Sunday, October 12, 2014

to remind you how much I care

I keep coming back to this topic.
I can't quite make myself believe it.

I care so much what people think of me. I know its probably true that only mad people care nothing of what people think and that a little care is wise.
But I care so much.

The other day I posted a comment on a bloggy friends blog.
I commented because I felt I kind of knew her and meant it as a gentle conversation starter.
An opinion broadener or a "did you consider this point of view" er.
Anyway, her response to my comment was short, frank, and pretty much broke me.
I was crippled with shame and swore to myself then and there I would never blog nor even
post on Facebook ever again.

Not her fault.

I care so much.
It cripples.

Tonight I was lying face down in my bed after a particularly gruelling Sunday night dinner/bath/bed routine.
I was thinking about the exhaustion of caring so much. Of second guessing myself at every turn.
I was going over and over in my mind the things I'd done and said today, this week, this year.
I was creating a lovely circular pity party in my mind about how everyone feels sad about this,
I'm not special, but it's hard, blah blah blah.

And then, I prayed.

I know you are the only one who's opinion matters but you know I don't
really see you every day.
I see these people every day and have to make choices about what to do
in front of them.
They're the ones who make throwaway comments for me to over-analyse.
I don't see you every day.

And then... (You know where this is going don't you) BOOM.

I don't see you every day.

We've been all kinds of sick in our house this last two weeks and my daily quiet time has
gone down the toilet with the tonnes of tissues I've used to blow my nose.

In that moment I remembered a little book sitting in our shelf called "You are Special."
It's about a little puppet who gets black stickers put on him by all the other puppets because
of the silly things he does. (Sound familiar?)

The puppet finally goes to his maker to go and figure some stuff out.

I'm going to write some of this down and I hope Mr Lucado doesn't get too sad.

The puppet maker says
"All that matters is what I think. And I think you're pretty special...because you are mine.
Every day I've been hoping you'd come... The stickers only stick if you let them.
The more you trust my love, the less you care about their stickers."

"I'm not sure I understand." says the little puppet.

"You will, but it will take time. For now, come to see me every day and let me remind you how much I care. Remember, you are special because I made you. And I don't make mistakes."

You see, I do see people every day and the things they say I will always over-analyse.
My head will always tell me I'm doing the wrong thing and that I'm not cool, or tidy or
awesome enough but if I'm going to my maker every day to hear the truth not about how
awesome I am but about how amazing his love is then I can really and truly let go of caring
what other people think.

It can no longer cripple me.
The dots and even the gold stars when I get things right will no longer stick.

Image Credit : SheReadsTruth

Monday, September 29, 2014

It's not about the running.

You might have noticed I've been getting a bit runny.
Getting my jog on. You know.

At high school we had compulsory sport. Training Tuesday and Thursday afternoons and then a game
on the weekends. My winter soccer team lost every single game. I'm proud to say that the time
we lost 24-0 I wasn't there. I hear that's a pretty bad soccer score.

I'm not really a sporty person. I was the gal who walked the cross country and spent soccer training
offering to go in goalie with my friends so we could chat. School sport kept us pretty fit but it was
never a thing to be enjoyed but endured.

So imagine my surprise when I found in myself a desire to go running. And imagine my surprise
when on that first run I found I could go and go and go without stopping for three kilometres.
Three slow puffy red faced kilometres. But three in which I didn't stop and lay heaving and dying on
the side of the road. It went on.

Now I do enjoy a good think and as I run or think about running I feel a bit conflicted.
Sometimes I feel like the anti feminist. Aren't we supposed to love our bodies no matter the shape
they're in? Am I just running so that I will be happier when I look in the mirror? Am I ashamed of
all my baby flab? Is that the reason I'm doing this?

I'd be lying if I said these thoughts didn't cross my mind but it's not enough.

Am I just a big show off? Doing it for the praise of the online community?
For some kind of virtual pat on the back?

And yes, it feels good to encourage others and be part of an online community of "people who run."
What a spunky club. It's so good to encourage my friends to get out there and do it.
Get those endorphins in to you, start your day well. All those reasons.

But that's not all.

As I was out one day I realised.

