Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Support is the Key

Why hello there! Its the non-blogging blogger here!!
My apologies for the break in posts, I just felt I needed to take a little time out. Regroup, come back stronger and wiser! And..... my mind has been rather preoccupied and filled with house plans,  home opens, birthday and party planning and getting in early and organised for Christmas (OMG, did I just say the 'C' word?!)
But I am back, and have a line up of super cool posts to share. Ideas have been buzzing, the fingers just haven't been tapping. Stay tuned for new posts in the next few days.

I would like to thank everyone for their amazing messages, comments, emails and support after my last post. It was not an easy one to write, but I did feel so much better after doing so!
I have never felt so grateful and accepted than I did after receiving some of the most beautiful comments from people whom I have never layed my eyes on (or rather , never met in person!).
Even though I feel better , within myself and the issues I spoke about, I also feel grate sadness. Or perhaps rather, great disappointment.
Disappointment because , amongst those beautiful words that I received ,were also ones of understanding.
Many many women, wrote about how they too, are in  a similar situation, feel the same way, have been struggling with similar things.
How disappointing!
To know that as women, and Mums, and friends , we have all let our lives, and our days, get too busy. Too full. And full of things that are not that important when it boils down to it.
Too busy to stop and smell the roses.
Too busy to catch up for play dates or park visits.
Too busy to call a friend ( not text message,  not email, not facebook ). Too busy to call a friend they might be worried about. Might miss because they haven't seen them in a while. Or maybe just call for the sake of talking.

Yet, we seem to make the time for other things. Like exercise classes, waxing appointments and functions.
Time for things that, when it comes down to it, mean nothing when you are comparing it to a friendship, and heaven forbid..... a life.

Now, I am not saying that I am feeling that way, definitely not. But who's to say that your friend, that one that you thought about when you read my last post, who's to say that she isn't feeling so down, so blue, that she would be considering that it is all too hard?!
Suddenly, that exercise/scrapbooking class doesn't seem so important after all.
Perhaps that phone call would have been a better use of your time!

What I also found, after my last post, was that a few of my friends, automatically assumed I was referring to them. When in fact, I wasn't. It kinda got me thinking (in a Carrie Bradshaw kinda way) that if those people presumed that, then maybe they have a guilty conscience. Maybe they are carrying that guilt around. What a burden to have on your heart.
So don't be that person. Don't be that guilty friend , who chooses to think and not act. Chooses to say they are busy , and really could spare 5 mins. Its not a lot of time, but to someone it can be their world.
To someone, asking the question "Are you Ok?" is maybe, just maybe, what they want to hear.
What they need to hear.

Like I said, I feel good. Great even. Busy and tired, but that's a Mum's life , but I feel blessed to have the friends I have, grateful to all those who care but still saddened by the way you, my lovely readers, perhaps may be feeling!

It was such a coincidence that a few days after my post, it was National R U OK? Day.
Such an amazing initiative, and one that I will definitely support in years to come. Did you participate?
Did you call a friend, or drop over for a visit , just to ask the question?
The thing is, you don't have to wait for a national day, any day is the right day, the perfect day even.
Any day is a good day when it comes to friendships.
Make the call.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Tough days

Its been rather quiet around here lately.
Actually, I have been rather quiet lately.
I guess you could say, I have been struggling.
With what?
I don't even know myself. I wish I did. But really, its a number of things and when they stack on top of each other, it feels like I am carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders.

Perhaps I should have forewarned you that this post would be heavy. Sorry

I am not a depressive person. Never really have been. Always a glass half full kinda gal. Always have a little laugh to share and am generally a happy soul.
I like to think that those qualities are some of my best.
I am also extremely honest. Perhaps not my best.
A quality that is so longed for in a marriage or partnership, not so much in a friendship.
It seems that people don't want honest friends anymore.
They want puppets. Puppets on a string, that never say what they really think, never tell you how you have really made them feel, and never speak their mind when they, perhaps, don't agree with your opinion or point of view.

