Tuesday, November 29, 2011

P365 - Day 333 - boats!

A while ago Juniordwarf made some boats out of milk cartons at daycare and Slabs helped him put sails on them and let him sail them in the bath.

Well at least one of the boats is still lying around (without the sails), and today Juniordwarf decided that he was going to sail it in the bath again.

(This might stem from the fact that he seems to have taken up having baths again, having refused for months and months, ever since the water ran dirty one day after some work had been done on the pipes and made him terrified of baths. The other day he had a bath with Slabs, loved it and is all keen to get back in – and practise his swimming at the same time.)

Next thing I knew he’d cut up some paper for sails and was in the cupboards looking for skewers to use as masts and blue tack to stick them in.

Once the boat was completed, I had to run some water in the bath tub for him so he could sail his boat, as well as the toy Spirit of Tasmania he picked up on one of our trips.

At least that kept him busy for a few minutes.

I never did get my puppet show, or my beans, though.

Monday, November 28, 2011

P365 - Day 332 - beans!

When I got home from work this afternoon, the first thing Juniordwarf wanted to show me was some beans that he and his friends had grown at their daycare centre. He was so excited about it, I just had to smile.

Slabs said that they were the first thing Juniordwarf showed him when he went to pick him up from daycare, and that he was really excited then too.

Juniordwarf said that he and I would share them tomorrow. Somehow they are going to be present at a puppet show that Juniordwarf will be doing tomorrow. He's doing this to make up for missing out on the puppet show at the Child and Family Centre site celebration on Saturday that was cancelled due to the rain. I'm not sure that he actually even has any puppets, so this might be interesting.

I love five year old logic.

I'm still not too sure what the connection between the beans and the puppet show is. I'm sure I'll find out though.

A good thing about all this was that he was so proud of his beans that he let me take a photo of him holding them. He does that now: stuff he's proud of can be photographed (sometimes), but he has to completely over-pose for it. Once I've taken the photo, he says: "that was a good one".

I'm just happy he lets me take a photo, because he's become very resistant to photos lately.

Now I just wish the stuff in our vege garden would grow so he can get excited about that too.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

P365 - Day 331 - i could write a lot about my bad day . . .

. . . but I won’t. It would all be ranty, venty stuff.

Instead I will focus on something good.

I know Juniordwarf is only five, and he’s only in Kinder and there shouldn’t be too much pressure on him and he will learn and develop at his own pace, and we just have to support and encourage him, not push him.

But it has occurred to both me and Slabs – independently of each other – that when it comes to reading, he’s a lot more capable than he lets on. We thought that a few fun activities to encourage him to work things out for himself rather than keep asking us to tell him things that we are fairly sure he could figure out if he tried, might not be a bad thing.

So we’ve signed up for a trial period for an online reading program, which he started earlier in the week.

So far it’s going really well and Juniordwarf is having a lot of fun with it. We think it’s great because he’s learning basic reading and spelling skills to reinforce what he’s doing at school and learning how to use a computer at the same time. All while he’s having fun.

I loved watching him enjoy himself this morning. 

His favourite parts are where he deliberately makes a mistake and gets told (in an amusing way) that he got the wrong answer.

Also today, despite the forecast of rain, it was a nice day, so we had no excuse not to get out in the yard and continue the never-ending task of clearing out the jungle, the undergrowth and the stickyweed.

These photos will serve as reminders of how far we’ve come over upcoming weeks as this thankless task continues.

Vege garden hell

Comfrey - I know it's good for compost, but this is ridiculous
Stickyweed and feral grapevine
Most of the stickyweed has gone.
Also, if anyone knows what I should do with my feral grape vine, please let me know. 

Saturday, November 26, 2011

P365 - Day 330 - child & family centre

What a busy morning we had!

First up Juniordwarf went to his swimming lesson. 

Then he and I went to an Xmas party at his daycare centre, where he got his face painted and his nails done. 

