Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The trouble with boys!

I have come to the realisation that the word "boy" really spells TROUBLE! I feel like I have aged 5 years in 5 days.
It all started on Friday (day 1) Jack took the liberty of helping himself to a bottle of dishwasher rinse aid and took a few good gulps. I have always had to be careful with cupboards, as Jack has proved himself to be a Houdini on many occasions, but Friday took the cake, after a quick call to the poison hot line I found out it wasn't toxic, but he would be very sick. And yes he was very sick!
The weekend (day 2 & 3) was just a few days of plain naughtiness with me yelling from the sidelines, and then Jack developing conjunctivitis.
Monday (day 4) came around and I was feeling quite calm and looking forward to a peaceful week, but not for long, Leo was playing a game of chase with Mariah, I believe they took the same path and collided this resulted with Leo being thrown into the air and landing on the back of his head... ouch! After he became quite lethargic and his speech started to slur it was off to the doctors with a possible concussion. Our doctor decided a head scan was in order, but quickly realised this would be impossible for Leo as it would be to traumatic and only result in an ASD meltdown. So with a list of instructions and the doctor's home phone number, we headed home for a night of close observation. The next day Leo was just fine.
Tuesday (day 5): I rise and shine in the morning with my fingers crossed hoping for a much better day with the boys, all seems to be going well the clock hits 5pm and yes I am on the home stretch.......Then a loud thud followed by that eternal pause and a loud cry, oh no Jack has just chipped his front teeth, a quick call to Dad (he happens to be a dentist) but not much can be done. Thank goodness he gets another set when he is older. I have adopted a new rule in our house "walk don't run" but already it is falling on deaf ears...............fingers crossed tomorrow is a better day!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Garden Progress.

My seeds from Diggers finally arrived (the day before we went to the zoo) I have sown the carrots, beetroot, french basket radishes, & peas. The radishes have already started to poke their little green heads through the mulch and are worshipping the sun. I have to say my lettuces were looking a little brown from all the dust that was blown our way via a very intense dust storm. It was quite eery to wake up in a haze of red darkness, I have a feeling this is what it would be like to live on Mars. A thought I hope never becomes a reality!

I purchased a little portable green house on the weekend so I can propagate the rest of my seeds that couldn't be sown direct into the raised garden bed. I have potted up mini cucumbers, mini capsicums and spring onions, fingers crossed they sprout into strong little seedlings.

The lettuces are going gang busters, all of a sudden they seem to have taken off! We had our first salad last night and it was a great feeling to know that the lettuce came from our garden and hadn't been contaminated with nasty toxic sprays. The herbs also seem to be growing beautifully, I think that little spurt of warm weather over the last few days has really helped (I even have a few strawberries popping up).

I have finally planted the tomatoes, I couldn't decide how and where to grow them. I bought a grow bag to plant them in and have placed this against a sunny fence facing West with a little protection from the wind, I am still not convinced they are in the right spot, I suppose only time will tell!

Dan and the boys dug up the back garden and replaced some bare patches with a stronger more child/dog resilient grass "Kings Pride" a flat leaf buffalo. We have always had problems with bare patches through the winter and I think the boys and the Mariah don't help either.

They all had a great time, unlike me with all the dirty washing that has been produced over the last 2 days I think I will be washing all week.....oh well that's boys for you! :)

