Monday, June 30

Poppy's Boys

It is Poppy's birthday today. The only think he wanted for his birthday was this picture. All the boys love him and he loves them. (We did get him another present too!)

We also celebrated our Christmas. As all our kids have summer birthdays it is all a bit much around December/January so this was nice to do. I had planned the whole decoration thing, but as per usually it all got away from me. We did however have christmas dinner and presents.

After a delicious lemon fused turkey, full roast vegies and a lovely adaption of our scrolls which I did with cream cheese, pureed cranberries and parmasen cheese, we did presents. What a surprise I didn't get Peter Pan finished (I am getting closer) I was trying to give the kids learning experiences. As there are 3 boys here, we have a lot of cars, trucks and trains. So for a bit of balance he got a tinkerbell doll, some a barbie and ken dolls and a dolls house. Below is a shot of how he should be playing with it - and the disturbing image of the naked barbies is how he did play with them. They seem to be swimming naked a lot!!

A little bit of art

As it was Poppy's birthday we did a bit of art- the idea is always better than the execution.

We now get our vegies delivered which seems to be working well, however we get lots more potatoes than we can eat. Hence a few potato prints. Its a good way to get rid of a few extra potatoes and a bit of an activity. We painted wrapping paper for Poppy.

The next day we did a bit of water painting and got Benji and Spencer involved too. They do a great job - of painting their mouths and Alexander had a good go - at painting Benji's face!

Sunday, June 29

No more Mr Gates

I had planned to do a few posts tonight (yes sometimes I backdate them!) but the universe, correction - Mr Gates is against me. I installed an update of Internet Explorer yesterday which also came with a security update. I use a free internet one and am quite happy. Not today!!! The new system has such tight security that I cant get onto THIS site. After tweaking any aspect of the security for over 2 hours, I am tired and sh*tty. So, the update on peter pan, a play date, and our family fun day will all have to wait.

Oh - and I downloaded Firefox as a browser before I uninstalled Internet Explorer!! Take that Microsoft. Now to start saving for a MAC!

Sunday Funday

This Sunday we didn't have any activities as such - we went to Bunnings to try to finish off some jobs! That in itself is an activity as the time always gets sucked away in the vortex and you have to finish off the visit with the obligatory sausage!

Our renovations have been livable for a while now but there are always outstanding things to finish. We finally picked the tiles for the bathroom floor- but true to form there were not enough there, but the job is started at least.

The other thing that we got is some new rubbish bins. This is something we have need for like - forever - but any time there is spare money I can find something much better to spend it on. So, not an amazing purchase - but certainly entertained the kids!

Saturday, June 28

Some of my work

Finally I have some finished projects. These have been on the sewing table for a while. The embroidered blanket it what all of my friends get when their new baby is born. I usually try and have a really quick turnaround but these were a bit different. A friend had idential twin girls (there are lots of twins around me!!) and there was a delay with the names.

Both little girls are healthy and happy. Their mum loves leopard print, so rather than the usual pink, aqua or navy backing, I needed to do something a bit different. So I chose the backing but could only get velour. With the black and white theme in place I chose the panda design. One blanket had been finished for a while - the other was lingering. The pile on the fabric makes it nearly impossible to sew and the zebra print was slightly off grain and would just twist-- ugh!

So here they are all finished and packaged ready to be delivered on Wednesday.

Friday, June 27

Airport closed indefinately

Its all fun until someone gets hurt....don't you hate it when silly sayings come true. I hate it even more when it is me that gets hurt.

A loves aeroplane rides, where I lie down on my back and he flies balanced on my feet and his hands hold my hands. We have been doing this for a while now so he is quite adventurous (and heavy) On Tuesday night we were happily playing, when it happened. He overshot the runway.

Now A is no gymnist but is of the ilk where he has no fear. He was happy flying way over my head and my hammies were stretched to their limit. I couldn't get him back so he had to go over. My biggest concern was for his neck, as he had no incliniation to tuck his head under. I had to flip him right over onto his back - when meant I had to get my weight right up onto my shoulders. It is probably a yoga pose - but obviously I dont do yoga!

We had a safe crash landing and HE wasn't hurt, however the landing gear needs major work! At his point of impact my neck clicked and it wasn't a good feeling. He was safe, but my neck was VERY sore - and the pain shot down my arm.

After a sleepless night, a very painful day with three dependants, and an osteo treatment, I can now move more than my eyes from side to side. But - there will be no more flights - as mum says "it'll end in tears!"

