Tuesday, 22 April 2014

How my Perspective on Easter Has Evolved

Have you always celebrated Easter in the same way, or has the way you've celebrated it and its significance to you changed throughout your life? Today, as another Easter period draws to a close, I reflected on just how much my own perspective on Easter has evolved over the years.


When I was growing up, Easter meant going to church three times in four  days. It was all about religion, and ceremony: reenactments of the washing of the feet and the nailing to the cross, abstainence from meat on Good Friday and the glorious breaking of that forty-day annual chapter sans junk food known as Lent.

When I was eighteen, living in Sweden during that year that signified the bridge between my childhood and my adulthood, Easter meant the sampling of forgein culture and the savouring of new experiences. It meant lighting bonfires and observing an Easter tradition similiar to Halloween, where little girls dressed up as påskkärringar  (Easter witches) and went door to door collecting sweets in baskets or saucepans. It meant painting eggs and feasting on a traditional Easter feast of herring and schnapps. After eighteen years of experiencing Easter through a very religious lense, it was refreshing and exciting to see it celebrated in such a different way. This was the beginning of a time in my life where the gaining of cultural experiences would become my currency.

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When I was twenty-two, I was (surprisingly to many) already a mother, and my son celebrated his very first Easter. Easter suddenly meant bunny rabbits and bilbies and his first taste of chocolate. For the next few years, Easter was a magical time of childlike innocence and excitement, of counting down sleeps with Ben till Easter Sunday and watching him squeal with delight when he discovered his chocolate treats next to his bed when that morning finally arrived.

When I was twenty-seven, living in Sicily with my now five-year-old boy, Easter once again meant the witnessing of a different cultural approach to Easter. This time it was about parades centered around enormous statues, the entire village congregating together in the streets, fireworks during the day and right into the night and banquets of food prepared painstakingly by mammas and nonnas. Easter in Sicily, like so many things in Sicily, is all about spectacle. I felt both overwhelmed and honoured to have been able to witness this spectacle, but I also started to question within myself where religion ends and spectacle begins, not just in this culture, but in all cultures.




When I was in my late twenties, Easter meant taking the time to gather together with family. As Ben started to read independently, it also meant taking the chance to marry education with adventure and I started organising complicated Easter Egg treasure hunts for him with rhyming cryptic clues, similiar to the treasure hunt we did for his ninth birthday. As it turned out, he's not much of a sweet tooth, and he savours the challenge more than the chocolate :)

When Annalisa was born, Easter meant new beginnings. The symbolism of new life carried particular signifiance for me that year: I had recently turned thirty and become the mother of a daughter. I felt like I had rounded a corner, both physically and figuratively. I now saw the world through the eyes of the mother of a daughter. We had kept her placenta and umbilical chord after the birth and at Easter we buried the umbilical chord and planted a tree on top of it.


I remember wishing that afternoon that life could remain forever just the way it was that day; a day filled with hope, a sleeping angel in my arms and a fluffy bunny toy in her crib.  I wished I could always protect her from the harshness of the world.

But life did change. Frighteningly. Irrevocably. Spectacularly.

Easter this year crept up on me and its significance, in comparison to my relationship breakdown and everything that came along with it, seemed negligible. But then, on Good Friday I had a quiet moment to myself in the garden while one of my children was sleeping and the other was on an areoplane. And as I collected my thoughts, I realised that, far from being insignifiant, this year Easter means more to me than it ever has before.

Because this year I truly understand the meaning behind the Easter story for the first time. This year I understand the true meaning of betrayal and sacrifice and unconditional love. This year I truly understand the necessity for forgiveness. I understand that forgiveness is a gift we give ourselves. I still have a long, long way to go in that journey, but at least I know where I'm heading.

And this year, for the first time in my life, I acknowledge, without guilt, that I believe in God, but not religion.

It has taken me thirty-one years of trial and error, searching and questioning, confusion and resentment, rejection and experimentation,  anger and disillusionment, to find the courage to admit that. It took me thirty years to realise that that was even an option.

