Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A Pitiful Garden Update

Since we made the decision to put the house on the market and move the garden has been neglected to say the least. Actually neglected doesn't even describe what has happened to the huge area we once had planted with heaps of edibles, some successful, some not.

We planted out two gardens using the chickens to prepare the soil for us and then our moving news came. We have kept tending those two areas (one with a mixed planting, one with potatoes) and the rest of the area has been mown and is regressing back to lawn.

I can't begin to explain how sad I feel when I look out and realise that all that potential is gone. I look through the seed box and wonder if there is any point starting a new planting when we could be gone soon. But what if we're not? But what if we are? Argh!!! The unknowns are killing me, so I'm being lazy and not bothering.

In the meantime, we're trying to save the last of the tomatoes from some pesky nocturnal animal that picks them just as they are starting to ripen, then nibbles them and leaves them around the yard for the dogs to play with.

Green tomato chutney anyone?

Monday, May 30, 2011

Meal Plan Monday

We're staying at my parent's this week, awaiting the arrival of babe #3 next Monday. It was great to meal plan with 6 people instead of 4, although the boys did still pick their usuals of 'sausages' and 'eggs and toast'! It's great to be able to share the cooking too. I still try and cook as much as I can, just because Mum insists on doing all our washing while we're here! What a woman!

So this week looks like this:

BBQ with sausages, tamarind and lime chicken pieces, salad, creamy potato bake, salad and garlic bread

Beef Burgandy with horseradish dumplings and steamed veg

Mum's birthday dinner of Chinese takeaway and chocolate mudcake for dessert

Pasta prima vera

Boys: eggs and toast
Adults: Chilli con carne

Potato and leek soup

Happy menu planning!

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Fellowship of Women - Part 2

Following on from this post about some special 'women's time' I'd shared recently, I thought I'd share some more special 'women's time' that I'd had.

Some of my local friends got together and organised a baby shower for me! It was so much fun and so nice to see everyone all at once. We don't all get together as often as we'd like (how much is that the story for most friendship groups?) so it was lovely to sit down with everyone and chat and play some very silly games and just have a morning (which turned into all day) of fun. I was completely blown away by the lengths they'd gone too, I was expecting us to just sit around and watch the kids play while we had a chat but one industrious couple (yes, the one man present was the Master of Ceremonies) devised all sorts of crazy antics for us.

The kids, big and little, had a great time! I love getting together with homeschooling friends, the bigger kids are so caring and considerate towards the littlies!
The first was your usual baby shower fare, everyone had to bring a photo of themselves as a baby and we had to work out who was who. Some were easy, some were tricky!

The second game was by far the funniest (and potentially most disgusting) "What's the baby eaten?". The couple had gotten about 8 disposable nappies and smeared them with all sorts of household items. The players had to sniff and smell the nappies to figure out what it was! Ick! We did get some funny photos though of all of us with our noses stuck into the nappies. They used all sorts of tricky things like vinegar, Vegemite, perfume, vanilla and eucalyptus oil.

Trying to figure out what was in the nappy. It was harder that it sounds!

I also got showered with gifts! A voucher to a lingerie shop in town to treat myself to a new maternity bra or two, some kids books and outfits, some chocolate and a lovely package from Pepper Place that I'll post more about once I've actually used them and have pics of them on the new babe!
I'm so blessed to have met these amazing women and formed such close friendships in the short two years that we've been here. I'm so going to miss them when we move!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Why You Shouldn't Believe Everything You See

After a discussion with some friends about body/self image and the media's role in how we view ourselves we got onto the subject of photoshop. I have absolutely no photoshop experience so when one girl offered to 'do' some of us I jumped at the chance!!! I emailed away a pic of myself and she 'fixed' the image, getting rid of blemishes etc etc.

So here is the original:

And here is the photoshopped version.

Still looks like me (minus freckles, wrinkles and red spot under my eye), she worked on the lighting, teeth, eyes and a few other bits and pieces. I like that it's not too dramatic, but it really made me think. If this can be done so easily and seamlessly, how much 'fixing' is done to the images we are bombarded with daily?

It's no wonder women and younger and younger girls feel the need to buy the latest moisturiser, cream, cleanser or pill when they are comparing themselves to unrealistic and unobtainable images.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Don't forget to head over to check out more Wordless Wednesdays here.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Another Short Week in the Kitchen

Yet another short week as we are travelling again, this time not to return home until the baby has been born! Woohoo!

I've been trying to stock the freezer with meals, homemade bread and baked goodies so that once the wee babe is here I can focus less on the cooking and more on the baby, big boys and of course myself, recovering from a c-section.

So this short week looks like this:

Pumpkin soup with homemade rye bread (with extra serves to go in the freezer)

Steak, steamed veg and mashed potato

Easy dinner - eggs and vegies!

bread - wholemeal and rye for the freezer, berry and yoghurt muffins, yoghurt

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Fellowship of Women - Part 1

Quite a few weeks ago I was so blessed to have been given a Blessingway by a wonderful group of women I've known in the online world for a few years now. I had the pleasure of meeting them all in real life and realising that we all get on in real life just as well as we do in cyberspace!!!

We spent the day out at a local dam, eating cheese, dips and crackers. Those of us not pregnant (ie everyone but me) shared some wine and local seafood. Most of us were child-free for the day which made it even more special!

A Blessingway is a celebration of womanhood, a time to reflect on the amazing gift that women have - the ability to create new life.  We meditated, we sung a little, we shared, we cried and we joined ourselves with red yarn.

