Thursday, July 31
Wednesday, July 30
Tuesday, July 29
As you have seen we have introduced Barbie into the boy-zone. They are getting played with, but I want a little more imaginative play. Well, maybe a little less 'imaginative' play, and a bit of home corner style play. (as opposed to naked barbie being thrown of benches and rescued by duplo men, but its all good). I thought the best way is to address the naked barbie was by making some clothes together. I was surprised by the lack of patterns around for barbies. I suppose the clothes are just as cheap to buy these days. I found a Burda 8576 which also has Ken clothes. We made some PJ's so it was a good start. I found in a couple of books around the place these knitted patterns, but not really my forte. Finally going through mum's old burda magazines, I found these beauties - circa 1975.
Monday, July 28
Sunday, July 27
The big squirrel has been working really long hours lately and that can make it hard at home. M mum and dad come over today to offer some relief which was greatly welcomed. It also helped because when I woke up today I remembered I hadn't done the squirrels GST and it was due!!! I dont want an $800 fine so it had to be done. After a lot of nagging I eventually convinced Nan and Popeye to take all the kids out - ANYWHERE!! It is only the second time since they were born I have been at home by myself. Images of relaxing and pampering should be quickly forgotten as I was hunched over the PC drowning in a sea of receits. But it did all get finished and off to the ATO in time - yeah!!
Now on a different matter I need your help. You are aware that I have made the present pact - and it is getting hard already!! Alexander has been invited to a 5 year old party at Kew Riding School - so there is a bit of a transport theme. He is a lovely little boy with an older brother (about 8) and another baby due literally any minute.
Some of my ideas were:
- An apron with cookie cutters shaped in hammers etc that I bought from the Magnolia Market in Brighton- with an audio cookbook (I thought this may be a bit hard on his mum with a new baby but not sure)
- A costume - not sure about dinosaur or any variations on the theme. These are fairly easy to whip up. I do like a police costume - especially given the transport theme - but that is what his dad is - so they have the real thing.
- A top or two - say a longsleeve raglan top with some kind of pattern on the front - a bit boring for the boy!
- I have a hot wheels racing set where two kids race each other on bikes - I had this in my present cupboard - bought on sale...
I like to do books or educational type toys for friends birthdays. I don't know what they already have or really what he likes to do. I don't like getting them say Spiderman or transformers. If you have any great ideas I would LOVE to hear them. It doesn't matter if it is last minute - I am known to be whipping things up at the last minute...
Saturday, July 26
Friday, July 25
Thursday, July 24
So today we did it. He was so excited and squeezed a pile of lemons, added hot water and honey. He had seen the recipe on telly and would only do it like that. In his head he was making the sweet carbonated commercial lemonade, not cold bitter lemon water. There was no telling him but he knows now! I call it payback!!
Wednesday, July 23
Knitting Yarn Warehouse Sale
International yarn wholesaler moving premises clearing 1000's of skeins
The place to be - 45 Vannam Drive Ashwood 3147
Near Chadstone - Mel reference 60 J9, j10
Wed 23 - Sun 27 July Between 10 - 5pm
Most balls of wool are 50 cents each and there is some dry felting packs and heaps and heaps of great wools for scarves. Check it out!
Tuesday, July 22
Sunday, July 20
Saturday, July 19
Alexander and Eloise played quite happily in the patch of snow that Mt Buller provided in the main street. There was a tobggin 'bump' and a bit of fun. It was the first time Alexander had seen snow - and his take - 'its pretty cold stuff'!! Not enough snow to build a real snowman so that is still on the list of things to do.
Friday, July 18
Thursday, July 17
The last three tails have finally been delivered. I had been procrastinating on these - because I had cut the waistband the wrong way - had to re-cut three and unpick one. The finishing is always the problem!
So, I got some time and in less than an hour (!) they were done. But that hour was worth it to see her eldest dancing home from kinder as a dinosaur. It made my day.
I was making this for the present for our party on Sunday, however I know they have since bought something similar- thus change of plans. While the twins napped I whipped up another - the more you do the quicker they get. A tight deadline doesn't hurt either. Rather than wrapping them, I may make a bag - will have to think on that a bit....but still sticking to new philosophy.