So this year, I didn't go to church three times in four  days. I didn't go at all, although although many of the people I love and respect did so. This year I acknowledge that I don't need to make a choice between being religious or not being religious. I am no longer afraid to say I believe in God either, because believing in God can be separate from believing in religion.

This year, on Easter Sunday I sat quietely for a moment all by myself and I thanked God for giving me the strength to crucify the toxic circumstances of my past and the insight to resurrect my thoughts and my way of perceiving the situations and the people around me.

This year, I feel like my perspective on Easter has finally reached the place where I need it to be.


                                                             

How do you celebrate Easter and what is your perspective on it? Has your perspective changed over the years? 

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

The Bikini Bridge - and the beauty of hindsight


I'm sure you've heard about it already.

It's the latest in thinspiration, the younger sister of the 'thigh gap' and the current measuring stick - in the eyes of countless susceptibility young women - for beauty.

They call it the bikini bridge. A girl who has one is a girl who, when lying on her back in a bikini, has a gap between her hipbones and her stomach. The 'bridge' is the material of her bikini bottoms that stretches over that gap between her hipbones. All over social media, young girls have sent in their selfies of their bridges in their droves. It seems that everyone who has one wants the whole world to know about it.

But where does that leave everyone else who doesn't? With just one more reason to hate their body and feel horrendously uncomfortable in their own skin?

There are literally thousands of photos of bikini bridges on the web, many of them purporting messages such as these:

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I first read about this trend in an online article at the beginning of summer. I expected the feminist in me to feel outraged by it. But I surprised myself. What I actually felt was a profound sense of sadness.

I did not feel sad because the article impacted in any way on my own self esteem. What I felt was an aching despondency for the fact that such a huge number of young women were allowing themselves to be objectified in this way and feeling beautiful because of it. Not even realising how they were being used.

Young women just like the teenagers I used to teach.

Young women just like my nieces will be in just a few years' time.

Young women just like my own little girl will be one day too.

No matter how hard to try to protect her, this is the reality of the world she will grown up in: she may grow be the smartest of all the girls she knows, or the funniest, the most talented, the most capable or the kindest, but all anyone will seem to want to know about is what she looks like in a bikini.

And then I realised, with that mixture of regret and sagacity that can only come via error and hindsight, that not so very long ago in the scheme of things, I too was one of those naive, susceptible girls, horrendously uncomfortable in my own body for no good reason, except the fact that I had no understanding back then of the difference between what is truly beautiful and what is, tragically, actually the objectification of women. If I were a teenager now, would I be one of those girls sending in their bikini bridge selfie to Instagram or to Facebook? I would like to think not, but I honestly cannot say. I do know that my teenage self would have believed that having that coveted bikini bridge might have meant that someone would actually notice me and admire me and possible even love me. How many years of my life did I waste feeling miserable and inadequate when all along happiness was so close, waiting patiently for me to befriend it, and all I had to do was say yes?

But I packed these thoughts up and buried them. I had no time for regretting the past or fretting for the future; the present was so intense that it consumed my every moment. I didn't think of the bikini bridge trend at all for weeks. Then a few days ago, I was sitting on a bus, my daughter asleep in my lap, and I overheard a conversation between two young girls seated behind me. One was showing the other photos she has taken of herself showing off her 'bridge'. The other was complimenting her, saying how lucky she was to be so skinny, while simultaneously putting her own self down, saying she'd never be able to have a 'bridge' because she was too fat.

How I would have loved to have turned around to these young girls and gently told them my own thoughts on the topic. But would they have listened to me? Of course not. Would I have listened myself at their age?

So I stayed staring out the window and as the bus drove on, I thought about what I would have loved to have said to them - what I would give anything to go back and be able to say to my own self - if only they, and I, would have listened. I would have said something like this ...

Dear teenage girls, dear teenage Me, 

If you really want to be happy, you must reassess what you believe to be meaning of beauty.

Beauty has nothing to do with the gap between your hipbones or your thighs, or the number of lines on your face. Beauty is not something you starve yourself to achieve. It is not something you can purchase. It is not something tangible that can be weighed and measured. 

Beauty is not about constantly striving to outdo other women or objectifying yourself to satisfy men.

