Tuesday, 28 September 2010
She was adopted by my sister-in-law from the foundling home for kittens when just a few weeks old, and lived with Margaret for several years. When the kids came along Pixie passed on to Grandma and Granddad, where she happily sunned herself in the garden. Then when they went to Scotland for six weeks she visited Gran ... and here she stayed. My parents would never have chosen to get a pet because of the wildlife that lives in the garden -- but Pixie never even considered chasing a bird or possum.
She was the perfect cat for Gran and Papa. Every morning Pixie jumped on their bed, and purred at their feet while they drank their morning coffee. She was the first of our cats to adore Papa, whose loud voice and heavy footsteps had sent our other cats running. Pixie never seemed to mind, and would sit beside him on the sofa for hours.
Then several months ago Pixie stopped eating. She became thin and weak, and the vet diagnosed cancer. Chemotherapy for cats is expensive but Gran was determined, and before long Pix started eating again and looked healthier.
But then the cancer returned, and this time the vet said there was no hope.
So on Friday morning our Pixie was put to sleep, and buried in the wild place in the garden.
Sunday, 26 September 2010
Lately it's been bedtime at 8pm for me (Eric goes to bed at 7:30-ish, and Adam at around 6:30pm), so that doesn't leave much time for craft.
And as Adam demands a 5 am (or earlier) feed, getting to sleep as soon as I can after the boys do is my priority.
I'm very aware that I'm not someone who can survive long cheerfully or happily on very little sleep, so I make sure I get as long as I can in bed, or I know we will all have a miserable day the next day.
Saturday, 25 September 2010
Friday, 24 September 2010
In the last few days, he has begun to hit his dangly toys with a deliberate aim (and with great concentration, as you can see in the picture below). He uses whichever hand is nearest the toy, and connects almost always.
He's the first baby I've met who loves tummy time, and will happily spent five or ten minutes lying on his front and lifting his head with his strong neck.
I've stopped swaddling him before bedtime now, and he seems to prefer having his hands free, as he can suck his fingers for comfort.
Speaking of sleep, last night he had nine-and-a-half hours of shut-eye (and so did I!), so I think we might be onto a roll. Jumps remarked the other day that Adam sleeps longer than Eric has ever slept. I'm not used to such lovely long naps at night -- it all seems so easy at the moment!
When baby is awake he is almost invariably good natured (except perhaps for an hour in the evening), and smiles, coos and laughs at everyone who walks by. He loves to be in company and will chat for ages -- taking turns in the conversation, and grinning from ear to ear.
Thursday, 23 September 2010
Wednesday, 22 September 2010
Luckily I had two pretty note cards in the drawer -- these were delivered by hand bearing the following message:
"Dear Granny and Papa,
You are invited to a wedding in our garden at 2pm tomorrow.
RSVP to Eric"
The preparations this morning were great fun.
We made lemonade, baked and iced a rather modern wedding cake ...
... picked posies for bouquets and buttonholes (below is Cottontail, who was Mi Mi's bridesmaid) ...
... made a new mauve dress for the bride (who has a most unfortunate figure as she is, infact, a knock-down toy and so is completely spherical).
... set chairs out for a garden ceremony, and greeted and seated guests as they arrived.
Tuesday, 21 September 2010
Monday, 20 September 2010
... enough wood for winter, cut and neatly stacked ...
... bright bunches of blooms lighting up every corner of the house.
Friday, 17 September 2010
Thursday, 16 September 2010
The vase was a gift from my mother when little Adam was born. She filled it with wide-open roses and spikes of pink salvia from the garden, and it rested on a shelf beside my hospital bed, reminding me of home.
I love that it fits perfectly on my windowsill, since it is shaped just like a long, thin rectangle. It's the perfect size, too, and so easy to arrange so that every bloom faces forwards, and not one precious flower is overlooked.
Wednesday, 15 September 2010
But when I see him with his cousins, friends from mother's group, and preschool buddies, I realise how lacking I really am as a playmate.
I often have grown-up worries, prejudices and a list of 'things to do' in the back of my mind. I won't spend endless hours making mud soups, cubbyhouses and lego, and refuse to share chicken nuggets and raspberry cordial for dinner. Even worse, I can only laugh uproariously at the same joke once, and have to keep a poker-face when naughtiness prevails.
In short, I'm not really a friend -- I'm a mother. Which is how it should be, of course, but when you only have one then the line becomes slightly blurred, of necessity.
Already Eric loves his little brother intensely. But even the deepest bonds won't erase the five year age gaps between them, and I wonder if they'll ever be truly peers, able to laugh at the same jokes, and play together for hours. I wonder if Eric has missed out on the experience of having a truly equal relationship with a sibling. Which was something I had, and can't imagine having missed out on.
And for myself, I also would like to experience being a 'mother' to children who are close in age, so you really can say "Off you go and play!" without dooming a little person to an afternoon in their own company.
Today the sun finally appeared, and once the washing had all been dealt with, Eric put on his wellies and we went adventuring in the water. So exciting!
He's so like his Dad: inately sensible, and a quiet man of action.
This morning he reminded me of this again, when he walked quietly up to me cradling something in his hand. There was a tiny baby bird, nestled peacefully. He had seen it on the verandah, gently picked it up, and brought it to me without shouting or running. It's just what his Dad would have done. And later, when Papa was drilling a hole in the loungeroom wall for our new pelmets, Eric covered Adam's ears with his hands to protect them from the noise.
If I can bring up another kind, decent, gentle, busy man to bless the world and his future family, I will feel I would have done my job of being a mother well.
Tuesday, 14 September 2010
Sunday, 12 September 2010
Saturday, 11 September 2010
... and guess who was in charge of the baking?
Eric can make these almost by himself, now -- from rolling, to filling, cutting, placing and brushing. My job only begins when it's time for the bacon-and-cheese scrolls to go into the oven!
Friday, 10 September 2010
And then the blossom and daffs are out everywhere -- it's stunning!
Thursday, 9 September 2010
"To Papa, Happy Father's Day.
Thank you for doing all the wonderful things. I'll pay you 20c tomorrow.
Love from Eric"
"Why am I getting 20c, Eric?"
"Because you're the best Papa in the world!"
When Eric duly took over his money the next day (a great sacrifice for him, since he's been doing jobs and saving for the Lego calender and hasn't spent anything for weeks), Papa kindly offered to 'swap' his 20c with one Papa that had at home. This made Eric very happy, and he solemnly replaced the money in his piggybank.
Wednesday, 8 September 2010
Tuesday, 7 September 2010
I certainly remember pacing the room and trying to rock Eric almost endlessly when he was a small baby, but how much of that had to do with my inexperience and worry as a first-time mother and how much was to do with his personality, I'm not sure. Our big boy certainly has been an easy toddler and is a delightful, caring, charming little boy.
Hopefully Adam's darling nature will continue into later life!
Monday, 6 September 2010
- Bring thin cream, honey, orange juice and rosemary to a gentle simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stand for 15 minutes, until cooled slightly. Remove rosemary.
- Blend cooled mixture with ricotta, sour cream, eggs and orange rind in a food processor. Pour into a lined 24cm springform pan.
- Bake at 180°C for 50 minutes or until set. Allow to cool in oven (best made the day before it's needed.)
- For oranges, bring sugar, honey and water to a simmer, add oranges and rosemary, gently simmer for 20 minutes. Allow the oranges to cool in the syrup.
- Serve cheesecake with oranges, a spoonful of syrup and a dollop of thick cream.