It's not about the running.

Earlier this year I had been studying Galatians Five and thinking about the fruit of the Spirit.
It's easy to read this as some kind of spiritual checklist;

"Yes, I'm kind! I helped that lady cross the street. Tick
Oh boy am I faithful. I read the whole Bible this week! Tick"

But no, just as an apple tree cannot help producing apples so Christians who are walking
in step with the Holy Spirit cannot help producing these things in their lives.

It got me thinking this year about self control. God had promised it in my life by his spirit and so I
prayed for it in my life. I'm the kinda girl who sees a Tim Tam, doesn't really want the Tim Tam
but takes it anyway because it's so chocolately and delicious. (You too?)

And then I waited. And then, weeks into this crazy exercise bender I didn't understand it hit me like
a ton of sports bras.

It's not about the running.

It's God.

He's teaching me about self control.

He heard, he listened, he answered. And like the sneaky fella he is I didn't even get it at first.
But what a great lesson it has been in learning to say no to things that aren't helpful and yes to
sticking at something, rising early, following a plan.

My anxieties about my motives are quenched because each time I run I remember that God is
using this to bring about his work in me.

The running, that's not about the running at all.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Pinwheel Coffee Table DIY

We were given a few pieces of furniture by some family friends. They were moving to a smaller place and let us have dibs before Vinnies. We picked up this plain wooden coffee table. A good bible study size. I'd seen some pinwheel table DIY's (mainly this one from A Beautiful Mess) and thought I'd give it a go.

The first thing you need to do is sand that table good. I think this table is at least 30 years old and there were a few lumps and bumps. Some were too big to be sanded away but that just adds to the general charm. Why not?

I kind of winged the design. I thought three colours would do the trick and got green, dark brown and gold. I LOVE the gold spray paint and have used it a few more times since, the brown was a bit too dark and looks black which wasn't really what I wanted but it's not too bad.

I started with a pencil dot to one side of the centre. I then used a tape measure to draw lots of long lines coming out from the dot right to the edge of the table. It doesn't matter how many you do just as long as they are multiples of the number of paint colours you have. i.e I had 3 colours so I needed to make 3, 6, 9, 12, 15 etc sections.

I taped off every third section and started spraying. In hindsight it probably would have been easier to use regular paint as the spray paint tended to get airborne and rest on the other sections but that's a lesson for another day. It was good to experiment with sprays. You could tape the sections a bit better and you wouldn't have this problem.

Wait for the first colour to dry and repeat with the second and third.

I left the legs bare to let some of the wood out but you could paint them one of the three or a totally different colour.

I'm noticing now that coffee cups are leaving rings on the table so you could either use coasters or let it add to the charm of a very different looking coffee table.

Hope you enjoyed the DIY. Let me know if you try one for yourself and send pictures. I'd love to see.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Monday, September 22, 2014

i'm makin' waffles

For our wedding we were given one of the most awesome single use appliances ever.
A waffle maker.
It has sat in our cupboard for many a day. Coming out for a spin whenever
I am rummaging to find a bowl or tray and stumble upon it.

We brought it out a few days ago and the girls are big fans.

Pancakes, turkey(ish) bread, waffles, cake. It's all in the same yummy
carbohydratey group. You know, the white food group.

Sometimes when I feel a whiff of motherly creativity we switch on the waffle
maker and experiment.

#1 The peanut butter waffle
Pour the mix in and then spoon a teaspoon full of pnb into the mixture.
Stir it all around until the pnb melts. Works best with crunchy.

#2 The nutella waffle
Same as above. Even more delicious. Or you could just slather nutella
on already cooked waffles. Or just eat it off the spoon.

#3 The marshmallow waffle.
Slightly dangerous. In the waffle maker, marshmallows turn into melty sugary
red hot balls of death. Wait till they are cool before devouring.

#4 The sprinkle waffle
Not as pretty as it sounds. The sprinkles kind of melt into the waffle and each other
giving you something that looks mainly brown.

We had fun. The girls ate more mixture than waffles. I ate too much nutella.
What more could you ask for?

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Not quite what I had expected.

