Thursday, June 30, 2011

June 30th

I really enjoyed watching Lu reconnect with an old friend today.



These two buttons became friends pretty much from birth.
They spent a lot of time sleeping together, side by side, as their mamas walked and walked them to sleep, in slings on their backs, as their sang their sleep songs in duet.


They spent time crawling after each other and later running after each other.  Sharing and not sharing toys.  Splashing in puddles and wading through mud.


Their worlds have run parallel the last few years, crossing paths only briefly.  So it was pure delight for me to see them today, reconnecting like it was only yesterday they saw each other.



It reminded me of relationships of my own, that have survived changes of jobs, partners, lifestyles, countries.  That pick up where we left off, years melting into moments.  I treasure those friendships, beyond words.  One particular woman I have known and been close to, from the day she was born (she's four and a half months younger than me).  I remember my first day of school.  She lived across the road and came to visit me at morning tea break.  She stood on one side of the fence and I stood on the other.  I remember very clearly, her asking if she could come and play with me.  And I told her "no, because you're not five yet".  I take so much pleasure and delight in that memory - because I have so very few of my childhood.

I have met some incredible people in my travels thus far.  Some that have considered my presence in their life worth the effort of maintaining, despite spanning the Tasman Sea.  These friendships taught me, that relationships of all kinds (not just the romantic kinds), require effort and sometimes a little bit of hard work.  Like a garden, they don't just grow on their own.  They need a little attention every now and then, to not only stay alive, but to flourish.  I used to be under the incorrect assumption that, if it needed work, it wasn't meant to be.  I'm so pleased I learned the reality!  Because I can't imagine my life without some of these people in it.

Friendships full of love are wonderful for the soul, wonderful for the heart.
My life feels so much richer for the gift of friendship.
For every single friend in my life, I am truly grateful.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

June 29th

I came across something today, that completely astonished me.

It's been a while since I ventured into a department store, but I needed socks for Lucy and the time had come to brave the fluoro lights and rampant consumerism that is shoveled into your psyche the moment you step into their world.

We dodged *most* of the plastic brightness that attracts tiny tots like a moth to a flame and lost ourselves in the maze of clothing racks that towered above us both.  And then we found the children's clothes.  This is what greeted us:




Walls of gender defined and delineated racks of pink and purple, blue and white.

Unless you were an infant, and then you were given the choice of pink, white or grey.  


In fact, grey was a colour that crossed both genders and age brackets.  Grey.  Who on earth chooses to dress their child in grey?  Their child, barely earthside from the realm of magic.  Full of joy, excitement, wonder and delight!  Grey????

Maybe I'm missing something.  Maybe I need to get my colour therapy book out and look up the energetic and medicinal benefits of wearing grey.  Maybe.
Grey reminds me of dismal days, when the cloud closes in, blocking the radiance and energy of the sun, and refuses to actually rain.  Of dreary moods and sad souls.  Hardly the colour of children, full of the spectrum of brilliance!

Which brings me to my gratuity of the day.
Choice.
The option to purchase my child's clothes (and my own!) from the myriad of choices available to us.  Which, in our case, is mostly thrift shops, weekend markets and ebay.  Clothes that were en vogue months, if not years before, making them mostly original to wear now.  

 
And when I'm really lucky, I find clothes that include all the colours of the rainbow - yellow, orange, green, blue, purple and red.  Sometimes, even a combination in the one item!




The force-feeding of pink when it comes to our girl children makes me more than a little nauseous.  And I must say, it warms my heart no end to hear my button say to me "I'm done with pink now, Mama.  I'm into green, blue and light orange".

*sigh*
So, lilac slippers and ruby red shoes it is *grin*.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

June 28th

Okay.  I'm stuck.
It was always going to happen, wasn't it?
More than six months of blogging every single day, something in your travels that you're particularly grateful for.  Most days it comes easily.  Sometimes I trawl back through fb, remembering my day, things of significance that happened, awaiting a trigger.  Or, I open up iphoto, and check the photo library on my nexus, for photo inspiration.  Either of those things usually work.

Today - I got nothing.
That is, it's not that I don't have anything to be grateful for.  More, I don't have anything interesting to talk to you about being grateful for.  I'm grateful for LOTS of things that happened today - but you've heard them all before. 

