Saturday, August 21, 2010

Good things come to those who wait

Our children have birthday parties every second year. This is an attempt to avoid party fatigue in the parents. Last year was Bethany and Jossie's party year but only Bethany actually had one. Jossie wasn't able to make up her mind about what sort of party she would like and time slipped away. We almost had the same situation this year, as family will realise that Jossie's birthday was over a month ago. At first she wanted to invite all her classmates and their families to a party at the adventure playground in the Botanic Gardens. Even if it was a sunny day, something that could have been banked on in past years but would be  very risky this year, it would still be perishingly cold in July. She then considered the indoor pool but finally chose Airborne Gymnastics.

It was indeed a cold, blustery, rainy day so we were very pleased to be indoors. When you have a party at Airborne you are allowed to invite 25 children so Jossie could have all the friends she wanted. As soon as we arrived , the children started playing. The blur on the left is Toby.

Jossie decided to invite only girls, so had a few spare invitations which were used to include a couple of Bethany's friends.

There is a lot of free play with huge trampolines, a foam pit and ropes and bars. I even had a swing from the rope into the foam pit myself. It hurt my back and it was very hard to get out of the foam. Jossie was embarrassed to have her mother playing. I didn't tell her how pleased I was that my pelvic floor held when I was on the trampoline.

The gym man also played lots of games with the kids.

This one was called Octopus.

Some children are so effortlessly graceful and strong.

Look how high off the ground she was!

The little ones enjoyed the swing.

I like how Bethany's body looks like it is twisting in three different directions.

The cake was a big success. I am rather thankful about that as I had to make it twice. This particular recipe makes a very large cake (just what you need for a party with more than 20 kids) and takes a couple of hours as you have to boil some ingredients and then wait for them to come back to room temperature. I finished it around 9.30 last night and was then rearranging the lounge room for the slumber (misnomer) party when we heard a clang in the kitchen. Milo had climbed up, stretched to the far side of the bench and commenced eating the cake. We were not amused. Thoughts of cutting it in half and using the (hopefully) untouched part were rejected and I started again at 10pm. It was done by midnight and I iced it this morning. Phew.

The two hours passed and the children all seemed to enjoy themselves and I didn't have to do a huge clean up. Now Jossie and three friends have taken over the lounge room, filling it with beds. They have eaten too many lollies (after rigatoni al forno and caramel slice with ice-cream!), watched Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang and are about to watch Starstruck. Sigh....I hope we all sleep tonight, I need it!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Dreams do come true

Jossie has wanted this haircut for ages.

At Christmas she saw my cousin Mal's wife, Mel's, fabulous hair and said that was just what she wanted.

There was some concern that it would be too grown-up a style for her.

Eventually, however, we agreed. Lots of hair was cut off!

Jossie was very excited but managed to sit still.

I'm fairly certain it won't always look this sleek....

....but we're all pretty pleased with it.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Smaller, more regular posts

Bethany brought home a book about her excursion today. Please excuse the bad photos - the book is a photocopy and it is night time.

Bethany made the cover! I love her expression of delight as she holds the hose and I love the way the fireman is enjoying her reaction.

She also seemed to enjoy sitting on the plane.

I'm in the book too!

Bethany loves animals and isn't frightened of them at all. We think she'd make a great vet, although the vets I have seen at work aren't in a dress and high heels.

Did anyone else watch Criminal Justice on Sunday night? It was certainly a change of pace from the previous week's Return to Cranford and not what we usually see from Matthew MacFadyen. His character was no Mr Darcy or Arthur Clennam. Andrew didn't enjoy it at all but I was quite fascinated by it. It is crime, but not whodunnit, as we see early on exactly who did it. Gradually you see that the characters and their actions are not what they seemed. I'm looking forward to watching its conclusion next Sunday.

Sunday, August 15, 2010


So, where were we? Oh yes, I had just finished packing for Jossie's excursion. This term all three children have looked forward to excursions and now only Toby's is still to come. I usually have trouble getting Jossie out of bed at 7.30, but the morning she went to Ballarat, she bounced out of bed at half past five. Andrew dropped her at school at ten past six to hop on the bus with all the other excited year five and six kids. The next two nights we experienced the very rare feeling of rather wishing Jossie had her own phone as we really wanted to know how she was going.

The next morning it was Bethany's turn and she had been counting the sleeps until her first school excursion. They have been learning about jobs this term and lots of parents have come in to talk about what they do and demonstrate where possible. They have been curling hair with the hairdresser and hopping on the huge cattle truck. I know a soldier came in but I don't think he brought any weapons :) On the excursion they visited four different workplaces starting at the airport where they went on a plane. They had morning tea and patted the animals at 'At the Farm', a café owned by some parents, they got to squirt the hose at the fire station and after lunch they came to the library. I told them all about the library, read them stories filled with underpants, poo and gross things in a witch's kitchen before we made googly-eyed monsters. It was so much fun.

