Monday, January 30, 2012

First Day Nerves

I've felt all a bit chokey and achey today. First day nerves, perhaps. After six weeks of settling into our new house and enjoying long stretches of days exploring our surroundings and just hanging out here at home, all of it feeling like a glorious long holiday, today feels like the first day of real life. It was Lola's first day at her new preschool. 

It was a good break, those six weeks, and my girl was good to be around. It was the longest stretch of holidays for her since she began preschool/day care two years ago, and we really fell into a nice rhythm, to the point where I wondered if we really needed to send her off again.

But she was excited. Excited to be meeting new kids and making friends her own age in this new place. Little sisters are fun, but only so far... She was worried that she might cry when I left her there, but she didn't. She clung to me at first, explaining, "I'm just a little bit shy, that's all." But the truth is, she's not. She's the most outgoing, sociable, friendly kid I know. 

A year ago, we thought Lola would be going off to school this year. She's a July baby, her birthday only a few weeks before the cut-off. It was a big decision for us to make, perhaps the biggest so far, and I've often wished someone could've just told us the 'right' thing to do. Several of her friends who are the same age start 'big school' this week, but we made the choice, in the end, to take another year. A lot of it was about giving her whatever advantage might come about by not being the youngest in her class (even at five and a half, she won't be the oldest). A large part was to give us a year, as a family, to settle into this new lifestyle without having to worry about school routines just yet. But the biggest part, for me at least, was wanting to hang onto her for a bit longer. I loved school, back in the day, and I know she will too. But they'll have her for 13 years. I'm keeping her for one more!

Of course, however firm my convictions, I'm still left with niggles and doubts. There are kids in her new preschool who are much younger. When I went to collect her today, they were all sitting in a circle singing a song and taking turns galloping around. It kind of looked like baby stuff. I imagined her in a little school uniform sitting up at a desk learning to form her letters on the page, and wondered, just briefly, if that might have been the right choice...

Big sigh. There's no harm in another year of singing and galloping. Is there?

I picked her up early today, just in case. I needn't have bothered. Her teachers assured   me that she'd had a wonderful time. When she got home, she raced into the GM's arms and said, "Daddy, I had a lovely day."

And I'm under strict instructions NOT to be early for pick-up on Thursday.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sunday Lovelies

Some snippets of lovely from our week:
1) Birthday cake
2) New discoveries in the garden
3) A handmade birthday card
4) Sisters cooperating (instead of eye-gouging)
5) Birthday gifts/toasts
6) Gardenias and oranges

Hope your week was lovely too!

Friday, January 27, 2012

this moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. 
Via Soulemama

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Sitting Still in Purple

Well, look who's sitting still this week! Just reward for a mama who knitted this cardigan the looooooooong way. I was only following the pattern, mind you, but now that I've discovered all of this top-down, all-in-one, in-the-round bizzo, going back to the old-fashioned way of knitting in pieces and sewing it together at the end, well, that was all a bit arduous.

I found the pattern at an op-shop recently, along with a fabulous haul of '70s and '80s stuff. Think moustachioed men in skinny turtlenecks and colourful ponchos. I'll be sure to post pics of those soon. This toddler pattern was one of the few that I thought I could actually use. It's the Girls Cardigan with Lace Panels from the Patons pamphlet #661. It's knit in seven pieces. SEVEN! And then the neckband is picked up and added at the end. Someone out there, please tell me why those skinny little front bands couldn't have just been combined into the front pieces to avoid all the fussy sewing at the end.

Anyway, I'm really happy with it. The perfect vintage wool cardigan for a funny little lady. The yarn is 8ply Rustic from Bendigo Woollen Mills. I used almost all of a single 200g ball. This is budget knitting at its best - less than $12 for the yarn and I think the pattern cost me 25 cents. And the beautiful painted coconut buttons came from my dealer.

Is my Pearl just being pensive? Or does she seem a little less than enthusiastic with the result? That's not like her... (refer here and here.) I'm not reading much for me this week, but I've read 'Nurse Nancy' at least 60 times. After 23 months of showing little to no interest in books, suddenly she's obsessed.

Ravelry notes here. And if this knitting roll of mine continues, next week one of my other children will hopefully be wearing something new.

Joining in with all the lovely Yarn Alongers at Small Things.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Mathematics for Housewives

Does anyone know the exact mathematical formula for it? I'm certain there must be one.

It's something like this, I think:

Elation of waking up to the perfect drying day after days of drizzle and gloom

Multiplied by loads of washing successfully completed...

..divided by the realisation of how long it's going to take to sort and fold and return all of those clean clothes to their correct cupboards and drawers.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Count Stella

I'm always surprised by the power of a firmly delivered, "One..." 

