Sunday, January 4, 2015

distraction

virtù - sunday renos - spack fillingvirtù - sunday renos - painting

One of the many distractions that kept me from my craft and blogging towards the end of 2014 has been renovations. We have decided that in 2015 we’ll be putting our current abode on the market. The reasons are many, the feelings are mixed but the short of it is that the time has come for new beginnings and new adventures.

Since making our decision we’ve had the exterior of the house painted to freshen it up and had the second bathroom re-spayed. We’ve painted the driveway, the fences, and the internal doors. This past week Dave installed a shower screen – which is in my book is pretty impressive since he is a pencil pusher by trade. It has been a hard slog. There are after all four children here that also require our care and attention. The balance is a tricky one – and there have been quite a few times where we got it wrong.  There have been moments where we’ve felt like taking one step forward and two steps back. Money and cash flow, especially in the lead up to Christmas, has been incredibly stressful too. There have been some impressive meltdowns.

Today, for the first time, I felt like I could see the finish line on the distant horizon. It’s coming into sight and that has bought a sense of relief. There is still so much to do. So tricky to find the time to get it all done, especially with our sleep-protestor demanding his Mama. Even so, today I felt like this mammoth task perhaps could be done. That we can do it. We can get there.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

a new year

2015 here you are!

I’m ready for a fresh start and new adventures. I’m also ready to get back into my crafts. They have been set aside for a couple of months now. The busy increased and the mojo waned.

I haven’t set any resolutions for the year. I want to be more mindful, healthier and stronger. I want to be able to better handle and manage the stresses in my life. Bringing back the craft will be instrumental to this I think. Inner peace and calm are easier to maintain with some regular crafting.

I certainly want to be more organised. Not off to the best start since I’m yet to buy a diary. Most appointments and the like I record in my phone’s calendar but I still like to have a paper diary – to doodle ideas in if for nothing else. Routine is something that I am looking for in 2015, some structures to cling on to amidst the chaos. Nothing to rigid, but more than what there is now.

You? Do you have resolutions, goals or vague hopes for 2015?

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 done and dusted

Not sure what to make of 2014 just yet. In many ways it has been a very challenging year. Our youngest is not a good sleeper, a consequence of some health issues associated with his difficult birth. The year has been so draining, emotionally and physically. Tonight I sit here feeling drained. Tired. Knackered. In many ways tortured – sleep deprivation is after all a form of torture.

Could it be possible that I wake tomorrow morning miraculously refreshed ready to start a new year?

Unlikely.

I don’t feel like I have been my best self in 2014. I am determined to change this next year. Determined.

Lots of awesomeness happening in 2014 too. First steps, first concerts, first wicket. A family holiday to Denmark (not the one in Europe) and other adventurous day trips. I also started teaching people to knit and crochet – professionally!!! This was very exciting.

The end of this year has been unbelievably busy. The year ends with some pretty big question marks hanging over 2015… but I’ll discuss those at another time. Exciting, scary, stressful, hopeful things await in the New Year.

This blog somehow got hijacked by the 52 project. I haven’t posted the portraits for a few weeks now. I’ve been taking them because I am stubborn like that. I’ll post them over the next couple of days. It all stared to feel like hard work rather than a creative endeavour. Finished it though. No doubt I’ll look back on it in a couple of years with fondness, but I won’t be doing it again next year.

I’m looking forward to getting my blog back tomorrow. I love my children very much. I’m stoked to discuss them here in this space, to share the things I make for them and my parenting highs and lows – but the 52 project saw them taking over this space… and frankly they’ve taken over enough parts of my life (in a really good way!) but this blog is about me, my thoughts, my creations, my growth… things going on for me that I’d like to record (which will inevitably involve them!)

                                  

             

… see you tomorrow?

