Sunday, December 16, 2007
Uncle Rowland was only here for a few days, so we all got together at my in-laws for a family meal on Dad's birthday. I've not seen Uncle Rowland for 27 years, so it was lovely to catch up and spend time with him. He is technically only Dad's half-brother, but he's so like all the Kohn boys, you wouldn't think it! We played the guitar and sang, and Uncle Rowland told lots of cool stories about him and Dad and their antics as boys and young men. Dad really enjoyed having him here, and we plan to head over to Taz to stay with him in a couple of years, when both the girls are old enough to appreciate it a bit more.
After we saw Uncle Rowland off, we had to prepare for Dad's big party on Saturday 15th. We were having a Hangi, so the meat had to be bought, the veg collected, the cake ordered. Friday was a frantic day with the men-folk digging the pit and laying the fire til late into the night.
Saturday morning it was a hive of activity, but we had the food in the ground by 1pm and could relax. I'd made steamed pudding for the first time, and I was a bit worried ab0ut how they would turn out, as the recipe was a bit mental:
40 oz plain flour
20 oz butter
29 oz golden syrup
40g baking soda
30g vanilla essence
12oz hot water
Rub the butter into the flour, then mix in the rest of the ingredients and beat til smooth. Pour into 2 large tins which have been greased and lined with baking paper, then cover with baking paper and a foil lid and pop into the Hangi basket!
The recipe was to serve 50 people, so it's not as bad as it looks!!!
The food was perfect, we had a good turn out, and this morning we've managed to clean up pretty well, so there is only general house tidying to do. My brother is heading back to Hong Kong tonight (flying at midnight and getting back just in time to go to work! Crazy lad that he is.)
Once Tom's gone I think we can get on with the business of leaving Mum and Dad to babysit, and getting out of the house for a few trips out!
Roll on Christmas, I can handle anything now!
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
We're going to put down a Hangi for him, which is pretty cool, as Tareka hasn't done it before, so it's a bit of a "coming of age" thing for him to learn how.
Liz and I did our first market stall, and although it wasn't a great success financially, it was good to see how it all works and how we can improve things for the December stall. This one was in Waiuku, and very small so we didn't expect to do very well. Next one is in Pukekohe (bigger town) and has been going a lot longer, so there will definitely be more people there. I've been knitting up a storm, and now have my knitting machine set up so I'll have a decent amount of stock by then too.
The girls are both fine, Mapera is growing up so fast, she's a right little chatterbox (yes, yes just like her mother!), and Kaitereo has started smiling and cooing at us most of the time.
The garden continues to thrive, I'll be adding pictures to the Great Garden Adventure soon.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
- Knitting - still on the Pixie Hoods as I have loads of wool! My midwife gave me some tougher carpet wool, so that may get made into slippers instead.
- Sewing - Reusable gift wrap is the main focus ready for selling on the stall. I've cut up all the spare fabric I had that was big enough, and now need to iron it and sew it up. I'll try and get that done before the first stall, so I think I'll be getting the old sewing machine out tonight.
- Greetings cards - I've made a big batch of Christmas cards, and have envelopes and plastic bags for all of them, just need to finish off the Christmas tree ones with a little star and I'm all set. Once these are sold, I'll get more materials for another batch.
- Scrapping - I've been given some lovely girly papers and embellishments by a fellow scrapper for my birthday, so I'm going to print out a big copy of this picture of the girls and put that in their scrapbook.
- Mainly Music - this term's theme is Body and Beat and I'm using an old program so everyone knows it! It's designed to get everyone up and moving a bit more.
- Toy Library - I am no longer on the committee, but I haven't been down to hire toys or do a voluntary duty for ages, so I'm popping in on Saturday to rectify this.
I learned a lot about negotiation, and as long as Mapera was copying Cheyenne she was happy. Kiowa had a great time just pushing a trolley around the garden, and he danced all the way through lunch! I don't think I could cope with 4 so close together in age, but it got me thinking about the idea of having another 2 later on. Maybe once Mapera is at Kindy. I think I'd cope, but it means I'd have to go through childbirth twice more...argh! Anyone got any tips on increasing the chance of having twins? If I had twins, I could have a c-section and get Tareka to stay home while I recover from the operation - woo!
