Tuesday, 31 January 2012

It's Cool! Seriously!

I've been feeling really centered about the fact that Hamish starts school this week.  He's so excited that he has already packed his bag, decorated his library bag and told me exactly what he wants in his lunchbox for the first day.  And it's contagious.  Our whole household is buzzing with happy 'Hamish is starting school' vibes.

Until last night.  It's been a hot humid few days in Sydney, and in our old double brick house it means that sleep (upstairs) is almost impossible.  So as I lay there trying to get some sleep, I pondered on the whole school thing.  And yes I am excited, and yes I do think that he is ready and will be fine but I had forgotten something.  I had forgotten how much that first year of school changes them.

Jack was also excited about school and he fit into the whole thing really well, but by about 1/2 way through the year I noticed how much older he seemed.  He was more self assured, he needed me less, and although he was still my little man, he was also developing in a direction that I had no control over.  And that's a good thing.  But its also challenging.

So on Thursday my littlest man starts on the same journey.  By the end of this year, Hamish will be able to read.  He will be more independent, more grown-up, he will be a very different version of the boy that I send off to school in a few days..  And yes I am excited, but I am also feeling aware that this is the beginning of him becoming, even more, the Hamish he is without me.

I guess I should be used to the kids growing up by now!!

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

What Now?

I'm practically giddy with excitement! For the foreseeable future I have FINALLY finished painting the front of my house!!
I feel like a huge weight has been lifted and am so proud of the result so far. I mean I started working on the front around the 1st of September and it's taken 4 1/2 months to get to this point. Mostly this has been a mixture of delays due to rain and/or life. Mostly every day that I have been able to do something I have, and every day I haven't I've felt like I should.
There is still loads to do:
- Fix and paint the hole above the upstairs doors.
- Paint the 1/2 meter bit on the side that got left till last because it requires a long ladder and then I ran out of paint.
- Organise someone to sand and seal the boards on the upper and lower deck.
- Once the floors are sealed, paint the lining boards and posts with a final coat.
- Get the brick layer to build our front fence.
- Organise front light fitting and gate for fence.
- Get tiler to tile the path.
- Put beading between floors and walls.
- Landscape, landscape, landscape.
And then fix the paintwork again after all these things are done.
For now though, there is nothing I can do until trades people and/or cash start flowing through the house again. So today I'm sitting on my deck, watching the world go by and just enjoying the fact that tomorrow when I wake my first thought won't be to look out the window and try and decide if it's a painting day or not!!

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Deja Vu

What do you do when your feeling cooped up during the holidays? You have another long weekend of course.

I went down south to the island again on Thursday with the kids and AB and the clan who own the property arrived on the Friday afternoon.

This time I actually feel like I got enough time away, although the kids have already asked when we are going back and I could be easily convinced to try and fit another long weekend in soon.

But for now I'm enjoying being back in our space. I'm to planning to knock over the last of the painting this week (weather permitting) and I'd like to do a bit of house preening like finally stain the kitchen floors or fix up our bathroom or hang a few more prints.

For now I'm going to sit back and revel in the feeling of having been relaxed for a few days and try and get that feeling to last for a few more.

Memorable moments:

- No one vomiting on the way down through kangaroo valley. This could either be good timing or the travel sickness homeopathic that I had given both children and dogs.

- The weather for the first two days was sublime, we swam and played by the river, the kids took tools down to dig for more fossils and we swam some more. I also finally left the island during our stay to see the lay of the land in Nowra. Mind you the beach is two minutes from the house and I still haven't seen it.

- The mossies and sand flies we're intense. I got 15 huge bites just unpacking the car and they are still itchy. After that we all made sure we sprayed ourselves before walking out the door. Plus AB and Tool went to town at the hardware shop finding every mossie destroying device they could find.

- Vivs roast dinner. I've decided that there is nothing nicer than someone else's roast. They do their meat differently and they have different accompaniments such as home made apple sauce, or brussle sprouts, prosciutto and lemon ... yumm.

