Monday, February 16, 2015

Notes to self

Note #1 Practice sales pitch before every market.

"Would you like to taste my nuts?"
Oh dear.
"Er, would you like to sample our nuts?"
Not much better.
"Care to try some tasty nuts. We have 2 nuts available. Er, Hazelnuts and Almonds. They're roasted and then caramelised......"
A bit too long.
 "Nuts. Nuts. We're nuts over here! I mean we have nuts over here"
Good grief!
"Would you like to try...(commence hand gestures to tasting plate)"

Note #2 Pay special attention to seemingly mundane conversations with children in the car. 

Eleanor: Mum are you wearing that skirt again today?
Me: Yes, why?
Eleanor: It's got a split up the back of it.
Me: It's part of the design honey, it's meant to be there.
Eleanor: Really? I only just noticed it yesterday afternoon.
Me: Yes, well it has been there forever.
Eleanor: Oh ok.

Upon my return home from running errands some 6 hours later I was mortified to catch a glimpse of my skirt in the bathroom mirror. Of course I was wearing hot pink underwear that day.

oh THAT split!

Note #3 Be prepared to discuss the male anatomy and correct terms for reproduction to children and friends of children at any moment.

Upon collecting Rocket from the vet the following conversation was overheard in the car

Friend: Why do we need to be gentle with Rocket?
Son: He had his penis cut off to stop him from spawning*.

Note #4 Asking your child if their friend liked the birthday present they gave them and getting a reply in the affirmative doesn't necessarily mean the friend actually received the present.

I opened the child's school bag this morning and found the birthday present that was meant to be given to his friend last Friday. Apparently he thought he did give it to his friend. We are still trying to get to the bottom of this one.

Note #5 Don't put car-parking dockets in your mouth, especially if parked above level 12.

Upon paying for my parking and retrieving the docket from the machine I always place it in my mouth between my lips whilst I drive down the levels of the parking lot to the exit where I hand it to the man and continue on with the rest of the day. If I don't put the docket in this spot it gets lost in the car or left on the roof of the car. It was a particularly warm and dry day when I was parked on the top level of the parking lot so when I finally got to the exit and ripped the ticket out of my mouth to give to the man, half the skin of my lips came off as well. There was an unsavoury word uttered along with blood dripping all down my front. It was very embarrassing but it looked like I brightened up the man's day. It reminded me of that one time I licked an ice tray.....

Note #6 Do not lick ice trays.

When I was 8 I was playing at my friend's house and it was so hot that I opened their freezer and licked the ice tray whereby half my tongue got stuck to the ice. I then had the embarrassing job of explaining to my friend's family how I cut my tongue and why there was blood all over the kitchen floor. But I digress. Back to other items this week...

Note #7 Shopping for toilets is quite awkward and toddlers should be left at home.

I was toilet shopping recently and was completely taken aback when the salesman told me to "have a seat and try them all out. See which one you like the feel of best". Sitting on toilets with fellow customers walking by, despite being fully clothed, was a less than fabulous experience. Having Flynn yelling out "Mummy wee, mummy poo" every 5 seconds added to the mortification nicely.

Happy Monday! I hope I don't collect too many notes to self this week :-)

* "spawning" is a term regularly used in Minecraft and is well known by parents of 8 year olds.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

2015, let's do this thing!

The year never really starts for me until the children start the new school year, which was last Wednesday for us in Tasmania. They've all settled in well into Years 1, 3, and 5 with the only difference this year being that we put the Twins into separate classes. We did this purely as we had the option to do so and we thought it would be awesome for them to be able to be identified without everyone having to look at the colour of their shoes first. So far they are loving having their 'own' classes and, well, they are pretty much joined at the hip for the other 20 hours a day that they are not in class so it's really no hardship. 

The beginning of the school term is also the time I feel a tremendous urge to get the house in order after the school holiday chaos but I usually give myself a week or two to get my head into gear before the cleaning frenzy commences. To that end, I decided to make another of Alicia Paulson’s Miss Maggie Rabbits. These Rabbit's are so cute with their knitted capelets, boots and rosy cheeks that I just want to sit and make them all day long. It’s the same one I made two years ago for Eleanor but this time I bought my own materials and used a vintage apron from my stash for her frock (see, I knew those 40 vintage aprons would come in handy one day!).  I finished her in record time – 3 evenings and 3 nap times - so that Daniel could take her up to Sydney with him yesterday and deliver it personally to our new baby niece, Frankie. 

