Sunday, 25 March 2012

A peek at my… Fortnight

I got slack last week, but really so much of the past two weeks has been the same-old-same-old that it probably doesn’t make too much of a difference. Here is some of what we’ve been up to over this last fortnight…

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* I’ve survived another two weeks of school, and only have two to go: this week ahead, then one week after the two weeks holidays that start this weekend! I’m so excited, seriously. School usually settles into some kind of rhythm after the first few weeks of term, but this term has just been flat out from beginning to end. I think the only thing that’s kept me sane is the huge flashing ‘Maternity Leave’ light at the end of the tunnel.

* Mayana and I have found our baking mojo lately, and our speciality is pikelets. As you can see from my instagram shots, they have been a regular treat at our place lately, and we get a little better at them every time. We even made a batch of green pikelets for St Patrick’s day, and Pete took the recipe to kindy to have some fun with the kids. It was a big hit, both at home and at kindy.

Peter and I have made the decision to stop buying processed lunchbox-type food (which is something we rarely did until we were both suddenly working and it was just *that* much easier). We’ve also started to try and make healthier alternatives in baked goods, like taking out sugar, and using dextrose instead, and other substitutes where possible. We’ve also been adding things like oat or wheat bran, dates and fruit. It’s quite yummy, and feels good to be making an effort to eat more healthily, but still enjoy our food.

* I’ve enjoyed having time with my Maysi-bird wherever possible. After I pick her up from her kindy on Friday’s, we go out for a Mama-Maysi date, and I so enjoy those times with her. She’s been more clingy than usual lately – she insists on going with Peter on his lunch break at his kindy; and cried and wouldn’t let go of me – and broke my heart in the process – when I took her to her own kindy on Friday. My poor work colleagues had to put up with a blubbering hormonal pregnant woman on Friday morning, and I was more grateful than ever for my new friends at work. It’s so unlike her, she has never had a problem with kindy drop-off, and usually waves us off happily. I wonder if she’s sensing the change that’s coming with the new baby.

* We’ve also had a ‘Family Date’ each weekend; out for breakfast last weekend, and our bowling night this weekend. I love these times together, and while I am looking forward to the change of being four, I’m definitely soaking up what’s left of this season of having one child.

* We have finally gotten around starting to get ready for the new baby. Pete has put together the cot and change table, and I did the mammoth task of sorting through our baby clothes. I was right, and 99% or so was pink, but I managed to scrape together a respectable number of green, white and yellow clothes, and even found a handful of blue! We still need to take some of our boxes of teaching resources downstairs, but the room is far closer to being the baby’s than it was a few weeks ago.

* I hit the 34 week mark yesterday, so now have less than 6 weeks until my due date. I am not sleeping well at all, and am very tired. People keep telling me that it’s preparing me for life with a newborn, but I know for certain that I slept a lot more when I did have a newborn than I did in my last weeks of pregnancy with Mayana. The difference is I think, that once I’d fed and put the baby back to sleep, I was able to fall asleep straight away. Pregnancy insomnia has me waking four or five times a night (usually for a bathroom trip) and then taking half an hour at least to get back to sleep each time. Plus, you get to have delicious newborn cuddles when you’re awake with a baby, and that’s far more easily beared than tossing and turning and getting yourself tangled in your sheets for half the night!

I definitely feel like I’ve popped even more (who knew it was possible) and have conceded defeat and went and bought a pair of maternity pants today. There’s just not too much that’s fitting me at the moment! I do, however, love my bump, and I’m going to have fun showing off my midsection while I can.. before I know it I’ll be back to trying to hide it away again!

So I’m geared up for one more big week, that’s going to have a few fun bits thrown in. We have a staff morning tea on Tuesday (bring on the Apple Tart!!), and our department is going out for dinner on Thursday night. Friday we’ll go out with a bang, with a Fun Day where some of our Distance Education students will be coming to our school to meet us and do some great activities. Next weekend my gorgeous husband is taking me away to Brisbane for the weekend (we did a Wotif mystery deal and landed ourselves a gorgeous room at the Hilton!) and I’m so looking forward to some ‘us time’. We feel like we hardly see each other at the moment, and really need some time to reconnect before this baby arrives!

