Archive for the 'Hip Thought For The Day' Category

Would A Pressure Cooker Save Your Life?

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

1673331Following on from my job description blog on Monday I thought I’d share my thoughts on a recent book I read – Juanita Phillips’ ‘A Pressure Cooker Save My Life’. On a trip to the libary for ‘storytime’ with Goldilocks this book literally fell out of the shelf onto my foot. I was wrangling Goldilocks who was running through the aisles, nursing a 4 week old and I bumped this book off the shelf. Its byline read ‘how to have it all, do it all and keep it all together’. I laughed to myself, or maybe even out loud and immediately added it to the pile of books-to-borrow.

Part survival guide, part cook book ABC newsreader Juanita Phillips recounts in a very open and honest way her public breakdown on national television (she was suffering severe panic attacks and whilst reading the news her throat literally closed over preventing her from speaking) and how she rose from the ashes to lead a very organised, well balanced life as worker, mother of two and wife. She was as she recounts, literally saved by a pressure cooker that she found in a second hand shop. On realising how much time she could save with this she turned her whole life around. Juanita offers survival tips, great family recipes, how to juggle the work/mother balance that so many of us struggle with.

This self-confessed failed supermum offers a light hearted read that made me laugh and gave me some great tips on surviving a hectic family life in a calmer, more organised, simpler and healthier way.

Add it to your list of holiday reading! I recommend it.

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Mother Wanted. Only Serious Applicants Need Apply.

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

As a mother we seem to have an innate ability to juggle many balls in the air at one time. It’s something I think that women are born with.

The Blue Eyed Chef was on hold the other night renewing our newspaper subscription when I asked him a question. He held up his hand and told me he couldnt talk because he was on hold. That’s right, on hold listening to terrible music, but he couldn’t juggle doing that and holding a conversation! Had it been me, I would have been on hold, preparing dinner and simultaneously breastfeeding Tinkerbell. But no, his brain couldn’t listen to one thing and talk.  I’m not too high on my soap box, I’m the first to admit we don’t always juggle well, but  part of the job description would definitely include juggling…..this got me thinking just what would the job description read? For my family it would be as follows….

We are a family of 2 children (one 2.5, one 10 weeks old) , one husband (works long hours, more often than not not home in the evening and from September to December is extremely busy cooking for other peoples parties so is not home) and a 4 year old Cavoodle (technically whom requires walking, but is just as happy to sit on your lap and watch tv for as long as anyone will allow) we are seeking a mother whom fulfills all or most of the below requirements:

Finds the joy in both the small and larger things in life. A mother who has time to stop to smell the roses, star gaze, marvel at new growth in the garden and sky writing.

Reads good stories and when she says ‘we are only having 2 tonight’, she will sneak in an extra just to suprise us

When the Blue Eyed Chef is not home and taking care of the cooking, you will be required to cook us yummy, nutritionally complete breakfast, lunches and dinners, sweet treats and snacks. And just when we’ve eaten peas every night for 4 nights and you think you’re onto a winner we will announce that we don’t like peas and we shall never eat them again forcing you to discover another ‘green’ that we will eat.

Time to yourself will be limited. Often when you sneak off to have a shower and reclaim five minutes of peace we may ride our scooter into the bathroom and demand a drink, or start going through the bathroom cupboard and apply sunscreen at bedtime, thus cutting short your ‘me time’ and your shower time!

Must be resiliant to mess. Just when you think it’s tidy we will probably mess it up and you will have to clean it up again.

Will be able to answer all our questions and quell all our fears about garbage trucks, postmen, barking dogs and any other foreign noise or sight that we are not aware of yet.

You will be unable to talk on the phone for long periods of time, read a magazine  from front to back in one sitting or lie in bed and read the papers on a Sunday morning (well maybe you will….but this will only be once a year on mothers day).

Organisation in this role is key. You must be able to plan to walk out the door by a certain time and be prepared with snacks, drinks, change of clothes in case toddler has an accident, nappies, change of clothes in case baby has an accident, something to occupy us both whilst you’re at the post office in a queue 20 people deep and whatever item or items (there could be up to 5) the toddler wishes to accompany them on their outing that day – be it a ball, three dolls, a plastic dinosaur and assortment of costume jewellery. Ergo, carry a bag of similar size to something you back-packed around Europe with in your 20′s (remember that? when you were young and free? ha!)

