Friday, 30 May 2008

200th post!!!

I wasn't sure what I would do to mark the occasion of my 200th post. I couldn't think of another 100 things to say about myself, besides I wouldn't want to set a trend. I had thought to have a giveaway, but I haven't been organised enough to do it for this post...... I will be doing one in the next week though, so check in once in a while if you would like a chance of winning it :)

What I do want to do is to dedicate this post to Peter who is responsible from bringing me out of my technological Luddite-ness, giving me some Internet savvy and providing the hardware/software (and unlimited download broadband). In honour of Peter I will post what is one of my absolutely favourite music videos........look out for a cameo appearance by Donny Osmond!

(disclaimer: Peter's favourite song is not "Happy Days"........)

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

nothing's impossible

Our little one-armed bandit is adapting well to his new circumstances. Yesterday evening I spotted him playing DS and was impressed by his one-handed game. He'd managed playing Pokemon quite well since it's a slow game, but now we have progressed to Crash Bandicoot. It is amazing what can be accomplished if the motivation and desire is strong enough.
Doodlebug is enjoying his cast at the moment. At school, children with injuries are not let out to roam freely during playtime at lunch, I suppose the school is worried about further injury. The alternative? Free access to the computer lab! So Doodlebug was as happy as a pig in mud yesterday because he got to spend playtime in Club Penguin.
Last night Doodlebug informed me he doesn't want his cast off on Thursday. At first I thought maybe he was a little worried about what is under the cast/having his stitches out etc. But, no.. he doesn't want to lose his new computer privileges!

Monday, 26 May 2008

the world's best hot chocolate!!

I kid you not - this is without doubt the best hot chocolate I have ever tasted!!! It was a few weeks ago now that Serena and I decided to try out Kokoh which opened up in Wahroonga recently. I am completely in love with this stuff but have managed to limit my intake to one a week.....
The swirls on the inside of the cup is a sauce made from genuine Belgian chocolate. The hot chocolate is made from even more Belgian chocolate mixed with milk that has been infused with vanilla and cinnamon. And, just in case that wasn't enough chocolate, there is some chocolate sprinkled on top.
Kokoh also has a kitchen, but I haven't tried the food yet..... can't seem to get past that hot chocolate which is a meal in itself :)

ooey and gooey

Doodlebug's idea of a good time! Our little one-armed bandit and his best buddy went off to Mindquest for a chemistry workshop exploring the wonders of gloop. They had the best time playing with various substances and seeing some basic chemical reactions like submerging eggs in vinegar. My personal favourite was the bread dough Doodlebug brought home, but his pride and joy was the collection of assorted slime:

From the left: The absorbent "stuff" from inside nappies, biodegradable carrier bags mixed with warm water, Rainsaver crystals, PVA and lastly psyllium husks (or "silly yum" as per Doodlebug's label). We live in a world of slime.....

The boys had a great time and can't wait until the next Mindquest comes around in 6 months.

Friday, 23 May 2008

this kind of excitement I can do without...

It was shaping up to be just another Thursday evening last night... dinner was out of the way and I was in the laundry finding today's school uniforms while the bathwater was running. Then Doodlebug came in screaming,telling me he'd accidentally put his fist through a pane of glass in the front door. A split second later I realised that he was spurting blood from his wrist. Thankfully the nurse and first-aider in me was able to take over at that point as the mother was threatening meltdown. Peter was not at home, so I rang our friend Michelle a few houses away. She bundled us all in her car and took us to the hospital (thankfully only blocks away) since I couldn't drive while applying pressure to Doodlebug's wrist. Otherwise Doodlebug might have had an ambulance ride.

I am so proud of how brave all my children were. LP got busy with the first aid box unravelling bandages, and getting me a teatowel for a makeshift pressurepad. Turtle found me the phone and turned the bathwater off. Poor little Doodlebug was petrified - he really thought he was going to die. Hoping that I sounded calmer than I felt, I reassured him that was not the case - not when his mum was there to look after him.

As we left for the hospital I had a brief smiley moment as I realised that I was actually wondering about bringing the camera to hospital..... just like the joke "You know you're addicted to scrapping when....". (Shocking, really.... ) In the end I was too busy practising direct pressure and elevation and carrying Doodlebug, so our visit to Emergency is photographically undocumented.

