30 December 2010

Small name change

Hi there blogeroos!

Just quickly letting you know that I've changed the name of the blog to Just Ordinary Us, and the website has become http://justordinaryus.blogspot.com/ .

Using the word boring was starting to feel a bit negative. I don't think we're boring so much, but ordinary describes us well!

It's Rosie's birthday on Sunday so I'm getting onto the planning for that - need to get sewing actually because I want to make bunting, and I haven't even started! I'm going with a pink, green and white/silver theme. Got everything I need for the cake, got the balloons, got her presents. All we need now is wrapping paper, and to invite the last few people! If you know me, you'll know that I tend to always leave things to the last minute. Frustrating for everyone involved, I think. Something to work on...

Look out for Rosie's post on her birthday!

23 December 2010

My crafty Christmas decoration

Well, here it finally is!
You may remember this post about the Christmas things I was planning on making and doing. In it I mentioned about wanting to make something for the archway in our entryway/lounge.

After a mad week of staying up after midnight each night and a crazy Saturday morning rush, I managed to get it finished in time to have it up at our Bosgra family Christmas Doo earlier in December. Sure Kelly and Sarah helped put it up when they arrived, but at least it was ready! ;-)

The photo's a bit dark, but here it is:

As you can see, I still have to make a few more stars and bells... I may do that tonight, or it may be next year's project. We'll see if I can fit it on my already extensive To Do list for the next day and a bit!

I like the way it turned out. Next year I'll rearrange it a bit, make the leaves a little more random I think. Currently it's held together with double-sided tape...

One more photo to share with you today.

Who wouldn't want to find this under their Christmas tree on Saturday?! 
My sweet, sweet girl.

21 December 2010

New Resolutions

I realise the accepted time for setting 'Resolutions' is New Year's Eve, but I'm not really into that anyway. I guess it's just coincidence really that I've made some new resolutions this close to Christmas and New Year!

I thought maybe if I blogged about them I'd remember them! 
And maybe someone would ask if I'm doing them every now and then. You know, as you do.

Want to know what they are? They're relatively minor, but it's about setting up good habits.
I am going to

1) Drink more water.

2) Wash my face every night before bed.

Then maybe I'll look less like this raccoon in the mornings... And have nicer skin too.

So yup, that's the plan. Let's see how it goes.

Step one would be finding a drink bottle...

06 December 2010

The easy road usually isn't the best...

I know it's been a while since I've blogged. I have been thinking about it, but my mind is a bit sieve-like - when I think of a good idea it usually flies out one of my ears within a few hours...

I was looking at the stats of my blog and by far, my most read post is my Sometimes I feel like a real mother... post. In other words, my most honest one! Not that I lie in other blog posts, but you get what I mean, right?

I got thinking about how the EASY way usually isn't the BEST way. 
Maybe you know what I mean?

Let me give you an example:
I've fallen into a bad pattern in the mornings, though actually, the bad pattern starts in the evening: I have been going to bed WAY too late and not getting enough sleep! Elliot wakes at 7am, sometimes earlier, but I let him hang out in his room and talk and sing and read stories to himself until as late as possible.

Then, when I finally drag myself out of bed (Rosie is still sleeping), I get Elliot out of his room and make him a milk drink. And then I plonk him down in front of the TV while I either read my book or go on the computer. Bad move.

The days that Elliot has watched more than half an hour of TV before breakfast he is usually grumpier and less likely to be obedient, at least for the morning, if not the whole day. And I know this, but it's easier you see?

Then I'll get Rosie up and because I've made her wait so long she's pretty hungry so I sit down to breastfeed her, because it's instant food. By the time we get around to breakfast it's often 9am and we're all still in our pyjamas. So we end up being late for all our activities and making our friends wait because we're running late - stink.

So you see what I mean? It's EASIER  to stay in bed as late as possible and squeeze as many minutes of sleep in as I can, but it's NOT BETTER.

So I'm putting my A into G.
This morning, I got out of bed at 7am, got dressed, got Elliot up and made him his milk drink. I did turn the TV on, but warned him we would be turning it off to have breakfast soon. Then it was fold a bit of washing, turn the washing machine on, feed Rosie, turn the TV off and make breakfast for us all together. We were all finished eating and ready to go by 8:30am! And it was great!

