Monday, September 29, 2008

The farmstay weekend

Thought I'd write a few words about our recent visit to a farmstay for a weekend. Just an excuse to put some of my favourite photos on my new blog, really. I had been promising E. a stay on a farm for months and thought September would be a good time - hopefully a few baby animals to cuddle. We were not disappointed as there were calves, two enchanting black lambs (avid breastfeeders just like G.), and a youngish chicken who became the love of E.'s life while we were there. She even got to name her - Gingernut.

Of course, there were big animals too, including an ex-racehorse, Tess, who galloped past our cabin in a huge panic not long after we arrived. Luckily, E. managed to duck back inside our gate to safety after initially panicking herself (taking a cue from her mother who could see carnage happening) and darting towards the horse who was flinging her legs and mane in all directions. Thankfully, the goats, sheep, ducks, border collie and geese had calmer temperaments.

It was a beautiful place - with views down the mountain to our home town in the distance. The air was decidedly crisp (enough to give G. a mild case of croup at night) but Spring was in the air. We had a cosy cabin and a pot-bellied stove and enough Rocky Road to sink a ship courtesy of Fathers' Day presents from schoo
l and family day-care. Having spent several years roaming on friends' farms in my childhood, I was so glad to give a taste of it to my girls. Thankfully they didn't roam off by themselves like we used to do and play in the forbidden grain silos! All in all, it was a really special weekend.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Birthday bliss

I wasn't actually looking forward to today's birthday - my 43rd. I feel much better about it after getting my eyelashes and eyebrows tinted and putting a colour in my hair to cover the greys (you know - just those seven that have been getting me down). I usually (as my mother loves to mention every year) manage to spin my birthday out to encompass as many outings and treats as possible - a family get-together, morning tea with my girlfriends, a solo shopping trip or a massage. But this year... I just couldn't get enthusiastic about it. However, the day dawned (early, as it does with a breastfeeding toddler and a five year old who hates to sleep in and miss anything) and it was a beautiful spring day. After a couple of hours of secret present wrapping and card making, I was presented with some lovely clothes and truly touching works of art and kind words in shaky writing. Then we watered the garden and I started to enjoy myself.

The highlight came when my family returned from shopping with a huge bunch of flowers (chosen by E aged 5) and two helium balloons (G aged 2 chose one with ducks which says "Baby girl"). E handed me a soft parcel wrapped in tissue paper and said with great excitement "Happy Birthday Mummy. It's a dress". My girl had taken her Daddy shopping to buy me a dress and chose one she thought I would like because "it is cream and that's your favourite colour, it has flowers and lots of other colours, it has frills on the sleeves and a sash AND a petticoat!". What could a mother say but "It's beautiful Darling. I love it!". So I wore it out for my date this afternoon with her father with the memory of her shining face still with me. The nice thing was.....the girl in the icecream shop who served me a gelato (two scoops - blood orange and papaya) said "I love your dress!".

Taking the plunge own blog.... a little present to myself on my birthday. Part of me thinks I don't need another thing to juggle in my busy life when I already have my arms full (and am trying not to drop anything), but another voice says it may be very therapeutic and a great way to chat to friends and make new like-minded ones. I am.... another gen x girl with a husband who loves me and a part-time career and, best of all, two beautiful little girls who are the most gorgeous things growing in my garden. Gardening is on my mind at the moment as I have just planted myself two new flower gardens and my first ever no-dig vege patch. It has been well worth the effort as the sight of my blue, pink and purple lobelias, pansies and petunias lift my spirits every day, my "cream, pink and green" garden of freesias, daisies and double impatiens soothes my often jangling nerves and the little vege patch has coaxed my girls out of doors to help with the watering, pick strawberries for eating and balance on the bricks around the gardens. It makes me very very happy to see my daughters frolicking in the sunshine (in their hats, of course), making fairy gardens and ponds to put their ceramic frogs in, and, in Greta's case, enjoying standing in a bucket full of water.

A big thank you to my dear friend at Third on the Right (who will have to show me how to make a proper link) whose lovely blog has inspired me to have a go.
Another thank you to my patient husband, who, despite his migraine, has taken both our girls shopping to buy me another birthday present and give me some of that precious "me" time that all mothers crave. (Well...I hope we all do and I'm not just selfish!)

Time to see if this is working..... fingers crossed.