Wednesday, February 20, 2008

sooooo funny!

saw this on dooce's blog. gotta love japanese game shows.....

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

4 sleeps!!!

as i'm typing half my family is in the air somewhere over the pacific ocean. they arrive in melbourne on 2 separate flights tomorrow morning (and then a couple more the next morning). we're heading up to barwon heads tomorrow afternoon to finalize the little details before our wedding-- only 4 sleeps to go!!!!!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

60 things you probably didn't know about me

not sure why i'm doing this right now..... i'm exhausted and should go to bed but i think its the procrastinator in me-- always gotta put off what i should be doing.

1. What is in the back seat of your car right now?
what car?

2. When was the last time you threw up
sometime in the last year i think (i've vomited more since i've moved to australia than i did in the first 25 years of my life)

3. What's your favorite curse word?

4. Name 3 people who made you smile today?
zac, and a couple people i don't know the names of at a bbq/engagement party we were at

5. What were you doing at 8 am this morning?
sleeping. its saturday!! (and probably dreaming about all the stuff i was gonna get done today)

6. What were you doing 30 minutes ago?
cleaning the bathroom but you can't tell cuz in the 30+min i spent in there all i got done was the inside of the cupboards..... now i just need to convince zac to finish the visible part of the bathroom.

7. What will you be doing 3 hours from now?
hopefully sleeping

8. Have you ever been to a strip club?
nope (we didn't even make it for my hens nite last week)

9. What is the last thing you said aloud?
hello baby girl (to the dog-- for some reason "baby girl" has replaced her nickname of "princess"-- neither one really suit her)

10. What is the best ice cream flavor?
fudgy-wudgy from the edaline dairy in linden, washington

11. What was the last thing you had to drink?
water. soooo dehydrated.

12. What are you wearing right now?

13. What was the last thing you ate?
either homemade falafel ball or homemade mini pizza slice (sooooo much good vegetarian and vegan food at the engagment party-- just kept picking at it all afternoon/evening)

14. Have you bought any new clothing items this week?
no but i tried really hard to find shoes for my wedding today (hopefully tomorrow i'll find some......less than a week to go!!!)

15. When was the last time you ran?
i ran for about 15 seconds in the park with the dog yesterday.

16. What's the last sporting event you watched?
the first half of a pre-season afl game on tv last nite, the last live sporting event (other than cricket on the road christmas day) was the afl game i went to about 1 1/2 years ago with zac's nana.

18. Who is the last person you emailed?
my mom, confirming more wedding plans

19. Ever go camping?
not nearly as much as i'd like.

20. Do you have a tan?
probably a burn (i was bad and forgot sunscreen all 3 times i went out (on my bike, in a singlet) today

24. Do you drink your soda from a straw?
i don't like soda (although i did have about 8 small glasses of it today cuz it sounded much better than alcohol to me-- no straw though, but i did have it in a wine glass)

25. What did your last IM say?
i will (in response to my friend saying "send me lots of wedding pictures")

26. Are you someone's best friend?
i'll be really sad if i'm not his best friend

27. What are you doing tomorrow?
wedding stuff. and coffee at cocoloco.

28. Where is your mom right now?
i hope she's sleeping cuz its after 3:30 am in her part of the world

29. Look to your left, what do you see?
a dog passed out on her big comfy chair

30. What color is your watch?
i don't have one (silver if you count my mobile that i use as a pocket watch)

31. What do you think of when you think of Australia ?
my new home

32. Would you consider plastic surgery?

33. What is your birthstone?
the light green one. not sure what its called though....

34. Do you go in at a fast food place or just hit thedrive thru?
i don't eat fast food much but not having a car means i usually go in

35.How many kids do you want?
just our big boofy 4 legged furry one

36. Do you have a dog?
see above.

37. Last person you talked to on the phone?
a friend from canada who's here in melbourne and needed directions to our house yesterday (he forgot the street name even though he lived here for a bit and came to visit occasionally after he moved out)

38. Have you met anyone famous?
a big aussie actor had his kid at our kinder last year (the child's mum is also getting quite well known and is on a tv show here too)
i've met other people too but i can't think of who.

