Monday, October 27, 2008


We've all enjoyed a long weekend away in Kerikeri visiting Grandma and Poppy. The kiddos got to see their cousins, and we went to the markets (yum!) and for a day on their yacht.

We had several nice, long relaxing spas and played games, played with cats, ate yummy food, chatted and even visited the gigantic hole which will soon (within 6 months probably) be our new home.

The sailing was a highlight...the children enjoy the boat so much. Tombliboo (nearly 2) loved it- it has been a year since we were on it last, but he took to it instantly. He was almost in a trance initially, just staring ahead, perfectly content.

I caught a fish ("shish" to Tombliboo), which delighted him, so he was grinning ear-to-ear (which he pretty much did the whole trip anyway, and calling out "More, More! Another One! Another One!"

Poppy and Daddy took the "big" kids to a beach and they climbed to the top of (and right along) a big hill. I caught another fish, and was a bit panicky about having to remove the hook (for the first time ever- Poppy normally takes over from me at that point, thankfully).

I tried to manoeuvre myself and the fish properly t do the job, but it was thrashing madly, and I felt sorry for it- so planned to give it a little dunk back in the water so it could get a breath- but it got free! I was a teensy bit relieved, because I am yet to actually ever touch a fish. Still, I might have to one day because I really do like fishing (so long as I catch something within the first 2 minutes of dropping the line).

Both the big kids enjoyed some time alone in the dinghy...J-Man (9) rowed himself, and Princess (6) worked out how to bring herself in using the rope. Tombliboo had a go on there with Princess and I, and just with me as well...he was loving it, and we had little conversations.

Poppy called out that he wasn't very lucky with the fish today, and Tombliboo called back, "Why not?" (which is one of his favourite things to say currently). Poppy said he wasn't sure, and Tombliboo asked "Why?"

He also called out "Shek, Shake, Shake" when he noticed Poppy wiggling the fishing rod. I said, "Yes, shake the rod, make the fishies want to take a bite", and he said, "Shake your Booty!"...where on earth did he get that from? I was fairly certain I hadn't misheard, and he went on to repeat the saying (causing his sister to crack up) over and over.

We sailed all the way home which was very exciting- I had actually thought I might sleep while Tombliboo did...but got knocked off the bed while the yacht was only on one side (the other side completely up in the air). It was kinda scary, but exhillerating.

We headed home straight from the marina, and it took less time than usual. (It always takes us a long time with plenty of stops for Tombliboo).

But the biggest excitement is that we discussed ways to help us all (and particularly me) get a better night's sleep. Tombliboo has woken exactly 2-hrly since he was 2 months old. That is, if we go to bed at 11:20pm, he wil lbe up at 1:20am, 3:20am, 5:20am, then 6:2am, and maybe (if we can manage it) 7:20am.

The last three months however, he has been waking (and breastfeeding) every hour, sometimes as often as half-hourly (this has always been his pattern when sick/teething, etc, but there hasn't seemed to be any particular reason for it carrying on this long).

I have joked about it a little, but it is actually a statement of fact when I say, 'I can't remember what my sentence was about"...this happens to me regualrly, mid-sentence. I also forget all manner of things day-today, where I usually have a very good memory. There are other tellign signs, my sleep-deprivation is causing trouble.

But still I have no interest in making my little boy suffer because of it. And still, again, I am convinced he has no reason to be getting up as often as he is.

Some people say it is the co-sleeping, and certainly co-sleeping toddlers do wake more than their non-co-sleeping peers. I knew that when I decided to have Tombliboo in our bed, I expect it- I'm happy with it actually- I just want it to be twice a night, not 6 times.

So, we made a plan to have me sleep in J-Man's bed (at the other end of the house), and Daddy would sleep with his boys. He knew I didn't want to make Tombliboo sad, and I was happy to come in a heartbeat- we just wanted to see if it made a difference...did it ever!

Tombliboo had a long breastfeed at 10:30pm, then cuddled in my arms for another half hour. I put him in bed at 11pm, and Daddy and J-Man joined him.

I went to bed, and didn't look at the clock again until 3am! I noticed Tombliboo crying, so I waited to hear what would happen. He whimpered on again and off again for a while, so I got out of bed, and went to stand outside the door (letting dh know I was there if needed)...he was humming to Tombliboo, with him joining in a little between tiny sobs. Then there was silence. I waited for a bit, then decided I wasn't needed and went back to bed. Tombliboo whimpered a few more times, and I say on high-alert for 20 minutes or so, before deciding to sleep. I didn't sleep very well after that, expecting to have to leap in to action at any second...but, I got up of my own accord at 6:30am...and Tombliboo didn't wake until 7:15am!

