Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Mummy Cuddle (and why we all need one from time to time!)

I was out at lifegroup tonight.  Half an hour ago in fact, hot water bottle on my feet, enjoying the company of friends as we talk and walk through life together.  I missed last one due to illness and being on teaching placement, so was really pleased to make it this time...but sadly, my delight was short lived.

I was jolted from my warm fuzzy state by my phone.  Boyo, apparently.  But there was no Boyo on the other end of the line, just screaming baby.  "Do you want me to come home?"  I asked.  Scream, scream, cry, wail, and scream.  "Okay, I'm coming now."  Paused.  More screaming.  Hung up.  Told friends, "Crying baby."  Ah, ya think?!  They'd all heard.  I guess he was kind of loud.  Gathered my things, said a quick farewell, got out the door and ran.  In the car, whizzed home (speed limits, Amy, speed limits!).  Good thing we are only a few minutes drive.  By the time I got here the screaming had lessened to intermitent sobs, but the boy was still refusing to lie down and sleep.  There they were, Munchkin and Daddy, sitting in the semi-darkness of the bedroom, cuddling on the bed.  "Mummy's here, it's okay, Mummy's here."  Little arms get wrapped around my neck, legs around my waist.  Sobs turns to sighs as he sinks into me.  Boyo's comment, "How come you can get him to settle so quickly?"  Well, I think Boyo had done most of the hard work, to be honest.  He got the boy from screaming pitch to nearly done crying.  I just finished off. 

But it's made me think.  What is it about a Mummy cuddle?  Why does my boy need me, what's wrong with Daddy?  Nothing!  Munchkin has a FABULOUS Dad.  He has a Dad who knows him really well and can get giggles when no one else can.  But for some reason or other (and nights like tonight, probably several!), when Munchkin is sick, only Mummy will do.  When Munchkin is really, truly upset, only Mummy will do.  I'd like to say it strokes my ego just a little.  And that would be true.  It is nice to feel needed and wanted from time to time.  But when it's only when he's unhappy, well sometimes that can be a tough one to handle.  I remember being so glad, so grateful when Munchkin finally said "Mummy" with delight and joy.  How pleased I was when I stopped getting called "Daddy" instead, and no longer had "mum-mum-mum" only when he was upset, tired, hungry, or just plain grumpy!

There's something about a mother's hug, a mother's love that is somehow MEANT to soothe all worries and calm all thoughts, don't you think?  Perhaps it's something to do with newborns being held more by their mums, about babies being fed (but then my son wasn't breastfed, and his daddy fed him once a day so it's not like I had the exclusive feeding rights there!).  Ah, I just don't get it.  I may as well admit it.  I've been trying to figure it out for the last three years...and before that I was trying to figure it out too.  Why do I want my mum when I'm sick or miserable?  I'm a grown woman, and yet I find myself saying one of two things.  Either, "I want to go home," or "I want my mummy."  Neither of which necessarily make much sense...where is home, after all?  Usually I'm sitting on my bathroom floor looking at it when I think that! 

My son is now sound asleep again.  Not sure what caused the tears, but we are very grateful they are over.  He consented to lying down in his bed if I lay down too.  Okay.  I can do that.  I think I was there about three minutes before he was sound asleep again (after we'd had cuddles, pamol, etc of course - wondering if he has a sore throat).  I don't mind that I was called home.  I think Boyo made the right call.  He did what he could and did a pretty amazing job of it, but sometimes you just need Mummy.  It's been a rough couple of months and I know that my boy really is just desperate for some Mummy time and attention.  I'm hoping to give him some soon.  Two more days of placement that we've all got to get through.  I wish we could just whisk away on holiday straight after, but sadly I've then got an assignment then an exam!  But I will at least retrieve two whole days a week to spend with my tired, grumpy, not-enough-mummy-love boy!

So, in the interests of curiosity, do you still want your mummy from time to time?  What triggers it, why and when do you want her?  Advice, a listening ear, someone to say it will be alright, someone to say there-there-hush-hush and pat your back while you shed a few tears, someone to tell you that you're actually doing okay and they are proud of you?  All of the above?  That's me!


Friday, May 17, 2013

Happy Birthday To Me!

Okay, so I know it's a bit early.  Like four months early.  But this is my birthday present this year.  Per usual.
26 balls of delightful wool.

Spotlight had them on sale, 20% off.  Then there was that $40 off a $100 spend voucher.  Which meant these little beauties cost around $2.40 a ball.  That's about as cheap as I EVER get wool (unless someone gives it to me, of course!).

Really loved seeing some more colours in the range this year.  There were some nice muted ones (I got an apricot - top right above a red ball there) as well as the brighter ones I usually choose for the blankets.

