My plan for this summer, its till rough but I’m trying to give myself something to work towards and plan ahead as to where I plant things, rather than just putting them into any available gap!
The tramp is bring built tomorrow, to the right of the beds and behind the gate is the paddock, far left to the washing line is the edge of the house. The concrete flat is the foundations of an old garage and incredibly useful for summer dining, sitting, toys etc. I’d like to get more herbs planted around its edges. Above the swing in the image is the sleepout where hubby works out of the back of the garage. and around the ‘big tree’ are rhododendrons but the are needs some serious TLC.
At the bottom of the image there are trees on the fenceline and where I store peastraw and hay under tarps for the garden and pony respectively. Its a bit of a dark damp area but Im hoping to get it a bit tidied/hidden.
There is wood chip around all the vegi beds as pathway. I’d like to get some flowers and lavender planted in front of the beds to try and ‘prettify’ it as well as attract bees and discourage aphids etc. There is also a old rejected, flat tyres broken wheel barrow I have my eye on for planting a splash of colour.
Veg wise Im focusing on what we really eat – experience has shown me that while I grow rainbow chard really well, we don’t eat it, so its a bloody waste of space! We adored onions and carrots last year but I grew a woefully small amount. Peas are a huge hit, this year I’m sowing dwarf versions to try and combat the winds we get. Peppers were also a hit but have moved location this year to hopefully get more sun so they turn red.
The berry bushes and peachcot should do well this year, hopefully I can split the raspberries and use some sticks to start a few extra patches elsewhere. The lemon tree only came out of a pot a few days ago so we’ll have to see how it goes.
I’m still debating where to plant the courgettes and squashes as they grow huge but need good irrigation – something in summer we struggle with
The plan make it look polished and organised. It’s not at all, its weedy, over grown, half finished and in places a bit threadbare looking!
And this is only a third of the garden!
We had a quiet weekend, it was cold and windy both days. The wind got so bad on Friday night we ended up with a little snuggler in bed with us. The tree branches were whipping against the house and banging and crashing, the big chimney was whistling its tune as usual and we all struggled to get a decent sleep. The morning brought a quick check (roof was still attached) and hubby found some fallen branches and moved out from beside the house.
We dropped my camera off at the camera shop who are sending it away to Fuji to be fixed (ouch) and we drove out to a lovely little toen called ‘Little River’ where we got lunch, played and walked and saw a few chook houses as we are considering re-stocking chickens.
Sunday we headed to the farmers market and the river after, but got blown home and huddled up inside away from the wind and rain. Moo has been really good considering being inside doesn’t suit her at all. She’s definitely challenging at times, but we pinch ourselves, take a deep breath and remember it could be so much worse. We can take her anywhere, never worry about embarrassing tantrums, she rational most of the time, listens and is pretty good at expressing whats bothering her.
Many times I find myself stepping back, stopping and listening, making sure I’m not the one causing the issue, and often on reflection find that by altering my reasons, actions and expectations I can completely avoid any confrontation – mostly! Occasionally we just have to say ‘no’ to that second iced cupcake and its just not what she wants to hear!
Some images from our weekend
First time on the flying fox by herself – so happy
Book mail and sliding, two things that create joy in this family
Climbing the hillock up to the slide, and thumbs up for slide time
Garden supplies (I love this time of year, starting to collect seeds for future sowing) and walking home with Hobbes
There will be a lot of fuzzy phone/instaspam pics on the blog for the next wee while, on account of my breaking off a piece of memory car in my camera. And it needing camera hospital.
Bother wasn’t the expletive I originally used, nore hubbies. I’m very prone to this brand of blond catastrophe. Doing things that really take a whole unique type of ‘special’ to achieve. Seriously, who manages to break off a corner of memory car and end up with it stuck in the card slot ‘under’ the little mental ‘pins’ that connect the card. Special. Not to mention the home button on my phone which is only intermittently working now. Technological waste land. Thats me.
To be honest the week has been pretty low key and picture free, just ticking long to the usual routines, enjoying the mellow afternoons, a little bit of sun and some crafting. I found the most wonderful panel in TradeMe and have been dying to start a quilt for my craft room sofa (spare bed). I have ideals to get a embroidery hoop and hand stitch some detail into the panels, who know, I might get round to it! Once I get some batting may be I’ll start with some machine detailing!
Lisa from Little Coffee Beans has been making some gorgeous mug rugs and I think I might give those a go too, they are simply gorgeous. And she makes them sound quick and easy (my skills may not stretch to quick and easy, but I’ll give them a go!)
Anyway, here are some of those fuzzy phone pics i mentioned!
