five babies

Five This post has been in my waiting in as a draft to be posted since late last year, it was a conversation Poppy and I shared during our walk to pick Fox up from school.

Poppy “what is it called when you have two babies in your tummy?”
Me “twins..and do you know what it is called when you have three babies at the same time?”
Poppy “No”
Me “triplets.. .And what if you have four babies?..(slience)…..Quadruplets”
Poppy  “And if you have five it’s called complicated”
Me (laughing) “yes that is exactly what five is!”

50/52

“A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013.”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA 50/52 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

: : Fox finished kinda! (prep for those of you in Victoria) What a big year.
: : Poppy wearing your handmade princess crown.
: : Gil.  We are all feeling like you…. tired.  Tired because it’s sleep time, tired from a huge year at kinda, tired from living with two busy brothers, tired from being a sleep deprived (at the same time very fortunate) mother of three; little, active, crazy beautiful people.

Joining in with Jodi and the 52 project.

floriade

Oxfam tent at Floriade OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Oxfam tent at Floriade is fantastic, with all variety of handmade fruit and veg.  Fun food facts a little educational activity for kids.  I loved the handmade fruit and veg best of all.  Fox’s strawberry is a painted rock – guess what we will be making later this week!

Oxfam is working for a future free from poverty.  870 million of us go to bed hungry every night!  Humbling statistic isn’t it, especially on the days when I feel overweight!  This statistic on world hunger is not because there isn’t enough food. But because of the deep injustice in the way the system works.  It is worth a read over here.

a friend of mine

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

She looks like she might come from England, she is beautiful with her cream complexion and rosy cheeks, dark eyes, brown bobbed hair, and soft, soft skin.  She always has a gentle tone and something kind and loving, always genuine, to say.  She is genuinely interested in others, makes you feel comfortable, and goes out of her way for others.

She has a strong faith, a delicious family; three children and one super-duper husband.  She loves being a mother and a wife, and is a great source of inspiration.  She’s been a role model to me for saving money and spending wisely…..though I am not as adept nor as consistent as she is.

She is crafty: a sewer, a knitter, a fabulous cook and baker, and she is handy with a paintbrush.  She is beautiful, she is special, patient, a person whom I admire, trust and love.

She is undergoing her second round of surgery in a week.  Firstly to remove what was thought to be a dead portion of lung, and secondly, today, to remove any suspect tissues as what was initially removed turns out to be a rare and slow-growing cancer.

We have known each other for over 12 years and have supported each other through a great deal.  Please say a prayer for her and her family, and send love to my beautiful brown-haired friend as she recovers.  Thank you.

three kids and a sleeper train to beijing

Really three kids, one six months old and I thought it was a good idea to travel on sleeper trains??!!  I did, I thought that it would be all part of the adventure, exciting, novel, it was  cheaper than staying in yet another hotel overnight and it also meant that we didn’t waste any days with travel.  In China most entry fees are only payable once children reach 120cm this is also true for transport.  So the train travel for our kids was free.

First train ride was fantastic!! We all slept well, having a four booth cabin to ourselves it was reasonably comfortable, our kids were quiet throughout the night as was the little boy in the neighbouring cabin.  Hostesses walked up and down the 20 odd carriages selling foods; noodles, fruit, soup and so on.

When we woke and opened the curtains soft morning light streamed in, I though it was mist at first but realised that it was most probably low lying smog.  Beijing, with a population of 20 million is considerably smaller than Shanghai (30 million), with few sky-scrapers in the inner city area, it has a very different feel.

We were fortunate for our first day here, there was blue sky the usual smog that lies over the city was gone.  It was hot but not too humid. Our guide today was Stephen, he was great.

I was in awe at the Forbidden City, the sheer size, the ornate hand-carved marble, the mass of buildings, intricate hand painted woodwork on every building, the doors so large I can’t fathom how they were made by hand in the early 1400’s the size and quantity of the stone.

The Temple of Heaven built in the same dynasty a few kilometres from the Forbidden City is a round tower, where the emperors would pray and honour the seasons, another inspiring and humbling structure.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

shanghai with young kids

Our second day in Shanghai.  The kids slept well waking early, due at least in part to the two-hour time difference between China and the east coast of Australia, and in part due to excitement of being in China.

We had about four hours to kill in the morning before our guide and driver collected us for a full day tour of the city. Poppy and I wandered down to the market we had seen from the window of our apartment yesterday.  A local man bought Poppy fried bread from a busy street stall. It is typical breakfast fare, a bit like a doughnut without the sweet sugary topping.

We visited the French quarter briefly, It was a lovely clean space with European influence in buildings and cuisine.  I think this is one area I’d skip if I had my time again. We stopped at a silk market, where I’d expected I might buy some silk fabrics, only to find that they didn’t sell fabric.  The markets are designed to attract the tourist dollar, they explain the silk making process then try to sell silk donnas, pillows, ties, scarfs at what I am sure were inflated prices.

Off to lunch where we met a lovely Spanish family with a young baby. They had adopted him a week prior in China after a nine year wait!  I cried as they told me snippets of their story, they were to return home to Spain shortly where their three older boys were waiting eagerly to meet their little brother.

I’d happily spend more time in the Yu Garden, where there are amazing garden rooms, linked by windows or beautifully shaped openings drawing your interest to the next unique space.  Textures, water, shadows, shapes, timber, tiles, dragons and other mythical creatures give a real sense of the traditional China, this is what I wanted to see.

The kids couldn’t sit still for the traditional tea ceremony, so they wandered around the tourist filled streets with Mark, while Gil and I enjoyed a tea tasting in the oldest tea house in Shanghai.

It was another long day, Poppy fell asleep at the dinner table but woke before we boarded the over night sleeper train for Beijing.  Thank God for our guide Alex, without him navigating the train station would have been very difficult.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

33/52

33/5233/52

33/52

“A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013.”

: : Foxy (5 years 11 months) can tie his own shoe laces – double bows and all!!!! While Daddo is home there is more time to focus on these sorts of things before school.
: : Poppy…..enough said.
: : Gil. Everyone comments on your beautiful blue eyes.  I don’t think they’ll stay blue, based on what happened with the Fox and Poppy.

joining in Jodi and the 52 project.