I’d Love to Help

Helping hands of love.

Cookies for the school fair? I’m your mum! Car broken down? This chick will give you a lift! Need to talk? Your gal pal will be there.

Now I’m no Mother Teresa. I haven’t dedicated my life to the service of my community and others who are less fortunate than myself but I do everything in my power. There are many instances in which one may find themselves and think, ‘Yeah, someone else will do that,’ or ‘I can’t be bothered/don’t have the time.’

I’m not one of those people. I’m a helper. A perpetual helper: forsaking all others including myself. Sometimes to the detriment of myself and/or my family.

heart hand

I can do everything. Really I can!

New Year’s Eve 2012 was one of those times.

Scene: Brighton beach, Adelaide (Australia) 10:30pm. We’ve seen in the New Year (albeit a little prematurely) with our closest friends and all our combined kids at a fireworks display they put on annually for the public. There’s families, oldies and an assortment of local youngsters (gee I sound old) swigging from bottles behind the backs of the local law enforcement.

I’d smiled at the sight of a couple earlier in the evening who were probably in their late 50’s. My mind wandered to that point in my life where I’d be sitting there sipping champagne in my togs while littlies whizzed by with sparklers, squealing, others building sandcastles. I’d have my husband by my side and I’d be wondering if my boys were ok because they certainly wouldn’t be hangin’ with Ma and Pa by then. We’d be well past our use-by-date in the cool, hip and happenin’ department by then. Perhaps we might be useful to do the 3 a.m pick up. We’d chink glasses, as this couple had, and drink in the New Year together with a heart full of love.

While my brain enjoyed the imagery, my sights were firmly on the kids. We almost needed a leash for Just 3 who was still two then. Keeping him within reach near the water’s edge while Halfway to 6 ran off to talk with boys from school took most of my focus.

The fireworks display finished for yet another year. We began to pack up when I noticed the lady from the couple I’d been in awe of earlier. She was curled on the sand with her partner nowhere in sight. Their chairs were still on the sand and the table still bore the remnants of their meal and drinks. Maybe her partner had gone to the toilet? Possibly to get the car if it was parked some distance away? Had she had too much to drink to walk without his assistance? I instantly brushed all thoughts aside as we ensured we had everything and everyone. Rubbish was deposited into a bag. Wet towels were dumped in with rashies and heads were counted.

Did the lady just twitch? Yes, there she goes again. I asked my favourite person in the world, Belinda, if she saw it. We watched together as the men were left with the charges.

‘Is she having a seizure, you think?’

‘Not sure……I think she might be crying.’

Without another thought I headed over to the lady curled on the sand. Placing my hand on her shoulder I asked if she needed any help. She was quite incoherent to begin with and the smell of alcohol drifted past my nose. Belinda was opposite me and together we tried to coax her to sit up. As she began to speak with more clarity we began to understand why she had chosen the cool sand as a place of respite in a crowd of many. The alcohol had loosened her tongue and although it made her difficult to understand, the stories and events she spoke of were beginning to link together to form a picture. A series of abusive events, the past marriage breakdown, the son who had taken his own life recently and the ever-present fear for her own safety. Officially now I am out of my depth but I cannot leave this lady in this state. What kind of person would I be to walk away? Reassure her everything was going to be alright and leave her to it? Clearly everything was not okay and I don’t do nothing when I can do something.

We asked her name and if she had her phone with her. Was there someone we could call? Someone with whom she was close and who lived close by?

Jan was her name and, no, there was no one else except the man who had left her there.

My main concern at this stage was not to leave her on her own. Belinda tried calling her partner that had left her there to find her own way home. This was to no avail so we listened, cared and managed to get her sitting up. She spewed forth details of the culmination of events from her life that had led her to the here and now: alone on the shore with no one to care for her except two strangers. Her skin felt cold where my hand was resting on her back so I offered her my jacket. The ‘thank you’s’ started as she began to sober and she was able to stand. For some reason she found linking arms with me gave her to courage to continue. Either that or I was just something to hold onto: both emotionally and physically.

Jan was attached to me so Belinda went off in search of back up. While Belinda was gone Jan shared scars and open wounds: tales from the life that she had led. I did nothing but listen and acknowledge with an understanding nod when appropriate. But really, what did I know? I only know that the human spirit of compassion is alive and well in me.

Three police officers strolled across the sand with Belinda leading the way and we were finally able to make progress, both for Jan and our journey home. My arm was still entwined with Jan’s and there was no sign I’d not be required for some time. Belinda’s arm had been given duty on the other arm and as well all stood arm in arm we presented a united force. Jan needed strength in numbers and she needed people on her side that night.

