Monday, 31 October 2011

Happy Place Challenge - Day 21 & 22

Yesterday and Today. 
Lots of Happy Moments.  

M1 and M2 showing such delight and excitement at finding a pretty butterfly in the tree - "come and look mummy - it is sooo pretty". 

Reading to M2 while waiting in MBF (of all places!)

The first cup of coffee in the morning.

M2 finding a friend at school and being so excited and happy.

M1 smiling as he saw his Dad watching him receive his award on assembly.

Enjoy some sushi for dinner.

Thank you Nathalie at Easy Peasy Kids for helping me find happy moments in every day.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Spooky Satrday Night - Happy Place Challenge Day 20

Spooks and ghouls visited us last night - and yes I know that it is not Halloween until Tuesday night!

We were lucky enough to be invited to a "street festival" of sorts a couple of suburbs over by some very good friends.  What a great experience it was as an introduction to Halloween for the kids.  They all dressed up (there were 6 kids ranging in age from 3.5 to almost 12) and they wandered from house to house filling up their loot buckets.  Smiles all round... and way to many treats in their buckets.

It was fantastic!

Then, as if that wasn't enough, everyone rocked back here to have a "party".  My kids had decorated the rumpus room with bats and spiders and webs (and carefully cultivated dust) and the excitement was palpable.

The simple dinners really are the best.  We had a nice, easy BBQ after the kids had played.  They then watched "Scooby Doo 2" while we (the adults) chatted happily upstairs.  It was a great night.  M2 not in bed until after 10.00 - in his words "AWESOME".  Staying up late is so exciting when you are 7!

A great mix of friends and family, laughter and memories being made.

Today's writing is not my best, sorry if it is a bit boring, but I am tired after such a spooky night!  Thank you to everyone involved.  I think we just started a tradition xxx

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Happy Place Challenge - Day Ninteen

Yesterday (Friday) was a mixed day for me.  It involved tears and meltdowns (mine), hugs and vomiting, temperatures and a trip to the doctors for M2.

Yet in amongst all of this, having to collect M2 from day care allowed me to get some other things done at home.  Most importantly it allowed me to put the new doona cover on M1's bed, and FIND THE MISSING BEYBLADE! 

He was soooo happy when he got home from school and I told him Storm Pisces had been found.  That was a definite happy moment for me. 

Friday, 28 October 2011

Happy Place Challenge - Day Eighteen

My Happy Place on day eighteen was coffee............ we had run out of coffee beans (ARRRRGHHH!) and I could not have my normal, beautifully prepared by my hubby, cup of coffee.  Disaster.

Happy moment when he arrived home later that day with fresh beans, and even happier moment when later that night he made me THE BEST flat white.

Ahh, coffee, you make me smile!

Meltdowns lead to Rainbows

So I had a minor melt down this morning - over the stupidest little thing (it always is).
Why does this happen?

Lately I have felt like I was finally enjoying my children and the happiness
they bring into my life. 

Then all of a sudden BANG! 

A tidal wave hits me and I feel completely knocked off my feet and unable to cope.
  I don't know why this happens or how to fix it.  It makes me want to say, what M2 would call "cold, prickly words".  Mostly I stop myself, but sometimes the words tumble out before I can stop them.  This makes me feel worse.

 I read yesterday about bullying.
How it is like crumpling up a piece of paper and then
smoothing it out when you say sorry.  It is a great metaphor.
The paper can never be the same, no matter what you try.

This is what cold prickly words would do to my children.
They cannot be taken back.
Yes children are resilient, but how much do they remember?
How often can they forgive you?
How do you forget the hurt and confusion in their eyes?
How do they?

I left for work without saying goodbye to my children.  And guess what?
Karma came and bit me on the bum big time.

M2 had to be collected from day care because she was shaking, vomiting and had a fever.  BAZINGA!  Someone up there was telling me to get over myself, suck it up and move on.

I am a strong person, and I love my children.  Sometimes, they just push my buttons.

  So today I let myself cry. 

I cried because I am tired.
I cried because my husband made a stupid joke when I really needed him not to. 
I cried because my BFF lives too far away. 
I cried because I know when I collect M1 from school he will run up to me and hug me, look up at me and smile and say "Hi Mum" with unconditional love in his eyes.
Like he always does.

I didn't actually say anything "cold and prickly" to my children, although I did have a good vent to my husband (who then made the bad joke).

