Monday, May 30

water

Definitely not a water baby, but you love playing with it. Always asking for water in a bucket in the garden. Usually to stir with a stick, plop stones in, or to used to 'write' on rocks.


You love 'washing up'.
This means pouring water in and out of receptacles, washing various toys (mostly the dinosaurs) and wet paper around the sink. One of the few activities that holds your interest for a long time.


You have yet to venture in all the way, being a cautious kiddo. But this year you seem keener and keener. So far we've only visited the beach to get our feet wet, so we'll see when we go properly what you decide to do.
You love splashing and throwing stones in.


How are your kids with water?


Friday, May 27

joy pockets

this little ray of light


you're my best friend mama (!?)
tea by the sea
ice cream in waffle cones
receiving my won give-away package
blogs without word verification
a distant horizon in the early morn
beach time
re-awakening the studio
journaling again


share with me your joy pockets this week

joyfully:
Lisa @ My World Edenwild
MJ @ Wander, Wonder, Discover
Septembermom @ My Voice, My View
The Wild Magnolia - welcome!

Thursday, May 19

A Frog in the Bog


A Frog in the Bog, Karma Wilson
Illustrated by Joan Rankin
Picture book
Suggested age: 2-6yrs
There's a frog on the log in the middle of the bog.

A small, green frog
on a half-sunk log
in the middle of the bog.


And so the frog proceeds to gobble up various creatures that increase in number. From a tick to five slimy snails. Yet that half-sunk log isn't what it seems, and when it suddenly rises, showing eyes, and jaws, the frog loses his lunch as they escape while he hollers.


It's a fun romp with a hungry and rather greedy frog, and the increasing number of his lunch means that it's a book useful for counting too. The illustrations are dreamy watercolour depictions of bog life. These aren't my favourite style of illustrations, and they lack detail for the younger readers. I do prefer Wilson's collaborations with Chapman.

I find the rhythm a little laboured but it's captivating enough, and one that a parent can read a few times over. Not Karma Wilson's best in my opinion, but it is fun. I actually bought the book because little Miss likes frogs, but the lack of detail meant that the frogginess of the frog wasn't so obvious. Towards the end it barely resembles a frog. Also, the internal belly pictures are too abstract a concept for the younger ones.

The Miss started with this one at 20 months and enjoyed it but appreciated better at 2 yrs.

I do recommend it, but for 3 years and older.


Fishpond.com.au

Friday, May 13

joy pockets

officially using the laptop, 
after learning to use the mouse after one demonstration


home-made guacamole
winning this fabulous give-away
designing a bookcase
mountain mists
windy sunshine
peanut butter fudge
writing
deciding on a new paint colour for the kitchen
these pancakes
BBQs engulfed by laughing children




share with me your joy pockets this week

joyfully:
MJ @ Wander Wonder Discover
Lisa @ My World Edenwild

Wednesday, May 11

stamping

It's fun to stamp with ink.


Quite comfy on mama's yoga mat too.


Now you're asking every day if it's sunny.... because I said we'll tidy the studio on a sunny day.

Soon. Mama's looking forward to getting back in too.

Monday, May 9

fire to fire

It was not a good day. Not pleasant.

Night after night of under 5hrs sleep (a respite every third day is welcome), husband working full days (so spending little time with her and therefore me 24hr mothering), stressful work on the house (because some people are built to hear but not to listen), a day of her clinging and sticking and smothering...

Exhaustion.

Nausea, eyes doing funny things like closing while I'm standing, bowels knotted up.

Her determination and contrariness heightened. So I raise my voice and she raises her voice. Frowns are exchanged. The fire element in us both meet head to head. Sparks.


But throughout it never gets ugly. Nothing hurtful is said. No screaming. And I tell her, mama is not well today and not happy but I'm happy with you and I love you.

I love you too mami.

Kisses thrown about in-between the skirmishes.

