Saturday, February 28, 2009

A Night at the Footy

A usual Saturday, a way too early start after a way too late Friday night out.  Geoff off to golf, so the kids and I have a very casual Saturday at home.  T didn't even get out of his pyjamas until lunch time.  The kids was a bit of tv, fossick around outside for a bit, I did four loads of washing, a bit of tidying.  My aim was to make my kitchen spotless, which takes a bit of time.
When Geoff got home we decided to head out to get a couple of things we needed.  J needed a golf glove,  some new footy boots and some head gear.  Both boys needed mouth guards.  We headed off to A-Mart.  We got the boots and the glove.  Still not sure on the type of head gear and they had a woeful range of mouth guards.  When we first started rugby my health insurance would pay for one mouth guard per year, so I will ring them on Monday and investigate whether the boys can get proper ones through the dentist.  I will ask around at school about the head gear.
When I went to pay for the boots and glove, the store's eftpos wasn't working.  I said to the guy I would go down to Kawana shops and get some cash and be back.
Whilst in the store we did see a Fire and Safety ute drive over down the road followed by a Police car with its lights and sirens on, but didn't hear any more commotion than that.
The traffic was a little heavy on Nicklin Way, but that's pretty usual.  As we approached the shops, at the main traffic light intersection a four wheel drive and a motorcycle had collided and sadly the motorcyclist had been killed.  The firetruck was shielding off the cyclist and their bike and they were covered with tarps.
My heart just sank to think of that poor soul underneath that tarp and the news that awaited their family.  I felt for the person that was driving the Landcruiser, as surely that has now changed their life forever, regardless of whether or not it was their fault.
I would say we were then stuck in traffic for nearly an hour by the time we got to the shop and then had to get back past the accident to A-Mart to collect our things.
Tonight I am thankfully all of my children are sleeping peacefully in their beds, and my husband snoring his head off.
Geoff and I went to the football tonight, as his firm was one of the sponsors for the local Sea Eagles team.  Early game was Balmain Tigers vs. the local Eagles team, which held interest for Geoff.  The Broncos vs. Storm match held no real interest as neither are a favourite team of mine.
But it was nice to be out, eat nice food.  Next year I would like to take the boys because I think they would really enjoy it.  I would be all for a new stadium being built, as I would love to take my boys to regular footy games, but don't enjoy the experience of heading to Suncorp Stadium.  I was not impressed by the port-a-loo set up tonight, but it wasn't too bad.  Would have been better if they were designated boys/girls as boys with a few beers tend to miss!
I've had a nice hot shower and am off to bed.


As I have been trying to get my usual household chores done around the house this morning, and to motivate my children to go outside and be active, I have been thinking a lot about feelings.
What triggers certain feelings within us.
I heard something a while back which I really believed was true.  Music is an important thing for us to have in our lives.  Not only is music enjoyable to listen to, dance to, get a little bit funky to!  But it also brings back feelings and emotions within us.  It can take you back to a time when you heard it, and bring back memories as to what you were doing and how you were feeling.
I grew up with music practically every day of my life.  We had a television when I was little, but it was a real treat I think to be able to watch tv, I never remember it controlling our time.
But my mother always had music on.  I have very fond memories of my mother playing, very loudly, The Beatles, Cliff Richard, and one of her very favs Gerry and the Pacemakers, whilst vaccuming.  I remember being told not to run in the house at Raymond Terrace because the needle on the record player would jump because the house had timber floors.
Christmas time is a favourite time of year for my mother, not only for the family celebrations, because she can blast her favourite Christmas tunes out loudly.
There is one song that I don't know the name of, and I would love to find out so I could put it on my ipod because it was one my mother played all the time, and I heard it once on the radio and it made me feel so good just to hear it.
Likewise songs can bring a sadness.  I picked a song to play at my Dad's funeral when the picture images were being shown, a beautiful version of "Somewhere over the Rainbow".  We also played Creadance Clearwater Revivals song "the Rain".  Sometimes when they songs come on my ipod I just have to skip passed them, because its just not the feeling I need at that time.  Other times it makes me think of times with my father, and these days I try and make sure that I remember the good times more than the bad.
Places I believe can have the same effect as music.
I haven't had a very good week this week, lots of tears flowing.  Extremely sleep deprived as I have had late nights, and many night time interuptions from three of my children.  That is not a good recipe for a happy mother.
Finally Friday comes around and I really didn't feel like loading my car with craft gear and heading into Nambour and trying to make my brain function and be creative.  But I did load my car and head into Daisy Chain, with the thought that I would just go and chat with my friends and have a bit of 'time out'.  I thought to myself that I really didn't want to drag my unhappy state of mind going to see my friends, and put my burdens onto them.
I walked through the doors, and it was as though I had left all of those stresses and worries at home.  I didn't bring them with me.  I felt such a relief and felt so much happier in myself.
And for the first time in a long time, I started a layout, without having to look through numerous books and copy someone else's creativity.
I had thrown in my case at the last minute, a piece of cardstock that I had purchased many years ago at a retreat, and had not looked at it since.  I felt like I didn't have to work hard at all to create a lovely layout of my little girl.  It just needs a couple of finishing touches and I will post it on my blog.
I don't know what I would do without my friends at Daisys.  They are my carrot dangling in front of my eyes, urging me to get through the week, because by Friday the week will be over and I will get some "me" time.
So off with the tv and on with the stereo.  Blast that music and creative some good feelings.

