Tuesday, February 24, 2015

sleepless

virtù - roar!

I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire
'Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar

This girl of mine isn’t sleeping. She is terrified at night and once she does finally get to sleep (around midnight!) she wakes with nightmares. Its a problem that has surfaced in the past couple of weeks, since going back to school. Actually, since the second week when her ‘friend’ flanked by her mother came into her classroom during morning quiet reading time and handed out invitations to almost every girl in the room, except our M. At the time I was gobsmacked. What a passive aggressive act! It was also an a-ha moment when it became so blatantly clear where this young child has learnt her relational aggressive behaviours from. (Don’t misunderstand me, I have no issue with M. not being invited. People are not required to like everyone, nor can parents afford to invite all – my issue is with the process. Surely invitations can be given outside the classroom in a subtle manner?)   I didn’t make a big deal of it though. I waited to see how M reacted to it. Initially she was admirably philosophical about it, but I think it is bothering her deeper than she’ll admit.

Perhaps the sleep terror is not linked. Perhaps it is just a coincidence that it has started at the same time. Regardless M’s sleep issues have been incredibly disruptive. Last night was another shocker. She is so anxious and so worked up that her body shakes. She is hysterical. Dave or I take turns to lie with her, talk to her, sing to her but she is so wired it takes forever for her to unwind enough for sleep to take over. Later she wakes with nightmares.  Today I gave her and her overtired brother the day of school.

Desperately searching for a circuit breaker, and with forecasts for a day over 40°C, I took my precious mob to one of the most beautiful places in Australia, Cottesloe Beach.

virtù - some good timesvirtù - in the swellvirtù - baby beach lovervirtù - flanked by her brothersvirtù - shell collector

We had a fantastic morning. It was just what we all needed – bucket loads of joy inspiring activities. Swimming. Running away from waves. Playing in the sand. Collecting shells. Snacking on sandy rice crackers. The best reprieve from our worries and anxieties.

Then in the afternoon we collected her beloved Dada from work and had a picnic dinner on Heirisson Island. It didn’t take long to see why island isn’t a renowned picnic destination – so many many ants! Even though dinner was a stand-up and rushed affair we all had a wonderful time exploring, kangaroo spotting, stick collecting and throwing large rocks into the river. The sunset was pretty magical too.

virtù - kangaroosvirtù - sunset viewed from Heirisson island

The distraction worked a bit. Our darling girl was asleep just after 9 o’clock, not without tears – but the hugs and consoling words calmed her down. We’re making progress.

So proud of her brothers. We’re all on a mission to make our girl feel mega-loved, and today despite being very overtired themselves (due to the evening disruptions) they all stepped up to look after her.

virtù - wishing you sweet dreams my precious girl

           

Wishing you sweet dreams my precious girl.

             

*****

Just in case you too are experiencing difficulty with nighttime fears I found this webpage reassuring.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

an afternoon on, in and by the lake

virtù - bbq smells prevailsvirtù - picnics aboundvirtù - so many inflatable water toys

Our family spent the afternoon at Lake Leschenaultia. We didn’t take a bbq, nor did we pack a fancy picnic basket. We forgot the buckets and spades and the inflatable water toys. We forgot to pack bathers for our littlest member and I forgot my cossie top.

virtù - collection of rocks rather than shells

We did enjoy munching on sandwiches we’d brought from home. The apple and custard bready thingie Dave bought at a bakery in the morning went down a treat too. Collecting rocks into piles was fun, as was throwing them into the water and listening for the “kerplunk”.

virtù - canoeing on the lake

Hiring canoes and paddling around the lake and into the reeds was brilliant. There is something very magical about paddling around on the water. A new perspective perhaps. It dawned on me that it won’t be many more years until the children are actually helpful with their paddling, and not much longer after that that they’d be able to go out paddling on their own.

virtù - pontoon jumping virtù - ode after jumping off the pontoon with his dadda

Jumping off the pontoon was loads and loads of fun, if not a bit scary for all but the eldest child. And just splashing around in the fresh waters with the ducks was a good time too.

virtù - ace just loving itvirtù - oops! forgot to pack by bather top

A wonderful afternoon indeedy.

virtù - the lake

Things don’t have to be perfect to be awesome.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

eighteen years

eighteen years

Eighteen years since you walked into the Ringo Guesthouse, New Delhi and into my life. There was certainly an immediate attraction. It only took a matter of weeks for us to get together, the start of a rollercoaster journey neither of us could possibly imagine. Hey babe, you mean the world to me. Four children and a major mutual case of sleep deprivation can make the road pretty rocky at times, but I’ll always hang on to you. I’ll love you forever.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

repaired

Remember this blanket I made for M back in 2011?

Little fingers poking and fidgeting through the spaces in the crochet resulted in a blanket desperately in need of repair. I suspect that M took to the blanket with a pair of scissors during her toddler-hood too. The blanket had been put aside for over a year waiting to be repaired. It was puzzling to me how I was going to approach the task. Reverse crochet? Initially it all seemed a little bit too great a task.

virtù repair mae's blanket

In the end I sewed the inner circles back together. Using a large needle I threaded the yarn through the loops as best I could. It worked. For the gaping big hole I made a new square all in white. I could have made a colourful one – there are still little balls of left over yarn sitting on the coffee table in a glass fruit bowl (balls of yarn are so much prettier than fruit don’t you think?) but I thought white would be better because it reflected the fact that the blanket had indeed been fixed. Why hide it? The holes, the repairs – it’s all part of the blanket’s history. The love that I have for M. is not pristine, its flawed and wonky and yet perfect. Mistakes happen, sometime things just fall apart. Doesn’t make them any less valuable or worthless. virtù - rugged up in her newly repaired blanket

Once I had figured out how I was going to repair the blanket it was a most enjoyable task.    Sewing and crocheting even more love into the blanket I had made M when she was just two years old. Thinking of how much she has grown, so many wonderful memories and infinite reasons to love her. It was somewhat frustrating that on more than one occasion I had thought I’d finished only to discover another small breakage, but it was humorous too. That’s M. – concurrently humorous and frustrating!

 virtù - mae can't get enough reading

Only so much time this girl can stop to pose for a photo. She is in love with books. At the moment pretty much obsessed with Horrid Henry. Now she can snuggle up under her blanket, wrapped in my love, and read book and book and book…

      

Ravelled.      

STOP PRESS: Is she chewing the blanket in that top photo? Looks like more repair work might lay in this blankets future.

Friday, February 6, 2015

first week of school – the only way is up

virtù - first day of school

Not the greatest start to the 2015 school year in these parts. We were late three of the five days. There was a run away from home. Homework meltdowns. A mama meltdown. And generally just lots of chaos.

The only way is up hey?

virtù - sibling friends virtù - second day of school

Bring on week two I say. We’re going to nail it.

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.