Goals for 2011

Every year I like to set myself a cooking goal – a few years back it was bread, then pastry. I can’t remember what last year was? Was it the bread year? ANYWAY, goals for this year are both food and life related:

1. To bake more bread.

2. To hone my skills at making pickles and chutneys and relishes.

3. Granola. It’s all about granola. I made this Martha Stewart Pecan and Honey granola the other day with some natural muesli I had in the cupboard with extra pecans. MAN, so good. Oh, I also added cinnamon and just used some fancy pants raw honey I had. Bowls of that for breakfast just with Greek yoghurt – nomnomnom.

4. To run 10kms. Regularly.

5. To continue losing weight. If I am in the vicinity of 75kgs by Christmas I will be very very happy.

6. To get my little business idea up and running.

7. To establish Team Oscar.

8. To read to my children more.

9. To sew more.

10. To get the family away on a holiday.

So you see, not really resolutions but some little goals to keep me focussed during the year. It is a very pleasant change from this time last year, at which point my plan was to survive 2010. Tick.

So what’s on your agenda for 2011?


the week and weekend that was

Wow, haven’t posted since last Monday. That was tardy.

Things that have happened between then and now:
1. Chef and I have completed Week 1 of C25K. I KNOW. if that isn’t the proof of miracles occurring I don’t know what is. Forget all those medical stories and nuns with superpowers, the fact that Chef and I have exercised. Together. P.R.O.O.F.
2. Grover pissed in a plastic shopping bag. On my bedroom floor. Weirdo.
3. I had my 20 year school reunion. It was awesomely fun. There were some moments when it was as if we were sitting in the quad, eating lunch and talking the shite you talk to your friends. Man, talk about oxygen for the soul.
4. K and her family came to Sydney for it and I totally, selfishly, occupied way too much of their time probably denying others from seeing them and munching on Niamh’s cheeks. Sucked in I say.
5. I’m still on the healthy lifestyle straight and narrow although yes, I may have cornered a small pile of duck pancakes and tempura prawn skewers at the reunion. And eaten Ben & Jerry’s. There was no cone. I did inhale.
6. I received a kitchen implement from a company a few weeks back, before the whooping cough debacle and I need to blog about it. I want to blog about it. I am concerned you will all think I’m selling out. But dudes, it is awesome and I feel really … proud? … that they sent one to me.
7. Chef and I watched Men who stare at goats last week. ZOMG how did this movie pass me by? Why did none of you tell me about it? Seriously, one of my alltime favourite movies. Up there with Adaptation, Stranger than Fiction, I heart Huckabees, The Royal Tenenbaums, The Darjeeling Limited, Footloose and Steel Magnolias.
8. Did I mention last week my total girl crush on Jasper’s dance teacher, Miss Jen? No seriously, girl.crush. Sometimes my mental health or lack thereof scares me.
9. Chef and I watched The Social Network tonight. I thought it was fanbloodytastic. But it kind of made me feel sad for Mark Zuckerberg – not oh poor him sad but just, sad. Is he married now? Is he happy? And quite frankly, all this movie does is confirm the sheer and utter brilliance that is Aaron Sorkin.
10. There is no ten.



Oh dudes, so much to tell you and yet, my blogging vibe, my mojo, my energy? Not so much. So, bullet points:

