Friday, March 29, 2013

Been A Bit Busy...

What a week. The fourth week straight that Sam has been away (and following the birthday marathon) was a bit tiring to say the least. Monday afternoon took us to the Emergency Department. Arthur was suffering respiratory distress again. Bless Gandy Bear who met us at emergency and took the big kids for a sleep over. I had enough time to pack their school bags before we left - including George's swimming bag as the preppies swam every day this week. Grandpa J-Bear also was fantastic dropping the kids at school and picking them up! He even picked up a few things from the shop for me and made me a cuppa when I got home.
Off went the big kids. In went mummy and Arthur. Thankfully he wasn't as bad as last time and the lovely Erica was on duty and she even had time to make me a cuppa. Bless!! Anyway, this time they treated him with ventolin. LOTS of ventolin.
The lovely Susy dropping in with some dinner for me and stayed for ages to help me wrangle a kid who thought it was cancan night at the local. Check out this pic of the little cherub. Taken at midnight( we were still in emergency) he was on a complete ventolin high.
Finally we got to bed in the ward at about 1 am.
Thankfully we were allowed on day leave the next day. Even better the lovely Mrs G called that night to see how Arthur was and to see if Ingrid would like to go for an extra day (would she ever) so I could have a rest. Woo Hoo.
Also on Wednesday was the Prep/Grade 1 Easter Assembly. Sooooo beautiful. They put on a great show for the new school principal who was watching on his 3rd day on the job!! George sang beautifully and is was really very lovely. Please excuse the fuzzy pics, Arthur was still cancaning while I was trying to take footage. Happy Easter.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Full Time

One party was washed out this morning, and the final party was relocated to a hall. I would really love to provide a witty blow by blow account of the day but quite frankly I'm all birthdayed out. I am lying on the couch while the children flitter around still on a sugar high. I had asked them to put today's party bag on the bench and we could share a couple of goodies for afternoon tea. Instead they scoffed the majority of them while I out Arthur to bed so I confiscated what was left and added them to yesterday's haul. Oh well. More for me....

Half Time

Well folks it is half time in our birthday marathon weekend. 2 down. 2 to go. Phew.
We started the day with a low GI breakfast in preparation for the impending sugar hit. I figured if I fed them a HUGE breakfast they wouldn't have room for too much party food. "Yes George, you may have a 4th serve of baked beans, would you like some milk with that?"
Into the party clobber. Ahh looking beautiful in our birthday clothes. Crisp white t-shirt for one, a lovely ironed dress shirt for another and a pretty party dress for the middle child. By the way if you like the dress check out the lovely Emily's Mexican shop at She has a lovely range of beautiful embroidered Mexican tops and dresses for little girls and their mummies.
Off we went to Sriya's 4th birthday. Only 20 minutes late-which is pretty good for us. There were 25 children, and Kids Paradise is hectic enough at the best of times!! The kids had a fantastic time and it was rather difficult to convince the kids to leave. Even for another party.
Right. Back in the car, back up the river, across the Tamar and back down the river again. To Ned's 5th party. An hour late - more like our style. Baby awake again. Bugger, that's 4 minute zzz x 2. Oops the big kids still have Sriya's birthday cake (and tomato sauce) smeared from ear to ear. Oh well, there is a Easter egg hunt going on. Yep now there is chocolate on there too. Almost looks artistic.....More birthday cake. More lollies.
It was really really lovely to check out the Hallett's new digs. I caught up with a few people I hadn't seen in a good decade or two (eat your heart out Bettie - wow that is nanna style). The kids had a ball and we made our way home after 3pm. 2 asleep.
6pm-all kids fed salad and rice cakes, cake removed from faces and poured into bed. Ready to do it all again tomorrow. Phew.
The first 2 pics are the before and after pictures. Quite a difference, you'll notice. You'll notice in the pictures from the cake cutting from both parties a little girl in a green dress and a little boy in a blue shirt- both in the front row!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Bye Bye Summer

Ahh 8 degrees Celsius last night. Brrrrr! Mornings like this will be few and far between in the coming months. These pics were taken one lovely morning when Sam was home last time. What a way to start the day.
Some of you may not believe, but there are some things about winter which I am looking forward to this year.
We can plant our own fruit trees. Yippee. Yay! Nothing like a crunchy apple straight from the tree. The kids will be able to pick their healthy snack, fresh-on the way out the door! And we have bought an exceptionally sunny house. I'm expecting to be able to meet my vitamin d levels from the comfort of my own chair!

