Monday, December 24, 2012

beauty from ashes

We buried our sons together on October 30th 2012.  We purchased a huge glazed pot in 2007 to commemorate Oliver's first birthday, with the intention to bury Oliver's ashes there.  As we had been moving around a bit, we decided to keep it empty until we were more settled.




When we brought our precious little Noah home from the hospital, we knew that it was only fitting for him to be buried along with his big brother.  With heavy hearts and overflowing eyes, we laid our two boys to rest together.

I have managed to keep a "Little Gem" Magnolia alive over the past few years too, and it seemed only fitting that this tree be planted in the pot as a memorial to our two precious little gems.

And out of these ashes, this mourning, out of our heaviness, comes this beauty...





The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me,
Because the Lord has anointed Me
To preach good tidings to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives,
And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;

To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord,
And the day of vengeance of our God;
To comfort all who mourn,

To console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.





Thursday, December 20, 2012

maybe tomorrow?

Every morning I peer through my kitchen window out to the garden. There's not much to see from the window really.  It looks over the carport where the children can play.  There are a lot of toys, and a few large bushes.  But over near the corner in the garden bed, is a very special plant... a Magnolia "Little Gem"

By some kind of miracle, I have managed to keep alive for the past 4 years.  Even though it hasn't really grown much, it is still green, it continues to sprout fresh new leaves.  Sadly though, I have only seen one blossom open up, and it was a crazy hot day, so the petals were scorched by the time it opened fully.


Little Gem


Two months ago, my Little Gem showed me the first glimpse of a new bud.  Since then, I go out each day and just look at it.  If I could, I would will it to burst open.  But no matter how much I feed it, water it or plead with it, it seems to remain the same.




Until yesterday...



And then today...


So now I just keep on thinking...


maybe tomorrow?


And just keep on waiting...

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

the yearly christmas card photo shoot

Every year there are things that you do without fail to share a bit of Christmassy cheer.  You might put up a tree...



Have a carousel ride at a christmas party...



Sit with a strange fella in a red suit to get a lolly...




One of the most fun times so far this advent season though, has been the attempt to capture the perfect portraits for the annual christmas card.  What a barrel of laughs.  This particular day LadyBug had chosen a very pretty dress to wear for the day, and LittleBee was also nicely dressed which was lovely.  A perfect opportunity to take photos, and seeing it was still early enough in the day, they had remained relatively clean so far.  So with a design in my head, I found the christmas hat, grabbed a little chair and waited for some christmas magic to begin.

LittleBee is 9 now, and has always been a poser, so it wasn't hard for her to stand in position, and smile this way, look that way etc.  Most of the photographic direction actually came from her.  But I wanted to capture her natural smile, so I just sat infront of her and laughed at her...





LadyBug needed a little training.  First not really liking the hat, unless LittleBee had it.  Then, with some coaching she pulled out some stellar looks...






But, the dilema came when I wanted them to be together....







In the end I snapped about 50 shots, just to get these two perfect ones for this years card.  My happy little Christmas Princesses, smiling their Christmas wishes to you all.


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

the things you don't expect you have to do

... I'm not talking about the big things that you would expect after losing a loved one.  It is inevitable that you will have a burial, or a memorial.  And that it will be utterly heartbreaking, really beyond any words.  You will receive flowers and visitors and meals and love and support and all the things that will get you through the first few days and weeks of your grief.  I mean more like the little things.  The things that you don't think about or plan for.  The things that kind of sneak up on you and trample on your heart just that little bit more...

like...

... having to make a ham sandwich for lunch, knowing that just a few days prior this was a big pregnancy no-no.

... finding all the baby samples of creams and lotions and nappies that you were given at the baby show

... removing your ticker from the forums you visit that mindlessly(?) continue to track your pregnancy even though it has brutally ended

... paying for a Body Shop order that had products you had purchased for the new baby, and having to quickly intercept the order before it was finalised.  Just so that you don't have to have those products arrive on your doorstep

... stepping on to the scales and seeing that those four little kilos you put on during the pregnancy have vanished already, and wanting more than anything that they would be back and you would be continuing to curse the scales for another 20 weeks at least!

... realising that the not only has your baby passed away, your pregnancy has ended.  All too soon.  All too quickly.

And now I sink into what is meant to be normality.  This time last week I was wearing maternity clothes and dreaming of the ultrasound later in the week.  I was debating names and planning shopping trips with my girls so we could start buying up for this little one.  This time last week I was pregnant, feeling (what I know now to be pseudo) movements and longing for the day that this little being would be in my arms.

