Friday, April 30, 2010

Operation stop kids from growing up

Mom W is getting uncomfortable.  She has noticed a rather negative side effect of feeding her children.  They seem to be growing up.  Growing rapidly actually.  Does not sit well.

What i am too do?  I dont want to think that my whole life is about wiping bums and noses, cutting the crusts off peanut butter sandwiches and getting up nightly when my three year old yells "Mom!!" at 3am BUT i am also not sure that i am ready to let all of this go.  You see my kids are great.  They are naughty, they scarcely listen and dont eat their veggies but on the whole they rock.  They give great kisses and hugs and say cute things.  They make me laugh every day and think that i am a lot better then i am.  They think that i am wonderful and invincible and the reality is that i only feel that way because they believe, actually know that i am.

Sure i want high school, dates, the first car, university, intellectual conversations, sharing great meals in real restuarants, weddings, grandchildren.  I want all those things but i just dont want to face that this precious time may soon be over.

We are thinking of having another kid.  Note to all this is a long thought out decision and not one made by a madly delusional mother having a "oh my god my kids are growing up" moment at 10pm. We have been thinking about it for a while now.  I will keep you posted on what we decide.

But yes, i am not really sure what my rant is about except to say that sometimes my identity as a mother of small children is so enmeshed into me that i struggle to think that one day this identity wont be mine anymore.  If you want to think even more about this depressing matter check out one of my favourite blogs Apron thrift girl who inspired me with her wonderful blog post. (and had me reaching desperately for tissues and chocolate).  Note to anyone:  Do not read if you are even a bit broody.  You are likely to toss all contraception in the bin!


Monday, April 26, 2010

My treasures

I got this idea of one of my favourite blogger's sites, Amanda at Morning glory cottage.   I loved her post on things that she treasures.  So here goes

Firstly, i treasure my relationship with my husband.  We met when i was 19, the year after i finished school.  Of course i thought that i knew it all.  Of course i still do!  We have been together now for 14 years.  And we really get each other.  Our relationship has evolved as most do but we are in a really good space right now.  We are at the point where we trust each, are able to accept each other and remain committed to both each and our family.  He is an amazing father.  I am often moved to tears of gratitude when i see the absolute devotion that he has for his sons and the way in which they just flourish and blossom around him.  He is strong emotionally, affectionate and kind.  For all the dirty nappies he has changed, the babies he has rocked to sleep, the bottles he has made and given, the games that he has played, the books that he has read, the kisses and hugs that he has given his sons, i am truely grateful.  Through him i became a mother, able to find true contentment, find peace for myself.

And then there was three.....

In December 2003, 6 years ago my first son, Gabriel was born.  All these years later just the sight of him can still take my breath away.  Perfect child, you healed me, allowed me to believe in goodness, gave me hope for the future.  I was able to heal the pain of my own relationship with my mother, through you.  Being a first time mother was hard, so hard at times.  But one of the things that i am most proud of is the unshakable bond that we have.  At times when you drive me crazy with your normal first child bossiness, i have to stop myself from laughing, because you are so, so, so much like me!  I can hear my own words coming from your mouth!  You are beautiful inside and out.  Kind, compassion, empathetic, you stand up for the little(r) people.  Fiercely protective over your brother (you even seem intent on keeping him safe from himself!), secure, bright, loving.  I am so proud of you.  I love you unconditionally.

And then there was four.

Sweet baby Seth.  If Gabriel made me a mother, you gave me a family.  You are so self content, loving, sweet.  Just this morning i found you in a total embrace with the cat, upon which you informed me seriously that he is your friend. I love everything about you from your blue, blue eyes to your soft blond hair.  You dont need me as much as Gabby but you love me so much.  I love the temper that flairs, the "i know what i want" attitude.  I love the fact that you tell everyone that you are "mommy's boy".  I love your gardening, quiet play.  I came into myself when you were born and i had so much fun, freed from the anxiety of trying to do everything perfectly.

On this monday, please share what you treasure most?


Monday, April 19, 2010

First blog anniversary

I cant believe that tomorrow will be my first blog anniversary.  I started my blog on the 20th April 2009 and have made 143 posts.  I really started blogging just because i wanted to share a little bit more of my daily life with the world.  I was inspired by the amazing blogs that i see and read every day on line.  Since i discovered the world of blogs i have found that the world is a small place and that i can meet people who share my emotions, values and experiences even though they live in another country, thousands of miles away. 

