Monday, April 25, 2016

april portraits..

stormy skies, soft warm winds and fresh clean sand just waiting for tiny feet

a pocket full of posies

a moment of still

" Look a this! Look a meee!" the youngest of four, always trying to get a laugh out of her brothers.. forever our clown

The roller coaster that is three!

Boy oh boy is this little chicken ramping things up.  

The curdling screech is pretty much her go-to voice if requests are not met within .5 of a second.

She has to do everything herself, and must assist everyone else with what they do also.

You can not laugh, ever, when you catch her doing something totally adorable without risking attack and tantrum.

She will eat constantly.

She completely and utterly refuses to toilet train.

Heaven help us if there is not a 'dancer' skirt available to wear on any given day.  A pocket dress, might be allowed with some coaxing and promises of treasures to be found.

She will let out a shrill that could shatter glass just randomly, for no apparent reason.

She will talk all. day. long!

Fortunately though, she tells the best stories.

She sings instructions and twirls through her days.

She is the family clown and loves to make us laugh (on her terms) with her talking belly voice.

She loves nothing more than to be helping outside, and she is the hardest little worker ever!

Her bedtime routine is a performance for all the family to see.

Her imagination is boundless and watching her play is pure joy.

She hugs hard and kisses often.

She will sit right by her brothers side when they are sad or upset, and she won't leave until they're smiling again.

She closes her little prayer hands and tucks them under her cheek to sleep.

She is bossy.  She is loud.  She is hilariously funny and she is so full of love for us all.

Monday, March 28, 2016

march portraits..

there has never been a greater build up or more excitement shown for this time of year by any of our children like there has been by this girl..beside herself excited! 

with three big brothers, theres always someone willing to give her a piggy-back ride when those little legs are tired out

she came thudding loudly up the hallway, I said "look at you galloping like a horse" and she replies "no mumma I'm flying like a fairy, see my wings!"

outside baths in the drinks cooler..

A month of adjusting to the change of seasons, and carefully re-introducing layers.  She is not a fan of long pants or any kind of jacket.  It's 'dancer' skirts everyday, so the most I've managed is a singlet and the occasional pair of socks, mostly socks with sandals, but socks nonetheless! 

Our three year old has ramped up her attitude and fever pitch screeching this month.  Throw in relentless whinging and serious determination, and we are all a little worn out.  Luckily, amongst it all, there's there irresistible sweetness, that squeaky little voice, the fairy wings and story telling, all the discoveries and learning and growth.  Watching the little girl emerge.

She's exhausting and exasperating, but she's just so darn adorable.

Monday, March 21, 2016

the way they wear their socks..

Today the love is overwhelming, and I have to write it down.

She sleeps beside me and I hear her kitten-like purr.  She reaches for me in her sleep, and my hand without consciousness meets hers.  Our love is so deep and so indescribable.  I feel her in every cell of my being.  

Just as I did with her brothers, but in case I haven't written it here before, I want to document this for their future.  For all of us, for them to read one day and for them to know that I felt it.  I felt what they feel for their babies.  I felt it in them.

It's true,when you grow and birth a child, your heart forever lives outside of your body.

She looks a certain way and she captures my breath.  I watch her, study her in awe, all in just a moment, and my heart completely overflows.  I'm besotted with her, still.  Her beauty, her perfectness, the way her hair tangles in the early morning, her sweet voice, her mind, the way she plays or sings along to a TV show or tells a story.

She feels closeness and connection when she buries her face into the nook of my neck.  Is it the sound of my heartbeat, the feel of my breathe, the touch of my skin?  I'm not sure.  But when she nuzzles in there, she purrs and sighs.  It's like home to her.  She's done this since the minute she was born and placed on my chest all sticky and warm, she went straight to that spot and buried in.

This love, this closeness is like nothing else.  

For all the drama and tantrums and plain shit hard days, this gentle togetherness blows all of it away! Every morning I feel this little being, she is a part of me.  She wakes and kisses my face with those soft sweet lips.  She sighs a contented sigh and says "I love you so much my mumma".  She shrinks into me, kneads my skin with her chubby fingers, sometimes an irresistible pinch, breathing deeply and with such comfort of being.

