Monday, 4 November 2013

soccer for toddlers!

caleb loves soccer.  i mean LOVES soccer.

this is his constantly repeated statement:  "daddy.  mummy.  shoe-ies.  outside.  soccer.  ball.  baby ball caleb.  big ball daddy/mummy.  kick.  goal.  cones.  pass.  again!  now!  SOCCER!"

so awhile back i looked into signing him up to some little league (whereby parents and toddlers run about in some sort of fashion, kicking a ball together).  but (a) location, (b) time and day, and (c) cost - put me off.  because really - is there a need to spend 30 minutes in a car just driving somewhere to kick a ball?  i don't think so.

so instead i wrote up a couple of signs and attached them to lamp posts.  free soccer for toddlers.  every saturday morning for 30 minutes starting at 9am.  at our local (5 minutes walk) park.

so far there are three boys who have shown up every week.  two others have come along once or twice.  and other neighbours from the area have visited and given the kids icecreams / iceblocks as treats when training has finished!

it's fun and it's bringing people in our community together.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

and a little voice told a story

this was the conversation i had the privilege of listening in on this morning:

"hello man*.  man sleep?  yes!  sleep on table?  no man!  man sleep floor.  yes!  floor in my room.  okay man.  blanket.  blanket on man.  night night man!  bye bye!"

30 seconds later.

"man wake?  wake man!  hello man!  no blanket now.  come on man.  outside.  yes outside man.  there.  outside.  okay bye bye man!  no?  hello man.  inside time."

*man = duplo figure

Friday, 27 September 2013

living below the line

this week a bunch of my friends (along with many many others all around the world) have given up their usual menu plan to live off NZD$2.25 a day and "live below the line".

the idea in a nutshell seems simple enough:

- spend 5 days experiencing the diet of so many hundreds of thousands of people around the world who live below the poverty line.  

- raise money for worthy charities that are doing their best to do something about that line.

and in doing so bring awareness about how blessed we are and to challenge both our thoughts and actions for the future surrounding injustice in the world.

i will be honest and say that i thought about joining in this year - for about a milli-second.  but i didn't do it.  why?  

it's not because of the food.  i know i can give up food luxuries.  i've been dairy-free for over a month now (not because i want to be, but because my son *potentially* needs me to be).  and my favourite food is cheese.  it's hard work.  i thought maybe after a month it would have become easier.  alas, no.

instead, it's entirely because of the exhaustion that i chose not to sign up.  i remember reading comments from people who did it last year - that you feel tired.  really tired.  REALLY tired.  and i just don't know if i can add any more tiredness onto my already fairly saturated tiredness week (think 6 month old who breastfeeds around the clock every two hours and 2 year old that... well is a 2 year old).

yet here we are at the end of the week and some of my friends who have taken up the challenge are parents.  and some of the mums are even still breast-feeding.  i have been astounded by their resourcefulness and recipes.  i have been astounded at their willingness and dedication.  but most of all i have been astounded at the community that has developed.

yes - i may not have experienced hunger and even more tiredness than usual this week.  but i have experienced the strength that comes when we support each other publically, gather around each other with compassion, and listen to each other as we share deeper thoughts than we normally would.

this week i have watched - and seen.  i have listened - and heard.  i have hoped - and believed.  

if you would like to donate - here are my friends and here is the organisation that we are supporting.   

