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in the light of the sun

moments of me and my life by the sea

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A cheer up bunch of flowers

  
My lovely mum has had a serious amount of skin cancers removed this year. We’re talking about 100?!! The latest round had her feeling really down so we thought we’d get her some flowers to cheer her up. 

Never one to miss an opportunity to make art, we decided to make the flowers ourselves! We used a permanent marker to draw flowers on an old painting and cut them out. Then we used a permanent marker to draw butterflies and painted them with water colours. 

We used a glustick to attach them to a gorgeous bunch of Blue gum leaves and an extra special butterfly painting decorated the vase. 

And paper cranes of course because I just can’t not fold them!! 

  
The joy on the boys faces, knowing they were making something to make their nana happy, was so beautiful. 

They’ll last a little longer than a regular bunch of blooms and are a practically free gift really for the budget conscious.

We might need to make some for our house too!

Draw what we saw

It’s been very, very rainy lately so outdoor activities have been limited or brief.  We’ve also got too many germs to share with our regular playgroup friends so we thought we’d go to the art gallery instead and ‘draw what we saw’. 

  
It was a huge hit with my big guy! He’s almost five and his preschool teacher suggested working on his drawing skills 

and pencil grip for school readiness. 

We talked about colours we saw, shapes we saw, feelings we had when we looked at certain paintings. We saw art that made them excited, curious, scared and sad. 

   

    

We brought our own art supplies – just a few coloured pencils and two books of blank paper, and sat down wherever we saw something we wanted to draw. We couldn’t linger tooooo long at each painting as my two year old had ants in his pants but he did pretty well all things considered.   

My art theory degree was never put to professional use but not do I get a lot of enjoyment out of exploring, talking about and making art with my children. Art lovers for life!!

bento bag adventures

I made a bag that made me really happy. And I thought, why not make others happy too, huh? So I decided to sew up a few more and see if anyone out there might like to buy one. It’s been a loooooong time since I sold anything over on Etsy under In the Light of the Sun (especially since instagram killed my lo fi Holga camera) so I think I might stick to Facebook/Instagram for now.
But in the meanwhile I am having a reaaaaalllllllly fun time putting together Japanese fabrics from my collection and sewing up a storm into the wee hours of the morn…

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why are the polar bears dead mummy and other questions I answered at the museum this morning 

10 days old they were. Now they’re almost 100 years old. Well, 91, if my maths is correct, but truth be told I rarely know what day it is, let alone what year. So for 91 years these two polar bear cubs (pups?) have sat together in a glass case, next to a spectacularly large, glittering magical amethyst slab, in a dark corner of a museum.

For some reason the fact there was two of them seemed to tug at my heart strings all the harder. Crowds surged around me as thousands of Sydney siders took advantage of the museums free admission this weekend. A clingy two year old weighed heavily in my arms and a four year old pulled on my arm. But I couldn’t tear my gaze away.

But why did they die? It was at the London Zoo apparently. Oh. Is their mummy sad? Yes I imagine so. Now they’re behind the glass and their mummy is gone? Yes. *swallows back lump in throat and shifts heavy child to other hip* And are the dinosaurs going to come to life like in that movie we saw?

Um, no sweet boy that was just a movie.

But if those polar bears do come to life at night id rather like to snuggle with them. I’m looking for paid work. I should see if the Australian Museum needs a night security guard. First I have to night wean my co-sleeping breast feeding two year old, but that should be easy enough…..

well hello there

Just thought i’d pop in and say hi after a few years of being M.I.A…see if I still know how to type words. See if I can remember how to form those typed words into sentences. Sentences that are uninterrupted by the excited/demanding conversations of the small children who accompany my daylight hours and most of my night time ones too.

If you’re still here or happen to stumble upon my words, I thank you for your time and patience with me as I learn to juggle all the things you need to be a mum and a person and a wife and a writer and a friend.

in cahoots

Image

Today I feel like a Yoshimoto Nara character. My eyes are saying Screw You I’m Going To Do What I Like And I Don’t Care What You Think Anyway (but of course behind my rebellion I desperately seek your attention and approval). 

In fact, I think Wolfie and I are in cahoots in this respect, because he has been a rebellious little monster all day too. 

We must have forcibly removed him from the recycling bin in the kitchen over a dozen times today but he keeps toddling back for more swigs on empty wine bottles (it’s a good look) and for the wonderful sounds of smashing glass against tiles.

And if you don’t lift him up so he can switch on and off every light in all the rooms of the house over and over and over then he squeals like a pig. A loud, insistant, irritated pig hell bent on illumination. He screams through nappy changes, writhing, twisting and thumping on the mat spreading poo all over the place. Are you aware that the act of changing nappies is some sort of torturous punishment that parents inflict upon their innocent offspring just for shits and giggles?! (I always wondered what that saying was referring to, now I understand.)

So eventually I turned to the television and put on a Justine Clarke DVD. Because I Like to Sing. Wolf wasn’t terribly captivated (he can’t seem to pay attention to the tv for very long. I worry it’s because it’s on too often?) but gosh darn it I do love the lady and it cheered me up no end. I bopped, hopped and boogied around all the abandoned toys on the floor, the coloured pencils, all the money and cards from my wallet and the contents of a tissue box that has been emptied and re-stuffed several times over while Wolf amused himself with the recycling until it was time for dinner/bath/bed and here we are.