I hope you all have had a great week fortnight also! What did you get up to?

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Family Fun Night

Yesterday at school I got given a voucher for cheap bowling games at our local ten-pin. So last night, at around 6-ish, when we should have been thinking about what to do for dinner, we decided to go on a spontaneous family date instead. We took Mayana for her first ten-pin-bowling experience.

It was so. much. fun. Mayana was jumping around the house going, “Yay, we’re going bowling!!! Woohoo!!” Then she turned around and asked, “What’s bowling Mama?”

We explained that it was kind of like Angry Birds; you throw balls and try to knock things over. She totally got that.

And she totally loved bowling. We had the bumpers on our lane, and set her up with one of those stands, and she was off. She insisted on lugging the ball over all by herself, (despite warnings that she would burst her foo-foo bag") and would jump up and down exclaiming, “Go ball go!!!!” as we watched her ball meander slowly down the lane. She actually did quite a good job, and in our second game was beating me for a while! Next time we will only do one game, because she started to lose interest a little in the first part of the second. That was of course until they turned on the ‘party lights’, and then she found her second wind. In fact when the game was over, we had to hang around for an extra fifteen minutes so that she could dance in the party lights!

I also learned that bowling is somewhat of a feat when you’re 8 months pregnant. It’s not so easy to ‘bend with the ball’ (yes thinks for that Mr. Oettinger, year 10 bowling teacher,  I will forever have your voice in my head when I step up to the lane) when you’re carrying your very own bowling ball in front. I probably should have given in and used Mayana’s stand, as I’m definitely feeling it today!

Anyway, enough talk. I’m really pleased that we thought to take our DSLR with us last night instead of relying on phone photos, because this is a memory I’m going to treasure. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!


Ready to play real-life Angry Birds!


She would not accept any help. This is quite impressive when your ball literally weighs pretty close to half of your actual body weight.


Mayana was most intrigued by the way the ball somehow just popped back up for her to grab. The novelty of that didn’t wear off for the whole night.


Papa was on stand-by… just in case. We didn’t want to be losing any toes or anything!



Party lights!!! Which just happened to coincide with the playing of Mayana’s favourite song, Party Rock Anthem. Most exciting moment ever.


The final score. Mayana put up a pretty good fight!!


Dancing in the party lights.


I know they say pregnancy makes you glow… but this is ridiculous! Here’s Baby Two and I. 34 weeks today! Unreal huh?

The verdict? I’m pretty much 100% sure that there is another family bowling night in our future. We had a lot of fun, and Mayana is very keen to invite Opa, Kami (and maybe Oom J and Lala too) to her next bowling adventure!

What’s your favourite family date idea??

Friday, 16 March 2012

She makes me laugh...

// when she runs into our bedroom in the morning because, "My clock is green Mama!!!" and tells us, "it's time to get up Peeps."

// When she hides from her Papa every night before he comes into her room for prayers, but always gives herself away because she can't contain her giggles.

// When she insists that we should still call the baby Baby Two after he's born, because that's clearly his name. Though after much consideration, she concedes that she might call him Twinkle Twinkle Little Star (and that, friends, is why you don't let your kids name their siblings).

// When I get home from school and she asks me, "So, how was your day Mum?"

// When she can't possibly help with cooking without wearing her apron and chef hat, and needs convincing that the oven mitt should only really be worn when you're taking something out of the oven, not when you're stirring pikelet batter with a whisk.

// When Pete catches her at kindy, standing over her friends counting aloud as they do pushups. And when he asks what she is doing, she nonchalantly replies, "oh, just playing Biggest Loser with my friends."

// When her other kindy teacher asks her to bring a photo of her family for the wall, and in the car she tells me she wants to take the one from Camp Buma with her whole big family and Omie taking her hair off.

// When we're watching the movie 'Rio' and it depicts Carnival with all the singing and dancing and costumes, and she exclaims, "Look Mum! It's JUST like our (new years) party at Camp Buma!!!" because that's how awesome that party was to her.