These are the things you just can't prepare for.  These are the things, that even after all the flowers fade, all the visits subside, and life begins to resume again, these are the things that will continue to loom like a storm cloud.  These are the memories that cannot be erased with time.  These are the things you just don't expect you have to do... resume life without your baby.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

the rainbow that could not stay

You know, the reality is that rainbows just don't last forever. We can only capture their beauty in images, as only a memory.

A few weeks ago, so we can only estimate, our precious rainbow baby passed quietly away. I did not know it had happened. The only sign was that there was no heartbeat at our recent ultrasound. No movement, no sounds. Just stillness.

The blue skies are fading.... there is only the familiar darkness.

The are no words.... only tears. Streams and streams of tears.

And questions that will forever go unanswered.

Now I sit with my head in my hands, the heaviest of burdens once again placed upon my shoulders and deep within my heart. Still questioning... Why? How? Why me? Why us? Why again?

This just isn't supposed to happen. Not ever. Not ever once, and certainly not ever twice.

Tonight my husband and I will go into the local hospital and prepare to deliver our tiny little baby....

The rainbow that could not stay.


Monday, October 22, 2012

waiting for a rainbow



Rainbows.  Those spectacular sights we see when the sun hits the rain at just the right spot.  And even though it sounds so simple, we never really can explain how it happens to work.  It's just a beautiful arc of colours that stretch across the sky, a symbol that things are going to get better.  That there is hope.

A beautiful rainbow in the sky usually always follow a storm.  And when you have weathered the storm, you can look at the rainbow and feel that sense of hope and appreciate it's beauty.

There are many storms in life, and a lot of the time it's almost impossible to see through the dark falling rain.  I know that after we lost Oliver, it seemed like there could never be any joy again.  The storm clouds were too thick and too heavy, and the rain was ever so persistent.  It seemed that our hope had left when Oliver had left us too.

After four long years of waiting, not knowing if we would ever know the joy of holding a new little one again, we were blessed with our very own "rainbow baby"... the symbol of hope for us that came after the heavy storm we faced.  LadyBug was our rainbow.  Although the clouds of grief sometimes still loomed overhead, we were able to look at this little being with amazement, that something so sweet, and beautiful, can come to us when the sky looked so bleak.




We are now expecting our second child since losing Oliver... I'm not sure if it's still classed as a "rainbow baby" but I like to think that every child we have is a glimmer of what can be.  Like a message from God that all is not forsaken.  That yes, there are storms that we need to weather, but He is faithful to see us through those storms and grant us the beauty of His gifts.


I'm nearly half way through this pregnancy already.  It's kind of hard to imagine that in less than 5 short months we will be holding a new little bundle, and appreciating a new little rainbow.  My heart still feels the looming of the storm clouds from time to time.  I am certainly not naive, and I know that at any moment, God may chose to have us go through another storm, and wait again for our rainbow.  There are times when I dread the thought of another loss, and then there are times where a little poke or nudge from the babe within fills me with a strange feeling that it really is all going to be ok.

So a new journey begins for us.  One that we can only hope is filled with the promise of a rainbow in the sky.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

a bit about strangers...

Scenario 1: A cold, wet winters night finds us at a busy shopping centre for a casual rendezvous with family. After our usual greetings we each choose our meals from the food court and gather around the small round table waiting to start devouring our finds.

Our family like to pause and pray before we eat a meal.  Not really out of tradition, but more out of respect and thanks, acknowledging God and His constant provision in our lives.  So on this occassion, as with many before, we held hands and said our little prayer.  It's kind of cute to see the girls recite our thanks.

As we enjoyed our meals, as much as one can enjoy a food court spread, a lady from a neighbouring table seemed to stand and clear her table.  In a few moments she had came across from her table and leaned over to ask me if we were Christians, as she had noticed us pray and was really encouraged by that.  Well, yes, I sheepishly responded, and in a few short minutes we were blessed by her encouragement, and her story as she shared with us a bit about her own journey.  She pressed a small gift into my hand, and went on her way.

Little did this lady know, that just a short time ago, before heading into the shopping centre, we were talking about our finances, and in one act of kindness, God showed me that He does indeed listen, and care.

A random act of kindness proved to be Divine Providence.



Scenario 2: Another wintery day finds me on another shopping expedition.  This time I am strolling down a shopping strip with a dear friend on a crisp but sunny winters day.  It's a little after 11am, and we've been meandering in and out of stores, already spending probably a little more that what we had set out to, but enjoying our girly time together nonetheless.

As we begin to approach an intersection, already eyeing out the thrift stores across the street, a stranger walks by.  In a slow-motion style I glance her way, and she pauses briefly behind me.  I must have paused briefly enough too, as she suddenly finds the need to say to me...

