Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Z is for Ze End :)

I surprisingly made it to the end of the 'amonthof'. I almost wrote everyday. Some days have been catch ups, but still, everyday is accounted for. I have enjoyed this challenge, although I did find the letters at the beginning of the alphabet a lot easier to blog about than the last few at the end. I also found I was a little more enthusiastic at the beginning.

Completing this whole month makes me think about other challenges I could undertake later in the year. A crafty challenge, a music challenge, a fitness challenge... there are so many options. I'm sure I could find something around the internet to take up, or I could make up something myself. For now though, I might take a little rest and just post about the things that have been happening in life. For instance, I have been working a lot on my next two quilts recently (and taking a few unfocused photos), so I will post these in the next few days.

I'm glad I made it to Ze End :).

End of Ze World

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Y is for ...

I couldn't think of anything original for the letter 'Y'. So here are the top 10 sites found when I typed 'y is for' into Google.

Y is for:

1. Y is for yearbook
2. Y is for yogini
3. Y is for yorick
4. Y is for yoga
5. Y is for yellowhammer
6. Y is for yoyo
7. Y is for yak
8. Y is for yowl
9. Y is for young buck
10. Y is for yoda

And unsurprisingly, if you just type 'Y' into Google the first thing to come up is YouTube, the source of much entertainment and information these days.

And here is a link to some 'y is for' words and their related pictures.

Monday, December 24, 2012

X is for Xmas Eve

Only one day until Christmas :). We are having Mum and Dad over for dinner tonight and I am trying Honeycomb Cannelloni recipe for the very first time. I am excited and apprehensive. I hope it works out. I don't think I would have been game enough to try it without the Thermomix here to help me cut up all the vegies though. It would need a lot of prep work otherwise. Best thing is, in order to make it I had to buy a lovely new cast iron pot to fit it all in. I have been wanting one for years and now I have a lovely blue one.

Doesn't the dinner just look delicious! Hopefully mine will look just as nice.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

W is for Tom Waits and The White Stripes

This is the first Tom Waits song I ever heard. I driving to Margate at the time and I was just taken by Tom Waits' deep gravely and yet compelling voice, his passion and the darkness of the song. I was just left with an overpowering feeling of needing to listen to more of his work.

Often not a lot of big bands make their way to Tassie when touring around Australia. There is definitely a market for it and the bands would certainly get an audience but sadly we still miss out. Many years ago though, The White Stripe came to Tassie and Daniel bought us tickets. We got to the gig early and stood up the front, often holding onto the bars, so as not to be dragged back into the crowd. It was an amazing night. So much energy and passion. I certainly wouldn't have the energy to stand for hours at a gig anymore.

Seven Nation Army:

And a cool version of it done by C. W. Stoneking.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

V is for Visitors

This past week has been extremely busy. I usually try to fit in at least one home day, just for some down time, but so far we have not been able to achieve this. Despite life being so busy we had some lovely visitors this week. My sister and her kids came down and Nicholas was rapt. He kept hugging Ryan every opportunity he had and was very sad when he had to say goodbye. It is always too long between visits.

Here are the kids enjoying themselves at the beach.

Friday, December 21, 2012

U is for Unfinished

With only a few days left till Christmas I still have a heap of things that may go left unfinished. Sadly, Nicholas' quilt will be left unfinished (for now). No matter how fast I try to hand embroider the trees and birds and leaves, I am just not fast enough to get it done before Christmas. I honestly didn't think it would be so time consuming. I will definitely be giving it to him for Christmas, and every now and then will just take it back to do a bit more work on it. Eventually, it will be competently day :).

As well as that, I have two other gifts for Nicholas that are not quite finished yet (when I do finish them I will post photos). And then there is the present for mine and Daniel's parents that are also only half done. Arrrgghhh! I really need to learn some time management skills, and also not to put so much pressure on myself to do so many things at once.

I also just feel like the weeks are slipping by too quickly before number 2 arrives, and with that my freedom. As Nicholas has grown and now sleeps ok most days I have been able to start some little projects again, but when number 2 arrives all that will be taken away. Life will be filled up with feedings, cleaning, washing, and more house work. This change of life is starting to make me feel a bit uneasy. I am excited and yet apprehensive. I have to accept that the things I don't finish before I have baby girl probably won't be finished for a while because life will just be far too busy. Ultimately, I know that these sacrifices are worth it but it's often difficult to see it at the time.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

T is for Toothache

This is a super boring post about the fact that I have a sore tooth. It has been aching the last few days but today has been the worst. I think I might need a filling. I'm wondering if this is my punishment for eating too much sweet food of late? Sadly, I couldn't get a dentist appointment till Monday. I have a feeling it is going to be a long weekend, especially considering I can now only eat on the right side of my mouth. Oh dear!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

S is for Sweet Smelling Strawberries

I picked these straight from the garden today. Nicholas is going to be very happy when he sees this bowl tomorrow...he just loves strawberries :).

