Saturday, December 19, 2009

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!!!

There is a dead end street about 15 minutes away from where we live, that James and I stumbled across about this time last year. Each of the 6 or 7 houses is decorated in the most spectacular fashion you can imagine, and not just with lights - their garages are full of interactive displays, there are giant Santas kids can get photos with, reindeer who totally 'graze' by themselves, etc., etc., it's HUGE!!! Christmas carols play from the houses. You can't get a park cause there are a million families walking around taking photos, and the street itself is blocked off so people can walk around and through all the displays. James and I went as part of Family Home Evening this week, and it was gorgeous! There are actually little booths at a couple of the houses, raising money for the RSPCA I think it was. James thinks they should turn off all the lights and donate the money they'd save on electricity, but that wouldn't be very festive or exciting or fun for families. I can't wait till next year when Maggie's almost 1 and will be old enough to enjoy this street when we take her back - she seemed less than impressed as a fetus. We took a kazillion photos but they are all terrible and none of them allow you to on any scale see how pretty it is, so I'm not going to try too hard..

The only sad thing was that only one of the houses had anything to do with the nativity - a tiny little three wise men lights display on a roof. But the feelings of happiness and sharing, and community (Tammy!) were there, and it was really nice. I love those feelings every year at Christmas!

It's funny how the world doesn't connect the fact that it is the most wonderful time of the year, and that it promotes family, and love, and warm fuzzy feelings, and sharing and giving and happiness, with the fact that it's the celebration of the Saviour's birth. Of course it's the most wonderful time of the year. But we can feel these wonderful feelings at any time, if we focus on Jesus Christ.

Mum, Dad and the twins have been away for 4 weeks, and I miss them, and I'm glad they're about to board a flight to come home to us before Christmas!!! I think they have had a wonderful trip though, and I'm so glad they got to go!

Just in case I don't post again before Christmas, I hope everyone has a wonderful day and season and holiday!!!!! :)

xo

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Bump


Here's me side-on at 32 weeks. Now I am 33, only 7 to go, yay!! :) Today we are going to a class where they teach me how to breathe as I experience hell, and they teach James how to hold my hand and remind me to breathe as I experience hell. It should be helpful, and they serve lunch :)
Only 1 more week of school left, and I'm getting to the stage where I'd do anything to not miss a day, because I'll miss my kids!!! THey get more fun the more I realise I'm leaving them!! I am a bit exhausted though, so I will be grateful when it's over! Lots of Christmas activities mixed with maths and english, it'll be fun :) And on Friday the kids are encouraged not to come, and if they do only to come till 11am so the staff can have a big lunch in the hall!
We decorated for Christmas the other night, it's so fun! Can't wait!! 3 weeks until Christmas!! :)
I'd better go so I can make this class, it's a 9-5 day, I hope I don't fall asleep!! :)
xo

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Baby Shower!

Last Saturday (14th Nov) Mama put on a fabulous Afternoon Tea baby shower for me and nearly baby Maggie :) We started at 1pm, and went outside where a mass of scrapbooking stuff awaited us, to make cards for little baby Maggie's 1st - 21st birthdays. When the task was accomplished, we went inside and played a made by Mum and I think Tammy version of baby Mad Gab (a game Tammy brought back from America), and everyone guessed how fat I am with string, and I opened some gorgeous presents, and then we sat up for our afternoon tea, which was amazing! Mum had set a beautiful table, with bunches of flowers and savouries, sweets, punch, etc. I was hungry by then (I usually am..) so it was delightful to sit and eat with lovely family and friends! About half of my guests were family, and the rest were friends, most of whom don't know each other because they're from different random walks of life but it was really nice, and now they do :) Here are a couple of pictures of the fabulous table: (see Mum's blog for more)


Mum made me a fabulous nappy cake (below), and little Maggie will be decked out in many gorgeous outfits! She's got some new toys, and a fun bathtime kit (yay!), and nappies and creams and a car seat and all sorts of things! I was so excited when I got home, to unpack everything into the nursery! One of the presents I really love a LOT and I was sort of honoured to get, was a painting by my lovely friend who is an artist, Kaili! You can check out Kaili Art. As you can see from my picture, she's very talented, and we love the painting a lot (thankyou Kaili!!). James and my dad sat looking at it for ages afterwards, commenting on the details and how good Kaili is these days lol.

We hung out at Mum and Dad's for a bit afterwards, then got home late, but I was too excited to go straight to sleep - I played in the nursery unpacking for a little bit. Here are a couple of little corners. The sad thing about our nursery is that it won't be done until just barely before Maggie gets here (hopefully right on time!) because apparently our cot and change table are literally on a slow boat from China. But we are getting other things ready and it's still fun :) I don't have any photos of it yet but we put up the cute little wooden-framed canopy bassinet on Thursday night, and yay!!! :)
So only 3 more weeks of school to survive (I'm dying - it's been 35 degrees celcius this week and it was soooo not a good idea to get fat at this time of year!! Why do Oz schools not have air con?!!), then 2 weeks until Christmas, then 4 weeks until we get to meet the girl (it will be beyond hilarious if she is in fact, a boy lol :)). I have taken up swimming each morning before school, and often after, because the amount of relief from the heat and from not being able to move very well outweighs my shame in looking like a whale :) On Monday it's James and my 2 year wedding anniversary and next weekend we're going up the Sunshine Coast for the weekend, yay! :) So all good things to look forward to.
Thankyou Mama for the wonderful baby shower, it was gorgeous and fun and I think everybody loved it. You are the best. And you and Maggie can have afternoon tea dates when she's a few years on, like in that book ;) xo

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Kankles

Has anybody had them before?

I feel your pain!

Very weird, and not so attractive (sigh)..

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Holidays, Birthday & Baby :)

My school holidays were fantastic, and ended two weeks ago. I spent a lot of time doing fun house stuff like spring cleaning and shopping for baby stuff. We finally got a few things done that have been on my 'to-do' list for forever! One exciting one was buying some shelving to go in a little space in our laundry which was spare. I was a bit frustrated at the 'perfect' cupboard being exactly 9cm too wide to fit in, and eventually decided on one without doors, but with plenty of depth, which we had room for and so it would fit a lot in. We've had a lot of trays, dishes, nice glasses etc that we don't use every day stored in different spaces in the house and I wanted it all in the kitchen area (the laundry is right next door). This also made room in the kitchen for more pantry space, which has been very helpful :) I love having everything easily accessible!! :)
I also finally took the blender I've wanted for years that Mum and Dad bought us on the last day of August on its maiden voyage! I went and bought all the nice smoothie stuff I could think of, and blended it up! Our blender was fabulous, but I may need a few tips on good smoothie recipes, because my invention somehow just wasn't quite right. I finally feel like a real housewife though - everybody needs a super blender, and I am sure it will get a LOT of use in the years to come :) (thanks Mum and Dad!!)

