Monday, June 30

getting a bit 'Nanna'

They're done. Vege patches are finally complete. My lovely husband announced last night "they're ready for you my darling". Hows that for a stupendous choice of husband? He does all the grunt and prep work and leaves me the fun stuff! Whoohoo- bring on planting season * note to self- check calender for planting days.Finally some growing space where investment will mean reward. On a competly labour free note, our lemon tree is literally sagging with lemons; its been a very good year, so yetserday ( i'm liking yetserday) I made some lemon curd ( back to labouring) which didnt use up nearly enough lemons-6 measly lemons for a cup of lemon curd! i need a recipe that calls for 30+ lemons and zest! Thats prolly going to be something like cordial. being an oral epidemiologist, im a nazi about sugar consumption around here and cordial would be a green light for the kids not to drink water so im really loathe to make some, but i could ration it.... poor kids...they would really love a mum who just said 'yes'.

Eg: Nazi parent..Picture this.. a few weeks ago B2 and i were shopping (at nasty big name supermarket previously mentioned in another post) and B2 and we hear a little girl saying to her mum "oooh look, cherries, can we get some?" (I hear my internal nazi immediately squawk "Cherries! mid winter! whaaaaat?) Her mother replies " sure lets get some". Soooooo, B2 turns to me and says "i love cherries, can we get some cherries please mum?" I knew this question was coming .. quietly , on the inside I gag, choke, my heart sinks as I hear myself reply " No Lil, those cherries are all the way from America blah blah blah and something about eating seasonally blah blah blah and something about her sustainability project she was doing at school and this was a great example blah blah blah..." Sometimes I want to be a mum that just says 'yes' a bit more.
So, maybe some home made lemon cordial is a great idea!

Whats with the nanna title ? lemon curd reminds me of my grandma and yesterday i made the weekly batch of yoghurt in the very nanna-ish Kambrook pink topped plastic yoghurt maker all screamed NANNA! but Im loving nanna.

Sunday, June 29

Farmers Market

Just back from the Adelaide Showground Farmers Market. Its our fifth weekend shopping there for the family fruit n veg. One of my last big guilt trips was buying our gear from the local big chain supermarket just because its close and convienient (and dont they know it) and the local organic market stocks mostly added value product,and the prices for organic fruit and veg is just exhorbitant. I had pledged to myself that after the boybean was born we would make it a family ritual to go every Sunday. So far, Im doin' well getting the kids packed up and heading out the door. I usually take the babybean and one interested 'other B' and leave Si at home to do some digging, chopping or other gardening related task or theatre committments. Prices are not that much cheaper and the organic veg produce is limited but the organic breads are great and the biodynamic dairy provides product not found in the retail shops. I think the organisers need to work on generating a wider selection of primary products, but maybe we just dont have the population levels to support it *...fantasising about the farmers markets in Victoria, France, Italy, California....* Cakes and pastries are another story- plenty of them around and i have managed to avoid buying anything yum to eat on my rounds, not for want of interest but limited hand capacity to munch and carry at the same time. Baby bean cried the whole time this morning so it wasnt the Sunday shopping amble i had been hoping for but B2 said happily she had had a great morning ( maybe it had something to do with the uber fabulous choclate and vanilla frosted cupcake for breakfast) so i must have hidden my stress levels well!
But Im happy, besides all the staples i picked up my favourite; Willabrand Fig and Fennel Chutney and the kids came home with a new lemon myrtle Paris Creek Biodynamic yoghurt. Years ago as an undergrad student i used to shop at the Goodwood food co-op; a fantastic source of bulk foods and organic fruit and veg and am thinking I may have to renew my membership. My only issue is the travel down to town and chewing up the petrol; false economies etc. If i was entrepreneurially (sp?!) minded, id start up an Adelaide Hills food cop-op and farmers market!!!!!!!!!
This post has turned into an advert for food stuff. Sorry, but hey, push that local product, no?

Saturday, June 28

just arrived from China

these gorgeous happy shoes (well thats what i called them when i was a kid- they only came in black canvas then!)have just arrived for the baby bean. Our dear friend Maggie (Li Jun) presented J with them, made with love from her mum who lives in a village in remote NW china. She purchased the green/blue ones for the boybean but she made the red/black ones!I love them. The amount of work in them is quite incredible; the Han people traditionally call them 1000 layer shoes. The picture doesnt do them justice but the sole is made up from layers and layers of 3 blocks of wadded fabric and all hand stitched together.

