Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Gotta Love That

Posted by MANDI at 8:26 PM 4 comments
I pulled in from work at 6.15 tonight. I was tired. My feet hurt. And I was looking forward to hopping into my 'jamas and eating leftovers for dinner. Okay, I wasn't looking forward to the leftovers all that much but the not cooking dinner part of leftovers sounded great.

And I found two kids who were showered, dressed and begging me to go out for Chinese for dinner. And a husband who had organised the showering, supervised the dressing and totally put them up to being on their best behaviour in the hope that his taste for Chinese food might be met.

And so I pulled on a pair of  jeans, changed my shoes and let them easily talk me into a trip to the local Chinese. Where we all picked a dish, totally pigged out and still got the kids home in time to almost meet their regular bedtime.  Fantastic.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Gratituesday: Lovin' My Girl

Posted by MANDI at 7:32 PM 2 comments
I'm so very thankful to have the girl-child in my life. Being a mum who freely admits that she wasn't actually planning on having girl-children and struggled a little bit when one popped out, I am just amazed by her every single day. She is the most hilarious little character and makes me laugh so hard my stomach hurts. Yes she pushes every single one of my buttons too but today? Today was all about the laughing

Today's moments of intense love (and unintentional hilarity):
The enormous running jump and hug that I got first thing this morning. It was the kind of hug that we call 'the koala'. She was totally wrapped around me and it just felt so good. Then she blew a raspberry on my cheek

When she asked me what tomorrow was. I must have looked puzzled (yeah, that happens a lot) because she followed it up with, "I know it's Wednesday but it's a special day too. Is it, um, maybe Long Jump Day or something like that?" Some fast thinking and working out what the date was led me to ask her if she meant Leap Year? Yep. She did. But I think Long Jump Day should totally be a holiday.

After clarifying the whole Leap Year thing, she asked if that meant we could have a party to celebrate. The answer was no.

And tonight at dinner when we were discussing contingency plans in case either of the kids was sick tomorrow (Daddy was home with one on Monday, the other was here with me today). Offspring #2 pipes up with "Well I'm all better but I can't stay home to look after #1 'cos I'm just a kid!" Coupled with an expressive shrug of the shoulders and a look of pure consternation on her little face it was priceless. And yes, we assured her that should either of them end up unwell again tomorrow one of the adults who live in the house would step up and take responsibility. Because that's how we roll.

And tomorrow there will be more love. And laughing. And quite possibly some yelling. But lots and lots of love. And I'm so thankful for that.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

How Long Is A Piece Of String

Posted by MANDI at 8:22 PM 1 comments
So I was getting dinner ready late this afternoon and looked up as something out the front caught my eye. There was a beautiful black and white border collie wandering down the street. And, despite the fact that our Max left us almost 2 years ago, the very first thought that went through my mind was... "How the heck did that dog get out?"
I even looked across to check both the gates were closed.
Then the dog's owner came into sight and I realised that (a) the dog wasn't Max, (b) Max had been gone for quite a long time and, (c) regardless of the fact that we've had a 'new' puppy for almost 12 months I still miss my Maxie-dog.
And my eyes got just a little bit watery and I wondered how much longer, exactly, I'd have a little hole in my heart that is just Max sized. And I guess the answer is the title of this post.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

La La La

Posted by MANDI at 8:16 PM 2 comments
The question is not why Kenny Rogers songs are playing in my head.

I can answer that easily. I was sick to death of all my regualr cd's and wanted something different for the drive to work so stole Hubby's Christmas present Best of Kenny Rogers cd. I figured singing along to The Gambler, Coward of the County and Lucille would change things up a bit.

No. The real question is what I can do to get Kenny Rogers OUT of my head after the songs have been rolling though it all day long.


All. Day. Long.

I think I need to find something else to listen to for next week. Or I'll have to go back to my regular cd's next week. At least with them I don't burst into 70's style country and western at completely inappropriate times through the day.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

What Happened To Gratituesday?

Posted by MANDI at 9:54 PM 5 comments
Why nothing! I've just been a bit busy, and a bit distracted and not posting all that regularly and it kind of slipped by the wayside. But then I was reading one of my daily blog reads earlier today and I realised that I hadn't done a Gratituesday post for a while and thought that I should really get my act together.

 So this week I'm grateful to another blogging friend. She told me about this:

And it has become a firm favourite in my house. So much so that, as you can see I very quickly went from the little box of ten to the good-sized box of 100 teabags.

And I'm grateful for bloggy friends. Who remind to look on the sunny side, tell me about new things to try, provide me with beautiful posts to read and generally make my already rich-beyond-belief life even better.

Monday, February 20, 2012

A Different Kind Of Pie

Posted by MANDI at 8:43 PM 2 comments
I made a different kind of pie for dinner last night and it was a HUGE hit. It was definitely kid-friendly food, so if you're looking for something fancy and gourmet you'd better click away somewhere else. But if you want somehting that will have the kids cleaning their plates and asking for seconds give this a go.

