Monday, March 30, 2009

Kids who hit

Just because we are discussing this on our local list, I thought I would mention it here...

I've never struggled with a toddler/pre-schooler hitting a baby...but I do have a toddler who likes to push younger babies over sometimes. Not all the time, but more than once- and that is enough.

If I hadn't had Tombliboo, I probably woudl have supposed there was something odd about the I can see there is very little I can do about this fact...except try to prevent it.

Since I don't really know *why* Tombliboo likes to push people over (I have a wee suspicion that newly-walking babies look a bit like skittles, and possibly he is thinking it would be fun to watch the baby topple?) I just have to keep close lest the desire strike.

I have noticed that preceding any episode, there is nearly always a bit of a cry for help...this is usually in the form of actually saying, "I want to go home."

This is him letting me know he has had enough, there is too much stimulation for his brain, or he is tired, or hungry, or just wants to be in his own space (where people love him best of all).

If I am too slow, and Tombliboo does hurt someone...I apologise to the parent, and then get down at eye-level with the child who is hurt, and apologise on Tombliboo's behalf.

By this time Tombliboo is probably bawling- he knows something is not right, I'm not certain really if he has gleaned that he has caused it.

After I have done as much as I can (I think?), I snuggle Tombliboo and tell him, "You hurt the baby- you made him cry. He didn't like being pushed over, and now he is sad- I hope he feels better soon." I might invite him to come and see if the baby is OK. I might suggest saying "sorry", but I don't push that- there is o point. Children, like adults, say "sorry" when they feel sorry.

Sometimes people feel so terrible about what they have done, but so confused or even angry about the consequences, they are simply not ready to say "sorry" right away.

Tombliboo, who is not a bully, has been pushed and shoved a few times himself. It is so uncomfortable watching a mother try to force a child to say "sorry". It's worse when they don't do anything, of course, but I can tell when a child is genuinely sorry, and it has nothing to do with saying a word.

Anyway, I'm rambling. This link is wonderful for ideas about children hurting other children. It's aimed primarily at those with siblings, but it is really about any child relating to any other.

Family Day at the Zoo

We got buy-one-get-one-free vouchers, so headed off to the zoo for a special day out.

We stopped off to get hot chips, and took them to a park- where some chickens really wanted to join in.

The zoo was see so many interesting things. You also see ugly being ugly to parents, parents being ugly to kids, kids being ugly to each other.

Some of it is too much to bear, and I find I am needing to shield Tombliboo's eyes, or Princess' ears.

We got to see the elephants being moved to a hill...we were really close- that was cool!

J-Man had decided to take his notebook in and record how many animals he saw. I thought he would give up after a few minutes and I'd be carrying the notebook- but he persisted until the end- he saw a total of 111 animals today.

We saw some really adorable things. The tamarinds for instance...too cute! Tombliboo said, "Too cute! Like me, Mama!"

But nothing was more adorable than watching a (teeny) baby meerkat breastfeeding! was brilliant, absolutely brilliant.

dh called us over because we were "missing something"...giant tortoises mating. Nothing looks quite as uncomfortable as that...the female was so much smaller, and therefore younger, and really didn't look to be having any fun at all. It took the male 10 minutes to get off her when he was done. He might have been over 150 years old, lol.

I can't believe he actually took a video, lol- at least it is short :0) Nope, it won't upload for some reason- tried twice, might another time :0)

We had water to drink, homemade biscuits, and apples and pears whenever we were was a really neat day, finished off nicely with pizza on the way home.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Earth Hour

The idea with Earth Hour is to turn off all lights for one hour once a year...seems a bit on the soft side to me. McDonald's are advertising copiously it seems- they will turn off their golden arches for one year...and then what? They are guilt-free? Lol, it's too silly.

I want to turn off all the power for an hour. I thought about the freezer, and decided an hour won;t make much difference. Whatever additional power is required to ge the temperature right again will surely have been less than all our other electricity-use. Besides, we've had power cuts for 2 hours with no big change to the frozen goods.

DH thinks that's crazy..."You only have to do the lights" (waaa, waaa, waaa). he wants to watch the tv coverage of Earth Hour. Why am I the only one that gets that that is ridiculous? Everyone quick- turn off your lights, and watch the television!

J-Man was not interested, and didn't see why we couldn't at least leave the phone on so he could talk to his best friend. I was starting to waver, and wondering if I was being a bit stubborn. I also didn't think dh would actually turn the mains off since he was getting set to dig his heels in. I found the switch myself.

Suddenly I thought we might need chocolate. DH insisted noone needs chocolate. I countered that he couldn't possibly know what every person needed, and I really did need chocolate! He became my voice of reason, reminding me that we are trying to stick to a budget, and *cough* I ate a whole block the day before :0(

I remembered the cookies in the freezer, so quickly turned the oven on (I know, I know)...I had 10 minutes before the switch went. I boiled the jug so I could have a cup of tea in the dark. I put the cookies in, and managed to burn them. DH thought that was hilarious...well, I didn't know. They had really only just got to the right temperature when the power went off...amazing. I honestly didn't know you could do that. I always turn the power off a bit sooner than the recipe says...but I didn't know I could heat it, turn it off and the cookies will be burned before I know it! Not really, really burned, but over done. Still yum.

