Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Gate of the Year




I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year,
"Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown."


And he replied, "Go into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God.
That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way!"


So I went forth and finding the Hand of God
Trod gladly into the night.


~ Minnie Louise Haskins, 1908


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

11 days til Christmas: The First Annual Pre Christmas Toy Purge

I was inspired by a friend who posted on Facebook that she was having a pre christmas toy sort-through.  It's a brilliant idea really... I mean it makes total sense to sort through the boxes upon boxes of toys that occupy just about every room in the house to make way for all the new and exciting things the girls will receive in a few short weeks.  And what a brilliant motivator it is too... especially when you are 8, and the thought of new and exciting toys is enough to get you moving!

So I put my shoes on (a.k.a. FlyLady style), grabbed a handful of garbage bags and hit the rumpus room first.  I wasn't too long into my first sorting mission when our dear little play mates came for a visit, so some of my sorting became play property again!  LittleBee was a great helper in keeping them occupied with cubby houses and picnics in the yard.


lunch time!

Once our little friends went home for their naps, and LadyBug reluctantly succumbed to sleep herself, it was time to hit the BIG ONE!  LittleBee's room!  gasp!  3 hours, 2 garbage bags of rubbish and 3 garbage bags of loved yet unwanted clothes and toys, and then her room was transformed, like magic into the most immaculate state I have ever imagined!  The wardrobe is sorted, the clothes drawers are neatly containing the clothes that actually fit her, and the floor is totally visible.   I really should have taken a before and after picture, so that you can get the magnitude of what I am saying here.  More often than not you have to climb over mounds of toys, clothes, barbie shoes in order to even say goodnight to LittleBee... if you can find her underneath the pile of toys that adorn her bed every night!  Now she even has a few empty boxes in her storage unit for all those amazing new gifts!

I was very proud of LittleBee today.  It's tough for a kid to say goodbye to toys, but she was determined to work hard and make her room amazing.  And she did.

We piled all our goodies into the back of the car and made a somewhat epic trip to the local donation bins.  I think that's the hardest part, actually putting them in the containers, but it's also the most rewarding.  I can only hope that there are some little girls out there that will just be tremendously blessed by some of these fun and fabulous things!


"purge (verb)
physically remove (something) completely"
Among other definitions, the Oxford dictionary offers this as a meaning for the word purge.  And that's what we got up to today.

Friday, December 9, 2011

a week in pictures

The weeks have just melded into one huge mess recently, well that's the way it seems anyway.  Sewing projects have been laid aside, my blog has been neglected, even my poor little exercise buddy has taken to sleeping all day rather than trying to entice me to take him for a walk.  Life seems to be going a little too fast, and I am pretty sure that if it wasn't for my iPhone, I would not have a chance to capture all the fun things we have gotten up to recently.

So today, I proudly present, A Week in Pictures, as bought to you by me and the handy dandy iPhone...

LittleBee finished school for 2011...
LittleBee is so excited to be finished with school this year.  She loves that she can finish school two weeks before all her friends!  I think she has made plans already for the next two weeks, as have I... sewing machine here we come ;)



... while LadyBug spent lots of time on the phone!
LadyBug and her special nap time snuggles.
We learned that LadyBug can plank and watch tv at the same time!

Phrases for this week, out of the mouth of the Lady Bug: an enthusiastic "YESSSSSS" and a parroted "Oh Man!"  Lots of "Mumma" which means anything from 'take me to the woman' to 'pass me that remote', and "Nooo" which is being used very accurately at the moment.  "Tahdoo" for thank you and "taaadah" for give that to me!



The tree went up...

I say "the tree went up" but you don't really put "up" a tree that is smaller than the toddler!  This time last year we were packing up our house getting ready to move here.  Rather than go all out with a huge tree like I would have loved to, I purchased this quaint 90cm tree from Kmart with the intention on buying a big new tree in the new year.  Well, seeing our LadyBug is an avid climber, we decided it would be best to stick to the little tree on a table top for this year again, and then hopefully we can put up a huge new tree next year.  I have only had to save the tree (and the baby) twice since it went up, but I do hope that next year she won't be as inquisitive... wishful thinking I know!


We shared in some special thanksgiving meals, one with or family friends and a second one with our Church family.  We have certainly seen our fair share of turkey and pumpkin pie for this season!



We loved on a very special new little guy...


We also shared in some Christmas festivities at the annual RAAF Christmas Party, kick starting our Advent activities for 2011...


... and loved on a baby goat.


LittleBee was transformed into a gorgeous butterfly and shared a kiss with a flower power LadyBug....


... then snuggled up with Santa.

Day by day I see my little girls growing... and it's hard to believe that we are getting set for Christmas again (already).  I'm looking forward to seeing what this week will hold for us, and hopefully this time next week I will have a lot of finished sewing projects and a lot more happy snaps to share.

