Friday, January 17, 2014

FMS photo-a-day - tiny

My tiny Josie dwarfed by an old tree (same tree as for black + white)

Day 16: FMS photo-a-day - sun

I've taken a few photos of the sun for FMS-photo-a-day in the past, and here wanted to show the effects of the summer sun. Our once green grass is as brown as brown now, in high summer.

Day 15: FMS photo-a-day - black + white

I was a little late with Wednesday's prompt, also, only taking it at the RTBG on Friday morning. I love how it turned out, there's something a little spooky about the bright light beyond the deep shade of the observer.

Day 14: FMS photo-a-day - three things

Three rolls of washi tape I bought at Salamanca before Christmas. I actually really struggled with this prompt, but then last night (several days late) dreamt of taking pictures of my washi tape rolls. Well, why not?

Day 13: FMS photo-a-day - makes me smile

As I checked on Rohan before I went to bed, I couldn't help but laugh out loud. After we'd said goodnight, at some point, he'd gotten out of bed, grabbed his giraffe puppet-blanket, and snuggled up with it on his hand. For some reason the giraffe was holding one of Rohan's mittens in its mouth. Just thinking about it still makes me smile! (Posting this one four days late!) in fact, I almost always grin when I check on Rohan at night, he always seems to be doing something quirky!

January 14, 15, 16: oh dear, it's a slippery slope

Golly gosh, I missed one post over the weekend and my blogging week fell apart. I think I have a new tactic, so we'll see next week whether it has helped :-)


Come Tuesday, the weather forecast was for a hot hot day, so we began with a plan of staying home with all the curtains and blinds closed!

Pascal managed to wake and get up early early early. By the time I hopped out of bed, she was already at the table drawing pictures of the ninja turtles and April. She drew seven or eight, then after breakfast she joined them all in a line with sticky tape and then went looking for somewhere to put it on a wall. We ended up blu-tak-ing the whole thing to the wall in the hallway (it's probably time it came down....).

As soon as the kids were breakfasted, I braved the outside world to feed and water chickens, water the garden super-deeply and (while I had the hose out) wash out and refill Josie's water table ready for a hot day's splashy fun.

While I hung a load of washing, Josie joined me outside to start splashing. She was ever so industrious carrying spoonfuls of water from the water table to a nearby tub. Before long, Rohan joined her and it was time of a change of clothes!

Josie came inside for a fruity snack, then was off to bed, and Pasc and Roh helped me to make popcorn for morning tea.

The afternoon, being so hot, was a lazy one, except for tidying our room (dust bunny eradication) and changing the sheets. Pascal and Rohan have also been asking to change their covers, but I told them their rooms need to be tidy first. I thought I should follow my own rule. After this I was too worn out to even think about hassling them to help me in their rooms, so theirs will be for another day.

While waiting for our pizza to heat, after Luke arrived home, Roh went back to building his Turtle van and Pasc started the small set she received from Santa's helper at Dee's Christmas Party, Mia's Bedroom. She's really improving at following the Lego instructions, and hardly needed any help at all.

 We ate our pizza for dinner, so glad to not have to cook!

Over the last few days, with all the Lego building the kids have been doing, we've been thinking about sorting all of the loose Lego into sets so they can easily be rebuilt, and so that only the mixed tubs are used for creative building (Rohan is a very ingenious builder, he creates some amazing vehicles). So after dinner, we threw all of the Lego we could find into tubs ready to start. Oh my goodness. What have we done??

Before we began, we went out (as soon as the kids were in bed) to refresh the garden and check the chooks. I looked up from outside the garage and saw Pascal standing in our room, asking to go to sleep in our bed........ok, I say, then another voice comes from Rohan's room asking to do the same. Sigh, ok. It was 10pm before they ended up going back to their own beds and finally sleeping a little while after. It's easy to be cranky with them, but I still remember such hot nights as a child where it is impossible to sleep. Poor things.

With no real idea where would be the best place to start with the Lego, we began with one of the biggest sets, Rohan's fire truck/boat/buggy set (after sorting the bulk of it into obvious Friends Lego and everything else). By 11pm, we were maybe 1/3 of the way through, with plenty of things on the can't find list. We continued to an easy-to-remember-where-we're-up-to spot, and headed to be way too late at midnight!


