Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Look what came in the mailbox...

Good ol' Saint Nick replied to our Santa letters. Much excitement and anticipation now!

Fashion Week

I got called into the lounge today to watch a runway show. The kids, Kyla, Denver and Sienna had found some clothing bags in the garage, set aside for coming years, and decided to try some on. Kyla then helped them set up a catwalk (some blankets) and directed them, choosing their outfits and playing music. Denver and Sienna had so much fun, as did I photographing it! I love that they can get so excited about hand-me-downs. Here's the (MANY) pics.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

I'm not really talking about pizza, okay?

Over the years, my relationship with pizza has changed. In my teens I was completely content with those pre-prepared pizza's from the chiller or freezer, that required nothing more than the ability to open a packet and work a microwave or oven. In my early adult years, with a busy family, often I would turn to the other easy option, and order takeout pizza. Cheap, fast and oh so easy, I didn't concern myself with anything other than filling up everyone's tummy. After I became a vegetarian I fell hard for Pizza Hut's vegetarian pizza, and for the first time I began to experiment with different toppings, my all time favourite being a thin based, vegetarian pizza topped with tomato, mushroom, onion, capsicum and loaded up with jalepeno's, chilli flakes and cajun spices, HOT!
Eventually I became a vegan, and decided to make my own pizza's using the rather expensive, but animal-free, mozzarella cheese substitute, made out of potato of all things.
People will tell you a lot of different things about pizza. Some will say there is nothing like a stuffed crust meat supreme from the pizza place. Others will argue that unless you are making your own dough, organically growing your own toppings, and cooking it in an authentic stone pizza oven you can't begin to call it pizza. Some people will even tell you that they don't like pizza at all, and refuse to eat it.
People will argue passionately over toppings and base's and cooking methods. They will exhaust themselves convincing you that their pizza is the most delicious pizza, all the while it grows cold and tasteless waiting to be eaten. They will be cruel to each other, as if rejecting their pizza is rejecting them. But here is what I have to say.
It doesn't matter where your pizza came from, how it's cooked or what it's made of. 
There is no perfect recipe to fulfill everybody.
What matters is one simply thing.


Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Back Story

I have to say, it's damn hard being a parent. I know from experience it's also damn hard being an adolescent.I try not to forget that when I'm dealing with the antics of my eldest girls.
I know what it is to feel so angry all the time and not have a clue why, to question your place in the world, to want the people you love to hear what you have to say and value it.
I've always said I want my girls to feel safe enough to vent. To be able to cry and rant and say terrible things they don't mean and know that I will love them no matter what.
But in reality, I'm just a woman. A parent, learning my way, stumbling, fumbling, trying to make everyone happy and often failing everyone. I'm weak, and flawed and sometimes too exhausted to care.
After a weekend of Maddie kicking off about seemingly everything I'd had enough. I stormed into her room and packed up her computer and desk and took it to the one place I knew would bother her more that anything...her younger sisters room.
Now Maddie loves her computer, this I knew, it's busy hum fills her room from first thing in the morning to late at night. She uses it to write and communicate and express herself. Like me she finds the virtual world easier to navigate, and her computer is the key to that world.
I took that key. In the heat of my anger, worn down by constant button pushing I pushed back, the one button I knew would hit home.
Almost instantly I was in turmoil. I felt like I should be that parent who says what they mean, who stands behind their punishment and 'teaches that lesson'. But also, I realized that we had both acted badly, and in retaliating, in lashing out and punishing, I had gone back on that promise to be that safe place to fall. I had said, in effect, 'Don't lay this crap on me, I don't want to deal with you and if you make me I'll make you regret it.'
Sure Maddie had acted badly, but do two wrongs make a right? Was I not the adult here? Should I not have acted differently, at least waited till I was thinking rationally and could approach the situation with calm.
But should I back down? What message would that send? What about respect and consequences and tough love?
So I guess 'Bring Madison's Computer Back' was born of Madison's need to get her beloved computer back, and my need to not back down entirely. A compromise. A way of forgiving each other and moving forward.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Letters to Santa!

Signed, sealed, and ready for delivery :)

Advent Adventures

Today we spent much of the day preparing for December by creating an advent calendar. We found this idea over at the Crafty Crow.
First Sienna and Kyla painted the water colours we needed to form the basis of the paper dolls.

 Then I cut out the little apron shapes and Denver wrote the numbers on them. Really proud of her as she finds writing difficult, but she really persevered.
When the paintings were dry, I joined them together, three pieces at a time, folded into six and cut them into doll shapes. Then I wrote the activities we had planned for each day on the backs of the aprons. The girls then drew faces on their rows of dolls (they picked one row of six each).





Then we stuck them up on the wall, above Buddha, who I'm sure won't mine even though he doesn't 'do' Christmas.

I have a tendency to avoid Christmas, but this year I wanted to make up for the past years of grinchyness and we have a fun month planned. Our activities list looks like this.
 (Oh if you're in town and want to join us let me know!)

December 1 ~ Christmas Photographs
December 2 ~ Decorate the house
December 3 ~ Go out to watch them light up the big tree in Garden Place
December 5 ~ Make a gingerbread house
December 6 ~ Learn some Christmas carols
December 7 ~ Make salt dough ornaments
December 8 ~ Perform Christmas dance
December 9 ~ Buy our K Mart wishing tree present
December 10 ~ Make Chocolate dipped spoons
December 11 ~ Strawberry picking
December 12 ~ The Hamilton Christmas Parade
December 13 ~ Make Christmas gifts for visitors
December 14 ~ Make a Christmas collage
December 15 ~ Make Christmas carolers (craft)
December 16 ~ Write our own Christmas themed story
December 17 ~Christmas in the Park
December 18 ~ Christmas Baking
December 19 ~ Perform Christmas play
December 20 ~ Visit the Templeview Christmas lights
December 21 ~ Christmas movie marathon
December 22 ~ Mini mosaics
December 23 ~ Christmas baking
December 24 ~ Make table centrepiece 
December 25 ~ CHRISTMAS!!!!

The Word Party

Loving words clutch crimson roses,
Rude words sniff and pick their noses,
Sly words come dressed as foxes,
Short words stand on cardboard boxes,
Common words tell jokes and gabble,
Complicated words play Scrabble,
Swear words stamp around and shout,
Hard words stare eachother out,
Foreign words look lost and shrug,
Careless words trip on the rug,
Long words slouch with stooping shoulders,
Code words carry secret folders,
Silly words flick rubber bands,
Hyphenated words hold hands,
Strong words show off, bending metal,
Sweet words call each other 'petal',
Small words yawn and suck their thumbs,
Till at last the morning comes,
Kind words give out farewell posies....
Snap! The dictionary closes.