Thursday, April 23, 2009

Playing inside

Had some fun with the camera this afternoon. Here are a few of the many photos we took.

This is one of our favourites just now. When it comes to toys sometimes Brendan's idea of a great toy doesn't exactly match our idea of a great toy but this is one that does. He played with it for ages today, talking to himself all the time. He built various "tunnels" for vehicles and "towers" and "circles" and used them as shop counters again. Great toy.
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The amaryllis opens

Well this is how the amaryllis looks now. It's so beautiful that I certainly don't regret spending $14 on the bulb.

Brendan and I look at it at least a couple of times every day- it's amazing how quickly it all happens. He has been very gentle with it so it has hopefully helped him understand how to treat plants. If only he'd learn to be this gentle with the cats and his toys!
One more in its pot. Taken with flash though so not great (today was a miserable, grey day)

The amaryllis has been doing the sunlight shuffle with the seedlings. Back and forth from one side of the house to the other to catch the rays. Here it is a few days ago before blooming.
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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

New Kitchen

Woooohooo. Look at this!! Steve, you are amazing!
Brendan loves his new kitchen and has been playing with it, and his wooden food for hours on end for the last couple of days. Can you believe Steve made this at the weekend? He still has to put on the sink taps and build the play stand with a shelf for the kitchen pieces to sit on. But they can be moved to a table, the floor, on the shelf or even outside I suppose. He seemed to really enjoy it and has mentioned trying to make and sell them. So if anyone would like one you could try putting in an order. :)
I think this is going to be a long lasting, much loved and very special set of toys.
Brendan has just seen the above photos and said "Brendan making supper" and now wants to go and play with it again. So that's all I'll write for now. Off to fry some wooden fruit in the wok. Thanks again super awesome Daddy!
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Friday, April 17, 2009


Not a great photo of this gorgeous daffodil but you can't have spring without daffodils. And this particular one was one of a beautiful big bunch given to me by my wonderful husband in celebration of our 3rd anniversary! Neither of us remembered until Steve called me at about noon and giggled as he said happy anniversary. I had rememebered a few days earlier but I don't keep track of the date these days and had forgotten again. So, happy anniversary Steve. I love you!
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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Craft College Open Day

Tadhg and I went to the Craft College open house the other day. Most of the studios were open and you could wander in and see people in action. There was all sorts going on from pottery, batik, different kinds of painting, photography, kite making and lots more. One favourite was the raku glazing where I was able to glaze a bowl and see it into and out of the kiln and take it home. I was thrilled! I painted on a dull coloured, powdery substance and it came out looking like this!!
You could also have a go at weaving and spinning in a room full of wool and looms. But my ultimate favourite was the room occupied by a very interesting woman who makes incredibly beautiful and detailed felted dolls. Her daughter was also there and we stayed for over an hour just chatting about felt, her story writing, waldorf dolls, homeschooling, making toys, as well as travel and living in Fredericton. I'm planning on doing her waldorf doll making class in the summer.
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Monday, April 13, 2009

Long weekend

We spent a wonderful day in the garden on Saturday. Bring on the sunshine!! Brendan explored more corners of the garden while Steve and I cut back some shrubs and trees, cleared some flower beds of last year's leaves, moved the slide and sandpit and generally pottered around. There's so much to do and I'm really looking forward to spending a lot of time out there. But it will have to wait a while. On Sunday we woke up to snow.
Easter also came and went this weekend. Steve set up a little egg hunt for Brendan and we made some chocolate nests.

Here's a sad story. Below is the first little chick I needle felted and barely a few hours later, after having snapped a photo luckily, he was lying in shreds on the floor. Our pesky little kitten seems to love to play with anything felted. Which is annoying because I think it is my new favourite thing.
This was taken on Friday and on Sunday the tulips were open wide and had tilted towards the room to show off their beautiful petals.

It was also lovely to have some friends round on Monday for lunch. Two couples, one with a 6 month old and the other with their first baby due in a couple of months. Babies babies everywhere!

