Tuesday, May 29, 2012

That moment when you realise you have become your Mother...

You can see the merit in ironing clothes.

You cannot go to bed without doing the dishes.

You think a nice cup of tea is the perfect end to every meal, and you also believe a cup of tea can help solve every problem.... basically, you just drink a lot of tea.

You are always late for everything, because you always want to "just hang out a load of washing really quickly" before you go anywhere.

The idea of a bath, a really good book and a great night's sleep... sounds like the best night ever.

You look for SPF in your moisturizer.

You are less interested in the trendiness of your wardrobe, than the practicality, and you no longer buy clothes that you don't wear.

You find yourself thinking "that music really needs to be turned down!"

You make people text you when they are travelling, so you won’t worry.

You are willing to accept less... so your children can have more.

Linking up with Jess for some #IBOT fun!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Cleaning, cleaning, cleaning, there's always so much cleaning to be done!

Image found {here}

Shane and I have quite traditional roles around the house. I clean the toilet, he chops firewood. He mows the lawn, I do the folding. It's never even really been discussed, it's just the way we operate. Occasionally we help each other out with the jobs. For instance, on bad days he often cooks dinner, and I like to help him out mowing the lawn when I get the chance... but most of the time, a lot of the indoor cleaning tasks fall to me, and his work is either outside of the house, or at his paid job. I don't always love it (folding clothes is often the bane of my existence!) but most of the time it works for us.

The concept of 'clean' is so relative. When I worked at my job, I would often let the housework slide during the week, and then just get in and clean up on the weekends. Now, I can't go to bed if the dishes aren't done, and my life often feels like it revolves around household tasks. Washing, dishes, bed-making, sweeping, folding, cooking.... and before you know it a whole day is gone!

I'd hate for my kids to remember their Mother as a cleaning Nazi who never had any fun. I don't want to reach the end of my days, and have it said about me that I didn't travel, didn't dream or take risks... but boy my house was nice! What an empty achievement.

But at the same time, I like having a clean house. It's nice. It's part of the way I show the people around me that I love them. It also keeps me sane. I like living in a nice, well-ordered environment. I want to have a nice clean home that can make people feel welcome. My house certainly isn't the cleanest house in the world, but as a general rule, it's nice and tidy. However I don't want that to be all I do.

Most of the time, I try not to let cleaning take over everyday. I have a couple of days that I designate specifically for household chores, but most days I do the basics and then try to go live life.  I tend to leave the house alone a bit during the day, and do some of the chores while he kids nap, but then at night once everyone is asleep I do my big tidy up, that takes me about 45 minutes. That's when I do the dishes, tidy the kitchen and the lounge room, sweep the floor, straighten the bathroom, take out the rubbish, and do anything else that needs doing. It's nice to wake up to a nice house in the morning.

That might sounds like a lot to some people, and yet sound like nothing to others. There are so many times when I feel like my house isn't clean enough... but the thing about cleaning is that the more you do, the more you see there is to do!

I can see how easy it would be for a stay at home Mum to develop a hugely unhealthy attitude to cleaning, so I work hard on keeping my inner desperate housewife in check! Because honestly, there really is so much more to life than a clean house! What's your attitude like when it comes to cleaning, and what is your cleaning routine like?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Dear Today, you were pretty great.

My morning began at around 5am when the baby boy in the cradle beside me started making 'feed me' noises. I brought him to bed with me and fed him, and then he lay between Shane and I and chattered to himself while I pretended to go back to sleep and eventually dozed off.

Shane's alarm went off beside me and he got up and had breakfast. He woke me because he needed a lift this morning since his vehicle was at work. As I woke up slowly while he had a shower I heard Georgie calling out "Mummy! Daddy!" so I left a thumb-sucking Charlie on the bed and went in to her. She was fuzzy and warm and I got a lovely just-awake cuddle.

We got into the car, and then Shane dashed back inside and got me one of his beanies to wear because my hair was doing all kinds of crazy. We drove to Shane's work (stopping to pick up a couple of coffees in the drive-through on the way) and then the kids and I went home to have breakfast. Georgie and I had our toast while Charlie talked to us from the bouncer, and then she played in the lounge room while he had a feed and went down for a morning nap. I had a shower with a little girl sitting on the bottom of the bath, and she had a splash around in the tub while I got myself dressed and ready for the day.

We hung a load of washing out, and then the two tiny people went into the pram and we walked downtown past all the shops, stopping occasionally to give Georgie another biscuit, until we finally reached the park. Charlie watched while his sister played, climbing and sliding and bouncing. Eventually we started back for home, stopping briefly to chat to another Mummy friend we met. Georgie started to fall asleep in the pram, so I got her out and she walked alongside very s-l-o-w-l-y. We finally made it home, and I made a frittata for lunch (grated potato, cheese, onion and zucchini, yum!) while Georgie sat in her highchair with some salad and Charlie tried hard to move on the floor.

