Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Ryan's Christmas wishlist

Hey Father Christmas/Santa/Santa Claus/Saint Nicholas/Kris Kringle/Aussie Sam/Farmer Joe

Well, everyone has probably bought me presents already but what I want from you are:

* an IOU a dog from mum
* lollies
* books
* plums
* tins of ravioli
* lots of meat
* no maths*

From Ryan

*this isn't a thing but I want it anyway.

Bethany's Christmas wish list

Dear santa,
Thanks you so much for giving me presents 8 yrs in a row, now it is yet another year, but this time I only want a few things

1. A border Terrier
2. A time of our lives CD by miley cyrus
3. A pack of 'wammys'
4. 2 DSi's
5. A warheads stocking

That's all folks
from Bethany

Dear mum,
all I would like this year from you is a note that is signed by you saying : I.O.U. a puppy border Terrier sometime in 2010. I would also like a new remote control car, Thanks you heaps (that's if you get me this stuff) I'm just kidding. from Bethany ps: Merry Xmas

Heads up

Blog post coming soon...

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Paul's birthday cake

Paul has a track record of requesting interesting cakes for his birthday. There was the time when I made a meat pie tower, photos of which I cannot find right now. This year he requested a steak cake (or 'steek cake' as Hannah, who obviously read the word long before she heard it, kept calling it). He backed down on the original plan for the cake to be actually made of steak, and decided it was okay to just look like steak. Fortunately.

I think I did pretty well under the circumstances. And no, he's not 411, that's my feeble attempt at making do with the equipment I had to represent 42. The cake itself is our new favourite chocolate zucchini cake. Which of course presents Ryan with all sorts of dilemmas, as he can't eat it on principle, but you can't actually taste the zucchini, and it's an extremely delicious rich chocolate cake... He usually finds some lame excuse to eat it after expounding for hours on how he couldn't possibly let that poison pass his lips.


Over the weekend I went up to Melrose at the base of the Flinders Ranges for the weekend. The kids were with Paul for three nights, and even though I knew I should have been spending the time doing something productive, like plastering the cracks in the walls, or gardening, or housework, I decided to go away for the weekend. Of course.

Melrose is well known in the mountain biking community here as there is an extensive network of trails around the town, and the town is quite supportive of the sport. Each year over the June long weekend they hold a Fat Tyre Festival where tons of people from around the country camp and ride. I’ve never been there, but read about it each time there is an event held up there and keep wanting to visit. And finally I did.

I really didn’t want to spend tons of money so I decided to camp, despite it being the middle of winter. It wasn’t actually too bad at all. I did doubt my sanity for a while there when I spoke to the caravan park owner and she said ‘an unpowered site? Just for you? Really?’ like I was some sort of insane freak. The setting was lovely, I camped literally at the base of Mount Remarkable, which really is remarkable as you drive up to the town and see it looming out of the plains and towering over the township.

Photo: Mt Remarkable above the road into Melrose. Hard to get a real idea of the way it imposes above everything, even when shrouded in fog.

Photo: My campsite at the base of Mt Remarkable. The road in the distance leads up to the start of the trails.

