Friday, July 29, 2011

My mum is in hospital having some tests after some fainting spells and breathlessness led to the discovery that her hemoglobin levels are insanely low and we've have all been worried about her. C particularly has needed a little extra love. I think she's concerned in a non-specific kind of way but doesn't have the language to properly express herself. So hugs, reassurances and
plenty of time to run around like a mad thing playing indoor touch footy with J and JW are on the menu.

Yesterday was particularly exhausting (exuberant indoor games in cramped spaces and constant physical contact can wear a mama out) so we started today with dessert just for something different. Tucking into a bowl of ice-cream and strawberries gave her and JW quite a boost. Funny how a little nonsense can give you a lift... I often forget that as I go about my day pretending to be all grown up. Of course, taking picture books to the hospital and having Oma read them aloud also helped but I like to think that breakfast was restorative too.

Getting on the sticks

Thursday, July 28, 2011

I have long admired the work of the lovely Jen. Dear Eleanor and I are fighting over who gets to be President of the Australian chapter of her fan club. Eleanor thinks she's got it but when the gloves come off (and they will - Ultimate Fight Club style) I will be victorious.
Knitting involves a lot of math (eurgh) and counting (eurgh) but it is a lot more portable than quilting and if it doesn't involve setting up the ironing board and the sewing machine I might actually be able to create something.
Jen writes about noro and steeking and it makes me go 'hmmmm' C&C Music Factory style. Then I click across to Retromummy and she's knitting something adorable for one of her brood, then I realise that the things I most love to admire on Etsy are all the gorgeous handknits for babies and then I see this on Alison's blog and I realise that the time has come.
I have to learn how to do this!

From the couch

Sunday, July 24, 2011

I am sitting on the couch holding an unsettled but now-sleeping baby, watching the Tour de France and staying warm under the Family of Seven quilt while Mr Duyvken taps away on the computer doing some work for tomorrow. It has been a big, challenging weekend here chez Duyvken. The renos are moving along pretty well. We've been working for 2months just getting things done on weekends. It is very messy and quite tricky to keep the children occupied and out of the way. So messy in fact that it is doing my head in but I won't bore you all with that.
We are hoping to have it finished by Christmas and are on schedule (so far) so I'm trying to look at the big picture and see it as a short period of time Hopefully regular weekends with Mr Duyvken will recommence in January 2012.
Mr Duyvken and his cycling mates are very excited that Cadel Evans has won the Tour de France. They're all pretty worn out after 3 weeks of staying up late talking shop. Mr Duyvken always hosts a few viewing nights here and they eat themselves silly and talk about all the things that make their wives and girlfriends eyes glaze over. Secretly, I'm pretty pleased myself. I was a so disappointed for him last year!
Sweet William has started solids and is a very eager eater. Just rice cereal and pumpkin so far but I have bought some produce just for him and will cook and freeze tomorrow so that there are some yummy things in the freezer for him to try. I tend to move the babies pretty quickly to table food because I have limited patience for preparing baby food but don't like the store bought stuff and early indications are that W will take to it quite well. J was a slow starter when it came to solids. He has a slight tongue-tie and it took him a while to gain enough tongue control to swallow solids. Poor lad, it was not a fun few months but he got there eventually.
I've been reading the Isabel Dalhousie novels, they're delightful books and I recommend them if you are looking for something thoughtful and easy to read. G is reading the Jacqueline Wilson books, she's read her way through the ones at the school library and we'll be visiting the neighborhood library this week to see what they have. J is busy with the Zac Power books as well as the home readers he brings home each night. C and JW pick different things off the bookshelf but have been leaning heavily on Each Peach Pear Plum, and the Curious George books lately. W enjoys whatever we read to him and JW is very proud to be able to read I Love Fruit and I Love Vegetables to him. She has memorized them and he squeals and giggles so with such glee when he reads to her that it makes her feel very special. She's taken to big sisterhood like a duck to water.
No links to any of those books I am afraid, W is asleep in my arms and I need to tuck him into his bassinet and then roll into bed myself to do it all again tomorrow? If you are interested in them but have trouble finding them let me know and I will add links.
Keep well dear reader!

Renos are messy

Friday, July 22, 2011

but looking at it through the viewfinder helps.

The Love Bomb

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Sharing another article from Sydney Morning Herald. It was first published in the Irish Times but it is being widely redistributed with good reason. I adore everything about the idea of love bombing. I can imagine that it would feel wonderful as a child to be so wrapped with love and that it would also feel very empowering as a parent being able to constructively 'do' something for a child who has been struggling. I know, from experience, that is also works well for husbands who have had some tough times at work although I didn't know the term 'love bombing' at the time.
The little duyvkens so enjoy little snippets of time just with mummy or daddy that a simple trip to the supermarket or the playground, the hardware store or the coffee shop can really make their day. C and I went out for hot chocolate recently after she met the Principal in preparation for starting school next year and she was beside herself with delight. This article reminds me that throwing a little 'love grenade' every now and again isn't just delightful it is also helping to build great people.

Medecins sans Frontiers

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Sharing an article from today's Sydney Morning Herald. After my last blog post I thought it was appropriate to share it with you. Lots of lovely links at the bottom too.

When illness strikes

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Quite a few of the duyvkens have been sick with gastro over the past few days. The washing machine has been working overtime and I've been thanking my lucky stars that I live in a place where gastrolyte is readily available. This is no small blessing. Diarrheal disease is the second leading cause of death in children under the age of 5 in developing countries and it is easily preventable and easily treatable. My heart breaks for the loss of those children and all the potential the world loses with them and for the parents who go through the pain of watching helplessly as it happens.
Is this acceptable in 2011? No.
Is sponsoring one child through World Vision enough? Probably not.
What more can I do? Hm... will have think further about that one.
Thankfully, the little duyvkens are all much better this morning. Mr Duyvken however seems to have a man flu chaser to his gastro and is still suffering greatly. I am reminded of this and laughing heartily to myself.

Any man flu sufferers at your place?

Fame and Fudge

Thursday, July 14, 2011

I'm famous, have you heard? This may be the highlight of my fame so let's take a moment to soak it all in.

There, moment over.

Thank you.

Now that that's over I can tell you what this post is really about. I have been on pinterest for a few weeks and, whilst there are some truly beautiful things there, there are also plenty of pictures that can only be described as so wrong.

I can't keep them to myself anymore but Mr Duyvken is sick of running to the computer only to discover that I expect him to, once again, express amazement and concern at yet another scary food picture. He's a dear man but he has his limits.

So, the things that have really disturbed me this week are:
oreo and peanut butter pies - I have no words.

Chocolate Caramel Potato Chips - again, there are no words.

Her website is unbelievable, and it seems to be legit. I think she genuinely makes and EATS this stuff.

Oreo stuffed choc-chip cookes and brownie bars stacked with ice-cream and fudge sauce. Surely, I don't need to say anything more.

7 layer dip also concerns me but I get the impression that it is pretty special to those living Stateside so I am not going to take that on this week. I'll save that for a savoury post.


Friday, July 08, 2011

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