By the time we switched the power off, noone was particularly happy...we were all getting at each other. Actually, Princess wasn't- she was excited about something different....and Tombliboo was having a blast- blowing out our candles. We started a game of Ligretto but none of us could really remember how to was a bit slow (and a teensy bit boring), plus we had to be on the alert lest we tip over the candles, and Tombliboo meanwhile was wishing to distribute the cards (on the floor)...J-Man couldn't get one particular aspect of the game, and that was exasperating his father no end...then it all looked like it was going to get decidedly ugly, but it didn't.

Everyone chilled, thankfully, and settled in to enjoy cards by candlelight, with burned-smelling cookies.

With 10 minutes to go, when it looked like J-Man might do a happy dance and initiate a countdown...he and Princess went in to the lounge where they had set up mattresses on the floor, to do some dancing. Tombliboo joined in and we watched. I quietly slipped out and switched the power back on at 9:30pm, just as dh's phone alarm started singing. The kids were having too much fun to notice, and when they finally did, J-Man cracked us all up by saying, "I do believe Daddy's bottom is ringing- he has made a musical fart."

We explained the hour was up, and they begged (I'm not kidding) for the lights to stay off, and nothing to be turned on. Tombliboo was ready for bed, so we toddled off, and dh slept in the lounge with the "big" kids (for an hour or so).

I was thinking (beforehand) that I woudl like to do that every night to really make a difference...but I'm not sure now. It wasn't easy. I like the idea of going to sleep with the sun, but when that becomes 5:30pm in a couple of weeks, I don't think so. But maybe we will head for once a was fun after all.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

And it's Friday again...

Only one more day until Daddy is home again...the kids are always excited by Friday. It is nice to be all together, and to have dh here to share our lives. I would love for us to work out some way to be together more- I think people get along better when they're with each other more. He's never been too keen to work from home, but maybe we will make a new plan when we move to a small town.

We've had a really cool week. On Monday we all walked to the local swimming pool. It's the first time we have been swimming during the week since we sold the car (7 months ago). It was really neat, and I can't believe we haven't attempted it sooner.

Tombliboo fell asleep on the way home, which was just perfect.

Tuesday we went for a walk to the shops to get some more groceries, mostly because Tombliboo was desperate for Bananas. We all went in the evening after dinner to get the rest of the groceries, and J-Man and I walked on the way there to spend some alone time together (while Daddy stayed home and helped Princess make a crown). For his month day, J-Man wanted to watch Hellboy 2 with his Daddy, so we got treats for them to eat while they watched it...we hung out in the study watching Scooby-Doo on the computer...then went off to read stories in bed. I finished reading Matilda to Princess after Tombliboo crashed.

Wednesday, J-Man went with A and J12 (his best friend) to a science show for older homeschoolers, which he said was "more like a kindergarten". He's yet to tell me anything at all about it, so I'm guessing no real impression was made. J12 and his Mum stayed for the rest of the day, and for dinner. The boys get on so well, and have a lot of fun together. It always makes me think of when people say that teasing is a normal part of childhood, but it's not- it's a normal part of school and organising the pecking order...but it's not a normal part of childhood without school.

They're starting to notice how each other's lives differ- J12 wants to know why J-Man doesn't do schoolwork, and J-Man wants to know why J12 doesn't have "Month Days".

I guess he figured everyone has month days...I explained that it's just something we do in our family. He asked why.

Well it's like this...we had this gorgeous boy, and when he got to be one month old, we were so excited, so we sang "Happy Month Day to you!", then he got to be 2 months old, and that was so exciting, so we sang "Happy Month Day" again, and then he got to be 3 months old...and you get the picture. He's 122 months old now, and we're still celebrating.

Thursday, I copied an idea from Shady Lady's blog and asked Princess if she would like to write out a nursery rhyme, and draw a picture about it. I figured she would, and was right. It's the first time she has ever written between lines- I thought she would need them to get the whole rhyme on paper.

Then she wanted to "do more". She asked me to draw a picture of a clown for her to colour in, "but just his head- don't make it all tiny" (She can be very exacting!) I drew the picture and made a key for which colours to colour it. I made simple sums for her to work out, then check which colour (on the key). I don't normally do things like that, but she loved it. She wanted more and more and more. We did a policewoman, a witch, a princess and more.

Tombliboo didn't sleep during the day, and went to bed at 8pm. This hasn't happened in months and months, and it was so lovely. Princess has been asking to play Settlers of Catan all week- I got it out, but that was as far as I we finally got to play. It was so nice to not have to protect everything from being hiffed everywhere by our gorgeous toddler. We may even try to do the same today. Princess said, "We would do this every single day Mummy!"

