m i a o w

–YOU KNOW YOU KNEAD IT–

Tag: musing (Page 1 of 3)

The first day of summer

Something that I want to remember is lying in the hammock for an hour with Small Z this morning at about 10am in the sun. I dozed and mused, while she dozed and breastfed. It balmed both our busy souls. There were minimal mosquitos and many birds. The sun was warm and the breeze cool. We swung gently and snuggled.

Today was declared a stay at home day. I remember reading in some parenting or baby book that you occasionally need to have ‘pyjama days’ where you give yourself permission to sloth around and do little. That is how we greeted the first day of summer. Small Z and I were happy to not get into the car and go anywhere, which was a relief – we’d been in the city on Friday, driven to Mornington on Saturday and to Loch on Sunday.

I am looking back on the blog to where we were a year ago – Small Z was crawling around the trailer, chubbier and tinier than she is now. She said ‘baa’ a lot. This time next year I cannot even fathom where we will be, and what the almost three-year-old (!?!) will be like. Probably less like a lamb, and that’s as far as my brain will take me.

Days like today give the the opportunity to realise how we are both evolving. I hope I am becoming more patient and less inclined to lock horns with Small Z – time has taught me that this brings no good outcomes. I am appreciating her in different ways – we have a lot of fun hanging out together. I enjoy her and her sense of humour – she is cheeky, quirky and effortlessly gleeful.

She narrates our process through the day. “Zoezy goes up. Climbing. Climbs. Good one Fat Controller! Now James. Where’s James? And Thomas? Ahhhhh. Annie and Clar-a-bel. Mama get playdough? Roll it flat? Sit on the couch, ouch? Play tigers?” This is just a sample of what comes out of her mouth for the entire day and does not include her regular requests for booby or for me to ‘gwab’ her. “Mama gwab Zoezy?” Meaning – pick me up RIGHT now. Please. Of course, there are times of repose…

At the moment she loves numbers, rhyming and moons. This afternoon we read a book about a bear who gets a yellow balloon with a moonface, and flies up to visit the moon while holding on to the balloon string. “Read it again?!” begged Small Z. She was so thrilled to go outside later that night and see a huge full moon hanging over the back fence. “Hello MOOOOON! Night NIGHT MOOOOON.”

We were discussing smells. “What does Mama smell like?” I asked tentatively.
She didn’t pause. “Like porridge.”
I digested this. “And Dadda? What does he smell like?”
“Egg. With cream in it.”
[Sometimes we make ‘special’ scrambled eggs with cream.}
“What does Zoe smell like?”
A beat. “Chicken…and Fat Controller.”

Happy New Year

We had a quiet one this year. Less quiet than the last, but still didn’t make it to midnight. I have been reading on a few different blogs the plans and hopes and dreams that people have for the coming year. The whole start of a new year/decade thing has given me a much needed kick in the arse – particularly in the area of DECLUTTERING. Oh my god.

I have been inspired by M in this respect. He began attacking the shed and throwing unnecessaries into the box trailer. I think he’s trying to lessen the amount he is going to have to move when (and I say ‘when’ with a feeling of fond hopefulness) we get around to moving. Which will be when we find somewhere to move to. So I have also been trying to throw things out, but mostly what I end up doing is rearranging things. This MUST STOP. You would reasonably assume that the large rubbish bag full of clothes that I have intended to sell on eBay for the past 10 months would be on it’s way to the op-shop right now. You would. But this is not so.

There it sits, with it’s equal promises of increased wealth and postage miscalculations. To be dealt with in the time that I don’t have. Which brings me to another reason for the DECLUTTERING. I spend most of my time moving things to different spots that actually have nowhere to go. It is time to throw it or stow it. I think I need a plethora of plastic crates or the slightly more asthetic equivalent. Since I woke up on New Year’s Day I have been desperate to organise the crap that surrounds me. Was I cursed by a Virgo in the night?

Regardless of this possibility I have been reacquainting myself with FlyLady after about an 18 month absence. She’s hokey, she uses ‘LOL‘ waaaay too often (more than twice) and, yeah. The hokieness. But other than that it all makes sense in it’s bite-sized approached to tackling your personal hell. It’s called CHAOS (Can’t Have Any One Over Syndrome).

In blathering all this I forgot to mention another thing that is probably influencing this flurry. A few days before Christmas I followed a link from Little Earth Stories to Daily Imprint (which I have now added here) and read the profile on Kristine Pedler, the artist. It wasn’t a long piece, but I was inspired, and took note of the book she mentioned right at the end – The artist’s way: a course in discovering and recovering your creative self by Julia Cameron.