I know too well that announcing something like this will usually mean not a repeat tonight, but rather the complete opposite...still, I am excited! My mind is running away with possibilities of sleeping for more than an hour at a time.

But now I need to go enjoy that little boy...I missed him actually, as much as I enjoyed the extra zzz's.

The plan for tonight is more of the same, and we will keep going for a week, or until Daddy has had enough.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Food Stuff...

I found a cool recipe the other day, and adjusted it slightly...


Start to pop popcorn in the usual way, and when it begins to pop/sizzle add 1-2T Rapidura (or sugar), give it a little mix then wait for it to finish popping...add salt and serve- delicious!

Our's was even made with organic coconut oil (being stable at high heat), organic popcorn kernels, organic rapidura and organic sea salt...yummy and healthy, or sort of...but it doesn't matter- everyone loved it!

I'm trying to wean us off white flour, and had sort of just stopped buying it...then made my first wholemeal flour chocoalte cake- which was disgusting, so bought more white flour to make Princess's birthday cake...then used wheat-free flour instead, lol. I thought I could use up the bag in making playdough instead...but then decided last night to make pizza with half and half white/wholemeal was step is to ditch the white flour altogether.

I made afghans with wholemeal flour, and "iced" them with melted dairy-free dark chocolate- they are superb, but too "chocolatey" for Princess.

We've started growing some seeds in plastic containers after reading on this website. I am currently attempting to grow pumpkins, potatoes, onions, spring onions, radishes, beetroot, courgetttes, carrots, cucumbers, lettuce (well, they actually are growing!), tomatoes, parsley and coriander.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Life goes rushing by...

I keep meaning to post, but don't get to it somehow. Half of me (lol) quite likes to see blogs with lots of photos, and while our camera languishes in the repair shop, I feel disinclined to make photo-free blog posts. Ah well.

Lucky for me, our friend J took some photos of our outing the other day- I shall check if there is one without bare bottoms :0)

I received some encouragement to carry on with blogging in the form of comments, and a private seems, right when I'm thinking I have nothing useful/interesting to say- up pops someone who enjoys my blog. So here I am again...

I'm off to a Creative Memories class today- very exciting for me to have 4 hours off (if we get there on time). Meanwhile dh and the boys will be picking up our Princess who has had a sleepover with cousin P9. They have a live show to go to, and will be bringing J11 home to say the night.

I've been very busy this week, tidying everything up (then tidying it again, gotta love little Tombliboo)...we visited N and B21 months, and the kids got to grind flour from whole wheat! They also got to see, and hold (Tombliboo) their new chicks! So cool.

Daddy auditioned as a contestant for a TV game show, and went to a Transition Towns meeting. I had really wanted to go too, but it's too hard with a toddler. It worked out well though, because I had already seen the video they played (in several parts on You Tube. If you do nothing else with it, the first part at least is a gigantic eye-opener.

While you're there, The Story of Stuff is absolutely worth a look-see. I know it's really long (22 minutes), but if you can watch snippets, and pause it when you need to do something else- I doubt you'll regret it :0)

I've been pondering what is the best thing to do with money right now, and I can't seem to hatch upon the "right" answer. We got out our "savings" and paid off our two debts (one an interst-free HP for our giant bed, the other a tax bill for dh). There's not much left over for the new car we'll be needing when we move. I was planning to begin saving in earnest next week, and then wondered if the money would be better spent on food that can be stored, seeds, candles, clothes and shoes in larger sizes for as the children grow, etc.

Whatever we decide, it will be a new thing- because I am *not* a saver...but something about the global financial woes has jolted me in to action- even though I had been moving in that direction for a while.

I really like not having a car. It feels good. I like living more simply, and considering the implications of what we do with the planet's current and future resources. That's not to say I'm not sometimes annoyed by the necessity of catching buses, or asking for assistance here and there. I still think it is a good thing. We won't be able to go without a car when we move (too far from *everything*, and no public transport), though dh thought it would be cool to invest in horses.

