Wednesday, 30 September 2009
Of course, the masterchef was simply me with a dubious accent, but it's still marvellous to watch Boo enter completely into the make-believe of it all -- to the point where he'll try food items he never otherwise would.
Our efforts were for an evening at my parents, where a group of twitchers had gathered to watch the videos of African birds taken by my parents on their latest trip there.
Afterwards, they settled down to watch the movie of the No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, which is charming and beautiful. I'd recommend it to anyone, but especially any person who has a love of Africa.
Friday, 25 September 2009
The only problem with doing this is that Boo isn't drinking the flouride he needs for strong and healthy teeth. Up until now, we've traipsed to Grandmas every few days to fill large plastic drink bottles with water ... but it's meant a few trips a week, and Boo's little muscles can't lift the bottles to pour water for himself, so each time he wants a drink he needs to ask.
The solution to all these problems is this charming ceramic water dispenser, which cost less than $30 at Officeworks (of all places!). We can fill up 7 litres at a time (or 16 if we use the attached bottle), and Boo can help himself whenever he's thirsty. And he seems to to need a drink at least a hundred times a day -- which I think has something to do with the novelty of pressing the dear little tap.
Wednesday, 23 September 2009
The views -- everywhere you looked -- were spectacular.
We walked half the track, then had to return to the car as dusk was closing in. But in terms of distance we covered the entire route, and if we allow two or three hours we could easily make it. So one day we plan to wander from one town to another, then have a relaxing lunch and take the train home.
Tuesday, 22 September 2009
We've played board games, done the housework, made a carboard garage and ... not much else really.
Perhaps later we'll take a trip into the little supermarket in town ... or perhaps not. Gran is making dinner, so there's nothing we need to do.
I certainly didn't today, and was surprised when Jumps brought in this little handpicked posy in the afternoon, with a sheepish "Happy Eighth Anniversary!" and a kiss.
Monday, 21 September 2009
That said, I haven't actually slept outdoors for more than 25 years. Back when I was just eight, we spent a year in a campervan and tent, travelling around Australia while my father wrote a guidebook for tourists.
Sure, there were some good memories from that trip -- Cornetto icecreams, swimming pools at campsites, possums that ate out of your hand, and the vertigo-inducing pit that is Mt Isa. But, on the whole, it was a long year of car-sickness, sweltering nights with no air-conditioning, squabbles in the back of the car, boredom, and no where to really call your own.
So it was with some misgivings that I agreed to spend a weekend camping with friends beside a lake. As well as the obstacle of my own resistance to camping, we had to consider the fact that we own no gear, except maybe one sleeping bag (not that I plan to use a sleeping bag at all -- I'll be taking sheets, pillows and soft fuzzy blankets for my corner).
So it must have been fate that at the market on the weekend a lone stallholder displayed the sign "new tent, $25!".
We put it up on the weekend for a trial run ... and I can't help liking it. It's sturdy, large enough for 6 people, and well made. When you're inside it's breezy and light and green -- almost like being up high in the a tree.
That said, I still didn't like it enough to sleep there overnight -- Boo and Daddy did that, while I curled up in my warm bed with a book and cup of tea!
Sunday, 20 September 2009
Saturday, 19 September 2009
Especially this jewel of a place -- which is only 10 minutes from our house -- and where you'll find a harbour, park, beach and rockpool right beside eachother.
And if we decide to spend wildly, a few dollars buys a mountain of hot chips to fill four hungry bellies to bursting!
Thursday, 17 September 2009
His mother hosts the most marvellous children's parties -- even when they're low-key, like today's, there's something special in the air, and Boo and I always have enormous fun.
Boo came home from the festivities exhausted to the core, and even asked to go to bed. While we snuggled under the covers we thought about all the lovely things he did today, and came up with quite a list.
- A trip to Grandma's with Daddy.
- Playing in the park.
- Gardening with Granny.
- Making 'experiments' on the verandah with Mummy.
- A swim with Daddy.
- A lunchtime video.
- A trip to the library.
- A walk to the postoffice -- then a run up mainstreet's sidewalk, swinging around poles on the way.
- A birthday party.
- Shopping for groceries.
- Listening to stories.
No wonder my little boy was ready for sleep!
Tuesday, 15 September 2009
Sunday, 13 September 2009
Isn't it sweet?
I especially love the bookshelves along the left-hand side, which hide the fridge and cover what otherwise would be pretty much a blank wall (which is what it was before). They also give me a place for my cookery books, other bits and bobs, and teatowels and cloths (in the wicker baskets). Of course, the breakfast bar is also a highlight (there is a third chair further to the right, which I didn't get in the shot because I was too lazy to go and borrow a wide-angled lens from my father), and I wonder now what we did without it. Boo and I chat all the time there: him sipping or eating or playing, while I get on with chores. It's also a great place to bake together -- I had three little kids last week making cookies with me, and there was plenty of space.
I went for the most inexpensive finishes (because, simply, we had a budget that I didn't want to break), and at the time I was a little disappointed not to get glass cabinets with little panes in them. But now that it's done, I can't imagine I would have liked them any better than these, which now have all my pretty mugs hanging in them.