"You know you can buy things to do your hair properly!  You're not even Australian are you?"

In my shock, I meekly reply "yes, I am"

She firmly says "no, you are not" and I feel myself being gently lead away by my friend as the outrageous conversation ends.


my "wild" hairdo!


For the next few minutes I am stunned.  I mean, I really did think my hair was pretty nice.  It can be a bit unruly but really, it's not wild or anything.  It really was a strange interaction, and I have no idea what she was really thinking or seeing when she looked at me.  Perhaps I was just the visualisation to her own inner world?  But it certainly put the word "strange" into stranger for me.

So a lesson?  Umm, I do believe now that God really does uses strangers to bless us... and sometimes it's in ways that we have no idea about!

something is missing?

Dadda comes home from his early morning meeting and his girls race to the door to meet him.  It really is the most joyous sight, watching this fully grown man stoop down low to sweep up a giggling toddler into one arm, while hugging our preteen with his other arm.  Just a few moments later they break from the embrace and while LittleBee races back to her tv schedule, LadyBug takes Dadda by the hand and drags him into the rumpus room for she has a schedule all of her own, and it involves Dadda being there with her at any cost.


* a whisper within says that something is missing


After soaking in this sight, I head back to my own station where I have been camped at for a decent chunk of time this morning, and get back to working on typing up meeting minutes.  It's not far from being finished as my empty coffee cups beckons for a refill.


* and still something is missing


As I enter the kitchen, which yes looks a little like a disaster zone since it is Pancake Saturday, a thought enters my mind... "where is he again?  Did we let him have a sleep over?  It's just so quiet here right now, it just feels like something is missing?"  My heart and my mind have a battle, be it ever so briefly, and it's not too long before the truth and the logic scramble to the forefront of my brain and shout out in words so piercing and so painful they nearly bring me to my knees.... "Oliver is dead, remember"


* something IS missing


It's hard to explain, but every so often, there are these little moments in time where I automatically place my son into the picture.  He should have been fighting his sisters at the door this morning for a piece of Dadda's leg.  He should have been pouring maple syrup all over his own pancakes while his sisters watch and giggle at his bed hair and his lack of finesse.  He should have been wanting my attention whilst I was working, or arguing over who's turn it is to wash up after breakfast, or offering to make me a cuppa as any six year old would do.



Yes, something is missing.  







Oliver, you are missing from this family and our crazy daily antics.  But you are always here too.




... a huge thank you to Tesha at Tesha's Treasures for making this gorgeous picture for me.  She has an amazing heart for helping other women through their greif by sharing her own journey with us.  Today I'm joining in her weekly blog hop...

teshastreasures

Thursday, June 14, 2012

toilet toilet toilet

These are the cries coming from the LadyBug at random times during the day.  "Toilet, toilet, toilet"  often with increased urgency, sometimes preceded by the removal of her clothes.  And sometimes followed by "Run Run Run"... a new phrase which I can take credit for, seeing that when she starts her Toilet Dance, I procede to start the Toilet Run!

If you haven't already guessed, we are in the throws of teaching our little Miss 2 how to use the toilet.  LadyBug has been wanting to sit on the toilet since she could walk really.  Recently she has been showing a lot more interest in the whole toiletting gig, and oh boy what an adventure we have walked in to!



Here's a recap of our journey so far:

Day 1 ~ I thought that it might be really exciting to so straight into knickers.  I mean, every kid wants to be grown up right?  Um, ok, so not every kid!  LadyBug says "No knickers!".  But I discovered that I can use the outer part of our pocket nappies as little pants, which she has termed "short-shorts".  Cute little name hey.  The only downside is that they leak terribly.  So by the time we had about 3 changes of pants, I figured out that they needed a little boost, so I added a piece of polar fleece which I had used as liners once upon a time.  That little bit of extra material turned out to be perfect.  Win for the Day: Money saved by reusing what we already have, and lesson learned for Mumma.

Day 2 ~ She was able to wear the same pair of track pants all day!  We did go through numerous short-shorts though.  Win for the Day: she ran to the toilet every time she wet!  Now to figure out if she is wetting before or after she does her "toilet" rant!

Day 3 ~ 2, possibly 3 successful wee's on the toilet, and 2 very happy Mumma dances!  Yes.  Definitely the win for the day.


So here we are, three days in and a few little steps in the right direction.  I am surrounded by washing, and a barrage of unfinished "things" as at any moment the LadyBug will shrill her toilet rant and it's a race to the potty to see what successes we can achieve.  I need to constantly remind myself that these things don't just click overnight, that she will eventually learn how to do all of this by herself and she won't always need the Night Garden to entice her to sit on the toilet!  This is a fun (did I really say fun?) stage in her development, and still I am hoping that with her eagerness and her awareness that this little adventure will not be as arduous as it sometimes can be.

