Saturday, 30 June 2012


I have to start this by braggin' on the Big Fella a little.  He was up all day yesterday turning over the soon-to-be front garden soil, smoothing out the driveway and planting grass seed, and doing all kinds of physically exhausting things.  We then visited some friends briefly and came home to a phone call requesting he go to work... in 1 and a half hours!

So he worked overnight then finished our little project this morning, after taking the Little Big Fella up the road for breakfast and letting me have a sleep-in.  He has worked his butt off these few days (the day before he cleaned out and rearranged the back shed and under the house)!  Ain't no way you could call this man lazy!!!

So!  What has our little project been I hear you ask (although I'm pretty sure most of you have actually guessed and just want me to shut up and show you the pictures)?  Remember what the front of our place looked like when we first moved in?  Here's a reminder:

See those stones (under the weeds) in the middle of the driveway?  Well, we took the weeds out then the Little Big Fella decided that it would be fun to run all over them... every day and spread them all over the place.  This became annoying... very quickly!

So we had no gardens and we had those very annoying conifers on each side.

As well as the Great Pandanas Saga along the back fence, we also started building a little garden using some rocks we found up the road.

We re-shaped the garden edge after that photo and sprayed the grass with Round-Up (doesn't that just make us sound like farmers or something???).

So yesterday, as I mentioned before, the Big Fella turned over the dead grass.  We'd already removed the stones from the driveway and turned it over but the Big Fella smoothed it all out again (seeing that the puppies had been digging in it) and sowed some grass seeds.  We're hoping if we keep it fairly wet the puppies won't be interested in digging there for now.

And yesterday afternoon (and again this morning actually) we visited some friends, who are kind of the local unofficial nursery, and gathered some plants.  Over night (with an awful lot of effort from the Big Fella) we have an InstaGarden!!!  Check it out!

For those who are interested, on the left is a nighttime jasmine, then a flowering ginger, a foxtail palm and another flowering ginger.
And here they are from the other side of the fence :-)
Here's the garden on the other side of the front yard

And from inside the fence.  Some of these will grow quite tall, some will become bushes and some will stay short, so it should be a nice, balanced garden in the end.

A closer look at the plants

And in the middle of that garden bed

And the other end

Here's my amazing (exhausted) hubby, and my cutie son with Choccie (the female pup)
Now don't go thinking that's all!!!  We've been working hard on that back garden so we had to put something in there!!! :-)

These are our banana palms (yay!)

In the back corner is some bracken fern (I think) that we haven't decided what to do with so it's just been potted.  And in the pot 3rd from the front is an avocado tree!  We don't know where we'll put that either so it's "maturing" while we work it out :-)  The other pots are herbs and the plant in the foreground is a Basil, which has started going to seed.

The two trees are paw paw (papaya) and the pots all have herbs.
So there you go!  We grew a garden overnight... kind of.  One of the puppies has already dug up a bromeliad and had a good chew of it so we'll see how well everything survives puppies and transplanting.  Either way, it's nice to not have a bare, ugly yard now, and space to grow more food :-D

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Disconnected ramblings

You know, I don't really feel like writing a blog post tonight.  I'm feeling cranky and frustrated and annoyed!  Doesn't make for particularly interesting reading.

I should be in bed but there's no chance I'll go to sleep yet.  My body would really like 11pm to 7:30am as sleep time, but that really isn't going to happen with an early riser toddler and a morning person husband.

We watched "P.S. I love you" this evening.  I know, it's a pretty old movie.  But I hadn't seen it.  There were tears all over the place in this house.  But lots of laughing too.  It was a beautifully balanced movie in that way.

My son just did a big snort in his sleep!  Just like his Daddy!!!  When we first got married (yep, I'm one of those seriously old-fashioned people who didn't live with my hubby until we got married, AND... didn't have sex either!  Eeek! ;-)), I used to giggle through the night because the Big Fella would start snoring softly, then get louder and louder until he'd startle himself to half-wakefulness with a big snort!  I'd stay awake just to hear it and have a giggle to myself.

The sun finally appeared today.  It's been absent for about a week and I was hanging for some golden rays in my day.

Okay, enough rambling.  I'm off to bed in the hope that tomorrow will be better.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Too much?

Check out our fruit basket!!!

I LOVE fruit and veges!  Which is a good thing given that I'm attempting to consume 10 serves a day!!!

I'd hoped to make some soup today (the weather has been cold and disgusting and perfectly soupy) but didn't get to it.