I had contemplated asking my usual riding partner Amanda to come with me but in the end was looking forward to just tootling around by myself for the weekend. It didn’t quite work out like that as literally five seconds after I arrived in the town, I met a guy called Clive and ended up spending just about all of the weekend with him. There is a really great mountain bike shop in the town which I stopped at first just to have a nosy and get a map to the trails [valiantly NOT actually looking at any of the awesome stuff they were selling]. This guy was in there getting his bike tinkered with (an Ibis Mojo, only my favourite ridiculously expensive mountain bike). We only briefly said hi but then later when I went to pay for my camp site on my way out for a ride, he was in the office too. Obviously I was kitted out in bike gear so he said he was just heading out with a couple of other people he’d met the day before and did I want to join them. I hesitated for a moment – he was obviously way fitter and more serious about riding than me ($5000 bike was a bit of a hint there) but assured me that the other girl that was with them was new to mtb and wasn’t very fit either. So I threw caution to the wind and agreed. The trails they were heading to were at a local winery, about 6km out of the township. He was riding out there, the others were driving. With no room for me or my bike in their van, I joined Clive for the ‘warm-up’ ride. Of course, the 6km was all uphill. By the end of that, I was already wiped. Clive of course was quite merrily chatting and not even the slightest bit out of breath, despite claiming to have not ridden for several weeks due to a knee injury.
The couple that we met were very nice, Paul and Narelle. Narelle had only been mtb riding for a few months, but was actually quite fit. Paul, well, Paul was hardcore. He built lots of the trails around Beechworth in Victoria, owned a sports business and obviously rode a lot. The trails were a bit disappointing but still fun – mostly through paddocks and up and down gullies and not necessarily that well signposted. I trailed everyone the whole day. They were nice enough to wait for me and there were plenty of hilltop chats to enjoy the view and listen to the sheep. The day was a bit misty rainy and the trails were pretty damp, so we got MUDDY! Clive also had the dubious honour of managing to ride through a patch of cow dung. Paul had a border collie, Bindi, who ran with us as we rode, which was an interesting experience. The dog was lovely and well behaved and had a great time chasing everything around (including a massive farm cat).
The ride home from the trails was a lot easier, all downhill and pretty fast – I was excited to crack 50km/hr coming into the town.
Photo: The hardcore Paul. You can tell he's hardcore cos he shaves his legs.

Photo: Back from Day 1's ride. Muddy!

Photo: The bike was muddy too.

After cleaning our bikes in the creek and having the standard caravan park hot shower (ages to warm up, impossible to get temp right, hot water running out) we went to the local hotel for dinner. There are two hotels in Melrose and both apparently do great food. We had a very nice meal, the highlight being Clive’s ‘Belgium chocolate mousse’ (which irritated the grammar Nazis amongst us), spectacularly presented as a big swirl on top of a mound of berries.
The nights were actually quite mild, not as freezing as I’d feared – it was quite comfortable to sit outside until way too late, especially the second night when we had a campfire.
On the second day, we walked up Mount Remarkable in the morning as Clive’s bike was back in the shop (he spent $700 there over the three days getting his bike tarted up, they were good salesmen!). The climb was pretty cool. 12km round trip up a 1km high mountain. And not that it’s a competition, but the projected 5 hour walk took us just a smidge over three hours. That includes stopping to admire what we concluded could only be light plane wreckage on the middle of the mountain, and compensating for Clive’s still sore knee.

Photo: Clive way off in the distance, on the other side of the gully. Slow.

Photo: Every gully on the mountain was filled with rocks like this.

Photo: See, we did make it to the top! Clive doing his best home-boy impersonation. I did ask him to pose 'Japanese tourist' style, but he was obviously confused.

Photo: I had some photo ideas dictated to me ("If I had a camera I'd take a photo of this..."). And to be fair they turned out well. The cyclists amongst us will notice the sweet single track to the right of the shot...

Photo: Thanks, photo dictator. I think this is my favourite pic of the weekend. Can you imagine riding this stuff? It's on the walking trail but the lads from the shop allegedly ride it to the summit on occasion.

We went our separate ways in the afternoon after I made lunch (yet another convert to vegemite and honey sandwiches, haha!). I was feeling pretty slow and just wanted to try out some of the intermediate trails around. Of course, once I finally got out there, ‘a quick lap around a blue trail’ turned into ‘just another lap around a different blue trail’ turned into ‘perhaps I’ll give one of the black runs a go’ turned into ‘I’ve been out here two hours and I’m totally exhausted, very far away and it’s starting to get dark’.
The trails were very nice, mostly through open paddock again, rocks, a creek, and plenty of kangaroos. By the end I was really had-it, with very wet feet from going through the creek so many times, and my bike was creaking and moaning like it was fifty years old. I was far enough away and without a map that I started to wonder how to get back. All the trails are loops so you can’t get too lost, but you don’t want to start out the wrong direction and have to do five extra k’s you didn’t have to before you get to where you want. As I made my way back, I was wondering how they do search and rescues… there were a few 4WD tracks, but not many, and lots of km to cover if you didn’t know exactly where someone was. I’d brought my mobile phone specifically to have on the trails but it had no reception there (and it was totally my phone’s fault – Clive is also with Telstra and his worked fine, even with my sim card in). I knew I wouldn’t stuck out there all night – both because the trails looped and also because Clive was expecting me back for dinner and would no doubt raise the alarm if I didn’t show – but still the thoughts passed through my mind as I slowly headed back.

