Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas

Thank you for all the lovely comments and replies this year. You are awesome. I hope you all have someone to hug and kiss this festive season. 

Friday, October 19, 2012

Toddlers and Art Appreciation or Matisse and potty training

I often meet up with a girlfriend to go into the city during the week. There is often a few fun things on plus being out of suburbia brightens my mood and saves me from feeling being overwhelmed from the suburban mum park-itius.

Miss s is a huge fan of public art, specifically sculpture.  Having a toddler has given me a new appreciation for my surroundings. Who knew Perth had so many amazing public sculptures!

Miss s loves the frog who lives in the little sound park next to the city museum.

This is miss s' favourite sculpture.  It is Der Rufer (The Caller) by Gerhard Marcks.  She loves his feet and toes and how he had both hands around his mouth shouting. Sometimes at night after our bath time we look look at the photos we have taken that day.  This statue was specifically requested.

My personal favourite? 
You know your child is understanding some concept of potty training when she labels a Matisse nude going "potty" (at the top of her voice as only a toddler can). 

The security guard was in a fit of giggles. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012


My sweet girl, you have seriously dived head first into the "terrible toddler" years. It has been a little exhausting for both of us. As a little baby, your arsenic hour was not late afternoon but rather early morning and so it continues in your toddler years. Some mornings,  I am ready for hard liquor by 9am (which makes me think of my past life in Praha).  

The past two weeks have been hard if I am honest. You have morphed from an easy going little bubby to a little girl with serious attitude. Your frowns and jutting lips were sweet at first but I have learned to grow a little weary of them in quite a short a time. I can see that I am about to learn some lessons in patience. As are you, my love.

We went to Landsdale School Farm today. Your delight in seeing first hand the animals you read so much about almost broke my heart. And at $5 for the two of us, this is an outing we will be able to do often.  After you are in bed at night, I down load these photos from my camera and I show your dad/ upload to fb/ send to relatives or simply look at them and say to myself.
 "She is happy. I am doing a good job being her mama". *

*because sometimes in the midst or in the aftermath of the screaming of the toddler tantrums and being a first time mama, it is necessary to reassure myself of this

Monday, September 3, 2012

Tickle & Hide

Jodi from Tickle & Hide: Clothing with Alter Ego is hosting a giveaway on her blog to celebrate her first year in business. I have bought a couple of items for miss s and can vouch for how truly gorgeous her gear is.  If vaccinations go well today I will post some photos today of her work.  Go have have a look at her giveaway. It finishes tomorrow.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Father's Day or Irish terriers are awesome with toddlers

Mr k doesn't read my blog unless I direct him to so I'm not concerned with him seeing this image before Father's Day on Sunday.  Celebrations are big deal in this casa. There are many referrals to the special event for at least a week before hand. We usually have a special breakfast or dinner, home made cards and aim to have as a relaxing day as possible. 

I always enjoyed birthdays and celebrations but since meeting mr k, my expectations have been taken to a new level. I have known him to take the day off on his birthday and think nothing of this. This from a man who didn't take a sick day in eight years (other than his birthday!). 

As miss s was born in Summer, we celebrated Mother's Day first. Mr k set a high standard. There were flowers, photo enlargements, a special lunch and a lovely home made card. 

I'm not so good with stuff like that.  To give you an idea, I forgot our wedding anniversary the first four years of our marriage.  

This year however I am pretty pleased with myself.  I have made a card. Miss S and I have painted a little canvas together for mr k. I even finished the plans for the garden (hence the theme of the garden photo - which is to be part of the present presented to mr k)

 Out takes.  I can highly recommend Irish terriers and their patience with toddlers.

I had a doozey of a day. We had a dress up day at music class today. We got dressed in the fairy costume. Took a photo out in the garden.  Realised that the antibiotics that miss s is taking for an ear infection is taking its toll on her tummy and digestion system. Costume change was required. Elmo costume is brought out. Miss s is delighted and lots of cute giggles and "mama, elmo". Miraculously, we arrive on time.  We last 10 minutes before it becomes apparent that we might have another bowel issue on our hands. Sure enough, I realise that a simple nappy change is not going to be enough and after a quick plastic wrapping of the car seat, a short drive home and showers for all, including mama, are required. 

devis purdy house backyard garden

Inspiration for our soon to be started garden
from here

Have a gorgeous weekend my lovelies.

vertical succulent wall art 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Brilliant blog

I've been madly reading "The Nutrition Coach" blog this weekend. The tagline "Research-based nutritional findings and practical ideas. Debunking myths and helping you find clarity" totally appealed to me. 

Some of her recent entries include:

The benefits of gelatin (anti-aging - sign me up baby!) 

