In giving, we receive

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One of the things that has stunned me having a little one is the amount of stuff you accumulate. I’ve worked out that in a mere 27 months, Little M. has gone through seven clothes sizes. Seven! That has been two drawers, full of clothes, seven times. It’s incredible. The sheer amount of waste is beyond belief. In the short time she has been a particular size, a matter of months, she hasn’t “ruined” any of them. Yes, a bit of pear discolouration or similar, but in general all these clothes are still in pretty good nick. Of course you pass things on to friends who are expecting, but that isn’t always needed. I wanted to find families that I could give these things to. When I had my first two drawer clear out of sizes 00000 and 0000, I phoned around numerous women refuges and also refugee settlement agencies. Yes, there were countless families in need, but as with everywhere, space was at a premium and there was no storage facilities at any of these places. Fortunately, I stumbled across the Perth based charity, Little Things for Tiny Tots . It is a volunteer-run charity which collects items and assembles boxes to assist in the first few months of a baby’s life. These boxes contain clothing, toys, nappies etc. and are then given to agencies such as hospitals, DCP and safe houses.

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Remember when…?

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Last weekend, before the tail end of the tropical cyclone doused Perth and the South West with unseasonable rains, we experienced a unique family situation. It had been a beautiful, hot day in the Geographe region, approximately 34 degrees, and we were now sweltering and fidgeting, trying to get to sleep in the mezzanine of a tin beach shelter with no air conditioning. Little M. had three-quarters of a double bed, I had a quarter and hubby had a single mattress on the floor, which he had previously lugged up the stairs from the bunk bed arrangement in the second bedroom. The double was pressed up against the wall, so the little one was safe and I clung to the edge of the bed with one hand. The other draped over the side to grasp hubby’s hand. We giggled at the ridiculousness of the situation. “Thanks for a lovely day”, he whispered, trying not to wake M. even though we both knew she’d be awake anyway in about an hour’s time.

This was our first break away, just the three of us, since Little M. arrived on the scene. A much appreciated Christmas gift from my parents. It was actually hubby’s first week’s holiday in nearly a year. It is difficult for him to get time off, but also holiday pay never includes all the over time hours. Another one of those things that isn’t really spoken about, or truly prepared for, prior to having a bub. The impact of another mouth, be it a small one, and the reduction from two wages to one and a bit is tangible. But this break was much-needed, not only to enable hubby to recuperate after nearly a year of work, but also to give us the time to reconnect. There are no issues in our relationship, but we have had no time to just be together since having M. We have chosen to live far from family and so must live with the difficulties that this can sometimes bring. This time together was precious and longed for.

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It’s a Purple Dragon!

Hard rubbish collection in January may well make the pavements very difficult to traverse with an inquisitive (read- nosy) two-year old, but what a brilliant idea for the start of the year. If there is one thing that really helps the flow of good chi through your home, it’s getting rid of all that stuff that is past its best, broken or outgrown. I actually love getting rid of stuff, much to hubby’s dismay. I have a fear of clutter and collections. Bric-a-brac and ‘keep just in case’ make me nauseous . We have been holding on to Little M’s high chair since she refused to get back in it over six months ago. It’s been kept, just in case, we can persuade her to sit in it again. It is in some vain hope that we will be able to strap her down to eat, instead of this random roaming approach to meal times she has recently developed. It is, however,  strange how excited she gets when we are out in cafe’s and she sees a high chair. She can’t wait to try it for size. But with hard rubbish collection this week, I bit the bullet and put out the high chair. Continue reading “It’s a Purple Dragon!”

King Park Yike

If anyone has made a visit to Kings Park Botanical gardens at the weekend before, they will know that the spill out from the overflow car park can ruin a perfectly planned picnic. So imagine my delight on pulling up and being able to window shop at Aspects from the driver’s seat. It is, however, 8 am. Approximately 35 women, of all ages and walks of life are gathering together, yoga mats on backs, sturdy walking shoes double bowed on feet and the fresh shimmer of sunscreen on their brows. Pleasantries are swapped, but these women do not necessarily know each other – I know no-one. Except Diana from Dia -Yoga. Diana, the organiser of this gathering, is brimming with vitality and genuine kindness, as she greets everyone individually. These women have left their cosy beds on a non-work day. They have left children, babies, partners, dogs. They have set their alarms and travelled, some from Rockingham and Yanchep. They had forgone the late night out, the extra glass of wine or three or the into the night chat with friends, to be here on time, with an extra spring in their step.

