Thursday, 24 February 2011

change

silly

Wow, sort of left this space hangin' a bit there... so Angus' first week of school went brilliantly. He got up each morning, had his breakfast, then got into his school uniform {and waited} until we could take him there. Drop offs have been easy, he rolls through the motions and happily joins in with his class. Couldn't be easier, really.

I pick him up at home time, and he's content with his day, no grievances being aired. Him and Daisy play nicely for about, say, thirty seconds. Then we're back to niggly normal by the time we get to the car. He comes home and finishes anything that still remains in his snack box or lunch box, while I lean against the bench {just like my mum did} and read or fill out any notices that have come home with him. Then we sit together for ten minutes while he does his reader. The school part's been a breeze.

It's the bit in between that I'm struggling with.

The first week, on the Tuesday and Friday, Daisy doesn't have kinder so it's me and the girls at home; we buzz around and get Angus off the school, then we get home and just look at each other. What now?... Daisy was really grumpy, clingy, and quite lost that first week. I didn't cope will with being the Angus-stand-in, but I also couldn't find any motivation to do my stuff either, so the house was messy, projects at a stand-still, lots of yelling, and clinging, and crying. So much fun, not.

I actually got off my butt and started to look into 'what now'. You know that reality that comes crashing down as your kids start to reach school age, and you realise that you're not going to be their 'complete world' for much longer, and your life completely revolves around them. Sometimes it can be very confronting for me. So the words "what now?" spent a lot of time spinning around my head that week.

This week has been better, and worse. Angus has missed two days of school this week, on top of the Wednesday that they have off anyway. He vomited {in my car!!} on Monday and stayed home, then this morning he was crook in the tummy, so stayed home again. So it's been one of those weeks were most extra-curricular activity has been curtailed. These walls are a-starting to close in on me.

On the up side, Cam agreed that I need just a little me time each day {something that is VERY hard to get} so for the last two days he has walked in the door and taken over dinner duties, while I go and work up a sweat on the treadmill. On. My. Own. ~ bring on those endorphins, I say. Hopefully a bit more of that and my mental outlook will be on the improve.

Next week is looking just as crazy, as Cam is heading off to a fancy overseas destination for work... so needless to say, I'm feeling just a little sorry for myself, that my employer can't afford to send me on a seven day junket to an exotic location.

So that's it. It's gotta get better from here right?... change is just hard.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

first day of school

our first school child

We're here, after a rather over-excited morning {the kids, not us} we dropped him off for his first day of school...

He woke up this morning and ate a good breakfast, just like I had told him he would need to, then he got into his school uniform {that was put away in it's place in his cupboard, there was no laying it out ready} without any help, he just went to his room and got dressed. Two hours before we were due to leave the house.

There was much asking if it were time to leave yet, and how much longer, and when are you going to pack my lunch... so eventually after I had my shower and got dressed {a little bit fancy, you know, gotta be in the photo's and all} I packed his lunch and snack box, and showed him where everything was. Then he took his boxes and slid them into their spots in his school bag.


When it was finally time to go, he picked up his school bag and slung it onto his back, made his way out to the car and got in. No whining, no nerves, just ready to go to school.

We got there with plenty to spare, and made our way to the classroom {stopping while another Mum took our family photo... sweet!}

We had a 'moment' on the precipice of entering the classroom, where Angus froze up a little {pretty much every kid was already in the room, and it was a little overwhelming} but with a teeny-tiny bit of coaxing, we made our way into the 'bag room' and found his name, deposited his bag and took out his art smock, library bag, and box of tissues {apparently preps use a lot of tissues} then we put his stuff where required and went and sat him down at his chair.

settled in

He seemed to be doing okay, so I said goodbye, and reminded him that I would be there to pick him up after school. His Daddy said goodbye, and Angus' little arms snaked up and gave him a big hug {and yes, the tears welled in my eyes a little bit here}

saying goodbye

and we made our way out of the room. Leaving our big school kid to enjoy his first day*.

I think I'm okay.

* and I've only just realised that I forgot to pack some {spare} clothes in his bag, so hopefully he's okay too.


Wednesday, 9 February 2011

grown-up chocolate chip biscuits

grown-up choc chip biscuits

I was going to write about the {really quite} fascinating ant farm that Angus got for christmas, and populated on the weekend {the one that I was very dubious about having in my house} but the inhabitants seem to be having a confused dilemma on whether to survive or not... so, considering that it's not all "wow's" and recommendations, I'm going to save that one until we see how it pans out.

Instead, I'm going to share the. most. amazing. {grown-up} chocolate chip cookie recipe love!

I was introduced to these cookies, and the gorgeous trotski-ash website by the beautiful Bianca from Sadie & Lance fame {who I had the pleasure of meeting at sewjourn a while back}... and at the time I made a mental bookmark to make these myself.

I opted to impress my friends, so I pulled out all the stops, they were made with Demerara sugar, maldon sea salt, and Lindt 70% chocolate. Need I say more?

for sharing with friends

I made one batch for a play-date in the morning, and then another batch for knitting* last night... then there is a heap of dough in the fridge for freezing for later.

All I can say is, do it! These are the most sophisticated ccb's that I have ever eaten, the dough is sweet and syruppy {flavoured}, the chocolate not so sweet, and the salt that is sprinkled on top is the perfect end note to each mouthful. Bliss. Truly.

You can find the recipe right here.

* when I say 'knitting' I actually mean sewing, talking, teaching, blog surfing, and magazine/cookbook reading... just so you know.

Monday, 7 February 2011

First Day

4/5 Kinder - First Day

First day back at kinder for this year, she was totally underwhelmed, although I did convince her to turn around and look at the camera for me. Eventually.

