allthingstendingtowardtheeternal

the rambles of a family of five in Australia


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Ewan turns four!

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Ewan’s birthday this year crept up on us, like all his previous birthdays! Somehow we are always into April before we know it. For his first birthday and his third birthday we were preparing for international moves, and found it difficult to focus too much on parties and celebrations. This year, little B’s arrival meant that we have struggled to get out the door in the morning for quite routine things, let alone organise a party. However, he was convinced that he would be having one, so on the proviso that it would be more like a ‘group play date’ we consented to give it a go.

Invitations and bunting were home-made, decorations were borrowed and friends and family helpfully made parts of the birthday feast or willingly got involved on the day.

The theme (if it can be so-called!) was based around the idea of construction – as it is the activity and topic closest to E’s heart and interests at present. We decided that if it was a fine day we would encourage the kids to spend the party outside (less clean-up!) and to that end we organised 3-4 piles of soil to be strategically dumped at one end of the garden. Along with a fresh load of sand for the sand-pit, we hoped that the children would happily dig, tunnel and otherwise amuse themselves getting oh-so-mucky, before the birthday morning tea.

The weather, however, had other plans, so we had play-doh construction inside, loads of construction vehicles on the play mat and plenty of blocks, duplo and other building-type toys set up in the play room.

In the end, the back yard dried out enough for everyone to run around, jump on the trampoline and have a dig in the dirt.

Our day ended with a very tired and happy E, who had spent a few joyful hours with his friends, playing, talking and thinking about construction. And that, in the end, is what he wanted most!

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Ewan’s birthday invitation – construction theme

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Birthday invitation

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Play-Doh shenanigans at E's birthday

Play-Doh shenanigans at E’s birthday

Two lovely ladies, Grand-Nan and Nanna, having a chat over birthday cake.

Two lovely ladies, Grand-Nan and Nanna, having a chat over birthday cake.

View of the party from the construction pile in the back yard.

View of the party from the construction pile in the back yard.

Grandma and little B.

Grandma and little B.

Suze, very grown-up with her hair in a bunch and a bit of attitude in her posture.

Suze, very grown-up with her hair in a bunch and a bit of attitude in her posture.

Construction site birthday cake.

Construction site birthday cake.

Construction site becoming a demolition site!

Construction site becoming a demolition site!

Our birthday boy.

Our birthday boy.

Aunty Natalie, helping Suze to demolish the cake.

Aunty Natalie, helping Suze to demolish the cake.

Grand-Nan having some time with little B.

Grand-Nan having some time with little B.

 

Couch time with Grand-Nan after the rest of the revellers have departed.

Couch time with Grand-Nan after the rest of the revellers have departed.

 

 

Party favours

Party favours

 

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Suze, frocked up for church, holding the car she claimed as hers from E’s birthday haul.

E, with his car carrier, complete with crane - can you tell it's his new favourite?

E, with his car carrier, complete with crane – can you tell it’s his new favourite?

 

Opening one final present...

Opening one final present…

 

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You can just see the piles of soil and the sand-pit at the bottom of the garden…

 

 

 

 

 


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Our life, with Benjamin, the last 8 weeks

The semi-chaos of the early weeks of bringing a new baby home has resolved itself into somewhat of a discernible routine. Loose, I grant you, but present, which is a great leap forward and a comfort, as we found ourselves tiring at Week 6 from lack of sleep. We always feel that Week 6 is the half-way mark for new-babyhood. Week 12 is where the light at the end of the tunnel becomes dazzling sunshine, perhaps with a view of snow-capped mountain peaks, but Week 6 is still firmly ‘pick-axe over shoulder, trudging through the night towards a pin-prick of light that wavers alarmingly from time to time. Occasionally you glance over at your fellow trudger (in my case, husband Rob) and by the light of a pale and guttering candle, see the lines of exhaustion etched into a face grimy from being at the coal face of parenthood.’ So we are well and truly through Week 6, and these photos show some of the daily/weekly events and visitors who have cheered us on and encouraged us in our weariness. Don’t get me wrong, we do love our children, but the ‘new baby’ part seems to be more tiring each time. And no, I don’t think having three babies in under four years and two international moves had ANY part to play!