It's really easy to get caught inside your own head. 
Overthinking the words you said, berating yourself for not living up to your goals, worrying about your life your kids your relationships.

Recently I've been caught in my head about reading the bible. Now I could write pages on this topic but for now I want to write about the She Reads Truth movement you'll have heard me banging on about a few times before if you are a regular reader. 

In a nutshell, it's about women reading the bible together, all across the world. It's awesome. A great big step in the right direction. I extoll it's virtues to everyone I talk to about reading the bible.

But I've got a dirty rotten secret. I'm terrible at following the SRT plans. Really. Terrible. I haven't got through any of them. Started plenty but never made it through. I've been reading other plans or free styling it but reading together with the ladies? Nope.

So, does this make me a hypocrite?
Well...yes. And no.

I was thinking about it the other day and getting all guilty but then I was reminded of a friend who I shared SRT with. She was writing a talk all about the joy of reading God's word. 
Lately I've watched her transform and shine as she embraces the love story on offer in the bible. 
SRT may not have completely clicked with me but it kickstarted her huge spiritual growth. 
She's gone on to share it with others who will in turn be blessed and hopefully pass it on too.

I saw another friend using #shereadstruth on instagram and am reminded of her beautiful heart that has been
a huge encouragement to me. I see her scripture drawings and thank God for her as my friend.

You see, when you are a Christian it's not all about you in your head.
It's a community. Sometimes you are put in a situation for another persons benefit, not yours.

The story of Esther is like this. Esther was a Jewish woman made queen, married to a foreign king who was all 
set to persecute her people. Her uncle reminds her that she was put in this position "for such a time as this."
She was put there to save her people. It wasn't about her story, it was about God's story and his glory.

So instead of guilt, I can feel joy.

Each of us have a time we have been placed in and each of us have people we have influence over. 
What a joy to get outside our own heads and encourage and inspire those around us. 
What a joy to rejoice when others get it right and grow and grow instead of being caught up in the guilt in our
heads as we fail. 

In turn, these ladies have encouraged and influenced me right back to be diligent and constant. 
I see their joy and I want it too. 

You see, they are in my life too for such a time as this.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Adventures to the Gap

You will rarely find our family faffing round at home on Myls day off.
We like to go on adventures.
It doesn't take much to be an adventure. Just us together, our imaginations, good food and somewhere new.

We took a day trip to Watsons Bay and had a fine time seeing the sights and tasting the local fish and chips.
It seemed the seagulls were particularly partial to a calimari ring as a few were nipped out of our hands!
The cheek!
I feel like seagulls are getting more game lately. I don't ever remember them swarming the
way they do now when I was younger. Or am I just forgetting?
We taught the girls how to shoo the gulls away and they spent some wonderful time chasing
the pesky birds.
Fun for all!

We wandered up to the lookout over the sea. There is nothing like seeing water stretched
out to the horizon. So refreshing.
We played in the park and sung in the rotunda a la Liesel and Rolf or perhaps Anna and Elsa in the ice castle. I can never be sure.

Of course the day wasn't complete with out an Ineverwanttoleavethisplace meltdown.
Goodbye is such a hard word to say.

Monday, August 25, 2014

good morning

There is something very important about starting the day well.
I'm not sure if having good mornings has become even more important
since staying at home with two little girls or whether it was always thus
but as time marches on I'm realising that myfree spirit, wandery looong
sleep in days are well and truly over.

It's Winter. Our house is not particularly well insulated. I'll be frank, it's freezing.
The last thing I want to do at 7am is remove my toasty warm body from it's doona cocoon.
But if I want to be any kind of organised it's what I need to do.

Our Summer lasted longer than average this year and I was being so super
good at waking up and exercising, eating breakfast, reading the good book
and putting on a load of laundry on the line by 10am.
I felt like super woman.
With the help of #alittletoofluffy and #shereads truth I was disciplined and active.
Trimming off the waistline and feeling so bright and happy, a glow upon my face.*
Eating a good breakfast is magic. No 11am raid of the cupboard for snacks.
Real honest hunger at lunchtime and the energy to make it and tiredness at 10am for a long nights sleep and an early wake up.
I was nicer to my girls. More lovely to my husband. I had patience with the hard things
in my day. I felt confident. I was reading God's word regularly and it was feeding my soul.
Living. The. Dream.

