Sunday, April 20, 2008

Vandalism with a social conscience...

Probably trying to take photos of graffiti on a busy road kills too, but I just couldn't resist!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

This week in NZ, the trial of Chris Kahui for the 2006 murder of his twin babies has begun. The things that are coming out in evidence would curl your toes, Chris Kahui is saying it wasn't him, it was the babies' mother that inflicted the fatal injuries, she's throwing her hands up and saying it's nothing to do with her, she wasn't home. When she did get home to find the babies hurt, she hung aroung at home for a day or so and eventually decided to make a family trip to the hospital via McDonalds for breakfast. (?!) Both babies later died in Starship hospital of horrific injuries, definitely no accident.
So many things wrong with this picture, I've been really struggling to process this and all the other hideous stuff that seems to dominate the news at the moment.

I've finally realised that although I can't save all these babies from bad parenting, abuse or even death, I can do my best to raise Kane to be a good husband and father. I can handle him with care and empathy and love so he will know how to treat people in his world. I think the proudest he could possibly make me would be if he had the courage and conviction to get involved and stand up for what is right in his community. And I guess it's all down to what we teach him about the world right now.
For my own peace of mind, I simply have to think that those little babies are in a better place, spared from a life of abuse and lack of love, and also spared from growing up to inevitably repeat the cycle with their own children.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Check this out!!!


I just bought one of these beanies on Trademe from a lovely lady named Glenys. Her Trademe name is gade, and she's absolutely fantastic!!! This one is going to a friend's little girl for a birthday present. Glenys will make any size/colour combination you want, for boys or girls or adults, and it only takes her a day to make and post your order after the auction closes.
Here's some more of her work:


They're under $10 and I'm just stunned at the quality. And it's so great to support someone producing NZ made stuff!! Love it. Go buy something from her.

Monday, March 24, 2008


Woah. Today I just feel like the whole world has landed on top of me.

I used to love watching forensic detective type stuff like C.S.I or Special Victims Unit. Thrillers...Horrors...I even watched "The Saw" and "The Ring" without an issue. I guess (I thought?) I was able to make really clear distinctions between real life and TV-land.

Fast-forward a couple of years- we haven't had a TV for more than 2 years now. Tony got rid of his about 5 years ago, and I got rid of mine shortly before we met-I was just sick of the time it took up in my life. Except for the net, I'm almost a complete media/popular culture free zone now.

I've really noticed since before Kane was born, that my tolerance for terrible things has almost disappeared, and I think the absence of TV has contributed a lot to this. During January and February in NZ we've had murder after murder after murder. A while ago I would have been able to hear about them, think "Oh thats so sad" and get on with my day- but now hearing about these things disturbs me so much.

Quite a few other things have happened here in the last few months too- the day after Kane was born we went into town for lunch and I witnessed a vicious assault on a woman, (by a guy twice her size) while Tony had popped into a shop. An acquaintance's child was molested by their neighbour. More stabbings/murders/rapes on the news, a 25 year old guy on trial for being NZ's worst ever child pornographer, with images of abuse of newborn babies. At least three NZ babies dead from horrendous abuse and neglect by their families, probably more, I can't look at the news any more. All these things are tumbling round in my head, every time I hear more I feel more and more sickened at the world we've brought our beautiful boy into.

I know there's nothing new under the sun. I know whatever sick behaviour people come up with in 2008 has been going on for thousands of years, perhaps only helped along now by the advent of technology like the internet.

I guess what is truly bothering me about all this is the fact that all these people were somebody's babies at some point, and I equate it to my baby. I wish I had some kind of a release valve on my head to let the garbage out. I've almost completely lost my faith in human nature and I'm feeling more afraid every day.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Tshirt pants

I just dusted off the sewing machine this morning and tried out a tutorial that seems to have been making its way round the blogosphere for a while. I have no idea who started it but I found it at rookiemoms. This is an adult Tshirt destined for the rag bag, recycled into babies/kids pants.
They turned out not too bad at all, WAAY to big because I allowed too much for seams, but he'll grow into them I guess!
They are seriously easy to make, this is my very first attempt at sewing clothes and it was no drama at all. And as always it's turned into the latest obsession, this could turn into no Tshirts for Tony and way too many pants for Kane if I'm not careful! Give it a go.