So if I go missing for a while, I'm probably sitting on the bathroom floor singing crazy made up wee wee songs to entice a little wee wee to come out, come out wee wee, wee wee want to see you.....

Saturday, May 26, 2012

life without an oven or... the perils that come with rental living

Earlier this year, like in March, our old Westinghouse oven decided to blow it's element.  To cut a really long, and possibly boring story short, we are finally now just waiting for the part to come in.  Or so we are told...

When your oven is on the blink, at first you get all flustered, because you realise that you can't bake bread or have lasagne, or whip up a batch of muffins when friends pop in for coffee.  Then after a little while you forget all about the oven.  It becomes a useless box sitting on the wall.  Not even the clock on ours works, so it really is useless.

But then you start craving things... like roast lamb, with roast veggies.  Baked desserts.  Roasted pumpkin soup.  A little cake.  Even the smell of bread baking drives you a little crazy!

Hmmmm.....

So in place of the oven this week, I have donned my creativity hat, and present you a Roasted Lamb and squashed potatoes dinner, with an Apple, Rhubarb and Pomegranate Crumble.



Roasted Lamb Leg, Weber style
Don't let the charcoaled appearance fool you.  Underneath that crusty exterior is deliciously juicy, tender lamb.  This was a pre-marinated leg from the supermarket, which we put into the Weber at around 2pm and let it cook for about 3 hours.

I used the Jamie Oliver 30 Minute Meals for the squashed potatoes.  Pretty much you boil the potatoes and then squash them in a hot pan with olive oil, garlic and rosemary!  Very Special Spuds indeed.  No photos this time, mainly because it was simply too delicious.  But if you have Jamies book, go to page 104 for his recipe and make some!

Now on to dessert.

Here's my Apple, Rhubarb and Pomegranate Crumble recipe.  This dessert is dairy and egg free.  If you don't have intolerances, you can use real butter (mmmm, real butter).  For gluten free, you will need to substitute the flour for your favourite gluten free alternative.  Maybe some almond meal would work?

For the Fruit:
Chop a bunch of rhubarb stalks, about 2 cms long.  Add these to a hot pan with half a cup of water and two heaped tablespoons of rapadura sugar.  Meanwhile chop about 6 small apples, skins left on and add these to the rhubarb.  Reduce the heat and allow to slowly simmer and soften.  While this is simmering away, seed the pomegranate.  You have to be careful not to lose too much juice.  I blitzed the seeds in my super kitchen machine, but you can do the same with a regular food processor.  You just want to break the pips down to extract as much juice as you can.  Push it through a strainer over the simmering fruit.  For extra flavouring I added a splash of vanilla essence and a few peppermint leaves.  You could add cinnamon, mint, a friend added fresh basil to her stewed rhubarb too, so it's really up to your imagination.  Stir the mixture together and taste for sweetness.  You want to be able to taste the rhubarb, but because the pomegranate is also a bit tart you may want to add more sugar.  Simmer on low until the fruit is really soft and broken down to your liking.  You can see from the pic below that it has reduce by a fair bit, but my apples are still in chunks.  I like it that way so I took it off the heat at this point.




For the crumble:
Add 60 grams of butter to a pan over medium heat and allow to melt.  In a bowl, stir together 1 cup of oats, 1/2 cup rapadura, 1/4 cup flour, and 1/2 cup crushed plain biscuits.  I used Digestives as they are egg/dairy free.  Add this mixture to the melted butter and toast in the pan for 5-10 minutes.  You will need to stir this to prevent it from burning.  The oats should start to go nice and golden.


Use it straight on top of your warmed stewed fruit, top with your favourite creamy stuff, in our case it was goat's yoghurt, and enjoy!


So there you have it.  You can live without an oven.  Although considering that even our forefathers had either an oven, or some kind of oven type equipement, perhaps we weren't meant to live without one.  I think there will definitely be a celebratory bake off when the oven gets fixed!  If it ever does!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

unchartered waters for the homeschooling mum!

Approximately 3pm Tuesday afternoon.

After a frantic search for the primary school itself, then another 15 minute search for a car park that wasn't three streets away from the school, I find myself wandering aimlessly around the school grounds.

Administration building ahead...

Ah yes, there lies my salvation (?)

A guided tour to what I think is the right spot to wait for my nephews.

A handful of mothers sitting around the courtyard, each one on their phones, checking facebook no doubt as they sit and wait for their little blessings to come out from their classes.

