Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Internet Disconnect

Over the past 6 months, I have started disconnecting from the internet. I feel like it takes up two much time and full of trivial information. For example, I gave Facebook the flick. Too much personal info about people I don’t see or hear from on a day to day basis. And lets be honest – it is mostly rubbish.

But after reading Last Child in the Woods, I have decided to disconnect from the internet on a more day-to-day basis. Mainly because I started thinking about not only my connection with nature but also my connection with Little B. I want to be authentic and in the moment when I spend time with him. Not with my brain buzzing from computer use. So I have given myself the self-imposed rule that I can only turn on the computer after Little B goes to bed or is at preschool.

I normally read the paper online when I got up over breakfast. By stopping this, I’ve found that Little B and I have a really great connection first thing in the morning (even if I'm not the most awake morning person after a sleep deprived night ;-) He has completely stopped any attention seeking behaviour because he is secure in the knowledge that I am giving him my full attention. He also lets me do my morning and evening chores without raising a fuss at all.

I love blogs though because it feels like such a networking collection of mothers who have similar goals or drives as me. I dont know anybody IRL living the way that I do, and I find that I need that sense of connection or collective. So I still get to look at and blog myself in my allocated computer time. Or just spend time writing.

Now the funny thing is that I haven’t found this process too hard. Due to my previous occupation in marketing and administration, I have felt addicted to the computer and the internet for a few years. And don’t even get me started on email. Any previous attempts to withdraw, shall we say, were hard as I wanted to check emails, read the paper etc. But after reading Richard Louv and a few recent events in our lives, I have quite simply realised that it doesn’t matter.

I have gone days without checking my email, haven’t died from not reading current news first thing in the morning and found other ways to get the information that I want. I’ve also found that rather than spending all evenings on the computer as I assumed I would, I spend maybe 20 minutes then its off to my knitting projects or a belly dance class, hanging out with Mr B, watching DVD’s from the library, chatting with friends on the phone or immersing myself in a good book.

Who says technology has to be the be all and end all (even in this tech savvy age) J

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Yay - party time

I just caught 60 minutes tonight (which I never watch).

Apparently Bon Jovi are touring in December - so I've told Mr B to mortgage the house on his way to buying me my most favouritist Christmas present ;-)

Have never missed a tour yet!! LOL

Lazy Sundays

Artwork by Art Harrison

- Banana, Dried Fruit & Oat lunchbox Slice
- Gozleme (Cannellini beans, parnips, carrots, potatoes & Organic Lemnos spreadable cheese)

- The Legacy by Kirsten Tranter

Listening to
- Down the way by Angus & Julia Stone

- Well Little B bounced back quickly from being sick on Tuesday BUT on Friday night the vomitting returned with a vengeance. Two days later, we spent most of this morning at the Royal Children's Hospital. And this afternoon I have spent cuddled up with him in bed or on the couch :-(

Friday, June 25, 2010

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.  Inspired by soulemama

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Winterize your house

Living in a super cold house, means that I’ve been implementing lots of different strategies to winterize our house. We have big deep window sills and Holland blinds. This is actually quite good as it creates an air barrier as insulation. We extended on this by using Velcro dots to attach the hollands to the architraves. Keeps any unwanted heat losses away.

On any big windows we have thermal lined curtains to stop the heat loss (or heat gain during summer). We also use these in the bedrooms to keep them a tad warmer.

Another tip (which I haven’t used yet) is to have wall hangings. A Canadian friend has used these in rental properties as a form of insulation. Basically, he hangs doonas on the wall and puts big rugs on the floor to stop heat loss during winter.

I picked up some funky padded pants from the op shop for $5 late last year, and these keep me super warm in our super cold house. But when they are drying on our indoor rack, I freeze. So Granny B bought me a pair of Lazypatch pants. Despite the fact I think they are a hilarious concept up there with the WTF blanket or the Better Marriage blanket, these are actually really really warm.

So between the two pants I can stay warm without turning up the heat. I’d rather cope with the weather than turning up the temp on our heater. The reasons for this are three fold – firstly, I think having the heater too high just means you get sick more (from dried out nasal passages); secondly, I’d rather save money than spend besquillions on heating and finally, we want to keep our carbon footprint small.

