Happiness is being 9 months old... or being near someone who is.

Monday, July 14, 2014

I think the littlest duckling may have been reading some of the baby development books because she is ticking off all the milestones in the expected timeframes. She is crawling and trying to pull herself up on things. She loves taking things out of a container and then putting them all back in again. She likes playing the repeat after me game with her big sister, C. She loves board books, clapping hands, music and eating.
She also constantly has her tongue sticking out. It's her signature move, like JW's head tilt or J's use of the phrase 'just to say...' when he wants to tell you something that isn't pertinent to the current conversation. She premiered it shortly after birth and seems to be sticking with it.

It's quite handy because it helps us distinguish between photos the duckling and photos of C at the same age. The resemblance is uncanny.

Genes are amazing. Looking at these photos I now feel like a temporary home for my DNA, a vessel into which the precious people soup has been poured, to be distributed into other vessels and then discarded. I imagine lines of ducklings stretching out into the past and the future with only slight variations distinguishing one from another. We are all DNA express envelopes. We are all of the earth. We are all precious vessels.
Breathe in.
Breathe out.
Heart full.

Quilt Top Finished

Saturday, July 12, 2014

I am very happy with how this looks. The fabric I bought for the backing is not quite wide enough so I will need to piece the back. I was hoping to avoid doing that. I have had to pack the sewing machine away because we are having friends over for dinner tonight and although it is not that hard to get it all set up again I am a bit hopeless. I am determined to get this finished for the littlest duckling and the kids are back at school this week so hopefully I won't lose momentum.

The grey spot is for the back and the pink texta stripe is for the binding. I went to my local fabric store to get the binding fabric and came away with a couple of other things as well. A well-known story to all the sewers and quilters out there. I don't know what I'll use that paper airplane fabric for yet but I love it.

More Cupcakes

Saturday, July 05, 2014

But no sewing.
Soon. Hopefully, soon.

Luna Lovegood

Monday, June 30, 2014

Having grandparents in academia really comes into it's own when one is invited to a Harry Potter party.


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

A lion taggie for a brand new baby girl. I have known her mum for 20 years and a bunch of us who worked together all those years ago met up on Saturday. We chatted, laughed, ate, sang and took turns holding that sweet baby girl. I didn't get the taggie finished in time, which is the story of my life at the moment, but it's nearly done. Thankfully, 8 week olds aren't too fussy about these things.


Monday, June 16, 2014

There are a few little things in my etsy shop.


Saturday, June 14, 2014

Sweetie has taken it upon himself to teach the Duckling to crawl. Around and around he goes, getting dizzy while she coos and laughs. She grins her gummy grin and slaps her hands on the floor in delight while he races around her on hands and knees in ever-tightening circles. At some point they're going to knock heads and it will all end in tears (as Mr Duyvken's Oma liked to say, although she said it in hollandse) but for now it's all joy. Sometimes all you need is for the right now to be good.

Breathe in.
Breathe out.
Heart full.

Dinner tonight

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Spinach and ricotta pie filled 8 tummies tonight. The littlest duckling loved it.


Wednesday, June 04, 2014

by Mary Cassatt.
Now that the house is mostly finished I have been thinking more and more about the garden. I've long had a general idea of how I want it to look and a sense of how I want it to feel to be in it but now I that I am picking plants and working out where beds, paths and stuff should be I am finding it challenging to translate 'the idea' into 'the design'. I am not in a hurry. Making our garden will take years but I know that a little time spent now on an overall design will pay off down the track. I've wandered around nurseries making myself dizzy tipping my head left right and upside down to read the plant information on the tags, walked through local neighbourhoods taking photos of unfamiliar but beautiful plants and checking out fences, and I've looked online and have found a few gems.
Almbacken is a swedish blog brimming with drool-worthy garden photos. If I woke up in a couple of years and my yard looked like this I would be a very happy woman.
Hedgerow is also a beautiful blog. She loves roses and although I am not planning on planting any myself I adore seeing hers and reading though her archives.
Our yard is a place for playing, catching sunshine, drying washing, eating, fixing bikes and, hopefully soon, for growing. I look forward to changing it from a yard into a garden.

Fairy bread

Sunday, June 01, 2014


Saturday, May 24, 2014

I was stopped dead in my tracks yesterday when I walked past this coffee shop. That fellow up there in the red jumper with the distinctive hairline could be my dad. For the briefest moment I really thought it was him. Even looking at the photo now it is hard to believe it isn't. There was a micro milli mini teeny tiny second when the set of those shoulders caught my eye and my mind squealed 'dad!'. The following micro milli mini teeny tiny second when the universe settled once again into it's proper configuration found me bereft.
He died in 2004 so this bolt of grief was unexpected. I was thankful that I had Sweetie and the littlest duckling with me so that I could lean into the stroller to fuss over the baby and hide my tears. I was there for a while and couldn't stop myself from sneaking this photo. Perhaps I enjoyed imagining briefly that he was still here and that I could walk over to sit with him and see his delightful smile one more time.
I felt the warm breeze on my face, I stroked the littlest duckling's cheek, I listened to Sweetie's chattering and I spent a few moments missing him. The hurting hurts but it is right to miss him. Life is beautiful - the hurt is just as important as the bliss. I was lucky to feel this grief when I was not alone but had the sunshine and my two littles with me.
It was strangely comforting to watch this man who could be my dad finishing his cup of coffee. Mum and dad were very good at enjoying the little things and sitting in the sunshine on a warm autumn afternoon having a cup of coffee is exactly the kind of thing dad enjoyed and encouraged. He was a wonderful man and we miss him.
Breathe in.
Breathe out.
Heart full.

Pinks and Blues

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Mother's Day was wonderful. A day of heartfelt, handwritten notes, the house cleaned by my beautiful G (she knows how much I like things to be tidy), lots of handmade loveliness, a long bushwalk in the afternoon and then all the regular laundry and grocery shopping in preparation for the week ahead.
Much of my day to day life is quiet and peaceful and routine. There are babies to play with, rooms to clean, homework to be supervised, paper planes to fold, songs to sing (again and again and again), storybooks to be read (and reread and reread and reread), meals to prepare and bills to be paid. I know all these things would still need to be done if we had adventured and set up our family and home further away from our childhood homes but I often wonder how I would be different. I romanticise what it would be like and daydream about packing up all the babies and starting afresh somewhere new where we are free from the responsibilities of extended family and all the streets are unfamiliar. I am very grateful for books, art and movies that encourage me to (vicariously) travel broadly and to think deeply. I read a lot and it is much more than just recreational. It is sustenance - I must breathe and drink and love and READ. It keeps my internal life humming along in tune with the day to day. It helps to quiet my mid-life restlessness.
And restlessness is all it is, dear reader. I am far from dissatisfied. I look at those photos above and know that I am surrounded by love. Although they bring a lot of responsibility and require a lot of work I am very happy with my big family and my little life.
Breathe in.
Breathe out.
Heart full.

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