28 March 2017

Appreciating the little things

Life seems to be flying by so quickly. I find myself saying to people "Let's plan to catch up in March" and before you know it, March is nearly over and done with, and we'll be postponing the catch up to April. I was planning (more like hoping) to be returning to the workforce at the end of February once Cherub settled in at big school, but it still hasn't happened.

We have another week and a half left of school then we'll be having Easter school holidays. It's crazy how fast it goes when you have two children at school. Poor Cherub has been dying to have a playdate with some of her new little classmates, but it's been so wet these past few weeks we haven't had a chance to meet up at the park. Hopefully we'll have a sunny afternoon this week and can have a play before the holidays roll around.

With all the stresses of housework, organising the girls for school, and searching for a job. There are times when I nearly forgot to appreciate the little things or be grateful for what I have.

So this week I thought I'd write a bit about what we've been up to, and what I am feeling grateful for and appreciating:

  • We've just finished a 4 week program of AFL AusKick after school. I say "we" as the parents were involved in learning to be a Level 0 Coach, so we could teach the kids how to kick and throw the ball. The parents also got to play against the kids. My big girl thought it was fun, although Cherub didn't want Mummy joining in as it was her activity! I was not the greatest at the step-drop-kick, but I had a go and it was fun seeing how much enjoyment the kids got out of playing against their Mummies and Daddies.
Popette getting into the action

  • The girls love kicking their footies around the backyard with me and their Dad.

  • Seeing how happy my kids are when I help out in their classroom. And seeing how happy they are to go to school. I've been very lucky that both my girls were excited when starting school, and didn't shed any tears or have any trouble leaving my side when it was time to line up with their class.

  • Watching Cherub 'teach' her dolls and teddies her sight words and letters. She is really loving school, and blows us away with how much stuff she is picking up from the Years 1's in her class (she's in a K/1 composite), and how quickly she is learning new things. Like the other day she was tracing the words "Finding Dory", and she pointed to Dory and said that had to start with a capital letter. I said "Oh, it's that because it's a name", and she said "No, because it's a Pronoun". {Insert my puzzled looking face!}

  • Hearing from both the girl's teachers how well they are doing in class. Popette came home from school on Friday with a Core Value Merit award for Being Respectful. So it made me very proud!

  • The school is finally incorporating techniques on how to deal with bossy kids in the class. It's good for kids like Popette who struggle with their emotions and understanding other people's behaviours when there's been an incident in the playground.  I am grateful that she's opening up a little more to us, and able to tell us what's been going on at school.

  • At times Parenting can be exhausting! Once we've got the girls in bed (or returned Popette to bed for the 6th time!) Hubby and I like to relax on the lounge and watch our favourite TV show. We love "The West Wing", it's been our go-to show when nothing else has interested us. We are the 3rd time through the complete series, and still laugh, and cry at the same scenes.

  • Having my hubby closer to home. Even though he's travelled for work quite a bit over the past couple months, it's nice that he's not so far away and gets home a little earlier in the afternoons so we can spend some time together before starting the mad rush on dinner, baths and bed.

Some watermelons I painted while chatting to my friend

  • Being creative - having a little time to myself to paint has been making me happy. Last week I had an hour of art with a friend, and did some painting with the girls which they also enjoyed.

Painting with the girls

What are you feeling grateful for?

07 March 2017

Nourishing my creativity

On the weekend I dragged Hubby and the girls through IKEA...why is it that husband's don't like IKEA? We had a mission of buying an insert for Cherub's cupboard. We knew they had it in stock, but I also wanted to pick up some frames for some artwork I had created for the girls. Popette and I also had a browse around, oohing and ahhing at lots of pretty things. I was on a strict budget, so couldn't make too many purchases, but I was taking a mental note of all the things I liked so I could go back another day - probably without Hubby! So 2 hours later, and we finally leave IKEA!

A friend posted this article on my FB page, so amusing!

Anyway, the wardrobe is now sorted thanks to Hubby and the girls putting it together, and Cherub has a little more space for her growing wardrobe.

I also finished off a little gouache painting I made for Cherub's bedroom of a rainbow. Along with her classmates, Cherub sung "Somewhere over the rainbow" in sign language at her preschool Christmas concert last year, it was so beautiful. So this painting has a special meaning!

I finally got to frame the horse I painted for Popette's bedroom, and hung it in her room.

I also framed a painting I recently did of a jug holding eucalyptus leaves and a sprig of wattle, which has been hung on to the wall entering our kitchen, and looks nice with our aqua curtains!

A post shared by Julie M (@jm_artdesign) on

Since Cherub started Kindy, I have been trying to make sure I spend a little time each day doing something for myself. As well as creating art, I recently created a new Instagram account for sharing my artwork (@jm_artdesign), I'd love it if you would follow me!

I am being brave and sharing my work more publicly, and separating it from the blog's IG account. I have also been busy working on an online portfolio of my artwork and designs. I am hoping to build up my portfolio and creations, and one day sell them online.