Monday, 9 April 2012

Our Easter Sunday

Monday, 9 April 2012

A photo to send to my mum because she's in Adelaide arranging a funeral. We had to change our Easter Sunday plans because she couldn't be with us. 

Our attempt at a group self-portrait. 

The Easter Bunny visited my mother-in-law's house. 

For only 14 months old, Little Cowboy is rather adept at finding Easter eggs.

Chatterbox needed help to reach some of them. The Easter Bunny is clearly tall. 

Little Cowboy getting some help too.

Wow, look at all that loot.

Yippee, I got one!

Chatterbox's haul. My mil made the bags. If they weren't named (and therefore give away my boys' names) I'd show you. She is so talented.

Why didn't the Easter Bunny leave eggs up the driveway?

It was such a beautiful day

Have I mentioned my mil is a brilliant cook/baker/chef? We had a barbecue with a tossed salad and a fructose-friendly rice salad for me, homemade gluten-free bread for me and sweet rolls for everyone else, fructose-friendly mandarin and hazelnut cake for me and chocolate mud cupcakes for the others for dessert.

The afternoon activities were quite sedate. Chatterbox loves writing his and other people's names

Little Cowboy just loves his car

Wow, look what The Innovator found in a cupboard! And he has heaps of games too. 

What a lovely, happy Easter Sunday.

What did you do?

I'm using Shar's idea and linking with sunny + scout for Point + Shoot and Life Love and Hiccups for Wonderful Weekends. 

Life Love and Hiccups

Friday, 6 April 2012

{Kids activity} the sign walk

Friday, 6 April 2012
Chatterbox is obsessed with signs. He points them out, asks what they mean, considers them, talks about them. He really is a child obsessed.

It's quite enjoyable though. I have no idea what some signs mean so am prompted to find out and I love the curiosity he's displaying. But I wasn't sure how to foster and encourage it. Until I thought to go on a sign walk around our neighbourhood and take photos of all the signs we saw. We've done this sort of thing before, when we took photos of yellow. It's something he loves to do and gives our random meanderings some meaning. But I just haven't gotten around to it. Until now.

Reminded by Digital Photography School's post: SIGNS: Weekly Photography Challenge, I took the boys on a walk this morning to take some photos.

We wandered the streets and I asked Chatterbox to point out any signs he saw. Then using Pixlr-o-matic on my phone he had fun picking the filters and borders.

When I get a chance I'm going to print them and create a little book for him. He loves books and he's already started talking about when he can 'play' with his 'signs'.

What did you do today? What else could I do to encourage his interest in signs?

Thursday, 5 April 2012

The ties that bind

Thursday, 5 April 2012

At 6:43am today my phone rang. It was Mum and I knew what she was going to say; "Granny died this morning."

My grandmother was 89. Regardless of how prepared I thought I was, it was still a shock.

I'm sad for my mum. I can't imagine what it must be like to have your mum alive for sixty years. And now she's not. And really she hasn't really been her for a while, but still. She has just ceased to exist. Today.

This day has been a long time coming. My grandfather died in 1998 and we didn't think she'd last a year without him. I think she showed us she was stronger than that. She had a heart attack four years ago and they said she wouldn't live more than two years. I think she showed us she was stronger than that. But for the past few months she's been getting weaker and more confused; we knew it couldn't be much longer. She didn't want to be here, there was no quality to her life. No quality from anyone's perspective. So today is no surprise.

And I've seen death before. So I know the process.

But not in this type of person. Not in a person who bound me to others. Bound me to family, to people who sometimes feel like strangers but share blood. And history. What is this loss going to mean? It's the impact on our entire extended family that I wonder most about. The family matriarch, she was the soft and satiny, but strong and ruthless ribbon that held us all together. So what now?

There are four children, six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren; a few ex-spouses and some current partners. We live in Melbourne; the rest in Adelaide and surrounds. I like most of my cousins, I think; one I don't really know. Everyone has their own life so what will be the common link? Is history enough? Is blood enough?

Family Christmases growing up were legendary. Everyone, all together. The presents piled high, the alcohol flowing very freely and far too much food. Like many an Aussie Christmas I presume. But they've been different for a few years. We grandchildren grew up, got jobs that required us to work over Christmas, we met our partners and integrated into other families, had our own children and started to create our own little traditions. It's been a while since we've all been together. My boys are my real family now.

So today I am thinking what my grandmother's death means for my other family, my childhood family. Will my cousins just be strange old people to my children, only seen once every five years or so? Can I be bothered to make the effort to get to Adelaide to see them more often? Will my aunts and uncles actually know who I am am rather than just their niece 'Kate', a name on a once-a-year email? Is blood really thicker than water? Can history tie people together in the future? A future without the one person who really kept us all together? Do they have to be mutually exclusive?