I've still got it

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Yesterday we went to Brisbane's "wedding of the year" (blog post to come) and I don't like to brag, but Hubs and I shook our groove thing on the dancefloor at the reception for almost 2 hours with only a few drink/toilet/not-our-kind-of-music breaks. Let me remind you, ladies and gents, that I'm 37 weeks pregnant AND I was wearing heels. Heels people! I was pretty impressed with my efforts to be honest. I've been a little nervous about losing energy at times when energy is needed, but my Duracel batteries just kept going and going - from 6:30am when I woke up (not on purpose - my body clock was being a pain) til my head hit the pillow at 2:35am this morning (we decided it would be fun to go to our friend's Halloween party after we left the wedding last night - totally worth it!)

Needless to say I cannot WAIT to get into bed tonight as I'm sure it's going to be the best night's sleep I've had in a week. And maybe, just maybe I'm not going to have as much trouble with the upcoming sleep-deprivation as I thought I might?! (One can hope!)

Number 400

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Happiness is...

Being in the arms of the man I love...

...with the baby we can't wait to meet...

...and not being able to do up my jeans...


Thursday, October 21, 2010

That's the noise my childhood doctor used to make when he was pausing and collecting his thoughts. Instead of your usual "aaahh" or "um" he used to combine the 2. Why do I remember this? I don't have an answer, other than to suggest I used to be somewhat of a hypochondriac (there, I admitted it) which meant frequent visits to the doctor. And why am I telling you this? No reason really. Just cos this is my blog and I can write what I like and that just popped into my head...

Also, you may (or may not) have noticed a lack of posting in the last week or 2. There is a reason for this that isn't related to laziness. Well, not entirely. You see, this is my 399th post and I'm feeling all sorts of self-inflicted pressure to make post number 400 an absolute cracker, even more so than my usual wittiness and awesomeness. (I seem to be brimming with self confidence at present.) I used to have a tendency to get bored of new things quickly, and not stick them out, so the fact that this blog has been running for over 2 years and I have posted regularly is quite an achievement for me and I feel quite proud of myself. So I've had a few ideas for my next post but haven't quite decided on a course of action to take as yet. But there will be photos, I can promise you that.

In other news, tomorrow is my last day at Wangaratta City Council. I can't believe I've been here almost 3 months! I've really enjoyed my time here, though I'm sure it's partly due to the great people I work with, and the fact that there has always been an end date with a whole new adventure on the other side. Pregnancy is still going wonderfully and my tummy is getting bigger by the week. Littlefoot kicks and moves around a lot, and has taken to digging his/her heels into my ribcage which is fun. I'm still feeling fabulous most of the time, with spurts of extreme exhaustion which is manageable. I'm looking forward to a restful few weeks, waiting in anticipation for the arrival of the little person who has already become such a big part of our lives. Oh, and I'm also looking forward to being able to see my feet again, and being able to get off the couch/out of bed without making a "heeeyumph" sound. Hee hee. Hubs finds this particularly amusing.

So if you can be a bit patient, post number 400 will be along in the next few days, and hopefully it will meet all expectations, even if they are all from me :-)

Bomb dive

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Or is that dive bomb? Whatever. All I know is that the energy I was feeling here has gone on a holiday without my permission and left me at home from work "sick" for 2 days this week. I tried, I really did try. I went to work on Thursday and lasted from 10am til 11am before I had to go home. It was either go home or pass out under my desk for the rest of the day. I wonder if I had done that if anyone would have noticed? Would that still have counted as being at work? Would I have been paid?? Me thinks not. And then the next day it took me an hour and 15 minutes to get to work.

Here's why:

It took 10 minutes to walk the 150m or so to the bus stop
The bus took 9 minutes
I went to the Post Office to post a birthday present and started to feel quite faint
I went to the coffee shop next door to have a little sit down and an orange juice
It took almost half an hour to feel better
It took 5 minutes to walk the 50m to work
It took about a minute to walk up 14 stairs
I had to rest at the top of the stairs for 5 minutes before I could go through the last door to get to work
I sat down and recovered for another 10 minutes
I went to tell my boss I was going home

She asked why I had come in in the first place.

I wondered the same thing, particularly because it was absolutely pouring down rain and it would have been far more logical to stay at home in my nice warm bed. But I felt pretty good in the morning! It really wasn't until I got to the Post Office, in the heating, and then to work, again in the stuffy suffocating heating, that I started to feel rotten. I think I have some sort of virus or something that is just messing with my body temp/blood pressure. The Midwife I phoned on Thursday said it wasn't anything to worry about but to go and see my Doc "if symptoms persist".

So I'm going to try to go to work again tomorrow and hope for the best. I think this will be my last week of work though. I was going to work next week as well, but I think my body is saying that enough is enough.

And the reason I'm sharing all of this? We just got home from a lovely day in Beechworth (post to come) and I'm avoiding doing the kitchen after roo burgers for dinner. "Oh lovely Hubsbaaaaaaaannnnd!"

