Sunday, December 30, 2007

Breathing Again

After the crazy pre-Christmas madness of trying to finish all the handmade gifts I decided to make for the kids and family, many late nights sewing, unpicking and re-sewing we entered into another mad week of family get togethers, to much ham, chicken, turkey, pickled onions (that I'm certain only get eaten at Christmas by my dad) fruit cake, chocolate almonds, chocolate sultanas, chocolate peanuts, cashews etc........... and not to forget the wine (or maybe for some to forget).
The very late Christmas eve of madly wrapping presents, making cards, sprinkling flour (snow) and making a Santa trail to a little boys new bike that lead through every room of the house, a blurry Christmas morning of present unwrapping, broken hearts over a bloody flat tyre we decided against breakfast with just the four of us and went to mum and dads to enjoy the family ritual of "ham and mango on toast" - ritualistically made by my dad every year. This is the one meal at Christmas that I never get sick of. It begins with dad slicing the ham, cutting up a plate of mango and warm white toast. Oh it is soooooo good, so simple, soooooo delicious.
So tonight is the first night in over a week we haven't had something to do and I can sit back, breath, have a glass of wine and reflect on it all.
The quilt and doll for Myles, I initially thought I wouldn't get made before he turned 21, was amazingly completed before Christmas. I really enjoyed making them and they are being loved as a four year loves their toys - one day its the hot wheels truck taken to bed, the next its his doll (aka Bilby).
And for Fynn it was something cuddly, something bright and something about the same size as him...........

All in all its been a great Christmas, loads of fun (way to much food and wine) and now I just have to think of a reason why Santa's and the reindeer's footprints (flour sprinkled very late Christmas eve on the front verandah) are still there.

Sunday, December 16, 2007


I'm so tired this evening that I cant express what I want to in words so I'm just going to post a few photos of how we are getting through this renovation period that, I'm currently questioning whether I'm cut out for or not.
So weekends are currently consisting of, a 'compulsory' morning stroll on the beach for everyone with the dog before breakfast;

Building and getting to know the tools....

lunch with dad and the poppy's on the job site. Lots more building, getting dirty, saw dust in the hair and layers of sunscreen mixed with sweat, sand, dirt, and chicken poo coating the body and most importantly two very content little boys that love to be outside with their dad building.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

the green grocers song......

I love showing the kids the fascinating world of bugs, beetles, butterflies and all our backyard critters that sometimes take some effort to find, or require an insect 'adventure hunt' that can take up an afternoon of wandering, pondering, peering into small crevices or under rocks, following a trail of busy ants to their house/castle/mound and watching them busily build their home and carry food ten times the size of them, or, follow the silvery trails of snails left behind from their night wanderings in the garden, inevitably leading to the vege patch or the most lushest of plants.
The cycle of the seasons can sometimes be best expressed by the behaviour of these creatures. The friendliest of bugs that indicates summer has begun in this part of the world is the singing of the - 'green grocer', 'witch doctor', 'black prince' and 'cherry nose' (cicada's). Up close cicadas are fascinating and beautiful little creatures with their delicate leaf like wings that feel like cellophane and huge eyes. After Daniel caught the first green grocer we have seen this season the other night, Myles discovered that, if a cicada sings when you tickle it's underbelly - its a male. Apparently, male cicadas sing "courtship songs" to attract females. Being the bug nerd I am, we also discovered (after consulting the big bug book) that these amazing little creatures survive below the ground by gnawing on plant roots and when the nymph (baby) is fully grown it climbs up the nearest tree trunk and molts - leaving behind a shell of its former self. So now we know what those little empty bodies are on trees that crunch when you squash them.

Daniel and I can remember catching cicadas as kids and doing the tickle test. However, we have also noticed that there aren't as many cicadas anymore, especially the black, brown and red nosed variety. Bugs are a good barometer of whats going on the environment and I sometimes wonder if this decline in cicadas is just that. Summer just wouldn't be summer without the singing of the cicadas.