A couple of young boys dawdle along behind their scurrying mother, kicking up the fallen leaves in the gutter.  She seems distracted, and yet determined... a feeling I can definitely relate to.

A few minutes later the old familiar sound of the school bell transports me to my childhood as it breaks through the eerie silence.

A trickle of hopeful students emerge... and then an avalanche...

A pair of tiny little prep girls, bff's for certain, give their final hugs before heading their separate ways.

A couple of boys are using this time to use up some of that pent up energy boys can be renowned for, and they are running circles around anyone and anything they can... round and round and round they go, I'm surprised they are still standing after a good few minutes of constant activity.

Anxiety begins to creep in as I think how easy it would be to lose my little charges in this sea of little people, and I haven't even spied them yet.

A familiar voice calls my name, and suddenly I am surrounded by three handsome little faces, all so happy to see me, and all filled with information they are just bursting to share.

A primary school courtyard.

A new environment for this homeschooling mother.

Monday, May 21, 2012

"I hate persuasive writing" ~ a homeschooling conundrum

I've spent the majority of the day getting LittleBee interested in writing.  This is a task that I really feel like I am out of my depths.  It all started with a little NAPLAN style exercise, so I can see if she is inline with what is expected of her at this level, considering all Year 3 students went through the NAPLAN testing last week.  She breezed through two math "tests" but when it came to writing, she froze.  Solid.

Then pouted.

She begrudgingly read through the activity, we discussed and nutted out her arguments together and then she started writing.

And then she started crying when I told her that the things she had written had not persuaded me at all, she'd left out all her arguments, and to be fair, she might need to redo the exercise!

Oh boy!  Tears, hugs and lots of reassurance that she CAN indeed do it...

But... "I hate persuasive writing.  It's stupid"





The trouble is that she is ridiculously good at Math, and we have her doing a year level above where she is to make sure she is challenged with the work.  LittleBee also simply devours her reading times every day and is reading and comprehending stories beyond her age.  These are her strengths, and she loves to play to them indeed.

But thankfully with the help Google I was able to locate a persuasive text sample, and after lunch we started on this download from www.blake.com.au.

While she read, and studied, pouted a bit more, and got through the questions... I was able to sit close by and spend some time sewing (yay for me!)  But the lights came on for her, one by one, illuminating in her mind what it was that she needed to be learning today.  That was a remarkable moment!

An hour later it was all over with.  Did I succeed in getting LittleBee to like writing today?  Ah, that would be a loud NO!  BUT, I did succeed in getting her to understand persuasive text a little better, so hopefully as we look at it further she might start to get a little more excited about the opportunity to make her opinions known.

What I also learned is that we need to focus more on writing, but how to do that without LittleBee screaming for the hills will be the real challenge.




Sunday, May 13, 2012

mother's day blessings and realities



  • making myself a hot cup of tea, and enjoying it in a quiet house before anyone else was even awake.
  • having my littlest princess run into my arms and give me a huge hug
  • making myself some eggs on toast, my favourite breakfast.
  • a hand made card from my special girls
  • helping the kids at church make special little gifts of chocolate and tea to share with the lovely mummies this morning.
  • shopping with my LittleBee for my Mother's Day present
  • a hot bowl of soup at one of our favourite cafe's in town
  • coming home to find the baby sleeping and that means that I'm able to spend time just doing whatever I like, even if it is just for a few minutes.

The realities... the Dadda and girls have been unwell this week.  They are on the mend now, but it's taking it's toll.  We have had a busy week too which leaves us all a little exhausted at the end of it all.  Mother's Day festivities are very low key this year as a result.  But nonetheless the blessings are there, and I am so thankful for each of them.

Sometimes though it seems like the painful realities far outweigh the blessings.  

Mother's Day is about spending time with your Mother, a pleasure I have not been able to experience for nearly 17 years now.  Mother's Day after losing your own mother is inevitably difficult.  The memory of my Mum and the special times we have shared in the past make my heart a little warmer as I think about her today.  Today especially I am remembering the times where she graciously endured breakfast in bed consisting of cold burnt toast, and cold tea, and appreciating each rose shaped soap or potpourri bag.  Surely she must know now that her children rise and call her blessed on this day and every other day.

Mother's Day after losing your own child can be plain excruciating.  I have two beautiful blessings to share this day with, and I am forever thankful for their presence in my life.  But on a day when we are to remember being a Mother and all that this wonderful job holds for us, it is heartbreaking to know that there is another little one that I would love to have scribble his name on a handmade card for me.  To have him stealing my chocolates or choosing smelling hand cream for me.

