Sunday, August 31, 2008

champagne birthday

apparently when you turn the age of your date of birth it's your champagne birthday-- that's what my birthday was/is this year. so yesterday (and today) i celebrate turning 30 on the 30th (it was the 30th here yesterday but since i was born on canadian time, not aussie time, i consider today still my birthday).
we started the day by having breakfast at c.e.r.e.s. (which we'd never done before). i had hot indonesian eggs which was amazing!! a bed of rice with some sort of sauce on it it think then salad (with mint and coriander) on top with peanuts and a bit of chili the 2 perfectly fried eggs on top of that and a bit of chilli sauce on the side. zac just had a vegan brownie since he'd eaten breakfast at home before i could stop him.
after taking the dog out we headed down to brunswick street for a second coffee-- we (read: zac) got up earlier than usual so this second coffee happened around the time we would normally go for a weekend coffee. we then had a couple beers at a couple pubs before heading home for a nap.
i decided to do my birthday dinner at a mexican place i'd heard about on johnson st. zac won't usually go for mexican (other than trippy taco) since most australian mexican is just cheesy stuff and not vegan friendly. we had several friends join us for dinner at los amates. the food was sooooo good and i don't think we had to wait long considering we were a group of 10 and the menu had a disclaimer that meals may have a delay since they are all made to order (the menu also had a disclaimer that some of the prices may have gone up because of the rising cost of corn and rice). they were able to vegan-ize the vegetarian burrito for zac which he said was pretty average (but i guess a lot of the flavours would be in the cheese and guacamole). my vegie enchiladas were really nice (and the nachos we all shared were really good too). i didn't really drink much (just one big sangria) but i tasted a couple other drinks (like mexican beer poured into a glass with a half cup or so of lime juice and salt around the rim----- sooooooo good!).
i'd go back again. it was a good way to celebrate the day.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

too much love

we have a basket of soft toys at work that the kids are allowed to take one from it at rest time if they don't have their own toy to cuddle. one of the boys has recently fallen in love with one of the rabbits in the basket and makes sure he has it every day at rest time (he's there 5 days a week). the other afternoon after rest time i heard one of the other staff talking to him saying "i'm sorry but there isn't any way to fix them. i can't just put them back on". i looked over and tears were rolling down his face as he held the rabbit. the other staff had a couple pieces of thin plastic strips in her hand-- the rabbits whiskers. they'd fallen out and the child just wanted the rabbit to look like he used to. i mentioned to the another staff in the room that he was pretty upset about the rabbit (the kinder rabbit-- not even his own toy) losing its whiskers. she went over to try to comfort him (and talked about the velveteen rabbit and that it just means the rabbit has been well loved). the poor kid just has so much going on in his life right now and i think the rabbit losing its whiskers was all a bit too much for him (although the next day when i took a look at the rabbit it did look a bit weird-- a bit like a monkey face-- without the whiskers).

Sunday, August 24, 2008

healthy entree

note for the canadians: entree in australia is what it should be-- the appitizer or 1st dish, not the main course.
i made some green goddess dressing from how it all vegan the other day. its a thicker dressing that can be used as a dip so i decided to chop up some veggies and dip them for an entree the other nite. sooooooo good! funny cuz we chop of beautiful looking platters of friut and veggies every day at work but i don't even remember the last time i did it at home (probably not ever at this house). i forgot until after dinner that i also had some mushrooms to cut up and put on the platter too (we had them the next time though).
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capturing the moment

yesterday i was taking photos of plants around the yard. the dog was outside with me just wandering around eating grass. i walked down the side of the house to get some pictures of raindrops on a vine and after a minute or so i heard wimpering. i walked back into the yard to find wombat had somehow got behind a fence i had set up so she wouldn't eat the compost i burried in the garden a few weeks ago. before rescueing her i decided to take a photo (since i had my camera in my hands-- i wouldn't have left her to go find it if i didn't have it). the photo was supposed to be something like this (this one was taken afterwards):

instead i got this:

at the moment i took the photo she decided to use her head to barge out. it didn't work and she ended up with the algae-water from the bird bath landing all over her freshly bathed (less than half an hour earlier) back. poor stupid. she's lucky she decided to do that when we were home and not when we left her outside by herself.
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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

