rosey garlands // rosey cheeks //

Last weekend we made some garlands with the petals from our roses. The roses were nearing the end of their blooming beauty, and some had begun to let their petals tumble onto our table. We thought this would be a great way of remembering the velvety roses and having some fun as well. 

The garlands themselves were very simply stitched with a needle gently through each petal, and threaded onto some variegated embroidery thread we had. The kids decided that they wanted head garlands as well as one necklace for Ari - it matched his t-shirt better!

What fun they had in the garden. Running and giggling and being silly. They do love posing and playing up for the camera. And with lush green grass and vibrant colours as the background I just snapped and snapped as they kept on posing and moving and giggling and finding new props. I'm so glad our beautiful cat Lou-Lou made it into the photos too - even though he wasn't the most willing model. 

Tomorrow is Mother's Day. I think these photos perfectly sum up what I wish and hope my Mother's Day to be. My beautiful babies enjoying living in the same place that my beautiful mama (and dad) raised me and my siblings. Exploring and discovering treasures in our forest. Sitting still and watching little birds with fascination and joy. Running and laughing and being children. And all the while making this mama's heart sing through the pure joy they are experiencing. 

Oh yes. So it is. Happy Mother's Day to all you Mamas out there. 
{and extra big hugs to all those of you who are missing your mama today}. 

E xxxx

the little ones

this blog started originally, I think, as a place to talk about and share and mostly remember the things 

about my little ones. I am not good at regular journal keeping - and here now it seems I am not so good at blog journal keeping. I keep forgetting to write updates and birthday posts about those little creatures of mine.

today they are finalising the writing of speeches for school. The words they will say, and timing it to fit within the two or one minute they are allowed. And writing it down on palm cards so they can present it in class.

They both learn and experience words so differently. Both of them love reading, writing and story telling. Yet for Mishi spelling and writing words seems to come easier than for Ari. Sometimes I wonder if this is because of the difference in their start to schooling (Ari in Queensland prep system where reading and writing was much slower to be taught, compared to Mishi who was taught in pre-school and now in NSW kindergarten has learnt the whole alphabet and can read and spell and write and sound words out so dramatically differently. Perhaps it's also the being a second sibling, and learning so much from the older brother. That makes a big difference, I know.)

Anyway, Mishi has happily written her whole speech almost on her own. It's about kookaburras and is wonderful. She's actually worked out what she wants to say, and written it down on paper and now has transferred it to palm cards. We have timed her as she talks, and ends with her wonderful kookaburra laugh. I must remember to record her.

Ari has needed help every step of the ay with his speech, from thinking up a topic ("my grandma") to working out questions to ask, and then what to write. And then, he wants us to write his palm cards. Thankfully I think he will present it in class, and won't expect that of us as well....

Saying this - Ari is excellent with words and spelling and reading and writing. Especially for his age. 

They both have a big love of words and language. And this makes me happier than happy!

*this was written a few weeks ago, and has sat unpublished as i didn't have an edited photo to put with it. it is increasingly harder to get the photos/blog thing happening. but steps are being made to get electricity on at home - that will surely change life in quite a dramatic way. or perhaps not at all.

My five year old - by me

I wanted to finish the week of everyday blog posting that accidently happened around here. Five days of posting about random things. I'm not sure if you were here - or if you were interested. Oh well. I had fun. Were you here? Were you interested? Hello....

So - may as post talk about my 5 year old. Don't have much else to say for this rainy day. Sam's at home cleaning house. That's good, isn't it!

My five year old - by me
Sometimes I think my new 5 year old might think she'd 15, at least she acts like it.
Sometimes she acts like she's 15 months old.

My 5 year old likes school, mostly. She has a great gaggle of friends who give her hugs hello and goodbye. There's a boy at school who she quite likes - I've seen him stroke her hair. They're in kindy together. This is sweet and lovely, and also just a tiny bit scary.

My 5 year old is super good at drawing. She got an award at school for drawing. And another one for being an enthusiastic learner.

