Happy 5th Birthday Ethan Jack

You are a star.

After your 18 hour arrival into this world five years ago in California, you have certainly turned everything upside down.  You arrived early, which I was super happy about because it felt like you were getting bigger every day – it felt like there was getting less of me and more of you until eventually we would be just one big ol’ lady-baby who snaffled back Haagan-Daas ice-cream and fish tacos 24-7.  We scared you out though.  I told your Daddy on a Saturday night that I was done being pregnant and that it was time to call the Thai Restaurant.  I didn’t want to go in to eat because people kinda stared at the huge lady who could eat as much as three giants!  It was getting old.

So a #5 curry and you were up and kicking by 2 in the morning.  Blah, blah blah, you were so stubborn and took your sweet time that my EPIDURAL WORE OFF…..blah blah blah.  Welcome Ethan, 8.39pm.

We got you home 2 days later and sat you on the couch in your travel car seat, flopped down exhausted and looked at each other and said “so, what do you think we do now?”.  That’s pretty much how we have ran this show for the last 5 years.  Without any direction at all!

  • You refused to take a bottle so I feed you every two hours until you decided enough was enough right before your 1st birthday. That’s right.  Read that line again.  FAT BABY.
  • I made every scrap of food that went into your mouth and it was ALL organic until you were eating with us  – apart from whatever crap Bush snuck in your mouth when I wasn’t looking ie birthday cake at 5 months!
  • You walked and talked before you were 10 months old.  This was great, especially as you decided to charge it in an airport!
  • You have always loved the beach and been partial to eating sand, we didn’t mind and neither did you
  • You began your fish and shark obsession at age 18months – and not much has changed on that front!
  • Some mothers refused to let their kids play with you because you beat other kids up.  It wasn’t your fault darling, it must have been terribly frustrating dealing with your peers who were all dumb mutes and couldn’t talk like a grown-up-2-year-old!  Mama had your back.
  • You caught your first fish at age 3 1/4, a snapper
  • You have had the same 3 pillow cases on your pillow  Night-Night since your were 18 moths old.  GOD FORBID anything happens to them like, I don’t know, they become threadbare or something!
  • You have the same munted toenails as your Daddy
  • You have always loved pre-school, kindy and now School and never once cried when I left you (I cried enough for the both of us son).

You are our best friend and most awesome little mate, we love you more than you can ever imagine.  Mum and Dad couldn’t be more proud of you (Yes, I did send you to bed last night without finishing your dinner for the first time ever, but you totally deserved it – THE WHINING…..you understand right?).

We hope you enjoyed your birthday party, Daddy says it is the last one for a while, but leave it to Mummy xxxx


The nice flip-side of my darling boy growing up and starting school dawned on me today.  I mean, I realise that there are many flip-sides such as the confirmation that Dave and I have seemingly done a great job these past five years and have raised a pretty well adjusted little kid who after being at school for five minutes on his first day looked at me and told me ::very s l o w l y in case I might have trouble understanding:: that it was time for me to go now, he had school to do.

But today….Oh my goodness.  I haven’t had a hair cut in approx 6 months.  I have had my colour done but not a cut, so basically it looked like the remnants of a hay bale stuffed into a hair tie.  I was that girl who entered the salon wearing a hat.  But I left with the best haircut I have ever had.

I figured that it was my duty to go clothes shopping, you know, doing it for all the recently-separated-from their-kids-by-school mothers out there.  So I took one for the team and picked out a new outfit for the Pearl Jam concert tomorrow.  Let me tell you, if you are not a fan of your mid-section or if you straight up hate it like I do, GO AND TRY ON A MAXI-DRESS.  I did, I bought one and I am going to rock it tomorrow.  They are so slimming, the long full skirt just draws the eye down and of course there are no muffin-top-nasties anyway because you’re not being cut in half by your waistband!

After that I met Dave for lunch and we sat poolside at The Backyard and soaked up the sun.  Yes it was sunny.  I promise.  We enjoyed prawn and sundried tomato fritters and split a Backyard Burger.  So good!

Best day I have had in a long time.  And all because I can work three days and make the same hours I was previously doing over 5 days.  Bless you school, I am definitely Thankful for you!

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!  Here are some shots from Halloween / Thanksgiving 05

Tuesday, it’s what’s in my head

  • After the shittiest of shitty springs here in New Zealand, finally, this sunset tonight;
    November Sunset in Auckland
  • Ethan started school on Monday and has transformed into a Big Boy seemingly overnight.  I can barely get a word out of him about his day apart from that he thinks his teacher doesn’t like teaching little kids anymore (he is sooo perceptive!  This is exactly what I thought upon meeting his awful teacher, luckily she is not returning next year)
  • Because I can now work longer each day I only have to work 3 days per week!  So excited about this considering that Christmas (and hopefully Summer) are just around the corner.
  • My husband is the best, I came home to these after work today;Flowers from Dave

The LAST Day of kindy. Ever.

