i'm pregnant and it's going to be a rollercoaster

Happy Birthday Dear Daddy! April 2, 2011

Filed under: cooking,eating,family — rakster @ 12:56 pm
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this week was a week of your dad’s birthday.  Tuesday, to be precise.  You and I practiced singing “Happy Birthday Daddy” for the week leading up to it.  You can kinda do it.  We do it line-by-line with you repeating after me.  Your dad was chuffed.   Cake however had to wait until the working week was over.  So this morning was cake-time.


So here it is:  a chocolate-hazelnut-meringue vanilla-caramel-icecream roulade.



Things to do with great eggs (and passionfruit): #2 Passionfruit Icecream February 26, 2011



So one of the bonuses of living in a city where it rained for three months straight and then suffered the worst flood in 30 years is that everything we planted in the garden this year has thrived.   We bought two passionfruit seedlings about a year ago, and put them in to run up our back stairs and back deck railing.   And they have just thrived.  We previously had one there but moving away from the house for a few years the poor plant just didn’t make it without the loving care and attention (water and food) we gave it, so was just a broken bunch of sticks when we moved back in two years ago (has it been that long already!?).  I recall however that it did take more than one season to fruit when we have previously planted passionfruit.  Not this time. (more…)


Things to do with great eggs: #1 Creme Caramel February 19, 2011

Filed under: cooking,eating,Parenting,pregnancy — rakster @ 2:59 pm
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Simple, good, eggy (almost two a day from our new extended family).

fresh creme caramel

This is of course so that I can eat enough protein when pregnant.  Not just because my savoury-tooth switched entirely to a sweet-tooth when I was first pregnant and has got even more sweetly-pronounced the second time around. (more…)


Announcing the new arrivals at our house: Chicken 1 and Chicken 2 February 3, 2011


Well, I’ve been wanting to have chickens again for a few years, and now that we are definitely firmly ensconced back in our house in Brisvegas with another child on the way (and thus no move in sight for the short to medium forseeable future), it seemed a good time.

And fortunately the argument about whether I would actually look after them or not ended with me saying that we will always be able to ‘give them back’ if it doesn’t work out (as they are a lovely gift from some friends who are slightly over-chickened at the moment AND happened to have a spare chicken coop).

preparing the chicken coop for the new arrivals...

Yay!!! (more…)


Cooking again – simple Lemon Sago Pudding… January 22, 2011

Filed under: activities for kids,cooking,Parenting,Raising a Child — rakster @ 3:11 pm


so my new kitchen is NEARLY all done (just the splashbacks), so over the past week since we got back I’ve been unpacking kitchen boxes in addition to unpacking from the holidays. How does one accumulate so much stuff for one kitchen. Anyway, I found my favoured appliance yesterday in the second-last box. Yes, the second-last (hallelujah!). Have you guessed what it is?? Some previous posts might alert you: Grumpy and Emotional or the following, It’s your dad’s birthday….

Yes, it is my icecream maker. Yay. And I got what I wanted for Christmas: a copy of David Lebovitz’s the The Perfect Scoop.

So although yesterday I wanted to bust it right out and get cooking on some new icecream, (more…)


My First Mother’s Day… May 9, 2010

Filed under: cooking,eating,Parenting — rakster @ 8:32 pm
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Not quite in bed (it’s hard to cook at all with a babe at your feet but kudos to your dad for getting it done even if it did take a while). They were superb!

Homemade waffles and berries with icecream… (more…)


Boobies are Us… January 12, 2010

Hello Little Munchkin,

What has been happening?   ….. mmm Apple Pie

Long time no write for me.  It’s been a busy week – swimming, sanding the back deck and reoiling, cooking apple pie (I’ve been meaning to do the pie for at least a year and I finally got to it on Sunday – and it was yum).

Apple Pie from the baking book

Apple Pie - I finally got around to this recipe..

Designer Apple Pie

You: rolling, commando crawling at greater and greater speed, trying to swim, competently sitting-up, lots and lots of squawking.

Today’s Walking Adventure – Hot hot hot

Today is our car-less day.  Your Dad has the car on Tuesdays and we are left to our own devices.  We decided it was better for the environment and would work out that we just maintained a single car and then your Dad can taxi around a bit when he needs to for work and the like, apart from Tuesdays.   We’ve always walked and cycled a lot, and it’s one of the reasons we bought our house in the inner city – so we could continue to do so.   But today is particularly hot.  It is 30.9 degrees celcius and 51% humidity.  Not the hottest day by far, but hot enough if you’re walking around.  Today was the first meeting of the year for my local group of the Australian Breastfeeding Association, so you and I walked there and back.  And today I’m gonna write about it, ’cause I enjoy it so much and really get a lot out of it.  And you enjoy it too – it’s a chance to interact with a bunch of other young kids.