Monday, December 10, 2007

christmas craftiness

My mum visited today and very politely told me how badly our Christmas tree looked. I really couldn't be bothered to tell her that Fynn had ripped most of the decorations off and had either eaten them or put them in the same place pens disappear too.......however, when compared to her own tree that is full of handmade decorations each placed lovingly with lots of thought, ours did look like crap or as she put it "like no-one cared". So after feeling really guilty we decided to move the tree from Fynn's reach, (which ended up requiring us to move several pieces of furniture) and her and Myles re-decorated the tree. After they had finished we finally had a tree that "looked liked someone cared about it". My favourite things on the tree are the handmade Christmas balls mum made for us with our names embroidered on them. It has become quite the tradition now and every time there is a new grandchild, new girlfriend, new cousin etc... they receive one. My other favourite thing is the angel I made from clay about 5 years ago with Daniel, before we had the kids, that hangs all year round in the boys room and makes a special appearance on the tree each year.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

getting through the madness

After a huge weekend of Christmas parties (to much dancing and wine) a birthday party and Fynn not sleeping AGAIN, I'm buggered and thinking about how I can get as much sleep as possible between now and next weekend when it starts all over again. To release my mind from the "to do list" that should be getting smaller, but is inevitably getting more out of control, Ive decided it was time to sit quietly, listen to some mellow music, eat chocolate, have a glass of beer, relax, enjoy the summer rain and worry about it tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


My beautiful friend Meg holds a free meditation class that I try to go to weekly. I haven't been for a couple of weeks and went back this week and had the most beautiful experience, I didn't want it to end. I always come out feeling so refreshed and energised ready to travel through the week in calmness, mindful of the beautiful simple things that surround me and most importantly to breathe. Sometimes I feel like I'm caught in a whirlwind, of going here, having to be there, nothing makes much sense especially amongst work, renovations, the screaming, crying, whinging, feeding and wakefulness of two children and my own sometimes unrealistic expectations of how things should be. I'm finding that the meditation keeps me mindful - to be more present in each moment, slow things down, take joy in the simplest of tasks like stirring porridge in the morning, hearing and enjoying the laughter of the kids about the most silliest of things that only a child like mind can, and being mindful of all those external influences that can make me, Dan and the kids a bit crazy in this fast paced world we live in. (However, it has yet to have helped with Fynn's constant waking throughout the night). I have realised lately (after my mind being in a cloudy state of sleeplessness and work...etc...) the importance of being silly....giggling a lot, laying on the floor and letting the kids crawl all over me, having pillow fights, dancing and singing as loud or as crazy as you want in the car/shower/ or whenever the impulse strikes, tickling till you nearly cant breathe and not caring so much what others think. The other morning after getting woken way to early by Fynn (5am) and realising the long day ahead, I had the kids fed and packed in the car (Fynn still in his P.J's, Myles in his undies and singlet and no shoes for anyone), with Kooly (our beautiful dog) and went to the beach. It was so lovely, and so simple. I didn't worry about changes of clothing, nappies/wipes/food and all the palaver that goes along with outings and just enjoyed that time of the morning that Daniel always tells me is the best time of day and have always strongly disagreed with (being a night owl) and.......enjoyed it so much. I think this needs to be a new morning ritual (with a coffee at the end for mummy).
Even if it is once a week that going to meditation reminds me of all these things and three days later I've forgotten, I'm still thankful.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Crafty Christmas Shinanigans

Christmas fever has hit this household, with Daniel going 'grizzwald' on us and decorating the front of the house in flashing coloured lights and tinsel, whilst I went all 'Martha Stewart' and put the tree up, made an advent calendar inspired by Kids Craft Weekly (two days late), made a Christmas mobile and obsessed about crafty Christmas projects that could occupy Myles for next three weeks. Myles has already attempted to steal the little treats in each envelope by hiding under the desk behind the computer. However, his obsession with the calendar has calmed down.... thank goodness - but for how long?

Friday, November 30, 2007

(Guest blogger Dan) GONE CLUCKY

Henny Penny: The Leader.
Mrs Tilly: The Follower
A photo or moment in time can reveal so much about somebody or something by the way they walk, the way they communicate, the way the look and by the way they act. Chickens for example, have what we call a pecking order. There is a dominant one, the followers (assistant's), and the then there is one that wonders why the others want to be a follower and constantly tries to fight against the leadership.
Mrs Peck: The Mother Hen Charlotte: The new girl on the block taken under the wing by Mrs Peck.
We all have the same requirements for living - food, water, air, shelter, companionship, love, social interaction. No matter who we are or what we do behind feather or skin we are all the same. There is a natural pecking order within the coop and within relationships in family, work, and friends and harmony/balance prevails if everyone sends and wants love in their life.

