These days

are filled with early rises,
quiet starts with just me and Oscar
getting him ready
answering myriad questions
packing his lunch
coaxing him (unheard of) to eat something
and then out the front for the bus at 6.50am

then have a second shift as the other three rise
bleary eyed, squinting against the morning sun
hair askew, gait a bit wobbly
‘good morning mum’ I always get
with a cuddle
from each of them

are then then filled with getting the washing on
making the various lunches
ensuring some form of breakfast is absorbed
reassuring the G-man that it is (or isn’t) a kindy day
and all of us bubbling along in a calm and unhurried rhythm

then present a few hours with only one child or for two days
none at all
I learnt the hard way that I must do something just for me
on those days
or all of us will suffer
they are the oxygen mask to my soul
to survive the weekend of solo parenting

see me at a kinder gymnastics class with Grover
the first such activity for him and for me with him
and OH how he adores it
and OH how I try to only shallow breathe inside the stinky gym
but it is quite delicious to see his delight
at conquering beams and bars
even when he does run straight into them every now and then

see my afternoons disappear in a sea of notes
tired and hungry children
meltdowns after a day of trying to be (and being) so good
Jasper and Felix, my two good boys who try so hard
and homework
and readers
and sight words
and reading
and activities like cricket or dance or gymnastics
and dinner
and baths and showers
and bed
and OH MAN if I’m not in bed by 9.30 it all gets rather ugly

are full and busy
and while certainly not rocket science
make me feel fulfilled
and full of purpose
at raising brave young men
caring and daring
loving and funny
who also put their clothes in the laundry
lower the toilet seat and lid
and wash away their toothpaste spit
and occasionally remember to wear deodorant

and always, always give their mum a cuddle
and tell her how much she is loved.

Take a moment

via Blackbird

Taking a moment was one of the cornerstones to me regaining control over my depression and anxiety.

Stopping.

Seeing the moment.

Even if it is just recognising the sun is shining. Or how blue the sky is. Or how the sun feels on my skin, or the wind in my hair or the rain on my face.

Recognising it for what it was: beautiful, funny, everyday, exhilerating, depressing, angry, worrying.

It doesn’t matter.

It’s just a moment.

Today, the last day of 2010, I had so many moments:

– the first shock of water on my feet at the lake

– watching schools of fish swim around us

– seeing a MASSIVE crab scuttle along the sandy bed, bury itself, reappear, go at one of the guys antagonising it, scuttle in amongst the rocks

– watching a woman take umbridge at the guys trying to catch the crab, assuming the moral high-ground even though she was there with her bloody dog

– watching my boys (without them realising) in the water

– discovering a sea dragon, seeing everyone’s wonder

– seeing the little boys still after hours of mania as the fireworks burst above us over Sydney Harbour

Take a moment.

Happy New Year everyone.

May 2011 be everything and more.

Update (anything to bump that wallowing number off its perch)

So – yesterday we went to my beautiful, no-dramas, no-agenda, just lovely in-laws to celebrate my MIL’s impending birthday – which is today! (Happy Birthday LynniePins although I’m not sure she reads this anymore after the posting about her hamburgers incident of 2006). I had a good chat with my BIL who has perspective on parent relationships too and felt the better for it.
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A few weeks ago Jasper was itching his head and I was fairly certain (ie positive) I discovered some lice eggs. I jumped into action with the procedure outlined to me by me awesome hairdresser/friend T and thought no more about it. Until a week later when he was scratching again and found more eggs and – sigh – a louse. My god those things are VILE.

Total aside, did you know that lice are an arachnid? True.

SO – again I did the procedure and forced myself to ignore it forgot about it once more.

Until yesterday. When he came and sat on my lap and like that chimp I watched do a poo in its hand and then eat it at the zoo that time just after checking its kid’s hair for nits and other tasty parasites one of Pavlov’s dogs I started looking through his hair.

More eggs.

Of course, my beautiful SIL – who used to run a childcare centre and had a whole episode with nits where she simply could not get rid of them and was contemplating going all Sinead on her scalp – recoiled in horror. And fell down dead on sighting Felix and her son, my nephew, sitting head to head playing some killing/shooting/mind-killing/future-generation-dumbing-down game on his Christmas present iPod Touch which made him CRY with joy on Christmas morning (bless ‘im).

By now there was much mirth about how the last time we were all together we exposed everyone to whooping cough and so it only seemed fitting that we yet again share the love with another hideous ailment that requires making.your.children.cry.

Seriously, we’re like the relatives from the boondocks you wish you could put through a sheep-dip before seeing.

I checked Grover – yep, eggs.
I checked Felix (who I’d only checked a few days prior) – yep, eggs.
I would have checked Oscar but he is still traumatised from the last nit episode and is only just letting me touch his head again let alone LOOK at it at the same time.

So, home we all went. About two hours later and many tears and much cajoling and even more ‘EUGH I found a louse! There’s another one! OH MY GOD look at the eggs from that section’ my boys smell really really nice and have shiny fluffy hair.

