Tuesday, April 30, 2013


I plan things.
I talk about things.
I write things down.
I make announcements that I'm starting something.
I tell my family that "we" are starting things.
Nothing ever changes.

Several projects in my brain are starting to come together.  I physically and emotionally "started" things today.  Its quite exciting.

I want to make more things from scratch, so I've made ketchup, from scratch using real tomatoes.  It was amazingly easy, although time consuming and the transformation from a whole (quite hard) tomato to the thick sauce that you see below is mind blowing.

I"m in the process of  trying cocktails.  For my birthday - and possibly Jamie's birthday in between I want to have Birthday Cake Martini.  It includes as one of its ingredients, marshmallow vodka.  In America you can buy marshmallow fluff vodka, but its not available here (that I've seen on my quick search online), so I've made my own.  Half a packet of marshmallows and vodka, I think I need to add more vodka, that's about 400ml in there. Need to go shopping, I don't have any Amaretto or White Chocolate Liqueur either.  I do have sprinkles and honey though.

 My bed.  To be honest I hate it.  I feel its quite old fashioned, but its what we have so I had better make do.  Anyway, I purchased this bedspread set in Thailand and I do like it.  Today it got finished, I got the little cushions.  Its hard to get it to stay in place as its satin (the packet said silk, but I don't believe it).  I think its quite beautiful, but silky sheets just isn't our thing.  It slips and slides all over the place.  Even when I'm in there by myself, I find myself reorganising the doona several times a night.  But its pretty.  Plans for my bedroom are a bigger wardrobe.  I'd love the whole wall to be a wardrobe - don't worry I know which wall.  Then we would have some space to put things.  At the moment we have a tiny just under 1m wide built in each.  There is two rows of hanging space but it just doesn't work.  Curtains... I hate these more than the ones in the lounge room.  I used to think they were delightfully rich.  Now they just look trashy and they don't hang right.  Colours for this room.  Stuffed if I know.  I just try to stay out of there.  I need it to be neater.

 "Operation Howler" went into action tonight.  First night of Ben without a dummy.  We have had dummies in our family for 3.5 years.  There are far too many photos of our little boys with those revolting things in their mouths.  Ben has been having it less and less in the last week.  He's reasonably happy to put it in his cot soon after he wakes up and then gets it back when he goes to bed at night.  At crèche on Monday he went to sleep without it after a little bit of whining.  Today they gave it to him.  So we have made a decision... no more dummies.  Time to round them all up and chuck them in the bin.  How much money have I wasted on those bits of rubber/plastic?

VERY soon we are having those floorboards sanded and polished (or polyurethaned) and then that room is turning into a dining room and the play room will be moved into the "back room".  I've noticed that for quite some time none of the toys were being played with.  Other than about 10 cars and motorbikes, nothing was being touched.  That big table was covered in crap - looking messy - for no good reason.  I got those underbed storage boxes and neatened the place up.  Tonight the boys went and looked at the table and played with the tea set and toaster.  Ben made me several pieces of toast and really enjoyed it.  The thing we are told about rotating the toys actually works.  Now my lounge room looks neater, the boys room looks neater as I have a new toy box in there.  Everything is neatly put away.  Plus it will be much easier to relocate the play table if its not precariously stacked  with every toy that they own.

Did a wee bit of maintenance on me today.  Had my hair coloured and trimmed (only about 0.5cm).  Its made a huge difference.  Also got the nails done.  A little bit addicted to having nail polish on.  I love the way it makes me feel and then I can grow my nails a little bit.  This is a greyish sparkly colour and I love it.  I think for the first time in my entire life, I had one of my nails cut with a nail clipper.  NEVER been done before, always bitten them down.

Monday, April 29, 2013

I miss holidays

It's autumn (Winter is Coming) and life has just slotted back into the mouse wheel that is ...


Tomorrow -  a little bit of luxury, I'm getting my hair and nails done.

Then I want to get busy with my restyling. Sander and the coffee table.

I've sorted out 200 of the 350 photos that I need for my photo wall, need to "find" the ones pre our move to Melbourne.  I don't just want it to be of the last 6 months of our lives, but if it needs to be... it needs to be.

Thursday, April 25, 2013


After bath cuddles
Today is Anzac Day here in Australia (and possibly NZ), a public holiday where I end up listening to ABC radio to the coverage of the dawn service and the Anzac Day March.  Its such uplifting radio.  One day I will actually go to the dawn service.  Frank served in Vietnam and my grandfather served in WW2 and my dad potentially could have gone to any war, but thankfully Canada only participated in peace keeping activities in the time dad was in the army.  When the little boys are older and easier to keep in line, I will take them.  It is important for this country.

