There’s definitely a hint of spring in the air, with lots of flowers everywhere.
82: Bring On Spring Inspired by our trip to the Moonpig Mother’s Day event a few days earlier, we made a lollipop flower garden so we could give a few special people some flowers.
84: Gift Basket Friends of ours came back from a holiday in Australia, so we dropped a care package on their doorstep so they wouldn’t have to rush out for breakfast, or worse, milk for coffee first thing off a 19-hour flight. I know what it’s like coming ‘home’ from a trip ‘home’ and never really belonging in either place. It’s hard.
We receive the Disney Cakes And Sweets Magazine every month, and this month, the freebie with it was a pan for making these fab Mickey Mouse pancakes. So yum using our regular recipe, and the girls just loved it.
Although it’s two weeks after the fact, we’re having Aviya’s birthday party tomorrow, so I’ve been making flowers for the cake. Unfortunately I didn’t think to actually flour the shot glasses, so most of them broke taking them off. Lesson learned. I was quite happy with them to that point though!
87: Messy Play Party At some point I’ll get round to blogging Aviya’s messy play party. Suffice to say it was super fun though.
Another thing I have to get round to blogging, is our trip to the Farnham Firestation as part of our Emergency Services PlayLearning week. Doesn’t she look pleased with herself though?
The weather has very quickly turned Autumnal, and after yesterday’s swimming in Eastrop Park in the near-rain, the girls needed an at home day cuddled under blankets. How many days till summer?
Day 255 – Stickygram
I’ve just discovered Stickygram. It’s awesome! Instagram images turned into magnets. They’re gorgeous!
Day 256 – Roald Dahl Day
It’s Roald Dahl Day on the 13th of September, so we made BFG ears, watched the movie and started reading the book. In fact we did loads of Roald Dahl Dayactivities.
Day 257 – Sisters
These are the moments that fill my heart with so much love and joy. For these moments, I could keep having children over and over and over again.
Day 258 – Blessingway
A beautiful friend had an early Blessingway since they are moving house when she’s 30-something weeks pregnant. Here we are with our red thread, getting her belly painted.
259 – Play Space
It’s crazy, we’ve lived where we do for over two years, and just recently I found this corner, hidden away. A perfect playspace for running around. Love it.
Day 260 – Blackberries
Picking blackberries is just such a lovely way to spend a day. I picked so many with the girls and our friends, I came home and made blackberry pies, raw blackberry crumble, and the best blackberry jam I’ve ever tasted, if I may say so myself. They were fabulous.
After a few weeks of sickness and trying to get back into the swing of things, we’ve been slowly trying to reconnect with people. I mentioned this last week. I don’t really know whats going on with me, but I feel such a disconnect from everything and everyone. It’s been a real work in progress. Perhaps that’s why I’ve been really investing in my garden, trying hard to put down roots, and using my vegetables to channel that desire.
135/365 – Observing The Wild
It’s actually not as wild as it looks. The weather has been atrocious of late, so we went with some friends to an indoor play area. Towards the end of our time, the sun came out, so we went to the ‘farm’ section. The children enjoyed looking at all the farm animals, and we loved just watching them discover and explore, and how engaged they get with nature. It’s wonderful.
136/365 – Love That Face
I can’t even remember what we were doing here – dancing maybe – but do I love that face? You bet I do. I think she needs another haircut though!
137/365 – Happy Ever After
About 9 or so years again, Martin and I house shared with a few other people. One of our house mates, N was dating E at the time, and they got married today. We thought we’d go, attend the ceremony, stick around to for niceties and then head off, because, well, weddings aren’t particularly child friendly, most of the time, especially if the couple don’t have any children of their own yet. We did not expect to have a fantastic day, and drag our children off the dance floor at almost 10pm! Even Aviya was in there dancing like a mad woman. The children were so incredibly welcomed, from giant garden toys to activity packs at the tables, that we were comfortable and had an amazing time.
