Saturday, March 31, 2012

a day at the sewing machine

It's not very often that I get to sit at the sewing machine and have some creative time.  The last time I was creative was just before Christmas, when I went nuts making gifts for all the little people in my life.  That was very fun and incredibly rewarding, but after all the gifts were handed out, I certainly needed a rest from all the needles, fabric and patterns.

I think I've waited too long though.  A few weeks ago I was able to take up some pants for a friend's little boy and it made me realise how much I had missed it.  I missed the hum of the machine and the jolting of the table as the stitches are made and fun things are created.

So... last weekend I determined to spend Saturday having Mumma Time!  These times are few and far between for me, as I just don't take the time out to be me, and do things for me!  And after having a wonderful time creating last weekend, I know that I need to do more of it.

First up was a little "Lolly" doll.  I spied these cute little dolls at a market, and purchased one each for our girls.  Unfortunately LadyBug's little doll, "Lolly" was lost on one of our adventurous walks into town.  So I set out to make a replacement for her.  I think she turned out really cute!  LadyBug needs a bit more convincing though, as she has her "Bubba" which is her favourite right now!

coming together

tada... a new friend to play with

Next up was a skirt for LittleBee.  I wasn't sure how this fabric will go with her, as up until recently she has been a pink and sparkle girl.  But she really loved it and was excited to see the skirt come together.  It was a simple A-frame style skirt, with casing at the top for elastic, and a standard hem.  It was very quick and easy to get from the cutting out to constructed stage.  LittleBee chose the lace to go along the bottom, which tied in really well with the antique feel of the fabric.  

modelling her new skirt

The little motif which features on the skirt is simple to put together too.  I took a piece of brown felt and cut it into a leaf shape, then added some lace to tie in with the featured hem.  I cut out a few felt circles and stitched into the skirt to keep them there, and topped with a button.  Easy!

the motif

The good thing is that these were really easy projects, and I could get them both made in the one sitting.    Which means that I have already been asked to make a few more skirts for LittleBee with skirts being her favourite wardrobe item!  My kitchen looked worse for wear when I was done though, with no dishes being washed throughout the day.  I should have taken a photo of that *grin*.

I'm already looking forward to what other fun things I can make and create in more Mumma Times come!  

Friday, March 30, 2012

{this moment}

{this moment} - inspired by Soulemama... a single photo with no words that captures a  simple, special and extraordinary moment from our week.  A moment I want to savour and remember.  If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments...

nephew *love*

Thursday, March 29, 2012

celebrating Oliver

We celebrated you today Oliver.

We had some funky neon green cake with a cute dinosaur candle. Homemade popcorn and other yummy treats. Dinosaurs and balloons. Friends to play with, run with, climb trees with.

Your little sister squealed with delight at the balloons everywhere.

Your friends run and played and had a great time.

Your big sister loved the fact that we could have a party for you because she knows you would've loved having your friends over.

Mumma just wishes you could've been here.

A big thank you to our dear friends for turning a sad day into a brighter one.

today you are six

The sun is just rising this morning.  It's deep orange haze is bursting through the velvety sky creating the beginnings of a beautiful masterpiece.

I sit here and remember another sunrise.  Six years ago.  A sunrise that followed a sleepless night, a night where I know I needed rest more then than any other night, but a night I wanted to be alert through.  Your last night safe in my womb.  I wanted to feel every little squirm you made, every tiny bounce and jiggle and just embrace my expanding belly one last time.  That early morning came too fast, and had us set off to the hospital to take those steps we had dreaded, prayed for, longed for and hoped for since finding out about your condition.

There have been a lot of sunrises since then.  Some filled with darkness and deep sadness that simply I can't explain.  Some that make the void of you not being here so huge that I feel entirely swallowed up by our loss.  Some sunrises have been tickled with pink laughter and love, that make our hearts sing with joy... but all the while there is that place in my heart that just longs to look over the edge of my bed, or look over to the empty seat at the dinner table and see your big dark eyes smiling with us.  Laughing and giggling with your sisters.  Running up to Dadda for tickles, and then running to me for an escape.  For me to kiss your knee when you run a little too fast and fall down.  To tell you to love your baby sister even if she destroys the lego house you spent all day making, and to make sure you don't pull all the heads off your big sister's barbie dolls!

My son, today we remember the day we got to see your face, and hold your tiny hands while you fought to stay with us.  We wonder what life will be like things had been different.  But we are left with just these precious memories of the very short time with you, and long for the day when we can see you again.


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

a gift for her brother

This afternoon we made our yearly pilgrimage of sorts, to seek out a bear for Oliver's birthday.  A long walk down the big hill near our home into our little town, spending the late morning with the girls looking in all the shops.  Our trip today included lunch and a quick cuppa at our favourite local ice cream shop.  A perfect day to just be together and enjoy the sunshine and for me to let my thoughts rest on the blessings around me.

Our pilgrimage has become a tradition now.  We head out sometime either before or on Oliver's birthday and search for a small bear to buy in honour of his special day.  While we were walking down town this morning, we talked about heaven, about Oliver.  I was able to explain what happened to him again, and why he's not here with us.  All the while I'm sure LittleBee's heart and mind were set on finding the most perfect gift.

