Tuesday, August 30, 2016

taking stock..

Spring is only a day away, and I'm itching to get so many things done around here.  My head is spinning with all the 'to do's' on my list, its almost becoming too overwhelming and I fear I just won't get to any of it. So its time to take stock and clear my head, thanks to Pip's trusty list..

Making : simple decorations to liven up our new but very bare deck.

Cooking : veggie soup and using the left overs for pasta sauce tomorrow.

Drinking : coffee in the morning, wine in the evening and fresh veggie juice in between.

Reading: I just finished The Girl on the Train, which I loved, now I'm needing something new.

Looking: for a copper shower rose for our homemade outdoor shower, they're way too expensive.  Who knew!?

Deciding: if some intensive private swim lessons for the primary school boys might be more beneficial than the school two week program.

Wishing: I could afford a painter to paint inside and out!

Enjoying: picking fresh herbs and greens now that we've moved the veggie garden directly outside the kitchen.

Waiting: for the slushy yard to dry up a bit.

Liking: a little bit of trash tv.

Loving: Olive's ballet classes.

Listening: to Olive talk non stop, all day long.

Considering: storage options, stashing less and packing my craft cabinet into a single box..eek!

Buying: beautiful handmade treasures.

Watching: my favs right now...The Bachelor, Life in Pieces, Have You Been Paying Attention.

Hoping: our boys room switch isn't as excruciating as I'm anticipating.

Marvelling: at the biggest boy, just everything, all of him.

Cringing: at Olive's new found love of the recorder.

Needing: to get myself to yoga once and for all..and plant life for the deck.

Smelling: open fire's and fire pits in the air.

Wearing: beautiful handmade pieces by Wendy.

Following: vicandbert and trying not to want all the things.

Noticing: the middle guy is seeming a little anxious about high school next year and leaving his friends.

Knowing: our peak season is almost upon us, and trying to brace myself with calm and order.

Thinking: I should just pick up a paint brush and start one room at a time.

Admiring: my husband and feeling blessed that we are in his capable forward planning hands.

Getting: ready to Spring clean, eliminate and simplify. We really don't have all that much, even toys are few around here (apart from lego), but a tidy up and clean out is always nice.

Coveting: too many beautiful instagram feeds.

Disliking: that we have been forced to introduce our children to devices through school education programs and that my children believe they are the only ones not allowed to have a billion apps and hours of itime outside of school.

Opening: the doors and windows on those sunshiny days we've been having.

Feeling: anxious that Olive still isn't grasping toilet training, and isn't terribly willing to try.

Hearing: the constant nattering of a happy toddler at play.

Mixing: spinach, carrot, apple and orange into the kids morning berry juice, and they're loving it!

Slicing: warm out of the oven chocolate cake for school lunches.

Forgetting: to log into our school parent portals, constantly, and staying up to date.

Embracing: the possibilities of the new season.

Aahh, a little taking stock really does help.

ps: apologies for the random layout of this post, blogger is being a bit strange tonight??

Sunday, August 28, 2016

august portraits..

a night in the ED 

she put a tiny magnet up her nose and we spent a worrying evening in emergency until they eventually (painstakingly) managed to remove it.

helping hands, picking fresh herbs and adding them to the soup one tiny leaf at a time.

this weeks shoe of choice, apparently just as perfect for scaling rocks and scooting as they are for ballet.

her favourite place on earth, {still} mumma's neck.
she will run to me at random, squish her little nose into the nook and and breathe me in.

August was a month that reminded me my baby girl really is still just a baby after she spent a week with a head cold, and nestled into my neck for endless cuddles.  Still keeping us forever entertained with her antics and funny ways, of course.  

Then last week she found a tiny little magnet in the shape of a star.  A treasure!  She has never been one to put things in her mouth or anywhere other than her special box or a pocket, so I wasn't the least bit concerned about her holding ever so tightly onto this.  We still don't know where it came from, but I'm guessing its something one of the boys might have picked up off the ground somewhere.

It wasn't until later that night, just before bed, that she said her nose was scratchy form the star.  At first the boys thought she'd scratched her nose but couldn't see any blood so didn't worry too much. When she said it to me though, I knew immediately what she'd done.  I took a look and there it was. A glimmer right up in her nostril, so off to the doctor we went.  

