Tag Archives: au pair

A new space

Creating new space in our house in a physical sense has helped with the metaphorical space needed after the events of last week. Our au pair has arrived, settled in to the room we created for her, and has given me the space I need to breathe and start focussing on what is important. All the lugging of furniture, emptying of cupboards, and spring cleaning of the mind was worth it – and she has only been here one night!

The chicks are enjoying the experience of a ‘foreigner’ to share things with. The middle chick has been sharing her knowledge of all things Australian (her lecture on the habits of kangaroos was delightful), while the eldest chick is making sure she feels welcome, has everything she needs, and being very mature. The boy? Well, he has written her two love notes so far (this from a boy who doesn’t like to write) and has declared his love for her. While I am managing him to ensure that his behaviour is appropriate, it is lovely to see his complete acceptance of her into our lives.

It is also interesting looking at our lives through someone else’s eyes. We are already understanding that we offer something different in our home life – even just in the way we prepare and eat food. The middle chick made freshly squeezed orange juice for breakfast this morning and the au pair, who I will refer to as Miss N, enjoyed it and then admitted that she had never had it freshly squeezed before. We also fed her tacos for the first time, and orange sorbet. After some grilling from us all we are excitedly waiting for mango season to start so that we can introduce her to that delight! It is good for the kids to hear how our life is interesting and impressive to someone else!

They all had a great adventure walking the dog this afternoon to show Miss N a kangaroo or two in the bush across from our house. From the photos it appears that they saw about 60 – 70 kangaroos so she was very impressed!! The parrots, cockatoos and galahs that fly around our garden are also impressive to a visitor. Again, it is good to remind the kids that the things we take for granted are interesting. In return they have learnt about wolves and bears and keep asking questions – a beautiful exchange.

Thank you to all who have offered support to me, and the boy. It is appreciated and gratefully accepted. We have had a lovely weekend with much laughter and happiness, so will start the new week with a smile in our hearts and see how we go.

Of course, given that this blog is often about sewing I need to report that none has occurred. However, with all the rearranging of the house I have been creating a new sewing space. Up until now I have occupied the dining table, in the centre of the kitchen/family room, in the heart of the house. With the arrival of Miss N I have decided to try to have my own space, where I can close the door and concentrate on what I am doing, so have moved it all into my bedroom. Until I win the lottery (must buy a ticket one day) and can build a studio out the back, this is about as good as it will get. Luckily my room is large, and has a huge window looking over the front garden, so the outlook is delightful, and the space is bright and airy. My plan is to finish setting it up tomorrow night and to christen it with a bit of creative indulgence – sewing with the door closed!! I am going to put a pin board up so that my business plan can be displayed and act as my focus and reminder as I am creating. Once it is all just how I like it I will take some photos – which will look so much better than the ones I have avoided taking in the dining room!!

No photos or quotes tonight. Just smiles, thanks and a feeling of hope as the new week begins. (And an almost complete lack of reference to the election results!)

A reminder from Dumbledore

Ah the ups and downs of life! Enjoying the spring weather and a happy mental state one day, down in Melbourne in the grey gloomy rain and being called home to deal with dramas the next. When I found this, from the website Striking Truths, pinned by a friend on Pinterest this evening, it resonated with me.  JK Rowling, with her Dumbledore Manifesto, got it right.

I have to admit that I need a bit of extra inspiration at the moment. Parenting a child with a complex diagnosis is challenging.  I have lost count of the number of times I have sat in the Principal’s office and said “I don’t know what we do now” as something new has transpired.  Today was another of those days.  Although I always manage to pick myself up, start working on the next strategy, the next plan of attack, the next piece of analysis to try to understand what is making him tick so differently from everyone else, there are times that this all seems unattainable.  Today was one of those days.  I still don’t have an answer to the latest conundrum, but a bit of a reminder from a fictional wizard that that I can turn on the light and find happiness in the darkness, is just what I needed.

