Sunday, December 20, 2009
It seems to have crept up on me. It is almost here...Freya is very excited, the other children are pretty cool about it, Charlie has no idea, and I had my annual Christmas meltdown yesterday!
In my attempt to stay focused and organised, writing lists, checking them twice...I suddenly start to feel overwhelmed, become stressed and wish Christmas didn't exist. It's awful, because Christmas is all about joy, celebrating the birth of Christ, remember those we love, being thankful for all we have, and being generous. That's why I hate the way I get so stressed and become cranky and certainly not generous! Luckily for me I have Michael, who understands me so well, recognises what is going on and talks me down...Thank goodness for him!
So, now I have a renewed view of it all.I will not get stressed about cleaning the house. I will not get stressed about having lots of perfect food. I will not stress about each child having exactly the same amount and types of presents.
Instead, I will put my feet up when I start to feel stressed, take a breath, have a cup of tea, watch a movie, play with my naughty, beautiful,amazing toddler.
I will make simple,fresh food with love for the family and in-laws;
I will be thankful for all the excitement that surrounds Christmas, and ignore the hype (that's gonna be hard!);
I find it so hard to believe that 2009 and is almost gone. It has flown for me. When you have a baby, time seems to become more obvious - it drags when we are having a tough day, but it flies when you realise all the milestones he has reached. The difference in one year is unbelievable. My smiling,gurgling baby is now a walking,running,expressive,screaming,shouting, talking toddler. He has just started clearly saying"no","more","mum","don't".
"So this is Christmas and what have we done?"(Thankyou, John Lennon) Quite a lot actually, been very busy. Beans are 5 foot high, tomatoes colouring up (skinks stealing them again), zuchinni plants just coming up, lettuces beautiful and ready for Christmas lunch, crunchy carrots ready to eat, Michael's potatoes looking good, and strawberries colouring up, ready for the birds to steal.
On top of that, we managed to have a couple of lovely holidays - to Broome and Darwin, then to Rottnest in October.
I'm looking forward to the summer break at home, to enjoy our glorious beach and our wonderful family!
Friday, October 30, 2009
The weather has been so lovely lately that I just have to go outside with Charlie.He loves to play with the hose, and gets very wet, but it doesn't matter when the sun is shining.It also means I get a few minutes here and there to tackle the weeds.
I manages to plant some lettuce and tomato seedlings (thanks Katelyn) in the vege patch, weeded around the fruit trees (still a lot more to do there), also dug some clay in around the fruit trees.It is so dry and sandy already. I will have to get a load of sheep or pig manure for them.
I also planted bean and carrot seed, from Kerry's garden - she lets some of her produce go to seed to keep for the next year.I will try that too this year.I do buy many seeds and they aren't always successful.I suppose if you have a proven seed, it is worth saving.
I am hoping to get more time out there again today. I have a "Jane McGrath" rose to plant out, and I think I'll go to the nursery and see what is there.I have a few gaps that could be filled. It is always such a pleasure to visit the nursery, even if it is just to browse the plants. We have a gorgeous local nursery "Lush"(if they had a website I'd post the address, but they don't). The name is appropriate as the plants are all healthy and gorgeous, but one of the best things is the beautiful exotic home wears and garden ornaments etc.My girls love the place as much as I do, and the ladies there always remember the girls and are so kind.They give them little punnets of pansies and veges to plant. I love the place! I am not sure about taking Charlie there though! He might get into mischief!
Charlie and I have also been heading to the beach.Mostly walking, not swimming, as although the weather is lovely, the water is still cold. I am looking forward to the Luewin current which will warm it up a bit, so we won't have to have those nasty "ice cream headaches". Ouch!
I love this time of year!
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Charlie is toddling and running everywhere.Not only that, he is an adventurous little soul, who loves nothing better than to scale any piece of furniture that might bring him closer to the item he most desires. This is usually a computer,sewing machine,telephone, or the piece de resistance: the television remote. I think if anyone in this family is going to take up mountain climbing, it will be Charlie.He is very canny and quite skilled.It is worrying! So, whenever I can, I take him outside to explore the great outdoors: so far, not too much climbing happening out there....give him time...
