Sunday, October 5, 2014

40/52

ace - loving his first birthdayebe - pensiveode - choo choomae - on the ferris wheel  a portrait of my children, once a week in 2014

                  

ace – loving your first birthday, loving your food, loving life – baby boy you have the best giggle going around, it’s infectious. Your big brother made you a Star Wars shirt for your birthday, he’s hoping that you too will be a big fan and watch the movies over and over and over with him.

ebe – your mind never stops. Always thinking, always creating, always imagining. Your mind is beautiful.

ode – “choo choo!”  You sure are absorbing and enjoying everything that life is throwing at you. Three sure is an awesome age, so much to be excited about. So much to relish. Spending time with you and seeing the world through your eyes is pure joy. Thanks buddy for sharing.

mae – life goes round like a ferris wheel Ms. M.  Sure there are lows, but it is brilliant up there at the top and hey – the going round and round and round bit is pretty cool too don’t you think. Love being on the ride with you gorgeous girl.

                

                

Joining in with Jodi.

Monday, September 29, 2014

one year on

virtù - ace one year on

hey there little fella!

It’s been a year now since I’ve known you on the outside. Fastest year of my life. Getting to know you has been totally awesome, pure delight. You sure have been teaching me loads, mostly that I don’t know as much as I thought I did. It’s a good lesson to have. My fourth babe you may be, but this inaugural  year of ours has been full of firsts and new experiences.

Celebrating your first birthday is a happy occasion, but I have to confess to crying bucket loads of tears too.  Your birth wasn’t an easy one my dear baby boy and remembering it on this anniversary fuels the hurts. We are both so lucky to be alive.

I can still remember waking up after the surgery not knowing what had happened to me or to you. I remember the angst while I waited to meet you, and then finally being wheeled down to the ICU to meet you. I remember all the tubes, the beeping noises and the sound of the oxygen being feed to you through tubes. I remember being all on my own for what felt like eternity as I waited to see you again. I remember FINALLY being allowed to hold you and taking you to my breast even though I’d been told not to. Apparently you would cry and cry and cry in the ICU, but I never knew you to cry – you were always calm and content in my arms. A year on and that still holds true. You love me like no other, and it is such an honour for me to be your rock, your security and your comfort.

Today you opened lots of gifts, well you sat there and tried to open them anyways – you had lots of keen helpers. You didn’t seem to mind and you were well aware that the day was all about you. You lapped up the attention wearing a smile from ear to ear. You received lots of bath toys – because you love your bath – and to help you celebrate all three of your siblings jumped into the bath with you to play.

Later we took you to the park and played with your new yellow ball. You got three balls in total, because you love playing with balls so much. They always make you happy. Being outside always makes you happy too. You’re a real outdoors person so to say you were in your element at the park with your new ball is an understatement. You had your first lolly – a milk bottle – there too. You seemed well impressed with it.

After the park we took you to a public swimming pool with a water slide. The original plan had been to take the family to The Maze with lots of outdoor waterslides, picnic fun and farmyard animals… but since today was a bit cold and showery we settled for an indoor pool. Don’t worry we’ll take you to The Maze soon. You seemed well impressed with the pool and little baby slides and toys. Your siblings were well chuffed too.

Then it was home for cake and opening some more gifts.

You were well knackered by the end of the day.

I haven’t quite finished making all your gifts yet. I did manage to finish a knitted elephant that I started making for you at the beginning of the year, but the eye-spy quilt and the giraffe softie still have a bit of finishing off. You’re not the best sleeper by dear boy. You tend to wake a lot through the night and don’t always nap during the day. Makes it a bit tricky to find the time to make things. Not to worry. They’ll be finished soon, and be stuffed full of my love for you.

Dear dear dear boy. I love you with all my heart and soul and am so thankful to have shared this wonderful year with you. You’re tops.

Happy 1st Birthday.

virtù - ace's first birthday

Sunday, September 28, 2014

39/52

ebe - terrorising your younger brothersmae - my little ballerinaace - loving showersode - mixing it up with the big kids kicking the footy

a portrait of my children, once a week in 2014

             

ebe – you’re really growing up, …but not so much that you’re above terrorising your younger brothers on ode’s trike!

mae – when you really really don’t want your photo taken you drop your shoulders, stick out your bum and purse your lips.

ace – you’re loving shower time in the mornings

ode – with your hands on hips you declared to me this week that “I’m a big boy”, here you are mixing it up with all the other big boys kicking the footy after the grand final

                      

Joining in with Jodi.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

38/52

ode - on your way upace - at the clotheslinemae - still feeling vunerableebe - some puzzles before school   

a portrait of my children, once a week in 2014

                  

ode – one the way up. Sweet boy you’re getting bigger and bigger every day, in mind and in body. There’s not a lot of baby left in you, without a doubt you’re becoming a big boy.

ace – playing at the clothes line. Dear baby boy you and I have so many good times out at that clothes line. Good thing too when you consider how much time we spend there.

mae – you’re still feeling vulnerable, but slowly slowly you’re getting stronger and working out how to write your own happy ending. My dear girl you’re going to make it and it is such a privilege to be there for you holding your hand and wiping away your tears.

ebe – some word puzzles before school. You’re tops my boy. Awesome 18/18 for your school assignment and generous sharing of your lolly bag with your younger siblings after a mate’s party. Love the way you roll.

