30 April 2012

a photo-a-day challenge with FatMumSlim April #3

Greetings all,
Welcome to the final 10 images of the photo-a-day challenge with FatMumSlim for April.
 21. bottle - popping the cork on this Veuve Clicquot beauty when my husband returns from Afghanistan next month.  We have so much to celebrate on top of his safe home coming . . . the sale of a property, academic & athletic awards for the children + we're buying a farm & new car!!
22. the last thing you bought - oh hello Country Road, this pom pom mohair blanket is truly to die for, plus a fluffy furry cushion.  I had to order on line, as & i quote "that blanket is only in the city stores in states where it gets cold" i.e. not Canberra which is not only Australia's CAPITAL CITY but we're the most likely city to get snow, um, thank goodness shipping was free. 
 23. vegetable - fresh from my sister's garden: onions, carrots & celery.
 24. something you're grateful for - oh bless my gorgeous Papa, he said he popped a little cash in my bank account & demanded i bought myself something nice, for me, not the children or the house, but for my heart. So i did exactly as i was ordered & picked up the Rachel Ashwell book i spied over Christmas but couldn't afford, a craft & invention book (which i can enjoy with the children) + a little egg cup holder, a love heart hot water bottle . . . just because + that divine felt cabbage which makes me smile.  There were also a couple of pear purchases too.  I'm forever grateful for my father, the most powerful influence in my life, possibly why i married such a similar man - right down to the military & bad back!!
 25. looking down - glorious right, a beef ragu on a cold night in a Bison bowl & quirky cutlery.
 26. black & white - could i possibly go past our baby Speckled Hamburg chickety chick??
 27. somewhere you went - Berrima, near Bowral NSW Southern Highlands.  Have to say, most shop owners in this town loathe children, physically blocking doorways & snapping at children for daring to LOOK at their wares.  My sister & i have really quiet know-how-to-behave-while-shopping children, as we both taught them how to care for precious things at home & actually supervise them.  Really left me with a sour taste in my mouth.  The only place we felt welcome was the Ice Creamery & even there it wasn't particularly friendly (hello, 7 children on school holidays wanting ice-cream??)  Lighten up Berrima!!  Your little village has a prison you know, you're not that fancy!!
28. 1p.m. - stunning Autumn skies & embracing the sunniest city in Australia, yes, it's Canberra folks (you other cities might be gloriously coastal & we're inland, but we get less rainy days)!!  Also love sun kissed blankets on the line.
 29. circle - oh dear, this is how my son stores his crayons now??  We'll be repainting this room before we move (that's the royal 'we', i really mean my husband will be painting.)  Whatever makes a child think to do this??
 30. something that makes you sad - oh the heartbreak of losing a baby chicken has left this one lonely & apparently, i'm her new best friend & she chirps until i let her out of her coop to sit with me.  I can't wait to get more baby chicks to keep her busy, she's getting bigger & bigger, louder & louder about wanting company.  Oh, you might spy the Kikki-K mood board i bought with my Daddy's money too.
So there you have it, a-photo-a-day challenge April done & dusted.  I think i'll play in May, have to say, this totally made me camera ready & it was very enjoyable.  Thanks for hosting FatMumSlim, love Posie

29 April 2012

social commentary Sunday . . . 'what made you stop & have a baby??'

