Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 :: the year that was

cooking in the old kitchen

On one level it feels like not much happened in 2011, but reflecting more closely on the past twelve months it becomes apparent that the year was in fact rather action packed.

new bathroom

In 2011 we painted four rooms (three bedrooms & a lounge room), installed a new kitchen and ensuite bathroom and have almost laid a new floating floor throughout the main living areas of our home. That’s not bad considering we were also juggling both working full time, two smalls, a pregnancy and then three smalls.

running through the forest down south

We took a holiday to beautiful Margaret River and swam our hearts out at the gorgeous beaches. We ran through forests and drank lots and lots of milkshakes. More importantly we treasured some much needed family time.

and then they were three

The year started with us as a family of four and it ends with as an established family of five. Baby O’s arrival is an obvious highlight. What a gorgeous son and brother for us. We gained one baby and lost another. Ms. M started the year as a baby but she is now a fully fledged little girl. No dummy, no nappies, no floaties, no help needed to put on her shoes. She is becoming more confident and social. A bitter sweet realisation indeed.

baby M

E. thrived too. In the course of 2011 he learnt to write his name, he learnt about letters and numbers and discovered a deep love for rhyming words and assonance. He can now ride a bike and dive to the bottom of the deepest part of the pool. In 2011 he went to his very first school disco. At the end of the year he now initiates trying new foods (although rarely finishes them) and sleeps past 6am in the morning a little more regularly. There is hope!

E in Margaret River

2011 saw every member of the family have a stint at a hospital. E’s MRI, Ms. M’s ankle (after falling off the bunk bed), Dave’s quinsy and baby O’s birth and stay in the special care nursery. Here’s hoping that in 2012 we avoid hospitals all together.

my mob

Creatively 2011 wasn’t as productive as I’d liked. Whilst pregnant I was too tired and after baby O’s birth rather busy (and still tired!). Still I finished a crocheted blanket of E and Ms. M each this year and am half way through a cot blanket for O. I also managed to complete some re-fashions for the children and sew myself some maternity skirts. So it wasn’t a total loss.

… and now it is time to draw the curtain on what was all in all a great year for our family. The year ends with me feeling very exhausted, here’s hoping a fresh year will help recharge the batteries.

I wish you and your family a very happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

christmas

buntingchalk boardchocolatesjumpingsunflowerslegoplaying in boxesbaby O first chrissy cherriestartnut loafwaiting for dinnercrackers, jokes and silly hats trifle

Christmas at our place. Baby O’s first Christmas. Not super-duper out of this world fantastic, rather more like a national lampoon’s movie. I suppose not every year can be a dreamy kind of magical. The reality for this family is that after three sets of visitors, from inter-state and international, plus one birthday party in the month leading up to Christmas meant that we hadn’t had a free weekend in over five weeks. So by Christmas day we were all rather tired. All rather frazzled. Exhausted. Ready to fall in heaps. So the day went smoothly enough for an over-tired family but there was a stench of blah-humbug-too-tired about it too. Still we had lots of fun opening gifts, swimming with new pool toys, jumping on the new trampoline, drawing on chalkboards, playing in boxes, cracking crackers and eating a yummy meal.

Last minute sewing was completed and our baby boy got a Santa sack. Family life had to take a priority over sewing in the end and all other tasks on the list of things to do were put aside until a better time.

Enjoyed resting up doing not too much since the big day. We’re all feeling better for the nothingness. So glad to be travelling slow again. It really is the way to travel.

Friday, December 23, 2011

#LastMinuteXmasSewing

last minute sewing

Okay folks its time to start the Christmas sewing. Yep. You read right. Start the Christmas sewing. Not finish it off. Start!!! Ahhhhh!!! I lost my sewing mojo and now it is panic stations peeps. Deep psycho-analysis of why sewing mojo left me right before the Chrissy deadline will be undertaken post-event. For now it is time to hit the sewing room. I’m feeling frantic. Feeling pumped. Feeling like I did the morning of my first HSC exam.

I’ll be tweeting these endeavours using the hash tag #LastMinuteXmasSewing. Have you got last minute sewing too??? Why not join me. Or perhaps you don’t have last minute sewing because you’re super dooper organised. Use the hash tag too and show me what I could be doing if only I’d got going earlier.