Meanwhile, Toimbliboo's understanding is growing. I asked him what his sister's name was the other day, and he looked at Princess and said, "Mama" with a giggle. I asked him his name, and he thought for a second and said, "Hat!", I asked his Daddy's name, and he answered, "Dodo". It was really cool to see his sense of humour at work. I'm also watching him listen more, and while he is still utterly unreasonable at times (and does not understand "Wait" at all...just keeps pulling me until one or both of us fall over), he is beginning to slow down just a bit.

I actually brushed his teeth for the first time yesterday. Yes, he is 28 months old and I have not been able to brush his teeth ever. I explained I could see plaque on his teeth and it was filled with germs that we really needed to get off. I asked if he would let me brush the teeth and he said "yes", and then he let me.

While I was busy drawing pictures for Princess, he wanted one too, so I wrote his name in big letters for him to colour. I said "T" and drew it, then he said "o" so I drew that, then "m", and added the final letter as well. He has written a few T's and said what they were, same with O. It's exciting to think he might write his name not to far from now.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


Daddy and J-Man got up early and went to The Game Workshop so J-Man could paint his LOTR characters, and get advice about doing so. They were gone for several hours, and most of that he spent painting his Cave Troll (which looks really cool!). He cut off the head of another character, and glued it on the base, painted it including some oozing blood. The men at the shop thought it was a nice touch, lol on the "nice", it was fairly gruesome- but it was a pretty cool idea.

Meanwhile, at home we made pancakes for breakfast and were pottering around- tidying up, doing washing and so on. Princess played in her room for hours, with her ponies. She is a real laugh...some days she complains noone plays ponies with her- but when I pop in to see how she is doing, she'll more often than not scowl at me for intruding on her special little world.

The big boys got home around 3pm, and started playing a new playstation game dh had bought. They had a very late lunch, and breakfast.

I made a potato salad, and got green salad ingredients together to go to the park. DH dropped us off, then went to pick up pizzas, he came back and we ate dinner at the park and played around.

As it began to get dark, we started playing with a soccer ball which was a lot of fun for all of us.

We got home late, and the kiddos started painting LOTR men, then playing with Lego and LOTR men.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


Already a month has gone by since my last Creative Memories workshop...that went fast! I couldn't get photos printed since the computer has died (again! Does anyone know of *anyone* who's computer dies as often as our's?). I'm hoping dh will work some magic and I won't have lost the last 3 months worth of photos and videos, but it doesn't look good.

This is apparently my fault because he told me to back it up- but I told him to do so since I never get to it, and I can't even find a cd with nothing on it. But that doesn't wash. If something goes wrong it is my fault, if something goes right it usually has nothing to do with, I'm only joking, sort of.

So, dh was to have the kiddos for the day while I was out working on my photos. He decided on a whim to look up if there was an airshow today, since he had seen a fighter jet doing a loop-de-loop when he was in West Auckland yesterday.

There was, so I scurried about organising lunch and sacks and sunhats and sunscreen (compeltely natural) and money the camera and drinks and a spare change of clothes for Tombliboo for them to take. We are still in the stage of taking spare undies and shorts for Tombliboo (28 months) but never need them...only I know (from past experience) that the day I don't take them, I will need them!

J-Man didn't want to go, which was no surprise- and I could see in advance how it would be- he would sulk all the way, but eventually loosen up and enjoy it. Ad he would tell me later it was "Awesome" or some other glowing adjective. No amount of telling him this would make the mood change, as I also know from past experience, and I saw clearly that from his pov he was being goaded in to something he didn't want to do. I apologised to him that he was being made to go somewhere he didn't want to go to, and commented about how hard it was sometimes to keep 5 people happy.

He also doesn't like having something like this thrown on him with no warning- I can understand that. I don't really like it either, but it is not often that dh is spontaneous, and this was very important for him. If his sight had been a bit better, he probably would have become a pilot at some stage.

Princess wasn't overly keen, but she loves to go out, and she loves being with her Daddy. Tombliboo just fits in for the most part.

I got dropped off at my class, and the consultant chatted to dh for a bit while I got set up. She came in and announced that my husband was taking his three (three!, she shouted) children to the Whenuapai Air Show Today. "He takes them all over the place", she said, "He really is fantastic". I thought so too, and I thought about how little I tell him so, or even think it. I thought about how often I have moaned that he takes the kids, but he doesn't get anything organised to do so...that seems silly really. So, he's not big on organisation- he takes his children out so I can have a break, and that is more than many men do. A lot more.

I had a great time with my photos...didn't get much done, but enjoyed it all the same. The plane dh particularly wanted to see wasn't being shown until an hour after my class had finished, but I had my book so I didn't mind. They didn't arrive until 2.5 hrs after my class because of the time it took to leave the carpark, but I was having blast with my Coke and licorice and a good book. I haven't read for that long in...goodness! When was the last time I read for 2.5hrs?

