Friday, February 28, 2014

just a minute …in february

It was 2010 that I wrote my last JaM post. Reading back on JaM posts of old is such a great reminder of time and place. For the life of me I can’t remember why I stopped writing them... it’s time to start writing them again me thinks. So here goes…

Listening: to lots of Nova 93.7 in the car – not my choice of radio station but the kiddos love it. The older two continually surprising me with how many lyrics they know. I’m not good at recalling lyrics in the least – if I’m lucky I might get a chorus down, but frankly I am known for getting lyrics wrong, mashed up, just making up my own. For years and years I thought the lyric in Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit was “here we are now in retainers”. It wasn’t until I heard a cover by Tori Amos that I learnt the true lyric. Also listening to Avacii’s latest album, my partner scoffs but I like it.  I’ve also been tuning in on podcasts about the revival of knitting and social media, amongst others.

secret life of walter mitty (2013)via

Watching: movies that have been nominated for Oscar awards. Not a bunch of happy films that’s for sure and I haven’t even seen Philomena or 12 Years A Slave. In February I’ve watched American Hustle, The Dallas Buyers Club, and the Wolf of Wall Street. Also watched The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013) – I think that’s my favourite flick for the month, the least favourite was Endless Love, but on the upside at least I didn’t have to pay for tickets as a friend won them from a radio station.

Knitting: a pink pullover for M, and still going with the little blue elephant for Ace. I’m stuck on the trunk. According to the pattern I have about four more rows to go before sewing it all together – but I have made a mistake so I need to tink… which I will do as soon as I can wrap my head around how to re-knit it.

Crocheting:  nothing much these days. It’s been ages since I’ve taken up the hook. I really want to change this.

virtù - shorts and trousers for my boysvirtù - sewing on  more cloth badges

Sewing: trousers and shorts for my boys. Some finished, some pretty closed to finished. Also sewed on a bunch of badges that had been hanging around for ages onto my blanket. Feels good to tick that job off the never-ending  list.

virtù - through the window

Playing:  peek-a-boo and tickles with baby Ace and hide and seek with my Ode. Love hearing my baby laugh – one of the sweetest sounds ever and hide and seek is particularly amusing with Ode who thinks if he can’t see you then you can’t see him. The big two are mad keen on drawing at the moment, that and “science” experiments.  Everyone is enjoying play-doh, its great to see all the children (sans babe of course) playing and making together.

Reading: Family Acts by Louise Shaffer. It was good,  a saga style novel. I wouldn’t rave about it, or necessarily recommend it, but at the same time I don’t regret reading it either. It was pleasant and engaging enough.

and there was a finish after all

virtù  - coffee cosyvirtù - knitted coffee cosy

I did stay up into the wee hours watching one last episode of Breaking Bad last night. In that time I finished  knitting and sewing up this wee coffee cosy. Yay! for finishing something right?

Perhaps not so yay for staying up so late… but hey my man was kind enough to pick me up a coffee this morning to kick start my day. So that does count as a yay! Double yay! because I kept my coffee cosy. Win win win.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

a creative detour

virtù - a creative detour - coffee cosy

I had no intention of starting a new project tonight, quite the opposite in fact. The game plan for tonight was to get stuck into one or maybe two of the unfinished sewing projects hanging about in my lounge room. I had visions of stumbling across a finish line. ‘Twas not to be.

The day had slipped blissfully  by as I soaked up the summer’s end. Tired and hungry, in that good fresh air and sunshine kind of way, I flopped on the couch after finally getting the children off to bed. The two and half year old was less than agreeable in this regard but those laments can be saved for another time. Sewing was not to be. The pink project I was telling you about yesterday is in pieces pinned to a towel, a lame gesture of blocking and yet significantly more effort has been invested than is  the norm.

Couch craft was calling. The 5mm sticks were located, as were some yarny remnants (or are they scraps?) and some stitching was undertaken. A movie has been watched. The small scale project is almost finished, perhaps I may fall over a finish line after all? Off to watch Episode 1 Season 2 of Breaking Bad as I knit a few more rows

   

Linking up with Kirsty’s Creative Space.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

{bedside} pink on the sticks and a book to start

virtù - bedside - pink on the sticks and a book to startvirtù - bedside - Tim Wintonvirtù - bedside - pink stitches

This coming weekend is a long one for those of us on the left hand side of the continent. The pink pullover that I’m knitting up for M. could very well be finished by the other side at the pace I’m going, but “coulds” don’t always turn into “have dones”. Time will tell.  The biggest obstacle en route to the finish line is Tim Winton’s Dirt Music. I’ve been wanting to read this text for sometime and is my choice for the book club that I attend with other mothers from my children’s school.  I adore Tim Winton’s writing so much. I can’t imagine there will ever be a novel that I could love more than Cloudstreet. Tonight I finished watching the first season of Breaking Bad so with any luck I’ll steal a moment or two tomorrow to get started on it.