Wish me luck!!!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

gorgeousness all around

The floating floor has been laid. Well in the play space and the living area anyways so on Tuesday night when we were all sleeping gorgeous Dave stayed up late and assembled the Christmas tree.

We woke Wednesday morning to find the tree already decorated.

decorated

E and M had gone out into the garden to find flowers to decorate the tree. It was definitely one of those melt you heart moments. Tears started to well in my eyes. More gorgeousness.

In the afternoon we went and visited the big man. We’re not scared anymore. Excited yet cautious. No gift requests - “I’m happy to get what ever Santa wants to give me” says E. as we line up. Awwww. Another melt you heart moment that had me bursting with pride.

santa photo 2011

Look at my gorgeous crew. They all look so smart. Not impressed with the background though. It looks messy & untidy. I know. I know. Totally anal retentive on my part but I figure if you’re paying money for a photo the backdrop should look good. This particular Santa set looks like it needs a renovation! My children didn’t care two hoots though. They thought it was a wonderfully magical moment and that’s all that matters I suppose. Santa was happy to have a big chat with the little tikes too and E. explained to the big man that Rudolph’s nose was red because he didn’t wear enough sunscreen. Santa took it on board and will take better care of Rudolph’s nose in future.

by the tree

It was such a lovely afternoon and evening. All three children were so good. It was so easy to be out with them all, even lining up for ages in the queue. I was so proud of them. I wish it was always so easy and that they were always so good. I guess I wouldn’t appreciate and relish it as much though.

By the time we got home it was dark. Since we were all in such wonderful moods we didn’t get ready for bed straight away rather we found our meagre Christmas decorations and the fairy lights and decorated the tree. The children were all so excited. So lovely. So very gorgeous. (the photo above is certainly not our tree!)

We’re going to make some more decorations over the next couple of days and decorate the tree a bit more. There no such thing as too much gorgeousnessness is there? Let the festivities begin…

 

… and if you’re interested Santa visits from Christmas past.

Monday, December 19, 2011

three is a special number

Ms. M is three. At the start of this year she was my baby and now twelve months later she has grown into my little girl. She has been planning and dreaming of her birthday party since February.

pink and yellow bunting

Pink and yellow, her favourite colours, bunting decorated the party area along with pink balloons. There was a plastic Dora table cloth and blue paper cups labelled with every child’s name with a custom made Dora sticker. (Thanks Posie for that fantastic idea) There were also Dora party bags filled with some lollies but mostly plastic jewellery, stickers, and balloons.

birthday food

Of course there was party food and a Dora cake. There was party craft involving obscene amounts of glitter too.A party just isn’t a party without pass the parcel, an egg and spoon race (real unboiled eggs people!), musical statues and good ol’ hide and seek.

The birthday girl wore a pink dress with a yellow ribbon that I made the Friday night before the party and by the end of the event it was stained all over with evidence of lots and lots of fun.

do you think she enjoyed the cake

Me thinks she enjoyed eating her Dora birthday cake! The cake is a Beetroot Chocolate Party Cake – my go-to party cake as it is dairy free and makes a large quantity to feed the masses. It is lovely and moist too and keeps well so it can be made a couple of days ahead of the party.

On the actual day of her birthday I made her a sponge cake. It was ok but I don’t think I’ll be winning CWA awards any time soon. I certainly need to keep practising the art of baking sponge cakes – I don’t think the family will mind if I do.

her birthday cake on the day

So my gorgeous girl had a couple of lovely days celebrating turning three. She received some fantastic gifts too, including her very first bike.

Afterwards I’ve been feeling pretty wiped out, overwhelmed with tiredness - hence the impromptu bloggy break. I’m back now and ready for Christmas. Let the adrenaline pump through my veins because I have a lot to do, including assisting my man lay a floating floor in the main living area so that we can hopefully get our Christmas tree up in time for the big day.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

grateful

This is the last week Maxabella is hosting her grateful linky thingie for 2011, where has the time gone?  

