We are a hard working, family of eight. Swimming in the sea when we aren't busy on our small holding. Daddy dragon has to work away a lot, so this blog is to let him keep up with our adventures at home.
And I need to renew, remind, and refresh my intention to speak as I intend to and not be carried away in the moment.
Today, was one of those days.
The hour between ten and eleven in the morning, I said all of the following in exactly this order:
Stop poking finger holes in the butter
Don’t sniff your brother’s butt
Stop licking the oven
Please don’t lick the turtle
That hole is not for your fingers
Don’t bite the chair
Don’t pretend to pee on your sister
Stop doing Gangham style without underwear
Don’t bite the cat
Stop licking your armpit
Why are you still naked
No naked Gangham on the table
Don’t try to lick your own butt
Take your foot out of your sandwich
Don’t rub your sandwich on the wall
The cat won’t even eat the cat crunchies, so stop eating them
No you can not take the ketchup to the loo with you
Don’t wipe your nose on the ketchup bottle
Quit singing songs about farts, poop, and privates
Where is the cat and the ketchup?
Who put the cat and the ketchup in the dryer?
Stop licking people
Don’t sit on your sister’s head
For goodness sake stop peeing in the mop bucket
Put some underwear on
No welly boots on the bannister
Don’t pee in the storage heater
Don’t smack your sister with a coffee cup, she’s sleeping
Why is there poop on the stair gate
Take the guinea pig out of your pants
Hair is not a napkin
We do not put hair elastics on penises
Put some pants on!
This was recorded by hatchling no2, who was meant to be doing school work,
while I was trying to do phonics practice with hatchling no3.
During the quiet hour of my day,
because the baby was napping.
What I didn't realise, until it was played back, by hatchling no2, is how over the course of an hour my tone grew harder and louder.
Sharper, than I actually intend.
Far too frequently, I see that hurt look, on a four year old boy's face, when I am telling him off for the thousandth time, which is something else for me to work on, let alone, how much a tender little heart hurts with repeatedly being cut down by his mother's irritation, frustration and temper.
I don't swear or call my children names.
I don't give them negative attributes or tell them they are worthless.
I don't need to do that to see them look crushed, when I snap at them, exasperated by their abundant energy and enthusiasm.
Hence, today, I again find myself renewing my attempt to speak with intention, to protect and nurture these many blessing I have been given.
This is the ferry leaving the pier an early morning, when none could sleep.
I thought I should do one of those mama confessional type posts.
You know the ones, where you admit, you haven't got it all together.
Well, here it is.
I am struggling with the choices I make.
Not because they are bad ones.
In fact, it is the good ones, which leave me floundering.
Last year, we ran, ran, ran, the whole year long.
We did swimming, and girl guides, and dance classes a plenty.
We did trampolining, gymnastics, rock climbing, horse riding and choir.
There were drama groups, and science classes, and the odd library reading group.
We ran so hard, chasing dreams, we didn't feel like we were stopping to live.
So I started thinking about how much we were giving up in the midst of our pursuit.
I started questioning, why it felt like we were taking short cuts to everything, even bedtime routines had become shortened affairs.
We hardly had time to say good night.
And I started to dread the days.
Waking up, wishing for the day to hurry up and be done.
I stopped living intentionally, and we hit survival mode.
This year, we are trying to find a better balance.
I have severely limited the hatchlings in the number of activities they can take on.
Nonetheless, there are so many interesting activities to pursue, and I find myself sucked in.
I want to give my children everything.
I want for them to be able to do it all, see it all, be it all.
When I ask them, what they want most, and the tell me, they want me.
Why is that such a struggle?
Why is it so hard to give them me, the one thing I actually always have to give?
I like it when you sit at the table and eat with us.
These are the words my son says to me at dinner tonight.
How can this be?
We have three meals a day together.
Nonetheless, I sit at the table and just be with them while we eat together, quite rarely. I serve them their meal, and flit about, eating by the counter. Fetching cups of water, picking up dropped forks, getting napkins, putting away items off the work surfaces.
I have gotten into the habit, that since I am not going to be able to eat from start to finish with out jumping up twenty times, that I shall not sit at all.
Not a great habit for my children.
There is a real difference in living intentionally, absorbing the time I have with them, being in the present with them, instead of flitting through my endless to do list.
So, I am starting again.
You may find that the longer you know me, that I start again a lot.
I don't have it all together.
But, I am determined to keep trying.
When the hatchlings woke me up so very very early, and hatchling no5 wanted to see the boats on the water.
Out we went.
In the cool morning, with chocolate chip brioche and red grapes, to wave to the boat as it went off on it's journey.
To talk, listen and see a helicopter fly over.
I hope that little northward flying helicopter was not going to someone in trouble.
It was the air ambulance one, and we all said a prayer.
I really hope it wasn't needed.
Home we went, to play and learn, work and enjoy the little piece of time we have,
This year has been such an overwhelmingly expensive year for us.
And the bills certainly are not shy about continually appearing through my letter box.
How about you?
Do you feel the same?
I find that the stores really ramp up their 'you really need to buy this' strategies in the lead up to Christmas.
It starts so early, too.
The Christmas chocolates are already out and have been for weeks.
I don't mean to sound pathetic, but I will admit, I find it hard not to spend money if I start to browse through the many shops, as they urge me to spend, spend, spend.
So, the last two years, I have just chosen to opt out.
I start in September by slowing down my shopping.
I halve my budget.
And In October, I aim to spend half what I spent in September.
Essentially, cutting my weekly shopping to a quarter.
Which sounds impossible at the outset, but I have found it has made me far more conscious of my spending into Christmas.
And truthfully, it gives me a little boost, to clear out the cupboards, and sell things on.
If I sell £50 worth of old clothes, I can spend that.
I have wool to keep me busy, knitting gifts, old clothes to cut up and quilt, and many other little diy projects that I really can make do and mend, in order to achieve the results I would like.
Without any new expense.
And that food pantry and freezer, we all know how congested that can become.
It has made sure, I actually use up what I have long since bought, on sale, and never looked at again.
A bargain is not a bargain, if you never use it.
I have found that since starting this, we start off January, in good terms financially, and feeling hopeful.
The children too, really get into the spirit and this year have promised to do an inventory list for me of everything I have tossed into our pantry, so we can make the best use of what we already have.
So, this is us, one week in to our Slowtember, preparing for Stoptober.
Do you ever make an opportunity to reevaluate your spending, or re - focus your finances?