Wednesday, April 30, 2014

In My 'Spare Time'

A few years ago, I started a small photography business from home, doing family and childrens’ photos at outdoor locations. Over the years as my skill improved I took on some weddings, Debutante portraits and event photos. After four years, my business is still operating, quietly, in the background of my life. I’m so proud of what I have built, and I love the creative outlet my work has become. For not-so Wordless Wednesday with Sakura Haruka, and My Little Drummer Boys, and Ms Mystery Case for Worth Casing Wednesday, I’m sharing a few photos from the last few months of work with you all. I hope you enjoy.

One of my beautiful friends, K, a stunning Bride

My sister-in-law J and my soon-to-be niece!

Of course, this is my princess Diddy

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

6 Things to do with Very Small People

It is a happy talent to know how to play’ – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Since I had Diddy, I’ve been re-introduced to the concept of having a very small person in the house. I honestly don’t remember what I did with Boo in the early days, or how on earth I kept her entertained! I remember there being a lot of mess in my tiny flat, but mostly I think we just floated through the days. 

Diddy is a very different creature. She seems to have developed at a much quicker rate and she demands more attention and stimulation each day so I’ve gotten very good very quickly at finding distracting, fun things for her to do.

1.     ‘Let’s sing to be happy’
Diddy loves being sung to. Anything from nursery rhymes to Play School tunes to Jason Mraz hits, she loves to sing. I do the actions, or make some up just for her. If Boo is home she joins in and is learning to love good music this way. Diddy loves to sing along and she laughs when I do silly actions or dance with her.
'Sing a bit longer Mummy, I'm almost asleep!'

2.       ‘It’s so FLUFFY I’m gonna die!’
One of our favourite things to do when it’s just us is dump out all Diddy’s toys on the floor and play with texture. She loves it when I use a fluffy hairbrush to brush her tummy or face, then we find crinkly things and touch them, play with a silk scarf and on it goes. I talk to Diddy about all the things she’s feeling and experiencing and I adore seeing her face light up as she discovers new textures.
'So many toys, so little time!'

3.       ‘Food before one is just for fun’
Diddy loves playing with her food. I guess this is probably texture play but food play is something I totally encourage in my house. Her high chair has a plastic mat underneath, so all the fall-out is easy to tidy up after and it helps her learn tastes, smells and how to eat. Sometimes she’ll devour a snack, sometimes it’s mostly in her hair (or mine), but that’s the fun part!
My little yoghurt goblin

4.       ‘Splish, splash’
Water play is always fun, at any age. Whether it be a spilt cup on the high chair tray, bubbles in the sink or a nice bath, Diddy loves water (so does Boo!). She has her bath at night, but sometimes when she’s antsy during the day I’ll run an ankle-height amount of water in the bath and let her go to town. She loves crawling in it, splashing and watching her ducks float. Water is such fun for babies, and I’m totally OK with popping her in the bath to make some mess – at least is forces me to clean the bathroom!
Poor pink ducky cops more chewing than any other toy!

5.       ‘Let’s go outdoors’
I love taking Diddy outside. Every day after breakfast we take a walk, mostly just to school to drop Boo off, but sometimes we continue on. We repeat this again at pickup time. In between, we often spend some time out in the sunshine. At the moment, we’re getting glorious Autumn days and Diddy adores being outside whenever possible. If I have to hang washing, I take her jumperoo out with me and pop her in for a bounce while I hang. She loves swinging, and getting onto Boo’s giant trampoline to crawl around, a perfect activity as the trampoline has a safety net. With a hat and some sunscreen, outside is perfect and limitless play for a baby.
First go on the big girl swing!

6.       ‘Read me a story, Mummy’
This one is obvious, right? When Diddy is sooky, or clingy, sometimes the best thing is just for us to sit down with a stack of books and read until we can’t read anymore. Any book, any story. She loves the pictures, the cuddles and the sound of my voice. Often, she falls asleep this way which is perfection to me.
Sometimes, she even reads to herself!

It’s Tuesday y’all. I Blog On Tuesdays with Essentially Jess. It’s super fun! Thanks for reading.

Friday, April 25, 2014

The things I know on FFS Friday

I'm not sure what this is about, but I want it! Coz she's me!
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Diddy has discovered that the mattress on her cot is nice and bouncy. This means, instead of making a little noise when she wakes, she now stands up and jumps while yelling ‘HEY’ until one of us drops everything and rushes to get her. FFS

Not just after daytime naps. At 3am too. FFS

She used to wake and either chat or make a few squawking noises, giving me ample grace period to finish what I was doing, or wake and make a bottle before she amped up to 11. FFS

No more. Farewell calm wakeups. FFS

On Wednesday afternoon, Boo decided she didn’t want me, but she needed her Dad. FFS

This wasn’t an option, as he was at work but we called my Mum to come over. No FFS

Boo decided she was going to stay there so she wasn’t with me. FFS

She successfully refused to go to school. FFS

Then tried to refuse to come home before visitation with her Dad yesterday. FFS

Most of this is happening because she’s sore and sad all of the time. FFS

Her tonsils and adenoids are being removed on Wednesday…No FFS!!

