Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Dusk Feed (In Slow Motion)

She cries, and I slowly take up my position on the couch,
bring her close, fill her up.
Every emotion is magnified for the next twenty minutes.
'I am so tired', I think.
And close my eyes for just a minute.
Everything is noisy here.
Big kids bathing, playing, reading, telling me jokes.
Cars speed down the street, workers anxious to return home to their babies, their families.
Dinner cooks or the stove, or, more often, it doesn't cook yet, though it should.
I cry. I want to be sick from the tiredness.
Her long baby fingers grasp at my shirt, my skin, my hands.
I study her ears, dimpled, furry, perfectly her.
I touch her toes, smooth my thumb across her feet.
And marvel at how she has grown already.
She finishes, full tummy.
Smiles at me and coos, telling me she is thankful, and that she loves me.
I cry. And smile.
And already the sun has set.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Catch Me If You Can: A Sunday Afternoon Drive

I'm not sure if it is the escape from duties, or a love of nature, or a way to relax, or the country life dream.
Our family loves a Sunday (or any day) afternoon drive.
Here are some tips for making the most of it.

Go with a tidy car:
Dump the clutter and do a quick run through with the vacuum. It's so much more enjoyable when you can stretch your legs and enjoy the ride without biscuit crumbs on your seat.

Pack a few things:
A picnic rug or two, to sit on or wrap around you atop a windy mountain. Snacks for breaking up long drives, and lollies help the ears adjust to the altitude changes. Something to do for the kids who get bored of the scenery (two of ours find wonder in everything the outdoors has to offer, and will gladly look out the window the entire trip, one of ours would prefer the imaginary scenes in her favorite book). Drawing packs to sketch what we see on our travels (we love the clipboard storage boxes from Officeworks to keep our stuff contained in the car).

Have a few favourite routes:
It's wonderful to see the same trees, mountains and pastures through the changing seasons. It's thrilling to notice something you haven't noticed before, though you've been there many times. I remember seeing a couple of peacocks walking along a fence once, something I'd never seen on our regular trips, and will probably not see there again. Our local favourite trip is Dayboro, Mt Mee and Campbells Pocket Road.

Try new routes:
Drive a bit further. Find somewhere with different terrain or scenery to your usual spots. Discover, and feel like a true explorer!

Stop somewhere;
Pull the car over if you see something interesting or a picture perfect place for a photo. Find a lookout to check out the views. Have a picnic on the side of the road. Take hot chocolates in the winter, and enjoy them in the open air. Get out for a bushwalk.

Have good music playing;
Give everyone a look in with their favourite tracks. We love Elizabeth Mitchell for the little kids, some acoustic and chillout for the adults and yes, some TayTay for the big girls to keep them happy.

Create traditions:
This will happen of it's own accord. In our family, Dad purposefully drives fast through puddles to create a splash. The kids love it. On a country road sometimes we will let the kids out to run alongside the car in a race. And we can't go past the our favourite bakery without stopping for a pie.

At the shades of green, the shapes of clouds, the raindrops on windows, the beauty, the Creator.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Catch Me If You Can: Dragon Cake

It's no Toothless, but Zeb loved his fourth birthday dragon cake, nonetheless. 
The fire, eyes, horns and claws were made from gum paste. 
Those are Toblerone spikes and chocolate wings (but I didn't leave enough time for the chocolate to set properly so they didn't stay up well!)
Her scales and nostrils were piped on and flattened out a little.
 This she-dragon had a belly full of lollies too, which is always a hit with the kiddies!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Catch Me If You Can: The Florist

Last year things got a bit hectic.
Kids at school, kid at home, ballet, swimming, baby on the way.
Having enough brain function to blog was difficult.
I am being hopeful that I might have some boy-at-kindy-and-baby-napping 'free' time this coming year. 
I will have things to record in blogland that I don't want to forget.
But first it's catch up time.
Starting from one year ago.
India, our aspiring florist, went on a birthday experience (something we encourage and do often in our family) with her Aunty Clare and Uncle Justin, to Justin's parents' farm.
There she explored, picked, trimmed and arranged flowers. It deepened her interest and love for the outdoors and the individuality of every flower she saw. Thank you Chris, Jack, Justin and Clare!
I regret that our own garden is devoid of inspiration for her, but perhaps we will work on that soon. In the meantime, she continues on with this passion, daily reading or drawing from her flower book, and I am secretly collecting vintage nature diaries and hand drawn flower books for her to enjoy one day.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Vote 1 Elara

Age nine feels like the Girl and Grown-up Coalition.
She isn't too old to love Frozen, dressing up, dancing freely, and chocolate crackles.
But she also reads textbooks, tidies her room, teaches herself Italian, and has legs that are as long as forever.
At nine she can still be both girl and grown up, and there is no in-fighting between these two worlds.
I know that the balance must change with the years, but I love the beautiful and harmonious junction that I see now in my gorgeous growing up girl.
Happy Birthday Elara! 
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