Monday, 19 November 2012

at the dinner table

Our kids are pretty good at eating the food they are given but like most, will also try refusing stuff fairly regularly too. Most of the time they can be talked into giving it a go and this usually starts with Greg saying "don't knock it till you try it".

Tonight as I put Milly's plate in front of her and before anybody had said anything, she took one look at it, looked at her father and said, "I'm knockin' it".


Thursday, 15 November 2012

a nona comes to stay

My mum (Nona) came to stay with us for a week. It was a bit of a surprise visit, she only just came back from France after all, but we were so glad to have her! We went to the beach for the day, she lunched with her sisters, the kids got cuddled and loved that extra little bit more and I got to have my mum here...right here, to talk to and hang out with.

And she did the dishes, and cooked us dinner and folded load after load of washing and even put her own sheets in the machine and turned it on before she left. My goodness she rocks.

Milly refused to give her a kiss or a cuddle at the airport as she was leaving only to have the penny drop that Nona was really gone 5 mins later as we drove away. All of a sudden she burst into tears, big, fat tears and loud, terrifically sad crying. When Greg asked her what was wrong she replied " I just love Nona". 

My poor chicken.

So we consoled her with a spot of roller derby.
Ha! In actual fact the kids didn't really 'get it' but we had fun nonetheless. I reeeally want a gold helmet like one of the teams wore.

Milly is still talking about the beach; today as we drove to the shops she listed again and again and again everyone who was there "Daddy and mum, and Nona and me and Henry ALL went to the beach". She talks about digging sandpits and what we ate and (of course) what we all wore.

Ah, my girl does love a discussion about clothing.

And purple. Sometimes several times a day Milly will declare to me and anyone who will listen, "I just love purple. Purple is my favourite colour".

Henry had a short interview at Bungendore Primary School last week too. He did so well. He was confident and capable and completely at ease. I was so proud. Sitting next to him, watching him as he answered the teacher's questions and happily worked on the tasks she gave him was wonderful. It looks like we're in with a good chance of him fitting in and having a good time. 

We also harvested Greg's celery (and made quite a decent soup with some of the bounty).

And I mowed this lawn for the third weekend in a row. 

This lawn, by the way, that includes a large strip at the side, a weedy, gravelly bit in front of the house as well as another decent little section at the rear.  I now have it down to an under two hour job and only one and 3/4 of a tank of fuel. This is a vast improvement on the all afternoon, 3 tanks of fuel it takes if I leave it for more than two weeks between mows. Those of you without lawns just won't get what I am saying here. Those who have spent some time in the sun pushing a victa around should want to hand me a beer.


Wednesday, 31 October 2012

weekend cricket and rodeo shows

Henry has started playing 'Milo Cricket' on Saturday mornings. It's pretty fun. They don't actually play a game, it's just skills and cricket themed activities. 

It starts at 8am (which is a pretty early start for us) so the boys go down first and Milly and I saunter down to the ground a bit later.

The Bungendore Rodeo was on last weekend too.

Henry took a mate, we had a sausage and an icecream and saw some bucking broncos, barrel races and calf wrangling. The kids lasted pretty much as long as the food did and then demanded to go home.

Oh and these shots are from a National Park just east of here towards Sydney in the Southern Highlands (Bungendore is in an area called the Southern Tablelands in case you were wondering). We had been to a friend's Christening in a little town near the park and checked out the view before heading home. So beautiful. 


Thursday, 11 October 2012

snow surprise

This morning we woke up to find the whole yard covered in snow! And not just a little bit but a proper covering. A lot had melted by the time the kids got up and we took these photos but further up the escarpment at our friend's house it was still as much as 4cm thick at 9am.

It is a preschool day for Henry but having snow to play in is not something that should be missed out on. So we drove up the hill, had a play with friends, got suitably wet, cold and tired and got to preschool by 10.40. Hooray!

Oh and this is how Milly has taken to watching TV lately. 


Saturday, 29 September 2012

My 365 pledge

I have decided to make a 'no buy pledge'. It's a bit of 'thing' in blogland and I have been inspired to do the same. Basically I have decided to not buy any new clothes for me for a year. This may not seem like a big deal but I think it's still worthwhile. 

For me it will be about avoiding spending money on low-quality items that are mass-produced in places where people are poorly paid. It'll be my little protest against all the stuff that is sent to landfill, all the environmental consequences of making it, getting it here and then getting rid of it. It's about making do with less and using my creativity to lessen my consumption.

So I won't buy anything new. 

But I can buy stuff from second-hand shops, I can swap and I can make it myself.

There are some concessions. 

I can buy underwear and tights (that sort of thing) because I don't fancy second-hand undies and I can't make tights.