Our stay in Emergency was a lot less traumatic than it could have been - we went to the hospital I work in, and our Emergency Care nurse was a mum from school - her daughter is in Doodlebug's class. And finally, Michelle's husband Graham is a surgeon and kindly took on Doodlebug. Doodlebug felt completely safe with his buddy's dad. There was a lot of waiting in between examinations, X rays etc, and as the resus bay had no TV (not a huge requirement in there, funnily enough) we had to make our own entertainment. Meet "PsychoChicken"and "NerdChicken"

After a short night's sleep - none for me actually, since I was still full of adrenaline - we went to have Doodlebug patched up. The damage? Damage to one tendon and to the ulnar artery (hence the spectacular "murals" on our walls). But..... he was a very, very lucky boy, because he narrowly missed 2 vital nerves, so we are feeling blessed this evening because things could have been worse.

Before and after theatre shots..

safely back home for another sleep

The offending door - less one pane.... Peter (my hero!) had cleaned up the horror movie interior design and fixed up the door by the time we came home from hospital.

Saturday, 17 May 2008

soccer Saturday

Doodlebug had his game first thing this morning, but since LP was still fast asleep, I stayed at home with her while the boys and Peter went down for the first game of the day. At lunchtime it was Turtle's turn. He wanted to ride his bike down to the game, so I went with him. We pulled up just in time for the game with Turtle nicely warmed up and me nearing cardiac arrest. I could obviously do with riding there more often....

The game was greatly entertaining, although I am still getting used to the new SSG format. I love this age group. In most of the game there is far more enthusiasm than ability. Somehow they're not really worried about the outcome of the game as much as just enjoying playing. We had some great passes today, and some great goals. Turtle showed great form (he's shirt no 9) and I noticed that he favours kicking with his left foot although he is a right hander. Peculiar

Henrietta - there's no one better!!

I love nothing better than to feed my addiction to books, but you already know that. Earlier this week I thought I would make good use of a voucher for Borders. I was not going browsing for myself since, let's face it, my 'to read' pile will keep me busy for a good while still. I wanted to get some books for the children this time so what better to spend a voucher on?

I bought a big art book for me to browse through paintings with the children as well as some fiction for bedtime reading. E Nesbit's "Five children and It", "Tom's Midnight Garden" (Philippa Pearce) , "Peter Pan" (the original JM Barrie novel) and the first in the series of Enid Blyton's Famous Five.
As if this wasn't exciting enough, I made a new discovery! After reading "Nicholas" (by Rene Goscinny - him of Asterix fame), and "Pippi Longstocking" (by Astrid Lindgren - we read the version gloriously illustrated by Lauren Child) LP and I needed something new.

We found Henrietta - written by Martine Murray (Australian author!) -

The pink cover featuring an illustration of a girl with underpants on her head caught my attention. Then I turned the book around to read:

I'm Henrietta P. Hoppenbeek the First. I have a baby brother, two white mice, a chocolate coloured dog, a woolly mammoth, two long green socks with toes, one pickle-eating best friend, a bathtub for sailing in, and definately a huge HUGE amount of discoveries to discover.... And if anyone tells you I make things up, you better believe it..."

and I was sold. Or rather, the book was sold..... to me....

The story is rambling using really creative wordplay and different fonts making it fun to read. The illustrations are whimsical and childlike. Reading it is like listening to LP talk (in that continuous stream of consciousness way....), they both have wonderful make believe experiences..... so Henrietta and LP have found each other and formed a lasting relationship. So far there are 3 books, and I am hoping there will be many more.

Here's a clip of the author introducing the third book:

a leisurely friday

And today, my thanks go to Serena for rescuing me from a day of laundry and housework....

With Serena's brother Jonathan (currently visiting from London) and little Jack we set off for an 'expotition' to Summer Bay aka Palm Beach. It was a wonderful day - the weather went from a foggy, grey morning to a beautiful and sunny autumn day.
Good friends
Hot chocolate with lots of froth
Sandy toes
Fish and chips on the beach
Chasing seagulls
(and the ducks who had their beady eyes on our fish and chips)
It really doesn't get much better than that!

It was lovely having a barefoot walk on the beach. The water was perfect for wading but probably too cold for whaling swimming (and I'd left my swimmers at home)

gorgeous photo of Jack Livingstone Seagull (courtesy of Jonathan)

And that just about sums it up.......

Thursday, 15 May 2008

found at the breakfast table this morning.......

Someone had a rough night....
But I am happy to report that LP perked up considerably after a bowl of porridge, and she scrubbed up quite nicely. I should have taken an 'after' photograph, but we were running late this morning.