Wednesday, July 16
1. This shoe sale is on again from Wednesday to Saturday. Remember it is cash only. Not really pram friendly but no stairs.
2. Biscote - also in Hall Street has 25% off. Their website is www.biscote.com.au. Pictures don't do it justice - knitwear is very good and often 100%wool. Also a lot of natural fibres.
3. Bedding Sale - Monash Homemaker Centre Cnr Princes Highway and Blackburn Road Clayton. Saturday 19th and Sunday 20 July from 9 to 5. They take cash, credit or eftpos.
I have been here before and got cot blankets and doonas for the cots. Thye have irregular quilts (doonas) all sizes for $10. Duck down quilts in queen and king size for $99 (usually $299) and lots of pillows - which always make good cushions got about $5. They have Jason towels and woolen underlays. The other thing that was good was the hotel quality sheeting. Not flash in looks but really really thick. Single sheets are $9. Nothing you can see through.
I am off there to get single bed doonas for the twins and replace Xanders. No, the twins are still in cots and should be for a while - just getting ready!!!
4. Free Family Fun - SNOW. In High Street Ashburton from 10am to 2 or 4 cant remember. They have a mini festival with snow for the kids to play in on Saturday 19 July and saves a mountain drive.
1. Fabric for curtains for the twins room. I love the number 2 on it.
2. Rolling pin - to replace the lemonade bottle
3. Scarf hanger - for my mum
4. Display boxes - to display Alexanders clay projects
5. Moveable body - because I have always wanted one.
Nothing I needed but happy with all of my purchases.
Tuesday, July 15
Background - my girlfriend (a seasoned traveler) is off to Japan for work and I wanted to give her a gift. My thought was a groovy sleeping mask. I have seen a few around on Etsy and in magazines.
This is a picture of one from Etsy (I have lost the link - sorry to the seller.) I like the concept of eyes on the eye mask.
This led to the thought of 'manga' eyes. A japanese style cartoon where the girls traditionally have big eyes (think Astro boy). I thought I could screen print these on (or gocco like this!) So I found this video and started doing some sketches. I want some big happy eyes, so you look like you are having the time of your life while snoozing.
The first few attempts were dismal to say the least but they are getting closer to what I want.
The other feature of this mask is it is going to be a heat/cold pack. A bit of weight on it doesn't hurt either, but we have a heat pack dog which is filled with flax seed and lavender and I thought this would do the trick. I was also reminded of this from this post on RareBirds
The mask shape is from an old Burda magazine, but of course I can't find it now.
I am thinking of adding a bit of colour and maybe some beads. The thing about Manga eyes is all about the highlight - so I thought they could be beads - we will see how we go....
Monday, July 14
It is so lovely that kinder holidays have finished. Although I wasn't too keen to get out of bed and get going this morning - once we did it was fine.
Alexander was off to kinder again, and the twins and I had the morning at home. We were taking it quietly when a girlfriend unexpectedly arrived with her new twins (2 month old). It was a lovely break in the day and the boys were quite happy to play around and entertain themselves until it was kinder pick up time.
B & S went down for a sleep and all our energy levels were revived that we had a lovely play outside - trimming the lemon tree, weeding the vegie patch and even harvesting some dwarf carrots for dinner. The day was finished with a play on the trampoline.
Yah for kinder.
Sunday, July 13
It was a family affair this Sunday with my sister in law and her husband coming to visit. They were coming for lunch so the big squirrel and Alexander got busy cooking. They made our standard fare at the moment - cheese and vegemite scrolls and pizza ones too. They did a great job.
It was lovely to see them again and we watched the Chipmonks movie together. They had brought a lovely gift for Alexander - a work shirt the same as Dad's. We had to pry it off him to get him into bed!
Saturday, July 12
I met a girlfriend for coffee - sans kids- and finally delivered the pearl necklace that I have had finished since MAY (forgot to get a photo for you) Much as I love the little acorns, gee it was lovely to be out without them and have an hour of two for me.
So, I will have to get back to Maling road and do a bit more discovering. There is a really good paper shop that needs another visit.
Oh, and a huge congrats to Miss B on your new job. What a fantastic achievement and hope it delivers all you are looking for. Well Done.