We'd originally planned to pop into town today, because of a forecast cooler day, but on seeing that Thursday was looking even cooler, we postponed to then.

We kept today another quiet one.

Rohan saw all the tubs of Lego on the stairs (the gated stairs up to our upstairs rumpus room, aka, the Lego and yarn room!) and really wanted to play with it, so when Josie went for her nap, I brought down the little suitcase of Lego that Nanny gave him for his latest birthday. I wanted Pascal to have something to creatively build too, so I had the bright idea of reuniting all the pieces of Pascal's little Brickmaster set. I thought it would all be very easy, but I just ended up doing a lot of sorting, and very little reuniting. It did get us a few steps ahead for the night's fire truck continuation, though! Luckily, Pascal wasn't too disappointed. Being my little couch potato, she was happy flumphing around!

 We made banana and date muffins for morning tea, and managed a little of the tidying we needed to do in Rohan's room.

In the afternoon, we were a little lazy, but that's what school holidays are for, right? Except for Josie, she kept scaring me with her couch acrobatics!

Luke brought home an easy-to-cook dinner for us. He visited the supermarket and bought some battered and crumbed frozen fish and crinkle cut chips. I normally shy away from such things, preferring to crumb my own freshly bought fish and chip potatoes for myself, but there are times when the easy road is better. And you know what, it was actually quite delicious.

In the early evening, I started the knitting for the Mystery KAL I'm taking part in. I think I've already mentioned it? I didn't get very far before it was Lego time! We did manage to complete the fire truck. There are a couple of pieces still to find, but nothing too rare or expensive (if we end up needing to order pieces). And we also caught up with the second part of the show on the chap in England who had so many newspapers stacked up he needed to crawl into his house. These programs are hard to watch and hard not to watch. You have to feel for these people, such hoarding tendencies are a real sickness.


Today, we ventured out (relatively) early to go visit Daddy at work. The kids just love going into Luke's office and seeing him at work. 

We parked in the Argyle Street car park, and this was the first time I'd parked our new car ("it's not a car mum, it's a van": Rohan) in one of the city car parks, and even though I knew we were ok for height, because we fit under the maximum height 2m sign without bumping it, it was a scary drive. I kept ducking my head, because it really felt like we were about to scrape on the beams! Eeks!

We met Luke up at the office, and headed out to Oomph for a coffee. The kids all enjoyed babycinos, Luke a flat white (it was their Romeo blend, and he really loved it. I might need to buy that next time I buy ground coffee, just for a change. I usually buy the Tiger Bean), and myself, a dark hot chilli chocolate. It was ok, but I prefer their Hot Mexican, I think. This one didn't have enough of a chilli hit.

We saw Luke back off to work, headed to Beauty and The Bees for shampoo and conditioner (unfortunately, we missed seeing Lani, she's away at the moment) then I made the mistake of taking the kids into the ABC shop for a browse. If I hear the words I want... again, I may scream.

From there, I wanted to head to Target for school socks, but the direct route goes through the Cat and Fiddle Arcade. Pascal is still terrified of the Cat and Fiddle wall (for those not versed in the joys of the Cat and Fiddle Arcade, there's an animated Cat and the Fiddle scene which operates for about fifteen seconds on the hour, every hour and enacts the nursery rhyme. If you think about it critically, it's not that flash, but it's a Hobart institution, and  a fondly remembered part of any Hobart adult's childhood) but I didn't want to go the super-long way around, so I snuck us though Harris Scarfe (I still call it Fitzgeralds, after goodness knows how many years!) and out to the upper level into Target. Poor Pascal, she freaked out when she realised where she was. I wish I knew what to do to help her get over it. When I ask what's so scary about it, she says she doesn't like the way it looks. Ok, I admit it's a little creepy to look at, but as a kid, going to see the Cat and Fiddle was one of the highlights of a trip to town with Mum (as well as a visit to either the Fitzies or Coles cafes or, before it burnt down, the cafe whose name I just can't seem to recall right now, where Sportsgirl is now) . 

We got our socks (which I've since sent back with Luke to return after I found better socks at half price  in the supermarket just half and hour later), and some new undies for the kids (TNMT and Barbie), and then to the supermarket, after a snack and a quick play on the play area in Wellington Walk. 

