Saturday, 30 July 2011

Picture Me Here

After a few shocking weeks AB and I decided last minute to pike on all weekend plans and spend the weekend at our friends holiday house.
After a morning of doing odd-jobs (it's like a perfect barter system, we do a few jobs and then get the use of a house by the water) I've just sat down on the new banana lounge by the pool while the kids play on the beach with the dogs.
Ahh the serenity. Now to open up my book, soak up some rays and in a moment or two I may pour myself a glass of crisp white wine. Hopefully the kids and dogs keep each other occupied for a few more hours.
Watching - Right now, the sun glistening on the water. Generally, still working my way through Battlestar Galactica.
Reading - Fables
Listening - I'm loving a song a friend sent me by Goyte called 'Someone I Used to Know'.
State of mind - Feeling the balance returning.

Monday, 25 July 2011

I Believe in Magic

The older I get the harder it is to believe in magic. Its quite a sad state of affairs really, because sometimes I think the older you get the more you need to believe in the things you can't see.

We watched this street performer on the weekend and as I watched the amazement in my kids eyes, I saw a feeling I sometimes sorely miss. I was also wondering, how do I be honest and open with my kids and yet let them believe in magic for as long as possible?

I know I'm not alone, in both aspects. I can think of half a dozen people I know that either still believe or wish they believed in magic. And over a dozen parent that ask the same question, how do I manage to prosper my kids belief in all things magical and unexplained.

I don't just mean magic in it's traditional sense. I also mean things like aliens, vampires, Santa, and the Easter bunny?

Last week I was tidying the space under our stairs (also known as mummy's hidyhole) Jack came in to help and saw some of the leftover Easter eggs that I decided not to put out as 'from the Easter bunny'. He looked at them and said "mum did you put the eggs out for our egg hunt at Easter?".

Now part of me didn't want to lie, but more than that I didn't want to tell the truth so I made up some quick story about them being left over from eggs we gave to other people ... Or something like that.

Then later on in the week Jack lost his second tooth. And as another great parenting trial I fell asleep before slipping the tooth from under his pillow and replacing it with a $1 coin. The next morning Jack came in slightly confused. In my ever quick thinking and slightly disturbed by how easily the little lies come kinda way, I made up some story about how sometimes that happens as the tooth fairy gets really busy some nights.

It's coming isn't it? The time where little mistakes or noticed slights of hand can make their entire childhood wonder and innocence just slip away.

I for one hope it lasts for a good while yet. I'm not ready to watch the wonder and amazement slowly slip from their eyes. I hope I can find words like my parents found that prolongs it for as long as possible.

And if not at least I'm quick thinking enough to come up with a plausible story.

Watching - Battlestar Galactica (remake series) somehow I don't think I ever watched the last three episodes!!

Reading - a lot of comics, Fray (reread), Buffy series 8, and Fables so far.

Listening - having a bit of a James Blake obsession at the moment. It sort of matches my mood, sombre and romantic.

State of mind - getting there, slowly.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

The Gifts of Grief

When mum died I received a letter from a friend who had lost his dad a year earlier. He talked about the process he went though in his grief. Searching for the reasons why, anger at the unfairness of it all, the deep hole of sadness and many other emotions. He then went on to say that a year later he could see that within his grief there were gifts. And that he believed within every persons grief, once it has passed enough that you can see again, there are gifts that give your grief meaning. At first I thought he was mad! I mean how could any good come from the way I was feeling at the time.

But then time passed, everyday I breathed in and out, and walked forward step by step, and the weight of the grief started to get lighter.

One day about a year later I found that letter again and I found that if I looked at the last year I could start to see the gifts that my grief had given me.

Every year I check in with myself and every year I can see what he was talking about. There were things and experiences in my life that mums death and other losses have given me. I have grown in directions that I would never have grown, and made decisions that I may have made differently.

These days if you ask me do I want mum back, I would say yes, but not at the expense of these lesson, experience, personal development and choices I have made because of who I became after mum died.

A beautiful friend and doula client had a baby that was stillborn last week. There are few, if no, comparisons that can be made between loosing a child and loosing a mother. But I have been wondering, is the gifts of grief are one of the few places these losses intertwine?