In other news, our building application was approved last Friday, yippee!!!!! This means the builders can finally get on with building the project. 2014 was a very frustrating year with all the delays, amendments to applications and then whole new applications needing to be submitted and I didn't cope so well with all of the stress. I finally feel that things are moving ahead and feel all the more lighter for it. We’re told it will be 16 weeks until we are open and after waiting for what seems like an eternity to get this show on the road suddenly the prospect of opening a business in just 16 weeks fills me with total fear and excitement in equal measures. Breath. A lot of the ground preparation was done over the Summer and the kids have loved living in a real life Tonka world, watching all the machinery in action and using the site as a playground when the machines weren’t in use.

We had a lovely visit from Dad and Diane. I’ve seen them a lot these past few months with my trips to Sydney for the School Reunion, Ballet Weekend and the funeral last month but it was great to have them here to show them all of the work that has been going on around the farm. It was also nice to have the extra pair of hands on deck with the kids, the markets (we are doing 2-3 every weekend) and to have someone go through the house fixing things, thanks Dad! On one of our walks I just happened to have my camera with me and was able to capture Rocket chasing a Hare. It’s always thrilling to see a Whippet racing at full stretch and I think we all held our breath wondering what he’d do if he actually caught the Hare. Luckily for the Hare, Rocket lost him in the apple orchard.

And so, with the Kids settled into the new school year, a building application approved and a completely finished Rabbit, I’m feeling refreshed and positive and ready for whatever 2015 has in store for me, just as soon as I make a dent in Mt Washmore. How are you feeling about 2015?

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Road Trip In Pictures

I'm back from our road trip and slowly finding my way back to this neglected online space of mine. It's always hard to find the words after an extended break but even more so when the break involves a round trip of some 3200km as a solo parent with 5 Kids including around 20 hours on a Ferry. It's almost equivalent to driving from LA to New York and back. I'm still recovering! It was a wonderful trip though and the journey was quite cathartic if I'm honest. It involved lots of thinking time whilst driving, lots of time with the kids, with relatives, cousins, and lots of time visiting the places of my childhood. My Grandfather's funeral, which was the reason for the trip in the first place, was lovely. A Bugler played "The Last Post" and I think he would have been very happy to have all of his family together and hearing everyone recount their favourite stories. Thank you for all of your sweet comments on my last post - they were really appreciated.

The rest of the two weeks were spent at my Dad's farm, at my sisters place, on my cousin's sofa, a few nights in a caravan park and there may have been quite a bit of op-shop trawling in the little country towns between Melbourne and Sydney. The Kids travelled well but I did offer an incentive for if we could all manage the long car trip in a civilised manner - a day at thrill-seeking adventure at Jamberoo Action Park. This park has come along way since I last visited as a child and is now a fully fledged water theme park offering a multitude of water-slides as well as the new terrifying Funnel Web which involves a bit of free-falling and catapulting into a funnel. I don't remember much about that ride but I have the terrifying photos to prove that I was on board. The best bit is getting the chairlift up to the top of the mountain and then bobsledding/tobogganing down whilst taking in the picturesque views of the countryside and ocean beyond. I also loved showing the Kids around Canberra, our nation's Capital and where I lived whilst attending University. I couldn't believe how much this place had changed in the years since my last visit. We visited the Australian Wall memorial, Parliament House, walked around the lake, had dinner with old friends and the kids got a kick out of seeing the Irish Pub where Mummy and Daddy met and fell in love. On the last day of our trip we received the most wonderful news. My Brother-In-Law and his wife had welcomed their first precious baby into the world. A beautiful little girl. There really is no better news than the birth of a baby is there? We are all thrilled to bits. 

There's lots happening around the farm here too and I'm also really looking forward to catching up on all of your news. I've missed you guys!