Thursday, December 31, 2009

Best Wishes

Best Wishes to all out there for a Happy evening of celebrations and a wondrous New year to come.

We are busily putting everything away and making salads for a feast tonight with friends who are coming over to celebrate the end of one year and the beginning of another.

The clothes washing is almost done in the catchup since arriving home from the beach and I've now run out of washing powder so it has been added to the list of food and drinks Jules and the two big boys are out gathering. By the time the next load is done the previous one is dry as today's current temp is 36 deg (97F) and still climbing, which combined with the wind is resulting in miracle drying!

The top photo is our regular beach from this past week, it's the busiest we have ever seen it and are very glad we stay in walking distance as there was no space for cars on the access road! The bottom photo is of course all four of my boys doing what they do best at the beach which is try to keep the water at bay!! Zac was not hindered in the least by his cast as we had borrowed a special waterproof glove to go over it and his sling was quite cool. We came home on Tuesday night to attend his checkup on Wednesday and we are all very glad to say the plaster has been removed and our next beach holiday starting in 9 days time will see Zac well and truly in the water! No one is more happy about that than Zac :-) He will have trouble straightening it for quite a while due to the muscles needing to be stretched out but I will be consulting our local physio (my sister) to see how we can help him recover his stretch quickly.

Hoping everyone has a lovely evening and a peaceful year. Thank you for stopping by during the past year and leaving comments when you could. I love getting them and appreciate the time it takes you to stop and write them. I will try to do a photo round up of my year in knitting in the next day or so as so many others have been doing, for a year that started slowly on the knitting front I am surprised at how many finished projects (31) I have (I know lots are small....ssshhh!!) and can't wait to see them all in one place, so stay tuned!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Beach combing

That's what I'll be doing for the next couple of days, enjoying the peace and having a chance to just stop.

Hope everyone gets a chance to recover from the last few days.

See you when we get back!!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Merry Christmas to all!

It's been hard to be excited about Christmas this year, lots of things have been getting between me and the good old Christmas Spirit.

I found out recently that I won't have work in the coming year. It was one day a week with holidays that matched the kids holidays so it was perfect in so many ways and I will be very aware of it's absence. One of the downsides of being a casual I suppose. I'm trying to look on it as just a step to moving on to something new but the timing and the manner of it all happening have been a bit rough.

The tree has had to be on the top of the tv all month or it would be undecorated on a daily basis courtesy of a determined 2 year old. No presents could be added because the same 2 year old knows presents are for unwrapping and was determined to do so despite none of them being his. He now knows his way around rearranging the furniture to get high enough to reach what he wants so nowhere was safe.

The big kids have forgotten how to do a few things this month: listening, playing nicely with each other, listening, doing what they're asked, listening, playing by themselves, there have been a couple of tanties at various points, at least one of them courtesy of me! Now that the school/kinder year has ended they seem to be a bit less exhausted and are playing better with each other, we're still working on the listening though so all the old methods of getting them to behave have had to be resurrected.
That and coming to a few realisations:
(1) The school kid has been "instructed" all day every day and the new cry of "but I don't know what to do" is probably a factor of this. The eternal answer to that one is "go outside and find something to do" which may take a couple of minutes but generally works.
(2) The arm in plaster is actually having an effect on the types of activities the big boys usually engage in and Hunter is finding it hard to account for the difference as Zac is generally very able and now isn't quite as.
(3) The whole being with bigger kids all year has lead to Hunter being rougher with his brothers now that he is home with them which again because of Zac's broken elbow has lead to some trouble mainly of the Zac getting splatted on the ground variety and Hunter being banished to a chair or wall or bed until the damage is assessed.
So far no major injuries but I'm more than over it and cannot wait until the 30th when the next round of x-rays occur. I am seriously hoping for no more plaster but have to keep warning Zac it may be back on again. He's not impressed.

There have been highlights this month amongst the other stuff:
The bigger kids have enjoyed doing both of our advent calendars, one a traditional nativity scene where the characters get added daily and the other a set of drawers which we put Christmas decorations in on the odd days and chockies in on the evens. We start the month with just tinsel on the tree and the decorations are added gradually over the month until it is complete on the 23rd.
Tyler is now toilet trained day and night. We have stopped bothering to put nappies on him for naps or overnight and he's all good. We have the odd "forget" where he starts and stops and yells "toilet" but no puddles anywhere in weeks so that is brilliant! My baby is getting all grown up!