Our baby room is coming together - for my birthday Mum and Dad, the twins and Bethany all contributed to my nursery happiness, providing a gorgeous quilt set that I'd been wanting, matching little curtains and window valance, basket covers, etc., and even an adorable teddy bear for little baby girl. James went out and got a great deal on a really really really really nice cot set that I'd loved but that had been very much expensive that he gave me for my Birthday, and it will arrive in about a week! :) We also went and picked up a cot - we went for a Phil & Tedd Sport in the navy blue :) It's very easy to use and lightweight, and James put it up the other night in our early excitement, so now it's sitting in the baby room ready to go :) I loved the big sign on the box that said "Baby not included". I think it was Tammy who said she's a bit worried for the people for whom that sign may be necessary. We also have a bassinet which is a wooden folding leg one with a little canopy - that is a pov explanation, but I loved it when I saw it and James walking into the shop 5 minutes later pointed out the same one and said he loved it, and my little previously anti-bassinet mind turned 180 degrees so we got it, justifying its use as a port-a-cot becuase it folds up :) I've since had dreams where I'm asleep and that little dinosaur cry newborns do starts up and I reach over to the bassinet to get out our little baby girl - I can't wait till it's not a dream! And finally we have a bouncinette - one of the little old school woven ones which I've always wanted :) I'm not taking any pictures though until the nursery is done, and we have a few decisions to make about walls, etc. Apparently baby girl is now about 1.6 pounds and 14 inches from head to toe! Apparently her hearing is pretty good too, and she'll be ready to make her big entrance, ETA 14 weeks :)
Speaking of my birthday - sorry I got a little ahead of myself - I had a lovely brunch, courtesy of James! I went to bed early and got up late, and during those times he got extra chairs and an extra table in, put lovely tablecloths on, decorated with a birthday sign, balloons, even did little name tags for everyone at the table including 'Maggie Girl', and cooked chipolatas, bacon, eggs, toasted turkish bread with egg, tomato and asparagus, juice, coco pops, etc. :) We had my parents, Tammy, Jonny, Jess & Jenna, Beth, Ben and Oliver over - James' parents had to work last minute. It was lovely! Tammy took some pictures which I know she emailed to us, but James in his clean inbox thing has deleted it and I can't find where the pictures are saved! :S It was wonderful though! :) I'll try to add some if I find them soon.. And as well as the quilt set Mum and Dad arrived with a bunch of other little presents, including nice hair products that I love using and try to buy on sales, lovely face creams that I'm afraid to use in case they run out, a little bit of make up, chocolates, etc. James bought me some pretty earrings and a 7 lucky rings necklace as well as the cot set which he rationed out to me over the day, Jonny and Jessima gave me a beautiful home-covered special box which will go nicely in the nursery with something baby inside, Tammy of course took me to Melbourne on the best little trip ever to see 'Wicked'! I got some lovely home-made jewellery from my teaching partner, cards and chocolates from some of my kids (with instructions to 'give at least one piece to Mr E' lol), cute pink PJ's with a stretchy belly bit from James' parents, and overall little baby girl and I got completely spoiled!
I am glad to be 23. It is a much nicer number than 22.
Now I am back at school with only 8 weeks to go before holidays which will last for a looong time, even though they will grow to feel less like holidays and more like 'mum' life before too long :) Our baby girl keeps kicking like crazy, sometimes I worry that maybe she's stressed or something cause she kicks so much, but hopefully she's just really very active and keen to come out and meet us! :) I am getting funny pains in my back and legs, which hurt and make me walk like a weirdo, but which I secretly don't mind, because I'm growing a baby.
My kids at school are so cute and interested in the whole pregnancy business. It's a really nice age they're at (10-11), they're really sweet, and all starting to show their big personalities and growing up. Yesterday I walked to the front of the room to find they'd put a chair out for me to sit on so I wouldn't have to stand and my 'ankles won't get as fat'. They dive to pick things up if I drop them and look horrified if I start bending down on my own. One student drew an uncharacteristic (for him) picture of me with a basketball-looking belly saying "My waters have broken", and 'Mr E' next to me, saying "Oh NO!". I am constantly asked if I have cramps, and if I'm really hot, and I wonder what their parents are telling them at home lol. Yesterday one of my girls said "Mrs E, if it wasn't for your big tummy sticking out, you would look really pretty today!" I said "Thanks R, if it wasn't for your...". They want to know middle names, how I'm going to get to the hospital, how I'll know when I'm in labour ('heck, good thought! - I have no idea! I assume it will hurt?'), if I'll have to get my stomach cut open, whether I'm going to punch Mr E when I'm in pain in labour or not, exactly how dissapointed Mr E is to be having a girl ('Boys - it's not a tragedy for Mr E to be having a girl! He's quite excited!'), whether I'm going to paint the walls to the nursery pink or not, am I craving chocolate, is the baby really eating my brain ('Yes!'), do I feel her kicking now? And now? And now?, etc. These questions are usually blurted out in the middle of calculating compound area or something like that, sigh.
Anyway, James still isn't home so I can't probe him for the location of the pictures of last week's birthday brunch, but I'll post this now and maybe add them if I find them.
Hope everyone is having a great SpRiNg!! :) xo

Monday, September 28, 2009

Catch up pictures...

I just found my camera cord :)

A couple of pictures from the birthday afternoon tea we put on for Mum a few weeks ago - I only took a couple, I wish I could show you the deserts :)


Here are a couple of pictures we took of my bump at around 18 weeks for a Father's Day puzzle thing - it's a little bit huge, I know, plenty of old ladies and my doctor have told me so and I'm getting a complex :) I'm 23 weeks now and it's only getting bigger! But baby girl's a perfect size so all good :)

Here's a cute pic of Jenna getting ready to show off her swimming skills at our little BBQ Saturday avo :)


And finally, a 'before' picture of what will be our little nursery for baby girl - at the moment it's covered in storage and mess, and I am currently cleaning it out. This will make an 'after' picture much more impressive :)
Oh I almost forgot - here's a photo of the picture we got from our baby scan - it's terrible quality but hopefully you'll be able to make out her little fist and side profile! :)


xo

Saturday, September 26, 2009

I love school holidays!!! - "LOVE"

One of my favourite bits is that the dreams about my kids have stopped. This is extremely useful because I get better sleep, and I don't feel like I've just come home from work every morning. Also, it's a bit weird.

James has been working full time in his holidays, and so far seems to have had meetings or something on every night, so we haven't been able to spend a whole lot of time together. He's working in a pretty full-on job with high needs kids vacation care and he's enjoying it and learning a lot. Tonight he has the night off, so we get to hang out :)

I have been spring cleaning and shopping for things like baby change tables, storage containers, pantry cupboards and groceries. After one week of being a housewife, I agree with the amusing but jerky guy in 'About a Boy' - I really don't know how people fit jobs in!! I can taste the finish line! 1 more week of housewife, 10 more weeks of teacher, housewife. I have also spent time hanging out with mum (she came with me to my doctor's appointment and heard our little girl's heartbeat and had to listen to the 'pros and cons of getting the new swine flu vaccine that the doctor in the end recommended that I get regardless of all the scary cons' speech, then we shopped in baby shops and had lunch and went to a movie :)), babysitting, cooking dinner for my sometimes home-cooked-dinner-deprived husband, babysitting (fun!) and reading a ton of books from Mum's.

Last night I hung out with Tammy and Bethany, Wednesday night I hung out with Bethany and Jessima, Thursday night I went to hang out at my parent's and accidentally fell in the middle of the twin's double date (kind of fun - the twins are cute dates lol - but I did go and hide after a bit so as not to cramp style. It was funny when I walked out later and saw the twins and their dates on the big couch in the middle of the lounge room watching a movie, flanked on either side by mum and dad - I think I just caught it at a funny moment though cause I don't think they were there for long). I guess life will change and I'll just hang out at home more when I have Maggie, but I can't think of a better little person to hang out with! Apparently she's just over 11 inches long at the moment and weighs just over a pound - I think she'll grow a bit in the next 17 weeks before she comes out though.

Anyway, I don't have anything to write that will be hugely exciting to most people, but I really, really love the chance I get in school holidays to do the wife/nearly mother thing :) - and spend time with family :) Today some family and friends are coming over for some tennis/b'ball/swimming and a BBQ, then one more week of blissful holiday existence before school starts back up :) Have a great week! xo

Monday, September 14, 2009

IT'S A GIRL!!!

This morning James and I went to get an ultrasound and confirm that the early ultrasound's 'guess' was correct, and that we are having a little boy.

We were shocked to discover that growing inside of me is a perfect little baby GIRL!! :)

The ultrasound lady was 95% sure that she's right, and we're stoked!!! I couldn't stop smiling and laughing all day, and we got ultrasound pictures too, which I'll put up as soon as I get a little scan of them at mum's house. James thinks she has my nose :) lol

I am sooooo excited!!!! I hope we have a boy next, but am so excited to be having a little girl!!! There is a 99% chance that we will be calling her Maggie :) She is going to have the cutest wardrobe!! :)

Can't believe I am 21 and a half weeks! We will get to meet her in just 4 months!!! Am over the moon! These school holidays I am going to spring clean our house and make room for her things, then plan for her things! I have been concentrating on school during school but the holidays are for baby planning and preparations :) I can't believe it's a girl!!! :) xo


PS: She is kicking like crazy right now! Maybe she's saying 'hi'?! :) xo

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

It's Too Early!

Earlier this evening I was sitting at the computer proofreading James’ uni assignment, when I scratched my tummy. To my horror, as I scratched a little patch of skin next to my belly button, I felt something that should not yet be possible! I lifted my shirt up a little and looked down, to see, for the first time in my memory, my belly button: sticking out. In shock I pulled my hand away, and my outie went back home. I tentatively reached back and pushed the skin around my belly button in gently. Out my little innie button popped again! I have since checked on it several dozen times, and sure enough, it willingly pops ‘out’ whenever invited. Is this not too early?! Should my belly button not remain decidedly ‘in’ for at least the next couple of months? Some people’s belly buttons never even come out at all! I am afraid that it will pop out, and then spread so thin that I lose my little belly button completely!! I am a little worried about it, and feeling a little sad. I guess you don’t always appreciate little things like your belly button, until you feel its days are numbered! I will do my best not to let it stretch away.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

I'm sorry, my nose is tilted so high in the air I can't see you properly down there...

So, this week my fabulous sister Tammy was in Melbourne for a business trip. She stayed an extra night, flew me down to stay with her an extra night, and take me to see 'Wicked', for my combined Birthday and Christmas presents this year!!!
Our ritzy weekend began as soon as I got on my Qantas flight. I have flown budget airlines for so long, it was shocking to be offered food, headsets, pillows, blankets, and anything else for my comfort, for free! Lol... my nose raised itself a little in the air. I also have huge amounts of faith in Qantas pilots - I get the brand name thing from my dad always buying Kraft peanut butter and Kellogs and Colgate, but I legitimately think the pilots must be better.

