Wednesday, November 30, 2011

To say that Hubs loves scones would be an understatement. He loves scones. When our lovely neighbour made some the other week, Hubs devoured them and claimed they were the best scones he'd ever had. So when we had said lovely neighbour over for dinner last night, I asked what her recipe was.

She reminded me of Nanny when she told me she had to recipe. You just start with about 2 cups of self-raising flour, and add the right amount of butter, a couple of spoons of icing sugar, an egg, some very cold cream and chopped dates. Her tips were to just use a knife to stir (handling as little as possible) and use a very hot oven - about 240 degrees. Also, if it's an electric oven, cook the scones on the bottom shelf, and if it's gas, cook on the top.

Seeing as how I'd never made scones before, I thought I'd give it a go, as Hubs has his first exam this week and I wanted to do something extra nice for him.

I didn't have dates so I substituted with craisins. That reminds me of one of our favourite moments in the TV show My Family, where Susan is cooking dinner (she is not known for her skills in the kitchen) and she says "I'm cooking Duck a l'orange. But I didn't have any duck so I used mince. And I didn't have any oranges so I used pears." Ha ha ha ha ha!!!

Anyway. Back to the scones. This is how the mixture looked:

It wasn't until I had put them on the tray that I realised I'd forgotten the egg. And the icing sugar. But I figured they looked pretty good, so I'd give them a go. What do you think?

They were very very light and fluffy and quite delicious, even if I do say so myself! We had them straight out of the oven with a bit of butter and a cup of coffee, sitting on our deck. Chanbe even liked them!

As I was sitting there, enjoying our view, I thought to myself once again how lucky I have been to have had Hubs around so much in the last 12 months. A lot of people say to us how hard it must be with Hubs studying full time, and not having an income. And as much as it sucks not having money most of the time, having Hubs around to see Chanbe's first year, and to give me sleep-ins and a cooked breakfast a few mornings a week, and to be able to have 3 meals a day together a lot of the time, and and and and... well it's worth being broke for a while. Hubs has 1 more year of full-time study, and then it will be a totally different ball game. But I'm looking forward to the challenges that will bring.

We made it!

Here's cheers to the first year of parenthood! It gets easier from now on, right? :-)

And here's cheers to my 600th post! I'm currently trying to make scones for the first time ever. And I just realised I forgot to add the egg. Oh well! We'll see how they go...

The essence of Chanbe

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

No, it's not a new fragrance coming out, just in time for Christmas. It's this photo:

This is my son. I look at this photo, and I see him. I really see him. The smirk, the look in his eyes, the fact that I can see him as a teenager. I see his soul in this photo. I can't stop looking at it. This is the first time I've really realised who this person is, and who he is becoming. It's quite a revelation for me. We have so many more good times to come.

Birthday Boy

Monday, November 28, 2011

(Warning: This post may contain clich├ęs.)

Chanbe turned one yesterday. Where has the time gone? (I warned you!) Actually, I know exactly where it has gone, and we have enjoyed it so much. Chanbe woke up at 6am yesterday - we all wake up early on our birthday, right? - but I wasn't quite ready to get up so we had a play in the spare bed and by 7 he had drifted back to sleep! We didn't get up until 8:30 so we were all rested for our big day to come.

Chanbe had a birthday breakfast of home-made (of course) berry pancakes.

We then headed to church for lots of cuddles and kisses and birthday wishes. And then it was time for the party! Well, just a small BBQ with a couple of families from the medical centre where Hubs works. It had been raining all day Friday and Saturday (and most of the night too!) but Sunday was beautiful. The kids played in the playground (and the mud) and it was so nice to be outside after being couped up for 2 days.

And then it was time for CAKE!!!

Not my best effort, but the cake was delish! We had a gluten-free requirement, so it's a flourless chocolate cake. Really quite delectable. There were no candles, but there were kids and party hats so that more than made up for it!

And now for the obligatory one-year-old-eating-cake photo.

Oh yeeeeeeaaaaah! Thank you to everyone for their birthday wishes! We look forward to sharing many more with you all!

Night 2 report

Monday, November 21, 2011

Last time I blogged, I was listening to my baby scream while Hubs tried to settle him, without me intervening with a feed. So many times I nearly went in to "help" but I knew this would just mean a step back in our progress. I lay in bed, reading my Australian Breastfeeding Association book, telling myself that it was going to be okay. I finally tried to go to sleep, with a pillow over my head and was dozing off when I heard Hubs come into bed.

It was 12:30. Chanbe was crying for 2 hours. It was so hard and heartbreaking, but we're just getting so desperate.

Then last night he was really tired when we put him to bed, and he went down quite easily. We heard him wake up at 9:30pm and Hubs went in. I was ready to go the long haul again, but Chance settled straight away and Hubs was back out in 10 minutes. 10 MINUTES!!!! I know I know. I shouldn't get too excited. Shouldn't get my hopes up. But it really was exciting.

