Thursday, October 31, 2013

wednesday elephants

Yesterday was his "Daddy Day" this week. They rode the bike to the museum, then met me at the outdoor GoMA cafe for lunch. We chose it so that he could run on the grass and climb on the giant (upside-down) elephant while we ate. It's pretty there, by the river!

I found this on the back of the toilet door at the library. It took me by surprise, as I went to hang up my bag, and made me smile.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

national garage sale trail

He loved it even before he found out that it LIGHTS UP and has a SWITCH to turn on and off!

A couple of years ago, our household registered our rummage sale as part of the National Garage Sale Trail. It was fun. As well as the 2nd-hand goodies we wanted to get rid of, we baked cupcakes and gave away cups of iced tea (or fruit punch... can't remember) to anyone who did a trick, sang a song or told a joke. It was fun! Didn't sell all that much... 
This year, instead of driving around to garage sales, we rode our bikes up to the suitcase rummage at South Bank, which was part of the trail. It was an excellent source of treasures! Clearly I hadn't intended to buy as much as I did (I only had my bike for transport), but ended up juggling quite a load for the ride home.
(Oh yes, that's Junior Pictionary! I also got Battleships and Mr Potato head...)

Thursday, October 24, 2013

he + a different me

I've been angling to score a guest spot on this blog for a while and finally the word came through - I'm in!  Actually the word came through a few weeks ago - I've just been very slack at getting around to posting something.
I'm spending a weekday each week with R and am loving it - despite having to juggle a few work things during the day as well.

A couple of weeks ago on my R-Day, after a swim at Southbank and a FREE ride on the City Hopper ferry, we checked out the playground at Kangaroo Point that no one else seems to go to.  It was school holidays at the time, so Southbank was a little exhausting and there were bigger kids than usual occupying the playgrounds there.  R hadn't really worked out how to do the slippery slide thing yet - until this day.  He fearlessly took to the slide multiple times and LOVED it.

I've been checking out our 3 new local bike shops.  

Bike shop number one is right on our street.  It's been there for a long time but has recently changed names/management.  I hadn't been there for a long time since I had found the staff quite rude on a few occasions previously.  However I ventured back in there and found them friendly enough so ordered a bit for my bike!

It's debatable whether the second bike shop is a bike shop at all as it's definitely more cafe.  Very trendy and everything, but I'm sad to say I don't think it will last more than 6 months...

The third shop is a Trek brand store.  Huge shop, but feels a little new and empty at the moment.  I went in with R and casually flicked a carbon fiber frame to hear it go "Thok!" and then slowly backed away as I saw the $14,000 price tag.  
"So you're looking for a new bike." the salesperson stated presumptuously.  I thought the statement should have been intonated as a question.  
"Um... no actually." 

Monday, October 21, 2013

"Eat Local, Feed Global" garden party


 Photo 1: He got started in the sandpit when his first friend arrived! He had a few of his good friends at the party, and some of his favourite 'big' kids to watch adoringly as the afternoon/evening rolled on.
Photo 2: Leading up to the weekend, he helped me with the seedlings! He thought they were incredibly interesting, and although he was convinced that they must be lifted and carried around, he was quite careful.


 I  wanted to give people gifts to take home. I had a few ideas, but decided on:
- Yogurt starters for making at home, with instructions/info/ideas ('Caspian Sea' yogurt, the easiest to make!) 
- Tomato seedlings (which had popped up all over our garden)

We hosted the afternoon tea as part of Oxfam's "Eat Local, Feed Global" which aims to raise awareness about our food choices, hunger, waste, sustainability, etc., as part of "World Food Day". 

The world produces enough food for everyone, yet 870 million people still go hungry.

