Our local

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Ever since I moved to Edinburgh for a year when I was 22 years old, I've wanted a local coffee shop. One where I can walk in, greet the owners by name, have them do the same in return, and ask "the usual, Wifey?" After almost a decade of wanting this, it has finally happened, and it's everything I hoped it would be. The only difference is, I don't have a "usual".

Introducing, the Bead Shop (previously mentioned here.)

I first went to the bead shop not long after we arrived in Wang, when it was just a bead shop. It's on the way in to town and I do love beads! They have some really beautiful stuff in there and it was always worth a look. And then came the coffee... Our friends introduced it to us back in October but it wasn't until this year that we started going there regularly. After about half a dozen visits, the owner, Eric, introduced himself to us while he was clearing one of the tables outside, and asked our names. After that he would always address us by our names and give us a big welcoming smile.

Now I like to think we have even become friends. He and his wife Lauren run the place brilliantly. Lauren is the Queen Bead (see what I did there?) and also helps out in the cafe at busier times, and Eric does a bit of everything - makes coffee, cooks lunches and slices, and on Saturday mornings, he makes these:

I was going to take photos of the bagels before we ate them, and the coffees before we drank them, but they were just too delish and I forgot! The secret to their cappuccinos? Real chocolate sprinkles on top, some of which can be found at the bottom of your coffee cup at the end. (I had already eaten them before I took the photo!)

Lauren couldn't believe how big Chanbe is getting, and brought him out a high chair so he could "have coffee" with us. It's the little things that make the big impressions at this place.

Chance isn't quite ready for the babycinos yet, but he was pretty taken with Dadda's bagel!

This was the first time we went for bagels and they didn't disappoint! Hubs and I probably have coffee there once or twice a week (at least!) and the coffee is so good. Every Time. And they're ALL good. Whether you want a cappuccino, iced coffee, affogato, iced chocolate, hot chocolate, chai tea, chai latte....

So come on down and we'll take you there some time!

6 months old

Saturday, May 28, 2011

The low-down

Weight: 9.5kg
Height: 72cm
Size: 0
Teeth: 2
Eating: pear & pumpkin
Sleeping: hmmm.... pass?
Moving: backwards on his tummy
Talking: gibberish
Growing: more hair
Tricks: pulling hair and pinching when excited (ouch!)
Looking: darn-tootin' cute as ever

Bumper weekend part II

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

After our late bed time Saturday, Chance had a bit of a rough night, so I was more than pleased when he went back to sleep at 7am and didn't wake us til 9am Sunday morning. We rushed around and got ready for church, and were our usual 5 minutes late which isn't bad all things considered. The service was run by a visiting minister from Albury and his message was really great. I'm so glad we made the effort to go. We did the usual mingling afterwards and played "pass the baby". We belong to a really lovely congregation, who we will also miss once we move. Hopefully we will feel the same sense of homeliness at the UC in Mt Beauty.

After church we headed home for some yummy leftover pasta bake for lunch and some faffing around for a couple of hours. The weather was pretty nice in the morning, and we were hoping it would continue for the afternoon as we were going to.... the local footy match! I've been wanting to go to watch a local footy game since we got here, and the local derby was on so I begged and pleaded with Hubs to take me and he finally agreed. I was SO excited! We walked there around 1:30, paid our $6 each to get in, and took our "seats" on the hill (i.e. sat on the grass).

(That's a yellow teddy bear on Chanbe's new beanie, not a flower!) A couple of the guys Hubs studies with play for the Magpies, and a few of Hubs' uni friends joined us later on to cheer them on. I just sat there soaking up the atmosphere. I don't know what made me so giddy with excitement - maybe it was the fact that I felt like a local. That feeling of belonging to something/somewhere is obviously very important to me, and you could not wipe the smile of my face.

Not even these storm clouds rolling in could dampen my mood.

It was a very one-sided match with the Magpies dominating over the Rovers from the start. At the three-quarter mark, it really was starting to get dark and we contemplated leaving but thought we'd come this far, we might as well stay. Plus if we started walking home then, we'd probably get caught. Just as the teams ran on for the forth quarter, down came the rain.

