Mama Chameleon

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Well Rounded Boy
Due to his tummy upset/bug thingamy, Topsy has been whingy and needing lots of extra cuddles the last two days.
This afternoon, I wanted to make muffins for when the kids got home from school, so when I heard Topsy waking up and crying in his cot as I was just getting all the ingredients assembled, I rolled my eyes and and muttered, 'Great, I'll never get the jolly things baked now!'
But upon getting His Cuteness up, I spotted in the top cupboard of his closet, a box I haven't used for the kids in ages....the kitchen toys.
That is- several tea party sets, plus toy cooking utensils and food.
Topsy is still enthralled some 2 and a half hours later. Check it out!
( oh, and I did get those muffins cooked!)

Create Your Own!

Posted by michelle :: 4:09 pm :: 8 comments links to this post

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Short and Unedited!

Ah, sitting down to pen some thoughts. What a concept! We have certainly hit the road running, though I am finding most of it fun.

For the last two days Topsy has had tummy cramps and diahorrea (sp?)with his cold, poor possum. So I have spent more time, holding, cuddling and rubbing his tummy than getting ahead with other things. He seems to be much improved today.

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My blogger buddy Funny Farm's hubby came over yesterday to show me how to clip Maisy the duck's wings, so she will no longer be able to fly out of her home into yards where rabid dogs lie in eager anticipation. Somehow, i don't think Maisy was quacking any thankyous out to me! She relished her independance, that sense of living on the edge.

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I have this idea that due to the asthma, croup and migraines my kids sporadically get, it might be helpful to try eating organic. So since we got back from our holiday, we have been baking our own bread (well, OK, the bread maker has!)

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We are putting in an above-ground veggie and herb garden next week. This is also to give the kids something of their own to tend and nurture outside. As far as dessert goes I am searching for color-free icecream. At first we wondered about getting an icecream maker, but read some bad reviews about ice cream makers in general. Any of you have a different experience with them?

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Topsy had his first Mommy and Me swimming class on Friday. We got in 5 minutes early
so he could play before the leasson. Little did I know that the instructor is the same lady who taught my other three last year, and who is notorious for being late. so by the time the lesson started, we had been in the water nearly 20 minutes, and Topsy was shivering (even though it was an inside heated pool in the big town where the kids go to school).
He is not too fond of getting his face submerged, but the classes are designed to make it a gradual and fun process. We sang songs while doing the actions with our bubs, and played games where they learn to feel comfortable and learn to gain a sense of balance in the water. Of course Topsy will not know how to swim for years, and I won't always take him to these lessons, but he is so in love with water at the moment, I thought 'Why not?'
As for the other three kidlets, they will share the same lesson with a local instructor in our town's swimming pool, starting next week!

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Woops, screaming baby alert, will post this and go.
Talk soon!

Posted by michelle :: 10:20 am :: 3 comments links to this post

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Sunday, October 29, 2006

Quick Pics! Attempt # 343
Just a few pics for ya!

This morning (Saturday) we had these for breakfast. Sticky buns.... yummy.
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Later on when I put on a CD called Lovely Jubbly , (double click on the link, and then double click on the 'Try it Now' link to hear small samples of the songs. Topsy's favorite song is 5, followed by 7. ) Anyways, Topsy heard his favorite song and came running in to hold onto our hands for the 'jump around together while holding hands' dance!

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Then a helicopter landed on our football field with a couple of players from my Mom's favorite football team. Quite a big deal here. I am still not sure why they came, but anywys, it was fun!

Create Your Own!

This afternoon, Spindles had excitedly walked us through a craft he really loved at school this week. You know the one: Color a piece of paper thoroughly with all colors of crayons. Paint the whole thing with black paint, then before it dries, use the wrong end of the paintbrush to write a note on the paper. It looks so pretty!

