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.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

an ode to good friends

you know you have a good friend when they

take you in after you've been vomiting for a day
give you their bed with clean soft sheets
smile at your kids
smell your stinky smell after a weekend of camping
in a church hall and a long drive in the car

you know they love you when they

forgive you for slightly almost burning their house down
fill their house with noise
their washing machine with dirty laundry
their floor with food scraps
their peace with chaos

when they camp out in the backyard so you can sleep in
a bed near your kids you know they're thinking of you.

when they make you food
when they chat and lend an ear
when they give you a much needed hug
when they let you drag them out to random
blogger cookie parties,

you know they're a good friend.

you know you've found a friend for life when they

are the godparents of your second child
when they pray with you
barrack for you
invite you to share christmas day with their family.

there's a good friend right there

or two.

I've been reflecting on our time in limbo and am so grateful for the time we spent with our dear friends. It's not many people who would have our harm sacrum brood in their house for such a long time with the love and class they did.
So grateful for them and so glad to have found such dear friends.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Well hello again.

Hello there.
It's nice to be back.

I took a little bloggy break just after Christmas.
It was so needed. I was exhausted in every sense of the world.
We were living in a crazy state of unknown. Hopping all over the
countryside, living in peoples back pockets.
I could barely keep my head in the game let alone pour out my life on these pages.

But I missed it. I missed it almost as soon as I stopped.

Because even though I'd moulded this little place in
the internets into a bit of a competition with myself.
Even if I told myself it wasn't good enough and not
like the other blogs.
Even though I felt down because I didn't think anyone
was reading it (except my mum. hi mum!), that's
not why I started a blog in the first place.

I started this little page to document my life.
Almost four years ago my life got bigger than it ever
had been before. My little one started growing inside
of me and it was the most exciting and frightening thing
that had ever happened to me.
I wanted to write it all down.
To keep the memories of how I was feeling and what I
was doing so that one day I could look back on these
exciting and frightening days and smile and thank God
for all the many days I have seen.

And that's what it was for a time. But then I found influence
from elsewhere. Other blogs, product reviews.
I saw what the blog could be and got caught up in some ideal.
I lost sight of the reason I had started.
It got to a point where I could no longer read other blogs
without comparing myself to them and feeling pretty rubbish.
And so, I gave it all away.

But how I missed documenting those days.
The photos and the stories. I've written a million blog posts
in my head these past months. I've got the photos and the
memories but there's something special about recording them
here in this little corner of the world.
Our world has expanded and expanded.
There is so much to share and think upon. I'm learning new things
about God and being a woman and wife, about mothering, about
sucking the marrow out of life!
And I'd like to share it with you.
I'd like to write it all down so I can look back and remember these days.

Not long ago I discovered a nasty little piece of work website
that takes great pride in cutting people who share their little lives
in this way. It made me do a whole lot of thinking but if there is
any good to come out of reading and witnessing the behaviour
that goes down in such a place it's this;
Not everyone will like you. And that's ok.
They might even say nasty things about you but that says more
about what they like then what you are.
If I run around wanting this blog to look like x, y or z I'm just going
to wear myself out. It needs to look like me and if that just 'aint
popular then that's ok too.
It really is.

And you know as nasty as that website seems, the more I read it
(it's like a car accident I can't look away) the more I realise
that that's mostly what they're on about.
Being genuine.
It's not a good read to hear about some lame product or how
awesome sauce your life is. It's good to read about real stuff,
real feelings, real cock ups.
I think that's where I started but got lost along the way.

It was so nice to see folk come out of the woodwork and say
that they do like reading what I write.
I was genuinely floored by all the lovely things so I'd love to
encourage you to keep saying them if you think them.
(Even say the bad stuff. Ill grow a thicker skin and hopefully
become a better writer.) Even though I'm going to try really hard
to not be swayed by public opinion it's still nice to hear friendly things.

So hello!
Here's the new space. A new name, a new look, a new era.
Going back to the original vibe feels much better.
You might as well write what you know eh?
Happy Days!

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