Mind you, while Mapera still has an afternoon sleep, I do get a few hours a day when they are both sleeping, so that probably wouldn't happen if I had more kids!
Ask me again in about 12 months...
Christmas cards are just about done, I just have to add a star to the ones with Christmas trees on. I have a few Pixie hoods to sell, but I don't have enough fabric to make bonnets yet, and to be honest the patterns look a bit confusing, so I may rope Mum into helping me with the first one to see how hard they are.
Liz has a load of stuff to sell, apparently. We still have more re-usable gift wrap to make, and I need to print out some posters and price lists with our new logo on! Will probably post again once we've done our first market, wish me luck!
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Finally, I joined a boxing club in an effort to get fit. A local fella has opened a free boxing club just literally at the end of my street, so I've joined to do the training twice a week. I'm not going to be sparring, but he's keen for people to join up for fitness reasons, so me and my buddy Jude are going on Tuesday and Thursday evenings for an hour. We went for the first time this week, and we're both suffering now!! We did skipping, crunches, squats and lunges, cardio-boxing and various other "shadow-boxing" techniques. I surprised myself with how much I COULD do, but man I'm sore today, and it's on again tonight!
We're also going to make the effort to get the kids out to a local park on a Saturday or Sunday (depending on the weather) to have a game of footy or frisbee.
Roll on weight loss!
Here's the letter I wrote in response to an article about the little estate I live on:
Following the article in the Franklin County News on October 4th about Brian Davis and his work in setting up a gym in Hamilton Estate, I felt compelled to write in.
Not, as you may think, to applaud Mr. Davis on his fantastic commitment to youth (which I do), but to voice my objection to the first 2 paragraphs describing Hamilton Estate as
“…a gang hang-out…an area where kids ape the American slums.
The streets are covered in litter and graffiti dots every available surface – fences, power boxes, even homes.”
I object most strongly to the area being compared to “American slums”, the area is green and bright, and dotted with small reserves, the houses still have decent sized gardens and the residents tend them most proudly.
The kids I have met have been polite, friendly and happy. I know all my neighbors well, and our children play together regularly. I have always been greeted by friendly faces when I walk around the area, and even given a few bags of peaches by one lovely lady.
I have seen graffiti I admit, but it has only ever been on unoccupied buildings, and is quickly painted over by owners as soon as it is noticed. The local rugby club building that Mr. Davis is making use of was only vandalized as no one was using it, and I honestly believe this will now change.
As for the “streets covered in litter” I have seen more litter in the stretch of
In short, labeling Hamilton Estate as the “bad area” of town will only make the people who live there feel undervalued as citizens of Waiuku, and serve to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. This little slice of heaven won awards as a model village when it was first built by the steel mill, and I for one am proud to be a resident of Hamilton Estate.
Yours faithfully Louise Ratcliffe
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
We all seemed fine after that, then I made the mistake of visiting the same friends on Sunday, and although all the kids were fine, Dad had the runs, so surprise surprise, Monday morning I wake up with the same thing.
Coke didn't kill it this time, so poor Tareka had to take 2 days off work to look after me and the girls til I got it out of my system (basically by not eating for 2 days and just drinking rehydration sports drinks).
I'm all better now, thank goodness, and the bonus is I've lost 3kg! I really shouldn't be so happy to have lost weight by being violently ill for 2 days, but hey, that's what happens when you have body image "issues".
Projects are still mainly knitting pixie hoods for the stall (though they won't sell well over summer, so I may save them until the weather cools off again).
I've also managed to complete the first page of Mapera and Kaitereo's scrapbook.
I went and spent some cash on the materials to make some nice Christmas cards too, so I'll be getting together with my craft-buddy soon in order to get them underway.
Saturday, September 29, 2007
On Saturday morning, Kaitereo had her feed, then started choking on the milk. She went purple, so I turned her on her side and patted her on the back to try and get her to cough it up. She vomitted up most of her feed and started to breathe again, but I had already sent Tareka to call the ambulance. The ambulance people were great, the operator kept me on the phone and kept checking on Kaitereo - who was breathing but very floppy - and the guys arrived after about 15 minutes.