A friend I have met through the loss of our children shared a beautiful picture on facebook today, and this is my Mother's Day thought for today.  To my precious friends who have suffered the loss of their sweet babies and long to hold them each and every day... this is for you


Happy Mother's Day

Monday, April 23, 2012

a bit of a manic monday

It's early.  I'm up, and really I should be getting the preliminary stuff done for the day before everyone else is awake, but I spend 20 minutes catching up on my blogging friends, thinking through some changes for my own blog, posts I could write etc.  I hear her first piercing cry and know that Dadda is there and will take care of her, and she should fall back to sleep.  Another 15 minutes pass and she's not crying now, but calling out my name.  She's awake, and I am dragged out of my blogosphere and thrust into the reality of my home, with more than one early morning riser.

We are all awake now, and one by one as their feet hit the carpet, the house begins to buzz with the sounds of morning.

And then it begins.

"I need help with my breakfast"

"nappy"... do you want to go toilet? "noooooooooo"

"woof woof"

"My porridge overflowed in the microwave"

"The baby is eating my bun"

"owie"

"why do I have to get ready for school now when it doesn't start until 9am?"

One is running late for work...

One is wanting for it to really be Saturday so she can watch tv all morning...

The little one is pouring black pepper into her breakfast bowl.  Not sprinkling, pouring.

One is barking for outside, inside, breakfast, outside, inside, water...

One is meowing up a storm just to get my attention... and for no apparent reason.

And while I type this I have a hot cup of coffee in my favourite mug (oh the blessing!) and I intend on sitting here at the table until it is finished (wishful thinking?).  LadyBug has climbed up on to the table now and is eating my breakfast, which is obviously more delicious than the pear she just screamed the house down for!

Is it called "manic monday" because everything seems so much more dramatic when it happens on a Monday?

I think it's going to be the perfect day to look out for the blessings...

Like just having some of that yummy coffee (still hot mind you) spill on my lap and not on the laptop!  That's a great place to start.

This "in the moment" post should be brought to you by some famous coffee company... because I already have a feeling I am going to need a bucket load of it today!


Friday, April 20, 2012

"she's just like you!"


He stands in the kitchen doorway while we have a discussion.  One leg in the room, indicating that he is intent on having this conversation, the other already pointed the other way with the many other duties beckoning him back to his office.  As I'm busily preparing lunch, I pose a question to him, turn my head in readiness for his reply and he has already left.  LittleBee is sitting at the table watching this unfold.  I guess it bothered her that he didn't answer me, as she says "He didn't answer you Mumma."  "Oh that's ok, Dadda's busy." I reply.  I continue the lunch prep and out of the corner of my eye I see her trot off to her Dad's office, which isn't too far away from the kitchen for me to hear her say to her father... "You didn't answer Mum's question.  You just walked away.  That's rude Dadda!"  


"She's just like you, you know!"




~ she's just like me? ~



I find it quite interesting to look upon a new little baby and try to work out who this tiny creature resembles.  Does he have his Daddy's eyes or his Mother's sweet nose?  Will she be taller, like him, or have her bellowing golden locks?

When LittleBee was born, she looked like my side of the family.  She had fair hair, fair skin, and was a round little bundle of love.  Everyone said "oh my, she's just like her mother".  Whilst people would 'ooh' and 'aah' at our pink babe, I questioned which of my features she actually had.  One day, when the opportunity arose I found a picture of Hubby when he was a new born.... and wouldn't you know it, but this pink little child was almost the spitting image of her father when he was the same age.  Same round face.  Same full cheeks.  Same button nose.  Same butt chin.  Just like him.


Dadda... a loooong time ago!

LittleBee ~ 2 weeks old


When our Oliver was born, we didn't have the same opportunity to 'ooh' and 'aah' over him like we would have loved too.  Given anything too.  But in the short time we had Oliver with us, we were able to touch his soft dark hair, stroke his olive skin and just wonder if he indeed would be the reflection of his father.  Just like him.





Then along came LadyBug.  Our rainbow baby.   "Oh my, she's just like her daddy" they say.  A mass of soft dark hair.  A sweet round face.  Dark eyes.  Button nose.  Butt chin.  Olive complexion.  Just like her Daddy.



LadyBug ~ 4 weeks old


Or are those big eyes and sweet smile just like mine?


Guess who?
LadyBug about 18 months

~ she's just like me? ~


"wah wah wah"  LadyBug is holding on to her little doll "Bubba" around the neck, while making the sounds for him.  I spy her through the reflection of the en suite mirror.  She is carrying “Bubba” quite precariously, but then with such gentleness and love, she places him on the pillow on my bedroom floor.  “wah wah wah” she speaks on his behalf again and soothingly pats his little stuffed belly.  “Shhh.  Stay” she whispers to him sweetly and the assures her little Bubba “I be back”.








