Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Loving 2011: day 15 to 24

I am playing catch up still as I haven't had much time to do these prompts :( so here  we go


day 15: Books

I have read lots of books this year.  However, the book I loved most and I learnt most from is a book entitled A Voice for now by Anne Dickson.  It is one of those books that teach you a lot.  Brings you insight and realise how stupid you sometimes are not to heed certain insticts of yours.  I am glad that it was one of the books I had to read for my Breastfeeding Counselor Course.  Its been an eyeopener.

day 18: Gaps

This prompt left me to wonder.  What gaps did I have this year?  Lori-Lynn mentioned art and yes it was one of the gaps...I felt myself cringe when I read it.  I look at my 2 blank canvases everyday and think I will do something about it- but I haven't!  I think that one of the gaps that need to be filled up next year is art!

That said I also look at my rosary.  Every week I plan that we as a family start saying the rosary again and every week we do not.  It bugs me.  I feel it is important to fullfill this as a family.  So first and foremost, the gap that needs to be filled is saying the rosary.

day 20: Family

Maya was  a planned baby just like her brother.  However, what we did not plan was the energy she provides to the family.  The smiles, the love, the hugs.  Really I could go on!    I defenitely never thought how the dynamics of this family that had quite settled down would change so topsy turvy that 11 months later we are just about to start settling.

How the love she gives to us all makes her indispensable to our household.  How she is capable of making you feel love in your heart so deep it feels like it will explode even just now thinking about her.  Maya - without you our lives would have defenitely been less colourful.

day 21: Letting Go

Anger has been my worst enemy ever.  There were a few times were I got frightened of myself because I feared anger is taking over.  I now realise it is no use containing anger as it will fester inside and the anger will just grow and grow and grow.  I am still working to find the original source of my anger.  However, working slowing and letting go and acknowledging to myself that I am angry has helped a lot.

Letting go has been the most important experience I have learnt this year.  There is no space in my life for anger.  I will eventually let go of it completely and once I will I know my life will be much more fuller.

day 22: Nature

I have always been amazed by nature and have always complained that we do not have any in Malta.  I have been proved wrong and I am so happy about it.  With the books we have provided Greg to learn about nature, I have started to see so many beauty around me that I have never seen before.  It helped me embrace my country more.  The beauty that surrounds our countryside is short of wonderful. 

I am glad to be able and commune more with nature.   To enjoy the silence and comfort it provides.  To see the work of God and how perfect it has been to do all those tiny flowers.

day 24: Trust

I do not know when but at a certain point in my life I stopped trusting.  I wanted to be in control of everything.  I still do!  Yet the children showed me that I need to trust.  To let go. To love.  This was one of the years were I learned more on trust than any other.  Surrendering and letting go are still major issues but I feel myself more relaxed and more able to trust the judgement of others.

And after this I realise what is Worth keeping for day 23

It is worth keeping up my work on trust and anger.  OF letting go and building up.  Of giving myself new foundations and new default settings in my system.  IT is worth all this work because they make me a better, mother, wife & friend.






Saturday, December 17, 2011

Loving 2011: day 12 Time

Time

How have I spent time this year and how can I make better time next year?

Time is always a factor of great concern to all I suppose.  How many times we say that we do not have enough time?  If I think how I spent my time this year and what I had wanted to do originally I see a big difference.  Mainly because it took us 11 months to settle down with our new addition which is no longer a baby but a toddler.

I decided not to quite plan my time for 2012.  The reason is that Gregory should be starting kindergarten in February and since there is a big question mark on how he will react to it etc I have not gone into details of how I want to spend my time next year. 

This year it was all about adjusting and making space for the 4 of us to find balance as a family, as a couple, as mother to my children etc.  We have I believe neared the most approximate we can for now in balance.  Next year I hope to find more time for me actually.  A woman that is full time at home needs more time alone I believe because she has less interaction with the adult world and so has to find more time to make up for this. 

Time

Time however cares for itself.  There no need to rush, no need to try and elongate the day ..... time is really a matter of opinion because if you feel balanced in all your daily activities and not rushed about, you are spending time well!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Loving 2011: day 11 traditions

picture from southern-born-and-bred.blogspot.com
Lighting Advent Candles, telling the St Nicholas story, watching DVDs Christmas related and of course putting up the decorations while singing Christmas carols. 

Wrapping up gifts, baking Christmas goodies, going to Christmas fairs and crib exhibitions.

It all sums up to Christmas full of beauty and good cheer.  It all sums up to a tradition we are building in our new family.  A tradition where baby Jesus is the focus and presents are on the back burner.  Where carol singing is encouraged and going out and about to celebrate this important feast is a fascination.

It's been a good Christmas- the pediment of many other christmasas to come.....I am so looking forward to fine tuning this celebration till it feels completely ours to love and enjoy and cherish just like my childhood memory of this same celebration.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Loving 2011: day 4 to 7

Day 4: Hidden Worlds

I decided to buy this book on wild plants in Malta.  Gregory was fascinated by it and we read the names of plants a million times in a span of 4 days.  With such enthusiasm which rubbed off on me we took the book with us out and about.  We started learning and identifying the plants around us.

Because of a hunch, I got to see a hidden world.  A world I passed by every single day for the past 30 years but which I never looked closely at.  I've seen plants I never even knew they existed let alone took notice of before.  Its a beautiful world.  I am blessed to have been introduced to it and that my son has an unquenching apetite to continue learning more about it.

Day 5: Gifts

When I read this post or rather the title of the prompt nothing came to mind.  While reading however, I remembered the few times that I bought myself a bunch of flowers.  I love flowers and enjoy having some at home.  Its a rare luxury which whenever I fulfill, my heart swells with happiness.  gifts to oneself are precious little oddities that lifts us up and help us get through the day whenever we look at them.  So while I am remembering myself and my flowers, I will also remember never to feel guilty when I give a present to myself :)

And this year I also received a lovely gift from a couple friends of mine.  When I hit my mummy burnout, they lovingly gave me a free massage.  I enjoyed being pampered and spend some quality time with this special friend of mine.  Thank you!

Day 6: Images

Images are captured moments.  Moments where you can see love and peace scattered abundantly....


the first week after giving birth

 this captures the essence of Greg

a moment of pure family bliss during Maya's Baptism
Day 7: The Body

The body is a part of us.  Not something apart.  When I hit mummy burnout I realised albeit slightly late in the day that I needed rest.  I just left it all and went on a retreat that same weekend.  I was anxious about the kids and my husband who had to deal with it all but once I got there, I felt peace envelop me. I knew I did the right decision.  I still look back wistfully and fondly at those 2 days and I realised that its ok to step back.  To let go and important to let the wisdom within to guide you.


Loving 2011

I decided to get into an insightful month after reading this.  It was very inspiring and decided to tag along.  IF you wish to join to you can do so by going here.

In the meantime let me catch up!

Day One: What surprised you this year and what gift did you find in that surprise?

It surprised me the chnage my daughter brought to our family.  Although I knew the dynamics would be changed once she arrived, I somehow didn't realise to what extent that was.  We had a few false starts and challenging months but it was a lovely surprise at the same time.  Her smiles, laughs and love simply makes our family more wholesome.

 Day Two: What goals did you realize this year?

I guess I have 2 kind of goals.

The first one is finally getting to start my breastfeeding counselor course.  I've been wanting to do something like this since the birth of my son nearly 3 years ago but always found excuses not to do it- mainly financial.  Since September I have been slowly unfolding this course and I am so happy to have done so.

The second goes hand in hand with the first one.  Been wishing to create a community of moms in our village.  After again 3 years it is finally getting there.  Possibly it will be a success sometime next year.

Day Three: What Did You Learn About Yourself This Year?

I learnt a lot about my shortcomings.  This has led to me striving to be better.  Although its very slow progress I can see myself different and feel different inside out.  I have finally understood more what Attachment Parenting means and can finally be more true to its origins.  I have found back my Spirituality and that has given me a grounding for me and my family.  I have found a few default settings in my brain system that I am trying to reboot so that communication with my husband is better.  Its been a year full of personal growth actually and all is intertwined.


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Disciplining Adults

The most difficult aspect in disciplining children is actually disciplining ourselves the parents and those who are in close contact with our children.

It is already not so easy to keep oneself in check but how do you make others understand the importance of certain aspects of parenting or rather disciplining?

The child does something which is unacceptable like hitting.  You admonish him and give him a time in (rather than a time out I prefer a time in.  We spend 5 minutes together doing nothing apart for reminding him that it is not acceptable to hit and why) BUT you still cuddle him and comfort him.  Is that unusual?  Do you think you are not giving him the right interpretation?

Let me try explain the reasoning- you are telling your child that it is not ok to do certain things like hitting.  However it is ok to feel upset about the whole issue of having been reminded and got into a time in and mama is still here to make you feel better about it.  Firm yet gentle!

I find this hard to get it across certain people and its frustrating since things than normally escalate even more.  In this quest of mine to discipline my children firmly yet gently I have taken a new year resolution already- that to stop shouting at my children when I am tired or out of it.  To ask for more help if I feel the need without the nagging feeling of being not a good enough mother.  To LISTEN more to my children (my son if he sees me getting angry and sometimes I haven't even shouted he tells dont shout mama- it does not always get across to me but many a time I find it like a bucket of cold water and stops me immediately from becoming like an angry bull).

And you how do you find discipline?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Christmassy

Its Christmas time!

This year I am paying more attention to Advent.  We have put 4 candles up decorated with pine cones & needles and we are lighting one up every Advent Sunday.  We are also praying more as a family and also myself alone.  Gregory gets to do some charity work by donating some of his saved money to a cause. 

And because today its 1st December we started opening our Advent calendar and put up the decorations.  I am also telling my boy the story of Santa Claus (St Nicholas) and of Jesus.

165. Prayers
166. Stories
167. Progress
168.  Talking Maya both with sign language & actual words
169. Pretend Play
170. Presents ready to be put under the tree
171. carol singing
172. More teeth coming out
173. Playing together
174. Copying all her brother does
175.  Greg's shadow
176.  Attached to mama's pants
177. Help
178.  Meeting up friends
179. Meditation

Friday, November 25, 2011

Jotting it down

Motherhood.

It changes us so much.

Sometimes I plain wonder how I've become the way I am.  I realised suddenly how my inner anger has smoldered a bit.  How I manage to stop before I loose myself in my anger.  How I search more and more to interact with God.  How much pleasure it gives me finding less time on this laptop because I am finding more time for my children.

Motherhood moulds me to fit my children's needs.  It moulds me to become a better person.  To be the best for my family.

I hope I can radiate such to them.  It is quite a big task.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The art of writing

It's been an exceptional day.

Out of the blue my 2 yr 10 month old toddler tried his hand at writing.

Hereunder is the result!


The letters in red are my own written on his request.  Underneath in blue is his quite good imitation at writing.


We were at the Parish Priest and he asked for paper and pen. He told us he is drawing fireworks - MURTALI in Maltese. Than he asked me to write the word for him which I did. Me and the Priest continued discussing my dream of building a community of mums in our village. The next time I look at his handiwork I saw that. It felt awesome. I was shocked. I was utterly proud. Me who has been against teaching kids early the art of reading and writing have been twice erred. Because first he was very interested in learning his letters, numbers, colours and shapes and so I obliged. And now because he showed me quite clearly that he wants to learn to write. Upon asking he did confirm this (although such statements can't be taken always at face value from him) and so next week we will see if he truly wants to try this and will give it a shot.

161. open and eager to learn
162. puddles to jump into
163. curiosity
164. initiative

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Beauty

Life is beautiful isn't it?

Today we went for a car ride in the rain.  Smelled the rain, saw it fall, saw the beauty around us that make up our home environment.

It was lovely and it was peaceful.