Australian Breastfeeding Association

Boobies are Us.

“Boobies are Us” is what your father affectionately refers to it as.   He thinks it’s great and is really supportive of breastfeeding – he knows it is the best thing for you and unfortunately he can’t control it, so puts his energy into helping me.  We’ve been out to the shop in our city to buy some things a few times and he has had some great input from the women working there and out the back in the State office.  But I must admit I think he is still a little perplexed about what we actually do at the support group meetings.

I know it’s is jest, but the question,

“Do you all just get your boobs out?”

has come up!  The answer?  Yes, most of the women there do “get their boobs out” at some point to feed their child/children.  Some discreetly, some less discreetly.  Some babies, some toddlers.  But not everyone.  There is an older lady (perhaps in her fifties) who is our treasurer, whose children are well past the breastfeeding stage.   Is everyone there a boob feeding nazi? No, definitely not.  That’s one of the reasons I enjoy it so much – there is such a mix of people there.  Yes, people there are obviously giving breastfeeding a go as that’s what it is: a breastfeeding support group.  But do some of them use other forms of food too – you bet. Are all of them commited to feeding their babes by breastmilk until they are five? Of course not. Are some – yes, if that’s what their babes are after.  It’s a mix.

Do dad’s go?  Yes –  not so many, but there have been a few at different meetings, often when their baby is young and they are there with their partner to get some input and support.

And what do we do??  Well, most fortnights there is a topic for discussion, and we have an activity or prompts that the group leader has put together that we use to stimulate discussion and chats.  The kids (of varied ages) all rollick around on the floor (it’s held in the playgroup space under a local church so there are lots of toys and it’s a safe area).  The reason I enjoy it so much is that there is actual opinion, debate and experience about meaningful things discussed.  Yes, most of it is breastfeeding-focussed, but a lot about the tribulations and challenges of raising children, and coping strategies, techniques and listening to each other.  And it’s a very local group, so I then see a lot of the members around the traps when we are out and about.  It makes me feel connected to you, my baby, and my area, and the community.  Which is pretty important.  ‘Cause my hormones still leave me up and down quite a bit.  And I’m still adjusting to the major life change of having a baby and having to care for someone else 24/7.

Today’s topic was about toddlers.  We discussed a range of topics such as  developmental milestones, separation anxiety, breastfeeding, eating, weaning, having a second child, me-time or mum-time, occupying and stimulating toddlers…  It’s still school holidays, so there were lots of extra kids there today, and about 15 mums.And there were lots of opinions, lots of questions and lots of talking.  Fun.   You cracked-up and got a bit tired about and hour and a bit in, so we left early.

Just thought I’d write about one of the things we get up to during the day.  An important thing.

Love you



Taxes and the Library November 19, 2009


So. Your Aunt Reegan has been busy looking for a job now that I’m all mobile again (boot is allowed to come off for a few hours to suit my level of discomfort a day now -WOO HOO!). And one of her primary complaints has been that moving back to Australia & looking for a job really isn’t great as the tax we pay here is so high compared to Japan. So even if she gets a job paying more than her salary in Japan, she gets to keep less. I keep telling her how wonderful the government here in Australia actually is (sarcasm). I then encourage her to write to her local MP, councillor, senator etc whenever something comes up that she feels strongly about. Email is the way to go. And it’s easy. I think I write to the government about something I care about at least once a week. Helps me vent and keeps me sane. Latest was the proposed changes to Youth Allowance (or whatever it’s called now – the money you get to help you live while you’re studying) – i.e. it’s not enough & we’re trying to be an educated nation yet don’t help students from non-priveleged backgrounds enough to keep them from the poverty line while they are trying to get a degree… Rant aside, what I do keep telling her is that the government here does provide some resources to the public, and since we live in the inner-city, it’s worthwhile taking advantage of whatever you can get hold of. She ums and ahs and then just grumbles at me. But, two weeks ago we went down to the new State Library building. Walking into it, with its lovely plush couches and air-conditioning, and free wi-fi and banks of computers, she said, “and this is why we pay taxes in Australia. Japan has NOTHING like this”. It’s great. And there is a kid’s corner just waiting for you to enjoy as you grow up. Just down the road from the free water-park for kiddies.

This morning, you and I again went in the car, and down to the State Library kid’s corner for “Rhyme Time”. A few shots which don’t quite capture the manic atmosphere: think about 50 children of all ages in a brightly decorated room about 4 x 10 m, all shrieking, squealing, talking and singing along to the rhymes done by the librarians. Crazy. And a pram convention just near the room.

