Im back. :)

So after a trial of going off my medication I have decided to go back on them.  I was slipping, I was teary, my mind was growing foggier, my memory was just terrible and I was utterly exhausted. 

I had a few good days in here and there which gives me hope that one day I will be able to be free of medication and manage it naturally but for now I have decided I still need a little extra help and that's just fine too.  :)

It has been a good few days since I went back on my medication.  Today I woke up and my mind was clear and brighter then it has been in weeks.  Its lovely!

I have been out in the garden watering and picking herbs for a cup of fresh herbal tea, tending to the chooks, getting on top of the laundry.  Its a beautiful day here.


We will be having chops for dinner, with a garlic and rosemary....something?  And served with home made oven chips and some greens on the side.  I made custard for the boys for dessert which they never get tired off - Children are funny like that!  

We are a chook down as our sick chook was just lingering for days.  She was not getting better, she was not eating and she is quite old so after a little discussion and explaining to the boys, Grant put her out of her misery.  They coped very well.

I have a Waldorf doll set give away on my face book page if anyone is interested in entering!
She is made from:  
- 100% cotton swiss tricott
- mohair hand crocheted hair wig
- stuffed will pure wool
- clothing and ring sling made from cotton
- felt boots
- hand dyed cotton stretch. 

Here she is here.....Her name is "Lou" and is very sweet.  Her overalls are an offcut from the dress I made the other week!  I really love that fabric!


And here is the link to enter....
 Waldorf doll give away

Good luck!  I'm off to do some sewing.

xx
8

Moments that make up our days....

Our days are made up of many moments.  Some good, some not so good.  But by slowing down and capturing the good ones we can feel like we are living a good life.  I often look around at my comfortable little house, with its up-cycled cupboards, mis-matched furniture, shoes spilling out from the designated shoe rack, dogs sleeping on the doormat and wonder "how did I get so lucky?".

These are some of the moments of today....

Reading in snuggly pj's....these little guys drive me crazy and melt my heart in the very same breath.  

Cuddles....

Going out, apparently they all needed beanies! 

And when feeding the chooks we found one of the girls very sick.  We took her out to keep her warm, and offer water but I doubt she will survive the night.  


Xx





7

mindfulness

The blog was quiet last week, I have been waiting for the energy to write.  I'm still tired and flat today but I have decided it is time to write anyway.   

I suffered badly with post natal depression with my third child, Henry and it taught me so many lessons.  I thought I might share some with you and a little of my story....After Henry, I suffered from PND.  1 in 4 people will suffer depression at some stage in their life. I don't know how to describe it really.....Depression rears its ugly head in so many forms.  Some cry, some are anxious, some are moody, some are sad, some are angry.  I was angry.  I would rage, like I have never known.  Everyday I would yell, snap, even scream.  I would rage at my husband, and even my children.  I was awful.  The people who I loved the most got the very worst of me dished to them daily on a silver platter.  It.  Was.  Hell.  For everyone.  Even my anger angered me.  I was either angry or numb.  I couldn't cry.  Not a tear. I put on my "work face" and got on with my life the best I could.  People didn't know.  

I believe my PND was primarily caused by a chronic lack of sleep throughout my pregnancy, then needing a c-section, and then having a baby with terrible reflux.  I just got sick.

Every night I would go to bed and pray.  I would pray for patience, for peace in my heart.  That I would be the mother my sweet babies needed and deserved, to be the loving mother I knew I needed to be, that I so desperately wanted to be.  I would pray with all my heart.  I would give thanks for all the amazing things I had.  My beautiful boys, my amazing, patient, loyal husband.  I would give thanks for our little cozy house, our security.

Every morning I would wake up and take time to remember how grateful I was for my life, for my gentle patient Grant, my beautiful children, my lovely little home.  I was warm, safe, dry, fed.  Every single morning I would wake up DETERMINED to do better.  I would clear my mind and focus on being calm and loving. That I would be able to let go of the indescribable anger that gripped my body,.  I told myself I would do better.  That TODAY I would be the mother my boys deserved.