Upon my arrival at Melbourne airport, I saw a man standing by the baggage carousel holding a little sign with my name on it! I picked up my suitcase and he led me to a big, fancy, black car. I got in the back seat, to find a bunch of roses for me, and magazines and water for my convenience. I rode with my little nose pointing upward at a 45 degree angle all the way to our hotel.

When I got to the hotel and my chauffer pulled my suitcase out of the car, I began to lift it up the front steps but a man in a little hotel uniform suit ran out the door to assist me. I asked him to take it to the room where Tammy and I were staying, and found Tammy reading and waiting for me in the foyer. I had to lower my nose for our little 'Oh my goodness the chauffer was sooooo funny - were the roses you? Qantas food is free! This hotel looks awesome!!' reunion and catch-up.

That afternoon we were both tired, but I felt a little too 'wired' to have a nap! Mum had warned Tammy though to make me have a nap so I didn't fall asleep in 'Wicked' (my usual bedtime being curtains up for the first act), so we (also being starving) ordered a room service lunch and put on a movie. The room service was adorable! A cute older man wearing coat tails brought it up, and the silver domes just make food taste better! We got some gourmet sandwhich bites and salad, I had a club sandwich and Tammy had a steak and egg sandwhich, and everything was absolutely divine! :) This is me, excited about our lunch delivery. (Please note the tall bottle that looks like it contains alcohol. That's how they served my spring water - I actually had to figure out how to use a bottle opener to get it open!) And below, is the gorgeous Caesar salad, the sandwhich bites (photo for you mum! lol :)), and my club sandwhich (just so you can feel like you were there with us! :)):
After our scrumptious meal, and a bit of 'Fools Gold', we were both ready for a nap/half asleep, but room service came a knocking and we never say 'no' to people who want to clean up after us, so Tammy said "Oh yes we were just leaving", while I struggled to open my eyes and put my coat on, and we left to let them clean. We decided to explore the hotel for 20 minutes, then go back and have the naps we were both now ready for. Our hotel was awesome. It was adorable 5-Star service, but had last been redecorated probably in the 50's was Tammy's guess, and it has a lot of cool things which make it charming. Some of the ones we found on our sleepy afternoon are the original elevator shaft, old stained glass doors on the really big rooms with people's names on them (we're sure this must've been a relative), the hallways, and the original staircase with tiles on the floor that Tammy loved, because of the way they added to the atmostphere.


We thankfully retired to our room (which looked lovely! - Here's a shot of my favourite part (curtains! Chair!) and a part Tammy thought was hilarious (what a creepy way to hang two tiny pictures on a big wall!) Oh no! - Just realised I didn't get a good photo of the wall pictures. Imagine a huge wall, with two tiny photos hung right next to each other, right in the middle of the wall. It was pretty funny.

So we had a good nap, then got up to go to our show!!! We took a taxi to the theatre (a couple of blocks away), and thought we'd get some sort of little snack before the show (lunch was basically going to cover dinner). We found a Starbucks and got hot chocolates and one piece of raisin toast to share, then got in trouble cause Tammy made me sit at the next door restaurant's outdoor seating right in front of their doorway when Starbucks was full and they didn't have any customers themselves, so we sat at in a pretty little (slightly freezing) outdoor area to eat, and discuss the greater things in life. We then went back around the corner to the theatre.

I wish I could've filmed the show, so you could all see how fabulous it was, but after I got in trouble in the theatre for puting my drink on a wooden ledge, I got in trouble for taking photos, so I put my camera slightly grudgingly away and I can't show you anything at all. But it was awesome!! :) The first act was the storyline I knew more about, but everything in the second act was a surprise which made it fun. There were also heaps of pretty hilarious bits, and I loved the dancing! Tammy loved the singing! I also loved the singing, but Tammy says she loved it in a way that makes me think she might have loved it a tiny bit more than me. She wants to be reborn one day (totally not what is going to happen, according to our beliefs lol) with a broadway voice. I have no desire to be reborn with a broadway voice. But the girls in the show were amazing and hilarious. I loved it! I think it's a bit criminal that they won't let you take photos or record, but totally understandable, but I hope they record it sometime and sell the DVD's, because it was awesome and I wish I could watch it again and again!!! Hopefully they make a movie of it sometime, but it wouldn't be the same as the show! We enjoyed it immensly, along with the red drinks and green pringles (very witch-y snacks ;) If you ever get the chance, it was amazing! (Thankyou soooooo much Tammy!!!! :) xoxox)

We made our way back to our hotel, after a few long detours to look for taxi ranks, as my wraparound skirt undid itself and started to fall down underneath my long coat and my blisters from my lovely new shoes (thanks Mum!) burst and regrew. We were both blissfully exhausted, and went straight to sleep.

The next morning we did some more internet research on what to do in Melbourne, but we didn't really find anything different, and I was convinced we should just ask the concierge at the front desk, so we got ready to leave the hotel, packed our bags, and then called to ask if the hotel could keep our bags after we checked out, before we went to the airport. A bellboy came to our room to collect them, and we again expressed to each other our love for 5-star service.

We went downstairs to the hotel breakfast buffet, which of course, was fabulous. (Thanks Mum and Dad for shouting us breakfast!!). We had a course of hot food and a course of fruit, and I went back for another one of their mini sausages and bacon because they were so good! One of the cute things they had on their buffet all round the fruit section, were little shot glasses of strawberry smoothies!!! Cute!!! And yummy! :)

Then we saw the concierge, who gave us a map of Melbourne and suggested we take the 'City Circle' tram around the city, to get to see the whole city (about an hour round trip), and showed us a few places were it would be interesting to get off and look around. I have never taken a tram anywhere before, so this was a little bit exciting. We got on the first City Circle of the day, right outside our hotel, and enjoyed the speakers in the tram (it's a tourist tram) telling us what we were seeing and passing, and recommending cool tourist-y things to do. So many of them sounded interesting, but time consuming, and we only had a few hours. By around a quarter of the way into the journey, the tram was absolutely packed. Tammy and I had squished together on a small seat, and there were people sitting and standing everywhere. I had issues with their smells, and became convinced they all had the swine flu, which seems to kill pregnant women, so became a bit uncomfortable. We passed at one point a new Harbour Town outlet, which looked comfortable (secretly we both would've been happy getting lunch and watching a movie, but we were trying not to take the Melbourne thing for granted), and interesting places like the immigration museum and the original prison, where Ned Kelly was executed and you could 'walk the gallows' or be 'arrested' and put in a modern cell. We decided to take the whole round trip, then come back and go to the Harbour Town. When we got back to the starting point, the tram was so gross and crammed that we pushed our way off and caught a taxi back to Harbour Town. Taxis are lovely and uncrowded, and they take 8 minutes instead of 45 minutes to get to the same place.

Tammy bought some cute shoes I wanted, and I bought a cute maternity dress, and we had an extended lunch and chat at the Coffee Club - perfect for us :) We braved the tram back to the hotel, and decided that if we ever came back to Melbourne, we'd go to the Ned Kelly prison, because it sounds awesome :)

Here is our over-crowded tram just after we escaped the second time, our hotel from the outside, and me and Tammy (just to prove Tammy was there!) out the front of our hotel. You can see Parliament House behind us.





All in all it was a fabulous trip and we loved it. I've since had plastic surgery/James mocking me surgery to get my nose back into place, but whenever I start remembering the chauffered car, the 5-Star service, the amazing show, taking taxis, Qantas not charging me for their food, lol., it starts to raise itself again just a little bit.

Thankyou Tammy for the awesome trip! When I'm rich, we'll go again sometime ;) Love you! xox

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

My MOST FABULOUS NEWS!!!

Okay so we're pregnant!!!! :)

I haven't had anything to say on my blog for the last couple of months, because the most exciting thing in the world was happening and I was so scared something would go wrong I didn't want to say anything about the baby yet so I didn't say anything at all :) Now I will tell you all the things I wanted to tell you, but didn't yet...

1) Morning sickness is amazing, and it is not in your head! It is horrific! The constant nausea and having to eat all the time to calm your stomach but there's nothing in the world you can think of that you want to eat because you're so nauseous and you feel like setting the alarm for the middle of the night and eating to make sure you don't feel as sick in the morning, but don't bother because chances are you'll be woken up being sick anyway! And not wanting to make any plans to do anything, ever, in case you are suddenly dreadfully sick in the middle of it and need a quiet corner with a bucket - oh, and the bucket, which has resided permanently by my bed and in my hand/car/wherever I am since the end of April, is like my best friend. I feel totally insecure without it. It's wearing off a little now - I don't take the bucket everywhere, and I am going whole days at school without feeling it again until I'm at home :)

2) Cravings are also amazing and not in your head. Sooooooo not in your head! If you are around a pregnant woman, and she says 'Oh, I'm really craving _____', what she means to say is, 'If I don't get some _____ within the next 5 minutes, I will die, and I may take you down with me'. It feels like you'll just die if you don't get whatever it is you want and it's not fun like I always imagined, it's torture! And expensive!!! We used to have a budget that catered for all sorts of things, now we just try to save a tiny bit each week, because I am eating my way through all of our money! I always pictured lying on the couch saying to James "Dear, I'm craving chocolate - could you please bring home 7 blocks?", but it was more like "I need a chicken drumstick NOW, please! Quick! I know it doesn't sound realistic but I am going to die if I don't get to eat one and who cares if you're not wearing shoes and you're in the middle of your dinner and - (bursting into tears) - why aren't you in the c-a-a-a-r yet?!!!"

