Friday, 30 November 2012

the answer is blowin' in the wind

Kids. You just never know where they will find some new source of joy... part of what makes experiencing life through their eyes so very delightful!  

Today, with a bit of a heat wave and summer well and truly upon us, we pulled out the fan for the first time this year. Turned it on... no big deal, right?

Actually... Very Big Deal. It's a pretty powerful fan and the kids were just in awe of it. They stood in front of it, letting it blow their hair around like ribbons as they laughed and cackled and squealed with glee for aaaages. It was Pretty Darn Cute. 

Later on, they got strips of tissue paper and invented a game where they would hold them near the fan, let go and watch it whisk off into the air and around the house, scrambling to catch it as quickly as they could. Kept them amused for quite some time! 

A little old fan providing excitement and fun... but only if you are willing to see it through their fresh little eyes.

PS Please note of course the kids know they are not allowed to actually touch the fan!

giggles in the breeze!

Heehee at the faces!! I think they liked the feel of the wind in their eyes cos
they kept opening their eyes up really big!!

Thursday, 29 November 2012

building blocks and bonds

Sitting side by side, singing 'Build it up, build it up, build it higher' in unison, and building their Duplo creations.

Quiet, happy and industrious moments together!

Edited to add: Here is a tiny clip of the kids singing towards the end of their funny how they were just merrily singing while they worked!

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

teasing, siblings, making things right

Today as I was getting Eli up from his nap, he started asking for the toy mobile phone he had been playing with earlier (what can I say, the kid has a lot of calls to make!). Lily was hanging out in his room but then ran to her room and came back with a different toy phone. She stood in the door with it and I was half-expecting her to sweetly give it to her brother but instead she started jumping around in the door way, holding the phone to her ear and provocatively calling 'Look, Eli, I'm playing with my phone! I have a phone and I'm talking on it, Eli!!' and so on. Eli, of course, wept!


Yes, I have to admit I was a bit surprised to see her act that way towards her little brother! Not typical of her at all and I was genuinely saddened to see her 'rubbing it in his face' like that.

'Oh, Lily' I said gently and motioned her to come sit on my lap (where I had been sitting on the floor wrangling Eli out of his sleeping bag). I snuggled her into my lap and said quietly and gravely 'It sounded like you were just teasing your brother. Do you know what teasing is?' She did not. 'Lily, teasing is laughing at someone else in an unkind way. Like you were saying you wanted Eli to feel sad because you had a phone and he didn't'. Her face dropped in horror and then wrinkled up into a wail '.... But I love my little brother!!!" she wept. 'I know you do, darling' I said, hugging her close. 'You love him so much, and that's why it's important to remember to treat him kindly like you would want to be treated - that's what Jesus wants us all to do'. She flung herself on her brother and cuddled him and apologised, sniffling all the while.

In our family, when a 'wrong' has been done against another family member, rather than just getting the kids to toss a sorry at the person they hurt, we often encourage them (after seeking forgiveness) to think of a way of 'making things right' - an act of restitution and kindness that shows the contrition in their heart and helps restore the relationship. In this case, as well as giving Eli her toy phone, Lily had the idea all on her own to draw him a picture. And so she did. Sweet girl! When she presented it to him, he squealed 'Oh, wow!!!!' in utter joy at such a masterpiece just for him. Lily gave him a huge cuddle and when she then wanted to give a second, Eli said plainly 'No, dat's nuff!'. But then he offered up a kiss instead. Ha!

Oh my heart!! Totally melted when I saw the picture Lily did for E.
Above their names, she said the marks say 'I love you, my little brother and
I will come to your birthday party cos you are two years old'

Oh, children. I know these hurts and squabbles and issues are inevitable. Here in our home is a little training ground for a big wide world full of complicated relationships to come. Did I handle this situation perfectly? Eek - I don't know, I just did the best I could off the cuff and in that moment to reach the hearts of my children. They will fail each other, and us, just as we as parents will fail them. One of my goals in parenting these little people is just to skill them up in thinking about the messages they send each other with their words and actions and (importantly) to have the tools and humility to seek forgiveness and restore the relationship when they let each other down. Cos, hey, we are broken people and all hurt the ones we love. That's humanity for ya (thanking God for His grace!). If we can admit when we fail each other and be willing to make things right, I believe it goes a loooong way towards building and preserving strong relationships. That's love, grace, beauty and all that good stuff - in action! These are the things I want to build into the hearts of my children... one little block at a time.

Lily, I am so grateful for the tenderness, humility and kindness you showed towards your brother today! And your willingness to make things right after a little mis-step. God bless your precious heart and this most precious sibling relationship. 

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

this is the way we go to school...

Lily off to Playschool and Eli ever so desperate to go there too...

Sorry little bro, you are not old enough yet!

A mama never tires of seeing her babies hand in hand...

Monday, 26 November 2012

a mess, a melt-down, a clean up

Regarding the title... yeah, those three things did not happen by those whom you might expect!

In our typical fashion of jumping from one thing to the next, we are now in the midst of replacing our old cut up (from kitchen reno last year) flooring with new stuff, with the plan being to get it done before Christmas and baby arrival.

To save us a whole pile of buckeroos, the tireless wonder-husband Mark is drilling up the old orange cork flooring which is also under-laid with a rather inconvenient inch of cement. Yesterday afternoon after church, I took the kids to my parents house for a visit so he could get started on the big project - after he had just preached the lesson that morning at church too! I have to admit I was having a rough day, feeling nauseous,  vomiting, and just exhausted. When I finally brought the kids home for dinner, I found the entire kitchen/living/dining area covered in white concrete dust and half the kitchen in rubble. I have to admit I was so overwhelmed I simply burst into tears at the sight!! Not just at the current mess but as the floor wasn't coming up as easily as we had hoped, it was looking to be a longer, more complicated and more costly exercise than we had expected. So.... maybe three weeks of dust, rubble and displaced furniture while it got done in stages.  Of course, poor Mark was the one who had just done three exhausting hours of drilling and had a whole lot more to go!