12 days til Christmas: Mary, did you know?







This is one of my favourite songs to listen to at Christmas time.  It really stirs my heart and thoughts to wonder what Mary must have pondered in her heart as the story of her first born son unfolded before her.  


Mary did you know that your baby boy will one day walk on water?
Mary did you know that your baby boy will save our sons and daughters? 

Did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new? 
This child that you've delivered, will soon deliver you.



She waited for His arrival, I know she greatly anticipated His birth.  It was her first child, her first pregnancy, her first very own maternal experience.  If you've had children, you will remember your "firsts".  The first pregnancy test, the first trip to the doctor, the first ultrasound, or the first time you heard it's heartbeat.  


Mary had a lot of reasons to be anticipating this little child.  But she also was an Israelite, from the tribe of Judah.  Her whole childhood would have been steeped in tradition, and teaching, and learning all about her Jehovah and how He has promised to send a Ruler to set them free from their captivity.  She was anticipating her Messiah.  


And the angel Gabriel came to this young woman, a young woman who was waiting to be married to Joseph, and told her that SHE was going to give birth to a son.  God's son.  Her Messiah.


Mary did you know that your baby boy will give sight to a blind man? 

Mary did you know that your baby boy will calm a storm with his hand? 

Did you know that your baby boy has walked where angels trod? 
And when you kiss your little baby, you have kissed the face of God.




But Gabriel didn't say "Mary, you are going to give birth to God's son.  But don't get too attached to him, because when he is still a young man, he will become the sacrifice for the sins of all humanity."  No-one sat her down to let her know that this Child, indeed He is God's Son, but that He was going to be punished in our stead.  In her stead,  But I wonder if she knew.




The blind will see, the deaf will hear and the dead will live again. 

The lame will leap, the dumb will speak, the praises of the lamb.




What was Mary thinking about when that little Babe entered the world?  What was on her mind when the shepherds came to worship this little One, when she heard about the angels declaring His birth.  


"But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart."  Luke 2:14


What was she thinking about when she and Joseph took their precious newborn child to the temple, and Simeon proclaimed that her baby was the Salvation for the whole world.


"The child’s father and mother marvelled at what was said about him." Luke 2:33


And then Simeon blessed her specifically, telling her that her son will bot be accepted, but He'll be opposed, and her won soul would be pierced.  Luke 2:34-35  Was she still marvelling at this moment?  Did she switch from being in awe to having concern, fear?  Did she want to just hold the baby (her baby?) closer to her chest as they travelled home?


I wonder if she knew at all what her precious, helpless, 8 day old son was going to face for the Father's purpose and His kingdom.





Mary did you know that your baby boy is Lord of all creation? 

Mary did you know that your baby boy will one day rule the nations? 

Did you know that your baby boy is heaven's perfect Lamb? 
This sleeping child you're holding is the great I am.
    



What I would do in Mary's situation?  I have given birth to a son who we knew was going to die.  He was sick, there was little hope any doctor could give us.  All we could do was to prepare ourselves and ou family for the inevitable and hang on to a tiny thread of hope, all the while trusting our Creator God for His grace and peace.  


I just wonder if Mary had a divine revelation of sorts.  If perhaps God whispered into her heart that this little Babe was God in the flesh, that His purpose was far greater than she could even imagine.  Maybe, although it's not recorded for us in scripture, but maybe God spoke His grace and peace into her soul to prepare her for Jesus' childhood, adulthood, ministry, death.  And I wonder if He comforted her as she begun to watch Him grow and then realise that He is indeed the Great I Am!

Do you think she knew?

Friday, November 4, 2011

I got a pressie today

See my lovely banner ^up there^?  The lovely Chareen at everybedofroses made this pretty little banner for my blog.  Thanks so much Chareen.  I just love it.

It made me think of the "blessings" I have around me right now.  Even though some days are tinged with a little loneliness and grief, and others a completely filled with people and busy-ness and errands and activities,  there is always a friend close by to share a hug with, or just to tell me that "I'm ok"

... a little slice of vegan-delicious cake and a cup of tea shared with friends every Thursday night, along with a few giggles and encouraging words...

... sitting at a computer and "chatting" with a dear friend who is a million miles away physically, but can be right there with me in an instant to share a day full of highs and lows...

... virtual hugs and shoulders shared with my bestie over the phone almost daily...

... and then a lovely gift via email, which shows me that I am thought of and loved.

Little rays of sunshine (to be a tad corny, but truthful), these people just burst in through the window and sprinkle their love and sunshine to make life feel a little more complete.


Thursday, November 3, 2011

packing it all away for another day?