3) When people say you will feel emotional, they don't really explain it. I have never felt so out of control - it's not like you can just say 'suck it up!' to yourself very easily at all. James says "Hey sweetie did you have a good day?!" and it's like the end of the world has come and I can't stop sobbing, and when he tries to ask "What's wrong, why are you crying?!" as he does his best to comfort me which seems impossible, it just makes it worse, because I can't explain what's wrong or why I'm crying, and it seems awfully unjust of him to ask. One night James was out home teaching and I needed a ham and cheese toastie, so I went to the shops and got bread, ham and cheese, then I collapsed into tears in the car, because it felt like the task before me was absolutely 1000% insurmountable, and there was no possible way that I could make myself a toastie! I was around the corner from mum and dad's, so I went there, and when my poor 17-year-old little brother Ben answered the door, I collapsed in a sobbing heap, begging him with all my heart to make me a toastie. He was lovely - he made me a fantastic toastie, and he will make a great husband one day. It's hilarious now, but it's no joke at the time, I can't explain it!

If you can't tell - even though I'm describing these symptoms as terrible, I'm in heaven (okay a lot of the time it really does feel like hell, but at the moment I'm pretty good, so it feels like my life has never been better! ... I sound bipolar... I feel bipolar... ).

There are two amazingly especially wonderful things about being pregnant:

1) I'm going to be a mum!!!! James is looking forward to January (when our baby is due!!!!), but I am looking forward to February (when labour is behind me!!!) :) I can't believe it!!! I can't wait for every little bit of it, including being absolutely dead wasted from night feeds, and scrimping like crazy cause we have no income with James still studying, and wiping dirty nappies (I've avoided it my whole life)! I'm going to read to our children from birth - actually I might start now, and I keep listening to music that I think might make it happy, and I can't wait to homemake, and do all the ironing straight after it's dried instead of just before it's worn, and cook dinners and just everything. But there'll be a little baby there always! And I can't wait for it to wriggle and squirm then smile and roll and giggle and crawl and walk and jump and play and make funny faces and grow it's little personality!!! And then we'll have another baby and we'll all play together, and then another, etc. :)

2) I've discovered a whole other level of James. James has been like this amazing angel for the last 3 months. He was always wonderful, but I mean he's really been amazing!

- Every morning I wake up early and rack my brain for something I can eat. James rolls over as soon as he hears me stir and says 'what can I get you?', as if he can't wait for me to put him through early morning torture. Then he gets whatever I feel like I can eat for me in bed. Often this has meant he's had to go to our corner shop as soon as it opened at 6am, and picked up ingredients, or go to McDonalds to pick me up a bacon and egg mcmuffin (sooo gross, but soooo often craved against my will!). The sad thing is, he'll bring it to me, and just as often as not I take one bite and realise I can't eat it, and need something else. Some mornings I've had 3 or more breakfast plates with 1 bite out of each stacked up beside me and I've been beside myself trying to think of something I can stomach, while he patiently and gently offers suggestions and gets me anything else I think might work.

- Because I've felt so shaky, James has driven me to work every day and picked me up again for months, and even though this combines with the amount I'm eating in wasting our budget, and wasts about an hour of James' day, he hasn't said a word about it, except to offer and help and reassure and be otherwise wonderful.

- When I get home from school I'm always exhuasted, and James has taken care of dinner since the day I fell pregnant basically! I have had trouble seeing food before it was ready to eat, and he has just cooked and cooked and cooked. I had the bright idea to invite mum and dad over for dinner and I'd cook for them in the holidays (I figured if I had all day...), but he ended up happily taking over, and he always does. Today I got home and he was already halfway through the stir fry I had suggested, and he even made brownies for desert, and he seems sooo happy to be doing it, even though I know he doesn't like cooking one little bit.

- James has also packed all of my school lunches, including bunches of food (because I never know what I'll feel like come lunchtime :P) and tuckshop money just in case I don't want any of the food I have packed.

- Every time I'm being sick, James sits with me and rubs my back and helps me and quietly cleans up after me. He doesn't make me feel like I'm gross and horrible (which I promise you I am at those times!), he smiles at me and asks what he can get me and helps me back go bed or to do whatever I need to.

- James has done all of the cleaning in our house for 3 months. I'm not joking. Cooking, dishes, washing, vacuuming, you name it. I seem to spend everything I have making it through the day at school, and I fall apart when I get home and on weekends (I am getting a LOT better now :)), and he has been doing everything, so cheerfully and it seems gratefully!

- James is sooooo happy! When I'm lying in bed with horrible nausea for hours on end and I know he must be itching to go out and do something sporty or just something other than sit at home, he comes bouncing in and asks how I feel, and I say 'oh just nauseous', and he grins and says 'That makes me so happy! That means the baby's healthy! Is there anything I can get you or help you with to make you more comfortable?!' Then he'll sit with me and talk to me and reads to me. I would have thought James would get sick of me being sick and doing everything for me (I am!), but he seems to have neverending patience! Even sometimes when I know I'm being unreasonable and demanding, and I'm upset or worried for no reason and asking for things that are difficult but I'm finding it hard not to, I see him almost get a little tiny bit frustrated, but then he'll go out and come back a second later bouncy and happy and loving and I feel like he must be crazy for being so nice to me! He makes me smile and be excited all the time, no matter how I feel!! I love him so much!

I am sooo blessed to have such a wonderful husband, and he constantly amazes me. At this time when I am so much at my worst he just seems to be growing more wonderful before my eyes. He's gonna be a great dad!!! There are a million other things I want to say about him, but I do realise this is an epic entry and everyone but my mum has skipped it all :)

Final points
- I am due January 22 :) That means I will be very hot and bothered during the last few weeks of pregnancy lol
- We cannot WAIT to find out the sex of the baby so we can plan plan plan! :) Will let you know when I do!
- I am getting fat! :) So fat in fact, that the doctor thought I was 20 weeks pregnant and thought it must be twins because I'm only 14. I really got my hopes up, but it turns out I just 'carry big'. I am fairly sure it is just my fat, but the lovely doctor is telling me it's all baby - again, just 'carrying big' lol.
- When we went to go check for twins, we got to see the baby (just one!) and we think it may be a 'he' even though the ultrasound guy said not to take his word for it because it's too early to tell properly. He was moving and wriggling like crazy so it took ages to get the right pictures the ultrasound doctor needed. Go our active little baby! He looked so healthy and his heartbeat is strong!!! :) He has all of his fingers and toes and a spine and a heart with 4 compartments and everything! You should have seen James when we were looking at our little baby - he was so excited!!!
- I felt the baby kick about a week ago even though it's super early! I've been so paranoid hoping that everything is okay, and I prayed hard that I would feel the baby and I did, and then the next morning I could feel it again and I called James and he put his hand where I said and he felt it too, and I said "are you sure are you sure?!!!" because I was afraid I was making it up in my head, but he was 100%, and I've felt it a few times since, usually when I'm lying still trying to, but today heaps at random times!!

I have never been happier, and it feels like an upwards slope! :) Our families are so excited too! You should have heard the conversation I had with mum when I was telling her about yesterday's ultrasound and how the baby was moving and we think it might be a boy, etc., we were squealing and it was fun! I can't wait to go maternity clothes shopping (some more!) and baby clothes shopping together! And I can't wait to put together a nursery, etc! This is the funnest time ever!!! :) My dad has been making me the most amazing steaks in the world recently as I've been really craving red meat. I really wish I could share the taste with you so you know exactly how good they are. Even the fat is delicious! I keep thinking I hope they love our baby! I know our baby will love them, they are so wonderful!!!

We're gonna have a baaaaby!!! :) xoxxoxoxoxox

Friday, June 12, 2009

Bits & Pieces

We used to have 'Bits & Pieces' for dinners sometimes. We'd pull out cheese and nuts and dried fruit and meat pies and dim sims and leftovers and kabana (which we'd grill...mmmm) and whatever we could find, and eat it. Like our Boxing Day breakfasts, but less yum...

I had a dream the other night in which we had a baby and it was really cute and everybody liked it! I have a complex that we all love my adorable niece so much that nobody will really like my baby when I have one, because how could it compare with Jenna?! This dream was very comforting.

My kids make me laugh, a lot. They are so funny! Especially when they're not trying to be. One of my favourite moments of camp was when one of my students who feels constantly that the world is against him (sometimes for good reason at home I think) refused to come out of his cabin. I went and knocked on his door and asked him to come out. He came out with one of his grumpiest expressions on. I asked him what was wrong, and he explained that he'd really hurt his head (he said it like someone was to blame for it in a BIG way). "Oh no, J", I said "What happened?" "Well," he explained, "I was jumping on the table in the middle of the cabin, but I hadn't realised the fan was on!". I cracked up laughing (a somewhat unintential reaction), he couldn't help smiling, and we went to breakfast.

