Good night my little two year old.
Tomorrow you will wake and be three.
You will smile and clap and giggle at Easter eggs and presents.
You are a beautiful, bubbly, impatient, helpful, petulant, intelligent tiny human being.
You are so petite that people are surprised When they hear you talk.
You speak so clearly and youhave a way with words.
You are so adorable it hurts.
Everywhere we go, you get comments on your blonde curls. Your smile. Your cheeky laugh.
It all went by in the blink of an eye.
When did you go from a tiny little baby in a hug-a-bub, keeping me awake at all hours to a little three year old as of tomorrow, that climbs into my bed in the middle of the night, voice all muddled with sleep asking for s snuggle and curling in against my stomach.
You still can curl up in the space where you were once held in my belly.
Seeing you like that, feeling you there, you’re still just a baby.
My beautiful, gorgeous, fantastic, impulsive, hilarious baby.
You just amaze me. Every day you say something new, do something new, something sweet.
You love your brother with all your heart and you would do anything for him, as much as he drives you to tears.
I can’t even say how much you complete my family baby girl.
And tomorrow, you’ll wake up my 3 year old. A new day. A new year. New journeys.
You’ll be in my arms as long as you fit, and even after that.
I love you.
Risotto. In the microwave. In 20 minutes.
I’ll show you how!
Heaped tablespoon of butter – melt it in a microwave safe bowl – 30 secs
(Side note this fantastic container is a Tupperware winter range and freezer, oven and microwave proof – no I don’t sell it anymore)
Finely dice a medium sized onion.
Mix that in to the butter.
Microwave for a minute.
Add a cup of Risotto rice to the butter and onion.
Microwave for another minute
Add 3 cups of stock. I use vegetable.
In the microwave for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile organise whatever it is you’re adding to your Risotto.
Tonight it is avocado and chicken so I dice the chicken and chuck it in a pan.
Stir. Don’t drop the spoon.
Put on for another 8 minutes.
Stir through 1/3 cup of grated parmesan cheese.
And anything else.
In this case a chicken breast diced and grilled and half an avocado sliced.
Or like this one: roast pumpkin and mushroom
What will you add?
I can’t stand fancy gardens.
The more I see them, the more I just don’t understand.
They don’t serve any purpose.
Much the same as empty yards.
We have an empty back yard.
There are no plants in it at all.
I dislike it immensely – there is nowhere to hide and climb and explore.
One of my favorite things to do as a child was climb an old eucalyptus tree that grew in our garden. And then we’d trek through the ferns under the palms to the secret rock you could sit on and watch the back of the house through the birds of Paradise but not be seen by anyone if you were careful.
You could collect Bush lemons or pick wattle.
There were so many things to do and the block was not overly big -1000m2 which I think is just a little over average.
It was not a Fancy Garden and that’s what made it a perfect one.
I can’t really do anything to our yard. I’m sure my landlords would let me – they’re fine with veggie patches and chooks – but we just can’t justify spending a lot of money on a yard that’s not ours and realistically we’d like to own our own in the next 5 years or so.
It’s going to hurt enough that I’ll have to rebuild my veggie gardens somewhere else and what if the new people that live here don’t look after the ones here and I just don’t want to think about it.
I can’t build gardens but I can build patches.
These are just jumbles of herbs and flowers and fruit and veggies.
Then my kids can see something new in each one.
And they’re probably a bit too packed but they’ll need fertilizer anyway so that’s not really an issue.
They’ll become layers of deliciousness and excitement to find new things.
There’s snow peas, brocoli, strawberries, lavender, lemon thyme, basil, mixed lettuce, violas, rosemary, nasturtiums, thyme, carrots and tomatoes.
I love seeing the kids faces when they find something ripe or new.
Also, these flowers? Totally edible. Chuck them in a salad.
That’s how I feel right now.
I am so over my children it is not funny.
They are testing every fucking boundary and I am not dealing with it very well at all.
Lola more so than Dex and I guess that’s an almost three year old thing but it’s not fun or funny.
I feel like I can’t do anything with them, nothing is ever done without an argument and I feel like I’m turning into a parent I don’t want to be because they just won’t.fucking.listen.
It’s harder at the moment because of my surgery I can’t pick her up.
I can’t physically put her anywhere.
Or remove her from a situation.
I can’t hold onto her to stop her running away or touching things she shouldn’t.
She’s not having a birthday party as of tonight because of how she’s behaving and I was looking forward to it.
I miss friends.
No one just drop in and visits.
I’m feeling sorry for myself and wondering if people even like my company because I feel I’m always the one trying to hang out with people.
I’m probably just overreacting because I feel useless at the moment.
And I don’t fit in my workplace.
I don’t do anything outside children.
I’m just in a hole.
I am motivated to change.
I feel like it’s been building up for a while. Trying to eat better.
Getting involved with a local farm where you can work for produce.
Growing a (small) veggie garden last season.
But I want to do more.
This will house a couple of chickens (to be let out during the day) for eggs and food scraps
That corner will have another veggie patch – it will be made of besablocks so the holes can have marigolds to keep the bugs away
These are herbs and edible flowers
This is waiting for more plants :)
The top photo is our tomatoes which reseeded themselves and our heirloom carrots.
I want a tea garden. And I want to grow all our veggies
With these I’m going to try and do the dirtless root veggies – potato, sweet potato and yakon.
I just want my kids to grow up knowing what real food is and where it comes from.
I want to to be fun and I want them to understand the feeling of eating something they’ve grown.
I don’t want to rely on supermarkets.
I want my money to stay local.
There are things I thought I had considered but didn’t really. There were things I hadn’t considered at all.
So I thought I’d write them down for you.
Not to scare you, because honestly I’m so glad I got them done.
