Wednesday, December 21, 2011

here we go

I remember so vividly how, as a child, time passed so painfully slow in the lead-up to Christmas. There just wasn't a task exciting enough to make the countdown go any quicker. Che got so frustrated the other day because I was busy working and Daniel was catching up on the washing. From the office I heard him exclaim: "I just want to do Christmas craft with my parents!"

Oh the guilt! A Merry Christmas sign now graces our front door (complete with cut-out bubble writing and gold stars).

In the next few days we'll be:
  • making choc-chip cookies for Santa
  • drawing on the driveway with chalk (so the reindeer have pretty pictures to look at while they wait for Santa)
  • wrapping presents (trying not to peek at those already under the tree)
  • marvelling at the cuteness that is Poet in her cot (she's in there for day sleeps only)
  • discussing the importance of sleep on Christmas Eve
  • pondering 2012 and its possibilities (I'm so excited about the possibilities)
But I think, what's most important at this time of year, is gratitude. For what we've got, where we live and who we are.

This Christmas I'm grateful for:

Thank you for visiting me here this year. So many new faces, so many beautiful words. Especially the encouragement before Poet's arrival, the sweet blessings after her birth. I really value each and every comment that you leave. This community is a passionate, creative, comforting one - full of wise words and, when needed, expert style/interior design/recipe advice. I'm really happy here...

May your Christmas be a safe and joyous one. And let's bring in the New Year with open hearts.

See you soon.
Jodi x

I might just add that half-way through writing this post I was interrupted by a vomiting Che and a crying/hungry Poet. Life with kids.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Christmas Magic

A few days ago we made our annual trip to the Christmas tree farm. Our wet winter hadn't done wonders for the trees but when we phoned to see if there were any good ones left the owner mentioned that there was a particularly endearing "short and fat one." Short and fat suited us just fine.

Che was jumping about with excitement, not really knowing what to do with all that happy energy. His legs and arms were all akimbo as he ran between the rows. 'Santas' fell from the trees, catching the afternoon light - the Australian Christmas snow.

We found our tree, chopped it down, carried it to the buggy and took it to the car.

We bundled in, inhaled the sweet scent of pine and all of a sudden it really felt like Christmas.

Boxes of decorations were unpacked, we realised (as we do each year) that the lights weren't working, the elves made their way onto the mantle and the Christmas books finally had their own special basket.

The Tree!

And only then did the beautiful, innocent, palpable excitement of a little boy at Christmas become infectious. 

"...the night begins to thrum with magic, the kind of magic that makes reindeer fly. ..The Christmas magic is here at last." - The Christmas Magic. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

call out

Che's felted and hand-stitched bat from Montessori. My heart swells every time I see it. 

Hello there,

Did you know that I work as a freelance writer? Yes siree I do. In the chaos that is the spare room at home I type away, blessed to thread words together and make money at the same time. I get to eat lunch with my family and breastfeed Poet whenever she calls my name. Sometimes I put on a load of washing while the kettle is boiling in my 'morning tea break'. 

Right now I'm working on a story about mothers and I'm thinking that a few of you could help me out.

You see, I'm interested to know how you document your children's days. Do you photograph them? Do you write letters to them, perhaps to be opened on the momentous 21st birthday? What do you do with all those craft projects? Do you write down their quirky, adorable kid-sayings and put those pieces of paper in a magical thinking jar

How are you recording the magic of the everyday that is childhood?

I'd love to hear from you, regardless of where you are in the world. You can leave a comment here with your email address or alternatively you can email me: jodiclairewilson @ yahoo (dot) com (dot) au

Sunday, December 11, 2011

parrot carrot

I love a good rhyme and when words marry quirky illustrations my book-loving heart goes all-a-flutter. Say hello to Parrot Carrot - the book I request to read when I'm tucking Che into bed. The clever duo that are Jol (foal) and Kate (plate) Temple collaborated with Jon (won ton) Foye to create this fabulous book for adults kids (there's an iphone app too).

For some fun summer reading (or the perfect stocking filler) leave a comment below rhyming your name with something funny and you could win a copy of Parrot Carrot. I'll randomly choose a winner on Friday night (and get it into the post Monday morning in time for Chrissy). Read on for a giggle-inducing interview with Jol and Kate (I love how they rhymed Che and Poet's names). 

Update: Comments closed. The Random Number Generator chose #6 - Sam!

What inspired you to create Parrot Carrot?
Our inspiration came in the form of a restless 4 month old! Our son Arlo was dealing with a whole new time zone after we returned from living in the United States. A bit of a jiggle and some silly rhyming words seemed to keep him happy… and eventually put him to sleep!

How many times a day do you rhyme and combine (people and things)?
Constantly! In fact it’s gotten worse now that Arlo’s joined in. He quite literally rhymes everything! I think he’s going to be Eminem when he grows up.

Why did the Parrot/Carrot make the title and front cover?
The Parrot was our favourite for a long time. He’s also the easiest rhyme for little guys to get first go. Every toddler knows what carrots and parrots are. Hopefully after reading our book they’ll also know what a gnu is!