We participated in the Toy Society Christmas drop again and this year dropped two toys. I like the idea of my boys taking part in giving something to others for Christmas without expecting anything in return. I think this will become more understood on their part in the coming years. Maybe they will start making things to include in drops, who knows!

So after a bit of a shaky start to the Christmas feeling over here, it finally got into high gear on Christmas Eve. The tree was relocated from the top of the tv to a table placed in the centre of the fireplace (decorations had to be replaced constantly before bedtime).

The two advent calendars were arranged on the mantlepiece and various decorations were added to set the scene. We spent some time on the afternoon of the 24th making paper Christmas trees to put on the mantlepiece.

This kept the boys busy for a whole 30 minutes so that was good!

Getting the presents under the tree and leaving a snack for Santa and his Reindeer certainly helped with the increase of Christmas cheer.

Watching the Carols on the tv always helps, though this year it was mostly listening to them as we wrapped presents.

The kids were brilliant on Christmas morning waiting until everyone was up before diving upon their presents. The hit of the day appears to have been the walkie talkies we got for them, they have played non-stop with them ever since having to have them taken away at meal and bedtime so that some social interaction could be achieved!

I'm hoping that everyone has had a lovely Christmas, that your Cheer found you in time and that the coming year brings lots of love and joy and peace. Best wishes for a safe and healthy Christmas Season and year to follow.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Toy Society Christmas Drop #2

Managed to finish the jelly fish and take him to the bridge where we had left the octopus. His mate was long gone so we put him in the same spot. My helper was much happier about leaving this one. Again as we left a couple of people stopped to have a look but no immediate takers as we were watching. Haven't been back to check if he's gone but assume he has. It's a very busy path no matter the time of day with lots of families using it.

Here he is closeup. The major difference between him and the octopus is the abundance of tentacles compared to the eight of the octopus. Was hoping he'd be a bit flatter rather than round but I'm sure I'll be making more so I'll get to practice!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Toy Society Christmas Drop

This weekend is the World Wide Christmas drop for the Toy Society and despite the reminders in the last couple of weeks life has been so distracting that I only remembered this morning and while watching the boys play, crocheted up a little octopus.

We went for a walk along the local path and tied him to the handrail on the bridge, took a couple of pictures, wandered up to the next bridge and then headed home again. He was still there as we passed and soon after we saw a dad with his toddler out for a walk. Dad looked at the label but left it there and kept walking. A couple of minutes later another couple with a baby in a pram walked past and the Mum stopped and checked it out but again left it there. We came home and I went to put the pictures on my computer to post and realised I had forgotten to put the memory card back I went, about 2.5 hours after the original drop and all I found was this:

We had used the tinsel to tie the bag the octopus was in to the handrail, so we hope that a little girl or boy out there has a nice new toy to enjoy!

All of us except Hunter of course who had his eye on it for himself and who had even gone so far as to say that if we went and checked on it in the morning and it was still there then it would be allright for him to have it! I explained that we would be leaving it there for another kid to collect as a surprise. He wasn't so sure. I think he's hoping that's not true :-)

Was inspired by the Octopus (who I made up) and am now working on a jelly fish. Hope to get it done this evening so that Jules can take the boys back tomorrow and leave it there for the next person.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Ewe Beaut Fibre Sampler

Recieved the December Ewe Beaut Fibre Sampler this past week. It's not the best picture but you get the idea. 7 yarns, 3 fleece samples, a stitch marker and a beautiful button.

Couldn't help myself had to start knitting, needed a different brain space. Used two different samples. One from Celia's basket, a sample of her warmth10 (that little white cylinder in the middle of the shot), lovely and soft almost silky to the touch. Colourway "In the nude". The other a sample from a new fibre supplier Milk and Honey. Her shop doesn't open until February but I'll be checking it out. It's the one on the far right. Colourway "Cranberry Christmas".

Together they resulted in this gorgeous little hat.

Took it with me on Tuesday to show the girls at SnB and then later to show my sister. I don't have it anymore as it appears to have been acquired by my little sister for her impending baby!

