Thursday, September 29, 2011

~ the one with the sick kids ~

When I signed onto this mummy caper (in truth there was no signing on, not much planning even) the one thing I thought the Doc and I would have a handle on was kiddy illnesses.  We're both medical, we have the bit of paper that says we completed extra kid training, we even have quite a good dose of common sense between us (not so common).

And its true, we can recognise, diagnose, not panic about the minor things - the colds, the cuts, the sore ears, the wheezy, moist coughs that have others running to the clinics.

The major things...well touch  a whole forest....we haven't had to deal with too much there; a couple of broken arms, a hospital admission for gastro, an asthma attack that had us at ED in the wee small hours.

Its the nuts and bolts of it that get me; I'm ok with blood but too much vomit, snot and poo have me running for cover.

And there's been way too much of it this week - all three have had a day or two off, the panadol's running low, there's not a whole lot of quality sleeping happening (but what's new?),  tempers are frayed and patience is low.

{our cute retro medicine chest - in truth, its full of chocolate hidden from the Doc}

So I'm hoping this week is the end of all those niggling winter viruses, funny bugs and what not.
That we can have quiet weekend at home, resting and recuperating and then move into the rest of spring happy and healthy.

What's your week been like?

Sunday, September 25, 2011

~ a lovely Sunday ~

Sunday is my favourite day of the week.

Historically it was our day for lazy lie-ins, marathon weekend-paper reading sessions and lots of coffee.
These days a lie-in involves 3 children, lots of wriggling, many demands for more space, more stories, more cuddles and it feels like an escape to get up and get moving.

Today we escaped to the farmers market.

It was a beautiful morning  - the sun tried to shine, we saw friends and drank that much-needed coffee.


We left with arms laden - farm fresh spuds, apples and greens.  Bunches of daffies.  A small pot of sprouts for school lunches.  A taster of some amazing bikkies (I love that word so much more than cookie) that our friends bake there each week.  That warm feeling inside from supporting our local farmers and provedores.

And as an added bonus we were there so early there was still enough day left for a gym class*, some gardening, plays with friends and time to cook a roast for the family that are arriving to stay tonight.

How was your weekend?

*Progress report on my little gym experiment - I have been going swimming and to stretchy class (yoga/pilates) at least twice a week - no waist yet and no other visible results but I feel better. Yay! And I had to buy new gym clothes so that was fun too.

Friday, September 23, 2011

~ the story I heard last night~

The end of another boring school meeting.
We were sitting, chatting, idly gossiping, sharing stories, laughing.
One of the other women suddenly turned to me and asked if I wanted to hear a story.
"Is it a good one?" I asked.
"It's a doozy"

And it was.

Here it is.


Almost 6 years ago C was living in Edinburgh, on a working holiday, enjoying life. She was working hard, partying hard and flatting with her sister. Just before Christmas her mum flew out from Australia to have a white Christmas with her girls. Christmas Eve they walked the streets, ate well, drank gluhwein and enjoyed the winter version of Christmas.
But C began to feel unwell. Soon she was vomiting. They called the NHS; "see how you go and come in if it gets worse" A couple of panadol and a restless night with not much improvement and C fronted up to hospital instead of unwrapping her presents under the tree.
A doctor ran some tests and then pale-faced asked to speak to her privately.
Her mum and sister left the room.
The doctor then informed her she was pregnant.
2 hours later she gave birth to a full-term, healthy, 7lb baby.
The biggest surprise Christmas present ever.


She had had no idea. Her periods had been regular. Her size 10 jeans still fit. No-one had noticed a thing.

I'm sure my jaw literally dropped. I've always been a sceptic. Thought those stories in trashy magazines and late-night tv were rubbish. Dismissed them out of hand.

I still find it hard to believe. For me, nothing remained the same when I was pregnant. My appetite changed, my boobs changed, I was tired, I grew babies that wriggled and hiccoughed and whose feet I could hold through my abdominal wall.