Be Pro-Thyroid- "Recently I’ve been delving deeper into all things thyroid-related, exploring and analysing the fascinating research of physicians like Broda Barnes and endocrinologist Raymond Peat. … and because my new mantra is to keep my blog posts short and sweet … here are just a few nutritional tips and important facts to be aware of, to hopefully inspire you to learn more "

 Hope you like it too. 
 Plus she is the cutest pregnant lady.

Friday, August 24, 2012

One of the best things about little girls...

...are the pigtails 


Have a beautiful weekend.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The easiest dahl recipe EVER!

Need to make some food for a friend? 
Got a busy week ahead and need to make a meal that will magically keep on giving?
 On a budget? Like the idea of putting everything in a pot and letting it cook itself?

Make this recipe. 

This is one of those recipes that came from a friend. She had it torn out of a magazine and photographed it on her phone so she always had it on her so she could easily pick up ingredients at the store.

6 cups water
3 cups Red Lentils
1/4 Fresh Coriander
1/4 Fresh Parsley
1 teaspoon chilli flakes
1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 can chick peas
2 cups diced mushrooms
2 cups diced tomatoes
4 large handfuls of baby spinach
2 teaspoons of garlic
1 large chopped onion
1  teaspoon sea salt

Boil the water then add lentils, onion, sea salt, garlic, coriander, parsely, chilli, cumin seeds and stir until dissolved. 

Add chick peas, mushrooms, tomatoes, baby spinach and stir in until cooked. Turn hotplate/ gas off and let Dahl sit on stove for 15 mins with lid/ plate on top.

I like to serve this with a  raita (mix Greek yogurt with sea salt, mint and cubed cucumber)

* I make my raita really salty, as in three teaspoons to a cup of yogurt.
* I don't add salt to the Dahl usually.  I put it in this recipe as per the orginal recipe but as miss s eats it, we don't add it and the raita usually adds the kick we need.
* I peel the cucumber but very thinly and only about half of it so it looks a bit stripey. I like to leave skin on most veggies if I can given that a lot of the vitamins etc are contained in or near the skin.
* You'll need a big pot as this recipe yields loads.

I promise yours will look much nicer than my photo. I had people jostling to eat mine so I had to take a photo in about 1.2 seconds. No styling allowed...or proper light metering:(

Monday, August 20, 2012


We visited Sienna's Great Grandma today. Grandma Eddie is 93. That is her hand on my belly in my blog header.  Sienna loves to visit her.

 Sienna has inherited my grandmother's beautiful square jawline.

  Even as a little baby, she would lie quietly in my grandma's arms. Something she wouldn't do with anyone else.
You can't see me in this shot but I'm lying on my grandma's floor. I would go over to visit. Sienna would lie quietly on her and I could give my boobs a rest. Sienna was a massive feeder!

Grandma hasn't knitted for about 20 years but my mum (her daughter-in-law) has gotten her going again. Mum chooses the pattern and the wool and Grandma is the workhorse. I think about six lovely grannies were involved in knitting this little jumper.  Grandma lives in a retirement home and they would all gather around her kitchen table to work out the pattern. Not one of them had knitted in the last decade and not one of them is under the age of 90.  

Such a useful shape too as it is so easy to get on and off and no hard buttons to do up - although I do love a good button.  We now have a few of these jumpers in different colours.  I have a red cardigan from when I was six that Grandma knitted. It is still in perfect condition.  I'm looking forward to Sienna wearing it when she is old enough.

Monday, August 13, 2012


Maybe it is reading all about Blogher 2012 that has gotten me excited but I think I would like to post more often in the coming month.  Don't hold me to it because I'm not good with commitment  (yes, I know you know, I still haven't posted photos of miss s' first birthday or of her day).  Maybe it is the nerdy teacher in me that likes projects but the slacker Joe part of me that can't commit to the daily photo thingos.

I do like looking at all of them though. To my detriment. I wonder how much cleaner my house would be if I didn't have access to Pinterest?  You too? It seems to be the malaise of 2012.

Some projects that have taken my fancy recently...
 *10 on 10 - Oh I could do this. Ten photos taken on the tenth of each month. So far, I've been checking out, Angie, El, & Rachel. I'm kind of intimidated because I seem to keep finding professional photographers but still, I could get my teeth into this one.

* Letters to my daughters. This is a collective of mums writing a letter to their daughters each month. The group consists of mums around the world living different lives. I find it an inspiring way to think about my own path in motherhood.

* Video portraits.  I've been so keen on photography that I have completely neglected my video skills, yes the area that I actually got a degree in. I am totally in love with this kind of work   Maybe I'll do something with miss s before she turns 5.