Reflecting on my own blog i think that it still needs to find its own space.  I am still stuggling to figure out what i want to do with it and sometimes struggle to dedicate the time to it that i wish i could.  But i love doing it and love checking on my other friends blogs.  So thanks to everyone who has ever stopped her, read what i have written, taken time to comment on the boring details of my daily life.  It means a great deal to me even if i have never met you.

Here's to another year in cyber space......


Sunday, April 18, 2010

Scrapbooking joy

One of my happiest moments is when i have a pile of new photos, new papers and an empty album.  Which is where i find myself now, with a pile of wonderful holiday photos to scrap.  And what a pleasure this scrapping has been!  Think blue sky and seas, waves and sand, boys in red and blue swimming costumes, summer, fun.... Get the picture.  I am sadly almost done with the actual holiday album although i took so many pics that they will spill over to the boys general albums.  I do specific albums for holidays.  Then i have three albums running at all times:  One for each of the boys and then a general family album.  Finally i have a christmas album that i keep my christmas pages in.

So today i want to share with you the following that i have finished:

See what i mean about the wonderful summer pics!  Summer is really my season and i dont really get the winter joys.  We dont get snow in JHB, only grey skies which does not make for really inspiring pictures.  But as a dedicated scrapbooker, i will find a way to survive until Spring.... only 5 months to go!  Sigh!


Monday, April 12, 2010

books and diets

These are the things on my little mind today.  Its monday and i am back at work.  I have survived my first meeting and am still feeling fine.  Today i am also back on the big D - Diet!  I ate a lot of junk while i was on leave.  Including too much easter chocolate!  so i forced myself to gym this morning and have been good the whole day.  I actually feel pretty good about the process as this is the first year that i can remember where i have managed to keep my weight steady.  That does not mean that i have lost what i need to lost but i have managed to keep it stable.  I lost 11 kgs a year ago and am still there.  I really believe that it is the gym that has helped me to do so.  Even with this really bad two weeks i have put on 1.5kgs and know that by the end of the week i will be back to where i was.  It is good to finally feel in control of my weight.  Now i just need to work on bringing it down.

Books!  Ah, my favourite subject!  In the last month i have just found the most amazing books.  I am really an addict and cannot help myself when i spot a second hand book shop.  I have just finished reading this one:

And i have just started this one:
I really enjoyed the Shriver book and can recommend it to anyone.  It is the story of a mother who tells the story of a school massacre, committed by her son.  It is exceptionally well written.  I am a huge Dawkins fan and was so excited when i wondering into my local bookshop and found that they had stocked his entire range.  I bought this one and an "Ancestors tale".

Cant wait to get home and do some more reading.  Was so excited because i got my kids to sleep at 7pm last night and got to read for two hours....


Sunday, April 11, 2010

Back to the grindstone

Today is my last day off.  Tomorrow the kids are all back at school and i am back at work.  Its been a great two weeks and i feel good.  I feel okay about tomorrow in a resigned kind of way.  I know that i need to work.  I need the stimulation.  I need the money.  I need the independence that the money brings.  I need the respect that work brings.  But of course, as i have mentioned before, this is often a difficult thing for me.  An area where i feel torn. I know that i miss out on family time and the quietness of domestic life when i am at work.  I also know that domestic life is not all that blissful if you do it full time.  I know that the lovely quiteness of being home alone on leave is not the real life of a stay at home mom.  I also know that i take strain if i stay at home with the kids for a long time.  I know that this sounds terrible but it is true.  I am a better mother if i am fuelled with just the right amount of longing and guilt.  I get home after a long day and i am softer when i see my kids.  They are the light at the end of a crazy office day and i am happy to sit on the steps while they bath and listen to them tell me about their day.  We really are never happy.

But i have realised something in the last week or so.  I am decidely unexciting really.  I really like the simple life on the whole.  I dont mind the occassional dinner out or show.  I like to meet up with family and friends and gossip over coffee or drinks but in the main i like to be at home. I like to be with my family.  I like to do my crafts, watch tv, read my books, potter around the place.  These things make me happy even though they would have made me cringe when i was 21.  In reality i always liked these things and my happiest memories of being in my mother's home are ones that involve these activities.  But when you are an educated liberated woman these things are decidely old fashioned and not that cool.  Now i am getting to old and tired to pretend that i dont like doing things that i actually do.  I like to bake biscuits and feed them to my kids so that i wont eat them all.  I like to put on my pj's at 5pm when i get home from work and watch tv and do my cross stitch.  When i have a great book i cant wait to get into bed at 8pm when my kids are sleeping and read for two hours solid.