Monday, February 23, 2009

100 Things

Have seen this on friends' blogs and thought it was cool.  I have highlighted out of 100 things how many on the list I could tick off.

1. Started your own blog

2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain 
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you're not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelos David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
Been transported in an ambulance (with my son and my mother, they were ill, not me)
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
Been in a movie (albeit a home movie Geoff produced)
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar (but promptly spat it out)
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone (a toe)
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had Chickenpox
89. Saved someone's life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Read an entire book in one day

37 .... think I need to live a little more.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Oops Forgot that Cake!

I said I would post a pic of the cake and here it is.  That's one big cupcake!  And of course why not another pic of little Shanti Lee ... because she's too cute not to.

Family Celebration

Woke up pretty tired this morning.  My darling girl decided to keep me awake until 2.30am.  Not really sure why she wouldn't sleep, she seemed restless.  It may be a new molar, she has really been chewing on her fingers a bit.  You really know they are growing up when they tell you that they need medicine!
We had a family bbq today to celebrate E's 2nd birthday.  Both my brothers and their girlfriends came, and of course little Shanti Lee.  Geoff's sister Michelle and her partner Chris came from Brisbane which was great that they could come, because Geoff only rang Michelle last night, nothing like leaving things to the last minute.  Geoff's mum and her husband are still on holidays in Sri Lanka, hopefully having a safe holiday, after reading the Sunday papers I have my fingers crossed.  Nanny Sheila was here of course.  Heather and Merv came too.  Luckily there wasn't heaps of rain, we still ate inside though which was a little squishy.
Its great that the kids get so excited when family comes to visit.  
I would like that to be a regular thing to happen with our family.  All it takes is for everyone to spend some time together for those bonds to form.  Already the kids are very excited to have their own little cousin, and hopefully they will play well together when they are older.
I had a good relationship with my cousins Kylie and Michael growing up and remember lots of good times.  When I see them now I really enjoy spending time with them.
I have always gotten along well with my brothers, just the usual sibling disagreements over the years but nothing major.  I like them both as people and I also like their partners.  It is comforting to know that they both have good relationships.
I think about it a lot since my father passed away, keeping a family unit together, particularly for my mother.  It is no secret that I didn't have a good relationship with my father, that as the years went by it just deteriorated more and more.  We were barely on speaking terms, and there weren't too many kind words spoken in the years leading up to his passing.
It is something I will always wish was different.  I know that he didn't have a particularly close relationship with his siblings in his lifetime.  There was a very large age gap that I think played a part.  I also think that he didn't come from a very loving family environment.  I gathered this from things that he had said himself over the years.  He spoke very fondly of his mother, but other than that he didn't speak glowingly of his growing up.  This is a cycle that I would like to break.  I make sure that I tell my children every day that I love them.  That was not something that came naturally to me, probably because I wasn't brought up that way.
Sadly, my Dad's death has made me think a lot more about why he was the way he was with me.  Maybe just extremely over-protective and didn't know the right way to deal with a daughter, and found it easier with sons.  
I look at my brother's little girl, and wonder how excited he would have been when she was born.  He never showed any interest in my children, or should I say never showed any interest to me in my children.  I found that really hurtful.  I look at my own children and I can't imagine a time when I would treat them the way he treated me.  
My kids are lucky that they have their Nanny Sheila, who just adores them and they equally adore her.  Geoff's sister has always been interested in our kids, and they have a good relationship.  My brothers are showing more of an interest these days as the kids are getting older.  I would like as they get older to be able to do things for each other and support each other.
I don't know that if my father was still here anything would be any different.  He still wouldn't come to family bbqs and we probably still wouldn't really be talking to each other.  I will always wish it was different, but I know it never will be.
I am glad that when he was in the hospital I got to tell him that I loved him.  It is a shame that it took that moment in time for me to realise how much I loved him.  My only wish is that I could have know how he truly felt about me.  I am sure that the answer to that is that he really did love me, but why was he not able to show me.
Wow that is a real deep and meaningful post, it was just meant to be a post about my little girl's birthday.
Lucky Jenny is the only one that reads my blurb!!
BBQ was great, and I think that E now knows what birthdays are, and she liked the presents and the cake.
Will post a photo of the cake we had today.  I was really pleased with how it looked.
E was really excited because she got a new DVD of "In the Night Garden" which is her absolute favourite thing at present.
Michelle gave her some really cool t-shirts too that she likes.
She really is becoming a little princess and picks her own clothes for the day, I don't really get to have a say.  A friend did tell me when she was born to dress her the way I wanted because once she got her own voice, I wouldn't have a say anymore.
Anyway I really have prattled on way too much.
Am off to bed.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