Mercury-free kid

I found a site yesterday selling kid's Tshirts with little slogans on them- "x-box-free kid" "sugar-free kid" "TV-free kid" etc... They're pretty cute, but "mercury-free kid" really got my attention.
We've decided not to immunise Kane, and we've had a wee bit of subtle, indirect flack for it. Nobody's come straight out and said we're irresponsible, but it's been implied in ten or twenty different ways by different people.
We're very clear on our reasons for not choosing to immunise. We've done the homework and made our choices- but we're definitely not out to convince anyone else that they shouldn't do it, it's just what we've decided for our family. I guess what we're not yet clear on is how to live in a pro-immunisation world, with an un-immunised child? Where does one get the intestinal fortitude to take their kid out proudly advertising on his little Tshirt the fact that they've chosen not to go there? Isn't that asking to be challenged? Is it not asking for awkward, pointless discussions with partially-informed people? Immunisation in my experience is a more emotive topic for lots of people that religion and politics combined! Would it not be best to just leave it be?
What do you think? Lurkers- de-lurk and let me know how you've handled this!!

What do you think? Can anyone who's not immunised their child let me in on how they get by?

IF....

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same:
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!


Rudyard Kipling

Thursday, February 28, 2008

I don't know if anyone's familiar with the lyrics to songs from "The Sound of Music" these days, but I have a fair bit of it etched in my brain from listening to the record a thousand times at my grandparent's when I was a kid. There's one song that goes something like 'nothing comes from nothing, nothing ever could, so somewhere in my youth or childhood, I must have done something good' (it's Maria and the old guy trying to figure out who was more lucky to be with the other, etc etc)
ANYWAY, that song could have been the soundtrack this evening while my beautiful husband made hamburgers because I was so tired I was nearly asleep standing up when he got home.
Usually I cook because he works pretty long hours and, well, I'm home and he's not, but it's such a treat when he does. HE BAKED THE ROLLS FROM SCRATCH! I really must have done something good to have pinned down such a treasure.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Heck! I just made Ricotta!


Oh my goodness, who knew you could make this stuff yourself! How come nobody told me? I love Ricotta with jam or marmalade on toast, and I just found this recipe- I was dubious, but gave it a go and it's YUM! Go try it!!!

Perhaps I've just answered my own question about gaining weight while breastfeeding.........


Ricotta

  • 2 litres of blue top milk
  • Heat slowly to 93° in a thick bottomed pot, scraping the bottom as it heats up
  • Remove from heat
  • Add in the juice of one and a half lemons
  • Stir only twice - as in 1 stir, 2 stirs - that’s it
  • Leave 15 minutes
  • Line a small sieve with cheesecloth and scoop the curds into a colander that you’ve also lined with cheesecloth
  • Leave to drain for twenty minutes
  • Fini

DELICIOUS on Vogel’s toast or a nice sourdough.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Hey-la, Hey-hello-ah......


This last week has been one of those 'through the looking glass' experiences, straight out of Alice in Wonderland!
I was all set, ready to go to Art in the Park, but as always before putting oneself out in public to be criticized or admired, I started to have MAJOR second thoughts. What if nobody even looks at my stuff? What if they make rude comments about it right in front of me? etc etc. Poor Tony spent most of his free time convincing me that it would be a nice day out in the fresh air, I should just ignore rude people....

Well, people did more than just look and not make rude comments, they bought stuff!! Lots of it!! I sold more than two thirds of what I took down there, I have some orders for more, made some great contacts, met up with an old friend I haven't seen for years....it was blimmen fantastic! And we have a nice little pile of loot to put away for a rainy day too.

