Sunday, 22 June 2014
This was one of those weeks where the living room carpet had a few crumbs on it on Monday which I kept meaning to vacuum but then never had enough minutes in the day. Then by Friday the carpet was nowhere to be seen and it was just a vast sea of crumbs, flakes of Weetbix (always baffling as the children are banned from eating it anywhere except the table) and small sequins in the shape of leaves- part of the aftermath of Rose dumping the contents of the craft box all over the floor. At least when I finally got it done late on Friday afternoon the sense of relief was palpable. A clean area underfoot could be enjoyed by everyone for all of the ten minutes it took for the crumbs to start building up again. Such is life with children. You have to laugh about it or you'd go completely batty.
Despite the less than ideal house cleanliness situation, I did manage to get a good home cooked meal on the table every night and vaguely keep on top of the laundry so I'm calling that a win. I soon realised when we went from a family of four to five that if laundry doesn't get done every day then things get out of hand very fast. Drowning in it probably sums it up best. So, after that vastly uninspiring introduction to my weekly gratitude list, here are some hopefully slightly more interesting moments and little goings on that serve to give me a kick up the rear end and make me realise that all things considered, it's pretty darn great to be alive and breathing and living this messy, imperfect but pretty awesome life.
1 // The early evening Winter ritual of making the house cosy and getting ready to hunker down for the night as the sun goes down by closing all the blinds and curtains, lighting a candle, and turning on the heating if it's a cold one.
2 // Our glorious freshly painted newly white walls. Happily they turned out just as wonderful as I has been picturing them since the day we first viewed the house. So fresh, so clean, so light. So much better than magnolia. Now just the bedrooms, bathroom and laundry room to go, though it may take another year to get around to that. We shall see.
3 // A lovely two days spent with my sister and her little clan at their gorgeous home. Time with my family makes my soul sing like nothing else. Also, the fact that all of my little ones slept for the entire two hour evening drive both ways, whilst I got to have a chill and listen to some tunes. Practically a holiday in itself really.
4 // My Mason Pearson hairbrush. An early birthday present from my sister, who knew this had been on my fantasy purchase wish-list for a very long time. Nothing like a good old fashioned, quality hairbrush to make you feel like a real grown-up. I've been spending a happy five minutes every night before bed brushing out my hair, during which I think it would be rude not to imagine oneself as a grand lady in her manor house sitting at her dressing table in an elegant nightgown, patiently counting out her requisite one hundred nightly brushstrokes. Or maybe that's just me and my continued love affair with Downton Abbey.
5 // A few hours in the evenings to hang out with the husband and take some time for myself (and ignore the crumb ridden carpet) now we seem to have got Pearl in a nightly routine of going to bed at the same time as her big sisters.
6 // The bath I managed to have this week (thanks to the above), with a hefty dose of epsom salts and a few drops of lavender oil. This has been long and eagerly awaited, as has the glass of red wine I enjoyed in it now I know I have a few hours grace before Pearl wakes in the early hours for her next feed.
7 // The paved path in our garden that now leads to the shed (and the person that created it). Thank goodness I married a man who knows his way around a tool box and doesn't mind getting his hands dirty. Whilst I am great at having the grand visions and coming up with crazy schemes, he is the one that makes them happen and for this I am eternally grateful.
Photos.... hello new path... this weeks colourful and abundant veggie box delivery... white walls and kitchen shelves... my king of hairbrushes... happy tiny girl at seven weeks old.
Thursday, 12 June 2014
I couldn't decide if this gratitude list should be last weeks (very late to air) or this weeks (slightly ahead of schedule) so it is by default, both. Some weeks just get so hectic that finding a moment to sit down uninterrupted at the computer or pick up the camera and document life with a few shots is just not on the agenda. It doesn't of course mean that there has been nothing to be thankful for. Rather the opposite, as after getting my head around the big disappointment mentioned in the last list and returning to my full-time, now-mother-of-three duties, life has been full and rolling along relatively smoothly. With the odd speed bump of course; like the few days that the baby has declined to have anything more than twenty minute cat naps during the day. Those are then balanced by the times she has a three hour afternoon sleep (in her Moses basket no less!), allowing me to operate with two free hands and bask in a feeling of great achievement after managing to cram as many tasks as humanely possible into this window of time.
Without further ado, here's some more of the little things I've been grateful for this past couple of weeks...
1 // A still-warm-from-the-oven chocolate cake delivered to us by our incredibly generous neighbours at the weekend.
2 // Expanding on the above (because it really deserves it's own number), living on such a great street with such kind and caring neighbours. Some of the sweet things they have done for us lately include delivering unexpected new baby and birthday gifts for our girls, sharing produce from their gardens and giving us clippings from their plants, entertaining Lila and Rose for a few hours while we get things done...and the list goes on.
