Savouring life, especially the little moments

It has been so long since my last post that I almost couldn’t log in!

This morning my life looks like what a lot of people imagine a mum’s life to be, while child is in school. It’s lovely. A moment to savour because I know it is fleeting and we don’t know what will be happening tomorrow (actually, I am 90% sure that I will be at work tomorrow, but life can be unpredicatable)

Four years into parenting and I cringe to think of more experienced parents reading this. I won’t know for a few more years how obvious, or naive I may sound. But I will write anyway because this is where I am right now.

So many people tell you to savour the moments. Your baby will not be a baby for very long. Before you know it your baby is a toddler, and then your toddler is a pre-schooler, and then your pre-schooler is heading off to kinder. I have been getting the message to savour time with my baby/toddler/child since day one. What people don’t tell you is to savour other things, which will be just as fleeting.

Savour the summer that you have new neighbours, beautiful weather, no wasps. The afternoons spent in their backyard, or yours, with two little boys playing, the summer days stretching out gloriously.

Savour the months of having a regular Thursday playdate/dinner; shared time, shared load.

Savour the months of living practically next to a favourite bookshop and yes, savour all the books bought. Don’t worry about the money spent on them because soon enough, life will change and suddenly you only make it to the bookshop once every three to four months, when you make a special effort.

Savour the day at the playground where you meet another parent and actually talk and bond, and probably never see each other again.

Savour any true conversations with other parents. Sometimes it doesn’t matter how well you click, life happens and can consistently block future conversations so savour them when they do happen.

Savour the day of playing hookey with your child and sharing a whimsical day together.

Especially savour the days or moments where you think, “I’ve got this. I’m good. Everything is fine”. You need to hold those moments in your mind on the other days, the so, so, so many other days, when everything is overwhelming and you decide by 10am that the new goal for the day is to get through it, all other goals (laundry, cooking, cleaning, shopping) are to be dropped for that day.

Everyone tells you that your child will grow and change so quickly, but they neglect to mention that your life will also change rapidly along with your child. They do say that life will never be the same after having children (true, true, TRUE!) but they don’t say that your new normal (when you finally feel that you have one) will only last a few months at best. Then there will be change and then you will find a new new normal. Which will last for a few months. Then there will be change and…you get the gist.

Cafe visits are a necessity in the first year. A chance to interact with another adult! Caffeine! Or Chai! Or something sugary to pep you up after a long, multi-waking night. Then suddenly, your child is on the move and cafes are swapped for playgrounds and you dream of the days when you could sit, comatose, staring into your coffee while your baby was content in their pram.

The first year, if you are lucky enough to have a great mother’s group, consists of very regular contact with other mums, and maybe dads, who are sharing the same journey. Then people start returning to work, the catch-ups drop off and soon it is 1-3 times a year that you manage to all catch up together. I wish I’d savoured the early gatherings more, rather than assuming that they would go on for years.

So many things that I didn’t treasure enough at the time. I wanted them to continue, indefinitely and so was looking forward to the next times and not appreciating the current moment enough.

I enjoyed them, but there was always the thought, “This is great. We should do this more often, When can I pencil in the next time”. Disappointment followed on, as everyone’s lives are unpredictable. Children get sick. Work commitments change. Family commitments increase. Four months can pass in the blink of the eye.

It’s taken me four years,a lot of breaking points and a desire to be happier in myself to finally realise that I just need to appreciate each moment for what it is. No focusing on what it could become. Not focusing on when we can do this again. Just appreciating each moment for what it is, rather than what it could be

 

EDIT – 31 May, 2015. This post was started 10 days ago, when my morning looked like this:

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Oh so civilised

 

Then, just as I was finishing my chai, but not this post, I was called by Monsieur’s kinder to come and collect him. He had a fever and needed to come home. The rest of my day looked more like this:

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Sad boy needing lots of comfort

 

When I said that I was 90% sure I would be going to work the next day, I should have been betting on the 10% unknown. The next ten days saw a lot of:

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Lucky, Snuggle Doona, Mummy’s chair and TV (with Mummy sitting close all the time)

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Bed, Mummy, TV shows and cat

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Daytime naps and long night sleeps

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Bed, iPad, cat

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Efforts to get food into him were met with mixed reactions…

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Mmmm. decadent chocolate cookie sandwich and cacao smoothy!

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Banana smoothy – usually a favourite treat.

 

He will be going back to kinder tomorrow and I will be picking up where I left off ten days ago, savouring moments when they happen, because you never know what’s around the corner, and right now is my moment to finish and publish a post! (even though it’s not properly finished…!)

 

 

So much to say, so little brain power with which to speak

I need to build up my evening stamina. I can get through the day okay, but once Monsieur is in bed, all I want to do is collapse and I struggle to form a coherent thought.

So many posts rolling around in my head, just a small space of time and energy to pick one to do! It’s been about four months since the last update on Monsieur, and already there are things in the last update which I had forgotten about until rereading it five minutes ago. So let’s do that!

Sleep: Monsieur no longer has a daytime nap! And it is wonderful! We dropped it at the start of July – he was staying awake, hearing noises and wanting me in his room with him until 9-9:30, so we dropped the nap and all went back to normal. We are both loving all the extra time each day, and some days he will still have a short sleep, but I will go and wake him after 1-1.5 hours.

Food: Monsieur has recently decided that he does like some crunchy foods, after all. This would be after I ate chocolate covered caramel popcorn in his presence one day, confident that he would not want to try any because they were crunchy. The smell of chocolate clearly overcame his dislike of crunchy foods and he discovered a whole new universe!