~ she's just like me! ~



More than their appearances, the shape of their nose or the colour of their eyes.  More than the shade of their hair or how tall they'll be... These precious pink things that run around our feet are reflections of us.  The way I speak, she speaks.  The way I comfort, she in turn comforts.  They are my mirrors, my shadows.  Always lurking behind me, soaking up every word and action... yes, the good and the bad, and then parrotting them, whether I like it or not.  


And every day I am reminded of the importance of making sure my reflection is what I want them to be displaying.  It's an ongoing 'battle' of sorts... fighting the natural desire to retaliate, to lose my temper, to yell or sulk, and instead, to try to find those better qualities within me.  


We all want our children to be beautiful.  You have to admit that most babies are adorable, and toddlers can be pretty darn cute when they want to be.  We want our sons to be handsome, and our daughters to be beautiful.  But there is more to these little people than that, and we should want more than mere appearances.  


I want my girls to be better than me, kinder than me, more loving and gentler... but for them to do that, I need to do that first!  


A lesson in motherhood today, check my reflection before my 'reflections' check me!

{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...





Monday, April 16, 2012

welcome back school

Our homeschool routine has been welcomed back quite enthusiastically by LittleBee.  She has happily spent the morning reading spelling words, creating sentences and working through her grammer work.  Right now, if I look over my shoulder, I can see her immersing herself into her math work.  She's completed her two page revision of last terms work (quite effortlessly if I may say).  Today's math problems include chance experiments, graphing and evaluation.





The start of a new term is always daunting for me.  I worry that I haven't done enough preparation, because usually I haven't had the time throughout the holidays to dedicate to lesson planning etc.  I fret about making sure we are reaching all of the education standards required but the government.  I get concerned that I might be stifling LittleBee's education rather than enhancing it.  But that usually only lasts one day... then I am gently reminded just by watching her learn, discover and create, that we are doing ok.

I have a few ideas of things that we might achieve this term... a look into local history, an environmental study, sewing and finally starting on our little garden patch out the back.  LittleBee will be starting an Auslan course this term too which is very exciting.  Now I just need to gather my motivation to make all of these wonderful ideas a reality for our little school and our wonderful Pupil!

Here's to Term 2!


Friday, April 6, 2012

an afternoon in the garden

It's not very often in a normal day that I just stop and spend time playing with the kids.  *gasp*  I'm just being honest!  It's hard to find time to play dress ups and build sand castles when there is always a pile of something that needs to be washed or folded, or something that needs scrubbing or wiping.  Bills, dishes, laundry, food... Oh that the house would clean itself, the meals be cooked and served and all that would happen so that a mother can bend a knee little more often and brush a barbie's hair.

The perils of motherhood?  Or the reality of life?  I'm not sure.  Perhaps it's the expectation that I place upon myself that everything should be done, and the realisation that the little people around me are buzzing and growing and having a world of fun at my feet.  And one day soon they won't be calling on me to come play anymore.

So one day I decided to stop and listen.  On this particular day, as I looked down into the sweetest big round chocolate-pool eyes, I listened to LadyBug's pleas and headed her call for me to "tome"...


 "tome" pick the flower buds from the trees...




"tome" find a strawberry to nibble on...




"tome" play ball...



"tome" sit on a rock in the shade of a big ol' tree and look around in wonderment!




These little people of mine are teaching me more than I ever thought possible... teaching me to really take hold of the moments while they are still there for the taking.  That you can't buy back the time once it's gone.  That sunny autumn days should be spent outside exploring the world of the back yard, soaking in the sun, bouncing on the trampoline, building sand castles, gathering treasures.  I need to let the grubby little fingers of my little people grab hold of my bigger hands, and let them drag me into their little world of adventure, fun and make believe.

These are precious moments that I really want to savour.  

Thursday, April 5, 2012

{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...







Wednesday, April 4, 2012

bagels, bagels everywhere!

I'm sitting here in a dimly lit corner of the lounge room.  My beautiful little LadyBug was showing me where my eyes were yesterday and poked me square in the right eye, at point blank range.  It's pretty sore, and I'm looking forward to sleeping the pain away, but I had to share our little Pesach Preparation adventure today.