I think I am a good friend. Well at least I certainly hope I am.
I bake for catch ups, organise and invite for play dates (even if people don't reply or come) , cook meals friends in need, offer my services and help all the time and generally care about people.
And yet, all I can see when I look into their eyes , is hatred. Almost like, because I am such a strong person, that I can with stand anything, can be brushed aside, time and time again, and still be there when they can  spare the time for me.
There is nothing worse for the soul than being sickly nice to someone, day in , day out, only to have them hardly acknowledge you. Hardly bothering to even say hello.
That will teach you Liz , for being honest.
But I don't really want to change. I can't change. I am who I am, if only it would sit better with me.

Don't worry, I know I am not the best friend either. I am opinionated, honest and a strong personality.
But I try my best.

Not many of my friends read my blog. Bitter sweet really.
I feel like this is my little space, to share and express, but it would be nice for them to take an interest in something that is important to me.
Because this little space I have created, with all of you, I'll have you know, is my little sanctuary.

Does anyone ever feel this way?

Plus .... as a Mum, I am sure you will all be nodding along here, the days tend to roll into one. If you aren't cleaning, you are cooking. If you aren't playing, you are refereeing. If you aren't cuddling you are disciplining.
Some days are tough, actually most days are tough, but its such a wonderful experience to be able to watch and aid in you children's development and lives.
I guess I am still adjusting (its only taken 18 months) to be a full time, stay at home Mum. I am so used to having work, having the thing that I am good at. Having a creative outlet and some 'me' time. And work is 'me' time for a Mum.
Full time parenting doesn't have set start and finish times, its a never ending work day. There are no toilet breaks, no lunch breaks and you can't even play the music you want, the volume you want in the car!! Or if you do, you can't hear it for the whinging or jabbering from the 4 kids in the back!!

I know that nothing I am feeling, is any different than anyone else , any other mother, I am just putting it into words, and boy is it feeling good!

Raising children is hard work. They are little mess makers. They wear clothes that you have to wash and iron and then put away. They eat food you have to prepare, cook then clean up. They play with toys, make and build things and then you have to pack them away. Its never ending. But .... its life.

Sometimes its good to have a melt down, have a cry, take it out on your partner ( sorry love ) and then as a good friend, and very smart lady said to me " Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and come back better and brighter", and that is exactly what I intend to do.

Life for me is busy at the moment. We have our house on the market, impending inspections and home opens, offers on blocks happening, searching for that perfect house plan, 2 year old testing twins, a baby who has just had chicken pox and now croup. It all adds up, and quickly! Everything seems to happen at once.

So if you are at home, and feeling a little blue. Feeling like you have the weight of the world on your shoulders, you are not alone. We are all in this together, and even when a Mum says she is fine and everything is wonderful, she would , in fact, be lying! ;)

And if you aren't feeling this way, you are lucky, but perhaps call or check in with that friend you haven't seen in a while, she may just need it x

Footnote: I am feeling much much better after my debrief here, no need to worry. Times like these happen. Call it character building, call it whinging. Either way, it makes the good days seem so much sunnier x

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Hairy Important Info

A few weeks ago I was asked for some advice by a friend on what sort of brush to buy for her daughter. I had me thinking that this could be a relevant question that a lot of parents would have, and led to this post.
Obviously, with my background in hairdressing, I have professional opinions about products but I am also a mother. A busy Mum, of 4 little kids, and I know just as much as anyone else, that you have to be realistic about the cost of products and also the fact you will be using them on impatient, unreasonable mini people!!
As far as brushes go , I have bought our kids Bobble Art brushes. They are cushion backed, firm yet soft enough and are obviously pretty cute too!
We are lucky that our kids are fairly good at brushing their hair. In fact , they fight about who goes first to get their hair done. I really believe however, this is because we have brushed or combed their hair from a very young age. Regardless of whether your child has no or very little hair, or a mop of it, you should still brush it every day to get them used to the sensation and pain (because it does hurt when there is knots).
By brushing, I don't just mean getting the knots out and making it look nice, I also mean making sure that the bristles of the brush, rub on their scalp. This helps with exfoliation and reduces the risk of Cradle cap and dandruff. (The scalp is just like any other part of your body and sheds skin, and needs to be exfoliated) . The same goes for brushing your own hair.
In my professional career, I saw more boys than girls with cradle cap, and they seemed to get even as a 2 or 3 year old. I really believe it is because as parents, you tend to not worry too much about brushing boys hair over girls. So as a Mum of boys now, I am very conscious of this.
We also use a comb, the help when parting hair, doing pig tails or other styles for the girls!