Im thinking a whole stall of these at the local market could be a sight I'd happily walk kilometers for...

fiddling for a favicon

I finally did it. It took a few hours of my time... all that time for a very small piece of graphics inserted in the url window of this blog. Was it worth it? YES! I like learning and particularly like an IT challenge. I think that's partly why i liked the idea of creating a blog; to learn about the technical process and possibilities in addition to the process of exploring the self and learning to let go ( stream of consciousness stuff) in the process of daily writing and learning more about my mind and emotions and 'where i'm at' emotionally each day ( NERD! attack).
Haalo at cook (almost)anything at least once sparked my interest. Her lovely little pear favicon took my fancy and i thought 'i needs me one of those' and determined mah-self to have one. So i Googled it. I didn't know what that little picture was technically called so i used the search terms "http & graphics & Blogger" and Viola! pages of instructions on creating a 'favicon' (favourite icon). So i generated an image- the bull as symbol for Taurus (my starsign, my husbands starsign and baby beans starsign and a house jam packed full of stubborness!)and uploaded it. Try one, go on, I know you want one.

Friday, June 27

Friday haiku

walking with my boy
sun shining and air ice cool;
happiness at large

now i'm off to wash my hair! Hooray!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, June 26

thought soup

Our internet has been 'down for a week'. Finding the problem in order to fix the damn thing has been a frustrating process of elimination and responsibility shifting but finally we're 'Back On' and the teen bean can function/breathe/live again. Her BF lives in Melbourne and they had both run out of credit on their mobiles with no immediate relief to that crisis to hand due to teen 'pay day' issues and the limited capacity to actually talk to each other on the landline and not just sms; when IM is not available they freak. But, its amazing how anxious I was every day when she came home from school when I had to answer her immediate walk-through-the-door-first-question "is the internet back on?' with a 'no, not yet'. Pathetic on both counts but the kid can actually can sob when she's forced offline for a period of days (i do remember being 13 and 'In Love'). By the end of the week though she was communicating with her sister (gasp), taking time over dinner and sitting and talking with the family in the evening. I'm thinking of orchestrating the same problem frequently just to periodically wean and reorient.

Baby Bean just tugging my heart more each day and in the last few weeks i have been reflecting on my parenting of Maia and Lily in their first few years. i started thinking about it when i found out i was pregnant with bean3 but really challenged myself last week when a friend at bookclub was talking about her feelings of anger toward her 3yo daughter,whom she is tandem feeding with her 8mo baby, when she 'demands' to nurse at the same time as the baby and my initial thoughts about prioritising feelings and whose 'count' more; mums or child and resolving such a dilemma. Its been an interesting journey. I 'grew' the girls at the time in a style which was a little contentious to family and friends but a style which came purely out of my instinct at the time, my knowledge and my emotions; i home birthed, we had a king size family bed for 5 years, i breast fed 'on demand', sling carried etc etc. This style of nurturing has a name now; Attachment Parenting and its this style of parenting that I swore NEVER to do again like I had done it then. I didn't sleep a solid night for 9years and putting the kids 'emotional needs' (i was afraid to let them be alone; i felt like I was abandoning them) always before my own when it came to issues of their emotional growth, i believe led to the demise of my mental health and ultimately my marriage. I alway justified parenting like that as more natural, nurturing, created more familial connection and more content secure kids etc but on reflection i think the girls too were bloody exhausted from this kind of approach- i was looking to these tiny beings for guidance on their sleeping needs! My big failing was to stick them on the boob most times when they cried and sling them so often they slept well in it but never learnt to sleep well out of it. I was one of those mums who couldnt put an awake happy baby down for a sleep (I just didnt know you could do that!)and consequently the girls were 6 and 9 before i could just kiss them goodnight and walk out of their room (mental picture of hand holding or sitting on the bed to help them go to sleep) and they stopped coming into my bed most nights. sure, its lovely to snuggle with your babe in bed but when they're big and there's 4 in the bed , and the odd dog too, you dont get much quality sleep and consequently, parenting becomes a grumpy issue.