5 more sleeps…FFS

This is the first ANZAC day I haven’t made it to a service. FFS

I’m too tired to wash my own dishes, let alone go out in public. FFS

I’m quietly being respectful at home. FFS

And here’s the things I know this week:
I know I’ve spent far too much on makeup, but it’s better than spending the equivalent on chocolate….and then eating it all.

I know that I've cleaned out the bank accounts paying for winter sports.

I know that if the mini mofo's get two weeks in to winter sports and change their minds that I'll lose mine.

I know that I'm super-blessed that Diddy's daycare providers are flexible enough to change her day around last-minute when I need them to.

I know Boo’s operation is in a city nearly 2hrs away where I have nowhere to stay.

I don’t know, however, what time we need to be there, if she’ll be admitted overnight or if I’ll be allowed to stay. Why? The paperwork that was meant to arrive a week ago is yet to materialise (FFS)!

I know I mustn’t get too upset though – the tonsils are finally coming out!!

I'm linking up with Sarah at Move Fuel Love for FFS Friday and the lovely Ann at Help, I'm Stuck! to share the Things I Know. Why not join us?

Thursday, April 24, 2014

I Have a Dream....

‘...a song to sing. To help me cope with anything’.

Anyone else hear this in their head when they think about having a dream? Especially the Amanda Seyfreid version from Mama Mia. No? Just me then, I guess. Move along, nothing weird here.
This movie is perfect to me, every single time.
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I have a dream occasionally that one day I’ll wake up completely put-together.

You know what I mean, don’t you? Flawless hair, impeccable dress sense and mad skills with makeup, yes. 
But beyond that (and aside from it, really) I dream fervently about being the mum who does it all flawlessly. The mum who breezes out of bed, readies her husband and sends him to work smiling with a belly full of homestyle cookin’ and a lunchbox full of healthy homemade snacks, prepares the kids for school/daycare – again with the excellent food. Cruises to school with all homework complete, helps out in the canteen, comes home and plays with the baby undistractedly for hours. The mum who spends naptime giving her sparklingly clean house a quick once-over and then has a lunch date with friends before going to school pickup and heading home to prepare a thoughtfully planned, nutritionally beneficial meal, clean and tuck in her kids before relaxing with her husband. I dream of doing it all alone, with no snags or flaws, and without tears of pleas for help.

I’m not that mum. If she exists, I want to know about it, because I want to pull her perfectly-coiffed hair and tell her she’s a liar.

This bitch... seriously.
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My dream isn’t going to come true. I’m the mum who isn’t getting out of bed at 5am to get her husband ready for work (seriously, he’s on his own there). I’m the mum fighting the kindergartner to eat her breakfast while the baby flings porridge at my head, at the same time realising we forgot the reader last night and I’ve run out of lunch muffins. I’m the mum who remembers canteen duty 20 minutes before it starts, on a day when I don’t have a babysitter ready. The mum who’s barely left her house in weeks, and hasn’t had a social life in months. I’m the mum who realises at 6pm that she hasn’t defrosted dinner and makes bacon and egg salad, before skipping bathtime and sending the kids to bed so I can have a quick reprieve before the baby wakes.

Maybe if I had animal helpers and a Fairy Godsomeone...
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My heart wishes my kids had the perfect mum. The one who never misses appointments, who reads endless stories every night and who takes them on educationally enriching, yet entertaining trips every weekend. But my head knows the truth about me and the truth about my kids. My head knows that I get to watch them grow, and be their mummy, and that's enough. My head is grateful.

I’m never going to be the put together mum, because it’s not me. I’m the slightly scatty mum wearing yoga pants everywhere. But I’m also the only mum my kids have. I’m the one who kisses their scrapes, smooths away their troubles, plays games with them, cuddles them every single night and generally takes care of them. I’m the one who makes sure they never go hungry, even if occasionally they eat a 2 minute noodle omelette. I’m the one who will always be there. 

I may not be the perfect mum, and how the hell can I be? She’s a myth! But I’m their perfect mum, put together just enough for them. A dream is just a fantasy. I should just be happy I do the best I can. Because in reality? I do OK.

'I'll cross the stream, I have a dream.'
  I'm linking this post with Musings of the Misguided for this week's The Lounge, and also with A Parenting Life for Thankful Thursday. Pop over to visit and find some more fab blogs to read?

Tired of my introspect? Got a question? Want to see a specific post or topic from me? Why not comment below, or send me an email!