I finally shortcutted to the top of a hill and then followed a 4WD track all the way to the bottom, come out in a totally different place to where I entered the trails. Funnily enough though, a couple I’d chatted to right at the start were standing there admiring the view at the place I came out. 2 hours later and at least a couple of km away.
It was my turn to get a meal cooked for me (I think I had the advantage though – I made sandwiches in daylight as opposed to stirfry in the dark). I got to sit around trying to get the camp fire started, finally caving in to Clive’s repeated ‘advice’ to tip the bottle of citronella oil on it, after which it burned very nicely, assisted by various objects we felt the need to add over the course of the night… including Clive’s stylish ‘pleather’ knife which broke under the strain of the onions, and the wine bottle which disappointed us by running empty, but only AFTER the pubs were shut.

Despite the incredibly late night I was awake early the next morning (damn 6am body clock, and raucous kookaburra alarm) and went off for one last quick ride after I packed up my tent and things. I was keen to try a trail Clive had gone on the previous afternoon, but my muscles weren’t. In fact, when I got on the bike and started up a very slight incline, my thigh muscles yelled ‘you have got to be KIDDING!!’ (only with a bit more profanity) and pretty much refused to move. I persevered and they warmed up a bit, but it was still tough going on the trail. Off-camber on the side of a cliff and about two tyre tracks wide, it was pretty hairy. I only headed out for a couple of km before giving it up and heading back in.
We called at the bike shop one last time before we headed on our respective journeys. I’d pretty much steered clear of the shop to avoid temptation (not that I had any money anyway) but wanted to go chat to the owners and have a better look around. They were great guys (even telling me about some friends of theirs who live in Gawler and are looking for people to ride with) and it’s a lovely place, with a roaring fire and free coffee. Of course, Clive more than earned the coffee with all the money he spent there. Although I spent no money, on that last morning, *I* even had a coffee (my first one ever)! And I have to say, it tasted pretty good. I thought it might be prudent, given the lack of sleep and the long drive ahead of me, to caffeine myself up a bit. It seemed to work – the drive back was fun, bopping to the presets all the way.

So it was an extremely enjoyable weekend, great weather, terrific rides, nice food and pleasant company. I drove about 450km, rode about 40 (fortunately I have no stats on the calories I consumed or the alcohol imbibed). I’ll definitely do it again. If no other time, when Clive heads back through on his epic Australian road trip. Which I google mapped since I’m a geek and at work with plenty of time. A massive figure 8 all over the country. A mere 14,000km which I note you can do in a week if you don’t sleep. Or kill yourself.
I was extremely envious of his plans – as well as mountain biking, he kite surfs and snowboards, and other than some commitments in Qld is just going to meander around the country from fun spot to fun spot. Some people have all the luck. :P

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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Becky the Ballet Bread

Becky was a talent-less loaf of bread. Her relatives were famous or one step closer to being famous Because of their talents. Becky though, Couldn’t whistle or wink like I said she was talent-less. One day her auntie, who was great at hip hop came over to her pantry “hi beck, how are you?” Asked her auntie (who was called Bethany) “great Aunt Bethany “answered Becky” wait actually I’m not” “Oh...I’m sorry But I’m sure I know what’s wrong with you! The thing about you having no talent...but I know what to do me just want to know what you want to do’’ said Bethany “would you like to be in a circus, Learn how to tell when someone’s going to get eaten, amuse bread in a pub, Write story’s or dance” “hmmmm... I don’t know, I’ll think about when you are not here, meanwhile do you want to have some seeds for tea’ Said Becky ‘’yum, yes thank-you” replied Bethany hungrily. Becky thought while she ate because Bethany was not talking much, Becky thought and thought but it was no use she could not think of anything then Bethany went home and Becky went to bed, really tired. Becky woke up, put on her jam outfit, brushed her crust and her wheat hair then she rung her Aunt Bethany for she had made up her mind she wanted to be a ballerina! Bethany said it was fine. The next day after she got ready she heard a knocking on the door she opened it and she saw a roll dressed in ballet clothes “Hello I am Rebecca and I have came to teach you ballet, someone called Bethany told me to “Said the roll “wow, thank-you for coming I will give you a warning though: It might take a long time ‘till I’m ready for the stage” replied Becky “that’s fine, I love teaching ballet”.
It took year by year, year by year until Becky was perfect at it.
She performed her first performance at crumb theatre, then salad filling theatre until she was SUPER famous! Since Becky was a nice loaf of bread she never gave all the credit to herself, she gave part of it to Rebecca and Bethany