Shane came home and Georgie went down for her nap, and we ate lunch and Charlie had a feed. Shane went back to work and Charlie went down for a nap and I wasted a bit of time on the internet and wrote a blog post. I did a bit of housework, and then Georgie woke up. We went outside and hung out more washing, and then we made some biscuits. I took Charlie over to Grandma's for a little visit when Daddy came home, and Shane, Georgie and I went for a bike ride.

I picked up Charlie, and then, while it started to get cool, the tiny people had a bath and got into their snuggly pajamas. We had some dinner, Georgie brushed her teeth and we read some Hairy MaClary from Donaldson's Dairy before bed. Charlie stayed up for a while, but he was so happy it was okay. Eventually, Charles went to sleep, and then Shane and I chatted, while he sat with his laptop busily and I did the last straighten-the-house before bed.

It was a good day.

Monday, May 21, 2012


I'm not very good at recording memories. I take lots of photos, but I didn't get around to doing up our wedding album until I was on maternity leave before Georgie was born... 4 years after our wedding! Georgie still doesn't have a baby album done up, and I have no idea where so many keepsakes are.  I'm not that good at recording milestones either.

And honestly? I don't care. I love my kids, I really do. But I don't think that that love has to be manifested in baby books and cupboards full of things that I can't bear to part with. I'm a bit of a minimalist and I'm not big on 'stuff'.  I get that some people like to record each precious moment, and have boxes of things that contain memories, and I take no issue with that. But it's just never really been me.

I'm sure eventually I will get around to doing up some kind of baby book for my children. But I'm really not too worried. I have never gone to my Mother and asked 'When did I have my first haircut?' and I have no idea where my baby teeth are (they are most likely in a dump somewhere). I know that I am important to my parents, not because of the things they kept or didn't keep, and the things that they do or do not remember, but by the way they treat me. They have always had time for me, and they have consistently sown good things into my life.

I do keep some things. I am sure I will have my own special box of crayon drawings and mothers day cards and I will eventually get around to doing up my children's baby books, (probably by the time they are teenagers!) and I like to think of my blog as a bit of a record of special events as well. But I'm not too stressed about it all.

Maybe I'll regret it one day, Goodness knows childhood seems to fly by much quicker than I imagined. But I love my kids, and I'm pretty confident that they will always know that, whether they have a baby book or not.

What about you, are you a keepsake kind of person or not?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

22 and 4

It's been a while since I've done an update on the kids, and I like to keep this little blog of mine as a record of memories as well as a platform in which to air my thoughts, so I thought I'd write a bit about where the kids are lately.

Miss Georgina is just over 22 months old now, and she is pretty great. She is amazingly cheeky, and her grin can be a bit disarming! She is so beautiful, and (finally!) has enough hair for me to put in a clip, however in the world of Georgie, the worst possible thing that can happen is to have a clip in your hair, so she doesn't wear them often. Occasionally I will manage to sneak one onto her head, but as soon as she notices it, off it comes!

She isn't a particularly chatty little girl. She doesn't talk a great deal, but she manages to communicate pretty effectively without words! She does have language skills though, and is starting to say more and more. She talks more when she is at home with family, and stays pretty quiet when we are out. But (as always), she is taking her sweet time, and I'm pretty sure she will start talking more when she feels the need to- and when she does talk properly, I'm sure there won't be quiet again! We decided to shelve the toilet training for now. Neither of us were really ready for it. I think I'll try again later when I feel she's ready.

She is one of the busiest little people ever, and is constantly doing. But we are getting to the stage where I can occasionally channel her busyness into doing something useful or fun, without tantrums and tears, because her capabilities are just growing in leaps and bounds. She is so independent and smart, and I just loves her to bits!

The boy is a little over 4 months, and he just makes my world... wonderful.

He is a beautiful chubby delicious ball of good-tempered, smiley wonderful boy and oh, I love him hard! He is such a dude, and is growing so much! Part of me cannot believe that he is four months already, and the other part can't believe that it has only been four months. It feels like he has been in my life for so much longer. I seem to have trouble remembering life without him. He is a bit of a Mummies boy, which makes it hard for Shane sometimes- especially when Charlie won't even let Shane hold him! But I kind of figure it will only last a little while. By the time he is a toddler he will be trying to follow his Daddy around everywhere- so I may as well enjoy being the center of his Universe before it stops.

He is so strong and is already rolling around. He has also had a couple of attempts at commando crawling and I wouldn't be surprised if he is moving properly in the next couple of months. He just seems so eager to be upright and moving!

