Friday, July 31, 2009

fun together

We can eat outside more these days as the mosquitoes and black flies aren't so bad.

Love this one!
Gorgeous boy.
Brendan sitting in the new rocking chair acquired at an auction a couple of weeks ago.

If I'm not watching closely he'll get a bite out of every cookie!

picnic breakfast

Brendan and Tadhg were both up and a ridiculous hour the other day. Brendan was in a miserable mood so to sort us all out Steve packed us a picnic breakfast while I got us dressed and we headed to the park at 7.30am as Steve left for work. Great idea Steve!
Ready to go.
Playing around the wading pool but it was a bit cold for going in.
The thumbs up and the new bulldozer are to celebrate the doing the pooing in the potty. It didn;t really happen though, it was more like a tipping of the poo from the pants into the potty and pretending. Anyway, it's now a few days later and it didn't quite work. he is still a reluctant pooer. Sorry Brendan.
Playing with diggers on the deck with various food stuffs as sand, gravel and rocks. Oh, and a new sun suit being broken in for Senegal.

First tie dye attempt.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Two weeks today

We leave for Dakar in only two weeks. Excitement is building.

Malaria prophylaxis is sorted after a delay with the pharmacy who said they couldn't do it and neither could anyone else in Fredericton. Thankfully they were wrong.

French practice is sporadic but happening.

The packing list is colour coded and scribbled on. Although I enjoy the list making it doesn't actually get the bag packed any earlier. It will undoubtedly be a last minute rush as usual. We work well under pressure :)

We have a footwear issue. What to take??

Steve has arranged to take his final exam for this term 3 hours earlier than the scheduled time. The exam is meant to start at 7pm and finish at 10, but we need to drive to Bangor (3 and a bit hours away) and get some sleep in a hotel before being at the airport for 3am ish. So he's allowed to start the exam at 4pm and leave just after 7 and then we can hit the road. What a relief that's going to be. Pheeewwww. Can't wait.

Caitlin and Billy leave a week earlier than us and will have an interesting trip overland from Morocco to Senegal. It will include a 24 hour bus journey so I hope Billy and his very long legs manage to get a decent seat. Maybe the one at the back in the middle? Or one right at the front? Good luck with that guys :) See you in Dakar. (Let us know what you decide on the footwear front)

Paddy is almost finished and will be off on a trip south to Guinea Bissau. I've emailed him a list of things to be on the lookout for just to give us a better picture of what to expect. Can we find nappies, bug spray, snacks for the kids... that kind of thing. And I've asked him what footwear we should bring but he hasn't replied yet.

Our mosquito nets have both arrived. One new one we ordered and Caitlin's old one. Just need to add some of the insecticide courtesy of Steve's work to our clothes. I think we've decided that a little exposure to an ugly neurotoxin is preferable to contracting malaria. Travel certainly gives you plenty of opportunities to weigh up pros and cons.

That's it for now. Must get to bed. Lots to do tomorrow including tidying the house before a playdate and some more dyeing action. More on the dyeing later.

Tadhg standing and Brendan's woody mammoth

In the middle of a bum change. Arrghhhh.

A couple of things I've been meaning to post about for a while now.

Tadhg is now pulling himself up to standing any chance he gets. He then looks around for someone to share his excitement with and gives us the biggest smiles. In the last couple of days he has started 'walking' his feet along while holding our hands and this evening he was 'walking' towards daddy holding my hands and when he got close enough he let go of one of my hands and reached for Steve- all without being prompted. I wasn't expecting that! I can't believe he's still only 7 months old. Maybe he'll walk early but we were thinking that with Brendan and he didn't walk until 11 and a half months was it? Anyway, it's exciting to share it with them isn't it?!

And Tadhg has just got his first tooth. Ouch. Although he already eats as though he has a mouthful of teeth. He likes his food so far. Fingers crossed it stays that way.

For a while now Brendan has been calling his penis his 'woody mammoth'. It started as a misconception I think... confusion between willy and woolly mammoth and he can't yet pronounce 'l' and says 'd' or some other consonant sound instead. So 'woody mammoth' got a few laughs and consequently seems to have stuck.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

New bedrooms

I started this when pregnant with Tadhg with the intention of giving it to him for his first sleeping space. It's now in Brendan's new room.
It is copied from a painting by Charlotte Lyons (? I think that's it). I saw it, or one like it, in a book on house interiors while browsing in Chapters. I googled when I got home and love her paintings. I'd like to do a lemur one for Caitlin too.

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How does your garden grow?

There has been so much rain this year. The plants are loving it, including the weeds. Here are a few pics. Above, the orange thing I picked up on sale- it was only a few inches tall and didn't have a label and I forgot to ask what it was called. The flowers are gorgeous with these deep black insides.

Swiss chard below. Yummily crunchy and very good looking.

Our maize patch. When it gets tall enough Brendan can hopefully stand in the middle of the ring.