She tried hard to wear her school uniform, but really I know she wants to wear her tutus all the time. She does wear leopard print tights, with sparkly pink ballet shoes. She sure does have great style, my 5 year old.

My 5 year old makes up wonderful stories all the time. She chatters quietly to herself, while playing dolls or barbies, or drawing her pictures. Sometimes she lets my 7 year old join in.

Every night before bed my 5 year old says she needs a story. She can't go to sleep without a story. Mostly I do read stories, sometimes lots, sometimes one long one. Sometimes I can't read stories - so my 7 year old reads stories to his sister. It's so lovely to hear that. My 7 year old is so good at reading.

My 5 year old is learning to write words and letters. It's so good - she's loving it. Her big brother helps her with her letters, and spells out words for her to write down. Her writing is so lovely and neat and deliberate.

I love my 5 year old. I love my 7 year old as well.

The end. by me.

Perhaps there'll be more story telling next week... xxxx
*photos by Sophie Partyka, for Bambini Model Agency. Yes, my 5 year old has a model contract - only new, so no work yet......

tutus + gumboots

this is what ballerina-fairies look like. when it storms she's prepared for all manner of puddle jumping.

I do believe that shoes on the wrong feet does help with the puddle jumping. {Isn't it funny that despite the 50% chance of getting the shoe on the right foot, it often ends up on the wrong one. She's most definitely getting better at knowing, but it's always the cutest reminder when she gets it wrong that she really still is my little one. who-is-not-quickly-approaching-four, thank you very much!!}.

things on a friday

it's raining here. 
don't know what time, during the night, it started. 
but it does seem to be set in for the day, at least. 
we're going away early tomorrow morning for our holiday/weekend away. i hope it doesn't rain all weekend at our lovely creek-side holiday home.

i have the last of some things to wash before i pack them. s
uppose i'll have to visit the laudromat to use the dryer. or even perhaps my in-laws - who always love the kids visiting anyway, so a good reason to go and see them.

we're only going away for 3 sleeps, but it feels like so much more. 

a lot is riding on this time away. 
we are going to decide if this is a good place for us to find a new home in, to perhaps.possibly.just.maybe start our new business in.

beautiful rainy lighting - the little one likes any excuse for some summer clothes during the cold of winter. she shed her morning warms, for this outfit, and ran around in the wet garden. can you feel the goosebumps....
getting her back in the warms is going to be a challenge today! 
but, of course, she does look sweet in this little outfit. 
actually, any outfit she slips into looks good - stripes, spots, red + purple, layers over layers. 
she does have a good sense of style. 
she's a fairy in the garden. that's what she told me. 

pink fairy bunny

Mishi had her Easter hat parade at kindy today. 
Wasn't a very big affair, but fun, and sweet. And noisy.
I only found out yesterday that we parents had to actually make the hats and bring them in. {At school, Ari has spent all week making his hat, and telling us about it. I guess I just assumed that they'd be making them at kindy too}.
So, while at the fabric shop with my friend, I found some lovely wool felt and after much brain squeezing formulated a design in my head. 
Note to self :: have plans and exact ideas and required fabrics before visiting the bright lights and brain numbing fabric shop again.

I sat up late last night hand sewing these little ears. I knew that I couldn't put them onto a headband or clips or anything, as Mishi doesn't like things in her hair or tight on her head. But I know that she likes soft little fabric crowns as we've made quite a few in the past that she happily wears. 
It was really enjoyable to plan and make something so distinctly stereotypical. Pink bunny ears for a little girl who does quite like pink.
These were very easy to make. I'll be making another pair tonight for Ari, in a pretty wheaten-brown + pale pink colour. We've already decided that he'll be called Little Nut-Brown, and Mishi is to be called Baby Pink. Or something like that. I'm sure it'll change.

She was the sweetest little fairy bunny, hopping along happily.
This full length mirror is in the lift at kindy. I love the way every morning she looks at herself - in the way that children do with total comfort and contentedness. She twists and turns, and watches how her body moves. Sometimes she'll look up at me, and catch my eye in the mirror - but mostly, she just enjoys looking at herself.