Now I just need the other half.  Grin.  Not likely to be happening any time soon.  I was only able to get these because I had some money stashed for other things that we could 'borrow' from...bit tight after the big move.  I won't scare you with how much that cost, just suffice to say we are very glad that we run a tight budget else we wouldn't have been able to move at all.  So I am grateful I was able to get this wool.  Not that I'm knitting much at present, but I do hope to rectify that just as soon as I have a bit more spare time!  Something to look forward to.

I've decided on two other things to add to my birthday wish list for this year.  A compost bin and some table cloths.  Sound exciting?  They are!  We had a compost bin at our old place, but that belonged to the landlords so we no longer have one and I'm finding that while the worm farm, chooks, and guinea pigs can use up a fair bit of food scraps, they are still struggling to keep up with soup making, feijoa skins, etc.  Plus of course there's the garden weeds to deal with.  I'd quite like one like my mother-in-law's...they seem to work quite well, not too cumbersome, and aren't a fortune to buy either.  My parent's bin is useless.  Takes years to compost anything and is terrible to move.  Our landlord's one was okay.  Not spectacular, just okay.

And the tablecloths, well that's because I'd like to focus more on having our table as 'sacred' to the sharing of meals.  In other words: get all the other *stuff* off it (I am being polite!).  I like my in-laws habit of setting the table with a cloth and cloth napkins.  It just makes even a simple meal seem a bit special, like we care that we are eating together.  Plus it teaches my son good habits. And I am increasingly finding that I hate visual mess.  Sitting at a table that has piles of paper and assorted other things stacked down an end, beside my elbow, really doesn't do much for my sense of peace or contentment.  Sitting at a table that looks nice, however, does.  Add some candles every once in a while and it is almost decadent.  So, all this to say that I'd like to have some basic gingham tablecloths.  The sort that you don't worry if you get beetroot on.  Because of course it is always beetroot that you spill!  The sort that can be thrown in the wash with the tea towels or clothes, and require no special treatment.  My current table cloths are very precious, either heirlooms from my grandparents or a wedding gift from my husband's family.  I have only one basic one.  So some basic tablecloths.  Add some matching napkins and I really will feel like I am living in the lap of luxury.  Of course, I should feel like that anyway.  Owning a table is a privilege that many people don't get, after all.
I am blessed. I have a table, and a large stash of wool!  Yay.



I am going to be brief.  I say this to remind myself, dear readers, as I do have a tendency to verbally wamble.  Hehe.

The past two weeks have been a blur.

An exciting, exhilarating, exhausting, terrifying, mind-numbing blur.

So many names to learn.  So much to do, both at Preschool and at home.  Keeping on top of the washing and meals is enough.  The rest of my already skimpy 'to do' list has been scrubbed.  Other than the urgent things like paying Munchkin's childcare provider and getting our landlord in to fix security catches on upstairs windows (as they stop Munchy baby from opening to a point he could fall out!).  There are strawberry plants still in a bucket in the garage, waiting to be replanted.  There are still boxes everywhere.  Oh well, I guess they aren't going anywhere in the meantime so they can just wait.

Our days usually follow a similar pattern.  Get up, dressed/showered, fed, bags packed, out the door.  Have short breaks while at Preschool in which I eat and occassionally go for short, brisk walk.  Spend day with children.  Return home to child.  Poor boy does get the tail end of things and I'm having to work really hard to be kind, and loving...there have been a few times Mummy has had to apologise, and a few more where Mummy has had to remind Munchkin that my patience is wearing out and I need him to go to bed so I can go to bed!  Once home, unpack bags, empty lunchboxes, organise dinner (Boyo has been helping and/or cooking dinner A LOT - wonderful  man - and has done bathrooms one week, and vacuuming the next as well as extra washing duties!).  After dinner, bath for the boy, and get him into bed...then the tidy up including making lunches for tomorrow, sorting out something for breakfast, putting library books into Preschool bag, and doing other odds and ends like moving guinea pigs so there is at least some grass left growing where their cage has been!  I miss my cuddles with them, but this is just life at present.

Unexpected things:
Munchkin is crying almost every time I leave him at Preschool.  Not exciting.  This week he therefore went with a brooch and hanky of Mummy's attached to his jersey in the hopes he might feel less sad.  We think it helped, but are not sure.  He is perfectly happy the rest of the day, he is just missing Mummy.  He even cried today when I left, and yet had been excited to be spending the day at home with Daddy.  Ugh.  Very "awful Mummy" moments.
Did an entire newsletter for Share ministry.  Unplanned.  I was going to write a paragraph but just felt inspired to share more and it turned out well!  I was home sick with a cold so it was time well spent.