Then nap time came (very early) this morning, around 9:15am. He'd been up since 6:15 so it was understandable. It took me 20minutes of wrestling and rocking and patting and singing, but I did it. I was very proud of myself for being so calm.

It's now 11:25 and he's still asleep. This is a very good start to the day.

We are heading to Wang tonight til Thursday, then we'll be in MB for the weekend (Chanbe's birthday on Sunday!) and all next week, and then we have a bit of to-ing and fro-ing to do before we leave for our road trip to Brisbane on Wednesday the 7th December.

Oh, and Hubs has 2 exams and a presentation to do as well! It's going to be crazy busy, and it'll be interesting to see how the sleeping goes while we're away, but we can only try.

Update: Chanbe slept til 11:55! Woo hoooooo!

The weaning game

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Yes this is a post about breastfeeding. And lack of sleep. Just letting you know.

I have successfully weaned Chanbe off his daytime feeds, with only his post-dinner feed remaining. Night-time feeds, however, have been a bit trickier. He's used to waking up, getting boob, then going back to sleep. It's worked for him for almost 12 months now, so why should he expect any change?

Because Mama needs more sleep, that's why.

I've been able to put him to sleep during the day a couple of times without having to resort to a feed, which I've been really happy with, but when he wakes up at night, (ie 11pm, 1am, 3am, 5am etc) it's a different story. So far, I haven't even tried dropping those feeds, as it would just mean lots of tears (mostly mine) and too much of a disruption to an already crazy routine. The theory is, there will be 3-7 rough nights, but then they learn that they don't need boob to go back to sleep, and they start to "self settle".

It's those 3-7 rough nights that we haven't been able to commit to as yet.

I just spent 15 minutes trying to settle Chanbe by rocking, singing, patting etc, but he knows what he wants, and doesn't understand why, after having it for so long, he's suddenly being cut off. Hubs came to the rescue, and I can currently hear the whistle from the Sleepy Train starting off. I'm really hoping it works, as Chanbe is getting himself into quite a state.

I'm not a fan of controlled-crying, but somehow this is supposed to be different - you're with them the whole time so you are able to comfort them, but it still breaks my heart. We have committed ourselves to the 3-7 nights once we arrive in Brisbane and have settled in for a few days. The idea is, that Hubs tends to him during the night, and when he realises there's no boob to be had, he won't wake up anymore. The reason we can't do it now, is that Hubs is coming into exams and really can't afford to lose the sleep.

So the question is, does this really work? Or, more importantly, after a year of interrupted sleep, will it work for us!!??

Back to "normal"

Friday, November 18, 2011

Ha! As if my life resembles any type of normality!

Mum and Dad left 2 hours ago, and in that time I've had to do things I haven't done in 2 weeks, like get up before 10am, do the washing up, put Chanbe to sleep, get the washing in...

Now don't judge. I'm not entirely lazy or useless, except when my Mum is around. I think since I've had Chanbe, whenever Mum is around I digress back into being the child (not "a" child :-)), wanting to be looked after. And Mum and Dad do that so well! Since they arrived, they have been doing pretty much everything around the house - cooking, washing, cleaning up, getting up to Chance in the morning, feeding him his meals, changing nappies, putting him down for naps etc etc.

I don't just sit around taking advantage of their generosity, obviously, but I certainly have time to rest that I don't normally have. And they insist! I guess I get a taste of what it's like to have family around when you're raising a family, and it's nice. Really nice. I have been feeling like my old self again - rested, relaxed, not so stressed.

It was hard to say goodbye this morning, especially seeing the look on Chance's face when his Gran and Grumpy drove away, but we'll be in Brisbane in 3 weeks so that's something to look forward to.

I really do hope that we settle down one day close to family and friends.

Happy Birthday! (the first of many...)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

As I mentioned, we hosted mothers group at our place this week, and I decided to throw a combined birthday party for all the kids!

We had such a lovely time with all the kids tearing around, showing off all their new skills. And of course, there was cake! I saw the idea for this cake months and months ago and knew I had to give it a go. And I gotta say, it turned out pretty damn nicely.

All the birthday boys! (The one girl who is part of our mum's group couldn't make it)

We then headed outside for the kids to have a run up and down our deck, pushing their carts.

Chance really rose to the occasion, and even though he missed out on his morning sleep (which usually goes for 2 hours) and only had 45 min at 2:30, he's still awake at 7pm and having a great time! But Dadda just got home so Chanbe will be boarding the sleeping train and will hopefully be in sleepy land very soon. What a great day!


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

How can he go from this:

... to this:

... and this:

... and this:

... in 48 hours?? Chanbe has a nasty virus and he is not a happy chappy, but he's been a bit up and down so I'm hoping he'll be more up than down tomorrow, as we are hosting my mother's group here at MB!! I've been looking forward to this for weeks, and I have a very special surprise for you all that I'll share with you tomorrow (or Friday if I'm too tired from our big day!)