They checked her over and decided she needed to go to hospital for observation, so off I went in the ambulance. We gave her oxygen on the way which perked her up a lot (thank goodness!), and the paramedic kept a close eye on her.
At the hospital the doctors and nurses took all her vitals and kept her under observation for a couple of hours, and gave her some saline drops to clear out her nose. We were sent home around lunchtime with instructions to keep putting the drops in her nose, sleep her sitting upright and keep a close eye on her. If her temperature rose, or if she had another apnoea attack we had to bring her straight back.
Sunday I still wasn't happy with how sleepy she was, so we got the emergency doctor out, and he reassured me that she was just sleeping off the illness, and her chest was clear.
It's been a week now, and she's improved 100%, she's waking up properly during the day and feeding like crazy (making up for lost time I suppose!), so I'm a lot happier.
This week, Tareka finished making Mapera's buggy board which she loves. She was unwilling to let Kaitereo use the buggy until we got her the board, now she wants to ride it all the time!
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Her big sister is loving having a baby in the house, and wants to cuddle and kiss her all the time. Mapera has even moved herself into her "big girl's bed" quite happily. She trundles into our room first thing, and asks if "Kai'to wake?". Last thing at night she says "ni-night Kai'to" - bless her!
I think we may also be starting to crack the potty training, as Mapera asked to go to the toilet today, and actually went (rather than just sitting there)!! Lots of praise and a big sticker for the chart there, so let's hope that continues too.
I am being very good and sticking to getting my knitting finished. I have now mastered the Pixie hood, so I'm knitting up all the wool I have into cute kid's hats ready for our craft stall. I think one of my friends has bought me a knitting machine for my birthday, so I'm hoping I can make them on that too, which will speed up the process no end!
I also made a scrapped mini-album of Mapera and her Grandparents with a scrap-mad friend of mine, which was going to be a Christmas present, but I've sent it early instead as it was so nice, I couldn't wait to send it to them.
Tareka is off work for another week (apart from one day back on Monday), and although it's been great having him at home, we're both ready to get back into our old routines again. I think I'll manage OK with 2, seeing as Kaitereo is such a laid back baby (so far!). The only time that's going to pose a big challenge is bed time, as Tareka and I have each been putting one of the girls to bed, and I've not tried to get them both off by myself yet.
I've had a few hours at home alone with the 2 of them, and thank goodness for Mapera still having an afternoon nap! It's been a lot easier than I thought, but I know that'll change as soon as Kaitereo starts getting mobile (not for a while though, let's hope!).
Summer is sneaking up on us in between the wind gusts, and Mapera has another birthday party to go to tomorrow. I really need to try and cut back on the amount of crap food she eats at parties, as we had a crazy night last week after she had a whole morning of birthday parties, along with the crisps, sweets and iced biscuits that go with it. I remember having sandwiches, sausage rolls and vol-au-vents at birthday parties, with maybe jelly and ice cream if you were lucky. I think we only got a few sweets in the "going home bag", not piles of them on the lunch table, maybe I am mis-remembering, but I really don't think my and my friend's parents fed us anywhere near as much junk as kids get nowadays (god I sound old!!).
Oh yes, and I'm turning 30 in a month. I don't believe it, as I am really only 15 in my head, but it seems time is catching up with me. Do I have to be grown up and responsible now? I hope not, we're having a Middle Eastern themed party, and I demand belly dancers!
Sunday, September 2, 2007
Sunday, August 26, 2007
OK, so NORMALLY when I open up my email program - Outlook - it automatically downloads any new messages from the Xtra server into my inbox and I read them blah blah blah. Today it was having trouble doing so, so I went online to the Xtra site in order to access my Xtra mail direct from their server (which I have done many times in the past, when the connection has been wonky). BUT, as Xtra is now part of Yahoo, the website couldn't seem to figure out that I wanted my Xtra email account, and kept asking for my Yahoo login and sending me to my Yahoo mailbox AAARRGH!! I really couldn't find a way out of it. It makes NO sense to me as they are 2 separate accounts with 2 different passwords, why did it have to keep asking me for the Yahoo one when I wanted to log into the Xtra one??