I have realised that over the past 3 weeks, I have enjoyed more moments than I have disliked.  I am getting better at recognising and controlling my emotions. 
That I am human.
That no matter what, my children love me, and I love them.
After the rain comes a rainbow.  Shame sometimes it takes a cyclone for you to see it.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Spiders & Sand - Happy Place Challenge Day 17

What a mixed bag I had today.  It included a funeral, new sheets, Halloween costumes, milkshakes and spiders.  It reminded me that, really it is my kids who give me so many happy moments, if you let them.

In the morning I went and purchased a new doona cover for M2.  Tomorrow I will collect the one on order for M1.  M2 is desperate to get that on, the anticipation is beautiful, a definite happy moment. 

In the middle, I did some grocery shopping, including picking up some Halloween "stuff".  This has caused untold excitement in our house, because this year we are going trick or treating with 4 other "kids" for the first time.  And then, they are coming back here for a party and dinner.  Excitement all 'round!  Another happy moment.

After the middle, I went to a funeral (with M2 in tow) to support an extended family member.  I didn't really know the person who passed away, but I still shed a tear.  My Mum also came with me, so it is a shared experience, which I believe is essential to family life and history.  Afterwards the three of us went for a coffee and milkshake to regroup.  The rainbow after the rain.  Happy moment # 3.

At school collection time, I brought home an "extra" - she plays well with both M1 and M2 and together, they all had a wonderful time trying to scare each other with the plastic spiders I have bought in preparation for Saturday night.  Moment # 4.

I also enjoyed a really good cup of coffee, a chat with a friend and had my husband being at home with me for a third night in a row - a rarity of late.  Now it is time for bed.

So many happy moments.....I hope you had some too!

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Happy Place Challenge - Day Sixteen

I am half-way through the 30 Day "Happy Place Challenge with Nathalie from Easy Peasy Kids, and am loving it!  This is why:

I love that it makes you stop and reflect on the day.

I love that in each day you find MORE THAN ONE moment.

I love that it has led me to some beautiful blogs.

  Most of all I am just enjoying being extra happy.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Happy Place Challenge - Day Fifteen

 I seem to have lost track of days, but my happy place with Nathalie from Easy Peasy Kids is saying "yes".

Yes instead of "soon"

Yes inseatead of "sorry, mummy has to work"

Yes, instead of, "maybe later"

I know we are all busy, but we all choose our level of busyness.  I chose to still contact books for the school, even though I have three piles of washing that needed folding up that "needed" to be done.  Also ironing and mopping of floors

The light in your children's eyes when you join in when they ask you can't be replicated. 

So today, I had a "tea party" with sand and water, was the "child" and also just followed M2's lead.  It was lot's of happy moments.

I hope you had lots too.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

My Happy Place Day 12 - Enjoying the Moment

My son, M1 who turns 8 in November has recently discovered "Beyblades".  For those of you who don't know what they are, basically spinning tops (just don't say that to him) that you battle each other with.

He loves them, loves watching the TV show (read 30 minutes of advertising) and even has his sister hooked on them (she is 3.5).  They try to "battle" these together, not always with a great outcome.

So, where was I going with this???  Saturday I took M1 shopping to buy a birthday present to take to his friend's birthday party on Sunday.  Of course, a Beyblade was the gift of choice.  To say the decision was painstaking is an understatement, but I figured he needed to be sure.  He was also choosing a new one for himself and buying the "battle arena", all with his own pocket money, so I try and let him take his time. 

Of course this led to an afternoon of Beyblade battles at our house using the aforementioned new Beyblades against the old ones etc in the new arena.  You get the picture!  Now hubby and I try to be very present and available to both our children (the state of our house/yard will attest to this) so, with a little enthusiasm we started to battle.  M1 thought this was the best thing, like, EVER!

Did hubby and I love doing this?  Not really, but after what has been a very hectic week in this house for all the normal reasons, it was nice to be able to do something together, that all four of us could enjoy (yes M2 joined in too).  We followed it up by watching "Rio" together as a family.

My point - live in the moment and go with it.  These moments that as parents we roll our eyes at, are actually the ones are children remember and love the most.

So, in the words of Ginko (Beyblade Master) - "3, 2, 1........... LET IT RIP!!!"

Friday, 21 October 2011

Spoilt for Choice - Happy Place Challenge Day 11

Today I feel very lucky.  I am spoilt for choice in my "Happy Moment Challenge" with Nathalie from Easy Peasy Kids .