Naturally they had all had a great time. I haven't heard too much about it yet, but the short summary went like this...

J-Man...It was amazing! So cool! We had a great time!

Princess...It was great! I wanted the to make a heart and they did- I just knew they would!

Tombliboo...Planes a really loud, really loud!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Yet Another Week!

Time flies when you're having fun...and even when you;re not...but we are actually- and I have been extra busy this week not being on the computer, and have begun a new blog primarily for myself, but it might prove interesting for some.

The basic premise is to record my money saving ideas, and my current project- keeping a better eye on our grocery budget.

See, for the longest time- if anyone had asked me what our grocery budget was, I could tell them- but what was on paper, was not what was actually being spent...and my (personal) day of reckoning came when I decided to actually record what we did spend. What a shock! Well, not rally- I had a fair idea, I just wasn't quite allowing my mind to go there.

But now I am...the new blog is called Cheap As Chippies (cheap as chips was already taken), and you can see it here.

Back to our week...Saturday our cousin M11 came to stay the night, as did some unschooling friends from down the line (J, J and H6)...we all had a lot of fun together, and wish it could have lasted longer.

On Sunday we had a family BBQ lunch at Nana's- that was also a lot of fun, and the children enjoyed a really neat afternoon with their Auckland cousins. They played on the swing, and in the yard, went for a walk to the local park, and to the shop. The girls played with Nan's selection of toys, and they all just hung out and laughed together enjoying the sun. We also ate enormous amounts of delicious food.

Monday was the day before payday- the day we never have any money whatsoever, but it was fun. Princess and I (mostly here) made pizza for lunch, which was fabulous, and really quick too. J-Man realised we were low on milk, so took his own money, and went for a walk up to the shop to buy more, and came back with a treat for everyone as well.

Tuesday was payday, hooray- but a whole new type of payday. The plan was to spend $200, but not go back to the shop the following day, or the one after- but to stay away for a week. Very new for us, and not even sure it is doable- but today is Friday, and it has worked so far.

I also usually buy us lunch on payday, almost as an apology for being so poor the last few days and feeling sorry for the kiddos. They, on the other hand, aren't bothered at all- and when no bought lunch arrived, they didn't even notice. Funny that I get these ideas in my head about how they must feel they are "missing out", but they don't have them at all. Funny how it is usually kids wanting parents to buy lollies, but here it is me imagining they want them, and buying them before they even ask.

I also normally let them choose a bag each on payday, but this time only bought one bag for the 5 of us to share- and we still have nearly half of them! I've used some for a treat for the littlies after Storytime at the library, and some more for an after dinner treat for each of us, and still more to go on some cookies. Is anyone missing out? Nope. What kind of a ning-nong have I been?

Wednesday, J-Man went to be with his friend J12 for the day, and to a science class for older kids. He ad a great time, and came home exhausted as usual (he has to get up super-early so Daddy can drive him there on his way to work). I took Princess and Tombliboo to the library Storytime. It looked like we would miss it, because Tombliboo (very 2) was determined to take his bowl of porridge. I wasn't happy with that plan for obvious reasons, but eventually agreed he could sit in his pushchair (the one we never used until he turned 2), and eat it on the way, but not take in to the library.

We got there very late, and he still didn't want to let it go, didn't seem interested in eating it I sent Princess in alone. She came out to say noone else had turned up (for the second week in a row) and the lady would wait for us. Eventually, after all the same discussions, he agreed to leave the porridge and run inside.

"Storytime" is a misnomer- there are usually only two stories rad, maybe a song (or two) sung (though not today since it was so late), and then the bulk of the time is taken up with a craft activity. This suits Princess down to the ground, bu is not much use for Tombliboo- adn also not what I have in mind when I think of "Storytime". We have been 4 times now, though I used to take J-Man fairly often when he was little. I remember commenting about this state of affairs then too.

It just seems to me that Storytime should be about stories. I think one day I should like to be a library story-teller, and engage lots of children in wonderful books that they wouldn't dream of leaving for the sake of a craft activity...and I won't use ridiculous ("look at hte ickle babeeee" voices, and change big words to teeny ones lest brains become stimulated and neurons get connected. I would do things very differently indeed, but for now the Storytime we are attending is fun, and Princess knows it is for pre-schoolers, so she tolerates the funny voice.

Tombliboo can ride the trike now...

Thursday, J-Man sold his Nintendo DS on Trade Me for $20 less than he bought it for. J and J2 came to visit, which was lots of fun, and when they were about to leave (nearly 7pm), Tombliboo wanted to get in their car. Then he didn;t want to leave...then in an effort to get him out quickly, and plainlessly, J said, "Do you want to come home with me Tombliboo?", and blow-me-and-her-down, he said "Yes!."

We didn't think he was serious, but he was, and eventually e agreed that he could go off with her, and Daddy would pick him up from her place shortly.

