Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Taking A Break

to pack.

to make lots of birthday presents that are coming up so soon. I've completely bitten off more than I can chew!

to pack.

to attempt to run a household which contains a husband who is very stressed about work at the moment and may have to travel twice before the new house settles next Friday. Yep, possibly two overnight trips between now and next Friday, plus he's having to work much longer hours in the three days before settlement, plus he's going to be away on the day of settlement. And he found all of this out at 4:30 this afternoon.

to pack

So I'll be taking a little blogging break over the next couple of weeks. I just can't commit to much at the moment, plus there is really not much interesting happening here apart from packing. And oh my word how quickly that grows tedious!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

My Creative Space

I've decided to join in My Creative Space, hosted by Kootoyoo, with lots of other crafty bloggers every Thursday. Head over and check out all links to see what creations are happening this week. There is so much inspiration!

In an attempt to give handmade presents (something I decided about 2 weeks ago!) I've been wracking my brain trying to come up with some quick, easy gifts for 4 (!) children's birthdays we've got coming up. One is in a couple of weeks while the other three are not until later next month. With the move coming up in 2 weeks I knew I wouldn't have time to knit something for each of them so I figured I'd give hand sewing a go. I haven't sewn (at all) since high school Home Economics so I was a bit apprehensive, but it's a breeze!

I can't give too much away because some recipient's parents may be reading, but I'm really pleased with how things are turning out! I'll be sure to post full pics once the presents are given but from these shots it's not going to take too much brain power to figure out what some of them are!!!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

7 things ...

you may or may not know about me.

I yesterday received my first blog award! Yay!

I got this Sunshine Award from my friend LJ over at With My Own Two Hands. We've known each other through cyberspace for a few years and both of us are new to blogging so it's been great to share this journey with her too!

As part of this award I need to share seven things that you may not know about me and then pass on the award to seven more wonderful blogs. I'll do my best!

1. I get pangs of jealousy when I watch Playschool, a Playschool presenter is my never-going-to-happen fantasy job!

2. I've only ever lived in three cities/towns. Brisbane, Cairns and now in Maryborough. What can I say? I'm a homebody!

3. One of the things that makes me a terrific mum is the fact that I touch bananas for my boys. I absolutely cannot stand them, even the smell is horrible! But they love them ... ick.

4. I love history and some days feel like I've been born into the wrong time period.

5. I'm desperate to get my piano from my parents once we're settled in the new house. I'm not very good, but so wanting to learn again.

6. I'm very good at procrastinating. The proof of this is that I'm on the computer now instead of packing!

7. After years and years of driving my mum crazy by not making my bed, the day doesn't feel quite right now unless the bed is made! Poor mum, she was right all along!

So now to pass this on to seven other wonderful blogs:

Saminda at Ferns by the Fireside
Anna at dillpickle unfinished
Emma at Life as we Know It
Amy at Our Piece of Country Paradise
Melissa at Notes on an Aria
Val at Collecting the Moments
Amy at Suburban Homemade

I hope you get a chance to visit these great women bloggers, they are all lovely reading!

Monday, July 19, 2010

For All That Ails You

We've all been hit by the flu this weekend. For Archie it started last Thursday, I was down on Saturday, Matt was Sunday and Elliot has fared pretty well really with just a bit of a sniffle and slight cough in the evenings.

I made this wonderful chicken soup over the weekend that we've been eating for lunches. It was inspired by a recipe from Nourishing Traditions, but I've changed it up a bit, adding a lot of garlic and fresh ginger to help us get over this bug. It is soothing and warming and was oh so easy to make because I had stock and soaked, cooked brown rice in the freezer. I put the chicken breast in whole and shredded it at the end so all I had to do was cut up the veg while the chicken was poaching away. Super easy, super good for us!

We had it again for lunch today, except Archie now has a bit of a funny tummy so he wasn't very interested. He has been surviving on toast, rice crackers, water and breastmilk. I hope the poor wee man is feeling better soon!