I also want to throw in a little plug here for the TrayKit. We had a two hour drive to the the wedding venue and we were able to strap the TrayKit onto the back of the driver’s seat, and fill it with crayons, sticker books, activity books, and a few toys. It’s a really handy little backpack that straps to the seat in front, or a tray table on a plane or train. The sides around the fold out tray also fold up or down, to prevent pens or toys falling on the floor all the time – assuming your child isn’t trying to get them to fall on the ground. At our destination, I just zipped it up and took it in with us, so we had some books and activities for during the ceremony, and Ameli was able to carry it on her own, so I didn’t have to look like a pack horse – well, anymore than handbag, nappy bag and camera bag required!
138/365 – Chocolate Chip Cookies
After the incredible day that was yesterday, we had an ‘at home’ day, where the most taxing thing we did was making and eating chocolate chip cookies. Annoyingly, I make things, decide what needs to be tweaked, make them again, and eventually get them right: and then forget to write down the recipe. I intend to, but run out of time and end up forgetting. They’re supposed to go on Keeper of the Kitchen, but alas. I’ll just have to make them again.
I went to visit my friend Em and saw her ‘Grow Your Own’ potato box lying forlornly on the table. We turned it into a fun activity with the little people. It’s always good to spend time with her and her family. Our children are about the same age and they get along like, well… children of their ages!
Some time ago I wrote about my desires for the year ahead. I said I wanted peace, and mindfulness and to be present in my days. I’m struggling with that. I’m working hard on it, don’t get me wrong, but I’m struggling. Mindfulness is hard work.
Day 129/365 – Yum
There hasn’t been a lot going on the last two days, but I’ve been doing some baking and making some healthy versions of favourite recipes. I’ve also been trying to convert recipes to Thermomix recipes. I’ve been having so much fun, I’m actually doing so much baking and cooking I don’t have time to blog it all, but I’m trying! (Check out a Keeper of the Kitchen, please!)
Day 130/365 – Mama Time
I love Starbucks. Man, their coffee is good. I really enjoyed my Friday mornings at Starbucks, but now Aviya walks around it’s… less than relaxing! Someday soon again – then I’ll miss the toddler days of go,go,go!
Day 131/365 – Sitz Bath Herbs
I work most evenings. In fact, I go from mama to work to bed and I don’t get much sleep. A local mama is due to have her baby soon, so I spent this particular evening making her Sitz Bath Herbs. I really enjoyed just having an evening ‘off’, even though I did end up blogging it 😉
132/365 – An Odd Choice
An odd choice of snuggle toy! But she takes it to bed and I have to prise it out her fingers. It’s kind of cute. Like she is.
133/365 – Day Out
Since going to and returning from Australia, things have chnaged in my friendship groups. It’s a bit sad. Actually a lot sad, but a lot of things have changed. On the up side, I’ve become a lot closer to people who were on the fringes of the group I was in previously. I’m really enjoying my deeper friendships, and enjoying getting to know them better with trips out and about.
134/365 – Night Out
One of the benefits of the new friendships? A weekly girls night out. It’s just a cup of coffee with the ladies, but it’s excellent. We actually get to finish conversations without interruptions I’d forgotten what that was like!
I don’t know what’s hit our home, but we’ve become the house of the diseased, quite frankly! It’s been a nightmare, with us all passing runny noses, coughing, physical aches and pains and general death-warmed-up around between us. It started with Aviya, who was fine and playing all Thursday morning, and by Thursday afternoon had a fever and wouldn’t move off of me. By Friday we were all man down. What fun. We did manage to keep to some of our commitments though, fortunately.
Day 121/365 – Foraging
It’s amazing really. Teach a child in the way he should go and he will not depart from it? Pretty true. I’ve taken Aviya foraging a hand full of times, and now she can’t see a dandelion without picking it and bringing it to me for lunch! We make dandelion fritters regularly enough, but the season -around here at least – hasn’t produced enough for jam or pesto which is rather sad!
Day 122/365 – Who Am I?
After a fantastic morning of playing outside, Aviya suddenly developed a mean cough and temperature. It was so quick! But never so sick that there’s no time for fancy dress – she’s either a jazz singer, or a (pink) firefighter! I think she’s awesome, and changing and growing so much.
Day 123/365 – Sickness Befalls Us
Oh dear! things have gone downhill around here. Look at that little poorly face.
Day 124/365 – Long Weekend Of Blergh
I know she doesn’t look sick here, but heavens above, how much gunk can come out of a nose that cute? The last bank holiday was Easter and we spent that sick too. Long weekend of blergh!
