Saturday, December 28, 2013

so that was christmas

chrissy morning 2013Christmas. It’s been and gone for another year.

I can feel pretty ambivalent about the entire event to be frank. It is a lot of effort for one day. There is no other family here in Perth so once again it was just “us” for Christmas – although of course this year we welcomed our little ace.

I’ve been shopping and organising gifts for months, well before baby was born. Elf work is tricky stuff, most especially so finding sans children time to undertake it. Still we got there in the end… and I fell across the finishing line absolutely exhausted and questioning the entire thing – that is until I saw my kiddos smiling faces, grinning from ear to ear on Christmas morning. That made it all worth while. Those smiles reminded me why I put in so much work and effort and why I allowed myself to get so stressed. Every year I promise myself I’m not going to get so stressed about it, and I guess there have been years when I’ve managed to be more relaxed – but this year I suppose  throwing an extra child into the mix combined with a dose of sleep deprivation equalled higher stress levels than I would have liked. I just feel so much pressure to create beautiful memories for my children, moments that they can look back on with smiles from ear to ear. Time will tell I suppose.

Festive Feast 2013

A couple of years back we started the tradition of having our Festive Feast on Christmas Eve rather than the big day itself. We feel more like eating at night than in the middle of a hot Perth summer’s day and it means that no one is stuck on the kitchen preparing when there are toys to be enjoyed. Added bonus is that there is no meal prep at all due to the loads of leftovers that usually get us through to the end of Boxing day. Good stuff. This year we had red wine caramelised onion and goats cheese tartlets, zucchini with mint and fetta quiche, gruyere and black pepper pop overs, fiesta salad, quinoa & pumpkin salad for the main meal. For desert there was baked custard, apple and blueberry pie, green jelly, chocolate of all sorts and a plum pudding. Christmas morning we had the traditional coffee, croissants and fruit salad to keep us going. My my my … so much food. Ridiculous, to me anyway – but the feast is important to my partner and inturn is therefore important to me.

Ordinarily for our evening meal we like to cover the table with tea light candles… but this year we had to enjoy our meal with them unlit  due to a little two year old helper who confused Christmas with birthdays and kept blowing all the candles out! Same two year old was totally freaked out by the crackers and it took some cajoling to get him to re-enter the dining room. 

Ode - all things bubbles were his favourite this yearMae - Ben & Holly's Little Kingdom was a big winnerEbe - looking forward to camping with his new chair, sleeping bag and air bedAce - a penny for his thoughts... I wonder what he made of all the excitment?

The big man in red apparently paid us a visit. I told them all not to worry – and I can tell you there were moments there when they were truly worried about landing on that naughty list – all children are good at heart and no one would miss out. I don’t buy into the whole potato or lumps of coal in the sack stuff… perhaps that’s why my children feel so free to be naughty? There is only so far I can buy into the Christmas caper – and for me setting a standard that I can’t attain myself is just too much. We’re a faulty bunch in these parts, but we mean well and have hearts of gold.

mae's artworkmade by ebe 2013

Gotta say I was well and truly chuffed with all the festive making by M. and E. this year.   Our little Ms. M is really getting the hang of colouring and drawing while E. made some uber cool ornaments for the tree and drew a rather menacing Mr. Claus. I adore his mean eye brows and growling expression – no wonder he felt like he did as toddler if this is how he views the jolly man.

baby's first christmas

So how was your Christmas? Merry and festive? Or like me do you find yourself at times feeling a bit ambivalent about it all?

Thursday, December 19, 2013

five

five

five candles

My baby girl turned five last Friday. Five!

We threw her a birthday party and sweated it out in the forty degree heat… it was all worth it – at the end of the day she declared it “the best day in her life!”.

The day before she got her ears pierced – she chose pink gemmed studs. I wasn’t allowed to get my ears pierced until I was ten years old. When M asked me if she could  I explained the process and pain in exaggerated terms – she was undeterred so I figured there was no apparent reason why she shouldn’t. The process has changed since I was a girl – no gun, no bang. Easy peasy. She was brave… and I must say she does look very sweet with her pink gems. Her brother has subsequently declared that he wants plug piercing … I’m thinking that perhaps this falls into the same category as tattoos and he’ll have to wait until he’s an adult. (Just quietly - I think this style of piercing will really suit him!)

Turning five has been the birthday of the Barbie doll for M. She’s never had a Barbie before – I didn’t want to give her one until she asked for it. I suppose because I want her to have her own childhood that reflects her interests and passions not a re-run of my own or one that is a retailers dream. A couple of months ago she started asking and so she was gifted a Barbie from me, a skipper from her brother and some more Barbies from her kindy friends. She was also fortunate enough to receive Barbie stickers, pens, books… and it goes on. I sewed some Barbie clothes for her too! (I’ll take some photos of Barbie modelling them to share with you later)

… and of course for her birthday she received some Mama made dresses… including the one she is wearing above. (Again – I’ll get some photos soon… it’s just so hectic around here just now)

The birthday cake is the chocolate beetroot chocolate cake again. It just stays so moist and it’s a big batter – perfect for a party and a 12” tin. M wanted a Tinkerbell cake similar to the Dora cake that I made for her third birthday – but it was just beyond me this year – especially since I had to trek it to the beachside park twenty minutes away. Instead I convinced her of the logic of a round cake (that would fit into a container) with an edible Tinkerbell image. To make the cake a bit special I filled the centre with pink smarties so that when she cut it all the smarties fell out. No photos though… her Dadda and I were too busy juggling 20+ kindy kids at the party to think about grabbing the camera. A bit of my heart breaks about this – if you didn’t realise I enjoy a good photo – but I must remind myself the importance of actually being in the moment. There will be times in this life when I just need to commit moments to memory rather than to a jpeg. It was funny as we cut the cake together – even though I had only put the smarties in the cake and iced it that morning I had clear forgotten that I’d done it and was surprised myself. I couldn’t stop laughing – at myself and at the smarties – you had to be there but rest assured it was a delightful & treasured moment.

It was a great day... followed by a not so delightful night - a family struck down with gastro! Wiped us out for the entire weekend.

... and now on to Christmas...

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

what is it with sewing on buttons?

new summer hatsailor pants  A new hat and new pants  for summer.

Finally I sewed on the buttons to finish off my one and only project for the most recent KCWC. Can someone please explain to me why the simple task of attaching buttons can push the end date of a project back weeks? People there have been projects in the past that I have cut out and constructed in a night only to have the final task of sewing the buttons on take weeks. I can’t explain it, can you?

my girl