He couldn't get to it after his one and only attempt.  He and Olive are good friends and I don't think he wanted that to change, so it was off to the hospital emergency department next.  

I really didn't think it was going to be that hard.  I could see it was within reach, and she was being very co-operative, but they just couldn't get it out.  After a few attempts, long hours and some happy gas, it was still holding tight up there.  In fact it had moved up even further and the doctor couldn't see it anymore.  I was so worried when they suggested we go home and wait.  Wait to see if she'd swallowed it in which case she would just pass it, or wait to see if discharge developed over the next couple of days which would indicate it was still there.

I just didn't feel right about taking her home and not knowing where it was.  I worried that she could choke on it in her sleep, that it could become infected or that she could inhale it! 

It was so late at night by now and the ED was flat out busy.  In the end, they called up an ear nose and throat specialist to come into the hospital to take a look.  Thank goodness for that, because he wasn't going to let her go anywhere until it was removed, whatever it may take. 

Eventually, after lots and lots of tears, Olive screaming for her star and screaming that it was 'time to go home now' he managed to pull it out.  We had to wrap her in a sheet and pin her down, another doctor holding her head still while she screamed and screamed.  But he got it. Oh boy, what a relief that was! 

I think I'm the only one who was left traumatised by the whole event.  Olive was perfectly fine once we left and promised to never ever put anything in her nose again.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

sunset series..

all pics taken by the middle guy, except this last one

A winter walk, just us three.  We had two birthdays in the month of July, and both nights were freezing cold, raining and full of cloud.  We had to break tradition this time, with not a sunset to be had.  Then, one Sunday evening soon after, this happened.  A perfect sunshiny day, a warm(ish) breeze and clear blue skies.

Everyone else was busy doing their thing, but the middle guy and I couldn't resist a walk on the beach at dusk to soak it all in.  He was keen to grab the camera and have a play around, to get in some practice while the light was so pretty. What a great job he did too.  Yesterday he had us all take turns for portrait shots.  I love how he loves the camera and photography.  I love that taking photos makes you notice simple things, beauty you might otherwise overlook.

So our winter sunsets have been few, but they've been pretty.  We're very much looking forward to farewelling the cold. Feeling warmth in the air, having more time in our day to enjoy being outside, and hopefully more sunset walks.

We're counting down now, only twenty more days 'til Spring!!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

july portraits..

'three cheeky monkey's jumping on the bed..'

'I mind them Mumma..' counting my crochet hooks over and over, a new favourite pastime

sometimes she uses her hands like toys, her fingers are the characters and the sing and dance and get up to all kinds of wonderful adventures

learning to use scissors for the very first time

the protest, its a regular occurrence, and the expression on that little face daring me to do something about it

Another month of learning, attitude, favourite shirts...and lots of busy hands at play!

July was a big month for our cancerian birthday boys.  It was a HUGE month actually.  We've taken our business in a new fresh direction, we've had school holidays, we've been preparing for school camps.  There have been about a thousand school meetings and information evenings and lots of running here there and everywhere!

This little girl is looking more and more ready for kinder next year.  The growth is extraordinary.  It was only a month ago that I was worrying about her not being ready.  Not having had more experience with playgroups or three year old kinder like her brother's had.  Suddenly, I see it.  I see that its time to take the next step, time for her to leave my side and try new things.  It's time for big kid adventures.  The baby is growing up.

You can see more lovely portraits over at Practicing simplicity..

Saturday, July 30, 2016


Just like that, we're more than half way through winter!

I've been trying super hard to change my tune this year, to embrace this bitterly cold season.  To be honest, it's the clothing that makes it easier for me to bare.  I love winter fashion, mixing up my layers, a snugly scarf, finding the perfect pair of Uggs to wear both at home and out in public,  if there is such a thing?  Either way, warm feet!

I've been making warm woollen gifts and reading in bed at night time.  Our Friday night, movie night, has become somewhat of a ritual to end our week and kick off our weekends.  We're spending time around the fire pit when we can, drinking soup or hot chocolate and toasting marshmallows. 

I'm putting fresh flowers or dried branches on our dining table, turning on the fairy lights when its dull and rainy outside. It all helps. It's the simple things we do to make the everyday just that little bit more special.

