Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Monday was...

The hottest day!
Sarongs!
Paddling in our birth pool.
Making mid morning pancakes
Smoothies
Playing in the garden with water
Hanging in hammocks made from slings
Doing lots of washing
Singing
Chilling out with a film when it felt too hot to move.
Windows open
Pattern making
Menu planning
Drinking water kefir - yum!
Straining kombucha and having a taste - not sure!
Play, play, play!

Monday, 27 June 2011

Water Kefir Results

The verdict so far is that it's yummy! Very fruity and refreshing. Not
sure about the kombucha yet though.

Sibling love on this hot hot day!

My little boy at nap time

More sliding

Wheeeee!

Daddy joining in

Sliding

At Fairlands Valley Park in Stevenage

A special gift

Around Christmas time my grandad bought Ezra a very special toy. It
was to be put away for when he is older. Phoebe has lots of special
jewellery from her Grampy, and he wanted Ezra to have something
special too. Grampy wanted Ezra to have a Hornby train set. So
together we chose the Devon Flyer. This weekend we decided to take it
for him to see and to give it a test run. We had fun setting it up and
seeing how fast it could go. I was really pleased my grandad got to
see how much both children liked it. It's now going away for a bit
until Ezra is old enough to play with it safely. Thanks Grandad xxx

Ezra driving in the carpark

Phoebe's art

This was for our friend Sarah's exhibition of breastfeeding art!
Phoebe entitled it:

Ezra having milkies on the sofa

Daddy amused us all

Ezra helping me with my crochet project

Waterpark fun

A spontaneous visit, which made it all the better!

Running

Phoebe really gained some confidence on this occasion. She even got a
bit wet!

From the garden

Refuge from the rain

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Reconnecting with Myself

As I am writing this it is 2.20pm and everyone in the house is asleep apart from me. Russ worked overnight last night so is napping, Ezra is napping and Phoebe snuck upstairs to join us and now she is asleep too! I think it will be another late night tonight, but i don't mind. I have a plan, and it involves art.
Anyway, I snuck down and thought i would use this time to write another little blog post.

For months now I have been thinking if i can just focus on the house and the children everything will be ok. I have put all my energy into it, and things are still not getting done. Or rather they are but oh so slowly. I have come to realise this has had a huge impact on my mood. I have not felt really happy and nourished for quite a while, as much as I love my family and the improvements that are happening in our home. Both of our sets of parents have helped with decorating and our lounge is now really coming together (Thank you so much!). We still have a long way to go but I now feel I can see what the downstairs space will feel like and I am looking forward to seeing it take shape.

I have come to realise though that by putting all my energy into this and having nothing else to focus on, it is easy to feel frustrated when things aren't going to plan! Like when you can't just choose a bloomin' front door because you are worried you'll make the wrong decision and it'll look odd, so you have had to put up with the handle falling off when guests use it for months. Or like when you are working in a kitchen with a portable hob and cupboards falling off their hinges. I really need to focus on something else! That doesn't mean things will happen slower (impossible! lol). It just means I am no longer going to expand extra energy thinking or worrying about it. I am going to make small baby steps and trust it will come together. And I am going to spend that extra energy nurturing myself.

It can be hard being a mother to find time for yourself. Especially when you are a tandem feeding, cosleeping, stay at home kind of mama with Highly Sensitive Children. I am not saying I have it harder than anyone else - I think the positives of this way of living highly outweigh the negatives. But we do have to sometimes think of creative ways for me to get my needs met. And mothers need their cups filling up too. You can't give to your children if you are feeling all stressed, frazzled and touched out yourself! So some of my solutions in the past have been reading in bed when the children are asleep (either side of me) - this worked when Ezra was little and preferred to stay close to me in our family 'nest', involving Phoebe in something during Ezra's nap time that we can work alongside each other on (need to do more of this), crocheting a few stitches here and there while they are playing in the garden, and having a long lie in every so often on weekends to catch up on sleep. I am blessed with a wonderful husband who truly understands my need for space and creativity... and is awesome with our children too! He is also so good at engaging them in garden stuff. So many happy hours spent out there weeding and mowing and planting while the children help or play alongside him. He is so patient.

So getting back to now. I have been feeling for quite a while that despite me having time to myself I am not feeling nourished. I feel at the end of that time that i haven't achieved much, that i have squandered it and not really done much. Worse still that i have wasted time when i could have been with my family. So today i thought about that. I realised that I need a different way to fill my cup. Reading is fine, journalling is working great, but i need something... what is it? I remembered then that my happiest point personally was last year when i was more involved in Goddess Leonie's Goddess Circle.  When I was doing her Creative Course and I was connecting with other like minded souls on the forum and just generally felt fulled up to the brim with creativity and positivity! So what happened? Well, Ezra was unwell with a bug so i had to drop out of the creative course temporarily, but i never picked it back up. Then it was the busy festive season, then Phoebe's birthday, Ezra cut his lip open twice, and then it just felt like a string of events til it all got forgotten. Well, almost.