// When she cries because Papa tells her that the girl Smurf is called Smurfette, when she's convinced it's Mama Smurf.

// When she tries to sneak a big mouthful of what she thinks is icing sugar but is actually flour from the pantry, and comes to find me with tears in her eyes because it's so yucky and her mouth is practically glued together.

// When she has conversations with 'her girls' (the chooks), who absolutely adore her and follow her around everywhere.

// When she tells me that Dorothy, her Bristle Nose/Sucker fish is "not a real big swimmer, she just likes to sit around and eat the scraps".

// When she sets up musical chairs with her dollhouse furniture, because it's the best game ever (and another cherished Camp Buma memory).

// When she tried to make a bargain that the next time she fills up her sticker chart she should get some pet birds.

// When she tells Pete almost every day that "this would be a good day for pancakes for breakfast".

// When she snuggles in with Pete and I in the morning and says, "You guys are my best buddies ever!"

Seriously, this kid makes me smile and laugh every single day. I love her guts!

Thursday, 15 March 2012

My head right now:

Woah, I'm pregnant... Like, really pregnant. I'm having a baby in a matter if weeks. I totally have a person inside of me right now. A boy person. With boy bits. Far out! And I have to give birth again. Really soon. And I know how much it hurts this time! Must start reading some childbirth books. And I pretty much don't like any of the boy names I've come across. And I read a whole baby name book. I don't want to be one of those people whose kid has no name for weeks after they're born. Plus the poor kid's room is still full of boxes and pieces of the cot and all of my baby clothes are pink. And I've somehow timed it that I don't finish work until 2 weeks before my due date. What am I crazy!!? I already practically pass out from lack of oxygen because of reduced lung capacity every time I have to walk up the stairs there, what am I going to be like at 38 weeks?? And Pete has to take annual leave if he wants time off for the baby's first few days, which is fine except that he has to put in for it 4 weeks in advance. He only wants to have a week, what if the baby doesn't come on time!? And last time I had a newborn he was home with me 100% of the time, what if I can't cope on my own? This whole pregnancy has been a whirlwind. It seems like only yesterday I was peeing on a stick and too scared to trust those two beautiful lines! How did I get here already?

Seriously, I can't wait to meet my baby, I am already more in love with him than words can say, but right now I need my head to SHUT UP so I can get some sleep!!

Monday, 12 March 2012

A Peek At My Week

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Another week down, and here’s your resident broken record here to say, “Boy did it go fast!!!”


We had a bit of excitement to begin the week, waking up to a very intense rain storm. The rain was blowing in sideways in sheets, and there was so much of it! Peter wasn’t supposed to work but got called in because all of his colleagues were flooded out. He went to work for the day, and ended up with only four kids… one of whom was Mayana and one was his assistant’s son!

I got to work fine. Only about 30 kids turned up, although most of the staff were there. By about 10am kids and teachers from various parts of town had been told to go home, or they would be spending the night at school. There ended up only being 3 left in my department, and probably less than 20 people in the whole school. For the most part though the worst was over. Of course the bridges stayed flooded for ages because of the impact of the tides, and the water coming in from upstream. Some parts of town were without power for 30 hours! Fun times indeed.

School last week was a bit of a whirlwind.. what with our muddled up Monday, and a trip to Gladstone to visit families on Friday, it felt like it was over before it began! The Gladstone day was huge.. we arrived at school at 5.30am and didn’t get home until well after 7pm. Then Peter and I did another hour-and-a-half of driving to spend a weekend at ‘home’. Pete and my dad had a man-date with ‘the block’ (we hardly saw the boys all weekend), and Mayana and I enjoyed hanging out with Mum and my sister. Have a look at that to-die-for hot chocolate up there. It came with lovely hot milk and this massive hunk of the most delectable Belgian style chocolate I’ve ever tasted. The idea was to stir it around in the hot milk to make it into hot chocolate. My word. Seriously amazing, I’m totally drooling just thinking about it!