I'm grateful for time alone to work on this fiesty and demanding business I'm growing (but I think I blogged about that yesterday).  I'm grateful for the car to drive me to pick up the cat food they have almost run out of (cos those bags weigh about 3 kgs each and I needed four!  No way I'm walking those babies home!).  I'm grateful for the TMX, to whip up dinner while I continued to work.  I'm grateful for my women-folk, luring me into the night to join them crafting, when all I wanted to do was curl up with my man and get my fix of vampire lustiness, with a dose of choc and red wine.  And I'm grateful for the patience of a gorgeous being, happy to wait until my sister-fix has been satiated, for me to return home and take up our previous arrangement of lusty vampires, choc and red wine.

Aren't you bored of reading the same thing?
This blog started for me, as a way to be conscious about the fantastic things in my life, but I made it public, so you would keep me accountable for daily contributions.  Cos heavens knows, commitment and fortitude are not my strong points.  And if I thought for a minute, no one read this daily memoir, chances are it would have died of natural causes many moons ago.

But you have kept me honest, kept me accountable.
When I'm two days late in posting and I receive polite posts on my fb wall along the lines of "Ahem.  Are we not feeling very grateful today?".  I smile.  Appreciate the love, the affection.  And get my bloggin' mojo on.

So, there we go.  A gratitude acknowledgement for today.
Not very interesting, but still full of immense gratuity for the small things that make my life so rich, so rewarding, so enjoyable.

And I'm grateful for you.  For your company.  Because without you, this most likely wouldn't still be happening.  And I'm getting to the point of feeling quite proud of this achievement.  Only 148 days to go.  Eep!  I think I'll try not to think about it like that.....

Monday, June 27, 2011

June 27th

Monday, work day.
I am so grateful to have two whole days to myself of uninterrupted time (I forgive the kittens their interruptions), to work on my business.  The time is spent posting links, anecdotes and answering one question a day on the facebook page, and consolidating, writing and updating white papers for the website.

Facebook is an incredible resource of information.
Yesterday, I learned more about the practice of cord blood harvesting, about fallacies told to women in pregnancy and labour of low amniotic fluid, and I learned about a fantastic upcoming 3 day workshop of Creative Ways of Making Space for Baby, run by two amazing birth workers.  I would not necessarily have come to know of these things, without this forum.


Not only that, Facebook has opened up a community of people with whom to share my information with.  Facilitated a supply and demand relationship between two parties that would never have otherwise met.  That's more than just a little bit awesome.

When I first met Ben, a more-anal-than-your-run-of-the-mill privacy freak, he was completely against the idea of sharing personal information on Facebook.  He had registered his name (with a fake birth date) so no one else could pretend to be him.  And that was it.  He has since softened a little on his previously held stand, perhaps intertwined with a fatalistic view of the inevitability of Facebook and weighing that up against the realities of potentially infinite networking possibilities.  (Or it could very well have been he wanted another way to stalk me on line in the early days *grin*.)  Whatever the case, he now uses the tool daily. 

But, I do still remember heeding his words of warning.  Whatever is posted on Facebook, stays in Facebook - and indeed in the greater cached internet for eternity.  There's no taking it back.  My thoughts during our discussions back then are much the same as they are today.

I could very well be hit by a bus when I leave my house tomorrow.  But that doesn't stop me walking to the beach.  I could very well be involved in a motor vehicle accident.  But that doesn't stop me driving to visit friends.  My child's photograph could be uploaded and used for abusive practices.  But the chances of that happening are more unlikely than the previous two examples (just enter 'child' into a Google images search result and see if you can find her before a million other images of children come up ;o).  And I don't want to eliminate an avenue for friends and family who live overseas, from feeling a little more involved in her life, just in case.


So in the same vein, I will let be what will be.  And manage any potentially terrible consequence if and when it happens, rather than live my life attempting to protect myself from something that may never eventuate.  And that includes Facebook.


So for today, the stand out gratitude kudos goes to Facebook.
For making my world a richer environment through enabling interaction with many a gorgeous soul.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

June 26th

Sunday is very much a work day for me, rather than a play day.
Saturday is our day to hang out and laze around - which just at the moment feels incredibly indulgent and almost a little negligent!  But I'm working hard to remain in the moment of relaxation - rather than think about work.

I actually wrote our a to do list today, as I was thinking about the things I wanted to accomplish.  There were eight things on it and I achieved every single one of them.

1. Update preconception gender selection e-guide
2. Convert to pdf
3.  Upload to facebook page (with Ben's help)
http://applesandovaries.com/templates/facebook/resources/eguides/a&o-pcgs-eguide.pdf
CHECK!

4.  Profile superfoods and upload to facebook page (with Ben's help)
http://www.facebook.com/notes/apples-and-ovaries/which-supplements-do-you-recommend/198593613525590
CHECK!

