Thursday, 15 September 2016

Hello from the other side

It is done.
We have transitioned to the other side of the world and I am Aotearoa-based once more. And it all happened quite smoothly and surprisingly hassle-free.
Although I have left rather large quantities of my heart in London (including my husband who is joining us here mid-October), it is mending nicely thanks to the healing balm of family and nature. And did I mention family?
Currently we are staying with my parents who live on the edge of Lake Maraetai and in the few weeks since we have arrived we have had lots of wonderful visits from family.
Uncles, Aunties, nieces, nephews, Grandparents, sisters, brother-in-law and soon-to-be-sister-in-law - it's all right here. And I'm loving it.

The days have been filled almost too easily with runs along river trails with a 'dog on loan' who is fast becoming a firm friend, digging gardens (me, not the dog), feeding baby goats (also on loan for the boys' pleasure), school runs, general pottering around the house, all the while taking moments to stop and sigh at the beautiful view of the lake on our doorstep. Why did we stay away for so long??

New friendships are being formed, pies are being heartily consumed by 3 boys who have never experienced the pure joy a good mince & cheese pie brings, and my bone-tiredness is slowly subsiding.

Living under the Heathrow flight-path has been replaced with...quietness. Actual silence.
The beautifully sunny English summer we were experiencing has been replaced with frosty mornings and the winter's warm sun. Flip-flops have been replaced with Ugg boots.
My tan has now officially washed off and I am pale/translucent and freckly once more (I used to be tanned and freckly...).

We are Dunedin-bound just after Christmas where all our possessions from London will be waiting for us in a shipping container.
I'm not too sure how I will feel about having Christmas in the summertime once again -
Santa Claus in his sunglasses and flip-flops always seemed a bit strange...
It always somehow felt so right to be cold outside on Christmas Day while you are inside drinking mulled wine.

But it definitely feels so right to be back in New Zealand once more. 14 years is a long time to be away from family and country. And I am glad to be home.

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Oh this Mamma's heart of mine

It is crucial that when our children look into our eyes, regardless of the circumstances they are facing, 
what they see is somebody that believes in them


Sometimes being a mamma and loving your children just hurts.

There are days I want to wrap them in my mother-hen arms and protect them from experiences of the world - from dealing with friendships at school to the spelling tests and maths equations that are just that little bit too hard, thus creating in them a feeling of failure.

There are days I want to keep them home and snuggle under a duvet with them on the couch and watch children's movies all day.
To protect them in my 'safe' bubble, so hurt cannot reach them.

My Mamma Heart hurts when others choose not to see that same amazing potential and uniqueness, that same clever and special brain in my child that I do.
It hurts when there is seemingly no effort made to understand or see the reasons behind my child's reactions.

It is a hard thing to see past all this and 'not care' what others think.
I keep thinking "If only they knew" and "They have no idea what is really happening here" - what is actually going on behind this display of emotion from my seemingly out-of-control child.

So I am slowly learning to 'not care' and just 'carry on'.
I am learning not to be the one to judge other parents when I witness similar displays of emotion from their child.
I don't know their circumstances.
I don't know their reasons behind the reactions.

The past year and a bit has been.... interesting.
With more challenges than I generally like in order to feel comfortable.

Struggles with behavioural issues from Luca have led us to seek professional advice and, as a result, he has been diagnosed with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder).

ADHD is a very common neurological condition and so there is very helpful information aplenty. But the more I learn about it, the more I feel overwhelmed by the day-to-day of this condition.

And what breaks my heart the most is seeing the pain, fear and confusion in Luca's eyes when he's reacting to situations he feels overwhelmed by, resulting in him feeling out-of-control.
The whole 'thinking before you act' scenario does not apply with ADHD. And the consequences of these 'impulsive reactions' are rarely pleasant.

It's usually after school when he's tired and hungry (cos he's a boy, and boys are always hungry!) that the impulsive reactions come out to play, often putting on quite a display for the general public.

My mamma friends who are aware of our situation are always super supportive and help with my other 2 boys where they can in amongst their own kids, but so often I end up feeling like I am 'that mother' whose child is naughty and clearly out-of-control. Tutt-Tutt.
And there have been days when I want to drop everything and run crying to the school office and let all the office ladies know that I can't handle this anymore and would somebody please do something with my children!

More often than not it's Austin who gets that phone call at work with a distraught wife on the other end of the phone saying she can't handle it anymore and "would you please do something with your children!".... Poor Austin.

At the end of school on Friday, Luca came speed walking towards me and buried his face in my chest and cried his little heart out.

And my heart broke into a thousand pieces for the millionth time since having kids.

There in the middle of the playground he sobbed and sobbed, smearing my top with his tears, snot and saliva. So I just held him. For moments that turned into minutes, I just let him cry - and inside I was sobbing too and wanting so desperately to fix his world.
He didn't talk about it until later that evening around the dinner table when, chin quivering, he said he felt lonely all day because nobody wanted to play with him.
Well, the urge to round up his school friends and give them a good ol' talking-to was nearly overwhelming.
But that wouldn't have solved any problems.
But I wanted so desperately to fix him and make it all better.

The best thing for Luca was for us to listen, to comfort, to hug and to kiss.
We ended up having a wonderful time of cuddles, kisses, talking, listening with all the boys around the dinner table that night.
As it stands, I don't know how to fix him, only love him and believe in him. Because I see the potential, the uniqueness, the strength, the sweet and kindhearted boy that he is, with a super clever brain.
I know the reasons behind his reactions and this just makes me love him more.

He's such a dear and precious wee soul.

Austin and I get so frustrated and need a lot of grace with him on a daily basis, but we just need to take that chill-pill, a deep breath and a glass of wine, and remember that tomorrow is a new day...

