Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Arrrrr it's my swashbucklin partee of all things piratical

You missed the greatest pirate party ever.  
Well, in my head it was, though in the confines of 24-hours in a day there were some economies of scale and creation that took place. 
But somehow, in the blink of an eye, O is now 4 and Goosey turned 1. 
You were sorely missed and I know you wanted to be here too ... but next year (started pinning ideas already!)  On a separate note, Jac has told me I am not allowed to send her any ideas next year, no matter how good, in fact she will not even tell me if there is a theme before arriving ... her rainbow party for S was pretty mindblowing and stylish.  Far fewer toilet paper rolls and scrunched up bits of foil than ours.  We even failed on the balloon front when our ?two-year-old-stash of black ones we bought 4 packs for 25c somehow spontaneously popped (and tasted weirdly salty when inflating) ... oh well!

So here's some decorating / setting the mood ...
Using gold chocolate coins in along with napkins was a BAD idea ... it was main course of choice on most plates, particularly Mr 4
The Plundering GUP - a salute to the last-minute Octonauts obsession: an amazing huge cardboard box boat, with umbrella stand, broomstick mast, cot-sheet sail, binoculars, anchor. 

.. and operational pulley for trapdoor.  All cut and painted with O & G one afternoon.  There is still the outline on the floorboards as I optimistically didn't lay dropsheets!
We finally hung the beautiful Danish mobile that Nat gave us when Goosey was born ... what do you mean viking boats don't fit with a pirate theme??
Craft table: felt hats, bandannas, eye patches for any pirates "missing" attire, crepe papered shoebox treasure chests with individual treasure bags, face paint and supplies to make cup & wire hooks, popsicle stick catapults, gold sparkly pasta necklaces ...
Mustache straws
We played a looting game - leaving the ship via the trap door with their own unique treasure bag (in place of a party "favor" bag)...  
 ... under the seaweed forest and onto the plank .... 

.... leaping past the snappy crocodile (Nanna's hands above left!) and crawling through the tunnel to the pool of treasure....
Sorting through the packing fill was fun and hard work.  And after it had been trampled and thrown and spread, we still have static-y bits on ceiling and appearing on the floor ... but loads of fun finding red rubies (boiled lollies), buttons (which had pirate-y motifs on them), bits of metal (buckles, chains, medals etc), jolly-rodgers (stickers, bags, buttons), the first letter of their name) and of course, the first of many chocolate gold coins.
I think my parrot had died by this stage. Recognise the MTC costume dept hat??!!

Getting those 5 children to play was no small feat, as these getting all the kiddos to play in any one area was a bit like herding flies.  

Some jumped on the trampoline, others braved the sideway to visit Obie the fearsome seadog who was tied up munching on bones, others played with presents indoors.  

There was even one very good little pirateer who indulged me by playing the magnetic fishing game I had set up (sewn bits of paper together with 4 jelly beans inside, after working exactly what our fridge magnets could manage weight-wise with a paperclip as the metal bit holding the tail shut)

There was food naturally enough (though no sausage rolls in honour of your superiority in this field!)
Swashbuckling Sushi, Bags of Treasure (Shanghai Village dumplings courtesy Nick),  Chickpea of the Sea sandwiches, Fishy green (avocado) sandwiches, Fish and Chips (all shop bought, I succumbed!), Piratey cheese, and other non-piratey food too.  But again, mostly the decorative gold coins were plundered.
Look away, there IS red cordial "shark's blood" on the table ... what was I thinking?

And of course the cake which was if I do say so, pretty impressive.  

I had to grab the Lego people immediately after the candles were blown as at least one kid picked it up, tried to eat it, then pocketed it!  I think all the little pirates had an enormous slab each as they wanted to have a piece of the wood (kit-kat) edging! And Malteser cannon ball! Ooops!  The cake & icing was from this months Donna Hay kids magazine and was quite good.  Much easier than last year's fire engine .. and better ... there's learning and improvement!!