To imagine a life growing inside someone with no outside changes simply staggers me.
And yet, there's no denying C's story.
I'm sure some people would envy her easy, trouble-free pregnancy.
Not me - I loved being pregnant - enjoyed (nearly) every step - I marvelled at how my body changed and evolved and coped. I loved the planning and the dreaming of the future. Thrilled at the anticipation of what was to come.

{no mistaking what's going on here}

Do you have a hard time believing stories like this?
Have you heard any good stories recently? 

Monday, September 19, 2011

~ one of those days ~

I sat down to write tonight full of the gripes.
To tell of all the little things that went wrong today - of the spilt milk (but we remembered to say "there's no use crying over it"), the ruined jigsaw, the endless whine of the-not-quite-sick-but-not-well 2yo, the spilt cream  all over my new shoes(the "no use crying over it" line came out again but through gritted teeth), the tissue in the was truly one of those days.

And then the Doc came home halfway through my little rant and as I reheated his dinner (and broke to him the news of his jigsaw) I very wifely asked about his day - the telling of the diagnosis of cancer to a bloke our age certainly added some perspective to my day.
And so here is the other version of our day. 

The one when I put on my new shoes and felt happy cos they were the perfect shade of corally watermelon. 

{they came out ok after a wash}

Where a little gift arrived in the post and put a smile on my face.

{thanks Helen}

{pretty lanterns inside the package}

The one where we walked to the park and played and I got to grab coffee on the way. 

{my fix}

The one where little hands picked a small bouquet.

{pretties from our garden}

Where we ended up healthy and happy and I was reminded of gratefulness all over again.
One of those days.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

~ grateful parents ~

I like the idea of practising gratefulness.
I love that the fabulous Maxabella encourages this every week.
I've read lots and now its time to join in.  
Read some more grateful posts here at Mira Narnie.

This week I'm grateful for my parents.  Of course I'm grateful to them all the time and I'm so glad we moved back home to Tassie  and we get the chance to see them more often and for my children to know them as they grow.

But this week in particular I'm especially grateful;
To my dad for the flowers and the amazing home made bread.

{my beautiful lunch }

And to my mum who took the girls all day today so I could stay home with the small vomiting one,  tend to his needs and fall asleep with him on the couch in front of "ABforkids" (I am also, endlessly, grateful for ABC kids and the extended format).

Friday, September 16, 2011

~ 42, Douglas Adams and the meaning of life ~

Yesterday was my birthday
I love birthdays.
I love the rituals and the celebration, the giving (and receiving), the planning, the cake, the dinner, the spoiling.

I'm not so big on the numbers.  I don't feel 42.  Or what I thought 42 would feel like when I was (much) younger.  I thought forty was ancient, sensible and grown-up;  a holding pattern, if you like, for the rest of life.  And yet here I am  - mum to 3, one still in nappies with occasional thoughts of what a fourth would do to our lives (that's really only idle speculation - I can hear the screams of the Doc, my obstetrician and my absent abdominals already).  Not sorted, not mature, not always sensible.

In my heart I'm still in my 20s.  Still believing anything is within reach and possible if I put my mind to it.  I catch myself scanning the uni students milling around wondering if I'll see anyone I know.  I get shocked when I don't recognise the movies showing at the cinema or the songs in the top20.  I feel betrayed when my body aches and screams if I push it too hard or if I stay up too late, or have too many bubbles.  I still have to pinch myself that I am responsible for 3 small people - that they rely on me for food, shelter, love and knowledge.  I still feel like the world is out there waiting for me to come and explore and wonder.

Denial?  For sure.  I'm not one to gaze in the mirror checking for wrinkling and aging.  I have no list of what I need/want to achieve by this age, or that.  Sometimes, in those moments when I let myself think about aging,  I feel paralysed with fear that I'll be too old to play with my grandchildren (imagine if our kids wait as long as we did...), that genetics will catch up with me or the Doc and we'll fall prey to those health demons that lurk in the family histories.

