Thursday, March 29, 2012

holding hands; ring a ring a rosie

My clock has ticked, and the alarm has gone off. It is time for me to not have anymore babies. A huge decision for a woman to make, and one I have not taken lightly.

I am still young enough to have more babies, 34 years old. Although, I decided that when my marriage broke down that I would not be having anymore children. I am happy with the two babies I have. They rock my world enough to have one in each hand. It may seem selfish now that I am in a new relationship, and I know I should be open to what he would like too. And I am lucky to find a man that is also happy with the children he has.

Jason has two daughters, one of which is 15 years old, and I am meeting this weekend. I don't have anymore hands, only two of them, but I sure do have a heart that is big enough to share. I have never done this before. I have met teenagers, I was one once, and I have a mini 6 year old version of one. Not sure which version is the best, the one I was, the one I am shaping, or the one I am about to meet. (It truly doesn't matter. I am nervous). All I know is that I am about to meet someone that I hope will want to hold one of my children's hands, and more than anything, I hope that she likes me.

Happy weekend.... we are camping again!

{I am really excited, nervous, and I hope I am cool enough for a teenager. I do know that my little people are going to be more than excited to meet her over the easter long weekend. Fun times ahead}.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

the little excuse

I was a fan of monopoly in my day. I liked to rock a bit of trivial pursuit, although I did cheat a lot. My mum played it with her friends over cheese and wine. I was into building houses with cards, and loved a bit of trouble, operation, and the hungry hippo. I was never good at chess, and liked a bit of checkers. Do you play board games?

I pawned Taj. I played a game of chess and put him out there so I could protect the king.

Yesterday I was in a pickle. So much so that I was busted having a tearful moment in Keely's playground at school pickup. The pickle turned my world upside down, and my head started turning with all the things I would need to do to get out of this, or what I could do to make it better.

I pawned Taj. I used my little guy to get out of an appointment for today so I could concentrate on what was important, and right now it is so much more than looking at fashion pieces for my business.

It is all good in our little world, just one of lives little hurdles. Today it's all about playing checkers and doubling up the pieces to conquer the opposing player; creating the winning king.

I must admit I feel a little guilty, but at the same time, I knew I had to tell a white* lie.

Have you used your little people as an excuse to get you out of something?

*{My mum used to say that a white lie is ok, as it doesn't hurt anyone, and there are times in your life that you will need to tell a white lie}.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

do you have a dawn chant

"Weetbix mum! Mum, I want my weetbix! Mum, I am hungry. I need my weetbix."

My little people are up before the crack of dawn, or as my mum used to say, dawn's crack. It was 5:45am for the past couple of weeks, and now it has turned into 5am. How they hid those 45 minutes I do not know.

What time do you find acceptable for your little people to be awake? Or more to the point, what time can you function to be an ace parent? Do you need anything to get you going, in order for you to rock it for them?

I can handle 6am. I am not sure what that number 6 means for my body clock, but it seems to like to get up at that time. I can completely function, and all it really needs is a nice hot shower after it has fed the little people. Once I have had my shower I am all over it. The coffee comes after the school drop off on my way to the warehouse.

Do you have any secrets to keeping them in their beds until 6am, or in your bed without the wriggley cuddles? Keely is telling the time, and I have told her about the magic number 6. Although, it doesn't always work, and Taj is the growing boy that is instantly hungry as soon as he wakes up. I jump up pretty quick when Taj starts the weetbix chant.

I however am lucky, I am one of those ridiculously happy morning people. The person we all love to hate. And I can only blame my own genetics when it comes to two ridiculously happy morning people jumping in my bed to the beat of the weetbix chant.

"Coffee little people. Little people, I want my coffee. Little people, I am hungry. I need my coffee!"

Friday, March 23, 2012

getting bigger and bigger

I made a hole. I didn't have to dig too far, only a little shoveling required. It was one of my shelves with a little less clothing.

I made a hole for Jason to bury his clothes in.

We play sleepovers, and it was the natural next step. A hole is a little step towards a big step.

I know that some might have an opinion on when is the best time to make these moves in a relationship. I know I have an opinion, and it is only natural to have one when it comes to the next step in life, especially when I have my little people to think about. They are my number one priority, and it is their feelings I think about a lot.

Of course it is about me too, and I have not forgotten about me. I do however believe that my children have seen enough when it comes to a family unit breaking down. And now they see how new families can be built; for the last time.