Finally the treasure hunt where again, we had about half the interested scoundrels who hunted with a highly professional (*snort*) clip-art map, connected by red crayon marks.  It took them around the house in 2 teams to washing machine, under tables & beds, in shoe baskets, for goodies such as gold glittery penne pasta on wool, a package of jellyfruit "rubies", and some piratey stickers.  It culminated in digging in a pot of sand to find a collection of foreign and local coins mingled with more chocolate coins.  Again all good until one kid tried to bite the copper 2 cent piece.  And another kid fell into a stinging nettle which was part of our green manure-crop / weed patch in the front.  Fail!And not even any photos of that bit ... so just imagine.

So that was it really ... grandparents and uncles here for dinner ... early to bed for the youngest pirate who has been ill ever since.  and much playing with all the new toys this past week.  Even if he does have too many (really, is such a thing possible??). So here's some of the crew that were here ...
Such a tired little seadog .. he did so well without his usual nap ...
I love this photo!
The party, as all those previously, wouldn't have come "off" without family help - thanks guys!
Such gorgeous little pirate friends!
And some not so gorgeous!! But realistic and scary!!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Two things from today

McCarron Park in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

I'm sitting in McCarron Park in Williamsburg, eating peaches and watching people of my own generation wearing and doing things unimaginable to me. Two things have occured to me as I've watched the parade of Ray-bans, exposed bra straps and impossibly short shorts go by. Thing number 1) the intonation of American enthusiasm sounds frustratingly like Australian sarcasm. So when a girl walked pass and gushed "I l-uh-ve your dress! It looks soo good!" I immediately thought she was being sarcastic and wanted to go home. Even though I know this dress does look good (brilliant 2nd hand find; long, black and white, polka dotted, backless halter style dress with a tie up bow on the lower back. I'll try to get a photograph of myself so you can see it) I immediately took her compliment, turned it into criticism and let that be the dominant opinion of myself. Even if she was being critical of me, why should I care? Who is she to me? Which brings me to Thing 2) I need to be more confident and assertive. Not only when it comes to opinions of myself, but also how I engage with others. Case in point; I went to buy an iced coffee and asked for regular milk. The man made it with soy and then as he was holding out for me said "you asked for regular, but I put soy in it. Is that alright?" It was not of course alright. I don't like the taste of soy milk, but I just meekly nodded and even tipped the guy so he knew there were no hard feelings and then walked down the street gingerly sipping on my watery, mud flavoured drink.
So these are the revelations of today. Until I become more confident I am doomed to drink terrible coffee and doubt my fabulousness.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

I'd like to thank my family and God and...

I must agree, we are bad bloggers!
Our loyal followers (pause... the sound of cicadas chirping) don't even know I am living in Brooklyn! That's right, I'm living on the Bushwick/Bed-Stuy border which means I have an organic fruit store AND authentic gang violence located conveniently at my doorstep!
There is also a Chinese take-out place downstairs that serves some very interesting fish;

The apartment is pretty amazing though. See? Look at pictures - they're worth a thousand words, so maybe also make up for slacko blogging;

Messy but very functional kitchen

This is my sleeping pod with desk and bookshelf below; both also messy, but very functional

Inside the sleeping pod; sheet, quilt and pyjamas all kicked to the end of the bed because it's been getting so hot at night. Cosy!

Little shelves and some books I am reading because I'm soo intellectual
I am working for a company called Broadway.com, which is passing the time and earning me money and also possibly sparking a Dr Pepper habit since they have a fridge full of it for staff to help themselves to. Earning money is probably the highlight because it means I can do things like make plans to travel across the US. This is my proposed trip, although I'm still not sure if I'll fly or catch the train from LA to Dallas;

Can you believe I made this myself and I'm not even a graphic designer???

Other exciting things of late; I went on a road trip with my friends Cristina and Andrea;

to visit Hayley in Burlington, Vermont
Sunset over Lake Champlain
While we were there we went to the drive-in and Hayley and I ate corndogs!

