Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Spring is stirring

I can feel Spring stirring, shaking her pretty head as she wakes for another year. It remains cool and wet but the air feels different, lighter somehow. The birds are busy dancing and wooing each other. Light dances on the lounge floor, through newly trimmed trees along our boundary (thanks Dad). The garden is awakening as the soil warms. Match-heads, violets and polyanthus smatter colour in the sodden side garden. The sedum is sending out spearmint coloured foliage. The vegetables are rousing as the days lengthen. Broad beans are flowering and newly planted sweet peas are pushing upwards. Most exciting is the asparagus spears piercing through their wintry blanket of pea straw.

Our three hens started to lay again, how gratifying it is to have fresh eggs again. They taste so good after the winter break. The many food scraps that Mae creates by throwing her vegetables and fruit from her highchair are giving the feathered ladies a varied diet, supplemented with greens from the garden. It would be difficult to be without our own Chooks again. Three seems to be enough to keep us supplied without being overwhelmed with eggs.

The windy weather seems to seep into my moods; making me feel impatient and titchy. Brisk walks always help. Last week there were a few magic moments that stood out; a dozen or so butterflies feasting upon manuka flowers by the stream. The first daffodil to bloom in my garden (from a bulb sent from my family home). A pair of fantails dancing outside the kitchen window, flitting from branch to branch, chirping in their funny squeaky way. Moments like these calm the restless in me and soothe the crankiness away. 

Of course it is not all sunshine and butterflies. There a bugs that I would rather not venture into my backyard but do. Just last week I got into a bit of a flap when moving aside my gumboots and a large Weta raised his back legs in defence. Too close to my garden shoes and rather a big surprise. Once I calmed myself the offending critter was moved into the lavender bushes. The strawberry patch is the new home to a big, hairy spider. I am a super wuss when it comes to spiders. Ughh. There is gluggy mud tracks under the clothesline and one does not go out without boots on. 

Last Saturday we packed up the car and headed out to one of our favourite places. The Awhitu Regional Park where we spent a cosy night with three other couples. Eight couples, two babies and an overdue catch up. It was wonderful to spend time with our friends from Wellington and our fellow Auckland pals. We have known each other for over a decade now and it is magical to see our babes in the mix. The fire kept us snug and warmed our bones after an evening walk. The weather was kind on the Saturday so we enjoyed an afternoon on the porch. A tiny lemon tree was laden with fruit and we picked a bag to bring home. Lemon muffins are infusing the room with freshness as I type. Awhitu speaks to my heart, we visited this spot years ago and hope to return again. Oh how I love the sea air and rolling hills.
Pretending this cottage by the sea is ours
I'm off to pack for another exciting adventure. I hope that you too are finding joy in the changing seasons and have an adventure of your own planned. 

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Full days and a full heart

Our house has been busy with family these past few weeks. First my Dad and then Mr. Fox's Mum and partner. Cublet has been in her element; the social creature that she is. Happiest when chatting to someone in that sweet, loud voice. Our cheerful girl. What a joy it is to see the relationships grow deeper between her and her beloved Grandparents.

Still a little under the weather when her Poppa visited she played quietly. Grabbing noses, inspecting teeth and knocking down towers of blocks. She adores her Poppa and he her. We stayed close to home only venturing out for a delicious lunch. A quiet and restorative weekend that we all needed. It is a shame that we live at opposite ends of the country. There are a couple of visits planned for the rest of the year which make the distance easier.

Grandma Ann and Grandad Kevin recently left after a lovely week. Mae was feeling well and just loved being in their company. Much squealing, babbling and fun was had. Keen to show them her crawling and climbing skills, a little less keen to sit still for cuddles unless very sleepy. Oh my wild child. We shared a family meal with Emma and Roman at a Thai restaurant, one of those evenings where everything seems just so right in the moment. Surrounded by people you love, a baby delighting in catching smiles from the waiters and the air heavy with lemongrass and chilli.

Enjoying the tractor at Boric Food Market
Miss Mae Molly Ann is ten months old. Her gums are swollen and red where her two top teeth are poking through. Her bottom teeth are just about to erupt have cut through. It must be very sore getting four at once but she seems to be taking it in her stride.  We have survived her first earache and consequently her first round of antibiotics. There is wispy blonde (?strawberry blonde) hair finally growing. It is utterly adorable when fuzzy from the bath and messed up after a nap. Cublet is tiny, just cruising along the 2nd percentile for girls on the Plunket chart. She is yet to crack the seven kilogram mark. Our wee hummingbird...busy as can be and pocket sized.

