The Play Jar

I shall begin this post with a community announcement:





Sorry folks, there is no baby. Well, there is, but he’s busy floating around in his snug cocoon right now and in no mind to take up any new hobbies, like BEING BORN. If he ever received his eviction notice, he’s sure as hell not paying attention to it. Which is kind of helpful, really, because you see, we bought a house. A little investment thing. Actually, Joel bought it while I hovered to the side squinting my eyes to stop them from glazing over. “Call my brother”, became the standard response to anything Joel put forward to me, which I personally think is a much kinder response than, “Sweet Jesus, are you actually joking? Please stop talking to me. I’m still at What Is Equity over here, dude”. I don’t do real estate. Just like I don’t do basting, deglazing, broiling. Yes, exactly. What in the sam hill?

So Joel found, inspected and bought this place of ours, and now he’s working madly on it to get the few (translation – slightly over a million) little (translation – huge) reno jobs done on it before the baby comes. But it’s all good, because we have the best helper on our sweet little hands.




All this working-on-the-house business has taken Joel away from us in all his spare time, and we – in equal parts – miss him yet love to the bone how much pleasure he gets from “providing for his girls”. Still to this day, I can’t hide my sly old grin when I remember the panicked questions he used to attack me with when we found out we were pregnant with Ella. But how often will I be able to go surfing? And what about travel? But. Just. No. My freeeeeeeedoooooommmm. (Edited version.) Now it’s all, “I don’t think it’s safe for Ella to be here. What about asbestos? What about the dust? Take her, Rachel. You girls have fun. Go paint your nails. Or shop. I’ll take care of everything”.

I’ll take care of everything, he says. And not even he can knock the proud smile from his face.

So we’ve been doing just that – Ella and I. Except the shopping bit. I’ve been advised we are on a budget now. Something about having a mortgage something or other. You see what I mean? Real estate and me just can never be friends.

Introducing the Play Jar. Something I quickly came up with a while back to combat a fatigued mama and a bored toddler combination.


In anticipation of the mind-numbing fatigue that sets in with months of sleepless nights up feeding a newborn, this was my action plan for keeping a little girl occupied and happy during each long, so very long day. Fun things I didn’t have to strain my red raw just-had-a-baby brain trying to come up with. And we’ve been delving into the jar a little over the past few days, because honestly, I may as well have already had this baby — I’ve got zip in the Energy Pot these days.


Our tiny nubs of disappearing colour just weren’t cutting it anymore so we stocked up on an extravagant $2 packet of sidewalk chalk and called it an afternoon.





Followed by a little crafting session — Ella drawing squiggles on her pages while saying with all the self-assurance in the world, “Eyes. Nose. Hair”, as though that is obviously what she is drawing — and me prepping for a little girl’s second birthday which I can’t even talk about right now.





Plus finally getting around to making memory boxes to store all the keepsakes of each of her glorious years. Her mama-made Halloween outfits, handwritten letters, birthday mementos, her photo books, and many sweet little things which hold meaning for us.


Walks to our beach. Our happy place. No Play Jar is complete without it.










Including a little playground session, because Mama! Swings!







And in a totally unrelated thread of thoughts but still stacks of photos to share, I bring you our Australia Day. Ella was in a mood all day, and I suffered more than my share of as-a-result crankiness, but there were plenty of snippets of goodness amongst it all. I can sniff a celebration snuffer a mile off and I’ll be damned if I let that get in the way of a good dose of festive cheer.






You guys, annual billycart races. In the street over from ours. People and kids and flags and beers spilled onto the street from every which direction. As you can imagine, I was a little high.







And I just had to show you these two. The cute is off the charts. Our neighbours – Josh and little Finny. Who Ella goes into a full body frenzy over every time she sees them. Which is to say, every day.





I love our sweet neighbourhood and I can’t wait to raise another itty bitty baby in it.


So with glass jars stocked full of crayons and chalk, we are ready and prepared for more Serious Fun to be plucked from the Play Jar while we wait patiently for our Baby Boy.



Happy Monday, friends.

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