Monday, April 30, 2012

A great day

So in case you missed it, I have kind of been at the end of my rope lately. Friday's post pretty much sums up how I've been feeling. So when our Saturday started with a trip to the Doctor's on Saturday morning, and with yet another prescription for antibiotics and Ventolin for Georgie, my expectations for the weekend were not high.

However, yesterday was amazing. The best day I have had in a very long time.

Saturday night was a horrible night with the kids. They were up and down all night. Shane and I got very little sleep. So when we woke up on Sunday morning, Shane decided we were not going to church. Then I had the bright idea of ringing my Mum to see if she wouldn't mind taking the kids to church for us. (I have the best Mum in the world, I know).

So instead of church on Sunday morning, Shane and I slept. And it was good. Then we decided to go out and have coffee.

When church was over, My Mum brought the kids to the coffee shop, and while I was feeding Charlie there, I mentioned that we would love to see The Avengers. It was on at lunchtime, but I just idly said it as a dream, not really thinking that we would be able to go. But Mum said "Why not?" and (because she is a saint) she took the kids back to her house. So while she and my Dad looked after my babies (again!) Shane and I went to the movies and watched The Avengers.

It's the first time I've been to the movies in about 12 months, and it was just so nice. It helped that it is a really good movie. I think I would have enjoyed myself even if it had been terrible. But the fact that it was so funny, and so well done, just made the day even better.

After the movie was finished we went and picked up our two very tired children, and Georgie had a little afternoon nap. Once she woke up, we decided to pop around and see Shane's parents, and then we ended up playing on the xbox connect, and staying for dinner.

Dinner at Granny Kay's house.

It was such a fun night. Georgie toddled around their house with a child sized shopping trolley, emptied out her Granny Kay's pantry, and thought it was pretty funny when Mummy and Daddy were boxing against one another, and Charlie got properly acquainted with his Grandad.

It was so unexpected. You couldn't have planned a day like that. But it was just exactly what I needed. It was so nice to spend a day with Shane. It made me remember how much I like him. I am so grateful for family, and I am so glad for a great day.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Bad Mother

Today is one of 'those' days. It's been one of those weeks actually. Just when I felt like the fog was lifting. Once again, Georgie is sick, (I freaking hate asthma!) and I am beyond tired. I have so many blog posts in my head, but cannot seem to translate that into actual writing. Every time I get a chance to blog, I sit in front of the computer, and then decide to go to bed instead.  But today I'm going to try. I can't promise that it will award winning stuff (really, when can I promise that?) but it's what's in my head today.

You want to know why Mother's are so good at guilt trips? It's because they feel guilty. All. of. the. time. I feel guilty when my kids cry, when I yell and lose my temper. I feel guilty because I am  so tired and I just want them to go away. I feel guilty when they're sick, or not eating properly. I feel guilty when they're cold, or hot. I feel guilty when they're sad, and I feel guilty when they're happy because I feel like they don't feel happy, often enough. Really, I just lurch from one guilty feeling to another.

I never realised that the worst thing I could be, isn't a murderer or a thief or a liar or a cheat. The worst thing I can do isn't on the list of seven deadly sins, it's not to break one of the commandments or anything like that. The worst thing in the world I can be... is a bad mother. Honestly, Kony 2012 has got nothing on me.

I take my children shopping, and while Charlie cries, Georgie coughs near an old lady who gives me a 'look' and it makes me want to punch her. We are almost out of Ventolin and I have somehow lost the repeat prescription, so we have another trip to the Doctor to look forward to, and I wonder how many more times I can take my sick children to the Doctor's before the receptionists say "What are you doing to these poor children"? Last night, the very last thing my daughter heard from her Mother before she went to sleep was 'Georgie, shut up!".

I know that this is just a moment. Tomorrow could be better. There is a tomorrow that will be better. This will not last forever. But right now it feels like I am the last person in the world who should be looking after my children. I just don't like them. And I really don't like myself.

I'm glad for this community. For the sharing. Sometimes the only thing that keeps me sane is knowing that I am not alone. That right now there is some other mother losing her shiz at her child, and then stuffing those bad feeling down with chocolate.

Other mothers get it. You can have the best, most supportive husband in the world. But he still won't understand completely. They have different struggles, the provider struggles, the job struggles. But the bad mother struggles? They just can't understand.

And so, we whine and we moan about our kids. It helps. We joke about farming them out to someone else, and we laugh about the fact that we are going crazy. Because deep down, we are terrified of being that Bad Mother. 

