Monday, January 31, 2011

Little Hands At Work

I could watch little hands do their work all day.
Actually - I did as a full time teacher and I do as a Mum.

Those little pudgy fingers, the uncoordinated grasp, the clever way they master the everyday tasks we take for granted.


I love watching a babe figure it out. It's awesome to see them instinctively learn how best to use these appendages hanging off their arms. It's hilarious to see them experiment and amaze themselves. It's also a tad frustrating cleaning up all the 'experimentation'.

I just adore the feel of little fingers around mine, around my neck, messing up my hair and trying to rub my feet like Daddy does.
I love watching them fumble and adjust, then that smile when they get it.
I also love that tongue that comes into play when kids concentrate really hard.
They're great entertainment value - these children and their little hands.
Hands that make the most valuable gifts and can heal the biggest hurts.


On a professional note - one of the most fantastic PDs I ever attended was a Sloan & Kemp (champions of early childhood) course called "Getting Little Hands Working".
Very worthwhile.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

This Too Shall Pass

Now that I'm old - I'm wise, you see.
Ba ha ha!
Yes to old, no to wise.
But I do wish I'd been kinder to myself in the past.
I wish I had some of the perspective that I have now.
(Now at this precise little, calm moment, when all that I love are safe, healthy and sleeping soundly)
But hindsight is 20 / 20, right?

I'm sure in years to come I'll wish I didn't waffle rubbish about being old and wise when I wasn't either of those, but that's okay.

I would like to go back in time and tell my frazzled, anxious, red-faced, freaking the hell out self
"it's just a phase"
"this too shall pass"
and in the case of baby Magoo's dairy allergy, sometimes it shall pass in an explosive manner
"this will be just one moment, one day, one month in so, so many"

But where were these rational, sane thoughts -

When everyone else was prettier, cooler, taller, faster, richer?

When I let those ugly braces rob me of my smile (and corn) for two years?

When my beautiful little sister was sick, really really sick and I could do nothing but put up 'Popstars' posters for her and make stupid jokes?

When I wanted to curl up and die of acute embarassmentitis at the thought of my dumb mistakes?

When the university I.T. so called 'Help Desk' was anything but and I lost entire assignments while trying to conquer this 'computer business' and move on from my trusty typewriter.

When my heart was smashed into little pieces, my family were gone and I didn't know where I was going to live?

When I presented my thesis at a literacy conference and my trembling hands and legs threatened to cripple me?

When the prospect and logisitics of paying my 'too big for me' mortgage on a single income consumed my thoughts?

When a tiny, fragile, 5 week  Magoo was taken out of my arms and into an operating theatre?

When the same Magoo needed more surgery and a super strong Mama to make sure he got it?

When each night in that god forsaken children's hospital feels like an e-ter-ni-ty of machines beeping, alarms sounding, babies wailing and nurses waking you and bub when you finally manage to shut your eyes for a minute?

When I'd spent hours in our own nursery and was sure that by the time I emerged from my abyss, Hubby would have found himself a new wife?

When Hubby did go away (not with his new wife) and I was so lonely I sat by the open front door bawling with my baby, in the hope that someone in the street would notice?

When that very same Magoo screeeaamed for me as I left him at day care for a whole 5 hours per week last year?

When there was no water station at the 8km or 10km markers in the half marathon and I was so very why-am-I-doing-this thirsty?

When the puppy we were dog sitting last week chewed Magoo's toys, dug holes, wrecked plants, covered the patio in beanbag beans, ripped stuffed toys and continuously wrapped his lead around my legs and every pole in the suburb?
Where will these thoughts be tomorrow or the next day or next week when I'm challenged?
Where will they be when I tackle the Peth Marathon?
Written on my arm, I reckon.



Friday, January 28, 2011

Leh - who - zer

'The Biggest Loser' returns to our screens on Sunday night.
I am giddy with excitement!!

No, I'm not going to be on there. No, I don't know anyone on there.
(unless you count my old mates Shannon, Michelle & The Commando)
I don't have any tangible reason to be grinning at the teasing trailers they've been showing for weeks.
I just freaking love the show.

