Monday, March 30, 2009

Who doesn't??

Doing some web surfing tonight, I came upon this:

I mean, who doesn't love John Cusack?

And this song is totally stuck in my head right now.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Waiting for babies

There's been a lot of babies born lately... the Sydney inner-west baby boom, I guess.

Two babies I know are due ANY DAY and I m anxious with anticipation for their mothers.

One of them is on the other side of the country! A fellow blogger, someone who inspired me to keep at my own blog, Karen is 40 weeks pregnant with her third child, and a little frustrated because her other two both came at 38 weeks. I know how she feels - I was terribly annoyed for the last three weeks of Atti's pregnancy since Dante was three weeks early! She's shared the whole story of this pregnancy, from when they first decided to try for a third, until now! I can't wait to see her little gem when he arrives :)

The other bub due is my next door neighbour's. They have a 16 month old little boy "Baby Simon" and are due any day with their second. Every night I keep an ear out for the sounds of a woman in labour just in case. The other night I was sure I heard something and then heard their car drive out at 11:30pm. I was so excited! But then last night I saw my neighbour, still pregnant. No baby yet.

Waiting, waiting. You can imagine how I felt during my own pregnancies if I'm this anxious for others!!

Edited to add: Karen had a little boy! and my neighbours had a little girl whom we haven't yet met because we don't want to pass on our dreadful germs.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The next craft

Right, so. I knit, I crochet, I quilt, I sew. The main crafts. I wouldn't say that I'm an expert at any of them but I try, and that's what counts, right?

A couple of friends are into cross-stitching. It was never really my cup of tea. Pretty little ducklings and flowers and heart-felt messages. Not my thing at all.

But today I found some brilliant inspiration and now I want to start cross-stitching: Radical Cross Stitch. Their tag line is "Seriously Seditious Stitching". It says it all, really. Check out the gallery. Awesome! If that's not inspiring, I don't know what is!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Monday night on my own

Every Monday night Dan goes out to a friend's place and I get an evening to myself... after I've put the kids to bed, of course.

Every week I have grand plans for my time. Sewing, blogging, housework. Most of the time I never get any of it done. Tonight is a prime example. As soon as the kids went to bed at 8:30pm I plonked myself down on the couch with a bowl of frozen yoghurt, Ugly Betty on the television and my knitting. And that's where I stayed for an hour and a half (two episodes) except for getting up to tell Dante to go to sleep.

And that's that. No one come near my kitchen - it's a nightmare!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

On the needles

I started knitting a bias baby blanket late last year intended for a friend's new baby boy on the other side of the world... but it got heavy on the needles, Christmas and the New Year happened and other projects got in the way.

This week I was determined to complete it so I could send it off. I have three balls each of a cotton/linen yarn in three colours to make nine stripes but decided to only make six. I added two whole balls to the blanket, 5 out of 6 stripes. Wonderful work. Lots of knitting...

until I laid it out on the floor and realised it would be too small to be useful. So just like that, in five minutes, I pulled out a week's worth of work. Huh! So easy to undo.

And so, back to work I go.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


Starting tomorrow, for the next four weeks, I'm going to a dress making class at the Sydney Community College. It goes from 9:30-2:30pm on each Friday - a whole day of sewing :)

I'm so excited! I worked today instead of tomorrow - usually Thursdays are my day off. Thankfully my mother and Dan have combined forces to allow me to work for the Thursdays adjacent to my Friday classes. How lucky am I?

I chose a pattern - Simplicity 2848 - a "jumper" dress (I always thought they were called pinafores or some such). It looks a little daunting but I didn't want to choose something too easy. I mean, it's a learning experience so I have to challenge myself. I tried to do a little preliminary work tonight, tracing the pattern etc. But I couldn't work out what size is best - my measurements don't fit into one particular size (surprise, surprise - not having the "ideal" body shape). So, I'll have to do it all in the classroom. I hope I won't run out of time. I know that four weeks will go very quickly!

I'll keep you posted with my progress.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Our trip to Hawks Nest, NSW

We spent a week out of town in January. Hawk's Nest is about a three hour drive north of Sydney. A small seaside town whose population triples during the summer. It is right on the beach - two beaches, actually. One an ocean beach with big waves and sand dunes and the other backing onto Port Stephen with no waves, shallower and great for kids.

We had a wonderful time. The kids loved it. Dan and I loved it. So relaxing. No internet. No phone. Just reading and knitting to be done.

On Jimmy's Beach, the gentler one. Part of every day was spent at the beach.

Elora loved her bucket and spade. Although sometimes she had trouble.
"Can you help me?"

