daily life

IMG_7234I had a realisation the other night as I was sitting on the couch in my lounge room watching (dare I say it) Big Brother on telly, a few lamps on, the baby asleep, little Birdie with her Daddy reading stories, a blanket on my lap and my fingers curled around a hot cup of tea.

Life isn’t something I’m looking forward to anymore.

It’s playing out around me, minute by minute, day by day.

I watched Birdie walk out of the room after kissing me goodnight: her little girl figure, the shape of her, her walk, her hair. Her growing hands touched the doorframe as she wandered off to bed.

I had that momentary shock that you sometimes get if you allow it to come. The shock that never ceases to shock: I produced that, she’s mine, there is something where there was once nothing.

When I was a teenager I used to long for the day I had a family of my own and a house and a dog and a car and a bank account and could eat what I wanted and do what I wanted when I wanted and was officially Grown Up.

Now the day is here, yesterday, today, tomorrow.

I sat on my couch and felt intensely happy.

Despite the house being a mess. Despite feeling sick. Despite being tired.

I was happy. I am happy. I am in the middle of the life I so looked forward to. It’s not perfect. There are stressors. There are desires and stumbling blocks. There are arguments and moments of annoyance and frustration.

But in amongst it, stripping it away, taking away the bullshit: here I sit. With a hot cup of tea, a roof over my head, two beautiful children and the best husband I could imagine.

Now after you have finished gagging, I dare you to strip away the crap and the bills and the dirty washing and the toddler pinching your leg and screaming in your ear and see what you are left with.

I hope whatever it is, it’s full of love and raw happiness.

in a nutshell

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Found a snazzy little list at meet me at mikes (thanks Pip!) and given my computer cord situation I figured a quick post is a good post. If you want to play you can copy and paste the blank list from the link there above.

Making : a mess
Cooking : mushroom and pea buckwheat risotto inspired by this recipe
Drinking : strong coffee
Reading: The Power of Ashtange Yoga by Kino MacGregor
Wanting: a thermomix
Looking: at the Pixie destroying piles of folded washing and Birdie flying a scarf “kite” around the living room, basically watching the contents of my house flying around my head.
Playing: duplo with Birdie
Wasting: coriander at the bottom of my fridge. Sad face.
Sewing: felted wool chook puppets
Wishing: I could enrol in this course so badly bad.
Enjoying: The Time of Our Lives
Waiting: for Prince Charming to get home…
Liking: grapefruits being back in season!
Wondering: what life would be like if I had a nanny… and a cleaner.
Loving: Birdie and her antics
Hoping: I can shake this virus roil soon
Marvelling: at Veggie Mama and her organic box speed cooking
Needing: sleep
Smelling: pooey nappies
Wearing: $7.99 ebay harem pants from China which go against every moral code I have. #fail
Following: new peeps on instagram
Noticing: blossoms appearing on the trees outside my window
Knowing: it would be in my best interests to have a shower
Thinking: about the girls weekend I have coming up NEXT WEEKEND!
Feeling: sick
Bookmarking: recipes
Opening: bills
Giggling: at Birdie and her new found love of toilet talk… I mean, trying hard to discourage it too… of course…
Feeling: sick (twice on the list so I can complain and whinge some more?)

That’s it! Come back and tell me if you complete the list so I can have a look!

on being limited

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We are renowned for packing everything plus the kitchen sink when we go away on holiday. Every time we begin to pack I am determined not to be weighed down by junk and clothes that come home packed and unworn… and yet it seems to happen over and over again.
The last couple of times we have gone away I have resorted to downsizing the bags we each take. Which I have to admit often just ends up meaning we each take that small bag… plus two more shopping bags for all the things that ‘didn’t fit’. Why we feel the need to take so much stuff I really don’t know!
But for the first time last weekend, it worked! I am used to having my feet propped on things, the dog resting her head on things, things piled up so you can’t see out the rear-vision mirror, things, things, things. When we drove down the coast on Thursday, I could see out the rear view mirror, the dog was stretched out at Birdie’s feet, and we could open and close the boot without something falling out!
Over the five days we did a couple of clothes and nappy washes, but despite our limited packing we still came home with things unworn. It just goes to show that you really don’t need much, we are just conditioned to think we do. I took three t-shirts with me, and wore two, but really could have done with just the one because I only wore the second one to prove a point, trying to wear everything in my bag. I came home with a cardigan I hadn’t worn as well as a pair of shoes, a pair of pants and two long sleeved tops that could all go straight back into my wardrobe.
It’s nice having choices, but sometimes it’s also refreshing not to. This addiction to our stuff and things and phones and rubbish is not good for us.

feelin’ real

d66219aec5af11e2813a22000a1f8f34_7“Where is Max?” Asked little Birdie this morning over breakfast. Max is my step-dad’s dog who sadly had to be put down a little while ago. Max is one of two dogs we know that have recently died and Birdie has become quite curious/obsessed about the where’s and why’s of the situation.