For those of you who have been following this blog, you will know that I have had a couple of big events on at work lately.  This has meant some creative child minding arrangements have had to come into play.  Thank goodness I am lucky enough to have wonderful grandparents who agreed to take my beautiful monster 2 for a couple of nights at the beach.
This lead to "Happy Moment #1" .  When M2 was delivered home safely to me, she was soooo glad to be home, and she gave me the best cuddles, ever!!!  There is nothing on earth like cuddles from your child.

Happy Moment # 2 came from going out with my Mum the same night to listen to a concert my wonderful husband and his students were involved in.  "Do you hear the people sing, singing the song of angry men...."  Five weeks, 150 combined performers from two different schools and 2 guest stars (Rachel Beck and Ian Stenlake) and - WOW!  What an amazing experience.

Music was never like this when I was at school.  So proud of my hubby and his students and all those involved, AND I loved the concert.

So many other happy moments today, I hope you had lots too!

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Do you hear the people sing? Happy Place Day 10

My favourite musical of all time is Les Miserable.  Say what you will, in my opinion, it is the best musical written.  Ever.  The music is stirring and emotive.  The themes are believable, the characters likable/sympathetic and, well, I could go on and on (and on, and on).

I have seen Les Mis at least four times (including on Broadway in London) and each time I see it, I love it even more.

Today, I saw my hubby conducting some music from it and my best friend's big brother singing something from it. 

All the while M1 was running around like a lunatic thinking he owned the auditorium where the rehearsal was being held.

Tomorrow night I am lucky enough to see the real concert.

I can't wait.

All of these things combined have given me reason to have a happy moment today. 

Join me with Nathalie @ Easy Peasy Kids in the 30 day Happy Place challenge - I am loving it!

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Contact - Happy Place Challenge Day 9

Today my happy place is contact.  And no, not the physical kind, but the kind you cover books with.  (Yes, seriously!)  You see, our school sometimes throws out a call for helpers to contact the new books for the library.  The good news is, it is not the cheap, horrible contact we all struggle with at the beginning of each year, trying frantically to cover our kids school books.

But the good, secret stash, library kind.  The kind they never tell us normal mums about. 

I have started work again this year can't be at the school to help out as much as I have been. 

Contacting books for me is an easy way to help, and I actually find it relaxing.  Call me strange, but it is a satisfying feeling seeing the books covered and ready to go to their new home. 

So today, I collected two more piles of books to cover, and in-between my other commitments I will cover them and return them to our wonderful librarian, ready for a new set of readers.   This makes me feel happy!

Monday, 17 October 2011

Shoot me now.......... or else!

Student free days.  Who needs them!  My master 7.11 (8 in November) was at home with myself and Miss 3.5 today and I have to say anyone who home schools IS CRAZY.

Now, I love  my kids to bits, but sometimes I really don't like them very much.  At all.

Why do they push so many buttons so easily.  If "children are a product of their parents" as is one of my favourite sayings, then my children are going to be manipulative, horrible creatures when they grow up.

Oh, how I hate days like these.  The highs and lows, the agony and the ecstasy and the desire to ask "is it wine o'clock" yet at 9.48am.

On a positive note, I had a lovely chat with one of my bestest friends ever.  And from a completely selfish point of view, I really hope they do move back to Queensland. However, if they do, that is a whole new set of sadness for lots of people involved.

I am struggling today, yet don't feel like I can ask anyone for help.  Why is that????

Tomorrow is another day, and more importantly school is in session.
See you on the other side.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

It's OK to Feel Flat - Happy Place Challenge Day 7

Today I feel very flat.
(keep reading, there are happy moments to come!) 
I don't know why, it just suddenly hit me after lunch.
I had a great morning out with my two beautiful monsters. 
The sun was shining and we enjoyed some pizza.


Sometimes the feeling of what I "have" to do completely overwhelms me.  I struggle with this feeling and the impact it has on all around me.  My children must wonder where "fun mum" went.  So.  What to do?

Acknowledge the feeling and move on.  
Yes, I was a bit grumpy for a while, but now I feel ok.  
Now I can look around and see that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

I think as mothers we find it hard to turn off and not be consumed by what we feel is 
expected of us. The truth is the world still turns. 

Make time for some zen time in your life.

Remember the Happy Moments from each day - there is always something!

Saturday, 15 October 2011

The Importance of Saturday Night Wine - Happy Place Challenge Day 6

In honour of one of my "newest" but most special friends, here is my Happy Place moment for Saturday.  Day 6.  Wine.

