April 25, 2011

21st century kids

This morning, on Day 4 of the extravaganza that is the Five Day Weekend of Easter 2011, we decided to take the boys (and ourselves) out to the Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane.  It was the penultimate day of the 21st Century and 21st Century Kids exhibitions that everyone's been raving about and that I've been looking forward to seeing but until today, haven't had the energy (or time) for.

We went to South Bank on the train (a highlight for the boys - not just Ollie, but Max too, who seemed to love the trip home in particular, bouncing around on the seats and giggling all the way), and walked over to the GoMA.  Ollie took a bit of persuading that he should walk rather than be carried, but he got into the swing of things once he realised he would be seeing his favourite things - you know, fountains, drains, water features, drains.

And it was seriously very, very cool.  It made me remember how much I love wandering around art galleries and museums.  I miss the freedom of taking your time looking at everything interesting, and it is so exhausting taking two kids under two and a half years old out to this kind of thing, but it was still great.  The kids seem to get so much out of it, it's all new to them and because of that, the experience is new for us too.  Max took it all in his stride, didn't complain once about being in the pram for most of the afternoon and I think he genuinely loves to people watch.  Ollie must have asked 'What's that?' about a hundred times, and I don't think I knew the answer once, but it didn't seem to matter.  He ran around, resisting the urge to touch everything, making the most of what he was allowed to touch (this interactive Lego exhibit was probably my favourite) and not peeing his pants once.  Not once.

When we got home, I asked Oliver what the best part about the day was.  His answer?  The drains.

April 22, 2011

a first party for max

Not before time we celebrated Max's first birthday this morning.  We debated whether we should hold the postponed event on Good Friday, what with the five day weekend and the urge for everyone to get away, but we did it anyway, and many of our friends stuck around for a few hours and postponed their own plans for a few hours to help celebrate so it turned out to be the right morning after all.

The weather was perfect, the food was delicious, and the kids (and grown ups) had a most enjoyable time.  After everyone had left, the boys had a nap and we spent the afternoon opening presents in the garden, which I think is a lovely place to be at the moment.  Lovely.  

An Easter egg hunt, cup cakes, chocolate birthday cake, barbecued food, sunshine, bunting, toys, presents, sunshine, jelly, cookies, chocolate, sunshine, blue skies and a little boy, a whole beautiful year old.

April 21, 2011

a week of birthday

a beautiful bunch of white roses...
waking to the sound of BBC Radio 4...
an homage to the Pixies...
the best card ever from my two little boys...
a trip to Stradbroke Island...
sparkling earrings...
a collection of rustic pudding recipes (he knows me so well)...

and as for my birthday itself, it rained all day, we spent the morning antiquing, we ate French food and drank red wine at our favourite restaurant, we spent the afternoon at the pictures and the evening with our little boys.  deluxe!

April 18, 2011


This is me, 35 years old today.  A little bewildered about life and what it has in store, but happy, in love and lucky enough to be surrounded by the same.

April 13, 2011

easter cakes

Just about finished eating the delectable chocolate Easter cakes we baked for the party that never was.

April 12, 2011


Late last week, I was looking forward to the festivities of the weekend, with a little trepidation that the weather would be rainy and we'd have to bring Max's garden birthday party indoors.  I didn't mind the idea of that too much, although it's much nicer for everyone if the weather is sunny and the kids aren't confined to our little house.  The weekend arrived and the weather looked promising, so Will and I got on with preparing party favours, baking cakes, cookies, cupcakes, marinading barbecue food and generally getting organised as much in advance as possible.  When there's only the two of you, organisation is everything... and as you know, I'm not one for winging it.

Saturday morning arrived and with a full 24 hours before party time, I was quietly confident that the weather would hold and we'd have a beautiful sunny Sunday in the garden.  The boys were being a little temperamental (it always seems to be the way when we are busy - they sense our preoccupation), so Will suggested he'd take Ollie out to pick up some last minute party supplies and then take Ollie to his weekly swimming lesson (which he'd missed for two weeks in a row due to illness) to give me a bit of space to get things done.  Which I did.  And then on their way home, Ollie was sick and the mountains of food we'd prepared was suddenly the least of my worries.

Within a couple of hours, we'd phoned everyone to cancel our plans and we dropped everything to look after Ollie who was feeling rather miserable.  And then, Max, who quickly followed suit.

And so Sunday, the boys were feeling ropey, but we decided distraction was they way to go.  We hired a couple of movies, which we didn't end up watching - it seemed so much nicer that we should hang out in the garden.  Will made a little cardboard car for Ollie to ride in and we got the paints out (always a winner) for both Max and Ollie to decorate the car and we pottered about the garden, cleaning cars, gardening and trying to overlook the party that could have been.  And while we thought about the party that could have been, the day we had was just fine, with our little guys ending the day a lot happier than they started it.