So I've been spending a bit of time working on another blog I set up just for my artwork- it's over at wordpress, also called Running with Scissors (because my baby brain didn't extend to thinking up a new name!) I'm all inspired to finally do something serious with my artistic ability. What a difference a week makes!

In other news, Kane has discovered the joys of the jolly jumper- he gets so excited he looks like some kind of demented leprechaun performing in Riverdance!



Also- I'm gaining weight while breastfeeding!!???!! What's that about?????

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

I've been tagged......

Megan at Parenting Style has tagged me for a meme..... so here I go.

The Rules

1. Link to the person that tagged you
2. Post the rules on your blog
3. Share 6 non-important things/quirks about your kid
4. Tag at least three people at the end of your post and link to their blogs
5. Let each person know they’ve been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog
6. Let the fun begin!

Ok.

My little guy is only 3 months old, and he hasn't been exhibiting too much quirky behaviour just yet, but he does keep us laughing!

1. He pulls this absolutely adorable little face when he stretches- he arches his whole body, puts his hands up by his head like little bunny ears and raises his eyebrows way up- looks like a little old man. SO cute.

2. He plays this funny little game with my Dad sometimes- Dad tips his head one way, and Kane copies him, then the other way and Kane follows, etc etc. They both sit there grinning at each other like goofballs and tipping their heads from side to side!

3. One of his favourite activities is looking at himself in the mirror- I wonder who on earth he thinks the little bald guy looking back at him is! They have a great time together anyway.

4. I'm struggling a bit here.......Um...He's just started getting some teething pains, and when he's about to launch into a big crying session, his whole face crumples and little bottom lip quivers for a few seconds and it's the most heartbreaking thing to see. I wish I could do teething for him!

5. He has little goo/gee/gaaa conversations with anyone who will listen to him, especially with his Dad and often with his reflection in the stainless steel rubbish bin next to where his bouncer sits.

6. Another favourite activity is when Dad puts a little chicken toy on top of a record that's playing- it spins round and round and is apparently one of the most fascinating things in the world- we can watch that one for ages!

So I'm tagging Andrea, Luckybeans, and Artsy-crafty babe.

I haven't forgotten to nominate people for the excellent blogger award either, I'm just a bit snowed under at the moment! I'll do it soon, I promise!!!!!

Monday, February 11, 2008


"Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking outside your body." -Elizabeth Stone

Sunday, February 3, 2008

The man in the mirror

Kane's just discovered mirrors. It's the most hilarious thing, as soon as he sees one he starts yabbering and singing and cracking up laughing at his own jokes, SO cute. This is such a lovely time, he's two and a half months now and its fantastic to be able to make him laugh and have little nonsense conversations with him- he's such a happy kid and all the hard stuff in the beginning is forgotten when he smiles. Absolutely the light of our lives.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Holy smoke!

Well. I had no idea that anyone but a couple of friends and maybe my Mum (Hi Mum) ever looked at my blog, but hello: I've won an award!

Corin at The Human Pacifier has generously awarded this blog with the Excellent Blog Award.


By accepting this Excellent Blog Award, I have to award it to 10 more people who’s blog’s I find Excellent Award worthy. I can give it to as many people as I want but please award at least 10. Thank you out there for having such great blogs and being such great friends! You deserve this! If chosen, you agree to the same information above. If chosen, also feel free to award people who have already been awarded…

This is what Corin very kindly said about this nutty little slice of life in Rebecca-land:

Running with Scissors for the most enjoyable, consistent pictorial content (meaning cool/pretty photos in almost every blog post.)


So I'll have to rummage around in my bookmarks when I get a minute and put my list together. Watch this space.