Saturday, June 06, 2009

General catch up

What's been happening? I'll have to be guided by the pics, in date order, not significance.

We got kitties! Smudge and Snowball are part of our crazier household now. We drove all around Adelaide trying to track kittens down - Beth had just had a tooth pulled (decayed badly, just like Ryan's, sigh, what am I doing wrong here?!), and they had a day off school (not for the teeth-pulling, something else I can't recall). We drove down to the animal welfare league to get a cat. I like the idea of 'saving' a cat, plus I liked the thought of them being already desexed. I wanted an older kitten or cat, as Sophie is quite timid around animals, and I thought a kitten would be too much for her. BUT Animal Welfare League was quarantined and not giving out cats (it DID NOT mention this on their website where they had cute photos of all the cats available for adoption). We decided to look for another animal shelter, so I rang my trusty internet service provider (thanks Mikey) and got some numbers for some places. The only places giving out cats were even further away. Not happening. Someone suggested vets often have cats to re-home. So I rang a few vets. These phone calls are all happening while we are sitting in the car on a side street, by the way. No-one had cats. Several had just given away gorgeous cats yesterday. Apparently. In the end, we remembered walking past the pet shop in Gawler that morning that had a sign out the front that there were kittens on sale - $15 instead of $25. I wasn't rapt in a) kittens and b) pet shops, but we'd been promised feline additions that day. So off we went to the pet shop. There were three sister kittens in there - all black, two with white feet and bibs, and one with a brown nose. The kids played with them, Sophie mostly hiding from them. I'd already had in my head that we might not have been able to choose between cats at the shelter and might end up coming home with two, so when the kids couldn't decide between the three sisters, I said they could choose two. Much rejoicing. Of course, the last lonely kitten looked a bit sad when we took her sisters away, but as I told the kids, 'two kittens is okay, three is crazy cat lady territory'. (although I have owned three cats at one time before) So two it is. Smudge and Snowball are their names. They've settled in pretty well. We keep them locked down the living part of the house, since whenever they are allowed up to the bedrooms, mysterious piles and wet patches appear on beds. Not nice. Just recently we've equipped them with collars, bells and nametags and are starting to let them outside more. This is mostly because litter trays stink. And children hate cleaning them. Of course, when the kittens are outside, the kids, particularly Sophie, are paranoid. 'Mum, Smudge is stuck in the tree!' 'Mum, Snowball is close to the fence!'. But so far they've survived. Of course, I got half a tree trunk fall into my eye the other day when we were trying to 'rescue' the kittens from the grapevine, but I survived. I should also mention that super timid Sophie is now the cat-whisperer. She spends most of her time holding or patting at least one of the kittens, and is constantly asking me to take photos like this one:

So the plan of having animals in the house to get her more comfortable around them clearly worked. Yay parenting skills!

Sophie started kindy too. Her confidence in everything has really increased. She is so grown up!

