Sunday, August 21, 2016


Lately, when he writes/draws letters, stories, recipes, activity pages, survival kits, etc., he also folds elaborate envelopes to house them. He can even fold with just his one usable arm!

After 'helping' me hang/remove/fold countless loads of laundry, she has moved slightly  closer to the point of actual helpfulness. It is now (finally) not a completely ridiculous idea to do the folding with her company/help. Yippee!

Went to see Ben Folds play with 'Y Music' at QPAC on Thursday night. I love being part of an audience singing 3 part harmonies!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

self-expression through the arts

(transcription below)



Transcription of Poem 
(He wrote the whole thing himself, while quietly sipping a babyccino at a cafe the morning after his hospital experience.)

The Hospital Poem
If you are sick and you are ick you go to the hospital,
The hospital, the hospital, oh yes you do.
Ohhh, yes you do, do do do, oh yes you do.

Hospitals are really good because they help us get better and also there is a Child Hospital and that Child Hospital helps childs.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

house-sitting and share-housing

House-Sitting (for a month) means...

...playing with someone else's toys...

...exploring someone else's yard...

...sleeping in someone else's cot..:

...messing up someone else's table...

...feeling comfortable doing our normal activities in someone else's space...
...frequent visits to the op shop around the corner (here they are modeling their beads - the day's purchase)...

...using some someone else's space for my projects...

Share-housing (for a couple of weeks) means...

...having a big brother and sister and lots of shared meals (this was a 'chip-nic' in the park)... 

...dress-ups and trampolines and performances...

...after-school pick-ups... 

...having live-in babysitters - so we could head to our place, once the kids were in bed, and get a couple of hours' painting done each night...

Monday, July 11, 2016

drawing subjects

Current (and enduring) favourite subjects: giraffes, under the sea, dinosaurs, birds. The giraffe pictured is sick, with purple snot pouring out of her nose and pooling at her feet... So lovely!

She's been loving drawing for quite a while, but has recently become much more deliberate about what she creates (usually flowers). Here's a chalkboard that she drew on at playgroup this week. I did 3 of the flower heads, at her request, but the rest was her. She spent AGES doing the many, many stems (in a rainbow of colours) and tried very hard to make some flowers on top.

A friend and I decided we could be brave enough (together) to go along to a drawing meet-up in the CBD on the weekend - it just sounded too interesting to miss. It started in a cafe/bar where we could order food/drink while sketching a yoga instructor in lots of different poses. She then taught us some good stretches/poses for artists before we moved out into an alley to sketch some longer poses in a different setting. 

B reported that, while I was at yoga/drawing, he and Little He spent a delightful rest time drawing together on the sunny veranda. Little He developed his regular repertoire while B drew a map of data points (or something similarly clever/confusing) for the new lounge room. 

woolly winter

He helped me make the first fence heart when we arrived to set up, then became a penguin collecting icicles on snow mountains with his new friend.

When she wasn't busy/happy eating everyone else's food she spent time crafting with her friends (big and small). Despite being a bit sick she partied on well after the planned finishing time!

We organised Woolly Winter, a "school holidays event for all generations" which was held at our Community Garden on Thursday.

The lead up involved chatting with crafty neighbours, a letter-box drop and op-shopping for wool. I also spent a lot of energy (wasted, incidentally) trying to organise a coffee van to stop by. After 9 rejections I was out of options. NINE! 

The day involved rugging up warmly, delightful company, garden exploring and beautiful woolly work! More than 60 people came along and learnt to knit, made pom poms and finger-knitting lengths and decorated the fence (some in neat hearts and some with a more abstract flair). The lollypop lady from our local school crossing (who lives in a retirement unit near the garden) gave me a big bag of knitted squares to use. Another local crafter and I started combining these squares and other goodies (from her mum's 30-year collection of knitted samples) to clothe the tall, bare tree trunks. This will be an ongoing project! As I don't have a picture of that yet, the above shows the garden gate boasting happy new hearts made on the day.

Friday, July 1, 2016

demolition (blogging catch-up)


Preparation for demolition
As soon as we were given a tentative/vague start date, we started packing up half of the house into boxes, piled high in the spare room, and packing up the contents of the laundry and much of the yard. He helped his Daddy remove the pavers and, by having long daytime naps, She gave me a couple of hours each day to sort/pack inside.

Drawing on the walls destined for demolition
In preparation for the interior demolition, we've been drawing on walls. It's been consuming much of our play time for the past month, and visitors are heartily encouraged to contribute.


