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Lotsa pics

Need to catch up on pics.

We have moved house. We are now living in Andrew's childhood home. Our first night there we bought take away and ate our feast on the handmade Fijian reed mat given to us by Em and Kemu.

After moving house and eating dinner we all did this.

A recent visit to Andrew's folks. Elliot is wet from trying to lick the water from their water fountain.
Note the baby belly in the background. Awwwww!

Having a cuddle with Pa.

Last Sat we went down the street in Whittlesea to pick up a parcel which hadn't been redirected (grrrr!) and found it impossible to avoid the Country Music Festival. One musiciam had a bunch of kids guitars for the audience to play with, so we were stuck there for a little while.

In the parcel was possibly the 3rd most annoying toy Elliot has ever received. But he loves it!!!! He thinks it's hilarious to watch Elmo fall on the floor in hysterical laughter.

We escaped from record high temperatures (46+ degrees) and a dodgy radiator by playing with Elmo in a semi-deserted shopping centre.

We came home to find our hills alight. There are flames low on the horizon and a bit higher too.
We left pretty quickly, glad to have an empty house to leave and a safe one to go to. (We bunked at Nana and Pa's because the roads were blocked heading north).

This was the view as we turned out of our street.  Beautiful Mt Disappointment was obliterated by fire and smoke.

By this time our friends, 5 minutes up the road, had already lost their lives to this fire. But we didn't know that until a few days later.

Enough has been said about the bushfires raging around us. I have no words for how I feel with news every day of more people we have lost or who have lost their homes.
Please stay safe.

Play day with Em and Kemu

Auntie Em has been overseas (again!) for months on end, and is nicking off again (again!) to play in the Pacific Islands. She thinks it's a real job, but how can that much fun be real work? You should see the photos! (Yes, Em, I am allowed to tease you mercilessly!)

She and Kemu came to visit Australia for a few days, and we were excited to be able to catch up again.

Whenever we go to Auntie Em's house there is an unwritten rule that we must go on the train. You should see the result of not going on the train on a visit to Em's house. Tears and more tears!

So after hogging in to some Sachertorte (delicious rich Austrian chocolate cake best served with good coffee) which Andrew and I made, we took a short train trip.

Oooh! A train is coming!

Tuckered out from the excitement of the morning.

Awake again just in time to play at the station and be impatient about the return trip.

And a mandatory group shot of everyone except for the woman with the belly.

We're moving house this week, going back home to the country. So I'm not sure how long it will be until we have internet again. (We're changing providers because up there we will have more than a choice of two lousy and expensive connections. We may even be able to step out of the dark ages and get more than a 512kb connection.ADSL2?  Wouldn't that be amazing!).

Have fun in the Pacific again, Em and Kemu. I wonder if you'll be back before or after your second niece/nephew is born...

Mushroom boy

Just a few pics to appease the growling relatives...



I made the outfit from scratch for under $1. T-shirt fabric was given to me, pants fabric from my growing stash, mushroom print bought the other day.

Pics of the boy

I have been neglecting Elliot's adoring Aunties. Here are some photos of your favourite nephew.

Elliot loves being pulled around the backyard in the billycart which Daddy made. Note the funky pants I made from some op-shopped fabric.

Elliot likes playing on the ropes course at Scouts even if he is a little bit small for it. ;)

Speaking of Scouts...

Elliot likes to put on his Scout shirt any day of the week just to play in.

And on this particular occasion he was playing with his Canadian giant teddy (which goes everywhere with him) and his Tonka truck which we bought for him 8 years ago.

And just for something completely different...
If you haven't already heard, Elliot is expecting to be a big brother next Autumn!

This was the first package of gifts for the baby we have received.
Sometimes on these chilly winter/spring evenings/mornings/all day I take a lesson from Shan's book and spend some time in my dressing gown. Andrew and Elliot bought it for me for my first Mother's Day back when I was pregnant with Elliot.

This photo may shock some people who know of my general distain for all things pink. Along with my dressing gown (affectionately known as my "Pink Fluffy Marshmallow") I am also wearing my pink camo CanTeen bandana.

Sometimes Elliot snuggles in to be wrapped up cosy in my Marshmallow too. It's annoying because he is so fussy about wanting to have his toes covered, and he squirms about! But the way he asks for "snuggw" is too cute to be denied.