He went on the jumping castle and went for a train ride.  He saw Santa, somehow ended up getting two bags of lollies, ate sausages and ice cream, and was very reluctant to leave.

But we had to leave, because I wanted to go to the Family Fun Day hosted by the Local Enabling Group for our Child and Family Centre. Today was the official ‘site celebration’ prior to the construction of the centre beginning.

Early last year interested members of our community were asked to nominate for what is called a Local Enabling Group (LEG) to oversee the development of a new Child and Family Centre in our town.

The Tasmanian Government has provided funding for a number of Child and Family Centres to be built across the state to support families with children aged 0-5. The aim is “improve the health and well being, education and care of Tasmania’s very young children by supporting parents and enhancing accessibility of services in the local community”.
Each community established a LEG, under the direction of a Social Inclusion Community Liaison Officer. The LEGs are made up of different community members: parents, representatives from organisations that provides services to children in the area, community members, local council officials – people who are interested in the project and who are prepared to contribute their time to participate.

You can find out more about the Child and Family Centres Project here

Last year Juniordwarf and I participated in the LEG through the initial stages of the project, the main focus on which was selecting the location for the centre to be built, as well as doing a lot of work on the objectives and aims for the centre that suited our community’s needs.

It was a great project to be involved in and a lot of people from our area were keen to participate. Having been involved in some, um, interesting groups through work, I wasn't sure whether it was all going to come together. But I had no need to be worried at all.  I was really impressed with how such a large number of people – I think we were the largest LEG in the state – worked together over the year, and focused on the primary purpose of the centre – supporting children and their families. For me, as a government employee, it was a fascinating experience to participate in a community engagement process as a community member rather than as a government official. 

The two biggest decisions we made last year were the site for the centre to be built on – which generated a lot of discussion, but after considering all the pros and cons of the other options, it was a very easy decision for me on which site to vote for – and the vision statement for the centre: “Happy healthy children thriving in our community”.

Unfortunately this year I had to go back to work on the days that the meetings were normally held, and I was only able to attend one meeting. I’d hoped I’d be able to juggle working from home at least once a month so I could still go, but it didn’t work out that way.

Even though I haven’t been involved this year, I’m still very excited about this project. I think it will be a great asset for our region, and I can’t wait to see how it develops over the next few years.

We missed the official part of the day with all the speeches, and when we arrived it had just started to rain, so some of the activities didn’t go ahead as planned.

This is what we saw when we arrived.

It was a bit wet, and people had run for cover. 

Slabs, Juniordwarf and I presented ourselves at the Kombicam photo booth and had some silly photos taken. 

It was good to catch up with some of our friends from Communities for Children, who have been a valuable source of information, support and friendship for me and Juniordwarf, especially during his first four years.

And I would like to thank Peter (I think that was his name) from Coffee Tasmania for replacing Juniordwarf’s hot chocolate at no charge after the inevitable happened when a small child is carrying a warm drink over uneven terrain.

Thank you also to the LEG members for organising the day. I’ve missed being involved with the group this year, but am eagerly waiting to see what happens next. 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

P365 - Day 328 - the animals and teddies are in the blue car today

When we take Juniordwarf to school in the morning, he has a few little quirky habits.

One is to tell us that "the animals and the teddies" are also driving to school, and which colour car they are driving in. Sometimes he contacts them on the "walkie talker" to find out where they are.

The animals and teddies leave home after us, and are behind us all the way, yet when we drive past their school (they go to a different school), somehow they are already there. We never see them or their car at school. He always has an excuse - maybe they're inside; maybe they're in the toilet (yes, they are all in the toilet at once); maybe they're in the library . . . and so on.

Just lately, before we leave, he's started going to his car drawer and choosing the car that the animals and the teddies drive to school in, getting it out and putting it on the floor - presumably so they can all get in. Billy the teddy is usually the driver.

We haven't worked out how all the animals and the teddies actually fit in the car, but Juniordwarf doesn't seem to see it as a problem.