Of course, now I wish I'd done a 'before' shot (but at the time I just as too excited to see the old kitchen go, and didn't take the time to photograph it), so unfortunately only those people who actually know what it looked like will appreciate the difference.
But it's a big change, believe me.
For one thing, the kitchen was previously a sortof 'walk through' area, so the wall at the right (where the glass cabinets are) wasn't there at all: instead, it was simply an opening to go into the dining room. And there wasn't a big pantry at all -- that spot was where the oven stood. Which didn't leave much space for cabinets or storage (and meant my crockery was stored in the linen cupboard, and the linen in a bookshelf in the laundry -- but more about that later).
It also meant I didn't have room for a dishwasher -- which you can now see stands in pride of place under the window. Ah! I never realised how luxurious it would be not to wash dishes again!
To continue, we now have a door in the family room wall, which has transformed the whole house for the better. The view as you come in the front door is delightful, and the dining room has gained nearly an acre of space (since it's no longer a walk-through area).
And, finally, several of my old kitchen cabinets have been recycled to become laundry cupboards (you can only see one in the picture, but there's another huge pantry cupboard tucked behind the door), and the dryer has been placed up high.
Saturday, 12 September 2009
I think they may have been too "grown up" for him, and next time will try to make cookies that are more child-friendly. That said, while I'm happy to accept constructive criticism, and think Boo does have a right to express his likes and dislikes, I'm not pleased to hear such damning comments from his little mouth. Next time I will put all the cookies away, and explain to him that if you are negative about another person's efforts -- especially if that person is doing something at your request -- you will lose out. I think it's an important lesson to learn early.
It sometimes takes me a while to figure out the best way to deal with a situation, especially where Boo is concerned, because generally I can't help thinking he's cute, even when behaviour goes a little beyond the pale. And especially if he doesn't end up having any siblings -- which, sadly, might be a possibility at this point -- he will need to learn that he's not the most important person in the world. (Although he is, of course, to us).
So when we designed the kitchen, I asked if I could have a windowsill built in. It wasn't possible, as we would have lost too much bench space, but instead Rik put up a sturdy, handsome wooden shelf just below the window, which I stained and varnished to match the countertops.
There are so many things I love about the new kitchen, but this little shelf gives me more pleasure than I could have imagined.
Yesterday Boo and Granny were in the middle of a rousing game of dinosaurs while gardening, when Papa came to chat. "Go away, Papa", said Boo "we're busy".
Gran immediately told him to mind his manners, so Boo said sorry, then paused for a moment, before pointing towards the dam and saying, very politely "Papa, wouldn't you like to have some privacy ... over there?"
I had plans for a night away with friends on Friday, but woke in the morning with gastro, and collapsed back into bed after cancelling all my appointments and plans. While I was sorry to have missed out on my excursion, I was so grateful to Granny, who whisked Boo away immediately for a day of busy fun (and exhaustion for her!), allowing me to sleep and rest without anything to worry about. Jumps did the washing and dinner, took Boo in the afternoon, and put him to bed. It was terrible to feel ill, but made me realise how lucky I am to have family who will care for me immediately, and without question or fanfare.
Wednesday, 9 September 2009
Tuesday, 8 September 2009
This evening, thankfully, he's looking pinker and more cheerful, and is now lying on the sofa laughing uproariously while watching "Rocky and Bullwinkle" with his Dad, despite the dark circles under his eyes.
Today has been all about caring for him: how would I cope, I wonder, if I had two or three other children -- either sick or well -- to look after? And, too, how could I possibly manage if I had a child who was very ill for a long period? It's strange that bad times can make one grateful for the good things, rather than leading me to dwell on this difficult moment.
Monday, 7 September 2009
Sunday, 6 September 2009
To this delight Boo won every time -- his smart red car was designed to stick to the track, and outstripped ours time and again!
Wednesday, 2 September 2009
So, our resolutions are to brush long and hard night and morning, make sure Boo always has flouridated water (we use tank water in the house), and ask Papa to replace the jar of sticky jelly sweeties for chocolate buttons.
On a happier note, the rest of the day was divine -- perfect weather, seven little people and their mothers here for tea and new-kitchen admiration, then Lexa, Angus and Jack staying for an afternoon's play and craft (the kids loved the simple cardboard cats in the picture below: we made them from cardboard rolls).
Lexa stayed for dinner, and we took her home via the video shop, which is our special Wednesday treat: all weekly DVDs are $1, and Boo and I each get a 20c ball of bubblegum!
Tuesday, 1 September 2009
We're nearly done, but have a few finishing touches to put into place. Today I stained the windowsill and varnished under the doorframe -- tomorrow the sill needs to be sanded, restained and varnished. Of course there's plenty to be done in other rooms, too, since cupboards and bookshelves have now been repositioned, requisitioned, and recycled as bits and pieces move into and out of the kitchen .
I'll take some photos when I can say "Done"! But in the meanwhile, here's a peek!