Saturday, 25 June 2011

Story time.

I included this in my last post, but I just wanted to give it special attention. It's warming my heart at this challenging time. Have a good weekend!

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Space Invasion.

It's always challenging to think of a good way to start a blog post with "Play School" on in the background. But then, if the TV wasn't on in the background, I would have my 3yr old helping me type in the foreground. As it is, he's moved over to the couch next to me to sit up close, but otherwise has been transported to another dimension.

I've been thinking a lot this week about the invasion of children (and the television) into my world and body. It started when I put my back out over a week ago, an injury which still has me hobbling around like the hunchback of Notre Dame. It's a very common injury, the Physio said. Apparently 1 in 3 mothers endure it. All those worn out muscles left over from pregnancy.

Then it was Tim's last week at uni. There's never going to be a good time to put your back out, but if you were to choose just one particularly untimely week, it would be just before the big deadline for Tim's final year project, during the exam block. Suddenly instead of getting lost in his own world of wireless communications for the final touches, he was juggling that with changing nappies, cooking dinner, feeding babies, bringing me drugs, helping me to the bathroom. And then, when he finished, instead of a celebratory beer and a surf, he was back home for more of the same. He was cranky that the end felt like such an anti-climax. I was cranky that he felt like I was an anti-climax. Tully was cranky because he can't sit on my lap but Eve can. It's been a cranky week.

I told Tim one angry evening, "Yeah, well next time you study, you'll have to make sure you're not married with kids!"
That started a discussion about our vows. "For better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health" sounded so wonderful five years ago. So safe. It did not at all warn me of the screaming pain of handing over my agenda for someone else's. Or my body, sleep, hot cup of tea...I just thought it meant that when I got sick, Tim would feel like waiting on me.

But despite the fact I can't remember the last time I finished a cup of tea while it was still hot, there are reasons I welcome the invasion of these strange creatures into my world.

- I like that Tully spontaneously bursts into song, walks around the house talking on his phone, does a nudey victory lap around the house every time he goes to the bathroom and says, "Oh, I just love you!" to his favourite people.
- I like that Eve scrunches up her nose when she smiles knowingly at me, gives an excited grunt, "hohoho!" and flaps her arms when I lay her down on my lap for a feed and wiggles into the kitchen to say hello (or eat the vacuum cleaner).
- I like that Tim takes Tully for bike rides, clenches his teeth when he's about to attack us affectionately, is doing the shopping as I write this, still writes letters to his friends and has graciously enjoyed the invasion of fabric and sewing into his office.

Putting Evie to bed and reading her a story.
"No Mum, Don't take my photo. I'm busy bumming (drumming)!"
 Bishop Jeremy Taylor said (a long time ago), "Marriage hath in it less of beauty but more of safety, than the single life; it hath more care, but less danger, it is more merry, and more sad; it is fuller of sorrows, and fuller of joys; it lies under more burdens, but it is supported by all the strengths of love and charity, and those burdens are delightful."

Kyla's jacket done!
Home delivered groceries in time for breaky!
 And beautiful Anna Maria had these reflections this week about her family: "I've learned (and I write this sitting in my utter mess of a dream studio) that its not the size of your space, the perfection of your organization skills or the cleanliness (what?) of your children that keeps you feeling all tucked in and happy.  It is actually just deciding to feel tucked in and happy.  Despite the mess.  Giving yourself the permission to let it be what it is.  A family living together in one space, with invisible boundaries.  Where much can be shared, discovered and learned (and dumped, and scribbled and torn apart too)." Find full post here.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

A Confession.

So, since last post, a lovely friend of mine commissioned me to make a quilt for her. Yay! And would you believe it, we agreed on a price just a few hours before that sale ended. When I realised I didn't have enough fabric for backing, I logged on and chose the perfect design. Then, while I was already paying for postage...

