29 April 2012

This week


Sun set, over a bank of clouds. Taken with my iPhone, while flying home from Melbourne.

As with most holidays, I was pretty tired when I arrived back in real life. Rushing the boy to the toilet, taking the garbage bins in, work phone calls and the school run. Parenting is a non-stop, full time job, and I was so grateful for the break. I'm so appreciative that Itay took on the parenting job while I was away with absolutely no problems.

This week has been all about catching up, making new plans, wondering what will happen next. I've had a few major changes at work and I'm not sure what that path holds for me next. It's been full of broken nights, with the small boy only wanting me to attend to him.

This week, my new drink bottle leaked all over my clothes, and unbeknownst to me, all over the library books I was returning. This water damage is going to cost me $45 and I am banned from borrowing until I hand over the dollars. Banned! This is devastating, for a library junkie like me.

This week I did not go to the gym. Next week, I must.

This week, we cleaned out our laundry and the kitchen cupboards, then moved the lounge room furniture around. It feels so good to clean up and move our energy around. De-junk and make space.

This week, I felt slightly overwhelmed by all the activities, notes, upcoming events, "homework", paprework and collecting of small cardboard boxes for school. This first year of school is taking some adjusting, and I'm not even the one attending school!

How was your week? What have you got planned for the week ahead?

26 April 2012

Sunsets and skies in St Kilda


OK, so only this first photo was taken in St Kilda. From the balcony our of very luxe apartment, in fact. Melbourne was wonderful.


The skies were divine, the weather was warm and the days were beautiful. We were exhausted at the end of each day but in an amazing, happy kind of way.


We packed in so much walking, absorbing, talking, wandering and the days were just so filled with great stuff. Back to reality with an audible thump but still keeping memories of the trip inside. Thank you, Melbourne. You rock.

Thank you to my beautiful girlfriends L and P who made the trip what is was.

Huge thank you to my husband who compleletely supported me and was so happy for me to head off for a girls weekend away. Love you, honey!

19 April 2012

Melbourne

This weekend, I'm heading to Melbourne with a couple of girlfriends to just be. No plans, other than to eat, chat, wander, take time, take photographs and just be me. I'm hoping this time will energize me and give me some much needed perspective and space to relax and move forward, to be a happier version of me. Reading that, it seems that I have such high expectations!

Truly, I just want to wander and be my self. Not necessarily by myself, but just be me. I'm looking forward to it, and there is no doubt I'll miss my little family too!

17 April 2012

Grow your own

I grew up in "the country", which meant we always had a vegetable garden, fruit trees and herbs growing wild. Living in apartments and houses since I left home, I often tried to grow herbs, with very little success. My mum has recently set me up (again) with quite a few yummy herbs and and my good friend Laura has given me a few strawberry plants and a kaffir lime tree. Amazingly, a previous attempt at growing herbs has somehow given us established mint and oregano. In fact the oregano is going a little bit wild!

Our garden is very scrappy, with an almost constant cover of fallen leaves and terribly spiky dead branches, allf rom a neighbour's tree. The kids have also heaped a whole lot of sand from the sandpit on to the garden.



See my little shallots there? They're recycled. I read this post by Talia Christine (remember I mentioned her in yesterday's post?) and I thought, surely even I could do this one! So I saved a few ends of shallots, placed the roots in water and let them grow. Then M and I planted them in our leafy, sandy garden. We'll see how they grow!


Oregano. Do you say Oh-re-gah-no or O-reg-a-noh?


Thyme, parsley, crazy nasturtiums, weeds and moss.

16 April 2012

For you, Mummy


Such a sweet baby boy. Look at that nerdy hair cut!

Blogging goodness

Reading blogs can become such a twisting, turning, clicking, linking experience.

Here are some gorgeous blogs I've stumbled across.

Collected Blog Written by a wife, mother, photographer and designer, a collection of pretty, interesting and lovely posts.

The Byron Life The blog of a Byron based journalist, who writes for The Northern Star (the newspaper of my youth!), a mum to three who dreams of sustainability.

Talia Christine The story of a Texan living in New Zealand with her husband and little baby girl. So sweet and pretty.

Oh Happy Day! Just as the title says, happy, yellow prettiness. A family from San Francisco, living in Paris. Good stuff.

Stephmodo  Parties, design, renovating a 400 year old cottage in France. What more can I say?!

Childhood 101 The title is quite self explanatory, and written by a Aussie mum.
Have you found any lovely blogs recently?

15 April 2012

Guess where we went?

 To the beach!


