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Pull up a chair

 I can’t believe it has only been a week since my last post. Time certainly flies and there is so much to report. Last Saturday we had yet another birthday party! Yep, in 5 weeks we have celebrated all three kids’ birthdays, Easter, school holidays, the life of Chanelle, Anzac Day, two long weekends, and today Mothers Day. Phew, Christmas should be a breeze!   I am going to divide my post into subheadings, so you can pick and choose…    

ALOHA

Miss i turned 11 last weekend and had a dozen girls over for a Hawaiin pool party. What a squealy, noisy fun time we had. All the girls came dressed up and allowed me to take some photos before they braved the pool. They had the best time drinking punch from coconut cups I found at Spotlight, giggling and singing. The sun shone brightly all afternoon but we set up the outdoor fire which was a real winner. The girls sat around it rugged up in jumpers after their evening swim. They sang Singstar and judged each others’ dance moves but most of the laughs came with the campfire games. Best of all was a version of celebrity heads where each girl had a mystery character attached to their back. Not only did they have to guess their own identity, but they were a part of a partnership with another player. One couple were the Get Smart Agents 99 and 86 . I laughed so hard I nearly wet my pants when 99 cottoned on that she was part of this partnership by saying “I know I am a number, I just don’t remember which one. Am I greater than 10? Than 15? Than 20…….? ” You get the idea. She would get so excited every turn that she would blurt out an answer only to have to wait another round of questions to continue her number search. The girls thought this game was the BEST!

Homme was worked hard in the kitchen making home made Hawaiin pizzas which were gobbled up instantly. All the food was themed and the girls loved it. We collapsed into bed not long after the last girl was collected at 8pm.

HE IS WALKING

Master x has been walking since Anzac Day. After a couple of weeks of taking steps but mainly crawling, he is now only walking. Boy is he busy!    He adores being outside so I even resorted to doing 2 1/2 hours of ironing on the front deck this week. Not a bad way to iron really. The weather is so beautiful in Perth this time of year. Cool mornings with sunny days around 25 – 27 degrees and NO wind.    He potters around the garden and climbs the steps as happy as a lark. When inside, all he does is follow us around with books asking for them to be read. Ignores all his toys and just wants books which is great but exhausting and means little else gets done. Reminds me of miss i!!! I used to have to hide her books for a period each day just to have time out. I have been able to get lots of gardening done in the past weeks with him playing close by. He loves to check out miss e’s raised vegie patch every day and gently touches the seedlings and rearranges the labels. He has had more tumbles and bruises but it doesn’t deter him.

CATS

We had the most fabulous night last night. We went to see the musical CATS with the tickets bought for miss e’s birthday. She invited her bestie and it was worth every cent spent, to see the two of them holding hands in their seats absolutely spellbound by the performance. We had fantastic seats as it turned out, as we were on the outer aisle and had lots of visits from several cats during the performance. Miss e could barely contain her excitement and was buzzing at intermission. It was a late night with the performance finishing at 11pm but all three girls babbled all the way home about their favourite songs/scenes/characters. I was amazed at how much detail they retained from the show. It was a magical night.

MOTHERS’ DAY

Happy day for me, to top of a lovely weekend. After a wee sleep in (is it a sleep in when I am up at 3am and then 4am and then 5 am and then hand over not so sleepy master x at 5.30am to homme?) Anyway, I was treated to bacon and eggs in the courtyard and then we all went for a walk to the hardware store to collect gardening supplies. Master x slept and we chatted on the way. My wish for the day was to relax at home and potter in the garden with homme as my ‘slave’ hahaha. I trimmed back the espaliered olive tree which required the big ladder to reach the top, while homme drilled holes in the limestone wall to attach horizontal wire strands so that I could attach my climbing roses. He also attached wire to the newly painted wall at the side of the house to attach the new passionfruit vine. Again the weather was divine and I loved being outside pruning and weeding and sweeping. Not everyone’s idea of fun but very relaxing for me with no time constraints. I adore my garden and feel a great sense of achievement seeing it develop from the rundown weedy patch I inherited two years ago. The landscaping is complete, and all but one garden bed is planted out. I still have a few more gardening design ideas I am looking forward to creating. I am now impatient to see all the plants grow to develop the space as I have pictured in my head. Here are some photos I have taken in the past week.