You will also be required to be publically presentable. On the days you think you look half decent, it is highly likely that as you walk out the door you will be slobbered, vomited or pooed on. Or, if you’re lucky you might get the trifecta all in the space of walking from the front door to the car parked on the street. On the days when you schlep out the door with your hair in the same pony tale it’s been in for three days, your tracksuit pants that are too short at the ankle and the top that you wore to bed for the last two nights you will be sure to bump into the most groomed person you know. Be warned; she will have three equally groomed, prefectly behaved children who look like they are out of a Country Road catalogue and her mother-in-law will also be present (equally groomed in twinset and pearls and she co-incidentally will be a client of your husband, as it turns he regularly caters  for her ‘luncheons’ at her mansion). So our best advice is to be prepared. Always.

You must be knowledgeable on medicines, what to fix a fever with, what a viral rash is or the signs of a middle ear infection. You must be able to change sheets promptly, in the dark at midnight when they have been vomited on. You should know how to kiss a scratched knee to make it better and how to distract us when we get shampoo in our eyes at bathtime.

There will be no hand over file or manual on how to cope best with this job. You will make mistakes and beat yourself up about them – some rightly so and others not. You will lie awake at night and be unable to resolve problems/concerns/issues about us. Your heart will melt when we smile at you, or when our hand slips into yours unaware you will know true love. You will juggle simultaneously being a daughter to your parents, a sister to your siblings, a friend to your friends, a wife to your husband and a mother to us.

Just when you think you can’t do it anymore and we’ve beaten you with our demands, tantrums, mess and  millionth request for something - we will smile, throw our arms around you and tell you we love you. or we will sleep through the night or marvel you with just what a little miracle we are. Or we will say something funny and adult like (just today when I got frustrated at dropping something Goldilocks told me to ‘take a deep breaf Mumma’) that will make you laugh out loud at the time and again later when you recount the story over dinner to your husband.

Only serious applicants apply, this job is for a lifetime. But the possibilities of joy are endless.

Hip Thought For The Day! The Gift Of An Ordinary Day

Friday, November 12th, 2010

A poignant something to consider when planning your activities for the weekend!

Enjoy and have a safe and happy weekend!

As A Mother…

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

At the ripe old age of 32 and being a mother of two I am constantly learning; weekly, daily, even by the hour but so far I know this much.

As a mother I have realised….

A child is a priviledge. Many people go through life wishing they had one, many people abuse this honoured priviledge and many people don’t stop to realise just how lucky they are. I am greatful I am neither of these but daily I remind myself (even amidst two year old tantrums and unsettled newborns) just how lucky I am.

As a mother…

I will make many cups of tea that don’t get drunk because I will get distracted by requests for ‘driiiiink’ or cheese sticks or I will start to pick up toys for the 100th time that day.

As a mother…

Much of what I do largely goes unnoticed and much of it takes pleace without much thanks.

As a mother…

I realise that the above will not change a great deal, but in realising this I have now learn’t how indebted I am to my mother. For all the things that she did that weren’t praised I now salute her! Thanks mum.

As a mother…

I will light many birthday candles for my children in years to come and with each wish they make as they blow them out I will make my own silent wish for their health and future happiness.

As a mother…

I have to remind myself that happiness isn’t in the form of the latest gadget, computer game or whatever trend of toy is out there. But instead happiness is often in the form of a bucket of water, a wooden spoon and a plastic cup!

As a mother…

I want to teach my children the importance of stopping to smell the roses, star gazing and collecting sea shells at the beach.

As a mother…

I have learn’t not to quell or squash a childs imagination but rather to nurture it. Imagination should be fostered through encouragement, marvel and helping one see the magic in an often rather ordinary world!

As a mother…

I have learn’t how very very important reading to your child is.

As a mother…

Will I ever stop worrying about my children?

As a mother…

I realise that I will one day be ‘embarrasing’ and ’uncool’ to my children. 

As a mother…

Nothing will melt your heart as much as your two year old telling you you look ‘bootiful’.

As a mother…

I realise why children become spoilt. Sometimes it’s easier to give into the whinging and incessant requests rather than standing up to them.

As a mother…

I now feel sorry for the mother of the toddler having a tantrum at Woolworths rather than thinking ‘why don’t they get their child to be quiet’!

As a mother…

I now realise how niaive I was as a young 20 something when my sister had a breakdown to me cause her two and a half year old was demanding to change clothes for the 15th time that day. My response was ‘why don’t you just tell her that she can’t change again?’. I clearly had not spent alot of time with many two and a half year olds!

