Monday, 24 March 2014

Weekly brain dump

Argh! This week has broken my brain several times over. Lack of sleep has left me sobbing on the loo at four in the morning because I couldn't believe I was awake again, walking round the house with a baby strapped to my chest, and learning how to eat, pee and put washing on while moving with such smooth elegance and poise so that I wouldn't wake up the baby I was so desperate to keep asleep!

It was four-month immunisation time this week. Oh how I love needle time (sarcasm senses tingling?)! Gracie does so well at the actual event, sits up tall on my lap as I am forced to hold her little body as close to mine as possible. She cries because the needle startles her and then we rotate to do the other leg. A big cuddle and a booby after it's all done and she's back to being her cute little self.  It's in the hours that follow that the real effects start to take hold and my gorgeous little cuddle bear becomes a howling, drooling, puking, non-sleeping monster baby.  It's completely not her fault, but oh man does it make for a rotten week all round!


We just got our health insurance renewal notice only to find out the premiums are going up to a whopping $265 a month!  My brain hurts just thinking about this.  So I have been madly calling and inquiring with different insurers regarding switching to lower levels and lower priced companies and it turns out we're getting just about the best deal we can considering the need for top hospital to cover IVF.  Boo!


Next week is Hubby's birthday.  He's requested to postpone all birthday celebrations until later in April because of our crappy chock-a-block schedules.  So instead we'll just have a nice dinner at home and I'll make his favourite chocolate cake.  I had a big birthday present idea all lined up, but as per his request that too will wait...

I've noticed I'm getting pretty slack with this whole weekly brain dump idea.  I'd like to keep it going if people are really interested in reading it.  Also, I find it hard to gauge if anyone is reading these days.  It's ok if you're not.  I just need to establish who my target audience is/if I still have an audience, so I can cater to your needs better.  I'm working on a bit of an idea to start getting you all more involved, but recent lack of time and brain activity have slowed the progress of this idea, so I'll keep you posted!
Drop me a line some time.  Drop by my Facebook page.  Let me know you're stilling hanging in there!  

 post signature

Thursday, 20 March 2014

It's inevitable, isn't it?

As I lay in bed feeding Gracie this morning I gently leaned over and grabbed my phone from under the pillow. My alarm was quietly buzzing away and as I swiped the screen to tell it to shut the heck up I noticed a pair of little eyes staring up at me.  This was followed closely by a tiny hand stretching up to grab the phone from my hand.

I didn't want us to have those kids. The kind that pop out into the world and immediately become addicted to technology. But it's inevitable isn't it?! If a smart phone can already draw the attention of a four month old, while feeding no less, what hope do I have of keeping her sheltered from it all?.  She's already so atune to the visual stimuli that comes in the form of a tv or computer screen, the touch of an iPhone or the pressing of a remote control. Though at the moment I wonder how much of this fascination is about what is happening on the screen and the beautiful bright colours or if she is pondering whether she can fit it in her mouth.  Either way she's already way too clever and I know it won't take her long to figure it all out. 

It's hard to imagine that our children will grow up never knowing a time before the internet, Facebook, smart phones and the digital age. When I was a kid we had one of those old Commodore desktop computers. It didn't even live in the house, instead it held its place in Dad's shed on top of an old filing cabinet full of tools and other Dad stuff.  My Dad held a big, fancy, very technical job in the RAAF and as a result worked with computers all day every day. We inherited the old Commodore second-hand when they were upgrading to Apple Macintoshs on the base. My brother and I loved it, but we had no idea what it's real purpose was. Instead we played with it on a blank black screen, it's neon green cursor flashing away at us, as we pretended we worked in a bank or a newspaper, typing jibberish just to see new letters appear on the screen.  

When the Commodore died we were upgraded to another second-hand beauty, but this time it was a Mac. Like an original Macintosh desktop before they became the IT computer to own. We weren't even hipsters!!  The Mac was even more fun for me and my brother because it actually had a few programs we could use, AND it was moved inside the house!  Our favourite program was called "Say it Sam". It was pretty simple, you typed a word, any word, and Sam would read it back in his robot-like voice. At first we typed our names over and over just to laugh at how he pronounced them. But as we got more confident and cheeky we started typing in naughty words. Bum, poo, fart, willy... All the words we weren't allowed to use ourselves.  You get the idea. Pretty soon Sam became a bit of a potty-mouth and we were only allowed to use him when Mum was in the room. 

I think the modern equivalent of Say it Sam would be Siri. Except she actually does the things you say. I can't tell you how many times I've accidentally held down the home button and activated her by mistake only to end up googling something along the lines of "oh f$@k off Siri!"  Anyhoo, I guess what I'm trying to get at is that the technology we grew up with was quite innocent. I'm sure if Sam had of searched poo or willy as many times as we made him say it the computer would have been taken out the back and set on fire. Now all phones and computers are connected to the internet. Siri doesn't know the difference between me accidentally pressing her buttons and speaking to her and a child doing the same. Our kids will always know what a Siri is, and they'll always know how to use her, even if it's not me who teaches them.  And the internet can be a really scary place. 

Am I naive to think that I can stop the technology bug from spreading?  That I can shelter my kids from things like Xbox online and Facebook when I myself use them in plain sight. Can I stop my children from demanding their first smart phone or tablet at the age of five because their school friends have one and they don't?  I just don't know...


Monday, 17 March 2014

Weekly brain dump

Oh heck, I'm late again...

It's been a big week of emotion in our great state of Queensland. This week we saw the harrowing conclusion to one of the most heinous crimes our state has ever seen, the abduction and murder of 13 year old Daniel Morcombe. Stolen from his home town in December 2003, his family began the ten year search to find him and bring him home. Sadly though this ultimately resulted in the unearthing of remains and a devastated family. 