The Little Big Fella and I did a workout this morning (he tried a couple of things then tried to get me to play with him while I was exercising - it was slightly amusing) then had a big kick of the blow-up soccer ball in the hallway.  The Big Fella is really keen to get the Little Big Fella into soccer this next term... well, keen for me to get him into it.

After a shower, we ended up going to the park to play.  I wore my gumboots (galoshes, wellingtons) because I'm sick of getting wet, muddy feet at the moment.

We had lunch then cleaned up a bit outside.  The dogs have been digging holes and there was dirt and mud everywhere, especially in the driveway, and it was all bugging me.  I also did some laundry, hanging two loads under the house and one on the line, even though I'm pretty sure it'll rain overnight.  I'm sick of having dirty laundry around the place - I'd much rather it hanging and getting wet again :-D

The Big Fella got home a bit after that and I tried to do a few things on the phone while he distracted our son.  I'm sure I've asked this question before, but why do kids insist on talking to you in their loudest voice when you're trying to talk on the phone???  I know, they want attention but sheesh!

I was going to call Centrelink but they said the wait would be around 90 minutes!!!  Yeah, that didn't happen!

And I cleared my e-mail box of its 100-ish e-mails, including unsubscribing from a bunch of things :-D

The Big Fella requested pizza (from the next town - and I'd have to go because he'd had a couple of beers) at 4pm but then fell asleep on the couch before I was ready to go.  So the Little Big Fella helped me make some gravy, cook some veges in it and then warm some leftover roast lamb in it too.  Num num!

Both the Fellas were in bed by about quarter past 7 so I've been on the computer reading other peoples' weight loss stories and feeling encouraged that I'm doing pretty well for my first week.

The Big Fella will be home for the next 5 days (unless he gets called in for work, which is possible on 1 or 2 days) so we'll be working in the yard and doing all kinds of bits and pieces.  Prepare for some stories of capering and hilarity (but hopefully not including bogging or falling in skips)!

Monday, 25 June 2012

Shopping is stressful!

We were invited to a playdate this morning and, even though it was outside and cold, we had a great time!  The Little Big Fella loved the dogs and chooks and played really nicely with the other kids.  And I really enjoyed hanging out with the other mums and talking about "stuff", walking around the garden (especially the vege garden) and just relaxing.  It was good!

This afternoon though...

I'm sure I've mentioned before that since we've moved here doing the food shopping with the Little Big Fella has been chaotic.  He wants to run around the store and basically behave badly the whole time.

It started at the post office.  Our post office closed at the start of the month so now we collect our mail from the next town.  I decided to collect the mail before doing the food shopping in case there was a long line.  There was a line and the Little Big Fella decided that he didn't want to listen to Mummy but wanted to run around the store and look at things and touch them.

After about a minute of this I picked him up and made him stay with me until we collected our mail.

He's heavy.

And squirmy.

And noisy and complaining.

When the mail arrives there's heaps of it!  Literally!  A couple of boxes, a couple of satchels and a bag full of letters.  We only collected the mail last Wednesday!  Guess that's what happens when you order stuff online :-D

The Big Fella had ordered some stuff for reloading bullets (he's quite enjoying the local gun range but ammo is a bit spensy so he's making his own).

And I'd ordered collars for the puppies and some stuff from Fly Lady.  I have a big feather duster that actually collects dust instead of just spreading it around the place!  And a water bottle that doesn't make everything around it wet through condensation!  (I know, it's the small things that amuse me.)

OH!  And I got an IKEA catalogue, which I'm yet to peruse but am so looking forward to :-D

When we left the post office it was raining so I decided to put the mail in the shopping trolley and just do the food shopping.

The Little Big Fella decided he'd sit in the trolley, which is fine with me because then he's not running and touching stuff.

It lasted for 3 aisles.

We got through to the end of the store and were about to collect our cold items before checking out when the Little Big Fella starts trying to go into the staff area.  Turns out he thought it was the loo.  So we leave the trolley and run through the store to the public toilets outside (me crossing everything in the hope that we'd make it in time!).  Thankfully, we made it!

Back into the supermarket to finish our shopping and the Little Big Fella was not listening and nearly ran into several people then backed into our trolley and bumped his head.  Sigh.

We eventually made it through the checkout and out to the car.  It was starting to rain so I got the Little Big Fella to jump up into his seat while I put the shopping in the car.  I took the trolley back, jumped in my seat, put my seatbelt on and was about to drive away when I realised I hadn't put his seatbelt on.

By this time it's raining.

I get out and run around the car, open his door and do him up then run back around to my seat without getting too wet.

