Easter Sunday

Knocking hello to her big brother on his cottage door with her little friend Miss Eva.

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Egg hunt in the sunny garden.

Miss Bee ate way too much chocolate, my job as a mummy is a success!

Lots of supervision required though as just beyond that fence is a little river perfect for drowning it. Moments after the bottom photo (above set) I took this next photo then had to run to relock the gate and herd them back into the yard as they had escaped while everyone else was chatting oblivious to the danger that was just avoided.

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Playing a café game with potions in a cubby nook tucked away in the garden.

 

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Sweet Time Out, Wee Hooing and chooks

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March was a busy birthday month so somehow our monthly Twelvetimes date night was lost into the ether. Yet determination and the ability claw my way back to my plan made me accept that this weekend was close enough to March to count as our March date. Big sister Kitty took our little angel while we ran quickly into the distance.
Don’t get me wrong.  I adore being a mummy.  I fought a very long hard battle for this miracle child.  She is inquisitive, exceptionally agile and an undeniable magic radiates from her wide grin as she excitedly explores the world.  The room lights up like sunshine when she giggles.
Yet she is also relentless. Pushing boundaries, demanding attention, grabbing, touching and moving.  Constantly moving. Like a bumble bee starved of pollen stumbling upon a flower meadow.  She buzzes frenzied from blossom to blossom.  Her enthusiasm and pace is exhausting. Which is why I treasure those snippets of time when I can remove the robes and hats of mummy,  teacher,  entertainer,  cleaner and supervisor stripped bare to me. Just a me who is at times forgotten even by myself.
Coffee by the Kingston foreshore with a sumptuous Italian meal and nothing but the quiet moments to talk with my hubby.  Yes these rare time are precious. Reviving.  Essential remedy. Renewal.
Today,  I am refreshed.  Although we did meet another goal- Pizza night with friends last night. I think we had fun as we polished off 2 bottles of wine and they didn’t leave until nearly 1am. Today we set out on our monthly bike ride with Miss Bee in her Wee hoo bike trailer.  She loved it.  Indeed so much so that when we returned home she wasn’t giving up on the helmet and a classic toddler tantrum ensued.  We let her wear her helmet around the house.  Sometimes with toddlers you need to pick your battles and helmet wearing was really a non issue.

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Here it is. ..late.  She’s fed and bathed, in her PJs and ready for bed, having one last play with her dolls YET again wearing her helmet. Little funny bunny.

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An afternoon of tea, chooks and visiting friends on a farm was toddler heaven. Miss Bee made a little friends to run amok with! I used the opportunity to take some memory photos of the visit. Many were portraits and I have been told I am not allow to share them with you all… sorry._MG_8538

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Born to hunt?  Haaa haaa….

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Scrub a dub, parks, terror and pizza

Scrub

We celebrated the warm weather by giving “Lulu” a bath. Seems easy enough? Trust me.. trying to find a doll you CAN put in a bath was hard. Some bath suitable dolls were just creepy looking, some had reviews regaling stories of the doll needing 2-3 days to drip dry! Come on? This is meant to be a versatile little friend who can slide down a slide, sleep in the cot and dip in the bath every now and then. I can’t expect Miss Bee to wait for her baby to dry. She is after all a toddler. We settled on buying her a Miniland  last Christmas which can also wear many baby born brand clothes as a bonus. They are anatomically correct and come in a range of races. I am planning to buy her another little friend for Lulu next Christmas… hmmm boy? girl? hard to choose they are all sooooo cute!

Parks

It is school holidays. Instead of her usual routines I am freelance. I can get up and go when and where I want. I am enjoying the freedom to come and go in a more natural toddler ebb and flow. Our “main stay” so far is park visits. She loves parks and by and large it has been a positive experience.