Just a short session for her today, with only half the class... I'm sure that once she gets used to her teacher, has made new friends, and re-aquainted herself with last years friends, then her enthusiasm for kinder will return.

Interview with Prep Teacher...

While his sister was at kinder, Angus was busy have his interview with his prep teacher {doesn't he look so grown up}... the big day is Thursday, and I'm not sure if he's excited about the school part, or just the 'school uniform' part.

Friday, 4 February 2011

[twenty] months

sisters

I can't believe you're twenty months, I thought for a week there that you were twenty-one [months] but then I realised that it was still another four months until your birthday, so I got out my fingers and had another count. So twenty months it is.

That's the thing with you as my third child, I love and adore you, but the details?... sometimes things get missed {like daytime sleeps, immunisations, gift ideas} but it's ok, you seem to be coping just fine.

nose

Getting away this Summer and spending time with your 'extended' family {Nanna, Grandpa, Aunty R} and Daddy, seemed to do you the world of good. You always had someone to ask for a cuddle, or to push you on the swing, or feed you biccies and dip, or teach you new words {your new favourite game}.

All of a sudden you have so many words, it's like your mouth just figured out how to make all of those sounds, and you've been listening for so long and now you can try them all out... many times a day you point to your various body parts and tell me, nose, eye, hair, ear, {knashes teeth together}. You know where your hands are, knees, legs, feet, fingers, bottom and tummy. You can say wring {for the ring on my finger}, Dink {drink}, bix, max, pa pa {grandpa} and so many more. Won't be long until your talking at me too.

glitter alphabet

Now that we're home again, you get left to your own devices a little more {'cause it's a bit safer here at home} and I often find you sitting quietly entertaining yourself, sometimes a book {this glitter one was Daisy's favourite when she was little too} or tucked away in the bigger kids room playing with cars or dolls. Sometimes I just sneak my head around the door and watch you, then sneak away with you none-the-wiser.

swinging

Not one to be solitary though, you are usually trying to mash yourself right into the middle of whatever the bigger kids are doing, and you are usually successful. They are very patient with you, and you really do think that you are three {not one} keeping up with their climbing, or building {if they don't like you playing then they just pick you up and place you elsewhere, something that you find quite rude}. Mostly, they seem to just accept you as a part of the pack, and just accept that you are a part of it with them.

Angus, particularly, still loves to make you laugh, whether it be with funny faces, or peek-a-boo games, you give him endless opportunities by obliging with your easy grin and your funny ways. Daisy still likes to look after you, and will try to end to get a hairclip to stick in your barely-there-hair, or beg me to put a 'whale-spout' in the top of your hair.

Me, I just love having you with me {hence a very late withdrawal from childcare this year} and I'm very looking forward to having some 'us' time this year...

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

In the garden :: Part 3 - Tomatoes

out. of. control.

As to be expected I guess, my tomatoes were out. of. control. upon my return. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that in my absence my Uncle had built a new net over the garden bed {how lucky am I?}; much better than the one that I'd done originally. It is also very, very high... even so, it's possibly not high enough to completely contain these ginormous tomato plants.

I'm not sure that you can tell from the picture above, but there was so much foliage and the stems were all over the place, falling down, or growing up another plant. I knew that it needed cutting back, but where? and what should I sacrifice.

I spent a couple of hours in there, cutting, tying, trying to untangle it without damaging the plant too much. I swear I had 'tomato stress'; was I cutting the right bits, was a trashing the whole plant, was I cutting enough.

looking promising

When I finally lay down to sleep that first night all I could see was tomato stems, and that middle growth that you're supposed to pinch out {or in the case of overgrown tomatoes, cut out with the secateurs} and still they weren't done.

I spent more time with them, tying stakes to the garden bed edges, because the plants are so heavy that they are pulling the stakes over. I cut off more new growth, and sacrificed more of some plants because they had bent over and been damaged.... and finally harvested the first of my tomatoes.

eye spy

first of the season

hmn .... powdery I think

I've gotta say, I was a little disappointed. It was on the powdery side, which I really shouldn't be surprised about considering that they've only been watered daily and have been spending {obviously} a lot of energy in growing extra limbs that they probably didn't need.

Hopefully now that I've trimmed off the excess, and started feeding them {weekly liquid fertilizer, and fortnightly, generous lashings of potash, according to this book} hopefully the new ones will be better.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

In the garden :: Part 2 - Potatoes

out of control

Back in December, after the broad beans were finally finished, I found a spud in the compost bin that had sprouted, otherwise know as a chit. I rescued him and planted him in bed no. 2... then I invited his mates to come and join the party.

On one of my sneaky trips back I caught up with a friend of mine, with the sole purpose of acquiring his stash of chits... even as we planted the bed out, he was laughing at me "you are going to have so many potatoes, are you sure you know what you're doing"

Well hell no! but isn't that the fun of gardening?... the experimentation?... the journey?... the result?... the lessons?

mounding in progress

On my return I discovered that all of the chits had grown, and they were ready for mounding, more than ready really... I emptied my compost bin {the one that had been resting for 6+ weeks} and then I used another two bags of store-bought compost, and I still needed much more.

The solution, or so I thought, came from digging the soil out of my other big garden bed. Half the bed has nothing in it right now, and so I transferred it over to the spuds, mounding around each plant.

and still it wasn't enough.

and I had a big hole in the other bed.

more soil required

... ta da! Amazing, patient, hard-working, easily convinced, husband to the rescue {thanks honey!} and I had another square meter of soil to fill in the hole, and finish mounding the spud plants.

and this is what they look like now...

potato mounds

I've mulched to top with lucern, partly to assist with water retention in the soil, but also to help stabilize the soil as it's piled so high above the level of the garden beds. I'm hoping in the end all the effort will we worth it though, with many of these to harvest and share.

first peek