Thursday, 28 February 2008

Toddlers and Thankfulness

What is so thankful about toddlers ...

It is way past my bedtime and I am so tired after less than 5 hrs broken hours broken sleep last night (my fault staying up late reading my RSS feeds and demand nursing,twins, in middle of the night ... any advice on night weaning ???).

I (we all) had to be up early to take J for a renal ultrasound to check how his kidney reflux is ..
We get there through morning peak traffic crawl . I park in the huge Park - not car park .

I huff and puff pushing the 17kg stroller, 24kgs of toddler and 1kg of stuff stroll up the hill to the hospital .
I wait in line -9.10am

My turn. At last.

Only ... I found they had stuffed up the appointments. She tells me it is 3rd March. WTH eck(I gave up swearing for lent but it is not going that well)

Thankfully, after alot of whinging explaining my story they stuffed up,the receptionist though 'stern' sour faced, is understanding of my over 1hr journey (with toddler twins) and 2 hrs to get ready and she calls ultrasound to fit us in. She hands me back my form and says to take it to them, it will be an hours wait or more.She says I am to come back here and wait after I give them the form.

"no problem"

I am, really, so appreciative... I already have another 4 appointments there in next month or so.

I push the stroller down a few corridors to ultrasound and wait a few minutes -no one is around -one is door closed. Yes , they are real busy today.

After a few minutes I see a face I recognise from before.She takes the form and she says they won't be long -just finishing another child...

She is right about 5-10 mins later (not 1 hr ) a little girl about 3 yrs , comes 'skipping' out - she looks vaguely familiar. I see her mum -ah ha- the penny drops.

'A' is a twin , she has been to our local playgroup with her mum (and her twin sister) a few times. The twin sister was not there. I said hello to the mum, a little small talk and she asks why we were there. I explain J has kidney reflux. She said A is there getting her kidney checked too. (NB -I actually guessed the right twin 50-50 chance -Kate and Tiff)

J has his ultrasound (we don't get results till 3weeks at appointment) , I take the boys out to play in the wonderful children's outdoor play area. Grey skies , overcast and a few spits of rain. Boys are happily playing and finding every puddle from the torrential storms of last night.

More spits ... and spills. S & J both fall or sit in puddles.

Lots of rain and running away.By the time I catch them both -it is heavy rain.

Back inside ... I head to the exit . I exit the building ... d'oh - what was I thinking - it is pouring rain. I have a 5 min walk to my car. I go back inside. I have to pee . The twin stroller will not fit in the apparently disabled access toilet !!!

Is there anywhere in the state of the art Children's hospital that I can take my stroller in with me ?... not it seems !

I can't leave them with just anyone or in then open. Never !I cannot take them out of the stroller - are you joking (I saw a great post on kids in the public loo with mum last week ... but cannot find the link)

Busting -darn rain ! I go to the A & E desk and ask ... what can I do ? the lovely lady said I can take them behind the counter and she will watch them.

Relief ...
I retrieve my children in the stroller- the lady said they were playing - my kids are very cute.I don't deny it ,they are very friendly and smile a lot.

We buy a milkshake to fill in time. The "morning teas' "delivery lady we meet in the lift tells me she has 25yr old twins, she smiles and coos at them.

The rain looks like it has eased off
.It's almost 11am ...

I exit again and we bump into the little twin A, and her mum C as they are leaving -but on the way back into get their free parking pass. She forgot and it costs $8- 12 max otherwise.

Things they don't share at playgroup ... We chat about A , having one kidney removed due to malignant cancer diagnosed a month before her 2nd birthday .Chemotherapy first didn't shrink the tumour -12cms on a tiny less than two year old kidney. It has been almost 2 years . 'A' just has chest x-rays and renal scans ,check ups - just in case.The free parking is perk ...for being an oncology and/or private patient .I don't want any perks!

It is still raining but I just brave it.I have other errands to do... We only get a little wetter.

I go shopping to spend my $10 Cotton on kids voucher (yay - score free t-shirts 'Easter Bunny Rocks" normally $12.95 each). I give the boys a quick bite of lunch. We leave.

I also have to pick up teddy bears on my way home from someone and once home I also have tax stuff to do , due today (28th). I am a stickler for waiting till very last minute. Finally - home at 2pm. I get sidetracked by other stuff. The boys have a long sleep.I finish my tax at 5.30pm.

We have our dinner almost as planned sans the salad as it was too cool we had steamed vegetables. I nurse the boys on/off for next few hours ...they will not sleep after a late and long nap. Finally by one they are asleep.

