Thursday, 27 December 2012

the concept of Santa

Christmas Eve is was just Zach and me. During the day we went and visited a house n Macclesfield, the owners had decorated there house inside and out to raise money for the Macclesfield fire station. We had an early dinner, opened presents, then went down to the Menzies Creek Station, where a lot of the Menzies Creek people were meeting for Christmas drinks and catch ups. So relaxing, meet new people in the area. Zach thought it was a great party at the station and just had to take his newest engine 'Luke' along.

Sometime in September or October, We were at Big W and Zach heads straight for the trains or the Lego to dream and imagine. He so wanted 'Luke' from 'Thomas and blue mountain mystery' I convinced him that could be a birthday or Christmas present. So left with relative ease, I don't want to buy toys every time we go out. The day after his birthday, he said 'you forgot Luke" Yes I did. I thought I have to get 'Luke' but I dread going to the shopping centres at this time of year, so many people, all pushing and touching, all hot and smelly, I hate it. I do not understand the attraction of the boxing day sales either, ugh! Well I was given a Coles gift card for Christmas from work, so a few days later at a Coles (where I never usually shop, too far) going down the aisles getting groceries, they have a small toy section. With some Thomas engines! Hello, there's Luke! and he is half price! I grabbed him and a friend and hid them under the potato flour. Zach found me in the next row and I was so smug. I wouldn't let him look at everything in the trolley, because I had a surprise for him.

So Christmas Eve, opening presents Zach was full of enthusiasm. He loved everything! Opening his board games "Oh Penguins!" So excited to get Luke and Sidney both Thomas and friend engines. Later after all the paper cleaned up and Zach playing, he says "oh mum, your so great" because he knows the presents are from me and I get all the credit.

Zach knows of Santa, he sees him on cards, out shopping, in movies. But I have never said hey these presents here are from Santa. He has just known that they are from me. When I was little, the presents were from my parents, I don't remember believing in Santa. I also remember other children telling me what they got from Santa and me thinking 'didn't your parents get you anything' then thinking maybe Santa is for those whose parents forgot or can't give anything.
Each year at primary school, we would pick a name and have to buy a present. I went to a primary school where most family's had dutch ancestry, so each year the presents would be delivered by St. Nicholas. Very exciting and each year was the question whose dad is dressed up this year. Though looking back some in my class wouldn't have wondered that, and really believed.

I also wasn't brought up with the Easter bunny. Chocolate eggs have nothing to do with Christianity so I never knew about the Easter bunny. I remember in kinder all of us children making little baskets and having to put them next to our bags and at home time they were all full of chocolate eggs. At the time I didn't ask why, I was five and had two older brothers. If I was given chocolate, I ate it quick. If I had asked my brothers on the school bus home why I was given chocolate, no explanation about Easter bunny would have been given I assure you. My brothers would have said that is to share with us and taken the lot. But I don't feel I've missed out.

Zach thinks Christmas is wonderful, he loves the lights, the tree, the presents, mumma baking shortbread. He knows that Christmas is about Jesus Birthday and that we go to Luna park for Jesus birthday. We actually go for my work's family Christmas party. There is as Santa there too, but Zach won't go near him.
Some people say I should make Zach believe in Santa, to make Christmas more magical and wonderful. I wasn't lead to believe in Santa and thought Christmas was such a wonderful and magical time. I know Santa doesn't make Christmas and I know if you the most bah humbug person ever, the sight of Santa doesn't help.
I hope you all had a blessed Christmas and were able to spend it with the one you love XOXO

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Bigger than Ben Hur, then very low key

School is over, as well as Zach's birthday. He turned eight. His party was a dinosaur themed party. We had a playdate the week before his party, I told my friend that I was so busy with Zach's party, she said "that's because you go bigger than Ben Hur with his parties" and I do.
Everything has to match, I made bunting with dinosaur fabric, made dinosaur crayons and organised a dinosaur dig.

It's back on with Dim and S, Zach talks about C, he is six. I said to Dim, if it is serious and if Zach is going to see them a lot, they might as well come to his party. They did, she seemed nice enough, but was really to busy to really chat to her.
And now it is nearly Christmas and it is a very low key event here. This year it is just Zach and me. My parents and one of my brothers live in Tasmania, my oldest brother is in Darwin and my youngest brother who lives in Melbourne, is going on holidays with his girlfriend. So it is just us and that is just nice.
We have done Christmassy things, we went to see the Myer Christmas window in the city. We went by train with one of Zach's friends. They waited so well in line to see the windows.
We ended up seeing the golden bees and a puppet exhibition as well.

