Wednesday, June 30

Popeye's Birthday

We celebrated Popeye's birthday and our mini half christmas today with a lovely turkey dinner. Having spent the day cleaning and rearranging furniture, not to mention cooking; (I was playing masterchef. I think a good challenge would be to put kids in the kitchen whilst they are doing a challenge!!) I was happy to sit down with the family to celebrate.
This is the way Popeye likes to celebrate - surrounded by his boys. Happy birthday Dad!

Holiday housework

Fun, exercise and cleaning all rolled into a nice little package!
(he was at it for ages - that is our rug and he has a baseball bat)

Tuesday, June 29


Two weeks school holidays - and it begins with a trip to the Doctor for moi. A big dose of pharangitis - which I always thought sounded like a fake illness but effectively tonsilitis sans tonsils. The Dr gave me 2 days off, but these tough employers don't let me rest. While I felt miserable these three little boys wanted and needed entertaining.
Enter colouring books and DVD's. Anything to keep them quiet!
By today the antibiotics have begun their magic and I ventured out to the movies (just me and most of Melbourne!!) We saw Shrek 4 from the front row, luckily not 3D and honestly given the adult nature of the story I was glad not to have wasted the extra money on it.The concept struck a cord with me - you don't know what you've got til its gone, however I feel it was a little high brow for the boys. Still a day out and they had fun and I get to go back to the couch!!

Monday, June 28

Numero Uno

The twins had their first real party today. They get the concept now and were excited to go "without Alexander". Their friend was from Kinder so I was very pleased they were invited and on some level are making friends at kinder.

Their friend is really into his hands - wearing any kinds of gloves and making up stories about them- gardening gloves, skiing gloves and boxing gloves. How could we not give him our first puppet. - well actually our second as we have a prototype where we worked out the bugs!

He loved it.
We did give him two presents - as there were two kids attending the party. I know this is my issue, but I have to do it. It was a little wind up torch which my boys love. Not strickly a childs toy but without the need for batteries and full torch functionality it is great. This way both boys could walk into the party with a gift and they had a lovely time.

Sunday, June 27


I have been a little slack - on the photo front, not on the knitting side. I have actually finished my hat from the weekend away - and made another two! I thought one grey one could be a gift, the other hat is brown speckled and lost somewhere in the house - oh well. Two outa three aint bad! Here are the twins 'modelling' the hats for me. They could hardly wait to get up to have a look!
And here is one (taken by Benji! at the Solstice) of hat on me at work. Could have done with a bit of styling and preparation but here tis.

Saturday, June 26


Today was about Alexander's fortunes - two different types but both with hidden educational value! The first fortune is the paper fortune teller which are easy to make and are great fun. What is the best thing about these little things is all opportunities to learn, while having fun! First there is the folding which is good for fine motor skills and following instructions. Then on the outside we wrote colour names, on the next level was numbers 1 - 8 and on the underside flaps are little sayings or actions. So he got to use his imagination and writing and spelling. Once the fortune teller is complete, playing with it is just as valuable. He is doing different movements with his hands, he is spelling and counting and communicating - all without knowing it!! (An aside, I am already a little sick of it, think we need a new audience!)

A quick how to make it:
Have a square piece of paper and fold it diagonally both ways to find the middle. I put a dot there.
Fold the points into the middle (there should be four points to fold in) and you are left with a smaller square.
Turn your work over and put a dot in the middle. Fold the four points into the middle as you did above to give you an even smaller square.
Next you need to make some creases. I fold it in half both ways on the straight, not diagonal with all the points in the middle of the fold. This just helps with the movement of the fortune teller.
Then if you gently push the points up you can slide your fingers into the open flaps on the outside.
We choose colours for the outside, numbers for the inside and have done activities and also yes no versions.

This is the other fortune, real money. Alexander wants to buy some things so he suggested he could do some chores to earn some money. Together we devised a list of basic tasks that he could do to earn some money. Each task successfully completed earns him 10 cents so he income is only limited by his activity. Tasks include getting dressed all ready, packing his bag, making his bed, cleaning his room, but also setting the table, packing the dishwasher and feeding the dog.
We have a little tick chart where the activities are listed on the side and along the top are the days and each activity gets a tick. He then needs to add up the daily ticks and transfer them to a monetary amount, and add up the weekly total. Then I pay him what he has earned and he delights in counting how much he has earned. He is enjoying it and when he wants something he remembers how to work for it. Not only am I getting jobs done, but the incidental maths is great.

Friday, June 25


can you guess what I am doing? Imagine my floor with this fluff everywhere....................

Thursday, June 24


What started as a bubble activity was quickly transformed by two naked bodies to this....

