Saturday, January 20, 2007

The art of air kneading

In preparation for the arrival of my wonderful new Kenwood Chef with dough hook, I've been experimenting with baking in the oven rather than the breadmaker.

This has the advantage of making the bread much easier to slice and use, and has encouraged me to experiment with a few different bread recipes.

The Ginger Ninja has become very helpful in the kitchen, and has perfected the art of "air kneading", which prevents the bread dough from sticking to the counter by encouraging it to stick to fingers instead! He kneads for 15 - 20 minutes at a time, making me wonder if I really need a machine...

And speaking of kneading, Briar Rose and Possum both go through stages of wanting to become chiropractors, and trade treatments with each other. Some of them are quite innovative - I'm sure the Bear treatment will become very popular some day!
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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The fabric stash finally diminishes!

Briar Rose and I took some time together this week to strip piece these rectangular blocks into rows. They are fabrics that had been hanging around my fabric stash for too long, and it feels great to finally get a home for them!
The colours are a bit more vibrant than they look, and I'm unexpectedly pleased with the result.

Sadly, my old machine is faltering - the tension is more than a bit wonky, so some of the stitching leaves a bit to be desired, but at least it's mostly straight! Posted by Picasa

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Music camp memories!

Music camp for the three older children is bringing back so many wonderful memories for me - of course, when I went to music camp we lived in and there were no such courses as circus skills, pinatas, digital music, didgeridoo or African drums!

My heart is truly glowing at the enjoyment my children are finally experiencing in a musical environment!

Ginger Ninja is enjoying learning Blues improvisation on his flute, circus skills, pinata (he's making a pinata of John Howard - gotta love his sense of humour if not his sense of discretion!) and digital music.

Possum is focussing on drums, doing two streams of beginner drums and African drumming, but he's also enjoying digital media.

Briar Rose is thriving in the junior school, where she's singing, playing recorder and learning all about music around the world.

The weather has been stinking hot, and the commute to the other side of town has been grueling for Ginger Rose and I - even though we're car pooling! But it is so worth it to finally feel that I've found a way for my children to share a love of music with me! Even if it's only for this one precious summer! Posted by Picasa

They breed in the night...

One of my New Year goals is to declutter. Which one do I start with? Sadly, this is after I've removed all the remotes for items no longer in active use, or that we can totally operate from the box itself!

And just in case you don't recognise it, the remote on the right is the remote control to control all other controls! I just need to learn how to use it...

And on the other side of the screen, we have the living room the morning after a riotously messy dinner party involving an extra toddler who enjoyed playing with lots of soft toys, toys that made noise, toys that name it, each toy was new, wonderful and *had* to be removed from the cupboard and played with for at least 30 seconds! Posted by Picasa

Friday, January 05, 2007

Belated Christmas morning shots!

We had a great Christmas morning at MIL's house. We are so incredibly blessed with mothers who have taken on grandmotherhood so gracefully.

MIL bought a house on a river with an attic so the children can boat during the day, then have their own (very low ceilinged!) living quarters at night. We had a few days before Christmas at her house, then left after Christmas lunch.

We drove down to Sydney where we enjoyed my mother's newly landscaped garden. Previous visits have been a little stressful as the house is festooned with fragile objects placed at toddler height, and the garden used to contain a rarely used but constantly dangerous swimming pool. The pool has been replaced by a perfectly sized lawn, surrounded by gardens and courtyards, with outdoor dining at tables for 8 and 4 people (so adult and children tables are easily arranged!), and a gazebo will soon be installed for even more fun! I was so impressed to arrive and find that Mum had even arranged for a small bike for Ginger Rose to ride around the new paths!

The best Christmas present was the Ginger Ninja's new flute, which makes a big difference to his playing, and which he was surprisingly delighted to receive.

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Toddler wearing

It's been a while since I've carried Ginger Rose in a wrap, but after realising that she's been a little needy lately - and finding it impossible to tidy the house while she's running away and rubbishing it at the same time - I thought we'd try hanging some washing using my old trusty Bear Hug Baby wrap.

Briar Rose thought it was funny enough to grab the camera for, so we have a record!

The middle photo shows me changing the wrap from a cross-over to a back-pack tie because the cross-over position was making it difficult for me to lift my arms high enough to peg out the washing.
I have been reminded that it is easier to proactively carry a toddler in an ergonomically comfortable style than to try to work one-handed with a wriggling heavy toddler on one hip. But as my stretchy wrap works much better for front carries (you can see the she tilts backwards no matter how tightly I tie her because of the material's stretch), I think I might need to look for just one more baby carrier! Posted by Picasa

Role play for the girls

While the boys played on the "Sideshow" games at Questacon , the girls played at being vets. It was the first time I've really seen Ginger Rose role playing with something other than a doll, and may have been inspired by the fluffy toy puppy Grandma E gave her for Christmas.

I really enjoyed watching how seriously the girls took the responsibilities of measuring the animals, checking inside ears and inspecting x-rays!

It was particularly impressive when you consider that the girls haven't really seen doctors or vets in action! Posted by Picasa