Christmas 2011

Saturday, December 31, 2011

This year, Christmas day was held at the house we're staying at, with both mine and Hubs' families coming along. Which meant we didn't have to travel anywhere all day long. All. Day. Long. This is quite significant for us, as every Christmas we have been together we have gone to at least 3 events on Christmas day, so it was just so nice to sit back, relax, and enjoy ourselves. I'll let the photos tell the rest of the tale.

A mere 30 people gathered around the table(s) in the back yard

Just a few prezzies under the Christmas tree

A few of Chanbe's Christmas presents (the pool as well as the outfit)

There was a bit of food

and a yummy Christmas Cake made by my Mum

And Santa came to give out the presents!

And boy were there a LOT of presents!

Including a very clever shirt for Grumpy 
But not by Chance")

Thanks to everyone for making the effort to come all the way out to our place for Christmas day. I can't tell you how lovely it was to not have to move from our house all day, and to be with you all.

Goodbye Grandpa

Friday, December 30, 2011

Grandpa passed away yesterday. He hasn't been doing great for a while now. Nanny and Grandpa had been together for over 60 years, so it's understandable that he couldn't live without her. We'll be saying our goodbyes next Thursday. He was 93.

Keeping up with the Joneses

I've been wanting revamp my blog for some time now, but there are just too many options out there to choose from - so many formats, fonts, colours etc.

I've also been wanting to finish unpacking our place in Mt Beauty - I'm still looking for my jewellery.

I've also been wanting to send very belated birthday cards from as far back as July.

Oh! And I've been wanting to "organise" our house so I can actually find things when I want them, not 2 weeks later after I've bought a replacement.

You see, I'm having trouble keeping up with life at the moment. How do people do it? Especially with more than 1 child? I "joke" about having 5, but in all seriousness, I would love to have 5 children. I just don't know how I would keep up with them all.

I feel like this is all I've been talking about on my blog lately - blah blah blah I can't keep up - but that's what my life consists of at the moment. This is what I'm living in, and I don't know when I'll find a way out. Every time I walk into our house, I feel like it's a holiday home - like it's not our home.

And being in Brisbane has just confused me even more. I seriously have to think to myself sometimes "where am I??" Thankfully, since we have had some sort of normalcy the last 2 weeks, Chance is actually sleeping through and even though I'm still pretty tired all the time from the 5am wake ups, I'm so glad he's sleeping better. I don't know how I feel about next year, knowing we'll be moving twice, but I just have to go with it. Embrace the chaos and know that no matter what, we'll get through it.

2012, here we come.

Wifey's repertoire

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

I love singing. I may not be very good at it, but I love belting out my favourite tunes. Here's a couple of photos of me at my hen's night partaking it a wee bit of karaoke. (Do my bridesmaids know me, or do they know me?)

I really got in to this one:

I love cruising around in our car singing along to CDs or the radio. I love putting my iPod on and going for a walk and singing in my head (or sometimes out loud). I used to sing along to whatever song was playing in shops and it embarrassed my friends. A lot. Which made me do it more. (I was kind of an annoying teenager.)

And most recently, I've been singing Chanbe to sleep and loving that special time we have together. I start off with Melanie Safka's Alexander Beetle, I then move on to Ruby Tuesday by The Rolling Stones, (Melanie also did a cover of this song) and depending on what sort of night Chanbe is having, that might be enough. Otherwise I move on to The Rose by Bette Midler (don't judge) and Time after Time by Cyndi Lauper. I might then hum a few tunes and just sing the choruses of other songs, and I've even been singing/humming the odd Christmas carol.

It's such a lovely time we have together and I hope he remembers these songs as he gets older.

Cousin love

Monday, December 26, 2011

In our first week in Brisbane (Woody Pt) we had our nieces stay with us and they were super keen to play with Chanbe and help me look after him. It was so so lovely having them here and it made the transition a lot more smooth for me than it might have otherwise been. We did lots of fun things like go to the beach:

We made yummy cookies:

That were then beautifully decorated:

We went shopping:

Where I accidentally bought the world's biggest coffee:

We blew bubbles:

And watched chick flicks:

And had lots of lovely cuddles:

We had such a lovely few days and we are looking forward to lots more special time together.

