Friday, November 30, 2012

Finally, Flowers!

It's been almost three months and I've finally got a few flowers blooming or ready to bloom!

I have a few flowers on a few of my balsam camellia plants and one of my glads is ready to bloom.

The only problem I have right now is I have a total infestation of leafhoppers. There are certain plants they leave alone but they LOVE flowers (they've eaten three of my pumpkin flowers and are working on the balsam camellia now). Now that I've finally ID'd what they are (at first I thought they were slugs/snails and then aphids) I can hopefully figure out how to get rid of them. Unfortunately I haven't seen any beneficial bugs in the garden which is probably why there is such a big infestation.

I can't wait until I have more flowers blooming (and when I can see what of the mass of green in the flower bed is flower and what is weed!).

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Proof that I knit!

I've been trying to write this post for a week or so now and keep getting interrupted! I've picked up a few shifts at Glen's work doing Santa photos so we've had a busy few days.

This doll feels like a long time coming! I started knitting it in September to have ready for Aurora's birthday and just when I was nearly finished I got hand, foot, and mouth and couldn't knit (it was SO painful!). I always have a billion projects I want to make at the same time but decided that before I started something new I had to get this doll finished.

I poured over my Jean Greenhowe pattern books to find a doll I wanted to make. I've already made a few and wanted to make one I haven't made before (since Aurora will eventually get the others I've made). I decided to modify one of the patterns in the book since it was the right sized doll and I could just add/not make other bits. I used the Robin Hood pattern for the body and the Cinderella pattern for the hair and then just added my own skirt (I made the Robin Hood skirt but without the belt it just wasn't looking right).

Overall I think it turned out well even though there was some fiddling and re-knitting of some bits (the main hair piece was waaaaaaaay too small the first time I made it). Now to decide if I want to make a small doll for Aurora for Christmas!

Sunday, November 18, 2012


We've had a bit of a busy few days around here. Tuesday was spent at Werribee Zoo and then we had MG on Wednesday, normally Glen has Wednesdays off but this week he had to work so I had to drive him in and then decided to go straight to MG instead of going home since traffic in the mornings can be iffy. I decided since I was going to be early that I'd take Aurora in to the walk-in clinic just to make sure that her lingering cough wasn't anything serious. She got the all-clear from the doctor thankfully and we were in and out quick quickly.

Thursday was another day at Werribee Zoo (our membership has now paid for itself!) with Glen's sister and her youngest (he's 4). Before we went to the zoo we got word from Glen's sister that she was running late so we decided to take Aurora to get her 1 year shots. I had been debating whether or not to take her for that session or wait until tomorrow or Tuesday to take her to a session in our old suburb. Taking her to our old suburb would involve driving Glen to work again so we figured we may as well just go to the closest one. It was also convenient to have Glen be there for these ones too (mostly because she's so mobile now, it's handy to have another pair of eyes! I think we can now say that Aurora is walking, she walks 95% of the time at home now and is walking in public now).

The zoo was great again and 4yo nephew seemed to really enjoy it. I was remarking to Glen at how neat it is that we can go so much and see little changes and see funny animal things that only happen occasionally. A good example of this was while we were on the safari tour, the tour guide was talking about how giraffes are herbivores and we looked over and said "oh, well, they ARE herbivores but sometimes they find a dead bird and chew on it!" we all looked over and there was a giraffe munching away on a dead bird (all you could see where massive white feathers sticking out of it's mouth). The guide said that she's only seen that happen one other time. I didn't think I needed a third post dedicated to Werribee Zoo so soon after the other two so I didn't really take many bloggable pics.

The other exciting thing going on here is that we've harvested three radishes from our garden today!

I ate the smallest one and I'm going to take the other two to the IL's tonight. The small one was SO spicy! I know giving someone two radishes is sort of silly but there's only two of them and they eat a lot of salad so I'm sure they'll use it.

One of glads has a flower spear so we should be getting flowers on at least ONE of my plants soon!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Toddler Tuesday at Werribee Zoo

We organised a trip to Werribee Zoo today with six girls from mothers group for "Toddler Tuesdays". They do a bunch of kid geared activities like a "junior safari". We had never been for this specific event so I wasn't sure what to expect. Well, it was A LOT of fun!

We all met around 10am with hopes to get on the 10:15 safari but we missed out so we all went on the 11:15 one (thankfully we waited to go in otherwise we all wouldn't have been able to get on the same tour). Before our tour we went into the Aussie animal section and checked out the emus (the kangaroos were hiding again), after that we went and got a snack and some drinks and sat and ate to kill some time before our tour. They have a meerkat enclosure right at the cafe which was great for the kids.
The tour bus we went on was decorated with vines and stuffed animals and each seat had two animal hand puppets to play with. We sang songs and played with puppets during the ride. Aurora wasn't too into the animals out the window this time as there was so much going on in the bus but that was fine, you could tell she was having a lot of fun! I think some animal hand puppets are going on her Christmas list!

This photo doesn't do it justice, it was seriously cool in there!
After the safari we put down a couple picnic blankets and all sat to eat. By that time a lot of the babies were getting cranky so after we ate and let them crawl around a bit we buckled them into the prams and off we went. Aurora was asleep within 5 minutes and missed the rest of the zoo!

These signs crack me up! I didn't notice this one last time!
Thankfully the rest of the zoo isn't that big so we went and saw the last few animals and then left, we were home at 1:30. They have a stage with music and stuff set up and we might've stayed to take part in that if the babies were in a better mood.