The partner (whose name I don’t remember or chose to forget) eventually arrived and attempted to have the police believe she was making it all up. Whether she was or not was not for me to decide. I do know what I believe though.

So with jacket in hand, a hug from a near-perfect stranger and many gracious words, my friends, my family and our kids made the slow loaded-down trip back to the car.

Belinda and I had done what we could do.

In hindsight I wondered about how many people saw that lady curled up on the sand. Did they notice and shrug it off? Did they not want to involve themselves? Do people just not care like I seem to?

I can’t do everything and I’m just starting to acknowledge that.

I can only do what I can do and that’s what I’ll continue to do until I can do no more.

I can do something because, really, what’s the alternative?

My children will know what it means to lend a helping hand.

Image from: here.

The Love Boat

Your boarding pass awaits your arrival at Pier 3. Let’s set sail and be sure to leave all your cares behind.

Yesterday I mentioned that I needed a vacation after the school holidays. A massive thank you to John (my hero) because now I’m off to the Gulf of Mexico.

YAY!

I’d love for you to join me.

There’s only one condition…….

You need to pack all your troubles in your old kit bag and smile, smile, smile!

I know for most of you this may be a difficult thing to achieve. Please be assured there is no weight limit to the baggage you bring with you. So get all that crap, shove it in and don’t look back. Pack everything you can think of: worries, troubles, concerns, issues, things that p%*@ you off and any other unwanted stress. If you can’t do up the zip, don’t worry. Carry-on can be left below*.

Now upon boarding you’ll need to join in the sing-a-long. You can practise now if you’d like or just stand near the back.

Love, exciting and new

love boatCome aboard. We’re expecting you.

Love, life’s sweetest reward.

Let it flow, it floats back to you.

The Love Boat soon will be making another run

The Love Boat promises something for everyone

Set a course for adventure, your mind on a new romance.

And love won’t hurt anymore

It’s an open smile on a friendly shore.

It’s LOVE!

Welcome aboard

It’s LOVE!’

love-boat-welcome-aboard

Please accept the complimentary T-Shirt as you walk the gangway. The staff on the upper deck will have extra gifts for our First Class RCC passengers.

We trust you will enjoy your carefree journey and be prepared to carry only souvenirs home with you. Any residual distress, anxiety, woes and doubt will be seized by Customs.

*Please leave your kit bags below in the comments section as we head out of the Quay.

The Comments section today is for you to offload anything you do not wish to carry with you for the remainder of the day. It may be one word, an issue or concern or maybe you’d just like to vent. This can all be done here instead of on your own blog. If you don’t wish for me to reply just add DNR to the end of your comment (I will resuscitate if necessary but will not respond).

Your Captain

Images from: here and here.

Talk About Love

grumpyI love to talk.

As some of you aware I’ve nicknamed Mondays Momdaze’ now.

I’m normally in somewhat of a fog and need a giggle or two to get me through the day. It seems that Just 3 was aware of this fact this morning after we had dropped Almost 6 at school. We arrived home and I was about to commence my happy dance after getting Just 3 out of the car.

He crossed his arms, put on one of his best grumpy faces and stated,

‘I not talking to you anymore Mum.’

Allow me to clarify at this point that I had done nothing to be in receipt of this kind of threat.

My response, ‘Oh well! It’s going to be a pretty quiet day then.’

2 second pause……..’Mum.’

This was my first giggle for the morning. It will be a pretty quiet day here regardless. Hopefully, though, the grumpies will disappear and we can recommence smiles and giggles for the rest of the day.

I’d love to chat but I’m off to find more funnies. I’ll talk to you later. Promise!

Image from: here.

Love’s on Vacation

Anyone got a spare room in some exotic location? Or maybe you could recommend somewhere to sun-soak and take in the sights? I don’t take up much space. Heck, I’d even take the couch if that was on offer!

After the holidays I’ve had I need a vacation! They (whoever they are) say time flies when you’re having fun. Well this school holidays seem to have been longer than the 6 week break over Summer. Maybe it’s the impending approach of Winter. Attempting to ensure Just 3 stops play to empty his bladder instead of enjoying the warm waterfall feeling until the wind blows or mummy blows her top might be the root of the cause. Having to constantly umpire the tussle and roughhousing that is boys has taken it toll.

It seems that my love for my boys took a bit of a holiday. I became introspective for a while and delved deep into my psyche. The usual love lectern, from which I impart great knowledge of nothing of substance, was abandoned.

The ghost of holidays past visited me this April. Term break has, for me, always been a chance to catch up or, heaven forbid, get ahead. To find my centre, sleep in and catch my breath.  I like to have all my ducks-in-a-row and not the rubber kind either.