Poogie rocking on to the rhyme time

You enjoyed yourself.  The first time we took you two weeks ago I think it was all just a little too overwhelming.  Today you did some singing on my lap, and were happy being up on some benches high above most of the other kids, so you could watch and be secure with me.   After a bit of singing we went and you laid on the carpet and did some rolling around.  There are all sorts of exciting things hanging from the roof so you got distracted by that a bit.  There were a few other kids who seemed interested in you and came over to give you some touches and a bit of a ‘hello’.  You were pretty keen on the little boy who seemed to like rubbing his hair in your face.  And you are astounded at the noise and interaction with so many other children.  Crazy – I could almost see you thinking.  What are they all doing, and why are they so loud??

a snapshot of the chaos. It just doesn't quite translate in a photo.

After about an hour, you were starting to get tired and over-it. You enjoyed the stimulation, but it just got a bit much. So off we went, home again.

You’re getting so big so quickly, I look at the kids in the room and think you’ll be in school before I can blink. I’m pondering how if ever I’ll be able to balance you and work and study and life.

A good morning. You’re a cutie and I love you.



eating and waiting… June 12, 2009

Hello Little Baby Speck!

Well, its freezing this morning. I have my computer in bed with me and am working from there. We went out yesterday and bought two new oil heaters after plugging in our old one to absolutely zero effect the day before (I think the move back from Sydney finally killed it). And so I have the heater we bought for your room in our room this morning and I’m under the covers too. Brrrr. Apparently its five degress. Very cold for a draughty queenslander.   Your dad and I are both a little worried at how cold our house is going to be when you arrive home …  (BTW Week 38 today!  Week 38… I never thought it would come around).

Slept badly again last night. Woke at 3 am and didn’t get back to sleep until around 5:30… Then got woken this morning at 6:30 by the gas workmen right outside our bedroom window digging a big hole in our yard and discussing how cold it was last night / this morning and how many Bundy and Cokes they managed to consume in the car trip home last night because the traffic was bad. Aaagh.. You weren’t impressed either – there was some kicking down there and I interpreted it as “pissed off”. Much more violent and quick than your normal movement.

Yesterday had a spurt of energy and decided to get some things done. Hence the heater-buying. Also managed to inspire myself to cook biscuits. See – still having total cravings for sweet food. Weird. Anyway, I was inspired to biscuits after looking through the Australian Women’s Weekly biscuit cookbook. Its a book that my Grandmother gave me when I was 12 years old. I only just got it back from your Aunt R the other day – I must have loaned it to her a few years ago… I’m really glad I got it back – I thought it was just packed away in one of the multitude of boxes we have yet to look in – stored under the house from before we moved to Sydney. Its sentimental. Anyway, I’ve got it and I have good memories of cooking the biscuits. Hopefully something we can do together when you get bigger – I’ve had some practice with F as she and I used to cook them all the time when we lived next door to each other…

monte carlos - yum!

Yep, so yesterday I did the monte carlos. And damn, do they taste good if I do say so myself. I say so myself. They taste good. Full of sugar. Yum.

Today is a work day. Looking forward to the weekend :)

love you


Beach holiday June 7, 2009

Hello Speck!

Here we are – we are all in a big house right on the beach at Byron.  Lovely with a view straight through from the living area and kitchen across the garden to the ocean.   The sea is a bit choppy and dirty due to all the recent rain and storms, so its not great for swimming, but the beach is good for walking… Its been a full moon, so every night you can see a trail into the distance across the waves and the ocean, leading out to a large fat full moon.  From your dad and I’s bedroom you can see straight out, so we’ve been sleeping with the curtains open and waking to the rising sun.  Lovely.


Otherwise – its a full house and we are all having lots of fun.  Mostly cooking and eating.  Tonight we’ve got two desserts – I’ve made my greek galaktaboureko for the first time, and your Aunt St has made a gluten and dairy free lemon meringue pie…  Then for entree K has made chick pea pancake / fritters with an olive tapenade, olive boccocini and fresh lovely local roma cherry tomatoes.  There is stuffed capsicum and tomatoes coming for main, with meat for those who have that, and then stuffed squid too.   I think everyone was in the kitchen cutting, stuffing and cooking at the same time at one point,  enjoying the laughter and the good smells.  Notice I’ve started with the dessert.   Funny that is still my focus.  I’ve definitely had cravings or more like lustings for sweet food during my pregnancy with you.

Wanted to write and let you know we are still thinking of you.   L has been singing you songs as we went to the market and shopping today – he and his sister are quite excited that you’re coming to join us soon.   They are coming for a sleepover this friday night so they get one in before you arrive.  We’ve promised to cook smoothies for breakfast.  Anyway, L has been asking all about you – if you can hear yet, how big you are etc.  We’ve told him you can hear us, a bit like what you can hear when you’re underwater.   So, you’ve been getting renditions of songs learned at kindi and prep that he wants to share with you.

lemon meringue pie

And you are obviously gettting well fed.

Hope you’re well. Off to the beach for a walk.

love mum