I felt so right about my purchase last week. And while I still don't have a huge amount of regret, (I'm just a little bit more excited than I should be, considering the circumstances) I do wonder if I could have come up with an amazing idea for a cheaper but still beautiful way to do the back.
The beautiful warm colours I'll be using for my friend's new quilt!
Last year, for the whole year, I made a deal with myself. I wouldn't buy anything new that I thought I needed, until I waited to see if something turned up, or if I came up with a good idea to either make do or change it. As a result, I was often surprised at the cheaper, better, more creative alternatives that would spring to mind or hand. When I needed paving, I found flat rocks dug into my garden that I could turn into a landing at the bottom of my stairs outside. When I needed curtains, I found end of roll curtain fabric for $5 (reduced from $27 a metre) and there was enough to make curtains for our lounge and study. Then, Mum offered me some curtains she had in the garage and I washed them and sewed some sweet fabric with old style pictures of kids at the beach along the bottom and put them in Tully's room. When I wanted air-conditioning, a friend found out and offered me their portable unit almost new for a 1/3 of what she paid for it, then Mum offered to buy it for us for Christmas! We got Tully's bed second hand, his bike for free from the cool bike library in town and, instead of getting $700 drawers fitted in his room, I realised a $150 Ikea bookshelf would do the same job. (And I probably could have found one on eBay, but I was too excited with my discovery to wait!) I had so many cool stories by the end of the year, and no debt on my credit card.

Then, my friend, (thanks Lucy!) introduced me to Etsy. Fabric had always been on the extravagant list for me. It's about 3 times the price here than what they pay in the States. Suddenly, I could buy fabric cheap. I could make all those things I thought would be fun and beautiful. I could slowly see my savings disappear.

So, I'm setting myself the same challenge again: to wait. I'll keep you posted if I have any cool finds or ideas. In the meantime, if anyone wants to buy a quilt...

Sunday, 5 June 2011

A Terrible Email.

Yesterday I received a terrible email. is having a 20% off all Anna Maria Horner Fabrics sale and I have no money. I have not had any money the last three times I've "just this last time" bought some Anna Maria on sale. This time I really don't have any. Tim's Austudy (a government allowance for students) finishes in a fortnight and he doesn't have a job lined up yet. Our car rego is due in 3 weeks. And don't get me wrong. I'm not stressed about these things. I'm just like a little kid who has been told to eat her dinner before she can have dessert. In fact I've been surprised at the amount of little kid in me this weekend. I am not concerned about where dinner came from or what went into preparing it, I am just staring at a plate of brussel sprouts, knowing there is caramel pie and ice-cream in the kitchen. I have been checking my bank balance to see if some gift magically appears in my account. I have been justifying it my head, "If I'm going to sell the things I make, it would just be like a business loan on my credit card." The conversations in my head remind me of those I would have with my Dad as a teenager. I have been sulky, I have been persistent, I have felt ripped off. I have been very juvenile.
Well, the responsible adult decided to remind the teenager just how much dessert she has already. And it wasn't really in a "teach myself a lesson" way. I just really wanted to shirk that itchy, dissatisfied feeling. Urgh. So I tidied up my fabric collection, made yummy, neat piles of things I like, things I'd made and took photos, thankful for the afternoon sun and sleepy kids.
Make yourself a cuppa and share some cake with me. I will show some things I am thankful for...
Still enough to keep me going for a while!

My newly finished cot quilt. For sale if you're interested! :)

Beautiful soft, buttery, light voile. Oh, I just love these happy deers!

30 new flannel and towel bibs! Just waiting for some velcro and maybe some appliqué prints on the "back" to make them reversible. Oh, you should feel this flannel! Every baby will love their face wiped with these!

My Pineapple Sage. The only flowers in my garden all year round. I love their messy spray of red and green.

Our pumpkin patch took over the old chook pen this year. I haven't wanted to pick this one because he just looks so proud and perfect up there!

Tully and Eve having a quiet moment.

There. I think I'm cured. Almost. I'll be much better when the sale ends on the 7th! I'm determined not to cave though.
I read an article this year about wealth. This study revealed that a surprising characteristic found in many wealthy people was thankfulness. It didn't strike me because I want to be wealthy. It struck me because it of what it said about dissatisfaction, ungratefulness, forgetfulness. I guess if you remember what you have, you don't feel like you're going without.