Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Let's Talk About Crumbs!

Okay, so at the risk of sounding negative, I want to stop and talk about crumbs for a minute.  Have you noticed that blogland is full of beautiful projects, amazing mothers, and gorgeous, polished, peaceful homes?  I am a particular fan of the Steiner/Waldorf blogs but at times they overwhelm me.  You see, much as I might try, my home rarely looks like that (even on a good day AFTER I've cleaned!)  Our home is normally a chaotic mess, and we are generally running late for being somewhere, and most often one or the other of the small ones has misplaced a shoe?  Today is HARMONY DAY - things were quite harmonious in our household and we even looked like being early to school when Hannah announced (sotto voce as she exited the front door) that she needed to wear something orange or a chinese hat (we have SOOOOO many of those lying around LOL!)  And so then of course by the time we had raided the dress up box and tried to find her orange t-shirt in the infinite abyss that is her room things were less than harmonious :(

I love that we use blogs to celebrate our achievements ("Look I made this" or "The kids did that") but maybe sometimes we need to expose our lily white underbellies and let others know that the wheels sometimes fall off. was having a bad day yesterday and it was actually really nice to be able to sympathise and relate! Thank you Kellie for keeping it real!

Despite my grumbles I am quite prepared to live with the perpetual crumbs and chaos just for the precious SAHM moments like yesterday when Dan proudly brought in two feathers from the chookpen and stuck them in a glass of water "so that we can watch them grow".  At the moment that dear boy just cracks me up. He is teaching himself to read from Hannah's readers and the words he makes up or misappropriates are just too funny.  He said to me "Mummy, what noise does a lamington make?" I was puzzled until I realised he was looking at a picture of a flamingo!

While we are talking SAHM/domestic stuff.  Does anyone have ideas for integrating Waldorf type toys into a not strictly Steiner/Waldorf setting?  I LOVE our Waldorf toys - the feel of them, the look of them, knowing that they have been handmade and not mass produced but I have to say that Hannah enjoys her pink plastic little people castle much more than the beautiful wooden dolls house.  I frequently find our little root babies taking trips in the Tonka trucks or cohabitating with barbie and I just don't feel quite right about it!  Thinking of maybe rearranging so that all of the Waldorf stuff is in one spot - but I know that the kids will still end up moving things around to suit themselves?  In a perfect world I would love a proper Waldorf Playroom (and a lot less plastic toys) but that might have to wait.

BIG excitement in our house yesterday as the Schoolgirl progressed from Level One (golden words) to Level Two (red words)  We have begun our own little special way of celebrating small things - baby icecream cones at the Lobethal Bakery.  A lovely and affordable way of saying "YAY!" on a semi regular basis!
Hope you are having a wonderful week.  We are off to Granny and Grandpa' new beach house to celebrate Easter.
Keep smiling,

Monday, March 29, 2010

Some Crafting, and some Scrapping, and some more baby Gazing!

Well although I have still not finished Maddie's quilt I did get the chance to do a bit of sewing, and even to teach a bit of sewing to my very keen friend Karen (thanks for a lovely day Karen!)  While Karen was learning the basics with her new sewing machine I made up this apron for Hannah's friend (given as a birthday present with a kids cook book and wooden spoon)  I dipped into my 6 metres of opshop gingham for this project and like it so much that Hannah might score a matching apron someday soon!
Then on the weekend I began an Easter project (more details soon) and quickly whipped up this pencil roll for the kids - the wool is a felted cream blanket that I dyed and cut up to use for smaller projects.
I've also been busy scrapping:
So you see, it was quite a productive week!
And just in case you were wondering, we've also spent a bit of time baby gazing and waiting for news from 3 expectant mothers.  Maddie can roll over now - she has done it a few times but frequently forgets that she can and wails for help!
Have a great week,
Keep smiling,

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Biscuits and Miscellaneous Activities

This recipe has been given to countless people over the years; they started as my uni flatmate's "Auntie Barbs Brownies" and were then known in our uni years as "PMT biscuits"; when I started with Creative Memories they became my "Workshop Biscuits".  I think of them as my 8 minute always-on-standby biscuits.  Call them what you like; they are GOOD and they never last long in our house!

Melt 1 large tablespoon of REAL BUTTER in a pot or in the microwave then into the pot add:
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup SR flour
pinch of salt
1 cup of choc chips and peanuts, or sultanas, or apricots, or whatever takes your fancy
1 egg

Mix, roll into balls, place on greased baking tray with a fair bit of space between them as they spread out.  bake 180 degrees for about 8 minutes.  Leave to cool a few minutes then slide off with a butter knife.

The combinations are endless.  Our favourites are apricot, almond and chocolate chunks but even just sultanas are good!

We hit pay dirt at our local op shop last week when we stumbled on a two dollar basket sale.  I ended up with a lovely skirt for Hannah, a heap of new china, another little jug to add to my ever growing collection, a couple of balls of crafty wool, a lovely 70s style bowl, a pretty old doiley, and a stack of pillowcases perfect for upcycling into some smaller projects - $2 well spent!

