Simple things done well

Monday, February 28, 2011

The thing about Hubs is that he's easy to please but hard to impress. (Luckily for me I'm totally awesome so he was totally impressed and just had to marry me! Ha!)

(Moving on...) I may have already mentioned that I can take all day preparing an elaborate 3 course meal for Hubs that he'll enjoy just as much as spag bol or chicken salad, as long as they are done well. So when we were over at Aunty Alida and Uncle Wayne's on Friday and Aunty Alida asked if we'd like ham and salad rolls for lunch, Hubs got very excited. I know what you're saying. Ham and salad rolls? Big whoop. But when something simple like that is made with love (and avocado) then it will always be a winner with us Hubs. And you know me - I love anything that someone else makes for me!

And of course, they were awesome!

This visit kicked off a super weekend in Melbourne for us. More to come...

There's no place like home

Every gal needs at least one pair of red shoes. These are my latest edition. I bought them so I could walk to places like Mother's group or coffee with friends and not have to wear my boring ugly sneakers. And since I have an aversion to paying full price for shoes and clothing, the fact that they were 30% off sealed the deal. Aren't they just super cute!?


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Throughout my pregnancy and ever since Chance was born, people have shared helpful as well as "helpful" comments with Hubs and I.

The helpful comments are things like:
"You're going to just love being parents."
"Every year it gets better and better."
"You will love this time in your lives. It's so special for you as a family."

These comments from family, friends and strangers really built me up and up and made me even more excited about being a mum.

And then there was the lady on the plane coming home from Brisbane who had a "helpful" comment for me. I was holding Chance as we were looking for our seats and he was crying/whining a little bit and she looked at me and said "Don't worry, it only gets worse."

This really bothered me. Hubs reasoned with me that she was only joking and I know that, but I couldn't work out for a few days why it annoyed me so much. And then I realised, it's because there are many women who struggle with postnatal depression for the first few months of their baby's life and if that lady had made that comment to someone in that fragile state-of-mind, that would have been extremely unhelpful for that new mum. What if she had been thinking "this part is really hard but surely it will get better." No matter how much you reason with yourself, it's hard to fight those demons, and comments like that can really send you crashing.

Plus she's wrong. I know it's just going to get better and better.

(By the way, I have more time to blog now! Hubs set up one of our laptops (we have a few) in the lounge room so I can play with Chance while I blog! Multitasking!!)

Gnocch gnocch

Monday, February 21, 2011

Who's there?
Pesto who?
Pesto me long enough and I'll make some gnocchi!

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Okay okay. Maybe I should stick to what I know instead of trying to make up knock knock jokes.

Hubs and I went shopping together a week ago (side note: Hubs and I don't grocery shop well together - I like to go in with my list, shop and leave. He likes to browse. And when Hubs is around, I can't make decisions. I have to ask his opinion on everything. Such a pain!) and Hubs suggested I try to cook gnocchi some time. On another side note, we went out to lunch with my parents and K&K in Brisbane and Kturtle had the BEST gnocchi I've ever tasted. It was so light and fluffy and not at all rubbery.

The thing about cooking gnocchi (or so I read) is that it can range from disintegrating in the saucepan to a rubbery chewy concoction, or anything in between, and we've all had chewy gnocchi, am I right? (I've been watching The Sopranos and they always say that. Am I right?) (Enough with the side notes).

So, as with many of my cooking adventures, I took Hubs' suggestion and gave it a go on Saturday. Gnocchi is quite "simple" but there are a lot of techniques (again, so I read) that can give you great gnocchi. I don't know if it was beginner's luck, but I've got to say, my gnocchi rocked.

Here's what to do: I followed this recipe pretty much word for word. Start by boiling the potatoes whole with the skins on, peel them and scrape/mash them with a fork.

Then pile them up, add the egg and flour, and incorporate it with a spatula:

Roll them into logs and cut them up:

And then make them pretty with a fork (granted, this wasn't my best work):

Throw them into some boiling water with some salt and fish them out once they float to the top:

Mix through some home-made basil pesto (recipe found in this book that my lovely friend gave me for my birthday last year) - I figured I'd go all out - consisting of basil, garlic, pine nuts, parmesan and oil, and throw together some green beans and garlic:

Accompany with a bottle of bubbly that you've been saving for 2 years:

And enjoy! :-)
I will definitely be making this again. Let's just hope the beginner's luck carries over to the next time as well!

