Frightened Heart.

I have it pretty easy when it comes to the bedtime routine. Yes, I repeat myself endlessly and sometimes have to step out the room to count to ten. However, it’s guaranteed that between the hours of seven and eight my mini me’s will be in bed and quiet. But something changed a few weeks ago, the littlest one become scared of something and was constantly get up or screaming “Mummy” from beneath her sheets. To say it got my back up a little would be an understatement, she was really cutting into my adult time. I have some classy (crappy) TV to watch. Does she not understand I’ve been with her all day and need to tune out?! It’s not like she’s alone in the room, there are two other kids there….she is not alone!

I finally caved in and decided that I would stay in the room, but with no contact – don’t want this to become a thing, right? So I lay on the floor doing some yoga, a little plank here and there, stretching myself all over the place. Until that moment where I would look at her from the corner of my eye to check she was asleep, then I would bolt out the room straight to the sofa via the kettle.

But it hit me, she’s scared, she’s little, she’s mine, and I’m the one who makes her safe. What the hell was I doing? She needs me!

She needs me fully present, laying next to her. I don’t go off the clock, that’s not what being a mum is all about. I ease her frightened heart, her overactive brain and it is me who will quell the nightmares. I give her peace from the scary monsters that could jump out from beneath her bed(and they might due to my lack of cleaning skills!)

This is not about me, how did I even make it about me?

This is about her needing comfort, I should be dropping everything to embrace that embrace. Will it really make much difference to my life if I watch one less episode of Buffy? Or will it make a real difference in hers if I am holding her, stroking her hair and making her feel loved?

There is only a small period in their lives that they will actually need me to do this, so why am I fighting it?

When you first give birth, you stare at the little squished up thing every minute of the day, wishing you could bottle every single second. Every smile, every smell – well maybe not every smell! You think that it will never end. Then suddenly without any warning you’re sighing at the moment they wander into the living room when they should be in bed.

I know there are all the theories on self soothing and the old ladies telling you not to spoil them. But can you really spoil a child with love and attention? or is this just total crap so that we can get on with our own lives, leaving them to become a hardened mess.

When they were babies, I always went in for the bed sharing, I practiced baby led weaning. Wore them in a sling until my back was giving way. Taking parts of my parenting from the continuum concept and enjoying all the moments I could. What changed?

ME!

Tonight, I lay with the littlest. Stroking her hair and listening to her breath becoming deeper, staring at her beautiful skin and watching her eyes blink slowly until they were so heavy that she couldn’t open them. I didn’t stop there, the other two were still awake, the eldest reading and the beautiful boy just looking into space. I sat next to his bed and repeated my actions, stroking his hair and wondering where my little boy went. I rubbed my nose against his, he looked up at me and smiled then fell into a deep sleep. I moved onto the big girl, clambering up into her bunk. While she was still reading, I gave her a foot and leg massage as she gets growing pains. She put her book down, cuddled into me and told me how much she loved me before closing her eyes.

This is so much better then any damn TV series. What was I thinking? I have three children who have gone to sleep knowing that in a world with so many unknowns, they can always count on me!

I stayed an extra five minutes just to hold the moment close.

 

 

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What is my function?

Having previously mentioned that I do not have a visa to work in the land of the free. I find myself in need of finding my meaning, my purpose, my function.

I feel like I have lived a thousand lives, a bit of a jack of all trades.

I’ve cleaned, served, managed. I’ve welded, sorted and fixed. I’ve studied, helped and posed but yet I can not seen to find my true north.

BC (Before Children) I thought that music was my thing. Playing my bass, feeling free and having fun with friends in a language reserved for those in that circle. But that has drifted since my monkeys decided to reap havoc on my life!

So what now? Where do I go from here?

From conversations with friends it seems that it is only a rare few that find their place early in life. Others (like me) wonder around between a rock and hard place seeking something that seems so right until it seems so wrong. How does one find their meaning? My lovely husband picked up a guitar when he was very young and bish bash bosh, thirty odd years later he’s still playing. My best friend studied hairdressing at 16 and to this day is happy chopping locks. How the hell did they do this?

I don’t come from a place that is all about living the dream. It was very much people taking the job that will bring in the cash. Working to live. So, I know this is a luxury problem! But given that I have an option, it would be silly of me to just find a job that makes me want to shove a hot screwdriver in my eye at the sound of the morning alarm.

Like many. I want a career that has it all. I want to be crazy creative but I want organisation.  I want to work with people but also alone. I want to work with my computer but nothing to complicated. I want to see my children and be able to drop everything at a moments notice to be there for them.

My real career should be like an 80’s movie montage. Creative and sexy with an amazing(cheesy) sound track.

Having once been described as a floater – In a more loving way than saying I was the scabby backwash left in your drink. More in a way that, I’m kind of happy doing anything. I can float from one place to the next and find happiness. This is true, but I also get that feeling of flight. I always want a little more, or a little less. One thing is for sure I want it all now!