Aren’t you glad you came to visit?
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Getting the iPod has totally shifted Felix out of the fug he was in for the last oh, THREE months, that he has been in. I know these fugs well – nothing really wrong but nothing really right either. He’s a tricky one my Felix – so wise and mature beyond his 10 years and yet, still 10.
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In my hideous state of mind the other day I started to take ornaments off the Christmas tree. There were instantaneous tears from Grovey and Jasper so I stopped (feeling even worse of course).

But today! Now! They are at the movies with mum (who is choosing to believe my meltdown the other day was ALL about the boys and NOTHING about that OTHER THING that shall not be mentioned. Healthy.) so that mother fucker is coming down so this living room can return to some semblance of its normal cramped chaos. As opposed to the HOLY SHIT if this chair stays sitting here for one minute longer I’m going to burst a blood vessel.

HAHA victory is all mine!

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In other news, the Brick With Wheels needs new wheels. Well, the tyres that go on those wheels. I can not complain as the tyres that are on there have lasted more than 65,000kms and apparently, according to the people in my life who know about such things, that is REMARKABLE! CELBRATORY even! (Seriously, the way my father and uncle get excited over such things is absolutely beyond me.)

So, cue phone calls to various tyre retailers with my authoritative voice on asking for prices and whatnot (yeah, I don’t know what the whatnot is either but it sounds good).

HOLY CRAP people do you know how freakin’ expensive those bits of rubber are???

I mean sure, it’s all about being able to drive your vehicle and a key safety component for ferrying around your screaming brats precious cargo but FAR OUT BRUSSEL SPROUT we’re talking MORE THAN A GRAND. VOMIT.
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I’ve procrastinated long enough now. I’m off for a run.

Onward!

So you all know

my life and holiday has not been the total shitheap I inferred the other day, it has come to the party in the last few days to try and redeem itself.

Today me and the boys hung out with my SIL and her two sproggets, one of which is only one month old, today! I had the magic touch with her as she is definitely related to Felix and tends to be quite cranky. I sorted her out tootsweet and she showed her appreciation by doing her biggest poo to date. I was quite proud. It also was beneficial for me in lessening the whole angst of going back to a newborn.

Then we swung by a friends place from mother’s group. Another friend from mother’s group was also present and we marvelled at the fact we have now almost known each other for 9 years (since our first borns were six weeks old). Anyway, this friend? She cooks too, but she is also from Malaysia, and her Mum was over, and cooking. Think sambal, think curry etc. While we missed lunch :(((((, my delightful friend gave me a tub of homemade sambal to bring home. It is addictive in its sophisticated heat. I have some, my body goes – enough! – but mere minutes later I am called back for the fishy-heaty goodness. PLUS they gave me advice and strategies for all my various petty grievances. Such GOOD friends!

Tonight I rearranged the boys bedroom, moving an antique chair (but recovered in ugly black vinyl by some relative decades ago, so covered with a damask doona cover until that disposable income makes itself apparent) from our room to theirs – as the reading chair (part of my new years resolutions – to read more to the boys). They LOVE it and are duly excited.

The Christmas tree finally came down yesterday and the back room has returned to some semblance of order. Nice.

Some shots of the last few days:

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OK, Chef has just channel flicked to a show on SBS called “Love me, love my doll”. I am seriously stunned. It’s about men and their mannequins. I’ve just witnessed a scene of a guy shoving a toilet brush up a dolls vagina, saying in a very perfunctory manner, “Yeah, she’s starting to smell like fish”, then removing the brush with, well, YOU GET THE PICTURE.

Another guy sent his doll in for a makeover – he told of how he’d tried to date “organic” women, but preferred to avoid the bizarreness, along with other aspects, of being with a human.

So.very.very.weird.
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Is Ellen DeGeneres the most sunny happy person on television?
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Further to the weird tingling/numb/stiff/sore hands, yes, carpal tunnel is common in pregnancy, but normally right at the end. Oh GOODY. At week 15 I can’t make a fist, I can hardly wait to see what state I’m in by week FREAKING 40.
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My new title for allconsuming

Diary of a psychotic pregnant woman

Today improved. I know, I can hear the collective universal sigh.

Chef got home from work earlier than anticipated, there were hugs, tears and apologies all round.

One half of my kitchen is stunningly clean – I cleaned walls, shelving, the vent over the stove, all the cupboard doors, skirting boards and the pantry.

Our bestest friends in the world came for afternoon tea as they were back in the country for Christmas (I was worried about how this was going to transpire considering my frame/state of mind earlier in the day) , from half way through their two year work sojourn in the UK, then J Doodle and the three mini Doodles dropped in and J commented that my kitchen seemed to be gleaming. 🙂

I made a sensational dinner of honey soy chicken wings – to which I added four shallots, chopping into lengths about 3-4cm long. Served with boiled rice, steamed broccoli and carrots. We all ate together – including Jasper, who fed himself thank you very much.

Oh – I keep forgetting to share – but Jasper has been signing “finished” for about a week. It’s very adorable as he eats his food, and then signs at me finished. Along with his impressive word association/understanding and the fact he started signing “more” today, I am very proud of the little chap.

So look, maybe that whole trying to see the good side of things isn’t dead after all.