I'm enjoying reading this blog, and trying to read through the archives as well- loads of good information, and written in a ,"Don't panic, Mr Mannering" way which I have to admire...because I have had moments of panic!

I'm nearly finished reading Power Down, which has been sorrowful as well as inspiring. I'm set to begin The Long Emergency when I'm done there. Still waiting to begin Animal, Vegetable, Miracle which I really hope to start soon...and looking for something a bit light-hearted as well.

The problem with reading at the moment, is that Tombliboo (ever the 2-hrly waker) changed to hourly about 3 months ago, and the last few nights has liked to feed between 4 and 6am...when I do get to read, it's only for a half a page, and then I'm out.

I've read plenty about cell-phones which has concerned me, but nothing like this. I only just replaced my last (ruined by Tombliboo) mobile, but last week (somehow!) managed to put it through the wash! Now I'm not sure about replacing it. I ahve told myself it is essential in an emergency, but the real fact of hte matter isn't! Also, interesting to note an ordinary portable phone is only 20% better, so that will need to get replaced shortly too. Especially read this if you use an IUD. If you haven't got time to read the link, the main points are...don't use your cell-phone near metal (especially in a car, plane, bus, etc)...and keep calls short, prefereably under 30 seconds, but definitely under 2 minutes. Remove glasses (of you wear them) before starting a call. Keep it away from your body, and if you can keep it switched off that is better still.

Other than that- J-Man has been thoroughly immersed in Azeroth (World of Warcraft), which I can't help worrying about- even though I well know the good points.

Princess has been working on a jack-o-lantern bag, colouring every side in orange- which, as you can imagine, is taking a very long time. She has amazing stamina when an activity is of her own choosing. I have cleaned her room while she's been away overnight, offering her a "clean slate" as Holly wrote about in her blog. Princess has not inherited a tidy gene, though I'm not sure whom she would have inherited it from- so it's nothing much to wonder at...but wow! Can she make a mess! I would have loved to take photos of the current mess (which I might add was cleaned utterly a week ago), and then ensuing transformation...but alas, the camera is no more (for the moment).

I stared at the difference again this morning, and wondered how it can be so diffcult to keep it tidy...but it is, so that's that.

Tombliboo is delightful...he'll be 2 next month, and that seems so very hard to believe! He has been using the potty independently for some time now- didn't think that day would ever come, lol...but I notice that if he is wearing pants, he is perfectly happy to pee in them, and then announce "I wet" as he removes them. Not sure why he doesn't remove them *first*, and then avoid the "wet"...but as with everything, that will change soon enough.

He is no longer happy to wear training pants if we're going out...this is interesting to me, because it was at the same age that both J-Man and Princess decided they were no longer happy to wear nappies. Last weekend, we went to a farm, and he insisted on undies. I fretted needlessly for most of the day, but he remained dry (refusing all pottytunities) for well over 6 hours. The farm was wonderful by the way, Princess tried her hand at Felting and we all got to see sheep-shearing. Tombibloo couldn't get enough of that, and kept saying "Another one!" over and over.

So, that's about all we've been up to this week. Thanks for reading!

Photo Note: These are free-range children, choosing to go inside a chicken coop :0)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Too funny...

We were on the bus today, and singing songs to pass the time. We staretd signing Old McDonald, and I pointed to Princess or Tombliboo to insert the animal that was on the farm. Tombliboo says "chicken" nearly every time, and we sang that over and over. Then he floored me by inserting "Butt".

"Old McDonald had a farm, and on that farm he had a butt!"

This is not the first time we have sung that song- toilet humour starts earlier when one has an older brother.

But, I then had two little chidlren giggling like crazy as we tried to finish the song.

"With a fart, fart here, and a fart, fart there".

At the end of the song, he sang "E,I, E, I, poo", and the giggles began anew.

It took Princess nearly the rest of the trip to control her mirth...and me too ;0)

What's happening?

Is it just me or are people gettng rougher?

Is it because of the rising costs of everything? That seems simplistic, and yet I know we are bothered about the rising costs of petrol and food and power- possibly those on low incomes are stressed to the max?

Could it be that?

It's the only thing I can think of that is relatively recent.

There was a family yelling (including swearing!) at each other at the supermarket today, and we had the misfortune to be in front of them at the check-out. I've never heard people speaking to each other like this, and for so long in a *very* public place. It was bizarre.