Don't get me wrong, I'm very pleased that springtime is just around the corner, and I can't wait for our slushy yard to dry out a bit.  To be able to spend more time outside and see our garden come back to life.  To not have a permanent rack of washing drying in our living room.  Oh, Spring will be wonderful! 

Until then, we're keeping warm, getting out when the sun makes a rare appearance and enjoying a little bit of forced downtime.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

The middle guy is 12..

This boy turned 12 yesterday, our middle guy.

Its our little tradition to talk about their birth stories on their birthday, and this one was something quite magically surreal.  I'm sure all the angels were smiling down upon us this night, because his birth was something of a dream.

He was ten days overdue and I'd been to visit my wonderfully wise Nan, mum to eleven, the day before labour started. I mentioned that I may have had a little show a couple of days ago but I wasn't too sure.  In her loving but very stern way, she told me I should be seeing my doctor about that and you don't just leave those things go.

While playing the waiting game, we took ourselves and our big 2yr old boy off to see his first movie. We had a relaxing late afternoon drive through the mountains and came home to fish 'n chips and Saturday night footy. Sitting there on the couch, I told Nick what Nan had said. He suggested that perhaps I should just go and get checked out, for peace of mind. So I did.  

I jumped in the car, took myself into the Royal Women's and waited a few hours to be checked over. They were quite happy that everything was as it should be and reassured me that the baby will come whenever it's ready.  So at 11:30 at night, back into the car I hoped and took myself home.

I was quietly creeping into bed beside Nick at midnight, he asked how I was and I said fine.  Right then we both heard 'POP', seriously heard it!  I'm not even sure what that pop was, but at that very moment my water broke!  Nick jumped on the phone to Mum, who must have been camped around the corner because it seemed like 5 minutes flat and she was knocking on our front door, while I scurried to the bathroom laughing and mopping up puddles as I went.

We arrived back at the hospital to find there was only one other woman admitted who had just given birth earlier that evening.  The reception desk had three delightful midwives sitting, drinking tea, knitting and welcoming us to the suite. They made us comfortable and sat to chat with us for a bit. Contractions were mild and not very close. In other birthing experiences with both the big and the littles guy, we've always been sent home, but considering we were the only ones there on this night, we were told to make ourselves at home and just holler if we needed anything.

We couldn't believe how calm and relaxed everything was, after quite a manic and rather scary first time round experience, it felt like the world had come to a halt for this very special moment in time. Nick chatted with all the lovely ladies, just waiting on this baby.  My contractions began to speed up a little and I could feel my body getting ready.  I took the opportunity to go to the loo just to cleanse, you know, and as I walked past the happy little group of smiling women, one called out "Are you sure you need to go, this is what the baby's head feels like and I don't want it to be born into the toilet!" I did wonder this, but I knew that as soon as I had cleared my bowels I'd be able to surrender to the birth.

I remember walking past the desk on my way back to our room, watching all the smiles and knitting and cups of tea, and thinking how blessed to have all of these people just sitting here, just waiting for me and this baby.  I was told to get some sleep now, it'll be a while yet and I will need all the rest I could get.  But just as I climbed up onto my bed, labour took hold.  The contractions quickly became more and more intense.  I looked at Nick and told him this was it.  He ran to the door and called to the midwives who casually popped in to check me over and reassure us it will be some time yet. But this baby was coming soon and I knew it. 

I grabbed hold of Nick's hand tightly, he buzzed the desk, and the next few minutes are a bit of a blur. I do remember that just as I thought I couldn't bare the pain a moment longer, there was all the encouragement from this incredible team of women and my beautiful strong husband to push just one more time.  From somewhere deep within came the strength, that primal force to push, so hard, and that was it.

At 4am, our little Jimmy was born. Within seconds a doctor appeared to examine us both (I remember it being a crazy long wait the first time) and everyone was all a buzz about how wonderful this was, and what a beautiful birth it was to be a witness to. 

By the time I'd showered and we were snuggled up in bed together, the real world had started again. More women in labour checking in and midwives moving hastily about.  Not a cup of tea or a pair of knitting needles in sight.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

june portraits..

after a visit to the op-shop with nana, these wings have barely come off her back 
"I have beautiful wings!" she sings and flies about the house whispering "flitter flutter flitter flutter" as she goes

tap shoes, every single day

the week she moved into a 'big girl' bed

she's a story teller, just like her biggest brother whose teachers would call us to 'clarify a few things' ever now and then.  At least this time we'll be a little more prepared

June, another month of capturing this little girls ever growing personality.

