m i a o w

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Tag: birthday (Page 1 of 7)

Sunday night

My paltry post last night before crashing out in the caravan was an admittedly desperate attempt to keep my posts to a daily basis.

We drove to Brighton yesterday to have lunch with some people we met a few years ago, prior to them going to sea in a very large catamaran. Since we saw them back then they were shipwrecked (that is not a sentence I have written before), and have also bought at least one more boat. Anyway, they had a lot of boaty stuff that they are planning to sell, and M was invited to go through it all to see if there was anything for our very large boat.

He found quite a bit, I think. And we spent all afternoon with them, their dogs, their barbeque, and all their boaty stuff covering their deck for M to purvey. After that we left (with the caravan in tow) to go to L&D’s house in Bentleigh, where we were expected the following afternoon for L’s birthday celebrations. They were about three minutes away.

Small Z and Chloe Rose were very excited with each other, pushing back their respective bedtimes with their overtired glee. Finally Small Z was sleeping in the caravan, Chloe was in her bed, and we all retired to the garage and had a drink, feeling momentarily like people who had never procreated…except for the boxes of baby clothes that were stored within my line of sight.

I’m not sure whether it was my large glass of wine, the homeopathic stuff I had given Small Z for her teething, the lack of a day nap, or the planets aligning, but MY GOD we had a good night’s sleep. I was so tempted to spend another night in the front garden, just to have another one.

We spent this morning at Bentleigh Market, which I could have easily stayed at for at least another hour. I got a glass teapot, Oliver Sacks’ autobiography, March by Geraldine Brooks – and a few books for Small Z, who, it seems, can never have too many. Breakfasted at a cafe because we could. Then went home and tried to be a little helpful in preparing for visitors later in the afternoon.

Chloe pushes Zoe

The afternoon was lovely, despite some odd and intermittent showers. Lots of cheese, chips and cheesecake and lamingtons. Talk of iPhones and developing apps, as well as ongoing toddler wrangling and peacekeeping. Happy Birthday L!!

Swinging

The three-day birthday

Another year, another birthday. This time, M managed to make three and a bit entire days all birthday related. He had requested a birthday camping trip to Point Leo, so we left on Friday evening, and found a great spot. We were joined shortly afterwards by E, D and Small E – who is one month older than Small Z.

The night began well enough. I shall fast forward past the bit where Small Z went on sleep strike and pleaded to go home for two hours, M hid his head under the blankets ostrichlike and I melted down into a liquid version of my former self. Let us just remember the phrase, ‘this too shall pass’. And, of course, it did.

Saturday morning and the dads allowed E and I to have a kid free cup of tea in the caravan, before we hit the beach. Small E had his first go on a surfboard, a full size Mal, as dictated by D. M tried to take Small Z out on the surfski but all she wanted to do was hang out and play in the sand and generally wind down from the night before. M decided that some solo mantime was best for his psyche (this happens during birthday time like clockwork) and disappeared on a solo jaunt to Flinders.

Both Smalls went on nap-strike and so, on M’s return, we bunged them in the car. Small Z passed out immediately and we drove for a while before we headed to Red Hill Show. I got about 20 minutes sleep in the car as well, which saved my sanity and the health of those around me.

We reached the showgrounds at around three, which was great, as they had just stopped charging people 15 bucks to get in. There was still heaps going on – we saw dog jumping (seeing how high dogs could jump NOT people jumping over dogs), amazing alpacas, huge pumpkins, big sheep, good chai, woodchopping and gorgeous knitted stuff…and some drumming…

Big fat PUMPKINS
The winning apples!
Small Z and M with pure mango icypole

Finally I could stand on my feet no longer. I am much less fit for this pregnancy, although I also weigh less (which is why none of my old maternity clothes fit whatsoever). I was exhausto. We drove back to camp, and as Small Z had napped in the car our night was far less fraught, as well as being enhanced by the addition of Rach, Mung, Otis and Luka. We all made tortillas and then I passed out with Small Z at around 9.30pm…only to awake two hours later to the kind of red wine fuelled late night blathering talk of blokes.

Thank goodness for my iPhone and headphones. I was soothed into quiet hysteria by the fourth season of 30Rock. After a night of uncomfortableness and insomnia on my part, and gentle snoring on M’s, we all got up, chomped through some cereal and went back down to the beach (except for D, who snuck off to be solo surf man). I actually fully submerged and swam around – and my aches and pains immediately dissipated. I think this is indicating something, I just don’t know what… πŸ˜‰

After lunch we packed up and all drove to Flinders, on M’s suggestion, where we got hot drinks and donuts and the kids played in the park for a while. An excellent end to the weekend, but not, of course, to the birthday – which continued on…

M’s birthday was actually today – Monday – March 29 – the same day as our esteemed friend Jen. (And, incidentally, Elle McPherson. A model Aries.) Small Z woke at 7am and M awoke to say that it had been the worst sleep in existence and that I was probably using about $7 a night running the fan I always have on for white noise. I lay there counting to ten, and was interrupted at about seven by him saying plaintively, “Wish me happy birthday?”