Onto Mother's Day, which managed to be a two-day extravaganza this year. Michael was at our place on Saturday and so he helped the kids make french toast and pancakes for breakfast. Yummy, of course (although served with a fairly vile mango and banana juice - fortunately the children liked it so I didn't have to tip it down behind the bed and pretend I drank it all).
On Sunday, the kids were on their own, and they made pancakes again (both times were out of a packet, but were still yummy of course). And then they disappeared for a very long time. Sophie's job was to keep me in bed, which consisted of making me read her stories. Clever strategy, that. When the others finally came in, they were bearing THIS:

THEY MADE ME A CAKE!!! A cake! With icing and everything!! Including a M made of lollies (which you could invert to make a W, for my initials, apparently: Wonder Mum).
The cake was kind of dry, but I relished every bite. They made a cake! From scratch! My kiddies are growing up. They mostly respected my wishes and didn't buy me hardly anything. I got presented with lots of handmade cards and gifts, and they sang the indonesian 'mother's day' song to me, which apparently translates as 'you're my mum and you love me very much. i'm so special so you love me very much. it's mums job to love her kids.' and so on. Those crazy Indonesians.
We did have a sad interruption to our mother's day festivities (fortunately in the lull when the cake was being baked) when mum rang to say that grandpa (who'd been in intensive care for almost a week) had had a cardiac arrest overnight. They had managed to revive him (unaware it was against his wishes), breaking a couple of ribs in the process. Poor man, makes me cry to write it. He was still alive but in a coma on life support. We had been to visit him on Friday, at that time he was uncomfortable, with back ache mostly, but glad to see the children and all the drawings and things they'd done for his room. He looked so little and frail in the intensive care bed, with all the machines monitoring him. But he was still happy and smiling and not wanting to be any bother to the nurses. On Saturday, he was apparently quite well and happy and even sat in a chair for a while. Plans were afoot to move him to the hospital where his kidney specialist works (further away from family). Then early Sunday morning he had this cardiac arrest. Despite the resus, prognosis was not very good at all.
After I spoke to mum, the kids and I took time to sit and cuddle and cry. We love our grandpa frog. Sophie was extremely distraught. Her first comment was 'there'll be no more chocolate frogs' but her sorrow was much deeper than that. She cried and cried. Beth cried too. Hannah tried to cry, but I made sure she understood that she didn't have to cry to be sad. We knew she was sad even if she wasn't crying. People show their sorrow in different ways. Ryan didn't cry but was also deeply sad. We decided not to go visit grandpa - he was in an induced coma and we'd already seen him on Friday. We'd already taken a moment earlier in the morning to remember Poppy, Paul's dad, who died on Mother's Day two years ago.
The rest of our day continued in generally cheerful vein - we visited Paul's mum who was doing okay, but I didn't see my mum - I spoke to her several days but didn't even wish her a happy mother's day. Sorry mum!! Happy Mother's Day. :)
Monday mum and I arranged to have lunch together (no kids!) but first we called by the hospital. By this time my parents had made sure the 'no resus' message was clear, although the hospital was still working hard on trying to treat him. That morning they had rang wanting to begin dialysis on him, since his kidneys were not working (the original problem), but the family decided it was too invasive a procedure. When mum and I went to the hospital in the morning, dad met us there, as well as his sister Marilyn, and her daughter Vanessa. When we buzzed to get let in to Intensive Care, instead, the doctor and a bunch of other people came out and took us to a room for a meeting. Never a good sign. The doctor was very nice and sympathetic, but said that even though age was not a factor in their treatment plan, fail to respond was, and grandpa had essentially had four major system failures and wasn't responding to any treatments. They didn't think there was any hope. Of course we all knew this was coming but it was still extremely upsetting. They left us alone for a while before we went in to sit and wait with him. While we were all sitting around crying and talking, a lady came in who knew grandpa from bingo. No-one had the heart to tell her that we'd just made the decision to turn off his life support, so we chatted for a while (she said what a lovely man he was, so independent, so friendly and thoughtful - everyone always said those things about him). She left a card from the bingo people, full of get well wishes. After she left, more talking and crying. Dad said he was surprised at how unprepared he was for this happening. It's so true. Even for someone who's lived a full eighty years, and been slowly getting sicker and slower over the years and especially the last few months, even when I'm a generation away, it's still so hard. He was such a lovely unassuming man, so stoic through losing grandma and always through his pain, I have so many lovely memories of time spent at their house, to have that all come to an end is just sad. And he really wanted to see that darn road built too.
Anyway, we went in to sit with him while they turned off the life support. I really didn't feel like I belonged there - I felt it was something for dad and his sister (the other two siblings were not able to make it for various reasons), and mum, who was very close to grandpa. But they reassured me and Vanessa it was okay to stay. We stood around his bed, holding his hand, stroking his legs, chatting to him and each other about all sorts of things - remembering dad's childhood, our childhood, grandma... It was a bit surreal - they turned off all the medications that were essentially keeping his heart beating, but kept the respirator on so he didn't 'suffocate'. So all the time waiting (about half an hour, I think) we were accompanied by his 'breathing' and occasional big sigh, as well as the monitor machine going off every five minutes because his blood pressure was so low. Vanessa left to go to pick up her son, and then the nurse came in (finally) to reset the monitor machine so it wouldn't beep all the time. While she was doing that and everyone was kind of distracted and talking, his heart quietly stopped. The respirator was still on, which was very weird since it seemed like he was still breathing. We stayed talking a bit more, everyone took their moment to say goodbye, then we went out to start making the calls. Well, actually I think mum made most of the calls. :) Julie came up to visit - she'd stayed away as she was sick, but that wasn't really a worry now he was dead... We went back in for a final goodbye after the nurses had cleaned him up - taken out all the tubes and stuff. And it was just grandpa. Little and alone and cold in the bed. I'm so glad I was there. Seems kind of odd to say, but it was really special. I hope he passed easier knowing he was surrounded by generations of offspring, who loved and cared and respected him.
Then of course mum and the nurse had to have an argument about his teeth. :) And his hearing aid. We went back and forth on whether we wanted to keep them or not. In the end (I think- could have changed) mum kept them, planning to donate them on to some charity that could use them.
So our mother's day lunch consisted of sandwiches from the hospital snack bar.
When I told the children after school, they were not as upset as the previous day - I guess they'd cried it all out.
All the kids came to the funeral and were perfectly behaved. I think it helped that mum read the eulogy, so there was a familiar person talking. Mum did a great job, they wrote a really respectful and yet light-hearted piece (it's at her blog if you want to read it) and she kept it together all through it, until right at the end.
It was lovely to see extended family there, even from mum's side - of course they've known grandpa for many years as well. It's always sad to go to that particular chapel though - the services for my grandmother and three of my cousins were there too. (What sort of crap odds are those? Three out of twelve grandchildren dead before their grandparents?). But the grounds are lovely and we took the opportunity of having the kids dressed in their best to try and get some photos.