Now, don't get me wrong, I know wine can be a fall back position for lots of people, and I know it can lead to lots of trouble, but for now it is a great metaphor. It is symbolic for relaxing and unwinding.

Wine, or whatever is your poison, has a symbolic, ritualistic kind of impact on me.  I even enjoy drinking mineral water with a squeeze of lemon, but out of a wine glass.  Go figure!  On a special night I give my two monsters their drinks in wine (plastic) glasses. 

No doubt, years of therapy will follow.

When I  mentioned to a friend that I was blogging about "moments" she mentioned that she had lots of "moments" - hence the Saturday night wine.  Now, friend 1 (F1 we will call her from now on) has a very stressful job, which sometimes has some very sad outcomes.  She however, always sees the good in every situation.  This is a real skill.  I remember once she told me that when she grew up she "wanted to help people".  Look up the definition of social worker in the dictionary people and I am sure this is mentioned somewhere.  She is definitely one of those people, and has grown up fulfilling her dream.

This friend (F1) has helped me see the great things about my son (M1) who is sometimes, shall we say a little challenging, and also just, frankly, been a good friend.  She also brings her iPhone when we go to coffee so M2 is kept (mostly) occupied.  Good friends are hard to find.

Hang on to good friends.  Some of my best friends live a long way away.  I miss them.  It is nice to have one that is close to home.  Paper cuts and all : ) 

That is my happy moment for today.  Good friends.  And if this doesn't make sense, I blame the Saturday night wine.

It's All About Me - Happy Place Challenge - Day Five

It's Friday, It's Friday, gotta get down on Friday - or however it goes.  I have been loving Miss Nathalie's @ Easy Peasy Kids Happy Place Challenge and it is less than one week in.

So far, I have found some new blogs, discovered the beauty in the moon that hangs in the sky at 4.30am and enjoyed early-morning-half-asleep cuddles from my miss 3.5, and today I have had the day off work and had some (in my opinion) well deserved "me time"  - yes fellow Happy Moment Challengers this included a trip to the hairdresser!  Happy Moments are everywhere.

It constantly surprises me how hard it is to remember this sometimes though.

We all need reminding that kids are beautiful, innocent, full of energy creatures.  They are not asking something for the 10th time to be annoying, the are asking to reinforce in their mind what it is or what it does.They are learning their place in the world and we are for good or bad, their guiding light.  Sometimes as a mother this seems infuriating (and tiring and monotonous). 

We as mothers need to learn to live in the moment more and accept that things don't need to be perfect.  IT is so long since I mopped our floors I had to yesterday buy a new mop bucket.  Everyone in the house is still happy though, and my husband has not once complained (even though he may have wanted to he knows the motto - "happy wife, happy life").

I will catch up on the housework (I promise I will) but today, and for the next 25 days, I am making time for happy moments.

Make sure you do too! 

Thursday, 13 October 2011

A Full Moon Rising- Happy Place Day 4

I see a bad moon rising - or not!!!  I had to be at work at 5.00am today, which for me is VERY early.  But  every cloud has a sliver lining.  While I was driving down the freeway towards the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, I saw the most beautiful full moon.  It was still high up in the sky and was hanging over the city like an omen.  It was beautiful.  I don't remember the last time I saw and enjoyed a moment like this.

On what could have been a very long day, I feel completely fulfilled about what I have achieved.  I helped run an inspiring event for 800+ secondary school girls and 80+ of their teachers and supporters.

I have learnt more about running an event than I have in the last 10 years (and that includes running events at The Tower of London (yes, The Tower of London - in London) than I could have imagined.

I can cope with pressure, last minute changes, blisters, disgruntled guests and basically anything else that can be thrown at me.

To top it all of, I got great hugs from both children when I collected them today (childcare arrangements were a bit complicated shall we say today) and have enjoyed a glass of wine.

And I have tomorrow off.  Any guesses about "my Happy Place" for tomorrow?

Happy Place Challenge - Day Three

What a great day!  It is hubby's birthday today and one of my "non-work" days.  M2 and I get to spend time together after dropping big brother at school.  I have lots on work wise until tomorrow (a big breakfast event for almost 900 girls) and am feeling very tired. 

However, life goes on and all around me I am finding happy moments.  They have today included, hugs from both my children, watching the joy on the faces of the kids giving "daddy" his presents, sipping a glass of wine after a long day and looking forward to tomorrow.

