Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Dinner without Perfection after a day of no Perfection....

Today was the first day back at work for the fella in a month.  A full 28 days of rest and relaxation, and today he went back for 14 days.

Seeing this all unfolding wasn't a day I could do without planning.  I desperately needed to plan ahead, so I started it by loading up a heap of movies, cutting and preparing dinner - chicken and vegie soup in the slow cooker - and then sitting with the kids, pretty much all day.  We started our day at 5am, so I knew the kids would be tired.  And they were.

And although it isn't the perfect strategy, it worked just great.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Park Days without Perfection....


We had a seriously awesome day today.  This morning, we all woke up after a rough night of the fella's sleeping in the lounge room together after their movie night, and Alice woke at about 4.30am and found out.  To get her to go immediately to her 'resting so I won't lose my poo' mode, I let her sleep with me in my bed.

I've never slept with a 12 kilogram cat before, but I can tell you it would have to have been more comfortable!  That poor girl tossed and turned, and found me (what seemed like) every couple of minutes.  She hadn't ever slept in my bed before, which some attachment parenting gurus might be extraordinarily stressed about, but she has just never been a co-sleeper.  This was borne out of complete two year old realisation that her brother was getting something that she hadn't!

So where was I?   Oh, that's right - a rough night, and an early morning.  So what's the remedy for that?  A day out at the park!!!  There is an awesomely fantabulouso park in the middle of a place called Kings Park in Perth called Synergy Parkland.  We met up there with a girlfriend who I hadn't seen for a long, long time.  She has four kids, and her parents, who are full on adorable, were with her as well.  They are on their yearly holiday together, and we all decided a sausage sizzle at the park was a great idea.

So it was sausages in bread with sauce, sliced potato and mushrooms for everyone.  There was football being kicked around by all six kids, running, playing and having an awesome fun.  Four hours went by of playing and we decided it was time.

No planning, no pictures (that one is from an older trip!), no perfectionism.  Just the trip.  And it was a great day!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Whilst we're all talking about perfection...

Let me introduce you to our new girls.  I'm such a lucky girl.  A bit of a manifesting maniac at times, to be honest.  Or bloody minded to the point of obsession, you choose.  But it does seem, at least at times, that when I put my mind to something and really, really, obsess about it, it happens.

And so we have our girls.  But first, the story of how I came to receive these girls of ours.  I have a friend, a magnificent, hard working, amazing friend who often bites off as much as she can chew and then chews like hell to get it all swallowed and done.  She owns and runs two businesses, has three children, and works like a mad woman all the while being with her family.  From the outside, her life is amazing, at least - she might have moments of crazy, but we're all human, and humans are down right crackers.  If she's staying a shade of sane while working like a draught horse, she's getting nothing but admiration from me.  BUT!  This friend of mine decided that on top of her two businesses, her three sons, her border collie, her husband and her working from home, she'd also like her own group of fowl.  She had twelve chickens, a half dozen ducks and a couple geese.  She sure was chewing away at all she could bite!

And then she realised that she could not, in fact, do all of that.  So the fowl had to be rehomed.  And so it was to be that I received two beautiful, healthy, fully grown and laying like there's no tomorrow, Isa Brown hens.


I got a bird cage modified by a lovely neighbourhood teenager to house the girls at night for a grand total of $50.  We already had a garden bed completely blocked off because of it's angle and the ability for the kids to spread the dirt in it everywhere and actually kill the dirt more than the horrible aquaphobic stuff was dying at the rate it was anyway.  (I'd like to add I'm not a germaphobe, not in the slightest, the decision to fence it off was purely derived out of laziness and putting All The Soil back in every day that the kids rode their transport through it.  Every Day.)


Man, I have wanted chickens for about two years.  So long, in fact, that the lady I used to buy my eggs from probably got sick of me mentioning it every sunday.  And then BAM!  This opportunity arose.