Sunday, December 28, 2014

52/52

ace - little beach babeode - natural born hairdressermae - playing with Christmas lootebe - loving a cracker of a joke

a portrait of my children, once a week in 2014

                     

ace – beach lover. You spend your days vertical now, so much so that you can flatten the sand castles I make with a single determined stomp. Being outdoors brings you an inner peace – always has.

ode – natural born hair dresser. Father Christmas must have got word about cutting your sister’s (and your own) hair. Practise with the play-doh for now hey?

mae – so wonderful to see you retreat to your room and play on your own. You’re content and happy. Thriving too!

ebe – my my you do love a good joke! So stoked to get the purple Freo hat in the cracker too.

                           

                   

Posting late.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

51/52

mae - intermission at the balletace - my sweet pixie elf ebe - not really sure what to think about Santa

ode - so much fun at the pool

a portrait of my children, once a week in 2014

              

mae – we had such a lovely time together at the ballet. I wasn’t sure if you’d make it through the entire performance, you were quite wriggly! There were questions about when it would finish too. But then you danced and danced all the way home – even through an alley way where by chance we encountered a flash mob rehearsing.

ace – my wee pixie elf. Love you my sweet sweet boy. Thanks for adoring me as much as you do. Sometimes I don’t feel worthy, and there are a handful of moments when I think it wouldn’t be so bad if you shared some of the adoration with others. For now I am without challenge your number one. It is an overwhelming privilege that I feel so very blessed to have.

ebe – my thinker. The Santa Claus question has you a bit perplexed these days. You wonder if it is really your parents. I respond by asking you if you really think we’d buy you all that stuff. So you’ve discounted your parents as Santa. At this moment you don’t believe in Santa but you do believe in Saint Nic and Black Peter??!?! What the? You’re mind works in some marvellous ways. I suspect your on a trajectory to be a conspiracy theorist. (I’d also like you to note that I have never explicitly lied to you. Answering questions with more questions isn’t strictly speaking a lie, misleading yes – lying no.)

ode – water baby much!

                                   

                

Posted late.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

50/52

ace - gift openingode - not that relaxed getting his face painted ebe - satisfied with a book from St Nicmae - 6yrs olda portrait of my children, once a week in 2014

           

ace – still not completely sure what to make of unwrapping gifts

ode – not looking particularly relaxed getting your face painted by Saphy and the ‘elephant school’ Christmas party. You will miss ‘elephant school’ next year. Saphy looked after you when you were in the toddler room. You loved her very very dearly.

ebe – pleased with the book from father Christmas. You stared reading it immediately, in the car on the way home and had it finished before I’d managed to get your younger brothers to bed.

mae – six years old. *sob*  Being five wasn’t that easy – but I just know that you’re going to rock six to its very core. You’ve grown so much. I just adore the person that you are. It is such an honour to be your mother.

            

                  Posted late.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

49/52

ebe - still climbingmae - do you wanna be a snowmanode - the was a little boyace - pleased to see Grandma go   a portrait of my children, once a week in 2014

                

ebe – you are full of mischief and delight. A natural born climber… I think I eventually told you off about climbing this structure. I wish I hadn’t.

mae – my precious ballerina. Your debut performance at the Perth Convention Centre was an awesome success. You were brilliant. My heart burst with pride as I watch you. Bravo!

ode – my own Nan used to recite a poem about a little girl who had a curl … when she was good she was very very good and when she was bad she was horrid. Dear son, you’ve been a bit like this of late. I know that testing boundaries is an important part of your development but my my could you take it down a couple of notches.

ace – this photo captures your very first smile for Grandma. She is about to get on the plane to return to Sydney after a four day visit. You sure were pleased to see the back of her.

                     

Posted late.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

48/52

mae - practising getting your very short hair into a bun for ballet concertebe - my sweet boyace - loving your poolode - little scientist learning

a portrait of my children, once a week in 2014

              

mae – lots and lots of rehearsals for your ballet concert. You’re so excited, don’t seem nervous at all. I’m a bit freaked out that I have to get your short hair into a bun! I’ve been rehearsing too. Ballet brings so much joy into your life.

ebe – you light up my life! Such an awesome thinker. You’ve found yourself in some friendship predicaments at school of late. I’m so proud of how you have conducted yourself.

ace – while your older siblings splash about in the pool you make do with a storage container filled with water… and love it! The idea was that you’d play with toys standing outside the bucket but you just climbed straight in.

ode – a little scientist in the making? You’re a bit worried that the water keeps leaking through the bath toy.