Is there another rhyming book on the way?
My wordy lordy, yes indeedy! Rhymes are our thing. We’re working up our next rhyming title at the moment with our friends at Allen & Unwin. We’re also looking at ways to bring our rhyming critters to life in different languages. Did you know that meatball and walrus rhyme in German?

My children's names are Che and Poet. I'd love to know what rhyme you come up with...
Che looks like a sunny day. Poet looks like a bottle of Moet (even if she doesn’t know-it!)

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Saturday, December 10, 2011

a new perspective

It feels like only yesterday that I lay in bed with my new baby, cuddled up in the warmth while the rain fell down for an entire week. But no, it was almost five months ago.

Poet is pure joy. She has this fabulous ability to look you straight in the eye, lean forward, and get exactly what she wants. She giggles and squeals and gives the very best hugs. She radiates happiness and attracts attention wherever we go (this makes shopping a rather lengthy process).

Poet, Poe Poe, Poppet, Little One. We love you!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

brown paper packages

...are best when they're tied with up with string (go on, sing it, I know you want to). The parcel delivery man has been on our doorstep rather frequently of late as I get all the pressies organised. Che and I have been making our Christmas wrapping paper and I'll tie each present with red and white twine. Personal, simple, special. Just the way I like it.

The next 10 days are busy, busy as I try to finish all the editorial work that's due before Christmas. Add into the mix Che's last week at Montessori, a meeting with a wonderful woman that will hopefully result in plans for a very exciting project, Christmas tree decorating (although I hear our wet winter has led to very small and sad looking Christmas trees), yoga classes and Christmas baking. Whirlwind I know.

I'll also be posting two book giveaways - one for your children and one for the Mumas (it's a book every. single. muma. should read).

I hope in the midst of fairy lights, candy canes and deadlines you find some space to "settle in and settle down".

1. handmade ornaments from the lovely Gwen at fable and folly (via ella at little red caboose)
2. "Poet's Rabbit" - arrived wrapped in a map and tied with teal string. Melissa custom-made it so beautifully.

Monday, December 5, 2011

blue, white, red (stripes)

Che celebrated his school's annual Cultural Day on Saturday. Paying homage to Europe and all its rich offerings we had to dress as natives of our favourite European country. Considering the plethora of stripes in our wardrobes (washing basket) and my penchant for brie and baguettes, we opted for France, naturally. Bonjour!

I found the carpet in Che's room today and Poet looked on as I fumbled my way through paper/sticky tape creations, books and toys. I stopped for a few moments here and there to watch her discover her feet and realised that pom poms on booties make the best kind of toy (for a four-month-old). Regardless of her current sniffly nose she's still guzzling down the milk - and it's going straight to her cheeks. Seriously, those cheeks - you actually sink into them when you kiss them. I don't kiss, I smooch.

I love the rights that come with being the Muma. Smooches and eyeliner moustaches.

Saturday, December 3, 2011


this weekend I...
  • came to terms with the fact that the washing fairy doesn't exist
  • wondered why our summer has, so far, been pretty wintry
  • got angry at the lego
  • made 'Christmas Lights' wrapping paper with Che (painted dots on paper)
  • ate brie on baguette for lunch
  • discovered that a 21-month-old friend of mine has more coordination that I'll ever have
  • wrote a budget for Christmas (the numbers aren't adding up!)
  • realised that one tidy room in the house is good enough
  • taught a pre-natal class and missed the rubbing of my pregnant belly
  • congratulated myself for mentally repeating "do not get attached" when Poet slept 12 hours last week
  • suddenly remembered what it's like to have a baby who feeds all. night. long
  • had an afternoon nap
  • relished in the sipping of a cappuccino
  • sat under a willow tree and watched children run around the vegie garden
  • kissed Poet's incredibly chubby and squeezable cheeks
  • admired my new vintage basket
  • cuddled with Che and read Christmas stories
  • took photos with Daniel and later, compared notes on composition, lines and lenses.
  • decided that an early night would probably be best

Monday, November 28, 2011


Little squares of fabric sewn onto paper. Tones of dove grey, jacaranda and mustard, interspersed with hints of French pink, olive and teal. I hope in the stitching a quilt will come together that offers comfort, warmth and a story to tell. Of Poet's first Christmas and the magic of the season.

As the owl says to Applesauce: "Christmas comes from the heart, Pig, from the heart."

Issues of the heart are all-consuming as are the ever-rolling lists in my head. The ticks never exceed the to-dos. The outgoings are increasing, the income is staying the same. It's an issue that gets thrown around this online world in abundance...housework and money are hot topics, didn't you know.

I was talking to a wise woman recently about my blog.

"I started it as a gratitude journal," I told her. "I found that I was always wishing I had more, hoping a better house would be in the near future, wanting more money. I wasn't entirely happy because I was so consumed with what I didn't have. And so I started focusing on what was already in my life and it didn't take long for me to realise that I was surrounded by what was important - a supportive, loving partner, a beautiful child, a safe and comfortable home, fresh, organic food, a pile of good books..."

