Wednesday, 22 May 2013

It's finally here!!!!

I'm sorry!  I really wanted to post this yesterday, but it just didn't happen.  Such is life, yes?

We have been car-less for pretty much a month.  Some amazing people have loaned us their vehicles over that time, or driven us to events, and made us feel very loved and cared for.

But yesterday, after several weeks of excitement and much messing around and confusion, our new car finally arrived!  (Do a little happy dance!!!!)

It's so big and comfortable and luxurious, and I feel like royalty being in it!

What is it?  Well, we do live in "Cruiser Country" :-)

Yes, that is my son cleaning the brand new car.  It came on a car transporter, and by all appearances, it passed at least one cattle truck on the way here.  And because it's my first ever brand new car, I wanted it to be clean, so we cleaned it.

So, the car is here, we think it's fantastic, and we're really happy with our decision.

We took it for a bit of a drive today, you know, to run the engine in (or something like that!).  It definitely got the tick of approval!

The Little Big Fella is (obviously) wearing his Spiderman suit, but he also has his headphones on.  They would be the wireless headphones that go with the DVD player in the ceiling (did I seriously just write that???).

Okay, so I feel like I'm just bragging, but this is the first time I've ever had a brand new car, so I'm just a little excited about it.  And it's such a cool car!  It has some amazing features, and it's so comfy, and it's lovely to drive, and I can't believe it's ours!!!!

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Am I just lazy?

I'm taking part in two challenges at the moment.  One is a competition between the towns in our area where we try to get as many people walking as possible throughout the month.  Each person records their "steps" (using a pedometer or app on their phone) and submits it each week, to be added to the town total, hopefully beating all the other towns.

I wonder what the prize is?  I hadn't thought of that until now.  I just joined in.  Hmmm, that could be a nice surprise!

The second challenge is a 4 week Fit Yummy Mummy team challenge.  Doing various things each day gives you points and at the end of the challenge the team with the most points wins!

One of the ways to earn points is to count your steps (seeing a pattern here, yeah?).

But here's the thing.  It's suggested that people walk around 10,000 steps per day for good health.  Most days I'm only getting 4,000 (on a "normal" day) to 6,000 (on a "busy" day).

So, am I just lazy?

I wouldn't have thought so!  I mean, I run around doing the housework, up and down the stairs to do washing, go to the park with the Little Big Fella, ride my bike to the post office, walk around the supermarket to shop, walk up and down the house all day putting stuff away, and feel tired at the end of the day... but I'm still only getting 4,000 to 6,000 steps a day.

So, am I lazy?

Maybe I am!  Maybe I sit or stand still more than I realised.  I sit at the computer to read and write.  I sit to eat (obviously).  I sit at the park.  I basically stand still to do the dishes and ironing and fold the washing.

Am I lazy?

But then I wonder, is it my pedometer?  I have a pretty smooth gait when I walk. I literally practiced walking with books on my head when I was a girl because I thought it was elegant.  So maybe my (very cheap) pedometer doesn't realise that I'm moving?  Or my phone app.

Yeah, that must be it!  It's all the fault of my technology ;-)

Saturday, 18 May 2013

The secret's out

I've seen a few TV shows over the past few years that have disurbed me.  They've shown young people out partying and having a good time.

Nothing disturbing about that, right?


Here's my secret (I suspect not many of you will be surprised by this):

I'm a prude.

I am an old-fashioned prude.

See, when I watch young people out drinking up a storm, or taking so-called "party drugs", or making out with whoever they happen to come into contact with, I don't think "there's the life!"  I think "that's so sad!" and I wonder how they'll feel in the morning.

I've never been a big party-er (surprise, surprise!), although I have certainly been out partying.  I love to dance!

I'm not a big drinker, although I have had enough to make the room spin uncomfortably, and I quite enjoy a glass of wine or two.

And I don't take drugs.  In fact, I've never even smoked a cigarette (unless you count second hand smoke, which we all know can do as much damage).

Some people would say I've missed out.  They could be right!  But I guess I never got into the party scene because it always seemed so superficial to me.  I could never see the point of kissing a guy I'd never see again.  And attempting to make conversation when the music is louder than my own thoughts... well, let's just say it's not my cup of tea ;-)

I am one of those rare creatures who didn't sleep with anyone until I was married.  I know!  It's shocking, isn't it???  But I don't feel like I've missed out on anything.  I got to discover my sexuality with a man who loves me and won't reject me, regardless of what I do and don't like.  I've never had to do "the walk of shame" and I've never felt guilty or uncomfortable about anything I've done.

I'm not saying that everyone whose experience is different to mine is wrong or bad or anything stupid like that.  Just that this is my experience and matches my personality and background.

I am a prude.

And I reckon I might just be a little bit proud of that!

Thursday, 16 May 2013


I've been doing a bit of reading and thinking about style lately.  My house, my clothes, and inevitably, my hair.

Yesterday a friend had loaned us her car so the Little Big Fella could go to kindy and I was rushing around the shopping centre trying to re-stock in case the new car takes even longer to get to us.

I walked past the hairdresser's.

"I don't have time for that.  And there's no way they'll have time for me!"

I did the shopping (but not the cold items) then went to a linen party.

Back to the shopping centre for the cold items.

I walked past the hairdresser's.

"I don't really have time for that.  And there's no way they'll have time for me!  Hmmm, I wonder if they do have time?"

I walked back to the hairdresser's.  They couldn't fit me in right then, but they could fit me in at 1.

Hmmm, could I finish my shopping, get home and unpack it all and get back in time for that before collecting the Little Big Fella from kindy?  Yes I could!  And this is what I ended up with:

The hairdresser was SO stressed out when she started cutting it.  I guess it was a bit longer than shoulder-length, but I knew what I wanted, and I've had short hair before.

The Big Fella approves, and the girls at playgroup today liked it.  So I'm a shorty again.  I wonder how long it will last this time :D

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Mowing: a pre-schooler's view

It's still relatively warm here so the grass is growing at a ridiculous rate!  I was a little excited because I finally got around to whipper snipping and mowing yesterday afternoon.

After whipper snipping (which had been held off because I couldn't find the cord - the Big Fella found it "hiding" in plain sight) the Little Big Fella decided that he wanted to mow all by himself.

The result was... amusing!

First of all, when you're a pre-schooler, you have to wear a costume!  Yesterday's costume of choice was Ironman.

Frankie decided to hang about, while the Little Big Fella didn't see any point in moving the trampoline.  You just change direction!

Oh!  It's such hard work!!!

Look how long the grass was!

Of course, when you're a pre-schooler there's no point in just going backwards and forwards.  There's so many other ways to go!!!

The advantage of having the grass so long though, is that your pre-schooler can see when he's missed bits, so he goes back and gets them.  Check out what a great job he did here!

Well, once this part was done, as well us up and down the sides of the house a few times, the Little Big Fella had had enough (fair enough really!) so Mummy got to take over.  I finished off this back area, and one side of the house, then...

ran out of fuel!!!

Of course, the fuel can was also empty and we're still car-less so we get to have crazy grass on one side of the house and out the front until I either have the opportunity to go into town or we get our new car.  Hopefully it'll provide a little amusement for some people in the meantime :-D

Monday, 13 May 2013


When the Big Fella and I were first dating and engaged, he decided that it was probably going to be the last opportunity he had for a while to splurge on me and buy me expensive jewelery.

So as well as my engagement ring, he bought me some diamond earrings and had a necklace made for me.

Well, when the Little Big Fella and I were in the motel room after the accident, I discovered that I'd lost one of my earrings.  I nearly lost that plot right then.  I mean, it's such a small thing really, but added to everything else  that had happened that day, plus the sentimental value of those particular earrings, it was just a bit too much.

I casually mentioned it to the Big Fella a day or so after we got home, trying not to make as big a deal of it as it felt to me.

The weekend that we returned the hire car, borrowing a friend's car to get home, we also stopped at the major shopping centre there to stock up.  As the Little Big Fella and I were wandering around, the Big Fella poked his nose into the jeweler's.  You guessed it!  He was looking at diamond earrings!

I nearly cried.  My husband knew that I loved those earrings, not because of their monetary value, but because they were a representation of him and his generosity and love.  And here he was, choosing exactly the ones I would have chosen (just like he did with my engagement ring, by the way).

I love my husband.

