Accidental Ornithologist

Wikipedia tells me that Ornithology is a branch of zoology that concerns the study of birds… it’s a word that I would never, in my wildest dreams, thought I would identify with.  If you had told me even this time last year that I would become interested in birds… I would have scoffed in disbelief… it’s just not something that would have ever crossed my mind.  But as I sit at the peddler (taking myself out for brunch and crossing no. 68 off the list) I can tell you that so far on my little brunch expedition I have only seen one type of bird, Common Mynas… I can also tell you that they are an introduced species but that they are different from the Australian, or Noisy Mynas… because now I can tell them apart.

I’m not really sure where this interest has come from, but if I was to hazard at a guess I would say it has been a combination of things:

  • Since having Isaac, I have been walking more and generally spending more time outside.
  • I have also been told ad nauseum that you should talk to your baby because it is good for everything… so we have been talking more…
  • and as much as I hate to admit it, I have an uncontrollable need to know facts… to be a bit of a know it all.  Plus I don’t like to make things up… I have this irrational fear that Isaac will be at school sharing a fun fact and someone will tell him he is wrong and he will look like a tiny fool because mum made something up.

So while walking with Isaac I started to run out of things to talk about… and so I started to point things out.  And it turns out, when you are out walking you can find a lot of things, the most obvious being trees and birds… and while I would love to be able to identify all the plants and trees we walk by, birds seemed like a simpler option.  So I found myself googling birds… and I think it is starting to get out of hand.

There is a beautiful lake about 1km from our place which we have been walking to and around a lot.  Before Isaac was born I think we perhaps walked up there a handful of times, but now we are up there multiple times a week.  It’s very pretty and a good distance… not too far, but a far enough for a good walk… plus I have found a little 5km circuit that I can do which is fun.  Anyway, the point is we have been walking there a lot and most of the time there are the same birds… so I learnt them all… Mynas, Magpies, Gallahs, Cockatoos, Swamp Hens (or as our partially NZ home likes to call them Pukekos), Woodland Ducks, Eurasian Coots and some Spotted Doves.  Not a huge number… but enough for me to remember and talk to Isaac about as we walk.  I have also just realised that this is probably already too much bird talk… sorry guys… I told you it’s out of control… bear with me I’m almost done.

So given my new found interest, I decided that to put on my list to learn about 3 new birds, birds that I couldn’t previously identify… a very nerdy addition to the list… but it’s my list and this is who I am… So what are my new birds, well I am glad you asked…

  1. Little Wattlebird – this is a little bird that used to live in the area that I grew up and I loved the sound of it’s song… whenever I hear it, it takes me back to my childhood home… but I didn’t know what it was until this year and it turns out they are also abundant down where our beach house is.
  2. Gang Gang Cockatoo – I spotted this guy while being a Parkrun tourist at Mullum Mullum… it is a very pretty bird… I think maybe even my new fav.
  3. Royal Spoonbill – This guy has a mullet and a spoon billed beak it’s pretty impressive and I had tentatively popped this on my list of new birds when we went to the Zoo in January… but I was hoping that I would find another neat (oh man… I am getting old) bird that I could find locally to add to this little list of three… because part of my felt like a zoo bird didn’t count. But… Enter summer… and walking at some different times of day and suddenly there have been more birds at the lake… Pelicans, Intermediate Egrets, Little Black Coromants, Masked Lapwings and… none other than the Royal Spoonbill.   I was so excited about seeing the Royal Spoonbill that I went back day after day… I also stopped an old man with binoculars walking into the park to tell him about it because I assumed that the binoculars meant he would be looking for wildlife… who actually knows… he seemed quite shocked by my enthusiasm.  I told you it’s getting out of control.

So three new birds for 2019 and a new hobby it would appear… It has also branched out further than just identifying them though… Isaac now has a plush Sulfur Crested Cockatoo and our house has some new Australian wild life coasters and mugs… mostly birds.   I don’t know how long it will last… but I do know that my walks are getting longer because I keep stopping to see the birds… but that I’m not mad about it… I either need to embrace it until the phase passes… or find a new running track for when timing matters.