I'm feeling a bit sad today... I have been pretty busy this morning, you know, just pottering around the house and getting things tidy.  Just the way I like it.  And that makes me feel pretty good!  But my mind keeps leaping to the pile of feeding tops in my wardrobe that I need sort through.  The washing hanging up in the laundry reminds me of the nursing bras I really need to replace with some (sexy?) non maternity type bras very soon.  I have no need to wear those bras anymore.  Lets face it!

I took LadyBug in to have her scheduled immunisations yesterday, and walking into the community hall made my mind flash back to the time when she was just a wee little babe, having to have those nasty needles for the first time.  The very first thing I was able to do to comfort her back then was offer her a nurturing breast feed.  This time was different.  She snuggled in for some cuddles while she had all four of her needles, and through her tears she bravely held on tight to her Mumma.  But when it was all said and done, she glanced up and me with tear filled eyes and I was just aching for her.  It would have been so wonderful to comfort her in the way that I could when we was tiny.  But the promise of a donut was the best I could do as I wiped her tears and told her I loved her.


It seems that a lot of things recently are pointing to what I have had to say goodbye to now that LadyBug isn't feeding.  With the end of pregnancy you usually get to take a baby home.  So while you can say goodbye to the massive round belly and all the aches and pains associated with pregnancy, you have a new little creature to focus on.  And you can start eating brie again.  With the end of nursing though, you just say goodbye.  Goodbye to your feeding tops, goodbye to your nursing bras, goodbye to those precious snuggles that only Mumma can provide.  Goodbye to that little baby.


feeding LadyBug at the hospital with my LittleBee close by

And I'm not entirely convinced that I am ready to say goodbye.  Oh I know LadyBug can't feed from me anymore... but there is still some hope that perhaps another little offspring can benefit from this old Mumma's milk yet?

I miss those moments with LadyBug.  I can think back to the times when it was LittleBee all small and pink too.  But there is a longing that is deep within me, a longing that it feels like I have to suffocate it or it will simply consume me.  A longing to have another little one to care for tenderly.

At some point over the coming weeks I will have to spoil myself with a "pretty bra" buying expedition, and although my heart is a tad heavy right now, I will pack away those feeding tops too, along with the bags of maternity clothing in hope that one day soon they will be able to come out again.

breath in and

~sigh~


Monday, October 31, 2011

if my womb could talk...

... I wouldn't have to answer "that" question

Oh stranger, when you stop to admire my princesses, you wouldn't have to ask if they are the only children I have.  You would just know that I have had three beautiful children.  I know, you can only see two of them walking around with me down the street.  Our house only has two little beds for the two little people who occupy them every night.

But if my womb could talk it would tell you that it has housed, nurtured and brought forth three babies.

Three blessings.

Three children.

If my womb had a flashing neon sign you wouldn't have to tug at that piece of my heart that is still so tender, even after 5 and a half years.  My heart has been healed, but it still bears deep scars of sadness and grief.

If my womb could talk...


Friday, October 28, 2011

through the eyes of the "baby"

The iPhone... the latest and greatest toy for kids right?  My little LadyBug just loves getting hold of Mumma's phone and having all sorts of fun with it.  I often find my phone covered in who knows what kind of sticky finger prints.  After giving the screen a quick clean with a baby wipe, the fun really begins as I close the countless apps she has opened, reset my wallpaper and delete the email drafts and web pages that she couldn't access without the internet connection!

Plugging my phone into the computer to charge and access the photos has led to a delightful surprise for me this week.  I have just finished downloading more than 60 photos taken by my budding iPhone photographer.  So here's a snapshot of this week... through the eyes of the "baby"...

in the car... there were about 14 of these shots

sitting with Dadda


highchair at a restaurant x 6

self portrait

the dinner table

just a few more...

... gorgeous portraits

and the lounge room floor

{this moment}

{this moment} - inspired by Soulemama... a single photo with no words that captures a  simple, special and extraordinary moment from our week.  A moment I want to savour and remember.  If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments...






Saturday, October 22, 2011

{this moment}

{this moment} - inspired by Soulemama... a single photo with no words that captures a  simple, special and extraordinary moment from our week.  A moment I want to savour and remember.  If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments...




Friday, October 14, 2011

{this moment}

{this moment} - Inspired by Soulemama... a single photo - no words - capturing a moment from our week that is simple, special, and extraordinary. A moment I want to pause, savour and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments





Wednesday, October 12, 2011

bye bye boobies

She wakes most mornings with one request. It is usually early, before the sun comes up. She rolls over and (lovingly?) smacks me in the head as she says "Mumma. T-aaah" I open my bleary eyes to see her half sitting up in bed signing for her milk. It has been a wonderful way to start the day, just the two of us together, all snuggly and enjoying a cuddle and feed before the day really starts.