And then it got cold. So cold.

My discipline has gone out the window but the memory of happy days and eaten
breakfasts remains.
Each night I set my mind to getting out to pound the pavement and each morning
I look out on the rain and mist and roll over again.

Why are the things that are so good for us the hardest things to do?
Why does living in Sydney give you winter denial?

I can feel spring on the horizon. It's going to spur me on to morning wakefulness.
Will you join me?
I'm going to post a glimpse of my morning up on Instagram. It might be my face with eyes
that take way too long to open. My bowl of muslea, the mist outside my window. A small
child who has climbed into our bed way too early.
I hope it can be an encouragement if you too would like to start the day well and have a
good morning. I'd love you to do the same.

I love this quote so much. Many mornings when my feet finally hit the floor I crank around the house wishing I could go back to bed.
Finally I wake up and the day has started all wrong.
I get behind on the laundry, skip breakfast, snap at a child and end up late for whatever we have on that day.

Oh boy do I love a sleep in but this stumble sleepy cranky lady just isn't who I want to be each morning. I'd like the perky spring in my step to brighten the day and make me useful.

Use the hashtag #scarethemorning and follow along @rinny_e

Let's try it! Are you in?

*Even if it was the beetroot like glow of a woman who has just gone running.

Friday, August 22, 2014


It's been a while since her birthday but I wasn't blogging then and I only just discovered the question sheet tucked away in my journal.

So here it is, Lucy at three.
The italic is my comments.

1. Favourite colour - pink
2. Favourite toy - Queens. I'm not quite sure which toy this is...
3. Favourite fruit  - Cookies! That's not a fruit. I explain what fruit is (oh boy) Apples! 
4. Favourite thing to watch on TV - Nemo
5. Favourite food to have for lunch - Cookies! We had just baked some. 
After being told that cookies are not really a lunch food. Peanut butter sandwich.
6. Favourite thing to wear - This dress.
7. Favourite game - Hide and Seek. Piggy in the Middle.
8. Favourite snack - Wait for it... Cookies!
9. Favourite animal - Elephants and giraffes and big dada monkeys. That's what we call gorillas.
10. Favourite song - Twinkle Little Star. She thinks again. A loud song.
11. Favourite book - Laura's Star.
12. Your best friend - Toto and Fluffy and Wandy. The toys right in front of her. 
Granted they are pretty special. I try to explain that maybe her best friend might be a person. Eliza!
13. Favourite cereal - Weet Bix.
14. Favourite thing to do outside - Play on the swings.
15. Favourite thing to drink - Pink milk!
16. Favourite holiday - My favourite holiday is a camping holiday and we can sleep in a tent!
17. What do you like to take to bed? Wandy, Fluffy, Toto.
18. Favourite food for breakfast - Cookies! She thinks she's a comedian now. 
I give her the hairy eyeball. Weetbix and pancakes.
19. What would you like to have for dinner on your birthday? - An orange cake with pink and orange and it can have yellow and blue. It could be a rainbow cake! Mum, I would like a rainbow cake and it can be gooooooood to eeeeeeeeat!
Dinner! Dinner child! Do you want the whole internets thinking i feed you nothing but cake and cookies!?!? 
Breakfast foods. Too late. She's all excited. I'M ON A SAW HORSE! I WOULD LIKE TOTO
20. What would you like to be when you grow up? - A big girl. I would like to bring my school bag.
I will be even bigger. I would like to do some work. Some house work or computer work.

I'd like to add that each answer was given in a super excited high pitched voice. I'd add exclamation points each time but it gets a little silly.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

IKEA Malm Hack DIY

Ever since I saw this pin I have loved the colour combination of marigold and pink. I think a complete kitchen reno is a little far into the future for us so I had to make do with these drawers we got for the girls room. We were living in our house for about a week before our stuff arrived and I was itching to turn our hose into a home so this is one of the things I did in the evenings after the girls went to school. 

I got two sample tubs of Taubmans paint from Bunnings and it was way more than I needed for the project.

