Wednesday, October 10, 2012

This time next week...

This time next week we'll be on holiday, lazing on the beach, sipping cocktails and relaxing...

and the lead up to this week long break has been exhausting...

Man, it takes so much preparation to go away for a few days.  And thats if its just yourself.  Add in 2 kids, 2 dogs and a cat and its organised chaos around here.  I have lists coming out of my ears.  I feel like there's a lot of pressure to think of everything, to be supermum and not forget anyone or any single necessary item.

We have a friend who is kindly house-sitting while we're away, so luckily thats the pets taken care of.  The kids have been "practicing" staying at Grandmas and Koby is now so good at sleeping in his cot over there, that he actually naps better at Grandmas house than in his own home - how does that even happen?!!

Today I did some last minute running around & clothes shopping because its the last chance I'll get to do so without the kids with me.  I actually bought 2 more dresses... I know, what is wrong with me??  I have not stopped moving all day, and now at 8.15pm, I'm finally sitting down, try to relax for an hour or so, and then to bed. 

I may not get back to blogland before we leave next Monday, but stay tuned for some (hopefully) lovely photos of glorious beaches, fruity cocktails and maybe a sunset or two when we get back!

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Camp Oven

One of my favourite childhood memories was going on amazing adventures – the Great Ocean Road, or driving from Melbourne to Brisbane – usually camping, or when I was a little bit older, we went caravanning. For some reason we would always take the back roads, and from the window in the backseat of the car, I would spend hours watching the colours change on the fields. I loved driving through one-street-towns, feeling the thrill of “different” - looking at places that I’d never been before, and likely never see again.

I still feel that way now, whenever I go somewhere new. My head is on swivels, and I am breathless with excitement as I struggle to take it all in and implant it in my memory. Can you imagine how excited I was when I first went overseas?

Anyway, the things I remember about those childhood trips are the small, insignificant things – having a 4th birthday cake around the camp table. A billion caravan parks along the way, each with new friends to meet for the day. My brother falling out of the top bunk bed in the middle of the night. The camping “toilet”, literally a bucket. Learning to play Canasta with my dad and beating him. The smell of the camping gear. Helping dad hammer in the tent pegs. Climbing out of tents with bleary eyes, and seeing a new mountain range, tinted with the first rays of sunlight…

My husband, on the other hand, did not have a family that enjoyed camping. His family did other great things, but he’s often said that its something that he feels he missed out on during his childhood.

So with that in mind, we plan to take big adventures with our two, and create a lifetime of memories for them.

We’ve talked about it for months now, planned it, dreamed about it, and have almost decided on a time frame. We have half of the gear from our life “before kids”… we just need to develop on it a little now, to cater for littlies. We do not have things like porta-cots, single air mattresses or kids sleeping bags. A bucket would do, but it would be kinda nice to have a port-a-potty too!

So our equipment list grows… and we expanded it a little more just recently by getting ourselves a cast iron Camp Oven.

Naturally, you have to practice using one, and so we set about creating a culinary masterpiece in our backyard so that we kinda knew what we were doing.

  It was really pretty cool to have a camp fire going in your own backyard, Skye loved it, and the dogs were mesmerised by the flames.

Roast Beef and veggies. Camp Oven Style.

It wasn’t a bad effort I tell you – the meat was lovely and tender and the veggies were cooked well – however they didn’t go crispy, and that is something we need to figure out before we head off to do it "for real" away from home.
Yes thats a lot of potato on the plate - what can I say, I love 'em!

We have done a couple more Camp Ovens in the last few weeks (meat only), and feel much more confident in our abilities. Now we just need to try a few other recipes and expand our repertoire.

Camping is going to be so much fun as a family!

Monday, October 01, 2012

Playing favourites

There has been a bit of an internet storm going on the last few weeks, over a daddy blogger in Canada, who recently posted about favouring one son over the other.

Buzz Bishop has said "Those first 2 years of life were not that exciting for me. My wife loved the babying of our boys, I was wanting them to run, and kick, and play." - He said that its much more fun now, doing stuff with his older 5 year old, than with his 2 year old - therefore he hangs out with his older son more.  And that makes him his "favourite".

You can read about it here and his original post here.

I can understand his point of view - I guess he's really saying that he more enjoys being able to interact with his son, rather than a baby who cant do much yet.  Its the STAGE of life, not the child.

I can also understand why its caused a bit of a scandal.

I remember when I was a kid once, watching a TV show where the sitcom TV mum had several kids, and clearly one of them was the “favourite”. I remember turning to my own mum at the time and saying “Its not good for a parent to have a favourite child, is it mum?”

To which she replied “You can have a favourite, but you must NEVER show that you favour one over the other”.

I thought that was a fair call, but it left me wondering which one of us, me or my brother, was the favoured, golden child!

Looking back now, I can see that at different times of our lives, one or the other would have been more in favour, depending on the situation at the time. No doubt when my brother was a stroppy teen, and I was a cute little 7 year old, I would have been the preferred offspring. And then again when I was the moody teenager and my brother was the sensible young adult living out of home, I’m sure he was the favourite.
My brother and I... awww...  Check out the funky 70's bedspread (or maybe its a tablecloth??!!  Wait, maybe its carpet??!!!)

I do clearly remember exploiting my "baby of the family" status on more than one occasion.  Particularly when I would torment my poor big brother to the point of insanity, whereby he would lash out and punch me on the shoulder.  Then I would go crying to mummy, and the rest would go like this:

Me:     Pretending to be more hurt than I really am: "Waaahhh... mummy... John hit me!!"
Mum: "JOHN!!  Dont hit your sister!"
John: "But she started it!!  And she's annoying me!!"
Mum: "And you're old enough to know better!  Leave her alone!"
John:  Storms off in a huff at the unfairness of it all...
Me:      Smirks in victory

The baby of the family has a lot of power.

Naughty, sneaky little bugger that I was.

(I must remember this when my two start fighting)

Anyway, I cant clearly remember any time when I felt like one or the other was a clear favourite. Its one of the many things I truly respect my parents for. Perhaps my brother might have a different view on this, being the older sibling by 7 years. Certainly there are things that he remembers about our childhood, which I have a totally different view on.

Now that I have two little munchkins of my own, I’m curious to see how my own emotions and feelings pan out over the years to come.  Right now, I have days where I prefer the cute little baby stage (oh so many "ga-ga's" coming out of his mouth at the moment, so precious) over the naughty toddler stage.  Or I sometimes prefer the easier-to-reason-with toddler stage, over the grizzly-tired-just-wants-to-cry baby stage.

But I believe its the STAGE that I prefer, not the child.  I'd give my life for both my children.

What do YOU think?