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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Best mates

Friendships are a tricky thing.

When is someone you know, a friend (no a Facebook friend does not count) when does a friend become a best friend…

Growing up, we moved around quite a lot. We moved from England to Australia when I was 5 years old and I left everyone I knew behind. Friends and family.

My Mum and Dad split up when I was 10. It wasn’t super traumatic, just sad. We lived with Mum but visited Dad and had friends at school, friends at Dad’s house and friends at Mum’s house.

A few years later, my Mum met a man and it was decided we move from WA to QLD. The man who would be my mums second husband had family there and my brother and I were pretty excited about living on The Gold Coast with permanent access (so it seemed) to the themeparks.

That move was harder, I had friends at a school and even though I could keep in touch while on our holiday access visits with Dad it was bound to be hard.

From 11 until the end of high school we stayed in the same area but for some reason I never seemed to hang onto friends. I had a new “best friend” every year, lots of friends in between and didn’t really mind.

I’ve always been a very honest person, and a bit of a nutter (my grandma would call me eccentric) and most people find that hard to deal with in the end!!!

Many of these friends, although not my best friends or even close friends I am still in contact with. Some are lost forever in the sea of time past and misspent youth that is remembered far longer than it was actually lived. My senior high school year is filled with more memories than I believe actually fit in that one year!

In 1999 in year 9, I was good friends with a girl, Katie, she continues to be one of the funniest people I’ve ever known. Katie had a best friend, Amie, and when I started sitting with Katie at lunch (the early high school equivalent of moving in, it seemed) I met Amie and loved her straight away. She was quirky and cute and honest and fun.

Amie was soon and continues to be my best friend. Amie is “Aunty Amie” to my kids. She is my husband’s Drinking buddy and she knows everything about me it is worthwhile knowing (possibly that’s not a lot) she’s been there for me through every important aspect of my life and even when I throw a curve ball at her she says things like “I’ll support you whatever you decide to do” which really is just amazing!

Amie has other best friends (Katie for one) but she manages to be there for me in entirety when I need her to be.

She is the only friend I’ve never fought with. The only friend I’ve managed to hold on to and not alienate over consecutive years and truly one of the most important people in my life…. (and she’s single which is unfathomable to me!!!)

Friendship has always seemed like a taboo thing to me. For a long time (ok if I’m being honest – still) if I find someone who I connect with. I grip on really tight with both hands … And eventually suffocate them…

My Mum got let down by a good friend when I was young, I struggled with friends growing up and who knows 100% why, but I’ve never felt like I deserve friendship. Or the happiness that a really good friendship brings.

Since I’ve become a Mum. Friendship had taken on a new meaning to me. I look at my sons and I hope they will have a friend, they grow up with, someone he can share with, fight with, tell secrets to, hide from, and love. Other than each other of course.

This year though, I’ve been completely taken by surprise by making another Best Friend. Yes, that’s right, I in my bitchy bubble, apparantly get not one but two best mates! Go figure?

And I tell you what. Making a best friend when you’re all grown up (I’ll be 27 this month) is bloody weird! I’m constantly second guessing myself. I think of something funny and go to send a message and then think, stop harassing the woman, and then think, nah it’ll give her a laugh. Send it and then think …. Shouldn’t have done that… Must not message again until Tuesday! Lol. (she tells me I think too much and I know it’s true) I must be the only person on earth who acts like this.

I’m also a super affectionate person. I’m a cuddler. If it wasn’t socially unacceptable I’d cuddle for 5 minutes rather than the 5 seconds at the door! Lol. I like to give gifts, that let the other person know ” I was thinking of you” Once for Aims, I put together a little photo book of pics of us, and the kids and why she was so important to us…. Amie loved it, and I knew she would but now with BFF2 (have to work on that… ) I have to rethink my gestures… Sweet or scary? Touching or terrifying? Cuddle or Crushing? You get my point? Haha

Maybe the thing with best friends is that, it doesn’t matter what I do, it’ll sort itself out. I know if I did suffocate, scare or shock either of these amazing women they’d waste no time in letting me know. I know I can tell them anything, I don’t need to apologize to them for being me, I will be there for them no matter what, and love them no matter what. And that is something so special!

I haven’t written a blog in months but thinking about friendship seemed a good thing to come back for.

My long enduring friendship with Amie. 13 years, nearly half our lives
And this new friendship which makes me smile and blows my mind how important she’s become to me.
And the best part, about my “new best friend”: my best friend’s son, is now my son’s best friend!!!!

May you all be so lucky to have such great friendships. I’ll be treasuring these two with all I have 🙂

Until next time … Tanya