Thursday, August 28, 2014

an almost girly lunch

Yesterday I picked M. up from school early. I wanted to take her out for some a girly lunch, well it was almost girly.  Her older brother remained at school and her younger brother was at day care but her baby brother tagged along. To compensate for his presence I wore a skirt and she wore a dress that I’d made for her earlier in the year.

virtù - frocking up for lunch

The reason for the lunch? Well unfortunately all the crap that she experienced at school last term has resumed. My poor darling girl has been coming home in tears and spent a good part of last weekend sobbing on her Dada’s shoulder.

My heart is breaking for her and I just wanted to give her respite from the intense experience. Some special time.

It is sometimes difficult to get a clear picture of exactly what is going on at school. Questions come to mind as to whether or not she is exaggerating or perhaps misinterpreted things. Last week though two other parents approached me to let me know that something was going on. One parent had been told by her daughter that M. was being ostracised and the other was a parent helper for another class and witnessed M. being shunned at lunch time. Devastating.

The most confusing aspect of the situation is that the apparent ring leader also happens to be our neighbour. A neighbour who knocks on our door to play almost every afternoon. I’ve never witnessed any untoward play between the two girls, but E. says that’s because its different when I’m around.

After much consideration on Monday of this week I sent her mother a long text message letting her know that the issues had resurfaced (I had wanted to catch up with her husband before school but got caught chatting about the situation with a parent of one of the other girls involved).  Last term after the classroom teacher had pulled her aside she’d exclaimed that she’d wished I told her, blah blah. At that time I explained that I had not discussed it with her because I had not actually witnessed anything. The  teacher discussed it with her because the teacher had observed the behaviour first hand. In my thinking at that time it was therefore a school issue.

Now however I feel like I have to protect M. more. Coming home from school after a tough day to then play with the person who’d left you out is confusing for her. Dave and I can see that M. is overly keen to please our neighbour and we’ve also noticed that she is very anxious when we say ‘no’ to play of an afternoon (because you know there are things like dinner to make and baby brothers to bath and cleaning up bedrooms and so on and so on…) We just don’t have a good feeling about it, especially since during the school day she won’t let M. play with her or her friends and she actively encourages other children not to sit next M. on the mat.

So in my text message I asked that she keep her daughter at home of an afternoon until the issues at school are resolved. I explained that I wanted to provide a safe place for M. after difficult days at school.  The next morning at school drop off I approached her to chat about it and she said that she’d discussed it with her daughter but she denied knowing anything of it. What more could she do? she asked.

I don’t know.

I don’t know.

I don’t know.

The whole situation is heartbreaking, confusing and awkward. Dave and I wonder what we could do to help M. fit in. We’ve asked our neighbour and M’s teacher if there is anything in particular she is doing that alienates the other children. No answers.

We’ve questioned ourselves about the advice that we give her. On this past weekend we’d counselled her to consider whether or not she’d wanted people who treated her meanly to be her friends. We suggested to her that if people didn’t like her just the way she is then they’re not going to make good friends.

Then her classroom teacher advised me that this week M. wasn’t making an effort with the children in the class (who had had another class discussion about inclusion). M had told her teacher that she didn’t want friends. So that night Dave and I re-wrote our advice to her and suggested that if people were making an effort with her she should meet them halfway.

virtù - love my girl

We’ve got no idea what we’re doing here. We’re feeling totally ill-equipped as parents.

M. soldiers on though. She becomes more and more resilient and our family, especially her older brother, has closed ranks around her. I know that her Grandpa has penned some words of love and encouragement to her too which will soon be delivered by our postie.

Meanwhile there are glaring looks from our neighbour’s mother. Looks that suggest we’ve made the entire thing up. Looks that suggest that she perhaps feels like she is the victim in all this. Or maybe that’s not it all? Perhaps I’m just misreading it and the looks are of tired confusion the very same that I wear on my face.

girl time

On a brighter note. Lunch was lovely. We sat by the water, had a stroll, laughed as we watched our baby Ace chase seagulls (crawling!) and she had a giant chocolate ice cream. (Technically speaking it was a ‘small’ ice cream – serving sizes these days are ridiculous – I had wanted to get one too but the small was just too large for me … but that is a rant for another day)

Oh … and details about the dress – because I never did blog about it at the beginning of the year. The fabric, picked up from Spotty, has the most darling May Gibb’s gumnut babies print. The pattern is the very same that I used for her 5th birthday frock sans the sleeves. It’s from Ottobre 3/2011 from memory.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

my little superherO

virtù - up and up and away

It has become a bit of a tradition for me to sew superhero capes for my kiddos. Over the past couple of months I had noticed that O. was wearing his older brother and sister’s capes more and more as part of his play. Time for the boy to have one of his own. A special Mama made birthday gift for the most super three year old in my life right now.

virtù - it's super Ovirtù - super O flying

He loves it. So so so happy. He is my little superhero. To sew the cape I used the pattern that I drafted from an Enid Gilchrist pattern book when I made E’s cape back in 2010 and once again I used Cam’s superhero headband tutorial.