You know, if she hits the wrong spot or pinches too sharp I growl at her in my sleep haze, and she moves almost expectantly.  But she can't help it, she has to do it.  If she could crawl right back inside of me she would.  It's a closeness that can't be described, that mother child bond.

I wonder when it is that this feeling of being a part of you subsides.  I wonder when it is that they begin to feel secure and independent of you.  I don't remember for sure.

What I know is that those are connections and feelings I had with all four of my babies until they grew to have this Independence.  I know too, that it's because of such bonds that they are able to fall into my arms in times of happiness or despair.  It's the reason they creep up and hug me at random, tell me they love how I cook a meal, or thank me for some seemingly insignificant thing. It's also the reason they can completely loose their temper over incidents totally separate from us, say nasty things, be hurtful and cruel and just plain horrid! It's because they can.  Because I am their safe place.

I want to capture their every idea, the sound of their voices, the way they wear their socks or dressing gown or comb their hair.  I want to remember the way they play and love and laugh, or spend forever too long in the bathroom.  I'm certain the way they fight will be embedded into our minds for our lifetime, but these moments and feelings are so enormous and so very precious.

Like they say, "the days are long but the years are short".

Oh Lordy! I surrender to all the moments.  All the insignificant conversations, comments, quirky ways, hugs, fights and endless loves.  I wholeheartedly embrace this role as mother.  The good, the bad and the terrifying!

All I ever wanted was to be this, what I am right now.  Their Mum, and I am blessed.  I just hope and pray I can deliver, but I have a pretty fabulous wingman in my beautiful husband.  Actually, I might be the wingman.  Either way, we have it made with all this love.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

a bear hat..

Why is it that until recently, only one out of four of my children will wear my wares?  The middle guy has always been a fan, the biggest never and the little guy only took a shine to my beanie's last winter.  You can imagine how excited I was when that happened!

So when this little girl saw the gorgeous bear hat made by Charissa at Joyful Four, she was busting for me to get started on one for her too.  I, naturally, was beside myself thrilled!

Then I made it.  She 'oohed' and 'aahed' as I kept measuring against her head for size.  I thought, this might be the one. The one she wants to wear all winter long, the one she asks for me to make in every colour!

Of course, that was delusional.  As soon as I finished, she refused to try it on, and I've only just managed to get it on her head now with the lure of bandaids!

Ce la vie!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

standing back..

One day last week I had one of those parenting moments that keeps playing on through your mind. The fact that I keep thinking about it makes me question my judgement.  You know, when you wonder why you did what you did.

Is it because she is my fourth child and I've seen it all before?
Is it because I know her and what she can handle?
Is it because sometimes they need to be on the receiving end?
Or worst of all, Is it that I didn't want the other first-time mum to feel my own daughter's expense?

Last week, I watched on as my daughter was being hassled by your typical two year old.  She waited patiently for her turn on the shopping centre game.  Patiently! A huge achievement in itself, and I was proud.  Then, when the little boy stepped out she took her seat.  He decided she was not to touch anything, as two year olds do.  He pushed her hands away from buttons, babbled angrily and shouted "NO!"

She would acknowledge his protests with a coy tilt of her head and then continue on. He then grabbed hold of her hair. He grabbed it hard in his chubby little fist.  She held her head tight with both hands, her face wincing as he pulled.  I went to run and then stopped as the boy's mother bolted.

She scooped him up and told him "No!"  She pulled a fist full of Olive's hair from her toddler's hand and dropped it to the floor.  She was mortified and clearly embarrassed.  Olive watched on as the little boy cried.  She rubbed her head and continued playing.  She just kept playing, not a tear and not a word of complaint.

The mother dashed across to me apologising over and over, and I looked at Olive, she was happy.  I told the mother it was ok, "this is what babies do" and "don't worry, she's fine".  The mother said "I'm so sorry, that's her hair on the ground". I said "you know, its probably the knot I couldn't get out this morning. It's ok, she's fine".

Soon after, Olive and I sat down with our coffee and babycino.  I said to her "my darling are you ok?" She happily sipped her froth and replied "yes, he just wanted his turn."  I couldn't help but laugh at her diplomacy and nonchalance.