Day 125/365 – Nana Checks In
I’m so grateful for the technology we have available to us. Here’s Nana doing a tele-diagnosis on Aviya to make sure she doesn’t have anything serious.
Day 126/365 – Land of Kids
I dragged my sick family out to London for the day. It was good, but set our getting better back by at least a week! Land of Kids was good though. We enjoyed it!
Day 127/365 – Little Girl
I’m always so surprised by how she’s grown. I see her every day, yet, some days it just jumps out at me, like I’m seeing her for the first time.
For the last two years, I have had the worst luck with my garden. What pregnancy didn’t take out of me, sickness and a newborn did, and then, to top it off it rained so much last year that even my mint died. Do you have any idea how hard it is to kill mint? Well, it drowned. And got moldy.
Of course, this year, what withbeing in Australia and all, I came a bit late to the planting season, so I had to get a bit of help from the garden centre, but overall, it’s gone okay. This is the ‘before’ photo of the garden. To be honest it’s not all done yet, so there’s no after photo just yet, and the before photo was taken after mowing the lawn and hacking away the foliage, but oh well.
As well as planting an envelope of tomatoes from seed – thank you very much Heinz for sending us a gorgeous wheelbarrow and gardening equipment for Ameli, as well as a bag of seeds – we also planted some sun flowers as I figure they’ll grow quickly and maintain the girls’ interest. Interestingly, both of them really enjoyed digging about in the ground.
And including their little friends in the process.
As I said, since we’re quite late in the season already, we got some help from the local garden centre and bought a few ready to plant out courgettes, marrows, shallots, kale and a few different herbs.
Well… I’ll let you know how it goes. It’s been fun, but I really do hope we get to eat from our garden this year!
P.S. If we happen to get tomatoes off this plant, Heinz have promised us a hamper of goodies, so here’s hoping we get a double bonus for our efforts! I think Heinz are still giving out grow your own tomato kits, so head over to their Facebook page for some to grow yourself.
I have this overwhelming awareness that these days are few. Every time one of my girls does something that grabs my attention, I realise that these days are few, so very, very few in the grand scheme of things. It’s making me quite emotional.
Day 107/365 – AP Baby
It’s so sweet, when my biggest little one ‘parents’ her toys like she’s been parented. Our friend Fee made her a sling last year, and she’s really taken to it recently. Here she is cuddling her ‘baby’ in the ring sling, and then she told me her baby’s tummy was rumbling and she needed a feed. It melts me.
Day 108/365 – Homeschool Wannabees
I so hope that I can homeschool my girls but sometimes that feels like an impossible dream. I’ll find out soon enough, wont I. It was so lovely watching them build their age appropriate puzzles. They are awesome children.
Day 109/365 – Activity Books
We have a pile of activity books that I’ve been buying up all over the place, waiting for Ameli to ask me questions about things. Here we are working on an adding and subtracting book. I have no intention of making her learn things, but when she asks I like to be able to encourage that.
There are different ways of learning things, and so many things worth learning can never be found in books.
Day 110/365 – Precious Days
She’s getting so big, and despite my heart’s desires, I am pretty sure these will be my only children. I can’t complain. I am so blessed.
Day 111/365 – Lazy Saturday
I love these cinnamon scrolls. Oh my. They are tasty. Tasty like tasty yum. And to me they taste like sunny Saturday mornings with no agendas and no schedules.
Day 112/365 – Time Out
Coffee is my thing. Actually, hazelnut lattes are my thing. They make me feel better. And apparently strawberry sorbet is Ameli’s!
Day 112/365 – Time Out
See what I mean? She’s running off after her big sister, far away there in the distance. Oh, my heart. My poor heart.
It’s a week of saying goodbyes and while I’ve always taken being sad to leave somewhere as a good sign of your time there having been well spent, this time I’m finding it exquisitely hard.
80/365 – Sushi
We’ve been taking every opportunity to spend time with my mom. I feel the pressure of the ticking clock like a weight on my chest. I’m loving the time spent together, but I’m hating knowing we’re leaving soon. I’m so grateful that my mom has confounded the doctors with her survival and recovery. Today we had a farewell party with some of our new friends, and then lunch with my mom.