Cuddles on the sofa. A moment where she seems to have intuited I absolutely needed quiet. Arms about each other we know a good shout is helpful and means nothing. We are of Latin blood after all.

We rest.

Calmed, refreshed, we go outside to greet a sudden sun.

Thursday, May 5

I shed a skin

I have alternated between living according to other people's expectations, striving towards my self-imposed ideals, and following my true heart.

In recent times, I allowed myself to be fuelled by the 'supermothers' of blogland. Not a lot, but enough.
The blogs of women who are mothers, run a business, are creative, take amazing photos, homeschool, knit, study towards a major degree, preserve and bake, do D.I.Y, publish, do crafts and nature studies with the kids, run a popular blog, and possibly fly.

The woman of today competes by how much she can stuff into the day. We're proud of our To Do lists and when we schedule time to relax, we think it perfectly normal.

The most insidious influences, and the most influential to me personally, are the want-tos rather than ought-tos - you know, like great creative ideas. I'm not competitive and I don't compare my life to others', but I still strove mentally and emotionally towards an ideal.

What really struck me was the thought that, we are saying...

mothering isn't enough.

A man leaves for work and returns at a set time and rests easy that he's done his bit. A woman feels the need to justify being at home. Raising the next generation, being available, is not enough. Yes, some men say it's not enough, "what have you done all day?" they ask accusingly. Unfortunately there also remain women who feel themselves superior because they have paid work.

But, ironically, we, the proud-to-stay-at-home mothers, say it loudest. By choosing to do and do and do and do, or planning to do and do, and still feel it's not enough. And because we say it of ourselves, we undermine our role more than anyone else ever could.

I wanted to tell my friend whose husband often asks the above to reply with -  

Today I raised our children.

Coming late to mothering I have done enough self-work to not fall into the Must Do More trap. But I fell back into a personal life-long trap of feeling the need to achieve something Big and Meaningful - the Want To Do More trap. Both choke our days, deplete us, and diminish our beautiful work.



I've shed that skin now.

I'm raising my child.
I carve out time to express my creativity.
I help others in small, intimate ways.

It's sad to say it's good enough.
It's complete.

All I've ever truly wanted is a deep connection to what most people define as Sacredness. And to live my life in a natural flow stemming from that connection. I kept tripping and working backwards - choosing to do and do, and hoping that sacredness kept up.

When I work from my true desire, I am peace amidst chaos. I do less yet feel more fulfilled. I am more in tune with my intuition. I hear others better. I get to appreciate beauty. I get to enjoy life. True enjoyment - without an ever-present underlying anxiety.

I've been working at this issue. How do I know that I've shed the skin?

The other day I daydreamed for the first time in.... 15 years? Not only did I not feel any guilt, I felt refreshed, and carried on my day without a need to make up for lost time.

Do you wear these skins?

Monday, May 2

April in Review

April's weather has been predictably unpredictable - rain and cool winds followed by days so warm they hint of Summer already. Extra sleep-deprived, yet I'm in a calm place, balancing nothingness and focus..

A thought...
If I allow it, Time is infinite.

A sound...
A cement mixer in the early mornings as we have work done on the garden.

A taste...
The death-by-chocolate cake I baked for her birthday.

An image...

a day trip to Kotor old town

A scent...
Nature re-awakening.

A word... (anything word related)
Struggling to get through Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children.

A touch...
The icy cold of first beach splashes.

A gift for me...
Freshly-squeezed juice.

A post you may have missed...
Hardly, what with my blogging break.

Your reader's may have missed out on some content this month, you have new or occasional readers, or you didn't post much. Consider a Month in Review post. I know I can't keep up with all the wonderful blogs out there. Just copy & paste the headings above and add your responses.

Did you do a review? Let me know, and a link back of course would be nice.

reviewing:
Carin @ Created With Love
Cassie @ There's A Pickle in My Life
Mara @ Holistic Mamas
Lisa @ My World Edenwild