So I umm-ed and ahh-ed and generally drove my loved ones crazy trying to find The Perfect Venue for the Berries’ birthday. A spot that was pretty, with parking, that we could reserve, etc etc. And then it rained, biblically, and everyone squeezed into the not-so-big-when-it’s-full-of-kids-big-new-house. I guess they gave it a pretty good christening… Needless to say I won’t be throwing a kids party this big ever again! So, dear reader, please humour me by imagining all my little crafty fancies hung from the delightfully gnarled and ancient branches of morton bay fig trees, with the afternoon sun glinting and dappling each shiny thing, and happy children frolicking, instead of this grey old inside day.
Question, giant fans: what can you do with a hoola hoop in 15 minutes?
You can turn it into a Christmas wreath!
This is so super easy, hang something, anything in the middle or leave it plain, I just wrapped it in hessian but you could use tinsel, even kitchen foil. Bit of pine trimmed from next door’s overhang and some dried out gum from a gift bouquet. Sorted.
Time is of the essence for me at the moment. No mincing words or extra pics, and no time for icing on these honey jumbles. Lucky they taste bloody good just as they are.
Disclaimer: There is an hour’s wait involved in these. I know, I know. Do the first bit without telling your toddler.
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate soda
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
2 tsps milk
Bring the honey, butter and brown sugar to the boil.
Then cool for an hour or so or until thick (sorry!).
Turn the oven on to 180 degrees.
Sift dry ingredients over cooled butter mix and stir to form a dough. Add the milk as needed then knead lightly. Either shape into rolls and trim neatly into little pillows, or dump dollops unceremoniously onto a tray (can you guess which method I adopt?). Bake for 12-15 mins.
Here’s my lastest post for KIDsize Living. And the Little Berry’s Introduction…
So apologies to any Mitchell Road commuters who happened to catch the one-woman gore-fest on display the Tuesday before last.
You see, it’s a bit messy to have a baby in your bedroom and the walk to the ambulance wasn’t pretty.
This month I sheepishly confess: I had a healing homebirth and despite the steam-cleaning bill, I’m kind of loving myself right now.
The trading of birth stories is a funny thing. My first labour was a long haul. I’ve heard many more stories more full-on than mine (not all of them voluntarily), but I carried a chip on my shoulder for my “failure to progress”, my failure to birth my baby without some serious intervention.
This time around was going to be different, damn it.
I om-ed through enough yoga to turn a pretzel straight and ditched the doctor for a doula.
I listened to enough relaxation scripts to send me over the bloody rainbow and my calm breathing was semi-catatonic.
No getting worked up.
Definitely no getting to the hospital early.
Obviously all that self-hypnosis stuff worked because I was so convinced I wasn’t in established labour that I walked to the shops for toddler party props; ate spicy Sichuan chicken between contractions (I mean surges) and refused to let my poor husband make a single phone call to the damn doula, let alone the hospital, as I moaned and moo-ed in the bath tub that I refused to fill (since I wasn’t really in labour).
Alone in my room, it took the splash of waters breaking all over the carpet to admit it to myself – maybe this time it would be different after all.
And at that moment I felt bloody proud of the mess I’d made. I could finally let myself off the hook.
The rest went in a blur until I was holding a perfect slimy baby in my hands. Even the ambo’s looked dumbfounded when they finally showed up to chauffeur me bloody and semi-naked out into the waiting street-side stretcher.
Of course now I wish I could go back in time to visit my weepy first-time mumma self. Let her know that the hard yards she put in then, made all the difference now, that it wasn’t failure, but prep for a show-stopping second round. I can’t tell her, but I can tell you. Confession session complete.
If you’re in Sydney, you’re probably sick to death of The Grounds by now. It’s absolutely manic on the weekends and I wouldn’t even bother going for lunch on Saturday or Sunday. But we took The Berry’s grandparents while they were here and I saw it through their eyes. It’s really a mum’s paradise (or it will be, once the liquor licence kicks in). As my MIL mentioned in her usual style, they may have been refused entry if not accompanied by a pregnant woman.
It was a beautiful sunny day and The Berry even had a splash around in the fountain while we chomped cake in the shade. Pretty heavenly.
My morning tea enabler is developing an addiction to that almondy one – burnt orange in the bottom. You’ve been warned.
I need one of these for summer.
The Berry’s grandmother on her dadda’s side has been in town and we went on a girls’ trip to a crazy little hair salon set up for kids. There was no holding back, with airplanes chairs (hairplanes, ha ha!), screens pumping kids TV, plus sparkles and glitter and lollies, oh my. It was The Berry’s first professional chop (Mr B has banned me from any more at-home trims).
She loves my cut and finds it hilarious to exclaim “nice haaaaircut, mum!”, as she squishes her little face into mine. So I wasn’t anticipating any dramas and none were had. She took the whole thing very seriously and sat transfixed by Hi-5 as her dextrous speed cutter Juliette neatly snipped some shape into her overgrown mop.
It wasn’t super cheap at $30, but the whole experience was great fun for everyone and has hopefully set us up from many non-traumatic trims in the years to come – though her hair grows so slowly the poor thing is stuck with this style for a while to come.
Kids Lidz Randwick
95 Frenchmans Road,
Randwick, NSW, 2031
(02) 9399 3455