28 February 2012
I've been a little nervous about Huz's return to work. Keen to have a good solid rhythm in place so that it doesn't overwhelm me when it's just me at home with three very different individuals on three very different learning paths and at very different stages. We've been floating in our school-free bliss for some time now and while we know that learning happens all the time, no matter where we are or what we do, our owlets have asked specifically for more stuff to do. For more from me. It seems my mama magic has waned over recent years. Big owlet remembers and she's urging me to find it again... There's just not enough of me to go around. We're finding our way. And I'm formulating a plan to meet everyone's needs.
It's hardest right now with a busy toddler who's need is to find out what her sisters are up to and have a go. Even if it involves sitting on whatever it is they are doing. It will pass, most likely before the year's out. But so will the owlet's passions and that moment for them to learn from them. So find a way to work with and around happy little cherubic toddler challenges, we must.
Gosh those passions pass so quickly! Last time we visited the library, Big owlet was obsessed with spies. These days she's all about dragons and wizards, and in particular Harry Potter. Staying up late reading, talking and thinking and learning what she can by day... I need to think fast on my feet.
Little owlet is all about faeries and princesses and storytelling. Fortunately I have lots of experience there... So we're building castles and Hogawarts from boxes. Reading when we can. We're finding a way to work together and finding a flow so that it works. Somehow. I expect it will get easier and I'm putting some regular preparation in to strew their paths with interesting things along the way. I'm looking forward to the months to come and the things we'll get up to. And I'm looking forward to finding my mama magic again...
26 February 2012
Here's what else we've been up to... Dancing to live music in town on a Friday evening wander... Consuming vast quantities of bubble tea... Discovering what apps looked like in the olden days...
Practicing newly acquired acrobatic skills... Running with the big kids at Scouts... Hanging around in forts and swinging from trees at friends' places... Lounging in the sun...
Enjoying home days... Harvesting our garden... Baking and eating more seasonal food... Looking forward to baking more.
Our kitchen renovation will be complete by the end of this week! Hooray! I must say, its been a relatively painless exercise... I am looking forward to eating less take-away. I am looking forward to eating more from our garden. And I am most definitely looking forward to baking in an oven that works. Imagine!
24 February 2012
23 February 2012
Here's a little of what we've been doing so far this month... Hanging around, barefoot... Swimming in a new favourite pool... Investigating a friends boat... Sliding...
Getting up close to our fave animals at the wildlife park... Discovering Harry Potter... Helping erect a friend's yurt... Hanging with Bob Brown and the Gourmet Farmer at Popsicle's photographic exhibition...
It's been so busy and fun! Oh and there's so much more to catch up on too... If I can just get to the computer when I'm not at the end of an epic day. Oh, but they are all epic!
A funny thing has happened with Huz home all summer... He's begun documenting our lives after discovering the charms of instagram. I've felt a bit redundant! I have! I've realised that I tend to take photos more when he's away from us. Perhaps so he feels like he's been here... Awww! He'll be going back to work soon (booo!) so it'll be interesting to see what happens when he's not around us all day. Aside from us missing him like crazy. All the photos (except for the bottom right pic) in this post are courtesy of Huz. You can follow him on instagram @berondi.
20 February 2012
We've been busy this summer. Distracted by the day to day and our adventures. Life is always busy, never dull and there's always a to-do list around here...
There's a to-do list for the basic, just getting by stuff. One for the dreamy, creative, when the baby is bigger stuff... And one for the bigger, rainy day stuff. Like fixing up the kitchen with benches too low and cracks in every wall... forty-eight species of mould under the sink and rust in the taps...
And then some days we realise there's never going to be a better time to do it. And so we just begin. Without a plan, but with every hope it'll get done. Spontaneous is something we do well. Like the time we went for a drive and bought the nest...
A little bit of estimating and thinking and talking, then a seemingly sudden, snap decision and we're on our way. There's lots of finger crossing and trusting in the universe that it'll all work out just fine...
It always does. One way or another.
This summer has been about peeling away layers. Thinking about how we interact with the world and the people around us. About how we feel in our own skin and how we respond to others. It's been all about being realistic about what we can do and what we can't. We've lost a friend or two and gained some new, very precious ones. We've found out lots about ourselves, just spending time together, living in our space and thinking about it. Changing it to suit us. We've well and truly hit the reset button now.
I feel like we've all grown this summer. I'm feeling more open minded, less judgmental, tired of talking and thinking... Happy to just be here and garden and wander and sleep and eat and do all the regular day-to-day things we do. I'm looking forward to doing them with greater ease when the basics are here again, only smarter and simpler and more practical this time. It feels like a fresh start. And when the summer ends... only a week to go now... I might just be ready...