cool dog

she puts up with a lot. i figured that taking her photo with the flash on is probably nicer when she gets to wear sunnies anyway so its not really torturing her (as much).
she had a bad morning. zac lets her chase the pigeons in her expendable lead and apparently this morning the lead came to a stop while she was going past a picnic table. she got jerked back and somehow cut her head and her hip on the table. she seems fine with it but i've been putting cream on the cuts so they don't get infected. apparently zac also tries to use the brake on the lead to stop it from extending. i've told him before that you can't do that because it will break. he didn't listen. he broke our $40 dog lead (yes we spent $40 on a lead because she needed something strong and guaranteed not to break--the guarantee doesn't cover it breaking from misuse)!!! i managed to find another one online (and on sale!) but it probably won't get here until next week so she's stuck on an extra long regular lead until then(no running in the park when she's on walks with me for the next few days).

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

spring is coming!

i guess it's less than 2 weeks until spring officially begins. nature has already started to show signs its on its way!
our nectarine tree is budding:

our pineapple sage:

i got the pineapple sage as a cutting from work a few years ago. its now this HUGE thing that i have already clipped back a lot once.
even some of the succulents that i got as cuttings from a work mate last year are flowering this year!
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Monday, August 18, 2008


after complaining about parents drugging up their children on panadol and sending them into kinder i took some ibuprofin friday nite (although mostly for cramps i knew it would take away the achy flu-y feeling starting to come on) and went out with friends. although it was a semi-early nite and only a couple drinks i think it made the whole illness worse. i woke up in the middle of the nite with gastro. when i tried to get out of bed saturday morning my muscles ached sooooo much i could barely walk to the bathroom. i spent my entire weekend moving between sleeping on the couch in front of the tv and in bed. i tried not to take too much cold medication because i figured i'd probably get better faster if i let the fever kill it off. the congestion and aches were too much for me though. i took today off work. tomorrow i'll go in and hopefully make it thru the day (its pretty much just tiredness and grogginess from the cold meds that are my main issues now) then my r.d.o. is on wednesday so i can sleep thru wednesday if i'm still feeling horrible.
i never used to get sick like this (and when i was sick it was only usually a day that i was out of commission)

Friday, August 15, 2008

bugs going around

we've had several children and staff sick this week. yesterday we actually had more relievers and people who were not supposed to be working than we did regular thursday staff! there was not one regular worker in the other room that was in and we were missing the morning teacher in our room. we've had anywhere from 4-7 children away each day in our room.
i had a VERY annoying situation again this morning with a father. he came in and told me his daughter (who looked absolutely horrible) had been a bit warm this morning but was fine now. temperatures don't naturally just go away like that (but panadol will make it do that). i should have said to him right then that she couldn't be at kinder because she's obviously ill and should rest instead of spreading her germs to all of us. instead i went and told the director. she came in to see the situation and the father told her "i don't know what happened-- she was fine this morning." (wtf!?!?!). even though the director told him his daughter looks pretty bad he left her (and promised to come pick her up "early"-- mid afternoon instead of late afternoon). the girl told us she'd had panadol (as she always does in these situations). half an hour after she arrived we left a message on her mum's mobile to say it would be best to get her asap. 3.5 hours later we'd had no response. the girl was doing ok (that's to her panadol which was numbing her flu effects) but definitely not herself (and we weren't looking forward to the breakdown when the panadol wore off). we called her mum at work who wasn't at all surprised that we asked her to come get her daughter. 20 minutes later her dad arrived to his daughter running around and chatting to him. he asked me what was wrong. i said she was not herself and pretty quiet (which was true until she saw him). he didn't believe me and his daughter said nothing was wrong with her. he took her but he was pretty annoyed we wouldn't let her stay. she shouldn't have been there in the first place!!! he KNEW she was unwell, lied about it and denied it. yes it's probably tough to take time off work or find someone to care for a sick child but its unfair to the child, the staff and other children and families when people bring their sick child into kinder or childcare. both me and another staff came into work today feeling pretty unwell but we knew we pretty much had to because there was nobody to cover for us (i'm not sure if the other girl will even make it to the end of her shift). if parents kept sick children at home the staff would be a lot less likely to get all the illnesses going around.
i'm done with my rant. now off to finish my tea and have a nap.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

