Tuesday, 26 November 2013

No regrets

Recently on facebook, a friend had posted a link to an article that discussed the most common regrets of those in palliative care in Australia.   It was an interesting list, and made me think about what I would be likely to regret, and what I maybe need to think about so that I don't.  It's not quite a New Years resolution list, as it's not yet New Year, but I thought it was worth giving these things a try.

1. Spend an hour a day with the kids. 

I spend most, if not all of the day with at least one of my children.  In fact, as we co-sleep, I spend nearly 24 hours a day with Anja, and I do play with all of them, but so often I have other things to do too.  They grow up so very quickly, and it won't be long until they're really not that interested in spending time with me, so while they want to, I'll make the most of it, even if means that other things don't always get done.
So, for at least an hour every day, I'm going to make sure that one of them has my undivided attention, and that we do something together.

2. Actually try following my dreams.

For as I can remember, I've been going to write a book.  I've started a couple of times, but other things always seem to get in the way.  I can make all the excuses in the world, and if I do write one, there's no saying that it will be any good, but I think that if I don't at least try, I'll regret not giving it a go.

3. Worry less about the things that don't matter.

If you think about the things that cause you stress, or that you worry about, really, when it comes down to it, it doesn't really matter.  Yes it would be nice to be able to afford this and that, but it's what you do that you usually remember, not what you have.  
I'm not the world's greatest housekeeper, and I'm sure that I could do a lot better, but as I can guarantee that one thing I'm not going to be thinking when I'm old is "I wish I'd done more housework" I'm not going to worry about that either.

4. Be silly every day.

This one isn't too hard, I do this quite a bit anyway.  But making the kids laugh, being happy and singing and dancing as you cook tea are all really important, so I'll just make sure I do them all the more.  Every day should have at least one laugh.

5. Stop putting things off.

There are lots of little jobs that I need to do, but don't get around to.  Then there are the bigger things that I think I'll do eventually.  From now on I'm going to try to do the things that I need to, and if I'm trying to put them off, to decide if they are really important or not, and then either forget them completely, or just do them.  Procrastinating doesn't help anyone.

I'm sure that there are a hundred and one things that I could add to this, and I probably will at some point.  But for now, here's my list.  What would  you put on yours?

Friday, 22 November 2013

The curse of being the oldest.

There are some things that are really good about being the oldest child in a family, I'm the oldest in my family, and I wouldn't have wanted it any other way, I loved being the oldest.  There are some downsides to being the oldest though, downsides that I didn't really notice when I was little, but with my little oldest boy, Kai, they're all too obvious.

You see, the thing is, when you're the oldest, you're always more grown up than everyone else in the family, no matter how old the others get, you're always going to be older.  

Earlier today, Kai was asking about something that happened when he was younger, and as I was telling him about it, I realised that he was the same age as Anja is now, but back then he seemed so much older, so much more grown up.  Which of course, he wasn't, but as there was no one older, he seemed to be a big boy already.

Of course, now he's seven, and he seems so grown up, but I suspect when the others reach seven, they will seem to be much, much younger than he is now.

I suppose the curse of being the youngest is that you always seem much younger than you actually are, and that you'll eternally be the baby of the family.  As I said before, being the oldest does have some great advantages, and I loved it, but for my oldest, I never really fully appreciate how little he is, when he is little.  He is fantastic though, big or little.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

What do YOU do?

I hate answering that question, on forms and official pieces of paper, the occupation bit, defining who you are by what you do.  What do I do?
Of course, first and foremost, I'm a Mum, a full time Mum.  But is there any other kind?  The suggestion that someone who works is not a full time Mum is really really silly, I've worked since I've had kids, but I can still honestly say that no matter what I was doing, I was a full time Mum.  Once you're a Mum, that's it, your a Mum, no part time, no full time, that's it, you're someone's Mum.

Becoming a Mum for the 4th time
Becoming a Mum for the 4th time, love this pic.
So, what's the next option? Housewife? I have a number of issues with that one, the main being that it suggests I do all the housework, or even some of the housework, and lets be honest here, it's not my strength and I do avoid it as much as I can.

I do have my own cloth nappy business, or to be specific, I have two cloth nappy businesses but somehow I always feel a little foolish saying that I'm a business woman or entrepreneur or something.  Yes I work at them, sometimes I even work hard at them, but I'm still not convinced that it's what I DO.

Which leads us back to the same old question; what do I do? And if I'm honest, I'm not that sure that I know....... What do you do?