Grace 151 seeing the beauty of the Lord
152. early toddlerhood
153. playing pretend
154. identifying plants
155. baking bread
156. experiencing new food
157. praying together
158. love given to grandparents
159. excitment
160. goals achieved

So many things come our way.  Sometimes I wonder how many more we miss!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Unschooling in Autumn

Gregory is a little boy now and about to start kindergarten in February.  I am still of two minds about starting him school at 3 years old. However, he seems quite excited at the idea of going to school alone and make friends so I am taking his cue about it.

  In the meantime, I am continuing our unschooling which I find as interesting as I am learning lots myself.


Vocabulary & Alphabet: Letters seem to fascinate him and he loves to find letters from a short story. He can identify all his letters although he still can confuse a few of them at times. Books are still favourites! We go monthly to the library and pick up books to his liking. Right now we are reading books on insects and planes mainly.

Nature:  We also have a book that identifies all wild plants and flowers in Malta. He loves it and wants to look at the pictures everyday.  However that is not all, while out we are trying to identify the plants we meet along the way.  If we can't we take a little bit of it with us to search for it at home in our book.  If we are specifically going into the countryside however, we have started taking it out with us to identify the plants.

Around the house: It all depends on the mood- there are days were he wants to help with the food preperations and the setting of the table.  Sometimes he also dusts for me or cleans the bath and sink.  Other times he doesn't feel like and so far am not pushing him into it unless of course he has made an unduly mess and so it is his duty to help clean up!

Play:  Mainly playing is with planes and cars.  I try to coax him into puzzles but he is off them right now.  Its a joy hearing him play alone though- telling stories of what is happening and so on.  He loves to play with others at the moment as well and especially catch or jumping off stuff.

Learning should be fun and I am happy to say it is :) 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Its a girl!!!

Keep your hair on; I ain't having another baby!

But you know that little girl I had a few months back?  well look at her now.....

mom the floor needs cleaning!


I have to confess I didn't bond quickly with this one..... although I loved her and wanted her with all my heart, at the same time I made her guilty of me being angry a lot with Greg during her pregnancy.  I made her guilty of me not being able to give enough attention to my little boy.  And many other guilt trips which were of course all unwarranted and none her fault!

So although I loved her from the minute she was born, I kept her  at a distance....if both were crying she had to wait not Gregory mostly.  I didn't bother to learn her cries than felt frustrated that I didn't know what she wanted.  however, she is a sweet little girl and eventually I succumbed and left my instinct guide me and now I feel the guilt- the mommy guilt of not giving her my best from the very beginning!


At 9 months I can already see how different her character is from my little man.  From day one she loved to smile and does so all the time even if tired!  She knows what she wants and screams bloody murder for it.  She enjoys her food (no wonder I had to eat so much when pregnant!) and eats at every opportunity given.  she understands much more than my other one did at the same age.  What's more? she makes 5 paces on her own and prefers to try and walk rather than crawl.  She also loves to play with her brother (much to his dismay LOL).  She says mama with such passion when she wants me that I know it is not a simple babble!  She waves hello and bye, claps, make indian sounds, clucks her tongue.


She is a girl! and that's wonderful and I am so looking forward to spend some girly time with her soon :)

Friday, October 14, 2011

Its a path or a journey whatever you wish to call it

I have changed my title again!

In an ever increasing life that changes constantly, this is something very small.

However, this new title reflects more the me of now.  I am following a path- the path of motherhood, the path of service to others, the path of love and the path of the Lord. 


And these 2 are the ones that are helping me most in discovering this path.

 Whenever I am of service to anyone with my little knowledge of motherhood and breastfeeding I feel complete and whole.  Whenever I feel His presence I am at peace and whole.  Whenever I am focused on my children I feel satisfied, proud and yes whole.  When I let love fill my heart there is joy and wholesomeness.

I want to do so much more to impact the lives of my children and husband, of family and friends.  I want to do so much to help others.  It is all a slow process but one which is slowly moving and I am happy.

Life taught me once more that the little steps and attention to detail do count after all.....and so I choose the path of life- slow, ever changing and surprising!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Autumn

We've had the first Autumn rains.  The weather is slowly becoming chiller- at least early morning and night time.  We've reverted to the Winter food and have our thick red carpet downstairs to play on.  Our weather chart is not at a standstill anymore on sunny but is turning around to include windy, cloudy and rainy.

Its comforting knowing that the new season is here- starting-

Gregory wants to go to school -alone- he will eat crackers and sandwich and be given milk and will also eat the fruit he says.  His bag is ready together with crayons, drawing book, lunch box, water bottle and milk cup.  I wonder if he'll be in this same frame of mind come February but I trust he will and I am so happy for him.  He wants friends he tells me.

Maya is standing alone.  That is not holding on to anything.  Today she even tried to walk without holding on!  She amazes me!  I admit I am looking forward to be with her alone and get to know my little girl better.

Autumn....what a beautiful season for firsts and lasts !

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

a time to grow

Its a rare quiet afternoon with both kids sleeping nowadays.

Me and hubs are trying to think of new ways to engage Gregory who is in a disequilibrium and boredom state of mind.

Decided to be honest with myself and the night time parenting is draining me (as kids want me and only me!).  So as Gregory ends up to be the one to get all the bad karma, I will slowly stop nursing him at night.  How does this add up?  I become so drained with Maya waking so much to nurse that when Gregory does I feel him a burden.  Since I can't give that message to him and in his drowsy state there is no reasoning and as it is of no fault to him than I need to re adjust priorities and his night nursing will go together with all the bad vibes.  I feel bad about it like I am cheating him of something, and yet I know that this is the right decision.  During the day it is fine as he doesn't quite ask for it so much and I am ok to give it to him.  He is requesting more of it lately- reverting again to babyhood before it seems another develpoment spurt.  It is exhilarating knowing this will happen but tiring and irritating and very very trying.

I am happy finally I feel our team is shaping up!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Headless Chicken

Sometimes(or maybe most of the time) we tend to loose track of what we were originally thinking or doing.  Or maybe we simply have no idea what was going through our heads at all.

Our rythm at home and out is right now in pieces and I wonder why September always gives me this grief!  I just realised that EVERY September we have this problem.  At the same time I have lost so many down time recently that I find myself running blindly in every direction.  Not sure of what I was meant to be doing, thinking etc.  I struggle to get back into the groove of things but there is always a little something here and there that looses my senses.

It is very interesting for me to be aware of this situation and so now I need to untangle every bit of it- one little tiny step at a time (just like Maya who is taking small little steps towards her independence).  I realise that whenever I am out of synch, so is the rest of the family - the kids are unrestful and cranky and hubs normally gets angry quicker. 

So I am off to slowly start unravelling this puzzle and maybe its best to start with finding a better down time routine!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Putting the dragon to sleep

Over and over I have been blessed and given what I needed exactly when I needed it.  Recently I realised I had reached what many call mommy burn out and felt desperate to regain some balance as I was affecting not just myself but the rest of my family with my behaviour.  I looked up for some retreat and lo and behold this retreat came up at the perfect price.  I took it without a second thought but with lots of guilty feelings and worry anyway.  Guilty that I was bumping my husband and his mom with my two babies out of the blue without giving them much of an option and worry that they might not be fine nighttime (its when they are high needs for me).  But whatever the notions I went and it was a blessing a wonderful experience.

It helped me remember things I had lost sight of, become aware of things I was told about but never really looked at, understood more what I was meant to do and of course relax and enjoy this very short break.

I will be grateful forever for the people I met there who helped me out and encouraged me and let me talk over and over about my kids.  And I am forever in debted with my Lord who gave me what I needed when I needed it once more!

Friday, September 2, 2011

A time for expansion which call for more graces

The peak of Summer is hopefully over and we are awaiting eagerly Autumn here at our house (or lets say I am!).  Summer also gave me lots of graces  for which I am ever so thankful.  You can mostly see that they are Greg related and his sudden developmentwhich continually amaze me.

131.  Panties on my son
132. long sentences and lots to say
133. mild Summer
134. crawling daughter, waving bye bye, hello and also clapping
135. home made tomato polpa and peach preserve
136. evening walks
137. two little teeth
138. trying to let go whilst standing to walk (so busy this girl)
139. all night sleeping from my big boy in his own bed and room
140. expanding his menu
141. wanting to make friends and go to school
142. making new friends
143. awareness of my awareness
144. Church going twice weekly with a generally quietish Greg
145. Loving her food- whatever it is as long as its like ours
146. crawling to daddy or nanna as soon as she sees them
147. chatting with his sister and seeing her glow at the attention he is giving her
148. finally finding like minded mums that make me feel relaxed and at ease
149. regaining my balance
150. being able to help others with my meagre knowledge on pregnancy, birth and childhood

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Dragon emerging

filled with anger
emotions upturned
feel like crying, clawing, spitting

I wonder if its the mommy meltdown many write about.  If its truly time I stepped back a moment and look at the wonderful mess or maybe beautiful life I am weaving- its probably a bit of both!

I've told hubs if  I find a yoga retreat here in Malta I will pack and simply go.  I think I truly need a retreat....it will give me back my energy, my focus and my life......but there is no retreat I know of-sigh-

So I write here instead to clear my mind, clear my system from this anger boiling in me.  Shed a few tears.  So many emotions and so little time to sort them out.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The cave of darkness

picture from wikipedia


This week's adventure took us to Ghar Dalam or Cave of darkness!
We didn't use the bus though there is one that stops right in front of it...thing is we both had a bad night and were tired so knew that if the busw as taken I was increasing the risk of a tantrum.  That said, (and we did have a small one to!) we had lots of fun.  Entrance fee is of eur 5 per adult, child free.  On going in you find a museum full of bones that where excavated from the cave.  These include, bears, elephants, deer and more.  It also had the skeleton of a few animals which Gregory simply loved watching.  To go to the cave you have lots of stairs so not accessable for the challenged person and you go through a garden which is lovely and quiet.  The cave itself is very nice and quite big.  Gregory loved going in and asking me what all the numbers meant.  We than had a snack in the garden before we headed back home.  another lovely morning together and which I reccommend to all with kids.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Death

It's strange isn't it how the death of someone can show us life from a different perspective.

And more acutely it shows how weak we are!  We are infinitely weak in our suffering.  A suffering that shouldn't be felt as acute as it does because after all that loved one has gone to a better place- to find peace and happiness and no more pain.  And yet we feel that loss as if it is the end of our world and for a good while till we get used to the 'new life' it is!  We simply do not have it in us to let go of that person.

Death also shows us through the suffering of others what it will be in store for us when our time comes to mourn.  It also details us that maybe we should plan more for our own death.  To maybe facilitate the process our loved ones have to go through when we go.  It squeezes all of our reserves into that final farewell. 

The pain so real that fills my heart right now is however not for the dead but the living and I wonder when my time comes to say my farewells if I will be able to actually let go and be happy knowing they have reached their intended destination to now start living the life of carefree abundance.

The meaning of life?  We have to suffer a lot because that suffering moulds us to become more near to our Lord and be worthy of living by his side eternally.  Of course life has its long moments of happiness.  Pockets of paradise to help us through.  Death is not the end really but the beginning and yet in our blind suffering we simply forget.

May God bring peace in the suffering hearts of my family.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Gardens in Summer

Last week for our Toddler Summer Fun one on one time, we went to San Anton Garden.



We took the bus again up to Valletta than the first bus along towards Rabat, Dingli or Mtarfa.  In total the journey took 1 hr 20 mins.  We got to the garden nearing 10 am and although lots of shade offered, I admit it was still quite hot.  However, it was pleasant enough and we stayed there for an hour discovering trees, watching ducks, chasing pigeons and cats, looking at flowers and so on.  Gregory had a wonderful time and was exhausted by the end of it.  The long trip with the bus did not bother him at all!  Bring snacks along as not a lot of choices from where to buy.

Monday, August 1, 2011

the potty adventures

As you have read here, we began potty training me and Gregory.

