Monday, March 21, 2011

Almost 2!

This coming Sunday, my gorgeous little friend is turning two. Hard to believe my baby has gotten so big!  A few handsome photos from the past year to celebrate our special little boy :) 

A Rainy Monday

What to do, what to do?

Play a song or two?

Perhaps go camping in the lounge? 

A few stories in the tent? Maybe another song?

 Now to figure out how we can make a camping lunch to eat in our cosy hut :) 

Saturday, March 19, 2011

A Picnic in a Secret Hut

If you creep across the lawn, and tiptoe through the trees...

you may just stumble upon a surprise! 
(can you see him?)

One little boy and his Mummy, having a fabulous picnic in his secret hiding place!

Super yummy warm tuna and rice balls and a cup of chamomile tea. 

A perfect activity for a warm Saturday. 

A Horse?

This bamboo stick is the most versatile toy in our house. 

It started life as a tomato stake, and since then has been a fishing rod, a horse, a balancing pole for a tightrope walker, a broom, a line trimmer, and a boat. 

So much happiness from one stick! 

The Nutcracker

When I realised I needed to smash open ten million walnuts to make dinner the other night, I was filled with dread. How on earth to keep a small boy amused while I smash open a mountain of nuts?

At first he sat beside me & watched with eyes like saucers. And stole all the walnuts & ate them before I had a chance to collect more than three! Then he asked me really nicely 'Mummy, my turn hammering?' 

The boy is a superstar. He hammered the nuts far better than I did, and never got bored (whereas I was over hammering nuts myself within three minutes). His were perfectly destroyed, meaning I could get the nuts out with minimal fuss! 

Only a few bounced out of the nutcracker & into the garden, but my diligent assistant happily shimmied off the deck to find them again. What a superstar. 

Once I had my stash, we made a really really awesome dinner! It's a Nigel Slater recipe, from the Kitchen Diaries (love that book so much!), with a minor modification or two. 

Courgette & Lancashire Cheese Crumble - Nigel Slater

2 onions, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
3 or 4 potatoes, scrubbed & diced
As many courgettes as your garden can provide, also diced
A few sausages, taken out of their skin & made into meatballs (this was my addition, had a few left over in the freezer!)
Loads of finely chopped rosemary

A few slices of bread
100g crumbled up lancashire cheese (I got it from countdown!)
100g Walnuts (provided by our tree & my lovely assistant!)
More rosemary

Gently fry the onions & garlic with the rosemary in olive oil, til they're lovely & soft & sweet. Add the little meatballs, if you've got some! Continue cooking for five minutes. Add the diced potatoes, pop a lid on & cook for 15 minutes or so. Add the courgettes & about 100ml of stock, let it bubble for a few minutes.

Make the crumble - shove the whole lot in the food processor & whiz it. 

Press the crumble on top of the veges, put the whole lot in the oven for about 45 minutes on 180 Celsius. 

All done! Yummy! And it kept Jarvis amused forever - next time he's after an activity, a mountain of walnuts & a nutcracker will do the trick ;) 

Monday, March 14, 2011

Spiders from Mars?

Take one small boy, a purple stamp, and some glitter. This is what happens!

Oh, and a mandarin...

I think he was attempting to peer down inside the stamp when he decorated himself so fabulously? I think he's rocking the Ziggy Stardust look anyhow!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Amaaaaaaazzzzzing Apple!

Jarvis has always been a big fan of apples. Before he had a mouthful of teeth, he liked them cooked up & made into apple sauce (mmmm....I still kinda like them like that). These days he can demolish one in several minutes, leaving nothing but a stalk & a few seeds. 

Something went a little wrong in our local ecosystem this year, & our apple trees yielded a total of about six apples between the three of them! Not at all the usual bounty. Poor Jarvis was pretty upset about this problem, and spends forever gazing up into the trees, just in case there's a sneaky apple up there somewhere for him to gobble.

A couple of days ago, just when I thought all apples had been devoured & we were out for the year, Jarvis came running into the house shouting about shaking the apple tree (which is a favourite Kindermusik song of his, so I of course thought he was just singing!) - until he dragged me out by the arm and showed me that he'd found a surviving apple! Hooray!

The apple didn't last long. I got one nibble before it was all gone! 

He named the lonely apple he discovered in the tree ;


No other apple has had that title bestowed upon it, obviously the regular apples are just lacking in the amazing factor that comes from growing one in your back yard. 

Next year we need to get some bees in, to make sure we have plenty more Amazing Apples for this gorgeous apple munching creature :)

Off Road Trike?

A rustle in the bushes?

Maybe it's a chicken? Or a cat?

Or an adventurer, going off road on his trike! 

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


Jarvis, the vege gardener! 

The exclamation of total joy when he finds a potato under the ground is priceless. This is one young man who will never have to believe that veges come plastic wrapped at the supermarket :) Every day I feel so very lucky to be able to live the life we do - we're not the most rich & powerful people in the world, but I think what we have is worth far more than any bank balance. 

Beach Tractors

Ah, tractors. The apple of Jarvis's eye, potentially his favourite things in the whole entire world. So being on holiday somewhere that boating enthusiasts like to base themselves was pretty darned fabulous. A huge proportion of Whitanga's boats are towed down to sea each day by a fabulous array of old tractors!

Each day when we wandered down to the wharf, he would see them from a great distance. That boy can see the wheelhub of a tractor, even if the rest of it's concealed behind an enormous truck, from miles away. Once he's spied it, there's no stopping him. I never realised an almost two year old could run quite so fast. 

For a young chap he's got his tractor facts sorted - he knows there's a fairly good chance that a red tractor will be a Massey (as he's on very friendly terms the surname isn't required!). 

Whilst not a Massey, this blue tractor was pretty popular too. Check out the fab badge on the front! This one's a Fordson (which wikipedia tells me is what Ford tractors were named until 1964). 

And one more Massey for good luck. You may have noticed Jarvis is dressed differently in each picture - this happened every single day! I could have posted 12 photos of my son hijacking various tractors in Whitianga. 

Each day I was just a little bit nervous that a grumpy old fisherman would appear and go crazy at the small tractor enthusiast...he's very gentle with the tractors, and really just wanted to sit in the seat & pretend they were his for a few minutes.  

And I don't think even a grumpy fisherman would be able to resist that smile :)