Saturday, July 29, 2006

1st Annual BooMama Blog Tour of Homes

One of the Blogs that I visit regularly is BooMama. BooMama has had the great idea of a "tour of homes" where you get to see the homes of people from around the world that link to this blog. So I am joining in. I have tried to give the Queensland feel, even though we are in the middle of winter here.

Here is one of my favorite places, it is in the centre of our home next to the kitchen. This is our meals area, you can't actually see the dinner table, it is opposite the sideboard. This is one section of my photo gallery. I love having all the photos up and change them often. Another favorite is the airconditioning unit above- it is a necessity here in Queensland, I don't know how I would manage with out it. We only have this area and the family room airconditioned but it is enough as all our living is in this area. On hot nights we go for a quick swim before bed and that is usually enough to cool us down for sleep.

Here is my front door, leading to the hallway to the bedrooms; and to where I am standing, the formal lounge room. I love it that when I first enter I see all this. I don't let the kids play in here so it stays reasonably tidy. Our ceilings are 20Ft tall with opening windows at the top for ventilation. The pictures on the wall are from an old book of my Grandfathers published in 1852. We all loved the book and felt torn (excuse the pun) about what we did. We pulled the pages out and had 8 pages each (my Mother, Sister and I) framed and mounted. We now all get to enjoy the book every day.

Here is the formal lounge, with the dining room on the left. We have lived here for 5 years and have only used the dining room once...LOL we find that we do all our entertaining on the deck.

I took the ugly old curtains down; as they obstructed this wonderful view out to the mountains. You can just see our neighbor's roof through the trees and shrubs.

I have been fortunate enough to inherit many beautiful things from family. In this photo the desk is from my Father, the cream lounge from my Paternal Grandparents and the side table from my Maternal Grandparents. There are many other beautiful sentimental things throughout my home.

Here is the pool, the kids live in it 8-9 months of the year. (Read about their winter swim here!)

The drought has really knocked the garden about, a lot of the palm fronds have browned off, but the good news is that yesterday we got an inch of rain. The dams are down to 25% capacity and there is a lot of talk on the news about introducing recycled sewerage into the water system.

Here is our dining area of the deck, it is high up amongst the palms and bushes and is the most amazing place to sit and relax. You look through the palms down the length of the pool and get all the summer breezes. We have just had lights and a ceiling fan (keeps the flies away) installed. In the warmer months we almost live out here. Breakfast is a fry up (eggs, bacon and tomatoes) on the BBQ, lunch and dinner are also served here with a rest in between on the hammocks with lots of swimming and reading as well.

We have just renovated and extended the deck as we had a touch of dry rot in the old floorboards. We now have about 150sqM of deck and we enjoy every square cm of it. The only time we leave is right on dusk when the mosquitoes swarm for about 30 minutes.

Well here is my home, I hope you have enjoyed it as much as we love living here. We still sometimes say to each other " wow, this is our home!!!!" and feel so lucky to live here in Australia.

Friday, July 28, 2006

The Blogs I read

I have a rapidly growing list of blogs that I try and read at least once a week. After MANY hours of stumbling around the internet I have discovered a way to list them on my site. I can’t work out how to give my list a heading/title but heh; I managed to get it up…LOL
I first discovered “Technorati” and joined up and manually typed in all my favorites (I am sure that there could be an easier way- but I never found it!), but no matter how hard I tried and researched I couldn’t get it to list on my Blog.
Next I found Bloggroll and again manually typed in all my favorites…..I HATE TYPING…and this time got it to work.
I have absolutely no understanding what-so-ever of Html but I am very proud of myself.

It is a very eclectic list, I love reading

· aMY oMY, is a such lovely person
· Dooce, Heather is ,well, just Dooce
· Baggas, I don’t know why I like Pauls blog, I just do
· Laurell, I love her books, she is very different
· Cancer,baby, this is the sad account of Jessica life
· Amazing triplets, how does she cope
· Antique Mommy, wonderful writing
· My Weblog, Brandi takes the most amazing photos
· Sweet Alyssa, gorgeous baby
· Motherhood Uncensored, I would love to meet Kristen
· Suburban bliss, Melissa is great fun to read
· Into Australia, Leslie is a Texan mum recently posted to Sydney
· Gina in China, another lovely mommyblogger living in China
· And a new addition, The Cheerful Oncologist, a very clever writer.
· And all the others in my links….

