Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Boxing day busy

Traditionally Boxing Day is movie day for us.  We go to the cinema and check out the latest blockbuster release.  But our local cinema doesn't have "The Hobbit" yet so we ditched that idea for this year.

We had a yummy breakfast - the Big Fella made garlic and lemon turkish bread toast, topped with melted bocconcini and triple-smoked ham, with an egg on top.  We followed that with a little fruit salad and greek yoghurt.

Then we got up and got going around the house and yard.  Seems like we weren't the only ones too - we saw a lot of trailers heading up the road to the tip today :-D

I cleared the yard of dog toys etc. then the Big Fella whipper snipped and mowed, while I harvested all of our mangoes.  Did you know that they spray sap when you pick them?  Maybe it's just me and my spastic mango-picking technique?  But we ended up with half a laundry basket full of them, now sitting downstairs and ripening up.  Mmmmmmm, mango!

I don't think I actually ate a mango until my family spent a few days in the Philippines, when I was 16.  I discovered that I actually love them!  Since we moved to Queensland I've eaten quite a few :-D  Turns out the Little Big Fella loves them too :-)

After all that lovely harvesting, I had the awesome job of sweeping up with a broom that I hate.  Seriously, it's time for a new straw broom!

Then we trimmed some bushes and watered the flower garden.

The next task was predominantly the Big Fella's, I have to be honest.  I don't think I did much, and probably made some things a bit trickier for him :-o  Yes, it was time to put up the Little Big Fella's trampoline!

It didn't take that long, and it wasn't that tricky, but I don't know that I could have done it on my own.

But the Little Big Fella loves it and has spent a good portion of the day bouncing around.  It's a good height off the ground for him too, so he can get on and off easily, without the need for a step.

Hmm, what else did we get up to?

Oh yeah!  We emptied all of our camping gear out of the back shed and put it in our camper trailer, discovering a couple of mice in our lantern along the way!  Looks like we'll be setting some traps over the next few days!!!!  I am not interested in having mice, or the snakes that come looking for mice, in my back shed!

Did I tell you we have two new little chicks?  They're about a week and a half old now - a black one and a white/yellow one.  We've called them "Salt" and "Pepper" - the black one is "Salt" and the white one is "Pepper".  Don't blame me!  That was the Little Big Fella's decision!!!  :-)

Anyway, I decided they needed some outside time so took them out and let them run around a little near me.  The dogs came over to check them out and Frankie wasn't even interested, but Choccie watched them constantly!  She was really good though, but I wouldn't let her with them unsupervised at this stage.

We ended up putting them in a cage so that they could wander around on the grass, but be protected from the dogs and bigger chooks and they loved it!  I think it'll be a daily thing, unless it's raining, until they're ready to join the rest of the flock when they're a bit bigger.

The Big Fella and I ended up talking to a guy next door who was setting up to paint the outside.  Turns out we're on the internal painting list for the new year!  Yay!!!  I wonder if we get any say on colours?  Probably not, but it's nice to dream :-)

As well as emptying the camping gear from the back shed, we also took out some of the gym equipment and set it up under the house.  The Big Fella has decided it's time to get back into shape, and I'm ready to get back into Fit Yummy Mummy, so we'll try to do our workouts together whenever we can, starting tomorrow afternoon.

I'm still trying to decide if I'll do Tough Mudder in August, after being invited by a couple of friends who are putting together a team.  I think I might be talking myself out of it though.  The electricity thing really freaks me out!

We watched a little bit of the Boxing Day Test (cricket, for those not in the know) in between everything too!

When the gym equipment was set up we rearranged a few things under the house so hopefully it's a little more use-able.  It's so frustrating when you have such a great space but too many options and ideas for what to do with it!  (And too much stuff to squeeze into said space!)  I guess each time we try a new idea we get closer to what will actually work for us though!

The Fellas took a load of stuff to the tip this afternoon and found that our old washing machine and microwave that we put there the other day have been taken.  That makes me happy :-D  I like that our local tip has no regulation so people can take stuff that doesn't work properly and can't be sold, but other people can collect it and make it work for them (or bring it back I guess).

And we all went "bush bashing" for a little bit this arvo too!  The Big Fella bought a 4WD about a month ago that is pretty run down but works okay.  It has been dubbed "The Bush Basher" and the Fellas have had a couple of little jaunts about the tracks just up the road.  They both love it!  So today I got to join them.