We had to admire these fans - they had obviously done this before!

Chance didn't really see what all the fuss was about...

...and decided it was time for a nap!

The rain just got heavier and the clouds darker, so once the full-time siren sounded, we graciously accepted a lift home with a friend. But even that couldn't dampen my spirits! (No, I do not pardon the pun.) Particularly since Hubs loves wet, muddy football, so he was in quite a chipper mood as well. It was quite a spectacle in the end, and the Magpies ended up winning 117-55.

And last night just capped it off. We rugged up with some yummy beef stew and watched a bit of this (QI) and a bit of that (Hung). An absolutely bonza weekend (yes, I said bonza.) And I'm still on cloud 9 :-) Not even Chance's worst-night-sleep-in-weeks can bring this little chicken back down to earth! (Though I'm hoping and praying for a better night tonight!)

Bumper weekend

Monday, May 23, 2011

You know those weekends that you have every now and then where you get to Sunday night and you just can't imagine how the last 2 days and nights could have been any better? I've just come off one of those. It started on Friday night when, although we watched the worst movie of 2010, (and one of the worst I'd ever seen!!) I did some maintenance work on Hubs' dreads. It was a nice relaxing evening with Chanbe asleep in bed, and us spending quality Hubs and Wifey time together.

Saturday came around and we decided to go for a walk in the morning to check out a couple of garage sales. We only ended up with a couple of things (a book for Hubs and a beanie for Chance - see next post) so we decided to head to our favourite place for coffee in Wang - Cafe Derailleur aka the bead shop. But more about that little gem of a place later. After enjoying yet another top-notch coffee we headed home. It was lunch time and our bellies needed filling.

Dinner Saturday night was to be at our new friends house. I know Kyra through mothers group (more about that later too!) and we really hit it off once we got to know each other. The more we chatted the more we realised how much not only we, but our hubbies had in common! (like they both have dreads! More about that later too too!!) Anyway, we've really missed being able to have people over for dinner so I put a zany idea to Kyra - could we cook a meal and bring it over to have at their place! And she was all for it. So I put the rabbit stew on around midday, and headed over to their place at 3 to prepare the gnocchi. Once that was done (and after a cuppa) I took Chanbe for a walk in the pram for over an hour, as I wanted him to have a good sleep before our night out.

We headed over for dinner and had the stew and gnocchi with home-made foccacia courtesy of Kyra. It was all utterly delish.

We then juggled our little boys (not literally - but what a show that would be!) and tried to get them to sleep with not much luck. They both wanted to stay up and party with the big kids (us). We had some home-made apple pie for dessert and topped it off with some choc-coated glazed oranges I had made. It was so nice to be amongst such wonderful company and to feel completely at home in someone else's house. We walked home (they live just around the corner) and I was absolutely shocked to see that it was 11:30pm! We just had such a great night that the time flew by. It's so lovely to be making new friends, but it's also bitter sweet as we'll be leaving Wang in just 6 short weeks. But hopefully there will be more dinner parties to come - at our new place!

Sunday's fun will come soon...

Toothy pegs

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Check out these little chompers!

Not nice to get your fingers (or worse!) caught in there I can tell you!

Pretty cool though hey!?

So I don't know how it happened, but my 500th post is coming up! After putting so much thought and effort into my 400th, I don't know that I can live up to my expectations. But you know me - I'll give it a try :-)


Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Police Message in a Bottle

Some people sing "A year has passed since I wrote my note"

but I sing used to sing "A year has passed since I broke my nose"

(I just spent the last half hour watching Youtube clips of The Police songs. I think I have a belated crush on Sting :-) Watch Don't Stand So Close To Me and tell me you don't feel it too.)