What have you seen lately that has got you thinking of doing?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Bloody colds

Honestly had I known how much wiping of mucous was involved when I signed up to motherhood I might have reconsidered. Kidding....sort of. Between, man-flu, toddler- cold and me also having a cold,  life is...well kind of boring and tiring at the moment. I suppose mundane is the best word for it. 

I'll spare you the imagery of a photo of miss s with a snotty nose. If you have a child, you don't need more muscous in your life I'm sure and if you don't have kids yet, you'll be scarred. Instead I'll leave you with these cute handkerchief/ handmade wipes. Aren't they the sweetest? And made in Australia.  Just lovely.

Did you know Bastille Day is this Saturday? We're going to eat our weight in cheese fondue at a French friend's place Saturday night to celebrate. Make sure you celebrate it too. I see French champagne is going very cheap at the bottlo .

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Other parents

So miss s has blossomed into a full blown toddler. It is exciting but makes me a little nostalgic for those days we would lie on my bed just gazing at one another. Although I do my best to resist it, motherhood seems to have lots of little bittersweet moments where I look a little longingly over my shoulder at moments past.

  Her little brain is growing so quickly it takes my breath away. Every day brings new words, new demands and lots of smiles and laughter.  While we are also experiencing lots of giggles and "cuggles" (cuddles), there is also lots of frustration on my girl's part. It is evident that she longs for more control over her environment. Whilst I try to give her as much control as is reasonable and give her a consistent rythmn to her day so she understands what is happening and what is coming next, she is starting to show some signs of aggression.  Namely biting. Which brings me to the point of this post. 

What type of parent are you to other parents?

I ask because miss s bit another child this week and the other parent did not react particularly well. There was no broken skin, there was no blood. There were no tears from the other child.  The other child gently shoved miss s off a piece of play equipment. miss s didn't like this and decided to bite her on the hand.  The other child, age 3 or so, did not notice the biting was taking place but I did, removed biting miss s, and apologised to child's mother. I also made sure that miss s made sure that she knew she was doing the wrong thing by biting.

The other child's mother did not acknowledge my apology.  

Miss s gets shoved, bitten, slapped, punched, pinched etc on a regular basis where ever we got where there a lots of little toddler tyrants hanging out.  Most of the time it is "fair bump, play on".  She is a fairly placid little girl but the last week or so, I've had to watch her a bit so as to make sure she isn't giving it out now.  My perspective is that this is a developmental phase for kids so when other kids give her a bit of a whack, I tell the parents " no worries" and reassure them I understand and am not offended. We are all in this parenting game together. A smile and an understanding comment can go a long way when you are having a trying day with your beautiful tyrant.

I know it is hard to be super parent all the time and be nice all the time but still....

Update - yep, I've re-read and I know I sound like I'm a holier than thou super chilled mum. Obviously I'm  not. Just would have liked a fellow mum to support the theory that our toddlers will not necessarily grow into psycho monsters! 

Rowantree Designs

Have you checked out Rowantree Designs? They are gorgeous! Rachel Zoe has even been spotted decking out her little one in one of Rowantree gorgeous little rompers. Go and check out her beautiful clothes. I love this one and this one! There is a giveaway at the moment so go and make a comment!

 Roberta who is behind the label is absolutely gorgeous! When I was planning miss s first birthday I was absolutely bowled over by her kindness by sending over spare party hats and a spare invite as inspiration. That is the kind of sweetie she is. Roberta, in case you are reading this, I will never forget that. Everything associated with your kiddo's first birthday is so sentimental. I was so sick with migraines (hence no pictures as yet) and your lovely gesture is something I'll never forget. I'm glad the universe/gods/ goddesses/ gaia are taking notice of you and I hope Rowantree takes over the fashion world!:)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The woman who changed her brain - a review

Have you heard about this book? Written by Barbara Arrowsmith-Young, it is a must read for any parent in my humble opinion.  I wish I had been able to read it years ago (although it was only just published) and help more of my students. It is about neuroplasticity (ability of the brain to change).

 During my years teaching adolescents, I was privy to so many parents and students telling me their personal histories about their learning histories. Their frustrations with how some things were easy and other tasks were like operating in a fog. Repeated failure to successfully complete simple tasks despite numerous support from teachers, parents and peers meant increasingly low self-esteem and poor results. Often there was an instinct on behalf of the students from the parents and the teachers that this was an intelligent person but somehow there was a wall. Parents spoke of noticing inconsistencies from an early age, even at 18 months old. Students spoke of a fog or knowing how to do a task and then that information fading shortly after learning it.