Reboot. Small Z and I gave him the cards we had made, and we all scrambled around in an effort to leave the house. We were taking him to Merricks General Store for breakfast. We were early (a birthday present in itself) and noodled on past the cafe to have a look at Shoreham Beach, where we have not been for a considerable time. Then, we headed back out…to eat.

Oh gosh. My cousin over at One Small Kitchen would be MORE than thrilled by our breakfasts at the Merricks General Store. And the ambience, the slightly warmed room. The loose leaf tea and vanilla poached plums that accompanied my muesli, along with fat blueberries, whole almonds and chunky banana. M’s bacon and eggs looked sublime, and Small Z got an expensive, but excellent, toasted sandwich and a babycino. I wanted to repeat the entire thing immediately.

We went home circuitously, via Balnarring playground and Tyabb op-shop. Small Z then fell asleep so we went to say hello to the World’s Largest Catamaran, where M has been busy building the interior and is currently focusing on the kitchen. It looks incredible. Tantalisingly together. Small Z slumbered on and we killed time and cruised back toward home until she’d had her obligatory hour and ten.

The rest of the day was spent fairly low key. Eating birthday cake on the porch. M got a lot of things organised that had been dogging him since we had moved house, and by the end of the day he felt like he was really on the cusp of a brand new year. Happy Birthday M! It’s your last one as a father of one!!

Axel Turns Two

Saturday saw us at Axel’s second birthday party. His parents are both olive skinned and dark haired, while he is a cherubic fire topped redhead. Beautiful. There were SO many small children at this party that you basically had to kick yourself a path through them on arrival…

Small Z had a great time – she and Axel had a small meltdown in stereo towards the end, over the sharing of a Thomas the Tank Engine calendar. It was mercifully brief. The lure of someone elses toys was so thrilling that it generally overode any kind of angst. There were people there (older ones) who I used to see SO often and now I’m lucky if we catch up once every six months. Weird. People are establishing there own little networks, often through their toddlers via playgroup and mother’s groups… We have to get out more often before we become submerged in the brand-new-baby blur….

Happy Birthday Axel - You're TWO!
Birthday parallel play.
Axel's bedroom at night
Small Z and someone else's toys

Birthday Jubilee

This year for my birthday my desire was to head for Daylesford. Haven’t been there for an age. Probably not since 2006. Odd. In that time the price of renting a house for a weekend appears to have increased significantly (as have the cafes). Which was fine with me – we would use my small caravan.

A few of the usual suspects were rounded up and braved the very cold night/s in tents with varying degrees of success. We were at Jubilee Lake Caravan Park, somewhere I had picked online for its seemingly picturesque qualities. I wasn’t disappointed. It was gorgeous. There were ducks, peacocks and waterhens. And Mr H even went angling in the lake and alleged he had caught a redfin that he’d had to return due to its smallness.

Peacock at Jubilee Lake
Duck on Jubilee Lake
Caravan across the park

My other Daylesford aim was to attend the farmers market on the Saturday and the normal market at the station on Sunday – my actual birthday day. Woo hoo! Two markets, two days – and I got to do them both because it was ALL ABOUT ME!! Yah! Saturday morning D&E and Small E hit the Farmer’s Market with us, leaving Mr&MrsH and Jack to finish frightening the fish. We assumed we would catch up with them in town, not realising that Vodaphone, in their wisdom, decided to exclude Daylesford from their coverage and render them uncontactable.

Ring a Rosy at Daylesford Farmer's Market

The Farmer’s Market was satisfying. And the food at the Breakfast & Beer Cafe was excellent, albeit wildly overpriced. When it says ‘cured salmon, hash brown, Holy goat curd, rocket, Wallaby creek lemon oil‘? and you think they have left the ‘s’ off ‘hash brown’? They haven’t. It’s one hash brown. Surrounded beautifully by the other small decorative items. Just so you know.

M had dashed up the street for funds and took rather a long time. After eating we decided to head back to camp to see if Small E or Small Z would deign to sleep. Yeah. We actually tried. And from that time onward, Small Z began to resemble a tiny grenade rather than a tiny person – liable to go off and decimate her surrounding area at any moment. Ack.

