Thursday, August 26, 2010

woodland walk and simplification

After our crazy couple of party weeks, we had our first 'calm' day yesterday; no where to go, nothing we had to do. We did some house work in the morning then after lunch we decided to go for a walk in the woods to see what we could find. Benny took his potty with him in a bag.
It took ages to get to the woods (about a 3 minute walk) because all the blackberries are ripe and Benny LOVES them.

When we got there we found this little gnome who said she'd guide us through the woods and help us find hazelnuts. We were particularly in search of hazelnuts because I had found some when out walking through the woods with my dad and brother a few days previously.

Joshua enjoyed watching the light through the leaves and the branches swaying in the wind.
I knitted the bonnet for him while I was pregnant, I think he looks gorgeous in it.

We found this birds egg (no idea from which bird)

and this mushroom (no idea what kind...I know sooo little about what is around us hurmph!)

We found lots of hazelnuts thanks to the gnome. We're going to ripen them on a windowsill and then make something (probably some kind of cake) with them.
I felt very neanderthal wandering through the woods foraging for wild food breastfeeding my baby in the sling. Ugg!

Looks very idealistic doesn't it?! But what the camera doesn't show is that Benny then pee'd in his pants and was so uncomfortable he wanted to go home just as Rebe was really starting to enjoy herself. They had a big row about whether or not we were going home, he bit her, she slapped him. I shouted, they both cried. Rebe tripped over skinned her knee and dropped all the hazelnuts and cried some more, Joshua woke up and cried we went home.
Still, once we got home and cleaned ourselves up and had a cup of tea peace reigned again...

Rebe made this cool violin out of duplo.

I have been reading this book at the moment. It was a present from some friends for my birthday. It is really interesting and come at a time when I am yet again feeling overwhelmed by stuff.
So, I have been sorting out the toys again. I really take the point that less is more and that by reducing the number of toys in the mix you are giving your children the opportunity to really play with what they have and the chance to use their imaginations rather than having all games and play provided for them on a plate.
What didn't occur to me before though is that this is also true of books. So, although it did go against the grain somehow, I have sorted out our books too. I have sorted a box of books to go to the charity shop, ones that are either broken (well they went into the recycling), character (like tellytubbies) or ones I really hate reading. The rest I have tried to sort seasonally and have put most of them upstairs into the toy cupboard so that I can rotate them periodically once the kids have thoroughly enjoyed and explored the books they have on the shelves. We'll see how it goes, it will be interesting!

I also sorted through the piles and piles of clothes everywhere... and have only left in the cupboards things the kids actually do and can wear....

No less than 4 bin liners full to give to the charity did this happen that we had so much excess stuff?!
I feel lighter and happier and less cluttered.
The other part of the book that really interests me is the rhythm of the day. This is something important to me and I am looking forward to the start of school for us to be able to implement a new one. So I have been thinking about that and am excited about how it will again simplify and calm our lives...
Gosh that was a long post, I'd best be getting on with my day x


  1. Oh my gosh, Laura you've left me with so much I want to say! And Ezri is struggling in the sling so maybe I won't have a chance to say it all!
    First of all, I know just what you mean about having a nice calm day after so many busy ones. The walk in the woods is wonderful- have you ever read Elsa Beskow's "Woody, Hazel, and Little Pip?" If not, I think your children would love it. :)
    You are so funny: "Ugg!"
    Is that the little cap you knitted while expecting Joshua? The pilot cap with the little point in front? I want to see a more clear picture! I've been wanting to make one for Ezri.
    And I have heard so much about that Simplicity Parenting book. I would love to get my hands on it to read. The idea of simplifiying: toys, books, etc. so resonates with me!
    great post, I loved reading! hugs <3
    now to nurse EZri. . .

  2. I know what else I wanted to say (now Ezri is sleeping in the sling):
    I also appreciate your "real life" description of went on behind the scenes. So often blogs seem to depict these perfect lives, and leave out the squabbles, messes, and parents losing patience. But it happens to all of us, that's for certain!

  3. Laura and Melanie, I so appreciate you ladies.
    I am currently reading Simplicity Parenting and love this book. I borrowed it from my county library and have been looking forward to my evening time to devour it.
    I too love to hear about the real "stuff" that happens along with the magical times.

  4. It made me giggle looking through the camera this morning, I was thinking; 'little do they know...' so i decided to 'fess up.
    Melanie: We've not read that book, will have a look! if you'd like to read Simplicity Parenting' and can't borrow it from the library I'm more than happy to lend you my copy if you send me your address :-)
    I've added a link to the bonnet above, it was fairly simple to make I'm definitely going to make more.
    Elizabeth: What do you think of the book? Has it inspired you to make any changes to your family life?

  5. Laura, yes Simplicity Parenting has really inspired me to continue the process of parenting in a simple way. It has encouraged me that what I am feeling in my gut as a way I want to raise my son is legitimate and furthermore a great way to parent.

  6. I can see your beautiful Inka Storch wrap in your photos, I have my Inka tucked away but sadly my DD (who's 2.5 years) wants to walk/run everywhere now. I wanted to say little L has been going through a stage of biting her older sister. She bit her hard on the back yesterday!
    You are so lucky to have Simplicity Parenting. I am waiting to read it, but my twin is reading it first and we share parenting books! I cannot wait to read it!

  7. Elizabeth: That's such a great way to think about it...someone else legitimizing what you already think and feel in your guts. I do love that too when you come across something or someone who can put into words what I am thinking or feeling inside.
    mamauk: I just love this wrap, I got it for Benny when I was pregnant with him and I used it until I was too pregnant with Joshua to carry him. although I love it so much what with all the rain in Ireland i find that getting it on outside can be a bit of a faff so I'm going to invest in an Ergo as well. You'll really enjoy Simplicity Parenting, it's what inspired me to tackle the book situation I posted about on your blog! How lovely to have someone to share parenting books with!