I question if my response, or lack there of, was inappropriate or inadequate.  I'm still not sure.  Truly at the time I just wanted to pick her up and hug her tight, but when she wasn't seeking my help I felt compelled to stand back.  I'm pleased she could handle it without my interference.  She did this well I think, and she was still happy to step over the clump of hair to follow the little boy onto the rides afterwards.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016



messy hair (she really!) don't care

a girl and her dolly

those dimpled hands

Lots of summer lovin' in this months portraits.

We've been trying to make the most of beautiful summer days, squeezing beach visits into our days even if they're brief. Eating dinner outdoors and playing in the yard until bedtime.  Messy hair, sticky faces and lots and lots of homemade icypoles.

We finished up this month with a very special road trip all the way to Swan Hill to celebrate my darling nephew's first birthday and Christening.  The entire weekend was filled to the brim with warm summer sunshine, beautiful family, hot late nights and so much swimming!  

All in all, February has been a month of birthdays and celebration. Of summer fun amidst business mayhem and unrest.  It was a month of being purposeful and making time to breathe, to craft and to not be too rigid with routine.

I'm a little sad to see our summer come to an end, but then Autumn is one of my most favourite seasons of all.

You can see more lovely portraits over at Practicing Simplicity.


Saturday, February 20, 2016

simple lines...

I've just finished working on this simple scarf for the coming season.  I was in need of a project that wasn't going to take too long, with simple repetitive stitches for their therapeutic nature.  Some craft therapy to ease my busy mind and to calm an anxiousness that was gradually building in my chest. Mindless repetition is good like that. 

It's long and wide, and I really do love its simplicity and fall.

However, I've never used this yarn before.  Its a cotton/acrylic blend, super soft to touch and drapes beautifully, but I'm really a little nervous about how well its going to wear.  I can always trust 100% wool or 100% cotton to wash and wear with ease, so we'll just have to see how this one goes.  

Fingers crossed, because it really feels like I'm wrapped up in a warm hug.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

the sunset series..and breaking from routine

The new school year has begun.  Back into routine, commitments and after school activities.  Back to getting organised, school lunches and uniforms. Back to being busy.

It all just seems to have come around so quickly already, and perhaps a little part of me is in denial. Our holidays were slow and easy.  We didn't travel anywhere or do anything too grand or elaborate. Sometimes I feel a little bit guilty and worry the kids will go back to school listening to everyone else's amazing holiday adventures, wishing they could have done the same.  

Running a business of your own makes time away very limited, and quite frankly, an impossibility for us just yet.  While the kids had 6 weeks off school, we managed to close down for almost three weeks.  Though its never without interruption, at least we were able to be at home and enjoy some down time all together.

Then I look at where we live.  

During our break we took a sneaky bottle of bubbles down to the beach on New Years Eve. The kids played and swam, we looked at one another and knew we were both feeling the same thing.  We could have paid a fortune to travel somewhere as magnificent, and to do just this.  But we didn't have to, this is where we live, just a stroll down the end of the street.

I've decided that I need to keep this in mind during the everyday busyness of school term. To be a little bit spontaneous and to break away from the routine.  If only just a bit.

Last Monday was the beginning of the first full week of term. Harvey was at Cadets and Nick at a twilight shoot.  I went outside to put away shoes and tidy as I sent the other three upstairs to brush teeth ready for bed. It was such a gorgeous evening.  

I couldn't help it, I yelled out to everyone to grab a jacket and come downstairs.  Then instead of bed, off to the beach we went!

Oh the excitement! It was like the craziest thing I'd ever done! Like we were on some wild adventure somewhere we'd never been before.  Secretly, I was hoping to goodness I wasn't going to live to regret it.  Monday night and all, a whole week still ahead of us.

We weren't gone for ages, just long enough to wander and chat.  To soak in the beauty and explore the rockpools.  To be silly and to feel free.

It was worth it, and I didn't regret it.  Bedtime may have been a little later than it needed to be that first night of term, but everyone slept soundly with the smell of sea mist on their skin and rolling waves echoing in their dreams.