In Need of some Respite

I am wondering just how tired one person can get.  I had a night at home last night rather than my usual Friday night scrapbooking at Daisys.  There is a retreat on that starts on Friday night and finishes on Sunday afternoon.
I have my name down to go to one in May and also one in November.  Can't wait for May!
I thought that I would scrap at home on Friday night, I have a few things I want to get done.  Still haven't made my niece a card, nor a birthday card for my little sweetie girl.  I also wanted to start a little mini album of Shanti, for either Amanda or my mother as a Mother's Day gift.
You would think that would not be unachievable because that's what I normally do on a Friday night, and I didn't even have to pack up my stuff and drive for 20 minutes to get started.
But the problem with trying to do anything for myself whilst at home, is that there are just too many other things that always need doing, folding washing, doing washing, ironing, tidying...the list is never ending.
And I just can't relax enough to do something for myself.  
I am finding it exhausting trying to be organised all the time.  I am already worrying about having to make all the lunches tomorrow night for school and for Geoff and myself, plus getting all the uniforms organised .... and that's 24 hours away.
We are having a family bbq here tomorrow for little E's birthday.  I have made the rissoles and am just having hamburgers, as that is the simpliest, so there won't be too much to do tomorrow.  I have made the birthday cake and will just have to ice it.
So fingers crossed tomorrow can be relaxed and easy.
My new little niece will be here so  I will need 5 minutes just to adore her.
My biggest boy who really is a sweetheart said something lovely after Shanti's visit the other day.  He said to me that he didn't want to finish having a hold of her, and that he could have held her for six years.  He was telling my hairdresser on Friday afternoon that he would love it if we could have another baby in our house, but that I had told him there would be no more babies, that four was enough.  He's right there.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Happy 2nd Birthday