“He got very sick and very old and had to go away.” I clumsily replied.

“To the clouds.” she stated.

“Uh, yes, maybe.”*

“And one day I will go and be with Max. And then later you and Daddy and Pixie can come to be with me again.”

One mother, stumped in her tracks.

With language comes conversation. With conversation comes many, many, many questions. With many, many, many questions comes thought, depth, concentration, understanding, concepts, shape.

Children have a way of dragging and pulling and pushing and persistently enforcing us to stay in the present moment, the here and the now. Birdie brought me to such an abrupt halt with her thoughts this morning, my eyes welled with tears. I realised, with a surprising amount of shock, that we will not be together forever. There will be a time when our wee family of four will be separated.

I don’t have them forever, and they don’t have me, and that is why I slapped a smile on my face and hugged my babies and didn’t care that the Pixie wasn’t sleeping and that Birdie spilled her porridge on the floor. I didn’t care that I put her shoes on and she pulled them off, that I forgot to brush my hair or that my coffee went cold.

I hugged my babies and smiled and went about my day. I hope you are doing the same.

*I am unsure about the whole “to the clouds” thing that people have been telling her. I didn’t grow up in a religious family, and haven’t given the death conversation much thought until it has suddenly become such a popular topic for our little lady. It has surprised me how many people have told her that we go to heaven or to the clouds when we die. I am ok with it, but I suppose I would prefer to give her a more flexible answer about where we go when we die so she can one day make up her own mind – for I myself am unsure of the answer.

run away with me…

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I have spoken many times before of my busy mind. I have recently gone back to yoga and could. not. be. happier. It is the only – only! – thing I have found that allows me some respite from myself. 

Thank goodness! Yoga!

I can’t believe I lasted so long without it… actually, I didn’t really “last” as such. I was in such a state that Prince Charming dove for the credit card, threw my mat into my arms and pushed me out the door one cool night a few weeks ago. Now that I know I have that blissful 90 minutes each and every Tuesday night, all is well in the world.

Last night when I arrived my brain was flipping from the washing to the bills to the dishes to the pixie to the caravan and around and around she goes. By the end I was a serene goddess, breathing in prana and golden energy, floating home without moving my feet, white light all around. 

This morning Birdie and I practiced some postures to prepare us for the day.

Yes. I will go back again next week. And again, and again, and again. 

What do you do to relax? 

Namaste. 

fighting time

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IMG_3466{from a recent walk}

When either of the girls are ill, I move through a natural process of shutting down. Cancelling activities and catch ups, closing the house in, lighting oil burners, dripping droplets of herbs into little mouths. Touching foreheads, [attempting] to sooth angry sick tears.

The last few days however, it has been me who has been sick. Uncharacteristically sick. Nausea, dizziness, aching bones and utter, total and absolute exhaustion. I have had to remind myself to give myself the same care as I would one of the other members of my family. But I have found it almost intolerable. When I needed help yesterday to get out of the bath and dry myself, I felt so annoyed. I have things to do! A day wasted! A wash that didn’t get put on! Homemade pizzas turned into cheese toasties! A rabbit’s hutch that did not get cleaned out and my list abandoned! More importantly, frustrated that it’s school holidays and time as a family goes down the drain while I’m lolling around in bed.

Today I’m feeling much better, but still weak and to be honest, quite depressed. My appetite has come back a little and I have ventured out of the bedroom. I have tried to remind myself that on a normal day I would kill to lie around and watch trashy shows in bed, stay in my pj’s all day and close my eyes when the urge arose.

So, dear readers, I need to resign from the battle of time. Fighting each hour and each day that goes by that I don’t do something useful. Before I got sick I was fighting a market deadline then my Birdie’s birthday, an occasion that was full of joy, however the entire week leading up to it was much less than joyful due to all the self-imposed deadlines I set myself for what had to be done and how it all had to be. I wonder what would have really happened if I didn’t have the house clean on the day of her birthday, or if I had (heaven forbid) bought the cake…

A gentle reminder to myself and all the other mama’s and papa’s out there, thrashing through lists in the day and up all night with non-sleeping babes: It’s actually ok to imperative to look after yourself. Take that bath, lie on the couch when you have five minutes. Make a cup of tea. There is always time for tea. Nothing much will happen if you don’t put that wash on. You’ll just have to put two on tomorrow. No biggie.

Hope you’re all well as we transition into a very late Autumn here… or a lovely bountiful Spring elsewhere!

 

lying on the couch

That’s where I’m at. We’ve had a massive weekend and I am seriously pooped. I can’t believe… and I may be jinxing myself here… but I can’t believe that BOTH girls are asleep this early in the evening. Usually I rush around like a mad hen doing millions of things from The List. Tonight I’m giving myself a night off to lie here and pretend I’m still tucked away in our little caravan.