Well - you may ask

why am I still up at 12.54am still composing my post ...a few interruptions to nurse and because I am addicted to blogging.

I have so much stuff going round in my head tonight- I had to. Some days I feel like I am on a merry go round and others a rocking horse ...I never get anywhere

Because life with kids is all about going back and forth, and getting nowhere.
Got time for a quick giggle ...
... and no I don't have a toy rocket ... yet!
*sigh* I am in for it tomorrow.
I am so thankful for my active, run amok healthy boys.
please don't shoot me for my sleep deprived grammar !

Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Wordless Wednesday - How much is that ?

Puppy Baby in the cupboard window

NO ! He is not 4 $ale ... ask me tomorrow!

Uh oh this is the Late afternoon edition ... take two ! Twin 2 decided he wanted in on the action - not to be outdone.It was after I put the shelf back in ... he starts to call "mummeee" ...giggling... my back is turned (I am at the computer 3m away). I take a picture (of course) then drag get him out . Twin 1 again...

eBay here they come ...

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Did you ever wonder ?

Wonder or Wander

So have you ever wondered

do you wonder how you get rid of stains like this ...
caused by climbing up on cupboards and stealing mummy's stash of this
do you wonder how do you reduce time spent on this ?
so you can spend time on you !

Well wonder no more - wander on over to Kate@ Picklebums .Kate is trying to get organised, like me, and she asked a question on Organise ‘08 - Laundry!

Then the wonderful and super organised Mommy Bee wrote this brilliant post to help us all get organised on Laundry day

Now if I can just keep my chocolate stash away from the little monkey(s)!

Don't forget to visit Skittle's for more HoT 's

Monday, 25 February 2008

Menu Planning

I am inspired to get organised and start saving money as I posted Thursday.

Menu planning seems to be a big hit in the blogosphere and recipes and eating 'mmm' are my good medal sport !

I have to add the toddler edition too. J eats everything we eat mostly- but not his brother - well actually he does taste him daily (bites) but you know what I mean !

Tuesday : Spaghetti Bolognaise one of my family's favorite meal - everyone eats this (complete with hidden grated carrots/zucchini/mushrooms and even red Lentils if I am really sneaky.)

Wednesday:Beef Stroganoff, steamed vegetables and Rice (cause S only eats rice)

Thursday:Chicken Schnitzel, potato bake and salad (plus rice side dish and peas for J - he likes peas)

Friday:Lite Honey Mustard chicken,steamed vegetables and Rice (again cause S likes just rice)

Saturday: Surprise ???

Sunday :we usually have a family dinner with my brother and his family and my Mother - not sure whose turn it is ... but we have a big day planned so it won't be ours.

I won't post it every Monday but I am giving it a go for now to get taste buds drooling myself organised and make you all hungry .

My aim is to rotate a week about every 4-6 weeks and based on what's on special each week /in season/ the weather and what I have stockpiled in the fridge /freezer.

One day it will be based around what's growing in my vegie garden - fingers crossed my seedlings survive the twins and the dog.

I have been hearing about the Pioneer Woman and the other Trish @ Light,Sweet and Crude had a great risotto recipe last week ...complete with step by step pictures .That is going to to be my lunch one day.

So what's for dinner at your place this week ?

I actually started a recipe blog last year but I didn't get any new recipes sent to me -so it kind of went by the way side . I may resurrect it one day - it needs a major renovation LOL

I am open to ideas and new suggestions ... well with Aussie ingredients especially *wink

See more @ ORGANISING JUNKIE if you need some ideas

Sunday, 24 February 2008

Weekly Winners

Come on in ...
Today I am presenting

February 17th - 23rd
Week 8 of the great 2008

Happy 1st Birthday to our friends - Chelsea & Hayden
and Happy 3rd birthday to Brock & Sienna.

I wish I took pictures of the young magician yesterday when he opened his wallet it lit up in a burst of flames ... I forgot to tell you yesterday.DH said Chelsea & Hayden's Dad laughed and said
'that's my wallet on pay day - goes up in smoke ! '

Okay, I know you waiting for Weekly Winners ... thanks to Lotus aka Sarcastic Mom we I get to show off my favourite photos. Remember anyone can join in.
Also, please visit other Weekly Winners over at Lotus's - you won't be disappointed and we all love comments.

Camp David Rose


Knock , Knock

At the gate

'Huckleberry Finn' Bird

mmm !

