Wednesday, January 16, 2013

14th of January


Ok, I am such a hypocrite.  I often bemoan to James about blurry photos on blogs - seriously, how hard can it be to just say no to an out-of-focus shot?  But this one?  Oh I just had to include it with that impassioned background vocal from Ted (being Stef) and Harriet is being a joey apparently, instead of being Chanelle.  The drumsticks are, of course, microphones.  I wasn't looking through the viewfinder, just saw Ted emoting with all the passion he is wont to offer during any given performance of his, and thought I'd snap.  

This was the start of our Monday.

On Sunday night for some reason I couldn't get to sleep and had such fun sitting up until 3am with insomnia as my friends.  Actually I do know precisely and exactly what caused my insomnia.  I seem to have this in-built physiological response that once I've tried to go to sleep three times and been woken three times, I just find it near nigh impossible to go to sleep again.  My brain switches to crazy 'on' mode and won't settle.  And on Sunday night instead of children, or raucous neighbours or traffic or phones or anything else, it was a single freaking mosquito.    And so I spent Sunday night reading my latest book, while I await the next book club book.

It was also the start of our intensive swimming week.  Harriet really enjoys her swimming lessons and Ted has never had them before, so I was at two ends of the parenting spectrum at one time.  Blase and slightly wary.  Ted espoused his enthusiasm and excitement, sure, but I know that child and sure enough, despite my protestations at arriving too early, the children insisted on an early swim.

Unfortunately we didn't have much choice in lesson times and Ted's lesson is on at 11am.  He went into the pool fine, but after he'd been in there for a few minutes, he turned around to look for me.  From where he was in the pool, the A-frame sign perfectly hid Harriet and I from his sight (which we obviously didn't realise as we sat there waving to him and chatting away between ourselves).  

Well he cracked it.  Big time.  Poor little thing, he couldn't see us at all and once I realised he couldn't it was too late to talk him back from the edge.  There was no returning to that pool!  So he had about seven minutes of lessons.  Oh well, no worries.  He was fine for a big play in the bubble pool straight afterwards, so onwards and upwards for Tuesday I hope.

We really needed some things for dinner, so we stopped in at Alfalfa House on the way home.  This is the co-op that I mentioned previously we can't really shop in any more due to a particular young child's fancy for opening things and plunging hands into things.  Well I thought I'd give it a go after writing that and we popped in on the way home to buy a few things to make some chocolate, as well as some fruit.


Well it turned out that I only needed to stop Ted from investigating two different tubs of goodness and that was a lot easier than in the past, so I feel we may begin again.  Ted did insist on carrying around his Charlie and the Chocolate Factory book and lying across the floor to read it in a very congested area, so I think I'll encourage the book to stay in the car on our next journey.

 They have a cost price fresh foods section and on this particular day we managed to score quite a few little pieces of fruit that were still tres yummy.  The children basically devour these before we get to the car, so cost price seems like a reasonable price to pay for such a short-lived, on-the-go eating experience.  And on the way to the car we walked past this scurrying sound in some leaves.  I stopped, turned back to investigate, and was rewarded with the sight of an absolutely ENORMOUS green caterpillar writhing in the leaves.  This thing was at least as long as my middle finger and even thicker than my thumb, with two little, firm, antennae and a funny white stripe twisting around it.  We sat there watching it for a while, with no real reason visible for the writhing.  It did seem to have been caught up in some hair amongst the leaves though, so I gently untangled it and we placed it in an adjacent plot of earth that had leaves but seemed a bit cleaner.  Here's hoping I didn't step on a butterfly

 I've been hankering after some kale-based meal lately, any kale meal would do really.  I decided today was the day .  Seeing as we had all started the day with some delicious fermented buckwheat and almond meal blueberry pancakes (and yes they did stave off the voracious food requests throughout the pool experience), I thought we'd continue our gastronomy of goodness theme with a salad of awesomeness.  I basically just threw whatever we had in the fridge into a bowl - kale, mint, tomato, red onion, avocado, quinoa - plus a dressing of red wine vinegar, olive oil, sweet soy and then popped a poached egg on top.  OH MAN!  This was so freaking delicious, Harriet and I ate it up in silence, with only the clink of a spoon and the humming of our tastebuds.

Ted, however, wasn't that impressed with lunch.  In fact he didn't even touch it. Instead, he decided to dress as Willy Wonka. Surprised?  Really?  C'mon, no you weren't.  I do enjoy the latest touch of Harriet's red boots though, they seem to add a certain je ne sais quoi, non?  That faraway look in his eyes does indicate he is in full sartorial mode, since clothes really do maketh this actor.  Once he has donned any item of his choosing that is 'the piece' to denote the character he is playing (be it wig or dress for Annie, hat for Wonka, bag for Charlie Bucket, and there are many others).  I'm sure there's a term for this type of prop-inspired acting (Amelia, I'm looking at you to inform me).

Remember I mentioned we bought some chocolate-making ingredients from Alfalfa House?  Well surprisingly Ted forgot all about it, and I had to remind him.  He had been the one to ask me for it the previous day, obviously keeping in his newly acquired career change as chocolatier.  Harriet is normally not that enamoured with the chocolate we make at home since she isn't  a fan of dark and I do tend to make it quite dark (since it's just raw cacao powder, cacao butter and ground rapadura it's pretty dark stuff).  But on this occasion she did like it.  In fact she liked it a lot.  She savoured the little piece she had broken off in typical Harriet slow-eating fashion and here it has become so tiny that you can't even see it in her fingers.  I do like this photo of her, she is notoriously difficult to photograph.

Ted, although he can read quite well, has never really shown the same passionate interest in it as Harriet did at the same age.  He just has a greater breadth of interests I guess, and reading isn't quite as gripping when you're four as dramatic performance is.

Nor has he been interested in writing that much.  Sure he can write his name and all of our names and he writes little signs now and again for games, but that's about it.  On this particular day however, a chance scrummage through his 'school drawer' (where we keep the detritus of his school days and various little pieces of stationery) he was suddenly struck by the idea of writing out his current favourite character's name.  He asked me to show him how to write 'W' so we did a couple of practice turns and he insisted on drawing little spirals at the end with my help (he tried doing one on his own but wasn't happy with it and insisted on my holding the end of his pencil to make them "clearer and more pretty like the real Wonka").

Once he got to the end of that page I suggested he might like to try and write chocolate on another page.  This was met with great enthusiasm, so I popped the book next to him so he could copy the letters.  I helped him with the first 'C' since he hadn't written one before "only in preschool and that was tracing anyway".


But once that chocolate was on there it looked very lonely and so he set to work to write the rest of the title on there.  Unfortunately the light was terrible and he was most insistent on me *not* taking a photo of it, so you kind of have to take what you can from these shots.  But he was deliciously obstinate about me helping him in any way.  I love how the 'C' in factory is little more than a slightly curved, very high up line. And he embraced the concept of the eraser on the end of the pencil with great gusto, rubbing out anything he was in any way unhappy with.  But this, the final result, was apparently right on the mark.  He then proceeded to draw Charlie and Willy Wonka on the facing page and I (finally called upon to assist in only the smallest way) gently eased the page from its staples so that he could stick that baby above his bed.  Where it sits right now in all of its glory.

Today was a great day.

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