The little store we visited was filled with an array of stuffed toys.  LittleBee flited from basket to shelf, turning over each toy lovingly, searching the price tag thoughtfully, just waiting for the most perfect one.  The shop owner pointed LittleBee over to a cute little golden puppy, sitting on a shelf all on his own.  Immediately LittleBee's eyes lit up.  "This is the one Mum"...

Meet Monty

Tomorrow marks six years since we gave birth to our precious boy and said goodbye four short hours later.

LittleBee was only 2 and a half at the time.

I think it has become a bit of a healing tool for LittleBee.  We had a chat about it on the way home (the BIG trek UP the hill again!!!) and she said that it doesn't make her feel sad.  It makes her think about Oliver and all she really wants is to make sure that he is happy to be getting a present on his birthday.  Because in her beautiful, innocent, eight year old logic, Oliver will be watching us tomorrow and if we don't have a gift for him, he might be sad.

And no one should be sad on their birthday.

Monday, March 26, 2012

decisions, decisions

The restaurant is full tonight.  Families, couples, friends, lovers... all adding energy to the atmosphere of the room.  The wait staff busy themselves clearing our plates from our meal, and topping up our drinks.  A waiter stops and asks if we would like to see the dessert menu.  Of course we would!  The choices seem endless... baked this, chocolate that, lemony tarts, cakes, tortes, fruit platters and ice creams all delightfully dance across the page.  The cake display cabinet taunts with the delectable choices within.  I look over at the child among us who has been so well behaved, eating up her dinner, waiting for her dessert.  A glance at the dessert menu for her is simple... ice cream with your choice of topping.

Chocolate or strawberry.


Remember when your decisions used to be that simple... when you had someone with you who knows you so well to know that of course you are going to choose the chocolate, so they just order it for you.  And it's the best choice ever, thanks Mum.

And then you grow up a bit more, and you have to make different decisions for yourself.  And at the time they make you feel so grown up.  What colour car will I drive?  What colour should I dye my hair?  What classes will I take, or which one's will I skip this week?  Which friends will I invite to the movies?  When your decisions were based on yourself really, learning how to be an adult in a fast paced world.  Learning how to hold your own, provide for yourself, balance family, faith, life, love and work.  And it's fun to be an adult.

Then all of the sudden, your life flashes by in fast motion.  You get married.  So you decide what colour dress to wear, who will be your attendees, which song you will have playing as you dance with your Dad.  Beef or chicken?  You move into a house you picked out of a handful to rent.  You choose to start a family, and even though you have to wait a long time, you do have a baby.  You choose their name, with meaning and love.  You try and work out how to parent this little being.  You are faced with decisions on financial issues, spiritual factors, workplace politics, family balancing acts.  All in the premise of being an adult and making adult decisions.  And you feel important to be an adult.

But one day a few weeks ago I woke up and suddenly realised that I was actually an adult.  At nearly 36 I finally feel like an adult, making real grown up decisions that don't just effect me anymore.  A defining moment maybe?  There wasn't someone at my dinner table looking at the menu and knowing that I too would choose the chocolate topping, so they just order it for me.  I woke up, facing and making decisions that I really didn't want to have to make.  Now it was all me.  All me and all my husband and everything that we chose effected all the little beings that live with us.

I don't know what happened that changed my thinking on life.  Maybe this is what happens when you hit nearly 36.  There really is no going back now is there?  The little people around us a growing, and we are trying with all we have to provide them with a loving and encouraging environment.  To give them every opportunity we can for them to learn, grow and be nurtured, to experience fun and laughter and security.  All the while, we still have to balance life, love, work, faith etc in this world, where the pace of life is going faster than any of us can dare keep up with.

We've faced many decisions in our marriage, really in our married life.  Decisions of faith, where we have been pushed and tested and shown faithful.  We have decided on careers, on medical issues with our son, on following God in church planting.  All really big things.  But it seems that the things that hover over us now are definably "grown up" because it's not just us anymore.

Sometimes being an adult sucks!

Wouldn't it be nice to have your dessert ordered for you, knowing that you were going to choose that triple berry cheesecake anyway, just so that the agony of the decision making doesn't wear away at your soul any more than it needs to.

Friday, March 23, 2012

funky fungi

Nestled in a neglected corner of our yard, near the garden shed and abandoned cubby? house, there lies a dead log.  You can barely see it through the knee length grass, and other large weeds and plants that are growing up around it.  It's a quaint little corner of our yard and it seems that a lot more goes on there than what meets the eye.  

A few weeks ago, our eyes caught a glimpse of a bright orange growth on the log.  LittleBee and I were quite intrigued and set out to grab us some of this funky fungi to find out exactly what it might be.

a resourceful way of getting the fungi off the log

Got it!

We did a little research online but didn't come up with anything substantial, other than it was in fact orange, and fungi!  I know this doesn't happen very often these days with the advancement of technology, but we actually had to head into the library to find a book!  It was a great experience really, using the library catalogue system, and then finding the book on the shelf.  We came home with a little book titled "A Field Companion to Australian Fungi" by Bruce Fuhrer, printed in 1985!  What really surprised me was LittleBee's enthusiasm and excitement when she found a picture of the fungi that we had growing in our yard...  Tramates cinnabarinus!

So our garden adventure took us to the library and in to a new world of discovery.

(LittleBee is working on her own report now... report writing is not the exciting part of the journey, but using the computer to type it out is proving to be almost as fun as the discovery itself!)

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