lying on the floor in a puddle of sad

Lying on the floor in a puddle of sad.

That’s what Boyo was doing at the airport this afternoon when we took Monsieur Lapin Blanc to catch his flight.

In that moment, as I watched my child slump to the ground and cry I was torn between feeling utter frustration at his display and a desire to join him on the floor as he lay there crying. He had a freedom you see, that children have and most adults don’t. He felt free to express his emotions, not sanitised for socially acceptable consumption, just as they come.

Boyo was tired, and Boyo was overwhelmed. Boyo also wanted me to take out a personal loan to buy him a drink from the overpriced airport cafe because he didn’t bring his water bottle with him. I didn’t deal with it very well. I was tired and I was overwhelmed. I didn’t want to take out a personal loan to buy a drink from the overpriced airport cafe. Most of all, I didn’t want to be going home without Monsieur. My petulant inner child didn’t want to say goodbye to Monsieur because that’s hard. We said goodbye to Monsieur though, and went to a shop on the way home to buy comfort eating supplies (chocolate) and wrapping paper. Saying goodbye felt weird. I feel a bit weak. Knowing that it’s only for a few weeks, it shouldn’t be so hard, right? Well, it was. It is.

I know that Monsieur has his family waiting for him at the other end. His mother, his father, and his sister and her family are excited to see him after an absence of far more than three weeks, and he is excited to see them. I am pleased for him, that he has such wonderful things planned for the time he will have with his family. I desperately hope he has a fabulous time and I look forward to meeting his family when I join him at the end of the month. I just wish that saying seeya later didn’t feel so hard.

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playing house

Hey Wildies! I’ve got a little story for you…

A few weeks ago Monsieur Lapin Blanc moved in with us here at The Wilde Space, and he’s brought the 21st century with him…

For the first time since I lived with my Mum I’m living in a home with a television, a dishwasher, a microwave and a toaster (this is big stuff).

The television has big speaker-doo-dahs attached to it and apparently we can play music through it but I haven’t made that happen yet. The TV is not plugged in to the part of the wall where the TV stations come in so it’s basically a fancy computer monitor for watching movies on. I’ve never had a desire to have a TV in the house before, and I certainly wouldn’t miss it if it weren’t here but it is a bit cool to watch some movies and series on it instead of watching them on a small lap top screen. I would prefer if it was hidden in a cupboard or by a curtain though, you see I do enjoy technology, I just don’t want to have to look at it if I’m not using it and we don’t use it very much.

The dishwasher, well I’m definitely into that!

The microwave, it’s still not better than using the oven or stovetop to reheat anything but I bought some wheat bags because I knew the microwave was coming… I’m sure I’ll appreciate it when my shoulder is playing up and I can give it a bit of relief with a heat pack.

The toaster, do you know how many crumbs those things spit out?! I don’t love that much (yet?).

The most exciting addition to the house though, of course, is the Monsieur himself. I’m not fantastic at living with other people, share houses never really worked for me because I’m a bit of a lot of a neat freak. Since becoming a single parent I’d really embraced being queen of my domain. Everything just how I wanted it, no requirement to accommodate another (adult) person’s stuff even if it wasn’t to my taste, the freedom to rearrange furniture on a whim… It was really wonderful actually.

Initially the thought of giving that up made my blood run cold, and only a year ago I would loudly announce to anyone who would listen that I’d never want to live with another man again. People laughed and told me I’d change my mind, and sure enough I did. It helped that Monsieur Lapin Blanc had proven himself to be a pretty fabulous dude with exceptional domestic abilities and a super human level of tolerance for my redecorating whims.

Now I’m happy to eat my words because, with Monsieur Lapin Blanc, I think that playing house is quite lovely.

 

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return of the prodigal blogger

Well, well, well…

It’s been a while hasn’t it?

We’re in Geraldton now, the sprogs and I have been here for nearly two weeks. It’s been lovely to have our family all back together again.

So much news to share, so little desire to sit here typing for hours!

In a (fairly large) nutshell, here’s what we’ve been up to since the last post 6 weeks(!) ago…

My younger sister had a skate boarding accident (here’s a tip – wear a helmet if you’re planning to ride anything with wheels!) and pretty seriously hurt herself so I decided I’d head to Perth with the sprogs a little earlier than originally planned. I had hoped to help out a bit with my sister’s care since my Mum works casually and has no leave entitlements, as it turns out my sister is a terrible patient and can’t really hack being dependent on anyone so I wasn’t very useful anyway.