SO, with the perspective of the two weeks break i need to find time to embrace these things because they calm me and make me happy.  They are my simple joys.  I need to manage my work stress and remind myself that i work as a source of fulfillment and to ensure that i have financial stability which in turn gives me joy and allows me the opportunity to experience many things.  I know that this is easier said then done and come tomorrow i will walk into my office and face emails, staff, drama, clients, political demands.  But, i need to take a deep breath and remind myself crudely that "you have seen this shit before, girl...."  I cant be shaken but just put my head down and work methodically.

See you tomorrow back in the office....

Saturday, April 10, 2010

E.E Cummings

i carry your heart with me by E. E. Cummings
i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart) 

may my heart always be open to little... (19) by E. E. Cummings
may my heart always be open to little
birds who are the secrets of living
whatever they sing is better than to know
and if men should not hear them men are old

may my mind stroll about hungry
and fearless and thirsty and supple
and even if it's sunday may i be wrong
for whenever men are right they are not young

and may myself do nothing usefully
and love yourself so more than truly
there's never been quite such a fool who could fail
pulling all the sky over him with one smile 
I have always loved the poems of EE Cummings.  They just speak to me.  Just want to share these two that i stumbled onto online.  They made me smile....

Friday, April 9, 2010

There is no place like home

We are back home.  What a wonderful holiday.  But i was happy when finally we pulled into our street and we were home.  Now i have piles of suitcases by my front door, bags of food to unpack, laundry to face.  But that will still be there tomorrow.  I was happy to make myself a cup of coffee and settle on my favourite chair and just be happy to be back in my space.  Even the kids were happy to go off to the playroom and play with their toys that they missed.

We had a wonderful time.  The weather turned out lovely and we spent every day on the beach.  What bliss!


Saturday, April 3, 2010

My bags are packed and i am ready to go....

Shew!  Shew! Shew!  Going away is never easy on moms!  Today i have packed all the bags for the trip tomorrow morning.  This included, but was not limited to:
  • Packing four suitcases with clothes for any eventuality.
  • Packing food for the first couple of days including the biscuits i had baked for the trip and all the staples such as coffee, tea, sugar, salt etc.
  • Packing toiletries for all of us.
  • Packing every medication, plaster etc that you can possibly think of ... just in case.
  • Packing costumes, beach mats, beach toys, sunscreen etc.
  • Freezing drinks, getting snacks and games together for the road.\
  • Getting out a new craft project for the trip.
  • Kindly harassing DH to do his bit such as sorting out the car and trailer, when i really wanted to scream: "Have you taken any notice of how much i have bloody done today?  Now get off the couch and do your bloody bit!".
All of this was done amongst the clamour of overexcited kids who go crazy at the sight of suitcases.


I had to:
  • Hide the easter eggs in the garden for the easter egg hunt.
  • Supervise the easter egg hunt so that the little W got a chance to find some eggs.
  • Share out the easter eggs found.
  • Put out the easter egg bags.
  • Get out the easter eggs and toys for tomorrow morning while my kids were in the bath!
In between domestic life such as cooking supper did not stop.   In my exhaustion i cooked a giant pot of mac and cheese and shovelled it into the W's mouths.

Now it is nearly bedtime.  Everything is ready although i am still wandering around and sticking last minute items into the bags.  I am tired but positive.  I am looking forward to sinking my toes into the warm sand and watching the blue Indian ocean wash over my feet.


Friday, April 2, 2010

The calling of the sea


I must down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white sail's shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea's face, and a grey dawn breaking.

I must down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull's way and the whale's way where the wind's like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over.

By John Masefield (1878-1967).

The skies are grey over Johannesburg still!  But the sea is calling........

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Family fun

Firstly i wanted to share these cutie pies with you.  These were taken last week at the theme park when we went out for the day.  Arent the carousel horse photos lovely?

I spent a wonderful day with an old friend today, who i have not seen in over a year.  And like any two old friends i picked her up and started jibber jabbering.  We had coffee and muffins and spoke and spoke and spoke.  No holds barred, just spilling the beans.  Life, men, money, some gossip.  It was wonderful.  I realised how much i missed talking to her.  But i also realised that as i get older i am aware that i have some wonderful women in my life who i dont speak to often but that mean a lot to me.  Friends whose friendships dont rely upon constant contact.  I hold them dear to my heart.

I am starting to hear the calling of the sea.  The weather is awful here in Johannesburg.  Gray skies and rain.  But at this point i dont care.  I will walk on the beach in the pouring rain.  I just need to get to the shore.  Ever have that feeling?  I am looking forward to a quiet weekend, with family movies tomorrow and then the packing and planning before we leave on Easter Sunday for the coast.

I've got a feeling that this holiday is going to be great! (wink, wink!)