the photo shoot

when life seems to be spinning way too fast, and things are beginning to feel a little overwhelming…

take your nearest oddly shaped funny little crocheted monster you made, and do a photo shoot

it helps

******

monster inspiration from here

Advertisements

growing

He’s growing up…

discovering new exciting things

independence and pride

and a smile that is infectious

The blueberry is growing…

every where

up down and all around

a spurt of warm weather is making for a very happy potted blueberry bush

I’m growing out…

ten tiny fingers and ten tiny toes

slowly getting nurtured in a warm womb

radiating love out and radiating love in,

 a whole beautiful bundle of it.

Bubbles, bubbles, bubbles…

Bubbles Recipe

Glycerine    1 part
Dishwashing liquid    2 parts
Water   7 parts

(Recipe is approximate. You may have to play with the ratios a little.)

Most kids get a kick out of bubbles. Actually I like bubbles, so perhaps there are a few adults out there too that would be keen for a bubble recipe. I just use my kids as an excuse to use them.

Bubbles love a wet environment. So if it’s humid, rainy kind of weather, perfect for bubbles. In the bath, with the bathroom door shut (trapping that moist air in ) perfect for bubbles. Snowing outside…I have no idea, but give it a go. It could  be perfect for bubbles. When the bubbles pop straight away they are drying out, the glycerine helps to stop that, and the moisture in the air as well.

Make your mixture up and leave it a few hours, or even over night (I’m not sure why, but it seems to work.)

You can use anything as your bubble maker. We had an empty container that had been given to us previously, but an old wire coat hanger twisted in to a circle can work just as well. Bigger bubbles!

Now go get to those bubbles.

(they also make a great inexpensive gift.)

 

* Where to buy glycerine from? Your local chemist. Not expensive and will do you quite a lot of bubbles.

The importance of cafes in local community city living.

Walking down to our local cafe the other day, I was a bit shocked when two strangers were standing behind the counter manning the coffee machine and working the grill. So shocked, that I stood there, mouth gaping a little, eyebrows frowning while I contemplated the scene in front of me. Hang on a second, this wasn’t right…who are you? Where’s Anthony? Which is what I blurted out. (Not the who are you, but where’s Anthony?) He sold up and we have taken over…*gasp!*…oh, I meekily said and muttered something about a latte and I would sit in the back. Sitting there mulling over what I had just been told, I phoned Mr Chocolate straight away and told him…*gasp!* He did what?!

Our favourite local cafe owner had sold and up and buggered off. Not a word, not a whisper and as I sat there trying to gather some thoughts, I was gutted. Mr Chocolate was gutted…The Monkeys would be gutted. Why? Not because I was a daily cafe frequenter and should have put up a little plaque in my honour on a chair, but because we genuinely loved the guy. He made the cafe.

Simple, tasty food, small setting. People came back because Anthony made you smile, he remembered your name. He knew what you drank. He was my foodie sounding board. The Monkeys adored him and would always run over and say hello regardless of whether we were buying anything. For 3 years this was our local. This was a place where I could study undisturbed for an hour sitting on one coffee, a place where my grandparents were introduced, Mr Chocolate and I had discussed any home issues at a back table, (when The Monkeys were being entertained elsewhere) milkshakes had been slopped by inexperienced child hands, biscuits handed out generously. It was OUR cafe and Anthony an important part of that sweet blend. THE important part of it.

But not any more. Two strangers stood before me, dishing out coffees and explaining the changes they had made to people coming and asking where Anthony was.

This got me thinking….How important are cafes within our community. For inner city living, the cafe culture is alive and strong. Weekends are full of streetside cafes, takeaway coffees a must and many a meal taken up in cafe. These cafes serve as meeting places, appealing to the family for a special treat out, friends meeting up, and singles seeking some alone time. With the absence of backyards for many inner city living people, this is a way of life. For many, if you are living in a small household like a flat in the city, you can be quite restricted with space. As our urban population increases, so will that high density living and lack of space.

If you want to go some where else, the options aren’t huge. The park, a bar, the beach or a cafe. I do my fair share of parks and beach, bars don’t appeal, so for a little me time now and again that hour in a cafe is gold. Pure gold.

