Thursday, June 26, 2014

drumming (guest blogger alert!)

(By B)
Of all instruments R loves - guitar, bass, double bass, violin, mandolin, mouth organ, didgeridoo are ones he often mentions - drum and cymbals seem to be the favourite.  At an awesome playground last weekend he spent 90% of the time hitting the play-drums with the largest sticks he could find.

Out of the Box festival at the QPAC this year featured Japanese Drumming as one of the free workshops, so R and me went down early to ensure we nabbed a spot.  After the bollywood dancing we were in prime position and managed to get one of the last of the 150 plastic buckets not commandeered by school groups.  The spare drum happened to be right in the middle of the crowd, and parents had to stay at the edge.  He's a bit of a scaredy cat so I wasn't sure how he would go so far away from me and surrounded by people slightly bigger than him (not to mention lots of noise) but I needn't have worried.  He LOVED it. He didn't exactly listen to the commands, but he followed along with the other kids (or did his own thing as he saw fit). At the end, everyone got up and left and 149 drums sat empty while 1 drum continued to be utilised by one cute little 2.5 year old who was intent on staying for the next session.

Where's Wally:

I crashed my plane.

when left alone

We really do love our 'Babycam', for many reasons. One reason is the priceless entertainment factor! He quite enjoys his pre-sleep time, which can last for a long while, and we get to watch some hilarious antics without interrupting, we get to see how he entertains himself and interacts with his toys/friends, we get to see what's happening when it gets noisy (usually singing, recalling conversations or yelling random statements/commands/wishes), AND - importantly - what's happening when the room goes quiet. Sometimes quietness indicates sleepiness, but often it means he's reading himself a story, whispering to giraffey, rearranging his toys, poking his head under the blind to stare out the window, or undressing (to varying degrees).

It wasn't technically 'alone' time, but 'time without child'. Usually scared of events that involve corporate-ness/excessive mummy-ness/marketing/excessive use of pink, I braved the recent baby expo with a couple of courageous friends. Channeling my inner-mature-woman (or, at least, my best attempted imagining of her), I tagged along and trusted my pals' keen sense of freebies and worthwhile stalls. It was actually pretty fun!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

nights get shorter again!


We headed out to the lovely Winter Solstice Festival again this year. I just had a look at last year's post, and it turns out we an almost identical experience, with identical highlights, this time! I could have just copied the text in here. And, just like last year, my photos are all about food/drink (which I will happily spend the entire evening reveling in), and his are about watching/listening to live music (which he will happily spend the entire evening enjoying, carefully tapping his foot to the beat)!

Friday, June 20, 2014

auntie visit (and visit and visit)


 Every morning he shuffled down the hallway, knocked on her door, calling, "Are you awake", waited for her response and then declared, "Let's PLAY!" And so each day of fun began.

My sister called me, earlier in the year, to double-check dates before she booked flights for her Easter trip here to Brisneyland. We had just found out that we were pregnant but weren't quite ready to share the news, however I wanted to make sure she didn't end up regretting coming earlier in the year and not later, once the bub had arrived. I hinted at this and she replied, I'll just come back again! It turned out that she came back a couple of extra times in between, on either end of her trip to Palm Cove for a friend's 40th. So we are getting FOUR visits this year! Three down, one to go! I suspect the next visit will be quite different from the others. 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

fete favourites


He, the boss, dragged his Daddy and Auntie around for the morning, between the playground, snow cones, giant slide, pony rides (so brave!), sushi, mini-train, fire engine, performance stage...

It's no secret that I love a fete, and that my very favourite parts are the 2nd-hand stall and the petting zoo. With no petting zoo at the most recent event, I was free to spend the whole time rummaging through boxes, tables, shelves and racks of potentially incredible treasures. Demonstrating great maturity and self-restraint, I filled just one bag with toys (including the tupperware shape-sorter that I've been hoping to find 2nd-hand for a couple of years now!) and another with clothes. Mainly tiny ones. And I didn't even buy back anything from the dozens of box-loads I had donated to the cause (my good pal was volunteering at the stall). My third favourite thing about a fete is the obligatory and delectable cake stall (of course) but, because we had an abundance of tasty bananas from our little grove at home, I'd already spent the weekend pumping out batches of banana muffins and couldn't really justify buying anything else!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

morning walk

My big boy walking to Daycare.

