfect birthday gift.
Her "soon-to-be-bankrupt-if-she-listened-to-her-daughter" mother took one look at the $2999 price tag and thought...
...I don't think so!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Lost in translation.

Rhiannon got an email from a friend in England.
It was his cold dark winters evening, it was our sunny summers morning.
I called her to join us for breakfast.
We were eating outside this morning to take advantage of the cool summers breeze before the hot sunshine got a proper grip on the day.
She asked me to take a photo on my mobile so she could email it back to Jack.
What she didn't realise was that Gareth and Sian had snuck into the background and were posing in silly positions.
The funniest photo was when she turned and saw them.

I think this will have to be the photo we send on to Jack!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Rhiannon in Regionals.

Remember this post about Rhiannon swimming in her School swimming carnival?

And how a beautiful Mum called Kerrie Brady took loads of photos and sent them to her friends?

Well today was the swimming Regionals competition. It fell on a work day for me so I was at the hospital and wasn't able to be there but Rhiannon went with a good friend and Byron managed to get to the pool on his lunch break to see her race. I felt a bit sad to have missed out on seeing her myself but that is life now that I am working. I make it to some things but not everything.

Imagine how excited I was when I got home and checked the computer only to find that once again Kerrie had brought her camera, taken lots of photos and passed them on. I feel like I was there in person.

I just love that Kerrie chooses to share her talents. I sometimes wonder if she has any idea how much she brightens other peoples days. I hope that someday I get the chance to use my talents to do something back for her, just hopefully not my nursing ones!

...and an extra!

Look what photo Mr B sent me on his phone! 
Looks like Rhiannon got rewarded for a good swim!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Valentines Day 2011

This Valentines Day I decided to shun the commercialism of Valentines day. I could say that I was disillusioned with how much junk was being offered up for sale in the shops and how I was making a stand against buying more rubbish that will end up on the garbage tip next time I go mad spring cleaning... The reality was I looked but I didn't see anything I thought Byron would want. There are only so many pairs of fluffy handcuffs one can own. I was tempted to go buy myself some new undies (all in the selfless name of a gift for him) but I think I've pulled that trick a few too many years running and it is wearing thin!

And so I decided to listen to some old fashioned advice. The way to a man's heart is through his stomach. I decided to bake him the most decadent rich dark chocolate cake possible. Easy!

I searched the Internet for the most indulgent recipe possible and found this....

I emptied my fridge out onto the kitchen counter and made a mess like this...

only to check the oven 45 minutes later to find this...

There may have been a few frustrated tears. If my love for Mr B was supposed to be represented by this amazing cake then what was I supposed to interpret this awful mess as? 

I did what any sensible person would do. I threw a tantrum and then started to break off the crunchy overflow and eat it. It actually tasted quite good. Then I got a spoon and started into the gooey baileys soaked layer at the base of the tin. This actually tasted amazing. 

This is the point at which the kids got home from school and I asked their help to rescue the cake remains and create a Valentines dessert for Dad. Gareth suggested throwing some of the cake bits into a big bowl of whipped cream. Sian added the strawberries and Rhiannon helped by eating placing chocolate curls on top to decorate. I watched from the corner of the kitchen where I sat on the floor nursing the bottle of Baileys! 

By the time Byron came home it looked like this...

100% pure love, with a little help from the kids

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The lesser of two Weevils.

We have been invaded.

First there were the 26 red-back spiders Byron found happily spinning webs on our outdoor furniture. Yes, they can kill you but since the introduction of anti-venom it is more likely that you will only have excruciating pain and need hospitalisation but will actually pull through in the end.

Then there were the crickets jumping around my kitchen, bedroom and bathrooms. They cannot kill you at all - sweet little jumpy things. Unless of course you are carrying a large pan of boiling hot pasta when they jump out at you and scare the living daylights out of you (and the neighbours who hear the blood curdling screams two streets away)

Then there are the odd little black bugs that are everywhere. Tiny black beetle like creatures that are crawling over walls and tiles and for every one that you crush under foot at least another three appear out of the corner of your eye. These delightful creatures are again harmless, not blood sucking mites like we first panicked. No, just simple little weevils that had taken up residence in the jumbo bag of guinea pig feed we had in the garage. Yes, it took a week of looking for the source of these little bugs before we saw the bag of feed practically move across the garage floor itself due to the thousands of bugs crawling around inside it....

