A Letter From my Past Self

Did you know that there’s a website where you can write to yourself? Totally not in a creepy kind of way, your future self. It’s called FutureMe.org.

I read about it a couple of years ago and decided to try it out, then late last year I received an email from my 2013 self.

Noah was nearly 4 and I thought that was insane, but now that Phoenix is over 4 I question my sleep-deprived 2013 sanity. Noah was well into Spider-man, collecting treasure and telling stories. Not much has changed except that Spider-Man obsession is now a Pokemon/Dragons Obsession.

Phoenix was 20 months old and talking in one word sentences. While she was slower to talk she now is just as (if not more) talkative than her big Bro. I thought she was tall for her age and that still hasn’t changed. The amount of times I get asked if my two are twins is still shocking.

Hubby was working on a Harley that he now no longer has because he stopped working on his Harley. We were still living in Centra Qld – probably the biggest change. I’ve moved from a part-time radio job to Thermomix full-time.

The Offspring TV show had just killed Patrick. I’m still devastated. 

My youngest sister was heavily pregnant with my nephew and my other had just won an amazing big award for her work. Now my youngest has two (and a half!) little ones and our middle won another two big awards, travelled overseas, moved to Brisbane, continued to advance her amazing career. All while we were living in the middle of Hot-Ass-Middle-Of-Nowhere-Country.

I then crapped on about how much I loved the iPhone and iPad my kids now mainly throw around as toys, disposable technology. But at the end, I love this line:

‘You should really start going to bed earlier. You need sleep more than whatever crap is on TV.’ 

Yep, not much really changes. I’m off to write another letter so my FutureMe can look back and laugh at 2017 me.

What would you write in a letter to your future self? 

That is Poetry

Did you know my little blog here has been going to 6 years….? It used to be fuller, recipes in abundance with thoughts and memories of my two as babies, product reviews, heaps more. Then I went and wiped it. Somehow. I don’t even know what I did, but it erased a lot of the content.

Apologies if you ever came across a pic on Pinterest and it’s not there anymore. My fault.

Luckily, my Mum is pretty clever and one year for Christmas she got that whole year’s worth of posts condensed into a book. Totally felt like a published author! I recently found it and have been going through it. Any recipes will be posted over on my dedicated food blog Mix Taste Eat now (and some need a bit of tweaking!) and some fun things I loved I’ll re-share with you here.

Like this poem. I remember a lecturer handing it out at Uni one day. I loved it from the moment I read it. Unfortunately I’m unsure of the author, at the bottom of the typed page is a handwritten ‘Edwin M’. If you know more, feel free to enlighten me!

Opening the Cage:

14 Variations on 14 words: ‘I have nothing to say and I am saying it and that is poetry.’ John Cage.

I have to say poetry and is that nothing and am I saying it
I am and I have poetry to say and is that nothing saying it
I am nothing and I have poetry to say and that is saying it
I that am saying poetry have nothing and it is I and to say
And I say that I am to have poetry and saying it is nothing
I am poetry and nothing and saying it is to say that I have
To have nothing is poetry and I am saying that and I say it
Poetry is saying I have nothing and I am to say that and it
Saying nothing I am poetry and I have to say that and it is
It is and I am and I have poetry saying say that to nothing
It is saying poetry to nothing and I say I have and am that
Poetry is saying I have it and I am nothing and to say that
And that nothing is poetry I am saying and I have to say it
Saying poetry is nothing and to that I say I am and have it

On Fridays.

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“Hey Phoenix, would you like some ham on your dinner plate?” I ask as I put together her plate of food for the evening meal. She is the pickiest eater and flat out refuses to try anything new at home. As a result her dinner usually compromises of a meat (whatever I’ve cooked for Hubby and I minus any sauce/dressing/flavour) some carrot, apple, egg and whatever else I’ve made that she’ll eat. It was a Sunday night and we were having leftovers so the kids were getting ham.

“I don’t like Ham,” she states even though she ate it the night before.

“Since when?”

“On Fridays.”

“But it’s Sunday,” I point out.

“I don’t like ham.” Stubborn little….

“Okay, what about some leftover Chicken,”

“No. I don’t like Chicken either,” she states with her hands on her hips.

“Since when?!” now I’m feeling a little exasperated.

