Sunday, 30 March 2008

our latest acquisition

is a great hit with the kids! I have wondered about getting a hammock for some time, so when one came up on Freecycle I jumped at the chance of giving a pre-loved hammock a new home. Turtle and LP came with me to collect it and we assembled it this afternoon. The kids have never been on a hammock before, so they took a few attempts mastering the art of getting on it.....


Finally made it........ sort of......

Saturday, 29 March 2008

homeless no more.....

Turtwig has long wanted a little place to call his own. Although sharing Turtle's bed was not all bad, he quite often found himself under the bed, having fallen under there in the night. The dust bunnies were friendly enough but brought out Turtwig's allergy. Also, the decor under the bed left much to be desired - drab colours and bad lighting.

So, Turtwig requested that Turtle design him a house. Turtle gladly took on the task, drew a house that MOTH helped to turn into proper plans using ruler, protractor and compass (Turtle had a great maths lesson in calculating angles etc). A trip to Bunning's followed in order to get the materials and colours worthy of Turtwig. A day in the shed using MOTH's new jigsaw, Turtle's new tool belt and some pots of paint resulted in a beautiful new home for Turtwig.

He is very happy and is hoping to feature in Pokemon Better Homes and Gardens.

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

I have waited long for this...

We have 2 passionfruit vines in our garden. One is a grafted one from the garden centre, the other transplanted from the compost bin. That sounds very much like the parable of the tame and the wild olive tree, now doesn't it? We have a tame and a wild vine..... For the last couple of years I have waited in vain for flowers and fruit. It obviously wasn't getting the right combination of light and rain. But, as I went out to have a look at it today, I discovered dozens of buds and flowers. Mostly on the wild one... I will be guarding our treasure, because I can't wait to have some fruit!!! The cockatoos and possums will probably like them too, so I am going to find some nets to protect my vines.
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Friday, 21 March 2008

life in the trenches... Easter instalment

We are wondering where the Easter Bunny might be able to leave the eggs this year as we have rearranged things in the garden somewhat since last year. The cement mixer might be a new interesting hidey-hole and perhaps inside the "witches' hats"?. Maybe we'll even find some bunny paw prints in the concrete......?

Not that the boys will be fooled. .. A few months ago Turtle announced that the Easter Bunny doesn't exist, and he knew this because Doodlebug had informed him that Daddy had been spotted early in the morning putting eggs around the garden, and besides everyone knows that rabbits don't lay eggs. Not even the sultanas I left on the doorstep and the driveway had them fooled.... Doodlebug said "they're not rabbit poop, they're sultanas!" and he proceded to eat one. He should be glad he was right, I suppose :)
LP still enjoys living the dream though, so we will have a hunt around the garden.

My word cloud...

A new little image has turned up on my sidebar. It's a word cloud from Snapshirts. I found out about this from the fabulous Jordan over at the Wonderwheel, and immediately had a "me too, me too!" moment.
The selection of words fascinate me. "mud" and "trenches" feature strongly, as do "accidental", "children" and "trampoline". Quite funny, really. It' ll be interesting to see how the cloud changes if I try it again in 6 months. Mud will probably still feature....

Monday, 17 March 2008

One of those funny little moments

At the dinner table LP was busy discussing her "boyfriend" (who btw does not know he is her boyfriend.....) and telling us she had only given him a cuddle and not a kiss. Stacy is obviously not the only one with a little Infants' school romance :)

Then she said "I know what colour J's box is". MOTH and I looked at each other, and I am sure my face mirrored his in looking stunned. If you are wondering why..... we have just completed cricket season, and a box is the plastic shield used by the boys to protect their Bits, so this is what first came to mind..

MOTH - "box?!"
LP: "yes, he has a blue lunch box".......
she looked a little surprised that this revelation would elicit a huge bellylaugh from her parents. We did not enlighten her.

Thursday, 13 March 2008

it's Colonial Day!

It's not an officially recognised on-the-public-calendar sort of event, it is one of those school activities that I was convinced yesterday exist solely for the purpose of challenging parents...

The kids' school are making a day of it, with activities, food, games and crafts from the colonial era. The children were all supposed to turn up in costume. Doodlebug and Turtle both decided they wanted to be convicts, and LP settled for being a little colonial girl rather than a convict urchin.

I had the "brilliant" thought that I would save money by making the costumes rather than spend money on hiring them for the day. Although, in the middle of assembling it all it struck me that maybe the parents who went to the costume shop had the right idea after all.....
While hunting for fabric dye for LP's dress, I bumped into a couple of other mothers who were also going the DIY route. We exchanged Ball and Chain ideas and accessories. Quite a bonding experience, really :)
Despite moments of stress, unpicking seams etc, I actually really enjoyed doing this. It was fun creating and also reminiscing back to my own primary school days when my mother made my costumes for me... I remember feeling very proud and special then wearing her creations and I wanted my children to share in some of that feeling.

