Monday, August 20, 2012

An update and LOADS of pictures

Hi all, been a busy couple of weeks here. Mostly working. 
Time for a catch up. Get ready for photos. Lots of 'em.

This is me.. hi!
(leaving for the Red Hill Vintage Fair & Farmers Market)
Cardigan from a vintage store in Fitzroy- it might have been 'Currency' ?

More thifting. Get used to it- I LOVE IT!

I've (hopefully) got yet another project on the go for Miss K's room. I'm wanting to restyle a purple chenille bedspread, stitching doilies onto it to make it a little 'shabby chic' coverlet. If that doesn't work out, I might just try and make her some bunting with them. I have soaked them for a couple of hours in bleach, but some are just coloured too darkly for my liking. Here's the collection so far:

They're kinda like snowflakes- no two seem to be exactly the same

How cute are these hand-knitted, soft baby cardigans? Spotted at the Salvo's in Frankston. Very tempted last week when they were half price! (all clothing was, actually). Just never know if my taste is the same as my friends who have younger kids than mine. 
These would actually fit them- too small for my two.

Saw this fabric at Spotlight... excuse the photo, it's from my iPhone. Thought I might get some & attach it onto a big canvas. I might get another type of fabric (navy maybe?) and put his name on it as a feature. I wish I knew how to make this into an actual doona cover but worried the print might be 'too much' but it would look OK on the wall and not too overpowering. Am I making sense? His room is like a light sky powdery blue colour but it's very bright.

On the wall I think it would complement this pillow slip well (ignore the cream blanket- he stole that from the lounge room) and his lamp shade- not pictured.

Sound asleep on his birthday! Had to wake him up, he wasn't happy about it.

So that was last week. Onto our exciting weekend. We went to see the Napoleon exhibition and had high tea at the National Gallery of Victoria. I highly recommend it!! My little girl was in her element.

This painting took my breath away. So much so, we bought a print of it.
We've had quite alot of fun trying to decide where to place 'Our Napoleon'.

Onto the high tea:

 Mum and I started by enjoying a glass of Champagne (the real stuff!)

My mum and my daughter.

Nom nom nom. The flourless orange cakes were my favourite.

Finally, we finished the weekend with a walk on Balnarring beach. Then came home to have a lovely bath, play boardgames and have yummy vichyssoise soup for dinner. Hooray!

 What a brilliant time. What have you been up to?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Pretty things for Miss 9's room

Lately I've been trying to find some cute things for Miss K's room, to make it a little more "tween" with a sweet, innocent twist. I hate licensed products for my kids rooms. I know that comment won't be popular but thought I'd just put that out there. Elmo is probably the only exception. He's so cute!

So she had alot of colours going on & I was thinking the look was way, way too 'busy'. 
I'm talking colours: purple, pale pink, dark pink, blue, red, white, silver, etc. Too much. 
I'm hoping to leave it now as purpley, white and silver themed (with a bit of glitz). 
I'd really love to be able to get her a chandelier, but we have low cielings so it would have to be a very low one. They can also be extremely expensive, depending on what you find. She currently has a plain oyster light. Still a step up from the ceiling fan my partner used to nearly hit his head on when Miss K was a baby, LOL. I shouldn't laugh at that should I...

MIL loves to buy her things but they don't always match- ie. her blue & red bedspread. I am really trying to cut back on the clutter too. So I'm going to fire some of the stuff she buys her right back to her place. Miss K loves everything so I don't necessarily want to get rid of the things that she buys her, it's not about that.  I just want to be more selective of the things we do keep so that it complements the room more. 

Also, there was way too much furniture in there. Tonight, gone: bookshelf, chest of drawers, dressing table & some books. I'm too tired to do the major cleanup and declutter. The rest of it'll have to happen on the weekend. I did replace the small chest of drawers (that had toys in it) with the Tall Boy from my sons' room. His room now looks like a state of emergency. That too, shall have to wait for another day.

Here are some things I'd love to put in her room:
(it can be dangerous having a new Masters store only a street away)

Maddox light fitting- $49.97
Yuka Marie $100
I love this 3 piece bistro setting, just think it might be too matchy-matchy with her bed.
 Would be cute to set up with a unique doiley in the middle
- taking inspiration from La Belle Miette's tables in Hardware Lane. 

Ok, enough are some actual items I've purchased for her bedroom recently:

Professionally framed Impressionist prints $7.99 each - Savers Frankston
Gorgeous purple cover for Miss K's bedroom $6.95  - Mornington Salvos
White crochet cushion cover $3.99 - Brunswick Savers

Cute chandelier bedside light $19.99 - Aldi
(It's actually white, though it looks beige lit up here)

Silk carnations- Lincraft... I think?!

Happy Tuesday everyone. Hope your day was productive.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Suddenly six... but so much older

Today Master J had his 6th Birthday party. His first big party out of home. We went to the Roller Skating rink, the same one the kids have been practising at for a few weeks now. Needless to say it was a fantastic thrill for him to have his own little people 'get around him' to celebrate. Here is my favourite photo of the day:

How did this happen??! (missing his first tooth here too)

It really was lovely today to be able to simply sit back and watch him play with his friends and enjoy each others company. I remember when I couldn't even have a shower without worrying about him, or what he was doing or if he would need me (hello, that baby witching hour, I don't miss you!).