There is something really inviting about going somewhere, where you are greeted warmly by name. Your coffee is being made without having said a word, and the conversation is easy. It’s hard to find that. It’s almost like an extension of your home. For many of my friends who live in the area and all living in 2 bedroom apartments with kids, these cafes are utilised frequently. Whether it be a place to take small children to on a rainy day for a babycino, a meeting spot with friend or a place for some quiet contemplation without kids. Cafes in inner city living are used, utilised and loved. Having a warm friendly face to greet you as you come in makes the experience. That cafe space for me has been on many an occasion, a life saver.

So now as we go past our old cafe I have to deal with from Monkey Boy, Mama it makes me feel so sad that Anthony is gone. I want to talk about him all the time, it makes me feel so sad…

From Little Monkey, ANThatttiii…ANThatttiii!! With small arms outstretched towards his cafe.

I know what you mean boys, I feel the same way.

Pet envy

Sometimes I really miss having a pet. I know I have the worms, but I sometimes I need a little more to love. I had always grown up with a various menagerie around me. From dogs, cats, chooks, mice, rabbits, guinea fowl, fish. There was always something to love. Living in a flat in the city, yes we could get a small dog or cat. However the moment just hasn’t seemed right yet. The added responsibility for me isn’t something I have been ready for. We don’t have a backyard, and The Monkeys keep me occupied enough for the moment.

The Monkeys however, I think would really benefit from having a pet around. Everyone benefits from it. Pets bring a certain amount of joy to people’s lives. So I had to go looking for a pet… that we could give back. Off to the local Vets, with our noses squashed against the glass, we eyed off the Re-home Kitten… Wonder if she needs some love?

The Veterinary hospital is really big. Holiday homing an array of animals, a day grooming room along with the usual run of pets in need of help. The window had been full of kittens that needed a home and now there was one left, and she was getting cuddles whether she wanted them or not. I put on a big smile and asked sweetly whether there were any animals we could cuddle for a while. The staff were really kind and brought out the little kitten straight away, and then also a 6 month old terrier X that was boarding with them as well.

Enter Peggy…ah Peggy.

She stole my heart and is yet to give it back. If I could have taken her home that afternoon I would have. Space and responsibility be damned. 45 minutes later, the staff had let us maul their pup and kitten long enough. It was time to give them back. We left smelling of dog shampoo and covered in fur. The Monkeys and I were smiling from ear to ear. I had got the pet therapy I had been after and Monkey Boy…well he knew we were going to the playground next.

For people living in cities wanting a bit of pet therapy there are a few ways to get it. Quite often animal rescue outlets are happy for you to come in and help “socialize” some of their re-home pets. This helps them see which animals are suitable for children, families, singles’, etc. These outlets along with veterinarians may need help with cleaning out cages, dog walking etc. You never know what a big friendly smile will get you.

Follow on effects

I was thinking the other day about how a person can be effected by what ever they are watching on TV or a computer. Musing about how the effects may be so subtle that the person may not even be aware that it has had an effect. Obviously it depends on the programme, type of person, circumstances etc etc. But on a basic level, how could you not be effected after watching a programme for an hour?

Three examples came to mind.

Monkey Boy after watching a children’s programme, promptly leapt off the couch when the Tv was turned off, and ran into a bedroom. Out he flew again, with a blanket draped around his shoulders, flying off to save somebody in need of rescuing. I had vaguely been aware that they had been talking about superheros on the TV, and now I had my very own little superhero dashing about, helping any needy children in his path. This I thought was sweet. He hadn’t been watching for that long, and the superhero theme stayed on and off for the rest of the week… What do you think Superhero’s eat for lunch Mama?

Notching up a few more years, there is a certain teenager in my life that loves to play warcraft computer games. Too me its boring, repetitive, antisocial, violent…etc etc…To him I’m an old bugger that just doesn’t ‘get’ it. I’ve tried to look at it from his perspective, but I still struggle. Why would I want to pretend to kill a lot of people? After an hour of killing, maiming and hunting other cyber people, how could I not be effected by it? I’m not saying replicating the exact same behaviour, but even minor changes such as being a little more antagonistic, quick tempered, and anti social. All these things have an effect, especially if they were being played for long periods of time and frequently. Could a person really play something like that for extended times, and then instantly flick over to be all sweetness and light?

That’s not to say I’m all sweetness and light myself.