Cheap skate

The thing about not having a lot of spare cash is that we tend to lean towards the cheaper "things" just to save a few dollars here and there. Problem is, more often than not we have to end up buying the more expensive "things" down the track because the cheap stuff is... well... it's cheap. And nasty. We have had cheap buyer's remorse for the following:

Shoes - cheap pairs that have lasted only 1 year instead of good pairs (e.g. Colorados) on special that will last years and years.
Fibre - yes, I take fibre every day. I'm old okay? I had Metamucil to start with, but the Chemart brand was on special for a huge $3 less so I bought it. And it tastes like cardboard. (Funny about that.) So it's just sitting there... (pun anyone?)
Shampoo - the last 2 bottles of shampoo I bought were on special for $2.99. When I went to buy new bottle the other day, I splurged on the $5.99 because I'm sick of my hair feeling like straw.
Nappies - We put Chanbe in disposables over night, and I mostly buy Huggies because they seem to be the most absorbent and it means I don't have to change nappies during the night due to leakage which, if you're a parent, you know this is a bonus. I've bought the cheaper ones and have had a few explosions. Not fun.
Flights - we have bought a few cheap flights and flown in and out of the Gold Coast, in and out of Avalon, and have flown at 6am and 10pm. It's worth the extra $50 not to have to do any or all of these things.

I think I'm getting better at being a bit more objective and thinking a bit more long-term, or at least the short long-term (long short-term?). I think in the end, it saves us more money if we fork out a little more at the start. This is how I talked Hubs into renting the house that was a bit more expensive, but fully-furnished. This way we don't have to buy anything (well, not much!) and don't have to waste time trying to get settled into a place that's only half-furnished. This was a good decision. Plus did I mention how absolutely fabulous the kitchen is?? Happy Wifey, happy lifey. :-)

Stuff's been happening

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Not exciting stuff, just life. Chance is slowly getting over his cold and is still keeping me up most of the night which has been challenging. Especially when well-meaning people keep telling me he should be "sleeping through" by now. (Incidentally, "sleeping through" means sleeping 5 hours straight. At this stage, even that would be a blessing! :-)) He also has 2 teeth which he is having fun showing off. He is very happy during the day so we have been having lots of lovely play time and he enjoys being in the pram while I go on walks which is wonderful. I keep telling myself that once he gets over his cold we'll get back into some sort of routine, but the truth is he's never "slept through" so I'll just keep reading my book and hopefully he'll start getting the idea.

In other news, we've decided on a house at Mt Beauty (actually, it's in Tawonga South) and it's fully furnished which I'm very excited about. Not that the furniture is anything to write home (or blog) about, but the fact that we don't have to move as much stuff, and don't have to buy much when we get there, gets me excited! It has the most amazing view of Mt Bogong so we really hope we have some house guests during our time there.

Hmmm... what else... Hubs is very busy with study + PhD stuff but still has lots of time for us and we've been having some pretty special family time lately. We just can't wait to move so we can spread out!

Also, Chanbe and I are coming up to Brizzie from 15th-22nd June for another visit so would love to catch up with anyone who's around. And how could I post without including another lovely photo (or 2).

Help accepted!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

I went and had a cuppa with my neighbour this arvo and told her I had some housework to do when I went home and she insisted I leave Chanbe with her so I could get it done without interruption.

I accepted and it was bliss. I got SO much done - the bedroom, kitchen and half the loungeroom in just over an hour. This would have taken me DAYS if Chance was around looking all cute and distracting me. It feels so good now, to be sitting back on a Saturday night with a mostly clean and tidy house.



Wednesday, May 11, 2011

I went shopping on my own on Monday afternoon. Hubs looked after Chanbe and I headed to the chemist and our local IGA (they had our favourite ice cream half price!! Woo!) I had to buy a box of nappies and I also bought a 48 roll pack of toilet paper. Not because we need it right now, but because it was on special (worked out to be 39c per roll! Bear in mind that people usually buy 8-12 rolls at a time.) My point is, I had some big stuff, and I only had a little basket. When the checkout chick said she would go and get a trolley for me, I said "no no that's fine. I'll be right."

Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaat? I'm sorry, am I trying to get the title of "martyr of the year??" Seriously? Who says no to that? After processing these thoughts, I said to her "actually, that's a good idea. I'll go grab one for myself.

Why is it so hard for me to accept help from strangers? What on earth am I trying to prove? It was the same when I went up to Brizzie with Chance. I had a 15kg pack on my back, the nappy bag on the stroller, and Chance in it. A few people offered to help me but I declined, justifying it in my head with "if I can't do this on my own, I can't do it." Yet if I saw someone in my position, and I was able to help, I would.