The things I should have thought more about:
1. Food. I made food for the week I was away. I can’t cook. It hurts to lift the frying pan. I can’t put things in the microwave because you’re not allowed to lift your arms above head height. I can’t reach the high bowls, mugs. The coffee was housed in a higher cupboard. The kettle was too heavy at the awkward angle.
A MOTHER WHO CAN’T HAVE HER COFFEE
2. Driving. I knew I wouldn’t be able to drive for a weekish.
I have a manual. I’m 10 days post op now and I’m deciding to still not drive. I have and it hurts.
Things I didn’t think about at all:
* cleaning. You can’t. You can’t scrub pots. You can’t vacuum, wipe down tables – fucking sucks. I know it sounds like heaven but you have a 2yo and a 4yo running around shit gets dirty. Very dirty. I’m not going to lie I have actually put the vacuum cleaner between my legs (think the classic image of witch riding a broom except if the broom bit was at the front) and I squeezed my legs tight and walked around like that to attempt some form of vacuuming.
* groceries. Nope. Trolleys are too heavy and awkward. You can’t carry the bags.
* going out in public with children who know you’re physically diminished. Ohmygod. Just don’t. You can’t run. You can’t confine them to a trolley because the trolley is too heavy. You can’t (gently) drag them back to you because your arms aren’t strong enough. Unless you’re ready to bribe with juice and donuts I recommend you stay at home.
*you can’t pick your children up. This has hit me on more than one level. My children know I cannot pick them up to put them in their room or remove them from a situation they are in that they shouldn’t be. I have never had them test their limits so much. But the big one is I can’t pick them up to snuggle them. To carry their sleepy bodies to bed. To comfort them. I’m certain my children are acting out so much because they just want so much for me to pick them up and hold them.
The last thing I didn’t expect is how useless I feel. Not cooking or cleaning or driving – sounds amazing right? But it’s not. TD comes home and does everything and I feel in the way and hopeless and I don’t like it – I’m not that kind of person. I can’t wait to be able to be independent again.
Overall I am definitely not regretting it. But I probably would have planned it better had I known – which is why I’m telling you ;)
Today at the shops Dexter was looking around and noticing the color of other people’s skin.
There are big Indian and Nigerian communities around our area as well as Aboriginal.
He said to me “we all have white skin.” And held his arm next to mine.
I replied “we all have different colors” And showed him how his, mine and Lola’ s are different.
He seemed satisfied with that.
In the car, he brought it up again.
“Why do we all have white skin that is the same but different?”
I’m not the kind of parent who says “that’s not something we talk about.” I think kids should know. Skin color is no different to eye color or hair color.
And so I told him, it depends on our mums and dads and where is the world we’re from.
And then I told him “you know what’s even more important than skin color though? How kind you are. And how helpful you are. And how you share and look after people. And how when someone is sad -when someone is sad you give them a cuddle and love them and make them happy? – yes honey you do – and when you’re swimming with someone and there are sharks and crocodiles all around you don’t let them be by themselves even if you swim faster? “
Yes Dexter. All those things are more important than the color of your skin.
There are lots of inspirational posts about never giving up on your dreams.
There are also lots of inspirational posts with quotes along the lines of “A goal without a time frame is just a dream”
I’m okay with having both.
I think they’re both highly necessary to keep driving us.
I have dreams that I revisit often enough that it keeps me on track with my current goals.
Right now, goals are financial and involve paying things off.
My dreams revolve around being in the fitness industry, living on a property that allows me to have a veggie garden big enough to feed all of us, chickens/ducks, sheep and a couple of cows.
In my dreams only 4-ish days a week of work is required and the rest is spent working around my home. My work hours are focused around the hours in which my children are at school.
I know these dreams enough to know the costs that go with them.
I revisit them. I look at properties. I look at work.
I know these dreams so well that it makes me giddy thinking about getting closer to achieving them. Every time a goal set is accomplished, that is one step closer to the dream.
One day maybe the dream will become a goal. A time frame will be set. A specific plan of achievement will be mapped out. It could be said parts of that are already being done as I’m already doing my Cert III in fitness.
But I’m okay with dreams being dreams and one day becoming goals. Maybe at the point when it does become a goal, I’ll settle on a new dream.
If something isn’t a dream first, what makes you excited to achieve it?
Where is the anticipation and the excitement and the will to plan it out and work for something you’ve wanted forever?
So I had people guess what my surgery was.
I didn’t say it before hand because quite frankly, I didn’t want to deal with people’s negative Bullshit.
There’s my surgery.
I will answer questions if you like but it was only yesteryear so have patience :)
So the other day we’re sitting at Nanna’s dining table with Lola and Dex was tiptoeing along the edges of tiles nearby.
Talking about their genitalia – as children are often inclined to.
Lola informs Nanna “I’ve got a vagina. and Dexter has a penis!”
To which Dexter adds “Yep! I do!” And wiggles in our general direction to emphasize the point.
Lola then sits and thinks for a second before telling Nanna “And Daddy has a BIIIIIIIIG penis!”
Because obviously everyone’s bits need to be discussed at the dining table.
Not to be outdone though because the next day:
In the parent’s room at the local shopping centre and we’re in the toilet 0 the one that has the small toilet and the big toilet.
Lola was on the little toilet and Dex was on the big toilet.
Dex had finished so I decided to do a wee also.
Once Lola had finished, we washed our hands and we’re walking out and Dex loudly says “Lola’s got a little vagina. Mummy has a BIG vagina. Little vagina’s don’t have hair on them.”
Geez, thanks guys.
P.S. These are things we discuss at home. We always talk about how it’s not appropriate for anyone to touch your vagina or penis. About how it is yours and yours alone and to tell either Mummy or Daddy if anyone touches you and makes you feel yucky.
We don’t shame any particular body part and all parts are talked about openly.