Tuesday, October 28, 2014

rainbow cupcakes

We made some rainbow cupcakes today in honour of you, our little rainbow who couldn't stay.  Today marks two years since we met you and said goodbye.

I imagined you pulling on the ties of my apron, while I stood at the bench mixing colours.  I pictured your chubby little fingers getting into the batter.  I wanted to hear your sweet little voice plead for "more" and squeal with delight as you licked the last of the batter from the spoon. 

All the wonderful things your big sister got to share with me today as we made these for you.

With icing in your dark brown hair and sprinkles stuck to your chubby cheeks, I can only wonder what today would have been like if you were here with us to celebrate your special day.

Happy birthday sweet little son.  We love you and miss you so very much.

Monday, October 20, 2014

the day our family grew

We had a little secret we were keeping to ourselves.  A little secret that we were intending to reveal late last week.

The secret was that our family was about to grow in the most blissful and delightful way... we were expecting a sweet little baby in March of 2015.

LadyBug loving on Mumma's baby bump, 15w1d

The plan was to go to our routine 19 week ultrasound last Wednesday, and come back all thrilled to know that our little one is growing safe and sound, and without any issues, and then probably come up with some whacky or cheesy Facebook announcement to share our wonderful news with the world.

Sadly, the scan showed that some time in the past 2-4 weeks, our little baby had silently passed away. As the Dr revealed her findings to me,  I lay there stunned, completely stunned that once again our family is facing the heartbreaking loss of another loved and very much wanted child.

Thursday was a grey and miserable looking day outside, the perfect reflection of how we were feeling.  With heavy hearts, Hubby and I welcomed our little one into the world at around 3:55pm.

We named her Ezra Lily.

Now instead of planning a baby shower or deciding on nursery colour schemes, we are making decisions on how to remember our sweet little girl, and trying to help her big sisters understand as they come to terms with this heartbreaking loss.

Thursday October 16, 2014... the day that we will always remember as being the day that our family grew, as our little Ezra joined her brothers in the arms of Jesus.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Back to School 2014

These summer holidays have come and gone so swiftly, it feels like we have been on a turnstile of activity.  There were visits to the beach, sleepovers with cousins and friends, baking, playdates, and 1 or 3 trips to the cinemas to escape some of the extremely hot days.  There were shopping trips and coffee dates, swimming, lots of relaxing and did I say we went to the cinemas?  The girls and I have been enthralled by the new Disney movie, Frozen, but perhaps that's a story for another day.

And all too quickly the school year has come around again.  

LittleBee had a little bit of a pre-teen, pre-school-starting meltdown yesterday.  I don't blame her really, it was a stinking hot day and the holidays were coming to an end, and it all seemed too hard for her.  But after a nice relaxing day at home, she faced the new year this morning with tons of excitement and anticipation.  I think she was mainly fuelled by the fact that she can spend her weekdays with her friends again!

LadyBug wasn't as excited to send her big sister and favourite play mate off to school today.  She told her sister that she was sad that she was going to be at school today, but will be happy when she gets home, so they can play together again (insert gushing here!).

It's hard to believe that it was 12 months ago that LittleBee started at her new school... check out these photos from her first day at school in 2013.  My how my girls have grown!

I think LittleBee has grown about 2 meters taller in the last year.  And looking at LadyBug, she just looks so different.  She was only just 2 and a half, and now she's inching closer to 4 so I suppose that has made a huge difference.

So we sent our sunshine out to school for another year of learning and growing... happy first day at school LittleBee... I really hope this new year brings you lots of exciting experiences.

Monday, September 23, 2013

movie night - because now she's 10

Last week we entered a new realm of our lives.  Our first born turned 10.  Our once tiny little baby has clocked over into double digits, making us feel just that little bit more old than we did the week before.  

We also entered a new realm of parenting.  The First Sleep Over Party!  A house full of giggling girls, with lots of mattresses to bounce on, and some sugar to burn off made for a late, but very fun night!  Here's a glimpse into our festivities, celebrating our LittleBee's 10th birthday.