 Reading this book made me wring my hands a few times. It reminded me so much of some of the students I have had over the years. There are some very specific strategies using brain exercises that can help people address their learning disabilities.  Early intervention can literally be a life saver for children. The good news is that recent clinical research clearly indicates that weaknesses in the brain (which result in learning disabilities such as speech, handwriting, spatial awareness etc) can be strengthened and even repaired at any stage of life. I highly recommend this book.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Sleep - a log

Day sleeper - 10 months
I thought I might keep a bit of a log as to your sleeping habits. Being a first time mama, I thought everything you did, including all those nights trying to get you to sleep, would be etched on my mind forever but it appears lack of sleep makes your brain malfunction and causes memory loss. I've realised now the importance of noting things down as well as having the initiative to do so.

 And so to sleep.  This month, at 16 months, we can pretty much rely on you to sleep through the night. Ah, the serenity.  If you do wake up, it is usually when we are going to bed.  Love our floorboards but they do amplify every sound in our little house. Sometimes you wake up in the night but a quick drink of water and you are right to go back to sleep. Last night, you were standing up and I gave you a drink and then you lay/ fell down on to your face and started snoring immediately. I had to stop myself from laughing in case I woke you up.  Your sleep habits are weird. You easily wake up when we go to bed but when the neighbour uses a chainsaw RIGHT next to your window during the day, you don't wake up at all. We had a massive storm recently and it was loud and you didn't wake up during that either. A floorboard creaks and you call out to us immediately.

 At the beginning of  your 16th month, we went on a little Winter holiday and your beautiful daddy gave me a real holiday by getting up to you at night. The first couple of nights, I still woke up if you made a noise but then I started to really relax and just sleep through. What a gift! It really takes at least two people to raise a baby. Women who do it by themselves either by choice or circumstance - I salute you.

 Being in a new place on holiday, you would wake up and need a bit of help re-settling. I knew this would happen however we've traveled before and the memories of the good times outweigh the sleep issues... just. I know with time we will remember more meeting your new cousin and lovely memories of you tickling our feet to wake us in the morning and less of the ever increasing waking at night and the stress of trying to keep you quiet and not wake everyone up in the apartment complex.

This holiday, you were in the room next to us and your dad would give you a bit of a cuddle, a drink of water, lie you down and stroke your hair until you relaxed enough to re-settle yourself or fall asleep. Of course, this is everything that the books told us not to do but you seem to really respond to this at the moment. We have been weaning you and when I have been getting up to you, all you have wanted is boob and have been really hard to settled. If your dad gets up to you, you are easily settled. Win, win.

Since being home, you have slept through every night. I think I have such a sleep deficit it is going to take some time to catch up on sleep. I am grateful that you are sleeping through but have yet to feel the full effects of good nights sleep as yet. 

You wake most mornings at 7am or whenever we get up. We better have a banana ready pretty quickly for you. We often hear you calling out for "Mama, Daddy" or for the dog. You are down to one day sleep, even though I can see you could do with two naps. No matter how matter what I try, you are not into having another nap.   Around 10.45 - 11am, I pop you in your cot and most mornings you will go to sleep without any protest, although sometimes I can hear you babbling for up to an hour. Usually you sleep for about 1hr 45 mins at the moment but occasionally you do some marathon sleeps of 3 -4 hours for no rhyme or reason. 

You are still not a co-sleeping baby. Even as an infant, you did not like being breastfed laying down and would only lie down next to me for the duration of the feed in the morning. We used to be able to bring you into our bed in the mornings and have a bit of a feed and a play but now you when you get out of your cot, you want to be up and nowhere near a bed. We'll keep trying though. You're getting pretty keen on sitting on our laps. You still love your pacifier/ dummie.  You have two  - one is attached to some wooden beads and another is attached to a taggie blanket but you are no longer obsessed with them the way you used to be. 

We are feeling good about your sleep. All the hard work in those first 12 months seem to be really paying off.  Next time round however I might be a little less continuum concept and put a little more routine in place earlier. I was not a fan of having you cry it out but have realised over time that staying with you stimulated you too much and wasn't doing you any favours. Letting you vocalise your tiredness worked for you but was very hard for me. Mind you, if you ever gave an upset cry, I was with you immediately. Letting you go to sleep by yourself was one of the hardest things I have ever done as I never would have imagined that being baby led meant the baby didn't want me in the room! Seeing how you are at 16 months, I realise that you have always have been a very loving, cuddly yet very independent person in all matters.   

Sleep tight my sweetie.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Weaning and migraines

me and miss s - 14 weeks
Miss s and I are weaning.
I thought I'd write this down whilst I'm actually going through it. I find if I don't write things down at the time, I so easily forget them. Plus, for some reason, I found it hard to find information on how to wean or stories of how women and their children weaned so I thought I'd share my story thus far.