As a mother…

It is impossible to switch off. Even when you think you are treating yourself to ‘me time’ at a movie, a child free lunch or a pedicure, you will still at some stage wonder ‘what shall I cook them for dinner?, ‘ ‘have they slept whilst I’ve been gone?’ or something along those lines.

As a mother…

The day you manage to leave the house thinking you look remotely presentable you will be vomited on, pooed on or have biscuit squished into your pants 5 minutes before you are due to leave the house.

As a mother…

No matter how your child came into your life, no matter how they were feed when they did or what school they attended there is no love like that of a mother and a child.

As a mother…

I realise I now have to eat the black jelly beans. Because no one else will as they will all want the red ones.

Hip Thought For The Day! Seems Someone Else Agrees With Us!

Monday, July 5th, 2010

I had a little chuckle to myself yesterday when I read Hip Mum and Mama Mia blogger Mia Freedmans article in one of the Sunday paper magazines on the weekend. I couldn’t help but wonder if Mia had been reading our blog? Or did she just share our realistic approach to motherhood (which is waaaay more likely as she would have filed her story to her magazine editor  long before I’d written my blog post re Elka Whalan!

Anyway our articles regarding Elka were very similar! Read hers here and ours here! I particularly like Mia’s non-parent parenting tips……points 2 and 5 sung out very loud and true to me and made both me and The Blue Eyed chef laugh!

On a side note, the opposing weekend paper announced that Elka and her partner just welcomed their child into the world this week. So congratulations Elka (and I say this without my cynical tiara on), all the best for the coming months and please send a holiday snap from Europe (woops I just slipped my tiara back on!).

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Hip Thought For The Day….An Old Cynic….Shame On Me!

Monday, May 31st, 2010

I couldn’t help but chuckle to myself when I read a quote from Olympic swimmer and champion Elka Whalan (nee Graham) in Sydney’s Sunday paper on the weekend. Ok, I’ll admit it was in the S section (a section dedicated the the who’s who of Sydney, celebrity gossip and social event photos) but the colum piece titled Bun In The Sun showed a svelte and pregnant Elka who mentioned she had been working out at the gym every second day and power walking each night. The jealous pregnant, becoming fatter-by-the-day me growled loudly as I stuffed another handful of smarties into my mouth! (I think I could even see side abs in the photo of her in her bikini!)  But the thing that caused me to give a wry smile was her quote ‘I can’t wait to be a mum. This little mumchkin can sleep orcry but it will be coming with us whaterver we do, whereever we go….I have the philosophy the baby will in with our life – not the other way round!’.

I’m all for children fitting in with adults lives. No infact, I stand corrected ….I think there needs to be a healthy  balance, where children are socially adjusted to adult life and vice versa with a parent…..but with a newborn?…..

We wish Elka all the best for a safe and happy arrival of her soon to be babe and more power to you Elka. I hope the transition into parenthood is as smooth and easy as you wish it to be!

The Beauty Of One’s Own Child…And A Mother Knows Best!

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

Goldilocks spent the night at my Mum and Dad’s last night or ‘Ma’ and ‘Bampa’ as they are known. Off she she toddled, bossing them around and clearly communicating that they were to take her to the park and then play playdough. As obliging, doting and loving grandparents they did exactly what she requested. I laughed as I left her for our solo night out that she had two grown adults firmly wrapped around her 23 month old little finger!

This morning when I picked her up, after less than 24 hours away from her I couldn’t help but be overwhelmed at her beauty, cuteness and the sheer delight that I drink in when I’m in her company. I then spent the rest of the day kissing, cuddling and telling her how beautiful she was in both spirit and personality. It’s not that I don’t usually do this, but it’s amazing how rejuvinating a short break away from her can be. Instead of being bogged down in the day to day life of toddlerdam which is as rewarding as it is tiring, I was suddenly reminded of her fragile, inner and outer beauty, how reliant (in a good way) she is on me and just how proud I am of her.