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Eight hundred and thirteen days and counting

20160519_193544I was on FB, scrolling through, with Food Safari in the background. I can’t really cook, but I watch this show for International vegetarian inspiration, only to serve up salad and rice the following day. Probably need to watch properly instead of FB scrolling. Anyway, I came across a calculator for how many days mums had been breastfeeding with “ post you number if days below”. Always one for a view and compare, I put in M’s birth date  and got 813.

813 days.

813.

That is a lot of days wearing a nursing bra and easy access tops, was my initial thought.

Then, I thought, I think i’m ready to stop, but I’m not so sure Little M is.

This is a post about breastfeeding. I do promote it and encourage it and love it. And hopefully that is enough notice, so that those who do not want to read about it will just scroll on. Like I did through much ‘stuff’ on FB, with one eye on Turkish desserts with chickpeas and barley.

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Where White Owl gone?

We were up and in the garden before 6am today. Little M. was adamant that we get out as soon as possible to look at the White Owl.

“What White Owl baby?”

“White Owl by the window. Outside the window. Oh, Where White Owl gone?” with little palms raised up in searching.

Is this the start of toddler dreams, or has Little M. found her own little spirit guide?

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Summertime and the living is easy #1

Without the normal Wednesday routine due to the holidays, Little M. and I were somewhat thrown, and grumpy. The honeymoon period of a 7 and 3 ( see previous post) was rudely abandoned last night with frequent waking. Back to the norm then.

This evening, after the bedtime struggle, I decided that I need to document the good and the bad of the day to gain some perspective after seeing the determined ( read – stubborn) and loving ( read – clingy) nature of my two-year old throughout the day. The difficulties of maintaining an incredibly modest garden with a baby who wants to pick and eat everything is at times, a strain. But today we could finally experience the joy of picking the peaches that she has been asking for continually. It is a small tree, but for someone from the UK, growing this type of produce still blows me away. Her face lit up at the recognition that her patience and her zealous watering had finally resulted in the longed for prize. They were the best peaches ever. They lasted all of 20 minutes. Would I advise anyone to bother with the weeks and weeks of watering, caring for and distracting eager little hands to produce 20 minutes of pure sensory pleasure? In a heart beat!

The lack of structured swimming lessons today resulted in the opportunity to drive the 5 minutes (if you hit the two red lights) to the beach. The benefit of having an early riser means you can still get a park in spitting distance of the beach throughout January. Blessings! The water and sand and cuddles with mum after a few dunking, managed to bring a smile to M’s face for a while. It is worth the time spent preparing beach worthy toys, snacks, changes of clothes and then carrying them all, plus a clingy 14 kilos of whinge over the sand dunes. But it does take commitment and heat-resistant feet (as I always forget to pack anything appropriate for myself).  Once home, a quick machine wash and the line is already half full of towels, swim nappies, and sarongs. Fast forward to apre’ nap time, the dreaded two pm until whenever hubby’s home and the numbers unified in battle are doubled. Today is not the day to stay indoors. It will end in disaster. Water. Water is always the answer. It’s a bundle back into the car and off to the pool. It is as I’m putting load number two on the line at the same time as preparing dinner – thank you Peppa Pig for a respite from carrying little limpet M.- that I look at the line of yet more towels and swim nappies and wet vests. Reframing this crazy busy day is so important. The need for gratitude for what we have been through today is what will change this discernment of  ‘unending chores’ to joy for the opportunities that we have been given. “Today, I get to eat what I have been able to grow myself. Today, I get to wash a mountain of towels, because I live so close to the beach. Today, I get to run after a squealing nipper on strong legs and pick her up with strong arms. Today, I get to do all this when so many cannot.” Reframe and let the gratitude in. Today has been a good day.