Sunday, 11 May 2008

my favourite Beatles song (I think)

... continuing on with the theme of musical talent from around the world, I have to shine the spotlight on Wing from New Zealand.

Thursday, 8 May 2008

"Ken Lee" by Mariah Carey.....

Don't know how long this one has been around but it's a hoot!!
This contestant on Bulgarian Idol is doing Mariah Carey's lesser known hit "Ken Lee" (I know, you're probably thinking "huh?!?!" right about now)

It cheered me up today!

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

the world just got a little emptier

Our friend Tash (with the glasses) died yesterday after an 8 year long battle with breast cancer. She was diagnosed at the age of 26 so she had a very short innings. Peter shared a flat with Tash and Michelle (also in photo) when I met him. They were part of my introduction to Australians and Australia - this introduction also included going to see "The Castle" at the cinema and eating TimTams. I enjoyed getting to know Tash and Michelle as well as Mark who was to become Tash's husband. The Tash I got to know was vibrant and positive, generous and kind. We found about her cancer diagnosis during the lunch where we were going to tell them about us being pregnant again (Turtle). Even as her future had just become a whole lot more uncertain she was unreservedly happy for us. Although I am sure she had her down moments, Tash was not one to succumb to bitterness and self-pity. Instead Tash and Mark decided that although the cancer was something they had to live with, they were not going to let it rule their lives. They went on holidays to places they had not visited before and Tash embarked on new ventures such as developing a passion for knitting. Sadly, we left London before the Vespa era. I could picture Tash zipping around London on her scooter though and will keep that image in my mind.

I am grateful to have known you Tash and to have been even a very small part of your life!

Saturday, 3 May 2008

my baby is growing up!!

Another milestone has been reached today as we took the training wheels off LP's bicycle. She got the hang of it surprisingly quickly, and bravely set off down the pavement with Daddy. We're still a little on the wobbly side, zig-zagging all over the place but getting straighter all the time. I loved the look on her face, going from intense concentration (complete with her tongue sticking out) to sheer exhilaration and pride as she conquered the balancing.

For Turtle it was also a big day as he was the recipient of his very first brand-new big boy bike with gears. He's had a bit of a growth spurt and was no longer safe on his little bike as he barrels down the pavement. Instead of having to wait for a birthday or Christmas, he got a surprise instead as Peter brought him to the bike shop after soccer. No photo of The Turbo-charged Turtle yet as he is a little camera shy. I'll get him though........

Oh, by the way...... this obviously means I found the missing camera again!!!!!

Friday, 2 May 2008

confessions of a book-a-holic

For the last 2 days I have been at home with a bad cold. My own remedy for a cold was quite simple - retire to bed with a good book, a nice cup of relaxing tisane and.... a huge bar of Dairy Milk chocolate (thanks to the YW/YM fundraiser). I read Kelly Denley's "Almost Perfect" on the first day, and continued my reading of "A matter of conscience" on the second day. Bad timing had it that I was in one of the chapters of High Court rulings. Having most of my grey matter replaced by snot I was struggling with the Legalese, but I am pleased to say that I conquered Mabo (1). It has been a very educational book for me as I have learned a lot about recent Australian political and judicial history, with the latter half of the book emphasising Ron Wilson's work for Human Rights/Aboriginal Rights. Very topical in this year of "sorry".

Anyway, and this is where the confession comes in, I needed an outing today. Besides milk and bread shopping I thought a visit to "Recycled Reading" might be nice so I called Tina to join me.

I love book exchanges, it is so much easier to make a new book discovery in them. I feel more inclined to make adventurous choices when I am not paying full price for a book. There is also the rather satisfying aspect of coming out with an armful of books. I bought a couple of books I have always wanted to read, but haven't got around to yet: "A short history of Tractors in Ukrainian" and "The Shipping News". Then there were books that have been recommended to me eg "A long way gone, memoirs of a boy soldier" . I also found another Barbara Kingsolver book and a Muriel Spark. But, I was really excited to find Spike Milligan's "Silly Verse for Children" that I have been on the look out for, as well as another poetry book for children. A couple of old dr Seuss books also decided to come home with me.. I would take a photo of the complete stash, but my camera is still missing.... besides, I'd hate to incriminate myself any further :)

My name is Mari, and I am a book-a-holic.......

(btw, when I walked out of the door of the book-shop I came face-to-face with "LollyWorld". I had to indulge in a pack of Penguin biscuits.... all around a terrible experience!)