With some bed sheets, fairy lights and a little imagination, we turned the lounge room into a cinema, with a message board to direct the giggling girls inside.

Setting up the movie room was a lot of fun.  Inside, the girls had access to their own private candy bar, drinks in jars, popcorn, a blankie pile and a nail salon basket.

And these cute little "popcorn" cupcakes.

Dinner was a "build your own baked potato" bar.  The dining table was lined with an array of toppings for the girls to add to their spuds.  How cute are these little heart signs?

After dinner, and some amazing face painting (thanks Krissy), it was onsie time!

Mrs Fox and Mr Badger came to visit...

how cute are we!

And no party is complete without a baked caramel cheesecake, right?  Yes, you read correctly! LittleBee loves caramel and loves cheesecake, so after a little Pinterest searching, I found a recipe for this amazing cake.  The only thing that was missing was the caramel sauce that normally would be poured over the cake, but I'd run out of steam by the time it was ready to serve the cake.  A little grated chocolate served quite nicely in its stead.

The mattresses came out, and the girls settled in for more movie time.  Even little Basil got a bit snuggly!

Ok, so while I was preparing for the party, I reminisced a fair bit about sleepovers that I attended growing up.  I was generally reminded about how little sleep we got as we watched movies all night, then stayed up even later watching music videos.  When I left the girls at around 12:30am, they were all snuggly and toasty in their beds.  So I thought that they would get to sleep relatively quickly!  How wrong I was.  From my recollection, I think the last of the squealing ended around 3am!  And the first sign of chattering reoccured at around 6:30am.  Even so, by the time pancakes were cooked and served, each little lady was sitting at the table ready for the special breakfast!

Although they enjoyed being awake, some still needed to hide out a little longer in their onsies...

Me on the other hand, after about 4 hours sleep myself, sat on the couch trying to rejuvenate myself with a hot cuppa.

What a ride!  It was so much fun creating this special night for LittleBee and I know she had a great time with her friends.  Happy Birthday our Little Lady!

... and thanks to everyone who helped make this happen!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

a winter get-together

This week has been blissfully spring-esque.  Sitting out on the back patio sipping my coffee the other morning, I had a distinct waft of wattle blossom brush past my face, as the warm wind carried the scent from a neighbouring garden.  It caught me by surprise as just last week it was still bitterly cold (well bitterly cold for Melbourne, which is really just 15 degrees!)

Do you remember how cold it was just last week?

Just last week I hosted a little Soup gathering.  A few friends came by the house on a particularly wet and windy day, all rugged up in jumpers and gloves.  That morning I had prepared two pots of soup for lunch, and it really couldn't have been a more perfect day to sit around the table and reminisce over a bowl of steaming soup.

To go along with our recent project to try and make healthy changes in our cooking, I got my cooking inspiration for our lunch this day from the Heart Foundation website.

First up... Chicken and Sweet Corn Soup.  This was a very easy soup to make.  We had wheat/gluten intolerances to factor in, so for this soup I omitted the stock and used the water the chicken was cooked in and seasoned it with good sea salt and pepper to add a bit of flavour.  Soy sauce was replaced with Tamari (a naturally fermented soy sauce) and I left out the noodles.  This soup is very fresh and, well, delicious!
photo source: www.heartfoundation.org.au

Next up was Sweet Potato and Lentil Soup.  I make a soup similar to this very often, as sweet potatoes are really like my favourite veggie.  Again for this soup I left out the stock and just added a little salt to draw the flavours together.  It was a bonus having fresh coriander sprouting in the garden as it goes really with this soupl.  I didn't serve it with yoghurt as we have dairy intolerances here too.

photo source: www.heartfoundation.org.au

(I didn't take photos of the soup I made, as I was too busy eating them!!)

