Thursday, April 30, 2015



His passion for drawing continues! Yay! I was sad when the rain washed away the results of his first frenzied huge chalk drawing session, but now that I know he'll keep doing it, it's exciting when he gets his big blank canvas again. Also, it doesn't rain very often. The pictures show his octopus phase, then his 'turtles swimming around a kangaroo'. The next day he woke up and started drawing flying giraffes, which he had just been dreaming about.


She had her first experience with a crayon this morning! She thought it was delicious (luckily it was non-toxic...).

I recently heard a story on Radio National about the neuroscience behind colouring-in for grown-ups. Apparently everyone is doing it, but I'm usually the last to know what everyone is doing! I accidentally bought myself a book of postcards to colour, it's been quite fun!
 I have also been inspired to do some of my own drawing while he's doing his. This inspiration is yet to be acted upon, however! It's a nice thought...

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Guest blog from b!

He attended a the Brisbane Arts Theatre production of The Little Mermaid with a few of his (and my) best mates.  It was a bit of a gamble as the last few times I had taken him into a darkened hall - whether at the cinema or a live music gig - he freaked out and we had to make quick exits.  It took him a while but he finally warmed up to Ariel and her friends.  

Well she wasn't there, but here's a cute photo anyway.


At least I got some nice cuddles while he got used to the dark theatre.
I thought the whole show was pretty well done for a little school holiday amateur production!

Monday, April 27, 2015


He's been flicking through his Science Experiments books again lately. In this experiment, I had to prepare a range of tastes (lime, olive, tahini, cheese, sugar-free dark chocolate, syrup) for him to identify, blindfolded! I'm pretty sure that the lure was not the complex science of taste, but the fact that there was a picture of chocolate in the 'What you need' list. Similarly, yesterday he chose the experiment that involved building 3D shapes out of marshmallows and uncooked spaghetti.


 Food is awesome! I think her current favourite is avocado on crumpet. Or cheese (obviously). She happily munches on lemon wedges without acknowledging sourness in the least. She devoured her first meal of curry/rice/naan last night. With the change in weather last week I put socks on her (for the first time since she realised she has feet), then looked in the pram and was worried we'd lost a sock. Until I saw her grin.

I haven't tasted sugar in a while. Someone I know wrote a book summarising his research into fructose and I finally decided to stop procrastinating reading it, as I trust what he says and I knew I'd have to make a change. Here's an extract from the book if you're interested in knowing a little about my decision. An extract of the extract: Sugar is converted directly to fat by your liver and it destroys your appetite control so that you want to eat more of everything. It also causes diabetes, clogs your arteries and give you Alzheimer's disease (to name just a few of its delights). 

 I'm not finding it hard; it's pretty easy to substitute (I got a couple of recipe books for my birthday to help). I still eat glucose, the good part of sugar (and vital for life), but not fructose. In brief, fructose is as addictive as nicotine and cocaine, and kills far more people. Our bodies can't deal with the quantities that we eat these days (compared to a few generations ago). So, it's not a diet but rather acknowledging a food intolerance and quitting an addiction.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

anzac 100

He made poppies at daycare. He told me "ANZAC Day is about eating biscuits, and the soldiers wear special helmets in case they bump their head on the war".

She had a quiet day at home with me, while the boys were at Underwater World and the beach. The highlight was our evening stroll around the neighbourhood and this spectacular sunset. I think it was the first really beautiful one she's looked at.

100 years since the Gallipoli landing. I spent the day hearing snippets of stories on the kitchen radio, reflections, different perspectives of the event. The whole thing leaves me feeling confused and sad - but so removed.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

changing weather

he + she
My winter babies! Would you believe that they were happily stripped-off, playing in the sprinkler, three days earlier? Of course, it's forecast 31 degrees today again. It's nearly May!

In an effort to pack efficiently for upcoming overseas travel, I'm researching the expected weather (and converting degrees to Celsius) of our various destinations at the times we'll be there. Though, the fact that we're visiting both an indoor, heated water park (where it's a perfect 28 degrees year-round) and the Icefields Parkway in the Canadian Rockies (could get down to zero at night) means the goal of packing minimally may need reevaluation. Unless they let us wear puffer jackets on waterslides. Bathers on a glacier?

Sunday, April 19, 2015

getting messy, getting clean

Painting his box car, painting his hand. Washing it off in the sprinkler! 
This was also an incredibly successful playing afternoon for these two boys who love each other but don't always show it! Yesterday they painted and played and splashed and squealed happily for AGES! Just happy, that's all!


First sprinkler play and first taste of banana smoothie!

