About Me

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The past two years have been all about adjusting to motherhood and finding my way through it via craft. The out pouring of this came in the form of my blog Aunty Mum. Now I'm finally finding my feet, the children are growing, I'm getting some independence and my interests are morphing . . . into cooking. Join me in exploring creativity in many forms, food, fabric, frowns and laughter.

Friday, April 30, 2010

First Knitting Project Completed

I can scarcely believe this project is finished. I'm so proud of myself generally. There are spots on this cardigan I wish I could twink out and start again but overall it's not too bad for a first effort. And, best of all it's completed.

As usual, Janae's main attachment is to her hat as opposed to the rest of the garment but I'm sure as the weather grows cooler she'll keep the cardigan on too. Now all that remains is for her to wear it with her white and red spotty dress that lovely Cousin Brenda made while she was here. I'll see if I can coax her into it on Sunday . . . or I may save it for Mothers Day Sunday.

I'm child free tonight and I've just spent time out in the vege garden clearing space among the over growth and mulch I'd put down months ago and have planted some cauliflower, brocolli and cabbage and had planned on coming indoors to get started on a painting project for a two year old birthday at the end of May. I am, however, finding myself more inclined to put my feet up and contemplate my next yarn project rather than gather together all the bits needed to paint. I hope the urge comes upon me later this evening as I'd like to use the time wisely as there'll be no little fingers in wet paint, no helpers to smear colours where they shouldn't be and all the fun things that go with having children. I'll let you know how I got on.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Thank you Michael

I have a couple who are the most amazing friends to my little family. They have two children who are around the same age as Janae and Rogan and, in the past few months, they've been awesome to us.

We often go for a play and to share a diet coke, a few laughs and lots of adult conversation. We were treated to a fabulous easter egg hunt over Easter, but there's one member of the family who seems to give so much to the kids.

Dad Michael seems to have boundless patience with my children and, on more than one occasion now, has taken on five children single handedly while Anna and I go out and practice our music. But there's more than just looking after them. He does the whole "dad" thing, throws them around, teases them, makes them balloon animals. So I felt we needed a small token of our huge appreciation. What better way to say thank you than with a gorgeous cheese cake.

I whipped this up last night and it's sitting in our fridge for delivery tomorrow. I would have liked to drop it off today but it wasn't to be. Now I have to hear it calling all night long . . . don't eat me even though you know you want to! But I'm determined not to let a piece of this pass my lips. This is a gift to some special people and I want them to enjoy all of it. We can have cheese cake any time!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Hair Cuts, Clothes and Girlie Things

So often I write about the children or my latest craft project or something like that: today I'm going to write about me.

Yesterday, recovering from horrid tonsils etc I took myself off to my lovely friend Doreen who proceded to transform my gastly hair and, it seems, my outlook on life. I haven't had my hair done since before Christmas and it really was starting to show. Added to this I had been feeling awful and it was nicer to be in ugly clothes that, while feel cosy and delicious, look atrocious.

Today I'm a new woman and I've been out and added to my wardrobe in a bid to keep that attitude going. Way out of my colour and style comfort zone I've bought this gorgeous black and purple top and a gorgeous necklace to go with it.

My friends are all accessory queens and they always look fabulous. It never ceases to amaze me what a pair of dangly earings and a nice necklace does to an outfit. I, on the other hand, never seem to have the time (or inclination) to throw on accessories and as a consequence don't really have many. So I went straight to the accessory counter once I'd chosen my top and found the perfect thing.

It's difficult to see in this photograph but the purples are the perfect match and it's not too way out there. While I love looking at truly funky jewellery on those I love, it's just not for me I'm afraid.

And to top off my purple purchase day I got these fabulous silk tulips at the supermarket. I've been mulling over an idea for a painting on my wall leading to my ensuite bathroom and I'd seen these flowers as I left the supermarket before. Today I couldn't resist them. Now I have no excuse not to get stuck into some painting and, with a little luck and a lot of concentration, I should be able to produce something I'll be glad to hang my on wall. Be sure, if I like it I'll post it here.

As you can tell, it's been a bit of a "me" day today. So often I'll go and get the children new clothes or shoes; I'll concentrate on making sure they're well dressed, warm and have all the things they need and forget about me. It's time to tart myself up every morning (and I mean every morning) and take time out each day to make sure I feel good about how I look instead of looking like a tired, grouchy and slouchy old mum all the time. Here's hoping the attitude sticks and I'm still in this mode in a few weeks time. I have to motivation of knowing that I see Doreen almost every day and if I haven't straightened, or at least blow dried my hair, she'll be telling me off for sure!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Don't You Hate it When . . .

you've dragged yourself out of your sick bed to clean up the house a little before the children all get home in a bid to make things a little more comfortable while you're sitting on the sofa in the evening feeling sorry for yourself and someone comes along and ruins it all? I know I do.

