Another year has past and at times it feels like 2013 flew by in a torrent of playdates, classes, exams, trips to the beach, crafting, renovations and the like, but at other times (when the kids are on holidays from preschool or fighting with each other) it feels like the year has crept by. I am not one for New Year's resolutions, simply because I am well aware of who I am, and that is someone who is passionate about my ideas and plans but only until I am distracted by other things like everyday life, that my plans seem to inevitably fall to the wayside. I seem to be setting this blog thing up for it's demise before I've even begun but I am hoping that this is a plan for the new year that I can actually stick to. This will hopefully be a space where I can blog about crafts I'm currently working on by myself and with the kids, recipes I've made or tried that I love, home renovations, musings about life here in Sydney and who knows I might even find it's therapeutic to have this journal of sorts.
I racked my brain trying to think of names for the blog (which is what I do, spend time on the little, probably less important things so I can tell myself I am progressing in in-acting my plan to start a blog) and since I will inevitably be asked why The Bears Four, most likely by my mum, it's probably best if I explain it at the starting gate. It actually stems from something really simple but also personal so that's why I think it works so well! When Jeremy and I are affectionately calling our children, we tend to call them Isla Bear or Charlie Bear and it just seemed fitting to name the blog, The Bears Four to include ourselves in the bear moniker. So that's the short and sweet explanation :)
The Bears Four
I thought for the first post I would give a little snap shot of our Christmas and New Year's through some photos. Hopefully if I can manage to use my time wisely while the kids are napping during the day or once in bed at night (if I can tare myself away from the absorption of whatever book I may be reading) I can then write a blog post at least once a week. That's the plan anyway. So next week I'll be posting about the tile renovation our kitchen recently went through, plus Jeremy just finished building a wardrobe from scratch for the kids room too while i painted their bunk beds but I won't post about that until one more project is completed in the room. Lots to cover so just bear ;) with me while I take the time to write it all up.
The Annual (by annual, I mean that hopefully it will become an annual thing but as it is, this is only the second year we've made one) Ginger Bread House Decorating Extravaganza where lots of lollies are consumed and not a lot makes it onto the house but that's part of the fun I suppose.
The Lorikeets that have decided to visit us every morning for the last month or so to demand honey water. They even brought their baby with them for a while until it was old enough to leave them and make it's home somewhere else. Isla has affectionately named them Sanny and Juno. She has said for a very long time now, two years (which may not seem like a long time to an adult but that's half her life, so I count that as a long time to her) that one day when she gets a dog, she's going to name it Sanny, so subsequently lots of animals have been named Sanny.
The best part of Christmas for kids is definitely waking up to presents under the tree. Our Christmas tree is a bit of a Charlie Brown tree that one day I hope to upgrade but it works for now, though every year I unpack it from its box, it looks stragglier and stragglier.
Charlie looks a bit stunned here, but he was elated and immediately in love with the big digger he got from Great-Grammy. Isla loves to read and is a nature explorer herself, so Fancy Nancy Nature Explorer Extraordinaire was much appreciated. They were definitely spoilt by Great-Grammy but seemed to appreciate everything they received.
Isla wrote her first letter to Santa this year and asked for a cute teddy in rainbow pyjamas. A very specific request that I had not foreseen so I tracked down some rainbow fabric on ebay quick smart and a jelly cat teddy bear that I thought would fit the bill nicely.
This rainbow dress is what I came up with. Luckily Isla loved it and said it was perfect and that Santa gave her exactly what she had asked for. Phew! I only bought two fat quarters so there wasn't enough material to make an exact replica dress for Isla but I did have enough to make a t-shirt dress with the remaining fabric. She was very happily surprised to receive a matching dress. I have a pattern I made for the teddy's dress and tutorial that I will post as soon as I get a chance.
Christmas breakfast with our 94 year old neighbour, Willy. Notice the cheese and hard boiled eggs, not what I would normally have on Christmas morning or any morning really, but apparently that's a staple for Austrian breakfasts so we thought he would like it. Funnily enough he seemed to prefer the blueberry quinoa pancakes I made, which I will post a recipe for soon :)
The kids really do adore him. Most days they pop down the hall to see him. He even installed a doorbell for them that is at their height! So cute.
After breakfast with Willy, we spent the rest of the morning playing with the kids presents and going for a stroll outside. After their lunch time naps we headed down the hall for afternoon tea with Willy and his family, which was lovely. Then we rounded out the day with Christmas dinner at our friends, Rachel and Patrick's house. It was so nice not to have to cook anything and just rock up for dinner.
We're really not into New Year's eve or New Year's day for that matter and we never do anything special or attend any parties (wow that makes us sound dull but drinking has never been our thing and staying up until midnight hasn't been either, but especially not now that we have kids). So we thought we would mark the day by doing something a bit meaningful or at least a bit fun! The kids helped me bake and decorate 90 cupcakes which we then sold to the masses of people that descend our neighbourhood annually to watch the fireworks over Sydney harbour. I was so proud of Isla, as she raised $200 to donate to the RSPCA (the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals). It turned out so well that we might even try it again on Australia day and choose a different charity to donate the profits too.
That sums up our Christmas and New Year's. Wishing everyone a good start to 2014 and hopefully my non new year's resolution sticks. So far I'm loving this blogging thing.
The Beary Best,
(PS I will keep the bear word play to a minimum once I get it out of my system)