I was 17 when this crime first happened. Daniel was taken doing something that any teenager, including myself, would be doing on any given day; waiting for a bus to head to the shops.  He never caught that bus, and from the moment they knew he was missing his incredible family began a nation-wide search to find him. As time passed they never gave up, they only grew stronger in their resolve to find Daniel and make the country a safer place for all children. 

On Thursday the key suspect in his disappearance was convicted for murder, and on Friday he was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment. And as I sat on my couch, eyes glued to the TV along with so many other Australians, I wept. I wept for his parents, his brothers and his extended family. I wept for those in the jury and the judge who had to make such a decision and listen to weeks of testimony and evidence. I wept for a final just result. A sick, depraved and evil man will now live out what may be the last of his days behind bars and never be able to harm another child.

This result can't bring back their beautiful boy, but I pray that it brings them some peace of mind. They fought tooth and nail to find their son and they did not fail him. They should be so proud of the efforts they have made, the changes they have brought about to ensuring child safety is a priority in our country. They are remarkable people.

In lighter news the March birthday madness is off to a great start! We've been to two birthday parties in two weeks, celebrating with Gracie's Auntie K and our gorgeous little friend Mimi.  I love birthdays because birthdays mean cake. And I LOVE cake!


My brain hurts. And I mean literally aches. We've been fighting off some kind of nasty head bug this week and so far we've won for the most part. Instead of full-blown cold or flu it's only managed to cause relatively minor damage with a snotty nose for Miss G and a four day migraine and earache for me and Sunny Hubby.  Why do migraines make you feel like your eyes will pop out of your head? All I want to do is drink hot tea and close my eyes. 

And lastly a little Gracie update because I'm so excited about it. She's finally making moves towards crawling. After weeks and months of protesting tummy-time she's now able to push her upper body off the ground using her arms. Her little legs wiggle like crazy in an attempt to move forwards, but mostly she's just scuttling backwards. She can change direction though. We've been placing toys just out of arms reach in different places for her and one-by-one she can wriggle around to them all. It's so freakin' cute! 

How's your week been?
Have you too been following the Morcombe's? What are your thoughts/reactions? 

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Weekly brain dump

Oops, I'm running a bit late with last weeks dumpage. Ah well... I might combine two weeks worth and then get back on track next week. I can do that, since it's my blog and all. Haha!

Gracie reached a significant milestone this week, four months old. Her precious face no longer resembles the tiny baby that she once was, she now looks like a little girl. I look at her and see the toddler she'll grow into. I'm loving this stage of her growth. She is so clever and cute. I watch her learn a new skill every day. It really is remarkable. 

She's still struggling with her teething. Still no show of those pegs!  We've started her on first taste foods too. She doesn't mind rice porridge and she's pretty good with a pumpkin-carrot-sweet potato combo. She's not too keen on apple or fruit combo just yet. This change of diet has given her a bit of constipation unfortunately, so she spends most of her day drooling and grunting. Haha!



Autumn is here! I'm very much looking forward to some cooler weather, though we're not going to experience that for a while here in Queensland. So far we've still been coping with 30'C and over days, though we have had some rain which I love! 

My garden certainly is appreciating the change in weather too. I recently purchased some discounted dahlias from our garden centre which we on sale due to their wilting leaves. But after a good prune and some rain they have come up quite beautifully. 



I've been having lots of nightmares this last week or so.  I don't really know what they are about, as I only remember minor details, but there is the reoccurring theme of protecting Gracie from something evil.  I think it has something to do with the tension in my family at the moment.  I've also been grinding my teeth which leaves me with a mega headache.  Bloody family!!


March kicks off mega birthday month in the Sunny-side of the family.  It feels as though there is a birthday every other day during March!  Don't believe me, here's what my calendar looks like...


Those are ALL birthdays! 


Our home currently looks like a baby obstacle course, and by that I mean there are baby toys, baths, chairs, play mats, etc., all over the dang place.  The challenge is to be able to walk from the lounge to the kitchen or up the stairs to our bedrooms without tripping, bashing a knee, scraping an elbow or cursing your brains out. I've got to find somewhere to store the outgrown bath and the multiple baby seats when not in use. 


And lastly, I was able to negotiate an awesome return-to-work date with my amazing boss this week. I am over the moon that I'll be able to stay home with my little G until after her first birthday. A combination of saved up annual leave and parental leave means I will have a total of 13months of maternity leave altogether and it's all paid!! Woot woot!! So all those years of not taking holidays has finally paid off!!

How's your fortnight been?  Are you sick of these little brain dumps yet?  Is anybody out there? 

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Ma's Chocolate Slice

150g melted butter
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tspn vanilla essence
1/2 cup plain flour
1/3 cup self-raising flour
1/3 cup cocoa
3/4 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup extra coconut

1 1/2 cups icing mixture
1/3 cup cocoa 
1 tspn soft butter
1/2 tspn vanilla essence
boiling water to mix

  1. Preheat oven to 180'C (160'C fan forced).  Grease and line a 20 x 30cm lamington tray.
  2. Place melted butter, brown sugar, egg and essence in bowl.  Stir until well combined. 
  3. Sift in flours and cocoa.  Add coconut and stir through. 
  4. Pour into baking tray and bake for 20-30mins, or until firm to touch (surface may crack slightly while cooking).
  5. To make the icing combine icing sugar and cocoa in bowl with essence and butter.  Gradually add boiling water, mixing with each addition, until mixture is desired consistency.  (I usually make the icing slightly runny for the slice)
  6. When slice is out of the oven pour icing mixture over top while still warm and spread evenly.  Sprinkle with coconut and serve!