Sunday, March 24, 2013

Chatting with our chatterbox

E just talk talk talks all day long at the moment. She can be scarily distracting in the car, so much so that I have found myself bellowing "just be quiet for a minute in the carpark!" This is usually followed by ten seconds or so of silence then "Mummy? Can I talk to you now? What about now? Now?" Even if she is not talking to someone else she prattles away quietly to herself whilst absorbed in play. She manages quite complex sentences and her grammar is much improved. I am a bit sorry that so many of her baby mispronounciations are fading away. Some of the most persistent are:
* Olephant
* Aminals
* Cumber (cucumber)

It was late by the time we got around to bath time tonight and after five minutes or so I said "Come on E, time to get out now." 
She said "Ohhhhh .... I don't .... I wish we had a cuckoo clock."
I didn't have a reply for that one!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Icy pole for breakfast, anyone?

E decided recently that icy poles constitute breakfast food.

I decided, that, given we were having Perth's fourth hottest February ever, and so long as they involved yoghurt as well as fruit, it wasn't worth fighting over.

And so the breakfast icy pole was born. We've done two versions, one involving a large handful of mixed frozen berries zapped in the microwave until mushy and then mixed with a few big spoonfuls of yoghurt, and another one with whizzed mangoes and yoghurt. Next time  I plan on making them more yoghurt-heavy as E doesn't much like milk and so we try to give her lots of alternative dairy, and she does eat loads of fresh and dried fruit. I might also try sneaking in chia seeds because I'm keen to see if they really do go gelatinous when mixed with liquid and if they work well frozen.

What do you think? Breakfast food?

Thursday, March 7, 2013

A sorry sun-scorched summer garden

The title says it all really: this has been a disappointing summer in the garden. It's partly due to the ridiculously hot weather we've had - multiple stretches of 35C or more and very few days under 30C. We realised several weeks ago it was probably also due to a poorly functioning sprinkler system, which has now been rectified.

In the vegie patch I attempted zucchini, pumpkin, watermelon, tomatoes and cucumber. All of them got fried except for the tomatoes and zucchini. The tomatoes have been a mixed success - the best producers were the ones D's Dad grew from seed that I put in pots out the front. Now that the sprinklers are performing better some of the Diggers "mixed currants" appear to be reviving and hopefully we'll get some more off those. Given how warm March and April tend to be in Perth I figured I also had time to put in some late starters and managed to find a mixed four pot of Diggers seedlings at Bunnings and those plus a Burke's Backyard branded one have gone into the ground.

One thing that is flourishing is the apricot tree. That's a branch of it in the top right hand corner of the tomato photo. It's taller than the house and will need some serious pruning come winter so that it doesn't completely block the walking space between it and the house, and it and the vegie patch. We avoided last year's fruit fry problem by using little paper bags I got from an organic gardening place and they were really effective. So effective in fact that I didn't realise that the fruit was ready and a lot of it got over-ripe. From about 20 apricots that I bagged 3 or 4 were edible. And delicious, I might add. I will repeat the bagging exercise next summer but keep a better eye on how ripe they get.

I have concluded that we don't have enough bees in our garden as the zucchinis flowered but very few have set. I've had one yellow one and there are two more coming. In an attempt to avoid this problem in future I've planted a lavendar, as well as some nasturtium seeds.

Zucchinis with flowers but little fruit. Half dead tomatoes in the background.
Now I am wondering whether it is time to start planting winter seeds in pots. It still seems ridiculously warm to be doing so but I am about to drag out my collection of gardening books and refresh my memory about the appropriate time to be doing such things.

How are everyone else's gardens looking?

Saturday, March 2, 2013

A story about an old man

As told by E, aged 34 months.

Once upon a time there was an old man. His name was Luther and he had a dog and his dog's name was Flipper.
One day Luther and Flipper went to the swimming pool. They wore their bathers. Luther's bathers were red. But Flipper didn't wear his bathers because dogs don't wear bathers, Mummy!
Then they went to the park and played on the slide.
Then they went home and drew pictures. Luther used the red crayon and Flipper used the brown crayon. Flipper didn't hold the crayon in his hands he held it in his mout. Dogs can't hold things in their hands!
The end.
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