The car stays there all day, but when we're driving home, he'll tell us that the animals and teddies are already home. Today they stopped off on the way home from school to have afternoon tea. They had tea and scones.

And when we got home, the car was exactly where he left it, and the animals and teddies were waiting for him.

* May not be exact location of vehicle as placed by the child. He may have put it back in the car drawer when we got home before the photo was taken. In fact, he may have refused to even leave it in place so that a photo could be taken, because the animals and teddies were home and the car didn't need to be out any more. This is one of the few things he puts away after they are finished with. Who am I to stop him?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

P365 - Day 327 - vege garden or something

I am battling oxalis in my vege garden. I believe it is almost impossible to get rid of. As soon as you rip it out, more grows in its place.

Here are my poor little corns in among the evil weed.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

P365 - Day 326 - bringing in the bins

For quite a while, Juniordwarf has been bringing in the bins on Tuesday if we ask him to.

A couple of weeks ago he took it upon himself to bring them in without being asked, and has done it every Tuesday since then.


Monday, November 21, 2011

P365 - Day 325 - project life 2012

Today at work I took delivery of this rather large package.

We will overlook the fact that it had been sitting there for a while without me realising it was there, and just focus on the fact that I now have the first instalment of my 2012 Project Life products. 


This year Becky has done things a bit differently. You order everything separately instead of in one big boxed kit, so you only get what you actually use - page protectors (so many different varieties!), albums, dividers, cards and paper.

So this box had all the page protectors and non-paper goodies that I’ve ordered for next year’s album, plus extras for what I think is going to be Juniordwarf’s school album. I’m not sure how I’m going to manage all of that stuff, but I’ll worry about that another day.

The paper and cards that I’ve ordered will be arriving in the next box, which I hope will come before the end of the year.

Unfortunately, since the box weighed ten kilos and I was on the bus today, I couldn’t bring it home.

Sad face.

But at least it's arrived!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Friday, November 18, 2011

P365 - Day 322 - here be dragons (eggs)

A while very long time ago, Juniordwarf and I met up with the fabulous Kim from frogpondsrock to create some dragons eggs

One of the highlights of that day was walking through the bush and finding the huge eggs that Kim had made for the event and hidden in the bush for people to find. Here are some of the fantastic eggs that Kim created.

Unfortunately, some people decided to help themselves to the eggs, and several of them went missing, which was a very disappointing end to a fun day.

Kim very kindly offered to give me the sculpture that I had featured on my blog post about the event and I was thrilled that she’d offered it to me. 

I had an idea that it would go very nicely in the little sanctuary part of my garden that I’ve set aside just for me and my herbs.

It was just a matter of organising to catch up with Kim and picking it up, together with the dragon eggs that Juniordwarf and I had made in February, after Kim had fired them in her kiln (or, as Juniordwarf thought, killed them in the fire).

Well making a time to meet took longer than expected, but after a couple of false starts, today we finally organised to meet Kim at the Off Centre Gallery, in the Salamanca Arts Centre,  where Kim and a group of ceramics and glass artists display and sell their work.

I didn’t have much of a chance to take much in at the gallery, but I’ll be sure to go back in the next couple of weeks when I don’t have to keep a watchful eye on the small person, so that I can have a good look at everything. From this brief visit, it looks like there is a lot of beautiful work in there.

Juniordwarf had been looking forward to getting his egg from Kim for months, and he was so excited to find out we’d be going to get it today. 

He asked Kim whether it was going to hatch, and when we got home, the first thing he did was sit his little dragon on his egg to hatch it.

That approach being unsuccessful, a couple of hours later, he decided that he’d have to sit on it to make it hatch.

You have to admire his persistence!

I’m very excited about having a feature piece to put in my herb garden. I feel very inspired to get out there and make it all happen. Now if I can just manage a couple of days off work to spend in the garden, I might start to make some progress.