Hannah is loving school and the flurry of activities that go with it.  Last week was Crazy Hair Day:Today was Sports Day.  As an athletically challenged super nerd I was a little apprehensive about Sports Day.  I am pleased to say that the emphasis was clearly on participation and having fun - so far our little school is just coming up trumps every single time!

A very hot, tiring, but happy day was had by all!
Yesterday I finally spent a crafty day with a good friend.  You can read all about it here (I forgot to take photos but I am really just directing you here because Nic said such nice things about me LOL!)

And lastly, a photo of the sweet girl and her newest accomplishment - she has found her thumb!
And no, I still haven't done my tax ARRRGGGHHHH! 
Happy Wednesday,
Keep smiling,

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Procrastination and Tax Evasion

Yes I am blogging instead of working on last year's tax return.  Why oh why do I do this EVERY single year?  Why do I not tidy up my tax once a month and then not have to worry about it come tax time?  I just LOATHE paperwork (especially figures - I am so not good with numbers!)
Today the car is getting its long overdue service which necessitated a walk home from Nairne - Maddie trying out the new stroller and Dan ambling along in his new "flashy" joggers.  We took our time; we stopped at the park and feed the ducks, and ate apples, and talked about this and that.  We looked at cement mixers, and roadworks, and tree lopping and other topics of interest to three year old boys and all the time I was priding myself on being a "good mother" and letting the dear boy dictate our pace when really all I was doing was avoiding my tax return.

Now that I am home (and everyone has been fed and watered) I am thinking that I really need to post about our "baby" being 3 months old?!  That is surely much better than shuffling old receipts?

This dear sweet baby is 3 months old already!  How did that happen?  All of the sleepless nights and endless feeding and colic is behind us now and we are displaying a happy, social disposition.  Like her big sister, Madeline doesn't like to miss anything.  She is so alert and interested in what is going on and especially responds to her brother and sister.  Daytime sleeps are not a high priority - although she happily takes a little cat nap in the car and has been known to fall asleep on her playmat. 
This girl loves to "talk" and coos and goos and blows raspberries at anyone who will cooperate. 
I have never seen a 3 month old so intent on crawling before - put Maddie on her tummy and the little legs go like crazy trying to wriggle away.  I'm thinking she might crawl early as we've already got a funny commando creep happening
 Hannah is still enjoying "dressing" our little dolly and I have to say that I have taken secret pleasure in it too - it has been lovely to pull out all of Hannah's little dresses, and to be given so many sweet new ones too.
Maddie is growing so fast that we are having to pack size 000 away.  She has dimples on her elbows and fat rolls on her thighs.  She is utterly delicious and adorable in every way and we are all still so in love with her.  There is something so right about having a baby in the house!

Until next time when I share biscuit recipes and recent op shop finds,
Keep smiling,

p.s. last photo was taken by the ever-talented Nic Wood - love it but she looks SOOOO grown up :(

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Autumn goodness and bits and pieces

First up some Autumn goodness: fresh roses picked this morning in one of my special blue jugs, and a zucchini left a little too long in the garden - so far it has made zucchini slice, pasta with zucchini, spag bol, grilled zucchini slices and several boring steamed dinner portions LOL  At least the dog doesn't like zucchinis - he is in disgrace after eating several of my heritage tomatoes and the first cucumber for the season :(

Second is a whinge about this small boy. Doesn't he look like butter wouldn't melt in his mouth?  A right little cherub?  My friend Nic took these photos when Maddie was about a week old and I just love them... but....this little boy is turning into a tyrant.  His sister was the Queen Of Tantrums - the full exorcist, head-spinning, screaming, speaking in tongues variety.  Hannah is (thankfully) outgrowing them and now Daniel has decided it is his turn.  Daniel is more the passive resistant type.  He doesn't do arm-flaying or screaming.  He prefers to let his limbs go slack, slide to the ground and begin a low keening wail that is akin to what I imagine a meat saw slicing your brain might sound like.  He can do this for hours and he gets the most mileage out of it in public places.  Which is why I am home blogging now and not at Spinners and Weavers.  There are lots of lovely older ladies at Spinners and Weavers and I'm sure some of them NEVER had children that threw temper tantrums.  He can't be trusted in public at the moment so today I am captive in my own home and might have to resort to fabric therapy, real coffee and chocolate to get me through the day. Hoping this is a short lived phase because when he is not being a little stinker this boy really is dreamy and divine.

Last, just to prove that I have been doing a wee bit of craft; some recent cropping with the new "Simply Beautiful" paper range:   
I've also been playing with hexagons - my first paper piecing attempts on some bright teatowels;and a while ago now I finished this mock log cabin cushion to go with Maddie's quilt (still not finished - but hopefully this weekend!)I was a bit excited that I put a zip into this cushion with minimal tears thanks to Sara and her excellent teaching with the Mystery Indulgence cushion we made at The Patchwork Apple last year!

Nic has requested my 8 minute biscuit recipe but it will have to wait until next time as I ate the last biscuit this morning (before photographing it!)  These biscuits don't last long in our house LOL

Hope you are having a wonderful, tantrum free week!
Keep smiling,