 A friend just recently remarked about a girlfriend and her newborn and how she couldn’t stop saying ‘isn’t he just the most beautiful baby you have ever seen’. In truth, we all think our own babies no matter what age are the most beautiful in the world. Just as Grandparents think their grandchild is the most beautiful of all the children in playground. Today, after my brief night away I couldn’t help but wonder how I could bottle that sense of reassurance, compassion, support, provision and keep safe promise that a parent offers a child and shelve it for Goldilocks for later in life when she’s insecure because she hasn’t had a boyfriend yet, lonely because it’s her first day of school, hurt because the naughty boy in the class teased her for having an egg sandwhich, sad that our family dog died, depressed that she has a pimple, worried that she has curly hair whilst the prettiest girl in the class has straight hair.

No doubt I will still be in awe of her grace and beauty when she feels all these thing, but she won’t believe me when I tell her that she is beautiful. She won’t believe me when I tell her that her corkscrew curls are what make her ‘her’.  I will be just her ‘daggy mum’ and unlike now she will think that there is more to life than my opinion. Just as I wish I could bottle the feelings of reassurance for her I wish I could bottle her current faith in me that, as her mother, I really do know best!

An Angry Rant And Poignant Reflection On Being A Mum!

Friday, March 26th, 2010

Today I should be bringing you a Friday Funny….but I’m angry and perplexed and annoyed at the world and this combination of feelings has made me unable to find a ‘funny’ for today. So instead….some wise words (following my rave) for you to contemplate over the weekend.

Today I’m angry  and frustrated, sad and dissapointed. One our friends has just been told they are unable to conceive, even without the help of technology and science. I know the other day in this very blog I was lamenting over how far, infact too far, we’ve come with technology but I was crossing my fingers and toes that science would come through with the goods for them. I’m angry that two people who love each other so much cannot make a child with this love.  

Infact today I’m angry for all the couples who struggle to conceive, both those I know and those I don’t. I’m angry and sorry that they have to go through such struggles.

Apparently 1 in 4 women experience a miscarriage, I can name 6 friends whom I know have experienced such loss and there’s probably a handful of others whom have chosen to deal with this privately. I’ve had one friend who lost her baby at 32 weeks and has since been unable to concieve, I’m angry that a friend of mine has just been told the road ahead concieving will be a long one. I’m angry for all these people. For those who aren’t lucky enough to get pregnant straight away you will know the rollercoaster climb of anticipation and hope that is often proceeded by a depth defying, tummy turning drop. I’m angry for all the people who have gone through rounds of excitement and hope only to be let down with dissapointment and dispair.

In a strange way (and I don’t really know how to put it into words) I’m greatful for them too. I’m greatful for when I watch people struggle I am reminded how lucky I am to have one healthy, happy child and another on the way. I always endeavour to find the awe that is present in every day life. I stop to look at cloud formations, I lie on our lawn at night with The Blue Eyed Chef and look at twinkling stars, when out walking with the pram I actually do stop to smell the roses. But its nothing like the tough things in life to help put things into perspective.

I have a theory and I’m sticking to it. I believe the importance of a child lies not in how it got in (your tummy) or how it got out. It’s how you hold that child in your arms for the rest of your life that count. A child doesn’t walk later because it was concieved via IVF as opposed to after a boozy party. Just as a child born via c-section doesn’t have a greater vocab than one that was squeezed out through blood, sweat and tears! Anyone who has watched a group of children of similar age interact will know that physically and intellectually they are a little like a woman’s body. Everyone different and every one beautiful in someones eyes. I think sometimes we tend to focus on these things too much rather than just being greatful for them being ‘them’.

A friend of a friend recently forwarded me this via email. I think its pretty poignant. So instead of a Friday Funny something a little more thought provoking to consider over the weekend…

And…for all the people out there struggling to conceive. I’m sure there’s a guardian angel plotting a plan on how and when to deliver you a bundle that you can love and be loved by.

On Being A Mom
By Anna Quindlen

All my babies are gone now. I say this not in sorrow but in disbelief.
I take great satisfaction in what I have today: three almost adults, two taller than I am, one closing in fast. Three people who read the
same books I do and have learned not to be afraid of disagreeing with me in their opinion of them, who sometimes tell vulgar jokes that make me laugh until I choke and cry, who need razor blades and shower gel and privacy, who want to keep their doors closed more than I like. Who, miraculously, go to the bathroom, zip up their jackets and move food from plate to mouth all by themselves. Like the trick soap I bought for the bathroom wit h a rubber ducky at its center, the baby is buried deep within each, barely discernible except through the unreliable haze of the past.