And thank you again Kim, for your very generous gift. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

P365 - Day 321 - sunrise

Juniordwarf and I stayed with Aunty Lil Sis and Uncle Mr Tall last night.

Even though we didn't have to be up early, my body clock decided not to let me sleep in. Not cool, as I was very tired from getting over this cold/flu/virus or whatever it is that's been making me feel terrible for the last week and from yesterday's long road trip.

But at least I got to see a very pretty sunrise. It's nice to see the sun rise from somewhere different once in a while.

P365 - Day 320 - road trip

My boss and I travelled to Launceston today for a meeting that we expected to run for about an hour and a half. It turned into more than three hours.

Then on the way back we were stuck on the highway for over half an hour following a crash. Apparently one of the drivers was trapped in their vehicle and was flown to hospital by chopper.

 I haven't heard any more about that, so I hope everyone involved is ok.

We were supposed to be back at 4.00. In the end we didn't get back until 6.00.

It was a long day.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

P365 - Day 319 - train park

Today Juniordwarf and I did something different. We spent the day in Hobart.

He was very interested in the fountain at Franklin Square.

The purpose of our trip was to go to the train park.

Juniordwarf had a great time. We took his scooter, which he rode around the track.

The first time he drove the train, he wanted to charge me $25 for the trip, to sit up the front with him. After lunch, he'd reduced the fare to $5, but I had to sit right at the back.

Two nori rolls are usually a decent amount for a meal for me. Juniordwarf also manages to eat that at lunch time.

The park has a fantastic slide.

When Juniordwarf was on the swings he spotted a woman with a dog, and immediately had to go over to the dog. After me telling him (again) the "strange dog safety message", the dog's owner told him it was ok for him to pat the dog. While he was doing that he started telling the woman all about the different budgies I (and we) have owned and what had happened to all of them. I'm not sure what she made of it all (especially the bit about me leaving the cage door open and losing the unfortunate bird), but she nodded politely and said "oh yes", a couple of times. This is at least the second stranger he's gone up to and told all about the budgies in recent weeks. It's obviously one of his favourite stories.

It was a fun day and a welcome change from our usual routine.

Monday, November 14, 2011

P365 - Day 318 - photocopier

We're getting ready for a Big Event at work.

Preparing for the Big Event today involved spending a lot of time using this machine.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

P365 - Day 317 - fruits of our labour (Sunday Selections)

Since it’s Sunday and I took a lot of photos today, I thought I would join in Kim’s Sunday Selections at Frogpondsrock  this week. I never seem to be able to get my act into gear to hook out some old unseen photos for Kim, so new ones will have to do.

But first, some context . . .

We went back to the Garden Club’s Flower and Horticultural Show this morning.

We were all very excited that Juniordwarf's flower had won a certificate – he got first place for the model flower class and also best exhibit for the under 6s age group category.

There were some lovely floral exhibits, and a fantastic display of local produce, including our friends at Two Metre Tall, Kinvarra Estate, where we went earlier in the year, Stefano Lubiana Wines and Cracknell Tomatoes.

Lil Sis, Mr Tall and Nanna came to visit us and to see the flower show, and we all went out for lunch afterwards. 

This afternoon Juniordwarf and I went back to pick up his model and his certificates. We decided to go for a walk before we went home, and we ended up in the park at the end of the main street, where Juniordwarf had a great time exploring the fountain and smelling the roses.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

P365 - Day 316 - show time

This weekend is our local Garden Club’s Flower and Horticultural Show.

The show is mainly for flowers, but there are sections for things like produce, home brewing and photography, and there's also a kids’ section.

For Juniordwarf’s age group, there were classes for photographs and for models of a flower. 

I asked Juniordwarf if he wanted to make a flower during the week for the show, and he was very keen. He said he wanted to make flowers from felt, which luckily we had, so he used his developing cutting skills to cut out three different coloured flowers. He then stuck green icy pole sticks to them for stems and foam circles to the middle.