Little B is a furnace all on his own and has been known to get about in shorts or jocks during this cold weather. Mr B just rugs up like me (but more of the two jumper variety, he wouldn’t be caught dead in Lazypatch type pants ;-).

** On a side note, the wtf blanket is a parody but the better marriage blanket is a serious product....hahahaha

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Love is....

...staying up all night with a sick child :-)

Well we came home with more than a few books from library story-time yesterday…..the dreaded gastro. Little B has been up all night vomiting (not a pretty picture, I know).

So I have spent most of today ensconced in the rocking chair in Little B’s room with a mohair blanket, reading him Winnie the Pooh, knitting and listening to audiobooks.

And when he has slept I’ve done loads of laundry before being called back to his bed, where I have been used as a pillow and read books of my own.

As for dinner, whenever Little B is sick, I resort to whatever is fastest to cook and eat – so tonight is spelt pasta with goat’s cheese and the obligatory few veg thrown in.

On days like these, I just surrender and go with the flow, don’t try to get anything in particular done, and hope that it passes quickly!!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Real Motherhood: The things I don’t want you to know about me

After reading this post at Inspired to Action, and in the spirit of authenticity, I thought that I would list the things I don’t want you to know about me. I agree with Kat completely when she says that in the blogging world it’s easy only to talk about the positive things and good stuff that we do.

I’ve also noticed in the comments of a few blogs I read, some people commending others for being “good mamas”. We’re all good mama’s – we just don’t see the entirety of people’s lives from a blog.

  1. I like vaccuming and sweeping but I’m hopeless at remembering to wash floors or dust
  2. Even though I make 90% of our food from scratch, there are days I just want to scream rather than cook or bake another thing (even though I have no choice, but that’s one of the reasons I want to scream).
  3. I love reading but along with educational books, I love trash too (like Jill Mansell, Marian Keyes etc)
  4. I’m a major cranky pants when deprived of sleep over multiple nights
  5. I’m just as shouty as the next mama when my buttons are pushed. I try to be the parent, the bigger person but sometimes I yell back at a 3.5 year old :-)
  6. There are days my loungeroom looks like a bomb or whirlwind hit it (his name is Little B)…and then I step over the mess and go about my day LOL.
  7. I grow some of our own vegies, cook and eat them. But some days a leaf eaten by a snail turns my stomach (did I mention I hate bugs?)
  8. Just one quick read of a blog somehow never turns out to be that quick
  9. There are days being a SAHM cum WAHM is mind numbingly boring, and feels like being trapped in a box with the lid on
  10. I hate the cold and the rain. If anyone other than Little B wanted to go outside and play they would get a few choice words
  11. I hate storytime at the library – both the librarians that run the one’s near home are hugely irritating!
  12. Little B’s kindergarten teacher is a moron – enough said LOL :-)
  13. I’m very down to earth and practical but I’m vain. I had a bad haircut recently and I spend too much time looking in the mirror wishing my hair would grow back faster.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Lazy Sundays

- pak choy, a few strawberries, lemons

- Oat & Spelt Crackers
- Lemon Cordial J
- Shepherds Pie

- trying to decide which type of throw to try knitting:

this – a blanket type throw

or a more shawly type throw

- Folly by Laurie.R.King

- Last night we attended the Winter Solstice Lantern Parade. There were fire twirlers, belly dancers, live music…and of course lots of lanterns.

Absolutely gorgeous!!

Friday, June 18, 2010

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.  Inspired by soulemama

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Welcome to the Mud Pit

This is the new Mud Pit we built for Little B. It was just part of uneven lawn at the back of our yard that we filled with dirt from another part of the garden. He loves to "dig the foundations" and make roads.

Being as anti-plastic as I am, I originally thought we would just use his gardening tools, matchbox cars and some wooden toys we have. But my MIL handed down some toys from her children, so instead we are using those. I dont feel I have the right to dispose of them thoughtfully, so I figure outside in the fresh air and covered in dirt, the plastic is less likely to be harmful to Little B.

