Friday, December 30, 2011

The most wonderful time of the year...

I hope everyone has enjoyed their Christmas and is having a great festive season.  This is the time that we all love to be with our friends and family don't we?  This is the time that I really miss my friends and family.  But it's also the time that I love creating memories and new traditions with my own family - my husband and my children.  It's the most wonderful time of the year.

I've been meaning to get here for a while, definitely before Christmas.  However, things have got a little on top of me and December saw me being in the most unfestive of moods, and some would say I was parked up on Struggle Street.  Let's just say that I am now happy and super grateful that Johnny is off work for the next couple of weeks.

So, this was our home at about 7:30am on Christmas morning....

 Ever the Poser....

Loving her new dolly (which is SO NOT ugly Ned!)...

Only interested in the choccies...

I'm sending everyone my love over this time.  I hope for everyone to be safe, well and truly happy.

We are seeing the New Year in with my beautiful siblings-in-law, and a glass of the Champagne regions finest.  What are your plans??

Big love to you all


Saturday, December 10, 2011

Yeah, Stuff....

I've been a bit puzzled of late with the behaviour coming from Little Red.  Since we've returned from New Zealand I've had an extremely demanding, frustrated, whingy, screaming 4 year old on my hands.  Her behaviour has become unmanageable at times and we have even reverted back to tantrums lasting longer than 30 minutes.  I've put some of this down to being away, settling back into our routines and on top of that being sick.  She has always been sensitive to change and takes time to settle into things, but it can't all be that.  Can it?

I mentioned here about her demanding I change the way I had hung the advent calendar.  I wasn't joking.  At times she has has screamed, demanding I do things the way she sees things in her head.  Unfortunately, at times I have no idea how she see things, what she wants me to say, how she wants me to walk etc, and a full on meltdown has ensued.  Her sleep had been affected too.  Waking earlier and not going to sleep until later.  It has become exhausting, not to mention disheartening.

The last couple of days have been a bit better. We have still had the occassional incident, but I've also noticed a greater deal of comprehension that she has developed.  I remember her going through a very similar stage this time 2 years ago.  She regressed in her behaviours, sleeping, toilet training, eating, and then all of sudden it was back to where it had been, along with a whole lot of new developments.

Is this normal developmental behaviour?  I have not noticed this with the Little Viking so much.  But perhaps this is just because she is so much more sensitive to change that she cannot cope with all of what she is learning and developing at one time, and once things are more familiar, more natural to her, she becomes more at ease.  Hmm, I'm typing as i think here, but that seems to make sense.

Has anyone else had similar situations?   Is this typical of a 4 year old?  Any suggestions?  Am I doing something wrong?  Can I do more to help her, to help me?  She really is an excellent kid, but sometimes with some not so excellent behaviour.

Anyway, a bit more of what else has been happening.....

We've got our Christmas tree, but have still only half decorated it.  Underestimated size and quanitity of decorations required.

Ruby and I were getting handy while the other littles napped yesterday.  She painted up some kraft paper we could use for Christmas wrapping paper and I tried to make some decorations.

It's been raining a plenty and weirdly the highest part of our block is the boggiest.  Unfortunately, this is where our fruit trees have been planted and we have lost a few.  The bare rooted nectarine and peach Johnny bought and planted at the end of winter have not budded at all (dead?).  The cherry tree leaves have wilted and are now drying out (dead?).  One of the feijoas leaves are starting to fall off (dead?).  Any ideas?

We also have cherry slug eating the leaves on our plum trees.  I've read that throwing coffee over them can get rid of them, so we've done that over the past couple of days.  We'll see what happens.  Any suggestions?

Johnny's been digging holes for our deck, and has found just how close we are to a natural spring.  Less than a metre close.

We went to a family fun day today and just missed out on getting the kids faces painted.  So we had to do that when we got home.  Little Red painted mine and the Vikings.  I did Little Reds, while she told me what colours I had to use and when.  She wanted a flower, I tried to do one.  She was not impressed, yelled at me, kicked her legs about and wanted me to "DO IT AGAIN!".  Huuuuhhhhh..........

Check. Out. My. Nose!  And yeah, I know, my flower did suck.

Sorry, bit of a boring post.  Hope you're all having a good weekend. 
Happy Days

Friday, December 2, 2011

DIY Advent Calendar

This is the first year that we'll be in our own home for Christmas, and I'm a little bit excited about the Christmas decorating.  Previous years we've not had the space for any kind of tree or many decorations, and the Little's haven't been so aware.  But this year is a special one.  Our family is complete, we're in our own home and I've been planning away.  I'm not going to have it all done by this weekend (or the next for that matter), but bit by bit, we'll be dressing up the home.

The first part is complete.  Our own home made advent calendar.   I was inspired by one I saw in Real Living Magazine which used little buckets.  The likelihood of me finding something similar to the buckets in a local store, and in the quantity I needed was slim, so I kept my mind open to other suitable options.

A packet of cupcake cases were the answer.  I added some twine as handles (Little Red was able to help with this part), roped through a festive looking silver trim, penned on some numbers, and voila - a very festive advent calendar garland. 