Who can believe the year is drawing to a close? I can't believe how it has flown, but then again, to see how much Charlie has grown makes it all the more obvious.Although he is still very small and cute, he is no longer a baby. I realise now how easy babyhood was! Toddlerhood is proving to be quite a challenge. Apart from sleeping, there's not a lot of "stillness".Luckily for me I have willing helpers, so I do sometimes get a little break.I quite like to have a little nanna nap some afternoons.It makes for a less stressful evening.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
It has been so long since my last post.Everything conspires against me and it just gets too hard to post on my blog.
On Sunday Charlie turned 1.On Saturday, as I drove home from town (one of the only places I get to think without interruption),I felt quite tearful,looking back on the past year.It has been wonderful.Charlie has brought so much love and joy into our family,and that first year is so full of wonder.He has changed and grown so much, I think we all have!
Part of my reflection has involved thinking about what it means to have a "large" family of five children. Yes, it is busy, but not hysterically so.I know many many people comment on how it must be "mad" and "exhausting", but really, it isn't. Some days are a bit crazy, but isn't that sometimes the way with one or two children?
I suppose it helps that my children are spread out, the older ones are a great help, but they all have their issues,needs and desires. I suppose I try not to do too much, try hard to balance things so that the priorities are things like health and happiness: e.g, it is a priority to make sure we have a healthy balanced meal almost every day. I can't remember the last time we had take-away food. Wait, actually, we did when we were on holiday in Broome(which by the way, was a wonderful holiday). My next priority is usually to make our main living/dining space as clutter free as possible,tidy and clean (though the floor could use a wash).I also try to rest every afternoon while Charlie sleeps.
That's about all I can do to be organised whilst everything else is going on around me.I also fit in the laundry, try to take a daily walk with Charlie, get out into the garden when the weather is fine and talk to each of the kids about their day.
It's true I don't have much time for myself.I hardly ever get to yoga class any more, wish I could knit without Charlie tangling up my wool, have forgotten what the sewing machine looks like, but I am really happy.
Sometimes it can all be a bit overwhelming, things can and do get on top of me, but I don't find family life too demanding,nor "mad". One thing I have learned over the years of parenthood is that it is easier and more peaceful to just let things go, relax, enjoy, because there will always be another opportunity to wash the floor, but Charlie will never be this little again.
Having a large family does involve sacrifice, having a small family does too, but in the scheme of things, when I look back on my life, if I make to the "twilight years", I will never regret having children, how could I? Travel to exotic locales is wonderful, but I'd not trade it for any one of my children! And the same goes for material things.They are nice, but you can't take them with you can you.
Something new for me : I have a part time job.I tutor for 4 hours a week, in two sessions of 2 hours, after school hours, so Mike can have Charlie. It is great .I really enjoy it and although it means I need to be quite organised, it is a nice way to do a bit of work without impacting on the family too much.
Charlie is calling...
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Well, it has been a tough month, so I haven't been around much.To top it off,Charlie knocked my laptop off the coffee table, and it is now dead! More fool me for leaving it where my baby could knock it!
It seems my hard drive is knackered and I'll be lucky to retrieve anything! It is a blow that I will lose all my photos - wish I had "backed them up", but I didn't really expect to break the laptop!
So now I am using Michael's apple mac, which I don't fully understand, so I haven't a clue how to post pictures.This is something I will have to master before too long. I'd like to get back into the blogging, so will need to do that.
This past month I have been so busy, mostly with Charlie and the family.We haven't been doing anything special, but have had most of us suffering from a cold here and there, but mostly I have been tending to Charlie's needs.
He's also had a cold, which followed an infection which required anti-biotics, which in turn gave him diarrhea, and he still hasn't cut his first tooth, despite much drooling and clamping his gums on anything (including my nipples during breastfeeding!).
So, Charlie has been irritable and very needy. I am his number one comfort, so it has meant many hours attached to each other. It has also meant I haven't much wanted to venture out.Poor Freya has been extremely tolerant and very helpful, but my lack of attention for her may have lead her to decide to go back to school next term. She assures me it isn't the case, but, naturally I feel guilty. Freya insists it is because she misses her friends and is feeling much better.
It is true that her anxiety issues have improved a great deal since homeschooling and seeing a counsellor. We will continue with the counseling - I think it really helps her to talk to someone other than family about her anxieties, and to be given some practical strategies to try.