I guess I too should be in bed preparing for another day of adventuring or at the very least taking out the recycling or something useful but my Nara eyes are creeping back on and…. I don’t want to go to bed! I’m not tired! That didn’t hurt!!

 

 

burning questions I asked google this week

1. how to fold origami paper boats

because it’s been on my to fold list for too long now. they’re so easy! see! i added sails and coloured them in with some derwent watercolour pencils because I am totes still in primary school

2. when did the rum diaries start showing in cinemas?

because the other half is a diehard hunter s thompson fan and a dinner/movie date would be nice at least once this year. did you see it?

3. downton abby christmas special

because I just watched season 1 and 2 and whilst I don’t think it’s the most amazing television I have ever watched it is a *bit* addictive. have you seen it? johnny depp?!!

4. how to make your own leggings

because I am sick of all the boring ones I see in shops and the two grey pairs I purchased from kmart for $10 a year or so ago have been worn so frequently they are threadbare and holey. have you ever made leggings?

5. holdsworth centre playgroup hours

because I was crazy enough to take my son to a playgroup in Woollahra with spoilt eastern suburbs kids and their snooty mums and their designer prams and their designer gear and their obnoxious behaviour…at least we got out of the house.

little bit shy and overwhelmed by the prospect of playgroup with the bigger kids running around but liking this big red car a lot!

6. how to make wooden drawers glide easier

because opening and closing the chest of drawers in our bedroom requires herculian effort and i for one am sick of it

7. yann tiersen new album

because we are going to see him at the metro on thursday! and here is some of his amazing new stuff  – 

8. when is mothers day?

because I need to start dropping hints. serious hints. about how awesome I am. just in case my boys forget it.and make sure i organise something for my own awesome mother of course.

What burning questions did you ask google this week? Care to share?!

hugs and kisses

Happy times on the swing. Want to insert bad pun about mood swings here...

Wolfie has really been putting me through my paces lately. He has been so grumpy, frustrated, prone to temper tantrums complete with the arched back and flailing arms. He’s only 1. He even bit me on the arm the other day because I wouldn’t let him eat the cat’s biscuits. I thought I had another year til the tantrums of the terrible twos came into full force. Perhaps he is a fast learner. Perhaps he’s just warming up. Oh hell!

I mostly blame teething troubles which leads to sleeping troubles which leads to overtired toddler troubles. And no-one is at their best when overtired. Don’t I know it!

But whatever the reason I have been trying to cope with this new behaviour with compassion. I try to hug it out. Which can be tough with a wriggly, angry, frustrated toddler writhing and wailing in your arms. But I hold tight and keep hugging. I’m not entirely sure it works but I can’t see the logic in using violence to tell my child I don’t want him to act violently. I have been reading a few other articles with ideas such as this one about empathy and this one about applying the HALT method to better understand difficult behaviour. And if all else fails I step back and count to 10, hoping my blood pressure will drop back down to normal and we can continue whatever task we are trying to get through, such as eating dinner or changing nappies…that and I try to remember we live in an apartment building and everyone will hear me yelling if I lose my cool and think I am a terrible parent so as a last resort I guilt trip myself into remaining calm.

Maybe I’m getting worried about nothing, maybe it’s perfectly normal behaviour, maybe I should let it go but there is a tiny voice in the back of my head freaking out about behavioural issues and anger management and him turning into a beastly bully. It’s hard when you don’t have any previous experience and nothing to compare it to…

If you have any ideas/opinions about tantrums then I’d be interested to know. If you have any ideas about how to maintain your cool in a stressful situation, whether you are a parent or not, I would be VERY interested!!

 

at the farm

sunset at the farm

We skipped town for a week of peace and quiet. No washing machines whirring, no dishwashers draining, no tv blaring, no neighbours banging on the ceiling, no cars beeping, no mobiles ringing, no bright lights, no laptop, no facebook, no distractions.

our olive grove, growing olives for harvest real soon!

Just us three, the birds, the fresh air and billions of stars. I had forgotten about stars. Would you believe it?! I had forgotten how many stars there are to be seen in a rural night sky. Breathtaking stuff. Puts things in perspective again. I’m just a tiny little dot in an enormous universe, that has been in existence for billions of years before me and will continue to exist perhaps billions of years after I am gone.

There was quite a bit to put into perspective. We really needed to sit still for a moment and take a deep slow breath, in and out. Catch our breath, process our thoughts. Consume less, live mindfully, and think about how we can continue to be like this back home. We live in an incredibly expensive pocket of a beautiful city and sometimes it feels like it keeps me alive, sustains my senses, but is strangling me at the same time.

early morning misty mountain view from the verandah

We thought about how to live simpler, how to spend less money in a city that thrives on consumerism. We thought about how to wean our sleepless son from breastfeeding all night long. We thought about how to make our travel dreams come true. We thought about how we would cope living overseas without our support network of family and friends. We thought about how to get jobs in a country where we don’t speak the language. We thought about how I could get a job in a country where I do speak the language. We thought about what it might be like to get a good nights sleep, several nights in a row rather than once in a blue moon.

Now we’ve just got to put those thoughts into action. Bags not starting with the weaning though. I know how to save money, I’ve done that before. But weaning a clingy, incredibly loud, overtired baby in our one bedroom apartment seems like a task too huge for me to tackle right now…

early morning (or late night?!) art activities...

(Ironically, as I type up this post, there has been a power blackout and I have no electricity or internet or tv. The universe is mocking me, right?!)

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