Wednesday, June 30, 2010

This is what happens .....

When you pour boiling water on an Acroc plate.


(All those pieces of glass used to be a plate like the one you see in the picture).

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

House Hunting Update

Well we didn't get the place we applied for and in a way I'm glad. The longer I had to wait to find out about it the more unsure I was so it obviously wasn't the house for us.

We don't have too many more options at the moment and I really want to know for sure whether we're staying or going because I need to get Riley enrolled in a Kindergarten (yea, I know I should have done that ages ago). I get the feeling that I'm being too fussy but then when you have kids I think you need to be.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Recipe: Liquid Hand Soap

- 1 bar soap
- 3L boiling water

- Finely grate the soap into a large pot.
- Cover with the boiling water and stir until soap is completely dissolved.
- Leave to set.
- Once set, stir up and store in containers until needed.

Makes 3 litres.

Ever since I discovered this recipe I have been making my own liquid hand soap. Its surprisingly easy and so much cheaper than buying it, plus it makes heaps and lasts for ages. Last time I made some I mixed it up a little by adding 1/4 cup of moisturiser and that worked well too.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Siggy Testing

Hmm what do you think?

New Place? Maybe ...

Phil emailed in our application for a place today. Apparently there has been one other applicant so who knows whether we will get it or not....

This whole house hunting business is completely doing my head in! There is so much that needs to be taken into consideration and then what if we make the wrong choice? I think I am probably the worlds worst procrastinator and that is certainly not helping things, once I make a decision it needs to be acted on straight away otherwise I start to second guess myself.

We have looked at 5 houses so far and we're going to look at another one tomorrow. Its so hard trying to find a place that meets all our needs and then you don't truly 'know' a place until you live there but I guess thats just a risk that we all take.

I'm not enjoying this waiting game and if I'm honest it would be easier to stay put. Easy is good but its not always the best option.

Fingers crossed something happens soon one way or the other or I might go crazy!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Thats a New One

It seems Riley has found a new place to hide his cars ....

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A Case of the Giggles

I love this video, it brings a smile to my face every time. I wish I'd used the video function on my camera more often, but I didn't so this is one of a precious few from when Riley was really little. Hes about 4 months old in this one and I just love baby giggles!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

I think I see a pattern ....

Riley doesn't eat much around his Dad. Hes been a bit unwell and might be teething, but I think I'm starting to see a pattern. He ate hardly anything all weekend and I'm sure its not the first time hes been like that and its always when his Dads around, no idea why though.

Phil was back at work yesterday and so Riley has been eating like a horse!

For breakfast he had (this is pretty standard for him):
- porridge
- a banana
- a piece of toast with peanut butter

For lunch:
- cheesy scrambled eggs
- 2 cruskits with marmite
- a snack bar
- 2 manderins
- 2 mini lemon muffins
- 3 capsicum sticks

I'm sure he would've carried on eating too if I hadn't needed to put him to bed.

Theres certainly nothing wrong with his appetite now and I'm sure he'd already eaten more than he had all day Sunday by afternoon tea time. Dinner was a different story but then Phil was home ....

Stickers

Today I thought I'd try Riley out with some stickers. For some reason I thought they'd be too fiddly for him hence why we hadn't tried them before now. At first he had a little bit of trouble peeling them off the backing but once he had it all figured out he had so much fun and the look of concentration on his face was too cute.




After he'd stuck them all onto pieces of paper he then started peeling them off and decorating the couch with them so I now have a very pretty couch.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Recipe: Pear Crumble

- 1 cup plain flour
- 2tsp baking powder
- 1tsp cinnamon
- 100g butter, softened
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 800g can pear halves, sliced

- Sift together the flour, baking powder and cinnamon.
- Rub in the butter until the mixture forms a soft dough.
- Add sugar and rolled oats, mix in well.
- Put the sliced pears into the base of an oven proof dish and cover with the crumble topping.
- Bake at 200 degrees for 30-40minutes or until topping is golden and crisp.