We didn't have the cash to buy them on the spot so the Big Fella paid a deposit, then asked if they clean rings.  My wedding and engagement rings haven't been cleaned in quite a while, and being "white gold" need to be re-plated every now and then.

So he had them send my rings off to be re-plated and cleaned as well.

We are still car-less so when we received the call the other day saying that all was ready to collect, I assumed it would still be a few weeks until we'd have the opportunity to go and get them.  But, no!  My Big Fella put our plight to the lady at the store and she offered to have her son drop them to us on his way through to the coast.

Guess what day they came through!  Mother's Day!  And they were beautifully boxed and wrapped.

So now I have a full set of clean, beautiful diamond jewelery again.  Aren't I a lucky girl???

Oh!  You want to see them?  Okay :-D

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Gettin' our creativity on!

Because of our little accident, we didn't get to meet up with my parents in our old town.  They live two states away so we only get to see them a couple of times a year.  We were all really disappointed about it!

But then the other day the Little Big Fella received a parcel in the mail from my Mum!  In it was a gorgeous letter to him and a couple of books - one all about various motorbikes, where "Farting Freddie" wins a bike race, and the other from my parents' friends who were really keen to meet us as well.  It was about a robot with no bottom.

Needless to say, bedtime included a few giggles that night!

Well, in the letter Mum hinted that she'd love to get some more of the Little Big Fella's paintings (we've sent a few of his kindy paintings to each of the grandparents throughout the year).  So rather than grab one or two out of the drawer, I decided we'd do some painting at home.

Now, as much as I love arts and crafts, we don't tend to do an awful lot of it at home.  Mostly because I find it kind of stressful trying to keep the mess contained, so I need to be in a pretty good mood before we attempt it :-}

On went the painting shirt (my old Kidzone t-shirt, Brad!), down went the spill mat, out came the old kid-sized table and chairs, and the paper was blu-tacked onto the table.

Then, and only then, were we ready to bring out the paints!

The bottom photo is the Little Big Fella's "Hulk smash" painting.  He's SO into superheroes at the moment and when he was painting he just started saying "Hulk smash" and plopping the paintbrush down all over the place (with some force, might I add).

Since starting kindy, the Little Big Fella has also started to grow an interest in  letters and numbers.  So I've been trying to take the opportunities he presents to expand his understanding.

For example, I've taught him a rhyme to spell out his name, so now he knows the names of the letters in his name, even though he doesn't understand what that means.

I've taught him how to write the first letter of his name, and other words that start with the same sound.  For example, "d, d, dog" or "c, c, cat" (saying the sounds, not the letter names).  Through that (and I suspect they've been doing it at kindy too) he's started asking me for the names of letters and recognising the starting sounds in words.

At lunch yesterday he asked, "what's the name of w, w, waterbottle?"  Then we went through a bunch of other words as well.  No, he doesn't understand what a "W" is, but he's starting to grasp the basic idea that sounds are associated with letters and words.

So, as well as his "Hulk smash" painting, the Little Big Fella did one covered with the first letter of his name.  He's really got that one down pat, by the way!  So I started teaching him the second letter, but he wasn't really interested at that time.  I did, however, discover that he can draw an "O" no worries, and a heart!

Sometimes it's a bit fun being the mum of a pre-schooler :-D

Wednesday, 8 May 2013


No!  Please!  No!!!!

After arriving safely home from our little rollover, the Little Big Fella proceeded to get rather sick with a cold.  He was particularly sooky and woke several times a night (read: about once an hour) for about 4 nights.

Being exhausted, I proceeded to get rather sick with a cold.  Fantastic!

But my cold seemed to be slightly different.

His was a little coughing, runny nose, sooky, need-my-mummy cold.

Mine was a stuffy nose, blocked sinuses, headache kind of cold.  I tried antihistamines, nasal sprays, steam therapy.  Nothing made a spot of difference.

Given that we're still car-less, I didn't even attempt to see a doctor and just lived through it.

Monday was the first time I was able to breathe for a few hours on my own.  Yesterday was pretty good too.  Today has been pretty much 100%.

The Little Big Fella went to bed a little early tonight.  No big deal - he had soccer this afternoon and had been playing for much of the day.