Jossie arrived back at school at quarter to nine on the Friday and didn't draw breath the whole way home. Despite the fact that she was very tired (who could have guessed that four friends in a room  wouldn't sleep?) she had to show us all that she had bought and tell us all about it. We were very impressed that she spent some of her money on buying presents for all of us.

I had been a trifle worried about lending her my camera but she took very good care of it.

She took some fabulous photos. An awful lot of them were just like these.

It is very important to remember the hotel room.

Gorgeous bathroom tiles.

She did take quite a few photos at Sovereign Hill and I am looking forward to seeing the professional photo of the girls all dressed up. Jossie took one of the boys with her teacher, Mrs Heath.

Just like her mother, she took photos of her food.

And when, like me, she would be so keen to eat that she forgot to take a photo, she took a photo of the plate :) All in all it was a wonderful experience and she had such a good time.

Toby had his team photo taken.

It was very lucky that we did that last week because soccer was cancelled this week thanks to the rain. It has been a very rainy season which has been a nice change.

On Friday night we went to our friend Maame's 30th (it feels good to get invited to 30ths when we are much closer to 40ths ourselves). Bethany dressed up in her fairy gear. Can you see Maame's super high heels? They didn't last very long!

Bethany took the camera for a while. Now I can remember that I wore my red shoes.

Bethany, obviously inspired by the hairdresser's visit to school, made Maame's hair 'pretty'.

Then she asked Maame to braid her hair. It takes 10 hours to braid Maame's hair so Bethany had to be happy with just two braids. Birthday girls can't spend their whole party braiding hair.

Adeola did one more but will need to come for a sleepover to do Bethany's whole head. I wonder if Bethany could sit still for that long?

Toby made a new friend and they absconded with my phone to play doodle jump.

Bethany helped to cut the huge mud cake but I made sure she didn't help blow out the candle - children spit.....

Yesterday I worked. I am supposed to work one in five Saturdays but there are lots of part-timers who really like the extra work so I haven't been in on a Saturday for ages. Thankfully, it was Farmers' Market day so I rode in a bit early. There was no hot water for my shower which was rather nasty on a cold morning, so I warmed up with a plate of dutch pancakes with cream and maple syrup. There is a new, french baker in town (he is actually from France as well as a baker of delicious french things) so I bought an almond croissant and pear and almond custard tart to share. Kristy and I were just swallowing a mouthful of almond croissant when an older man came to the desk. We told him that we needed to keep our strength up and he suggested that it was for when we went clubbing that night (!?) How old did he think we are? Then, a young man watched me bend over to get books out of the return chute and commenced discussing my bottom with his mate. It must have been the day for pervs at the library.....

I finished reading Natasha Solomon's Mr Rosenblum's List. While I was reading it I was often worried that it wouldn't turn out well, there was a lot of potential for disaster, but it ended up being a lovely read. I also read Jeffrey Eugenides' The Virgin Suicides. Having loved Middlesex I ordered this for the library and it was very good. The ending was slightly less satisfying than that of Middlesex, but I really enjoyed it.

Today has been wet, again. I plan to ride in the morning so I hope the hot water is on! I think I'm about caught up now. I'll try and do shorter updates more often, just uploading the photos takes forever!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


Jossie is all packed for a three day excursion to Ballarat and I almost need a valium after the effort. She needs to be at school at ten past six tomorrow morning and we won't see her again until late Friday evening. Brave teachers indeed.....

One thing in their favour is that I think the weather has started to turn. It is still perishingly cold but this morning I noticed that it was almost light at twenty to seven while it has been completely dark until seven all winter. It has rained so much that maybe the drought is over too.

After a very brief visit from Dad on Thursday night, as he drove down to Melbourne, we had a quiet weekend. Toby was very stoic about the cancellation of his soccer game and while Andrew went on a 75 kilometer bike ride to Coolamon and back, I took Toby and Bethany to watch Jossie play netball. It was cold, damp and windy but she played really well and only lost by three points. In the afternoon, as Andrew recovered from his ride, I took Milo on a long walk to the uni.

The rain held off and Milo really enjoyed all the smells. Last time we were up there we found a frog.

There are lots of open spaces but dogs aren't allowed off their leash. We didn't see a soul, all in bed after a big Friday night?

I pointed the rainbow out to Milo but he wouldn't even look. It was the only moment I wished Bethany was with us. I didn't miss carrying her scooter or 'encouraging' her to keep going.

Charles Sturt University, at least the Wagga campus, is quite unfortunately ugly. Lots of tan, seventies brick. There is a little footbridge, however, that goes over an empty pond which, apparently, runs camellia petals.

On Monday, usually my ten hour day at work, I left after three hours because Mum and Dad were coming for a night on their way back from Melbourne. We had a lovely afternoon. I had made baklava, for the first time, and chocolate cheesecake brownies. We had Italian roast pork for dinner and lemon delicious for dessert before watching the last episode of Little Dorrit...... so good. Mum and Dad left first thing this morning and now I am getting a cold....... not so good. At least Jossie will be away from the germs.