Monday, June 30, 2014

just a minute… in june

I am not naturally a winter person.

virtù - Ode made a snowman

I just can’t believe that it is the end of the month already. June has just flown by, I can’t believe we’re here at the end of the month already! And yet, some days this month just dragged on. It certainly hasn’t been an easy month in any regard, and I am certainly pleased to see the back of it.  My littlest babe ear infection from last month has now moved to the other ear. I am now starting to wonder if his silent reflux (resulting from his traumatic birth) has returned now that he is eating solids. Either way, there is not a lot of sleep in these parts, cracks are forming and some areas of life are falling apart. Thank goodness we’re on the other side of the winter solstice.

virtù - ode at Yo Gabba Gabbavirtù - Yo Gabba Gabba at Perth Converntion Centre

Listening…  to podcasts about Henry VIII including this one which I particularly enjoyed. Also went to the Yo Gabba Gabba live concert where O and I listened, sang along and danced to our favourite tunes.

the other boleyn girl

Watching… The Other Boleyn (2011). It didn’t really do Gregory’s novel justice but it wasn’t woeful. Condemned by faint praise much? Also watched seasons one to six of The Big Bang Theory – not because I am a huge fan of the show but because I have seen so many episodes on tele that I wanted to get an understanding of the episode order. It’s quiet an amusing show – certainly has been getting me through another tough month – there have been times when Dave and I have both found ourselves chuckling out loud.

the big bang theory

Sewing… Still not much. Too cold to sit and the machine when the cozy couch is such an inviting alternative. Even so I did finish piecing together a quilt top and have started hand-sewing some hexies which I am planning to sew on the backing.

virtù - in my accidental stocking hat

Knitting… Whilst I did manage to complete a couple of hats this month, the jumper I have almost finished for baby Ace still sits waiting for the final knitted rows, about three in fact, and yet it still sits in an unfinished state. There is no justifiable rationale.

virtù - a box of crocheted squares

Crocheting… After years of sitting in a box my CAL squares are finally being joined together. About time. Don’t hold your breath though – there is no finish line on the horizon yet.

virtù - celebrating Susie's birthday

Celebrating… my “grand-daughter” Susie’s birthday. June 9th is the special day in case your wondering.

virtù - riding our bikes

Playing… outside when ever we get the chance. Took only a handful of bike rides in June. Hoping to get a few more under our belt during the upcoming school holidays. Re-visited some parks that we hadn’t been to in a long long time this month. Indoors the little ones and I  started making story time at our local library a bit of a regular thang. My Ode is now at that age where he really gets something out of it while baby Ace seems to revel gazing at all the bigger children.

virtù - Ode at the library

So how about you? Has June been good to you? Are you a winter person or just trying to make it through to the warmer months?

Sunday, June 29, 2014

26/52

ode - rides his trikemae - on the see-saw with her dadace - loves being out doors exploring the gardenebe - natural climber

a portrait of my children, once a week in 2014  

   

ode – enjoys riding his trike, it’s red so it goes fast!

mae – relishes being on the see-saw with her Dada

ace – loves being outdoors, explores his world on all fours now (bye-bye commando crawl)

ebe – there is not a tree he will not attempt to climb

    

Joining in with Jodi.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

for the family’s freo supporter

virtù - the freo lovervirtù - the freo lover handballing

On seeing his little brother’s hat, E. was quick to request one for himself. Looking through the acrylics that I am trying to use up we found the perfect Freo Docker shade of purple. I used it all making this hat. Just had enough. It was destiny.

Ravelled.

E. is the only Docker’s supporter in the family. He chose the team early on, his father and sister are mad keen North Melbourne supporters. I hold great fears for little O., I think his big sister is getting in his ear and so sometimes he claims to be heading the Kanga’s way too. In an effort to sway my youngest babe to the Swans I knitted him another stocking hat, this time a bit bigger so that he’d have it for a few years. Turns out I made it too big… it fits me! Have doubts about little Ace’s devotion to the team, last week just as the umpire started the game with the centre bounce he shat all over his Swannies onesie. Nappy explosion people! Not impressed.

virtù - a swannies hat that was suppose to be for him but fits me!

