Tuesday, 31 May 2011

"The Greatest Invention Ever" - NOT! {insert snort here}

I don't understand the need for a rice cooker.

I just heard it described as "the best invention ever".  I did the double take, eyes flickered and I rewound the TV, just to make sure I heard correctly.

I must have missed something here.  I can list about 100 things I would list on my greatest inventions list if I had one, the rice cooker would definitely not be on it!  I'm thinking, electricity, transistors, the computer, the Internet, the telephone, anti-biotics, vaccines, the internal combustion engine, plumbing (think no toilets), camera, compass, pacemaker, condoms, the fridge, well you get the picture.

Rice cooker? Pishhh!

We have rice all the time and I have never even thought "I should buy a rice cooker", perhaps it's because I have never used one, but I mean lets face it, billions of people eat rice everyday without ever even knowing what a rice cooker is.

Can someone explain why I need a rice cooker (it's a given it is NOT the greatest invention ever)?  To me it seems like something else to add unnecessary clutter to my kitchen.

There's not really a point to this post.  I doubt I can be convinced that a rice cooker is an essential item let alone that it is a great invention, but I am interested in your opinion.

Do you have a rice cooker?  Do you love it? Is it a great invention?  Why do I need one?

Playing along with Where's My Glow again this week

Saturday, 28 May 2011

This week I'm Glad for...

A chance to discuss the future and make some simple plans for the family with the Workaholic.

A real adult conversation where we were in the same room and face to face. Yay!

I'm hoping that his new job (which may or may not start on the 23rd of June) will afford more times like this. 

Boring and normal. 

I have missed it while he has been working every possible hour of the day for the last four years.

I expect I'll soon be blogging about seeing too much of him, but right now I am so glad of his presence, physial and mental.  It's a rare thing for him to get the two together.

This post is part of the 'I'm Grateful For' link-up by hosted by Maxabella Loves. Click over and take a look.

Friday, 27 May 2011

I just can't seem to get into this series of Masterchef

In fact it's annoying me.

I'm really disappointed.  It was a "reality" show I enjoyed and it inspired me to cook something new every once in a while.  Now I'm struggling to watch at all.

MasterChef Australia Logo

I've taken to recording it and watching the first and last five minutes or deleting it without watching at all.

The rot set in for me when they had the kids version.  I had to unlike it on Facebook and even banned it in my house.  It was one of those things that made me uncomfortable but I couldn't pinpoint why.  I just didn't like it.

I did re-like it on Facebook when this series was starting and was excited that it was coming back on.

No buzz during the first week. No buzz during the second week.

There's just no buzz at all...

Maybe the bigger the budget, the bigger the expectations, the bigger the disappointment?

I just may have to unlike it and un-series-link-it (if there is such an expression).

Is it just me or is anyone else finding it a fizzer?

I wrote this woe is me TMI Post last night and it got me thinking...

I published it.  For a whole 1.5 minutes.

I just couldn't do it.  It was totally not me, even though I had had a bad day and it was raw emotion driving the keyboard. It just came out all wrong and in too much detail.

I've kept the post and I have re-read it today and I've decided that the back story of my roller coaster life that came spewing out in the middle of the post, can stay and I will post it edited down, once I'm sure I'm not making myself or my kids a target of some very bad people.

I'm just mentioning this published, then not post because it has made me really think about my blog and what it's purpose is and what from my life should and should not be for general consumption.  I started it as a bit of a something to do and had a half hearted stab at writing a few posts.  Then earlier this year I decided it could be a bit therapeutic and put a bit more effort into it.  This mostly leads to me thinking alot about fabulous posts that never see the light of day, but I am thinking about stuff other than the mundane and I'm sure this has helped my neural pathways redevelop post baby brain, which I have been suffering.  I think the fog is starting to clear...

The post I wrote last night contained lots of crappy stuff from the last 4 years and reads like a bad soap opera, but is all true.  This is where it got scary having it out there (wherever there is).  I don't mind telling people about death threats and body guards and having kidnap scenario drills with my kids in  real life, but I started to worry about how it read, who could read it and what it could lead too.  Would I be setting us up as targets again?   It is all bubbling up, trying to get out because we have found ourselves in a similar situation to what came before the crap and I am obviously subconsciously processing it and wondering if the outcome will be the same this time.