virtù - my little superherO

So much fun to be had on a sunny Sunday afternoon running up and down the verge as his Dada mows the lawn. There was a bit of impressive letterbox jumping too! A sweet childhood moment for sure. Watching him run and up and down the lawn over and over again my heart swelled with pride and joy.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

three, it really is a special number

The not so little O. turned three this weekend. This is the third time I have thrown a party for a three year old. It is such an honour to do so. For the first time the child really understands what a birthday party is all about. There is excitement, planning and anticipation. O has been singing Happy Birthday to himself for a couple of weeks now. He stood tall and proud with a smile from ear to ear as he handed out his invitations. He knew exactly what he wanted, balloons, lollies, party hats and a Brobee cake.

virtù - making his cake and watching the flour snowvirtù - brobee cakevirtù - birthday boyvirtù - birthday boy and his much wanted party hatvirtù - party foodvirtù - singing happy birthdayvirtù - party bags

It was an excellent day. We were up before the sunrise opening presents at O’s slow and ordered pace, much to his brother and sister’s frustration. The morning was spent playing with toys, decorating the cake and making last minute party preparations before heading to the park to meet up with a small group of friends.

We had an egg and spoon race and pass the parcel and played on the swings and all the playground equipment.

The weather was so fine. Absolute perfection. The park was alive with activity. So many BBQs and children playing informal games of footy, so many sounds of glee from the playground. A wonderful buzz.

A happy happy birthday indeed.virtù - egg and spoon race

34/52

ode - a pirateebe - turning into Yodamae - Cat in the Hatace - trying out his brothers dummy

a portrait of my children, once a week in 2014

         

ode – dressed as a pirate in your sister’s tricorne hat you won a prize at our local library’s story time as part of its book week celebrations. You were well chuffed.

ebe – your father helped apply green body paint transforming you into Yoda for book week celebrations at school. You looked fantastic. I was so surprised when I picked you up from school to see that you had worn your costume all day.

mae – you love Cat in the Hat. You can recite the entire text and you pack away like a champ. You tell me that you wouldn’t tell me if the Cat in the Hat came to our place to play – but I think you eventually would, you’d be so excited that you wouldn’t be able to keep that to yourself for long.

ace – oh the irony! My only child to not take a dummy when sleeping you are so much harder to settle… and yet you seize any opportunity to seize your brother’s dummy for a chew during the waking ours (but still reject any that are offered to you!)

   

Joining in with Jodi.

33/52

ace - getting off his kneesebe - piloting a rocket shipode - learning about his worldmae - wiping away the tears

a portrait of my children, once a week in 2014

   

ace – I watch you watching your siblings move about, it is so clear that you want to walk. Soon my love soon, but don’t rush. You’re getting closer, crawling around the garden on feet and hands,  no longer on your knees.

ebe – what an amazing imagination you have. You’ve always been so creative and with ease can inhabit an entirely new reality. Here you are piloting a rocket ship. Judging by your expression perhaps your in strife?

ode – sometimes it can be hard to find some space in this house to explore the world on your own, without your older sibling hovering, telling you what to do and taking over. Here you are hiding behind the couch with  a map of the world. You were undiscovered for almost an hour.

mae – my dear girl you are so tough.  Your feelings run so deep and hover so close to the surface. I will always be there for you to wipe away the tears, to hug you and love you.

        

         

Playing along with Jodi.

Friday, August 22, 2014

this moment

virtù - this moment - making O's birthday cake

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week.  A simple, special, extraordinary moment.     A moment I want to pause, savour and remember.

                      

Playing along with soule mama.

Friday, August 15, 2014

32/52

ebe - smile lights up my worldmae - mmmmmode - doctor strangelove ace - oh my sweet angel

a portrait of my children, once a week in 2014

        

ebe – laughing as you play with your siblings after school. I’m never really sure what mood you’ll be in when you come home. You sure do suffer from hangry sometimes. You’re at your best when your happy – aren’t we all?

mae – we took an adventure on the train and then in a taxi. You loved it. Me too. You enable me to see everyday experiences through a new lens. You make things fresh.

ode – you’re loving playing with the doctors kits these days. You can be so caring (but not always!)

ace – my sweet angel. You’re taking it all in, observing the world and enjoying a milk arrowroot as you do.

 

                     

Joining in with Jodi

(late this week… because –…well I’ve just been enjoying life offline!)

Sunday, August 3, 2014

31/52

ace - standsmae - sparkles when she smilesebe - my adventurerode - becomes a fisherman

a portrait of my children, once a week in 2014

                 

ace – you’re pulling to stand! It is such a sight to behold, you’re so pleased with yourself.

mae – you sparkle when you smile

ebe – my adventurer, my buddy. Thanks for inspiring me to “jog” on our walk. I enjoy your company so much.

ode – a little fisherman, quiet and patient.