A review

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

After Hubs and I attended the Swap Meet in Melbourne a few weeks ago, we went and had coffee and cake at Cafe Cirino in Williamstown. We chose it because, well, it was the first place we came across, and the thing about Melbourne, is that pretty much no matter where you go, you get good coffee. It's not always good service, but the coffee is always good. Or in this case, fantastic. Hubs ordered an affogato, which is what he always orders these days, and I ordered a large soy cappacino. We also grabbed a piece of almond orange cake to share. This is what came out:

And it was all... so.... goooooood. Including the service! The cake was moist and delicious. The affogato was creamy and beautifully presented. And my soy coffee? Well, let's just say I gave Meg Ryan in "When Harry Met Sally" a run for her money.

Even as I'm writing this, I'm remembering how good it all was. The weather was lovely, I had my gorgeous Hubsband sitting with me, holding my hand, and the delights we were served just topped it all off. There are so many times in life that could just blend into your day/week/month/year, but it's nice to cherish those little moments of loveliness, and this was definitely one of those times for me. No frills, nothing fancy, just a whole lot of goodness.

3 cheers for energy!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

About 2 weeks ago, I started to crash and burn. Until that time I had been feeling fantastic, still walking to and from work, and just generally buzzing. I started to have so much trouble (yes, more than usual) getting out of bed in the morning, and cut back my work day to 10:30-5, and even then I only made it to work 3 days that week. By Friday evening, after my third sleep for the day, I was convinced that this is what all the mothers had been telling me about - that I was at the end of my energy. I was convinced that I would have to give up work effective immediately, and that I'd be spending the following 7 weeks (give or take, depending on when Littlefoot makes his/her grand entrance) on the couch.

But then on Saturday I woke up and felt a little better. By the end of the day (and no naps) I felt really good, and only got better on the Sunday. And by Monday, I was feeling fantastic again, just in time for work! Woo hoo! I still decided to keep my 10:30-5pm work day, and cut back to 4 days a week, taking Wednesdays off. But the energy just keeps coming!

Like today, I was up at 8:30am (though that was a bit hard) and I've been to church, done the shopping, done a load of washing, had a leisurely lunch and iced coffee with Hubs in town and had a rest while enjoying the beautiful sunshine and stunning warm weather that Wang is putting on for us this weekend. I've cleaned the bedroom, the bathroom, and am about to finish a blog post! The next thing on my list is to put the shopping away and maybe, if I'm still feeling good, make some pasta sauce. From scratch, cos you know, I live in the country now :-)

Now before y'all lovely people tell me I should be resting and taking it easy, rest assured that I have done these things at a leisurely pace with a number of breaks (like this one!!) and am planning on doing absolutely nothing this evening. Well, maybe make some cards or do a spot of sewing. But I just figure that while I'm feeling this good, and feeling this motivated, I should put it to good use!

Hip hip!
Hip hip!
Hip hip!
Hooray for energy!!!!

The loaded question

Friday, October 8, 2010

Is it just me, or do mothers-to-be get asked more loaded questions than the general public? Here is an example of a question that I don't mind being asked:

"Are you riding your bike to work, Wifey?"

Here is an example of the "question" that I have been asked about 30 times since moving to Wangaratta and, shock horror, have been riding my bike to work:

"Your not riding your bike to work are you Wifey?"

"Well yes, is a matter of fact, I am. Wanna make something of it?"

Shouldn't I be being commended for wanting to keep active and fit during my pregnancy instead of being told I should be driving the 1.8km to and from work every day?

Now, granted, I did blog recently about how I'm a bit unco on a bike, so when Hubs and I found a commuter bike at The Ceres Bike Shed a couple of weeks ago in Melbourne, I was in love. I've been meaning to blog about Ceres for AGES - ever since we bought our bikes from there 18 months or so ago, in fact. Ceres is basically a hippy farm (sorry, no offence) and amongst other things they have this totally awesome bike shed. Basically, you rock up, pick a bike that you want, which may be in good condition and just in need of a bit of tweaking (my first bike just needed a new seat and adjustment of the breaks) or at the other end of the spectrum, you can build a bike from scratch out of all the recycled bike parts. Cool hey?

This is what the "bike shed" looks like:

There's also more of a "shed" looking thing where all the tools are kept. There are volunteers on hand to help you out, but the idea is, they give you some guidance, and teach you so you can learn how to do it yourself. The first bike Hubs chose only needed the gears replaced (or so we thought) but after 2 hours they realised it was actually beyond repair, so he had to choose another one which just needed some minor adjustments. That was our first encounter with Ceres, and we walked away with 2 bikes and a 12 month membership for $100. Not bad hey?

This was our second trip to Ceres about 6 months later when my peddle broke and I needed a new one. I replaced them myself and it cost me a whole $5. I felt very clever indeed.

So our third trip was a couple of weeks ago when I found my new little baby. Her name is Daisy. This is not the best photo, but how cute is she???

Hubs spent about 2 hours putting in the gears and new brakes while I just stood around and looked pretty. I can't believe I didn't take any photos of him working on the bike!!!