Nearly two months have passed since then and the progress is significant.  In fact we have taken the past few days the step were apart for night time no nappy is used on Gregory.  Today, we also had another first where I took him out on an errand with the big boy pants only - it was a success in many ways.

I am still the spectator that cheers and helps and encourages.  Being so also made me realize a couple of things:


  • I've had people tell me that they would have left their child for 5 mins or more on the potty in the hope that they use it.  Children whom as grown ups sometimes seem not to know if they actually need to use the  bathroom.  This led me to the conclusion that this method would have led my son to doubt his urges and feelings
  • Why this need to hurry potty training to preferably a day or two? Like the child had to take his time to learn to walk, so again is potty training and this leads to harmony at home and more love and connection between the parents and children.


And after all this, all I can say is that Greg started telling us when he needs to wee and most of the time holding it long enough to go to the potty or training seat.  In fact today while at the library he told me such and at first I feared he peed himself but he hadn't so we rushed out to the bathrooms and I had a happy, proud boy by my side!  I actually felt bad I doubted my son for that split second.

So the nos have dwindled to near zero and the actual going and making is happening all the time.  Pooing is still a problem but if a month made such a difference I have no worries at all.  I still congratulate him whenever he uses the potty or seat and encourage him and remind him to let me know if he needs to go but most of the time he asks himself and that is a great achievement.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

holidays

We went for our first family holiday to Gozo.  We had a grand time!

The penthouse we had rented had a large terrace commanding a 360 seaview and you could also see the sea from the bedroom.

our penthouse

 Just outside our apartment we had the playing ground which Gregory enjoyed using whenever we went outside.


 And of course the sea was all around us and we just picked a spot we liked and dipped into it.
isn't that a cheeky look?


The only thing that wasn't to our liking: the penthouse was on the 5th floor and no lift!(still I feel it was worth the hassle).

here is the proof that 5 floors can be too many!
 And here are some other random pics from our holiday!

smiling at daddy

Gregory explaining his intent student the use of armbands

trying to stand up alone and nearly getting there

exploring Calypso Cave

sibling fun


contemplating the sea

flying the kite....well trying to!

me and my mam

Monday, July 11, 2011

Graced beyond doubt

I had decided to take a challenge and find 1000 graces that God has spoiled me with.  An effort to commune more with Him and be thankful for all I am given.

118. Beautiful, cool sea sans jellyfish
119. Family with whom I can go to the sea
120. Skype
121. love for food from our little one
122. Our big boy finding so much confidence in the sea that he started swimming alone
123. seeing a clear path to what I'd like to achieve and how to do it
124. laughter at home
125. the ability to visit my grandmother every week
126.  Gregory saying sorry out of his own accord
127.  Enjoying pizza
128. the possibility to tell plane stories to my son every day twice a day even though it become tedious
129. yoga classes once a month
130. time to do yoga and Bible reading at home

Friday, July 8, 2011

Ceklem Karozzin

Today is the first of a series of posts in toddler Summer fun.  Every Friday I am going out for some quality fun time with my 2 yr 6 month son and discover the beauty of Malta.  These posts will cover what we did and what we think about it.


"Ceklem ceklem karozzin
Minn got-toroq imserrpin
Uri l-hajja taghna l-Maltin
Ceklem ceklem karozzin
Minn got-toroq imserrpin
Uri l-hajja taghna l-Maltin"


As our first outing, I took my son on a horse drawn carriage (or as it is known locally Karozzin) ride around the capital Valletta.  The price was of Eur 35 but got it down to Eur 25.  We caught our ride near the Upper  Barakka Gardens and the driver took us for a 35 min. ride of the capital.

pic from Malta insideout
The driver stopped every now and then to tell us what we were seeing and also giving us information of any museums we passed (opening hours etc) which was very nice of him.  He also gave vent to some of his current gripes but that was ok!  The ride was very smooth and the horse very clean and well kept.  Gregory was in rapture the whole ride and didn't really wish to get down the horse at all.

It was great fun and I believe that even if I paid the full price it was worth the expense!  This has been a wonderful experience and would reccommend you the ride !

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Potty Forayes

I dreaded potty training from the day my son was born!

Some of the biggest issues hubs and I had concerned it.  So you can imagine that as the time got near I wasn't looking forward to it.  I read anything I could get my hands on, talked to other women who has gone through it, as well as attended a workshop.  However, my fear (?) of this milestone could not be dissipated.

In the end nature and instinct guided me to the best place to be- a spectator.  Yes my friends I decided to simply be a spectator that cheers and encourages and at times gives a few pushes.  So what all this ends up to?  Gregory has a potty and toilet training seat at his disposal which he can use anytime.  There are those rare moments where he asks to use it and those rarer moments where he simply goes on his own to do his business.  Most commonly I leave him running around free and when I see signs of him needing to wee or poo I tell him- looks like you need a wee come lets go to the potty/toilet.  It is occuring more often that he comes willingly and tries -though most of the time he doesn't manage to do anything.  Other times he calls a simple NO!! and that is it.

There are moments where I tell him that he has to put the nappy on if he doesn't wish to use the said potty and he complies other moments its a struggle.  Many a day he simply asks for the nappy and doesn't want to part with it even when soiled.  And so it goes, me cheering when he tries or actually does it and telling everyone else I see to cheer him on.  Sometimes giving him little pushes and reminders but mainly I just let him be.  Giving him the space and time he needs to feel confident enough to take the plunge.

It is quite a dance I tell you but I am not regretting it.  My hubs tried bribing him with toys etc but it didn't really work -it is one of the main ways it seems they get kids to use the potty bribing them with sweets, toys etc- however I admit that when we did that it didn't feel right.  After all this should come naturally to our kids right?  So where does this leave me.......it might take the whole of Summer and Winter and in the end I might need to do some real pushing to get there (especially if he is to start Kindergarten come February) but letting him choose which way he wants to go is reaping a lot of benefits.  I can see the struggle- the wish to use a toilet, yet the fear of what this would imply in his world.  I can see his swaying and so I just smile and encourage him and it is working a treat because since this started (a month ago) we have more yeses than nos and that is a big step forward :)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Nurturing the home

Young children and toddlers need to be at home.

At home we can take life slowly, nurture them and teach them.  So even if I plan activities for most mornings I make sure we are home in the afternoon.  Sometimes, We'd have something planned and I would be looking forward to it (like a visit to my parents and grandmother) but my son tells me he wants to stay home.  And I do!  It is hard to take his lead at times and sometimes we can't of course but whenever possible even if it is against my deepest wishes I do because he knows what he needs.

If we really look carefully at our home, we can expand our love to it and our family by simple movements. 
  • Instead of cleaning in a single day spread it over the week so your child can help out - this is something I am starting myself just now.  It will teach responsibility, love and care
  • When cooking get them to help in peeling, washing, setting up the table.  This to will teach them on love and responsibility as well as helping each other.
  • Folding the laundry can be done with the kids helping putting them away- later you might need to go around again and fold again but your child is happy, you are telling him that you believe in him and nurturing confidence.
  • When shopping let them help putting things in the trolley, bags and at home put them out of bags and/or correct shelving
Young children need not simply know how to clear up their toys, they can help in every aspect of the house EVEN if they do not do it properly and later when the child is doing something else you do it yourself correctly.  Children do enjoy helping out and learning from the home is a blissful experience to them and you!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Good- truly good

We started going to Mass twice a week.
I am becoming involved in a coalition for better births here locally.  I am pretty excited about it and can't wait to meet up with everyone and have us all public.
Gregory is using the toilet sometimes and once in a blue moon the potty.  Most of the time he still prefers the nappy or doing it on the floor!
Maya started on solids and you can see her joy when we present her with said food rather than just plain old mama milk.
Gregory has some teeth coming out and for the past 2 weeks resumed sleeping in our bed.  A setback which I am fine with however as I know it is just a phase due to teeth and new developments.
His ventures to stop the nappy and his weaning from the breast are happening together - both according to his wishes and a few pushes from us here and there.  So the feeling of insecurity that is manifesting itself is quite appropiate and letting him snuggle up to us gives us all a good nights' sleep.
Maya is getting frustrated she can't be mobile and that means we might soon have her crawling all over the place- a nice new phase to look forward to.

It is all good.  Sometimes tiring.  Sometimes frustrating.  But it is all good!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Toddler Summer Fun

This Summer my big boy being 2 and a half I find there are more fun things to do and Summer isn't quite desolate anymore with long hours inside due to the intense heat we get in Malta.

And here is my list of things one can do!  Any other ideas yourselves?

  • Visit the Natural History Museum
  • Visit Ghar Dalam (a cave where animal remains suggesting Malta was once part of Africa where found)
  • Boat ride around our harbours and/or Blue Grotto (a natural cave with lovely blue waters)
  • Horse Drawn carriage ride around the capital
  • A train ride - well not a train like any outsiders now it but a fun trip anyway!
  • Visit some gardens
  • Beaches and more beaches - that goes without saying here ha!
  • Sleep under the stars on our roof - since we do not have a backyard but a big roof which I use for hanging clothes and bbqs, it will now be extended for "camping"
  • Go to Buskett (our man made forest kinda thing) and look at the many bugs there are and try identify them
  • OF course since my son is right now plane-a-holic visiting the airport to see take offs and landings is a must (which has been going on for a month already!)
Most if not all of the above are now possible to do courtesy of the new bus system (rather than using my car) so it will be more fun and adventerous for the little guy.  I am so excited about it all and will update you on our adventures of course every week :)

Monday, June 13, 2011

Its been 5 months now

And frankly I got no idea how they flew by.  Our little girl is growing quicker than her brother...well that is the way it feels!

At 5 months she babbles, laughs out loud with gusto, sits, tries to play with toys, tells us whenever she is not happy with a decision we take and if it were her already eating solids (we do let her nibble here and there).

This girl whom at first I had no idea how to fit her in our schedule.  Whom I sometimes saw her as an interference between me and my son.  Is one of the best things in my life.  Because whilst Gregory can be difficult and stubborn,  I can see she is pliable and determined.  They will balance eachother out beautifully when she is older and with all the hugs and kisses she receives and with all the smiles and laughs she reserves just for him I wonder how life will unfold.

I am excited actually about it and although enjoying the present more than ever right now, I am also looking very forward to a year from now :)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The start of Summer graces

The weather still looks crap in Malta but the heat....yeah can confirm that Summer has started guys! and with this new season (we can't wait for the official date),  I found more graces from God- more than I can ever thank Him for!

106.  Gregory splashing in the sea water, shrieking happily
107. Dad's fields to help and play
108. Kids sleeping till 6 am for a week
109. Finally finding agreement on the way to redo our downstairs living area
110. Fridges- I know how useful they are now that ours went bust
111. Fascination on planes
112. Precious good news from abroad
113. Guidance
114. LOTS of hugs and kisses to his little sister
115. progress undone in potty training
116. lots of new fruit to eat and enjoy
117. plans

Thursday, May 26, 2011

clearly mine

This little guy, with that precious smile is labelled as naughty and aggressive.  Not many say so but their look says it all as they see my spirited child run, scream and simply enjoying life.

He can be tiring yes; and he can also make me loose myself in anger.  Yet I can never give him such cruel labels.  I find myself telling people that no he is not naughty and they insist and there are these moments were I feel like arguing with them that because he does not fit in the image of how children should act doesn't mean he is naughty.  However, I never do it in the end I just insist that he ain't so!

