The 8 year old had a dress up Fairytale Day at school! She was so excited that she was dressed and ready to go by 8 am.....an unusual feat for her! But all along she has insisted that she would not go as a princess. No matter how much I tried to coerce her into it, she did not want to prissie up! So we settled on the old witch and with a bit of help from left over Halloween costumes, we managed to put this together. Princesses are just so common anyway!!!! ;)
I had a whole lot of spiel written about how we worked our little butts off yesterday and cleaned long forgotten places and spaces but then I thought....geez.....the picture says it all really!
Hope everyone had a great weekend and is recovering from post election hangovers! I have never ever seen so many people lined up on an election day as I did at our polling booth on Saturday. There was traffic chaos around it to match, too. Seriously scary!
And the highlight of my weekend...apart from cleaning...was watching the fantastic new version of Jane Eyre on the ABC last night. So I guess that kinda gives you a feeling of my weekend overall!!! Lol!
I love and respect old-style things! I find them fascinating and absolutely adore the beauty that they hold. Recently my aunt gave me some beautiful china cups that belonged to my nanna. Not only are they special but I just love admiring them. Isn't this one sweet?
For some years now I have also been collecting old tins. I probably don't have a lot that would grab the attention of a serious collector but if I find one that interests me, I try to add it to my collection. I particularly love the old biscuit and chocolate tins that have photographs of animals and children on them. So cute! These are only a few that I own. I bought the larger tin at the back because it is exactly the same as one that my maternal grandmother once had and used to stash all of her baking in!
And my love of aged trinkets does not stop at kitchenware. I love old silky oak furniture. Unforunately, I don't have nearly as much as I'd like but I do have a few lovely pieces and I recently bought this gorgeous plant stand on ebay:
Now, looking at all of these, I can't help but wonder if their original owners knew that one day they would become treasured pieces in a modern home. Or did they just use them as everyday items and considered them a bit ho-hum?! And it makes you wonder what one earth future generations will be treasuring in their own display cupboards from our era? Will old ipods one day be museum items?
There was an email doing the rounds recently that told the story of a woman and a man getting ready for bed and compared the difference in work load between the two. It was humorous but it highlighted a very poignant difference between the expectations of the two and I'm sure, had a lot of women nodding their heads at the computer screen as they recognised an aspect of their own lives immoralised in that story.
So in an attempt to help Dear Husband realise exactly how stressed I have been feeling recently with the enormous workload that I have and the expectations placed upon me by myself and those around me, I decided to use the framework of this email to compare exactly how simple his lifestyle is compared to mine and to try and get him to help out more around the house without having to be asked.
The two lists went something like this:
* Wake up *Have breakfast *Get dressed etc * Go to work *Work all day *Come home *Watch tv *Eat tea *Watch more tv *Put dishes in dishwasher *Go to bed
*Wake up *Get dressed etc *Make lunches *Iron uniforms *Get kids up *Feed dog *Eat breakfast *Get kids etc in car and drop them off to school *Go to work *Work all day *Pick up kids *Come home *Take washing off line *Cook tea *Spend time on computer *Eat tea *Put a load of washing in machine *Do paperwork for paid work the next day *Put kids to bed *Hang washing out *Do more paperwork *Pay bills *Go to bed
So you see my point!!!
Upon showing Dear Husband the comparative lists, he looked blankly at me and said:
"I'm surprised that you had time to go on the computer! Your problem is that you need to delegate more!!!!!"
Needless to say that he was lucky to escape with his testicles intact!!!!!!
I knew instinctively that it was never going to be easy. From the moment I held him in my arms, a few minutes after he was born, I knew that life with him would be a tumultuous path. Call it intuition or the exhaustion of a woman who'd just gone through childbirth or call it a psychic moment, I don't know, but as I cradled the long, chubby and screaming baby in my arms, that was the first thought that came to mind. His birth was not easy.....a long, long labor followed by an emergency caesarian. I can still visualise the image of the doctor yanking on forceps unsuccessfully trying to get him out. I was scared and the baby was screaming. So much so, in fact that the other vivid memory of the day was of one doctor commenting that he was screaming before they had even taken him from my womb. Yes....I heard him before I even laid eyes on him!