It was lovely to have a weekend with the family. Poor Mayana’s weekend was a bit spoiled when she got a gross tummy bug on Sunday and puked all over the tables at Jamaica Blue where we were coffee-ing after church. Oh it was gross, and a pregnant Mama is NOT the one to be able to deal with things like that. Luckily, my sister nurse-in-training Alexie was there and she took it all in her stride and had my poor little honey cleaned up before we knew it.

She was fine by the time we got home, and today you wouldn’t even know anything had been wrong with her!

Pregnancy-wise the 31st week has slipped by reasonably uneventfully. I’ve had plenty of people starting to ask me, “Oh it mustn’t be long now!!!”. I reply, “About 8 or so weeks”, and they wince and say, “Oh you poor thing.”

So I must be looking fairly hugungous. I know I feel it. I like it though because the less room the baby has the more I can feel his movements, and the easier it is for Peter and Mayana and whoever else is there at the time to feel them too. And he moves a LOT!

I must admit after an hour long online class with my grade 1 and 2 students, and 3 Prep library classes (my only on-campus classes of the week) and a bus duty on Thursday, I was pretty much dead and beginning to wonder if I was completely insane to be coming back after the holidays, even if it is only for five days! I’m incredibly glad and blessed that I am a Distance Education teacher at the moment, because I know for sure that I would not be able to work until two weeks before my due date if I was in the classroom!

I’ve been experiencing a greater amount of heartburn, and a much smaller amount of sleep (and often the two are linked). Last night I had a bout of what was either very horrific gastric reflux or a gall bladder attack, with incredible pain in my upper back and gut. It brought tears to my eyes and I could hardly breath, it was quite terrifying. Thankfully with the help of a heat pillow and a wonderful husband it eased after about half an hour. If it had lasted much longer I think I would have been heading to the hospital because it was very scary! My mum says she had similar when she was pregnant with my brother (I actually remember when she had it). The first time she had it that bad she thought she was having a heart attack, and now I can totally understand why. Here’s praying that it was a one-off, and I don’t have to go through that again!

I have three more weeks to go at school (including this week) and then two weeks holiday (during which I’ll be turning 25 and we’ll be going to Easterfest.. WOOHOO!!) and then that last week after the holidays and I’m done! It’s kind of intoxicating to think about having the rest of the year off!

I hope you’ve had a fabulous week too, I’d love to hear all about it!

Sunday, 4 March 2012

A Peek At My Week

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Another week, another blog post! It’s been mostly the same-old-same old this week for the Friends. Another busy work-filled week, with snippets of family wherever we can squeeze them in.

I put in my leave notice for work this week, and I have an official end-date: April 20. So that’s 7 more weeks of work, and 2 of those are school holidays! Crazy stuff! I’m so excited, I can’t wait to be home with my girl.

Speaking of the girl, she had a very exciting dance class this week. Not only did she get given a special part for the concert at the end of the year, but she also won one of the prizes that get given out each week. Hers was for being a fabulous listener. I was a very proud Mama to hear her name being called out for the prize. She was grinning from ear to ear for the rest of the day. Her prize was a pencil with a rainbow rubber attached, and it has been used to create many wonderful pictures this week.

I reached the 31 week mark of my pregnancy this week, and can’t believe that the weekly countdown is into single digits. I guess at some point soon we should get rid of the rest of those boxes out of our spare room, and start to turn it into the baby’s room! I was having a look back through my blog of when I was pregnant with Mayana, and we definitely had the nursery arranged by this point. I feel a bit slack. Hopefully Baby Two doesn’t feel too neglected. I hit the local library to try and find some birthing information and was quite underwhelmed at their range of pregnancy books. They had two shelves of books on menopause, and about half a shelf of pregnancy-related books, and quite a number of those were midwifery textbooks. So hopefully I can find some child-birthing mojo in one of them!

Mayana and I took a whirlwind road trip to Mundubbera yesterday to celebrate her second cousin Keira’s second birthday. Peter had to stay home to go to a First Aid course for work, so it was just us girls. We had a good day, and Mayana was a good traveller. I myself and still recovering from the nearly 5 hours of driving I did yesterday, but it was totally worth it.