I don't mind 4WDing, but I'm not a huge fan.  I mean, it's uncomfortable!  And it seems kind of pointless to me.  But, to those who enjoy it, it's just plain fun so I won't go bagging you out about it ;-)

We dropped around to a friend's place after that but they weren't home, so we came back home.  The Little Big Fella and I had a bit of a bounce on his trampoline - mostly with him laying down and me gently bouncing him around :-D  He loved it!  I'm guessing there'll be lots of requests to do that more over the next few days :-)

And now the Fellas are asleep (the Big Fella starts work at 3am), and I'm writing about our adventures for you!  We're hoping for lots of adventures in the coming year... hopefully I'll remember to take some photos of them for you :-o

Happy Boxing Day everyone!  I hope you've enjoyed it, whatever you've been up to!

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Relax! It's Christmas!

At last!  It's Christmas day.  Yay!

And I gotta tell you!  This has been a great Christmas!!!

We woke up at about 7:30 and slowly began the present opening process.  There were a lot of presents for 3 people!  The Little Big Fella oscillated between dropping presents to open the next one and wanting to stop and play with the ones he opened just a minute before.  It was slightly entertaining ;-)
He absolutely loved all of his presents!  It was fun to watch him enjoying each of them throughout the day.  And to know that we'd chosen some of the ones he loved most.

We all got Nerf guns and had a fun little shoot-out before lunch :-D  That brought about much laughter and was definitely one of the most fun times we've had together in a while.  That probably sounds sad, but it was fun.

"Look at what Santa brought in my sack Mum!"

Can you tell he likes Nerf guns?

Checking out the moving eyes on the froggy book from Nanna

Oh my goodness!  What a mess!  And that's not even all of it!!!

After all of that fun we decided it was breakfast time so I made a little egg and vege scramble and the Big Fella made some garlic toasted turkish bread.  Yumm!

Well, then we had to play with more of our presents!  You know, I got some awesome gifts!  Including a Kindle and a tablet!!!!!  Seriously!  Isn't that awesome???  And I'm writing this blog post on my tablet!  It's taking a little longer because I'm just getting used to it all, but this is cool!

We got to chat to our families on Skype.  I love that we can be so far away but interact with them so easily.  It really is a blessing of the modern era!

We've spent a bit of the time today watching movies and just hanging out.  I love spending time with my Fellas!

We had a delicious lunch today too!  A roast turkey with cranberry and apple stuffing, a waldorf salad with blue cheese dressing, and a tomato salad with a basil-based dressing.  Very yummy!

I'd also made an ice-cream pudding, which we forgot to have at lunch and ended up having for afternoon tea.  The Little Big Fella and I love ice-cream!!!

And then for dinner we had some yummy cheeses, deli meats, and a bit of fruit... as well as a bit of wine.  It was just the perfect way to end the eating day :-)

So now I'm sitting on the couch, next to my wonderful husband, watching a movie and writing this blog post.  I'm a happy woman right now :-)

Monday, 24 December 2012

Is Christmas just for kids?

I was wrapping Christmas presents tonight and considering Christmas in general.  The thought occurred to me that Christmas is very much a celebration for children.  Everything is so exciting for them.  There's changes in routine and food, and, of course, the presents!

But is Christmas just for kids?

I don't think so!  I love Christmas!  I love the lights and decorations, the food and festivities, and the general atmosphere of celebration and goodwill.

But I have to admit that having a nearly-four-year-old is making this Christmas season particularly enjoyable so far :-D

We've had a lot of fun cooking together, putting up the Christmas tree, and looking at Christmas lights.  Every morning we've opened up our little advent calendar and counted how many days have passed, looking at how close we're getting to Christmas day.

And the Big Fella and I have thoroughly enjoyed buying presents for the Little Big Fella, and a couple for each other too :-)

One of my family Christmas traditions is to wrap presents on Christmas Eve while watching the Christmas Carols on TV.  Each person would disappear into a bedroom and wrap the presents they were giving then bring them out and put them under the tree and continue enjoying the Carols.

Well, this year we've been invited to our next-door neighbour's place for a BBQ dinner/party on Christmas Eve so I had to wrap the presents tonight!


I thought, "I'll watch a Christmas movie while I'm wrapping!"


Would you believe it's Sunday night, two nights before Christmas and there wasn't a single Christmas movie on???  I even jumped online and checked the TV guide and discovered there will only be about 3 over the next two days!!!

I was shattered!  Actually, I'm still not really over it and I'm seriously considering hiring a handful of them, even if I end up watching them all by myself :-D

I did watch "The Holiday" the other night and one of the lines I love is when Kate Winslet's character takes the old man to his award/recognition night.  He presents her with a corsage and says that he hopes it's not too corny.  She responds with, "I like corny.  I'm looking for corny in my life".

That's totally me at Christmas!  I love the pathetically corny Christmas movies, and the ridiculous music!  I'm looking for corny in my life!!!!

