Rejuvenate

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Over the weekend I spent my first night away from the baby (toddler is a much more accurate description). It was the first night in over 19 months I haven’t felt the threat of a midnight wake up call as I toss and turn in the dark. The first full evening in over 19 months I didn’t have to feed anyone aside from myself, I didn’t have to bath anyone, put anyone to bed, read anything other than my book, watch anything other than the sun setting across the forest filled horizon. No one required anything from me for over 24 hours.

And it was BLISS.

I went away to Glenlyon with my three little sisters. It was the first time in our entire lives that the four of us had been away on our own, without any hangers-on. We slipped into the gentle ease of sibling-hood. No arguments about what to eat, where to go, what we wanted to do. No worrying about inconveniencing anyone, or having to ensure everyone is having a good time. We all eat the same foods, we drink the same drinks, we do the same things. So. Easy. Aside from our combined indecisiveness. But we survived that ok too.

We read books.

Spoiled ourselves with a long luxurious lunch at a winery.

Bought wine.

Drank wine.

Had takeaway pizza.

Re-enacted being chased in an apocalypse on the side of a hill.

Collapsed in fits of laughter.

Watched a daggy movie.

Ate chocolate.

Read books in bed when we woke up.

Had multiple toilet stops.

Went window shopping.

And spent time remembering what we are grateful for.

We all went home to our partners and families feeling full and lucky. It really is so important to take the time to pause our lives, if not for a whole weekend, just an hour, or a moment, and to remind ourselves of the good things.

I’m back in time for the year to really begin. KB went back to work today after six whole weeks off, kinder starts tomorrow, school goes back on Wednesday, and I begin Yoga Teacher Training on Sunday. We are hoping to move house and we both have professional changes and updates in the wings. A big year ahead, but luckily for us, it’s an exciting one too. I hope you all get the chance to have a little inhale before February, wherever you may be.

#itsinthebag: better late than never

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I recently read this post on the lovely Jodi Wilson’s blog about the #itsinthebag initiative. I was looking for a worthy cause to prepare something for this Christmas, and this fits the bill. I prefer not to donate money at this time of year, only because it’s hard for the girls to understand how they are helping. Something tangible that they can see and help prepare teaches them a lesson that an online click of funds from here to there cannot. I am also especially passionate about initiatives for women and girls; being one of four sisters and having three daughters of my own (and a niece!) it is an issue very close to my heart. Of course there is always a place for monetary donations, and we do donate what we can to our selected causes during the year.

#itsinthebag is an initiative which traditionally cares for women in need, who are often forgotten. A handbag is filled with items of use and a note to show that someone cares. This year, they are also including bags for teenage girls aged between 14 and 18. Please differentiate your bag for teens with a yellow ribbon tied around the handles.

I read about this on Friday night, so when doing our food shop on Saturday we threw some extra items in the trolley: a hairbrush, some gel pens, tissues, sanitary items, hair ties and a few other fun things. I whipped up a tote bag and Bird, the Pixie and I will write a card tonight. We will post it all tomorrow.

Unfortunately collection points have closed for this year (as you know I am quite unprepared for the big day this year) so if you do want to take part, you will have to post your bag. Details are on the website.

Please see this post on Jodi’s website and the official website for more details.

 

when lego was just… lego

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As a child I used to play for hours with our basket full of lego. I remember making towns and homes and parks and imaginary worlds and moving the little people all about. We have a big basket of duplo from the 80s that my grandmother gave us when she moved house, but the girls are now ready for the smaller sized lego pieces.

Birdie recently got some lego and when we brought it home I was surprised to note that almost all the blocks were pink and the only person in the box was a blonde princess. She has a bed with roses on it and a dress and a rabbit with its very own crown. And a wand. It wasn’t until this point that I realised (in horror) that in this day and age there is “girl’s lego” and “boy’s lego”. What I would refer to as “lego” is now “boy’s lego”. And from what I can gather they seem to come mostly in kits where the need for imagination is limited. I bet you all knew this already, right? I was telling someone about this horrific discovery only to have them reply, “Oh, I know, isn’t it great! Now the girls can play lego too… it’s so cute.”

As you can imagine I had to quickly change my tune…

Before I had children, I thought gender stereotyping was a thing of the past, but as a parent I now realise it is certainly alive and thriving. Why can’t my girls play with plain old lego? I should point out that Bird absolutely loves her pink lego… But there were no towns or families or parks to be made with the princess stuck in her lonely old castle. As far as I could see she didn’t have many things to do aside from faff about in her royal bed or look at herself in her royal mirror and wave her pink wand every now and then. With her crowned bunny. Who also has a wand. But can’t hold it. So.

Just like at the Pixie’s swimming lesson the other week when the teacher instructed her in a little dainty voice to “kick, kick, kick your little princess toes!” and to the boy in the class in a gruff deep voice: “kick, kick, kick those big strong legs!”

I don’t know about all the other parents of girls out there, but I know I want all three of my women to grow up with strong legs that can carry them through the ups and downs of life, rather than “little princess toes”.