The first crop of onions.

screen-shot-2017-02-06-at-4-37-50-pmscreen-shot-2017-02-06-at-4-33-16-pmscreen-shot-2017-02-01-at-9-04-17-amscreen-shot-2017-02-06-at-4-27-13-pmTo put a seed into the soil is to believe in the future.  You trust that earth, water and time will bring you nourishing food.  Time has brought us 8 red onions and a random white one.

They grew in rather close quarters, and a tiny lesson has been learned.  We must plant them at a greater space to allow for bigger bulbs next year.

I’ve trimmed them and foolishly placed said onions onto the mantle in our kitchen. ¬†Now, I am airing out our whole home from the intense perfume of fresh onions.

Another novice mistake.

Now they sit on the porch airing out for a few days before I store them in the cupboard.

Do you have a recipe that features onions that you love? ¬†I’ll probably need to get through these red ones rather quick! ¬†

We’ve been misted today in a dainty almost microscopic rain. ¬†You know the kind that lightly falls on your face and skin, it feels refreshing? ¬†Eventually it saturates you to the core, and yet at the same time is lovely because it is warm. ¬†Summer rain, is so pleasant.

This constant rain has made New Zealand’s soil fertile and created an optimal growing season in many regions. ¬†Palmerston North has had one of the wettest summers on record. ¬†We can only help but flash back to our struggles in Eneabba trying to grow our food in the hot heat of summer. ¬†We watered it endlessly. ¬†Many of our plants died. ¬†Here, we hope for some more sunlight to help ripen our green tomatoes. Though, I’ve heard they are good fried green anyway!

The Cresswell & Hall Gathering

screen-shot-2017-02-02-at-3-03-59-pmscreen-shot-2017-02-02-at-3-01-29-pmscreen-shot-2017-02-02-at-3-01-47-pmscreen-shot-2017-02-02-at-3-02-05-pmscreen-shot-2017-02-02-at-3-03-08-pmscreen-shot-2017-02-02-at-3-02-15-pmscreen-shot-2017-02-02-at-3-02-48-pmscreen-shot-2017-02-02-at-3-04-15-pmLast night we spent time at Wesley’s great grandma Isabelle’s house. ¬†She regularly hosts the whole family for special occasions, where we all tuck in and enjoy a potluck meal together. ¬†Whether it’s sending a cousin off on a new adventure or welcoming overseas family – we’ve been enjoying these gatherings the past year.

We were all brought together to welcome Mike’s sister Stacey and her partner Dan, from Melbourne.

The house was full to the brim with plenty of laughing children, Aunt’s, Uncles, Cousins, Grandparents and one Great Grandma… it was beautiful. ¬†Being so far from my own family, it really helped to lift my heart.

John

screen-shot-2017-01-30-at-10-18-43-amscreen-shot-2017-01-30-at-10-19-01-amscreen-shot-2017-01-30-at-10-19-15-amscreen-shot-2017-01-30-at-10-19-33-amMy family spans the globe, from Arizona to Ecuador, New Zealand and Canada.  Whilst there are thousands of miles between us, we are all experiencing a painful, sudden loss.

We’ve lost an amazingly kind, gentle and loving man. ¬†My Uncle John.

He had a hearty chuckle for a laugh, and a wonderful sense of humour. ¬†I found it very easy to be in his company and always found myself laughing. ¬†He and his late Jane raised two very intelligent and beautiful children, and brought me into the family fold as I connected with the family in my mid 20’s.

It was in the early days of knowing my Uncle as an adult that I fell in love with him and my Aunt Jane.  I saw two people who truly cared for one another.  In the tiniest of gestures I could see real love and compassion.  He cared for her in her final years, and bore the heartache of losing her to a devastating illness.  He was so incredibly brave.

My Uncle John, my friend РI miss you.  But I know Jane is so happy to have you back.