My parents came up for one day. We went for a walk to the ocean beach, Bennett's Beach. We didn't have time to go swimming.

Dan found a tiny, tiny crab.

Proud builders, father and son. A wave came and knocked the top of this sand castle seconds before the photo was taken.

Dante and his unusual building style. I'm not sure what he was doing but he sure did like digging deep holes! I guess that's seven year old boys for you.

On the ferry ride across the bay to Nelson Bay. Just a morning trip to see some dolphins. We saw some, but didn't really get a good picture.

More photos in my Flickr set.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Must-watch TV tonight!

For those in Oz, one of my favourite shows is on TV tonight (first of a four-part series).

8:30pm Sunday March 8
Lost in Austen on ABC1

It is a must for all Austen fans. I saw a preview for it a while ago and immediately downloaded it from the UK. I thought I'd written about it here on the blog but couldn't find the post about it.

Watch it! It's fun! I thoroughly enjoyed it!

Saturday, March 07, 2009

The Sentimental Chick

Towards the end of last year, our elderly neighbour, Uncle Ted (pictured above at Christmas 2007 - the last Christmas he spent with us), passed away at the ripe old age of 93. He'd lived alone for 21 years and spent the last ten months of his life in a nursing home. He lived three houses down from us and was like a grandfather to us kids. He and his wife (whom we always called "Mrs Bock" for some reason, never "Auntie Winnie") were of great help to my mother when she was bringing up five kids with her parents far away in the Torres Strait. (Mrs Bock died in 1986. They never had any children.) Uncle Ted always came over to our place for Christmas, Chinese New Year and any other big celebration we'd have.

I didn't mention it at the time because it was just too sad. Too many deaths occurred at that time, too many funerals. It was hard.

Uncle Ted's house went up for sale today.

I went along to say my final farewell to him and Mrs Bock and their house. Just thinking about it in the morning made me a little sad.

But when I walked into that house for the last time, I took one look and burst into tears. I couldn't believe it. A whole bunch of memories came flooding back. I haven't really been inside for years. Everything was still the same. The same furniture, the same carpet, the same smell of Sunlight soap.

The other people inspecting the house must have thought I was completely loony. They gave me the strangest looks. The real estate agents gave me a wide berth. I didn't care. I was remembering visiting Mrs Bock with Mama after school and on weekends. I remembered the bars of soap they used to fashion from the tiny leftover bits of soap. I remembered the old transistor radio they used to listen to. The stairs at the back of the house. I remembered playing in the back yard and the rows of beans and veges growing on trestles, sadly now all gone.

That's me, the baby.

I hope the new owners will be happy in that old house. I hope they treat it well and fill it with new life. And I really hope they don't knock it down.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Knitted street art

I finally came face-to-face with some Guerrilla Knitting. This was on a street pole near my work.

Pretty :)

Monday, March 02, 2009

Marching on the spot

That's what my life feels like at the moment. Every week is basically the same, most days as well. I work. I raise kids. I try to do some craft but dream about it more than I actually do it.

I turned the page on the calendar yesterday with almost a panicky feeling. Time is zooming past, clearly evident when I look at those three youngsters of mine. Every day they are doing something new. Atticus is four now, attending preschool, becoming more independent and assertive. Dante is going to be eight soon. Eight! That's, like, almost double digits. Close-ish. He stands at my chest height. Won't be long before he's towering over me. Eight and full of attitude. Elora turned two a couple of weeks ago. She sings and dances and chats and counts (sort of) and copies everything that Atticus does. And Atticus is doing a LOT more these days, so Elora is learning at an exponential rate.

So they grow up too quickly and time passes so quickly, but it doesn't feel like I'm doing anything. My life (outside of the kids) doesn't change. Work is piling up but I can't seem to knock over that job list. Household chores are never ending. I feel like I'm still in transit. I haven't unpacked all my boxes - the house doesn't feel permanent. We've been here five years, mind you! My wardrobe is still a book shelf because we didn't want to pay for an expensive built-in if we weren't going to be here for too long. Everything feels temporary. It burdens me. I want to feel settled. Comfortable and at home. I don't feel like that here. I yearn to go back to the inner west, to be rid of the daily commute to school and work. And yet I loathe to move away from my parents, for their wonderful support now and for when they will need OUR support one day. I'm torn. Even my job doesn't feel like it's my career. It's not what I want to be doing for the rest of my life, and yet I know that I probably will be. I had/have all these plans but I don't think I will ever fulfill them.

And there's another part of me that's really sad when I realise that this is it. This is my life. There's no going back. Elora is two. There will be no more babies in this womb. It's a hard fact to face.