  • So we put Oscar on the “very low dose” of the “very mild antidepressant” to basically “give him a better quality sleep” and let’s just say – monumental fuck-up. Poor kid was stoned. Loss of normal cognitive function – doing things like having his shower but not turning any cold water on, coming out looking like a beetroot. And so on. 
  • I sucked up my maternal angst and guilt and justified the science, riding out the length of time allocated to side-effects and then halving the already “very low dose” to minimal improvements. Took him off them, back to normal. Thank goodness.
  • There has been much internal mulling on this whole process on my part. I talked to my psychiatrist about it and the particular drug and his reply was that, in his professional opinion, you do not put children on drugs in that particular family. I get the feeling Oscar was being used as a bit of a case study and now I’m feeling fairly pissed about the whole thing.
    My standard face – furrowed brow, chewing bottom lip. MUST STOP
  • This term sees Oscar at swimming on Tuesday afternoons, gym on Wednesdays, karate (I KNOW! starts tomorrow) on Thursdays and bowling on Saturdays. Somehow I think my concerns over the last 18 months that he didn’t have enough of his own activities has been rectified. 
  • It was Mum’s birthday on the weekend. We went to a little local, very informal cafe down on Warriewood beach to celebrate and marvelled at Oscar walking across soft sand with his superlegs on to the lifesavers, where he totally infiltrated their ranks and scored rides for him and his brothers on the beach buggy. I swear that kid could charm the pants off a statue.
  • You will all be thrilled to know that Mum is well and truly on the mend, back hanging out my washing albeit needing someone to carry it out and carry it back in. Tsk. Good help is so hard to find. 
  • Seriously, she is doing well. We’re six weeks out from the op, the crutches are gone, the stick is back in full flight and she’s got some of that steely resolve of hers back.  
  • I’ve had a really sore throat for weeks  but it only flared at night, normally in the middle of night, waking me with a sharp jab and solved by a drink of water. 
  • On Friday it got worse, by Saturday I was feeling pretty average and the throat was sore all the time, Saturday night was horrendous, waking constantly with a mouth and throat so dry I thought it would crack and swallowing was agonising. Sunday was pretty much the same but with the arrival of the chills. Sunday night was equally harrowing with Chef saying to me, ‘if you snore like you did last night you have to sleep on the lounge.’ I apologised and laughed, as he did when he clarified, ‘it wouldn’t have been that bad except for when i got up to go to the bathroom and you told me you couldn’t sleep, but then instantly started snoring again.’ Whoops.
  • Monday I rang our GP to discover he was on holidays so had to see one of the other doctors in the practice. A doctor I had a pretty average experience with a few years back when we thought one of the other boys (our GP had suspected Oscar had it) swine flu. I relayed my symptoms, the chills, the incredibly sore throat, the inability to swallow and he was all, ‘sounds like tonsilitis’ – as.was.I. Then he looked in my throat, marvelled there was no pus so therefore no tonsilitis, no temperature either so to go gargle some aspirin and try a Diflam throat spray and hopefully I’d feel better in a couple of days. I KNOW. 
  • By that afternoon I was contemplating suicide such was my anxiety at not being able to swallow and panic attacks that my airway was going to close-up completely. 
  • I went to the GP clinic and Mona Vale Hospital at 5.30. To discover it opened at 6.30. I went home. I made the boys dinner. I went back to the Hospital, taking Oscar with me because he’s had a cough for weeks too and goddammit just take me out to the back paddock and shoot.me.dead.
  • At around 9pm I got in to see the GP, about an hour after I started vomiting. Into those weird plastic bags with the hard plastic top they have in hospitals. Those ones I nick a hundred off every time I’m there because OH MY GOD best spew bags ever. In the ladies toilets. Seriously. Wanting. To. Die. By then my temperature was 38.9C and as she looked in my throat gasped, “Oh.My.God” in her beautiful Eastern European accent. I left with mega antibiotics AND steroids. 
  • I am definitely on the mend but the throat is still sore, the temperature keeps spiking and the energy levels certainly not at their normal canter. 
  • Oh, Monday also happened to be our 13th wedding anniversary.
  • Grover has taken to pissing on Jasper’s bed. I know, it’s like the sequel to The Turdinator that should never have been made.
  • Jasper is 5 next week and holy crap, my baby is disappearing before my very eyes into a boy very ready for school next year.   
  • We’re half way through the first week back of the final term of school and can I just say, these last holidays? Best in quite some time. 
  • Hanging out at K’s was about the best thing I could have done ever. Her family were my second family during school, a bit of an oasis of normal from my stressful abode with divorcing parents and well stress stress stress.
    K’s mum, K and K
  • The boys were generally delightful with each other and we also caught up with two of my bestest friends from our original mother’s group. Yup, from when Oscar, A and S were all about 6 weeks old. 
  • I am godmother to S’s third child and having just become a godmother for the second time have vowed to improve my slack arse performance of late. I’m just not sure how L feels about it. Or, in fact, going off Felix’s expression, his thoughts on the matter either:
  • Over the years we’ve tried to take the same photo of the kids on R’s front step. Quite a few were missing this time (R’s two boys, my two littlest) but here they are:
  • Here they are in 2006:
  • And do you think I can find the one from around 04? NOPE. Look at wee Jasper in that pic. MAN.
  • Anyways, there’s been a fair bit of reminiscing in these here parts as my 20 year high school reunion is coming up in about two weeks. Shame I never lost those 15kgs for it. But just to indulge you all… here I am, bright and sparky and ready for my first day at my brand new school circa 1983:


