31.7.12

Toothbrush


toothbrush - final Photo a Day, July

Preparing Sage's Cubes of Love!



I'd always loved the idea of preparing Sage's food ourselves when it came time to introduce solids into her daily diet. So far she has proven to be a very un-fussy eater, usually content with whatever we serve up on her little heat-indicator spoon! Combining different fruits and vegetables, with a little dash of love thrown in, has become our Saturday morning ritual, as Sage sits in her Bumbo on the kitchen bench {gasp!} while pots bubble, boil and steam. Here is our process for creating her meals...

 

Getting chop happy; carrot, sweet potato, parsnip, pumpkin, broccoli and leek.


 

We prefer to steam most of her veggies as it ensures more of those fabulous nutrients are retained, however as this broth contained leek, it required a quick boil!



While the pots are doing their thing, we think-up various combinations with the veggies we've chosen and write them on the front of snap lock bags.


 

Hubby on hand for straining assistance!

 


Broccoli, parsnip, sweet potato and leek; all steamed ready for a blend.


 

Blitz it all together with a hand-held mixer to form a soft puree. We often add some breast milk or nutrient-rich steamer water to assist with the smooth consistency.




Pour into an ice cube tray, skim off the excess and tap out all the air bubbles before freezing.

 

After a few hours in the deep freeze.


 

Our silicon ice cube tray has been our best 'foodie' purchase as it makes popping out her little cubes of deliciousness a breeze!



The finished product.

 


All ready to add to her food drawer.



The recommended time for freezer storage is 6 weeks, however at the rate that Sage is consuming them {usually 4 cubes, three times a day!} we don't even come close.




Her favourites? Pear with banana, carrot with pumpkin and sweet potato, and potato with pea, carrot and leek. Want to see another sweet, messy face?          Oh okay, if you insist!...

 



What combinations do your little ones love? Any solid-making tips?


30.7.12

Calm


calm - Photo a Day, July


I'm holding on to those last few centimetres of head space in her bassinet like there's no tomorrow.

Her quiet breaths and gentle stirrings through the night are a calming comfort, just like the consistent rumble of my father's snores heard in the inky darkness from my childhood bed.

I'm not quite ready to let go, just yet.

Then again will I ever be?



29.7.12

The Sickness of Worry



I need to remember this now, more than ever.


Our computer man could not retrieve any of the data from our failed portable hard drive

... the hard drive which contains every single photo and video of Sage captured from her birth up until a week ago {at age 6 months}.



6 months worth of cherished times and delightful memories.    They mean everything...



It is now in the hands of data retrieval specialists.

It may cost us thousands to get our files returned          {I'd be willing to pay anything}.

It may not work at all.

{But it might}


What's done is done and worrying will not change the outcome.


If I think about it too much, tears fill my eyes and I literally feel sick to the stomach at the thought of what we may have lost. So for the time being, I am trying so very, very hard put it out of my mind...


and trust...


and wait...


it has got to be okay




Last Thing I Bought


My brother's birthday present

last thing I bought - Photo a Day, July


28.7.12

Cup



Like a lady!

Cup - Photo a Day, July

 

Sage's First Swim


On the weekend we took Sage for her first swim at our local private pool. As she loves baths, showers, drink bottles {!} and pretty much anything water related, we were fairly certain she would be confident paddling around in the oversized version of a tub.

Although very serious for much of the hour, she seemed to enjoy gliding through the water, kicking her sweet legs in the warmth and giving the occasional splash with her little hands. She even handled her first "going under" experience incredibly well, as we gave her the familiar cue of "ready... go!" to prepare her; just like at home as we pour water over her head or gently guide her under the stream of water in the shower.

And she looked oh so sweet in her teeny, tiny bathers!

Here's her first swim...