26weeks & 56minutes…

Ok… it’s been a while… months in fact.. but there has been a really good reason…

When I posted my last blog… right before my birthday, I was 9ish weeks pregnant and pretending to be upbeat and excited about my birthday, rather than crawling back into bed to sleep the whole of the first trimester away.  I had been waiting to post about the second little baby George because I was really really nervous about letting people know.  I was scared that we would lose this baby as well, and I wasn’t sure how I would ever be able to cope losing another child let alone telling the world that it had happened. So… after losing Josh at 24 weeks last year, and the doctors telling us that if we could get to 26 weeks the baby would have a much better chance, 26 weeks became my magic number.  The number after which I would tell the world about baby George no. 2, I would start clearing out the room again and I would start purchasing things we would need like a cot and pram etc. It was the number that I needed to get to before I would let myself believe things would be ok… that we would get to keep this baby and I could let myself breathe…

26 weeks was 9 weeks ago… and the last 9 weeks have been quite a rollercoaster. In week 25 of my pregnancy I was admitted to hospital for bed rest in the hope that it would delay baby George from making an unexpected arrival. After the initial shock of potentially having to stay in hospital lying down until November, I had settled in and was ready for the long hall and secretly pretty excited that I could ride out the rest of winter in air-conditioned comfort, because if all went according to plan, I wouldn’t be leaving until it was pretty much summer… but it wasn’t to be… On Tuesday 1st August, 56 minutes into week 26 Isaac Ezekiel arrived… 35cm long and 827g.

Isaac arrived in a hurry, and just like his brother, had turned around at the last minute to make his entry more dramatic, needing an emergency caesarean as he had decided to come feet first. But, he arrived, breathing and even letting out a small cry which is a moment that I will never forget. Despite all the panic and fear that I felt that night, hearing that cry and knowing he was alive brought so much relief.  That night Dave and I took up a joint residence, in many ways, at the hospital, as even though we could go home after a week, Isaac had to stay.

Once again our lives were turned upside down. I had been expecting that taking a baby home… preferably at full term, would change our lives totally, but I wasn’t expecting the ups and downs of having a baby that had to stay in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). It has been so bitter-sweet visiting him, first in his isolette (humidicrib) and now in his cot… because all the emotion of having a baby is still there, but you can’t just pick him up, you can’t hold him until he falls asleep, and you are always wondering what will happen to him.  Even little things like changing his nappy is quite a task through the little arm holes in the cot, especially if you have tiny little arms like mine. Yet, he is here, he is alive and he is ok… and that is all that really matters.

Fast forward to today and Isaac is still doing well, I think I would even say really well… although there is still a huge part of me that is still waiting for something awful to happen that will take him from us. Dave and I have spent every day of the last 9 weeks traveling from home to the hospital and back again between breast pump expressions, baby store trips and tiny pockets of sleep. Our lives look and feel totally unrecognisable, and while that is probably true… and maybe even standard, for most new parents, I feel like our newborn phase one, the phase while he is in hospital, would have been totally unfathomable to me, if you had have described it to me before now.

Isaac is so strong and much braver than me. He has already faced so much and it is impossible to describe how proud I am of him. There is still fear… fear about whether or not his difficult and dramatic start to life will have any impact on him as he grows… wondering if everything has continued to develop and grow the way it should have if he was still inside, but there is also hope and faith.

Just before we found out we were having Isaac, I had been praying a lot about having children and really felt like I had to give my desperate desire for a family over to God. I knew that my faith was bigger, and my relationship with Him was more important than the plans I had for my own life.  That ultimately God’s plans for Dave and I were better… even if they didn’t look like the ‘good’ plans I had come up with… so one night a church event, in tears, I handed it all back, making peace with the fact that if God called me to follow him childless… I would. Minutes after praying this alone and with Dave, a man, whose name I do not know, asked to pray with us and unprompted, specifically prophesied children in our future… at the time we didn’t know we were already pregnant, but we knew there would be a child… a promised child and that was enough. So when we found out we were pregnant again we were pretty excited and I really felt that this was the promised baby I would get to keep.