         

Joining in with Jodi.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

just a minute … in july

Listening: to the growing O. chatter and chatter away. His talking has come such a long way in the past month. He speaks using ever increasingly sophisticated sentences to express complicated concepts with the sweetest manners. He is so polite. His manners are so natural and unaffected. So sweet.

recify

Watching: lots and lots, especially during sleepless nights nursing little baby Ace. Absolutely loved both Rectify and House of Cards. Such excellent viewing.  At the other end of the spectrum the children’s latest favourites are Sarah & Duck and Baby Jake. They just can’t get enough! (I must say I was pretty besotted with the episode titled “No More Wool”)  Took M. to see Tinkerbell and the Pirate Fairy at the cinema during the school holidays. She was so excited, she dressed up as a pirate and took her Tinkerbell doll with her. Too cute. Girls night out. Best time ever.

virtù - girls night out to see Tinkerbell movie

Reading… Arthur books to M, Peepo over and over to O and some sweet board books to my sweet baby Ace. I’ve been visiting our local library every second day to borrow more books for E. He read in excess of fifty texts during the school holidays. Thank goodness for libraries. Yay for them increasing their borrowing limit to fifteen on the first of this month. M. borrowed a Sarah & Duck book from the library too. Yay for that too but boo-hoo that they only have one title in their catalogue.

sarah and duck

Knitting… I’ve actually cast-on a little cardi for myself. Yep. A garment for me! We’ve had some cold cold days (relatively speaking) and I have realised that I really don’t have much of a winter wardrobe.

virtù - besties (most of the time)

Sewing… things for M (pirate costume, skort, & tracksuit) . Really must sew some bits and bobs for the boys. Also sewed some hexies together in the car (making very slow progress).

virtù - M got a black eye

Playing… in parks and at the beach when the sun is shining. M. managed to get another black eye when she fell off a small retaining wall at the beach. Ouch. So brave. On the rainy days the children played games on the computer but haven’t used the Wii for months and months. The older two have been introducing their little brother O to Dora games online. He felt pretty chuffed with this.

virtù - yummy baked pumpkinvirtù - making popcorn from A's perspective 

Cooking… lots of baked pumpkin with the intend of making ravioli only to accidentally eat it all. I did this three times in the month. Oops. Also baking lots of biscuits and muffins with the kids. O is really taking an interest in cooking these days. He especially loves to make popcorn – but really, who doesn’t?

                               

So how about you? Has July been good to you?

yoga suit – the jedi version

virtù -  yoga tracksuitvirtù - yoga tracksuit (2)virtù - yoga tracksuit (3)

Oh my dear girl! We’re only in week two of term and already you’re tired. This week you’ve been living your life on the edge of tears. The smallest thing sets you off into hysterical sobs. So much going on in that head of yours. So many things to process and work out. Your growing up and life is gradually getting more complicated. I’ll always be here for you my dear dear girl. I’ll always give you hugs. I’m sorry that I laughed when you cried. I didn’t know what else to do. (It was kinda funny, but I get that from your perspective it didn’t seem that way)

virtù - yoga tracksuit (4)

Another yoga suit for M. This one is the Jedi version. Her first one was the sunshine edition. Same pattern, different sizes. Oh my. Look how much she has grown. Still not too old to be a rocket ship though. Bless her.

Got started making this last month and had them finished for KCWC finished, except for the hem. I suppose really that means I didn’t have them finished. Back to being late. Again. It’s the norm around here these days.

The stash busting continues in these parts so there is another edition of the trackie in my mind… with any luck it will be made for this season before she outgrows the pattern.

Joining in with Leonie.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

clap your hands

virtù - noah jumper virtù - noah jumper (2) virtù -noah jumper button detailvirtù - ace wears his noah jumpervirtù - exploring at the beach 

Clap your hands! I finished baby Ace’s Noah Jumper and it fits. Over his head and everything (thankyou nifty button closure). I used a lovely bamboo yarn and it is soft and he loves to wear it. I love to cuddle him in it too! I love to cuddle him no matter what he is wearing though. I’ll even cuddle him when him when he is covered in spew and snot.

Clap your hands! Here he is at the beach exploring and eating sand while soaking in the winter sun. The jumper was perfect, the sleeves needed a little rolling up but hey on really cold mornings they can be rolled down and his hands kept nice and warm.  He is also wearing some pants I made him. Or did I make these ones for  O and then another bigger pair for O recently? I lose track – either way there are two pairs of these pants doing the washing rounds, a big pair and a small pair – their Dada does struggle with it when it comes to putting the washing away. No complaints from here though – thank you Dave for always putting the washing away (crowd goes wild with applause).

virtù - sandy face Check out that sandy face! Too cute much?

virtù - at the library Here he is being cute at the library.

Clap your hands! This project was a stash busting exercise – so when I realised that I wouldn’t have enough yarn to do the back in creamy white I added a few stripes in. I think it works well. Improvising often makes projects that little bit more special in my mind.

Ravelled.

 virtù - ten months And here he is sitting on the rug at the park ten months on since his birth.

So much joy. So many things to clap hands about… so much so that today he started clapping his own hands. All on his own. The moment that he chose to celebrate for his first hand clapping occasion – he bigger brother doing a poo on the big toilet all on his own – well that truly is cause for applause.

Have you had reason to clap your hands today? Do share.