I can buy a pair of shoes if a pair I have wears out. But I will still try to find them second-hand first.

And I will try to apply the same rule to the kids clothes as much as is possible without them looking like hobos or turning my own house into a sweatshop. 

Greg's opinion on shopping means that this pledge is pretty much his natural state. It would actually be nice if he DID buy something once in a while but he starts hyperventilating as soon as we enter underground mall carparks. Of course there are other places to buy clothes but even small stores engender a 'high alert' response and he either starts looking like a cat backed into a corner by a toddler or the stimulation is too much and he goes all limp.

Anyway, so that's what I'm doing. Not buying new stuff. 


end of an era

The green couch is gone! I'd finally had enough. Greg had re-done the elastic webbing for the third time, one of the zips on the cushions wouldn't do up anymore, there was no fabric left under the base, it was saggy at the front and under the cushions was ripped and torn in several places.

So whilst cruising ebay I found a velvet 3 seater that matches almost perfectly with the two armchairs we already own...for pickup in Canberra?! And whilst we were carrying it out the door I made an offer on the huge red rug under the dining table (it was an estate sale) and she sold me that too.

Hooray, new loungeroom! For 120 bucks!

The rug is quite worn in places but it's huge and I think it has a certain faded glory thing going on. The couch is not my perfect pick but the big white cushiony one of my dreams is not really a practical choice till the kids are older anyway.

So whatever, it's not ripped and it's not saggy. Nice.


Monday, 24 September 2012

snow day!

We have been meaning to get to the snow all winter but colds and commitments have kept us away...till last weekend. We finally borrowed some toboggans, unpacked the snow suits and got there!

Along the way we spotted this little guy munching right by the side of the road. He waddled away from us before we could get too close but it was worth pulling over and getting out just to see his bum wiggle up the hill.

We stopped first at a spot just before Perisher. It turned out to be a slog getting over heath, melted snow and knee-deep drifts to get to a slope suitable for tobogganing. By the time we got there both kids had filled their boots with snow, Henry had dunked his gloves in water and Greg and I were pretty worn out.

I had to hand over one of my socks to placate a nearly hysterical Henry once the snow melted in his boot, but that's all in a day's work. I ended up having to relinquish my gloves for much the same reason later on too.


But energy was found for quite a few rides down the slope, plenty of snow angels and a decent snowball fight.

At Perisher later on for some hot chips and a beer.

We actually suited up again after this and had a few more slides down the proper toboggan slope. I was really bad at steering and managed to lose both kids over the side (face-plant into the snow at speed) each time. Luckily Greg was better and they ended up agreeing that on the whole tobogganing was a fun thing to do.

It was 23 degrees in Bungendore and three hours later, we're in snow! So much fun.

A day after and I am washing, washing, washing.


Friday, 14 September 2012

Sunday, 9 September 2012

dogs, hailstones and broccoli

Spring is finally making an appearance around here. Bungendore is coming alive with daffodils and freesias and cherry blossoms. Our garden seems to have quite a lot of each, which is lovely. 

But there has been a few last ditch winter freezy bits to keep us on our toes (and in our warm coats).

The good news is that Greg's broccoli (or it might be broccolini, he can't remember) has finally got to picking stage and it is so good! The best tasting and most tender broccoli ever. And what better way to share it than in our family favourite broccoli pasta - yum!

Our lovely neighbours go away every now and then and we feed their pups for them. The kids love the dogs and love looking after them so this weekend we asked if we could take them for a walk as well. Rizzo (the Border Collie) is still pretty crazy (she's not even 1 yet) and pretty useless on the lead so they mostly fought over who could hold Charlie. We also took the kites. 

I love seeing the kids having so much fun with the dogs. We'd love to get a pup one day and Henry is so keen but we will wait till Velcro passes on and till we own our own house. Renting with a dog is just too difficult. Once upon a time I would have turned my nose up at anything smaller than a beagle but watching Rizzo tear around the yard next door, seeing the fence get built and re-built higher and higher, the jumping up and the crazy barking, and the fact that Henry goes on and on about wanting the "smallest dog there is" means that my opinion has changed. It wouldn't be a chihuahua (despite what Henry might say) but if a dog ever becomes part of the family, as much as I really do love Rizzo (and she is so pretty) it will be smaller, and quieter....and we still need to convince Greg.


Thursday, 30 August 2012

So matchy matchy

We have started to all dress alike. Last weekend we went out for a walk and the boys turned up ready to go in completely the same outfit. It was apparently unintentional. They even had matching denim shirts on under their matching army green go with their matching jeans and Blundstone boots.


Milly and I ended up matching too but it was later and I haven't actually had the guts to leave the house in our matching shirts yet (I had extra fabric after finishing my top so made a similar one for her).