two

Moe turned two last week.

He had a wonderful birthday. My Mum visited from Perth and we had a little party at a park next to the beach with three other families.

We had a bit of a birthday cake drama because I rushed Jude Blereau‘s butter cream icing recipe (the first time it hasn’t worked for me!), so we ended up buying a cake (rather embarrassing for me!) and getting to our own party a bit late. Luckily two of the three families were already late and my Mum was too. What’s a birthday party without a little drama huh?

Moe’s birthday was a lovely celebration of two delightful years with a delightful little mate.

It feels like a lifetime ago I was birthing him. Indeed it is a lifetime for Moe, but such a short, sweet two years for me…

posted by wildecrafted in journal and have Comments (5)

unschool monday – self directed

This morning I was granted a little sleep in.

Bean goes to Tafe Mondays, so he doesn’t have to be out the door quite as early as other weekdays. Bean got up with the sproggets today & while I lay in bed dozing, he put some Cat Stevens on the stereo, changed Moe’s nappy & dressed him, left Sprout in her pyjamas at her request*, made them all some porridge for breakfast & then cleaned up. He let me know when he was almost ready to go so I could get up & do my morning ritual without any interruption because I was not the only parent at home & the sproggets had been catered for already, amazing!

Once Bean left I made a smoothie for myself & the sproggets. We sat together & drank our smoothies then the sproggets each did their own thing while I cleaned up the blender & glasses. Yes, you read that right… the sproggets each did their own thing.

Not only that though, they continued to do their own thing for quite some time after I’d finished cleaning the smoothie dishes. In that time of quiet, self directed play, I was able to do some study(!). I read (& understood) 3 pages of a chapter on the endocrine system without interruption(!!) & they were still playing when I finished.

In the end, I actually asked them to play with me. I was energised & in the mood for meaningful interaction, I was feeling able to make ammends for the times I’ve said,

“Not right now, I don’t want to/I can’t be bothered/I’m too tired/I’m too busy.”

I asked Sprout what she wanted to do & she told me she’d like to play with the playdough.

“Yes!” I said, “And we can do better than just playdough… we can do playdough & coloured pop-sticks & pipe cleaners & GOOGLY EYES!”

We played playdough together, on & off, all day. Interspersed with lots of scrummy snacks & more self-directed play. I’m amazed at the complete lack of input required from me today. I’m amazed at the relative harmony between Moe & Sprout, so few disagreements, so much co-operation. I’m amazed at how nicely the day flowed, both sproggets freely entertaining themselves for a whole gloriously easy day, with me even being able to get a bit of stress free reading done for college!

 

*Sprout stayed in her pyjamas all day, until we all went for a quick walk with Dave when Bean came home at 4pm. That’s the beauty of Mondays, our only full weekday at home, we can sloth about in our jarmies all day long & still learn heaps, laugh heaps & love heaps!

 

Unschool Monday is inspired by Owlet.

posted by wildecrafted in education and have Comments (2)

A natural learning wishlist

I’ve been thinking a little about things I’d like to get our family to facilitate some natural learning.

We’ve got an impressive craft drawer, to which I’d like to add some tempera paints (powdered paints) which would be good for mixing up paints & colouring home made playdough.

I’d also like to get annual passes to the Perth Zoo & Scitech, they’d get us into the zoo or Scitech an unlimited number of times each year. Imagine the fun we could have with those!

We have plenty of games, craft and toys to keep us occupied inside but there’s room for improvement in the outside toys department. Representatives of the outside toys department include a ride on car (yes, our hippy child really does have a BMW, my Mum bought it), a trike (Mum also bought that, thanks Mum), and one of those plastic baby swings. I’d really like to get some sports equipment too. Simple stuff like balls and rackets. I’d also like to get some garden tools that are an appropriate size for The Bubble now that we’ll be moving back to our old place and getting stuck into gardening again.

posted by wildecrafted in education,journal and have No Comments

A very domestic Monday

And it’s not even midday yet!

This morning Babyman woke for the day at 6.15am. I really enjoy that time of the day. I used to try to be up and moving about by 6am most days before having children and after going through adolesence myself! I found it hard to feel enthusiastic this morning though as we’ve had a couple of quite wakeful nights with Babyman and I wanted to keep sleeping.

The Bubble ended up sleeping in until about 8am so I felt pretty ripped off that Babyman didn’t seem to want to follow suit. He was in his usual happy mood though so we just pottered around until his sister woke up, then we all sat on the couch eating fruit and reading story books. I’ve been on the hunt for some story books that share morals that are in line with our ethics (diversity in characters, diversity in story lines, acceptance of diversity i.e. not attacking the duckling because he’s different and “ugly” and then accepting him when he grows to be beautiful), I found a few online last night so I’ve taken a bit of a gamble and ordered books online for the first time.

Aaaanyway, we ate fruit for breakfast then The Bubble played with a bucket of soapy water on the deck while I tackled Mt Washmore with Babyman on my back in the ergo. I managed to get a load of dry washing folded and put away, a load of clean washing hung on the line and a load of nappies in the machine so the mountain is looking a little more like a hill than a mountain now. Phew!

Babyman stayed where he was while The Bubble and I made some spelt muffins with banana and coconut. By the time we had finished and put them in the oven Babyman was asleep so I put him down in bed so The Bubble and I could clean out the guinea pig cage.

The muffins were ready and we each ate one before Babyman woke up and joined us for a bit of morning tea. With mouths full of muffin my small friends are both fairly quiet and I’ve been able to work out what other domestic activities I’d like to get done after the weekend.

