Hope you all had a lovely weekend!
Hope you all had a lovely weekend!
What's HOT this week:
* My weekly organic fruit and vegetable delivery - not expensive, delivered to my door. I can get my beloved organic Barambah milk which we grew very attached in Brisbane and this week we added a 'juicing box' - cheap, oldish fruit and veg, still all organic, perfect for juicing. They sent apples, oranges, kiwi, beetroot, kale and fresh ginger. We are full of goodness.
* BBC's State of Play. It's not new, made 2003, a British political/investigative journalist intrigue. Plus it's got James Macavoy in it. Ad and I lost a bit of sleep this week sitting up watching it. Marvelous.
* 20 year (year 10) school reunion tomorrow night, and I've failed miserably to achieve my 'new things' list! So I'm cutting it back, next week, to a new list pre-christmas, one that I can get through, including some of the things still on the list that I want to explore. My friend Ben has managed to find us Miracle Fruit - so watch out for that adventure next week! Also hummus will appear, the IKU sago, and yoghurt maple balls.
Hope you have a wonderful weekend! We're off to the farm, will send a postcard a la Soulemama!
Skip over here to Loobylu for more What's Hot/What's Not and play along!
You know it might sound trite but I've never really given much thought to being a quad. Why would you? Do you give much thought to being the eldest? Or youngest? It kinda is what it is.
And then I had kids.
And this fourth birthday party photo, which actually represents the beginning of memory for me (this day is the first thing I remember) is interesting as a parent. Check out those children. They're all clean. They all have their hair done. No one is poking anyone and everyone looks pretty happy.
How did she do it?
Four homemade birthday cakes. Mum, are they sponges? They look like sponge cakes to me. Individually iced and decorated.
See where I'm going with this?
Check this out:
That's four little babes. Once I used to see Nan looking unrecognizable and four wee babes. Now I see Mum's gorgeous glossy blow-dried hair and a fancy clip. She doesn't look hysterical, she looks pretty happy and relaxed.
The reality of those four babies is, even to me, really, um, a little unreal.
When I think it's all a bit full on I ring my mum. She never ever even implies that I should get a grip and think about how it was for her, a Sydney girl in the country with her parents hours away by car, a dairy-farming husband and four babies.
Hats off, please raise your glass. Mum, you are amazing. And do you by any chance still have that hairclip?
Often I consider myself more a purveyor of the underbelly of parenting than anything else.
I tend to laugh hardest at the stories of the fiascos, the narrowly avoided disasters, the pea up the nose incidents and the time they accidentally left the baby behind etc etc.
But just for once I'm going to be serious.
Just for once I want to say, in all earnestness, that I am lucky to know some amazing mothers and fathers, some of them readers of this little blog.
I know mothers who pour creativity into their kids, they have 'useful' boxes, craft boxes, cereal boxes become robots or ovens or who knows what.
I know mothers who convene music groups, percussion groups, who spend hours every day playing music with their kids, singing, drumming, bell ringing.
I've met people who have built chook houses in their backyards not just for the joy of the fresh eggs but also to share the whole chickens laying in a coop, needing to be fed and looked after, where eggs come from stories with their kids.
I have a very good friend whose parenting I respect enormously but cannot emulate, and she has the most polite children I've ever met.
I know a Dad who just sweats on getting home on Fridays to hang out with his boys all weekend, he takes them camping, down to the beach, keeps them occupied and happy all weekend. That's his downtime.
But it's funny you know, nobody you ever talk to thinks that they're particularly good parents. Well at least not the people I talk to. Mostly they're plagued with doubt and have a sense that they're making it up and stumbling along.
Here's a photo of my favourite parents, ones who perhaps did it the hard way (four all at once: the quad story to follow tomorrow.)
They made childhood wonderful.
Tell a mum or a dad you know how fantastic they are and what a great job they're doing. It's a long time till their kids grow up and start a blog and tell them what fabulous parents they are.
Night Critters by hsinping
I discovered myself out on a limb a few weeks ago when I was talking to a super creative friend - a quilter, crafter, sewer extraordinaire (in fact, note to self, I must photograph some of Jodi's creations for you, my children are often the lucky recipients) - and I discovered she'd never heard of Etsy.
Spoiler: If you're not already wasting precious hours on etsy.com, don't click through this link. Don't embrace it. If you never start, you'll never miss it.
Who am I kidding. This site rocks. It's the creative eBay. The online market for all things handmade. I adore it.
This print above I may have just ordered a few days ago - so excited. I actually first saw it on Loobylu (thanks Claire!) and waited until the artist put another print of it in her shop.
Right now I'm also loving:
I love love love this bag:
Fabric magnets (I am a total sucker for owls)
And check out this fantastic ring (I also have a thing about 'snowflakes' -
particularly in the form of special individual unique children)
Actually this is probably my favourite ring on Etsy right now:
I love just about everything in their shop. Sigh.
Anyway. There's a diversion if you like it! I'm a big folk art fan, type in 'folk art' to the Etsy search and lose a few good hours. Marvellous stuff.
What's Hot in This House:
* We are. Really hot. Could be back in Brisbane!! 36 degrees today according to BOM. Phew! It's 8.30pm and it's still horribly muggy. (So kinda a not-hot, really.)
* Lovely purple toenails (a girls-of-the-house specialty). Should have a photo, sorry, but too busy toenail-painting!
* Winnie the Pooh. The original A A Milne book and a DVD. Both super hot.
* Kindergarten induction. First day today. Hot for Henry, not so hot for Tilly who desperately wanted to stay in the classroom and not have to go meet other lovely parents with boring old Mum.
* My mum. Who spent three days with us this week hanging out with Henry (who is still off preschool) while I went to work.
God, that sounds like something I need right now. A good laugh!