We are in a cold snap. Bring on hot chocolate! :)

I haven't been well lately, and James has been an angel. Every morning for the past week he's gotten me breakfast in bed!

I have received 3 bunches of flowers in the last couple of weeks, and all are still alive and in vases at home. Tammy bought me some, James bought me some, and my basketball teams at school bought me some today. I inherited a great love of flowers from my Mum. They are so beautiful, what wonderful creations!

Today we ran some sports day heats at school, and I was starting the 200m. At the end we stacked up all of the cones we'd marked the starting positions with, and the pink, white, yellow and green cones ended up in a cute rainbow patten.

Ben and Oliver will probably be ON their missions in 2 years. They've always wanted to go to China, even though it's not open yet. I heard the other week that a new ambassador from the USA to China has been appointed and he's a church member. We've said before that maybe the twins will be in the first group of missionaries sent to China, but at this rate it might be there before they are!

Air fares are soooo cheap! A friend of my mother-in-law just went to England for $400 return! We could hop across to NZ for that price!! Dad saw return tickets to the USA for some insanely small price, and there are $200 2-4-1 tickets to Japan! Global Financial Crisis + Swine Flu?

Yesterday I was waiting in the car as James ran into the shops for something, and there was a lady in the car next to me with two kids. She had a little boy on her lap who was probably 1, and a little girl next to her. The little boy was leaning back funny, and each time the lady and the girl laughed. The boy looked quizzical at first, but soon recognised it as a game, and starting 'playing' - leaning back funny and waiting for the laughter. It was cute :)

My little sister Bethany is studying primary school teaching. She didn't enjoy her first year much, but she just had an awesome prac and 2nd year seems to be going better. I hope she loves it because I do, and hopefully I'll go off and have babies and she can have all of my teaching 'stuff' until she goes off and has babies too! :)

James is doing well at uni, and loving it :) I'm so glad!!!

A principal at another school called me to see if I was interested in teaching at their school for the second semester. I went and checked it out and met the principal yesterday, and spent the whole of today being grateful that I'm at such a wonderful school with such wonderful kids! I don't want to leave. The only thing that really dampens my opinion of our school is the tuckshop. A sandwhich is about $5, and it's not that good. As my teaching partner put it, 'If you want to buy tuckshop, you're pretty generous to donate all that money to the school'. Even at private schools they're much more reasonably priced. I don't know how this tuckshop isn't more infamous.

I've always wanted a pair of black stiletto boots, really nice quality ones. Last year I said to James that if we didn't have a baby by this winter, could I have some? He laughed and agreed. Earlier this winter I bought some. They were obscenely priced and they're beautiful. They're just really hard to walk in. Sometimes I practice. I've only worn them out once, under jeans on a date with James. They don't seem to go with anything in my wardrobe... Maybe I'll spend the rest of my life wearing them around the house. I love them! :)

I recently read 'The Host' by Stephanie Meyer - Twilight author. She has a way of making really messed up things sound perfectly normal and excessively interesting. I like telling James about them and listening to how messed up he thinks they are. It's funny how normal it seems when you're reading it! I really enjoyed it! I am looking forward to reading the Twilight series and The Host again in a few years when I've forgotten them :)

I'm feeling very 'What a Wonderful World'. What a great song that is, too! When you start brainstorming nice things to write about, I guess it's like "Count your Many Blessings" and it will surprise you what the Lord has done! It does every time! :)

James and I are going out to get kebabs and a movie. I love Friday nights!!! :) I love chicken!!! I love everything right now :)

xoxoxoxox

Girls Night Out!

A week or two ago we received a very exciting email from Tammy, inviting all the girls of our family to join her in enjoying a 'Girls Night Out' together at the movies. There was a special preview screening of 'The Proposal' at the movies, and she got us tickets, and made up cute little gift bags for us and everything!

The gift bags were adorable - Beth and Jolea got HSM3 (If you don't know the initials, you are way out of touch with most 13 year olds!) bags, and I got a Barbie bag (yessss!), and I'm actually not sure what mum and dad got, but they were full of tissues and popcorn and chips and chocolates and fruit and little bits and pieces like fun lips and hearts clips and water and ginger beer, etc. It was a treat being at the movies together (on a school night no less :o) and I just wish Tammy hadn't had to ditch at the last minute to fulfill her calling (sigh. In a 'I'm-glad-you-fulfilled-your-calling' kind of way!) - we missed you!!!! (That is why Dad was there, despite not bing a girl...).

Apart from the accidentally naked scene and the very, very scary bartender it was a really cute movie. I enjoyed it a lot!

Thankyou Tammy! We will have to have a girls night out again soon, and you can come, and we'll make you a little gift pack! Love you heaps! :) xoxoxoxox

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I'm soooo tired!!!

For the sake of the privacy of my lovely class I can't really tell you much of what's been going on at school, but I'm sooooooooooooooo tiiiiiired!!! :) Yesterday was a very crazy and a little disheartening and sad day!

Didn't go on strike today. I am so grateful to have such a well-paying job when so many people all around me are losing their jobs. It is a pretty innapropriate time to be rallying for a pay rise when people need whatever money can be spared sooo much more than us well-paid lot! It is a little sad that we're behind other states, but not THAT sad! If I have a serious issue with it I'll move interstate - the pay rate is public, so you know what it is before you get into it. That's my banner lol :) I just babysat the few kids who turned up to school, sorted out issues from yesterday (seerious issues - sad!), and caught up on a lot of marking and planning.

I wonder how tomorow will go!

Goodnight, I'm going to go to sleep on the couch watching a DVD while I wait for James to finish rugby training :) xo

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Ode to Netball...


Growing up here in an Australian school, netball was hard not to play,
I played from a young age, continued through highschool and that's where till now, it stayed.
Volleyball and basketball were also on the cards, but netball was probably my best,
Basketball's easier to play casually, so I really gave netball a rest.
This year I joined a mixed touch football team, 'Slim Pickings' our proud team name,
I wrote about it a few weeks ago, said I'd update you after the first game,
But it was so bad, I felt so very dumb, I wanted to quit right away,
There's a kid from my school and my dad on the team, whose yells threaten to keep me at bay.
"Who the heck is that number 3 there? RUN UP RUN UP 3, NO! NOW RUN BACK!!!"
I couldn't figure out which direction to go, which was the up or back that I lacked.
And then last game I mixed up the times and arrived as my players walked off the field,
They seemed a little grumpy, I wonder if shame is all my turn on this footy team will yield.
Last night I was called by a friend who needed a player on her netball team,
I knew I'd be worse for not playing 6 years, but was eager and bursting at the seams,
The time drew close, I got pretty nervous, I drank water and cut my nails short,
I've been making a fool of myself on the field, hopefully I'd be better on the court.
They needed a center and a goalkeeper too, I used to play center a lot,
But I jumped in goal keeper so I could watch the game and remember the rules I've forgot.
3 seconds in saw me standing in eagerness at the third line which marked my prison,
As soon as my first touch of the ball in defence all my sleeping autopilot knowledge had risen.
After first quarter I was bucking to get out of my third, I gratefully swapped out of keeper,
And jumped on as center much to my delight, then quickly found the skills needed much steeper!
I switched again to GA for the last half of the game - my shooting has not yet awoken,
Actually that's an understatement - that part of me actually seems to be broken.
But I love the game, the whistle, the court, constantly being told to 'stand aside',
The defence player trying to trap me out of play, secretly jabbing me in the side,
The fact that when I shoot the players stand three feet away,
Intercepts, center passes, rebounds and sprints, it's the game I most love to play.
And whenever I did something not completely stupid, I could almost hear in my head,
My dad yelling 'THAT'S MY GIRL!!', as he used to, but all I could hear instead,
Was James who'd come along and joined the husbands who are on his rugby team, cheering,
And they shouted so enthusiastically for their wives that they received a preliminary warning.
They only have 2 more games this season but are down 2 players next week,
So I'll probably get another chance to enjoy a game in which I feel less like a geek.
And next year when 'Slim Pickings' starts picking up, and getting ready for the season,
I WILL SAY NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! And hopefully play netball somewhere. Bethy? Tammy? Mama? Jessima? Anyone? :) xo

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Bits & Pieces

One and a half years later, still sort of edible...



Taking up about 1/6 of our freezer for the last one and a half years, has been the beautiful top tier of our wedding cake. We have been waiting a long time, for an appropriate occassion to eat it, but have not experienced one, so a week or two ago, we decided just to eat it a) for kicks, b) becuase it was Sunday night and we didn't really have much food in the house, and c) because I wanted my freezer space back. We cut big wedges in it like it was a birthday cake, but being excessively rich we really couldn't eat probably even half of our pieces. It was a tiny bit funny tasting, but was good warmed up with ice-cream. I called mum the next day, and offered them the rest, which mum accepted, as I predicted, for sentimental reasons. I'm pretty sure it's still in her storage fridge.