Then we went outside to catch a bus, and a lady pushing a stroller, and with another little child(perhaps 4) rushed up to hit a man on the head wiht a rolled up cardboard poster! She did so a few times, calling him names (loudly), and then kicking him! I thought he might turn around and whack her back, but he didn't. She grabbed the baby he was holding, and kept calling him names and hitting him as he got on the bus. The little children were bawling. Again, it was bizarre.

Princess was wondering what was going on, why eveyroen was saying "bad words". I have no idea really.

13 Years

We had our anniversary yesterday.

Princess had wondered what I would be getting Daddy for a present, and I explained we don't normally do presents. She was quite bothered by that idea, so had used her own money to buy Beados in order to make us gifts to give to each ohter.

She made a card all on her own, and hid it about a week ago...I'm sure she was more excited about this anniversary than we were.

She reminded her Daddy at least a hundreds times that he needed to make me a card, and he reminded J-Man as well. J-Man didn't see how it concerned him, and was getting more than a little annoyed at the constant nagging. I think it made him all the more detemined *not* to make a card (not that we expected him to).

She was counting down the days for abotu a fortnight,adn got very excited the day before! "Only one more day" she kept announcing. I realised I hadn't got around to making dh a card, and she sadly said, "Why bother? He won't make one for you."

The big day arrived, and Princess had basically forced Daddy to sit at the art table the night before and create a card for was fabulous, must have taken him ages- and Princess confirms that he was indeed "Up working on your card until Courage the Cowardly Dog- which is on very late!"

We usually take the kids with us when we go out for our anniversary, but this year I had organised for Nana to come and babysit so we could go out alone. Dh has been wanting to go out "just us" for ages, and I have been meaning to surprise him, but haven't quite got to it.

It was really nice :0)

I worried about Tombliboo, and mostly about Nana having to deal with a sad little fellow who really just likes his Mummy when he wants to go to sleep. Still, as the mother of 5, and loads of grandchildren (of which dh is the eldest) and our 3 great-grandchildren, I knew they couldn't be in better hands. Further, Nana is someone who *loves* children. She will even play World of Warcraft, not because it is even slightly interesting to her- but because she loves her grandchildren, and wants to do the things they enjoy. She's amazing :0)

And I needn't have worried...Tombliboo was fine, he fell asleep in Nana's arms 5 or 10 minutes before we arrived home.

As for us- we talked and talked and talked. I don't think we've talked so much to each other in years. It was our first night out- just us- in at least 3 years, and it was brilliant.

I can't believe we've been married 13 years- it seems a long time (though we do have a boy who is nearly 10!!), and yet, it still seems like just yesterday...the nervousness and excitement, and sore cheeks (from smiling constantly).

Saturday, October 4, 2008


Always catching up, lol...

A busy week- our ad was due to start screening on Sunday- we're yet to see it on tv, but have now had it e-mailed. When I see it online, I will post a link to it. I don't look as awful as I had supposed- and really, I *did* see the footage they were getting...amazing what they can do.

I'm on the opening page when you log on here...the woman who has just completed a duathlon. The sad bit is that there was too much to fit in, so the bit with J-Man and Princess in was cut. They still got paid (J-Man), and filmed (Princess), so aren't worried about not appearing in the ad. If we look really closely we can see one of their faces in the background- but can't tell which one, lol. We can see the sign Princess made to cheer me on- we might see them better on a large (tv) screen, so will still look out for it every now and then.

I'm also going to possibly be on a bus stop ad and in a newspaper for the same people, which is exiciting- but mostly because it means getting paid some more. So easy to spend spare money, alas.

We've finally taken our camera in to be repaired- it was purcahsed in December and has had issues from the start- we've just taken an extraordinarily long time to take it in for repair (still under warranty). I tell myself it is hard not having a camera for special shots, but really we haven't had one for ages- it has been so tempermental.

Tombliboo has been so happy since I stopped having dairy, and it has been sad not to capture him on film- he seems to be smiling all the time, and reminding me so much of J-Man at the same age. He is very in to counting at the moment. He will count objects up to 9, and by rote to 10- but at the moment he always misses number five. He will count anything he sees, and I have noticed him several times ocunting the springs on the trampoline. He gets to 10, then starts back at 1, or else goes back to the first one he counted as though ther couldn't possibly be more than 10.

