Saturday, April 28, 2012

Office conversion for our au pair

Sending Hamish off to long day care has caused me more and more angst the closer I got to returning to work. Hamish is just so little still and not walking yet and leaving him in the care of strangers in a new environment was giving me sleepless nights. Somehow I got onto the conversation of getting an au pair with a friend and after quite a bit of research I decided that this was going to make returning to work easier.

Finding an au pair ended up being an interesting exercise. We found a perfect match very quickly except our dates didn't match. In the end I decided that we'd go with our first choice and then find someone else to fill in until Signe gets here. That was all fine and good except we couldn't find anyone willing to only do four months for a long time. Then along came Sarah. We were so grateful to find another good match for our family.

That was fine, but the next thing that was needed was to turn David's office into a bedroom. He had just moved his business out of our home and so we had the space for an au pair but not any furniture to make a bedroom. It was actually a lot of fun setting up a bedroom. Here are some photos that show the change. We still need to get a wardrobe, but it looks nice and Sarah said the bed was cosy. I think that means we've done well.

There's a small desk as soon as you come in the room with a little lamp. As you look around the room you can see a queen size bed with a mirror above it and the wreath I made and then two bedside tables with a lamp on the first table. We need to get another lamp at some stage. Under the window is a dresser with some empty green Ikea boxes. In the corner is a heater that you can't see and then some shelves and the door our of the room. Behind the desk I've now cleaned up David's record (LP) collection and we will put a TV there. Hopefully that will be put there tomorrow. We're hoping to find a small wardrobe that will fit into the corner of the room to the right of the window.

Dining room table

The table has now been out of our house for nearly 2 weeks. Very frustrating. I just had to sand and paint it now didn't I. What a silly thing to do. We're now paying for my haste in starting the table when the weather was really not ready for painting. Luckily David has been out there today masking off the table top from the legs and then painting the table. He's managed two coats so far. I've only taken photos after the first coat, but it looks good so far. And the best thing is when its finally finished it will be all ours and the change of table will have cost us next to nothing.

Still reading...

There's been a lot going on lately with being back at work and looking for and finding and au pair and with that going on I've found reading helps quieten my busy brain. I'm reading whatever I can find in our house. That means some of David's books and also some of the kids books. Here's my growing list of read books. A good mix I think!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

A little present

I decided that since my maternity leave is coming to an end I have to finish a ton of jobs I've wanted to do over the last year. But let's face it who has time to do anything with a new baby!!
So since I'm now down to 10 days until I'm due back at school these projects are calling my name. Since its school holidays and the kids are able to entertain Hamish for a little while I thought I would start sanding our dining room table.
I got under the house and found the electric sander, some sanding paper and of course the extension cord and then needed to take the legs off the enormously heavy table so that we could get it outside. Josh was a wonderful help with that. It's so nice having another man in the house. Not quite as strong as Dave yet but stronger than me. Yay.
With the table top on top of a trestle table outside I started sanding. The stupid table kept moving as I sanded so I had to sand around the edges. I wonder if I'm the only one who gets a sore hand while sanding with the vibrating sander in their hand. AND it was taking forever.
I called Dave of course and asked him to bring some courser sand paper home. He is only around the corner from Bunnings at his new office. He dropped everything to get his crazy wife the sand paper she needed to get the job done. Tomorrow I'll be sanding and sanding and then laquering or staining the top and painting the legs. I might even do the coffee table. We'll see how keen I am after tomorrow though.
Poor hubby only got home from work at 8 pm. A very long day. But he came home with a present for little me. My own little sander. Thankyou honey. You're the best. The new sander During
These are some inspiration photos I took from Freedom Furniture a little French furniture store. I'm not sure what the colour of the wood is yet under the old stain. When the stain has been sanded then I'll decide on what colour to go with.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Looking back ...

Last year we moved into the house we're in now. I was just finishing work and about 4 weeks off of giving birth to our wonderful baby number four. It was a very busy time. We managed to get organised enough last year to celebrate Easter and even remember to take some photos! It was all a blur really. I even managed to take the kids along to the Sydney Easter Show dressed as a whale. Well maybe not dressed as a whale, but I certainly looked and felt like one. Eveyone thought I was mad taking the kids to the Easter show when I was so close to giving birth. I knew better though. I knew that when baby number four arrived I would have no time to myself let alone the kids. Anyway I'm getting distracted...

I wanted to share a photo from last year and then compare it to another one this year taken from the same spot. My how the children have grown. Josh has gone from looking like a little boy to more like a man. Sammy doesn't look much different, but Isabella seems more grown up and of course now we have little Hamish.
Easter 2011
Easter 2012
This year I got the table ready for breakfast the night before which was just lovely. It meant that after the rush of half asleep Easter egg hunting (we're the one's that are half asleep not the kids of course)I didn't need to rush to get breakfast ready. We got to sit down and eat as a family. While the kids ate their first chocolate egg we heated up the croissants and the adults drank coffee. We then all sat down and ate croissants while the bacon was cooking in the oven. Then David cooked the eggs in our fancy egg poacher (it does 6 eggs at a time) and made toast and we then ate egg and bacon with another cup of coffee. We got to sit around and chat and enjoy Easter relatively calmly. So nice.
We even managed a self-timed photo of the family with my new camera. Very funny. We have a couple of serious ones, but it was much more fun to do the crazy faces. The problem of course is keeping a still face while the little light flicks away. Anyone do self-portrait shots of the family?

