Thursday, September 30, 2010

our wee irish speaker

Here is Rebe singing a song she learnt in school in Irish... I find it fascinating that she's learning to do something that neither Andy or I can do...

I do question how useful learning Irish will apart from the pleasure of being able to speak and understand such an ancient language.

nestled under rainbows

Thank goodness I live with someone who is such a great inventor... Here is my latest cleaning up robot, just needs batteries and I'm flying; feet up and knitting out!

One of the loveliest things about living in this house is the amount of sky rolling out in front of us, and this is the season of rain showers and sunny spells, the perfect ingredients for rainbows...

I am just so in awe of this world, how so much beauty can exist! What a wonderful, wonderful place. Rainbows are one of my favourite things...can you tell?

Monday, September 27, 2010

good fun

On Saturday we went here, to the Engage Arts Festival. It was loads of fun, we met up with some friends (so great to see them). There was lots to look at and do... It was very 'green' and there were lots of interesting green innovations and demo's. We looked at people making wee houses out of willow, there were puppet makers, a make your own pizza then fire it in a mud oven, re-fashion t-shirts, some stalls with local organic produce.
The kids painted some plant pots.

Benny just loved this and spent a good 20 mins painting his, he used up loads of paint so really got his 2 euros worth ;-)

There was an open singing session, which was great and I would've joined in but I had a boy on the boob at the time.

This was a really cool wrought iron stand, I love the fire bowl! Something I'd love to get at some point!

Rebe also made a little pipe cleaner man. This activity was run by a 10 year old boy. He was so cool, really in charge of it all and great at teaching the kids how to make the little men.

The weather was just glorious too and when we had exhausted the festival we went to the park for a good play.
Today after dropping Rebe to school and doing our daily jobs Benny and I went out for a walk...this is all Benny wants to do at the moment and periodically puts on his hat in the hope we'll be going out.
We collected lots of things on the beach and Benny stuck them on a page when we got home, including a snails shell and a good few crab claws (makes an interesting picture...lets hope it won't smell).

Look at this boy smiling at his mama! Hope you all had fun weekends too! x

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Autumn Equinox

Well we just had the loveliest equinox celebration!

I have been making more of an attempt, the last couple of years, to really mark and live in the seasons of the year (something not always that easy when it just mostly rains all the time)! But we never really marked the beginning of autumn before, it always just sort of crept over us. The start of school was a definite signal of the end of summer, the air is crisp and the leaves are changing colour. But I was delighted when I saw this poster in town a few weeks ago...The Ecology Project itself is something I'd not heard of before, it is an earth community started and run by some nuns of the Sisters of Mercy where the focus is learning to live with compassionate harmony with all of creation. They run courses on growing organic vegetables and they have woodland, fields and organic garden plots on their beautiful site. The whole place itself over looks a lovely bay, so I was excited to go.
When I rang to make sure if it was OK to bring the kids, they said to bring some food to share. So yesterday morning, while Rebe was at school, Benny and I made a Dutch Apple Cake with some more apples our kind neighbour gave us...
I burnt it a little round the edges but it was still good!
After dinner (leaving Andy at home with Joshua) we drove the half hour or so to Rosscarberry where we parked the car at the entrance to the project. I put Benny in my new Ergo sling (love love! it arrived in the morning) and the kids and I hiked up the trail to where we came across about 20 people standing around a campfire. One of them was reading a lovely piece of poetry so we quietly listened in.
After that we joined in a dance around the fire. We did it to some recorded music and there were steps that represented the four elements of earth, fire, water and air (Andy would've hated it!) then we watched as the sun set while another of the group played the flute...

It was so beautiful and I felt I had a really lovely opportunity to give thanks for having such a great summer.

After that we all sang a song together, we were given the words on a piece of paper and we were accompanied by a guitar player...
Welcome to the harvest
Welcome to the dance
We have all come together
Together we give thanks
Give thanks and remember
the beauty we've been shown
All the love that's in the harvest Welcome Home
After a few moments contemplation that even the kids enjoyed listening to the fire crackle, we shared the food we brought...
tea being cooked over the fire and there was also a huge pot of vegetable stew from all the harvested veggies from the gardens here.

It was so lovely, we chatted and mingled sharing food and a lot of love for the land. Rebe made a lovely friend, a lady in her 50's, to whom we've been invited to visit. When we had eaten our full and drank our hot, sweet tea, I put Benny back in the sling and Rebe held hands with her new friend and we followed a trail of little lights all the way back down the hill in the darkness to the car. The children and I sang twinkle, twinkle little star all the way home with the moon shining and lighting our way.
It was a truly magical experience and I hope we can join in this ritual every year!
Happy Autumn all!

Friday, September 24, 2010

morning dinosaurs

This is a picture of how Rebe spends her mornings (and most of the rest of her time when we're at home). She just loves duplo. It is quite amazing watching her, she has an idea of what she wants to make then she figures out how to get the right shapes. This is one of 3 dinosaurs she made this morning before school. (She has her pinny on to stop her uniform getting porridge all over it). It seems like a move on from drawing, which she isn't doing much of at the moment. She's such a creative wee person.
My sleeping baby...too cute not to photograph!

look at those perfect lips and the softest, sweetest smelling peachy skin!