If you know of any others that you think I might like please let me know

Monday, July 24, 2006

Robbies renovation

The back extension is finished and the old wall is off.
This is the kitchen and the new lounge dining area.
GJ and Ben helping Rob

The naughty corner

Ben learning the correct posture and shake technique for outdoor peeing

GJ and Georgia



Chelsea and I, photographed by Georgia !

We did another afternoon on Rob's new deck, only half a bottle of champagne this time. It is all coming together spectacularly. I have the great job of choosing all the colours and furniture for Rob's reno projects . Rob pays for me to shop till I drop, well maybe just a little shop... I have so much fun choosing paint, linens, accessories etc and GJ is pleased as it costs him nothing. Its a win win situation all around.

We sold the car

Bye Bye Blue Car

We sold the blue car…it happened very quickly. We put an internet add on on Sunday night and on Tuesday morning at 6.30am Bill rang. Bill lives a 10 hour drive away, and at Midday he stepped off the plane and we completed the sale.

Target Toy Sale

Target Toy Sale

It has finally started, yeah…..
Ben was booked into an extra day of kindy and I have done it !!!!!
As usual it was VERY VERY CROWDED, but extremely well organized. There were heaps of staff members and all were very cheerful and helpful and all carried bum bags with raincheck slips that they filled out on the spot. I have learnt from previous years that there is never enough trolleys and if you do get one it is too hard to maneuver through the crowds, (If you park it in a corner and keep adding to it expect someone else to help themselves to the contents) so I had a huge sack like bag that I could swing over my shoulder and fill to the brim….
I won’t list what I got as 2 little snoopy girls like to look at this site, but I got everything on my list and a few more x 100.
Birthday and the other occasion are all done for the 3 kids.


We were all lazing in our bed on Sunday morning when this beautiful peacock walked past our bedroom window. It was a little spooked by the 3 kids rushing to the window and it waddled up to visits the chook. It opened its feathers and gave us a wonderful show for about 15min. We have a wall of floor to ceiling windows in our bedroom that seems to attract animals. The animals that we have seen wandering past are Sheep, Koalas, Snakes, Possums, Cats, Dogs, Foxes, Cane toads. I wonder what other critters have been by and we haven't noticed.....
We are only 15km from the city, yet are surrounded by so much wildlife.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Bens bed time ritual

Here is the little darling all tucked up for bed. His two puppies are on either side of his face and his blue blankie is near/on his face. The Teletubbies are above his pillows and Bob the Builder doona tucked in around him. He will also choose 4 books and 3 toy cars to sleep under the covers with him. It all must be set up correctly before we can turn off the light and leave.
I don't mind this ritual because with the third child we struck it lucky, well we were strictly determined not to make the same mistakes we made with the girls...........

We have a child that is put into bed
and goes to sleep by themselves!!!!!!

A great weekend in Queensland

We had a great social weekend. Friday night is normally freezer night at our house, i.e. what ever you like from the freezer. I had bought frankfurters/Cheerios for the kids and had some leftover korma and rice for us. GJ got home from work early and asked if we felt like going to the local club. We have found that club bistros are much more suitable for kids as it is usually noisy and not right next to the entrance/road. We rang GJs sister Jo to see if they would like to join us and were very pleased that when we all sat down GJ’s other sister and husband arrived. It turned into a great family night.

Saturday we went to Lisa and Geoff’s home for lunch. Lisa was the kid’s nanny when I was working. It was a wonderful day on the deck with lots a good company, food and bubbles of course! I was very honored that Lisa used the beautiful crystal champagne flutes that we gave to them as wedding present for the first time with me.

On the way home we caught up with neighbors from our old house. It was great to catch up as we hadn’t seen them in over a year.

Sunday was swimming in the morning and then I took the girls roller skating with a friend while Ben had a big catch up sleep. By Sunday night the kids were exhausted, so was I, but then I am always tired!!!!!!
All in all it was a great weekend.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Winter Swimming

Chelsea looking stunned at the water temperature....

The girls thought that they would not get cold....

Chelsea over the shock and enjoying swimming

Happy, before the fall

It was a lovely sunny day on Sunday, it was warm in the sun, but still a winters day....

GJ was cleaning the pool and let the kids wade in the beach area. The girls thought that it would be fun to float around on a Barbie matt and assured GJ that they wouldn't fall in........ At this stage he call me to get the camera, and it only took 1.5 minutes for them to get freezing wet. Georgie was out like a rocket and straight into a hot shower, Chelsea decided to make the most of it and had a quick swim, Ben was clever enough to only wet his ankles.

I felt the water and it was so cold that it burnt ( if that makes sense LOL)

They were obviously not traumatised by it as they asked to do it again next weekend....