Tea parties with Mishi today.
Rain. Pouring down from the sky.
Washing on the line.
Singing and dancing and prancing.
And wearing sweet little new dress that just arrived in the post today, for her birthday. Thank you, friends.

and working on {super exciting} financials.

in fairy land

Just a couple of images from our little fairy party yesterday. Mishi turned 3 on Friday (still to write her birthday message), and we had a little celebration over the weekend. 
I'm hoping my father-in-law has some good photos, as I didn't get time to take many more than this. 

We made tissue and fabric flowers and hung them from the roof. I was imagining what it looks like in fairy land, with all the flowers being quite bigger than the little fairies and elves. I had a whole image in my head - but of course not the time to execute it all. I was very happy with our pretty flowers. 
{thanks Steph for the reminder}.

The little cupcakes were meant to look like mushrooms and pink flowers, they all had beautiful butterflies fluttering in them. The sugar butterflies are from a fellow Bris-Stylette - I don't normally use a lot of sugar or have lollies, etc at our parties, but these were so pretty and for the little three year old fairy I thought it would be a lovely topping for our cakes. 
Do head over and have a look at Bel's new shop - I was so happy with them. I do quite like these little birdies too - perhaps another party!

We're off to have more cakes for morning tea. While most were gobbled up yesterday, I managed to save a just a couple for lingering over today. 
*I was much too busy being the hostess yesterday to enjoy any cake, so am yet to taste them properly - but was told they were delicious. 
*Thank you to my sister, who was such a great help with everything yesterday. She looked so wonderful too - as a white fairy princess, with her tutu-petticoat and red plaits. (no photo, sorry Sylv).

that dress

I made a party dress for Mishi, the night before Ari's party (of course the night before, would any of you expect anything different!).

She choose the fabric, which was a ginormous dress I bought from a vintage fair a while back, with the intention of turning it into something else. I was quite surprised that choose it; not pink, not flowery.
The dress itself is a made up pattern, a morph of pictures spotted (by Mishi) in Weekend Sewing by Heather Ross. The adults kimono dress and the baby kimono top, as well as a little kimono-style jacket of Mishi's mainly used for sizing. I'm not much for using patterns, hate cutting them out and trying to make them the right size (am I an 8, 10 or 12?). So this pattern just happened, with rough drawings as a guide and a distinct 'jump-in-and-do-it already' attitude. (I mean, at 9.30pm, you really have to start making the dress don't you! The cakes were in the oven and the kids finally asleep).
You know the best part - she loves it. No tears or big bottoms lips, upon waking up and seeing it. She put it on straight away. And has worn it every day since Saturday. Easy to put on, and take off (for the impromptu dress-up shows we have around here), and easy to wear. Soft and flowy, comfy, yet covering her shoulders and her bottom (some of her other dresses have recently turned into tops, with those legs continuing to grow!).
I'll be making some more of these dresses for sure - a whole Summer wardrobe.

*and, ooohhh, okay - I haven't got the hem of the sleeve finished yet, but it'll keep for a few days longer.
* Ari got a camera for his birthday - a proper one, not a kids one. He took this photo of Mishi, and I'm sure we'll see more here.
* I think my sister won best dressed prize at the party (though being one of "those mums" there was no prize - sorry Sylve!).

just to prove she loves me

Mishi had to go to the doctor this morning. Sam took her, plus Ari. I went to Contours - I'm just joining up (not much of a gym girl, but have to do something to counteract all the chocolate + sitting around crocheting).

Mishi asked, in her sweet little sing-song voice "the girl doctor?". She's at an age where girl / boy things are quite distinct; ie - this is a girl song, that's a boy show, girl book, not for boys, etc. Honestly I don't know where she gets it from, but she's a pink and fairy princess sort of girl. She very much likes that she has a girl doctor.
While I was washing up this morning, she came in and quietly mumbled that the girl doctor was prettier than me. It took me a moment to work out what she'd actually said. And when I asked her to repeat it, she didn't want to. Saying "nothing, nothing", in a mysterious little voice. But I finally got it out of her. And simply had to laugh, and run and tell Sam.
The girl doctor is prettier than me. She's very funky in her clothing choices, and tall and blonde, well built. She's a grown-up, mature woman, she has 4 almost grown-up kids. Very striking woman.
I did think it very funny that Mishi said that. Little bit worried what it may turn into in a handful of years of peer influence.

