Category Archives: Conscious Living

As a Working Mother

Family Walk

After a long weekend spent soaking up the sun with Michael, Ruben and Adelaide, it’s hard to conjure up much enthusiasm for work today.

Like most working mamas, having to spend so much time apart from your children can be a little heart-wrenching. Fortunately for us, Ruben and Adelaide spend a few days each week being doted on by their grandparents. The blessings of family willing to take on these
(somewhat demanding) roles.

Another positive: since returning from maternity leave, I have been granted the priviledge of working from home two days a week. Though challenging, it does make me very present to the extra time I am gifted with them. (I so love my little people).

We do what we must.

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Exotic Cravings

 

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Pool Scene

Ever have that yearning for something beautiful and culturally daze-worthy?
I had that feeling tonight.

After spending a lovely evening wandering around drinking up the scents of Australian wildflowers, alternating between attentive photograph taker and crazytwirling with my soon-to-be four-year-old,  I quite enjoyed the pace of this film.

I so look forward to immersing myself ~ and my family ~ in so many cultural adventures that our senses are forever altered and our feet feel as if they could do it all over again. Oh, to travel with no expectations and just embrace all you discover.

Not soon, but eventually.
Big travel is such a delightful dream.

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Chicken Tomatoes

Gardening is such a lovely pastime. I hear. Michael is far more dedicated to this craft than I. Sporadically, at least. We had a vegetable garden last year. We planted zucchini, tomatoes, potatoes, corn and pumpkin. You would expect that from such a bountiful sowing we would reap a bountiful harvest.

But we did not.

Lack of water, nutrients and care conspired to destroy our dreams of vegetable self-sufficiency. Oh the heartbreak.

And then there were the chickens. Four chickens, chosen individually by four excited and caring children. From day one, the novelty had pretty much worn off for them. I greatly appreciated the constant supply of eggs, whilst Michael, the only vocally disagreeable (/disinterested) participant from the outset, ended up caring for our feathered friends.

Two years later and, patience tested beyond the point of no return, Michael suggested we pass them (the chickens, not the children) on to a more loving home. The final straw was when one died and it took some time for me to notice.

The good news, out of all of this, is that we apparently possess the power to be tomato herders. We were very pleasantly surprised to discover this crop growing in the now disused chicken coop.

Nicely shaded by a large almond tree, this little sandpit has transformed itself into a veritable paradise. Never one to believe that although I have failed in the past at such things, success is not possible; we are going to stake these and see what can be made to happen.

We are going to be urban farmers yet, just you wait and see.

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Rewiring Want

The more I bathe in this delightful land of blogs the more I find myself filling up with Want.

So many luscious things out there! Jewellery, decor, bedding, homewares… The list really is never-ending. Every so often (all the time) I remind myself that I don’t need any of these things to be happy or more fulfilled than I am right now.

All of these desires and internal chastising make me wonder, occasionally, if the visual consumption is somehow detrimental to your mental health. But then I do believe that it’s all about what you hold to be the Truth, isn’t it?

I am attempting to have the wants wired to be absorbed as just genuine appreciation. There will always be aesthetically delightful items out there and I don’t need to own them to appreciate them. (repeat mantra ad nauseam…)

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Family Triangles

Being a novice in the world of sewing, I am tackling projects that are simple yet pleasurable. This little set of flags now adorns Adelaide’s corner.

She turns 6 months old today. Her beaming smile and emphatic expressions tend to engage all those within close – and not so close – proximity. Today I walked outside to see her sitting proudly on the grass with her siblings and, for the first time, I paused and watched, resisting the urge to put a cushion behind her. And she was fine. Every day a new development.

I stumbled upon this site yesterday so I thought I would look around me today and do a little of my own. Today I am grateful that that this little soul, and Ruben, are surrounded by a brother and sisters that revel in such progress.

While alternative family structures can get a bad rap, especially when it comes to influencing young children, it is heartwarming to see the benefits that can stem from them.

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Back.

Ruben at the RiverAdelaide at the RiverSo, life rolls along. All too quickly, as is oft the case.

