31 July 2011

social commentary Sunday . . . 'truth, lies & blogs'

Greetings all,
This week's Social Commentary Sunday i've picked a topic which i ponder - the truth & lies on blogs - does it matter if what you blog is the whole truth or a white lie??  Really, is it hurting anyone if you gloss over the stress & kitchen disasters to pull off a flawless dinner party??  Or post an imagine of Johnny winning a race, but you omit it was D division & his competitors were on crutches??  Whatever, don't you think it's your blog, you can be/ say/ share whatever you want??  I notice may bloggers suffer all sorts of illnesses from depression to physical inabilities & blogging is their connection to like minded people & the big wide world, good for you, if it captures the most important feeling in the world - acceptance - fantastic!!  Your readers' perception is their reality anyway!! 
My blog is about my family life & design work, i use my own images with a good dose of sunshine & happiness.  I've had negative comments & emails referring directly to posts on themes like "my fabulous children running free" or "all the things i do for my children's schools" . . . like i'm some kind of hyper-over-achieving-A-type-personality who tries to make other mothers look bad.  Ok, i'm all of those things except i would never try to make another mother look bad . . . it's not a competition ladies!!  Everyone is in a different place/ stage/ family situation, there is nothing to compete against.  Funny how 'good parenting' is completely different to showing off a fantastic cake or amazing knitting!! 
MY facts, i would never knowingly lie on my blog, i want an honest account of who i was during my 'blog years' as i'll refer to them to bore my grandchildren, but i'm not going to publish every dirty look my teen gives me, if my twins have wrestled over a piece of clothing, or my son is in a huff because none of his sisters want to play with him.  It's not relevant to what i want to blog about - i blog so my husband can keep up with his us while he's posted to an Army base 1300km away for 3 years 4 years!!  Yes, a life anyone would envy, right??  I'm not a whinger, i support him, this is what he is doing for our family & financial freedom - like a working mum - every family is different & circumstances are constantly changing. 
I spend 90% of my time alone with the children; when my husband is living with us, he'll be away 40% of the time; he's just so damn handsome, i can't resist loving him unconditionally!!  He goes to war, it's what his job requires; we have lots of children to keep occupied; i am a housewife; they are all in school now; they keep me busier than ever with homework, sport & social events; i have zero desire to go back to being a pharmacologist in a lab!!  Ok, i'd have the prettiest Amy Butler patterned lab coat ever, but it wouldn't make me happy.  Yes, my husband does say i 'pimp him out to war zones' so i can continue on as a housewife. 
I can't imagine anyone wanting my life, but if you did, i'm pretty sure you'd find my attitude the only way to go . . . to deal with this lifestyle 'situation'. My husband won't be in the Army forever, but we'll always have these sporty, smart, social children to nurture, so i am dedicated to all of them, it works, it drives better behaviour from all of us, 'tis how this family rolls & it suits my personality, i LOVE being a wife, a mummy & at home.
Some of my favourite people like Corrie from RetroMummy blog have closed off anonymous comments as they have negative stalkers & the sweetest Tina from Rubies' Place blog shut down for a while, as mean emails put her off blogging & nearly stopped her altogether!!  These are not shock jocks with wild views to provoke extreme reactions, they are beautiful mummies blogging from home about pretty craft projects, delicious baking & happy days with their children.  What on earth is there to attack??
Shockingly, i have 4 children who get along really well, they have to, sometimes when we arrive in a new city, they are the only people they know.  See how holding our family unit together tightly is incredibly important to us??  They are very social & always the class captain, so i rest easy knowing they are fine.  It's not boasting to say they don't have learning or bullying issues, honestly, if they did, it would make my life just another degree more challenging as i have zero back up resources like family close by.  I've had to make them strong, independent & resiliant, as sometimes they need to support me!!
My message . . . embrace your fellow mummy blogger, some of us do find parenting easy & stimulating.  I had babies who fed & slept, entertained themselves = starting off this motherhood role on the best foot possible, energised & not sleep deprived.  I know i'm lucky, it's not lost on me, i'm no faker, this is my real life, i hope i give mums not having such an easy ride, some hope & blink - your children are in highschool - they don't do anything but sleep!!  My children are my full time job, i've made many changes to the balance with my design work over the past decade, like life, their ages, needs & desires constantly change, as does my work.  I refuse to ever have to defend my life or choices on this blog again.
Thanks to Gill over at Alice Becomes for suggesting this as a blog topic, who agrees - does it really matter if blogs are a little glossed over with some fairy dust sometimes.  Love Posie

30 July 2011

i'm grateful for . . . 'the park of all parks, best playground EVER'