Every day, I failed.  

At first I thought it was hormones, or baby blues.  At about 4 months in I realized it wasn't right, that it was worsening and I decided to go to the Dr and I went on medication.  It was a very low dose of anti-depressant.  Slowly and surely over the next 18 months life got better.  It was not fast, it was not over night and I have had to, and continue to still work very hard on it.
 
Slowly, very slowly I came back.  I realized that awful rage I was consumed by was not me, it was not who I was in my heart of hearts but instead it was the disease that gripped my body.  Slowly the rage dispersed.  I returned. 

I always knew depression was a disease, but you know when you truly "know" something from experience? It is a strong and powerful disease.  It is not merely "negative thinking". You cannot positively think your way our of true and deep depression.  I know because by golly I tried.

Medication, Faith, family, friends and simple living or at least mindful living is what has helped heal me.

My faith is a corner stone to who I am.  Knowing God "would not leave me nor forsake me"  was a line I repeated over and over in my mind.  And it was the truth.  I was truly blessed throughout this dark period though at the time I was not so able to see it as I can in health and hindsight.  And through this illness, God has grown me.  Stronger, but more fragile all at once.

Family - when Grant and I made our vows we really made them.  In sickness and in health, for better or for worse.  My family was my anchor to this world.  They forgave my behavior.  I always apologized, I always acknowledged it but that didn't stop it from causing hurt.  It would be easy to dwell on this.  That I was a really crap Mum.  And an even crapper wife.  My friends came and picked me up and dusted me off.  I have amazing friends.  Some brought food, or something small to make me smile.  They sat with me, they accepted me, they listened.  They still do.  They loved me unconditionally.  And that is a powerful thing.  I am truly blessed by the friendships in my life.

This next bit may sound preachy but I want to share my story, by sharing our stories we can help people understand this terrible illness.  Knowing God was there, knowing he sent down his only son to forgive us of our sin really helped me.  There is freedom in that. You see I really believe we are all broken.  All of us.  I mean we all stuff things up.  No matter how much we INTEND to do well, we fall short.  We hurt people.  We forget important things.  It's human nature.  It doesn't mean we don't try really hard not to stuff up.  It doesn't mean we don't learn from our mistakes, it doesn't mean we don't own it, apologise and try to grow through it.  It's just despite our best efforts and finest intentions, we do stuff up anyway.  And it's crap every time we do.

There is a kind of freedom in realizing everyone is broken, that when you strip us all back we are all just the same.  But that if we turn to God that he can guide us.  That we are loved and valued despite our brokenness unconditionally.  That he will show us grace.  By knowing that truth, I was able to show myself grace.  I have forgiven myself of the behavior that consumed me when I was sick.  It was not who I was but that doesn't stop it from hurting any less.  I could choose to have that guilt and burden hang over my head as a parent, which would be increadably unhelpful as parenting is hard enough without trying to do it through guilt.  But my faith frees me from that.

I'm getting to the simple living part I promise!  

Simple living has helped me to be mindful.  It has helped me strip back all the unnecessary things and focus on what important.  It has helped to bring me quiet in my mind.  It has helped me to live a simplified life, to eat better, to live better.  To not look for the "quick" fixes but to instead look at the problem and deal with it directly.  My eyes were already wide open to the things that are marketed at us as "quick" fixes.  the promises "things" are supposed to bring us.  But they don't.  Things can never bring us joy, well not the kind of lasting joy we are searching for.  For me living a mindful life, and honest life and a simple life helps me to keep whats truly valuable close to my heart.  My home helped to heal me.  It was my safe place.  Where I could be myself, I could hide, I could rest, I could fill up my tank.  