One Monday morning a few weeks ago was different though. She woke up the same as usual... with a loving slap, but instead of signing for milk she used the food sign. We have been teaching her how to use sign language to communicate her needs, and I do often give her the benefit of the doubt, but thought I would confirm with her what she wanted... "Don't you mean milk?", I ask her. She shakes her head "no" and continues to emphatically let me know that she is indeed ready for her breakfast. With a sigh I heave her out of our bed and start the morning routine for her, without the breastfeed.

Next day was the same, and the next, then the next. And now, two weeks later, there is no more "milk" sign. No more crawling up into my lap and reaching down into my shirt to try and get her milk out. No more milk.

It is a bittersweet time for me. She has been weaning herself for a while, whittling down the feeds from what seemed like every hour, to just the one, and the occasional two feeds per day. This means no engorgement for Mumma (yay). I have also had to be on a strict dairy and egg free diet because of her intolerances. So this now means that Mumma can enjoy a poached egg for breakfast once again, and not have to be overly concerned if a slice of cheese was secretly hidden in a sandwich. And 16 months of feeding is remarkable!

But still my heart is a bit heavy, thinking over the months, that have all too quickly flown by. How quick this special bonding time has come and gone. I remember that very first breastfeed. There really is something incredible about looking down at your chest, and seeing this fresh new little creature rooting for what she instinctively knows is her source of food, comfort and life. The weeks that follow are trying to say the least, but very very rewarding, as establishing a feeding routine (and milk supply) give way to precious moments of bonding and nurturing.


4.5 months old


I will miss those days, those special moments that we shared. But I can also rejoice knowing that my little LadyBug is starting to grow up, and becoming an independent little lady.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

outside my window...

... the skies are threatening to rain.  The clouds are gathering together, with their plans and schemes to saturate the unsuspecting ground below.

outside...

... two little girls are making up stories, singing songs, and bouncing around together.  Giggles and songs burst forth intermittently breaking up the silence that would otherwise surround them.  With them, is the littlest princess.  I can hear her little giggles mixed in with the bigger ones, just slightly, as they bounce with her and protect her from the world outside.

outside...

... I can hear the chirps of sweet little birds, scurrying around trying to find a mid afternoon snack.  A few of them flit past the window.  Some stop to perch upon the fence, while others can only be heard in the trees down in the yard.

outside...

... two playful little puppies next door are yapping and yipping enjoying the last little bursts of afternoon sun.  My own dog is racing up and down the patio, chasing his imagination, back and forth, back and forth.

... the wind picks up a few of the branches that I can see from my window, and gently sways them to and fro.  The wind looks as cool and grey as the sky is overhead.

And in a moment, perhaps all too soon for this relaxing Mumma, the three little princesses emerge through the door that was separating the bustling outside world with my peaceful inside one... and swiftly begin to infiltrate my silence with their girly songs and giggles... escaping the threat of afternoon rain and bringing a little sunshine indoors.


the view from where I sit

What is the view like from your window today?


Monday, September 26, 2011

doggy diet?

I stepped up onto the bathroom scales, really just looking for confirmation of what I knew to be true. A few of the post baby kilos which I had previously said goodbye to have somehow snuck up on me while I had my back turned, and have firmly placed themselves around my waist. Oh those sneaky little kilos. I know now that they disguised themselves as chocolate cake and frosting, and countless soy lattes. It doesn't matter if I am trying to be on a dairy and egg free diet for LadyBug... sugar is sugar, and sugar can be deceitful, yet delicious.  We have enjoyed some wonderful homemade, dairy free custards, cakes, sorbets and the like, which have ALL been amazing to say the least.  And well, lets face it, winter isn't exactly the most motivational of times to be out and about shedding those sugar filled kilos. (that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it)

Christmas is fast approaching too (just under 13 weeks away) and it just so happens that every year, around about this time, I decide that I have to lose 10 kilos before Christmas.  I just have to be able to lose 10 kilo's so that I look amazing in those Christmas photos.  You know the ones where you are sitting on Santa's knee (who happens to be your dad) and you can hear his knees creaking in dispair under your body weight!  Most years I would be lucky to manage 2 kilos.  And 2 kilos gone is really good, believe me!  But most of the time those 2 kilos are sitting on the Christmas dinner table disguised as roast pork with all the trimmings and Christmas pudding with cream, just luring themselves back on to your hips!

Ah, friends, let me declare that this year will be different.  It should be different anyway because I have an exercise buddy!  He's dark, not too tall though.  He is pretty darn cute too...

Basil, our gorgeous King Charles Cavalier

Every time we take our pooch into the vet, he gets a routine weighing. I'm kind of glad they don't do that for humans, and very glad that dogs don't feel the shame of all those delicious morsels, now settled in nicely around their rotund middles. At his last check up Basil weighed in at a whopping 13kgs. That doesn't sound too much for a dog, but as you can see he is just a little dog, and quite a sedentary being too. Basil is known for snoozing away too many hours in the day. One vet mentioned to me that it would be ideal to keep Basil at 10kg because of his height, and because of his lack of enthusiasm for activity anything over that would be too hard for him to lose.