I had a message a few weeks ago from a gorgeous goddess who recognised my profile picture on the goddess circle from my blog. She said she had dreamt about me and felt called to bring me back to circle... wow. That first message stopped me in my tracks. We have now been messaging back and forth and I feel she is becoming a real friend, and I truly thank her for taking the time to contact me. I am so grateful. I have yet to reengage with the circle fully. I am easing my way in, wary of jumping in and giving too much of myself. I need to stay present. But what was missing was not goddess circle, that is just a tool - an amazing tool - for staying in touch with myself and my needs, coaching myself if you will and finding something that makes my heart sing. Something that makes me uniquely me. The stuff that is Laura.

Recently I asked my friends on Facebook what I am good at, as I was having a bad day. This is what they came up with:

Being a sister :)
Making things, arts and craft, cooking, blogging/writing, offering advice. Loads of stuff! You are very creative and care for your environment friends and family which is fantastic x


You are a good friend. You are very good at crafting ,cooking, mothering in general :) I always enjoy your blog I think you have a real flair for writing...just wish you wrote more often ;)

It can feel like that sometimes but if you were able to just reel off a flat list of skills you wouldn't be the diamond glimmering with as many beautiful different sides that you are. You share your knowledge, thoughts and ideas with us with no expectation of rewards, you have inspired our families life like a beautiful muse from an ancient tale :) 
and should you need one particular gift you have that very few others do to add to your list, you can always understand what my daughter is telling you without any need for us to translate - so perhaps add bilingual to your list x

Making beautiful hats. Natalie and Lucas call her our little acorn when she is wearing it....It is gorgeous and I'd spent ages looking for something like it. Wish I could knit like that.

You are very understanding, open and determined. You have a ideal about how you want your family life to be and you follow it ceaselessly in the pursuit of happiness. I'm proud of you and admire you, you are my big sister x 

I wad going to write a long reply but everyone has said what I'd say lol. You're fab just as you are! And you're fab at many things :) and you're a brilliant friend!
Oh and you're a fab crochet teacher!!!!!!!!!!!! ;) and a good distraction when I should be marking science papers. And you're someone who are fab at doing what you believe in! 

I agree with what everyone else said. And also I wanted to say you take lovely photos. And you're very creative and imaginative :-)


I didn't see this till just now: all of the above! You stand up for what you believe in, is a thing I can add to the list. Every present you've bought Isabella, she's loved - her fave at the moment is squeaky monkey. So you're good at thinking of others' needs. 
 
listening!

SMILING. You have a beautiful smile Laura that would warm any room, and any heart.

I am sharing this because I need to know where to find this list on a bad day, and because I took all of these things, these wonderful compassionate things (thank you so much friends!), and thought about them. I thought about how I viewed myself, compared to how others viewed me, and what I could do to fill my cup and express my creativity. I highly recommend you asking your friends this question too. Its so therapeutic!


I decided that I wanted to blog more often, to share my words and photos, inspiring things i found on the web and to connect with other women, and I also decided I want to make more things and I would like to open etsy and folksy shops. And i would like to spend more time on goddess circle. That place is just good for my soul. It feels like my spiritual home on the web! I am mindful however of maintaining balance in my life and so will be doing these things slowly and fitting them around my children. but I am excited about sharing more here and expressing myself more through my art, photos and crafty endeavours! This will be great to do alongside the work on our home to keep my spirits up, and to show my children a great example of an adult involved in purposeful occupation. I strive to be a good role model.


I must go for now, everyone is up again. But i do hope to be back very soon. Thanks for reading. x

Self portrait : Tired Mama

I am feeling quite worn out right now. Ezra seems to be declining
sleep rather a lot. He is sleeping quite well once he's asleep but
it's taking so much time and energy to get him there. I think it's
linked to a developmental growth spurt as he is suddenly making new
sounds and a few new words. We have heard car, cat, bear and girl, nan-
nan, nambam (grandad) and finally mum-mum. Yay!

Sleepy girl

She will always be my baby. x

Making faces

Funny faces

Daisy chains with Nanny

Playing in the sand

Cocky is out

We have found a few times lately that our cockerel has escaped his
run. We have six hens and Cocky in a fairly large run. We try to let
them out fairly often and will do much more often when our garden is
fenced. Now when they are out I have to keep my eyes peeled to make
sure they have not snuck over to eat next door's cabbages (our garden
is only half fenced). Can't wait to get that done. We enjoy having the
chickens out and I love taking their picture. They are so photogenic!

Isn't he a beauty!

Ezra gardening

Daddy's leek seedlings

Fermentation

This week I am experimenting! I have on the go a batch of water kefir
and a batch of kombucha. They are sitting on the bench brewing and I
am excited to tast them. They are both healthy fermented drinks full
of good bacteria. You can find out a lot if you google them. :) I will
let you know how it goes!

My beautiful boy

How to feel like a Goddess, today!

