Our holiday in photos (and a few words…)

We began our holidays at Rainbow Beach, in this apartment, with this view:

 There was “incy wincy” cake:

 and books to read:

and more beautiful views:

 Then there was Melbourne. And what does Melbourne mean? Melbourne means coffee:

Then there was Wang. And Wang meant catch ups;

meeting new friends:

more coffee;

and more coffee:

and good times at old places:

and more catch ups with old friends:

and more meeting new friends:

Remember these guys?

Then back to Melbourne for some underwater fun:

and more catch ups:

and of course, more (awesome Melbourne) coffee:

Lots of lovely times at the park:

And a few snoozles in the car:

 And so many cuddles with Big Brother;

 Nanna;

And Poppy.

And one of the best things of all; ice creams in the car after a long drive.

A truly amazing mix of complete relaxation, delightful catch-ups, crazy toddler getting cabin fever in the car, yummy coffees and not-as-bad-as-you-might-think Victorian weather. Hubs is on his way back to Townsville in our “new” car (we bought Mum and Dad’s land cruiser off them) and the kids and I are in Brisbane (Woody Pt) until the 11th of September. Might see you round 🙂

Brokety broke

Okay, so we’re not broke. Far from it. But we drew up a new budget the other night and there really isn’t as much wiggle room as we were expecting, on a week-to-week basis. Hubs and I have been looking forward to this year for over 2 years (since I stopped working) as we would be, as we called it, “raking it in.” Turns out it’s not so much “raking” as it is slowly collecting in small amounts and seeing the money leave as fast as it’s coming in.

I think we were kind of kidding ourselves and it is finally hitting home that the next few years are really going to be (slow) building years. We are only on one salary, and a starting salary at that. People kept suggesting we were getting ahead of ourselves with all the excitement, but we couldn’t help it.

I know it’s really counterproductive, but I keep having thoughts of “if we were in Wang things would be so much better.” I happen to be fairly certain that if we had stayed in Wang, our thoughts would have been “we really should have moved somewhere different this year.” Well, maybe I would have thought that. But we would have been heaps better off financially (without having to move, and paying substantially less rent); I feel I would have been happier around my friends in Wang and closer to our Melbourne “family”; we wouldn’t be being harassed by our real estate agent (they are getting rude and nasty and we are fed up); Hubs wouldn’t have shingles; (oh yeah, Hubs has shingles and has had to stay home all week) and Hubs would have gotten more favourable rotations.

And maybe I wouldn’t be biting my nails again. Dammit.

But Wang was never offered, so there’s no point dwelling. I know that in a few years time, with some self-control and sticking to the budget, we can meet our financial goals. We just expected to be more comfortable earlier than that. But it will happen. Now that we have the budget I feel better about things already. I function much better when I have boundaries with spending, and we haven’t had that the last few months.

Sorry for the big whine. I guess I’m not quite over it just yet…

Lists

My list of things I don’t need right now:
– Chanbe had a temperature last night and was generally miserable, so neither of us got any sleep. Barely keeping my eyes open right now.
– An obstetrician at the hospital has ordered another glucose test to rule out gestational diabetes, even though the first one I had came back clear. The test takes 2.5 hours and you have to drink this disgusting sugar drink and get blood taken 3 times. Cos I have so much time to spare right now.
– I have a rash on my neck that has come out of nowhere and is itchy.
– I’m still getting pains in my guts that stop me in my tracks and force me to lie down.

To do:
– Keep packing boxes. (just keep packing, just keep packing)
– Attend my last mother’s group tomorrow (heartbreaking)
– Pick up trailer from Albury
– Buy a sexy dress for the Rural Clinical School graduation dinner on Saturday night in Ballarat
– Plan Chanbe’s 2nd birthday party

Up until yesterday I was feeling like I was being productive and really getting stuff done. Today, I’m yet to achieve anything and just want to go back to bed. Maybe I should do just that and try and have a productive afternoon and evening. Hubs get back tomorrow evening after his boys camping trip (he’s having a great time) which will take the pressure off somewhat.