Bathtime for the twins has always been a struggle for us. Not only is there the logistical issue of two babies the other problem is that they just don't like it - particularly Spencer. There was a bath incident once where he went under - nothing major but bathtimes didn't improve after it. So we had tried everything - bathing alone in the bath, the baby bath, bathing together, bathing with a parent, baths in the laundry trough, showers - together, alone and with a parent. None of which has been easy or enjoyable for anyone - until now!
In the summer we used these tubs for pools and the kids sat on the deck playing in the cool water and then we tipped it on the vegie patch - really easy recycling. Having their regular baths in these for some reason didn't occur to us, but putting them in these with a fistful of toys seems to have solved the problem. No more tantrums with B or S screaming in your ear and desparately clambouring up your body to get out of the water. Now the only issue was getting them out- a lovely and welcome change. (S in red bath)
Friday, July 11
What a crafty chick - and all this while looking after a tribe - where do you find the time? I went back to the beginning of her blog and read every entry (sounds a bit stalker-esque but not my intent) and I was surprised at how similar our experiences are. I too live in a sense of creative chaos where family and happiness are always prioritised over cleaning and washing!
So, I am going to try to borrow an idea from Fiona and that is to try and make all our presents - or at least as many as I can. Thanks Dear Fii - and waiting your latest update.
Thursday, July 10
So, I was going to spiral further into the dulldrums, when our lunchdate was confirmed. Life is always better by the time everyone is in the car. (that half hour of chasing everyone, shoes, jackets, snacks, nappies etc is to be avoided at all cost!!!) Once we were there it was lovely. It is nice to know someone else is going through the same crap as you - it makes all the difference! And all the boys played well - even a civilised game of UNO (we must get this game). So thanks Nay it made all the difference.
Once home with the twins packed off to bed, Xander and I actually headed outside. We went out to finish a this present but got sidetracked once I got into the garage. We are called 'squirrels' because both of us tend to collect things - not trinkets or a proper 'collection' but useful stuff. Things to make into - bit of wood, fabric, things that are too good to throw out, things to sell.... So the garage is full of all our little nuts!!! So much so we have never had a car in there and today hardly could even get a person in!! So this was my job- moving lumps of wood, lawnmowers, wheelie bins full of water, candleabras from our wedding which were a bargain now just hanging around... but I had such fun. The physical activity just made me feel so much better and now that things are grouped together (the virgo in me takes over sometimes) and there is a bit of space to swing a cat I feel really good. We even managed to do a load of washing, wash the dishes and do vacuuming.
So now there are two new things on my to do list - firstly prioritise seeing people - it can totally change your day, and secondly some physical activity. We will see how we go with the second one. Off to work tomorrow - yeah!
Wednesday, July 9
Our first stop was playgroup which was a better turn out this week with four original kids (usually at kinder) and they all played so well together.
From there we were off to Dandenong to see a show - Possum Magic the musical (based on the book Possum Magic by Mem Fox), playing at the Drum theatre in Dandenong. This would have to be one of the best children's shows I have seen. The theatre was good, our seats were great, it was Australian, the story and music were good- not too 'hammed' up. There were beautiful puppets and the whole show was really well presented and enjoyable. It went for an hour with no interval, but Alexander loved it - the twins slept through it so it was all good.
Now the busy boys are all in bed asleep - ahhhhhhhh.
Sunday, July 6
But, here is a post (my second for the day) just dedicated to him. Not only has he been working extremely hard establishing a new business which is still really in its infancy, he is also working around the house (and dealing with my demands but that is a different post). Our renovations have been dragging on FOREVER and I think you get to a point where if you don't finish it you stop seeing it. Having grown up in a house like that I really don't want that to happen.
Today, my darling has been busy digging up a segment of the concrete driveway to remove a root of a big deciduous tree owned by the neighbour. He got this ready for concrete to be poured tomorrow. Then after a quick dinner, he headed into the bathroom to lay a few more tiles in there. Now it is onto some paperwork. I know he wont read this because computers aren't his fortae, but if you see him, could you pass on my love and thanks. He really is a good boy.