I had to dress the naked boy, which I didn't think he would agree to- but he did...and we put him in his carseat, and he said "Goodbye". It was astonishing, and I felt any minute he would say, "Hold the phone! You mean you're not coming/??", but he did not. He happily waved goodbye, and drove away. This is the boy who only just went out with his Daddy alone for the first time last week! What a difference compared to the child who is forced to leave his mother.

Daddy was there before they arrived, and brought Tombliboo straight home, though he would have liked to have gone and played with J2's toys. We all ate dinner, then went out (in a rush) for J-Man to look at Game Workshop and spend his newly-acquired wealth. He has been wanting LOTR figurines for a long timer, and finally got his chance. With only 20 minutes to make a purchase, he came away with just what he was after, and also got to speak to a man there who has been collecting the figurines for 21 years! He is planning to attend a free workshop with his Daddy asap.

He has already painted a couple of figures, and I am really amazed at his patience. I didn't think it would be his thing, but he has done so well. His best friend J12 has these figures as well, so it should open up a whole new world fro the pair of them...but already J-Man has realised he is short on paints, and at $7 a (miniature) pot of one colour, his pocket money will be spent quickly for many weeks to come.

Now it's Friday- I've been on here so long our porridge will just about be lunch. The kiddos have been busy watching Scooby-Doo, dancing, jumping on the trampoline, and painting LOTR miniatures (or watching J-Man paint).

Thursday, March 12, 2009


The kids are back in to evidenced by the stuff in every nook and cranny of the lounge (and thankfully not beyond...yet!).

Princess has never really been not in to Lego, but J-Man hasn't played much with it in well over a year now.

Not only that, but they are playing happily with it...really happily. I love listening to them play, and realised yesterday just how much I have missed that.

Lots seems to be going on with J-Man atm. He was rarely on the computer yesterday.

He was making a game online which was making me giggle (the main character is a hashbrown... I really must find a hashbrown recipe- the thought of that food has broken in to his gaming considerations).

He talked to his best friend J12 on the phone for an hour or more, while making the game, and wandering about the hosue, or lying on my bed.

He did the dishes, and cleaned the toilet...I know, I know- how cool is that??

He jumped on the trampoline, chased Tombliboo, and helped me put the mud back in the hole he dug last week.

He read several pages of the first book he has read since he was 7- Twilight.

He looked through his scrapbooking stuff, and found a photo of himself which he simply had to burn (lol)...he hasn't looked at that stuff in well over a year.

He played a game of Stratego with Princess...they didn't fight! He told me later she only owon because he let her- it was so nice to peek in on them busy with a baord game. I don't remember when they last played a boardgame.

He watched some chidlren's TV with Princess and Tombliboo.

They played Lego for literally hours yesterday. Building scenarios, creating characters and role-playing.

I can't remember what else, and I need to get this published so I can turn the computer off...but it was a neat day, and especially seeing the children getting along with no sign of an upset...hooray!

I love my life!

I really struggled last week with a house that looks like it never gets cleaned, or tidied, or have things in the right place for any length of time at all...mostly that was due to a visit from the landlord, and my usual stress-about-the-house time of the month.

This week there is no particular stress on me about tidying, but because we started with a relatively-clean state, it's just been so much easier to keep up...even though I got a stinking cold this week as well (or possibly an allergy thing since I've been eating copious amounts of dairy since stopping eating meat).

Anyway, it's still been sitting in the back of my head that I wish I didn't have to be cleaning and tidying so much. I wish I got a bit of help with the whole she-bang.

I read a snippet of a Daily Groove post (which I still get, but rarely read), and I think it was basically this...if you feel like a victim or a slave, something isn't right.

I wondered if I *did* feel like a victim or a salve. Not a victim, I chose this way of life. But yes, some days I do feel like a slave. I realise that is *my* problem, not anyone else's, but it is how I feel sometimes. I didn't know what to do with the thought, but this week I'm ready to tackle it.

I have a few people in my life who like to tell me the kids should be doing this or that- and on a certain level I agree. If they helped out, I would have more time to play and hang out with them, more time for the fun things-the reasons I wanted to be a mum (which did not ever include cleaning).

Yesterday, Princess started putting away all of Tombliboo's cars. They've been out for a day or two, and gradually got themselves spread all over half the lounge. Noone asked her to do that. Noone even mentioned it...she had no particular reason for wanting them put away- certainly, a mess like that has been part of her life for most of her life, and it hasn't bothered her unduly. (I think I'm the only one in the hosue who gets bothered by the mess).

So I feel like it was a special gift to me. Maybe it wasn't- but it is a job I would normally have done, and she saved me from it. I was enormously grateful. I thought about other asking her to put the cars away, and she a) doing so, or b) saying she would do so, but not, or c) ignoring the request, or d) saying she wouldn't, but then doing it anyway, or e) me putting them away as usual.