As we're driving along the highway back to home I see something in my peripheral vision, just above my head.  I look up, already knowing what I'll see.  Yep, it's a spider.

Now, I'm driving at 100 along the highway so I have to make an important decision (after a mini moment of freaking out that there's a spider above my head).

Do I pull over or risk that I can squish the little bugger first time without it dropping onto me, causing panic and probably ending with me driving us off the road?

I decide to take the risk...

And I got him first time!!! :-D

You thought it was going to be just like in those old AAMI ads right?  The spider drops down on the girl's lap and she freaks and drives into a lake?  Nope!  Not today!  Today I am victorious!  Ha ha spider!  Take that!!!

(Can you tell I'm a little tired?)

We make it home safely and then I have the horrible job of putting everything away.  There are things about our kitchen that are not working for me yet and they all come to the fore when I unpack the shopping.

So after a crappy shopping trip I get to come home and fight to put everything where it goes.  I've also missed my workout for the day and I know I'm not going to fit it in anywhere else.  And I missed my afternoon snack so I'm just a tad cranky.

Thankfully Daddy was aware of what was happening and took the nagging little toddler into the office to watch the end of a movie with him, giving Mummy a chance to take her cranky pants off :-)

This evening I had the chance to talk to my Nanna too.  I'd loaded Skype on their computer when we were visiting earlier this month but she hadn't had a chance to try it yet.  Unfortunately it didn't work but we ended up having a chat on the phone anyway, which was great!  I miss her.

And just after the Big Fella went to work his mum Skyped us too.  So I've had some great family chats tonight.

But, once again, it is time for bed.  Goodnight!  And thanks so much for reading my blatherings :-)

Making a pinboard and FYM

I was thinking last night (when I should have been asleep) that I'd like to make sure the Little Big Fella has half an understanding of letters and numbers before he goes to kindy next year.  So I'm thinking we'll focus on one letter or number each day during our craft/learning time (which hasn't happened much but I want to make it a priority).

So I thought having a pinboard to put his current art/learning works on would be a good idea.

I had an old mirror frame that broke during our first big wind in our last town. I'd previously painted the back board and put little photos of my friends and family on it but I thought it was time for a change.

I had bought a roll of cork from the local cheap shop but when I unrolled it, I discovered it was very thin so I cut out a bit of a moving box (smaller than the frame backing) so that when we put pins in they have a bit more depth to hang onto.

So I laid the cork down, then the cardboard, then the backing sheet and carefully pulled the cork tight (turns out cheap cork is very thin and breaks easily), securing it with a staple gun.

I stapled all the way around, folding the corners in nicely.

Unfortunately when I went to put it back in the frame, the cork folds on the corners made it too tight to fit!!!  Gah!  So I had to take the corner staples out, remove the extra layers from the corner folds (just tearing them out worked), and re-staple.  Ta da!  With a little squishing it fit in nicely!

So now I have a nice frame for hanging my son's work on.  Hopefully it will help us review what he's learning... we'll see.

The other thing happening at the moment is that I'm starting the Fit Yummy Mummy lifestyle change tomorrow.  I first heard about it a few months back from Angela at Grocery Shrink (a blog I follow).  The thing that really caught my attention was the workouts, which are designed to fit into about 15 minutes a day - great for busy mums!

I didn't do anything about it at the time because I wanted to look into it a bit more and then didn't get around to it.  I'm not a big one for diets (probably partly because I never needed to worry about my body until I got married, and then I didn't really care anyway).  I don't believe in shortcuts.  It's pretty simple, energy in minus energy out equals how your body is.

Anyway, I looked into it a bit more and decided that I would bite the bullet and change the way I eat and move.

I got quite discouraged this afternoon though because I was trying to plan my meals and snacks for the coming week.  The main focus of the food side of things is to eat every few hours, starting no more than an hour after you wake up.  Each time you eat you have a serve of protein, two serves of fruit &/or vegetables and a small amount of healthy fat.  You can also add "whole" complex carbohydrates, preferably only in the mornings.

I have a list of good proteins and so on and I thought I'd just write down a protein and some fruit and or veg.  Sounds easy right?


As I sat (for a ridiculously long time) I realised that I love yummy food!  The thought of just protein, fruit and vegetables for the rest of my life was entirely depressing!  When I meal plan, I normally like to include a range of foods, various nationalities, and try something new every couple of weeks.  And if I can't imagine eating the way I thought I should, where would I end up with this lifestyle change?

