Our favourite pastime this winter : Put on gum boots, raincoats and go puddle splashing in the street!
Our favourite pastime this winter : Put on gum boots, raincoats and go puddle splashing in the street!
I had a sudden craving for beef wontons and decided that the kids could help me make them.
I didn’t really use a recipe – I just tossed together some healthy stuff in the fridge and garden. I also prefer baking my wontons, instead of deep frying them. Much healthier that way.
I ALSO decided that it was too much of a hassle for the boys to curl the wontons into a dumpling nugget shape – I’m a bit anal about folding pastry, and didn’t think I could handle munted wontons. So we left them as triangles. Ravioli, if you must.
My 4yo was excellent at putting them together. The 2yo had to be supervised, in case he ate the raw meat mixture. Here are our masterpieces.
Beef Wonton Recipe
400g lean beef mince
1 bunch of coriander leaves and stems
1 small bunch of chives
½ red onion
1 cup of chopped cabbage
Very tiny knob of ginger ( ½ cm )
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
200g packet square wonton wrappers
Throw filling ingredients into food processor, until all chopped!
Place a teaspoon of filling into the centre of a wonton wrapper. Brush the edges with a bit of water and fold in half to make a triangle. Press down to seal. Place on a lined tray. Brush a bit of oil. Bake in 200ºCoven until edge are crispy (about 10 minutes).
Filling mixture makes lots! (50+ if you’re keen)
I attended a Special Art Programme when I was in high school.
I have worked with many art mediums : oil paints, watercolours, acrylic, inks, chalk, charcoal, textile manipulation, sewing and stitching, dyes, clay, glazing and firing, plaster, paper mache, metal work, wood work, etching, wood block printing, screen printing, graffiti, movie make up, jewellery design, stage design, technical drawing, photography.
I am in no way expert in all these areas, but I loved doing it ALL. I can’t find a favourite medium. Given the chance, I would explore every single medium again!
I studied a BA of Design in university, where I focused on advertising and graphic design.
Over the years, I have worked as a web designer, multimedia designer, art director, graphic designer, photographer and illustrator.
This will be my first art exhibiton!
I have a little secret to share.
I’m going to be part of a group art exhibition of oil paintings in October. I’ve been working furiously at it since March, and it’s been pretty exciting.
How it all started : I discovered that a few of my girlfriends were organising an art exhibition, and they were looking for another person to join them. They asked me and I said YES! An exhibition with good friends? What a cool opportunity!
Holding an art exhibition, where I set about creating a “story” to share with the world – has always been in my Things To Do Before I Die list. Plus I’ve always loved using such a wide variety of mediums – from oil paint, inks, sculpture, textiles, photography and digital art. The possibilities were endless. And this was just the beginning.
However, I never imagined that I’d be able to hold an exhibition so SOON. Where am I going to find the time? Who’s going to look after the kids? What “story” am I going to share?
The exhibition has a theme of “Journeys”.
My allotted space requires me to produce 10-15 medium sized paintings. *Laughs crazily*
I’ll be posting up bits and pieces of my painting adventure. So stay tuned!
In the last 5 years, I’ve been pretty careful with sun protection.
I wear sun cream and sunglasses everyday. When I’m in the sun for long periods, I try to wear a long sleeves and a hat.
My reasons are : Wrinkles. Skin care (skin ageing and spots). Skin cancer. To live a long life. Example to the kids.
Anyway. The other day I noticed that the whites of my eyes were not as bright as usual. There was a slight yellowing in the corners of my eyes. I freaked out a bit.
I got them checked out by an optometrist, who said that yup, it was UV damage and if I don’t change my sunglasses, I’ll have eye problems in the future (basically).
It turns out that while my sunglasses have SOME UV protection, they are still considered as “fashion sunglasses”. Which means, they don’t have ENOUGH UV protection. Ergh, I’m so damn grumpy. I’ve been wearing them for YEARS!
So this is me sporting my new sunglasses. Not the most fashionable, nor expensive pair, but I’ll live.
The other day, my 4.5 year old was strolling around the house, kinda bored. I heard him walk into this room and shuffle with this and that.
I heard a swish and a thump, and I knew he was playing with his tissue box.
I was about to mention loudly that tissue boxes are not toys, when I suddenly heard him talking to himself.
“DUH… OH… CUH… D–O–C. DOC? DOC! HEY MUM! THIS SAYS DOC!” He ran out of his room waving his tissue box, and a silly grin on his face.
Whoa! He read his first word! Unprompted!
I was beside myself! I was floating with pride – it was such an awesome parental moment.
Recently, we decided the boys could do with a bit of pet loving goodness.
So meet Anthony the hermit crab.
Callum first wanted to call him Crunchy Munchy – which I said was an AWESOME name for a hermit crab, but at the last moment he decided to go with Anthony. I tried to convince him to change it back to Crunchy Munchy, to no avail.
