my-speck

i'm pregnant and it's going to be a rollercoaster

Another cut. March 15, 2012

My little boy got his first “boy” haircut today…

20120315-192301.jpg

There was a lot of hair on the floor.

:)

It will take us a little to get used to.

 

Sydney… yay… A zoo adventure. February 8, 2012

Filed under: activities for kids,Parenting,Raising a Child — rakster @ 1:47 pm
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We went to Sydney. It was great. Too busy doing stuff to actually post anything on the blog.

We saw friends, did a bit of work, saw more friends, ate great cheese, ate great bread, ate great stuff, saw some more friends.

And went to the zoo. Fun…

Lots of excitement.

elephant spotting at Sydney's Taronga Zoo

The monkeys were a hit. Baby monkeys playing.

I personally like the chimps. The fact that a school excursion group was throwing a banana or two into the enclosure made them (I suspect) somewhat more active than they might have been at that time of day otherwise… mmm..

elegant necks

It was a very windy day too, so the bird show had an added dimension of, “oh my god, do you think it will really miss my head” to it. We survived!

Love mum

 

Camping. Well, glamping. In a new tent. Hurrah. January 13, 2012

Filed under: activities for kids,camping,Parenting,Raising a Child — rakster @ 2:38 pm
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One of the first things we did after meeting (nearly 12 years ago now) was to go camping.

And one of our first purchases together was a tent.  We spent hours choosing a tent together.

I remember the occasion like it was yesterday.

 

I wanted a tent that would have enough room in the front vestibule that you could cook a meal, sit on the ground and hang-out if it just poured for the days you were camping.  Chris wanted a tent that you could almost/mostly stand up in.  We had very limited funds.  And no car: so whatever camping we were doing was by public transport or the generosity of friends.

 

Our first trip we lugged the new tent (more…)

 

Reading… an interpretative adventure. Especially when you’re 2.5 January 9, 2012

family reading

We read a lot of books. Every morning little Poogie (2.5 years now) typically brings a bunch into the bed with me, we get little Sister Boona (6 months now!) and have a bit of a read. Then there are more during the day, at bedtime etc.

We have a relatively large number of books, and are constant library users, but Poogie still seems to know most of them by heart. Which I think is pretty impressive. It is to me anyway, still breastfeeding with now non-existent short-term memory.

So last week I was reading one of our favourites, Australian Author Pamella Allen‘s “A Lion in the Night“, and we were up to this page:

reading: A Lion in the Night

When I asked,

“And what is the little dog saying?”

And the answer, in a “mum, this is so obvious I can’t believe you’re even asking me” voice: (more…)

 

Christmas cooking (with kids): gingerman bread December 22, 2011

Yep, that is how we say it around our house: Gingerman Bread.

It’s very funny to watch kids try to wrap their tongues and heads around funny phrases and words. Especially when they are your own kids and you can just laugh out loud…

Last year when we went to Canada to celebrate Christmas with our Canadian family in the snow, we visited some friends in Vancouver on the way through who had the MOST amazing gingerbread house and scene ever made. Let me tell you. It was amazing. (Note I’m having to tell you rather than show you as I’m such a numpty I forgot to take a photo of the wonderful creation.)

They make one each year, and keep it up on display without snacking or nibbling for a few weeks over Christmas, and when the kids go back to school in early Jan they take it in as a treat for all the kids to eat together. And I was inspired – I’ve always wanted to do one.

So last week I emailed them and got the recipe for the gingerbread and icing, and started to think about making it… Then realised that although it would be fun for me, the two year old in our family would LOVE to help and the house construction and decoration is just a little bit beyond his decorating ability, patience-level and possibly balancing skills. I could forsee typhoon-struck ginger-house with icing dripping from gables aligned with the floor… (I’ve also been wondering about how a gingerbread house would ‘hold up’ here in humid Brisbane… In Canada the humidity is so low you have to have a humidifier on. Here you can almost drink the air some days. I’m not sure that any gingerbread house would have a long-life without ‘growing’ some of it’s own extra-special green decorations.. Anyone have experience with this is Australia??)

So I embraced the idea of just having fun with it and opted for gingerbread christmas shapes.

We invited O’s little cousins and grandma from Canada over and away we cooked. There was lots of mixing, measuring and then cutting.

rolling out the dough. Lots of helpers..

Then baking.

Then decorating. I put a sheet of baking paper out for each child, in front of them at the kitchen table, and three bowls each for the toppings: smarties, sprinkles and heart decorations. Then a big smear of royal icing on their baking paper and a small palette knife each, and they were off.

gathered around the table...

Little Miss L's lady..

little miss p's star

We were planning on gifting some that O had decorated himself to O’s teachers and a few other people. On reflection, after witnessing the licking of palette knife, fingers and smarties that went into putting his together, I decorated a few myself to give on his behalf…

But I still love the creations, licks and all!

mmm. a reindeer!

O's creations. Lots of licking when into these beauties....

….

love mum

P.S. Oh, I forgot. They are absolutely DELICIOUS… Thank-you Mickey for the recipe! Yum Yum Yum…..

P.P.S. I am now planning on making the making of these (and a gingerbread house when the kids are bigger) a Christmas tradition in our house.