No really, we did. Perfect weather over the four day wekeend. So of course, we headed to beach. No surprise, right? It was gorgeous. We went to "real" beaches, the ones with waves. M is learning to embrace waves, O is still freaked out by them. We explored rockpools. Itay surfed. I swam and ducked under waves. It was so, so good.

I had some minutes alone on our bright, bright rug and I read my book in the sun. I practiced some mindfulness. I lay still, with my book beside me, my eyes closed. I felt the sun burning my skin, I felt the breeze move around me. I felt the salt drying on my skin. It was good.


Aba made me this totally cool sand ball. I love it.


So I'm just going to drop it and smash it. Fun!

14 April 2012

Hunting for the good stuff


I went a little overboard with chocolate and stuff last year, so I restricted the celebrations a little his year. The Easter Bunny left a melamine plate, cup and spoon set on each kid's bed, which they both loved (and thanked me for!). O cracked open his egg straight away, and M's is still siting unopened in the fridge.


They then had a little (and much emphasis on the word little!) egg hunt in our yard.


They both collected their eggs with exclamations of delight and joy and opened just a few each.


Most of the eggs are still sitting in their little buckets.


He loves to line things up, his toy cars and trucks get the same treatment. Fun with chocolate.

I'm glad we limited the consumerism and the commercialism and just enjoyed a few minutes of fun with these funny little people. Love them so.

13 April 2012

What's for dinner?

It's been a while since I recorded our meals plans. It's great to look back on them for inspiration!

This week, we're having:

Salmon patties w/ corn on the cob & salad
Fajitas
Thai beef salad
Chilli prawns w/ garlic bread & salad
Lentil stew (a new recipe)
Risoni w/ sausages & vegies
Lamb cutlets w/ baked herbed potatoes & salad

Last week, we had:

Shakshuka w/ crusty bread (an Israeli dish, usually served for breakfast, delicious!)
Salmon steaks cooked in foil w/ tomatoes & herbs w/ rice
Butterfly chillli & garlic chicken w/ baked herbed potatoes
Greek meatballs w/ salad & peas
Homemade pizza
Lamb cutlets w/ baked garlic, sweet potato, pumpkin and feta salad (thanks for the pumpkin, Laura!)
Toasted sandwiches

What are you having for dinner this week?

11 April 2012

Lost

Loss of self. Who am I, these days? I see and read so much about seeing the beauty in your day, in your life, about sucking the joy from each moment, about being positive and happy and just being in the moments with your kids. Instead, I seem to spend most of my days unhappy, thinking about the blah and the bad. I'm in a  limbo of sorts. I love my children, I love my husband. But I am not a good mother or a good wife right now. I'm not in the moments, I rarely feel joy. I don't ever feel sexy or beautiful or confident.

I’m spinning my wheels, going no where, feeling no better, feeling no more positive or hopeful or joyful. I dread going to sleep because I know I’ll wake up exhausted. I dread going to sleep because I know I have to wake up, never when my own body tells me to wake up. I dread the thought of having a shower or being without clothes, I feel so ashamed of my body.

I eat far too much, enough to make me sick. I have cut down on drinking but even the two I may have make me feel rougher in the mornings, if that is possible.

I feel that I always have so much creativity in my head but it just never, ever translates. Even these words don’t aptly describe how I feel.

When I do have opportunities I back away, I retreat, I ignore until the opportunity is tarnished or no longer achievable. I've lost my self.

4 April 2012

Her first school holiday


As usual, we hit the beach after swimming lessons on Saturday morning. The first morning of school holidays. We're making the most of the gorgeous, still warm, autumn beach days. M found this very cool vine as we set up our beach crap and it became the basis of most of the beach play that morning.

(As a side note, we have so much beach crap! We're pretty good at packing it up and heaving it around these days, but I remember our first few trips to the beach when M was a baby. Itay and I thought our lives were over. Seriously. On Saturday mornings, I pack our huge beach bag with three towels and a plastic bag for wet swimmers. Goggles. Swimming pool cards. Water. Dry underpants. Then I pack a second bag with four towels, dry swimmers, plastic bag for wet swimmers, camera, food, water, maybe a book if I'm feeling particularly optimistic. After swimming lessons, I swap out all the wet stuff from our huge beach bag and dump in all the dry beach stuff. Phew! We also drag beach toys, up to three boards and some days, the tent.)



Two sticks makes a violin.