In retrospect I am searching for the highlights of the last 16 loooong days. Here they are, in no particular order:

    • Almost 6 had two sleepovers (one at his Uncle’s and another at his Nan’s) both of which he had to be picked up from. One at 11.30pm and the other at 9.30pm. Sleepovers at relatives had been successfully achieved on prior attempts.
    • We’ve visited an abundance of local playgrounds. The kids have had a blast. I, on the other hand, will be happy if we don’t visit a playground for several weeks.
    • Some odd jobs got done around the place and ticked off the list. The list still contains about 50 incomplete tasks.
    • We’ve caught up with relatives, broken bread, partied like it’s 1999 at a 6th birthday party and been to a play date that nightmares are made of.
    • My ironing basket is empty (almost) and the Peppa Pig DVD survived the relentless spinning.

Tomorrow will feel like I’m on vacation. My heart might still wish it was wandering around a luscious rainforest or basking on an island off the coast of Fiji. The Maldives are nice at this time of year, I hear. My brain, however, will be mentally planning the Winter holiday survival guide while I live the life I love.

I’m back peoples and I’m packing (my sunscreen, togs and a whole lotta love)!

Kelly

Play. Date. Love.

‘I’d love to play. It’s a date!’

There is something to be said about the simplicity with which a child forms a friendship. The ritual is brief: play (sometimes names are not even exchanged), date (find out about each other’s likes and dislikes) and love (blissfully spend the rest of their time together with an occasional disagreement or two).

I have watched my boys, 6 and 3, meet new children at gatherings, celebrations and even at playgrounds. There is an unwritten creed in existence for children. The same cannot be said for most adults. At which point in life is it that we unlearn how to make the acquaintance of new people or do we not seek out new relationships to remain in our zone of contentment? Developing a new relationship takes time. It takes effort. There is an investment from each side.

I was faced with this predicament recently: to go beyond the, ‘Hi, how are you?’ or “How’s your day been?’ while waiting for the bell to ring to signal the end of the school day. My son was asked on a play date.

I knew that it was inevitable. The day had come. This was territory I had never ventured into.

I find making someone’s acquaintance a daunting prospect yet I would be forced to. My son is following in my footsteps, for the time being, and requested that I chaperone the ‘date’. There would be no ‘drop and run’ which the mother of the other child was expecting. See a play date for most is the opportunity to dispose of said child for a while and, maybe, get a manicure or indulge in a coffee that won’t go cold before you drain the cup.

So on this day I found myself in the relative comfort of someone else’s comfort zone where I was not comfortable at all. I had to take both boys as it was during the day while Dad was at work. I spent two excruciating hours there. In that time I worried about my boys waking the sleeping baby (not the proverbial baby-playdatethere really was one sleeping upstairs) or Just 3 being unable to successfully navigate the narrow stairway with two-way traffic. I wiped crumbs from chairs when the kids (5 in total) ate the home made fresh-out-the-oven cookies I had proffered on my arrival. I fussed over the fact that this home had no fences and at one stage Just 3 ended up at the top of the driveway near the road. The older children spent considerable time running away from Just 3 who, of course, chased them wanting to join in but inadvertently continued the game. I spent nearly 15 minutes in the downstairs ensuite bathroom, which was not much larger than the size of a public cubicle, when my boys decided to do their synchronised number two’s routine. Just 3 needed a change of bottom half clothes for….well I’m sure you can figure it out. Doors were being used like revolving ones, there were toy guns and swords that made noise and had strobe lights and I thought there’d be flashing lights coming to get me if I didn’t get out of there fast. Throughout all of this I attempted to hold an adult conversation with a woman who could not be any more polar opposite to me if she was floating in the water off the coast of Bermuda. She filled space with words: not of light conversations about the weather and what you like doing when you have spare time, but her life. Almost from start to finish. I, who am known to be able to hold my own in a verbal exchange, could hardly get a word in. So I listened and nodded and uh huh’ed in the appropriate places all while keeping Just 3 in my sights. The mother, either blissfully unaware or taking some time to rest while the baby was asleep, seemed to take it all in her stride. Toys being strewn across the path of anyone who dare enter did nothing to change her resolve. She was softly spoken even as a door was slammed for the 15th time and she politely asked her son to close it carefully as he dashed off and her words drifted in the air like dust.

As we made our way to the car I was composed, outwardly centred. Inside I was screaming, all muscles tense.

I had white knuckle fever on the journey home. It took 5 minutes but it felt as if I was on an exercise bike and wasn’t getting anywhere fast. My answer? A glass of red wine at 3:30 in the afternoon-something I have NEVER done before. This was my second option by a narrow margin to going out into the backyard and letting off the biggest scream I could create. The first option may have attracted unwarranted concern from my neighbours so I sucked it up. The. Whole. Glass.