*Song - Six Months in a Leaky Boat, Little Birdy


27.7.12

On the Road


on the road - Photo a Day, July


Belinda, my brother's beautiful girlfriend {and my future sister-in-law: hint, hint, Jace!} walking our dog, Rudi. So wonderful spending the weekend with her, as they were visiting the coast from their home in Hobart.


You can see my parent's yellow house in the background, where I grew up from the age of 3, and where they still live today.


I adore the cherry blossom trees that line this street.

Their spindly branches, reaching out to grasp the setting sun.

Their flowers blanket the road in spring, creating a luscious highway of pink.


Just gorgeous...

{Photo taken by my brother, Jason}



26.7.12

Sunshine


sunshine - Photo a Day, July

25.7.12

Heart


heart - Photo a Day, July



On the weekend, we discovered this divine piece of vintage gorgeousness at a nearby secondhand store and I fell instantly and insanely in love.

It stole my heart

It had me at "hello"


The spontaneity in me said

oh my...    I must own you....   my life will not be complete without you

{mentally arranging items in each drawer}


The sensibility in me said

wait...    hold off...     find the perfect spot at home first

{mentally scanning our home for its final resting place}



So we held off.

Just for a couple of days.

I couldn't stop thinking about its curves, its lines, its beauty.

Yes, it's perfect!



SOLD


 



{devastatingly, not to us}

I'm still mourning the loss



Moral?

Be spontaneous... not sensible!



Ever held off and regretted?



(Apologies for the dodgy pictures - taken with my ancient iPhone)

24.7.12

Stranger


stranger - Photo a Day, July

Why, oh why would a sweet little country lane be named something so incredibly terrifying and ominous?

I'm sure the strangers residing down this road are delightful, peaceful souls...

however we unashamedly decided to take an alternate route!




23.7.12

Mirror


Mirror - Photo a Day, July

Letters to Sage at 6 Months


Dear Sage,
Right now you are sitting up on Mum’s lap, slapping the keys of her laptop, having a wow of a time {quite a laugh you are!}  I can’t believe how fast you have grown; a baby, you are no longer! You can sit up on your own and you always want to be on your feet, you love your solids and a good chat. You look like a giant now against new born babies. You have left the sling and are now quite heavy to carry around town, as I realised only just yesterday. We love playing peek-a-boo together and you live for nappy off time.  You are ticklish under the arms and you love lots of kisses. We love reading “That’s Not My Robot” and “That’s Not My Pirate” together and using silly voices.
I love you darling. You’re the most precious thing in the world to me; you and your Mum obviously!
Happy growing.
Love now, always and forever,
Dad xoxo
 


Dearest Sage,

I know it is completely clich├ęd, but I truly cannot comprehend how quickly the last 6 months have gone. Even though you’ve only been a part of my life for such a short time, I cannot imagine my world without you. Our days spent together are delightful. You fill my life with rays of sunshine and your gorgeous smiles and enchanting laughter melt my heart… every single time.

You adore having baths {and chewing on your rubber ducky}, sitting up on your own, making noise, putting things in your mouth, drinking from a glass, having your nappy off, sleeping in the Ergo, giving ‘kisses’, playing with everything you shouldn’t, blowing bubbles and vibrating your lips, listening to guitar, reading touch-and-feel books, pulling your socks off, watching the mobile above your change mat, going to baby group, kicking your legs, eating porridge, dancing to music, having your photo taken, feeling silky textures, patting Rudi, playing instruments and standing up on your legs.

You’re not so fond of travelling in the car capsule, sleeping in your bassinet {through the day}, getting dressed, drinking from a bottle, lying down on your back, being away from Mum, eating breakfast, feeding from the left side or napping for more than 20 minutes at a time.

You weigh 7.94 kg and are 66.2cm tall. You have to most beautiful blue eyes and delightfully delicious thighs! 7.30pm is bedtime most evenings, however your nights are incredibly inconsistent - sometimes waking once, and other nights 3 or 4 times to be fed. Our day begins anywhere from 4.30am to 7am. You nap three times a day, but only in my arms and have three solid meals a day with breastfeeds in between. You make so many sounds and love to experiment with your vocal range {high pitched squeals are your new favourite} and you can say “Mum”. Amazingly you are on the verge or crawling, but have only rolled over once. You are constantly on the go.