What are you reading at the moment? Or planning to start soon?

    

Linking up with Ginny.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

last week

virtù - last week's flowersvirtù - last week's flowers (2)virtù - last week's flowers (3)

Last week the nights were hot. Last week none of my boys slept well. Last week our bed was full, there was lots of tossing and turning and sleeplessness. Last week I inhabited a space between awake and asleep most nights. Last week was hazy, there are vague memories of vivid dreams: a friend I haven’t seen for a while crowned Queen of Australia wearing a bikini and throwing a beach ball at the Sochi winter Olympic games.

Last week, I celebrated seventeen years with my man. Last week, I woke from one of those hot crowded nights and saw beautiful yellow flowers on my dresser. Last week, on our anniversary we went to the hospital to debrief baby Ace’s birth with the Medical Director of Obstetrics. Last week, walking to the appointment on a baking hot day I was immersed in an eerily quiet bubble, time slowed down and small details of the day were  flashing into my consciousness’ despite being acutely aware that it was business as usual in the world around me. Last week, I developed a clearer understanding of the events surrounding baby Ace’s birth.

This week, time continues on.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

8/52

mae - blowing bubblesode - playing play doh with his dadace - napping on my bedebe - in the swell

a portrait of my children, once a week in 2014

  

fish in water – Mae blows bubbles at the bottom of the pool

watching and learning – playing play doh is one of Ode’s favourite activities, it’s even better when he is playing with his Dadda

chilled out – baby Ace falls asleep for a nap on my bed

in the swell – there are few things that E enjoys more than catching waves at the beach

   

Joining in with Jodi

Saturday, February 22, 2014

striped beach shorts

virtù baby Ace plays as his Mama sewsvirtù - stripey beach pants for Evirtù - E borrows my shades - too glarey at the beach for a smile otherwise virtù - E wears his stripey beach pants

Hallelujah! Somehow this week I found time for some sewing.  Well to finish off some sewing that I started at the beginning of the summer way back last year… but let us not dwell on what hasn’t been and just relish the fact that the shorts are finally finished.

There is a sweet pile of shorts for my boys waiting for those final stitches. This stripey pair had their pocket stitches pulled out at the very last minute as E and I headed for the car. An exciting morning for my lad – off to the shops with his Mama to spend some birthday money. The goal to get a load of trash packs! Despite myself I did point out some other options but was rightly put in my place – it was his money. I apologised and made a better effort to keep my motherly comments to myself.

Heading home we took a detour to the beach. An impromptu visit we bought a new beach towel at the shops to share between us and then promptly forgot about it and left it in the car. That mean a very tricky change from jeans and t-shirt into bathers for this Mama. E is still young enough not to be embarrassed by such things and with some very clever hang bag placements I think I made the change modestly.

The ocean was cool  and inviting. The perfect medicine for a week of sleepless nights caring for kiddos with fevers and colds. Refreshing. Relaxing. Invigorating.  I was so pleased to spend some one on one time with my eldest son at the shops and even more thrilled to share an impulsive moment with him too. I almost felt like my pre-child self, a feeling that was worlds away during the week.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

7/52

ode - on his way upebe - at home exploring creeksmae - hides behind her hairace - legs don't stop kicking in the bath

a portrait of my children, once a week in 2014

 

on the up and up – Ode climbs the hill over and over again before riding the slide with squeals of delight

off track – E prefers to walk in the creek than on the path

hiding – M instinctively hides behind her hair, she is learning to tie it back for school but once home she’d rather it hang around her face

spash! – baths are now an outdoor event for baby Ace who enthusiastically kicks his legs non-stop

 

Joining in with Jodi.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

10 random things

Joining in with Kate and sharing in ten random things.

1. This morning I went out for coffee with the love of my life. It occurred to me that there is no one else on this planet that regularly has me howling with laughter. Like right in the middle of a public space laugh so loud and long that other people stop to look. Sometimes I am laughing with him, others at him. It’s all in good fun. There is no one else I’d rather be with. That being said it also occurred to me how much he annoys me, but in good ways – laughable ways – if you know what I mean? Between you and me I think he sometimes enjoys annoying me, sort of like a little kid punching her crush in the arm.