Once again, it would have been EASIER (for me) to stay in bed longer, but it WAS BETTER to get out of bed on time and get organised earlier!

Another area where I struggle with the easier-but-not-better phenomenon is with food. 
Ah, food.

Ha, I wish it was that kind of food I was talking about!
It's this food:

You see, I have rather a lack of self control. I am at the heaviest I have ever been. Sure, I have had two children, but I don't like to 'blame' it on them. I just make very bad food decisions. My friends will tell me I'm not fat etc etc, but I have a hard time believing them because I feel pretty gross.

My problem is that it's EASIER to enjoy junk food - chips, chocolate, sausage rolls and all that - than it is to get off my butt and do some exercise. But it most certainly is NOT BETTER!

So I'm trying to make a change. I don't want to take the EASIER path, I want to take the BETTER path. If I change my mindset - see myself as a healthy, active person who makes good food choices, I will start to become that person, and my health and fitness will benefit. 
Will you hold me accountable for my choices and pray for me?

The Bible talks about this easier-but-not-better phenomenon. In his sermon on the mount (Found in Matthew 5-7), Jesus said, "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it." (Matt 6:13-14)

You see what He is saying? It's EASIER to walk the wide road and enter through the wide gate, but that path leads to destruction. It's harder, but BETTER to walk the narrow path through the small gate because that is where we find life. And He doesn't just mean life as we know it, He means eternal life with God in heaven.

I don't know about you, but I want to enter through the small gate. 
I think if God can help me be faithful in my little, day-to-day challenges (and I know He can!), He is more than willing to help me be faithful in walking the narrow path to eternal life.

What can you do today to walk the BEST path, but not necessarily the EASIEST one?

25 November 2010

Christmas with the B's

By popular demand (ha!) I am writing a blog post about what our plans are for Christmas, for presents for the kids, for Rosie's first Christmas and for my cool new Christmas crafts!

I love Christmas time. Seriously, it is without a doubt, my favourite time of year.

Not only is it the time that we celebrate the birth of our precious Saviour, Jesus Christ - and if that was all it was, it would still be special.

Photo source here

But also, for us Southern Hemispherer's, the weather is warming up, summer has begun (though we can usually guarantee rain on the day!), the promise of long lazy days is in the air, it's time for going to the beach...

Photo source here

That's right, Santa on the beach. Perfect.

I love, love, love to spend the day with my family. It becomes a little tricky sometimes - my parents are divorced, yet both come from great big families that we love to spend time with. We will usually spend most of the day with one side of the family and try to squeeze in a visit with the other side towards the end of the day.

I've bought the kids new t-shirts to wear. A bit of a gimmick, I know, but I'm so excited about Christmas this year! At least they were on sale - that placated The Husband a bit!

Cute huh?

We've decided to start a bit of a tradition in the way we do Christmas presents for the kids: we will buy/arrange one joint present for them both together, and then one present each. This year they'll be getting my old play oven that my Dad made for me when I was little. I LOVE that! It is so great to be able to give things to your children that used to be yours! Mum even kept the plastic pots and pans we used to play with!

Now, onto my Christmas crafts!

Photo source here
Ah, isn't that craftily inspiring?

I have a few Christmas-themed crafts up my sleeve, but I'll just share two with you. Well, part of one and the idea of the other, because that's all I've got so far!

I have some polystyrene balls left over from my Dad's wedding decorations so I thought I might make some Christmas balls with those. But instead of making them the most time-consuming way possible (like last time) I thought I'd do them the super-simple way, with tissue paper squares and cheap, $2 shop pins. They'd end up looking something like this --->

Photo source here

The other thing I'm making is something I'm very excited about! We have archways in our house.

Excuse the mess...

And my cool new project involves this:

And this:

And that's all I'm going to show you right now! Mainly because that's all I have to show for myself, apart from one wonky-looking heart... I'll keep you updated. I'm hoping to have this finished within a week so that I can put it up when I put up my Christmas tree on the 1st of December. We'll see how that goes...