Just to prove that she really does love me, she brought this bright yellow flower home from her walk to the doctor. I do know that even if other people do surpass me in her eyes of impressiveness, that she will always still love me.

the cold is creeping in

It's starting to get colder in the mornings now. And we've even been pulling this little blanket over us while we sit on the couch during the evenings.
Winter is slowly slowly approaching.
We are still having some warm, not quite hot, days.
But definitely it is getting cooler now.
Sam swapped our rugs over in the lounge room today. Doesn't it look so warm and cosy in here now.These are some lovely seedpod things that we brought home from our walk the other day. I've loved seeing these pinkish shapes in the trees lately. With the yellow flowers, they look amazing together.
Keep warm. xx

kids in the kitchen

On Tuesday, when my Dad was visiting, he took Ari over to Sylve's house for dinner. This meant that Mishi and I had the afternoon at home together. This is quite rare, so was really lovely. Once your child starts talking, incessantly, you forget that quiet of the 'non-talkative' child. The talking to yourself aspect of spending time with a little one. While Mishi says words, and makes lots of noises, she doesn't yet conduct a conversation.
So, it was really lovely to do some baking together. And for me to have those moments of quiet head space. Of talking to Mishi, and to myself. Of having her tiny sounds to accompany my quiet words. Being able to think about what I'm cooking, to stop and enjoy the process a little bit more. Having one child do the mixing; rather than two children bickering over who stands on which stool and who uses which spoon.
We made some little biscuits. Some with our new cutters - some great carshapes. And some with Mishi's thumb print to form the balls into shapes. I sort of made the recipe up as we went on. No dairy, no eggs, no sugar. Delicious. The kids ate them happily, while we were walking through the Mt Cootha Botanical Gardens with my Dad the very next day. (That was a fun day, no photos - just enjoying looking at things, and really taking it in, and having time wandering through trees and plants with my Dad).
Sultana + Marmalade Cookies
1 cup Self Raising flour
1/2 cup Plain flour
1/3 cup vegetable oil
few handfuls of sultanas (that was Mishi's job - don't know how many went in!)
3 or so big spoonfuls of sugar-free marmalade or jam of your choice
enough water to make a firmish mix
Mix everything together, slowly - try not to spill too much flour on the bench, try not to eat too much dough. Have fun. Don't worry if quantities are a little bit wrong. You can add some dried spice or other dried fruit if you want. Or use fresh fruit juice, or milk if you want instead of water.
Roll out flat, and cut with cookie cutters or roll into balls and push flatish (once they are on pan) with your finger - this makes a nice little shape.
Cook on a lined cookie tray at 180C (approx) for about 25 or so minutes, or until nice and golden. Leave them to cool on a wire rack before you eat them.
Then do a little dance for your Mama, to show her how much you like the cookies - and how happy you are, in general. She's been calling me "marmee.... muuuummie".
I also have some yummy pie recipes to share with you. We've had quite a baking week this past week. Cheesy pastry recipe to come in a few days, or so.

night time

Continuing on with the 'fuzzily' theme, here are a few not very focused photos. But I like them anyway. Life doesn't always have to be sharp and clear and crisp to make sense, or be correct. Does it?

Tonight is the second in a row that Mishi has gone to bed with not 'mummy milk'. This is a big breakthrough for such a milky-girl. I have been trying to slowly ease her over the past couple of weeks, with mixed results. But progressive results, at least.
Last night, on a whim, I suggested that maybe Mishi might like to have a special bottle of milk for bed. Sam went and made her a bottle, and she happily followed him into the kitchen. She carried her bottle around, almost proudly. And suckled it easily, contentedly in bed while I sang songs to the kids, and cuddled Mishi to sleep.