As my dear blog-friend and urban-homestead-girl-crush Calamity Jane put it in her chicken herder post the impact on my childrens ability to see an immediate responsibility for these lovely girls was instant.  I was told pretty much immediately by Ethan that it is 'his' job to let them out, and that under no circumstances was I to check for eggs during his school time.  He took on their safety and comfort as his own position description the day they came home.  He is now amazingly aware of what colour foods they prefer (red), and even what is their favourite fruit (watermelon) and vegetable (corn).  He took drawings to school, took photos on my camera of them and named them with quick succession.  The love of this little boy toward animals is something that I learn deeply from on a daily basis, and I thought it would wane after a while, at least in these school holidays where he is sleeping in more.  But the sad look on his face if he isn't the one to let them out, and share the chore with Alice of giving them breakfast, oh my.  It is a hard thing to see, so I've actually started letting the chickens 'sleep in' if he does (he sleeps til 7ish, it's not long for them to wait!).

So I echo CJ's words to 'just jump in' on the chicken thing.  They are the easiest animal I think I've ever cared for.  Yep, there's crap on the pavers, and coop modifications have had to be made to stop it.  We have more flies, but whether that can be all chicken scrap related I'm not so sure (it's humid here at the moment, so it can't be all the chickens fault!), and I have to keep the night cage cleaned out about once every four days, but we have two eggs a day most days, we know exactly how our birds have been treated, and the garden - oh. my. god. - the garden soil, it has literally changed colour in six weeks.  It used to be a useless sandy grey looking thing, that water rolled off like it was allergic.  Now it is going black, rich, thick and black like it's been completely dug out, shipped off and replaced with that fancy stuff people pay lots of money for.  And there's hardly any compost, either, except grass clippings, onion and citrus scraps, and chicken poo that's been pulled out of their night quarters.

I love them!


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Running away from Perfect.

Ok, so I've not just been MIA from blogland, I've completely absconded and fecked off to godknowswhere.  But here I am, with a few things on my mind, that need to get off my mind.  Maybe in to the grand open world, they'll make sense.

I've been thinking about perfection lately.  No really, a lot.  I've joined a gym (I thought hell would have to freeze over before that would happen), I have one kiddo in private school, another in daycare once a week and who's also about to do swimming and dancing lessons, and then I've decided to go back to school.  And then the husbeast has got a job offer, which he's taking, to bring him home and away from the fifo life.  Should be yippee's all round on that last one, for sure!

But it makes me wonder, because ALL of those above points bring me crashing to my knees in relation to our 'budget'.  We're usually great with money, to a point.  If you didn't count our whopping mortgage, or the solar panels loan, we are amazingly good on paper!  But the reality is, I just cut all our vegies up to make chow mein for dinner, which means we might have enough milk left by this afternoon for a cuppa each.  Or I could use it in some baking.  The reality of it all was that mashed potato, or baked pasta, or other ideas had some sort of milk or cheese in them, of which I'm out of both.

We have a pretty big budget cut coming when the husbeast changes jobs.  In reality it will probably halve, which will be JUST our mortgage per week.  That doesn't allow for anything else.  But I could wallow in my sorrow, lolling around whining to myself about how my flipflops broke last week and I can't afford another pair for $3 (which did happen, and yeah, I haven't got new ones yet!), or I could make the most of it.  I highly recommend this exercise, if you are about to pop up your bunting and have yourself a wee pity party.

Grab your blog, or a piece of paper, and write down these things:

* I have GREAT kids.  And they are just getting more and more awesome by the day.
* I have the ability to walk and talk, and I may not have bucketloads of friends, but the ones I have are FANTASTIC.
* I have an amazing life.  I do.  There's a Xavier Rudd song that always makes me aware of this - it's called Food in the Belly.  Here's a link from youtube - Xavier Rudd's food in the belly.  If that doesn't cheer up the most mediocre mama, I suggest listening to it twice more.