39. Any plans today?
bed. maybe a "sleepy tea" (valarian tea)

40. How many states have you lived in?
2 american states (3 if you count living in a motorhome in florida for a few months as a baby), 2 canadian provinces and 1 australian state.

41. Ever go to college?
4 years of university (b.a. in psychology)

42. Where are you right now?

43. Biggest annoyance in your life right now?
thinking of all the random little details for our wedding.

44. Last song listened to?
i don't know but i think it was by a girl at the engagment party (her cd was playing). the last one i know would have been the waifs "sunflower man")

46. Are you allergic to anything?
dust (which is horrible right now after i've stirred up several months of dust from the tops of the cupboards)

47. Favorite pair of shoes you wear all the time?
flip flops (or thongs as aussies call 'em). i'm not allowed to wear them at work though but i do manage to get away with my sport sandals there-- my second favourite)

48. Are you jealous of anyone?

50. Is anyone jealous of you?
not that i know of

51. What time is it?

52. Do any of your friends have children?
yep-- lots of babies and toddlers (although most of them are back home)

53. Do you eat healthy?
sometimes. i also eat a lot of junk.

54. What do you usually do during the day?
tell kids to be nice to eachother, share, take turns and that hitting is not ok.

55. Do you hate anyone right now?

56. Do you use the word 'hello' daily?
yes-- i think mostly to the dog though (see number 9)

58. How old will you be turning on your next birthday?

59. Have you ever been to Six Flags?
i've been to the one in cali a few times (i think i only had to pay for myself one time though-- the other times it was for "work" doing daycamps/caravan camps or it was a free pass that i got on one of the work times cuz a blackout caused left the park useless and they gave everyone free passes to come back again. this was near the end of the day too)

60. How did you get one of your scars?
chicken pox when i was 5. i scratched.

if you've made it this far, congrats!! you now know 60 useless facts about me. now i'm going to bed.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

copenhagen style

i went into the city after work today to get some wedding stuff done. i rode in and was excited to discover the copenhagen style lane (see photo, curtesy of bicycle victoria) on swantson street has been put in!! i guess its been a while since i've ridden down swanston. it was a good ride other than a couple minor incidents (i think one may have been at the car park exit in the photo-- traffic was backed up on the street and a guy pulled out right across the green bike lane from the car park exit and then just sat there waiting for traffic to move so he could go in. he could clearly see me coming at him. i ended up just going around the front of him which was a bit tight but managable).


i just looked at the extended forecast for melbourne:

Thursday Morning drizzle clearing. Min 14 Max 23
Friday Fine. Min 14 Max 26
Saturday Fine. Min 17 Max 29
Sunday Fine. Min 17 Max 32
Monday Fine. Min 18 Max 32
Tuesday Sultry. Min 20 Max 34

sultry. there's a word you don't want to see in a weather forecast. not looking forward to that. it is melbourne though and anything could happen. it could be 12C all week and VERY wet even though the weather people tell us otherwise. most of my family arrives on the wednesday. i bet its cold and windy and wet and no hint of summer weather.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

better than sour cream

last week i got a tub of tofutti better-than-sour-cream (vegan sour cream) to use on baked potatoes. it only comes in a 340g tub so even with our generous helpings on our potatoes there was still a good amount left. i started putting small spoonfuls in my tomato soup and black bean soup but i didn't think i'd get thru the tub before it went off. i couldn't think of anything zac eats for snacks that he could put it on to help out. then the other nite zac says to me "you know what is really good together? vegemite and sour cream on toast!" apparently a friend gave him the idea (although the friend might have said cream cheese and vegemite--also sounds like an odd combination--zac wasn't sure which one but he did it with sour cream and loved it) so he's been doing that. yesterday i picked up a packet of sweet chilli rice crackers-- they are sooooooo good dipped in sour cream. don't know wheather the sweet chilli-sour cream combo is an aussie thing or if i've just never noticed it before i came here but it's really good (especially wedges with sweet chilli and sour cream-- and now i can make a vegan version). sweet chilli rice crackers make a great quick snack though.

