Thursday, 17 April 2014

16/52 - hooray, hooray, it's school holidays!


Many years ago, a lovely friend of mine gifted me this gorgeous little book featuring people in great art works, generally 15-18th century paintings by European artists. 

I casually placed it on Lily's bookshelf a couple years ago, with the cheeky high hope that in the midst of hundreds of children's books she might be drawn to the artistry within. Little did I know that she would discover it and fall in love. Without a word from me about it being anything different or special, she treats this book with such reverence. She pours through the pages, examining the paintings. She tells me often that she loves it, repeatedly adding that it is her favourite book. We sometimes sit and examine the pictures together, and she asks me to tell her the artist's names and read the complimentary poetry. We dissect and discuss what the scene might be about. 

As an art lover (though not art expert!), this warms my heart and I must admit, amazes me! It is a beautiful thing to see a child so naturally drawn to fine art from centuries past. And yes, it feels a little surreal to be discussing 16th century Dutch painting technique with a five year old too ;)

One of her favourite images - Madame de Pompadour by Drouis (1763)


Swinging through the Autumn sunshine... 


At the park on an extended playdate, Miles needed somewhere to hang out while I was pushing Eli on the swing - somewhere he couldn't also consume his body weight in tanbark!

Then I spied this shopping trolley sitting all lonely near by... and yes, yes, I did let him chill out in there. He loved roaming around and exploring this bizarre metal structure. I mean, a portable grated playpen, what's not to love?! ;)

Yeah, yeah, we are all class in this family, ha!


Hard at work in his man-cave, aka home office, aka future-walk-in-wardrobe ;)

Project 52: A portrait of my family, once a week, every week, in 2014.

More highlights from the week that was...

At last, at last, our chickens have started laying eggs!!! My murmured threats about KFC must have started to
sink in, haha ;) We all screamed with excitement when we discovered the first egg, frying it up that night for one precious and delicious bite each. We declared it the yummiest thing ever - and are enjoying seeing them now
arrive day by day. Having chookies is so much fun :)

They had a much anticipated school holiday 'sleep over' and actually fell asleep all snuggled up together. Pretty sure
that's the first time ever they have fallen asleep like this? Cue the 'awwwww'.

Quiet mornings, painting in pyjamas... these are the cosy home days we love! 

This holiday break seems to be an important time for reconnection for Lily. On the first day of school holidays, Lily hugged me hard and told me 'I love you, Mummy, I just love you so much' at least a dozen times that day. Over and over!! At first I was bemused (though appreciative of course) but then I realised... she had been so immersed in this new 'school world'. Now it was holidays and she was emerging, ready and needing to reconnect with me and the family, it seemed. We are ready to do the same! I am realising how vital these school holidays are. Thankful for quiet days of refreshment and reconnection. 

Eli wanted to paint a teapot after seeing a teapot painting on Playschool. He
asked me to paint one for him because 'he didn't know how to do it'. I suggested
instead that I get out a real teapot so we could work out the shapes together.

He examined the teapot and we identified spout, body, lid and handle and
he carefully painted each element. At the end he surveyed his work and was very
pleased except he noted 'Oh no, I didn't put them all together!' Bless his heart!!
We decided he could work on that next time, now he knew all the parts.
So adorable. Well done, buddy!


Oh E. Got tight ownership of the container and stuffing his face full of crackers! Mr Personality ;)

I won't even tell you how long he spent setting up all his 'friends' so they could watch Playschool with him. Yes, he made sure they could all see the TV. This boy is such a sweetie, he just slays me.

Experiencing the fresh egg, so smooth and warm!

Sunday, 13 April 2014

15/52 - boy's night out


Well, we made it! The very first full term of school is done.

Now we have two glorious weeks with our girl at home... we have missed her cheery presence around here. She is very ready for this break and so are we. Hooray for lazy days with no school bell dictating our time!

Well done, little lady, on transitioning so well into your first term of school. You have handled it all with grace and bravery. It is a big step for a little girl. Not so little anymore, it seems... you are transforming before my eyes.


With the new Lego Movie coming out, Mark was keen to take Eli out for a special 'boy's night out' to see it. Of course, I think Mark would have happily gone along without Eli, but having a kid is a convenient excuse!! ;) 

To say Eli was excited would be an understatement. He was so thrilled to get to go out at night with just Dad. He came home so hyped up on jelly snakes and general excitement, he could barely form a sentence to tell me about all the fun.

You could feel the joy radiating off him - he just loved having a special time out just with Dad. That quality-time cup just got filled to the brim - and overflowing.

Photos taken on Mark's phone


Whilst tidying the room, I turn around to see Miles splayed out on the bed, feet kicking in the air, just chilling with Daddy's (switched off) phone. 

Or perhaps he has turned it on and is texting with his friends?

