Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Nothing has any power over me except that which I allow.

I choose joy!

Yesterday we had some homeschooling friends over. We played on the sand at the creek then went for a walk across the bridge and through the national park to see if the cubby house was still there. It had been washed away. So we collected shells and wrote enormous letters in the sand and played freely. We walked back to our place, the kids rode their scooters and bikes and then one of our friends brought out his poker set and we sat on a blanket outside while he taught AJ and I how to play poker. Ten years of living in Las Vegas and I learn poker from a 10 year old boy while sitting under a tree in Australia!

Feeling happy and free!

Monday, June 16, 2008


My kids have been having some conflict with the only other kids in the park. The other kids have been here about as long as we have and for the most part they have gotten along well, though they have had quite a few little disagreements. Recently though, things seem to have escalated. Both sides have been name-calling and generally not very nice to each other. The other kids are aged 7, 5 and 2. A couple of days ago, there was confusion over a toy that Summer was sure they had given her. When they tricked her to try and get it back, I spoke with them and asked them calmly about what had actually happened. They agreed that they had said Summer could have it. So I asked how they would feel if someone gave them something and then asked for it back. They said she could keep it and ran off home.

Today we were walking past their place on the way back from the playground. Their kids were outside and were glaring at and making faces at mine. I said "can we all just try and be nice?" Their mum (who used to be very friendly to me) came out and just blasted me. I was stunned and totally not expecting that. She was going on and I was trying to figure out just what her problem was. It seemed that she was blaming Summer for a whole lot of things including the name calling her children had picked up lately and said (regarding the toy issue) that she was there and Summer had snatched the toy and run off. That's not what her kids or Summer had told me. In easy earshot of her kids, she said several times that she was "sick of this shit" and about half an hour earlier, she had called out to AJ to "piss off". But her kids bad language is from Summer..hmm?

I felt very hurt by her verbal attack, which included "..if you had enough energy to watch your kids.."! Okaaay. I'm with my kids 24/7 and have been doing the single parent thing for 2 months. When the weather is nice, there are times when my kids want to go to the playground and I let them go without me so that I can catch up on some dishes or washing or general cleaning or office work. It's not like I'm lazing about watching tv. If I have caught up on everything, then I always go with them.

I held my own with her until she totally lost me and I realised there was no way she wanted to listen to me. Then I just said "I'm sorry you feel that way...I'll do what I can to keep my kids away from yours." But I was really upset. I hated that she said some hurtful things about Summer, and me. I wondered if I had stood up for us both enough. If she'd had a problem with us, I wish she'd have said something earlier. The kids and I went home and talked about it, but it just didn't seem to make sense.

Summer thought it right to return the toy, she thought it had negative energy around it now. She was scared to go alone so we all walked back to their place, Summer placed the toy on the table outside where the kids were sitting and we walked away, without saying a word. I told her later how courageous she was to do that.

I don't know what else to do. Nasty confrontation is not my style, but protecting my family certainly is. I see this experience as a lesson for all of us in dealing with conflict in a graceful, empowering way. Obviously not everyone is going to like us...their loss! My kids and I have been talking about this a lot and talking about our feelings and thinking about how else we may have handled things. We've also spoken about how we might react when we do see them again - if they are still choosing to be nasty, should we match that, or should we ignore them or should we try and be nice? I didn't ask the kids to make a decision about that, but suggested that they should do what they felt was right for them.

Difficult, but there has be a valuable lesson in all of this. I just don't get it. There's no need for all of the nastiness. We still have a couple of more weeks here. Should I try to repair the friendship? Or should I just let it go and be polite, but cool if I see them? A part of me wants to make it all 'right' and make sure our side is heard and understood and my daughter adequately defended. I think I'll go with the larger part of me that says to just focus on my kids and don't waste valuable time on the situation. I can focus on the way I want to feel, and I can send positive energy to the situation and mostly, I can reassure Summer that she is perfect the way she is.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Mr 3!

Last Sunday, our local council had a "Monster Machinery Day". They had a lot of their work trucks (the kids are in one of the street sweepers above), tip trucks, diggers, dozers etc, available for kids to climb in and beep the horns, move the levers etc. It was held at a lovely park next to a canal about 25 minutes away from our place. We got there shortly after it started but after 2 hours, the lines to get on the machines were getting really long so we left.

June 11 was Sir Nicholas' 3rd birthday! He was very sure that he just wanted my vegan pumpkin bread/loaf for his birthday cake with no icing. We decorated it with some jelly lollies that he likes from the natural confectionery company. We had a lazy start to his special day then we went for a big walk around the headland. Before we left, we all went to the bathroom. Summer looked in the mirror and got a big grin on her face and said that she really likes her haircut! As we were walking along the beach part of the headland, we discovered a large cubby house that someone had built out of driftwood. We played in and around that for a while. I had forgotten to take my camera unfortunately. We continued around the headland via the rainforest path, keeping our eyes out for whales and dolphins whenever we came to a clearing. Once we got around the other side, we played at a playground for a while and then got a little lunch at the Surf Club while watching the surfers and other beach activity. It was a beautiful, sunny, warm day, much more like spring than winter. A good day to celebrate 3 years of Nicholas!
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Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Just as we were starting to dry out from the last batch of rain, we had another 3.5 days of it. I started to go nuts. The kids, feeding on my not-so-positive energy, started climbing the walls. Summer is a little down with a cold that I have as well - mostly a nagging, annoying cough. Nicholas had a fever for a few days on and off and was very needy. I was so tired from my own cold thingy and he needed me so much, as did the others due to the weather and being on top of each other. When I'd go outside, everything was just cold and wet and yuck. I started to allow myself into a pathetic pity party. On top of that, I'm reading (in all of my spare time!) 'Mother-Daughter Wisdom' by Dr Christiane Northrup. It's bringing up stuff with my own mum and pointing out ways that that conditioning has already influenced my relationship with my daughter - not always to the best - and times when I haven't been a good role model. (For some reason, I couldn't see all of the times when I had been a great role model.)

