April 24, 2012

sad and complicated

This evening, when I was reading to the boys before bed time, Ollie said to me, 'Mum, I feel sad.  And complicated.'  It was easy to see how this was a funny thing for a three year old to say, but we talked about it for a bit.  He was feeling sad, because I had forbidden any tv this evening, and though he couldn't quite tell me why he was feeling complicated, I'm guessing it was because he was so exhausted this evening, he couldn't possibly have been thinking straight.

What struck me though, was that lately, I've been feeling a bit sad and complicated.  I think it's probably post birthday blues, or the pressure of my work life, or feeling tired and achey regardless of how much sleep I get.  I mean, I'm also quite happy and generally as content as I've ever been but I'm a bit sad too.  See?  It's quite complicated.  I don't have much to be sad about, life is ticking along nicely, we have plenty to anticipate and the kids seem... manageable.  Enjoyable, even.  But there's something and I think it's that feeling of belonging (or lack thereof) that's creeping back into my life, making me question where we want to be as a family.

So anyway, I have made this post all about me, but really, it's all about my children.  They are far better at articulating themselves than I often give them credit for.  It's easy to brush off some of the things that kid says, but much as he couldn't quite tell me what he meant, I'm pretty sure that sad and complicated is just how he was feeling at that moment in time and credit to him for knowing just how to tell me about it.  I hope he realises that happy or sad, I will always want to know how he's feeling.  Even when he's all grown up and life really is complicated.

April 22, 2012


Part of the two days off we had last week involved a trip to IKEA.  Yes, we do like to punish ourselves sometimes.  But it was surprisingly pleasant walking around IKEA, childless, with an aim and a little extra time to wonder whether we needed more kitchen ware or tea lights.  And what was the aim?  To purchase the the MYDAL bunk bed for the boys.  I've had my eye on it for a while, nothing else has really compared either for style or price, and since this purchase would also mean new mattresses, duvets and sheets, we needed to be sensible about how much we had to spend.

So we bought the boys their first bunk bed.  We got it home in our Corolla wagon (just - it was comical how scrunched up we were in the front of the car with the bed, mattresses etc in the back), and then we painted it.

This is the colour - Gunnard (Taubmans).  I love it.  I love grey, actually, and I'm increasingly finding it's my go-to colour. The reason for the grey on the bunk bed was so that it would match most of what's in the room.  White was the other obvious choice but our house is fairly white as it is and I liked the idea of the grey against the quilts I made for the boys and the rest of the colour in their room.  As a result, it looks great!  I'm so pleased with it.  And as a bonus, it feels and smells a bit less IKEA-y than it would have if we'd left it with that ghastly natural pine look.

But most importantly, the bunk seems to be a success with the boys, though that I think is due in part to the talking up we've done of it over the last couple of months.  We've taken Max out of his cot and he's now in the bottom bed, and the biggest problems for him are (a) he wants the top bunk and (b) when he does accept he's sleeping in the bottom, he cannot stop himself from getting up and goofing around, much to his brother's delight.  These photos do not even get close to depicting how much joy he's getting out of maximising the cheek involved with bed time now.  Last night (night two - the first night Max did actually decide he wanted to sleep in his new bed), we spent about 90 minutes listening to toys being thrown around, fits of giggles, boys jumping on the top bunk, then a slightly smaller boy jumping on his brother... it went on, but they did it and managed their first night in the bunk bed.  And as I'm writing this, Ollie is squirming around in the top while Max is sound asleep.

It's the start of a level of shenanigans we haven't really had before.  Max is always a little cheeky when we put him to bed, but Ollie is generally a good boy.  Now that they are both out of their cots, it's given them (ie Max) a level of freedom that means Trouble.  But, much as it was annoying that they took until 9pm to go to sleep last night, they went to bed happy (and only really got yelled at a couple of times) and it's reinforced that they really do like sharing their space with each other.

Speaking of spaces, it could be nesting, but it might just be normal-everyday-have-to-organise-it-now!-me, we are starting on the baby's room, which has been a spare room for the last few months and is now beginning to look like a nursery.  Will dismantled Max's cot to go in there this morning and I went through all the many clothes we have to pick out the ones that I will eventually wash and fold neatly in anticipation of that day we bring this new life back from the hospital.  Softly, gently, aching with love and that feeling that the world has just started again for us.  God willing, it will be that way.

April 18, 2012


36 years old today.  Never quite thought I'd be this content to be 36.  It sounds so old when you are in your late teens and even your twenties, but here we are, closer to 40 than 30, busier than ever, with more to look forward to, but not so busy that we couldn't take the day off today to enjoy a very nice long lunch.  Happy birthday me.

April 16, 2012

first trip to the pictures

Our boys don't watch a lot of tv.  They would if we let it happen, but we don't  and they generally watch about fifteen minutes of Thomas/Octonauts/Pingu after bath time.  Sometimes a PlaySchool when it's been a rainy day and they need some entertainment while I cook dinner.  We've tried to watch a movie with Ollie (Cars) but I think we got about ten minutes into it before the chaos and noise of the over the top animation got to Ollie and he decided he didn't want to watch it.  It wasn't a surprise really, we've managed The Jungle Book and we are also fans of The Gruffalo, but these are sweet, gentle animations.  He's been known to watch Bob the Builder from behind a cushion, so he's not the kind of kid that likes to contemplate anything too stressful.

We'd been thinking about whether it was time to take the boys out to the movies.  The Lorax, we were told by our parent friends, is great!  The kids will love it!  They'll have a great time!  It's such an awesome movie!  OK.  So, we decided to take the plunge and take our boys to the pictures for the very first time to see said movie, despite what now seems to be the obvious indications that maybe we should have waited a while.

I thought it would be fairly tame.  I thought the animation would be gentle, cute, Dr Seuss animation.  I didn't think about it from the perspective of a three year old, and definitely not from the perspective of my boy, who's always been a little sensitive and never really enjoyed anything that might result in overstimulation.  The movie was actually great, but it was loud, full of references that we as adults can process and understand (the music, the images of thunder and lightning, the kid going to find the Onceler in the dark) but that a three year old would reasonably find really quite scary.  Ollie tried his hardest but even with the help of his little comforter and sitting on my lap didn't help, and he seemed positively relieved to say yes when I asked if he wanted to leave.

Max on the other hand, seemed to be ok.  Maybe it's because he was snug on his dad's lap, or maybe he was too young to question what he was watching, although there was a moment when he squeaked a little and needed to be comforted, but on the whole, I think he could have handled it.  But we didn't stay the course.  We left after about twenty minutes, did some shopping, ate our many packed snacks anyway and talked to Ollie about what he didn't like.  Turns out it was the previews.

April 5, 2012


And that was the weekend that Max turned two and we had every ingredient for a fantastic stripey birthday celebration in our garden.  Superb.
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