So I'll go and see her school principal in the next couple of weeks to discuss her options. I feel a little bit sad about her going back to school, but I want what is best for her, and for her to be happy. With Charlie being so demanding lately, it is probably better for her to be at school. Freya reassures me that she gets a whole lot more attention at home than at school, even when Charlie demands my attention, but I worry that it is too easy to have Freya help me with baby, rather than doing school work. I have been reassured by other homeschooling mums that it would be fine for her to do no "schoolwork" for a time, but I feel better if she is doing something "schoolish" (that's the teacher in me talking!)
We are only two weeks away from going on holiday! It is exciting and terrifying at the same time! It will be lovely to get away, to go where it is summer (it is very cold here - 12 degrees today-very cold for us), to enjoy the company of friends, but at the same time, the worrier in me can't help but think about the amount of time spent in the car and plane with a 10 month old - argh! Who knows, perhaps he'll suddenly enjoy being strapped into his car-seat for 5 hours straight!Ha ha, I doubt it. We'll have Freya and Lily with us, so they'll earn their keep entertaining their baby brother.
I also worry about how he'll go with his sleeping.I know I shouldn't worry, that it is pointless, and that it might all be a breeze, but, unfortunately, I wasn't built that way, and have to think of all the scenarios in order to relax! It is a paradox of sorts.
Before then, we'll have a week of swimming lessons in town.If that doesn't wear me out, nothing will. Hopefully it won't be too hard on Charlie and his sleeping patterns - he tends to nod off in the car, then wakes up when we arrive home, then won't sleep in his cot and ends up overtired...but what can we do, I'd really like Freya to have the benefit of the swimming lessons, especially before we go to warmer climes where she'll enjoy swimming everyday.
On a brighter note - I have started knitting a new cardigan, a lovely Jo Sharp pattern. I haven't gotten all that far yet (just knitted one cuff!!), but already I love it!The colours are great and I love the texture too. I will try to post a photo of it when I sort out how to do it.
Here's to getting back into blogging- I hope my faithful followers are still out there in cyber space!
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
What is the point in keeping chickens when they don't even lay eggs!
Anyway, not all bad news.I am very happy to say I have finally, after a year or so, got my plants back into the garden. The photos show the little bit of progress I am making.
It feels really good to get the plants into the ground, as they were lifted out last April so that we could kill off the kikuya which had immigrated from the lawn, and pretty well taken over. And it isn't the kind of weed you can just pull out.Oh no, this stuff gets in deep(sometimes a metre deep) and strangles the root system of everything in its path, and nothing will kill it, apart from a good dose of round-up, three times! Blimey,it is tough stuff. So much for being totally organic. You just can't beat it without help from glysophate.
So my plants have been waiting patiently, and I did lose a few.But that's okay, because I have changed the design a bit, and made different choices of plants and different ways to plant them.I am hoping the garden will be a bit less "cottagey" and a bit more designed, but that remains to be seen.
I have put in a couple of dwarf nectarines and a "doughnut" peach, as well as three Chilean guavas, which have edible fruit. I like the idea of having some edible plants in the border.
This photo was taken before I started replanting:
It feels good to be gardening regularly, to look forward to what the plants will bring : perhaps food, beauty, flowers to bring inside, a lovely place to wander, to sit in, and a chance to get my hands dirty and to connect with the earth...Ahhh, bliss!
Monday, May 11, 2009
So,I decided to try harder to fit in some creative time, and did manage it. You'll see Charlie wearing a little grey vest - I have been trying to make this one for some time - I felted an old vest of Michael's, and it worked out so well.It will certainly keep Charlie warm.
- A sleep in
- Breakfast in bed courtesy of Freya
- Three new Pandora beads for my bracelet (Oooh!)
- No chores ALL day
- A session in the garden,planting out
- Lunch at the beautiful peaceful farm with Michael's parents
- Michael cooked a yummy stir fry dinner
It was just lovely having the day with my children and husband.I am blessed.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Having said that,she is still able to maintain her important friendships, and was really chuffed to have her friend Ashlyn visit on her birthday.Freya had a lovely time,enjoying her presents and the company of friends and family. She loved her chocolate cloud cake (thank you Rosie and Nigella for the recipe) served with cream and fresh raspberries and strawberries. It is a great cake,no gluten (which is good for me), and simple to make.Let me know if you want the recipe.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Charlie is now crawling everywhere at a great speed.He is very cute.He hit the 8 month mark on the 23rd.He still hasn't cut any teeth, but judging by his ferocious grip whilst breastfeeding (sets my teeth at edge) he isn't far off.He has also been dribbling great wet fountains this week.