Striving and objectifying are not beautiful.

So what is beautiful? you ask.

Patience is beautiful.

The patience of a mother who moves at the pace of her child, not at her own. 

The patience of a lover who waits faithfully when their love is far away. 

The patience of a mother whose heart has been broken by the cruel words and rebellion of her teenaged child who waits, all the time loving constantly, for those years to pass and the love of their child to return. 

The patience of a spouse who has watched their love grow away from them throughout the years but who waits, with a hopeful and forgiving heart, for their beloved to remember the reasons for their love and to turn their heart back to them. 

Confidence is beautiful.

Not the confidence that comes as a result of make-up or expensive clothes or being thin enough to feel accepted into an exclusive tribe, but the confidence that comes through inner peace and satisfaction; the confidence that comes from a place of self acceptance.

Contentment is beautiful.

A women who constantly strives to outdo others and is never satisfied with her achievements, her body or her face is not a beautiful woman. A beautiful woman is a woman whose soul has stopped striving and is at rest; in her presence you do not feel scrutinised, measured or assessed. You can relax when she is with you. She is not selfish with her beauty. Her beauty make those around her beautiful too.

Courage is beautiful.

The courage to say yes when everyone else is saying no, and the courage to say no when everyone else is saying yes.

The courage to walk away from all the people around you who call you friend, or lover, because you know that their friendship or their love does not  make you happy and does not allow you to be the person you were born to be. And yes, because of your courage, you will be lonely, but that loneliness will pass. I promise you that it will pass.

And I also promise you this: unless you walk away from those who drag you down, who try to change you and turn you into what they need you to be to satisfy their own desires or to lessen the pain of their own insecurities, you will never have the chance to go out and find your own tribe - the ones who were meant, all along, to call you friend, or lover. The ones who want you to succeed; who celebrate your talents. The ones who can help you ignite that fire inside of you.

They are there. Believe me, they are there. But they are not going to come knocking on the door to rescue you. First you need to be brave enough to step away from what is not right for you, no matter how comfortable and comforting your zone of security has become.

That means not everyone is going to like you. That means some people are even going to hate you. But open your eyes: people already dislike you. No matter what you do, there will always be people who dislike you. That thing you fear most? Let it go. It has already happened.

But how do I find these things? you ask

Find your bliss. Your bliss is what you do without counting the minutes while you are doing it. Your bliss is what you would choose to do, over and over again without getting paid, rather than sleep. It took me thirty years to find the courage to start following my bliss, but I always knew what my bliss was going to be since I was a little girl. Sometimes I wonder how different my life might have been had I had the courage to follow it earlier. I have a feeling that most people know in the back of their minds what their own bliss will be, but few actually ever dare to talk about it, for fear of being ridiculed.

Do not underestimate the power of music. Music has to ability not only to lift your spirits, but to heal you on a subconscious level too. You are never too old to gain pleasure from playing an instrument.

Leave your comfort zone. Travel. It could be to the other side of the world, but it doesn't have to be. It could be travelling to the other side of the city to do voluntary work with people from a different background or demographic from your own. When you re-enter your comfort zone again, you will see things from a different perspective.

Listen to old people. They have a lifetime of stories, wisdom and hindsight to share. Savour their wisdom. Learn whatever you can from their hindsight. 

But why should I bother? you ask

To understand that, you need to understand the bigger picture. You need to understand that the media wants you to hate yourself. In fact, they need you to hate yourself. When you hate yourself, you are weak and vulnerable. It is easier to sell things to you when you are weak and vulnerable, when your self esteem is rock bottom. Diet pills, diet shakes, diet plans, exercise machines, tanning lotions, anti-aging potions, the perfect make-up, the perfect tummy-tucking underwear - the list is endless. As long as they can keep you hating yourself, they can keep bringing out new products to improve the way you look and you just keep buying them. An inexhaustible market. 

You need to remember how hard women have fought to ensure that the generations of women who came after them would be given the same rights as their male counterparts. Not so very long ago, suffragettes starved themselves in prison so that someone might actually start paying serious attention to their cause. If you are going to starve yourself. do not do it to make yourself look sexually appealing for the male population. If nothing else, I think we owe that to the women whose suffering pathed the way for the rights we now seem to take so easily for granted. 

