Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Todays Science Class - Sand.

A new playground? With sand?

This requires further investigation.

Well, upon examination I conclude that it's ..... errr, sandy.


Next I just need to check...... oh!

All gone.

Now I shall move on to checking taste and texture.

All in the name of science of course.


That's more than enough education for one day, I think.

I'll just wait for mum to finish taking photos.

Come on woman, hurry up.

I can't hang around all day, you know.

I've got places to be and people to see.

I'm outta here.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Cooking School Saturday

Today I made sure that I had no work hanging over my head, instead I just bumped it all forward till Monday. Nothing like burying one's head in the sand when it comes to dealing with a huge workload.

And being free of work, meant I could indulge in something a little more fun. Like baking.

I love baking sweet treats.

My family loves me baking sweet treats.

So I decided to try something from my new recipe book. I then had the bright idea of blogging this little cooking adventure, success or disaster as it may be.

But I then wondered if I had enough people reading this blog to make it worthwhile, and even if anyone would be interested in seeing what I bake.

And then I thought "To hell with it. This is my blog and I'll cook if I want to".

So, whether you like it or not, I proudly present to you : Choc Chip Jaffa Muffins.

And how I made them.

1. First gather the ingredients. (Duh!).

2. Sift flour into a large bowl, then rub in small cubes of butter. (or just throw in large chunks of butter haphazardly, whatever you prefer)

3. Add sugar and an egg to the mix. (whilst artistically arranging remaining ingredients in the background).

4. Stir in milk, being careful not to over stir. (Pouring milk slowly left handed, while taking a photo with the right is not as easy as you might think).

5. Add chocolate chips and orange rind. (Admiring the how well the colours look together as you do so).

6. Carefully spoon mixture into a prepared muffin tray and place in oven to bake. (I guess there should be an emphasis on the word 'carefully'.).

Hmmm..... I'm not sure what to do with the leftover mixture?

Problem solved.

And ta-da. Choc Chip Jaffa Muffins fresh out the oven.

They even look like muffins should. I just hope they taste like it too.

Hang on a minute!!!!!


Only 8?............. I made 12 muffins!

Now I'm a little suspicious. What's that going on in the background?

Oh, it's a satisfied customer, I believe.

At this rate, next time I'd better bake two batches.

I think that qualifies today's cooking adventure as a success!

Join me next time for how to make a Chocolate Caramel Slice, or at least something resembling it, I hope.
(I'm currently halfway through making it as I write, but you'll have to wait to see if I can successfully blog and bake at the same time!)

Edited to add complete recipe, as requested.

Choc Chip Jaffa Muffins

2 1/2 cups of self raising flour
100g cold butter, finely chopped
1 cup caster sugar
1 1/4 cups buttermilk (I didn't have this so just used plain milk)
1 egg
3/4 cup dark Choc bits
2 tsp finely grated orange rind

  1. Preheat oven to 180 C and grease 12 hole muffin pan
  2. Sift flour then rub in butter
  3. Stir in sugar, buttermilk and egg. Don't over mix, should be lumpy
  4. Stir in Choc bits and orange rind
  5. Spoon into pan and bake about 20 mins. Stand in pan to cool for 5 mins, before putting on wire rack to cool.

Earth Hour

It's Earth Hour tonight.

For those scratching their head, it's annual event that started 4 years ago in Sydney, where people around the world turn off their electicity for an hour as a stand against climate change. It's amazing how much of a reduction in usage and environmental impact than an hour can make when millions around the world join in.

We go for a walk and look at the stars (and find out which of our neighbours are also joining in Earth Hour by seeing how dark their house is!), then we come home, light some candles and actually spend some time together without tv, computers or ipods. We pretend we live hundreds of years ago, before modern technology started to decimate our world.

It's an hour that passes quickly, helps our world and that we all look forward to.

I ask that at 8.30 - 9.30pm (your local time) tonight, Saturday 27th March, you too join millions of people around the world for Earth Hour and turn off your lights and other non essential electrical devices.

For more info and to register for Earth Hour go to .

The Earth thanks you!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Organisation Queen

I am the organisation Queen. It's a title I take very seriously.

Just ask my husband.

For me to feel that all is right with my little world I need to know that everything is under control. Otherwise I morph from a relatively sane woman, into a stressed out madwoman.

Just ask my husband.

Trying to juggle working 30 hrs a week (from home), while simultaneously keeping a very active toddler from pulling the cat's tail or discovering the knife block, or whatever other evil deed he may be up to, is difficult enough. Add in having to run two older boys around to various ESSENTIAL commitments, AND ensure the house is not eligible for one of those 'Messiest House in the World' type shows, AND make sure that everyone has clean underwear at least, oh let's say, once or twice a week. Then factor in shopping trips for essentials like more coffee, then cooking any food that found it's way into the trolley and home with me, in a manner that everyone will deign to eat.

