Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A bit of this and a bit of that....

A few bits and bobs that I want to share....

1 - For those of us who have little people residing in our homes Kids Craft Weekly is a fantastic resource that I stumbled upon this week. Some printable activities, lots of ideas and even a newsletter. Definitely some motivating ideas there!

2 - I heard this on ABC local radio tonight and it was the funniest thing I've heard in a long time. Google (what did we do before google!!) it and you can even see the video as well. Seriously, I haven't laughed this much in ages...

< - sorry but I can't get Blogger to play nice. Hilarious!!

3 - Earlier I posted about my desire to learn a new skill and I want to send out a huge thank you to a wonderful friend who got me started, motivated and definitely 'into' crochet. I've almost finished my first scarflet which I will share once I work out how to do the edging. It's so much faster! and I'm loving the one loop, no dropped stitches, easier frogging - bliss!!

4 - Above mentioned friend also gave my little family some frogs eggs to ?incubate? I have no idea what to call it, anyway, we have fish eggs and they are growing up and starting to wiggle! It's very exciting and so we've been reading/researching and generally just talking about life cycles. I think this is probably what home schooling is like on a very small, teeny tiny scale and I'm loving it. Between the learning, sharing, growing and developing we did on our holidays through to the life cycle of frogs I am thoroughly enjoying my children at the moment. Reading that sentence back it sounds like that concept is a novel one. It's not. But it's taken me a long time to adjust and feel like going with the flow and just taking the lead of the kids is the right thing to be doing.

5 - School went back today. I'm sad. I even asked the young master of the house if he had to go back to school. Reply - "Well yes mum I do have to go back to school.... (pondering)... I have to learn lots of things so I can grown up and know everything... (more pondering)... just like you". What a sweetie!

6 - School went back today. I'm very sad. To say that the other mums at my school aren't very friendly is an understatement and I'm not yet strong enough for this fact to not bother me. I know I'm from the wrong side of the tracks, I know I'm a single mama, I know I don't drive a 4WD tank, I know I don't have the guess handbag but I do have a happy friendly personality and I wish you would notice that. Just once.

7 - As previously mentioned we have a party coming up and it was such a joy to read on the invitation that they would like op-shopped, hand made or hand-me-down gifts. Very refreshing! Of course I had a ball at my local oppy finding lots of pretty, frilly, adorable things that one and three year old girls adore!

8 - The issue of comments was going around the blog world a while back and I've been contemplating this recently. What makes you comment on a blog? or not? If you have your own blog do you have it set to moderate comments before they are posted? why? or why not? I'm not sure why you would invite people to be involved and have input in your blog if you are only going to publish the comments that you like or that agree with you?? I know I'm slack at commenting so for the next week I am going to post on every single blog post that I read. Someone has taken the time to share their craft, stash, life and/or kids lives with me so I'm going to take a moment to tell them that I appreciate it!

Anyway, I'm off to watch Mr Williams again. And have another good chuckle. Again ;-)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Back to basics

Tonight I have caught up with all my google reader items and I'm loving this concept from Belinda - I'm going to do fortnightly (or there abouts!) updates on what's happening around here. I think it will be a good reminder and motivator to think in a wider circle. We're tailoring the project to suit ourselves though and the few people who have come and seen my house (I think it's just you George!) know that I am not really able to plant/sow anything green. A teeny tiny courtyard coupled with a rabbit just doesn't work out although I have managed to keep a lemon tree and an orange tree alive for at least 6 months now and that *has* to be some sort of record for me. Lack of space, munching pet and inherited brown thumbs mean I'm not really up with the gardening side of things.

So... for this weekend...

Planning for The Future

- planned for this weeks meals - 90% of which will be coming from the freezer. Also planned (and actually managed to execute!) some baking meaning I don't have to buy snacks for school lunches this week!

- we have a 1st & 3rd (two sisters) birthday coming up and I had no ideas (or finances!) for pressies. My mums centre is getting rid of some equipment and I've managed to source an art easel for them. Making some paint (recipe here) sourced some paper from the local newspaper company (end roll for just a few dollars) and their pressie is sorted. Best of all the mama of the family is extra happy with recycled gifts as well!

Working for the Future

- it's only a tiny thing but we had a lot of lemons here that were starting to look like they had seen better days - rather than chucking them like I would have done 6 months ago I have juiced them and frozen the juice into ice cube trays and zested them into zip lock bags - also in the freezer. The above mentioned party has a massive lemon tree so I'm hoping to score some more lemons later this week to try the lemon sorbet from here and the cupcakes from here.

Building Community

- I saw this on Belindas blog "calling someone you just let drift out of your life" which is just bizarre because last night I looked up a friend in Brisbane that I haven't spoken to in ages. She is also a single mama but does things much tougher than me. We had a short but nice chat and it felt good to catch up.

- this year I am both child and class free on a Friday so am contemplating doing some volunteer work? I feel conflicted in this regard though as I am partially motivated by the Queanbeyan Food Co-op so does the fact I'm getting seriously discounted food in return for my volunteering mean it's not really volunteering?

Learn a new Skill

- I'm actually meeting up with a friend tomorrow for a lesson (plus some cake, hot choccies and a good old natter!) on crochet

- I also picked up a new bike for the boy at the op shop and the back tyre is flat so I guess my other new skill will be learning how to fix bike tyres!! Wish me luck with that one!!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

7 days on....

...and I miss...

- watching the cricket - the radio is a great substitute but sometimes I want to see the hawkeye decisions or amazing catches. I do enjoy watching the tennis as well.

- being able to distract the kids while I get dinner on, hang out the washing or just go to the toilet on my own!