Friday, April 20, 2012

Something worthwhile....

Tonight we had the Watoto children's choir come do a concert in our town.


Watoto Children’s Choirs have traveled internationally since 1994 as advocates for the estimated 50 million children in Africa, orphaned as a result of HIV/AIDS, war, poverty and disease.

These are children who know suffering. They know pain. But they also know Jesus. You can see it all over their faces, hear it in their beautiful voices. They really, really love God. It's wonderful to see.

I almost didn't go. Shane is still quite sick, which meant I had to go alone. It was on at 7pm, and at 6:30pm I was still not sure if we were going. I fed Georgie, bathed them both and packed them in the car, but I was still in two minds about going. We were running late, an excellent reason to turn back. Charlie was hungry and I was not excited at the prospect of trying to feed him there. I was almost going to turn around and go home as soon as I parked the car. There were just too many cars there, and it had already started. But then I saw my sister arriving with her children and thought 'What they heck, just try. If it just doesn't work you can always go home.' But we stayed. I parked Georgie on Jenny's lap (because she's wonderful like that), and just stood up the back with Charlie next to my friend who was there rocking her baby girl... and I just took it all in. And I am glad. It was amazing.

You want to see Joy? You look at the beautiful smiling faces of rescued Ugandan orphans. They know Joy.


It was like a drink of water when I have been so thirsty. These children, who have suffered through far worse than I ever have, reminded me about the joy of the Lord. They just absolutely love Jesus. It's not just a show, it's not an act. They are so in love with God, and it just radiated from them.

I know the blogosphere has been abuzz about Africa ever since Eden went there. And since then I have not written so many posts because they seem so trivial, and insignificant and unworthy. But this is worth talking about.

It's not about comparing. My pain, my problems, they are still problems. They may not be the biggest problems in the world, but they are still my problems. And they are still valid. But it does give some perspective. If these children can worship and praise and love God so much, despite all their circumstances, surely I can too? And if I can do something to help more children to rise up out of horrible circumstances, then why don't I?

Kate, at Kate says stuff recently had her sister share on her blog about her experience in Zambia. In it she mentions how vital it is to support the smaller less visible organizations. I think that the Watoto group could be one of those, The work they do, and they way they do it, looks pretty amazing. I don't normally do this on my blog, but if you want to, go check them out, and see what they do!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

It is time....

It's starting.


I think that I am a little stupid. I'm not 100% sure if its the right time.... But I've decided to start to toilet train Georgie. I must admit, it feels a little early, she's only 21 months old. But I've seen kids toilet train at 15 months, and others wait until they're 3. I know children toilet train when they're ready, regardless of age. And it does seem like she is ready, even if I'm not.

I've helped toilet train many children before when I worked in childcare. But it's a whole different kettle of fish when its my child. When it's all on me. It's hard when we have to do it in real life. Not in a controlled child-centered place. But everywhere. In the car, over at a friends house, when we're shopping.... when it comes to that I have no clue.

Basically I thought we would just try for a month, before it gets too cold. Hopefully it will happen quicker than that. My plan is to put Georgie in undies just at home for the beginning, but when we go out, she can wear pull-ups. I will take her to the toilet as often as she wants to. I will ask her if she needs to go often, and I will try really hard to watch her for signals. I know it could be hard with a baby as well, but I'm determined to try.

We will use the potty at home because that's what she's used to, and she's already been using it with a little success, and she is still quite little to reach the toilet. Plus if I have my hands full with Charlie there is less risk of her falling off the toilet and hurting herself.

I would use treats, but Georgie isn't really into 'treat food'. She's not a big fan of sweet foods like chocolate or lollies (no idea how that happened!). Her favorite food is probably cheese. But I thought I might get some stickers to use as a reward and see if they work. I have no idea how this is going to go, but we can only try right?

 So do you have any toilet training tips or advice for me? How did you toilet train your tiny people?

I'm linking up with the awesome Jess from Diary of a SAHM for #IBOT. Why not come check out some of the other bloggers who blog on Tuesdays? And say hi to Jess while you're at it!

Just as a side note, did you also imagine the baboon from the Lion King saying 'It is time!' when you read that title? I totally did when I wrote it. (Yes, I am nuts.)

Friday, April 13, 2012

When life gives you lemons..... make cupcakes

It has been a truly terrible week. Both children have been very, very sick. Georgie has had asthma and been on Ventolin, as well as antibiotics, and now we've just found out poor Charlie has RSV. They have been really sick. Basically this week has sucked.  Shane has come home (and it's so nice to have him here) but he has come home to a couple of whiny, unhappy, very miserable children and an unwell super stressed out wife. Fun and games round here, my friends!