In reflection, I did wonder whether that mum opened her own bottle after we left. Did she, like me, seek to quell the rising tension by forcing it back down again with her own medicinal glass? Maybe we weren’t as opposite as I had first thought. Perhaps adults need more than one ‘date’ to suss each other and decide if a friendship can be born. Maybe that’s why she handed me her card before we left. ‘Ben’s had such a wonderful time today. Give me a call and Ben could come to your place next time.’

‘The kids had a ball,’ I thought to myself. They were completely unaware of the cracks that formed in my veneer. It is all about the kids after all. I could hide a glass in the fridge if I wasn’t comfortable in my comfort zone. I wondered what we would talk about next time. Would she turn to me and say, ‘Well you heard all about me last time. Tell me all about you.’ Then it dawned- there would be no next time. She had expected me to ‘drop and go’ and that’s exactly what she planned to do on the reciprocal ‘date’. I wouldn’t need my secret weapon.

That’s why you’ll find me hanging with the kids next time. It’s so much simpler in their world. Play. Date. Love.

And the other mother can have her manicure and coffee too!

Image from: here.

I Love An Appreciative Audience

audienceHow do you overcome your fears before going on stage? When you’re speaking or performing, do nerves get the better of you?

Comedians, actors and singers all desire to have bums on seats and, furthermore, to validate their talents.

Performers, artists and athletes share the same need too.

What about writers? Are they in the same league or are they a breed apart?

A fair portion of our lives is spent spectating. People like to watch. To sit back, relax and be entertained. To gain a new perspective. To escape or to focus. We judge based on visual characteristics, features and attraction. Our eyes are the first sense to engage, process information and cause synapses to fire off messages in the largest part of our brains.

maskWhat if you were watching a stand up comedian who wore a mask? Would their lines be as humorous? Would a mask disable them from connecting with their audience? Would that allow you to feel an instant connection and for them to quickly build a relationship with you?

I have more questions than answers. I will ask one thing of you though.

Upon posting, the amount of WP sites worldwide topped 64, 717, 052 million. That figure has even gone up since I wrote it. Mine is just one of that ever-increasing number. I have a four month old blog. My gravatar is not a photo. No image of my face appears on my home page. There are a growing number of people who know information about me but do they really know me? Is seeing what someone looks like the epitome of really knowing a person? Does the brain prefer to put an image to a name-to make that correlation for the brain’s sake.

The problem lies herein. I am outspoken but shy. I speak to large groups but I am not confident. I am a loner by choice who brought no friends here with me but wished to make new ones. My blog has been my fresh start: the chance to reinvent myself. It has given me the opportunity to choose, define and create my identity that is unique to WP. I am still me. I have not presented facts that are false nor have I proffered more than has been asked for.

stageCentre stage is waiting for me but I am quite happy in my role as stagehand. I allow my words to stand in the spotlight while I just tug on the rope to open and close the curtain on them. Each time, I peek out at the audience to see if I can catch a glimpse of someone I know. I like to see if the crowd has enjoyed the performance. Is it just stage fright that holds me back or is there more to it? Do I really want to stand out or have what it takes? Perhaps not, because you’re all scantily clad and you’re staring at me!

Is your gravatar a photo of yourself? Do you post photos of loved ones? Is there an expectation to share what you look like on social media sites? I know you’ll judge this book if you see its cover. It’s human nature, after all.

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Image from: here , here and here.

The Last Post of Love

Lest We Forget About Love

anzac

I won’t hear The Last Post today trumpeted from a bugle in person. I will see it on TV and the hairs on the back of my neck will stand just as straight as the servicemen and women will at each ceremony held around the country.

I won’t see the veterans march through the city streets. I will slow to match their pace today and pause for a minute to remember the lives lost in all conflicts in which Australians have fought and continue to serve.

I won’t be laying a floral wreath at the base of a memorial. I will place fresh flowers in a vase atop the bench to honour the casualties of war.

I won’t have the words to console the relatives of the fallen. I will help my children to understand the sacrifice made by our armed forces.

I won’t be camping overnight on the shores of Gallipoli. I will go to bed tonight grateful for freedom and peace in our Lucky Country.

I won’t be waving a flag or bear medals on my left breast. I will watch the ANZAC match and bake Anzac biscuits for us to share commemorating this historic day.

I won’t be at a Dawn Service today. At least not in person. I will be there in spirit and my heart will fill with the love and pride I feel to be able to call Australia home just the same as every person who attends a service.

They went with songs to the battle,

They were young, straight of limb, true of eyes, steady and aglow.

