Monday, 10 September 2012


On the weekend we had a milestone 10 year Birthday at our house.

My eldest boy isn't a baby anymore! I am tearing up thinking of him growing up too fast. It goes so quickly, and I have been reminiscing the last few days about life before children, and life with H.

I was a young mother of 22 when I had H. I was working in town at a Solicitor's office and enjoying it. It was a great place to work as there were a few girls, and our boss was a lovely man. There was plenty of chatting going on whilst we worked in there about everything and anything. I had planned to leave work 6 weeks before our baby was due, so I could have a rest and get organised too.

All year we had little to no rain and it was absolutely depressing. it was starting to get really dire by the time I went on maternity leave and every day my husband would bring home another poddy calf for me to try to save. I ended up with six calves that I would feed 2 litres twice a day. It was time consuming, and rather annoying when it was all hand feeding (no milkbar feeder). I was tired and over these calves when we decided to save some of our cattle. We had to take all the cows away and sell the ones that could get on the truck and hand-raise the calves ourselves.

We bought calf nuts (feed pellets) and we rationed them to 1 litre of milk two times a day. All up, we had 70 calves we tried to save. About 30 died in the end. Some died whilst we were feeding them with the bottle too. It was heartbreaking, and I get nervous every time it starts to get dry (like now) Because I really don't want to see a drought as bad as that one ever again.

There was nothing in the paddock at all. Totally windswept.

My Father-in-Law said it was the worst drought he had ever seen in his lifetime and he has seen many droughts in his time.

Back to the gist of the story, I keep getting sidetracked!

I was feeding these calves twice a day along side my husband and getting thoroughly sick of it while I was whale like. I worried that the calves were bumping my belly as they kept trying to butt me for milk. I got a bite on my finger from feeding calves with the teat and it kept getting sore from the moisture and constant biting. I was really over it and felt like I was coming down with a virus of some kind. I was hoping the baby would come soon, yet knew that the feeding would all fall on someone else while we had the little one.

So we were relaxing around watching Lethal Weapon (all that was on telly that night) and I wondered if I would be late with bub. I went to bed feeling tired and at 3 in the morning I rolled over in bed and whoosh! Waters broke everywhere and I jumped out of bed to run across to the bathroom splashing a trail behind.

I will stop there, as I don't know if anyone wants to read the rest of the story. Perhaps I will do a special post dedicated to the births of my babies one day, but for now I will just say my little H has always been such a special little man. He is smart, funny and very sensible, and all that a parent could want from a little person. I am so lucky, and I sometimes wonder how we came to acquire such a beautiful person.

Anyway, now he is 10. And it seems like yesterday to me that he was born into that terrible drought.

I held a party for him with all of his friends at our house. It was a Halloween/Spooky themed party because I thought it wouldn't be too babyish for grown up boys to handle. It was relaxed and fairly casual. I forgot to take lots of pics, while the party was on but I will share a couple of ones that show what I did for it.

Spooky lolly bags

The lolly bags were made up beforehand with supplies I bought online. I bought bulk snakes, black cats and bloodsucker lollypops from Candy Kingdom in Brisbane.  I bought the pumpkin lolly holder and the plastic spiders from there too. They have a bit of everything on their site and it came in two days, which is amazing! Considering the fact Australia Post is a bit slow in my parts. Some bags had different things in them, some had skeletons and cauldrons. I like to mix it up.

contents of spooky lolly bags

The bat tree
The bat tree was just a few Manchurian Pear branches shoved in a vase with plastic bats hanging off them. The boys were able to do this.

closeup of the bat tree

The mummy game
I only did one game as the kids just amuse themselves by playing football and bullrush. And when you are 10, some party games are a too lame! ;)
I bought 50 rolls of cheap toilet paper and split the kids into pairs. One was the roller and one was the mummy. The best wrapped mummy team wins. The kids absolutely loved this game!

I have a stockpile of public toilet ply toilet paper now.

The Birthday cake

The cake was simple. I am not a genius cake maker, I have never used fondant - so I keep it simple lest a disaster occurs.

I make my Never-Fail Chocolate cake recipe. (I will post this one day) Froze it, and cut a hole in it for the grave. Then I iced some Arnotts Malt biscuits with RIP, that is the headstones done. I melted chocolate and dipped pretzels in it and that became my graveyard fence. The "dirt" is Milo. A couple of blossoms from the tree and we are done. Graveyard cake easy style.

I didn't want it to be a "sad" cake. I wanted it to be sort of funny, but spooky too. It tasted good anyway.

Everyone had a great time and H had a lovely day too!

We all love you H!

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