Saturday, 25 January 2014

time to fly

10pm on a Saturday night and I am flying close to the wind for posting to my blog this week. I wouldn't necessarily say that this week has been 'busy' - which is incidentally a word I have grown to loathe and find over-used and unnecessary - but full, slightly tiring and surprisingly alot of fun.

We have enjoyed several bike rides this week with our little people, involving food en-location, plenty of laughter and giggling, and puddles - all of which little boys love.  I'm not sure if it's an unwritten new years resolution to enjoy the moment and get out more, or we're just getting back into the swing of things now everyone is settled, happy and has some capacity for joining in, albeit in stroller bike or pram. It's definitely proving to be a fun, cheap and positively healthy family activity. Today we even spent some time on newly installed exercise equipment at Yanyula Park, and rode to another park close by for something new.  The outing finally resulted in a wrong turn(!), taking us right back past our house and to a well-known fast-food-come-cafe establishment for drinks and ice cream.

And to be perfectly honest, a simple outing like this has suddenly now become even sweeter and much more enjoyable thanks to my pledge to become more organised.  This morning we had a staggered start to the day - DD of 4 months waking at 710am, DS(4) at 810am and DS(21mo) at 910am, which meant the weeks ironing* was well and truly in-hand and almost complete by mid-morning, and no other major household chores were outstanding at time of departure.   Strangely, it does feel quite liberating to have the path clear for some good wholesome family fun... I think I like it. :-)

Reflecting on this week, I really think I am starting to find my organisational 'wings' - but the difficulty really will be maintaining this quick leap out of the blocks, learning how to side-step (lots of appointments coming up), and not over-doing it - which for me often involves burning the midnight oil in order to get some 'me' time or complete little projects or even chores.  The healthy eating me of this week might just need to grasp the idea of good sleeping, and together the two complimentary habits might give me the extra boost I need.

Speaking of eating - DS(21mo) has enjoyed his time at home this week with Mummy, and 'helping' me around the house. Our activities have integrated play with chores, and on one occasion involved helping with dinner preparations. I had forgotten how such a simple task can become such a great learning experience for toddlers.  This time, it provided him with some responsibility for preparing his ingredients, albeit mushrooms and thyme - the essence of a good beef bourgioun! I value my time in the kitchen when I don't feel rushed, and by doing this together late-morning, we certainly had time on our hands, which also meant I could afford some patience and enjoy the moment with DS.

helping bee


My last reflection for the week is of the 'wings' of sorts that I created for DS(21mo). As big brother has continued to find enjoyment from his super-hero cape gifted to him by his Grandma, we thought little brother would be equally excited to have his own. So after finding some fabric, sewing it and leaving the finished cape hanging over a chair for eager eyes to discover whist I was out, I was amazed on my return that no-one had noticed the new accessory! Ultimately, crafting challenge did win on many levels however, as after a quick introduction and demonstration, little DS was also off 'flying', squealing with delight and grinning from ear to ear.

*Incidentally it really was only a weeks worth or ironing - 45 articles in total - as I had caught up on 4 months worth last weekend - which was about 200 articles! Yes we do have a substantive choice in daily apparel!

Monday, 13 January 2014

the 52-7 challenge

Ok. So we are already thirteen days into the new year, and I seem to be going reasonably well with my self-proposed challenges. Admittedly, my progress is only marked against the list in my head, as I am yet to post it here for all to see! And so, I guess I should detail it here now, and then do a defrag on my brain to make room for the organisational side of the challenges.

I hope to do the following each week- 

  • Read something - as I am not much the reader, I will lodge my results once a month and they should include a novel, magazine, journal article and some other format.  Should be something  currently sitting in my bookshelf, as sadly I have only read <10% of what I own!
  • Watch a 'full' (yes, no part-of) documentary or movie 
  • Complete one crafty endeavour or activity (perhaps also lodged once a month to account for larger projects)
  • Try one new recipe 
  • take part in physical activity at least three times per week
  • write a blog post 
  • take part in the house organisation challenge from over at LifeHacker

Rather than bore you with the details in my blog, I'll talk about particular challenge highlights and then just update an excel spreadsheet from month-to-month for our records and so you can kick my butt if I deviate too far from the pledge :-)

Just writing up my list of challenges gives me goosebumps, as it really does mean that I will have to 'find' an incredible amount of time to devote to this, or me. But then again, this is the point of the whole challenge, and the 'year of me' is not necessarily about making sacrifices elsewhere to benefit me, but being organised, thinking smarter and using my down-time more productively.  So, I had best hop to it, and stop talking about it.  Go Team Me!

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

the year of ME...

a new calendar year has indeed ticked over, and whilst I have a fair indication there won't be any HUGE news, announcements or celebrations this year (like the birth of any more children :-p), I want to take some time out for me and try and set some goals to work towards.  

a friend of mine recently shared a link over at Life Hacker with some great ideas for setting personal goals and challenges for yourself during the year, helping you work towards improving your organisation skills, saving money and maintaining some cultural balance in your life.  The challenges really appeal to me, as not only do I enjoy having something to work towards and some idea of the path I'm taking - but I figure my particiaption will make me stop and take a break from the treadmill of life that I often find myself strapped to. 

yes.  A lot of mothers would know what I am talking about - the relentless set of chores that never ever go away. The most basic things that consume your whole day - for example, all things associated with clothes washing and food.  I'm sure there are varying degrees of involvement with these tasks for mothers' all across the planet, yet being the house proud mother with three children that I am, I often find myself staying up ridiculously late just so these tasks are in order and completed for the day. Once completed, or 'under control' as I like to put it, I kid myself that I will have a clean slate in the morning to do some awesome activity with the kids without a sense of housewife guilt, or that I may even afford myself some time in the afternoon to do some sewing, reading or chat with a friend. But no. It never happens like that. The housework and errands and time consumed running a house never go away.  In fact, they breed, and not necessarily at a rate proportional to the number of people living in the house. 

if your main agenda item has been caring for babies, which mine has for four years now, you are relieved to hit the three, four, five, six month milestones where you are no longer constantly feeding. Babies are by this time in great little routines and things all start falling into place. Not that the washing and food issues disappear, but perhaps I personally learn to lower my standards. Just a little. Which is neither a good nor bad thing.  !Ouch! Sometimes it kills me, but the realisation that I will go insane if I don't have some me time, kicks in.  Previously I've started on my sewing again, then I start dreaming BIG about other projects and... well achieve very little for me personally. My 'me-time' is still generally for others, or tied up in the anticipation and excitement of starting a new project that I never get enough momentum to follow through.

so, to cut to the crux of this post - i'm going to try and spend time each week following challenges and enriching my personal life, and ask you to keep me accountable. Above all, i really hope i can stick at something, make my time less about the mundane tasks and perhaps selfishly more about me. After all, a happy mummy and a happy wife will surely benefit my #1 supporters.