The playpen barricades off the kitchen and a plug near the door. Cublet is on the move, army crawling with her right arm and left foot. She is able to get up on her hands and knees but seems to prefer the speed of her modified tummy drag. Not content to play in the lounge she explores the house, sometimes following from room to room but more likely to be scooting as fast as she can toward the cat food bowl! She sits own her own with ease and can pull herself to standing on furniture. Her nose crinkles when she scrunches it up to smile. Eyes twinkle with mischief. Her favourite foods are Weetbix, Sweet Potato and vegetable soup.

A birthday cake for my guy

 At the pool she closes her eyes on the count of three to be dunked under water. She can kick her little legs and thoroughly enjoys her weekly swimming sessions. In the bath, water is splashed with great gusto and her first shower last week was a hit. This summer will hopefully bring many days spent at the seaside. Oh how my Mum would love this girl.

Waiting on the bath to fill
Lily the cat and Mae are beginning to interact more. Lily remains unimpressed by the now mobile baby although does tolerate the odd rough pat  hair pulling. At times they almost play together; Mae chasing Lily as fast as she can and Lily bolting past as close as she dares. Finding a safe hiding place is getting tougher for our poor cat and she spends much of the day finding reprieve on our bed.

Invites to Cublet's first birthday celebration were sent out weeks ago; ridiculously early as we knew these coming months were going to be very busy indeed. It is with mixed feelings we approach her birthday. How can it be that our little one is going to one? The months go so fast and the change is immense from newborn to a twelve month old. Cliche but it really does feel like only a few weeks ago that we brought her home from hospital. We have a bunch of family and friends coming to celebrate with us. Thus far I am enjoying planning a simple little afternoon. Hopefully with a Mummy made cake and sunny weather.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

New Curtains and sewing machines

There are so many things that I want to sew, knit, plant, enjoy etc but only have two hands and a sweet little baby who seems to be adverse to napping for long periods during the day. Nap times are when I cram housework and cooking in as fast as I can. Starting the mad dash with Yoga at least every other day. Making time to stretch my muscles rejigs my attitude and extends my patience. Like my other projects writing here is slower and broken into shorter sessions. I am learning to savour recording thoughts over a days rather than a quick burst. Finding that I can still pursue my passions between peek-a-boo and story times.

Making our little home warm and dry has been a priority, for own health but most especially Mae's. We have new thermal curtains in the lounge and a new heat pump. Oh how snug it is now. We really can't believe the difference it has made to our comfort. The windows have little to no condensation on them in the mornings and our beds/clothes/furniture feels warmer as they dry out. Poor wee house must have been very laden down with extra moisture. It was certainly worth the hard saving we have been doing the past month or so.

Fiery sky on a cold winters evening
As time allows I have been sewing new net curtains for the windows. Last year on a trip to Melbourne I purchased a roll of dotted net from IKEA. Slowly but surely I am whizzing up seams. Net curtains are a must as we have neighbours on three sides and a park on the fourth. The nets that came with house have done the job until now but were rather too fussy and frilly for our taste. The dampness had left them looking a bit tired and grey too. It is not creative sewing but it does feel good to make savings here and there by doing a job yourself.

The once overflowing mending basket is now empty and I am onto tackling unfinished projects. During my decluttering I have gathered all my crafty projects together. There are many almost complete crafts, started with gusto but left by the wayside after the initial momentum wore off. Some forgotten completely and others willfully ignored because I have reached a tricky bit. The temptation to launch into a new crafty endeavours is strong but I know I will feel satisfied if I just knuckle down to complete at least a few of these tasks.

Spurring me on to 'eat the frog' are my neglected knitting needles. There are some beautiful patterns that I would like to attempt to knit for my Miss Mae Molly Ann. And perhaps even create a few little newborn knits to put away for future babes. A certain fox scarf is begging to be started. Such a thoughtful and awesome gift from my Dad last time he stayed. How sweet it is to be loved by the ones who know you best.

For now the garden is pretty self sufficient. The sleepy weeds lay dormant waiting for the Spring sunshine. Swirling in my head and gathering on my pinterest boards are projects for warmer weather. Sunflowers and strawberries, wildflowers and freshly grown herbs, compost and many wonderful delights to look forward too. Until then I am content to concentrate on indoor tasks.

My sweet girl on a blanket I decorated with needle felted flora & fauna