Listmania #1: Currently I am

listmania-2-550Currently I am:

Reading: The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton & Slim for Life by Jason Vale

Listening to: Juan Luis Guerra

Laughing at: My toddler’s madness

Swooning over: New Kathmandu bag that I got for free because they made an absolute balls-up of my online order & wanted to “restore my faith” – faith restored! Also Season 8 Grey’s Anatomy 🙂

Planning: Autumn hols in Nundle, New England (NSW)

Eating lots of: Healthy stuff!

Feeling: Positive

Discovering: Lots of inspiring blogs and bloggers

Looking at: The beautiful mountains in the distance when I go for my evening fitness walk (soon to be run!)

Wearing: Right now? Truth? Over-sized white harem pants with an ancient t-shirt and pink ankle socks. Yummy mummy I am not! 🙂

Cooking: Have planned to Wednesday thus far – fritatta, felafel and sweet potato, zuchinni & chickpea tagine.

Wondering: Will the baby wake up before I finish this post? If she does will I be able to squeeze in another episode of McDreamy while I feed her, before Miss M arrives back from morning out with Papa? Ya know, the important stuff…

Trying out: New recipes. And experimenting with my Christmas present-to-self juicer. Now totally craving my juice every morning!

Linking in with Deb at Home Life Simplified for Listmania

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I’m Grateful 3/52

Oh. My. Gaaaaaaawd. I wish I had sat down to write this post yesterday, it would have been a whole lot easier! Yesterday was a Good Day. It began with a  lovely friend coming to visit armed with chocolate profiteroles and blueberry custard danishes from the local artisan bakery (not just any old bakery, ya know!). What day wouldn’t go well with a start like that? Fabulous!

Today, however, is another story. Poo on the floor . Wee on the booster seat. The usual baby sick. Those things I can handle, yadda yadda. But throw in the HEAT!! The HUMIDITY!! And a very fractious toddler (arghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh *silent mummy scream*) and I am struggling a little to be all bright and grateful for my lot right now. We should have tidied up the toys last night, folded a bit more washing. I hate waking up to chaos and try hard for that not to happen, it just sets me up all wrong. I didn’t manage to juice until late morning either, and I think that had an impact. Body craving good stuff and not happy with just a cup of hot water with lemon and a slice of marmite on toast until 11am. Silly.

So. About all I can do at this moment is sit in the moment and try to be Mindful through gritted teeth. In this very moment, nobody is screaming. I feel a nice breeze at last. And, breeeeeeeathe….

I am thinking back to my first grateful post of this year and counting a few of the thousands of things that have actually gone right today…OK, could be worse!

I am grateful for Tractor Ted and to my Auntie in Aberdeen, Scotland, for sending it to Miss M, who is (I hope not suspiciously) quietly watching it as I type. We are still TV free (as in, it’s not plugged into the aerial). It’s been months now and I don’t miss it at all, although I do still get my fix of occasional docos and British crime dramas on ABC iView. But show me a mum that wouldn’t collapse in a hopeless, sobbing heap now and then if it wasn’t for the existence of some nice DVDs or In the Night Garden on the iViewer…if you are She, please tell me how!!

I’m grateful that my husband is finishing work 45 minutes early this evening. Those 45 minutes may be the difference between this mama’s thread snapping and (relative) sanity.

And that’s about all I can manage for gratefuls this afternoon!

Ommmmmmmmmmmm….

I’m linking in with 52 Weeks of Grateful hosted by Maxabella

A Grand Adventure

I love entering competitions,I love to travel and I love to blog, so when this travel-themed blog comp hosted by moneysupermarket.com  came up, I just couldn’t resist having a go!

What’s my dream grand adventure right now? I want to take my family backpacking in Southeast Asia! I’m Scottish and my German husband and I met while backpacking in Australia, where we now live. We have both travelled pretty extensively in Southeast Asia, individually and last time as a couple on our extended 7 month honeymoon in 2009, which included Burma, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Indonesia. We both LOVE travelling and we’re not about to let the fact that we now have two little daughters stop us! We know it won’t be quite the same as before – doubtless we shall face many new and exciting challenges as parents – but we also know for sure that it’s still possible, and we can’t wait to share the world with our girls. What better education can there be? And how much fun we are going to have!!