A New Record

This is the stash for this weekends birthday rounds. Count them... That's right folks. Yes. 4 birthday parties. One weekend. 2 Saturday. 2 Sunday. You may not hear from me for sometime......

Friday, March 15, 2013

It's Raining Fiesta

School fair day. Only these days they call it 'Fiesta'. Last year we lined up for hours in the pony ride line. The pony ride line was only outdone by the jumping castle line.
This year Mummy Bear thought it best to do those two activities first. Good work with the ponies. We were among the first to ride. Next stop the baking stall (picked up a pie for dinner-great call Leanne!!). Then the jumping castle. While waiting in the relatively short line it drizzled, just a little. All attempts to convince the children to jump on either of the two jumping castles with a roof in we're met with "puh-lease can we go on the pirate jumping castle please please please". Mummy Bear didn't have the energy to insist so pirate jumping castle it was.
The last time George and Ingrid were on a jumping castle the had a rather large head clash. Ingrid fared the best with lacerations to the head. Unfortunately for George it was his from tooth which did the lacerating and the tooth fairy made her first visit a few weeks later.
Back to Fiesta. So kids on roofless jumping castle. Guess what? It bucketed down. Fancy that. Faced with the option of going home or leaving shoes of and sticking with the drowned rat look the kids chose the latter. So the Miedecke circus continued.
Face painting next. Under cover. Big wait. Finally Batman and Butterfly Girl emerge. Can we go home yet-puh lease (Mummy Bear).
Eventually 2 bedraggled kids,one extremely grumpy tired baby and and bedraggled grumpy mum make for the car. The kids are currently sitting in front of the Grand Prix while I have a cuppa. Slurrrrp. Ahhhhh.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Falafel Baby

I'm nine months old and I LURVE falafel. I love falafel on my toes. I love falafel on my nose....

Monday, March 11, 2013

Max, Helen & the Chan Choo Choo

They made it! And what fantastic visitors to have! They jumped on the tramp with the big kids, cuddled Arthur to bits and were very welcome spare hands with the bikes on the way to the farmers markets.
We ran into the Chans and while mamma Chan & Helen chatted the legs off the nearest olive oil stand (meanwhile Maxy and Ingrid's teacher Mrs G chatted happily) the chdren worked together to create a hoola hoop train. Beautiful.
A cup of fresh apple juice had to suffice as being a long weekend many stall holders took a break including the ice cream people.
The kids were very keen to show M & H the Gorge but Arthur was zonkered. So Arthur and I had 40 winks while the others tripped off for a dip & ice cream. Ahh bliss. Come again anytime please!!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Visitors & Muffins

We've got visitors coming. YIPPEEE! Max and Helen have been in the state for nearly a week and we have been eagerly awaiting their arrival. They are at Cradle Mountain en route to our place tonight. Yay.
It is a home day today for Ingrid who decided we ought to really pick some flowers for them. The roses are STILL blooming beautiful so we settled on them.
No home day for Ingrid is complete without some baking. A couple of months ago I made some black currant jam... We sauce as in my true jam making signature style I made very runny jam. Great on pancakes. And in jam drop muffins which we made today. Yummy.
All you have to do is make a basic muffin batter (adapt one form a flavoured recipe). Fill muffin 1/3 full with batter, pop in a teaspoon of jam then top with more batter. I use a mix of wholemeal and plain flour and then reduce the sugar also as the jam has plenty!
Bake and enjoy.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Caterpillars & The Tooth Fairy

