Category Archives: Birthday

Poor hubby…

He always takes vacation the week of his birthday (usually because I’m going to Vegas with the girls, but not this year sadly). This morning we did presents & cards before he did the school run & walked the dog. I had to go into school for 11 to finish the Gala projects, then I was going to take him out for a birthday lunch. The first thing to go wrong was the coffeemaker, & you know how I am about my coffee. Sure we could make Keurig’s or Nespresso’s but we use our drip coffeemaker every morning for breakfast & it’s set on a timer so it’s always ready. No auto drip coffee would be a right pain.

So I had the thought that we could luncheon on Granville street & pop in Williams & Sonoma to purchase a new one. First we went to the little Bistro I had been wanting to try for a while, but they were closed on Monday’s (oops, should have checked that!). Instead I suggested a restaurant across the street we hadn’t been to in years. Williams & Sonoma was on our way. We browse the coffeemakers & make our selection but ask if they can keep it for us until we’ve had lunch – by this time we were both starving.

On our way to lunch I realize that I’d missed a couple of calls from school. There was also a message from younger child, which is a first. Poor thing had not felt well in the later part of the morning, had eaten lunch & promptly threw up. Hubby was clearly not allowed to have his birthday lunch on his birthday. We headed straight to school to pick up our sick 7 year old. He did look a bit peeky but by the time we got home he was keen to do his homework & help me set up the new coffeemaker. Needless to say the little ‘fraud’ then watched a movie & drank plenty with no signs of any vomiting. He then complained of hunger at dinner time but I refused to allow him to have the casserole, just in case. Soup & dry bread for you mate!

After all that I’m happy to say he’s fine, & will definitely be going back to school tomorrow in the hope that at some point in this week off I can try again to take hubby for lunch, & this time it will be to the bistro I intended togo to in the first place.

Happy Birthday to my wonderful, understanding hubby!

The birthday gift…

I have been re-learning guitar for 18months now & I thought I was doing well enough to now upgrade form nylon to steel strings. So, when I had to pop into the store to pick up a birthday present for my younger sons friend (who I knew was getting a guitar & lessons for his birthday) I couldn’t help having a peek at the steel strings for myself. I started out on the ‘cheaper side of the room, thinking yes these are pretty nice & sound waaay better than mine, but the assistant, who’s job it is to sell me the most expensive one he can of course, I get that, managed to steer my over to the really nice side of the room.

Now, this store, where we also have lessons, has recently changed hands so they are selling off a lot of good stock. Of course I’m sucked into this because I think I’m getting a good deal right? Yes I probably am & hubby has offered up a shiny new guitar as an early birthday present – so even better.

At the birthday party this afternoon the parents kindly made it a grown up get together too, which was very sociable. When everything was in full swing a friend of the host picked up the ½ size birthday gift & proceeded to strum pleasant tunes that gathered quite a crowd of kids. I continued chatting but all the time aware that this was going on just a few feet away. If I’m honest I was trying to ignore the fact that this person was clearly far far better than me, not to mention the fact that she was playing on something that looked like a Ukulele on her.

The best of it was I had just been talking to another friend who was there & is also considering picking up lessons again, about how I felt I could now justify an upgrade in instrument. How great the steel strings sounded when I casually played the three chords of ‘Thinking Out Loud’ while perched on a stool in the middle of the store. Clearly I have a very long way to go & have no business upgrading, but do I still want hubby to splash out? Of course, I can play one song right, that more than most people, & it will sound so much better!

All in a Sunday…

An early birthday party… a stroll around the False Creak seawall… iChatting with the grandparents… resting my poor painful knee… BBQ dinner (again)… folded a monster pile of laundry… organized the boys for their last week at school (JOY!)… A soak in the bath… An even bigger soak in a rather good new gin we have discovered, while maybe watching a movie.

I think I’m also ready for the summer break, this week is shaping up to be mental!

(Lame posting – sorry but I’m pooped 🙂


A Sunday of scanning & crafts…

08.30 – YAY! A sleep in!

10.00 – Hubby & elder child have disappeared off on their shiny bikes wearing smart new lycra. Younger child & I are going to build BB8, R2D2 & C3PO – a book he bought with his pocket money at the school book fair. He had done quite a lot himself but they are just made of strong cardstock with flaps & slots to hold them in place – quite tricky for a 7 year old to do. We set up in my craft room & begin.