Embracing of late:

Fourth birthday preparations underway (his first pet!). The minutiae surrounding kindergarten enrolment to be excited about. Ruben’s love of water in any setting. His ability to amuse himself for hours with knights, Lego men, Power Rangers and rope. And a Mickey Mouse stamp.

Fat thighs and huge smiles and buckets of drool. Adelaide’s generosity with her smiles. She is curious and demanding and oh so beautiful, in all her chubby glory.

The season is shifting and I find myself being drawn to the act of decluttering and simplifying.  (Hard to achieve when you are also drawn to the act of op-shopping on an all too regular basis.)

Inhale, exhale. It’s Spring.

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Puttering

The days slip by as we trundle around doing odd jobs… Life as a full-time mother these past few months has certainly been enlightening. No longer will I ever expect my dear husband to accomplish much over the school holiday periods, when we have the three stepchildren plus our own two little ones to entertain. It probably doesn’t help that we three (myself, Ruben and Adelaide) do not rise until the sun is well and truly up each day. Blessed happy sleepers my two are, it allows plenty of quality time at night with my beloved but little time during the day to actually Get Things Done. Routines are set to change as the Return to Work approaches, however. Fun fun.

I comfort myself with the notion that as long as time is not overly squandered, one cannot really complain. I am trying to appreciate each day for what it is. Today was good because I actually managed to do all of our washing as well as read most of the latest Taproot Magazine. Received a while back, it was misplaced and rediscovered (joy!) this morning.
A dip in the words and images within it and I felt as if I had almost been on a mini holiday. I do so appreciate a magazine that can leave you feeling so beautifully refreshed and energised.

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Grumpy Face

Pirate Bumblebee Knight Dinosaur...

I made a concerted effort today to refrain from yelling.

Ever reached that point where you feel as if you are only ever speaking in a raised voice and barking orders? Or is it just me with the boisterous threeandahalf year old who almost always often lacks the capacity to listen and complete a task as directed?

Today I vowed that I would be different. I would attempt this wee thing people refer to as patience and speak only in a calm tone. Calm, quiet, less blackmail.  I can do this, I thought.  It has to be better than earlier in the week, when I threatened the loss of television (i.e. movies and iView) for the day (it was mid-morning)… Only to find myself lamenting my stupidity as the day progressed and my mental state went from imbalanced to barmy and my friend the Box of Calm was out of bounds.

And by jove, it surprised me by actually being close to effective. I think he was a little freaked – as though this new calm mama had adopted a mask that indicated an impending sense of doom and destruction. Which was far scarier than one who just bellowed in bursts. I don’t know how long this new persona will be maintained, but I am going to roll with it while it works.

The selective collection of his masks that Ruben had assembled on the floor struck me as a little amusing, so I thought I would share it with you.

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Dwelling Upon

Castaways Sculpture Awards Recycled Art RockinghamRecycled Art Sculptures by the Sea

In our world, on this small corner of the earth, the term “affordable” is spoke of with a wry smile and bathed in a light shade of green; finances are a tad grim.  However, we remain optimistic and appreciate each other and every day.

“Luxury need not have a price – comfort itself is a luxury”  – Geoffrey Beene

This book was given to me by my beautiful step-mother and I am enjoying soaking up bites in between other things.

The more I meditate on the meaning of moderation the more I feel that much joy can be found in living a simple life. Luxuries are affordable; pampering yourself is possible. It all depends on your perspective.

My current luxury is the purchase of fresh cream. A freshly ground black coffee with a huge glug of cream is making me feel incredibly good. Small luxuries, but ones that can be appreciated every day.  Life can be an abundance of good.
Wear your best jewellery. It will make each day grand.

Images taken at Castaways Sculpture Exhibition, featuring recycled art, in Rockingham last month

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Cold Tea

One month in and life is definitely different.  Suddenly I find myself consuming cold tea and melted ice cream, and a massage is far more gratefully received than ever before.

I have become a milk machine again.  I love breastfeeding but my goodness it seems to be a constant exercise.

Must remember to take more photos.  So easy to forget with a second baby!

Photo # 1 – First time in the pram.  We usually opt for the sling or the pouch.
Photo # 2 – Feeding in the car and trying to absorb details that will pass all too soon.

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