Friday, July 14, 2006

Brisbane weather and Biocycles

I have been thinking the last few days about how perfect the weather is at the moment. The days are averaging about 24 degrees(75F) and the nights are about 6 degrees (42F). Perfect weather for my jeans and joggers and cold enough at night for for flannelette sheets and my new winter wool doona. I am trying to enjoy every moment because in approx 10 weeks it will be STINKIN HOT and stay that way for 8 months. I bit of rain would be nice, we are in the midst of a serious drought.
You can tell how bad it is when the adult native gum trees start to die off.
This is the view from my computer, the trees are usually covered in masses of leaves. I still love sitting here, looking over the monitor to all this, but am often surprised about how much I can see through the empty branches. We are on level 3 restrictions at the moment, absolutely no hosing anything at any time. No kiddies wading pools and you can only wash your car with a bucket. We are also limited to when we can refill the pool to counteract evaporation. There is no limit for household use as yet, but the cost of water has just gone up. Living on acreage means that we have no access to the sewerage system so we have a Biocycle, a home sewerage treatment station( it is not a septic system). The system uses bacteria and air bubbles to recycle the water back to sprinklers for the garden. You can not drink the water or use it on a veggie patch, but it looks and smells like fresh water. This is what is keeping our garden alive at the moment.
The biocycle is a very environmentally friendly option and is a wonderful unit, except for a few little inconsiderate requirements
  • The system uses bacteria to convert waste, therefore any thing that kills bacteria cannot go down any toilet or drain....I have not been able to use Bleach, Napisan, Exit mould, disinfectant, Toilet duck, Jiff, antibacterial cleaners etc for the last 12 years. This is a major drawer back, I love cleaning products, the more the better, the more bleach, ammonia, strong chemicals the happier I am. I have to use "Shower Power"( a citrus based surfactant) to clean, admittedly is does work really well but I dream of one day of having a hospital clean toilet. GJ is going to think that this is absurd, but I am sure that other clean freaks will understand.
  • Nappy bucket: I can not empty the contents of the nappy bucket down the laundry sink. I have to carry the heavy bucket outside and tip it on the lawn, squeeze the excess out of the clothes and nappies and bring them back inside to wash. I know that it is a little thing, trivial to some, but to me it is tragic......LOL
  • Spacing out your water usage: I have to space out my loads of washing so I don't fill the holding tank. I leave a gap of 3+ hours between loads, and no dishwasher and washing machines at the same time.

To all my readers, please use a strong cleaning product

for me and let me know how good it is.......


Dear Mandy

Loved hearing from you !!! I also think about how you are going and your gorgeous son, are there any more little ones? You will have to send me some photos and tell me how you are going. My email is jenny@the(insert my surname)

BCC another one bites the dust....Fake tan forever..

I have just received the results from the doctor re the thingy/goober/yucky growth that was cut out last Saturday. All OK, just a small bcc, nothing to worry about. My skin is paying me back for all those teenage summers spent sun worshipping on Manly beach. I am fanatical about sunscreen, but this area is just under the edge of the majority of my tops, so has probably missed a dab of sunscreen a few times.

My mantra has always been " pale and interesting..."

I used to be compared to a bottle of milk in a fridge full of Coke bottles, but since I have discovered fake tan I can be a " healthy glow" instead of "pale and interesting" or be both in the same week.

The actual process of having the lump removed was horrible, the local needle was REALLY REALLY painful. I can now see why the Dr stitched Ben's head wound with no local. The sounds were all too close to my ear....
I can honestly say that I would rather push a 10lb baby out than do that again!!! I am so not good with blood, guts and pain.
On a lighter note, I think that my doctor has really good needlework skills.....
I have got a followup appointment with a skin specialist in August....hopefully there will be no more, and if there is I WANT A GENERAL ANASTHETIC.......

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Two out of three ain't bad

Happy messages to Fi in England

De, Ben and I

L to R Georgia, Chloe, Chelsea and Abbey. Ben at front.

Afternoon tea witth Ben and Abbey.

Both are 2⅔ years old (Abbey is 3 days older than Ben)

The Godparent gathering

We had a great time last night and continued the tradition of drinking a whole bottle of Baileys, plus Bubbles and Red wine.

I put the kids to bed for an afternoon nap and De and I headed out to the shopping center. It was sale time and we got some great things to put away for birthdays. The aim was to get to the Kmart toy sale, but we got a little sidetracked and never made it LOL

We got home just as it was getting dark, in time for drinks and nibbles.…

It was funny to see the guys watching the game on a tiny little TV dwarfed inside the entertainment unit.