Chance - 12 weeks old

He's only 12 weeks old and he's already starting to look like a private school boy. All he needs now is a turned-up collar and some deck shoes :-)

Cuppa anyone?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Warning: photo is not for the faint at heart!

I put my neck out a week ago - this is the first time this has happened to me in a very long time. The constant pain that I used to feel hasn't been a part of my life for the better part of 2 years which has been absolute bliss. I put last Wednesday's episode down to the breastfeeding positions - constantly looking down and lots of bending over and lifting. So I spent Wednesday and Thursday sitting around hoping that Chance wouldn't want too much attention from me. He was an absolute angel - happy to amuse himself for a lot of the day between his play mat and bouncer. I booked myself in with the local Chinese Medicine establishment for some acupuncture on the Friday. I normally prefer a GP to perform the acupuncture but couldn't be bothered trying to find one in Wang. By Thursday evening I was feeling a bit better - either my neck was getting better or I was just getting used to it. I think I did a pretty good job of sucking it in actually.

I went to my appointment on Friday afternoon and the acupuncturist got started. I don't know if many of you have had acupuncture, or believe in it's ability to help, but I had my first lot of acupuncture when I was 10 years old (I injured my big toe) and have never looked back. I've used it for RSI in my wrists, for post-nasal-drip that I had for 18 months, for sciatica (this occurred after a sneezing attack) and for a back problem that I developed 10 days before our wedding. Each time I had great success. I like the traditional way of putting in the needles - just using two fingers to almost squeeze it in. These days, most acupuncturists use the tube. I hate the tube. This method involves the needle being put into a cylinder and being "tapped in". This ensures the needle is inserted the correct depth. I can't quite work out why I hate it so much but it makes me tense up and cringe every single time. I liken it to nails down a blackboard or papercuts between your fingers or kicking your little toe on the corner of the bed. It's not relaxing in the least.

Anyway, back to the story. She put in about 12 needles and left me for 15 minutes, came to check on me, then left for another 15 or so minutes. When she returned and took the needles out, I thought that was the end of the treatment, but she asked if I'd mind her doing some cupping on my back. I really like cupping so I said sure!

I think she may have put the cups on a bit tight though. This was my back a few hours later:

And the bruises are still there, albeit faded, a week later! I'm pretty sure it's not supposed to hurt as much as it did (it never has before) but she wasn't done yet! She finished it off with a white-knuckle inducing massage. Why didn't I tell her to be a bit softer? Well, ummm, I don't know. Maybe because she didn't ask, or maybe because I'm a massive chicken. Plus the pain felt pretty good. The next day I was quite sore but by Sunday it was feeling much better. I've been putting heat on it since then and it's definitely better.

She said I should have a follow-up appointment sometime this week. I'm thinking not...


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Last night I baked!!! The hospital that Hubs works at has a cake stall once a month and obviously I've missed the last few and have been having withdrawals. So Hubs took the baby for a few hours last night and I went to town making these oat cookies and these brownies. I also made some banana/berry/choc bread. SO GOOD!!! Gosh I miss having time to bake every week, but it makes it all the more exciting when I do get the opportunity!

This was the first time I had used my new bundt cake tin and brownie baking tray (thanks Ma!) I also decided to bite off more than I could chew by cooking up some burrito mince and bolognaise afterwards, as I had taken some mince out of the freezer that needed cooking up. It was such a great night!!

Aaaaaahhh..... sleeeeeeeeep.....

Monday, February 14, 2011

I don't know what it is about getting a good night sleep that makes me want to tell people all about it. It might be because good nights sleep are so few and far between with a newborn (is 11 weeks still considered "newborn"??) not that I'm complaining - it comes with the territory. But last night, Chance went to sleep at 10pm and only woke up for a 4am feed, and then, this is the best part, he slept until just after 9am this morning.

Absolute bliss.

He normally wakes up for a 2am and 5am feed, and then is up for good around 7-8am, so maybe this is the start of a new routine for him. I know I know, it's only been one night. I shouldn't get too carried away. But you just never know! I feel like a million bucks today! I wonder what he has in store for us tonight.