There are probably more possibilites than that, but none of them are as wonderful (to me) than Princess deciding to put away cars of her own accord, just to be helpful.

All the same, the mess in the house was such that that small (but wonderful) bit of help was not even obvious to anyone but me. Instead of really thinking it through, all the swirling and very disjointed thoughts in my head culminated in a big , "Guys! I need some help!"

Jolted, the kids looked at me wondering what was next. I esxplained that I was having trouble keeping up with all the mess, and I wondered if I wrote a list if they would choose one thing each to do to help.

"Remember I like to clean the floors- I just need help getting the bucket and stuff", said Princess.

I wrote down "Clean Floors" with a check-box, and then "Washing", "Baking", "Dishes", Clear and Clean Table". I remembered J-Man lies to clean the toilet (I know, weird!), so I wrote that down too, and he imediately said, "Oh! I'll do that".

So we set about our jobs. J-Man dithered about, and while I was doing the washing, unbeknownest to me- he washed the dishes. He stacked htem in a way that meant they would never dry, and he also washed them in cold water (!!! 10 years old, and doesn't know we wash dishes in hot water?? Got to stop these tapes in my head...this boy willingly did the dishes today!).

He has been asking all week for homemade crackers, and I got some made. He asked this morning for hash browns and brownies, and I got the brownies made as well.

So, did I just need to ask? Is that all that was missing? I need to try that again today!

The phone rang, and I plonked myself down on the couch to feed Tombliboo nad have a little chat. Princess came along looking cheeky, and I just knew she must be carrying ice...she popped it down my pants and shirt, and annoucned to J-Man (also looking cheeky), "You turn J!"

I said in as boring a voice as possible, " in my knickers...I love my life."

But I do...I really do.

Photo must know that if we are having cake, Tombliboo will need a candle.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Help- my baby is growing up!

I got the idea that my little boy would like some time alone with his Daddy- I don't think he has ever been alone with his Daddy (apart from some early morning snuggles while I go to the supermarket without children).

Certainly, he has never been out alone with his Daddy...until now!

At the ripe old age of two and a third, Tombliboo is having his first "Daddy Date".

He has been looking forward to it all day, and told me often "I go park a Daddy". This is a better alternative to yesterday when he said he wanted to go to space with Daddy. As it happens, it's pouring down, so the park will be more in the form of a McDonald's Playland.

It didn't look like it would happen...he only slept for 5-10 minutes today, and at 8:15pm started pulling me to bed ("I go a sleep!"). Daddy quickly intervened, andgot him out ot the car. He was getting buckled in to his carseat, and suddenly said, "I go home, Mummy!" I said he was already at home, and that he was going out with his Daddy. He lit up again (as he has done all day), and looking like his father's number one fan in the world- they left. He was waving, and saying "Bye Mummy!", and now he's been gone for 15 minutes. I haven't had 15 minutes with only J-Man and Princess at home in over 2's nice, kinda peaceful, but we all miss our little Tombliboo very much.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

My first ever blog award

Looks like it is not an award so much as an invitation to give some more awards out myself, and add some more details about me...but it is nice to have friends :0)

Thanks Shady Lady! We both have a Princess, and they both love pink (lol)...are there any Princesses who don't? (Well I didn;t, but I never thought about princesses either, lol- I was far more of a tomboy).

The rule for accepting the Kreativ Blogger Award is to list 7 things I love, then pass the award along to 7 blogs that I goes...

1. I love my children...well that goes without saying I guess since I have chosen to have them with me nearly 24 hours a day, 7 days a week :0) But I do love them, almost achingly, I can't describe it- other parents wil lknow...and yet, not all will understand the depths. I love children in general, but I love my three like nothing else.

2. I love to read...anything at all really, but I never know quite what to read. I chose a book from the library recently, trying to branch out (introduce new authors), adn my number one criteria for choosing the book was that I liked the cover...that seems an odd reason to choose a book, and turns out it was an odd book! Well, the kind of reading I imagineI would expect to find in a Mills and Boon book (which I have never read), and I am still surprised it was on the ordinary fiction shelf!

3. I love movies...I've watched a truckload. I prefer romantic comedies above all else, but I lvoe dramas too, and I'm fairly game for anything...except I don;t liek horrors, and I always wonder what made me agree to thrillers as wel...I don't like action, I really don't like watching looong sex scenes (an inference is enough detail...I mean isn't it voyeurism otherwise??) and sci-fi has to be really well done for me to consider it...ok, I'm not that game for anything. We are Fatso members atm, and so I am being fed a diet of primarily Scooby-Doo with some Barbie and Lunar Jim thrown in.