You are snuggly but independent. You are reliant but strong willed. You are sweet but fierce.

You are so utterly fascinating.

I truly hope you know, with every facet of your being, how extraordinarily loved you are. My every thought, my every action is for you, striving for your pure, complete happiness.

Thank you for choosing me to be your Mumma - you have made my life so immensely full; more than I could’ve ever hoped or dreamed. You have given me the greatest gift, not only through blessing my life with your presence, but also by unveiling the incredible depth of my love for your Daddy. Seeing him and the way he loves you, only strengthens and intensifies my love for him, each and every day.

I love you more than words could ever express. I feel it in every fibre of who I am.

Forever yours darling Sage,

Mumma xxx





22.7.12

Treasure Basket


Lately I've been considering... pondering... wondering...


How do I meld my deep interest and understanding of enhancing young children's learning through play {during my role as an early childhood educator} with my new found responsibility of guiding and facilitating Sage's development and enriching her exploration of the world?

After 5 years of teaching, I have some experience and knowledge surrounding the play needs of Kindergarten aged children (4 - 5 year olds) but when it comes to babies at play - I felt a little clueless!

Now that Sage is confidently sitting up, she is increasingly eager to investigate everything in her close proximity, whether it be within, or just out of reach.

This has led me to question - what can I offer her that will engage and fascinate her mind? how can I demonstrate that I have belief in her capabilities? what can I present to her in order to heighten her sensory development? how can I reveal to her that I attempt to see the world through her eyes? how can I acknowledge her need for independence and value her desire to make decisions and choices?

Enter the notion of "heuristic play" - play involving experiencing and exploring 'real world' objects. For babies this can occur in the form of a treasure basket.


A treasure basket... doesn't it evoke such delightful connotations of curiousity and wonderment?


Ultimately the treasure basket is an incredibly simple concept; a low sided basket containing objects of multiple textures and materials from a variety of sources which can be investigated and explored by little hands.




"The predominant way that babies under the age of one discover and learn about their world is through sensory motor development. During this stage a baby's primal instinct is to explore objects by handling and mouthing them in order to find out about their physical characteristics. By using a treasure basket with children at this age you are providing them with rich mental stimulation, which not only activates the growth of the brain but also provides richly satisfying experiences for the baby.

For a Treasure Basket to be an effective tool in the play and development of babies, the most important factor is an attentive and calm caregiver, who creates a relaxed atmosphere and is available to the child during their play and exploration. The adults role in the use of the treasure basket is to sit near by and be attentive, responsive and unobtrusive - the baby needs to be able to make their own choices about which objects they are going to pick up and how they are going to explore them without interference.... A baby will have a much richer and more stimulating experience, developing confidence and concentration when they can explore at their own pace, without being 'shown' things and 'how' to use them by an adult... There is no right or wrong way for a baby to explore or use the materials." {from Little Acorns to Mighty Oaks}



Sounds a lot like Watch, Wait, Wonder doesn't it?!


Feeling very inspired, I collected up some items from around our home to introduce to Sage this afternoon, ensuring that I was mindful and deliberate in what I provided and how I would present them.



The result? ...





She adored it!


Grasping, mouthing, stroking, examining, banging, feeling, inspecting  - she had a delightful time!


Here's a sped up snapshot of a small part of the 30 minutes she spent with her basket today...





Over the coming weeks I'll add fresh objects to the basket and remove things she no longer appears interested in. I'm hoping we'll have time to share our treasures once a day and I'm truly excited to witness her choices, her development and her increasing curiousity. I'll keep you updated on our exploration!

Until then, if you would like some more inspiration head here, here or here!