Another milestone met this past weekend...Callum turned 18! Wow! It is amazing having a boy-adult under our roof.He's legal for drinking and other things, but it isn't really all that different to when he was 17! He is very independent - we hardly see him - he works long hours, then hangs out with friends.We really only catch up in the mornings for a few minutes.It feels a bit strange, but at least we see him more than when he was living away.
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Heather took the lovely pictures.Unfortunately, she isn't in any of them!
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Check out the goodies we baked today:We made hot cross buns, without the crosses,both with and without gluten.You can tell which is which: mine are the little ones.They were still tasty, just not as light and fluffy as the other ones!
The girls also made gingerbread Easter cookies.We didn't photograph them after they were baked, because they ended up too well browned(read "burnt!")The girls ate them anyway!If nothing else it is lovely to have the scent of spices and dried fruit in the kitchen, yummy!So, all in all, a couple of fruitful days. Speaking of fruit, I picked rhubarb today, and have a box of apples from mum and dad, so I am off to the kitchen to make a crumble.Yum,yum!
Sunday, April 5, 2009
They aren't the best pictures, but you get a glimpse of Charlie's little pyjama pants I made yesterday afternoon. They are "Cool Cat" pants because they have cats in the print.They are very cute on him.And nice and warm now that the temperature is dropping.
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Friday, March 20, 2009
With the cooler weather I feel very inspired to knit. I bought this gorgeous green wool from The Wool Shack (http://www.thewoolshack.com/jo_sharp_yarns.htm?action=detail&title_replace=Jo+Sharp+Yarns&ID=794) in Asparagus. I am making the cutest little vest for Charlie from Natural Knits for Babies and Moms(http://www.thewoolshack.com/jo_sharp_yarns.htm?action=detail&title_replace=Jo+Sharp+Yarns&ID=794) also from the Wool Shack.It has been super quick to knit, I have nearly finished the back. I am feeling so inspired, I can't wait to make myself a jumper, and some little hats for Charlie.
Friday, March 13, 2009
Saturday, March 7, 2009
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Saturday, February 28, 2009
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Every day I start with a list in my head of the things I'd like to achieve during the day. It feels purposeful to have goals. Sometimes I even jot them down.
Today's list was as follows:
- Make zucchini slice
- Make dermatologist appointment
- Take a walk
- Organise E bay items I sold
- Wash and hang up nappies
- Wash breakfast dishes
- Tidy up my bedroom and put away laundry
- Read the Gardening Australia magazine I bought on Monday
- Yoga practice
- Have a shower(!)
- Bottle the baked capsicums I made days ago
- Order seeds from Diggers
This is what I got done:
- Had a lovely walk with Charlie to the post box and along the beach
- Washed and hang out the nappies
- Made the dermatologist appointment
- Got half the breakfast dishes washed
- Drank four cups of tea
- Played with Charlie
- Made compost
- Cuddled Charlie
- Breastfed Charlie
- Changed several nappies
- Looked around at the complete and utter chaos and decided it is too hard to start anything with a 6 month old who will not sleep unless you cuddle him!!
So there you have it. I don't know why I bother with the list, whether written or in my head. I suppose I can at least be pleased that I might have achieved one or two things. Most importantly, Charlie is getting the attention he needs, and that is surely more important than the mess and dishes.
Alas, it just means that when I do eventually getting around to making that zucchini slice for dinner, the kitchen is in such a mess, it takes all the joy out of cooking.
There's a song by Neil Young : A Man Needs A Maid. Well, it isn't just a man who needs a maid, this woman needs one too! How nice would it be to have a home help, so you could just enjoy mothering your baby without all the other "stuff" to distract you...
Despite that sinking feeling when it comes to the state of our living space, it was very lovely to walk in the fresh air with Charlie this morning.It was a warm and sunny day, perfect for strolling. And I looked at him and thought about how much I ached to have him in my life, how lucky I have been to have him here with us,and I know that he is better(much ,much,better!) than a clean house, meals cooked, phone calls made.
Tomorrow is a new day...