30 May 2014

Being grateful for feeling better and our home disco

I've had a sick household this week. Poor Popette came down with an ear and throat infection last Thursday, so had last Friday and Monday spent at home, now all of us have a soar throat and horrible dry cough that seems to been going around. Within a week we've had three visits to the doctors, and numerous visits to the chemist (I feel as though I need to purchase shares in the chemist). Now we're all on antibiotics, but thankfully starting to feel a little better which I am grateful for.

Popette has a birthday party on this weekend, so I'm hoping she won't miss out on going. She missed her 1st school disco last night. After many tears we suggested we have a disco in the coziness of our own home.

Popette in the spotlight
Our disco had probe lighting (courtesy of Daddy on the torch), glow sticks, chippy's, and a 'Disney inspired' play list created by Mummy (thank goodness for YouTube) While she didn't have her friends with her, she still had a good time dancing with Cherub and singing songs. I'm so grateful for my fast thinking and the little disco which made Popette happy and not miss her school disco quite as much.

Love this one of Cherub performing!
What are you grateful for this week?

26 May 2014

Finding the right balance

Finding the right balance has always been a difficult thing for me. When I think I've found it, something seems to go a drift, for me its been quality time alone creating in my art journal or painting.

Yesterday was the first time in a long time that I got the chance to just sit and create in my art journal. It was so nice being able to let my mind create something from words I found in a magazine.

I think its trying to tell me something

Skimming through the magazine, I came across these words which shone like a little light bulb telling me to reconnect with the things I love, like art and music.

There are days when the kids and housework takes over my life, and I find no time for things I like to do.

Working on this piece yesterday reminded me that I need to find a better balance, so I can enjoy time to create, and do things that make me happy.

How do you find the right balance?

23 May 2014

Being grateful: For old and new friendships

This week I received a strange request. It was from a sister of an old friend of mine, who sadly passed away from cancer 2 years ago. We were the best of friends growing up, and always had fun together. But sadly we lost contact and our lives went in different directions. 

I still regret not having kept in touch.  

The sister asked if I'd mind chatting to the daughter of my friend. She wanted to talk to someone who knew her Mum and find out what she was like as a teenager. 

I had met the daughter once before, but she was only 7 or 8 years old, so it was nice to speak to her as an adult and tell her what her mother meant to me.

My friend and I going on a punk night at the local pub (1991)

While it was sad thinking of my friend, I was grateful to connect with her daughter and share stories and photos with her.

What are you grateful for?

14 May 2014

6 tips to help you become {a little more} organised

I was hoping this was the year I would conquer my housework and clutter and become more organised. I don't know what happened to my time management skills (maybe they were removed when Popette was born) as I seem to struggle getting on top of things.

When I was a full-time career person I was great at time management, I wrote my "to-do" list of projects and work I had on the go as well as had post-it notes and reminders setup in Outlook. I could quickly tell what work needed doing and by when, resulting in less stress.

Nowadays I tend to rely on my brain (which is a bit dangerous considering my brain has never been the same since childbirth!), or I add a reminder to my smartphone, and leave hand written lists to things like the shopping. 

Now I'm not the best at being organised, but I thought I'd share with you a few things I do each day that helps me keep {a little more} organised {and feel less stressed!}.

Each day I {try}to:

  • Keep Popette's school notes, schoolwork, home reader, sight words, and other notices that look important into a magazine holder on the kitchen bench so they are easy to access and not making a mess on the bench.
  • Place Popette's schoolwork into a foolscap folder with sleeves, so all her work is together and can be easily stored away.
  • When Popette gets home from school, I empty her bag and store any schoolwork (see above tip), wash up her drink bottle & snack boxes so they are ready the next morning, place her library bag on the back of her door with her school bag and hat. This little routine has made my mornings that much quicker, as I don't have to wash up her lunch boxes or drink bottle.
  • If I am taking Cherub out for a few hours, I pack her nappy bag with the following - a sandwich (she always seems to be hungry), a drink, her hat and some books. Cherub loses interest in places like the shops very quickly, so I find keeping her entertained with some books and a couple of snacks (ie. cut up fruit, or a sandwich) allows me to do what I need to get done.
  • Getting the girls to pick-up their toys before bed. This used to be a huge problem for us, but about a month ago Hubby & I decided to get rid of the bookcase containing some of the girls toys and books from the lounge room. We let them bring their toys out to the lounge room, but before dinner make sure they put them back in to their rooms. By doing this we have reclaimed our living room, hooray!!
  • My girls love to paint and make craft which results in a huge pile of papers in our dining room (AKA art studio), so every now and then I sort through the piles of paintings and drawings and keep the "precious ones that are too cute to throw away" in a plastic storage case.