                            

Joining in with Jodi.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

47/52

ode - goodtimes rolling down the grassy hillace - last days crawlingebe - mean scrabble facemae - cheeky big sister

a portrait of my children, once a week in 2014

                   

ode – you loved rolling down the grassy hill at Kings Park so much. You laughed and rolled and ran back up to the top and laughed and rolled and ran back up to the top and … found a fork! Twas a good fancy fork too!

ace – last days of crawling…

ebe – mean scrabble face. It has been so amazing watching your father teach you to play scrabble. You’re quite good at it too! I’m certainly well impressed. Loved your can do attitude most of all.

mae – what a cheeky big sister you are!!! All your brothers are so lucky to have a fun loving and easy going sister like you. You enrich their lives in ways they will come to understand in time.

                        

                             Joining in with Jodi.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

an ice cream dress

icecream dress 

A simple shirred dress for Ms. M made with a metre of lisette fabric. Originally destined to be part of her five year old birthday presents it didn’t make the deadline. It was then all but forgotten. Now finished it was never intended to be for her sixth birthday until when trying it on as I measured the shoulder straps she suggested it would be a lovely birthday present. “I am sure I can forget all about it” she said with a pleading tone. Too easy. I’m so thrilled that Ms. M loves it so much that she wants it to be a part of her birthday gifts for this year. Absolutely chuffed actually.

virtù - wrapping the ice cream dress

It’s now wrapped in brown paper and tired up with string pink ribbon waiting (in the back of the cupboard) to become one of her favourite things.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

46/52

ode - passed out on the couchace - climbing mountainsmae - getting used to her new glassesebe - striking the ball a portrait of my children, once a week in 2014

               

ode – passed out on the couch – it is hard working being a “big boy”. You’re thriving my dear sweet boy. You’re well and truly toilet trained and now in this past week you’ve given up all your “memes” to the dummy fairy. The pure delight and pride you experienced when you found a new pony in the fairy tree. So cute as you took “Grassy” everywhere with you, brushing his mane with the little pink brush.

ace – you’re climbing mountains! You were so thrilled with yourself to have climbed to the top of these rock all by yourself. You’re taking steps all on your own now, just three or four at a time. Crawling is still the fastest, and preferred, means of getting around. It won’t be for much longer.

mae - “I can see!” You were so excited to get your new glasses. You can’t wait to show your classmates. You’ve been practising getting used to them over this past weekend. It will get easier.

ebe – dreams of playing for Australia have been sown. For the first time this week you have started to really enjoy watching the cricket on the tele. Such intense concentration. So many questions. You’re loving playing of a Friday night.

               

             

Joining in with Jodi.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

45/52

ebe - icecreammae - icecream loverode - worlds slowest icecream eaterace - exploring with your trolley a portrait of my children, once a week in 2014

 

ebe – not altogether deserving of an ice cream today, and you knew it. I didn’t want you to miss out though. You went straight back to your room afterwards. I appreciated that you cleaned your room. Boy lets be clear – I love you all the time… some of your behaviours not so much.

mae – you nearly jumped out of your skin with excitement when I came rushing out asking if you wanted an ice cream when we heard the ice cream truck in our street. Your brothers couldn’t finish theirs without help – you my ice cream guru had no such problems.

ode – as we ran up the road barefooted to the ice cream truck you de-toured onto the verge and got a foot full of prickles. Not even ice cream could cheer you up straight away. Sat you on the wheelie bin and pulled out all the prickles but you still couldn’t eat your ice cream until you had a band-aid. Little one, you are the slowest ice cream eater I have ever known. You burst into tears when you accidentally got ice cream on your face and ended up eating the ice cream from your cone with a plastic spoon.

ace – we have had so many lovely days in the garden this past week, you walking behind your little blue trolley. You’re full of joy. It’s infectious. We’re all so proud of you.

                       

                       

Joining in with Jodi.