My elder sister came to Albany with her husband and their children to help me pack everything up, clean the house and get out of there. Words can’t describe how freaking awesome these people are!

My niece and nephew kept the sprogs well and truly entertained and helped them forget how much they missed their Dad in those early days. My sister came with her special brand of anal retentiveness and awesome cooking (I really, really don’t know anyone who cooks more amazing whole food and I’m not just writing that because I think my sister will read it either!). My brother in law revealed a skill set I was unaware he posessed when he showed himself to be the luggage tetris master. He managed to pack both kombis so full that I found myself making more “clown car” jokes than was probably necessary. My BIL also checked the kombis over for road worthiness, if I’m honest neither would really have escaped being slapped with a yellow sticker if they’d been pulled over that weekend but the major stuff was ok.

After scrubbing that house until it was cleaner that it had ever been before (well, certainly cleaner than the day we moved in to it at least), the sprogs and I piled in to Van Halen to head to Perth, and my sister drove their car which towed a trailer full of our junk while my BIL drove Brigit in convoy to their place on the south west coast where they’ll be garaging Brigit for us until we’re done here in Geraldton.

Once again my sister and her family have helped us out enormously, more than all we’ve ever done for them rolled in to one. It would have been nigh on impossible for me to manage the move and clean up alone, so I (we) are eternally grateful for the help.

In Perth the sprogs and I caught up with some friends, not as much as we’d have liked but the time we did share with old friends was lovely.

Staying with my Mum and sister was quite nice, particularly because the family in the town house next to Mum’s have a two year old daughter and a newborn daughter who both provided hours of entertainment for the sprogs. Spending time with Mum and my sister was nice too, although I felt fairly useless since I’d told myself I’d be helpful and my damned sister decided to need very little help after all!

Bean flew down to Perth a couple of weeks ago for his first R&R break and we drove back to Geraldton together a couple of days after he arrived.

The drive was smooth and fairly uneventful. Bean drove the whole way, figuring he owed it to me after I’d driven solo with the sprogs from Albany to Perth. The man’s a fool, I drove solo because it’s illegal to ask your child to take over! I’d have shared the drive if I had a willing and capable driver sitting in the passenger seat. Anyway, we left a grey and rainy Perth to arrive in a sunny, warm Geraldton and it’s been pretty much like that since we got here.

The locals are talking about how cold it is, and we’re thinking we’ve entered the endless Summer because it’s even warmer than Summer was in Albany this year.

I’ll rave a bit about Geraldton in another post, but for now I’ll leave it at this – THE PLAYGROUNDS HERE ARE AWESOME!

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a holiday

Since December 23rd Bean has been off work. He’ll return to work Monday 16th January, with a new employer. Originally he’d booked just next week off. He was supposed to work all days except public holidays between Christmas time and new year and the first week of January but his ex-employer is so quiet he asked Bean to take the extra time off. Lucky really, since Bean had planned to find alternative employment anyway. The job hunting took just one day, he cold called about a job that morning and was offered a job that afternoon.

Since this time off wasn’t planned, and has been organised a day at a time we haven’t really gone anywhere far from home. We’ve had a lovely Summer staycation here on the south coast, although some days the only hint it’s Summer has been the sunflowers in bloom! We’ve spent some time together, just regrouping and celebrating the end of Bean’s apprenticeship and we’ve spent some time with friends just a little way from our home. I had thought having all of us in the little shed a lot more than we normally are would drive me up the wall, but it’s been ok really. I’m pretty sick of it now, and I have a pretty short fuse because of it, but we’re about to have one week’s holiday from the little shed which is just perfect timing really.

Tomorrow we’re heading to sunny Perth. We’re looking forward to catching up with family and spending as much time with them as we can in the time we’re there. It’s particularly exciting to be visiting this time because aside from seeing the family who live in Perth we’ll be seeing my older sister and her family there too, they don’t live in Perth either so it’s great timing that we’ll all be there next week. Bean is looking forward to seeing my brother-in-law, I’m looking forward to seeing my sister, and the sproggets are excited to play with their cousins.

Tonight we’re packing clothes, road trip snacks (savoury muffins, popcorn, local cherries and local macadamias), and other random assorted things we think we need to take and hopefully all having a very early night before we set off at sparrow fart tomorrow.

See you on the Perth side. What a week we have planned!

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two

Moe turned two last week.

He had a wonderful birthday. My Mum visited from Perth and we had a little party at a park next to the beach with three other families.