Not sure what's next but Teresa was full of glee at the sight of the fleece, crowing about teaching me to spin :-)

Friday, December 11, 2009

One year on

A year ago today my Nan passed away. It was a sad time at the end of a highly stressful year. I have thought of her often. When little things happened, things that I would call her about like watching the Tennis in January, I'd miss her more. I know I'll always miss her at moments like that. It's nice to be able to reflect on the things she brought to my life. The love of cups of tea. The support during my schooling and University studies. Her love for her grandchildren, my children. While not being the most social of people she had a great love for her family and it's nice to be able to remember that.

Thinking of you Nan.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

5 things

I'm playing along with Pottymouthmama who has started a new meme. Boredom is indeed the place from which creativity springs.

The meme: 5 things you love/can't live without (in no particular order)

1/ Tea freshly brewed from tea leaves.

2/ Chocolate preferably from the fridge, sometimes from the freezer, never from the cupboard.

3/ Knitting: it calms my soul and makes me slow down a little inside my head....a bit Zen like.

4/ Swimming: never thought I'd say it but yep swimming....I go to another place. It rarely fails to calm me. The concentrating on the breathing and the counting of laps, it forces me to put everything else aside, because losing count is just soooo annoying, lol!!!

5/ My family: The boys and Jules. We have days when we drive each other insane but the world without them in it would be a dark place indeed.

So there you have it.

Let me know or Pottymouthmama and we'll come check out your list too!

P.S. For those enquiring about Zac's broken humerus (again not funny) he is not in pain any more and in fact has adapted so well that it takes people who are used to seeing him (friends/kinder teacher/childcare carer) a while before they realise he is in fact doing stuff one handed. Personally I really wish he'd stop pushing his luck and refrain from climbing up trees or hanging over 4 ft drops from his other hand. The running around is hard enough to watch. I think he's doing it just to do my head in. Not sure how I'm going to make it until the 30th when he gets the next set of x-rays done......hopefully he makes it without breaking his other arm!!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Some photos from the last few days

Sports Day Dinner...sausages in bread

The beach of my childhood....Lake Tyers.

A piece of driftwood in a section of beach that is slowly re-vegetating

And FO#30...a red hat knit in my favourite stitch pattern, using a made up pattern, knit from the top down with double increases used to keep the pattern straight. I was aiming for it to fit a 2 year old and it does! Even with his boofa!!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Busy, busy busy

Have had an eventful week really. Have managed a little knitting (more on that later), had a couple of major events and one semi majorish disaster.

So the major events were: our first school sports on Thursday night at which Hunter competed alongside the other preppies in their teams. Between them his team won 3 second places and he is very proud of his ribbons :-) Each team also sang a Christmas carol with actions and all. Not sure who won the night but I'm sure it will be in the newsletter!

The second major event was our annual Christmas party with my Dad's side. It occurs every year on the first Saturday of December. This year my Uncle who lives in Lake Tyers (Victorian south east coast just past Lakes Entrance) was hosting so we planned on going down to Mum's on Thursday night (2 hour trip) straight from school sports, followed Friday morning by the rest of the trip (2.5 hours). We had a cabin booked for the two nights and it was a much anticipated event by all. Especially as both Hunter and Jules had taken Friday off school and work.

And here we come to the semi majorish school sports Zac was showing his Dad how he can swing along the monkey bars when he lost his swing and dropped to the ground landing on his butt and catching his weight with his left hand. Now if he had been on the small kids set which he is quite adept at it wouldn't have been much of a problem but he was on the big kids set and the drop is longer. He has a supracondylar fracture of the humerus which for you and me translates as a break across the rounded head end of his upper arm bone but at the elbow end. We arrived at the Austin at 9 pm and left at 1.30am. The poor little thing was woken at least three times to have nasty painful things done to him (x-rays, plastering, more x-rays) but he has come through it all quite well. Apparently he has been really lucky with a very stable fracture no fragmenting or pieces out of place so we are thankful because otherwise he would have had to have it operated on. Last night we were back at the ER for another 2.5 hours because his skin didn't agree with the "mefix" tape and he had blisters under it so it had to come off and he had fresh plaster and bandages applied. Today we had an appointment(1.5hours) at the fracture clinic and they decided that it will be three weeks in plaster with his arm held so his left hand is pointing to his opposite shoulder. So that was another round of placement and plastering which took two plasterers and a lot of tape and a lot of yelling and squirming on his part to ensure he couldn't straighten the joint before the plaster sets properly (about 24 hours). So no swimming lesson for him this morning (last one), we dropped by to say goodbye and happy holidays to his swimming mates and teacher, and no swimming for the next three weeks. Which for any other kid wouldn't be a problem but for this kid is the difference between sleeping deeply enough so we don't have night time accidents in bed and sleeping lightly which almost always results in night wets. So we might have to see if we can find some other form of exercise for him which is as full on as swimming without there being danger of falling over because he only has one hand to catch himself with.....this may indeed be a challenge. He did enjoy himself at the beach this weekend with arm in sling and covered in a plastic bag so the plaster didn't get wet, so that's an upside I guess.