Now my next hurdle is that my house is NEVER perfect.  Ever.  Not even one square centimetre of my home is clean at the moment.  There is awesome untidyness in every part.  But you know what?  My kids can still find what they need, I'm not a box of stuff away from my own episode of hoarders, and we all have clean, functional clothes and a kitchen that manages to feed us all.

I've come to a conclusion about all of this.  None of it matters, this perfection shit.  I do, sew, mend, grow, clean and cook what and when I can.  I do the best I can, and if I can't, I'm not beating myself up about it.

Here's a picture to make you feel a whole lot better about it all.  I took it earlier this year, when I was cooking something with my son.  It really captured what was going on that day.  He wanted to cook, I wanted to clean.  Guess who won?



I remember that day well.  The house looked trashed to me.  But look at how lucky I am!  See those to sideboards/buffets in the distance?  Both of those were free.  No shit.  Storage?  Thanks!!!  You can see my dishwasher, and I know some people hate dishwashers - I am not one of those people.  Today I've been cooking up a storm, with eggs for breakfast, cereal for the kids as well, apple pancakes for morning tea, banana bread made, noodles and sandwiches and left over pumpkin soup for lunch.  Then I prepped my chow mein, and put on a loaf of bread.  I've run the dishwasher twice today, and lemmetellya, that sucker holds ALOT of dishes.  It also fries bacterial bugs if we get the gastro or a cold, too.  And I know there is dispute, but this honestly saves me at least 1 or 2 hours per day - especially today!

Now, you know what else about this photo I love?  It has that big badass cookbook in the front.  I've had that book since about 13 years ago.  It's a Recipe Encyclopedia.  You can literally look up an ingredient, and whammo - there is a bit of info!  Or look up an item you want to cook - say 'cake' - and there are dozens of recipes on it.  With pictures.  Lots of pictures!  It's flour crunchy, that book, from all the thumbing through and holding of pages.  Especially on the cake and biscuits parts!

I think it took about an hour to clean up after that cooking session.  And I think we made choc chip cookies.  But it doesn't matter, here is a snapshot of the imperfect mother I am.  And absent of children too.  My guess is they were off eating the cookies....

Happy little campers they are!


So what's my point?  I'm trying to get to it, I promise!

Look, just be happy.  Or at least keep trying your hardest to be happy.  Relax about having people in your life that don't accept you the way you are, or that make you think that you should be more organised, more flush with cash, more tidy.  It truly may just be a reflection of their own wishes about themselves.  In the long term, look at your self lovingly, not with criticism, and look at your kids with joy, as they look at you.


Monday, January 23, 2012

Where have we been?!


These pictures are likely all backward, sideward, and upsidey the timeline.  I don't care.  It's holidays.  And both of my little lovelies are and have been pretty consistently unwell over the last four or six weeks, so I need - and want - to remind myself very muchly of their happy faces over the holidays, as days grew and blew out to be hours at parks, or resting at home, and enjoying and learning to play nicely with each other (thank god, it's been a long two years!).


The park near our home is only about a ten minute walk away, and we've only been once - can you believe that?  Sounds like I've been amazingly slack, and I probably have.  Ethan has had pnuemonia, gastro, and now our doc thinks he may have a secondary pnuemonic infection  so he's back to resting and some anti biotics to try and clear it all up.  But those two pics were taken about a week ago, on a beautiful, clear morning, when the glass bottles of water had stayed cool and the fella and I took a while to take them out and let them run, then rest, then run again...


These are the mutant tomatoes we've grown!  I could barely believe my luck when I went out to my (mostly abused and abandoned) vegie patch (and I use the term vegie patch very lightly!) and found the most amazing mutant wild tomato plant.  It's been kicking on since November, with most days until recently seeing us get about 4-6 of those beauties for our meals.  It sits not too far from our spinach-that-never-says-die.  And I recently put in a mulberry tree, and relocated a lemon tree to it also.  Our bedroom window is on the road, and I would just love to have a bit of a screen for the bricks on that north side of the house.  I must be careful to not let the trees get too tall though, as it's also where our solar panels are!  (did I even mention we had them installed?  We did- and straight away they're fighting our bill- it's BRILLIANT!)