4. I love chocolate and Coke...I wish I didn't, but I do.

5. I love's this really cool game on Facebook, and I play it every day- for a minute or two *heaps* of times a day. Even better for me, is that now Princess loves it too...she gets as excited as I do about new (and retired) cards, good trades, and some of the other aspects of the game. It's a very addictive game, but one that fits my life well- I am not a sit-and-play-for-hours-on-end type of gal. There are over 60000 people playing, and I am in the top 25 for points! I'm really proud of that- but it could be a testimony to the fact that a) I play too much, or b) I took forever to work out what the point ofthe game was :0)

6. I love my friends. I've got heaps of *really* good friends...really, really good friends. I have too many really to do them all justice time-wise, but they seem to understand that I am not much good at initiating contact (it's not that I don't want to, just that life is busy). I like to think I am special because of the people who are my friends- that somehow being a friend to so many super-cool people, I am super-cool myself.

7. I love my husband. He drives me nuts some days, and we have really struggled to keep things together almsot since the start. In hindsight, we probably married *far* too young (we bwere both 21 years old)...I don't think either of us really considered what we wanted in a life-partner. I know I didn't. I knew he loved kids, and so did I- and he was nice to me. It seemed enough. It probably wasn't, but somehow we are getting there, there is always hope, and I think we will make it in the end (13 years married so far).

And now, announcing the winners (lol)... I would like to give a Kreativ Blogger Award to

Colleen, my special LA friend who is seriously funny (in a good way), and the mother of the boy J-Man called his siamese twin.

Johanna, my friend who knows soooo much about everything, my first port of call when I am struggling with something to do with radical unschoolign or being green (and is really nice to boot).

Schuyler, who plays scrabble with me, and usually whips me, and is raising children respectfully, and has helped me immensely with kiddo issues, and I sincerely hope will one day move (or at least visit) New Zealand.

I can't really think of anyone else atm, so out of the habit of reading blogs am I :0)

Monday, March 9, 2009


Once a fortnight we plan to take the kids somewhere really cool until we leave Auckland. Today we decided to take them to Lollipops Playland.

First we had waffles for breakfast (yum!), and then we drove to the Ellerslie Car Fair to look around, and for dh (in particular) to get an idea of what we can expect to buy with the money we plan to spend.

It was fun wandering around, and the kids seemed to enjoy it too.

Tombliboo, J-Man and I played on a big hill, while Daddy and Princess went to buy hot chips for lunch. We ate our lunch outside, then went in to Lollipops.

The kiddos seemed to make new friends immediately, and of they went. We ended up staying for 4 hours, which was probably about an hour too long for Tombliboo, but J-Man and Princess didn't want to leave even then.

They got phone numbers fro mtheir new friends, and wnet home buzzing.

What a Lovely Day!

Today was a fabulous day- I don't remember feeling exasperated even a single time. I wish I *never* felt exasperated with one of my children, but I do...I read so many blogs and posts about mums who I can never imagine feeling (or behaving) the way I do on occasion.

We planned to bus in to Manukau and meet another family also using public transport through the week. They plan to home educate their children, the eldest of whom will be 5 next month.

As we were getting ready to leave the house (really frantically as usual), the phone rang, and it was another lady who hopes to home educate and was keen to meet us. It hasn't worked so far, so I asked if she would like to join us today, and she was keen.

I managed to get a load of washing on the line, and lunch partially made for the 4 of us, a bag packed, and everyone up and breakfasted (well, I had breakfast, and I made it for the kiddos- but they didn't eat, since none of them seem to like food first thing), and out the door at 9am. That's really early for us, btw.

It was made easier by the fact that J-Man got up as soon as I asked, even though he had placed a hand-written sign on his door..."Please wake me up as late as you possibly can" (and I did, but it isn't usually as smooth as that).

We didn't catch the bus we intended to catch, but it didn't matter because we had plenty of time, and I wanted to return some dvd's anyway so it wasn't a big rush on our way home when Tombliboo was likely to be tired (or asleep).

We ended up needing to wait over 20 minutes, so I got the kiddos (and myself) a hash brown from the McDonald's next to the bus stop. They were very tickled by that because they all love hashbrowns. The kids, even J-Man who can be rather shy at times, chatted to a man who was waiting for the bus, and then when an elderly couple came to wait too, they sat on the concrete so the new arrivals could sit on the seat. After a while Princess went to tell the older man that there was a seat there for him, and led him to it- it was terribly sweet. When the lady didn't come, she went and got her as well.

We got on to our bus, and as has been his habit the last few weeks- Tombliboo insisted on sitting alone. I think it makes him feel big, or something. I also think it is really cute.

J-Man told me that after I had gone to bed last night, he and Princess had visited London, Paris, the Empire State Building and the Egyptian pyramids, courtesy of Google Earth. He also said he would like to visit Moscow with me when we got home.

I got out Matilda to read to Princess, and J-Man was enjoying the story too. Actually I got the feeling from the looks roundabout that the whole bus was enjoying it, lol, and so they should- it really is a cool story!

The half-hour trip took no time at all, and we got off the bus as fast as possible since Tombliboo had already exited.