Thailand

Somewhere in Thailand, can’t remember where, so many beautiful beaches!

They are still very small and at the time we plan to go they will be just under 2 years and 4 years. We’ve never travelled overseas with little people before, so we want to keep it quite simple for this first trip. We’ll travel from Bangkok to Kuala Lumpur or vice versa. That will be our epic activity – the whole distance overland with two littlies, by as cheap a means as possible in order to stretch the cash as far as possible. We’ve always travelled budget and with the locals, and we know how to keep the costs down. There’ll be buses and overnight trains, which will be a great adventure for the girls. We’ll visit some islands for the scuba diving (special expenditure!) and snorkeling, and fit in heaps of beach time and temples. Best of all, the food!! I can’t wait to introduce my girls to the fabulous Thai and Malay street hawker tastes, sights and sounds – and of course that’s cheap food, which will help us to keep the budget in check. We’ll take in Melaka, Pengang, the Perhentian Islands (Besar is my favourite place in the world, can only hope it hasn’t changed too much!), Koh Phi Phi, Koh Pha-Ngam, crazy Bangkok…now I’m also thinking of Pai and Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand but that might have to wait until the next trip!

Perhentian Besar, Malaysia

Perhentian Besar, Malaysia

Just writing about it gets me so excited. Time for a little daydream with my old battered Southeast Asia on a Shoestring and a cuppa before the baby wakes up. I am so ready for our Grand Family Adventure. Bring it on!

I’m grateful 2/52

2012-12-04 19.31.04Today I’m beyond grateful for the bedroom aircon in which my baby and toddler are now (finally) napping; and grateful, not to mention incredibly relieved, that our landlord agreed to install ceiling fans and a front door screen just a few weeks ago, in time for this hideously hot spell. BOM forecast a high of 36 degrees today but having just been out to hang washing (burned my fingers on the metal bits of the clothes pegs!) I reckon it’s higher than that. It’s HOT, especially for a Scottish lass!

So I’ll be grateful when the sun sets. Pictured is a local beach. I’m grateful that I live in such a very beautiful part of the world.

You have no cause for anything but gratitude and joy

~ Buddha ~

I’ve shared that one before but I love it so much I’m sharing it again! When I get down to the brass tacks of my life, it’s so very true.

I’m linking in with 52 Weeks of Grateful hosted by Maxabella

Happy birthday, blog! How would you feel if I flogged you a lil bit?

In a few short days The Mindful Mum will be one year old – happy first birthday, blog of mine!! I didn’t think you’d last this long, nor that I’d like having you as much as I do. Nor that I’d meet so many lovely, insightful, helpful and inspiring bloggers along the way. Blogging has been such a great experience for me on so many levels!

After a fast paced 2k with the double buggy this lunchtime, I was forced inside by the rain. On finding Miss M still awake – oh, the horror! – I went into a slight trance while pacing the double buggy up and down the lounge room in a desperate attempt to make her nap. I was thinking about having completed one whole year of blogging, and ended up mulling over the idea of trying to make some useful free stuff / lil bit of cash out of my blog. After 15 minutes of trotting around the coffee table and toys, Miss M was asleep and I was thinking hard. Both girls are now asleep but not for long I am sure, so having quickly eaten some lunch (french green lentil cottage pie with rocket salad, nom nom!) I am just going to do a quick brain dump here and see what comes out!

I’m really not sure where I stand on sponsored posts. I have unsubscribed from several blogs in recent months because they seemed to be just flogging stuff all the time and I missed their regular posts. I remember one week I got about four posts in my inbox telling me how important and wonderful life insurance is, especially if I went with this one particular broker, and each one ended with an almost identical line saying it was all the blogger’s own opinion etc etc. Each to their own and more power to you, but that’s not for me.

I would limit the number of posts dedicated to any kind of “monetization”. One blog I liked a lot seems to only write sponsored or giveaway posts now and that’s not the direction I want to head in. Although again, more power to them 🙂

I don’t expect to make wads of cash but it would certainly be nice to make enough to buy books with now and then (I am always wanting to add to my stash of household management and organisation tomes – I feel so good and organised when I purchase them and they look so nice on my shelves!). So I’m thinking about the affiliate route, starting with Amazon or Book Depository. Maybe some ebook affiliations too, I’ve seen a few around.

