Home Aquarium!

My daughters love going to the aquarium, and honestly, who doesn’t? But it can be really expensive, especially if you buy food and drinks there. So what if you don’t want to spend that sort of money, or if you just want to stay at home? It turned out to be wonderfully easy! This is all just made from scrapbooking card stock that I had left over, and of course copious amounts of sticky tape. We had a great time putting it all together, and now the kids are having under-the-sea adventures. Elspeth is apparently a diver, and Evelyn is a friendly shark!


In the last three years, our family has not had a holiday which didn’t somehow involve either my parents or Aidan’s. We’ve stayed with them, and we’ve stayed elsewhere with them, and Aidan and I have left the kids with them to go out by ourselves. But never have the four of us been away on our own before. Until now!

This past weekend – from Friday to today – we’ve been camping! I know what you’re thinking… comfort-loving me, and two small children, camping out in a tent over two freezing nights? Madness!

However, I am surprised by how well we all did and how much I actually enjoyed the experience. The camp ground was gorgeous, set by a lake with lots of bird life, and the nights were filled with stars – and, well, clouds too. But it was an astronomy camp, so the stars were the main thing! Yes, the nights were cold, but we had lots of clothes and an extra doona to throw over us all. The kids enjoyed it, and slept better than I’d hoped in the tent; in fact, even now we’re home Elspeth is asking to sleep in the tent again!

So it was really nice, quite restful, but obviously you don’t sleep as well as usual in a tent… so I’m pretty tired. Good tired.


My daughter’s a fairy!

Today was the day of the Melbourne Zombie Shuffle. Aidan went along last year, impressively zombified, and had a great time, so this year we hoped to go as a family.

However, unfortunately, Elspeth still gets a bit freaked out with all the fake blood and everything, so we decided against it. Aidan went by himself, and we three women stayed home.

But we’d told Elspeth she could dress up…

I know it’s really more of an angel than a fairy, but Aidan told her she could be a fairy, so ‘fairy’ stuck.

She happily pranced around the house in her wings and halo for quite a while before tiring of it, and we had a lovely day with no zombies at all.

Gorgeous weather – hat weather!

The sun is shining, the air is warm, a slight breeze stirs the trees. It’s definitely an outside day. There’s just one problem: Elspeth doesn’t have a hat anymore! For some reason Evelyn has two. But the only hat that would fit Elspeth’s head was stolen by the wind about a week ago. And as for me, I never wear hats. It’s very naughty of me, and a terrible example to my daughters, but I am simply not a hat person. We’re a pale-skinned family, and we burn easily. My next shopping mission, I think, will include new hats for Elspeth and myself. Although now I come to think of it, I don’t even know what’s fashionable in hats or where I’d buy one to suit me. Any tips?

Turning three

I am clearly very good at blogging random musings, but less good at recording important events! On Sunday, my daughter Elspeth turned three. Three whole years! I think what I find the most fascinating about the passage of time is that in some ways those three years have whizzed by and her birth seems like yesterday; but in other ways, it feels like I’ve always had her, she’s been here forever, I barely remember life any other way!

Oh Elspeth, one day you’ll grow up, and you might read this. You won’t remember the day, but I’ve got plenty of photos. Just ask. You had Winnie the Pooh on your cake. A big chocolate cake, gluten free for the sake of your poppy and I. It was delicious! We went to Child’s Play with some of your small friends and some of my big ones. It was a lovely day, and everybody was happily exhausted at the end of it.

Elspeth, for three years I’ve had you in my life. You’ve amazed me, delighted me, melted me, and made me furious! You’re an incredibly smart child, maybe too smart for your own good! I have a feeling it won’t be long before you are officially categorised as ‘gifted’, whatever that really means. Life is certainly going to be interesting, especially now that you’ve got a baby sister – Evelyn turns one in just a few months. You two keep me on my toes.

But as much as I complain sometimes – about the tantrums, and the lack of sleep, and your wilful nature which clashes with my own – I love you wholeheartedly, and having you is one of the best things I ever did.

Hoping the next year is as much fun!



Getting out of the house

I am, by habit and inclination, a solitary and sedentary person. I’m quite happy to sit inside at my computer, or with a book. It generally requires an invitation from somebody else before I will go out. So sometimes I forget how important, and how fun, it is to actually go out and do things, especially for children.

Yesterday Elspeth and I bestirred ourselves to go out and see a couple of friends and their young children. Despite the cold, we went to a park and playground, where it was wet and muddy. With a few balls brought by Emma, the playground equipment, and their imaginations, the four kids had a fantastic time and completely wore themselves out over a three hour period.

On a side note, I observed that Elspeth’s social skills are getting better again; she referred to almost everybody present by name, and addressed people directly.

But it wasn’t just the kids who had fun. When you go out with other parents, especially those whose kids are around the same age as yours, your discussions have an element of sympathy and understanding. We are all doing the same things: parenting and studying, and looking to the future! I enjoy the chat, I enjoy the time out with friends, almost as much as Elspeth does!