Phew. I'm glad I got that down. See ya grandpa. xx

Monday, May 25, 2009

That cute Sophie

Okay okay, I know I know. I DO realise I said in my last blog (way back in January) that I would blog more often. But I've kept hardly any of my New Year resolutions, so don't feel so bad. One day soon I might write a check in of my resolutions plus a general update. Not tonight, as I've got an assignment to do.
I just had to tell about something Sophie said today, and Facebook doesn't really work for that sort of thing...
We were at kindy this morning making a wig. She got the idea for a wig from a disguises book we have and we thought kindy would be a good place to make it. Today they had wool out on one of the craft tables, which was perfect. She started looking through the wool, but screwed up her nose and said 'I can't use maroon wool, it won't match with my freckles'. What? :)
We ended up using black... Michael was with us and he tried it on. I wish I had my camera - totally flashback to high school... Long black wavy hair. Sophie could not comprehend that!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Happy New Year!

Well it's a new year. That must mean resolution time.

Last year's resolution was to buy nothing new, and I really think I did a good job of it. There were a few moments of weakness (like the bike!) but overall, we bought very few things new, and certainly nothing unnecessary. I found real enjoyment in taking my time, scouring op shops and second hand shops for things I needed, making do with what I already had, or deciding to do without. Of course, gifts were often things that were 'wanted' more than 'needed' but they are kind of exempt from the nothing new rule - as with everything, a little bit of indulgence makes it easier to be restrained the rest of the time. I'm amazed at how much less money I spend, and how much less rubbish we generate. Of course, concurrent with the buying of nothing new, I've worked to cut down on packaging in general (buying in bulk, reusing containers). We also spend much less on groceries than we used to - although I try and buy more things organic which in theory is more expensive, buying less processed foods and no meat really makes the shopping bill shrink.