But... (can I blame the pregnancy hormones here?!) I just got so overwhelmed at the chaos and mess (and weeks of mess to come) especially in the crazy-busy lead up to Christmas and my current state... yeah, I just kinda panicked and bawled. Just call me crazy pregnant lady. A tad of an over-dramatic reaction I realise (in retrospect) but yeah.... ok, I'm blaming the hormones!!!! Darling Eli clung to my arm consoling 'Awww, don't cwy, Mama, don't cwy...' while Lily cuddled me, and soothed me in her protective way, anxious to make everything ok. She piped up 'I know, we can wipe it all up with a wet cloth'. Darling kids!

I eventually got myself together and after a good mop and wipe down (even though it will get messed up again on the weekend) things were semi-recovered. We will be living in a bit of chaos and a film of white powder till it's all finished up though. However, after a good night's sleep I can laugh at myself (I was not laughing last night, let me tell you!) and realise it's not really a big deal at all and we will be just fine.

Ahhhh, amazing what a night's rest can do to perspective, huh! Instead of overwhelmed, today I am instead grateful... for my hard-working husband, that we can even get these new floors to replace the current four different versions (and heights!) of random flooring throughout the house, and for my sweet children who cared for me so lovingly and this morning (even though I had already mopped) still insisted on wiping the floors...

He has his own cleaning techniques...

Eli then thought it would be a great idea to put the warm cloth on his tummy. This kid!!
And you can enjoy the view of a half drilled up kitchen in the background...

Dis Nice, Mummy! 

A sweet little Cinderella (mmmm, dust stubbornly still there...ugh!)

Sunday, 25 November 2012

a visit to nana and papa's house

'I've built my city, now I'm on to bigger and better things...' 

When I pulled out my camera to capture this moment (ice blocks are a tradition
for most every visit to Nana's), Eli chirped
'Awwww, two little kids eating ice-blocks!'
Made me realise how I usually commentate the scene I am photographing!

He shall make music where ever he goes...

These two. (Mostly) always in harmony...

Saturday, 24 November 2012

generations of love

A precious afternoon with the family celebrating Lily's great grandparent's 67th wedding anniversary. Smiles, tears, memories shared of this amazing couple whose legacy of love and devotion inspires us all.

Lily was thrilled to 'meet' these amazing dolls from the 60's!

Friday, 23 November 2012

that boy, that look

This is what happens to a little brother with a big sister... tutus just become another article of clothing to wear around the house.

And that expression... that cheeky little glance?

I know it is going to be the source of much joy - and many parenting challenges!

Thursday, 22 November 2012

swimming along nicely

After our recent startling progress in swimming class, this weekly event is now a delight for all.

Lily is growing more and more confident every week, launching herself into the water, experimenting with all kinds of (self-invented) swimming techniques and spending most of her time with her head under water exploring this magical world. 

I love watching her progress in class, happily building skills and working with the teacher but most of all I love witnessing her splash around in the pool after class - lost in her own world, trying out her new skills at her own pace and in her own style. Happy, care-free - and fear-free!

You go, little water baby!

This squishy little goggled face just makes me laugh!

Addicted to floating... she spends a lot of her time disconcertingly like this!

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Sandpit Bake-Off

Lily and Harper pack every sandpit toy they can into the clam-shell, in order to 'cook' their little hearts out!

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Baby Belly Kisses!

I was laying in bed this afternoon as I was not feeling too well. The kids were rolling around in bed with me and of course partaking in their usual activity of kissing, poking, singing, cooing and chatting to their unborn brother. This baby is going to well and truly know the voices of its two devoted siblings! 

'Mummy, I really, really, really love our new baby' Lily has been telling me frequently and earnestly of late.

I have no doubt!

Thankfully, I managed to capture some images of a precious trio already building what I hope and pray will be a lifelong friendship and bond. 

Sweet, sweet kisses from Big Sister 

Double the love xx

The littlest one was definitely interacting in the play - you may not my stomach changing shape (though not as crazily
as it often does!) throughout these photos...

Lily goes in for the tickle...

Precious, loving, little hands building a bond with their new best friend!

Poke. Poke. Poke. (Thanks Eli)

Heyyooooo, babeeeeeee!!

Cickle, Cickle!!

Monday, 19 November 2012

Pretend Mother / Pretend Baby

As mentioned previously, they are constantly playing 'babies'...

It's a disconcerting thing to hear your youngest child crying and calling 'Mummy, Mummy!' and when you respond, you are told (in a slightly patronising tone?!) 'No, I talking to Mummy Lily!'. It was just pretend crying... I should have known!

I discovered these two imps in the bathroom - Lily brushing Eli's teeth, both of them giggling hysterically as she 'mothers' and he laps it up....

'Open your mouth, baby!'

'Stay on the seat, baby. Good baby!'

Sunday, 18 November 2012

...with babies alongside

An early morning playdate with their babies in the backyard before we left for church...

I love to hear them coaxing and comforting their babies, with coos of 'Ohhhh darling' and 'It's ok, sweetie, I gotchu...' emanating from the backyard. 

They crack me up, they melt my heart, they cannot wait to have a 'real' baby to cluck over!

C'mon honey, I'll take you for a ride...

Eli gets a cool idea - babies down the slide - why didn't we think of this earlier!?

Lily is quick and keen to join in on the fun

Mmmm, not sure this game will be permitted with the new baby...