I could go on but I think you get the picture.

So in an effort to stop all these hundreds of things from constantly whirling around in my brain, each demanding I complete it NOW, and if I don't my world might just implode or something equally disastrous, I simply wrote it all down.

Here is my command centre. It may look remarkably like a 2010 diary, but don't be fooled.

(please ignore the hideous green kitchen bench tops the previous owners obviously though were the height of good taste. Unless you have the same bench tops yourself, in which case, I think they look lovely.)

Let's skip past all the boring dated pages listing doctors appointments, soccer sessions, play dates and the (very) occasional hair style or massage appointment, and turn to the back pages shall we?

This is where it all happens.

Each of the 5 weeks of the month (or 4 1/2 if you want to be pedantic) has an area of the house to focus on, as well as each day having general tasks allocated to it. This way I know that eventually I will get around to doing everything. (Thanks to for this inspiration)

That's the plan, anyway.

Then this next bit is the masterpiece. Others may scoff and ridicule, but it WORKS FOR ME, ALRIGHT.

Well, as long as I stick to the plan it does. And that's the hard bit.

Each day is broken into sections with tasks to get done throughout the day.

I like to think of it like being back in high school. Different classes at different times of the day.

And just like high school there are some classes I love. And others, that I prefer to play hookie and go down to the shops for coke with my friends instead.

But, as I said, it works for me. It lets me feel as if I have some semblance of control over my life, that I'm not a bad mother, wife, worker, house keeper, cook etc etc.

That I can maintain a pleasant and loving demeanor for my family. And I think I achieve that.

Most of the time.

Just ask my husband.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Sleep, sleep, sleep.

I haven't written a post for the last few days...... and it feels like weeks.

Life has taken over these last few days, everything seems to be taking three times longer than it should and there seems to be even less hours in the day than before.

But on the upside, Charlie is sleeping better. Finally.

And all it took, is saying to him "Mummy's going back to bed to sleep" whenever he woke during the night. He then lays back down and goes straight back to sleep.

And now he knows this, he's started sleeping through the night. For the past few nights it's been getting better and better.

Last night he slept for 11 hours, woke briefly, then went back to sleep for another hour. Anyone who knows us, will realise what a big deal this is for us.

Charlie has NEVER slept well, so this is a major event for us. That elusive thing known as sleep may finally be back in our lives again.

So it seems that for the past 18 months he was only waking so many times during the night to check we weren't having fun without him!

I guess Del and I will have to give up playing with toys cars, Thomas trains and Wiggles puzzles from now on.

But only at night though.

Monday, March 22, 2010

A Years Worth of Rain.... in The Space of Two Hours

Today the drought broke. Finally.

After almost 5 months of no rain, the skies opened wide. And wider. And wider.

We had a storm of epic proportions with huge fat rain drops, hail the size of golf balls, flash flooding and gale force winds complete with trees down in the park across from us.

All while it was 33 degrees C and humid.

The older two boys are upset that ten of the local schools will be closed tomorrow due to storm damage.

They're upset because they attend none of those schools.

We were lucky. We suffered no damage but there are currently 100,000 homes without power, most of the city's hospitals were damaged, lightning strikes were frequent, hail damage extensive, flooding is still a problem in places and a mud slide hit an apartment building and one man is missing. Luckily no-one died in this storm. It was the worst storm to hit Perth in a very long time.

But two hours after it started, it was all over and there was sunshine again. With that beautiful clarity of light that you can only get after a thunderstorm has washed the world clean again.
Unfortunately, the camera battery needed recharging so I didn't get any photos. And it was such a great photo opportunity too.

But Charlie was happy to have seen a rather large rainbow arcing across the sky after the storm cleared, and insisted that we sing 'I Can Sing a Rainbow'. Multiple times.

And now I can't get that annoyingly catchy tune out of my head.

"I can sing a rainbow, sing a rainbow, sing a rainbow too........."

Friday, March 19, 2010

Leaving his Mark

Even when Charlie is fast asleep in his cot, or at least pretending to be asleep, or whatever it is he gets up to in there, I find it hard to forget about him.

Not because of some mother instinct to always be aware of your child, or because I can't bear to be apart from him for a single second.

No. It's not that.

It just seems that everywhere I look around this house, I see little reminders of him.

Case in point. Our (marked & dirty) coffee table.

Let's have a closer look at the evidence, shall we?

Hmmm...... I think Charlie's been here.

And here. (Daddy's computer screen)

Happily leaving his mark wherever he goes.

On the oven.

On the hall mirror.

On the french doors.

On the bedroom mirror.

Boy, does that kid get around. You'd think I never clean around here.

But I do. Honestly.

I know, let's go to Grandma's house. She'll think your little fingerprints all over everything are adorable.