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

R is for Rest

I finally graduated today! After five years of study I will now take some time to rest before having our second child.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Q is for Quilt

Q is for Quilt. Just a tiny bit more hand sewing to go and it will be ready for Nicholas to open on Christmas day :). I hope he likes it, it has taken me two years to finish. Hopefully, the next ones won't take as long :).

Here are some photos of its journey into becoming a quilt.

The start!

The end!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

P is for PinterestFail

I love looking around on Pinterest. I have a few boards of my own and enjoy adding things I see of interest to them. What I enjoy more though is when I actually get the time to try some of the things I have pinned.  However, not everything works exactly how we expect it to, even when we follow the instructions exactly. And this is where Pinterestfail comes into play. This website shows just how one can fail and the often hilarious results of that failure. Based on the flawlessness and visual aesthetic of Pinterest, it reminds us all that not everything turns out picture perfect despite its appearance.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

O is for much baking

I spent most of the day in the kitchen baking Christmas treats, and my feet are feeling particularly sore. But I am happy with the results. All I have to do now is bag everything up and give it to our friends. I hope they enjoy eating them :).

Chocolate oat balls

Butter biscuits cut into Christmas shapes

Gingerbread men. I made over 90 of them!

Honey jumbles...yum.
The final product (sorry about the bad photography)

Friday, December 14, 2012

N is for Naptime

I love nap time. I love it when Nicholas naps and I get to do my own thing for a little bit or even get to have a nap myself, especially as I become more pregnant.  I think that it is super beneficial to my mental health and Nicholas' if we both get to have time away from each other during the day. This down time is not only for my sanity and well-being but it also gives Nicholas the opportunity to either rest or have some time to process the events of the day so far. He doesn't need, by his side, directing him all the time.

I was so hoping to have a rest myself today after such a busy week but after having a sleep in the car in the car and failing to transfer him, this sadly did not happen. I sometimes feel resentful when Nicholas doesn't go to sleep during the day, or at night for that matter. I try really hard not to be but it is difficult because it often means I then have to go the entire day without any time to myself.

To help me understand better why he might not sleep during the day I often try to put myself in his shoes. Today for instance, the reason for not sleeping was pretty clear. We had a busy morning, left my friends place too late and had a half-hour car trip home. There was no way he was going to be able to stay awake in the car. Usually though transferring him is quite successful, but today once he was awake he just did not want to go back to sleep. I did leave him awake in his cot (he was just talking and saying 'mum mum' and 'dad dad') and lie down for about 20mins which helped, but it still wasn't as restful as it would have been because he was talking the entire time. I should be grateful though for small mercies such as these. I should also try not to complain so much. All I can do is optimistically hope that...tomorrow will be better :).

This is Nicholas napping with tiger. He loves that little furry animal. I am actually thinking of buying another one, just in case we lose this one. What do you think?

Thursday, December 13, 2012

M is for Messy Toddler

There is constantly a mess trailing Nicholas. He is such a busy child. Always moving things about, pulling things off shelves, rolling things around the place.

Since Nicholas could crawl we have had a safety gate blocking him from the kitchen. It isn't a wooden gate but one that is made out of a thick material. This means that at the sides of the gate there are little gaps between to post and the seam. As I went move it the other day I noticed that this little gap was rather big and bulky...

This is everything I was able to pull out of it. I was quite surprised by his little stash of things. Obviously Nicholas is a little bit of a hoarder!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

L is for Last Repetitive Date

12/12/12! It's the last repetitive date we will see in our lifetime. How awesome that day 12 is the letter L and I can write about it :).

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

K is for Kaoota

This is where my parents live. I have written about it previously in a post called 'command+option+esc' and how I love to go up there to get any from things. This is still the case. Next year we may even end up living up there for a little while with my parents while we renovate our place, but more on that when the letter R rolls around.

Monday, December 10, 2012

J is for Just a bit tired

Nicholas has been sleeping really badly lately, both during the day and in the evening. I honestly thought that by the time he was 19-months-old we would be over all these issues but it seems to be a never ending battle. I am concerned because in about 9 weeks I am going to have two children who don't sleep particularly well, a new born and a 21-month-old. I'm not sure how I am going to cope. All this sleeplessness is making me tired. I need rest but sadly don't get any. I have run out of ideas. I just don't know what else to do with him!