A little over 2 weeks ago I went off my medication, with a plan in place.  I'm ok but I'm tired, I have had headaches.  My mind is foggy.  My emotions have been haywire but I think I am getting there.  I have spent lots of time at home pottering about in the peace and quiet.  In my haven.  So if the blog is quiet this is why.  Because I am simplifying life.  I am filling my tank, I am growing well.  I am here, cooking for my family, sewing and resting.  I'm giving myself some grace. 

xx

10

Working on a give away!

Since having my own properly layed out sewing area after finishing off the outside family room I have been absolutely loving getting more into my sewing.

I'm not sure why I love it so much.  There is something soothing about slowly creating something with my hands.  My dolls use methods that havnt changed much throughout time.  They are created using wool, cotton and strong cotton string.  There is very little machine sewing in them.  They are peiced together by hand.  Each seam is over sewn three times with strong tiny stitches to ensure the doll withstands a life time of play.  

I think sewing in general is something that has changed very little over time.  My machine is good but basic.  I guess there are a few extra stitches these days.  There is still cutting, measuring, pinning.  There is something soothing in that process.  

Sometimes people are surprised by the price of a doll.  But there are many contributing factors.  Firstly I use all natural, top quality material. I love the fact that if one of my dolls was buried in the earth, it would breakdown and disappear.    
Unlike a plastic doll.  I actually don't mind plastic dolls as a concept.  What does frustrate me is cheap, plastic dolls that are sold a dime a dozen.  Little girls today have many, many dolls.  The concept of a waldorf doll is that you just have one.  Maby two as the child grows.  Instead of buying lots of cheap ones.  

Anyway I finished the dress I was working on and was so much happier with a raised hem. I was thrilled to bits when I nipped into our local quilting store and the owner complemented me on the neckline.  She really knows her stuff and is a serious sewer and I was kinda chuffed! 

Is it a bird?..... Is it a plane?.....no it's Super Gus!!

Gussy has a 'star night' at kindy next week.  I really wanted to avoid a formal character if I could.  Also the store bought costumes can be expensive and often made from synthetic fibres which are really hot!  So I made him a 'Super Gus' costume.  A cotton cape, felt eye mask and a simple embroidery and appliqué on a plain navy cotton t-shirt he had.  Oh and I couldn't go past buying him some leggings, all super Heros wear tights right?! 😉The lot was less then $15 and really simple to do.  Gus absolutely loves it and is wearing his cape everywhere! 

I have been pottering away working on some dolls too.  I made a tiny doll and ringsling for this girl I did a few weeks back today...'Holly' and her baby are still looking for their forever home.  I think baby wearing dolls are my favorite.  


And I'm working on this big custom girl....here is a sneak peak! 

And I have started a baby wearing give away set!  She will be available on my Facebook page when she is done. Here is where I am up to so far and my inspiration fabrics.  


I love these dolls so much but I know due to the high quality, natural fibres and many hours work that go into each one that they are often out of people price range.  I really hope this set goes to someone who will love them who otherwise wouldn't have been able to justify such a special handcrafted doll.  

If you are interested please feel free to like my page so you can see when the give away opens.  I imagine it will not be for a week or two.  



Xx







7

Sweet baby Henry.

Once again another week has passed! I have so many blog posts and things running through my mind I want to share with you but I only ever seem to get to a fraction of them,  I'm afraid today is one of them!  <3

I'm sitting amongst the duplo, dolls, cooking toys scattered about from our morning of visitors.  There are crumbs on the floor, a few bits of half chewed fruit from curious toddlers, dishes piled in the sink from my cooking this morning, clean washing on my bed waiting to be folded.  And you know what I'm doing? 


This.....because babies simply don't keep.  Instead of doing all that I should, I'm instead going to sit here and breathe this sweet little fella in while we rock on my chair together and he sleeps in my arms.  Hope you all have a wonderful weekend! 

Xx

6

de-cluttering and greatfulness.

EDIT:  Sorry for re-posting, the order of my blog posts got mixed up somehow when I was editing this post and I struggled to get them back in order though I think I have it fixed now.  xx

                                              ...........................................................