This is the newly painted wall at the side where the chessboard lives and my two magnolias which are starting to take off. Bed now planted with passionfruit and cabbages and broccoli.

These pots were positioned to block the steps to the underground garage for master x. I found a self seeded lavender plant in a garden bed so I replanted it in the gap seen here in the lavender border. Grow little lavender! In the background you can see the rest of the painted brick wall. It was a boring job but homme and I got stuck into it two weekends ago and I love the result, having it as a backdrop to the front deck and gardens.

My roses planted by the front steps are starting to flourish after a long, hot summer. They are called Sacred Heart and have a lovely old fashioned perfume. I am loving the autumn flush of flowers they are producing.

I have spent a couple of mornings at Chanelle’s garden with Xavier. It is so peaceful to be in her garden, which she loved and to prune back her vigorous plants. As a gardener, it seems a perfect, and practical way to remember her.

My day was rounded off with a lovely lamb roast and wine shared with my gorgeous girls and homme (master x didn’t make it to 7pm after a busy day of exploring and swimming). I was totally spoiled with these great gifts:

                    Slippers, scented candles, handmade “Do Not Disturb” sign, box of chocolates wrapped to look like bouquet of flowers, yellow roses, and a journal from Kikki K (LOVE Kikki K!) titled 365. Each day is numbered so you can start it at any point in the year.

RANDOM SWIM

Lastly (anyone still with me?), master x came for an explore with me in the pool area today. He quickly found some pool toys that sink to the bottom and have ribbon-like floaty bits to grab. He proceeded to drop them on the step in the pool and climb in, clothes and all. He had the best time climbing in and out with them. At one point I asked homme to grab the camera. On his return, master x had tired of the game and was walking around the pool. I said “let’s get a posed shot,” and placed him back in the water on the step. He was again having a great time when he slipped and the rest is history. Let’s just say that a picture tells a thousand words….

This last photo was taken after he had been fished out and I removed his long pants and socks. As you can see, he was straight back in for more splashy fun!

Gorgeous at Nine

Gaps between posts have been large. Lots happening and quite honestly, I have just felt too sad. Chanelle’s death hit our family hard and her funeral was held two weeks after her death due to international delays. We have shared special extended family time which has been lovely. We spent a weekend at homme’s sister’s farm where the kids ran wild in the open spaces and had the best time. We shared wine, too much food and conversation on the deck overlooking the house garden, and the open paddocks. Master x especially had way too much fun crawling over limestone garden walls exploring every centimetre of the area.

We also enjoyed a weekend at homme’s parents’ home on the canals in Mandurah. It gave us the final opportunity to spend time with his sister who lives in Port Lincoln. Again, extended family joined us, including Chanelle’s parents which was special. We shared some tears, but mostly wonderful anecdotes. My heart breaks to see her Mum and Dad struggle with their loss. We set up her telescope which her Dad had brought down. After much self-learning, we managed to view the moon. Her Mum fell into a deep sleep on the sofa and it gave me peace to see her momentarily free from the pain she carries. It was the sleep of the exhausted, and much needed.

Since my last post, our very special baby girl had her birthday. I can’t believe she is nine! Her whirlwind energy makes time seem to go by so quickly, it seems like only yesterday I was struggling with the sleep deprivation her infant years brought me!

Her birthday always falls during the school holidays and it often means lots of kids can’t make it. This year it was the last day of the holidays, so she organised a sleepover with six friends. She invited three from the school she left last year, and three from her new school. She was so excited! Unfortunately the three new kids pulled out (for individual legitimate reasons) at the last minute, and one of her old friends who lives with cystic fibrosis was undergoing “home hospital” with a central line. Damn! As her Mum, I just wanted there to be no excuses for her this time, but she was her usual great self and took it in her stride. So two friends slept over, and miss L was given permission to come and play for the afternoon between medication rounds. (Benefits of a nursing career to allow her Mum an afternoon off, having spent two weeks in the real hospital).