Bloody Yahoo nonsense.
In other news, we are now officially 39 weeks pregnant, and no sign of baby arriving any time soon. Tareka is off on leave for a month now, so I am getting a lot more help around the house (which is lovely), and a lot more help with Mapera (which is a relief). The weather is starting to warm up so we've been trying to go for a walk whenever we can (which should hopefully get the baby moving too), and we've been cleaning up the garden and pruning ready for spring.
Project-wise I'm knitting hats for everyone I know (it seems!). I bought a cute little pixie hood for Mapera from the charity shop, and decided I'd figure out how to knit one, so I knitted one for a friend's little boy and it was lovely! Thing is, his big sister wanted one - so I made her one - and now his Dad wants one!! It's all good practice for me though, and I'm knitting up my scraps into finger puppets in between times.
I'm going to focus on the knitting until I run out of wool, then (depending on new baby) I'll look at doing some sewing. I may even get onto that around Christmas when my parent's are back as Mum will be able to help then!
Sunday, August 12, 2007
I'm starting to hand over some of my bigger commitments now, as I know I won't have time for them once the baby arrives. After things settle down I want to focus more on projects that will make me money, along with a couple of key voluntary roles that really benefit my children.
SO, the jousting group (Company of the Lance) is on the back burner for the foreseeable future, and the Great Lakes Tournament Market is being arranged by another member (phew, I'm glad that's off my hands at last!).
The Toy Library will be having their AGM pretty close to when baby is due, so I doubt I'll be going. All I need to do for this is write my Chairman's report and letter of resignation. I'll get on to that this week I think.
Mainly Music is now being run by a group of other Mums, but I'm going to go along so BabyM can participate, even if I can't. One of my good friends has offered to take her too, when I can't.
That should free up more time for craft projects as my friend Liz and I intend to start having a regular market stall from around November (depending on how I go with Baby2), so I have a deadline to work to at last. First off is to use up all my wool making finger puppets or other little toys I think. Then I'll move onto sewing.
OH, and we're getting a piano!! I am so excited! We could never really afford to buy one, but on of hubby's relatives are moving overseas and are getting rid of theirs!! I didn't think we'd have room for it, but hubby has worked it out that we do, so I am JOYOUS!
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
Project-wise I'm in the middle of knitting a pixie-hood for a friend's baby, and also slowly making half a dozen wool nappy covers for the newbie. I also have a gift for hubby's Grandma to finish off (it's a 3D picture of a witch as she collects witches), which I should have done tomorrow.
I'm about to hand over the Jousting Tournament organising, as I really don't have the time to devote to it that I did last year, and I don't want to leave it too late before passing it on. We've only had a couple of stalls confirmed, so it really needs someone to start canvassing more potential vendors, and I just don't have the hours in the day to spend doing it.
My scrapping is STILL on hold as I've not really had evenings free enough to work on it, but now Mum's gone, I won't have anyone to chat to when hubby is working, so I'll have no excuses then!
Usana is slowly ticking along, sold another stock item which I think I can safely start ordering in every 2-3 months, as the customer doesn't want to sign up for a monthly account, but will be taking the calcium fairly regularly. He's finding it's preventing his cramp which is a great side-effect I was not aware of, so Mum may well add that to her order too. I've put my autoship on hold for 3 months, as I won't be needing anything til then, and I don't have enough one-off orders to put on it.
Other project updates:
- Toy Library AGM - Ican't set a date until we've heard back from the Auditors apparently, so that lets me off the hook somewhat.
- SIL window sign - this is now done!
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
It's really made me very grateful for the support I have of my husband, family and friends, as I know I could have easily got PND after the birth of BabyM.
I don't really know what to do now. I never met her husband, but I want him to know he's not alone. I think a few of the girls who did know her are going to get in touch, so I've asked them to include me in anything they do to help.
There's also a lady in the village raising her 6 year-old granddaughter by herself, and she really needs some support so I'm going to get in touch with her and see if I can drop round for a coffee one day.
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
- Scrapbooking - still got the journalling to finish on this, probably won't get round to it until after Mum's gone.