The kids had a ball playing with each other; Abbey and Ben were so cute together. After a dinner of their all time favorite, Spaghetti Bolognese it was off to my bed for the Nanny McFee DVD.

Sometime after the adults dinner we decided to start text messaging our friend Fi in England, little notes with photos of us holding them up. I hope she liked them at 3.30am her time.
Fi is the kids other Godparent. We have decided to keep it simple and have the same 3 wonderful people as godparents for all 3 of our kids. We also have them as co-executors and guardians in case anything ever happens to us. I remember a lot of laughing last night....... Ben was very good to his tired Mummy, He woke at 5am and climbed into our bed and went straight back to sleep until 8am-a huge sleep in for us !!!!! I did cheat a little, I take a coolerbag with a bottle and a ice pack to bed with me for him so I don't have to get up.

De and I started school together in year one (we would of been5 years old) in Sydney many years ago. We met Fi when we started high school. We went to the all girls "..... Ladies College" and we have been friends ever since. De and I manage to mirror changes in our lives with out trying. We both told each other we were pregnant on the same day, we had our wedding receptions at the same place ( well hers was SOOOO good I copied LOL) and both chose Easter to marry ( 2 years apart) We both moved to QLD, and moved homes at the same time. Fi has been in England for a year now. She is traveling the world and working way too hard.....I am so proud of her, I call her my most successful friend. I can't visualize her as the top international director that she is, to me she is just Fi, my friend. I like that the 4 of us; GJ, De, Rob and I, want nothing from Fi other than her friendship.

We miss you Fi.....and can't wait to visit you!!!

This morning De and I waded through all the junk mail. I love junk mail; I can't understand why people complain about it. Unfortunately, living in an acreage estate means we don't get much. Rob has worked out a great system; he collects all his and puts it straight into his car and then once a week I get a huge pile. A win-win situation!!

GJ has opened up the dropped TV to see if it repairable, theCircuit board and the casing are cracked and snapped through. Chelsea doesn't know what to think about her punishment though. She hasn't lost any privileges, and there were no smacks, BUT the money that we would of spent on her Birthday and X.....pressies is to be spent on a new TV. I think it is a little harsh, but we have to have a united parenting front. Luckily October is a while off and GJ'ss hard line approach could soften by then. I won't be able to deny my little naughty darling pressies.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Brisbane's naughtist children


Last month the girls lost privileges for 3 weeks after a major incident involving a once full bottle of dark blue food colouring. The areas affected included hands, nails, hair, new deck, carpet, walls, clothes, bathroom, tea towels etc.

I thought that this was pretty bad…..

Today they have set a new record. They (mainly Chelsea) have managed to pull the hugest, heaviest, best TV of the house out of the entertainment unit and smash it to death on the floor. They were incredibly lucky that they did not kill or injury themselves or their little brother.

I am speechless, so I have fallen back on the generations old phrase….


It seems to be working; I suggested that since Daddy is going to be very cranky they should make everything else perfect. I.E. clean up the toy room, their bedrooms, the family room, their deck etc.

They are being so helpful and co-operative........LOL

I wonder at what age do kids start to
understand karma and consequences?

I have decided to balance this rant with photos of the kids doing Angel impersonations. They even dressed Ben as a little fairy…I’ll save this shot for his teenage years.
They girls love makeup and dressups and when they are allowed to get it all out Ben shouts “makeup, makeup, Me Me!”

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Under the Hedge

Old section + new section = soon to be Robbies wonderful new homeMain Bathroom
Kids testing out the new deck
Afternoon delight!!! Rob (on left) and GJ
Gorgeous Benny-Boy
Chelsea doing a chipmunk impersonation
essential ingredients, chips, tissues and bubbles

Gorgeous Georgia

We have started the social part of the school holidays. Last week was vegout week-give the kidÂ’s time to recharge their batteries, ready for this week. We started the week off with afternoon drinks on RobbieÂ’s new deck. The renovations are progressing well.

Monday was shopping, the kids hated that.

Georgia had a friend over to play on Tue, and it was off to the movies to see Over the Hedge on Wednesday with another school friend.

Thursday was the dentist, the kids were excellent, and we even had Ben in the chair and 80% of his teeth polished before his mouth clamped shut. GeorgiaÂ’s teeth were perfect; Chelsea has two little shadows that Dr Emily wants to fix before they become a problem. I think I am going to have to go back to cleaning her teeth for her as the dentist feels that she is not cleaning right at the back.

