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.

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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...

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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!