This week is when Passover, or Pesach is observed.  Jewish people all over the world will stop and remember what God did for the Hebrews in the times when they were slaves in Egypt.  He showed His might and power and set them free from their oppression.  It is their "Easter" story.  We are really interested in learning about this special holiday too.  We see it as a time for us to learn what the Jewish tradition is, and how it points to the saving grace of Jesus Christ, the Messiah.  We decided to head out to Melbourne today to see what we can gather for our own Pesach celebration.

We took a drive into Elsternwick today, knowing the town is influenced by a rich Jewish presence.  Driving down Glen Huntly Road and looking out over all the shops with distinctive Jewish names, like" Szwarcbard", "Goldberg" and "Abrahams" you know that you are in an unique part of Melbourne.

Walking down the main street though, and one thing becomes very clear... there are a lot of bagels in this place!  We spied a bagel bakery sitting in the middle of a row of shops and ran in there as fast as we could (we all have a soft spot for bagels!)  On coming out of this bakery, fresh bagel in hand, we spied another store.  A much bigger one!  Bagelicious.  It was kind of like a Warner Bros moment when you see something you really delicious and your eyes pop out of your head and your jaw drops to the ground with your togue rolling out at the same time!  I stood amazed for a second, and decided that once our first bagels had been digested we just had to visit this one.  We did pop in for a coffee and cake, after some shopping time,  And wouldn't you know it, wondering around the street a bit more we discovered at least three more bagel-eateries for the tasting!  The town is like a bagel heaven to say the least.

not a bagel, but a pretty delicious coffee and crumble from Bagelicious

Shop after shop displayed Passover trading hours along side the traditional Easter hours.   The Coles store announcing their kosher seafood will be in store by Thursday. This home-wares store advertising that they can help you get ready for passover.

.


It really fascinated me.  Probably because we don't ever see anything like this anywhere near where I live.  Sort of in the same way as it would be intriguing to sit at a dinner table with an person from an interesting country or background and listen to them tell tales of their homeland.  We are really interested in the Passover, and what it teaches us about Jesus, and to see the passover preparations as a way of everyday life was really interesting to us. 

Aside from the bagels, and the promise of more bagels next time we visit, the op shops and book store took our fancy.  We were able to pick up some pretty candle holders and quite a number of books on Jewish celebrations.  This one though, has to be my favourite!  One that I really want to sink my teeth into (pun intended, groan!)





The preparation for Pesach has begun in this non-Jewish, Jesus loving house.  The wonder and tradition of the holiday will be richly intriguing I know, and it is something that we are looking forward to celebrating together.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

a day at the sewing machine

It's not very often that I get to sit at the sewing machine and have some creative time.  The last time I was creative was just before Christmas, when I went nuts making gifts for all the little people in my life.  That was very fun and incredibly rewarding, but after all the gifts were handed out, I certainly needed a rest from all the needles, fabric and patterns.

I think I've waited too long though.  A few weeks ago I was able to take up some pants for a friend's little boy and it made me realise how much I had missed it.  I missed the hum of the machine and the jolting of the table as the stitches are made and fun things are created.

So... last weekend I determined to spend Saturday having Mumma Time!  These times are few and far between for me, as I just don't take the time out to be me, and do things for me!  And after having a wonderful time creating last weekend, I know that I need to do more of it.

First up was a little "Lolly" doll.  I spied these cute little dolls at a market, and purchased one each for our girls.  Unfortunately LadyBug's little doll, "Lolly" was lost on one of our adventurous walks into town.  So I set out to make a replacement for her.  I think she turned out really cute!  LadyBug needs a bit more convincing though, as she has her "Bubba" which is her favourite right now!


coming together



tada... a new friend to play with

Next up was a skirt for LittleBee.  I wasn't sure how this fabric will go with her, as up until recently she has been a pink and sparkle girl.  But she really loved it and was excited to see the skirt come together.  It was a simple A-frame style skirt, with casing at the top for elastic, and a standard hem.  It was very quick and easy to get from the cutting out to constructed stage.  LittleBee chose the lace to go along the bottom, which tied in really well with the antique feel of the fabric.  

modelling her new skirt


The little motif which features on the skirt is simple to put together too.  I took a piece of brown felt and cut it into a leaf shape, then added some lace to tie in with the featured hem.  I cut out a few felt circles and stitched into the skirt to keep them there, and topped with a button.  Easy!

the motif

The good thing is that these were really easy projects, and I could get them both made in the one sitting.    Which means that I have already been asked to make a few more skirts for LittleBee with skirts being her favourite wardrobe item!  My kitchen looked worse for wear when I was done though, with no dishes being washed throughout the day.  I should have taken a photo of that *grin*.

I'm already looking forward to what other fun things I can make and create in more Mumma Times come!  

Friday, March 30, 2012

{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...




nephew *love*

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