Thanks so much, Corin :)

Monday, January 28, 2008

Slice of Heaven


We just got back from Kane's first camping trip, in the Whirinaki Forest- a particularly beautiful little part of New Zealand. The kid's only been around for two months and he's already had two holidays! I hope he's not too disappointed when he finds out there isn't a holiday every month all the time!
We stayed at a Department Of Conservation camping ground next to a waterfall near Minginui. It's an area that's been in the news a bit lately: dodgy characters setting up training camps for terrorist activities etc, but the friends we went with have been camping there for years and assured us that the part we were going to was well clear of all that nonsense. And it was, we had a fantastic weekend.


Friday, January 18, 2008


I know, I know, New Years is a wee way back now, we're almost into February and I'm sure we're all onto new subjects already! But baby-brain reigns in this house at the moment, and I'm only just getting my head around this 2008 thing.
I don't usually buy the whole New Year's resolution bit. We've made a couple this year, but they're really only continuations of things we were already working towards: Being more hospitable/stop neglecting our friends (our house is only just almost-finished enough to even have visitors and most of the last year has been consumed with wedding stuff, pregnancy, and house renovations) and getting rid of the junk (we got married in November 06 and have been struggling to find storage for our combined empires ever since)
We're doing ok so far on both these things, we've turned a heap of junk into a couple thousand dollars on Trademe so far, and there's more to go too. We've even remembered a couple of birthdays.
But why is it that we think a calendar date rolling over is going to be motivation enough to make real change in our lives? Is there something magical about opening that new year planner to the first page, that suddenly allows us to drop the bad habits of the previous year and soar like an eagle? I think not.
But all this brain strain in between nappy changes has inspired me to start a project for this year- a bit of research perhaps. What is it that creates the motivation for change in human beings? How do we ever get out of the ingrained life-long habits that keep us down and do us no good?? Watch this space.

Mmmmmm...baking

Tony's off at the A1GP Motor Racing in Taupo with Dave today, so Kane and I are entertaining ourselves with all sorts of fun activities.Like Banana bread.....sitting cooling on the bench as we speak, and muffins...which I don't really want to talk about except to say they taste better with jam.

And sleeping.
And getting rid of some of our junk on Trademe.

And I've had a bit of time to get things organised for Art in the Park, in Rotorua on the 17th of Feb- it's an art market that's on every year, with real live artists at work and lots of stuff for sale.

I'm taking paintings, jewelry and mosaic hearts, plus anything else I can think of between then and now! I just have to stop selling stuff in the meantime or I'll have nothing to exhibit!


I just sold a couple of pieces to friends who called in today !


Some of the jewellry is going to be for sale on the Sugar blog pretty shortly too.



Just a couple of gratuitous pics of my favourite bebe'



Wednesday, January 9, 2008

"The days are long, but the years are short"

"The Happiness Project" by Gretchen Rubin is a fantastic read- go check it out.
I particularly like Tips for being a more light-hearted parent- I think we've all seen the results of strung-out, heavy handed parenting, not fun for anyone involved.

Two of my favourites:

11. Say “no” only when it really matters. Wear a bright red shirt with bright orange shorts? Sure. Put water in the toy tea set? Okay. Sleep with your head at the foot of the bed? Fine. Samuel Johnson said, “All severity that does not tend to increase good, or prevent evil, is idle.”

12. When I find myself thinking, “Soon, no more stroller,” or “Soon, no more high chair,” I remind myself how fleeting this is. All too soon the age of Cheerios and the Tooth Fairy will be over. The days are long, but the years are short.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

We're baa-ack

We just got home on Thursday from a FANTASTIC holiday in the South Island- we went down for Tony's Dad's wedding and stayed a few extra days so Kane could hang out with his Grandad, Great Grandparents, Great-Great Aunt and various other relatives. The wedding was great, the weather was awesome and it was SO GOOD to see everyone- I have a real shortage of Grandparents so I'm really glad Tony's happy to share his! They're lovely.
We stayed at Hokitika Heritage Lodge for part of our time there, it was absolutely beautiful. Kane's a great little traveller, didn't bat an eyelid at plane travel or the three hour drive through Arthur's pass from Christchurch to Greymouth. We had a slightly mortifying incident with an overflowing nappy on the flight home, but I won't go into detail on that one in case anyone's eating their lunch!
Here are some pics:Flax flowers- they were in full bloom everywhere, just beautiful.