3 // A trip to Aldi, where I happily discovered it was 'British Week'. Hello packet of chocolate Hob Nobs and HP sauce.
4 // Catch ups and cups of tea with a best friend (also mama to a new babe), with good advice and words of wisdom. Even though it's the third time I've done this baby thing I still feel like I'm winging it half the time.
5 // Planning to take the children for a weekend away visit to my sisters place tomorrow for some cousin time and to grab the chance to see her before she leaves on her month long visit back to the UK.
6 // Curt agreeing to make a start on painting the interior walls of our house white whilst we are away. Finally! No more disgusting magnolia. I am so incredibly happy about this.
7 // Daily lunches of avo and spinach on toast with seeds and crumbled feta sprinkled on top, finished with a squeeze of lime juice. Courtesy of a big, $5 dollar bag of avocados.
8 // Freshly laid eggs every day, gathered by my little helper Rose. She is exceedingly proud of being entrusted with her own two special daily tasks of this and collecting the post from our mail box.
9 // A husband who has been making a big effort to be home at 6pm every night instead of 7pm so he can help me out with the crazy hour of baths and bedtimes and the baby juggle.
10 // First smiles by Pearl. Nothing beats the magic of those first few big beaming grins. I'm trying not to take it too much to heart that last night she didn't want to share them with me during her bath and chose only to bestow them on the taps and flannel hanging off them.
11 // My biggest girls reading progress. Curt has taken over her nightly reading practice since our new arrival so when I got the chance to read with her the other night I was literally speechless when she picked up a fairly wordy library book she hadn't seen before, with a good few sentences on every page and read it to me with minimal hesitation and errors. I'm so proud of her.
12 // Tackling some pantry organisation. The top shelf is now looking very aesthetically pleasing with its rows of little glass jars that I've been collecting forever for this purpose. The rest of it however is an absolute shambles but I'm working on it.
Photos...Eggs from our feathered friends Daisy and Evelyn...favourite lunch...pretty pantry shelf.
Sunday, 1 June 2014
This week hasn't been without its (rather large) disappointments. Although this is intended to be a list of small day-to-day happy things, it would be a glaring omission not to mention that the trip I had booked to take our girls visit my family in England is sadly not going to happen at the end of June as planned. This is due to an unfortunate situation with the British Passport Office experiencing a huge backlog in processing passport applications from overseas since they decided to shut down all of their offices abroad at the start of the year, meaning that Pearl's passport will not be with us now for a minimum of eight weeks, possibly a lot longer. My sister and niece will thankfully still go at this time, so at least my parents will get to see one of their beloved grandchildren.
We've been weighing up our options and have decided to push back the flight dates several months to be sure the passport will arrive in time. So all being well we hope to be flying back to the UK as a family at the start of December, to stay for one month. I'm so happy that Curt will be able to join us now and we can spend Christmas with my family. I've been dreaming of taking our children home for a big family winter Christmas ever since we left in 2010. Christmas in Summer just never feels right to me and I can't wait. Every cloud as they say...
So during this rather intense week full of ups and downs, here are some things that have kept me smiling:
1 // A green and lush garden due to the mild weather and showers of this season, bringing life to the dry and brown earth scorched by the summer sun. My Valentines gift from Curt, a fuchsia tree, is thriving and it lifts my spirits just looking through the windows and seeing its beautiful pink and white flowers dancing in the breeze.
2 // A new addition to my collection of hanging planters adorning the back porch. Reduced to $10 at the garden centre, it is actually supposed to be a birdhouse but nothing beats a bit of repurposing.
3 // Tiny toes and baby thighs that are showing signs of starting to get irresistibly chubby.
4 // Afternoon energy boosts in the form of slices of apple smeared with peanut butter and green smoothies and juices.
5 // A beautiful package that arrived from my Auntie, a talented artist in the UK, with a sketch of Pearl drawn from a photograph taken when she was a few days old and little cloth bags each for Lila and Rose which she had sewn from vintage Rupert Bear fabric. Handmade gifts are so precious.
6 // Family board game nights are in our future now that my sister gifted Lila Junior Monopoly for her birthday. This has appealed to her fiercely competitive nature like nothing else and she begs Curt and I to play every time we stand still for more than two minutes. I forgot how much fun a good game of Monopoly can be.
7 // Managing to use up the odd bits of produce from our weekly vegetable box delivery that usually languish at the bottom of the fridge whilst I ponder what to do with them, then eventually give up and feed them to the chickens. This weeks success story was red cabbage braised with grated apple and balsamic vinegar.
After four weeks of working from home to help me out with the school run and settling into life as a family of five, Curt is heading back into work tomorrow to resume business as usual. I've been so thankful for my month of leisurely morning starts and staying in bed with Pearl until 8am but now it's time to take a full step back into the real world. Wish me luck.