We went in to the mall to get across to the park we were heading to, and when we got nearly there, it started bucketing down. I had gone out without anyone's cell-phone numbers, and I realised we might be having a day by ourselves. I took the kiddos to a little cafe-type place, which was very cosy. I got the kids a snack, and a hot drink for Princess and I, cold drinks for the boys.

When the rain stopped we wandered over to the (enormous) park, and looked for our friends. We found a neat duck pond that the kids enjoyed for a time, and we eventually found the friends we had come to meet. The kiddos played around on skateboard ramps, and we mums chatted when we weren't being pulled away to look at this or that new thing.

It was so cool talking to these mums of 4 year olds, and remembering when I was the mum of my first 4 year old...I so remember being asked at every turn which school my son would be going to, and never knowing quite what to answer because I coudn't imagine him in a school, but his Daddy thought it was weird to do otherwise. I felt like I had no idea where he would be when he was 5, but I knew I wanted him nearby, and he certainly had no interest whatsoever in going to school.

I reassured them that it stops, and eventually people don't even ask. That fact still amazes me- I guess most people assume J-Man is having a day off school, and noone *ever* has asked me why Princess isn't in school.

We talked about our (shared) first experience of meeting a group of homeschoolers, and how we were all amazed that the children of all ages just played together, and noone minded playing with little fact, they were as welcome as anyone else.

We talked about all sorts of very normal concerns one might have about choosing a path that is so unconventional (nowadays, but so very normal not that long ago). One mum commented that my children obviously had a fabulous relationship, and I was bursting with pride, but also felt compelled to say it really isn't always like that- I'm not entirely sure why it is at the moment- but it is, and it is wonderful. Actually, we used to get those sorts of comments all the time until J-Man was about 8...that was when it popped in my head one day "Oh, he's growing up", and I was astonished. It seems as silly now as it did then- but it was almost as though I wasn't expecting it...and really it did seem to happen so suddenly, that I really *wasn't* expecting it. It also coincided with the arrival of Tombliboo, and I was basically absent for so many weeks caring for a little baby who just wasn't happy.

And just as suddenly (well hopefully), J-Man seems to have grown again, and is more patient, more inclined to join in with what Princess is doing, less inclined to sit at the computer by himself.

Anyway, the children were all having a fabulous time. One family needed to leave to get a toddler off to sleep, and J-Man was tickled that she gave him a big cuddle when she said goodbye. We ate lunch, and then went exploring with the other family. We headed back to the duckpond, and the boys (J-Man, and G4) went off to play on a bike track. Princess went looking for field mushrooms, and found a heap of them.

An elderly lady walking a dog came to ask us if we might have found her lost keys, so Princess and I started helping her look. She told us about the place you usually find the mushrooms, and confirmed for me that they were edible...apparently they grow in circles of darker, longer grass, known as a Fairy Circle. Well, of course that appealed immensely to Princess.

The boys loved playing in the dirt, and long grass, and noone seemed to want to leave...but we did eventually, and went our separate ways. We had to walk through the mall to get to our bus, and Tombliboo went running in to a cheap-and-nasty shop and opened a box of motorcycles. I felt I had to purchase them which was very annoying, but today I wasn't annoyed. J-Man chose a teddy bear puppet, because he has become interested in ventriloquism, and Princess chose a puzzle of some description.

The next part of my plan was to get them busy with sorbets so I could (hopefully) buy a sports bra...that all went off amazingly well, and I got a bargain to boot.

I was so impressed with my bargain, and how well the children had waited, that I took them for (yet another) treat, and then we got a bus home.

Tombliboo hopped on board before us, and demanded, "Man! I need a ticket! I need a ticket, Man"...he didn't want to sit by himself this time, choosing rather to breastfeed and go to sleep. Unfortunately, he woke up 5 minutes after he fells asleep, when we needed to get off the bus and walk home.

I thanked J-Man for being so good with the little ones, and he said there was no need- he had loved it.

J-Man cracked us all up saying Tombliboo sayings, and we all walked home very happily, even having a slight diversion so we could walk through two little tunnels.

The rest of the day went wonderfully as well. Tombliboo helped me make macaroni cheese for dinner, while the big kids built cities with Lego. They all played outside with the hose ,and Daddy came home early. I went for a run, and when everything settled down as it got dark, I watched An Inconvenient Truth (the Al Gore documentary about global warming). Princess snuggled with me and couldn't stop crying over polar bears who had drowned looking for ice.

I felt terrible that she had seen it, but touched by her sensitivity, and concern for all creatures. I felt that as harsh and horrible as it was to see her distraught that it is exactly the sort of thing that might have a lasting impact on a young child. We talked about ways we can help the environment, ways we are already helping....goodness knows she is none-too-subtle at the supermarket when someone dares to give us a plastic bag! She eventually fell asleep in my arms.

Tombliboo went to sleep on me as well, and when the movie had finished, I carried Princess to bed, and then took my toddler with me. J-Man was busy visiting the Kremlin, and talking to his Daddy, and everything was right with the world (more or less).