It did take a little while, but not so long as it could have. She fussed a bit, mainly about being comfortable how she was lying rather than wanting my milk. Eventually she slept. Waking 45 minutes later, I settled her with more cuddles.
So, night one - no milk! (She did have milk in the morning, at about 4.30am. But I'm okay with that. We're already happily lying beside each other, and it keeps her sleeping a bit longer in the morning. After all, I don't think that I'm entirely ready to be weaned from her!).

So, for bed tonight Sam made her bottle, which she took off to bed (after reading my favourite - "Emily's Balloon"). Much more fussing than last night, and hitting me in the face. And trying to pull up my shirt. "mik. mik. mik". But I cuddled her, and let her hit me. Whenever I tried to sing she hit in the mouth, informing me no singing. Yet finally she settled, mainly by herself - not letting me touch her. And little whimpers, then soft breathing. Then sleep.
So far she hasn't woken up since finally falling asleep at 7.45pm. That's almost two hours. I'm sure writing this will be a jinx - that's okay.

I think that maybe Mishi is ready for this weaning thing. Maybe she'll be okay. And I can go out at night time for a cup of tea with my friend. And not be called home for a screeching baby. Maybe I can have my body back to myself - once the milk eases and dries up (sure there will be a little while of soreness first!).

Now, am I ready for the weaning? I can't ask my mum about when we were weaned, or how. My dad doesn't remember. I always thought that I would feed my children until they simply stopped. But life isn't happening that way, and I have to learn to change my expectations of my mothering. And still be happy with that. I have to believe when I tell myself that I have given Mishi so much feeding her this long, and that it's only taking from both her and me if I continue feeding more when I'm so not wanting to.
With Ari I stopped him because I was five months pregnant with Mishi. Ari was 23 months old. He had started biting me. He was down to only 2-3 feeds a day anyway. I remember it as being quite easy. One day when he bit me I simply said no, and that was it. He asked a couple of times over the next few days, yet didn't push or whinge or cry. So. Let's hope both Mishi and I can wean that easily, happily and healthily.

My thoughts of the word weaning are not negative. Instead of taking something away from my daughter, I feel that I am opening her up to more. And myself in the process. Dr Sears says that the Hebrew word for weaning is 'gamal' which means to ripen. I really like that thought and perspective on a natural and necessary aspect of mothering and breastfeeding. What are your thoughts, ideas, experience? Please, I love having advice from other women.

birthday photos

I just wanted to add a few photos of Mishi's birthday, as I only loaded them onto my computer. We had a lovely afternoon party for her birthday, at her Grandparents' house. I was too busy, being busy, to take photos. And a simple breakfast on her actual birthday, at home :: Sam was late for work + Ashy was late for school.
But, I have some sweet ones from her birthday breakfast, at home. Ashy + Ari sang her silly songs - thankfully we got it on video. We stuck some candles into playdough, and put it out of her reach - a one year old isn't so good at knowing not what to touch! Pancake/pikelets have been a big hit in our house with all kids (and adults), since our new kitchen makes it much easier and more fun to whizz them up. Quick, easy, tasty breakfast. We love them with frozen blueberries or raspberries, yoghurt and syrup or honey. (Looking at her berry stained singlet, I'm glad I didn't dress her up for birthday breakfast!).

birthday letter :: Mishi :: ONE

Well, a little overdue, I'm sorry, my Darling Girl. One day when you're reading this you may understand. I hope so - I hope also that I am there to share the days with you when you are a Mama yourself.