And this is the result of getting a toddler to help you make your belated birthday cake. I was sad about turning 30 without a chocolate cake, so I bought my favourite packet mix, gave Elliot a spoon, and ignored the chocolate mess covering every wall.
This is Elliot taking a self-portrait of himself. Can you imagine the results if I had let him help with the icing?!?!?

He was so cheeky! I asked him to stir and I turned my back to get the next ingredient. I turned back to find him with his finger in the cake and quickly into his mouth. I wonder where he gets that from? Andrew said, "At least he's not as bad as you". Yes, I have been known to have signigficantly smaller cakes due to all the pre-cooking tasting.

He's Two Already!!!

A few pics to show off our little two year old boy. People keep commenting on how big he is, but my standard response is, "I hear it's an occupational hazard". Gets a few laughs and a few groans.

Elliot's birthday festivities began by having our mothers' group come and play. Six children were able to come (including two baby siblings, not pictured), and we played with playdough and ate yummy food. Nothing fancy, but it was fun. Instead of giving out the traditional lolly bags we sent each family home with a nice ball of pink playdough. A big hit!

The other mums bought us some lovely and much needed socks and singlets (all set now) and a great Thomas the Tank Engine t-shirt. (pics below).

We decided to spend the actual birthday at home, all nice and relaxed. Unfortunately the same happened this time as last time - everyone called and/or came to visit. It was an exhausting day for us all. Next year it will be on a Saturday, so my vote is that we go away for the weekend with our phones turned off!

We did escape to the shopping centre for a bit. We went to spend Elliot's gift voucher from Annette and Ray. Elliot chose to buy a train called Gordon. Well, he originally chose Toby but we knew he was getting that the next day, so we encouraged him to change his mind. Hehehe! Here's Elliot enjoying his new train.

The next day we saw Nana and Pa and Auntie Em where he was innundated with more TtTE train gifts...  (note the TtTE t-shirt)

...and took them to Kerrisdale to ride on the mini-train.

We spent the next day at Hurstbridge's Wattle Festival where we were able to ride a real steam train for one hour for the grand sum of $10 for the three of us. Elliot had a window seat and spent the entire hour hanging out the window, giggling at other kids also hanging out windows, making tooting noises, and getting generally excited about riding on "Thomas". Of course it's Thomas, who else could it be? Even though it's painted black, in Australia, and looks nothing like Thomas the Tank Engine. *sigh* Oh well.

And on the previous weekend we were just sitting around relaxing, right?


We went on a 30km hike with three teenage boys. I didn't have to wear a pack because all my stuff and Elliot's stuff was in the Croozer. I think everyone else enjoyed it much more than I did. I just wasn't in the mood to not feel my fingers and toes because of the cold. And while it was fun, it was also much harder than the previous times when we've done this hike because this time I had to chase Elliot everywhere and he spent a lot of time crying. We didn't realise he was going to go on a teething binge on the weekend, so I forget to pack any medicine. Lots of milky cured the situation, fortunately.

Here's Elliot and Andrew as we were heading home from the Cascades.

And here are our adventurous Scouts.

Elliot knows how to say Scott's name, but he renamed Shane and Eric as "Bob-Bob" and "Scoop" (ie from Bob the Builder). Andrew thanked the boys for being so accomodating of Elliot, and they replied "But we loooooove Elliot". And they do. The feeling is mutual. When he goes to Scouts he stands next to his favourite Scout (Alyssa) and holds her hand during parade. He does the Scout sign when we invest a new Scout and he salutes when he sees the Scouts do it. It is seriously cute! We didn't teach him, he just started wanting to be like the Scouts. He asks to dress up in his uniform all the time and has learnt to say "Scoot" (ie Scout).and "scarf".

Craft Maths 101

Question: What do you get when you add an early 30th birthday present:

with a piece of hideous orange terry towelling?
           (No pic, it really was too hideous)

Answer: some really funky orange cloth wipes!

THANKS MUTTI AND BAPA!!!!!!!!!!!!! It is really easy to drive.

Croozing around

A question few people ask out loud: What happens to the money we dole out in lieu of birthday presents?

Well, we save it all up and go shopping for one big ticket item we would usually not be able to get. This time we spent all our birthday money at once, and only had to add in $10 of our own money. We are both 30 this year, so there was a little more cashola floating around than usual.

Introducing our new family pet: The Croozer.