R and S, mowing the front lawn, one early evening, just before bath time

 
R and S, mowing the front lawn, one early evening, just before bath time

R & E, mowing the back yard, later the same evening, still before bath time. Can you see how much E wishes he was driving it BY HIMSELF?

R & E, mowing the back yard, later the same evening, still before bath time. Can you see how much E wishes he was driving it BY HIMSELF?

Aunty Natalie, making faces at Suze.

Aunty Natalie, making faces at Suze.

Grand-Nan, meeting Benjamin for the first time, and having some special time with E.

Grand-Nan, meeting Benjamin for the first time, and having some special time with E.

Daddy and B, having an afternoon turn around the room.

Daddy and B, having an afternoon turn around the room.

Big Brother and Little Brother, comparing heights on the play mat.

Big Brother and Little Brother, comparing heights on the play mat.

Three little monkeys, making faces.

Three little monkeys, making faces.

Look how long our babies are!!!

Look how long our babies are!!!

My little rain babies - suited up and ready to play in the mud.

My little rain babies – suited up and ready to play in the mud.

Mummy and B, supervising the mud warriors from the safety of the verandah.

Mummy and B, supervising the mud warriors from the safety of the verandah.

Little B, smiling for Gma.

Little B, smiling for Gma.

Lack of sleep makes us ridiculously smiley...

Lack of sleep makes us ridiculously smiley…

Gma, proud of having rocked little B to sleep. Little B has the contortionist tendencies made so popular by his siblings...

Gma, proud of having rocked little B to sleep. Little B has the contortionist tendencies made so popular by his siblings…

Gma and Little B.

Gma and Little B.

All together

All snuggled up together.

S, licking batter from the cake bowl after we made a batch of gingerbread...

S, licking batter from the cake bowl after we made some raspberry-buttermilk cupcakes… Why is it that my strategy for keeping myself awake when in the new baby stage invariably involves sugar and carbs, and not a quick run?

Play-Doh shenanigans... S: Mum!! I can't get the pizza-handle-cheese-grater-thingy to turn. My Play-Doh pizza will be RUINED!

Play-Doh shenanigans…
S: Mum!! I can’t get the pizza-handle-cheese-grater-thingy to turn. My Play-Doh pizza will be RUINED!   E: My Play-Doh construction is all going rather swimmingly, thank you! Note the teeny tiny Play-Doh bits all over the floor. It was the scene of much hands-and-knees pickeruppering, and a stern telling-off by me. Why oh why do they LOVE rolling little balls of it, every SINGLE time? So much for a quick, clean activity while little B was feeding…

Happy little B, contentedly awake after a long sleep.

Happy little B, contentedly awake after a long sleep.


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Getting out and about, or more accurately, how to buckle and unbuckle three children into and out of their carseats without hurting yourself or them…

The WORST thing about trying to live a ‘normal’ life with two little energetic people, while getting used to having a baby in the house again, is physically getting them into and out of the car on your own. When two of us are going out with all the kids, it is tricky (now that we are outnumbered), but when I am on my own and heading out, for the first few outings it was mind-blowingly complicated. Especially when you factor SAFETY in as the top priority (i.e. not allowing any child to be hit by a car, or run away), closely followed by TIMING as the second priority (i.e. the baby has been fussing for the last 20 minutes of our play at the park/grocery shopping/preschool drop-off/pickup and now that we are about to open the car door and buckle him in, he has entered a state closely related to a crying-induced seizure, but SURE, you can look at the ant/decide you must climb in BY MYSELF!/want to learn how to buckle in your brother/sister in 27 easy steps… or insert 1000 other delaying tactics here.

Sometimes, hunching into the car – OVER one child, to reach the one in the middle, while being repeatedly kicked in the thigh by the other other, while listening to the baby screaming, feels like a special form of torture. Keeping my mind on the fact that having a car is a privilege and having three wriggling contortionists  children to strap in is a blessing can be a real challenge.

With the above as a caveat reflecting on the beginning and ending of our outing, here are some photos of our first trip to the park!