5.  Launch latest offer to 500th liker (with Ben's help)


http://www.facebook.com/applesandovaries?sk=app_226802127340648
CHECK!

6.  Bring in bookcase
7.  Re-catalogue books
8.  Finish tidying Lucy's and my room after yesterday's rearrange
CHECK!

I then rewarded us both with an espresso martini.  We've been talking about making ourselves one of these since we first tried one during a night in the city many moons ago.


It was better than I remembered!

Today, I'm grateful for a day that seemingly had 30 or so, 75 minute hours in it.
I guess that happens when you manage to capitalise every single moment.


Even if those moments are lying on the couch with your feet up :o).

Oh - and yes, the wheel did come with an extra bit!
(I forgot to photograph it.)


Heavens knows how it all works, but I'm looking forward to finding out *grin*.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

June 25th

One woman's trash in another woman's treasure.


Very grateful for the opportunity to lavish love on a beautifully crafted tool, that has been sitting in a corner, as decoration, for the last fifteen years.

She's never used it.  She couldn't tell me anything of the history.  It was picked up at an op shop many moons ago, for the exact purpose it has been fulfilling the last fifteen years.  They are now de-cluttering (something to do with the For Sale sign at the front gate, I imagine) and I got lucky *smile*.

I know absolutely NOTHING about spinning.
Other than I'd really like to give it a go.  From time to time, my rampant imagination entertains ideas of a coming Armageddon.  Where fuel prices prohibit transportation as we know it, and we're once again, living and working locally and communally.  I imagine us growing and raising our own food, bartering that which we don't, making our own clothes and spinning our own wool, from the sheep agisted in the side paddock.  So, there's a part of me that would very much like to be useful, should the time ever come.

I can't even tell, by looking at this beautiful object, if it has all the pieces it needs.
I guess I'll find out soon enough!  A woman from my village and I will be taking spinning lessons in the coming months (there is much *squeeeeeee* factor).
Stay tuned!

Friday, June 24, 2011

June 24th

Grateful today, for time spent with my incredible girl.

Lucy is so patient with my hour of work I need to do every morning.  I feel the hugest surge of gratitude when I hear her singing away to herself, happily painting in the adjoining room while "mama does work".  She asked me this morning, why I do work.  And the answer, for most likely the first time ever in my life was, "because I enjoy it".  And, I explained, because I'm helping people.  Which is not unique to positions of my past (everyone needs a babysitter, new shoes, their dishes washed, their motel room cleaned, a beer, a meal, a flight, a mobile phone, and an income support payment from time to time). But with this work, I really am enjoying myself.  Which is a pretty great thing right now, considering it's not currently generating any revenue!  I digress...

Our morning today was a cafe date, enjoying the gorgeous company of a new friend.
We sat and chatted for nearly two hours and my darling child sat, sung, drew pictures, practiced letters, gave me cuddles, made our company and me giggle, and just downright rocked my world with her patience and perseverance.  Because, let's face it - adult conversation is not really all that interesting, unless you're a participating adult (generally).

After our wonderful coffee date, I trundled her with me, on my errands - from the drycleaners, to the op shop to buy a milk jug, to the toy library (not for fun stuff!), to the store to replace a teapot and tea set that was broken last night.  We found a new tea set - and stocked up on new dress-ups and cotton (cos you can never have too much cotton), all and all spending well over an hour browsing this huge store.  It wasn't until she looked up at me from under her new wide-brimmed races hat and mentioned she was hungry that I realised it was half past two and I felt immediately dreadful that I had neglected to feed my child!

Fifteen minutes and two ham salad sandwiches later, we were sitting at our island bench, and I found myself marveling at how utterly, deeply and completely I was lovingly besotted with this child.

We spent the rest of the afternoon playing dress-ups, making snails, hearts, globes and dice out of fimo and watching every species under the sun giving birth on You Tube.  Her idea of a perfect afternoon.  (Did you know that some sharks birth live young??!!)


I am so grateful for this wee woman in my life.
I absolutely adore the age of four-five - where everything is analysed in the most lateral and fascinating way.  Where no subject is taboo and no opinion voiced too loudly.

Thank you my little Goose.
For sharing your world with me and for putting up with me in yours.
Forever loving you, your mama xxxx

Thursday, June 23, 2011

June 23rd

Grateful for the ability to help out a woman in need :oD.

