Saturday, November 5, 2011

Keep the kids busy with a potion lab

I came across this idea on some cool blog (that I now can't find or remember) and thought my kids would love it. 

A potion lab, just the thing for a bit of magic, or maybe some scientific experimentation if you prefer.

I saved up any plastic containers I came across for a couple of weeks, then on a sunny but cold Saturday morning away we went. We did this in that time of year when Saturday Auskick had finished but cricket had not yet begun, so Saturdays belonged entirely to us for just a little while. For better or worse.

Many containers, a funnel, food colouring and water. 


The boys even managed to refrain from dumping/throwing/pouring the water over each other for most of the time. We did end up with a fair amount of mess and the colours all blended to a nice murky brown of course but my little magician and scientist loved it.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Melbourne Zombie Shuffle...

The boys and I went to a Halloween party last night, the boys dressed as ninjas and me in my regular duds, as per the invite. It was fun, lots of kids and as the night wore on, Mr 6 stuck closer and closer by me, eventually saying "it's just a little bit too scary for me mum". 

Think life-sized skeleton bride standing in one corner, massive spiders and webs everywhere and a cackling witch head on the table. Not being brought up with Halloween, all this spookyness is pretty new to them; in general, they coped admirably.

I even made these cupcakes for school on Friday. 
Because I, in my genius-ness, thought Halloween was today, Sunday, thereby making Friday the logical day for bringing Halloween cupcakes to school. Now I feel really smart. 

Never mind, they were cute and everyone enjoyed them.

And have a look at this, the 2010 Melbourne Zombie Shuffle.

Freaky stuff!


Thursday, October 27, 2011

School hols over and back to the routine

Life has been a bit off-kilter here because my dear hubby was away for a month....yes, a month!....including the two weeks of school holidays. Ai yi yi! 

We survived, obviously.

The school hols we spent at The Farm which was just fabulous, joined at different times by one of my sisters and one of my brothers. The boys were in heaven, and so was I most of the time. 

Photographing a squashed-on-the-road snake.
No photos of the live brown snakes we saw though.

Feeding the farm dogs.

The helmets were so cool, they wore them everywhere the first few days.

About to go on a platypus hunt. 
Unsuccessful as it turns out, two loud little boys don't help, I'm sure.

Glorious view in the morning as the fog lifts.

The stillness and blissful quiet was broken from time to time, by some very, uh, tuneful singing. And loud keyboard. Turn up the echo on the karaoke machine and I'm sure every sheep and every cow in every bl**dy paddock could hear us.

Er, I mean them. Well, mostly them.

More morning views.

Loads of mud around after the storm that apparently just about drowned Melbourne.
Ah, the bliss of living on a great big hill.

Here is the aforementioned rain.

These were inspired by Mr 6 seeing three baby rabbits out the bathroom windows one morning.

And this set Mr 6 into "Can I have a pet, pleeeeeease?' mode.
(There may some bantams coming for Christmas if I can find some young ones, shhh.)

The view again. Yawning yet?

Lots of art happened.

A true picasso, that green smear is the dead snake from the first photo.

'The bog' as the boys called it. An overfull stream in reality.


Hanging out in the Goulburn River.

Yep, a great time was had by all.

Mr 6 is now back at school, hubby is home and life has regained some semblance of normality.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Tired, tired, tired

I gotta get these boys to sleep all night for a few nights in a row to recharge myself I think. The boys have had a run of colds, unusually for them, and the last one has left them both with a fairly chesty cough.
Last night at about 8.30pm Mr 3 woke up in a tizz, which very quickly degenerated into an all out screaming meltdown, that went on so long it actually woke up big brother. 
 So now two kids awake and mum's plans to do various house and kitcheny things all evening fly out the window. That's when I'm already kinda tired from whoever it was that woke up the last two nights.
I can't remember who, I'm thinking they tagged teamed it.
 I do remember one of them was Mr 6, who woke up sobbing because he dreamed he lost his Milo cricket bag. Right.
Add to that two wet beds in row from Mr 3 and a lot of rain, so wet bedding draped everywhere and occasionally stuffed into the dryer. 