Tuesday, June 22

clear the air

I had a difficult conversation with an acquatance today. It had been brewing for a while and I had got to breaking point. Really. When an issue is affecting your sleep and your ability to work it just has to be resolved. I probably would have stewed on it a little longer but I had to resolve an issue for someone else.
I made some pre-emptive calls to others to assess the lay of the land, made a list and with sweat beading on my brow, dialled the number....
I am a very emotional person and tend to bottle things up for a long time, and then when I do release the cap, it spews out of me like pandoras box. This did happen, however in a very controlled manner- not because of me mind you!
If I had done this to someone like me, or had it done to me I would have been in tears at the first instance but not this person. Goes to show how different we are and how differently we communication - that is the basis of the problems. However they took everything on board and looked on it as constructive criticism. (!)
Anyway back to me - I have purged and regardless of whether it makes a difference to our dealings, I feel better. So. Much. Better! This huge weight has been lifted and I can also see (some) things in a different light. The person did ask that I say these things when they bother me, and while that is a valid point, I don't think it is in my nature to be regularly confrontational - what will I have to stew over?

Monday, June 21

master chef(s)

After a day trip to the country to visit family, we were all tired and yet needed some entertaining. Popeye's pasta maker has been in our cupboard for a while so I decided to break open the plastic and make pasta.
I haven't done it before - but how easy it is? All the kids had a go and we made fettuccine and they all sat up and emnjoyed it for dinner. There are many possibilities.............

Saturday, June 19

Winter Solstice

To celebrate the solstice we dressed warmly and headed off to the Collingwood Children's farm to watch the bonife - me, the kids and about 5million of our closest mates all with a pram or two! I wasn't expecting so many people and so much mud! We got a magic park and the weather was nice so I thought the gods were shinning on me. The big Squirrel met me later so for a good hour and a half we were confined to the 80 cm of tablecloth fabric I had bought from Ikea to make bags out of. If we moved we lost our spot - and as it was people were still walking all over us so we got our sausage and stayed put. The boys were so good and when we eventually found dad and the boys danced to the beat of the african drums when finally the fire was lit.
As you can see we were well back, but even at this distance this massive fire was hot. I was thinking about those people at the front must be toasting like marshmellows.
So, I was underwhelmed but hte boys had a blast. They got to go out, eat dinner outside and see a fire - so in a way it was a success but I will certainly do it differently next year and have more of a celebration.
(The boys got lightsabres - which the loved)

Friday, June 18

As you wish

With Dad away, I moved the furniture, we got in our pjs as soon as it was dark and had movie night. I h ave been waiting to share my favourite movie with the boys, and since wooden spoons had been flying all day as swords, I knew tongiht was the night.
If you have not seen this movie you have been missing out. It is one of the classics - with dialogue packed with double meaning and the best ever sword fight with Mandy Pitinkin who is brilliant in this.
From a childs point of view there is a happy ending and no one dies - there is a big of blood when from the oversized rodent (oh he died but really an oversized rodent who couldn't be happy about that?) and a very young Fred Savage (early Wonder Years).
When I was looking for a picture to share, I found this website that reminded me of a few other - Flight of the Navigator, Goonies and The Labyrinth. More movie nights!!

Thursday, June 17

to wear

The sewing machine has been collecting a bit of dust lately but it came out today and did some serious work. These are wool leggings - with a bit of width at the bottom so they could be pants - nice and thick that if your bum did show, the pattern on your undies isn't at all visible and nice and thick that they keep said bum warm - unlike jeans.
With a simple pattern (Kwik Sew - you have to ignore the pictures of the stirrup pants although I worry they are heading our direction quickly) and only one piece with elastic at the waist, mum and I whipped up 2 pair each in black and grey. I put them on in time for school pickup!

Sunday, June 13

To market- Sunday Funday

We packed the kids up in the car today and went to the Mornington Market. Its been a long time since we have been to one of their markets and were really pleasantly surprised today. We had fun walking around both the market and the the actual racecourse and we even came home with some goodies!
I got name puzzles for the twins - so rare to actually find Spencer that I had to buy it! It is a good opportunity for us to work on letters, colours and ultimately how to spell their names.
The cookie cutters are actually babushka dolls (not bowling pins like the big squirrel thought!) They are Australian made and had a huge range of different shapes These are on page 5 of misc, but they have a huge range and also make to order. The others that tempted me were the transport set and the dinosaur set. The other weird looking thing that we bought is shown here in use: They are a set of eyes that slip over your fingers to make your hand into a puppet. The man who sold them to us (no idea how to contact him...) had a glove with some wool sewn to it as hair but it works just as well on your hand. One of those simple little things that if you had it in your handbag it could entertain for hours, as to does this....

Mr Moppit as he has been named. For $30 he has movable mouth and stuffed arms. The kids were getting ratty in the car on the way home - I slipped him on and started chatting and they were transfixed. They had total belief that they were actually talking to him - even though they knew it was me (no ventriliquism here folks!)
We had a calm and relaxing day wandering and collective inspiration as well as tasting and chatting. A lovely Sunday Funday!

Where have I been?