I put the tree up on the twelfth and have been putting one present under the tree everyday and we are opening presents on Christmas eve. He is getting so many presents because I buy throughout the year and hide at the top of the walk in wardrobe. I can't see what's up there unless I get up on a chair to look. Because of my bad memory, I have gone overboard again.
good night xo

Friday, 9 November 2012

Bessie, Sophie, Louise and Inky

A few years ago I had a beautiful puppy named Bessie, I loved her. Zach loved her. She was sweet. She died in November 2008. I was devastated, Dim had moved out a year and a half before that, but was still tooing and froing and coming and going. He was wrecked about her dying as well.
He dropped Zach off at child care, then picked Bessie up from the vet, brought her home and dug a hole for her to be buried. He didn't want Zach to see Bessie dead. Zach was nearly four.
Four years later Zach still asks about Bessie whenever the topic of death comes up. I told Zach that Bessie was dead, explained as best I could, he didn't understand until a year later when both guinea pigs Sophie and Louise died. When he saw what dead was, and that they were being buried, he wanted to know where Bessie was buried. A few times he tried to dig her up, he wanted to see her. He never tried to dig up Sophie or Louise, I think because he saw them dead, he saw them buried, case closed.
Friday night I discovered Inky the Siamese fighter was dead, sunk at the bottom of his bowl. Zach howled and wanted me to call the fish hospital. We left Inky in his bowl that night. That night we talked about what happens at funerals. I said people say prayers and talk about the person who died, usually nice things are said. Zach liked that.
Saturday morning, we found a little box, put in some cotton wool, a bit of fabric, laid Inky inside, then another bit if fabric on top off him. We were having visitors that morning, so the funeral would have to wait until the afternoon. Zach took pride in showing a dead Inky in his coffin to our visitors. Zach wanted a tombstone, so I found a big flat Pebble from the garden and wrote Inky with red nail polish on it. Zach wanted numbers on it, but no room for dates.
He choose a spot under some flowers for the burial site, daisies.
I dug the hole, put in Inky and covered him up and Zach put down the tombstone. I asked Zach "did you want to say anything, like Inky was a good pet" he did.
He said "Dear God, Inky was a good pet, in Jesus name, Amen." I like it, he combined eulogy and prayer, Mr Efficient.
The next day he asked again about Bessie dying. I asked him if he would feel better if we gave Bessie and the guinea pigs tombstones, yes he would. So I found a few more stones and wrote their names on them. First to the area by the front door "Dear God, Bessie was a good pet, in Jesus name, Amen"
Then to the back courtyard "Dear God, Sophie and Louise were good pets, in Jesus name, Amen"
I asked Zach if he felt better because we gave our pets tombstones
"Yes" then he went off to play in the toyroom
I think the ritual of a funeral and saying good bye is needed, sometimes even for a fish named Inky

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Spinach and Ritalin

Some days I crave something sweet. I haven't had anything sweet since the 16th of August, I quite sugar after Zach's major dental work. I've replaced sugar with dextrose which is only glucose and not as sweet as cane sugar which is half glucose and half fructose. Fructose is the baddy for teeth. So the last few nights at work, I've had a cappuccino with chocolate on top, I haven't had that in ages and it was so so yum.
Zach had a paediatrician appointment first week back at school. I talked about Zach's concentration and getting him to focus on his school work. Doctor talked about Ritalin. Big deep breaths and major internal panic. That is not what I want for my child.
I spoke with Dim, it's not what he wants for his child either. I know someone whose child is on Ritalin and she talks it up, but I am not convinced. Of course I wikipediaed Ritalin and not good.
I also googled gluten and autism, I had talked about going gluten free a few years ago and Dim was very reluctant to deal with that. But now he is totally on board and Zach is on a gluten free diet at both houses. So I am gluten free too, I think it will be just easier if we both go gluten free together. So I've been googling recipes, I've made gluten free pizza and it was great! Found rice bread at health food shop and it is good toasted and Zach is eating it. Will see how it goes. Have also discovered amazing gluten free bread at The General Store Cafe in Emerald, I can buy the mix and make it myself! Zach's last gluten meal was this cake that I made for a friends little girl. She turned three and was so excited to eat the ladybug.
So amidst all this diet changes, Zach has been expanding his food choices, we had Mexican the other night, with real corn tortillas and spinach, I hate chopping up iceberg lettuce so I bought a bag of spinach leaves. Zach ate the tortilla with the spinach and then ate more spinach from the bag. Of course I can't convince him that spinach is not from Mexico.
I got a bit down, my car's rear window was smashed just for the hell of it. Nothing was stolen and it put a dent in my week big time. But I recover.
I have been rejuvenated by all this lovely weather that we have been having. My garden is looking great, I have been getting out there, and I am making a spot for my chook house and new chooks, next week I think, still deciding what sorts of chooks. Isa browns are good and decided to convert an old cupboard into a coop.
My avocado tree was covered in tiny flowers, could mean that I am in for a bumper crop this year, peaches next door are full of cute, tiny, furry peaches. Jane said I could have the fruit, poached peaches in marsala with vanilla cream, looking forward to that.
Zach 'fixed' the swing next door with a log from his 'mine' really the pile of stuff next to the wood pile. Thought it was very inventive of him.