Free-form Lamb Bolognese Pie
from Super Food Ideas, September 2011

Serves 4
1 tablespoon olive oil
500g lamb mince
45g sachet Maggi bologese pasta bake recipe base
1 medium carrot, peeled, grated
2 tablesooons pine nuts, toasted (confession time: I thought I had pine nuts in the pantry. Turns out I didn't. While they would have added to the pie it was just fine without them.)
1/3 cup frozen peas
2 sheets frozen puff pastry, partially thawed
olive oil cooking spray

1. Heat oil in a large frying pan over high heat. Add lamb and recipe base. Cook, stirring, with a wood spoon to break up mince, for 6 - 8 minutes or until browned and cooked through. Add carrot, pine nuts and peas. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally for 2 -3 minutes. Set aside for 20 minutes to cool.
2. Preheat oven to 200C/180C fan-forced. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Place one sheet of pastry on tray. Spoon lamb mixture onto centre of pastry, leaving a 2cm border. Brush border with water. Place remaining sheet of pastry ontop. Pinch edges together to seal and form decorative pattern. Using a small knife, cut 3 slits in top of pastry to allow steam to escape during cooking.
3. Spray top of pie with oil. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes or until golden and puffed. Stand for 5 minutes. Serve. (We had it with a salad).

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Pinterest Love

Posted by MANDI at 9:24 PM 2 comments
I know I've already told you how much I'm loving Pinterest. I love all the fantastic ideas that I'm getting, the recipes I'm trying, and the gorgeous pics of everything from gardens and home decorating ideas to clothes and hairstyles to funny and even inspiring sayings. And I love, love, love that they're all pinned somewhere in cyberspace rather than taking up room all over my house.

So here are a few ideas from Pinterest that I've tried so far:

We had this Wrapped Up Pizza for dinner last night. Delicious.

I saw this cute idea and knew I had to make it. The "I love you because..." is printed and placed in the frame and then you can write a new message on the glass with a whiteboard marker. I bought a cheap but pretty frame and hot-glued some flowers I had in my scrapbooking stash and wa-lah! We all take it in turns to write messages for each other. It was my turn today.

This clever idea has cleared me a whole heap of space in my closet. Cheapo shower curtain rings ($2.98 for 10 at Big W) hooked onto a coat hanger to hold all your scarves. Brilliant.

And the kids made these cute Valentine's cards for their Dad. Yeah, I helped a little bit. But, how gorgeous are they? Their hands, with "I love you..."and a strip of paper  between them that has "this much" written on it. And totally homemade, again with using up some of the scrapbooking stash.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Bad Mummy Moment #3964

Posted by MANDI at 10:32 AM 2 comments
It's my day off today. Yay. I had plans for the day - nothing special but a few chores to do, some errands to run and a last minute arrangement to catch up with a friend for a coffee.

So we got ready for the day and I took the kids to school. Offspring #1 waved goodbye and headed for his classroom and I walked #2 to her classroom. And then #1 appeared to tell me he'd forgotten a special project he'd been working on. I agreed to go back home, collect it, and return to school with it when I'd finished getting #2 into class. All good.

#2 and I sorted out her reading book, she collected her chair and put it at her desk and then she started crying. She didn't want me to leave. She wanted to come home with me. Of course I said no. I wasn't having her pull this kind of stuff three weeks into grade one. What would I be setting myself up for if I let her come home with me because she was crying? I could see the rest of the year stretching ahead of me with a kid who wouldn't stay at school.

Then she upped the stakes.

 She didn't feel well. Her tummy hurt. Hmmm... well that's the first I'd heard of it and since school was about to start I still wasn't falling for her routine. I took her to the teacher, explained the situation and said that I'd like #2 to give it a go and if she still didn't feel well a bit later they could call me and I'd come collect her. She had a relief teacher today, one that #2 knows, likes and is comfortable with who I also happen to have worked with so we did a bit of Mummy/Teacher talking in code stuff and were both on the same page. All good.

I raced home and collected #1's special project, zipped back to school and dropped it off and then took off to pay some bills in the local area before the planned trip down the hill. I made it to the first stop, all of six minutes away from school, before the phone call came.

So, guess who is now tucked up in her bed with a terribly sore belly and a bucket next to her? I followed my instincts and made her stay at school and now I feel awful. But if I'd let her come home when I thought she was bunging it on I wouldn't normally have been doing her any favours either.

This motherhood gig really needs to come with a handbook.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Woot Woot

Posted by MANDI at 8:53 PM 1 comments
I get to go walking again tomorrow morning and I'm over-the-top, crazy excited about it. After some time of enforced inactivity, and the inevitable couple of kilo's to go with that, I'm actually looking forward to getting up at 5.30 tomorrow morning, pulling on my trackies and joggers and heading out. I'm a little bit afraid of how much the hills are going to hurt after these weeks off!