Chicken and Brown Rice Soup

2l chicken stock
1 chicken breast
3-4 cloves of garlic, crushed
a good grate of fresh ginger
1 1/2 cups of soaked and cooked brown rice
1-2 cups of diced vegies (I used cabbage, carrot, corn, broccoli stems and green beans)

Place stock, garlic, ginger and chicken in a large saucepan and simmer gently until chicken is almost cooked through.
Add rice and vegies and simmer until cooked.
I also added snow peas for the last minute or two so they were still crunchy.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Sharing the Load

Before we had children, in those days of two full time workers (and two incomes!) Matt and I had a pretty fair division of labour around the house. We'd both do laundry as it needed to be done, Matt would do the floors, I'd do the bathroom and toilet etc etc. Our one golden rule was "Whoever cooks dinner doesn't do dishes" and we'd both do grocery shopping, and whoever felt like it would cook and the other would do the kitchen afterwards.

Once Elliot came along and I was no longer working, it just made sense for me to do all the meals. I was home, Matt was working long hours and we needed to eat as soon as he arrived home so that we could all have dinner as a family. I love cooking so it was in no way an inconvenience and over the past three or so years that is the way we've travelled.

Every now and then Matt would come home from work and ask me if he wanted to do dinner. I'd say "No, it's ok, everything's underway, you spend some time with the boys". I mostly find dinner preparation a good break from the boys too because Matt now gets home in enough time to play with them while I can work in the kitchen uninterrupted.

A couple of weeks ago, when I was incredibly stressed about our Brisbane house and had been on the phone all day Matt came home and offered to get dinner on. I gladly took him up on his offer and spent the afternoon playing with the boys and relaxing. Not only was it a great break of routine for me but Matt loved it! I regularly heard from the kitchen "I've really missed this!" while he was dicing and slicing and sauteing and stirring!

So now, when we sit down to plan our week's menu Matt is choosing one or two dinners that he will cook! Yippee! It's a win-win for everyone, he gets to spend some more time in the kitchen and I get to have a break from the kitchen! The only downside is that I'll have to do the dishes more often. :(

I'll post next to the meal in my menu plan in the sidebar which meals Matt has planned. This week it'll be roast lamb tonight and then savoury mince later in the week.

Friday, July 16, 2010

A Fabulous Recipe Book

A while ago I borrowed Nourishing Traditions out from the library. Unfortunately the Fraser Coast Libraries don't have a copy in their system but they inter-library loaned it for me from Mackay! How awesome is that! The unfortunately bit is that because it is an inter-library loan it takes ages to organise and there is a limit to how many times I can borrow the same book. The plus side is that I have been dropping hints to Matt left, right and centre about this book and a certain birthday that is coming up in a few months.

This book is right up my alley, real food! It is basically a different way of looking at nutrition and food with the focus being on 'old fashioned' food from many different ethnic backgrounds, most of which have lots in common despite being from different corners of the globe. The thing that struck a chord with me most is the use of wholegrains in different ways, in particular the soaking of grains before cooking. The author advises soaking all grains in whey, yoghurt or lemon juice for several hours before cooking to start to breakdown and partially 'digest' the grains so that it is easier for our bodies to digest and process.

As I had been wanting to eat more brown rice instead of white, I tried the soaking before cooking, what a difference!!! We've had brown rice a couple of times before but I never knew how to cook it properly and I obviously never cooked it for long enough either. Following the recipe in the book I soaked 2 cups of brown rice in 4 cups of warm water with 4 tbls of lemon juice. I just put it all in the same saucepan that I'd be cooking it in later. They say to soak it for 7 hours, but I just put it on to soak in the morning and then cooked it at about 4ish in the afternoon. To cook it is simply a matter of bringing it all to the boil and then turning the heat right down and leaving it to do it's thing with the lid on for 45 minutes to an hour. It is just as easy as the rice cooker and makes much yummier rice! The two cups from the recipe is way too much for one meal for us so I divide it into three and freeze the other two for later meals in soup or fried rice. I cooked it again yesterday but had run out of lemons and the only whey I had was frozen in 2 cup packets so I just soaked it in plain water. It still cooked up beautifully, but wasn't as soft as when soaked with the lemon or whey.