We just got back from South Gippsland today where we spent the weekend, as we very often do. I had my first birdie said market at Kongwak yesterday which was a whole lot of fun, but considering the amount of time and energy it took me to get organised, I can’t say it will happen again any time soon. I may just be sticking with etsy for now. Can I just say that one of the funnest parts of the market was meeting – in real life – Kitty who, until yesterday, I only knew via instagram! And even then I actually can’t remember how we came to follow each other a while back. Is that funny or what? It was great to meet you Kitty!

Every time we go to the caravan we dream of leaving the city and moving to the country. Even though we live in a very leafy and community minded part of town, it’s town nonetheless. We both feel a calling towards the clearer air, bigger spaces, ocean and smaller communities. Lucky for us both our parents have little holiday hideouts that we are free to use. But every time I come back from South Gippy I am on realestate.com checking out our future home…

Then I freak out and wonder how and why I would ever go anywhere and would I be scared and would I have no friends and would I be lonely and sad or would the waves crashing and green rolling hills be company enough?

Anyway, there are no photos of the weekend right now to accompany this random ramble as my camera is in the other room and as I have explained, I’m on the couch and nothing bar a screaming baby is going to get me to move from here in the next hour at least.

Has anyone else made the move away from family to another place? To the country? The beach? With young kids? What was it like? Pros/cons?

While you get back to me with all your stories, I’m off to soak up the couch time a bit more. Mean Girls is on, but I promise I’m not watching it.

saying goodbye to my babies

IMG_3563I was home alone with the kids one night last week. I was rubbing my hands together at the thought of a tidy house followed by a hot cup of tea, a spot of sewing and an episode of Vampire Diaries (NB: no one likes a judgey-judge).

At 6.30pm Birdie was tucked into bed. At 6.45pm she did a poo. I changed her nappy and tucked her back in. At 7pm she did another one. I changed her nappy again with gritted teeth and kissed her goodnight.

Time to work on number two… err… I mean, the second child. By 8.45pm I had fed the Pixie twice and rocked her to sleep and tucked her in four times.

I felt quite frustrated by this point, glancing at the clock and seeing my night disappear before my eyes.

But being a second time parent, you notice things that you didn’t notice the first time. This time I notice how quickly they are growing up. I look at Birdie in her big girl bed, getting dressed and undressed with minimal help from me, talking in full, elaborate sentences. I remember who she used to be, and it dawned on me.

I don’t have that baby any more. That baby that is all over this blog a few years ago, is gone.

And now it’s happening again. The Pixie as I know and love her now, right now, here, today, is not mine to keep. Another Pixie will replace her, and another and another and another. These moments I have with each of them are so fleeting, as tomorrow I will meet yet another version of my children.

Of course this is what makes the beautiful tapestry of life: comings and goings, old and new.

Sometimes though, I wish the tapestry would slow down just a stitch, just a day, just a minute, so I can linger just a little longer with my soft skinned babies.

in the thick of it

We are in the midst of a heat wave here, apparently the hottest temperatures ever for us in March, since temperatures began being recorded in the 1800s. I used to enjoy the heat, and look forward to summer, but since having babies, I’m not so much of a fan. Gone are the days that we could chuck a towel on the backseat and a dog in the boot and head down to the beach to soak up what the ocean, sun and earth had to offer. Well, we can, but only at sun-safe times of day and with a hell of a lot more preparation. And more towels. And beach paraphernalia.

On the radio this morning the presenter said to the weatherman: “There are a lot of sleep deprived, hot and grumpy people out there this morning.” The weatherman’s response was “Yes, but it’s probably those people who will be the first to complain as soon as the cold weather hits.” Hmmm. He probably has a point. I for one though, cannot wait for the cold weather. My autumnal post a few weeks ago, written in the few cool morning hours before the heat hit again seems like a cruel joke in the face of this weather. 

So here we are, in the thick of it, drinking black coffee to see if it’s soy that the pixie has an aversion to in my breastmilk, trying to think of things to eat for meals that do not require us to turn on the oven or the stove, taking cool baths and dipping our feet in the paddling pool. Pushing Pixie’s bassinet around to different corners of the house trying to find a cooler spot in the hope she might sleep a wink so that I can sleep a wink. Drinking a bit more coffee. Explaining to Birdie why we can’t go to the park. Having nightmares about our electricity bill. I don’t think we have ever used our air conditioner as much as we have the last month and I dread to think how much each cool minute is costing us.

Trying to ride out the hot, hot, hot weather in any way we can.

So. Is this insanely hot summer weather in autumn going to be a thing of our future? Or is this just a fluke slash joke?