This time next week we’ll be on the road. So much to do before then…

Random photo for your viewing pleasure.

Romantic night for 2

Hubs and I were able to head out to dinner on Saturday night, just the 2 of us, and we both agree that it was one of the nicest meals out we have had in a very long time. We went to the Watermarc restaurant in Wangaratta – we hadn’t been there before but had heard good things about it. We arrived around 7pm and sat at a table outside, along the river. We really wanted to take our time and make the evening last, so we ordered some wine and started off with some oysters kilpatrick. They were fantastic – a great start to a delightful culinary experience. We then ordered 2 more entrees – a margarita pizza and soft-shelled crab. Our theory is that if a place can simple things well, they are onto something. The margarita pizza was delicious and the soft-shelled crab, delightful.

We then went for 2 more entrees to share – house made fettuccine with calamari ragu (yes, we love seafood) and the house made gnocchi with pumpkin and shredded boccocini. Scrumptious! We then went for the jugular and ordered dessert. I had the vanilla creme brulee and Hubs had the Affogato with Frangelico which looked something like this:

The presentation of the meals, the service, the flavours, the freshness, the wine and the company were all sensational. We took our time and didn’t feel at all rushed. It was one of those nights we will remember for some time, and a great way to celebrate the end of 4 and half tough years of study, moving around, and great times that we have had.

It was just one of those meals that reminds of this scene from one of my favourite movies, What About Bob:

Every mouthful left me wanting more, and I’m so glad we could end our time in Wangaratta with such a lovely memory.

I told you so!

As I knew it would be, the last week has been huge, and today is the first day I’ve had more than 10 minutes to sit down and play on the computer. Sunday was a glorious day and we had a lovely walk to Paradise Falls, followed by lunch at Dal Zotto winery. It was such a lovely day with lovely friends, though I was having some annoying pains in my stomach that wouldn’t go away. I was pretty certain it was ligament pain and it eventually subsided in the evening so I wasn’t too concerned. Monday night we had a crowd over for dinner and Revenge and both left us wanting more. Tuesday we dolled up and headed to the races, and, as usual, Chanbe stole the show:

Suspenders were certainly the order of the day for the boys!

I wasn’t happy with any of the photos that were taken of me, so you can just tell me how dashing my boys looked instead!! Mum and Dad were running a bit ahead of schedule and ended up on our doorstep at 6:30pm Tuesday night, much to Chanbe’s delight! Hubs headed to Shepparton on Wednesday for his final med exams which was very exciting! Thursday was supposed to be spent preparing for the garage sale on Thursday, but the pains in my stomach came back and I thought it was best to get them checked out at the hospital. After 3 hours of monitoring, I finally got to see the doctor who said it didn’t seem like anything too serious, and sent me home. Which was good, but frustrating that he couldn’t tell me what it might be, other than “probably ligaments” which I wasn’t convinced about as it was so isolated to one spot.

I got a fair bit done Thursday night which was good, but at 9am Friday, the pains came back and I couldn’t stand or walk, so back to the hospital we went. It was so much worse that day, and I saw the doctor immediately and he said we’d try and get to the bottom of it. He did an examination and assured me that the baby is absolutely fine, then gave me some morphine and let me rest. He said it was most likely either a kidney infection, appendicitis, or an ovarian cyst that was twisting on itself. After bloods and an ultrasound, they could rule out appendicitis and kidney problems, and although he is pretty sure it’s an ovarian cyst, they couldn’t actually see it on the ultrasound as Baby Baloo was in the way. So he gave me some strong pain killers and said that we’d touch base again the following week, but really there’s not much they would  be happy to do until after the baby is born.

So needless to say, not much got done on Friday for the garage sale until I got home at 6pm. Hubs is now officially finished medicine (woooooo hooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!) and we decided to postpone our dinner til Saturday night. The garage sale was a HUGE success yesterday, and it was so nice to just relax in the afternoon and know that all the hard work over the last few weeks/months of getting all the stuff ready and making pretty signs etc had all paid off.

