Ummm... who is this little girl and what has she done with my baby?
Life with a 14 month old Lalie Bug is fun, exhausting, hilarious, challenging, beautiful, chaotic, happy, not-so-happy, turbulent, adventurous, unpredictable and evolving at rapid speed. I'm struggling to keep up! (hence my poor effort on the blogging front lately).
There are so many beautiful, sweet moments but I am finding now, more than ever, there is an added dose of absolute misery. Poor babe is in the midst of some serious teething, and to add insult to injury she's also cutting back to one day sleep. The combination of over-tiredness and teething symptoms makes for a Lalie who isn't always the most pleasant company. When she's feeling good, she is pure joy. When she's grumpy, she's an absolute nightmare!
I have to admit, the emergence of a tantrum throwing toddler caught me totally off guard. I thought we were a good ten months clear of the 'terrible two's'. Apparently not. Don't be fooled by her cute, coy demeanor... if you don't give her what she wants, she will throw herself on the floor, screaming and banging her head on the floorboards. At first, I was completely shocked by this behaviour, and in desperate attempts to assert some kind of authority, I met her with equal drama in my voice and actions - which of course only exacerbated the situation. I have since learned that taking her away to a different area, getting down to her level and talking very sternly and direct to her about her behaviour seems to have the most positive outcome. Now I am (mostly) able to divert the situation pretty quickly before we get to the back-arching, head-banging stage. She's certainly exploring and testing boundaries, and I know that it's very important to give her the freedom to do so, but I am also very conscious of this being a crucial stage for setting those boundaries. And despite her being so small, I am also aware that she understands more than enough to handle a little discipline. Being firm with her feels strangely and unexpectedly good, it even seems to be doing her some good as well. She doesn't dispute my tone - she stops, listens intently and follows up with affectionate gestures like hugging or kissing me which seems to imply she's sorry, without being asked. I'd almost go as far to say that our bond has been strengthened, and I'm sensing that Lalie is feeling very secure within the family unit. Of course, there's still tantrums, they're just not quite as... epic.
There's a lot of tears, but there's a lot of laughter too. She's such a quirky little thing, and I spend most of the day trying to conceal my amusement at all the ridiculously cute things she does*. Suddenly I have this toddler who understands just about everything and is becoming so clear at communicating her wants and needs. She's a chatty little thing, exploring her voice and developing a little vocabulary consisting mostly of words beginning with B (book / 'boo', bag / 'baa', blue / 'boo', bubba, birdy / 'bidi'.. and has an impressive crack at banana / 'ba ba ba' and butterfly / 'bit bu ba'). I'm still waiting for her to call me Mama, instead she opts for 'bubba' (which paddy so often calls me). But that's okay, being this bubba's 'bubba' is pretty sweet indeed - and despite my whinging, I am grateful every day for the chance to be spending all my minutes with this sweet, funny, determined little girl.
* so as not to offend her while she's doing very serious and grown-up things like walking around with handbags, using a spoon as a phone, blowing her nose on a wash cloth, hanging out laundry on the drying rack etc etc. She takes all these things VERY seriously!
1. Lalie likes to sit in the sunroom and talk to the birdies through timber louvers. The gorgeous rocking horse was a first birthday gift from her cousins.
2. Fallen palm branches, collected and wrapped with coloured yarn.
3. A basket of vintage fabrics waiting to be given a new life (now I just need a sewing machine!).
4. A delightful 'tiny happy' velveteen rabbit, handmade by Melissa from rosey vintage velveteen and floral cotton.
5. Where the sun and stars collide.
6. Just add water. Nudie babe playing with her fishy friends; Wally the walrus, Lucille the leopard seal, Octavius the octopus, Steven the stingray and Squire the squid.
Happy Monday! I hope you had a relaxing weekend :)
The rain has stopped. Yay! It's quite possible that I owe the sudden (and very welcome) change in weather to two lovely blogging ladies - Lou at Little Green Shed and Leigh at Lover of Vintage. Thank you for sending me some warm, sunny rays in the form of a sunshine award!
The idea is to answer a few little questions and pass it on to five other bloggers. Here goes...
Favourite colour? How does one possibly choose? I tend to gravitate toward muted, earthy tones. I'm loving rusty browns, misty ocean greens and dusty pinks at the moment. I'm not too adventurous with bold colour.
Favourite animal? Horses! I rode horses for many years and still own my very first pony, Goldie. I've had her since I was six years old!
Favourite non-alcoholic drink? Good coffee or a cold, freshly squeezed juice - apple, pineapple, carrot, celery, beetroot, ginger.
Facebook or twitter? I don't really do either, although I do have a very neglected and outdated facebook account!
Favourite number? 3. It's the magic number :)
Favourite day of the week? Sunday
My passions? Family, collecting beautiful things, creating beautiful things, photography, styling, music, fashion and textiles, travel.
Getting or giving presents? Both. I particularly love wrapping gifts :)
Favourite pattern? Hmmm... you can't go past the classic stripe or a teeny tiny polka dot (preferably on beautiful linen).
Favourite flower: Again, too many to choose! I love Irises, daisies, wax flower, Australian flowering gum, Kangaroo paw.... I love rustic native Australian flowering plants!
Okay, I'm spreading the sunshine on to these five lovely ladies:
Oh, the water
Oh, the water
Oh, the water
Let it run all over me
- Van Morrison, 'And it stoned me'.