Today we’ve had a lazy afternoon. We had plans to go to the beach, but once again the weather threw a spanner in the works, despite Mayana’s earnest and heart-felt prayers for the rain to stop. So we did lots of ‘making’ (painting/collage etc), watched TV and ate potato gems for lunch. It was nice to have a lazy afternoon after our busy week. It’s pouring here at the moment, and I’m looking forward to going to sleep to the sound of the rain on our roof. It’s one of my favourite things.

Hope you had a great weekend too!

Zoey x

Thursday, 1 March 2012

The Great Chilli Escapade of 2012

On Wednesday afternoon, Peter and  I had this brilliant plan to make some sweet chilli sauce with the hundred thousand tiny birds-eye chillies growing on the bush in our garden. Oh we were so, so stupid, and if I could rewind time to that moment and decide to go back inside and make banana cake instead, I would.


It started off pretty enough, the chillies were so gorgeous and bright and red, and I had a ripper recipe ready to go.

But as I cut those babies in half and scooped out their hot little seeded insides, my fingers began to develop a tingle. I got half way through my job before I couldn’t handle it anymore. Which was when Peter took over.

By then my fingers weren’t so much tingling as, oh I don’t know… on freaking fire!

Pete finished off the chopping, and I got them into the saucepan doing their thing. That’s how committed I was.

At about that stage, Peter’s hands started to burn too. Within half an hour, both of us were in such agony. It literally felt like you were holding your hand in a pot of boiling water. I started to develop welts on some of my fingers. Oh my word.

I jumped online (as you do) and googled, “How to stop chilli burning your hands”. I found all kinds of suggestions, including oil, salt, vinegar, milk, aloe vera. I can promise you with the greatest certainty, NONE of them work. Not one. Not even a little bit.

We started laughing. Because it was all just so ridiculous. But honestly, I don’t know that I have ever hurt that much before! Pete decided to ring the Nurse’s line, and between fits of giggles explained our predicament. It really, really wasn’t even a little bit funny, but we have a good enough sense of humour between us that we could hear how silly the whole story sounded.

The nurse told us that there really wasn’t much more to try aside from the things we had already done. We would just have to wait it out. If it got really bad we could go down to Emergency, and they would give us a shot of antihistamine, which may or may not make a difference. Oh and they may not have given it to me anyway, being 30 weeks pregnant and all.  Pete went to buy some ice for us, since our hands were burning so badly that cold water from the tap actually burned them more, and we had used up all the cold water we had in the fridge.

The ice water was the only thing that offered any relief, but it was very temporary. For one, as soon as you took your hand out the pain came back with a vengeance; for two, as your hands became more pruned, the pores opened up and the chilli somehow seemed to soak in even deeper. It was crazy!!!

We finally got to bed, leaving our house in an absolute shambles because we were literally unable to do anything, our hands were completely useless to us! We lay in bed and tried to sleep, in-between groaning and exclaiming at each other how much it hurt!

It wasn’t until somewhere between 11pm and midnight that the pain finally started to ease. About 6 or 7 hours after the whole debacle began. It was literally all of a sudden, we both realised that it wasn’t hurting as much anymore. We were so relieved we nearly cried. And then we slept. Being in so much pain is exhausting!

The next day, we both were back to tingling fingers, but none of the pain from the night before. Thank the LORD!!!

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So now we’re stuck with three jars of this. We both twitch a little whenever we see it. We have decided to call it Hell Sauce, because it is as hot as hades. Seriously.

And just for the record, I used twice the volume of capsicum as that of chillies to try and tone it down a bit. I think I would have been better to use, say, 4 chillies to about 3 capsicums, and that might have been a little bit palatable.

I am never, EVER touching chillies without wearing gloves again. That’s if I can even bring myself to touch a chilli again full stop!

My Little Artiste

Like I mentioned the other day, Mayana has a new-found love of drawing. It’s her new afternoon routine to come home and draw picture after picture, then ask me to write down the story behind her pictures. I may be a little biased, but I think for a only-just-three year old, her drawings are pretty special!!



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