Sorry for my rant. I just don't have anything else to write about.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

I is for Icing

Today I made my first gingerbread house ever. So 'I' is for icing and the massive amount of it I used to make everything stick together :). I can't wait to eat it...yum!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

H is for hot

This is a super short post. I just want to say that it finally getting hot here in Tassie. It was 30+ degrees today. I really like the warm weather but think I would enjoy it much more if I wasn't 30+ weeks pregnant. Being pregnant over summer means swollen feet, overheating and sweating. All kinda gross really. I have a feeling it is much easier being heavily pregnant in winter than in summer. Oh well, it just looks like we will be spending lots of time inside, with the curtains shut, and the air-con going :).

I was going to take a photo of our inside weather bureau but I didn't get around to it...I was too hot to move.

Friday, December 7, 2012

G is for Graduation

It's taken five years but I have finally finished my degree, and in a week and a half I graduate from uni with my second degree, a Bachelor of Education. I get to dress nicely, wear a robe and hat, and in front of my family receive a piece of paper, with my name on it. This piece of paper, which I have worked so long and hard for allows me to teach officially. Maybe in a few years time I will take up this opportunity. Until then though, I think I will just stay at home and be a Mum :).

Here are a few photos of me graduating throughout the years. Sorry about the quality, they are quite old photos.

1996 - Grade 7 Graduation

2001 - Grade 12 Graduation

2004 - Bachelor of Arts Graduation

Thursday, December 6, 2012

F is for Finger Painting

I made finger paint for the first time yesterday. I used this original fingerprint recipe, but instead of making it on the stove, I made it in the Thermomix. I was impressed by how smooth it turned out, something I don't think I could have achieved without the Thermomix's help.

Nicholas was a little apprehensive about touching the finger paint. He seems to not like getting his hands dirty. When he does he complains about it and either brings his hands to you to be wiped or wipes them on his clothes (bad habitats start early). So I wasn't surprised when he asked me to wipe it off almost right away. Lucky I had some random paint brushes in the cupboard. He found it much more enjoyable once he had the paint brushes to use instead.

Here are a few photos of Nicholas painting.

And this is his masterpiece. I stuck it on the wall near the front door for all the see :).

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

E is for my Ever Expanding Pregnant Belly

E is for my Ever Expanding Pregnant Belly...

16 Weeks: First pregnancy photo for no. 2.

21 Weeks: A photo taken in the morning before prac. I hadn't done my hair yet...obviously.

24 Weeks: Outside in the garden, enjoying the sun.

27 Weeks: Looking tired again, and rather large at this angle.

30 Weeks: Only 10 weeks to go!
30 Weeks: Nicholas is very happy to be going to bed :).

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

D is for Doe doe

My 18 month old is very good at saying words that begin with the letter D.

Here are some of his 'd' words and their meanings.

"daDAH" - his effort at saying "ta-daa!", which he uses to mean "hello", or "look at me!"
"Door" - noun: door, window, drawer, cupboard, lid, aperture, outside. verb: open/shut, go out
"Doe doe" - a machine, vehicle
"Doe doe!" (high pitch) - probably onomatopoeic for 'toot toot' or 'beep beep'
"Dig dig" - big machine, excavator, etc
"Do' do'" - dog dog
"Duh" - Duck
"Dziz" - the noise a fly or a bee makes

In particular his favourite words at the moment are Doe doe (any type of machine) and Dig dig. Whenever we are out driving or walking around these are the two words I hear the most. Here are two photos of Nicholas. In the first he is contemplating life as a fireman and in the second he is enjoying watching some earthworks at the local shopping centre (dig dig).

 Maybe he will take over his Granpa's business one day and own his own earth-moving company.

Monday, December 3, 2012

C is for Clare

Today I'm going to be a bit more self-absorbed than usual and focus on all the Clare's I know.

First off there is me. I have had the name Clare my whole life. As a kid I didn't like my name. I wanted to change it to something else. I'm not sure why exactly, but over time I got used to it and actually quite like it now.  Some variations of the name that I have over the years include: Clarey (most current), Clare Bear (very obvious), CB (short for Clare Bear), Clareabelle, Chocolate de Clare and Clairol (like the shampoo).

A little photo of Nicholas and I (it's difficult to find a photo of myself without Nicholas in it).