So when Isaac arrived so early and so little I had to choose to hold on to the promise I had for him and to remember that God loved him even more than I did, and that even though it didn’t look the way I thought, protection and promise would look… that God was holding him and knitting him together just as He said he would.  This choice to trust and declare good things for his little life were why we chose to name him Isaac Ezekiel… Isaac means “he will laugh, he will rejoice” and Ezekiel means “God will strengthen”.  We liked them together and thought of them as a bit of a prophetic declaration over his life, regardless of what we could see then and can see now.

It’s really hard to trust and hope when things have gone so badly before and when you are a bit of a control freak and think you know how things should be… but I have had to learn to… and God has been faithful.  Isaac is here and he is healthy and now he is getting bigger and stronger everyday.  In fact so dramatic has his improvement been in the last week and a bit, Dave and I have had to get a wriggle on with setting up his room, because he could be coming home very soon. Most likely we will need to wait until his due date, so still early November, but in the chaos of the last 9weeks… that’s now only 5 weeks away… and then phase two, the newborn at home phase will begin…

Between now and then there is still a lot to do, finish the room, learn to breastfeed, work out what the heck we are doing… oh and the list, I haven’t forgotten about that… its been buzzing away in the background… but it was time to write, time to share and time to add Zac to the Curious George family.  Hopefully now as we settle into this new routine of being parents, I will get back to blogging a little more regularly, because I have missed it… but it was hard to know where to start… but here it is… the last 6 months of our crazy and very unpredictable life…


P.S Until recently I hadn’t read the original Curious George book… we read it to Zac in the hospital… and it’s pretty nuts… who just takes a monkey from the jungle and expects it to be house trained?

P.P.S This wonderful photo is thanks to Heartfelt, who, once again, have given Dave and I a beautiful gift of photographic memory of this really difficult chapter in our families lives… they are truly wonderful.

Twisted Chocolate

It’s been a while, but today I give you another curious George question… this is something that has been on my mind for a while, so I have decided to put it out onto the blogosphere and see what you guys think… One of my favourite silly party games is the chocolate game, which, for those of you like my husband, who are unfamiliar with the game, is played a little something like this… you need a block of chocolate… most often Cadbury, a knife and fork, some obscure items of clothing eg, gloves, hat/beanie, scarf, apron etc and a dice. Players sit in a circle around the chocolate and roll the dice, if they get a 6 they go to the middle of the circle, put on the clothes and then use the knife and fork to cut one piece of chocolate at a time and eat it. They continue until another person in the circle rolls a 6. It is a legitimate game… it even has it’s own wiki page… and apparently it is sometimes referred to as Dog’s Dinner… although I have never heard of that.

Anyway… my question is this… All my life I have played with the standard dairy milk block which looks like this….

There is now a new style of chocolate block… the Cadbury marvelous block… it’s shape is quite unique… it looks like this…

So which would be harder to play the chocolate game with? Would the odd shape of the marvelous block increase the excitement and difficulty factor of the game? Or would the reduced amount of blocks and the increased size of the block make it easier…

What would make a better chocolate game? Marvelous or Standard?


The curious and now hungry chocoholic George…

oh and please note that a depressingly small amount of chocolate was actually consumed by me in the making of the blog.

Pop Tart Imposter

On Saturday I made a discovery… and excellent discovery… I found pop tarts in the supermarket… well not real pop tarts but fake alternatives which are delicious.