The upshot of all this unedited rambling (thanks for bothering to read this far...) is that I really respect the bloggers who let it all hang out and I want to write truthfully, warts and all about my own life.  I have learnt heaps from reading peoples blogs and hope that my experiences can help others.

Right, I'm off to bath the kids.  I'll put the edited version of the post up over the weekend (if you are still interested after reading all the way down to here...).

Have a good weekend.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Sunday, 22 May 2011

I've never been good with friends in tears.

I'm having a fabulous time at the Scrap booking retreat.  The Cricket ball costume worked out very well and I have done a heap of pages.

I got a solid 5 hours sleep last night and participated in a treasure hunt all over the resort this afternoon.  I was unseasonally hot and I worked up a sweat.

The group is a group of women my friend and I joined a year ago for monthly scrapbooking workshops and we know them all a little bit, but they have been doing this weekend retreat for 9 years and know each other REALLY well.  This is not a problem for me. If it's too raucous I tune out and focus on my own things, also I don't take offense easily.

My friend on the other hand is struggling.  I have unintentionally contributed.  Between us we have a running joke about me being quick and her procrastinating to the point I tell her to "just stick it down".  This has been going on all weekend and others have joined in.  We got even got awards at dinner tonight - her as the Tortoise, slow and steady and me as the Hare.  By itself this is not and would not have been a problem.

The problem arose when at dinner a very strong personality yelled her down and laughed at her with out letting her explain what she had actually said.  I didn't pick up on the clues as we walked back to the conference room. She commented on how competitive this person is and I just brushed it off without letting her get it out.  So, about half an hour later when another (lovely) lady was offering a cocktail, I said "OK" and my friend said "just a drop", I laughed and told her she had to have more.

She burst into tears and fled the room.

I followed her down to the toilets and proceeded to attempt to get her to come out, with her crying on one side of the door and me crying on the other because I realised that I had contributed to her upset state.

She is a really good friend, one of my best friends.  We are so different it just works.

I am devastated that I upset her.

Being tired and emotional myself, I had no idea how to help her.  In the end I went back to the room and when asked by the organiser if all would be OK I burst into tears and left the room again.

This is way out of my comfort zone.  I struggle to deal with emotional stuff, especially other people's emotional stuff.

Luckily this quick exit, prompted the other "newby" to track down my friend in the ladies and offer some insight that actually helped.  She then came and got me, told me it was not my fault (a small lie...) and got us talking and back in the room, quieter but scrapping again.

I really envy people with this ability.  They seem to instinctively know what to do and say in an awkward situation.  I often can not work out what they did that was different to what I tried and why it worked.

So I'm shocking with tears.  How are you?

Playing along with Where's My Glow.

Friday, 20 May 2011

I am away!

Child free!


I am so glad for this time for ME!  It couldn't come soon enough.

To make matters even better The Workaholic will be on holidays when I get back, for a couple of weeks before he starts his new job.


A full weekend of scrapbooking and gossip with a bunch of women is ahead.  There is even a fancy dress theme component.  It's "Be a sport".  I am going as a cricket ball and my girlfriend as a cricket bat.  Pictures to follow.

I am so in need of a break.  I've found it very stressful being at home with the boys while the Workaholic is also stressed and not present at home.  I just hope it lives up to my expectations.

Have a fabulous weekend everyone.  I'm fairly certain I will!!

This post is part of the 'I'm Grateful For' link-up by hosted by Maxabella Loves. Click over and take a look.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

What exactly does the gift of a chilli dog say?

(and when is it appropriate, if ever?)

Chilli Dog
Continential Viennese smoked frankfurts served with freshly cooked
spicy chilli con carne and chilli sauce.

Seriously, sometimes I am confounded by the machinations of the Workaholics brain.

Tonight he stumbled wandered in at 10:15pm holding a box of Harry's Cafe De Wheels chilli dogs.  I should mention we live a good 25 - 30 minutes from the nearest van.

