Thursday, February 28, 2008

Everyday Blessings: The Inner Work of Mindful Parenting

Has anyone read this book? I have just started with it and I could really use a sounding board for examples and feedback. One of my biggest parenting issues is control: when I ask for something, I expect it to be done. Rationally, I understand that my girls are still wee and that I am certainly expecting too much; but learning to ease off – and when to ease off – is very difficult for me. For instance, I expect decent table manners. Not Victorian, mind you, but common courtesy: no belching, no farting, no lazing around like a Roman with have your body in recline. And when I have asked the same child to make the same change four times, I start to get pissed. In fact, I tell them to get up and leave the table because I don’t want to sit with unmannerly louts. (Yeah, what a nice lady I’m turning out to be.) Me and Littlie are really at odds these days because she intentionally flouts the rules (as in, she looks at me, smiles, and then does exactly what I have asked her NOT to do!). From what I have seen so far, the authors don’t believe that young children are manipulative; I would have to disagree. Does this difference in opinion mean that I will never mesh with the concepts presented in this book?

Really, I want the magic pill, the panacea that makes me a happy mellow Stepford mom. I want to open a book and read the answers to my parenting dilemmas. That not being an option, I beat myself up over my lack of empathy, my outbursts, my demands for my chidren to respect ME as a human being, not just a slave. Is it possible to completely detach oneself from natural human emotions in an effort to NOT be co-dependent? Plus, IMHO, it’s impt that these Munchkins see that I am human just like them and I have good days and bad days.

Which brings me closer to the crux of today’s blog: I’m sick. Not very, but enough to slow me down. This, assuredly, was exactly what the body was attempting. I’ve run at a crazy pace for several weeks now and the old bod’ just said ENOUGH. I have had to let the kids watch movies (yep, that has a definite impact on their behaviour). Fortunately, we know have the most wonderful backyard in which they can safely run wild.

On the happy side of things (and really, my life is pretty great!), Littlie has learned to climb trees, thanks to the tree in the yard; Biggie is rediscovering her love of nature (except bees, which send her into fits of hysteria---any suggestions?); and I am actually sitting outside on the grass enjoying my kids. Once again, I must say, I am teaching them nothing. I have embraced play and I am letting them play with few restraints. They are still only 4 and 6 and, despite their superbrains, I keep saying that they only have these few years in their lives to imagine.

We have been in the new house four days now and it remains a bomb site. I am thoroughly daunted by the schoolroom: aaargh, what should go there and what should be in their rooms? How much do I put out in plain sight and what goes behind closed doors? I have yet to reinstitute a rhythm, but at least we have started walking everyday: whole foods is a five minute walk and playground is a fifteen minute walk!

I feel my fever spiking and I am now going to lay down. Forgive any previous incoherence. I’ll try harder next time :-).


Saturday, February 23, 2008

Finally, Moved.

It rained. In fact, it poured. I couldn't put together beds and couched because everything was SOOO wet. BUT, all that having been said, we are moved. Woohoo. I am very happy and I love my new house.

I will post photos as soon as I can find the cameras. In the meantime, I am happy to have fab internet connectivity and I shall now go see what all of you lovely folk have been up to during my absence.


Thursday, February 14, 2008

More Universal Intervention...the housing saga

Okie dokie, it's a good thing that I believe in the power of the Universe to send a message or else this would have all been too eerie for me.

This afternoon, I saw a relisted ad for a home in a neighbourhood that I love, and this relisting was placed by the owner and said Pets OK (two cats + one dog = fewer rentals to look at). I called at 1.30 and the owner agreed to show me the house at 3. Met him at 3 and the house was PERFECT. The girls and I had read our list of "Wants" before we left our current house and this new house had ALL of them, including a good price for the neighbourhood. When I said that I loved the house and what came next, the owner said, "You want it?" "Yes" "Well, it's yours." That was it. Done deal. I asked him if he wanted a check and he said, "Naah, just deposit it into the bank" (internet transfers are big in NZ). I asked if he wanted my business web address so he could see what my husband and my dog looked like; he said no. Didn't he want to know about us? Not really, he just wanted someone to love his house, as it had been his home for thirteen years.

