31 January 2012

If you thought things at your house were boring ...

The most noteworthy thing to happen today was that I both vacuumed and mopped my floors. I also did many other things, but this vacuuming-and-mopping thing?  It was amazing! Usually, once I've vacuumed the large area of hard floor at my place, it all requires vacuuming again. I rarely get to the mopping stage, although the whole floor area does get done regularly because of the number of spills and gross things to happen on the floors. I spend a lot of time on hands and knees scrubbing small areas of floor which are bound to meet up.  So in effect, the whole floor should get done regularly, just never all at the same time.

The second most noteworthy thing to have happened today was the rapidity with which crumbs were dropped onto the clean floor.  I took a photo to prove that while patches of the floor were not yet dry, lamington crumbs were dropped under Woody's bar stool.

And that is how interesting my life is right now.  (But not complaining.)

28 January 2012

Futile Housekeeping & Funny Faces

26 January 2012

I'm not sure if that's Unaustralian

Tonight we had a barbecue dinner at the house of some friends to celebrate Australia Day.

But Mr de Elba went to a concert in the big smoke, I did only an 82% good-enough job wrangling my Little Guys, in a fit of disorganisation I brought takeaway noodles instead of sausages or steak to put on the barbecue and claimed it was "a nod to Australia's multi-cultural heritage," and in my disconnectedness after playing with then serving dessert to the children I failed to realise the adults were all waiting before eating their own dessert and bogged into a lamington without using a plate and created a winter wonderland with the coconut. Then as the behaviour was getting ratty among the children we made a hasty getaway as soon as we finished dessert.

Now I am wondering - was that Unaustralian?

24 January 2012

Happy New Year!

The first of January is a bit of an anti-climax.  New Year?  There's nothing much new about going from one holiday-day into another.  Things are very much the same.

The first day of school, however, is something else! New beginnings, the end of the oh-so-long aimless days of summer holidays, time to get back into routine!  Happy New Year at last!

Year 2, full of happy expectations for this year, because he has his favourite teacher!

Prep, and enjoying her new wardrobe so much!  
Everything swims on her, despite being the smallest size.
And hats don't fit on pony tails.

Staying home with Mummy this year! Woohoo!

Looking forward to catching up in the playground if they possibly can.

How you doin?

Looks like a friendly gesture, but really pretending to cream you with a Nerf gun.
That thing with his ear?  His Uncle WeeBro did that.  All the time.  And still does.

Wishes she could go to school, but can't.

21 January 2012

Remember January

Remember last January?  Floods.  It was terrible.

The bio on Brendon Walmsley's webpage describes him as "one of our country's finest singer songwriters and multi Golden Guitar winners" and it's easy to see why in his recent song, "Remember January" which he wrote to commemorate the floods and the spirit of Australians in the cleanup.

Check it out:

17 January 2012


After my exhilarating conversation with the scammer yesterday, I sat down to blog about it.  I am surprised I got the post done however, because my internet seemed to be half broken / half impossibly slow.

"Brilliant!" I thought.  "The scammer has caught up with me and remotely broken my internet!"  Logic sometimes escapes me in cases of technological failure.

Later last night I was able to ask Mr de Elba to have a look at the problem.  Initially he was stumped, but he eventually managed to solve the problem by -erm- restarting the modem.  A thing I'd tried myself, but had become confused and reset the router instead.  I am so clever.

To test the connection, he typed in a few random search engines and news sites.  He ran out of ideas and started thinking of other sites he could type in for testing purposes.

Now once a man solves a problem, he feels quite awesome.  And once a man feels awesome, what does he do?  He thinks to himself, "I am awesome," and for the heck of it, he types in iamawesome.com

We burst out laughing.  Try it!  Go to http://iamawesome.com/ and see for yourself!

16 January 2012

Can we do that again?

I have just had the BEST! FUN! EVAH! with a telephone scammer!  It's that scam that involves people with extremely heavy accents calling random people and asking about their computers.  Their first questions is to confirm that "you have the Windows operating system" and I believe that if you're gullible or even just clever and decide to string them along, they then attempt to get you to log on to a particular site and give them details.  I wouldn't know, as I never let them get that far.