Coming Home!



Last week I was away on school camp, which was awesome and hilarious and I wish I could tell you funny details of the kids and put hilarious photos up but that might be a bad idea. Anyway, as awesome as it was I was stoked to get back home to real life and my wonderful husband. James was at work when my adorable sister Bethany dropped me home, so we hung out for a bit, then she left and I unpacked and washed my camp 'stuff''. James rushed home after work, with the most beautiful flowers (a bunch of those buds opened up yesterday and they're bright pink and just beautiful!!), and then we went and got fish'n'chips and snuggled up on the couch to watch a movie - I love being home!!!

Mothers' Day

So this Mothers' Day was really fun! On Saturday I got sick (comes from spending a week living with 250 children, sigh..), so on Sunday, when James and I were due to cook brekkie for his mum, he left me in bed and only woke me up when it was all ready to go! We had a lovely morning with his parents - we got his mum an exotic-looking pot plant which she seemed to like. We dropped by my parent's afterwards because my mother had spent all mothers' day morning cooking me chicken soup (there's nothing like it in the whole world!) to help me feel better (it does. Instantly). Mum had also gotten me 12 beautiful yellow roses and a wonderful book, called 'The Ultimate Career'. I thought it was a cruel present when I first read the title, who wants a career when they could be a mum and housewife??? But it turns out that it's talking about the mum/housewife career, and it's awesome :) I can't wait to participate in the practicle part of this education more fully. I ate soup and read my book and looked at my beautiful flowers (we can't afford many flowers so I don't usually have any, but right now I have 3 vases full! :)) It was such a mothers' day for me even though at the moment I'm just a daughter!! I decorated mama up a little coffee table photo box - ready for photos. We had dinner with a surprise visit from Aunty Linda and Uncle Steve which was cool - they've never been to Brisbane before so it was wonderful. Sadly I piked on the lounge, feeling rather unwell, and we left early before the end of dinner or anything. James gave me a wonderful gift too, one of those times where it was the thought that counted. He wanted to get me something just cause i'm a girl and I wanna be a mum, but we had no budget left, and he'd already and gotten me flowers which were not in our budget, so he felt bad and didn't get me anything :) Sweet. I love sticking to budgets :)

Good times xo

Saturday, May 2, 2009

When I Grow Up, I Wanna Be a Homemaker!!!

Dear Blog Diary,

Today I went to the 'Stiches and Craft Show' with Mum, at the Brisbane Convention Centre. I didn't know it existed until Mum called late last night and suggested the outing, but in a spirit of homemaking and a visit with Mum, I was eager to go.

Once we got through the doors, and to the very first shop, we were 'gone'. Into the world of crafting heaven!

About 6 hours later, we departed excited and giddy, arms full of wonderful and still slightly mysterious packages containing materials for new projects, crafts and techniques.

One of the main worlds opened up to me today was the world of embossing! I am beginning by using dry embossing, but would love to progress to using embossing medium which I love! I would have bought some today but my budget had already been murdered, so I hope to start it up in the future (it's the start-up fees that kill me!). Thanks mum for buying me the embossing tool and the sanding flowers! Also the picture of the small bug-like creatures that fascinated me so much, I love them and can't wait to get started!!

We picked up a sample of 'Snaps Australia' - a little machine which in one brief movement of a lever attaches presses and snaps into your material - idea for baby clothes, doona covers, anywhere you need a button but can't be bothered sewing one on... :) very effective , and the buttons/snap/presses can't come off! They come in a massive set with the press machine starter kit for $110. I suggested to mum that we (all of my sisters and sister-in-laws and mum) could all put in $20 or so and get a family one, but we never followed it up. I wonder how often we'd use it!

We also spent some time examining quilt stands, where mum was trying diligently to suss out which types of quilts I like and would want for a quilt she may make me someday. Sadly most of the quilts I saw were sort of ugly, but I assured Mum that hers were not, and as long as it's not dull and dreary I'd be sort of honoured just to get one.

We had a lovely lunch, consisting of slightly terrible food and lovely company (obviously the loveliness of the company in this case outweighed the badness of my salad and the bacon it contained but shouldn't have...)

Now I am at home. I told James about blowing the budget, and thanked him for letting me have so much art stuff. He pointed out to me that he hadn't had much of a choice in the matter at all, and rarely did, but I thanked him for buying it for me in the past, and having one of the spare rooms set aside for my supplies and workspace. I still struggle with not being able to be home much and not doing very well at fulfilling my role as wife and mother (Yes I know, I'm not actually a mother - this is most of the issue with fulfilling this roll, and most of my 'struggle' in life!), but when I am in my little artsy room (or spread out all over the house!) painting and making cards and handstitching and cooking and cleaning and scrapbooking and reading and being creative, it feels like I'm just that little bit closer to becoming one. I know we don't have kids, but I have decided to make up a little chipboard photo booklet ready for photos to be pasted in when they come (I have decided to have twins first). I'm going to get onto this embossing thing and continue to hopefully pick up some more sewing here and there. I'm going to cook the museli bar slice mum used to make, as well as her homemade marshmallow becuase I think James will love these. I will continue to learn how to cook. I will try to fulfill my goal of having the dishes washed every night and then extend it to having other things clean all the time too! I want to buy some of the gorgeous cross stitch patters and do it sometime when I'm sick at home with morning sickness too, then stick it up in the nursery I'll create with James if we ever get baby news.

I can't wait to be a housewife and a homemaker!!

xo

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Slim Pickings


On the very first teacher development day at my school, which was my first ever day of work, I was sitting at the 'year 6' table, getting ready to start work. I had just met the year 6 teaching team, and could barely remember their names. I was very shy and nervous. There's one guy on our year level, a nice family guy, who asked if I liked sport. I said I did, and then he said the staff were forming a touch footy team to play in a club competition, and if I was keen they'd be happy to have me. I said 'OK', and suddenly I was eagerly trekking down a path that would lead me through embarressment, then onto ... hopefully fitness and new skills.

In highschool I played netball, basketball and volleyball. I danced a LOT and was pretty fit overall. I am very bad with sports involving bats. As soon as there is a third party involved, my hand and the ball begin to disagree. I end up looking like an idiot, as I make contact with tennis balls at the part of the raquet enclosed by my fist. I have a hard time judging the distance and where to make contact when something other than just my hand is involved. Touch, however, does not involve much besides players and the ball. I have cheerlead for leage, union and AFL a lot in the past, so I thought had a bit of an idea about footy games in general... Touch, as I understood it, simply required fitness, and as I have had fitness in the past, I figured I'd pick it up quickly.
Little did I know the 'fitness training' aspect of the lead-up to games would be quite so public and humiliating. On the last day of school last term we had a scratch match against the best touch players in the school, including a few district players and a kid who just made the state league team. I jokingly asked if we couldn't just have training after school somewhere where nobody could see us, but I wasn't joking at all.
It was a little bit of a disaster for me personally. Here are some things I learnt:
  • I am unfit.
  • There are 6 players on each team.
  • I am... excessively unfit.
  • When you are touched with the ball, you simply place it down on the ground between your legs, and if necessary roll it backwards a few inches. If you throw it backwards between your legs, your teamate will end up running backwards to pick it up, cursing you all the way.
  • Impressively unfit, even!
  • Touch has a whole other language! If you don't understand it, the excessively fit woman beside you who is twice your age but could run 20 laps around the oval for every one of yours will at intervals between speaking this language at the top of her lungs suddenly burst into action in front of you, murmuring 'don't worry Ab, I'll just do it myself!'
  • If there were a word, which meant 'unfit', but more, that would be me.
  • In touch, you basically have your own player to mark. If you don't realise this and start running in the opposite direction, they will get past you (despite the hasty attempts of cranky teamates) and score a try for their team.
  • If unfit were a competition, I would actually be in the running for first place!
  • You can sub anytime you want. The only catch is that if you decide you're going to sub with a teamate when you are back on your line in defence, as you obliviously stroll off the field whistling, you're leaving behind a rather conspicuous gap, through which the other team will inevitably score. When I explained to James the way I learnt this rule he looked at me as if I were crazy. How was I supposed to know??!
  • I am so unfit that when I run, my face turns such a peculiar shade of red, that my class and other students in the school think I have a rare disease.

I learnt all of these the hard way, in front of the entire school. My class were so cute and hilarious. They were soooo supportive, screaming "GO MRS E!!!" over and over, then as the game went on and it became increasingly apparent that I was incredibly unfit and had no idea what I was doing, they seemed to become almost embarressed for me, and the encouragement became constructive critisism and instruction, and "Don't worry Mrs E, we'll teach you the rules!!!".