I started a downward spiral. A small part of me enjoyed just letting go and falling into that tired...just yell and everyone will go away. But they didn't - they stayed closer than ever, showing their Trust in me, their Love and their support. Little people, with big, forgiving hearts. Gosh, I think I've been thinking too much about that book and therefore creating the stuff that I don't want. There's got to be a better way to release the old stuff.

Somehow I figured it out. I don't know how. I do know that there was a bigger me inside that really wanted to just choose Joy. It lifted me out of the bog and put me back on top again. It didn't happen in a split second, but it did happen after I'd finally gotten 15 minutes of quiet time when the kids all went to the playground once the sun came out. It wasn't even something I thought about, it was something quietly at work to make things more JoyFull around here, no matter what the weather.

We went for a drive...Summer and AJ got haircuts..we checked our PO Box and got some good mail including some pressies for Nicholas who turns 3 tomorrow!...we went to Blockbuster and hired some DVD's and then we went and played on the beach. Ah, the beautiful, magical, healing beach. We live so close, I don't know why we don't visit it more often. Oh yeah - the rain.

Summer wasn't very happy with her haircut - it wasn't short enough. On the way there, she had said that she wants it very short. I thought it was already short but she said really short. Flashback to my memory of being her age when my Mum kept my hair really short and I absolutely hated it. I liked being a tom boy and lived in jeans or shorts when I wasn't in my strict school uniform dress (to this day I rarely wear a dress) but I hated people thinking that I was a boy. I always wanted long hair. I did not want my 'stuff' to interfere with what Summer wanted for her hair. She and I spoke with the hair stylist and they looked at some photos. I tried to stay out of it a bit and let Summer speak up for herself. The stylist was lovely and gently tried to get Summer to explain what she wanted. I let her know that she was in a safe place and that the lady was there to help her..there was no rush and we didn't even have to do this today if she didn't feel ready. She was determined to go ahead and agreed to a style similar to what she had, a little shorter so that it was off her neck and a little more layered so that it was lighter. Several minutes after we had left, she was saying that she did not like the cut - it was too long still. What she was finally able to say was that she wanted a boy cut - very close and very layered. She said she didn't care if people thought she was a boy. She does tend to wear more feminine clothes than me so that's not even a consideration for her. I suggested she wait a day or two and just see how this cut feels. If she's sure she wants to change it, we'll look around and find a photo of a cut she wants so she has something more definite to show next time.
So I think we had some good lessons there - I mentally hugged the 10 year old Annette and told her she was beautiful. I physically hugged my own daughter and told her the same and talked to her about speaking her truth and finding her voice and letting others know that her opinion really matters, especially when it's about something concerning her body.

In the evening, Nicholas went to bed early while the other two snuggled up next to me as we watched the 3rd Indiana Jones movie and Ratatouille. Ah, I love my kids! It's all good!

Monday, June 02, 2008

no more 'poo!

We've been using natural cleaners for home and body for so long now I can't remember when we started. I had been washing my hair about every 5 days, slowing stretching out the days in between so I could really stretch out a bottle of shampoo and give my hair a break.

Inspired by Tara, (and following links to babyslime's blog which has good info) I've decided to take that a bit further and give up the commercially produced 'natural' shampoo ('poo) altogether. This morning I washed my hair with 1 tbsp of baking soda mixed with 1 cup of warm water. I massaged it through my hair, let it sit for a little less than a minute then rinsed it out well. Then I followed that with 2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar mixed with a cup of water, pile my hair up on my head and poured that over my hair, let it sit for a little less than a minute and rinsed it out with cool water.

My hair felt great afterwards! I am not one to use any 'product' in my hair. It's lucky if it gets brushed once a day. I like my hair wild and natural - like me!! My hair today felt as though it kept it's natural curl better than usual. Mind you, it has been raining for 5 days now. Off and on, but I think more on. The extra humidity may have helped my curl to hold.

Am I sick of rain? Yeah, I'm just about at that point. I figure we've had rain about one third of the time we've been living in the caravan / trailer. And often it's been rain that goes on for days and days. Tomorrow we get to look forward to 'heavy' rain according to the forecast. That should be interesting as the ground around us is already soggy and the water has seeped into our gazebo making the mats in there rather squishy.

We were at the library today and we stocked up on DVD's so we'll probably watch some of those tomorrow and then go to the mall to run around. I need to get a new phone too as AJ accidentally dropped mine in a puddle a couple of days ago and it hasn't survived. So if you've been trying to call me, that would be why you haven't been able to reach me.

So of course this rain has me rethinking this whole camping thing. We may head north for a while after Cary gets back, if it's dry up there. Well at least most of Australia is happy that the drought conditions they've endured for many years are finally breaking!