Please excuse the quality of the pic. I took it at night with my phone.

This was the most special part of the ceremony for me. With one long length of yarn passed between us we each wrapped it a couple of times around one of our wrists, each of the women present sharing their hopes for this babe and it's safe arrival. We then cut the yarn linking us and tied it to our wrists, to stay there until each woman hears of the baby's safe arrival.

I love looking down at my wrist and thinking of these beautiful women. I love thinking of all the strong women that have been there before me and the many, many women that will come after me. This business of pregnancy, birth and motherhood is so timeless, so precious, so sacred. I wouldn't be a man for all the money in the world!!!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Through the Eyes of Babes

Elliot is loving taking pics with my phone lately and he just had to get a snap of his cereal at breaky the other morning. He was so excited, there was an E in his cereal!!!!

Another almost Wordless Wednesday

Monday, May 16, 2011

Back to the Meal Planning!

So even though things have been ever so quiet on the blogging front for a while, things are never that quiet in my kitchen! Every week, week in and week out, I meal plan. It doesn't matter what is happening in our lives, where we are, what we're doing, there is always a meal plan. Sometimes written out, sometimes just in my head.

So, this is the plan for this week:

Bean burritos

Chicken schnitzels with mashed sweet potato and steamed veg

Zucchini and pea risotto

Thursday and Friday:
two nights off! Yahoo!

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Sunday lunch:
Vegetarian Shepard's Pie with Sweet Potato topping, recipe from here

Mini cheese muffins (for the freezer), wholemeal bread, labna (yoghurt cheese)

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Celebrating in Style!

Celebrating your birthday in style when you're four means

Going on a steam train ride with family

 Spotting all sorts of exciting things out the window

 Experiencing the wonder of going through a tunnel

Getting to ring the old bell

The excitment of presents wrapped in brown paper

Receiving exactly what you were wishing for, even when it's as simple as a much longed-for book.

Choosing your birthday cake (and Mummy being able to somewhat replicate it)

Waking up on your birthday morning to more pressies!

 Helping to decorate patty cakes to take to Kindy to share.

I can't believe that 4 years ago he was just a babe in my arms. 
What a reminder to cherish every moment!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

36ish weeks!!!!

Baby #3 at 36 weeks.

Taken by baby #1, who turns 4 today!

It was kind of a Wordless Wednesday.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Fessing Up

After my friend Kelly's recent post and link back to this blog about using bi-carb as deoderant I thought I'd better fess up.

I don't use deoderant. There we go, it's out there for the world to know. Only Matt, my mum and a couple of friends knew before today. I promise you I don't stink, well, no one has told me I do anyway!!!

I just got sick of trying every different brand out there and nothing working the way I thought they should, considering all the chemicals and nasties in them, not to mention the cost. Then I read (somewhere, can't remember now where) about using either straight bi-carb or mixing it with different flours, herbs, oils etc and I haven't looked back. It's probably been two years now and it really is just so easy, cheap and effective.

I keep it in a parmesan cheese shaker that I got from the grocery and then just shake a bit on after I shower. It seems to last for ages **warning: another confession coming up** if I haven't showered for a day or two, it's still fine.

So go on, give it a go. I dare you!!!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Chickens are Laying!!!

Well, at least one is, maybe two.

We returned from a day or two in Brisbane last Saturday to find an egg in the chicken coop! We've had one egg each day since then, with two the other day! One of the two though had a very thin, papery shell so we're thinking it was the first egg from another layer.

The boys are very excited to check the coop each morning even though we seem to have early-afternoon layers. Every time they check they return very disheartened with the response from Archie being "nothing cep a golf ball" (Matt put a golf ball in their nesting box thinking it'd inspire them.)

Then, when that elusive egg finally arrives he runs back to the house yelling "Chickens grewd an eeeegggggg!!!" at top note.

After waiting since Christmas, we're never been so thankful to see an egg! Now we just need the rest of the chooks to follow suit so we can stop buying eggs!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Making a Sheepish Return ...

I've decided it's time to resume the blogging. Lots has been happening over the last couple of months, none of it overly interesting to read about on a blog! :)

In a nutshell, to catch you all up, Matt has taken a new job which sees us planning a return to Brisbane. I say planning because while we had originally thought we'd be there by now, we're not. Well, not all of us. Matt is working in Brisbane through the week while I am up here with the boys. He's coming home on weekends or we're all travelling down when I have Dr's appointments for the new baby. I think I'll be fine with this arrangement until the baby comes. After that I've got no idea. It's pretty tiring at the moment being 35 weeks pregnant with a 2 year old and an almost-4 year old. I've absolutely no idea how tiring it's going to be adding a newborn to the mix as well!

On the topic of the new baby! I've got less than 5 weeks to go! It has come around so fast that I just can't believe that in 5 weeks they'll be another little man in the house, another soul to meet and get to know. I'm now in the care of the obstetrician in Brisbane who delivered both the boys and she is just wonderful. She gets me and some of my 'things', I don't need to explain myself to her, she's just fabulous. I'll post in a while about how we're progressing with having a Maternally Assisted C-Section, but she is open to the idea in some form so that is positive.

Other than that, life is progressing along as usual! I'm trying to continue our lives as regularly as possible, while having to deal with some pretty big changes. I'm still cooking a lot. I'm still menu planning every single week. I'm still attempting to sew. I'm trying to knit more (I've had a pair of slippers on the go for a while now, poor El!). I'm trying to get to that home-duties nirvana of no washing needing to be folded or put away, though I'm not sure it even exists!