Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Gratitudes

Today I am thankful for:

a hardworking husband
kind friends
sweet blog comments
yummy dinner
time to sew - I made baby wipes and patched some pjs
a positive house valuation
seeds sewn that will bless us with an abundance of veg and herbs. (we hope)
a happy exuberant little lady who knows her mind (do you think this will make a nice dress Phoebe? - hold up a flowery top of mine - "No Mummy!" why not, I ask "I want tigers on it!") oh my sweet funny girl, I do love you!
An always on the go, laughing baby who can now use pincer grip! This mama had better get hoovering - the boy can pick up everything now! Oh gosh how I love seeing those chunky fingers pick up peas one by one.
Blue cornflowers in our wild patch, migrated from next door
the space we have here, and the potential
beautiful strong unique mamas who inspire me to be the best I can and to believe in my dreams! I truly believe that anything is possible.
The joy that is rippling through me these days and seems to have come out of nowhere! Is it the homeopathy working or the change in weather or shift in my perceptions? I don't know but I just feel so happy. Life is good.

And I hope that your life is good too! xx

Ezra in the garden today

An apology

Dear Readers,
I apologise for being moany, ungrateful and well, egotistical probably. I feel my last few posts say more about how anxious and stressed i've felt than anything else. I feel sure I've probably offended or turned off anyone who was still reading. I didn't explain what I meant very well with my feminism comment. It's been playing on my mind. Basically, I think juggling too many commitments is hard. Full stop. We women are now expected to do this by society, regardless of whether we choose to or not. I am not criticising working mums but the society that expects them to work, look after the house, raise their children, and all this without breaking a sweat. If you are also attachment parenting that must be doubly hard. Anyway, my sincere apologies. Normal service will now be resumed!

Laura xx

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Ezra has dinner

Snuggled

Out on a walk

Made for Ele

I'm quite proud of this. Need to do more. Working on a skirt for Phoebe at the moment.

Daddy kisses

My girl

Look how grown up she looks!

Posing

New hairband from Sarah

Under the sea

Playing in our playframe. A spot of yoga.

For Josie

Newborn cuteness for a lovely new babe

Made for Ele

I'm quite proud of this. Need to do more. Working on a skirt for Phoebe at the moment.

New Art

Beautiful painting by my very talented friend Louise of Slugs and Snails. It's gorgeous. Thank you xx

New art

Painting for my birthday from Sarah, made by her sister. Adam also made me beautiful jewellery. :). Thank you xx

Look no hands!

So we have crawling, kneeling , pulling up, we now also have letting go for a few seconds and standing on his own! Such an active boy! He also has five teeth now!

Kneeling

Just too cute!

Sleeping Phoebe

Taken when she went to bed all by herself at 4.30. at

Yum

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Finding a new rhythm

My life seems to be somewhat taken over at the moment by trying to meet the needs of my little ones. It leaves very little room for anything else. I am tring to work out some kind of rhythm that feels natural for us, and will enable Ezra to sleep for longer than a few minutes at a time, whilst retaining my children's autonomy. I am also trying to work out what i want to focus on myself. I have such small windows of truly free time that i really need to prioritise to avoid wasting it and this doesn't feel like its being very successful at the moment.

House-wise, we have had another meeting with the developers, though we do not know much more. Some people have expressed interest but they are still waiting to hear official confirmation from the other three houses (one of which is vacant) and we have told them the stretch of land we would consider selling. I did say right out that we did not want to sell but could not really say for sure until we know how much money is involved. It could be life changing for us really.

I am reading Sleepless in America at the moment, a book about children't sleep, and a lot of it seems useful for me but i have some doubts over the scheduling part of the book and the fact it recommends naps for children up to the age of five. If Phoebe naps at any time of day she goes to bed later, a lot later, and it says to avoid this too. I don't know how. I like what it says generally and am hoping that when i've read the whole book i can integrate the bits that fit with our general philosophy. I have so much reading to do in general as i've borrowed so many books from friends and i really should give them back. This is taking up the bulk of my free time right now.

Not doing great with food at the moment. I really do want to change that. Not dreadful, still better that the average person off the street, but not where i want us to be. Though our bulk orders are helping as we now have loads of rice, millet, beans, pulses, dried fruit, nuts, seeds, herbal teas etc. I'm loving Cape Malay Rooibos Chai which is now my drink of choice. Really want to increase our raw intake again. As always its pleasing Phoebe thats tricky and i'm torn between a radical unschooling type philosophy of 'let her eat whatever she wants' and my want to try and get her onto what i would deem a better diet. Again, she eats quite well - no junk food, hardly nothing processed, no crisps etc - but not exactly where i would want us to be. Am i being a controlling mother? Is there some medium inbetween the two? I am never good at moderation! I actually like labels. I like pigeon holing myself. Something i am working on - i need to embrace the term eclectic!