11.00 – We have built BB8 & put a joint of beef in the oven to roast.

12.00 – We have almost completed R2, attended to the beef & prepared the potatoes.

12.40 – R2 is finished, the potatoes are roasting & the beef is almost done.

13.00 – Hungry smelly bikers return after 33kms & elder child didn’t fall off once. They also saw some friends from school & caught the tail end of the emergency services clearing up after a hit & run. Slightly more eventful than our morning in the craft room!

13.30 – We are sitting down to a proper Sunday lunch for the first time ever – I think (we normally have this at about 5pm). Elder child declares war on the chef because she forgot to buy Yorkshire puddings!

14.30 – I abandon hubby with all the dishes to head to the hospital to have a CT scan of both my knees this time.

15.00 – I arrive bang on time. No need to get changed because my cropped pants will roll up – even better. However, in the process of doing this in front of the radiographer (a guy, of course it was a guy) I discover that I must have dropped chocolate into my lap when eating my dessert. I large blob of melted chocolate was sitting between my legs in an embarrassing spot! I scoop a bit off & lick my finger announcing that it’s definitely chocolate. He did not find this amusing. The scan takes all of 2 minutes & I’m on my way home.

16.15 – We all sit down to play Cluedo, a game the boys only just learnt yesterday at our friend’s house. Considering they are not quite tuned into listening what is being said beyond their own turn, they didn’t do too badly. There was also gin involved.

17.30 – I make 2 Spiderman cards for a birthday party younger child is attending next weekend, while the boys get bathed & pj’s on early so daddy can finish reading the Narnia book to them.

19.00 – I organise everyone’s life for school, work & the morning boot camp routine.

19.30 – I thought getting ready for bed early meant that they should be in bed by now, but hubby is still reading.

19.45 – I gently remind him of the time, & he promises he’s nearly finished. They are going to be disgusting tomorrow mark my words.

20.00 – Finally! So much for their early night before school, after having two late nights over the weekend.

20.15 – All is calm & right in the world again. It must be time for wine?

Silly specs!

I used to climb, both indoors & out. In recent years, since I’ve been dealing with ‘it’, I have been known to climb when I shouldn’t have. The consequences of rebelling the way I do are actually worth it. Why do I allow myself to suffer even more pain & discomfort? Well, it’s a family thing. It’s the part of me that expected to be the mum who followed my boys down the double black diamonds, hiking & camping by glacial lakes, & of course climbing. So when we do these things, sometimes I am sensible, sometimes I am not – isn’t that why I have painkillers, so I can enjoy some fun family stuff? Unfortunately they are not always enough to fix the pain, that’s also why I have a physiotherapist, massage therapist, private Pilates instructor.


At least with climbing I can, & do, belay. I still get to enjoy being a part of an activity that now we all love doing together. The fact that my newly turned 7 year old chose to celebrate his birthday with a climbing wall party – hence the ‘rock cake’ – says it all. He was the only one who climbed; none of his friends had even tried it before. It was funny to hear him giving his peers advice like he was a complete pro. Although some of those kids were apprehensive, every one of them climbed well & had a blast. So much so that they were asking their parents if they too could have a climbing party to – Yay! My work here is done!


In between feeding & watering 12 kids, I belayed my elder son, & one of his school friends while her younger brother was part of the party. Their mum stuck around too, as both wanted to have a go. Before the party kids all had their harnesses on my elder son had shinned up 3 auto belay routes. He then moved over to the lead wall where I belayed him. He didn’t actually lead the climb, but he had to unclip & re-clip the rope. I lost count of the number of climbs he did in the end, & I belayed the others too – that’s a lot of belaying. Of course hubby helped out to, but can you imagine how my neck & shoulders would feel after all that constant looking up & pulling on a rope? Well, Pilates has taught which muscles I should & shouldn’t be using, so that sorts out all the pulling, but what about the neck?


Belay glasses of course! Yep, they look utterly ridiculous because I look like I’m wearing 2 prisms over my eyes, but they are FANTASTIC. It means I can just look straight ahead, never needing to look up at all. However, my son did say that not only did I look a bit silly, but he also found it quite funny to watch me answer him if he called down to me. Apparently I looked like I was talking to wall (to be honest as a mother I feel like I might as well be talking to the wall sometimes!). Frankly I don’t care how much I amused, this ingenious invention is a god send for someone like me, & I wasn’t the only one, there were several pairs around the gym.