We have visited so many parks this week I can almost claim to be a local expert. A park enthusiast? Maybe even a guru? We have visited around half a dozen parks. As many as 2 a day at times. Saturday we visited Boundless (again). Being the school holidays and a weekend it was PACKED and parking was it’s usual weekend nightmare. Wish they would just add at least 20 more parking spots. The shade is still growing but the sun was shining mildly and we had a ball. Saturday night we had dinner at the Southern Cross Club Woden in Henry’s. There is a small padded climb though style park with a ball pit area within a glassed room. I’ve taken her there before for playdates and while it’s small it rather safe. Sadly the food is very much club food and not impressive. Bland and fried would be the best description.

Sunday we met toddler friends at the Tuggeranong Town Centre park. Talk about a basic boring park. The slide might excite the most cautious child under 2. There is a large playground without a slide… and lots of metal ladders. Super boring. All I can wonder is how the Yarralumla suburban park has better equipment that the local “BIG” park in Tuggeranong and can only blame vandals who stalk around Tuggeranong in packs like malicious teenwolves.

Monday afternoon we spent a good hour on the park at Tuggeranong Bunnings. Despite being very high and looking WAY too advanced (recommended as suited for 5yrs +). The steps are rather high but she nailed it and loved the long slide. Tuesday we stayed at home making our own fun.

Wednesday was another crazy park day with two visited. My child is officially some sort of agile part monkey creature.

She climbed up a cargo net which was higher than my head, scrambled up another higher platform to then slide down a giant curly red slide.

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Now for those of you gasping in horror I will explain two things:

  1. There is no risk of falling from the top platform as the stair gap is closed in and the slide is a tube so she couldn’t fall off from the top. I was literally right with her while she climbed the net.
  2. Yes, I do sometimes have to calm my own nerves and just allow her to find her own physical boundaries by trusting her. But by doing this she has become confident and proficient.

Terror

Wednesday afternoon was a very difficult afternoon. We went to Westfield Woden and while she has been on the little indoor park many times I had failed to note it’s fatal flaw. Lack of emergency exit points. Most enclosed parks have zips for access but this one does not. I discovered this when another toddler cornered her then bit her, scratched her face and started belting into her head with fists. Just horrific when I saw her face as he approached- happy and welcoming then saw it change to confusion, pain and shock. She stood there petrified with huge tears streaming down her face and she screamed “mum…mum…mum”. Broke my heart when I started realising there was no way IN to save her. The other mum was telling her kid to stop but he wouldn’t listen. Kitty was with me and banging on the mesh yelling too…

he kept belting her again and again. Showing no sign of stopping.

She sent her older child in through the tiny gap who dragged the child out kicking and screaming like a wild animal. Miss Bee realised she was free and bolted into my arms as I had partially climbed in as much as I could. She sat head buried to my heart sobbing. I wonder if she could hear my heart breaking for her?

After the mother made a hasty apologetic exit from the park a little girl around 3 came up to Miss Bee and stroked her on the cheek. “Are you OK?” My faith in humanity was restored. I hope Miss Bee’s was too.

Thursday was another crazy park day. The morning was spent meeting playgroup friends in the neighbouring town of Queanbeyan at the aptly named Queanbeyan Park. It was beyond packed as there was an event of some sort running which we hadn’t known about. That said there are many cool things at this park. HUGE ride in spring car and wagon, 2 slides, a toddler area and ample shade including shade sails. It is FULLY FENCED!!! A softfall bike track meanders through and around the inside of the fenced area- ideal for practicing scooters or ride on trikes. There is even a tennis half wall enclosed for older kids to be entertained in while youngsters play on the park.  We spent a fun afternoon free and climbing on our old secret favourite the Yarralumla Park with Aunty and Cousin.

Pizza

This is what I love doing with my toddler. Quiet times, unrushed where she can DO not just watch a passive screen. Today we made lunch- Pizza from scratch. She helped knead the easy 2 ingredient no yeast dough. Super easy dough that for a non yeast quick dough was ample for a lunch pizza shared with myself and big sister. Step by step she made the pizza with me.

