Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all! We've been very busy enjoying all of the good things about the festive season. The kids have loved counting down the days on the advent tree.
I have not had much of a chance to do any Christmas crafting since Maddie arrived (lots of patting and rocking and feeding but no crafting LOL!) At least I finally finished these little kangaroos (out of the Softies pattern book by "My Little Mochi") These are going to live in London with my niece and nephew.

On Tuesday night we were in the Lobethal Live Nativity again. This has become an annual event (both Dan and Maddie have been baby Jesus and Hannah has been an angel every year since Dan was born) I love that this is something we can do to really celebrate the true meaning of Christmas. It was extra special this year to have a cast full of friends and favourite ex-students! Hannah even had one of her kindy friends as another little angel. Daniel was delighted to be a shepherd with my friend Nic, and even more excited when he got to hold a sheep and a stick!!!

Madeline slept through the first performance and only got a bit wriggly for the second. At just 3 weeks of age she was one of the youngest baby Jesus they had this year!

Wednesday night was the Lobethal Pageant. The kids and I went on the back of the kindy float! So much fun and we saw so many people we knew! I think this might become another Christmas tradition!
Now there is not much left to do; a few presents to wrap, a trampoline to assemble; a pudding to defrost...I think a nice glass of red and a bit of chill out time is in order. Whoever you are, where ever you are, we wish you peace and happiness this Christmas.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Is there anything more precious than a newborn?

More photos of my sweet Maddie girl. Is there anything nicer than the smell of a newborn? That soft downy spot at the back of their neck? Those long eyelashes and the little rosebud mouth? We are all so in love...makes the sleep deprivation totally worth it hey!
p.s. thanks to my wonderful friend Nic who came over this morning to take newborn shots with an uncooperative baby and two over-cooperative kidlets! Lovely to actually have some photos of Maddie and Mummy!
Keep smiling,

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Madeline Emily

She's here! Madeline Emily arrived early on November 30th 2009. Instead of the big boofy boy I thought I was having we have a petite little girl (7 pound 11 ounces)
Hannah cried when James told her she had a sister - I knew she wanted a girl but I had no idea how much she had her heart set on it - or how instant the bond between them would be. Hannah is totally smitten and every bit the big sister. Not a single day goes by when she doesn't tell me how special Maddie is, or how this will be the best Christmas ever because we have baby Madeline (at the risk of being sentimental I totally agree with her!)

Unlike her siblings, Madeline was a beautiful newborn. Here she is just two hours old.

My parents have been staying for the week - wonderful family time - we have almost been in "hibernation" doing only the essentials and spending the rest of the time with just us!

My Dad is a little smitten with his new grand-daughter too - look at the size of his hands compared to Maddie's! This photo makes my heart skip a beat! I love the way newborns are so sleepy and trusting!

I can't get the computer to move these photos to where I want them so you will just have to take them as they are. The one of Maddie on the blue shawl is her "going home" photo - Dan also wore this little white suit home.
Would love to be posting this poetic, lyrical post about the joy of newborns but am just overjoyed that at the moment I have all three asleep and some time to myself - think I might have to go and have a big bubbly bath with chocolate before Madeline's next feed (life is very much on a three hour schedule at the moment!)
Anyway, hoping you like the photos of our gorgeous girl - will post more when life feels more "normal"
Keep smiling,

Monday, November 23, 2009

I've Found My Scrapping Mojo Again!

Today we braved the crowds and the parking in the city for our annual tradition of going to the Magic Cave and Santaland with my MIL. Hannah wore the Christmas dress I made her yesterday (another tradition that the kids get a Christmas outfit every year - glutton for punishment that I am!)

I had the yummiest products arrive in Creative Memories Autoship this month. Lots of new paper tags, frames and ribbons and a big circle cutter. It was just what I needed to re-find my scrapping mojo! Hope you enjoy the layouts,

Keep smiling,

Friday, November 20, 2009

My big grown up girl and a bit of Spring goodness

I couldn't resist photographing this bouquet from my garden (obviously taken before the heat hit!) I am a very hit and miss gardener - very much an Edna Walling devotee who likes everything growing wild and jumbly enough to hide the weeds! In Spring my garden just gives me so much joy. The idea of having fresh flowers in the house all the time just lifts my mood! Most of the roses are David Austens and the sweet peas are self sown but delicious.
The big excitement around here at the moment is that our "little" girl has started school transition. Here she is all ready this morning in her uniform and new hair ribbons! Enough to break Mummy's heart but you know I actually feel really good about her starting knowing that I have given her 6 extra months than most and that I have really done some "shopping around" to have her in the best school environment possible. She was so confident and happy to have us leave her there this morning and that speaks volumes!
Anyway, only an hour until I pick her up and my Creative Memories autoship has just arrived so I want to go and have a little play! It is raining here today, such welcome relief after the heat wave!
Keep smiling,

Monday, November 9, 2009

A Baby Update!