Expected things:
Got sick.  Yup.  Managed 5 days then got a cold.  How I expected to stay well in an Early Childhood Centre when every single person I have talked to said you get really sick for the first year of work and my last placement was over 2 years ago, I don't know.  Felt miserable all weekend, dragged myself to work Monday and plodded through the week.  This is a good outcome for me really, considering the kind of colds I've had in recent years - feels like the herbal formula and probiotics for my throat really helped - the symptoms were not nearly as severe as they could have been, although still gross and nasty.  Gave cold to son and husband, but thankfully both have currently more robust immune systems than me and are quite chipper already!  Gave in and went to doctors Thursday after a night of coughing.  Sounds like cold is iritating underlying asthma, resulting in cough.  Doped me up, and immediately I started to improve. I am SO GLAD I went. I tend to avoid going, but am learning to take my husband's advice and get there a bit earlier with nasty colds like this.  Hopefully I will now not cough for three weeks.

Great things:
Loving the children, so delightful. 
Loving the staff, so helpful despite it being really hectic and many of them also unwell. 
Loving the learning - about me, about teamwork, about kids, about how a centre of this size runs, just everything.  This is definitely the right thing for me to be training in.

Not so great things:
Very tired.  Coughing not helping the sleep department at all.  Hubby and son not seeing me much.  Didn't make lifegroup and might not next fortnight either (I LOVE going to lifegroup and rarely miss it - it is just so good to get out and meet up with other women and hear about what God is doing in our lives and be encouraged regularly like this - gutted I didn't get there but I would've fallen asleep on them...or coughed the entire time!).
Loads of planning stuff now to accomplish in the final two weeks.  At least I'm feeling like I can think clearly now after a week of glug and brain fog!  There's a professional journal for daily reflections, a focus child report, some Learning Stories to contribute to the team, 2 days of being teacher this coming week and 3 the next (that means I have to set out at least 8 inside activities, and prepare for 3 mat times this week, then prepare morning and afternoon tea the following day...then do it all again the following week, adding a day afterwards where I set out all the outside activities, whew, definitely a good learning curve!). 
Boyo's study load is suffering, but he is coping okay.
Power bill is higher in new house.  Maybe because the plan has changed slightly, maybe because the hot water cylinder is older, maybe (and most likely!) because we have used the bath A LOT the past three weeks!  Just loving the bath so much we don't want to ease off. Grin.

So that's us folks.  Still here, but zoned in on the study.

Teacher extraordinaire.  Or at least I will be by the time I'm finished!

Photo I got the kids to take of me after a face painting time together!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Something Beautiful

I was looking through photos for something I thought I might be able to use with the kids tomorrow and got distracted by these:

Aren't they beautiful?

Due credit goes to Boyo for the sunset.  I just love the piece of grass focused in the foreground.  It's brave, kind of spunky.  It does my eyes good, looking at the shape and form sitting so nicely before the glorious colour.


My Son Likes to Hide in Boxes

One of my favourite stories as a child was My Cat Likes to Hide in Boxes.  It's all about these amazing cats who do all kind of wonderful things, and one very ordinary cat who likes to hide in boxes.  The rhyme is great, the pictures are bright, and it's a childhood memory for me.  So naturally I have introduced my son to it too!

I had to laugh recently when I found him doing this...

Because of course the first thing that popped into my head was "My son likes to hide in boxes!"

My son likes to hide in boxes.  My son likes to 'garage' his rubbish truck or cars in boxes.  He likes to stand on boxes, he likes to pull boxes apart.

And how he likes playing games with boxes too...Jack-in-a-box for instance!

My son likes boxes.  I wonder if he gets that from his mother?  (I have to admit a secret love of boxes too, although it's been a few years since I hid in one!).


Sunday, May 5, 2013

Forty four year olds and me!

Tomorrow it begins.

Four weeks with nearly forty four year olds.

Oh my.

Our house is kind of organised.  Kind of.  Just don't look in any of the cupboards, and definitely do NOT enter the garage!

I am writing while my son has a bath.  Horror of horrors, I am on my laptop in the bathroom.  Ouch, sounds like a 'terrible parent' moment.  Oh well, he doesn't want to get out yet (he's been singing and drumming to Daddy's dishes-washing music), and I just haven't had time otherwise to write.  Too much else to do.

I think we are ready.  As ready as we're going to be.  The boy is primed.  He knows where he is going tomorrow at least.

My bag is mostly packed.  Breakfast is made.  Lunch is half made.  So now to get the boy into bed, followed by me!

As an aside, I stood before my over-crowded bench this evening (very limited bench space, to discuss in another post!) and surveyed my large crockpot of chilli con carne.

"There was an old woman who lived in a shoe, she had so much chilli con carne she didn't know what to do."

Of course my husband wanted to know if that means I think I'm an old woman now!  Grin.  Hmm....might need to rearrange the freezer (again).

Hope your next few weeks go well.  See you sometime when I'm not being covered in paint, required to research bugs on the internet, or make scones with my bunch of crazy, busy, beautiful, amazing cherubs.  Or being asked to read with my one and only.