In our Hair station, I also keep a spray bottle, as we spray the kids hair every morning when we either put it up, pop a clip in or comb it neat and now also a Lice Preventative spray!
The spray is not a necessity , but it is a great detangler in our eldest hair (as she has beautiful curls) and I figure that you have to stack the odds in your favour , especially where little hair critters are concerned!
At the moment we are using the Nit Wits spray, and are loving it!

When it comes to lackies to use in your girls hair, or even your own, its important to find ones that are going to create as little damage to your hair as possible.
Unfortunately, by wearing your hair up, you create a wear zone on the hair shaft that makes it susceptible to breakage and damage.
With Stella's hair, I like these Woolworth's Select brand lackies. They are made of a soft fabric type elastic and are great to use over and over. I hate when lackies stretch straight away and you have to wrap it around the pony tail lots of times! These are great too, as they don't have a metal clasp that can snag and damage the hair. They come in a multi coloured pack and are only a few dollars.
For Lacey's hair, as it is a lot finer and shorter, I am using the small rubber bands, but these are only a  one time use, but are so cheap it doesn't matter.  When her hair grows a bit, we will just use the same lackies for both girls.
When you are putting your girls hair up, it is important to try and vary the position that the lacky will sit on their hair. In other words, don't put their hair up at the same height, in the same way, everyday. Vary the style from a plait to a pony tail, a half up then pony tail or get fancy with some plaits or braids etc. Again, this means that the lacky isn't at the same spot, isn't creating a wear spot and isn't causing breakage or indentations. I have seen many , many kids, when they have come in for a trim, with a short breakage line where their lacky sits everyday. I like to have Stella's hair back for school everyday, again, it minimises the risk of nits, but do try and vary to a bun, pony tail, plaits etc.

A few other tips include-
Regardless of whether your child has nits, or lice, you should be doing a lice treatment every few months or even just on the holidays. Sometimes you don't know they have them,and they could be the child that keeps re infecting all the others in the class.

If you do find lice or nits in your child's hair, don't just treat them at night and send them back to school the next day, as a parent and hairdresser, I would be keeping them home the next day also, retreating a second time and then they should be OK to socialise again.

Your children have hair that is important too! Really, a regular trim should be part of your hair maintenance routine, say every 8-10 weeks. Hair grows a centimetre a month, therefore you can easily trim that amount off every few months and still be growing it.
Regular hair cuts means that their ends are staying nice and healthy, are not splitting and are not susceptible to breakage.
If your kids do swimming lessons, or swim a lot in chlorine water during the warmer months, try spraying their hair with a water spray and rubbing some solar protectant cream through before swimming. This will reduce the amount of chlorinated water that the hair absorbs and stopping that build up over time, and the green effects that it tends to have on lighter coloured hair. Hair is like a sponge, once it has absorbed enough water, the excess will just drain away, so you want the clean water to be the stuff that is absorbed , and the chlorinated to drain away.
We usually wash our kids hair 2-3 times a week, however since Stella starting school, I tend to just wash it on a Thursday night, when she has finished school for the week , so that when she returns on a Tuesday, it is a little dirty. You see, nits don't like dirty hair, they like clean hair. Again, just stacking the odds.
When it comes down to it, every child is different. All their hair is different. You are their parents and you make the best choices for them. I am just sharing some info that I know, and products we use!!
Do you have any cool products you use and love?
Do you have any questions you may want answers for? Send me an email.
I am not promising anything, but I will give it a shot!!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Wonderful Weather

We have been so blessed with such glorious weather lately!
It doesn't feel like it at the moment, as it blows a gale outside and rains off and on, but when the sun is shining lately, its like the bees and birds are singing!
My parents are building on a rural block at the moment and the kids have a ball there!
I was lucky enough to capture some beautiful images of our little darlings. In all their investigating happiness.
(Photo overload coming now!!)

I don't know about the birds and the bees, but these make my heart sing!
How lucky are we?
Even on bad days ( and I seem to be having a few with our terrible two lately, they still make me smile on the inside and out. (more so when they are sleeping though! haha)