Our first game against an actual team of people who are not 11 years old, is on Tuesday night. We are wearing shirts, in which we will glow in the dark. Although I laughed out loud when I first saw them (much to the dismay of our team captain who ordered them) and asked whether we were doing community service or playing touch, I am grateful that I will probably be able to recognise who to pass the ball to in the dark. I am number 3. James just got released from YM and into Ward Mission Leader so he has Tuesday nights free and can come and play too. I am excited for this because I will feel more useful to my team, as bringing him along will compensate for bringing me along! :) I will let you know how we go :) xo

Monday, April 20, 2009

My New Calling in Life!

This is possibly going to be the most exciting post to date! - Not just because it's the first one after a looooong drought, but because my life has changed, been renewed, I have finally found my purpose!!! - It is.....(drumrolls all over the world...) to be a hairdresser!!!!


Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!


I made myself laugh, becuase I imagined Tammy's face as she read that... I'm just joking. I'm still happy to be a teacher, and can't wait to be a mama, which is more my purpose in life than anything else, really! On Saturday our brother Michael got married (yay!! :)). That morning I offered my darling older sister a haircut 'on me'! :)


Backtrack maybe 6 months...


I really wanted a haircut, and I had decided to deviate for the first time in my life, from the straight across haircut I've always had, and go with slight layers (adventurous doesn't even begin to describe me!). I mentioned it to mum a few times who said she'd be happy to help. One day I felt like I needed it done immediately. I called mum and she was busy at that moment, so she couldn't do it. Assumedly, I really really needed it done right then - I can't exactly remember why but something must have been coming up or I was going through an ID crisis or something, but I turned to James and asked him to please please please cut my hair.

James agreed to cut my hair, and suggested I look @ google to see if there was a 'how to' website. There are many many websites on how to cut hair, and millions of demo videos, but the helpful tip I found most helpful after searching for 'how to layer hair', was:

"Bend over, flipping hair towards the floor. Comb hair out straight and smooth. Make a cut straight across your hair."

These three sentences gave me the best haircut ever and saved my day. Since then James has re-trimmed it in the same style and I'm loving it. He's also cut my sister Bethany's hair this way, and Jessima (another sister) got Jonny to cut her hair the same way - she looks really cute.

........RETRACK TO SATURDAY MORNING.......

Tammy wanted to join the club - it was really turning into a sister thing! I agreed, and Tammy followed the instructions to stand bent over with her hair out...just as I was about to 'snip snip snip', Tammy mentioned that she'd like a trim and not to be afraid to take any length off.

I decided to follow her advice, and took of about 8 inches in parts. It was sort of an accident, in that it looked like 'just a trim' to me when I first began, but it very quickly became obvious that I was fulfilling nightmares. Once you start though, you can't stop with half the hair long and half short (as I learnt about 2 years ago now :)), so I continued, almost laughing and almost crying.

Tammy is one of the nicest people in the world. She didn't get mad. Not even when she looked in the mirror and saw a mullet looking back at her. Not when she realised I'd given her a punk rock chick 'do', and not even when she noticed that she practically had a fringe - a random line of hair coming halfway down her face!

3 happy report items to finish this sad tale:

1. Lesson Learnt: It turns out you should always just cut a modest amount of hair off at a time, because it dries even shorter than it is when it's wet.
2. Okay so it's actually really really cute when Tammy's got her sunnys on her head pulling back the weird short bits at the front! The layers kick and curl around Tamster's face and it's adorable! Even mum said so!! :)
3. When I was approximately 3 years old Tammy (on two seperate occassions) played 'hairdresser' with me, and I eneded up looking more than interesting. Very interesting frinege length consistency especially. She thought I'd forgotten after all these years... muahaha :)

So I'm not really going to become a hairdresser, but I'm happy to complete some private business on the side, just give me a call! :)

PS: Tammy I really really really am sorry! I love you!!!
PPS: I would have posted some pics of Tamster's cute 'do', but she has a 'no photos' policy (sigh)...

xo

Sunday, March 15, 2009

It's Possible, Pig!

Okay so the 'Pig' bit is just a family/Princess Bride thing, but it is actually somewhat relevant to this post. My lovely brother and sister have been eating very sensibly and exercising a lot lately, concentrating more than usual on being healthy, despite busy schedules as Jonny's in dentist school. I was there the other night and Jessima offered to share their evening meal with me. I usually like to think of salad as a side dish, or more realistically, an optional side dish, much to my pro-health husband's dismay! When Jessima revealed that dinner was to be a salad, I'm nonplussed to admit I was more than a little skeptical, and thought of it as the 'entree', for the dinner I'd have to have again when I got home later to fill me up and satisfy my tastebud intake for the evening. When, however, Jessima brought out the salad, it looked like it does in the picture, but better, because things do in real life. Lots of chicken, olives, and tomatoes and cheese. This salad reminds me of my Mama, who does yummy salads too. I think if you put chicken, cheese, and olives in your salad (as dominant ingredients...like, the first 3 listings on the side of the box...), it's possible to have a delicious meal out of it, and be so full and have your tastebuds so satisfied, that you don't even need to go home and re-eat dinner afterwards! This salad was delicious, and I think Jessima even added love, which is probably just as important as the chicken(!) :)

Thankyou so much for having me come and hang out last Tuesday Jessima, and for the delicious meal! I enjoyed the company as well as the food immensly, and hope that we can do it again! :)

xoxox

Thursday, March 12, 2009

And the Winners Are...

Kaili gave me a blog award! I didn't know they existed, and I was a little intimidated to see a link on her blog which is full of artists and other very important people, to my blog, which is full of really long blog entries about my little world, but I like it, and I have decided to continue in this noble tradition, and award some of my favourite blogs, blog awards:



So the lemonade stand awards go to...

Sandy Speak
Tammylorna
At Home With Jonny and Jessima
Fun at the Cook Shack
and
(I don't think you're supposed to do this but you really deserve it Kaili. You would definitely get a blog award if someone else had given it to me so I don't think the fact that you've already got one should count you out from getting this one as well!)
Billy and Button


These are blogs that make me happy, and that I like to check a lot :)

If you want to participate these are the rules:
1)Put the lemonade award logo on your blog or post.
2)Nominate 5-10 blogs that show great attitude and or gratitude.
3)List and link your nominees within your post.
4)Let them know they have received the award by leaving a comment on their blog.

xo

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Of Grandparents...

This is my Mother's Mother. I was tossing up between a few photos for which to introduce Grandma Taylor with. This picture of her is cute because she looks like she's dancing, which she probably was. Grandma has never acted her age, and I mean that in a good way. She's a lot of fun and she always has been. It is this Grandmother who taught me many important things in life: How to hoola dance, how to tie a scarf in many different ways, how to last hoola hooping for as long as I want (obviously good with all things hoola), how to do foolproof cardtricks, and most importantly, something I can't seem to master but which Grandma does brilliantly, how to play the 'trumpet' with a comb and a piece of gladwrap. In fact, I think I have a video of that... okay I went to put the video up but then I got scared of all the terms and conditions and the whole putting a video of my Grandma on the internet for everyone to see and I thought I'd better get permission first! On the upside, I get to see this Grandmother very soon, but I'll tell you more about that in a minute. Another thing I like about this picture of Grandma is that it shows her cooking a fabulous 'goodbye' breakfast for me and James from when we got to visit her in Adelaide last year. She has a heart of gold, and loves to serve in any way she can. Grandma's not very well, so it takes a lot of effort to cook a feast for people who eat as much as us, but it appears that she'd rather die trying than not make the effort :) Here's a picture where you can see the fruit platter, but it misses out the bacon, eggs and chipolatas which accompanied, and I kid you not, James was full before all the food was even gone! A third reason that I like the above photo is that Grandma's wearing her 'World's Best Grandma' apron. Doesn't it look lovely on her? :)

Grandma Taylor is our only surviving Grandparent (on my side - James still has Great-Grandparents in New Zealand! :)). Dad's Dad passed away when I was 9 years old, in February, and then just last year his beautiful wife passed away after having lost most of her memory over the last few years. Grandad Munro (from what I can remember) was a quiet man. I remember when I was staying there once in their home, Grandma walking into the room and noticing in some degree of horror that he was attempting to tie my very long and unruly hair into a ponytail with an actual rubber band. He seemed a bit bothered by the whole business. He called Grandma 'Mum', and had a 'secret' jar of jellybeans in the workshop under the house, which he used to give us 'when Grandma wasn't looking' (it's only occured to us in recent years that perhaps Grandma did know about this jar.....). Grandma was very proper. She always spoke nicely and wore stockings and pretty dresses. Grandma was also very funny, and it was all the funnier because you didn't expect it from her, so it took everyone a while to catch onto her jokes. Grandma and Grandad Munro ate pizza with a knife and fork. You could tell Grandma missed Grandad a lot, so being able to be with him again is wonderful, we are very happy for them both. A few years ago Grandma typed up her life history for each of her children, and it is a beautiful story of simple faith. We are so blessed to have such a wonderful heritage.