Play date recipie

We had one of our first kinder play dates today - it was after kinder so they were both a bit tired, but they had fun and all in all it was successful.

Kinder finishes just before lunch so I set the kids up making lunch - for a bit of an activity. I had all the ingredients set out and they got to it. I was taking a risk as I hadn't tried the recipie before - but it was SO EASY AND SO GOOD that I have to share it.

First I made aprons out of tea towel - just out a bit of tape on them to tie around their necks and waist. They even fit me~! Now you may have all made pinwheels and I may be slow on the uptake but these are from the Womens Weekly Healthy Food for kids..

I have adapted it slightly but it is:
300g/2 cups self raising flour
30g butter - room temp
3/4 cup milk (180ml)
1 tbs castor sugar
then the filling. We had two different types, tomato stir in sauce, ham and grated cheese and vegemite and cheese.
Sift the flour, mix in the sugar and rub in the butter with your fingers. Add the milk and mix to a sticky dough. Roll it out on a sifted surface to 30cm x 40cm.
Then layer on your filling. The tomato paste added some 'juice' before the ham and cheese went on. Roll it up from the long side and then cut into 12 pieces. Place these into a greased tin - we used a cake tin which was perfect. Bake in oven for about 30mins on 180-200 degrees.


Sunday, June 22

Sunday Funday

Back on the family bandwagon again this week and I think the today we tried to cram two weeks into one! We left home at 8.30 and didn't return til 6.30pm, which was a big day for me let alone the boys!

The day started with a lovely breakfast that was even relaxing- that is until both twins decided to bounce the danish high chairs off the seats - and one onto the floor. These things always happen when you are one pair of arms down. (the big squirrel was on toilet duty)

Off to Scienceworks. Can I say what a fantastic place this is. With the museum membership the entry is free and we will certainly be here a lot more. The kids can touch everything and even on a Sunday it was easy enough for the twins to be out of the pram- at least for a while.

With our packed lunch we could keep going to visit friends in the beautiful country home - well thats what it feels like. It really sits on the border of country and city - you guys are so lucky. And the boys didn't trash it which is always a bonus.

With a quick visit to the clown in the yellow suit for dinner - you have to love drive through milk. The added bonus from eating it in the dark in the car is the kids don't actually eat much of it as it all falls out of reach onto the floor. Straight back home to bed - a good day had by all.

Saturday, June 21

Playdate with a bit of inspiration

K a close friend and her daughter E came over today to look after the boys while I had a meeting at kinder. All the kids were sooooo good and it was great that I could go and do what I needed to do. E & A played well together, but after the twins sleep they were a bit over it all, and on a cold rainy day we couldn't cope going outside. So with a bit of inspiration from the jellybabyblog, a great bargain book about princess craft and some near emply jam jars, we had an activity with a lovely end result. The idea is that they are beautiful vases from Aladin's markets. Like jellybabyblog, we put some candles in them and both kids were amazed by their precious lantern.

Friday, June 20


When did life get sooooo hectic?? Some days I don't know how we manage. Today was one of THOSE days.

The big squirrel was home to look after the kids while I did some things at kinder. This volunteering thing itself is a lot of work. Once I was finished it was home to follow up the issue further while he went off to work.

I got caught up on the phone and the twins were given - how do I say it - a long leash. So, when it came time for kinder pickup something rather essential had gone missing - the keys. While it is a goal of mine to walk more to kinder - there just wasn't time. What there did appear time for was to tear the house apart and tip out every single box and drawer. With toys and clothes everywhere and still no keys - I had a very kind and helpful friend pick up A - who coincidently was already going through a phase of worrying about being left behind. This really didn't help.
Then the keys turn up - in a bag hanging on the door - no not my handbag, but close.

Thursday, June 19


Just to make life busier we have been renovating for 18 months. Yes that number does sound familiar as it is as old as the twins are. The planning permits actually came through the day they were born. We really had the bulk of it done by Christmas/Jan but of course in our natural style not all of it. Nothing is quite finished but it is all very livable- therin lies the problem.

In the bathroom we moved the shower and that is finished, but the rest of the walls and floor is not. Raw plasterboard with decorative stopping up, and a beautiful tri-covered floor. Some floorboards, some chipboard and some old tiles make up the floor. No made up the floor. Today the last bit was ripped up, bumps sanded and new AC sheeting put all over it. I have picked out the tiles and am busting to finish at least one room!

Now - off to clean up that sawdust that just flies everywhere!!!!