I'm planning on starting him on some rice cereal sometime this week, because he's already showing interest in food, plus he is not sleeping through the night as well as he once was.... fingers crossed that will help!

Today I also discovered that he has cut his first tooth! He has been a drooling teething boy for a while now, and I've been able to feel some big lumps recently, and then tonight he grabbed my hand and was sucking on my finger when I realised that one of his bottom teeth has cut through!

He is so cool.

How I love them.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Two under two

Lately, I have been thinking about writing about having two children under the age of two. But I have been kind of hesitant, because I don't want to appear all 'look at me and my hard life... wah!' when the reality is, I chose this. Plus, I know other Mothers with more on their plate than me; single mothers, mums with three under four, two under three, one amazing woman I go to playgroup with has four boys under the age of four. So I don't want to appear to complain.

But then last night, I was prompted by Loz from Ninja Tales, and Erin from Eat Play Bond to talk about life with a toddler and a baby. And I thought, you know what? I'm going to do this. Because two under two may seem like no big deal when you've got five, but it is a very big deal when you're wrestling with one and wondering how on earth someone could possibly do another. I know I used to wonder how I was going to cope.

So, two under two.

Basically you get amazingly exhausted in a I-didn't-believe-it-was-possible-to-exist-on-such-little-sleep way, and there is much, much less space.

Things like shopping, going to the park, going to a friends, getting a babysitter, are a lot harder than they were when there was only one. You become very, very good at forward thinking. I am constantly planning and preparing for what's coming next.

Funnily enough, my house is much cleaner, and much more organised than it ever was when I was a Mum of one. Because I have to be a bit more organised. There is less 'I'll leave that for later' because you know that later, you probably won't have the opportunity. So you do what you can when you can.

But it's not all bad. Having a baby the second time around isn't the same life-altering experience that it was the first time. Because you are already a mother. You know how to do this, because you've done it before. You know what it's like to stay at home with a child all day, you have developed routines to your days. You already have friends who are Mums (hopefully). And that makes coping much easier.

The sibling thing is also pretty cool. There is also nothing cuter than hearing Georgie say her brother's name. "Yarlie". I love how much Georgie loves her brother. And Charlie just worships the ground she walks on. Georgie is constantly giving him squeezy cuddles and squelchy kisses, but he doesn't mind, he just thinks she is wonderful.

I can see the benefit in having your children so close together. Georgie hasn't really had much time to develop without having a brother.He was born when she was 17 months, and I think having him around is probably all she remembers now. So she has never really displayed jealousy, or rivalry. She just adores her brother. However, in saying that, that may just be her too. Another child may not act the same way. Plus, it is still early days. I can see already that she can be a bit grumpy when he touches her toys! But they are good friends. And I love that.


You also get to enjoy your second baby more, I think. The first baby is all about you. You as a Mum, as an emotional milk machine. The second time around, you know what's happening, and it is much easier to roll with the punches. You also know how fast they grow, and so you can appreciate them in each stage a little more. You really get to enjoy the snuggly baby cuddles, because you know they are so fleeting.

Some days you get to the end of the day with your head held high, feeling like you are a good Mum... other days you end up a frazzled, tear sodden, twitching mess, patting a screaming baby muttering 'Go to sleep Charlie. Charlie, go to sleep." But that's true no matter how many kids you have.

It is hard work. But the second child becomes yours just as completely, just as much as the first one did. They become a part of you, a part of your family, so very quickly. I could not imagine life without Charles now.

So yes, you will be exhausted beyond belief. More tired than you thought possible. And sometimes the craving for a break, for some space will be almost overwhelming. But  the fact that you love them and they belong to you makes it easier.

Linking up with Diary of a SAHM, for #IBOT. Go check out some of the other bloggers who blog on Tuesdays and tell poor Jess to feel better soon!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Just swim

If you told me that I could never swim again, I would be absolutely devastated. I love swimming. I just do. I go as often as I can. Sometimes that half hour at the pool is the best part of my day. I don't think I can describe it accurately.... But when I'm in the water, it's as if the world just ceases to exist, or just stops mattering. All there is, is that cold clean light world underwater. Life suddenly gets very simple at the pool. Stroke, stroke, stroke... Breathe. Kick your legs. Count the laps. Everything just slows right down.

Swimming is one of my favorite things to do. It probably sounds stupid, but the pool is one if my favorite places in the world. Especially my town pool. I find it is such a safe place. I learned how to swim there. We used to take the bus from school and go to P.E classes there. I used to go there every afternoon when I was a girl, and swim lap after lap, training to do well at the swimming carnivals. I think I have done thousands of laps there. Probably tens of thousands.