 I've been making.  A lot.  This is an Olearia short sleeved cardigan, by Georgie Hallam in a Bendigo Woollen Mills Cotton in Blush.  I love Georgie Hallam's patterns - easy, simple, and usually seamless!  Perfect for the beginner, fancy and beautiful when finished and most gorgeous!  Her patterns can be found on ravelry.com - if you knit, or want to learn, Go There, Register and you will Know How!  It's just so good.


 More making - a pair of pj's for Alice.  I intended to sell these, but they look just too cute!


Two pairs of pants that I did sell - which I'm very proud of!



And the toys/pillows I made the kids.  Same colouring, so as to not have anyone have a hissy fit over who's got the best colour.  They worked a treat, and were just in time for christmas.


But most mornings are spent like this.  Waking slowly, watching the wiggles or Charlie and Lola, and eating breakfast and playing.  I gave up on the guilt of letting the kids watch hours of tv a day weeks ago, when Ethan was very unwell, and figured that they do a lot of 'other' stuff and deserve to relax how they'd like.  And the minute I stopped struggling with myself about it, and discussed with Ethan the importance of not 'just' watching tv but also playing, and building, and reading together, a lot of the mother guilt melted away.  I'm sure it'll be back, at some point, but for now, it's pretty at bay!

Hope your holidays have been good.  If not productive, brag-worthy and shiny when you finish holidays and return to school runs and the like, then at the very least relaxing!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Preparations for Holidays

So, I haven't been here enough to practice my calm, loving, grateful ways.  And I'd like to pretend that that hasn't affected my approach to my life, but honestly it probably has.  I'm not sure.

But I am incredibly grateful for many things at the moment...

My eversoamazing pooch, and her adaptability.
My gorgeous son; his pretending to be high maintainance whilst taking on the transtition to a new school next year; his hilarious playing with Alice (who doesn't like tickling a 2yr old at will); his willingness to just sit and draw or thumb through a book/read when he needs to calm down.
My adorable daughter; her beautiful personality; her easy going attitude and friendliness; her ability to speak, quite clearly, for her age.
My partner; for his ability to work away; his love for his children; his way of approaching chores until they're done perfectly.

As we head in to the holiday season, I'm trying to log on here every couple of days to celebrate gratitude, love and peacefulness in the home.  Especially when 'tis the season for stress, topsy-turvyness of plans, and funds that run extraordinarily low.  A little bit of yelling out loud about what I have to be thankful for will be a dose of what is needed here daily!

Friday, September 30, 2011

sheer joyful love...

Today I am thankful for simplicity.  The simple-ness of a sun-warmed strawberry, for example, can be followed by the happiness that sweet juicy hands bring, a messy face, and make the whole day of getting two year old molars melt away within seconds.

It is really just fantastic.  A tiny heart, a budding personality, and a love of strawberries.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


I have been so damn busy these last few weeks that even though I've spared it a thought, I haven't spared it some time!

I am going ok though, no complaints from here.

Just having a blast.

How 'bout you?

Friday, September 23, 2011

Time...off and on....




I have been away, for what seems like a million blog days!  Truth is, I just got caught up in the Great Everything.  That stuff that happens, the stuff that gets you moving, first thing in the morning.  Like lunches that need fixing, clothes that need getting on children who need to get and move about and go to school.

We had an amazing cold, turned ear infection, turned fella coming home because I could barely function as a human.  And it all kind of caught us from there.  Feels like not a day goes by when I don't get three loads of washing to do!

But I am still thankful.  I am thankful that I have time to do all these things, and the resources to complete them.  We had a tough financial month, and are about to have another one as well, but due to good management and fantastic planning skills, I took the time to stock cupboards, pay school fees ahead of time and get stuff paid in time.  So it's not that we're in a pickle, it's that we're planned up!