Ravelled.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

a high contrast cube, better late than never

virtù - ace grabbing his cubevirtù - a high contrast cube for my babevirtù - my ace with his cube

This black and white cube was suppose to be made for my baby Ace just after he was born.  It takes the first six to eight months of a baby’s life for his eye sight to develop, so high contrast toys are easier for little ones to see. Regrettably this cube was finished and gifted to the lad when he was already eight months, so the time when he could have got the most benefit from it in a visual sense had pretty much passed. The pieces of fabric had been cut well before his birth, and in the end it only took maybe an hour all up to sew together. It was so much easier than I thought it was going to be.  Now I wish I had got my act together sooner.  Still, he is enjoying chewing it, throwing it around and generally just checking it out so I guess better late than never.

                   

Playing along with Leonie.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

{yarn along} joining it together + bridget jones mad about the boy

virtù - joining the CAL blanket

FINALLY! I’ve started to join the squares that I hooked  as part of a crochet-along in 2012. It’s going to be a very odd looking blanket, the squares are various sizes and I’m embracing the inconsistencies as I join them. I’ve named this project the Oddity Blanket. Day by day I fall in and out of love with it. The yarn that I had on hand to join them and make a border is starting to run out so I expect the project will be put on hold again until the next time the yarn is on sale. I’m in no rush. I’ve waited this long already.

I don’t think the finished blanket will be square or rectangular when its finished. Already one end is longer than the other. Do you think this matters in blanket? 

Speaking off things a little off balance and quirky, I’m reading the latest instalment of Bridget Jones’s Diaries “Made About the Boy”. Only a couple of pages in and already I’m laughing out loud. Got to say that I certainly do enjoy a flawed heroine.

   

Linking up with Ginny.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

running late but being early

virtù - tracing and cutting patterns for sewingvirtù - prepping for sewing

The sun was shining in these parts today.  The washing dried (hallelujah for small mercies), sorted out a mix-up with E’s library card, and visited a park we haven’t been to in years, observing a western long neck turtle and lots of ducks. The afternoon was relaxed and so thinking that this week was Kids Clothing Week Challenge and I was already three days behind I got started tracing and cutting out a pattern. M. baked, E. played backyard cricket and A. crawled around my feet chasing balls. Lovely dovely afternoon…

… and it just got better and better. Using a piece of brown fleece that somehow made its way into my stash (and I sincerely doubt by me buying it so one has to wonder how it found its way into my possession) I managed to just squeeze in all the pattern pieces. Yee-haa.  Then just now I realised that KCWC isn’t actually until July 21, not June 21 so I am actually just under a month early. Yee-haa again.

The intention now is that this yoga tracksuit for M. will be finished before the next KCWC, with any luck that is. I guess if its not I can finish it then.

virtù - a duck under water

… and just because – here is a photo of a duck I saw swimming under water today.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

winter in the backyard

virtù - winter skyvirtù - leaves on the pool covervirtù - rosemaryvirtù - upturned car

The back garden is pretty messy today. We’ve been fortunate enough to have some pretty heavy downfalls with some fairly gusty winds this past week, so the garden is full of weeds, scattered leaves and upturned toys. The skies finally cleared this afternoon. Thank goodness. There was a substantial case of cabin fever going on inside.

We got outside. Little Ace enjoyed the outdoor swing while the others fought over turns on the trampoline. There was some backyard cricket, snail catching and some hide and seek too. The fresh air benefitted us all.

Last weekend while I was out crafting it up the kids and their father did quite a bit of gardening. They planted carrot seeds, broad beans and sugar snap peas. The rains have been so heavy that we’re a little worried that the seeds might rot or have been washed away. There are no signs of seedlings yet. Trust me, the kiddos are keeping a pretty keen eye on things. Fingers crossed some seedlings will break through the earth soon.

25/52

mae - so so so excited to go to the dentist for the first timeebe - a gardener at heartode - can be bribed to do almost anything with a tic-toc biscuit ace - loves his bath

a portrait of my children, once a week in 2014

   

mae – so so so excited about seeing the dentist for the first time

ebe – a natural gardener

ode – can be bribed to do almost anything with a tic-toc biscuit

ace – enjoys his bath

                      

Joining in with Jodi.

