30 November 2009
As always you know that I am not loving clothes shopping. Am I the only woman in the world who doesn't enjoy it??? On my birthday (you know the one where I turned 40) my hubby took me to my favourite clothes shop and said, "go for it...!" So I did. And while I was trying on clothes I took a long hard look at myself in the mirror. Oh Dear. Middle Age Spread is winning. My laziness has caught up with me. I went home and did something I haven't done for...months? Years? I weighed myself! *gasp*
Oh boy. I am NOT loving the fact that 8 kilos have sneaked up and stuck onto me while I wasn't looking. Shocking.
Time to face facts: I am now forty. This extra padding is not going to miraculously disappear by itself, that seems pretty clear. Do I want to have energy for my kids? For my husband? Do really I want to dread every summer? Spend my life avoiding clothes shopping? (which apparently some other people may actually enjoy)
So last week was a good week. No, a great week. I am proud of my efforts last week. In fact, I am LOVING it!
I am LOVING that I walked to (and from) school three times on the Walking Bus. I am NOT really loving this spunky fluoro green jacket though.
I am LOVING jumping on the trampoline. Oh man, it's so fun. And great exercise. However I am NOT loving discovering that my pelvic floor is not up to scratch when bouncing. Note to self: Pee first, then jump.
I am LOVING my delicious lunch of chopped fresh fruit, yoghurt and LSA (ground linseed, sunflower seeds and almonds). Oh so healthy and oh so yummy.
I am also loving that I finally got the time to colour my hair and get rid of the shiny platinum strands that were peaking through. However I am NOT loving this colour! It was meant to be "chocolate brown". Huh!! I have never seen purple chocolate before!
I am also NOT loving that I got asked at church on Sunday: "So when are you due??!!!" Talk about a downer. I ran and hid in Starbucks... with a small trim flat white. Really really bummed - I thought I looked nice! (Seriously people, unless a girl is getting contractions 5 minutes apart, don't assume anything!!! Some of us have had three giant heifer babies that have stretched our tummy muscles to kingdom come. You try it and then see how flat your tummy is!!)
OK, but on the bright side, at least I am doing something about it. I am LOVING the fact that I am making an effort. Oh, and that I lost 2kg last week. Yes, that's right! I am LOVING that.
29 November 2009
We arranged for little sister to have her own sleepover at a friend's place, and kept the plans very simple:
- kids arrive from school, set up their sleeping space,
- have afternoon tea (milk with flavoured sippah straws, popcorn, fruit)
- construct a hut in the bedroom out of camo tarpaulins
- play soccer in the garden with dad, jump on the tramp etc
- stick on fake dino tattoos, and play with dino goo
- hide toy dinosaurs in the garden for a hunt after dark
- have pizza & lemonade for tea
- make their own icecream sundaes for dessert
- Birthday cake, Sing happy birthday/blow out candles
- Play PS2 "Jungle Buzz" while we wait for it to get dark
- Take torches & go dino hunting (keep what you find)
- Play "Spotlight" with dad being the hunter
- Watch "Night at the Museum 2" on DVD in sleeping bags
- Fall asleep with no mucking around because they are soooo tired from having soooo much fun!
Mr G enjoyed taking on all five of them at soccer; the boys were ecstatic when they won 10-7. Scrag roamed around and joined in the fun, even getting a dino tattoo!
To make the Volcanic Cone...
Mix a double batch of One Egg Chocolate Cake batter. Line a medium ceramic bowl ( like the one pictured) with baking paper and fill with batter. Cook at 180oC until a skewer comes out clean (40-60 minutes). Don't cook on a fan-forced setting so that the cake will have an even surface. Meanwhile...
To make the Lava Eruption...
Line another oven dish with baking paper and arrange a packet of orange glucose sweets (e.g. barley sugars) randomly. Pop into the oven for approx 5 minutes.
TIP: Colour the batch of icing blue, and spread the sea on first. Then add yellow to get green for the grass. Once the cake is all covered, you can add coloured sugar crystals to form a line of sand and use a brush with blue food colouring to form "waves" in the sea.
Add some toy dinosaurs, plastic trees and finally poke in the melted sweets for an erupting volcano.
24 November 2009
I have just tucked my little girl in bed and I am feeling all warm and fuzzy. We've been playing our favourite game, "I Love you More Than..."
I can't remember how or when we started playing this little game; we kind of fell into it and now it's a special favourite thing for just me and her. It goes kind of like this:
Her: I love you more than trees...
Me: I love you more than birds...
Her: I love you more than... rainbows!
Me: I love you more than ... clouds!
And so it goes on and on and on. Basically I love her more than just about anything in the whole wide world. Even though at times she is the one person who can wind me up better than anyone. Even though when she "goes off" it's like an air-raid siren right next to my ear.
She is also the sweetest, most affectionate, generous and caring little girl.
Last Friday night she had her first sleepover at a friend's house while Dash had his sleepover birthday party. I was getting ready for the party and kept coming across little things that reminded me of her... Scrag had trashed his bedroom (one more thing for me to do); she heard me lamenting the mess and had tidied the worst of it away before school. I found it after she'd left and got a lump in my throat. That evening I walked into Miss Fab's bedroom (her bed perfectly made by her) and spotted Birthday Doll.
Her bed-time snuggle-buddy. To get to sleep our little Miss Fab sucks her thumb, and sniffs and twirls Birthday Doll's hair. As you can see the poor dolly doesn't have much left. But in the eyes of that little girl, Birthday Doll is precious and gorgeous. And left behind.
I rang my friend whose house she was staying at and she told me that Miss Fab had actually fallen off to sleep without Birthday Doll (!!) But we agreed that she may wake in the night and look for her, so I left the boys in Daddy's capable hands and drove over to take Birthday Doll back to her mummy.
I sneaked into the bedroom and there was my little girl, fast asleep and looking so sweet. I kissed her soft little cheek and tucked her dolly in beside her.
I love you more than chocolate...
I love you more than monkey bars...
I love you more than computers...
I love you more than Birthday Doll...
The next morning she was the one who helped me sweep up and pull weeds to get the patio ready for my birthday party. We chatted and worked together and my heart felt full. She's only five, but she called out to her big brother (who was jumping oblivious on the trampoline): "You should come and help because mummy makes nice parties for us so we should help her when it's her turn!"
I love you more than flowers...
I love you more than bees...
I love you more than crocodiles...
I love you more than kittens...
My daughter is the one who gives me the biggest, toughest run for my money. She's the one who has turned me and Mr G slightly "platinum" (seriously, I have photographic evidence: before her birth=no grey hair!)
But her strength, her determination, her spunk, her enthusiasm and energy - something tells me she's the one who will put her hand up to look after her elderly parents in their dotage.
As Ian Grant says, "Those kids who had you tearing your hair out when they were little, they're the ones who'll argue on your behalf for the sunny room in the Retirement Home!" Yep, my girl is one of those.
I love you more than the sun...
I love you more than the moon...
I love you more than the stars...
I love you more than the sky...
I do. I really really do.
22 November 2009
Anyway... so yes indeed I did have a lovely birthday, with some lovely surprises.
My hubby is a legendary birthday celebrater which actually has him in the running for the "Husband of the Year Award" for the ninth year running. (Remember this is the guy who remembered our engagement anniversary.) I've had a couple of other hubbies I know say to him, "Hey man, tone it down. You're making us look bad!" (they shall remain nameless. For their wives' sakes.)
OK back to the topic at hand... um, pressies in bed (including a necklace he got designed and made specially for me with help from the kids. Awww!) followed by tea & toast in bed; followed by general mayhem errupting, whereby poor hubby tried to stem the air-raid siren wailing from all quarters and galantly tried to fight off the attacking troops and their cries of "I want mummy!" in a valiant attempt to let me sleep in. That battle was lost but not for the lack of trying by My Hero.
So then we dropped Culprits #1 & 2 at school and (yay!) left Culprit #3 at home with Mr G's wonderful P.A. :) and off we went for a quiet relaxing morning tea.... oh coolness! at Cornwall Park tearooms. I love their Devonshire Cream teas, oh yes.
Oh dear. I pretended to shiver and said tactfully to Mr G, "Um, I'm a little chilly out here. Maybe we should move inside??"
We gratefully escaped inside to a nice window table in the nearly-empty dining room. Ahhhh peace and quiet.
But that's when Psychology Mum sat down right behind us. With her baby. Oh yes. Oh no. We rolled our eyes; we've just managed to escape our baby... Ha! The baby was fine. Quiet-as. Never heard a peep out of the baby. The mum however?? Different story. She loudly began to interrogate her teenage son (oh yes, I missed him coming in - he's the one pictured over my left shoulder. Poor kid.)
"And how do you feel now after that outburst? Did it help you? Are you feeling ashamed of yourself? Do you think it will get you anywhere? Do you think it did any good? And how do you feel about that? Are you proud of yourself??" On and on she went, at the top of her loud annoying voice. Oh boy.
Outside the window we could see Bird Lady engaging the waiter in conversation. No sign of the bus yet.
Then Ms. Wannabe Snr. positioned herself on the other side of us, talking loudly on her cellphone. It wasn't long before she had competition; Ms. Wannabe Jnr. took up her spot right opposite, and yakked loudly on her cellphone... until their friends arrived and then they just all talked loudly to each other.
By this stage I was giggling helplessly. Peace and quiet??? Tee Hee. Too funny. The rest of the restaurant remained empty. What are we? Loudness Magnets???
We escaped just in time as the coachload of bird lovers pulled up. Oh man. I really needed a good laugh. It wasn't the romantic interlude Mr G had planned but, gee it was funny.
I returned home to my pigsty messy bombsite of a house while Mr G went off to do a spot of work. As I stood in the middle of the ruins of breakfast, yesterday's dinner, lunch etc, I faced a dilemma. Clean up on my birthday?? Not appealing. Leave the mess and try to ignore it?? Even less appealing. Just then: a knock at the door. It's my lovely friend Meg with a cake. Legendary Super Meg, awesome kind helpful Meg, offers to tackle my bombsite!! Oh Meg, you are a true friend. We tackle the mess together, much more fun. She does most of it though. She has super-powers. I am eternally grateful.