Greetings all,
Really wanted to title this post . . . 'who are you listening to when it comes to what age you should be having children, career/ baby/ finances blah blah blah??'  
Maybe it's the school holidays with lazy mornings that i've noticed, all over the breakfast & morning shows, this debate . . . what age is right to have a baby??  What is more important first - career/ home/ money/ travel??  You can mix it up!!  To save writing a full essay, we'll just assume 'right' = 'a suitable stage in your life' & you've met your baby making partner too.  I genuinely wonder who want-to-be-mothers-one-day are actually talking to??  Is it their baby making partner, family, friends, colleagues, bosses, other mothers, themselves . . . versus listening to statistics, celebrities & what 'they' say??  In the words of the great Dr Phil - "who is 'they', did 'they' graduate from 'They' University??"  When did we stop making decisions for ourselves exactly??  Talking to real people about their real experiences, not googling & comparing ourselves to statistics (so easily skewed to create a talking point) . . . about the most important thing you'll ever do - raise a human being!!  
Apparently 'having a baby' rates very low on the list of things young women want in their life these days.  Do these young women know fertility declines dramatically from the age of 27 & IVF is not a guaranteed 'back up'.  No one ever seems to bring this up, biological clocks are ticking away, but everyone assumes it's after the age of 35 or 40 (Hollywood doesn't help this myth with older mothers making fertility look effortless.)  Actress Melissa George was quoted as saying, after the breakup of her marriage & idea of meeting someone new + having a baby . . . "i still have time, i'm only 35." Age & fertility is one limit few can defy.
Please know i am all for people who decide not to have children, i believe it's a bigger decision not to have them, it's not at all selfish or whatever people think about childless-by-choice people.  Good on you, you have a different quality of life.
I remember hearing magazine editor Deborah Thomas once saying "ooppss i forgot to have a baby" & i lost instant respect for her.  How do you forget??  I was ambitious about a future career, wanted 4 children, a nice home, university education . . . a husband was on the 'life check list' too when i left school.  Call me a naive giddy teenager, i knew from the moment i met my husband, he was my future . . . it was so natural to chat about babies, houses, hopes & dreams.  I was playing it cool (i read Marie Claire, i knew not to appear desperate) . . . he raised these long-term-relationship topics, aged 22.  We had a collective dozen nieces & nephews already, we knew what it took to have/ raise/ fund/ love a child.  We are apparently in the small minority though - thinking, planning, wanting babies while we were really young.      
What is financial security??  Who ever has enough money to afford a baby??  Most Australians live with a home ownership dream/ obsession, slipping a baby in the mix with the reduction/ pause to one salary, it's near impossible for most.  So you've met your life partner, do you have a baby now versus the heartache & expense of potential fertility issues later??  I heard one journalist say only 2 of her friends had babies in their 20s, both accidents, yet both said it was the best thing that ever happened to them - accidentally starting their families.  This journalist didn't mention that she struggled to have babies in her early 40s after years of IVF - was she listening to those friends or focussed on that news anchor position??  Especially since she insists, becoming a mother is her greatest role.  Really??  Or did she work that out afterwards??  So many of us mummies will scream from the rooftops, being a mum is the best thing ever, career can pause & living in a modest home is happiness too.    
I'm perhaps unqualified to discuss this subject as i was pregnant at 23, planned, i had just finished Uni & was married to a Lance Corporal (one rank up from Private soldier), we knew were never going to be rich with the 4 children plan, we struggled, but we loved every minute of it & made it work (cloth nappies, breastfeeding, homemade everything, minimal toys & zero takeaway/ holidays/ childcare/ new cars.)  Sure the Army provide a reduced-market-rental roof over our heads so an immediate mortgage wasn't a financial pressure, but we saved to buy investment properties (when our first child was born & i worked full time in the oil industry) which kept us poor in the present, but set us up for a financial future.  People are constantly saying to me "wish i had my children younger" for reasons of energy, expectations & mindset.  Well yes, i was a 35 year old high school mum with energy to burn & remember high school vividly . . . i just spent Saturday night curled up with my teenager, watching movies & talking about love, marriage, hopes & dreams - but i am very much her mother, not her girlfriend.  
How many couples look back, remembering the tiny first home with new babies & a broken down car, eating soup at a plastic table . . .  & say it was the best time of their lives??!!  
Did you decide to go for it, have babies & just see where life took you??  What are you waiting for??  Love Posie
PS thank you so much for the gorgeous messages about my last post, they absolutely filled my heart with warmth & love.  Our little chicken passed away before we went to bed last night, it was in the end, relief, in every aspect that the word 'relief' can be.  Today i've had that cried-all-day-&-night headache, but my soul is lighter.