A Ghostly Week

Well its been a strange week around here. Firstly the T.V blows up (not such a bad thing), closely followed by the computer (very bad), the phone is on the blink and a glass of milk was spilled on the keyboard. Luckily we salvaged what was on the hard drive but the computer has unfortunately flat-lined and I have had to borrow one from work for a while.
A friend suggested that all these mishaps were perhaps related to an unhappy ghost that wasn't to pleased about the renovation. Dan and I have always sensed we had a ghost, but we felt that it was a friendly one watching happily over us. Dan believes this is why Fynn doesn't sleep well, as his sleep went to crap once we moved in here. However, I'm sure the baby whisper wouldn't agree with him. I would rather think that if it is a ghost, it is simply sending us a subtle message to stop spending so much time in front of the telly, the computer and gas bagging on the phone and start talking to one another more, start doing things we love and inspiring one another in creative ways.
Its been nice without the electronics, I have started making clothes for the doll that I'm making for Myles for Christmas and have even got his quilt out that got lost in the "to do pile". Amazingly I even started another two small quilts for..........well l'm not sure, I just felt inspired and went crazy with the scissors cutting material that has been sitting dormant for way to long in my cupboard.
Apart from that, the vegetable patch has provided us with an abundance of goods this week. Surprisingly whilst trying to stake up the tomato plants that have gone 'wild' I found two enormous cucumbers hiding under them quiet joy of it all.......

Monday, November 26, 2007


It's been coming for a while but he is finally off and racing.

Sunday, November 25, 2007


Its a four year old's dream playground,....large mounds of dirt to play in, huge holes to dig in, tree's to cut down, huge trucks that dump stuff, cranes to lift stuff and a huge mound of bricks to build with. Yep the 'renovation' has begun. Instead of feeling stressed about it I'm really trying to focus on the positives of not having a toilet soon or loosing the back third of the house. So firstly I would have to say that the most positive thing is that Myles is endlessly occupied watching trucks come to the house to unload bricks etc..... and;
digging holes, building tree houses from the trees that had to be cut down, making mud pies with mates.... oh sorry apparently this was poison potion....hmmmmmm...
He is in his element and so is dad.


Every morning when Daniel's dad picks him up for work the kids run outside, jump in the truck, sit on his lap, beep the horn (to the neighbours dismay), put the window wipers on and if they are very lucky pop takes them for a quick drive up the street and back. As much as it pains me walking outside in my P'J's half asleep, no bra on, hair in a mess I love watching the enjoyment the kids get from this very simple morning ritual.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Well, Myles has discovered the utter joy, fun and exhilaration of swinging on the clothes line.
I can so clearly remember swinging from the 'Hills Hoist' when I was younger and even more clearly remember getting in trouble for it (but never being deterred enough to give it another go). I suppose for a four year old its equivalent to bungee jumping. Secretly I'm terrified for him and keep hearing my mum in the back of my mind as I yell: "Stop.....its to dangerous....your going to break the clothes line.....your going to crack your head". I think this is just the beginning of the feeling of duality that being a mum will bring......knowing very well that I did that as a youngster, enjoyed it, and survived.

Friday, November 16, 2007


My blue eyed blonde haired bubbu has so suddenly turned one.
What a strange feeling it is, all of a sudden this little baby who was all about sleeping, feeding, pooing, and waking (way to much) has become a vibrant, cheeky little soul. He is such a beautiful happy soul, much like his dad yet very stubborn and determined much like his mum. I cant wait to see what he has to bring to this world.

Monday, November 12, 2007


It rained so much last week, I found myself and the kids going stir crazy by the weekend. So as soon as the sun shone through the clouds I declared that it was - "time to get out into the bush". Nothing like a bush walk to calm everyone down, reconnect and get some exercise at the same time. Once I actually got everyone out of the house, in the car, and convinced myself not to got back inside for a nap, had Myles walk further than 10 metres without wanting to be picked up it ended up being a really nice afternoon, with Fynn eventually snoozing in the sling, curled up like a little possum.
I finally invested in a good bird identification book, took that along with Myles' binoculars and tried to do some bird watching. Initially I bought a simple kids bird book just to test out whether we would get any value from a more detailed one and after a couple of trials we all found ourselves really getting into it. It was nice to come home later and still talk about the birds we saw on the walk, have a look at their pictures again and try to draw them, or just sit out in the backyard and try to identify the very limited variety of birds that visit our yard.

