We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us.
It is not just in some; it is in everyone.
[Marianne Williamson]

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


Last Sunday was a very special day for us - not only was it Easter Sunday, but it was also Wombat's second birthday.

The next time his birthday and Easter will coincide will be the year 2228, so I think we can safely say this was a once in a lifetime event! I would apologise for the LONG post and the LOTS of photos - but since this is the only entry you are likely to get for a while, I thought I'd better make it worth your while. PS. Any comments about Wombat's hairstyle will be strictly ignored - we have already had the family discussion about "the next time Mummy gets the urge to cut his hair she will not make him look like a 17th century monk..." (It was getting in his eyes and ears and making him uncomfortable... and then he was very wriggly when I was cutting - excuses, excuses - point taken.)

The day started with our usual wander out to feed the chooks. (We swallowed our scruples and carted the cat who was causing all the problems off to the pound, the chickens went back VERY happily to their pen and the only squawk we have heard from them since is if a dreaded, dangerous butterfly soars overhead.)

Then it was back inside for breakfast and birthday presents. I'll let you guess which was Wombat's first priority :P Yeti and I decorated the house the night before with streamers and special balloons shaped like caterpillars and birds - Wombat LOVED the party feeling it gave.

His presents from us were pretty much divided into two categories this year, according to his latest obsessions: Bob the Builder and the Cars movie. I think he now has about all the merchandise any kid could want!!!

After breakfast we went off to church. I took him to the big church in Camden as our local church only had an open air Mass at 9am, and it was raining. Last year at Easter, he took one look at the crowd and screamed, refusing to go anywhere near them. This year he was a little nervous but allowed himself to be led through the hundreds of people standing at the back, before pulling me desperately towards the altar (we usually sit right up the front so he can see as I think that helps him behave better and be less distracted by other kids mucking up.) Luckily I was able to look pleadingly at a family who shuffled a little closer together and gave us a seat on the end of an aisle where Wombat could see everything and happily played with his new Bob machines. He liked the singing (which we don't get at our local church) and when it came time for the sign of peace, he insisted on shaking hands with everyone in sight - holding out his hand and saying "Somebody shake... somebody shake..." Needless to say, everyone thought he was cute and was happy to oblige.

After Mass, it was home for a birthday lunch. Nanna had cooked Wombat's favourite (roast turkey thigh) while we were out, and I had made a nice simple buttercake (using fresh eggs, of course) the night before, so while Wombat and Yeti played together, I prepared a quick salad and decorated the cake - whipped cream, lots of fruit and the piece de resistance - TWO Bob the Builder candles.

He couldn't take his eyes off them, waiting for the magic moment when they would be lit (and then we had to light them again because he wanted us to keep singing Happy Birthday to him)!

To my satisfaction, the cake proved extremely popular as well - we had some more after dinner and by the end of the day there was only one tiny little piece leftover. Wombat liked the fruit best, so most of his cake slice was left for Mummy (complain, complain...)

Then it was time for a shower and a lovely long snooze. (As a side point, Wombat has stopped wearing nappies to bed for his daytime snooze and is waking up dry every time... he still wears them at night but is dry in the morning every other day. He is getting really good about saying "I need potty" so by the time Bilby is born, Wombat should be nappy free! YIPPEE!!! Oh, mentioning Bilby, this little bumpkin is even more energetic than his brother - no shy soft-footed little bilby here - so I am going to rename him Joey, as it seems to better fit the baby boxing kangaroo I've got bouncing around inside me.)

When we woke up from our nap, Mummy said she thought she could hear the Easter Bunny hopping around outside, so it was time to get dressed and go hunting for Bunny eggs. Wombat was a bit cautious about suddenly meeting up with the Easter Bunny in person, but he absolutely loved searching for the little nests the Bunny had scattered around the yard - often in very strange places.

Cadburys sold a big bag of mixed chocolate, caramel and turkish delight mini eggs, so I scattered about 30 of them around in nests of three each - the last nest had a chocolate rabbit with it. Here's a video to give you a better idea of the excitement! (I had suggested that he might look under the tree we call his 'cubby house'.)

I must admit that after eating the first few eggs, the fun was more in unwrapping them, and several got pushed into Mummy's mouth (complain, complain :P)

No matter how appealing, though, Easter Eggs just couldn't compete with his favourite cherry tomatoes. He had to check whether any were ripe, and as usual, any that met the "it's red" criteria were quickly devoured on the spot.

He then insisted on watering them with his new watering can (one of his presents was a set of small gardening tools, to use when digging in the garden with Mummy).

The next day was raining heavily, so I brought out the fresh batch of playdough I had made, to go with his Bob the Builder "Dizzy" playdough extruder. This shot is mainly to show the decorations in the playpen - really a 'playroom' now, as it takes up more than half the loungeroom. The streamers were already starting to sag a bit, and by the end of the day, they and the balloons had all been pulled down and played with.

Here is Wombat, hard at work, making "Travis the tractor" faces in the playdough.

Soon afterwards, he insisted that he needed to "mix the colours together" so Mummy's carefully tinted rainbow of playdough turned into a tutti-frutti pile. Today (raining again) the process was finished off, so it is now all pretty much a uniform gray with a few purple and green swirls. I guess that's appropriate for making roads and rocks, which we seem to do a lot of lately ;P He is just as happy working with a single colour anyway, so that is how it will stay for another few months until I get around to making the next batch.

I really love my very simple and easy playdough recipe, so I will share it with you here:

1 cup of flour
1 cup of warm water
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon of oil
1/4 cup of salt

Mix all ingredients.
Stir over medium heat until thick (I keep stirring until I can hardly move the spoon).
Remove from pan and knead on a floured board until smooth.
Add colourings (and extra flour if it becomes sticky - I use Wombat's watercolour paints, but you can use food colouring etc).
Place in airtight container. (We are still on a mission to eliminate plastic as far as possible -hah, and impossible task - from Wombat's world, so I wrap it in greaseproof paper and store it in an old toffee tin.)

This playdough lasts and lasts forever if you wrap it up after each use - the previous batch I made was played with for more than 6 months before I finally threw it out, and then its only problem was the amount of foreign material (hair, fluff, dust etc) that it had collected...

And that, my dear friends, is the story of Wombat's second birthday. I am back to work tomorrow, so it will probably be a while before I get the chance to write again. Hope you are all well and happy - I think of you often, even if I don't get the chance to say so.