We asked people to bring food/drink to share, keeping in mind sustainable, home-made, fair-trade, locally made/grown/brewed ideas. There was an amazingly delicious range of foods, which invited conversation. Our biggest 'little' friend is really into her school kitchen garden, so brought carrot sticks, beans, etc which she had helped to grow. Someone else brought gorgeous home-made soap, a lot of people brought home-made goodies, food from their own garden or from local markets or organic stores. We made pesto from our basil, mini-quiches from our eggs and herbs, cream-cheese dip from our yogurt, refreshing iced peppermint tea from our herb garden, and had 2 'growlers' (large, reusable glass bottles) of beer from our local micro-brewery. We all signed a petition for all political parties to increase our aid budget, particularly in regards to food security around the world, and raised money for Oxfam's work in finding solutions to reduce global hunger. About 50 people came, our downstairs neighbours helped. It was a beautiful afternoon!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

the joy of closing and opening

He now refuses to get out of the car or pram (even if he's been in there for a long time, even if he was cranky about being in there, even if we've just arrived somewhere he really wants to be) until he's allowed to spend some time working on opening and closing his seat belt buckle (though unsuccessful, he finds the attempts very satisfying). It's more amusing than frustrating, and I'm enormously thankful that this game only happens once we've stopped.

Every 2nd Wednesday we collect our Food Connect box, and it is a small joy, each time, to open the box and unpack the treasure! Here is this week's delicious harvest. I was even more excited than usual when I saw that my very favourite veggie was in there (bottom left)!

Friday, October 18, 2013

food surprises

There were two tiny caterpillars on the lettuce leaves we harvested for our salad! He and his Dad investigated (with a magnifying glass, of course) while I made dinner. When it was time to take them outside, they discovered that one was missing...

A couple of months ago, we cut up some potatoes that were sprouting in our cupboard, and planted them around our scarecrow for company. They seemed to be growing quite well for a while, but then they began dying off. A little disheartened, we decided to dig it all up and put something else in the soil. Instead, the dig uncovered a small mountain of lovely potatoes. They just kept appearing, one after the other. Buried treasure! We were very excited. I immediately grabbed two more old potatoes from the cupboard, chopped them into pieces, and buried them in our magic potato/scarecrow patch.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

b's birthday


He made a beautiful birthday hat for his Dad. Who refused to wear it out in public! Gosh. He also gave him a present which he chose from the museum gift shop: A balloon-powered boat! What a great choice for his Daddy! It was a happy day with presents on the big bed first thing in the morning, breakfast at the markets with friends, gardening together in the afternoon, dinner at the pub, and a few great skypes.

I made birthday cheesecake in my new, free, spring-form pan (free with Philly cream cheese purchase - I don't need much urging to make a Philly cream cheese purchase.). This was white choc & lemon and it might be the tastiest thing I've EVER made.

Monday, October 14, 2013

parcel from portland

It was addressed to his Dad (for Dad's birthday), but, actually, most of the fun stuff in the parcel was for he...

...and me! Yay!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

caloundra music festival

 His highlights were the bouncy castle in the Funky Forest (he seriously could not get enough of this thing), rolling around on our picnic rug (and on any unattended rugs near ours), and Xavier Rudd's show. Yep! He has requested that we play Xavier's albums each evening since. He mainly wants to hear the didgeridoo and 'kookaburra'. 

I enjoyed the festival sooo much! It was just so easy and comfortable. You find and claim a spot on the hill with a view of the main stage, leave the picnic rugs (and pram, and whatever else) there for the day, and wander over to other stages/spaces, knowing that you still have your spot and your stuff when you return. It's not too crowded, the music is great, the line-ups for the food are short, the atmosphere is perfect. And there's a bouncy castle. All that was missing was a petting zoo.

We woke up in the morning and headed straight up to the coast for a gorgeous beach morning with friends. It's always super fun playing with them. We thought that, by waking him early and tiring him out at the beach, he'd easily have an early nap at Auntie's place before we headed to the festival for the afternoon/evening. Of course these plans never work... He was awake from 6 am until 9 pm. The little party animal. We saw The Basics, Bobby Alu, Bustamento, Xavier Rudd, Donavon Frankenreiter, The Baseballs...

