Friday, July 27

Fox rocks

My family are awesome. They let me sleep in for my birthday, and I woke up to a lovely little pile of presents on the table, just like being a kid again except for the whole getting up for work thing (I didn't - worked form home instead!)

Anyhow, yesterday I came home to a cake! And not just any old cake. A birthday cake the my beloved and Marty cooked up together. Marty had decided that I would like a fox for my birthday cake  - no small challenge for the beloved I'm sure! When I left for work I still thought they were joking but I came home to this piece of pure awesome!

Yep, I'm one lucky Pogga :)

And just in case anyone is actually checking this blog here's a pic of small blonde and adorable with his dog brother.

Monday, July 23

Changes changes everywhere...

Those of you who are still inhabiting this dusty corner of the interwebs might notice I've made a couple of tweaks to this here blog. Nothing major and there may be a few bugs yet to flush out but I decided that "Jacwabbit goes to Texas" just wasn't an appropriate title any more! We've been back in Tassie more than 2 years now and even though barely a day goes by where I don't miss it - and I still visit as often as I can - the title just didn't fit. This current one is a place-holder until I think of something more snappy. Apparently "Love, life and stomach contents" wasn't appropriate either! I have no idea why... Knowing how quickly things change around here it may be place-holding for a few years yet :)

Other than that I've made a few minor tweaks to the code and the widgets to fit in with the new blogger, so if things don't work for you or you see any obvious bugs let me know so that I can blame google fix them.

I whipped up the new banner pic in about an hour using Sketchbook Pro on the ipad. I had forgotten quite how gorgeous that app is! I don't have photoshop on this computer so had to made do with pixlr for the remainder so it is pretty darn sloppy but it'll do for now!

Wednesday, July 18

Kenzie dog

Short post to keep this whole blogging ball rolling. I've promised people more photos of the regal sounding 'Noonbarra McKenzie' the Australian Kelpie or 'that $#&@ dog' (depending on the day) so here they are.

Firstly, he's grown a little since I first posted! (crap, I've just realised that one, if not both of my cameras must have their dates all messed up so I have no idea how old he was in any of the photos! In these two he's about 10 weeks.)

He is now 3 months old which means we've had him for five weeks and we (probably) wouldn't give him up for anything! It has been a wonderful and tiring time integrating a new pup and watching Marty transition to a three year old at the same time. The first few weeks with Kenzie it felt like we were just sitting around watching his digestive system! But we are doing much better on that front now.

He gets on well with Marty and in turn Marty is learning to be a good owner. Big learning curve all round but it has been great for Kenzie in terms of exposing him to all sorts of things like helium balloons, noisy toys, noisy children (by the bucketload - see previous post!), scooters... you get the picture!

When we first got him having Marty around definitely helped settle him and it has been great for other things like bathtime too. I just pop Marty in his bucket bath at one end of the tub and Kenzie will happily be bathed at the other end. Marty is also a good and adventurous walker which is handy when you have a pup that need serious hours of walking per day.

Kenzie as he looks now - all leg and flop-eared

Kenzie is incredibly smart and training him has already been a blast. We've just finished the third week of puppy kinder (highly recommended - ask your local vet) and he has mastered sit, drop, come (although only intermittently when he's distracted outside), wait (even out of line-of-sight), shake with both paws (depending which hand you offer him) and he's working pretty hard at roll over. I need to find some new tricks! He's walking really well although we are probably at the point where we should be starting some formal lead work now. He's also got the meaning of 'off' and 'leave it!' as well as the all important 'do your stuff'. Definitely more ups than downs at this point :)

He's a barker though. Will take us a while to work on that methinks - nothing like a project!

Family resemblance perhaps? (Don't pick on me - I was crashed out exhausted after one of the birthday parties!)

Monday, July 16

I can't believe the little Roo is three!

I was going to come up with some kind of snazzy title for this post but I am still so blown away by the simple fact that somehow Marty is now three that I just can't get past that. Or maybe it is because I am absolutely and totally exhausted after being chewed up, slowly digested and finally passing the sphincter of three year old birthday hell that I don't have the energy left to be clever. (I even spelled it cleaver - sigh)

The birthday boy - and yes he is entirely responsible for choosing both the dragon outfit and the retro party hat!

I won't go into too many details but Marty had an awesome week - and is some ways it is still going (still a few pressies tucked away to be opened over the coming days). Thank you so much to everyone who posted  exciting packages, cards, emails or who dropped in, kept me steady during party insanity, or simply kept us in your thoughts! So many wonderful people out there... he's one darn lucky kid ;)

We had a couple of parties so we didn't entirely overwhelm the poor tike with hoards of friends but while that seemed like a great idea at the time, I later realised that meant multiple cakes! What was I thinking?! Those who know me know I'm no baker. I have one cake recipe that I use for everything because it always works (and it is about 50% butter which seems like the right ratio to me). Thems who know me also know that I tend towards the slightly exuberant when it comes to creativity. Not classy, not skilful, just hair-brain ideas and enthusiasm.

One of Marty's current obsessions is with crabs. Hermit crabs in particular. So of course I got the hair-brained notion that I'd whip up a batch of hermit crab cupcakes. Yeah, try googling that for ideas :/ I sent the beloved off with the horrid job of hunting and gathering with the expectation that she would be able to mind-read exactly what kind of sweets I'd need! Lucky for me she delivered :) The next four hours were spent in kitchen hell while I work out exactly how difficult it is to turn small cupcakes and a handful of sweets into %$#& hermit crabs - especially when the most technical piece of baking equipment we own is a scone cutter...

Kitchen chaos and proto-crab...

In then end, after much muttering, layers of quince jelly and a belly full of reject sweets I ended up with a small plate of somewhat recognisable hermit crab cupcakes. The only downside was expending reserves I should have kept for the party the next morning! Live and learn...

The final hermit crab cupcakes!

Cake number two wasn't really my idea. A while back I asked Marty who he would like to invite to his birthday party and he said "Ah, the rainbow lorikeets I think". Sigh. We see them fairly often at our place, especially cleaning up the last of the apples on the trees, but I really wasn't sure we were going to get lucky on the day.

Two of the wee beasties just outside our kitchen window.

The other deciding factor was that the beloved was set on a tree cake. Tree for three, get it? Kind of like last year's 'too cake. So in terms of concept I was sorted, right? A tree and some lorikeets... Sure thing. Early planning stages involved much 3D nonsense and even hand crafted freaking icing birds - however the lethargy of the day before kicked off my innate laziness and instead I came up with an entirely more simple and even easy to cut cake with a tree and three rainbow lorikeets. Cheating perhaps but meh.

Ta da! And no, the birds aren't edible but the buttercream icing is mighty fine and I have been attempting to resist eating the remaining chunk that's in the fridge (and losing...badly)

Marty loved the cake and that's all that matters to this tired Pogga! 

To balance out the buttercream (even though I was the only one eating that by the spoonful) we even had some reasonably non-toxic party food - which was a huge hit when we moved it down to the kid's table and let them have at it!

Here are a few more pics from birthday week. Thank goodness we have a whole year to get ready for the next one!

He was a scooter boy... Nevermind, Advril reference. But Marty did finally get a scooter after asking (politely but persistently) for a whole year. He worked out how to ride it terrifyingly fast...

He also got a hermit crab (not a real one, a kelpie is quite enough at this point thanks!) and an octopus to satisfy some of his rockpool re-enactments.

And speaking of the kelpie, Kenzie did an awesome job to make it through several days of chaos in our house! More updates on him soon but at the end of the party he looked just the way I felt...

Kenzie and newest cousin Annabelle.