In January, my father announced that he had been awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM). Today we attended the official ceremony at the beautiful Government House. It was a really nice ceremony. Typically, there were lots of officials, speeches, hand shaking, brass band, the national anthem. But it wasn’t too long-winded or overly sacred. And it was casual and friendly enough to make it feel wonderfully… Australian?

At the end of the event, my dad was handed a pack. It was like a medal showbag, full of medal goodies. It had 4 different versions of his medal – a full-sized one, a miniature, a ribbon bar and a lapel pin. A certificate, display box, instructions on how to store and clean it. And a little handbook with meticulous instructions on how to wear it and when and where he can wear each version of the medal. It was all pretty complicated, but interesting!

Catch Up

My sister was back in Perth for a week. It was really good to see her and hang out again, even though she spent most of her time laughing at Callum’s antics and poking Sean’s belly.

It was actually quite cute to see them become “friends”. Callum is not keen on people who talk to him like a baby – but when you talk to him like an adult in an iNTerEsTing voice, he’ll be your best friend. My sis did pretty well, and I think the friendship was sealed the moment my sister said “Thomas the Tank Engine?”.

I left the kids at my parent’s place for an hour while I dashed out to the dentist. Apparently they watched Jem and the Holograms and drew pictures of ME! Hahaha.

Mum made a huge plate of yummy fried noodles. Callum made Aunty Christine laugh with his chopstick skills. And Sean snoozes in his car seat, still holding onto his Action Man figurine.

A typical Friday night

The kids are in bed. The toys packed away. The tv is off. Our home is still. My evening has arrived.

I pour myself a glass of red. Merlot. Turn on some music. Whitlams. And nestle into the pillows of my couch.

I chat to my husband while he does the dishes. We swap stories and gossip about our day, the kids, work, and a bit later, find ourselves discussing the ecosystems found in bromelias, underwater stereoscopics, animation showreels and Kylie Kwong.

I float happily on the wine and start the first chapter of my book.

I’m happy, mellow, exhausted, satisfied.

Sean’s Birthday Part II

Had [another] combined birthday party for Sean and two other kids from my mother’s group. This time we PAID for everything – cake, balloons, party food, play gym, music, entertainment.

And at the end, we simply stood up and walked away from a room littered with gift wrap, floor pounded with chocolate cake, tables smeared with tomato sauce and seats dripping with orange juice.

Sean’s Birthday Party

We had a birthday party for Sean (and my husband) on the weekend. It was a huge family bash/children’s party thing with 50-60 people! It was the first time we had a party of that size in our house – and I was surprisingly relaxed. Not enough chairs? Meh, people can sit on the floor. Not enough food? Haha, I have sliced bread in the freezer!

Unfortunately I only took 3 photos throughout the whole party. I was too busy being Miss Social Butterfly and the Hostess with the Mostest. At one point, I handed my camera to my sister, and she switched it to MOVIE mode. So I have these short 2 second clips of everyone going “HAPPY BIR–” and “DON’T TOUCH THE CA–“. Did I mention she just stepped off the plane from Japan? Oh well, lots of people have promised to send me their pics, so I’m not too fussed. We got lots of video footage though!

I made these little HEALTHY lolly bags – with a small packet of popcorn, pretzels, jelly snakes (from The Natural Confectionery Company) and a couple of balloons. Callum helped me decorate the bags with stuff we found in the park, and he helped me pack them too! He was so funny, going – “popcorn for the bag, popcorn for my mouth…”

I completely copped out on the cake – which I feel a little guilty about. The first born child got a ONE cake, then a DUCK cake. And second born gets a SQUARE cake… with Easter eggs? It was supposed to be a chocolate ONE cake, but I woke up that morning and thought, meh, I don’t feel like cutting up the square. I mean, 3 days of cleaning the house, that’s got to be a valid excuse for a square cake yeh?