As with everything in parenting, it hasn't gone as I planned...or hoped.  We have had to go cold turkey unfortunately as I have needed to get back on some medication. My words will probably be a bit all over the place as I am ill with a migraine as I write this.

The background
I have had migraines all my life. A couple of years before I fell pregnant, I started some new medication which changed my life with helping my migraines. I had to stop it whilst pregnant and breastfeeding. Luckily I didn't get a huge amount of headaches whilst I was carrying Sienna however I did get a migraine about four days after her birth and slowly they have started to increase. Since Sienna was about nine months I have been thinking seriously about trying to wean her as my migraines started to become more frequent and more painful.

This has been really hard to do. As with any medical condition, migraines have interfered in my life. I am not at a place of peace with this condition. I hate them. They are painful. I am sick for weeks, sometimes months at a time. I try to not think about it too much and just accept that it is what it is but I do resent having migraines. I know family, friends, teachers, colleagues et al haven't understood and thought I was either a bit of a sook or just trying to get out of an event. I haven't been able to commit to situations/ jobs/ events because of concerns I may get sick and let people down.  The only benefit of migraines is that I have no fear of pain. I had no real fear of birth as I knew there would be a point where it would end, at least after 48 hours or so probably whereas with migraines the extreme pain can last for days if not two weeks with no respite despite the best efforts of my lovely pain management specialist.  I have been blessed with breastfeeding. Despite an unplanned cesarian birth, miss s latched on straight away and fed the first night for over two hours. I have never had mastitis and Sienna has always fed well.  For the first 12 months, miss s was all business when feeding, no eye contact, strong feeding and then when finished, rarely sleepy cuddles.  However once she got past 12 months she started feeding a lot more for comfort and we have had some lovely times with a bit of eye contact and relaxed full body cuddles.

To be honest, I'm really shitty about how migraines have forced me to stop breastfeeding.  Ideally I would have kept going until miss s was ready to stop. Prior to having Sienna though, I thought I would stop about 12 months but as miss s has been so attached to it I realised we would probably go a bit longer.

The process
Miss s has slept through the night on and off since around 6.5 months (with some rather large periods of wanting to feed several times during the night). We have been cutting down the night feeds from when miss s was about 12 months however with being unwell with a migraine, it has been easier for me to feed her quickly and get back into bed. We would have several weeks of only one feed per 24 hours and then she would want to feed a lot more. Miss s never took a bottle so she was always fed from the "source".

Last week we went off on a little Winter holiday. Miss s was getting up a bit at night and has been feeding a lot at night. It was getting to the point where she could no longer sit on my lap without asking for a feed. She would only have a few sips but would just want my boobs out on display all the time. Mr k took on the night duties and the morning shift to give me a bit of a proper holiday. He was able to get her back to sleep with out feeding. Mr k is a patient man and doesn't like to hear miss s cry. He would get up to her, give her a bit of a cuddle and put her back in her cot and then stroke her head until she was asleep or relaxed enough to not protest when he left the room. A couple of nights it was only once and a couple of night he had to get up four times.  He would also get her breakfast in the morning. If miss s asked for "mama" or "boobie" he would say "mama sleeping, you can have some later".

Since we have gotten home, miss s has slept through the night but has demanded a lot of feeding during the day. I've been unwell with a migraine and have been worried about the painkillers going through my milk (have checked several times with doctors etc that it is ok to take but still find it stressful).

Three days ago I had a bit of a moment. I saw the pack of tablets on my bedside table. They've been sitting there for the past four months, waiting for me to wean with miss s so I can take control of my health and get back on them.  I realised I could no longer go on and my dream of miss s gently weaning herself or being gently weaned over a couple of months wasn't going to happen. We had tried reducing feeds, distraction, back rubs, suggestions from this article . I realised that I needed to be grateful for the time I have had breastfeeding my girl and to recognise that in order to have a happy healthy life and be a happy healthy good mama to Sienna, I needed to get back on that medication. I picked up the packet and took the tablet.

