Friday, 17 October 2014

Annapurna

This time 14 years ago I was hiking the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal.

I stayed in every village mentioned on the news. I ate in the teahouses and slept in the lodges. I remember every step of the day we summitted the Thorong La pass (because it was so incredibly hard to hike at that altitude).

Every news report about the snowstorm and avalanches and dead trekkers gives me chills. That could have been me.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Your Royal Fix - iPhone Edition

I plugged in my iPhone for the first time in ages and 6 months of pictures downloaded. Here are some highlights:

When Sis was here in March we all went to a park and played ball. Except Princess. She sat and played games on an iPhone.







Over Easter we went to the coast for a few days.



We went to the golf club for lunch in May and the kids found an unattended golf buggy.





Pics from the dinosaur museum over the kid's birthday weekend.















A couple from our friend's property in the Hunter Valley a couple of weeks ago.





Our awesome paddling pool that we inflated last weekend.





Princess drew this picture last week: Mummy, King, Daddy, herself.
"Why have I got a beard, Princess?"
"No, that's not your real chin, Mummy"

Friday, 10 October 2014

Counting Chickens

Milord is being headhunted! He has just had a first interview for a job that sounds far more his style for a bigger organisation and bigger money. We are hoping like crazy that he will called back for a second interview!

We shouldn't be counting our chickens before they hatch, but we wouldn't be our usual upbeat, positive, impulsive selves otherwise, now would we?

In other news, last weekend was another long weekend (I don't know why they can't spread them out a bit more) and gloriously hot. The temps climbed to the high 20s and we all wore shorts and sundresses for the first time since last summer.

On Saturday we took the kids to the park again, and this time I took wellies and they paddled in the pools and streams. Next time I will also take a change of trousers as they managed to get soaked anyway!

On Sunday we went to the indoor pool for swimming lessons and general mayhem.

And on Monday we did some DIY. The smallness of our backyard has been an annoyance since we moved in a year ago. So last weekend we uprooted several large bushes and put them in pots around the side of the house, then laid fake grass where they had been, then inflated our huge paddling pool on the grass and erected a marquee over the pool. Pow - instant lawn and pool! The kids were seriously impressed.

We also plan to install a security screen door at our front door so that we can get a breeze through the house on hot days - the breeze always comes from the front of the house, and I am not comfortable having the door standing open with no barrier.

Although we are holding off on that for the moment in case Milord lands this job and we have to move closer. And find a new school for Princess. And a new daycare for King. And maybe need another car. And have more income and afford some other essentials like couches that are not broken and bigger beds for the kids and and and...

Aaargh - I hate this part!

Friday, 3 October 2014

Friends without kids

Milord and I are at a stage in our lives where most of our good friends have small kids too. Almost all the people we used to party with 8 years ago have married and settled down and had babies at about the same time we did.

One couple hasn't had (can't have) kids. They have been very good about continuing to invite their friends with kids to visit and stay over (although they now limit it to 2 familes at a time)...

Nowever...

It feels like we are imposing these days. When our kids were babies and we were all in Sydney visiting was pretty easy, but now our kids are Loud! and Destructive! and Rude! and Always. In. Your. Face! That's just how 3,4,5,6-year olds are, and I will probably miss it when they are teens and won't come out of their rooms.

Last weekend was a long weekend in Canberra, and we drove 5 hours to spend a couple of nights with our childfree friends and another couple with kids the same age as ours. The kids got along great, the grownups drank and ate too much, it should have been fun.

Milord said he could almost feel the resentment rolling off our childfree friends towards the kids, and they seemed to avoid being around them. It didn't help that Princess had an upset tummy the first night and threw up across a couch and carpet, or that the little boys were determined to dig in the forbidden dirt (seriously?). Or that in the somewhat rundown house everything anyone touched seemed to fall apart (toilet seat, blind winder, draft excluder, tap handle... it got silly).

Sigh.

It was a relief to drive 5 hours home again where the kids could just be themselves with no judging. Maybe next time our childfree friends can come to stay with us instead.

Rainbow Cupcakes

Princess wanted a Rainbow cake for her birthday which looked seriously difficult to make, so I made rainbow cupcakes instead. I experimented all week following various recipes (rainbow cupcakes are not easy! we were all sick of cake by the time I got it right!), and this is what worked in the end:

Makes 7 cupcakes (the original recipe says 12, but I always ended up with 7 or 8)

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 125g unsalted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup self-raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 4 bottles food colouring, red, blue, yellow, green
Directions
  • Preheat oven to 200 degrees C. Line a 12 hole cupcake tray with patty cups.
  • Cream the sugar and butter until pale and fluffy.
  • Beat the eggs in one at a time adding a little flour in each time until the ingredients are mixed.
  • Add the vanilla essence and mix. Then add the milk 1 tablespoon at a time mixing after each addition.
  • Divide the mixture into 5 bowls and mix quite strong colours (red, orange, blue, green, purple)
  • Blob colours into the cupcake cases. I couldn't get layers to work so I went with a more random effect!
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes.
You have to put in quite a lot of food colouring to get a great effect. Be warned though - overdoing it can give you blue or green poo - Princess was thrilled! "Maybe tomorrow my poo will be purple!"


Blobs of cake mix.


Cooked.


I cannot decorate a cake. Luckily my kids are little enough that Cake! and Icing! and Sprinkles! is good enough no matter how it looks.


I forgot to get a shot of a cake cut through, but you can get an idea here: