Wednesday, 24 June 2015

nap time bliss

It never ceases to amaze my sleep-deprived brain (insomnia not child induced) how babies & preschoolers can sleep so very peacefully. I am currently in the car waiting patiently for a wee babe to wake...although as her first birthday approaches I suppose she is 'wee' no more.

I have caught up on emails, read my favourite blogs & am now typing this. I suspect next I shall lean back & close my eyes myself, if only for a moment. Happy nap time everyone!

Saturday, 30 May 2015

when normal is awesome

Oddly last Thursday we had nothing planned. No playdates...nowhere to be and no agenda. Daddy went to work before 7 (I'm loving the new job and its hours!) and Teddy, Evie and I prepared ourselves for the day ahead.

After a walk to the local cafe for a babycino, we wandered home to put Evie to bed. Teddy got out the playdough and for the next 40 minutes we rolled and cut and played Spiderman with the amazing stuff. After Evie woke, she fed then Ted started the vacuuming while us girls attacked the bathroom and toilet (Evie sucked the rubber ducky clean!). I should mention that this is the first time since Evie was born - 10 months old soon - that housework has been accomplished home alone with both of them*. By 11:30 in the morning I had finished! (I waited patiently until Ted had finished 'his turn' before whipping around the rest of the house with the vac)

We had lunch then chilled out together while Evie slept. Off to the shops for some bits and pieces then home to cook dinner and play. Magic.

Magic in the ordinary. The unremarkable day that flew by smoothly even when Ted was melting down and Evie wouldn't settle.

Pure magic.

*This is no small feat for me as I have struggled since I was pregnant with Evie. One day I'll share more.

Monday, 11 May 2015

day one...working mama // daddy daycare

As is often the case when we travel, plans are made and in-depth discussions had about how time will be spent directly following the trip. That is exactly what happened during our recent holiday to New Zealand...unfortunately, the most well laid plans can go awry and for us that came in the form of a nasty bout of flu that laid us flat for the fortnight after our trip.

Today, though, sees the beginning of the new regime. The 'get the PhD done' regime. It sees me at my desk reading, typing, sorting, thinking, drinking litres of tea (concentration blend - so yummy!) - taking notes of what I have accomplished and what I still have to tick off the list. It sees the children packed up and off with their daddy for some errands and a picnic in the park. Hours of work will go into this thesis, so many hours I try not to think about it. I'm starting small, with a goal of 5 hours of uninterrupted thesis work per day, six days per week. I've just ticked over 2 hours of the 5.

Of course, daddy has gone and found himself another job - start date unconfirmed but we are planning for next week - and thus the new regime will shift slightly again. Days will look like this: mama up before children, typing away for an hour before the day has begun...mama on duty until 4ish, when daddy will arrive home and allow another hour to be squeezed in before dinner...bedtime routine, then at about 6:30pm mama will try to work for another couple of hours before bed (which needs to be early to facilitate brain function). On days when Teddy is in school and Eve naps, more can be done. Just writing this system down makes it seem doable and I imagine many women make this schedule work for them.

So on that positive note, I'm off to take advantage of this week's daddy daycare - while it lasts!

Much love,
Audrey xox

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

first publication

I think when the whole academic road is as twisty and bumpy (and downright frustrating) as mine feels like it has been, it is easy to forget the end game. My end game? A decent job at a decent school in a decent place where my kids and husband will be happy.

I just received news that my first journal article will be published without any minor or major revisions...accepted as it is. In a good journal. This was so unexpected and lovely that it has come as a complete surprise. I didn't dare dream of this outcome, preferring to be realistic and figure a 'revise and resubmit' would be awesome. You know what?

Forget realistic. From now on, I dream big. The standard has been set. Paper #2? It needs work. But boy, what a blast of motivation to crack on with it. It too will be submitted somewhere good. It may or may not go through the (perhaps lucky) process of the first...and it will probably need revising and resubmitting. But not in my dreams - in my dreams I will receive another email along the lines of "...we have decided to publish it as is."

Because, at the end of the day, that unconditional acceptance of your work, your effort, your tears...that is the dream.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

love note to the PhD gods

Dear PhD Gods

You probably don't know who I am, as I am one of those annoying doctoral students that got pregnant, took leave & is now pregnant again. My work won't win a Nobel Prize & it probably won't set the world of econometrics alight with an astounding discovery. It will be good & deserving & more than worthy of the degree. My PhD is an on-going saga & 98% of this spectacular exercise in drawing-the-pain-out is of my own doing. Got it. I own my decisions & I refuse to regret any of them.