There are six drawer fronts for the two units. I ummed and ahhed about how to arrange the drawers and knew that Lu would definitely want lots of pink so settled on a 121 and 212 arrangement. 


Apparentely Lu's favourite colour is pink and Smalls' is orange. Who knew? I'm not sure what came first, the favourite colour or the chest of drawers.

I did two coats on each drawer front and it really needed the second one. I didn't worry about priming or sanding and the paint has been fine so far. (Five months on) It didn't take long to paint them and we had plenty of free floor space to let them dry. 

The colours in real life are a little less Malibu Barbie then they look here. We've also put in new curtains, new carpet and a new rod to hold the dresses. ALL THE DRESSES.

It's really nice having all the little dresses on display like that. It means Lu usually has a few wardrobe changes in the day and is seldom without one of her beauties on but it is another little bit of colour in the room. We also put the shoes lined up (ha ha) under the dresses. This provides great amusement for Smalls and lots of fun when it's time to put our shoes on and head out the door.

Do you have Malm dressers? Have you painted them or done something special? I'd love to see. How do you store beautiful little dresses?

Stay tuned for what the girls room looks like now. Once I've done the laundry and tidied the place I'll take some snaps.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

they are us

You might not have heard the news. The major news channels are only just starting to talk about it.
Normal people forced to leave their homes. Told to convert, die or leave.
Children killed. Women abused.

These are Christian people in Iraq. People who believe and trust the same God I do.
I hear stories about little children being killed and I look at my own two girls. What crime did these children commit other than to be born into homes where their parents proclaimed a particular faith that opposed the strong?

I must confess it had left me feeling rather weak. In prayer I cry out to God,
"What the heck are you doing? Don't you see this? These are your people!"

Then last weekend a great teacher of Gods word laid it all out to me. She spoke of Gods people from the beginning of time to the end. They had their ups and downs. They followed their God faithfully and betrayed him with reckless abandon. They enjoyed plenty and endured famine. They heard word from him over and over and sat in still silence.

But through all that was God, weaving his plan and loving his people. Despite their ups and downs he remained faithful. God's love did not mean their lives would be a bed of roses but that he would keep his promises. On the micro level some people lived their lives without seeing change or hearing a word but on the large scale span of time we see a wonderful and beautiful story of love.

A story that ended (or began) with God fixing the broken hearts once and for all. Jesus on the cross. The call of God willing his people back to him a roaring thundering noise with the act of one innocent, good man dying to make it so.

The story of time is not of God forgetting his people but of him calling them, always calling them back to him. Seeing them. Hearing them. Loving them. They are not forgotten.


On Sunday in church we read 1 Peter 2. It talks about Jesus as a corner stone and his followers as living stones being built into a spiritual house. Set aside and chosen to be Gods. Not just as individuals but as one big group. One family. One people.

These Christians in Iraq are not just randoms on the other side of the planet.
They are our family.
They are stones together with each other Christian across the globe.
They are us.

We must not forget them. If life were a little different we would be in the same position as they are.
They are not criminals but believers.

But if we believe that our God has poured out his love in a stronger way than in giving us a happy life here and now we need not pray only for an end to their suffering. Of course we would love for the wars to end and the persecution to cease but more than that we pray that these family members of ours would be strong.
That they would remember the God who was and is faithful. They would remember his big plan and see how it has unfolded across time. That they would find great strength when everybody would expect weakness.

Pray for these things and remember them in your hearts because these people are us, and one day we may need these things prayed for us too.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Lu says - 1

Lu says some very funny things. She's so articulate and loves to talk and talk and talk. I thought I'd share some of the things she says.

They're not kissing. They're just putting their noses together.

Oh my darling where are you? 
Come to me? 
Are you scared or something? Darling!! 
    - in the bath

Talking about vegetarians.
"I don't eat meat! I think I'm a vegetarian."
"What about sausages and bacon? That's meat."
"I am not a vegetarian."

What would you like to be when you grow up?
A fire truck.
Oh you mean a fire fighter?
No, a fire truck.

