Saturday, January 31

Ah hoy there!

Firstly, let me apologise for the quality of these photos. I was actually having too much fun to take them. We were off at a party today that was so much fun. It was a pirate theme and Nay had spent a lot of time making and hiding treasure chests filled with the costumes. Printed t-shirts and headscarfs for the pirates, and mermaid skirts and necklaces for the girls. The food for both the adults and kids was delicous as we lazed around and in the pool in the sunshine.

Friday, January 30

Smock On!

The final thing to get ready for school was an art smock. They had some at school but they all looked a bit generic. There were a few restrictions - thick but not hot, not plastic as they were to be left at school and comfortable. So following their advice, we chose some pirate themed curtain fabric with the rubber back. This was used for the front so the paint wont go through and then poplin on the sleeves and back. Simple elastic in the neck and sleeves and oi la. It is a little on the large size (it fits me!!) so will do the job, right through primary school.

Thursday, January 29

Hide in a cave

It is still so incredibly hot here- another 43 degree day. We are trapped inside with the air conditioning and trying not to kill each other. Today I got a bit creative and we built a cubby inside. Using a fitted sheet over the couch and supported with two chairs this made a great space, and renewed the door to them. They spent ages in there cooking and playing. The other thing I did was bring the scooters inside. While this is normally not allowed, they were racing each other around the kitchen bench and actually getting pretty quick. At least they are using their energy up - the things you do in the heat...speaking of which, we designed a new baby blanket. This one was a special request for a family on a sheep farm and their little boy. I think it came up really well.

Wednesday, January 28

Growing up too fast

Yes -- a rather decorative way to display toilet paper. I like to call this a toilet rose - what do you think? Pretty tragic that this is the only place I get flowers! One of the current obsessions of the twins is the toilet. Benji is intent on toilet training (much to my dismay) and Spencer doesn't want to miss out. We have nappys strewn around the bathroom and fights over who is sitting on the toilet. Benji is actually doing pretty well and when Alexander is off to school and the weather is a bit cooler, we may get serious with it. However I could live without the toilet roses.
Spencers language is progressing very quickly too - not to any prodigee level, just "special" things, like calling me by my first name, and recognising and naming both Ben 10 and Starwars. It all gets in my osmosis, but they are quickly turning into those kids I hate. Not that I hate my kids, but I remember when I first too Alexander to kinder and he had been cocooned from all of those things and didn't understand what the other kids were talking about. These other kids usually had older siblings. Now it is my two little monkeys who will be those kids and while I don't like it, there is really little I can do about it. Maybe I can decrease it a bit when Alexander is off at school?
Finally, speaking of growing up quickly, we got a growth chart for christmas, and once I got around to putting it up I measured Alexander. That was the 12 of Jan, and today I measured him again and he had grown 2 centimeters! I double checked because you would almost see that kind of growth, but he wasn't even on tippytoes. No wonder he's been hungry!!

Tuesday, January 27

Getting closer

(Pic to come, have to get it off mobile!!)
Alexander got to meet some new school friends today when we went to a prep picnic. While it was hot, there was a great attendance. We met some lovely kids and I think it has served to make the experience more exciting. He is looking forward to starting and meeting (and playing with) a lot of new people. The best thing was all of the prep teachers attended. Not only that, but they walked around, met everybody and actually remembered a lot of the kids names from the transition days and special things about them. I thought it was really lovely and I am sure the kids did too. Only one week to go.........

Monday, January 26

Daddy's taking us to the Zoo

On this lovely Australia Day, we went off to the Melbourne Zoo. I have been not too long ago, but this time we made a point to do the Australian section and I can't stress enough how good this is. You walk into a red dirt section and the animals wander around. Not like zoos of old with single animals crammed into concrete cages, these animals roamed like in the wild. The kangaroos sat in the shade while emus searched for lettuce. The wombats were getting fed and we could talk to their keeper and even pat them! This is not how I remember the zoo. Not only were the animals comfortable, but the surrounds were all in keeping, little huts and tunnels - all very interactive and well worth a visit.

Thursday, January 22

What looks like a rockstar..

is certainly not a rockstar. He may have the moves down but the sound certainly needs some work. This was a gift from Nan and Pop - a wholesome electric guitar (complete with mini amp) I am thinking it may need to live at their house - until we get some lessons at least.

Wednesday, January 21

whats that tink?

Tonight we enjoyed a twiglight picnic at Ripponlea estate watching a real pantomine of Peter Pan. It was great set against the beautiful building, and then when we moved to Neverland, using the lagoon as the backdrop. It was a lovely night (once we all got there) and the play was really quite good. It was old school pantomine (you know, behind you!!) and not too scary - which pirates can sometimes be. We all enjoyed it and the boys all ran off together - we went with Two Little Buttons, and had a nice picnic in the shade. I highly recommend it and it is only on until Friday.
After the show the kids had a good run in the large gardens, and we literally had to hose of the little grubs when we got home.