Mum and Dad leave Friday morning and we've had such a great time together. I don't like to say it, but the 2 weeks they've been here really have flown by too quickly. I'm looking forward to being up in Brisbane (Redcliffe) so I can be close by to family again, albeit for a short time.

Stay tuned!

bbbbbbbbad to the bone

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Guess who?

(I'll give you a hint: It's not me or Chanbe. Or The Stig.)

Did you guess?? So yeah. Now my Hubsband rides a motorbike. I guess he felt like he had too much free time, what with studying/working full time, raising an (almost) 1-year-old, being an attentive wonderful Hubs, gliding on weekends.... Ha!

Hubs first broached the subject of getting his motorbike licence a few months ago, and at the time I thought that it would be something that would happen in the next year or 2. Instead, it happened in a few months. He did a course and got his learner's permit, and in Victoria, that pretty much means you can get yourself a bike and ride on your own. Crazy, no?? The learners course is in a carpark at the Wangaratta airport. No traffic and no speeds over 30kph. And all of a sudden they're allowed to ride a motorbike up to 650CC in the big wide world??????

So then it was time to look for a bike. Hubs jumped onto eBay, and Hubs being Hubs was quite taken by a couple of fixer-uppers (or "orphan bikes" as my Dad calls them) but I suggested that could be something he looked into later down the track when he has an actual garage to do the fixing up. And then he found it. A 2006 Kawasaki Eliminator. Who on earth had the great idea to call a motorbike an Eliminator. As if I'm not scared enough!!

And the icing on this danger cake of insanity? We had to pick it up from Melbourne. 350km away. So we left Chanbe behind with my parents who are staying with us at the moment, and set out on Sunday at 8:30am. We made it to Melbourne in great time and was at the guy's place at 1pm. Hubs took it for a burn safe ride around the back streets to get a feel for it, and we were on the road. Well, kind of. It took us 20 minutes to go about 2km because of Melbourne traffic, and we weren't even in town!! I was in the car following Hubs and I don't know that I have ever been more terrified in my life. But he navigated his way beautifully and we were soon out of the busy traffic and onto the safety of.... the freeway.

We arrived at the motorbike accessories shop and I started to calm down a bit. It seems that Hubs is a bit of a natural. He looks like he's been riding for years, and he loved the freeway riding - much less stressful than being in the middle of traffic. We suited him up with a new helmet, jacket, gloves and pants. He sure does look the part. We then started to head home. It was 3:30pm by this stage, and by the time we stopped a couple of times for fuel, and for a rest in Wangaratta, we didn't get home until 9:30pm. It was a ridiculously long day, and we were both happy to be back home.

I must admit that I love it. I'm not saying that I'm not going to worry every time he gets on and rides away, but there's something very sexy about a man on a motorbike, oui?

The long and the short of it

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

I've had a few hairstyles in my time and have dabbled in colours galour, and have written before about how I missed my long hair. Well, I'm there again. I want long hair. I don't know what happened the last time I went to my hairdresser. I didn't mean to get so much cut off, I just got a head full of steam and thought "Yeah! I want shorter hair!!" Thankfully it's not that short so maybe by this time next year I might have what you would consider "long" hair. I haven't had real long hair since I was 12. I still remember getting it cut off just before my 13th birthday, and I've never really gone back since.

So here's a before shot

and I will do my best in the next year to let it grow let it grow let it grow :-)


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

In case you're living under a rock (or just living outside of Victoria) you would know that today was Melbourne Cup Day - a public holiday in Victoria. Woo! We celebrated the day by heading to Wangaratta (just for a change) to take Ma to the races. We had such a lovely day and I must say that we were 4 of the best-dressed punters there! I'll let you decide for yourself though...

First up we have Wifey, wearing her red dress she recently purchased on line, accessorising with a Mimco necklace given to her by her darling Hubsband as an annivchrisbirthday present. Chanbe's outfit was purchased at the local op-shop for a total of $2, with accessories made with love from 8-10pm last night by his Mama, with the help of his Dadda and Ouma. Hubs is looking dashing in his pinstripe pants that he wore on the day he made his vows to Wifey, matched with a lovely white paisley shirt and topped off with black suspenders. And Ma is wearing a delightful silk dress she picked up whilst in Melbourne last week, paired with a stunning cardi and super-cute fascinator.

Can we see a bit more for the final judgment? :-)

 Sorry, is this just too cute? (as IF I'm sorry...)
  I just wish I had thought to enter Chanbe in "Fashions on the field."
Three cheers for Chanbe's outfit! Hip hip hip!

We really had a lovely day and the weather was spectacular. We've had a lovely time with Ma here, and will be sad to see her go home tomorrow, but we know we'll be seeing her in just over a month back in Brisbane. Okay okay. I'll give you just one more ;-)