Hard to tell edible plant from weeds when you do very little weeding. :)

Should get lots of pumpkins this year. Which was slightly poor planning considering we aren't particularly fond of pumpkin eating. I think Steve plans to make all sorts of lanterns. We'll have to find pumpkin recipes we like for the flesh. Only one I ever do is curry.
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Monday, July 20, 2009

bye bye red jeep

We sold the jeep. We never intended to be a two car family but didn't want to sell the jeep while it was in good working order and all paid off and needed to pull the boat (Steve had many excuses!). Anyway, time has been hard on the little jeep and the realization that it would be costly to keep it going resulted in Steve announcing one day he'd put it on kijiji just to see if there was any interest and it was sold within a couple of days.

On the way back from a camping trip recently (in the jeep) we came to the conclusion that we are not really a van kind of family. It was so cheap and is in great working order so we'll stick with it until something better comes along or it breaks, whichever happens first, but we'll look forward to the day we have the perfect car. Although I doubt that it is even possible to find the perfect car. Maybe it's called a bike.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Other things we've made recently

Sewed some hot air balloons onto a pair of bargain curtains to brighten them up for Brendan's new room- more on that later as it's still a work in progress.

A little wash bag for Grace for her trip to Europe. I think they are using it to put her crayons and little book and stickers in though. The fabric used for the inside pocket has the Eiffel Tower on it. (They are going to Paris next week)
I enjoyed making this. My mum used to make then for me for school. We weren't allowed to bring sweets to our boarding school so mum used to sew secret pockets in my bags and soft toys. :)
And I love the pink butterfly and flower tablecloth above- a recent thrift find.

This is a long cushion cover made out of a wrap around skirt I bought somewhere years ago- maybe Madagascar?. I had never worn it so it has been re-purposed. Next job is to cover a piece of foam for a bench cushion.

A beautiful new shelf unit for Brendan's room courtesy of Steve. I think he enjoyed this and he's now working on refurbishing an old school desk we bought for $3 at a yard sale. It's in bits all over the family room floor at the moment. I hope it all fits back together.

A simple bunting string of felt triangles to add some colour. It may end up in the toy box or being used outside because I don't like it all that much. Although Brendan loves to point and name the colours getting faster and faster until it becomes a tongue twister and he collapses into hysterics.
A little taggy blanket for Tadhg from one of our many fleece baby blankets and a bunch of ribbon scraps.

A paper owl mobile. I'll do this again using nicer paper with coordinating colours.

Bird mobile

A friend of mine was flying to the UK yesterday and is staying with Caitlin for a bit so I had a deadline and finally finished this mobile. I sent it with Cheyanne to give to Caitlin and Billy as a house warming present. I love all the colours and hope they think it's funky rather than childish.
Here's another one showing some of the bellies.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

baby tea party

We had a baby shower of sorts today, though the mum-to-be wasn't actually there as she was otherwise occupied running from her bed to the bathroom with a vomiting bug. Euchh. It was a shame she missed it- we went ahead and talked about birth anyway, wrote her some note cards, recorded some video messages (I chickened out as usual), put together some garden flowers and watched our kids play in the gorgeous summer sunshine.
Tadhg enjoyed watching the older kids play for a while and then took his morning nap cozied up on my back.
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Summer fun outside

Summer fun in the garden.

Lunches outside- homemade pizza leftovers.

Playing on the deck. One of the washtubs as paddling pool.

Tadhg is all mucky because Brendan dumped the weed bucket which was full of old rainwater on him. Didn't bother him one bit.

Playing in his friend Grace's lovely pink and purple car. We camped in their garden for the night. Well, everyone lasted the whole night except me and Tadhg- we chickened out and went inside once the air mattress was fully deflated and our bums were cold.

Nashwaak River Paddle

We went for a short paddle down the Nashwaak river with Agi, Josh, Simon and Noni in one canoe, Marissa, David and Eden in another and us in the third. We put in near Stanley I think and out at Durham Bridge? I'm not sure. It took about two hours and the river was really beautiful. I was pleasantly surprised as I had expected the road to be visible and audible but in that stretch of the valley it wasn't.
We're going to try and make a little seat for Brendan next time. An upturned crate like Simon's maybe.
Tasty river pebbles. Yum.

Belly full of ice cream, mouth all chocolatey, pants off, wellies on. Sleep. Bliss.
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Canada Day Parade

Birth Matters in the Canada Day Parade.

A few of us got together the night before (in typical Siobhan last minute style) to make a banner and ended up doing three and few other placards. The walk itself was a success I think. The aim was to raise awareness and I think we certainly did that.

Lots of thumbs up and cheers were directed our way, but many in the crowd looked a little confused so I hope we gave them something new to think about. The local paper's article on their website the next day was followed by a couple of comments about how groups with "controversial" political statements should not have been allowed to take part. This is nonsense on so many levels. There is nothing controversial about midwifery- legislation has already passed and is not in question, it's just a case of waiting and shaping the process. Secondly, and as pointed out in other comments, part of being Canadian is being able to have a say in things like this. Anyway, there is always going to be someone who is not happy. Too many New Brunswickers still think midwives are not as safe as doctors and...
All in all, a great day. In retrospect though we should have had a banner or two mentioning Canada. The whole thing was in celebration of Canada's birthday wasn't it. How old is Canada? I must check.

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