Most surprising are those moments in mothering,
When you’ve done nothing but shout all day
and you’ve wished yourself far away,
To somewhere quiet, somewhere clean,
Somewhere where white linen is more than a silly idea.
When being a mother is swallowing you like a prescription pill,
and you’re breathless with quiet rage.
Frozen in the face of anxiety and expectation,
And guilt and judgement
When the tedium of washing and cleaning
and questions and cooking and washing and feeding
is equal to the weight you now carry on your stay at home mum belly…
And everybody is asking you “what’s for dinner?”
There will be a sparkling little moment,
A tiny shiny jewel,
Worth far more than the ring that brought you here.
Perhaps more precious and bewildering
than even conception itself.
Your little boy with his enormous heart,
And eyes like your own,
will for no reason other
than the fact that you are his mother,
Say to his brother, “let’s go and pick mum some flowers!”
And his brother will say “yes, good idea!
But not too many.
Because flowers are nature
and without nature,
we can’t breathe.”
In those most surprising moments,
I’m so thankful I am here.
And I smile at my babies
Who noticed the pretty daisies
Long before their mother.
I realise for many of you, snow is nothing new. But for us here in central Victoria, Australia, it’s a real rarity.
Don’t get me wrong, it gets cold, really cold. Frost covered lawns, hail, rain and crazy winds. Even snow occasionally, but rarely does it fall so heavily and settle on the ground so thick.
Today was just magical for us. Our boys now 5 and almost 3, have never seen snow and I haven’t had many opportunities in my life either to have a snowball fight or build a snowman. Limbs and leaves clothed in sparkling white, it was truly a sight to behold.
We live in a country-ish town at the foot of Mount Macedon and this afternoon we bundled the kids into the car in their warmest woollies and headed up the mountain. Snow began hitting the windscreen as we drove higher and was met with squeals of delight… By all of us!
Honestly, it was like driving into Narnia.
A place where magic happens and memories are made.
The kids were beside themselves when we jumped out of the car, running off to make tracks in the snow, noticing how it crunched beneath their boots.
Television has obviously taught them about snow ball fights as they wasted no time getting stuck into that.
And before long, C and I joined in too.
J5 got busy rolling snowballs…
While R2 went exploring…
And of course, snowmen were constructed by cold, wet little hands.
Big and small…
It was the most fun we’ve had as a family in as long as I can remember.
Sometimes as adults we forget how to just play…
Home for hot showers, hot cuppas and hot, salty fish n’ chips.
It’s so c.c.c cold here in Victoria today. A perfect day for staying indoors, under a blanket and drawing. I really miss making art but with little kids in the house it’s hard to find space and time to set up materials anywhere. So when I discovered this free kids drawing app the other day, called “colouring book” it fired up a little creative spark. The app itself is very basic dot to dot drawing to create the outlines of trucks, cars and trains etc… But I got a bit carried away and started drawing over the top of the vehicles. A simple activity but really satisfying. Would love to reproduce the sunflower on a really large scale with paint or pastels.
If we do indeed “eat with our eyes,” what a feast I devoured on the weekend!
I had the pleasure of entertaining a lovely Thai woman, named Ploy. Or rather, she entertained me. She had been holidaying here with family and spent her last day in Australia at my kitchen bench, sharing tea, lunch and an afternoon of creative bliss.
Ploy works as a cook in a luxury resort in Phuket and is passionate about cooking, eating and presenting beautiful Thai food. Her English is very limited so regular chit chat and ‘getting to know you’ conversation is difficult. When I found myself struggling to connect, I pulled out my iPad and searched for images of Thailand and Thai food. She was instantly engaged and excited and asked me for a tomato.
What followed, was a lesson in exquisite fruit and vegetable carving and an effortless afternoon in the company of a fellow art lover.
Since becoming a mother, time and space for creating my own art has dwindled away to occasional craft sessions with the boys and getting somewhat creative in the kitchen. Yesterday afternoon was a joyous reminder of that slowing down, losing ones self in a project and creating something beautiful.
Summer fruits would have been divine of course, but we carved what we had on hand. Tomatoes, apples, oranges and zucchini, to make flowers and leaves, patterns and textures.
In the following photos, (unfortunately the light was not ideal) anything fine and delicate is most likely Ploy’s, anything clunky and uneven – mine no doubt! It is a skill that requires practise and patience and Ploy was kind enough to leave her special tiny knife with me to practice with, until we meet another day over tea and food and art.
I’m Ren, a wife and stay at home mum of two boys: J, aged 4 and R, almost 2. Before nappies, mess and tickles I was a singer in a blues band, a cabaret performer, a waitress, a student and a high school art teacher.
More recently, I’ve become quite passionate about health and wellness. As a chain smoking 20 something, good health was never really a huge priority in my life but when I decided I’d like to grow a baby or two and stick around long enough to see them enjoy a richly nourished life, my focus shifted.
This continued when J was born as he was a very unsettled little bub, suffering badly from reflux and it took us three years of puzzling his problems (rashes, sleep disturbances, reflux) before we realised how sensitive he is to artificial additives in food.
My husband C has suffered life long chronic migraines and I have struggled with excess weight, depression, iron issues and sinus allergies for longer than I can remember.
So we started with food. We cut out heavily processed, packaged “foods,” refined sugars and carbohydrates, we planted a garden and began eating predominantly whole foods: loads of fresh fruit and veggies, ethically raised, good quality meats, healthy fats, nuts, seeds and smaller amounts of quality whole grains. And what a difference it makes! J was able to come off his reflux medication, C’s migraines have lessened in frequency and intensity, my sinus issues have improved immensely and we are now painfully aware if any artificial nasties have crept into the kids’ diet. That’s when the rashes come back and the tantrums turn up.
We’re so far from having “arrived” anywhere really and stumble and trip all the time but we all know the good stuff of life is embedded in the journey!
So all of these things have brought me here, to this blog. I love music, art, good food, education, my garden and happy children. I want to do better, I want wellness, balance, joy and contentment for myself, for my family and for you if you’re keen. Colourful days to come 🙂