There are lessons to be learnt, there are things I have learnt, some good and some bad, but most of all there is lives to be lived, and for now it is only natural for me to open more of my life to the man that wants to be part of it. My little people adore Jason, and he adores them. That to me is huge, and making a hole for him, is only a small piece of the next step.

I ironically had the conversation with my x husband, as he too is taking the next step, but one above my step. They are moving in together. We spoke about how it all worked with us when we first dated, and how our own opinions changed this time around, because of our children. The thing is we are adults. We can make our own decisions, and when it comes down to it, when is it the right time? Isn't the right time, when you feel it is right for yourself, and your children?

This time is really exciting for me. I really didn't think I would have someone in my life again. I truly thought that when a woman is single with children, no one would want to be with them to the extent of being part of our little family. But how I was proved very wrong. Not only was I skeptical about RSVP, but I too was skeptical about a broken family becoming a whole new family again.

And for both myself, and my x husband to be starting new lives, is a wonderful thing. It is nice to show our children that families can be a whole lot more. And it is nice to give myself a slap in the face with the reality of life. It does go on. RSVP works, and a broken family is only broken for the time you allow it to be.

Enjoy your weekend! We are going to have a great weekend as a bigger family.

{I will need a forklift for the next step. No shovel will move my clothes out of the way}!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

have you met the bully

Do you play in the playground when you do drop off and pick up? I don't. I walk in, drop off, and walk out, and then I pick up, and I walk out. I have said this before, maybe last year when Keely first started big school that I am no school mum. I am not going to be every mum's best friend. I am not a mean mum. I just don't get into the school politics, and let me tell you, I have faced them, even in hiding.

You cannot hide from the mean mum.

I have heard stories about her. From other blogs, and from other parents facing some mean mums. I faced one. Well actually the sad thing is, my daughter faced the mean mum. And the little face dropped right into her stomach. Keely is shy at the best of times, so you put a mum questioning her about a pair of plastic earrings she apparently took home of her daughters, and that little girl is going to be more than shaking in her boots.

The story is that the little people in Keely's class are playing a swapping game, you give one thing, and you take another thing home for the night and bring it back the next day. You give it to a child that has two homes, and you may not see your thing for an extra day, and you can add another day or so onto that if it falls on a friday, and the weekend is involved.

I believe it is like the park, you take a bike, a scooter, or a toy to the park, you need to share it, and expect that another little person is going to dig your ride, or your toy.

School policy is no adult is to approach a child. That mean mum needs to know that I am glad she was shaking in her boots as she turned around to see me standing in her face. I ignored her, and asked Keely if she was alright.

Keely is fine, but when asked a question today, her answer gave me shivers down my spine. She has fear of another child's mother.

What makes a mum a mean mum? Were they bullied at school? I do not understand. The bullying, and the school pressure is meant to be of the little kind, isn't it? When did it turn into being the parents bullying the children?

Monday, March 19, 2012

where our heart is

When I was a little girl, I shared a room with my sister. We had bunk beds. I was on the top, and my sister was on the bottom. We had one of those bunks where the bottom and the top were completely separate, so we could move the bottom into an L shape, and have a big hole on one side to create the best cubby house.

My little people are getting bigger, and the trundle bed was not cutting it for the little guy anymore. I decided to buy the bunk bed and let them enjoy a cubby house in their new home.

Our new home is equipped with a whole lot of indoor fun, a beach across the road, and parks to the left of us, and parks to the right of us! We are even lucky enough to be surrounded by a whole lot of little people. Keely has already made a new friend, and she is the same age as her.

Welcome to our home.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

being fed the bad orange

I pull things apart layer by layer, until there is nothing left, but bare skin. I peel myself apart until I am completely vulnerable to my own thoughts and feelings.

Picture peeling an orange until you are at the point of soft skin. Anything you penetrate into it will cause it to be damaged. It will cause it to tear. It will cause it to bleed. You peel one piece away and it is no longer whole anymore.

A lot of people have said they love my positive outlook on life. They like the way I can turn a negative into a positive. But when it comes to myself I am the first to rip myself to shreds. And I know where it all stems from. I do it to myself all the time. Even in the smallest of everyday life.

I am having flashbacks. I was told this may happen to me at some stage in my life. I was told it could be as simple as a smell, or as more complex as having a boyfriend. Being told this in my early 20s, I thought I would be fine. I thought it wouldn't matter, as at the time I did have a boyfriend, and it was not affecting me in the way of flashbacks.