This little guy, is my unbinder.  He can push my buttons in a second and yet resets them just as quickly.  His development I can measure in strides not paces.  No he is not complaint especially if we are out in public.  No he is not silent and sits quietly if we take him to Church.  He loves to play with peers in an aggressive way ( pushing each other , falling on each other, throwing cushions and so on)- what I call the boys' way.  I try to redirect him, give him focus and explain that he should be gentler and he is.  However, when he gets happy and excited he forgets the gentleness :)


This little guy, has taught me so much on parenting(and still does).  Has showed me ways, given me back my lost imagination, made me proof to myself that I can be patient as much as I cared to be because when I am not, I am doing a conscious choice not to control myself most of the time.  He's made me loose faith and regain it, loose strength and redouble it, doubt myself till I find myself more confident in my endeavours.  He is the one with whom I can see clearly because he forces me to in order to understand him.

My man, my boy, my baby!

Monday, May 23, 2011

A BIG thank you is due!

I have made a friend.  One which sustains me in my parental journey more than I can ever express.

I am so glad to have found her and I thank you if you read this because my inner strength had been dissipating so much that I'd probably had started to give up by now.

This is grace no.101

102. ideas and more ideas
103. laughter during family time
104. my son saying sorry without any prompting when doing something unacceptable
105. awareness

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

a window in discipline

I have this window increasingly open lately.

Where I am either seeing myself doing what I do not wish to be doing and yet incapable of stopping myself or else being able to look at myself and my children and be able to discern how grave the situation is before I react and so setting us all free from any unwanted grief.

The awareness of it makes me giddy.  Because when the first happens I am able to see over and over where my trigger is that makes me loose control of my emotions.  Finding a way to explain it simply to my son (that is to excuse my impulsiveness and loss of control) is still difficult but I do try!  Yet I can forgive myself rather than feel excessive guilt about it.  God has made me imprefect and loves me so and so how can I not forgive my own imperfections and giving Him praise for making me glare at them straight in the face and providing me with ways to eventually perfect my own emotional control?

And when the latter happens, I praise God even more for helping in providing us with this golden moment of clarity that gives us so much joy.

It takes practice and a lot of reminding to stay aware and focused on any situation...in every second of your day, to look at it with perspective.  Its not easy but it gets easier everyday and when I get these moments I realise that I am getting closer to my objective and can provide my children with a wholesome start in life.
Parenting is so much more than just telling your child what he should and shouldn't do.  The complexity I discovered is so big that frankly I can't explain it.  At every given moment you have to look at what the child is thinking and then react accordingly and not look at it from your own perspective which is completely distorted.  We have to be careful because everything we do is being imprinted on our little ones either good or bad.....and above all this, while loving them unconditionally, we must remember that these little gifts are only given to us to help them grow and spread their wings and that we are not their owners.  We can't keep them, we must find it within us to help them grow, be near and yet far away.

Our children are a treasure which we must give away.  A treasure we have to take deep care of.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

divorce for or against?

At the moment here in Malta this is the main discussion everywhere as we prepare to go for a referendum to introduce or ban divorce forever in our country.

I am against divorce myself!  However, it irkes me to see both the pro and against movements giving what I believe to be silly arguments about the issue.

So 2 things the pro movement says is that ...
1. you are guaranteed maintanance money- how can they guarantee such a thing? its never possible!  There are many complex things that make up this possibility and even if you take the person to court and they are given a prison sentence the point remains that you are not given the said money and you won't!  So telling people that this is a guarantee is immoral.
2.  there is this billboard with a woman sporting a black eye (purpurting to abuse) and saying would you give your daughter another chance?  truth be said everyone would!  BUT if I am giving my daughter that privilege I am also giving it to the abuser unless they will be doing something in a way that whoever is thinking of remarrying with the said person knows he/she has a  history of abuse.  IF a person is abused I think the Church and state should simply nullify the marriage without hiccups.

The against movement on the other hand is saying that without divorce we have a more stable marriage.  Hmmm I tend to differ.  A stable marriage happens because the couple is willing to work VERY HARD at their relationship!  Making the effort every day to meet and get to know their partner.  That being said, there are still marriages that end up broken and not because they didn't do so but because they reached a natural end- yes this can happen!

I still do not believe divorce is the solution.  I think it should all stem from the very beginning....the way we are brought up!  Values are mostly forgotten nowadays.  Parents feel lost and incapable of caring for their children at times.  Too much pressure and they give them whatever whenever just to please them and shake off their guilty feelings.  So most of us are brought up wanting everything there and than without hassles and if there is we sulk and go away.  Well a marriage can't happen this way.  You must work for it and at it from the moment you decide to take that particular step.

For divorce to enter and be allowed to enter, I believe there must be very strict and complicated rules for it.  However since this is not quite possible as none want such a hassle, divorce should be banned.

As Christians we should follow our instinct.  Jesus once said that divorce was given to humans by humans because of their stubbornness not because God accepts it.  I think its true....we are stubborn all of us and that is why we want divorce- to feel more in control over issues we have no control on.  Yet, no guarantees are given still and that leap of faith you do in marriage will have to happen every time you get married again....and would you do so ?

Monday, May 9, 2011

I am gorgeous

me and Dave on our 5th wedding anniversary this April.
For the past few weeks, whenever I look at the mirror or see my photos, I think I look fabalous!
Guess it sounds a bit pompous of me to say so, but its the truth. I am the most me now at age 30.  I am happy and confident.  I do not have the perfect body as portrayed by the media and brainwashed into our minds.  Yet I do have a perfect body- one that is made specifically for me! 

And I am so proud and lucky to have it and enjoy it.  I hope that you to can feel in tune with your body and enjoy this moment.

Maya's Baptism

Maya's day was oh soooooo different from Gregory's.  Let's start with the fact that we had a full ceremony including mass (with Greg we just did the ceremony).  Let's continue by saying that with Gregory although we only did the ceremony which lasted approx 30 mins max, by the time half of it was over he was howling like a banshee as he was tired, hungry and had a dirty diaper.  This resulted in simply 2 photos of the occassion with not one which came looking good!

Fast forward 2 years....we have the full ceremony with mass and Maya is quiet all the way through.  She is tired and tried to sleep but due to noise didn't manage.  However she still smiles and waits patiently for the thousand photos we took (even I got fed up in the end).

It was a beautiful ceremony I have to admit and am happy we did it the proper way this time.  I loved the way she was dressed in my father's own Baptism dress.  I loved the names her Godparents chose and I loved having the family around.  Thank you for making this day- mother's day- so wonderful!

with my parents

the cake- my creation and so proud of it.  Teddy bear on top gift from my sister.

gorgeous smile of Maya Abigail Nicola Danielle

my beautiful family

trying to hold his sister

being Baptised

one of my favourites!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

It's a mother's life

A dedication to my children - Gregory Anthony & Maya Abigail who actually made this day possible!

It's an honour to be a mother!  A journey with unexpected curves.  Full of joy, laughter, sorrow, tears.  Full of wonders that change you, mould you, transform you.  Showing you your limits straight in the face and showing you the extended reserves you never knew you had.

Today, it's my children's day.....
my son - he is seen as "naughty" and I see him full of  love for life. 

my daughter - always smiling with those beautiful eyes


...because they make life so much better.  I am fulfilled and happy.

There are moments of quietness.

Its 7.30 pm the kids are both in bed sleeping.  Our long day has ended and I can enjoy the restful quietness that envelops our home.  I go to sleep feeling tired, maybe even exhausted but it was a good day....it is always a good day because we were given the opportunity to live it.

There are moments of laughter.

We are on the roof.  Maya lying down on a carpet looking at life passing by, Gregory playing with soil, snails and big cars.  I hang the clothes, grab one of his cars and go running after him.  His shrieks of laughter mingle with my screaming of joy and his request for again don't stop.  Maya can be seen smiling at us and once we talk to her those sweet smiles grow wider. 

There are moments of tears & despair.

He is playing with his toys and suddenly wants to watch TV.  I refuse because I do not believe in watching a lot of TV.  He starts to throw toys about, I say that if it continues the toys will be thrown away but he resists and so I do as I said I would.  He cries, thrashes, screams.  She starts crying to tired but resisting to sleep.  I loose it, start sreaming myself, demanding my son to stop it.  Not wanting to see any reason myself, I shake him and he cries harder, comes for comfort and I reject him and suddenly my eyes open up...how guilty I feel, how desperate for not seeing earlier.  I am deflated- I scoop up my son and calm him down.  Tell him how sorry I was, that I am not alowed to do what I did. I cry with him, hug him and kiss him.

There are moments of stillness.

I sit in their room.  My son playing with cars, my daughter on her gym mat.  Engrossed in their play.  I look at them so sweet, so young, so full of life.  I wish to give them so much and yet I know I can't give them all. A picture forms in my mind and thank God for giving me this moment.


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Church going & more graces 85-100

We haven't been to Mass for 2 years now- with the exception of a few times here and there.

Like most kids Gregory is noisy and won't sit still.  Besides our local Church community didn't inspire child friendliness/understanding (including unfortunately our parish priest though he does try!).  I'd say due to laziness from our part we never tried to find a better place and so we come to present day.

Last week while at his grandparents, they took him to service and told me stasyed fairly good.  So Easter Sunday decided to go all as a family.  He wasn't too bad and so decided to start taking both kids to Mass a couple times a week when attendance is low and once monthly for the Sunday mass which is longer. 

Its training for both of us......Gregory to understand this is an important place and must behave and me to stay relaxed and not fret.  Today it was our first try and again it was fairly good.  Thankfully I did have grandparent support to help when it got a bit rough.  However it helps that he is actually willing to go himself.

Grace no.85 Gregory wanting to go to mass and being fairly behaved throughout.
86. elimination communication (potty training for babies) and having results
87.  our boy willing to try the potty every now and then
88. beautiful gifts from thoughtful friends
89. feeling confident enough to model lingerie & swimwear
90. Gregory deciding to move to his own room and bed without us ever suggesting it
91. Actually enjoying a meal at the restaurant
92. 5 years of marriage to a wonderful man
93. a smiling baby
94. finally starting the process of building a local mum community
95. lots of kisses from Gregory
96.  enjoying our brand new Summer menu
97. finding someone with whom to talk on any NP difficulties locally
98. the feeling of fulfillment right now
99. support
100. sharing a glass of wine

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Leaps and Bounds

Gardening - Our onion patch

Gregory is growing in leaps and bounds.  Sometimes even I am amazed.
Take as an example the alphabet- I decided to start teaching it to  him seeing he seemed ready for it. Five weeks later (and 5 letters later) I realise that he already knows half the alphabet.  I am quite astounded by this truly!  At first I thought he knows them because he knows in which order they come, but when I started quzzing him on which letter is A for example in an actual word he found it for me without a problem.  So yeah he already recognises the letters.  AND the numbers from 1 to 10.  He also knows the numbers in Maltese and Spanish and actually counts them to!

Another sudden leap which left me dazed is his request to start sleeping in his room on his own.  Up till last Sunday we co sleeped all 4 of us together.  Than on Monday he decided to sleep in his room.  He does this till about 1 am when he wakes for a little breast taster :) and than he stays in our bed for the rest of the night.  I had planned to wean him to his own bed and room in a year and a half seeing that this Summer I wanted to potty train him.  But it seems that it will not be necessary for me to do so now.

All these changes leave me breathless at times, yet proud of my son.  My baby, who is truly no more a baby but a young boy. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

30 Springs ago - No.84

In a couple of weeks I will be 30!

A lot of people feel depressed when they reach this number....it does suddenly feel like an awful lot of years....but rather than depressed I am happy.

Happy I have reached this age without a lot of difficulties along the way.  Happy that most of the accomplishments I wished to do by then have actually happened.  Happy simply for being alive and kicking.

In view of this happiness, I am thanking God a little bit more for giving me so much and consider this grace no.84

Sunday, March 27, 2011

babes in pictures


Here are some recents pics as promised of my babies!

Need I really comment at this lovely pic?