I just want to share with you this gorgeous gorgeous video from Goddess Leonie. I have listened to it again and again and I just love Leonie for being exactly who she is and sharing her wisdom with the world. Give this a listen...



I am so happy today! xx

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Menu Plan - 20-26 June 2011

I have decided it would be fun to start sharing our weekly menu plans.
We have had a struggle with food over the past few years. Phoebe is
very sensitive when it comes to food, whereas I am a huge food lover
and really interested in nutrition. As I have read more I have wanted
to change our diet. Out of respect for my daughter I won't discuss all
the issues here, but I can say now we are at a place where she is
filling her tummy and sometimes trying new things.
I have decided to take a cookbook a week and try some new recipes.
This week I have chosen Viva Le Vegan by Dreena Burton. I love the
simple nature of these recipes. They are really homely and
straightforward and I can imagine making them, even when the pressure
is on to get dinner on the table!

Another point to make is that I know my children won't eat everything
I have listed (green smoothies for example, much to my dismay!) and
will no doubt consume other things during the week but these are the
meals for each day and I won't be cooking lots of seperate things
unless it is really needed. I am quite confident the children will
have enough of the things they like at each meal. Cereal will also be
on offer in mornings for those who don't like the main breakfast.

So here is our plan for this coming week:

Monday

Raspberry Oatmeal p22 Viva Le Vegan and green smoothie
Leftover Pizza and salad
Sweet curry chickpea casserole and rice p106 Viva Le Vegan
Banana pancakes p19 Viva Le Vegan

Tuesday

Millet porridge p25 Viva Le Vegan and green smoothie
Tomato soup and rosemary focaccia p381 The Mystic Cookfire
Lasagne and salad
Yoghurt and fruit

Wednesday

Hemp shake, fruit, cereal, granola
Lentil bake and salad
Moroccan Root vegetable pie, braised kale, and other veg
Crumble with gooseberries and raspberries from garden (if there are
any left)

Thursday

Green smoothie, scrambled egg, omega ketchup (Viva Le Vegan)
Tomato lentil pasta sauce p107 Viva Le Vegan with rice pasta and salad
Stir fried veg with noodles and almond Ginger drizzle (Feeding the
Whole Family - one of our favourite recipes!)
Yoghurt and fruit

Friday

Couscous and sunflower seed porridge, green smoothie
Cheese and salad wraps (nori for me, tortillas for everyone else)
Chickpea ratatouille p87 Viva Le Vegan with quinoa and salad
Oat and apple pancakes p18 Viva Le Vegan

Saturday

French toast and berries, green smoothie
Then we leave to visit my family and for a school reunion! :)

Sunday

Back home for lunchtime
Omelette and salad
Toad in the whole with veggie sausages, saddleback potatoes (The
Mystic Cookfire p275) and a veggie mountain! :)

Notes:

We grow our own veg and get veg weekly from Riverford so the salad and
veg we use will be whatever is in our fridge. Some of our favourites
at the moment are: lettuce from the garden (butterhead?), broad beans
from garden (delicious smashed with olive oil, lemon juice and mint),
mixed leaf salad, sprouted seeds (from windowledge), tomatoes with
Himalayan pink salt and cracked black pepper, grated carrot in orange
juice and sesame seeds, cucumber and red pepper, Croatian cabbage
salad (The Mystic Cookfire), homemade cortido/curtido (bought from
Nurtured Family: Nurtured Earth), steamed spinach and greens with ume
dressing (The Kind Diet), steamed sweetcorn, broccoli and carrot.

I hope to do some baking to share with guests but have not decided
what yet. I like the look of the Hemp Squares from Viva Le Vegan but
need to wait for the hemp hearts to arrive from Suma on Friday. So
something else will be made tomorrow morning.

What do you think? Do you menu plan?do you have a recipe to recommend
to me? I so enjoyed planning our week!

Monday, 13 June 2011

Concentration

Bed jumping

Ezra's boy curls

Tent fun!

Wood waxing

This is one of our favourite "games" at the moment. Polishing wood,
specifically our toys. I bought the wood creme which is a lovely
handmade beeswax polish at the same time as buying some wooden toys
from etsy. Put it in a little basket alongside some cloths and we have
a lovely activity all ready to go. The children love it! I really
didn't expect that. Ezra likes to hold onto the pot, which can be
challenging, but it's fun and peaceful and satisfying and the toys are
coming up beautifully. I recommend giving it a try!

Picking blackcurrants

The harvest has begun!

My free range boy

The Chooks

Super Phoebe!

Our Michael Recycle themed morning.

Catching up

I have been wondering why my posts here have been bouncing. Just
discovered my email post settings were disabled. It must have happened
when my account was hacked. Really thoughtful of google to do that
actually. So now that's sorted I am hoping to post a load of pictures
of what we have been up to lately. I am sure we've been missed a bit -
at least by my Grandad!
The picture is one of my current projects. A rainbow poncho for
Phoebe. It's looking good so far. ð—