Thursday, November 24, 2016

Our winter escape to Australia

Way back in the middle of winter Mae and I flew to Australia. Our first trip to South Australia.There my sweet sister has settled her heart on a patch of land and an Aussie guy. 

For five hours we flew across the ocean to Adelaide. My wee girl was so very good; thrilled by the novelty of unlimited TV on her very own screen! That a rather bulging carry on bag filled with new toys and art supplies...and snacks...all the snacks.

In flight entertainment
We arrived at the airport weary but so very happy to see Mary. With the time difference it was nearing bedtime for Mae despite it being mid afternoon. We spent the afternoon at IKEA, such fun to browse the toys and kids furniture before heading back for a quiet evening in the motel.

It is a long drive for a busy toddler from the city of Adelaide to Booleroo Centre where Mary lives. We filled the car with groceries and set out hoping for the little one to nap the majority of three our trip. There of course was a bit of fussing from cublet who was none to pleased to be strapped into a car seat after her plane ride the previous day. Thank goodness for a phone loaded up with childrens' music!

There had been rain recently so the normally golden, dusty countryside was lush and green. A sweet reprieve after the city. The highways turned to sealed roads which gave way to red dirt roads; bumpy and slick after the downpours. It was wonderful to turn into the driveway and finally see the place I had heard so much about.  The house resting near a large Gum tree and creek.

The landscape is so very vast and flat. Such a stark contrast to the scenes I am used to here in New Zealand. Equally as wild and free but just so big. I couldn't get over how big the sky felt when uninterrupted by mountains and bush.  The soil is burnt orange and the birdsong raucous.Yet inside my sister's house it felt like home.

She has spent many hours painting and decorating. Her home is warm and inviting. There is muted pastels with a mix of vintage and modern. Calm, sweet and just so beautiful. A place to build a lifetime of memories.

There are plans for a garden and there are signs of progress every way you turn. I am looking forward to seeing backyard fill with flowers and vegetables. For their fruit trees to grow tall and bear fruit. Most of all I look forward to spending time there with the sweet couple watching our families grow. Reunited every so often despite living so far apart. My children getting to experience rural Australia; a huge contrast to their own urban Kiwi upbringing.

Exploring a 'cave' with Aunty Mary

Oh that winter light

We spent mornings waking slowly, sipping on hot drinks and huddling by the fire. The wind was cold and frost sparkled in the rising sun each morning. We planned our our days adventures and savoured being in each others company.

Sisters separated by the Tasman Sea always have much to talk about. Little Mae enjoyed playing with toys her Aunty had collected for her. Her Uncle Casey works at night so we tried to speak in hushed tones but little toddlers aren't always great at this! When he awoke she greeted him with great enthusiasm "Uncle Cakey". It's fun to see their bond grow.

In the afternoons we ventured out to explore the local areas; Magnetic Hill, Orroroo, Melrose, Port Germein and Port Augusta. One afternoon we explored some of the Mount Remarkable National Park. 

We saw many Kangaroo and 'big ducks' as Mae called the Emus. Mae delighted in the bumpy 4WD trip and yelled with joy as we jolted over bumps. Such a place of beauty, I could see how this place has gained my sister's affection and heart. 

Aunty and niece

Beach fun
We have already begun planning our next trip to South Australia. This time Mr. Fox will come too and of course the new baby too. Despite the trip being many months away I am looking forward to returning with much anticipation.

To get to know the area a little more and to spend more time with Mary, Casey and his family. Miss Mae will be three by then and it is wonderful to imagine that she might actually form memories of her Australian family and travels. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

All in a flurry

When my morning sickness faded the nesting instinct took over with intensity. I think my mind and body were so relieved to be feeling energetic and well again. It was clear the house needed a good clean and spruce up. Floors have been scrubbed, walls have been wiped down....anything that could be washed has been through the machine, hung out on the clothesline and back. Our wee spare room has had another purge as we make way for our new little family member.

Sweet little garments drying
It was a pure delight to throw open the windows and let the Spring breeze cleanse the house. As was opening up the boxes of carefully stored baby clothes and linens. All the memories of the newborn phase rushing back swiftly. The tiny items waving like bunting on the line outside a promise of the joy to come. The frantic preparations have slowed to a more gentle pace.

There are Christmas presents to be made and wrapped. The festive shopping I have mostly completed as I really don't feel like joining the masses while in the last few weeks of pregnancy. I have plans to make a Christmas Stocking for the new baby (just in case of an early entrance) and to sew a soft woollen jacket in the palest shade of blue. I am keen to put up the Christmas decorations and tree in the coming days.

A few bibs for Christmas and the new babe.

A small scare a couple of weeks ago led to being monitored in hospital for a few hours. However all has settled again. The midwife has given strict instructions to rest up and do less physically. I'm sure the garden won't wait for me but a few weeds won't harm the vegetables.  I am grateful to have the skills to craft away the pre-birth jitters while on imposed rest.

Miss Mae is very glad to have her Mummy back playing outside with her and goodness it is so very wonderful to feel well enough to do so. We have made up for lost time and spent many happy hours at the park and in the garden together. She is my happy little sidekick in the kitchen and loves to mix and 'chop' ingredients. It brings me so much contentment having her alongside me throughout the day and I'm curious to see how she adjusts to the role of 'big sister' when the time comes.

I have many blog posts floating around my head and would love to do a few 'catch up' posts however time will tell if these fade into the ether or make on to here. In the meantime I'll keep on crafting while my girl sleeps.

Tiny bees to adorn little jackets.