Sunday, December 30, 2007

Breathing Again

After the crazy pre-Christmas madness of trying to finish all the handmade gifts I decided to make for the kids and family, many late nights sewing, unpicking and re-sewing we entered into another mad week of family get togethers, to much ham, chicken, turkey, pickled onions (that I'm certain only get eaten at Christmas by my dad) fruit cake, chocolate almonds, chocolate sultanas, chocolate peanuts, cashews etc........... and not to forget the wine (or maybe for some to forget).
The very late Christmas eve of madly wrapping presents, making cards, sprinkling flour (snow) and making a Santa trail to a little boys new bike that lead through every room of the house, a blurry Christmas morning of present unwrapping, broken hearts over a bloody flat tyre we decided against breakfast with just the four of us and went to mum and dads to enjoy the family ritual of "ham and mango on toast" - ritualistically made by my dad every year. This is the one meal at Christmas that I never get sick of. It begins with dad slicing the ham, cutting up a plate of mango and warm white toast. Oh it is soooooo good, so simple, soooooo delicious.
So tonight is the first night in over a week we haven't had something to do and I can sit back, breath, have a glass of wine and reflect on it all.
The quilt and doll for Myles, I initially thought I wouldn't get made before he turned 21, was amazingly completed before Christmas. I really enjoyed making them and they are being loved as a four year loves their toys - one day its the hot wheels truck taken to bed, the next its his doll (aka Bilby).
And for Fynn it was something cuddly, something bright and something about the same size as him...........

All in all its been a great Christmas, loads of fun (way to much food and wine) and now I just have to think of a reason why Santa's and the reindeer's footprints (flour sprinkled very late Christmas eve on the front verandah) are still there.

Sunday, December 16, 2007


I'm so tired this evening that I cant express what I want to in words so I'm just going to post a few photos of how we are getting through this renovation period that, I'm currently questioning whether I'm cut out for or not.
So weekends are currently consisting of, a 'compulsory' morning stroll on the beach for everyone with the dog before breakfast;

Building and getting to know the tools....

lunch with dad and the poppy's on the job site. Lots more building, getting dirty, saw dust in the hair and layers of sunscreen mixed with sweat, sand, dirt, and chicken poo coating the body and most importantly two very content little boys that love to be outside with their dad building.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

the green grocers song......

I love showing the kids the fascinating world of bugs, beetles, butterflies and all our backyard critters that sometimes take some effort to find, or require an insect 'adventure hunt' that can take up an afternoon of wandering, pondering, peering into small crevices or under rocks, following a trail of busy ants to their house/castle/mound and watching them busily build their home and carry food ten times the size of them, or, follow the silvery trails of snails left behind from their night wanderings in the garden, inevitably leading to the vege patch or the most lushest of plants.
The cycle of the seasons can sometimes be best expressed by the behaviour of these creatures. The friendliest of bugs that indicates summer has begun in this part of the world is the singing of the - 'green grocer', 'witch doctor', 'black prince' and 'cherry nose' (cicada's). Up close cicadas are fascinating and beautiful little creatures with their delicate leaf like wings that feel like cellophane and huge eyes. After Daniel caught the first green grocer we have seen this season the other night, Myles discovered that, if a cicada sings when you tickle it's underbelly - its a male. Apparently, male cicadas sing "courtship songs" to attract females. Being the bug nerd I am, we also discovered (after consulting the big bug book) that these amazing little creatures survive below the ground by gnawing on plant roots and when the nymph (baby) is fully grown it climbs up the nearest tree trunk and molts - leaving behind a shell of its former self. So now we know what those little empty bodies are on trees that crunch when you squash them.

Daniel and I can remember catching cicadas as kids and doing the tickle test. However, we have also noticed that there aren't as many cicadas anymore, especially the black, brown and red nosed variety. Bugs are a good barometer of whats going on the environment and I sometimes wonder if this decline in cicadas is just that. Summer just wouldn't be summer without the singing of the cicadas.