Friday, 12 October 2012

October already@

It's nearly halfway through October already, the holidays are over. I meant to write nearly every night, but I fall asleep so early. So last night, as I ate some double chocolate ice cream that I made the other day, I wrote and tonight adding in all the photos.
We totally enjoyed these school holidays. Zach went for a few days to his dads house in the first week, grand final weekend Zach and I went away for two nights and Zach spent a few days at his grandparents the second week.
The first week when Zach was at his dad's house, I was at a bit of a loss of what to do. I went for a long walk to Emerald and back. I stopped at a friends who I hadn't seen for more than two years. She is amazing! She had her divorce all settled a few years ago and is now renovating her house herself with the help of her four children. She decided to achieve her dreams for the place and stop waiting to do that. So I am inspired by her. I went there for dinner when Zach was at his grandparents.
For most people it was grand final weekend, but Zach's team Richmond tigers weren't in the finals, so it was go away weekend for us. We went to Kilmore. We went on the miniature railway, we were going to go to the tram museum, but on a whim I asked Zach if he wanted to go to the big strawberry. He did, so it was off to Koonoomoo for us, then we zigzagged our way back to Elmore and went on the miniature railway there. Discovered that there is a mini railway in Echuca, so a trip to Echuca this summer I think.
We went to a concert at the zoo and spent nearly a whole day there. Zach really impressed me with how he sat for the whole concert, it was the Melbourne symphony orchestra playing 'Carnival of the animals'
When Zach was at his nanna and pa's house, so I went through the toy room, I dropped off a box of toys at the op shop. Some other child can appreciate what Zach hasn't played with for a long time.
We went to a first birthday party, I made the cake, very pleased with it. A bee skep.
We relaxed. I made muesli, ice cream, baked bread rolls, baked cake, made raspberry jam.
On the warm days, I mowed the lawn, on the cold days, I had the fireplace going.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012


I always think of September as 'My month' because my birthday is in September. I have definitely made it my month, my last blog was at least two weeks ago and looking through my photos, we have been busy.
I had a birthday, no party. When I change decades, I'll have a party. But Zach and I did go out for breakfast with some wonderful friends at a cafe. I was given flowers and fabric! I love flowers and fabric! Zach and I went to a playground, swings and climbing, fun.
I had that whole weekend off, so on the Saturday, I said "Zach lets go to a little island"
It was the best day, we had breakfast at Cook's Corner, I love that place!
On our way to the island, questions like "are there Komodo dragons?" "are we going to Komodo Island?" We went to the  Alfred Nicolas Memorial Gardens, I thought it was the first time that I had taken Zach there, but as we walked through the gardens, I had faint memories of taking Zach when he was maybe three years old. I was very unhappy then and don't remember much of that time, it is such a blur. Zach remembered the gardens and knew how to get to the islands.
the boat house
a little island
the dinosaurs came with us
the grand staircase leading to Burnham Beeches
We spent a few hours at the gardens, I took so many photos. Zach played with his dinosaurs, the stegosaurus floats. We had such a great time checking out the place. I'll remember this time.
When we left, I thought lets keep driving. Up the tourist road we went, to this quirky little place, Kalorama Kitchen. All the furniture and crockery is recycled and the menu is a photocopy glued to cardboard. The floor is uneven, I'm sure that place needs restumping, but it is open. Years ago, when I drove past, the place was shut, I thought abandoned. So good to be able to get a good coffee, even in the remotest part of the hills. Great views here too  
We went for a walk and discovered that that the footpath had been stamped every few meters with a fern branch or lyrebird tracks. I love it!
 So it was a very full day of exploring.
The next day we went and visited my squiggly friend at her market stall. I went a bit nuts at one stall and bought a few woodblock prints for Zach's room.
He had a ride, I loved the wheels of the front car.
This Weekend, We had a first birthday to go to, for our neighbours little girl. I was sewing like mad to get her present done, but in the end I thought we have to go, I don't want to be late. We visited Monday afternoon, with completed matryoshka doll. 
 Yesterday, I dropped Zach off at his dad's house, he is spending two days there for the school holidays. On my way home, I saw an echidna by the side of the road.
Today, Wednesday, I was at a bit of a loss of what to do with myself, I missed Zach.
I write more tomorrow
Good night

Sunday, 9 September 2012

The lemon tree

What a beautiful day! Zach's dad dropped him off at 3:30 today. I was so tired, so I had a coffee while Zach played with Lego. I saw out the window the neighbour mowing the lawn. I thought lets go make the most of this sunshine! Five minutes outside and I felt so awake! Decided to tackle the lemon tree out the back, it was covered in black spot and needed a good prune, I know it should have been done at the start of winter, but I'm usually a season behind when it comes to my garden.
poor tree
so much black spot
I pruned the tree big time and picked half a tub of lemons. This tree despite being covered in black spot has been producing great lemons and heaps of them too.
I picked a whole tub two weeks ago.
free lemons!
do you see Zach running
I told Zach that lemon trees grow better if you pee on them and now that it is warmer weather, he can pee outside on the lemon tree. He will.

Zach and his friend from next door were having a great time running around the yard. Zach showed him slater bugs and explained how they curl up when scared.
 The few nights we have forgotten to leave a note for the tooth fairy, explaining that his two teeth are at the hospital. So we have done that tonight, the nurse at the monash gave us a note, it is in a little bag under Zachs pillow.
Hope you have been enjoying the sunshine!