Today was my baby girl's 2nd Birthday.  She seemed quite excited about the whole thing.  She got very excited opening presents this morning and very quickly ripped the wrapping paper to shreds.
This morning was our usual tennis lessons for J and S, and T had a swimming lesson.  E went quite shy when someone wished her a happy birthday.  
Today was a stinking hot humid day, not the ideal conditions to have the 
oven on and be baking cakes.
It was a very busy morning this morning, with the baking going on, cleaning up spills as I had two kids under my feet in the kitchen, various deliveries including birthday present for E and a new mobile phone for me.
I really did just wing it when it came to the cake, which I will post a photo of.  I was pretty happy with the end result.
It looked nothing like what I had initially intended it to look like, but in the end might have been better.
T spent the morning licking various beaters, bowls and spatulas.
My brother and his gf, and new baby girl called in to assist with the completion of putting together one of E's birthday presents.  I got to the last step and just couldn't get the bits to fit in.  One hefty thump from my brother and it was done.
The kids have had fun playing with the new toy kitchen sink.
It is amazing the games that they come up with.
We had a nice family dinner together, nothing exciting sausages, gravy and veg.  E took about two mouthfuls, her usual.
She had a good go at the cake though.
Now I am stuffed and can't wait to get in the shower and into bed.
It was funny how the heat today reminded me of the day that my little girl was born.  It was an awfully hot and humid day that day, and I remember picking the boys up from kindy/school and just being revoltingly hot and bothered and with another week or so to go until my due date, I thought that I just couldn't do it anymore.
Thankfully that night, E decided to do me a favour and be born ... and in a hurry too.
She is such a sweet, lovely and cheeky girl.  I love her to bits.
Happy 2nd Birthday my darling little girl.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Sweet Little Girl

I just couldn't help myself, I had to post some photos of my new niece, who now has a name Shanti Lee Lanham.  She is so sweet and so content.  My brother and his girlfriend sure got the formula right.  She feeds and sleeps.  We did hear a little cry, but if that's as loud as she gets, they are in for a cruisy time.  I hope that everything goes well for all three of them, they seem a very happy family.  
Whenever I see a new little baby something inside of me switches on and I have this overwhelming desire to have another one.  Although I have recently started to think that it isn't a desire to have another baby, but the desire to go back and re-live those early years with my children again.  At the time everything goes so quickly and there didn't seem to be time to just sit back and enjoy all those little moments.  Life is so busy...I just wish it would slow down a little.  My brother this morning said that he hadn't really taken any video footage of his new daughter.  I told him to make sure he does, because one day he will sit down and be able to take himself back to those early days, because sadly we do forget.  It is a fabulous thing to have video footage, to be able to sit down and reminisce.

Food Glorious Food!

Valentine's Day was on Saturday.  I found myself wondering what I wanted this day to mean for me.  For starters Geoff was going to a meeting for most of the day Saturday, so really it was just another day at home for me with the kids.  It was a really rainy day, therefore that meant me and the kids inside.  That can always be a nightmare.  They were happy to play on the computer, we played Star Wars Monopoly for a bit.
Part of me thinks that it really is very commercialised, maybe important for those couples "courting" or when you are young and single, you can have a bit of fun.
So then I think I am just being miserable, and that maybe it is more important for married couples or people who feel like they have been together forever, to show your love and appreciation, because lets face it on every other day of the year there just isn't the time nor energy!
With our budget being the way it is in current circumstances, and due to the fact that everything my husband desires usually comes with a hefty price tag, I thought the best way to show my appreciation for him putting up with me, is in the kitchen.
His fav. thing of all time being roast potatoes, just like his grandmother used to make.  So I cooked an ovenload full of roast potatoes, veges and chicken filo.
Then for dessert I made a Choc Mint Self-Saucing Pudding (see pic below). 
I am forever ripping recipes out of magazines and shoving them in a drawer and very rarely actually follow them.  J and I checked out some of the recipe books and came up with this one.  It was pretty easy really and very very tasty.  The dish was virtually licked clean.  I nice bottle of wine and there you have it.  Geoff's way of showing his appreciation towards me was to sit through the DVD of Mamma Mia!  That shows true devotion.  He hates Abba.
So to all of you out there in cyberspace, I hope that you enjoyed your Valentine's Day with someone you love.

Now getting back to the cooking side of things.  I have a very good friend, Jenny, who has really inspired me to try new recipes.  I check out her blog all the time and print something off to try.   The Salsa Chicken has been a bit hit with the family.  I made the Chilli Con Carne last week and was present surprised at how my children gave it a go.  I discovered the chilli I had in my pantry was stronger than the one Jenny uses so I am glad I only used half the quantity.  Even then it was a bit hot.  To his credit my biggest boy really gave it a go ...  he just needed extra sour cream!  Friday night in our household is pizza night, and on Friday I made extra topping.  These days I tend to just chop it all up, put it in a big bowl and mix it all together, rather than layer each individual topping.  So on Saturday with the left overs I had some pastry, rolled em up and made pizza scrolls.  They were so simple and the kids just loved them.  J has told me that he would love it if I made some to take in his lunch box for school.  
Thank you so much Jenny for your inspiration and guidance in my kitchen.  It is so nice to have the desire to make new and exciting meals for my family, rather than the usual week to week meals.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Brand New Niece

Here are some photos of my brand new little niece, born this morning at 1.05am, weighing 7 pounds 3 ounces.