So this afternoon (in no particular order and with no particular pressure to complete the list) we’re going to:

  • Pull the last of the weeds from the paving out the back & add them to the compost heap
  • Water the pot plants
  • Mulch the last of the unmulched plants
  • Clean the bathroom & toilet (this one may have to wait until Babyman is sleeping again 😉 )
  • Change bedsheets on The Bubble’s bed & the big bed.
  • Sweep up the muffin crumbs after lunch
  • Dishes
  • Make playdough with blue & green glitter
  • Hang the clean nappies on the line (& probably chuck another load or two in since it’s perfect laundry weather)

This evening we’re leaving the children with my sister and her family while we have an appointment with a financial someone-or-other to work out how we can get ourselves into a position to buy a little acreage not far from Perth. Cross your fingers for us, please, because it’s going to be a long way off I’m sure.

Anyhow, that’s enough of a break in the productivity, I’m on a roll so I’m off 🙂

posted by wildecrafted in journal and have Comments (3)

Compassion Caravan (before)

This weekend we’re going on a bus trip with 20 odd people (yes, we’re all very odd :P) from the Refugee Rights Action Network. An 850km bus trip to Leonora and back (1700km round trip) to visit families of asylum seekers being held in detention.

For info on the purpose of the caravan, see here.

We’ve been on a convergence with RRAN before, in 2005, a much longer one. We went to the Baxter Immigration Detention Centre in Port Augusta, South Australia. In 2005 we didn’t have children though. Actually, in 2005 we weren’t in a relationship either, Liam did sit next to me on the way there though…

So, given that we’re not childless, single people anymore, there is a lot more for us to consider this time around, it’s not as simple as packing our clothes/tent/snacks & hoping for the best. We’ve got a 3 year old child & a baby to entertain in the confines of a bus, a bus that we’re sharing with another 15-20 people.

Babyman doesn’t require much in the way of entertaining yet, he’s not really very mobile & basically as long as he has free access to boobs, cuddles & regular clean nappies he’s pretty happy. The Bubble on the other hand, she’s 3 & VERY high energy. I’ve thought a lot about what things we can do with her on the bus to keep her occupied for the 20 (or more?!) hours we’ll be bussing for.

I’ve bought her some new story books, which she was about due for anyway, because new is often more captivating when it comes to story books for 3 year olds. Her favourite of the new story books is her copy of The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle.

I’ve made her a craft kit. I don’t mean to blow my own trumpet but it is AWESOME (toot toot toot)!

I’ve got a clear plastic box with 8 compartments and filled them with:

1. cotton wool balls

2. wooden dolly pegs

3. foam monster shaped stickers

4. colourful plastic pony beads with large, toddler friendly size holes

5. rainbow coloured popsticks

6. different size & shape fabric off-cuts from my quilting stash (yes, there is paisley in there)

7. different size & colour pom poms

8. craft ribbon & goggly eyes

I’ve also got a bag filled with things that didn’t fit in the box:

Sticker sheets with stickers of many different sizes, shapes & colours; multicoloured pipe cleaners; craft glue; scissors; a colouring book; coloured pencils & sharpener; large size, natural (non coloured) popsticks; a large ball of grey yarn for threading beads & other general crafty applications; a pad of scrap paper that Liam made at work to use as a drawing pad.

I’ve deliberately excluded things like glitter & paint because they’re a little too messy for the bus.

Tonight, once The Bubble was in bed Liam made some playdough to include in the activity bag, I suggested he mix lavender essential oil into it, hopefully it’ll act as a calming activity if/when The Bubble needs calming. We have already made 8 batches of playdough in the thermomix last night to give to the children in detention at Leonora. Liam made the playdough & I kneaded the colours & some essential oils into the batches by hand while he got started on each new batch, true production line styles. We made a playdough rainbow…

Red with rose oil, orange with tangerine oil, yellow with lemon oil, green with lime oil, blue with ylang ylang oil, indigo with patchouli oil, violent with lavender oil.

On top of all that stuff for activities we’ve packed about half the clothes they own, we’ll probably not need them, but if we don’t have extra clothes they’ll no doubt be needed. Better to have them in the bag & be able to put them back in the cupboard unused when we get home, than to leave them in the cupboard & curse when we run out of clean, dry kids clothes.

We’ve got awesome snacks for the trip so there’ll be no roadhouse stodge for us. I went to the little organic place just up the road from our house to get enough food for snacks & meals. I’m sure we’ll be rolling off the bus when we get to Kalgoorlie tomorrow night after eating hazelnuts, almonds, cashews, brazil nuts, pistachios, dark chocolate covered cranberries, raw cacao nibs, goji berries, sultanas, roast veg salad, fresh fruit salad (kiwi fruit, red apple, banana, orange, pear), mushrooms, carrot sticks, celery sticks, spicy lentil dip, cold organic beef sausages, avocado, fresh honeycomb & popcorn!

I’ve also got a herbal first aid kit of sorts. I’m not feeling well & since I’d be taking herbs at home, I’ve decided to dispense myself some travel sized herbs. Tinctures of Echinacea, Olive Leaf & Golden Seal plus some essential oils, herbal lozenges for my sore throat & wholefood supplements (bee pollen, barley grass, spirulina etc.)

On that note, massive weekend begins in 8 hours, I need to rest now!

I’ll be taking notes & writing an update on the trip when we get home. Keep an eye on the RRAN website (www.rran.org) over the weekend for live updates.

posted by wildecrafted in activism and have Comments (2)