princesses and fairies

in the age yesterday there was an article on the little girls dressed as princesses and fairies. the article goes into the idea that by letting little girls constantly be the princess or fairy it may be the beginnings of the child having a very narrow minded idea of femininity and that they must be beautiful to be worth anything. the article makes the statement that "Isn't it at least plausible that the scantly clad teenage girl who bases her self-worth on seeking the sexual approval of men started out as a toddler princess being told how pretty she is?"
the woman who wrote the article (monica dux) strongly recommends that parents of little girls obsessed with the whole princess thing should pack away the princess outfits and only allow them for occasional play.
in every group of preschool kids i've worked with we always have a group of princess/fairy obsessed children. none of my co-workers are huge fans of it. we do allow some fairy/princess play but we encourage play in other areas (especially if they just put on some lacy fabric, say they're a princess and then just sit around doing nothing).
on a kind of related note: today at work my co-worker told all the children they had to play somewhere that they hadn't played for a long time. the same 4 girls that ALWAYS play in the home corner dived into that area only to be told they had to leave. they were pretty lost for a while but a couple did some really nice paintings, they played with a couple different friends and tried some new things. one boy who spends every moment he can playing with lego was told he couldn't play there. a while later we looked over to find he was very settled in the fairy area (yes, we do have a fairy area for the next couple weeks to cater to that love of fairies that some of the kids have) playing with a new friend (i think they had the unicorns attacking the fairies and elves-- it was pretty funny to watch). its nice for all the kids to be told they have to try something different because a lot of them seem to get stuck into some sort of obsession in their play (and by removing certain children from areas they always play in, it gives other ones who may not play there when the other group is there a chance to play).


i've been on a salad kick lately (for the past 2 or 3 weeks). i've NEVER been a salad person. it's not that i don't like salad (although i did as a kid) but i just can't be bothered and it never sounds appealing (but i always LOVE any salad that anyone else makes). i've started making my own dressings though and it just makes them taste soooooo much better (and i don't have to read a dozen labels in the supermarket trying to find one that's vegan and sounds good). i made this amazing (and very simple) one with just sesame oil (i'm also loving sesame in any form-- tahini, seeds and oil), soy sauce and a bit of rice vinegar. how it all vegan has some really good sounding dressings so i've decided to work my way thru those. i made a herb dressing from there for lunch today-- sooooo good. i only had dried versions of all the fresh herbs that were supposed to be used but still great. i'll have to try it again with fresh herbs when i get mine growing this summer. next i'll have to start experimenting with types of salad (i've been just doing whatever veggies are in the fridge: lettus or rocket mix, tomato, broccoli, carrot, mushrooms......)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

winter has returned

the last week or so i've been with the weather pretty well. the mornings can be pretty cold but it gets nice during the day (especially in the sun). its also not completely dark when i ride home from work at 6pm. today is winter again though. with the wind chill its not even 3C outside and it's after 11am!! its also been pouring rain most of the morning (which we do need but i'd rather have it fall overnite the throughout the day). i'm hoping the cold snap moves on and we'll go back to sunny warm-ish days soon.

the little man

in the first or second season of the family guy peter makes a joke about a lamp that's a little man with his penis as a light switch. a little while after we'd seen that episode we saw the lamp in a designer homewares shop near our house. it was $220!!! as much as we wanted that lamp there was no way we'd spend that much on it. not long ago zac found a cheap version in the asian import shops near his work. we decided we'd get one for a friend (that also loves that joke in the family guy). last week we came home to find one inside our security door. the friend we were gonna buy one for had seen them and bought one for us!! we weren't quick enough. we're now the proud owners of "the little man with his penis as a light switch"