You know in your heart that what you really want is a fulfilling and lasting relationship with a man you can trust and who can respect you. You do not want a man who is distracted or tempted by the bodies of other women or by the lure of pornography. To find a man who will respect you with his body and his mind, you need to first respect yourself. You are not a piece of meat to be masturbated over. Throw away the photo of your bikini bridge or your ambition to have one. You do not need thousands of men masturbating over you. You are worth far more than that.

You are a unique, extraordinary and powerful human being. No one other person in the world has or has had or will ever have exactly the same DNA or finger prints or tooth formation as you do. No one person has ever had an identical set of experiences or thought every thought that you have ever thought. There is a purpose in this life for you to pursue that you alone can fulfill. 

And lastly, remember this: You are enough. You have always been enough. But you will only start to feel it when you start to think it. Your thoughts are the most powerful thing you have. Shift them, if they need shifting. Destroy them, if they need destroying and then rebuild them into something mighty and radiant. Let your thoughts radiate the beauty that has always been inside you.

You are as beautiful as you think you are.



This will always be my favourite photo of me in a bikini. I will never feel more beautiful than I did that day.






So what are your thoughts on the bikini bridge?

Friday, 28 March 2014

The Alphabet Weekends - F is for Fremantle


I'm writing this at the computer in the local library, Annalisa asleep beside me in her pram. I have to rush this post because I have no idea how long she will stay asleep. We've recently moved house and I have no internet access. I haven't blogged since my last edition of The Alphabet Weekends. Now we're up to 'F'. How quickly the year is passing.

Last weekend we spent the day in Fremantle for our F weekend activity. Fremantle, for those not familiar with it, is the major port city in Western Australia; the gateway through which thousands of migrants first entered Australia. It's a city that I have always felt drawn to - a touch of Europe just south of the state capital, the most isolated capital city in the world.

I love wandering down its streets and alleys, where aromas of coffee and incense float through the air. It has a strong Italian influence due to influx of migrants in the post-war period and wonderful coffee, pizza and gelato are easily found.

There is also a strong bohemian atmosphere to the city, especially on the weekends, when the famous Fremantle Markets are open. Buskers abound, live music fills the air. Every food place we enter has staff who speak with a foreign accent. The fusion of old and new, historic and alternative is exciting, fascinating, mesmerizing.

Fremantle always surprises me. Every time I visit, it opens my eyes to something new. It is a place that gives me energy and inspires me to be more creative.

But now my time on the internet here in the library is almost up, so I will let the photographs tell the rest of the story ...






With a tired baby girl in tow, we headed home on the train in the late afternoon. We really only scratched the surface of what there is to discover in this place. But they're the best kind of adventures really, aren't they, the ones that leave you with a desire to return as soon as possible to discover more.

Do you feel particularly drawn to any city or town?

Have you ever been to Fremantle? Do you have a favourite place to visit there?

And can you help me think of an activity we can do for 'G'?

Friday, 14 March 2014

The Alphabet Weekends - brought to you by the letter E (and the Guinness Book of Records)

My son is obsessed with the Guinness Book of Records. If you need to know who is the tallest, shortest, fastest or oldest person in the world, he's your man. He likes to remind me often of the woman who holds the record for giving birth to the most children (which, according to The Book, is 69!!) usually followed by the phrase I want more siblings! 

I knew that sooner or later his fixation with world records would make its way onto the blog and now that moment has come. Last weekend was 'E' time on The Alphabet Weekends (that's our challenge to do 26 fortnightly activities in 2014, each starting with a consecutive letter of the alphabet) and although I dearly wanted 'E' to be for eating, we decided to go for the other end of the spectrum and do some serious exercise while attempting to break some of those Guinness Records along the way ...

We decided on four different exercises, which we stationed around the house.

The first was skipping (with a rope).

My memory of skipping was that it was simple and fun. I'd even been on the skipping squad in primary school one year. Twenty-something years later, it was far from simple, but still just as fun.