We did some roaming around the playground and lake and were happy to see Mung, Rach and the boys arrive. Woo! Each time I see Rach her hair is a different shade and she has different roller-derby stories to tell. We spent inordinate amounts of time trying to come up with excellent roller-derby names like Violent Crumble, Hurtle Myrtle, ummmm – oh, my one is Princess Die…. More fun than thinking of baby names!!

Kicking back camping

We lit the fire early, thank goodness, because as soon as the sun eased down you could feel the air snap. Lovely M, before the little ones had gone to bed, busted out a divine birthday cake and candles and we all sang Happy Birthday. That’s where he had nicked off to while we were at the cafe. And I’m not kidding about the cake. It was awesome. MrsH surpassed herself and somehow managed to cook bangers, mash and greens for everyone that was assembled?!? And maintained her composure throughout?! I was awed by this, as I personally couldn’t imagine anything more stress inducing.

Dinner was finished off with several people on toasted marshmallow highs. Jackson. The fire was warm, the company was crackling and the night was clear. Lovely. At around 2am our slumbers were besmirched by Small Z screeeeaming that she wanted, NEEDED a bottle of milk. Right NOW. At home we might not have been so responsive, but with other people nearby in tents? M and I ran around the campsite in various states of undress looking for the bloody bottle. We found it, and peace reigned.

Sunday morning. Happy Birthday ME! Small Z and I defrosted ourselves under the shower, trying to keep the water restrictions in mind. Back at the camp MrH busted out the champagne and orange and I figured that the unborn could tolerate some celebratory breakfast juice. Small Z cranked out the first of many meltdowns and we all buzzed about tidying up prior to marketing. I drank tea.

Kicking back camping

I received some lovely presents – some Grown Vanilla & Orange Peel Hand Cream from M, who knows I covet it and would never buy it for myself…

Also Truth by Peter Temple, Piano Lessons by Anna Goldsworthy, When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris, and the Lisa Miller cd Morning in the Bowl of the Night from my Dad and Mgs. I gave my dad the Peter Temple book for his birthday a few months back, but required my own copy due to its excellence.

Mum and T both donated to my beautiful BOOTS (instantaneously relieving my credit card woe)!! and also gifted me a spa voucher for a facial and pedicure or massage….divine. A gorgeous little tea set compiled by MrsH with the tiny teapot having its own warmer, a little glass milk jug with ‘tea’ written on it and a handpainted cup (yes, she got to trawl the fun places in Daylesford, just like I will do when MY offspring are aged eight…) and I received an excellent tea towel for the caravan from Rach – the words ‘tea towel’ don’t really do it justice, because it is super-cool.

Off to the market. Yes. Well. I got to see half of it, marking off in my head the things I wanted to go back and explore, before Small Z had to be forcibly removed from the honey stall after tasting more honey than was polite. Rolling on the pavement then ensued while I folded my arms and waited it out. Passersby shook their heads in sympathy…whether for me or her, I wasn’t sure. Someone said, “She even looks cute while she’s screaming!” in tones of admiration. Cliffys for restorative hot drinks – it is such a lovely place to sit, especially on a cold morning.

Another tantrum punctuated our walk back to the car. We then met the others (minus Mr&Mrs H and Jack) at the wondrous Chowder Cafe. As soon as I’d arrived at the caravan park and had seen a brochure about this place it had been my birthday lunch destination of choice. Chowder. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways…
I am not going to keep going on about the tantruming. Finally peace reigned and I was able to each the chowder I craved. It left me wordlessly happy. Mmmmmmm. (See?)

Chowder House - Hepburn Springs

After we had all imbibed, the guy at the cafe started asking everyone in the place questions from the Sunday Age quiz. We contributed admirably – there was one question written precisely for me: What was the name of the person who created the character of Simon Templar? Hello? Which Saint books DON’T I own?! Excellent.

We headed over the road to a shop that appeared to sell mostly hats. DJ got a grey one, while Small Z and Small E tried some on before heading out the front into the garden and autumn leaves…

Autumn leaves. Hepburn Springs
Autumn leaves. Hepburn Springs

The drive home seemed to take DOUBLE the amount of time than it had to get there. Small Z stayed awake the whole way, and due to fatigue, M and I had to stop at her first ever Golden Arches to get him a coffee and myself a double tea-bagged tea. She was SO thrilled by the play equipment – the tunnels and most of all the HELICOPTER that she now keeps an eagle eye out of the window for other similar ones… which I suppose is indicative of successful marketing.
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Update: Small Z has emerged from tantrum phase (I hesitated to type that) and we are much comforted. For now.

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