Because I had to return the book and our library hasn't gotten it's own copy yet (despite my asking ;) ) I had written down a couple of recipes when I had it out. But the other day I was googling and found this great blog by a lady who is cooking and blogging about every recipe from the book! Awesome! She gives the recipe and her little tips and tid-bits along the way. So far she has cooked 53 and has 720 to go!

I'm hoping that someone is picking up on my hints and the book will magically turn up under my pillow on my birthday morning. If not I'll just have to buy it myself, there goes my secret squirrel savings again!

Oh, the other thing I love is the cover art, beautiful wee pictures of traditional women from around the globe. I know the old saying, but I completely judge books by their covers!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Introducing Kenny ...

my new Kenwood Chef Mixer!!!

Actually, our Kenny is not the above model, he is the model below this one, but he looks exactly the same except white.

As you can probably tell, I'm very excited. Very, very excited. I have been wanting a stand mixer for ever and after much researching I decided a while ago that the Kenwood Chef was the one that best suited my needs. I needed something that was powerful, sturdy and could accomodate different attachments. If I was going to part with hundreds of dollars of my hard-saved money, I wanted it to be for something that I was going to get lots of use from!

My secret squirrel stash of savings has been growing slowly but steadily lately. I get a certain amount of money out every week for groceries etc and if there is anything left over at the end of the week it gets squirreled away. Some weeks it's $5, some weeks its $50, some weeks it's nothing at all, some weeks I have to sneak a bit out of the savings! When I started putting the money aside I said to Matt that I was going to spend it on something just for me. Not the boys, not the house, nothing that we needed, just a frivolous want. It's horribly selfish but I spend so little money on myself!

When we were at the shops on the weekend a big department store were having 15% off all their kitchen appliances. We looked, ummed and ahhed, looked again and then decided to have a look at a big electrical store across the road to compare prices. They had a better model with a free attachment on sale!! It was such better value for money than the department store lower model with no attachments and 15% off! So we made a completely spontaneous purchase, even though I've been saving for over a year and researching for a while too!

Now my secret squirrel savings is $0. I've got to think of something else to save for but as it took over a year to save the cash for Kenny, I think I've got a while to decide!

In the meantime, I'm not even taking him out of the box until we move in a month! I'll just go downstairs and look at his unopened box in the "ready to move" pile and dream of the cooking that will be done.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Into The Secret Garden

We're back from another long weekend with my parents in Brisbane. It was a wonderful weekend full of time with family and friends. I even had dinner out by myself with my wonderful girlfriends from our old neighbourhood in Brisbane! What a treat!

We were quite busy all weekend and we even spent a whole day at a shopping centre! I can't remember the last time I did that, especially with 2 boys, a husband and grandparents in tow! I'm not normally a massive shopper, but it was nice to wander around aimlessly and we did a bit of thinking about things that we'd like to get for the new house. A new dining suite, an outdoor table and chairs. I bought something extra special for myself that deserves it's own post, so I'll write about that tomorrow.

Today was a home day before we got packed up for the drive back and the boys spent most of the morning playing outside. My parents have the most wonderful backyard for kids, full of secret gardens and different places to explore and discover. They built their home over 24 years ago and designed and did all the garden work themselves. It was a magical yard to grow up in and I love that the boys are enjoying it as much as my brother and I did. Unfortunately some of the built features are not what they once were, the cubby/fort that Dad built is quite dilapidated and unsafe now, luckily it is not designed for little kids and they don't even know it's there! Elliot discovered the tyre climbing frame for the first time this morning and while it is still a bit big for him it will only be a matter of time before he's at the top! Archie, the climbing monkey that he is, just stood at the bottom reaching up for the lowest tyre! He definitely keeps us on our toes!