Anyway, there's only one more full day until Christmas and I think I'm nearly as excited as my Little Big Fella.

Well, maybe not quite.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

The power's out

Have I mentioned that it gets hot here?  Oh yes, I have mentioned it once or twice.

But yesterday was definitely up there on the hot scale!  40 degrees (104 Fahrenheit) inside the house (yes, inside)!

After being at our old, seaside town with its milder weather, humidity and sea breezes, I've been finding it a little hard to get used to this, more extreme but dry heat again.

And then it happened!

Right in the middle of the hottest part of the afternoon!

And there was NO breeze!

And the air was as hot and dry as an oven!

The power went out!!!!  (Imagine dramatic dah-dah-DAAAAAH! music here!)

Uh oh!  That means no airconditioning!

Oh NO!  Not even fans!!!!

Oh boy!  We only have electric cooking!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ah ha!!!  We have wine :-D

The Big Fella had been having a sleep after a night shift so when the power first went out I went downstairs and put the sprinkler on and cooled down a little.  While I was down there, I saw that some neighbours in the road behind us were out in their yard, so the Little Big Fella and I went over and had a little visit.

It was really nice to have an excuse to go visiting too!  And before we went away, we delivered our Christmas cards and various treats, and I'd really enjoyed visiting then too!  Turns out I like to visit ;-)

Anyway, after a bit of a chat and a taste of a range of their recent baking, we came back home to find the Big Fella had woken up (surprise, surprise) so we sat out on the little verandah and drank wine and talked and watched people walking past (occasionally even deigning to speak to them!).

Eventually it got dark and we lit a few candles and fed the Little Big Fella some tortillas (luckily he likes them with nothing on them!).  He ended up falling asleep in the chair (what a cutie!) so we continued to enjoy the evening until the power eventually came back on.  Then the Big Fella cooked me some lovely dinner and we went to bed.

It turned out to be a lovely afternoon/evening and I noticed that having no power caused a lot of people to get out and about and talk to their friends and neighbours.  Which, obviously, is a good thing.

This afternoon the power went out again.

Let me tell you, despite the enjoyment of yesterday, having the power go out again today (twice!) was not exactly met with joy!

And when the power came back on we quickly ironed a work shirt and made dinner.

Which was lucky because the power went out again as we were eating said dinner!  Grrrrrrr!

On the plus side, we finally had a temperature drop and a little bit of rain with this evening's power outage, which were very much welcomed!

Unfortunately there was no wine tonight though because the Big Fella had to go to work.  Sigh.

You never know, there may always be tomorrow!!!  ;-)

Sunday, 16 December 2012

We're ba-ack!

Oh my goodness!  It has been a hectic couple of weeks around here!!!

Okay, not quite around here I guess, but in our lives generally speaking.

The Little Big Fella and I have spent the past 10 days in our old town, staying at my grandparents' place and helping my sister in her post-operation recovery.

Well, that was the plan!

Amazingly, they think we helped out plenty, so that's good.

To me it felt like I shopped my little heart out (and totally emptied my bank account!) and squeezed a million things into each day!  And it was absolutely fun!  And absolutely exhausting!!!

So here's a few of the things we got up to:

  • Playgroup Christmas party
    Super Carer just happened to have the Christmas party on the first weekend we were in town so we got to join in.  And the kids had a ball!

    The Little Big Fella's cousins were there, and his friends, and a few new kids that we'd hardly met before we left.  And they all got along brilliantly and had a great time playing together.

    Which, of course, means that the adults get to sit around and chat without stress about the kids.  Yay!
  • A morning at the indoor playground!
    This is something I've been missing since we moved.  The indoor playground is fairly small compared to others in larger cities, but it's perfect for smaller kids.

    The Little Big Fella and his cousins literally ran the whole time we were there!  Then we got to feed them a little bit of junk and juice, let them run a bit more then crash in the car on the way back to my sister's place :-)
  • Lots of playing with cousins
    This was probably one of the best parts of the whole 10 days for the Little Big Fella.  He's really missed his cousins - one is 6 months older than him, the other almost exactly 2 years younger.  They get along really well and there were probably only a handful of times that we had to get involved (mostly to settle down the Little Big Fella whose game of "fighting" got a bit rough a few times).
  • A sleepover!
    Another major highlight for the Little Big Fella - he got to sleepover one night at his cousins' house.  He absolutely adores sleepovers and asks for them any time he wants to spend more time with any of his friends.

    So a few days before we were due to come home, my sister and brother-in-law were feeling well (brave) enough to have a sleepover.  Apparently it went very well, especially because all the kids were exhausted and went to sleep pretty easily!
  • Shopping!  LOTS of shopping!
    Before I left here, I had a list.