Monday, December 10, 2007

christmas craftiness

My mum visited today and very politely told me how badly our Christmas tree looked. I really couldn't be bothered to tell her that Fynn had ripped most of the decorations off and had either eaten them or put them in the same place pens disappear too.......however, when compared to her own tree that is full of handmade decorations each placed lovingly with lots of thought, ours did look like crap or as she put it "like no-one cared". So after feeling really guilty we decided to move the tree from Fynn's reach, (which ended up requiring us to move several pieces of furniture) and her and Myles re-decorated the tree. After they had finished we finally had a tree that "looked liked someone cared about it". My favourite things on the tree are the handmade Christmas balls mum made for us with our names embroidered on them. It has become quite the tradition now and every time there is a new grandchild, new girlfriend, new cousin etc... they receive one. My other favourite thing is the angel I made from clay about 5 years ago with Daniel, before we had the kids, that hangs all year round in the boys room and makes a special appearance on the tree each year.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

getting through the madness

After a huge weekend of Christmas parties (to much dancing and wine) a birthday party and Fynn not sleeping AGAIN, I'm buggered and thinking about how I can get as much sleep as possible between now and next weekend when it starts all over again. To release my mind from the "to do list" that should be getting smaller, but is inevitably getting more out of control, Ive decided it was time to sit quietly, listen to some mellow music, eat chocolate, have a glass of beer, relax, enjoy the summer rain and worry about it tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


My beautiful friend Meg holds a free meditation class that I try to go to weekly. I haven't been for a couple of weeks and went back this week and had the most beautiful experience, I didn't want it to end. I always come out feeling so refreshed and energised ready to travel through the week in calmness, mindful of the beautiful simple things that surround me and most importantly to breathe. Sometimes I feel like I'm caught in a whirlwind, of going here, having to be there, nothing makes much sense especially amongst work, renovations, the screaming, crying, whinging, feeding and wakefulness of two children and my own sometimes unrealistic expectations of how things should be. I'm finding that the meditation keeps me mindful - to be more present in each moment, slow things down, take joy in the simplest of tasks like stirring porridge in the morning, hearing and enjoying the laughter of the kids about the most silliest of things that only a child like mind can, and being mindful of all those external influences that can make me, Dan and the kids a bit crazy in this fast paced world we live in. (However, it has yet to have helped with Fynn's constant waking throughout the night). I have realised lately (after my mind being in a cloudy state of sleeplessness and work...etc...) the importance of being silly....giggling a lot, laying on the floor and letting the kids crawl all over me, having pillow fights, dancing and singing as loud or as crazy as you want in the car/shower/ or whenever the impulse strikes, tickling till you nearly cant breathe and not caring so much what others think. The other morning after getting woken way to early by Fynn (5am) and realising the long day ahead, I had the kids fed and packed in the car (Fynn still in his P.J's, Myles in his undies and singlet and no shoes for anyone), with Kooly (our beautiful dog) and went to the beach. It was so lovely, and so simple. I didn't worry about changes of clothing, nappies/wipes/food and all the palaver that goes along with outings and just enjoyed that time of the morning that Daniel always tells me is the best time of day and have always strongly disagreed with (being a night owl) and.......enjoyed it so much. I think this needs to be a new morning ritual (with a coffee at the end for mummy).
Even if it is once a week that going to meditation reminds me of all these things and three days later I've forgotten, I'm still thankful.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Crafty Christmas Shinanigans

Christmas fever has hit this household, with Daniel going 'grizzwald' on us and decorating the front of the house in flashing coloured lights and tinsel, whilst I went all 'Martha Stewart' and put the tree up, made an advent calendar inspired by Kids Craft Weekly (two days late), made a Christmas mobile and obsessed about crafty Christmas projects that could occupy Myles for next three weeks. Myles has already attempted to steal the little treats in each envelope by hiding under the desk behind the computer. However, his obsession with the calendar has calmed down.... thank goodness - but for how long?