Going Fishing

that's all folks see you all next week

Saturday, 23 February 2008

Smiley Saturday

I have lots of reasons to smile everyday and this week I smiled because
  • my new planted zucchini seedlings, cherry tomatoes, basil and spinach are growing. It might only be a small crop but it is a start. I haven't had a vegie garden in almost 10 years
  • Blogger spell check is working again ! Finally !
  • We had a little rain and a break from the constant rain
  • I found a new widget today ...{look below the clock} so I can click directly to your blogs if you visit me .
  • I lost a few readers again today according to Feedburner but my heart is lighter by the sweet comments made yesterday . I know it is about quality over quantity.
  • I made some new blogging friends (sadly I am still working on my blogroll) and have had many a giggle at their posts and also reflected on their serious ones ... Naomi , Jeanie and Marita are other new find along with the Coven ...Anja , Bettina & Nikki aka Widdle Shamrock [I love her handle - her blog name is unusual as is Anja's and Bettina has good taste in drums too ;) ]
  • Cathy I came across a while ago but she is a faithful reader .She also has a scrap booking store.
  • I have read some heartbreaking stories the last few days - that didn't make me smile but the way the blogging community reaches out to comfort others in pain , even across the world - did !
  • We spent a lovely Saturday afternoon with our twin playgroup friends at the first birthday of Hayden & Chelsea.
  • The Magician "BK" who entertained us was 14yrs old and he was a whizz , a real master ! I could not figure out how he did the card tricks, rope or foam ball tricks ... He was breath-taking . I think one day he has a future in all things magical. He was barely a metre away from some of us - so he was a great illusionist.
  • The sweet Kate has offered to help me design my new header ...
Okay - that's enough about me - what made you smile ?
head over to Lightening's and join us all.

52 blessings to be grateful for on Friday

...err on Saturday this week - since I already posted twice yesterday. Plus I couldn't miss using Kate @ picklebum's new graphic

So , just a quick one - I am so grateful I got my subscribers back and a few new ones.

I all of you. In my blogs early days I had so many days without a single comment ( ;) go through my archives and see *sob*) and I wondered why I bothered.

It just takes time to get to know people ... and I know your time is precious too. Thank you , from the bottom of my to my lovely readers. You all make a significant difference to my world. I can't articulate how much it means.

I know a few others too who need the company of a few more friends.

Tracey @ Why bother , Laura @ A day in the life of a Mom of Six and A mother like all others - she is so funny - she had me ROFL with her posts on Baby Games and Let’s Talk About Sex (after) Baby .

Hooray - the blogger spell check is working again

Come back later for Smiley Saturday.

Friday, 22 February 2008

Saving money 2 - two great links

In my haste the other night to post (opps it was last night) I meant to add two great sites I visit whose authors blog about saving money and debt reduction.

Lightening has a great post -with a very appropriate and catchy title at the moment - Cleaning Doesn't need to cost the Earth. This is an excellent article

She also has lots of tips to reduce your grocery bills and spending in general.

Louise at My Journey to Eliminate Debt has a lot of tips and links to calculators . You can do your own sums on what you will save on your mortgage etc. She also has information on internet marketing and making money from blogging.

Feedburner subscribers where did you go ?

what happened *sob* in the space of a few hours I lost 21 readers last night - in one swoop !

I thought it was glitch ... was it something I said ... *sniff* or did ?

Has anyone else had this happen ?

Thursday, 21 February 2008

Saving money ...Thursday Thirteen

Since S & J our twins were born we have pretty much gone back to a single income. It is our own business but we can hardly afford to pay me much when we have to pay other people do half the jobs I used to do.Not counting playing Solitaire before I discovered online forums.I made sure there is no internet there now

Over the past few months, I noticed that there are many blogs with money saving ideas included in daily tidbits.My new aim is to spend some time each day engaged in some sort of activity intended to cut costs.

I am fortunate we can hang clothes out on the line to dry, I use modern cloth nappies, cloth wipes, read store junk mail and so forth to find weekly specials. I haven't done a good analysis yet on the latter.

Starting next month, at the end of the month I hope to see the results of that effort when I add up my savings and see a reduction in our grocery bill...

I realise the concept of frugality is not for everyone because it can be time-consuming... to some people their time is worth more.

I believe it could take as little as 15-20 minutes a day to start seeing some serious benefits from tracking your spending and being more careful . In time they should be big enough benefits that they start making a real impact on your yearly budget.