Love the pathetic whinging, the drama, the fights, the backstabbing, the strategies...
But mostly I love the transformations.
Seeing somebody get 'switched on' to exercise and an active lifestyle does make me grin.
There's a personal trainer inside of me just itching to get out!

And the numbers -  oooh I looove the numbers.
Gasping at those massive first numbers, watching those numbers fall - oh the shock and disappointment on days when they don't. Dah - nah!!
Why don't they fix those silly scales that bounce through ten unrealistic numbers before finally settling on the real one? And then go to an ad break just as it does?
Ha ha - that one drives hubby mad!!

If I get all 'psychy' - maybe this love of such a rubbish reality tv programme is really driven by my own dysfunctional relationship with the scales.
Maybe there's an unhealthy fascination with more than just quick calculations on the couch, surprise eliminations and people's weight loss journeys - but hey, that's okay.

So, come 6.30pm Sunday night the phones will be turned off, the doorbell unplugged, Magoo's "watch a Woogles" pleas ignored, Milos made and I'll be glued to the box.

I know how sad this is - but I don't care!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Whoze Dat Guuuy?

Magoo is nearly two and a half.
He is the single biggest achievement in my life (maybe only until I kick that marathon's butt! kidding) and the other morning he looked up at a wedding photo of my Dad and I.

He pointed up and said "Mummy, whoze dat guuuy?".
I nearly cried. Lie. I did cry.
Didn't get married in a pink jacket & scarf  in a tiny Irish pub
but taking the wedding photo down,
removing the frame, scanning it and then reversing the process
just seemed too much like hard work
This is my Dad and this is I - just long before I married anyone
My Dad is alive and well (as far as I know) so I know for that I am blessed.
He lives in Ireland and I haven't seen him since just after my wedding day
four or so years ago.
We haven't fallen out, although my parents have separated.
Dad has just voluntarily faded out of the family picture.
He doesn't do communication very well.
Apparently that's acceptable if you're middled aged, male and Irish.
I honestly can't remember the last time I spoke to him, but I do remember sensing that he felt awkward.

My Mum, sister and brother all live in Ireland too, but we chat and manage to be a lot more than just related strangers. My gorgeous sister has flown halfway around the world - not once, but twice, to be with her nephew/godson.

I feel sad that Magoo doesn't know "dat guuy" who would be a fantastic Grandad.
"Dat guuy" builds with tools, raises greyhounds and tells lame jokes- Magoo would loooove that. I feel sad for Dad, because I love the beautiful relationship that my father in law has with his granboys. Magoo idolises his grandad, as do his cousins. Gorgeous Grandad who tears up after a few drinks, looks at the boys and says "wouldn't be dead for quids".
Doesn't my Dad get that?

He really was a wonderful, involved, fun, singing, drumming, active, shouty, sweary, social, fix anything Dad, my Dad.
I thought he was the bees knees, the ducks nuts & every other nature reference. 
So, when I indulge myself and allow a little bit of 'woe time' I feel a real loss.
Then I feel guilty because hey - I'm not middle aged or male - so maybe I should be pushing myself and my little family on him.
Is it my bad??

Anywho, if you see my Dad please pass on the message...
 I love you Dad and would love Magoo to have the chance to love you too.
Shar :-)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Australians All...

 Australia Day is my absolute. stand. out. favourite.
day. of. the. year.
(or "Astaya Day" as Magoo calls it)
I'm not entirely sure why I adore this particular day..
I'm Irish born, but consider myself Aussie bred, really.
I've lived here since I was 8 years old and call Australia home.
I became an Australian citizen on Australia Day in 1989 and maybe that was the beginning of this love affair with January 26th and all that comes with it..

We like to have a little par-tay at our place each year - probably because I loove all the silly, crappy, cheap ass Aussie paraphanelia and can feel completely free to indulge this pathetic fetish in my own home!
Unfortunately, last year our backyard looked like this and didn't really lend itself to entertaining :  
Bah, bah! Jan 2010 - not so inviting
A year of hard work later and it sure does:

Jan 2011 - much cosier! 
So, par-tay we did. With lots of our favourite people and lots of the crappy stuff.
We had a blissful day of chilling, eating, drinking and watching the little people run amuck.
 On days like today, I get all mushed up (it's not just the woine) and can't help but feel so super lucky.
Lucky to live in this sun soaked, beach bordered country.
Lucky to have my gorgeous boys and a fantastic bunch of friends to celebrate with.