We were talking about birthday suits and that when babies are born they are naked.
"That is so silly. The baby should just pop his little arm out and get some clothes and then go back in and put them on."
Fits of giggles.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

the mystery scatterer

There is a little pixie in our house who likes to move things about.
Each day I tidy a different room in the house and before I know it all the drawers are open, their contents on the floor and things are not quite where I left them.

Shoes are lost without their pairs found days later lodged underneath the lounge.
Contents of the recycling bin strewn willy nilly in the linen cupboard.
Apples in our beds.
Undies in the kitchen.
Spoons and forks dispensed with abandon in the spare room.

But I know it's not a pixie. I know who the wily culprit is.
It's a little girl. A Small One.
I've seen her at it.

She attempts to lift things she hasn't a hope of lifting.
Data projectors, gas bottles, bricks.

She grabs onto precious bits of rubbish and will not let them
out of her steely one-year-old grip till they are placed in the
exact location she intends them to be placed.
To attempt is to submit yourself to a good deal of crossness.
A squeal and quite possibly a bottom plonk and head throw back manoeuvre.
It's quite a sight to behold.

But do we stop this little pixie from her cheeky game?
No of course not! It's far too cute.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

the books that we love

One of the first things that Smalls could say was "book."
She would waddle over, book in hand, blurt out her wonderful word (which tbh sounded a bit more like wook) and plonk her little bot down in my lap. Settled and ready to go.

My work here is done.

Dot is the same. She has the longest attention span for a good book and a killer imagination.
Books are a wonderful gift we can give our girls.
And it's not just us. The girls are often getting brown paper packages in the
mail from Waa Waa filled with lovely picture books.

So, I thought I'd share some of the books that we love.
The ones we read so many times I'd get sick of them if they weren't so gosh
darn amazing.
And I might share some of the ones that no matter how many times they
disappear down the back of the lounge they always find their way back.
I'm sure you are familiar with the ones.

Let's start with a good old Mem Fox fest.

My mum read this book to me when I was little and bought for us our very first copy. I love to read it to my very own koala Lu.
It's the story of a little koala who thinks her mother doesn't love her anymore because she is always so busy with her younger siblings. She enters the bush Olympics to try and show her mother that she is worthy of love but realises that her mother always has and always will love her.
It's a book I find myself fighting back tears at the end of and I always find myself hugging my little koala extra tight when we are done.

Mum and I once read it to the kids at Sunday school as it really reminds you of the kind of love God has for his little ones too. No matter what might be going on or how much attention you feel you are getting, you are always so loved.

The refrain, "Koala Lou I do love you" is one often heard around our house.

This is a book both of the girls loved from when they were really little. Like about six months old. It's a pretty basic story; we're looking for the green sheep. Here is the blue sheep, the red sheep, the bath sheep the bed sheep. Lots of lovely rhymes and bright rainbow pictures courtesy of Judy Horacek.It's simple, but brilliant. Loads of crazy sheep getting up to all kinds of antics, plenty of opportunity for wild bleating, circus music, train noises and puffs of wind. My favourite sheep is the near sheep who has come right up close to the page of the book and the far sheep who stands on a distant hill. Makes me giggle every time. Of course this book is also wonderful for bed time as the infamous green sheep is found fast asleep. *spoilers*

And another bed time book beloved by Smalls for it's animal noise making potential. This kid loves animal noises. I think this book may have inspired a 
All Images from the Mem Fox website where you can find out more about them and buy them too.

Do you have any Mem Fox favourites?

Thursday, July 24, 2014

who made it?

My big girl has a wonderful imagination.
she likes to think about fairies and queens
going on adventures with pirates and chasing
animals in the jungle.

This winter she has talked all about seeing snow
apparently that's what happens in Winter. It also
apparently snows at Christmas time so we shall see
how that goes...
We did chance upon some snow at Granny and Waa
Waas but before that all it would take was a little
prompt and an Elsa like flourish of the hands and
imaginary snow would appear.

Imagination is a wonderful thing.

A few weeks ago when G and WW were coming for a
visit Lu wanted to jump out and surprise them.
She walked inside the cupboard in the spare room and
asked me to close the door. I told her that they might
take some time having heard they had not yet left on
their three hour trip but Lu was not deterred.
She sat in that cupboard for a good hour.
I would check on her every now and then but she would
smile and say that she was happy in there and just hiding.