So what can I possibly do in 15 minutes that could save me money? Here are 13 simple tasks anyone can do in 15-20 minutes. The savings add up over time. If you have suggestions of your own? Please add them ... Grocery spending is my biggest cost I can change

1. Buy in bulk, prepare a few meals in advance and keep in freezer for easy cooking, later on those nights you might be temped to buy takeaway. Planning a weekly menu (really only takes 20-30 minutes max and then less as you can have week 1,2,3 set up ) .It can really cut down on the grocery bill. Cooking in larger batches uses same energy. Freezing in smaller portions, means you only take out what you need.

Plan around the weekly specials .Knowing what you are going to make in advance makes it a lot harder to skip cooking for a night out because you "don't know what to make". Keep a record of leftovers in the fridge, My DH takes them for lunch or freeze as single portion meals - then when you have enough - the family can choose their favourite TV dinner - saves having food that never gets eaten because it was forgotten in the bottom of fridge and goes bad before you use it.

2. Write a grocery list (and stick to it when you shop) especially from the advertised weekly specials. Stock up on non perishables when they are on special and items like toothpaste/razors/toilet paper etc.

3. Go shopping in the evening (leave the kids at home- there is no temptation to buy treats to keep them quiet) and often bakery items like bread/rolls and meat are reduced. Buy them in bulk and freeze.

4. Check the air pressure in your car tyres including the spare, and maintain them appropriately. This will save you money on fuel, tyre tread and keep you safer.

5. Hang clothes up to dry on the line instead of using the tumble dryer. Use racks to air clothes first then finish I dryer when you have to.

6. Check through all the electrical devices you're not using in the house - turn them off when not in use.(the toddlers haz this one *rolls eyes*)

7. Instead of takeaway night make your own meal 'takeaway' at home - especially if your kids like this meal style - your own burgers and pizza are likely to be healthier as well. Get kids to participate in the preparation as a fun learning activity. $20 a week saved is over $1000 in a year.

8. Use 1/2 dishwasher tablet instead of a full tablet. I tried this Tuesday on a heavy duty load and it still washed up clean.

9. Use 1/2 normal washing powder scoop -Wash clothes in cold or lukewarm water. Only run the machine will full loads I have been doing this for months and it still washes all my boys nappies clean. The sun helps to bleach stains too. If you have a baby or toddler consider modern cloth nappies. (MCN) Mel @ In a Nutshell has some great information on MCN -see some of mine here. The initial setup seems expensive but in the long run I have saved a lot of money

10. Replace light bulbs with compact fluorescent lights - in NSW most energy providers are doing this for free.We did this a few months ago

11. Plant seeds/seedlings to grow a small vegetable garden. Recycle all waste for the compost. We just started our vegie patch.

12. Go through your excess stuff, sell off clutter you don't need or don't use anymore on eBay or trading post.

13. Swap soft drinks /juices instead drink lots of water or make your own iced tea/coffee, flavoured milks.

Last but not the least ... (because I hate leaving it at 13)

14. Buy a cupboard put a catch and a combination lock, to lock all the chocolates and treats away from a teen who inhales them in the blink of eye - and then leaves none for me. This is going to save a lot of yelling too. That has to be good for everyone's stress levels and save me money not having to shop to replace what the greedy pig he has unlawfully stolen devoured.

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Heads or Tails .... beginning with P

This morning as my husband left for work I observed this P ... not used on pee or poo but played with.

No ,it wasn't on my watch ...he left the door open. Yesterday they got into both bathrooms but the paper was near the end of the roll. No such chance today.

At least they didn't throw it in the bathtub of water like last week.That would have p'd me off.

almost 10,000 visitors and Bling

I wonder who will be my 10,000 visitor ...I just noticed I am at 9985 (well since I added the counter)- is there any way of really knowing. I just fixed my Google analytics page so who knows?

My dear friend Tiff @ Three ring circus gave me this ... thanks ♥ I never miss your blog either.

I will be back later with my link lists for the daily dose ... I only have limited time when my cherubs are sleeping.

Rhonda Aka Chuck at Foster Me up gave me these (well everyone on her blogroll - I am still working on adding mine)

So if you comment today please take an award or take both friends and old and spread the bling. Soon everyones' counters will be spinning like a fan.
- thank you I <3 you all.

So if you happen to notice you are my 10,000 visitor leave me a message ♥

Tips for New Bloggers: Recent Comments Feed Widget

Tips for New Bloggers: Recent Comments Feed Widget

I love this site - I found another link somewhere but I couldn't get it to work -this one took 5 mins and was so easy.