I got photobombed by the cat! I plan to call this ‘scrappy edging’ on account of the complete lack of straight lines, I really need to get myself a mat and rotary cutter. I am totally pretending those wonky bits are intentional.
He is actually striding purposefully away form a over affectionate toddler who is out of shot. It didn’t work, he got caught and ridden! And yes, Im aware the hat doesn’t fit (its mine – god only knows where my XC silk has gone) She’ll get her own at some point.
The garden has had a few hours, mostly maintenance, mowering, moving manure about to fertilise the veggie beds, hacking together some frost covers to try and encourage early planting, some pruning (I love a bit of chopping and hacking, its why I grow roses).
Nim has decided that a couple of days a week should be nap free, gymnastics is one day and the other we play by ear. This week we hung out in the garden in the 23 degree sun (winters not to bad in the part of the world, as long as you don’t mind the -2 overnight) She watered, spread dirt around and chattered, such a delightful companion to have. Once she got bored we took the Quinn for a ride. That pony really is a dude!
We had a mixed weekend. Some good things, baking, haircuts, delicious toasties, the end of a cold sleety week. And we had a 111 emergency, ambulance ride and 24h in hospital. It was a mixed bag!
We pride ourselves in giving a good rounded diet, low in processed foods (the odd cupcake doesn’t hurt!) and high in veg, home cooking and balance. We grow a huge amount of veg through spring, summer and autumn and I try to cook from scratch using the best ingredients we can source. Moo is generally a good eater, small amount but loves an amazing variety, curry, falafel, wraps, stur fry etc.
It would appear that sugar has much to answer for, and not just its inclusion in seemly all and everything, but its exclusion in home cooking as well. A lesson in moderation.
On Sunday morning Moose popped into bed with us and snuggled up. We dozed for about 30 mins, I noticed she seems snoozy. Since she hadn’t napped on Saturday it wasn’t concerning. Until we decided to get up and discovered she was pale, limp, and very barely conscious. So we called an ambulance. Her blood glucose very low, dangerously so.
Some glucose gel, pure apple juice and an ambo ride later and we were at the city hospital under the amazing care of the paediatric unit. IV line in and tests running. Moo was brilliant, so incredibly brave. It amazes me that children as so amazingly resilient, so stoic in the face of the unknown. She didnt cry, tantrum or melt. I was so proud of her.
She did however, look totally 100% well once the glucose kicked in. So we felt right frauds on the kids ward with our insanely cheery, chirpy child! We watched videos, played puzzles and read books. The staff were wonderful, so calm and engaging. There was a fantastic playroom staffed all day every day for activities. One of the staff used to work at madams nursery so Moo was very happy. Daddy was less so at car park charges of $3 an hour from the early hours till late. Seriously I think we burned through a months parking change in a day and a bit.
We got discharged almost exactly 24 after being admitted, with a clean bill of health and instruction to make sure we feed our toddler more sugary foods, umm yeah, her diet is too healthy. While we feed her well, and correctly, her glycogen stores were obviously too low. A couple of days of picking at meals and a big 12h sleep (her usual nightly amount) left her unable to function. We are blessed that there is no medical issue, we simply have to watch her eating carefully and make sure she is getting plenty of sugars as well as protein and veggies. A few newly introduced routines and some small alterations in our offered snacks
In other parts we had a nice weekend
This week has been quieter, more relaxed and we are finding our rhythms again, building in new routines and hoping this coming weekend is a touch more normal.
Some images from the last week
Slowly getting to grips with the photo grid app. I really want to try the Disney Storytime app that Kelle raves about on Enjoying the Small Things It looks awesome.
Children’s parties are like metaphors for your entire life.
Whether you organise with military precision, casually throw together something amazing, throw something together (and doesnt everyone know it) or simply tell everyone to turn up at a venue and arrive late toting a store bought cake. None is better or worse, more or less ‘correct’. But boy isnt there pressure to succeed – more, I’m sure, than there was when my mum was arranging parties for my birthdays.
Due to illness we had to cancel Moose’s second birthday party, instead we did a morning outing to the wildlife park. Hubby and Moo ran about in glee, I walked behind doubled over in pain with a fake smile muttering ‘no, no, I’m fine, fresh air is helping’ – I’m not entirely sure what that metaphor says about me?
Her first birthday was nice but half our friends got the date wrong or couldn’t come, so it ended up being a couple of friends and 2 toddlers, not what I had planned but actually rather fun and decidedly stress free. Now that metaphor I have deciphered – it was a 100% reflection on my lack of organisation and overly relaxed attitude, fine for a 1yr old – not going to cut it when she wants a proper party.
