Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Ten for Tuesday - The Catch Up Edition

I've been so bad at taking photos this week that I thought I'd throw in a few I haven't shared on the blog yet as a little 2015 catch up.

1. Butterfly in the garden. | 2. Big boys back to school. | 3. Our first International Food Night of the year - Korea whilst watching the Asian Cup final. | 4. Some post-holiday redecorating has been happening - we got this painting of our favourite beach... | 5. ...and new dining room chairs to go with the new-old dining room table.

6. Loving this arrow I've added to the boys room - $9 at Kmart! | 7. Rohan's moved out of the cot and into a big boy bed. | 8. So excited that this pic was shared as part of the Fab Four for #fmsphotoaday... | 9. ...because I'm just loving his 'new' room. | 10. We've been very focussed on animals and where they live this month. He likes pointing out the flamingos! 

How's your week been?

Montessori Inspired Farm Unit - Part 2

Remember this post way back in November? It's without a doubt my favourite of our themed Montessori units so far.

I had promised to do a little Part 2 featuring some of the extra things we did during those two months - and here it is!

As part of our farm unit we also talked about where food comes from.

We made our own butter.

And spread it on freshly baked homemade bread.
We also cracked our own walnuts to use in cooking Banana Bread.

The boys really loved testing their strength with this one and we ended up leaving the nuts and cracker in the playroom for whenever it took their fancy. It was even a big hit with some friends we had over for dinner.

The next time we do this unit I'm planning on letting the kids plant their own vegetables in the garden.

City folk, like us, could even incorporate a farm stay into the unit. It's been a while since we did - I had to dig through the archives for these pics.

These are back in 2006 when Michael was 11 and Liam was 4 months old. 

And this one is from 2008. Michael was 13 and Liam was 2. The same month I fell pregnant with Hamish and the same year we moved to The Territory...
The great thing about this unit is that there are so many possiblities for expansion.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015


I have two university degrees. I'm not bragging here, just stating facts.
I was, in fact, in the early stages of a masters degree when I decided to postpone my studies in order to nurture the miracle of new life growing in my womb. (Doesn't that sound much more glamorous than 22 weeks of constant puking forced me to quit?)


In spite of my diverse educational and professional achievements, I seem to have spent the last nine years discussing poo. 

And not even in a good way! Yes, there is a good way - In the zoological and palaeontological world faeces can be a significant finding and provide important information. So, in my world, that sort o' shit's fascinating! See what I did there?

But no, my days have been spent stressing over frequency, consistency, colour, content, the need to, the urgent need to, and the continual cleaning up of said faecal matter. And none of that's even mine!

Now, I know that this is part and parcel of motherhood and that once I'm out of the trenches of early mothering and get to rediscover the long lost part of me that is capable of meaningful conversation and critical thinking I know these days will be a distant and, I'm told, fond memory. 

I guess I just never realised that poop would take up SO much of my time.

Needless to say, it was with great delight that I saw on social media recently that one of my former students was reminiscing about a song I had taught her - let's just go with - 'several' years ago. 

My faecally-centred brain was overjoyed to realise that I had actually achieved something important in my previous professional life. (Which often feels like a  completely separate life to the incredible, earth-shatteringly glorious achievement of creating life and attempting raising the best possible human beings I can. Goes without saying.)

It made me think that even if my only professional achievement is teaching one student the lyrics of one song - concerning the structure of Deoxyribonucleic Acid, no less - then I have achieved something pretty incredible. 

So, thank you, Juliet, not only for remembering our silly little jingle, but for sharing it and making this Mum's day week month year heck, let's just go with decade!

Are you a Stay at Home Mum? What did you do in your previous life?

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Ten for Tuesday

I haven't been snapping many pics this week - mainly due to sleep deprivation and sick kids - but I've managed to scrounge up ten for 2015's first Ten for Tuesday...