This big chicken I won as part of a hamper pic found hereunder :)

Ok this is not a kid lol but loved this and was really happy I won it and thought of showing it to you all!
video
Lastly here is a video of Gregory painting :)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Loving 2011: day 15 to 24

I am playing catch up still as I haven't had much time to do these prompts :( so here  we go


day 15: Books

I have read lots of books this year.  However, the book I loved most and I learnt most from is a book entitled A Voice for now by Anne Dickson.  It is one of those books that teach you a lot.  Brings you insight and realise how stupid you sometimes are not to heed certain insticts of yours.  I am glad that it was one of the books I had to read for my Breastfeeding Counselor Course.  Its been an eyeopener.

day 18: Gaps

This prompt left me to wonder.  What gaps did I have this year?  Lori-Lynn mentioned art and yes it was one of the gaps...I felt myself cringe when I read it.  I look at my 2 blank canvases everyday and think I will do something about it- but I haven't!  I think that one of the gaps that need to be filled up next year is art!

That said I also look at my rosary.  Every week I plan that we as a family start saying the rosary again and every week we do not.  It bugs me.  I feel it is important to fullfill this as a family.  So first and foremost, the gap that needs to be filled is saying the rosary.

day 20: Family

Maya was  a planned baby just like her brother.  However, what we did not plan was the energy she provides to the family.  The smiles, the love, the hugs.  Really I could go on!    I defenitely never thought how the dynamics of this family that had quite settled down would change so topsy turvy that 11 months later we are just about to start settling.

How the love she gives to us all makes her indispensable to our household.  How she is capable of making you feel love in your heart so deep it feels like it will explode even just now thinking about her.  Maya - without you our lives would have defenitely been less colourful.

day 21: Letting Go

Anger has been my worst enemy ever.  There were a few times were I got frightened of myself because I feared anger is taking over.  I now realise it is no use containing anger as it will fester inside and the anger will just grow and grow and grow.  I am still working to find the original source of my anger.  However, working slowing and letting go and acknowledging to myself that I am angry has helped a lot.

Letting go has been the most important experience I have learnt this year.  There is no space in my life for anger.  I will eventually let go of it completely and once I will I know my life will be much more fuller.

day 22: Nature

I have always been amazed by nature and have always complained that we do not have any in Malta.  I have been proved wrong and I am so happy about it.  With the books we have provided Greg to learn about nature, I have started to see so many beauty around me that I have never seen before.  It helped me embrace my country more.  The beauty that surrounds our countryside is short of wonderful. 

I am glad to be able and commune more with nature.   To enjoy the silence and comfort it provides.  To see the work of God and how perfect it has been to do all those tiny flowers.

day 24: Trust

I do not know when but at a certain point in my life I stopped trusting.  I wanted to be in control of everything.  I still do!  Yet the children showed me that I need to trust.  To let go. To love.  This was one of the years were I learned more on trust than any other.  Surrendering and letting go are still major issues but I feel myself more relaxed and more able to trust the judgement of others.

And after this I realise what is Worth keeping for day 23

It is worth keeping up my work on trust and anger.  OF letting go and building up.  Of giving myself new foundations and new default settings in my system.  IT is worth all this work because they make me a better, mother, wife & friend.






Saturday, December 17, 2011

Loving 2011: day 12 Time

Time

How have I spent time this year and how can I make better time next year?

Time is always a factor of great concern to all I suppose.  How many times we say that we do not have enough time?  If I think how I spent my time this year and what I had wanted to do originally I see a big difference.  Mainly because it took us 11 months to settle down with our new addition which is no longer a baby but a toddler.

I decided not to quite plan my time for 2012.  The reason is that Gregory should be starting kindergarten in February and since there is a big question mark on how he will react to it etc I have not gone into details of how I want to spend my time next year. 

This year it was all about adjusting and making space for the 4 of us to find balance as a family, as a couple, as mother to my children etc.  We have I believe neared the most approximate we can for now in balance.  Next year I hope to find more time for me actually.  A woman that is full time at home needs more time alone I believe because she has less interaction with the adult world and so has to find more time to make up for this. 

Time

Time however cares for itself.  There no need to rush, no need to try and elongate the day ..... time is really a matter of opinion because if you feel balanced in all your daily activities and not rushed about, you are spending time well!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Loving 2011: day 11 traditions

picture from southern-born-and-bred.blogspot.com
Lighting Advent Candles, telling the St Nicholas story, watching DVDs Christmas related and of course putting up the decorations while singing Christmas carols. 

Wrapping up gifts, baking Christmas goodies, going to Christmas fairs and crib exhibitions.

It all sums up to Christmas full of beauty and good cheer.  It all sums up to a tradition we are building in our new family.  A tradition where baby Jesus is the focus and presents are on the back burner.  Where carol singing is encouraged and going out and about to celebrate this important feast is a fascination.

It's been a good Christmas- the pediment of many other christmasas to come.....I am so looking forward to fine tuning this celebration till it feels completely ours to love and enjoy and cherish just like my childhood memory of this same celebration.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Loving 2011: day 4 to 7

Day 4: Hidden Worlds

I decided to buy this book on wild plants in Malta.  Gregory was fascinated by it and we read the names of plants a million times in a span of 4 days.  With such enthusiasm which rubbed off on me we took the book with us out and about.  We started learning and identifying the plants around us.

Because of a hunch, I got to see a hidden world.  A world I passed by every single day for the past 30 years but which I never looked closely at.  I've seen plants I never even knew they existed let alone took notice of before.  Its a beautiful world.  I am blessed to have been introduced to it and that my son has an unquenching apetite to continue learning more about it.

Day 5: Gifts

When I read this post or rather the title of the prompt nothing came to mind.  While reading however, I remembered the few times that I bought myself a bunch of flowers.  I love flowers and enjoy having some at home.  Its a rare luxury which whenever I fulfill, my heart swells with happiness.  gifts to oneself are precious little oddities that lifts us up and help us get through the day whenever we look at them.  So while I am remembering myself and my flowers, I will also remember never to feel guilty when I give a present to myself :)

And this year I also received a lovely gift from a couple friends of mine.  When I hit my mummy burnout, they lovingly gave me a free massage.  I enjoyed being pampered and spend some quality time with this special friend of mine.  Thank you!

Day 6: Images

Images are captured moments.  Moments where you can see love and peace scattered abundantly....


the first week after giving birth

 this captures the essence of Greg

a moment of pure family bliss during Maya's Baptism
Day 7: The Body

The body is a part of us.  Not something apart.  When I hit mummy burnout I realised albeit slightly late in the day that I needed rest.  I just left it all and went on a retreat that same weekend.  I was anxious about the kids and my husband who had to deal with it all but once I got there, I felt peace envelop me. I knew I did the right decision.  I still look back wistfully and fondly at those 2 days and I realised that its ok to step back.  To let go and important to let the wisdom within to guide you.


Loving 2011

I decided to get into an insightful month after reading this.  It was very inspiring and decided to tag along.  IF you wish to join to you can do so by going here.

In the meantime let me catch up!

Day One: What surprised you this year and what gift did you find in that surprise?

It surprised me the chnage my daughter brought to our family.  Although I knew the dynamics would be changed once she arrived, I somehow didn't realise to what extent that was.  We had a few false starts and challenging months but it was a lovely surprise at the same time.  Her smiles, laughs and love simply makes our family more wholesome.

 Day Two: What goals did you realize this year?

I guess I have 2 kind of goals.

The first one is finally getting to start my breastfeeding counselor course.  I've been wanting to do something like this since the birth of my son nearly 3 years ago but always found excuses not to do it- mainly financial.  Since September I have been slowly unfolding this course and I am so happy to have done so.

The second goes hand in hand with the first one.  Been wishing to create a community of moms in our village.  After again 3 years it is finally getting there.  Possibly it will be a success sometime next year.

Day Three: What Did You Learn About Yourself This Year?

I learnt a lot about my shortcomings.  This has led to me striving to be better.  Although its very slow progress I can see myself different and feel different inside out.  I have finally understood more what Attachment Parenting means and can finally be more true to its origins.  I have found back my Spirituality and that has given me a grounding for me and my family.  I have found a few default settings in my brain system that I am trying to reboot so that communication with my husband is better.  Its been a year full of personal growth actually and all is intertwined.


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Disciplining Adults

The most difficult aspect in disciplining children is actually disciplining ourselves the parents and those who are in close contact with our children.

It is already not so easy to keep oneself in check but how do you make others understand the importance of certain aspects of parenting or rather disciplining?

The child does something which is unacceptable like hitting.  You admonish him and give him a time in (rather than a time out I prefer a time in.  We spend 5 minutes together doing nothing apart for reminding him that it is not acceptable to hit and why) BUT you still cuddle him and comfort him.  Is that unusual?  Do you think you are not giving him the right interpretation?

Let me try explain the reasoning- you are telling your child that it is not ok to do certain things like hitting.  However it is ok to feel upset about the whole issue of having been reminded and got into a time in and mama is still here to make you feel better about it.  Firm yet gentle!

I find this hard to get it across certain people and its frustrating since things than normally escalate even more.  In this quest of mine to discipline my children firmly yet gently I have taken a new year resolution already- that to stop shouting at my children when I am tired or out of it.  To ask for more help if I feel the need without the nagging feeling of being not a good enough mother.  To LISTEN more to my children (my son if he sees me getting angry and sometimes I haven't even shouted he tells dont shout mama- it does not always get across to me but many a time I find it like a bucket of cold water and stops me immediately from becoming like an angry bull).

And you how do you find discipline?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Christmassy

Its Christmas time!

This year I am paying more attention to Advent.  We have put 4 candles up decorated with pine cones & needles and we are lighting one up every Advent Sunday.  We are also praying more as a family and also myself alone.  Gregory gets to do some charity work by donating some of his saved money to a cause. 

And because today its 1st December we started opening our Advent calendar and put up the decorations.  I am also telling my boy the story of Santa Claus (St Nicholas) and of Jesus.

165. Prayers
166. Stories
167. Progress
168.  Talking Maya both with sign language & actual words
169. Pretend Play
170. Presents ready to be put under the tree
171. carol singing
172. More teeth coming out
173. Playing together
174. Copying all her brother does
175.  Greg's shadow
176.  Attached to mama's pants
177. Help
178.  Meeting up friends
179. Meditation

Friday, November 25, 2011

Jotting it down

Motherhood.

It changes us so much.

Sometimes I plain wonder how I've become the way I am.  I realised suddenly how my inner anger has smoldered a bit.  How I manage to stop before I loose myself in my anger.  How I search more and more to interact with God.  How much pleasure it gives me finding less time on this laptop because I am finding more time for my children.

Motherhood moulds me to fit my children's needs.  It moulds me to become a better person.  To be the best for my family.

I hope I can radiate such to them.  It is quite a big task.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The art of writing

It's been an exceptional day.

Out of the blue my 2 yr 10 month old toddler tried his hand at writing.

Hereunder is the result!


The letters in red are my own written on his request.  Underneath in blue is his quite good imitation at writing.


We were at the Parish Priest and he asked for paper and pen. He told us he is drawing fireworks - MURTALI in Maltese. Than he asked me to write the word for him which I did. Me and the Priest continued discussing my dream of building a community of mums in our village. The next time I look at his handiwork I saw that. It felt awesome. I was shocked. I was utterly proud. Me who has been against teaching kids early the art of reading and writing have been twice erred. Because first he was very interested in learning his letters, numbers, colours and shapes and so I obliged. And now because he showed me quite clearly that he wants to learn to write. Upon asking he did confirm this (although such statements can't be taken always at face value from him) and so next week we will see if he truly wants to try this and will give it a shot.

161. open and eager to learn
162. puddles to jump into
163. curiosity
164. initiative

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Beauty

Life is beautiful isn't it?

Today we went for a car ride in the rain.  Smelled the rain, saw it fall, saw the beauty around us that make up our home environment.

It was lovely and it was peaceful.