Now according to the Guinness Book of Records:
  • The record for the fastest time skipping a distance of 100m with a rope is 15.3 seconds
  • To raise money for charity, a Canadian man skipped an entire marathon with a rope in 4 hours, 28 minutes and 48 seconds
  • A freakishly fit guy called Joey Motsay, from the USA, once skipped rope continuously for 33 hours and twenty minutes

As for us - Ben managed to do 15 skips in a row before tripping over the rope and I managed a grand total of six.

Our second station was long jump.



According to Guinness, the record for the longest recorded long jump for a male is 8.95m and for a female is 7.52m.

Ben jumped 3.2m. According to his measurement, I jumped 50cm, although I'm sure that's wrong. It felt like at least 55!

Here's a fact I wasn't expecting to find: in 2012, a British Guinea Pig called Truffles performed a record-breaking long jump of 48cm. I do feel somewhat comforted that I can at least jump longer than a guinea pig!

Exercise station number three was trampolining.


Why didn't anyone ever tell me that after you've had kids, bouncing on a trampoline is never the same again? I am not going to go into too many details here, suffice to say that after four bounces I thought my insides were going to end up on my outsides.

If the GBOR  is anything to go by, people really do all manner of things on trampolines. They don't just bounce on them -  they play basketball on them, they do somersaults while playing basketball on them, they bounce unicycles and they hula hoop on them.  They even see who can cover 100m in the fastest time on them (would that be a very long trampoline, do you think, or lots of normal ones joined together?)

The record for the most seat-drops on a trampoline in one minute is 49, achieved by Oleksandr Nakonechny . I am unsure if Oleksandr is a man or a woman (I'm going to go with man though). I'm also unsure what a seat-drop is. Do you think it might be a fancy way of saying 'bouncing on your bum' by any chance??

Our last station was planking (as in the abdominal plank)

Ben was out to set all kinds of planking records, but he had a little visitor who had other ideas ...


The longest recorded time anyone has ever held an abdominal plank position is 3 hours, 7 minutes and 15 seconds.

Ben lasted 90 seconds.

I lasted 22.

This is my OMG THIS ACTUALLY REALLY HURTS face. 

I must admit though that exercising turned out to be a lot more fun than I thought it would be and I certainly provided Ben with some memorable entertainment.

Originally, I started sharing our Alphabet Weekend Adventures on Wordless Wednesday link-ups, but since I have accepted that I am physically incapable of being wordless, I thought I would link up with Grace instead for Flog Yo Blog Friday.

So what type of exercise do you like best? 

Do you have any thoughts about what we can do next fortnight for the letter F? 

Have you bounced on a trampoline since having kids???

Friday, 7 March 2014

I've had enough


What I really want to shout out loud right now is I'VE HAD ENOUGH.

Yep, I've had enough. I've had a gut-full. The last straw has finally descended.


I've had enough of pretending that everything is okay. Each time I drive past the swimming pool on my way into town, I feel a wild urge to throw myself in it and scream under water where no-one can hear me. Because everything is not okay.

I've had enough of small-minded people, ignorantly believing the first thing they are told, allowing themselves to be so easily convinced, just because it is convenient for them to do so.

I've had enough of adults believing, like children, that the truth is black and white. Of not being able to accept that Truth is blurry; that it is a whole kaleidoscope of colours and perspectives.

I've had enough of being given unsolicited advice for every decision I have made as a parent. Of being told that I should not be co-sleeping, that I breastfeed too much, that my child should have a stricter routine.

I've had enough of trying my absolute best every single day and my best never, ever being good enough.

I've had enough of being criticised. Of feeling like I need to be three women all rolled into one to be able to live up to the unrealistic expectations set before me.

I've had enough of having my instincts as a mother constantly being second guessed.

I've had enough of my mother-in-law being as sweet as pie to everyone she meets, except the girl who took her son away from her. I've had enough of her being a smiling assassin; a snake in the grass. I've had enough of her competitiveness, her manipulation, her snide remarks when no-one else is there to hear. I've had enough of her holding back her sons, not letting them ever reach their full potential, keeping them forever as men-children, because she is so damn scared of being alone. I've had enough of her genuinely believing that women are inferior to men and of her planting that notion into each of her sons' subconscious.