I can't believe they are still trying this old one.  Everyone knows about them yet they still call at dinnertime and try their luck with you.  What's more amazing is I can't believe they don't have a database of people they have already called complete with black marks beside the names of the people who KNOW they are a scam and have called them out about it in the past, like I have on three separate occasions.

Usually the conversation goes down like this:

Caller:  Hello Madam, I am calling from [even more unintelligible] about your computer system in your home?  I believe you have the Windows Operating system?

Me, in an loud and accusing voice:  You're that SCAM, aren't you?!?

Caller: *click*

It would appear that I am on to them and perhaps shouldn't be called again, but alas, I continue to receive calls.  Mr de Elba always wishes that he was home to receive them because he is quite computer savvy and could string them along wonderfully, but it's always little ole me, and my only weapon is to say the word SCAM loudly and often.

Today's call was more fulfilling than the previous ones, because although I was obviously on to her and couldn't be persuaded she was legitimate, she kept ... on ... going!  It was dinnertime and the phone is close to the noise, but I really wanted to talk to the scammer so I took it outside and stood near the worm farm, which is where I conduct all my important business.  It's the only place where the children can't be heard (provided they don't follow me.)

Please bear in mind her accent was very strong.  It just made her punchline even funnier.

Caller:  Hello Ma'am, I am calling from [completely unintelligible] about the computer system in your home.  You have the Windows operating system?

Me:  I know you!  You're the SCAM that's all over the internet!

Caller:  Ma'am?  I am calling about your computer?  You have the Windows operating system?

Me:  Aha!  You can't possibly know that because I have never called you and you don't know me and you have no information whatever about the computer system in my home.  You're the SCAM everyone is talking about!

Caller:  Why are you saying I am a scam?  I am not a scam.  So you don't have a home computer?

Me, realising that if I denied I had a computer, this fun would be over with far too soon: Yes, I have a computer.

Caller: And you have the Windows operating system?

Me: See, that's how I know you're from that SCAM!

Caller, angrily: Okay, because you are saying I am a scam, I will have to write a formal complaint about you!

Me: Excellent!  And who will you complain to?  My MANAGER?

Caller: No, to the police.  I will put in a complaint to the police!

Me, wondering what offense I could possibly be charged under: Wonderful, I would love that!  You called me, so I assume you have my phone number and address!  Is there any other information you need to have?

Caller, irate: Ma'am, you are a BLOODY IDIOT!  You are a BLOODY IDIOT!  *click*

Which was, I think, the high point of 2012 for me so far.  Being called a bloody idiot in an extremely thick Indian accent by a scammer because I called her a scammer.  I am floating on clouds tonight!  I can do anything!  I am invincible!

14 January 2012


Dare me?  I really want to place the following Classified in our local paper.  If you think I should, and if it's free or cheap, I think I will.

GIVEAWAY Ugly Christmas Tree.  Impossible to make it look nice.  Consistent performance: looks awful every year.  Would suit decorator up for a challenge.  Phone Givinya 0433 444 555.  Please.

13 January 2012

Everyone shops at KMart

As soon as we arrived at our holiday house, I went to KMart to shop for swimwear for the children. Crazy huh? Who goes to the beach without swimmers? Well, apparently, it's easy to forget them if the children decide the preceding afternoon that they hafta-hafta-hafta swim in the neighbour's pool. As soon as the decision was made, I knew I would either be packing damp swimmers in the morning, or would forget them altogether.

As it was, I packed mine and Mr de Elba's (because they were dry) and forgot the kids' (because they were outside drying on the airer.) Hence the trip to KMart for swimwear shopping as soon as we got there.

Justamum's kids needed a few swimmers so she came with me. We quickly picked out what we needed for Woody, Jessie, Belle and Banana, and then I looked for a swimming shirt for Buzz. I wanted something that would be visible in the surf, as I knew I would be counting heads a lot of the time and a distinctive swimming shirt was going to facilitate matters greatly. However, there seemed to be limited choice when it came to visible colours.

Fluoro orange, they did not have. There seemed to be a large amount of black which is just not all that good when it comes to counting heads.

Red! What about red? Poor Justamum had to suffer my deliberations regarding the relative merits of the RED shirt with BLACK sleeves and the BLACK shirt with RED sleeves.