Monday, November 3, 2014

little steps

virtù - spring daysvirtù - centred square

Little steps are being taken around these parts. Our youngest has been standing on his own and living an increasingly vertical life as he pushes his beloved blue trolley around the house and garden.

I’ve been taking little steps too. Little steps towards finishing grander projects.

Ravelled.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

44/52

mae - penny for your thoughtsode - checking out his reflection in the lensace - playing with waterebe - climbing a tree

a portrait of my children, once a week in 2014

                 

mae – a penny for your thoughts? Beautiful girl you’re putting the pieces together and working it all out. You’re a strong and courageous person. Remember you don’t need a Prince to rescue you, there is nothing you cannot do for yourself.

ode – checking out the camera lens you were so enchanted to see your own reflection. Geez you’re a cutie pie (most of the time) We’ve been having such a lovely time out in the garden.

ace – you funny little boy! It’s hard being left out while all the others splash in the pool, but you sure did make the most of the tub of water I gave you to play with. You had me laughing when you decided to climb in. Too adorable for words. You sure do live up to your initials.

ebe – we went to the park and, predictably, you immediately climbed the “wobbly” tree. I let you ride your scooter home on your own since M and I weren’t ready to leave. You were surprised, but up to the challenge. You promised me that you’d be extra careful crossing the roads. My stomach ached with worry while you were gone, but seeing the proud look on your face on our return made it all worth it.

       

Joining in with Jodi.

Friday, October 31, 2014

just a minute … in october

I accidentally disappeared from this space for the month of October. It wasn’t intentional. There was lots to blog about but that’s just it – there was so much happening and I was so busy there was no time to blog. There were renovations, the death of the washing machine and two weeks of school holidays.

Listening… to lots of music on my iPod in the kitchen. The weather, especially over this past week, has been glorious. I dug out the speakers from a drawer and have them on the window sill. I’m bopping away as I cook and clean or just chillaxing with a cuppa outside in the sunshine. So good for my overall mood. This past week I rediscovered Just Because I’m A Woman – an compilation album of Dolly Parton covers.

Watching… not so much this past month. Footy is over for the year so that means the tv is on a lot less. Have been watching Party Tricks of a Monday night which I’m really enjoying. Dave finished watching Breaking Bad, I had to stop watching after the first couple of seasons because it just got to dark for me. At the end of every episode Dave would come retell the story for me. I enjoyed listening to him very much, it was endearing.

net set go

Playing… Hay Day! I’m not one for playing computer games, but when E. started playing this game on his iPod I thought it prudent to check it out myself to make sure it was safe. Oops. Seems I got a little addicted to it myself. Little Ace didn’t help much with his sleepless nights and only napping during the day if held – it has been somewhat comforting to play a mindless game in the wee hours of the morning. Ms. M started playing netball this month, not actual games but she is participating in the program Net Set Go which teaches netball skills.

Knitting… Crisis people!!! Somehow – and I really can’t understand how – Dave managed to bend one of my knitpro 5mm needles. This has put an abrupt halt on the cardi I’d been knitting for myself. Still haven’t gotten around to ordering some new ones. Really want to get my head around knitting with DPNs because there are a few small projects I’d like to do but this skill is required. So there you have it – a goal for November.

Crocheting…  started crocheting some squares for the long forgotten white blanket. Only a handful but something is better than nothing right?

Sewing…  just trying to finish projects. Not getting anywhere very fast. Feeling a bit overwhelmed by all the half finished projects and my inability to carve out a block of time to just get it finished. Frustration overload.

Teaching… a knitting and a crochet workshop for Craftbound.

Reading…  Confessions of a Qantas Flight Attendant: True Tales and Gossip from the Galleyit was certainly a good read. Not full of hot gossip as suggested by the title – but an interesting perspective on travel and working for one of Australia’s largest companies.

Renovating…  in the month of October we employed painters to finish painting the outside of the house (because we finally conceeded finishing the job was just too big for us) and had the main-bathroom surfaced sprayed – thus transforming the apricot tiles into white. We also had the bathroom floor re-tiled. There has been subsequent chaos and disruption to our daily routines, not at all helped by our washing machine breaking down and us being without it for more than half the month.