- the background noise at night. Sometimes the quiet of the house is just too quiet - know what I mean? One of my biggest struggles as a single mama is the feeling of being lonely and just occasionally I feel like the lack of TV makes it even more prominent.

- being able to join in social situations when people start talking about something that they saw on telly or are looking forward to seeing.

but I am loving....

- helping the kids make a campsite under the dining table using lots of sheets and listening to them singing camping songs.

- Charlotte falling asleep in my arms while Izaak and I talk about the storm that is happening outside.

- the quiet and stillness of the house in the evenings.

- all the extra reading that we have been doing.

- listening to the kids playing nicely with each other for the majority of the time.

- the extra time that we have been spending outside at the park or just walking around looking at what is happening around our neighbourhood.

- the smell of the chocolate cakes, date and caramel muffins, brownies and other yummy treats that we have been baking together.

- not spending half my life looking for the remote control.

- spending time with Izaak helping him to make a book of his christmas holidays to take to school next week. I'm not sure how many other kids will have a book with wombats, koalas, kookaburras, kangaroos, water parks, movie world, the big banana, the clog factory, tamworth country music festival and various other events/places etc in it!

- not having to tell the kids 10 times to get dressed, eat their dinner, go to the bath etc etc because they are distracted by the television.

- the extra productive knitting & sewing time once the kids are in bed

- realising that a few empty boxes can entertain my children for hours while a $2.00 packet of balloons can keep them happy for days - tonight we are going to start our grass heads which should be lots of fun as well!

- not being pestered for lunch at fast food restaurants or a trip to the shops because they just *have* to have the latest toy, gadget, gizzmo or whatever they have seen being advertised on television. I'm not naieve and am sure this will start again next week when Izaak goes back to school but I feel like I've removed at least one source of this pressure.

- the state of our house - because of all the extra crafting/baking/playing the house seems to be in a constant state of organised, chaotic mess. One of our neighbours has the perfect door mat for us though - 'If a messy house is a happy house - this place is delirious!'

In other news we are heading off in the morning to enjoy a long weekend at the wombeyan caves and we're all looking forward to having a final hoorah before the reality and routine of school and uni starts again!

Have you travelled around much? I'm seriously thinking about taking off next year - buying a kombi, taking the kids out of school and just travelling around our big brown land for 12 months before settling down. I'd love to hear your adventure tales!!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Some sewing....

Do you ever start at a favourite blog, click on a link to somthing else where a pattern/idea/piccie takes your fancy so you click on it, then something else pops up and soon you have no idea how you got to where you are? Well that very thing happened to me and I found myself at rostitchery's blog. A few of my friends are glamming it up these days and I've found myself thinking about more than just jeans and t-shirts everyday so my interest was pinched by her infinity dress - multiple ways of tying it, forgiving for tummies and hips, cool, comfy and most of all I had the perfect olive green fabric in the stash that doesn't ever need ironing - perfect! So I set to work...

I love that you can get so many different 'looks' from what is essentially a circle skirt with 2 straps attached. Amazing! I wore it out yesterday and did feel quite lovely, especially when a complete stranger came up to me in the supermarket and commentd on my dress! I think I will make it again but attach a boob tube thingie/bit for more coverage but for a first attempt, and with cheap stash fabric I'm rather happy with it. Thanks to my sister too who agreed to model for me!
I'm also super keen to have a crack at her little people dress for Charlotte as well as an origami skirt for myself. I do have lots of fabric in the stash so am planning on getting going once school goes back for the mister.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Random Ramblings....

I'm starting my post with a decision - tonight the TV has been moved. Out of the lounge room and into the garage. Yep. We are now a TV free household. I don't know for how long but the plan is for at least 6 months. This is for a number of reasons. Firstly, I am a lazy person and can be a lazy parent. When I'm tired and cranky and the kidlets are also tired and cranky I have no willpower and will let them watch the box. It's used as a babysitter/distraction more often than I am happy with. Secondly, Izaak loves, and I mean *loves* TV and after our recent camping trip, during which he spent lots of time in his swimmers, I'm concerned that he will have a tendancy to put on weight really easily. He is a solid, chunky little man who could easily become a solid, pudgy, fatty little man so no-TV will mean getting out and about and getting active. He loved scootering and wants to ride a bike without training wheels so this will motivate us all to get out and about more and be more active. Thirdly, last night I had the TV on and was watching the cricket but had it muted and was listening on the radio. Obviously the TV coverage is slightly delayed (around 3 seconds maybe??) so I knew what was going to happen before it happened - does that make any sense? The TV is also going from my bedroom so there will be no temptation to stray....

In the past I've blogged about my stance on consumerism, popularity, frugal living and the like and in the past few weeks I've been contemplating our choices/lifestyle/decisions even more.
I think camping has been a big part of that - it really strips away the layers to the most basic 'things' - shelter, basic food, clean clothes sometimes - but the most amazing 'experiences'. We've seen wild wombats, rhino beetles were a favourite of Izaaks, meeting other people and families who have been on camping trips for months at a time, bike riding, swimming, watching rainbow lorikeets feeding, picnics, catching up with friends, playing at the park, waterfalls, gorges and just walking around simply taking in the world as it happens around us. It was gorgeous.

Then we got home.

So... where do I go from here? Do I stop seeing certain people because I feel so out of place? Do I change my views for an hour or two so that I can try to fit in? Do I try and see more of my 'alternative' friends where I still don't fit because there are some creature comforts/conveniences that I can't give up? Do you have conflicting views on subjects? How do you reconcile them? How do you fit in when things don't quite line up with your ideas/values?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

We're back....

After a fabulous fortnight we're home! And I *so* want to post everything about everywhere that we visited but tonight - after driving 1 300 km over the past 3 days - I am heading to bed. To sleep. Alot. But I promise a post will follow!