Greetings all,
Well you are probably getting to know what kind of family we are . . . outdoorsy, active & all about our children.  There are terms like 'unplugging', 'free range parenting' & the 'let your children climb trees' movement - or you could just bloody well raise your children how you were raised - without technology, with parents saying "go outside & don't come back until it's dark" & allowing them to use their imagination & siblings for entertainment!!  Doesn't that make sense??  It's free & you'll find your children at their best, it's the greatest investment of everyone's time & energy.  
 I'm not even going to tell you how high this branch was!!  I don't worry or hover over my children, even as babies - yes, they were exposed to parks as new borns & loved spinning, swinging & crawling around . . . they knew their strengths, they don't fall & if they ask for help, i explain they are trying to do something beyond their skill or size, i'm not giving them a leg up.  To us, the park is their natural habitat (read: Army housing usually has crappy small 'rental' style backgardens of nothing). 
 I love that i have a high schooler who still loves climbing trees . . . 
 & a non-Avatar fan squealing with delight that this was the Navi forrest . . .
 it's actually the Cotton Tree Forest at the Pirate Park at Scarborough Beach near Redcliffe Qld, a short drive up from Brisbane & you pass all those Queenslanders to get here.
 Very glad this girl had leggings on under her skirt . . .
 she was practically doing hand stands on those big tree limbs.
 They climbed so high & right up the top . . . is my husband!!
 Our children started creating their own 'tree houses' & inviting each other over to visit . . .
 i took 80 photos here, it was hard to limit them for a blog post.
 This is the top of a cotton tree . . .
 & the children worked out how to get down themselves!!
Maxabella Loves, this week I'm Grateful For . . . the most amazing park find in the universe (& we've been to Disneyland) we only dragged ourselves away due to aching hunger, it was the true highlight to our school holidays & best of all, we had no idea this park even existed!!  Love Posie

29 July 2011

things i'm loving . . . 'the mighty Queenslander'

Greetings all,
I have always been a big fan of the stunning Queenslander style of home.  To me it's architecture at it's most functional & stand out beautiful.  It's not an entirely unique style of home to suit tropical/ sub tropical climates, similar styles are found around the equator, but in Queensland, they reign supreme.  My husband patiently stopped the car every few hundred metres along the 'Moreton Bay Tourist Drive' around the Sandgate-Redcliffe area, north of Brisbane, so i could take these snaps.  Poor bloke, with me thrusting my breasts across him to lean out his window to snap yet another image of a house.  He wasn't complaining, tee hee.
 Look at the stairs, the balcony, the gates!!
 Clever way of controlling the breeze, with shutters.
 These are all along the foreshore, nothing blocking their view of the beach across the road.
 So many different ways with paint colour combinations . . .
 & stunning gardens!!
 Even multi level Queenslanders don't look McMansion, just grand!!
 I think the wrap around verandah is a must though.
 Why not buy one today??
 Add a jacaranda tree, it's the perfect family home.
Then there are monoliths of buildings like this, all i could think was "too much money" & the old cliche of "money doesn't buy you style".  I'm sure the owners LOVE it & have amazing views, but me, i'm old school quaint, i'd pick a Queenslander with a verandah & a rocking chair, every time.  The homestead we're designing will be based on a ground level Queenslander (raised country houses seem to have more snake sitings, eeek) as it's all about French doors & that wrap around verandah for me.  Oh & a breezeway (an external hallway between 2 buildings of the same house) which my husband isn't sold on.  Honestly, he just has to say you find more snakes in breezeways & i'd scrap it from the design!! 
To see what other people are loving this Friday, take a peek at PaisleyJade, love Posie

27 July 2011

our creative space 'rhino repair'

Greetings all,
Meet Berri, he's the green rhino (or rhino-saurus as he's know in these parts) from Berrima NSW.  It's not often my 3rd girl asks for anything but she positively would not budge on the concept of living life without this knitted rhino when she spied him one school holidays on the way home from Bowral. 
As what happens with much-loved-softies, they show wear & tear, like an amputated limb, missing eye or grow threadbare.  When my sweet girl showed Kylie . . . wonder knitter, crochet queen & softie surgeon . . . Berri's injuries from too much love, Kylie too him away in her ambulance/ family ute.
My daughter sat by my mobile waiting for news when he was out of surgery.  Then magically we got the SMS saying he was fine & ready for delivery (in a mere 24 hours).
Can you believe the amazing job Kylie did??  She even delivered him home with a 'Berri Repair Kit' for future injuries due to too many hugs.
Look at those eyes, oh, doesn't he look so much happier??  Ditto for my daughter.  So yet another brilliant reason to visit Brisbane, Kylie is there at the ready, able to fix anything & everything.  Love you Kylie!!  Thanks so much, happy creating spacing on Thursday everyone, love Posie

26 July 2011

join us on a road trip, Posie style . . .

