Tag Archives | kids

the world is going to shit, mum: why my boy is learning survival skills

The Little Man (not so little anymore, but always to be my Little Man) has recently developed quite an interest in survival skills.

He’s been shaping a bow shaft and making arrowheads from bits of wood. Whittling knife blades and learning about flint napping. Reading about what you can eat and what you can’t eat in the bush. And learning how to make rope from tree bark and vines.

While driving to Armidale last week, I questioned him about this new interest.

(Seriously, mums of soon-to-be teenage boys – the best place to have conversations with them is in the car. They are your captive audience! Put on a few of their tunes and start a conversation. You might be surprised at what you learn…)

His response was not what I thought it was going to be…

“Donald Trump is going to fuck things up, Mum. And we need to be prepared because it’s not only going to affect America. It’s going to affect us too.”

I took a few minutes to formulate my response, because, to be honest, his answer kind of floored me.

Little Man followed the recent U.S. election with great interest and was as shocked as the rest of the world at the results. He now listens carefully to news reports and reads world news from a variety of sources, obviously coming to his own conclusions from what he reads.

An honest and open conversation about imports, exports, trade agreements and sustainable living – interspersed with our shared love of black humour – lasted the next 30 minutes to Armidale. It was a conversation that made me grateful I have a son who takes an interest in the world at large.  Grateful even more that I have the relationship I do with him.  And it made me realise that having conversations like this with your children are important…

…because you never quite now what another person is thinking until you ask

Little Man and his pocket knife getting ready to shape arrowheads
preparing to make a blow dart gun
the Little Man is not a boy anymore
hammer and chisel blows
hollowing out a section of wood
my Little Man deep in thought

As to his choice of language, we’re a family that allows swearing, which you can read more about here.

In the comments, I’d love to hear:

Do you have regular, deep-and-meaningful conversations with your kids?

And what has been their reaction to the new president of the United States?

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new england family portrait session – walter & matilda

walter and matilda were coming to visit with grandma and grandpa for the weekend

When Grandma asked me if I was available to come to their house and photograph the grandchildren, my immediate response was “Yes!”.

Walter (17 months) was still needing a daytime nap, and with Matilda being only 11 weeks old, we decided on a post-nap afternoon session at the house.  The focus of the afternoon was the children, and as a mum to teenage kids myself, I realised I’d forgotten just how quickly toddlers move!

Walter was a little wary of me (strange lady with a camera), so he was left to play while I followed him around.  Matilda was so calm and happy, and once safely ensconced on the couch, was a treat to photograph.

I look forward to seeing both the kids and how they’ve grown the next time they visit with Grandma and Grandpa.

little feet - it's details like this that fade from your memories and need to be kept

oh, those blue, blue eyes

such a serious little man

a little princess

snuggles with grandma

burnell-family-blog-22

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{be inspired} Cold Weather Colouring In with Teens & Tweens

I’ve mentioned before how the kids and I love to colour in, especially on wet Winter afternoons.

As they’ve gotten older, their taste in colour ins has changed though – they’re no longer happy with superheros and fairies…

instead a challenge is needed

With the weather at the moment too cold to go outside, we’ve decided to sharpen the coloured pencils and indulge in a teen-themed holiday colouring in.

Flowers and hearts tree colour in page

Copaci

finding colour ins for my Little Man is a bit harder

He loves mandalas, but every now and again wants something boy to colour.  Here’s a couple that he’s given the thumbs up to.

colouring in has so many benefits for both children and adults

It’s a way to express yourself or vent your emotions from the day.  It can help build fine motor skills and coordination in both kids and adults that have suffered an injury or illness.  It develops concentration and focus skills, and teaches the feeling of accomplishment (which will help in academic years to come).

so go on, dig out your coloured pencils, sharpen them up and find a colour in to suit you

Because colouring in is not just for little kids.  We big kids love it too.

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The Weekend Photo Project: ‘the kids’

weekend photography project prompt - the kids

i’ve got 2 of them

Although there are days that I swear the Husband is my third child.

It’s occurred to me that not everyone who participates in The Weekend Photo Project will have kids, but I’m pretty sure that we all have our kid-substitutes (there are also days when I swear that I should have stuck with dogs and not had kids at all…!) 

It’s also occurred to me that not everyone is comfortable putting photos of their kids online.  I’m in that boat as well – online photos of my kids are few and far between – but I’ll post a part of them at least.

Want to share your the kids’ photo?

here’s a list of places (+ links) where you can

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Posted in: The Weekend Photo Project

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Who else wants ‘alone time’?

Alone by Catskills Photography on Flickr

Alone by Catskills Photography on Flickr

School and work are back in to full-swing and the stress levels have been going through the roof lately.  Couple this with a head cold that I haven’t been able to shake and the end result is that…

…all I want is some alone time.

Not just a few minutes snatched in a warm bath or even a quiet coffee at the cafe by myself.

I want a whole weekend.

An overnight (or 2 nights *gasp*) trip away, where I have nothing to contend with but what book I’m going to read next and what to order from room service.

No kids, no Husband, no dog.
No tv, no internet, no phone.
No dinner, no washing, no housework.

Just me. Doing what I please, when I please.

But it always, inevitably, leads to guilt. Husband’s job is just as demanding and stressful. He works more hours for more pay, so why shouldn’t he get a weekend away?

The kids work hard at school. Assessments, assemblies, buddy reading, friend issues. Weekend away?

I often tell my family that I’m the glue that holds them all together.  Need to know where something is?  Ask Mum.  When did you have the chickenpox?  Mum knows.  What’s coming up next week?  Next month?  What’s for dinner?  When does soccer start?  Clean underwear?  Paid those bills?

I think you get my drift.

Once upon a lifetime ago, when the kids were smaller and Husband would go away working for months at a stretch, we had an agreement.  He would get back and the following weekend, I would go away for a night.  It’s been years since that agreement has been honoured.

I think I’m going to have to re-instigate it.

A weekend.  A book.  Room service.

Small price to save a mum’s sanity really.
Do you get to have time away from your family – all on your own?  How often and where do you go?  And do you feel guilty about it?
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