Down the rabbit hole

Gosh I never realised how much my newest obsession would take over my life!!
If I’m not baking or decorating cakes, I’m researching techniques, watching YouTube tutorials, flicking through endless Facebook pages of fantastic out of this world cakes, testing recipes and yes … More than a little eating cake too!!

I feel like I’m falling down the rabbit hole in Alice in Wonderland and discovering this amazing world I never new existed.

There are times I doubt my abilities, usually half way through a cake when I remember that no one has taught me anything and I’m really just making it up as I go along, but boy is that a fun thing to do!

I’ve made some lovely “cake friends” been inspired on infinite levels, but I think the thing that’s made the biggest impact on me…. Is that when I finish a cake, I look at it and think “I made that” and I am CHUFFED!! I haven’t felt like I was good at anything since … Who knows?

I love my life and my kids, but having a little mini achievement in cake form every now and then has been good for my confidence and good for my soul! Don’t get me wrong, I’ve still done those 6 loads of washing, emptied and stacked the dishwasher an obscene amount of times and cooked meals too but in between all that I’ve made something to be proud of and that’s rather cool.

So here’s a few of my latest cakes. As I fall deeper down the Rabbit Hole.

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Are my devices dictating my days?

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It’s nearly 10 at night, my boys have been interrupting my sleep most nights lately and I’m tired…. But I’m also trying to sort something through in my head and I’ve found this to be a really good way of doing that… So here goes.

Today I spent 3 hours at a shopping centre.

My 4 year old was at Kindy today, and my friend and I decided to do the grocery shop in tandem. 2 grown ups, 2 kids, possibly easier than each doing our own separately. Definitely more fun.

As often happens with us, we got distracted. Shopped a lot, spoiled our kids, had a cup of tea and shared a muffin, and finally got around to food shopping while causing the average shopper to look over at us and frown..”why are these two grown woman laughing and having such a good time at Coles?”
Which we thought was quite hilarious but I’ve been thinking about it all day….

Why?

Well, today I went grocery shopping, spent time with a friend, and my baby and had a great time. Nothing too crazy about it…. So why isn’t every day like that?

My name is Tanya and I AM AN ADDICT

Not a substance, not alcohol or even smokes…. Im a technology junkie….
It must stop.

Today I was in the moment. Even though I did get a bit frustrated as the hours (did I mention it took 3.) ticked by. That was only because I knew poor Taj was going to be lucky to catch an hours sleep. Mostly I was just happy to be there, at that time, with those three people.

Stay with me….

When I’m at home, it can be quite different. I must admit my devices are my go to thing, when I’m frustrated with the kids, I pick up my phone and txt a friend. Could it wait until I next see them for coffee and a chat? Absolutely. Does it? No….

When the kids are having lunch (yes I’m ashamed of this one ) I more often than not, grab my 5 minutes quiet time with a cup of tea and my iPad. I play a game of words with friends or draw something, I catch up on some adult goss and ogle some inspirational cakes on facebook and then get back to the mummy and housewifery and cake making jobs I have to get to.

Am I saying I’m a bad Mum? No I’m not. I still feel confident that I am a good mum to my boys. Am I as good a mum as I can be? No. Am I a present Mum…. Not all the time no… And thats where things are going to change.

My husband and I were in the lounge room the other day. Our 1 year old was up past his bedtime (again) and I was waiting for him to burn out before giving him a breastfeed (yes… Still… But thats a whole other blog) and try him back in bed. So it’s 8 o’clock or later… I’m playing scramble with friends on my iPad. And Mr T is throwing a balloon around the room. Am I paying him attention… No not really (8 o’clock, surely that’s me time right?) and Taj walks up and hits me square in the face with a balloon. And my husband says “yeah I agree Taj, your little brother iPad is getting more attention than you tonight. ”

I HATE to admit this. But he was (a little bit) right. Sure it was late and I was tired and frustrated, but does that give me the right to not be present? How many funny things do I miss my 1 year old do, how many conversations have not been had with my 4 year old, or have I missed hearing him have with his brother (or a batman action figure for that matter) or not had with my husband (only during ad breaks of course)

If being present makes grocery shopping fun, does it make cleaning the toy room fun? Am I going to get all spoon full of sugar happy with the kids in the morning when I’ve packed my phone, iPod and iPad away?