Greetings all,
Road trips . . . with 4 children . . . they have never frightened me, even driving on my own, i just go.  My guys are brilliant 90% of the trip.  The first time i did the Pacific Highway drive from Sydney to Brisbane alone was 6 years ago, with a breast fed baby boy & 3 little girls, it was such a nice easy run dotted with road side wee stops in sugar cane fields (sorry sugar lovers).  Have to say, things haven't changed much with the wee stops!!  Travelling with young children on your own does look at tad like you're fleeing your husband or worse, i told one hotel receptionist i was visiting my husband interstate & she asked "is he in prison??"
We don't have DVD players, electronic gadgets or hand held things-which-go-beep, my guys have to read, do hand craft, draw or . . . talk & interact with each other pleasantly for car trip entertainment.  We're positively Amish - even my son has been doing car embroidery since he was 4 & most recently, finger crochet.  I have never put children's music on in the car, just left the radio on our station & load up the iPod with music.  Thanks to Rihanna, Avril, Veronicas, P!nk, Ke$ha, Brittany, Madonna & Kylie - our car was rocking along (clean versions of songs of course).  See how cool i am that i know it's P!NK & KE$HA??  Brittany is so damn catchy, even my high schooler pleaded for me to stop singing for 500km.
My husband drove up yippee, but i was banished from car craft sigh & surprisingly he wouldn't slow down so i could take a close up shot of the koala fencing - see how the vertical posts don't go the whole way to the top to support the mesh - this stops koalas from climbing over to become road kill.  Clever!!
 This is for possums to cross high above the road, although our children desperately wanted to give it a go, like an obstacle course or something Bear Grylls would use to get across a raging river in a gully/ zooming cars on a highway.
 Road trips should only include sandwiches, fruit, cheese & crackers, i'm quite the healthy bore when packing car snacks/ lunches - why give children sugar & hyper-inducing-junk when they have to sit still??  Junk is expensive & messy + my children can't open chip or biscuit packets (really, they can't, they fail at opening yoghurt containers too).  Anyway, i did sneak in these freckles from the roadside fruit stall in Macksville NSW, between 6 of us, we got a few chocolate+100s&1000s magic each.  Look everyone, affordable bananas!!
 The Pacific Highway bypasses most towns now, blink & you miss the view of Byron Bay.
 Before you know it, you're in Brisbane!! 
 Still trying to get the dream photo of our 4 children, all looking happy, natural, prefectly dressed, hair, background, lighting & of course, completely unposed & candid!!  This is Queen's Beach in Moreton Bay QLD, zero surf.
 When my husband drives, he's focused & determined, A to B in a set time, robot!!  Me, i'm like "oh hey, check out this sign, Emerald Beach, looks nice, let's stop here for a swim in our clothes".  I'm hardly bohemian but trust me, a good 45 minute play in a park or swim in the ocean "at a real surf beach" will buy you a good 4 hours of exhausted silence in the car.
 Beaches in Winter = freezing, it didn't stop them from diving in.  Children have a different thermestat to adults.  No idea why i didn't pack bikinis, i know them well enough that they'll swim at every opportunity??  Clever me kept fresh towels in the car & dry knickers.  I also ordered "no one tell me you're itchy from the salt water or this is our last beach stop!!"
 Bless her drowned-rat heart, she was blue in the lips but when i mentioned wrapping up into a towel & getting ready to leave, she ran right back out into the surf again.  So glad i stopped here on the way back (one beach north of Coffs Harbour NSW) as the rest of the trip was in torrential rain & zero visibility, i even aqua planed & was very grateful for the world's best tyres on my 4WD.  If Yokahama would like to pay for my next 5 Geolanders, i'd be thrilled to do a fascinating blog post on them - truth is, we still need a couple more new tyres but they washed away in the Tsunami in Japan.
I can not wait to go back up in Summer, this was so much fun & i allow a good 2 full days to do the 1300km trip each way from Canberra to Brisbane, i'm not trying to be a hero on the road.  I also swap between going inland & coastal.  Don't get my started on P Platers zooming past me.  Idiots!!  Happy road tripping people, love Posie

25 July 2011

supporting the Queensland economy with dreamy shopping . . .