And that's just one of the vast differences between being a Mum and a Grandma.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

A Demonstration of My Parenting Skills

Yesterday, Kaiden had the unfortunate experience of having both Del and I in the car when we dropped him off at school. It's an experience I think he would rather not repeat

We pulled up out the front of the high school, and as Kaiden walked away from the car and into the crowd, doing the usual teenage 'Even though I just got out that car, I really have nothing to do with the two people inside it' thing, Del opened the car window.

Del and I looked at each other with an evil glint in our eyes, and simultaneously called out the window, loud and clear, "Bye Bye Kaiden. We love you. M-wah, m-wah. Bye Kaiden Bye. We love you."

To say Kaiden was embarrassed would be an understatement. Even one of his friends came up to him later and said sympathetically "Man, that must have been so embarrassing".

I'm sure that particular moment won't win me a Parent of the Year award, but I view it as character building. You know, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, and all that sort of thing.

Plus it was so satisfying.

And hilarious.

And I consider it payback for all the teenage moodiness that we've been through so far.

Now we're even.

(I thought I should add, that although initially embarrassed, Kaiden and I had a good laugh about it when he came home in the afternoon.
After thinking the incident and my reasons over for a few minutes, he stated "When I have kids, I'm going to have to do that to them"!).

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Pride of Place

This is the Merit Certificate Corey received yesterday, taking pride of place on our fridge, above Charlie's letters of the week.

Awarded to Corey T for "His initiative and effort shown. Corey is always organised and thinking ahead".

Now he has no excuse not to demonstrate these qualities at home.

Today's post proudly brought to you by the letter E and the letter V.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A Morning at School

Today we went to Corey's school for the assembly. Corey was triply excited about this one.

He was receiving a Merit Award, as well as reading a speech he had received top marks for.

And his class were putting on a short skit in which he played a minor role as a policeman.

He did so well at everything and I'm so very proud my Angel (in disguise) Boy.

During the assembly Charlie busied himself playing with his Thomas train and charming everyone in the crowd. He clapped as each person received their certificate, clapping loudest of all for his big brother, shouting "Yay Corey" over and over, much to the amusement (or annoyance) of those around us.

After the assembly parents were invited to the staff room for tea and coffee, and not yet having had my morning coffee, I took them up on the offer. Plus there were chocolate biscuits.

It would of been rude not to, right?

Whilst I was drinking my coffee, Corey had to go back to class, and he asked if he could take Charlie with him.

Now Charlie has a long history with Corey's class. Corey loves to show off his little brother to the teachers and all his friends at any and every opportunity, and Charlie loves the attention and likes hanging out with the 'big kids'.

So off they went to class together without even a backward glance.

15 minutes later, after my coffee and a chat with the principal (who I found out calls Corey "Ice-Cool Corey" as nothing fazes him) I made my way to the classroom.

All the kids were hard at work when I arrived, busily writing in their books. And and guess who was sitting up the front of the class, with his own pen and paper?

Yep, there was Charlie, busily working just as hard as any of the 12 & 13 year olds around him.

Three chairs had been stacked together for him to sit on, so as to be high enough for him to reach the desk. He had not only drawn on the paper with a bright pink highlighter, but all over the desk and himself as well.

And to top it off, the teacher was sitting next to him, 'teaching' him things and Charlie was loving every minute of it. He had the biggest grin on his face.

Deciding it was time to minimise the disruption to the class, we packed up his 'school work' and made our way to the door saying goodbye to the teacher and all the children, Charlie giving lots of high 5's as we went.

But Charlie didn't want to leave. And the students didn't want him to go either. Even the teacher seemed a little sad to see him go.

Maybe I'll start to use this school babysitting service more often. I'm sure they won't mind.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

A Day at Home.........

Today was an absolutely lovely day. I made myself relax. Not easy to achieve at first, but once I got into the swing of it........ well I could get mighty used to it!

My good day actually started last night, as Del took over baby duty through out the night and I got to stay in bed all night.

As long as you don't count 5am as night. Which was when Charlie got us both up for the day.

The rest of my Sunday went something like this :

Drink lots of coffee to handle waking at 5am. Check

Take Corey to soccer training. Check

Do nothing for the rest of the day. Check

We took Del's remote control helicopter to the park this morning and Charlie was so very excited after having looked at it at home and sneakily touched it a few times when he thought we weren't looking.

He loved watching it fly. "Up, high, sky".

As long as it didn't get too close that is.

Once Daddy crashed the chopper, he was also more than happy to run to rescue it, shouting "chopper, chopper" gleefully as he ran on his chubby legs, arms flailing wildly in his enthusiasm.

And we discovered a new Charlie fact while at the park today.

He can climb the ladder up to the slide.

Damn. I was dreading this. An 18 month old who can climb dangerously high, but has no sense of danger? Potentially a bad outcome.

Especially as it seems he's as accident prone as his big brother Corey.

I think I'll take the medical kit to the park with us next time. Best to be prepared.