So now it's back to normality after the 4 day weekend. Steve left for work while we were all asleep as usual and we are off to the library when Tadhg wakes up.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Super day at the beach

What a super day! The whole day was just perfect. I woke up to the music from the Where the hell is Matt vimeo video (which I love and which Steve put on loud in the living room) and opened the curtains on a bright sunny day. Our friends Cheyanne and Grace called early to see what we were up to and we decided to head for the beach with a picnic. They joined us in our car and we finally set off with lots of blankets, kites, a wind break, a fairly elaborate picnic, some baby carrying equipment and lots of warm clothes.
We set up the windbreak on the beach- a little too hastily as it turned out, without judging the speed and direction of the tide movement- and had to up sticks and move ourselves and the picnic only minutes after starting to eat as the rising tide threatened to wash us away. We were also joined by Jackie and co and all the two year olds had a ball on the beach. It's fun trying to see it through their eyes- so much to explore and learn!

Yes, Steve is barefoot, and yes, it was freezing! This is why I love him though! On one of our first dates he swam in a freezing river in the lake district in early winter when there was snow on the ground. If he didn't go in the water I'd worry that there was something wrong with him.
After playing on the beach and eating we went for a walk along a boardwalk into the salt marsh and on the way back Brendan wanted to explore in the woods a bit. So we went in and looked at tree bark, listened for birds, climbed over branches and Gracie wanted to make a house so Cheyanne and I tried to lean some branches against the fallen tree in the background to make a den but they both ignored us! Grace and Cheyanne saw a bug so Brendan got down and started looking in the leaves for bugs too.
I love this photo of the two of them!

The drive back took a while as we kept stopping to comfort Tadhg but it meant Gracie and Brendan had a decent nap. We also saw two moose by the road- my first in New Brunswick. Cheyanne came back for supper and we cooked a yummy maple chicken curry pasta that she blogged about here and then Steve made his hasty pudding to completely fill our tummies.
We had started the day with Matt and ended it with him too- Cheyanne and I were dancing away Matt style in the bay windows along with the video. Lots of fun. And good exercise!
All in all it was a perfect day and we were all pleasantly tired at the end of it. A great start to the long weekend!

Expensive night turned cheap

The plan had been to go out for supper then to the theatre to see the African Children's Choir perform here in Fredericton. What actually happened was that we decided to have supper at home to lessen the length of time Brendan was out and hopefully delay tiredness by a bit, then when we arrived at the theatre we were told we couldn't be admitted with a "babe in arms". I made a slight but polite fuss... the radio said "bring the family" and "it didn't say anything on the website" and "that's just silly anyway" and (under my breath and only half joking) "most other countries wouldn't be so anti-baby". That last thought is just part of the wider feeling that babies are often seen as "difficult" in our society- I couldn't take Tadhg to a mess dinner last week as it was "inappropriate" and the play area in the local mall was moved to a hidden room in a corner "so that breastfeeding mothers can have some privacy" yeah right. That kind of talk makes me want to carry him everywhere and breastfeed everywhere just to make a point!!
Anyway, they kindly refunded our tickets and we walked into town and met some friends for a coffee instead. On the way back to the car we stopped to listen to hundreds of seagulls out on the river that we couldn't see in the darkness. Turned out to be a fun and cheap night. And I'm sure we'll get to see the African Children's Choir another time.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Warmer weather

This is what being a toddler in spring is all about!! We've done this a lot this week and he LOVES it. He's the happiest boy in the world when he's knee deep in freezing cold, muddy water.

This was the same day but with dry clothes on. Our first barbeque of the year. Steve and Brendan cooked yummy kebabs while I made a couple of "different" salads. We've decided to experiment with salads, inspired by our visit to The Green Door in Ottawa. So far we've tried a curried cauliflower thing, a bean salad with french dressing (not very experimental but not one of our usual ones) and a yogurty spicy potato and bean salad. All great. Lots more to look forward to this year.And tacked on the end... here's Tadhg chilling out in the sink after a particularly wet nappy soaked right up to his chest and through his clothes.