Who can tell with kids these days??!! ;)


'Thank you' cuddles from Eli, for taking him to see the Lego movie.

Yup, when it comes to fatherhood, this guy has got it sorted. How awesome it is to parent alongside such a loving and involved father. He makes every step of this journey so much better.

These kids are so blessed to have him!

Project 52: A portrait with my children, once a week, every week, in 2014.

More highlights from the week that was...

Yay for the Lego Movie (they both said it was awesome)

Of course a special outing with Daddy requires a special treat of junk food - chips and
nuggets, if you please!

He totally gets this from his Dad!! When you are just so happy and chilled out you
have to lie back and half-sleep whilst eating ;)

E set the animals up in quite a procession!

'Do you mind, Mum?? I'm just facetiming w some friends'
'Ok, cool - see ya at the park in five'
Following along with '30 Days to Transform Your Play' from the inspiring An Everyday Story blog run by my clever friend Kate. Well, we are dipping in and out as we can! It's been a great motivation to extend and enhance the kid's play
in new directions.

She does not need much (or any!) guidance. She has big ideas and a whole lot of determination to bring them to
fruition. Coming across a piece of bubble wrap I had dropped into their 'busy box' she has worked all week to turn it into
a 'jumping castle'... as a nifty addition to last week's water fountain. She then informed me she is actually creating a whole 'world', with house and people and so on... and what a world it will be :)

Preparing the toppings for the kid's favourite meal - home made pizzas!! Even better when shared with friends - we were
blessed with my dear old friend Vicki coming to stay over the weekend :)

He was absolutely determined to decorate his pizza like this. Totally satisfied with the
outcome and content to eat it as it was. Oh, Eli!

This man loves his pizzas... cooked to perfection on the BBQ (enclosed, on a pizza stone - it's delish!). He also loves
his jumbo spatula!!

Sunday, 6 April 2014

14/52 - oh, eli!


Her first home-reader. The Goats.

Pretty sure it won't be on any best-seller lists, and okay, the vocabulary was pretty very limited but still...

watching my daughter slowly, carefully read her own way through her very first book was every shade of awesome.

This flourishing reader thing? It's magical. It's just taken me by surprise, how amazing it would be to watch it unfurl. She is like a heat-seeking missile searching out the written word in all it's forms and I just love to watch her embrace the world of literacy!

PS Readings of The Goats shall be taking place at our home, 7pm, all this week. Tickets available via Ticketek.


Lucky me, got to be 'parent helper' at Eli's playschool this week.

He was thrilled to have me there and it was lovely to see how comfortably he has fitted himself into this new world of school. I am sure having the most caring and creative teacher in the world helps too (Amber!). 

I loved seeing him hang out with his buddies, follow the school routine and in a myriad of other ways show me what a big boy he has become.

Best of all was him telling me a dozen times how much he loved having me there with him :)

He is stepping out.... watch out world!


Ready to celebrate the first birthday of his best buddy, Blake, he was also pretty fascinated 
with the colourful pinata!


Whipping up a batch of Banana, Berry and Coconut pancakes, as is his Saturday morning routine... 

Yummm - thanks, honey!

Project 52: A portrait of my family, once a week, every week, in 2013.

 More highlights from the week that was...

A beautiful sensory experience with dinosaurs at Playschool
Nothing quite like coming home from the gym to find the family engaged in a little pre-bed craft activity (making a
water fountain, apparently).
Lately, she has been offering to do 'babysitting'. Of course, I quickly accept!! She takes Miles and hauls him around the house and garden. They giggle and play and enjoy their flourishing bond. How lovely it is to have a mini-mama! Having a big enough age gap to witness this kind of relationship is just so cool.


We decided to play a fun little April Fool's prank by dying the milk Blue. The
kids gave us some serious side-eye at this bizarre circumstance, whilst we
giggled away. Oh, the things parent's do to amuse themselves!
Eli helps pick the first bounty from our vegie patch - a lovely bunch of kale that
was quickly made into kale chips and eaten in a jiffy!

Love our little weekly school-snack bake-up together. My taste-tester takes his task seriously!

So many beautiful moments with E this week but this was the highlight... 

His beloved Bee went AWOL a few months ago. Bee slowly moved from 'misplaced' to apparently 'lost for good'. Eli asked about him every now and then but I had no idea what happened, and secretly planned to buy a replacement for his birthday. Then we got a surprise from awesome Uncle Iain! They had discovered Bee hiding under the bed from our stay on January 1st!!! Iain kindly posted him back with an adorable note of explanation from Bee as to his absence. These beautiful expressions pretty much explain Eli's utter surprise and glee... and Bee has not left his side since. Welcome back, Bee!

The moment of recognition... 'Mama!! It's Bee!!!'