This time I have a baby who sleeps like a dream (so far) and is getting better at it with each day and RARELY cries. It's amazing to have never needed to walk the hallways rocking a baby in his time earthside. I FEEL RESTED!!! and therefore happy, and have time for myself, the girls and my husband too. What's the secret?? I read and followed the basic concepts in the Secrets of the Baby Whisperer and Happy Sleep. We still co-sleep with baby bean, carry him in a sling, I breast feed often, but I have started to learn to interpret his body language and his chatterings and understand the basics of baby and adult human sleep patterns and cycles so now I have a baby who i can kiss and put into bed and he puts himself to sleep. HOORAY! Now i know this is an investment for the long term mental health of me and my family.

Saturday, June 14

time wasters

Baby Bean is sleeping too much today. The net result; me with waaay to much time on my hands and no inclination to go and start a 'real' project (aka anything more than dishes, washing and all those other mindnumbing tasks) If you'd like to waste some time too, clink the links and try one of these!

The Game

Guess the Google

Thursday, June 12

the girl effect

i have just come from Wannabe Hippies' blog where Elaine has posted great piece on the plight of girls on our planet. Girls get shafted on just about every level, in every walk of life. But for women, particularly in developing or underdeveloped nations, the burdens borne can literally kill. In these poor communities, the smallest gift can save lives and aid in bettering the quality of life of whole communities, particularly for women and girls and lead to sustainable increases in such quality. Have a read, watch the video and support the girl effect.

Friday, June 6



despite the rain and cold weather, my hardworking and creative husband continues to make progress on the studio and the last minute decision to create another vegetable garden on our property to make best use of the sunniest spot on the block. The very specky quad-fold cafe doors and windows in western red cedar have arrived and wait for friends to be called to assist in hanging the darn things and the glazier needs a call as well. Progress is not quite as quick as Id like, but i figure that I'm not doing it so hey, who am I to complain! Best I have managed in a month is to be showered, dressed and out the door to appointment at 9am!
i am looking forward to planting out the new patch, but first we will grow a quick 'green manure' crop of some sort, probably pea of some sort, as nothing will grow now except a crop of this sort and it helps fix the nitrogen in the soil. < As you can see in the pics, these will be no ordinary rectangular garden beds; my husband loves a curve, loves to create and loves to build dry stone walls, our garden is full of them, so these will no doubt be very beautiful vege patches by the time he is done.

Thursday, June 5

Calling Chocaholahics' Anonymous

Here it is. My Addiction. Green & Blacks Fair Trade chocolate. It has overtaken wine as my No.1 favourite way to indulge and I am doing alot of it since I started breastfeeding. Its so bad that only having 3 in stock in the pantry gets my heart racing and panic feelings and anxiety begin to emerge. Something happenned during labour to activate my sweet tooth and it has been dormant for 10 years. All those pre pregnancy clothes that fit the day after birthing may not be around for too long if I keep this up. I may have to wean...soon...tomorrow
Addendum: maybe not tomorrow. My husband just came home and declared he had bought 2 more blocks so now my stash is back to 3 and a half blocks; 2 and a half milk chocolate and 1 Maya Gold. YUM

time flys...

Jesus, what happenned to that month of May?!
Regular blog entries seem to get postponed until "the next sleep" (for Jasper that is... well maybe me too) and then I get caught up with something else or I'm catching up on other peoples blogs. Hopeless. This experiment is showing its results;I'm too lazy to blog!

The last month ( Jaspers first) has whizzed by in a blur of washing nappies, sleepsuits , burpies and whipping out one boob or the other, sitting on the couch as a consequence of whipping out said boob, the odd dash to pick up B1 or B2 from school or friends' place in between aforementioned boob scenario and settling Jas for yet more sleep. He's a divine baby and I'm loving him in our lives but it is difficult to get used to being so 'demanded' again. Im re-adjusting. Here's a picture of B2 (aka Lily) and her little brother.

Have set up my study as a cosy retreat for us both- my pc and heating sorted and his day-nest, as winter is here and the mist is rolling into our valley and I am hoping that having a defined and comfortable space for me again will help. awake and crying. Blog will have to wait.. i have yet to master the art of feeding and typing; i think my boobs are too big and i need my 'free' hand to make clearance for his nose and help him latch. My lifelong desire for smaller perky numbers becomes more than a desire to wear a t-shirt and no bra.