I would also quite like some useful free stuff! Who wouldn’t? Come on, be honest! 😉 I had a very lucky year in the giveaway stakes in 2012 and won heaps of prizes, mostly from other blogs. I only enter for things I’d really like to win and it’s generally things for the home or for my girls, or stuff like toiletries and sunscreen that are useful for all the family. Oh and I’ve won several books for me, which was lovely! I’m told that you don’t necessarily need to be a big blog in order to “connect” with brands so maybe it’s something I could look into. I’d want to keep it relevant though e.g. we don’t play computer games and I’m not into certain kinds of toys and dolls. I’d be steering clear of anything that’s not within my value system or lifestyle.

Of course I’d need more exposure and more traffic to do any of the above. I’d have to flog my blog. So I’d definitely need a Facebook page for The Mindful Mum and therein lies part of my dilemma. Firstly, I’m not sure I’m ready to “out” my blog to all my friends and family, as only a select few know that I blether about my life and random thoughts on the internet and although I’m not yet sure, I think if I had a page it would be known to those who are my friends on my personal page? Secondly, I’m not sure I want to be spending more time on Facebook.

Hmmm…

OK, my time is up!

I’d love to know your thoughts on this topic, either as a blogger or reader of blogs, or both! Thank you 🙂

Motherhood is a choice I make

MotherhoodSo I came across this image in my social networking travels today and what really caught my attention was the “you”.

Motherhood is a choice you make every day…

I’ve blogged quite a lot about my having issues with resentment, particularly my being resentful of my husband. But it occurred to me just now, maybe I’m not actually resentful of him. After all, what is there to be resentful of? He’s a bloody great husband and father, totally hands on, always involved. I know not everyone has this kind of support from their partner. No, I don’t actually think I am resentful of him. I can’t resent him for being out of the house during the day, he’s working to support us. I also know that if I told him I wanted to go back to work in some capacity, he would support me. He’s told me too that if I want Miss M to go into daycare now and then so I get a break and just be with the baby, so be it, he’s ok with that. So what exactly am I angry and resentful of him for? He hears me, and he’s willing to discuss options.

I’m suddenly thinking that really if I’m honest it’s all about me. I think I’m just knackered, and pissed off with being on call 24/7 and I take it out on him because who else is there to take it out on. Pissed off with always being the one that decides what’s for dinner and makes sure we all have clean clothes. That does all the research about food and tantrums and sleep and so on and so forth and so ON. That sorts out the playdates and the doctors appointments. Yadda yadda. All the SAHM stuff.

But it’s what I choose to do. Firstly I chose to have my beautiful, much-loved daughters. However, I have also chosen the SAHM lifestyle. I believe it is the best thing for my daughters and for my family as a whole. Yet it looks like two years in I still need to find a way of coming to terms with the actual living of this lifestyle. Does that make any sense?

Gosh another little spark went off in my head. I’m not doing anything for me at the moment. I’ve started making sure that I go for a fitness walk every day (aiming for that 10k run in September) and that’s helping a lot. But there isn’t anything else. I’m pretty sure that if I started thinking about what I want for myself  and acting on it, then maybe I’d be able to do all the other stuff without feeling resentful – not of my husband, but of my own choice to be a SAHM.

I think it’s about time I sat down and figured a few things out. Last week I bought a Create Your Incredible Year Workbook & Planner and I haven’t given myself time to look at it properly yet but it looks brilliant and comes highly recommended. It’s about really working out what you want and need from your year, and actually making it happen.

Time for this mama to start figuring a few things out!

Do not stand at my grave and weep

Tomorrow is my brother’s birthday. He died in a car accident in 1997, a few weeks after his 20th birthday. I miss him very much still. I was only 22 myself, and it took me many, many years to even begin to come to terms with his death; I didn’t handle it well at all. Finally, just a few years ago, I made the long overdue decision to focus his birthday each year, rather than on the anniversary of his death, which is later this month. I don’t dwell on the pain any longer; it’s still enough to make me catch my breath around this time even after so many years, but it doesn’t ravage me as it once did. I remember instead his smile and feel so grateful that shortly before he died we were able to spend some very special times together. I think about the good stuff. I’m grateful that I had his love for the time that I had it.