They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,

They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning,

We will remember them.

Lest We Forget.

I love a sunburnt country as the sun rises.

Image from: here.

Top 10 Tips to Help Children Love Reading

reading

My children love books and they love reading.

This Top 10 list looks at what parents can do to foster a love of reading from birth. The right start can make all the difference.

  1. Start reading with babies right from birth. Get comfortable and read aloud every day for 10-15 minutes. This will help develop a routine for reading enjoyment.
  2. Read several different books at times throughout the day or the same book multiple times. Hearing a thousand stories will help a child begin to learn to read.
  3. Use your eyes, voice and body to bring a story to life. Using a flat, monotone voice will not convey your excitement.
  4. Read the same stories time and time again. Use the same pattern or rhythm each time. In time, children will be able to retell the story to you.
  5. Interaction with the story is key. Look at and talk about pictures, connect the story to a rhyme or song and answer any questions children ask. A book does not need to be read cover to cover without stopping to enjoy the pages within.
  6. Point to words, pick out letters, think of rhyming words when reading. Whatever you do should be fun and not remotely resemble teaching.
  7. Use the three R’s when choosing books for young children. Rhythm, rhyme and repetition are an awesome combination.
  8.  Read aloud to kids even when they can read themselves. Tell stories, make up stories together or sing nonsense rhymes-all of which are language-rich activities.
  9. Be a good reading role model. Read books, newspapers or magazines for enjoyment.
  10. Read, read, read, read and read.

I love reading. My kids love reading too. Whether that is inherent or not, I have no way of knowing. I do know that I have read with my children right from birth. Over the past 6 years I have read thousands of books to Almost 6 and Just 3.

I am a mum who loves to read. My teaching career has spanned nearly two decades during which time I have had the privilege of reading thousands of stories. I majored in children’s literature and I write picture books for fun in my spare time. This top 10 is by no means exhaustive. There is so much you can do with your children and a good book. If you have a book but no child, borrow one from a friend or relative. Reading with a child is magic and they’re the most captive audience you’ll ever have.

♥ Kelly

Image from: here.

I Love You Like Crazy

crazy

Crazy little thing called love.

Is it possible to love your child too much? How much love is too much? How would you measure it?

 

By the amount of kisses given on cheeks of a slumbering child?

By repeating ‘I love you’ when they drive you wild?

By the lengths you’d go to ensure they’re happy?

By the amount of times you’ve changed a nappy?

By the time it takes to takes to tie a shoelace?

By the distance they run to win a race?

By counting the times you hold hands and skip along?

By the ways you console when something is wrong?

By the energy needed to push kids on a swing?

By the truckload of rhymes that you’ll probably sing?

By the width of your arms just before giving a hug?

By the strings of your heart they’ll be sure to tug?

By measuring the amount of love one heart can give?

By the fullness of a life with kids that you live?

 

Crazy in love.

Image from: here.

Love the Logic of Kids

I love a logical connection.logic

Ok folks it’s Monday and I’m not one that likes to exist in a maudlin state. So I’m going to be seeking out the humour to bring you at the beginning of each week. My hope is to leave you smiling on Momdaze. Some will feature from the mouths of my own lovelies, some will be stolen from work and others pilfered from the public at large.

Some people read magazines at the supermarket checkout. I love observing and listening to snippets of people’s lives. Call it eavesdropping or whatever else you may. I refer to it as express lane escapism.

Recently I overheard a conversation between a mum, and what I assumed to be, her son. He would have been between 3 and 4. It went a little something like this:

‘Mum, vegetable oil comes from vegetables doesn’t it?’

‘Yes, they take the oil from lots of vegetables and put it into bottles.’

‘So peanut oil would come from peanuts?’

‘Yes, that’s right.’ (Mum looks pretty proud of her son).

‘And so that means orange oil is squeezed from oranges and olive oil is made from olives?’

‘Uh-huh.’

At this point child begins to cry with such instant force that he attracts the attention of not only his mum. Once he’s in his mother’s reassuring arms he begins to calm enough to ask between sobs, ‘So that means they squeeze all the oil out of babies to make baby oil?’

Image from: here.

Childhood Memory of Love

memoriesLove in the memory bank.

Fond memories endure the test of time. They may be triggered by an action, seeing a photo or a certain fragrance. Sometimes they are embellished over the years because the story has been recounted many times and the brain seeks to add new details or enhance the precious moment. As we grow older we need these memories to offset the ones that are held onto but locked away.

Childhood is where the best memories are made. Carefree times that we recall with fondness for the rest of our years. Most adults will be able to identify special occasions, events or milestones from when they were around 5 years and up. Some even have recollections from a younger age.

