Saturday, May 31, 2014

just a minute … in may

We’re still on the illness merry-go-round in these parts. This ride started way back in March and it seems that as a family we just can’t get a break. Poor E. was the last to get gastro but certainly had it worst of all. The poor kiddo ended up having seven days off school ill. Eventually he was mended, we had three nights respite and then baby A. developed a chest and ear infection. This past week there has been very little sleep, a cumulative total of about nine hours over four nights. Dave and I resemble the walking dead. Finally at the end of the week we’re starting to catch up. My hopes are high that in the month of June we’ll find our collective health.

virtù - looking for tadpoles

Listening… to Smashmouth’s  All Star, or as it is known in the parts “the song from Shrek” as our warm up song on the way to school. We start the tune as we pull out of the drive way and it finishes just as we park the car at school. Everyone is smiles and bopping ready for the day. As good as it is I am certainly ready for a new tune in June.

The Good Wife 2

Watching…  the trashy third season of Scandal. It is so bad. One of the crappiest tv shows I have ever watched, the story lines are ridiculously far fetched and the dialogue is so bad, and yet I find it so compelling. This past week, in the late hour of night and wee hours of morning nursing my sick babe,  I watched the entire fifth season of The Good Wife  which lies at the other end of the spectrum to Scandal. It is so good. I enjoy the strong female characters so much. They’re strong, their weak, their flawed, their smart. The story-lines are contemporary and thought provoking. So much to enjoy.

With so many rainy days in May I guess it was inevitable that O. would eventually discover Dora the Explorer. His older siblings were also big Dora fans at the same age. O. also loves Kipper which was never appreciated by the older two. It is super sweet listening to him chuckling aloud as the Kipper and his mate Tiger find themselves in all sorts of dilemmas.

 

virtù - in the city

Playing… in the city with my big kids. At the end of E.’s gastro and many many rainy days I was ripe for an emotional breakdown. As a mood breaker the older two kiddos took the day off school, we dropped O off at daycare and headed into the city. On impulse we decided to go to the art gallery only realising that it didn’t open on Tuesdays as we sat outside its doors sipping milkshakes. Not to worry, we walked over the the state library and museum instead. We had a fabulous day. So much fun and exactly what I needed. Hanging out with my children always brightens my day. 

At home there has also been a fair bit of painting and play dough fun with O. Meanwhile E. and his Dadda have been enjoying chess.

virtù - climbervirtù - hot chipsvirtù - music man

Sewing… not as much as I’d like. I did get started on a scrappy quilt to of sorts. Also sewed a couple of much needed bibs for baby Ace who is slowly getting into solids. Finally finished a party frock for M. with hours to spare before she headed off to a friends party (yet to be blogged).

virtù - the pieces of A's jumper

Knitting… have started knitting a winter hat for O. He just needs something to keep his head warm during the morning school run. Also finished knitting all the pieces of a jumper for A., just need to sew it together and then finish knitting the neckline.

Crocheting… playing around with scraps of yarn to create amigurumi. In the process of developing my own pattern for a small bear using the sraps that I have on hand. It has been fun. Something small that I can pick up, put down, unravel, re-do as I get up and down to a crying baby. There has been something calming and rewarding about understanding the process of increasing and decreasing more. It’s not brain surgery peeps, but something to distract me from my woes.

virtù - may time dinners

Eating… hearty food. E just loves my vegetable soup. He says it is the best food ever. I’ve got to admit that my heart swells to five times its natural size when he says this, the smile cannot be wiped from my face. The more he says it the more I want to make it for him. Making vegetable soup is one of my favourite ways to love him. Dave has started his own Pinterest food board and as a result made a very delicious asparagus and potato pie twice. The first time it was baking in the oven when M. and I returned from her very first ballet lesson. The boys were all ill so M, Dave and I sat – just the three of us - enjoying great food and great conversation all about M’s first class. A treasured moment indeed.  Baked custard was on the cards too. It was created out of pure impulse, an attempt to brighten a cold night on a grey and rainy day.

virtù - walking to school

Gardening… not much. There are weeds everywhere!

virtù - brothers reading in bed

Reading… Philippa Gregory’s The Other Boleyn Girl. I’m enjoying it. It’s not the kind of book that you can’t put down though, which I suppose is just perfect for me just now. Something I can pick up, read for a bit then put down and possibly not pick up again for a couple of days.  E loves to read to his younger siblings. It is so sweet to watch. O and I have been really enjoying reading Go Dog! Go over and over too!

