25 September 2013


What a lovely pair of ... pears!

Every year, Currumbin Beach hosts Swell, a beautful scupture exhibition. It's a stunning location and each year I've checked the sculptures out, there have been a few I have just loved. This year it was just me and the kids, Itay was up the coast picking up our new car. he's not into the scultpures so much anyway.

O loved this one in the photo above, spotting it from the car as we were looking for a parking spot. (The parking! What a drama!) We sat next to the artist and she told us that some kids see boobs, some see pears. O saw pears, in case you were wondering!

Isn't this mermaid just gorgeous?

Pigs might just fly.

This was one of my favourites. I also took on a few pictures and posted on Instagram and funnily, when I had a look at the #swellscupture hashtag, these chairs were facing the beach in most other photos!

O wasn't really into the scuptures, once we started walking along the beach and paths. This is what he did for most of the afternoon... drove his little fire trucks in the sand.

They both loved this fabric bike and dog (not pictured!).

Their absolute favourite? the mobile woodfired pizza ovens. That's our pizza in there.

They loved this pizza!

This was O's favourite scultpture, a pile of concrete rubble with this little scene on one of the rocks. M just loved the scuptures and wanted a photo with every single one. Next year I'll just take the girl!

18 September 2013

Update on Mr Snot Cough

It turns out that my little man is allergic to house dust mites and some grasses. I don't think there are many easy things to be allergic to, and I'm trying to get my head around helping O with these allergies.

The doctor has suggested a few methods to reduce O's symptoms. I've ordered some of these mattress and pillow protectors for him. His sheets are changed a couple of times a week already, because of his constant companion, Mr Snotty. I occasionally wash them with eucalyptus oil, but I'll now add a bit of this oil to every wash. Cocoa, his little dog, needs weekly washing with eucalyptus oil too, along with his pillow. I also need to wash his curtains (more than, ahem, the once I've done it ever). One huge issue is the revolting carpet in our house. (This will only be fixed when we finally find our new home and leave this old house.) We have a Dyson vacuum cleaner and I'll need to look at replacing the filter on it, as we've horribly mis-treated it in the last few years.

We were also given a prescription for Singulair, which is used to prevent asthma and treat symptoms of allergies. It works by inhibiting leukotrienes, which are chemicals our bodies release when we inhale an allergen. Unfortunately, when I Googled this medication, the third listing was a news article about a link between Singulair and suicidal thoughts in children and teenagers. The doctor told us that the medication can cause mood swings. I don't even know what to think about this, but the prescription is still sitting on our desk.

Ahh look, as I write this, it's 10.20pm and his coughing starts up. Every damn night, around the same time. Here's hoping we can help him. I haven't even thought about the grass allergies yet.

And that photo? I said "just a second bubby, I'll take your photo" and he turns to me, does this and says "take a photo of my bum-bum". Nice one. He's such a guy.

17 September 2013

Crafty stuff for me

Here's a gathering of stuff I want to do. Long time readers will know that I day dream of being crafty but it just doesn't happen. Sometimes I even buy the things I need to get a certain crafty project happenining, then those tools or ingredients or materials sit waiting for it to happen. It never happens. I feel so stifled, I really want to be creative but I just don't make it happen.

Dip dye a bag. Dip dye anything, really. And ombre. I'm not sure if ombre is cool anymore, but I love it, so who cares.

Tutorial here.

I bought the bleach pen. Now I just need to use it.

And lace inserts. I'm not usually a lace girl, but something about this just works for me. I'm guessing M would love it too. I think this shirt may have been sold at Zara, as that is where the pin takes me, but is no longer available.
And I bought the polymer modelling clay. M has used it and has made beads for me. I've had a little play... but I just feel, as I always do, that I can't get the colours or the finish quite right. More inspiration from here, as is the photo below.

OK, this is working. I am feeling inspiration bubbling up. Who knows what will happen next...

12 September 2013

Camping, anyone?

The idea of camping freaks me out a little bit. Specifically, camping with kids. My kids are a little bit scared of everything. One kid is very prone to being bitten and reacting terribly to insect bites. So combine the dark of night, night noises, many insects and the big one, weather... I'm going to admit it, I'm nervous. (Please don't tell Itay!) I did a tiny bit of camping during my childhood but I'm really not at all confident or comfortable with the idea. I want to go out of my comfort zone... I really want to be a good camper!

We're going camping... at some point in the next few months and hopefully many times over the years. So I must get over my nerves and get organised. I feel that being organised will help me feel a little more in control of an experience which is so dependant on one thing I cannot control, and that is, of course... weather!

So, a list.
  • Tent. Obvious, I know. We have one, but it's probably small enough to be the teenage retreat in about 6 years. We need a big family tent.
  • Something comfortable to sleep on. Not an airbed. What other options are there?
  • Lights
  • Stove of some description
  • Cooking and eating stuff
  • Marshmallows
  • Mozzie repellent
Ooh, that's a nice general list. I think I've covered the basics. I really need ideas, recommendations, tips and coping mechanisms here!

10 September 2013

Little holidays = lots of packing

Long trip, short trip - travelling with kids means packing a crap load of stuff no matter how long you're going away for. A couple of ways that I cope:

Medicine. I pack for all our common ailments. For us, that means:
  • Panadol and Nurofen, kid and adult versions
  • Prednisone for croup
  • Zyrtec, for when M is bitten. And she will be bitten, even if we cover her in insect repellent
  • We have a first aid kit in the car also
Travel time. Our kids are both crap travellers. There have been times when we have reached the end of our main street and they both asked "are we there yet?"... We can barely drive down the coast to visit my family (a maximum of 1.5 hours) before they are both moaning and groaning. So the thought of driving even a little further doesn't fill me with a sense of fun. I sound old and cranky when I say that my kids are bloody lucky, as we went on long, long driving holidays when I was a kid and there were no DVD players, no phones or iPads. We had books, magnetic chess and endless games of "I spy". I have no secret to keeping the kids amused. Food, mainly. I have also bought both kids a clipboard, so they have blank paper and a drawing/colouring surface.

