Monday, May 21, 2012

Possum Signed!

Just a quick note. I had to share that Possum signed his first sign this evening! Proud Mummy moment :-)

He signed 'sleep' several times. We were getting ready to pick Flossy up from Cubs and I was putting on his jumper as it's cold and he signed 'sleep' and looked at me and I said 'sleep' and he immediately signed it again with a huge grin. He did it several times over the next 15 minutes including once we got to Cubs to pick Flossy up.

I'm so excited! This is his first attempt at proper communication! He babbles plenty but doesn't have any words yet. Woohoo! All our hard work is paying off!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Technology ~ Is it robbing us?

Sometimes it's interesting how things find you at a pertinent moment in life.  Just this week on a premature baby forum i am part of, a lady posted a link to this blog post.  It's not the first time in the last little while i've seen something like this.  I was reminded of this post by Carrie @ Live, Learn & Love Together.  I was so sad to read it, but could completely understand her position.

Unfortunately i think it is too easy to fall into the black hole of the internet.  I will just sit down and do x invariably turns into an hour and several rabbit trails.  In the past i have really tried to keep myself in check, open new tabs for the rabbit trail and come back to them another time but we all fall off the bandwagon at some point and need that reality check to get us back on track.

I'd like to think that i use technology intentionally.  I certainly don't spend hours chatting on the phone.  Clearly i don't spend hours and hours editing photo's and making my blog pretty and perfect.  Sometimes i don't even get to edit posts before hitting publish (sorry for the typo's and missed auto-corrects!).  But i do 'surf' the net and research 'stuff' and Facebook and get caught up in threads on message boards (homeschool or prem baby related).

It's all relevant and justified but it is a huge time sap and i have to wonder, is it robbing me?  Does the benefit of all this gained knowledge really help me?  What could i do with this time?

Well, i could spend more time 'playing' with my kids.  I could spend more time cleaning the house or cooking.  I could spend more time on 'Amber's Knowledge Quest', or reading, or sewing, or ... anything really.

BUT, i can't help but wonder is this just a new crisis in the ever changing world.  Were parents of previous generations really engaged in their children's lives?  There was the era of 'children will be seen and not heard'.  There was the time where mothers slaved for hours hand washing clothes.  Did they really have more time and inclination to engage in their children's lives?

I am not by any stretch suggesting that not engaging is a good thing, or normal.  I am just highlighting that it isn't limited to the current generations technology time sap, it's just that the time sap has become a new thing using up peoples time if they let it.

So, i'd like to challenge my readers to really have a good hard look at the time you spend with technology, whatever your black hole might be and make sure your being intentional about that time and not robbing yourself and your children.  Before you know it your kids will walk out the door.  What will they remember about you?


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Washing Baskets

Do you use your just for washing?  I've heard library books take up residence at several peoples houses, sometimes toys.  At my place it seems the baby gets the basket :-)

Here is Possum on his first trip to the beach.  What better place for the baby than a washing basket bed under the sun shelter.

Here is Possum helping me hang the washing.  What better viewing place than the washing basket complete with comfy pillow so he could see what i was up to.

Here is Possum helping to squish all my clean washing.  What better place to snuggle than clean washing.  This was taken this evening.  I wonder if he remembers me putting him in there as a tiny tot or if it just looked like fun.  He played in that basket for a good 15 minutes whilst i cleaned up the kitchen from dinner.  So cute!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Last Wednesday we had the pleasure of attending our very first ECHO cushion concert.  It was performed by WASO as part of their Music for Kids program.

From their brochure ~

Toot, whistle, plonk, boom, shake, rattle and roll!  WASO's Education Chamber Orchestra (EChO) is a high-energy 15 piece ensemble, featuring one of each instrument of the orchestra.  We invite all our young friends to join us and have a go on our instruments after the show.  Enjoy 50 minutes of musical celebration as we dance, sing and have lots of fun.
Suitable for 2 to 7 year olds.

We caught the train to the city, then found the right CAT bus to get us close to the Concert Hall.  Then we had to find the entrance to the building, because it isn't in a logical place!  It was a rainy morning, but thankfully we didn't get wet.

The venue was lovely and the carpet very comfortable.  We got a spot right at the front which was excellent as Flossy and Bugsy were chosen as helpers at one time.