 

How is my detox going…. glad you asked. Pretty well! I quickly realised my older daughter likes to text me OFTEN so I needed to increase the number of available texts to accommodate that. I love how the App tells me “NO” using a nice reminder.  I am more present and am liking it. I catch myself wanting to check my little buddy… and it’s a way to quit that habit.

Jerrabomberra Wetlands

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Sunday was a delightfully sunny 26 degrees.  Typically it’s jumper weather come April but this year we’ve recorded the second highest ever temperature for April in Canberra at a dizzy 32 degrees.  Typically it would be late teens early twenties.  We took the opportunity for another bushwalk… This time we stayed in Canberra as they were burning off down in the Namadgi National Park end of the ACT.
Jerrabomberra Wetlands is down on the old Dairy Flat Road.  Contrary to its name it’s not in the Jerrabomberra region.
Poco got a work out with Miss Bee even having a short nap. We explored with a friend joining us. The loop starts with the Kelly Loop. Of the three loops the Kelly Loop is the best one and it seems very wheel friendly. ..wheelchair or most prams would be okay.

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Bird watching hides make it interesting and we saw many bird varieties.  There are posters in the hides to help you name them.  Miss Bee knew “duck” quack quack quack which meant she was happy with her viewing.

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The further Billabong Loop which extends off the Kelly Loop seems fairly deteriorated but some areas were captivating with tall reeds and bullrushes.

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Woodland Loop was worthwhile except in one section there was a quantity of litter spoiling it.

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Woodland bird watching hide

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Miss Bee has almost mastered the bite down Camel back water storage in Poco.

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Note to self: take your SLR with you if you want the photos to look better…

Today we used some of the leaves collected to make a collage on a crayon and watercolour wash background painted this morning.  I laminated it as she is currently at the age where she is likely to rip them all off again.  This was an opportunity to recall the walk and view the leaves close up.

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February: Delving into Twelving

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The Albion As I have just started blogging I will do a ‘catch up post’ from January to now. Lots in one post but not much detail.

I had spent the last weekend of January setting up our calendars with all the ‘events’. Got to say I love our shared Google calendars as I can make recurring events, one off events and invite my hubby to whatever I want him to come to.

The very first weekend we jumped onto getting a major task completed. To bushwalk with a toddler you need a backpack child carrier. We had walked in Cradle Mountain with a sling but she’s just too heavy for long walks in the sling now. After much research we bought an Osprey Poco Premium with removable day pack which means we are now equipped to explore at will!

Lunch in Braddon at the hipster Paleo café Elemental. I confess we are heathen as we didn’t know it was paleo or particularly care. I am happy to report that the food was delicious- it was definitely a new experience eating nachos with sweet potato chips instead of corn chips. Our toddler gobbled it all up.

Bushwalk #1 Sunday 7th we Christened Poco with a short Bushwalk to De Salis cemetery which was a nice short walk given it was very hot and we had the new carrier. It worked a treat though it was hot a sweaty with the weather being so warm.

Brunch #1 Saturday 13th  Had some mum friends over for some coffee, pikelets and the all important chat.

BBQ #1 and Fire pit #1– Kept it simple and combined  International dinner #2 with BBQ night with lemon and garlic marinated lamb kebabs, Greek salad after a starter of olives, sourdough bread and homemade Tzatziki. Relaxed with marshmallows by the fire with the kids.(International dinner #1 was our Australia Day BBQ! That was genius as it was Good Enough!)

Local explorations: Poco got another workout as we explored the Multicultural Festival. in Canberra delighting in Weiss beer, Gozleme, paella… yummy. It was much easier to navigate the crowds by (a) going in the morning and (b) taking Poco instead of a pram.

Bike ride #1 Sunday 20th Rode around Lake Tuggeranong with the Weehoo bike trailer attached (now known as the Big Red Car to our Wiggles mad Miss Bee).