I have had smells trigger memories. But none that were new. Now I have something new that scares me more than anything. I wish I could shut it out. I wish it would go, but now I need to learn how to deal with this, so I can stop tearing pieces of myself apart.

Being sexually assaulted is something that rips you apart when you are a child. It takes all that innocence away.

Being sexually assaulted is something that rips you apart when you are an adult. It takes every layer of you off until the point where you are torn.

I have beaten this through years of facing court. Facing my fears. Facing him. Now I need to beat this facing myself. Facing every fear that is hidden below the layers that are falling off. I vowed to never face him again. No matter what I remembered, I would never go back, relive my abuse in front of him, and tell complete strangers every explicit detail.

The thing that is hardest, is I am really good at burying things. I am really good at putting a mask on, and wearing the one with the big smile painted on the front. I wish I never remembered. I am glad tomorrow is monday, and I will be able to put that little pinwheel smile on, wear that big happy mum face, smile at the man that holds my hand, smile at strangers, and deep inside that child within will be crying for her mum.

I will be honest, and say, for the woman that said this should not be a secret, I am finding it really hard to publish this blog post. I am not sure if it is because I feel ashamed* of what he made me do, or if it is because I am scared of the new memories. The main thing is that I am writing myself through this. The rest I won't share here. But I am sharing this part here because sexual assault should not be a secret. Even when you thought it was over.

*{And I know I should not be ashamed of anything he did to me. It is one of the layers I need to put back on, and a bad piece of the orange I don't need to eat}.

The positive is, I know I will get through this, and if it means I wake up tomorrow and I put that smile on, and I don't take it off for the rest of my life, bury what is flashing in eyes, and just get on with being that happy person I am, then I think that is ok. We all need to survive somehow. And I am a survivor, and I will beat this part in my own way. It may not be the right way to others, but I believe just having the courage to share, and having the courage to wear that smile, wake up to a monday with two happy children, and a happy mum, means I am surviving, and will continue to do so.

(I published this post. and within minutes I unpublished it. It took one email to repost. Thank you.... because you are right... I am letting it own me).

Thursday, March 15, 2012

the perpetual learning parent

I feel like I wear a learners plate. Everyday I feel like I am still learning how to be a parent. With each milestone I am being tested in some way. Even with having a second child, I am still being tested. Just because you have done it once, does not make you an expert. Well, maybe that is just me. I am learning all over again.

I have heard teenagers are meant to be hard work. I remember being one. I was a little bit of a rebel. I wagged school once. I was in primary school, and remember hiding in the bushes near the shops until the bell rang with a couple of friends. I also remember being 15, sitting up the back oval in high school, with a bunch of friends that smoked. I took one puff, my first ever puff, and my girlfriend told me it didn't suit me. I put it out.

There are things I did that I may regret a little, but I was only young. I was a child. Even though I believed I was so much more! The regrets I feel now are the heartaches I know I would have given my mum. Looking back at the things I did. Simple things. Not eating all of my dinner. Being a picky eater. Talking back. Not listening. The simple things that now I face.

I don't have a teenager yet, but I sure am having the mother and daughter clashing moments. The kindy student went into grade one. Apparently that is super cool, as they are no longer the little people of the school. They become better at the monkey bars, they become faster on their feet, they have more friends, and they have more knowledge.

My girl comes home with a full lunch box most days. Full of the food I packed. Sometimes it is empty, and sometimes there are holes where she has had a nibble. Sometimes there is money missing from my table that I knew I put there the night before. Gold coins. Or sometimes it can be a few silver coins. Not much. But enough to buy a frozen fruit cup. {I may have mentioned this sneaky thief before}.

Apparently the money missing is a normal thing. Apparently all the little people are doing it. I remember a stash of 50 cent pieces my mum had, and helping myself to them when I felt like something yummy at the canteen.

I am trying hard to be a great mother to my girl. I had the best relationship with my mum. I had a lot of respect for her. She allowed me to be a child, and she also taught me how to respect those older than me. I feel like I talk to a brick wall most days, and then out of the blue a moment happens, and Keely hears me from days, or even months before.

A simple moment shared, as I stood at the sink about to do the dishes, Keely took the brush from out of the bottom of the sink, and she asked if she could do them tonight. A simple thing turned into two little people perched up on the step ladder with a brush in each of their hands washing the dishes together.

I am not sure how you do this. How you parent. Sometimes I think I am getting it all wrong. And there are moments I share with Keely that allow me to realise there is no right or wrong way. We are both finding our way together.