Excuse my tantrum the other day.  Sometimes it can feel like I'm the only one trying to keep this place in order, even though I know that is absolutely not the case.  Everyone seems to have picked up the slack now and I got rid of another boot load which was great.

For me de-cluttering and finding space in this little home is such an amazing feeling.  To know I will never have to move an item or clean something that I don't use is such freedom!  

I went through Henry's clothes, put some aside "just in case" there is another baby and donated a box as well.  His draws are full of space now - its lovely!  I went though the children's books and got rid of two bags full, William is up to reading small novels now so the space will be useful.  I like having a good selection of books for the boys to go through.  I think it is really important to be surrounded by good books!   I *may* have donated a bunch of books I dislike reading to them because I find them dull and boring.....but hopefully this will open their eyes to all of the beautiful books that were not getting a look in! 

There was a couple of pots that I don't use, there were toys, linen and assorted bits and bobs.  I also had a big stripy bag with fabric in it and another bag of stuff in the car waiting to go.  The load was not as big as I intended, but it was still a boot load.  I took it to the donation bin that very day when the boys were in the bath.

I realized we are getting down to the crux of what we really use.  There might be another bag of toys if I'm really ruthless.....But a lot of the mess was things like pencils/paper/board games etc.  So I gathered all the board games, found all the pieces and put them in a cupboard up high so the little ones cannot get to them to tip them out.  And same as the drawing stuff.  They only really need a little out at a time.  


I'm feeling better.  There is actually a fair bit of space on our shelves which is really great.  And If I were to donate all the clothes I have stored from the boys in various sizes our wardrobes would actually have a lot of room in them.

My little clear out triggered an interesting conversation with my parents.  They have just spent time with my niece who turned 6.  She was given many, many presents by family, friends, grandparents.  As children often are today.  Anyway her mother (my sister in law who is just gorgeous.) became very upset at her flippant, ungrateful behavior that developed after opening so many presents.  She got very cross at her and was very upset to see her attitude.

It is ugly when we see our children being bratty and ungrateful and quite frankly it is not fun parenting a child who acts ungrateful and spoilt.  

We often hear the older generation talk about today's generation being "ungrateful"  and they may well be right.  But it is OUR job as a society to not allow this to happen.  A child cannot help if they are given many, many things.  It is only natural that the gift giving process will loose some of its shine if it is over the top.  My niece is a lovely little girl, she usually has good manners.  Its just gifts were literally being thrown at her and it was too much, she was quite simply - over it.

It is our actions and decisions as Aunties/Uncles/parents and Grandparents that mold the next generation and instill in them the values we want them to have.  If we want our children to be grateful we need to give less to bring the magic and excitement back!  Gift giving in our house is now saved for birthdays and Christmases.  The amount we give is also very small.  This was not always the case.  I too have fallen into the trap of giving the boys too many gifts.  It is fun to see children's face light up!  But I have come to realize the less I give, the more they appreciate it.  The easier it is to teach gratitude, appreciation and it makes parenting a whole lot simpler.  It brings back the magic of gift giving, the joy and the fun for all of us.  And frankly anything that makes parenting easier is a good thing in my books!

I have come to realize the magic in birthdays and Christmas lies in the ANTICIPATION.  If we give constantly or excessively then this anticipation is lost and so is the magic.

Because I happen to love cake, I'll use this as the analogy.  A birthday or Christmas should be like a cake.  The bulk of the cake is made up of ingredients that are mixed together.  These 'ingredients" on such an occasion are having a few very special people close, perhaps having a favorite meal prepared and giving and receiving love by those closest in our lives, if religion is a corner stone in your life like it is mine then sharing the story of faith also plays a component.  A gift or two is simply the icing on the top!  It is a small part of the cake - delicious yes - but if there is too much icing, the cake becomes too sweet and its spoilt!  A cake is delicious only if it is balanced.   

I gave my little niece a home made library bag, an Enid Blyton short novel and a small set of Frozen doll magnets that you can "dress", she was very polite and happy.  The responsibility of raising a grateful, appreciative generation does not lie simply on the parents,  it is our societies responsibility.  No one is off the hook.     

xx
5

I'm done.