I am grateful for all the wonderful people I have “met” in the blogosphere. I am grateful for your support and encouragement and for the endless inspiration too. There are a few very special people out there I am especially grateful for and thankful to this year.

farmer boyfarmer boy (2)

The gorgeous and intelligent Tanya of Suburban Jubilee sent across a package of goodies for my dear baby boy well before he was born. Included in the parcel were some singlets, one of which had a little robot (that *sob* baby O has grown out of already!) and the little farmer man pictured above. So adorable. There was lots of yellow goodness too, but she must have had a hunch we were having a boy. The very first time I dressed baby O in his robot singlet, camera at the ready he weed all over it. Very funny. I was a little out of practise changing boy nappies then. Well and truly back in the swing of it now though.

wooly goodness

A package filled with  wooly wonders was sent to us by the very generous and spunky Jenni of Baa-Me Kniits. Here is a picture of the boy in his soakers, passed out after having a feed, but I can tell you getting a snap of those little feet wearing his thongs was hard work. Those little legs of his move so fast!

little feet in thongslittle feet in thongs (2)

Kind and crafty Mandy of Fell 4U sent this delightful creature our way, and this morning I woke to see the little froggy on my boys head (not face!)… mmm – I think one of his siblings might have crept in for some early morning play. The other day when baby O was in the midst of overtired cries it was dear froggy that settled him and he stared at his bulgy eyes until he fell asleep. Thankyou Mandy!!!

a froggy best friend

Environmental and innovative Cath of Chunky Chooky sent this cute softie rattle too…

kiss the chunky chook

little hands grip on

chunky chook

faces

…which for the first time today baby O reached out for and held all by himself. Woo hoo! (no not really … don’t grow up so fast my dear boy… slow down!!!) So amazing to watch him reach, try to hold and then when he is successful bring the rattle to his mouth. Such hard work for such a little lad and I am so grateful to spend the time with him watching him achieve such significant milestones. I can see too that it won’t be long until he is rolling. This afternoon I could see him work out to bring is little legs up and with momentum turn, just needs to work out how to get his upper body to follow.

As if all those fantastic and uber ace gifts weren’t enough, I was also recently lucky enough to win a giveaway at Clare’s Craftroom.

fat quarters and pattern

On Tuesday after a shocker start to the day, this wonderful red and white bunting arrived in the post – a little soggy but all in tact – from Kathy at Sew-Happy House as part of The Haby Goddess Kris Kringle swap.

red and white bunting

Just perfect. After sewing all the bunting for the birthday party tomorrow the very last thing I feel like doing is making some bunting for Christmas. Now once we’ve recovered from birthday-itis we can get straight into the Christmas spirit.

Speaking of Christmas spirit see this little angel hooked by Jenni on the wrapping of her parcel…

little angel

…how sweet!!! See the little wings. It is so much better in person.

Posie has sent a parcel too. I’ll show you after a little tweaking. (oooo… I’ve gone all secret squirrel on you!)

So as you can all see there is much to be grateful for. We have been very blessed indeed. This really is just the very tip of the iceberg for us. Our problems here are all those of a first world nature.

Life is good.

Life is real good.

Friday, December 9, 2011

this moment

after the feed

{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.

*** I know no words BUT note the milk drops on his face. This is my boy passed out after a feed. So so precious. ***

sinking

sinking

via

I’m drowning.

There is so much going on around here and I am feeling O-V-E-R-W-H-E-L-M-E-D. I’m sinking.

Wednesday was a tough day. I’m not sure what is going on with my children just now but the behaviour has been challenging and inappropriate. Perhaps it is the increased amount of crappy food? Candy canes are rife and there are still weeks to Christmas. Or maybe it is the hangover from recent visits by grandparents, the children’s paternal grandparents are particularly over-indulgent and set no boundaries. We have noticed a decline in the children’s behaviour after they’ve visited a couple of times now. Regardless of the reasons why, a low point on Wednesday was banishing children to “thinking spots” in the middle of Spotlight before hauling them into the car and ranting and raving all the way home. The day really didn’t get any better and hit rock bottom when combing E’s hair before bedtime and noticing lice. Humpf. Our first case of lice. The finale to a crappy day.

