Monday, November 29, 2010

This book .....

.... is one I can't recommend highly enough.

Although not Buddhist myself, the concepts, ideas and strategies detailed in this wonderful book have enriched my journey through motherhood greatly.

I would recommend it to every mother.

Buddhism for Mothers : A Calm Approach to Caring for Yourself and Your Children - by Sarah Napthali can be found at Amazon Books (which is where I got it from).

Please treat yourself and read this book.

You and your children deserve it.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Someone's a smarty pants.

This was for a Statewide Science test of all Yr 7 students.

To decipher :

The green band on the left is the range of 80% of students achieved, with the arrow being the average.

The dot, that one waaaayyyy up near the top .......

..... well, that's MY boy.

*smug grin*

Fashionable and Fabulous Friday is back

After a small glitch last week resulting in no Fashionable and Fabulous Friday post (I know you were all so disappointed - ha!), things are now back on track.

Today's outfit is totally impractical from a 'work from home, running around after a two year old suburban mum' type perspective.

But hey, you only live once!

See what I mean? Skirt short enough that when I bend down to check the letter box later I need to be careful the neighbours don't see more than they bargained for! Ooooh, I am bad!!

I do love this outfit, as to me the colours are perfect for summer and not least the fact that both items were chosen and bought for me by my darling husband.

The skirt was bought from Marks & Spencer in Hong Kong (Del was feeling homesick for UK shops I think!), after me having had a look around the store and declaring there was nothing I liked, Del had a look and came up with this skirt. And a great blouse to go with it (not pictured this time).

Thanks honey, I love that you have great taste in clothes and don't mind shopping for me!!!

The shirt I'm wearing is a latest acquisition that Del bought for me as a surprise from Fred Perry in the UK. A month or so ago a package arrived from the UK with three Fred Perry shirts - one for Del, one for me and one for Charlie.

I'll try to get a photo soon of Del and Charlie wearing their matching shirts. Can anyone say 'mini- Del'?

As per usual I had my fashion assistant with me every step of the way today.

Hi Charlie!

Now move, mummy wants to pose.

I think I've created a fashion monster. He spends all the time hogging the mirror.

Hey kid, scram. This is my photo time!!!

In this photo Charlie is trying to look at the back of his head in the mirror. Try telling a stubborn two year old that it won't work. It just makes him more determined.

Until he gets distracted by some other interesting thing.

"Oh wow, it's my Thomas!".

They do say that fashion models are fickle.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Vege Patch

From small beginnings just two months ago ......

....we now have this :

I'm simply amazed by how wonderful this experience of growing our own vegetables is.

A bit of water and a bit of love and they thrive.

This is our little froggy garden guardian, who watches over our plants ..... he was made by Corey many years ago when he was a gorgeous little boy (now he's a gorgeous big boy.)

We have cherry tomatoes ripening.

I picked the first three of our tomatoes today and oh my, were they delicious. So sweet and firm, mmmm.

The cucumber is flowering....

.. and already we're having a bumper crop of cucumbers with many more to come.

I can foresee us having many many salads this summer!

This is our Leaning Tower of Asparagus.

I've figured that this asparagus plant is the teenager of our vege patch. It's really not doing anything and can't even be bothered to stand up straight.

The capsicums have finally decided that it's time to flower.

And I must say they have very pretty flowers too.

We have a 'mama watering can' and a 'baby watering can'.

Both get put to good use.

Charlie is an avid gardener, and I often find him filling his watering can from the dogs water bowl.

Great for the plants, not so great for poor Trooper.

We've been loving growing our own vegetables so much, that we want to plant more.

Many more.

I have packets of seeds ready to go and Del went out and obtained this corrugated iron vege-planter. For free!

I'm itching to get the soil in and get planting.

So far we've filled the base with straw and will soon get the soil. Corn, beans, peas, lettuces and herbs will soon fill this planter.

I'm enjoying working in the garden, helping Mother Nature do her thing, and I'm thrilled that my boys know exactly what food looks like in it's natural form, and that it doesn't actually grow on supermarket shelves!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

And it's only November

This is my bedroom :

Which I love. It's my haven, where I can find some peace and quiet in my wonderful, hectic life.

And this :

.... is my side of the bed, closest to the windows, nice and light and airy.

On my bedside table is my lamp to read by, perfumed oil from Dubai, a photo of my husband as a 21 year old soldier in the British army, a photo of the two of us together at the very beginning of our relationship and my box of tarot cards.

