Tuesday, 23 December 2008
A few weeks ago, Jack, Hamish and I went through their toys. We talked about how there are some children who don't have very many toys and how we might go through ours and give the ones we don't use or like to the charity bin.
We don't have very many toys, mainly because our kids don't play with toys much they are more likely to play outside, do some craft, have one special toy for a week or watch a movie, so I wanted to make sure that the toys we did have were ones that were going to be used and not just thrown on the floor while they were rummaging.
The kids were great, they talked about each toy and whether they used it or not. Jack told me about toys that were to young for them now or told me if I needed to check with Hamish before I put it in the bag and so slowly one by one we went through each toy. In the end we gave about 1/3 of the toys to the charity bin.
So now it is Christmas time, and we have brought the kids a few new toys and other bits and pieces. I have started to remember that gluttonous feeling that as a kid I got when I looked at everything I received on Christmas day and how I loved the feeling of excess.
It is that feeling that sits in the back of my mind and tempts me to buy more stuff for the boys, quietly it whispers..... Not enough, they need more, what about the pogo stick he's asking for, what if they don't feel like its enough.
Don't worry, because I'm aware of that feeling I'm not going to rush to the shops and fill the pillow case that is their Santa sack, but its funny how strongly I feel it.
This year we have talked to a lot of people about not swapping presents, moneys to tight, we don't believe that spending money on people shows love or even care, it more likely (but not always) shows a sense of expectation than true giving and so we wanted to say to everyone;
'hey, let's not spend money at this crazy time of year, we love you and know you love us and if at some time you see something you think we or the kids would love then buy it, but don't go out and buy something because this time of year demands it'
I feel glad and lighter that this is the way we have decided to go with many of the people we usually swap presents with, sure there are still quiet a few people who we will swap with and joyously so, but it is nice to feel like we are making a stand against consumerism, in spite of that voice. Mind you I still ended up buying more than I had planned ...... As always
After much deliberation and teasing from me that it wouldn't be done today on Christmas Eve Eve Andrew completed the tree house for the kids christmas present. The kids think its awesome and I think Andrew is awesome for getting it done before christmas.
Thursday, 18 December 2008
Today the boys received Christmas cards with $5 each in them from their Great Nanna. After we talked about a few things we could do with the money, they decided it was a good day to go to the pool and have an ice cream.
It rained as we got there and I remembered the feeling of swimming in the rain as a kid, feeling the icy raindrops hitting my head and shoulders, watching the drops splash on the waters surface. It was lovely to watch the boys discover that its warmer to keep your body underwater away from the freezing rain. They couldn't decide whether to laugh or cry (so they did a bit of both) but the ice cream fixed everything, as it almost always does.
Tuesday, 16 December 2008
Monday, 15 December 2008
So blogging is on hiatus for a moment while I get over feeling sick. Much to my dismay my sore throat isn't just a 24 hour thing ......
One of the nice bits about being sick is watching my men, big and small, rally together to try and help me. This evening I was feeling particularly tender and had a little tear to myself. Jack came in with a glass of water telling me that it would make me better. I stopped feeling teary and told him I was such a lucky mumma and he was a very special boy. He looked at me and said very plainly "yes mummy, I know that" the wonderful honesty of children
See you when I can swallow again xx
Thursday, 11 December 2008
I started writing this blog for a few reasons, firstly I had all these ideas running around in my head that I wanted to express, but for what point? It seemed a complete waste to write them and have them sit on my PC never to be read, plus I wanted to talk to people about what I had been thinking.
Secondly, I find writing cathartic, especially since being more home bound. Its good to have something that I put my mind to, something to think about that is outside of my daily grind.
Lastly I wanted to have a place to share with family and friends the photos and stories of our daily life, and at the same time, have something that I could look back at, having all those quirky little stories and pictures all in one place.
There have been quiet a few times when people have commented on where I get the time. I guess we all need to find the time to do things that are just for us. I would love to do yoga, meditate or read my book but these are all things that are hard to do when you have children. The way that I find time to blog is due to my wonderful Blackberry. It means that while the kids play at the park or in between colouring/riding bikes and building castles I can pop out my Blackberry and write. Some post do require me to sit in front of the PC but they are few and far between.
I don't blog as much as I want to. In my perfect world I would find time (and an idea) to write everyday. At most these days its 3 times a week often its less, and it would be a lot less without my Blackberry.
Every man and his dog has a blog these days, they are the 21st century diaries, letters, photo albums, phones calls, and more, all at once. I guess if you think of it that way then blogging saves me time, money, keeps me in touch with others and is my version of a brain trainer.
You may ask how do I find the time, I ask you how do you not? *grin*
Wednesday, 10 December 2008
Tuesday, 9 December 2008
Finally this is our new Advent calendar. I brought it from oxfam and filled the little pockets with stickers and balloons, party poppers and the occasional candy cane. I fell in love with it last year and regretted not buying it so i feel pretty pleased with myself now that it is part of our Christmas tradition .... actually can it be a tradition the first year you do it?
