Friday, January 30, 2009

Control the Environment, Not the Child

A few days ago when I made the final decision to do my Rainbow-Mama-Montessori-Method at home with Lovely this year, & decided that I wanted to go back to basics, I picked up my copy of The Essential Montessori: An introduction to the Woman, the Writings, the Method, and the Movement by Elizabeth Hainstock (here's an Amazon excerpt) and read it within 24 hours! That was such a feat for me! It can take me months to get half-way through a book at times ;) I picked it up when I first woke up in the morning & read it when I could throughout the day (luckily it was a lovely rainy long weekend with T at home) and finished it at midnight. Woops! Slight problem of a sleepy-Mama the next day but totally worth it.

This was the first thing that jumped off the page at me. Control the Environment, Not the Child. Wow. So simple and so on-the-money. The book hadn't even started, it's in the foreword!  I made up a little sign & this is it stuck up on my pantry. 

I've made a bunch of notes and have been thinking a lot about it since so will hope to write a bit more about my favourite bits soon....

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Lovely the Artist

If you've read more than a few of my posts you will have gathered that I think my Hug is a brilliantly-creatively-artistic kinda guy. Yup, I do. He's got a cool style all of his own which I love. And I'm his Mama and I'm allowed to think so! ;)

Anyway... all of a sudden Lovely has been *bursting* with artistic energy! He wants to draw. He wants to paint. He wants the textas down (won't be making that mistake again soon, I've still gotta see if it will scrub off the chair ;) He wants to write. He wants to glue and snip and have the sticky tape. Totally cool. Yup, I'm *his* happy Mama too!

So, he climbed up on a chair to peruse all of the shelves in the art cupboard that he can't usually see & pulled out these silk crayons which are 0h-so-beautiful & oh-so-messy at the same time. But I was up for it so I put him outside with a big art mat & left him to it.

This divine artwork was what he created. He said it was a rainbow :)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Day lilies

My lovely mother in law bought me a beautiful bunch flowers last week when I was feeling a little low (I so appreciated them & they lit up the whole house!). None of the day lilies were open when we got them so it was with great excitement that we watched them unveil themselves. 

I got a bit inspired during rest time & put together a little kinda-Montessori tray to leave out by the flowers for Hug to 'discover' when he got up. I haven't put out any Montessori trays for him in ages and he kept saying "Mama, thanks for putting this work out for me!" :) In it I included some 3-part-cards that I got from Sarah Sellers a while back (if you haven't checked out her site & blog please do - she's amazing!), a jar with pink and green pencils and a colouring page with the word 'lily' & practice area for writing the letter L (and 'l'). Not totally Montessori but we did trace the letters with our fingers ;)

While he was immersed in the activity I put together some future work from this pdf about parts of the flower from Montessori  Materials. I just liked that this all came together really spontaneously & from the pure joy that these flowers brought us all. Thanks Nannio!

Beachy delicious

Man, I love the beach at the moment. 

These are 'hot off the press' - or should that be the memory card ;) 

This was our morning today. So divine. 

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Some perfectly wonderful films :)

God, I've been ever so lucky with my film-watching so far this year! 

I've enjoyed everything I've watched which is pretty amazing (don't you hate those bad spells when everything you watch is rotten?!) All of these films are about the complexities of life and love but with a real variety of experiences.

Last night T and I watched The Notebook on dvd. Wow. Wow. Wow. It is such a beautiful film. A simple love story that is told so wonderfully and leaves you with something that you just can't shake. And while it's not unheard of for me to have a little sniffle during a movie I was bawling for most of the second half. Sob!
On Friday night one of my loveliest girlfriends called up for a spontaneous trip to the cinema & with T's blessings I jumped at the chance. Thanks daddio! We went to see Vicky Cristina Barcelona, directed by Woody Allen. I always love Woody but I also really enjoyed the great architecture of Gaudi (coincidentally I had just borrowed a big coffee table book on Gaudi from the library a few days earlier to show the boys his amazing work). All of the performances are brilliant and it's little surprise that Penelope Cruz has been nominated for an Oscar. Sexy & fun.

Going back a few weeks we both really enjoyed Dan in Real Life. It kinda looks like its going to be a bit silly be it's a really sweet & well-made film. Steve Carrell is charming & Juliette Binoche is great too. Its set up in a big 'ol house by the lake with lots of family, lots of confusion, lots of emotion and lots of love.

We hired this film, Lars and the Real Girl, after a recommendation from somewhere but didn't actually know what it was about. Without giving too much away let me say that it *does* feature an anatomically-correct lifesize doll! Having said that I was so so so won over by this film. The whole doll thing isn't  sexualised (hard to imagine I know! ;) and it's totally quirky but amazing. Ryan Gosling is such a brilliant actor. I just discovered that he was nominated for an Oscar for his performance in Half Nelson which is another great film we watched last year some time. He's also the lead in The Notebook (I looked him up on after watching Lars & decided to watch more of his stuff). 