Grace 151 seeing the beauty of the Lord
152. early toddlerhood
153. playing pretend
154. identifying plants
155. baking bread
156. experiencing new food
157. praying together
158. love given to grandparents
159. excitment
160. goals achieved

So many things come our way.  Sometimes I wonder how many more we miss!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Unschooling in Autumn

Gregory is a little boy now and about to start kindergarten in February.  I am still of two minds about starting him school at 3 years old. However, he seems quite excited at the idea of going to school alone and make friends so I am taking his cue about it.

  In the meantime, I am continuing our unschooling which I find as interesting as I am learning lots myself.


Vocabulary & Alphabet: Letters seem to fascinate him and he loves to find letters from a short story. He can identify all his letters although he still can confuse a few of them at times. Books are still favourites! We go monthly to the library and pick up books to his liking. Right now we are reading books on insects and planes mainly.

Nature:  We also have a book that identifies all wild plants and flowers in Malta. He loves it and wants to look at the pictures everyday.  However that is not all, while out we are trying to identify the plants we meet along the way.  If we can't we take a little bit of it with us to search for it at home in our book.  If we are specifically going into the countryside however, we have started taking it out with us to identify the plants.

Around the house: It all depends on the mood- there are days were he wants to help with the food preperations and the setting of the table.  Sometimes he also dusts for me or cleans the bath and sink.  Other times he doesn't feel like and so far am not pushing him into it unless of course he has made an unduly mess and so it is his duty to help clean up!

Play:  Mainly playing is with planes and cars.  I try to coax him into puzzles but he is off them right now.  Its a joy hearing him play alone though- telling stories of what is happening and so on.  He loves to play with others at the moment as well and especially catch or jumping off stuff.

Learning should be fun and I am happy to say it is :) 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Its a girl!!!

Keep your hair on; I ain't having another baby!

But you know that little girl I had a few months back?  well look at her now.....

mom the floor needs cleaning!


I have to confess I didn't bond quickly with this one..... although I loved her and wanted her with all my heart, at the same time I made her guilty of me being angry a lot with Greg during her pregnancy.  I made her guilty of me not being able to give enough attention to my little boy.  And many other guilt trips which were of course all unwarranted and none her fault!

So although I loved her from the minute she was born, I kept her  at a distance....if both were crying she had to wait not Gregory mostly.  I didn't bother to learn her cries than felt frustrated that I didn't know what she wanted.  however, she is a sweet little girl and eventually I succumbed and left my instinct guide me and now I feel the guilt- the mommy guilt of not giving her my best from the very beginning!


At 9 months I can already see how different her character is from my little man.  From day one she loved to smile and does so all the time even if tired!  She knows what she wants and screams bloody murder for it.  She enjoys her food (no wonder I had to eat so much when pregnant!) and eats at every opportunity given.  she understands much more than my other one did at the same age.  What's more? she makes 5 paces on her own and prefers to try and walk rather than crawl.  She also loves to play with her brother (much to his dismay LOL).  She says mama with such passion when she wants me that I know it is not a simple babble!  She waves hello and bye, claps, make indian sounds, clucks her tongue.


She is a girl! and that's wonderful and I am so looking forward to spend some girly time with her soon :)

Friday, October 14, 2011

Its a path or a journey whatever you wish to call it

I have changed my title again!

In an ever increasing life that changes constantly, this is something very small.

However, this new title reflects more the me of now.  I am following a path- the path of motherhood, the path of service to others, the path of love and the path of the Lord. 


And these 2 are the ones that are helping me most in discovering this path.

 Whenever I am of service to anyone with my little knowledge of motherhood and breastfeeding I feel complete and whole.  Whenever I feel His presence I am at peace and whole.  Whenever I am focused on my children I feel satisfied, proud and yes whole.  When I let love fill my heart there is joy and wholesomeness.

I want to do so much more to impact the lives of my children and husband, of family and friends.  I want to do so much to help others.  It is all a slow process but one which is slowly moving and I am happy.

Life taught me once more that the little steps and attention to detail do count after all.....and so I choose the path of life- slow, ever changing and surprising!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Autumn

We've had the first Autumn rains.  The weather is slowly becoming chiller- at least early morning and night time.  We've reverted to the Winter food and have our thick red carpet downstairs to play on.  Our weather chart is not at a standstill anymore on sunny but is turning around to include windy, cloudy and rainy.

Its comforting knowing that the new season is here- starting-

Gregory wants to go to school -alone- he will eat crackers and sandwich and be given milk and will also eat the fruit he says.  His bag is ready together with crayons, drawing book, lunch box, water bottle and milk cup.  I wonder if he'll be in this same frame of mind come February but I trust he will and I am so happy for him.  He wants friends he tells me.

Maya is standing alone.  That is not holding on to anything.  Today she even tried to walk without holding on!  She amazes me!  I admit I am looking forward to be with her alone and get to know my little girl better.

Autumn....what a beautiful season for firsts and lasts !

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

a time to grow

Its a rare quiet afternoon with both kids sleeping nowadays.

Me and hubs are trying to think of new ways to engage Gregory who is in a disequilibrium and boredom state of mind.

Decided to be honest with myself and the night time parenting is draining me (as kids want me and only me!).  So as Gregory ends up to be the one to get all the bad karma, I will slowly stop nursing him at night.  How does this add up?  I become so drained with Maya waking so much to nurse that when Gregory does I feel him a burden.  Since I can't give that message to him and in his drowsy state there is no reasoning and as it is of no fault to him than I need to re adjust priorities and his night nursing will go together with all the bad vibes.  I feel bad about it like I am cheating him of something, and yet I know that this is the right decision.  During the day it is fine as he doesn't quite ask for it so much and I am ok to give it to him.  He is requesting more of it lately- reverting again to babyhood before it seems another develpoment spurt.  It is exhilarating knowing this will happen but tiring and irritating and very very trying.

I am happy finally I feel our team is shaping up!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Headless Chicken

Sometimes(or maybe most of the time) we tend to loose track of what we were originally thinking or doing.  Or maybe we simply have no idea what was going through our heads at all.

Our rythm at home and out is right now in pieces and I wonder why September always gives me this grief!  I just realised that EVERY September we have this problem.  At the same time I have lost so many down time recently that I find myself running blindly in every direction.  Not sure of what I was meant to be doing, thinking etc.  I struggle to get back into the groove of things but there is always a little something here and there that looses my senses.

It is very interesting for me to be aware of this situation and so now I need to untangle every bit of it- one little tiny step at a time (just like Maya who is taking small little steps towards her independence).  I realise that whenever I am out of synch, so is the rest of the family - the kids are unrestful and cranky and hubs normally gets angry quicker. 

So I am off to slowly start unravelling this puzzle and maybe its best to start with finding a better down time routine!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Putting the dragon to sleep

Over and over I have been blessed and given what I needed exactly when I needed it.  Recently I realised I had reached what many call mommy burn out and felt desperate to regain some balance as I was affecting not just myself but the rest of my family with my behaviour.  I looked up for some retreat and lo and behold this retreat came up at the perfect price.  I took it without a second thought but with lots of guilty feelings and worry anyway.  Guilty that I was bumping my husband and his mom with my two babies out of the blue without giving them much of an option and worry that they might not be fine nighttime (its when they are high needs for me).  But whatever the notions I went and it was a blessing a wonderful experience.

It helped me remember things I had lost sight of, become aware of things I was told about but never really looked at, understood more what I was meant to do and of course relax and enjoy this very short break.

I will be grateful forever for the people I met there who helped me out and encouraged me and let me talk over and over about my kids.  And I am forever in debted with my Lord who gave me what I needed when I needed it once more!

Friday, September 2, 2011

A time for expansion which call for more graces

The peak of Summer is hopefully over and we are awaiting eagerly Autumn here at our house (or lets say I am!).  Summer also gave me lots of graces  for which I am ever so thankful.  You can mostly see that they are Greg related and his sudden developmentwhich continually amaze me.

131.  Panties on my son
132. long sentences and lots to say
133. mild Summer
134. crawling daughter, waving bye bye, hello and also clapping
135. home made tomato polpa and peach preserve
136. evening walks
137. two little teeth
138. trying to let go whilst standing to walk (so busy this girl)
139. all night sleeping from my big boy in his own bed and room
140. expanding his menu
141. wanting to make friends and go to school
142. making new friends
143. awareness of my awareness
144. Church going twice weekly with a generally quietish Greg
145. Loving her food- whatever it is as long as its like ours
146. crawling to daddy or nanna as soon as she sees them
147. chatting with his sister and seeing her glow at the attention he is giving her
148. finally finding like minded mums that make me feel relaxed and at ease
149. regaining my balance
150. being able to help others with my meagre knowledge on pregnancy, birth and childhood

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Dragon emerging

filled with anger
emotions upturned
feel like crying, clawing, spitting

I wonder if its the mommy meltdown many write about.  If its truly time I stepped back a moment and look at the wonderful mess or maybe beautiful life I am weaving- its probably a bit of both!

I've told hubs if  I find a yoga retreat here in Malta I will pack and simply go.  I think I truly need a retreat....it will give me back my energy, my focus and my life......but there is no retreat I know of-sigh-

So I write here instead to clear my mind, clear my system from this anger boiling in me.  Shed a few tears.  So many emotions and so little time to sort them out.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The cave of darkness

picture from wikipedia


This week's adventure took us to Ghar Dalam or Cave of darkness!
We didn't use the bus though there is one that stops right in front of it...thing is we both had a bad night and were tired so knew that if the busw as taken I was increasing the risk of a tantrum.  That said, (and we did have a small one to!) we had lots of fun.  Entrance fee is of eur 5 per adult, child free.  On going in you find a museum full of bones that where excavated from the cave.  These include, bears, elephants, deer and more.  It also had the skeleton of a few animals which Gregory simply loved watching.  To go to the cave you have lots of stairs so not accessable for the challenged person and you go through a garden which is lovely and quiet.  The cave itself is very nice and quite big.  Gregory loved going in and asking me what all the numbers meant.  We than had a snack in the garden before we headed back home.  another lovely morning together and which I reccommend to all with kids.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Death

It's strange isn't it how the death of someone can show us life from a different perspective.

And more acutely it shows how weak we are!  We are infinitely weak in our suffering.  A suffering that shouldn't be felt as acute as it does because after all that loved one has gone to a better place- to find peace and happiness and no more pain.  And yet we feel that loss as if it is the end of our world and for a good while till we get used to the 'new life' it is!  We simply do not have it in us to let go of that person.

Death also shows us through the suffering of others what it will be in store for us when our time comes to mourn.  It also details us that maybe we should plan more for our own death.  To maybe facilitate the process our loved ones have to go through when we go.  It squeezes all of our reserves into that final farewell. 

The pain so real that fills my heart right now is however not for the dead but the living and I wonder when my time comes to say my farewells if I will be able to actually let go and be happy knowing they have reached their intended destination to now start living the life of carefree abundance.

The meaning of life?  We have to suffer a lot because that suffering moulds us to become more near to our Lord and be worthy of living by his side eternally.  Of course life has its long moments of happiness.  Pockets of paradise to help us through.  Death is not the end really but the beginning and yet in our blind suffering we simply forget.

May God bring peace in the suffering hearts of my family.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Gardens in Summer

Last week for our Toddler Summer Fun one on one time, we went to San Anton Garden.



We took the bus again up to Valletta than the first bus along towards Rabat, Dingli or Mtarfa.  In total the journey took 1 hr 20 mins.  We got to the garden nearing 10 am and although lots of shade offered, I admit it was still quite hot.  However, it was pleasant enough and we stayed there for an hour discovering trees, watching ducks, chasing pigeons and cats, looking at flowers and so on.  Gregory had a wonderful time and was exhausted by the end of it.  The long trip with the bus did not bother him at all!  Bring snacks along as not a lot of choices from where to buy.

Monday, August 1, 2011

the potty adventures

As you have read here, we began potty training me and Gregory.

Nearly two months have passed since then and the progress is significant.  In fact we have taken the past few days the step were apart for night time no nappy is used on Gregory.  Today, we also had another first where I took him out on an errand with the big boy pants only - it was a success in many ways.

I am still the spectator that cheers and helps and encourages.  Being so also made me realize a couple of things:


  • I've had people tell me that they would have left their child for 5 mins or more on the potty in the hope that they use it.  Children whom as grown ups sometimes seem not to know if they actually need to use the  bathroom.  This led me to the conclusion that this method would have led my son to doubt his urges and feelings
  • Why this need to hurry potty training to preferably a day or two? Like the child had to take his time to learn to walk, so again is potty training and this leads to harmony at home and more love and connection between the parents and children.


And after all this, all I can say is that Greg started telling us when he needs to wee and most of the time holding it long enough to go to the potty or training seat.  In fact today while at the library he told me such and at first I feared he peed himself but he hadn't so we rushed out to the bathrooms and I had a happy, proud boy by my side!  I actually felt bad I doubted my son for that split second.

So the nos have dwindled to near zero and the actual going and making is happening all the time.  Pooing is still a problem but if a month made such a difference I have no worries at all.  I still congratulate him whenever he uses the potty or seat and encourage him and remind him to let me know if he needs to go but most of the time he asks himself and that is a great achievement.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

holidays

We went for our first family holiday to Gozo.  We had a grand time!

The penthouse we had rented had a large terrace commanding a 360 seaview and you could also see the sea from the bedroom.

our penthouse

 Just outside our apartment we had the playing ground which Gregory enjoyed using whenever we went outside.


 And of course the sea was all around us and we just picked a spot we liked and dipped into it.
isn't that a cheeky look?


The only thing that wasn't to our liking: the penthouse was on the 5th floor and no lift!(still I feel it was worth the hassle).

here is the proof that 5 floors can be too many!
 And here are some other random pics from our holiday!

smiling at daddy

Gregory explaining his intent student the use of armbands

trying to stand up alone and nearly getting there

exploring Calypso Cave

sibling fun


contemplating the sea

flying the kite....well trying to!

me and my mam

Monday, July 11, 2011

Graced beyond doubt

I had decided to take a challenge and find 1000 graces that God has spoiled me with.  An effort to commune more with Him and be thankful for all I am given.

118. Beautiful, cool sea sans jellyfish
119. Family with whom I can go to the sea
120. Skype
121. love for food from our little one
122. Our big boy finding so much confidence in the sea that he started swimming alone
123. seeing a clear path to what I'd like to achieve and how to do it
124. laughter at home
125. the ability to visit my grandmother every week
126.  Gregory saying sorry out of his own accord
127.  Enjoying pizza
128. the possibility to tell plane stories to my son every day twice a day even though it become tedious
129. yoga classes once a month
130. time to do yoga and Bible reading at home

Friday, July 8, 2011

Ceklem Karozzin

Today is the first of a series of posts in toddler Summer fun.  Every Friday I am going out for some quality fun time with my 2 yr 6 month son and discover the beauty of Malta.  These posts will cover what we did and what we think about it.


"Ceklem ceklem karozzin
Minn got-toroq imserrpin
Uri l-hajja taghna l-Maltin
Ceklem ceklem karozzin
Minn got-toroq imserrpin
Uri l-hajja taghna l-Maltin"


As our first outing, I took my son on a horse drawn carriage (or as it is known locally Karozzin) ride around the capital Valletta.  The price was of Eur 35 but got it down to Eur 25.  We caught our ride near the Upper  Barakka Gardens and the driver took us for a 35 min. ride of the capital.

pic from Malta insideout
The driver stopped every now and then to tell us what we were seeing and also giving us information of any museums we passed (opening hours etc) which was very nice of him.  He also gave vent to some of his current gripes but that was ok!  The ride was very smooth and the horse very clean and well kept.  Gregory was in rapture the whole ride and didn't really wish to get down the horse at all.

It was great fun and I believe that even if I paid the full price it was worth the expense!  This has been a wonderful experience and would reccommend you the ride !

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Potty Forayes

I dreaded potty training from the day my son was born!

Some of the biggest issues hubs and I had concerned it.  So you can imagine that as the time got near I wasn't looking forward to it.  I read anything I could get my hands on, talked to other women who has gone through it, as well as attended a workshop.  However, my fear (?) of this milestone could not be dissipated.

In the end nature and instinct guided me to the best place to be- a spectator.  Yes my friends I decided to simply be a spectator that cheers and encourages and at times gives a few pushes.  So what all this ends up to?  Gregory has a potty and toilet training seat at his disposal which he can use anytime.  There are those rare moments where he asks to use it and those rarer moments where he simply goes on his own to do his business.  Most commonly I leave him running around free and when I see signs of him needing to wee or poo I tell him- looks like you need a wee come lets go to the potty/toilet.  It is occuring more often that he comes willingly and tries -though most of the time he doesn't manage to do anything.  Other times he calls a simple NO!! and that is it.

There are moments where I tell him that he has to put the nappy on if he doesn't wish to use the said potty and he complies other moments its a struggle.  Many a day he simply asks for the nappy and doesn't want to part with it even when soiled.  And so it goes, me cheering when he tries or actually does it and telling everyone else I see to cheer him on.  Sometimes giving him little pushes and reminders but mainly I just let him be.  Giving him the space and time he needs to feel confident enough to take the plunge.

It is quite a dance I tell you but I am not regretting it.  My hubs tried bribing him with toys etc but it didn't really work -it is one of the main ways it seems they get kids to use the potty bribing them with sweets, toys etc- however I admit that when we did that it didn't feel right.  After all this should come naturally to our kids right?  So where does this leave me.......it might take the whole of Summer and Winter and in the end I might need to do some real pushing to get there (especially if he is to start Kindergarten come February) but letting him choose which way he wants to go is reaping a lot of benefits.  I can see the struggle- the wish to use a toilet, yet the fear of what this would imply in his world.  I can see his swaying and so I just smile and encourage him and it is working a treat because since this started (a month ago) we have more yeses than nos and that is a big step forward :)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Nurturing the home

Young children and toddlers need to be at home.

At home we can take life slowly, nurture them and teach them.  So even if I plan activities for most mornings I make sure we are home in the afternoon.  Sometimes, We'd have something planned and I would be looking forward to it (like a visit to my parents and grandmother) but my son tells me he wants to stay home.  And I do!  It is hard to take his lead at times and sometimes we can't of course but whenever possible even if it is against my deepest wishes I do because he knows what he needs.

If we really look carefully at our home, we can expand our love to it and our family by simple movements. 
  • Instead of cleaning in a single day spread it over the week so your child can help out - this is something I am starting myself just now.  It will teach responsibility, love and care
  • When cooking get them to help in peeling, washing, setting up the table.  This to will teach them on love and responsibility as well as helping each other.
  • Folding the laundry can be done with the kids helping putting them away- later you might need to go around again and fold again but your child is happy, you are telling him that you believe in him and nurturing confidence.
  • When shopping let them help putting things in the trolley, bags and at home put them out of bags and/or correct shelving
Young children need not simply know how to clear up their toys, they can help in every aspect of the house EVEN if they do not do it properly and later when the child is doing something else you do it yourself correctly.  Children do enjoy helping out and learning from the home is a blissful experience to them and you!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Good- truly good

We started going to Mass twice a week.
I am becoming involved in a coalition for better births here locally.  I am pretty excited about it and can't wait to meet up with everyone and have us all public.
Gregory is using the toilet sometimes and once in a blue moon the potty.  Most of the time he still prefers the nappy or doing it on the floor!
Maya started on solids and you can see her joy when we present her with said food rather than just plain old mama milk.
Gregory has some teeth coming out and for the past 2 weeks resumed sleeping in our bed.  A setback which I am fine with however as I know it is just a phase due to teeth and new developments.
His ventures to stop the nappy and his weaning from the breast are happening together - both according to his wishes and a few pushes from us here and there.  So the feeling of insecurity that is manifesting itself is quite appropiate and letting him snuggle up to us gives us all a good nights' sleep.
Maya is getting frustrated she can't be mobile and that means we might soon have her crawling all over the place- a nice new phase to look forward to.

It is all good.  Sometimes tiring.  Sometimes frustrating.  But it is all good!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Toddler Summer Fun

This Summer my big boy being 2 and a half I find there are more fun things to do and Summer isn't quite desolate anymore with long hours inside due to the intense heat we get in Malta.

And here is my list of things one can do!  Any other ideas yourselves?

  • Visit the Natural History Museum
  • Visit Ghar Dalam (a cave where animal remains suggesting Malta was once part of Africa where found)
  • Boat ride around our harbours and/or Blue Grotto (a natural cave with lovely blue waters)
  • Horse Drawn carriage ride around the capital
  • A train ride - well not a train like any outsiders now it but a fun trip anyway!
  • Visit some gardens
  • Beaches and more beaches - that goes without saying here ha!
  • Sleep under the stars on our roof - since we do not have a backyard but a big roof which I use for hanging clothes and bbqs, it will now be extended for "camping"
  • Go to Buskett (our man made forest kinda thing) and look at the many bugs there are and try identify them
  • OF course since my son is right now plane-a-holic visiting the airport to see take offs and landings is a must (which has been going on for a month already!)
Most if not all of the above are now possible to do courtesy of the new bus system (rather than using my car) so it will be more fun and adventerous for the little guy.  I am so excited about it all and will update you on our adventures of course every week :)

Monday, June 13, 2011

Its been 5 months now

And frankly I got no idea how they flew by.  Our little girl is growing quicker than her brother...well that is the way it feels!

At 5 months she babbles, laughs out loud with gusto, sits, tries to play with toys, tells us whenever she is not happy with a decision we take and if it were her already eating solids (we do let her nibble here and there).

This girl whom at first I had no idea how to fit her in our schedule.  Whom I sometimes saw her as an interference between me and my son.  Is one of the best things in my life.  Because whilst Gregory can be difficult and stubborn,  I can see she is pliable and determined.  They will balance eachother out beautifully when she is older and with all the hugs and kisses she receives and with all the smiles and laughs she reserves just for him I wonder how life will unfold.

I am excited actually about it and although enjoying the present more than ever right now, I am also looking very forward to a year from now :)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The start of Summer graces

The weather still looks crap in Malta but the heat....yeah can confirm that Summer has started guys! and with this new season (we can't wait for the official date),  I found more graces from God- more than I can ever thank Him for!

106.  Gregory splashing in the sea water, shrieking happily
107. Dad's fields to help and play
108. Kids sleeping till 6 am for a week
109. Finally finding agreement on the way to redo our downstairs living area
110. Fridges- I know how useful they are now that ours went bust
111. Fascination on planes
112. Precious good news from abroad
113. Guidance
114. LOTS of hugs and kisses to his little sister
115. progress undone in potty training
116. lots of new fruit to eat and enjoy
117. plans

Thursday, May 26, 2011

clearly mine

This little guy, with that precious smile is labelled as naughty and aggressive.  Not many say so but their look says it all as they see my spirited child run, scream and simply enjoying life.

He can be tiring yes; and he can also make me loose myself in anger.  Yet I can never give him such cruel labels.  I find myself telling people that no he is not naughty and they insist and there are these moments were I feel like arguing with them that because he does not fit in the image of how children should act doesn't mean he is naughty.  However, I never do it in the end I just insist that he ain't so!