Spot the children!

Poor Roh was complaining of a "funny tummy" as we got to the supermarket, but after weighing up the options of him possibly vomiting in either the car or the supermarket aisle, we chose the supermarket. I let him sit in the trolley, and he seemed to improve. And yes, I broke my resolve of not going back to the supermarket with all the kids these holidays. I just didn't get around to organising an online shop. Sigh.

After we were done with the shopping we had a super-long wait for the lift back up to the car, but finally we were in one and on our way. Josie hit herself a big milestone right then, every time the lift door opened onto a level in the car park, she pointed out and really distinctly said "Car!". I gave her big smiles and claps. It made everyone else smile, too. It made my day!

Home, then, for lunch and a snooze for Josie. And me. I lay on the couch for a little rest at about 3.30pm and ended up going to sleep, with Pascal lolling about on me. I woke after 5pm! Oops. But clearly I needed it!

We took the night off Lego, instead catching up on a little telly. :-)

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

January 13: daring Josie

On Friday night, Luke cabbed it home, so his car was still at work, and he asked us to give him a lift in to work, aiming to leave home at 8am. I do hope it isn't a preview of back to school in a few weeks time because it was a huge fight getting them to eat their breakfast, get dressed and clean their teeth ready to go, even with the promise of an early trip to the Train Park with their scooters.

We did eventually manage to get out of the door, and had Luke dropped off by 8.30am (just). From there, it was straight to the nearest drive-through coffee shop for a coffee for me and soon we were parked up at the Train Park. Pasc and Roh took their scooters in and the first thing they did was scoot around the little track. Soon they were ready to start sliding. Josie was keen too. She scaled all the steps up to the big slides and her first trip down was a bit of an accident. She crawled on and ended up heading down head first on her hands and knees. I caught her at the bottom, and she was squealing with delight, all ready to go again! Next she came down with Pascal, and boy were they fast! The first time I kind of caught her before she went flying off Pascal's lap. Next time, Pascal held onto her as they reached the bottom, but they both ended up face first in the soft fall. Josie was filthy from head to foot, but she still thought it was awesome fun!

I got her cleaned up and we all ate our bananas, and Pasc and Roh took the bubble wand out on to the grass with Josie. 

Josie began to get tired and started trying to raid another family's lunchboxes of food, so it was time to go. We grabbed some milk and watermelon on the way home, and the kids jumped straight into the bath. After their bath we had an earlyish (for us) lunch and Josie went for her nap. 

While I (disastrously, but it was all ok in the end) made laundry liquid, the kids played quietly. I had the grand brainwave after I'd heated and dissolved the soap flakes and washing soda to add a cup or two of Sard oxy-action powder (or whatever it's called) to the mix to add to the cleaning power. I've done it before, a long time ago but put it in the mix at the start (I usually grate about a quarter of a cake of Sard Wonder Soap into it, but I'd forgotten to buy more). It seems adding it to the hot liquid causes an ever-so-exciting chemical reaction, and I had a bit of a witch's cauldron effect. Oops. Finally I had everything cleaned up and all settled down and decanted into containers, but it took about five times longer than it usually would to make it. Lesson learned.

Pascal was keen this afternoon to build the garden of Olivia's House, so once I was all tidied up, that's exactly what we did. Josie was all awake and out of bed, so she had a little practice at amusing herself (with Rohan's help). With the house all built, Pasc set about playing with the three characters, Olivia, the girl, Peter, the dad and Anna, the mum. It's really funny, for some reason Pascal has given Peter a layabout personality and he spends most of his time lying around watching television, except when he's BBQing. She calls him Lazy Peter. :-)

I made pizza for dinner tonight, with the prospect of not having to cook tomorrow night especially appealing! After Luke arrived home, he did some Lego building with Rohan, then we ate and scooted the kids off to bed. It was a hot evening so it took a while for everyone to drift off. Poor Pascal asked if she could go to our room to go to sleep because Josie was crying so much, even after having her nappy changed and hopping back up for more drinks and cuddles.