Just 3 frequently has me in stitches or ready to ring his neck when he says, ‘I can’t member.’ This is normally the answer given when asked where his shoes are, did he put his toys away or when he saw something last. Of course this is generally accompanied with the ‘I don’t know’ shrug with palms facing upwards. Yes, the sky will drop that little titbit you should have remembered into your wee brain.

Sometimes I think about the fact that in the future Just 3 will remember nothing about the past three years. This gives me some solace when I think about the times that I have had a moment I’d like to forget. Almost 6 is in the process of making concrete memories for life. I know he’ll see me at my worst at times but I plan on helping them both make lifelong memories they’ll cherish.

A treasured memory I still have of my own childhood was spending Sunday afternoons down at the ducks. There was a creek right next to our house that fed into a lake with a fountain. We’d walk alongside the creek then feed the ducks and geese that lived at the lake along with your token local birdlife who knew a good thing when they were onto it. We’d take the crusts from the loaves of bread we’d used during the week and feed our feathered friends. If Mum or Dad allowed, we’d be given extra time to look for tadpoles at the edge of the creek on the way back. Sometimes we returned empty handed, often with an old jam jar with tadpoles inside. When our catch turned into frogs my sister and I would return them to their home. Many a Summer featured frogs in our backyard pool who had migrated from the creek.

Being school holidays here at the moment the kids and I are all home together. No school for Almost 6 and no teaching for me. So last week I tadpolesthought would be a good opportunity to share some of my childhood memories with my boys. Instead of telling them an ‘I remember when I was your age’ story I thought we could recreate my memory to pass onto them by doing it together.

We live about 15 minutes from where I grew up and the boys have fed the ducks many times. Last week we took a picnic lunch and then the boys played on the playground. As we walked the length of the creek back past the home I lived in from 2 years old to 19, I chatted with the boys about things I used to do down here.

As I played back the reel in my mind I also uncovered memories that I had forgotten about. Walking in my own footsteps, now as an adult, enabled me to recall friends I had, boys I’d kissed and long, lazy, carefree days spent here. Coming home with wet shoes, getting home late and being ‘told off’ and near drenched from head to toe on probably more than one occasion.

The day with my boys afforded me to chance to reflect with a smile. I shook my head and smirked at Almost 6 when he slipped, went down on his bum and got wet up to his knees. I sternly repeated a warning to Just 3 not to go too close to the edge. We squatted and looked, we searched and we prodded. All three of us held hands when we crossed the road and we dangled our legs off the bridge, swinging them back and forth.

Almost everything was the same as it had once been. The willow trees brushed the ground to leave arcs of exposed soil. The distant sound of traffic no match for the wildlife. And I saw the me I used to be. The bridge was smaller, the walk not as long and the ducks not as many. But to my boys it was just like it was for me as a kid. I lived and loved through their eyes that day.

My one hope is that we made a memory they will hold dear. We might need to do it again to just to make sure it’s firmly implanted for a lifetime. The plan is to go at the start of Summer. We might even catch some tadpoles next time.

What is the fondest memory you can recall from your childhood?

Love and cherish remaking memories.

Images from: here and here.

Passport to Love

passportThe freedom to love.

Last week I had my creative passport issued for a limited time only.

There were no children to create distractions for 5 hours.

When I first started blogging I was concerned that I wouldn’t be able to achieve my goal of writing a post each day.  I didn’t want to create a journal or diary per se. My life is really not interesting enough to sustain anyone’s attention for 365 days in-a-row. I thought I would run out of things to write about-at least things which people would be even remotely interested in reading. Little did I realise that I would end up with the opposing issue. Running out was far from likely.

My intentions at the beginning of this year were to a) post every day on the theme of love, b) to serve as a daily reminder that there is love in the everyday moments of parenthood and c) to form a good habit of writing for a sustained period each day.

The plan seemed simple at the time and to an extent it has been. I have written a post every day (even if it was in draft form and didn’t ‘hit’ my blog until the next day). For the most part I have kept to the theme but there have been a couple of times when love has gone AWOL. It continues to serve its purpose as a daily reminder of the love in everyday moments. My kids continue to give me more than enough to work with every. single. day. I now also have a writing habit. I’m just not sure if it really is a GOOD one the way it stands.

What I didn’t know is that WP would be like FB, having pen friends all over the world and reading 100’s of short stories concurrently. My world has grown and I have been granted admission into places without having to go through immigration. I’ve walked the streets of Prague with Katy and I’ve lived vicariously through white water rafting with Lesley. I’ve read poetry penned by Kimberly that’s left me speechless and inspired me to write my own even if mine are well below par. Starting my first writing project off WordPress was in part due to the inspiration of Legends like Charles and Ionia who did more right than she even knows! I’ve wrestled with Kira and been green with envy watching the RCC do their thing.