I love this dessert and it goes really well with both custard and ice cream depending on the season. You can use whatever fruit (tinned or fresh) that you like but I like it best with pears.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Gruffalo

We were out shopping for a birthday present and Whitcoulls were having a 50% off fiction sale. It was a bit spur of the moment but I'd heard good things about The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler and for $10 I thought why not? It was also the only copy left on the shelf. Riley had read it once before at Playcentre but it didn't really hold his attention, now however he absolutely loves it. We have to read it over and over again! I thought it might have been a bit wordy for him as before we had been reading Maisy (another of his favourites) which is very simple.

I've also just discovered that there is an official website which has lots of Gruffalo merchandise, games and activities. There is even a DVD which I might just have to get Riley for his birthday.

Finally my lucks run out ....

Riley has had so many colds this winter and I have been so lucky avoiding catching them myself ..... until today that is, I guess my luck has finally run out. So far its pretty mild and at least its not the flu like we had this time last year, that was truly nasty.

I hope I get over it quickly, I have too much to do and not enough time as it is!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Climbing

Riley has never been a climber and even now at 2 1/2 he struggles with climbing things that I see 1 1/2 year olds racing up!

The other day at Playcentre they had an inside fort (about 1.4m high) and to get to the top you had to climb up the ladder. Riley watched with interest all the other kids climbing up and going down the slide. While I wasn't watching him he decided to have a go. I hear 'Mum, mum, mum' and hes absolutely terrified. I went over and hes standing on the first rung about 10cm off the ground hanging on for dear life and totally freaking out. So I showed him how to climb up and after that he kept wanting to do it. By the end of session he was quite happily climbing up the ladder all by himself, I was a very proud mummy! The first time he managed it he stood at the top shouting 'Yay, I did it! Well done!' Was very cute to see him so proud of himself.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Budgeting ....

I've decided that to try and save some money on our groceries we are going to do a fortnightly shop. I have worked out a menu plan for the next 2 weeks so as long as we stick to it we won't starve. The only extras we'll get next week are milk, bread and fresh fruit/veg but I've budgeted for that too. This is the first time that I've tried something like this so I have no idea what I'm doing but I'm hoping to shave $200 off our monthly grocery bill and so far so good.

I'll keep you posted as to how I get on and if you have any great budget meals then I'm keen to hear about them.

Movies

Riley finally has the attention span to watch a movie from beginning to end. Not that thats necessarily a good thing but at the moment when its freezing and we're cooped up inside all day, its been a life saver.

His favourite movie at the moment is Finding Nemo. We've had it for ages but its only been in the last couple of weeks that hes started watching it properly. Its not teaching him anything particularly useful unless you count talking like a sea turtle as a skill, where everything ends in 'dude!'
Riley's a smart kid though and deserves some relaxing time.

I'm hoping soon that I'll be able to take him to a mums and bubs movie session where he'll actually sit and watch the movie so I can too.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

House Hunting

The other day I made the snap decision to move house. I made this decision after spending all morning cleaning the mould off the walls in the toilet but thats only one of the problems that this place comes with.

It also made me start thinking seriously about where we want Riley to go to Kindy/School and finding a long term rental in the right zone.

I think we have a good deal in our current place, the rent is reasonable, the landlords great and sure it has its problems but a new place is bound to have its own set of issues. I know you're probably thinking I'm insane especially once you factor in the cost of moving! The reality is I can't see us staying here for more than a couple of years so that means we'd be moving at some stage anyway so why not now? Of course this all depends on finding the 'right' house in the 'right' area and at least we have time on our side so theres no need to rush into anything. I also think if we manage to find a place that we like in Winter then we're going to love it in Summer, everything is so damp and dreary at the moment.

Wish us luck!!

Monday, June 14, 2010

How old .....?

Riley has started lying about his Dad's age, not that Phil minds being 10 years younger.

Me: 'How old are you?'
Riley: 'I 22, like Daddy!'