Maya in England! Ohhh wow! What a lovely surprise. Cute card too. "To the bustus friend a person could ask for". Is that a reference to our Bra-shopping expedition in Milton Keynes... or was the florist just a bad speller? I'm thinking bad speller.It should be "Bestest" I'm sure.
So I had a lovely day with some sweet surprises, including a Black Forest Gateau from Eve's Pantry. Oh my Middle-Age-Spread!.
The next day came the madness of a seven-year-old boys' dinosaur adventure sleepover on Friday night... and a crazy day trying to pull together a cool outdoor party under the stars, with one eye on the changeable weather and frustration at finding half our fairy lights no longer work. There were moments, people. Moments where I sat on the floor surrounded by tangled useless lights, crying and nearly reaching for my cellphone to txt everyone and call the whole thing off. It came close.
But we got there in the end, everyone came dressed to the nines in 70's gear, all of us looking pretty crazy. There was dancing, candles, homemade lanterns, sangria, a new fire-pit (which got lit eventually), lots of dessert, a few early-leavers and a few long stayers.... oh, and bubbles. And giggling. Say no more. What can I say? I really needed a good laugh. There was not, however any photos taken by me. I was having too much fun. Sorry. If any turn up on Facebook I promise to share them with you.
Best Outfit: Margs. Seriously Abba. Frida's double in white spandex & Wig. Val a close second!
Craziest Mode of Transport: Pete & Sarah. They cycled over... in costume!
In the meantime, thanks everybody for making my transition to forty relatively painless. I said relatively. I blame the bubbles.
Gail... The Kiwiana Lingo Teatowel! ( I tried to win this in her giveaway but Cat got it. And now I have my own! I think I will frame it :)
P.P.S: Thanks Kathy for uploading these photos off her camera phone :)
18 November 2009
I started writing a post earlier which will now never see the light of day. This is probably just as well, as I was feeling pretty low and self-pitying and I was just going to vent all my angst on you, my loyal blog-friends.
Why was I in such a low? Maybe a combination of things: I'm turning 40 tomorrow (big whoop whoop) and to be honest I kind of wish I had ignored the whole event. Instead, we're having a "bit of a do" on Saturday night. Originally Mr G was going to plan a surprise party, which I got wind of - and took over. Silly me. But you see I was in horror at the thought that he might invite a big Crowd. And that I would end up freaking out in front of stacks of people, or that he might forget to invite some of my nearest and dearest... OK, basically I am just a control freak.
So I guess it serves me right that I've ended up planning my own 40th (for the night after my son's seventh birthday sleepover). Am I crazy or what???
I had typed two pathetic lines when the phone rang. It was my mum.
"I just had to ring and remind you of where I was in the process of birthing you, 40 years ago," she laughed.
All my life I have heard the horror stories of my 30-hour birth, which left us both nearly dead. The yearly birth-story phone call is something of a ritual.
Mum had been in labour at a midwife training hospital and had every trainee midwife in the place stick their hands where the sun don't shine. When things turned hairy and I got stuck they finally called in a doctor, who ordered my dad out of the room and mid-contraction, with no warning stuck a pair of forceps up my poor mother. She screamed and passed out.
Mum has no recollection of how long she was unconscious but she dreamed that a rooster was pecking out her insides. Meanwhile dad was beside himself in the corridor hearing his young wife screaming. She was unconscious but still screaming.
And then they whisked me away. Mum didn't see me again for 24 hours. She didn't get to cuddle me or even touch me.
As she told me this well-known story, she was crying. Forty years on there is still strong emotion attached to those memories and the fact that we didn't have the chance to bond right away; that the powers-that-be took me away and left her bereft. (Thank goodness times have changed.)
So thanks to my mum this is not quite the whingey self-pitying post it could have been. Yes, I have been feeling a bit overwhelmed and completely lacking energy. Yes, part of me just wishes I could hide til it's all over. But I have a lot to be thankful for (that's right, Simone, you do. There are lots of people way worse off than you... I hear Mr G saying in my head!)
Mum's phone-call was the pick-me-up I needed. Re-energised I clicked into third gear (out of neutral) and wrote out cards, wrapped gifts, found addresses (minus postcodes; gee I hope they get there!) and went to the post office. Ahhhh yes: $159 later. But hey, it's all done now. Thanks to that lovely boost from talking to my ma.
Today I am especially grateful, thankful and appreciative of my mum. Firstly because she went though all that to bring me into the world. Secondly because she is my friend, and she thinks to ring me and reminisce with me about our difficult beginnings; Thirdly because she Basically Rocks.
It's my birthday tomorrow. But it's my Mum who deserves the medal.
16 November 2009
My poor ole kid. We get home from Dash's football gig today and I am greeted at the door by a very somber Mr G with some sad sad news... Dash's goldfish has passed on/kicked the bucket/bought the farm.
3 Tablespoons (approx) of white flour enough to mix to a paste with butter
Milk (approx 4 cups)
Salt to taste
Grated cheese (a couple of handfuls, plus some more for on top)