Big sister, miss i, and her friend miss b helped the girls with their hair, makeup and nail polish before the photo shoot. They all looked so gorgeous, especially with their ‘serious model poses’.

The girls then came inside for snacks and I instructed them in making card/photo holders. As miss m stated, there is nothing more fun than being with your best friends doing craft!

Aren’t they cute? The girls did such a good job, not rushing. Each heart has a tiny peg attached to the back so you can clip a photo or card onto the stand. I will print copies of the party photos to give to each girl.

Craft was followed by squealing in the pool, girly talk and laughter, homemade pizzas, chocolate fountain, and then lollies and popcorn while watching The Biggest Loser Finale (love the irony).

Last giggles were heard at midnight when this tired mumma fell asleep.

Morning of actual birthday was celebrated with pancakes (homme specialty), icecream and berries. Miss e’s birthday wish was to receive tickets to see the Cats musical. She has been learning the songs and storyline at her school music classes. She didn’t care for anything tangible, just this experience. We delighted in her reaction when she opened the well disguised tickets hidden in a wrapped box. I bought tickets for our family (minus master x), and her bestie, miss m. The performance is next Saturday night so I can’t wait to take her.

Happy Birthday beautiful girl. We love your love of life and positive energy!

Happy St Pat’s Day

Miss i attends a Catholic school which was founded by Irish Nuns 102 years ago. St Pat’s Day is a biggie on the school calendar, with an outdoor mass for both the Primary School and College combined. It is such a lovely mass, held under a corridor of Rottnest Island Pines.

Both the schools choirs sing, instrumentalists play their instruments. This photo does not show it, but imagine swathes of green parkland either side of this path. It is quite beautiful. We sat to one side, in the shade of the majestic trees, with lots of lawn to explore for master x.

Miss e attended this school herself until late last year (whole other story). I let her take the day off to attend, to hear miss i sing in the choir, and to indulge in the afternoon tea and entertainment after. Ribbon sandwiches, cupcakes and slice on the College Green under umbrellas, while watching Irish dancers, instrument ensembles and choirs.

A lovely day.

At Ten Months

I am sleep deprived, muddle-headed…oh yeah it’s not about me is it LOL.

The gorgeous master x is ten months old today and we are all sooooo in lurve! He is just the cutest. He recovered from his fever yesterday and we were reminded of how lively and gorgeous he is when he isn’t feeling lousy. I thought I would list some of his milestones (for reference when I get around to scrappping his page):

Socially – I am always being told he is very alert and interactive. And he is. He is a people watcher and is always chatting to people.

Weight – He was weighed this week and is a lean 8.5kg, putting him at the 10th percentile. Although he lived the high life in utero and came out at 10lb (4.5kg), his speedy metabolism and activity saw him gain weight at a slower rate. I never lost my confidence as a breastfeeding Mum and felt he was happy and content and therefore did not introduce formula. I have a great GP who checked him out and made sure he was digesting his milk, so we started solids at 51/2 months, and continued on our way. His length is 75cm which puts him at the 75th percentile so I am guessing some of his calories went into growing up and not out.

He has five teeth, two bottom, two vampire incisors and one front tooth. The other front tooth is all but through.

Party Tricks –  He loves to sing songs! He claps along to “If you’re happy and you know it” as well as raising his arms in the air when you shout “hooray”. He kicks his legs, dances, blows raspberries, clicks his tongue, waves goodbye and gives you kisses when asked. His favourite songs are also Away in a Manger and You are my Sunshine when he is cuddling, and all action songs when he is alert. He waves his hands around when we sing 5 Little Ducks. He has mastered crawling on his knees as also opening his drawers to empty all of his clothes on the floor.

Language – He is a real babbler. He has ten words that we all agree we understand: Mumma, Ta, Ball, Boo (and he initiates the game which is hilarious), Poo (as in “Have you done a poo?” – he quietly says poo), broom broom car (when playing with steering wheel in front seat of car in preference to breast feeding, and when he sees his ride-on car in the back yard), Eliya (referring to miss e), Bell (miss i), book and the often heard, again (every time you finish reading one of his favourite books).