So with one thing and another I did manage some knitting over the weekend and while waiting at the hospital last night so I have almost finished a little hat. The order for a size 2 cardy has fallen through because of the cost, but I will endeavour to have a couple of size 1 and 2 things ready for the February market just in case people are tempted.

I am now completely exhausted and am facing at least two more loads of washing from the weekend away with a weather forecast which isn't brilliant. The next few weeks are very busy as well as it is that time of year. Not yet used my new lawn mower but really want to. I have one of these courtesy of my Qantas FF points. Sad really but I enjoy the immediate results of mowing. A sense of achievement in 30 minutes with results that speak for themselves, who could ask for more?

So there you have it, the last 4 days of my life in summary!!!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

It's going to be a great Christmas!!

Have just been playing on Rav and had not one but 2 fantastic messages!

Firstly I have won a prize in the Mystery sock KAL for Socktober with my Sweet Chilli socks, a skein of Cherry Tree Hill Supersock will be winging it's way here.

And secondly I'll be getting my hands on one of the Ewe Beaut Fibre Sampler boxes as my name has come up on the waiting list, so twelve samples from Australian and New Zealand spinners, dyers and makers will be making their home with me in the next week or so as well.

Lots of loveliness in time for Christmas. And yes I am grinning form ear to ear!!

Clearing the decks in December and a market round up

So with December beginning yesterday it is now Day 2 of Clearing the Decks in December. We had the lounge suite cleaned yesterday and the resulting disarray in our living space was amazing as furniture was all pulled out to allow access for the cleaner and then to allow for the furniture to dry out, so instead of clearing it was more like messing! Today things are much more under control. So this year's aim is to knock some knitting WIP's on the head, sort out the study which has only gotten worse over the last 6 months not better, relocate half of the contents of the laundry to the garage. With our youngest now toilet trained we no longer have need for multiple laundry buckets with lids for dealing with soiled nappies, also recent repair jobs have resulted in various items used by the handyperson not being returned to their rightful resting places but they have found interim resting places in the laundry! We need to make space for the (tiny) Christmas tree and presents, find a place for our Advent calendar to be set up and somewhere for the Advent drawers (a photo another time) to reside and all pretty much pronto!

Market day was Saturday and while it wasn't a huge success in terms of sales, it was in terms of exposure and feedback. Lots of people coming up to inspect the little cardi's and hats and socks and to ask questions. Lots of amazement about the bamboo yarn: "So soft", "almost silky", "So light", "Wow!", "Better than silk!" A few disappointed people "Do you have anything in a size 2?" unfortunately having to answer a "No" to that one, but after the third person asked I pursued it a little further and I now have an order for a size 2 cardi that isn't required until next Winter. Have been checking out the local stores for an appropriate yarn (lots of squishing of wool balls) and will be calling her shortly with a couple of options and prices before buying the yarn and getting started. The next Northside Market isn't until February so I might see about getting a few bigger items together before then. It all comes down to time.

Have school sports tomorrow night and then we are leaving for a weekend at the beach. My Dad's side do a Christmas bbq on the first Saturday in December and it's the uncle who lives at the beach who is hosting this year so we are pulling Hunter out of school on Friday and going swimming instead :-)

Lots of events stacking up in December so it is going to be busy. Hope we manage a break here and there to just sit and appreciate the passing of another year, this one ohhh sooooo much better healthwise both physically and mentally than last year. And to anticipate the new addition being provided courtesy of my youngest sister who is due to arrive on Australia Day!

Enjoy the month, let me know if you'll be clearing the decks and what it entails and hopefully there will be some more FO's before the year finishes!!