On a different note, proving that my mother’s assessment of me as impulsive was probably much truer than I gave her credit for, it appears that I have an au pair!  I had started the search through a site recommended by a friend, and noticed that one of the au pairs was already in Australia.  After exchanging emails I found out yesterday that she was in Melbourne – and I was flying there for meetings this morning.  Deciding that this was more than fortuitous I arranged to meet her in the 20 minute window between the airport and the first meeting.  Within minutes of meeting her I had the call from Canberra that I needed to come home again – but even having that window into the dramas in our life didn’t phase her.  She was so warm and bubbly, sensible and open and honest that my colleague also agreed that she was just right for us, and we both felt the need to hug her goodbye!  The chicks and I spoke to her via Skype this afternoon (after I had checked her references on the phone) and the boy begged her to come and live with us (!!!!).  So she arrives on Saturday!  Oh my!  (Hmmm….. mental note – might need to clean the house a bit so she doesn’t run on the first day!)   Much quicker than I thought, but the very idea of some respite and flexibility has me giddy!    That might just be the light in my darkness today!  Even though I have moments of complete despair, little things like this remind me that someone upstairs is looking after me, despite my balance sheet looking more than a little skewwhiff these days.



Interrupting the schedule

It has occurred to me tonight that sticking to a blogging schedule takes the fun out of it. I look back at my first posts and I like them! Now, they feel more like a list of what has happened in the last week. Not paint-drying boring, but not great to read either. So I am abandoning my structure in favour of a more free-flowing blog. I choose to view this as an evolutionary step rather than a reversal! (C’mon, work with me here!)

I started the blog to have a place to talk about my crafting, sewing, parenting and the ups and downs of life. Along the way I think I forgot for a bit that sharing tidbits of life as it happens and impacts on us is so much more interesting that watching the evening news….. hence the decision to take the regulated nature away, and go back to writing when I want to, or need to. Chances are that you will get more photos that way too!!

I have been in a great space for the last couple of days. I have been soaking up the sudden onset of Spring weather and am sure that it is all that extra sunlight that is making life seem so achievable again. I have also decided that I need to find an au pair. I looked at this at the beginning of the year when my usual babysitter took up a full time job, but was worried that further instability would disrupt the boy. As it turns out, the introduction of an au pair would probably have made little difference to the boy, but hindsight is a wonderful thing. So now I am focussed on the benefits that would come from us having an au pair, even if it just until Christmas. I could go out at night occasionally – whoa! A radical concept! I could also have time to get my sewing done while the kids were still busy, happy and occupied! I could also have more flexibility about my office hours, and be in a better position to give my team time when they need it. (Don’t worry – I am sure that there are downsides too, but listing them would bring me down!) So the search is on – feelers have been put out on websites, through family, and on facebook. Now to find the magical person to be part of our crazy, colourful, creative family life for a few months! Wish me (and the chicks) luck!

Part of the Spring energy also means that I want to make lists and get organised and clean up the house and garden. I also want to sew, and research, and design and plan. My solution to all of this? I have made a list. Yep – a stroke of genius! I have planned what I want to have made for my market stall and mapped out what I would like to make each week in order to reach that target. I think it is doable. The hope is that with a plan I will have time for a camping weekend or two, to work on the garden, and to keep the decluttering process going. And the list is pretty too. It is on a proper piece of paper, rather than the back of an envelope. That has to make a difference!

Before I go to clean up my sewing area and prepare for making something new (I think I will start with some small zipped purses/pouches) I can share that the creativity suitcase for my special little friend who is turning 6 is finished. Her mother, who commissioned it, collected it today and has promised photos of it being unwrapped on Friday morning. I can’t wait!! I made it using the tutorial prepared by ‘By Night’ on the Whip-Up site for a creativity suitcase

The photos were taken with my phone, at night, but you get the general drift I hope!

I hope that your week is going well and that you are also finding happiness and focus.