This morning we weren’t sure what to put them in, and thought of filling a jar with dirt and topping it with grass, then sticking the flowers in so it looked like they were in the lawn. So we went outside to do that, then headed off to the show, with Juniordwarf very proudly carrying his little jar of flowers.

Unfortunately we had a little hiccup on the way, with the flowers falling out in the wind*. This upset the poor little boy terribly, but I rescued them and told him we’d fix it when we got inside.

Once we’d set his model up with the other entries, it was time to go and let the judges do their work.

* Note for next time: if you’re going to push things into grass, make sure you push them all the way through the grass into the dirt below.

Friday, November 11, 2011

P365 - Day 315 - eleven

Yeah I know, time is a human construct, and it isn’t really 2011 anyway because a few years got skipped over a few centuries ago, and it’s just a normal day and a normal minute, and who really cares because the same time will happen in 24 different time zones of the course of the day, twice if you don’t use 24 hour time.

But even so, I think 11.11 on 11.11.11 is kind of cool.

I heard about the 11eleven project from Lil Sis.

 Its aim is to get everyone recording, tweeting, blogging, telling stories, making movies, taking photos . . . all on the same day. From everyone’s contributions, the organisers are going to create a photo book, a documentary and a music collection. There were 11 suggested themes to get you started, but really they said to record
anything that gives us an insight into your world and your perspective…..what do you want us to know about your life on planet earth?

In one sense, I guess it really doesn’t matter which day it is – the point is that everyone’s doing it at the same time. But 11.11.11 is as good a day as any, right?

My plan was to do something I’d wanted to do for a while – that is to take a photo on the hour every hour for the whole day. No matter what I was doing, I’d have to stop for a couple of seconds and take a picture (there might have been a couple of activities I’d possibly have excluded from that).

Since 11.11 is a Friday, I thought it would be a really good day for this project, since there’d be school dropoffs, work, a possible walk in the park, school pickups, scrapbooking night, a couple of beers when I got home . . . a pretty varied day.

But no, I had to get sick didn’t I? So I was at home all day thinking how incredibly boring my ‘day in the life of’ project was going to be.

I didn’t much feel like being creative either, so I decided that, in the spirit of my iPhone Project 365, I’d do the whole day’s photos on my phone.

So, while it’s not really what I wanted to do, here is 11.11.11 (#11ElevenLive) through my eyes. (I used Instagram for all photos except the 11:11 photo and the same filter - Earlybird - on each photo. I'm not sure why. Consistency seemed like a good idea at the time, but I don't know if it really works for all of the photos.)

0600 - the first thing I saw when I woke up

0700 - loungeroom mess and ABC News 24

0800  - coffee

0900 - my day as seen through my phone

1000 - cold & flu herbal tea

1100 - Lest We Forget. A minute's silence

11:11 on 11.11.11

12:00 - playing around with our holiday photos

1300 - dragging myself out to get supplies

1400 - a movie I haven't seen for years

1500 - still watching the movie

1600 - the family arrives home with the mail and my
scrapbooking/journal goodies have arrived

1700 - bringing the washing in that's been out since Tuesday

1800 - flicking through the yoga magazine I bought
while I was out. I really want to do this.

1900 - evening sky

2000 - a quick trip to my little bit of the garden.
I can't wait until I transform it into my little piece of paradise

2100 - blogging about 11/11/11

I suppose if I had to fit this set of photos into any of the project’s 11 topics (which I don’t think you have to) it would be ‘routine’ – or  the disruption thereof. That’s what happens when you get sick.

There was also the option to blog about "How do I wish the world will be in 100 years", but being at a low creative ebb, I haven't given that topic very much thought. It's an interesting challenge though.

Anyway, potentially I have two more photos to take tonight to round off 11.11.11. If I stay awake long enough, I'll take them and post them.

If not, goodnight :)


Still here ...

2200 - I love that he came home from school with a
remembrance poppy today

2300 - a full moon and a very bright star

2311 - the 11:11 screen shot I missed this morning