Is this the beginning of our rainbow season?
It's certainly the beginning of autumn and we are looking forward to some equinox celebrations tonight.
hugs x

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Today I'm excited about..

making soup with the rest of the veggies my friend gave me from her garden. The grapes (yes Irish grapes) were gobbled on the first day though. I'm excited about the pounds of elderberries that Andy picked for me on one of the trees at work,
and the three pints of Elderberry Syrup I made with it.
I bought this stuff last year for 10 euro for a 150ml bottle! It's so packed with vitamins and anti-oxidants and tastes just yummy. It'll hopefully ward off the autumn and winter snuffles!
I'm excited about the arrival of my craft materials...

and trying new crafts...
I'm also very excited about the Clonakilty Steiner Kindergarden parent and child classes that we attended yesterday. It was just so lovely, the place was beautifully set up, with natural (non plastic) toys, open ended toys. the shelves were filled with arts and crafts materials and the staff were just a delight. The garden was bursting with veggies, herbs and flowers. There are swings and slides and, joy of joys, an old boat to play in (Benny heaven!). We had playtime, then we made biscuits together, played in the garden, then sang some songs, then had tea and the delicious biscuits we'd made. It was just wonderful, so calm and peaceful and the kids had a ball!
What are you excited about today?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

a new sunday ritual

Since Rebe started school, I thought it would be nice to end the weekend with a recognisable end of weekend ritual. So we sharpen her pencils,
and polish her shoes. Benny wanted a go too so I let him polish my slippers. Don't know why he needed the rubber glove though!
We went for a wee walk in the woods this afternoon. We played shops, which was lovely and not something we've played there for ages. Benny wanted to go home though so we brought all the shop things with us to play with at home...

Oh yes and this funny thing happened... we were having a quick climb on a large stone which is on the path on the way to the woods when an American family went passed us. The mummy came running back to us and asked if she could take a picture of the kids 'as they looked so cute'. I said she could but they were very dirty and she said 'Aww they're really authentic'. ha ha ha still makes me laugh, authentic!
Hope you all had a peaceful weekend.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Friday, September 17, 2010

at home with the boys

Well, we may well be slowly finding our feet. I got through all my chores this week, we saw lots of friends and went to playgroup. We did home work and made scones... so this morning I have been able to just sit back and enjoy being at home with my boys... beads
a bit of cheek worship

We've put the high chair up at the table so Joshua can sit in it (very propped up) while we are eating. I'd say it's an improvement on sitting on my knee getting covered in my dinner!

We've played with the duplo

can't just just hear the brrrrrrmmmmmm noise?

As the weather is just glorious again we decided to go and see if we could pick a last few blackberries.

But silly me, I let Benny carry the bowl and this is what was left when we got home...

Happy weekend all!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

a thought on slings

I have been thinking quite a bit about slings today. Partly because I think I've managed to find a reasonably priced 2nd hand Ergo here in Ireland. I'm very excited about it and think Benny will really enjoy it until Joa's big enough for it. I use a Storchenwiege at the moment and it is just fab...
(this is Benny when he was about 4 or 5 months old)

I was carrying Joshua about making dinner the other day when I sighed and said to myself 'What did people do before slings?' Then I thought; actually we didn't. As a species we have always carried our babies and therefore we never really did without them.
As these things happen, I was listening to a radio program in the car on the drive back from a friends house yesterday. The program was an interview with Timothy Taylor of Bradford University talking about his new book 'The Artificial Ape' (which I might just have to read...what with my being interested in paleoanthropology and all).
Guess what? He claims that human evolution was facilitated by, amongst other 'inventions', the use of the baby sling by stone age women. In fact, he rates it as important as discovering fire!
The sling basically allowed women to become marsupial. Larger headed, weaker babies could then flourish which allowed our brains to grow (in evolutionary terms). 'Courtesy of the baby sling, our ancestors got smarter.' It also meant, of course, that we could keep our babies out of the way of predators and regulate their body temperatures as well as being able to nourish and feed them while still spending enough time gathering food to ensure the survival of our species.
I never thought about slings in an evolutionary context, only really in terms of how it helps me.

Benny when he was about 9 months or so in our old chaotic house

Whatever way you look at it, you have to admit that slings are cool!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

*sigh* it's the weekend

We had to go into town today to the library and health food shop, so I thought I'd bring my camera to show you this tree, inspired by mamauk's post here. The picture's not great, Joshua was wiggling about in the sling, but look at the way it is growing out of the 'boundaries' set in stone by the town...
It is oozing out, as if someone has poured this tree in here and it has over flown.

I've never seen something solid look so liquid before. I love this tree!
This afternoon we attended the children's event of the Courtmacsherry Storytelling Festival. There was a lady with a guitar who sang some great songs, mostly old children's songs from the north of Ireland, and there was a man called Jack who told 4 stories all together. It was story telling in the traditional sense; with morals and repetition, not from books but from legend and passed on through generations, where we could join in and shout out. It was great. Rebe in particular loved it and although Benny was quite tired we did stay until the end. I'm so glad we live here and get to have experiences like this. We walked home along the beach watching kite surfers make 2 metre jumps into the air.

I also got to do this today...
yup, she finally let me wash Mio (it was only because he'd been pee'd on but still he got a wash).

The last thing I want to share today is that Joshua is finding his hands. He's been trying to touch things for a few days, I can see the determination in his face when he's looking at the buttons on my shirt, but he's not been able to make his hands move...
but he's getting there now and today he was touching and grasping things. I'm so pleased for him, another wee milestone in his life.
We're going to have a lazy day tomorrow, just some making and baking and probably lots of knitting and duplo... good old weekends!