Thursday, August 29, 2013

Restorative


For the past couple of weeks, Elke has woken every two hours around the clock. Day and night, night and day. She has needed feeding, settling, shooshing, rocking and patting - in short, she's needed everything I've got.

I've been the shouty mother. Relying on Zeph and Pip to tow the line so that our home can continue to function. They've been feeling the pinch, I know 'cus I can see it in their behaviour.

In an attempt to break the cycle I declared today a P.J day and at 9.30am I actually got Elke to sleep and successfully put her down (HUZZAH). 

As I walked down the hall from gingerly placing the baby in her cot, I could hear the kids gathering their drawing supplies and setting themselves up at the table. With two hands free for what felt like the first time in my life, I joined them. 

There we sat at our filthy kitchen table covered in texta and solidified weetbix and drew. A pice of paper each, a collection of pencils and an almost dead bunch of tulips. A little conversation, a pinch of still life sabotage (those wandering little hands) and two deliciously cheeky children.

We stayed there until every pencil was blunt and every true, rich colour was brown. Those few moments around the table with my first born and his middle sister were fabulously restorative for me. For them too, I suspect.


Oh my big kids, how much I have missed having time for you. I've missed listening with undivided attention to your ridiculous stories, I've missed cutting your sandwiches like I care about their shape (only squares please, mum), I've missed rescuing you from the highest limbs of magnolia whilst pretending to be superman and I've missed your tiny little hands in mine as we walk together. We've been running lately, but I promise we'll walk again soon.


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Wearing: For The Final Days of Winter



Oh baggy jeans, boots and a t-shirt, you are my very best friends. I bought these levi's just after Elke was born and have worn them every second day during our Aussie winter. They are 'boyfriend' style, whatever that means and are deadly comfortable, severely unflattering and more than a touch dorky. In fact, whenever I wear them either Dave or my mother comment on their hideousness - but hey, whatevz. Roll 'em at the ankles, throw on some boots and you're ready wipe some serious toddler bums. 

Wearing:

T Shirt | Country Road
Black Cardi | Country Road
Vest c|o Kennedys
Jeans | Levis
Boots c|o Sole Society
Air conditioning unit | Stylists own 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

My Life Is A Recalcitrant Toddler



As the debacle that is having more than two children continues, I'm realising that my days can be easily divided into two categories. Naughty and Nice. Because you know, life is just like a toddler - sometimes it's cute and clean cut and wonderful and other times it's face is covered in snot and you need to wipe up some serious metaphorical boogers before you can face the world.

As I move through each day, I'm trying to remind myself that the stressful moments are just that, moments. They are relatively short lived, they WILL pass and they will (usually) be followed by some sort of calm.

In time, with some focus and intentionality I hope I can turn some of these 'Naughty' moments into nice ones, because every recalcitrant toddler can be tamed. And if that's the case, then so can my life.

*****

Drinking my morning coffee whilst Dave is still at home - Nice

Packing the children into the car for absolutely ANY reason - Naughty

Watching the children have their swimming lesson - Nice

Dressing children after said swimming lesson and packing them into the car - Naughty

Having a pic-nic lunch in the sun - Nice

Insisting that the children have a quiet rest in their room and enduring the subsequent hour of tantrums - Naughty

Allowing said children out of their room and sending them out side to play - Nice

Having them return to the house after covering them selves in mud and releasing our 20 chooks and 3 rabbits - Naughty

Turning on iView and knowing that it will be on until Dave walks in the door - Nice

Telling Dave that the children flooded the garden, covered themselves in mud, released our 20 chooks and 3 rabbits and that he now has to locate, catch and contain them - Naughty

Preparing dinner while we all talk over one another - Nice

Getting kids bathed - Nice

Getting bathed kids into bed - REALLY Naughty

Pouring a G&T - Best part of my day.

*****

Please tell me your life is a rambunctious toddler too. Tell me your house is a mess, your car is a mess,  and your face is a mess. Go on. If you don't love me, lie to me.*


* a little Bon Jovi reference there for those of you who hit your straps in the 90's

Monday, August 26, 2013

Hey Girlfriend,


Hey Girlfriend, look at those cheeks of yours. I take daily delight in laying my lips upon them, preferably repeatedly with outrageous sound effects. I'm really winning when said smooch session results in belly laughs from you. 