What do you wanna recommend?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

New Horizons

So it is that the best laid plans always change...

Well, kinda out of the blue I have decided not to send Lovely to the Montessori preschool that Hug went to, at least not for now. 

So I am now getting excited about the possibilities of actually homeschooling him with the Montessori Method... or the Rainbow-Mama-Montessori-Method! ;) 

While Hug was 'officially' a Montessori student I felt that I could only play around the edges of Montessori at home - his teacher had made it clear that it wasn't an good idea to replicate any of the real Montessori materials in the home as it would take away from his experience at school. At the time I was slightly incensed but eventually accepted it & think that it's probably not bad advice. Anyway, it means that I have spent the past two years trying to think of activities that are in the *spirit* of Montessori without actually being - a rather convoluted experience!

So... I am going back to basics. Back to Maria & the philosophy. I want to read *lots* and immerse myself in the ideology. I want to read a bit more about Steiner (Waldorf) as well and start to really get a deep understanding of where I can see the two meet and where they diverge.

I hope that Rainbow-Mama-Montessori will be all about the holistic (mind, body, spirit) development of the child and not-so-much about advanced academics. It will be earthy. It will be about the true spirit of Montessori with a kinda new-age edge... Let's see how it unrolls.

Please wish me luck! All advice is encouraged :)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Brave Women (& Men :)

"It takes a brave woman 
to raise a Montessori child
because they think for themselves"

This link is a wonderful youtube video, that I stumbled across tonight, from Tim Seldin of The Montessori Foundation entitled "What children really get out of a Montessori education".  Definitely worth looking at if you want to inspire (or re-inspire) yourself! 

{photo from media images here}

UPDATE: Mozi Esme kindly let me know that the link wasn't working & it's been fixed :)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Watermelon baby!

Hug & T planted our Watermelon seeds at the beginning of December & we've excitedly watched as they started to flower this week & today we found our first Watermelon-to-be! 

This little baby is only about a centimeter long (if that!) right now so it's pretty amazing to imagine we could be cutting it into delicious huge chunks in a few months time. Wow! Mother Nature - you rock!

To be continued...

What a way to Change The World!

{photo credit: here}

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Hug and I. 9am Tuesday January 20th, 2009.

Lovely's Birthday Gifts

We've had lots of shops and cafe's at our house recently. There seems to be a permanent table with tablecloth and lots of real bowls and glasses and cutlery salvaged from the kitchen in the playroom but the highlight is the "shop" as seen above! Here Lovely is very diligently writing down orders from behind the counter as he negotiates the sale of an ice-cream. Yum :)

It's all been made possible by the addition of some new wooden birthday gifts: a cake with candles, some scales (which are extra popular because they come with little price stickers), an icecream set (complete with magnetic scoops and cones), teabags, a pizza set, and I also made some felt food (fettucine with a choice of pesto or tomato sauce, 2 cute fried eggs, some filled pasta - all very simple creations).

I wrapped the gifts from us in newsprint and added some cute Leunig wrapping paper that had happened to come free in the newspaper that day. I love newsprint for family gifts, it's so homespun & sweet but like Hug's gifts here it's nice to add a little pattern to dress it up. 

With some wooden fruit that I found a while ago at a local yard sale (such a wonderful find!) and our wooden stove, table setting etcetera I think this stuff will get a work out for a long time to come. I plan to add more felt food during the year so maybe I'll try and blog some of it. Super-easy :)

The joy of unwrapping! 

Monday, January 19, 2009

Lovely is 3 / The Chocolate Party!

My littlest bug is 3!!! Happy birthday sweetness! We love love love you sooooooooooooo much!

Okay, so I know that I over-documented Hug's Space Party ;) but somehow I was so in the moment at Lovely's party (and enjoying a little champagne! In fact it *was* a joint birthday party for Lovely, T & I) that I didn't get a lot of photos :(  My sister-in-law took some great ones so maybe when she gives them to me I'll add some more.

Anyway, it was such a cool day. As I mentioned Lovely choose to have a CHOCOLATE PARTY. Tee-hee! T had asked me a few weeks prior what theme I was thinking about for Lovely's party & I hadn't decided yet so that day while the boys were resting I flicked through some kids mags & thought that a garden-y circus would be fun (we had already decided that we would celebrate at the Sydney Botanic Gardens as we would be away from home & it was a wonderful opportunity!) so when Hug got up I mentioned the circus idea to him & he loved it. Great. When Lovely woke up we excited asked him & he gave a decisive...

Hmmm, "What party do you want Lovely?" 
"A chocolate party!" 
"Oh... what about a chocolatey-circus party?" 
"No. A chocolate party." 
"Ummmm, okay!"