Being so discouraged I became an unpleasant person to be around.  I know!  Some of you can't imagine it!  But my son definitely can!!! :-D

A while later I started looking more at the info I had, at Angela's website, and the Fit Yummy Mummy support site and found some more info that removed the stress about it all.  Basically, you start your meal plan with the produce, then the protein, then use up the rest of your daily calories with the other stuff (making good choices along the way, but also allowing for "life" to happen).

Amazingly, I felt much better :-D  This seemed more do-able.

So I now have my meals planned for next week (including all my snacks) and I have a workout plan ready to go.  I have taken a before photo but I'm too embarrassed to share it (maybe in a month when I have a comparison for you).  And I've done a vision board (pictures and words to encourage me) and made it my desktop picture on my computer.

I guess I'll let you know how it all goes (especially if I have some crazy moments along the way!).  See you on the other side!!!

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Indoors and disorganised

I'm so tired but I wanted to write a post first because I feel like I've been missing this part of my life lately, probably because it's part journal for me.

Today was wet and cold and we spent pretty much the whole day indoors.  That does not happen with the Little Big Fella!  But even he spent ages watching movies in his pj's!

By mid-afternoon though... he had energy to burn!  It started with playing "kicking" in the hallway with Daddy and the blow-up soccer ball (might need to get him into soccer next term).

Daddy had the brilliant idea of attacking Mummy and tickling her.  This, of course, ends in tears after a while (yes, I'm rolling my eyes).

The Little Big Fella was introduced to the deliciousness that is fruit dipped in hazelnut/chocolate spread!!!  He got it all over his face and pj's and had the biggest smile about it :-D

And this evening the Little Big Fella and I sat on the couch after dinner to watch "Babe" (the Big Fella's at work).  He had cold feet so we put the blanket on him and he lay down and fell asleep, snoring just like Daddy does on the couch :-)  It was kind of sweet.

I'm feeling the desperate need to get a few more things organised around here.

I need to set up a routine that works for us because the lack of it is making some things really tricky.  Eating in particular.  The Little Big Fella asks for "something to eat" all the time so we need to at least set regular eating times.

The office is driving me nuts too.  The final 9 moving boxes are sitting in here waiting to be dealt with and getting in the way of this room being useful.

Right-o!  There's probably more to say but I'm going to bed because my head is full and tired.  (I'm hoping this post makes sense...)

Thursday, 21 June 2012

The pandanus is gone!

I've been finding it really hard to get to the computer these past few days thus the lack of posts.  Sorry!  :-)

Today we tackled the last part of our pandanus patch and now we have a garden bed!!!  (Here's the first and second parts of this story.)

So, here's what we started with:

And here's stage 2:

And here's where we got to today!

Thankfully it wasn't as big a task as the other two days, although the digging and forking the ground took quite a bit of effort!

The Big Fella decided to try to level the ground out a little when we were done.  We'd found a couple of heavy 4x4 wood pieces that we assume had been used as garden edging.  I'm pretty sure they're hardwood because they're heavy buggers!

Anyway, the Big Fella decided to tie a rope to it and drag it along the new garden bed to even it out a little.  He dragged it back and forth a couple of times but it wasn't heavy enough to do a lot.

So he tried to convince the Little Big Fella to sit on it while he dragged it but couldn't convince him (smart kid that one!).

What to do???

Get me on it of course!

So I sat on this log while the Big Fella dragged it.  Honestly, it would have made the funniest video you've ever seen but we didn't think of that at the time (sorry).

I'm bumping along on my butt, the Big Fella is pulling with all his might, and then (surprise, surprise) I fall off!  It was so funny (only because it didn't hurt)!

We have another go and I fall of the log the other way (I'm not even sure how that was possible to be honest)!

But it was effective!  We only had to rake out the dirt in a few places to even it all up and now we have the basis of a garden bed.

The plan is to add some local organic material (that would be horse or cow manure from up the road) and mix it in then get those banana palms in!!!


We might even extend the bed to the fence and put in paw paw (papaya), passionfruit and whatever other fruit and vegetables we feel like planting :-D

So there's a couple of happy (tired) campers at our place today.

The Big Fella also rigged up a brazier from a washing machine drum yesterday and tried to make a smoke house from a deep freezer today (it got a bit hot). Living in a small town with an unregulated tip is pretty cool :-D

Anyway, time to get off the computer and go spend some time with my hubby in front of a fire!

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Follow the instructions!!!

I was watering my herbs this morning and trying to think of something slightly interesting for dinner.  Looking at the parsley got me thinking I'd like to do some kind of sauce with parsley over chicken, and some veges on the side.