Every now and again I get to a point where I'm done.  I'm totally and utterly done.  I'm fed up with banging my head against a brick wall.  I am so sick of picking up the same stuff over and over again.  I'm so sick of consumerism that infiltrates into our life even though we are conscious of it and actively seek to avoid it.

Sometimes I look around my little house and feel like we have a decent handle on "stuff" but then I have a week like this where I just don't.  I have spent too much time yelling, nagging, asking.  I'm over it. 

MY LIFE IS WORTH MORE THEN THIS!!

Absolute minimalism is looking good right now.

My families life is worth more then this, our peace and happiness is worth more then this.  

I'm on a mission to cull.  Books, toys clothes, games, pots, pans, paperwork.  THE LOT. 

I don't want to up-cycle it, or save it because it cost money, I don't want to pick it up, I don't want to clean it.  Hell I don't even want to sell it.  We are so blessed and rich in our humble little home.  I want it gone from my life.  So I'm going to have a hot shower and I am on a mission.  Grants looking nervous.  NO ONE STAND IN MY WAY!!!  

Wish me luck!!

Xx


8

sewing and fashion.

I decided on the name "Blossom"  for my rainbow inspired waldorf doll!

She is up and ready to go to a new home!  <3

Etsy: Louie's Little dolls. "Blossom"



I can't believe how big our littlest man is getting.  We packed up Henry's cot on the weekend and he is now in a bed!  It's an extendable bed which will grow with him.  It means we can make the most of the space in his little room for now.  We are entering into a new season of life in our family.  I'm not sure if there will be any more babies to be honest.  But I'd be sad to think our baby days are over.....maby just one more?..... ;)

Henry was pretty happy with it!  Great Granny crocheted his blanket.  He has always liked textured blankets even when he was tiny.  


I'm going to make him a raggedy quilt for his big bed as his birthday is in April.  As well as some wall hangings like I did for Gus for his wall.  I found some gorgeous vintage inspired fabric and now I'm on the hunt for some fabric I can tie in with it.  I'm thinking something boat inspired?  I might do a simple yacht stitchery in one of the hoops. 

I'm completely and utterly loving sewing at the moment.  It's fills me with peace and delight.  I have never had a special space for it before all set up and it's just so enjoyable.  

I have decided to take a leap and I'm currently working on a dress for myself.  It will be lovely for autumn with leggings and ankle boots.  


Its funny how in the process of simplifying my life, my wardrobe has also simplified.  Its like I have worked out my own real style that suits me, which I guess comes with me knowing who I am and what I value in my heart of hearts.  I love natural fibers, lose fitting dresses with generous pockets to keep my bits and bobs in and high waisted leggings that keep me feeling nice and secure. (I told you I'm a Nanna!) I need to be comfortable, I have no patience for clothes that are not breathable, soft and comfortable.  They need to be able to accommodate for playing with children and having quiet snuggles.  There are not many clothes I love in the shops.  I can find tops but Im hoping this dress pattern will be one I make many times over with a few variations for summer and winter.  I don't have much need for up to date fashion, make up or fancy hair styles but I still want to look nice and natural you know?  I guess I feel like my style is a little earthy, a little quirky but simple.  Nothing fussy.  I don't do fussy!  

I hope your having a relaxing week so far! 

Xx

  






4

Washing.

I was asked to write about how we tackle our washing.  It is never ending here!  There are times I have felt over whelmed by the on going nature of the washing, but it has helped to sort out my thoughts on it which I did a long while ago.

I want my boys to play.  I want them to play freely, with imagination and energy.  I want them to have a childhood where they are free to explore, dig, climb, create and imagine.  This is fine but the consequence of this is washing.  Lots of it.  But I can either relax and let the boys have freedom in the yard or I can hover over them trying to prevent mess.  I choose the consequence of the washing.

