Monday, October 20, 2008

Attack Of The Blahs

Posted by MANDI at 8:02 PM 13 comments
As you might be able to tell from the sporadic posts, I'm having trouble with the blogging side of things. I've got to admit, it's not a new problem. I've been feeling this way pretty much since we headed back to Perth. Blogging filled a pretty big void in my life while we were 'up North' - it let family and friends who were far away in on what was happening in our world, I got to indulge in my hobbies and share the results with friends and strangers and, in some cases, those strangers left lots of lovely comments and we started a conversaton and became friends too.
For the most part, while we were in Red Dirt Central I was at home with at least one very small child. I stepped out of my comfort zone and went to playgroup, joined in at story-time at the library, joined the scrapbooking group, took up lots of coffee and play-date invitations and really enjoyed life up there. I also really enjoyed blogging about it all - maybe because it was all so new and different to my 'normal' life.
Since we've been back I feel a bit like a fraud. This is my normal, ordinary life. It's nothing special to me and maybe that's where I'm having trouble finding something interesting to write about. Maybe it really is interesting and I just take if for granted. When I'm feeling generous I remind myself that we have moved house twice in the last few months. After working from home when we first moved - with a few flying trips back up to the Dirt - I changed jobs and Hubby changed jobs when we moved and then changed jobs again. The kids have had to start at a new school and day-care each, make new friends and find new sports/activities to join in. That's a lot of stuff to do in a fairly short amount of time. I realise that it's only natural to be kind of bummed when it all comes to an end and there's nothing more that 'has to be done'. It's all a bit of an anti-climax and has left me at a loose end while waiting for something to happen.
Maybe I need to reassess things? I really do love my blog and I'd be sad to give up on it completely but I don't feel like I'm doing it justice at the moment. I know that I love reading blogs that are updated regularly and I get a bit fed up with the one's that aren't (not pointing any fingers, truly, just saying!). I love posting the recipes we try, though they don't seem to attract many comments, and I don't post for comments but gee they're nice. I like posting stuff about the kids - funny things they say and do, their achievements (and otherwise!) - and while I realise that this is a Mummy blog I don't want it to be all Mummy-ness.
To be honest, blogging feels like a chore at the moment and I hate that. I'm thinking that I'm going to take a couple of weeks off and then come back fresh and with a new lease on life. Or at least blogging. So for now, I'm going to say... see you in November.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Yay For Offspring #1

Posted by MANDI at 4:18 PM 6 comments
Swimming lessons were a huge success through the holidays. All up he attended 9 lessons over the two week holiday period (one day was a public holiday so no swim class that day) and his confidence grew and grew, his swimming ability/skills improved and he just had a wonderful time. It was gorgeous to see him enjoying the water and rushing home to tell his Dad all about how great he'd done in the pool that day.

At the conclusion of the lessons the kids were presented with their certificates. #1 passed his level and is all set to be enrolled in the next stage next time round. He's so chuffed, and it's so sweet to see.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Dog Day Afternoon

Posted by MANDI at 9:15 PM 7 comments
Okay, I don't actually know what that means but since we had a birthday party for the dog this afternoon it seemed to fit!

We made a pretty cake (I feel rather guilty that the dog's cake turned out better than my recent efforts on #2's cake, though this one does prove - once again- that cake decorating is not one of my talents!)

We had friends around to sing Happy Birthday and blow out the candles. And help eat the cake.

They brought gifts for the birthday boy.

And he enjoyed the special birthday treat from his family.

The kids played and blew bubbles.

And chased bubbles

And we all had a lovely time. The End.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Ups And Downs

Posted by MANDI at 9:05 PM 7 comments
I tried a couple of new recipes today but neither ended up being worth sharing. One was a pan cookie - not something I'd tried before - and I was really looking forward to it but... it was in the oven a minute or so too long and dried right out, and just didn't end up being that nice. For dinner I tried a Chicken and Leek Pasta Bake from an issue of Donna Hay Magazine and it was nice enough but it seemed like it was missing something. The kids scoffed it down so it can't have been too bad, it just didn't turn out as great as I'd anticipated.

In other news, Offspring #1 has been attending vacation swimming lessons this week and... he LOVES it. Long time readers may recall that swimming lessons have never been on his list of 'favourite things to do' so we are thrilled that he's enjoying his lessons and doing so well. He's working very hard on straight arms and turning his head to breathe. At the moment he has to keep stopping so can get a breathe, then he pops his head back in the water and powers off, crookedly, but powering nonetheless.

Added to that... #1 has his first wobbly tooth. He went from being overjoyed to terrified in the space of about 4 seconds. He was convinced that he was in overwhelming pain and was unable to move his mouth or speak. When we finally got it through his head that it didn't hurt, he could talk and that all was well with the world he 'fessed up that he thought we were going to pull his tooth out RIGHT NOW! We calmed him down from that one and sent him to bed amid much head shaking and muttering. Geez, drama queen much?

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

These Are Great

Posted by MANDI at 9:02 PM 0 comments
Have you come across Apples for Jam? It's a new-ish cookbook by Tessa Kiros and it's just gorgeous. It's huge, so I've found heaps of recipes I want to try and the pics are lovely - simple, bright and beautiful in a natural kind of way rather than a "we spent 15 hours getting this cake to look right" way (even if they did, it doesn't look like it!). I've borrowed it from the library but you can be sure this one's going on the Christmas wish list (hint hint, Mum).

I had some dried cranberries that needed to be used so flicked through and came across this recipe. This is the best cookie I've made in a long while - buttery, shortbready, so yummy and with chocolate. What more could you want?

Chocolate and Cranberry Biscuits
Apples for Jam by Tessa Kiros

75g (2 3/4 oz) butter, softened
50g (1 3/4 oz) soft brown sugar
50g (1 3/4 oz) caster sugar
1 egg
a few drops of vanilla extract
160g (5 3/4oz) plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
110g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
50g (1 3/4oz) dried cranberries

Preheat the oven to 190C/375F and line two baking trays with baking paper. Mash up the butter and sugar with a wooden spoon until well mixed then whisk with electric beaters until smooth (I tried to go straight to the beaters and it didn't work, do as suggested and mash away with the spoon first). Mix int he egg and vanilla. Sift in the flour and baking powder and dd a small pinch of salt, Bat with the wooden spoon to make a soft sandy mixture. Stir in the chocolate and cranberries.

Lightly moisten your hands (do this, it makes it MUCH less sticky to handle) and roughly roll teaspoons of the mixture into balls. Arrange them on the trays, leaving a fair space between for flattening and spreading (mine didn't spread much). Bake for about 12-15 minutes, or until the biscuits are golden and darkening around the edges. Remove from the oven but leave them on the tray to cool and firm up. These will keep in a biscuit tin for a couple of days.


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