I pulled the chicken out to defrost and looked in our Stephanie Alexander cookbook.  Parsley, garlic and cream sauce... sounds perfect!  And I even had some cream in the fridge (yes, that is unusual around here).

So this afternoon I decided to pre-prep dinner.  I cut up the veges and put them in the Tupperware jug in the fridge so they could just go straight in the microwave.

Then I started the sauce.

Heated the garlic.  No worries.

Slipped the garlic from its skin.  Surprisingly, no worries.

Heated the cream with the garlic in it.  No worries.

Add the parsley and blend in small batches... well, I'd halved the recipe.  Surely this is a small batch?  Put the lid on the blender.  A quick pulse and...


Cream and parsley and garlic all over the kitchen!  Ew!

It was over the benchtop, the walls, the cupboards.

All over the coffee machine.

All over each banana.

All over the bag of mandarins.

All over the citrus and avocado.


I guess the lesson from this is to always follow the instructions :-D

Saturday, 16 June 2012

The continuing pandanus saga

You may remember a bit over a week ago we started pulling out the pandanus plants in the backyard?  You know... the day I got bogged and then fell in the skip (thank you for that extra laugh, I know you needed it!).  Well this morning the Big Fella decided it was time to try to pull the rest of the roots and such out (now that we have our gardening tools back - yay!).

Here's what it looked like when we started cutting it down:

And after we'd cut it all down and left it to dry out a bit:

So we started with burning off the dry bits of the one on the far right (so that we could see the root system).  Then hosed it to stop the fire.  The Big Fella then started hacking into the root system and trying to remove it.  He had his crowbar and saw and shovels out, but the plant is actually quite soft and he was having a really hard time of it.

Then came the brilliant idea of looping some chain in and around the plant, and hooking it up to the Rodeo via a snatch strap!  That would make it heaps easier!

After the first attempt the chain pretty much cut through the roots it was tied around.  Attempt two pulled the root ball out (with a few tugs and some tyre tracks in the grass) and we were very pleased with ourselves.

We pulled out the rest of the roots then moved on to the biggest - the one in the centre.

After the successful use of the ute and snatch strap, the Big Fella decided to go straight to that idea and hooked it all up.  A couple of pulls and I thought it looked like it was just going to go through the top of the plant, not grab it properly so it could pull it all out.

Just after that thought occurred, the chain snapped!

Thankfully it just went under the car and didn't seem to do any damage.

We unhooked the chain from the plant and saw that it had pulled through some of the roots so decided to try again.

You guessed it!  The chain snapped again!

Not willing to give up, the Big Fella decided to have another go but this time when the chain snapped it swung up and hit the back of the tray and took out the number plate and the little lights that illuminate it at night.

We decided not to continue with the ute at that stage.

Here's the dint in the tray after the Big Fella had pushed the number plate back in place (can you see that little bit of yellow paint under the stick?  That's from the shackle at the other end of the snatch strap!):

We decided to do another burn and get rid of the dry material so that we could see the roots properly.  After the burn and hosing we did a bit of hacking and the Big Fella used his crow bar to pull out a little sleeper log that we discovered (I'm guessing that didn't help our cause earlier).

Perhaps stupidly we decided to have another go with the snatch strap.  The Big Fella found a bigger chain and hooked it through the root ball a bit better. After several attempts it finally sounded like it was moving and then... success!  It was out!  Yay!!!!!

We were both knackered by this time so we did a little clean up and decided to leave the rest for tomorrow... or another day ;-)

After a little rest (and a chat on Skype to my mum) we decided we needed to do some baking.  A week or so ago the Big Fella heard about red velvet cake and wanted to have a go.  So I got the ingredients then he didn't want to make it.  So today we got around to it.  It didn't have enough red so we added some more :-D

Here's the Little Big Fella enjoying the fruits of our labour:

And the Big Fella tried some too (which is weird because he doesn't normally like cake much).  Notice the spot on the side of his mouth?  He didn't and I left it there for about an hour before I mentioned it (tee hee hee).