One of my faves

Sunday, February 13, 2011

I know I'm posting a lot of photos lately without much text but I just haven't had the time to write many posts! I'm hoping things will settle down this week a bit (I can hear all you mothers laughing) so I can do some more blogging! Fingers crossed!

Happy Pigtail Friday!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Spirit Fingers

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Or is it Tai Chi?

Chance - 5ish weeks old

Afraid of the dark

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Yesterday and today have been pretty cruisey and not terribly newsworthy, so I'm going to blog about something I've been thinking about for a while. The fact that I'm afraid of the dark.

It's great at this time of the year as it doesn't get dark here til about 8:30pm. For as long as I can remember I've been afraid of the dark and I don't like it. I'd like to change that about myself. Any suggestions?

Because of this fear, I absolutely HATE staying at home on my own overnight. During the day I'm absolutely fine, and feel that I can handle it, but as soon as it starts getting dark, I start getting anxious. It's so ridiculous! All I want to do is lock myself in my room and will myself to sleep all night long. Don't even get me started on having to get up in the middle of the night to pee when I'm all alone. If I don't do it straight away, it can take half an hour to summons the courage.

So what am I afraid of? I think burglars are the big one for me, even though I have never ever ever been robbed. That is just so irrational! I think I've watched too many movies where getting up in the middle of the night ends badly. I do wish I were made of tougher stuff.

I read a quote by Marie Curie stating "Nothing is to be feared, only understood" and I'm really trying to embrace that. I don't want to spend my life fearing something that will likely never happen. What a waste of energy that is!

Anyway, if you have any suggestions about how to become less afraid of "the dark" I would love to hear them...

It has begun...

Sunday, February 6, 2011

I've already had to put away nappies and clothes that Chance has grown out of. Last night I found some newborn disposables and said to Hubs "Can you believe he used to fit into these tiny things???"

So cliche...

Home sweet home (finally!!!)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

It has been one crazy week. We left Brizzie on Monday morning (it seems like weeks ago, not days!) and flew back to Melbourne on route to Wang. About half an hour before we were due to land, the Captain made an announcement that due to changing winds in Melbourne, we may have to redirect to Sydney or Canberra. Hubs and I started talking about what we would do if that happened, but decided to just wait and see, and thankfully, we were able to land safely. We picked up the kombi and headed straight to Nathan and Cal's place - our home for the following 2 nights. Poor Chance didn't know what was going on - the number of different places this kid has slept, I tell you what. But as usual he adapted wonderfully.

We had made plans to have dinner with Hubs' aunt and uncle and cousins on the Tuesday night so we headed over early to do some shopping beforehand. Unfortunately on the way there, we ran into some car trouble. Long story short, we had to leave it at the mechanic overnight, so Hubs and I decided to get serious about buying a car - something we had been talking about for months. We jumped on line and lo and behold, found a car that ticked all the boxes. We took it for a test drive and committed to buying it there and then on Wednesday.

It's a burgundy Ford Falcon (yes, we're in the country now) Futura LPG station wagon. This is the first car that Hubs and I have actually chosen and bought, both separately or together. All of our other cars have been bought from (or given to us by) family or friends so it is a really exciting thing!! Another long story short, we were supposed to receive the bank cheque we ordered (only drawback of being with ING - no bank) on the Thursday and leave that afternoon, but it didn't arrive til Friday morning so we didn't get home til yesterday at 2pm. I got to drive "Sherry" home and what a ride! It certainly has some power behind it!

So we walked in the door, emptied the car of all our stuff and proceeded to do absolutely nothing about it. We were then invited to our friend's place for lunch today so we only just got around to starting to unpack an hour or so ago, hence my presence in blog world! Hee hee! Chance is being an absolute dream, just chilling on the floor and being mesmerised by the mobile hanging over him, so we are actually getting a lot done. Blogging was a big priority for me! I've really missed it! I was worried after my hiatus that I wouldn't really get back into it, and am so glad I'm a keen bean.

I have lots of half-thought-of posts in my head, including the one I plan to write on Monday/Tuesday, entitled something along the lines of "Day 1 of just me and the kid" or something perhaps a bit more eloquent.

Aaaaaaah it's good to be home.