Tag: backyard (Page 1 of 2)

Backyard weather

I’ve been hanging at home a bit more with Small Z this past week. WIth the new sleep practices at night, timings of the midday nap have changed… and I’ve also thought it is a bit more settling to hang about at home while the nights can be fraught (yes – I did jinx myself with that post…)

The weather has been making things easier, with big spates of sunny afternoons. We draw on the concrete with chalk (a habit we picked up in New York), run around under the clothesline, and hunt for dandelions to blow…

Chalk cats - the Grumpy Mow, and the Happy Mow in a Bra

(Note the ‘Grumpy Mow’* and the ‘Happy Mow in a Bra’)

A puffy dandelion
A tiny daisy

*Mow rhymes with cow

wordless wednesday : swingset!

…more photos here

[photo by dylan]

Slip Sliding Away

Can’t even remember if I’ve written already about how big a chunk Christmas and all the associated hooha took out of, what I am tempted to refer to as, our routine. *boggle* The end of the structure that kindergarten gave our weeks… smooshed into Christmas (and the birthdays that bookend it)… yeah, well – it was all good…BUT…

It was only today that I realised how long it has been since a ‘normal(ish)’ week had occurred. You know – the one with me working on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and M at the boat all other days. He has marked (how weird it must to to have a name that is also a verb) the days that he has done boat-work on the calendar thus far this year – and it is scarily minimal.

Of course tomorrow is a public holiday and we have been asked to lunch in Emerald. And it’s the old toss up – do I ask M to come along because it will be more fun (and easier, wrangling-wise) or do I command him to STAY AND WORK ON THE BOAT?! It will probably be the former – because we all might be hit by a meteorite and at least then we would have seen our friends. Right?

Meanwhile – today was a home day of baking – biscotti and brownies – and making – pesto and a waterslide

It has taken five years, but Small Z has finally begun a phase that consists of her pouting, assuming a baby voice, and saying loudly, “I BORED.” I have so far resisted saying, “Well you better go to school then….” I figure I can definitely leave that one for my mother…

This is happening in the current context of her being unable to sleep and staying up until after 9pm. Death for kidfree time. Ruinous for five-year-old reasonableness and revolting when mixed with The Two-Year-Old-That-Won’t-Nap.

In the face of I BORED!! I put the hose at the top of the treehouse and announced I’d created a waterslide. It bought me an hour of excellence… 🙂

Z goes watersliding!
DB goes watersliding!

Bats. Innovate, not detonate…

The weather. We have had some respite. M and Small Z went to a solstice bonfire last night – I would have liked to go, but I couldn’t get Small DB into the car. She refused, screamed, and refused some more – and I suppose she knows her own score. She was exhausted – but I had hoped she would sleep there, in the pram, giving me a chance to nibble and chat. No dice.

Small Z slept in the next morning, having gone to bed at 9.30pm. We had a day of domesticity – three loads of washing out/in/away. Chicken noodle soup for lunch. Hair combing. Small DB and I planted more garlic that had started sprouting in our bowl, and then put some kale seeds around on top just to see what would happen.

Small Z became fixated on playing some backyard cricket, but was unable to find our bat. She was ranting, as Small DB and I played ‘find-the-wriggliest-worm’ and stomped inside. I know her. And I just knew what she was going to do. Sure enough, half an hour later she reappeared.

“I STILL couldn’t find the bat. So I MADE a new one.”

I smiled. “I knew that’s what you would go and do. Nice one.”

Z's DIY bat. She's an innovator.

We had a few hits with the bat – two bits of wood secured with ribbon and sticky-tape. It wasn’t going to hold up for long, so we bashed two nails into it to robustify.

We played cricket until she hit the tennis ball on to the roof where it rolled into the gutter. She then remembered the hula-hoop that has been stuck up on the roof for over a year…which meant she had to create a ‘Hula-Hooper-Off-The-Roofer’ – the longest stick in the world that was going to get it down…many sticks cobbled together with clothes pegs and hope…

The DIY bat. Game on!
Z and her 'Hula-Hooper-Off-The-Roofer' stick...
[I love her innovation and DIY aesthetic. I’m hoping I have encouraged it along the way. All those times when she wanted a particularly hideous toy from an op-shop we were in when she was three-years-old, I’d say – “Don’t worry – we’ll make one when we get home.” Most of the time she would forget, but sometimes we would go home and make a dinosaur, or a pink Wot-Wot…]

While all this was going on, Small DB started demonstrating to me something I had never seen her do before. She was a GUN with a soccerball – kicking it into the goal from quite far away. I thought it was a fluke and asked her to do it a few more times. She nailed it almost every time. When she missed she would say, “Nearly! I nearly did it!” This is her tune at the moment – at any meal she doesn’t finish she pushes her bowl across and carols, “I didn’t eat it all BUT I DID WELL!”

DB kicks a goal. Woo!

I love these days where the sun kicks in. I didn’t realise until halfway through Autumn that the mirrorball I hung on our porch is to alleviate the Winter blues. It only catches the sun at this time of year, and fills the room with sunspot stars, early in the morning and late in the afternoons. If I go to live in a more tropical climate someday, I will miss the sunshiney winter days – where you get yourself inside by 4pm or begin to shiver.

On these days our bedroom catches the heat of the sun, and I try to close the curtains and trap it before the cold night air filters in. Thus far I’ve avoided putting the oil-heater in the bedroom – this has been helped by two summer quilts, three wool and two cotton blankets on the bed. Yes – I go to great lengths to avoid a doona.

The other night I was going to sleep in the caravan and messaged goodnight to M, still inside on the couch.

“Snuggle up in my sleeping bag with the doona on top – cosy!” he suggested.

I wrote back. “No way! I am totally toasty under Donna with the man-bag on top of me!”

Damn you auto-correct!!!

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