(Update: I ended up finishing it on the morning of our B's Christmas Do - still sewing the last bit when K&S arrived and they helped me put it up on the archway. So my plan for getting it done before December totally never happened. Ha ha, oh well!)

18 November 2010

The Love with which we Perform

This is a post written by Tsh Oxenreider of Simple Mom. (Great website, by the way. I thoroughly recommend it. I've spent hours reading so many different posts over there!) It speaks about something that has come up a lot over the last few months in our women's Bible study on a Wednesday morning. And as a mother or a homemaker, you will understand. I'll let you read it instead of talking about it more...

Brother Lawrence was a 17th century French monk who spent most of his life as a humble monastery cook (shoe cobbler was another of his noble professions). Not much is known of his life, save for his collection of letters and writings in what is now known as the classic, “The Practice of the Presence of God.”

The man was brilliant. He understood, as a simple cook, what the wisest and intellectually astute of our age fail to grasp. And what this mama fails to grasp, time and time again.

Who we are is not defined by what we do...

Read the rest of the original post here. I hope this encourages and inspires you Mamas out there like it did me.

16 November 2010

Midnight craft inspiration

Last night my children decided to have a party at midnight. Good times. Not helped by the fact that I had been carried away by the project I was working on and got to bed after 11pm. Oops. Sorry husband! Posy woke first but I decided to leave her to cry because I am trying to train her out of waking for a feed at night. She really started going for it though, but I was trying to be strong.

And then she woke Big E up. He's recently developed an overnight aversion to having his door shut at night. Strange, when that's always been the way bedtime rolls in this house! So I went in to sort him out and ending up tucking him into my spot in the bed, with Big Man, while I went to sort out Posy. Don't know why I thought that would work - he's never settled down to sleep in our bed if we're in it too, and he certainly didn't last night! I could hear him chatting away to Big Man as I fed Posy on the couch in the lounge. Good times.

(This was Big E at 2 days old.)

Anyway, after getting both children back into bed (and giving Big E a firm talking to, and leaving his nightlight on and door open), I was pretty much wide awake. So I hopped on the computer and started to look around for some crafty inspiration and tutorials - my new favourite internet pastime! You know, as you do in the middle of the night.

So I thought I'd share some of the things I found, and might attempt one day. (When my craft budget allows it!)

Okay, so I found this great - and really easy! - wreath. This one is made for Valentines Day, but I'm thinking of making it, or a star version of it, for Christmas.

This is from Little Birdie Secrets, which has had some other really cute tutorials in the past, including a little birdie (go figure!) costume for a baby!

The next one I really like: It's a car seat/capsule cover for a bubba. I think I'll make one of these for myself when we have our next baby (Please Lord, let there be another baby!) or for the next one of my friends to have a baby! I like that there's still a place to hold the handle of the capsule without having to ruck up the cover, and that it will be nice and dark inside, for baby to sleep, and warm if it's cold outside!

The tutorial for this is here on Cluckclucksew (cute name, right?).

The next one is another baby thing, although I guess you could really use them anywhere if you wanted: collapsible storage baskets. Really like this idea. I'm thinking of making some for Posy's room in the same fabric as her curtains.

If you want to make some of these for yourself, check out the tutorial here at sew4home.

And last, but not least, some reversible headbands.

I'm planning to make some of these for those days when doing my hair properly is not an option. (Come on Mums, we all have days like this, right?) And also to cover the highly frustrating regrowing post-baby shed hair that is about 2 inches long all around the front of my hair, which, on a bad hair day, is not a good look! Actually, it's a seriously ridiculous look. Looking forward to having a few of these in my arsenal!
Find the tutorial for them here at thelongthread.

15 November 2010

Sometimes I feel like a real mother...

You know what? This might sound strange, but the realisation that I am a mother still hits me from time to time.
I think I have a hard time living in the present and I just go with the flow, so the addition of my two gorgeous children has just had me rolling with the punches (figuratively, of course! No rolling punches around here.) and moving on with life as we know it.

I have been known to carry one of my sleeping children to the bathroom mirror, instead of their bedroom, just so I can observe the fact that it is me, Jessica (you know that person that you always are in your head, regardless of what you do and where you go?), holding a child that is mine, and this is what we look like. That sounds really strange doesn't it...?