For now they are quite happy doing laps of the garden, in and out of the secret garden and looking at all the different plants, insects, flowers, birds and trees. What a childhood!

Friday, July 9, 2010

A Day of Journeys Ending Part 2

Almost exactly two years ago yesterday, my then 14 month old baby was going into hospital for surgery to have grommets inserted. Yesterday, he passed his final hearing test with flying colours after both the grommets came out a couple of months ago!!!

It has been a long road, but we are so glad he had the surgery even though I was so apprehensive about putting such a little man under a general anaesthetic. In the months before the surgery Elliot suffered from 'recurrent' ear infections (it was pretty much just one big, long ear infection) and severe glue ear in both ears. He was constantly on antibiotics until the GP decided that they were doing nothing and there was no point in continuing with them. That was a great day because I hated giving him medicine that I knew was doing nothing. His hearing test came back that he had a severe hearing loss in both ears and the fact that he had even a couple of words was amazing. The GP referred us to an ENT (an Ear, Nose and Throat Surgeon) and then we were on the waiting list. It was meant to be a 2 month wait but fortunately the next week the receptionist rang saying they had a cancellation and an appointment was available the next week!

After an anxious wait at the ENT's, she finally saw us and within about two minutes of being in the consultation room she told me that he would need grommets in both ears. She said normally they like to wait and observe with children this young, but his case was severe (when I told her the infections had been going on for at least 6 months she was a bit shocked!) enough to put grommets in straight away. She had an opening for surgery in a couple of weeks and he was booked in!

The day of surgery rolled around and as Matt had just started his new job he was unable to take the day off work. As Elliot had to fast before surgery, my Mum came with us. I was only a couple of months pregnant with Archie and Mum was concerned about how I would go not being able to eat for that long! I'm so glad she came with us because it was such a long day and it didn't turn out to be as smooth sailing as everyone had told us it would.

The fasting was really hard. Elliot was (and still is) a big eater. He loves food and not being able to eat for such a long time was difficult. They put us in a room that was not designed for children (they were renovating the kids' ward) and there was not even a cot for him, just a regular hospital bed. We didn't take many toys or books because we were told there would be a toy room but we couldn't access that either. He ended up getting massive cabin fever, but luckily he went to sleep in the sling once the doctors had done their consultations. Thank goodness for the sling!

When we were called for surgery he was still asleep and the anaesthetist said that was fine, she could put him under while he was asleep in the sling and then I could take him out and put him on the table. She tried to get the needle in one hand, but he woke up screaming and she couldn't get it in. She then tried on the other hand, but that didn't work either. By this time he was bordering on hysterical and she just kept trying alternating between hands. She ended up giving up with the IV and decided to put him on the table and put the mask on. Because he was so worked up it took four of us to hold him down while she put the mask on. Eventually he went to sleep and I walked back up to the room to wait for him to come back. I walked back the whole way shaking, in tears and covered in my little mans blood. It was horrible. I was so thankful that Mum was with me because I'm sure the nurses thought I was a bit crazy.

As I wasn't allowed to be in recovery when he woke up, a nurse came into the room, and then the surgeon followed. Surgery had gone well but he had an infection in both ears at the time of the operation (big surprise!) and as a result he'd have to have antibiotic drops. The ENT explained that this would cause him to be in more pain that normal after surgery. After a little while longer another nurse told us that he was on his way up from recovery. I could hear him crying from down the hallway so went out to get him, but legally they had to carry him until we got to the room so I walked along beside, rubbing his arm and trying to talk to him. He took what seemed like an age to calm down, but after some painkillers he did, but it felt like an eternity. After another hour or so we left the hospital and came home.