Today Mr 6 came home and told me they've been watching High School Musical at school. 
Actually, he told me they finished watching it today, as they watched the first part yesterday.

This is a film about American teenagers and their relationships.

I cannot see in any way, shape or form how this is appropriate viewing for a class of 5 and 6 year olds.
Aside from the fact I don't send him to school to WATCH TV.

I am beyond annoyed.

Now, just to remind myself I do love being a mum, even when I'm tired and my kids are sending me round the bend, I give you this photo: 

Mr 3 year thought Buzz Lightyear and Zurg could do with a makeover. 
Much improved, don' cha think?

That was before he started jumping off the desk onto my bed. 
The last time of which he landed oddly and rolled round in laughing agony saying he'd broken his jacks crackers.


Lord give me patience and let my children sleep all night. Please.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Matching pants and environmentally friendly weed killer

My little monsters today....

As soon as the temperature rises above 12c, they are ready to get their gear off and race round like mad things outside. It didn't actually reach 25c I'm sure, but that did not deter them one little bit.

Do ya like their matching shorts?

Haaaahaha, yup, I've turned into one of 'those' mums, but I just couldn't help myself when I found them in Mr 3's size. The boys think it's cool, so I'll milk that for what it's worth while I can. Poor things.

I thought I'd give the new veggie garden a sprinkle but that soon degenerated into a bit of a free-for-all with the hose...

They don't need a beach to have fun with their bodyboards, either.

And, just LOOK at these dying weeds:
( I just know you're drooling with excitement)

My mission was to find an environmentally friendly weedkiller.

Answer to problem: straight white vinegar in a spray bottle.

Now, these are not huge weeds, as evidenced by the toe of my shoe, but I sprayed them yesterday afternoon and they are surely looking very much worse for wear now. Whether or not vinegar would work on the waist high jungle that was our backyard a few years back I'm not sure.

So, armed with vinegar for weeds, and a torch and my husbands big ol' shoe for snails, I am all set for gardening this summer. Yeah.

Friday, September 16, 2011

HeLLLOOO Garden!

Look at this.....

This piece of dirt is the garden bed that runs down the side of our shared driveway. The lady we now share the driveway with recently suggested we should clear it out of the random trees and ugly box hedging and use it for a veggie garden.


So we promptly did just that.

Actually, she and hubby did it as I was heading out just as she came and suggested we make a start right then. The lady seems to have a knack for finding me when I'm busiest.

So, we have since dug in about 5 bags of composted cow poop and planted some tomatoes, capsicums, cucumbers which I hope to get climbing up a trellis, spring onions and an asparagus plant. Still waiting to see if that's growing or if it rotted during the rainy spell that happened right after I planted it.....

I'm waiting for some yellow capsicums and chillis to sprout and my own baby toms to grow a bit bigger before I put them in the ground. Oh, and there's baby spinach and lettuce there too.

A while before all this went down, I had shot off an email to a local community garden I had found through Landshare Australia. The boys and I will go and check it out tomorrow morning, it's a permaculture garden run on the grounds of a local high school and in return for a few hrs work a week all workers get a share of the produce. They have 55 heritage fruit and nut trees planted, compost, chickens and water tanks, and I was told they would be delighted to have children around. It's fairly newly established from what I can tell and they are still very much in need of man/woman/people power.

Updates on how that goes later, a balmy 25c is predicted, and I'm really looking forward to checking it out!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Child labour

The little guy wanted to clean the car.

An old sauce bottle full of water and Dad's golf-club-cleaning brush, and he was happy.

Hehe, he even managed to leave most of the paint on our aged and venerable car.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Today is another day

Oh my, I was in quite the funk yesterday.

Baby L.T's due date, should he have made it to a full 40 weeks. Thing is, his birth was to have been a scheduled c-section, so technically he would have arrived at least a week ago.
I didn't think the date would affect me all that much, but boo ya, who am I to dictate what my mind is going to do? At the same time as my body gives me a definite 'not pregnant anymore' sign. Yeah, go me.
One of those days where you just want to crawl under a rock and not speak to anyone.

