Monthly Archives: April 2014

A time to be thankful

Today has been a really emotional day for me. It’s ANZAC day and it’s always a time for reflection and thankfulness. I have found it different this year – as I stood at our local cenotaph, I looked for the first time at the names of those fallen inscribed, and thought of their families. I thought particularly of their mothers as they were delivered the news that their son would not be returning. I felt my heart ache for those mothers, as I am now a mother myself, and could not imagine what that feeling would have been like, to have received a telegraph or opened the door to receive such news. It’s something that I can’t fathom, nor something I ever want to experience.

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Today was a time to reflect on my grandfather who fought in WWI and whom I never got to meet. He was 60 when my mother was born and had long since worn the wounds of battle. He fought in France and my mum attended the opening of the Australian War Memorial in Villers-Bretonneux, France, in 2008 to commemorate all who fought and died there. My grandfather was one of the fortunate ones, who returned home to his family in Australia, but not without his memories, both mental and physical. He was awarded the Military Cross for his actions, and was perhaps, thought by some, not far off deserving the Victoria Cross. Despite the accolades he did or didn’t win, we are so very proud of him, no-one more so than his daughter, who was 9 when he died and denied the opportunity to really get to know him. Mum has done a lot of research on Pop, giving a number of talks and presentations to local organisations on his history and achievements. She beamed proudly as, some time into the talks, she disclosed the reality that he was her father. As her eldest daughter, and I think that I can also speak for her youngest daughter, I can say with complete admiration that I am very proud of her, and all the work that she has done, that without perhaps meaning to, has allowed us to know our grandfather without ever getting to meet him ourselves.

 

I was also able to reflect today on nations around the world who are currently at war. I thought about all of the innocent civilians who cannot freely go to their local park, walk around their local streets, or attend their local schools, without some fear that they are in harms way. We are so lucky here to be able to do these things without giving a thought that we might be in danger of our lives in doing so. One of my favourite things to do with my son is go to our local civic park and meet with friends. Whilst my little man can’t yet play on the playground by himself, he can sit on a blanket on the grass and play (or chew on) his toys under the canopy of the trees whilst the sun shines warmly down on us. He can breath in clean air and laugh joyously as he plays ever so freely.

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I am so thankful for all who have fought for, and continue to fight for, our country. For their hard work in ensuring that we continue to live in a democratic and safe environment.

 

At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we shall remember them.

Lest We Forget.

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Take the time out to smell the roses

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We often hear the words “take time out to smell the roses”, but seriously, how often do we actually do this? You don’t have to be a parent to be busy – pre-baby I was constantly busy, it’s just a different busy now. I find that life gets frantic – catching up with people, running around organising family events and birthday’s, house work, entertaining friends – and then I just fall into a heap and feel overwhelmed with what’s on my plate, or all the balls that I have in the air. So I take stock, smell the roses, rest and relax. Then, before I know it, the cycle has started again. Over the years I have got better at identifying when my plate gets too full and I can manage my stress levels better, but I do still have those moments where I want to scream (and sometimes my poor husband cops the tornado that is me at this moment), then crawl into bed in the foetal position and stay there until all of the madness has passed. I know that I am not alone in this. I know that I am not the only person who finds themselves trying to do it all and then wind up feeling like the weight of the world is on their shoulders.

This Easter long weekend has allowed me to take some time to rest, catch up on some missed sleep and literally smell the roses! I am enjoying just being with my family, taking pleasure in the home that we have made for ourselves (and looking past its imperfections) and loving the life that we have made together in our little family unit. I don’t do it often enough, and I know that I need to do this more in order to remind myself that I don’t have to do it all!

I hope that you all have a wonderful Easter, whether you are spending it with family or friends, or just having a ‘me’ day. And if you can, take some time out to smell the roses – or just have a good look at these gorgeous roses I bought at our local farmers market instead!!