I hope these tips help you stay a bit more organised.

How do you keep on top of things? Do you have any tips to share?

08 May 2014

Remembering Dad

Yesterday would have been my Dads 87th birthday. It was the second birthday without him. I know it takes time to get over the loss of a loved one, but losing a parent is something you'll never get used to or get over. 

Mum, Dad & I on my 39th birthday

It hurts not having him here with us. While I am thankful to have the kids keeping me busy, there are those quiet moments when I think of him, wishing he was here. 
I miss talking to him, especially about the girls and telling him what they've been up to. He adored both of them, and it upsets me that he's missing out on seeing them grow up.

Yesterday was a lovely sunny Autumn day, a day my Dad would have enjoyed. Mum, Cherub, and I enjoyed a lovely pub lunch with hubby who had a quick lunch then returned to work. Afterwards Mum & I took Cherub to the park for a swing and run around in the sun.

While it was a day tinged with sadness, it was also a day filled with love and joy. Spending days like this, makes it a little easier to get through.

06 May 2014

Look up....and smell the roses

I've seen this clip popping up in my news feeds a lot lately, and wanted to share the powerful message its portraying of people becoming so obsessed with social media or what's happening on Facebook etc, that they are missing out on what's happening around them.

Instead of 'being in the moment' we can miss little (or big) things...I know I am guilty of this. And I have written about it before, but it could be something as serious as a friend crying out for help (when you didn't realise they had a problem) or your children wanting you to put down your smartphone and play with them on the floor. Cherub is only 2.5, but knows that if she takes my phone away from me, she has my attention.

How sad is it that we can't just sit and enjoy a conversation with a friend, without having to check our smartphones to see what's happening elsewhere, or reply to a text message the instant a person sent it rather than giving our friend our full attention. This really urks me.

I remember attending a toddler feeding workshop last year, and before it started all the Mums were either on their smartphone or iPad. I made the comment on Facebook (as you do) saying "Can anyone remember what it was like before invention of the smartphone, iPod, and iPad? I'm at a toddler feeding workshop and waiting for it to start, everyone is on their smartphone or iPad!"

Isn't it sad that social media which is meant to give you a connection to people has become so anti-social. You can't even strike up a conversation with a stranger anymore as they are too busy checking their smartphone! I've even noticed Mums at the school pickup are mostly on their smartphones, and not interested in talking to each other.

I usually leave my phone at home, but occasionally take it in case I think someone is trying to call me (Does that seem strange?). Today I was happy to have it as I found out that Popette was the Kindergarten winner of a school art competition, and it allowed me to take a photo of her with her winning entry before it was sent off to be exhibited at the Westmead Children's Hospital.

I know I'm guilty of taking 5 minutes to myself (ok, probably 20 mins) to check my Facebook feed to see what people are up to, while the kids are playing. But the older I get (turning 42 this year) the more I realise life is too short to be wasting so much time on social media.

I guess I'm getting tired of it. Maybe I need to take a break from it for a while. Yeah its great catching up with old friends and family online, viewing pics of what they've been up to and hearing from friends overseas. But sometimes I find it all so fake. Like when people will only talk to you online, but if they see you in public they will ignore you, or be uninterested in talking to you and say "Yeah I saw it on Facebook."

It makes me wonder...Did we care that much the days pre Facebook? I don't think so. 

Did we care if people "liked" a certain thing or if they "liked" something we had done or had seen?

Can anyone remember the days you would talk to your work colleagues about the latest trash you watched on TV. Now its something you post or share on Facebook.

It makes me wonder if its really necessary for people to know all this information about ourselves. Like our personal & intimate thoughts, our beliefs or thoughts on subjects that were once considered taboo - i.e. politics, sex and religion and be aired out for everyone to question or criticise.

I know I'm guilty of being one of those "sharenting" Mums updating my status update on Facebook with information about my kids. I'm slowly coming to the realization that that needs to change.

Its sad to think that my children's generation won't know what it's like to sit and play with a group of friends, or have a deep & meaningful chat face-to-face. That catching up with a friend or playing board games will be replaced with playing virtual games on FB or a Skype chat. 

It also saddens me that "snail mail" and passing notes to each other in class will be a thing of the past. I have a penfriend of 20+ years, and while we don't write as many letters as we used to, we still send the odd "snail mail", just because we like getting post.

I'm thinking I might be due for a little break from Facebook.

What about you, are you a fan of social media? Have you taken a break from it?