Saturday, October 12, 2013

public holiday fun!

 Auntie took him to Underwater World again. Gotta love an auntie with a season pass! It is such a perfect place for him. His favourite stories from this visit were the otters who yawned, the big and little rays, and of course the lady helping him touch the starfish.

On our way to Underwater World, we passed THIS place! BEST OP SHOP EVER! So, after we dropped off the lilttle guy and his Auntie, I got dropped off here spent an hour pottering around, uncovering treasures, then walked  (with arms full of treasures) to the end of the street to find B reading by the beach.

The Velo Project in Mooloolaba was enthusiastically recommended by a highly trusted and discerningly tasteful friend. So, since we were in the area, we couldn't resist heading there with Auntie K for breakfast. Little guy played and munched, we ate and sipped and flipped through some of the books from the shelf. Delicious and delightful!

Friday, October 11, 2013


He thinks the girls are wonderful. This appears to be mutual.

We're up to 5 eggs each day! Our girls are so sweet.
I'm not sure why it's so darn fun to collect eggs, but it really is exciting every time.

Saturday, October 5, 2013


He LOVES the buttons, lights and dials. It's a very serious business.


I'm working on making our laundry not-so-ugly by:
Step 1: Doing a BIG clean-out / tidy-up / wipe-down
Step 2: Putting together pots of succulents, and placing by the window.
Step 3: Painting the rusty, peeling under-sink cupboard, and the little wall-shelf to match.
Step 4: Curtains!
Step 5: Hide clutter along wall. 
Not sure how I'll approach Step 5, but 1 - 4 have been successful! 
(I wish I'd taken 'before' pictures - believe me, although still pretty ugly, it's much nicer than it was!)

Friday, October 4, 2013

weekend fun!


 He had a great visit with his Nanma, Pa and Auntie K for the weekend. He's just so happy and comfortable with them!

Two early morning market trips. (The photo is early Saturday morning's sky.) Lovely housemate and I headed to West End markets early Saturday morning. I cannot resist the pumpkin puffs! My boys were only just waking when we got home. Sunday morning I woke early again, to pop out to our local markets for some birthday flowers for Nanma, and ended up with Pa's charming company as a bonus!

We packed a picnic and joined the crowd at Highgate Hill Park to watch Riverfire.
 We headed to the Woolloongabba Antique Centre for morning cuppas and cookies, a look around, and a haircut.
We walked to Southbank for Nanma's birthday lunch... And stopped for icecream on the way home!
A really fun Brisbane weekend!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

literary classics

He fell in love with this book the first time we read it. He requested it over and over throughout the day, and again (many times) before sleep. He woke up the next morning, peered up at me through the cot bars and said, expectantly, "Edge sand. Dance moon."
"...hand in hand on the edge of the sand, they danced by the light of the moon..."
He requests it from us and from friends. Impressively, the friend in the photo knows it off by heart! Another has recorded his own beautiful version as a song. 
In just a couple of days, the cheap little book quickly fell apart. I put it somewhere to remember to fix it. Now I can't find it. Oops. He still asks for it every day. It'll show up...

For my sister's birthday, she and I went to The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) at QPAC. It was not particularly serious. Gosh we had fun and laughed a lot!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

spring garden

Toddlers don't distinguish between 'work' and 'play' - they just 'do'. And that's lovely! 'Doing' anything is fun and interesting. He wants to do whatever we're doing, with no thought that there could possibly be anything that he shouldn't do, or shouldn't want to do. There's a lovely song by Holly Throsby called, "Can I do that, too?" which sums it up perfectly! In this photo, I had a few seedlings to plant, and he climbed into the garden to help. He has spent enough time watching/mimicking and helping in the garden that, every day, he now potters around, independently, watering, sweeping, looking after chickens, weeding (not always helpful/discerning!), digging...


 As spring arrives, the garden is just looking so delicious!