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“Who’s that walking over my bridge?” – Role playing the 3 Billy Goats’ Gruff

Getting some air time on the slide

Getting some air time on the slide

I am Spider Man - look at ny web, Mum!

I am Spider Man – look at my web, Mum!

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View of the blue sky and scent of the fresh air, after 3 weeks inside the house. Hurrah for outings! (Although not for the necessity of car seats and buckles)

View of the blue sky and scent of the fresh air, after 3 weeks inside the house. Hurrah for outings! (Although not for the necessity of car seats and buckles)

Shameless selfie - with joyful face!

Shameless selfie – with joyful face!


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Our life, with Benjamin, the early weeks.

 

Ewan, sleeping with his personally designed 'thunder-muffs' on to reduce his exposure to summer thunderstorms...

Ewan, sleeping with his personally designed ‘thunder-muffs’ on to reduce his exposure to summer thunderstorms…

 

 

LIttle B, just hanging around...

Little B, just hanging around…

 

 

 

 

 

E, taking his duties as the biggest very seriously.

E, taking his duties as the biggest very seriously.

 

 

Sister Suze, killing with kindness.

Sister Suze, killing with kindness.

 

 

What the biggest children get up to while B is having all his meals...

What the biggest children get up to while B is having all his meals…

 

Our big boy, getting ready to go to preschool.

Our big boy, getting ready to go to preschool.

 

 

This evidence of book-loving gladdens our hearts.

This evidence of book-loving gladdens our hearts.

 

Aunty Lolly with little B

Aunty Lolly with little B

Trying to get a decent group shot...this is the best we could do!

Trying to get a decent group shot…this is the best we could do! My children are rascals and loving it!

 

 

Another attempt at a family photo... too serious, methinks.

Another attempt at a family photo… too serious, methinks.

 

 

The view I want to see more than any other at the end of a long day. Often, it is not this tidy...

The view I want to see more than any other at the end of a long day. Often, it is not this tidy… 

 

E with new haircut... perhaps next time not so short...

E with new haircut… perhaps next time not so short…?

 

 

 


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He is here – safe and sound! (And more than 13 weeks ago…)

It is with thanks and in a certain amount of awe that we welcome our newest addition – Benjamin Sydney. Born oh-so-quickly, but safely and with no complications, on Saturday 5 January 2o13.

Meeting their brother for the first time

Meeting their brother for the first time

Little feet - so so tiny and curled up! New little babies are wonderful.

Little feet – so so tiny and curled up! New little babies are wonderful.

Snug as a bug in a rug

Snug as a bug in a rug

First cuddle at home.

First cuddle at home.

 

 

Benjamin Sydney - our miracle is here, safe and well!

Benjamin Sydney – our miracle is here, safe and well!

 

 

First cuddle with Gma.

First cuddle with Gma.

 

 

First cuddle with Gpa.

First cuddle with Gpa.

 

 

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First cuddle with Nanna.

First cuddle with Nanna.

 

Trying to get a first 'full family' photo - we're struggling to get ourselves organised!

This is what trying to get a photo of all five of us looks like!

 

We are giving thanks to our Heavenly Father for Benjamin’s safe arrival and for the fact that his big brother and sister ADORE him.

(The fact that this post is only just going up 13 weeks after Benjamin’s arrival is a lesson in how long it takes us to do things now that we have three children!)

 

 

 

 


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After Christmas we…

Pre-Christmas 2012 was a harried time for us, so at Christmas and for two weeks afterward, we hung around as much as possible – relaxing with each other, family and friends and resting up for the labour that was shortly to follow.

Suze trying some specs on in the pre-present-opening-entertainment ceremony on Chrismas Day.

Suze trying some specs on in the pre-present-opening-entertainment ceremony on Chrismas Day.

E, following suit!

E, following suit!

Getting her Amelia Earhart/Hayley Lewis on!

Getting her Amelia Earhart/Hayley Lewis on!

E's new big boy bed.

E’s new big boy bed.

Suze jumping on the trampoline.

Suze jumping on the trampoline.

 

Some sand-bound relaxation by the lagoon.

Some sand-bound relaxation by the lagoon. Yes, my baby bump is more of a blimp!