Hmmm ..... LOL

Sunday, June 13, 2010

On a Roll!

I seem to be on a roll at the moment as far as my digital scrapbooking goes.

Theres no pattern to my scrapbooking, most often I pick a kit, then a photo and go from there. Eventually I hope to get some of my work printed into an album for Riley but I'd like for it to be in chronological order and at the moment I just scrap whatever I feel like so his 'story' so far, still has lots of gaps.

I find digital scrapbooking such a fun and creative way to preserve all of Riley's precious childhood memories.




Saturday, June 12, 2010

Night Light

Riley slept through the night without the hall light on for the first time in ages!

I'm hoping that this time we've found a night light that works. We've been struggling to find one for his room thats not too bright and this one is not bright at all, in fact when I first plugged it in my initial thought was 'this is not going to work'. But it did work! At least last night anyway and I hope it continues to do so. He also has a little turtle night light that he takes to bed with him, sadly its been dropped a few too many times and is now a bit unreliable.

I don't know exactly when Riley's fear of the dark began but he is also fascinated by it and often gets Phil to carry him outside at night so he can have a look but they have to stand as close to the back door as possible while still being outside otherwsie he freaks out. Riley also has a very over active imagination and I think that is half the problem.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Recipe: Pikelets


I started today really wanting to do some baking but I couldn't figure out what to make and Riley wasn't giving me any useful suggestions. I don't know what made me decide to make pikelets as I've never made them before in my life as I'm not very good at making things that need to be flipped over, or so I thought. I don't know what made me think that I couldn't make them as today I proved that actually I can and it wasn't as hard or as scary as I'd thought. It took a while for me to get the pan to the perfect temperature but once I did I was making them like a pro. Riley was eating them as fast as I was turning them out so they obviously passed his test too.

I think after my pikelets being such a success I'll be more likely to try new things BEFORE deciding that I can't do it.

INGREDIENTS
1 cup plain flour
1tsp baking powder
1/4tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
3/4 cup milk

METHOD
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together.

In a separate bowl beat the egg and sugar until thick. Add to the dry ingredients along with the milk. Stir to combine.

Drop spoonfuls of the mixture in a hot lightly greased fry pan.
When bubbles start to pop on the surface, flip and cook the other side until golden.


Find more recipes here.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Got Mail!

I'm taking part in an awesome Sock Swap on Cheeky Monkey. For those of you who don't know, Cheeky Monkey is a parenting website and I am so lucky to be a part of the moderator team and such a great community.

The way the sock swap works is that everyone who signs up will get given a name, address and size of someone else on the list, then we get to go shopping for an awesome pair of socks.

Well I'm so excited because my socks arrived this morning! I wasn't too impressed by the courier though banging on the door at 7am. Luckily Phil hadn't left for work yet and was able to get the door and Riley didn't get woken up so no harm done really. It bugs me though how couriers always turn up early in the morning (at least for me they do). I don't know about everyone else but I don't consider 7am to be a reasonable hour.

Anyway I love my new socks (yep, lucky me, I got a pack of two) and they're pink! Phil won't have any trouble telling my socks from his now, LOL.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Yet Another Cold!


Riley has yet another cold, its the 4th one in as many months! Hes always been prone to them but this is just getting ridiculous!

Every time I take him to Playcentre he catches a cold. Its a real pain, we'll be there one week and off the next, its almost not worth going. This one has so far been the worst and the cold weather isn't helping.

Yesterday Riley had a temperature of 39.4 and was so lethargic he even fell asleep on the floor! For those of you who know him this is most unheard of. I've changed the photo slightly as he had a really snotty nose and fell asleep with no pants on, not a good look.
So far we've had one rough night where he was up and down but I'm hoping for a better nights sleep tonight as he doesn't seem too bad today. Fingers crossed he gets better quickly and that I don't catch it!