We can add water to make mudpies or mountains and it's in the overhang of a tree. So shade during summer and holds off the worst of the rain during winter :-)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Spiced Pumpkin Soup with roasted pepitas

This soup is a current favourite of Mr B & I. It’s a really nice thick soup for a cold winters day – we love it for lunch. It keeps and reheats really well if we make a big batch.

1 tablespoon of oil of choice (we use sunflower or coconut)
1 brown onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 long red chilli, roughly chopped
1kg kent pumpkin, peeled and cut into 3cm pieces
400g can organic cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
4 cups home-made vegetable stock
2 tablespoons pepitas
coriander leaves, to serve

Step 1 – Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Put oil into saucepan and heat over medium-high heat. Cook onion, chilli and garlic for 5 mins, or until onion softens.
Step 2 – Add pumpkin and cannelloni beans. Stir to coat with onion mixture. Add stock and bring to the boil. Simmer for 15 minutes or until pumpkin is tender.
Step 3 – place pepitas on a tray lined with baking paper. Drizzle with a little oil and bake for 10 minutes or until toasted.
Step 4 – Mash pumpkin and beans until soup is nice and thick. Sprinkle with coriander leaves and pepitas, then serve.

** Another nice trick is to mix in some breadcrumbs. Gives the soup a really nice texture.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Food Challenges

Picture courtesy of http://familynature.wordpress.com

We are about to embark on another round of food challenges with Little B. He has become quite fussy of late, and unlike other parents I don’t have the ability to turn around and offer him alternative foods (Little B is currently allergic to some dairy, soy, egg, nuts and salicylates).

Normally this means that I have to rethink or recreate meals and snacks for him out of the ingredients he can already eat / tolerate. But after reading Jude Blereau's current book and chatting to our dietitian and paed gastro, I thought it was time for another round of food challenges. We are going to try in no particular order egg yolks, cashew nut butter and goat’s cheese. These are all good proteins, fats and low in salicylates.

I’m also aiming to take Little B along to a new naturopath who specialises in children and salicylate desensitisation, in the vain hope she can help us expand the variety of vegetables available to him.

As Meaghan has said at EcoMILF recently, you cant help worrying when your little one doesn’t want to eat. It’s the nurturer in us, it’s about being the mama.

Fingers crossed, I get one new food to incorporate into his menu. 

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Lazy Sundays

Artwork by Art Harrison

- pak choy

- Oven Roasted Vegie Pizza (zucchini, pumpkin, red capsicum topped with sliced potatoes, salt and Quark cheese)

- here is Little B’s new blue scarf - hooray

- Wholefoods for children by Jude Blereau

- no projects here today – just a lazy day hanging out with the family. Little B has a fascination with soccer at the moment, so we’ve spent time running around with his soccer ball. I’ve also been immersing myself in Jude Blereau’s book – just absolutely great reading J

Friday, June 11, 2010

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.  Inspired by soulemama

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Garden Update

My peas have died L A tree in Granny B’s neighbour has grown since last year and now blocks out the sun on half of one of our veggie beds. So the peas succumbed to mould and rot. So I’ve ripped them all out and composted their remains.

But I’ve planted some more – not sure how we will go planting now but hey its worth a shot. I’ve also planted some spinach. Finally, we have our organic garlic bulbs in the fridge ready to plant in a few weeks. I cant wait to put them in the ground.

Autumn Lettuce

Our beans finally stopped producing, so I pulled all those out as well. I’m going to plant Scarlet Runner beans next year as well as our normal beans next year, in the vain hope that I will get a bigger harvest. We eat HEAPS of beans as they are a safe non-allergenic food that Little B can eat but we always run out come June. And of course we cant get anymore from the organic f&v shop, so I need to grow and freeze more.

Our brussel sprouts are soldiering along with amazing growth. I’m impressed as these are just an experiment this year to see how troublesome they are to grow. Early days yet as its just the plant growing per se not the sprouts. Fingers crossed they work well as it’s another green veggie Little B can eat without problems. And so jam packed full of nutrition.