Gareth overheard me talking to Byron about them and then went telling people we had been invaded by weasels.
I suppose there is always a silver lining to be found and to be honest, I'd rather little black specks than one of these...!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Rhiannon: Sports Captain 2011

Rhiannons school elect pupils in year 6 to  be School Councillors and Captains each year. Rhiannon had to write and practise a speech and then say it in front of the other year 6 pupils and teachers. The students voted, the papers were counted and Rhiannon had been voted Sports Captain of the Hunter Team for 2011 !

Today was the official ceremony where all the Captains and Councillors were given their school badges. Being a Thursday I would normally be working but a few days ago I got called in to work in the afternoon and worked through till 10.30pm only on the promise from my boss that I could have today off in lieu. It was well worth the trade off. Days like today are what make being a working Mum really hard. To have it all work out so that I could be there was really brilliant.

Rhiannon looked really proud. Well done sweetheart!

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

My Family.

Love 'em, Hate 'em
These family stickers seem to be the latest craze here in Australia. The theory is that you get one to represent each member of your family and stick them on your car. I resisted the urge to buy them but then got a voucher with Rhiannons school shoes. 
When the kids went on-line and said that we could have the whole family and a Guinea Pig for $10 delivered I could hardly say no could I?!
We tried to go for subtle(ish) by sticking them on the side window of the car.

P.S. I had no say over which character represents me. I personally wanted the skinny-cow-workout-and-fitness-queen one but the kids insisted that I spend more time working out my wallet than my body...

Monday, February 07, 2011

Gareth's News Day

Gareth was "Class Presenter" in school this morning.
He had to tell everyone the date and the weather and introduce the other classmates who were doing
 "Prayer" "Positive School Issue" and "Book Review" 
They were encouraged to dress up or bring in some props to add to the enjoyment.
Gareth went for the "Serious News Man" look complete with clip board and 3D cinema glasses!

Sunday, February 06, 2011

More swimming photos...

There is a really nice Mum at my kids school called Kerrie Brady. She is a professional photographer and despite her busy life she always makes time to bring her camera along to school events. She doesn't just take photos of her own kids, she spends the time to take photos of any kids she knows and then always passes them on totally free of charge. She really is a star sharing her talents and not trying to take advantage of these opportunities to "cash in" like others might. Here is my favourite photo she sent me of Rhiannon at Fridays swimming carnival...

Thanks Kerrie. You really are one in a million.

Dippy Eggs for Breakfast!

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Feeling Hot Hot Hot.....

Send. Ice. Quickly.....

It is mid 40's all this week. The wind blows strong hot air in my face every time I open a door or window. Thank God for air-con. This sort of weather we have named "Tumble drier days" Put wet washing on the line (if you can stand to breathe in the hot air in your face) and it will be dry in 20minutes. Think you can go outside barefoot to do this 5 minute chore? Think again. The ground is so hot you could fry an egg on it. I found myself trying to hang some shirts bare foot and without sunglasses and looked like a blind Riverdancer hopping around doing an Irish jig feeling for clothes pegs with eyes tight shut against the glare. It took 2 days to recover and go out to bring the clothes back in!

I have been collecting the kids from school everyday because the school bus has no air-con. Before leaving the house I grab some "icy-poles" from the freezer, tubes of frozen fruit juice. By the time I get to the school 6 minutes later they have all but melted. It's too hot to use the swimming pool, we worry all day about the poor Guinea Pigs and bring them inside to the air-conditioned kitchen as soon as we get in from the school run. Even Sians school which is mainly without air-con finally gave up and let the students ring home on Friday lunchtime to be collected and brought home to the cool.

You have to check your car before you pull away from a car park because animals are seeking out the shadows underneath to fall asleep in. A trip to the supermarket is a treat. The kids run for the refrigerated aisles and stand with their hands, belly's and faces pressed against the freezer doors trying to absorb the cool.

You know you are living in Australia when your kids fight over who gets to hug the big cold milk cartons in the car on the way home...

Friday, February 04, 2011

Swimming Carnival 2011

It was the St Joseph's School Swimming Carnival today. Guess who got voted in to being the Sports Captain of her house...? Yes: Rhiannon! She was delighted. She got to carry her "Hunter" team flag off the school bus and into the swimming centre.

The day was hot and humid and very noisy with a pool-side full of students, teachers, parents and siblings. Gareth was old enough to participate this year for the first time.

Rhiannon entered lots of races and came third in all of them!

It was a great day and a little sad too to think that this is the last one for Rhiannon as she will go to High School next year. She just doesn't look old enough...

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

In the news...

I went back to normal work hours this week and I really had to try hard to hide what a bad mood I was in. I don't know if it was the high temperatures or just the disappointment of knowing the holidays had ended. When I picked up a newspaper from a patients bed I completely identified with the headlines...!