There's nothing quite like going into the boy's room at night when lights are out and they're all softly snuffling away. It is then I can reflect properly - not on the day just been and all it's bumps and falls, battles lost and won, but on the precious lives in that one room with it's floor scattered with lego, toy cars and dirty socks.

Our journey with Luca and ADHD is only just beginning, but I'm confidently praying that time will make us stronger and wiser, that we will be drawn closer together as a family, and that my Mamma Heart will remain forever soft and mushy :)


Monday, 3 November 2014

Come and lie in the sun with me Mamma...

Hearing his dear little voice call down the hallway, how could I resist?
I walked into his bedroom and found him cuddling up to the autumn sun rays on the carpet.

"Come and lie with me Mamma - it's so warm!"

And so I did.
And yes it was so warm.

Darling Beni - he just loves life and is contented with simplicity. He would bask in that sunshine all day if he could. Content to just 'be' in the warm sun, enjoying the feel of it kissing his skin, all the while singing happy songs about anything that comes to mind.

I love my Beni-Boo.
He helps me keep it real.
He reminds me to stop every once in a while and enjoy the sun rays streaming through the window.
He reminds me to keep a happy song on my heart, because life is good.


Monday, 9 June 2014

I've just discovered the fastest way to clean my kitchen...

...and possibly the grossest way to discover it.

I've just found a hoard of maggots having a party in our scrap-food bin along with a few daredevils who were having a gathering around the back of the bin.

*queue dry retching and lots of gagging*

It has been lovely hot weather here and I have forgotten the unpleasantness of blowflies that come with the warmer weather and their love for all things meat-related to lay their eggs on.

Just so disgusting I'm grossing myself out just writing about this...

So anyway, I was in a panic and completely ready to burn everything to rid me and my family from maggot infestation. I grabbed the closest thing available that I thought would destroy and wipe them out completely - in this case a bottle of bleach was all but emptied onto those suckers.
And they died. 
Well and truly.

After I had scooped the cheeky little (and now very dead) escapee's into the bin, I turned my back to get a wet rag so I could completely wipe the floor down with bleach - and that of course was the very moment Max decided to visit me in the kitchen and of course he stepped in the puddle of bleach and slid over, drenching himself and his clothes with thick bleach. Awesome.

Another panic and I scooped him up - holding him at arm's length - and ran into the bathroom where he was completely stripped off, soaped up and rinsed off. Poor little guy, he didn't know what was happening! 
And then I attacked the kitchen - scrubbing and cleaning and blasting anything that moved with disinfectant spray. 
There wasn't actually anything else that moved but I was armed and ready for them!

Kitchen done, I went to check on Max and found him just outside the kitchen door like this...

No I haven't killed him - he's sleeping.

Dear wee little guy.

So he's now slumbering in his bed while his brother's play a rowdy game of lego around him in their bedroom.

Oh yeah and while all that was happening with Max, Beni decided it would be a good idea to roll a glass cup down the stairs - I guess to see what happened.
And yes it crashed onto the sides of the stairwell on the way down and shattered into 1,000,000 tiny fragments which I now have to also clean up.

So much for actually getting anything else done today...

Oh but I have written a blog post so I guess that counts for something!

Happy days to you, friends.

B x

Edited to add: The maggots must be of the 'undead' variety..... After posting this I went back into the kitchen to make a coffee and heard a "...plop...plop...plop..." behind me. Yes those blasted maggots seemed to have doubled in size and were escaping out of the scrap-food bin and creeping towards me ARGHHHHHH!!! 
Out came the steel spatula and those freaking horrible devil's spawn were squished and chopped into tiny pieces.
The scrap-bucket is now outside and I'm thinking about becoming a vegetarian....


Thursday, 29 May 2014

Rosso Furioso is THREE

It is always with lots of nostalgia and bucket loads of love and thankfulness that I write these posts celebrating the birthdays of our boys.

And I cannot quite believe that my dear little Massi (Max, Maxi-moodle, Rosso Furioso, little Ginger Monkey, Ginger Biscuit) has turned THREE!

Of course this is also a time to remember his entry into the world - how I spent nearly 3 weeks in hospital because he decided to lie sideways in the womb meaning if I went into labour they would have to get him out quick smart. Little monkey.

You can read about that time here, here, here and here. (don't worry, no graphic birthing details).

He's pretty darn cute. And now he's three! Wowsers.

With his ginger curls and hilarious personality we spend ALOT of our time laughing at him and cuddling and kissing him. He always smells so delicious.

He is such a little boy who just loves to get dirty and be noisy. Awesome.
He loves his older brothers with a passion and loves all things (especially food) made popular during the 70's - i.e. gherkins, olives, smoked salmon, fish sticks, pineapple, cheese rolls, sausage rolls, pretty much anything you can "dip-dip" into a sauce.

He's a very determined and strong-willed young chap (I can't think where he gets that from........).
It took him approximately 2 days to potty train (unlike one of his brothers who is still a bit hit-and-miss after 2 years!)...

He loves tickles and "get-you's" - his most repeated line every day is "Mamma, you be the tiger. I hide." Then he runs off squealing. How could one resist? Especially when it's a perfectly plump undies-clad bottom running away from me.

Yes he was another SURPRISE baby!... but what a purely delightful 'surprise' he is. I can't imagine our life without Massi in it.
I thank God daily (usually when they are asleep and look all innocent and aren't talking back to me...) for the beautiful boys he has given us.
Three beautiful boys with three very large and individual personalities.
They bring lots of colour to our home.
And here in particular we are celebrating our Rosso Furioso (Furious Red) child.



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