Forgive the clumsy belly shot but here we are at 36 weeks and 3 days. We have had a very eventful time of it late last week. Wednesday night I started getting Braxton Hicks contractions at about 11.00pm and they continued right through the night becoming more and more painful. Fell asleep in the wee hours and then went off to do my last kindy teaching day Thursday (thinking "they're only Braxton Hicks - I'll be right!") By Thursday afternoon the girls had called for teaching back up and I was on my way to the hospital to get it checked out! They hooked me up to a fetal heart monitor and left me for half an hour (and of course my body went "aahh! So nice to just lie here!" and did absolutely nothing!) The midwives sent me home and told me to rest up as they can't deliver babies at Mt Barker until 37 weeks (and I was just 36) Had an okay night Thursday but still with lots of twinges (and Friday night was just horrendous) so had a very quiet time of it for Friday and Saturday - had to cancel out of so many things - no craft show, no wine auction, no unit christmas dinner, no quilting group :(
Anyway, things seemed a bit better yesterday and today I saw my doctor and she thinks I'm probably a bit sore and bruised from all of the movements and hasn't ruled out a gastro type bug for causing the contractions in the first place. My uterus has dropped and bubby is head down and engaged so she is doubtful that I will last to due date of Dec 4. All of this excitement has been good for one thing - we've been cruising along and haven't organised car seats or the bassinette or the baby's room. This weekend, while I rested, James moved furniture around so that the baby's room is more or less ready. He put up the blinds in that room, and moved the guitars and amps etc into our room. Today I rang up about the baby capsule and washed the basinette mattress and sheets etc.

I even darned the ends in on the finished shawl (which should look lovely with the white bassinette and the red spotty fabric on the quilt and change mat)
Because I've not been up to doing anything the kids have had a wild time trashing the house:

The quilts and bears have been displaced by guitars and are now residing by the front door (which looks kind of homey anyway!)

My wonderful friend Nic (and her great friends on the essential baby website) have been getting together a stash of the most gorgeous newborn fitted nappies for me - they are all washed and ready to go and I keep sneaking in to look at them because I can't believe how tiny and cute they look!

Hannah has been creating artwork for the baby's room (including this precious family portrait!)

And in amongst it all I've finished off two pairs of fluffy bootees, knitted more on a soft camel coloured baby cardigan, and completely finished these Christmas baubles (enough for Kris Kringles, stocking fillers, teacher gifts etc etc!) Marg Low and Yvonne have a lot to answer for!!!

Hospital bag is being packed tonight and camera batteries recharged and then we will just sit and wait!
Thank goodness the Christmas shopping is done!!!
Keep smiling,

Monday, November 2, 2009

Happiness is...

"What we call the secret of happiness is no more a secret than our willingness to choose life" Leo Buscaglia (a very clever man with some wonderful insights into children!) So what is making me blissfully happy at this point in time:
- a garden gone crazy in the Spring sunshine; my jasmine is finally tall enough to trail through the climbing sympathie rose at the front door; self sown sweet peas that smell divine (and have been given away in huge bunches); picking armloads of roses to cart indoors - we all have flowers in our rooms.

More happiness: working at kindy three days last week and two the week before that and then three again this week - lovely to have that last hurrah teaching before bubby arrives

- getting ready for the new arrival; I made this little owl outfit a while ago but hadn't got around to blogging it. The growsuit was completed first and then I found the lovely owl fabric at Kirkbride Quilts on our Retreat weekend - matches so well doesn't it? I used the bloomer pattern from Amy Butlers "Little Stitches for Little People"

I also started the pinwheels for the baby's quilt yesterday - love this fabric and I was just so glad to finally make a start after putting it off for so long! The kids took advantage of the hot day to help me scrub down and wash the pram and all the assorted baby bits and pieces! It was so lovely outside that we even ate tea in the back yard.

These little farm animal softies are for the baby's Christmas present (although I think the older two will enjoy them just as much as they've already been pre-tested and met with approval!) The pattern is out of Country Threads magazine and was so easy that I will probably end up making some more as gifts and for the Softies for Mirabel campaign.

I also cut out the fabric for the two little Mochi kangaroos I am making for my little British nephew and niece - so watch this space; hoping to have them finished next weekend.

All in all, flowers and crafting and time spent with the kidlets is making me a very happy Mummy!

Wherever you are, whoever you are, Happy spring!

Keep smiling,


Monday, October 12, 2009

A very Soule Mama kind of day!

I have just returned from a wonderful weekend cropping with the gorgeous girls in my Creative Memories team. We managed over 300 pages between the 12 of us (I only contributed 32 but at least I got my mojo back!) We stayed at the beautiful Glenbarr Homestead at Strath and my friend Meredith finally took a belly shot for me (the first for this pregnancy which is disgusting given that we only have 7 weeks to go!) Shame that the shadow makes me look even huger than I really am!!!