“On Fridays!”

Apparently every day is Friday.

“Okay Phoenix. It’s Sunday. So what do you like for dinner on Sundays?”

“Pizza.”

Of course.

“I don’t have any Pizza,” I reply

“Make some!”

“No, we have Pizza on Fridays…..” I’m seeing a theme here.

“Pizza!”

“Ham or Chicken? Quick, or I’ll chose and you still have to eat it.”

“Frozen Blueberries,”

Better than making Pizza. “Okay, frozen Blueberries it is.” I oblige.

“And ham.”

My eyes bulge. I might look like a personal chef with the amount of time I spend in the kitchen but really? Where do I hire one?

Dear Phoenix, after your Birthday

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Dear Phoenix,

I just realised I missed writing my On Your Birthday letter to you late last year. I’m sorry, here it is. And you know what they always say about better being late than never…

You are now 4. You’ve just started the Kindergarten Program at Day Care and everyday you’re showing how bigger and older and beautiful you are. Even though you’re now capable of mega meltdowns when told ‘no’, acting like you’re starving even 5 minutes, and getting your big bro into more trouble then needs to be, you’re still our bright ray of sunshine.

You wake up happy (and starving, apparently) and go to sleep happy. You’re constantly smiling and lately singing ‘it’s okaaaaaaay, that’s okaaaaaaay, let it goooooo!’ and every single song you’ve learnt so far at Kindy. Now the alphabet songs ends with the demand of ‘Next time you will sing with me!’ instead of a request and I love it.

You are just the happiest person I know.

You’re favourite food is pizza and cake and yoghurt, though you’ll eat more at Kindy than you do at home. You love your fiends and love company but love ‘Big Hugs’ most of all. You’ve just started really playing with the Barbies you received the year before last and you’re imaginary play with Noah has grown. You two are always running around with some sort of battle or drama or play but my favourite part is when you both claim to be ‘Best Friends’. That just warms my heart so much.

You’re speech has improved in leaps and bounds, with most everyone being able to understand you now, which is such a relief to the frustration you were experiencing. You talk and sing endlessly, with absolutely no sense of an ‘inside voice’. Sometimes my ears need a rest but most of the time it’s wonderful.

In this past month alone we’ve dropped all sense of ‘baby-ness’ and you’re such a big girl now. The perfect completion to our family.

In this year I wish you more. More happiness. More play. More best friends and big hugs. More courage to eat new foods (!!!) and more songs to make up. More of you.

Thank you for letting me be your Mum and to watch your grow.

All my Love.

Mum

New Year, Less Challenges

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Every year I resolve to write more on my blog.

Every year it gets to about now and I start to feel guilty because I haven’t lived up to my own challenge. Along with everything else that’s going on in my life and all the other challenges I set myself.

That’s a bit stupid, right? That feeling of guilt…? Thought so.

So this year I didn’t. I didn’t resolve to write more here because I’m already writing and I want to focus on finishing at least one of the few novels I have started.

I didn’t resolve to write more because I have a family that needs me first.

I didn’t resolve to write more because I’m already challenged with my Thermomix work, and I love it.

I didn’t resolve to write more because I want it to just happen naturally, rather than because I’m forcing myself and feeling guilting about it.

I didn’t resolve to write more because I know I’m already posting more with my Cookbook challenge.

And how much can I really challenge myself anyway? I like a good challenge. In fact, I would go so far as to say I thrive on it. I love the idea of smashing through a goal and the feeling of pride I get in my own work that comes with it, totally up my alley.

But where do I draw the line?

Do I challenge myself to cook new dish every week? Work out at the gym a certain amount of times a month? Write however many posts I set for myself. Finish however many chapters of my first draft I choose?

All while putting my family first and spending time with them.

In 2016, I resolve that I’m already challenged enough. 

Family always comes first.

I’m already meeting challenges for work.

I’m completing my cookbook challenge, because damn it it’s the second one I’ve done and I want to actually finish it. 

I want to stay healthy. Not push myself, but not fall by the wayside either. Just stay healthy.

I want to get over my hair. Or my lack of hair. And to stop letting it rule me and how I see myself and just to get the fuck over it. 

Most of all I want to remind myself to be Grateful for everything we have. A stable life. Our health. Our family. Love. A roof over our head and spending money in the wallet. A holiday when we need it.

