It seems that since I have become a ‘grown up’ the concepts of time have changed. My memories of the past include weeks that took soooooo long to pass, the concept of a month was an eternity. Suddenly now I find days flying by, the week begins and then its Thursday, literally what feels like minutes later. Plans to call frieds, meet for coffee, fit in that extra run all get pushed away. A quick ‘dash’ into the store to look for a picture frame and some spoons eats 30 minutes. Suddenly lunchtime arrives without the morning being used.

My mum used to say you have to ‘make time’ for things, but I dont think you can ‘make’ time. You simply ‘take’it. For me its about better organisation, portioning my time and fitting in as much as I can without feeling like I’m on a carousel that I cannot stop. Some day its about taking time to fit in all those little jobs, call the rubbish collection, call the physio, arrange the vet. Other times its actually about taking time to stop, taking a few minutes to simply sit and watch my girl. Learn from how she does it.

The daily rhythms of winter have started becoming ingrained to each day, fire lighting, wood chopping, indoor and outdoor activities. Running in morning frost and the sight of beautiful snow covered mountains.

We try hard to make sure that we balance the need to stay warm and dry with Moo’s need to exploration, physical activity and independent play. Inside we find she really struggles to settle down and play alone for any time, but when outside she’s totally happy to potter about by herself, chattering away just checking in with me. 

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This time of year both hubby and I find challenging around the property, everything looks a bit shabby (shabbier than usual!) and damp and brown and crusty. What veggies we have left are ending and looking decidedly unhappy, beds that I have turned and ready to seed are looking barren and empty. Branches from the recent storms litter the ground and the pea straw mulch all needs topping up as weeds and earth poke through the holes.

We have been looking round and see the drive that needs lining with washed boulders and recovering. The roof needs re-painting – after the earthquake repairs we have varies patches of different coloured steel mixed with the older moss green original roofing steel. Its a time of year we find ourselves planning, deciding what we need to do, the order of play. Start to dream dreams of summer and the things we can do to our little place in the world.

The days are flying by, but winter is feeling oh so long.

July 11, 2013 Homelife

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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!

Garden plan

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!

July 8, 2013 Homelife

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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

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First time on the flying fox by herself – so happy

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Book mail and sliding, two things that create joy in this family

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Climbing the hillock up to the slide, and thumbs up for slide time

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Garden supplies (I love this time of year, starting to collect seeds for future sowing) and walking home with Hobbes

July 8, 2013 Homelife

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This moment – a moment I want to pause, savour and remember.

Joining Amanda at Soulemama

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July 6, 2013 This Moment

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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!

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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.
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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!

July 4, 2013 Homelife

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I am discovering every day with a toddler is an adventure. Not the ‘Exploring Disneyland Florida’ type of adventure either. The swing on a 25kg backpack, jump on a crowded bus next to locals, goats and chickens, end up sitting on the floor – for 16 hours. Get lost, have stuff stolen. Climb a huge mountain, in the rain. Dance with hypothermia. Eat with locals, walk under shooting stars. Chill at the beach. Get home and remember through rose tinted glasses type of adventure.

Yeah, I had that adventure. 

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Raising kids is different, same roller coaster, same ups and down. Less choice to end it once its begun. More amazing, more depth and far more emotion. Days are different, even within our routines that shape our life. Some days just roll by, while others have clarity and grace. They are day that aren’t marked by exciting events, simply just moments. For us they are days of grace, moments to pause before we pay our dues to toddlerdom. Tantrums, bargaining, cajoling and pleading.

Moose is at such a great place, she’s challenging, funny, cheeky and at times downright obstinate. Possibly a little insecure occasionally, just a normal toddler trying to make sense of the big world she’s living in.  We are trying really hard to make sure we savour every day, every little moment. Not sweat the small stuff.

Sometimes I find myself getting caught up in the things I cannot change right now, questions for the future, schools, friends, will she be popular, will she be bullied. And the more immediate, why has she suddenly got shy, can I stop her saying ‘no’ so much. How do I encourage her to find her own inner play and creativity and not need me by her side at every second. How do you guide a toddler through life?

Then we find moments, like the moments you climb through the clouds, see a shooting star, are offered mint tea by a local. But they are even better, more intimate, based around our real life, relationships, little moments we can recreate, without flying for hours and sitting on bus floors.

These are our days

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Joining Soulemama

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June 29, 2013 This Moment

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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.

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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 

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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.

June 27, 2013 Homelife

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This weekend it rained, and rained, and rained, and just for fun, it rained some more, right into Monday too.

Saturday we went into the city to get our new glasses, run errands and pop to the market. By the afternoon the rain has started so after a abortive attempt to get a coffee (all the cafes in our township close early) we went to the local wine bar (toddler in tow) and ordered coffee and a fluffy. Hilarious but surprisingly decent drinks!

Madam doesn’t do at all well with staying in for extended periods of time. I envy people who can just hang out at home with their kids, we can’t, at least, not in winter. May be its to do with our little home, which although perfectly formed really is ‘little’ (85 sqM) or perhaps with all the living out and about because of earthquake repairs etc Moo is just used to being out and about, Im not sure.
I have a plan (haha I have lots, but hopefully this one will come to fruition) to turn our front sleepout into a craft and play room, a space outside our own space. Somewhere to head out to and play, create and invent. It has solely been used as a ‘spare room’ and store room but its a lovely little space with great light that I think could really provide a whole new environment for us to retreat to, and in summer will be a lovely place to get out of the really fierce sun. We are changing out the double bed for a single to create more space, have put a desk in and I’m working on a few other bits in there too. It will be great to have somewhere I can leave the sewing machine out, and Moo will have room for her teepee, a kitchen and permanent craft space.

Sunday was torrential (sorry, more weather talk) so we headed into the city again – but to a different side and took Moose to the Airforce museum. It might seem a odd choice for a 2.5yr old girl, but was actually rather inspired as a choice. Lots of room, big interesting looking planes and the launch of Googles ‘Loon for All’ project. Hubby was the mastermind behind it and he was spot on.

I had never heard of the Loon for All, but its an amazing concept, atmospheric balloons which provide internet over specific areas.

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Everyone there was lovely, it was busy but not crazy and Moo had a wonderful time running about charming everyone. After the earthquakes we have had here its a project that I really do think is exciting and inspirational. The fear and panic after the smaller but more damaging Feb 22nd quake in Christchurch were made worse by infrastructure issues and projects like this could have really helped. Not to mention the uses around the world, in war zones, crisis and developing countries.

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I also made Moo a duvet cover to go with her new ‘big girl bed’ that arrived this week. I got some beautiful Ikea fabric and cut out the floral mid section on one of our old covers and replaced it with the new fabric. To cover up my awful seaming (I didn’t leave enough allowance for the selvage so the writing showed) I stitched ribbon down the seams. It’s pretty rough but Im rather proud of how it looks!
Ikea is one shop I really do miss. NZ seriously need to get that sorted!

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Joining in with Soulemama in a moment I want to savour and cherish

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June 16, 2013 This Moment

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