So my resolutions this year -
1. make vegetarian choices as much as possible. I already don't buy meat for use at home, but I need to work on eating out (sometimes it's hard to resist, like, say, at an Indian restaurant, or when mum cooks dinner for us… and sometimes there are just plain lousy vegetarian options).

2. get my house in order. This means painting, decluttering, plastering, gardening, other repairs. House has to take priority over fun this year. Hmmm. Did I mention yet that I'm studying as well? But Sophie will be at preschool so theoretically I'll have more time to fit everything in.

3. get my life in order. This means writing a will, actually getting divorced, sorting out some financials.

4. spend less time aimlessly on the computer, particularly late at night (sorry Michael!). It's fun at the time, but really achieves nothing and leaves me tired and less likely to achieve the next day as well. So nights are for exercise and study and housework and 10pm curfew. Gee this is shaping up to be a fun year…

5. maintain or even increase my fitness. This is a random goal, really in there so I have an excuse to have some fun. For a few insane moments I thought I'd like to make my goal to complete a triathlon, but after the mini-tri I did where I couldn't even swim 100m, I realised I would need WAY too much extra training time particularly in the water, and I just don't have that much time. I also contemplated, again for about five minutes, doing an extreme 100km mountain bike race, but again, no training time. And it's in February. Not really enough time to prepare. Although it's on awesome trails and apparently a lot of fun alongside the torture element. I'll just have to live vicariously through friends. So there is no fixed goal to train against, except a vague idea that I might run the City to Bay with a friend. It's only 12km, how hard can that be with hardly any running training? Otherwise, I just resolve to exercise as regularly as possible and get out on the bike as often as my other resolutions allow. :) So a non-resolution really, since that's pretty much what I do anyway.

6. get more green. I know some people think I'm plenty green enough already, but there are always ways to reduce your impact on the environment. I really need to work on generating less waste when we go out particularly when we buy lunch (bring our own cups, cutlery etc and ASK how things are packaged and served). I would like to be more active in the community and particularly the school as well. And I need to talk more to acquaintances and friends about what I do and why, and encourage people to consume less.

7. be a calmer parent. I get angry too often over things that shouldn't make me angry. Refine my parenting techniques to use less reward/punishment and more cooperation. Or something. Try to ensure the kids still feel valued even when I'm busy. Try not to use children's needs as an excuse not to study. Or do housework. Ha ha ha.

Hmm, a busy year maybe... Oh, and I promise to put more stuff on my blog too. Pics and stories of the last few months will be up soonish, I promise.

Monday, December 15, 2008


I can't believe how long it's been since I blogged. Well, actually I can. Sorry about that. We've been busy too - spent a couple of weeks sick (so very very sick, and over school holidays too!), then two weeks in Queensland (pics of that on Facebook if you haven't seen them already), then the quick race towards the end of the school year (and a cold and rainy last day of school, darn that climate change). And now it's summer holidays with Christmas just over a week away.

Hannah had her tonsils out the week we got back from Queensland. She was a trouper about it, this pic shows her about six hours after her surgery. She ate well right from the start. No jelly and icecream these days, toast is the preferred first meal. Fortunately, eating has never been a chore for Hannah so she did quite well. Ryan was disgusted when she didn't go back to school the day she got discharged from the hospital! She was under strict doctor's orders to have at least a week off. Now, about six weeks after the surgery I think she might be close to fully recovered. No more snoring, and generally not as cranky as she was before.

Decorating the tree. Feels like it's been up FOREVER. We put it up the weekend of the pageant which is early November. Hannah is about four days post-op in this pic. The rather strained smile is a relic of trying to keep her mouth closed as much as possible.

Hannah at the end of year concert.

Bethany at the end of year concert.

Hannah and Sophie in a Christmas tableau of their own design.

Bethany is learning to put on her own makeup. Not getting many handy hints from her mum sadly...

Sophie's also putting her own makeup on.

For my cuz - they're waiting for you back in Gawler, girl!