Monday, 21 September 2009


Yesterday we enjoyed celebrating Daisy's 3rd birthday, her actual birthday is today and we didn't want to confuse her, so we just pretended that yesterday was her birthday ~ because really, when you're three, if there's no party then truly, it can't be a birthday. right?

So yesterday it was. She awoke to find the lovely Lola hanging out in the corner of our bedroom, and then got to have many joy-rides around the house. That will be the only time, I assure you, once Lola was taking outside that was the end of any inside cycling around here.


Some of you may know that Daisy was supposed to get a beautiful Bamboletta doll for her birthday, I've had it for months, still in the beautiful package that she arrived in ~ but the doll, well she's really special, and quite expensive, and Daisy is going through a bit of a distructive stage... if she gets over-tired, watch out! and I just couldn't bare the thought of the doll being damaged, so Lola was it.... and I think a much more appropriate gift for our energetic and independent Daisy.

riding again

As for her party, well that ended up being quite a pretty princessy sort of affair. I decided late in the piece that I didn't have the energy to make a cake for Dais this year... especially because she didn't really LOVE! any of the cakes in the 'book' ~ so instead we bought a chocolate mud-cake from the cheesecake shop, and I decorated it to look like a fairy garden. It was enough, and the birthday girl was quite pleased with the fairies and flowers.

cheats birthday cake yay for fairy garden cakes (and candles)

presents auntie princess

and of course she got to wear her princess party dress....

waiting for her party to begin

this is her all 'frocked up' and waiting for the party guests to arrive. Waiting is really hard when you're 3, and she fluctuated between telling me all of the guests that were coming, to telling me that she didn't want a party anymore ~ but the prospect of Grand-pa not coming, well she soon changed her mind and wanted her party again.

We all had a fabulous time ~ happy birthday Daisy, my punky, spunky, sparky, well balanced middle child. I love you. lots!

Friday, 18 September 2009

friday sewing

princess dress

more pictures here and here.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

splashing in puddles

splashing in puddles

He was having so much fun that I didn't have the heart to make him come inside.

Half an hour later they were standing at the back door shivering and complaining that they were c-cc-c-cc-c-cold... so we ran a special 'day time bath' and they enjoyed another half-hour of splashing and playing in the warm water.

Wednesday, 16 September 2009



always be careful what you wish for... because your wishes might come true.

lately i seem to be wishing for a tidy house. a lot.

i'm not sure what my babes wish for, but i certainly won't be surprised if dandelion flowers start appearing in my car.

it seems that every time i buckle them in, they are blowing on a wish.

Monday, 14 September 2009

magical meron and the rock chick

rock chick

This last term I have really struggled to get to play-group, so today I was hell-bent on getting there for the last session of the term. Around noon I asked Daisy if she would like to go to play-group?... she looked at me {with stars in her eyes, I swear} and said {in a very 'breathy' voice}~ "oh yes mama, playgroup, i love meron" she then turns to Angus "we go to playgroup, meron's at play-group. we love meron" ~ then they both got changed ready to go out without any mucking around {which is very unusual}, all because they had the chance to see meron {our magical play-group leader}.

So quick smart we were all in the car {again without any mucking around or tantrums on there part} and swiftly away... when I turned my car into the play-group car park I knew instantly that something was not right; there was not another car in sight. I parked my car anyway, and turned to the kids and said "uh oh, I don't think that there is any play-group on today. let me just go in and see". Sure enough there was no one inside, obviously term was over and I hadn't realised {*insert moon slap here*}

So I got back to the car and very somberly told Angus and Daisy "I am so sorry but Meron is not here today, there is no play-group today" ~ while I am thinking, I can't just turn around and go home, not after we managed to get out the door!... so the next best thing? Nanna's house of course {which both kids were more than happy to do in lieu of playgroup}

While we were there, Daisy disappeared for while and when I went to investigate I found that she had closed herself in the bathroom and had applied this beautiful make-up ~ rock chick style! ... a fitting alternative I feel.

Friday, 11 September 2009

the void within*

the void within

"Your treasure house is within; it contains all you'll ever need." -Hui-Hai

At the start of this week Cam and I started our journey to change our eating habits {some would call it a 'diet', especially because we are mostly doing the weight watchers points program, but really that program is just the one that made the most nutritional sense to us} and do you know what I discovered this week? I discovered that I have been using food as my friend; each time I reached for food and stopped myself I had to confront what need in me I was trying to comfort.

As the week went on it became quite apparent that each time I reached I was feeling lonely ~ sometimes I was feeling bored, sometimes dissatisfied with my situation in that moment, but mostly I was feeling lonely.