I had no idea he was going to be late until he obviously was.

I had no phone call from him today.

So, when I asked him where he had been, the answer was:

"I went to lunch, but I got you a chilli dog."

Oh well then, no problem.

Seriously, is there any situation where the presentation of a chilli dog makes a positive from a negative?  In my humble opinion the answer is NO and EWWW!

To date this would have to be the weirdest apology, and yes I use that word very loosely, that I have ever received.

Have you ever had a weirder offering?  Or am I just inordinately hard to please?

But, did you notice I totally ignored the specific fact that lunch went for around 10 hours?  It was noted and will be discussed at a later date.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Wordless Wednesday

My new God Daughter

Nanny knitted us hats!

And I just look too cute!

After scoffing down more dinner than the Little Man and I combined,
the Munchkin vomitted for Australia and after I cleaned the mess
I discovered him in a Workaholic and Miss Kitty sandwich.

Simple, cheap Winter food. Yum!

I'm joining in with My Little Drummer Boys & faith hope and a whole lotta love for Wordless Wednesday.

Thanks for dropping by.

Monday, 16 May 2011

The Washing Machine Fairy

The Workaholic is a slob at home.  At work he's organised and conscientious but at home he's a total mess.  It drives me mad.  He is constantly leaving his clothes on the floor where he took them off, he scrunches wet towels so they sit on top of the towel rail (I swear this has to take more time than hanging the towel), he drops crumbs everywhere, he manages to spill everything he uses in the kitchen and always leaves the kitchen looking like a cyclone blew through.  I always joke he is like having two extra kids.

There are some positives to this walking disaster area, he cooks, he irons, he happily replaces things he breaks or loses and best of all, he is the Washing Machine Fairy.

He's always left money in his clothes but it has only been in the last 12 months that I have come to truly appreciate how much he contributes to my cunning fund.

About 12 months ago I decided to go on a scrap booking retreat this coming weekend.  My Creative Memories consultant, handed out a money box that she had decorated, so we could save for the weekend.  I put it on the kitchen counter next to another money box we use for found change (oh yeah he leaves change and the other contents that fall out of his pockets wherever they fall) and forgot about it for a while.  Then one day I was wondering which one to put some change in when I decided it seemed silly having the two sitting together so I moved one to the laundry.  Score!  It turns out, this was an inspired decision.

I have banked almost twice the cost of the weekend away and the facial I have booked for said weekend!!

Today I opened another full box (I've been using the tin type that you have to break to open, this way there is no pilfering) and in the last 6 weeks the total from the Washing Machine Fairy was $114.80 and another $6.65 in today's loads.  That's $121.45 in 6 weeks.

Thanks Washing Machine Fairy!

I'm very strict about it too.  I put everything I find into the money box.  I often get notes, but none in this tin.  I got a $100 note in the last one.  So to be honest, in this case I am Glad for this bad habit!

Now if I could just find something to be glad about sitting on a wet toilet seat in the middle of the night...

I'm playing along with Glowless @ Where's My Glow? this week


Saturday, 14 May 2011

The excitement of going out without children

Today we have a new babysitter starting.  (This post is from Thursday and blogger went down before I could post it).

It is one of the most exciting moments of recent times in this house.

The boys are absolutlely beside themselves because the babysitter is someone they love.  The missing teacher has agreed to become our regular babysitter.  She has a new job which is also fairly local and is missing the Little Man so much she is as excited as we are!

I am so excited because I know I will find out the REAL story behind her departure and obviously I GET TO GO OUT!!

I got a fantastic reference for her from her old boss, the Director of the pre school who is currently on Maternity leave so I know a little of the politics and why she left, but nothing like getting it from the horses mouth!!

Did I say I AM GOING OUT!!??

This week I'm grateful for...

The weird way the universe lines things up in a row.

What am I talking about? Well it goes like this.