Due to the gradual disintegration of our kitchen storage (shelves disintegrating and doors falling off), the cupboard contents have spent many months on bunk beds in the study. I've been getting increasingly frustrated each time I'm looking for a lunchbox, mixing bowl, keep cup... We are planning to get it all replaced sometime. Sometime! BUT this weekend, B put in an interim shelf, and I spent a couple of hours sorting and culling and organising. Cupboards are still ugly but at least they are functional!

Friday, April 17, 2015

big blackbutt weekend


- He spent most of the formal parts of the wedding (which were very casual, on an expanse of grass under the gum trees, with lots of people getting up to share stories and memories and songs) drawing pictures and asking questions. At one point he announced - to the delight of those around us - "I like birthdays and I like parties. But I don't like weddings!" After drawing one more octopus he paused, changed his mind, and added, "I do like weddings because they have music." Later, he proved this true as he sat close to the stage, sometimes visited by friends but mostly alone, transfixed by the live music, drumming on the ground with his sticks for hours into the night.
- He helped light a candle and float it on the dam as part of wedding celebrations. That was pretty special. Particularly the part where a huge cane toad splashed right beside him. 
- His friends crawled in to read books with him in our amazing borrowed tee-pee once he woke up the following morning.
- A winning op shop purchase a few days beforehand (along with his new camp bed/sleeping bag combo) was this travel desk/kit, perfect for his current passion for drawing. He used it for the entire travel time until falling asleep while shaping the twelfth leg of an octopus on the drive home, crayon poised (though the photo was taken after the crayon dropped).
- We spent Sunday afternoon visiting an old friend and his young family out that way, enjoying their deck, veggie lasagne, plethora of musical instruments (some hand made by him), veggie gardens, play equipment and acre of land to run on.


First ride on a swing, first wedding, first camping trip. Lots of big smiles and sooo many willing cuddlers.


- The entire weekend was delightful. I expected all of the visits and events to be great, but the actual traveling parts were surprisingly lovely (this was such a relief for me as our overseas trip - with lots of plane/car/RV/train traveling parts - is imminent)! We loved driving through the countryside on Saturday morning, spotting cows and horses and interesting trees, stopping at the pretty Toogoolawah markets before finally making it up the Blackbutt Range.
- Googa Outdoor Education Centre, in the Blackbutt forestry, was my home for two years, and our wedding venue, as I've mentioned before. It has a very special place in my heart and my history. We spent a couple of lazy hours there before heading back to Blackbutt for the wedding; I really wanted my little He and She to see the place. Wandering around, it concurrently felt like nothing and everything had changed.
- Camping with friends is delicious. Especially the first-thing-in-the-morning part, where everyone gradually emerges and gathers, cradling warm mugs of tea and remarking on the beauty of the day.
- Another of my favourite moments was on the drive home, Sunday evening. We were watching the sky grow colourful and then darken. Little He looked out and remarked, "It's like the sun is painting." Yep.

Friday, April 10, 2015

easter 2015

- Prepared by making hot crossed buns to share, decorating boxes to give as gifts and painting butterfly cards to send to Adelaide.
- Played with beloved rellies (and their beloved toys) in Toowoomba.
- Had a sleepover in Pa's study/office, and announced unequivocally that this was the right time to stop wearing night nappies.
- Hunted for Easter eggs in the garden with his cousin.
- Saw a real rabbit hopping in Nanma & Pa's yard (but was adamant that it was not the Easter Bunny because it wasn't wearing clothes or standing up straight on two legs, so must have been Easter Bunny's baby).

- Spent most of the weekend gazing adoringly (and sometimes a little suspiciously) at her Pa. 
- Ate (i.e. sucked on) her first foods! Cucumber, avocado, toast...
- Wore wintery clothes for the first time.
- Played with her brother's hanging feet while having a little kick on the carpet at Nanma & Pa's church on Easter Sunday morning. 
- Had her first proper snotty nose, poor cherub, but managed to smile and enjoy all of the attention and entertainment.

- Relaxed at the annual Good Friday picnic, which relocated to a friend's gorgeous house due to wet wet wet weather.
- Was thoroughly relieved to have lovely, happy car trips from Brisbane to Toowoomba and back again.
- Had fun implementing our family's Easter traditions.
- Enjoyed a pub dinner with good friends.
- Had a sugar-free (fructose-free) Easter. (I still received some awesome thoughtful Easter-egg-ish presents. One has a chocolaty taste, the other has an Easter egg shape!)

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

double pram!



He, She and I are finally doing a whole lot less driving and a whole lot more walking! She hasn't been a fan of the double-pram as the seat is a bit too upright. Or so we thought. I noticed last week that a friend with a matching pram had her bub asleep in the front seat, dreamily reclining. She gave me a quick, life-changing tutorial. Now He and She both happily ride in the pram, He with his hand resting on Her head at all times, and I am thrilled to be doing long walks with them.