I'll spare you descriptions of my deliberating.

I finally decided that since the sleeves would be the most visible part, I'd go with RED sleeves.

Yay! Look at Buzz, happy in his new swimming shirt!

Surely he would be EASY to spot in the surf now! All I had to do was find the red sleeves!!

Shortly after, I realised that everyone shops at KMart.

12 January 2012

Counting to Seven

Mr and Mrs de Elba, 
Justamum and Justadad, 

One, two ..... three, four ......., five six ....... seven!

In these pictures I have omitted the hundreds of people also in the surf.  It loses a genuine-ness, but I omit them for time reasons.  And because some of them were not pretty.  (As a general rule, wouldn't you wear BIGGER swimmers the bigger you got?  Not so in Australia.  It seems that the bigger you are, the flimsier the swimmers you wear.  Yeesh.)

Buzz often played out in the deep with Belle as they are both older (6 and 7 years old) and are very safe.  It will be a few more years before we choose not to include them in the head count, but they gave us no panicky moments this year.  They could usually be found together, Buzz in a black shirt with red sleeves, Belle in a black shirt with cute little purple swimmers.

Jessie and Banana are four and five years old, and they loved playing in the shallow water together, splashing in the waves and running up the beach squealing.  Jessie was in a purple shirt and swimmers that angered her frequently for no apparent reason, and Banana wore white and light pink (I think.)

Woody and Boris are two and three years old, and they were usually playing in the sand and fighting over beach toys.  Although they became more confident in the water towards the end of the week, they started off both unwilling to get wet, so this limited their potential for getting lost to sand, crowds, and leaving the beach rather than drowning.  This lowered our anxiety rating from 98% all the way down to 91%.  Awesome.  Woody in a red shirt with blue sleeves, light blue shorts, Boris in light and dark blue shirt and blue swimmers.

Baby Bimi is one year old and she was generally with the adult doing the head-counting.  We still counted her though.  It seemed right.  She wore white with pink like Banana.

One, two, three ....... four-five-six-seven!
At times, a swimming child would decide to come up to the beach and join the sandcastle-makers.  This was relatively easy to count like the example above, and sometimes gravitated into "One, two ....... three-four-five-six-seven," which was also easy.

Perhaps the easiest configuration of all occurred when everyone decided it was time to build sandcastles and fight.  Often, two or three of the adults would go for a swim when this happened.

One, ....... um, two, ....... three, four ....... five? Yes, five ....... six .......   .......   oh crap.
This didn't often happen.  It was usually resolved by looking behind the shade tent, or a little further up the beach.

11 January 2012

I love the beach!

Indeed, I would have attempted to blog every day of January if we hadn't left for a holiday at the beach the day after New Years Day. I may have even started more blog posts with the word "indeed" as I did with this one.

It's not as if I was offline - the house we stayed in was generous with its WiFi and we had iPads, iPods, notebooks and goodness-knows-what-else. But I just really hate editing my typing on the iPad. I have a hate-hate relationship with the little magnifying glass device I have to use to place my cursor way back THERE in the text so I spent the time reading your blogs and checking Facebook. Even though I'm not actually ON Facebook. As I will continue to do until -erm- my husband changes the password on his account.

We stayed in a house with Justamum and her family. Seven children, aged 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1, and four adults, ages unspecified, made for fun times! We love hanging out with those guys and having them with us doubled the fun.

My one big regret is that we didn't take any photos at all. Taking photos is such a chore for me, I wish I was like those of you who always have a camera ready to snap away, but I worry life will pass me by uncaptured and unblogged. I am considering whipping up some pics of my own in MS Paint to recreate some of the moments for you, but I will leave that for a time when I'm not falling asleep and am on something a little more manageable than my iPad. Something with a mouse. Arrow keys. MS Paint. Whatever.

01 January 2012

Just pretending

I can't believe that so far this year, I have managed to blog every single day.  Amazing, for me, but it will just be a little quote from Jessie.

Me, faffing around the kitchen trying to get many things for many people, making mistakes and admonishing self:  No, don't put the hot kettle in the fridge, that's not where it goes!
Jessie:  Mum!  Are you just pretending to be an idiot?
Me:  Ah yeah, that's it.  Just pretending.