Due to the infection he had to have drops in every few hours and they were very painful because the grommets allowed the drops to go right into his ear drum. I couldn't do it myself because as soon as he saw the bottle he'd run away and start to cry and I couldn't hold him down and do the drops as well! Luckily we had some wonderful friends living across the road so I would take him over to their house and their lovely 3 year old daughter would distract him by singing songs while I put the drops in. The husband/Dad of said wonderful family was a 4th year med student at the time, so he was very patient with me ringing and coming over, asking him to look, answering my questions, was this amount of goo coming out normal? How will we get the drops through the goo and into his ear? When will the infection heal? Poor Rob even did some 'back deck doctoring' and got an empty syringe and sucked out some of the goo so the drops could get through! Completely disgusting but it did the job!

After a week or so the infection cleared and then we had the fun of life with grommets. He was not allowed to get any water in his ears so hair washing involved ear plugs, swimming involved ear plugs and a bathing cap, showers were a thing of the past and impromptu baths with friends involved the joy of me or other parents yelling "NO SPLASHING!" which makes baths with friends decidedly less fun!

Since the operation he has had one ear infection (about a month after the operation) and no other problems. His speech took off like a shot and it was amazing to see him be able to hear properly. We lived near a small airport and light planes going overhead was quite normal, especially on weekends, and one day not long after the post-op infection healed a plane went over and he looked up shocked. He'd never heard it before!!!

So we are all hoping that this is the end of Elliot's ear dramas. Fingers crossed that it is all over!!!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

A Day of Journeys Ending Part 1

Today has been a big day, with two big events taking place. For the ease of reading and me typing it all out, I'll post about one today and the other tomorrow!

This afternoon at 2:30, our house in Brisbane settled. We are no longer the owners of a sweet little post war home in a beautiful, quiet street in the leafy suburbs. We will in a month or so be the owners of a new, big home on 2.5 acres in the quiet, leafy country.

I am so relieved that the settlement went off without a problem. I am disappointed that I am so relieved, as I am also full of sadness and happiness and anticipation too.

I am sad because this is our sweet little first home. I am sad because this is the home we brought our two babies home to. It is the home of Elliot's first smile, words, steps, Chirstmas and his big first birthday party. It is the home of Archie's first smile and his newborn loveliness.

I am happy because we have made wonderful memories within those walls, memories that I will forever cherish. I am happy because through living in that house I have made some wonderful friendships.

I am full of anticipation at the next step, our new home. We have lots of plans for the garden and yard of the new house, chickens, an orchard, a bigger and hopefully more productive veg garden. Space for the boys to run and play and make noise without disturbing neighbours at 5:30 in the morning while I hang out the washing!

It has been a day of mixed emotions. Matt brought home some champagne to celebrate, and it was lovely however tinged with sadness.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Reducing the Waste

After reading this post about how little rubbish we had in our wheelie bin a friend sent me a text message asking me to share some tips on reducing the amount of rubbish.

So over the past few days I've been making a list lof what we do. Here goes!!


# make as much food from scratch as possible. I make all our stock, bread, bread rolls, pasta, pastry, pizza dough, pasta and pizza sauce, cakes, muffins, desserts, sweet biscuits, ice cream, grated cheese, dried apple, dried banana, hommus etc

# buy in bulk. Every couple of months I go to a bulk whole foods store in the next town and get big lots of nuts, seeds, rolled oats (5kg at a time), and I order in 20kg bags of organic wholemeal flour. I then store this (except flour) in our chest freezer. I put the bag of flour into the freezer for a couple of days but then decant it into a big storage container to save room in the freezer. I also buy 1kg blocks of cheese, 1kg tubs of yoghurt, the biggest packets of sugar etc from the grocery store.

# don't buy prepacked, individual or convenience foods. My one regular exception to this is a treat for the boys, the individual Babybell cheeses. They absolutely love them and are fairly healthy too. We go through 1-2 packs every fortnightly shop depending on how much we go out. They are only for snacks when we go out, not at home.