As a kid my weekend breakfast was either nutrigrain (minus the milk) or Pop Tarts, these were the only things that my brother and I were allowed to ‘cook’ for ourselves before mum and dad got up… there had been a few accidents with unsupervised milk pouring.  Anyway, as a result I developed an unhealthy addiction to Pop Tarts… and nutrigrain… but mostly Pop Tarts.  This was all well and good until they suddenly became very rare in Australian Supermarkets… and when you could find them… expensive.  Since then whenever I find them… at a justifiable price, I buy them, because I don’t know how long it will be until I have them again. Even on our honeymoon in America I ate a lot of Pop Tarts just because they were there, it was strange to have them pretty much whenever I wanted.

Now I know that they aren’t good for me… but neither is bacon… or high sugar cereal… all which are considered valid breakfast options, but that is not the point… they are delicious, really delicious. Anyway, on the Saturday when I was at the supermarket get a few items I spotted these:

They look like Pop Tarts, smell like Pop Tarts and taste Pop Tarts, they are even imported from America just like Pop Tarts, but they are not Pop Tarts… but in the absence of real Pop Tarts I feel like I might have filled the void that had been left…

Here is the thing though…

If you are going to import these “Tasty Pastries” why not import the real thing?

Seriously… they are coming from America anyway… the real ones are even fortified with some extra vitamins and minerals… not that makes them that much better, but… well actually, I guess it does make them the better choice, but seriously… why? What is going on? Who is making these decisions?


The poorly informed about the import system, but ever Curious George

Can you get sunburnt in the car?

This is something that I have been thinking, and perhaps worrying about for a long time now, actually pretty much since I rotated to a new site with work, except on rainy days, because it seems less relevant then.  Anyway, since I rotated instead of having a 15minute commute, I have had a 45-60minute commute, meaning I spend a lot more time in the car… This change has also coincided with the change in season, from winter to the warmer months of spring and summer, which has meant I have seen a lot more sun, well seen from the inside of my car, and recently on really sunny days I have noticed that I feel like I am getting burnt as I drive…

The thing is for as long as I can remember I have been of the belief that I won’t get sunburnt in the car… I know that it’s probably not true and it makes sense for it to be completely plausible to get burnt as you drive, after all apparently all it takes is some bent glass and some sun to destroy bugs of all shapes and sizes, but part of me is still unsure.  So being the hypochondriac and skin cancer paranoid person I am, I decided it was time to get some answers… so I putting it to you…

Can you get sunburnt in the car?


The paranoid Curious George.

Festive Disaster?

It’s Christmas in Australia, and instead of getting hot like it is supposed to this weekend there have been a few lovely days and then some significant storms… Now normally this wouldn’t bother me that much, but this time I have concerns, perhaps petty and small, but still concerns…

Last week, I decided that Russ, my car would appreciate some assistance getting in to the Christmas spirit, so I added some antlers and a big red nose. And even though Dave thinks he looks still and wrong, I think he looks cute… and hey if there is Christmas music pumping on the inside it only seems right to have Christmas on the outside too.

When I first put the antlers and nose on it was a beautiful sunny afternoon, but now it is not… and the thing that has my curiosity going is this…

If I am in a big storm… am I more likely to be hit by lightening with these antlers?
And if so… what are the chances?

Now, I know I am often a little dramatic and over the top, but I am actually a little concerned about this, travelling out in the open could be risky… and what happens if it does… I have seen an episode for myth busters on a similar theme and lets just say it didn’t end well for the dummy. I am hoping that I will be ok, but it appears that there will be one more big storm before Christmas, so I am just wondering how worried should I be?


The slightly dramatic Curious George.

Decorative Border?