Tuesday, January 20

more space party- food

Food is an important part of any party, and as our was over lunch time, I wanted to make sure they didn't eat a load of junk. There are also some kids with alergies (to egg and dairy) and some fussy ones, so I didn't want anyone to feel left out. Finally, I wanted it to fit within the space theme. So with this in mind I set my menu.
The first was a moon pizza. This was an activity as well. Each child was given a silver tray (shown below) with half and english muffin in it and I put out pizza toppings for each child to make their own pizza - tomato sauce, cheese, pineapple and ham. They enjoyed doing this and usually will eat something they've made. Each was named and put in the over. Once they were sitting at the table, the other food was brought out -
- fairy bread made with dairy free spread and cut into space shapes with cookie cutter
- chips which were dairy free (although the cheese balls were an exception)
- the space melon. I had covered a watermelon with tinfoil and scooped out the inside melon. The lid was also covered in silver. Inside I had used mum's all balling tool to make little balls of honeydew and watermelon as well as cantaloupe.
- Rocket ship dogs - were simply little skinless franks in bake at home rolls.
- for drinks the kids had the choice of pop-tops in apple or apple blackcurrent juice and we refilled them with water - these are great because they save on spills.

The cake was the same as the invitations. Half of this was a basic slab cake that I bought from the supermarket. ( I was sewing there was no time for baking!) The fire is an egg free, dairy free recipe that I found on the internet. This was a great recipe, easy and actually tasty - and a great standby for any time you don't have either eggs or milk and need to do a cake - I'm sure you could also alter it from chocolate.

Dairy Free Egg Free Chocolate cake Recipe
185 g flour
3 tblespoons cocoa
250g sugar
1 tsp bicarb soda
1/2 tsp salt
15 ml white vinegar
90 ml oil
250 ml water
1 tsp vanilla essence

Preheat oven to 180 degrees c. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. Combine liquid ingredients. Add liquid ingredients and stir quickly. Bake for 40 minutes. Cool 10 minutes before turning out of the pan.

Sunday, January 18

Sunday Funday

Its been a long time since we have had a relaxing Sunday as a family. Today we went out for a birthday breakfast for Alexander, followed by a trip to St Kilda. We had a walk along hte beach, a stroll along the market (however this was slightly hampered by little boys who didn't want to walk) and followed by a play in a park. The kids went down easily for sleep and it was a good way to wind down from a busy few weeks.

Saturday, January 17


This is the space ship (with cushions inside) and zero gravity on the trampoline behind.The mighty crew of Alexander 5 in their outfits.
The birthday boy... A bit of a game- tunnel ball with a globe printed ball.
On the trampoline with helium balloons

A great day was had by all - I will do some more posts detailing some of the games and food.

Happy Birthday my little man

Happy Birthday Alexander. My little mate. It is hard to believe you have only been with us for 5 years. To me the time has just flown, but it feels like you have always been part of our family. You are such a sweet boy, with a generous and loving heart. You are always looking outfor, and after, your little brothers, no matter how much they drive you crazy. You talk so much but I really enjoy having a chat with you and love some of the ways you turn a phrase. You love books and reading stories and get engrossed in the fantasy. Most of all, we love you sweetheart and hope that you have a really happy birthday Alexander.

Friday, January 16

The night before...

As you can imagine, it has been a bit hectic around here- getting everything organised for not only the party tomorrow, but also Alexanders actual birthday. The space suits are finally finished, and each is packed in its own named draw string bag. This was a good idea at the start, but I was seriously regretting it today. The idea is they can either pack their clothes in them, or wear them as backpacks at the party - we'll see what happens. Also, another great $2 shop find was plain white caps. I had intended to make astronaut helmets out of paper maiche but even I realise I have already gone over the top as it is. I printed out an additional nasa badge and stuck it to the caps - they are actually really nice caps. I also had to sort out the backyard. We are planning to use the trampoline again, last year it was transformed to a pirate ship, this time zero gravity. I wanted helium balloons inside so we needed to put a roof on top. As we cant predict the weather, I bought some shadecloth from bunnings and Paul attached it with cable ties. As an aside I can recommend this to anyone who has a trampoline with sides- it reduces the heat inside the trampoline but keeps birds and leaves etc out of it - I don't know why we didn't do it earlier. Then my ever crafty brother got to work with the lights from ikea. These are christmas stars that I bought on special in their sale. As the party is during the day, he has wrapped the back of the trampoline in navy lycra that I just had lying around. (dont ask!) This is it at night - how great does it look - shame the party is lunchtime!
The other challenge was the rocket to get into space. With much reluctance, mum brought her tent over, and this was just the right size - and saved us a lot of mucking around trying to build one. Now lets just hope for a fine, not too hot day.

Thursday, January 15

Father and Son

From a dear friend, Alexander received a construction kit which has wood, small nails and a real hammer in it, What better thing to sit and do with your dad. This is still a work in progress..