I wanted to share this poem here today because it might help someone else as it has helped me. I found it in the Boxing Day 2004 tsunami memorial garden on Koh Phi Phi, Thailand, in 2009.

Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow
I am the diamond glint on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you wake in the morning hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circling flight
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry
I am not there, I did not die.

~Mary Frye~

Thousands of things

This week I am grateful that so many little things go right every day, even though I may sometimes feel like the days are pretty rough with Miss A being only 6 weeks old and Miss M being, well, her usual toddler self! This image came up on my newsfeed this week and it’s a great thought to begin the New Year with. So, today I am grateful that nobody is sick, the water and electric are on, breastfeeding continues to go so well, sun was shining so we could go for a walk, didn’t run out of milk, managed to get a wash on, flooded the laundry but caught it in time and no serious damage, internet working, remembered to hang the washing out, Miss M napped easily, Miss A is slept well too, and I got some much-needed down time….the list is endless when I really think about it! For that, I am grateful.

This is post 1/52 of 52 Weeks of Grateful

2013: Bring it on!!

My word is calm, and I’m keeping my goals simple and realistic, while ensuring they still pose a challenge:

1, Run 10k during local running festival in September

2, Juice daily

3, Read the 10 Aussie Books to Read Before You Die

4, Take part in 52 Week of Grateful again, but this time posting 52/52

I have a couple of others but they’re not really specific and measureable, as we all know goals should be! I shall mention them regardless, however, as they run within everything else I do:

a, I still get resentful at times, mostly of my husband. I need to work on that, as I did last year. I am much better than I was but we begin this year with massive change as we now have a newborn plus a toddler and well, in all honesty it’s hard dealing with the constant exhaustion, incessant demands, and 24/7 responsibilities of managing my family, much as I love them! And sometimes I don’t deal well with it all and I take it out on my beloved. I’m recognising that. Which is a start, right? 😉

b, Stay on my Mindful path – keep learning, practicing, working on it. Because I know it works!

Happy New Year! X

#reverb12 Day 30: What can you celebrate NOW?

I found today’s #reverb12 prompt very emotive and it really made me think. I love it:

Often we see our life as a humongous journey, and we believe that not only have we not arrived at our far away desired destination, but we also think we must accomplish x, y, and z, before we can declare with satisfaction that we are THERE. 

For a moment, take a close look at who you are NOW. See what you can declare. 

Merge the past, present, and future into one big ARRIVAL. 

Describe joyously and in great celebration the BEING that you ARE. 

Ten years ago next week I was sitting in my first Alcoholics Anonymous meeting on a cold and dark midwinter night in a dismal church hall in Glasgow, Scotland. I had reached that rock bottom. Life was hell in the lead up to that first meeting, and hell for a good while after. I was alone and lonely, terrified, and cohabiting with an “out and functioning” alcoholic whom I loved very much but who had no intention of stopping drinking nor of supporting me in my efforts. Needless to say that relationship broke down a few months after I started attended AA meetings. Messy and heartbreaking.

It was a long road back to living.

Ten years later and I have been completely sober for a decade. I’m now living on the East Coast of Australia with a husband that has never seen me drink, and two gorgeous little daughters. Life is not perfect of course, nobody’s life is perfect. But it has a LOT of sunshine in it, on every level. I would not have this life, my husband, my children, had I not gone to that first AA meeting. I don’t go any more, haven’t for many years. But I’m never complacent. I’ll never drink again, and I no longer have any desire to do so.

I am a very, very strong woman. I should remember that more often!!

Look to this day:
For it is life, the very life of life.
In its brief course
Lie all the verities and realities of your existence.
The bliss of growth,
The glory of action,
The splendour of achievement
Are but experiences of time.

For yesterday is but a dream
And tomorrow is only a vision;
And today well-lived, makes
Yesterday a dream of happiness
And every tomorrow a vision of hope.
Look well therefore to this day;
Such is the salutation to the ever-new dawn!

~ Kalidasa, sanskrit dramatist

This post is part of #reverb12 hosted by Kat at I Saw You Dancing

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