In case you want to see what it actually looks like, check out their website. Actually that's a pretty lame website, it doesn't really show off the product at all. It's a bike trailer to put your chickens into and drag them around with you. It also converts to a jogger (big front wheel) or a stroller (small jockey wheel). The photo below is incorrect because you take off the handlebar when you use it as a bike trailer (#2). It has a mesh cover and a plastic cover. It is really well designed and intuituve.

The top photo shows our trip to a property near Greenvale Reservoir on the weekend - Woodlands Historic Park and Homestead. It has been almost 3 years since we used our bikes, so considering that, we did really well. The Croozer is easy to tow, and now that I have put the tow bar on properly (Andrew wouldn't believe me that it goes on the other way) it works very well and it easy to turn corners with. We went into town yesterday (15 minute ride), and Elliot wore his new helmet and took dolly for a ride this time. He wouldn't take his helmet off and he wouldn't leave dolly behind in the Croozer. He looked like such a cute toddler with his helmet and doly under his arm in the bakery and the mobile library.

Elliot will be awake any second now, so I'd better stop waffling and show the other pics I have for you. But before that, check out the friend Elliot had in the Croozer. He was so stoked to take his friend along, he even got me to dress him. That's our Canadian teddy in some of Elliot's clothes. It turned out to be a good thing because we needed that change of clothes when Elliot went jumping in puddles.

This is a Little Turtle Knits Hybrid Rib Soaker made of the yummiest NZ Organic Treliske Merino wool. It was delicious to knit. I am so proud of my short rows. They are almost completely invisible in this. YAY!
Andrew is asking me to knit up another in a night weight wool - what a good idea! More knitting! Hooray!

Speaking of knitting, check out the jumper Oma made for Elliot. It's got quite an interesting pattern on the front, made on a knitting machine.

Awww! He looks so cute in knitted clothes. It will be sad when Summer rolls around again. Elliot was painting at the window whie watching Daddy and Pa work on the veggie patch. Elliot gets sad when he's not allowed to play with Daddy, but power tools are not for babies, are they? Fortunately the painting kept him happy for quite a time.
Gotta go. Elliot will be awake any second and I really need a cuppa to keep me sane this afternoon. Maybe we'll go for another ride into town?

Woolley warmth

Not much time for words today. I have a squirmy-worm on my lap listening to Auntie Em's Ella Fitzgerald cd and he won't sit still for long.

First up - matching beanie and jumper from our lovely next door neighbour, Enid. Beautiful soft Cleckheaton woolley goodness I bought in a garage sale for $2. She was supposed to knit for her charity from this wool. Tut-tut!

Isn't it wonderful! We get so many compliments on our knits from Enid.

Note the lovely watermelon nappy. I have always wanted this nappy and I finally found someone wiling to part with one in exchange for some pink cotton velour.

Next up is Elliot with his beoved Auntie Em. I love it when Em comes to visit because she entertains Elliot so that I have the occassional moment to breathe or eat - uncommon luxuries these days.

And just to round off a woolley post - me in my latest creation: a calorimetry headband in Blue Fish Super Bulky Corriedale blogged about here.

Feeling the nuggetty love?

I hope you're feeling the love. Three times I've posted this month so far, and we've only just hit double digits.

Today's topic: Elliot's finicky eating habits. It's not that I'm worried, but I'm just trying to make sure I've covered all the bases in encouraging him to eat his evening meal. So today he helped me cook. I've heard that when kids get involved in the prep they're more enthusiastic about the finished product.

I chopped the chicken into little bits and Elliot had great fun squelching them around in a bowl of flour. He helped put the pieces in the egg/milk wash, but he was definitely not a fan of the texture of that bowl. And by the time we got to the breadcrumb bowl he was a little more enthusiastic. But once it came time to put the crumbed nuggets on a plate - woah! He was keen on that bit!

He also enjoyed putting the chopped vegies in a bowl for me as I finished chopping up each ingredient (we had salad with our nuggets tonight). Ah! And he played the valuable role of taste-tester for our salad. As someone who used to eat half the salad before it got into the salad bowl when I was little, I wholeheartedly agree that it tastes better that way.

By the time we sat to eat, Elliot was (as usual) more interested in sticking his fork in his water cup than actually putting any food in his mouth. Oh well. At least I know he ate some cooked chicken and salad when we were taste-testing the finished product in the kitchen. Perhaps if I feed him in there...?