Wednesday, June 18

A bit of building

Bunnings came to kinder today - so we had to dress the part. It was a nice sunny day so while B & S were asleep we ventured out to do some work. What we are doing is a secret but here are some shots of our work. Gotta love allen keys and illustrated instructions - he could almost do it without me.

Monday, June 16

Dino tails

These are gifts - which are almost finished - but done enough for some pictures. She too has three boys, with her twins a year older than mine. They are all into dinosaurs and these will be great for them. There are three tails which will velcro around the waist. I cut the polarfleece the wrong way so it actually stretches around the waist - but this means it never actually gets tight enough. I will recut this the other way, which will actually hold the tail up better and the belt will look thicker. Then they need to be finished with velcro.

We have the tail in green which was for a dress up party as a crocodile - but was also our dragon tail. It is really easy to play with as they can easily put them on themselves. The hoods are a new addition. She didn't ask for these, but I thought they would be great additions to the dress up box - but could also be funky winter hats. I was thrilled with how they turned out and they were really easy to make.

If you want to make your own I slightly adapted the McCalls pattern - 2335. If you are using a stretch be careful not to over stuff it as the tail can warp.

Sunday, June 15

No Sunday Funday

With the big squirrel's business only in its infancy, we try to have a family day at least once a week. Life gets pretty hectic and we try to make a day that is just about family. It was not to be this week.

I am on the kinder committee. I joined because I like to be involved in community and in A's life and thought this was a good way to do it. Let me say this - it is a big job. I have scored the maintenance roll - given the Big Squirrels background - it was the best suited to me. However it is a lot of work and running around.

Today was working bee. 23 families had said they would attend. 7 families did - pretty poor show. I was not expecting them all, but really. All the jobs I had planned for (bought materials and tools for) got done - but mostly thanks to the big squirrel. The last job of the day was the fridge. It had ice packed in the fridge as well as the freezer. We were nearly finished cleaning it out when it was gone. A stabbing fatality and we could not save her - the wound was too deep. So off with the doors and out onto the nature strip.

Now - something else to fill my time - shopping for a replacement fridge - Oh the job of maintenance!!!

Saturday, June 14

Nanny 911

It had been coming for a while. A busy schedule, catching up for playdates, running a small business, volunteering at kinder and the general running of the house- it all gets a bit too much.

Saturday around Ikea - probably not the best idea with the kids. I managed and the kids were all very good really. It is just such a pain to push around two heavy boys and manage and entertain a four year old.

I was probably a bit unprepared and we managed a snack and a rest. Next on the agenda was a trip to kmart for some shoes. After trying them all on, we settled on a pair of boots - and this is where it started to unravel. From kmart to the car, change nappies in the boot, put all the kids into car seats, pack the pram away. A tried on the shoes which are all of 5 minutes old and decideds they are too big. Now this seems like such a little thing, but it was just the end of me.

Some times it just feels like everyone comes first. Get up feed everyone, whoops no time for food for me. Get everyone dressed, feed everyone, put them all in the car - even just to get out of the door is an enourmous task. There is not enough time nor do I have enough hands. I want to give them all the time in the world - they deserve that but some days it is just too hard. When you are close to the edge - what good are you. People always say - make sure you take some time out for you, and I know how much better you are after this - but how do you get this? There is no time out. What do I do with them while I am 'off duty'? Mum is great and I don't think I could do it without her, but she still works and its not fair to always burden her. The guilt of not being there is almost as bad as being there on a bad day.

I ended up calling mum and she actually took A for a sleep over. He thought it was fun and he was a bit special. The big squirrel was working late, so I put the twins down to sleep and settled down on the couch to wallow in self pity. Nanny 911 came on with a family who had 6 kids under 5. They had twins who were almost five, then 3 girld who were two - yes -TRIPLETS and then had a one year old daughter (how with that many kids they even found time for sex I don't know!!) Watching this family struggle with the day to day task was great. A lot of their struggles echoed mine - but can I say they made my life look easy. Its a bit sad that you have to see someone worse off than you to appreciate your own situation - but it did help.

Friday, June 13

On Guard!

Impromptu things are always so much fun. After our supermarket shopping we had a box at home. For a good part of the day it was a TV with a very modest star. Then with a vist from Uncle Paulie, this was all transformed. With inspiration from a collectables catalogue, the box/tv was transformed to a shield with a our own coat of arms. A couple of horses lying over here, some foam swords over there, a long hallway - let the jousting begin!

Later, with squire in tow, we were knights in search of a dragon. A crocodile costume transformed me to the fire breathing dragon our knight was trying to slay.