I took some time this evening to grab hold of some inspiration that I got this afternoon.  I visited a friend who made a skirt for a birthday present in 90 minutes!  NINETY!!!  It was sooo lovely to watch, that when we got home I threw myself in to the sewing room and got a quick quilt done.  It's not a quilt by any quilters' standard, let me say.  But it is two pieces of fabric, with lines sewn on and batting in between.  And I'm sure my little girl will love it!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Little thoughts that become big, beautiful outcomes...


Don't you just love it when a plan comes together???  This photo, believe it or not, was taken in the dark.  Luckily for me it takes a freight train to wake up Ethan, so I got away with the flash.

You see, they say that if you put your mind to it, anything can happen.  And I am one lucky chick when it comes to putting my mind to things and then having them come out completely as I hoped.  This picture, to me, is just a little snapshot of time, testament to what can happen when my tiny mind starts ticking.

I wanted curtains in the kids rooms, and took myself off to the fabric shop in search of some cheap material.  See those curtains?  TOTAL BARGAIN!  They were $50 for two sets (Alice has some too), are fully thermal blocked curtains and the cutest little animals on them you ever did see.  Now, see that train bed?  Ethan didn't like the bed he had.  I loved it, and I have kept it for Alice.  But that there train bed?  SEVENTY BUCKS!!!  Ethan was soooo stoked that even now, about four weeks after we got it, he still shows it off to people when they visit.  And that dog....she is just the most special dog.  She's perfect, and she loves each one of us sooo much.  This particular night, Ethan was adamant that she go to sleep at the same time as him, and then he popped that red blanket on top of her, "because it was too cold Mum".  And that's where they both stayed til the morning.

And that boy?  I knew he was coming too.  And I'm so happy he's turning out to be such a sweetheart.  A big, gorgeous, adorable sweetheart.

At least today.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Thanks to the Sun...

Aaaaaaahhhh, spring.  I have a special love of spring, especially since moving to Western Australia and knowing what a Stinking Hot Summer is like.  I love every single day of spring.  The smells, the sounds, the spotting of our first ducklings, the downpours of the very last rainclouds that think they'd better rush on over and dump a creek full of water before they aren't allowed to seriously have a deluge til next March.

I just love it.  I love that we can one day have a beautifully cool day, and then the next is a practice toward the hotter ones, where we might reach the mid 20's.


Today was one of those days.  A gorgeous preview of what the sun can do for us, the warm feel of the rays on our skin.  The outdoors were perfect, and the paintings dried nice and quick!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Synchronicity...



I've had a plan to start a womens group for such a long, long time now.  And it's nearly here.  I have, by chance, met a woman that knows more of this than me, and not only is she willing to share, but she's been looking for someone to start a group like this as well!

Synchronicity.  I am thankful for that.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Seeing Past the Blur to the Beauty...


I have just realised that I can hear properly again! It's so nice, to be able to load up a song and hear it in its full intent. So I can say that I am over the worst of the last two or three weeks, my throat is back in shape and my voice no longer sounds awful or feels gravelly, and my ears aren't giving me a constant feeling of sea sickness. It's been a big cold!
But during it all, when I could hardly do a thing but sit with the kiddo's and enjoy the ability for them to watch tv, or when Ethan and I painted up our Fathers Day memory box, it was nice to still be looking past the boring every day and appreciating their beautiful natures. Alice and her daily need to get up, have a brief cuddle and then ask for "bekbas" (breakfast) before pushing Gypsy's legs apart and sitting with her back up to that adorable pooch's torso. Ethan and his nightly need - "I can't fall asleep without it" - for a story. He now knows the words to Where the Wild Things Are by heart. These things were daily rituals, even with a wobbly sense of balance and a horrid ability to fall asleep on a whim (thank god for locking doors and hidey holes for keys!), these things were stay-points to our days. I could see past their boredom, straight to their love and beauty.
Past that blur of hurried childhood and running for shoes to go to the creek with dad, past the want to have four apples for breakfast and let the fruit sugar high make them mental for several hours afterward.
Past all that, and in to their beautiful souls.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Music, and Television....lack of one, loads of the other....