She has us in fits of laughter and cringing with frustration all at once.  She's assertive and feisty, shy and gentle.  A mixed bag of never ending surprises.  

She suddenly seems so grown up and I wonder if not having enrolled her into three year old kinder this year was a such a good thing.  I worry she might find it harder next year when she starts four year old kinder.  How will she cope with the structure, with so many other personalities and new experiences.  But then I look, and I see she's just a baby.   I feel assured there's plenty of time for all those things.  At least I hope so.  

More portraits here..

Thursday, June 16, 2016

the sunset series..chasing winter skies

Last night, just before dinner time, four out of the six of us went to the beach to soak in some pastel wintery skies.

The colours were so soft and whimsical, the air fresh, and barely a breeze was blowing.  We wandered the rocks, admired brave surfers dashing past us, zipping their wetsuits as they ran, busting out of themselves to hit those waves.

The middle guy sat on a rock to write, the little girl splashed in rock puddles singing happy songs and squealing with delight at the pink sky all aglow. We walked for ages, chatting about this and that, mostly a certain someone's up and coming 12th birthday.

The waves rolled in so loudly, looking like big soft fluffy clouds.  Apart from the surfers in the sea, there was barely another person in sight.  Like a secret paradise all of our very own. Its been too long between beach visits.  The chance to stop and breathe it all in was just what I needed without even knowing.

Hooray for winter skies and glorious mid week beach wanders.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

this knee rug..made with love

Our lovely elderly neighbour is forever spoiling the kids with gifts or sweets at significant times throughout the year. Christmas, Easter and birthday's when she remembers.  

I've been wanting to make her something for so long now, but it would just be left by the wayside every time I'd make a start.  So finally, I made her a knee rug.  Just in time for this very cold coastal winter that has arrived with vigour.

I have to say, this was such an enjoyable project.  Maybe because I was excited to be making something for our sweet Zayda, maybe because the yarn was so lovely and soft to work with, and maybe because I loved the way this stitch looked as it came together to make one large snugly square.

It's deliciously soft to touch and just the right shade of silvery grey.  A simple treble and double crochet alternating, repeated over and over until it was just the right size.  Small enough to fold neatly onto a chair and light enough to pull softly over the knees.

I hope there are many cosy afternoon naps and comfy nights of watching her favourite shows to be enjoyed under this knee rug.  This knee rug, made with love.

Happy winter everyone!

Monday, June 6, 2016

may portraits..

"it's a hard nut life.." from the movie Annie,her favourite movie right now. I hear her burst into song throughout the house and my heart overflows

waiting for her turn in the bath, making me promise I won't wash her hair "say it mumma, say I not washin' hair"

she gets dressed and tests her skirts for twirling every single morning

new shoes..belated birthday shoes, worth the wait

her 'dancer' skirts are to be worn Harry Highpants style, this is not negotiable

May has been a month of (more) strong will, singing out loud, dancing skirts worn her own way, 'sleebs' (sleeves) always turned up, and sooo much development! She is amazing us with the things she knows, the way she articulates a sentence, her sense of humour and her nurturing ways. In this month of May, she drew her first real picture! A body with eyes, a nose, a mouth, arms and legs. Now when she draws, the shoes and hair are added.  I've always been so amazed and so ridiculously excited by each of their first 'real' drawings.  It's such a milestone, don't you think. 

Her brothers know her well and know just what to say to make her feel happy when she is sad. They piggyback her to the bathroom to brush her teeth for bed, they make her snacks, and sit to watch her shows. They know her quirks, her routine and how to distract her when she won't take no for an answer.  She hugs them tight, plays their games and loves them fiercely. 

They are a lucky little bunch, these four. 

More portraits over at Practicing Simplicity..

Monday, May 9, 2016

what I've been making..

It's been a while between crochet posts, so here's a little update on what I've been making and what's currently on the hook.

Bonnets for gorgeous new babies, beanies, cowls and blankets in the making.  

It's been a busy couple of months juggling lots of projects at once, and there are still so many things I want to make a start on.  It's always so nice to have something on the hook, ready and waiting for me to pick up when it suits me, when my fingers need to be busy and my mind needs to rest.