Alright so here is something that has me a little confusseled.  All winter this year I have had a runny nose so I have become quite well acquainted with a large range of tissues.  But there is something that has been bugging me for a really long time and it is something that I have never fully understood…

Kleenex are constantly telling us how soft their tissues are… and if we require extra nourishing comfort from our tissues then you can’t get much better than the aloe vera tissues.   In fact Kleenex say this about their aloe vera tissue on their website:

Kleenex Aloe Vera tissues are soft 3 ply tissues enriched with soothing Aloe Vera – pure heaven for your sore red nose. They are available in a range of pack sizes from a compact 60 sheet cube box to fit in those small spots, to a large 170 sheet box for those times when you need more. Kleenex Aloe Vera tissues also come in pocket packs so you can always get the soothing relief you need when you’re sick.

This I don’t have a problem with.  I am a big fan of the boxes of aloe vera but what ‘gets up my nose’ so to speak is the little packets… and that is where today’s curious question comes from… are you ready for it?

Why on earth do the tissues in the little packets have that stupid decorative border?

That stupid decorative border is rough and it hurts.  It really wouldn’t matter how soft the actual tissue was because they have the ridiculous border which is just so scratchy… and this is what has got me confused.  Why do these tissues even have a border? Why is it necessary?  The ones in the box don’t have it, and it’s not like I buy the tissues because they are pretty.  If I wanted something pretty to blow my nose on I would buy some cute hankies but that’s just wrong for so many other reasons.   And probably the most important question of all why do I keep getting sucked in?  I continue to buy them because of the aloe vera… but every time I am annoyed and disappointed.

Can someone please explain what Kleenex were and are still thinking?


The nasally irritated and very Curious George

The Most Awesome Pen EVER!

Oh my goodness, Oh my goodness!!! I am now the very proud owner, thanks to a very generous friend, of the coolest pen in the whole wide world! It is seriously amazing… and every time I use it… it shocks me by how incredible it is!

What’s so amazing about my new pen I hear you ask? Well it is erasable… yep that’s right you can rub the ink out… like a pencil… ridiculous. Now I am not talking about those old school rubbers that they used to trick you with in primary school… you know the half half ones with a pencil eraser on one side and a ‘pen eraser’ on the other which never actually removed penbut often actually just ripped the paper underneath the pen?

Well this pen actually rubs out… I have no idea how it works, but I love it. But not only to I now have this erasable pen… I also have an erasable highlighter… crazy ey… like thats erasable texta… it blows my tiny mind. In fact it’s so impressive… I have made a little picture demo for you…20110915-105918.jpg

It does make me wonder how they work… or why they took so long to come up with. It also makes me very careful where I use my new pen because I don’t want it rubbed out by accident if it is meant to be permanent, but I think around the house, for my shopping list… to impress my friends… these pens are definitely worth it.

But… if anyone does know how they work… please let me know…


The impressed, but Curious George

Yellow Chocolate?

The title of this blog is ‘the most curious george’ which just between you and me I am pretty impressed with… because you know… its like curious George the monkey… and now I am a George… so it’s a pretty impressive play on words… ok, maybe its just me but I like it…. I feel like I have stepped up into the world of other blogs with cool name plays like The Freind’s who have “Freindly Fire” and the “Friendly Sparrow“.

Anyway that’s not the point, the point is if the blog is called ‘the most curious george’ its only fair that every now and then I am actually curious about something… perhaps I should make that my blogging criteria… maybe I always need a question… hmmmm, that’s not such a bad idea…. Anyway the time has come for a question, and it’s a question that I have been pondering for a while now.  I haven’t actually done anything to actively seek out an answer, but I still wondering…  Are you ready for it?  My first official blogged curiosity? Ok here it is…

What is the Yellow Chocolate?

Let me explain, you know those old school chocolates where you get chocolate melts almost, they are small about the size of a 20 cent piece… wait I have a picture:

They usually come in milk chocolate, white chocolate and then the yellow one.  That’s what I want to know what is that yellow one?  Is it a half milk, half white… and if so why is it yellow?  Is it a honeycomb type flavour that’s just not very strong… is it just a dyed white chocolate?  And if it is what is it’s purpose?

If some one would kindly explain what it is? Where it has come from? And… Why it’s always there? That would be most appreciated…


The truly Curious George.