Everything in all the books I once pored over is finished for me now. Penelope Leach., T. Berry Brazelton., Dr. Spock. The ones on sibling rivalry and sleeping through the night and early-childhood education, all grown obsolete. Along with Goodnight Moon and Where the Wild Things Are, they are battered, spotted, well used. But I suspect that if you flipped the pages dust would rise like memories.

What those books taught me, finally, and what the women on the playground taught me, and the well-meaning relations –what they taught me was that they couldn’t really teach me very much at all.

Raising children is presented at first as a true-false test, then becomes multiple choice, until finally, far along, you realize that it is an endless essay. No one knows anything. One child responds well to positive reinforcement, another can be managed only with a stern voice and a timeout. One boy is toilet trained at 3, his brother at 2. When my first child was born, parents were told to put baby to bed on his belly so that he would not choke on his own spit-up. By the time my last arrived, babies were put down on their backs because of research on sudden infant death syndrome.. To a new parent this ever-shifting certainty is terrifying, and then soothing. Eventually you must learn to trust yourself. Eventually the research will follow.

I remember 15 years ago poring over one of Dr. Brazelton’s wonderful books on child development, in which he describes three differentsorts of infants: average, quiet, and active. I was looking for a sub-quiet codicil for an 18-month-old who did not walk. Was there something wrong with his fat little legs? Was there something wrong with his tiny little mind? Was he developmentally delayed, physically challenged? Was I insane? Last year he went to China . Next year he goes to college. He can talk just fine. He can walk, too.

Eve ry part of raising children is humbling, too. Believe me, mistakes were made. They have all been enshrined in the Remember-When-Mom-Did Hall of Fame. The outbursts, the temper tantrums, the bad language-mine, not theirs. The times the baby fell off the bed. The times I arrived late for preschool pickup. The nightmare sleepover. The horrible summer camp. The day when the youngest came barreling out of the classroom with a 98 on her geography test, and I responded, What did you get wrong? (She insisted I include that.) The time I ordered food at the McDonald’s drive-through speaker and then drove away without picking it up from the window. (They all insisted I include that.) I did not allow them to watch the Simpsons for the first two seasons. What was I thinking?

But the biggest mistake I made is the one that most of us make while doing this. I did not live in the moment enough. This is particularly clear now that the moment is gone, captured only in photographs. There is one picture of the three of them sitting in the grass on a quilt in the shadow of the swing set on a summer day, ages 6, 4 and 1. And I wish I could remember what we ate, and what we talked about, and how they sounded, and how they looked when they slept that night. I wish I had not been in such a hurry to get on to the next thing: dinner, bath, book, bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less.

Even today I’m not sure what worked and what didn’t, what was me and what was simply life. When they were very small, I suppose I thought someday they would become who they were because of what I’d done. Now I suspect they simply grew into their true selves because they demanded in a thousand ways that I back off and let them be. The books said to be relaxed and I was often tense, matter-of-fact and I was sometimes over the top. And look how it all turned out. I wound up \with the three people I like best in the world, who have done more than anyone to excavate my essential humanity. That’s what the books never told me. I was bound and determined to learn from the experts.

It just took me a while to figure out who the experts were.

Hip Thought For The Day! I Survived Hurricane Thomas On Fiji Time…

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

fiji-042Bula!

We were lucky enough to just spend a week in Fiji. I was a Fiji virgin and am completely sold that it was a great place for a family holiday. Fijians are renowned for loving children and that was absolutely correct, Goldilocks was fussed over, carried around and generally treated like a princess by all the staff at both hotels that we stayed at. Socially, it was a great experience for her. Goldilocks is no wall flower, infact she’s anything but, but she really gained confidence in greeting people, practising her manners and interacting with strangers (I know there is a fine line to walk with stranger danger…but at 22 months she’s really too unaware to understand this concept, so at this stage I would rather she be polite, interactive and not a clingy mollusc!).

Anyway, before we left, everyone warned us that you need to get used to ‘Fiji Time’ and it’s true what they say. Everything slows down, service is a little more lax than we’re used too in the rush of a big city and questions of concerns are answered with smiles and shrugs of shoulders.

A key example of this was the imminent arrival of Hurricane Thomas. Fortunately, it turns out, we were well out of  the path of the hurricane but when it will still off the coast of Fiji and information was not being released there was hotel gossip that it was heading our way! As a concerned mother and someone who has experienced a cyclone in another South Pacific island I was a little concerned. Before information was disseminated amongst the hotel guests I questioned a lady at the front desk as to the protocol if the hurricane was to arrive….her response was a lovely, true Fijian smile and the words ‘the staff all go home’……..