She's a real little sweetheart

My mother and I have been for a visit this morning, and she really is just delightful.  She does not have a name just yet, her mother and father have two names they are tossing up between.
The entire visit baby was very settled and slept.  She had just had a feed and seemed very content.
I am so happy for them both and I hope that everything works out well for them in the new future as a family.
I get so clucky when I see little babies, but this felt a little more special because she was part of our family, which really is quite small.  Who knows what the future holds and whether there could be more babies in our future.  For a long time I thought our children would be the only ones.
My mum seemed really happy to have a new little grandchild.
I sat up last night waiting to here any news, I was too excited to sleep.  I sat and watched some of the video footage of our children as newborn babies.  I could sit and watch it for hours and try and take myself back to those days, they seem so long ago.  Sometimes I struggle to remember certain things and I wish I could take myself back and re-live them all over again.
The years just pass by so quickly, I wish they would slow down just a little so that I had a little more time to enjoy them.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Waiting Patiently

Our family is patiently awaiting any news of the arrival of our niece and cousin.  My brother's gf has started her labour and things seem to be progressing well.  When I last spoke to my brother they were still at home, the hospital having suggested the contractions should be strong and about 5 minutes apart before they come up.
I have that really excited nervous feeling in my stomach.  We are really hoping it all goes smoothly for them, and Amanda isn't in labour for too long before she can finally meet her new baby girl.
Will keep you posted.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

First Born

I saw this on a friend's blog, and I just love questionnaires.  Here is my experience of my first born.

1. Were you married at the time? Yes

2. What were your reactions when you found out you were pregnant? Very excited

3. How old were you? 27

4. How did you find out? I kept going to the toilet all day knowing my period was overdue and my husband kept ringing me to check how I was going.  I did a pregnancy test at home that night.

5. Who did you tell first? My husband was with me at home when I did the test, after I had been to the GP to have my pregnancy confirmed, we drove to my parents house to tell my Mum and Dad.

6. Did you want to find out the sex? No, and I am pleased that we didn't because I personally don't think my reaction finding out at a scan would have been nearly as exciting as at the birth.

8. Did you deliver late or on time? 9 days overdue

9. Did you have morning sickness? ALL day long sickness for almost 6 months!!

10. What did you crave? After mostly living on Milk Arrowroot biscuits and apple juice, once the sickness subsided I wanted hot chips and gravy on a fresh bread roll, steamed dim sims and apple pies and custard.

11. Who/what irritated you the most? I can't recall anything specifically.  Not being able to sleep in the later stages of my pregnancy because of the heat was a bit annoying.

12. What was your first child's sex? Boy

13. How many pounds did you gain throughout pregnancy? Not really sure, although I think most of the weight I gained was baby, because I was so sick at the beginning I think I would have actually lost weight initially.

14. Did you have any complications during pregnancy? Not really, excess amniotic fluid that they kept an eye on, and it was never a problem.

15. Where did you give birth? Local General Hospital, they were fabulous.

16. How many hours were you in labor? From the first 'show' to delivery it was 15 hours

17. Who drove you to the hospital? My husband drove me.  We went to hospital at about 8am in the morning and he stopped in at the office on the way.  Sitting in the carpark waiting whilst in labour was a nightmare.

18. Who watched? My husband was there, and in the end there was a room full of specialists because I needed a forceps delivery.  I had two obstetricians, a midwife, a paediatrician, a paediatric nurse and a couple of extras as well.

19. Was it natural or c-section? Assisted delivery, with forceps.

20. Did you take medication to ease the pain? Gas, which was delightful.

21. How much did your child weigh? 8lbs 8oz

22. Did your child have any complications? Sore head from the forceps.

23. Why did you choose his name? He is named after his great-grandfather.  It was a name that once I wrote it down I knew for sure it was the name we wanted.

24. How old is your first born today? He is 8 next month.