So I live for the here and now.  For the little moments, the wonders, the sheer mundanity, the joys, the disappointments of the everyday.  Where the numbers are irrelevant and I strive to make each day count. 

Yesterday was a good day, I hope there are many more of them.

{disclaimer:  That is not yesterday's cake.  The Doc made 3 cakes (best not to talk about the first two unless you have great tips about what to do with a cupboard full of crumbled chocolate cake) and finally cracked it with a heart shaped, chocolate extravaganza.  HRH LLJ had been wondering all day "where's the birthday?" and it wasn't until he saw the candles that he was convinced it was a real birthday.  In all his 2 year old excitement at cake and candles with the accompanying jumping and screaming I actually forgot to take a photo.}

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

~ tonight at mum's house - glimpses of my childhood ~

owl and tiny ted

part of my mouse collection(and that wall paper that I still see in my dreams)

my dad's teddy (Stuart)  and friend

grandma's mouse

Joining in the wordless fun at faith, hope and a whole lotta love

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

~ on hollow trees and hollow feelings ~

When we started our renovations a year ago one of the hardest things was cutting down a couple of old conifers on the boundary so we could extend.  I didn't like them but cutting trees down goes against the grain.

I was able to reassure myself that we were protecting the majority of our beautiful trees and that our little green oasis would still be there, even with the bigger house.  


The main feature of our back garden has always been the ancient, enormous pear tree.  
I loved it unreservedly.  It had a ladder and a small cubby area.  It provided beautiful blossom and shade to read and play.  It had an old tyre swing that we all loved.  It also produced upwards of a thousand pears a year - all inedible unless cooked and all of which the Doc had to pick up and cart to the compost (or tip).  He didn't always share the pear tree love.  The wombles often picked pears up for pocket money and made enough to keep them in icy-poles for the summer. 

I think it was one of the factors that swayed our decision to buy the house (a decision that took all of 5 minutes - I have long lamented my ability to choose curtains, shoes, what to have for dinner... but show me a house I love and I'm signing before I've hit the back wall).

Last week the rain stopped for long enough for us to get into the garden again.  A bit of weeding, some mowing and a chance to look around.  We found, to our horror, a huge crack along one of the branches of the pear tree and a hollow rotting centre.  The tree doctor confirmed our worse fears and today he came with his chainsaw and razed it to the ground.

There wasn't even any time to get used to the idea.  There yesterday, gone today.   
I feel like I've committed a {carbon} crime and I've shed a few tears.  
I feel all hollow inside too.

(On the upside we have quite a load of firewood for next year and lots of potential).

What's your favourite part of the garden?

Thursday, September 1, 2011

~ a spring resolution ~

I love this time of year. 

I love that it starts to warm up (a little), the garden starts to burgeon and grow and blossom.
My babies are all spring babies and so I am - so there is lots to celebrate in the coming months.
I love the possibilities that open up and the lightness that fills my heart.

None of which explains why this week I joined a gym.  For the first time EVER.
I'm still coming to grips with this.
I've always been a hockey girl, a tennis girl, a swimming or walking girl.
Not into jigging up and down, or set classes or (horrors!) gym gear.

So why??
  • I have 2 very dear friends who have been nagging me, weekly, for months now, to join them at this class, or that class, or on this run, or that run.  They are fit, fun and enthusiastic....they've worn me down.
  • I want to find my waist again - it got lost there amongst all those babies and late night snacks.
  • The Doc joined and I'm nothing if not supportive.
  • They had a super special and I didn't feel like I was going to waste my money.

So here I am, committing to regular exercise for the next two months.
A spring resolution if you like (which makes more sense to me that trying to start in the slothful, gluttonous months of summer).

Anyone else making plans, getting started on new projects?
How about a spring resolution?