I watched yet more Downton Abbey, then Luke joined me for dessert and a Scrubs. To bed and I stayed awake too late finishing off The Casual Vacancy. Hmmm, what to read next? I have a couple of holds ready at the library, so probably one of those.

Luke has also started instructing me in the ways of the Rubik's Cube. I would say I am a slow learner, but I will need to follow the advice I give the kids.....the way to get better is to practice.

I haven't been snapping many pics over the last few days. Normal photographic programming shall return soon ;-)

Monday, January 13, 2014

January 11 and 12: a fun weekend

Oh, dear, so much for my resolve of blogging every day. Somehow there just didn't seem to be time over the weekend. Saturday started a little slowly. Luke was home late on Friday night and I was silly enough to try to wait up for him :-). I ended up falling asleep reading my book, but I woke up enough when he did get home to register that he'd brought home the Downton Abbey season 4 DVD that he'd ordered before Christmas and was so disappointed hadn't arrived. But yay, it came!

Late Saturday morning we finally took down the Christmas tree. Everyone joined in, which wasn't necessarily helpful! After that task, Luke made a grilled cheese and relish lunch which was delicious, especially eaten outside. For some reason (lack of sleep, maybe?) I was super-tired after lunch and headed off to bed for a nap (nothing like a Nanna nap!). 

I needed to duck out for a few things from the supermarket and Luke had a little shopping list for Sunday's dinner, so in the late afternoon, I scooted out for a 'quick shop'. Hopefully writing it down here will remind me that I should never visit the supermarket on a Saturday afternoon. It's crazy-hour.

As I left for the supermarket, Pascal, Rohan and Luke were setting themselves up to make pop-up cards, which Pascal had just seen on Mister Maker. They were just finishing up as I got home (it was the 'minute make'!). The end result was just great!

After a simple dinner (eggs, cocktail snags and salad for the kids, the last of the leftover curry for us), the kids went to bed and I got to sit down to my first new episode of Downton. Of course I enjoy the story, but the costumes, the sets, all so sumptuous! After that Luke joined me and we put in his Christmas DVD of The Bridge, a Danish/Swedish collaboration crime drama where a body is found on the ├śresund Bridge joining the two countries. Gruesome, fascinating and I can't wait to enjoy some more. It was interesting that even though we were reading the subtitles, it was still frustrating to have the volume a little low. I guess it is all to do with the need to hear context within the speech, even if you don't understand the words being spoken.

Sunday morning saw us up early to do some tidying ready for Luke's mate Perry and his son Jamie to visit for breakfast (Perry's wife and older son were camping for the weekend). Pasc and Roh were very excited to have Jamie coming over to play with.

We had our fluffy pancakes outside (yum, with rhubarb and yoghurt is my favourite), enjoying the mild summer weather. The kids played everywhere. Despite Pascal complaining yesterday that there was bird poo on the trampoline (she's been calling the starlings, which are in huge flocks at the moment, poo-birds because they poo on the trampoline!), it didn't seem to bother them today! If they'd told me they were heading down, I'd have organised to check it and clean it, but by the time I realised it was way too late! Oh well. They also enjoyed Josie's water table, and even sat down quietly to do some drawing.

After our guests had left, there was Lego to build! Luke and Rohan worked on Dogpound's van (Rohan's Christmas TNMT Lego set) and Pascal and I worked on Olivia's House. Once it had started, we put the first One Day International cricket match between Australia and England on in the background, and had a lovely afternoon. Pascal still finds some challenges in the Lego building endeavour. There are times she gets really frustrated, but also times she finds it an absolute breeze. She was talking aboutt as having her "easy brain" on. :-)

A new innovation, Sunday night is Luke's night to organise dinner, and tonight was marinated prawns on the BBQ with a dipping sauce, and salad from the garden (but bought tomatoes, we're still waiting for some of our tomatoes to ripen). There were also snags for the kids and to bulk it out a little for the grown-ups. It was a perfect BBQ evening, and the food was delicious. 

Our evening was spent with the cricket, more Lego and knitting. Luke had gotten the taste for building while helping Rohan so he found a medieval scene set to put together. After the kids had gone to bed there was a little bouncing out, and one time, Rohan popped up. He looked at the box of the set, and said "Wow, how are you going to build all of that in one night??". It was very cute!