Shhh….

screen-shot-2017-01-24-at-8-36-54-pmscreen-shot-2017-01-24-at-8-05-00-pmIt’s so quiet. ¬†Wesley is sleeping. ¬†The birds are chirping and there is barely, but a small breath of wind. ¬†The rain has stopped and we’re settling in for the evening. ¬†I look out the windows and see a sea of deep green.

I’m sipping a deliberately weak hot tea and am looking forward to tomorrow. ¬†There’s nothing special planned…but even still I’m keen to see what tomorrow brings for me and Wesley.

Today he leaned how to crawl faster. ¬†He tried to outrun me (cranked up his crawling pace with a giggle!) to the tv cables. ¬†He’s only been moving 2 days…

Here’s to new adventures, big and small!

Long Nights & Busy Days

screen-shot-2017-01-22-at-1-37-12-pmscreen-shot-2017-01-22-at-1-37-53-pmscreen-shot-2017-01-23-at-11-11-03-amSoon our Wesley will be 8 months old.  Ah!  He has been a little squishy, cuddly gift of adventure, and has us feeling that overwhelming joy that parents all must feel when witnessing his first attempts at learning and exploring.

In other words…He is on the move!

He has 8 teeth, loves to “read” books and screeches longingly at Tess (whom has not yet made it clear that she cares about him, in any way). ¬†We’re working on that relationship, mostly by encouraging Tess to come close but she’s clever and whenever the loud baby is present, Tess is not.

He’s learned some sign language as we started showing him a few signs at 3 months old. ¬†He can show us he wants “more” “milk” “food” and “diaper change”. ¬†You’d be surprised how much that has helped us communicate with him. ¬†It’s all rudimentary at the moment, and will be a useful skill until he learns to say words we will continue to pair the signs with the vocal version too. ¬†Apparently it helps them develop language faster. ¬†Either way – it’s pretty cool to see how in tune he is with the world around him. ¬†I met a mother whom was a psychologist when Wesley was very young and she encouraged us to give it a try. ¬†To learn, I simply youtube searched for baby sign language (ASL particularly) and wrote down a few key signs we might need to use a lot!

Yesterday was a pretty major day for Wesley (even though he’s been quite sick). ¬†For a few months now he’s been scuttling around sideways and backward and rocking a bit on his hands and knees. ¬†After many months preparation, he took his first steps crawling! ¬†Now that he’s learned, it’s like he never didn’t know how. ¬†His face when he got it, was priceless. ¬†That elation in cracking a complex problem…is universal!

We call him our nature baby, as he is very content to hangout in the grass and tress.

We did a 2 hour hike last week with his Aunt Lynda and friends.  Wesley took in the ferns and tall trees that shaded us (from this not-so-hot summer!) from the pack on my back Рhe talked throughout the trip, and particularly loved watching the little dog that was with us whipping through the trail.  Eventually he slept as I marched onward.  It was such a nice experience.

With all this wonderful progress comes a lack of sleep for us all. ¬†For a couple of months now, with all the teeth coming in and the exciting skills he’s been picking up (along with few nasty colds) we’ve been up for some super long nights. ¬†We’re bracing for a few more rough nights as he’s recently developed a fairly awful infection that has us comforting him through the nights. ¬†It’s not hard to get out of bed when you know your little one’s needing cuddles and kisses. ¬†We have placed a twin bed in the room and have been staying with him through the nights as we help him this rough patch. ¬†With some glimpses of full night sleeps a while back, we have the promise of knowing it will come back in time when everything settles down.

He’s so amazing. ¬†We tell him each day.

This morning after I woke, Mike came into the room for a quick kiss and placed a coffee on the bedside table for me. ¬†I was left to rest and recover after spending a sleepless night comforting Wesley. ¬†A bath was later drawn and a candle lit. ¬†My favourite snacks were also produced, which made me smile and feel so special and loved. ¬†He has been such a huge source of support and help during these past few weeks. ¬†We’ve been leaning on each other these 8 months and while we sometimes struggle, it’s been a really special time in our lives.