Friday, October 31, 2014

Sophie's 3rd Birthday Party

Last Friday night, while I was at the kitchen bench, surrounded by blue icing, trying to create Sophie's birthday cake, Paul walked past and remarked, "Why are you going to all this trouble for just six kids?"

I muttered something about him being a party pooper, that small simple gatherings were the best ones and that I wasn't going overboard anyway...  I had no reservations whatsoever that what we had planned would turn out perfectly...

Sophie's party was a lovely little celebration of close family and friends. There were decorations which the birthday girl herself helped make, old-style games (a treasure hunt, pass the parcel and musical statues), party bags for the children (Sophie potato stamped a fish design onto each one and helped choose treats like notepads and pens and stickers to fill them with) and of course, cake... crucial elements of a successful birthday party from a little one's perspective.

Come Sunday night, we all in agreed that keeping things low key had been easier to run and much more enjoyable and most importantly, our little three year old definitely loved her special day.

I've never been one for huge, over-the-top parties (and judging by the way Sophie gets overwhelmed by big crowds, I think she will take after her mama).  Less elaborate, more intimate get-togethers, celebrating the one day of the year that is purely about our loved ones, is in my eyes truly what counts...

Friday, October 24, 2014

An Interview At Mum's Closet

Today I'm being featured over at the blog Mum's Closet, belonging to a good friend and one of my favourite bloggers, Claire. In her 'Fabulous Females' series, Claire interviews a different lady each week about a variety of topics and I must say, I was very humbled when she asked me to participate.

Claire and I became friends around four years ago through our blogs and both being primary school teachers, with children close in age and sharing many similar views on life, we seemed to 'click' right away. She is such a gem and I appreciate her support, admire her passion for celebrating the positive things in our days and am constantly inspired by her style-filled yet down-to earth posts.

Pop on over to Claire's blog here to read what I have to say about motherhood, blogging, decorating and daily life in our home...

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Accepting Imperfection

Last year, as we were passing through Mt Barker on the return journey of our Denmark trip, I called into a few second hand stores for a quick browse and came away with a handful of treasures, including two tiny glasses, perfect for little ones to grasp in chubby hands. At 20c a piece, and reminding me of the glass I always claimed as my own on visits to my grandparent’s house as a little girl, they were even more perfect.

Days later, as the girls were sitting at their little table setting having some lunch, one of them accidentally knocked their glass off the table. It fell to the floor and broke into pieces and I was immediately devastated… devastated that my ‘perfect pair’ of glasses was no more. As I wiped the juice off the floorboards, unfairly chastised the clumsy culprit and swept away the shards of glass, I suddenly realised the ridiculousness of my mindset and my behaviour. Why was having two identical glasses so important to me? Why could I not see the beauty in a collection of mis-matched drinking glasses? What message was I subconsciously portraying?... I vowed then and there to work on being more accepting of imperfection, not only for my sake, but for my girls.

While I constantly let my girls know that ‘things don’t have to be perfect’ and ‘it’s okay to be wrong’, it is the example I am unknowingly setting that has got me thinking. It’s part of my personality to like things ’just so’and to focus on small details. But I am slowly learning to lower my standards, direct my energy towards what really matters and to accept that some things are out of my control (and that often it is best to step back and simply ‘see what happens’). Knowing that nothing is perfect, that mistakes happen, that there are ups and downs and dents and blemishes and that this is more than okay, is a lesson I desperately want my little girls to learn and a way of life I hope they embrace. I don’t want them to be striving for unrealistic standards. I want them to become confident, compassionate, accepting individuals who see the beauty in the imperfect... just as I am slowly beginning to do…

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Snippets Of Our Week

Week one of school holidays for us was spent in the country, down south in Denmark. It was such a relaxing week that left me sad (as always) when the time came to head back to the city...

1.  I've often seen female Blue Wrens (the symbol of Denmark) but have only managed to catch glimpses of the showy, blue feathered male... until last Sunday

2.  Grace in a field of dainty flowers (onion weed I think), wearing her 'new' hand-me-down gum boots 

3.  Sweet little seaside daisies appeared everywhere... so very spring-like

4. Sophie absolutely loved the Animal Farm... she was devastated when the time came to leave

5.  Each afternoon while Paul went mountain bike riding, the girls and I would rug up in jackets and boots and explore the 'secret garden' where we were staying... it became a daily ritual and was my most loved part of our time away

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Childhood Memories

One of the loveliest pleasures of motherhood for me has been re-living snippets of my own childhood. Through my girls, I am reminded of sweet outfits my Mum and Nanna made for me, games I used to play, books that captivated my imagination and beloved toys that joined me on my journey as a youngster.  One such toy is a doll, Penny.  Since moving out of home, she remained forgotten at the top of my wardrobe until one day last year when I was having a clear out and Grace discovered her.

"Can I have this doll Mummy?" she asked, clutching her in her arms in the same way I remember doing as a little girl.  I hesitated at first, my once beloved doll seeming a bit precious for play, but then, thinking of her years being tucked away in a box I replied with, "Okay, just be gentle as she's getting a bit old."

Since that afternoon, Penny has been well loved.  She has sat on Grace's bed during school hours and in the evening, been lovingly tucked in beside her with a special little pillow. As I've checked on my girls each night before tiptoeing to bed myself, it has truly warmed my heart seeing Grace's arm wrapped protectively around her 'friend', loving the very same doll from my own childhood.

Recently though, I discovered poor Penny was looking a little worse for wear.  In several places, due to her age and years of being 'well loved', her fabric was beginning to wear out.  Seams were opening, stuffing was poking through and there were sections where the material was threadbare and thinning and where discoloration was starting to show. Penny's days were sadly beginning to look numbered and beyond a simple patch-up job, so we've had to hunt for a replacement doll which we've fortunately found and ordered (and whose arrival we're now eagerly awaiting).

I hope that one day, Grace's 'new Penny' is a piece of her childhood she too can pass on to her children.  And that just like me, she will do so remembering lovingly and with fondness her own days growing up...

Do you have any toys of your own you have kept and perhaps been fortunate enough to pass on to another generation?

On a side note, this post from a bit more than a year ago shows Grace in exactly the same dress... 
I was rather shocked to see how much her face has changed in that length of time...