The Workaholic has been particularly invisible just lately.  Work pressure has had him working even on Sunday afternoons.  The Munchkin has even been upset when I've left him with his Dad because he sees him so infrequently.  He is so tired when he does get home he doesn't even grunt at me, just collapses on the couch to watch his recorded news and usually ends up staying there snoring until the wee hours when he crawls into bed for a few precious hours proper sleep. I know you are thinking "What a terrible wife, leaving him there", but it's self preservation, he is worse than a bear with a sore head if he's disturbed. Learned that the hard way!

Anyhow, he was extra tired and grumpy on Mothers Day, and yes he worked in the afternoon and late into the evening.  So I started an "enough is enough" conversation with him.  He was there for it, but gave no indication he was listening.  I just rolled my eyes and prepared for another week full of more of the same.

On Monday evening he came home and told me that in the morning, out of the blue he had had an offer to buy the company (which he has been running for his Dad) and then even more out of the blue, that same afternoon he had had a phone call from someone he hasn't seen for a few years, offering him a GREAT job!

Now, I'm fairly certain that is the Universe speaking volumes.

This post is part of the 'I'm Grateful For' link-up by hosted by Maxabella Loves. Click over and take a look.

and I'm also playing along with Glowless @ Where's My Glow?


Wednesday, 11 May 2011

The problem with Mother's Day is...

that none of the stuff we Mothers do on a Sunday usually gets done and it means that it is Wednesday afternoon and instead of having a cup of tea and catching up on last nights TV, I am instead faced with hanging washing and sorting last weeks washing.

The playroom is taken over by the clothes horse.

My bed is taken over with washing to sort, fold and put away.

Sundays are known as Daddy Day in this house for a reason. Daddy looks after the boys while Mummy has a little lie in with a cup of coffee and a croissant, then sorts and puts away washing and tends to various other tasks that cannot be done with children "helping". 

Mothers Day, on the other hand, means getting up earlier to "Oooh and Ahh" at the gifts and then chase everyone around to get ready for the long drive to Nanny and Poppy's house.  Of course Mummy is the driver as Daddy has lost his licence, AGAIN.

So as you can see, Mother's Day is not my favourite event on the calendar as it invariably means I spend all week catching up.

Call me grumpy and ungrateful, but I just don't enjoy Mother's Day.  I hope you enjoyed yours!

Wordless Wednesday

Mothers Day at Nanny's House.
(T Shirts are from - 2010 Mothers Day shirt)

Very serious concentration for this weeks Piano Solo.

I'm joining in with My Little Drummer Boys & faith hope and a whole lotta love for Wordless Wednesday.

Thanks for dropping by.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

The green and the yellow (and it's not what you think!)

I'm wondering when the rest of the rainbow is arriving.

Yesterday the Little Man spent his nap time 'decorating' his body, his bed and the walls in his bedroom with green ink from a rhino stamp we bought at the Zoo.  It does not wash off skin, it wears off.

Luckily it came off the white paint on the bed and the walls using baby wipes (what can;t they do?).

I was pretty angry and had quite a discussion with him about vandalism and respect for the things he owns.  I thought he totally understood and that would be the end of it.

Imagine my surprise this afternoon while we were at a play date at a friend's house, when he and master 5 of the house appeared with their hands literally gloved in paint (Master 5's Mum actually thought they had on the gardening gloves).  On closer inspection they had it everywhere.  We raced into the garage where her hubby keeps his Motor bike (eek!) to find an entire bottle of yellow paint covering the floor, Tonka trucks and other assorted items. Mixed in with the paint was a 3 litre bottle of bubble mix and 3(!) bags of birdseed which was EVERYWHERE.

We threw them in the shower and their clothes into the washing machine, then the two of us just stood looking at the garage wondering how to clean it up.  We were stumped.  In the end we decided it had to be hosed out and reassessed.

Now you would think these two colourful events would be great photo opportunities, especially for me as I am going on a scrapbook retreat in a week and a half, but no.  I was too angry in both cases to think about a camera.

I'm dreading the Red, Orange, Blue, Indigo and Violet!!

Friday, 6 May 2011

This week I'm Glad for...

1. Finally finding toy/tidy playroom balance that the entire family can live with.  After much screaming negotiating we have culled the toys to a level that we are all managing to deal with.  The boys are tidying up and I can cope if not quite everything is away.