Merry Christmas

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Or, as our friend (you know who you are!) would say "Compliments of the season" (and then we pay him out.)

We hope you all have a wonderful Christmas surrounded by loved ones and tinsel, and that the new year brings lots of exciting new adventures. We have another big year coming up with a move in July (back to Wang) and another one in December (only God knows where we'll be going), and as much as I'm looking forward to all the fun times, I'm also looking forward to the end of it, as that will bring some stability to our lives (hopefully!!)

Merry Christmas!

Christmas eve

'Twas the night before Christmas
And all through the house
Not a creature was stirring
Not even... Chanbe...

It's Christmas eve and I feel weird. Normally we'd be sitting down at Nanny and Grandpa's dining room table, and would probably even be onto our 2nd course by now. We would have had a few glasses of wine and whatever brew my brother had brought along to share. We would have eaten fresh prawns, turkey, chicken, sausage, pierogi, potato salad, veges, salad etc etc etc. And we'd have Christmas pudding and Nanny's brandy custard to look forward to.

And then it would be time for presents. Nanny and Grandpa had taken to giving us money in an envelope the last few years, but would also give us something else that we could unwrap. Hubs would get a business shirt of some sort, and I would get some soap and/or a towel and/or a nightie and/or something for the kitchen. Nanny would say to me "be careful with the envelope".

And then we would give our presents to them - usually a photo or series of photos, and they would have their place in the loungeroom, or "hall of fame", by the New Year.

And then we would sit and chat and laugh and Nanny and Grandpa would look around and enjoy the banter. We have so many wonderful memories of Christmas eves, and although it's sad there will be no more at Nanny and Grandpa's, we look forward to starting our own, new traditions. Like this year, we are sitting here at the house at Woody Pt, with our friend Ben, having a few drinks and enjoying the cool breeze and the intermittent rain.

I wonder what next year will look like...

Movember 2011

Friday, December 23, 2011

When Hubs wanted to do Movember in 2010, I said to him that if he did it this year, he had to do it every year and get a photo with Chanbe on his birthday each year. So far, he's 2 from 2 :-)

Movember 2010

Movember 2011

Hubs' mo this year became quite unruly and I couldn't wait to shave that sucker off. The great shave was scheduled for the Sunday before he started his placement at Redcliffe hospital - the day after our arrival in Brisbane.

Our nieces were keen to be a part of the action as well. 
(Sorry about the photos - I'm learning about "white balance")

And of course we had to shave it off in stages!

Stage 1

Stage 2 (that is so so wrong)

And in true current form, I don't seem to have a photo of a fully shaved Hubs on the day, so you'll just have to take my word for it, that he looked so so much better.

Thanks for everyone who sponsored Hubs' Movember efforts. We'll see you again next year!

He's still one

Though, with the number of birthday parties we had for him, you could be forgiven for thinking Chanbe was already onto his second birthday! The day after we arrived in Brisbane, we had the whole family over to celebrate. I had found some gorgeous rocket ship invitations, so in keeping with the theme, I decided to make a rocket ship cake. Mum prepared the slabs of cake for me the night before so I just had to cut out and decorate.

We found Nanny's old Kenwood to help with mixing the icing - how retro!

vanilla gluten-free and yummy chocolate on the bottom

The icing job was a bit more involved than I expected it to be, but thanks to some strategically placed snakes and smarties, you wouldn't have known. I couldn't wait to light the sparklers!!


Blast off! The sparklers were awesome!