Friday, 13 September 2013

travelling lightly

the first time i jumped on a plane i was 15 months old.  which technically means i was carried onto the plane as opposed to jumping...  we flew to england and lived there for nine months.  i didn't have much of a say (that i recall at least) in what luggage i was going to take.

however i was 9 years old when we next headed overseas - to live in canada for a year - and this was definitely an appropriate age to have an opinion in what went into my suitcase.  i also remember, quite vividly, my father being very assertive and saying (to all of us) - "we are travelling lightly.  ONE suitcase each.  that's it."  at the time air new zealand let each passenger have two bags - so taking one only would allow an extra bag to bring home (very smart really, a year of living overseas often does equate to an extra suitcase at the other end).  thank goodness dad made that call though - because that extra bag was very handy for the canadian animal soft toy collection that migrated south at the end of the year.

travelling lightly.  

it's a phrase that has stuck in my mind, and in my packing ability, as each trip has surfaced.  people are amazed at how small my suitcase is, and that a pillow and a sleeping bag have somehow been squashed inside as well.  eric likes to complain that i'm not playing fair because i can fit three singlets into one shoe.  this may indeed be the case but i can still pack less items into a bag than he can...  there is only one person i know of who can pack lighter than me... dad (carry on only for a three week jaunt around europe anyone?)

and so on our most recent overseas jaunt with a 4 month old and a 22 month old (both of whom had no baggage allowance) - i was determined to continue the trend.  two suitcases went to canada.  one for the kids.  half of one for us.  which meant on the return two soft toy monkeys, an owl, a squirrel, a bunch of duplo and an array of other toys could come back too.

and so on reflection, some things never change.  soft toys do deserve prime luggage space.

Saturday, 7 September 2013

sleep and dreams

babies fight sleep
children resist sleep
teenagers rebel against sleep

adults crave sleep

or at least this is how it seems from my perspective.  certainly in our little household this is all very true (i can even account for the teenager bit when we housed an international homestay student last year).

and i just don't quite understand why my children are not as passionate about sleep as i am. 

i have been either pregnant and/or breastfeeding now for 35 months (and counting...).  this has resulted in two main alterations in my life:  

1:  having children.  
2:  having (very) limited sleep.


a sub clause on (2) is that i'm not dreaming as much as i used to.  

i used to have such excellent dreams.  my family could testify to that as i would often say, with much eagerness, "oh i had such a vivid dream last night let me tell you about it now in full detail without missing anything because it was all so interesting and bright and full of thought-provoking moments that really does require a full analysis and break down of events that i need to share with you all right now and might require a good 30 minutes of your time".

i am eagerly awaiting the time when both sleep and dreaming sink back into my life.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

theme song

should all blogs have a theme song?

if i take a moment to list off some theme songs that jump into my mind these are them.  shall we all spend some moments reminiscing about the excellence of these catchy tunes.

macgyver (worthy of a fairly lengthy pause and a sigh of happiness please...)
mission impossible
happy days
lois and clark

what would you add?

BUT - as much as i LOVE macgyver and mission impossible - i just am not really so sure that either really fit in with my life and this blog.

so a theme for my blog.  so far all i've come up with is something shortish (i'm short.  my sentences are short.  i don't use capital letters.).  maybe i will see what my first ten posts happen to be about and decide then.  good idea.

as an aside - this reminds me of the time in university when i was meant to be doing a geography lab but instead i had just discovered some little quiz site that you answered questions to and it told you what "flavour" you were in life.  

i got peppermint...


Monday, 26 August 2013

going dairy-free

i never, ever, thought i would one day make a conscious, well-thought out decision to go dairy-free.

there are two reasons for this.

1:  i love milk.
2:  i love cheese.

i could write lengthy paragraphs explaining and expressing my passion for both milk and cheese.  i could.  but i will try to keep it short.  i like short sentences and short thoughts after all.  i doubt i have gone a day in my life without milk.  this is easy to predict because i haven't gone a day in my (solid-eating) life without cereal and let's be honest - cereal just doesn't taste the same without milk.  once when i was living aboard i *ran out* of milk and had to have cornflakes with water.  it wasn't an enjoyable moment for me.  i went out and bought milk immediately afterwards.  as for cheese - well, it's my staple.  it's my go-to snack.  in fact, i don't snack on anything really except for cheese.

*i didn't run out - i would NEVER run out of milk - my flatmate drank it*

anyway - today is day one of going dairy-free.  

i'm not doing it for me.  i'm doing it for my son.