Monday, 11 November 2013

A day out with Thomas

On Sunday, as we're in Auckland at the moment, the kids and I went for a "day out with Thomas" seeing at the Glenbrook Vintage Railway.  With one train mad Thomas fan, one ex-Thomas fan, who still, I suspect, secretly enjoys seeing him, it seemed like the ideal outing.  Apparently they hold this twice a year, in November and March, and we have tried to visit before, but were just not in the area at the right time.

We purchased a family ticket for $75, which covered two adults and two children, and as under fours were free, we didn't need to pay for the other two children.  The actual event itself was free, but the ticket gave us a ride on the train that was running up the line and back for an hours round trip, free rides on Thomas, up and down the track, and free access to the face painting, colouring in, story time and bouncy castle.  An added bonus was the train ride from Papakura, for the price of a gold coin donation each, that went to Starship.
On the whole the day was fantastic, with plenty of Thomas characters to meet, and lots of activities to entertain the little ones.  It does seem a little churlish to pick fault with an event run by volunteers, but as it has gained in popularity over the years that it has been running, and will no doubt continue to do so, then the slight niggles that we experienced are only likely to get worse.
As it was so busy, getting on board the trains was a little hit and miss, there was no queue, rather, whoever could crowd on first, got on first, not ideal when dealing with little children.  Some kind of queue system, or better still, a set time for your train ride, would have made things much smoother.  We missed our first go at getting a ride on the excursion train, due to the mass surge towards the doors, and getting the train back to Papakura was little better.  With so many visitors, a few more toilets and rubbish bins would have also been welcome additions.
All in all, it was a great day out, and a must if you have young Thomas fans and are in the area next time that it's held.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Tandem breastfeeding; at an end

I'm pretty sure that I've mentioned this before, but until recently I was tandem breastfeeding my girls.  It's the second time that I've tandem fed, Mahe and Lena are only 19 months apart, and as Mahe didn't wean until he was nearly two and a half, I tandem fed the two of them for quite a while.  So, tandem breastfeeding the girls wasn't a new experience, but either way, now it's come to an end.

I didn't set out with the thought in mind that I'd be feeding Mahe until he was two, actually, after the disaster that was breastfeeding Kai, I just wanted to get to six months without any formula.  We had a bit of a rocky start, and then went from strength to strength.  By the time Lena was on the way, I didn't want to stop just because I was pregnant, and so, I didn't.  My midwife suggested that either I weaned him early, or kept going once the new baby arrived, because to wean close to giving birth could lead to jealous issues.  So, we kept going, even through the uncomfortable phase that happens mid-pregnancy, when it often feels if your milk has dried up.

Once Lena arrived, there was a little jealousy, because I've never been very good at feeding both at the same time, so I tried not to, but most of the time it worked well.  So, when Anja came along, I did the same, and Lena carried on wanting to feed for a lot longer than Mahe ever did.  It was only recently that she finally stopped totally.  She'd slowed right down, and I do wonder if she hadn't had a younger sister to compete with, whether she would have bothered to continue, she'd quite happily go even days between feeds sometimes.  And then, sometime a couple of months ago, she must have had her last feed.  I couldn't tell you exactly when the last one was, but that was it, it had come to an end.  No more tandem feeding, and my little Lena is growing into a big girl, even though she still can't reach the door handles, which is apparently the best measure of whether you're a big girl or not.

Monday, 4 November 2013

Errrmmm, sorry, what was I saying?....

I've been pretty quiet recently, I've written some great posts in my mind, but when I came to actually write them,  I can't remember what I was going to say.  Despite the fact that my baby is 17 months, I'm blaming baby brain.  To be totally honest, I think I've been suffering from baby brain since my oldest was born 7 years ago.  I might have been just as forgetful before that, but I can't remember, which of course might have been baby brain.

As I have no idea what I was going to say, I'll talk about dead weasels instead.  (As you do.)

We were outside a few days ago, and Anja was playing (tormenting) the cat.  She loves our cat, Percy, and although Percy is very good, and doesn't mind too much all the hugging and carrying around she does run off at the first given opportunity.  Our garden is somewhat overgrown, (ok, it's very overgrown, so much so that we ended up with goat invaders the other morning, that's another story though).

Anja followed Percy into the long grass, and came out again a few moments later, carrying what looked like a stick.  On closer inspection though, it turned out to be a dead weasel.  At least I think it was a weasel rather than a stoat.  I made her drop it, and then took a photo, but being as it was all fury and soft, she wasn't too keen on letting it go.  A bit of distraction, and all was good again.

I didn't know that there were weasels around here, apparently there are more stoats than weasels in New Zealand, and of course non of them should be here.  At least our weasel was a dead one, so that's one less.

Ok, enough random waffling, hopefully next time I'll have something a bit more interesting to say.