I saw a cool idea on Owlets blog. They write activities to do each day, she got the idea from another blog and below if the list of activities they used last year. I think its a great idea and hope that i remember next year to fill the little pockets a bit more creatively.
1. Paint everyone’s toenails
2. Have hot chocolate with all the fixings (we might do milkshakes if it’s too hot)
3. Star gazing
4. Give everyone crazy hairstyles
5. Backyard cricket
6. Go out for sushi
7. Have an indoor picnic
8. Write letters to Father Christmas
9. Use puppets to tell bedtime story
10. Have breakfast for dinner (I am thinking pancakes)
11. Make decorations for the tree
12. Have a camp out around the Christmas tree
13. Pack a picnic dinner and have it at a park (or Botanical Gardens)
14. Fancy dress for dinner time
15. Wrap a toy and take it to a charity Christmas tree
16. Make handmade gift tags for relatives
17. Fish and Chips for dinner down at the beach
18. Fold origami for the Christmas tree
19. Dance like crazy to music
20. Watch a Christmas movie with popcorn
21. Go out for gelati
22. Take Grandparents out to see the Christmas lights
23. Have a bubble bath
I saw this cartoon the other day and it made me wonder .... if I ever show my kids the stuff I have written on my blog this year, what will they think? I mean they can't be to cross, I didn't post the photo I have of them breastfeeding each other, I do have some limits *grin*
Sunday, 7 December 2008
Andrew text me this photo this afternoon while he was in the city. Apparently this is a sign on the parking spot he picked, I don't know about you but I can't see if he was parking legally or not. At least if he got a ticket, no court in its right mind would side with sign.
Thursday, 4 December 2008
Wednesday, 3 December 2008
If you haven't seen Trapped in Paradise, go get it out. Its my favourite Christmas movie. Basically its about 3 brothers who go to rob a bank in the sweetest town on earth and have a life changing experience. I know, sounds like 1 of a million movies but this one has John Lovitz and Dana Carvey to crack you up.
Ahh the ole romantic rears her ugly head again, this is a wonderful cast and nice intertwined story line. Basically it follows 7 or so different story lines about different sorts of love. Its cute and happy and a tear jerker.
So its another 'not really a Christmas movie' but it is a blockbuster about an ex cop who goes to his ex wife Christmas party but the party gets taken hostage by a madman and carnage explosions and wise cracks ensues. Standard 80s action flick
Truth is i was getting desperate and it was between this and a Muppet Christmas. I'm not a huge fan of this movie but what the heck its cool to have an evil Santa in the mix. I'm NOT recommending this movie ..... the list just made more sense with 12 movies of Christmas
Monday, 1 December 2008
If you want to accost me in front of the queue of people after I have already ordered and payed to tell me that their is a queue, well you are going to get my angry side (partially because of the swaying two year old) when I said that I was sorry your response 'that's convenient' certainly seemed like you wanted to 'have a problem' I certainly didn't want to have a problem, I just wanted lunch.
So in hindsight I should have seen the queue. And yes I would have been annoyed if some upstart jumped in front of me but as I saw her about to order I would have said "excuse me were you aware that there is a queue". Instead you waited until I had my food in my hand and then told me off like a naughty school girl in front of everyone.
And in response to your comment that you 'don't have a problem' I say you do, firstly you weren't upfront enough to mention the queue when I first ordered and then when I meekly apologised (meek didn't last long after you got in my face though) and said that I was unaware, your rude comment about it 'being convenient' certainly seemed at the time like you had a big problem.
I on the other hand think I handled myself rather well once again as with the park lady incident. I didn't say what my gut told me which was 'fuck off man, what the hell are you doing at this laid back organic market when you are quite obviously an asshole'
Saturday, 29 November 2008
(In lieu of a proper update)
Jack drew a picture the other day. He is really starting to be able to control the pencil well and his drawings are starting to be able to be understood by everyone.
So when I asked him about his bunny's special feet, he simply said, no mumma they are wheels its a car bunny.
Well of course it was, who was I to argue.
Monday, 24 November 2008
No matter how I dress Hamish he gets mistaken for a girl. It could be because of his long hair, or because he is often dressed in purple and sometimes even in pink.
Today he is dressed in blue and green but still today someone at preschool thought he was a girl. The kids sometimes mistake him for a girl because of his long hair and when I mentioned he was a boy they had a little giggle and said why does he have long hair then. Its interesting to me that in an area that is as progressive and open minded as the Inner west long hair on a boy can still cause confusion.
He found a clip on the road yesterday and wanted it in his hair, and even I thought he looked like a girl.