Big E at just a few weeks old

So anyway, there are times that I mentally stop in the middle of what I'm doing and think, "Ha. It's true. I am a mother!"

It's when I find myself doing things my Mum did with me and my sister when we were little, like letting us 'paint' the fence - with water. Big E was helping us stain the deck a few weeks ago, with his paint brush and bowl of water.
It was so great! Or like when Big E wanted to stand at the bench with me and wash some dishes. Check it out - here's me doing washing dishes when I was little:

And here's Big E doing it just the other week!

(Shows you just how much dish-washing brushes HAVEN'T changed in the last 20 odd years!)

Or sometimes when I find myself licking my finger and wiping Big E's face - come on, who hasn't done that?! (And then gone, "Oh my goodness, I can't believe I just did that!")

Or when I find myself wanting to run outside and yell at the noisy car/lawnmower/neighbours/dog/chainsaw/etc for waking up my children - and I am totally not a confrontational person!

Or when I find myself about to react with disapproval, and instead decide to enjoy the moment. As I wrote this post, Big E had just brought the outside broom inside, and was sweeping the carpet. What a helpful child!

There's so many more that I can't even remember (I'm sure I thought of more when I was thinking about this post...). You know, for all the times I think this motherhood business is tough - and frankly, I get a little bit over-it sometimes! - I really, actually, truly love it. Yes, my children bring me the greatest pain and frustration I have ever known, BUT they so much more than make up for it in the joy they bring to us. Every night - literally, every night - I thank God for blessing us with these 2 little people. They are such treasures.

If you are a mother, think about some of those times your children just made you want to jump for joy, and smile in the remembering. If you are about to become a mother, know that it's tough, real tough, but amazing. And if you're not a mother yet (or a father!), tell a mother you know that she's doing a great job - sometimes she needs to hear it!

08 November 2010

I haven't forgotten about you!

I haven't forgotten about blogging! As I was writing my new post, we got to the end of our data allowance and I can't stand waiting for a slow computer to upload photos, so to save my sanity, I will publish it in a few days time!

My humblest apologies!

02 November 2010

Pretty things and ballerinas

I really like pretty things. Things that are pretty really float my boat. There are plenty of things that exist only because they are pretty, and I think that's great.

One of the things I think are really beautiful are ballerinas.

Photo source here


I used to want to be a ballerina when I was a little girl.
 Photo source here

Actually, I love them so much I still want to be one. 

Photo source here

I just think there's something graceful and elegant and restrained yet expressive and strong about ballerinas. And it's the word 'ballerina' too: I would never just be someone who does ballet, I would be a ballerina. How cool would that be?!

And the tutus! The tutus!
Photo source here

No tutu I've ever made (and believe it or not, I have made a few in my time!) has ever stood out quite so straight as a REAL ballerina's tutu! I love them.

Not quite so sure about the state of my toes after being en pointe though... 
Maybe that's one thing I'd do without?

Photo source here

Anyway, so I always wanted to be allowed to do ballet when I was little, but my Mum always said no. And I never understood why. I thought it was because I was too fat and she didn't me me to get hurt feelings. Isn't that sad? 

But you know what? That's not why she said no. She was afraid of boxing me in and putting me under too much pressure. A much better reason than what I always thought!

Photo source here

So I am content with the fact that I never did ballet as a little girl. If my Posy wants to, I think we'll let her try, but I would say it's pretty expensive too! For now, I shall get my ballet fix vicariously through photos and other such things.

And the other thing I think I could do without? 
The men in leave-little-to-the-imagination tights!
My sister and I had a giggle together (like the real mature ladies we are) when we went to see a live ballet a year or so ago. Yucky!

30 October 2010

Plodding along

First, I have to share this hilarious photo with you! Remember the wee girly purse I posted a picture of a few days ago? Well, Big E found it yesterday and turned it into...

... a hat! Funny boy.

We've recently coined a new nickname for Posy: Rock-hopper. No, she hasn't suddenly developed the ability to walk and jump on rocks! (Or even on land, for that matter!) Let me show you, in a pictorial manner.
A rock-hopper is a type of penguin, see?

