Friday, 29 April 2011

Easter Egg hunt

We hosted an Easter Party for some of our closest friends and their kids on Sunday afternoon which was loads of fun.  I had so much fun planning and preparing all the goodies - Easter is such a good excuse for way too many treats.  I was too busy during the festivities to catch any pics but here are some of the table - which is the most important bit anyway!!

Friday, 22 April 2011

It's a Good Friday

We have spent our first day of the Easter break at the beach.  The weather in Perth is a little bit absurd and a whole lot awesome.  It's hot here today - bloody hot - it's the end of April for goodness sake.  The northern hemisphere is in a heatwave for the start of their summer and down here ours is still going with no end in sight.

Our boy is a water baby and looks like he's going to be a surfer too.  After only a few tries on his belly he was absolutely adamant that he wanted to do it standing up and so he did (with a bit of help from Dad). 

Friday Flashback

This is a picture I took to make Easter cards for Noah's first Easter.  How freakin' cute is that boy.  I love that the bunny has recently become one of his must have bed companions too.

Happy Easter everyone I hope you have five fun-filled family days I know we will.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Cheep Cheep

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Day 1 with our chicks and already we are enjoying them so much.  We started with two newborns plus a dozen eggs and we were lucky to watch the hatching of our first one over the course of today.  In between we cuddled our fluffy babies and did some crafting ready for all the grandparents.  The chick Noah is painting is from Bianca over at A Little Delightful and she also has some cute templates for a bunny and a sheep which  you can paint or colour - we stuck cotton balls to ours.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

An Actual Conversation with my Husband

Husband ' So why did you make pigs?'

Me ' Why not?'

Husband ' Just something to do hey?'

Me ' Yes we had a quiet day at home so we painted and made pigs'

husband 'Oh it's just that you usually do things with a theme'

Me 'Yeah well we are going on that Farm Stay next weekend'

Huband -  Hysterical laughter.

Apparently he knows me too well and it turns out finds my theming of activities hilarious and perhaps a little bit ridiculous.

Anyway here are our pigs from last week.  Be warned this is an all day activity.  (Paint plates, wait to dry, staple together and then glue into stacks and wait for glue to dry, add eyes, nose, legs etc.) It was fun though and it kept us very amused.

Farm Holiday

We had no intention of making it a family tradition to go on a Farm Stay for mummy's birthday but somehow it has happened that we have done it two years in a row and we may just keep it up.

For me it is the perfect way to spend my birthday - away from the lure of household jobs and mundane daily chores I get to spend really relaxing quality time with my two boys.

We couldn't get a booking at the one from last year so we tried a new place Ferguson Farmstay in The Ferguson Valley (WA).

This time we had another family with us which really made it all the more fun for Noah at this age.  The kids love the autonomy of being able to wander to each other's cabin in the morning and head off solo to the rabbits or the trampoline.  Everything is so well suited to children and they get so much enjoyment from all the activities.  

It's so nice for me to see Noah collecting eggs and then eating them for breakfast and understanding all the more clearly that they don't just come in a carton from the shop.

All last week we did craft activities relating to farm animals getting ready for our trip away and it's all culminating in the very exciting delivery tomorrow of our eggs which we will be watching hatch into chicks all over the easter weekend.  More on that later.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

There were 5 in the bed....

This blog started as a way to record and remember precious memories and sometimes I need to take a moment to notice what is special about a certain stage of his life.  This is Noah's current collection of bedtime toys.  Goodness knows how many it will be by next week but as of today this is the favoured group.  For nearly two years it has just been 'raffy' the blanket up front with a giraffe head then a few weeks ago monkey joined the group and slowly it has grown to this little menagerie. Hop (large bunny) Little Hop (small bunny), Monkey, Frog and 'Raffy' (we like to keep our names pretty simple around here.)

Even as I finally publish this a new bear has joined the gang - reminding me how quickly things change when you're two.

Friday, 8 April 2011

Bunny Cupcakes

How cute are these little guys??  This morning I let Noah do almost all of the work in the kitchen.  He's graduated from chief egg cracker to mixer, cake batter spooner and even iced these ones. (Just two because then he started eating more than he was spreading)

We downloaded the bunny ears from here and then just used whatever we could rustle up around the house.  These ones had fluffy cotton ball tails but we didn't have any little ones for paws at the front (next time). I'd also rather pipe the icing nice and high to give the face a more 3D look and perhaps smaller cupcakes next time so the ears are more in proportion.

They are still pretty adorable and Noah was thrilled.  Check him out - watch out Masterchef.

His apron and hat were Christmas presents and they were one of the gifts that did not get opened on the day because we had such an excess.  How fun is random gift opening on a Friday morning though.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Reality Bites

Image from We Heart It

I'm just gonna blurt it out - I am really sick to death of political correctness (is it even politically correct to say politically correct anymore??)