About an hour into sleep, I heard him making tiny little cries.  I listened and it stopped so I ignored it.

Just now he woke up crying and coughing a croup-y sounding cough.


After crying and not communicating for a few minutes I cracked it (mildly) at him, insisting that I needed him to tell me what was wrong (I'd been asking him specific questions with no response) so that I could do something that might actually help.

We eventually settled on some cough medicine and Neurofen.

He settled down a bit and I asked him a few more questions:

"Can you breathe through your nose?" 


"Does it hurt here? (Touching his sinus area)"


Internally, my immediate response was, "oh shit"!

Just this afternoon I was talking to his best friends' mum at soccer.  We'd both had the same high pressure sinus thing that nothing would help and we were thankful that the kids hadn't had it, imagining how painful it would be to nurse them through that.

Looks like I might be about to find out!

Monday, 6 May 2013

Fun times!

Time for another photo catch up!!!  Yay!!!

Kids just love these things in the shopping centres, don't they?  The Little Big Fella is often happy to just imagine and play, but this time we put the money in for the whole experience :-D

Last week the Little Big Fella had his first soccer lesson.  He loved it (once he got the idea that he had to do what the coach said)!  His best friend was there as well, so he was much more comfortable that he might otherwise have been.

This is one of SuperCarer's activities that we stole for playgroup last week.  We call it "drop painting".  You get paper towels or coffee filter paper or something similar.  Then you use an eye dropper or syringe (obviously without the needle!) to drop food-dye-coloured water onto the paper.

The kids get really creative and enjoy it so much, and because it's just water and food dye it's easy to clean up any messes.  I highly recommend having a plastic sheet under the paper because the kids tend to put a lot of dyed water on their paper :-D

We live in a mining area, a fair way from major centres.  As such we miss out on some of the things that are a regular part of the social year for most towns.  So our mines put on a May Day Fair each year for the community.  They provide a bunch of rides for free, there are stalls, and some of the local community groups provide low-cost food.

We missed out on this last year because we'd only just moved here (as in, a few days earlier) and hadn't heard about it.  But one of our friends offered to take me and the Little Big Fella along this year (given that we're still car-less), and I'm so glad we got to go!

The Little Big Fella had a jump on the massive jumping castle, we went down the super slide (yes, I had to go with him and no, I don't like huge slides like that!), we had a drive on the dodgem cars (bumper cars), and the Little Big Fella discovered the kid's bumper boats.  He would have spent the whole day on those if he could have!!!  He also had a go on the merry-go-round, which is always one of his favourites, but the boats definitely won out this time :-D

So there you go, you're now up-to-date with what we've been up to, photographically speaking.  Hope you enjoyed it!

Friday, 3 May 2013


This is a catch-up post!  Yay!!!

I've been seriously floored with a head cold that won't let me breathe - even when I take anti-histamines, spray stuff up my nose and have a very hot, steamy shower.   Kind of makes it hard to think, and sleep (and therefore think), let alone write!

So, sorry about the delay (and lack of posts this past week or so).  Let's catch up!

The Big Fella's parents, Grandma and Grandpa, live two states away, but their families are in and around the capital of this state.  They tend to come up a couple of times a year, and this time they made the effort to come and see us in our new, semi-outback town.

(By the way, we've been here for a whole year tomorrow!)

While they were here, we decided to take them to our most notable attraction - a gorgeous waterfall in the hills we see on the other side of the highway.  It takes about 45 minutes to drive there, then almost an hour to walk in to the waterfall.

Given the possibility of a swim when we got there, the Little Big Fella had no complaints on the way in.

Unfortunately, it was rather chilly in the water (I couldn't even stand in it, it felt pretty much icy) so no swimming was enjoyed this time, but the views were great and we all enjoyed a bit of rock crawling.

The Big Fella's parents :-)

The Little Big Fella decided he needed Blue Bear on the trek.  You can tell by the lack of stuffing in his neck that he's well-loved :-D
Unfortunately, and unsurprisingly, the Little Big Fella was not keen to walk the hour back to the car.  So the Big Fella piggy-backed him up all 240 stairs!

I got to carry the Little Big Fella for short bursts along the track as well, but where it was pretty flat.

I have to take this moment to brag a little too, because I'm so proud of the changes I'm seeing from all the effort I've been putting in.