Over the last few weeks I have been quite caught up in getting Mia to feed right ~ a few weeks ago we visited the maternal nurse and discovered that Mia was not putting on enough weight. This discovery set us on a different course ~ Mia's sleeping started to deteriorate, she went from sleeping through the night, to waking every couple of hours, being more unsettled, and not wanting to feed on one side at all. After our first visit to the chiropractor we enjoyed 24 hours of better feeding then something changed and we were back to square one. I spent all of the following week, other than necessary outings like kinder drop-off and food shopping, at home ~ because the only way that Mia would feed on one side, was for me to lay down to feed her. That in itself was no problem, but it certainly curtailed any social activities, and introduced a certain level of stress as Angus or Daisy often felt the need to jump on me while I was trying to feed; so over the last few weeks I have been home a lot, and I've been getting less sleep, and I've been worrying a lot more. I have also been yelling a lot more, and therefore so have my kids... 

I will say that now that Mia's neck has been 'fixed' we are enjoying better feeding, sleeping and we should be able to get out and about a little more, so I am not feeling as isolated ~ however, this week, with my emotional crutch removed, I've had a tough week ~ and it's been surprising to me to discover the 'big void' inside that I have been filling with food...

I am very interested to see how this change manifests over the coming weeks. Will I discover new strength within' when I can't comfort myself by eating? will I find other ways to nourish myself? or will I discover some things that I could never have predicted? I don't know, but I am trying to be kind to myself while I find a new balance. 

* I am just 'testing' writing more real stuff on my blog, sort of a variation on the in:out theme ~ to hide the mess I zoom in on my photos ~ to show the mess I pan out... however this is the opposite ~ when I only show the outside everything seems, well nice really ~ but what happens when I show the inside?... in:out ... out:in {and after all that, I may just delete this post tomorrow?}

Thursday, 10 September 2009


Last weekend we had family over for a sunday night roast, a multilayered celebration really, my Mum's birthday {Happy Birthday Mum!} and fathers day for both my Dad and Cam... it was a really lovely evening. 

Before everyone arrived, Cam was taking a hot pan from the oven with our very old, and very 'holey' oven mitt ~ and mentioned how it was sort of 'risky'... I laughed because I don't know how many times now I have put on the oven mit, taken something hot from the oven, only to realise that one of my finders had popped through one of the holes. Sort of defeats the purpose of wearing an oven mit really.

So last night I found myself in a bit of a sewing frenzy, part cathartic endeavour, and part practical ~ and I made this oven mitt.

scrappy mitt

I find it quite horrid to look at, but the process itself was fun; and that, my friends, is exactly why I sat down to sew.

I upended my scrap bag and pulled out some of the larger scraps {most were left over from Daisy's birthday bunting - hence all the 'pointy' bits} and then I sewed them together into a random piece work. From there I just folded the fabric double, lay our old oven mitt on top, traced around it allowing for a 2cm seam allowance, and made myself a new mitt.

It got a little late, and I got a little lazy, so the binding is pretty awful, but I just couldn't bear the thought of another half-finished project laying around, so near enough was 'good enough'.

Cam assures me that he likes it!

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

and over she goes

i could look into those eyes for eternity

first roll

I don't have many words again today, my head is a swirl and I am feeling the weight of many things upon my shoulders. However I didn't want to let this beautiful milestone pass without some acknowledgement ~ Mia is rolling! it totally freaks Daisy out though, she is convinced that Mia is 'falling' not rolling {to take these photo's I had to hold Daisy on my lap and shoot over her shoulder}

It won't be long now and I think Miss Mia {otherwise known as mimi-boo} will be mobile...

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

seriously looking forward to my birthday this year

44 sleeps to go...

Monday, 7 September 2009

husband hat 2009

With all of the knitting that I've been doing this season it seemed reasonable to me that I would knit Cam a winter hat. I've not made him anything to date, and I've been the recipient of enough 'help' to free up my time to 'make' over the last few years that I thought it only right that he receive a piece of handmade goodness too.

So a while back, after much perusing of, and a little discussion of what he wanted, I cast on the Armando Hat. I must confess that it was the pattern that first attracted me, those little bits of diagonal yarn? I was intrigued. After one failed attempt on a set of DPN's {there are too many yarn overs in this pattern to even contemplate using DPN's} I made the time to visit my yarn store again for a pair of circulars, from then on this little project has lived in my knitting hand bag and been added to at every opportunity.

It didn't take me long to realise that I had mucked up the pattern repeat {an extra stitch was to blame!} but it didn't really matter, as the colour and texture of the yarn seemed to be hiding a multitude of sins anyway. The yarn, by the way, is the Silkroad Aran Tweed by Jo Sharp, the first tweed that I have knitted with, and one that I found to be quite 'wintery' ~ being thick and interesting in its own 'nubbly' way.