I am finally enjoying spending time in the room, something I have not managed since we moved into this house 10 months ago.

2. The feeling of achievement when I finally after a year of owning and using it, discovered how to turn on the bluetooth on my laptop. (SO sad, but I am so very glad I worked it out!)

The tragedy of it is, that I used teach I.T.

Mummy Brain does exist and it is alive and well here.

I am continually frustrated by the limitations of my once extensive vocabulary and my inability to keep a simple list in my head.  If I do write it down, I lose the list.

So finally working out how use the bluetooth  and transferring photos from my phone to my laptop without finding the cable is something to be truly glad about.

This post is part of the 'I'm Grateful For' link-up by hosted by Maxabella Loves. Click over and take a look.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Scrapbook Retreat

I'm going to admit it out loud. I scrapbook.  I am so embarrassed by this.  I always used to sit in my bead and craft shop that definitely did not sell scrapbooking materials and look down my nose at these weird people who came in looking for them.

Now here I am counting down the days until my Girly-Child free-Scrapbooking retreat in a couple of weekends.  The excitement is starting to build.  Did I mention it's CHILD FREE!!

Last June I was dragged kicking and screaming went along to a Creative Memories Workshop with a friend.  I figured I had heaps of their product (thanks to a couple of friends who have worked in the CM Head office) and a stack of baby photos either on my laptop or sitting around in boxes, so what the heck? I'd at least get a couple of baby books done for the boys.

Turns out, I struck gold.  I love the group.  I go every month, sometimes twice and we scrap and gossip away for hours on end, AWAY from my house and kids.

I have to admit I'm pretty sure belonging to this group and having this outlet saved my sanity in July/August last year.

Anyway the group had just been on their annual retreat when we joined their regular workshop and we heard lots about it.  So in July when the next one was announced for May this year, I put my hand up for both of us and payed our deposits.  My friend needs a little nudge in these things at times...

I am in the process of working out which projects I'm going to work on and what extra photos I need printed.  It's pure escapism and I think I am enjoying it just as much as I will enjoy the weekend away from home!

Here are some samples of some pages I did when I first started.  I will post some 1 year on after I report on my time at the retreat.

Love this one. We are Zoo Friends and we go ALL the time,
 but we still take lots of photos.

This was Australia Day in 2008.
The Little Man started walking and he had his first stay in a 5 star Hotel.
I love pages with lots of photos...

Another photo loaded page.  This is my Nephew's birthday at Sydney Park.

Oxymoron anyone?

HEADLINE: Justin Bieber meets his hero, 16-year-old Aussie `bully basher` Casey Heynes

(and I can't identify the source as it is EVERYWHERE online)


I really don't want to get started on this topic,I'm already in a Facebook brawl about it, but I just couldn't let a gem of a headline slip past without any comment.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Wordless Wednesday...

More wet weather turned our hall into Gumboot storage.

Leon decided to supervise breakfast preparation,
up close and personal.

A dinner time visit by a fire engine and the excitement it created when the
firemen broke into the house across the road to put out a very smelly fire,
made the purchase of McDonalds Fire hats necessary.

That's a summary of our week in rather ordinary pictures taken on my mobile phone.

I'm joining in with My Little Drummer Boys & faith hope and a whole lotta love for Wordless Wednesday.

Thanks for dropping by.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Peggy Sue Got Married

is my guilty pleasure.  I've loved it since 1986 when it came out.  I don't care that Kathleen Turner is an actress in her 30's playing a teenager.  I don't even care that Nicholas Cage did a deal with his cousin Francis Ford Coppola to play his role using a voice from Gumby (shudder).  It makes me feel good!

I mean who wouldn't fall for the line:

Knowing what you know now, what would you do differently? Peggy Sue is going back with the chance to change her destiny.

Peggy Sue Got Married
Image and quotes from IMDB

Why do I mention this?

Well today I was feeling a combination of stress, agitation and annoyance.  It is all related to the Workaholics job.  The building industry just sux...