Maybe people think he's a girl just because he is so pretty :)
Tuesday, 18 November 2008
Recently I mentioned to Trish that I thought that the world was split into 2 types of people; Beatles lovers and Elvis lovers. Of course you can be a Beatles lover and still like Elvis and vice versa but in the end your allegiance lay with one or the other. Trish looked at me like I was mad and then said 'or neither'. WHAT ??? It had never occurred to me that you wouldn't either be a Beatles lover or an Elvis lover what else was there. I started talking about how I thought that people were generally raised listening to the Beatles, Dylan, Marley etc or listening to Elvis, Buddy Holly, Roy Orbison etc and she commented that she was raised listening to Ravi Shankar.
It got me thinking, are our music loves influenced by the music we are raised listening to?
I was raised listening to the Beatles, Dylan, Marley, Jethro Tull and other folk, blues or rock bands. This is still the type of music I enjoy mostly, although I like a bit of everything. Trish was raised listening to Ravi Shankar and Barbara Streisand and other global, folk type music and this is still the main type of music she enjoys.
Andrew and I were talking about how the music that hits the top 40 these days is unlikely to last the way someone like Cat Stevens music has lasted.
So then I started thinking about the music kids are listening to these days, Brittany Spears, the Spice Girls, Robbie Williams (ok maybe I'm a bit out of the loop these are all a bit old, but you get my idea). What happened to kids to make this they type of music they love? I wonder if this is what has happened because parents aren't playing their own music to their kids as much instead kids are listening to the Wiggles, Hi5, in other words, simple pop type music.
I guess there are many influences to the sort of music we all listen to, but I will certainly be thinking more about the music I introduce my kids to and watching with interest the sort of music they choose as adults to listen to, will my kids be Beatles, Elvis, Ravi Shankar or god forbid Brittany people, where will their allegiance lay?
Monday, 17 November 2008
Sunday, 16 November 2008
Tonight I am pondering families. My mum had 2 sisters and a brother and between them they had 6 children, me included. This was the family I knew growing up, we enjoyed each others company but we didn't keep in touch on our own. It took our parents to bring us together at times like Christmas and Birthdays.
Mums youngest sister moved to the USA when she was young and raised her family there and in the last 8 years my mum has died, her brothers wife passed away and her other sister is in a nursing home with terminal cancer.
Without our parents, the ties that bind us together as cousins are fraying. I don't mean that as a critisim, it is the way of families. Dynamics change, we all have our own babes and partners and separate lives and these have become our primary family.
With Christmas on its way it has left me feeling rather somber. My dad migrated to Australia from England and we have no family from his side over here. Suddenly I am keenly aware that Andrew and I are only children. What do our small and/or fraying families mean for our children?
It is important these days that I remember family comes in all sorts of shapes sizes and relationships. We have each other, we have our parents, and we have our wonderful friends. All of whom are our family.
This has never been more obvious than with Catrionas family. For the last 4 years we have been joining them for their christmas dinner, we eat and drink and laugh feeling welcome and wanted. For me Christmas is about celebrating joyously with family. With that criteria in mind, Christmas dinner is the most enjoyable part of christmas for me.
Maybe its because I have known Catrionas parents almost as long as I have known my own, or that Catriona is so much a part of my childhood (and life) or maybe it is being with a small tight knit family who include you as one of their own, maybe its the amount we eat, drink and laugh. I don't know, whatever it is it is the driving force in reminding me that family comes in many forms.
People move away, families on average getting smaller, and my perceptions of what family means is changing. The tie of blood is becoming less important than the space made in our hearts and lives for each other.
Saturday, 15 November 2008
When you eat your first cherries for the season and you see you first christmas beetle on the same day, you know that Christmas is coming.
I have been teaching Jack and Hamish the words to 'Santa Clause is Coming to Town' its so cute listening to them sing it.
A little bit more everyday, I'm getting excited about christmas. I just can't wait to watch my boys experience christmas together, to watch and listen with wonder about Santa, learning about giving gifts, making decorations and as a family we will start to make our own traditions.
Hmmm better go and eat these cherries before the kids eat them all .......
Friday, 14 November 2008
Not as scared as he might look
About to start doing tumbles down the tree parade in hyde park
This morning as we headed to the shops Jack said 'mummy can we pleeeease go on a train today'. So after making a deal that we would go after we got what we needed from the shop and he had a rest, off on a train we went.
We hopped on the train at Stanmore station and got off at St James. Had a wander through Hyde park and looked at this years David Jones Christmas windows. Then Andrew met us and we came home.
There is really something to be said about living this close to the city. All in all the trip took 1/2 an hour and 15 minutes of that was trying to find parking near the station.
It was a pretty groovy afternoon, sultry weather and good moods topped it all off. And after playing by the christmas tree and reading the story of christmas to the kids watching the animated puppets in the window I'm feeling very ho ho ho.