About 1992 - well thats what it feels like without a computer. I unwittingly let a virus into my laptop, one of those 'antivirus' ones and I couldn't get past it. I reduced my pc usage and started using the 'old' computer until that too began to show signs of bugs.
Off to the local computer man, who could fix the old one - but the main computer is still in computer hospital - awaiting a transplant. However what I thought was my "good" computer is actually pretty old and to date there doesn't seem to be a compatible donor so it may be off to computer heaven. Luckily the doctor managed to save its soul.
So I feel like I am on the LOST island and have been transported back to the early 90's. No computer and the fashion is eerily similar - I just have more wrinkles (& 3 kids!). I have been slogging away with my other work - and handwriting invoices with paper duplicates. (Of course now the carbon is in the paper, sooo modern)
It is amazing how much society relies on the internet. I felt lost without my daily internet fix, but also things like checking if a transaction has gone through, or a simple email. Not to mention the companies that assume you have internet. At the same time as computer meltdown, I was reorganising my connections and kept being redirected to websites. No one is able to talk to you anymore - even if they have the website infront of them!
As I come back to the naughties - on a computer from the last century - things are a little slower but I will try to up date you as we go.
I'vr missed you!

Cool Stuff - Cards

How cute are these cards? I am not normally big on cards, usually we make our own but I found this great little shop in Carnegie called "Little Shop Of" which is all handmade stuff from local artists and I couldn't go home without these.
You may not be able to see in the photo, but the faces and the boys ball and record are all badges. The cards are only little - 10.5x7.5cm but I really love the cool boys cards and they are blank inside. Here is the link for the makers etsy shop - Enjoy.

Tuesday, June 8


A quiet Tuesday with carrot cake and wooden puzzles to avoid the rainy weather.

Monday, June 7


You know sometimes you have those pivitol moments where you can actuall see progress? Well I had one of those days today.
Firstly my diet. I am having a bit of a love hate relationship with that but sticking to it all the same. My hate is very clearly aimed at my scales which while they are going down, not really at the rate I would like - however I am loving my friend the tape measure! After 4 weeks I have only lost 3 kilos (the same three that came on with the new scales!) The diet promised 5 kilos in the first 11 days, but I know that is unrealistic. However the tape measure has been the real surprise. I am not as tempted to measure myself everyday as I am to weigh, but when I did measure I found I had lost over 4 cm on my waist, nearly 6 off my abdomen and 2cm of each thigh. Really I am happy that I don't walk around with one of those biggest loser tshirt announcing my weight but am happy that I actually measure thinner. That helps justify my loss of bread and overdosing on eggs and tuna! (but not together)
Aside from me there are two little boys who are also making progress. Benji and Spencer today showed how much they had grown. We had swimming lessons this morning and they sat poolside in their incredible bathers, complete with hat and goggles waiting for their turn. Then like little angels, they followed instructions even going under the water! Such a huge change from last term when Benji wouldn't even go near the water.
We followed that up with kinder duty. This is hard work, but also a great insight. It is great to mix with the kids who are their friends and to sit back and see how they interact with the group. They really did just get on with it and were a lot more individual and into it than I thought. Both were busy producing artwork and playing and interacting - it was what I needed to see.
I don't know if it is second children or twins or a combination of both - but they have had such a different infancy to Alexander and they are different as a result. It is hard not to compare the them to him, but also hard to compare them as it is really hard to remember exactly what Alexander could and couldn't do at the same age. At 3 I thought he was so big, but at the same age I think Benji and Spencer are still so little.
All in all a good day - time for the couch with a cuppa!

Sunday, June 6

One rainbow...

We were very thankful to be invited to THE RAINBOW PARTY OF THE YEAR! I of course have absolutely zero photos to show you of the amazing job that Jo did setting up this party. Check them out here and here. Seriously that cake was a-mazing! (and yummy!)

I stayed in theme making this rainbow bag as wrapping for a little dress I bought (can't help myself, I love shopping in the little girls section)
One of 'rainbow's' gifts was a fantabulous bubble machine. This entertained and amused all of the kids for ages.
Jo thanks for a great day - we all really had a lovely time. ;-) and I forgot to tell you we saw a massive brilliant bright rainbow in the grey sky as we drove home.

Saturday, June 5


The embroidery machine was dusted off for a couple of baby blankets for clients. This is an alteration of a previous design and not my usual one, but I am really pleased with the outcome- and quietly pleased to have it done!)

Wednesday, June 2

Play Dough

Further along my quest for a quieter and calmer existance, we made play dough today and I also learned a great trick- you dont actually have to cook cooked play dough!
I know it sounds stupid, but instead of cooking it you use boiling water and that activates everything and it isn't sticky and seems to last well too.
Here is the recipe: (and you can reduce the proportions)
2 cups plain flour
4 tbls Cream of Tartar
2 tbls Cooking Oil
1 cup Salt
Food Colouring
2 Cups Boiling Water
I simply mixed the dry ingredients and found that the colour was better if I added it to the boiling water. Then you simply add the water to the dry ingredients and mix. I found it best to then flour the bench and kneed it until it was the right consistency.
I made 4 colours in 1 cup of flour batches which was a nice size and we all had fun....