Last time we came to this waterfall, I remember having very little breath by the time I reached the top, and my butt was killing me!  But this time I got to the top, only just out of breath, and that was having run up and down a few sections so I could get some of these photos.  My butt was fi-ine :-D

Yay me!!!  And thank you to Holly and my online friends from Fit Yummy Mummy for helping me get to this level of strength and fitness!

This is the crossing on the way to the falls - gorgeous in its own right!
That evening we'd decided to go out for dinner.  So we took Grandma and Grandpa to the golf club, where the restaurant specialises in Thai food (as well as offering standard pub fare).  It was a really lovely evening with good conversation, good food, and a little bit of good drink.  We thoroughly enjoyed each others' company and felt content with the day's efforts :-)

The next morning the Big Fella had to go to work before the rest of us were even awake.  We had a nice, leisurely breakfast and Grandma and Grandpa started getting their things together so they could go on to their next stop.

But before they went we got to have a bit of a play with some giant bubble wands that Grandpa had brought for the Little Big Fella.

Here's Grandpa :-)

Grandma and the Little Big Fella enjoying the show :-)

Our "brave" dogs hiding under Grandma's feet :-}

Grandpa's pretty good at this!

My cheeky son pretending to be an astronaut?

Grandma's turn!

Why, Little Big Fella!  What a big bubble you have!!!

The Little Big Fella loves to hit the bubbles that are already floating in the air.  Because of the awesomeness of these bubble wands, he created a big one at the same time!
Eventually it had to happen - it was time for Grandma and Grandpa to leave.  Hugs and kisses all around and reminding all that we'll see each other in July, and then they were off.

Sometimes, living so far away from family really sucks.  Okay, most of the time.  But I'm so grateful for blogs, Facebook, mobile phones, Skype and all of the technology, as well as old-fashioned snail mail, that allows us to keep in touch with them and make the distance not feel so far... most of the time.  We love you all and can't wait to see you soon!!!

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Wonderful people

I want to tell you about some brilliant people I know!

But guess what!!! I won first place for a couple of my photos in the local CWA photo competition this morning!!!  Totally blown away and excited!!!  Here's the photos that won:

This one was for the "Abstract" category.  Can you guess what it is?  I'll give you a couple of days before I let you know ;-)
Okay, it's a couple of days later and my Mum guessed it.  It's paint peeling on an old tyre in a playground.

And this was in the "Child Study" category.  It's the Little Big Fella taking a bath at my grandparent's house the last time we were there.

I'm pretty proud and excited, especially because I didn't expect to win anything!  I mean, I put my photos in thinking they were okay, but basically in support of our CWA.  And then I won a couple!!!!  These photos now go through to our regional competition, then I guess on to State level if it goes that far (pfft!!).

You know I've told you all about all the big and little miracles associated with our "little" car crash and getting home.  But now I have to tell you that the people in our little town are definitely up there in the wonderful and generous people category.

I cannot tell you how many people have offered their cars, a ride for the Little Big Fella to kindy, to collect things from our next town, to do the shopping for me, and just about any other little thing you can think someone might need when they're car-less for a little while in a remote location.

Last week the Big Fella's tutor ran into me at the post office (not literally) and asked how we were going.  In the course of the conversation I mentioned that we needed to return the hire car and he immediately said that they were planning to go to that town that day, but they'd hold off until Saturday so that we could use one of their cars.

Later that morning a friend dropped around with some paperwork for me and said, "so when are you taking the car?" - meaning her car.

That's just a few examples, there have been several before and since.

I love to give to others - my time, money, resources... whatever!  And generally I'd say I'm pretty good at receiving gracefully.  But it is really hard to constantly receive and allow others to help you.  It's humbling.

And it's lovely.

It's so nice to think that we've only been here for a year (this week actually!) and we've met so many great people who are willing to help us out, and in some cases are almost forceful about it.  It definitely gets those warm, fuzzy feelings going and reminds me that the world is actually full of wonderful people, not just the jerks who drive you nuts on the road, or are inconsiderate, or whatever.  There are those who will go out of their way to make your life easier whenever they can, and that's part of what makes this life enjoyable.  (And I think it's something special about living in small, country towns too.)