little bother of a brother

This morning as I was trying to leave the house an argument erupted.

Scarlett was trying to tell me something, and her brother was complaining at me that I hadn’t put his cereal bowl in the right spot. I told Scarlett to wait a minute. At this point she burst into tears and ran down stairs screaming that Xavier always gets to talk first.

After losing my own temper, I put Xavier in his place (screaming) while I went to find Scarlett. When I found her I apologised for what had happened.

As I hugged her she said “I wish Xavier had a zipper in his mouth and only you could open it”.

Wouldn’t that be nice?

baking and being

Today is my birthday. I’m thirty six and just realised just how quickly the last 6 years have gone! Six years ago I celebrated my birthday expecting my first child. I was blissfully unaware of the magnitude of the changes this child would enforce on me. And yet, I cannot imagine my life had these changes not occurred.

It’s been an extremely busy couple of weeks. Still getting into the swing of doing the whole school thing, I now feel a little more relaxed about it all and not so frightened of forgetting to pack lunch or return notes on time. Scarlett has settled in to OOSH a little better, and Xavier has stopped crying when I leave him at preschool, instead adopting an awkward little sad wave goodbye. Lots of cuddles resolve any ill feelings at night.

I have been insanely busy at work lately, which I have come to realise has made me a little on edge at home, but I am trying to be conscious of it and keep things in perspective. Even though at times I feel that I am not achieving anything much, I am lucky enough to have a boss who reassures me that I am, and appreciates my efforts.

After an extremely long week (having attending a music festival and two gigs), I am just grateful to stay home today (in my pyjamas) and do the things that make me happy. Presents in bed, breakfast made by someone else, lounging around and baking. Today I have made good use of some bananas that were going bad…

banana bread with coconut

And have also made some delicious Crunchy Lola Cookies

delightful crunchy Lola cookies

But what I am enjoying right now, is listening two my delightful children playing ‘schools’ downstairs. Scarlett, being so excited about learning new things at school, has decided to start her own letter lessons for toddlers such as her brother. I wonder if she will become a teacher one day?

excited to be writing her own words, each family member was asked what they like doings this evening

getting away

Well it has been quite some time since I posted or kept up to date with reading any blogs. I was in week one of semester when I last posted and I haven’t stopped since. It’s been really full on, coupled with immense stress at work, but right now I am a world away from all of that…

My eldest sister had her first baby (Tilly) late last month, my younger sister’s twins (Eliza & Olive) turned one last week and her daughter Nina turned 4 this week. Since both sisters live in Queensland, it seemed like a perfectly good reason to go on holiday, so here we are in sunny (windy) Caloundra Queensland mid way between Brisbane and Noosa (where my sisters live).

It’s been so great to spend some time with my sisters and their families. FaceTime and Skype have been a great way to keep in touch with them and allow the kids to see their faces, but being there with them is so much better. It’s not always easy with kids of varying ages and needs, but just being able to pop over is something I took for granted when they lived in Sydney.

My two children are enjoying having both their parents around all day for days on end. After a hellish week of sickness the week prior to coming away, I was nearly ready to run away and join the circus. being able to relax and spend some time as a family has been great for all of us.

Today I’m looking forward to all of my family (including my dad and his family & my mum who are also up here) having a get together at our holiday house. The sun is shining, so hopefully some park and beach fun will be on the cards. Now it’s up to the weather and the kids to see where the day takes us…

lemony olive oil banana cake recipe

I have received a request for the recipe for the cake I mad yesterday. My version is only a slight alteration of the one I stole it from, but I actually think (after a few more pieces) that it is completely delicious!
Lemony Olive Oil Banana  & Chocolate Bread without Eggs
  • 2 cup plain flour 
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup dark chocolate buds
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups mashed, VERY ripe bananas
  • 1/4 cup vanilla yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine the flours, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Add the chocolate pieces and combine well.
Mix together the olive oil, banana, yogurt, zest, and vanilla. Pour the banana mixture into the flour mixture and fold with a spatula until just combined.
Pour into a greased tin and bake in 180° C oven until brown – about 50 minutes.
Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn the out to cool completely.
I was too lazy to make the glaze, but it would make an nice addition. Here is what you need: 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup icing sugar & 4 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice.

In a bowl, whisk together the sugars and the lemon juice until smooth. When the cake is completely cool, drizzle the glaze on top of the cake.
Today we played at the park, ate cakes/macaroons/lamingtons and enjoyed some familiar company. 
Scarlett was so excited at the prospect of a friend of hers attending ballet classes with her this term, that she made a felt scene about it.

fast learner

Scarlett summonsed me downstairs to see the ‘playhouse’ she and Xavier had been quietly, busily working on for half an hour. Once. Twice. I was clearly engrossed reading the newspaper on my iPad. 

Scarlett urged me one last time “Come on mum, you can take your iPad downstairs”. 

She learns quickly.

 

first week

 This week the kids and I have gone back. Back to work and back to preschool.

I started the week anxious about what lay ahead. I couldn’t sleep the night before my return – the anticipation just got to me. 

It wasn’t so bad.

Today the kids went back to preschool. Xav has moved up a room and all of Scarlett’s mates have gone off to big school, so it was a big adjustment for both of them.

Within minutes of arriving, Scarlett had found the craft table and created this masterpiece with the bits and piece on the table. I LOVE it!

There was a little separation anxiety when we left, but the fact they stay together oh the same room for the morning was very helpful (both emotionally and practically).

As for me, I’ve taken on a new found enthusiasm for organisation (so many great apps for this) and taken a bit of a lead in getting things done (with or without direction from above) and am feeling pretty confident.

 

twenty second

Today was my last day at work for the year and what a relief it is. I’ve had a bad time at work in recent months, and have found it really hard to motivate myself to get out of the rut.

I finished the year off with a(nother) long chat with my manager, and I hope that next year will begin on a positive note. I’m now officially enrolled in a masters program that I think will provide me with the mental stimulation and purpose I’ve been lacking in the latter part of 2011.

We finally got the kids’ santa photos back today – and aren’t they just gorgeous?

We made some last minute rocky road slice this afternoon in preparation for a visit to a Christmas mad friend tomorrow.

Santa’s presents are all wrapped up and ready to go, and it’s almost time to enjoy it all…