I’m not saying I never spend time with the kids. I do. Lots of it, we still make things, and cook together, jump outside, play cubby houses, but maybe we don’t do that enough, maybe those times when I sneak off for a cuppa and ”my fix’ something really magic would have happened with the 3 of us and I missed it. MAYBE and heres the kicker, maybe, I can be the person that makes people frown and say “why is that grown woman having so much fun” all the time. Because life is pretty fun, and having friends, and kids and (most the time) a husband is pretty great, and if we weren’t rushing around trying to get things done, or trying to get “me time” or whatever other reasons we have for not being entirely present with those who we love the most, we’d find that
THIS MOMENT, RIGHT HERE, WITH THESE PEOPLE IS ALL THAT MATTERS…

Sometimes it’s hard to judge ourselves as mothers. It’s a tough gig and sometimes you take whatever help you can get. I have a friend in qld who I really only talk to on my devices. Our friendship would not exist now without reconnecting on Facebook and chatting on words with friends and realising we have similar values and beliefs. There were days when I was getting used to being a mother of two where those conversations were a lifeline.
Now, though, the devices have become a lifeline… And I’m not evening sinking.
I have some really good stuff going on at the moment. My life is good, My kid are fantastic and I want to be present for them.

So it’s time to ease up on the technology…. Less iPad and iPod and More I paint, I play-doh, I play and I pretend.

Im not saying my devices are evil… Maybe just that excessive consumption may be harmful to your health.

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Things I had forgotten from last time around …

My 7 month old is on the move. I am terrified!!!

Of course he is my second so I’m not quite as caught by surprise as I was with every turn my life took when Jayden was born. However Jayden was quite lazy and didn’t crawl until 10 months. Taj is moving from room to room now at 7 months. I’m impressed and proud, but also sad at how fast he’s growing up, and truth be told, a bit annoyed too!

It is soooo much more work. Vacuuming, which was a once a week chore is now a daily task that I have to try and fit in while both children are occupied but not asleep. I am constantly “tidying” (or more accurately put, cleaning up after my whirlwind almost 4 yr old) and all of a sudden we just seem to have too much STUFF!!! There are little spaces everywhere that Tajy can crawl into but not crawl out of!

Our gap between boys is larger than most of my friends’ kids at just over 3 years, and I am feeling the gap mostly in that I had forgotten how much harder a 0-2 yr old is to look after than a 2-4 yr old.

From around 2 years old I could put Jayden in the bath and then go and get his dinner ready, or get ready for work (when I worked nights) all in the next room, and all the time listening and talking to him. But my hands were free! Now I’m back to sitting in a puddle on the bathroom floor, while I try to correctly anticipate each boys hunger/tiredness level and time the dinner, bath, bed routine correctly… Time management at its most difficult and that’s only with 2 – you ladies with 3 or 4 kids are amazing!!

Being that I am a sucker at heart, and love seeing Jayden’s face light up at the sight of a tree. Jayden and I dug out the Christmas box this week and erected our tree, in the process creating a giant, twinkling, dangerous obstacle for Taj to be constantly drawn to!

I had forgotten the simplicity of being able to say “no” or “stop” to a child and them understanding!!!!

Taj is a great sleeper, which in honestly I had not been prepared for at all. Jayden was a nightmare from birth – 3 inclusive. No joke!!! He needed to be rocked to sleep as an infant (our fault) and poor Jon and I would have to tag team in our efforts to put him to sleep at night. He would wake for 2-4 breastfeeds a night and when he was 14 months and I cut out the breastfeeds he just went on waking for a bottle. When we transferred him from a cot to a toddler bed, he would let us tuck him in, wait til the door was shut, and hop right on out and sleep on his carpet!!! We tried EVERYTHING, he did that for about 9 months and then one day just decided to stay in his bed….

Anyway, all that kept in mind, the part I was most terrified about having another baby was the sleepless nights. Especially considering that I really was only getting sleep for the last 2 months before Taj was born. Taj has slept through 10-12 hrs 95% of nights from about 6 weeks. He is AMAZING! I did use sleeping bags with him from about 6 months, try VERY hard to never rock him to sleep unless he’s very distressed and think we’re generally just much calmer with him but that part has been a lovely surprise.

Even with all the surprises having two kids has brought, and all the little details I had so conveniently forgotten, I’m finding it truly amazing to see how two little people, from the same parents, brought up in the same environment can differ so dramatically.

I wonder in what other ways they will differ and what common interests they will share.

One thing is for sure, the greatest gift I have given Jayden, is his brother Taj. They adore each other and watching them play is the highlight of every day.

Anyway, I’m off to vacuum, tidy a toy room and childproof a Christmas tree.

Until next time …