And the sun shined all day.

birthday week

What a sweet surprise to wake up to this morning.  And what a birthday week, with my pa's birthday today, and my dear friend Kate's birthday tomorrow and only 6 sleeps until mine!

April 7, 2011

accidents and clean ups

With all the fuss over Max's first birthday, I've let a rather important happening pass the blog by.  It's been a somewhat of a work in progress, interrupted by the tummy bugs we've had (all had - I was the latest to be struck earlier this week, forcing Will to take a day off work to look after the boys while I wallowed in bed for most of the day, feeling like I wouldn't ever recover), but the illness wasn't too much of a setback and I'm pretty chuffed to report that Ollie is now a master of the potty!

Sure, we have accidents, and some days (when he's particularly tired and cranky), it can seem like we are going backwards rather than forwards, but ever since about three weeks ago, when we decided to go for it and shun the nappies for some well fitted little underpants and a potty (and some treats for good potty action), we've had some pretty great days.  Even accident free days.  The mop is still always on standby and we ended up rolling up the lounge room rug when the boys were ill (to make clean ups easier), so it all kind of coincided.  I think the timing was important and having a tummy bug in the middle of it all wasn't great, and we went back to using nappies for a couple of days there, but it didn't seem to affect things too much.  Sue's been keeping things consistent at day care too, which has only helped.

We still have battles, especially when I insist on a potty stop before we go out somewhere (his excitement for whatever we are doing means the potty is the last and most dull thing on his mind), but it can also work quite well if I time it right:  'Ollie, just as soon as you've used the potty and washed your hands.'

And so, the hurdle that was potty training is well underway.  We still have night time and nap time nappies to contend with (any advice on this is welcome) but I don't think it's a big deal just at the moment.  I'm just amazed at how much smoother this whole process has been than I thought it would be.  A month ago I couldn't imagine Ollie telling me 'I need to use the potty,' but why not?  He's so darn independent in every other way, it should come as no surprise.  I guess it doesn't matter what your kids are capable of, they continue to amaze you.  I just feel so proud of him right now.  So proud.

April 5, 2011

better late than never

This last Sunday, we pretended it was Max's birthday.  We let his actual birthday slide by; Will and I were working and we wanted to make a fuss over presents and cakes etc, and the kids haven't been feeling so good lately, so the sensible thing to do seemed to be to postpone it, rather than rushing it.  Max was none the wiser and neither was Ollie for that matter, who helped pick out a little toy for his brother before the weekend and was as excited about the prospect of birthday cake and toys.  (Max gave Ollie a little gift too, you know, it's nice to share on your birthday and we think it will become a tradition in our house that the kids give each other gifts on their birthdays.)

As for the gifts... well, the title of this post is somewhat hopeful, and could be the jinx that halts progress altogether, but I have finally pieced together all the little green and yellow squares for Max's quilt top.  It's been a long time coming, and it wasn't ready in time for his birthday (actual or pretend), but it doesn't matter too much as I'm quite certain that he's more interested in his new bobby car and the introduction of butter and sugar into his diet in the form of teeny little home made birthday cup cakes, which let's face it have that instant, in your face, unabashed kid appeal, making the photo opportunities so cute and so sweet.  Literally sweet.  I know I shouldn't feel so happy about giving him cupcakes, but it sure does feel great to see him smoosh those little cakes into his face and thoroughly enjoy the good and simple things in life.

April 4, 2011

bossiness and new sheets

Not so long ago, I wrote about my bargain fabric buy, the green and white Orla Kiely king duvet cover.  A couple of weekends ago I finally got round to measuring and cutting it up to make a duvet cover and pillow case for Ollie's bed.  What with all the sickness we have had lately, especially the little guys, I held off putting the new bedding on his little bed.  A few days ago, after the boys were feeling a little better, on went the new sheets and I was a tad excited about Ollie's reaction as I took him to his room to see his mama's handiwork.  Turns out I needn't have bothered as my son, who is a creature of habit and not entirely welcoming of change exclaimed, 'Mummy, take it OFF the bed!'  Bossy pants.

I told him not to be so silly, the sheets were staying on and actually he accepted it and moved on to the next thing.  And since then, he's been quite happy to be tucked into his comfy, duvet laden bed.  It could be the autumn chill in the air (not by northern hemisphere standards, but a chill nonetheless), or just that he's a guy and well, they just don't care much for pretty sheets do they?
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