For Basil to lose 1kg would be great for him.  Well, he will lose a kilo instantly once he has a hair cut!  I, on the other hand should shed 10 kilos but realistically even a 5kg reduction would be great for me.

So together, Basil and I will be walking at least 4 days of the week.  That's a starting goal anyway.  He loves to walk, and I love it too.  Wet weather is predicted for the end of the week, so our walks might be jeopardized a bit.  I can take to the wii fit, but last I checked they haven't made a dog exercise board.

Yesterday afternoon we set out for our first walk for the week.  Baby in pram, pooch on the lead and away we go.  It was an absoultely glorious afternoon fora walk around the block.

relaxing all the way home!

We live in a hilly area of our small town, so the 'walk around the block' is up and down and up again, and takes about 40 minutes with the dog and pram, maybe only 30 minutes if I went by myself.  There are some amazing views, and hopefully I will remember to take the camera and try to capture some of them to share.

My exercise buddy Basil and I will check in through the weeks to come and update you on our progress!  But for now... enjoy the sun x

Saturday, September 10, 2011

one more sleep...

Mumma: So this is your last day of being 7 then...

LittleBee: Yeah!

Mumma: So how does it feel being nearly 8?

LittleBee: Exciting!

Mumma: Excited about turning 8 or excited about still being 7?

LittleBee: Oh, excited about turning 8 of course.

Mumma: What's so exciting about turning 8?

LittleBee: Umm..... umm..... oh, I don't know.  You should know Mumma, you've been 8 before, I haven't!


nearly there LittleBee, nearly there!

"just like peas and carrots"

This week we hosted our first play date in a long time.  There was a time in our lives when play dates with a special family happened weekly.  Sometimes even a couple of times a week.  We would meet at our place, or theres... at a park or shopping centre.  We'd enjoy lunches, crafting together, let the kids create incredible paint messes in the yard.  There were countless cookies, cupcakes and donuts consumed, and as our families grew, many a birthday cake and party has been shared between us.  A few years ago we moved house from one side of Melbourne to the other, and with that move, we left our dear friends behind.  I am thankful that we only moved just over an hour away, and not anything crazy like interstate, yet the move did mean that our weekly visits and many many play dates and fun times could not be as frequent.

But this week, for the first time in this little town, LittleBee had a LittleFriend over to enjoy the afternoon with.

LittleFriend arrived promptly at 2pm, and these bright little butterflies flitted from one game to the next, from one room to the next, inside and outside all afternoon.  Hand in hand.  Giggling and squealing.  It filled the house with a noise reminiscent of many an afternoon spent with our other dear friends, and filled my heart with joy knowing that LittleBee has found a kindred spirit to be all girly with.

They boldly requested chicken schnitzel for dinner, so while a Barbie movie was entertaining the girls in the play room, I set about getting dinner ready.  Coat the chicken... Cook the peas... Peel the carrots.

Peeling carrots at anytime reminds me of Forrest Gump.  Have you seen the movie?  Such an beautiful film!  Forrest likens his friendship with his childhood friend as peas and carrots.  As I set the dinner plates out infront of a table of hungry faces, it occurred to me that peas and carrots really do go together.  They have their obvious differences, but on the plate, they are in sweet harmony.


I'm not sure if LittleBee has found her "Jenny" in this dear LittleFriend who spent the afternoon here the other day.  But I do know that she has make a beautiful friend all the same, and I look forward to enjoying hearing more of their giggles and squeals as they make their own memories together.





... I dedicate this clip to my own "Jenny".  You and me like peas and carrots girl.  I value you, and appreciate your friendship so much.  Thank you for the little gift you left me last night too XxOo

Thursday, September 1, 2011

{this moment}

{this moment} - Inspired by Soulemama... a single photo - no words - capturing a moment from our week that is simple, special, and extraordinary. A moment I want to pause, savour and remember.  If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments







Friday, August 19, 2011

August 19 ~ Day of Hope... in loving memory of children gone too soon



Today, like countless other days, I think of my sweet son Oliver... gone too soon.  Of little Seth, Jayden, Eden, Lily and Ruby.  And their mummies longing to touch them again.  Of too many dear friends who have also had to say goodbye to their precious, and much loved little ones, taken before they could hold their dear little hands or kiss their sweet round cheeks.  

Pregnancy and neo-natal loss is real.  Every day a little life is ended, and a family is left empty handed and heart broken.  But, we "can't" talk about it.  We don't talk about it.  As mothers and fathers we just try and pick up the pieces and continue our lives in some kind of manner that is pleasing to society.  But I want to say that yes, I have a son.  No, he isn't here, but he was.  He lived, safe and warm within my womb, and although this world could not provide him the same safety and warmth, his is a part of our family.  He is our son.  