Friday, February 08, 2008

another bit of space

when we moved into our house over 3 1/2 years ago a friend gave us a dryer. i was quite excited about it but zac and our other housemate were both against driers. they managed to convert me to their ways (driers waste a lot of energy, shrink clothes-- i never had much issue with that though, and we have a gigantic hills hoist that takes up a good part of our yard so it might as well be put to use) and the drier has gone unused in the 3 1/2+ years its lived here. we finally decided to get rid of it and replace it with something useful- shelving. we weren't sure how well it works (we've turned it on a couple times, it heats up but doesn't seem to actually start drying things) so i put it up on freecycle a couple nites ago. within 20 minutes someone wanted it!! he just came and got it now!!! now i can move the half assembled ikea shelves from the loungeroom (where they've been sitting for a couple weeks or so) and finish putting the indivdual shelves in. the laundry room is gonna be so much easier to walk thru now (and there won't be a pile of dog towels and junk on the floor cuz there was no where else to put it)!

Thursday, February 07, 2008


wombat has been doing great at bedtime (except last nite after i'd been thinking about how great she's been but even the difficult nite was way less difficult than it used to be).
she knows to go outside when you tell her and then as she comes in we just say "go to bed" and she'll trot down to the bedroom and settle on her bed. sometimes if me and zac are talking in bed and we raise our voices (not fighting or anything just being sarcastic or whatever) she gets upset thinking there's a fight (this happens even when she's not in bed) and she'll crawl up on the bed for a cuddle and make sure her people are ok. this senario used to end with us having to carry her off the bed to make her go back to her own bed (and she'd do as much as she could to make herself a large, heavy dead weight). now she's great about having a cuddle and going back to bed-- and then staying there until zac's alarm has gone off at least once in the morning. last nite though she got upset at us a couple times plus it was a bit windy and rainy out (and we had the windows open) so she REALLY tried to snuggle on the bed and stay. we had to get out of bed to get her to go back to bed and zac nudged her bottom a couple times to try to get her to move in the right direction but she did go back (without us having to lift and drag). once we stopped talking (and the wind died down again) she settled and was ok though.

random sunset shot from the other nite:

Sunday, February 03, 2008

how to make someone else's life (and your own) a bit easier

from working in a kindergarten there's a few things that drive me--and the other staff--crazy so here's some tips for parents sending their kids off to kindergarten (or child care or even school). i've also put a summary at the bottom cuz it is a lot of writing to go thru:

1. NO lace up shoes (not sure why parents even buy their children shoes with laces when they're too young to even learn how to tie them). having shoes they can't put on or take off themselves limits their independence. if they need to rely on an adult for help sometimes it means they have to wait a few minutes while their friends go off to play without them (i wasn't even allowed to own lace up shoes until i learned to tie a bow-- i REALLY wanted the strawberry shortcake lace-up shoes so i practiced hard so i would be allowed to get them)