Language: Monsieur talks all the time, telling elaborate stories about his trains. Everything is a train these days; we have the Shakti-train and Jai-train (our two cats), the car-train, the house-train…and it goes on. Today he told a complete story to one of his friends:

“Once upon a time, I wanted to go through the window. And The End!”

Lots of things are “usually”, as in “I usually go this way to Shakahari”. This he told me the other day, having been to Shakahari (a gorgeous restaurant in Carlton) exactly once in his life!

He has a few common sayings around his age and what it means to him; “Now I’m three….”  “When I was two, I….but now I’m three, I….” “….when I turned three”

“When I was two, I liked Buffy, but now I’m three, I like Legally Blonde”
“I liked trains when I turned three”

It was my birthday recently and he asked how old I was. I told him and he replied, “Wow! That’s so many olds! It’s so exciting!”

Favourites: Trains are still his favourites. We are taking him to another train expo this weekend – I’ve had it in the calendar for three months, just waiting!. He has been counting down the sleeps since last week.We plan on spending the whole day there and letting him watch trains to his heart’s content. He loves to play boom gate games, where we take turns being boom gates going up and down, and trains going past. It makes him very easy to entertain at times.

He started a game of “parcels” a couple of weeks ago – he’ll come up to R or I and say “Here’s a parcel for you” or “Here’s a package for you”, we unwrap it and exclaim over whatever it is (R is definitely more creative at making up things than I am) and then we give him one in return. It can go on for a very long time, and can be very amusing and engaging.

He has also developed a strong attachment for Snuggle Doona – a gorgeous soft doona that I bought for him, thinking it was a doona cover. Unfortunately it was a whole quilt, with a polyester inner which overheated him when used as a bed cover. However, I was right in thinking that he would love the feel of it and he has now adopted it as something to snuggle into and cart around the place along with Lucky, the cat.

He loves playing the piano and making up songs, many of which are sent to Shannon, our wonderful friend in New Zealand (whose stay is one of the many things I want to blog about). He is obsessed with the Legally Blonde the Musical soundtrack and loves to do the “bend and snap” routine.

He also loves riding his scooter whenever he gets a chance.

How am I feeling: I am really enjoying this time with Monsieur, and where he is at. I have just started working a couple of afternoons a week and I was worried about how he would go, as he is with me while I work. He is enjoying it though, and even told R yesterday that he was “into working now”. Yesterday he sat at the desk with me and asked what work he could do, so I asked him to highlight the numbers on some print-outs and tear up the documents as I finished scanning them. He was so proud of himself sitting up, helping Mummy work! In moments like that, I feel like I have a real little companion with me.

I am worrying about the effect my stress last year had on him. I see it manifest in little ways, but so heartbreakingly…like when he gets so anxious that a bus or tram will leave without us if we don’t get on it immediately. How he grabs my hand the moment he sees a green man at the traffic lights, and runs, telling me, “Come on, Mummy! We have to run! We’re going to miss it”. I don’t know how much is just him, his natural personality and how much of it he picked up from me last year. I’m trying to allow more time for him and for me, to do things calmly instead of in a mad rush. When I feel him get wound up, or me getting wound up, I take the time to stop and breathe and talk with him, even it it makes us late. Seeing myself reflected in him gives me a whole new perspective on what is important.

His enrolment forms for kinder arrived this week; it’s going to be a big adjustment for us both next year. I suspect that he will take it in his stride with more ease than I! He will be ready for more input, new input and the chance to play more with people his own age. I won’t exactly be lost as to what to do – I have a long list of projects that I look forward to delving into – but it will be strange to suddenly have so much time by myself after nearly four years of Monsieur being with me every day. We still have five months before that though, and I’m making the most of it.

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Morning snuggles with Snuggle Doona

 

 

 

Paleo Cranberry Orange Muffins

We have been getting lots of oranges in our fruit and veggie boxes recently, so I decided it was time to find some good orange muffin recipes. Two that I’ve tried are not worth repeating but this one was delicious! I will definitely be trying some more recipes from cookeatpaelo.com.

 
PALEO CRANBERRY ORANGE MUFFINS
 
GLUTEN FREE
 
INGREDIENTS
200 grams almond flour (about 2 cups)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
zest of 1 orange (about 2 tablespoons)
3 eggs
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons ghee, melted
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1/2 cup cranberries
 
METHOD
1. Preheat oven to 160°C/325°F and grease muffin tin.
2. Combine dry ingredients and orange zest in large bowl.
3. Combine wet ingredients in medium bowl.
4. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients, then fold in cranberries.
5. Fill muffin cups 3/4 full.
6. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes, until golden brown and toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean.
7. Cool on wire rack.
 
SOURCE: http://cookeatpaleo.com/paleo-cranberry-orange-muffins/
 

New title

Monsieur has decided to call me “mama”. I’m not sure exactly why, but it is a deliberate choice. This was our conversation about a week after he started it:
Monsieur Z: I call you “mama” every day now.
Me: Yes, you do. Why have you started calling me “mama”?
MZ: Because I like to because it’s nice.

Well, I can’t think of a better reason really!

He has also said to me a couple of times, “I love my Mummy in the whole world!”

This morning when R was saying goodbye and told Monsieur that he loved him, Monsieur responded with “I love you too!”

For the first time, he’s starting to tell us that he loves us. It just makes my heart melt.

M o r e   i n f o
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