Monday, 26 June 2017

Of teeth, pheasants, and home decor

Well, we're officially "over the hump" of the shortening days.  Winter solstice here was a beautiful day, which promptly led into the following few days that looked like this:

It's brightened up again and it's cold.  We're burning through the wood at a rate of knots and will need to get another load in very soon.

B is off work briefly which we're all enjoying, although for him it means replacing long work hours with trying to tick off as many things as possible from his to-do list around here before he returns to work.  Wow that was a long sentence.

I've been pottering about in between baby/toddler sleep times trying to find places to put things, and starting to think about those faffy little bits and pieces like hanging pictures, decorative plants, and so on.

A hanging basket at the front door is a small start.  The garden beds around the house are absolutely overrun with weeds which I'm just trying to ignore as I have, like, no time to attend to them.  Well, I could be doing it right now but... I'm doing this.

We went to watch the rugby on Saturday night (the first match of the Lions Series I think?  NZ won by a decent margin) which was good fun.  Personally I would have liked to see a closer match, more of a nail-biter.  No one else felt that way though.

We had B's birthday earlier in the week, while he was still working, so it was celebrated quietly.  I made a packet mix chocolate cake decorated with Smarties which were promptly picked off by J.  A seems close to crawling, and is saying "mum mum mum" quite distinctly - has been for a while in fact - but I think it's more a whinging sound than her actually being aware that she's saying "Mum".

Oh and she has a tooth!  Or possibly three!  The first one popped through at last this week and I know there are at least two more imminent.  Must remember to check.

I don't share many photos of the inside of the house but I've made an exception below because I'm so proud of how J's play area has worked out.  I guessed and hoped that we'd be able to squeeze her stuff in here at the end of the living room behind the couch, and it's perfect!  She loves her little area, and I love the fact that the couch shields it from the rest of the room so if she's made an unholy mess I don't have to stare at it (and/or tidy it up eight times a day because apparently I enjoy participating in thankless tasks when I could be using that time to weed the damn garden beds but hey).

What were we talking about?  Oh yes.

Soon enough A will be in there too pulling all the baskets out and eating the crayons and so forth so we might have to rethink then but for now it's working well for all of us.

My mother-in-law took me to this amazing secondhand store or, more accurately, warehouse in town the other day.  There were racks and racks of beautiful hand-knitted jumpers and cardigans for babies and kids.  I got a couple for the girls, including the one pictured below.  Our time was cut short because I had the grumpy baby with me who was fresh out of rusks.  I need to go back solo asap and have a proper rummage.  There was sooo much good stuff there.

In wildlife news, the other morning we were pottering around doing the breakfast routine when what should go strolling through the house paddock but a FREAKING PHEASANT.  Needless to say I leapt (quietly) for my camera and took about fifty photos out the window.  Unfortunately it kept far enough away that I couldn't get a decent shot but here is evidence below.

B in typical fashion wanted to shoot it.  I mean.  Seriously.  Are we major hillbillies now or what.

Right, time to wind this up.  I'll leave you with the soothing view from our back fence.  Can you believe we have daffodils popping up in the paddocks already?  I thought they weren't supposed to emerge until spring?  I'm not complaining, just worried about the many frosts in the near future.

Anyway.  Soothing hills.  Ahh.

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Let's go back to the start

What a couple of weeks it's been.  Busy.  Very busy.

All our things are here, and most are now in place.  We're pretty well settled in.  We have a huge amount to get rid of - the consequence of moving to a smaller house - but mostly everything has fit where we imagined it would.

Unbelievably, poor J got sick the very day our container arrived.  She had to spend the day snuggled on the couch at her Nan's, who was luckily available for last-minute nurse duty.  Then A came down with the same bug a couple of days later, and do you what's fun?  Trying to unpack dozens of boxes with two feverish and SERIOUSLY clingy kids underfoot.  Oh wait.  No.  That's not fun at all.

But we got through it and are (touch wood) all back to fine fettle now.

Speaking of, please excuse me this small boast.  I for some reason decided to try on a pair of pants that haven't been even close to fitting me since well before J's birth.  Up went that zip!  Snap went that button!  They were even on the loose side!

