My life: The Musical

I wanted to blog for two days in a row. Just because.  I didn’t want to think too deeply or try to solve the worlds problems so I googled BLOG PROMPTS. Here is what got my attention…

“Cue the Violins

If your life were a movie, what would its soundtrack be like? What songs, instrumental pieces, and other sound effects would be featured on the official soundtrack album?”

Oh this is going to be fun! Firstly, the opening scenes would be an eclectic mix of rap and yodelling, because these are the extremes of my life. You see, my life IS a musical. Just ask my husband and my kids and my besties. I have a song for everything and if there is no song, then I make it happen. I have composed millions, but sadly, for the rest of the world, these have not been recorded. They have been one performance only type compositions. What a sad, sad thing.

Did you know that if you want to argue or tell someone off, if you sing it you can save a marriage? Try it. We are still married, so that is proof it works.

Ok, back to my soundtrack. There would have to be some screamy Transvision Vamp type scenes that offset the frequent drudgeries of motherhood.

The Angels “I wanna get out of this place”. Do you really need me to elaborate? Didn’t think so.

Spin Doctors “What time is it?” has to be there. I think I am driving my family mad whenever they ask me “What time is it?”  It might be 10am or 1pm but I will generally answer singing, “4.30. It’s not late, no, no, no. It’s just early, early, early.”

Rogers and Hammerstein – now the bulk of the soundtrack is found amidst these musical delights.  Poor Judd is dead, poor Judd Fryers deeaaard. It’s a grand night for siiiinging, the moon is flying high. Oh, the farmer and the cowman should be frieeeeeends.

Guns N’ Roses – “Take me back to the paradise city where the grass is green and the girls are pretty. Oh won’t you please take me home.” Don’t ask me why, but this song has literally been stuck in my head for about a decade. It just won’t go away, so I sing it. A lot. For no apparent reason.

Europe – The Final Countdown. For no lyrical reasons whatsoever, just “na na na naaaaaaa na na na na naaaaaaaaaa” reasons.

Over the Rainbow – just because I know how to play this on ukulele so it would add a new layer to my image – people might finally realise I am a groovy uke chic and want to hang with me more.

Crazy Frog. Jokes.

Crash Test Dummies – Mmm Mmmm Mmmm Mmmm- Let’s face it. When you are a parent you don’t always listen. Sometimes you just go into “mmmm” autopilot and end up agreeing to things that make kids happy and parents crazy.

Sound effects – none would be necessary to be honest. There are enough sound effects of bodily types, and household appliances, stomping feet, dropping pots and pans, screaming baby and the rhythmic sounds of shhhing and patting to last for a trilogy.

I could go on for hours with this. I might have to do a series…

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Playground therapy – thanks for listening

Cruising around the blogosphere and I stumbled across a daily prompt posts. The prompt was to write an ode to a playground. Didn’t that create an onslaught of trippy memories for me?

How do you write an ode to a place where a horse once bit you? Or where you would sit and watch in horror (maybe it was awe at the time?!) as the older girls from two doors around come to the park, not to swing on the tyre with me, but to fossick for the filthy cigarette butts all over the ground. They then sat there and smoked them, generally getting maybe one drag out of each if they were lucky. Was it worth it Mary-Anne and Kerry-Anne? (They were sisters and I did not make those names up.)

Then there was the time when I was invited to the school grounds to play after school by my good friend. Well, I should clarify. She was everyone’s “good friend”, because we were all too scared of her for her to be anything less.

Once I got there, she was with another “good friend” of mine. Apparently her idea of a play date was to set the two of us onto each other like dogs. A ‘fight to the death’ kind of play date; gladiator style. When I said I wasn’t interested in having a rumble, I was given a choice: I was to fight the less frightening of the two, or I would be attacked by my ”good friend”. This was some “play” at the park.  The memory of that day is etched in my mind (and nose) forever. Only now, it is actually funny.

As an adult, I have broken my nose at a playground on a long slide whilst on a work excursion with some teenagers. Blood again, lots of it, everywhere. I went to the fish market nearby, where there are hundreds of kilograms of ice and asked for some to ease my suffering. They said no. Nice, hey? I did not feel bad for one second that I left a trail of blood through their eatery.