I have been to the Doctor's every day this week. It's just been nuts. Mostly to monitor Charlie's oxygen levels. But yesterday I went in and I was positive that Charlie had something terribly wrong with him. Now generally I am not a helicopter parent. Most of the time I am pretty laid back. I'm a big fan of the 'she'll be right' attitude. But on Wednesday night, I spent all night sure that Charlie was really sick, because I felt a lump in his chest just under his ribcage. I was terrified it was a tumor, I made the mistake of Dr Googling it, and was convinced at the very least it was a hernia. So all night my head was going a mile a minute. In fact, when I went to the Doctor's and she said it was just his breastbone sticking out, (and I just noticed it because he's lost weight and is breathing very rapidly) it took me a while to get myself out of the 'my baby is dying' mindset. That's how stressed I am.

All week I have been craving cupcakes. Specifically, a vanilla cupcake with chocolate buttercream icing. I don't know why, and I can't adequately describe it. But I have really wanted a cupcake. It's like in my head it will make everything better.


Yesterday so great was the craving that I ended up ducking into the bakery to get a cupcake. They didn't have chocolate icing, but they did have strawberry. And I thought that will work. So I took it home, and while the kids managed to have their naps overlap for 20 minutes I took some time out with my cupcake.

And it was all wrong. The icing was good, not chocolate, but good. But the cake, it just tasted bought, you know? So in the end I decided screw it. My house is a mess, the kids are sick and everything sucks. But I am making some damn cupcakes.

And you know what? They were good. They didn't magically make everything better. But they helped. They were slightly soul-restoring. There is just something so deeply satisfying about a good cupcake. It filled a hole I didn't know existed. I used a favorite recipe from the Day to Day cookery book, which is the book my Grandma used. And it just makes the most amazing cupcakes ever. They are soft, and melty and so absolutely cakey. The icing isn't the one I normally make. It had way too much butter, but, my goodness it was perfect! Just the right chocolatey sweetness. Sure they were very, very bad for me. They are not going to do my waistline any favours. But oh, they are just so good!

And it was nice. So nice just to make (and eat) some cupcakes. It was nice to be able to do something. And do it well. My children are sick, and I cannot do anything about that. They both want me at the same time, and are stomping all over my last nerve, and I cannot do anything about that. My husband and I need some time without children. And I cannot do do anything about that. Everything is hard, and wrong and it has just been the week from hell. I am not getting anything right, and I cannot do anything about that.

But I can make some seriously awesome cupcakes. And that helps.

Sunday, April 8, 2012


On Thursday I did my grocery shopping. In retrospect it was a stupid day to do the shopping. Especially when I could have just as easily gone shopping on Tuesday or Wednesday. But I went Thursday. Just after I'd been to the Doctor's with my sick kids. Just before my town got crazy busy with it's annual Easter celebrations. I would have put it off, but by Thursday we really needed food. And even if it could have waited until Friday, the shops would have been shut. So we braved the supermarket.

As I was circling the car park searching for a park, with two miserable children in the backseat,  cursing myself for being so stupid, the radio was playing. And then a guy started talking about Easter, and the meaning behind it, and what Jesus endured on the the cross.

He spoke in detail, in vivid detail, about the way Jesus suffered as he died for us. The physical suffering. And it really was just awful. I'm not going to rehash it, you can look it up in detail if you want. But suffice to say that being hung up on a cross was the least of Jesus' suffering. What he went through for us. As I was sitting in my car, circling round and round, I started crying. Suddenly finding a park seemed like the most unimportant thing in the world.

You know what? I still don't understand it. When you think of all he suffered, it sounds impossible that anyone could withstand it. I cannot fathom how he endured so much, why he endured so much.  I honestly don't think we're worth it.

But I am immensely grateful that he did.

I am so thankful that he suffered so I don't have to. I am so glad that he died because he loves me that much. And I am so glad that he didn't stay dead. That he rose again, and defeated death, so that I can have eternal life.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

March in Photos

Once again I participated in Fat Mum Slim's photo a day challenge. I've been a bit late in getting my photos up as the kids are sick. But the good news is- Daddy's coming home tomorrow! March wasn't quite as exciting as February, but I still love looking at the photos. It makes me remember each day much more vividly!