So now I have recent comments on my blog - yay ... so please leave a comment and make me smile &hearts

Monday, 18 February 2008

Australian Bicentennial bike ride

Australian Bicentennial bike ride 1988 ITS BACK for 2008 - maybe ?

wow 20 years ago ,when I was 22yrs old (to save you getting your calculator out) I did this ride Australian Bicentennial Bike Ride 1988

I lived in Sydney and half the 2100 people arrived in Dandenong by overnight coach - from many starting points.

In 1988, as part of Australia's bicentennial celebrations, a 14 day bike ride was held from Melbourne to Sydney. The distance covered was over 1,200km and we endured all sorts of weather from pouring rain thunderstorms and driving wind to beautiful sunny days.

We traveled along the coastline, climbed through the Snowy Mountains, descended from the heights into Canberra and finished on a hot sunny day in Sydney where several thousand riders celebrated the finish of a wonderful experience. It doesn't get any better than this!

Our support crew carried our tents ,clothes and sleeping bags etc to the next night stop.We only had to pack up each day, load it on the truck and then set up at the next night's stop -usually a country town showground or paddock. There was also a car with a trailer to carry injured, and broken down riders.

Meals were all eaten al fresco Portable kitchens were set up under large tents and we took turns serving and helping. During meal times we meet and talked with other riders and shared experiences.

Inevitably, dishes had to be washed and dried. Portable sinks with running water were set up near the kitchen.

Portable showers and loos too ...

We were given a packed lunch (roll/sandwich) every day and riders stopped wherever we pleased.

Or alternatively, a more convenient place was found!(The PUB)

Riders drifted into camp across various times of the day ... my uncle was always ahead of me.So he usually set up tent before I got there.Then we had spare time to explore and discover the town we were located at that night.... or sleep !

The Snowy mountains to Canberra leg was the most gruelling and longest in kilometres (1oo plus too) . Mountainous hills, pouring rain,windy and freezing cold (in Dec - Australian summer).I was in tears most of the day. Alone. I stopped for a leg massage from the support team at lunchtime -soaked through and in agony. I almost gave up and called my Dad ... till when I arrived in Canberra my Uncle had looked up his friends ( went into the local Bank - he worked in another branch of same bank in Sydney).

We had a comfy dry bed and even better food for 2 nights and I was refreshed to begin again.

I made a friend from Melbourne along the way - most days we rode together .For a few years we kept in touch till be both moved/got married and then lost addresses.

The culmination of 14 days on the road; a finish in the Domain Gardens in Sydney where we had a big party to celebrate.
Australia travel tips: Australia Guinness Records.
Most participants in a bike ride

In 1988 there were 2,157 starters in the Australian Bicentennial Caltex Bike Ride from Melbourne to Sydney.

I conned my uncle who was 9 years older than me into coming along. We had a great time except I was pinning for my new 'boyfriend' (I meant the one and only) and wondering if absence really did make the heart grow fonder or out of sight out of mind...

The story had a happy ending ...I made it home and he was waiting for me

Fast forward 19 years later, married 18years ...hardly riden my bike (well unless you count the exercise bike) .I doubt I could even get my husband to think about doing this but I would consider it if he came along as my support team with a caravan in tow.

Your turn ... tell me something odd , great or unusual you have done ... skydiving , hot air ballooning ?? anything

Sunday, 17 February 2008

Weekly Winners

February 10th - 16th

Another week of amazing adventures in toddler town. We had a twins 1st birthday last Sunday - Happy Birthday Joshua & Sarah.

What is weekly winners about ? - with my basic Kodak digital camera and thanks to Lotus aka Sarcastic Mom I get to show off my favourite photos. Anyone can join in. I went a little overboard this week.It is so hard to chose my weekly winners. I hope I saved the best for Wordless Wednesday.

Please check out other Weekly Winners over at Lotus's - see some stunning captures and images from other spectacular photographers.

Charlotte Rose (David Austin)
Pierre de Cardin

J on the go

Take me to the Cake, Driver
Children's Rose & a surprise ring in ? (never had this one before only pink blooms)

Still Only Two bottom teeth
Bargain Buy $14.99 - I should have got two (hang on I did two for price of one)
mmm Icecream
Crying over spilt ...
what's da hold up

Rolly (R.i.p -yep he always had muddy paws too)

Joshua & Sarah turned one
what a cake !
Pooped after de party

Hide N seek

what are you waiting for ?