Tuesday, February 24, 2015


virtù - roar!

I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire
'Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar

This girl of mine isn’t sleeping. She is terrified at night and once she does finally get to sleep (around midnight!) she wakes with nightmares. Its a problem that has surfaced in the past couple of weeks, since going back to school. Actually, since the second week when her ‘friend’ flanked by her mother came into her classroom during morning quiet reading time and handed out invitations to almost every girl in the room, except our M. At the time I was gobsmacked. What a passive aggressive act! It was also an a-ha moment when it became so blatantly clear where this young child has learnt her relational aggressive behaviours from. (Don’t misunderstand me, I have no issue with M. not being invited. People are not required to like everyone, nor can parents afford to invite all – my issue is with the process. Surely invitations can be given outside the classroom in a subtle manner?)   I didn’t make a big deal of it though. I waited to see how M reacted to it. Initially she was admirably philosophical about it, but I think it is bothering her deeper than she’ll admit.

Perhaps the sleep terror is not linked. Perhaps it is just a coincidence that it has started at the same time. Regardless M’s sleep issues have been incredibly disruptive. Last night was another shocker. She is so anxious and so worked up that her body shakes. She is hysterical. Dave or I take turns to lie with her, talk to her, sing to her but she is so wired it takes forever for her to unwind enough for sleep to take over. Later she wakes with nightmares.  Today I gave her and her overtired brother the day of school.

Desperately searching for a circuit breaker, and with forecasts for a day over 40°C, I took my precious mob to one of the most beautiful places in Australia, Cottesloe Beach.

virtù - some good timesvirtù - in the swellvirtù - baby beach lovervirtù - flanked by her brothersvirtù - shell collector

We had a fantastic morning. It was just what we all needed – bucket loads of joy inspiring activities. Swimming. Running away from waves. Playing in the sand. Collecting shells. Snacking on sandy rice crackers. The best reprieve from our worries and anxieties.

Then in the afternoon we collected her beloved Dada from work and had a picnic dinner on Heirisson Island. It didn’t take long to see why island isn’t a renowned picnic destination – so many many ants! Even though dinner was a stand-up and rushed affair we all had a wonderful time exploring, kangaroo spotting, stick collecting and throwing large rocks into the river. The sunset was pretty magical too.

virtù - kangaroosvirtù - sunset viewed from Heirisson island

The distraction worked a bit. Our darling girl was asleep just after 9 o’clock, not without tears – but the hugs and consoling words calmed her down. We’re making progress.

So proud of her brothers. We’re all on a mission to make our girl feel mega-loved, and today despite being very overtired themselves (due to the evening disruptions) they all stepped up to look after her.

virtù - wishing you sweet dreams my precious girl


Wishing you sweet dreams my precious girl.



Just in case you too are experiencing difficulty with nighttime fears I found this webpage reassuring.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

an afternoon on, in and by the lake

virtù - bbq smells prevailsvirtù - picnics aboundvirtù - so many inflatable water toys

Our family spent the afternoon at Lake Leschenaultia. We didn’t take a bbq, nor did we pack a fancy picnic basket. We forgot the buckets and spades and the inflatable water toys. We forgot to pack bathers for our littlest member and I forgot my cossie top.

virtù - collection of rocks rather than shells

We did enjoy munching on sandwiches we’d brought from home. The apple and custard bready thingie Dave bought at a bakery in the morning went down a treat too. Collecting rocks into piles was fun, as was throwing them into the water and listening for the “kerplunk”.

virtù - canoeing on the lake

Hiring canoes and paddling around the lake and into the reeds was brilliant. There is something very magical about paddling around on the water. A new perspective perhaps. It dawned on me that it won’t be many more years until the children are actually helpful with their paddling, and not much longer after that that they’d be able to go out paddling on their own.

virtù - pontoon jumping virtù - ode after jumping off the pontoon with his dadda

Jumping off the pontoon was loads and loads of fun, if not a bit scary for all but the eldest child. And just splashing around in the fresh waters with the ducks was a good time too.

virtù - ace just loving itvirtù - oops! forgot to pack by bather top

A wonderful afternoon indeedy.

virtù - the lake

Things don’t have to be perfect to be awesome.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

eighteen years

eighteen years

Eighteen years since you walked into the Ringo Guesthouse, New Delhi and into my life. There was certainly an immediate attraction. It only took a matter of weeks for us to get together, the start of a rollercoaster journey neither of us could possibly imagine. Hey babe, you mean the world to me. Four children and a major mutual case of sleep deprivation can make the road pretty rocky at times, but I’ll always hang on to you. I’ll love you forever.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015


Remember this blanket I made for M back in 2011?

Little fingers poking and fidgeting through the spaces in the crochet resulted in a blanket desperately in need of repair. I suspect that M took to the blanket with a pair of scissors during her toddler-hood too. The blanket had been put aside for over a year waiting to be repaired. It was puzzling to me how I was going to approach the task. Reverse crochet? Initially it all seemed a little bit too great a task.

virtù repair mae's blanket

In the end I sewed the inner circles back together. Using a large needle I threaded the yarn through the loops as best I could. It worked. For the gaping big hole I made a new square all in white. I could have made a colourful one – there are still little balls of left over yarn sitting on the coffee table in a glass fruit bowl (balls of yarn are so much prettier than fruit don’t you think?) but I thought white would be better because it reflected the fact that the blanket had indeed been fixed. Why hide it? The holes, the repairs – it’s all part of the blanket’s history. The love that I have for M. is not pristine, its flawed and wonky and yet perfect. Mistakes happen, sometime things just fall apart. Doesn’t make them any less valuable or worthless. virtù - rugged up in her newly repaired blanket

Once I had figured out how I was going to repair the blanket it was a most enjoyable task.    Sewing and crocheting even more love into the blanket I had made M when she was just two years old. Thinking of how much she has grown, so many wonderful memories and infinite reasons to love her. It was somewhat frustrating that on more than one occasion I had thought I’d finished only to discover another small breakage, but it was humorous too. That’s M. – concurrently humorous and frustrating!

 virtù - mae can't get enough reading

Only so much time this girl can stop to pose for a photo. She is in love with books. At the moment pretty much obsessed with Horrid Henry. Now she can snuggle up under her blanket, wrapped in my love, and read book and book and book…



STOP PRESS: Is she chewing the blanket in that top photo? Looks like more repair work might lay in this blankets future.

Friday, February 6, 2015

first week of school – the only way is up

virtù - first day of school

Not the greatest start to the 2015 school year in these parts. We were late three of the five days. There was a run away from home. Homework meltdowns. A mama meltdown. And generally just lots of chaos.

The only way is up hey?

virtù - sibling friends virtù - second day of school

Bring on week two I say. We’re going to nail it.