And here's the end result with some orange cream cheese icing.  The recipe had us cook it in two round tins and then we were supposed to stack them on top of each other with a layer of icing in between.  We decided to make it as two separate cakes so the Big Fella could take one to work and we could have one at home.  I think it looks better than the photo shows.  I was surprised that it didn't taste more chocolate-y given that it's basically a chocolate cake with red colouring.  It was yummy though :-D


Well, the baking didn't end there.  The Big Fella asked me to make some scones using the leftover buttermilk.  I did a bad job of them though!  Not enough liquid so I over mixed them and they came out pretty tough.  Oh well! I guess I'll have to try again tomorrow :-D

And then we'd decided to make pies for dinner using some leftover beef roast that the Big Fella put through the mincer, mixed with some veges and leftover gravy. So I made the pastry and rolled it out and didn't think it was that great.  They turned out yummy enough though - especially because the Big Fella made the filling quite delicious :-D

And then (because the day wasn't full enough already), the Big Fella went to work and the Little Big Fella and I went to our first local footy match.  We rugged right up because it's starting to get a bit chilly around here at night (down to about 5 degrees C).  He loved it!  To start with he wasn't interested in anyone or anything else - he just wanted to sit down and watch the match.  He was fully engrossed in it!

At half time he kind of realised that his friends were there and they had lollies so we went and bought one for him.  We ended up finding our next door neighbours and the people who puppy-sat for us and spent the 2nd half of the game with them.

Besides being cold and needing our beanies, it was a good game!  Our local guys played against the guys from the next town so there was some obvious rivalry in it.  And our boys played well!  There was one young fella who really booked it a few times and raced down the field!  It was very exciting :-)

About 7 minutes before the end of the game the Little Big Fella started to get seriously tired so I bundled him onto my lap and hugged him and rocked him.  When the game was over I had to carry him to the car - he was so tired!  He was asleep by the time we got through the 3 minute drive home!

But then the puppies got all excited about us being home and woke him up a bit.  They ended up coming inside and jumping all over the place and finished up on his bed with him.  They definitely won't like it when they have to go out when I go to bed, but I guess them's the breaks when you're a dog!

So there goes another big, productive, fun day!

I'm finding it amazing that we're busier and much more social in this little town than we were before in a larger town.  I think it has a fair bit to do with living with the Big Fella again, but I think it's also the flavour of this place too.  On the one hand there's not much to do, but people have created a great community atmosphere and everyone joins in with what others are doing.  I love it!  It feels like the way community ought to be to me.  Everyone living life together and helping one another through whatever happens.

Friday, 15 June 2012

A day at home

Yay!  I feel like it's been forever but I finally had a day at home with no particular stress to do anything!  Of course, being a list person I had my own list, but there was no stress to do it all, or even any of it if the day turned out that way :-)

The Big Fella started work at 9 or 10 this morning (I actually can't remember which!) so my day started with breakfast for the three of us and ironing shirts.

I got the washing that's been sitting in baskets in the dining room folded and put away, a new load on the line and yesterday's load off and away.

I changed the Little Big Fella's sheets (he's trialing those flanny ones tonight mum).

I did the dishes and cleaned up the kitchen, which hasn't been tidy since we got home.

I got to epilate (kind of a combo between waxing and electric shaving) and wash my hair.

All the bins got emptied and the wheelie bin got washed out.

I've vacuumed the house.

I pulled a lot of weeds out of the lawn.

I did the first part of a craft project with the Little Big Fella (hopefully we'll finish it tomorrow).

And the little girl from next door came over to have a play... and stayed all afternoon :-)  It was great!  She and the Little Big Fella played really well together (although the dogs had had enough by the end of the day and Frankie growled any time the Little Big Fella came close enough to pat him), her mum had a chance to prep the house for visitors, and I spent time outside and just hanging around relaxing.

I really like my neighbours.  They're lovely and easy to get along with and they contribute to the community.  And a couple of times a week we'll have a chat over the fence that might turn into half an hour... or an hour and a half :-D  Really, we should just grab a cuppa and sit on a comfy couch though!

For the second night in a row the Little Big Fella has happily eaten his vegetables.  Our new secret is gravy!  He never used to like it but has suddenly decided he does.  And he even ate carrots, which used to make him gag every time.  Yay for the changing tastes of toddlers!

I got to sit down with my hubby tonight and have a scotch and watch some footy.  I love spending time with him - he's great company and can be immensely entertaining, even when doing something fairly mundane.

And I got to speak with my best friend on the phone tonight.  Although she wasn't having a great day, it was good to catch up a little.

So there you go!  A day in the life of this housewife (who is currently feeling happy with her achievements for the day and the relationships in her life).

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

What a week!

Sorry I've been so absent - it's been a tad busy around here!

We decided that we needed to go back to our old town to collect the rest of our belongings (they'd been stored with my grandparents but they'd mentioned they wanted the space back).  The Big Fella had days off and, amazingly, wasn't called in to work them, so he got to come too!  I was so grateful for that because we ended up towing a big, heavy car trailer and I've never towed before so I was a little nervous about the possibility.

But before we left, we had a playdate last Monday, a luncheon/cent sale on Tuesday, I can't remember what happened Wednesday, Thursday or Friday but I know we were busy (shopping was probably included somewhere there), Saturday we had the puppies micro-chipped and registered with council, and Sunday we were busy preparing to travel and having a mini playdate with friends who ended up feeding and playing with our puppies while we were away.  Oh!  And we visited (for a few hours) the people whose trailer we were borrowing.  (Who said country living is quiet and dull???)

I feel like I've been running around, almost headless chicken-ish, for a week!

Anyway, we ended up leaving at 3am on Monday to drive to the "old" town.  We'd expected a whole lot of roadworks and that the trip would take at least 9 hours.  We got there at 9:30am!  Yay!  It was such an easy trip (says she who slept for a couple of hours of it)!

Unfortunately we just missed my Nanna by about 15 minutes (she had to travel to get a medical procedure done) but we got to spend several hours with my Poppy, and the Big Fella got the car and trailer packed before lunch!  It was great!

The Big Fella stayed with Poppy for the afternoon and had a little chill-out time (they're really good friends).  The Little Big Fella and I went shopping at Aldi and Bunnings.  Happy sigh!  I love Aldi and I love Bunnings and I seriously miss them both!  Because the car was already packed, and the trailer was still at Poppy's I had to be so restrained with my shopping!  I mostly wanted to buy plants and things for our gardens because our yard is so dull and empty.  But I guess I'll have to do a purpose trip or two to a Bunnings closer to home over the next few months.  Bummer :-D

After shopping we went to my sister's place.  I can't believe how big and adorable my nephews have gotten in 5 or 6 weeks!!!  Especially the youngest - he has gotten even more good-looking!  I didn't know that was even possible!

I felt like I didn't get to spend any real time with them though because I had to run out and check in at our accommodation, collect the Big Fella and Poppy, and then go get the pizzas for us all to share for dinner.  An hour or so later I was back at my sister's eating with everyone.

Dinner was rather entertaining.

My oldest nephew decided that fake laughing was the best thing for the night and kept it up for about 15 minutes or so.  The fake laughing turned into real laughing several times, and the other two boys joined in throughout.

Have you ever watched kids laughing?  Fake or real you can't help but smile.

And my youngest nephew, who just recently turned 1, was watching the other two fake laughing and obviously decided it looked like fun so he joined in with his big cheesey grinny laugh.  It was pure, lovely, entertaining fun.

Until we all got sick of it and my brother-in-law told my oldest nephew to stop :-)

We left fairly early because we had to take Poppy home and the Little Big Fella was exhausted by this stage (he did wake up about 2:30am after all) and was getting a bit out of control.  Unsurprisingly, he was asleep before we got to our accommodation.

The next morning we had breakfast with Poppy and a little bit of hang-out time then headed back home.  The drive home was long (the roadworks were back on at several places) but good.  The Little Big Fella was a terrible traveller when he was young but he has been so good!  We were so proud of him and so impressed with the changes in him and how much he's grown up already.

When we got home the people who fed and played with the puppies came by (we didn't know when we'd be home so we'd arranged for them to do last night as well, just in case).  We had a good little chat and the kids had a bit of a play.  We're definitely going to need to set up a playdate soon!

And today has been full-on with shopping, cooking, playgroup, washing, putting stuff away and State of Origin (that big footy game - there's 3 of them and this is game 2).


Today is my Dad's birthday so I got to talk to him on the phone for a little while too.  I'll tell you a bit more about him in another post in the near future because he deserves more than a passing mention :-)

So, unsurprisingly I guess, I'm a little tired.  I'm hoping to be awake enough to talk to my best friend tonight... it might be a shorter than normal conversation :-s

Thanks for keeping with me despite my week-long blogging absence!

Monday, 4 June 2012

I wonder if I'd go to jail...

It's cold tonight.  Probably going to get down to 4 or 5 degrees overnight.

We put the puppies out to bed at about 9:30 and made sure they had plenty of blankets and sleeping space (it appears Frankie has kicked Choccie out of the doghouse so I made sure she had a nice warm blanket to tuck into).

They barked and barked and barked.

I went out and put them back to bed (after a few stern words).

The Big Fella fell asleep and I was just nodding off when I hear a whole bunch of yelping!  I raced out of bed, dragging my slippers and a jumper on, and raced outside to see what was happening.