I guess in a way all ages are the same. You have your little baby that you interact with, and then one day out of the blue, you get that first smile. That first moment where you know every word you have said to them, and every time you have held them, they have been hearing you. Now I am at the 6 year old stage. Where she is not hearing me, but there will be a moment where every word I have said to her will be heard. For now I just need to keep being that broken record.

Keely is a beautiful girl. She truly has a big heart, and really caring to others. I know she will grow up to be a whole lot more. I just need to be patient and understand that sometimes it is not easy to be a parent, as it is not easy to be a child.

I feel Keely had to grow up a lot in the last 2 years. Her whole family life turned up side down. Now it turns around again with another woman in her life, and another man in her life. It is hard to know how to do this all right. How you introduce the others in her life. How you make sure that she is ok. I am not sure how you do this. How you have a broken family, that all of a sudden grows into being two families. I don't know if there is a right way or a wrong way.

As parents we lead the way for our children. We sometimes stand there at each fork in the road and gently push them in the direcetion we believe they should go. Sometimes we need to stand back, let them lead the way, and be there if they need us. I am letting Keely lead the way in this aspect of her life. Sometimes I am right there with her. Sometimes I am leading her when I feel she needs the reassurance.

There have been changes. I need to understand as a parent that these changes are no reflection on the mother I am to my little people. All of these aspects of our lives, the changes, the milestones, the grade one student, the age clashing with her brother, the moving house, the other woman, the other man, the custody arrangements, and above all the little person finding her way in life, are all the reasons why I feel like I am still learning how to be a parent.

This blog post is all over the place. I have a lot of thoughts going through my head, maybe too many! I am above all really happy. I am just a person that can be rather hard on myself. I am finding it hard with a few aspects of parenting with Keely. This is no reflection on her as a person or as a child. It is more the fact I am trying to be respectful of all the things she has had to face, and is still facing. I know little people are resilient. I also know they have feelings like adults do. And we need to be nurturing and help them understand that life is still beautiful, even when we might be different to another family, or it is still alright that you learn at a different level to the other children; it doesn't make you less smart. I am just finding it hard on how to be the best mum I can be for her. Sometimes I feel what I am already doing is not enough. And sometimes I feel just letting her be a child, and letting her lead the way more, is all I need to do.

Am I being too hard on myself, or is this just a natural feeling of parenting? Will we be forever learning. Is it something you are never an expert at. Or are there truly women out there that do wear the mother of the year badges?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

little pinwheel winter 2012; a whole world of friends

A little frog that is magical. What more could a little girl want. What more could we all want? A world full of friends; a whole group of them.

This is a little movie I have been working on since the beginning of the year, and something I have wanted to do for over a year. I had to find the perfect camera, and was waiting for Lomography to introduce the LomoKino. No iphone, no digital camera, a good old fashioned film camera.

Welcome to Keely's little world.

Little Pinwheel Winter 2012

Monday, March 5, 2012

sharing annie

I talk about my mum a lot, and I think it is nice to do that. I talk about her here, and I talk about her to her grandchildren. I love that they believe she lives on the moon, and I love the fact they talk about her to me.

My mum used to take me to stage shows. We went a lot. We would see performances all the time when they came to Canberra. She was the one that opened my eyes to the wonderful world of theatre. I have not been back since my mum passed away. It was another one of those things that was just too hard to do. But it all changed when I saw Annie was showing in Sydney. I bought two tickets.

I took my girl.

Now I get to share this world with Keely, as my mum did for me.

There are a lot more things I need to do, and face when it comes to the loss of my mum. I give myself time, and I do not push myself. I have moved to an area on the Northern Beaches not far from where my mum moved to. The closest shopping centre to do groceries is where I did shopping with her, the closest petrol station is where she went to fill up her car, and the closest track for me to do my training on is where we walked her dog together.

Today I ran that track. Tomorrow I won't shop where we shopped, and I won't fill up the car with petrol where we did her car. I need time. Five years on, and I still need time.

For now, I accept she has gone, and she is part of me. Tomorrow I will run with her. And I will continue to raise her grandchildren showing them the life she showed me; with no fear.

{Keely LOVED the theatre, and we both loved having our girl time. I also loved Annie. This is now our thing}.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

the new

The little people are making themselves at home.

We are moved. Pretty much settled in. Only two boxes to unpack.

Enjoy your weekend! I am going to play house, and take my girl to see Annie.


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