Thanks to everyone who commented, that was excellent fun!
What's not hot
* Mozzies. Although grateful that Sydney mozzies don't carry the nasties of some places!
* Sleepyheads. We're all, the whole family, carrying a bit of a sleep debt.
* Appetites. Looking forward to some nutrition improvement in small children next week!
Hope your HOT list is longer than your NOT list too. Always a good thing.
Head over to Loobylu for more Hot/Not action!
Another quite unattractive food, really.
But oh so yummy. Homemade sausage rolls. With tomato sauce. An Australian kids birthday party is incomplete without them.
My divine godson Sebastian turned 6 a few weeks ago. 6!! Goodness me. He had a spectacular Star Wars themed party complete with R2D2 cupcakes (shoulda photographed them) and a Darth Vader pinata.
Here's Henry in costume:
So, Beef Sausage Rolls. If you've never made them you won't believe how easy they are particularly if you cheat (like me) and use store-bought puff pastry.
adapted from original recipe here
500g beef mince
1 large onion, finely diced
1 large carrot, peeled and grated
2 eggs lightly beaten
big handful parsley, finely chopped
teaspoon dried mixed herbs
salt and pepper
4 sheets frozen puff pastry, partially thawed
1 tablespoon milk
sesame seeds to sprinkle
Preheat over to 220deg and line baking tray with paper.
Combine mince, onion, carrot, egg, parsley, dried herbs, salt and pepper in large bowl and mix well.
Cut pastry sheets in half.
Shape a solid sausage of mince mix along one long edge of pastry. Roll up pastry to enclose mince, brush with milk and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Cut roll into 4. Put onto baking tray.
Bake for 20-25 mins or until puffy, golden and deliciously oozing. Makes 32 if my maths are right and memory serves (I made about double this for the party!)
Serve with tomato sauce and Princess Leia ear-muff hairdo.
I am a mad keen reader.
I read when I should be
- stacking the dishwasher
- cleaning the house
I think if I read a bit less I'd get a bit more creative stuff done (i.e. all the knitting and sewing I haven't done this year).
We have a lot of books in our house. And this year I started a book club, Reading Between the Wines. So. Much. Fun.
This (above) is our latest read which we're meeting to talk about next week. I loved it. Have you read it? I thought it was original and fabulous and clever and excellent. (Note to self: figure out something other than single adjectives to say at bookclub.)Even more exciting is having an enormous pile of exciting books on my bedside table waiting to be read. Every one of these I'm highly anticipating.
I'm a disastrous dork. Irredeemable.
Anyway, this brings me to my exciting FIRST GIVEAWAY!!!
I was listening to local ABC radio in Brisbane last year sometime and heard someone doing a reading of a new book called 'They Call Me Naughty Lola' which is a collection of the best London Review of Books personal ads. I had to pull the car over I was laughing so hard. And then I rushed out and bought multiple copies for christmas presents. I was so enamored of this book that once I'd bought out my local bookshops (3 copies), I ordered a few online as well. And I ordered a couple too many.
I was checking the present box in the lead up to christmas shopping '09, and found them, still wrapped in the Book Depository bag.
I have to keep one, you can open it randomly, read any single ad and giggle; and I'm giving one to you.
All you need to do is to comment on this post and I'll use a random number generator and pick the post number as the winner. I'll ship it to you where ever you are in the world, of course.
Comments close at 8pm AEST on Friday 20th November and I'll post the winner on my Friday night post.
photo: Jim Walmsley
I've had a few thoughtful emails this week asking about how Tilly has coped with the disruption in the house recently.
Pretty well, I think!
We have been careful to always be clear who would be home with her and who would be at the hospital with Henry (Adam and I did shifts) but we were also very lucky to have Ad's folks, Jim and Jen, staying with us for the duration which gave Tilly a bit of extra stability too.
These two photos were taken by Jim sometime when I was on the hospital shift: does she look unhappy to you?! Gorgeous girl. And cute boy in the background too. Bonus.
But I digress.
I had a breakthrough tonight in which Henry finally moved on from jelly to minced meat, hooray hooray! Unspeakably happy. (Jelly is the devil's food and I have nothing good to say about it except *cough* I guess it has single-handedly kept H-Bomb's blood sugar levels up this past week.)
As a complete aside, also, I am celebrating the fact I'm about to hit 11,000 page views on this humble little old blog and I wanted to say THANKS FOR READING!!! Really. And commenting. You KNOW I love that.
You're marvelous, thank you for your company. I feel like I'm sitting down for a cup of tea with you every time I write a post. I love it, and I'm grateful.
Every week Loobylu runs a hot/not ring which bloggers join in with. I've never joined but think I might today!
* Gardenias from my front yard. They make the whole place smell delicious.
* Trampoline. This was the first jump, post surgery, this afternoon. I was very reluctant, but gave in with strict supervision. It was a gentle jump, Henry only lasted a couple of minutes. It was a highlight.
* Roast dinner. Specifically: roast beef and potatoes with sweet potato, pumpkin and tiny spanish onion baked in olive oil with some fresh rosemary. After a number of days of the whole family eating soups, we left Henry to the puree version and the rest of us has a roast. Very very HOT.
* Medicine. Bottles and bottles of various antibiotics and pain medications scripted for a five year old. Looking forward to moving on.
* My de-cluttering effort. Didn't get very far. Planning to revisit this weekend.
* My 20 new things. Really, how many more can I achieve in two short weeks? Never mind, will have a go then maybe re-configure for christmas!
MOZZIES! So not hot. I think the humidity is bringing them out and our backyard is a tad tropical. The kids can't go out unless they have repellent on them!
Hope you all have a wonderful weekend... very exciting - next week I'm doing my first giveaway! Tune in and see!
See you then.