Guess what! We ate green bean casserole for dinner tonight, and it was yummy delicious! Hubby and I loved it! That was your recipe, AZ Daisy. Thanks for sharing. I will have to experiment with one of MamaMentor's tried and true recipes next! *rubs hands together in anticipation*

We'll end with a couple of pics of Mischief our cat. She is a beautiful buttery color and has a sweet nature with the kids.

Weekend well!

Posted by michelle :: 7:50 am :: 8 comments links to this post

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Friday, October 27, 2006

This week has flown and I have only posted twice. Is that some kind of record? I will try and find time to jot down what we have been up to soon. I hope next week is a bit more routine, but in the meantime, have a great weekend. Talk soon!

Posted by michelle :: 10:36 pm :: 6 comments links to this post

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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Today felt busy!

I probably left a few things till the last minute for today, hence I felt a bit rushed.
We had our second book club meeting happening at 11:30, so I had quiches and gourmet sandwiches to make for that. Then I needed to get the house set up for 5 children, of three different age brackets, to be entertained in by our new batch of babysitters.
And somewhere in there, finish prepping for the Kid's Club lesson. Arggh!

I actually ran out of time to finish reading Emma, so I did the ultimate cheat for a bookclubber and 'CliffsNote'd it online! *gasp* It took a lot of pressure off me though! And I felt I could talk with AUTHORITY. Ha!!!!
The quiche was nice but the crust was slightly thick and unyielding. Note to self: making one's pie crust in the bread maker does not produce crisp, flaky pastry, rather it leaves an over pummeled sad lump that tastes the same either raw or cooked.
My favorite quiche recipe is just plain quiche mix (eggs, cream and grated cheese) topped with thick tomato slices rolled in fresh basil. Mmm mmm.............Dreamy!

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It ended up being a bit of an edited meeting. We are a very flexible group, so we answered a couple of discussion questions over our lunch, and also managed to catch up with each other a little as well! Forming relationships is one of the main aims of the group after all! And we cut the whole thing by half an hour due to.... just stuff!

Our next book is 'The Secret Life of Bees' by Sue Monk Kidd, whose articles I used to read in the Guidepost magazine as a teenager. It looks to be fantastic.

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Kid's club went particularly well today. I really prayed about the story and that the kids would understand it. The extra practising helped too, so I was able to pretty much tell it without glancing at my notes. It was great to see all their little faces too!

The kids have gone back to school very well.
Roly is just loving it. Every day this week when I have gone to pick him up, he has run down to me, beaming all over his face. Such a difference from the sad and sullen facade he wore last term to hide his hurt feelings.

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I think I said in a previous post that Roly went to a party on the last day of last term that his tormentor and cronies also attended.
This was a real turning point.
The boy is so friendly to him now, and Roly still has his best friend, of course, but with the three boys' attitudes towards him transformed, life is so much easier.
And due to his huge improvement in concentration and attention to his work, Roly has also today earned back the extreme privilege of ILC (independant learning centre) where he goes out to a much smaller class (6 students) 3 times a week, and pretty much gets to set himself a topic to research for the year. His chosen topic is Warhammer. (don't ask!)

Anyways, I am just gonna leave the chit chat there and go take a well earned (?) rest.
Talk soon!

Posted by michelle :: 5:48 pm :: 12 comments links to this post

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Sunday, October 22, 2006

Hi all!

Well we are home and now, two days later, I can face the thought of uploading my pics up. I will be back and commenting by tomorrow, when the kids are back at school!
There are a ton of pics, so don't feel bad about skimming!

Robyn posted a heap from our first week that we spent together, so I will only show you a couple of those!

These are some pics of Hubby's parent's farm, where he grew up. It is a beautiful place.

Hubby's brother and his sons came up for a day. They have sure grown!

The nights were cold, so I went out and bought Topsy these PJ's. He was not overly fond of them, but they made him even more adorable if that is possible!

Here are the kids behind the old dairy.

Nanny and Poppy!

Poppy is becoming famous for his irises.