Eventually her patience ran out.

Sometimes I like to watch her play with her toys inventing
stories and characters. I'll hear the words I say echoed by
the "mummy" dolly. A good reminder to be careful with
my words.

And the questions! Oh the questions!

My favourite lately gets me every time.

"Mummy, who made Playschool?"
"Mummy, who made this carrot?"
"Mummy, who made the Sydney Opera House?"

I try an answer.

"I'm not sure."
"We did, in our garden."
"Some very strong and clever people."

But she's always one step ahead of me.

"No Mummy, It was Jesus."

Well played Lu.

Monday, July 21, 2014

birthday x 2

I'd love to be one of those people who has their kids birthday parties on Pinterest.
How fun to make all those crafty party favours and decorations and cartoon characters out of fondant.

But alas, despite my sizeable Party! board on Pinterst,
I usually end up running out of time to hand bake squillions of
pretty cupcakes and tie die calico take home bags.

I remember all the parties we had growing up and the fond memories
come from the silly games, the balloon blowing, writing the guest list
and the extra trolley full of junk food bought the preceding Thursday.

Oh sweet sugar.

If your birthday party was featured on the Pinboards POWER TO YOU.
I wish i WAS you.
But we had loads of fun anyway.

We celebrated the girls birthdays with friends and family.
I baked a cake each for them.
A watermelon cake for Smalls and a "pink and yellow cake
as per request from the big girl. We played suitably silly party games.
Pass the Parcel, Eat the Snake from a String on the Washing Line
(gotta come up with a better name for that), Pin the Tail on the Monkey
(thankyou Playschool), and the Lolly Man.

Lolly Man is a long running tradition in my family.
Any suitable male relative would don a plastic bag sticky taped all
over with lollies and run about while screaming sugar enhanced
children would give chase like hungry zombies, grab the lollies
and tackle the lolly man to the floor.
It's a great game and while the toddlers and preschoolers lacked
the necessary vigour to floor the lolly man, the dads were only too
happy to lend a hand.

I tried to get a nice smiley photo of the girls but was chatting and playing hostess too much to give it much of a good go.
Smalls was wandering round in a constant state of bewilderment that
there were so many people in our backyard.
Lu did her regular imitation of a hedgehog until she felt it was safe
and then the life of the party she did become.

Lu and I made party bags for all the kiddos to take home including
very colourful lolly kebabs.
When we made them she had her super sneaky there'slolliesintheroom
face on and kept telling me that I was supposed to share.
Nevertheless. kebabs were made and party bags were painted.

I think back on the days before we had children and can't help but notice the light and life and fun these little girls of ours have brought into our lives. It's so much fun reliving my childhood in these parties we throw for the girls but better because I get to see the joy on their faces.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Ill like dominoes

It's winter. 
How can you tell?
One member of our family has been sick since it started.
We've had the asthma wheeze from the big girl.
The runny snotty baby nose. 
The stoic man flu and the
we will have no laundry, lots of TV and takeaway for dinner mama flu.

Do you experience this too?

I've seen amazing acts of Super HusbandDad. Trips to the park with the girls so I can sleep, night wakers attended to and panadol and vomit bowl fetched. Yes. What. A. Man.

There's just enough time to get better and play nursemaid before it hits again.

Little Lu has been her sickest yet. She fell asleep in my arms in church and slept through the whole thing. (No offence to the preacher of course.)
Then slept and slept and slept.
For a kid who hasn't day napped in about a year it was actually pretty nice.
So quiet.

But now she's telling me that she wants to be cold and wants to be sick. Usually when it's time to get dressed and she wants to run about in the nicky noo nar.

"I want to be cold." She says. 
I blame Elsa.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

and then I became that mum

We all have those things we thought we would never do when we became parents. You know what I'm talking about right? The things we saw other parents do and in our heads made a mental note to NEVER do that. The things we thought would never be a problem for us.

Yeah that.

Well. Before I had kids and even before I had two kids I thought I would never be the mum who preferred a nice quiet home activity over a day out and about.