We had a bit of a birthday cake drama because I rushed Jude Blereau‘s butter cream icing recipe (the first time it hasn’t worked for me!), so we ended up buying a cake (rather embarrassing for me!) and getting to our own party a bit late. Luckily two of the three families were already late and my Mum was too. What’s a birthday party without a little drama huh?

Moe’s birthday was a lovely celebration of two delightful years with a delightful little mate.

It feels like a lifetime ago I was birthing him. Indeed it is a lifetime for Moe, but such a short, sweet two years for me…

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switch off & reconnect – emu point

Image by Liam Wilde

We took the sprogs to Emu Point for a swim Sunday morning before I holed myself up indoors and did some work on assignments. I’m so glad we took that time together before I spent the next two days studying! They had a glorious time in the cold, calm water and I didn’t mind it so much either… once I got used to being so cold!

Image by Liam Wilde

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What do you do to switch off & reconnect with yourself & people you love?

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festive decisions

“Something they want

Something they need

Something to wear and

Something to read”

 

With December rapidly approaching, Bean and I had a D&M about Christmas last week. In the past it’s been a tough time of year for us, for many reasons, and we had elected not to celebrate it. Christianity is not our faith, so we thought we had little reason to celebrate Christian festivals. It’s hard to ignore Christmas though, as we both come from families who celebrate Christmas and we felt a lot of pressure to fit in. It’s not that our decision wasn’t respected by anyone, it’s just that we were still invited to family gatherings and still given gifts from family. We didn’t want to turn down an invitation to feast with people we love, and we didn’t want to accept gifts and give nothing in return, even though there was no expectation to give anything in return. So, we’d end up getting swept along with other people’s ways of celebrating a festival we didn’t want to celebrate in the first place.

For me, there are a lot of painful memories tied up with Christmas so I wanted to bury my head in the sand and pretend it wasn’t happening. If I didn’t participate I couldn’t be hurt, or disappointed. Or so I thought. I don’t know anyone else who’s tried to avoid Christmas, but it’s not easy. In fact, we found it impossible. We’d always end up doing something.

This year, Sprout is four years old. She has noticed the decorations around town and has asked us what they are for. We told her they’re Christmas decorations, so naturally she wants to know more about Christmas. We have told her the mythology and explained that some Christian people (but not all) choose to celebrate Christmas as part of their faith, and that some people who don’t believe Christian mythology still celebate Christmas anyway as a family tradition. She tells us she remembers Christmas trees at other people’s houses last year, she remembers that we put one up too, but pulled it down after not long because she and Moe kept pulling the decorations off (or was it because I didn’t want to get swept up in that whole painful Christmas thing again?). She told us she wants to celebrate Christmas this year…

Eeek. Fears of a stressful December rush into my mind. Deck the halls with disappointment! I explained that her Dad and I don’t believe the Christmas story is real, that we think it’s just a nice story, so we haven’t tried very hard to celebrate it before, but that we would be delighted to celebrate the story with her if that’s what she wants. After all, it’s not up to us to tell her what to believe!

Now, her excitement has rubbed off on me. I am quite looking forward to embracing the season and putting our own stamp on it. We have decided that Christmas will be all about stories for us. While we don’t believe the stories, we don’t think that should stop us from celebrating them and the morals they present. At various times we commemorate or celebrate mythology from other cultures… Celtic mythology in the form of seasonal celebrations, Greek & Roman mythology in the form of stories – particularly as I was studying the history of aromatherapy and sharing my findings with the children when making up aromatherapy blends.

We are going to make our Christmas a truly handmade holiday. In the weeks leading up to it we will be making food and small crafted gifts for our loved ones. We’ll be decorating the small space we live in with a few modest handmade decorations. The exceptions to handmade gifts will be heirloom seed packets and oxfam unwrapped gifts or donations to particular charities on behalf of someone (in addition to the small, handmade gift we will make just for them).

We don’t do the Father Christmas/Santa Claus make-believe thing (for many reasons) but we know that Sprout and Moe will be asked what Father Christmas brought them. They’ll be asked if they’ve been “good” so Father Christmas will bring them presents (what a load of horse poop, they’re always good, they’re good people! They’re good whether they’re behaving in the way I want them to or not!). They’ll hear about FC from other people so we’ve decided that a great way to combat the question of what FC brought the children, while staying true to our desire for Christmas to be free from consumerism is to make a “Father Christmas Sack” in the weeks leading up to Christmas day. We’ll tell the story of Saint Nick, and talk about the origins of the character of Father Christmas. I’ll sew a small calico bag each for Sprout and Moe to decorate with fabric paints in whatever colours and design they choose, then we’ll put them away until Christmas eve when we’ll get them out again for the sprogs to leave on the end of their bed. We’ll tell the story of Saint Nick again, and tell the sprogs we’ll put a couple of (handmade) gifts in their Father Christmas Sack for them to find in the morning. They won’t feel left out when the extended family and friends discuss it and we’ll have celebrated another Christmas story in our own way.