I know lots of people feel this way and I’m intrigued to find out how they found their passion, if indeed the ever have. Is it just a trial and error thing or is there a way of defining what you should be doing?

So what is my function?

 

 

 

 

Find your hurricane friends!

I’m back!

Having had a very long summer holiday for WordPress.

Life has to continue, are we not here to fight the downs and love the ups?!

When tragedy ensues, we live and learn!

I am finding out many things about myself and other around me. Who my real friends are, who has the ability to listen and not judge and who can appropriately change the subject to lighten the mood and get a little laugh in.

I am not going to go into details about my trauma, it is mine to bear.

I’d more like to share what I think a woman should mean to another woman.

It is only in the last 10 years that I have really surrounded myself with women, strong, unapologetic women. Women that hold another woman’s friendship close. Women who when the chips are down they’ll take your kids for the day so you can weep, they will bring you grocery shopping, they will hold you and listen to your pain without telling you to stop and get a grip, but also have the ability to tell you to get a grip when you are being crazy.

Moving to L.A took me away from the women that I held dear, the ones that got me through the day when my husband was away for weeks on end. Restarting was painful and exciting but as luck would have it I have found the same type of women here. Women with values and heart.  Unfortunately I have also discovered the kind of woman who is selfish and doesn’t belong to this breed. Like a kind of wild dog that will do anything to rip apart others. Thriving on the pain they cause, just to create a false sense of self worth.

Yes, we need to create our own happiness but will we ever get it if it is at the expense of another?

It’s a question that I have asked myself many times. Watching other peoples behaviour and wondering if it would really get them anywhere. And believe me I have also been a class A bitch in the past but luckily I have become wiser with age and because I had great women by my side to call me on it.

I had a conversation with a friend recently about a situation that she was in in the past and the advice that I gave her. (I actually forgot all about the conversation but was happy to hear that I gave her good advice)…as any real friend should! She asked me what she should do about a man who was married with kids but was being overly friendly to her. My answer was something like…”Don’t be stupid. This is not about you, this is about his ego. You’re not going to be happy and you will cause others so much pain. If he really wants you he will leave his marriage in the correct way, then you give him a chance. If he is not going to do that, then it’s only about him and his selfish needs. Do not go there!!!!” Luckily she took this advice and didn’t go down the road of causing destruction to so many people and throwing her karma scale way out of whack. Would there be any coming back from that? What I am trying to say, is if your friends can’t be frank with you or they sit back and watch as you press the self destruct button or even encourage you to do stupid shit, then are they really your friends? are they really the friends that you want around? or will they even be around when the going gets tough? Everyone has the friends that are around because of your circumstance, maybe the job you do, the people you know, or indeed craziness you give out. These are fair weather friends and play a role in your life but the role is to learn what they are and find your true hurricane friends.

I don’t have to mention names, my hurricane friends know who they are. They know I love and appreciate them. They are new friends and old friends, .they come from all over the world but I know them by they way they treat me. We don’t have to talk every day, indeed some I have not spoken to for years, but they are still there, they will never leave. There is never a  comment about the length of time we have been apart, just an appreciation for the time together. These friends will drop things to help me when I hurt, they welcome my family into their homes so we don’t have to alone, they send me messages for a far just to check in and they will listen endlessly without judgment. I don’t ever wish any pain on them but I know for sure that if something should happen I will have their backs just as they always have mine.

I read a book recently that had some interesting advice. It said the old saying of ‘treat people how you wish to be treated’ is wrong, it should be ‘treat people how they wish to be treated’ meaning you need to understand others around you, that their needs and expectations are may be very different to yours. It rang true to me, if I treat others how I wish to be treated am I not being selfish to my needs and wishes. Should I not think about what they want, how they expect to be spoken to? that culturally they may expect different things?

I guess in the end it’s all about love, respect, friendship and honesty.

To survive this crazy old life you need to have your real, true friends around. Create your tribe, show them they are worth their weight in gold and more.

Peace out hurricane bitches!! 😉 x

 

 

 

December, December.

December.

I love December, Well, I love November too.

Dinovember straight into putting up the Christmas tree, what’s not to love.

Last Christmas (2014) was all a bit rushed. We moved to L.A from London on the 28th December so our flat was bare. Apart from a few pieces of furniture and a Christmas tree which was hastily binned on the 26th. Friends were coming in and out taking pieces of kitchen ware that we were not able to pack. We were sleeping on Mattresses on the floor as we had sold all the bed frames and we had five suitcases which we had to fit everything into. All of the kids presents were either edible or things that they would colour on the flight. Looking back on it, it all seems very disorganised and totally haphazard but we done it.