I think i need to spend some time clarifying our goals and thoughts on things, discussing with my husband and really prioritising based on where we are right now. Though i have felt this way for months!

My Mum has stayed for a few days and enabled us to get on with house stuff - starting to clear some of the junk that was taking over our lives. My husband's parents are coming up this weekend and will hopefully be keen to help out in the garden, planting, mowing and playing with the children. Hope we have nice weather.

I really do feel incredibly lucky to be in the position i'm in really. To be able to be with my children so fully is a gift. To not have to worry (too much) about bills or having to work. I read recently a book which says that feminists got it wrong and we can't truly 'have it all'. I honestly believe they have it right. I know its completely contraversial but i really think that in trying to juggle too many things - children, house, work - something has to give. I wish everyone had the freedom to make that choice.

This has turned into a bit of a ramble, but hey, thats what you get with me in real life anyway. Now off to get on with some other things. I shall be clearing up the detritus of the day whilst trying not too daydream too much about running away (with my family) to live in some rv/commune/eco house in the woods.

Bye for now.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Two weeks ago...



He is soooo much quicker now!

Here's the link if you'd like to watch it on the site: Ezra Crawling at 8 1/2 months

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

9 months

Dear Ezra, today you are nine months old. You are growing so quickly and are oh so strong! You started crawling about three weeks ago and have been pulling yourself up to standing on the furniture (and pretty much anything else you can find) for the past two weeks. Now you are starting to take baby steps holding my hands. You even stand up and then let go to see what will happen!
You have three teeth and the most beautiful smile. You are such a happy baby and you like to babble. You aren't too sure about foods yet. You like to join in at meal times but we get lots of funny faces and squished up veggies. That's ok though as you still love your milk.
You also love being in the sling (and have yet to try a pushchair) although if we're home you mostly prefer being on the floor so you can explore. You like getting into everything!
Sweet Ezra, we're so glad you 're here! You fill our days with laughter and such happiness. Your sister adores you (even if she isn't keen to share her favourite toys) and is so keen to help you if you are sad. We love the way you crawl about (with one knee and one foot often), the way you are so proud when you stand, your kisses and cuddles, and your eagerness to join in with everything.
Ezra, we love you so so much and we hope you always know it!

******************************

thank you everyone for your comments on our house issue. They have provoked much discussion here and I hope to update you on our thought soon. We feel blessed to have so many people offer their thoughts. xx

9 months

Dear Ezra, today you are nine months old. You are growing so quickly and are oh so strong! You started crawling about three weeks ago and have been pulling yourself up to standing on the furniture (and pretty much anything else you can find) for the past two weeks. Now you are starting to take baby steps holding my hands. You even stand up and then let go to see what will happen!
You have three teeth and the most beautiful smile. You are such a happy baby and you like to babble. You aren't too sure about foods yet. You like to join in at meal times but we get lots of funny faces and squished up veggies. That's ok though as you still love your milk.
You also love being in the sling (and have yet to try a pushchair) although if we're home you mostly prefer being on the floor so you can explore. You like getting into everything!
Sweet Ezra, we're so glad you 're here! You fill our days with laughter and such happiness. Your sister adores you (even if she isn't keen to share her favourite toys) and is so keen to help you if you are sad. We love the way you crawl about (with one knee and one foot often), the way you are so proud when you stand, your kisses and cuddles, and your eagerness to join in with everything.
Ezra, we love you so so much and we hope you always know it!

******************************

thank you everyone for your comments on our house issue. They have provoked much discussion here and I hope to update you on our thought soon. We feel blessed to have so many people offer their thoughts. xx

Sunday, 2 May 2010

A dilemma

What would you do in the following scenario:

You have a long garden - about 200ft. Its half lawn, shrubs etc but the bottom has no fencing between you and neighbours and is basically a huge veggie patch, compost bins and fruit trees. Its quiet and peaceful and you love it.

The house is another matter. Its fairly narrow and dark and each room is gloomy and decorated in dark colours with an 80s theme going on. You long for light and air and brightness. The kitchen is a thin galley and badly needs replacing. You really want to extend into the pointless shady courtyard where nothing grows but it means borrowing a lot of money. You will be repaying it for years. You consider moving instead. You feel very anxious and troubled by all this as you are at home most of the time with your children and the house is depressing you.