Favourites – He is a keen eater, loving mostly to sit at the head of the table in his high chair nibbling on whatever his big sisters are trying. A bit tricky when you are dealing with only five teeth at the front of your mouth but willing to give most things a go. Resembles a chipmonk a lot of the time. Loves to play in water, especially the pool. He falls into the water when we sing Humpty Dumpty and loves to float around on the lilo. Loves sharing the shower or splashing around in cold water on the verandah in his old baby bath. Loves books, cars and planes. Yep there is definitely a Y chromosome thing going on. The sound of a plane or helicopter flying past has him craning his neck to catch a glimpse. He loves zooming around on his ride-on cars, either being pushed, or pushing himself backwards – has not mastered the forward movement yet. And there has been a love of books from very early on. His favourites are Mem Fox’s Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes, and Maisy. He especially loves Maisy flap books and giggles every time he finds Maisy on the last page. We are guaranteed to hear Gin,Gin (again) as soon as we finish reading them.

We are very blessed to have this little man amuse us daily and he is pretty blessed to have two big sisters who adore him.

Thank goodness for the pool!

Phew, Summer is here. It actually felt quite reasonable inside our home today. The Northern aspect, as well as verandahs and eaves, and ceiling fans certainly makes a difference. It hit 40 degrees so we were expecting to feel quite uncomfortable without air conditioning but as we talked over dinner, we all agreed it was ok inside. Outside was another matter!

 Homme has been working hard all week rendering the internal walls of the studio, limewashing the internal walls, and lining the ceilings with tongue and groove panels. He even made a door today for the roof space where we now have storage. It was hot work. All of us found relief (cabin fever sets in if we can’t get outdoors) in jumping into our new pool. Gorgeous master x has so much fun and I tried to upload video of him playing Humpty Dumpty but seems I need a few more technical lessons as the site did not recognise my format. He has been in the pool two to three times a day this week and it certainly tires him out. He is doing a mix of commando crawling and regular crawling so I really know I am alive now!

I completed two more layouts today, again for Granny’s album. I had fun jumping from Christmas 1974 to Christmas 2006.

happy new year!

Welcome to my friends and family and anyone else who has randomly found my site. I have been reading blogs for the past year and decided that my lack of effort on Facebook needs to be replaced with a more personal approach – my own blogsite.  So here it is, and you will have to bear with me as I learn the ropes. It should become more interesting as time goes by…

My philosophy? Random thoughts and updates really. So any intellectuals out there, I will warn you now, you won’t find any amazing insights on my blog. Nope, just stuff that matters to me.

Day 1 of a new year, new decade – 2010. I don’t believe in New Years Resolutions, but I do spend a lot of time at the beginning of a new year thinking about ‘the year that was’, and making plans and setting goals for the year ahead.I won’t bore you with my list but I will share a few in time. Is it just me, or does anyone else have the urge to spring clean on January 1st? I have spent the day scrubbing the fridge, rearranging books in bookcases, and generally making mental lists of all that needs doing this week. Those of you who know me, and the house renovations happening here, must be scratching your head – rearranging books?

Last night was a very quiet affair for our family. Several reasons for this:

1. I have a head cold and was not up to any partying,

2. We have a 9 month old master x who provides us with a great excuse to curl up in front of a dvd rather than venture out to party,

3. My homme and I made a pact several years ago to avoid violence in our lives and given that news reports today describe Perth’s New Year as a Violent start to the year, we made a wise choice to stay at home.

So homme, our two daughters and I curled up with Connoiseur vanilla bean icecreams in cones, on mattresses on the lounge floor, and watched The Parent Trap, a dvd Miss E got for Christmas. I really enjoyed it! Sadly I was in bed by 11pm so homme gave the two girls a kiss on my behalf and all were in bed 30 seconds after the clock chimed midnight.

I was reminiscing to the girls about the big deal it was when we started this Century. At ages 8 and 10 they had no idea of the impact of Y2K. I was also laughing that we spent the New Year of 1999 hosting a dinner party with 3 other couples and all four of us had 8 month olds at the time. Little did I think that 10 years later I would be home with a 9 month old again. Would I change anything? No way.