I do not and can not begin for a moment to understand "why" but I do know that God knows why.  And until I can see my Oliver again, that will be all I need to get through this life here without him.



Saturday, August 13, 2011

{this moment}

A day late, but a moment to cherish all the same. Inspired by Soulemama (can't figure out how to link from the phone but please follow the link from my other post to see her moment from the week and many others too)

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments





- Posted using BlogPress

Friday, August 5, 2011

{this moment}

{this moment} - Inspired by Soulemama... a single photo - no words - capturing a moment from our week that is simple, special, and extraordinary. A moment I want to pause, savour and remember.  If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments



Wednesday, August 3, 2011

29 days, plus 11

One of the jobs LittleBee loves to do is make sure all of the calendars in the house have been turned over to the new month. It could have something to do with being a kid and being fascinated with the passing of time. How some days it feels like every minute is being counted. Or perhaps it's her somewhat perfectionistic tendencies, most likely inherited from her mother, and her need to have everything in her world in (her) order.






Yesterday we went around the house checking and changing the calendars (we do have a few) and as she was checking the large one on the wall in the lounge room I noticed that she had stopped still, and was concentrating. A few moments passed and then she declares... "29 days plus 11 mum. Then I'll be 8". Not 40 days (which by now you may have calculated already) but 29 + 11, 29 for August and 11 for September.

I love how eager she is to turn eight, and how she awaits her special day with such anticipation.

It was only a few months ago that I turned 35, and I certainly didn't have a countdown to the big day. When do we stop counting down the days? When does time become more like an enemy and less of an exciting friend? Or when does changing months on a calendar suddenly make us groan as we realise time truly is fleeting, and is no longer met with thrills and anticipation of days to come.

When did we grow up?

So now I have less than 29 + 11 days to make LittleBee's big day a special one.



- Posted using BlogPress

Friday, July 29, 2011

{this moment}

{this moment} - Inspired by Soulemama... It has been a while since I took part in this Friday ritual, but almost daily I have some {moments} that I really long to share. 
Here is a single photo - no words - capturing a moment from our week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.
. . . . . . . .

 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Great Gluten/Egg/Dairy Free Bread Challenge

or... How to Make a Bread That Will Make Every Body Happy.

A little while ago I decided that it would be great to be able to bake a gluten free bread at home.  MrDadda has a sensitive tummy (to what we think is gluten, but has not been tested).  In my research I quickly discovered that a lot of gluten free recipes contain egg and/or dairy.  Which, as you may have read in earlier posts, are no good for LadyBug's intolerances (and MilkMumma needs to avoid them for a happy existence too).

The call was made to find a gluten/egg/dairy free bread recipe.  Thinking "is there even such a thing???" I came across this amazing blog by QuirkyJo , a passionate foodie, who's blog I have simply fallen in love with.  She shared her rendition of a Gluten Free Crusty Boule from the book "Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day".  Yes, the recipe called for eggs (I was finding it near impossible to find the perfect bread for us) but after asking for advice, I came to the conclusion there really is no reason why I couldn't make it with an egg replacer.

And so I embarked on the shopping journey, as for some reason sorgham flour isn't that easy to come by.  Then on to the creation expedition.  Perhaps I should let the pictures tell the story.


The dough is more like scone dough, which makes it a really simple bread to make

Our little boule (naww)

All baked a ready to eat... mmm, looks tasty yes?

Little slice for you?


Now if you look at Jo's bread, or even the bread from the Artisan site you will see some lovely light looking bread.  My loaf leaves a little to be desired, and I suspect it's due to the absence of eggs. I have researched a few other ideas for replacing the egg, so hopefully will just get better from here.  My oven is a sad piece of equipment, and baking has proved to be quite hit and miss with cooking times of late, so I think I need to tweak the cooking times to suit the temperament of my oven.

And so it has begun.  The Great Gluten/Egg/Dairy Free Bread Challenge.  Many loaves to come I'm sure as we are in pursuit of the perfect bread for our family.

Do you have any great baking bread tips to share with this first time home baker?

Sunday, July 24, 2011

meeting for the first time...

I was walking passed LittleBee's room the other day whilst on one of my many manic errands we mothers embark on daily.  I caught a glimpse of both the girls crouching on the floor looking at something... and with the state of the room that day, it really could have been anything!  I paused briefly, curious as to what they could be doing.

Then LittleBee spoke these words which will be etched on my heart forever...

"That's Oliver, that's your big brother.  That's me.  That's me, and that's Oliver.  He's your big brother"

They were crouched down beside this photo that LittleBee has in her room to remind her of her own special introduction to her baby brother...