Wanna do your mother a favour and never grow up?

*****

Seriously, how great are your own babies before they have learnt to say 'NO', back chat and tantrum? They are utter perfection. 




Please excuse this Elke indulgent post. But seriously, LOOK AT THOSE CHEEKS.

In other news, I totally kids my babies on the lips, I mean who can refuse?

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Stills: A Weekly Collection {the 'help' edition}




I mentioned in my last post that things had been pretty chaotic around here of late and I noted my resolve to 'say yes' when help was offered. This collection depicts 'the help'.

1. I was sent some fresh flowers this week and as superficial as it sounds, they truly brightened my home and my mood. They are easily the most stunning bouquet i've ever been the recipient of and I find myself carrying them from room to room, ensuring that i make the most of their beauty. Five days later and they are still full of life and colour. Dave, darling - you really need to take note of that link above.

2. On friday night Dave had to go out to a work function. The end of an exhausting week was met with tears, tantrums and sleeplessness from my children. Thank God mum and dad came over to help - it was even mum's birthday. The woman is a saint.

3.  Stories with pa. The kids lined up the books and he read them all with animation and excitement, A skill he swears he learned from my mother.

4. Mum rocking the Elke Bear in her way-too-pink wrap made with fabric chosen by Zeph. It's a bit sweet really.

5. When Jodi popped her head over the fence to say hi, I lamented that life was to hard and my pantry was bare. Five minutes later she was on my door step with home made chicken stock ready for soup, strawberries, tomatoes and a loaf of fresh banana bread. I've been eating Jodi's banana bread for years and this was her best effort yet.

6. One dozen chook and duck eggs. As the weather warms we will see a return to egg focused meals - omelette, scramble, quiche and frittata.

7. We've been living on easy meals like this one. Fortunately a box of sausages arrived from Peppercorn food which saved me a trip with 3 kids to the shops. As a bonus they are all natural and totally scrumptious!

8. Oh good Lord, the baby SLEEPS. Praise. Jesus. Amen. Mercy. Hallelujah.


And that, my friends, concludes the first on time 'Stills Collection' I've presented in weeks! Feeling good - I might just follow that up with a G&T (Sparkle darling, I'll have one for you too). 



34/52



Zeph: Oh, larger than life child of mine. Here you are in your element, the centre of attention with bucket loads of eyes looking straight at you.

Pip: After doing the rounds you finally found someone strong enough and willing to 'throw you up'. Pa's willing to do most things that his grand babies ask of him.

Elke: Girlfriend, you're really starting to reveal yourself to us and oh my, what a chatterbox you are. Every singe one of us is enjoying every single moment with you.*







*3 night feeds are excepted. You can cut that out.


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Wearing: Chambray and Pastel Pink




Oh you know, sometimes I just really like to co-ordinate my outfit with my bedlinen. This is one of those times.

I'm Wearing:

Polka Dot Chambray Shirt | Insight
Dusty Pink Knit | Supre
Jeans | Levis
Watch c|o The Horse
Shoes | Jag (a million years ago)


My Bed is Wearing:

Polka Dot Quilt | Inside Out for Target
Dusty Pink Mohair Throw c|o St Albans
Orange Euro Slips | IKEA



Monday, August 19, 2013

Stills: A Weekly Collection



1. Liberty Print. Easily the best thing about having a baby girl. Throw in some polka dots and this mother is overcome with joy.

2. Kitchen sink. Dirty windows, spiders webs and general grime but I call it clean. Look at those dishes, they are sparkling!

3. My new fiddle fig. Green sculptural blissness and surprisingly affordable!

4. Fine bone china and my parents place. You know, from their 'good room'.

5. Fresh linen in our Master Bedroom.


I'll be dedicating some time this week to actually being a polite person and visiting those of you who link up here! Sorry I've been super slack at that over the past month or two.

xo em

Sunday, August 18, 2013

33/52




Zeph + Pip: These two can share a photo. Lord knows it will be the only thing they have shared (except the top of the chest of draws) this week. It's been mayhem around here and this mumma is still recovering. I have no words. 

Elke: In constant need. Always wanting to be held, day and night, night and day. The result was two very neglected bigger kids who clearly took matters into their own hands. In other news, she's looking oh so adorable in her bonnet made by the ever so lovely Sarah.


oooh the juggle.