I hope so. I hope that as this family climb ever so slowly out of the black hole of grief, and breathe in and out, and put one foot in front of the other, they will start to see the light again. I hope that one day, albeit a long time away, they may see that their suffering and grief and the time they had with their babe, too short as it was, brings with it gifts that one day balance out some of the hole loosing their little boy has left in their hearts.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Can't Hate Love Stupid

If you look at the media today there is a lot more swearing. It seems that every second show/song has some sort of swear word in it. This generally seems to bother a lot of parents and I can understand why ... And yet swear words are also just words.

When Jack was 3 he was told off by me for doing something or other. He obviously felt the punishment (go inside for a while) was unjust and as he stormed inside he threw his hands in the air and yelled "I'm so fucking frustrated".

I didn't get angry or worried, if anything I was impressed that my three year old could express himself so succinctly (albeit inappropriately). But it made me realize, I swear sometimes and yes sometimes it is in front of the kids.

Later once he had calmed down we had out first conversation about inappropriate language. It's a conversation that has come up now a few times with both children. But the truth is, it is rarely about words that seem to be judged as 'swear' words.

As a parent these days it seems that more and more words are considered 'bad' and truth be told I have less issue with the 'swear' words than a lot of the others. And it seems I am not alone.

One family I know doesn't allow the word 'can't' in their house as they feel the truth is you CAN do anything it's the effort that is often lacking.

In another family the word love is used sparingly, only meant for their immediate family as they feel that it is too often used these days and is watering down the meaning.

Then there are the new swear words, stupid, idiot, moron, hate, shut-up and the ever present and yet totally unexceptable (in our house) bored!!

Truth be told I would rather hear my kids say 'fuck' than say I'm bored, or I hate or call someone stupid. And more and more I don't think I'm alone. Don't get me wrong, my kids don't swear. It's interesting to me that in spite of hearing it in the media or at home somehow they both know that there are ok words and words that aren't.

In fact Jack said I word the other day (wish I could remember what it was, but it was something like damn) and afterward he looked at me thoughtfully and said "mum, is that a bad word? Cause if it was I didn't know". And so we talked about what the word meant and why it's not really one of the words that kids should say, and how maybe we shouldn't use any word it we don't exactly know what it means.

And that was it, we haven't heard a stupid, shit, shut-up or bloody hell out of either of our kids in many months.

And if you ask me if I think they are using these words when they are not around an adult I'd also say no. They seem to have understood the concept well enough that it is ingrained, but the truth is I don't know for sure.

And sure once in a while we will all be singing a song and suddenly I'll realize that the next word is a swear word, but I don't rush to change the channel, but I may well try and mumble my way through it. :)

What are your thoughts on swearing? Do you do it? Do your children? What's on your 'bad' words list?

Watching - True Blood S3 (good to work to)
Reading - The City and The City, China Melville
Listening - after a cranky day last week 'The Wedding Singer' soundtrack
State of mind - relaxed (I love school holidays) tired (thanks to a late night on the weekend) busy (thanks to an extra bit of work that had to be done RIGHT NOW)

PS. The above photo is of the gig I went to on Saturday. It's 'The Herd' and totally appropriate to this post as it is some of their song that my kids like to sing, swear words and all!

Todays Haul (6) Holiday Edition

Over then last two days the boys and I have browsed our favourite second hand stores for the first time in ages.  We had a few exciting scores and spent a little more than expected (just under $60), but we have also filled a few gaps. 

- 2 baskets, one for me in the kitchen, and one to hold the kids rubbers, sharpeners and other art paraphernalia. 

- 4 Pairs of shoes. I picked up (actually regifted from a friend) a pair of leather bikerish boots. Jack found a pair of yeti-like slipper boots, some olive and pink converse hi-tops, and a pair of roller boots (you know the sort with wheels on the heel, brand new looking and reduced to $10). I managed to talk Hamish out of a pair of silver footy boots that were 4 sizes to big. 

- A new hoodie for both boys who are growing out of their jumper stash fast.

- 1/2 a dozen kids books ranging from a massive how to draw book, to a book about movie monsters. 

- An adult book or two, none of which are worth mentioning.

- A pretty tin, it was $2 and I have no idea what I'm going to do with it.

- A couple of crappy little toys that the boys fell in love with and at 50c each, kept the peace. 