It was recently redone. They made it semi-indoor and they heated it. The current manager takes very good care of it, so it is very clean and nice to swim at. These past few days the heating has been broken (it breaks frequently and it's quite an issue, but we won't go into that) and so the water has been very cold. At 21 degrees. I think I might be the only person that actually doesn't mind it when the heating breaks, but I like the cold. It means that there are less people, and it's lovely having the entire pool to yourself. It's freezing yes, but it also makes you feel so alive!

The first few laps are horrible, your body aches from the cold, and your lungs feel like they could burst because you swim so much faster when it's cold. But after a while you settle and get into your rhythm. The first 10 laps go slow, and the next 10 seem to drag, but then if you can push past it and get to 30 or 40 laps, it is just so good. I try to reach 30 laps most generally. 40 on a good day, 20 on a bad one.

It's nice, doing something that is so good for you, you know? I like that I can set my own pace, depending on how I feel. And it's not the kind of exercise that leaves you hot and sweaty and disgusting. I find it just tires me out nicely, gets rid of all the stress of the day. I love it because it's time when I can exercise, but it doesn't feel like hard work. I don't have to think about the kids, or the house, or anything if I don't want to. I think that lately, it's been one of the things that is helping keeping me present. I love my kids, and my life, I really do. But it is still hard work. So that hour, or half hour, or however long I can manage to be away from the kids... it is just helping enormously lately.

Just swim.

Today I am (finally) linking up with BBeing Cool for her Team Friday linky. Why not come check it out? And say happy Birthday to B at the same time!!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Mary and Martha

Did you ever hear the story about Mary and Martha? It's in the Bible, Luke 10:38-42. The basic story is that Jesus went to Martha's house, and Martha was very busy preparing a big dinner for him. Her sister Mary, instead of helping Martha, sat at Jesus' feet listening to his teachings, so Martha asked Jesus to tell Mary to help her, because it wasn't fair that Martha was doing all the work. But instead of talking to Mary, Jesus spoke to Martha and told her not to worry, and said that Mary was right to sit with him. He said "There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her."

I don't know about you, but I've always struggled a little with that story. It doesn't seem right when you look at it, really. I've always identified strongly with Martha. Being busy, and getting frustrated at those who don't help seems to come naturally to me! I always feel like I am busy 'doing'. So when I did a quiz the other day I got a bit of a surprise.

It's part of a bible study that some ladies in our church are doing. I'm not going to the study, but my Mum and sister are, and I was talking to them about it, and they are doing a study on spiritual gifts, and which area people are the strongest in. The idea is you chose words that best describe you, and there are three different sections. One area is God the spirit, which is supposed to represent power, the next is God the Father, which represents wisdom, and the last is God at Calvary, which represents commitment. You end up with a score in each area to show where your heart lies, and where your spiritual gifting is. (I hope that makes sense!) And then you see where you end up, and the idea is that you fall in line with one of six personalities which have bible characters as examples.

So anyway, I did the quiz, and got a surprise to see that my score was highest in the spirit-filled area. And it was really high, like the very highest it could be, which kind of stunned me. I still scored in the other areas, but not very strongly. And the character who was my example is Mary. And I honestly had trouble seeing it.

But then I was talking about it with my Mum and my sister, and I did begin to see. I enjoy worship. Very much. I used to lead worship in our church, but at the moment have stopped for a while because I am just too busy as a Mum. And that is hard for me, because I really do love it. But I'm sure that I'm supposed to put my family first in this season.

I never really saw myself as a sitting-at-Jesus'-feet kind of person. But it's true that I am passionate, and excitable, and I tend to feel strongly about things. I don't have great time management, and am easily caught up in ideas and dreams. The busyness and discipline and hard-working mindset that I have isn't something I have naturally, but something I have learned.

It's funny, I kind of feel a bit like being a Mary isn't great. Like I am just some crazy spirit-filled Christian with not much substance. No wisdom, no commitment. Nice. But then I was thinking... I do have some wisdom, and discipline. Much of it is learned, and has been taught. But I do have some. However, my heart is for worship. For sitting at the Father's feet in awe. When it is important, I know how to drop everything and focus on Him. And that's good.

It's not all good being a Mary though. The danger of being a Mary is that I only do what I like, what comes easily. I am not good at reading my bible. I would much rather do what I want, when I feel like it. I prefer to worship, and pray. However, a lot of that is me communicating with God. Which is fine, but I don't always give God the opportunity to communicate back. I also need to remember that obedience is better than sacrifice.

Anyway, it's given me a lot to think about. I'm going to try to get the book so I can do the study myself. But it's good to take some time every now and then, and find out where you are. Sometimes it's nice to be surprised!

What about you? If you had to pick a bible character you are most like, who would it be?

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