So how about you? May been good to you? Or have you been riding the cold, flu and gastro merry-go-round too?

If you want to JaM along with me be sure to leave a link in the comments section.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

21/52

ace - the happy chappyode - the shop keepermae - milkshakes really aren't her thangebe - the investigator

a portrait of my children, once a week in 2014

        

ace – the happy chappy, he is so thrilled to play with his older brother O.

ode – is the shop keeper. I bought a milkshake, an apple and a book.

mae – apparently she’s not that into milkshakes anymore

ebe – the constant investigator

             

Joining in with Jodi.

Friday, May 23, 2014

this moment

virtù - this moment - brotherly laughs  
{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.

walking safely to school

I woke this morning to the sound of torrential rain beating on the roof and garden. It was bucketing down. My very first thought “Fuck! It’s walk safely to school day”. I curled up under the covers in a state of denial and then when that didn’t work lay flat on my back looking intently on the ceiling weighing up the ethical dilemma of breaking a written pledge to participate in the day come rain or shine. Surely there was a way to spin opting out into a positive parenting opportunity. There.must.be.a.way. 

Nope.  I was cornered. We were walking to school!

WSTSD_LOGO_10cmCompletely disorganised as always, Dave helped me out by ransacking the house for all wet weather items before heading off to work. Chivalrously he lent me his parker. I tell you the man is a keeper.

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m all for walking to school. In the warmer months a walk to school is often on the cards, then the days are long and we’ve been up for hours. In Perth it pretty much never rains in the warmer months so planning to walk to school is easy peasy. I’m not necessarily anti-walking in the rain either. There was an afternoon when E. was in pre-primary that I suited M up head to toe in wet weather gear and had O all cocooned in a water-proofed pram and we deliberately set out knowing that it would bucket down on the way home. It was awesome. All but little baby O got soaked head to toe. The rain was loud and hard and rivers seemed to appear from no where and came rushing down the streets. We had so much fun! But we were walking home, and there was a hot shower and hot chocolate to be had at the end of the journey.

Walking to school in the rain just didn’t cut it as an enchanting prospect. It was an adventure that I could forgo but undertook nonetheless…

virtù -  walk safely to school dayvirtù - walk safely to school day and through puddles if you can

… and we had the most wonderful time. The clouds parted and there wasn’t a drop of rain our entire walk to school. There were puddles galore and my “school kids don’t get your shoes wet” instructions were completely (and probably rightly) ignored. Note that O. also wore a backpack even though he didn’t need to.

Tonight I have been looking at the WSTSD website and realised that we didn’t actually walk to school safely. Well not according to the recommendations anyway. According to the site “Until they're 10 children must always hold the hand of an adult when crossing the road. And until they're 8 children must always hold the hand of an adult when they're on the footpath.” I’m all for holding hands, particularly across major roads and roads that cars are turning into. However since I am most determined that O hold my hand crossing every road when he has a tantrum, which are frequent just now when it comes to crossing the road, I tend to resort to just hauling him up (kicking and screaming) and carry him across so that the family can keep going on its way. In such situations the older two, E and M just walk closely to me and sometimes hold onto the pram which I am pushing with my spare hand. I never hold any of their hands when we’re walking on the footpath. I’m usually using both hands to push the pram! On footpaths close to busy roads I might push the pram with one hand and hold O’s hand in the other, but it just isn’t physically possible for me to hold all of my under 8 year old’s hands on the footpath considering my eldest child is only 7! I’m a little surprised by this recommendation. I was walking home from school without a parent when I was six years of age, and that involved crossing some busy roads and a very confusing round-about traffic arrangement (it was the first in our area!). Some thirty years later the recommendation isn’t just that children should have a parent with them when walking but that they should also be holding their hand on the footpath.

What about you? Do you think this is overkill too?  Do you always hold children’s hands when walking on footpaths? Maybe you know from experience that this is good advice?

I just can’t imagine walking anywhere if I had to hold all three hands plus push the pram.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

{yarn along} finished and folded + this is where I leave you

virtù - big sister sweater folded and ready for maevirtù - big sister sweater

A pink cotton sweater finished and folded waiting for M. This sweater is super simple and knitted up really quickly in the last moments of summer. Like so many of project I undertake it was then left for ages and ages and ages waiting patiently to be sewn together. Finally sat down and sewed it up this past Sunday. It didn’t take very long and frankly I rather enjoy sewing up knitted pieces with mattress stitch. Go figure why this final step consistently takes me so long?