The kids spent a fair bit of time checking out the cows.

Some of what Roly got up to:

Some of what Spindles got up to:

Some of what Diva got up to:

Some of what Topsy got up to:

Some of what Hubby got up to:

Some of what I got up to:

Roly and Diva also did a lot of tree climbing!

The bodies of water we encountered gave me such joy. So here they are. Just remember, these photos did not do them justice. It was really like a part of Eden!

Brogo River

The part of Brogo River that runs through Nanny and Poppy's land.

The exquisite Mumbula Falls.

OK so now I am exhausted from pic overload. Talk soon!

Posted by michelle :: 2:25 pm :: 13 comments links to this post

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Saturday, October 14, 2006

The B ega Leg of the Trip...

Wow, already we have passed an idyllic week at Bega! We have really relaxed these past 14 days. I know I am refreshed; I can hear the sense of humour returning to my voice.
Now I must say that I am unable to check you all out at present. I am only posting as a diary, and I actually write it out on Microsoft Word first, then paste it onto my blog to save time!

Some stuff we have done:

Eaten Nanny’s famous desserts- Steamed Pudding with golden syrup and custard, and Boysenberry Crumble with shortbread crumble topping. Mmm!
Given the kids rides down the hill in the wheelbarrow. It is a steep hill and nearly impossible to stop running once you start. A cheap thrill! Ha! J

Hubby took the three older kids to the famous lollyshop (candystore) in Cobargo, and brought back some delectable peanutbutter/ chocolate candy for me. My favorite!

Midweek, poor Nanny underwent a major dental procedure, so we have been guiltily scoffing down the delicacies she has made for us, while she can only consume what can go easily through a straw. The GUILT!

We have gone down to the part of the Brogo river that Nanny and Poppy ‘own’ and had a paddle and a splash. Spindles and Diva have started building a dam. We have been twice now and will certainly go again.

We met up with old friends at the park next to the famous Bega cheese factory for a BBQ. Poor Spindles felt very car sick, so he lay on the grass, wrapped up tightly in a blanket for most of the visit. Poor darling. We waited till he felt better before going across to the factory itself. The kids each got a pack of Bega Stringers as a souvenir.

When Hubby was attending a one day preaching conference with his Dad on Wednesday, I took the kids in to the Bega river. Dry as an old bone it was, though walking through and playing in the river bed was a novelty which entertained us for a good couple of hours. The kids managed to find one tiny stagnant water hole, *shudder*, and squeezed a ton of fun out of it.

Yesterday Hubby’s brother and his two boys came up for the day. I t is the middle of spring, yet from about 6:00 in the morning, a hot wind began to blow. It was nearly a sweltering 40 degrees Celcius, and the poor kids had to spend most of the day inside. When they eventually went out, there was a lot of wrestling and boy play. Diva was a little out of it being the only girl (and a girly one at that!), so I played with her. Do I get brownie points somewhere for pretending to be a baby and allowing her to subject me to a humiliating feeding session? I threw myself into the role and was the most obnoxious baby EVER! Thankfully the rest of the time, we played Phase 10! J Pretty much as soon as the cousins and uncle left, a cool wind came and cheered us all up.

Talk soon!

Posted by michelle :: 8:16 am :: 14 comments links to this post

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Saturday, October 07, 2006

Thus Far.....

Hi all!

I thought I’d type up a quick summary of where we are up to on our holiday, while everyone else in the family is otherwise engaged! This computer is slow, so I am not able to comment on you guys but I have been able to get onto and read the blogs that do not have tons of pics!

Robby’s pics of our family reunion are terrific (and I cannot upload my pics at present anyways *sadness*), so you have already seen where we stayed.

It was a great visit we all had together.

Aunty Robby staked her claim as gourmet chef extraordinaire, with the fantastically unique and delicious toppings she put on her pizzas.

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Uncle Paul transformed a tiny remote-controlled car into hours of inventive games and fun for all six of the kids. Just watching him in action wore me out! Ha!