The concert itself was just wonderful.  They had a story line which was captivating.  All of the instruments were introduced throughout the story and the children were engaged in clapping, dancing and singing.  On conclusion the musicians allowed the children to try the instruments.

Flossy tried the trumpet and actually managed to make a lovely note.  The musician was quite impressed.  Bugsy tried the french horn.  Chicky tried the violin.

The concerns run again in July and i will be contacting WASO to find out if it will be the same storyline or if they will have a new show as we loved it and the kids are keen to go again.  I've also managed to find two other WASO performances aimed at children aged 6-13 called Play me a Picture and Witches, Wizards and WASO and it is highly likely that we will attend those too.

Flossy and Bugsy are now resolute that they would like to begin music lessons again.  This time Flossy would like to try the trumpet and Bugsy the french horn.  I might have a challenging time finding teachers but it will have to wait until we move back to the city.

*Sorry about the quality of the photo's, there was no flash photography permitted and my little point and shoot struggles in the dim light.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Vanilla, mmmmm!

Quite some time ago, in fact when Chicky was a very tiny tot Pam @ Grow Bake Run was telling me about how she had made her own vanilla essence.  She'd taken the initiative after reading all about it from Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial.  Ever since our discussion (about 3 years) i've been meaning to give it a go!  Today i finally did, but i will have to wait until Christmas to see if it's any good.

To make your own vanilla essence you will need ~

a 700ml bottle of Vodka, it must be 40% alcohol or more, i chose Absolut Vodka
8 vanilla beans

Take a sharp knife and slice through the vanilla beans leaving about 2cm joined at the end.

Decant 2-3 tablespoons of Vodka from the bottle.
Add the vanilla beans to the bottle.
Add back as much of the Vodka you decanted as you can, i was left with about 1 tablespoon over (do what you like with that)

Put the lid back on and put it in a cool dark place for the next 6-9 months.
Every month or so give the bottle a shake.

Can not wait to see how it turns out!

Monday, May 14, 2012

'Knock em Out!' Smoothies

When i first got my Thermomix i was making quite a few smoothies, it was summer and it was a great thirst quencher.  As i got busy i stopped making them so much and left it for weekends or once in a while treats.  As Possum has struggled with his weight gain quite a few people had mentioned to me about making smoothies to help him along.  That was all well and good but the little lad had only just worked out how to drink water from a cup and i didn't want to mess with that.  So i was patiently waiting until he worked out one of the other cups.  It wasn't happening, then to my surprise one afternoon he picked up one of the kids Thermos water bottles which have a flip top lid and straw and he drank from the straw!  Well, you could have knocked me over with a feather!  He sat and drank and spat water out and had a great time until the water bottle was empty.

Next time i was at the shops i was on the hunt for a toddler friendly drinking cup with a silicone straw, BPA free, with no fancy stop leak valve or anything.  Do you know how hard it was to find?  I went to 5 different shops before finding the perfect cup in Woolworths.  Home i went to make smoothies :-)

Possum loved his smoothie!  As did the other kids.  They will now be a regular feature on our menu.  Most likely for afternoon tea.

When asking the kids for a name for these smoothies they came up with 'Knock em Out!' Smoothies which is really cute :-)  They know the smoothies are packed full of goodies to help their 'good bugs' fight off the 'bad bugs'.  Love that they are so keen to take good care of their bodies!

Here is what we had ~

Knock em Out Version 1
2 bananas
1 heaped tablespoon raw cocoa powder
1 heaped tablespoon coconut oil
large handful almonds
large handful baby spinach
large handful frozen blueberries
1/2 small tub vanilla soy yogurt
sugar to taste
soy milk

Knock em Out Version 2
1 heaped tablespoon coconut oil
1 heaped tablespoon raw cocoa powder
2 bananas
large handful frozen blueberries
4 broccoli florets
1/2 small tub vanilla soy yogurt
large handful almonds
1 tablespoon linseeds
large handful baby spinach
raw sugar to taste
coconut water

My method is simple and you could use any variety of ingredients to suit yourself.
First mill all of the seeds, nuts, grains on 10 for about 45sec.
Add all of the fruit and other ingredients except your thinner (soy milk, coconut water etc)
Mix on 10 until smooth and pasty, about 30 seconds.
Add your thinner and mix on 10 for a few seconds then re-evaluate and continue to add and mix until it reaches the consistency you desire.
Taste test and add sweetener to taste.
Serve in a large glass with a straw.