Ravelled.

virtù - big sister sweater in the making

In those final moments of summer if I wasn’t outside enjoying the sunshine knitting then I was probably lying back on the banana lounge soaking in the glorious weather as I read Jonathon Tropper’s This Is Where I Leave You. I borrowed the book from our local library after seeing it on this list. So glad that I did. Perfect novel for those final summer days, a light and easy read that had me laughing out loud at times. Due for release as a movie at the end of the year, it was easy to visualise Jason Bateman in the lead role and there certainly is potential for a good rom-com chick flick.

this is where I leave you

Ah. Already I am longing for those summer days and we haven’t even officially started winter yet. On the sticks now is a much needed jumper for baby Ace. Loads and loads of rain this week so no more lounging about outside in the shade of the frangipanis, instead I have been curled up in bed wearing my new red and white polka dot flannelette pyjamas that I was gifted for mother’s day reading Philippa Gregory’s The Other Boleyn Girl for bookclub.

Linking up with Ginny.

Monday, May 19, 2014

20/52

virtù - ebe checking out the badges on the camp blanketvirtù - mae totally excited before her first ballet classvirtù - ace loves to sit and playvirtù - ode tired and poorly resting on the couch

a portrait of my children, once a week in 2014

    

ebe – captivated by all the badges on my camp blanket plans his own travel adventures

mae – so excited before her first ‘proper’ ballet class, danced and danced around the house constantly checking if it was time to go yet. Absolutely loved it, I’ve never seen her so confident before. My usually shy girl walked straight into class ready for business.

ace – plays with his toys, this week he has mastered going from the seated to lying on his tummy and from his tummy to sitting.

ode – tired and poorly lies on the couch with his greatest comforts, meme and milk, and a favourite toy.

    

Joining in with Jodi.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

blergh

virtù - harsh times

I’m feeling a bit crushed just now. Hurt. My heart and soul are arching and I’m feeling scared and more than a tad apprehensive. What is happening to this nation of ours?  Are we still a nation? A collective group of people working and living together or are we simply components of an economy? To me it’s feeling a lot like the later these days, and even more so after this week’s Federal budget. I want to be more than an economic resources, a means of production, a cog in a wheel. I want to be a member of a community, a society where sharing and caring and core values.

Universal health care, education that can be accessed on merit rather than just wealth, nurturing our youth and caring for our aged are all important to me. Treasuring our environment and being generous through foreign aid are also values dear to my heart.

Am I on my own?

Sunday, May 11, 2014

mother’s day

mother's day 2014

‘Twas a lovely day in these parts today. Bright and sunny, a complete turnabout to the rainy and grey days before. A perfect day to get out and have a picnic. We headed to a little spot we discovered on the Swan River a couple of weeks back. Playground equipment, skate-park, bike path, lovely grassed areas and gorgeous shady trees. Perfect spot for us and our scooters.

Dave made a beautiful lunch. Zucchini slice with roast vegetable and couscous salad. Apple and cinnamon muffins and a packet of lindt chocolates. Yummo. We all enjoyed sitting by the river munching away – all but poor ol’ E who was feeling rather poorly and didn’t feel much like eating. He had his bursts of energy where he’d go off and make friends with other children around, but then he’d fade out again for a bit. He’s awesome like that, the way he just walks up to other kids and makes friends. He’s always done it. As soon as he could talk he was off making friends with other kids at playgrounds.

Little O was pretty impressive today too. Holding his own on his scooter on the skate park, two-years old and mixing it with the big kids and young adults doing there thing. I was ultra impressed. Meanwhile M appreciates a good picnic and was never very far away from the food. She is so much like her father in that way. On the mother’s day card that she made at school she pretty much listed all the foodie treats that I give her as the reasons that she loves me. Chocolates, cakes and icy poles are the key to this little girl’s heart.

Baby Ace played so happily on the picnic blanket. Sitting up so proud chewing on his roll and admiring the seagulls. Then he was off commando crawling all over the lawn. He’s getting pretty fast these days and always keen to explore.

Strange to think that I am a mother of four children. How did that happen? Ok… I know how it technically happened – but how do I find myself here now the mother of four gorgeous babes??? It just doesn’t feel real sometimes. I still don’t necessarily feel like a “Mum”. What does a “mum” feel like? Ok – I’ve probably got the tired and exhausted and worrying a lot bit down pat, but the rest of it I’m not so sure. I am certainly fumbling my way through this. I just hope with all my heart I don’t fuck ‘em up too badly.