I remember lying next to him in bed, with the stark hospital room as a backdrop and trying to take it all in. An unsettled, unhappy baby was not what I had expected. I was in shock....this is not how babies appeared on tv. This was not what the books told me that I was going to get. They brushed over the topic of colic and reflux like it was just a blip. They hardly mentioned newborns who didn't sleep, who cried all of the time and who would not breast feed. They didn't mention the pain following a caesarian and how agonising it would be to even get up out of bed. But despite all of this, as I gazed at my newborn in the afterglow of the knowledge that I'd helped to create this human life, I vowed to him that I would do everything in my power to care for him, protect him, and guide him on his life's journey and I loved him, no matter what! The marvel of a mother's unconditional love in all circumstances is obviously beyond explanation, I think.
So fast forward twelve years. My predictions have generally been true. He has not been an easy child, preferring to skim along the edges of respect and following rules. He questions everything and everyone if he doesn't agree with them. He has become moody and sullen. His daily breakfast conversation (when he actually eats breakfast without fighting me over the 'I'm not hungry' argument) consists of monosyllabic answers and grunts. He sneers and glares at anyone who comes within a metre of him and anyone who requests that he leave his 'funk' for a few moments to lend a hand. He snarls at his sister and complains about her singing or being happy. He lolls all over the table or lounge until it is time to leave for school. Then he complains that we are running late!
I know that when I pick him up in the afternoon, he will be happier, friendlier. But mornings are a time when I remind myself of my intrinsic need to nurture and mother him - remind myself of my parental worry for a preteen who is going through another 'stage' and the fact that I love him, no matter what!
I have spent the week feeling like a pinball in a pinball machine....going here, there and everywhere in a mad rush. It seems to be the same old story each week, but I'm hoping that it will come to an end soon and I can get some relaxing moments where I do absolutely nothing (and don't feel guilty!!! Hmmmm...do you think that that could ever happen?) The culmination of all of this madness was Friday evening when we had the 8 year old's birthday party and the school music concert one after the other. So mad was it, in fact that I left home at 8 in the morning and got back at 10 pm that night. Scary stuff!
My only point of sanity this week, however, has been when I've managed to sneak a few moments in front of the dvd player very late at night, catching up with Series 2 of Love My Way. I have bought and watched Series 3 already but decided to go back and revisit Series 2 to jog a bit of memory loss over the intricacies of the storyline. I am a huge fan of this series and am kinda grumpy that it looks to be the end of the show at the final episode in Season 3. If only all drama was this good!
Now, whilst watching Series 3 on dvd, I came across the most fantastic song that was used on the soundtrack. They say that sometimes we love music because we have some type of emotive reaction to it...well, for me, I think that this was one of those times. So I sat as controller of the pause button when the credits rolled up to discover the performer. After that, it was a quick internet search and an order placed to my local JB store to order this amazing EP called 'The Unbeat' by Melbourne singer and songwriter, Brendan Welch. The song is called Burn and I just love it. And.....to add to my shock....so does Dear Husband. Wow! Two cds in our collection now that we agree on! And, I believe that there is another EP out by this singer, too, which I'm trying to track down.
I cannot call her Miss 7 anymore for today she is Miss 8!!! She woke us up at 5.30 this morning in search of her presents. I did what any loving mother would do at that hour, of course.....gave her a happy birthday kiss and told her to go back to bed and wake me in a couple of hours if she wanted presents!!! ;) At 7.30 she returned and said that she couldn't sleep so she watched tv while she waited! Okaaaayyyy....I know....'bad mother' again!!!!
So all day today we have been in Littlest Pet Shop heaven and have been receiving guests to help us celebrate. Naturally, while she played with her newest toys, I madly raced around and tried to clear the clutter before the guests arrived. I also whipped up a batch of scones, so I was pretty impressed with myself. I have been having some issues with swelling behind my left knee over the last few days so doing the vacuum cleaner dance was a pretty big effort and I'm proud of the fact that I didn't just give up and call it all off before lunch!
We also had the 8 year old's bestie over for the afternoon along with grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins so the house has been pretty chaotic since lunch time.