The meaning of Clare is bright and clear and is from Latin origin. I'm not sure I am either of these things but the name has a nice meaning anyway.
[Saint Clare of Assisi]
When I was a teenager and used to whinge about things, my Mum and sister's would join in a chorus of saying 'poor Clare' three times. I think they did this just to lighten the mood and remind me that things probably weren't as bad as I thought. A few years ago I found out that there was a Saint Clare of Assisi who founded, along with Francis of Assisi, the Order of the Poor Ladies or the Poor Clares in 1212. From what I have read these types of nuns live a very solemn and isolated existence from the world (or they did at least back in the 13th century). They take a vow of poverty and stick to it. I'm not sure I would have the inner strength to be able to live a life like that to be honest. I like having my little comforts. I just find it interesting, that having heard nothing of the Order of Clare my Mum used to say 'Poor Clare' to me when I was younger.

A Clare I admire for her talent and her passion is Clare Bowditch. I have enjoyed her music since the beginning and have seen her play live many times. The first time was a smallish gig at the Republic Bar and Cafe many years ago when this song was super popular.

I even found this photo of her from that gig on my computer, from all the way back in 2005.

I'm not sure I know many other well known Clares. I can say though that all the Clares I have met throughout my years, whether spelt Clare, Clair, or Claire have all been lovely. It must just be that those with the name Clare are just innately awesome :).

Sunday, December 2, 2012

B is for Bees and Backyard

Over the last few weeks we have been spending a lovely amount of time in the backyard. I have been pulling weeds out of everything. Daniel has been espaliering trees and making beehives. I just love spring/summer time. All the fruit is out on the trees, the bees are buzzing around and Nicholas just loves playing in the water, so why not spend as much time outside as possible.

Daniel's beehive being built.

The Nashi tree being espaliered.

My raspberry and strawberry patch being covered up to protect it from all the blackbirds. A few weeks ago actually I counted 16 blackbirds in the backyard all hoping and jumping around. I had never seen so many in one place before.

 And Nicholas enjoying some water play.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

A Month Of A To Z....Advent.

Today is the first day of December, and as I was browsing through my list of blogs that I read in Google Reader I found this exciting little challenge run by JustB. For the next month I will post something everyday (ideally) starting with each letter of the alphabet. It might be a photo, a blog post, an idea...whatever I want. On December 1st I have to post something beginning with 'A', on the 2nd something beginning with 'B' and so on. I am a bit excited about this as I figure this will be a lovely little challenge that will get me back into posting on a regular basis.

So to start with... A is for Advent.

I still haven't quite finished my advent calendar from last year but I am definitely excited about how it is looking. I only have the binding to go now and it will be finished :).

In my advent calendar this year I will have little explanations and bible verses that tell of Christ, his coming, and the importance of it in relation to the promises God made long ago. I don't think Nicholas is going to really understand what I read to him, but it is a good introduction nonetheless.

I was going to find a bunch of verses and write up explanations myself but a friend linked to this wonderful blog and resource on her facebook page, so for this year at least I will be using this well thought up and biblical guide to developing my child's understanding of Christmas.

Here is today's entry from Part of the Main: 

"Day 1: The (Empty) Stable: Waiting for Jesus Then and Now 

Right now we are beginning the season of Advent. At the end of Advent is Christmas. The word “advent” means “coming.” It is the season when we remember the coming of Jesus Christ, God’s only son, into the world. Have you ever waited for something for a long time? God’s people had been waiting for a very long time for God to send a Savior to them and keep all of his promises. That Savior was Jesus–who was born long ago in a stable in Bethlehem. The baby Jesus would grow up to save all of God’s people. Yet that is not all of the good news. It was God’s plan to send Jesus to the world twice. He came long ago and he is coming back again. Like the people of Israel, we are waiting for him to come. 

Jesus, thank you for coming down into our world! As we learn about your coming help us to see what you have done for us. Help us to be ready for you to come again. Amen. 

Bible Readings: Psalm 130; 1 Thessalonians 4:15-18"

Psalm 130

A song of ascents.
Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord;
    Lord, hear my voice.
Let your ears be attentive
    to my cry for mercy.
If you, Lord, kept a record of sins,
    Lord, who could stand?
But with you there is forgiveness,
    so that we can, with reverence, serve you.
I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits,
    and in his word I put my hope.
I wait for the Lord
    more than watchmen wait for the morning,
    more than watchmen wait for the morning.
Israel, put your hope in the Lord,
    for with the Lord is unfailing love
    and with him is full redemption.
He himself will redeem Israel
    from all their sins.

1 Thessalonians 4:15-18

15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.