I've got my usual winter bout of tonsillitus and sinus infections and feel like I've been hit by one of the many kiwifruit trucks racing about. I managed to get the little ones off to Nana's this morning and then took to my bed. At last, a long and luxurious sleep. I dragged  myself out this afternoon and whipped the vacuum around. I admired my work for about three minutes and then gave in to nibbles on the lounge floor. Silly idea. This lovely snow like stuff is the result of one small child and three Pringles chips. Thankfully, I got the energy to give the vacuum one last sweep for the day and now we're all clean again. Added to this is the knowledge that bedtime is less than two hours away. Bring it on! And pray I have enough self worth to make it to my hair appointment tomorrow. I can think of nothing better than a couple of hours with Doreen, my new book, a cup of coffee and a bit of TLC!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Dedicated Yarn Stores

The ladies who run the wool shop in the 11th Ave Plaza have often intimidated me and I've scurried in and out again with my purchase hoping they didn't notice me. However, this week I have come to respect them totally and be grateful for their experience and help.

I have been charged with making Janae a red cardigan to go with a white dress with red spots that Brenda has kindly made while here in New Zealand.

I got to the shop and instantly had help hunting down patterns for toddlers, and was quickly shown the very best patterns. Once I'd chosen what I wanted to make (not altogether sure I'd be able to achieve it) the lovely lady helped me make my colour choice and then completely stunned me.

See, I've always thought one 50gm ball of wool was the same as the next. I need to confirm that, in general, I'm a fairly intelligent individual and know that a litre of water weighs differently to a litre of milk, and should have made the correlation to different yarns also. But, I didnt' need my ingelligence as our lady helped me before I knew I needed help. With a flick of the calculator she'd worked out that I'd need four balls of my chosen colour as opposed to the three stated on the pattern. Now that's the kind of service we all love and crave.

So I've completed the first sleeve, am almost done the tricky part of the second and will have to go back to see my new favourite wool ladies for some longer needles. I'd persist with my short ones, except the end has gone missing and with 154 stitches, they'll all fall off the end and that'd be the end of me. I'm looking forward to my visit to the wool shop tomorrow!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Holiday Sweetness

What's so sweet about the school holidays I hear you ask? The fact that they're nearly over. I cannot believe that two weeks has been more stressful than a whole six weeks of summer. But, we're on the home stretch now and I'll have a couple of hours alone with the supermarket today so I'm not complaining.

Yesterday we took another trip to the toy library. That's the beauty of such things. The toys we got last week had lain idle in the newly appointed toy room for a few days, I had three restless children so I packaged them all up and exchanged them for some new ones (the toys were packaged, not the children). Alas, things all got a little sandy last night.

I guess I should have realised that construction toys would naturally migrate to the sand pit and then back indoors. But, after a photo shoot with the children and Stephanie yesterday afternoon and a big swim after that my patience was a distant memory of a well behaved mother.

In the midst of dinner cooking I looked over to see great piles of wet sand on the carpet and Rogan on the sofa cuddling his digger and dump truck with dry sand all around him. Needless to say he had a look of complete bliss on his face. There had to have been a look of thunder on mine as I'd got stuck into beautifying our living space yesterday morning. Mortified at the state of my lounge is putting it mildly. Upon looking at it this morning it doesn't seem nearly so bad. The sand in this picture is just the left overs of what I couldn't scoop up and throw outside . . . along with the dump truck in the first picture.

But one toy was gratefully received by all three children. We got this little rocking horse for Janae and she loves it, but she also loves to shove her older brother and sister all round the house rocking them as hard as she can. As I write this Kayley's watching High Five from it. We may have to add one to our 2010 Christmas Wish List.

While I've been struggling I've been trying to be creative. My enthusiasm hasn't been entirely great but we're getting there slowly. I'm making this little sleeveless cardigan for Kayley. It's made out of little squares, which is never my strong point as I get a little bored quite quickly. But, on those days when I've had to make trips to the park for my sanity I've taken wool and a hook along. An hour at the park and I can get half a dozen squares done (until the swing pushing duty comes up). I'm sure, once I've had a week of normal routine I'll be right back into it.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Glutton for Punishment

Firstly I must apologise for my smallest child and her finger position. I took numerous photographs tonight and her finger was planted firmly up her nose each time. Alas, I feel that's the price we pay for having a cold.

The children are camped around the lounge as I've promised them they can stay up and watch Toy Story on TV. I fear that this will have dire consequences tomorrow but they're having fun right now and who can truly resist the happy smiles of children?