Over the Hedge was a great movie, I think it was better than Cars, so did the girls. As the girls were very good this week, I bought them Nanny McFee on DVD. We watched it this afternoon, it was wonderful!!! It works out half the price to by the DVD than it does going to the movies, and you get to watch it again and again.

Friday is afternoon tea at another school friendÂ’s house.

Deanne is coming for the weekend with her girls Chloe (nearly 14) and Abbey( 3 days older than Ben, also a whopper-9lb 2oz). We are having a practice session on putting up our new tents. Rob is also coming to help De and I drink a bottle of Baileys.

Last time we all had a get together, we decided to go to bed as usual at 9.30 ( a late night for us) but as it was so hot we (De and I), thought that would have quick swim to cool off before going to bed. Floating around was so good and when Rob offered to bring us down a drink, we thought Why Not! By at midnight the entire bottle of Baileys and a bucket of ice was gone and the three off us had just about cooled off. I donÂ’t now how I did it and got up early the next day. I love my Champagne, but I canÂ’t drink more than 3-4 glasses or I fall over, I canÂ’t handle any spirits and beer makes me instantly tipsy. GJ thinks that it is a bonus as I am a cheap date!

We have to make some posters tomorrow, as the kids 3rd Godparent wonÂ’t be able to make this get-to-gether. Fi is working in London for the next 2-3 years. We will need some great photos of us holding up messages for her, to stop her feeling left out.

Screaming kids in background, must finish up for now.......

Monday, July 03, 2006

The world's ugliest baby

The world’s ugliest baby!

See how Ben has morphed from one of the ugliest babies ever into my absolutely gorgeous 2½year old.

Ben was born after a 3 hour labor (yes, 3 hours from start to finish) and was a HUGE 9lb 9oz, 4.5kg. He busted (yes this is the correct word) out in 2 pushes and was black from bruising. He burst all the blood vessels in his eyes, so after a few days when he could actually open his swollen eyes they were red like a little devil cartoon. He also had a touch of jaundice so he really did look like a little ugly troll.
But as you can see he has improved….LOL
He is such a Mummies boy. He doesn’t remember me going to work or Lisa our Nanny, so he is a lot more clingy around others than the girls were.
I am sure that you will think he is as gorgeous as we do.

Little Jimmy, a 4th child?

Little Jimmy

GJ is still referring to little Jimmy coming to our house to live. Little Jimmy is what we would call our next son if we had one, short for James. I don’t know what to think about this. I thought that I should write a pro’s and con’s list to think it through. It would be a huge step to have a fourth child, I don’t know if I could cope.

Pros for James Martin…… or Kate Therese…… (We chose names nearly 15 years ago)

Babies are gorgeous
The children would love another brother or sister
Babies are gorgeous
Pregnancy and birth are easy for me (except for 24hour sickness, but lets not go there)
Babies are gorgeous
I have everything and would need to purchase hardly anything
Babies are gorgeous
Children are the greatest blessing
GJ would like another son
Children are gorgeous

Cons for James Martin…… or Kate Therese……

Sleepless nights- the worst torture for me….
Lose all brain function and conservation skills for 6 months while I breast feed (this deserves a whole post- Later!)
I am too old- We could have a combine 21st and 60th party for the baby and I
I have three perfect children
Private education would be out of financial reach
4 kids don’t fit in a standard car
2-3 more years of nappies and then toilet training….
Sanity- would it be gone for ever?
No me time, I have just got to the stage where Ben goes to Kindy 1 day a week, so I have a window of 5 hours a week alone which I LOVE.
Tiredness- I am always tired now, how much worse could it get?
Washing- I wash 4+ loads a day as it is, let’s not even think of the ironing.
My body would never recover- it would take me years to lose the weight
Holidays would be more expensive, you can get a rollaway bed for the 3rd child, but it would probably be a whole extra room if you had a family of 6.
Would moving to China be possible while pregnant or with a newborn?

Ways to overcome the Cons

Become rich and have full time help, LOL as if this is going to happen.
Give up a clean and occasionally spotless home and live in chaos
Give up personal hygiene for a couple of months
Invent an apparatus that could swap a baby from breast to breast and then burp and change its bottom all while I sleep soundly.
Have a 100% cure for morning/24hr sickness

I think that little Jimmy is a pipe dream, I might just leave it in the hands of God, if it happens (if Jimmy wants to come to us enough) it happens but I won’t try for it.
I am truly blessed and thankful with what I have already.