What we do for our kids

Tayla-Jean's birthday was last week. My baby girl turned 5 years old.

As a present for her (and her sister having a birthday in 2 months), we got rid of the jungle gym which they no longer play with and bought a wendy house. It's an amazing playroom with its own little porch. I hope they like it because it took up a quarter of my garden!


To go with it, my sister-in-law bought a "kitchen". What is it about furniture in a box? When things are assembled you think it looks quite simple to put together... until you have the very same item unassembled in a million pieces...


You've got to be in the right frame of mind to tackle something that has a thousand nuts and bolts, so last night I got stuck in and did it. Three hours, one bloodied thumb and 4 glasses of wine later, it was complete...


Two broken backs later, Nicole and I had manoeuvred it into through the hobbit sized wendy house door and it was in place...


Happy birthday to my baby girl. Enjoy playing in your wendy house (and now smaller garden).

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Who moved my cheese... oh, it's the rat

There's been a a game of cat and mouse rat in my house over the past few days... and I think i'm losing.

On Friday night my wife took the potatoes out the cupboard and noticed one looked a little gnawed. She shouted for me to come have a look. I was in denial, saying it was probably just rotten when she bought it from the store...and then we saw the rat poop. In all of our kitchen drawers and cupboards.  It's amazing how many nooks and spaces there are between the back of kitchen units.

So for the last few days Ratatouille the Rat and I have been trying to outwit each other. I've been laying down my delicious peanut butter traps and training a live camera on it so I can see what happens even when I'm away.

The problem is, I have 2 chihuahuas that are barely bigger than the rat, so I only have small pockets of opportunity to lay the trap when the dogs are put outside for an hour or two.

Alas, it has not worked. So now I spend my afternoons shaking curtains and looking under couches. The rat taunts me by leaving poop in his wake.

I've managed to get it to nibble on rat poison. Even if it pegs, it'll probably keel over behind a kitchen cabinet, requiring me to break a bit of it down to stop its continual decay and the river of maggots.

Charming. Regardless of whether it lives or dies, I think I've lost this battle.

UPDATE: A few hours after writing this blog, it made what would turn out to be a fatal mistake. The rat scurried across the lounge as I was walking past and revealed its position. So with the determination of a battle commander, I set up the trap, lay down 2 live camera feeds, and watched on the iPad from the room upstairs, as it took the bait... and succumbed to its injuries. It was all over in a matter of seconds. RIP little fella. It had to happen. The hygiene of my home and my girls comes first.


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Daughter making me do my homework.

For the last few months, whenever I put Tayla-Jean to bed and we've finished reading our story, we switch the light off and she asks me questions about anything and everything. For 10 minutes I sound like the most intelligent person on earth as I try and thumb suck some answers. For example here are some:

Q: Dad, why do we have cheeks?
A: So the food doesn't fall out of our mouth.

Q: Dad, why do the dogs need to eat?
A: Otherwise there would be piles of uneaten dog food in the world.

Q: Dad, why do we need to sleep?
A: Because there's not enough TV shows for us to watch all the way through the night.

A few weeks back it got interesting when Tayla-Jean came across a human anatomy app on her/my iPad and was fascinated by the red arteries and blue veins. So, instead of bullshitting my way through things, I did my homework and started really explaining the basic concept of the circulatory system.

Some of the words are quite large and I new it would be hard for her to remember them, so I used a strategy that kids love... a rhyme! This is what we have so far:

Oxygenated haemaglobin,
Keeps the circulation a flowing'!
Blood and air mix together,
but it doesn't last forever!
When it goes up the vein
DE-oxygenated is it's name.

You cut your finger on a plate,
Your blood begins to coagulate.

Its still a work in progress, but now my 4 year old can say "oxygenated haemaglobin'!
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