So a chocolate party is was. I mean you only turn 3 once don't you?! My thinking is that if you're going to do chocolate you want to do it well so we bought lots of good-quality chocolate for a chocolate-tasting table (think Lindt Chilli-chocolate) & I asked my brother who just happens to be the head-chef at an amazing restaurant if he could organise a cake. Wow! Did he ever! He worked with his pastry chef to create a real masterpiece that was his birthday gift to us all & it was surreal. Just amazing. I wish I could remember what all of the lovely toppings were exactly & that I had a photo that did it justice. Oh, did I mention that it was delicious?!

We had a treasure hunts for the kids (gold coins and cute organic-chocolate ladybugs) and duck-feeding at the pond. Good friends and beautiful weather. Bubbles. Italian bread and cheeses. Bowls of fresh cherries and lychees and grapes. We were all happy birthday bugs :)

Our Christmas trip

We were blessed to be able to take a family holiday over Christmas. Here are some of the highlights...

Playing with the puppies at Poppa Johns house. 

Awww, sweet :)


Getting a new camera! T bought me a new camera, for my birthday (34), to replace my one which died a few months back - & I love it.  It's not an SLR (one day! :) but it's 10 megapixel & has some great features. T took this lovely photo with the brilliant macro function. I'm so obsessed with macro ;)

More playing with the camera.

And playing with cousins!

Pony rides. 

And seeing Santa - in a variety of interesting locations!

Santa riding a bike behind a sleigh pulled by huskies.

Christmas Day! Here's Hug playing with the felt fishing game I made. 

Playing on the beach on Christmas afternoon (I love this photo:)

A trip to the buddhist temple...

Where Lovely made a new friend.

And stopping for cherries on the way home. Yum! Ahhh, summer.


Yup, we're the proud owners of a watermelon patch! Hug & T did all of the hard work one day when Lovely & I were out & now we get to experience the magic of nature everyday as we water & watch our babies grow. Pretty cool.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

A special garden

Oooo, I was going to post about a completely different *special garden* & brought in the wrong photo - but this is exciting! 

Here's Hug starting our first official vegie patch in years! Yippee! 

What do you think is going in there?... I'll post all about it tomorrow :)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Crafty Crow

I've been featured on The Crafty Crow here! Yippee! It's Hug's birthday party with the SPACE theme from last year (I submitted it at the beginning of December but everything was full-steam-ahead for Christmas at the time) & it's fun to see it "on the big screen" :)

Friday, January 16, 2009


There was an interesting post somewhere out there in the blogosphere recently (sorry, I can't think where! ;) about colouring-in. And the benefits of not. Well I do agree to a point but Hug actually really likes to colour-in. So, in turn,  I think it's important to make sure he has good-quality options & one of my favourite choices (and his :) is colouring Mandalas! 

There is something so beautiful about them & the inherent patterning and symmetry. When I've done one myself I'd even say they have a meditative quality. I have bought one book of Mandalas but mostly I like to do a quick google search & I'll always find a few free ones to print off, like these:, JuneMoon Free Colouring Book.

Please let me know if you have any links to suggest!

p.s. Looking for links for this post I found this book of Peace Mandalas for children which I can only imagine would be wonderful.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Bubbles, Awards & Competitions :)

Well, I haven't exactly been blogging prolifically as a Rainbow mama! Tee-hee! I've been quite busy with the boys as we're still in summer holiday mode here, swimming lessons & playing at the beach and eating mangoes. Lots of fun. I *have* made my first handmade gifts for the year - 2 birthdays down - so I should post about those soon :) 

On a fun note, the ever lovely & totally inspiring Laura from My Montessori Journey (who has a new 2nd, more personal, blog which is just delightful! check it out :) honoured me with this cool award:

So, apparently I have to list 6 things that inspire my creativity. Of my head these are...

+ Art. The great works, artists and designers. And the simple purity of my children's art.

+ Mama Earth. The beauty around me, rainbows and rolling hills and the ocean...

+ www. Mama-bloggers, funky young designers and creative folk, new typography, creative parenting, beautiful photography... with the web I'm always inspired.

+ Bookstores. I'm a bit book-crazy at the moment! I *love* bookstores and totally relax in them so much so that it's like an out of body experience! Newsagencies are kinda the same. Ditto libraries. I completely relax and find my groove.

+ Interior design. I find myself really creatively inspired by quirky interiors, perfectly balanced or perfectly awkward combinations of colour and beautiful architecture. Fantastic!

+ Hope. A hopeful heart will always find itself with creative inspiration. {Go Obama!}

Phew! Easier said than done ;) Now, I must nominate 6 other blogs that inspire me. I am SO SO SO constantly inspired in my thinking by the wonderful Montessori blogs that I read & the Steiner ones that I'm starting to discover but lots of them seem to have already received this award so I think that I will go with my arty-crafty instincts & say...


p.s. There's a great giveaway competition (open to worldwide readers. Yippee!) at The Crafty Crow at the moment. Take a look at the gorgeous etsy store.

p.p.s Yup, that's 7 :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...