10 February 2012
The garden! It's become a feature of our days, at last! Tiny Owlet loves being outside more than anywhere else. She loves dirt and grass and chooks and sky and water... Little Owlet is now comfortable enough with dirt and bugs that she enjoys the garden now too (yay!). So we've been spending more time out there, thinking, planning, talking, dreaming. We are generally opposed to large expanses of lawn and all the effort maintaining them brings, and yet we keep finding ourselves in houses with nothing but lawn... Our eventual plan is to fill as much of the garden with food as possible. And in between, some indigenous plants to keep the local wildlife happy.
We began with some fruit trees a few years ago, then more a year later and when burying Pippin and Little and Tiny Owlet's placentas. We've had a successful vegie patch. Then watched it turn to weeds as babies were born and grew and were born again. We've grown disheartened at the prospect of starting again. Then we mowed the vegie patch to the ground and it self-seeded and was fantastically productive, despite our neglect. So we've learnt to embrace the weeds somewhat. This week we bought some bales of lucerne and barley straw and we are beginning an experiment, which our neighbour is watching with much interest, as are we.
Two raised straw bale garden beds, planted with vegies and strawberries. Some are seedlings, grown locally and bought at the farmers' market. In the next bed, we've planted some seeds so our crops are staggered a little bit. Finally we can see some structure and the edible part of our garden is expanding, while the lawn disappears. The owlets have enjoyed dirty hands and outdoorsy work, but especially Little Owlet who seems to really get the whole kitchen garden concept in her very practical, hands on way. We're all learning. Gardening is all about learning and experimenting. That's what I love about it most of all... aside from the food. And all the green.
In the pipeline for our garden, as the seasons dictate, is more fruit trees for the orchard, a perennial understory and, if the strawbale garden works, more garden beds and more food! As much as I love the farmers' market, I'd love it even more if we didn't need to buy our vegies and fruit at all. If the seasons completely dictated our eating. If the majority of our days were spent digging and observing, wondering and learning in our own little garden...
*photos by Huz.*
7 February 2012
This extended holiday for us has been all about finding our rhythm again. Resetting, re-organising and getting back on track. We kind of lost our way somewhere there. Slowly, slowly we are creeping back to an awareness of systems which govern our own. We're getting top of things, connecting to the earth more and finding our love for the seasons again. Our days have focussed on the beach and breezy hallways as we wander between the garden and our nest, via the freezer, icy pole in hand...
A couple of weeks ago, our time in the garden led us to some serious brainstorming about what we are going to do with all that space. Then as we thought about our unschooling year and things we'd been intending to do to spark interests, to work on together. We came back to the idea of our kitchen garden. And so that is our focus. The garden and the kitchen.
Regular farmer's market visits for seasonal food and seedlings for our garden are inspiring all sorts of yumminess in our home. In a rather up and down emotional and eye opening week, I'm loving the stability and nurturing reassurance that such delicious, fresh seasonal food is bringing us, along with good company and cheerful conversation. Here's what we're eating, snacking on and loving this week:
Perpetual platters featuring beans from friends' gardens, local cheeses, rainbow carrots & artisan bread.
Toasted sourdough with tomatoes, fetta, fresh basil and olive oil
Beetroot and chocolate muffins
Home made ice cream with berries
Handfuls of blueberries
Litres of fresh juices
Loads of fresh basil pesto
Silverbeet, potato and fetta pie, made from silverbeet from the neighbour's bumper crop.
Bowls of cherries
Apricot crumble with cream, made from the bucket (literally) of fresh apricots we bought...
Before the week's out, I'll be making spiced zucchini soup and apricot jam, or maybe an apricot upside down cake? I'm looking forward to watching, cooking and eating food as the seasons dictate this year. It is going to be brilliant and colourful, nourishing and nurturing... Keeping us all on track, connected to this beautiful place where we live and cheering up even the most glum of days...
6 February 2012
We've been visiting our local Little Athletics track when it's deserted. We flump down under a shady tree with some cool drinks and then we run. Huz has a go first, exerting his uber-competitive streak and trying to get closer to the world record each time. He actually knows what it is just off the top of his head. Who has headspace for such things? Him. Of course, the next day he'll be sore all over... Then Big Owlet has a go. She's getting better at the competitive stuff, but you can't beat her by too much. She's not too into being timed yet either, but she's slowly grasping the concept. And then there's Little Owlet.
She runs for fun. She's fast and steady and finishes without feeling puffed. She just likes running all the way around the track and she's built for endurance. She especially loves running all together as a group. But no-one can win and you most certainly may not time her! It's an interesting lesson in competition, team work, time, distance, fitness, endurance and so many more things for all of them. And it's fun and free.
Tiny tries with all her might to catch up to them. She grabs onto the bigger owlets dresses at home and runs along behind. When we're at the track, she toddles out across the oval, trying to catch up. They sweep her up on the home stretch and she giggles all the way back to mama's arms.