Saturday, September 19, 2009


Our long awaited trip to Western Plains Zoo started at 4am in the morning. With a 6 hour drive ahead of us we decided to make the most of the 2 days and one night (in the plush tent) by setting out at 5am in the morning. With printed directions in hand (we are yet to join the satellite navigation generation) and the children bundled into the car we set off. We were barely out of the driveway when Leo piped up with "watch an animal movie" Leo loves David Attenbourgh documentaries, so we put on an animal movie, something soothing and tame for 5am, by that I mean "no lions hugging and kissing gazelles....!!!" After a quick breakfast at McDonalds and a fuel stop we were well and truly on our way. The drive to Dubbo is a little monotonous, sheep, cows and more sheep and cows, I was starting to tire of these domesticated animals and was longing to see some wild animals (surrounded by fences) after a few more hours of David Attenbourgh's soothing voice chatting away in the background, we found ourselves driving through the gates of Western Plains Zoo. With our map in hand and a very gusty hot Westerly wind blowing we headed straight for the Black Rhino, then the Hippo who was very lazy and just lay in the sun. After looking at the Gibbons and the funny Wombat we proceeded to our tent,and unpacked. A zebra striped minibus arrived and took us to meet the 3 boy giraffes, which was the highlight for me as they ate the carrots from our hands with their big long curly tongues. Then we were whisked off to see the tiger have his dinner, wow I'm glad I was on the other side of the cage, he wasn't very friendly. The zebra striped minibus took us back to our tent and for Leo this was probably the highlight of the zoo, he unfortunately didn't want to get off the bus (we quickly realised he had never been on a bus before) after a lot of convincing we finally got him off!
Day 2: A 6am "rise and shine" to a wonderful sound of animal calls got us off to a great start. We headed straight to the minibus (a full 20 minutes early, Leo just couldn't wait) and the first stop was hand feeding the black rhino, this was fantastic, then onto the Galapagos Tortoises, a little boring for me, well what can you expect from an animal that has a top speed of 3km per hour! Our final port of call was the Meercats, everyones favorite, then we were heading back to our tent for a quick breakfast, check out and a last cycle around the zoo before heading back home. A wonderful 2 days away, now my mind is swimming with ideas of a real safari in Tanzania.........I think we are a long way from this but who knows!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Veggie Patch!

Over the weekend we put together the raised veggie garden from Natural Yards. We had a little hiccup, it was no longer viable to place it where I had originally wanted it to go. The ground was quite uneven and it just wasn't getting enough sun. So with a little jigging and looking around we found another spot that looked perfect. I had my little helpers, slowing everything down, wanting drinks, morning tea etc, I didn't think I would see it finished by the end of the day as I was spending so much time in the kitchen preparing food!
Now for the dirt and compost and why do boys love dirt so much......?
After lunch and more snacks we headed off to our local garden nursery and I purchased some lettuce seedlings and snow peas, I thought this would be a good start, as I am still waiting for my seeds to arrive form Diggers. Once again with my little helpers by my side I got down to the serious stuff, PLANTING and voila I was I starting to see progress!
By the end of the day we were all tired and extremely happy with our efforts, the warm weather had zapped all our energy so it was an early dinner and off to bed for me and my little helpers.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Fathers Day and Chickens.

We all had a great day on Sunday(Fathers Day), we ventured up to the Blue Mountains and stopped by Leura for Brunch. We wandered up the Mall looking at all the daffodils and spring flowers and then visited some of the gorgeous shops, mainly the Leura Toy Store, the boys just couldn't part themselves from all the wonderful toys on display. Then our last stop was The Candy Store, well where do I begin, the range of sweets, chocolates and other yummy treats is endless, it is definitely a shop that does not cater for prams & strollers. After a quick purchase of fudge and chocolate we were off to our next destination Sun Valley Produce. After investigating where our eggs come from I have decided to purchase some chickens, I can't think of anything better than free range eggs from our own garden (FYI read article from SMH). After lots of googling chicken breeds I have decided on a breed called Australorps, they are a large chicken, easy to handle and produce large brown eggs, they should also be able to stand up to any cats from neighbouring properties.

Sun Valley Produce have a great range of laying hens, feed and they have a Mountain Ark on display. I decided very quickly that I wanted a good looking chicken coop that is easy to clean and move around our front garden. Francis from Mountain Arks makes very quaint but functional chicken coups, being able to see the Mountain Ark up close was great as I am now confident it is the right chicken coup for us and lets not forget the chickens too....

Here is Leo with his purchase from The Leura Toy Store "100 Animals to Spot at the Zoo". We are off to Western Plains Zoo next week and I think these spotter cards will come in handy!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

"X" marks the spot!

Today I had to make the big decision of where to place the veggie patch. I have been monitoring the movement of the sun to ensure my veggie patch will receive the most possible sunlight (roughly 6 hours according to the books). Another big deciding factor is 1. Spring is here and 2. Natural Yards have 10% of raised beds!!!! So here it is all pegged out(120mm x 490mm)! I know it doesn't look much but wait and see, good things will come from this sunny little area!

My little helpers Jack and Mariah (our gorgeous black lab) had a great time knocking down the pegs and Jack loved tugging on the string!

Now to order my raised garden bed and soil and start making a list of all the gardening bits and pieces I am going to need. I have also ordered a few packets of seeds from Diggers they have a wonderful range of organic heirloom seeds, they should arrive any day soon........