Now a year on with no move in sight. There was no rush. No stress to pack up. So, I got my Christmas crazy on. The kids and I made decorations. We took trips to see Christmas lights. We watched only Christmas films for the whole month  (apart from Frozen, once). I downloaded cheesy Christmas Albums to sing along to everyday. The radio in the car was changed to a Christmas station and I enjoyed every moment of it!

We were lucky to have visitors from the UK. A family from Summer’s old school came to stay. We had so much fun. The kids playing around in the apartment. Taking a trip to the beach and having walks in the canyons. Us mums had a night out and a night in (painting nails while drinking cocktails…not a great idea!) They were here for ten days and left just before Christmas day but I considered hiding their passports and keeping them here for longer.

My brother decided a couple of days before Christmas that he would take a last minute flight out to see us for a couple of weeks. He would be here just in time for Christmas dinner. Not in time to help prepare dinner but perfect for eating it!

On Christmas eve we were in a dilemma as to what to do. My first instinct was to drive somewhere with real snow and play around. Then I though the Pasadena Christmas parade truck would be fun. but in the end we opted to go to the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Downtown L.A for their free Christmas concert. It is a televised show in a beautiful old theater where the public come along, grab a seat, watch choirs, dance groups and other musical acts. It’s a totally open door policy so we were able to leave when the kids decided to squirm.

When the big day finally arrived the kids received gifts that they could keep and play with for more than 48 hours. I was delighted to have their new toys lying around in the living room for days. Actually, some of the presents replaced things that they lost in the move. I can stop my motherly guilt about last year now…I’ve been carrying that for way too long!

As the days passed and new year came around. We had a ‘party like it was 1999’ or actually we danced around in the house, in the dark, with glow sticks. What kid (or adult) doesn’t like that huh! I then struggled to stay awake until the bells (or midnight if you’re not Scottish!)

Our yearly planning lists did make an appearance though. We looked back to see what we accomplish in 2015? What did we not accomplish? and more importantly what do we want on the 2016 list? I find these list really difficult to make, my little mind goes blank. However, I like that it sticks to the fridge and I have to look at them fairly often. Physiologically it must seep into my brain just from its presence. Maybe we get more done. Who knows? but I do like the tradition of sitting taking about what we want from the next 365 days.

I’ve started my typical January habit of reminiscing about life gone by. The hazy memory of the past where everything seems a little more golden but actually it was the same as it is now. It’s just that the real memory has faded and left me with something that resembles the truth. I am now looking at the 2016 list and repeating my mantra.

Always forward, Never back.

 

Just (do it to yourself)

Today I decided after weeks of debating to cut Phoenix’s hair.

Summer was off sick from school. Jacob went foraging at Ralph’s for the items on a list that I had handed him. Popcorn, sweeties, cheese. All the things I needed for a day stuck in the apartment with three kids. As it hit mid-afternoon everyone was getting a little tired. The paper volcano Summer and I had been making for science week was not entertaining anymore.

So this was it, the moment I had been waiting for. I powered up the Wii, clicked on youtube and picked a film that we had not watched before.

I don’t know why, but with every task I need to do, my brain doesn’t seem to realise up until launch moment that I do not have the correct tools to do the job. Yesterday I was stood on a chair with a curtain pole, screws and a spirit level before it clicked that I don’t have my electric screwdriver. It’s in the frickin shipping container.

Today was no different. Phoenix was in position, which with our lack of, well… anything, meant him sitting on the kids table and I just ran around him like the hunchback of notre dame. I had scissors at the ready but no comb. I have a comb. I’ve always had a comb…oh, no comb…with a little quick thinking I remembered that deep within a toiletries bag was a nit comb. So this became my hair cutting comb (not recommended).

As those first few strands fell to the floor I start singing Radiohead’s Just (do it to yourself) in my head. I realised why I shouldn’t cut my kids’ hair. A realisation I have every time but being a thrifty Scot it goes against my instinct to spend cash on kids haircuts. Phoenix’s head was swinging around everywhere, picture the exorcist scene but with me trying to clamp his head in place. The scissors were cutting up anything they could find, I was basically gouging out hollows in his hair which meant it was getting shorter and shorter.

All the while Silver was scraping chairs across the floor to sit next to me, declaring it was her turn. I managed to finish the hair cut with only one huge tantrum from Phoenix. He walked away half cut (haha). Telling me that he was itchy and wanted a bath. “NOW”. I coaxed him back onto the table and he underwent the last of the ‘do’ with promise of sweeties and a bath overflowing with bubbles.

The film ended before the haircut.

We kept our eyes locked on each other as I fumbled with the wii controller. Me wondering if he was going to stay sitting on his arse. Him wondering if he could make a run for it. I won! Go me!

So with a new program on I finish up. Rather happy with the result as long as I don’t turn the light up too high… bloody brilliant.

After the bath it still looked pretty good.

Wonder what Jacob will say when he gets in….