Recipe: Pumpkin and Kumara Soup

It has been perfect soup weather here at the moment and when pumpkins are on special this is a cheap and easy way to use them. You don't need to put it through a sieve but in my opinion if I'm going to have a smooth soup then it needs to be completely smooth. Its definitely worth the extra effort.

I'm not really a pumpkin person but I LOVE this recipe and it makes heaps so I can freeze some for an easy meal another day.

INGREDIENTS
1 large pumpkin, chopped
2 large orange kumara, chopped
2 large onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic
2tbsp olive oil
approximately 4 cups chicken stock
1 can lite coconut milk
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2tsp ground nutmeg

- Peel and chop all the veges.

- In a large pot sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil.

- Add the pumpkin and kumara and stir well.

- Pour in chicken stock to almost cover the veges (you can always take some out later once the veges have cooked down if you think the soup will be too thin).

- Bring to the boil, cover and simmer until the veges are soft.

- Blend in the blender and push through a sieve to make sure there are no bits.

- Put back in the pot and add the nutmeg, coconut milk and season to taste.

- Reheat and serve.

Find more recipes here.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Rainy Day Fun

We're having the most awful weather at the moment with lots of indoor days. To give Riley something different to do I decided to bring his sand/water table inside, of course I emptied it and cleaned it out first. In one side I put some flour and the other side dried pasta. Riley loves driving his cars through the flour and scooping/pouring the pasta. He makes a pretty big mess but its nothing that isn't easily cleaned up with the vacuum cleaner and it keeps him busy so I can get other things done.

I'm sure there are plenty of things around the house that could also be used depending on how messy you wanna get.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Back on Track!

I'm so glad that we are finally back on track with toilet training. We went away at the end of March and Riley took a massive step back and it has taken us this long to get him back to where we were before we went away.

I'm not going to go into any details but I am so proud of him! He is very proud of himself too and is such a grown up boy now. When I refer to him as my baby he says 'No, I two and a half' which always makes me laugh as he has no idea what that actually means.

Sigh, my baby is long gone and has been replaced by a loving, affectionate, clever, fun little boy who always makes me smile. Sometimes I think the world would be a much better place if we all viewed it through the eyes of a child. If only things were that simple.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Best Buy

As far as toys are concerned this has been my best buy ever!

I bought it off Trade Me for $10 when Riley was about 19 months old. Its provided him with hours of entertainment and I think it will continue to do so for ages yet. Anything with wheels that will fit goes down the ramp, great for keeping him busy but not so good when I tidy up all his cars and he straight away 'untidies' them and they end up all over the floor again.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Shopping List

I know Riley's birthday isn't until October but I like to be organised and I like to use layby so I have already started a birthday/christmas list. When I asked Riley what he wanted for his birthday his answer was a chocolate cake, a huge one, so he'll be easily pleased.

We're not going to go overboard on presents this year as we're planning on getting him a trampoline and they're not cheap. I am quite excited though as he'll be the big 3 and moving onto a whole new level of learning/understanding so have a few card games and board games on the list.

I'm hoping that The Warehouse are going to have another toy sale this year as it was brilliant last year and we were able to get heaps of bargains.

I'd also like more suggestions on what to get a 3 year old, so if you have any please let me know.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Slippers

The weather has turned really cold and I'd just had enough of having cold feet all the time so I went out and bought some slippers. I know shock horror buying something for myself?! Doesn't happen very often.

I love my new slippers, they are so warm and snuggly. Cold feet are now a thing of the past.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

New Experiences .....

Today at Playcentre a little boy hit Riley on the head with a wooden hammer. This is the first time he has been treated roughly so he didn't quite know how to react. His way of dealing with his feelings is to lie face down on the floor and not move so thats exactly what he did, he was terrified and so shocked that someone would do that to him. Of course I was over there straight away and as soon as I picked him up his little arms went around my neck and he buried his face in my shoulder. He was such a brave boy and being the wuss I am I just about cried for him! I think that new experience set us up for the rest of the day as he has had bouts of inconsolable crying which is so not like him and he is now fast asleep in bed.