The two pups joyfully ran around to greet me while the dogs over the back fence bark at me because they think I've been hurting the pups.

Insert internal expletives.

I take the puppies back to bed and say goodnight.

Just about to fall asleep again when the yelping begins again.


I'm sure there's a conspiracy to stop me getting proper sleep!

I've started to wonder if the yelping is Frankie deciding that the dog house, with its blanket, AND the other blanket are his, therefore attacking Choccie so she has nowhere to sleep and is wandering around barking to keep herself warm or something.

I go into the shed and collect a large cardboard box, followed by two joyful little (not sleeping) puppies.  I take the box around to the sleeping space and put the blanket in (the box is sideways like a kennel).

Frankie decides they are both his.

I hold Choccie back and tell Frankie to go to bed.  He chooses the doghouse.  I put Choccie in the box and Frankie tries to have a little go at her.  I growl at Frankie and put him back in the doghouse then pat both dogs in their respective sleeping places.

I go back upstairs and realise that I am now completely awake so I do my online banking and write this post.

If the dogs bark again, I'd consider serious injury.  Can't you tell by the way I'm writing this post that I am not in my normal state of mind???  I wonder if I'd get off on a temporary insanity plea???

Note:  For those of you who might be worried, I wouldn't really hurt the dogs.  I am venting my frustration with an attempt at mild humour.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Slippery, squelchy, mucky mud!

We decided to tackle the huge mess of pandanus along the back fence today.  Here's a reminder of what it looked like when we moved in:

That's it on the right of the photo.  Huge, messy and probably a snake haven.

So the Big Fella borrowed a machete and a cane knife and we attacked!

The last photo is how it is right now.  We've sprayed some poison and will let them dry out for a few days/weeks then burn what we can and dig the rest out.

The Big Fella did most of the chopping, although the Little Big Fella and I helped a bit at the start.  But then our job was to drive it all to the tip (rubbish dump for the non-Australians).

No probs!

First trip to the tip went smoothly.  Got everything out and into the big skip/dumpster and all is well.

On the way back I decided to go and check/collect some more rocks for the garden.  I pulled off the side of the road and then remembered... it rained last night!  Not just a little, but a lot!  The side of the road was a slippery, squelchy, muddy mess and I'd just driven into it!!!

Yep!  I was bogged!

First I attempted to drive out.  No good!

I got out of the car and walked around, trying to see if I could somehow drive myself out.  (Of course, I'd left my phone at home and the Big Fella wouldn't have heard his ring anyway because it was inside.)  I grabbed a couple of hand-sized rocks and jammed them under the tyres to attempt to provide traction.

Second attempt to drive out.  No good!

There were some fallen/chopped branches on the side of the road with lots of little leaves and twig-ends so I thought I'd put them under the tyres and see if that gave more traction.

Third attempt to drive out.  No good!

I was in the process of collecting more branches when a lovely couple drove by and stopped to see if I was okay.  I explained my predicament and they attempted to help me out.

While they were trying to help, another lovely couple was walking by.  He suggested that the first couple drive him to his place where he would grab his 4WD and snatch strap and come back and pull me out.

So off they went.

By this time I was feeling seriously embarrassed.  I mean, what kind of idiot pulls onto the side of the road when it's been as wet as it's been???

About 10 minutes later the 4WD arrives with the whole family and I realise that they served us at the Lion's Club dinner last night.  (Turns out the Big Fella actually works with the guy too.)  The snatch strap was unpacked (for the first time ever) and then we had to figure out how to attach it given that the tow ball was stolen from our car a while ago.  We ended up using the tow ball from the 4WD because they had somewhere else they could attach the strap.

A few minutes later we're out of the mud!  Yay!!!!  Besides overwhelming embarrassment, I'm SO glad it worked!

As we were packing up the strap a whole bunch of cars came by so no doubt the whole town knows what an idiot I am :-D

We got home safely and loaded up the next load of pandanus.  At the tip I'm unloading the branches into the skip.  I grabbed one of the long leafy straps to try to pull one part out but it wouldn't budge.  I put a bit more effort in and it broke!

Yep!  I ended up in the skip!

Seriously, I'm glad it was already half full of pandanus because otherwise I might not have been able to get out!  It's a BIG skip (the picture doesn't do it much justice - it's about 2 metres deep)!

Finished unloading then stopped by the bogging site to take a pic - just for you guys!

Don't you love how soft and squelchy it is???

The Big Fella got his chainsaw out and cut some branches off the Lilly Pilly tree in the corner of the yard and we did our last trip to the tip for the day... thankfully incident free :-D