Happy birthday Chanbe! What a wonderful year it has been watching you grow up and learn so much. You bring your Dadda and I endless joy and we can't wait to see what you get up to in the next year. Love, Mama  x x x

Road trip

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Hubs and I love a good road trip. So when we decided to drive up to Brizzie for Christmas etc, I immediately got excited and started planning the route we would take. I have rellies in Griffith, NSW, that we have been wanting to visit since we moved south, so that was immediately going to be our first point of call. Then I asked my cousin who lives in Sydney if we could stay a night and she was most happy to have us. I just had to find somewhere between Sydney and Brisbane to spend the third night. Normally we would stay with my aunty Heather in Armidale but she has since moved back to Brisbane :-(

I just happened to be at the baby shower of a girl Frith works with, talking to one of the locum's wives and she asked what we were doing for Christmas. I told her about the road trip and she immediately said "Kempsey is about halfway between Sydney and Brisbane, you should come and stay with us." I replied "Wow that's really nice, thanks for the offer" to which she responded "It's not really nice, it's a genuine offer. It's settled. You can stay with us."

How could I refuse?

So on Wednesday the 7th of December, we began our journey. We had a lovely visit in Griffith with the fam and Chance had a lovely time being spoiled. We left the next morning for Sydney and were told to stop in at a place in Harden that sells good Devonshire Tea. We had over half a tank of gas (our car takes LPG) and even though we thought we should fuel up in Griffith before we left, it didn't happen and we thought we'd just find somewhere on the way. Towns passed by and no one seemed to sell LPG. We thought Harden would have it as it seemed like a fairly big town, so with 80km left on the predicted range, we stopped for our Dev Tea.

And I promptly locked the keys in the car. We rang RACV (NRMA in NSW) and decided there was nothing else to do but enjoy our tea and scones. And Hubs enjoyed some soup.

NRMA came and helped us out and advised us that the next LPG wasn't til Yass - about 70km away. Or we could backtrack and get off the main highway about 30km back. We decided to live recklessly (and we knew we could get towed if we did run out of fuel!) and set off for Yass, praying like crazy.
With some excellent, fuel-efficient driving, and no air con, this is what the dashboard looked like when we got to the petrol station at Yass:

We fueled up on gas and cherries and set our sights for Sydney. And of course, in true Sydney fashion, the traffic started banking back about 60km out of the city. Thankfully we exited not long after and it was very easy finding our way to Nikki's. My friend sent me a text to suggest Sydney peak hour traffic + crazy hour for kids = not much fun for Chanbe in the car. I took this photo:

... and assured her he seemed okay! We had a lovely night in and although I was worried Chanbe wouldn't sleep very well, being on a major, busy, noisy main road, he slept amazingly well, only waking up once. I joked that we should get a CD full of traffic sounds to help him sleep at home!

We left Nikki's place at around 8:30am the next morning and took the one road all the way around the outskirts of Sydney and onto the Pacific Highway. Even though it took an hour, it was very easy, and when it comes to Sydney traffic, that is saying A LOT!

We stopped at Bulahdelah for delicious burgers and picked up a couple of $1 Hawaiin shirts (one was actually made in Hawaii!!) for Hubs, and then made our way to Kempsey arriving shortly after 3pm. We had a lovely afternoon playing on the lawn of our new friends' house and also getting up close and personal with the local farmyard animals.

We all shared delicious home-made pizza for dinner and followed that with fresh fruit salad and a couple of games of Yahtzee - I won the first game and Hubs won the second. We had a bit of a rough night with Chanbe but I knew the end was in sight so I just kept my eye on the prize!

We left Kempsey around 9am and had to battle through roadworks, stopping and starting for a couple hundred kms. It was pretty frustrating but we managed. We stopped just outside of Grafton for lunch, then headed to Coolangatta to visit Hubs' Dad and Nanna. After a cuppa and home made date loaf, we convinced a protesting Chanbe to get back in the carseat for the final leg.

We happily drove across the Houghton Highway in more rain and arrived at our new home not long after 6pm.

It was so good to get there. Mum and Dad made us a yummy dinner and that glass of wine I had hit the spot. We all slept soundly, awaiting the excitement of the birthday party to come!

Survivor, eat your heart out...

...cos Wifey has the best immunity on the island.

I'm surrounded by sickness at the moment, yet I don't recall having been sick since before Chanbe was born. Hubs is currently rugged up in bed, recovering from a virus that has been going around the family. Lucky bugger. Not about the virus obviously - a nasty fever and lethargy - about being rugged up in bed!