19/52

virtù - mae loves her dadvirtù - ebe determines the timevirtù - ace makes musicvirtù - ode plays with trains  

a portrait of my children, once a week in 2014

   

mae – loves her Dada so much, they’re two peas in a pod

ebe –  determines the time blowing a dandelion

ace – enjoying making music sitting up

ode – plays trains

 

Joining in with Jodi.

Friday, May 9, 2014

a blue one this time

virtù - ice blue chunky rolled neck jumper for odevirtù - ice blue chunky rolled neck jumper - unacceptable without a hoodie

Another chunky rolled jumper knitted. This time a blue one for my Ode. At first it was completely unacceptable to him. You’d think I was torturing him, rugging him up in a bundle of soft luxury ply wool on a freezing cold morning, his facial expressions said it all. It would not do. No hoodie equates to no wear in his book. 

virtù - ice blue chunky rolled neck jumper - will be tolerated due to the pocket

That was until his grandmother demonstrated the hands all the way through-hold them in the middle feature of the pocket. Then said jumper was tolerated for the cold morning… but not worn since.

Ravelled.

Linking up with Leonie.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

18/52

virtù - Uncle ode virtù - mae the abstract artistvirtù - acevirtù - ebe mad about mad  

a portrait of my children, once a week in 2014

    

ode – the devoted Uncle to Susie

mae – the abstract artist, loves process

ace – just is

ebe – mad about mad magazine

                           

   Joining in with Jodi.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

knits for babe

virtù - teal hooded baby cozy

Bless. A sleeping baby. I knitted this teal hooded baby cozy last year, started just before Ace joined us on the outside and finished before he was a month old. I knitted the 3-6mnth size knowing that I was likely to have a large baby (but not expecting him to be quite as large as he was at 4.44kg) and wondering how much use it would get through the Perth summer.

With our hot climate in mind I chose a bamboo yarn. So silky and light weight. I really do adore bamboo. At seven months he still  fits inside, comfortable and cozy. It hasn’t had as much use as I’d have liked, mainly because there is no hole for a car capsule or pram belt. Being the youngest child this baby boy is transferred from cot to car to pram time and time again. Dressing and undressing him from a cozy is just an extra step that can be easily done away with. This was the largest size the pattern offered but now heading into winter I am toying with the idea of playing around to knit a larger one with said handy hole so that he can be rugged up on the school run early in the morning.

virtù - sleeping soundly

Hooded baby cozy ravelled.

Poor baby Ace sports a bruise on his head in these shots – evidence of his toddler brother’s increasingly rough play. In this particular incident a rather large and heavy toy was spun out of control by O and “accidentally” collided with his baby brother’s face. “Accidentally” in that very testing the boundaries kind of way. Hmmm. I’ve been here before, twice, I know this phase will pass. Despite the skills I’ve collected along the way it can be overwhelming to assist in the management of so many little people’s tricky feelings.

Back to knitting, little Ace finally fits into a hat that was suppose to be for him as a newborn, hence the development of my own version. At seven months his head circumference is a good ten centimetres bigger than it was at birth.

virtù - ace uber cute wears his hat

Not so wee Willie Winky hat ravelled.

Planning to make the small lad a red and white hat soon in the hope that one of my babe’s will join me and be a Swannies supporter. The eldest looks like he is now set on Freo and  the girl is a mad keen Kangas supporter. Little Ode is up for grabs but his older siblings are constantly in his ear. I think my little Ace could be my best bet.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

a doily skirt

virtù - #finishit2014 doily skirt

Ta-dah! Another #finishit2014 chalked up. YAY!

This doily skirt was started in 2012 as part of Cam’s Make it in May. The making processes for this very simple denim skirt stalled so many times. Firstly there was getting the doily the right length in relation to the hem and by the time I had that sorted I’d lost some of the baby weight from Ode’s birth. Just now the skirt fits me so it was time to re-kindle the love, finish the hem and get a few wears out of it before the body changes again now that baby Ace is starting on solids.

virtù - on the inside

On the inside? Fabric chosen by E. to gift wrap a gift way back when. I love seeing the fabrics the children choose to wrap presents. When I first saw this one I was a bit “what the heck am I going to do with that?” but now I really really love it. The lining is one of my favourite things about the skirt.

  

Linking up with Leonie.