To be Grateful for life, not to challenge myself to be grateful. Just be.

Be Beautiful.

It’s Alopecia Areata Week.

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while now you’ll know that this is an auto-immune disease that I live with. I’ve had it for just shy of 8 years and it doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere.

Reading over a few of my older Alopecia blogs tonight, I stumbled on this phrase:

(I was asked) ‘If you met a young girl who had just lost her hair and didn’t know what to expect, what advice would you give her?’ 

I think I would advise any girl, with or without Alopecia, to learn about who she is. Be strong in your own opinions and beliefs. Realise who you are inside and let that shine through. Because, hair or no hair, people are drawn to beautiful people.

Be Beautiful.

 

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There are days, many days, that I don’t feel beautiful.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m thankful for the hair I do have but when you’re in the thick of it, all I can see is the patches.

All I think you can see is the patches.

I’m healthy. I exercise. I’ve changed the things I wanted to change within my body that I can, to help my confidence build. But confidence is like motivation – as Mish Bridges calls it – a bad boyfriend. Never there when you need it.

So I focus on who I am on the inside. I smile, genuinely, at everyone I walk by. Because if I can help someone else feel happy and beautiful, I will. I praise my children for every time they are nice, for that is their inner beauty shining through. I never agree with Hubby when he complains that he needs to exercise more, because I never see that about him. He’s gorgeous {But could do with a shave….} I love my job with so much passion, because I’m helping people to make a positive change in their life.

On the inside, I’m grateful. I’m so damn grateful that I only have Alopecia and not anything more severe. And while somedays are a real struggle, I come back to that.

A close friend just told me her sister has Alopecia. My heart hurts for her sister and I’ve been thinking and thinking of any wisdom and advise I could pass on. With everything that I’ve thought, my advise wouldn’t change.

I think I would advise any girl, with or without Alopecia, to learn about who she is. Be strong in your own opinions and beliefs. Realise who you are inside and let that shine through. Because, hair or no hair, people are drawn to beautiful people.

Be Beautiful.

Almost 6.

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Somehow this little man is almost 6. Very nearly 6. And it blows me away.

He’s requesting a Pirate Birthday Party this year. Then changed this mind to a Rainbow one (because girls like rainbows). Then back to Pirate when I told him it’s his birthday and he can have the party that he wants, not just to impress other people.

I’ve been looking at ideas for a Pirate Party and will freely admit to sucking at cake making. Sure, I can make beetroot brownies, a cracking dinner and some fantastic desserts, but a kids birthday cake?

Rule me out.

I’m pretty sure I’m going to go with a simple rectangle cake and turn it into a ‘Treasure Chest’. Somehow. Lots of chocolate money and cheap beads.

Wish me luck….

This little man is constantly challenging me to be a better Mum. He’s smart. Like, really smart. He’s sensitive and emotional and just honestly loves his family. He’s super creative. He will copy a project he’s just watched on Mr Maker step-by-step. Down to the little details. Then takes immense joy in sharing it with all of us.

I wish I stopped to just watch him more than I do. I am in awe of this little person we created.

These past few months have flown past for me. We were in limbo for a little while with Hubby’s work but that’s all settled down now. Limbo land is nuts. There’s no certainty and I can’t function on that. I like to have goals to work towards and a direction to go in. But new goals have been set and we’re keeping them in sight. Life is back on track.

But still flying by, obviously. Somehow my little man is 6 soon!

School Holidays

School holidays are mad.

I can’t believe that next week Noah is in his last term of school, it felt like just yesterday I was stressing about him starting Prep and now he’s nearly completed it.

Oh please stop growing up so fast.

IMG_0120 While Phoenix was at day care earlier this week Noah and I went to the library to hang out for a while. He’s obsessed with writing anything and everything at the moment and I just love it. Our public library has spaces where kids can sit and draw and play a little available all the time, so Noah immediately started writing a story.

‘I love the Library because we get to borrow BOOKS and I love christmas books and easter books’

He then gifted it to the librarians. Needless to say, they loved it.