28 April 2012

oh boy can i cry, like a river

Greetings all,
Oh boy, i hold back on my personal battles on this blog, as i'm such an optimist & positive to the core, so i only mention my mother's Alzheimer's occasionally & how much i miss my husband . . . but today i've just let it all out . . . crying is soul medicine for me.  I feel like i've cried all day.  ANZAC Day is brutal for a wife while her husband is actually in a war zone, my Godfather passed away last week (a highly decorated Naval Commander) & now, i have a sick little chicken . . . . crescendo of heartbreak is one crushed daughter to console.     
Sure we want to have a farm & eat our animals, however, this is a tiny baby chicken who suddenly stopped thriving & is now weak, not eating or drinking, it's so unfair.  But as we've sat by the coop all day, in tears (this chicken has let me pour out all the pent up worry & sadness about missing my husband, my elderly parents, my darling Godfather) we've watched the most beautiful display of love & affection from our other chicken, who is so strong & healthy, chirp/ snuggle/ caress & watch over the sick one.  That my friends is mother nature at her best.  So while we are keeping the little chicken warm & hopefully comfortable, as her breathing is laboured & strength diminishing rapidly, we hope she goes peacefully.  I know, over a chicken, but she worked her way into our hearts & is letting me release so much tension, i'll be forever grateful for the tiny part of her life she shared with us.  Love Posie

27 April 2012

things i'm loving . . . 'home life'

Greetings all,
So many totally-into-&-loving-things this week with PaisleyJade, starting off a fabulous Beef Ragu recipe from my children's cookbook My Grandma's Kitchen by Louise Fulton Keats (yes, as in the offspring of Margaret Fulton, cooking master) & yes, i cook from children's cookbooks as they are my level of culinary adventure & children LOVE every meal, win win.  
 My new Mac desk top arrived, after i killed my 5th laptop computer - my husband suggested i might be more reliable with a desk top & swears by Mac, so yes folks, i'm never going back!!  I love the multi view - i reckon i could launch a space ship from here!!
 I picked up a copy of the May Home Beautiful with Simone from Beach Vintage blog & Just Plain Gorgeous shop & Fabric Traders on line . . . to read about her fresh & fabulous beachside home.  I studied every image, if i was ever a guest, i'd know where the bathroom was (it was a huge feature) congratulations Simone & family!!
 The children are being thoroughly entertained by the chickens, i love finding shots like this when i download the camera.  This is apparently what alien chickens look like!!
 The chicken coop arrived.  Seeing they are only 10 days old & it's getting to 0C at night here, they are very much indoor-baby-chicks, so i constructed the coop in the lounge room (nothing a vacuum can't fix) & it's basically like having the world's most bizarre lamp!!
 Our German Shepherd is containing himself, he chases birds all day in the garden, so to have chickens is a challenge for him.  He's really being VERY good.  Can you feel the energy in this picture - like he is absolutely ready to pounce at any second.
 It was going to happen sooner than later, the chickens now have a coop & disco!!
 Is it just me or are they lying in the shape of a love heart??  Please be hens!!  Looks like we'll be getting new baby chicks from the next batch of incubated magic in a few weeks, so excited!!
Sorry i'm still a little over the top with chicken fever but they really are just so much fun.  School resumes on Monday so it will be me & the chickens.  My sister recommended ducks, similar to raise but more friendly as they follow you around, like pets.  I agree, they're on the list!!  Love Posie

26 April 2012

our creative space . . . 'faux bedhead reupholster magic'