So, her first school holidays. Sunday afternoon, I drove M down to my mum's place for her first sleepover. Ever, anywhere. Sadly, this is true. She is 5.5 years old and has never had a sleepover at her grandmother's house, or anywhere else. It's both our fault and her choice. We were such over protective parents and she was such a difficult baby. I found it so hard to let go. I still worry now about her being such had work for my mum. And M? Up until Sunday morning, she didn't want to go. She was scared of going to sleep without us. When she saw the suitcase I'd packed fer her, she began to get excited. When we arrived at my Mum's house, M just wanted me to leave. She was so cool - OK Mum, bye. When are you going? Make sure you tell Aba that I had no tears. He really needs to know that, OK? 

We've spoken to her a couple of times on the phone and it sounds like she's having a great time! My mum sounds tired. To be expected. M is an intense little lady.

The little lady is heading for Vacation Care at our daycare tomorrow. A trip to a cool park and lunch at Sizzler is on the agenda. She is super excited about this! Thursday, Itay takes a day off and hangs out with her. Friday to Monday, we're having family days, the long weekend. Tuesday, my mum will come up to look after M, and then she's back to Vacation Care for a craft & cooking day. Again, she is thrilled about this! Thursday, I've taken a day off to be with her and then I have my normal Friday with the kids. 

It's taken a little bit of juggling, some driving and quite a bit of thought about what would make M happy and what would work for us all, but we're doing it. How is it going to work out over the summer holidays? I'm a bit nervous about that!

What do your kids do over the holidays if you are working? Or if you're not? how do you keep them amused?

3 April 2012

Easter bonnet


I remember making Easter bonnets as a kid, and I have a few faint memories of Easter bonnet parades. A couple of weeks ago, M's school invited parents to a  little crafting session to create Easter hats for the kids. They assigned Year 7 buddies to the kids whose parents were not able to make it. The day before the hat making session was the school cross country day and I had a guilt trip going on that day. I couldn't be there for both activities and I knew M would appreciate the one on one crafting session a little more. I spoke to M about it in the lead up to the cross country day, and she seemed quite cool with it. "That's OK Mum, you'll come to the Easter hat day, won't you?". And then... as she kissed me for the last time that morning and the little line of kids was moving through the classroom door, she said "Mummy, why can't you stay for the running?". Oh, the sadness. The guilt.

After all this, on Easter hat making morning, she did say to me that she wished she could have one of the Year 7 buddies!

I raided our craft box for ribbons, butterflies, felt and pink shredded paper (from last Easter!) and bought a few things (feathers, baby chickens and pompoms) at the $2 shop. After a little thought, I also bought a $2.80 straw hat as a base, because I couldn't face actually making the hat part. Is that cheating?!

I went crazy with the stapler, M decided on all the positioning and then she went all out with a glitter pen. Doesn't she look sweet? There was so many gorgeous creations and the kids were having a great time. I was glad to be there, glad to have some flexibility with work. It's so hard being a mum who works. These moments in time are so precious but it can be a fight to make them happen.




Fast forward, and it was time to attend the Easter parade. It was held on the last day of school, a Friday, so both O and I headed over to the big new hall after we dropped M at her classroom. O was rambling on and on about the songs that M was going to sing, he was sure that they were songs about monsters, and could we please go home? He was happy enough, so when he buried his head in my chest and burst in to tears as the music started, I was surprised. Not shocked, because after all, I am the Mum who has always had crying, sobbing kids at every Christmas concert or event. I'm used to it. I was beginning to wonder if I was going to have to leave my seat and take him out, but a little box of chocolate teddies seemed to sort him out. I managed to turn him around to face the stage and then he was entranced. Loved the cute songs and the actions. M has changed, she's not the sobbing kid any more, she's completely in to it, loving it and smiling wide. Love that.

She's growing up.

2 April 2012

My boy heads to a party


The little dude was invited to a party by a little girl named Sammy. His very first party invite that was just for him. He was excited! I had to take a photo of him, all dressed up, post-hair cut, ready to go. he was accompanied by his sister and Aba of course, but so sweet that he has little friends of his own. He's forging his own path.

I've made a speech therapy assessment appointment for the little man, as his stutter is becoming very strong and it's happening on almost every sentence. I have no idea where to begin helping him, but at the times when he's really, really having difficulty saying a word, I've gently asked him to slow down, take a breath and start the word again. It seems to make it easier for him, with only a few little stutters to then get the word going. I've noticed he has used the technique himself a few times, with no prompting, when he knows he is having a difficult time with a word. (Hmm, I have just Googled stuttering and most information says not to do that.) Hopefully we can get some help soon and work on this with him.

He's so funny. Love him so.