Kane and I at the beach in Greymouth

Kane and Great-Grandad

Viaduct in Arthur's Pass

Candles at Christchurch Cathedral

Pohutukawa flowers- it's not Christmas till you see a Pohutukawa in flower.

Monday, December 17, 2007

For the bloke who has everything........


Don't get me wrong. I love Christmas as much as the next person. But when it rolls round every year and life becomes all about shopping I get kind of uncomfortable. I've got everything I need already. Everyone I know has everything they need already. If people I met in Uganda suddenly got teleported into our lounge I would feel absolutely mortified at the relative comfort we live in, actually more like the excess we've grown used to. And I would rather die than let anyone from Africa see how we celebrate Christmas! How do you tell a person who has no idea what it feels like to have a full stomach what a hassle it is feeling bloated after a big Christmas lunch?
I find it really hard to rationalise buying more stuff for people who already have too much stuff, and what for? To prove that we love them? And if so, why do we reserve this demonstration of love for Christmas? And why do we have to give them stuff to prove it? Why not just behave as if we love them all year long?

Anyway, I digress. This year, to help ease that uncomfortable feeling, I'm giving chickens. And trees. My brother lives overseas and has VERY firm ideas about global warming and consumerism, so I bought him 25 trees to be planted in an area of deforestation through the Oxfam website. While I was at it, I got a pair of chickens for my Dad, the man who has everything- Chickens are a great gift because they provide food as well as an income from selling chicks and eggs. Other options are goats, buffaloes, plants and school books.
I think I'll sleep peacefully tonight.

Feed a hungry person..


This site absolutely appeals to the English teacher in me, and also my over-developed sense of social justice!
Developed by a guy called John Breen, who also created the Poverty.com website, it has no political, religious, or corporate affiliations- he just believes that a good command of the English language should be as available to all human beings as food should be. It's an online multi choice vocabulary quiz, and for every word you get right, they donate 20 grains of rice through the U.N to feed hungry people.
(Click on the banner at the left to play the game)
Poverty.com is also worth a look, it has some great practical info about what we can all do to help, as well as it has quite a chilling real-time running total of people who have died from hunger in the last hour.

"FreeRice has two goals:
1. Provide English vocabulary to everyone for free.
2. Help end world hunger by providing rice to hungry people for free.

This is made possible by the sponsors who advertise on the site.

Whether you are CEO of a large corporation or a street child in a poor country, improving your vocabulary can improve your life. It is a great investment in yourself.

Perhaps even greater is the investment your donated rice makes in hungry human beings, enabling them to function and be productive. Somewhere in the world, a person is eating rice that you helped provide. Thank you."

Sunday, December 9, 2007


So the sun is shining, the birds are singing, the stiches are out and I'm slowly getting the hang of life with a little person... and I'm busting to get out in the garden. We've been talking with friends for months about the vege garden we're going to plant in our back yard, something along the lines of Jamie Oliver's one but considering we don't actually have a gardener on our staff, perhaps not quite on that scale! Just kinda wild and full of stuff that we wouldn't usually buy at the supermarket because it's imported or a million dollars a kilo. And I've just recently realised that all the friends we've been having these conversations with, now have their own very impressive vege gardens well underway, (one has a major back yard operation going including a greenhouse, loads of horse manure and plans for a chicken coop!) and we have........a couple of limp looking pumpkin plants sitting in a punnet round the back of the house and a very inadequate compost heap.


So I've found a lady on Trademe who sells heirloom seeds- strawberry spinach (pictured above) white carrots, blue beans, rainbow tomatoes, round yellow eggplants, cinnamon basil(?) - the pics look absolutely bizarre but I'm so looking forward to giving them a go! I've ordered a whole stack, I'm going to give some to as Christmas pressies to a couple of vege garden enthusiasts too because they're really cool.

