Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Chook house

Ok, so here is stage one of the 'getting chickens' plan.
My darling man and our uber cool friend Steve spent all weekend--in 35 degree heat, 99% humidity, and pouring rain no less--dismantling, moving, and rebuilding this cubby-come-chook-house for me.


Craig and his step-dad built it about fifteen years ago when the boys were little. It's huge; probably a bit of overkill for a couple of chooks. I could house about 10 in there, but I don't have that much grazing area at the moment, so we might just start with two or three.  We've sat it so it backs onto the little vegie patch. I think I'll grow a passion fruit vine over it. Or maybe some Jasmine ... mmmmm. Not edible but oh-so-sweet in the moonlight!   Or maybe a choko vine. Then the chooks can eat the fallen chokos.
We still need to build a wire run for them, and add some nesting boxes. Hopefully we can get that started next weekend.

Being Valentines day, monkey-man here thought he might pinch a flower from the neighbour's garden for me while he was bolting the roof down. Such a sweety xoxo

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Some beachy crochet

A little beach bag, just big enough for the car keys and a good book. This is crocheted from old bed sheets torn into strips. 

Some barefoot sandals ... these are quite beachy too, don't you think? I've already got an order for another pair!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Things we haven't done this week ...

... Wash dirty nappies!

Before Keanu was born, we decided that we would try a 'no nappy' approach to his elimination needs.
I'd read a little about elimination communication a few years ago on parenting forums, but Indi was too old by then for it to be of much relevance. Once we found out Keanu was on the way, I hit up google and read as much as I could find. He was born in the warmest month, which made it easier because we didn't have to worry about keeping him rugged up all the time. He spent his first few months in either a singlet or nothing. The first couple of weeks I just put a folded nappy under him when I fed him, and kept a close eye on him watching for any signals as to when he was going to go. Then I started to hold him over a bucket when I fed him, as I noticed that he liked to pee (and usually poo) when he was drinking. It's funny how excited we all got every time we caught a wee or poo in the bucket!

Keanu lived in the sling for the first few months, so it was easy to pick up on his need to go. He very rarely peed on us while he was in there; whenever he needed to go he would squirm about and use his knees to push his body away from whoever was carrying him. We really only put a nappy on him at night. By this time, we were totally hooked on EC and just amazed at how much he could communicate to us at such a young age. Sometimes I would just take him without even thinking; sometimes I would be on the other side of the room and yell out 'wee!' a few seconds before whoever was holding him copped it on the lap!
Once he decided to leave the sling and crawl, however, we discovered the beauty of linoleum floors! I don't think that we were missing the signs, more that he was so intrigued and fascinated by the world that he didn't realise he needed to go until he was wet! Some days we were perfectly in tune, others I spent the whole time mopping the floor.

When he hit about eight months, I decided to try him overnight without a nappy. I prepared myself for a night of no sleep, expecting to be up three or four times taking him to pee, waking up like a cranky grizzly bear ...
Turns out I couldn't have been more wrong! Just like in the daytime, he didn't pee while he was sleeping. Wow, I wish I'd tried it sooner! As long as I wake up when he does in the morning--which most mornings is not until around eight--and take him for a pee, we can say that, for the most part, we are night dry.

We still use nappies on occasions--even 'disposable' ones sometimes-- but generally our little boy just gets around in little training pants. As long as we are aware and in tune with him, we can help him to do his business with a bit of dignity.

Things we've done this week

Snooze on the beach ...

enjoy the best summer fruit ever ...

take care of some important business calls (see, boys really can multi-task)

practice our 'bick flaps' with dad

beading (pretty sure this one ticks a few homeschool boxes too ... pattern recognition?)

and start planting some seeds in the garden. 

Sunday, February 7, 2010

If it takes a village ...

... to raise a child, then we're in trouble because my little village seems to be getting smaller and smaller!
Aunty S and her boyfriend have gone on a holiday to QLD for two weeks; Uncle J and Granny have basketball every weeknight and haven't been getting home until 10pm, and Craig was away four nights last week with work. Oh, how I miss all those spare pairs of arms!

Of course, all this has to coincide with Miss 4's 'question time' phase of childhood. If I had a dollar for every time I heard the words 'Hey mum, why does ...'  this week, well ... I'd have a shitload of dollars.

What a draining week. Now my little man is sick (well, not sick sick, but he has a high temperature), which is really a blessing in disguise because it gives me an excuse to slow down and not stress so much about what isn't getting done. After spending today just pottering around with him stuck to my side, I've realised just how inattentive I've been lately to both his and Indi's needs. No wonder she has spent the last few days acting like a defiant little so-and-so; all she has heard from me this week is 'In a minute ...' and 'I can't right now ...' and 'NO!'   
*Sigh* Let's hope next week brings some quiet mindful moments!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Our new caravan

Well after months of searching and researching, we found a nice little van for ourselves.
It goes from this ... 
to this ...
with a minimal amount of effort. Well, about the same amount of effort as it took to set up the tent. 

It's very roomy inside,with a double bed at each end, a U-shaped lounge (that converts to another bed) and seats and a table for four (that also convert to another bed!). It also has a 90L fridge, sink and a two burner gas stove. 
We need to do a few things to it; firstly we want it to be self-sufficient power-wise, so that we aren't reliant on powered sites at caravan parks. It has a small 12v system at the moment, just enough to run the two internal lights and a maybe a portable dvd player but we are looking at getting a bigger battery and wiring the whole thing to charge off the alternator. 
Our first real trip will be up the coast in the April school holidays. After that we will do a month long trip; all the way up to Darwin to visit stepson #2 in the army, then across to Townsville to visit stepson #1 and back home down the coast. 
Oh I can hardly wait! Meanwhile, I'm having lots of fun setting it up inside like a little home, scrounging around the thrift shops for bits and pieces of kitchenware, and lurking around 4WD and camping websites and forums online.