Wednesday, November 30, 2011


It's come to this and, really it's not so bad...we're now living out of a few boxes here at the 'old' place and slowly unpacking the ones that have made it to the new. But, by tomorrow afternoon, the move will be COMPLETE! And oh, how I'm looking forward to that! For now, we move back and forth between the two abodes and sneak in as much fun as we can at either end; at one end, we're savouring our 'last' of everything, at the other we're enjoying some lovely 'firsts', like Elsa holding our littlest chick. Some photographic indication of our toing and froing.

(my apologies, not much time for editing around here today..)

Out for dinner - Little Saigon, Footscray
Practising her dance moves on the newly finished floor

Here - Goldfish destined for many the fish tanks of many children

Those fairies and elves have been busy around here of late!

Morning tea here

And finally, Mama (a.k.a moi!) enjoyed a lovely evening out in the Village, thanks to a grown-up nephew providing the best sort of babysitting (big cousin are the best!). Dino and I had planned to use our 'leave pass' to attend this event (link to come) but with all the craziness of the move and my resulting tiredness, combined with a preference to lap up as much of our local world as possible, I opted for a night around the corner for the following.
movie at the Sun would you believe my first! Over our time living here (4 1/2 years), my best intentions of making it to the movie theatre have fallen short. I guess I did have two babies in that time and it wasn't the highest of priorities but, how I wish I'd somehow made time to see the occassional movie here. I'll just have to make the trip across town for movie and dinner nights! Any by the way, the movie was wonderful!

A lovely meal here and a window seat from where I watched Village night-life (again something there haven't been many opportunities to witness!). And Dino, arriving home from the talk, was able to pop in to share in dessert and coffee. There's so much we'll miss about living here but, the adventure awaits!

A sneak-peak at this new store - hey, the doors were open, the owners unpacking and this Mama politley asked some questions and was shown around. It looks good!

Monday, November 28, 2011


Because we expected to be at the new house by now, our Christmas decorations are still in storage (for a few more days that is!). So, to fill the Christmas void around here, particularly with Advent looming, last week I bought this 'Advent Stick' from here (a Christmas fundraising activity).

Tied onto the stick are little tissue-paper wrapped gifts for each day of Advent, the first week featuring the mineral world, the second week featuring the plant world, the third the animal world, the fourth the human world. And by the end of Advent, that little seed pod will contain a little baby Jesus doll. I only know that because a printed run-down of the contents came with the stick, that is, I didn't peep or unwrap in advance - I promise!

Treasures from the mineral world
The kids are loving this way of celebrating and Elsa in particular is excited to discover the contents of each day's package. Today it was beach sand and though there's plenty of that around here, she was memerised by it - a good lesson for me about the simple things that hold their attention and bring such pleasure.

So this Advent stick, that is currently our only physical representation of Advent, is doing a wonderful job! Perhaps I won't bring out our other Advent calendars at the new place - perhaps (and yes, we have more than one - oops!). Oh, and I just grabbed this from Leslie, to make another Advent calendar...for another year....

And on this fifth day of Advent, our seedlings are in full 'bloom' reminding me of all the vegie gardening to come (and the eating to follow!).

And she's very taken by all things relating to Princesses and Fairies these days and even her drawings are showing it; this is Sleeping Beauty's castle, didn't you know?!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

HERE WE ARE (40 down)

(Here we are sharing/counting UP Forty Days and Forty Nights of our lives, our last on the inner-west side of town and, eventually, some of our first on the other (far) side of town, where we envisage some big changes coming our way. Thanks for joining us as we remember, celebrate and experience gratitude for our time here, and sometimes feel completely overwhelmed and exhausted by the changes underway!)
(Warning: this post contains an inordinate supply of photos because one, it's Day 40 so I can (!) and two, my exhaustion is rendering me too lazy to make choices! You should see me trying to chose door handles for the kitchen - some options below)

So, day 40 here you are. I thought you'd never come. Back when this began, we anticipated having left Yarraville by now and having been in the new place for around six days but, alas, ke sera, sera etc etc. We're happy with the decision to delay (the painting is going well!) and look forward to the move, scheduled for December 3. To be honest, I'm not at all looking forward to the move itself but, the following 'bit' is highly sort after around here! (being settled in the new place that is). Despite it being so close, there remains plenty to do so, the move seems a faraway, elusive concept, just as 'Day 40' once did.

The view around here is soooo fantastic, bursting with scenes of natural wonder reminiscent of trees (I'd prefer some more of the real thing - trees that is rather boxes posing as them!)
Technically, we'll be living here for one more week but, much of our mental and physical energy is already directed towards our new home. And, largely, what remains here is in boxes, bags, crates etc so it's difficult to feel connected to, and comfortable within, this place. But these things are all relative are they not? I mean, it's just an inconvenience and one we'll get over!

Today, I felt inspired to take my lovely, confused, overwhelmed children to the beach. We threw in the packing towel (i.e. rejected the idea of filling yet another box) and darted off early this morning, not returning until early this afternoon - oh bliss.