My daughter. You are now ONE. I cannot quite believe. I see you, experience you totally differently than with Ari as a baby.
You are such a beautiful little creature - also, so cheeky! You giggle with your brother - I know that you two will play together so well, so happily. You both accomodate each other so much more than I had thought. You look up to him, smiling and laughing with him.
Little kisses from you are so precious. You have been giving us kisses for a short while now. Making a smoothy noise, and scrunching up your lips. At bed time, you love giving us all kisses goodnight before I take you into bed for your milk. At first you would only kiss us, your immediate family :: Dada, Ari + Mama. Now you give kisses to select others at your discretion.
You are talking so much. Making noises into a telephone - or any object you hold up to your ear. Chatting away. You sit and read books, stories to yourself. Perched up on a cushion, or curled up in the corner of Ari's bed. At night-time when Daddy reads to Ari, you bring your own story over and want to sit and read it altogether.
You love dancing and singing. When we sing songs, or have music to listen to, you stand - holding onto someone - and bounce your legs up and down, and nod your head. You have a big smile on your face.
So often you have a smile or laugh. You have a crazy grin you give - of pleasure, satisfaction, intent dedication to whatever you are trying to do - with your teeth showing through a scrunched up grin.
You are understanding so much, and watching, and copying so much. If Ari does a tumble on the carpet then you want to do it too. You do a lot of downdog, and yoga poses - I really love seeing you do this, makes me think over my own Mum all over again.
A lot of things about you make me think of Mum. The way you play with your hair, twirling it in your fingers. My Mum used to do that too. And I think you will look a lot like her when you are bigger.
So many things about you are so different to Ari. You are a very different baby. Yet, so many things that you do remind me of him as a baby. And remind me that it's all going so quickly. When you have your lips clenched around my breast for your milk, and you start to giggle at something - either someone sitting beside us, or you trying to tickle me face while you feed. Ari used to do this - with his lips still keeping grip onto me.
Today, while we were playing peek-a-boo (when we were mistakenly trying to have your nap), you said "there" when you peeked out of the blankets. "there" as in 'there you are'!
And while I was cooking dinner, you indicated that you wanted to help me stir the saucepan. Well, of course I let you (after all, that's how Ari first learnt to cook). You loved it, wouldn't let me put you down, you wanted to keep holding that wooden spoon and stir and stir and stir the dahl until it was ready. You had such a look in intense pride on your face. When Daddy got home, you wanted him to watch you cooking, to see what you were doing. You love doing big person things, not baby things. You don't eat baby food (you never did), you like sitting in a big chair, not a high-chair.

Some days it feels as if everything is moving so slowly and we never see any change, yet other times I can only watch things speed by me. Thank you for the moments, fast or slow, for letting me spend time with a beautiful, laughing, smiling, happy, inquisitive, intelligent little creature. Love you Baby.

snippitysnippitysnip #2

Be warned - many blatant cute photos follow!

Her hair was getting simply too long + I was sick of having to keep looking for little clips, lost all over the house, in the car, slipping out of her hair while out and about. She can see a little better now. Hmmmm, I didn't think that I would be cutting her hair at only 10 months old, but she had so much of it, and it just keeps growing and growing.

Ari was past his third birthday before we finally cut his hair, but things seem to be so much more accelerated with a second baby. Is that because I am more experienced, or more blase, or - hopefully not - maybe because I have gone through some of that 'baby loss/growing up thing' already with Ari, and it's not quite as intense with Mishi. Is that it? No, not really, no.... hope not!
We'd been wanting to cut it for a little bit, but I was a bit scared that we'd do it wrong. A wriggling baby and sharp scissors are not really a combination I wanted to test out! A friend did it one night - we were talking about it, and she got out the scissors and snip snip done! (She's Swiss, so gets things done without the silly procrastination. They renovated their house in less than a month; ripping out walls, painting, new kitchen, etc... I hate those sorts of people!!!). Anyway, she did a perfect job - not too short across the fringe, with a cute little bob (which we had to fix up over a few days of trying to keep Mishi still).

And if you start thinking that there'll be a third installment to these snippity posts :: I have not had my hair cut ever ever ever. It didn't get as long as it is by cutting it. Though, don't think it hasn't crossed my mind a few times - scissors in hand, there have been a few times when I almost almost almost just snipped it all off! If I was going to do it though, I think I'd have to have a very stylish and eye-catching cut as I'm quite used to the thing of having long (eye-catching) hair. Keep a look out, but don't hold your breath.