For a long time Oliver was known as "Baby Brother".  Now he is also known as "Big Brother"

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A little bit of vegan perfection

This morning we decided to leave our lovely country-esque surroundings to make a trek into the "Big Smoke" in search of sweet vegan* perfection.

Because of LadyBug's intolerances, we are always on the lookout for delicious egg and dairy free eats and treats. When I was researching LadyBug friendly foods for her first birthday, I stumbled upon Mister Nice Guy* cupcakes... and after months of dreaming and salivating we finally made it out to Brunswick to see and taste for ourselves just how good a bit of vegan baking can be.

We walked into the groovy little bakery/cafe, tucked away along a bike path beside the Railway Hotel. We ordered lunch... delicious quesadillas with 'sour cream' for me. LittleBee enjoyed French Toast with blueberries and a nice warm chai. I'm sorry, incase you didn't get the complexity of it all... we had FRENCH TOAST! Without Egg! Oh. My. Goodness.

Three of the fluffiest and most intense cupcakes were next on our "to devour" list. Rose Water, Booberry Lemon and a choc-berry insanely delish morsel I can't remember the name of right now...

And as you can see from the photo below, they were devoured fairly quickly, along with a tasty little cuppy for the babe.

So I'm a little excited about our outing today. Could you tell? Being able to eat out and not have to think about the ingredients or to not have to ask if they have soy milk, to know that LadyBug can happily lick spoons and freely grab food from plates without the fear of her eating something that would cause her so much discomfort was just refreshing. I'm already looking forward to going back and getting my hands on some more vegan cupcake goodness!

This is all that was left of the cupcakes by the time I thought to get the camera out.





* I think I should clarify that we are not Vegans by description, but we subscribe to the vegan way of eating at times as it is egg and dairy free, therefore exactly what LadyBug and her MilkMumma can digest, creating a scream and pain free environment.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Happy Birthday Mum...

I made a cake for you today. A faux cheese cake. My first ever cheese cake, and it had to be dairy free for LadyBug and me. I think you would have liked it. You always liked it when I made crazy cakes... especially for your birthday...





Little things make me think of you often... but today I'm thinking about how we would celebrate you. Of course there would a little bit of cheesecake, a Barbra Streisand movie perhaps, and some pretty pink tulips.

I bought you some flowers. I made you a cake. All that's missing is you...

I love you Mum xxoo

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Sunday, July 3, 2011

"Mumma, can you fix this?"

"Mumma, can you put Barbie's leg back on?"

"Mumma, can you take the lid off this glue stick?"

"Mumma, I fell over, can you kiss it better?"

I
'm a fixer. I was thinking about this the other day when I was looking at a small pile of mending and listening to the girls chatter in the next room. The mending wasn't going to happen any time soon, not with the larger, growing pile of dirty laundry to be done. As I started the washing machine and prepared the next load to be washed, there was a familiar shriek from the back room... LadyBug had fallen off her little trike and this time she had landed flat on her face, leaving a tiny cut on her sweet little lips. The screams rose and intensified as I rushed into the room and swept her into my arms... "shhh, darling. Mumma's here. Mumma will fix it". And with lots of comforting kisses and warm cuddles the tears are forgotten and the little one can resume her adventures once again. Mumma saves the day!!

So Mumma is a fixer. I mend broken Barbies, and soothe crying babes. I can turn a cereal box into a doll bed and make a "just right" hot chocolate. I can apply a bandaid and know just the right buttons to push to get the DVD working or to skip the nasty parts.

That's what Mummas do best.

Unfortunately the mighty powers of an "all-fixing Mumma" are limited. Its not like when Gotham City is in trouble, and they can just call on Batman to come save the day. There's lots of things that this Mumma can't fix...

I can't take away a sweet little boys battle with leukemia. I can't make a dear friend's scary blood clot vanish. I can't make my best friend's daily struggles with Aspergers disappear. I can't kiss all the pain away from the precious abandoned children in Thailand.

And as I lay in bed at 3am, cradling a sick little LadyBug who is running a fever and struggling to sleep I am gently reminded that there is only One who can take her fever from her. In the quietness of the night I ask Him to help this little child fight off the infection that is making her so miserable. He is telling me that I can ask Him to be the Fixer...

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
1 Peter 5:6-7



I am a mother, and yes, I am a fixer.... but God is a way better Fixer than me

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

a look back to when she was born...

I've been thinking lately that I really should write up LadyBug's birth story.  It's usually at the 1 year mark that all those wonderful memories come flooding back as we think about where we were "this time last year".  I've just got to make the time to get it all down on paper (or virtual paper) and while it seems like time is exactly what I don't have, I thought I would share LittleBee's birth story, hopefully to give me some inspiration.



