Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Walnut Wrangling

Jarvis went out hunting for walnuts. He gathered quite a stash! Note the awesome walnut wrangling outfit. Hilarious. 

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Earth Day :)

On Earth Day, Jarvis & I headed out for an adventure in our rather substantial back yard. We took his bike off-road, and ventured out into the vineyard. First stop, the chicken house. 

Strangely, one of the chickens decided to join us on our mission. Rosso followed along behind us, with BoomBoom the cat keeping an eye on the whole operation. BoomBoom isn't really aware that she's a cat, and behaves more like a dog on the whole. She always follows when we go out walking, but to have a chicken along was an entirely new experience. 

Jarvis is investigating the vines with great interest. We found an abandoned bunch of viognier on our journey & brought it home in our treasure chest (also known as the trailer on the bike!). They've since been gobbled up, nothing like home-made biodynamic raisins!

Gathering a couple of leaves to put with our treasures...

At the end of the driveway, lives a vine rootstock. These vines don't get grapes on them, they just grow higher & higher! What's really cool about our one (maybe all rootstocks do it, I really don't know!), is the beautiful crimson colour it turns at this time of year. We collected a couple of these leaves for our treasure chest too. 

A few lovely souvenirs of our adventure - a traffic light of vine leaves, a bunch of raisins, a couple of dandelions, and a clover!

Although pushing Jarvis' bike down the extreme terrain of the vineyard was hard work, it was great taking him on a walk where he could see everything! We have a real little outdoors man here, once he can walk full time I doubt we'll be inside much at all (crawling on wet grass is not so much fun...) ! 

Happy (belated) Earth Day!

Sunday, April 25, 2010


This morning I took Jarvis to his first ANZAC day memorial (His poor Daddy was sleeping, after working waaaay too hard the past month or two). 

For the past few years I've gone to the 28th Maori Battalion service, at Te Poho-o-Rawiri Marae nestled at the bottom of Kaiti hill. It really is a beautiful service, with wonderful songs and prayers to remember the brave men & women who have served our country. Another really lovely thing about the Maori Battalion service, is that afterwards there is an enormous feast, to which all are invited. This year we didn't make it, but in previous years it's been wonderful to sit down & have breakfast with some truly interesting people. 

Jarvis thought it was all quite interesting, lots of people to look at and things to investigate. He stopped still when the bugler played the last post, and still is not an adjective usually used to describe Jarvis. It was pretty wonderful. 

The incredibly handsome young man in the photo above is my Grandad on Mum's side. He wanted desperately to join the army - he tried to sneak in when he was still underage, was sent home, and returned the second he was old enough. Thankfully he returned from the war, and remained in the army for many years. It's quite scary to think that had he been unlucky, I wouldn't be here. 

Which is why Jarvis & I (and hopefully Daddy!) will be back at the Marae next year. 

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

Laurence Binyon (1869-1943)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Creating Havoc at Nana Anne's...

Mum had the great fortune of winning an absolutely humongous Very Hungry Caterpillar last year, not long after Jarvis was born. It is now the thing he searches for the second we get to her place! Totally in love with the caterpillar.  

Also totally in love with destroying book cases. He's considering reading a little Patricia Cornwell, maybe some Stephen Hawkings? It's all good. 

A Lovely Blog...

I came across a lovely blog this morning, as someone who loves the idea of nature-based learning I was immediately excited!

This lovely woman offers nature based childcare from her home in Connecticut, and also sells pdf e-books to guide others who are keen to go this way with education. The samples on the site are really lovely! Anyhow, she's having a give-away this month, to celebrate earth day, go and have a peek :) 

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Jarvis & Tommy

Readers, meet Tommy! Tommy was once some of Jarvis's too small clothes, a ball of wool, a cushion insert and an ancient pillowcase.  My sewing skills are truly rubbish, but with very little skill and a lot of love I managed to create a little friend as a gift for Jarvis's first birthday :)  He's soft and friendly, and pretty much indestructible. I had Jarvis test him for me, before he had hair or a face, just to check that his head wasn't going to fly off! 

Jarvis is pretty pleased with his new friend. He's starting to drag him around the house, and take him for rides in the back of his bike & his wonderful birthday trolley. 

I'm a big fan of a lot of the child development ideas of Rudolf Steiner. His philosophy aims to help children grow up naturally, creatively and holistically - perfect for people who are looking for something different than the mass produced plastic toys you see so much today, that whiz, flash and do  (terrifying) things all by themselves. 

Simple dolls are a pretty cool toy for any little person - as children grow older they start to recognise the doll as a human form, and it becomes real for them. Little girls tend to treat their dolls like their babies, little boys make theirs into a second self.  It's a lovely way for children to imitate the care they receive in their family :) Pretty nice, really.  

Tommy isn't exactly a Steiner Doll, he's wearing little wee clothes from when Jarvis was a baby, he's not made from 100% natural fibres (I'm all about recycling!), but I'm all for taking a great idea & making it work for you!

And, most importantly, Jarvis adores him and I'm sure as he gets bigger he & Tommy will have some pretty wonderful adventures :) 

PS - a wonderful book, if you're interested in finding out a little about creative play from a Steiner perspective, is Christopher Clouder & Janni Nicol's book Creative Play for your Baby (Gaia Books, 2007).  It has loads of wonderful ideas for simple toys you can make yourself, and these are the kind of toys which your child will treasure for years, specially as you've made them yourself :) I think I got it from fishpond?