- The kids all went for a kayak on the river. After about an hour I decided to put my eyes on them and walked down to find Hamish sitting in the back of one of the kids kayaks laughing and Jack paddling up river by himself. It took all of my cool nature to just call out "are you guys all cool?" and then walk away hoping that they both made it back to shore in one piece. Actually as I type that it sounds incredible irresponsible, but they were with 2 very water confident teenagers and the water is only just past knee deep.

- Nights on the island are amazing. It's so dark and quiet you could almost believe you are alone in the world except for the quiet sounds of 11 people and 3 dogs sleeping

- Although the first night while I was alone with the kids I made the mistake of watching a scary movie. I got the creeps, couldn't find the dog (who I thought may have been down at the river but I was too freaked out to actually go and find him) and so I stood with a torch calling out. Twice I saw the reflection of eyes by the water but seeing I couldn't see if it was the dog that just freaked me out even more. Of course it WAS him and he finally came home soaking at midnight at which time I could finally go to sleep. A good nights sleep was not had as, in the space where I normally hear many other peoples sleepy sounds, all I heard were creaks or clicks of random things out in night. Needless to say I was kind of glad I had company the next night.

- Watching Hamish play 'Just Dance' with the other kids on the Wii. Not only did he win a few times, the level of concentration as he tries to replicate the moves was completely adorable.

- Hanging out with two teenagers (who weren't mine so I got to give them back). I had a blast talking to the two oldest kids. Sure they are starting to get a bit of extra attitude but talking to them gave me a clearer view of how my relationship will change over the years with my kids and it was quite an exciting though.

- Last but definitely not least, just getting to hang with adults and kids who's company we all truly enjoy. All five of the clans children are lovely (albeit quirky), and seeing my children interact with them and enjoy their company just warms my heart. Being with AB when he is away is lovely because all of the pressures of day to day life are lifted for a short time and he is more present than he gets to be at home. And the other adults are so welcoming and loving that I think the whole family feel warm in their presence.

Watching - A lot of sport (as it what happens when you holiday with sporty people). AB loved it, I listened to a lot of music and played a lot of Sonic while watching a house full of people watch other people kick balls around :)

Listening - I discovered a song on my iPod that was called The Island by The XX.

Reading - A mixture of late nights and busy days have reduced my reading to almost nil.

State of mind - An interesting mixture of thankful, full, happy to be home and regretful that it's all over. Realistically if the island was mine, I think I'd have trouble ever wanting to leave but it's the company, watching my kids play with their non cousins that really makes it special.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Aging Gracefully ... Mentally

I don't age well ... mentally. Every birthday seems to send me off in this whirlwind of psychosis, worrying about time running out and things left undone.

I think this was exacerbated by mum dying quiet young. She died at 56 and if I die at the same age (which logically I know if highly unlikely) then I only have 21 years left!

So just after a birthday I am filled with a burst of energy to do the things on my life list (bucket list) but also because it kind of messes with my head this extra surge is met with a morbid sadness that makes me want to climb into bed and pull the covers over my head until I'm 25 again. Hence the psychosis!!

I'm cranky at the age gods for slowly eating away at my youth. And yet so amazed at how wonderful my life is that I don't want anything to change. And therein lies the conundrum, even if I had a time machine that could flip me back to my 25 year old self there is very little I would change and so I would probably wind up back here at 35 in the same aging psychosis that I am currently ... maybe I already have?

So whats the point of this post? Nothing really, I don't think there are any words of wisdom to help, I assume as time goes on (and god knows it will) that I will get more 'ok' with the aging process. Maybe I will have that epiphany that so many of my friends have had at 40, that its actually all uphill, not down as it feels at the moment. But as always my blog is a self indulgent way of sharing whatever weird thoughts, interests or events are going on in my head at any given time :)

I wonder, am I the only one who spend moments obsessing about getting older? Does everyone else just take it in their stride? I know it's a waste of energy to worry about something you can't change but I can also see a good side to it. I mean it's not exactly a bad thing to spend some time once a year reevaluating and thinking of ways to make sure you live your life to the fullest potential. And don't worry the psychosis is usually over by February!

Watching - Shameless. I've been watching the US version but am planning on watching the original UK version. And 'Grimm', not rocking my world but worth a look.

Reading - Seeing its the festive season I am really looking for light reading at night so I'm going through a few old Gaiman's.