After a couple of queries from Cam as to the hats progress, I decided to focus on it for a while and finish it before winter was over. Eventually, one day while Cam was at work, I decided that it seemed quite long enough {all without even measuring it against his head} and finished it up. Um, well that proved to be a little mistake on my part, and when I presented it to my 'lucky' husband later that evening I was shocked to discover that it was much too short, and looked quite ridiculous on him.

Luckily for me, there are some smaller heads that reside in my home who are more than happy to have 'dad's hat' added to their growing 'hat collection' ~ so our new hat is now living in the 'hat basket' to be grabbed and worn as they head out the door.... 

armados hat

... and I, well I can look forward to having another attempt at a 'husband hat' next year.

Friday, 4 September 2009

giving you the skinny*

{gratuitous Mia photo ~ unrelated to post}

I have had a crazy day! it all started fairly normal, kids at the kitchen counter happily plastering choc chips over more cookies {I start my diet next week...} then once Cam left for work we made a batch of pancakes for breakfast, did some household chores, they watched playschool, then we headed off for kinder drop off.

I backed up the driveway and took off down the road and I heard that noise ~ whump, whump, whump, whump, whump ~ "no, it can't be a flat tire, maybe it's just road noise" I told myself, "I'll keep going and see if it is still doing it on the nice new road up ahead". Sure enough it was, but we were half way to kinder and I figured that driving the rest of the way would probably do no harm, and then at least I was somewhere that I could comfortably wait for the RACV while Angus was at kinder.

When we arrived I parked and checked my tires, sure enough my front tire was flat. So with a very skinny mobile balanced between my ear and shoulder I rang the roadside assistance line, while wriggling into the baby bjorn and getting Mia in it, then got both kids out the car and heading towards kinder when the operator finally answered. I gave her my rego and... pause... then she says "according to our records you didn't pay your membership and it has lapsed"... "what!!!!" say I "I always pay my bills!!!!" after querying which address the bill was sent to, she offered to put me through to the payment department where I could pay it over the phone... well that was all well and good, but due to my very precise money management this week, I didn't have enough funds in the account to pay it. Thank-you I said, but no thanks... and hung up.

By the time we entered the kinder foyer I probably looked like a storm cloud and was nearly in tears... bless Angus who just disappeared into kinder without a backwards glance, and bless one of the kinder Mum's who suggested that I drive to the servo around the corner where the mechanic could fix my wheel. Which is exactly what I did, although he couldn't fix it on the spot, he put my spare on and sent me on my way.

My next stop was Neco to pick up a little gift for my sisters house-warming present, and I figured that it would probably be ok for me to drive that far, it was unlikely that I would get two flats in one day, so off we went. When we got there I got Mia out of the car again, and strapped her into the baby bjorn, again, and Daisy, Mia and I walked through the Neco door, we got about five steps when Mia started retching, and then vomited all over us. So an about turn and back out to the car where we liberated ourselves from the baby bjorn and sopped up the sick as best we could. By this stage I was thinking, I am really not meant to go to shopping today!... but we headed back in and quickly got our stuff and headed home.

Thankfully kinder pick up was uneventful, but when we got home both Angus & Daisy were very tired and grumpy so I put them both down for sleeps. Unfortunately all of my kids were asleep when it was time to leave to pick up my tire, but I could not put it off any longer, so I put Mia in the car {and she woke up and proceeded to cry}, woke Daisy up and carried her out to the can in her pj's and blanket, then woke up Angus and carried him out there as well. Did I mention that it was raining for all of this? ... well it was, and by the time I got myself in the car as well it was hailing {oh the joy!} so off we trundle back to the mechanic, all the while me silently hoping that the car doesn't break down, because I've got all these pajama clad kids in the car, and it's raining, and I've forgotten my mobile phone. Again I am thankful that our trip was uneventful, we picked up our fixed tire {with big puncturing screw now removed} and headed on home.

At least the kids were no longer tired, but two were crazy, running around, yelling, over it, crazy ~ and the littlest one was over-tired and had wind, so I spent the rest of my day trying to settle and comfort her... the scrambled eggs and toast that Cam made for dinner was just what the doctor ordered, and I for one will be very glad to crawl under my covers tonight for hopefully a good nights sleep.

Thanks for 'listening' and I hope that we all have a peaceful weekend.

Jo x

"The skinny" does indeed mean "the straight story" or, more precisely, "the inside story, the real truth."