A gorgeous friend of mine is in the early months of her third pregnancy.
You know, that time when everything you eat ends up in the toilet, when you agree to read your three year old a story, so long as it's lying down in bed and you try and remember why you thought going again was a good idea...?

Yes.  And this woman, bless her cotton socks, is still working four days a week.
So, when she casually mentioned the volatile activity of Mount Foldmore in her family room, it was time to step up.  You see, if there's one domestic chore I adore doing - it's folding washing.  Actually, I even enjoy separating, washing, hanging out and bringing in, too.  Just don't ask me to put anything away once I'm done folding.  That's when you're on your own (I can't even do it in my own house).

I arrived this afternoon, delighted to find another mutual friend already elbow deep in delicates. So we had a fabulous ole time, chatting, folding, rescuing folded items from small children and shooing puppies from off the neatly stacked piles atop the sofa.  I love woman-to-woman time like this.  Where tongues are flying as fast as hands are.  Magical. 

And the outpouring of gratitude as you're leaving and then later, via a public forum is very sweet.  Little does she realise, that time in her company is worth every single sock!
For the tenth time, woman - you're welcome!
*laugh*
Anytime.
xxxx


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

June 22nd

Happy Winter and Summer Solstice Everyone!

It's the depths of winter here, and I for one am most pleased to be celebrating the longest night of the year.  Because from tomorrow, the days get that little bit longer, edging us closer and closer to the warmer nights and the longer days - Yay!

Lucy ooohed and aaaaahed at the tree today.


Then we played with sparklers!





And then she listened to a bedtime story about what solstice is about, interspersed (for dramatic effect!) with the bang of a drum.  I enjoyed very much, watching her eyes get bigger and wider.

While she didn't like the idea so much, of the longest night (thinking she'd have to stay in bed longer than usual *smile*), she did enjoy the idea of the coming longer and warmer days ("water play at the beach again soon, Mama?").

Many blessings to you and your loved ones tonight.
Enjoy a glass or two of mulled wine, on me *wink*.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

June 21st

I can't believe how much work I got done today!

It was incredibly productive and it felt magnificent.
The natural breaks in concentration were few and far between, but when they did arrive (like to pee and eat), I was reminded of how much I enjoy the physical company of people in my work space.  And how much I miss it when I don't have it.

I remember when I was consulting in my clinic back in 2004, the most rewarding lesson I learned, was how I need to have people around me when I work.  I wasn't busy enough to need a receptionist, so it was just me and clients (and the odd family member that popped in to say 'hi').  And when there wasn't clients or pop in's - it was very lonely.  I realised I'm the kinda person that needs people around me.  I was reminded of that today.

Facebook is handy for that.  For me, Facebook is like a continuous gathering that is always happening, that has people arriving and leaving constantly, all the time.  I have many mutual friends, so I can witness and participate in one-on-one wall-to-wall conversations (which I liken to two or three people standing in a circle, chatting), as well as engage in open-to-all status updates.  I can wander into a corner and read an article quietly (on a wall) and then choose to join or strike up a discussion about that article.

Facebook is fantastic like that - but it's still not eye to eye contact with an energetic connection.
However - my reward for all my hard work was to come!
Craft circle! 
*squeeeeeeeeeeee*

I'm making my very last custom beanie, which I was pleased to have had a moment to start tonight (gorgeous colours she chose, don't you think?!).


I'm also working on a cardigan for myself - did I tell you about that?
I was more than a little nervous a week or so ago, when the instructions didn't match what I was looking at in the diagram.  I decided to continue on despite my fear and hope it would work itself out.  Tonight, another set of eyes were cast over the pattern and it all became clear.  *phew!*
My cardi WIP so far:


All in all, a very involved and productive day!

Monday, June 20, 2011

June 20th

Today I am grateful for the courage of my convictions.

For not bowing to my inner good girl and feeling the need to acquiesce just to ensure I please everyone, above all else.  For loving and respecting myself enough to draw a line in the sand and take action to maintain that boundary.  For myself and for the space I have created, a space I am taking great pride in nurturing.

Today I made a big call, and not an easy one.
But as soon as it was done, I immediately felt lighter.
The stress of the past two days was gone.  The stress of potential future shite was eliminated.  I felt happy and comfortable in my space again.  Those feelings alone indicated I had made the right decision.

You see, I don't mind being challenged.  I quite like having different perspectives on the world presented to me, for me to ponder and consider, to compare and contrast with my current views.  But what I don't like, is to be manipulated.  What I don't enjoy, is having a trap laid out before me, just awaiting to be tripped.  But, I'm cleverer than that.  Cleverer than anticipated, it would seem.  So the third strike means you're out where I come from.  No fuss.  No bother.  Just thanks for coming, and see you later.  I don't anticipate a fall out - but if there is, I'll manage it as it happens.