Thankfully, playgrounds are much nicer places for me these days with my lads.  I must admit though, there are still dangers  lurking at these seemingly harmless venues; parents who would rather watch their device than their children, graffiti that can provoke the most interesting discussions with little people, and toilets that belong in nightmares.

I wonder what the word ‘playground’ conjures up in your mind?

Pre-google Parenting reminder

I have been thinking about the simple life a lot lately, with longing. As our lives this year have been a tad more hectic than we would like, some of the simple pleasures we grew accustomed to with the change of my pace of life these past few years, have been lost in translation somewhat. With uni, work, school, soccer, swimming (you know the drill) it has been a challenge to hold tight to the simplicity we value. I keep telling myself that it is a big year, that is halfway done, and as soon as I graduate it will be all worth it. True. However, I need to become more intentional about simplicity once more. This was a nice reminder – an old blog that I needed to revisit.
https://outnumberedmumma.wordpress.com/2013/05/19/pre-google-parenting-2/

I am here, under this pile of books and papers…

I have been somewhat MIA. University studies are proving to be more consuming than I anticpated (!!). With family and work, I have felt that my creative side starving and losing energy. I am truly grieving this and know that I must continue to pursue the creative life, keep feeding it, so that it gains strength and momentum in my life once more, despite academia, work and the everyday things that simply must be done.

So today, even though I have papers that must be done and readings that are piling higher than the sky (well, almost) I decided to enjoy the creativity that was going on around me. Matt and the lads jumped onto www.allfortheboys.com and were captivated by the Spy Week activities. I, however, felt ripped off. Here they were, doing the fun things that I have always loved to set up for them, WITHOUT MY ASSISTANCE!

This is a good thing, right?

Hmmmm…

Anyway, I had a friend ask me what I was doing tonight. I said I couldn’t play because I had to study. Then I got the guilts. I felt like a bad friend. So I contacted her and made her banana bread. She is about to arrive any minute. You see, I get obsessed with things and I forget that life is made up of MANY wonderful things – I just lose sight of them sometimes. It is hard to see (and breathe) under a pile of books, papers and highlighter pens. I get fixated, I go over and over and over sentences trying to get them “just right”. But the words of my ever wise husband ring in my ears…”You do not have the luxury of perfectionism this time. Not with a family and a job and uni.” He is right. I can do my best, but I must remember that boundaries are a good thing, they actually help me to suceed in ALL areas, rather than sacrificing some to succeed in others. Like my creativity.

So, it is here that I am reminded again that getting top grades (which, by the way, I rather like!) is not the goal of my year. The goal is to be balanced, whilst finishing my degree. I can finish it, even without a long line of High Distinctions. Credits, or even a Pass (GASP!) will still get me to the goal.

And here I was thinking that my few years of slowing things down reprogrammed my driven nature. Let’s try this again, shall we?

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The sound of silence

As I sit here on a Monday morning, gearing myself up for another day of study, I am reminded of how quiet my life is all of a sudden. And I am not happy about it.

I remember with gushy fondness the noise that once filled this house for what seemed like every moment of everyday. The big noise of little boys feet running around the house, the squabbles, the squeals of joy, the tears of tiredness. This was the hustle and bustle that was my life with two small lads. These lads are now at school. Every freaking day. And I miss them more than I could even try to describe. I miss the silly fun we used to have. I miss the snuggles before I put them down for a nap. I miss the happy sounds of them waking up. I miss the cute ways they used to say things. I miss the morning teas, the afternoon teas. I miss the mess. I miss them.

But I must remind myself, I still have them. While I cannot possibly remember every moment of their infant years, I feel the moments, even the ones that I cannot recall. I feel the closeness, I feel the dependency they once had. It is different now. Different will be my constant companion, because this is what raising kids is all about; being with them as they change and as they grow. They may not be here making noise, but no doubt they are filling the air with their delicious noise at school.

The little one we said goodbye to in October only 4 weeks after that line appeared is in my heart, and the baby that we hope to have is on my mind. If we are blessed to bring an extra one to our family one day, I am certain there will be moments that I will wish for silence like this again. But I am sure that I will also remind myself that those kinds of noises are the most beautiful sounds in the world, and that one day I will miss them.