In the top drawer are books.

Many, many books.

I like to read, you see.

And if you look a little closer....

.... and lower .....

...what is that we can spy?

Why it's a secret stash of Christmas presents, all wrapped and ready to go!

Yes, I am very happy to say that for the first time EVER, I have finished my Christmas shopping in November. Yay, for me!

I'm just waiting on the last of the online orders to arrive (should be this week sometime) and then that's it. I've never been so organised.

It's a good feeling.

It also means it leaves me free to plan the Christmas / Summer Solstice party that we're having here on Christmas Day.

Hmmm.... party planning and organisation.... I'm in my element there. This is the fun stuff now.

So how's your Christmas shopping/organisation going?

Monday, November 22, 2010

The 'I'm Too Busy to Write So Here Are Some Photos' series

Mondays are Daddy and Charlie time around here.

I'm off to the office for the morning working hard to bring home the bacon, and they get to have some bonding time together....

.... and I think this photo beautifully captures the bond these two have.

It's enough to make a mama/wife's heart melt. *contented sigh*

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Belated Halloween Post

I know this post is a bit late.

Well ok, a LOT late. Every other blogger on earth has done their Halloween post ages ago, done and dusted. But not me...

And although you're all probably focused on Thanksgiving (for my US readers!) and Christmas by now, here's what happened on Halloween in our little part of the world.

Halloween in Australia is not big at all. It's becoming more popular but only because we are more and more influenced by American culture. Trick or treating is slowing gaining popularity, mainly as a means for kids to get extra rations of lollies for no particular reason.

Now being pagan, Halloween, or Samhain (pronounced Sow-en) does have meaning for us. It's a traditional Autumn agricultural, earth based celebration going back to the mists of time (ok maybe that bits a little exaggeration!).

My problem is this - IT'S NOT AUTUMN HERE!

Just because Halloween is celebrated in the Northern Hemisphere in their Autumn, people in the Southern Hemisphere who have no real idea of what they're celebrating follow along just because of the calendar date.

We should be celebrating Springtime.

But being the wonderful mother that I am, I don't want to deprive my kids of the fun of trick or treating for a bag of sugar and additive laden lollies. So we celebrate a modified version of Halloween on the evening of 31 October.

This year the big boys couldn't wait to introduce Charlie to the fun of trick or treating. Even though he was ill, I relented and let them take him out for a short time.

Kaiden as the boy from ET, Charlie as a Magician, and Corey as a skateboarding demon type creature.

At first Charlie wasn't quite sure about this whole dressing up thing.

"I'll sort of smile just to humour you, but I really don't get what this is all about."

"Lollies and treats you say?"

"Ok then, let me just adjust my cape. Let's roll!

I think the older two boys benefited from having a cute little brother along with them, and their stash of good stuff was definitely bigger than last year.

And that's when Charlie realised he was onto a good thing.

Enjoying the spoils, and the subsequent sugar high.

Secretly, even though my older two are getting to be big boys now, I still think they love the fun of getting dressed up.

Not that us adults would ever enjoy anything like that......

Being a sexy witch... please don't laugh!

I had at one point intended to write about the origins of Halloween, and how here in the Southern Hemisphere it's Spring and we celebrate Beltane, but I'm a little over it all now.

But we did celebrate Beltane on 1 November. Halloween = death, followed by Beltane = life. This is how I justify celebrating Halloween out of season, the circle of life, death, life and so on.

Beltane is an old agricultural festival that celebrates the s
tart of summer, the crop, pasturing season and fertility. It's a fun celebration of life.

This year we didn't do much for Beltane, I had wanted to make a mini Maypole for us to dance around and to have a little feast but circumstances conspired against my good intentions. I did decorate my besom (broom) though.

It's my witch's broom that I made recently from twigs gathered from the trees at the park across from our home. I plan to decorate it for each Sabbat (Holy days). I don't have much time to plan out big celebrations for each Sabbat, but I do what I can and in my heart I celebrate it in all it's glory.

Happy belated Beltane/Samhain to you all!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Not again!

Another one of us has been struck down. *sigh*

Yes, Kaiden is unwell, possibly with Glandular Fever. *double sigh*

He's currently fluctuating between wallowing in a mass of messy bedcovers or sitting with x-box controller in hand, relishing spending the day being idle and getting to play xbox uninterrupted for hours on end.

I'm kinda nice like that when my boys are ill.

And as you can probably tell, he's not exactly at death's door.