I mean for god's sake apparently we're not even allowed to say Baa Baa BLACK sheep anymore it's supposed to be 'coloured' sheep.  Forgive me for saying so but that's just bullshit and also I'm pretty sure we went through a whole period of history where 'coloured' was an insulting term for black people so how flipping confusing is that.  There really are black sheep people get over it - it's not racism.

There are so many more examples like this one but the one that's really got my blood boiling lately is the party circuit.  There are so many rules it's out of control.

If your kid is school age and you want to hand out party invites at school you are 'advised' to invite the whole class.  When I was at school people invited who they wanted to their birthday party and everyone else had to put their big kid panties on and get over it.  In real life you can't be friends with everyone - not everyone will like you either and that's OK.

Once you've negotiated that minefield and you've got 40 kids at your house there's the party games.  To be specific pass-the-parcel.  Nowadays the host (ie a frantic mum half an hour before the party) is expected to wrap enough layers for everyone to get a chance to unwrap one.  Then this farce is strictly controlled by some seriously excellent timing on the stereo by a very stressed out dad.  Each layer must also have a prize in it.  C'mon people life isn't fair, this is the time we are supposed to be teaching our kids about sportsmanship - It's not whether you win or lose it's how you play the game etc etc

It's everywhere I turn.  At my nephew's junior footy - no score keeping in case someone gets upset at losing.  Easter Bonnet parade no prize for best hat - just a pat on the back for participating.

I don't want any kids to feel left out or excluded or made to feel inferior - absolutely not.  What I want is for them to be educated honestly.  I want them to learn that in life there are winners and losers.  I want them to understand you don't always get absolutely everything that everyone else does. When they succeed or do well I want them to be able to revel in that accomplishment. I want them to be practised in the art of being both a good winner and a good loser.  I want them to lose or fail and feel disappointed and know how to pick themselves up and try again.

What do you think - am I being too tough?  Should we continue to protect our children from reality?  Do you do the 'everyone's a winner' version of pass the parcel or are you old school like me?

We're off to see the Wizard......

The wonderful Wizard of Oz...........

On the big screen under the stars, finally a cool enough Perth night for snuggly clothes and ugg boots (pj's for a certain small person).  All three of us snuggled under the doona watching one of the best movies ever made - perfect.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Etiquette - FAIL

There is a golden rule everyone should know - unless you see a baby coming out of a woman's vagina DO NOT ask if she is pregnant.  I know this better than anyone - I have a tummy that could easily be taken for 5 months  pregnant. (OK so I'm being a bit kind on myself but hey it's my blog and my fat!!).

On the weekend I was at a child's birthday party and there was a guest there that looked pregnant.  I mean to me she looked absolutely undeniably, indisputably pregnant.  It didn't even for a second occur to me that she wasn't.  She didn't just have a wobbly belly like mine it was hard and round and perfectly placed and she was wearing one of those strapless maxi dresses - I mean c'mon.  Still I should have remembered 'the rule'.

The whole situation was made worse by the fact that I overheard the following conversation.

Random Person 'How long now?'
Fat not pregnant person '5 weeks'

Seemed pretty self explanatory to me so later when we were having a friendly chat I blurt out ' Do you know if you're having a boy or a girl' ?  She very politely told me she was not pregnant and then I died.  I have never been so mortally embarrassed in my life.  It's not like it was in the supermarket and I could just runaway,  I was sitting right next to her. I think I turned bright red then  apologised profusely - it's all a bit of a blur. I was desperately praying for a crater in the earth to open up and swallow me.

Turns out something else in happening to her in 5 weeks - I never did find out what!!


Monday, 4 April 2011

Alert - Calorie Overload Ahead

When Baker's Delight contacted me about taste-testing their Hot Cross Buns one of their friendly suggestions was coming up with a recipe involving HXB's.  I love to eat, I love to bake but a recipe creator I am not.  
So naturally I did what anyone in my shoes would do and looked for someone to copy.
In my search I found the amazing Kitchen Wench who created this fab recipe last Easter.  With full credit to her for all of the fabulous deliciousness of this creation as well as some really sexy photos I share it with you.
Chocolate-Stuffed Easter French toast
Ingredients (serves 4)
4 hot cross buns (preferably mocha-flavoured)
2 medium-sized eggs
1/4 cup milk 
2 tbsp caster sugar
2 tsp pure vanilla extract (not Vanilla Essence)
Approx. 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup thickened or double cream, chilled
Approx. 4 tbsp shaved dark chocolate
1. Firstly, slice your buns horizontally into about 4-5 layers.  The buns are easier to slice if you leave them to get a little stale first.
2. Press a few chocolate chips in between each layer (I went with 5), then when you’re finished layering it, use your hand to squish the bun together firmly.
3. Lightly beat together the egg, milk, sugar and vanilla, then dip each hot cross bin in the mixture. Remember to flip it at least once but not to let it soak – you want the egg to coat it, not turn it into a soggy mess. Once you’ve done that, heat up a little oil in a non-stick frying pan over a low flame, then fry the buns one at a time.
Leave each bun to cook for about 4-5 minutes on each side, only flipping once so the side that has been cooking is crispy and the sugars have caramelized nicely.
4. Just before serving, whip the cream till it holds soft peaks, then use a metal spoon to gently fold in the chocolate flakes. Whack a dollop of this on top of each bun as it’s being served, and watch the cream and the chocolate melt together and drip everywhere into a gorgeously calorific MESS!
If you love this recipe you should absolutely hop on over to her Blog and check out so many more amazing recipes plus at the moment there is an opportunity to win a 2L Cuisinart Stainless Steel Ice cream Maker.