Have planned out our fruit tree purchases and are just waiting on the bare rooted stock to hit our local nursery – Flemings have brought out two more dwarf varieties this year (Black Cherry, and a Pear) so we’ve added them to our list. But we are going to grow them in half wine barrels so we can move them around. Our current plan for the back garden is still a bit loose and depends on dollars for water tanks, so I’d like the ability to move these trees while we bring equipment in and out.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Little Worlds

I was inspired by a post over at Childhood 101 to build a nature playscape, a “Little World” for Little B on our back deck. Using a combination of potting mix and our own dirt, a left over pot from transplanting my yucca, plus plants Little B picked and some white stones, this is what we made over the weekend…..

It’s been an absolute hit J. And while I built it for the outdoors factor and the mini nature playscape factor, I also built it for one other reason. Little B is now 3.5 years and has moments of wilfulness. He wants to do things his way and in the scheme of things, that’s really not possible for much of the time.

We follow a loose simple routine for our days to give him a sense of knowing what comes next. So I built this little world, so that he has complete control over one part of his world. He can dictate what the little people do (or don’t do) to his hearts content.

It’s actually become a real balm and he has settled down a lot, and doesn’t challenge me on the daily (sometimes hourly basis ;-) anymore. 

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Lazy Sundays

Artwork by Art Harrison

- peas, spinach

- pak choy

- Banana Walnut Muffins
- Home-made Gnocchi with Pumpkin Pasta Sauce

- Ark by Stephen Baxter

- Mr B is away for work this weekend, so Little B and I have been having a “mommy & me” wintery weekend. Think hot “milkies” with vegan marshmallows in front of our wood fire (allergy free version of hot chocolate), baking, lots of drawing and painting, big Lego sessions, making paper lanterns, and putting in place a mini Playscape for our back porch (but I’ll save that for another post).

Friday, June 4, 2010

Bad Mamma Jamma

Pic courtesy of Positive Provocations.

Mamma Bad-assness rocks!! :-)

I love this post from Rachel at Buttons Magee. Read for a great mummy anthem.... xoxo

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.  Inspired by soulemama

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Outdoor Challenge

We’ve been going really well with our Outdoors Challenge. Little B has loved getting out and about, looking at nature and doing lots of unstructured play.

We’ve seen toadstools (and been fairies ;-)

Lived through a change in season & discussed autumn

Taken his trike and gone riding in parks

I’ve also discovered within some “normal” parks, some specific nature playscapes which really inspired Little B. I'll have to take my camera next time.

Mr B and I have also developed a mud pile for Little B to dig in, after seeing something similar at a preschool open day. We decided that life’s too short to have perfect lawn plus I’m a big believer in “food not lawns” thus the mud pit was born J Little B loves it.

Another big favourite has been fog – Little B is fascinated by the “gloominess”.

Mind you, I’ve also really enjoyed getting out and about in the sun, rain, fog and gloom. I’m generally the sidekick within Little B’s creative play but its still great fun. I don’t regret for a minute our decision to hold him back from school until he is 6.

I can so see how this sort of play and experiences are so fundamental to a child’s development. 

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Swishing Party

Last Thursday, I went to a “swishing” party as part of a fundraiser for our preschool. We took along any clothes, accessories, shoes or jewellery we wanted to swap, paid an entrance fee, then had 10 tickets to “purchase” our new items.

“Swishing parties are for all those women who want to combine glamour, environmental protection and frugality” - Michelle (Fundraising Committee)

It was really great fun and they had an amazing turn out. People brought some really great items (no rubbishy old clothes). There was so much great stuff that it became quite competitive ;-) Though the MC had a coin to toss if any fights broke out (which they didn’t).

I turned some earrings, a necklace, and a few black tops into…..

A new bag, bracelets and earrings

A jazzy dress, new top and a pair of great summer pants

Plus a pair of pants and some earrings for Granny B (since I swapped two items of hers).

It was so successful that they hope to run another one before the end of the year. It's a great fundraising idea but I love that a community of women got together to recycle their clothes while saving money at the same time J