Greetings all,
Oh boy, why did we ever leave Queensland & come home to the rain & freezing cold Canberra??  We had such a lovely holiday & did lots of dreamy shopping.  First stop, like always, was beautiful Simone from Beach Vintage blog's shop Just Plain Gorgeous in Bulimba (just around from fancy Kangaroo Point) it's where the beautiful people live.
 I picked up a pretty pink kaftan & delicious blue dress in there + some fabric, bliss!!
 Further along Oxford Street is a cute shop called Green Glass - they have the cafe by the park in this post.  Really lovely goodies & service to boot.
 Of course, a treat for the children to have some stationery fun in the school holidays involves a trip to Kikki-K, i think we went to the Chermside store??  I love this flag stamp!!
 Next time i'm in Brisbane, i'm checking out this shop, Frankie & the Fox, i was forbidden to enter by my husband, he doesn't understand my constant need for fashion eye candy.
 So just a quick snap on our way past.  The sign alone screams my kind of store.
 So farewell beautiful blue skies & sunshiney Queensland Winter.  I shouldn't complain, i've spent 7 Winters of my life in Darwin cruising along at 30C every day, no chance of rain, just that holiday feeling. 
Canberra is technically the sunniest city in Australia, i must admit, we have many Winter days which look like stunning Summer, it's just 2C outside & you're wearing gloves, so i'm just playing spoilt.  The best thing about Queensland is most positively definitely my husband, i miss him, sigh.  Have happy weeks everyone, love Posie

24 July 2011

I'm Grateful For . . . 'my siblings'

Greetings all,
Wow, last day of school holidays, sigh, we covered 4000km of NSW & QLD, with the focus on family - mostly my husband - but 3 of our siblings too (we bypassed Sydney which eliminated a brother & a sister + their families).  More on Brisbane soon, i can truly admit i am EXHAUSTED
On the way up we visited my husband's sister & caught up her 6 children on the Central Coast (teens & Uni students are harder to trace these days) - she put on an amazing lunch with Grandpa making a guest appearance too; then on the way home, my brother & 3 of his children - we had brunch at his hotel in Newcastle, crashing their boy's weekend with his Uni student, then was taking his 3 boys to the TriNations rugby in Sydney; finally my sister & her 3 children in Bowral - she fed us afternoon tea & dinner, we hung around for 5 hours, not in a hurry to complete the 200km home.  I've said it before, cousins are the BEST things ever, my children are so lucky to have 19 first cousins (no, we're not Catholic) we just LOVE children. 
I'm possibly the ONLY person on earth who drives huge distances, timing the last fuel stop 5km from home, brrr 1C, 9p.m.  I'm also possibly the only person who does all the washing & unpacking immediately??  THEN i wake to a clean, tidy & organised home, skipping off to the supermarket for milk, bread, eggs.
I can absolutely, positively confirm . . . this flour-not-quite-fitting-into-the-flour-Tupperware-container-but-i-tried-anyway . . . sums up my life right now
I am about to have the busiest few years of my life - i don't want to wish the time away "it's the journey" & all that - the destination though, our own homestead & farm, husband retired from the Army & 4 children in high school, poof, it will be here before we know it!! 
I just have to work smarter, not harder & let some things go (like my website & fabric Shop), i'm exhausted but thinking & planning, hard!!  First on my list is to resume my gym ritual, it's so important to me (healthy body & mind) i'm unhappy i let it slide last term.  I resigned from the P&C but still do things for them, there truly is no one else, it has to stop!!
After unpacking, sorting & shuffling the groceries, i reached for the cashews, which i had thought about purchasing, not purchasing, purchasing for 5 minutes at the supermarket.  Great, after my 5 minute long deliberation, i picked up peanuts instead of cashews - see where i'm going, i'm slipping, i feel unfocused & i'm careless
No, i didn't notice they were peanuts until i had actually put some in my mouth, waaaaa!!  So Maxabella Loves who is Grateful this weekend over at BabyMac, I'm Grateful for the lovely visits with my siblings, it gave me just enough energy to get home, think clearly & start making changes thanks to their advice on where i'm going.  Love Posie

22 July 2011

things i'm loving 'relaxing with my husband'

Greetings all,
Oh, relaxation . . . as my our school holidays melt away, so do the dreamy moments with my husband.  We were very lucky to have 2 whole weeks with him, now it's back to reality - him in Brisbane soldiering, us in Canberra schooling.  I love this image, it's in my heart forever, handsome soldier resting his head on my lap at the park while the children play.
With a hot chocolate . . .  
 shared with the children . . . how BIG is my baby boy getting??  Notice the tear at the knee of his new jeans, argh??  Oh well, he's been having a ball running around.  He did ask if one of his sisters could crochet him a patch, from yesterday's crochet class - ha!!
 Then a round of milkshakes (this only happens when Daddy is around).
 How cute is this cafe, by a huge park + attached to a gift shop = perfection (with completely delightful service too!!)  More on this beautiful place shortly.
 Can you spy my 3rd girl climbing & my other 2 on the ariel see saw??
Thank you dreamy PaisleyJade with Things I'm Loving this week, i miss my husband & these carefree relaxing days already.  Love Posie