I was incredulous. He was so nice and there is NOTHING wrong with the house, and I just couldn't believe that it would all be soooo easy. I signed a lease without my husband even seeing the house, which made me a bit uneasy, so tonight after he finished with patients, I drove him to see it.....He loved it!! Woohoo, I made a good decision. (This is a big deal because one time I moved us into a terrible house in the middle of nowhere and six months had to move back into town because I was sooo miserable. Needless to say, that killed my confidence in my house-selection skills.)

So, wanna hear about it: refurb villa in the Auckland equivalent of Berkeley. Two blocks away from supermarket, organic shop, organic butchery and nice cafes (one of my goals was to be able to walk everywhere). Three bedrooms, with study and nice kitchen; self-contained "flat" downstairs (including kitchenette, toilet and second refrigerator), which I will be using as a schoolroom; gated with parking inside gates or out on street; playhouse for girls; established vegetable garden, grape vines, and fruit trees (woohoo!!! I think the tomato that my husband ate won him over!).

Plus -- tune out here if you are terribly conservative :-) -- I met the neighbour across the street, and he is now a she, and his neighbour is a wonderful elderly Maori woman who has lived in the area as long as anyone can remember, and there are artists three doors down and their lawn is filled with their work, and there is so much wonderful diversity in the neighbourhood....yippee! This is a really big deal for me because we moved here from Hollywood and I have always lamented the homogeneity of our region in Auckland. I hated that my girls would grow up thinking that the world consisted of upper-middle class white folks in brand new stucco homes. I am thrilled at the thought that they can be surrounded by beautiful, different people.

I am so happy I am just bubbling over.

The irony of it all is this: when I pulled in tonight and told my property manager that I was moving in one week (OMG!), first he tried to demand a three-week notice (which he can't legally do and bearing in mind that he gave me only a seven-day notice of the $60 rent hike!) and then he said.....really, he said this....."That isn't very fair to your landlord." HAHAHAHAHA. If I hadn't been so pissed, I would have laughed. AND, he can't even try to ding me on my deposit because they have none of my original lease paperwork!! Aaah, administrative error.

Yes, the universe works in mysterious ways, for which I have offered up many thanks today.

(So if I am not blogging much this week, it's because I have just given myself one week to pack and move. Then life will be back to normal, but better, and I can resume Waldorf Homeschooling.)

Great big thanks for your support and kind words.


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Yeah! I have speed!

Woohoo, my internet connection is back in full force and I can jump for joy. I wish I had much Waldorf homeschooling stuff to share, but we aren't doing anything right now. Instead, I am dragging my kids all over hell and back looking at houses. The tough thing is that I don't really know what I want, or what my priorities are: do I want a house in the country so that they can run and play, but we're so far away from everything that I cannot ever accidentally forget to buy supper ingredients? Or do I want a nice refurb villa near town, loads of character, no closets, but we are able to walk to everything? How does one see what will work best? I am lost (gaaaah, I'm really just an indecisive Libra!!!).

But, I am really believing in the Universe, because today I tho't, "maybe I'll just stay here for a while, until something shows up....." So I walked over to my property manager and he told me that my landlords won't even negotiate for a long term lease! All I had uttered was, "That's a considerable rent rise," and he said, "that's not all..." I walked away knowing that I had just been given a Universal Directive!

I would love to blog more, but I just really want to go read all of your wonderful words, and see those pictures that I have missed. (I have been doing some fun crafting, etc., but that'll all have to wait until I read about your lives.....ahhh, virtual voyeurism.)

Big smooches from one very happy internet reader!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Thieves, one and all!

I'm AFK (that's away from keyboard in dh gaming speak) for a while because it's just too heartbreaking to blog right now: someone hacked my wireless internet connection and used up all my monthly allocation (10gb!), so now I am stranded in the utterly hopeless world of dial-up speed.

Quickly, I will ask for happy tho'ts from everyone because I am pissed about an injustice: my landlords are jacking my rent by (drumroll.....) $60 PER WEEK! OMG. Now, my gripe is not this this amount is insurmountable, but rather, in true Libran fashion, my house is NOT worth that much. (Oh, yeah, context: last year, I got a $30 per week rent hike!).

What makes it harder is that I accidentally know my landlords (everything goes through a property manager and I didn't discover that I knew my LL until after we moved in). My landlords are new money, gaudy, conspicuous consumers, and I just can't stand to support their greed any further! Is that terribly petty of me?

So I have decided that this is the Universe telling me to find a new house. To that end, I would ask that all friends send some positive house vibes south, s'il vous plait. Many thanks, and I shall retire before explorer dies, again.