And of course a lunch isn't really complete until you add in some sweet Strawberry Muffins.  I had my work cut out for me a little here with the intolerances present in the room this day.  But with a little combined intelligence, these little beauties came to life...

These muffins kind of remind me of this week.  They are filled with fresh berries which just says Summer all over it!  But, they are really best eaten warm, which you need to do on a crisp winter's day.

I'll leave you with my adapted Strawberry muffin recipe, in case you want to bring a little summer into the last days of winter...

Strawberry Muffins

Makes 12
Cooking time: 18-20 minutes
2 1/2 cups gluten free self-raising flour, sifted
1/2 cup brown sugar (I used coconut palm sugar, which made them not as sweet)
1 cup lactose free (or other non dairy) milk
1 egg, lightly whisked
30g dairy free margarine, melted
250g strawberries, washed, hulled, diced
2 tbs flaked almonds
1 tsp icing sugar, to serve

Preheat oven to 180°C fan-forced. Line 12 x 1/3 cup muffin pans with paper cases.

Combine the flour and sugar in a large bowl.  In a separate bowl, mix together the the milk, egg and margarine, then fold this mixture in the strawberries. Mix until just combined.

Spoon evenly into the cases (about 1/4 cup per case) and top with a sprinkling of  flaked almonds. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until cooked when a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Remove the muffins from pans, and leave to cool slightly.  Dust with icing sugar and serve warm.

~ Enjoy ~

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

a common bond

Waking up the day after a funeral is a surreal feeling.  I remember waking last Friday morning, the day after saying goodbye to our Nanna Mc, with an intense awareness of my breathing.  Life giving breath coursing through my own lungs, and being all the more thankful for it, because this breath I take and each one after signifies my living and existence. 

It's a realisation that your life continues, in spite of the life that has been lost.  That although some days it feels like grief can take the breath right out of your lungs, each day you wake and take a knowing breath and continue on with all that life will bring across your path.  No matter how hard those days and those experiences can be.  We all still breathe.

I'm thankful for my grandmother's life.  She raised 12 children in a very difficult time.  She birthed a daughter that was not going to breathe outside of her womb.  She suffered in this grief, along with mourning the passing of her husband, and two of her adult children as she continued to breathe each day.  

I would have loved to have talked to Nanna about her stillbirth.  About the daughter, sister, aunty that I know we all would have loved to have had the chance to know.  I wished I had have talked to Nanna, and told her that I knew.  That I understood that pain of her grief.  That it was ok to long for and cry for the daughter that wasn't going to stay.  

Or to hear her tell me that she understood my grief.

We had an unspoken common bond.  A bond that I know I share with far too many women.  The bond of losing a much wanted and loved child.

Nanna Mc, you will always be remembered as my grandmother.  Your children that you've left here will always remember you and all that you did for them .  

And I want you to know that your precious Kaye will always be remembered too.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

our first school camp (awwww)

6:24am, and I wake up a little frantic, thinking that it was really 8:24am and we missed the bus.  I rustle a very excited LittleBee from her pretend sleep... she'd obviously been restlessly awaiting the morning too.  For today, is Camp Day!

A wrap up a quick lunch for LittleBee to pack in her backpack for the day...

and off we go to school, hair dripping from her rushed shower, yoghurt in hand for breaky on the go.

Once at school, we throw the suitcase into the back of the school bus, and gather up her friends for a pre-camp picture (or three)

So the three friends can ensure they sit together on the bus, they hurry off and nab the back row!

And with an enthusiastic wave, she's on her way to her first ever school camp trip!  

It's only one night but it's so strange.  She's been away from home loads of times before, but this time is a little different.  It's a little more grown up.  And every day she's just growing up in front of our eyes.  Gaah!  Yesterday she said she was feeling nervous about camp.  Today she barely batted an eyelid all morning.  She's got her friends, and she's really thrilled.  I know she's going to have a fabulous time.  

And as a first time camp mumma, I think I will survive too!

See you tomorrow LittleBee!
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