It's all different now. I cling on to my day trips out to the shopping centre or the city with my bleeding nails but I think it might be time to give them up for just a few months... or years.

Little Lu got lugged everywhere with us when she was little. She would sleep in the car or in the baby carrier. We would be out late, go to restaurants, cafes, art galleries. We'd be out all day and she'd cope like a pro. We'd go grocery shopping or clothes shopping, we'd go to IKEA and Spotlight. She'd just tag along.

But now.

Now, theres two of them. I'm totally outnumbered. Way out of my depth. On the brink of becoming the lady siting in aisle 12 rocking and crying.

I can't even pinpoint what it is about being out and about that sends me into spasms of terror and causes me to doubt my abilities as a functioning member of society. Something about the decibels a baby hits when she wants to be asleep, is warm, fed, clean, has music and a teddy, a dark stroller and an inability to nod off.

I'm that mum. The one in the shops casting the withering glances round the room. The one calling out her child's name for the fifty-zillionth time because we are "playing hide and seek" and all of a sudden she has gotten really good at the hiding thing.

That mum. The one who all the older mothers look at and remember the days that are thankfully well behind them. The ones who point out said hiding child in a shelf behind a large box, who help me carry the stroller down stairs (bless 'em) and throw a kind smile my way.

I'm that mum.

I do my grocery shopping online. ONLINE! Says the girl who loves grocery shopping and thought online was a total copout.
"Grocery shopping is great for kids." I said. "It teaches them about food, and money management. It's a lovely bonding experience between mother and child."
Now I say, "Get me the heck home! I'm going to abandon my trolley and maybe children here in the fresh produce so help me!"

Arrow prayers sent up to our dear Lord appear to fall on deaf ears or perhaps cannot be heard above the screaming of a baby who is done with sitting in the trolley and wants to be carried or the whining of a three year old who wishes it were time to get an ice cream.

It's then when I send a hasty text message to Myl.

"Leaving home was a bad choice."

And then when we're all at home with cabin fever I think to myself "this time it won't be so bad." The kids are a little older and Smalls has just had a nap. I tell Lu we are going on an adventure and the lights shine in her eyes.

But no. As we sit down at our lunch table laden with Swedish meatballs I hear the old familiar words.
"I need to do a wee."
Now you might wonder what a person does in this situation.
After cursing myself for not asking before we had chosen and purchased our ever-getting-cold lunch. I pack everyone back into the stroller, ask the most friendly person nearby to watch our food so it doesn't get taken by the staff and bolt to the bathrooms.

When we get back I sneak my lukewarm pumpkin soup into the baby food microwave and imagine myself childless, judging my inability to leave the house without becoming a nervous wreck and thinking "Ah, that will never be me."

playing doctors at IKEA. "You have to go to sleep." Says Lu. Mama says Yes. 

What was your thing that you said you'd never do as a parent?

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

a little patch of grass

Our whole married life we've lived in Sydneys Inner West.
It's lovely there and not a day goes by that I don't miss the cafe culture,
the hustle and bustle and the ability to walk to so many fun and
interesting places.


There is one thing that makes our house super duper wonderful.
We have a backyard.

I don't get the ole inner-west cabin fever here. I just open the backdoor
and boom! instant relaxation, instant entertainment, instant buckets of
water to swish and play in for the girls.

And we have a little thriving vege patch! I realise that it is very dangerous
to use the words thriving and vege in the same sentence on the internet.
I will probably go outside to find a wild unicorn has devoured my basil in
the morning but let's go with it.
We only had slightly green areas in one of our previous houses and it was
so covered in shade that each vege or herb I tried to grow died a slow horrible
dark death.

But now, oh my the SUN! It fills our backyard bringing growth to our plants
and a glow to my skin.

It's been my life long dream to live in a house with a frangipani tree and now
wouldn't you know but we got one. It was one of the first things we bought
for the house. I'm looking forward to smelling those sweet blooms in the

My dad bought the girls a swing set and cubby house for Christmas so now
we don't even have to go to the park.

Are you going to go buy a backyard from the backyard shop now? Have I
convinced you of it's wonderfulness?

It's great. The silver lining on the hmmmpf of living in suburbia.