I'll be back later for the stills collection which I have been doing an appalling job of hosting! Sorry about that, I seldom have time to eat let alone leave blog comments - as a result i'm probably going to stop the linky in the coming weeks. There's nothing worse that an absent host!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Blogs and Bits I'm Loving Right Now


Oh hi! I thought I'd share with you a few of my favourite places on the interwebz at the moment. I've been enjoying a few golden blog spots and have discovered a few new businesses so I thought it might be nice to share some online lovin'.

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If you have not yet visited Grace, you really must. Every time I read her blog I leave feeling like part of The Great Sisterhood. Grace has a way of sharing tales from the coalface of motherhood with SUCH humour. Truly, I'm not trying to sound like the back of a trashy rom-com, but you will laugh until you cry. Go, go now.




This is one of our favourtes. Dave will often bring the computer to the table after dinner and read us stories of the intentionally uncomplicated life of Ben Hewitt and his family. Prepare to be challenged and inspired. Stay a while.




Did anyone say 'amazing photography'? I would love to have just half the talent of this man. 


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Speaking of which, I've just carted a 35mm 1.4! I'd been lusting after it since forever and finally bit the bullet. Can't wait to try it out!

Is anyone else obsessed with greenery at the moment! I'm adding plants to my home like a nut case and this one is on my hit list.

The new Lumiere Art and Co collection- kill me now.

Do yourself a favour and make this salad. Holy Perfection.

Currently revisiting this book as a matter of need, not want. If you haven't got it, I strongly recommend it along with Raising your Spirited Child.



Happy Weekend my friends! I hope you have fun browsing the interwebz and i REALLY hope your week was better than mine!



Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Yes Darling, In A Minute




Mum, will you build train tracks with me?
   Yes Darling, in a minute.

Mum, I'm hungry. Can I have a sandwich?
   Yes Darling, in a minute.

Mummmmm, I'm ready to wipeeee.
   Yes Darling, just a minute.

Mum, can we go for a drive?
   Yes Darling, in a minute.


Sound familiar? It's been my answer to every question, query and request over the past few days. Elke is at her unsettled best and requires constant holding, feeding or patting - day and night*.

I am a broken record and my older children remain neglected and unfed.

Thank God an impromptu catch up with friends at lunch time today included a milkshake and a doughnut.

I'm hoping tomorrow will bring a change and that maybe, just maybe I'll be able to brush my teeth, have a shower and eat something wholesome.




Do you find yourself sounding like a broken record some days? I swear 'in a minute' is my most repeated phrase. What's yours? C'mon, there's got to be some funny ones out there (this mumma needs a laugh)!




*yes, it's wednesday and there is no wearing post. I've spent the week looking like a poo with legs. I'm sparing you the trauma. Dave's not quite so lucky.





Tuesday, August 13, 2013

A New Habit - Switching Off



I have a confession. I'm addicted to my iphone. I love it. It's my connection to the outside world when domesticity becomes too much to bear. It prevents me from being entirely engulfed by boredom and offers me little doses of 'pretty' throughout the day. It allows me to easily photograph what the kids are up to and flick pics to doting grandparents as cute thing ocour.

But it's also a filthy discration. When i'm looking at my phone there is an assortment of VERY important things that i'm NOT looking at.... like the road.

Thats right. I hang my head in shame and confess to texting and driving.

All day long my phone beeps, rings and chimes at me and for some reason I feel a sense of urgency around those alerts. If I get a text, I usually read it strait away and respond pretty soon after. If the phone rings, I answer it regardless of what I'm doing.

Most of the time I keep my phone on silent to try and avoid constant distractions, but i'll be honest- it's never far from my hand and distraction in the form of adult conversation is oooh so delicious.

But in light of the recent 'get your hand off it' campaign I've decided to do just that.

I'm upping the iphone anti and setting myself a new rule. No longer will I rely on the power of my convictions and flimsy self control.

That's right - I'm switching off.

Every time I hop in the car, I'm turning my phone off.

Whatever it is can wait until we unbuckle and hop out. Because really - no phone call, text message or social media update is as important as our safety.


Are you guilty of having the phone in your lap while you drive? Do you check your emails, instagram, facebook, texts and call register when you're stopped at the lights? 