You seemed stubborn.  I suppose it must’ve been quite cosy in there.  Or perhaps it was that after 41 weeks of being pregnant I was getting impatient!  Once we got to the 40 week mark you showed no interest in being born by yourself.  We were given some options… having you delivered by Caesarean section, or being induced.  We chose to give labour a go, hoping that we could have you vaginally, but all the while knowing and trusting that the Lord would work in how He wanted you to enter this world.  We didn’t care how you were born as long as you were safe.
We went in to the hospital on Wednesday night after having a nice meal together.  The midwife inserted some gel to get my cervix ready for labour, and I had some sleeping tablets to ensure I was well rested for the day that was to follow.  Eagerly awaiting you, I managed 8 hours sleep.
Upon waking at 630am I noticed that my waters had broken.  At about 8:30am my body showed me what some mild contractions were like.  They were quite bearable.  Our Dr came along to instruct the attending midwives on the dosage of Syntocinon to help speed up labour.  He told them to up it to full after an  hour!  Thankfully the midwife told me that she would not do that, as it would be far  too painful for me (thank you)
Now the official record says that the first stage of labour started at 11am.  I’m not sure how they classify that - perhaps by the strength of the contractions.  The Syntocinon was certainly doing its job with contractions coming quite fast.  They came in waves, every 2 minutes and lasting about 30seconds.  Although it wasn’t too hard to deal with, I needed to grab the gas mask to take the edge off.  Daddy had to give me back rubs to ease the pain too.
After about six hours our Dr was called in.  You were showing signs of distress on the foetal monitor; an internal examination showed that I was only 3cms dilated.  We were not progressing well, even after so long.  The contractions at this stage were starting to pile up on top of each other, and there was no relief.  The Dr said that you were coming out, but my body wasn’t ready to let you out.  He said that we could have you out within the hour, and by that stage, we were ready to do whatever it took to get you out!  So it was decided that I was to be prepped for an emergency c-section.
The preparation was difficult, as I was now starting to show signs of distress.  Even though the drip was taken out, the contractions did not ease, and I was even having them while the Anaesthetist was inserting the spinal block!  By this stage I was very scared, not knowing what was going to happen, and not being in control I think scared me too. 
From then on it’s really a blur, everything happened so fast.  I was so afraid Daddy was going to miss out… he was rushed in by a midwife, then not long after that the Dr announced that the first incision had been made.  The sensation of having you taking from me like that was incredible, and so difficult to describe.  I could feel every tug and pull, yet no pain at all.
And there you were... all wrapped up so sweetly.  I had a quick kiss, and then they took you off to be checked over, weighed and measured.  My little daughter, finally here, so very beautiful, and I knew you were safe.  All I wanted to do was hold you, but I had to wait a little while longer while the Dr’s attended to me.  After being stitched up I lay in recovery in a dream-like state, just watching the clock and waiting until I could hold you in my arms, let you suckle at my breast, and kiss you again.  It wasn’t too long a wait, and it was worth it…

4:24pm, Thursday 11th September… Welcome to the world LittleBee




Monday, June 13, 2011

Waiting...

I felt like today was a "waiting" day...

... waiting for the heater to kick in and take the early morning chill from house.
... waiting for the coffee machine to warm up so I could officially start the day
... waiting for hubby and LittleBee to come back from the tip
... waiting for the baby to finally push that poop out
... waiting for what seemed like an eternity for the carrot muffins to bake
... watching my LadyBug sleep in my arms, not wanting her to wake just yet but waiting for that moment when she looks up at me with her sleepy, smiling eyes.





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Sunday, June 5, 2011

Riding the Viking Flume, a story by LittleBee

It's never really been a chore to get LittleBee to do her school work.  This is her third year of primary school at home, and without sounding too biased, I have to say that she has taken to it really well.  I was supremely impressed at how quickly she picked up reading in Prep, and you can often find her now with her head buried deep into an adventure novel.  She loves doing math, bible, science, music, art, anything really.  Anything that is, except for writing.  This is the subject where she digs in her heels and refuses to cooperate.

I expected her to love writing, given her affection for books.  LittleBee has a great imagination.  She loves to dance and make up stories and songs.  It's getting them down on to the paper that's the hard part.

Story writing was bound to come up in her English work.  Grade 1 English was mainly looking at reading, spelling and basic sentence structure.  This big girl Grade 2 stuff is different.  We don't have it quite as easy now, and it was with gritted teeth, and dare I say, a few tantrums that we dove in head first.  It took two full days of nothing else, but we got through it.  Yes, I said TWO FULL DAYS!  Nothing else.  We were immersed in writing.  We learned about forming ideas, brainstorming, drafting, proofreading, revising and finally publishing.  It was NOT fun, just ask LittleBee.  It was borderline torture (I know it doesn't look that was, especially in the smiling photo below, but you can rest assured she is glad it's over) but proudly we (she!) got through it...




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