Ordinary Days

It's hard not to always want for more. Or to think things like 'When I have this or that I will be happy.'
The very act of always seeking happiness can rob us of contentment.
It's a luxury in itself is it not? The notion that happiness is something we can strive for? Oh such first-world problems.

The fact of the matter is that life throws us good and bad. Sometimes we are happy, and sometimes we are sad. And that's just how it is. Can we not be content with that?

Motherhood is no different. Some days are good and some days are bad and when I strive to have wonderful days, every day, then I burn out. It is surely an unrealistic expectation that your children will have good days every day. That they will eat well and behave seven days a week for fifty-two weeks of the year. Let us not get ourselves down in the dumps because every day isn't extraordinary.

What sort of expectations are we as mothers placing on ourselves (and our children) if we think every day can be perfect?

Let us relish in the lunch making, bag packing, book reading, bathroom cleaning, dinner cooking, bubble bath supervising, goodnight stories. Let us try and see the beauty in the mundane.
Because soon enough these Groundhog days will be behind us and we just might miss them.

If you look closely enough, amidst the tantrums and tiredness and mess, there will be something to be grateful for. I am grateful for these ordinary days. 

Soccer Mum

It's official. I am a soccer mum. I not only have the seven-seater car to prove it, but today Master Five donned the numbered shirt and long socks (that reached his thighs) and played his little heart out for 30 minutes on the field.

It's strange how proud I felt watching four little kids run after a ball. The excitement over one of them actually kicking the ball seemed almost comical. Us adults cheered and we shouted from the sidelines and they ran up and down, forwards and back until we were all red in the face. It really was such a fun half hour.

I think I'm going to like being Soccer Mum. (Ask me what I think of it mid-winter).

Seven Cleaning Tips

This post isn't a 'how to' guide, as most people know how to clean. This is a post that will hopefully provide a few tips and tricks to make life easier when it comes to keeping your family home clean.

Here are my seven tips;

1) Schedule it in
It doesn't have to be the same day every week but scheduling in a house clean will not only ensure it actually gets done, but you can pick a couple of hours that you might be child free and most productive.

2) Clean the shower while you're in it
I scrub the bath and toilet and clean the vanity as part of the weekly clean, but I clean the shower while I'm showering! I spray the shower tiles and glass at some point in the day and then leave it til that evening when I am showering. I find being in the shower with the water running is the most effect way to scrub and clean inside the shower. We keep a scrubber and a window squeegee hanging in the shower...not pretty, but oh so practical.

3) Pick up once
I don't spend all day picking up toys. Okay, that's a lie. I pick up things all.the.time. But mostly, I try to wait til the children are in bed and I pick up anything still left laying around (usually belonging to Miss Two). Doing it once at night instead of over and over in the day makes far more sense and wastes less time.

4) Delegate (and marry well!)
Reward your children with verbal praise when they clean up after themselves. Encourage plates to be taken to the sink after a meal and toys to be picked up after play. Give them tasks to lighten your load. My boys are only 7 and 5 yet they are more than capable of feeding the dog morning and night as well as setting the table and dusting the shelves. They also know it's expected that they clear their own plates after breakfast and dinner time. And I have to give my husband a shout out here too. He is awesome and never sees any job around the house as 'mine or his' but simply things that need doing. He washes dishes, hangs wet washing, vacuums, folds, irons etc. anything. He is a keeper.

5) Don't get carried away
Weekly house cleans are not deep scrubbing Spring cleans. Weekly cleans are the essentials - stripping beds, dusting, mopping and vacuuming, disinfecting the bathroom and any toilets and probably giving the kitchen a once over. Leave the oven and windows for another time. Stay on track with each room and don't get distracted with de-cluttering tasks or other projects mid clean. If you see something else that needs doing, write it down and come back to it another time. A weekly clean, in my opinion should take no longer than two hours.

6) Make them wait
Young children can often mean morning chaos and you can find yourself walking out of the house and returning home to mess left from breakfast. There is nothing wrong with leaving your children sitting in their highchair or seat while you do a five minute clean up. Wipe down surfaces and give the floor underneath them a once over before they leave their seats. With the kids seated it will take 5 minutes. With them not seated it just won't get done and bits of cereal will be trodden through the house. If they are little, have a book or toy at the ready to give them while you do your quick clean up or sing songs with them if they find waiting difficult. Older children can help you clear dishes and sweep under chairs.

7) Get organised
School aged children or working mothers can mean very busy mornings. Do the ironing (personally I never iron!) and lunches the night before and have bags ready and 90% packed. I lend to lay the children's clothes out at the end of their beds so they wake up and get dressed without fuss. Doing a bit the night before can mean smooth, calm mornings.

I'd love to hear your cleaning tips! Please feel free to share one in the comment section below.

Tired Evenings, Simple Recipe

We are all feeling the reality of being eight weeks into the school term. The slower morning pace, rubbing eyes until we've dragged ourselves around for too long and have to race around in the final ten minutes before it's time to walk out the door.

The afternoons come and we are cranky and impatient. All of us. Especially when the rain is persistent and heavy.

Today school pick up was done in the rain, which meant it was straight into a warm shower followed by pj's once home. Now the boys are drawing and Miss Two is watching an episode of Play School while I whip up this simple, hearty meal for our dinner.

I originally saw Nigella Lawson create this on one of her TV shows many moons ago. I will give the recipe idea/credit to her but I am sure I don't use quite the same measurements.

Tomato Rice Soup

  • 1 cup rice (I use half long grain, half basmati...any will do)
  • 1/2 jar of a good quality tomato pasta sauce
  • 3 cups of water (or chicken stock for a deeper richness)
  • Grated tasty cheese or parmesan to sprinkle on top
Put rice, water and tomato sauce in a medium saucepan and bring to the boil, then let simmer for 10 minutes. Serve in bowls with plenty of cheese on top.

My children love this simple dinner and I must say, so do I.

What are you cooking tonight?

I Remember...

I remember sliding down black plastic that lined our steep driveway. Water and detergent combined to create the ultimate turbo fuel. We'd land on the carport concrete at the bottom and alway get up laughing.

I remember when ice cream cones were 30 cents at McDonalds and Red Skins, Spearmints and Milkos were 5 cents each at the local corner store.

I remember riding my bike down the middle of the road, helmet strap un-done under my chin (trying to be cool, but really being stupid) stopping at the sand to check out the surf.

I remember a time when the only thing that was scary was my pitch black room at night. I'd lay in bed and make my eyes fussy till i saw millions of tiny spots floating around in the darkness.

I remember spending weekends at my Nan's retirement village. I'd hang out with her and her friends and they'd teach me complicated card games, the rules of lawn bowls and where all the lollies were stashed.

I remember when birthday parties were about the people and not about the place or how much money was spent. We'd dress up, eat frankfurts with tomato sauce and play the hanging donut game, then play in the yard, giggling and having fun until home time.

I remember toasting marshmallows in our lounge room fireplace, then pulling all of our bedding down from upstairs and sleeping in front of the warm, fire in the winter time.

I remember when we got our first computer and it took up most of the desk with it's bulkiness. I remember the day we got the internet and could search things on AltaVista instead of having to look in an encyclopaedia.


I remember back in 2009, when blogging was simple and so enjoyable to read.
I'd make myself a tea, open my laptop as though it were a good book and settle down ready to get a little moment of reprieve. I'd read about others, mostly mothers and I'd be reassured or inspired by their posts. There were never any ads and never sponsored posts. It was simple, it was delightful.
I guess I have tried to keep that going here in my little space. And that is why it remains little, which I am happy with. I write to connect and to share.

Am I old-fashioned already?