Climbing, always climbing
We spent much of today chatting about the upcoming changes, reading picture books about moving and talking about how we can come back to our favourite places in the inner-west whenever we like (within reason!).

But perhaps most importantly, we simply played! And minus calls to trades people, rushed and last-minute car trips, email and telephone. Pip the Gnome was shown our favourite parts of the beach, a seaweed garden was created, water was splashed, shells were collected, rocks were thrown, you know, just the things that happen at the beach. But today felt special, one of our last visits here as residents of this side of town. We enjoyed every minute - and so did Pip, I know because he told me.

Our seaweed 'garden', confirming for me that green truly is my favourite colour!
This afternoon, Elsa even managed to squeeze in a play date at a friend's place around the corner while Mama and Rafa enjoyed a rest. We are so blessed to have such great people around us and will miss them to no end. So, while the busy-ness continues, today it's a relaxed, more balanced craziness filled to the brim with gratitude. I guess those deep breaths helped, that and a morning at the beach! (and the ice-cream no doubt!).

Succumbing to the disproportionate ratio of take-away food to healthy, home-cooked meals! (with take-away dominating! I'm told it's to be expected in a moving household but, I do feel a tad guilty)

I'm happy to have undertaken this little '40 day festival';  it focused my attention on the positives of our upcoming life change, helped me purge the frustrations, allowed me to celebrate and contemplate the wonder of now, of where we are and how we got here and of where we're headed! Sitting and taking the time to reflect and celebrate these things redirected the angst I feel around change and generally helped me focus!!!

And because I can't contain myself, here are some photos taken yesterday at the new place. I promise I'll have more interesting 'stuff' to share some time soon!!!! And to all you international friends and family, this is meant to inspire a visit; we have the space for you now!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

CUT IT OUT! (39 down)

(Here we are sharing/counting UP Forty Days and Forty Nights of our lives, our last on the inner-west side of town and, eventually, some of our first on the other (far) side of town, where we envisage some big changes coming our way. Thanks for joining us as we remember, celebrate and experience gratitude for our time here, and sometimes feel completely overwhelmed and exhausted by the changes underway!)

Over the past few months, the chaotic and unpredictable Spring weather, combined with the house sale and move, and the resulting need to keep things relatively 'controlled' and tidy around here, which thankful ceased with the sale of this place, left me focusing on tracing and cutting.  The sewing portion of all projects was put aside pending our move. Not a craft, knitting or sewing project in site, nothing to be cut out or pinned, nothing  - a very bazarre scene here, especially for this time of the year!

Anyhow, looking back, it seemed far more manageable to cut out something small here and there and add it to my 'ready-to-sew' pile. Much easier than attempting to complete a whole project, especially when most of the time the sewing machine has been unreachable. But, that 'ready-to-sew' pile is quite high now and once a good portion of the unpacking is complete, I hope to have some time to finish some projects. It's really a case of bit by bit, 'build it up' slowing...a bit like the kids and their sand castles at the beach yesterday (during too short a visit but, just long enough to help deliver some lovely breaths).

For my benefit far more than yours (this isn't too interesting!), here's a list of my 'ready-to-sew' projets. The following list was drafted a few weeks ago, allowing me to sneak in a detailed post on this crazy day 39 of our little celebration when I've been at the new place checking in on the painting, filling the kitchen cupboards and feeding the chickens! And coming home via here, here and here.  I love Northcote and Westgath and these particular places are among my favourite reasons to be there. It's fun to browse and plan ahead for 2012 because, well, we all need some diversions.

 For some reason, dressing up always seems to coincide with ccutting out around here!

Here's that list.
  • Beach shorts using a Simplicity pattern that is now tucked away in a box somewhere
  • Dress from here
  • Tova Top (another one because I enjoyed making this so much)
  • Pyjama pants with an old Burda pattern (that's in a box somewhere - info. to come at the time of posting the completed pair - whenever that might be!)
  • Tablecloths (2) - one Christmas tablecloth and one sunny Summer tablecloth.
  • Picnic Roll from The Rythm of the Family
  • A ring cushion to be used at my nephew's wedding in January - a nephew getting married, seriously!

And Elsa creating some of her cutting out projects. Inspired by this book, we printed out some black and white versions of flags, found images of the coloured versions amongst her books and she worked away at creating her own set of 'flag snap' cards. We're not much of a colouring-in house but, the flag theme really piqued her interest. She has always enjoyed the atlas and books about far away places (like her parents!) and, of late, is drawn to maps and flags so, this was the perfect exercise. We started with countries of most relevance to our family being Australia (for obvious reasons), Canada (where Dada is from), Zambia (where Dada was born and lived until her was eight), Greece (where Dada's parent's were born) and New Zealand (where friends live). We also included the Australian Aboriginal flag because, well, we think that's so very important and hope our children gather a sense of the immense history of this land and it's first people. Next time we'll venture out and add the countries where we've lived or travelled. I look forward to the conversations and questions that ensue from these snap cards!

And I couldn't resist popping in some photos of the girls taken on our visit to the house this afternoon. They're really quite endearing and we're beginning to know their individual personalities.