# try and buy foods with as little packaging as possible. I hate that some foods come in a package within a package (the rice cakes I buy from Aldi do and it drives me bananas) or like cereal in a bag in a box!

# try and avoid putting fruit and veg in those plastic bags they have for you to use. It probably drives the checkout people crazy when I put my big pile of bananas or 5 loose avocados on the belt, but it saves a bag! The bags I do get I reuse later.

# buy meat in bulk from the butcher. They use the same bag for 500g of mince as 1-2kgs so I get more and then freeze it, generally in a reused fruit or veg bag. If we don't have any of them I use a reuseable plastic container.

# shop for fruit and veg at the farmers markets. I take our reuseable bags and just load up the pram. It's not unusual for Elliot to be holding a pumpkin or two or a watermelon in season! He refuses to hold pineapples though, they're too spikey!! I also don't get things indiviually bagged unless they're fragile or I'm buying a lot of something ie 2-3kg of apples. I'm also mindful that many people I buy from are farmers local to the area and that every bag I use, they have to pay for it. It saves me rubbish and them money if I don't get a bag!

# buy things in reuseable packaging ie glass. Then we wash it well and put it in a box in the laundry to be reused to store something (cable ties, loose screws etc) or bottle something (jam, chutney etc). Moccona coffee jars are great for storing food in the kitchen (sugar, dried fruit, nuts etc) because they seal so well! It is an expensive brand of coffee, but whenever it's on sale I get a couple of bottles. Also an op shop in town quite often has the jars for sale for a dollar or two.

# reuse other packaging eg storing homemade washing liquid and spray & wipe in old vinegar bottles

# make some of our cleaning products, or use general household/kitchen items for cleaning eg vinegar, bi-carb. Then I just top up spray bottles or shakers in the bathroom, kitchen and laundry.

# compost all of our fruit and veg scraps

# feed most of our food scraps that can't be composted to our dog. She is very tiny and doesn't eat a lot though so we do chuck some out, especially bread crusts!

# give our egg cartons to friends with chickens. We are often gifted yummy free range eggs too! Yum!

# use boxes for craft activities

# collect newspapers to use as weed control in the garden or tear them up into the compost

# use paper on both sides for shopping lists etc

# recycle envelopes (mostly for when we go to the dairy and leave money in the box)

# use cloth nappies and cloth wipes. We do use some disposables too, very few through the day 2-3 a week and one every night.

# use face washers to wipe the boys hands and faces after meals

# put leftovers or things to store in the fridge in a container with a lid instead of glad wrap or alfoil

Most of our rubbish is tins from tomatoes, chickpeas, beans etc and milk and cream bottles that I don't like to reuse. It doesn't matter how much I wash them they still smell like sour milk! We also get junk mail delivered. My days of devouring the catalogues for bargains is over but I still haven't gotten around to putting up a "No Junk Mail" sign. We'll have to wait and see if the junk mail gets delivered to our new house out of town. Lots of my friends that live out of town don't get junk mail, and I'm sure it is one thing we won't miss!!!

I hope this list helps give people one or two new ideas on how to reduce their rubbish. If we all do a little (or big) bit, it can only help our precious planet Earth.

If you do other things to reduce your rubbish, please let me know in a comment below. I'd love to get a few new ideas!!

Monday, July 5, 2010

From The Kitchen This Week

When I started to plan this week's menu I realised that in a month (everything going to plan) we'll be moving! Yipee! So I decided that we have to start eating down our chest freezer so that when we do move that will be one less thing to think about. If we can have it empty before hand then we'll only have to deal with the kitchen fridge and freezer.

This week's menu looks like this:

Lasagne with homemade wholemeal garlic bread
(homemade wholemeal pasta sheets from freezer)

Marinated steak, pork sausages, mashed potato and steamed veg
(steak and sausages from freezer)

Chicken Laksa
(chicken and chicken stock from freezer)

Lamb chops, mint sauce, mashed potato and steamed veg
(lamb chops from freezer)

Friday, July 2, 2010

Time For Some Honesty

This blog is about our journey as a family trying to live simply and mindfully and you can read a bit more about why we are on this journey here. One thing I've not really written about is my own personal journey of moving away from my family and friends. So now, I will, in the interests of keeping this blog honest and not "Oh my gosh, we have the perfect life, look at us!!"