I think if we ever find ourselves without anything to do on a Tuesday we'll head over to Werribee Zoo and jump on a safari tour!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

My first trip to South Australia

We made a semi-spur of the moment decision to make the most of Glen's rare 3 day weekend and go away. We didn't really have a concrete idea on where to go as long as it was somewhere we hadn't been to before, not an easy task when you haven't been many places! We were looking at places 2-3 hours away but I randomly suggested that if we were going to drive 3 hours away, why not just drive for 5½? And if we were going to drive to northern Victoria (near the NSW border) why not just drive to South Australia? With that, we decided to drive to Mt. Gambier.

They don't do big "Welcome to..." signs like they do in Canada

Click Read More to see the rest of this post (picture heavy)

Thursday, November 8, 2012


We got back from our trip (which I'll write about soon) late this afternoon so I thought I'd do a quick post with photos of the new bonnets in action.

Quick picnic in Warrnambool

At Canunda National Park, SA
Quick snack in the car after a walk at Canunda National Park

As you can see, they worked well!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


Summer is coming down here so I've been itching to get into the sewing room to make a few more hats for Aurora. I made two bonnets for our trip to Canada and ended up giving one to a family member who has a daughter about 4 months younger than Aurora.

The pattern I'm using is great and the bonnet is simple to put together. It takes me about an hour and a half or so to do one (with picking out and ironing the fabric, cutting everything out and putzing around and checking on a sleeping baby). So if I'm lucky I can get one totally finished while Aurora naps.

I'm in the process of looking for a good pattern for a Christmas dress for Aurora. For some reason there's a distinct lack of red/white/green clothes around here. I had a heck of a time finding Aurora Christmas pjs last year (I managed to find a pair while we were in Canada a few months ago, I was so excited!). I don't necessarily want something froofy and fancy, just a cute dress I can sew fairly easily with some Christmas fabric. I need to figure it out in a few weeks so we can do some Christmas photos (crazy that we're already thinking of Christmas isn't it?!).

I'll hopefully get some action shots of Aurora in the new bonnets in the next few days, she's been kind of uncooperative the last few times she's been wearing them. Until then, here's a picture of her wearing one from our trip to Canada.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

First Harvest

We've had our first mini-harvest from the garden in the form of two snowpeas and then another three today!

So far the snowpeas seem to be the only thing impervious to the pests we have in the garden (I think it's aphids and not slugs/snails like I originally thought) and don't seem to be suffering in the same way my poor pumpkin is. My pumpkin produced a beautiful flower only to have it totally obliterated by the pests. I'll be really sad if things keep getting eaten before they have a chance to grow.
I've planted a few more pumpkin, watermelon and cucumber seedlings to hopefully ensure I get at least one!

The flowers are doing well and hopefully I'll start seeing some blossoms soon!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Lions and Tigers and Bears!

I don't even know where to start with talking about our trip to Melbourne Zoo. We had such a fantastic time!
There were so many areas that Aurora could get a good look at the animals, not a lot were pram level so we did have to carry her a fair bit but it was definitely worth it for the look on her face. Our first stop was the meerkat exhibit and Aurora got the biggest kick out of them! They were running around and wrestling and they were even interested in us and would come up to the glass to check us out.
Aurora also got a great view of the gorillas, two of them were fighting over a couple of burlap sacks and were running back and forth in front of the glass (she actually seemed a bit concerned when they'd roll on the ground together).

The Gorillas and their burlap sacks.

There were some other monkeys that we got a good view of too, one came and hung on the glass right in front of us (this particular monkey seemed really interested in babies, as soon as one baby left it came right up to us). I won't however talk about the disgusting thing was doing as it was hanging on the glass in front of us (it was funny but still pretty gross!).

Getting up close and personal with a monkey.

We spent a bit of time in the butterfly house too, Aurora could see the butterflies when they flew by and then wanted to grab them when they were sitting in front of her - whoops! Luckily we were sort of expecting that to be her reaction so we held her hands when we got close.

Butterfly House

We decided not to take part in any of the meet the keeper activities on this trip since we wanted to focus on seeing as much as we could, we weren't too familiar with where everything was and didn't want to run back and forth between things.

Going to Melbourne Zoo is definitely a whole day thing (we were there about four hours where as Werribee Zoo took us only an hour and a half) and we probably won't make too many spur of the moment decisions to go but I'm hoping we can get there at least once a month (maybe alternate between Healsville - which is also a whole day sort of activity). If we pack a lunch and don't have to pay for expensive zoo food, the trip only costs us parking ($2), the tolls on the freeway and petrol to get there. I also have to resist the urge to buy all the things in the gift shop (I love gift shops!).

Knowing that we had the membership and could go back whenever we wanted seemed to make the whole trip more relaxed, if we didn't get a good view of a certain animal or if they were asleep/hiding we didn't worry too much and moved on. We were also able to hang out at the exhibits the Aurora took particular interest in without thinking "Quick! We have to see everything!".

As far as having the most things Aurora is interested in, Melbourne Zoo wins hands down. We're planning a trip to Werribee Zoo for "Toddler Tuesdays" so we'll see what sorts of things they have.

(I'm going to save my rant of people not following rules/being rude/stupid but suffice to say it makes me extremely angry when people blatantly flaunt the rules - like no flash photography or using the flashlights on their phones to see animals in purposely darkened exhibits.)