What would Jesus buy?

Here's a movie I'm pretty keen to see-whatever Santa thinks about it! It's not going to be out in NZ before Christmas I don't think (not that I'm thinking it would be a good idea to take Kane to the movies just yet!) but I guess it'll be here on DVD before too long. Looks hilarious.
Starring Reverend Billy, an anti-consumerism activist from the Church of Stop Shopping, and produced by Morgan Spurlock, Oscar-nominated director of the documentary Super Size Me.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Introducing......


Well....He's a boy! Kane Thomas, born 10.05am 19th November, 8lb 11oz / 3.9kg
Kane was accidentally born in hospital, we were planning a home birth but the midwife sent us up to the birthing unit for a hot bath because I had nasty back pain with no sign of anything else happening....and she gave me a sleeping tablet because I'd been awake all night and she wanted me to have a good rest before I went into labour. He was born two hours after I got out of the bath! I wasn't even close to being in labour before we went up there. The sleeping tablet made things reasonably bizarre- I was dozing off between contractions and there are quite a few things I don't remember that well, except that sleeping tabs and pain killers are not the same thing!! I'm pretty glad I don't have to do that every day!
So it was all a bit of a surprise, all we had with us was the clothes we were wearing, we were pretty sure nothing would be happening for a few days yet. We were discharged a few hours later and went home for lunch. Everything went so amazingly well, our heads are still kind of spinning that we suddenly have this little person living at our house!

I suppose we're a bit biased but he is an absolutely beautiful little boy and we're all head over heels in love with him. Very very blessed.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY!


"Saturday (Friday in NZ) November 24th 2007 is Buy Nothing Day, It's a day where you challenge yourself, your family and friends to switch off from shopping and tune into life. The rules are simple, for 24 hours you will detox from consumerism and live without shopping. Anyone can take part provided they spend a day without spending!"


We all actually celebrated this last year inadvertantly- (it was on the 25th) we were up at some 4WD place for someone's wedding? Not much time for shopping that day!

This is something that's pretty important to me for two reasons: Having been to a few countries where most of the things we buy are made, I've seen the conditions that people work under- they really are horrific. Also the amount of crap that we are filling up our landfills with bothers me a lot- if you believe the statistics, our kids will be struggling to find somewhere non-toxic to ride their mountain bikes or paddle their kayaks by the time they're 40. Let alone avoid nasty illnesses from all the pollutants and carcinogens we're spreading everywhere right now.
What does this have to do with shopping? Well, by continually buying all this stuff, particularly plastic stuff, we're kind of saying yes, we're totally ok with people dying from the toxic fumes in a Chinese factory so we can have a Tickle Me Elmo. Or never mind that our kids and grandkids are likely to have major fertility problems and much higher chances of dying of seriously nasty diseases.

In the big picture, not buying something on one particular day is going to have very little impact on Human Rights or the environment. What we don't buy that day will almost certainly be bought some other day or by some other person. Buy Nothing Day just highlights the environmental and ethical consequences of consumerism. The developed countries - only 20% of the world's population- are consuming over 80% of the earth's natural resources, causing a disproportionate level of environmental damage and unfair distribution of wealth.

As consumers we need to question the products we buy and challenge the companies who produce them. What are the true risks to the environment and developing countries? The argument is infinite - while it continues we should be looking for simple solutions - Buy Nothing Day is a good place to start. The idea is just to get people thinking and talking about the real impact of our buying decisions and hopefully some change will come further down the track.

There's heaps more info here

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Are shoe fetishes hereditary?


I've got a serious thing for baby shoes at the moment- some days I think I'm channelling Imelda Marcos! There are just so many cute ones around.
Heather Bailey from Hello my name is Heather has VERY kindly given the world a tutorial for these GORGEOUS little booties- very generous and they're actually pretty easy to make. Good pressie idea?

Here are some other cuties:



























And even more here at the Flickr booties photo pool. Am I weird?