This little guy, is my unbinder.  He can push my buttons in a second and yet resets them just as quickly.  His development I can measure in strides not paces.  No he is not complaint especially if we are out in public.  No he is not silent and sits quietly if we take him to Church.  He loves to play with peers in an aggressive way ( pushing each other , falling on each other, throwing cushions and so on)- what I call the boys' way.  I try to redirect him, give him focus and explain that he should be gentler and he is.  However, when he gets happy and excited he forgets the gentleness :)


This little guy, has taught me so much on parenting(and still does).  Has showed me ways, given me back my lost imagination, made me proof to myself that I can be patient as much as I cared to be because when I am not, I am doing a conscious choice not to control myself most of the time.  He's made me loose faith and regain it, loose strength and redouble it, doubt myself till I find myself more confident in my endeavours.  He is the one with whom I can see clearly because he forces me to in order to understand him.

My man, my boy, my baby!

Monday, May 23, 2011

A BIG thank you is due!

I have made a friend.  One which sustains me in my parental journey more than I can ever express.

I am so glad to have found her and I thank you if you read this because my inner strength had been dissipating so much that I'd probably had started to give up by now.

This is grace no.101

102. ideas and more ideas
103. laughter during family time
104. my son saying sorry without any prompting when doing something unacceptable
105. awareness

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

a window in discipline

I have this window increasingly open lately.

Where I am either seeing myself doing what I do not wish to be doing and yet incapable of stopping myself or else being able to look at myself and my children and be able to discern how grave the situation is before I react and so setting us all free from any unwanted grief.

The awareness of it makes me giddy.  Because when the first happens I am able to see over and over where my trigger is that makes me loose control of my emotions.  Finding a way to explain it simply to my son (that is to excuse my impulsiveness and loss of control) is still difficult but I do try!  Yet I can forgive myself rather than feel excessive guilt about it.  God has made me imprefect and loves me so and so how can I not forgive my own imperfections and giving Him praise for making me glare at them straight in the face and providing me with ways to eventually perfect my own emotional control?

And when the latter happens, I praise God even more for helping in providing us with this golden moment of clarity that gives us so much joy.

It takes practice and a lot of reminding to stay aware and focused on any situation...in every second of your day, to look at it with perspective.  Its not easy but it gets easier everyday and when I get these moments I realise that I am getting closer to my objective and can provide my children with a wholesome start in life.
Parenting is so much more than just telling your child what he should and shouldn't do.  The complexity I discovered is so big that frankly I can't explain it.  At every given moment you have to look at what the child is thinking and then react accordingly and not look at it from your own perspective which is completely distorted.  We have to be careful because everything we do is being imprinted on our little ones either good or bad.....and above all this, while loving them unconditionally, we must remember that these little gifts are only given to us to help them grow and spread their wings and that we are not their owners.  We can't keep them, we must find it within us to help them grow, be near and yet far away.

Our children are a treasure which we must give away.  A treasure we have to take deep care of.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

divorce for or against?

At the moment here in Malta this is the main discussion everywhere as we prepare to go for a referendum to introduce or ban divorce forever in our country.

I am against divorce myself!  However, it irkes me to see both the pro and against movements giving what I believe to be silly arguments about the issue.

So 2 things the pro movement says is that ...
1. you are guaranteed maintanance money- how can they guarantee such a thing? its never possible!  There are many complex things that make up this possibility and even if you take the person to court and they are given a prison sentence the point remains that you are not given the said money and you won't!  So telling people that this is a guarantee is immoral.
2.  there is this billboard with a woman sporting a black eye (purpurting to abuse) and saying would you give your daughter another chance?  truth be said everyone would!  BUT if I am giving my daughter that privilege I am also giving it to the abuser unless they will be doing something in a way that whoever is thinking of remarrying with the said person knows he/she has a  history of abuse.  IF a person is abused I think the Church and state should simply nullify the marriage without hiccups.

The against movement on the other hand is saying that without divorce we have a more stable marriage.  Hmmm I tend to differ.  A stable marriage happens because the couple is willing to work VERY HARD at their relationship!  Making the effort every day to meet and get to know their partner.  That being said, there are still marriages that end up broken and not because they didn't do so but because they reached a natural end- yes this can happen!

I still do not believe divorce is the solution.  I think it should all stem from the very beginning....the way we are brought up!  Values are mostly forgotten nowadays.  Parents feel lost and incapable of caring for their children at times.  Too much pressure and they give them whatever whenever just to please them and shake off their guilty feelings.  So most of us are brought up wanting everything there and than without hassles and if there is we sulk and go away.  Well a marriage can't happen this way.  You must work for it and at it from the moment you decide to take that particular step.

For divorce to enter and be allowed to enter, I believe there must be very strict and complicated rules for it.  However since this is not quite possible as none want such a hassle, divorce should be banned.

As Christians we should follow our instinct.  Jesus once said that divorce was given to humans by humans because of their stubbornness not because God accepts it.  I think its true....we are stubborn all of us and that is why we want divorce- to feel more in control over issues we have no control on.  Yet, no guarantees are given still and that leap of faith you do in marriage will have to happen every time you get married again....and would you do so ?

Monday, May 9, 2011

I am gorgeous

me and Dave on our 5th wedding anniversary this April.
For the past few weeks, whenever I look at the mirror or see my photos, I think I look fabalous!
Guess it sounds a bit pompous of me to say so, but its the truth. I am the most me now at age 30.  I am happy and confident.  I do not have the perfect body as portrayed by the media and brainwashed into our minds.  Yet I do have a perfect body- one that is made specifically for me! 

And I am so proud and lucky to have it and enjoy it.  I hope that you to can feel in tune with your body and enjoy this moment.

Maya's Baptism

Maya's day was oh soooooo different from Gregory's.  Let's start with the fact that we had a full ceremony including mass (with Greg we just did the ceremony).  Let's continue by saying that with Gregory although we only did the ceremony which lasted approx 30 mins max, by the time half of it was over he was howling like a banshee as he was tired, hungry and had a dirty diaper.  This resulted in simply 2 photos of the occassion with not one which came looking good!

Fast forward 2 years....we have the full ceremony with mass and Maya is quiet all the way through.  She is tired and tried to sleep but due to noise didn't manage.  However she still smiles and waits patiently for the thousand photos we took (even I got fed up in the end).

It was a beautiful ceremony I have to admit and am happy we did it the proper way this time.  I loved the way she was dressed in my father's own Baptism dress.  I loved the names her Godparents chose and I loved having the family around.  Thank you for making this day- mother's day- so wonderful!

with my parents

the cake- my creation and so proud of it.  Teddy bear on top gift from my sister.

gorgeous smile of Maya Abigail Nicola Danielle

my beautiful family

trying to hold his sister

being Baptised

one of my favourites!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

It's a mother's life

A dedication to my children - Gregory Anthony & Maya Abigail who actually made this day possible!

It's an honour to be a mother!  A journey with unexpected curves.  Full of joy, laughter, sorrow, tears.  Full of wonders that change you, mould you, transform you.  Showing you your limits straight in the face and showing you the extended reserves you never knew you had.

Today, it's my children's day.....
my son - he is seen as "naughty" and I see him full of  love for life. 

my daughter - always smiling with those beautiful eyes


...because they make life so much better.  I am fulfilled and happy.

There are moments of quietness.

Its 7.30 pm the kids are both in bed sleeping.  Our long day has ended and I can enjoy the restful quietness that envelops our home.  I go to sleep feeling tired, maybe even exhausted but it was a good day....it is always a good day because we were given the opportunity to live it.

There are moments of laughter.

We are on the roof.  Maya lying down on a carpet looking at life passing by, Gregory playing with soil, snails and big cars.  I hang the clothes, grab one of his cars and go running after him.  His shrieks of laughter mingle with my screaming of joy and his request for again don't stop.  Maya can be seen smiling at us and once we talk to her those sweet smiles grow wider. 

There are moments of tears & despair.

He is playing with his toys and suddenly wants to watch TV.  I refuse because I do not believe in watching a lot of TV.  He starts to throw toys about, I say that if it continues the toys will be thrown away but he resists and so I do as I said I would.  He cries, thrashes, screams.  She starts crying to tired but resisting to sleep.  I loose it, start sreaming myself, demanding my son to stop it.  Not wanting to see any reason myself, I shake him and he cries harder, comes for comfort and I reject him and suddenly my eyes open up...how guilty I feel, how desperate for not seeing earlier.  I am deflated- I scoop up my son and calm him down.  Tell him how sorry I was, that I am not alowed to do what I did. I cry with him, hug him and kiss him.

There are moments of stillness.

I sit in their room.  My son playing with cars, my daughter on her gym mat.  Engrossed in their play.  I look at them so sweet, so young, so full of life.  I wish to give them so much and yet I know I can't give them all. A picture forms in my mind and thank God for giving me this moment.


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Church going & more graces 85-100

We haven't been to Mass for 2 years now- with the exception of a few times here and there.

Like most kids Gregory is noisy and won't sit still.  Besides our local Church community didn't inspire child friendliness/understanding (including unfortunately our parish priest though he does try!).  I'd say due to laziness from our part we never tried to find a better place and so we come to present day.

Last week while at his grandparents, they took him to service and told me stasyed fairly good.  So Easter Sunday decided to go all as a family.  He wasn't too bad and so decided to start taking both kids to Mass a couple times a week when attendance is low and once monthly for the Sunday mass which is longer. 

Its training for both of us......Gregory to understand this is an important place and must behave and me to stay relaxed and not fret.  Today it was our first try and again it was fairly good.  Thankfully I did have grandparent support to help when it got a bit rough.  However it helps that he is actually willing to go himself.

Grace no.85 Gregory wanting to go to mass and being fairly behaved throughout.
86. elimination communication (potty training for babies) and having results
87.  our boy willing to try the potty every now and then
88. beautiful gifts from thoughtful friends
89. feeling confident enough to model lingerie & swimwear
90. Gregory deciding to move to his own room and bed without us ever suggesting it
91. Actually enjoying a meal at the restaurant
92. 5 years of marriage to a wonderful man
93. a smiling baby
94. finally starting the process of building a local mum community
95. lots of kisses from Gregory
96.  enjoying our brand new Summer menu
97. finding someone with whom to talk on any NP difficulties locally
98. the feeling of fulfillment right now
99. support
100. sharing a glass of wine

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Leaps and Bounds

Gardening - Our onion patch

Gregory is growing in leaps and bounds.  Sometimes even I am amazed.
Take as an example the alphabet- I decided to start teaching it to  him seeing he seemed ready for it. Five weeks later (and 5 letters later) I realise that he already knows half the alphabet.  I am quite astounded by this truly!  At first I thought he knows them because he knows in which order they come, but when I started quzzing him on which letter is A for example in an actual word he found it for me without a problem.  So yeah he already recognises the letters.  AND the numbers from 1 to 10.  He also knows the numbers in Maltese and Spanish and actually counts them to!

Another sudden leap which left me dazed is his request to start sleeping in his room on his own.  Up till last Sunday we co sleeped all 4 of us together.  Than on Monday he decided to sleep in his room.  He does this till about 1 am when he wakes for a little breast taster :) and than he stays in our bed for the rest of the night.  I had planned to wean him to his own bed and room in a year and a half seeing that this Summer I wanted to potty train him.  But it seems that it will not be necessary for me to do so now.

All these changes leave me breathless at times, yet proud of my son.  My baby, who is truly no more a baby but a young boy. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

30 Springs ago - No.84

In a couple of weeks I will be 30!

A lot of people feel depressed when they reach this number....it does suddenly feel like an awful lot of years....but rather than depressed I am happy.

Happy I have reached this age without a lot of difficulties along the way.  Happy that most of the accomplishments I wished to do by then have actually happened.  Happy simply for being alive and kicking.

In view of this happiness, I am thanking God a little bit more for giving me so much and consider this grace no.84

Sunday, March 27, 2011

babes in pictures


Here are some recents pics as promised of my babies!

Need I really comment at this lovely pic?






This big chicken I won as part of a hamper pic found hereunder :)

Ok this is not a kid lol but loved this and was really happy I won it and thought of showing it to you all!
video
Lastly here is a video of Gregory painting :)