2. I’m on a bit of a mission to make one new(ish) meal a week. I just want the children to try different things. On Monday night I cooked these fresh spring rolls, but instead of reading the recipe as coconut flakes I misread it and sprinkled cornflakes over the top. Unfortunately the kiddos were unanimous in their assessment that the cornflakes were the best bit.  At least I tried. 

virtù - a project bag made by Michelle at Buttontree lane

3. For Christmas I bought myself this fantastic project bag from Buttontree Lane to store my on-the-go knitting projects. I love it so much. Brings a little smile to my face every time I see it.

virtù - waterfall beachvirtù - notes written in the car

4. Flicking through a notebook I found these notes that I’d written in the car driving home from Waterfall Beach down south. It felt good to be reminded of that day and the things I was thinking as we drove in the car. I love car thinking. So many great thoughts as the landscape flashes by.

5. Yesterday I struck the last thing off a “Things to do” list that I started writing on 2 Jan 2014.

sinkhole Image via

6. This morning my biggest boy and I cuddled in bed while looking at pictures of sinkholes on the internet. Not exactly sure how that came about but last week were watched video of Tsunamis on YouTube after he’d read one of his school readers for homework.

virtù - a mountain of washing

7. After catching up on washing yesterday there are mountains and mountains of washing in the lounge room. Does anyone else’s lounge room look like this? Between you and me I’d rather knit.

8. The topic of breastfeeding has been coming up in my life a lot lately. Maybe it isn’t being talked about anymore than or less than other times, it is likely that since I am at this time a breastfeeding mother my radar is just a bit more tuned in. Surfing the net this morning eating my weet-bix I found this link that has lots of images of women breastfeeding through the ages. I asked Dave to take a picture of me breastfeeding my babe – just to get it out there. Not to show off, just to do my bit to help normalise the image.  Sometime I wonder that if I was living four-hundred or so years ago whether or not I would have been a wet nurse. People often marvel at my rolely-polely babies exclusively breastfed. A mother at afterschool pick-up yesterday said admiring Ace’s generous proportions “look at that! You alone have done that”. I felt proud. It is nice to feel proud.  I speculate, because I’ve never given birth successfully on my own, if I would have been lucky to survive birth four hundred years ago that my baby no doubt wouldn’t have. So I think maybe I would have been a wet nurse. I don’t know why I think like this, but I do, and the thought comes to me time and time again. Not all the time, but it recurs every couple of weeks or so. I also think about the women who struggle to breastfeed and wonder if their pain is similar to mine in regards to struggling to give birth. It hurts to think about how those mothers struggling to breastfed feel.

Woman breast feeding at outdoor meeting Image viavirtù - breastfeeding at the cafe

9. Dave and I are planning to take the kids camping. I think it has been sixteen odd years since we went camping. Are we crazy? Is taking four small(ish) children camping for a weekend totally insane? Dave is super keen. I’m perhaps a little reluctant – but hey I figure success or failure we’ll no doubt walk away with some fantastic stories. That is important to me. Shared moments in our lives that – over time – will become stories, embellished and enjoyed. Got any tips or pointers about camping with kids? Do share.

10. Looking forward to Brown Owls on Sunday. Worried that I might over sleep or forget. See random thing #2 for a small insight to how my brain is functioning just now. I do so enjoy crafting and chatting while having a cuppa tea… although I’m planning to indulge with a coffee on a Sunday morning.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

sitting down with a cuppa

virtù - knitting for Mae while Ace playsvirtù - Ace on my camp blanketvirtù - perhaps teething soon

Tuesdays are supposed to be a ‘quiet’ day around these parts. Two big(ish) children at school and the toddler at daycare Tuesday are a day for me and the babe to catch our breath for a couple of hours. Sounds so good in theory. The reality is me catching up on washing and other jobs. Last Tuesday was the first “quiet” day following the school holidays, I’d envisaged just relaxing and hanging out but of course a baby still has needs and I had quite underestimated how much time I would spend online catching  up on a month’s worth of banking and then on the phone arranging all the appointments and meetings I’d been putting off through the holidays. In a single day the calendar for February had gone from empty to choc-full.