I refuse to regret the teaching I did early on (loved it) & I certainly will never regret building a family (still loving it). I won't regret choosing to be a great Mama over study when work took my husband away for the better part of 2 years. Like I said, I own my part of this saga.

However. When delays happen that are just plain old bad luck, out of my control & just downright frustrating, I take issue. I am getting too old & cranky for silly computer malfunctions & delays. For things just not working because the universe, a.k.a. YOU, decide to backhand me on that particular day. So you know what?

Get used to me, PhD powers-that-be, I ain't going anywhere. You know why? According to The Thesis Whisperer, it is because I am resilient. I believe that this PhD is worth it, because quitting is not an option. So I won't. I will work at it for as long as I need to, to get it done. I am as persistent as my 2 year old on this one. You know, the 2 year old that will dig in his heels & scream blue murder at the prospect of leaving his friend's house. Well, when it comes to getting this degree, that's me. It is going to take me a while. I know. But I'll do it. So get used to me & stop dishing me up rubbish I don't have time for, I have enough on my plate.

Much love,

Thursday, 15 May 2014

the pleasure of a number line

I am a nerd. Geek. People that know me, know this. I was teased in school because I was a nerd, complete with glasses & braces (& a terribly nerdy fringe...). At school, my big 'am naturally quite good at' thing was maths. To the extent that I studied it at uni.

So what has this little series of tidbits about me got to do with, well, anything? Well, yesterday something beautiful happened that tied my geeky self to my mummy self to my budding natural parenting self to my mad-keen-on-all-things-Montessori self. My son - my exuberant, energy-bunny, bouncy & mad-as-a-hatter son - chose to pick up a stacking block with a 6 on it & say "Mummy, the number SIX! Number SIX!"

Six is his favourite number, you may have guessed. But this (although it is making me happy just thinking it) is not where the magical bit was yesterday afternoon. Nope. The magic happened when I pointed out the sandpaper numbers on the shelf. We took them out of their little wooden box and we lined them up - from 0 to 9. We named each one, Teddy rapt up in the line the tiles made on the floor. We got out the stacking blocks & matched the numbers. We took out his wooden clock, an amazing shape puzzle/toy clock and added those numbers to our line. We did the shape puzzle clock & put it back on the shelf.

At this point, Teddy was still caught up in the wonder of numbers. Of sequence. My heart was singing. I had to duck into the kitchen to put together dinner. I noticed Teddy start picking up & moving the number tiles, roughly stacking them into a pile a bit further away from where we had been working. "He's done" I thought, pleased that our exercise had lasted as long as it had. I turned back toward the stove & continued dinner.

I heard the thud of racing feet bounding toward me. I braced myself for the 2-year-old body slam into my legs, lucky I had as otherwise I probably would have burnt myself when it came! I glanced down & Ted beamed up at me "I DID IT. Fin-ushed!" I let him lead me proudly over to his number line. Yep. Tiny Ted had been busy lining the stack of sandpaper numbers ever-so-carefully & neatly back into a straight line across the floor.

So they weren't in order, or indeed all the correct way up. We had fun with that, picking each number up & naming it. Lining them up again. My math nerd / mummy / Montessori enthusiast / wish-I-could-home-school selves were aligned in perfect, heart-singing harmony.

The wonder of numbers. Counting has been happening at our place for some time now but this was the first time it all molded into one beautiful 30+ minutes of activity. It was actually probably longer, but I was so wrapped up in Teddy being wrapped up that I didn't notice the time.

Numbers. Teddy & numbers. Bliss.

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

meandering: toddler style

Toddlers take a slow walk through the park to unbelievable lengths. They stop and marvel & in Ted's case, take off their sandals to brush off their feet & put their shoes back on again every 10 metres!

Most of the time we indulge this somewhat interesting (if not a little frustrating at times!) method of travelling from A to B & every single time we do I end up grinning from ear to ear at the sheer awesomeness of toddlerhood.

Of course, there are those times when leaving/going home is near impossible & inevitably ends in tears - as well as thrashing & yelling...but this is usually short lived & any injustic Ted feels at being hurried home from the park is immediately replaced by curiousity as he spots the cat/a trail of ants at the front door/his other pair of shoes...

Yep, toddlerhood. It is marvelous for them & us!