And another thing. We live in a tiny 2 bedroom unit and I struggle to keep the place tidy for more than a few days at a time. I've been looking forward to being a stay at home mum for quite a while, and now that I'm here, I'm absolutely loving it, but have to admit that it's hard work. I think because we have such a small place I should be able to keep it clean and tidy, but because it's so small, we don't have designated places to put things away, so more often than not, things just get moved around, and never really put away. I'm hoping this will be rectified once we move house.

About a month ago, Hubs mused to me that once he becomes a doctor and money is coming in, we're going to hire a cleaner. (Actually, he used the word "maid" but I think he meant someone to generally help around the house.) I was secretly really offended by this at first. I thought "that's my job!" But then I got to thinking - why should I spend all my time racing around like a crazy woman, being too busy to spend time with Chanbe and subsequent babies, when we are able to get some help.

The thing is, we have no family down here, and no one I can really call on regularly to help out. Even though the offers are there, I find it hard to ask for/accept help. My neighbour is always happy to look after Chance, and I trust her implicitly, but I just don't like to ask too often. And Chance is sick at the moment, so I really don't want him to spread his germs around, so we're just hanging out at home. Our messy, looks-like-a-bomb-hit-it, you-can't-walk-more-than-3-steps-without-running-into-furniture home.

And at the moment I'm not really looking for any help, but there's such a mental difference between always knowing help is there if I need it, and, well, not. Chance is currently asleep (and snoring like a freight train) and I "should" be tidying up the house, but instead I'm going to chill out and enjoy some down time. We're moving in less than 2 months anyway, so what's the point? :-)

Funny stuff

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

I cannot get enough of this video. This is the first real laugh we got from Chanbe, and it made me laugh til I cried!

Happy Mothers Day...

Monday, May 9, 2011

... to meeeeee!

I "suggested" to Hubs that since it was my very first (official) Mothers Day, that if he wanted to make a bit of a big deal of it, that that would be fine by me. And boy did he come to the party. I had mentioned a couple of things that I would love (stove-top espresso pot, bundt cake tin, massage) but ultimately left it up to him to buy something for Chanbe to give to me. He purchased the gift on Friday afternoon, and forbid me to go into the spare room. I do love a good surprise!

Sunday morning rolled around (after a bad night with Chanbe Saturday - teething + blocked nose does not make for a happy baby) and Hubs took Chance at about 9am so I could have more of a sleep in. Obviously I count this as present number one. At 10:45am, in came my 2 favourite men, armed with a massive present and an amazing looking breakfast! Oh, and the most beautiful card.

I was so excited as I unwrapped the beautifully wrapped prezzie:

Oh. My. GOODNESS!!!!!!! My very own Kenwood Mixmaster!! I have been wanting one of these for so long, but we haven't been able to afford it. But Hubs got a great deal and just couldn't resist. Woooooo!!! (Can you see the card in the bottom right corner?)

And the breakfast! Poached eggs, tomato, mushrooms, bacon and toast. It was SO delicious! Of course I had to take my new toy for a test drive immediately, and Hubs had a hankering for fancy chocolate mousse. How could I say no?!

It was deliciously decadent and we had some for dessert last night:

All in all, an absolutely amazing day. We went for a walk in the afternoon and actually ran into one of the midwives who helped deliver Chanbe! We had a little chat to her and ended the day with some leftovers (I wasn't cooking!) and a few (7) episodes of Nurse Jackie. Hubs sure has set the bar high for Fathers Day!

Thank you Hubs and Chanbe for making my first Mothers Day so special!

Scar tissue

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Scars are funny things. Some of them you show proudly, some you try and hide. Some you've had for most of your life, others are brand new (pardon the pun :-).

I have a few "favourite" scars. There's one on my forearm that I got from an extremely hot dish while I was making rusks. The dish landed on my arm while I was turning it over to get the rusks out, and it went down hard on my skin for a good few seconds before I could get it off. To my surprise, it didn't really hurt that much, and after a while I realised it was pretty deep and must have burnt through the nerves. This scar is one I show off proudly for fun.

