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Picnic at the bay,

gardening,

goodies on Sunday morning,

and of course a mama-made gift.

New friends.

Chocolate for breakfast?

Sorry Alice, you’ll have to stick to the duck I made for you…

I am loving this hair right now.

Morning tea with family, feeding the pet lizard.

Alice isn’t one to miss out the action.

“Estelle did you give Alice chocolate?” “No, I didn’t… she took it from the bowl herself!”

Tea party.

A daring escape.

Yep, love that hair… and these feathers.

A few days to relax together, just what this family needed.

Hope your Easter weekend was just as fun as ours was!

this moment

this week

This week we have been…

baking yummy treats,

and eating them…

Sliding around on the dishwasher door,

wondering ‘what is that stuff falling from the sky?’, and then sitting in it.

Spotting rainbows,

playing hospitals every day with the new doctors set.

Taking advantage of a sunny afternoon and enjoying a backyard picnic.

(making cheeseburgers, apparently)

(success! hand made it into the avocado at last!)

Having lunch with Grandmama,

she even got tucked in and read a story!

And me, well I’ve been thinking that I should be listening to my body more. Letting myself get so run down has led to a painful glandular infection .

In my mind is the upcoming easter celebration. It is the season of renewal and new birth. I have been thinking about what this can mean for me right now.

I think I will find renewal through learning to be kind to myself. Right now I feel as though I don’t have a lot left in my reserves to give out.

Admittedly there has been a lot going on in the last few weeks, now it’s time to let some fresh air back into my stale feeling soul.

I feel like I’ve lost my mojo as a mum (my mumjo?) . It’s hard to give when you have nothing left.

But everyday is a fresh start. A chance to pick myself up and harness the day instead letting it run right past me. Even if it is just something small like remembering to take my vitamins or making sure I give myself half an hour of knitting time while the baby is asleep, I’m hoping each little investment will quickly add up to some  motivation! I just put this reminder on the wall for me to see in the morning.

(please excuse the dodgy late night photo)

What about you?  What does this easter mean to you?

Lately I have been sick of all the ‘stuff’ hanging around the house gathering dust. You know all that stuff you think you need before you have the first baby, but once they arrive it turns out you don’t really NEED any of it?! I decided it was time to cull all the things I had been saving just in case. If I haven’t used it in the last two months, it’s gone!

These are the things I couldn’t live without:

My ergo baby carrier.

This photo was taken a few months ago, Alice was about 4 months then. It doesn’t matter though, it’s pretty much exactly how she looks now when she’s in the Ergo too! I love my ergo because I can have that sweet, fluffy little head close enough for a kiss while doing the housework, shopping or anything else I need my hands free for. I would say it’s Alice’s favourite place to be, tucked away in her pouch, experiencing the world from the safety and closeness of mummy’s arms. So everyone’s a winner. Awesome!

My stick blender.

I probably could live without this one if I wanted to mash everything with a fork or push it through a sieve, but who has time for that? This makes baby food so quick and easy to make, pureed in seconds. It makes life so much easier to have a few meals in the freezer. Frozen apple or pear cubes are great to add to hot porridge, I just pop the frozen cube in when the porridge is cooked and stir it through to defrost which also cools the hot porridge to a suitable temperature. Then it’s ready to eat straight away without having to wait. Nothing worse than a hungry baby and the food is too hot. Of course they taste good on their own too. I will often mash up whatever vegies we are having for dinner for Alice to eat, but it is always good to have freezer meals to call on if dinner is running late or we’re having something unsuitable for her. Best of all, I know what’s in it. Definately no preservitives or added sweeteners or anything nasty and it’s SO much cheaper than buying jarred food. I don’t find it any more difficult to be out and about with home made baby food (actually I can’t compare because I don’t buy jarred food), I just put a few cubes into a container and pack it into a tiny cooler bag with my spoon and bib when I leave in the morning and it’s defrosted and ready to eat by lunchtime. Easy.

My bumgenius nappies.

After trying a few different cloth nappying options, I have found these to be very reliable and easy to use. Although I do use a different nappy for night (baby beehinds bamboo fitted) these are the best ‘work horse’ nappy I have tried. I have saved sooo much money by using cloth, and they look pretty cute too! The environmental factor was also a big decider for me, did you know that every disposable nappy ever used is still sitting in landfill somewhere breaking down? Poor earth. It’s really not much more washing, a load every second day, which I don’t really notice with all the laundry I do anyway.

So I think that’s it. Those three things are the only things I actually need, aside from some clothing. As you can see in the last pic there, the baby makes her own fun with pretty much anything around the house. Toys are fun but so is everything else! Didn’t need the baby bath, she prefers to have a bath with her sister. I also didn’t need the mountain of clothes she grew out of before she wore them twice. Of course i did keep a few other items that we use (such as the highchair), but these are my favourites.