Day 1: Up. My view when I wake up.

Day 2: Fruit. Had a day. These guys got us through.

Day 3: Your Neighborhood. Going home after a walk.

Day 4: Bedside. My bedside table.

Day 5: A smile. Cheeky smile. She always seems to make friends with it!

Day 6: 5pm. At the dentist. Didn't need any fillings- hooray!

Day 7: Something you wore.

Day 8: Window

Day 9: Red. We spotted this red something on our walk.

Day 10: Loud. We had a day that was the opposite of loud.

Day 11: Someone you talked to today. My Mummy.

Day 12: Fork. Little Miss is mastering her baby fork.

Day 13: A sign. Two very grumpy children. I took it as a sign we needed a big nap!

Day 14: Clouds.

Day 15: Car.

Day 16: Sunglasses.

Day 17: Green.With his Aunty Lizzie.

Day 18: A corner of your home. A corner of the little girl's bedroom.

Day 19: Funny. A text from my sister regarding a game of Draw something.

Day 20: Before /After. Some seriously good cookies.

Day 21: Delicious. Georgie's first Babycino.

Day 22: Kitchen sink. I always have a better day if I do the dishes the night before.

Day 23: Moon. Moon River.

Day 24: An animal. My spoiled dog.

Day 25: Breakfast. Breakfast for dinner is a common occurrence in my house.

Day 26: Key. Where the keys live in our house.

Day 27: Your name. Apparently Robyn is a Swedish popstar. Who knew?

Day 28: Trash. Taking the rubbish out late at night.

Day 29: Feet. Happy feet of a feeding baby.

Day 30: Toy. SO wish I could just ignore this and go to bed.

Day 31: Where you relax. My happy place.

All of my photos were taken on my Iphone and shared on Instagram.My handle over there is slightly_deep. There's a new challenge for April, and it's lots of fun! Why not come join in?

Sunday, April 1, 2012

My chicken has not been funky

Did you ever watch Buffy the Vampire slayer? Not the cool Buffy with Sarah Michelle Gellar, but the dodgy early 90's Buffy that was so bad it was almost good? If you have, then you might remember the cheerleading scene, where they do that cheer, 'how funky is your chicken' (which is really weird by the way). Anyway, whenever I hear that word 'funk' it transports my head immediately to that scene and I start chanting in my head.

Just a little back-story to explain the title.

So anyway, a couple of days ago, one of my very favourite bloggers, Nat the Fat Rat, posted here about being in a funk. It was one of those posts that makes you go 'Yes!' if you know what I mean? Because I have been struggling a little lately. For like, the past few months. I think it started sometime right at the end of my pregnancy with Charlie. I just lost my joy, and was merely going through the motions.

It happens. And really, considering all the upheaval our lives have had lately, it's hardly surprising. But everything has just been so much work. Being happy, smiling, thinking good thoughts... I could still do it. It's wasn't depression. But it just took so much effort to do it all.

I've still had moments of joy, Charlie has been a huge source of my joy lately. But I lost my sparkle, my flair. I lost my me.  But I think the fog is lifting. Without even realising it, I have been developing routine's, strategies, and I've had a few epiphanies that have helped bring me back.

Mostly it's been little things, like restructuring Georgie's bedtime routine to accommodate Charlie and the fact that I am flying solo. I have learned that a little bit of cleaning and tidying at night time after the kids are asleep goes a long way, and I am also learning that you can never undervalue the importance of a good night's sleep.

But mostly I've remembered that I need to help myself too. I kind of hate that whole 'Take time out for you' mentality that gets bandied about so much. Mostly because it often comes from advertisers trying to sell you something. I hate the culture that tells us to put ourselves first, to indulge, to be selfish.... because really I don't think lack of selfishness or indulgence is an issue in this western world!  But to some extent, it is true. It is important to put on your own breathing mask before you help someone else with theirs. To be the best Mum and wife and Robyn I can be, I have to take care of myself a bit. And for me, the thing that helps the most is exercise. So in the past month, I've been working really hard to exercise each day, and my goodness it has helped!

Mostly I've been walking, but I've also gone for a swim whenever I get the opportunity, and I've ridden my bike a little too. I even managed to get to the gym last week and do a pilates class which was fantastic (although I hurt like hell for days afterwards!).

I still have my off days. On Saturday I was a weeping mess for lots of silly little reasons. But the point is, things are getting better. The good days are definitely outweighing the bad. My chicken has not been funky... but it's getting there.

Weirdest cheer ever.
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