So what did I do with 5 hours in hand?  I caught up with some news from the reader, replied to comments and ate my lunch. Not once did I have to wipe a face, play bodyguard over the toilet paper or clean up a spill.  That left me with about 3 hours to get creative. The Maid was made that day and construction began on the new format. But I needed another 5 hours, or maybe 10, to get more done. Not. Gonna. Happen.

Learning has been a steep curve though and reflection seems to be an intricate part of all things bloggable. I’m good with where I’m at now and plan to move forward without the need for scrutinising my efforts publicly any time in the foreseeable future. I have to divide my time between all blogging tasks and all the time I have is all the time I need.

I’ve changed my ‘do’. I have added an awards page that still needs some work but acknowledges who has bestowed what upon me. I’ve started with dreaded categories and have a ton of love to offload from my grey matter in the next few days. I’ll be introducing some new ideas. Who knows if they’ll fly or flop but I’m going to shoot the breeze with you and see what you think.

I’ve gotta go catch the love bus now to the airport.

Image from: here.

I Love A Man in Uniform!

I Love Men at Work

construction

Code is being loaded into dump trucks and the excavators are currently dealing with categories. The cement mixers are laying a new foundation and the cranes are relocating the awards. All this for a new look! The old construction has been condemned and not maintained to the standard required.

A front row seat has been reserved for you at the grand re-opening where the previous management will still continue to maintain the quality customer relations you have come to expect.

Free Little Words will be back to business as usual on Saturday 20.4.13.

Please be advised that management will continue to keep in contact with you via the Reader and comments.

Love working with this crew.

Image from: here.

Love-Filled Home

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My home is filled with love….

and noise,

and fun,

and chaos,

and nuts,

and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

What’s your home filled with?

Image from: here.

Maid With Love For You

I was maid for loving you.

frenchmaid

The maid’s got her work

cut out for her today

When she sees this mess

‘I quit,’ she’ll likely say.

The T.V is on

and nobody cares

There’s mud on the sofa

shoes left on the stairs.

Lego litters the hallway

There’s crumbs on the floor

And who put fingerprints

all over the door?

Three loads of washing

and dinner to prepare

How does she do this?

It’s almost unfair.

Wet and soggy towels

piled in a heap.

Where’s the pet frog?

Did I just see something leap?

Crayon on the ceiling

Shampoo on the tile

Is it really that hard

to wipe them once in a while?

Toothpaste on the mirror

Dishes in the sink

Cornflake encrusted bowls

I’m almost on the brink!

Where’s she gone?

This place is a mess

What’s stuck on the table

is anybody’s guess.

These floors need doing

before the kids get back.

It’s pretty clear then

I’ll have to give her the sack.

Is it her day off?

Where can she be?

Oh, I plum forgot

The maid is me!

mess

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Maid with love.

Images from: here and here.

My Dream Lover

Sweet dreams, my love.

Dreams can be fun. They can also be heart-pounding scary. Others are hallucinations of sorts. Dreams where you are falling are supposed to be dreamsbad. Some are a wake up call and others should be given no heed at all. The worst is when you’re in the middle of a really good one………..BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! Time to wake up.

I have had a dream. It wasn’t as awe-inspiring as Martin Luther King’s (whose speech I love and I wasn’t even born when he delivered it). On Saturday night I dreamt that Steve, my husband of 7 years, was gone. Not gone as in ‘not here anymore’ but gone as in ‘had left me’. Now I’m not a big dream analyst and I haven’t even Googled it to see what it might have meant (dreams are sometimes really not about what they’re about at all). To me it was clear that my subconscious was sending me a message through a megaphone.

This, combined with reaching a milestone got my brain ticking in overdrive.

It ticked right back to the beginning of this adventure. Not my journey through life. I love to talk but not that much. But here’s just a little history to unveil the mystery of me:

  • I am an almost-40 wife and mother of two boys. I am a teacher, sister and aunty.
  • I am a recovering perfectionist, perpetual clean freak and don’t like hats but wear many virtual ones.
  • My home is in South Australia and I love where I live.
  • I’m an ideas person until I pick the crap out of them and realise it won’t/can’t work long-term.
  • I suffer from the S.A.D.S (seasonal affective disorder/syndrome). Winter gives me the shits. I am a heat seeker that must have a vitamin D deficiency.
  • I LOVE to laugh and do nowhere near enough of it.
  • I stay away from bad news on TV. I’m a fairweather friend of news reports who finds it difficult to process all the bad things in the world that I can’t fix.