These are our very sad faces.
 Close to 10am, the boys and I headed out to Brimbank Park.  I forgot to take the camera which annoys me as I had thought about it the night before.  Marko went for a decent mountain bike, he went up hills and did all the stuff he has been very keen to do.  Ryan rode his bike and Ben tried to scoot on his plastic baby quad.  Ben is too tall for his quad, so we have finally come up with his second birthday present, it'll be either a balance bike or one with pedals that only go forwards (or something like that), but Ben is very short - determined but short.  So it'll be a teeny tiny bike if we find one. Connie, Toby and Zahli came too. The kids played on the equipment as well.  Ended up being quite a lovely day, back to tshirt weather.

Then every thing turned grumpy.  Ryan spent pretty much the rest of the day whinging or crying.  He drove me batty.  Refused to eat his dinner so I said "its dinner or bed" he finally chose dinner.  After a bit more coercion he ate every bit.  I just wish he would just eat it in the first place.

The Geary family came over for birthday cake.  It was Jo's birthday yesterday and Mark's today.  We still hadn't had a cake for Ben, so I included him too.  The Geary kids were lovely, it was great seeing Roy and Ben dance together.

After the bath we did our mini photo shoot, told the boys I wanted to see very grumpy faces - who believes that Ben is grumpy?  Ryan's is a little more real.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


Indulge me a bit will you?

I feel so unbalanced at the moment. 

I'm super busy at home, always seem to rushed and unable to control everything.  Then there is work.  SO slow and so boring. 

Home is noisy and chaotic.  Work is silent.

Home is messy.  Work is neat.

Ok that is enough of that.  

Maybe its just post holiday blues, so far no plans for the next one.  I need to plan another holiday, I want to plan my renovations but I can't see how the renovations will happen.  Jamie is not home enough.

So excited to do my photo wall, found a good way to do it here.  So much better than the other tutorials I had seen.  Need to invest in a hot glue gun.  I'm unbelievably excited to do this photo wall.  I really really hope we can get our floors polished in the next month, then we can decorate the lounge room. 

Lounge room is currently very ugly.  Enormous dark brown curtains that are faded at the edges, the ugliest "sheers" you have ever seen.  A revolting tv stand and furniture that is just placed very very wrong.  We ripped the carpet up what feels like 6 months ago and we have had bare, unfinished floor boards since then.  The old computer room will be our new dining room and its currently called "the playroom".

Plans for the lounge... nice ungathered sheer curtains, a new set of curtains - they don't need to be block out as the window faces the driveway and a fence.  There is a small 50cm window that faces the front.  I think I want a pale green curtain.  I'm not a fan of pinch pleat as they don't stay uniform.  We have a corner window and I dislike that the curtains don't meet.  The current curtains extend over a meter past the actual window - I'm assuming for two reasons, for when the curtains are open you get the full extent of the window; and to give the impression of a massive window when they are closed.  I don't want them to reach the floor, just delicately hang.

I want to hang the tv on the wall in a similar position to where it is now.  Then I want a neat cabinet - maybe of that frosted green glass to house all the necessary electronic equipment.  The DVD player, xbox, that computer that seems to live there.  Make the cords go through the wall, so its not obtrusive.  Not very sure how I want the furniture to go, might have to get a new set of eyes to look at that.  I will sand our coffee table back to bare wood (its currently very scratched, stained and sadly painted with green paint) and re stain it in a darker colour and then polyurethane it.  Nan's china cabinet will probably go back to its old home between the door and the window.  The car mat can go into the boys room and I'm getting a square of carpet, hopefully a chevron rug.  On the back wall I would like to put some sort of storage as our home lacks storage in a big way.  I would really REALLY like a new light fixture, the one there is so ugly and old fashioned.

Plans for the dining room.  Very excited about this.  We've never had the table in that room before.  Its off the lounge separated by a delightful 1970s archway.  I need to do the window treatments the same, but this room has a big double glass sliding door - that we don't use.

I'll move the buffet to the wall that backs onto the kitchen.  The dining table will go in and my plan is "that is it".  One end of the buffet will be our bar with lots of interesting cocktail making stuff.  Above the buffet will be my photo wall.  I'll fill the entire wall with photos from the buffet up to the ceiling.  I believe it is more than 300 photos.  The thought of it makes me giddy with excitement.  It should look spectacular.  Every photo wall I've seen is amazing.  It does leave a whopping big white wall on the other side.  May have to make some home made art for that.  I really wanted to paint my chairs a bright yellow, ala this.  But Jamie says no :(, so instead I will make some chair pads, so they are more comfortable.