Demolition in the yard
 Endless entertainment: machines, bobcats, cement mixers, mud, rubble, skip bins, jackhammers. Kids watch from their special viewing platform (the kitchen sink) in the mornings and pop around the back to check it out in the evenings.


Escaping demolition noise
Having nap times at a friend's place for the week (to escape the NOISE) means that we get to pretend we have a cat, the gorgeous Billy. Little He happily spent a couple of hours each day doing puzzles/reading/craft with a furry black shadow for company. Little She arrived at their place each day, bursting with an abundance of enthusiastic affection to share with Billy before hopping into her 'special bed at Billy's place'. 

Demolishing a lump
It had been on my neck for 25 years, but, this year, a doctor finally wanted to cut it out. The stitches came out after 4 weeks and it's healing nicely. Just wish it had happened a couple of decades ago when it was still tiny! 

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

grandparent visit

He is very comfortable with his Grandies, spent much of the past 10 days (and a couple of evenings, while his parents were out and child-free) reading, drawing and playing games with them. These Volkswagen salt & pepper shakers at the Gabba Antique Centre cafe reminded Granny of her first car, which had to be big enough to fit her Mom's (my Grandma Jo's) wheelchair in. 

Don't be alarmed! Baby Rosie is made of plastic and Grandpa was being very gentle. This macabre little project was all in the name of making the hole in baby's mouth large enough for the dummy that Little She desperately wanted to fit. We dragged Granny and Grandpa from playgroup to playground to cafe to market to fete to op-shop to swap-shop and collected various doll clothes, doll high-chair and a doll dummy along the way (Little She has recently adopted her brother's Baby Rosie and a baby, as we know, needs lots of stuff...).

 My parents drove here from Adelaide, via all sorts of back-roads and via Rock Hampton. Not a bad effort for a couple in their mid-70s. They're on their way home now, via the Blue Mountains. Also not a bad effort was their stellar effort in keeping up with the munchkins for a week and a half. Mainly the wild and wonderful little She-child! And, because they were driving their fancy new 4WD, there was room in the boot for the two prettiest chairs in the world which once belonged to my Grandparents in the Barossa, but now belong here with me.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

super heroes


 For his very good pal's 4th 'Super Hero' birthday party he invented 'Super Dragon' (which breathes fire, air, water and cupcakes). He also dressed his Daddy as 'Interesting Man' (purple wig and cape) whose super power is 'being interested in everything'. At the party he found a good book and curled up on the couch, unaware of the twenty 4-year-old Spidermen (Spidermans?) swarming past in red and black waves of energy. Dress-ups, cake, books - pretty much his ultimate party.

She saw the design on her costume and explained that she was 'Incy Wincy Spider". 
Their Auntie commented: "Super Dragon & Incy-Wincy??? Surely you two are a formidable fire-breathing, waterspout-climbing force!

We're rostered on to water the community garden this week. I was up there just after sunrise this morning, listening to podcasts (the Party Room, Chat 10 Looks 3), pulling weeds, chatting to neighbours passing by and moving the hose around. A delicious way for my soul to start the day! My favourite part, however, was drinking tea from B's Superman thermos from his childhood.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

new fridge

Fridges come in big boxes.

She has developed blatant double-standards when it comes to leaving the freezer/fridge door open. If she's the one who has opened it (usually to get some ice for an 'oweee' or milk to drink) she loves to stand and bask in it's glorious coldness, refusing to move or close the door. If I need to grab something while preparing a meal she pushes with all her tiny (but surprisingly forceful) might to slam it shut!

 After a string of second-hand fridges (of varying quality of cold-making) throughout the past 16 years, it only took a power surge and seventy (yes, seriously) phone calls to the fridge guy for us to end up with this one, shiny and new.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

bathroom redecorating

 I never actually see him do it, but, after we turn over the bathroom calendar page to each new month, throughout the following 4 weeks, the page gradually becomes more and more beautiful and unique! He gives us extra days or events and often includes speech bubbles or other additions to the existing artwork. It's hilarious and I love noticing it evolve. I really hope this lasts for many, many more calendars. Until he learns to forge my handwriting and actually succeeds at altering our plans.
He's already made a good start on May.

Oh, it flows off the roll so beautifully, with just one little tug - how can this not be toilet paper's intended purpose?

 I've been on the lookout for an unsmashable - but still pretty - soap dish (after two ceramic casualties this year), and finally found this little teapot (currently known around here as a "pea-tot") this week, which seems to do the job - though I have to cut our soaps in half to fit!