Monday, August 12, 2013

The Great Wall of Memories {A Feature for The Canvas Factory}




 My parents are sentimental people, my Dad especially. Memories are like golden treasures to him and he, along with my Mum, like to keep mementoes scattered around the house to remind them of special times past.

If you turn to the left as you enter their home, you'll find a shrine to all thing sentimental. A room dedicated to breakable, shining things. A room with french doors to protect treasures from the hands of toddlers that gather dust when not in use. A room reserved for guests and special occasions.

Within it's walls lay antiques, crystal, fine bone china, linen, silk and wall of photos dating back to the 1930's. Each marriage within our family is represented there, yet there is one sacred day that is missing. The wedding of my big brother to his stunning bride.

For Fathers Day this year, that will be rectified. Recently, I went through my photo archives from my brothers big day and selected a black and white image to have printed onto canvas by The canvas Factory. Within days I had beautiful memento to add to the walls of my parents home*.


The Canvas Factory would like to extend an seriously HUGE discount to all readers of The Beetle Shack so that you can do the same. Why not order a 30 x 45cm canvas print for only $19 (bargain) plus you will receive an additional 70% off any other prints. Shipping is capped at $14.95, no matter where you are located world wide and no matter how many prints you order! Use the code 5324565 to redeem discount.



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The Canvas Factory is an Australian business that prides itself on offering superior quality and service, resulting in customer satisfaction every time. With a fan base all over the world, their convenient ordering service is easy to use, making it the ideal solution for sprucing up your home decor.
Uploading is easy; simply import your photos either from your computer or device, or you also upload them directly from Facebook or Instagram. This gives you complete flexibility over which images you choose to use for your artwork and means that you can easily print out those candid shots, taken whilst on the go.
Alternatively, you can select from over 20 million images from Fotolia in The Canvas Factory Art Gallery, which is ideal for businesses such as restaurants and hair dressers, or for anyone wanting a beautiful and artistic image that leaves a lasting impression.

This post is sponsored by The Canvas Factory

Does your family home have a room full of dust and trinkets?

*I snuck in while Dad was out to take these pics. I think he will be well pleased on Father's Day.


Sunday, August 11, 2013

Stills: A Weekly Collection {from home and out}



1. "Hey you two, stand together and let me take a photo"

2. Making 'Ninja' helmets. What is it with kids and ninja's these days?

3. Out the window. A glorious afternoon sky illuminating the trees.

4. Bird cardigan gracing the shoulders of my friend Ana. If she dare leave that lying around, i'm pinching it. Best. Thing. Ever.

5. Drinks and glasses at the bird lady's house.

6. My bestie Jo had a little 30th shindig at the weekend. We celebrated out 12th birthdays together 18 years ago.

We actually socialised outside of our home this week. Unsurprisingly, given our current situation, thats pretty rare. It was good to eat from other peoples kitchens and drink from their glasses.

What did you get up to this week?



32/52



Zeph: As always, you're in motion. Moving quickly from one task to the next with little care for the trail of 'destruction' you leave behind. I suspect you had dirty patches on your jeans after this move, such in the filth on our floors.

Pip: For three days in a row you have let me brush and style your hair. The favourite in two little pigtails looped up just above your ears, we call them Tweak Bunny Buns (octonauts reference) and they stay in all day! I'll make a girl of you yet! 

Elk: Resting on your daddas chest while he reads a book, a blog or the paper. It's a common theme.

Linking up with Jodi and heading back in later on today for the Stills Collection Link Up.



Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Wearing: Stripes and Layers



My wardrobe selection is fairly limited given that I'm about 15 kilos heavier than my 25 year old self and that with each baby I birthed, an 5 extra kilos have lingered.

After each pregnancy i've carefully selected a handful of clothing that fits and feels good. That usually, okay always, includes a great pair of black Levis and an assortment of floaty button down tops in size XL, thank you very much.

I find myself layering summer items in various ways to get more bang for my buck. On this occasion i've thrown a loose fitting top over a stripy stretch tee.

Wearing

Stripe Top | Miss Shop from a million years ago (find similar)
Cream Shirt | Levis (find similar)
Vest | Kennedys
Jeans | Levis
Boots c|o Sole Society about 2 years ago (find similar)
Watch c|o The Horse 


Please note, my 'find similar' links are not affiliate links. I have never used affiliate links but if I ever find some spare time, I'll dedicate it to figuring out how the whole thing works and get on board.