So while all this has been going on, I haven't had much time to reflect on how I feel about my baby turning 8. My memories of her birth are all pleasant. She was the child who entered the world sleeping and didn't make a sound until they took her away to wash. In fact, I called her 'my little koala' when she was a baby because she loved to sleep and snuggle in like a baby koala! She has always been the one who floats along in the world, thinking happy thoughts, loving everyone around her, adoring animals and all things girlie and trying to do the right thing in most situations! Geez....I hope she stays that way. Her conversation in the car this afternoon, when we were taking her friend home really sums up what type of a person she is. The two girls were sitting in the back seat whispering. I asked them what they were whispering about and Miss 8 pipes up and says, 'We were just saying how much we love each other. But we don't love each other in a kissy-kissy way, of course. We just love each other!!!!' That's my big 8 year old girl!!!! Note new birthday cowgirl hat in picture! And cake is of the cheap Coles mud variety as this is one of the few cakes that she will eat! Have you ever heard of a child who doesn't like cake before!!!??? And she insisted on decorating it herself!!!
I am tired....no....let me rephrase that....I am stuffed!!! Why oh why does everything that is 'a set date' have to happen at this time of year. I have explained my exhaustion to anyone who'll listen (and give sympathy) like this.....in 13 days straight, I have 12 'other' things on. By 'other' I mean things that either a) I don't usually do or b) occur after my usual work hours.
These 'other' things are vast and varied. They include high school information night, parent dinner, a certain birthday, music concert night, sport and parties amongst other school and work commitments.
The result of all of this is that I am not even thinking straight at the moment. I know that I'll look back on these two weeks and feel excited and proud of the memories of all of these events, but right now I am typing through glassy eyes and thinking through a foggy brain!!! In fact, I even win 'bad mother' award this week for forgetting to put a band concert excursion into my diary and dropped the twelve year old to school on Friday in the wrong uniform just as they were packing the instruments onto the bus! Whoops!!! Oh, the shame!!! I begged forgiveness and borrowed a uniform from the second hand shop, claimed that my life was a total disaster at the moment and waved the bus off as I dashed off to work!
Oh, and let's not forget that I still have to work and maintain the usual household chores in the midst of it all!!
So right now, the only thing that I can think is 'Thank God for.....':
* slow cookers * take away dinners * parents who babysit * early nights that I might one day get * sleep in Sundays * clothes that still miraculously fit (and grrr to the ones that don't!!!) * a husband who discovers and repairs flat tyres (yep...that also added to the stress this week!) * washing that dries on the line overnight * children who appreciate all the running around that you do for them (ok, I threw that one in as a part of my wishful thinking!) * and friends who understand that spotlessly clean houses are not a direct indicator of your strength of character!!!!!
As a follow-on from last week, I can also update the cricket match from this morning. The twelve year old was captain of today's match and did an excellent job of cheering his players on and setting a great field (so much so that I overheard the coach of the other team commenting on it!). In the end of the first innings, the other team had 8 runs to win and one wicket to spare. The twelve year old went on to bowl for his first bowling stint of the day. His first ball was plum lbw (that is 'leg-before-wicket' for the uninitiated...one of those tricky cricket terms that basically means that the batsman didn't play a shot and if his leg hadn't been there, the ball would have knocked the stumps over....a rule brought into the game, I think to stop batsman standing around all day and not really playing but rather wasting time). So the lbw was not given out as the umpire 'gave the batsman the benefit of the doubt'. The twelve year old was so annoyed that he bowled the next ball faster and at the wickets once again and took out middle stump!!! Woo hoo!!! A match-saving play.
I'm a mother, wife, worker, housekeeper, chief chef (at my place!), educator, chauffeur (to the kids), personal assistant (to my kids), secretary (to everyone here!), pet carer, laundry worker.....ummmm...need I go on!
Sanctuary by Nora Roberts.....I'm having a Nora 'love-in'. This is the fifth book of hers that I've read in a row and I still love her stuff!
CDs and Songs I'm Currently Listening To
Offspring Season 2 Soundtrack!
Adele...that woman has a God-given voice!
What I'm Watching!!!
Offspring...season 2....if you don't know what I'm talking about then you either don't live in Australia or have been living under a rock! One of the best tv shows on our screens! Sadly, season 2 has just finished (on a massive high storyline wise!) And I have to say to all of the fellow followers out there...I'm definitely team Patrick!!!!!
Eat, Pray, Love....don't be deceived by mixed reviews. This is a sweet movie with a lovely, hopeful ending. Like the book, it bubbles along so don't go expecting action packed emotionally wrenching storylines though!