Snacks and food. We almost always book self-catering houses, units or cabins so we can eat and prepare some meals at home. For short stays we make a bit of a plan and then bring the basics with us. This weekend we're away for three days and two nights. So we'll plan to have breakfast at our accommodation each day, lunch out one day, dinner out the next. Our dinners at home are always really easy - BBQs! Lunches are sandwiches or BBQ chicken and salad. So we pack olive oil, oats, salt and pepper, a few spices, a good knife, green tea, mayonnaise... you get the idea. We figure out where the closest supermarket is and stock up on fresher food as we get close to our accommodation.

Our kids each have their own rooms at home. When we go away, they sleep in the same room. There's been a bit of giggling at times, but they're pretty good. They enjoy these times and a few giggles are usually OK.
I tend to pack too many clothes. I do try to plan outfits but I'm not so good at this. I rely on Itay's skills here - he's great at fitting all the crap in to the available spaces!

When I'm planning and packing for any trips away, I tend to think through our day to day routine. What do we use every day? What can't we live without? What makes our days easier, and can we improvise?
Our next mission is camping. Neither of us grew up camping, we've both done a little bit but we're not experienced campers. We're starting to "gear up" and that is a whole other post!
Any travel tips? Camping tips for newbies?

6 September 2013

If you're tired of starting over, stop giving up.

It sounds simple, doesn't it? Just keep going. Keep on doing what you need to do, to get to the place you want to be.

Let's say it straight - I hate my body. I despise what I have let go, I despise ageing. Not very cool and new age, am I? I don't celebrate my body for growing my kids. I just despise what has become of me. I have said it before and because this is my head and my blog - here it is again. I am embarrassed and ashamed of my body, my lack of commitment and the way I look. The only way to change this is to change what I am doing.  I must move my body. I must nourish my body well and I must do this consistently. So why is that so difficult? Why is it that doing what is best for me is so damn hard?

I’ve finally figured out a great lunch – not being a sandwich person, I’m now hooked on salads. Not lettuce and tomato salads, but salads packed with wombok, red cabbage, red capsicum, cucumber, corn, sesame seeds and sunflower seeds. We’ve always meal planned, so I’ve added chicken and beef to the list and we (because Itay does it most of the meat preparation!) marinate, cook and portion them for the week. I dump it all in to a bowl at work and then drizzle in olive oil. Seriously good. I love these salads!

Just this change has made a difference. I feel better when I stick to it. As I age, I am more fully tuned in to my body. This is both a blessing and a curse, knowing your own body. I know that sandwiches, specifically bready/wheaty meals just don't work well in my body.

A few weeks ago I  had a tofu agedashi for lunch and within about five minutes, I started feeling not so good. By the late afternoon I felt really awful, my mouth was slightly swollen and felt ruined, my stomach was swollen and painful. I'm not sure what caused this in the agedashi, but I won't be having that again any time soon! Another day I ate almost a whole packet of chicken biscuits (oh, the shame!) and I felt so, so tired, so foggy and lifeless. Lesson learned? I hope so.

Stop giving up. I need to find some love in there for myself, too. If you're tired of starting over, stop giving up.

5 September 2013

A plague on our house

Sickness has hit our house. O and I were struck down two weeks ago, bedridden and needing to dose up on nasty antibiotics to kick our nasty sickness. Itay and M suffered the following week. 

I've had a sore throat and a chesty cough for six weeks now. Six weeks... and then I think about my boy. O has been on a pretty bad run of health, with almost constant snot and coughing. It has been months for him. Years even. We're having him allergy tested this week because we need some answers. He coughs every night. He has snot most days. Is it a food allergy? dust mites? something more serious? I really hope this allergy testing can help us identify a way to build his immune system and just be healthy.
Even while feeling sorry for ourselves, and the constant, niggling little worry about O's health, I know we're lucky. Very lucky. We're able-bodied, generally healthy and we're not suffering from a chronic illness. We're doing OK. There are many people who are suffering so much more. Remembering this is difficult when you're in the depths of snot, tissues, nightly coughing, croup and throats so sore you can't swallow water. But I need to say and really immerse myself in the knowledge that this too shall pass.

I love her curled little finger and her mis-matched socks. Just a little bit sick, soaking up the morning sunlight.

4 September 2013

Love long weekends

It was a long weekend here on the Gold Coast for the local show. As we have done for the last few years, we packed up and headed off on an adventure. Last year we did this and the year before we did this.

This year's adventure - Yamba. Ridiculously, neither of us had been there. Given that I grew up living less than 1.5 hours from this gorgeous beach town, it is really silly. Not too far to drive with little people, beach, cabin, three days. Bloody bliss.

The boy, pool time. The second-last day of winter.

The view from our cabin on Saturday morning. So, so good!

Convent Beach - someone else's woodwork!

Ooh, look at these rock caves Mum!

Dead crab. I am never, ever touching that, he says.

Loving this view!

Pippis, Yamba.

And a visit to Angourie.

One playing in PJs, the other in swimmers. Early Sunday morning.

The weather was absolutely glorious, the best we have had on a holiday for a very long time. Good weather just makes enjoying life so much easier. Such a beautiful weekend!