Grandma Taylor remarried and so we were blessed with 2 Grandfathers on Mum's side. Grandad Taylor was Grandma Taylors second husband, and he was a jolly man. We'd dance on his toes and he'd always sing. He had a song for everything you said. You could say "Gee, Grandad, the other day a trolley slammed into me as I was walking down the road and a kangaroo jumped out and started boxing me!" and he'd break into a song written 56 years ago in which just that seemed to have happened. It was amazing, and kind of fun. He loved to hear us sing and play our instruments, and he always used to tell us we'd make it big with them if we just believed in ourselves.

Poppa was Mum's Father, and Grandma's first husband. They obviously didn't work out and Grandma was remarried when mum was pre-teen, but near the end of his life when Mum and I were able to visit Adelaide to see him twice when he finally had to go into care, Grandma came along with us to visit him a time or two, and they enjoyed each other's company. Grandma made him a cute card with chocolate bars stuck to it, and Poppa kept asking if 'Pat' was coming in to see him. He was a nice man and I wish I knew him for longer. He loved having us to visit, even if he pretended to be grumpy, and would flirt with all the nurses when he was in care. He was hilarious, and I'm so grateful that I was able to get to know him even for a short few years. I can't wait to see him again sometime, and I hope he's accepted the gospel by the time we all get there!

Anyway, what brought along this trip down grandparent lane is the fact that Mum and Dad flew yesterday down to Adelaide, to pick up Grandma and drive her up here for a good, 2-month long visit. We are all very excited to have her come, and can't wait to see her. Grandma is too sick to fly (she was sicker than any of my grandparents from the day she was born, but has outlived all, and will probably outlive all of us at this rate), so it's hard for her to visit. They will arrive up here this Wednesday, so they're not taking the drive too quickly, and will get to see part of the Great Ocean Road on the way up.

I'm sure you'll hear more about my wonderful, hoola dancing, 'trumpet' playing, and I like to think slightly eccentric Grandmother during her visit. I think we'll have a ball.

Thankyou for joining me in a lovely chat about my wonderful grandparents. Writing and remembering these things (along with a few stops along the way to reminisce by looking at photos and videos) has made be remember how blessed I am to have such a wonderful family, not just now, but in the past. I can't wait to meet more of my ancestors (one of the few good things about dying), even though I've always been a bit scared that not all of the ones who have died already will completely like me, from what I know about them from their photos (no Jonny and James, I do not have a complex).

xo

Thursday, February 26, 2009

My Journal NEVER Used to Complain!

Blogging my life story is good, because it promises to be more consistent than a private journal, due to it complaining more than a journal. I know, it's been a few weeks and most people don't call that consistent, but it was usually a lot longer in my journal when I got busy. I never got complaints in the journal though, because if anyone was reading it (Bethany?) it must have been in secret.

Anyway, if I could draw a line to represent how my life is going right now (and it turns out I can...), it would look like this:
One day I'm in heaven, the next I'm in the Pit-(*cough*), the Pit of Despair. HUGE ups and downs! For example, last week, was really, really hard. Friday was awful. I had a terrible weekend, because I spent the whole wonderful time dreading Monday morning, and wondering how I could get the world to just stop spinning so I didn't have to go to school. Sunday night I asked James to give me a Priesthood Blessing ('I'm just not coping (sob)- I'm too tiiiiired!! (weep, weep.) I don't w-want to go to scho-o-o-o-ooool (blubbering)'), which was really nice (I'm going to live) - what a wonderful blessing to have the Priesthood in our home. Anyway, Monday was terrible too, but Tuesday, Wednesday and today were perfectly wonderful. On Monday I could not think, of a single reason anyone would EVER want to be a teacher! - What a horrible, ghastly, draining profession that sucks the life and happiness out of you! Tuesday, Wednesday and today I love my job to death, and feel hugely privilaged to be a part of it! I can't imagine wanting to do anything else (in terms of vocation - not motherhood, that definitely wins!), and I love my kids to death.

I sound bi-polar.

I don't think I am! :)

It's just been a steep learning curve. On the upside, I think every week things are getting just a little bit better, and the more confident and settled I get, the more fun the kids have, and the more good learning we're getting done.

Highlights of my teaching-centered life lately:

Last week on one of the afternoons (I can't remember which...) I asked James to pick me up early at about 4pm, and I took a recipe book to school. We went to the shops after school and bought ingredients for our chosen meal, Creamy Bustard Chicken. The recipe is from 'Brenda Kitchen's On the table in 20 minutes'. It took me a LOT longer than this - an unfortunate trend with things I cook taking a lot longer than they 'should', but I'm SUCH a beginner, I don't mind, and it's a long work of love (obviously a beginner :)). To go with the chicken, we cut up sticks of zucchini, carrot and capsicum, and I bought a jar of deli-style olives with yummy oils and sundried tomatoes (yes, this dinner cost almost our usual weekly shopping budget, but we'd just gotten my first pay (yay! - another highlight! - I get taxed about a week's wages a fortnight! But Daddy tells me I'll get it all back in July, so it's like savings! :)). Put the veggies in a little cooking dish and poured the olives and accompanying juices and deli...stuff over, then put it in the oven while the chicken was cooking. And we did mashed potatoes with it too, yum! In the tradition of Tammy's friend Brecken, I'll put in the recipe:

Ingredients:
1 dessertspoon olive oil
1 dessertspoon butter
500g/1lb lean chicken breast fillets
sprinkle MASTERFOODS Lemon Pepper Seasoning
2 tablespoons plain flour
1 dessertspoon MASTERFOODS (can you tell who Brenda Kitchen's sponsor is?! :)) Wholegrain or German Mustard (Go the Wholegrain! - divine!)
2 tablespoons cream (more... :))
fresh parsley, chopped (we didn't get this, because it was at the end of our shopping list, and we decided the $1 it would have costed wouldn't have been worth going any more over budget for..)

Method:
1. Heat the butter and olive oil on medium heat in a frying pan. Add chicken, that has been coated in lemon pepper seasoning and plain flour. You can cook the chicken in strips (DO THIS! :)) or as whole breast fillets.
2. Add wholegrain or German mustard, cream and parsley to create a delicious sauce adn stir frequently. Extra light cream can be used in this recipe, if you want lots of sauce (our cream was NOT light - James forbids it, and I sort of agree :))
If you make it and it's yuck, you must have put in skinny cream, or not put on enough lemon pepper seasoning, or not added enough cream to the sauce, or done something wrong, because it's yummy! And I know this might look lame to you more experienced cookers (you'd only have to have cooked more than 10 meals (i'm including toasted cheese sandwiches and spaghetti with pre-made sauce as well as heating dim sims and meat pies...) to be more experienced...), but we loved it, and here's a photo (yup, that's a bottle of Patriti James brought me back from the wedding he went to in Sydney the other week):






It's really exciting just to be doing homemaker things :) I sewed on a button the other night and I can't tell you what a thrill it gave me!! :)
What else? It was my friend Kate's wedding on Saturday 14th Feb (I got kids books for Valentines, James is sooooo spot on! :) - I got him Monopoly the Oz version and Yhatzee... but instead of buying Yhatzee in the box for $19.95, I bought a refill Yhatzee pad for $4.99 and 5 dice at 50c each, paying $7.49 (happy, slightly scrimping sigh). I was bridesmaid and I looked, in good tradition, awful, while James looked great and sang the first dance song for them, and made me sigh happily and think 'That's my husband!' :)

We went on a date the other week (they have been less frequent due to my psycho school-ness, but we're working on it!) and I wanted to put in a picture or two, because we went up to my favourite spot in Brisbane! It's across the road from the temple. The Brisbane Temple is up on the Kangaroo Point Cliffs, on the opposite side of the river to the city. So when you're at my favourite spot, you've got the city on one side and the Temple on the other. I love Brisbane City, and I love the Temple (I love this more...) and there's a little pagola inbetween, and a little place you can go if you jump over the railing between the path and the cliff, where the cliff juts out and you can sit there. We went there after we were sealed on our wedding day, and for lots of dates before and after. I love it. I took some photos of the temple from there but they're all blurry :(

James just came home from rugby. He's traded his basetball singlet for a pair of rugby boots in the new year, with some upsides and some downsides. Upsides: no cost competition... this may be the only upside. Downsides: James has come home every training session so far, needing an ice pack on his face. I don't like it. I don't like the blood and bruises all over him. It scares me. I sound like his mother. People sustain lifelong injuries in this game, all the time, and they've been known to die. The games are not as interesting for me. In my cheerleading days, Rugby Union was not on my list of favourite boy games to cheer for. I just asked James if it's a lot longer than basketball and he said 'not really', so I guess it just isn't as interesting. Okay no it's the injuries that bother me though. If it was safer than basketball, I'd be all for it!
Anyway, I'm actually sorta sick at the moment (Heavenly Father's been helping me be well enough to go to school, I just seem to come down hard at night!) so I'm going to go eat and sleep.
Happy to be back in blogland! Hopefully I'll keep it up a bit more now that school is marginally less full on/scary.
xoxox