Now I know my ABC's next time won't you sing with me

Noah is currently really fascinated by learning the ABC song and walks around the house singing it on and off for most of the day.

What he doesn't know about all those letters are that the most important ones are I, V and F.  Those 3 letters represent everything to us right now.  Without them we wouldn't have this precious boy that fills our heart daily with so much love and laughter.  We never forget how lucky we are to have him.  A generation ago we would never have had the opportunity to be parents - we would have been declared infertile and had to live with that.

It's not that we wouldn't have been fine just the husband and I but we are so much more as a family.  Noah has given us more joy and happiness than we could ever have imagined.

Now IVF has again given us a chance. A chance to give Noah a sibling.  We desperately want to be parents again but it's almost more important to us for Noah.  As we watch him interact with his friends and love them deeply it mean so much to us that he has a brother or sister to share that special bond with.   He is already so excited about the baby in mummies tummy.   We are just hoping and praying that those other 3 letters HCG are on our side.

Saturdays blood results were inconclusive so we are still waiting waiting and hoping our scan on Friday will have some more definite answers.

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Hot Cross Buns, Hot Cross Buns,

One half penny
Two half pennies
Hot cross buns.
If you have no daughters
give them to your sons
One half penny
Two half pennies
Hot cross buns

This is the one and only song I ever learnt to play on the recorder and I think it is the same tune as Three Blind Mice so technically I know 2 songs.  Is the recorder even a real instrument?? I've never heard of a person who 'plays' the recorder.  I'm sure it is just an instrument of torture created by school teachers to punish parents.

I can never think about HXB and not remember this song and that damn recorder.

I have drawn the winners of the $5 Bakers Delight Vouchers - there were 20 lovely commenters over the week so all their names went in a hat (we do it the old fashioned way around here no random number generators).  Noah drew them out amidst cries of "What we do now mummy?'

The winners are - Chantelle from Fat Mum Slim
                            Kellie from Three Li'l Princesses
                            Tara from Our Whirlwind Adventures
                            Sandra and Willo

I'll be in touch to get mailing addresses and get your vouchers to you asap.

Thanks everyone and keep an eye out tomorrow for a decadent recipe to use up left over HXB's ( not that there would ever be any left over surely!!)

Friday, 1 April 2011

A Little Bit of Easter

We have finally made a very small start on our Easter activities.  Noah is so excited this year because he knows we're having an Easter Party.  I want to make it really fun for him so we have lots of things planned including hatching chicks in our home.  I'm rolling Easter and a few farm activities all in together to try and give Easter some meaning for him besides chocolate (more on that another day).  We are even going on a farm stay the weekend before Easter.

Today we started preparing some of our decorations and look at our beautiful Easter 'tree'.

We also made this really easy paper chain which you can buy from Target - all the strips already have a sticky end so it is a super easy no mess (no stapler) craft.  It was only $2 for a pack with enough for a 40 link chain too so you gotta love that.


A quartet, a foursome...

The word four has four letters. In the English language there is no other number whose number of letters is equal to its value.

The number four on a calculator is made up of four light bars.

Many things are arranged in fours. There are four suits in a deck of cards, four points of the compass, and four phases of the moon. There are four wings on a bee and four leaves on a clover, if you are lucky.

The four seasons are spring, summer, autumn and winter. 

A tetrahedron is a kind of pyramid with four triangular faces. It also has four corners. *

Best of all 4 years is how long I have been married.  

Today is my wedding anniversary (and my husband's too - fancy that!)  Yes I know it is April Fools Day - we thought it was fitting after our false start the previous year when we had to cancel 5 weeks out from the big day.

We have been together for 9 years all up and it has been a wonderful adventure.  We have had many ups and definitely our fair share of downs too but we have stuck it out and we're still very much in love.  He makes me laugh every day (sometimes with and sometimes at) and that is really all I need.

* This information shamelessly stolen from HERE.
** The idea for this post even more shamelessly stolen from the amazing and clever Mrs Woog


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