Life, Love, and Passports

Archive for July, 2013

Housework is so overrated

So I’m just having my umpteenth break from chores. I can’t help but feel a little sadness when I realise that I’ll look back on my life one day and realise that nobody actually cared. Personally I’ve never walked into anybody’s home and said “wow you’ve been doing extreme housework!” On the contrary I may have thought the individual needed a life! I’m by no means condoning living in filth just wondering if the constant vacuuming, plumping cushions and arranging ornaments may just be a colossal waste of time.

I have a simple 3 step house cleaning regime much like Clinique! Clean dishes, neat beds and hygienic bathroom. Of course there will always be the major overhauls that are needed like window washing and shampooing carpets. This has been my dilemma for the past two days and I’m running out of steam.

Well my break is up and they’re always double the work time. A clean house is a wonderful gift and it’s even better when somebody does it for you!


When life hands you lemons…

It seems the common theory is that we make lemon juice. Unfortunately, when life throws its lemons at me my first response is to get sour. It makes perfect sense to me to get sour and try as I may to recondition my thinking I realise it’s not second nature to churn out jugs of lemon juice.

At present I’m working really hard on my response to difficult situations. Though I consider myself rather laid back my panicked reaction to troubles is in stark to my usually calm self.

I’ve set a challenge for myself and I’m hoping to pass with flying colours. When trouble comes knocking at my door I’m planning to open with a smile and ask “anybody for lemon juice?” I know for a fact it’s not that easy but I’m determined to try and that’s the best I can do!

The friendship cycle

This week my six year old Gemma has been devastated by the news that her ‘bestie’ will be moving away. When she had a teary episode a couple of times this week well actually it was a bawling episode. All I could do was tell her was that’s the way life goes. You meet people and bond, sometimes they stay forever and sometimes they don’t. It was slightly more complicated than that and I as an adult am still learning this lesson. There have been many times when I wanted to follow and other times when I wished I could cart my friends off with me.

I realised too that the hardest thing to do is to expect my dear child to appreciate that there will be an opportunity for more good friendships. When you’re so upset and practically heartbroken it’s hard to believe that things will get better. I promised her it would get better and she should look forward to making new friends. What if they leave too? This was not the time for little white lies. There are no guarantees in life but that doesn’t mean we should stop living. Such a complicated conversation and yet it will serve her well to remember this.

Tomorrow will be the last day of school and the end of the academic year. My hope is that she’ll recover sufficiently over the summer break and be ready to form a new bond and be an amazing friend again!

My dream come true

People have many dreams some short term others long term. Some are easily achieved and others appear impossible. My dream was achievable but it has taken much longer than I anticipated. While I make much of the fact that all of my girls are late risers this comes at a cost of keeping them up later at night.

Each night sees me getting tangled in a bedtime debate. Just five more minutes mom! What about our bedtime drink? One more story! Aren’t you going to pray with us? We need to brush our teeth! While these are all part of our routine it can be terribly frustrating when time out was called an hour before.

Yesterday was the day I’d dreamed of the day they would all declare together that they’d had enough and it was time for bed – no strings attached! My response was a doubting Thomas one and I said not just to myself but also to the three of them “This I’ve got to see!” True to their word they were out like a light.

Admittedly we had an unusually long day but we have busy days often enough for me to know that my girls are die hards. On some occasions I say goodnight and leave them hanging about. Sadly those times are limited to the weekends!

I have amazing children and I can’t help but wonder if they’d be even more amazing if they went to bed at a reasonable hour. I’m concerned that I may never find out. If last nights experience is never repeated at least I can rest assured it is actually possible. Dreams do come true…even the smallest of them!

This used to be my playground

It’s been quite a while now that my girls have been asking me to join their skipping routine. They’ve tried to convince me that it’s great fun. I’ve never been any good at skipping, jumping or any other sporting activities for that matter. Come to think of it I’m actually not that bad I’m a keen swimmer and known to have some skills rollerblading.

When it comes to skipping my excuse is that their rope is too short for me which is true. However, I could not imagine myself bopping and moving my feet is a real challenge. After much nagging I eventually bought a full length skipping rope and just dreaded the moment I’d have to use it. Today was that day and it was fun.

Having young children really does require you to do things you wouldn’t normally do. I can’t claim that the girls keep me young but they sure do keep me involved. I have no idea what’s next on their agenda but I’m almost certain if will take me right out of my comfort zone.
Today I witnessed the joy of a carefree childhood. Watching not just my children but all the children in the park enjoying the glorious sunshine and having fun was another reminder that life is to be enjoyed.

Growing up is so overrated! I’m certainly going to make every effort to be carefree. If it means skipping with my girls then bring it on. I can’t resign from being an adult but being young at heart is a wonderful alternative.

Birthday wishes

Today my first born celebrated her eighth birthday. She woke up this morning with the biggest yelp and her excitement was infectious. After opening her gifts and reading greeting cards she was ready to face the warmest day of the year. She had a fun day planned with a few of her friends and she couldn’t wait.

Where did the years go? It seems like just yesterday that she wouldn’t go to sleep (Mmm come to think of it that’s not actually changed!) and suffered from colic. Now it’s hard to imagine life before her. As I watched her with her friends it was clear to see that she values friendship and is a team player. She loved having her friends around on her special day yet she took time to care for her younger sisters too.

Today I feel especially blessed having been trusted with an amazingly bright, thoughtful and extremely wise little girl well not so little anymore! She challenges us daily and tests boundaries constantly. Her enquiring mind keeps us sharp and grateful for search engines.

Her special day is drawing to a close and she’s managed to do all the things she enjoys. There’s nothing more to be said or done.
Happy birthday Charis!

Stamp of approval

Last night my two older girls took part in their schools production of Oliver. Of course I’m using the terms took part rather loosely as every pupil was involved. Although their classes had just a song to sing it became apparent after last nights performance that they required a pat on the back after asking ‘ Do you think it sounded good?’ ‘Did you find that funny?’ The one thing I have learnt in recent years is that you only get one chance to have a first reaction. Needless to say they got a big well done and I meant it.

Praise and approval are a pivotal part of growing up and life in general. There are those of us who thrive on praise and get little accomplished unless we’re constantly complimented. Some of us think praise is unnecessary especially since what we’re accomplishing is considered a duty. Hard work and outstanding efforts should be rewarded not just as lip service but sincerely.

I really struggle with the concept of managing praise! Is it possible to over praise? Surely not every completed task deserves praise just those that are exceptional. Do children require more positive reinforcement than adults? Perhaps the child within all of us needs to be praised.
Note to self: Must praise more! Sincerity is key!