Yesterday I purchased an ipod dock. Yeah, I'm behind, I know. Nevermind, never been a trendsetter anyway!
But we invested in a decent one, as otherwise I could just run the ipod through the laptop in the kitchen anyway, right? I want to hear the music, not regret hearing the music! A tinny, non-balanced music speaker is none to good for me, to be honest, and I'm not even a hifi snob. But I did have requirements - I did Not want a clock on it, I did want it to be little (cos who can find more room even in a massive open plan area, right?), and I wanted it to have clear sound. Not Loud sound, but good and clear. I want to hear the guitar strums, the back up vocals layered on top of each other even when it is 'just' the one guy, strumming and singing me a love song. Those three things were important to me. So I researched, allbeit very hurriedly, and found myself a brand that had a little system that was perfect.
And you know what? The tv hasn't been on all day. If I'm honest, it was because Ethan didn't do as he was asked. But man, he has hardly noticed - could it be the noise in this area of the house maybe? I guess only time will tell...

Monday, August 22, 2011

Still Grateful....

Hey! I've been sick. Sickity sick sick sick. an ear infection landed me quite firmly on my backside for about 10 days, and although the ringing hasn't stopped, I at least am able to stay awake and walk a little way now more than I could even last friday. It's been quite the non-adventure!
So in all that time I've been quite upset that I hadn't been able to post a blog, to be honest. I had quite a lot to be thankful for, too. I have the luck of having a partner that could go and tell his boss I wasn't able to care properly for the kids, and they sent him back home to me! Imagine that?!!! I couldn't drive, could barely stand, if I'm honest, and cooking, cleaning and even hearing the kids was becoming quite difficult. I am so lucky he could do this. There are many places where it wouldn't have been possible, lets face it!
I was sooooooo, sooooo thankful for television, for the first real time ever. The ability to turn on the idiot box, load up a movie or just put on abc for kids, then quite literally 'plonk' the kids in front? That was a pure godsend. I couldn't do anything folks, and both of them weren't well either, so yep, plonkity plonk plonk plonk they went. For about four days I think all they really did was watch tv and eat junk food.
I was thankful for our health system in Australia. Sure, a four hour wait in emergency isn't exactly entertaining. But WE HAVE A HEALTHCARE SYSTEM. The pain in my ear was unbearable. I cannot imagine what this would be like if I lived somewhere where there is not a system at all. Or even where there is just one doctor.
And I was thankful for the abundance in my life. I dunno if I've mentioned it lately, but I have not got a lot of family support here in Western Australia. In fact, without going in to the hairy detail, the family support here that I do have, I don't actually trust enough to lean on (ok, enough said). But I do have an Aunt through the fella's side, and more than that, I have a Jess. My girlfriend Jess is another Godsend. Capital G, this time. She came numerous times, this time and many others, just to help watch the kiddo's so I could attend the ER again, or do stuff, or even just to knit with in the night time. I hope she knows how much that has meant to me. Not having to take two bored kids to an emergency room is a priceless gift. Coming home and having her offer to go and grab some chow so I don't have to cook? Are ya frikkin kidding me? That's just unbelievable. Not to mention all the abundance of things like my stores cupboards, my childrens clothing, and things that just didn't need doing like washing and cooking because I am one well looked after by the universe woman. I didnt wash any clothes for over five days, and we were never at risk of running out of anything, because I am so lucky with the amount of clothing that we all have accumulated over the course of time. It sounds trivial, but it wasn't. It did take a while to catch up on it all, but the thing is I could leave it that long to start with!
Then, as the smog of the pain and the manky ear lifted, I really became thankful for my own energy. I took the pooch on her first walk in a week yesterday, and it was such a blessing. And on sunday we actually took the kids out of the house - out of the suburb even! AMAZING! So then we took them to somewhere beautiful - Point Walter. Thank you!