81/365 – Rose Garden
We don’t actually eat out/drink out as often as it might look right now, but we’re visiting some of my favourite spots, for old times sake, and at the same time taking Martin to see some of the places that have been important to me over the last five months. The Rose Garden is one of them. It’s very pretty, serene and excellent value for money.
82/365 – Bed Time
My dad had to take a couple of days off work because he’s been quite unwell. Such unfortunate timing. I must tell you though, these are the moments we’re going to miss. I ache when I think of these special tender moments being so far away.
83/365 – Best Friends Of The Southern Hemisphere
Ameli loves her friend M. She talks about her all the time. She’s really going to miss her.
85/365 – Farewell Dinner
The last supper with our family. Bitter sweet memories. I don’t remember pending separation n ever being quite so hard before.
We went away for a week – it was great just to get away, and see something new. I must admit this week went a long way to endearing Western Australia to me… and probably me to her.
343/366 – Big Girl Play Time
My sister does pole dancing for exercise, but while in Australia she obviously hasn’t – until we came to this park and she started doing some moves. The kids loved it and thought she was ‘showing us some tricks’.
344/366 – Luxury Kisses
My parents came to visit us for the day in Mandurah, and we spent most of it in one of the various pools, jacuzzis and sauna. Here my dad and sister are sharing kisses with Ameli in the jacuzzi.
345/366 – Christmas Lights
We went on the Mandurah Cruises Christmas Lights Cruise – it takes you up and down canals lined with million dollar homes decorated for Christmas. It was really beautiful and something I’d highly recommend if you’re in the area and like Christmas lights – apparently it runs till early January, and last year their charity well raised over $10,000.00 for local charities. It really was spectacular. As you can see, Ameli loved it.
346/366 – Swimming. Swimming, Swimming. Swimming
It’s hot and we have been laying low and taking it easy. We all needed a break from everything going on in our temporary lives in Perth.
347/366 – Tourist Day
A bit of a break from doing nothing, we went on a driving tour today. We stopped in Pinjarra and had a walk around the historic centre, and across the hanging bridge (last picture), had a look at Lake Clifton, we also happened across something I didn’t think we’d have a chance to see, but ‘accidentally’ did: Thrombolites – living rocks. It was pretty amazing! The girls and my sister were asleep in the car, so my gran and I took a walk out on the bridge. It was lovely.
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Time is just not on my side these days. With two children to look after and everything else that’s on my plate, my time online is fairly limited, and when I finally get round to it, I’m normally too tired to do much more than I have to.
321/366 – A smile a minute
My mother spent almost a week in hospital after paliative surgery, and we visited daily. Aviya took a fancy to the sick bucket which we put on her as a hat. Fun times. The things you do to amuse yourself in hospital. 322/366 – Horsey, horsey, don’t you stop
We went to a street festival in Mt Lawley, Perth with my dad. It was sweltering hot, so the energy levels were a little low, but Ameli went on a horse ride, which she loved! 323/366 – Perth City Open Top Bus Tour
We decided to grab a touristy day while we can, so my gran, sister and the girls and I went on an Open Top Bus tour of Perth city. Ironically, with all our up and down to the hospital and getting lost repeatedly without GPS we’ve seen most of the areas the tour showed us, but at least they gave us more information that you get on the map! The first picture is Perth from Kings Park, the second are locks that lovers and sweethearts have fastened outside the Bell Tower (I’d love to know how many of those relationships are still going!) Bottom left the girls are ‘chatting’ to each other, and right is Aviya, fast asleep and unfussed by the tour!
324/366 – Coffee Time A girl after her mama’s heart, Ameli loves ‘coffee’ – babychinnos are the best since they don’t contain any caffeine, but she feels like she’s having coffee too!
326/366 – Christmas Decorations
It’s Christmas time, but sweltering in the heat, it doesn’t feel like it. I always missed summer Christmases my first few years in England. Then I spent a Christmas in South Africa two years ago and it just didn’t feel like Christmas! I missed the cold, the dark, the pretty lights, the mulled wine. I miss those again this year. It’s just too hot to get into the spirit of things! But we’re trying with some home made decorations!
Are you thinking of joining us next year? Or perhaps you did this year and want to try again! Keep an eye out for the anouncements for Mamatography 2013!