Tuesday, March 27, 2012

the two year old gave herself a haircut

I have three girls and one boy, and I never really thought too much about their hair.

I never did the pink "it's a girl" bows on any of my newborn's heads, I always thought that looked silly. I never made them seem obviously girl or boy in putting in hair pins or gel or any other adornment. I just let their beautiful baby hair do it's own thing, even when on three of them it grew upward and upward in a kind of rub your head on a balloon kind of way. I recall when my boy was about five months old and sitting up in his pram the many smiles I got one afternoon, when I decided to look in and see what all the fuss was about. I saw this tiny face big big eyes and about three inches of hair sitting sprionnnggg up, static or something, too funny. 

I remember there came a point where I thought Ok, I cannot count on that hair to do the right thing. Time for it to get cut, and a trip to my-sister-the-hairdresser's it was. He was being christened and I knew that years down the track he'd thank me when he looked at the photos. Aaron (difficult as usual) cracked a sad since I hadn't discussed the haircut with him first. Men are funny.

Anyway, as I said I really don't give a darn what my kids hair looks like half the time, we keep a hairbrush in the car for the school run. My eldest at the moment is growing out a fringe, al a violet of the Incredibles, most of the time I cannot see her right eye. She had school photos last week and was horrified that she was made to wear a headband by the photographer.

My four year old has a wonderful mass of thick hair, in every way she is strong, even her hair.  I recently gave my son another haircut, his hair is light blond, slightly wavy, beautiful, it grows all surfy looking when we let it go. I am getting better at this haircutting thing. 

On we get to the almost two and a half year old. She had thin baby hair, she hates having it combed, cries when I wash it. Me I love to smell her head, unwashed or baby doll clean smelling, I love it. At Christmas I thought I am getting fairly good with the scissors, so I sat her in the basin with chocolate, a handful of it. I snipped and snipped, I made the back shorter the front slightly longer, a cute just above the eye fringe. She looked so darn cute. It was like I'd shaped this little baby into a little girl, before my eyes she looked older even though she still only stood 3 feet tall.  

It was like that for a few months, I'd tickle the back of her neck and admire my wonderful new found cutting skills. Then she met scissors, she and scissors loved each other, she'd sit herself down for ages at a time the yellow ones blue ones green ones whichever ones she could find. Paper would mound around her, little piles, she was in heaven. Then one day she found the sewing scissors, sharper, bigger, shinier. She snipped a chunk out of the side of her hair, I gasped when I saw it. At the time I thought she'd ruined my haircut. 

Now I'd give my own hair to have it have ended there. 

The other day she found my really sharp haircutting scissors, this must have been like finding a stash of lollies to her. She hid in the bathroom closet, almost buried in towels and she had maybe 10 minutes of uninterrupted blissful cutting.

Then I heard Eliza say "Circe's cutting her hair." I left the shnitzels I was breading, I left the cake in the oven the dish water running ('cause I was multitasking). Stuff all that she was cutting her hair, that beautiful ginger blond hair. I didn't know where to look, It was like that panic you get when they've hurt themselves and they're screaming out for help, you don't know which way to run. 

That was me she hadn't hurt herself, luckily but she'd taken that beautiful haircut I'd given her and completley trashed it.

I saw the mound of locks before I even saw her head. At this stage she was turned into the closet, her head down. She knew I would be crushed, upset, and I was. I even think I said "you look horrible". I went on to to tell her she'd given herself a mullet, she didn't know what that meant, but she knew it wasn't a good thing. I actually thought of all those smiles she gets, the way she stops people in their tracks all of that, I thought  it would all stop. This hair was awful, I texted my husband saying "nothing will prepare you for the mullet."

She looked at me and said so sweetly "can't you just stick it back on." It occured to me that she didn't know what she was doing, she wasn't trying to hurt me and my stupid idea of what a little girls hair ought to look like. She was just cutting, enjoying the thrill of seeing her hair in her little hands, just as she would if it were paper. 