Besides I managed to get them all to have a sleep this afternoon, and I managed to have an hours kip also which means we're all in much better moods now than we were when we woke up. Thankfully we have church tomorrow morning and that uses up the best part of the day. Added to this, I'm not singing, so the pressure is really off and we don't have to be there until 10 instead of the usual 9.

And, the best news, my mum's finally on her way home from her South Island trip. They sound like they've had a ball and I don't begrudge her a minute of her fun times, but it'll be nice to have her home again.

I'm hatching a cunning plan . . . yes . . . one so cunning you could pin a tail on it and call it a weasel. I'm going to get through the first two weeks of the school term and then I'll send Kayley off to Nanny's for the weekend, the little ones can go to Nana's and I can stock up on DVDs, lock all the doors and hide away from the world enjoying peace and solitude. Woo Hoo! Let's keep fingers crossed that the plan comes to fruition!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Toy Libraries and Holidays

After over a year I've finally joined the toy library and am so pleased I did. Unfortunately the toys I really wanted to bring home are down at the Church being used for the little ones in Sunday School but they'll be back in circulation soon. So, we had to choose other things and they tended to be quite noisy ones. Doesn't seem to be too annoying yet though so it's all good.

Added to this new toy bliss is having Rogan home. He's spent the last three days with his Nana and two big brothers. Up until this wee holiday he's been quite a stroppy little boy with a huge attitude and very small patience. He managed to wind up his sisters at the drop of  a hat, would give someone a thump when his words ran out and spent quite a bit of time in the dreaded naughty corner.

It seems that three days with big boys and new games has made a lot of difference. He came home with lots of tales to tell, a big grin on his face and the need to play all his new found games with Kayley. Kayley, whose patience also leaves a lot to be desired seems to have embraced her new pal with gusto.

The only downside of this was the bath roller coaster. The big boys taught Rogan how to use the inside of the bath as his very own skateboard ramp for his toy cars. Kayley just loved this idea and there was loads of noise and a few black marks on my new bath. They'll come off with a little pink paste but I had to draw the line when they started to fill the bath up while fully clothed.

Needless to say they found new ways of roller coastering cars and now the garage looks like a bomb site. I'm trying to be positive though as it's the first time in a very long time where the two older children have actually played for longer than ten minutes without falling out. Tomorrow night it's Janae's turn to spend some time with Nana. She too is displaying some very strong and independant tendancies, which I'm finding tough to deal with at times so let's hope that Nana and the brothers can whip her in to shape too. I won't hold my breath as Kayley was sent home after her first night. Waking the whole house up at 4.30 probably didn't help her endear herself to the masses. Ah well, she gets another night sometime next week. Bring it on!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Easter Re-Arranging

We spent the most amazing afternoon yesterday playing with Ben and Catarina and I was, once again, amazed at how useful a playroom was. I've been contemplating a big shift around for a while now and yesterday made up my mind.

You see, the childrens' toys have been slowly disappearing into my wardrobe as we disagreed about tidying up and I got more and more frustrated with having to tidy away a mess before I could sit and create once they'd gone to bed. Finally, I decided having a spare bedroom that's only been used once in four months didn't need to be kept soley out of bounds.

This morning we got stuck in and moved some furniture, vacuumed in corners, got out big boxes of toys and started sorting. I only wish I'd thought to get out the camera this morning as we sorted through a huge pile of toys and lots of junk categorising as we went.

We got all the toys arranged into genre and topics and moved them into the other room then got the computer desks out to where the toys used to be. I cannot believe just how successful it's been already. Janae was in the new "playroom" for a good half an hour this afternoon playing with her tea set while I cleared off the kitchen bench and found lovely things to put on the dining room table.

On Wednesday I'm going to join the Toy Library so that we can borrow cool things like play kitchens and ovens and they can really get into the home play instead of pinching all the stuff from my kitchen.

It's a bit of a shame that the photograph of the toys was taken after they'd got in there and had some fun. Of course, it doesn't matter now because I won't see it unless I actually go into the room. Woo hoo!

I sorted through my bags of wool and comandeered the children's old toy box and it's now stuffed with half completed projects and wool and is tucked away in a corner. the lounge is looking more like a place to hang out and watch a DVD than a mine field that's better avoided altogether.

The dining room looks inviting and peaceful. Now I just need to go to my room and sort out my bed as there have been various bits and pieces dumped on there as I didn't have time to find a home just yet. I'm sure to get to that before sleep time tonight or I'll have no where to sleep. I'm also going to move the chest from the entrance and replace it with a table for the plants and use the chest as a coffee table in the lounge. Hopefully that will imede the chase and tag games that tend to happen in there around dinner time . . . either that or there'll be a few stubbed toes for a while until they get the picture.