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Phoenix’s day care is just around the corner and before the days get too hot I take Noah for a walk to pick her up. There’s a section of grass they always stop at where the weeds that close when you brush them grow. They stop for moments, reach out their fingers and brush lightly (and sometimes not so lightly) at the tips of the weeds and watch in awe as they bring themselves together.
IMG_0141 The trampoline (which is currently covered in sand) is used to expend the last of their daylight energy before the dinner-bath-bed battle begins. They jump and play and run and scream and I sit on the patio and read a book and listen contentedly.

Life is amazing.

From Little Eyes

I was reading over some of my older posts recently and used to do this thing where I’d give Noah a camera and ask him to take a bunch of pictures then share them with everyone so we all see the world through the eyes of a 2 year old.

He’s now nearly 6 (!!!!!) but with technology coming along and my mind being distracted I haven’t done this for a while. You’ll understand then how happy I was to stumble upon a bunch of photos he’d taken on the iPad one day while we were recently visiting family at my Mum’s house.

I love photos from the points of view of children. They just see things we adults don’t. Or chose not to. Or just forget to be aware of. They’re magical and unassuming and definitely worth sharing.

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Oh, here’s the Camera….
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And there’s Aunty Steffie!
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Dad on the phone.
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Up My Nose!! Oh, and my new SPIDERMAN WALLET!!
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Smile Aunty Steffie!!
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I think I need a BandAid…
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And this is my COOL TATTOO!
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Why does Aunty Amy always pull weird faces at the camera? Oh that’s why!
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Hmmm, where is Aunty Amy?
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Mum still hasn’t put away the washing….
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What’s Phoenix having?! I want some too!
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Aunty Steffie, I want what she’s having!

And life from little eyes, my 5 year olds….

 

Consider Yourself Told

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I was chatting to a fellow Mumma recently, lamenting on the things our children do to drive us bonkers. Like early mornings (Every. Single. Day), the constant nagging for food, and the overall ‘Holy Shit’ that comes with parenthood.

We both agreed that some of the things we were harping on about ‘no-one ever told me this!’ about parenthood. I mean, I’m sure someone did, but were we listening? Nope. We chose to remain blissfully unaware that you don’t get very much sleep for about 5 or 6…years. It’s cute to change a newborns nappy but when they’re a toddler and said nappy is full of poo (like normal people poo, not newborn poo. Yes, there’s a difference) and they don’t want to lay still, it’s gross. Non-Mumma’s feel qualified to deal out advice like ‘don’t let them sleep in your bed’ (and if they REFUSE to sleep anywhere else??), ‘my child will never chuck a tantrum in public’ (HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!) and ‘you should read this book/website/blog/magazine. It’s tells you exactly what to do’ (and when did the child read it to know how to act?).

Nothing ever prepares you for the Joy of Parenthood, and yes there is a lot of joy. Yes, babies and children are cute and adorable. Yes, they are the light of your life. Sometimes they like to turn that light on at 4am, but still, light of your life. Yes, you will love them more than you’ll ever imagine. But there are a lot of things that people don’t tell you about parenthood.

Recently I asked the community on my Facebook page what they wish they’d been told before having kids. Here are some of their responses.

Consider yourself told.

  • Breastfeeding does not ‘come naturally’. It’s hard work, can be painful and is a completely new thing that both you and the baby have to learn to do, together. And for some people, it just doesn’t work. That’s okay. In the end, as long as baby is getting fed is all that matters. No one asks a 15 year old’s mother if she breastfeed her child or not…
  • Think carefully before buying toys with more than 20 pieces. Especially on the eve of a birthday/christmas/gift giving that needs setting up the night before.
  • You will never get to visit the toilet alone again. Unless you’re Dad.
  • Teaching a child to eat can be frustrating. You feel the need to nourish them with healthy foods but when the only thing they’ll eat for dinner is olives and custard, you give them olives and custard.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help. It takes a community to raise a child. You don’t have to do everything by yourself. 
  • Toy clutter-less houses only happen in magazines.
  • Even after pregnancy, you’re still emotional. These little miracles take a hold of your heart and wrap it around their little fingers.
  • Everyone warns you about the Terrible Twos but, trust me, they have NOTHING on Terrible Threes!!
  • Don’t just plan for birth, plan for after birth.

And one I love the most – Motherhood is the toughest job you will ever love. Don’t be too hard on yourself, we are all doing the best we can.

Mummas out there, what would you add?