Being away from home for a few days does have its positives. The children have been positively angelic today and I have had a very "Soule Mama" kind of day (check out her blog on my list - I have both of her books with lovely things to do with and around small children) Anyway, the kids were happily creating christmas baubles and playing with my magnetic pin picker upper on one side of the table while I played with fabric on the other. I had already cut out the skull and crossbones fabric for a bag for my crazy friend Lindy Lou before discovering a bag tutorial on Ric Ric's blog (Jodie does amazing things!) so I kind of modified Lou's bag to be a slightly smaller version of Jodie's. This bag really is the simplest pattern ever and before I had even finished I knew I would make another with this "vintage"/retro fabric that I got off the trading table at Spinners and Weavers last week. For the extraordinary sum of $2.00 I had two pieces of the floral just the right size, quite a bit of very bright orange linen and three craft magazines - bargain!!! My straps are a little shorter than Jodie's because of the length of the orange linen but I was thrilled to end up with a totally thrifted very "hip" bag in under an hour! Even the buttons came off an old cardigan from James' Aunt! Now I know I really should use it as a Christmas gift but I just like it too much! I can definitely see me making several more of these as quick gifts!

While you are blog hopping to check out Ric Rac's bag pattern, why not go to as well? She is having a very Steiner inspired toy giveaway.
And thinking of all things natural and lovely; couldn't resist photographing the lilac at Glenbarr. I love the smell of lilac, and the daintiness of the flowers, and the fact that it is so reminiscent of Springtime (my favourite time of year!)

Wherever you are this week, take the time to stop and smell the Spring blossoms!
Keep smiling,


Thursday, October 8, 2009

Happy Birthday Daniel James!

Today this sweet boy of mine turned three! Hard to believe that those three years have gone so fast!
Daniel's birth was one of the most amazing days of my life. We had a quick and pain free water birth. As he was being born the midwife looked at his fine fuzzy blonde hair spread out in the water like a halo around his head and said "Oh look, a little angel baby!" He has been my little angel baby ever since.
This boy is so easy to adore. He is funny, and snuggly, and just so easy to enjoy.

His little foot still fits in the palm of my hand, and he still likes to come into our bed in the morning for a cuddle. Every day he tells me at least once "I love you too!" (even if I haven't told him!) He has the longest eyelashes of any boy I know and if he has done something wrong he comes to find me and looks me straight in the eye and says "I'm sorry Mummy!" (one day he even cut his own hair and came to me with the scissors and the lock of hair saying "I'm sorry Mummy it was ALL my fault!") He has the most infectious giggle, and the sweetest kisses! He is good at sharing. He puts himself to bed when he is tired. He is gentle with babies and little people. He is curious about bugs, and nature, and trucks, and dinosaurs, and whales.
He is a truly unique little character.

I feel so blessed to have this little boy in our lives. Happy birthday my special Danny boy!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Just a few more finished projects!

I had quite a productive weekend craft wise (weather wasn't much good for anything else!) This is a little batwing cardigan that was a free pattern on Ravellry. I had it all done excepting the front band and cuffs about 12 months ago and then it stalled - I have such an aversion to stitching up knitted things!! Silly thing is that it really only took a few hours in front of the telly to get it done! James doesn't like it so it won't be going on the new babe - more likely a present for my friend's little one who is due a fortnight before ours. I have just enough wool left to make a little hat to go with it.

This was a very satisfying baby playmat project with my two cherubs. We got the idea from Amanda Blake Soule's fabulous book (my current favourite) "Handmade Home" The kids drew all over a scrap piece of fabric with textile markers - thinking of course about what the new baby might like so we have a picture of our house, and our family, and Princess Jasmine, and an American style barn complete with rooster on the weathervane LOL! Most priceless of all is that you can see one of the first concrete examples we have of Dan's representational drawings (see, that is a face beside the barn?) We finished it with some purple homespun from a project I outgrew a decade ago and lots of precut 2" squares from my scrap stash. I haven't quite worked out what to do with the middle of it yet - tied or naive quilted around the figures, or an all over machine quilting? The wadding was a leftover scrap so this project cost us absolutely nothing and provided some welcome entertainment for two small ones with cabin fever!

This is my niece's first birthday present - one of the kinder dolls from a pattern by Jodi Carleton. She has a great blog which I will add to my list. I personally think this little dolly's neck is a bit giraffe like but she didn't turn out too badly and I love that the clothes are reversible and child friendly. Toying with the idea of one each for the cherubs and for my brother's two girls for their birthdays?

My boy has been on leave for two weeks and as nice as it was to have him home today is all about getting the house back in order and decluttering the stuff that seems to accumulate when we are in holiday mode!
First stop this morning (after bedmaking) was the garden for some fresh blooms - funny how no matter how messy the house is you always feel better with fresh flowers in the bathrooms and kitchen? I've had two early roses already, and my clematis is just about to burst into a riot of blooms, and the apple blossom is also divine but I can't bear to pick it for the thought of apples that won't happen?
Happy Spring to you!
keep smiling,