On the return journey of my morning jog/walk/shuffle I spotted this gorgeous rainbow arc. Stunning! Rainbows have always felt quite magical to me and have never failed to lift my spirit. Taking this photo also gave me a perfectly justifiable reason to take a break from jogging and stroll for a while...

Friday, June 13, 2014

surrounded by books

 Despite being away for the entire long-weekend, we still managed a quick visit to the Lifeline Bookfest, between swimming lesson and nap time on Tuesday. That he had clear memories of the previous Bookfest (6 months ago) became apparent when he marched in, rounded a corner and made a beeline for the trestle table where we spent quite some time, last time, reading a particular book, and he wanted to repeat this. He was disappointed that he couldn't see the book where he expected it, until I reminded him that we had actually purchased it last time and it lives at our house now. Then he was content to find and read various books while I browsed.

I spent much of Wednesday at the Clarence Corner Bookshop/Cafe, getting some work done and eating tasty potato & leek soup. It was refreshing and productive, and every time I looked up I spied another title or series to investigate.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

long weekend





 Photos vaguely correspond to the following weekend schedule...

Friday night: Lantern Parade. Incredible and uplifting.
Saturday morning: Drive to Mooloolabah. Breakfast at Velo with Auntie and her lovely friend. Play with starfish and jellyfish and Auntie at Underwater World (he). Enjoy quiet walk along esplanade, beach and rocks (me and B).
Saturday afternoon: Arrive at Hervey Bay, long-lost best friend reunion. Run, giggle, shriek, collide. Repeat for many hours, outside and in.
Saturday evening: Burrito dinner and catch-up chats. Fairly successful sleep-over on mattress in bestie's room!
Sunday morning: Hervey Bay markets, beach exploring.
Sunday afternoon/evening: Watch friends' bush band play at very family-friendly event, Maryborough world-record-attempt pub crawl.
Monday morning: Breakfast with friends by the water at Toogum. Throw rocks in water, watch boats and birds. Devour eggs benedict, delicious beans and milkshakes. Hit the road. Stop at awesome Driver Reviver at undefined beautiful location. Thoroughly enjoy the trivia on road signs.
Monday afternoon: Lunch and play with cousin/aunties/uncle in Caloundra . Play and play and play, prolonging drive home for many hours until long-weekend traffic clears up.

(Also, I fixed the video from last Friday's post.)

Wednesday, June 11, 2014


Last time we were at Lone Pine he kept such a careful distance from the kangaroos (and anything else without a tall fence) that I had to be clever with camera angles to even get him in the same frame as the wildlife. Definitely not even worth the 50c for a bag of tasty pellets. This week, however, he thought it was just hilarious and completely fine - he was brave enough to feed and pat the kangaroos, and cuddle some other baby animals. It turns out that all we had to do was organise the visit with his fearless little pal to boldly lead the way.

I haven't had much energy for cooking and feeding our little family lately, but I do have a few favourite recipes at the moment. I'll copy them below, but as I don't have a photo of my cooking I'll instead include his attempt at preparing his own breakfast. On the kitchen floor. 

Zuchini 'Fettuccine' & Fresh Tomato Salsa

2 large zucchinis, shaved lengthwise with a peeler (this is the 'noodles')
2 ripe tomatoes, chopped
generous handful fresh basil leaves, chopped up small
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves minced garlic
1⁄4 teaspoon salt

Combine and serve immediately.

Date and Maple Scones/Damper

2 cups whole flour (plus extra)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup butter, chopped
1 cup pitted dates
1/2 cup milk
3 tablespoons maple syrup

Combine first 6 ingredients. Add dates. Combine milk and syrup and add to mixture. Add extra flour to make dough. Knead lightly on floured surface. Form 8-inch circle on greased baking tray. Cut 12 wedges, without cutting right through to pan. Bake at 200 degrees for 15 minutes.

Sweet Potato Chocolate Pudding

2 medium sweet potatoes (baked, chilled, peeled)
1/2 cup raw cacao powder
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1/2 cup pure maple syrup, honey, etc
1 teaspoon vanilla
pinch of salt.

Whip all ingredients together in food processor.