2. LABEL EVERYTHING!! i'm always surprised at the amount of designer kids clothes parents allow their children to wear to kinder but it’s always odd how annoyed parents get when their child loses the item at kinder and when we ask the parents if it had the child’s name on it they say no. when we find clothing lying around (hats and jumpers seem to be the main things kids throw off where ever is convenient at the time) we just throw it in a big lost property box-- if it has a name on it we can easily put it in the child’s locker until next time they come. same thing goes for lunch boxes (and all the little tupperware containers inside that parents get upset about losing), shoes (we've had kids wear the wrong shoes home when someone else has the same ones), any toys from home (which shouldn't come to kinder anyway), rest blankets and soft toys, water bottles........ anything that comes with the child into the building should have the child's name on it.
3. dress your child appropriately for all types of play and weather. we try to get the parents to leave a bag of spare clothes at kinder including jumper, t-shirt and pants or shorts (and spare socks and underwear too). it’s useful when we have days that start off cold and end up being really warm/hot or vice versa (which seems to happen a lot in melbourne). its always good if the child has some extra warm stuff or a t-shirt to change into if they get too warm. they should also wear clothes that are good for running, climbing and getting dirty cuz that's what they're gonna do (i find it weird when little girls wear long skirts and dresses and then trying to climb on the climbing stuff with long hems stuck under their feet). most child care/kinders/schools have sun smart policies in place too which require wide brimmed or legionnaires hats in terms 1 and 4 (NO baseball caps-- they don't protect the ears or necks) and tops must cover their shoulders (no singlets or sleeveless dresses/tops).
4. try to involve your child in packing their lunch so they can't say they don't like everything in it (it will also help them learn how to pack a healthy lunch with foods they like). also make sure you adhere to any food policies the centre/school may have (i.e. nut free, no junk food-- they do not need to have that special treat of a bite size chocolate bar or cookie in their lunch and if all the children know the no junk food policy they end up embarrassing the child who has the treat in their lunch by telling on them or making them feel horrible about their "treat").
5. don't tell an apprehensive child that you will be picking them up early-- it doesn't help (and someone usually ends up having to sit with them the whole day). even if you are gonna come an hour early to get them it doesn't seem early to them and they end up spending the whole day being stressed and awaiting your arrival. just surprise them with an early arrival (and they'll probably be playing with some new friends they made but happy to see you!).
6. READ the information given to you by the centre/school. sometimes this seems like a lot (we try to minimize what we give to parents cuz we know there can be an information overload) but it is really hard for us when parents don't read things like orientation days, final days (we had a LOT of parents shocked that the last day the kinder was open was thursday instead of friday even though we had it written in several places over a few weeks). write down those important dates as soon as you see them, make notes of important policies (i.e. we have a couple children HIGHLY allergic to nuts so we need to make sure that no child brings in nuts or nut products)
7. if you think your child is a bit young for kinder maybe wait a year before starting (especially if they are on the younger end of the cut off). you could discuss this with the kinder before enrolling your child. unless there is a VERY good reason, your child only gets 1 funded year of kinder in victoria (and probably other australian states) and a lot of places cannot take a child for a second year even if the parents are paying just because of long waitlists of children going for their funded year. most children will be fine moving on to school after a year of 4 year old kinder. talk to your child's kinder teacher if you have concerns. they will be able to work out with you whether your child will be ready for school when the time comes. sometimes that second year of kinder can cause the child to dumb down (i've seen it happen a couple times just in the few years i've worked in kinder). if your child will actually benefit from a second year of kinder, their teacher will be able to help you. don't just do it cuz you don't want your child to be the youngest in his class at school (probably should just wait a year to do 4 year old kinder instead of trying to get a second year).

so to summerize:
pretty much just make sure your child can independently get thru their day (although we're always willing to help-- we can't give constant help to 25 children) and that all their stuff is labeled (helps if they can recognize their belongings too) cuz they are gonna put them in weird spots and you're way more likely to get it back if we know who it belongs to, read information you're given and mark important dates/policies etc, talk to the teacher before and thruout the year

Saturday, February 02, 2008

wombat's life

i miss my slr camera (it’s been pronounced officially dead by the camera repair people-- zac's looking for a new one for me). i tried to take some photos of wombat earlier with the compact camera but the delay was so long that i couldn't get anything (i got lots of shots of her with her face buried in long grass and half of her body as she walked away from the camera). i was trying to get shots of her waiting for her nemesis-- the rat the lives in our block. the rat lives between our house and at least 2 of our neighbours (on each side). he's got a hole that comes out where our compost heap was (he used to feed on it) and he knows how to get into the shed next door thru a small space between the shed wall and the ground. he actually taunts wombat and she's obsessed with him because of it. i've seen him do it-- there's a metal sign propped up against the fence next to his hole. he balances on top of it and wombat will sit a couple meters away and stare at him. when she finally decides to make her move he just jumps and dives into his hole, safe from her. he also runs along the back fence from his hole to the shed next door and back again. one day i'm sure we'll come home to find the bloody remains of a rat and wombat looking pretty proud of herself (not looking forward to that but as long as she doesn't catch him because someone has poisoned it and it was sick and dying i guess that's what dogs do).
i woke up early this morning when it was barely lite outside. i was lying on my side and when i opened my eyes the first thing i saw was wombat. she was sitting up about a meter from me just staring at me. really weird. i started to say hi (and then i was gonna tell her to go back to bed) and she jumped up and was under the covers before i could do anything. i was too tired to do anything about it. i wonder how long she'd been staring at me before i woke up though......