As I said, unlike others in its path we were lucky enough to bypass the destruction of Hurricane Thomas and only really experienced one rather windy and rainy day. And so we continued our holiday in relaxed bliss, on Fiji time, not fussing if drinks took 30 minutes to arrive or requests for towels in the room took a couple of hours…it was all part of the Fijian experience. However, we arrived at the airport 3 days post Hurricane Thomas and were greeted by a barrage of shops selling ‘I Survived Hurricane Thomas’ t-shirts, stubby holders, key rings and caps. My only question to the Fijians is …..how come I waited half a day for a box tissues to be delivered to my room yet in 3 days you can turn around enough tacky souvenirs to give a Chinese market in Hong Kong a run for it’s money?

Hip Thought! Laugh Without Control and Never Stop Smiling…

Friday, November 13th, 2009

For those of you who are familiar with this blog you will know we usually reserve Friday’s for a little whimsy, some day dreaming or a ‘Friday funny’ but this week I am so deeply saddened by the recent murder tragedy that took place in Sydney on Monday that I can’t muster my whimsical side!  The death of a young mother, her father and the attempted assault on one of her daughters, in an incredibly violent act, allegedy by her brother. Chloe Waterlow leaves behind a husband and 3 children, including a young baby. What father should have to explain this act to his children when they are at the should-be tender age of learning about ‘living happily ever after’?

This tragedy has rocked Sydney, and it has rocked me. She was a former student from the school I went too, my sister knew her and a very close friend of mine knew her well. Infact, her sister was out with her on Saturday night.  So for my friends and all the other people that knew Chloe and her father and have been affected by their death may you find strength in your grieving and forever smile at the memories you shared. I know bad things happen in the world every day – large and small scale tragedies, but when they happen in your own ‘backyard’ and affect those that you care about and love it just seems to pack a little more punch.

I don’t think you need to be a parent to be struck by the saddness of this crime. I find myself thinking about it at strange times, hanging out the washing, stepping into the shower and even today found myself crying as I pushed Goldilocks home from the supermarket. I am sensitive by nature, and the first to admit I am terrible at coping with death. I have fortunately not had much experience with it.  I thought it was just me and then today I read in the Sydney Morning Herald of a man who lived nearby the family who, like many mourners dropped flowers off at the home. He didn’t know the family, but as a father of a 1 year old he was touched by the tragedy. So I guess I’m not alone. No doubt at this time, the family just want privacy, time to make sense of the horror that has been bestowed upon them – but like the man that left the flowers I just wish for them some peace and respite from the tumultuous nightmare they are currently living in.

The greater tragedy of this act lies not in the lives that have been taken and those who now suffer the loss that are left alive, but it’s also incredibly sad for the perputrator – what a waste of a life? Whilst one questions ‘just how did this happen?’ we must also look at the bigger picture of why and how the Australian mental health care system is failing  – how is there not enough support that people whom need help slip through the cracks?

On the same day the media broke with news of this tragedy my sister happened to send me a ‘chain mail’ email. I’m not usually one of those ‘forward to 10 people and you will have your wish come true?’ type of people, but the sentiments seemed poignant in a week like this.

Work as if it was your first day.
Forgive as soon as possible.
Love without boundaries.
Laugh without control
and never stop smiling.

I’m the first to admit I have days where I roll my eyes when Goldilocks holds her hands up and requests ‘up’ for what feels like the 700th time that day or I rush the dinner, bath, sleep routine in an effort to have some earlier ‘me’ time on the sofa. But this week I have been extra grateful and joyous for every little smile, laugh and cuddle I have recieved from Goldilocks. I have taken time to enjoy watching the sky change from blue to grey and then dissolve into rain, I have put off sweeping up the crumbs from breakfast in order to ring a friend whom I haven’t spoken to in months, I have put off checking emails and paying bills to wander through my garden marveling at the new Spring growth on my star jasmine and I have let Goldilocks joyfully play in the rain and get soaked to the bone instead of worrying about her clothes getting wet!

So today, I urge you to revel in the small mysteries and beauties of life, be greatful for every moment that your have with family, be patient with your little ones sometimes whingey moments, read 2 stories before bed instead of one and squeeze them just a little tighter when you share a cuddle. From out of all this tradedy some good will come if we remember life really is a blessing and not something we should take for granted.