stuff and nonsense

This week I have:
– cleaned the fish tank
– fixed the pump in the fish tank which broke after I cleaned the fish tank
– fished out the dead fish from the fish tank which carked it around the same time as the pump
– remembered to feed the fish
– remembered to feed the guinea pigs
– not cleaned the guinea pigs cage
– emptied the dishwasher five times
– thought about creating a ‘chores board’ to get the boys emptying the dishwasher
– considered mopping the bathroom floors
– thought about creating a ‘chores board’ to get the boys to mop the bathroom floors
– moved clean washing from our bed to the floor and back to the bed about eight times
– accepted the offer of a place in the 2-day group at pre-school for Grover next year (YAY!)
– handed in Jasper’s school enrolment documents for next year (YAY!)
– posted off Oscar’s acceptance to high school next year (YAY!)
– signed and handed over $$ for five different school events. None necessarily on time
– organised a playdate for Jasper
– created nutritious balanced dinners every night*
– ventured back to Sydney Children’s Hospital for the first time in a month for Oscar’s 12 week review with the surgeon
– blew surgeon away with news of Oscar’s bike riding
– organised way forward for Oscar w/ pain clinic at the hospital
– organised for Oscar’s AFOs to change from being fixed to hinged (happening next week)
– yelled at Tony Abbott a lot
– yelled at Julia a few times
– decided the election was not worth me spiraling into a depression
– wondered just how I could get a senate seat
– decided the election was clearly sending me crackers
– had many moments of existential first world anxiety about my blog


* this does not mean my children ate nutritious balanced dinners every night


My internal monologue when it comes to Google Reader:
Fuck, 972 unread??? WTF? I had it down to zero like, three.days.ago. MAN. I am just following too many people – I can’t remember who did that tutorial on that gorgeous cathedral pillow idea or used those stunning fabrics in a really simple 4″ square number. Who was it who just joined weight watchers and has unknowingly given you the final cyber shove to get your act together about losing some kgs? Damn it. Swiss Miss has 42 unread??? HOW THE HELL DID THAT HAPPEN? Didn’t she just have a baby. Wait, maybe she’s the one who is pregnant. Who’s the one who’s newborn has the bowel obstruction, I NEED TO FIND HER. MUST SEE HOW BUB IS DOING. GODDAMNIT. OK. pick your top 10. The ones you read every single day and/or feel disappointed when they haven’t updated every single day. TEN who are you kidding, you bloody idiot, as if you could get it down to ten. Who’s that? Why am I following them? OH yeah that’s right. But they haven’t updated in months. Unsubscribe. Ooh, and them, and them. Unsubscribe, unsubscribe, unsubscribe. Man, that felt liberating. WHAT? 965 still unread? D’OH.


So today I was having ‘a big clean up’.

My goal was to clean up the kitchen, vacuum and get all the bigger boys’ bedroom in order while they are away on school camp.

In cleaning up the bedroom I ended up cleaning up the 5×5 Ikea expedite bookcase in the hallway because some stuff had to go out there and it had become a dumping ground. It’s now dusted and organised. But that was not in my plan.

The bigger boys’ room is now only half cleaned up. The lego is half back in there. Their clothes are still not into the new drawers that came with the new longline bunk beds that arrived two weeks ago.

The guinea pigs cage is cleaned.

But achieving that saw me engage in some spontaneous gardening as spreading the used newspaper and hay on the garden required me to re-establish the edge of the garden bed, relocate some agapanthas and water the whole goddamn shebang.

So now I have a clean bookshelf, a rebuilt garden bed and a clean guinea pig cage. WTF?