Greetings all,
Ever wondered why you've NEVER seen a full photo of my bedroom??  I'm sure it's bothered you for years, a true Wonder of the World.  Because it's awful, truly, Army rental blah.  Starting with our bedhead, which has moved with us criss-crossing the country, 4 times in 10 years. 
Years ago our darling son drew a green alien on our once expensive upholstered bed head (it was part of a commission, he drew a matching green alien on the bedside table too) we rolled our eyes & deemed it 'a custom design one off original' from our expressive 2 year old . . . . so, at the time, i bought some Amy Butler fabric to cover the bedhead.  Fast forward some 6 years later . . . i had a bit of a my-husband-is-coming-home-from-war-he-can't-come-back-to-this-ugly-blah-bedhead-again trantrum, with myself, while making the bed earlier in the week.  I had our scrummy Sheridan vanilla sheets on the line & thought, bugger it, i'm doing the bedhead NOW. 
If you look closely, you can see where i removed a lipstick heart (art from a different child) creative little angels they are.  Oh & crap on the bedside tables, really, Babushka dolls on my husband's side - a bathroom magazine on mine, how did we ever build the passion to create 4 babies under such conditions??  It's all going, cleaning/ sorting/ styling tantrums are very productive.  I might even stomp my feet & fix that freaking missing blind!!
 So here goes nothing . . . as we plan to get a whole new bed eventually & Amy Butler fabric should never be used on a whim, i literally threw this entire faux upholster together in 10 minutes, with nappy pins.  All those years of cloth nappies, still paying dividends with old pins & cloths (in the garage).  All those years of not-getting-around-to-doing-this, wasted!!
 Da dah, i'm thrilled, it's just transformed the entire bedroom.  Oh special mention to our beloved woollen underlay, it's heavenly, we refer to our bed as 'the cloud', you can imagine how much my husband misses it - he's currently sleeping on an IKEA bunk with a burly soldier above him in a confined bunker.
 So i whipped the sheets fresh from the line & straight onto the bed.  Then i had to toss up which coloured slips - do i pinch the green Sheridan Pop ones currently on the boy's bed, homage to his choice of texta, or use the fresh orange ones i just laundered??  I went with orange, but i think next-bed-freshen-up . . . i'll go green.  Yes, my husband can't get enough of green of course, poor bloke.
 Doesn't that look inviting??  I literally dived into bed that night.
 For some bling, a Jimmy Possum cushion i picked up last week, $90 off, yay!!
So Creative Spacers, how did you enjoy that bedhead pick-me-up??  I'm redoing the lamps & bedside tables this week too.  We STILL have the same newly-wed-furniture & it could do with a sand & something . . . anything . . . i was at Uni when we married & my darling husband was a Lance Corporal, we had zero money, just love, bland-inexpensive-furniture it was & it's stood the test of time & taste, 15 years on, just not a 2 year old boy with a green texta!!  Love Posie
PS my enormous new Mac is here, but i can't work out photo resizing, my husband is doing his best with a Skype tutorials from Afghanistan, i don't know what i'm going to do when my children resume school next week, all my IT support gone, eek!!
PPS thanks for the beautiful ANZAC day messages, love you all, thoughtful folks!! 

23 April 2012

just because . . .

EDIT: my post-of-the-month with Gifts of Serendipity!!
Greetings all,
Oh we're having so much fun with our chickety chicks . . .
enough said really - what a lovley way to wrap up the last week of school holidays - thunder clouds outside, Winter chill in the air, $2 Monday new release DVD hire, big bowls of homemade soup, hyper happy children raising chicks indoors . . . & inside dolls' houses!!
Now excuse me for a hiccup in transmission while i set up my new computer & practise being smug (a big delivery from Apple is imminent) with seamless technology.  I've never used Apple before, all that swiping & those weird icons, i'll be out in the IT wilderness for a while.  I had to giggle, last week the charger arrived via courier, sans computer, so i enthusiastically plugged it in & cleared space on the 'group desk', ready for the big ticket items.  Just hope the thunder clouds hold off while i construct the chicken coop too!!
My thoughts are with all the families who celebrate & remember loved ones on ANZAC Day.  It's a low key affair for us this year, we'll just attend the school ceremonies when school resumes, going to the War Memorial . . . when my husband is at war . . . too heartbreaking. 
Have lovely weeks everyone, love Posie
PS just let out my first tweet ever, the photo subject was too perfect.  You can follow me on Twitter (i'm @posietweets) - this little chick just went global-mass-social-media-saturation (yep, Facebook too) giggles bok bok bok. 

21 April 2012

i'm grateful for . . . 'new beginnings don't get newer than new chickety chicks'