That’s enough from me for now. More on our romantic night out soon….

A truffling thought

I’ve been a bit absent from regular blogging lately, and I fear this trend will continue for the next few weeks months. We are in the midst of planning and packing and (sadly) counting down the days til we leave Wang (18). We are fitting lots of socialising in which has been lovely. We headed to Melbourne last weekend to farewell our “med friends” – this group of people have really made the last 4 years of our lives somewhat amazing, and they will always hold a VERY special place in our hearts. I know that we will certainly keep in touch over the years to come.

Here are the graduates of 2012. Hard to believe we only met them in 2008!

And here is the “support crew” (missing a wife and twins of one the the graduates!!)
And the graduation cake I made for them:

And as yesterday was Hubs’ last day of medicine (he has 2 days of exams next week and then that’s really it!!) we have had a few end-of-med dinners and lunches to attend which has been great. The one we went to on Thursday night was a thank you from the students to the Doctors and teaching staff, and I offered to make some baked goods to hand out as a thank you. I decided to make truffles, as I’d never made them before and it’s always a great idea to try something new when you are making presents for 20 people. (Ahem.) Thankfully, they turned out beautifully:

And everyone was very thankful which was lovely. I made the little boards out of cardboard wrapped in alfoil, and stuck the patties down with melted chocolate. I was worried about them melting but I believe they stayed intact. I made over 100 of these little friggers!

 This coming week:
– tonight I’m making lamb shanks as an end-of-uni treat for Hubs
– tomorrow we’re doing a bit of local sight-seeing and maybe catching a bit of the Wangaratta Jazz Festival (I can hear it from our house)
– Monday night we’re having 6 people over for dinner + Revenge episodes (yes I’m hooked. Don’t judge.)
– Tuesday we are going to the local races for Melbourne Cup Day (like last year)
– Wednesday Mum and Dad arrive and Hubs heads to Shepparton for his exams til Friday
– Thursday I’m hosting Mums group at my house for the last time (boo)
– Friday Hubs and I will hopefully go out to dinner to celebrate the real end of Hubs’ medical degree!!
– Saturday we are having a garage sale

So, you know, enough to keep us busy. I’ve been having a bit of anxiety lately, most likely centred around getting ready for the big move, and am just trying to be aware of it, acknowledge it, and not let it manifest itself in crazy ways. I know we’ll get there. We always do 🙂

Inspections

Since we gave plenty of notice of our intention to leave this house, we have already had 6 lots of people come through with the real estate agent to inspect the house. We are not breaking our lease – I signed up until the 17th of November – so I just thought I would be extra nice and give over 2 months notice, so they could find new people to rent the house.

As I have mentioned, I don’t generally keep our house in a particularly tidy state, mainly because, since we moved in in April, we never fully unpacked and a lot of our stuff has never had a “place” so often I don’t even bother trying. For the inspections, however, I have always made sure things are relatively tidy, vacuuming done, and kitchen spotless. We have been excellent tenants, in my opinion, so today’s inspection left me feeling quite deflated.

I’ve just started feeling okay with our huge move coming up – we’ve sold a couple of things, have interest in a couple of other things, and designated a lot of stuff to give away. I have picked up some packing boxes, and have already filled several bags for the op-shop. After showing the prospective tenants around, the real estate agent came back to where I was on the computer, gave me a look, and said “So, you’re still right for your vacating date? I noticed the back garden is getting out of hand. Are you getting someone in to professionally clean it up?”

“Ummmm… yes?”

“Have you got the checklist that you need to complete before you vacate? Are you still okay with the date you’re leaving?”

“Ummmm… yes?

And it went on like this for a bit longer.

Seriously. I’d just started feeling okay. And now, not so much. Maybe she was just doing her job. Maybe she thought she was being helpful. (And maybe I made a face at her as she walked out the door.) But if she had known the crazy life we have lived in the last year, she would have BACKED OFF. I do NOT need that kind of “help” and yes, moving house is a big job, but I know it will work out. You know how I know? Not just because we’ve done it 4 times in the last 4 years, but because it has to work out. There is no other option.