One day you receive a letter from some developers. They come to talk to your neighbour and you get to chat to them face to face. They seem nice and friendly and professional. They are going to make you an offer on around half of your garden. It will be a pretty substantial amount of money. Actually quite life changing as it will allow you to extend and renovate your house exactly as you want without having to borrow money, and you will still have money left over. But you will lose that stretch of land. Perhaps you should sell it and use the money to move instead of renovating? What is the house like without the garden? its the reason you moved here in the first place.

You really wish your weekends were full of playing and relaxing and gardening and knitting and trips out and visits to family and friends. Instead they are full of the constant question of whether to spend the time cleaning the house which never looks clean - how rewarding! - or start stripping wallpaper/dismantling monstrosities or work on the garden. The lawn does take an age to mow!

As a result you never have any time to yourself and feel you are going a bit stir crazy. Most of the days are spend trying to fit in everyone's needs whilst making steady plods forwards with the organisation/renovation of the house. But its just not really happening. Your needs aren't being met. You feel your children are missing out on life experiences as they're stuck in with you all the time. Every room in this house needs redecorating. It will take a long long time and thats a lot of time to not spend enjoying your children who are growing oh so quickly!

What on earth do you do?

This is our current dilemma. I have expressed it as honestly as i can and would really like to hear your thoughts. Yes it will probably only confuse me further (as Gina predicted ;) but I feel i need to hear more people's thoughts on this right now. Perhaps someone will think of a new angle or an idea i haven't yet thought of. The anxiety of this decision is kind of consuming me now and i'm doing my best to keep calm and carry on but then each act of love towards the house seems a bit worthless when we may not stay here and if we do we may lose the thing we love about it so much. I know i'm being incredibly ungrateful in saying this. I'm really not though. In a way its win-win as we'll either keep the garden or have a lot of money to re-do the house or move. Its just the decision making process and the what ifs that are getting to me. I promise this will be the last ungrateful moany post from me. So i repeat my question and meditate hoping for an answer:

What do I do?

Edited to add: It doesn't help that i'm a little bit in love with this house and kind of wish we could just make them an offer and move in right now!

A dilemma

What would you do in the following scenario:

You have a long garden - about 200ft. Its half lawn, shrubs etc but the bottom has no fencing between you and neighbours and is basically a huge veggie patch, compost bins and fruit trees. Its quiet and peaceful and you love it.

The house is another matter. Its fairly narrow and dark and each room is gloomy and decorated in dark colours with an 80s theme going on. You long for light and air and brightness. The kitchen is a thin galley and badly needs replacing. You really want to extend into the pointless shady courtyard where nothing grows but it means borrowing a lot of money. You will be repaying it for years. You consider moving instead. You feel very anxious and troubled by all this as you are at home most of the time with your children and the house is depressing you.

One day you receive a letter from some developers. They come to talk to your neighbour and you get to chat to them face to face. They seem nice and friendly and professional. They are going to make you an offer on around half of your garden. It will be a pretty substantial amount of money. Actually quite life changing as it will allow you to extend and renovate your house exactly as you want without having to borrow money, and you will still have money left over. But you will lose that stretch of land. Perhaps you should sell it and use the money to move instead of renovating? What is the house like without the garden? its the reason you moved here in the first place.

You really wish your weekends were full of playing and relaxing and gardening and knitting and trips out and visits to family and friends. Instead they are full of the constant question of whether to spend the time cleaning the house which never looks clean - how rewarding! - or start stripping wallpaper/dismantling monstrosities or work on the garden. The lawn does take an age to mow!

As a result you never have any time to yourself and feel you are going a bit stir crazy. Most of the days are spend trying to fit in everyone's needs whilst making steady plods forwards with the organisation/renovation of the house. But its just not really happening. Your needs aren't being met. You feel your children are missing out on life experiences as they're stuck in with you all the time. Every room in this house needs redecorating. It will take a long long time and thats a lot of time to not spend enjoying your children who are growing oh so quickly!

What on earth do you do?

This is our current dilemma. I have expressed it as honestly as i can and would really like to hear your thoughts. Yes it will probably only confuse me further (as Gina predicted ;) but I feel i need to hear more people's thoughts on this right now. Perhaps someone will think of a new angle or an idea i haven't yet thought of. The anxiety of this decision is kind of consuming me now and i'm doing my best to keep calm and carry on but then each act of love towards the house seems a bit worthless when we may not stay here and if we do we may lose the thing we love about it so much. I know i'm being incredibly ungrateful in saying this. I'm really not though. In a way its win-win as we'll either keep the garden or have a lot of money to re-do the house or move. Its just the decision making process and the what ifs that are getting to me. I promise this will be the last ungrateful moany post from me. So i repeat my question and meditate hoping for an answer:

What do I do?

Edited to add: It doesn't help that i'm a little bit in love with this house and kind of wish we could just make them an offer and move in right now!