Raising Explorers

The lads were in their element with loads of exploration this week. We visited a local fort and our city museum finally reopened after a massive renovation. The kids were armed with explorers tool kits/backpacks for their journey around the museum. Complete with binoculars, magnifying glass, casts of Tassie Devil skulls, gems, fossils and a sketch pad to record their findings, they were quite the adventurers!

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Gentleman at the Library

I am sitting at the local library doing some readings for a uni assignment. But I keep thinking about the gentleman who waited for me to catch up at the doors of the library so he could open the door and usher me in this morning.

It made my heart smile, and got me thinking about how sad it is that such acts of kindness are perceived by many to be old school, unnecessary and anti-equality. Personally, I want my lads when they are elderly, to be the gentlemen waiting at the door of the library for the young woman behind him, holding the door and ushering her in. I want them to be the ones who offer the pregnant lady a seat on the bus. I want them to be the ones who use terms like, “After you” on a regular basis and help little old ladies with their groceries. Call me old fashioned, but such acts add something beautiful to our lives. If only the man who held the door open today knew what an impact his simple gesture has made on me today. Something makes me believe he’d do it regardless, because he is a gentleman.

Long live chivalry!

P.S.
To top it off, as I walked OUT of the library, and elderly lady stopped me and said, “Don’t you look nice with your top and handbag?” This got us talking about my handmade recycled bag made by my friend, and made my heart sing at the impact words and kind gestures with strangers can have. This reminded me again as to why I talk to people wherever I go. Yes, it feels strange at times, but it can really set the tone, or even better, change the tone of their day.

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Frametastic Week

I’m lazing in bed this Sunday morning, listening to the giggles of my lads and the sounds of the coffee machine as Matt makes me a soy latte. It’s been a huge week! I’m struggling to work out the juggle with full time study, work, parenting, school involvement and everyday life necessities like cooking and cleaning. But I’m grateful I’ve got the opportunity to experiment with such a juggle, and I’m going to try and master this! It’s a short term juggle, just 8 intense months. I think I can… I think I can… I think I can…
I have attached a collage of the week gone.

We now have a new sponsor child, by the delightful name of Cloudi. Our Compassion sponsor child graduated to a new university program (which is a huge achievement and a cause of great celebration of the impact that sponsorship has on young lives and communities), so we have taken on a second child from Operation Uganda, as we know people on the ground and hear first hand of the wonderful things happening in these children’s lives. Check them out here.

The international cooking fun continues. More pics later on that tomorrow after our next experiment.

Asher had a free dress day at school and his class performed in the assembly. I was delighted to see him drumming, and totally loved how he wore his cap for the occasion!

And study. Lots of study, served with coffee.

Happy Sunday to you all x

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Far away friend

This morning while the boys are having some quiet time before school, I have thought of a dear friend, who now lives far too far away from me. When I was impressionable, young and potentially foolish, she took me under her wing. She was older than I, wiser than I and busier than I. Yet she made time and she made me laugh. She took me out to cafes that were far too sophisticated for a rough around the edges teenager that I was. While we sat there for hours at a time, she talked to me about life, and she listened to me while I shared my tumultuous teen/young adult “woes” with her. She believed in me, she spoke truth with grace and she challenged me when I needed it. She was then my Youth Pastor, but she became one of the greatest friends I have ever known in a very short time. The age gap has now closed (she would slap me for referring to an age gap!), our life stages are the same – so now instead of talking for hours we TRY and talk for hours as we are constantly and beautifully interrupted by our gorgeous children. We still laugh together in our loud and quirky ways (which makes me wonder as I type if even my laughing style was influenced by her!) she still speaks life into my life and she still inspires me. When I stop and think about her I realise how blessed I am to have a friendship that withstands the passage of time and distance like this one has. I miss her and I wish she lived up the road. But when I see her, its like we marinate in the long talks and the silly laughs. We soak it up, and that time together adds something great that lasts us until the next time. Grateful, incredibly grateful.

Here’s a treasured, albeit blurry moment of our boys becoming friends on our last visit together.

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