I never get into books like this. Actually, I’ve never bothered to try, but I thought that if Kristine Pedlar was finding it useful, I might also. Dad asked me what I wanted for Christmas and I pointed him in the direction of the book. Basically it’s a 12 week structured approach to unblocking your creativity and making you productive. STRUCTURED!! That’s what I wanted! So for six mornings in a row I have written three longhand pages about anything at all – the point is to just do three longhand pages. I think it was in thinking about how I was going to fit the other writing exercises into my week, that I realised that I needed to get my shit together and stop wasting my time faffing around with endless aimless domestic tasks. And that’s where FlyLady came back in…

Of course, if you could see the room that I am sitting in to type this, the reaction would be hysterical. You can’t see the floor and my rubbish bags of STUFF…eBay stuff, old baby clothes, stuff to throw away and stuff to take to the op-shop, it would sound like I am all talk, no action. But I am chipping away at it. I suppose that eBay bag really has to go…

Two hulls and the truth

It’s been a long time since I posted about what is going on as far as the Big Plan that hinges on our attempts to complete the Very Large Catamaran. To briefly recap – after M and I did up our lovely Queenslander in Hervey Bay we put the profit we made into buying a kit to build a 35 foot catamaran. (See pictures of a similar one here.) We intended to spend about two and a half years building it, and then live aboard it, and then? Sell it.

M’s mother was dubious about our plan. She told me several times that we should stick to houses. I was resolute. This was the best idea we’d had. So we went ahead with it. Even as we did so I factored in ‘boat time’ – a concept that recognises that everything to do with a building a boat takes double the forecasted time. I was thinking maybe four years.

I wasn’t thinking about a baby. And that meant lost building time, and lost income for me and more incurred debt. I wasn’t really thinking about another baby – to the point where I’d got rid of most of our baby stuff. But, yunno…

And that meant more lost income, more lost boat building time. Of course, totally worth it. But back in about September 2006 when we finished putting up the shed in which we would build the boat, (a shed that M and I dismantled together on the other side of the city) if you had told me that M would still be working on it in 2011 and that we would have two kids, I would have just laughed disbelievingly…and then gone grey overnight.

I do not hesitate to say that we were both blisteringly naive. Of course, there was not a better time for us to have babies – with me working a flexible job and M able to take heaps of time out… But all that time out has prolonged the project to the point where we are very much almost sick to death of it. And our expected profits and hopes to live aboard are very much in doubt.

We have decided, after several fraught discussions, that it needs to be painted and ready to be fitted out with boat bling by the time our lease is up on this house. The end of January 2012 – less than a year away. By that time we will have a FOUR year old and a one year old. (Is there any more devastating yardstick of time passing than growing children? I think not.)

This deadline is good (we can see an endpoint) and bad. M is working most nights until 8.30pm – I am wrangling the two little ones on my own. I go to bed at around 8pm in order to stay sane. M staggers home, exhausted and covered in fibreglass dust, in the dark to a sleeping house, knowing that he has to get up in the morning and do it all again. He’s working Saturdays, as I need him for childminding on Thursdays.

So our one ‘family’ day is Sunday. But we barely see each other. It’s really hard. We’re sick of being skint, are kicking ourselves for not just sticking with renovating houses and at the same time trying to console ourselves that it will be alright – as long as we can just make it to the end. Make it to the end intact.

Luckily our meltdowns don’t tend to occur in stereo, so one of us can try and jolly the other up and out of the occasional ditch of despair. Sometimes it all seems just too hard. A constant financial juggle of ever-increasing debt. Other times, it’s easier to embrace the choices that brought us to this point and to be happy that we have two beautiful girls in a house we like, an egg shaped caravan, a trimaran and good friends. There are things more important than profit and debt.

Just a day

Today was curiously smooth. Small DB woke up chilled out and happy. I took Small Z to kindergarten and then whizzed into the library and got an hour and a half of work done before heading home to convince Small DB to nap. Mum went and collected Small Z.

Small DB slept. Resettled her twice and she clocked TWO HOURS. Unheard of. Thus I got way more work done than normal and actually feel satisfied with what I achieved.

Sent off a parcel of completed files, got both Smalls to bed by 6.30pm, threw self together a dinner of calamari and roasted vegetables… Sat in front of The Slap, when I was disturbed by a little mouse…

Someone can't sleep

She has come out of her room after bedtime of her own accord about five times in two years. It just doesn’t seem to occur to her. This time she said, “I need to wee…and can I have some secret staying up time with you?” So here we sit. I type, and she’s snugged next to me reading The Little Cat Baby and Russell and the Lost Treasure. She still can’t say her R’s properly, so it’s actually Wussell and the Lost Tweasure.

I have just realised I am going to have no work for five weeks over Christmas, and no income. Usually this sort of thing is covered by my tax return, but this year that barely exists. I have decided to start worrying about that tomorrow… Right now? I have half a small bottle of cider left in the fridge.

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