And I'm hoping that once I get back into the swing of doing some exercise I'll find it a bit easier to turn away from the chocolate, the chips and the generally crappy food choices I've been making.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Random Ravings

Posted by MANDI at 8:37 PM 2 comments
Hello, hello! Sorry for the unexplained absence - the health stuff that we thought was sorted turned out to be not quite. I was trying hard to get back into the swing of the things with work, kids, school and the house while feeling like crap and worrying myself silly. Fast forward a week and all seems good and it's amazing what not worrying can do for your mood and general wellbeing. Yay. Still waiting on results of a couple of blood tests but they won't change things too much either way.
The downside of almost a week of bedrest and then more time of seriously restricted physical activity means that I haven't been doing my usual early morning walk and have been eating huge amounts of not-particularly-good-choices food. My clothes are tight and I'm feeling fat and frumpy. Now that everything seems okay I'm itching to pull my joggers back on and get out for my walks again. I'm really looking forward to that, and catching up with my neighbour who I walk with. I've missed our chats and hearing the news of the street.

The stage show of Mary Poppins is playing in Perth shortly. I really want to see it. The musical-hating-Hubby does not. AT ALL. So I'll be seeking others partners in crime for that one.

But I must, must, must remember to get tickets for Duran Duran. Have been meaning to do it for ages and keep forgetting. Mental note to self - do it this week!

I am LOVING My Kitchen Rules. Love the food, love the nice people, love the villains. Didn't love last season but do love this one.

I can't wait to see the first episode of Revenge tonight. And I really hope it's going to be as good as all the hype has made it out to be.

I am still loving Pinterest and all the things that I'm finding there. I made this totally delicious and super easy Sausage Casserole over the weekend and it was a huge hit with the whole family. Yes, even Miss Fussy! I made a couple of changes, like not using fennel because it's not in season and using zucchini because a friend had extras and gave me one, and will definitely be making this again.

And here's a new fave photo of the kids. We went for a walk along the river last weekend - the kids took their scooters and I took my camera. I got some great shots and am going to get some printed for framing later int he week.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Cupcakes and Comfort Food

Posted by MANDI at 8:24 PM 4 comments
You know how the second day of anything is generally harder and slightly worse than the first? Like the first day of a new job is hard because of the unknown but the second day is harder because you actually know what you're in for.

Remember how yesterday, the first day of our school year, was all positive and good? Yeah.
The second day? Not so much.

Poor Offspring #2 came out of the classroom and was in tears before she even got to me. All of five steps away. She blubbered and babbled her way to the car before she eventually started speaking in a language I could understand. Oh my poor baby. Most of it was simple worrying about the world and not wanting to do the wrong thing, one part was about the class being told off because of two children who were misbehaving and another part had to do with the teacher asking them to write something and her having a panic because she's "only just started year 1 and I don't know how to write all the words yet!"

Offspring #1's day was deemed "okay" but he'd cut his finger and it hurt every time he tried to write. And when he saw his sister's tears he decided to join in the pity party

I hugged and kissed, commiserated and eased fears and racked my brain for how to make the afternoon just a little bit brighter. And then hit on the perfect solution.

So we made choc-chip cupcakes, iced them with chocolate icing and covered them with sprinkles. And then I made their second favourite dinner. Tuna and Pasta, or 70's style Tuna Mornay if you're feeling fancy. Cupcakes and comfort food. Guaranteed to make a rotten day just a little bit brighter.

Here's hoping tomorrow's a whole lot better.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Back to School

Posted by MANDI at 8:09 PM 3 comments
And the long summer holidays finally draw to a close! That seven or so weeks of holidays just seemed to go on and on and on. Perhaps not to the school teaching Hubby but they did to me. And please don't think I mean that as a negative thing - I have loved having a break from routine, hanging out as a family and having the opportunity to be a bit spontaneous. Yeah, I said a bit spontaneous -I think we all know I can only cope with a little bit of spontaneity.

My kids were up, dressed and raring to go before six this morning. Yes seriously. And yes, that two and half hours until we actually left for school seemed a great deal longer. Offspring #1 is now in Year 5 and well and truly qualifies as one of the big kids. Even if he's still my tiny boy. And Offspring #2 was completely over-excited to be joining the BIG school in Year 1. She told me yesterday that she was looking forward to not having to be with "all those little kids". You know, the ones she spend last year with, quite happily.

 I got a couple of gorgeous First Day photos...

And a couple of crazy face photos. And this one that showed exactly how fed up Offspring #2 was with the whole photo taking caper.

The actual drop off at their classrooms was something of an anti-climax. #1 gave me a wave and told me I could take #2 to her classroom now. And #2 settled into a seat next to one of her friends and told me I could go to work as she needed to be ready "to learn stuff" Good to feel wanted on such a big day.

And I'm very happy to report that while I spent the day at work worrying about them, they both had terrific first days, are happy with their teachers, brought home library books and are looking forward to tomorrow. Phew!


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