Monday, April 22, 2013


Essentially the same picture repeated five times, for your viewing pleasure.


Best picture of Jamie - ever.
 Insomnia, RLS and backpain.

These things suck.

I'm currently in a funk with insomnia, can't fall asleep without drugs, its quite bad. 2-3hrs of dozing if I go drug free and only about 5 if I take a sleeping pill.  So wish it was more, my body wants more but "the insomnia" won't allow it.

RLS comes and goes.  The Sofril (the drug I'm on) is doing a pretty good job.  But I've already taken it and I can feel my legs resisting as I sit or stand.  Grrr.

Backpain.  This one disturbs me.  Its my lower back.  It was sore before we left for holidays and as one of the boys wanted to be carried, it just got worse and worse.  Now its aching all the time.  Positions it hurts to be in... lying down, sitting on a chair, sitting on the floor and kneeling.  It is really only comfortable to be standing.  So night time is doubly bad, insomnia and pain when lying down.  The straight backed wooden chairs are painful, the floppy couches are painful.  So worried I have what mum has.  I'm over being in pain.  My other problem is getting to a physio.  I just can't.  This week I'm working from 9-6 M,T,W,F and have Thursday off... go then you say, its Anzac Day, a public holiday and no private physio works on a public holiday.

Cooking today, wanted to get so much more done, but made fried rice for lunch, chicken drumsticks and mash for dinner.  Granola for my breakfast and a vegie curry type thing for my lunches.  I really wanted to make some cake, but didn't get around to it.

Have to fit in cake making this week as its my sister and her husband's birthdays this week.  They will come over for a little bit on ANZAC day for cake.  Hmmm what to make?

Some good news, Ryan is back to being fully continent.  I still have him in a pullup at night, but its unnecessary.  The flooding from a month ago still has me nervous.  That being said, he had a big drink before bed tonight and its almost midnight and he woke up, went to the loo, had a little cuddle and then said "I want to go back to bed"

Tonight I went in to check that the fellas were covered.  Ryan has his little toes poking out of his dinosaur blanket (he gets too sweaty under the doona, so he has his polar fleece blanket).  Ben's little arm was hanging out between the bars of the cot.  He did so well today.  We took his dummy off him about half an hour after he woke up and didn't get it back until he was in bed this evening.  He didn't ask for it ether, but was very happy to see it.  He went very badly backwards when we were in Thailand, he had it almost constantly and would cry "dummy" when he didn't' have it.  There are a lot of photos with that damned dummy.  Looking for a motorbike soft toy for the "Dummy Fairy" to bring and then we can lose the retched thing.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Home again and life is now back to normality.

One final jump in the pool
 Last days of our holiday were fairly laid back.  It rained a lot, our plan was to go to the Tuesday night market for dinner but it POURED as we walked there, so we went to a restaurant instead.  Then both boys went crazy so we decided that no market for toddlers.  Mark offered (or was offered) to babysit, so Jamie and I headed back to the market - got Mark a set of Beats by Dr Dre headphones, there is a slight possibility that they are not quite the real deal... but they are cool looking headphones.  Hmmm $300 headphones for $16... probably not quite real.

Packing went well.  We organised a taxi to collect us at 5am, he rang us in our room at exactly 5am.. what a good driver.  Got through passport check very easily, sat down had some breakfast (or attempted breakfast, the most expensive meal in Thailand and we barely ate it as it was so awful).  The boys were so excited to get onto the plane and were very well behaved on the one hour flight.  Kuala Lumpur was not as hot as it was the first time (Jamie says its because I was more used to the heat), the immigration staff were lovely.  Ate some chocolate.  Boys ran, used free wifi, then they started crying.  They were so tired. Up since just before 5am.

Well the flight home went as well as the flight there.  I don't think they were too bad, but was hypersensitive to those around me.  They are loud kids and quite active.  Benno slept for about 3 hours (thank you Phenergan) and Ryan only slept for about one hour (no Phenergan for him).  Lots of swapping of tablets - ours and the ones we hired.

Finally got into Melbourne at 11.30pm.  I left my phone on the plane and had to run back to get it.  Got some duty free grog for my cocktail hour (or minute).  Immigration again was fun, boys kept running off, and as we were the last off the plane, we had them to ourselves.  Mark's wooden puzzle passed customs.  Got a maxitaxi home and it was 12.30am.  Had to make a mad dash for milk for a well deserved coffee.  Everyone was buzzing.  Ryan and Ben yelled "TOYS" as the ran to their toy room.

The next day no one woke before 10.30am.... bliss is a good sleep in.

