The Beetle Shack on our way back to Sydney. I was telling Em that lately I feel like I have nothing to blog about. Adventures are few and far between, and when they do happen pulling out the camera feels intrusive. Besides our trip up north, recent un-photographed events include an epic garage sale that Jill and I planned for weeks, and totally flopped on the day. Never mind, Manly markets here we come.
Top: Jill's favourite old sheet – that her dog sadly ripped and we managed to salvage and sew into pillowcases. I've got another cracker table-cloth skirt to post later this week.
Bottom: Bottlebrush from BB. She's been gifting me one of these nightly for the past week upon the return of her evening walk with PB. She's so earnest when she hands it over... this one yours, mummy.
I've been sick, PB has been getting up for work super early (3am early...) and BB is cutting her back molars. (Hence night-weaning is on hold, for now). Every time she's teethed has been challenging, but coupled with toddlerhood? It's even more... intense. We're all a bit stressed and cranky and if I'm honest I feel like I'm at the heart of it.
I spent last night dipping in and out of some books to remind myself of how I chose to discipline (because yesterday it didn't go far beyond screaming No!) and came across this in the Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, William G. White, MD, and experienced family practice doctor and father, offers the following observation:
The goal of parenting is not to produce good children, but good adults. The good child is marked by docility, the good adult by character. The word discipline comes from the word disciple. Discipline, therefor is not punishment. Children are not Pavlov's dogs, to be be programmed with rewards and punishments. They are human beings, persons of infinite worth and dignity. They deserve not only to be treated as persons, but to know that we regard them as persons, that we value them, their intellects, their wills, their feelings, their desires, their needs, their judgments as much as we would have them value ours.
Today I made a huge effort to be kind, patient and understanding, and saw a much more positive outcome. This evening my mood has lifted, BB went to sleep without the malarkey of recent nights and best of all I've still got some energy to sit down and read my new copy of this. Hurrah!
PS. The winner of the book giveaway is Madeleine! Congratulations and please email me with your address and I'll get the book off to you this week.
He celebrated with a hardcore day of work, a quick surf and feast at a local Singaporean restaurant. I made an edible cake (a rare occurrence) and for the first time in ages had enough pennies to spoil him in the present department and had a couple of his surf photos framed (they're hiding behind BB's painting in the first pic).
Happy Birthday PB! We love you lots. xxx
PS. One more March Birthday tomorrow – Happy Birthday Aunty Jane all the way over in London! We miss you. xxx
I recently received a thoughtful and beautifully written email from Karina, the girlfriend of children's book author Travis Nichols. His third book has recently been released and due to the current financial climate there was little fanfare to assist in its promotion – so she decided to take on a one-woman-marketing-show on his behalf. (What a legend!)
I offered to do a little write up and giveaway. PB's restaurant/cafe turned One yesterday and after witnessing his last year I feel so inspired by people taking a risk to follow their dreams and make a buck. I think they deserve all the support they can get.
Travis Nichols is a writer, illustrator and cartoonist living in Brooklyn, NY. His third book, Matthew Meets The Man, (he's also written Punk Rock Etiquette and The Monster Doodle Book) is about a teenage boy chasing his dream to start a band and getting thwarted at every turn by The Man (I hate The Man!) It's written for kids 11 and up and splattered with illustrations in Nichols' trademark style (he used to illustrate for the late Nickelodeon magazine).
I've mentioned before we don't have a TV and encourage reading whole-heartedly. And I loved how Karina summed it up, "I just really believe that his book is wonderful and that if people know about it, It'll bring a lot of joy to kids out there trying to be creative."
I have one book to giveaway. Leave a comment and I'll draw it later in the week. (Don't forget to come back and check!)
For my energetic little sprite learning to move and communicate proved many frustrations for both of us. Although our bond was never broken it was certainly stretched, whilst other matters were at the forefront of her determined little mind. Things are easier now that she's mastered her own body, and although I'm still met with defiance and contempt at numerous points throughout my day, I feel calm and in control as we approach the so-called terrible two's. PB and I have spoken at length about what's expected in our family, developed clear boundaries and decided on what tools we will use to enforce them. We're certainly not strict, but do hold high expectations of our directions being followed. Our own set of family rules assists BB in knowing what behavior is accepted, and funnily enough despite still throwing an occasional wobbly, she's pretty good when she knows she's misbehaved. As a kid I always thought family meetings were a bit lame (not that we had any in our family) but I'm looking forward to including BB into these discussions as she gets older.
But for now, life at two is pretty fun, strangely comical and increasingly dramatic.
PS. The weaning plan is long-term and gentle. We're currently developing our daily rhythm, with regular meal, snack, activity, nap and sleep times. Hopefully this will help set her body clock (because at the moment we're all over the shop) and minimise night waking. The next step is to encourage her to resettle in the night without The Boob. I'm nervous about that, for many reasons.
I was recently asked by Sunbeam if I would be interested in receiving their new digital iron. My initial thoughts were Why would I want an iron? I haaaate ironing. Then it occurred to me that our current dodgy iron might be one of the causes of this despised household task. And I remembered the portion of my wardrobe currently rendered unwearable due to extreme creasage. I replied, Please send iron right away. Thank you.
Now, I know little about irons, but amongst all of its snazzy features the best thing was it didn't drip. At all. Before now I'd never managed to iron something without saturating it. Sadly my pile of wrinkly clothes remain but it has come in extremely handy in my sartorial endeavors. I've been obsessively careful to press all my hems and seams before sewing. Truth be told I actually enjoy it (!!)
I finished this skirt yesterday from a vintage tablecloth my mate Jill had. Actually, I made two, one for me and one for her. It's a good deal, she finds the fabric and I make it.
It feels a bit Marni, or that's at least what I'm telling myself!
The weather played havoc with BB's on-again-off-again party, eventually on-again but with a smaller crowd that had not re-planned their day from the earlier off-again status.
Unfortunately my parents couldn't come up from Melbourne this time, but PB's family traveled from all over Sydney (thank you!) to celebrate. A couple of close friends and kids from the street helped fill the backyard with rowdy merriment.
Happy Birthday my little BB, you are the ever shining light in my day and I look forward to your wicked sense of humor, phenomenal dexterity and kind heart thriving even further in your 2's. xxx
BB and her little mate, age two (approximately). Only marginally easier to capture than their one year old portrait.
In these photos they have styled themselves and coincidentally both opted for ballet themed attire. She has gone for a classical and elegant dress, whereas he has taken more of an avante garde approach, mixing colours and textures with only one shoe.
Some of the out-takes (with guest appearance from his big sis):
And fingers crossed for sunshine for BB's (so far largely unplanned) birthday party this weekend. If it rains our apartment isn't big enough to run for cover!