Made time to create– Scrapbooking! I did a rather dodgy job but finally finished the 9 pages I had been trying to do for the last year. They may not be what I would like in my dream life.. ie not perfect… but they are OK, they are Good Enough!

We rounded out February with Friday Pizza night #1 with my friend Dani then an outing to Rose Cottage with a gang of us listening to our favourite local Band 5150. Barry and Brian rocked it as usual!  Miss Bee burned up the dance floor until we had to retire her for the night. It was good to stick with our plan to connect with family and friends.

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Saturday we hit the Royal Canberra Show. Miss Bee loved the animals and we loved checking out the giant metal art Alien in one of the pavilions (yeah that’s not a photo we took but that’s what it looked like. It was life size and scary!). The Bengal kittens were rather adorable too half asleep in a cat cage.

Sunday we decided to escape Canberra and had a delicious #2 Brunch at The Albion in Braidwood then drove through to Malua Beach just South of Bateman’s Bay so Miss Bee could experience the beach now that she’s well and truly walking (ok more like running). We found this beach using an AWESOME free App called Beachsafe. Uses GPS to find beaches close by and tells you if they will be patrolled.

It’s been a busy month. But I feel like we have really got out and had fun! This next month will be just as fun I’m sure.

 

 

Twelvetimes

Capture.PNGThe years whiz by. They wait for nobody. This year I am fighting against my busy life. I am making a stand to make my life the life I want. The life I want to look back on and be satisfied with. I want to live a wonderful life with my hubby Anthony and kids (three young adults and a toddler).  I am putting together a plan.  I am making sure that when the next new year’s eve rocks around I can look back and celebrate achieving my dreams big and small.  I am starting my year with a new idea that I call Twelvetimes.

This is how it works. I made a list of all the things I love doing, all the things that I value or look forward to and all the things I need to do. All those ‘one day’ things.

Then I decided that if I do things just once a month then by the end of the year I would hopefully have done all the things that bring me happiness and fulfillment at least Twelvetimes this year! 

Then there are the one off goals /seasonal type outings and ongoing projects (they have been added as a prompt to keep my focus on what matters instead of wasting my nights chillaxing by the TV when I would prefer to chillax by the TV with my knitting needles or crochet hook in hand!).

This is my massive goal list:

  • Go to the snow
  • Blue Lakes walk (buy a hiking baby pack)
  • Mt Kosciusko walk
  • go to Berry and look at maybe getting a cuckoo clock
  • monthly dinner with each set of parents
  • monthly bike ride
  • monthly bush walk
  • monthly gardening
  • monthly brunch of the month with mum friends
  • monthly dinner out as a couple
  • monthly Kids park- prefer with picnic lunch or snacks
  • monthly games night
  • monthly International dinner night
  • monthly meet up with friends
  • monthly breakfast or lunch out
  • Fire pit evenings 8
  • BBQs 10
  • craft on Tuesdays
  • beach at least 4 times
  • Taronga
  • live music -like 5150
  • Canberra Show
  • Multicultural festival
  • weekend away 4
  • train to Bungendore
  • Canberra Festival events
  • Botanic gardens
  • National Gallery
  • plan and book another big holiday… Great Barrier Reef? Fiji?
  • Knit 4 garments for Miss Bee
  • Knit my own cardigan
  • Scrapbooking
  • crochet rug

It looks kind of overwhelming but once I sat back and scheduled them into our calendars I started to get really excited about my year. There is a brisk pace but there is room to relax too. Part of my goal is to keep things achievable. It might mean that things are done in simplistic ways. Pared down to “tick the box” at times when life is break neck speed. After all, there is nothing ‘wrong’ with doing things simply. I tend to be the type who wants to overachieve and do things to an extreme. Enough is often not good enough. But this year it will be a change of pace. I will let ‘good enough’ be determined by the time available. Time is in short supply with a toddler. Plus, if I miss something one month well eleven times in a year is ‘good enough’ right?

I’m going to start this blog by doing a ‘rewind’ post to January. Which is good enough as I have been busy.