1. I've been watching The Block which makes me want to faff about with decor. | 2. Photo a day always has me faffing about - this week with my beauty secrets. | 3. Boys are still in the grip of soccer fever. New goals make for outside play every day. | 4. We put him in a big 'bed' and he rarely sleeps in it - couldn't resist snapping this pic when he'd made himself a nest at the foot of the bed! | 5. He made muffins. When I asked what flavour he said "Choc-et, Cin-mon Sugar, Meat, Cheese, Sush(i) and Booby (blueberry)" 
6. Lack of night sleeping means day time naps and sweet baby curls. | 7. Sickness and/or lack of night sleep means naps in the car at school pick up time. | 8. I found my Easter present in Coles the other day! | 9. Re-threading my drift hanger with a very 'helpful' kitty! | 10. We do this puzzle at least once a day.   
How's your week been?

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

A Third Birthday Dinosaur Adventure

Long ago.
Long long long long long ago...
Before there were people...
Before there were roads...
Before cats... or bats... or dogs... or ducks...
Before planes... or bikes... or cars... or trucks...
There were... Dinosaurs

And we think dinosaurs are utterly fascinating and make for the most amazing birthday parties! Here's Rohan's 3rd birthday adventure...
I saw invites similiar to these online but they were way too expensive so I made them myself and was just thrilled with how they turned out.
No party at our house is complete without balloons on the mailbox.
Liam drew some dinosaur footprints up the driveway for his little brother's party which made me so happy because Michael did the same thing for Liam's dinosaur party
We had a yummy afternoon tea...
Pterydactyl wings...
Dinosaur nuggets...
Dinosaur eggs...
and some munchies for the Herbivores...
My obsession with mini milk bottles and stripey paper straws may never end...
We had a lovely little post-Christmas gathering of family and friends.
The dessert table was a big hit.
Jurassic jellies...
Grape kebabs...
Watermelon spikes, footprint cookies and fossil cookies (you can order special cutters to make these but I did these free-hand using the basic cutters I already had. They're a bit wobbly but you get the idea!)
The yummy, easy, dinosaur dig cake...

He'd been practicing for the singing of "Happy Birthday" for months!
This kid is just the sweetest little man. He delights us and brings so much joy everyday.

He's pretty proud of knowing how to (almost) make "free"...
If you'd like more details on the Dinosaur themed activities we had at the party check out this post here

Note to self: Butter cookies should be wrapped before placing in absorbent paper bags...
Our 'Thank you for coming' take home bags were full of fun and delicious goodies...
A pretty simple party but also simply fun.

Happy birthday, Cuddly Bear xx

Monday, 16 February 2015

Easy Montessori - Early Maths Activity

Montessori can be easy.

Here's a simple activity to introduce early mathematical concepts. Best to use this one when your child is showing an interest in numbers.

One 'big' bowl, a few smaller bowls and some different coloured objects (I've used beads). A tray will help make it portable and show that it's a set of items.

The concept starts simple - Sort the different colours.We've started with only four different colours.

Then we introduce counting - 'How many of each colour?' Lay them out in lines. Keep the 'beads' the same number - and a small number - to start.

Then we can build complexity - Increase the number of 'beads' to count as your child's knowlege increases. Have a varying number of 'beads', lay them out in lines to compare them and ask 'Which colour has the most?'

We've had lots of fun with this one lately.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Viva Bris Vegas!

There's something quite lovely about going 'home'. Although, life goes on even when you're not there to see it and it felt like we spent most of our trip saying "Gee, that's new!" There are so many new buildings that the skyline is not quite as we remember it.

Brisbane welcomed us back with open arms and we spent most of our time catching up with as many family and friends as possible.

Hubby and I got to enjoy a night off too! We stayed in a hotel at Southbank - this was the view from our room...
After a few drinks by the pool and an incredible dinner at a restaurant on the river, we went to see The Lion King at the Lyric Theatre - which was just fantastic!
Next morning, Grandma and Grandad brought the kids into town and we visited the museum, the brave ones (not me) rode the wheel...

Then we walked along the river into Southbank Parklands...
Getting a nice family photo is ridiculously hard with all these monkeys...
We had lots of fun at the beach and aqua play area too...
We also got a bit of time to enjoy a weekend at the sunshine coast with family and to tick off a few of our 'Must Dos'- including swimming at a beach without crocs...

and visiting Montville and Maleny and eating lots of yummy things like locally produced cheeses. This place is even more mystical and magical when it's shrouded in cloud.
We even got to show the kids where we got married. And that incredible view.
Quite a bit of shopping happened to! Myer? Ikea? Yes, please!

Missing 'home' more than ever after this trip.