There is absolutely no way I can feed miss s with this stuff in my system.  The first day, I told miss s that there was "no more milk, all gone, all finished" and "want a cuddle?". She had a bit of a yell for literally 5 seconds and then was easily distracted by a book.  Later on, she asked again and I was able to easily distract her with a snack and a bit of water.  One of my mama friends suggested that I have a couple of snacks on hand that might be a bit novel for her such a yogurt covered ricecake or one of the commercial baby biscuits. Miss s doesn't usually have these as I like to cook most things she eats from scratch but it was a good tip.  By the third time she asked for a feed she actually replied herself and said "boobie, no boobie" and did a bit of a wah wah face and then went and got a book for me. I must admit I was kind of surprised how easy it was all going and was prepared for day 2 to be a bit harder.  That night I was lucky in that she slept through and as soon as she woke up, I had her breakfast ready to go and my boobs safely confined behind a bra and a couple of layers of clothing.   Day 2 was basically the same. She woke up last night for a about 45 mins and needed quite a bit of help re-settling (patting on the bottom and cuddling) but she didn't nuzzle for my breast or ask for it). Today she has asked for a breastfeed but again she has replied "no boobie" and has easily been distracted by reading a story. I'm feeling rather unwell today so my mum has come to pick her up and take her for the day.

It is early days but it has been much smoother than I anticipated. I am thinking that having breastfeeds in the morning confused her in that she could have breastfeeds sometimes and at other times not. Being consistent seems to have relaxed her and she hasn't asked anywhere as much for it as she has in the previous two weeks.  I also think it took both mr k and I to wean miss s.  I can see his patience and love has really comforted our little girl.  Although I wrote at the beginning of this post that we had to go cold turkey, I've realised through writing that we have been effectively weaning for some time (even though it didn't feel like it at the time) and that her easy acceptance of no longer feeding indicates that it has been a gentle process.  We're up to day 3 but we've been doing this for about 5 months. She is happy, I'm happy (and will be even happier once I get rid of this stupid headache).
Thanks for reading.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Eating out at home

One thing that has been working for our little house hold is "Fantastic Fridays". Yes, I am aware of the dork factor but that is how I roll ( I swear I wasn't like this before teaching kids - teaching does something weird to your brain).
 I used to love going out for dinner on Fridays pre-child. It used to signal the start of the weekend (no matter that I often had to go into the office both days of said weekend). I did kind of think that my days would fall into one another and I wouldn't need such things as weekends once I was on maternity leave. Totally wrong, I feel like weekends are even more "weekendy" because mr k is home and having two pairs of hands is awesome with a toddler.

It is a bit difficult to wrangle babysitting every Friday night and I would rather ration family babysitting favours for parties.  So what I do is get myself pretty organised for Fridays. I try and cook a meal early on in the day or most of it the day before so I'm not rushing around in the early evening. Miss s is off in bed by 7pm and then we open the wine, light the candles and enjoy a nice meal. It is weird but sometimes it doesn't even feel like I have cooked it because I did all the prep earlier.  If Sienna is having an angel child week, I might try a recipe that is a bit more challenging. If she is being normal, it is usually an old favourite or mr k cooking on the bbq accompanied by a good wine and followed by an excellent cheese (this is just a link so you can see what the cheese looks like, if you see it at your local deli and you love cheese, buy this and then comment how much you love me).

The pic above is of crayfish bisque-like thingo with noodles. I roughly followed this recipe.  We had a freezer full on crayfish courtesy of mr k's brother (tip - buy family members cray pots for Christmas, it really pays off).

Quarantine is over, catch you next time!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

What she wore - toddler edition

Top - Jacadi, $13 ebay
Skivvy - Jacadi, $13 ebay
Jeans - Cotton on kids, $5 on sale
Shoes - Betts & Betts, $20 on sale

Mum, this post is for you. You know how I feel about the shoes but actually they are very practical. They were indeed a good buy. Thank you.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The perfect nursery chair

Oh my goodness, have you seen this? 
I love the yellow, love the Egg chair, LOVE that it is a rocker!
I have one of those Ikea Poang rockers which is great and super comfy but this would super style up Sienna's room. Actually I want to put it in the family room.

You can get them from Incy Interiors

images from Incy website
If you think this is a sponsored post, I'd be flattered. Sadly it is not so.

Quarantine continues so more blog action to come

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Quarantine - hand and foot

I caught hand and foot disease. 
It is a pretty common virus but a nasty one. It spreads like wildfire around nurseries and playgroups. Luckily (strangely) my girl has not caught it from me, despite being obsessed with kissing and sticking her fingers in my mouth. My symptoms have included a sore throat, a nasty sinus like headache and very attractive red blisters around my mouth, nose, fingers and feet. I pity the poor kidlets who have this. Your hands and feet feel like they have been burnt.
Of course, this has been a week with both sets of grandparents away and mr k finishing off the last week of his course so I feel like I've been on the battle ground for a few days. 
 Because we have been in quarantine, miss s and I have been lurking around our neighbourhood, trying to avoid other kidlets and people in general.  We've been finding little deserted playgrounds so miss s can have a good run around and I don't frighten people with my plague like appearance.  According to the health department, the virus doesn't survive on play equipment or toys for very long so we have been choosing our daily destinations with care.
This playground is at one of our local beaches. Less than 50 metres away is another set of play equipment, right next to a cafe. It was buzzing this morning but miss s and I got to play all by ourselves on this set. Check out that beach. No wind this morning and just beautiful.