I even tried to explain WHY it was so funny – our eating habits are ethnically Chinese, and Chinese people like seafood – but the nuances of cultural sarcasm offended my 4 year old.
It was like when he tried to name his bike.
We also have Billy Balow, named by Sean (and who knows WHERE he got that name from). But Billy the hermit crab has a personality disorder, thinks he’s a rock, and he hates kids.
We’ve set up a little funky aquarium in our living room. We’ve finally got a home for our collection of shells, driftwood, rocks and treasure from the beach. The crabs are so easy to look after. The kids love them and play with them every day. It’s all gold.
On his 4th birthday, Callum was given a Spiderman remote control car. After a week of zooming it around and smashing it into furniture, it broke. The motor revved, but the wheels didn’t turn.
I handed it to my husband to fix, who immediately put it in a queue of Things For The Husband To Fix.
Now I’m not complaining about my husband – the poor guy is at the mercy of my princess inclinations. Can you build some shade over the sandpit? What about some extra shelves for the pantry? Can you put up some hooks for the hats? Can you knock up a rack for the shoes? Hey winter is here, have you cleaned the gutters yet? I think the car engine oil needs replacing!
So 3 months later, nagged by my son about the lack of a Spiderman car, I decided to fix the thing myself. How hard can it be anyway? I’m a smart girl right?
I took the thing apart, memorising how it fit back together. I took a moment to admire how cute the electrical board looked, and how all the tiny, colourful connections and wires looked like a miniature city!
I worked out that a bit of plastic broke off the axle holder thing, and when the motor turned, the cog came loose. A bit of superglue will do the trick!
Unfortunately – in this house – superglue is categorised as “male stuff” and lives in the shed. So driven by pride, laziness and ingenuity, I jammed a matchstick into the thing and TA DA! ALL FIXED! I ROCK!
(Note : The matchstick head was left on for photographic purposes. I cut it off before I put the car back together – in case it caught on fire!)
Since my last update on Sean at 26 months, there’s been an excellent linear progression on all aspects of his development – emotional, physical, his language, playing, sleeping, and eating.
However there has been a something quite new.
Sean has been rather difficult. He really has pushed me to my parental limits and then some more. His defiance is mind boggling.
It’s not just simple stubbornness. It’s UTTER DISOBEDIENCE, ON STEROIDS. It’s a senseless, irrational, single-minded, unwavering, testosterone-fuelled, kamikaze disobedience.
No amounts of reasoning, negotiation, positive or negative coercion will make this child turn from his one path.
The smallest and simplest task, “Please say sorry to your brother!” can build and BUILD into a HUGE, DESTRUCTIVE, EARTH-SHATTERING SITUATION that sometimes lasts up to 2 hours of screaming, crying, door banging, toy throwing, in and out of time outs. And STILL he will not bend.
I’m a complete train wreck at the end of it. My day – everybody’s day – is completely ruined. I don’t even know if I’ve won. Or whether he knows who has won. Or if anything was learnt at all! I am absolutely clueless as to what to do, or what it all means.
As I type this, I’m still trying to juggle all my mixed thoughts and feelings, and work out the bigger picture of all this.
Only two things come to mind.
Firstly. A couple of years ago, I was talking to a friend about children’s characters, and she told me about her 15 and 13 year old daughters.
She said since birth, the 15 year old was the mild, easy-going, big-hearted type. Now in her teens she’s finding it hard to stand up to people, and is easily swayed by peer pressure, fads and advertising images.
Her 13 year old was the stubborn, determined and strong-spirited one, the one who knew exactly what she wanted. Now, she’s the kind who never has a problem with saying no to her friends, saying no to drugs, having an opinion and sticking with it, standing up for what she believes is right etc.
Aside from it’s obvious simplicity, I thought that was a nice way to think about my situation. He’s got a strong spirit – how can I work with that?
Secondly. The age old parenting philosophy : Kids will do what you DO, not what you SAY!
On the last day of his kindergarten semester, my 4.3 year old came home with his portfolio – a scrapbook filled with samples of his kindy work. They weren’t assessments, but it was all laid out with teacher’s notes and explanations to give parents a good indication of the stuff their child can do.
I wasn’t emotionally prepared for The First Report Card Moment. I stood in the school car park, while the kids climbed into their seats, and I absently flicked through the pages of the scrapbook.
My heart stopped and I had to choke back tears. My little boy can place the correct number of match sticks into numbered boxes! He can cut along a wavy line! He can make a bunny rabbit! And a gingerbread man! He can follow construction instructions!
His teacher said : Callum is a capable little student who listens carefully and is quick to understand. During mat sessions, he regularly answers questions and contributes to discussion. He completes set tasks without difficulty and is always purposely occupied in his class free-play time. Outside, he enjoys a range of activities and can be relied upon to play nicely. Good boy Callum, I am proud of you.
Gosh – it was all too much.
I was glowing with pride, yet crushed with love. Enchanted with happiness, yet heartbroken that my little boy has to grow up.