My receipts above made enough for 4 serves.

There is no end to what you can put in these smoothies.  Enjoy!

Sunday, May 13, 2012


From my previous post you would be aware that our dog was hit by a car last Sunday night and ended up needing extensive surgery.  He is doing well now although he still has to be confined.  The vet is confident he will make a good recovery and all indications are excellent so far.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Hand Hygiene

With winter rapidly approaching here and the cold and flu season already started it's important to refresh ourselves and our children on the importance of good hand hygiene.  Research shows there is a significant reduction in the transfer of 'germs' when good hand hygiene is implemented.  Having a child who has compromised respiratory function (Possum) makes it doubly important to our family.

Here is an article on the importance of hand washing and a guideline on when to wash.

Here is the poster that we have in our bathroom to remind everyone of the correct way to wash your hands.

We also have antibacterial hand lotion available on the kitchen counter at all times.  Whilst we use it regularly it is no substitute for hand washing.  If your hands are soiled they must be washed and dried properly to thoroughly remove germs.

I hope this has prompted you to remind your own children about the importance of good hand hygiene.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Things have been a little quite around here ...

I can assure you that is because we have been BUSY!  That and my internet connection dies in the evening :(  Thought a change in service provider would solve all my problems, sadly, they have returned! Looks like i will have to change my blogging habits.

So what have we been up to?

I've been busy in the kitchen mostly.  Some of the recipes have made their way onto the blog some more need refining and then i will post them too.  At the moment i am working on chickpea chocolate biscuits, or maybe that should be chocolate chickpea biscuits.  I'm using some 'different' ingredients as I am trying to fill up Possum (he eats like a bird) and also put some weight on him so we are going for high energy foods.  If he had a full tummy he might actually sleep, that would be bliss!

We ended up taking some time off school over Anzac Day and the following week as my niece came to stay then we had a bunch of appointments both in the city and at home.  We are back to regular programming this week although we are heading to the city Wednesday as i am talking the kids to the symphony cushion concert.  Should be loads of fun!

Anzac Day was great.  The kids enjoyed the march followed by wreath laying.  Then everyone went into the town hall for an hour long presentation.  There were various speakers speaking about their experience at war, playing the last post, hymns, prayers, songs, poems etc.  It was a really lovely way to honour those who fought for us and one of the best services i've been to.  Afterwards everyone had a sausage sizzle for breakfast before heading home.

It's never too early to buy books for next year, right?  Here are some new Anzac books that have arrived.  Many thanks to Jeanne @ A Peaceful Day for recommending these new titles.

Flossy has been busy reading.  No surprises there it's her favourite pastime.  She's recently found the author Michael Morpurgo and is really loving his books.

Bugsy has been busy riding his bike!

Chicky has been busy with her reading and maths.  She read her first I See Sam reader this week!  She's been working more in Miquon too.  Mini Math Monday should be back next week if i can tare Chicky away from Miquon long enough to fit in some living maths!

Possum has been playing and trying to take a few more steps.

Rusty has finished up his local work and has now gone to the city.  It will be hard with him working away but we have been there before.  Hopefully this time it won't be for very long.  We have plans afoot for our move back to the city later in the year.

Sadly our much loved Jasper was hit by a car last night.  He is in surgery as i type having his shattered pelvis and fractured hip repaired.  I'm busying myself waiting for the vet surgeon to call and let me know how it went.

Well, back to the books with the kiddies before packing to go to the city for the concert.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Bugsy Bike Riding

I posted the other day to say that Bugsy had worked out to ride his bike.  Here he is in action.

There was no seat holding and running alongside him.  I showed him how to scoot along a couple of days earlier and whilst at the park we just encouraged him to try the pedals once he'd scooted a bit.  He had it in no time.

A couple of days later and he can now start from standing, no scooting required.  Great work Bugsy!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Flossy Reads the News

Today's  Galore Park English assignment was to write and read a news bulletin.  There was specific information to be conveyed.  Here is Flossy reading the news.  She did a great job :)

Flossy is really enjoying Galore Park.  I think it is providing great variety and covering all of the bases.  That marks the end of Chapter 1.  Hope we are still this pleased by the end of the book.

Edited to add ~ You can find out more about Galore Park here and you can purchase here :)
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...