I've had enough of people who measure everything in terms of dollar signs constantly asking me if I'm working, or when I'm returning to work. When I'm going to start contributing. I've had enough of them not acknowledging that the work I am doing is the most difficult, rewarding and important job in the entire world. To do it well is the greatest contribution I could possible give to society. I'm just not getting paid for it.

I've had enough of hypocrites. Of people who preach forgiveness but don't practise it. Of still being judged for mistakes I made years ago.

I've had enough of allowing others to project their insecurities onto me to deflect them away from themselves.

I've had enough of measuring my self esteem in terms of what other people think of me.

I've had enough of being yelled at. I am almost 31 years old. I am so damn tired of being yelled at.

I've had enough of being blamed, directly or indirectly, for everything that goes wrong.

I've had enough of feeling guilty. I imagine that has to do with the aforementioned. It probably also has something to do with being brought up on a strict diet of Catholic doctrine. Either way, I've had enough.

I've had enough of myself. For having allowed my buttons to be pushed. For having reacted. For allowing others to bring out the worst in me. For letting stressful circumstances turn me, at times, into an impatient parent.

I've had enough of feeling like I can never truly express myself on my own blog for fear of offending someone or disappointing them.

I've had enough of busting my gut to write about everything from a warm and fuzzy, silly, sweet or tongue-in-cheek perspective just because that's what a good girl would do.

Today I'm not feeling warm or fuzzy or silly or sweet.

Today I just want to scream.


Janine's Confessions of A Mommyaholic

This was a Finish the Sentence Friday post.

So what would you really like to scream out loud at the moment? Feel free to let your hair down and have a rant in the comment box!

Friday, 28 February 2014

A Declaration of War Against Multi-Tasking

The most unexpected part of being a grown-up is, I regret to say, that multi-tasking is just not what it's cracked up to be. In fact, the pursuit of multi-tasking has become the very bane of my existence.
          

                                                                    image source

Prior to being a grown-up, I actually looked forward to becoming a multi-tasker of epic proportions. I looked on with admiration when I saw mothers in the supermarket ferrying around four or five children with apparent ease and selecting wholesome foods to put into their trolley while simultaneously making mega business deals on their mobile phone.

Yes, back when I lived in pre-child blissful naivety, I aspired to be the quintessential task-juggling Supermum. Over the last 12 months, being the mother of baby who is as clingy as a koala bear has meant that doing anything at all has been nigh on impossible, but to my credit, I would like to point out that I have accumulated some rather spectacular achievements in multi-tasking to add to my CV. These include, but are not limited to, holding a baby in my arm while performing the following things with the other:
  • hanging out and taking in entire loads of washing;
  • going through the self-service checkout at the supermarket with about 700 items in my trolley;
  • typing a blog post;
  • making Spaghetti Bolognese, and
  • applying my daily dose of mascara 
Regrettably, nobody warned me of the truth about multi-tasking. The truth is that it does not save you time at all. On the contrary. In truth, my endeavours to multi-task have actually resulted in:
  • spending about 9 times as long at the washing line on a weekly basis than an average person;
  • causing the queue for the self-service checkout to back up about 100 metres across the supermarket floor while an angry mob of customers with only a handful of items each wait for me to finish and get out of their way;
  • unleashing a plethora of typos (if anyone knows a collective noun for typos, please let me know) on this blog. Luckily, these are usually picked up within a day or two by my sister. She's convinced that I put them in on purpose to make sure she's reading my blog.
  • running around frantically searching for a band-aid after slicing, dicing or grating my finger for the umpteenth time, and
  • poking myself in the eye with the mascara wand on a regular basis (if you have never done this before, not only is it painful, it is also very messy and takes about three quarters of an hour to get your face back to it's pre-mascara-stained state). Oh, and if you know me IRL and have ever wondered why I often go around sporting one blood-shot eye, you now know why.
Just in case I have not yet convinced you that multi-tasking is evil and should be avoided at all costs, allow me to share with you a little incident that occurred in my laundry just last week ...