Then there are the scars I hide. The stretch marks from my growth spurts. I have quite a few over the usual spots, and it wasn't that I was growing out (at the time), it was that I was growing up. In more ways than one. I have been self conscious of these scars for years and years, and cover them up as much as possible.

The scar that I've had for most of my life is on my chest. It's perfect in every way. It's perfect in shape - a beautiful diamond. It's perfect in position - so much so that when I wear v-neck tops, I line the point up with it, as it sits right in the middle of my chest. And it's perfect in appearance - you can hardly see it unless it's pointed out to you (or you're looking really hard at my chest!!) This scar was from an altercation I had with a tiny piece of hot glass that went down my pyjamas when I was 3 years old (I think?) I've always been pretty clumsy! :-)

And then there's the new scars. These scars used to also fall under the "scars I try to hide category". They're the stretchmarks on my tummy from carrying my beautiful son in my belly for 40 weeks + 5 days. Up until week 38, no stretch marks had appeared on my baby belly and I was so happy about this. Since I'm prone to stretchmarks, I was sure I would be covered in them while pregnant, but it wasn't until the Monday of my 39th week, that the first one appeared. Chance had "dropped" practically overnight, and as well as the pain and pressure on my pelvis, my skin had to compensate fast. I cried. Hard. I rang Hubs at work and cried on the phone to him. He did his best to reassure me that it was no big deal and that I was beautiful, but I was inconsolable. I texted my friend and tried to put things into perspective, but as the days passed, more and more appeared and I got more and more sad about it.

2 weeks later, Chance was born and the marks were forgotten immediately, and they have since faded quite dramatically. But they are now scars I am proud of. My battle scars. My reminder that my body is able to carry babies and how lucky I am that our little boy was born safe and well. When the time comes for baby number 2, I will be looking at those scars with fondness instead of sadness.


Thursday, May 5, 2011

First "solid" food.

I don't know if you can call what we fed Chance "solid" (rice cereal + boob juice) but he took to it, moreso on the second day:

Next step, pumpkin!!

And guess who's teething!!? No wonder we've had such bad nights lately. Chanbe bit down on my finger this afternoon and I felt it. Can't wait to take some photos of the toothy grin!

Easy does it

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

I'm so tired. I don't think I've been this tired since when Chance was born and the few weeks that followed. We have had such a good run with him - he's such a laid back, cruisey baby - but the last few nights have seen him get up every hour or two. And last night he stayed awake between 2:30-4:30am. He rolls over in his cot and then gets stuck (he can't roll back) and so I have to get up and roll him back. This went on and on last night.

3 weeks ago, I ordered a copy of "The No-Cry Sleep Solution" as recommended by a few friends. It still hasn't arrived. Turns out the person sending it is on holidays and it won't be here til next week. I wish I'd known that while ordering - I would have bought it elsewhere.

I really shouldn't complain. He really is such a happy, healthy baby, and we're loving this time of his life. People say "this too shall pass" and even though I know that to be true, when you're right in the middle of it, it feels like it's going to last forever. I feel like I can't even put a sentence together when I'm out with friends. And even though I should go to bed now, I'll just be waiting for the next wake-up call. Okay. I've got the stares now. I'd better hit the sack. I'm going to start him on solids as of tomorrow, to see if that makes a difference. The time has come.

Please God, let Chance sleep better tonight.

Garage sales

Sunday, May 1, 2011

I love a good garage sale, but I hate crappy ones. Hubs and I have been hitting a few over the last few months here in Wang, and after the last lot we went to, I have realised there are 2 types of garage sale:

Type One is where the owners want to make money, and Type Two is where the owners want to get rid of stuff. Things that you would find at Type One's garage sale would be an x-box for $250, a couch for $100 and clothes for $5 each. Things that you would find at Type Two's garage sale would be this awesome coat...

... for $2. Oh yes! It's almost new and very cute. I have never had a garage sale of my own, but that will change very soon. We are going to have one before we leave for Mt Beauty, and I can assure you it's going to be a "Type Two" garage sale. I may even bake cookies for the punters. I can't wait!!!