This is through absolutely zero concerted effort.  Needless to say with everything else that's been going on, I haven't kept up the 5:2 for some time.  Turns out though, that the magic combo of carting wood daily, stressing out, chronic sleep deprivation, and carrying around two heffalumps really burns the calories!  I'm not far off my pre-kids weight (aka the first time I thought I was really fat *eyeroll*).

So, look out for my book coming out later this year.  I might call it something catchy like Stress, Carry Wood, and Don't Sleep: How To Get Your Pre-baby Body Back By Moving Internationally.

Now, being reunited with all our things, I can finally share the photos I took back when we first arrived.  Looking at them now I can't believe this was only two months ago.  So many leaves on all the trees!  So much grass in the paddocks!  Not to mention all the jobs around the property that have already been done.  It's pretty gratifying to see how much has changed already.

So, here come the photos.  There's quite a few...

Oh look, this could be New Zealand all misty but it's actually one of our last mornings in Perth.  Aw.  Kinda makes me feel a little nostalgic for the place.

Ok now this is NZ.  Bucolic.

The rosemary bush, the small shed, the vine-infested tree behind - all gone.  The driveway has a new load of dirt on it and we've planted a hedge around the lawn.  Not to mention the post and rail fence that now divides the drive from the orchard.

I was, and still am, so enchanted by the mossy, licheny everything.


Feijoas! (but - don't tell anyone I said this - blergh)

Hydrangeas!  I walked around so thrilled to have bushes and bushes of my very own hydrangeas.

Yes, Prue, it's lichen.

The leaves were only just starting to turn.  That tank has gone from that spot as well, now I think of it.

Ol' curly top.

Ok this really is too many lichen photos, sorry you guys.

I was really excited.  I said to B, "This is like the soil we've been buying from Bunnings!  And here it is just on the ground!".  He was like, "Yeah".

Yup, very excited.  About everything.  Still am.  Just better able to mask it now.

Photogenic imperfect apple.  But also a sign of coddling moth issues.

Well, that was a very happy trip down memory lane for me.  It's fun being reminded how much of a dream come true this move has been.  I drive down our road and gaze at the rolling paddocks, and the big old mountain, and continue to feel almost disbelieving that we live here.

J calls, "Hi cows!  Hi sheepies!  Hi dee-are [deer]!  Hi fossies [horsies]!" as we drive past.  These are no longer animals she knows from books but ones that she sees every day in real life.  None of this will be a novelty to her, these are her childhood memories being made.

This is exactly what we wanted for our kids, and for ourselves.

Monday, 5 June 2017

Mists, sunrises and sunsets

I can excitedly report that our shipping container arrives THIS WEEK.  Very excited!  I can't even remember anything we own but I'm thrilled to re-discover it all.

Not much to report from these parts, B has been working all the hours of all the days which has been tough on all of us.  This weekend is the Queen's Birthday long weekend though so he's had yesterday and today off work.

It would be remiss of me not to catch you up on our weather.  Misty mornings!

The frosts and the mists haven't dampened the enthusiasm of the dahlias though, one of which actually burst forth with this one random flower?! 

I'm going to dig the dahlias out (that's if the cranky baby even lets me put her down for longer than 2.5 seconds) because they're choking the garden beds and are getting badly burned by the frost.

There's been more magnificent autumn colour.

There've been incredible golden sunsets.

And some stunning sunrises too!

Work around the place continues in a haphazard fashion.  One of B's relatives dropped off a cycad for our rock garden.  Luckily J was on hand with her trusty wheelbarrow to assist with the placement.

That little blue wheelbarrow used to be B's when he was J's age and I am LOVING the continuity.  It has been getting a major workout, carting wood to and fro, plus miscellaneous dirt, grass, bits of gravel, with associated huffing and sighing.

Exhibit A:
Monkey see monkey do

J starts kindy this week.  We've visited a few times and she loves, no LOVES, the place.  Last week I dropped her off there for a couple of hours and she didn't even cry as I left.  In fact I don't think she even looked up. 

She seems such a big girl all of a sudden, this kindy kid with her "wunchbox" and her little friends.  As she'll tell you, she's "fwee" next birthday and there's no slowing things down.