Pulling funny faces for the camera... I think this is a mirror image of the face I pull to get a reaction from her.
Miss s had a great time running around in circles on the groyne.

Miss S particularly enjoyed examining the plants. The leaves were beautiful shades of olive and dark green with beautiful mustard leaves as well. I tried to take a picture but miss s wasn't having it.
We enjoyed our morning snack in the sunshine on the grass (the only way I could get a hat on her today)

 Miss s loved the rocks and banging/ playing bongo drums/ smacking them but was kind of over the photo taking.
By request, we took photos of this seagull. Very hard to photograph as it was so white, almost surreal looking.

We walked up and down this slope about 20 times and then tried to pull off all our clothes and then walk up the slope again.
What she wore?
Indulge me
Sienna was rocking her saltwaters today. We got them from here. I may or may not have a matching pair
Top - Cotton on kids, ebay about $2 as we got them in a bundle (as new!!)
Skirt - Country road, 50c from garage sale (miss s particularly likes the pockets on each side, mum likes it as it is like new and saw it in the shops for about $50)
Leggings - hand me down from friend, no label
Hat - didn't have the energy to fight the battle today so she didn't wear it. I bought the most gorgeous hat from CR last season and paid full price...and she won't bloody wear it.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Blog manners

It is a bit tricky isn't it, commenting on blogs. I think the written word is so beautiful. It can conjure up the most beautiful images and help you imagine the most wonderful things. I even just like the look of text, both hand written and in type, both English and every other language (don't even get me started on some of those Japanese characters, so so poetic looking, like little miniature maps).
Sometimes though your words can fall flat, hurt or pierce without even meaning to or sometimes intentionally. Some bloggers write such personal words recounting love, sadness, happiness, loss and sometimes just a general whinge with a resolution of how they are going to deal with it. I feel privileged to read and know that I am better off for it. I cannot tell you how healing it was to read of other women's birth stories on their blogs after I had an unplanned caesarian birth. I felt a sense of connection and understood I was not alone in both my circumstances or feelings. That it was ok and actually pretty normal to feel the way I was. This was a beautiful gift that so many women gave to me. They did not know me or even know that I had read their story. In the head space I was in, I was often not able to comment or even leave thanks but I still think about them and tried to pay it back in telling my own story.

I'm thinking about this because I have seen some not so gentle responses to peoples' stories on their blogs lately. I'm not talking about the meanie rude ones, just the ones that are a little too brusque and a bit judgmental.  I'm not at all Pollyanna (mr k would wholeheartedly agree here) but I do think that manners go a long way in not hurting people.  If a blog post asks for advice and I think I have something to offer, I comment. I try to write with the understanding that I don't know the whole story (the background of the author that may make them particularly sensitive to what ever issue/ interaction they are writing about). If the blog author doesn't ask for advice and the post seems a bit whingy or is something I can't relate to, I don't comment.

 People need to vent. I suppose I try to treat their blog like their home. I've popped by and this is their space to do what they need to do. It is bad manners to pass judgement and to tell them of your thoughts if they haven't asked. Most people just want a bit of empathy and a bit of support. Blog spaces can be wonderful to unload all your secret thoughts. Whilst I'm not comfortable enough to do that,  I do admire those that can. I see it a bravery, a type of "here I am, like me or not". I am too much of a scaredy cat about those sort of things because I don't like criticism. I'm interested in what other peoples approaches are to blog comments, not the big nasty ones but in terms of trying to choose a tone for your comments. Is it something you think about? Do you write and then self-edit your comments? Are you more blunt/ brusque in commenting than you would be if you were having a cup of tea with them in real life? Has anyone responded badly to your well-intentioned comment? 
Have you been surprised by peoples' blog manners?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Smiling on cue

Miss s has always had to suffer several photographs taken of her on a weekly, if not daily basis.  I usually find it quite hard to get a shot of her where I can actually see her face. Most of my shots of her tend to be either blurred or of her back unless I can get mr k behind me and try and grab her attention. Today my girl actually responded to my requests for a smile and stopped for .5 of a second, smiled and then went back to her work of making two wooden bunny rabbits kiss.  I love her.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Enter the toddlerdome