- Mainly Music program - ALL DONE! Animal theme and Father's Day themed programs are recorded and in the folder all ready for use, we've done the Animal songs for a couple of weeks now, and the kids are loving the new ones!
- Great Lakes Tournament Market - this is going very slowly, but we've had a couple of confirmed bookings.
- Knitting - Current finger puppets are yellow chicks, I'm knitting the body/head and then going to make wings from feathers and beaks from felt, and probably stick googly eyes on.
- Photography - nothing done on this yet
- Website - I'm going to build up my stock first, then get this finished and online once I have something to use it for!
- Bubs Bulletin - Still on hold til other projects done
- Toy Library AGM - I really must set the date for this. I need to give people a months notice, so I've got til mid August really.
- SIL window sign -Two coats done, I just need to take off the stencils and tidy up any rough edges.
Friday, July 13, 2007
SIL window sign - the first coat is on and drying. It looks pretty good considering I've never done anything like that before, so once it's dry I'll take off the stencil and neaten up the edges. Then that will be DONE! I love crossing things off the list.
Thursday, July 12, 2007
- Scrapbooking - journaling to finish on the UK trip album and possibly a little more embellishment on some of the pages. I'm also planning a mini album for BabyM with a single picture of each member of her close family on each page, I think Christmas will be a good time to gather the pictures for this one.
- Mainly Music program - Animal theme for the next month or so, then a Father's Day theme for September. We'll be having an Animal Theme Day on 21st August, and I think that will be the last MM I attend until after NewBaby is born.
- Great Lakes Tournament Market - this is underway, just trying to get bookings for stalls now. I need to follow up some emails with phone calls really, and I keep putting it off
- Knitting - I've been making finger puppets and balls and I intend to use up all my wool scraps on these before I start any new knitting projects (yeah, right!)
- Photography - I have a few nice arty pictures I've taken which I plan to frame and sell, some of them are printed, some are still on the computer awaiting printing. I may upload them onto my online photo service, rather than printing them myself, as they'll come out looking a lot more professional. I also have a load of pictures from our honeymoon, along with two gorgeous kauri albums which need combining, but this is continually being put to one side in favour of exciting new projects! Finally, I have the professional photos we had taken of BabyM which really need framing and hanging.
- Website - I'm learning HTML in an attempt to set up my online catalogue/shop where I'll be selling all these bits I'm making
- Bubs Bulletin - Waiuku is in need of a directory for parents of pre-schoolers. A lot of people don't realise just how much there is for tots to do around here!
- Toy Library AGM - I need to set the date for this, write my report and my letter of resignation - ONE less thing to worry about next year!
- SIL window sign - I've volunteered to paint my sister-in-law's office window with her name, never done it before, so keep your fingers crossed!
I went scrapping on Tuesday night, BabyM went straight to sleep in the travel cot, and I spent a lovely evening getting some of my journaling done in my UK trip scrapbook. With a bit of perseverance I should have it completed while Mum's here, as she can watch BabyM for me, so I can do a few more scrapping evenings!
Nothing else done as yet as most evenings have been busy with other things. I have a committee meeting coming up on Sunday too, which will be my day off, so I'll have a bit of admin from that to do too.
I think I need to sit down and work out my project list deadlines again!
Saturday, July 7, 2007
The first thing completed was a few more emails about the Great Lakes Tournament. This is a jousting tournament organised by Company of the Lance, and involves jousting, foot combat, re-enactment and a medieval themed market. My job is to book the stalls for the market. I organised it last year, and it went reasonably well, but I'm hoping this year will be much better. The guys know I won't be able to be on site to organise (due to Baby2), but I'm going to get all the bookings done and sorted so all they have to do on the day is direct people to their sites.
The craft projects are about to start too, I've finished knitting BabyM's hooded scarf, and it's come out very well considering I didn't have a pattern to work from, so now I'm onto making little knitted balls for babies. I'm going to fill them with different things to make interesteding textures and sounds and then add them to my stock ready for a stall in the summer (or to add to the web catalogue, depending on what comes up first!)
I've also finally got back in touch with my scrap-booking buddies, and we're all getting together on Tuesday night, so I intend to get my UK trip scrapbook all finished then.