School holidaying…  since painters and other tradespeople were at our place I was on a mission to get the kids out of the house as much as possible.

vac swimming

The two school-kids had vacswim lessons every weekday of the holidays (and the two younger kiddos and I splashed in the paddling pool as we waited). This was a bit of mission getting everyone there and back and getting bathers and towels and snacks and so forth ready. Tricky too with tired little ones who perhaps would much rather been napping than splashing! Nonetheless we did it. In hindsight it was worth it, glad we did it even though some mornings I thought it was going to break me.

at the parklego scultures

Of an afternoon we attended a lego scupture workshop and two Science Alive workshops (SO brilliant) all hosted by our local library and there were outings to local parks too.

twighlight at the zoo

In the evening we went to the drive in to see Planes: Fire and Rescue in the first week and in the second we watched a screening of The Jungle Book (one of E’s favourite stories) at the Perth Zoo. So lovely to see the animals at twighlight (especially the Rhinos who were running around in their pen and sizing each other up)before we sat on the lawns with an epic picnic (made by moi) for dinner. I had been worried that little Ace wouldn’t cope with the late night flick but he just lapped it all up, at one point sitting between his eldest brother and sister looking super chuffed to be one of the big kids.

awesomemagic chicken tickets

As part of the Awesome Festival the two big kids and I saw The Magic Chicken at the State Theatre Centre. It was the first mime performance they’ve seen and I was quite amused when they leant in to ask me “when are they going to talk” early on in the performance. Clearly a bit worried about it all at the beginning by the end of the performance they were in stitches laughing and absolutely loving it.

shes got a ticket to rideshow bound on the traindriving the dodgem car on his owngoodtimes riding at the show camel rides

Again leaving the two babes with their father (to attend a birthday party) the big kids and I trekked off to the Royal Perth Show. Another epic and fabulous day filled with rides, performances, and displays. E. for the very first time drove a dodgem car solo – a massive rite of passage for him. Both E. and M. declared the camel ride as their absolute favourite ride (which made the very overpriced walk around a paddock a little more palatable for me). We stayed on to watch the fire works before riding the over packed train home. Good times indeed. Watching the kiddos watching the peeps full of merry was pretty amusing. They were a bit gobsmacked to say the least.

adventuringjumping in muddy puddles

There was also a family day trip out to Toodyay. We ate lunch at an awesome country bakery that had a corner full of kids toys (win!), jumped in muddy puddles, rode the miniature railway and visited the world’s oldest (and first) Emu farm. It was  such a great day. It was quite rainy but the sun always shone whenever we needed to get out the car. So serendipitous. Made the day even more special. We all felt so lucky.

Post-school holidaying… the little ones and I have been trying to get our rhythm back! Made a little trip to the Fire Station Museum which was sweet – nice to go out at a slower and easier pace with out those big kids.  Also visited the local Laundromat more times than we would have liked.

little witchlittle devil

Halloweening…  our kiddos were dead keen to celebrate Halloween. Dave and I find the business of Halloween a bit tricky (pun intended). At one level we see it as such an American tradition and as such are very reluctant to participate because we don’t see it as part of our own Australian culture. We both have concerns about the Americanisation of so many cultures around the world.  The flip side of that is that we appreciate cultures change over time and that our children have no appreciation for or interest in such academic concerns. The bottom line is that neither of us feel comfortable taking the children ‘trick or treating’. We were very much relieved when the school hosted a Halloween Spooky Disco, the children were able to get dressed up and participate without us taking to the streets. We only had one set of trick or treaters knock on our door (we were completely unprepared but managed to findsome freddo frogs at the back of the fridge) but we noticed that there were lots and lots out and about on some of the busier roads. Probably landing on a Friday night made it bigger than other years? Social media probably has a role to play too?  Regardless our children loved being dressed up and so next year, when Halloween is on a Saturday night, we’ve resigned ourselves to stocking up on treats and maybe, possibly, perhaps taking the kids out door knocking. What are your thoughts on Halloween?

 

Was October a buzz for you too?