Monday, November 28, 2011

~ the big girl turns 9 ~

Our beautiful Lily turned 9 over the weekend.

She was the baby who made me a mother, the one who changed the landscape of my heart and turned everything I thought I knew about myself on its head.

She's the one who has borne the brunt of my uncertainty and ineptness as I learn to be the best mum I can.

She made us a family, introduced us to that terrible fear when you realise that part of your heart resides outside your body and teaches us all the time.

{the red bike that goes faster}

{Harry's hat - cake #15 or so that we've made from the AWW bible}

I've been a mother for 9 years - it's amazing, challenging, tough and joyful - and it just keeps getting better.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

~ grateful water restrictions ~

It's been a gorgeous week here - loads of sunshine, some time off, happy children.
We've had lovely outdoor dinners on the deck, friends visiting, family arriving this weekend.

Yesterday we hauled out the old sprinklers and the children had the most wonderful time running, screaming, dancing ... uninhibited joy.

It's one of my most enduring memories of summers as a child - the green caterpiller sprinklers snaking across the lawn, those icy poles in plastic tubes from the freezer and nude kids running screaming round the back yard.

I'm so glad we live where the water is plentiful and there are no restrictions.
That the simple pleasures of childhood are still so easy to find.


{Joining with Maxabella this week (and often) to express gratitude for the little things}

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Monday, November 21, 2011

~ and then she was 7~

Our Gracie was 7 over the weekend.
Apparently 7 is VERY exciting - so exciting that you wake your parents at 4am, and when they refuse to stir,  you sing "Happy Birthday Self" over and over and over....until they do.
Makes for a long day for a newly minted 7 year old (and her parents).
She was as equally thrilled with her balloons as with her books, Lego and new desk (it had been hidden in the shed while the Doc painted it for the last week -at one stage we told her it was a goat and she still didn't peek).
She was super thrilled with the pool party and the Zappo the alien cake.


And who wouldn't be? - 20 friends and her brother and sister for an all-in splashing frenzy.  I kind of wished I was in there too - but I was pacing looking for stray drowning kids (none - yay) and of course there is the small matter of bathers....not ready to go there yet this year.

7 is joyous and smiley.
It's growing and exploring.
It's hopeful and impatient.
It's a learning experience for all of us (all over again).
It's going to be fun.

Friday, November 18, 2011

~ grateful ~

Today I'm grateful to the former owners of our house who planted the most beautiful roses along the verandah.
They make me smile every time I come home.
They keep our vases full of lovely flowers.
Total bonus - we get compliments from passers-by.
(And they look even better now we have a new roof and a great paint job)

{Roses with new roof, new paint and too much junk on the verandah}

{Roses with new roof but old paint, samples of new paint and hidden junk}

I am also, of course, grateful to Maxabella who hosts grateful posts every week and lets us focus on the little things that make life good.


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

~ yabba, dabba, do...its yellow ~


I'm doing wordless with a rainbow flower theme.

~ making connections ~

When we left WA (almost 7 years ago now) my heart was light and we moved with great anticipation.
We were coming home.  Bringing our little family back to where we belonged, where we wanted to raise our children.  Where life was good.
Not that it hadn't been good in the West.  Life was easy and breezy there.  Good times, happy times but we were a long way from our heart's home.
It's mostly the little things I miss - the lemon scented gums, the jacarandas in spring, not wearing socks.
Notably thought, in the first couple of years back,  I found myself achingly missing my mother's group.  That random group of women who met because we lived in nearby suburbs and all had babies (all girls) at the same time.  I know its not for everyone but we had one of those groups from a chick-lit novel.  We clicked.  We got each other.  We listened and talked and shared and learned and marvelled at the amazing transformation that motherhood had made to our lives.
I tried playgroups when we got back here; the hippy one nearby for which I had showered too recently to fit in, the one down in the posh end of town where I had the wrong clothes on the just wasn't the same.  The Doc ended up taking the girls to a dad's playgroup down the road and they all loved it. I cannot rave enough about what a fabulous concept dad's playgroups are and I wasn't even allowed to go.  And that was the problem - I was missing out.
When Jack came along I knew a couple of other mums having 3rds or 2nds with big gaps and we've created our own little routine.  On Tuesdays we meet at the local park.  We have a coffee roster.  We bring food.  The boys play and run and jump and we don't bother with craft (or healthy eating).
We chat and catch up.  We exchange idle gossip (the harmless kind).  We never finish a conversation.  We exchange parenting tips and mock complaints about our wonderful husbands.  We encourage each other in our exercise/study/craft/whatever plans for the week.
We leave refreshed, renewed and reconnected.
It feels good to be part of something again.  Something good. 