Friday, June 20, 2014

dropping off

virtù - green  yarn on sticks

These days getting the kids to school on time is challenging. I am not a morning person. I do not like mornings. Getting out of bed is hard work, especially in the dark and cold. Getting out of bed in the dark and cold after a night of disrupted sleep (is there any other kind?) is, well, bordering on the impossible. Let’s not think about my carbon footprint and water use once I finally make it to the shower. Today is the year’s shortest day. Hallelujah! It’s all onwards and upwards for the next six months. We made it. We’ve been making it to school eventually too. (And where is my merit certificate for that? We’re is my encouragement award? … or better still where is my cappuccino? Seriously why doesn’t someone park a coffee truck near the school at drop off time???)

My little Ode has been making it to school drop off with a toasty warm head too… thanks to the cute green hat I knitted up for him.

virtù - ode's winter morning hat being worn on a cold afternoonvirtù - ode's winter morning hat

This hat is all part of my acrylic yarn stash busting enterprise. I adore the shade of green. Ode loves it too. What’s not to love about a hat with two tassels? This hat pretty much lives in the car now, ready and waiting to be thrown on his head at the last minute on a cold morning.

It was super easy to knit. It’s knitted up flat, a short scarf folded in half and sewn together with mattress stitch. If you’re new to knitting you could really give it a go. If you’ve been knitting for ages and looking for something quick and easy you’d probably enjoy it too.

                  

Ravelled.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

big sister sweater

virtù - my darling sweet girl

My sweet girl in her Big Sister Sweater.

virtù - big sister sweater (3)

Poor sweet girl. She’s been having a bit of a hard time of it lately. She’s not enjoying school the way she used to. She’s been feeling a bit left out, telling me that one lunch time she just sat under the tree on her own because no one would play with her. Apparently lots of the children in her class have colds at the moment, and one of her classmates, that happens to also be our next door neighbour, told everyone that they all caught their colds from my girl and it was all her fault. According to M. the children won’t play with her because they don’t want to get sick.

Breaks my heart. I’m so proud of her though. She is so resilient, trying to be anyhow.

virtù - big sister sweater (2)

Today her Dada bought her some pretty hankies (his idea). Tonight I embroidered her name on them. We’re hoping that it is a little bit of pretty to cheer her up. Something to keep with her in her pocket, a reminder of how much we love her.

virtù - the big sister with odevirtù - the big sister with ace

This girl of mine is an amazing big sister. She is an awesome little sister too. She cares for all her brothers. She shares with them, plays with them, thinks of them, laughs with them. They all love her so much too. We all do.

              

Ravelled.

Playing along with Leonie.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

24/52

ace - learns to feed himself ode - playdohmae - garden potebe - baked bean sandwich

a portrait of my children, once a week in 2014

  

ace – uses his sweet chubby little hands to put everything in his mouth

ode – uses his hands to make things with playdoh

mae – uses her hands to help her father in the garden

ebe – uses his hands to eat a favourite - the bake bean sandwich (yuck!)

           

Joining in with Jodi.

really? it’s Sunday again

Time is flying. That happens with getting older I suppose. Each week is a smaller and smaller fraction of your life and I suppose the relative outcome is that it passes with a blink of the eye. My intention was to write quite a few blog posts over the past week, so many thoughts festering away inside of me, fermenting into quite a brew. Just haven’t made it to the keyboard. Maybe, just maybe they will make it here in time.

The youngest boy in these parts hasn’t really gotten over his ear infection, and as such I have found myself to be a bit of a human dummy. All my previous babes have been happy enough with the latex variety, but this latest edition to the family will have none of it, only Mama is good enough. So, while he is not feeling all the best he has been falling asleep on my boob and as soon as he is gently taken off and laid down in his cot wakes and goes full throttle with the “this is not be tolerated” cry. I scoop him back up and put him back on my boob. He falls asleep straight away… and I sit. Or, if I am beyond exhausted,  perhaps I carry him to bed and lie down. Falling asleep cuddling him. He doesn’t feel well and I am his security. It is a privilege, to be that for a person – their security. It is a privilege that is easier to enjoy when there are fewer things to do and the sleep ledger isn’t too heavily in debt.