So tonight sitting down, I had some time to reflect on the blessing he has brought to us all. I'd say his nature is fun loving, fast paced, intelligent, funny & insightful. I struggle to keep up with him most days and some of the things he contemplates & questions really do come from left field (but make complete sense), whilst at other times I feel that I know what he is going to say before he even says it. Even when we have our differences, I feel our bond is solid.

Parenting is such a journey. You're learning about each other every single day, that for many of us, I don't think you get any good at it until you're a Grandparent or even a Great Grandparent. I do know a few exceptions IRL however... you know who you are.

Well in order to celebrate, let's cue the cute baby shots from way back when, shall we...

Fathers Day 2006
Coo-ing and smiling at approx 6 weeks
Hangin' with Great Grandma on his first Christmas Day
Rolling over for the first time on Boxing Day
He had bad eczema until about 5 months combined with horrendous cradle cap,
before it started to clear up and his skin became significantly clearer & gorgeous.

On the move at 8-9 months

He was such a cuddly baby. I couldn't put him down. I truly felt like this was how you were meant to feel having a baby. Enjoyed every moment, after what I now realise was a horrible birth experience with Miss K, no ill feeling towards her, just how things turned out for us all at the time. A positive birth & bonding experience is just so important. I am so grateful I got to experience that 2nd time around.

I did learn after having Master J how strong I felt about breastfeeding that time second time around. I had a struggle first time & was way too afraid to seek advice. After his birth he was placed straight on my chest and he was able to suckle for about 3/4 hour. I truly feel this made a world of difference. First time around I held my daughter for all of 5 minutes & then was unable to hold her due to her health reasons until she was 3 days old. Heartbreaking. With Master J, I was also able to get advice promptly & will be forever grateful to those who were able to help at the time. I'd never, ever, discriminate anyone for not feeding (we went for 4 & 13 months each time) but I do believe if you have the tools, advice & education at hand before you give birth, you just might be able to overcome hurdles you might be facing, depending on the situation -not always to be though.

So much focus is placed on simply the birth, no one ever tells you how hard feeding can be for -let's face it- MOST people. It hurts. It's exhausting. You're always hungry- you might feel like you're eating for Australia. (It's not meant to hurt, but until you find your rhythm it bloody does!!). In our case, Master J had tongue-tie. We had to source a surgeon and the difference it made was immediate. If that was my first born I wouldn't have been brave enough to continue on. That's my advice for new mums: don't be afraid to seek help when you might need it, even if you think you're going alright. And always accept help when it's offered. Having a birth plan is great but on it make sure you put 'be open to everything' because you can't plan everything in life. But you can try your best.

And that's what I've been trying to do for my kids lately, for example, they have been offered play dates and I've allowed myself to let go of control a little & accept other people's (generous) help. I've allowed them to visit other peoples places without me. This is a huge step for me in the trust, faith and 'letting go' department let me tell you- type A personality all the way!! But oh, it has been really great for them & just the shy-but-newly-self-confident smiles I've been receiving back from them both have been so rewarding. I look forward to them having some more friends over soon too in return so I can repay the faith.

Suddenly six, but so much older...

~ Chris

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Closing your eyes & being open to new things

Closing your eyes and being at one with the moment
Today we were off to Skating lessons. A short time ago at a Christmas in July dinner we 'accidentally' won an auction item to have a fully catered skating party. I thought this would be a good idea for something completely different for the kids to try. In the Summer months they participate in Little Athletics, and I have to say, it has been so beneficial for their development. I love my little people dearly, but they can be very unco-ordinated (take after my side in the genes with that!). Since doing Little Athletics Miss K has gone from more than a year behind her peers at school to the generally accepted level. I'm very pleased for her! Massive effort on her part really listening to her (fantastic) coach. She also struggles with remembering instructions properly so I've noticed an improvement there too. As well as her motivation to give things a go when before she would have written something off as being ready-made for the Too Hard Basket. Sport is very good for them on many levels.

So in preparation for tomorrow's party, in the weeks leading up to the big day I thought it would be a good idea to actually embrace this sport with a focus on balance, concentration, skill and attitude. Surprise, surprise, the one who struggles the most with co-ordination has seemed to have benefited the most. While the one who usually fares a little better in the co-ordination front is struggling. I think this is in part to do with Master J's listening skills. Little dude who is always in a hurry! Even in his sleep, it seems (he strained his thumb falling out of bed last night, poor bugger- as you can see him inspecting in the first picture. It looks hillarious because he looks like he's checking out his nails).

A few pics from how it went down -don't even get me started with the safety gear, they have the full kit but refuse to wear it. I'm slowly grinding them down on that front:

Life can be so rewarding when you give things a try and succeed.

Hope you all had an enjoyable Saturday, I'm signing off to watch my Saints tackle the Filthy Pies.