Dave went and got the special shampoo stuff from the local chemist and we started the process of de-lousing the boy, and then the girl and then Dave and I because the idea of lice totally totally freaks me out. The children didn’t end up getting to bed until about 10pm by the time we’d gone through their hair with shampoos and nit combs. Then we started washing all the sheets, pillows, doonas, and the soft toys that Ms. M uses as pillows. That was Wednesday afternoon and I have just finished my last load this afternoon. The lounge room is now overflowing with washing that needs to be folded and put away.

This one event has thrown everything into chaos.

Meanwhile this week has been the week of cupcakes. Dave took gluten free cup cakes to work on Wednesday for a morning tea, E. took thirty cupcakes to school on Thursday (because his birthday is during the school holidays) and Ms M took cupcakes to childcare today because her birthday is early next week.

Now to get this home of ours in some sort of order ready to host a birthday party on Sunday.

Arghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!

I will come up for air.  I can do it.

I’ve finished the bunting. The pieces of the party dress have been cut out ready to be sewn together tonight.

Tomorrow the party girl and I (with her baby brother tagging along of course) will head to the shops to buy the party food. In the afternoon I will be making the party cake. Oh please please please universe cut me a break and let me have it all finished at a reasonable hour on Saturday so that I can get some sleep ready to enjoy my girl’s special party day.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

at my place today

cup of tea

It is time for a cup of tea. I feel like I really need this cup of tea. I’ve been feeling a bit grouchy this morning, and regrettably so have the children. We can all be so alike at times. The funny thing is that pre-motherhood when I imagined what my future children might be like it never once occurred to me that they might actually be like me. I guessed that they might look a bit like me, a blend of Dave and I, but never ever did I think they might share attributes of my personality. Goodness knows what I was thinking – but it comes as a shock sometimes that they’re just like me. 

snail on the window

Today there are thunderstorms (thunderstorms and lightning very very frightening me! Galileo, Galileo; Galileo, Galileo; Galileo, Figaro – magnifico)  and grey skies and we’ve been inside climbing the walls. There is a snail on the outside of the lounge room window. The way in which it slithers is both fascinating and a little bit gross.

grey skies slow cooker lid
egg plant curry slow cooker

There is an eggplant curry in the slow cooker. We haven’t had it before. If it is any good I’ll post the recipe. The slow cooker was purchased just before baby arrived. It has been marvellous. Put a curry on in the morning and then in the evening just cook some rice when it is time to eat. Eliminates  Reduces the afternoon witching hour because I am free to provide attention; walks to the park, swims in the pool, colouring, watching some tele – I am there and tired children appreciate that.

sleeping peacefully

So just now I am drinking my cup of tea. The thunder and lightning continues. It has been sounding for hours – all morning. I like it better now that baby and Ms. M are sleeping and big boy watches Wow Wow Wubbzy. A moment down time to enjoy nature’s spectacular before I gather myself together for the afternoon tasks. I still haven’t finished the bunting so hopefully that will get ticked off the “to do list” today.

unfinished bunting

As much of the world is diving right on in with the Christmas spirit we’re all about birthday party fever here. Not that it is going to be one of those spectacular events often witnessed here in the blogosphere. A humble party at home with some traditional party food and some old fashioned games. It won’t be highly stylised, just a backyard party for a special girl turning three. I think she is going to really like it. Her favourite colours at the moment are pink and yellow – so there will be (if I finish it in time!) pink and yellow bunting and balloons. She has been asking for a Dora party since February this year so there were Dora invitations and there will be Dora lolly bags, pin the tail on Swiper and if all goes to plan (fingers crossed!) a Dora cake too. Personally I am not so keen on the Dora theme – it is so commercial – but I love my children just as they are so if that what she wants that is what she’ll get – it will be her party. After all she isn’t mini-me – she is herself. You know what? I will love my children even if they grow up to be right-wing conservatives or Collingwood supporters. (but universe please give me strength if they do!)

There is one little Christmas token though…crochet Christmas star

This crocheted star was gifted to me from Caroline at Brown Owls. Loving the blues with the red big time. So sweet.

… and that is it for Christmas at our place. Check back closer to the day.

Playing along here.