           

                  

Joining in with Jodi.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

sun is shining the weather is sweet yeah

virtù - sun is shining

What a strange day.

The sun was certainly shining and the weather was definitely sweet.

The unusual start of the day was indicative of the strange day to come. Little O hysterically woke me because we’d lost his dada. In a daze I searched the house and could not find Dave anywhere. With panic rising I eventually found him sleeping in the driver’s seat of the car parked out the front of the house, the youngest member of the family asleep in his car seat. That little Ace has been putting his Dadda and I through our paces these past two nights, there has not been a lot of sleep. There has been a lot of screaming and crying.

Breakfast was had this morning before the dishwasher was emptied. That bugs me. I know its such a small thing but in the mornings I’m all about structure and routine. The dishwasher should be emptied before breakfast is started so that the dirty dishes can go straight back in rather than clutter forming around the sink. Keeps the new day clean. Such pedantic ritual is abandoned by morning tea time, but its nice to make it to elevenses with a clean and uncluttered kitchen.

We dropped E. off at school and chatted with his teacher. I don’t see her too often because E. generally likes to walk to class on his own these days. I’m cool with that. I have my hands full and independence is a good thing. It was nice to chat with her though. She was full of nice things to say about my boy. She made some lovely remarks about my parenting too. That made me feel really good.

M. had an appointment with our GP today. We headed to a playground near by for a spot of play before hanging out in the waiting room. Turned out it wasn’t the best choice of playground as most of our party needed to do ones and twos and there was no public toilet. Still most of us managed to hang on.

Our GP had some news to share, turns out one of her other patients has just recently named there newborn baby after our O. When chatting about the name the patient had shared with our GP that she’d discovered the name chatting to [me] in the waiting room, she’d liked it and we seemed like a lovely family. How chuffed are we! The GP and I joked that clearly we had not been there for one of E.’s bee injection appointments!!!

Day was going well.

Following M’s appointment I took her to a hairdresser to have her younger brother’s work enhanced. It was one of those no appointment places. The receptionist asked us to come back in half an our and so we checked out the shopping centre toilet facilities (it was that kind of day) and then bought some snacks at Woolies. There was another playground so we consumed our snacks had a quick play and then headed back to the hairdresser… where we waited for another forty five minutes! In the end we just left, M in tears that she wasn’t having her hair cut.

The day was turning pear shaped.

It wasn’t a good travelling day for our boys. Ace screamed and cried the entire way to our GP in the morning peak hour traffic and now on our return trip O. was completely losing it in the back seat. Not far from home there was car napping. Bugger. There would be another hour and a half of overtired boy company before we could finally get them down for naps. Meanwhile a splitting headache, earache and sore throat were dogging me and frankly making me a feel a little teary. (Remember peeps – not a lot of sleep happening here)

My hero dada Dave saved the day, coming home early from work to pick E. up from school so the young boys didn’t need to be woken. It also meant that M and I could head out again later in the afternoon to get her hair cut and have a bit of girl time. While we were out we bought her first netball and then while Dave made boiled eggs, baked beans and toast for dinner I taught her chest passes in the backyard. Loving that the days are getting longer.

Now I write this post sitting at the foot of my bed. Ace has woken a couple of times already for some cuddles before being taken back to his cot, M. is sleeping here after already having a bad dream and O has just arrived and is taking up his fair share of bed real estate.

There is some sibling conflict going down just now. Some more screaming and crying.

*sigh*

Maybe sleep will return to these parts tomorrow night?

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

gardening shoes

virtù - garden shoes at the back door

Beautiful spring weather in these parts. The garden is calling. My old cons are serving as gardening shoes. They’re completely impractical, they are riddled with holes now. My feet end up dirty despite wearing them.  I can’t bear to part with them. I do have a new pair for everyday wear but even so it seems wasteful to part with these friends just yet.

There are some painting jobs on my horizon so I am expecting that I will get use of them again then. Perhaps when they’re splattered with paint stains we will part ways. Or maybe then I will just fill them up with dirt and plant a flower in them.

With any luck I’ll be wearing them again tomorrow out in the garden. There is much to do. Weeding mostly. A little bit of vegie planting. Lots of snail relocation.

My youngest two are only too happy to help with the watering.

virtù - boys watering the garden 

Do you have anything so old and worn that it has become impractical yet you still can’t part ways?