Friday, August 08, 2008

little lego men

the kids at work have been pretty good this week for the most part. they're finally getting the idea of how it all works at kinder and how to relate to their friends and solve problems they have. this afternoon me and my co-worker were commenting how quiet it was and it felt like we didn't have many kids. we checked the list and we had 19. they were so settled though. 2 minutes before i was off my co-worker commented again how quiet it was and then i heard crying coming from the lego table. i went over to find 2 boys fighting over a lego man. one boy had snatched it off another. i told him he had 2 choices: give it back and wait his turn for it or leave the lego area. he refused to give it back so i removed him kicking and screaming. i blocked the entrance to the area with my body while he shoved himself against me trying to get back in and grab the lego man again (and while this is happening i have another child telling me his thumb hurts where a "little black mark"--splinter--is and another child just trying to shake my hand repeatedly-- both of them completely oblivious to the screaming child ramming his body into me). my co-worker came over and helped calm the tantrum kid. i looked at the clock and it was now 5 min past when i was supposed to be off. nice-- i got to leave on that horrible note after having a really nice day with the kids. i just gotta forget about it and let my weekend begin (the best part about not being a parent-- i can leave them when they start getting cranky in the late afternoon).

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

best random adventure ever

when i was in university i kind of became known for taking off on random adventures. me and my friends kristila and kerri often ended up doing things like ending up in seattle for coffee, lynden for ice cream or portland for dinner. for ages we joked about going for coffee in california. one gray afternoon at the start of our week of spring break (for which we had no big plans) kristila, kerri, one of kerri's dorm mates melinda and i hopped into kristila's car and decided we'd go for coffee in california. by the time we got to seattle we decided that there was nowhere really interesting in the most northern part of cali so we decided our destination would be the golden gate bridge in san fransisco. the photo above was actually taken on the way home. on the way there it was late at nite and we went thru the mountains where we discovered snow:
me getting ready to walk (part way) across the golden gate bridge:
in sausalito with the golden gate bridge behind us:

i [heart] the ocean (especially with waves like in cali): after having a coffee, walking the golden gate bridge and a quick walk around the downtown area we hopped back in the car and started driving back along the coast. we ended up stopping somewhere in either northern cali or oregon and spent the nite at a cheap motel (kristila and kerri were the only 2 that could drive stick) before driving the rest of the trip back to canada. that was my first trip to cali. a year later i went back for 10 days on a a road trip with some other friends and then ended up moving to san diego for 18 months to work at an outdoor ed camp program.
(the photos aren't great cuz it was long before i went digital and our scanner isn't very good either)

Sunday, August 03, 2008

back to the 80's

(such a horrible photo!)
last nite was my work's annual fundraiser which is organized by the parent committee. it's an auction dinner and this year's theme was 80's. i'm not a big fan of fancy dress stuff but after talking to all the other staff i realized i would be the only one if i didn't dress up so yesterday morning i rushed around to 3 different op shops and found some tight jeans, an oversized jumper with a huge neck that i could hang off one shoulder and another similar coloured sweater that i could cut the sleeves off to make leg warmers. then i made a matching scrunchie to put my hair in a side pony tail. i got a lot of comments about how cute i looked and that style suits me which was a little scary. there were some pretty terrible outfits last nite-- especially one co-worker who was brave enough to wear black spandex with a fluro pink aerobics thing on top with the fluro pink ass forming a wedgie over the black spandex on her butt. she did have a hot pink t-shirt over the top part (although her friend wanted her to take it off). she pulled if off well but i think some of the dads were staring a bit too much. the funniest thing during the nite was definitely the parents. the people we normally see in their work attire or possibly in some casual clothes. seeing them with big hair, the worst clothes from the 80s (some of it straight from the back of their closets) and dancing a little too enthusiastically to the 80s songs was soooo funny! like one of my co-workers said: we'll never be able to look at them the same again.
i did find it funny how many comments i got from parents (not just last nite but over the last week or so when the dinner was mentioned) about me (and most of the other staff) not even being able to remember the 80s and saying most of us were born during it. they're quite shocked when i say i was born in the 70s (late 70s) and that most of the other staff around my age are 4-6 years older than me. we only have 1 or 2 that are 80s children.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

on the way to mainstream?

a good article on veganism from the local paper of the city i grew up in (and some really tasty sounding recipes at the end of it).