In those first few days after I'll admit I was even picking out her clothes differently. She's got this slight punk thing going on, even when she acts up now she looks more angsty.  this whole thing is all in my imagination, she's not acting any differently,  she's still the same little person she was before, except sometimes I think she looks slightly like she could be a coal mine kid, particularly when she's all scuffy looking.  This is all too much, I am over thinking this whole stupid innocent thing, we will laugh at this in six months time. 

A week on and  I realise she still gets all the same smiles, people still stop when she is around, it was never really cause she was cute.  It was because she's articulate, clever beyond her 2 1/2 years, she is bright sparky friendly and just wins you with a look into her big brown almost black eyes. She's even working that new look, today she sat painting in just a headband around her neck. I think I'm actually liking this new hair, It actually suits her off-beat, one gumboot one shoe nature.

Wish I could take back telling her I thought she looked horrible, you should never do that to anyone never, poor little baby. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Pallet vertical garden

I was really inspired last week to make myself a vertical garden after seeing this.  There are instructions there on how to make your own. So we did.
Here is our attempt, which was both fun and easy to do. I cannot wait till everything grows and is all spilling out.  This would be a great way to grow strawberries too.

planting palletVertical garden 1 pallet garden 4

Stopped for some nosh half-way through. All very virtuous and "from the garden" like. But it wasn't, really.

Monday's lunch pallet garden 3 vertical garden 2
I looked around a bit more after that, loving the pallets full-stop. Check out the site here for some amazing ways of turning pallets into unique pieces of furniture.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

my sunday

My Sunday: Getting ready to do too many things in too little time! I love my life.
  eggs on toast planning 12 getting ready lentils for the week

Thursday, March 15, 2012

A beautiful Monday

Monday's public holiday saw us heading out to see friends in Musk.

Oddly, first thing on getting there the kids took an outside bath, it sits over a fire pit and when smoldering it heats the water beautifully. Overhead, the afternoon sun glowed orange through a long, smoke-hazed afternoon. We spent it eating, picking raspberries, planting seedlings.

As the light was fading there was a ride on a vintage tractor, still with its original 62 year old wheels. Even I took a ride with Aaron and our two smallest children, my knuckles were white my face a little pale. Don't get my wrong I enjoyed it I was just a little scared, even though we were only going 10 kmh. Those big wheels are just too close! I just loved this old tractor, though.

Birthday cake for Aaron (no photos of that, it went fast!) then washing up and home time. I was glad I had my camera with me that day, lots of beautiful things to capture.
ahhh bliss the cup run, berries await! circe picking beatrix picking i beatrix picking ii beatrix picking iii plenty red horn (after market) fuel headlamp 62 what? dead luminal looking inside copse light

Sunday, March 11, 2012

march 10-on-10

Yes, thanks again to Rebekah at a bit if sunshine for the idea for the always-fascinating ten-on-ten, where you take ten photos over ten hours (more of less). We were a little tardy this month, and missed we thought we missed the deadline for getting onto the list, but please do go and browse everyone else's photos.  Seeing where people who are superficially like you have totally different days, for example, never gets old.
Here's my day:

filled to the brim backyard harvest of the day tea Shocolate rabbit ears not cried over spiky bombs sisters - rescue squad II coburg orange

Thursday, March 8, 2012

On seeing Jamie Oliver.

Last night I took my eleven year old out to the Regent Theater to hear Jamie Oliver.  

He spoke with Mat Preston about food, consumption, corporation, government, diet-related deaths, and the fact that these deaths outnumber those from lung cancer, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, that it is the number one killer of adults in first world countries. We are setting up an even higher statistic with rising obesity in children and type-1 diabetes.