I haven't filled the cases. I'll do that on a daily basis and the Little's will be able to check them each night after dinner.  Then we can also use the checking of the calendar as a bribe gentle persuasion to eat their dinner.  I'll be starting small too - we don't want to set up any big expectations.  We'll have the usual sweet treats but it won't be limited to that.  Some nights will include bubbles, hairclips, small toys, stickers etc.  I was meant to complete this yesterday during the day, but best laid plans seldom end up as intended around here, especially when the Little's are sick.  So I finished it off last night and they saw it this morning.  Tonight they will get to empty two cases.

I asked Little Red if she liked it this morning when she saw it.  She said she did.  Not surprisingly, she added that she didn't like the fact that it was hanging down and rather it should be straight across.  Surprisingly however, she didn't demand I change it.

Super easy, compliments our decor, cost effective and reusable for years to come.  Perfect!


Yeah, i know my white balance is out in these photo's.  Can't figure out that one.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

So, I Made One Of Those Crayon Things

I first spied this melted crayon art at The Happy Home blog and thought it would be perfect for the Little Vikings Room.  You can see her version here
I wasn't sure what it was at the time, but have subsequently found them in abundance on Pinterest and other blogs.
So with today being just a Little M day, the house tidy(ish), washing away, butter chicken in the slow cooker, I got to work.
You need a bit of time for this project.  It is an easy one, but quite time consuming.

You Need:
- Canvas
- 1 and a bit packets of 64 crayons
- Hot glue gun
- Hairdryer
- Time - about 1.5 - 2 hours to complete

- Start by sorting the colours along the top of the canvas with the tips pointing down.  I used the brighter colours from the packets and left the darker ones out.
- Using the glue gun, glue each crayon and quickly place on canvas.  I glued mine so all the labels faced out.

- Cover the wall and floor with newspaper or other suitable coverage, place canvas on wall and get ready to start melting.

- Place the hairdryer close to the crayons and start melting.  Play with the high and low settings to ensure that the crayons are melting at a good rate but not flicking everywhere.  The crayons will start to sweat first and will then melt and run down the canvas. I found that as they were melting down I needed to move the hairdyer down the canvas as well to encourage the crayon to keep moving down as it was drying fairly quickly.

Note - the melting process is a long one, so be patient.  I found that i had a couple of colours that took ages to melt too, and needed a lot of extra time.

- Get good quality crayons.  I don't think mine were all that great quality, and in parts the coverage on the canvas is not great.
- Do it on a warmer day if possible.  I should have done it yesterday, when it was 32 degrees.  In typical Victorian style, it was about 16 degrees today, so the melting process took a bit longer that it could have.
- If you are doing it on a warmer day, place the canvas in your the front windscreen of your car.  This will start the sweating process and quicken the melting even more.

It's home will be on this wall.  It looks a little bit shit close up, but when it's on it's home on the wall, I think it'll look great. 

In the meantime, it's going away until Dec 25th.

Monday, November 28, 2011

When Safety Precautions Go Bad

Our arrival home from New Zealand at the end of last week came with some surprise.  The trampoline was not in sight, the clothesline had no lines in tact and the Little's slide was lying on its side.

What has gone on? 

Thoughts of some people carrying a trampoline inconspicuously down the road crossed my mind.  Fear that the house was ramshacked did the same. 

As we walked around the house things became a bit clearer.  It had been windy in NZ while we were there.  It had obviously been the same here.

A word of precaution to those with tramps that have the safety nets - they can get carried away!

Our tramp had made a nice wee trip.  Flipping at some stage.  making its way through the clothesline, taking a whole row of lines with it.  Finally resting, battered and bruised on the embankment at the back of the house.  Lucky for the clothes line otherwise it would have most definitely hit the house and most likely have taken out some windows.

By the time I took these photo's Johnny had fixed the line already (essential for the amount of washing !  I'm sure you know).

The tramp was positioned to the left of the slide.

Please excuse the washing on the line and the unkempt lawns.  Typically it rained when Johnny was able to get them mowed this weekend.

I hope everyone is getting set for Christmas.  I'm starting to feel the festive spirit and have been working out decoration ideas.  Hopefully we'll be getting the tree sorted this weekend.

Happy Week to you all.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Best Job In The World

What could be the best job in the world?

 A Hairdresser?

 Zoo Keeper?


Sign Writer?






For me, right now, it's raising these Little's.  It's an honour I am grateful for every day (as stressful and chaotic as it sometimes can be) and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

From Pond to Plate in 4.5 hours

It's been a beautiful weekend here.  My shoulders have been sunkissed and I've noticed a few extra freckles on Little Red's nose.

Fishing has been on the agenda for a while, and we've been biding our time until the weather was right.  So today we put off any duties around the house and made our way to the high(er) country. 

We left a little later than planned, as I had mentioned bacon and egg sandwiches, so we had to have one before the journey.  Then we arrived a little more later than planned as we had a wee incident with a lack of petrol in the car.  We didn't run out however; all but 15ml left in the tank.

Anyway, we made it to our destination, The Alpine Trout Farm in Noojee.  Its a beautiful drive to get there, just under 30 minutes for us (sans petrol incidents), and there's not a lot of waiting around before success.  The smell brought back memories of my childhood, catching fresh water crays in the creek by our house.  I knew I was going to enjoy myself.

An outing that will become a regular one.




What did you get up to for the weekend?  I hope it was a good one.