Life is good. Toddlers are more full on that little bubbies but they are so much more fun. miss s is a walking, talking, dancing machine. She has inherited my love of music but also my dancing style - poor love.  She has a lot of energy and I find our evenings are a lot smoother if she has plenty of park time during the day. Seeing that I find it very interesting when others post their habitual day, I thought I'd write up the loveliness that makes up our days at the moment.*
Most days, unless I'm working, we get up around 7 and have some banana and then some cheese toast.  Sienna has a bit of a play in her cot with some toys while I get myself cosied up for the day. Around 8am we are usually out of the house and walking to our fabbo local park. It has the most awesome play equipment, acres of green grass and a decent coffee outlet nearby. It also has a natural wetland with native black and canadian mountain ducks, coots, black swans, swamp hens and hundreds of sulphur crested cockatoos. miss s has a small snack whilst we are there and then we are back home at about 10. miss s goes down for a nap around 10.30 and sleeps anywhere from 1.5hrs to 3 hours. Absolute heaven given that she was the ultimate 40 min napper for most of last year. During this time, I do emails, read blogs, try to restrain myself from online shopping, commit to some form of housework/ cooking. When miss s wakes up, I have hers and my lunch ready and we eat it together at the table or she perches on my lap if she is feeling a bit snuggly.  We then read some stories**, play with her current obsession play-dough, Sienna might have a play in her room whilst I finish up a few things and then we do our errands for the day, visit friends and try to fit in a walk to the local park (although the pram is not her favourite place to be anymore so the afternoon is usually car-rides everywhere). I try to be home by about 4pm so as to do a bit of a clean up and get dinner sorted. Sienna is usually pretty happy to play at my feet. mr k has been able to get home much earlier these days so we have a bit of a 'nanna' dinner at around 5.30-6pm and then Sienna gets the bath or shower with one of us, bedtime stories and her special night song and it is lights out by 6.30 - 7pm and mr k collects her from her room the next morning at around 7am.

Sienna was such an erratic napper for the first 12 months that my days were all over the place. I could never commit to being anywhere so I am really enjoying being able to plan to do something and actually do it. I spent hours in the car as she wouldn't transfer to her cot. I was also so knackered because she was feeding so much at night. For months she would sleep through the night and then I would have months of being up every 2.5 hours (and less!).  Magically she has turned into a full night sleeper and goes down for her one nap without a peep***. A deeply empathetic "yay" is heard quite often around here.

*this of course doesn't include the parts of the day where miss s throws herself off the furniture, refuses to get off my hip or does such a poo-nami that I need to take a shower and complete change of clothes and any thought of going out of the house is way too difficult.

** we read about 20 books a day at the moment. I read somewhere (Happiest Toddler on the Block?) to 'feed the meter'  which means every 30 mins to stop, get down to your child's level and read a book or do some sort of play for a couple of mins. Sienna loves it and it certainly buys me a lot of extra time when I am trying to complete a task.

*** I'm not completely sure but I think cutting out her just before bedtime breastfeed has enabled Sienna to dramatically improve her ability to self settle  during the night. Actually I don't care if it is or isn't, I'm just thankful!

*edit - mr k just pointed out that I posted an image of his "plumbers". Is it bad that I 'm still not going to remove the image?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A beautiful message about relationships

Happy V-day. Just popped in to put up a link to Lila's blog entry today - a complicated love note. It is indeed a love note. A love note to women everywhere. There is forgivness, there is tenderness and there is wisdom. I hope you read it. I hope you link to it. I hope you can pass it to someone who will pass it on and it will reach those who need to read it.
I love women like Lila.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Very Hungry Caterpillar birthday girl

Sienna1stbirthday with mummy 1

We celebrated miss s's first birthday over the weekend.  We had a Very Hungry Caterpillar theme - which I have since found out everyone and their second cousin are also doing.  More details to come.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Hello again

 hello petunias. How is 2012 going for you?

Chinese New Year

will be a good year. Lots of change. mr k is doing the trend of the moment  - a career change.  He is now a full time student for the next six months followed (hopefully) by a cadetship for 18 months.  
So we were on double incomes, good incomes, and our biggest issue was trying to decide whether to renovate or demolish and build.

Now, a toddler, NO income and a house that is falling around our ears. (I kid you not, my oven is an original 1960s model - and it was a budget choice even back then). Working out how I can work for the shortest amount of hours for the most amount of dosh and complicated family plans for child care.  Trying to get my head around that I no longer have the choice to be a stay at home mum.
There is a happy excited man in the house, the romanticism of us embarking on a new adventure (lack of money hasn't set in yet and I know that won't last long) , a feeling that we are getting out of a rut we didn't even realise we were in.
 Realising that I am looking forward to doing a bit of work.  Coming out of the cocoon of first time motherhood and finding a bit of balance.
We are traveling light this year. So far, so good.