Greetings all,
I'm the master of surprising my children, whether it's Daddy coming home or a trip to the gelato store, i get them ALL the time.  While our children were away on school camp, i was plotting with my pal Emma & her husband Dan (doesn't everyone know a great couple called Emma & Dan??)  Policeman Dan was experimenting with hatching his own chicks, while engineer Emma is pregnant with her 4th baby, yay.  If they had enough new chicks, i could have a couple.  They were successful.  Today our chickens are 4 days old & ready for collection.  Funniest thing was, my plot of needing a hot water bottle for 'tummy ache' & saying Emma 'wanted to borrow a basket' was so good . . . my children STILL didn't realise we were collecting chickens to take home, until Dan asked which ones we were taking!!  Surprise, mother-of-the-year-moment, my reward is simply seeing the happiness & beaming smiles on their faces. 
EDIT: i had informed the high schooler about the chickens, she's horrified you might think she wasn't clued in enough to guess, my other 3 children still believe anything i say!!
 I'll let the photos speak for themselves, they are Speckled Hamburg Bantams.
 While we are keen on eggs, Hamburgs are not the biggest egg layers.
 Meet Ma & Pa, happiest chickens in the city!!
 On the drive home i explained we'd have a roster (hopefully they are hens not roosters) for handling the chickens, mainly to prevent OVER loving them & 2 chickens between 4 children . . . children were paired up & assigned even or odd hours of the day, Mummy has the final word or you're banned for your next hour.  I tell you, works a treat, i need more aces like this up my sleeve for power parenting.
 Talk about time wasters - watching them sleep standing up . . .
 watching them sleep lying down & tipping over. 
 My husband will love this - sleeping with a cushion (family joke, our German Shepherds have all preferred to sleep with heads on pillows!!)
 Speaking of puppies, he's getting a slow & safe introduction to where that chirping is coming from.
Of course, in my mums-the-word plotting, i forgot to mention it to my husband.  When he rang it flashed before me, my 3rd girl answered the phone saying "can i tell him Mum, can i??"  He said she sounded SO happy, he was all for it & while we chatted he was researching chicken coops, one has been ordered.  For now, the chicks live indoors, very cosy indeed.  I'm so very grateful for this 'new beginning' with Maxabella Loves, also new to this chicken caper.  Love Posie
PS you might notice my high schooler sporting a sling, well there is a reason why teenagers are not allowed in children's play centres!!  She actually said "after i fell, a huge 2 year old landed on top of me, it hurt so much" & i had to refrain from laughing, she was so pale & honestly thought her wrist was broken (her little brother was at a birthday party there.)  Thank goodness we have a bye this week for volleyball.

20 April 2012

a photo-a-day challenge with FatMumSlim April #2

Greetings all,
Voila, the middle part of the photo-a-day challenge with FatMumSlim for April.
 11. where you ate breakfast - school holidays = lazy breakfast of porridge at the computer.  The magazine is on the key board of my laptop as it won't start up, so i might as well read a magazine instead.  All i'm trying to do there is download email, it can take 24 hours!!  An Apple Mac has been dispatched.
 12. stairs - we live in a single storey home, only stairs here are in the dolls' houses.
 13. something you found - OMG, i was cleaning out my studio & found a beautiful Oilily handbag which i deemed fit for charity, but as i tossed it across the room into the 'charity bag' it made a jingle.  I had to make a small incision in the lining of the pocket & dig out what this puzzling rattling noise was.  I gasped, i thought i had lost it, an identity bracelet my parents gave me on my 17th birthday, as per inscription, 20 years ago.  The clasp must have broken while my hand was in my bag & was almost, lost forever!!  Even more precious to me considering what they mean to me now & how lucky my siblings & i are, to still have them.  I'm getting it fixed & back on my wrist, immediately.
 14. how you feel today - wishing i was on a farm, eating our own produce with my husband in the Adirondack chair next to me, surveying our homestead, together.
 15. sunset - bugger, stunning Autumn sunsets every evening until the 15th where it was overcast.
 16. flower - walking through a nursery with my sister, she said "look, Grandad flowers".  Our grandfather was a professional gardener & would bring clippings out from England (imagine him on Border Security, being padded down & arrested now, pockets filled with buds & seeds.)  Apparently, as little girls, we used to call these 'Grandad flowers'.  I didn't remember, i'm so thrilled she reminded me.  Here's to my fuchsia loving ancestor who LOVED Australia so so much.
 17. something you don't like - um, my filing system, next to the filing cabinet.  Bless my husband for trying to encourage me, i frustrate him so much at tax time. 
 18. hair - oh my ethereal child.  A family walk with my sister & our collective 7 children, we stopped for lunch at a cafe to discover my 3rd girl sporting this spectacular headdress, she & her sisters made it as we wandered about.  People kept stopping to comment, my squeaky girl, always a show stopper & angelic.  Needs a fringe trim, note to self. 
 19. orange - i hope i never grow up & out of the appeal of purchasing something like an orange wedge children's suitcase.  It has sisters - the watermelon & lemon.
 20. something you drew - a quick little scribble of a bird, add a sequin headband & it's a disco!!
Thanks for looking, April #1 was here.  I'll do #3 on the 30th of April.  Have gorgeous weekends folks.  Love Posie