Friday, November 9, 2007


Happy Feet you were so sweet,
and you had the cutest little tweet. Until, the eventful day kooly mistook you for her treat. When we found you gone, our hearts you broke and we hadn't even tasted your yoke. Now when I sit on our big stone seat, I will always think of you, little happy feet. A chook with dreams who will live forever, in heaven or earth,
as it is in feather.

Saturday, November 3, 2007


Last week I had the privilege of seeing my sister give birth to her beautiful baby son. Apart from my own sons being born this was one the most amazing things I have experienced. It was strange being on the other side - not knowing what to say, whether to hold her hand, cuddle her, and generally feeling helpless. So I just went with it, remaining calm until the end by which time I resembled a screaming football fan barracking for their team as they cross the line to score a try. However, the result was one eight pound beautiful baby boy, two very happy parents and one blubbering mess of an auntie.

Monday, October 29, 2007





Four days before we are set to go on our 'very anticipated' first family camping trip last weekend, a bout of gastro went through all four of us. Myles was the first to fall victim followed closely in matter of hours by Fynn, myself a day later and finally Dan the day we are meant to be leaving for 'the' camping trip. After concluding that night we couldn't be bothered going camping, we woke the next day and strangely decided that it was a good idea to go, and even stranger got packed within two hours. I think from an entire week of four people pooing and vomiting in the one house we were desperate to get out of what felt like a germ ridden house. I look back now and actually can't believe we went, however I'm so glad we did. Although, Myles and Dan got a slight relapse of the gastro, Fynn vomited an entire bottle of milk on our bed, a bush turkey ate our potato's, forgetting lots of essential items (thank god for our understanding, organised relo's) and finally a tick embedding its little head in my tit (which later became infected and had to be removed at the doctors) it was a great weekend.

As long as you are prepared to be dirty, not shower as frequently (no difference for me) and smell like a camp fire it is one of the best things you can do as a family. I loved the sound of the birds first thing in the morning, catching fish on the beach, amateur bird watching, walks on the beach alone and/or with the kids, having a quick dip in just your undies and singlet, sand crumbed kiddies, the smell of sunscreen and more than anything everyone enjoying being together and singing songs around the camp fire you never thought you remembered the words to (eg. Tie a yellow ribbon round an old oak tree, Hello Dolly...well hello dolly).

We were extremely privileged that we had Dan's brother there who is a chef and he cooked up a absolute storm - a'la gourmet camp style. And not to forget the 'hunter's who provided fresh fish to eat daily. Dan very bravely and successfully took our car on the beach. It was scary particularly when cars ahead were getting stuck and we had to push a couple up hill, but it was also exciting and the kids and adults alike loved it.
It was interesting to see how the kids kept themselves occupied, and Myles (spiderman-less) only had his cousins dolls to play with. It was so cute watching them play with them, putting them to sleep, Myles going for a walk, baby on his back just like uncle Shane. The other really special (and grateful) thing was that Dan's mum and dad each morning would take the kids into their truck (where they slept) and tell them stories. I couldn't help but think that these stories and other special moments of the weekend would be cherished by them forever.

Thursday, October 25, 2007


After being inspired by the images from this book, Myles and I went for a wander around the neighbourhood, basket underarm, shoes off, dodging the summer time bindi's and did some collecting. We gathered bark, leaves, gumnuts, rocks, pebbles, palm fronds and seed pods, brought them back home and began constructing what was initially, 'the fairy' house but inevitably became (after some convincing that its wasn't Spiderman's house) the fairies/knights/goblins house. Doing this little activity didn't take long and I felt like both of us for a moment, although brief (in my perception of time) entered into a magical world where macadamia nut shells propped on sticks lite the way to the house for visitors that only came out at night and the little red mushrooms would provide shelter for baby goblins or a landing spot for incoming fairies. We knew the next morning that the fairies/goblins had visited that night from the amount of fairy dust (hundreds of thousands) left behind.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