Thank you Nathalie @ East Peasy Kids for starting and inviting us into this challenge.  So far I am loving it!

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Happy Place Challenge - Day Two

Today has been a mixed bag for me... busy at work, preparing for hubby's birthday tomorrow, dealing with children who really know how to "push my buttons" etc, etc.  So whilst trying to juggle all these things, what has been my happy place today?

Well, actually it was sushi.  I had sushi for lunch, and it was the best tasting, freshest sushi I have ever had!

That is my happy place moment for today - nothing deep and meaningful, but still makes me smile when I think about it!  

Monday, 10 October 2011

The 30 Day "My Happy Place" Challenge

Are you a Facebook (FB) Fan?  I have a love/hate relationship with FB because it is what my Dad would call a "time-waster".  It is something that you don't need, but somehow you don't know how you lived without it. Right?  Well one thing I love about FB is getting to know other businesses or pages that help you on your way.

One of these pages is Easy Peasy Kids.  I would never have "met" Nathalie without FB, as I live in Brisbane and she is a Melbourne based beauty.  But I feel like I know her now, and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE her philospohies and approach to motherhood.

Currently she is running a 30 day "Happy Place" challenge.  It is about remembering and finding one happy moment out of each day and sharing it in the "virtual world".

I have signed up for this, as I have often struggled with motherhood and all it encompasses.

Would you like to come on the ride with me?  Well today is day one, and here is my "Happy Place" thought for the day:

Day 1 - I love when my DD (aged 3 1/2) comes and climbs into my bed and says "good morning Mummy - it's a beautiful day today" and gives me a great big cuddle and smile, even if my eyes are only half open.

What was your "Happy Place" moment today?

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Book Club - So much more than just Books!

This year, some friends and I started a "Book Club".  With a few readers amongst us Mums, we thought it would be nice to be able to actually discuss the books we read and the characters within them.  It would seem though, for me at least, that "Book Club" had taken the joy out of reading.  Does that sound strange?

Well, you see, some of the books we read are quite "heavy" and with all the rigours of everyday life, I, personally, was finding it hard to fit in reading at the end of the day.  But, like most things, it turns out that  book club is about way more than books.

What Book Club provides us with is an opportunity or excuse to get together with a "valid" reason.

Let me state up front that all of us in the Book Club are lucky enough to have fantastic partners/husbands who do not be-grudge us going out - it's just if you have a "real reason"  - somehow it is easier to walk out the door at the kids bedtime and leave Dad to deal with.  You know what I mean! 

There is always ironing (everyone irons right?), cleaning, folding, tidying etc etc to be done, and as with all guilt, the guilt of leaving this stuff for another time seems too much sometimes.  So you do the chores and jobs and then sit down in front of some mind-numbing TV, not really watching, or log-in to Facebook to see what you might be missing out on (it's not just me right?) and suddenly it is 10.30pm and you head off to bed thinking about all the things you "need" to get done tomorrow.

Reading and engaging your brain just seems too hard.  Sound familiar? Well....... what to do?

Go out to Book Club!  The rules of book club?  There are no rules to book club! 

What I mean to say is, if you haven't finished the book - come anyway.  If you didn't like the book - come anyway.  If you just need to get out of the house and are not a "reader" come anyway.  You get the idea?  Book club (which we try to hold approximately once a month) is about us Mums getting together.

Yes we DO talk about the book (if only for 20 mins out of 3 hours) and decide on another one, but we also gossip (not in a mean way), catch up, vent, cry, laugh, share stories and re-connect with each other without someone tugging at our skirt for attention (metaphorically or actually). All while enjoying an uninterrupted cup of coffee.

This months Book Club has been postponed because our members were finding it hard to make it, due to other commitments (and funny how our darling partners/husbands commitments always get priority over ours - but that is probably another post) so we are holding it at a members house instead of a coffee shop.  Where there is a will there is a way.  The venue is not important!

The point?  As always seems to be the point in my blogs, make time for YOU!  I love "Book Club".  Even though I find it hard sometimes to read the book, or get infuriated by the book, I love the fact that there is a common thread that joins us all together. It is vitally important that we all hang on to us!

Our next book is taking us all on a "virtual holiday" through France.  Having been there before kids, I am really looking forward to the escape.   Thank you fellow "Book Club" members for being so great.  I really look forward to our meetings, even if walking out the door or reading the damn book is sometimes hard.

Happy reading everyone and see you at the next "meetng"!