The Wire is a programme that I really like. The box set, with all 5 seasons sits comfortably in our lounge room. It’s well written, it’s adult, it’s clever, and it’s intriguing. I don’t want to be a policewoman after I watch it, and I don’t want to be a drug lord… I do however have quite the ‘potty’ mouth after watching it. Words just sort of slip out a lot easier after watching an episode. The Monkeys are in bed, so they don’t hear anything that they shouldn’t be and 20 minutes later my saintly words are back in my mouth where they belong. Right back to be the sweetness and light that I usually am.

Similar things could be said about reading books. If you are reading a little Shakespeare before bedtime, will a few words of “doth”, “hast”, “hither” and “thee” slip in before switching off the light?…Goodnight my beloved, where for out thy pillow, sleep be upon me as I shall be wanting to rise in the morrow, and bake a morning crust….

…or some such words.

Just as any of these similar scenarios could be seen as detrimental, they also could be seen as a positive and do nothing more than inspire and provoke greatness in people. A book that prompts a best selling writer. A reality cooking show prompting a child to become a successful chef. Or simple blog reaching out to someone, encouraging them to do humanitarian work in a needy country.

No words of wisdom here with this topic unfortunately, just merely musing…

How does watching TV or reading effect your language or behaviour?

Rainy days

What to do on a rainy day with 2 kids in a flat?

Over a period of time I collect all sorts of things that would usually go into the recycling bin and instead pop them into a box in the kitchen for a ‘rainy day’. Toilet rolls, patty pans, cardboard boxes, what ever looks like it could be turned into something else gets kept and thrown up on top of the kitchen cupboards. The boys love it when I get the box down and empty it out on the lounge room floor as it always changes and we can always make something new and exciting. So this is the rainy day activity box. Egg cartons become buses, toilet rolls become people, the carpet with the pattern becomes the road, and the flat becomes a recycling centre with things thrown about every where!

Another favourite is getting a few bigger boxes and joining them together to make a train for all their stuffed toys. Hours of fun in there.

I also pack away one box of toys that get stored under a bed and brought out as well. That way they can ‘re-discover’ their toys for the day and then that box gets packed away again. This can be rotated a bit so they never get tired of the one thing.

And when that rain won’t stop and it really is far too soggy to go outside, the dining table gets turned into a cubby house. Blanket over the top, and every available blanket and cushion for the inside. All cosy and squishy inside, perfect for 2 boys who love nothing better than to hide away and giggle.

 ….and maybe some space for a moment or two for Mama to lay a weary head down as well.

Cake eye

Coming back from grocery shopping my youngest little monkey decided he would help put things away. Before anyone could stop him he had ‘put away’ 5 eggs. Cracked and leaking but still within their shells, I had to make something with them straight away. I couldn’t waste 5 whole eggs. But what to make?

Quiche?

Scrambled eggs?

Cake?…Well that didn’t need too long thinking about. Of course it had to be cake!

Now I had just come home with some blueberries, and all week I had had the taste for some simple vanilla cupcakes. ( I had the *cake eye you see) So why not combine the two?

A vanilla blueberry cake!

The monkeys were napping so I whipped it up. I think it had 5 minutes too long in the oven but still not bad for a made up first effort. I certainly liked the way it looked.

The two monkeys woke up and I thought I would vacuum the place, just another few years and I will be able to get the two of them  to do that for me- for a nominal amount of pocket money of course. However until then, it was me.

Happily vacuuming away and started thinking….hmm, wheres the little monkey? Its been a whole minute since I have seen him and its very quiet.

Vacuum…. too quiet…. vacuum….really should check on him….. vacuum…. oh its been 2 minutes, where is he?

I had just vacuumed everywhere but the kitchen so he had to be there.

And there, standing perched on top of his little monkey chair that he had pulled up along side of the bench. He had a prime position to pick all the best bits of the Vanilla Blueberry Cake into his sweet innocent mouth.

He had the *’cake eye’ and he had it bad. Looking casually around to me, ‘oh good mama, you were taking awhile, so I thought I would help my self to some of this delicious looking cake I found on the bench’.

* CAKE EYE– Where you have a taste for something for sweet. You can think of nothing else but cake and you will not be sated by anything else until you get it. A term coined by my dear husband, and is able to explain sooo much in just two little words…. Cake eye.