If I had planned this we would have got nowhere, but we had so much fun. Running, chasing and learning about history, a bit of craft and dress-ups - a wonderful day.

Thursday, June 12

Another Corby put away

For some reason, the big squirrel had some unnatural attachment to mercedes. Unfortunately we aquired this 1978 lemon yellow benz. He loved it - I named it Corby becase I believed it to be an ugly merc. Many strong discussions have been had about the future of Corby and she was meant to be for sale but he never got around to it....but no need to now.

There was a little accident - a merc sandwich which has rendered Corby unfixable and to life in the wreckers, to be picked apart. The best thing is that noone was hurt (except Corby) - oh and the other best thing - it is no longer in our driveway.

Wednesday, June 11

Little Boys

My little boys are growing up so quickly. This week they were 18 months old. They are big happy boys. Spence is in red and Benji in blue.

Spence is such a funny little boy. He is the talker of the two. I don't think he will do single words - he is already trying sentences. If you can decipher him the regulars are 'what's going on' and 'where's Benji?'. He is happier to watch first - and then try. He will often be the second doing somethings- but not talking. His eyes sparkle and his smile lights up his whole beautiful face.

Benji is my bugger. He is full of mischief and right from the start you could tell he was thinking. He will get Spence into a lot of trouble - I can tell. He is into everything. If there is anything to climb Benji will be up it- with Spence not far behind. His beautiful big eyes melt your heart and he is so affectionate- giving the best kisses. Benji is into music and will bop away with any tune. Spence loves his books and can often be found lying on his tummy in A's room reading his books.

Some days I can't believe I have twins. To me they don't even look alike because they are such different characters but I hope they will be great mates. It is hard to balance to give each child individual attention, praise and affection. I know they know no different but I often feel guilty for not giving them what I did for A. Having said that they are such settled souls - they sleep well and are so easy to put down at night (compared to how I set myself up the first time!) and are happy to be strapped into the pram because it is too hard to let them out. I suppose the difference is that they always have each other - and early in the morning you can hear them 'talking' to each other and giggling. The belly laughs that come out of these cherubs can't help but make you smile.

I am getting all sooky now - mother guilt and love tied up together. No-one changes your life like children. Bless them.

Monday, June 9

A stripe over here, here and here

Finally have some sewing output!

The wardrobe situation was getting a bit dire for A. I seemed a bit light on the size 4 shopping and he is existing on very little winter clothes - so it was time to sew. It is only when collaging these pictures I realised my stripe obsession. He got a stripe hoodie, a stripe long sleeve tee and some striped cords! The only plain thing I made was the brown trackies and dinosaur PJs.

But I feel happy that he has some things to wear - it was therapeutic to have a bit of time to make them and although they are all a little big - they look so much better than the things he has been squeezed into. Cropped jeans is just not a good winter look!
The day was completed by a long overdue haircut. (Infact it was haircuts all round - but the twins will be unveiled in another post!)

Sunday, June 8

Sunday Funday

This week was a breakfast week. Every second week we go out to breakfast at our favorite shop where everybody knows your name. It has been over four years we have been going there for breaky and they know our order, have high chairs ready (and probably mops too). We find that we just cant do dinner now - it is all too hard, to noisy etc, but breakfast works really well.

With our full tummies we went off to the museum. A is currently studying dinosaurs at kinder, so we went to see the Hatching the Past exhibition at the Melbourne Museum. Really worth a look - but dont miss their usually exhibition with all the REALLY BIG dinosaurs. All the stuff in the touring exhibition is aimed at kids - so not so overwhelmingly big. We did see a chicken actually hatch out of its egg (dinosaurs are also born from eggs) and we touched a live aligator tail. They had an aligator as opposed to a crocodile because they have a much better temperment and don't mind being patted.

I havent been to more than the childrens museum for years, but it was really good - we will be going back again.

Saturday, June 7

Creative Challenge

Little A is a bit of a perfectionist. A lovely little boy but he knows what he likes and he knows how he likes it. The latest obsession - which has been for a while is Peter Pan. We have numerous Peter Pan books and even an audio book in the card at the moment. His Peter Pan costume has been well worn but needed boots and a dagger (spatula covered in fabric into a cotton spool.)

This obsession has now spilled into a request for dolls - Peter Pan, Tinkerbell and Captain Hook. He had seen pictures of costumes in a pattern book which he thought were dolls - and so began our quest.