Every time I ride Daisy I feel like a clown in a circus (in a good way!) and have the circus tune in my head. You know the one. Just imagine a clown on a little bike with a honky-honky horn and it'll come to you. I'm going to get Hubs to take a video of me riding this thing. I just love it! It's so easy to ride and I feel so much more confident than I have on any other bike.

Now. There was a point to this post. Aaaah yes. The loaded question. Our neighbours, God bless them, are very concerned about me and Littlefoot, and worry when they see me walking to work each morning. And don't even get them started on me riding my bike. "I don't believe women in your condition should be riding bikes." I actually waited until one of the drove out of her driveway this morning before I left so I wouldn't get a lecture! I felt so naughty!

So yes, I am riding my bike to work, kind neighbour; I did ride my bike to work, concerned colleague; and I will be riding it home again this afternoon, for anyone who wants to ask.

Another Swap Meet

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

After going to the swap meet in Shepparton a few weeks ago, I wasn't about to start doing cartwheels when Hubs said there was another one he wanted to go to in Melbourne. "But this one's a VW only Swap Meet" he says. Like that's supposed to make it better?

I was a little sceptical but we got up at 7:00am on the Sunday after the game as we wanted to "fight the crowds" and "get a good parking spot". The swapping and meeting started at 8am and we arrived around 8:30am at Williamstown. As we were "looking for a park" we saw a few VWs and then drove right past the venue - there were parks right outside!! Obviously this meet was a lot more low-key than the last which was absolutely fine by me!

We actually had a really nice time chatting with fellow kombi and VW owners about this and that and Hubs bought himself some carbis!

I'm not sure that he needed all 3, but considering he also wanted to buy a whole "new" engine that I talked him out of, I let it slide. Thankfully there wasn't the junk at this meet that there was at the last meet, and it was wholly VW-related. Some of the cars were just gorgeous!

And some had the potential (maybe... eventually...) to be so:

And one kombi in particular, around the same model as ours (1977) was fully restored. It was nice to see what our kombi could maybe look like one day.... (but, you know, with our own kids...)

And of course there weren't just kombis! It was a VW affair after all.

I had some photos of some beetles as well but don't seem to have them with me right now. But you all know what they look like :-) It really was a nice way to spend a Sunday morning and afterwards we went and had a coffee and cake, but that deserves a post all of its own.

Bringing back the Macaroon

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Hubs informed me the other day that Macaroons are "back in vogue". I wonder if that happened before or after I baked them a few months ago, and then again a few weeks ago. I don't like to say I'm a trend setter, but that seems like too much of a coincidence if you ask me...

You see, the thing about macaroons, is that they are a LOT of effort, but the reward is seemingly worth it because they are just so damn good. These are pretty much as far from "3-step-baking" as you can get. The first time I made them, they were a bit of a novelty. I doubled the batch as Hubs' cousins said that the recipe didn't make that many. It took me all evening to make them and probably half of them were fit for other people's consumption, and the other dodgy half were consumed by Hubs and I over the next week or 2.

A few weeks ago I volunteered to provide morning tea for our staff meeting here, and decided to make my stock-standard pumpkin choc-chip cookies and choc-dipped strawberries and some cheese scones. I thought I should make one more thing so decided on macaroons. I had all the ingredients, so why not?

Why not? WHY NOT??? Cos they take freaking FOREVER!!! It's one thing to have a whole evening to cook them, but to try and fit them around cooking and preparing 3 other things was not one of my finest ideas. At one stage when I was half-way through making them, and making noises of "I can't BELIEVE I did this to myself", Hubs said something along the lines of "I did think you were being a little adventurous/optimistic/CRAZY baking those."

Here's the process, simplified as much as possible: Mix dry ingredients, beat egg whites, mix all together, put into awesome piping tube, pipe 3cm circles (that look like little turds) (sorry, that's gross) (but I'm leaving it in), bang baking tray down to flatten them in to 4cm turds circles (this didn't work very well for me), dust with icing sugar, bake for 10-15 minutes or until slightly brown on top, cool on tray, then take off baking paper. Repeat until all mixture is used (I made about 70 "halves"). In the mean time (cos you have nothing to do while they're baking... yeah right) make or reheat your ganache. The first lot I made I used the jaffa ganache I had leftover from Hubs' birthday cake and it really added a great flavour to the finished result. Then you match up the halves into equal sizes, (and end up with 10 random ones at the end) and spoon in the ganache and put them together.

And in pictures:

See? Just like that. This is certainly a recipe to make when you have time and patience and a good playlist running on your media PC. But as I mentioned, the end result is very impressive and delicious and I got thumbs up all round for my baked goods. I don't think I'll be making them again in a hurry. (har har...)

Oh the Saints

Monday, October 4, 2010

I don't want to talk about the game on Saturday. Which is a shame since there are so many Collingwood supporters at work wanting to rub it in. It was so disappointing, especially after the previous weekend's efforts. Oh well. There's always next year.

(In case you haven't heard, Collingwood belted St Kilda in the Grand Final rematch over the weekend. And I don't want to talk about it.)