Anyway this afternoon I sat down with a cup of tea in the playroom and uncharacteristically flicked on the TV and it was on.  Instant mood change.  Peggy Sue got me through dinner prep, the meal, a bath and the boys into bed.  I feel myself again.

It's probably the cheesy script.  I just love it!

Peggy Sue: Grandpa, if you had a chance to go back and do it all differently, what would you have changed? Barney Alvorg: Well, I would have taken better care of my teeth.

Good advice for us all.

[Peggy Sue hands in her blank algebra test]
Mr. Snelgrove: And what's the meaning of this, Peggy Sue?
Peggy Sue: Well, Mr Snelgrove, I happen to know that in the future I will not have the slightest use for algebra, and I speak from experience.

Didn't we all dream of doing this in school? I mean who didn't love the idea that algebra was useless?

If you haven't seen it, it's fluff.  It's not pretentious. It's chock-full of future stars. It's well worth a watch.  It's on my guilty pleasure top 10 movies list, probably even my number 1!

I'm not telling what the other 9 are... they're all mine.

What's on yours?

Monday, 2 May 2011

Mummy tools I can't live without - Part 1 - The Gro Company

I've decided to post a list of some Mummy tools that I can't live without.  This is instalment numero uno.  I intend to follow it up with all sorts of items I find indispensable in my role as Mummy.

This is my opinion and is totally unpaid and unsolicited by the companies themselves.  I just like to be helpful and share my discoveries.

All hail the Gro Company! Because my first four items happen to all originate from Gro-land.  I thought I'd start with them because they are in constant use.

So here they are in order of my love for these items.

1. Gro Bags

These are used everyday in our house. The Little Man even goes back to them when the weather turns cold.  They do an amazing job and are fantastic quality.  I recently bought a new one in the same design as one we've had and used constantly over the last four years and when I hung it in the wardrobe next to the old one, I couldn't tell which was which until I looked at the label! That, is Quality!

Bubbles Travel Grobag - All sizes have a two-way front travel zipper.
Bubbles Travel Grobag.
 This is the favourite design in our house.

2. Gro clock

The Little Man has always been a great sleeper but we moved house and his window was larger and he is naturally an early riser, I am not.  Something had to be done, especially as I had a newborn who slept through from birth and didn't wake me until at least and hour and half later.  We discussed this type of clock and looked at styles online.  He decided on this one and because it was his decision, he abides by it.  It's brilliant.  He wakes, sees how many stars are left and if it's just one, he usually reads a book until the sun rises.  If there are more than one he rolls over and goes back to sleep.  As I said - BRILLIANT!!

Book has images on the clock & helps children understand easily
Gro Clock - The Little Man and I researched all the options for
clocks, he chose this as the one he agreed to co-operate with.

3. Gro Egg

I threw one of these into my Babies Galore lay buy when I was pregnant with the Little Man because they were near the counter and I thought it would be a good night light if nothing else.  I had no idea how useful it would be.  I look at it everyday and pick pajamas and Grobag accordingly.  Both boys have them and I give it as a new baby present all the time.

Grobag Egg Changing Colour
The Gro Egg - Both boys have one in their room and
it has become my standard new baby gift.

4. Gro Anywhere Blind

This again, was a bit of a flukey purchase.  I had recently been away and we had taped closed the curtains in the bedroom of the apartment we were staying in, so light was fresh in my mind.  I was a few dollars short of free postage (I hate paying postage) on a website I use and was browsing for something else to buy.  This came up and I thought it would be handy.  It came and I threw it in the Little Man's wardrobe.  A few months later we moved and the window became a problem.  It has wide wooden Venetians but too much afternoon sun made it into the room.  I was unwilling to give up on the afternoon sleep so I gave it a try.  It is still there.  No curtains could do what this little gem does.

Gro Anywhere Blind
Gro anywhere blind - A late addition to the toolkit
but the simplest solution to a tricky problem.

So, these are my Gro company items I can't live without.  I'll follow it up in the next few days with Part 2 - Great Gifts I Received when I had my babies.

What do you think of my list so far?  Do you use and like these items?