When the normalcy of the daily routine becomes a little blasé, when the bills pile up and the work slows down, when there's an ongoing battle between the head and the heart, I take photos, gather my thoughts and bring them here. A practice in gratitude. And it always works.

Why do you write your blog?

tiny dancer

Poet attended her first wedding on Saturday night. The verdict? She likes to party. Seriously party. She even thought she was important enough to hang out at the bridal table for a while there, entertaining the bridesmaids between the main and dessert. As for this week's feats...she's got the coy 'I know I'm gorgeous but I'll act nonchalant' look mastered and she's getting rather good at blowing raspberries. Dribble, anyone?

The past few days she has been referred to as Miss Squawk-a-lot...hmmm, she looks sweet but she can scream like the best of them.

Dress: an op-shop find from years ago. I remember thinking: "I'm sure I'll have a baby girl one day, I'll buy it just in case."

Thursday, November 24, 2011

the problem of excess

I tend to get a little uncomfortable around this time of year. You've probably felt it too - the rising anxiety of a community itching to get their hot little hands on this and that (and also this) before the big man in red gets in his sleigh.

Che really gets the Christmas thing this year and he's subsequently bursting with excitement. We've been reading Christmas books, discussing the 'magic' and reminding him that it's a good time of year to be grateful and happy. The gift giving and receiving is worthy of many a daydream too.

We went to sushi train after his swimming lesson today and I sat with him in the little corner of calm while watching the chaos of the shopping centre merely metres away. Trolleys were overflowing with plastic fluro and every second person wore a frantic look of desperation. They definitely weren't having a jolly ole time.

It's so easy to get swept up in the fast-pace of a busy shopping centre, so easy to go along for the consuming ride. We never go overboard at Christmas time and this year is no exception. We'll buy a tree like last year, decorate it, make baked goodies for the neighbours, play Christmas carols and generally stay close to home. The gifts we buy are small yet sincere (although Che is getting a bike - and might I add that it was incredibly difficult to find one that didn't have flames all over it?!) - wrapped with Che's paintings and tied with re-used string.

I've made a point of asking friends to hold-off on the gifts for Che and Poet - they have so much already. While Lego is clearly the best toy Che has ever owned (he spends hours upon hours building, creating, imagining and problem-solving) it's the mudpies that get the biggest smiles.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

"pure utter joy"

"Only a mother can understand the joy of locking eyes with her newborn babe the moment they take their first breath.

After the powerful journey of labour, Natalia embraces her babe for the very first time. Sheer exhilaration, joy and love describes the moment of bringing forth her child. The gentle hand of her midwife, trusting in the innate wisdom of birth." - Photographer Jane McCrae

Natalia was one of my yoga was a blessing to teach her and compare belly notes as we grew our baby girls at the same time. Her midwife, Lisa from Bella Birthing, is a new independent midwife on the Central Coast and has supported two of my students in their pregnancy and birthing journeys (I hear she is absolutely wonderful).

I know exactly what Natalia was feeling at this moment, when she held little Estelle for the first time. If you're a Muma, you know what this feels like. Which is why you should head over here and vote 10/10 for this photo in the 2011 National Geographic Photo Contest.

Natalia was supported by Lisa in the comfort of her own home and birthed her baby girl in the water. This photo is proof that homebirth is a safe and joyous option for those who choose it. Proof that homebirth is good and normal and natural. For more homebirth inspiration, look here.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Sunday, November 13, 2011

our local

At least once a fortnight we go to our favourite local cafe and indulge in a few hours of bliss. Bamboo Buddha is my idea of a perfect cafe - wholesome vegetarian food, organic coffee, Balinese day beds and a trickling fish pond. There's little paths in and out of the trees, around and about the pond, and Che spends hours circling them. He wanders up to the kitchen by himself and asks the girls for a cup of fish food (you can see it in his hand in that first photo) and proceeds to sprinkle the lurid orange flakes into the water.

Yesterday we went there for morning tea and ended up staying for lunch. For three and a bit hours we lay on the day bed listening to the birds and the beetles. Poet slept, I took photos and Daniel shot film. Che played the Pied Piper and took some other little kids on a "lizard walk." When we left we felt like we'd been on a holiday. Truly - we floated home.

Che wears this years hazyjane pants. He also wore them in 2010 and 2009. I buy two new pairs for him each year because you can't go past handmade, mama-made, vintage floral cotton pants for our hot, hot summer.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

baby love

Yesterday I woke up to little feet tapping on my lower back. When I rolled over to greet the little miss she squealed with delight and gooed and gaahed till we decided it was breakfast time. I've been taking more and more photos of her because I know all too well that within no time at all she'll be crawling, then walking, then...

Babies don't stay new for long.

Just this afternoon I witnessed her roll onto her belly, lift her head high and then gaze around with a new love of the world. Another first. She was so proud of herself. And I'm so proud to be her Muma.

I told Tim today that parenthood is addictive. Did you know that Tim and Kesh are having a baby?
Nell is beautifully pregnant too (and she sent Poet the most adorable gift last week)
Claire is in the waiting phase...her belly is big, her baby is ready
Little Saskia arrived not long ago - and her Muma birthed her just as she had dreamed

Made from love.