I”m hoping that this year my more organised approach might result in a relaxed but fun part for Moo. Much like the party we attended today for her buddy R. It was a great party, organised, well catered, homemade accents, with loads of activities and neat little touches. It was a party definitely organised by someone with their life together. Jealous.com! Seriously the bar has really been raised in our toddler social circles, there is a benchmark to be achieved.
We are pretty laid back people, we roll with most things. Earthquakes, house rebuilds, living in motels (for 5 months, with a ill baby) and flying internationally to visit my terminally ill mum on a few days notice. They all culminated to make me stop worrying about every little thing, sometimes its about each moment, not the one that came before or the one to follow. Perhaps I am now to laid back, after years of being to stressed and wound tight, medicated and anxious I am now almost the reverse, I have given up writing lists. I usually forget to read/pack/take them with me anyway. I shop by wandering up and down the aisles and only forget a couple of things each week. I try to see a bigger picture.
I wonder what the picture will look like for Moo’s 3rd birthday?
First up, a very over due photo drop, mostly from this week
She has been challenging the past couple of day while hubby has been away. She always been spirited and strong in her own mind but I’ve had a lot of direct ignoring and ‘no’ ing to every request. I know its just age and development but its so frustrating as I know she’s usually helpful and want to co-operate. It’s also really hard as its so rare and unusual I find myself at a loss with how to deal with her. I hate to threaten meaningless actions such as ‘sit properly or i’ll take dolly away’ as I know shes simply to young to really understad what that means, but hell its hard to know how to respond, and ignoring it only gets me so far. We aim to be relaxed parents and allow her freedom to explore actions and consequences, but simply ignoring advice or defying safety instructions we draw a line at.
Some days I realise that parenting is more about how I behave and react than how my child is acting. It is about being consistent, fair and firm. Moose responds best to solid immovable boundaries, and very little interference within them. Recently, in a ill-advised attempt to be ‘fun’ and ‘relaxed’ I have let some of those slip, become fluid. Now its kicking my ass. Strident but loving mama is back.
Pictures from the last week, snippets of our lives
We have had a good week, but its been slow. I’m not sure why, perhaps bad weather, may be the holidays lack of our usual activities. But its felt long.
Currently I’m writing this sat on the sofa, in the near dark as Moose lies next to me, partially consoled about her daddies absence by the fact its half past 8 and she’s still awake and singing – seriously no joke, she’s lying under a quilt on the sofa singing ‘hickery dickory dock’ but her bed and the prospect of sleep incite a almost hysterical response combine with wailings of ‘I want my daddy’. A toughter mama would tuck her in and say good night, but I’m as soft as room temp butter.
So she’s beside me, my little companion in daddies absence
Phone dump, moments from this week
Moose is at an age where we are regularly (and annoyingly) being asked when we are going to give her a sibling. There are a variety of ways to respond, they depend on my state of sleep depravation, and range from a gentle ‘umm ahh, there always time’ right through to ‘what business is it of yours?’
We get the ‘oh no, you can’t keep her as an only child, that mean’ on a weekly basis – ha just watch us.
And while I seem flippant about this its not a flippant ‘off the cuff’ decision, its one that took hours of talking, thought and introspection for us both. Before we had a child we both felt a big (ish) family was the path we were heading down, he said 2 kids may be more, I said 4 kids. I had vision of myself as a barefooted mama surrounded by a happy brood as I made bread and chickens pecked at the door (seriously that was my imagined life – I know, for anyone who knows me its ironic and hilarious) There is a part of me that would love another, a sister for Moose. But I also know that I don’t want to compromise our time with her, the adventures we can have and my own sanity.
I have an enormous admiration for those with big families, and no small amount of envy for that vibrant buzzing home life, they have homes I visit and sink into like a comfy sofa, drinking in the noise and energy, the different personalities all under one roof, but its visiting that I love. I come back home and settle back into my little life equally happily, the peace, quiet and calm.
For us one child appears to be what is going to work, not for solely financial or emotional reasons, but in that it fits our life, expectations and our mission statement, what we want to give our child. Will she miss out on some things, well yes. She won’t have sibling relationships, she won’t have the big family environment. Family (biological anyway) is thin on the ground for us. Particularly since my mum died. The family we do have we treasure and try to make sure its about quality time. We hope what she will gain will amply make up for the things she will loose.
We want to take her to see Europe, where her history is, the places and experiences we enjoy, to live little slices of different lives. And, since we live on totally the wrong side of the equator for that, travel is a big deal from here. To visit the family we do have, to see the amazing wonderful, diverse world that is out there. To arm her with as many experiences as we can to aid her choices as she grows up.
And because we are a tiny bit nomadic, we just love the adventures.
Todays adventure was a little more modest – collecting fallen leaves for picture making
Gosh this girl loves her bike, and just being outside.
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