Thoughts of the day

Yesterday was one of those days when I think a lot about babies and motherhood.
All in one day... an email I wrote to the local morning show on CBC radio about midwifery in the province was read out on air, I was interviewed by a student doing some research into 'why women want midwives', I wrote a long letter to a pregnant friend of mine sharing my thoughts on pregnancy and motherhood and I spent a lovely day with my boys just being thankful for how wonderful my life is and for having them in it. It was one of those days when you can laugh at typical, but often unfunny things. For example, on our way OUT of the house Brendan decided to jump straight into the very deep puddle of water beside our driveway and I just loved him for it. Tadhg threw up all over me and then looked at me so sweetly that I just loved him for that too. Then at nap time we all lay down together and the two of them just stared at me so intently as I sung to them that I started to cry. Then later when Steve had finished reading a bedtime story to Brendan I was listening to them talk about who they love and Steve said there are four people here that you love, and Brendan guessed that the fourth person was himself and Steve told him how it was important for him to love himself and I was just smiling and listening because it was so lovely. Crikey this is soppy. I'd better stop before it gets out of hand. Pheewwww.

A few more crafty goings on

Here's the first of a family of bunnies. I was teasing Steve because there he was, driving up the highway to Montreal with two babies in the back and a wife knitting away in the passenger seat beside him, handing him the odd sandwich every now and then. Now I bet he didn't imagine that a few years ago! (A fuzzy picture- I'll get a better one when the whole family are together)
This was the first felted bird's nest we made. It was a total flop- we didn't rub it for long enough, have the water hot enough, or make the batt thick enough. We are much better at it now but I haven't taken any more pics. We even did it at playgroup today and everyone made their own nest to take home before Easter weekend. Our nature table it fully springified now. I'll blog about that later. We also painted and dyes some eggs last week- some for hanging on the tree and others for the nest.
I made this book pocket hanging thing at the weekend for Brendan's books. I'm hoping that by having more books visible we might get to read a wider selection. He tends to choose one or two and we repeat them over and over again until I'm forced to hide it for a few days. It already seems to be working. Ah hah, another way to influence him, what power! Mind you, I suppose I do that by choosing all the books in the first place. We tend to keep the library books front and centre on the table so we get as much out of them as possible before they leave us.

This was in Montreal- we made a couple of masks from paper plates. Brendan wasn't the least bit interested in the mask making process but was quite into the whole pretend play once they were finished. We were a cat and a tiger and we did cat and tiger-like things much to Brendan's amusement. (That is Steve in the photo by the way- if you didn't recognise the big lips)I love watching his flair for pretending develop. He's starting to come up with his own ideas, such as walking around the house with his bag saying he's going to see Uncle Paddy, putting his doll to bed and pulling the covers up properly, taking the wee dolls to the shops to buy cereal, milk and bananas and so on.
Later in the day after the mask thing, I suggested to Brendan that the horse he was playing with might be thirsty so he took it to the (real) cat's water bowl and bent down to give the horse a drink. Any time we come across a kitchen set he makes things and brings you something to eat or drink, then washes the dishes afterwards. This started when he saw the girls doing it at playgroup. Here's a picture of Brendan sitting at the table in the Waldorf store in Montreal- you can see the wooden play kitchen that I covet in the background. ooooohh

Amaryllis update

We took the amaryllis out of the cold, dark garage a few days ago and put it in the warm, bright kitchen. It loves the light and has shot up - I think if you sat and watched you'd actually see it grow. I really wish it was in a nice pot but never mind. I don't want to move it now in case I upset it.

For some more springtime flowery fun we made some tissue paper flowers- mostly reusing tissue paper (it seems to be the Canadian way to give presents in gift bags and wrapped in layers and layers of tissue paper- handy for crafts!). Brendan helped with a few of the stages but we did two at a time so that at least one would be fit for the vase. (Not that his weren't beautiful, they just didn't stand up or stay together well)