It's been pouring rain for days. We've kept ourselves entertained by dancing in the lounge - Fleetwood Mac, Van Morrison and Billie Holiday have been our loyal companions. If there's a break in the rain we venture downstairs to splash in muddy puddles and play with the dogs. Then it's into the tub where the clear, cool water rinses her clean.
Of course, amidst all the sweetness and joy, there's been tantrums aplenty... but that's a story for another day.
What do you when it rains and rains and rains?
*Photos taken with my iphone.
The girl's got undeniably good taste in handbags, and even better taste in cuisine.
We occasionally eat out at our local Japanese restaurant and she loves it. We literally need to order enough for three adults and I barely get chance to eat anything because she demands to be fed continuously with the chopsticks.
Her favourite? Agedashi tofu. (yum!).
Chopsticks make everything taste better, though. Don't you agree?
If you're in the southern hemisphere, chances are you've noticed the change. A slight chill in the air... the promise of winter*. To celebrate the change of season, Em and I have updated the shop with a colourful array of vintage knitwear for little people.
While we were at it, we thought it might be fun to have a sale - pop on over to receive 20% off everything! Yup, the whole shebang! Simply enter the code 'BUGANDBEETLE' at checkout.
Go on, don't be a knit-wit (har har har!) - have a little looksie. Your kids will be cozy and your wallets content!
* Unless of course you live in Far North Queensland, where chances are you're still sweating like a pig! Needless to say, I don't need these woolens - they're all yours! ;)
Some recent op shop finds. Don't they look cute together? There's a real 70's-80's boho vibe going on here! You really can't ever have too many little denim dresses (Lalie will be a mini Alexa Chung in no time!), brown leather accessories, and vintage kids books. And I'm a bit obsessed with that leaf dish!
Happy Weekend, folks!
P.S - So many encouraging and supportive comments on my last post, thank you. It's nice to see that so many of us share similar goals. It's not easy to break bad habits - I thought by writing it down and putting it out there, I'd trigger some action. If not, I guess that's going to be, well... just a tad awkward!
"...I hold the power to try to change it" - wise words, Kellie.
Now that I'm a parent, saddled with the extra responsibility of raising a child, I'm starting to become much more aware of the choices we make and how our actions are shaping our child. In particular, I've been thinking a lot about our current lifestyle habits and the example we are setting for Lalie and any subsequent children we may be blessed with in the future. It's quite alarming to know that our daughter is forming habits and establishing values based on what she observes every day. And although a large majority of what she observes is good, there's definitely a few areas that could do with a good overhaul.
Despite reality being quite the contrary, we tend to fancy ourselves as rather left of center when it comes to food, health and lifestyle. We're completely romanced by the idea of eating organic whole foods, living sustainably and so on and so forth... but the truth of the matter is - we shop at major supermarkets, drink softdrink, eat more processed food than we'd like, don't recycle as much as we should, leave lights and appliances on for no good reason - the list goes on and on. And yet we so often talk of moving to Tasmania and buying a plot of land, building a modest home and supporting ourselves by growing and rearing our own.
Honestly, though? We're kidding ourselves.
We certainly have an idea of the type of people we'd like to be - the life we want to live. But we're not there yet. Not even close. And moving to some idyllic rural setting with a couple of cows and a veggie patch isn't going to miraculously transform us into those people. There are so many habits to turn around, cycles to break, new values to be established and nurtured. And it all needs to start happening here and now - right where we're planted.
It's time for change. It's time to bring more positivity into our life. I want to feel good about the food we're eating and the way we're living. I want to try to break bad habits before they're passed on to our children. I don't want to set double standards in the home - it's not fair to expect more from Lalie than I do from myself. I simply want to lead by example.
So, these are some of the changes we are going to try and implement over the next year and beyond:
- Start composting.
- Buy organic and/or local produce wherever we can (by cutting out rubbish food we can allow more in the budget for quality food).
- Cut down on our waste (it's appalling how much food I throw out each week because I've been too lazy to work it into a meal plan).
- Reduce processed foods.
- Put more thought into meal plans and preparation.
- Establish a substantial herb garden.
- Reduce energy usage in the home.
Short term goals (1 year +):
- Introduce chickens to our suburban backyard.
- Plant fruit trees.
- Establish a seasonal vegetable garden.
Long term goals (5 years +):
- Install solar panels.
- Install a rainwater tank.
It doesn't seem like much, but it's a start. We're not about to go on some extreme departure from who we are. This needs to be an achievable transition, not a plan that simply overwhelms us. I think these goals are certainly enough to make a noticeable difference to the way we feel about our life, our health and our family's future.
The week before last, I took Lalie along to the local aquarium for her cousin Keeley's 3rd birthday. Reef HQ is the world's largest living coral reef aquarium and is brimming with slippery, scaly delights. We all loved it, kiddos and grown ups alike. Everyone purchased (insanely cheap!) yearly passes, and with children under 5 going free, we're planning to see lots more of our new fishy friends over the coming few years!
New season, fresh start.
I'm feeling a bit better today. There's always light beyond the clouds.
...but you know something's really wrong when I say "sorting out clean laundry is just about as good a therapy as you'll get".
Ummmmmmmmmmmm... what was I thinking??!?
Retail therapy is just about as good a therapy as you can get! So I went a little crazy buying prints and stationery at seventy tree. I'll brag more about my loot when the postie delivers!
* photos taken last week at the beach while the three of us ate fish and chips under an iridescent sky.