At the end of the day, although ‘it’ is been tough on us, as a family, it just goes to show that there may be some aspects of an activity you once loved that you might have to give up, you don’t necessarily have to give it all up. It takes time & effort to explore the options, but if your patient, & strong enough not to give up completely, you can always find a way to still enjoy some part of the things you love, & quality family time is one of the biggest drives to help you accomplish that, that has been mine.


Don’t let ‘it’ win…

Cake, Karting & cadbury’s!

I’m glad the ‘cake’ impressed, thank you for the comments. Why not a traditional cake or cupcakes? Well, I own the only 7 year old in the universe that doesn’t like cake! Or maybe I should clarify that, doesn’t like MY cakes. He’ll eat cupcakes from the expensive cupcake store of course. However, I should point out that even my dog wouldn’t eat my baking. Therefore, I needed to think up something that would fit the climbing wall party theme, I could make two of so that I didn’t have to cut the ‘cake’ there (they don’t have a party room) & the kids could take home a pre-wrapped, not to messy treat. So I’ve put Krispie lollipops in little baggies, & the actual wall itself can go to school on Monday for his class mates, voilà, everyone is happy!

I can’t believe he’s 7 (his birthday was over the holidays which we have discovered from past experience is a stupid time to try & have a birthday party). Being child no.2 we have very little time with him just hubby & I. So, when no.1 spent the entire afternoon at a friend’s house, & ended up staying for dinner, we were determined to make sure we had some fun with him. Both of my boys have been helping me redecorate their bathroom, they are keen to get involved with painting etc. but first I have to strip all the paper off. After a successful afternoon of ripping all the paper off at the beginning of last week, I didn’t need to do much persuading when it came to slapping hot water & vinegar all over the walls so we could scrape the backing paper off. I remember doing this with my mum when I was a similar age, & I loved it. We had great fun this afternoon, doing what is a physically demanding task for me. I got some help doing something I enjoy doing, & hopefully when it’s all done they will both appreciate it even more because they helped to do it.

I asked him to chose dinner… Tacos! Then after dinner we then promised him we would all Mario Kart on the Wii together, breaking after a couple of rounds for ice cream, which I allowed him to have a whole Cadbury’s (Yes REAL Cadbury’s from the UK) flake in his, normally I half them so we share 2 between 4 (mean mother I am!). We squeezed in one more round before big brother knocked on the door a few minutes later. He too had had a fun packed afternoon of ice-skating, Xbox, & Lego building. Everyone was happy & ready for bed.

I too am in a better place, thanks to good friends, & a very supportive & patient husband. I’m hopefully coming out into the light & seeing things a little clearer again – doesn’t mean it changes how I feel about some things, but hopefully I can cope with them better.

Of course, tomorrow is another day & birthday parties are always fun!

What did I do with them?

This afternoon & into the evening – on a Friday when I should be enjoying my first glass of wine of the week – I took…

1200g of Chocolate

320g of Rice Krispies

14 Skittles

3 Strawberry Bootlaces

3 Lego figures

3 Lollipop sticks

&  1 Candle!

What did I do with them?

A 7th Birthday Climbing Wall ‘cake’ of course!

The ice cream ball…

What’s not to love about ice cream? So, what if it was possible to make it wherever & whenever you want, even when you’re camping. You can, thanks to a really cool birthday gift that my elder gave his little brother. Ok, so you still need to have the ingredients of which includes cream & ice – of course! But, if you’re a serious camper you’ll have one of those coolers that lasts for 3-5 days, & you can always pick up ice at a gas station if the camp site doesn’t have any. Then the actual process of making dessert is quite fun…

The device looks like a fancy soccer ball. It has two compartments at each end, one for the edible ingredients, one for ice & rock salt. Once you have filled it, & you have made sure the lids are secure, you roll it around on the floor. Yes, it’s as simple as that. After 10 minutes we checked the progress, not knowing what to expect, but sure enough the cream was thickening & something resembling ice cream had actually formed on the walls of the compartment. So, we continued, rolling it back & forth for a further 10 minutes.

Believe it or not it really did work. The only catch was that it seemed to melt very quickly when we served it, so we abandoned that idea & ate it straight from the ball. I figured that this would much more fun if we were sitting around a campfire passing it around, & not huddled around a tiny table in the corner of a hotel suite!

All told we were quite impressed with this rather unique gift that would be fun for big kids of all ages – especially hardened outdoors types.