Wednesday, 30 May 2012

It's The Final Countdown

For the last couple of weeks, I’ve had this song playing in my head on repeat.  Have a listen (fast forward to  3:49 to get the bit that's on a continuous loop in Liffey Land) …

There. Is it stuck in your head now too?  

Anyway, it’s only a few more sleeps until K and I jet off to Australia.  

Woo hoo.  

I’m massively excited, and also absolutely dreading the journey there.  This will be the hardest travelling experience I’ve probably had to deal with to date, and that includes the night I slept in the Sahara and had to poop in the sand … twice (and this is going to the topic of a whole other post - I bet you're looking forward to that!).  If you know me, then you realise that I don’t like pooping anywhere other than a nice, sit-down loo, so I think you get the idea of how I feel about travelling ½ way across the world with a 2 year old. 

Kalani and I have a 32 hour journey to get to Australia.  Actually, it’s probably about 36 hours when you include check-in times and travel time to and from the airport etc. etc. - but you get the idea - it’s going to be a loooooooooooonnnnnnnnnnggggggggggg journey.   

So no doubt I’ll fill you in on all the gory details once I arrive and have recovered by filling myself with lots and lots of wine. :)

Wish me luck!

Friday, 25 May 2012

Solving the Work/Life Balance Conundrum

It's tough isn't it, this balancing act between work and home?  I'm not complaining, I'm just saying it's tough, and I could do with some advice.

Before I came back to work, a friend who'd just recently returned to work after her first child said that she didn't feel like she did anything well anymore.  She didn't feel like she did a good job at work, and she didn't feel like she did a good job as a mum.  

I know how she felt.  I feel like that every day.

Every morning is a mad rush just trying to get us all out of the door with some food in our stomachs and a semblance of respectability to our attire (though I keep finding toothpaste on my trousers, or bum cream on my top, or dried up porridge on my socks).

Work is a crazy mad cycle of trying to get everything done without needing to work 1 minute extra.  Because I don't have 1 minute extra - I have to go and pick up K before I go insane with the guilt of having left him at daycare for so long.

Then it's home for more rushing around - dinner, walk dog, bathe K, put him into bed and say goodnight 87 times.


So where's the 'quality' time that I should be spending with my son?  Where's the time and commitment that I should be showing to my employer?

I hate that I'm not with Kalani all the time, but then on the other hand I'd go crazy if I did stay at home (and to all you saints that are stay at home mum's - I think you guys are amazing and I've no idea how you do it!).

I also hate that I never leave work when it's a logical time to (you know, when I've actually finished something).  Instead I have to leave bang-on going home time which makes me look (and feel) like a clock-watching, uncommitted bludger.

So what's the solution?

Seriously - what's the solution?  

I sure as buggery don't know.  I just feel like I'm cranky and rushed and stressed and doing a half-arsed job of everything all the time.

I know I'm not the only one, but I'm sure that someone out there knows how to commit at work and be a great mum too.

Answers on a postcard to "I need a free nanny"

Monday, 14 May 2012

Special Moments

On Saturday morning Kalani was up at 5:30.  In fact, every single morning since I wrote this he’s been up before 6am.  

We got up, had breakfast, then I sat on the couch with my coffee while he played with his box of blocks (trying saying “box of block’s” really quickly 5 times in a row!).

And as I sat there watching him build his towers up higher and higher I realised that I was content.  Happy.  It had only just gone 6am, it was a Saturday morning, I was up far earlier than I should have been, but I was really happy.  Happy just observing Kalani play and chatter away to himself.

It was one of those moments.  The ones that you hold on to and remember for a long time afterwards.  They don’t have to be earth-shatteringly different or amazing, they’re just special.

Really special.

Then Kalani walked over and spat out some apple peel into my hand.

*special moment over*

Saturday, 12 May 2012

What! No 'Me' Time?

I used to follow a blog written by a Granola Mum.  I quite liked her blog to begin with.  Her opinions on lots of parenting subjects were the same as mine, so I felt justified and comfortable with some of the choices I’ve made for Kalani.

Then she wrote a post that I totally disagreed with.  

Basically she said that the whole concept of mums needing ‘me’ time is created by society, and that mums shouldn’t need that time to themselves.  The only reason (apparently) that we think we need it, is because society tells us that we do.  We should be happy to spend every single minute of every single day with our child without needing any time away from them.

What a load of bollox.

I couldn’t spend 100% of my time with ANYONE, let alone a stubborn and sometimes very whiny 2 year old.  I DO need time to myself - not because it’s what society expects, but because if I don’t get that timeout then I will go insane.  

