Monday, June 24, 2013

Touchpoints and Personal happiness

Yesterday I was in an old graveyard wandering around with baby in carrier on front , husband to talk to whilst our boys climbed merrily in old churchyard trees ("Mummy I'm Lord Horatio Nelson!" "I am a piwate ARRGH!") They were busy and didn't need me hovering over them . Walking between the gravestones we spotted a Mopoke sitting on the edging. I found after a quick Google that it wasn't ill, it was defending itself. By sitting still and closing it's eyes. That's the defence mechanism. Pretend you aren't there and hope everything will go away. Needs work if you ask me although to be fair I have had moments like that myself except I call it an anxiety disorder! Gentle wandering in the Winter sun, children climbing trees and playing rowdy imagination games, random Mopokes, being with family these things have a very soothing effect for me and I found the whole thing very rejuvenating.
I tried cutting down on calories last week this did not have a soothing effect on me. It's a switch that makes me feel extremely deprived and hangry* I don't do well with feelings of deprivation or low blood sugar so I stopped it. I would rather feel content and tubby quite frankly, as long as my health is good. So Sunday morning I baked pumpkin gingerbread and chocolate granola, bread and biscotti. This also has a soothing effect.
Yoga has a soothing effect for me, all that breathing and stretching and gooey feeling calm. I am not going to go to an Ashram but everytime I get back to the smallest amount of Yoga I feel content and calm and it's like coming home to myself, even a few minutes has this effect.
My beloved likes to pop on the headphones and listen to some Youtube-d music for a good while or play with an old car.
It's a great part of growing older and wiser, getting to know yourself, what bits are really you and what can be discarded. Getting to know my own personal happiness touchpoints is a great step in a positive direction (although if there has to be Mopokes it could be tricky).
I think that we all would benefit from taking the time to observe what actually soothes our soul, the things that genuinely bring the warm flow of happiness into our hearts. The results can be surprising. What are your personal happiness touchpoints?
*hangry is of course being so hungry you feel angry.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Dreaded Mini Break or Facing your Demons!

© Snowturtle
About two years ago I thought it would be great to make the trip down to Hobart which is a good two hour drive away and booked a Bed and Breakfast so we could have a bit of an explore.
Sounds fine.
We had two children then boys aged four and two-ish.
It was not fine.
 Not fine at all. It was Hell on Earth. The whole experience left my dear husband traumatised. Sometimes I would talk about doing some more overnight stay explores, his face would become ashen and a terrified whisper would escape his lips "You mean.. a mini-break?". So there were no more mini-breaks.

Until mid last week I was looking at all the Roller Derby bouts going on in Hobart and whinging about missing out. Suddenly he said "Why don't we go down then?" he knew it meant staying over-night. I didn't over-think and booked a room (a queen, two single beds and an ensuite) for a reasonable rate online and bought some bout tickets.
We had a pretty good time.
We survived. We will do it again. I will share the comparison of the two experiences:
 The children are older so slightly easier to wrangle (even though we have a bubby she can always be breast fed into submission or sleep if the worst strikes).

This time we encouraged them to bring toys and books, they actually packed their own bags. last time we had one toy each. This was really foolish in hindsight.

It was our plan to look at Hobart on foot. Two and four year old boys don't have the same appreciation of a Victorian Gothic revival or Georgian facade as we do. Apparently. Who would have thought? they express their lack of interest via tantrums. So do things that children like too. With ours this involves eating and roller derby which luckily are two of my interests. An honourable mention goes to @taniafordwalker. She is a person from twitter and surprisingly exists in real life as well whom I managed to convince to go to roller derby only to receive an onslaught of my children which she took with good grace, it also kept my boys entertained. Apparently harassing people is a hobby of theirs now.

They also need to run around a bit.

Pack snacks. This time our nearly five year old started eating the decorative kale as a protest when we wouldn't go to EVERY cafe we saw. I figured this wasn't my problem and at least he was eating vegetables. The council would probably replant the kale soon. But I had plenty of snacks as well.

Remove the minibar from the room as soon as you check in. We didn't last time. So ermm sorry about that who ever tried to eat those sort of squished Snickers. Luckily they didn't have minibar snacks this time.

Make sure you consider their sleep foibles. Last time the boys were small. They slept top-to-tail in a single bed with a rail to stop them falling out. When we satyed at the b & B we put them in their own rail-less single beds. Cue small children falling out of bed loudly onto the floor and then crying. Repeatedly, ALL NIGHT.  
Did I mention Hell on Earth?

 I tried with our bub this time round, I put her in a travel bed on the floor but she kept waking up because she couldn't roll over in it and then I would put her in our bed and she would want to feed so my sleep was sort of rubbish (parenting is such a learning experience, also there is a lot more poo than I would like) but we survived. We will do it again and we will be even better at it!

It seems like a small thing but somethings need conquering before you can move on.
Another tip, if your sensitive six year old says they feel sick STOP IMMEDIATELY and get them out of the car. OK?

Linking up with Rachel at The VI Blog for The Lounge this week!