More kind of wandering down the path of self pity, with an unhealthy dose of sore throat, chills and nausea thrown in.

He had blood tests done earlier today which will tell us if it's GF, though I have all my fingers and some of my toes crossed that it's not.

Given that he has exams next week, and should be spending this time studying English, Science, Maths etc instead of agonising over which accessories to apply to his x-box high speed race car, I will be more than a little suspicious if the blood results come back negative.

Hmmm.... doesn't look too sick to me.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Every little bit counts

I just love this journey we've been on towards living more simply. We are getting there, baby step by baby step. Just a little bit at a time.

I know if I let myself, I would read everything I could get my hands on, in order to research every aspect, make loads of lists of things we could do, another million lists on how to do all those things and then meticulously plan a schedule for when to implement said things.

My OCD side is just itching to do just that.

But NO, baby steps. Little, one at a time baby steps. If I launch myself headlong into it, I know that I'll overdo it and give up all too soon , so it's try the new 'baby step' approach time.

And do you know what? It's working!

Due to living in such a dry country, and given the terribly dry winter we've just had our dam water supplies are at an all time low. It's only just turned into Spring and the government has already introduced water restrictions, we can only use sprinklers once a week at the moment. I predict by summer we won't be able to use the sprinklers at all, and maybe not the hose either. Oh how my poor garden will suffer.

So the latest live more simply / eco move we have made is to keep buckets in the showers to catch the wasted water while we wait for the shower to heat up. We do the same in the kitchen and I could hardly beleive we've been wasting up to 3 buckets of water A DAY. Wow! Also I'm saving the water from Charlie's evening bath to reuse also.

This saved water goes out each morning to the vegetable pot garden to give precious nourishment to my little plants during this warm weather.

There is so many more things we would like to do, but they need time and money, but I'm hopeful that the time will come where we can finally implement many of them. I'll just have to be patient I guess.

Maybe in the mean time I can do just a little research, and maybe just write a short list?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Everyone loves the Zoo, don't they?

A little while ago, Del's parent came to visit for the weekend.

All the boys love a visit from Grandma and Grandad.

Charlie especially loves his Grandad who is not afraid to get down and be silly with him. I could make a comment about being on the same wavelength as a two year old, but I love my Father in Law too much to say that!

When they come to visit we try to get out and do something fun and this time it was a trip to the zoo.

Unfortunately what we didn't realise was how ill Charlie actually was. Just the day before he'd seemed to be perking up so off we went to the zoo.

Little did we know what was to follow.

Weather wise it was the perfect day, sun shining, the animals happily sunning themselves in their enclosures and all that. But Charlie soon got tired.

And grumpy.

And so Mama was tired.

And also grumpy.

But we persevered.

"Look at that giraffe, Charlie. Look, look".

Charlie looks down at the ground and refuses to be bothered to look up at the giraffe.

"Look here's a rhino, Charlie, wow!"

No response but to take a drink and stretch his arms out to me as I was the only one he would let carry him for longer than two minutes.

We trailed around the zoo trying to maintain rapidly failing enthusiasm.

Whose great idea was it to come to the zoo?

Oh yeah. Mine.

The orang utan mother with the little baby tucked under her arm was just gorgeous. Watching her climb the pole with the baby clinging onto her side looked perilous, but I'm sure she knew what she was doing.

Can you see the baby peeking out from under her right arm?

We stopped for a bite to eat in the hopes of lifting morale. It seemed to work, thank goodness.

I think out of everyone, Kaiden and Corey enjoyed themselves the most.

Charlie perked up a bit and played with his Grandad and chased a few errant birds around.

I thought I would try to take a nice photo of my notoriously camera hating husband.

No smiling from him.

I had to be sneaky to get a smiley shot, while he watched Charlie playing.....

Kaiden wanted to then take a photo of Del and I which was a fantatic idea since we don't have many together photos as usually it's one of us taking the shots.

Again, no smiling from Del.

But then when you least expect it, he does this :

I love my crazy husband!

After our little break, we passed the Merry Go Round, which Charlie has seen on tv before but never in real life.

He really wanted to go on it, but we were all ready to leave by this time.

Next time, my darling, I promise!

On the way out, Charlie discovered a new friend. At first he thought it was real, then when he realised it was stone, he proceeded to climb all over it.

Corey watching out for Charlie like a good big brother and making sure he doesn't lose his balance and fall.

And so after a tiring and not so successful outing we headed home.

The end.