Wednesday, January 14

Fun and Games

Fun and games has been going on a bit here of late. I don't know whether it is the heat or the full moon but we are all over the shop and my tiredness isn't really helping the situation.
Last night I arranged to go to my brothers to do some logos for the big squirrel. We went to the pub for a quick dinner but ended staying there and doing trivia. It was a really nice impromptu night which made me feel a bit human again. We did actually do the logo stuff, but it was nice to just be me, and eat all of my dinner and not be mum for a couple of hours and worrying about everyone else. BUT and there always is a but, I got home late - and paid the price. Yes, they got up early. First there was a little man cuddling into bed with me, but then another one and I noticed wet stuff on me. Initially I thought it was dribble, but was thrilled to find it was actually foundation. The little 'angels' had been in the bathroom drawers and painted the sink, the toilet, the bath and the floor. I had moved most things but they are just getting into everything at the moment.
Overtired, overheated and generally over it we herded into the car for a pre-arranged trip to Scienceworks with this chick. This is just a great place - there is nothing they cant climb on and everything is there to touch. It was nice to be out and we even managed a fairly calm lunch. The boys all had fun and a great play, we had a lovely catch up and as soon as the twins were in the car they were asleep. So what started as another one of those days it was actually rather lovely and I was pleased we had gone.
Oh, I can also show you the pressie we gave Hugo for his birthday.
And just when you think the change has come, Spencer was a bit quiet and he had climbed up and got my bag and applied a little mascara. I think it really brings out his eyes - dont you?

Monday, January 12

Only a little bit of space..

Im still busy with the space suits for Saturdays party but I thought I would share this great little idea I found. I was looking on google for reference pictures of costumes for the suits and I found the spacestore. That was where I got the idea for the embroidered badges. I was going to buy them but I dont have time for delivery nor do I really want to spend any more money. So what I did was made transfers. I downloaded the image (only for personal use) flipped the image in Powerpoint and printed it onto t-shirt transfer paper (avail at office supply shops) They worked really well and I will either applique or stick (probably the latter!) them on like these great suits. A great little site for reference too!

Sunday, January 11

Happy Birthday Cappies

Today was a family affair as we were celebrating four birthdays which occur over 2 weeks in January. Sarah & Andrew hosted it at the farm and we were spoilt with lovely weather and great hospitality. The boys love it there with so much space they can just run and run and run...til they run out of puff and sleep all the way home.
Happy Birthday to you Capricorns- Sarah, Andrew, Simon and Alexander

Saturday, January 10

Boy oh Boys

I don't know if it is just boys being boys or they are future rockstars but today these boys took it upon themselves to do a bit of couch diving. All the cushions came off and they were throwing themselves off. While Spencer and Alexander were fairly sedate, little Benji was literally throwing himself off. There was no jumping, no line up, no nothing. He would put his hands behind his head and literally fall forward. Even when he fell flat onto the carpet between two cushions, there were no tears and he would get up to have another go. We did have to step in and end the game before 'someone got hurt' but their were tears - mine from laughing.

On a different subject - here is more work in progress for our space party. I have been on the internet searching reference etc and found this great site which has a great array of party ideas.

Friday, January 9

Cut it out

As you know we are having a space themed party for Alexander's 5th birthday and we are getting the preparations underway. Rather than pressure everyone to find appropriate costumes, I am pressuring myself and making one for everyone! I know it sounds stupid, but I got some poplin on special and am making white overalls for 10 kids. So today while the exhausted little boys slept, mum and I cut out 10 space suits with a pattern from an old burda. I also found that i had 10 matching zips that I got dirt cheap from theos. While it takes a bit of time and organisation, it is cheaper than buying the white coveralls and I get to have a bit of fun too.
Speaking of fun, I HAD to go to spotlight to get some silver fabric for backpacks and found their clearance rack. In addition to the silver fabric (yes I did manage to get what I went for) I came home with three additional rolls- one track and field, one of terry towelling and one interlock/lycra of a very alien colour in our house - a pink print. I thought maybe something for me (PJ's) or put it in the stash for future presents.

Thursday, January 8

A school boy?

I bought Alexander's school shoes and socks today, which was the last remaining items for his school uniform. For some reason this was the final piece for him to get excited about starting school. He put the entire uniform on and insisted on wearing it. I am happy that he is excited and really have no problem with him getting it dirty. Really he has another seven years in lovely gold polo shirts, I am sure the excitement will wear off but for now we will enjoy it.

Tuesday, January 6

Let the sunshine in..

Finally a sunny day and even though I wasn't feeling in the mood, I got out the supplies to paint some wrapping paper. Benji got into it, but Spencer wasn't so interested. He was happily jumping on the tramp. (the paper is the roll from ikea)

Monday, January 5

Old fashioned fun

Alexander got some mechanical meccano(sp?) for christmas and who better to help build it with but Phartie (pronounced Farty, a toddler shortening of Grandfather that has unfortunately stuck). They sat together and worked through the instructions to build a great little car.