- A mid-length puffy jacket and groovy wool and buttons skirt for me. Both of which I plan to wear out tomorrow night. Possibly along with afore mentioned biker boots to top off my op shop looking outfit :)

I'm sure there were a few other pieces of random fluff, and once again I'm loving that feeling of a few days of browsing on a small budget and still coming home feeling like I've ticked some of the needs and wants boxes. 

To Have and To Hold

It's school holiday time!

This basically means I am dancing around and around thinking about all the extra one on one time I get to spend with the older child. And the time I don't have to spend making lunchboxes, getting cranky as I wait for them to get dressed, or leaving the house before 9am.

So what are the plans this school holidays? Well who knows. On the kids wish list there are play dates, bread baking, visiting Uncle Tool, sleep overs, peanut butter making, movie nights, and a whole lot of time together.  Personally I plan a lot of kissing, snuggling, general reconnecting and some time spent just taking it easy.

Hopefully it will also see the end of this blogger blackout I seem to be in. But who knows, blogs as with life I have decided have an ebb and flow all of their own :)

Watching - Firefly, I'm still completely astounded that this show didn't make it. Damn you Fox!
Listening - AB and the kids wrestling.
Reading - Too sleepy to read but in the bath I'm reading 'The Chrysalides'. It's one of 1/2 a dozen books I tend to read yearly.
State of mind - Singing ... 

Tight Rope Walking

I'm cranky ...

There doesn't seem to be much to do about it but acknowledge it and wait for it to pass. But it strikes me as funny that these moods swings seem to overtake us all at times and yet there is very little we can do about it.

Sure I have reasons for being cranky, none of which are either blogworthy or blogappropriate but still, I don't want to be cranky!!

What are your 'tools' for getting over being cranky? I'm thinking a bath, another glass of wine, a good book, and maybe (if I can convince the huzby to go out) some chocolate.

One of the things that are going round my cranky brain is;

This is one of the most challenging times of life!

Now if anyone of the older generation is reading, please feel free NOT to correct me. But otherwise as far as I can see the challenges of;

- Raising and giving yourself to young children
- Earning enough money to both live now and set up the groundwork for the future
- Keeping relationships healthy during this period
- Keeping yourself healthy during this period

Seem like a lot of work and reasons to be cranky!

Truth be told, this is also the best and most beautiful time of life. When you think about it;

- Raising and giving yourself to young children
- Making and nurturing friendships
- Nurturing yourself as it changes dramatically with the above challenges
- Enjoying the freedom (at times) that the money you now earn let's you have.

Are all great and wonderful things. But in the end, I'm still cranky. I guess the truth is that anything worth having is worth working for and the cranky, hard times are worth it for all the good stuff that comes with it.

Hmm it might be time to hop in the bath and let the warm water wash away the cranky. And feel blessed that even on a cranky day, where I feel like I am walking a tight rope, I know in my heart of hearts this is the best time of life as well.

Watching - 1st new of of True Blood S4
Listening - The Grates
Reading - Rosemary's Baby (for the 2nd time)
State of Mind - Cranky ..... Very very cranky :)

Great things in my Week

Oh hello blog! I sort of forgot about you for a moment.

Truth be told, I've been so busy that any thoughts beyond what to do in the
next moment have been few and far between. But a few bloggable things have
come up (none that are whole post worthy)

1. I have a bit of work at the moment via the huzbys company. It's mostly
computer bound in front of TV stuff, as long as I don't want to pay much
attention to the TV. I'm happy to be doing it, as it both gives me the
feeling of helping ABs business and the knowledge that I'm helping to bring
in some dosh.

2. Jack seems to be on a role as far as difficult discussions at the
moment. We have had talks about;
- circumcision
- death
- transvestites
- Hitler
- Mummy and daddy having sex to conceive him

3. Crazy massive girls night out ... Speaks for itself really.

4. One day, two boxes delivered, both had beautiful new shoes. Huzzah! The
first were replacement sheepskin boots so my feet are warm again. The second
were the above divine slippers, bought and sent to me from my darling BFF.
I'm in love!!

Hopefully I'm back in the land of the living for a while. But no promises :)

Watching - Game of Thrones.

Listening - Skipping Girl Vinegar (Melbourne Indie band) thinking about
buying their album.

Reading - Sandman Vol 7

State of mind - Soooo tired but satisfied.

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