And here be Posy:

She's got this great little tuft of hair that just WILL NOT stay down! Thankfully, we think it looks pretty cute :)

Now, one of the sights I most love to see:

A washing line full of clean nappies, drying in the sunshine. Not to mention Posy and Big Man having some father-daughter time! (Yes, I know she's grumbling in this picture, but she wasn't doing that the whole time!)

And last, but most certainly not least, a picture of our house from the back. Big Man and I made a bit of a snap-decision to stain the deck on Labour Monday just been. If you haven't seen it before we stained it, the picture probably wont mean much apart from seeing our house. Big Man just finished staining the last few bits this morning, and we think it looks pretty good!

Alright, I think that's enough for now. I have a wee girl on my lap now who is valiantly trying to help me type with her toes, so even if there was more, it would have to wait! See you next time!

28 October 2010

My creative hat

Since Posy was born in January this year, I found, and started wearing again, my creative hat. I didn't realise I had lost it until I was overcome with the desire to be crafty and creative!

I've since adopted my Mum's sewing machine - thankfully, she has agreed to let me keep it, and she'll borrow it back whenever she needs it! Great trade, I thought! It's had lots of use, but now that I'm thinking about it, I can't think of heaps of things I've made that I can show you... Hmmm, let me think a bit... My husband will tell you I've certainly spent enough money at Spotlight to have a whole room full of homemade things! (And I have a feeling 'things' wouldn't be the word he would use. His word would start with 'c' and rhyme with 'rap.')

I have a few things around the place that I've started but not yet finished, but nowadays I do actually have more finished projects, which is great! If you're my friend on Facebook - which, I would say, you likely all are - you will probably have seen all these photos, but too bad!

My biggest project to date has been Big E's room. We (okay, I) decided to do it up in time for his birthday party, a deadline which we met with my typical last minute-ness!

Here it is before:

And here is the finished room:

The curtains are hand-me-downs from Big Man's sister and they were the base we started from.

The blanket on his bed obviously doesn't really match the rest of the room, but it was given to Big E by his Oma (my Mum) so he has to have it on his bed - he makes sure it's all tucked in before he goes to sleep every night!

My very talented friend painted the super cool pictures on the wall for Big E's birthday.
I'm pretty proud of the way it all turned out!

I've started on Posy's room too, but I'll save blogging about it until it's all finished!
(**EDIT: You know what's hilarious? I've come back to edit this post at the end of 2013, and that room has *just* been finished - for our fourth baby!)

I'll leave you with a few of my other projects:

Headbands for Posy, one with matching shoes (which you can't see very well.) These are her favourites, can't you tell? ;)

A waistcoat, cummerbund and tie for Big E, for my Dad's wedding. Isn't my little man just so handsome?

These flower balls were the table decorations at the aforementioned wedding. Made with the help of my wonderful girl-friends! Juggled by my uncle.

This is a wee girly purse for wee girly things!

I just finished this a few nights ago.

And now I must be off to finish spring cleaning my kitchen, which currently looks like a tornado has blown through it! Night!

27 October 2010

And it starts...

So. I've decided to start a blog.

I'm not sure how interesting it will be. I'm not sure how regularly I'll post. Maybe I'll post too often. Maybe I wont post often enough.

I don't think I have anything particularly interesting to say, but I like the idea of a blog. I have a few goals and things I want to either achieve or start doing, and I thought maybe a blog would be a way for me to see how much progress I'm making (or not making!) and for me to stay accountable, to myself at least!

I don't mind if no-one reads this. Maybe I'd be too embarrassed if anyone did! We'll have to see how we go. :)< I'll set myself a few blogging rules: a) No negative posts - if I'm having a bad day, I'll stay away! b) No more than 1 post a day That's all I can think of for now... Sounds reasonable? Hope so. Wait, I thought of another one! c) Don't use too many exclamation marks! (I am a punctuater!) Great! Looking forward to this blogging journey :) I'll leave you with a few shots of my gorgeous kids. (And yes, I do think they actually are the most beautiful children in the world.)
Big E, nearly 2.5, and beautiful Posy, 10 months.

Love my babies!