My parents came for dinner and the new style "slide night" clicking on the laptop.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Day 14

Pool fun

Ben in the pool with an armful of trains.

Today we said goodbye to the Dunn family.  They flew back to Melbourne this afternoon.  Our group looks a little less daunting now.  Back to only 5 of us.  Today was a pool day, glorious sunshine and quite hot, although only 35 degrees.

Ben in the pool.

I went for an oil massage this morning.  It was freaking painful.  Stripped off to my undies... then she attacked my back, the top half was ok, but my lower back there was shooting pains that went down my leg (hmmm sciatica?), then each arm, then leg and foot, then flipped me over (that surprised me).  Front of arms, front of legs (shins were especially painful, possibly because of my RLS)... then came my big surprise, she rubbed my tummy, then my chest!!!  Went all around my girls!  Then head, then shoulders and I nearly cried when she did the shoulders, man I have some aches and pains.  Going with "I'm not a fan of massages", Jamie and I are tarred with the same brush in that department.  But a trip to physio is in order when I get back, my back is killing me.

Ryan and Toby scamming free drinks and bananas at the bar from O.

Had lunch at our favourite fried rice place, then the kids played/fought.  At 5pm the Dunn's left :((

This kombi van turns into a cocktail bar at night.  Mark seems impressed.
Rancho relaxo Mark

We then caught a tuk tuk to Patong, Jamie was trying to source an Apple TV box for a friend, we knew there was an Apple type shop in Jung Celong, so we headed back there - they didn't have it.  There was also the Phuket Motorbike Show on and as our boys (all 4 of them) are motorbike obsessed we decided to go there.  Walked from Jung Celong to the beach, right on sunset, it was gorgeous. No motorbike show, then walked along the beach front, on the shop side for about a kilometer, no bike show.  Every second stall talked to Ryan as he was in a Superman t-shirt, all were saying "Hello Superman.... do you want to look/eat/high 5).  Then we turned around an walked that kilometer, followed by another kilometer and finally came to the VERY loud concert that was the motorbike show.  They had mainly choppers, quite cool but ridiculous.

Crowds at the Motorbike Show

Ryan and Ben with some choppers

Dinner at a little side restaurant.  Ryan and Ben made a friend (see below), then we walked down the main street of Patong, Bangla Street, heaps of nudie bars, normal bars and PEOPLE.  It was so busy and quite exciting.  When Jamie went there with Paul, he was approached to go to every nudie bar, but when walking with his family.. nothing.  Thank goodness.  Some very flashy girls/boys were walking down the street.  The boys got a light up Angry Bird each, much to Jamie's disgust, but a little treat for them. 
Ryan with his new friend.  They played chasey whilst we had dinner.
Tragedy struck, when Ben fell asleep in the stroller, he lost his last dummy.  Crap.... went into a pharmacy, they don't sell them, "you need to go to the big supermarket".  I've been here 2 weeks and haven't seen anything bigger than 7-11.  There is one in Jung Ceylong and yes its BIG.  Enormous. And quite impossible to find anything when you are in a rush.  I asked a stock  boy, oh you'll have to go to the second level (what/?? in a supermarket).  Found one and bought two!  Another Tuk Tuk ride back to the hotel, finally got a pimped out yellow one.  The boys were in heaven.  We had green lights in the back and they were holding their flashing Angry Birds, we were very cool.  Home just before 10pm.  Everyone now asleep (except for me and Jamie).

Patong Beach just before sunset.

Some dressed up people on Bangla Road

Boys in the Tuk Tuk with their new toys

A little too happy to be home.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Day 13 - Sunday.


Today was fun.  Started off raining.  Went for a walk.  Walked down to the local market and got some stuff.. man we can shop.  I got 4 new t shirts, a pair of shorts, Mark got a new t shirt (Grouchy Smurf) and some thongs, the boys got new runners (Ryan some Nikes and Ben some Adidas).  I got a Guess handbag and a HUGE suitcase.

Action shot of R-dog

In a rain storm the other day

Jamie and Ryan on the elephant (the other day)

Our two elephants.

(L-R) Ryan, Jamie, Mark, Paul, Zahli at Karon Beach

Just after Toby's nap (he's the eldest and the only one who napped that day)

Toby and Ben with our favourite bartender "O" (yes, that's his whole name)

Dinner at Rawai for a seafood extravaganza, we were sitting on the footpath at a low table.

Me at Rawai Beach

Me and Ben at Rawai... and my longneck beer.

The crabs... challenging but delicious.  The deep fried fish with chilli was by far the best

A gorgeous shot of the pier, thanks Jamie!

Me and Marko.  Feeling shorter every day.

All 5 kids.

Me and my wonderful husband.