Part of my new philosophy is to get a bit healthier and get a bit greener - as well as saving money. So a bike has been on the radar for a while - but there are a few downsides - three young children, a main road and living on a big hill!
Given those constraints, the big hill is one that wont change - but the main road and children need to be managed. Alexander isn't skilled enough yet to ride his bike solo yet, but he is getting closer. The twins are WAY OFF. So the challenge has been how to get them around without the car. We have bought one of those bike trailers which do fit the twins, but it is a bit unstable. The problem is when I get off the bike, the bike falls over and the trailer is really wobbly which makes getting in and out of it quite difficult.
I had watched an episode of the ABC's Carbon Cops some time back and they had this great bike. My brother was over today and we were chatting about potentially building one. For some reference we were surfing the net and found some rickshaw style bikes, but the kids were at the back. Then we stumbled on the Danish Christiania bike. This is the one I have been fantasizing about for the last 6 months - and have finally found out what it is and a local distributor. Have more of a look at www.psbikes.com.au
Saturday, July 5
Through a chance encounter we met up again with Lucie and tonight was her engagement party. It was a great night at her parents place (much more civilized than parties of our past!!) and there were people I hadn't seen for probably close to 15 years - but it feels like yesterday. Emails were exchanged as well as summarized life stories. It seems funny to put so much of your life into a nutshell. (Got married, moved house, had kids - all seems weird)
So to Lucie and Steve I wish them love and happiness in their lives and hope it isn't so long until the next reunion.
Thursday, July 3
- Banking. I have taken the time to look at our accounts and there are lots of charges and fees for things that can be reduced. I have an appointment with them to talk about changing some of these things
- Credit card - simple - pay it off each month. It is a matter of knowing when it is and doing it, not leaving it at the maximum and paying it to buy something else.
- Coffee - learning to love nescafe and tea - from home.
- Stopping daily delivery of the newspaper.
- Saving energy and water - we are watching and limiting our lights and wasting resources
- Never, never, never buy pay full price
- trying to shop at Aldi - but struggling getting my food thrown at me
- I worked today and I took my lunch. Not only was it much nicer, but I saved about $10 from the awful sandwich shop there.
- Taking the time to watch what we do spend our money on and assess whether we need to make each purchase
- We have a saving goal in mind - competition works best for the big squirrel. Once I can get him on board we have a chance of saving.
- Our vegie patch - the idea is to be a little sustainable, however we have had one dwarf carrot from the winter crop. It is growing but slowly.
- Watching wasting petrol just 'driving' and buying petrol on Tuesdays - with dockets
Wednesday, July 2
Is it wrong of me to be looking forward to going to work tomorrow??????????????
I could leave it there and I know you would all agree. I am feeling better after our aeroplane 'crash' but I think it always takes time for these things to really repair. So, I had decided today was going to be a good day- but not so far. I finally hussled all the kids out the door to playgroup. Alexander hadn't been since kinder so it was all going to be a bit weird. The only thing weird was the lack of people - only us and one other family.
So a nice intimate play happened with the twins and her child, and while chatting she tells me the bad news that she and her partner have split up. At least it is all amicable, but the whole thing just sucks. Not a very nice place to be in.
Spencer fell out of a box and they were all getting tired and ratty so we came home. After a lunch of left over turkey, I allowed them a quick play before their sleep. Well, one was in my sewing cabinet undoing cottons at a rate of knots, only to spin around to see the other spreading pins all over the carpet from the pincushion he had swiped. It is hard enough to get time to 'do' anything, let alone have to pack it up all the time.
With the twins tucked into bed and Alexander engrossed in Ratatouille I may sneak some time for some handsewing of Peter Pan - and a minor pin hunt.
Tuesday, July 1
Our new philosophy of Make, Do, Mend should really kick in from today. Some of my goals include ensuring all our food is healthy, watching where our money is going and trying to reduce wastage in general. Things just creep up on you and it is only when you analyze them that you realise how much you can waste. The occasional bought coffee turned into one - two a week and this was on the rise to almost one a day. And it didn't stop at coffee because the cafe became an outing and I needed to buy food for the kids. This added up to hundreds of dollars over the year which could be better spent elsewhere or saved.
We are going well so far....