Friday, November 11, 2011

~ grateful for....~

This week I kneel and kowtow in appreciation of my tumble dryer.
Last week our washing line met with a dreadful accident.

{part of some elaborate jungle game...forbidden forever now unless in real jungles}

And, of course, this week has been swimming week - every day at school for Gracie, for me at the gym, Jacks 2nd ever lesson and lessons for the girls yesterday.
That's a lot of towels and soggy bathers to get dry in Hobart weather.
And so my trusty dryer has been working over time and I'm very grateful.
(but still planning to replace her with one of those you beaut condenser ones)
Sometimes it really is the little things.
(and can you believe I've posted 3 times about washing??!!)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

~ the one about the eyebrows ~

{me and my eyebrows, by Lily aged 5}

I've always quite liked my eyebrows.
Sort of Natalie Portman's crossed with Keira Knightley's (in my imagination). 
Not as bushy as Brooke's, no evidence of a Frida monobrow and certainly not a Gwen-ish overplucked look.
I never did anything to them. (Too scared to pluck or wax).
It was with great trepidation that I finally let a beautician near them a year or two ago - I checked after every twitch of the tweezer and I must say I was impressed with the neater result.
Completely surprisingly to me, people noticed.  Mostly favourably.
And so we've gone on - I get them done when I remember but I warn them each time that I'm nervous and I really "don't want much done"
Until this week when Cheryl and I were gossiping away and suddenly she went "oh" and I knew that that "oh" wasn't a good "oh" for me or my eyebrows.
I'm sure they'll grow back (eventually)
I'll suppress the urge to draw them in with pencil (or red paint).
I'll just let people marvel at my amazingly pink skin and green fangs instead.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

~ the fine line between bribery and incentive ~

{maybe he'll be the next superfish!}

Jack had his first swimming lesson this week.
He was not all that enthusiastic about it.
We should have suspected this - he hates getting his hair washed, will NOT have a shower and has been telling us that swimming lessons are for "big 4 boys" (ie not big 3 year olds).
We have delayed a while - the girls both started at about 6 months in those classes that are all about the parents and the nursery rhymes are loud enough to scare the children.

But swimming started again this week (we go to an outdoor pool in Hobart - gasp!!) and we were determined that it was time.
Cunningly we took him to watch the big girls first - he was quick to spot the end of lesson reward - the jars of mixed lollies that the kids spend an eternity in front of trying to work out how to get best value from 50c.

{Miss Pat has an amazing collection of vintage pool toys}

 And it worked...he was a bit slow to warm up but by halfway he was shouting across the pool to me "this fun mummy" and proudly announced at the end that "me did evvything Miss Pat says, me get green snake now."

{floaties and a back float but solo!}

I'm sure it's called incentive

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

~ work in progress ~

It's been a month since I started the quilt project.
I'm really happy with how things are going.


The downsides are the rough callouses on the tips of my fingers from pushing the needle through (soft I tell you) and the missed reading time (the pile of books next to my bed is growing tall).  I've also misplaced 2 needles that I hope no-one sits on.

I am refusing to calculate how many hexagons I'll need (and what on earth I do round the edges and on the back) for fear of depressing myself. 
(I am well versed in denial.)

My September project (the whole first ever gym membership thing) is going well too - the special deal elapsed and I've signed on for a whole 12 months.  I'm aiming for feeling healthy and some gentle toning.  Hopefully achievable.