Current definition of a petrol head…

…me!

Deep dark confession time. On occasion I am a fan of fast cars. Perhaps even worse I have liked cars since I was quite young.

I am at the F1 Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park this weekend. I have always wanted to go in the grandstand, so this year have grand stand tickets at silly dollars – yay something ticked off my “do before I die” list. And for me worth the price.

And what I am really enjoying…for once it is the male persuasion queuing for the toilets rather than me! Yippee!! How often can a girl say that?

F1 Melbourne

Image courtesy of http://www.grandprix.com.au/

The real joy of Nana

Trying to get day care in Melbourne is a little like a lottery, only the impact of not winning can have a larger outcome. We are currently waiting for an extra day to become available for our daughter at daycare – we are one day short per week. So her Dad has covered a couple of weeks, and then we put the call into Nana who lives over the Tasman sea. She was with us covering three days (as in one day a week for three weeks), as well as generally making life easier for us. And then we are back to Daddy daycare for that day.

Nana (and Pop – who stayed at home this time) are very accomodating. We only have two bedrooms, and so they stay on an airbed (double height I should mention) in our little girl’s room. Now we have been having trouble with the afore mentioned little girl – she keeps waking in the middle of the night and wanting to sleep in Mum and Dad’s bed. We have been trying to figure out if she is scared of the dark, cold, not feeling well, just doesn’t want to be by herself. We have been trying different tricks, lights, more/different blankets, if we were not so tired we would give her a cuddle and put her back to bed after 10 minutes. We know we have to get this figured out. And then along came Nana. For almost the entire time she was here, while our little girl would still wake in the night, she would hop herself into the air bed with Nana. So Mum and Dad have experienced almost three weeks of sleeping through the night. Oh what a feeling! Of course normal transmission has resumed, and we are back to square one. New tactics about to be trialled.

tired parents north melbourne

Image: www.huffingtonpost.com

Kid’s Big Book Spectacular

I am not someone who normally promotes events, however as someone who has read to her daughter since she was about 3 months old, and following in my beloved Dad’s footprints have commenced taking my daughter, at the now princely age of 3 and 1/2 years, on a semi-regular basis to our local library, I feel it is ok to promote an event associated with children, books, and the library! I must admit the current drawcard for my daughter and the library is the fancy return system – she loves to put the books in the slot, and then race around to the ‘staff only side’ and watch the books travel along the conveyor belt and be automatically dropped into carts for shelf restocking. Her second favourite activity is to scan the books to take out.  But hey you have to start somewhere!

So what event am I promoting, the Kids’ Big Book Spectacular, which is a free event all about children’s literature and illustration, taking place at the State Library of Victoria on Saturday 13th February from 11 am – 3 pm. It is one of those events where you can drop in at any time and there are activities for kids of all ages to partake in; further details on this Kids Book Spectacular_eFlyer.

As an aside my local library, the North Melbourne Library (part of the City of Melbourne) is actually one of the longest established libraries in Victoria, built in 1882 and opened in 1884 as a Mechanics Institute and Library. Since 1905 it has provided a free public lending service to the City of Melbourne. Taking my daughter down has started me back borrowing books…instead of buying!  And brings back may childhood memories (two countries – three locations) of my Dad taking me the library, including picking me up after school on a Friday in the car for that very excursion.

kids big book spectacular

WOMANz: How to be a Rock Star

I never thought I would be taking my three year old to a Melbourne Fringe Festival event. I imagined this was the exact opposite of what the Fringe was all about.  But hey I am open to being proved wrong… and I was totally wrong.  In fact when you go their website – kids is the third category on the left hand side.

I had the joy last weekend of taking my daughter to the utterly fabulous Womanz: How to be a Rock Star – by the equally fabulous Tessa Waters.  Talk about true talent.  I am always in awe of those who can get up on stage and entertain, but someone who can do it for kids and parents in the same show, while weaving in some positive body messages is absolutely a star.  There was my three year old not necessarily complying with exactly what was asked of her on stage, but nevertheless in there with gusto.  And I can still see in my head this young boy who amazed us all by doing the splits.  Just a sensational show, my daughter and I did not want it to end.

Towards the end of the show when there was a call for four parents, my littley said that is you Mum – more confident that I.  I hesitated when I should not have, but promised that I would get up next time we were at such an event – and I will.