Sure, there would be lots of fabulous things, people and surgical enhancements that would improve my 'lot in life' - but I'm doing just fine, thank you.

"Happiness is not having all that you want.
Happiness is wanting all that you have."
And I really want all this - even this over tired toddler who has shovelled sugar into his face all day and is now waking up every forty minutes to share his pain.

Hope you had a brilliant Australia Day.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Running and Other Drugs

I have always run.
I was a cross country runner at school.
I've run for fitness (and food) most of my adult life - but I never called myself a 'runner'.
I always stuck to the safe distances of 10km or under and the 12km City To Surf was my own personal marathon.

Then I fell in with the wrong crowd...and now I'm a running junkie.
 I joined a running group almost a year ago and my addiction is spiralling.
I joined this free, friendly group because I missed my gym buddies post-child and wanted something for me once I emerged from the fog of baby bliss, ill health and other fun stuff.

I've always had a handle on my running.
Once I saw those two beautiful, blue lines my running life stopped.
And I really didn't care  - for at least a year.
No endorphin cravings, no getting up at ridiculous hours to get my fix, no throwing wads of money at Asics to fuel my need.

But this sordid,(charitable, gorgeous) bunch of runners I have been associating with have exposed me to an underworld of distances, events and challenges.

I've shaved almost 7 whole minutes off my 10km time since I began running with them and have run a PB in every 6 week time trial. And I want more!!
(See, I even say things like "PB" now!)

It started with the 'HBF Run For A Reason' - 14km was unchartered waters for me. But I made it. In good time. And raised lots of $$ for a great charity.
So I wanted a bigger rush.
A Half Marathon - 21km -  was next. Why not. They're all doing it!
Now that I have that distance under my belt, I want more.

So, my next hit is a marathon.
Oh, my parents would be horrified!!
(Not true, my Dad had run a few marathons before we kids stole his identity)
Never mind that I haven't even come close to running that distance before -
the Perth Marathon is calling my name.
I've started building my distances and ran a comfortable 25km on the weekend
(if you call diving into the pool still clothed straight after, comfortable).

So, with four months and lots of encouraging, mad, running buddies and a super understanding, very competitive hubby to keep me motivated - who knows what's possible??!

Hopefully 42.2km, that's what.

There is always one terrible step further than my goal - ultra marathons - 75 & 100kms.
But I think that's like the heroin of the running world.
I won't be going near that seedy, dangerous place of no return.

As for the other drugs, I'm not really that interested!
I do love a glass of, but my control freak nature wouldn't take kindly to anything upsetting the delicate balance between really, really organised and just plain neurotic.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Independence Days

Young Mr. Magoo is all of two years old.
Yes, he is our "rockstar" and "champion".
He is constantly "awesome" and "gorgeous".
But he is two.

Apparently not this week.

This is the week of "Mama, no help."  The week of "I do it".  The week of "I sing, no join in." The week of "no hold hands Mummy."
The week of I'll just help myself to what I want from the pantry. The week of I'll just put unfinished food in the bin. The week of I'll unlock and run straight out the front door to greet the neighbours. The week of I'll just change my own dirty nappy while you tune out for all of three minutes to blow dry your hair. And not too successfully I might add.

And so it begins...

Sunday, January 23, 2011

In The Eye Of The Beholder

So, I wore this singlet to running group Saturday morning...

(Yup - It doesn't say "ironing makes me happy")
Didn't think twice. Nobody looked twice.

Wearing the same singlet (eeww,sweaty!) I popped into the supermarket after my run.
A man in a wheelchair repeatedly gave me some seriously evil eyes and wasn't deterred by a friendly smile or ten.
I looked down - and thought twice, thrice even.

A Voyeur No More

So here I am - with a little blog to call my own! :-)
The reason I have chosen to take the plunge is that I feel like I'm trespassing or snooping when I spend time in other people's blogs - which I'm doing more and more.

I'm a tad curious about this alternate world and usually have plenty to say.
I'm not articulate, crafty or cultured like so many other bloggers.
I often put my foot in it and regularly waffle on - so now I have my own cyber patch in which to do just that!

Shar :-)