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Grandad came along to the beach with us, won a lot at boulles and Granny did plenty of baby chasing and kept our clothes freshly laundered and folded without us even being aware of it.

It was splendiferous to spend time reconnecting with the kids’ gorgeous cousins, Rebecca and Emily. They have grown up so much since we last saw them, and it is cool seeing how their personalities are developing.

Memorable moments:

-Mom, Dad and Robyn and I playing a riotous game of Rook together. It was uncannily like our childhood. So funny. We all really enjoy each other’s company.

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-Robby’s jokes that she made up herself! Clever girl! Ask her what they are! J

-Hubby’s Magical Mystery tour that was endured by my poor Dad and our three oldest kids. All I’ll say is that Hubby’s idea of a good time is a loooong drive and we’ll leave it at that! Spindles took quite a while to recover from the ensuing car sickness, and probably all four of them will feel nauseous at the words ‘Magical’ and ‘Mystery’ for quite some months to come! L LOL! Add to the fact that the next day we had a 9 hour car trip. Aiaiaiaiai!

-poor Spindles coming out one morning in slightly-tight-but-still-fitting pants. Upon closer inspection we realized that they were actually Topsy’s size 1’s! A bit pathetic really! I don’t know what sizes are like in the States but here a child usually wears the same size as their age. Granny was horrified enough to see that Spindles wears a size 5, (she promptly cut off the size 5 tag from the offending garment!) so the look on her face, when she realized he can also swap clothes with his one-year-old brother, was priceless. Love it! But I probably should drip-feed him milk like Idi Amin did to his wives. He does need a bit of skin on his bones.

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-the mangrove swamp. Watching my kids playing in the mangrove trees and walking in the shallow water looking for fish, so reminded me of my childhood of imaginary games with Robby. The kids loved playing at the mangroves. Sad that the tide only came in late in the afternoon, ‘cause for the rest of the day it was a bit too gluggy and ugg to enjoy.

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-the beach. The beach near our house was an inlet rather than right on the ocean. Just beautiful and with very gentle waves. Several times the lapping water just called us to it, and we HAD to go in. It was sooo refreshing. Roly was going through an ‘I hate the beach, ‘cause it tried to drownd me last time’ phase” (Robby and I decided that there is a difference between drowning and drownding. Drownding has the extra ‘d’ for ‘drama’ And Roly is ALL about the drama!) So he spent his beach time being a ‘commando’-bobbing up from sand dunes and elbow muscling his way along the sand. It was a bit embarrassing as I thought people may at any moment come over and give me grief for not providing my quadriplegic son with a wheelchair! LOL!

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-the second-hand bookshop. Uncle Paul found a great ‘hidden’ gem of a second hand bookshop. As all readers know, a second hand bookshop is a must for vacation. This guy had tons of kid’s books as well. It was a great find, though as Hubby commented later, the proprietor kept saying he’d stop talking and let us find books, but he never did. Finding the right book is a serious business!

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-the outdoor spa. Once we worked out how to make it hot, it was one of my highlights! A great place to hang out after a trip to the beach.

We have a great family, and I can’t wait to have another reunion!

Then yesterday, we had a harrowing trip, in which Topsy decided to forgo sleeping in favour of treating us to 7.75 hours of ear-splitting squeals (Robby, Hubby kept asking if he had done that prior to our long weekend. I cannot IMAGINE what he means by that! *grin* In fact he HAS taught himself that trick)

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Both he and we were all very relieved to reach our longed-for destination of Bega at around 6:00pm.

Nanny and Poppy live out of Bega in the rolling and very-green-at-present hills. I cannot wait to show you pics of our time here when I get back. And show you their cute-as –a-button caravan!

But I will sign off. You may not see this for days, as you are not expecting me, but nonetheless I post!

Talk soon I hope!

Posted by michelle :: 12:17 pm :: 7 comments links to this post

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