But instead I took the boys out to the farmer's market, then later, up to the school to ride their bikes and play in the massive school sandpit. I got through it and today was a new day.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Meet (the) Eggbert(s)

When your family eats as many eggs as we do, you can end up with a lot of egg shells.

When you have two small boys, as we do, you need to come up with activities for those freezing, grey days of winter when they're bouncing off the walls.

Enter, the eggshells.

Ok, this was not my genius, I saw it somewhere on the blogosphere, but aren't they cute?

Hello Eggbert 1, Eggbert 2, Eggbert 3 and Eggbert 4.
Yes, we got creative with names, didn't we?

To make your own hairy little guys, save some shells from good old boiled eggs.

Place a cotton ball in the bottom of each shell and drip water on it till the cotton wool is fairly damp, but there's no extra water pooled around it.

Add sprout seeds.

We can't remember. Cress and radish maybe?

Keep the cotton wool damp and in a lightish place, like a kitchen windowsill and your little baldies will have a fine crop in no time.

Then you can give them a haircut and eat the trimmings if you so desire.

(My boys did not desire, they left them to dry out and eventually let me consign all Eggberts to the worm farm. Er, I mean Eggbert heaven.)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

My garden

First up, check out the colour of the pumpkins we grew!

All two of them, albeit, one giant one.

I picked up this passionfruit vine at the farmer's market a couple of weeks back, it's still looking for a home though.

And in the seed tray, can you spot the two baby apple trees?

Might need to enlarge it to actually see them...the boys and I saved the seeds from any apples that got eaten for a couple of weeks and planted them about three to what do you call each individual space in a seed tray?.......patch of dirt in the seed tray!

Since this picture, two more have come up.
I have no illusions about how they will grow and whether or not they will produce, but still, it has been kinda cool. We just sat the tray out in the cold and after about 2 weeks the first one came up, about a month later the second one, and at least a month after that, the last two.

And, we've had a strange bird nesting in the garage.

Hmm, wonder what sort of creature will hatch out of those?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Home again

Back from the mansion as of yesterday. I must say, I didn't realise the weather was so miserable when we stayed there, must be the central heating and massive fireplaces. Or maybe today was actually worse, freezing and grey the entire day.

Ho hum.

But we had a lovely time as usual.


tried rollerblades for the first time....

tooled around on the world's most impressive tricycle...

watched movies of ourselves doing the above activities...


a lot...

gathered (and ate) many oranges...

visited the museum...

hung out in the tents, in the 'playroom that is bigger than our house'....

made s'mores, thanks to the massive open fireplaces...

made pizzas, using the pizza machine...

and did some impressive cookie decorating

As well as caring for the dogs, which the boys enjoyed, although Mum was definitely on poop-scooping duty.

Much time spent walking dogs and riding bikes.

Had a couple of play dates, who were suitable impressed with our digs.

Made it snow by tipping torn up paper towels over the dining space from the second level.

And my youngest magpie spent a long time gathering bits and pieces from all corners of the mansion to keep in his tent. Including the eyepiece from my beloved camera. Which I only noticed missing when I discovered it as I emptied out the tent and attempted to relocate everything back to it's correct position the day before we left.


Friday, July 8, 2011


My hubby has a few friends round tonight and one of them quietly told me that his girlfriend is 12 weeks pregnant. He told me privately, before the others arrived and that was such a thoughtful thing for him to do.

I congratulated him, then cried on his shoulder for a minute. I didn't realise it would hurt so much to hear that someone in our circle is pregnant.

I am very happy for them, and yet it makes me cry, knowing that they're expecting a baby.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Thermomix heaven, anyone?

What's better than one thermomix?

Two, of course!

Oh yeah, looooove staying at the mansion!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

What we've been up to

Making potions...

Collecting hail...

and eating it...

Playing outdoors...

Making bread.....whoops
(that hole was big enough to fit my fist in!)

Squeezing a bazillion lemons...

Playing a bit of air guitar...

And isn't he cute?

Where's Mr 6? He's around, but I'm finding when I have both of them here, my camera comes out less 'cos I'm busy mediating.

Or Mummypolice, as I call it.

School holidays coming up and we're spending the first week at the mansion.

Lots to do there, less Mummypolicing I hope :)

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