Upside Down


upside down - Photo a Day, July

21.7.12

9 o'clock


9 o'clock - Wynyard on a cool, cloudy morning - Photo a Day, July

20.7.12

Eyes


eyes - Photo a Day, July

18.7.12

Pure Honey


This little girl is pure sweetness!


Plate

plate - Photo a Day, July

Coleslaw, capsicum, avocado and chicken on Mum's homemade pita bread. Delish!

{Love that she still pulls out the crocheted table cloth for our lunches!}

17.7.12

My Addiction?


Online shopping, without a doubt!

These wooden goodies arrived yesterday. Such a shame Sage can't quite play with them just yet! 

I think I'm in love...

 



Photo a Day, July


Items purchased from Bright Buttons Toys




16.7.12

"My Life" is Not Working!




This little black box, pretty much contains my life...

Every university essay, teaching resource, hen's night inventory, present wish list, life plan, baby name brainstorm, blog inspiration and photo ever saved, downloaded or filed in those miniature yellow virtual folders over the past few years, is stored on this rectangular, midnight shaded gadget.



And now it's NOT WORKING!


Plugging it into my laptop, I hear the familiar "dum dum" of recognition, perhaps a glimmer of hope? Only the usual unwavering acceptance of my beloved device, fails to eventuate.


Friday cannot come soon enough - my 'computer man' will attempt rebuild whatever it is that is broken, but until then, this very un-tech savvy lass has an underlying sense of anxiousness.

I can't wait to have "my life" back in action!


{Hence no Photo a Day, July today - it's stored on the hard drive, unable to be accessed!}



15.7.12

Finger

Couldn't decide between these gems from the archives...

Sage at 17 days old, checking out her...

fingers

{aren't they just the most divine little hands?}

and...


Sage giving the 'finger' at 3 weeks old    {taken on iPhone}


Photo a Day, July


Testing the Waters

The next project on my mission for creating a more 'homely' home is one I'm a little nervous about.

If it goes well, I'll be the DIY Goddess of the Year {I wonder if that title comes baring trophies?} and Si will sing my praises for at least a week five minutes, but if it doesn't, I'll be banished from ever setting my hands on another paint brush or feasting my eyes upon another 'inspiring' interiors blog ever again...

Oh the pressure!

You see, we have two lovely wooden desks - one in our lounge room, one in our spare room - and as gorgeous as they currently are in their natural, woody state, they don't quite fit the vision of 'vintage comfort' I'm hoping evoke in our home. To be honest, I'm not even sure what constitutes as 'vintage comfort' but in my mind I visualise all things pretty, soft, whimsical and eclectic maybe with a small dash of modern thrown in for good measure. Come to think of it, many corners of our home already feature these aesthetics but they are more miniature snippets, rather than 'desk-sized' statements!

Originally, we purchased this house with the view that we would renovate and sell, in a relatively short period of time, therefore we kept colours, interior styling and exterior design as neutral as possible in order to appeal to a broad range of buyers. Now that Sage has entered our lives, it seems we'll be taking advantage of our smallish mortgage and staying put for a little longer than we first anticipated. So despite loving all of the choices and changes we've made over the past 4 years, it's time to add a little touch of us to each and every room.

Before attempting to shabby-up the desks to enhance their vintage feel, I thought it best to have a trial run on an item deemed a little less daunting and a little less noticeable {also known as -- stuff it up, doesn't matter}. And so, the lonesome bookshelf from my childhood, discarded to our garage with the thought of "maybe someday..." became the perfect preparation piece...

dusty, dirty and a colour reminiscent of my teenage years

after two layers of undercoat

500mls of lovely "Bay's Water"

two coats later

roughing it up with a little sanding

 
focussing on the edges gives a more 'authentic' worn look

the end result

 
I definitely learnt a lot from re-painting this very simple shelf {both what-to and what-not-to do} and I certainly now feel more confident to tackle our more focal pieces.


Stay tuned!