Monday, October 24, 2011

Our Adopted Friend

We have a new part-time pet: Barney. He lives next door. Barney used to bark so much whenever he was left alone, that he drove us crazy and we hated him! But of course, all he wanted was a bit of company, so we started bringing him over to our house...

and now he's like part of the family.

He even comes over to hang out when his real owners are home.

Barney, you're welcome on our doorstep anytime!

"Flyaway Katie" Unit

This unit was inspired by one of our favourite stories, "Flyaway Katie", about a little girl who is feeling a little bit grey, so she gets all dressed up and flies into a bright painting, where she hangs out with fantastical birds for the afternoon. We did art; I really enjoyed exploring the artist's technique with watercolour, stickers, collage, pens and pencils. This was a worthwhile activity which held the attention of both boys, so that I was able to make my own picture too. Joy!

The next thing we made were some wings, like Katie's.

They were fun to make and the children played with them for a little while but I'm afraid they're destined to become home decor.
Some phonetic awareness...
and an attempt at dyed eggs, which didn't quite work...
but still tasted good.
Creating bright felted stones was also a happy way to spend half an hour and Jimmy and Kees liked these. I always find felting a little bit tricky but imperfection's okay. ;0)
Like Katie, we brightened up ourselves too!

And made some birdie friends. Cause you know I like to do these sort of things.

Wishing you bright, joyful colour today!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

New Scores

Another great day at my favourite little oppie: a beautiful 50 year old timber highchair and a very groovy tea towel!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Morning Cups of Tea. And About Sleep...

I would love a morning sunny kitchen, but ours is a bit gloomy first thing. (Or is that just me?) So to cheer myself up a bit after a rough night in with a wakeful child, I try to start the day off right by enjoying a sweet cup of tea in the front garden.

Birds calling, fresh fig leaf and flower frangrances, bright petals, dappled sunshine and that good, good tea. The kids are happy to scamper about out here, because normally I have to keep the front door shut to imprison our adventurous little runaway.

Aah, sleep. Before I had babies, I had absolutely no idea that it could take them so long to sleep all night. I guess I thought it was a few weeks? A couple of months? But until about a week ago, I hadn't had a full (ish) night's sleep for more than FIVE YEARS. Yes, for all that time I've been a 24hr milk bar and waking up sucked dry like a wizened husk. I know there are many of you who feel my pain, sisters!!! And brothers!

Sadly, I'm not one of those amazing, enviable souls who can just soldier on through the day after a broken night's sleep. I get tired. So tired. I wasn't even a party animal when I was young - couldn't hack the late nights! Anyway, at their worst, both my kids were waking up 8-10 times a night. I rub my eyes and shake my head just thinking about it. I would start the night with responses like, "There, there, it's all right love, go to sleep," but by around 4.00am there would be a lot of swearing, which really wasn't doing anyone any good and certainly wasn't a lovely image of attachment parenting.

I've probably made mistakes; I'm certainly no sleep whisperer, that's for sure. But I just can't bear to leave the little beggars to cry; it just doesn't feel right for me. We always intended to co-sleep and I don't regret it, although it has certainly put me off having any more children! I don't think I could go through that again! Although Mother Nature, in her kindness, does seem to have a way of making you forget after a while. Even the agony of childbirth can take on a rosy glow in retrospect...actually, no it doesn't.

I am very much enjoying the hilarious "The Idle Parent" by the eminently sensible and funny Tom Hodgkinson. I would love to be able to share with you his whole chapter on sleep, because he encapsulates my feelings perfectly. Tom speaks my truth when he says, "Sleep-deprived people lack reason. They are dark shadows of gloom. They become tetchy and irritable. Everyone seems an idiot, and the world is hostile. One friend says he gets into a sort of murderous rage, and he doesn't realize that his fury is directly caused by his lack of sleep until he finally gets some rest. Then he wakes up and feels like a different person." Here is one of his articles about sleep and napping.

So for me, a very preciously guarded time of the day is: NAP TIME. Hooray for naps! Nature's consolation for the rough night before. Tom again:

“I count it as an absolute certainty that in paradise, everyone naps. A nap is a perfect pleasure and it's useful, too. It splits the day into two halves, making each half more manageable and enjoyable. How much easier it is to work in the morning if we know we have a nap to look forward to after lunch; and how much more pleasant the late afternoon and evening become after a little sleep. If you know there is a nap to come later in the day, then you can banish forever that terrible sense of doom one feels at 9 A.M. with eight hours of straight toil ahead. "

I hold naps fully responsible for my good health and wellbeing, and moderate level of sanity. And with Jimmy now sleeping with Daddy until the birds sing...

I'm feeling a little bit brighter. Yawn.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Perks of the Job

I enjoyed doing the letter B recently, seeing as I got a nice little gift. As part of the day's B activities, Kees made me a Beautiful Beaded Bracelet. I was just such a grateful sycophant that he enjoyed a craft activity for an extended period of time. Woohoo! Thanks Kees!

A Very Coddled Chook

This is our favourite chook, named "Goldie-Silver".... I'm not sure why, but that's her name. She is one sooky spoilt chook. When Kees holds her, she actually lays her weary head down on his shoulder and has a little snooze. I've said it before, but chooks really do make great - and useful - pets. I may have had a few chook lice down me bra the other day, but you just squash them with your fingernail and you're all right, nothing like headlice. ;0)

We love our chookies. xx

Monday, October 10, 2011

Our Inaugural Big Family Camp!

Last weekend was our first big family camping weekend, finally! I had such a great time and I really enjoyed the company of each one of you, and that includes the children too: I loved the way they just swirled around, continually creating different adult/child/group combinations. I want to thank you for keeping an eye out for my little wanderers.

Some of the highlights for me were: the beautiful scenery, the company, of course, no bickering with Matt over tent erection, seeing the children's joy and wild play, fresh air (apart from in the playcentre we escaped to in the storm), tea, hot chips, painfully cold swims, long chats and belly laughs.

I want to thank you, my dear friends, for a beautiful weekend! I just loved spending this time with you all, and one weekend is simply never enough. It felt awfully quiet when we got home. You are each so great and I miss you already! December? For those that couldn't make it this time, we'll see you next time! xxx

PS: For more photos of the weekend - talented, beautiful professional ones - check out Jess' blog. xx