Sunday, September 14, 2014

37/52

ace - stands to playebe - plays monopolyode - and his shadow mae - lost her first tooth

a portrait of my children, once a week in 2014

ace – stands to play, you can manage a smile even when you’ve been feeling poorly – blasted cough and cutting teeth. They’ve kept you and I awake a lot this week.

ebe – loving your first game of monopoly. You’re getting so much better at playing board games and your understanding of money is developing too. This weekend you’ve been doing odd jobs all around the house for pocket money.

ode – shadow play? You’ve an unnerving fascination with spitting out water at the moment. Actually you’re fascinating with testing all kinds of boundaries and social norms. I guess that makes you a pretty typical three year old.

mae – you lost your first tooth at the check out of Woolworths today. Your brothers (the younger one your current hairdresser of choice) and I gave you a wild round of applause which attracted a few strange looks from those around. You were so super chuffed and mega brave. I on the other hand felt like I might burst into tears, you’re losing your last baby fragments.

         

  Joining in with Jodi.

Monday, September 8, 2014

drinking apple tea

virtù - drinking apple tea

Windy and gusty here in Perth today. The perfect day for sipping sweet apple tea. It continues to be chaotic in these parts. I’m start to think that that is just the way life will be from here on. So much juggling to be done. The more I practice the better I get. Lost my creative mojo there for a bit, particularly last week. Felt flat. Didn’t even want to lift up my knitting. Still haven’t got it totally back, but I have faith that the desire to be making will come back, soon even.

Sometimes I can’t seem to see the forest for the trees. All those trees can be overwhelming at times. I was reminded of great wisdom recently, “a jug is filled drip by drip”. I’ve adopted it as my mantra for the time being. I know that term four is always hectic with end of year bits and bobs, but term three turns out to be action packed too. Ms M. received a merit certificate at the school assembly, then there was book week, then Ms. M performed in her first school assembly (which was so brilliant – bravo!), Wednesday night the school hosts a learning journey where the parents are invited into the classrooms for an hour, the next day E. is getting a merit certificate at the school assembly (but I don’t think he knows), the week after he has his performance (some sort of dance routine to Happy) … oh my!

There have been assignments that need doing and homework and homework and homework…

I would say that I was looking forward to the school holidays … but I booked the two older kids into swimming lessons everyday for the full two weeks!

My mind seems to be forever racing with thoughts of one kind or another – I’m forever distracted.

Ah. Putting my feet up for small moments to quietly sip sweet apple tea. Bliss. Be. In. The. Moment.

                   

                              

…now back to racing.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

36/52

mae - her first sports carnivalace - keeps his eye on the streetebe - in the shower ode - mr cool

a portrait of my children, once a week in 2014

    

mae – your first sports carnival this week, in the words of your father “our children move like treacle”, even so you had a good time and seemed to take it all in

ace – everyday your life becomes more and more vertical, this week you did some pretty impressive cruising around the lounge room furniture. Ne need to rush by dear boy, there is plenty of time.

ebe – boy you love your showers and baths. Always have. Looks like you’ve inherited your parents “last minute” gene – having to put in a late night and frantic morning in order to submit your school assignment on time.

ode – super smooth, you can smile your way out of anything

 

Joining in with Jodi.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

dinO

virtù - a kiss for dinovirtù - a hug and a kiss for dino virtù - ode and his dino

I do like to make my babes at least one gift for their birthday. For his recent third birthday I made O a dinosaur. He is loving all things dinosaur very much at the moment. He was very thrilled with it, smothering it with many kisses. Bless.

This is my first knitted softie. Previously I have sewed and crocheted soft toys but not yet knitted one. It was my first experience of knitting short rows too.  I so enjoyed making this for my sweet boy.

virtù - emrboidered label virtù - dino for Ode 

Everybody roar!
Like a dinosaur!
Do the Dinosaur Roar!

   

Ravelled.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

just a minute … in august

August! Oh my! So busy. Time has just flown by. Wooosh.

virtù - a web in the garden

Listening… to O singing “Happy Birthday” to himself in the weeks leading up to his birthday. Super cute.

star wars

Watching…  the original Star Wars trilogy with E., Searching For Sugar Man which was such an amazing story, and seasons 1 & 2 of Orange is the New Black.

virtù - ace helps his dada

Knitting… a dino for an awesome three year old and still working on a cardi for me.

Crocheting… teddy bears, well teaching other people how to crochet teddy bears anyway.

virtù - book week costumes

Sewing… costumes for book week, a cape and a Brobee t-shirt for O’s birthday.

Celebrating… O’s 3rd birthday.

virtù - playing shop

So was August busy for you too?

35/52

ace - watches the goings onode - reaching for the starsmae - uber coolebe - kicking the footy

a portrait of my children, once a week in 2014

      

ace – watching on as always. You’re super cute, even with that scratch and scab on your nose. Yesterday you had your first blood nose – turns out your father and I still differ on the definition of supervision.

ode – reaching for the stars, you are so full of mischief.

mae – you are just so uber cool baby girl.

ebe – kicking the footy, you can do anything you put your mind to. There is a new maturity about you over the past couple of weeks, I enjoy spending time with you so much. Loved cuddling up on the couch watching Star Wars with you.

     

  

Joining in with Jodi.

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