    I thought it was a small list.

    I was wrong!

    To fulfill my list (including all of my Christmas shopping, plus my in-laws' birthdays) required shopping every morning before I got to my sister's house, and every afternoon between leaving her place and getting back to my grandparents', and two or three other mornings/days where my nephews were at daycare and my sister didn't need me around.

    Then there was the day that the Little Big Fella and my nephews went to Super Carer's place so that my sister and I could shop together!  We kind of forgot to do the shopping we'd intended to do and ended up trying on and buying a whole lot of clothes.  And my sister got a new printer too!

    Sorry whoever misses out on Christmas presents because of that!!!!
  • Another Christmas party!
    My grandparents live in the caretaker's cottage of a large church (Poppy is the caretaker).  The church runs a playgroup and they happened to be having a Christmas party on a day that my nephews were at daycare with Super Carer.

    The Little Big Fella follows Poppy around everywhere when we visit them (poor Poppy was a little exhausted, okay, a lot exhausted, even though he loved it).  So Poppy went over to the church to open up and help set a few things up for the party.

    One of those things was a jumpy castle!  So guess who didn't leave when the party started!!!

    We did get to catch up with a couple of friends while we were there though!
  • Christmas carols
    The church also had a Christmas carols service, just after Super Carer's Christmas party actually.  So we went over and enjoyed a little bit of singing and so on.  Unfortunately, the Little Big Fella was pretty tired by this stage so we ended up coming back to the cottage and bathing him and putting him to bed.
  • Looking at Christmas lights
    After having dinner with my sister's family one night, the Little Big Fella and I decided to drive around and have a look at the Christmas lights displays around town.  There are some fantastic ones and we both really enjoyed it!
  • A spot of cooking and cleaning
    I got to cook for my grandparents two nights.  I did a chicken dish one night and it was okay, but I did soft tacos with homemade salsa another night and that was definitely a hit!

    I also got to clean a little for my sister and my grandparents - dishes, clothes, and just a little bit of this and that.

    It was really nice to be able to do something to help out and my reflections of my life at this point in time suggest that I don't do enough of this to make me happy.  I'd really like to include a bit more "helping" in 2013 - for individuals and for our community - because it makes me feel useful and much more fulfilled than just living life for myself and my two Fellas.
  • A family BBQ
    Unfortunately my brother-in-law was quite ill with a migraine, but the rest of us got to hang out together and eat yummy food.  The thing I always love about a BBQ is that it's so much less stress than other types of meals.  You cook a bit of meat (and sausages or kebabs are simple and quick and no one stresses about rare/well-done levels), have a bit of salad, maybe some bread, something to drink, maybe a dessert and everyone is happy!  And you just get to spend some time together, enjoying each others' company and having a chat about everything and nothing.  LOVE it!
  • Toad hunting
    I know!  Some people will be horrified by this, and for that I apologise for making you feel uncomfortable.  However, cane toads are a pest species in Australia that have assisted in the endangerment of some of our native species.  So, although the method that we use may not be appealing, the necessity of toad removal is there.

    Okay, having got that out of the way, our method of toad hunting is by use of golf clubs.  The toads generally sit with their head up, almost like a ball on a tee, so knocking them off in one hit is really easy.  The little boys especially enjoy walking around the 40 acre property with torches, although their interest in actually hitting the toads varies.
So there's the brief run-down of our week and a half away.  We were quite ready to come home yesterday, even though we'd had a great time away.  The Little Big Fella was really missing his Dad for the past few days, as was I, and it is as they say; "there's no place like home".

Sunday, 2 December 2012

The wonder of Christmas lights

This is not my house.

I'd kind of like it to be, but it's not.

This is my house.

The first picture is my next-door neighbour's house.  Pretty cool, isn't it?  And what I love the most about it (and Christmas lights in general), is the feeling of special-ness that all those lights create.

I remember, when I was much younger, I'd sneak out at night time, after everyone else was asleep, and just sit next to the Christmas tree and bask in the glow.  Sounds kind of lame when I write it like that.  But Christmas lights really evoke a sense of wonder in me.

My husband, the Big Fella, does not share my sentiment.  In fact, he's rather bah humbug about Christmas in general.  Yesterday he was catching up on some sleep so the Little Big Fella and I watched "Jingle All the Way".  Tacky movie, I know, but it was Christmas-y and I enjoyed it.

I guess I'm just a big softie who still wishes that there was such a thing as magic.

Anyway, this year is only the beginning of our Christmas light/yard decorations!  And while we may be the poor, sad little house of Christmas lights this year,

if my plans for next year come off we might just be the talk of the town!!!