I have also had some people from back home visit me. First it was Laura, whom I'm friends with from working at MTC, and her cousin Dan;

Then Sarah, who I became friends with through working at MTC, and her friend Glenda;

And then Michael B, who I also worked with at MTC (thanks MTC for providing me with jet-setting friends!);

And of course there have still been my ongoing adventures in supermarket shopping;

I broke out in a rash just seeing this in the supermarket aisle

Well at least it's cholesterol free!
The other big thing that has been taking up oodles of my time is trying to work out what you and I could do, dear sister, so that we could work together again, like in the good old days at Eurosite, except hopefully more fun and rewarding and maybe somewhere with natural light.
So far my best idea is an Alice in Wonderland themed cafe for adults that serves fancy tea in fancy teacups (I wonder if we know anyone who owns enough teacups to supply a cafe?), dainty, organic cucumber sandwiches and delicious treats (we could pull all the recipes off Pinterest - looking on the internet will be part of our job description!!!) There would also be an area for children to eat and play which is where Gus and Owen could play all day, so we'd get to see them too, all the time. Mum would be involved in the fit-out (i.e. she would contribute teapots, teacups and all her Alice ephemera, where it could be displayed beautifully) and I'm sure she would love to do something like Alice in Wonderland story readings every week. And because Mum would be involved, Dad could be our financial backer.
I think we would call it Curiouser & Curiouser.
It's just a thought.
Tell me yours.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Gulp: Worst bloggers anywhere, ever

A shoe-in for this award I thinks ...
So a short err 4 months has rushed by.  Somehow this is my first attempt infront of our clunky old desktop where there are no awake children, the internet is working, and the job I came to do (check family assistance claim) took waaaayyy less time than I thought.  So with no content in mind, ignoring all my drafts Ive been busy concocting from my iphone (gee that burns my thumb-pad) I am writing. Just to say hi.  And to say we are all so excited to see you in six short months.  But mostly to update some pictures.  So without further padding on the chance that Owen is going to wake up vomiting again shortly (we have just washed 2 changes of bedding, beanbag, pillow and various stuffed animals) ..... here are our family in a few pics.
And do check out our (well, mine so far) Pinterest which has been sustaining my short attention span in bed nursing Gus most nights. If you can get past the awful spelling and the overload of wedding "inspiration" you may find some love.  Or not.  
And Andy wants to know if you'll be at Coney Island to see Kobiachi (?sp) in the hot-dog-eating contest?  I think it was the second reason he would consider getting on a plane for 2 days with 2 children < three years.
Owen being Elton-esque.  He still loves putting on a good concert. He is really into Justine Clarke and often comments on her good singing and guitar playing ability.  Dinosaur Roar is on repeat.  
Mama is so clever: she made a fancy new dressing gown from that material bought 2-years ago but was forbidden to cut.  And I made dragon slippers for both Owen and Gus.  Both chuffed.  
Shit. Busted hanging out on the dog's bed, removing the oh-so-gorgeous (but very effective) bubblewrap window insulation
This is a self-portrait from Owen.  He is thoroughly "in to" borrowing cameras and pointing and shooting.  Which I find hilarious seeing he is THE most reluctant subject.  Well 2nd most reluctant subject!  I will update a whole series of these as they are quite telling!

Asleep, together, in the big bed.  It still sometimes happens.  This (I think) was a few weeks ago when Andy was out and they both miraculously fell asleep before 7.30.  About ten minutes later one thumped the other and there were tears all around.  But the peace and beauty is lovely while it lasts!

This is a highlight of Owen's creativity.  Window crayons remain winners. These (with the exception of Andy's dodgy batman) are under-sea creatures.  See if you can spot the whale, fish, moray eel, manta ray?
Gummy Gus playing peek-a-boo with red material at the table.  That gum has continued to swell, split and recede for the past 2 weeks.  He will have top teeth any day, any day.
Hilarious classic Gus face.  This usually means there is a bad smell (often in his own nappy). Or that something tastes bad.  Or I have done something that meets disapproval.   

Forgive me my slackness.  I won't promise to do better, though perhaps now with a deadline??? I work well under pressure.

Also must discuss - lonely chicken version 2 for gifts this year?  I'm thinking yes.  Will workshop with you soon xxxxxxx
Love you to pieces