Christmas day we’ll have a feast together, we haven’t deciced what we’ll feast on yet, but it will be delicious, whatever it is! We’re unable to join the extended family for Christmas day because finances don’t stretch to a trip to Perth at the moment so it’ll just be us. Small, and however we want to do it. We might even go to the beach, if the weather is nice. I always wanted to spend some of Christmas day at the beach when I was little…

Two days after Christmas is Moe’s birthday. We’ll spend Boxing day packing away all evidence of Christmas so Moe can have a special day that’s all about him.

Four more weeks to go… I’m determined to make it a great season this time.

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switch off & reconnect – waterfall beach

We went to Two People’s Bay for a BBQ lunch Saturday just gone. We went to the picnic area and cooked up some fresh organic beef steaks and made steak sandwiches with ingredients that all came from the morning’s Farmer’s Market haul. The meat, the eggs, the bread, the salad… fantastic.

After lunch we went to Little Beach where there were a few other groups of people, walked across it and over the headland to Waterfall Beach which we had to ourselves.

Little Beach

 

We played in the waterfall stream and swam in the much warmer sea water for an hour or so before clambering up the steep path back to Little Beach and back to our car.

I’ll be sure to leave my maxi dress at home next time I go to Two People’s Bay, and I’ll be sure to ignore Bean’s assurances that we won’t be going anywhere we’ll need to scramble over rocks too! Getting to Waterfall Beach in a maxi dress is a bit of a challenge…

 

It was my first swim in the ocean this Summer season. Bean and the sprogs had already had a dip at the main beach in town the week before. It was so gloriously refreshing to dip myself in the cool, clear water of an empty beach.

We then went to the visitor centre where we learned just why Two People’s Bay is so special to conservationists. There are a few species of native fauna living in the national park that were believed to be extinct, including the Gilbert’s Potoroo which hadn’t been recorded for over 120 years!

Once again, I felt blessed to live so near to such beautiful natural places.

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What do you do to switch off & reconnect with yourself & people you love?

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switch off & reconnect – mud face

As part of our new “switch off & reconnect” endeavour, Bean & I turned off our computers & had a little bonding session one night last week. No, it’s not going to be TMI, I promise!

We shut our computers, then I made a clay face masque* & we sat together with brown mud drying on our faces, trying not to talk or grin too much lest the clay crack & crumble off our faces. When the clay was dry we washed it off & gave each other relaxing aromatherapy massages, then drank tea!

I highly recommend trying something similar with your partner if you have one. It was a fabulous way to connect!

Photo by www.liamwilde.com

The camera was set to take 10 photos in quick succession, these expressions were accompanied by the following conversation,

“Bean, how many photos is that thing taking?”

“I don’t know, it’s quite a lot, isn’t it?”

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What do you do to switch off & reconnect with yourself & people you love?

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*this masque was made with:
2 Tbs pink French clay
2 Tbs yellow French clay
1 Tbs almond oil
2 Tbs liquorice, lemongrass & fennel tea
2 drops clary sage oil
2 drops lavender oil
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the awesomeness of sprout

I’ve been having a lot of fun with Sprout lately.

Moe is 20 months old now, he’s on the downward slope to two! The displays of “two-ness” are both more frequent and more powerful, and Sprout is still so patient with him. We’re kinda like allies, Sprout and I. When Moe is having a seemingly irrational, exceedingly frustrating moment, Sprout so often gives me a knowing look and steps in with some brilliant reasoning. She often explains what he wants, when I can’t work it out (usually not because of Moe’s lack of vocab, he’s been able to verbalise his needs for some time now), which has nipped so many meltdowns in the bud.

Aside from her awesomeness in her role as big sister, Sprout is awesomely funny. Sprout is awesomely empathic. Sprout is awesomely inquisitive. Sprout is awesomely feisty, and Sprout is a ninja at arguing!

I’m so glad we’re on the other side of three, four has been really quite wonderful so far.

Photo by www.liamwilde.com
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