When Daniel and I agreed to get chickens he specifically said that he only wanted two. However, since Happy Feet's very happy arrival she now has three new friends, Mrs Peck, Penny and Mrs Tilly. When we arrived at the hatchery, I realised very quickly that Happy Feet, had been spoilt over the past few days, being carried around, hand fed and living in the laundry. There were so many little chooks, it was impossible to choose one and it was a bit of a lucky dip as to what you got. They were literally fished out of there enclosure by the ankles carried upside down and placed in a box. I wish now that Myles hadn't seen them carrying them by the ankles as he has since tried to retrieve a very reluctant Mrs Peck from her new house by the ankles. After explaining to him he could have broken her leg and to be more careful he very promptly told me I could have broken his and Fynn's legs when I carried them both upside down by the legs from the bed that morning.
Daniel and apprentice Myles did a great job getting the chickens new house finished and the girls seem to be enjoying their new home. The chicken tractor however has now become a chicken coop that will more than likely not be moved from its present location for a while. Apart from some door hinges it was made from recycled building materials and has turned out to be a lot larger and heavier than we had initially planned, therefore to heavy to put wheels on. All it needs now is a coat of paint and some eggs.

Friday, October 12, 2007


Our first chicken has arrived and is appropriately named by Myles - "Happy Feet". As you can see from the photo Myles was beaming. I don't think I will ever forget the look on his face when he came up the driveway in the car and saw the chicken on the front verandah. The realisation, shock and pure excitement that she had actually arrived was so clearly expressed on his little face. He leaped from the car, ran down the driveway, arms going at one hundred miles an hour and picked her up straight away without hesitation or fear. Any initial anxieties I had about getting the chickens have disappeared. I'm so pleased with our newest addition to the family, and I have observed behaviours in everybody that I really didn't expect to see. Firstly, was Myles' lack of fear and the tenderness and love he has shown towards her. I thought at one point that 'Happy Feet' was literally going to be loved to death on her first night. She was chaperoned around the garden in a trolley, pushed on the swing, and was very nearly put in a plastic bag to be carried around the house. Even more surprisingly has been the strange behaviour from the very reluctant dad who I clearly remember saying that "I don't want chickens...the lice....the mice...something else to look after........." Now all I hear is, "she loves me....she thinks I'm her her follow her jump up my shoulder.....she's so cute.....let her inside......" .

Fynn the usual curious observer who loves to experience everything he touches by putting it in his mouth has thankfully yet to put 'Happy Feet' in his mouth and is happy to just follow her around the garden and see what noises she makes when he pats her or grabs onto her tail feathers.

To keep Happy Feet company in the chicken chariot on wheels we are getting another two tomorrow. The disputes over names and who gets to name them have already begun. I'm betting that we come home with three so everyone gets to name one.

Monday, October 8, 2007


Having a one year old that loves to pull every leaf off every tree in hands reach, who likes the taste of those stinky marigolds, loves to face plant in the dirt and eat rocks my new challenge in the garden is to create a place where the kids can safely touch, eat and smell everything without ruining an entire tomato tree or potentially eat something that will poison them. So I have begun planting herbs in little concrete blocks that smell good and when touched leave a heavenly scent on little paws. The best little plant I have found so far is Chamomile 'Anthemis nobilis' because it actually does best when it is stepped on. Walking on it releases the herb’s lovely apple fragrance and does not hurt the plant. Even better is that it is considered to be the “doctor plant” in gardens because its mere presence revives the ailing plants around it. I'm finding that having a little sensory spot like this in the garden just for the kids is a great place for them to actively learn about different plants/herbs, their uses, smells, touch and taste.


It's taken me a long time to accept, understand and finally appreciate boys play. Its rough, its energetic, its pulling things apart to see how they work and using all dads tools to do so and as hard as Ive tried to discourage it, at age four its all about superpowers, superheros, and super villains. Their little imaginations are exploding at the moment - I love to sit somewhere where he can't see me and just watch him play, interact with his friends and enter into a world where the garden hose becomes a snake tied around your friends body and the swings are the spaceship and your friend from school who is trapped in a dungeon is being rescued from the jaws of a rainbow coloured dragon that lives under a rock and breathes fire that only you can see. One of the great things about boys is that at one moment they're friends, the next they're "not being you bestest friend anymore" and literally seconds later they have forgotten about whatever upset them and they're friends again, flying to the moon in a cardboard rocket.