P.P.P.S. And you may ask – where was the little baby during all of this? Alternately happily rolling around on the floor, breastfeeding and sleeping. She really is a dream child…. !

luna-baby watching the gingerbread-making process

 

End of year art show: toddler style. Love it! December 21, 2011

Dear Poogie,

 

we went to your end of year Kindy (daycare but we call it kindy) art show last week.  And it rocked.  I unfortunately didn’t manage to get any photos on the day in the rooms as when we went there was literally a tropical thunderstorm absolute downpour in progress and we got soaked legging it from the house to the car to the show and thus didn’t drag the camera along though the sheets of water falling from the sky.

 

It was a fundraiser for the kindy, so we had to bid on the items we wanted.  Not surprisingly, we bought a bunch of the pieces of art you have down throughout the year at the wonderful daycare you go to for three days a week..  I thought I’d take a few photos of some of your pieces to share.

Purple dot painting

"boat" sculpture.. named by you!

threaded and wound mobile

blue

My favourite is the sculpture.  I had it beside my bed so that I could see it when I woke up, but you wanted to play with “my boats” so I had to hide it a bit higher (as selfishly I want to keep it for myself)..

 

Love mum

 

christmas preparation – the advent calendar December 17, 2011

we have been doing a lot of preparation for Christmas around our house for the past few weeks…

Lots of making decorations (two-year old fashion).. With pipe cleaners and coloured popsicle sticks. Gorgeous.

And putting them on the tree.

(which suddenly grew a lot more ‘bling’ the weekend I went away when only daddy and little O were home)…

the advent calendar being enjoyed

The simplest and one of the best things we did was make a ‘leaf’ advent calendar (with thanks to the inspiration from little eco footprints. O loves pulling a new leaf off each day, it was fun and easy to make, and it looks good. :)

the advent calendar

What have you been doing?

 

camping – yay! October 31, 2011

We had a lovely weekend away at Lake Cootharaba – camping at Boreen Point.

Oscar ran wild through the bush around the campsite with the other two year old

Bush play - camping at Boreen Point

sparklers at dusk

and the two babes slept like the proverbial babes.

sleeping like babes in the bush

I enjoyed a swim and an unplug.  Mmmmm.

 

Business at the front …. Party in the back!!! October 6, 2011

I’m in love with the little curls at the back of my little boy’s head.

 

curls...

curls at two years

And his dad has a limited amount of hair, which seems to be decreasing in volume just ever so slightly over time (..ahem..).  So we figured, let him grow it, it will be one of the only times in his life he can have nice long hair and not have a care / worry about it.

 

He has asked quite a few times when seeing me do my hair in the morning, if he could “please have a hair clip too?”.  Which of course, I’m happy to oblige with.  Issue is, he most definitely wants to be able to see it in the mirror when he inspects it, so it ends up front and centre.  Which he doesn’t mind at all.  But perhaps won’t go down too well when he is a little older.

 

wearing a hairclip

And it is getting towards summer, which here in Brisvegas, Australia, can be a pretty hot and sticky affair.

 

So we decided on a cut.  Which was yesterday.  We went as a family to the salon for the big affair.  He sat in the chair and watched while his dad had his hair cut, drank his apple juice (special treat from the lady at the salon), and waited patiently.  Then sat as still as a statue while she cut his, moving only his mouth to ask, “Mum, what she doing??” repeatedly.

 

the 'before' shot

I like the hairdresser. they have juice!

getting ready. this is serious business, you know.

"what she doing?"

cutting

I couldn’t bear to see too much cut off, so we opted for a trim to keep it out of the eyes at the front and just a little off at the back.

 

The result: a lovely Mullet.  As my sister said, “Business at the front…. Party in the back!!”.

the 'after shot'

 

 

 

 

apple poppyseed cinnamon muffins September 28, 2011

The muffins we made on Saturday are a staple around our house – simple, sugar-free (just honey), take about 5 minutes + cooking time, and can be done with pretty much any fruit you have about.  The original recipe calls for blueberries, but we usually do apple.  They are so simple, kids can help measure, mix, spoon and they are ready in a jiffy.

cupcakes! AKA apple cinnamon poppyseed muffins

apple poppyseed cinnamon muffins

1 banana, mashed

¼ cup vegetable oil

⅓ cup honey

¾ cup milk

1 cup wholemeal self-raising flour

1 cup white self-raising flour

½ cup poppyseeds

big dash ground cinnamon

finely grated zest 1 lemon

2 medium-large granny smith apples, diced 1cm or smaller cubes

method

  1. Mix together banana, oil, honey and milk.
  2. Add the flours, poppyseeds, cinnamon and zest and mix very lightly (remember that muffin batter should only be just mixed).
  3. Stir in the apple.
  4. Spoon into 12 lightly greased muffin pans. Bake in a preheated moderate (180°C) oven for about 20 minutes.

notes

  • serve warm! they don’t need butter that way
  • they freeze well
  • works fine with frozen/defrosted bananas (i always put my oops forgot about those bananas in the freezer for cooking.  Just skinned and in a freezer bag/container.
  • you can substitute pretty much any fruit, or a combination, or put more or less to your tastes.

variations

blueberry

substitute 1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen) for the apple, and omit the poppyseeds, cinnamon and lemon zest.

source

the original blueberry recipe from: Creber, Ann. (1988) The Almost Healthy Cookbook p13

 

 

P.S.  Always looking for new muffin recipes – let me know if you have a favourite!