Today though, well today there have been precious moments sitting outside, my little Ace rolling around on the blanket – grunting and moaning as he tries to propel his body around – as I sit with a cuppa and knit. Raja venturing outside to play with the yarn and climb one of the olive trees. A fresh yet light breeze rustling leaves and birds singing their chorus’s over the faint noise of distant traffic. Precious tranquillity.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

6/52

ace - mesmerised at the aquarium

ode - couldn't get enough of the touch poolmae - hugs my legs and smiles at me OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

a portrait of my children, once a week in 2014

mesmerised – transfixed with the wonders of the sharks, turtles and stingrays swimming above at the aquarium

engrossed - “star-fish”, “shark”, “fishy” my Ode just couldn’t stop talking about all that he saw at the aquarium, his favourite part the touching pool

hugger – my girl grabs my legs, gives me a tight hug and looks up at me with her loving eyes and smile

chilling out – Ebe sure does love an icy pole, especially ones that come in funny shapes that are enjoyed at the park after school

Joining in with Jodi.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

ballerina wrap

virtù - ballet topvirtù - ballet top toovirtù - ballet top - neckline detail  

The first  #finishit2014 project of the year. This knitted ballet wrap was started in May of last year, the pieces were all finished before baby Ace was born and then it just got left, abandoned in pieces – a very dangerous thing to do with a project intended for a rapidly growing child.

Finally I was motivated to sew the pieces together before we headed down south for our family summer holiday. I thought perhaps it would get some wear in the cooler nights – but it didn’t. Swimwear regardless of the weather was the outfit of choice until it came time to jump into PJs.

Not to worry. There have been some breezey evenings in these parts despite the baking hot days so perhaps it will get a little bit of wear before she out grows it. The makey bit was super duper satisfying, even when I sewed it up wrong and had to unpick it and re-sew it – the fun in the making is the main thing, isn’t it?

Ravelled

Monday, February 3, 2014

and the school year begins

virtù - first day of schoolvirtù - bakingvirtù - licking the beatervirtù - afternoon tea

It was back to school today for my eldest two children. For M. it was the start of Pre-primary and going to school five days a week. She was pretty nervous and scared, holding hands we did a bit of deep breathing in through the nose by the sandpit before finally entering her new classroom. She found the table with the play dough and a sat next to a cheerful and outgoing friend. I stood close by so that she knew I was there but tried not to get too involved. When it was time to go the mat we had a super tight and long hug and then she gingerly found her place.

The house was very quiet today. My Ode and I got stuck into baking a special first day of school afternoon tea – Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes with Cream Cheese and Lemon Frosting, then we pottered around the garden before getting dirty enough that he could justify a bath with his little baby brother before lunch and a nap.

The boys’ nap time was spent sorting through six weeks worth of mail and paper work that had been put aside and phoning various agencies making appointments and the like for myself and the children.

In the morning a hot topic of conversation amongst the mothers dropping children off was whether or not they were ready for the holidays to end. The question was answered and posed to me on several occasions. I hadn’t really given it much thought. I certainly wasn’t hanging out to “get rid” of my children, I have enjoyed spending so much time with them but at the same time I am ready for the indulgence to end and some structure and routine to return. I suppose I thought the holidays were just right. I do wonder though why so many mothers were pre-occupied with the question. After all it is what it is.  I was surprised when some mothers claimed that they did not want the holidays to end – really I thought? How much money and energy do you have? I was equally astonished by mothers that couldn’t wait for the holidays to end.

I must say that whilst the holiday was “just right” I was super keen to pick my babes up from school and find out how they went. As soon as the boys woke from the nap we started getting ready to go and pick E. and M. up. We were one of the first cars there – we’re never one of the first people arriving for afternoon pickup. They both came bounding out of their classrooms happy and keen to go back the next day. Relief. My darling Ms. M had even earned herself a sticker for packing up and other good behaviours. She was so proud of herself which makes me feel so pleased (and proud).

virtù - earning a sticker

Needless to say we got stuck into the cupcakes O. and I had made earlier. Then it was straight into the pool. Awesome. Pure first day back at school delight.  We  were all laughing, splashing around all happy and excited. There was so much news being shared from the day.

Being the first day of school neither child was assigned homework (rightly so) yet both kids assigned themselves some writing and reading tasks. Personally on so many levels I am against homework (other than reading) being assigned for young children but I was so chuffed to see them so enthusiastic about their learning and enjoying it so much that they wanted more after the school day had concluded.

A+ for day one 2014. 

Sunday, February 2, 2014

5/52

ebe - a new collectionace - first swimmae - eating a juicy pearode - trampoline shenanigans

a portrait of my children, once a week in 2014

1. collector – he sits and admires his newest passion, stamp collecting

2. little swimmer – our babe took his first swim in the pool on Australia day

3. savouring – juicy pears are one of her favourite snacks

4. jumper – enjoying the action with his older sister on the trampoline

 

Joining in with Jodi.