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...

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Our Simple Pocket Money System

Over the past few months, we've introduced a very simple pocket money system for our girls, a way to help them begin learning about earning and saving and spending (in a basic way) and to be responsible for a handful of small chores that contribute to family life in our home.

A chart displaying daily responsibilities is pinned up in our kitchen and a completed chore earns the girls a colourful felt ball in their pocket money jars (which they keep safely guarded in their bedrooms). In the mornings, Grace and Sophie feed Asha her biscuits and put away the clean cutlery from the dishwasher.  After school, I now have help unpacking groceries, watering pot plants, helping sort laundry that has come off the washing line and the table is set ready for our dinner... all are quick and easy jobs for little ones to help with.  And while I often have to hunt through the pantry that bit longer in search of a particular ingredient or find my socks and underwear in the wrong drawers, it makes me smile to see the satisfaction my girls get from helping.

Come Sunday evening, felt balls are excitedly counted, each one earning ten cents.  Coins are then transferred to purses (kept on a high shelf in Sophie's case away from temptation's reach) where the girls keep the money they are saving for special items they hope to buy.

Our pocket money system is super simple, but for us at this point, it is working beautifully...

With our system, pocket money is not given for behaviour and is only allocated for the completion of jobs.
Responsibilities that are simply part of being members of our household do not earn money (eg. packing away toys, keeping bedrooms tidy...)  
It is up to the girls whether they complete their jobs but they know that no job equals no pay.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Welcoming Spring

The end of winter and the past few weeks have seemed to pass by in a blur of head colds, housebound days and irritability (from all family members).  We've ticked over into spring and yet have only been treated to sunshine and warmth on the odd day here and there.  Cloudy skies, lingering low temperatures and rain have been the norm.  But lately, especially today, I've felt winter's grip beginning to loosen... there's a change in the air, a change I for one am eagerly awaiting.  As much as I love winter and its cosiness (and know that I'll be wishing for cooler weather once the heat sets in and our garden begins to feels its effects), my body is definitely craving some sun and warmth.

Spring will see us spend more time outdoors, having riverside picnics and adventures and pottering about in our yard.  There will be a move from soups and cassseroles to salads and warmer weather foods. A family getaway will be had in the south-west.  A party will be planned and a third birthday celebrated.  Projects set aside over the colder months will be brought out again and hopefully completed. Energy levels will pick up and motivation to 'get things done' will slowly return.  This year, I am welcoming spring with open arms.

What are you looking forward to most about spring?      

Our garden has seen an abundance of bird life lately.  It's so lovely to hear them singing to one another during the day.
On Sunday, Paul accidentally startled a barely feathered baby honey eater, who them got himself wedged behind the vegetable garden and fence.
The four of us spent a good half an hour trying to free him and re-unite him with his mother and father.