Let's hope this lucky spell continues!

A room with a view

Friday, December 16, 2011

Here I am, blogging with a seabreeze tickling my... ummm.... fancy? And enjoying what I see:

And when I'm at home blogging, this is what I get to look at:

So I've just informed Hubs, that no matter where we end up, I need a view. I need to feel like I'm part of the world, and not just part of the block we live on. It might have be something we work towards, but it's definitely on my "to have in life" list.


Thursday, December 15, 2011

It's been 9 days since I've been on my laptop and man am I feeling out of the loop. I've still been checking my emails on my iPhone, but that's it. No google reader, no internet banking (and lots of shopping! Oops!), and of course, no blogging. And I've really really missed it! I had been having lots of feelings of "could I be bothered with the whole blogging thing" lately, and it turns out that I could. I feel that this blog is a part of me now, and I've really really missed it. I need to download the blogging app to my mobile so I can blog on the run! Just something else to add to the to do list.

So I'm back! And I have lots to say! So here goes!

Well, I'm just going to ease back into it, as Hubs and I are going out for a romantic dinner tonight while Gran and Grumpy look after Chanbe. Oh, and I've fully weaned the little guy, so you'd better believe I'm going to have more than 1 glass of wine!!! (But probably not more than 2 as I have a very low tolerance for alcohol these days! Plus, you know, I still have to get up to Chance early in the morning!)

Our road trip up was fan-freakin'-tastic! Chanbe was amazing and napped for the morning drives, had a play on our long lunch breaks, and napped again in the afternoon! He has also learned a few new tricks that I can't wait to share with you all!

So, coming up in the next few days:
- The road trip
- Chanbe turns 1! Another birthday party to report on including THE CAKE!
- The end of Movember 2011 and the great shave
- Cooking and playing with Chanbe's cousins
- The biggest coffee I've ever purchased (and I've been to America!)
- Our home for the next 7 weeks
- Chanbe's new tricks

And lots more as things happen! There's going to be a lot of this in the next 7 weeks: (can't wait!)

Rock and Roll

Monday, December 5, 2011

I'm not sure he quite gets the knack of the rocker...

Living in the country...

Sunday, December 4, 2011

We can do things like have lunch at a friend's place and feed the local wildlife:

and really get up close and personal!

We can take a walk around the pond and enjoy the valley:

On my way home from my walk, if Chanbe is still napping, I can sit down on the bench around the corner from home and make some phone calls. And enjoy the view!

Or I can do the dishes and enjoy the view! (They were the snow-capped mountains in August.)

Or we can sit on our deck with a cuppa or glass of wine... and enjoy the view...

I'm quite certain that living in Wang and MB has ruined me for city living. Who knows where Hubs and I will end up!

My idea of "taking it easy"

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Sleeping in today til 9:15am and having a leisurely breakfast with Hubs;
Having morning tea with our neighbour an hour later;
Saying goodbye to Hubs for the afternoon as he heads out to go gliding;
Having 3 people over for dinner tonight;
Going to church tomorrow morning;
Having the Minister and his wife over for an early dinner tomorrow;
Leaving mid-morning on Monday.

And inbetween all of that, I have a 20 point to-do list to get through. So what am I doing? Blogging! And  being very happy that Chanbe has already been asleep for an hour and a half, and am hoping for just a little longer.

Can't wait to get up to Redcliffe and RELAX! (Yeah right....)

The month/s to come

Friday, December 2, 2011

We leave MB on Monday, will be staying in Wang for 2 nights, then we'll be hitting the road for Redcliffe, stopping in Griffith, Sydney and Kempsey on the way. I'm very excited and am busily making my way through our huge to-do-before-we-leave list. I'm not sure what my blogging will look like over the next 2 months as I'm not sure if we'll have internet up in Brisbane, so I'll keep you posted as much as I can!

Movember 2011

This year's efforts:

Compared to last year's efforts:

Not sure I can see much of a difference? In the mo that is... :-)

Thanks to everyone who sponsored Hubs in this year's event! Only 11 more months til next Movember!