But for now, it's back to the advertised programming *wink*.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

June 19th

Grateful to live in a city where we can take ourselves off to a fabulous show within an hour of deciding!

Rock of Ages was fantastic entertainment.
Set in the mid 80s - all big hair, leather pants, rock and roll and black, black, black.

It took me back *sigh*.


 So many of my teenage favourites were featured, including the ever-popular power ballads.  We were all handed tiny plastic faux lighters on entry to wave above our heads.... ahhh the time warp....


The storyline was full of raunch and the performance was fantastic.
I wouldn't mind seeing it again, actually!
Oh - and so, so grateful to share my life with a man that adores theatre as much as I do *smile*.


Saturday, June 18, 2011

June 18th

Our Solstice Gathering.... 

Winter is a time when the earth slows down, there is less light, making it the perfect time for hibernation. Winter is the time for planning, for introspection and the incubation of ideas.


It is also the time of death.
A powerful time to set your intention to remove something from your life that is no longer serving you.
We asked our loved ones to gather their partners and children and join us for mulled wine and a wee winter solstice ritual.  We asked them to bring with them, written on a piece of paper, that thing they wanted to see banished from their life forever.  Our plan was to collectively cast our burdens into the pit of fire, permanently severing their ties to us.


We welcomed in the darkness and released that which no longer served. 
We danced, we drummed, we drank wine infused with passion and power.

It was an extraordinary evening.  Filled with laughter, love and passion.




Thank you again, to all that gathered and celebrated with us.
I am forever grateful for the beautiful people in my life.
Blessed be.

Some pics for your viewing pleasure, of our incredible entertainment.
(Our friends are so talented!)










video

Friday, June 17, 2011

June 17th

We visited the second school on our choice of two list, today.

I didn't *actually* think this would happen, but I believe we have found a primary school that will nurture my child's intellectual, social and academic requirements more than her father and I could do alone.

The thing that I love more than the International Baccalaureate primary years program, more than the gorgeous naturally treed environment, adjacent to the park, more than the multi-leveled quirky architecture of the buildings, more than the fact that there is a female principal - is how they structure the early education years.  I may have mentioned before, the necessity within the schooling system for children to fit into boxes according to their ages and then learn predetermined curriculum *appropriate* for their age, shits me.  Children are not carbon copies of each other.  They don't fit neatly into boxes - no human being does!  And they most certainly don't learn at the same pace.  Some will always be bored.  Some will always be left behind.

This school presents a multi-age philosophy for preps, year ones and year twos.  Multi-age is the deliberate placing of children of different ages (and different abilities) in the same classroom.  Within the classroom, the children are often regrouped into different learning abilities, rather than being taught at an age level.  They are taught at their point of challenge (their words - love it!).  With average multi-age class sizes of around 20 - there are only about 6-8 preps per class.  

We entered one multi-age class and you couldn't tell which children were preps.  All the children were relaxed, calm and intent on their learning (even after a slight interruption of our presence!).  There wasn't the manic-ness you often see in a class of 20 five year old children (or six year old for that matter).  According to the teachers, the prep students learn very quickly of classroom 'etiquette' and are often helped along by the older students.

Another thing that struck me was when we walked into a large room, divided into three multi-level sections, where approximately 60 year six students were learning maths, in small groups of no more than seven.  There was very little noise!  (In fact, this was very evident throughout the school.)  The children were so intent on their learning - it was evident there was no boredom.  The year level was six, but there were many students of younger ages present, as that was where they were up to academically in maths.  There is continuous re-evaluation of the students by the teachers, to see if they need to move groups to further stimulate their learning.  They work on the 50:50 premise.  They aim for students to get 50% of their work right and 50% of their work wrong, striking the perfect learning balance.


I could go on for hours.  I was very impressed.  The focus is very much about nurturing self motivators and from what we could see, this was very evident (especially in the two class captains that walked around with us).  And of course, being IB, the school has an international focus, which I greatly value.

I feel very grateful that this school has found its way into our world.
Thank you to Rachael for the referral. *smile*


Thursday, June 16, 2011

June 16th

Grateful for an afternoon and evening of connection,
with a gorgeous wee soul I'm blessed to be traveling this crazy 'ole life with.













And grateful for connection with me.
Happy full moon.
xxx