Arthur is mobile! I wouldn't quite describe it as crawling. The kids refer to his mode of transport a caterpillaring. His little bottom sticks up in the air and them he slurps himself forwards. Very caterpillar like and quite entertaining. In fact so caterpillar like that Ingrid felt the need to perform all 3 verses of Fuzey Wuzey Caterpillar for two random old biddies in the doctors surgery today. (Another bout of tonsillitis for poor ingrid).
The caterpillar hump appears to be quite the mode of transport and in fact Arthur found himself stuck under the couch today. Not a bad effort.
In other breaking family news it seems the tooth fairy will be making a third collection from our household. Poor George-he lost his first tooth after a head clash with his little sister on the jumping castle at a mates party. He lost his 2nd tooth in an apple at school. Mrs B kindly popped it in a special tooth box (how's that for an organised teacher!) and George did a George and put it.....somewhere. Luckily he drew a fantastic map and the T.F. Left a gold coins donation in return. 2 days later the fang was discovered at school!!! Luckily the T.F. is the hard working type and swung by our place to collect the goods that night!
Here's hoping she gets a little more value for money this time!!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

I Love Summer

I love summer. I also love it when we actually get a summer down here in the southern isle. In case you haven't heard, Australia had the hottest January since records began in 1910. I saw a report on the ABC which quoted the BOM as saying 97% of Australia experienced above average temperatures. While we've enjoyed our bit of sunshine down here spare a thought for the Birdsville-ites who had 31 days in a row above 40 degrees. Phew. Blair Trewin from the BOM said that 6 of the hottest summers on record have been in the last decade. Surely that would change the 'average' temperatures then, wouldn't it?

The reporter interviewed Tony Mohr from the Australian Conservation Foundation. He said "If you're 27 years or younger you've never experienced an average summer. Every summer has been warmer than the average." Folks. Where's the maths? Isn't this global warming?

More importantly what can we do about it? Here are some ideas:
• Put your hand up who switched the air on on during the heat wave? Tip no 1. Suck it up buttercup. Buy yourself a fan. One which folds and fits in your purse.
• Have a cold shower instead. And wash your clothes in cold water. We don't even have the hot tap plumbed in to our washing machine. I do remember hearing that the energy efficient stickers on your washing machine are actually tested on the 'Eco' setting. Why not use that setting anyway? And while you're at it commit to buying energy efficient items. Start with your light bulbs. Oh, and find out where the 'off' switch is. Taps, lights, tvs, power points, heaters.... They all have a spot marked OFF.
• Take a hike. Or get on ya bike. Or pony, goat, yak or other carbon reducing mode of transport.
• Plant trees! Native are good. Indigenous are even better. Or give trees as gifts. There are companies who (for a small fee) will plant trees to make your car carbon neutral. You can even pay a couple of extra $$ when you book flights to make your next holiday/business trip carbon neutral.
• While we're on the subject of giving, think hadmade and grown or made locally. While you're thinking, think reuse recycle. Try to fix things before throwing them out. Ohhh so many options to help save this lil' planet of ours...

When we first bought this place we asked the kids what they would like to grow. Top of the list were mangoes, avocado and watermelon. A bit tricky in a temperate climate... Maybe in the next decade it'll be warm enough down here for them! In the mean time we will have to make do with this yummy fruit salad we had for afternoon tea. Either way, our tomatoes are starting to ripen which is nice.
Mango had a play date with Gus while Mandy went on a bike ride today. He had lots of cuddles while he was here. The kids adore him.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Paper Beach

Hi there. Sorry I haven't posted for a while. Life has been hectic! I had a million photos on my phone and loads of posts in the planning to show what we've been up to. Er...then we had a small technical hitch and my phone lost ALL my pictures. I also lost ALL my contacts. So please if you could all send me a text (with your name) so that I have your numbers again!!
Today we had a lurrrvely day at Paper Beach. Gandy packed a scrumptious box of egg sangas. I fancy myself a bit of a connoisseur of egg sandwiches and these were GOOOOD. Up there with Kate's egg sangas.
The big kids had a lovely swim and kick on their body boards, while Arthur ate handfuls of sand. Handful upon handful!!
George noticed "red stuff & lots" smoke on the hills behind Deviot. Mummy bear got the binoculars and we watched the helicopter dump water on the fire to put it out.
Once satisfied the fire was under control we poked in rock pools and gathered a 'collection'. This consisted of an empty crab shell, 2 oyster shells and 38 sea snails. Yes 38.