Friday, March 29, 2013

redcliffe day


A little while ago, when my sister-in-law was pregnant, we had a brilliant idea - that we could have regular cousin play-dates by meeting half way (between Caloundra and Woolloongabba), which lands us all at Redcliffe. This week, we put this plan into action (with the organisational and motivational help of our serendipitously connected-to-both-of-us friend). We spent the entire time making the most of the lagoon and very-shady playground. Success!

Our gorgeous kids kindly make it not-too-difficult to have some great catch-up time as sisters/friends. Particularly when they snooze in the car!

portlandian canadian

He is making the most of every moment of having such a willing, fun, talented and generous friend around.

So am I. 
Cups of tea and good conversation. Mmmm.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

mess = fun

The thing about a mess is that it is usually indicative of fun being had. Mess is, symbolically, a wonderful thing! A little mess = a little fun. Huge mess throughout the bedroom, loungeroom, kitchen and yard = BEST DAY EVER! We move from one extreme to the other. This is this evening's moderate mess.

It's not all his mess. An erupting volcano of colour and texture was constantly changing shape over the weekend as I played with fabric combos for my latest batch of pants. See them here - the last dozen or so. 

new favourite venue: coorparoo bowls club

We happily settled into the couch space, with a bookshelf, toys, crayons... Perfect. Best he-friendly evening venue! He didn't even need the etcha-sketch we brought along to entertain him (so I played with it).


After such fun at an accidental game of music bingo a few weeks ago, we headed back last week to try our luck. B stole the show by coming 2nd and winning a bar tab, C won 'heads/tails' and received the coveted prize of choosing something from the 'Bag of Crap'. She chose an amazing plastic whistle. 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

bargain table

Oh dear. Bargain table outside the library bookstore again. But who could say 'No' to Mr Croc and his tractor? (Especially when they are reduced from $35 to $3 due to damage that would have happened the first time he got his paws on him anyway!)

This was also going for less than half price, though a little more than Mr Croc. Flicking through the pages makes me feel excited and inspired.

note to cheese factories

To be truly successful in engaging (and retaining) quality customers, we believe that cheese factories must have one (or more) of the following (in addition to ample samples and a friendly face, of course):
- petting zoo
- playground
- viewing platform/window (featuring an assortment of large silver machines that move and industrious-looking people with hair nets)
- toys (well done, Maleny Cheese)
- climbing trees
- photos/info of cheese-making processes, preferable with buttons to press
- free postcards

At Maleny Cheese, on the weekend, I was having a little trouble choosing (surprising?) so I bought a 'picnic' pack (or 3)!
A very important part of this year, for me, is my involvement in a truly life-changing project, "Big Cheese 2013" in which a group of like-minded committed cheesists are engaging in an extended and rigorous cheese-research process.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


Yes, he did already have a drink bottle (or 2) but he always prefers sipping through the straw of mine. Now he has his very own miniature version of mine. We both couldn't be happier!

Gotta love freecycle. The ad said "1980's Sodastream. Live your retro dreams." 
We intend to!

montville weekend


His Nanma and Pa have been married for 40 years!
 Their kids and grandkids treated them to a romantic long-weekend away in Montville, in a gorgeous house with a huge deck, overlooking a picturesque valley with no sign of other humans. Except that we (their daughter, two sons, two daughters-in-law and two baby grandsons) all came along! How romantic.
He had a blast, showing off all of his new tricks to his adoring captive audience, holding so many willing hands for walks, watching the birds up close on the feeders, reading books, exploring a new place, having some naked time on the deck (with his first ever squat poop - quite a noteworthy event for the onlookers though I'm not sure if he even noticed).

Despite it being a work weekend for me (my pretty little laptop and I had some quiet, productive sessions in the mornings and evenings) I thoroughly enjoyed the weekend away, with lovely company (babysitters), a gorgeous setting and tasty food. This photo shows my very favourite moments of the weekend.

Monday, March 25, 2013

state library - upstairs!

We play at the Kids' Corner at the State Library a couple of times a week. Last week was the first time we'd ever checked out the smaller, quieter (until we arrived) kid space upstairs. I don't know what it was, in particular, but he ADORED it, I've honestly never seen him so comfortable anywhere but home. He laughed and sang and chatted and cuddled and explored. He's usually pretty happy and adaptable, but this was something else!
It could have been the magical combination of two of his very favourite things: bookshelves with in-built lights! Can you just imagine?!

There was quite a rush this morning. A Monday thing? 
Doors open at 10am. I headed over at a couple of minutes to, and found an anxious (but trying not to look anxious) crowd of library nerds with books and laptops, each trying to stand in that perfect place which is as close as humanly possible to the glass doors (opening in a minute and a half), but as far as possible from other humans. I wish I could have photographed it from above. Doors opened and the staff stood back, making themselves as wall-like as possible. We poured through the too-narrow opening and each made snap decisions about whether to take the stairs or the lift (I took a left, up the stairs). I knew exactly which spot I was headed for and was afraid (and certain) that every single other pair of shuffling shoes was heading there too. Luckily, as I traversed the corridors and spaces, each person in front of me veered through to a different section and I entered my favourite space (followed closely by a few others) FIRST!

