makar [ˈmækər]
n (Literature / Poetry) Scot a creative artist, esp a poet
[a Scot variant of maker]

Thursday, November 24, 2011

A Facebook Friend, who doesn't know I blog, wrote this as her status a few days ago:
"cannot believe how many of these 'mummy blogs' there are: people trying to show off how great that are as parents and how much they love their kids...errr yeah and what are your kid's doing while you are writing your a blog? Being ignored and neglected!"
A little harsh, I thought. Of course, I composed many replies in my head, but never quite managed to respond. I'm growing less confrontational with age and perhaps it's just not worth it. She is, after all, entitled to her opinion. However, I cannot imagine that there are many mummy bloggers out there who ignore or neglect their children to write a blog, and while I do fall in and out of love with blogging, overall I think that it is a positive and productive undertaking. If I didn't, why on earth would I do it? For me, as I imagine it is for many, blogging is a creative outlet, a way of celebrating my domestic world, and documenting the trials and tribulations, as well as the many joys of living with young children. At the end of another long, hard day, it is a way of taking stock, of focusing on what was important or interesting or special in our experiences. I find it cathartic: I feel happier and more at peace with my life when I blog. Plus, it sure beats watching crappy television, or updating your status on Facebook. Maybe my Friend should try it: she might even like it.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I am probably the least likely person to meal-plan. In fact, before children I would mostly decide what to have for dinner while standing in an aisle of the supermarket, somewhere between work and home, at about 7pm. Anyway, I love to cook, but lately I've been finding it's lost some of the joy for me and has become another chore. So, in a bid to put the zing back into my relationship with cooking, I've started planning meals, or meal-planning of sorts. For the last couple of weeks, I've sat down on a Monday morning with a few recipe books and composed a list of four or five meals for the week ahead. I mix it up with a few new recipes I want to try, some definite hits with the kids, and a super easy, I-could-cook-this-in-my-sleep, option for the day when everything gets too much. I don't do anything as sensible as go to the shop and buy all the ingredients in one hit, but I do have something to refer back to throughout the week, when inspiration has been replaced by exhaustion. We still seem to head to the shops most days - not always that much fun with no car, stupidly hot days, and two rascals who won't take no for an answer - but it keeps us occupied, means everything is fresh, and ensures that I don't throw any spoiled food away. Anyway, I love it: I've tried some great new meals, which have been met with enthusiasm, plus it seems to have taken a lot of the stress out of cooking and made it a pleasure once again.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

There's part of me (the increasingly large and lumpy part) that wishes I hadn't just discovered this wonderful blog, The Cake Mistress, and then there's the other part that just thinks YUM! Plus they give all proceeds to charity, which is rather lovely too. Enjoy!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

There has been a flurry of birthday parties of late (7 in 3 weeks, although we only made it to 5 because of a horrible cold). This has been fun, if a little intense. I am so impressed by how much creativity and hard work parents put into organising and hosting these parties, and I feel quite daunted by the prospect of measuring up. I've been trying to work out what to do for my daughter's birthday, which falls in that rather awkward stretch of time between Christmas and New Year. I've also been thinking about what precedents we're setting and how her expectations of what constitutes a party are already being formed. I read an interesting blog a few months back about a mother of four, who had decided that she wasn't going to have parties for all her children every year, and that instead, some years, they would have a quieter, smaller celebration with a special meal and a cake. I liked the idea of this, although I have to say I also like a party, and I'm not sure whether it has to be a question of party or no party. It seems to me that the important thing is for our children to realise that there are many ways of celebrating and that parties can come in all shapes and sizes. I've noticed that my daughter has started to expect certain things from a birthday party: balloons, party bags with bubbles, stickers, and sweets, particular games and food. I know that there is an element of tradition to kids' parties and that's cool, but I also want things to be more open that that. Parties can be big, or small, they can be lavish or simple, they can have lots of decorations or none at all, there can be games and activities or just plain delight in the company of others. At its most basic, a party is about sharing food and drink, being with those we value, and joining in celebration. Everything else should be a matter of choice and not obligation. Please, don't even get me started on Christmas...

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

You know those days when you get on the bus and everyone just seems miserable and ugly and grey, and you decide that you don't really like other people and want to just run away and become a hermit? Well, I had the opposite of that this afternoon. The light was soft and golden, the sky the bluest blue, the children happy and occupied, the washing flapping in the breeze, the garden actually looking pretty good for once and not too much like a wasteland.... Yep, suddenly I could see the beauty even in the discarded play of my children, the unwashed lunch dishes, the cluttered chaos of my life. Of course it didn't last, but it would be very sweet to have a few more moments like that every week.

Monday, November 7, 2011

From the first time I struggled to find anything to wear.

These days, I'm spending more time than I'd like to trying to work out what on earth to wear. By this, I mean more than a minute and less than five, but time is precious in the morning and my children impatient. I've had some very lovely donations from other mums, which have helped enormously, but I really haven't got the hang of dressing the bump yet and I suspect I never will. Part of the problem is that in terms of body-shape, I'm probably most suited to the 1950s. I have a waist, or at least I once did, and dressed accordingly: full skirts and fitted tops were my staple; low-rise, skinny jeans and empire line dresses my arch enemies. A thickening waist and a protruding belly, not to mention the ever widening hips and ample bosom, have completely changed what does and does not suit me. The other problem is that maternity clothes are either hideous and frumpy, ridiculously expensive, or more often than not, both. My friend over at Wandering Womb wrote about the very same problem a few months back. Most of my purchases from previous pregnancies have fallen apart, having been subject to a couple of years of punishing tropical weather and a great deal of washing machine abuse, but I still haven't worked out where to buy gorgeous, reasonably priced, maternity clothes. Maybe I should just take the advice of the younger members of the family, who seem to have decided lately that clothes are superfluous... Now that would be a sight to behold!
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