Sunday, July 1, 2007
I have my first potential customers for Usana, which is very exciting, and I've started getting some advertising out in the local area, so I hope this is the start of it taking off.
I've finally got rid of the broken Sizzix machine that was sitting in my spare room and looking malevolent, and I've almost finished knitting BabyM's new hooded scarf SO I think I am getting somewhere with my projects at last.
While I'm in knitting mode I'll be using up all the odds and ends of wool I have to make a batch of toys for sale, so I'm hoping to have them underway this week. I'll be posting info once they are ready.
Friday, June 29, 2007
She's exhausted today, but when we put her in her cot for a day sleep, she climbed out! I feel like I just can't win. Hubby has even suggested getting a lock for her bedroom door, and I'm almost at a stage where I will agree.
We've decided to just get a round handle for now, which she won't be able to open for a while, and I'll put a mattress on the floor so if she does climb out of her cot, she won't be able to get out of her room, but she'll have a comfortable place to drop off on.
I feel like such an evil parent, effectively locking my child in her bedroom til she conks out on the floor from exhaustion, but we have tried everything else we can think of.
Thursday, June 28, 2007
Updates on my projects:
Today is a day off, so I've been off to my craft group this morning, making a mosaic pot stand. It's looking really nice, and I'll be adding it to my stock list once I have a few other things to sell. I'm still working on a website and have found a free webhoster who can give me a .co.nz address, which is fantastic. I'm knitting a pixie hood for BabyM and after that, I'll probably make a whole load of knitted toys as I have lots of oddments of wool that I want to use up.
I also need to finish the journalling in my latest scrapbook album, but I'm hoping to get together with some other scrappers and make an evening of it, so that can wait for a bit!
My fellow crafty friend, Liz, is back from her holidays now, so we're planning to get together soon and finish off painting some dough models we made. She's keen to have a stall at a market in the future, so we have a goal to build up a decent quantity of stock and start selling once the weather improves.
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Last night was the final straw. I had figured she was waking up due to the cold, so she was wrapped up extra warm and had a heater, and she can't possibly have been cold, but she still woke up at 4am and spent 2 hours getting up every time I put her back into bed. Finally she stopped getting up at about 6am, but lay in her bed and cried for 20 minutes before dozing off. She then decided that 7am was getting up time AAARGH!!
We've been doing a star chart for her and she was getting a star every time she stayed in bed for a full night, but I think after 3 days of no stars, she's really not getting it. She may be a little young yet (21 months). I was really feeling like I was slipping back into depression and considering going into counselling, but I saw my Midwife this morning and she said "just do whatever you have to do to get your sleep and you'll be OK", so I have told BabyM she is going back in her cot for day sleeps and we'll leave her in the bed for nights until Friday, but if she gets up during the night any time before Friday, she's going back in her cot at bedtime too.
I was hoping to have her comfortably sleeping in a bed when Baby2 arrives, so she won't feel like she's being pushed out by the Baby when we do move her, but it's either this or I really will go insane!
Monday, June 25, 2007
I spent hours fiddling about with HTML on that only to have it all wiped out in one go! Well stuff Yahoo, I'll find another host for my site.
Today a good friend of mine and I decided we ought to write a parenting/pregnancy book to answer all those questions people are too afraid or embarrassed to ask, so I'm looking for contributions now! You can post a question here anonymously, and I'll get together with some good parents I know who aren't afraid to answer them, and we may have a best-seller on our hands!
Sunday, June 24, 2007
I am a Stay At Home Mum and I'm always looking for ways to earn a little bit of income in order to pay off the mortgage a bit faster, so I've been looking around for home businesses and potential projects to do this with. So far, I have signed up with Usana to sell health and beauty products (see link), and I'm working on a parenting resource pack to help busy parents make the best use of their time.
I've also been getting into arts and crafts, and will be putting some of my pieces up for sale via email. I'll post pictures and prices here, and if you're interested in buying something, email me.
I also do a lot of voluntary work around my child (soon to be children!), where I run a Mainly Music group, chair the Toy Library Committee and attend various playgroups and coffee groups. I've been gathering a lot of useful parenting advice over the last couple of years, so please feel free to ask me any questions and I'll see what I can do.