11 February 2011

Loving... Here and Now

Back in the days when I was being woken every night by multiple little sleepers, when my body was a milk-cow and toddler tantrums were destroying my peace, I would look enviously at the mothers of school-agers and think, lucky them. Their troubles are over.
I imagined that life with "big kids" would be... easy. Enjoyable. Simpler.

Now I shake my head over my naive new-mother-self. Poor deluded then-Simoney. How wrong you were.
Yes life is easier when you having full nights of unbroken sleep most of the time. Yes endless breastfeeding and nappy changing and baby-crying is incredibly draining and bloody hard work.
But. Life with school-aged kids is no picnic in the sun either.
There are battles. All kinds of them. Battles that test your courage, require wisdom and call into question your parenting tactics.

That is where I am here and now.
In the middle of a battle with a beloved school-ager.
So today, I am looking for things to love about the here and now.
Because I know that even in the midst of struggle, there are still things to love and be thankful for...
So here goes.

Loving Lunchboxes
I have to pat myself on the back for the little things I am getting right. And my lunchboxes, I have to say, are a work of healthy art. Just look at what's in there today for Miss Fab.
A ham-salad sandwich on home-baked gluten free bread. Fresh pineapple. Cherry tomatoes & cucumber. Chopped up apple and apricot. Yoghurt. A Corn thin with nutella. Dash has his own version. Scrag even has one. Full of fruit and healthy snacks.

Today I feel like a good mama because I am feeding my kids good things.

Loving Eating Good Things
Loving this Pitango Vegetable Korma. Delicious, convenient, satisfying. (Dairy Free, gluten free, preservative free - all natural) $7.50 for a pouch from the supermarket; feeds two. Makes for a pretty cheap meal. I'll be getting that again.
I am on day nine of my Detox Diet (i.e. the Daniel Fast). We are eating well. I have had to become inventive and more creative with my cooking. When you are limited to only plant-based foods, you have to think outside the box. And I am. I am proud of myself for sticking at it. And I plan to continue, but slowly add in some meat and dairy.

Loving my Window Seat sanctuary. And my new tea-towel cushion covers. And Peace.
Kiwiana kitsch. Love them. $5 teatowels from a discount store. Stitched two new ones yesterday.
Loving sitting here in the sunshine, the breeze ruffling my curtains. A Red Bush tea on the windowsill. The sound of silence.

And knowing that I sent my kids off to school today without raising my voice. I decided, right, if you want to drag your heels, I'm not going to get upset about it. You are the ones who will have to go to the office and get a late stamp. Shame. So from now on, no more yelling. If you want to be on time, that will require teamwork. And it's up to you. I am not going to shout or be anxious.

I've told them, from now on it's up to them. Get organised, do their part or be late. Yeah, we'll see how that one pans out. But right now I am loving my new peaceful policy.

Loving my Backyard (and finding these photos on my old camera, taken by Miss Fab)
What can I say. I love the trees. I love the green. The space. My new grass. Even overgrown and needing mowing. I love that when I go outside my kids follow me. I love that when I lounge on my daybed under the grapevine with a book or a cup of tea, my kids emerge blinking into the sunlight. They hop on their bikes. They climb the trees. They bounce on the tramp. If I'm outside, they're outside. So that's where I need to be.

{also loving that we have cancelled Sky TV. And bought a Freeview HD recorder instead, which I wangled a $160 discount on. Feeling proud of my shopping instincts}

Loving My Little People
Oh so much. Loving. Loving. Loving them.

Loving This boy, my troubled one.
Loving that he still wants to snuggle me. Loving that he still talks to me. Loving reading him Charlie and the Chocolate Factory the last few nights. And looking at his baby pictures, reminding him how much he is treasured. It's so easy for older kids to feel like they are no longer as precious now that they aren't so cute. I remember feeling that way. But looking back at those photos, and sharing the little stories connected to them... I asked him how he felt after looking at the pictures.

"They cheered me up a bit.." he conceded. So I reminded him, You are just as precious to mummy and daddy now as you were in those photos. I hope he starts to believe it.

Loving This Girl, my only girl.
She gets a bit put out when she sees me focusing on the one who's struggling. I try to explain why he needs me right now. But she's only six. She doesn't get it.

So I try to find ways to include her. Don't get grumpy when she comes out of bed and complains that her brother is getting to have snuggle time, Invite her in. When she pouts because the pictures are all of him, find ways to tell stories about her too. Invite her to listen to Charlie. We're up to Augustus Gloop.

When she huffs and puffs because it's not her book, keep on reading. When she sneaks up under the blankets and wriggles in close, be glad, keep reading. And when you finally get to tuck her into bed, an hour past her bedtime, give her an extra big smoochy kiss and squeeze her while you whisper "I love you so much."