It has been hard. Really hard. We moved here when Elliot had just turned two and Archie was 2 months. We moved from a street in which some of my best friends literally lived within shouting distance (and we often did shout out to each other). We moved from my very supportive parents who we saw a couple of times a week. Elliot did not adjust to moving well, and we've had some really hard days with him. Archie is most definitely not an easy baby. He doesn't sleep, he feeds a lot, he is just very demanding of my time. Which is fine, I'm his Mum, that's what I'm here for. But it is very tiring and draining. Apart from when we visit my parents, or when they come up I have no 'extra' help with the children. I can't leave them with someone and go to the hairdresser, or get a coffee by myself. I feel guilty if I do this on the weekend because I feel like we should be having family time together.

It is getting easier. I still have days that are incredibly difficult, but I think about how far we've come. I think about how I've grown in the past year. I have more confidence in myself and my ability to do this incredible job that is mothering, whether I have family and friends surrounding me or not. I know that if I can get through the past year I will be all the more strong when other difficulties come my way. I've learnt that friendships change and grow.

I've made some wonderful friends here, some of whom I clicked with immediately. You know when you just meet people and you get each other? I am actually having morning tea with some of these ladies tomorrow morning, a very rare outing with friends by myself since Archie was born, in fact I can probably count on one hand the number of times I've left the house without him and done something fun!

So at the moment, that is where I am on this journey. I am learning and growing everyday. Sometimes there is a backwards step, but there are always forward steps too. I'm so thankful that I'm on this road, learning and growing. I'm so thankful that I have wonderful, understanding family and friends.

Thanks Shel, love you and miss you xxx

Thursday, July 1, 2010

A Simple Reminder

In a Wordless Wednesday post a couple of weeks ago I posted a picture of the house that will hopefully be ours in a month or so once it settles. Conditions of the settlement are the usual building and pest and finance and also an extra condition of the settlement of our property in Brisbane. Everything had been going swimmingly until a chance conversation with a lovely friend and old neighbour yesterday put everything in a spin.

As a result I spent all yesterday afternoon on the phone with the real estate agent and property manager, and most of the day today on the phone, again with the property manager, but also the agency principal, our solicitors, the Department of Fair Trading and the REIQ, the professional body for real estate agents here in Queensland. In between all these emotional, difficult and tiring phone calls was one lovely phone call to a dear friend who listened to my moaning and groaning with not a word of complaint! Thanks Helen! Thanks also to my wonderful Mum who listened and dealt with my tears in the way only a Mother can!

Today I was also spoilt by both the boys, each in their own special way.

Archie again had a night of optional sleep, so Matt and I were both up until after 1, then I was up again at 2ish, 5 and actually had a sleep in until 7! As a result he was soooo tired today he slept from 12 to 2:30 with a quick feed back to sleep in the middle. What a treat!

Elliot is a boy who likes to be with people he loves all the time so phone calls can be hard. I've gotten very good at being able to carry on two conversations at once, although I'm sure the person I'm on the phone with doesn't always appreciate it! He must have sensed today that the phone calls were different. Between calls I'd play a quick game of snap, or do a quick puzzle with him but for the most part he was on his own. During one phone call I looked over to see what he was up to and saw this:

He had lined up and ordered his Thomas the Tank Engine number cards in the correct order all by himself! We did it together for the first time yesterday, and I knew he'd enjoy it because it combines his loves of numbers and lining things up!

In this one simple act I saw his pride in completing this activity of his own choosing, I was so thankful for his patience during my phone calls and I was immediately reminded that in this crazy world it is the little things that matter, being at home with the people I love.