Sunday, 29 September 2013

Surviving the school holidays

The second week of the school holidays is here and I can safely say that I am surviving pretty well.  The kids and I are just doing the usual and I've noticed that each year, the school holidays get easier and easier for me to handle.  I remember years ago when Adam had just started school and his little brother was only a couple of years old, how I struggled.  When our daughter, the third in line, was born, Marc was 4 years old and Adam was 7......yes, those days were a challenge!  But now, thankfully, they are all just that little bit bigger, and apart from having the usual temper tantrums and attention seeking moments, I am managing OK.  As I take the time to do one of my favourite things and write this blog post today, I can reflect on the fact that I AM actually surviving the school holidays!

We marked the start of the holidays with a BBQ, in our own way.  Mum and Dad got a bit merry and the kids were busy being kids.  That night was a pretty wet and windy one, which is pretty normal for this time of year in Melbourne.  But we didn't let that dampen our spirits because any night is a good night for a BBQ in this house.  Strange how this has evolved.....I have a perfectly good kitchen and inside is nice and warm and dry.......but what would we rather do?  Stay outside at the mercy of the elements, eat, drink and be merry!  My husband and I have always enjoyed this way of doing things.  I guess for us it's our way of tuning in to each other, with limited interruptions and this way we can talk (well, usually waffle on) about anything and everything.  There is something rustic and simple about cooking on a open grill in the outdoors on the BBQ and we just love it.

I was also busy making cakes for a friend's fund raising event at the local hardware store.....and I mention hardware store because when we dropped the cakes off there, hubby and I got a bit carried away with our retail therapy and purchased a spit rotisserie (another fantastic utensil for our love of cooking in the out doors).  I mention this because we've only had it a week and have already used it twice LOL.  We are trying to master the art of cooking with it and this takes a bit of getting used to.  Yesterday was a mild Spring day and we cooked a beef roast on it........the smells and flavours that it produced were just amazing........and we had to savour this over a glass of red wine.  Yes, we were in our element yet again, just sitting and chatting and I was soaking up the little bit of sunshine that we had in the afternoon.

It's been great making the time again to write my blog too.  I was worried that I was losing the motivation to write but this isn't the case at all.  I think it's just a matter of having the inspiration and feeling 'in the mood' to sit down and do it, amongst all the other daily commitments we have........and after nearly 12 months, my blog is still going strong and each day, I seem to pick up readers from different parts of the world.......and each time this happens, I still get an enormous buzz from it.  I enjoy letting readers into my little world and I try to paint an honest picture of real life, here in Australia and at the same time, get such a creative release and pleasure in doing so.

In the first week of the holidays, it has been amazing being able to get back into the garden again.  One day earlier in the week, we opened up the garage door, put the radio on and the kids rode their scooters on the footpath and I got busy trimming and pruning and sweeping and planting.......pretty much anything I could do out there.  I love my garden......it's nothing flash but I planted it when the house was surrounded by nothing but rocks and builder's debris after we moved in and I guess that is what gives me the satisfaction.......knowing that it is my creation from just dirt.  In Spring, my front garden, in particular, really comes alive and madly flowers all over the place and this always brings a smile to my face.

Another very exciting thing happened at the start of the week.  Our passports arrived which has given my husband and I the big, green light to have our little holiday together and leave the kids behind for the first time in 10 years.  We are travelling for Thailand for just over a week and I intend on immersing myself in the local culture, getting stuck right into some authentic Thai food, spending LOTS of time lying on the beach........oh, and of course, doing plenty of shopping! My husband and I feel young again, as we talk and talk and plan and plan our journey and things we want to do.  We haven't even left yet but already, the entire process has given us such a lift and has made us feel so footloose and fancy free again, just like we were when we first met.  It has been so very good for the soul for both of us, so much so, that we are hoping to get away like this each year........well that's the plan, we'll see how it goes.  I'm also going to write a journal while I am away and take plenty of photos, of course, and write a blog for each day when I get home, highlighting the things we do and see.......you can imagine for me, this whole concept if so VERY exciting!

We even had a bit of a dinner party earlier in the week too.  I cooked some traditional Italian food and our guest enjoyed it very much.  Have to say that I am right into food.......love cooking it and love eating it!  I think that's half the secret to good cooking, it's like making coffee.  If you drink coffee and know what it should taste like, you can make a good one. If you love good food, you can usually cook it well.  So, I'm a sucker for both, I'm afraid, just love to cook and entertain at home.......and for anyone who knows me, you will know that I could NOT survive without coffee......just love the stuff!

By this stage, the kids are starting to get restless and I'm starting to get tired.  But one good thing about not fussing over them too much is that they have learnt how to amuse themselves pretty well over the years and are reasonably independent.  So if I need some down time (basically sleep!), they let me have the solitude that I need every now and then and I can rest. There has been the usual fighting and bickering and for some reason this hasn't bothered me too much.  Maybe I'm just feeling too happy right now, or more to the point, think that my skin is finally thickening in the ten and half years that I have been a mother!  You would agree that you get the hang of it after a while.  I'm also studying when I get the chance and I am enjoying this too.

I've enjoyed morning tea with some lovely ladies too.  A good excuse to make more cakes LOL, and sit and chat.  Had a little pamper session and got my nails done and we have had a weekend of birthday celebrations.  The kids have enjoyed the fun of birthday parties and cake and it has been good for me too to see some of my girlfriends.  Mmm, just realised something.  Maybe, just maybe, I've had more fun that the kids these holidays!!  Seems like I have been busy doing stuff and they have just been watching me zip around.  No, never fear, they always enjoy being able to sleep in and not having any home work to do. They are the enjoying the freedom of a well earned break and like being able to spend so much time with mum.  This week I have more activities focused on the kids so I'm not all bad LOL.  Yes, for me, these holidays have been a great way to step off the 'working week' treadmill for a little while and do some things that are fun.  Looks like I'm surviving the school holidays pretty well........yahoo!! :) xxx