The serious one.
Our crazy mob!

 The kids all got pyjamas this year. I was marvelling at Josh's pyjamas that were for a small man. My little boy has grown out of the children's department. : ( He had to see if he was finally taller than his mum. I kept saying not even close. But I think I only have a couple of months of being taller. He is literally growing taller every day at the moment. Here's proof that I'm still taller.
I'm still taller!!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Ready for Easter

I repainted the bunny to match our colour scheme.
It's 'Easter Eve' the kids tell me and I've been busy decorating the house ready for Easter. The older two have been off with their dad, visiting the zoo and having an early Easter. They've come back with lots of Easter Eggs which they're guarding well, knowing their mother as well as they do!
It was nice to have the table ready for our Easter breakfast tomorrow morning when the kids got home tonight. They were nicely surprised I think. I love surprising them with the magic of Easter, Christmas, birthdays etc. You're only a kid once after all.
We've got a menu of warm croissants followed by egg and bacon for breakfast in the morning. I'm guessing that our starter will be some yummy chocolate Easter Eggs that the Easter bunny will hopefully leave for us!! I can't wait to see the kids faces in the morning when they see the Easter Eggs.
I still remember that feeling of seeing the Easter Eggs and waiting impatiently for everyone to be up so that we could go and hunt for the eggs. So much excitement.
Paper cup wreath made in a few minutes with hot glue

Branch decorated with bought eggs.
The table ready for Easter breakfast.
The wreath in steps.
At the entrance I put down a table runner that I'd bought on sale at Spotlight for Christmas. On top of that I placed the three wax, battery powered candles I bought from Costco last year. I topped them with napkin rings I also bought on sale from Spotlight for Christmas last year and put an egg in each that had been blown, washed and dried. I hot glued a little chicken to the top of each one. Then lent the wreath in front of it all. A bit of cheap and cheery Easter decoration.
On the other buffet I put our branch that David helped me find yesterday. We went to the beach to hopefully find a piece of driftwood, but I had no such luck. We did have a lovely day eating out and playing on the sand with the kids. But no driftwood. On the way home we drove past all the places we thought we could hopefully find a branch and just before we reached home I shouted to David to stop the car again. This time I was in luck. A gorgeous branch. It didn't have a long bit to hold itself up so I shoved it into a vase with a small opening and then used little bits of wood to wedge it in place. You wouldn't know it from looking at it though. I was hoping to spray paint it white but I didn't have time. Maybe next year. I hung up some decorations that I bought from Bed, Bath and Table for a few dollars. They look very cute. I had also painted some real eggs blue, written the kids names on them and then threaded them with cord. I think it turned out nicely and the kids loved having their names on the eggs.
The table is decorated with Ikea plates and cups and the Spotlight table cloth that I bought at Christmas time on special. I wish I had thought to buy some flowers to decorate the centre of the table with. I had to make do with a bowl with green Easter paper and blown eggs. Not very fancy, but they'll do.
We're all going to drink our water out of wine glasses since it's a special occasion and the kids will probably drink some very weak tea.
As I type this we're sitting on the edge of our seats watching Dante's Peak. An oldie but a goody. Sammy's already asked me who dies. I'm as bad as her with scary movies and hate not knowing what's about to happen. So I had to tell her that the main characters don't die but some characters do die.
I leave this post with a quick look at how I made the wreath. I found the wreath on pinterest and though it was so easy that I had to make it. You can find the original here. Much nicer than mine.
David's downstairs finishing emptying out the office. It's council clean up on Monday and so all the stuff we want to get rid of will be picked up by council. I'm so excited to be able to do up a new room. It's for our upcoming au pair. I will update soon...

Monday, April 2, 2012

Easter favors for Kindergarten

Three days left of school for Term one and 6 sleeps until The Easter bunny visits. There's been much excitement about the holidays, the break from school (I don't think she understands yet!!) and the chocolate that will be coming shortly.
Today as soon as I picked up Isabella she told me how she got Easter eggs from one of the girls in her class today. I totally forgot that all celebrations in kindergarten require gifts of some sort for the whole class. Luckily this usually only entails Easter (chocolate eggs) a birthday (cake or lolly bags) and Christmas (hopefully a Kris Kringle gift for one child). Then there's presents for the teacher at Easter, her birthday, the end of the year and when you're in Kindergarten sometimes every day of the school year. I bet Kindy teachers get a lot of loot during the year. Probably not stuff they'd pick themselves. I imagine they get a lot of flowers that have been picked from gardens with no stems and saved in sweaty hands or pockets, melted chocolate bits lovingly held with warm fingers, drawings, paintings, recycled goods of many varieties. Isabella decorated a cereal box with bits of paper and stickers. Luckily it made its way to school!
Below are photos of how we made our little Easter favors today.