Thank you, State Library, for such a gorgeous place to get some work done! 

mrs flannery's

We were in need of a short outing. We didn't have the time or energy to go far, but needed a change of scenery.
 Mrs Flannery's is just a short stroll from our place, and it has a teeny tiny (but colourful, fun, shaded and enclosed) playground. Perfect for an apple snack and a some climbing over, under, through and around. 
Amazingly, he walked (holding my hand) ALL the way home! I only had to redirect him a couple of times (from pebble gardens, gate latches, flowers, a motorbike and a staring stand-off with a neighbour's dog - baby grinning excitedly on one side of the fence, barky dog on other side, fervently urging us to move on). 
It'll certainly be trickier when he realises (remembers) that he can walk that far without my steady hand. I'll miss all the hand holding!

White bliss balls. They're healthy if they're from a health food shop, right?

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


Played with Dad, met me at the end.

Courageously, I ventured in alone.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

to sleep

He plays and sings to fall asleep. 
Favourite song of the week is "Ahhh booka booka booka".

I read to fall asleep. 
Am enjoying the story and the writing in this book, traversing a few generations, set in Brisbane with frequent references to familiar streets and places.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

getting wet

He is such a confident water explorer. Loves getting wet, splashing, launching into the deep...

After 2 weeks watching the bathroom move from awful, to demolished, to nothing, to gradually looking more like a real bathroom again, while I showered and toileted at neighbours', at friends' places, at the pool, and at the places we've escaped to over weekends... I finally washed my hair AT HOME! The bathroom isn't finished yet, but it's functioning (and who could ask for more than that?)!

Friday, March 8, 2013

manual labour


Working hard in the outdoors while the rain clouds take a break. Little farmer was busy rounding up the livestock, using the huge, heavy watering can, inspecting the fences, digging, rearranging the outdoor furniture...


Uncle J was visiting, generously working hard with power tools and other clever, noisy things. So I felt inspired to do some hard, physical work. I got out the pick-punch and made a veritable mountain of picks! Sounded just like J's nail gun in operation. Almost worked up a sweat.

Thursday, March 7, 2013


Despite having taken his 'first steps' months ago, it was really only in the last couple of days that he's been toddling by choice! This was his first real extended toddle - heading UP a ramp!

First Wednesday of the month, Coorparoo Bowls Club: 
UPstairs, the room is packed full of jovial ukulele enthusiasts strumming and singing and smiling from ear to ear. Downstairs, the pub regulars boogie to the snippets of decade-specific tunes while skilfully keeping their coloured markers poised over their Music Bingo cards. Arriving fashionably late, my uke pal and I passed through the downstairs on our way to our intended destination... It just looked too fun... We couldn't resist partaking in the '90s' round but still had time to head upstairs for enough of a Pete Murray / Chuck Berry jam to satisfy our uke-cravings.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

7 hours in an airport

He napped. He walked, he waved, he watched. He drank our boost juices (bought with our flight-has-been-delayed-for-seriously-ages vouchers). Yes - the one hour delay on the way down was NOTHING! The flight home was laughably ridiculous. .7 hours in the airport. A cancelled flight and a new boarding passes for another plane. New plane delayed an hour on the tarmac. Finally arriving in Brisbane, heading to the train, finding out there are 'track works' and that we had to get off the train to catch a bus the last leg of the epic journey. He was all tuckered out but did a great job.

I wrote post cards.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

bridges, buttons, burgers

Sydney Park has a gorgeous playground, wetlands, a city farm, dog park, bushland, green hills... What more could a little blonde boy want?

I had a couple of hours on my own to wander along King Street, through Newtown. I found my new favourite shop - "All Buttons Great and Small". And an 'Egan' street sign which someone had written a 'V' on the front of, which made me grin. Then we caught up with an inspiring friend who told stories of spinning her own wool out of locally-sourced poodle and bunny fur, then all had lunch and play at Berkelouw Books - with a vegan cafe and a nice kids' play space. 

Mmmm... Much to our delight, Sydney is trialing food vans, which brought back some tasty Portland memories. Dinner at the Veggie Patch - haloumi burger, zucchini burger, bliss balls, grapefruit juice. Yes, there are herbs growing on the wall. 

Saturday, March 2, 2013

rainy friday in sydney

 The Powerhouse Museum was the perfect solution for a rainy day in Sydney. The quest to get there included a walk in the rain, a bus, another walk in the rain, a train and one more walk in the rain. We were rewarded with a gorgeous museum with HEAPS of baby/toddler-friendly activities. 

When he was all tuckered out, snoozing in the pram, I had a thoroughly lovely wander around some of the other exhibitions, notably a Muslim Womens' Fashion in Australia exhibition and an absolutely breathtaking Lace exhibition. 

Another rainy walk and train ride to meet B (and all of our luggage) and head to the friends' adorable terrace house where we're staying for the weekend. Running early, we 3 stopped at a lovely dry pub with lounges, a lit fireplace and room to play.

Friday, March 1, 2013

bound for botany bay

He shared our picnic dinner with the seagulls on the beautiful bay.

He's asleep, B is at a the conference dinner, I'm here at the hotel enjoying the quiet evening and stunning view.