Listening - Manu Chau, King of the Bongo. And right this second, Sweet Jane by the Cowboy Junkies.

State of Mind - Other than freaking out about my age, generally I'm in good spirits and just feeling so blessed with friends and family.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Holidays - Part 2

After we got home from holiday part 1 we had an evening to recuperate and then it was up bright and early for part 2.

Once again we took advantage (in a loving and thankful way) of our friends generous offer to come and stay with them at their weekender.

As I've mentioned before Warrawilla is just outside of Wingham about 5 hours north of Sydney. The property we stay at is this unbelievable rustic reclaimed mud brick and old timers home. It's buried in a valley, surrounded by rainforest like bush and wildlife galore. It's completely beautiful, and a great combination of camping but with comfort and hot and cold running water.

We arrived by 5pm on the 30th and were instantly handed a glass of wine and a comfy chair. The kids ran off into the bush almost immediately with their little besties and we soaked up the nature.

The next day was new years eve so we spent the morning relaxing and the afternoon trying to decide what we would do that night. In the end the decision was made for us with the arrival of the other people who share the 700 acre property.

Once the kids were in bed we lit the huge bonfire put on some music and danced, drank and laughed the night away. I finally wandered into bed around 4am.

We spent a few more days just chilling and drove home on the third, feeling completely full of all the things you hope a holiday will bring (laughter, drink, relaxation, space, general chaos, and fantastic company)

It was, I must say, pretty great to get home last night. As much as we all had a lovely time away (twice) I think we all also feel like its time for a break from festivities for a while and just enjoy being in our home again. That's not to say that we might not have another long weekend away before the holidays are over ... Did I mention how much I love the holiday period!!!

Memorable moments:

- The kids being completely chilled for the five hour drive up.

- Being out in the paddock NYE and one of the guys cutting open the glow stick bracelets I had brought. It was like living on Pandora (the world from Avatar) with everything having a luminescent glow. It was incredibly beautiful made even more stunning by the surroundings and perhaps aided by a little to much wine.

- Coming back to the house at 4am to have AB tell me that it looks like Hamish had the bug that Jack had as he had vomited four times.

- Going for a drive up to ELands, having a bite to eat and seeing the waterfall. Followed by a bad mummy decision to let Hamish have an OJ which was then followed by him vomiting on the way home again. Good mummy decision to pack a bucket in the car.

- Celebrating my and Jacks birthday with friends by having mini birthday pavlovas made with fresh cream and strawberries.

- Going to see the other houses on the property which included a visit to a wildlife carer. The kids got to pat a baby wallaby, two baby flying foxes, chickens, a bald cockatoo, and a very talkative bird. A perfect activity that happened to fall on Jacks birthday (who needs the zoo).

- Watching my kids run, and jump and paddle to their hearts content, whilst they got their heads around stinging nettles, leeches and the other perils of bush life.

- My birthday present from our friends was a gorgeous ring and a girls night out with tickets to see a comedian. Jacks was a journal that he has been wanting for ages that his little bestie picked out just for him. So far he is to scared to write in it because he thinks it's too precious ;)

- Ant and AB were making a new water tank stand and Ant forgot to put the handbrake on. This lead to a hilarious (albeit dangerous) moment when the old rangie with trailer in tow started rolling down the hill. AB jumped over a pile of bamboo trying to get to the door and Ant tried to catch it from the other side. It finally stopped as it hit a small tree. Car 1 Tree 0. Seeing no one was hurt it was exceptionally funny :)

- Getting home to find that our house sitters had not only looked after the house and dogs they had also bought us a thank you gift comprising of a bottle of wine, a bar of nougat, a jar of home made jam and marmalade, some manuka honey and manuka honey soap, a little book, and a gorgeous card. They had also put on a few loads of washing and filled our ice trays!!

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Seven Today ... OMG!

Today my first baby boy turns seven. I have very little to say about this without going into gushing detail about how blessed we are to have him in our family. So I'll keep this one short and sweet (also cause I've been in the car for 5.5hrs now and I'm to tired to blog much)

Happy birthday to one of the most quirky, thoughtful, beautiful souls ever put on this earth!! So glad your mine!!

(eating birthday pavlova thanks to the very thoughtful Trish)

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