As I go through life I’m learning that it’s always best to simplify!

this moment

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, savor and remember.

Inspired by Soulemama.

I just saw that this will be my 55th post on this here blog I started a few months ago! I had a big smile about that because before I started blogging I honestly thought I would have nothing to say. But it seems I did have a few things bouncing around in my head, enough to write 55 blog posts in fact!

To be honest, I very rarely know what it is I am going to write about when I finally get a moment to myself at night to sit down and write. I usually just sit for a moment, feel my feelings, think about my day or flick through the recent photos on my camera and see what comes to mind. I think if I planned ahead it would take away the honesty of the moment. Taking hold of an idea and just running with it allows me to be grounded in the moment and write exactly how I feel and what I think about something. (justifying my disorganisation?? 🙂 )

I remember that I found it quite confronting at first to share things that are close to my heart. The fear almost stopped me in my tracks. What if people judge me? What if people don’t like what I’m writing? What if my writing isn’t good enough? Does anyone really care what I have to say? And on and on…

Fear. It can cripple you. Although a good and healthy dose of fear can sometimes be exactly what you need. Feeling the fear, then doing it anyway. Is there anything more satisfying? Sometimes the things that make you feel the most vulnerable can also be the things that bring you the greatest reward. I found it difficult to share my feelings so openly, I really felt like I was going out on a limb. (Here is a little piece of my heart, what are you going to do with it?) But I have gained so much by just taking the leap, putting my words out there, and have really appreciated the encouragement I have received from people. I hope that I have maybe offered some encouragement to others through my words.

At first, I did feel pressure to maintain the blog. But now I have learnt to stick to my priorities. The blog is the first thing that misses out on my limited time. I will write when I can, when it suits and I have the desire. It is supposed to be enjoyable after all!

So anyway, I’m so glad I didn’t cave to the fear. I like writing my blog, this place where I can vent. I mean, can you imagine what it was like living in my head with all of these thoughts bouncing around? So truthfully, I do it for myself. It’s my own personal confession. (Not that I have ever been to confession, but I imagine that it is relieving to get things off your chest, like I do here) Thanks for reading!

A love story

Death is hard to comprehend. We all know what death is. With the last breath the spirit leaves the body, the body left behind nothing but an empty vessel.

But on a day to day level, it’s so hard to imagine never seeing someone again.

Never again will I sit at the table with Ernie and have a cuppa, go into the garden with him to admire the roses he was so proud of, listen to him tell my nanna she was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen (he loved to make her blush in front of everyone).

Ernie came into our lives nearly five years ago. My nanna started talking about this man who she had become friends with. He had been taking her out to lunch and coming to her place for dinner. We started lovingly teasing her about this new toy boy (she was 82, he was 80) who was taking her away from us! If one thing is true, it’s that love knows no age. Their friendship blossomed and soon they were like a pair of love struck teenagers. After both being widowed for over 30 years, they had each found their soul mate. Ernie being an old fashioned gentleman decided it would never do to live together without being married first, so he proposed and she accepted. At their wedding there was not a dry eye to be found. Nanna walked down the aisle to the music playing, “I finally found someone, someone to share my life”. Such a special day.

These two love birds spent every moment with each other. I will never forget this day when Luke and I went to visit, we had been there the week before helping Ernie move his things into the unit and had set up the lounge room for them. Ernie told us he didn’t like the way we set it, he wanted his recliner to be closer to Nan’s so he could hold her hand while they watched TV! Ernie had a great sense of humour and loved to tell a story. He settled into our family as though he had been there all along. It made us all so happy to see Nanna so content, fulfilled and to have someone to share life with.

Ernie had never been sick in his life, so it was a great surprise to us all when 5 months ago he was diagnosed with advanced lung cancer. His quick decline was so difficult to witness and difficult for him to understand. He spent the last few months of his life in hospital and I will never forget walking into the room with Nan and seeing big, lonely tears rolling down his cheeks the moment he laid eyes on her. He missed her so much. And she missed him. She would sit next to him on the bed and wrap her arms around him and he would say, “I still think you’re the loveliest woman in the world”.

It feels so unfair, they are still newly weds! I have so much sadness for my nan, saying goodbye to her precious companion. But she is the one with a smile despite the tears, telling us that she is so grateful to have had his love and to have made the last years of his life the best ones. I hope that I one day have even a portion of her courage and amazing attitude.

Today we said our final goodbye’s.

It’s not about the quantity of life but the quality.  Quality of life is measured in memories, not years.

Remember to make the everyday things special.