Now everyone has a different approach to me time - some people read, or run, or write, or exercise - by themselves.  Some people socialise or game or exercise - with others.  It’s all different, but it’s all the same concept.  Recharging.  Doing something that you want to do for yourself - not for anyone else.

Anyway, that’s all this was about.  A little mini-rant.  A chance to have some me time of my own (this is one of the most therapeutic things I do.  I guess it’s like therapy - offloading everything in my brain - whether interesting or otherwise).

Oh - I don’t follow the Granola Mum’s blog anymore.  Who needs to read things that just make you feel inadequate?

PS - This is not to say that there's anything wrong with you if you do want to spend all your time with your kids.  It's just not for everyone, and most definitely not for me.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Tick tock

Time - there never seems to be enough of it, does there?

I hear about/know people who exercise and read books and do things other than just survive, and I just don’t understand how they manage to fit it all in.  They have kids too, so how do they find all this time to themselves?

Now I’m pretty anal organised so I try to schedule my time so there’s enough minutes in the day to get everything done.

But there never is.

I try to get some time to myself each evening, and during that time I normally do yoga - but that’s only 20-30 minutes a day.  And that’s it.  That’s all of the “me” time that exists.

I know this is what happens when you have children and work full-time and try to keep a house running.  There’s a lot to do.  An awful lot.  And you tend to do most of that ‘lot to do’ in the evenings when you should be relaxing.   Time goes so fast.  Rush rush rush.

Sometimes I wish that time would just stop.  Like at night, when Kalani has gone to sleep and I go into his room to cover him up and make sure he’s cosy.  Then I stare at his innocent face - still baby-like in its chubbiness - and I wish that I could hold on to that moment forever.  Hold on to his warm little body and breathe in his just-bathed scent and wrap his hand around one of my fingers.

And just for an instant, it happens.  Time seems to stop.  And I’m amazed - still so amazed - that I created this little wonder.  This little bundle of happiness and joy and 2 year old stubborness. 

And then I see the pile of laundry on the chair in his room - waiting for me to put it away - and time starts up again.

Tick tick tick.

Monday, 7 May 2012

Amazing April

Well it's been a while since we've had a photo expose of life with the Morgan/Brake's, and there have been so many requests for another one (well there haven't really - I just like to pretend that I have an audience when I write this stuff, so I have some voices in my head that act as my readers *cough*  Normal?  Totally!), so here's an overview of the last month.  

We're missing piccies of some important events like Dan's birthday since we lost our camera, but I can paint a quick visual for you.  Sunny day (which was a bit off-putting, since we're so unused to Vitamin-D and bright lights when outside), lots of manic children running around and falling off the deck, food, boozes and friends.  T'was lovely.

Anyway, now for some REAL pics ...

We've watched men fixing the roof

and then dressed up as a man who fixes the roof.

We've discovered that snow is kind of chilly ...

... and then worked out (with some help) what pockets are for ...

We've watched men and machines destroy our road ...

... and we've helped in the kitchen.

And most of all, we've been happy ...

Really really happy.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

The Sleep Diaries: Post-End Update

Rightio - I know you’ve all missed my constant whinging about how little sleep our household gets, so I thought I’d write a quick update.

Things are actually going pretty well (touch wood, cross fingers etc. etc).  For the last few weeks Kalani has quite happily slept until after 6 most of the time.  In fact, one morning he slept until almost 7:30!

We still have days where he’s up before 6, and sometimes he’ll go back to sleep until a more reasonable time, and sometimes he won’t, but for the most part he stays in bed until after 6.

So, how did we do this?

We didn’t.  

We’ve made no changes at all.  I guess that everyone was right, and it was just a phase that he was going through (though I’d like to add that the ‘phase’ lasted from the time he was born until he was about 2!).  

Personally, even though I’ve had an extended period of interrupted sleep and crazily early mornings, I’m still happy with the way we handled it.  I’m not strong enough to let Kalani cry it out - particularly in the middle of the night.  And first thing in the morning he normally needs a diaper/nappy change straight away, and by the time that's dealt with he's wide awake, so there was never much point in then putting him back in his room, closing the door and letting him scream himself silly.  Everyone has different comfort levels though, and perhaps yours are higher (or is it lower?) than mine!

So, if you have a child who sleeps badly or wakes up far far far too early, then take heart.  When people say that it will pass once your child grows older, they’re probably right.  It doesn’t help much when you’re in the middle of a sleep-deprived haze, but just hold on to the thought that once your child is a teenager you’re going to wish they didn’t sleep as much.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012


A few nights ago I downloaded some pictures from the camera onto the PC.  Now we haven’t exactly been taking lots of photos lately, but I realised that almost all of the 120-odd photo’s were related to Kalani and vacuuming.