As it turns out, there are no patterns for Peter Pan dolls - and on looking there aren't many patterns for dolls (in the commercial pattern books). I bought a vogue pattern 8336 which is an 18 inch doll which I will have to adapt, but will give it a go.

Here are my reference pics - I may see if I can convince him for Tink to be a barbie.

Friday, June 6

A bit of gardening...

I was born with black thumbs. Not literally, but in the gardening sense. I am trying to change this but I just loose interest. We have a vegie patch which is growing well and the frangipanis which are amazing for Melbourne are all going well- but that is about it. The rest of our yard is square grass - or weeds!

Since we have been building the garden has got even less attention but I was moved to action today. Well, I had to really. I love hydrangeas. My nana's driveway used to be overflowing with the dark green bushes that were always exploding with colour. She used to have pink and blue ones growing together. I think she even had a white one. I usually kill them but now we have a nice cool area where they should thrive.

My aunt lovingly raised some cuttings for me and they have been sitting derelict on our front porch for about 2 weeks. I had tripped over a pot again on my way in - so they were going into the ground. The boys had a good play and I did some serious weeding - with a shovel!

Here are the before photos and some action shots by A. There is still a bit to do, but all 12 plants are in the soil and there is an edged garden bed in here! Still a work in progess but we are getting there....

Wednesday, June 4

What a park!

No today is not about carparking - but free entertainment. You have to love a good park and there are more of these quality parks being created, but today I certainly visited one of note. Womat Park is in Finn's Reserve of Union Street in Templestowe. Such a good park. It meets many of my criteria
  1. totally fenced
  2. has toilets - which are right next to the park, not only are they part of the area, but they are family toilets big enough to get a double pram in and they have changing facilities. You could easily take a toilet training toddler here!!
  3. has a variety of activities including seats for disabled children.
  4. a concrete path through/around - great for a pram or bikes
  5. the ability to see right through the park.

The little acorns are 4.5 and now 18months and they all had a great time with their mates who are the same age. It was a really lovely day - Nay and I could let the kids burn all their energy and we could have a chat. The only thing missing was a latte! No cafe here but the pub is close.

I would love to hear any of your 'great parks'.

Tuesday, June 3

On a lighter note - some Sewing!

Sorry about the weight of yesterdays post - should come with a tissue warning.
Here are some things in the making. The bottom two pictures are for the boys - obviously the dresses are not but we'll get to that.
I am constantly frustrated by the lack of variety available for boys. The clothes are usually dark drab colours, have scribble writing all over them (the same as mens clothes - which I cant stand) or the 'bright' clothes are covered in branding such as Bob, Thomas, Ninja Turtles or the worst - Pooh. (Yes I know this is all over the huggies nappies!)
So over the weekend mum and I had a couple of hours while the twins were asleep and thanks to Shrek 2, were able to cut out a red tracksuit, a purple tracksuit, three pairs of striped trousers, a green and an aqua fleece and three striped hoodies. Just so you don't think I have a bit of a sound of music complex happening, the plan is not for the three kids to wear the same. I do however dress the kids in similar or matching outfits. Easier on me and at this point they dont care- this may change over time. So now they only need to be sewn! Hopefully that will be this winter.
The other two dresses I found on the gap website ( . I found these in the kidswear section (babygirl) but I love them, and I think they would be quite good scaled up for adults. That will be a work in progress.

Monday, June 2

For Kingsley

Sunday 1 June little Kingsley came into the world. He didn't stay very long, but he certainly made his mark. I know his mother will never be the same- but she will eventually be the stronger for having known him. He was a little fighter. With everything seemingly going against him and the medics consistently surprised by his survival, he managed the spirit to meet his mother - if only for a short time.

I have known people before who have had babies pass, or born sleeping, but I didn't really understand their loss until having my own children. Not only have I shed tears for Kingsley, but I have had to try to explain why I am crying to A - who is 4 and a half.

Unfortunately, he overheard me telling someone that she had lost the baby. I didn't realise he was listening, until I told my husband the same news, and he questioned me, that A announced that the baby had gone missing! We talked very briefly about Kingsley had died, and gone to heaven - of course a theory he doesn't understand.

"What is heaven" he asked.
"It is the most special place you can imagine, where people go when they are no longer with us"
"I know. It is the place were babies go where they wait to be born again"

A lovely thought.

Sunday, June 1

Sunday Funday

Just note- this all looks like good clean family fun- riding for free at the local school however there were tears, tantrums and a quick trip to kmart to buy helmets before we got to this point!