I am also a lover of words. English, specialising in children’s literature, was my major at University. I.T was my minor. I crave to write like a druggie craves the next fix.

I am a visual person too. My first love was Art, particularly Design. I wanted to ‘be a Graphic Designer’. Teaching was my second choice (yeah, I know-‘those who can’t do, teach’).

So I packed my bindle and off I set. I know it’s not a big deal but I am autodidactic by nature. Someone who seeks out new things to teach themselves. Free Little Words began on January 1st this year after I’d thought about starting one for nearly 12 months. It has been awesome, to say the least. I have learnt bucket loads and it won’t stop here (this isn’t a goodbye speech).

nightmareI am coming full-circle back to the dream nightmare now. Change is called for by me (these next two paragraphs are a bit whingey if you’d like to skip them). This blogging stuff takes a lot of time. We all know that. Anything worth doing can’t be completed in a jiffy. For me, I know I need to streamline the way I do things to ensure it takes as little time as possible while still doing a fantastic job. I don’t start something and not finish it to the best of my ability.

I don’t want to lose my husband (he assures me he’s not going anywhere) and I don’t want to take time away from my kids (after their bed time is the usual time reserved for all things bloggable). The other day I spent six hours looking for the right image for a post. I know, six hours. Ridiculous! Did I find it? No, because it didn’t exist. So I made it myself because it had to be right (I did say I was a recovering perfectionist). When I started my blog I did all my images myself. That was the time consuming part. Here’s the perfect example. I used to let the image do the talking as I wasn’t sure what to say. I pumped out 54 words on that post. Like when meeting a new friend, I was shy and hung back. Now I find it hard to keep under 400 words. All of my images have come from the internet now for quite some time but I have lost that sense of uniqueness. And all of that is just to complete my post. One must not forget the importance of the Reader, commenting, replying to comments, finding the next awesome blogger you wanna hang out with and please don’t let a negative word escape my lips about the time taken to complete awards.

So I’m going to go back to where I started, where the enjoyment was. The only difference this time is I’ll be drawing them not photographing. I love taking a line for a walk as you never know where it will take you. I’m going to take baby steps and do one a week.

I’ve got other plans I want to implement but I’ve word bashed everyone enough for now so I’ll leave it there.

 P.S Heartfelt thanks to Teacher 2 Mum who should understand why and Making It Through Monday who made my Monday Tuesday.

Dream a little dream of love.

Images from: here and here.

Love in Da Club

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I’m feelin’ the love in the club tonight.

200 followers b

The night club days might be over but this club I’ve joined doesn’t involve a hangover in the morning. For the bloggers who know the ‘me’ I have revealed here on WP the love for my boys will be back soon. Just for a short while it’s going to be all about me and you. If you’ve stopped in here for the first time I’d like if you’d check out a couple of older posts to see what normally goes on around these parts.

I was excited to join the ‘200 club’ this week thanks to those individuals recognising that I have/had written something worthy of reading. It left me posing more questions than having answers though. Soon after reaching this milestone I began thinking about the next one. How many followers would I like before I was happy? Then I read this post called The More at Linda G Hill’s blog. Reading this and other ‘direction arrows’ had me driving to an unknown destination and got me thinking….

ChangesToday I felt as if I was following the ‘signs’ but I didn’t know where I headed. I did a lot of thinking today, not much reading and no writing until now. I had to get a handle on all the new stuff that was going on in my head. Then Kira at Wrestling Life reminded me of another reason why I’m here. In her post about a type of Welsh poetry, I commented, ‘Words that don’t come out through my fingers end up coming out of my mouth. They’re the ones that get me in more trouble. That’s one of the reasons why I write.’

And finally there was this post from The Evolving Dad where he talked about not trying so hard and that some of the best posts are the best just because. The flow from the fingers and don’t involve as much thought and planning. I know someone who does this amazingly well. Her name is Kimberly and she was one of my first followers. Her poetry paints pictures, neither of which I can do. Words for JP is where she resides if you’d like to join her there.

And finally for tonight is a plea to all the you Fantasy readers out there. Charles over at Legends of Windemere has his first book on Amazon. You could go and have a look at his site first or go straight here to buy the book for Kindle or in paperback.

I’ll be back tomorrow with another post that is off-topic but is something I need to do before I can choose where it is I am going from here. thanks

Once again I would like to send a big thankyou to each and every blogger who works tirelessly to ensure that their content is king (I’d send flowers but unlike a ‘thank you’ they would end up in the bin).

I’ll be playing catch up tomorrow on my reader and comments. I haven’t forgotten you!

Blogging love to all.

Kelly

Images from: here, here and here.