It is frightening. What hope do you have influencing your child's food choices when on every major street corner the golden arches stand, my children recognized M as their first letter because of a fast food outlet.What hope do we have of teaching our kids, healthy choices when there are big brains out there vying for a corner in their lunch box, when even the healthy choices like yogurt are packaged, disneyfied and sold for way too much. Everything that can be has been packed and then packed again for the lunch box, made smaller and sold for more money.

He spoke of the adversity and the enormous challenges he has faced trying to change people's eating habits.
Jamie, spoke about his drive and reason to push for change in the UK and the US, The adversity and the enormous challenges he has faced trying to change people's eating habits.

I have always admired Jamie's  passion for food and his use of celebrity hood to make positive changes in schools, in families and in his numerous foundations. His books are well thumbed and stained in my house and he has been an inspiration to me.  I love that he is giving out so much, instead of riding on his fame and brand to just sell his books. He said he had all that he wanted, that he didn't need the big mansions or to be sailing around in a big boat, he realised he could use his position to make change related to food, because the government wasn't, nor were the big chains or fast food corporations.

Food is one of our basic fundamental needs, yet there are so many strings being pulled in all the wrong directions to get you to buy and to spend, to supposedly make your life easier. Unfortunately it all comes down to money, greed and waste when really it ought to simply be about nourishment, nurturing the bodies basic need for good fresh food and it ought to be ritualistic too.

I came away from Jamie's talk inspired to:

. Hassle my local MP for better education in our schools relating to food, including better regulations for fast food chains, supermarkets and advertising.

. Visit more farmers markets, pick your own farms, see where food comes from, it's fun, it's usually a day out and it's educational.

. Get my older children out into our vegie patch more, involve them in the planting, watering ,and care of plants.

. Encourage, Phoenix (my 8 year old) to eat raw vegies. crazy I know considering all my other children do, and we have a vegie garden.

. Aim to have less waste, less packaging in the house.

. Restucture my shopping so as I can shop as local and direct as possible without going to the big chain supermarkets.

. Make a menu plan and shopping list, involve Aaron in this also. It will help us to save money, food waste, packaging and it will encourage him to be a part of cooking more as he is always complaining he isn't, and so as I am not running around at 4.30 ransacking the cupboards for dinner ideas.

. Sit down together to dinner more often, bring back the Sunday brunches.

. Consider more chooks, we love our one fresh egg a day from our solo chook.

. Ask my children's school why they are running the Stephanie Alexander kitchen garden program but are not doing anything to promote healthy eating regarding packed lunches, when my four year olds kindergarten has one. Shouldn't we care what kids eat beyond five years of age. I worked as a childcare cook, I know the expectations of parents and the centre on you to provide good food. Yet all of this is lost when children hit primary school and are swapping food or seeing that other kids are bringing entire packs of Tim Tams to school.

. Write and share some of my own lunch box recipes in my blog. I am no stranger to lack of time and energy, I am a mother to four for goodness sakes. I understand how it can be difficult, in fact making your own everything aint easy. Also I hate making packed lunches, but I do it to the best of my ability because I care about what my kids eat.

.Teach my kids to cook more. I still refer to my Cookery the Australian way book from year seven, I learned how to make, Sheperd's pie and Tuna casserole, these two dishes are a staple in my household because of home economics in high school.

Jamie is advocating, teaching kids to cook 5 meals before they are ready to leave school at 16.

Think about it knowing how to cook is power, power means being able to choose, being able to look after yourself,  it will save you money, make you healthier and lets be honest cooking will earn you big brownie points with girlfriends, boyfriends, wives, husbands, kids even. (I have been given so many compliments from kids, it always just tickles me pink every time, they are meant to be the hardest to pleas

 I love food and I want to make sure I am,  respecting it's value, where it came from, how it was made, what's in it. I am taking it back to basics and simplicity. I am making as much from scratch as possible because I can and because I love the ritual of it all.  I  want to share my knowledge and skills with my kids and anyone that will watch and listen.

I will share more on my food and what we eat here if it will inspire others.