Princess had a blast spending *all* (!) her ad money the other day. She was already spending hours a day in her room playing with her new Polly Pockets from her birthday, and now she has even more bits and pieces. She has ordered a Pink (of course!) Nintendo DS, which was really J-Man's idea. Odd, since he wished for a ds for ages, then got one and doesn't touch it...he likes the idea that they will be able to "chat" on their Nintendos when they are in the same room. Princess isn't quite up to that stage with her reading and typing yet, but she'll work out a way if it's what she wants to do.

J-Man has been heavily in to WoW lately. It has been hard for me. I have found myself getting more and more annoyed that he is happy to sit in front of it from morning until night. I don't normally voice those sorts of concerns allowed, preferring to ride the rollercoaster a bit, knowing that things always even out in time. I haven't even been quite sure what my issue is...for a while I was bothered about the pointlessness of it (as though I never do anything that is pointless, or jsu tslightly unimportant) and then the lack of vitamin d, and then relationships issues between him and Princess, and then with a close friend.

I don't feel like I've given it half the amount of thought I need to...but it seems to me there are several things going on that need attending to. Mostly, he is not getting enough time with me alone, and with his Daddy (not playing WoW). This is not to say WoW isn't exciting- it is...but I think, too often, it is a "second-best" as far as things-he-would-like-to-be-doing go.

Then, before I have a chance to talk to him about it, he pre-empts things by saying he thinks he would like to quit WoW. Not because he doesn't like it, but because he wonders if it is taking too much of his time. I suspect he needs something "new" to grab him- not sure what, btu I'll be looking out.

Tonight, I read this article about WoW, and the bit that struck me was here..."Unschooling does not mean leaving children to watch television or play World of Warcraft on their own all the time — that's called "neglect".

And that is the thing that has been niggling me...isn't it just a case of un-parenting, to leave a child playing a computer game all day. YEs- I brought him food...yes- I spoke to him when we were in the same room...yes- I listened to (seemingly endless) details abotu WoW when he was off the game...yes- I played with him or watched him when he asked. But mostly, I wasn't there. It didn't feel like usnchooling at all. It felt like I was losing him.

I've just bought a baby-bikeseat on Trade Me and hope to take Tombliboo for bike-rides. J-Man can come too, and Princess when she learns to ride her bike. I noticed today that her bike has been stolen :0( so she will need to use J-Man's old bike, which is a better size for her anyway. That will probably be our project this week. I've registered for my very first (and, let's face it...probably only) duathlon. I don't know how I will do it frankly...well, i know I will do it, even if I have to walk it- but I can't picture it at all...the problem really is that running is s.o.o.o.o.o.o.o. b.o.o.o.o.r.i.n.g, or is it just me?

I think I need an i-pod...but I would get bored of music too, though I think there must be some way to listen to stories, and that could pass the time. If I didn't have to think about how many minutes of my life I will never get back, I might be able to tolerate a bit of a run.

We (or really I) had a garage sale this advertising (lest people arrive before 7am, and because I wasn't sure I would be organised) so it was a little light on customers. I think we'll have one next weekend as well, and try to get rid of more stuff. Tonight we celebreated getting paid for the ad by going out for dinner- to a real restaurant with actual menus.


The real difficulty was always going to be Tombliboo...he is not a sit-still kind of kid, nor is he the type of child to just stop blowing out the candles at every table just because Mummy said so.

Sadly, our first choice of restaurants was actually being refurbished, so we needed a plan B...which we didn't have. We drove around far longer than we should have, until Tombliboo was saying "Hunger...chicken...(po)tatoes...I", and I wondered if we might be setting him up to "fail" by making him so hungry he was not going to be able to wait.

We found a place, got the menus, I ordered bread before I sat down, and hoped for the best...but the bread didn't come...and things really didn't look good. Tombliboo wasn't happy about sitting still and there was a couple sitting near us with a young woman giving me (us?) evils- not cool.

It all worked out though, between the pair of us taking Tombliboo for walks outside, and me finding an (old) packet of raisins in my bag. I had had the foresight to take a book for him, and a couple of toys- so they went down well, until Shrek literally went down well, or more accurately- across (the table) well.

It was a delicious meal all round, and the "big" kids loved it. We were going to get dessert when it became abundantly clear that Tombliboo didn't want to stay any longer, so we headed to the supermarket for much the same desserts as we would have had at the restaurant. It was brilliant not having to count up how much everything was, though I really can't help it!