Wednesday, February 19, 2014


a portrait of my children, once a week, every week in 2014 - inspired by Jodi

He : whiling away a Saturday afternoon fossicking for treasures in the backyard with his metal detector. At the going rate of ten cents per nail, we have a flurry of other children lobbing in to earn some pocket money while clearing our yard of nails and other building detritus. The eldest Menace brother has been over twice already and taken home about eight dollars. 

She : was very quiet in the bath one night. When I snuck in to check on her, she had sorted and organised every last bath toy into those unfinished shelves. I shudder to think how she reached that top shelf!

Monday, February 10, 2014


a portrait of my children, once a week, every week in 2014 inspired by Jodi

He : accessorising with a skink ( as you do) . This one came to visit with the Menace brothers but my boy has been known to spend an afternoon upside down inside our compost bin making pets out of the skinks who live there. I plan to refer back to this photo when thoughts of boarding school resurface. 

She : Showing me her stick on earrings that were a must on a trip for Yum Cha. Due to food issues we eat out infrequently, hence the need to frock up.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

A whole new world

Last week was about new beginnings. After eight years of mothering, both my birds flew the nest.

Those fuzzy days of naps, double prams, frighteningly early starts, Maisy books, sipper cups, soft rabbits that were never allowed to be washed, Bonds wonder suits, dummies, thumb sucking, swim nappies, sandpits and stick collections are fading into the distance as a new, vast world opens up.

My big bird moved up to the big school, at the top of three flights of stairs into the world of grade three. He disappeared into this safe and familiar world with barely a backward glance. He has friends who are happy to see him, a new teacher who probably knows him already and a routine that provides the predictable comfort that holidays never can.

My baby bird tiptoed into her new class, full of pride, excitement, a few nerves and only minor issues with the seams in her socks. While the teacher is new, the room and the teacher aide are like old friends she simply hasn't seen since she was two and visiting every day with her brother. And while she hasn't been there for three years, when I asked if she needed me to show her where the toilets were she scornfully told me that she remembered herself.

To have both your children happy at school is a miraculous gift for which I am very grateful. And for me, as I slowly exhale, it feels like maybe I can just sit down, enjoy a hot cup of tea and allow myself a moment of pride that we made it.

Parenting small children is immense, all encompassing, exhausting, miraculous, hilarious, relentless, incredible, magical and mostly involves much less sleep than I ever could have imagined. Parenting has taken my lofty ideals of the mother that I thought I would be, and scattered them with the winds. It has brought me to my knees,  and then slowly built me back up again, stronger, wiser, humbler and endlessly grateful for small victories.

So, as one door closes, I am hit with a sprinkle of sadness,  a dash of relief and a generous dollop of excitement that a new door is opening. It's a whole new year and I have lots of plans.

And this was my first finished project. My favourite vintage fabrics, mod podge and a Kvissle wall rack from Ikea. This is phase one of a grand plan to finally get organised.

Monday, February 3, 2014


a portrait of my children, once a week, every week in 2014 - inspired by Jodi

He : asked if he could dig out the overgrown garden bed underneath his bedroom window. A short while later with hacked up plants strewn around the yard he announced that he was having MAN- FUN and could I please bring him some refreshments. Yes, those were his EXACT words. (makes me think of Bear Grylls having tea with the Famous Five ) 

She : started prep this week and has settled very well so far. This was the trial run on the weekend before school started as she was so excited to try her full uniform on. For the real day the uniform was ironed and the hair was (miraculously) in plaits. 

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Summer holidays

Sometimes, the pictures all fall into place, but the words do not. Our summer holidays were hot, slow, long, fun, full and at times very, very challenging. In our house the wonderful lack of routine that would generally create a relaxed holiday instead creates all sorts of trouble.

However, as I look at this bundle of pictures that have captured the last six weeks, it is a stark reminder that no matter how grey the day, there is always colour to be found. Above would be Roboboy's lego mini figure avatar that seems to end up in all sorts of odd places, including this bowl of florist beads the kids chose from the markets, just add water and they grow.

The stack of books my boy read this last few weeks. The only problem now is where on earth do you go from Harry Potter? (tips welcome).

The simple things are the best -  birthday parties with hills and large pieces of cardboard.

Floral arranging sessions. We walked the streets sampling all the blooms on the footpath.

We spent our usual amount of time under the hose on the trampoline.

We played jewellery shop cafe's,

Hot chocolate with marshmallows anyone ?

and built extravagant paediatric hospitals,

created storyboards for the three little pigs,

organised rooms and shuffled furniture to give my boy a desk of his own,

spent hours and hours in construction at the Ipswich Art Gallery

And after more than a year away, we finally made it back to our favourite beach.

As the years pass and we come back here time and time again, the memories just build and pile up atop each other. This is three years ago,

And the exact same spot now.

We made mermaids,

and just like previous times we have come to Moffat beach, there have been some milestones passed.
Like the catching of her very first wave,

first sand dune slide,

and most excitingly, the first bike ride without training wheels. Just like that she was off, haring down those paths to the sea that she knows so well.

We rode all the way to the Mr McGee tree (it was perhaps a little too far in hindsight) and we climbed to the very top ( well not me, I was down the bottom taking photos). The view was amazing.

There was also the usual rock hopping,

tidal creek paddling,

After a swim in the ocean pool at Kings beach, we stumbled across a man snorkelling in one of the tidal pools. As is our way, we of course had to find out what he was up to. He was catching some rare fish and when he left he gave us his leftover bait so we too could hand feed the fish.

So late that afternoon we trotted back with our buckets and nets and hand fed the fish with our raw prawns. We even managed to catch a few for our collection. Then of course we tipped them all back in, squealed at the sight of an eel where our toes had just been and rode our bikes home. I love that we now have another new favourite spot to go back to next time.

It always astounds me how much my children remember from all the other visits to this very beach. This time when we got to a particular spot, Liongirl asked me to play the rock stacking game we played there once, more than a year ago. This time we made beach houses for the crabs, with stones for the windows and doors, a path up to the front door and a seaweed mat.  I wonder if next year we will come back to this spot and do it all again.

She and I spent an afternoon together exploring. We found six sea cucumbers and a nudibranch. Not a spectacular colourful one, but amazing just the same.

We were either at the beach, riding our bikes, eating calamari and chips or in here for the entire seven days.

Summer holidays, we think we did you justice. Now it's time for the relief of that old familiar routine of school.