The battle of the teeth

I am tired, and not because I have been up all night tired, but because I have a teething baby tired. My gorgeous little man, who is usually so happy and compliant, has been fussy and grizzly these past few days, and my guess is it’s because of tooth #2 coming through. He’s more often than not happy to entertain himself, play with his toys (I mean eat them) and also have mummy time with cuddles and books and peek-a-boo. The last few days he’s not been so happy to do these things, but instead wants to be picked up and carried around, he doesn’t want to sleep and he’s not eating as much as he normally does (and he likes his food!). It’s hard going and wearing, and you almost feel as if you are getting the tooth as well! You feel every pain, but in a different kind of way. You feel sorry for your little tiger because it must be such a harrowing time, to have this pain and not really understand what it is, and why you’re feeling so poorly. Your only way to communicate is to cry and grizzle, and its not your fault, it’s just the only way to let us know what’s going on. Sometimes I think that when he can talk, it will be so much easier, he’ll be able to actually tell us what’s wrong. Then I think about all of the other things that come with that – ‘no’, ‘no’ and more ‘no’…every little persons favourite word for what may seem like years!! The good thing is that I know this difficult time will pass, as it did with tooth #1. It only lasts for a few days and then our little dude is back to his happy, giggling self. In the mean time, I am happy to be tired if it means that I am a comfort to him, and perhaps in a couple of days time I might be able to catch up a bit…”said no mum ever” echoed in my head then!! We’ll see!

The things we do

I was quite looking forward to my evening tonight. After putting my little man to bed, I was going to enjoy a nice relaxing soak in the bath. This is something that I don’t do very often mainly because, when I think of doing it, I can’t be bothered running the bath and waiting for it because I am just too exhausted! However, after reading a few blogs recently on taking the time to do things for us mums, I thought that tonight I’d put the exhaustion excuse aside and just run the bath! I took out all of the baby bath toys (as tempting as it was the have rubber duckies aimlessly swimming around me), poured myself a delicious glass of red and placed my magazine (that I bought a month ago and still haven’t been able to read) on the bath caddy tray. As I got into the gloriously warm bath, I slipped on the non-slip mat (ah, seriously!?) and proceeded to knock my beloved magazine into the water!!!!! Thankfully I was quick with my tired reflexes and scooped it up, dripping and looking very soggy! I wasn’t going to be defeated, so I got over it, took a sip (ok, perhaps a glug) of wine and read the magazine regardless.

What have you really looked forward to, only to have your happiness bubble burst by something relatively out of your control?!

The curse of the laundry

I have spent the past 3 days trying to get on top of the laundry, and that’s just my little man’s stuff, not ours! Our dirty laundry basket is over flowing! My house feels like a dry cleaners with clothes hanging everywhere (because inevitably, when I am behind in the washing and I really need the sun to be out, it rains, consistently!). I heard someone say once that if we didn’t wear clothes they’d be on top of the washing…I had a little chuckle because I feel exactly the same way! How can a little person produce so much washing? From singlets to blankets, I seem to have had to wash every item of clothing or manchester my little boy has this week.

I have tried a few things to get on top of the feeling that I am never on top of the laundry, but I still end up at this point – feeling overwhelmed and very NOT on top of it! I have tried to do a load a day, at least, and I thought that was working to begin with, but then I realised that I also have to fold and put it all away – are you serious, I hear you think, what else would you do with it. I know, I know, I am a fairly smart person (I think, though I am blonde so go figure) so I know that I have to put it away as well, but when it all just piles up on the rocking chair in the living room, I feel that familiar overwhelming feeling and it’s almost paralysing. I just can’t seem to find the motivation to do it…until there is no more room on the rocking chair and both of my two laundry baskets are full, I realise that the time has come to take action and summon the energy from somewhere within. Surely I am not the only mum to feel like this?

Short of hiring someone to do it all for me (which is tempting but not really an option), what are some of your tips for getting on top of the laundry?!

Going green!

I have toyed with going green in terms of our household cleaning products. I have tried a few things, mainly vinegar and water as a surface and floor cleaner, and I have generally been happy with the outcome. However, I am still a bit sceptical about what really works, and how to get the best results with what products. My main cleaning bane is the shower…I can never seem to get the shower door clean with anything other than a chlorine bleach solution. It’s not my ideal choice, and the smell is rather toxic (I feel that I need to leave the house for hours after using it just so that I don’t feel like I am living at an indoor pool). I have found a few blogs in the last 6 months or so that have helped me to refocus some energy on going green – from household cleaning to hair care products, Madeleine at Sweet Madeleine and Sash at inked in colour have been an inspiration.

What are you tips for sustainable household cleaning products? I’d love to hear them!