So excuse me for letting the gardens get “out of hand.” I’ve had other things on my mind thank-you-very-much.

Chanbe helping Mama with the vacuuming

My highland goat (e-oat e-oat)

Anyone remember that song from their childhood? No? Just me? Oh well. I had it playing in my head one sunny afternoon last week when we were invited to our friend’s farm to visit some baby goats. When I say baby goats, I mean baby goats. 4 of them were less than 24 hours old! I cannot tell you how much I love living in the country. I mean, where else would you get a phone call on a Wednesday afternoon, inviting you to give baby goats a cuddle and a pat?

They were way too cute for words, and Chanbe just adored them! 
He was so gentle with them and kept wanting to give them cuddles. 
He’s going to be such a good big brother 🙂
 
 

Some time for me and a funny dessert

We’ve been back home (in Wang, just in case you get confused about where we live. I know I do…) for a week now, and we’re slowly getting back into our little groove. Life is just looking up and up at the moment, and is continuing that trend which is unbelievably good for my soul. This is what I have spent the last solid half hour enjoying:

Leftover lasagne, a huge salad, a tall glass of water, and the internet. Oh, and a sleeping toddler. This is me time. This is time to catch up on my google reader, respond to emails, read about “Your Pregnancy: Week 18” and lust after my dream pram. I’ve had such a great week so far, and it’s just going to get better. I hit the gym yesterday for some cardio while Chance had a great day in care, even sleeping for over an hour which meant he was a happy little camper when I picked him up!

Last night we got right back into having friends over for dinner which was really lovely. They were meant to come over for dinner tonight but their tutorials got switched (they’re both studying with Hubs) so they were free last night instead, which I only found out at 4:30 in the afternoon, but I had everything I needed for lasagne and salad and garlic bread so we went ahead with that. Hubs came home and tidied our bomb-site of a house (I just didn’t have it in me!) while I made dinner. I hadn’t planned anything for dessert other than “something with strawberries” as they were on special at Coles for $1.60/punnet (I may have bought 6 punnets… and I may be planning on buying more today…) so instead of my usual choc-dipped strawberries, we had do-your-own strawberries dipped in chocolate.

Seriously, if you want an entertaining dessert, this is it. I melted a bowl of 70% dark chocolate and placed it in the middle of the table next to a huge bowl of the biggest strawberries in the punnets. And handed out napkins and little forks. It was the messiest, funniest dessert I’ve ever had. There was melted chocolate on chins, on fingers, and all over the strawberries, that got dropped in the bowl more than once. It was just hilarious, so much so that I was worried I was going to laugh chocolate and strawberries out of my nose.

The verdict? Maybe next time I’ll use smaller strawberries. But an absolute winner FOR SURE! Super easy, delicious, and a great source of entertainment for all.

One of those days

You know the ones. Where you’re sitting in your back yard in the sun, the smell of bbq in the air, surrounded by friends and good vibes? Yeah. Yesterday was one of those days. We had some good friends (fellow medical student and family) stay with us for a few days this week, and yesterday, another med student and family (happens to be Chanbe’s Godmum) came up to visit for the day. So there we were. 3 med students, 3 foxy wives, and 4 adorable children; sun, bbq, beers… what more could a gal ask for?

Hubs and I are still winding down after our whirlwind few weeks, but we are getting there and loving it. I said to Hubs on our walk today, how funny life can be sometimes. I mean, what are the odds of him choosing to start med in the exact same year as 3 other guys, who are all mature age students, and who, along with their families, have become such a huge part of our lives in such a short time. It sounds super cheesy, but it was meant to be. I truly believe that.

We are so fortunate to have such genuine, loving, caring, outrageously fun people in our lives, and I hope, in 10 years time, we find ourselves sitting in someone’s backyard, reminiscing of good times gone by. I have a good feeling it’s going to happen…