My baby had finally gone down for a nap and I decided to have a blitz on the housework while I had the chance. I filled up the washing machine and quickly got a load of washing on. There were some delicate items to do too which could be done later in the machine, but to save time, I decided to put them in to soak while the other clothes were in the machine so I could hang them all out together. So I ran some water into the trough next to the washing machine and did just that. Then off I went to tackle the mess in the kitchen.

Sometime later, I heard Ben (Mr Nine) call out from the laundry:

"Mum! You need to come here right now!" (he has a habit of doing that and it's become a bit of a case of The Boy Who Cried Wolf).

"Don't yell in the house!" I hissed back.

"No, seriously mum, you need to come!" he shrieked out again, "There's a flood in the laundry!"

I was just about to send him to his room for the rest of the week for yelling while the baby was asleep, when I suddenly remembered that I had indeed put a plug in the laundry trough next to the washing machine and filled the trough with water and that the pipe leading out from the washing machine deposits vasts quantities of water into said trough during its cycle.

Oh yes, there was a flood in the laundry alright, and although my son might not yet know how to wash clothes, I can rest assured that at least I have provided him with an unforgettable lesson in how not to wash them. 

So just in case, like my son, you are not yet a grown-up yourself, please take note: multi-tasking will inevitably turn out to be unexpectedly, and undeniably, overrated.

Janine's Confessions of A Mommyaholic

(This was a Finish the Sentence Friday post).

How 'bout you? Have you ever flooded the laundry? Ever poked yourself in the eye with a mascara wand? And which side of the fence do you sit on when it comes to multi-tasking?

I'd love to write more, but my baby has just woken up and the washing machine's just finished. I have to go and hang out some clothes now with one hand ...

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

The Alphabet Weekends - D

It's Alphabet Weekend time here again on the blog (my challenge to organise 26 family activities in the 52 weeks of 2014, each activity starting with a consecutive letter of the alphabet) and this fortnight it's brought to you by the letter:


I had a bit of difficulty deciding what we would do for 'D'. A friend suggested Drunkenness and Debauchery, but that's not quite what I had in mind. Dribbling, Drifting, Dawdling, Demoralizing, Dissociating, Dissolving, Dissecting and Disappearing would all have been more or less viable options, but I'm not sure they would have been much fun. Dog walking would have been do-able, but there was the small problem of not having a dog.

In the end, we decided to take up the suggestion given to me by Rita from The Crafty Expat, and go with drawing.

This was actually quite challenging, since no-one in our family actually draws on a regular basis if we can avoid it. To give the activity some structure, we invented two drawing games.

Game number one: the players had to select one card from each of these two piles (which were facing down during the game) and make sure no-one saw their cards.


Then each player had to draw something that began with the letter they had chosen that also fitted into their selected category and the other players had to guess what the drawing was.

We played this on the blackboard at my parents' house, where we were visiting, and were lucky to have the kid's grandparents and my niece participate as well.


It was loads of fun, the highlight definitely being laughing at my dad's drawings. I actually think this is the first time I've ever seen him draw!

Game number two: we put the names of several animals into two separate piles. One pile was called 'heads' and the other 'bodies'. Then we each selected a card from both piles (without showing our cards to anyone else) and had to draw a creature with the body of the animal we selected from the first pile and the head of the one we selected from the second.


Then we had fun trying to guess what each other had drawn and coming up with names for our creatures, like 'Snog' (half snake, half dog ); 'Lorse' (half lion, half horse) and 'Micken' (half mouse, half chicken). It reminded me of the time we made up a song about ligers and tigons and zonkeys and zorses.

This fortnight's Alphabet Weekend cost us no money at all and helped us realise that drawing can be really enjoyable even when you have no talent for it whatsoever!

I also had a warm and fuzzy mummy moment at the end of the afternoon. I went back into the garage later to look for something and found a little picture had been left for me on the blackboard ...



My Little Drummer BoysTwinkle In The Eye


Do you know any other drawing games?

Can you guess what our drawings are supposed to be??

And do you have any suggestion for what we can do next fortnight for the letter E? So far, all I've come up with is Eating and Eavesdropping!

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