How do I deal with the washing?  Firstly the boys have low maintenance play clothes.  They are not expensive, they are not precious and if a stain happens - oh well.  They have a few "nicer" clothes but nothing fancy, they are kids.  We only ever get them dressed 30 mins before we are due to leave due to their physic defying attraction to disaster. (I'm not joking -these guys are amazing at mess....)

Secondly I have no dramas with the boys wearing PJ's.  All day.  All the boys wear nappies to bed, even William still, and I feel that the PJ's are stale after a night of wear due to nappies.  Also by the time breakfast is had they have usually spilled something on them.  So I let them finish "dirty-ing" up their PJ's which often saves on an outfit change.  I have been known to take Angus to school pick up in his PJ's but he is happy and doesn't give a hoot!

In summer if I can get away with dressing them in just undies/nappy if it is a hot "home" day I do. 

Also in summer I take the quilts of the bed.  It saves washing a doona cover and they don't need it.  I just leave a cotton blanket and their raggedy quilts on the bed.  

I wash a load most days, fold one and put it away.  Though Monday is my "catch up" day and often do several loads if I have slacked off.  I wash the master bed sheets weekly, they boys alternative fortnightly unless they wet through.  Henry's sheets are small so throw them in with towels.  If I can get away with it once I strip the bed I hang the sheets and put them straight back on the bed to save folding them and putting them away.  They towels get changed a couple of times a week.

I don't iron.  Anything.  Except sewing!  I figure ironing does not contribute to the cleanliness of an item and I really quite dislike it.  I would much prefer to spend my spare time sewing or doing something that "fills up" my tank!  

I am lucky with the climate where we are, I can line dry most of the year around, though do own a dryer which gets used in winter for finishing sheets/towels.  In winter it is a bit trickier but the wood fire helps and everything is dried on big clothes horses in front of it, though there is still a fair bit of time I can line dry.  Just not in the middle of winter.  

I take it off the line and dump it on our bed to sort/fold and get ready to put away.  I like to sit while I do it and often use the time to clear my thoughts and ponder the day.

I sort it carefully into groups so it's in order to make putting it away fast and straight forward.  Everything is grouped into what draws they belong too.   


I do a load of nappies and cloth wipes every second day, usually at night but they don't take any time.  I have a small clothes horse under the veranda specifically for them so I don't have to venture out the back to hang them.

Here they are on their line...

Brought in, ready to be folded.  I use liners which saves a lot of water in rinsing.


And folded ready to get put away.  Though this was a tiny load.  I use a disposable nappy at night.   

It's never ending but usually by doing what I do I stay up to date.  I have my rhythm and it works for us! 

What works for you? 

Xx

6

Moments that make up our day....


Our days are made up of many moments.  Some good, some not so good.  But by slowing down and capturing the good ones we can feel like we are living a good life.  I often look around at my comfortable little house, with its up-cycled cupboards, mis-matched furniture, shoes spilling out from the designated shoe rack, dogs sleeping on the doormat and wonder "how did I get so lucky?  This is a pictorial post of moments I captured this week that imprinted in my heart.  

William is learning guitar and here he was trying to teach Gus how to play a song.  Gus has his much loved baby on his back keeping him safe!

A fragile Gus needs a snuggle...

Henry eyeing off dinner!  It was a cheats chicken pie with home made broth concentrate thickened as the gravy, with peas and fresh spinach and herbs from the garden.  It was delicious!  

My first dress!  I'm not quite finished,  it's an awkward length and needs a few alterations yet but I'm getting there.  It was certainly a learning curve.  It is insanely comfortable.  


Baby henry has a terribly sore bottom today.  I think he is teething and feeling sad.  When I sit in my chair cuddling my sad boys, listening to the birds and wind chimes ringing.  I know I have made the right decision to be at home for now, I treasure these moments.  These moments of calm and still.  Where I can breathe them in and just sit with them.

I hope you are enjoying some quiet moments too.  

Xx




4
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