So thank you Melbourne Fringe and Tessa Waters – it is never to soon to indulge your children in culture.  Especially when it is on right in your neighbourhood – and that is my last thank you, to my very own North Melbourne for continuing to be one of the host venues.  I will be on the look out for more next year.

Tessa Waters North Melbourne

Photo courtesy of http://www.melbournefringe.com.au

Drive for Cheaper Now

If you are anything like me, you end up doing quite a lot of shopping around online – always looking for the best deal.  You may even recall many, many moons ago I coined the term mum-onomics, and it made reappearances (here and here).  Sometimes I can and I mean literally spend hours looking at options.  And then I get really annoyed at myself for wasting so much time.  My worst habit, which I am trying to break, is doing the searching and then sitting on the fence and not doing the booking or buying, and then having to go back another day and repeat everything I have done previously.  Talk about wanting to shoot myself in the head!

So needless to say, I have become very familiar with sites that do the hard work for you. Did you know there was a new kid on the block?  I did not, but I do now.  And “new” maybe the wrong word, “new for me” is what I really mean.  Did you know there is a car rental hire site equivalent of iSelect or Webjet, called DriveNow?  If you want cheap car rental at Melbourne Airport and around Melbourne (not to mention the rest of Australia, and actually a fair chunk of the world!) you can never go astray with DriveNow.

You have to check it out for yourself, but they bring all pricing together and make it quick and easy to find the best deal.  There are no fees or cancellation charges, and what I like is that there is no need to pay a deposit or supply credit card details in order to lock in the deal.  My kind of booking!

So Mum-onomics 4: There are websites out there that have already taken some of the leg work out of finding the best deal.  Make use of them, leaving more time to shop for something else!!

Beer cracking time

peroni north melbourneI cracked a beer at 12 noon today.  Did I mention I was in charge of my 2&1/2 year old?  Rest assured I did not give her one!  But as for me, it is Melbourne, I am on my last week of holiday, and the mercury is at 36.1 ºC.  I feel like a reckless Uni student, having a beer in the middle of the day.  Note to self, must do more often – ok, it does not always have to be a beer, but to capture that spontaneity, that is worth pursuing. Continue reading

Christmas all round

First up the sins of the parents… Or put it this way we have brought the following on ourselves.  It would be fair to say that we are partial fond of caffeine.  For a relatively recent birthday I gave the other half a home barista course.  The deal being that if we wanted a manual machine it would mean that he would have to always make my coffee for me.

Our Christmas present to ourselves this year was a Nespresso machine. We were thinking of wrapping it up and putting it under the tree for our daughter to unwrap for us.  But after being purchased last Saturday it has been in constant use.

Now we have already given our daughter a habit.  In walking to the markets to buy fruit and veg on the weekend we started stopping at a cafe on the way home.  We are regulars now – they simply ask if we want the banana bread (hard to pass up).  And baby chinos are just cute.  It has been fun to watch her progress from eating with a spoon to drinking just like one of us.  Now it is much much worse.  Since Saturday we have been making baby chinos at home.  We of course tell her she is having coffee and recently when we went out for dinner she asked for a coffee.  I swear the waitress looked at us like we were unfit parents!

None of this sounds bad, but I can see a very near future when she shall demand one. Yesterday we had coffee and fruit mince pie at her little table. The day before we gave her one with her cereal.  Can you tell I am on leave?  Of course she can already tell when the machine is on.  Coffee the little voice pipes up.  Her father and her are going to be in a constant tussle over the two espresso cups. Not sure she’ll accept a “coffee” in her melamine cup!

Anyway enough about coffee.  As is the case in the southern hemisphere Christmas Day is a warm affair.  This is our very first time as just our little family.  In marking the occasion we sat outside when it was just the two of us while our little coffee addict had her nap.  As you can see, a Christmas tree dish, a NZ favourite – onion dip – in a dish of the South Island (if you look closely I marked the location of the section we bought this year!), and a heart dish to mark that Christmas is love.  And of course there was wine – a kiwi sauvignon blanc.  And by utter randomness in flipping over the bought Christmas pudding to remove the packaging I noticed it was made in New Zealand.  So a pretty good New Zealand – North Melbourne Christmas.  And in honour of the colder climes and tradition we are having some turkey, it is in the oven as I type – albeit we think we will eat it outside.

So finally in the words of Snoopy, from my favourite Christmas song (Snoopy & the Red Baron), “Merry Christmas my friends”.  See you in 2015.