Nine times out of ten, it's enough to make the four-year-old leap up from what she's being distracted by to attend to what I've asked her to do. Usually several times. And which she has ignored. Until she hears that fear-inducing "One..."

If I get to "Two..." then things are really serious. 

Of course, it's a bit harder to remain serious when the "One" and "Two" are followed by a sweet little "Thwee-four-fi-sickie..." from across the room.

Lots of people start blogs as a way of keeping in touch with friends and family back home. Now that we've moved, there are a few doting aunties missing their regular dose of LolaPearlStella. This is for you. You know who you are. For everyone else, apologies for the shameless mummy-pride moment above.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Sunday Lovelies

A week's worth of lovely:
1) Back-step Lego
2) Herbs ready for planting
3) Charlotte's web (at sunset)
4) Three in a box, and some biffo to boot
5) Agapanthus in bloom
6) Flying plastic contraptions = hours of entertainment
7) Home-baked tomato, parmesan and basil flatbread, via this.

How was your weekend?

Friday, January 20, 2012

this moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. 
Via Soulemama

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Biscuit Tin

The transformation into a country cook in this lovely country kitchen (more pics of that soon, I promise) is happening before my very eyes. Take one batch of homemade cookies (outsourced to Lola and the GM this time, albeit with me screeching instructions in the  background), and accessorise with a very vintage tin picked up at the oppy yesterday for a few dollars.

Far more suitable than the plastic lunchbox we used to keep the bickies in, don't you think?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Tantrums in Pale Blue

Wednesday's have fast become knitting day on this blog, thanks to Ginny's Yarn Along. And aren't Wednesdays all the better when there's a finished project to show off? Here it is, the sweet little Jane, knit in a pale blue Debbie Bliss cotton. I love the pattern but I'm not enamoured with the texture of this yarn. It seems quite heavy and dense for cotton, but that probably just means we'll get some wear out of it during this ridiculous summer where long sleeves and jackets are on call most days.

Of course, today it's sweltering, so here's a pictorial journey of how successful I was getting one particularly headstrong nearly-two-year-old to model her new cardi in the midday sun.

We are clearly at that in-between stage in the knitting mama's life - no longer compliant babies who will wear whatever I choose and sit dribbling for the camera, but not yet savvy enough to understand a good bribe when it's on offer.

On the reading front, I'm still plugging away at Thea AstleyAnd still knitting away at the purple vintage woollen cardigan. More on that next week, I hope.

Ravelry notes for the pale blue Jane here.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Carrot soup for dinner. I stared at the pot of orange and wondered what should go with it. We used to have a choice of bakeries within shouting distance. Here, not so. And, as if possessed by the country cook I always wanted to be, suddenly there was damper.

Combine a cup of self-raising flour and a cup of wholemeal self-raising flour with a teaspoon of salt. Rub in 60g of chopped butter. Add a big handful of chopped chives* and a couple of handfuls of grated cheese - I used mozzarella and parmesan. Mix together with a cup of milk and a splash of water, then turn out onto a floured surface and knead for a minute or two.

Plonk it onto a greased tray, slash a cross in the top, brush with milk, scatter on some more grated parmesan, and bake at 180 degrees for half an hour. 

Slice it, butter it, eat it while it's hot.

The four-year-old preferred her damper crumbled into the soup and declared it delicious. The not-quite-two-year-olds weren't much fussed about any of it. The GM was awestruck as he tumbled out the door to join the village choir. (Seriously. He's there now.)

* Chives, in full purple bloom, chanced upon on a recent stroll around the garden.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Birthday Wishing

My birthday is fast approaching so I thought, in the interests of being useful, I'd let anyone out there who reads this blog who is, ahem, married to me, know what's on my wish list. Don't worry, it's only short.

One of these, please. These babes of ours are so bloody messy. And not only that, have you noticed how many flies there are in this place? Corpses everywhere.

This book, please. I don't have enough knitting books.

And this one too. My cookbook shelf is looking a bit lean.

One of these. You will benefit.

Size 40 should fit.

I've wanted one of these for ages. And if you get that, you should probably get this too.

Isn't this so pretty?

I'm gonna need 10 of these so I can make this.

Anything from here. Seriously, anything.

I hope this helps. 
Smoochies xx

Oh, I forgot. Can I have one of these too?

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sunday Lovelies

Some loveliness from the week:
1) Purple flowers from the markets, purple wool on the needles
2) Sisters hand in hand
3) Friends baking scones in your kitchen
4) Summer-blooming magnolias
5) Gathering in the washing and the lemons

I hope there was some lovely in your week x


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