This morning the boys decided that their costumes weren't quite authentic enough. Doodlebug wanted to look like he had been whipped, and they both wanted to have rips on the knees and sleeves as well. I resisted the urge to squeak as they were cutting into my masterpieces. But they were both very happy with the result, and were excited to go show off their costumes.
I had tried to convince them they would probably have authentic bush tucker for lunch - roasted goanna, kangaroo, witchetty grubs and damper. LP looked doubtful, but decided that I was probably joking. The boys didn't take me seriously for a minute.... I obviously didn't keep a straight enough face..

Monday, 10 March 2008

our weekend guest

Being a dog person and having grown up with dogs in the family, I miss their presence. So when friends asked if we could mind their dog while they went away for the weekend I was more than happy to accept.
Chelsea is very well behaved for an adolescent dog..... in fact she was better at taking instructions than our children. The children generally enjoyed having her around, playing 'fetch' and taking her for walks, although in LP's case I think it was hard to tell who was taking who for walkies.... Chelsea would pull her along at speed. So for safety, LP restricted her dogwalking to the garden.
LP was less than impressed at losing one of her"Littlest Pet Shop" toys to "Jaws". But, to have only one decapitated little plastic bunny was not a bad result. Having been warned about Chelsea's fondness for soft toys, we had hidden every teddy with sentimental value.

The timing of our dogsitting weekend was perhaps not the best, it turns out Chelsea likes mud as much as the kids do. The difference is that she, clever though she may be, did not see the significance of the red/white tape. The mud puddle was apparently a perfect place to cool down after a long walk, so she laid down in the mud for a little rest. She was not impressed at the indignity of a public shower with the garden hose afterwards.

But despite the hosing down she seemed to enjoy her time with us.

A picture book...

We have a little author in the family. I rediscovered this piece of literary excellence the other day when I was cleaning out my deskspace. LP wrote this story around Christmas time, it's a story of a little kitten who was scared by a dog, hid in her basket, and then the mummy cat came and scared the dog away so all is good....
I particularly enjoyed the illustrations.

Friday, 7 March 2008

accidental gardening

look at these beauties.... the yummiest, sweetest cherry tomatoes I ever tried. Ironically they are also from the only tomato plant that I didn't plant. My feeble attempts at cultivating tomatoplants failed miserably and I was left with my accidental garden.
Our accidental garden is growing among the camelias at the top of the garden, this is where we dig in the debris from cleaning out the guinea pig hutches. So our tomato plant grew from recycled seeds that were planted encased in their own little pods of fertiliser.... LP is tickled pink by this plant because one of her favourite books is Moya Simons' "My Amazing Poo Plant"

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

life in the trenches... part 2

And this is what it looks like now..... The mud dried out and today the landscapers came and poured concrete for us. Thank goodness for the back door so that I could still get in and out of the house. The wet concrete is obviously going to provide a nice child magnet.... it's just begging for a little handprint or some initials. So, I will have my work cut out trying to keep it pristine.
Depending on the weather we should have a nice new path and step ready for when I am hosting the Book Group later in the month.

Saturday, 1 March 2008

life in the trenches...

Well.... it seems the fad of turning your yard into a mudpit has spread from Carli's place. A couple of days ago a little yellow digger arrived in our garden - at 7 am no less. This work was obviously not unexpected, but it wasn't supposed to start for another couple of weeks. However, the wife of the digger man is expecting a baby any day, and had told him in no uncertain terms that he was not to schedule any work beyond this weekend. So he asked if he could move the digging day. Fair enough.

Within hours the concrete driveway and the lawn to one side of it had been transformed. And then as luck would have it, we had a torrential downpour of rain, making a lovely pool of mud right at our doorstep.

FIL gave strict instructions to keep the children out of it as he was worried about the piles of dirt collapsing. Well, you know my kids...... so can you imagine trying to separate them from the best thing to happen to our yard for ages? They came home from school and 3 pairs of eyes practically glazed over, they were so excited by what they saw....

I guess I'm a little oppositional too, because I let the kids in to make mudpies on the strict condition they did not climb over the mounds of dirt.
I obviously hadn't been specific enough as LP decided the trench between the mounds were not covered by the agreement and was therefore not off limits. Her talent for finding loopholes would be put to good use as a lawyer... (or politics?....)

As you can see the boys decided that swimmers/boardies were most suitable (easier to rinse off in the shower afterwards. They are nothing but practical...)

On day 2 most of the water had drained out, and we had some lovely clay to work with......

On day 3 FIL turned up and saw obvious evidence..... I suppose it was naive of me to think he'd find that little clay sculptures were a natural occurrence..... cue another admonition.

By the way..... did I mention that the rest of the landscaping will still happen on the scheduled day? Let's see, that's 11 more days of trench warfare....