Loving This Boy, my last baby.
Loving getting out of the house with him yesterday. Playing at the park. Taking him for "Coffee" across the street {Me = a soy chai latte; him = a kids hot chocolate which he dripped all down his t-shirt}

Loving listening to him play with a buddy and hearing their conversations.
Then daddy comes home for lunch and the friend runs to Mr G waving an old toy dinosaur... "This is old, this dinosaur old!" he says knowledgeably.
Mr G is impressed. "Yes yes the dinosaur is old!"
Scrag chimes in, "And my daddy old tooooo!" Tee hee.

Loving waking up with Buzz Lightyear in my bed. Ouch.
"Don't throw Buzz out, mummy!" Scrag says. "He come in peace!"

Do I need to go on? I love that boy. And so right now I'd better get off here and go take him to play with his friend around the corner. Where my friend, a wise mother of a nine-year-old may just have some insight to our situation.

504 Mainbutton2I hope so. Cos I am so loving my kids. And hoping they know it.

{Linking up with PaisleyJade and Holly}

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meg said...

Loving your long sweet post Simone. I'm sleep deprived right now so am off to bed for an hour or so before school pick up!!

Meghan Maloney Photography said...

Oh that lunchbox looks amazing! What a great mama you are feeding your kids such healthy stuff. At the moment we only have to provide a lunchbox one day a week at daycare for Mr. 4 as a transition to the real deal later in the year. Man it must be challenging to be healthy in the winter when there's less fresh stuff around...now I know who to come and ask for some tips :-)

Always tough to see your kiddies struggling in any area of their lives but that time spent reminding them how precious they are is worth absolute gold :-)

PaisleyJade said...

Oh I so know what you mean... I had to stop myself the other day when I told a sleep-deprived mum with young kids that 'it gets easier as they get older', because to be honest... it doesn't! New challenges arise - often way harder to solve than the ones when they are young.

Your lunch boxes look amazing!! Do your apples go brown chopped up like that? Would love to know any tricks you have!

Love your list Simone - and hang in there... we're all in this together!!

Anonymous said...

Found your blog on Kiwi Mummy Blogs and I am loving both your posts and your pictures - but especially your pictures!

Anonymous said...

feeling the love Simoney!!!

love and light

posie blogs Jennie McClelland said...

Oh yes, this is my 3rd year of 4 in school full time (5th if you include preschool) & it's a whole lot of work, to their schedule!! They need healthy nutritious lunches by 8a.m. & then the homework, sports & social committments. Gotta fly, almost school time & just got a call to pick up an extra & bring her home for a roast chicken dinner, as her mum is stuck at the mechanics on the other side of the city. Sure, why not, more the merrier!! Love Posie

Amy said...


Anonymous said...

WOW - how much does Dash look like your husband? :)

Alison Agnew said...

What a sweet post. Some days it's harder than others to find the things to be thankful for. Love the window seat especially!

Thanks for the pep talk!

I would love for you to share this post at my linky Fridays Unfolded at http://www.stuff-and-nonsense.net/2011/02/fridays-unfolded-5.html


Stuff and Nonsense

Johnny said...

Hey the cushions turned out great (I knew they would). Well done hon! I'm the same in the mornings, and I had a new philosophy of no shouting and its been wonderful. Might not last us all year long, but its a start!

Leonie said...

Love, love, love your new cushions! so cool.
Can you make our lunchboxes too? one week in and Im groaning at the prospect.
As difficult and draining as life with newborns/babies seems, the challenges just take a different form as they get older. we are facing the challenges of a prepubescent 9 year old at the moment.. and the kids missing their dad.
Hang in there Simone. Sounds like you are doing brilliantly!!!

April Emery said...

beautiful post. it's so good for us moms to stop and enjoy the things we often overlook ... and realize the incredible treasure of mothering, no matter what stage we are in.

visiting from the Stuff and Nonsense link-up!

will be back ;)

Kat said...

What a great Mum you are, especially for living in the moment with all the little things, even amongst the hard moments.
That lunchbox looks fantastic and I too want to know how you stop the apple from going brown.
Still on hols here in Tassie and I am dreading doing the lunchboxes again. You have inspired me!

Elizabeth said...

Ah - I have the little one and I have to admit, on those LONG days of thinking the same thing 'Oh, if only she were already older...'! Thankfully hubby ALWAYS reminds me just how quickly she is growing up and to make sure I enjoy the moment as it won't last long!

Holly Lefevre said...

I am loving this post. Yo always make me stop and think and appreciate something. I am loving that!

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