A few funny moments this past week. Riding bikes with the family only to “lose” the eldest who rode on too far ahead and didn’t know that we were heading back to the car. Learnt, through hysterical sobs,  that his sister M. does not handle a crisis well and does not want to be the eldest child. Took all but the eldest to the park on Monday and told M. and O. not to feed the birds. My advice was disregarded and they both ended up standing on the park table  surrounded by a mob of hungry ducks and other water fowl. Too funny… until I had to carry them out of “harms” way.  Also found myself in the late moments of one afternoon frantically baking cupcakes because it was Susie’s birthday and we’d nearly forgotten. What kind of a Nana would I be if I didn’t organise a last minute celebration?

Today I eventually rolled out of bed and headed on down the track to Brown Owls. As soon as I got there I wished that I’d made the effort to get up earlier and make it there on time. Such a great group of people, such interesting conversation, such lovely dovely craft. Afterwards headed out for an impromptu coffee, some sunshine and a bit of local soccer. (And that’s me done for the world cup now me thinks) Then in the afternoon I facilitated my first every crochet workshop. Yep. I actually attempted to teach other folk how to crochet. It went well too. People left having crocheted stuff. If I was ever to do it again there’d be some bits I’d do differently, but overall it went pretty well. Driving home I couldn’t stop thinking about how passionate I am about crochet, how for me it has really changed my life. I thought about how I hoped the people at the workshop went home and kept hooking away, and I hoped that it would bring positive change to their lives too. Actually I felt a bit born-again-crochet-y on the way home. A bit misty eyed about it even. Megan had reminded me earlier about our first ventures into the world of amigurumi and just how far we’d come. I hope the peeps from the workshop will look back and feel the same way one day.

So there you go, Sunday again. Short winter days and a crazy life with four fabbo kids over an ever increasing number of weeks I’ve lived formulates an equation that equals hectic (… and fricken blessed).

What about you? How does time fly?

Sunday, June 8, 2014

23/52

ace - coming for the camera strap ode - singerebe - cautiously having a good timemae - a puppy dog

a portrait of my children, once a week in 2014

        

ace – moves quickly, the camera strap in his sights

ode – sings and makes music at the park

ebe – cautiously has fun

mae – enjoys pretending to be a puppy

     

Joining in with Jodi.

***

Anyone else a bit sick and tired of taking portraits of their children? Love them as I do I am finding capturing their images a bit tedious. Might have to think of a way to liven it up this week. I need to mix it up a bit in order to keep my interest (and no doubt yours) … ideas?

recharged

virtù - the view above as I hook below
Those of you who pop by these parts on a semi-regular basis (thanks by the way) would know that since the weather has cooled and the days become shorter my family has been suffering through what feels like a never ending health crisis. On any given day someone is sick. The family member is different, the ailment is different, but someone is poorly. It has been wearing me down!
I’m not the best at this time of year anyway. I’m a solar powered beast, I need the suns rays to charge me up and keep me going, so when the sky turns grey and bleak so does my mood and energy. 
virtù - quiet time together - a chance to hook in the sun
There were a few opportunities this week to recharge. The bleak weather cleared and there were some clear blue skies and some vital sunrays to be captured. On one of the days I was fortunate enough to find myself near by beloved’s work, we met had a coffee & a toasty from his favourite hole in the wall and he left me sitting under some gorgeous autumnal trees watching the pedestrian traffic of the lunch time rush. Baby slept in his pram and rather than rushing to the car to head home to hang out washing, clean up and get on with the daily grind I stayed put on my bench and crocheted. Absorbing it all. Listening to the passing conversations. Watching the groups of children on excursions. Spotting the tourists, the business people, the students, the families. Noticing them all and yet seeing nothing. I was in each moment. I felt each ray on my back and in my hair and it was as if my body was storing it all up. It was a series of perfect moments. It was exactly what I needed.
virtù - recharging with sun, people watching and  crochet
I hooked an amigurumi pear. It was fun.
virtù - amigurumi  apples and pears
I hooked a bit of fruit this past week. You know what they say; “an apple a day”. So now my battery is full again and there is fruit (all be it fuzzy) in the bowl.
On a bit of a mission to clear the basket of acrylic yarns. It a real mix of things that I’ve picked up over the years. Not a lot of anything and truth be told I’m not fond of how many of them feel. I’m a bit of a yarn snob these days. Waste not want not though, so amigurumi fruit it is.
***
Ravelled apples and pears.