Thursday, 3 September 2009

holding some over


I love biscuits, but I have absolutely no will power, not one shred... so, making lots and lots of chocolate chip biscuits in one batch is not a great idea for me right now. Instead I came across*  this clever biscuit base recipe, which you can make in bulk, divide into portions for freezing, then make up a quick batch of biscuits when needed.

The recipe I used was ::

500g butter
1 cup sugar
1 tin condensed milk
5 cups of self raising flour

cream butter and sugar, add condensed milk and flour, mix together then lightly knead to form the dough. divide into portions {i divided into 6 portions} roll into logs, wrap in cling wrap and freeze.

Then it is just an easy step of taking your dough out of the freezer and thawing, cut into slices and lay them on your baking tray, place decorations on top ~ I made chocolate chip cookies, but you could just as easily add 100s & 1000s, crushed peanuts, m&m's, whatever takes your fancy really.

Bake in a moderate oven until biscuits are golden then cool on a wire rack.

freezer biscuits

ready to bake

chocolate chips

* found via planning with kids, but after speaking to jules it turns that there is a very similar recipe on the back of the nestle chocolate chip packet too.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009


I don't have a very good 'gardening track record', so when Angus came home with a lovingly decorated pot containing a daffodil bulb early this term {or last term? I can't remember} and a note explaining how important it was to provide links between kinder and home, and how it would be great for Angus to take the {donated} daffodil back into kinder for show-and-tell once it had bloomed {not to mention the flag that was sticking out of it reminding us to water it} I did what all good kinder mummy's {with too much on her plate} do, and shoved it somewhere to deal with later.

and then I forgot about it.

About a month later I found it and sat it on the table out the back where mother nature could look after it for us, you know a sprinkle of rain every now and then, some sunrays to work their magic.

After a while I noticed various kids toting their happy, blossomed daffidils into kinder, all looking as proud as punch.

I assumed that our daffodil bulb was dead, but as Angus hadn't mentioned it I decided to stay quiet as well.

It didn't take him long to realise that our daffodil wasn't 'blooming' though, and instead of nicking a bloomed one out of someone's yard {yes, shameful I know, but the thought really did pass through my head... to my credit I did dismiss it because nicking someone elses stuff is wrong!} I started to explain to him that we hadn't looked after ours properly, and because of that ours wasn't going to grow this year ~ I softened the blow by telling him that we could grow one next year {and vowed to myself that I would be a better caretaker of the bulb next time round}. However, he has been quite adamant that his bulb would grow.

For the last few days he has been checking his bulb and talking about his daffodil; imagine my surprise when today I realised that the hardy thing has actually sprouted! a month later than everyone elses {probably because we didn't water it for the first month} but sprouted nonetheless. 


Now to wait and see if it will actually flower?

Tuesday, 1 September 2009


drawing displayed

We do a lot of drawing around these parts, and for the most part that is all that it is, drawing. A wonderful, creative pursuit used to ensure that they are quiet(ish) and out of mischief, while I hustle to get something else done, stopping by once in while to offer some feedback, compliments, or suggestions.

I will admit that most of their drawings end up in the recycling bin, possibly after being folded up into 'presents', or cut in a zillion pieces, or even in original condition {of course only after they have been displayed for a sufficient period of time on the fridge}. However every now and then a piece is created that I just adore, and it usually takes me by surprise ~ it usually reveals some new skill that they have developed such as joining the ends to make 'circles', or the addition of facial features, or possibly the first ever 'square'.

This morning Angus presented me with a picture of Grandpa's tractor {as Angus is very 'into' such things} and it was one of those pictures {when did he learn to colour in?}; little did we know at the time but it was also a premonition as to what our day would hold...

grandpa's tractor

Later, as I made a concerted effort to get outside and enjoy some r&r {which involved sitting in the sun enjoying the latest offering from Amanda Soule} I noticed that they were playing with the junk 'good stuff' down next to the fence, I also noticed the big tractor chassis that was sitting there covered with junk 'good stuff', and it occurred to me that they would probably enjoy climbing all over it, 'fixing' and 'driving' it {and whatever other adventures they come up with}... 

I still have very fond memories of sitting in a clapped out FJ Holden Ute that used to sit beside my uncles house, we would be caught up in such a magical world involving many adventures, and imaginary trips that we would be driving too, not to mention how much pretend tooting of the horn {while tapping the high beam button on and off with our feet}, and steering of the steering wheel. Such simple pleasure, but such a lovely time we had.

So I went and cleaned all the stuff off the tractor {with Angus trailing along behind me as I dragged rather large tree limbs down the hill 'chittering' away about what a wonderful adventure we were having} and they proceeded to spend the rest of the morning playing on the old girl.

the old girl :: with stuff removed