It finally arrived last Thursday, and as much as Ethan loves his kindy I couldn’t believe his excitement about leaving.  He has had the MOST fab teachers who have pushed him hard and made sure he has been completing his work and participating in everything.  I asked him what the most exciting thing about his birthday was and he replied that it surely was ‘getting out of kindy!’

We had a fun day; there was the paydough birthday cake to make, the special birthday hat that Mum had to design and fabricate, there was the birthday card to be decorated, the final mat time and the finale….where Ethan gave every kid in his class a small treat.

After it was all over I was dragging my feet, wandering around and making sure I had every shred of his artwork off the walls-  Ethan was yelling “lets go!” the whole time.  Not one for sentiment that boy xxxx

A Big Week

Ethan’s birthday week is always crazy, compounded this year by that inconvenient employment issue I have been having for the last six months….MY JOB!  I really love it actually, I just like to complain.

Lucky for Nana, Grandparents day was the day before Ethan left kindy for ever, so they got to enjoy a special day together before his departure to school.

Ethan & Nana - Grandparents Day 2009

Dave Cooks: Homemade Salt n Pepper Squid Rings

Oh my God.  Internet geeks I might only say this once and consider it for your benefit…..NOM NOM.

I am a fat big fan of squid/calamari, whatever.  Especially The Backyard’s Salt n Pepper Squid dish.  I am probably only it’s #2 fan as Ethan is definitely Fan Numero Uno.

Every week when we grocery shop I park Ethan in the trolley in front of the fish counter so he can peruse the catch whilst I shop at the deli and then he bugs me to buy a tonne of fish (which we can’t afford).  We can however, afford to buy squid and I’m sure you can too.

Squid tubes?

This pack of 3 frozen tubes (I am guessing that’s what they are called) cost a whopping $2.57.  Total.  They were frozen and packed by Countdown so I’m pretty sure you can get them any old where.  Anywho, once you’ve got ’em, defrost those bad boys

Slice the squidNext, you want to slice them up, Dave cut them into pieces about 1.5cm thick.

Add salt and pepper to some flour

Next you want to grind a LOT of salt and pepper into SOME flour.  You know us, we never use measurements so here’s my advice; use less flour than you think you will need and more seasoning.  I think lemon pepper seasoning would also be pretty sweet in the mix.

Mix the squid and seasonings

Mix and shake, shake, shake the squid

Tip the squid into the flour mix and make sure those rings are all coated, pull the rings out and pop them in a colander to shake off the excess flour.

Fry those babies in some good oilOK, make sure your GOOD oil (ie canola EVO’s threshold is too low to fry so use another non-animal fat oil) is really hot, like spitting hot, divide the rings into approx two batches and fry til crispy.  Drain on paper towel, the serve!

Salt and Pepper Squid Rings w/ Marinara Wholewheat PastaWe served them with a creamy marinara sauce made from my old fav, Watties canned pasta sauce mixed with some cream cheese and some wholemeal pasta, a squeeze of lemon and a fresh salad with lettuce from the garden.

Seriously, this dinner took 10 minutes start to finish, the pasta took the longest to cook.  And did I mention it was insanely yummy.  Dave you’re a legend my love.

Birthday Party Goody Bag DIY

As I was shelling out dollars in the weekend for my loves 5th birthday party, one thing I just couldn’t buy was a pack of those ugly plastic goody bags that are used for like, 10 seconds before the lollies are devoured the toys are lost or broken and the bags are sent to landfill.  I decided to make some myself because, well I have all the time in the world.  HA.

We don’t get the newspaper delivered, because I like trees and can read the news online, so Dave went to the local 4Square and they happily gave him a day old paper for free.

I then cut a large potato in half and carved a backwards 5 into it and stamped the newspaper sheets to make them look purdy, cut them up and stapled the sides, filled them and tied them with raffia.

Easy, not too time consuming and cute – I think.  Oh, and no extra trees died in the making of this DIY.

Goody Bag DIY

A little reflection on the days tweets

I read an update on twitter today, thought ‘ho hum’ and obviously filed it away until my brain was ready to process it.  Well I was ready to think about it when I was driving home from netball this evening.

Here’s the tweet

Beenie Man kicked off BDO line-up

Soooo…..a little background.

Dance Hall artist Beenie Man has been scratched form this years Big Day Out line-up because of his homophobic antagonistic lyrics.  Gay rights activists launched a FB campaign, got some publicity and the promoters pulled old Beenie Man.

What I find ironic or moronic about the tweet by djsevere is his indignation at ‘conservative’ New Zealand.  Ummmm, I could be wrong but in my experience it’s the homophobes of the world who are generally classed as the conservatives in ANY equation.  My hash tags would be #headdesk #fail @djsevere.