Goodbye, Decade of Makeup

Here we are, on the cusp of another move. Lately I’ve been running a list off in my head about all the things that we will need to pack an organise.

Then today while I was filling a prescription and browsing the cosmetics section at the pharmacy, it occurred to me that I have an absurd collection of makeup that I never actually use anymore.

So one of the first things I did after returning home was to go through and toss it all in the bin, whatever I didn’t use. I was surprised that I had bags upon bags of old make up (10 years ago) that I’d taken with me in my travels. These bags had never been taken out after they were packed–simply because I never used them anymore.

When will I be using glittery eyeshadows and sparkly lip gloss (did I ever wear lip gloss?!). My regular makeup routine has been very plain in the last six years… simple eye shadow, some eyeliner and then maybe some lipstick if I can remember. I would go through stages of wearing makeup on a daily basis (if I was working in the office) to only wearing makeup when there was an event to attend (working from home days).

I was a little surprised at how detached I felt from the 20 eyeliner pencils I chucked into the bin. They were all collected in a ziplock bag and were definitely from when I still lived in Vancouver… what possessed me to bring them along with me across so many moves? I obviously felt a strong attachment to them before now to have brought them to two different countries I moved to. Yet when I pulled them out today I felt nothing but wonderment that I had owned this many eyeliner pencils at one point.

I feel like a very different person. I’m not sure if being a mother has finally “matured” me and that practical common sense everyone is always on about has finally taken root for me.

I did briefly glimpse the 23 year old me in that wrinkled bag of eyeliners. She was young. She was so very short sighted. Stubborn, headstrong. She flung herself into everything. She got in her own way. But damn it, she did it all while looking so awkwardly pretty.

Goodbye, You.

Toe Hold On That Wagon

Yep, it happened. I fell off the daily writing wagon. I barely even managed to keep writing in my personal journal.

The past month has been fairly busy. I took a trip with Fin back to the family farm. That did disrupt our routine quite a bit.

I joined a book club. Now I have actual deadlines to finish books that I never have time for anymore.

Fin is now completely mobile. He crawls everywhere, pulls himself up on things and falls down a lot. I now literally do not have a free moment unless he’s asleep (where he is right now), and even then I have to keep a constant ear open for him being awake.

Only 9 months in and he’s no longer just my cuddly baby boy anymore. He’s constantly wanting to go outside, see people, DO things. He’s like his father. He’s bored of my homebody routines of laundry and house chores… he wants to explore the world and our apartment is too small for his curious mind.

An ex colleague–and a friend–has also offered me a job at my old company. I wasn’t sure I was going to take it because I wasn’t comfortable with putting Fin in daycare. This was three weeks ago, before Fin started to constantly go off by himself.

Now that he’s reveling in his new found freedom, I realise that daycare has its upsides. He’ll have a much bigger space there. He’ll have other kids and various people there to entertain him and help his development. He would be better off there than being stuck with just his momma all day long.

In an ideal world, we’d be close to a large support group of family and friends, with whom we could visit all the time. But we’re not. We’re here in a busy city, all by our lonesome and it’s time that I admit we need to make more friends. All three of us.

Daycare will only be three days out of a seven day week, anyway. And I don’t have to start until May… (option to work from home until then). I just don’t know how much work I can realistically get done at home when Fin’s yelling at me to take him outside.

Raging Conversations

A couple of days ago, I learned that raging conversations is a thing. I also realised that it is a thing I definitely do. And it’s something I really don’t want to keep doing.

In that article, they write about how replaying negative conversations in our heads is really just hurting ourselves. That’s when it occurred to me; other people may say hurtful things out of anger, but if I replay it over and over again in my head, I’m helping the other person cause maximum damage. Why do that?

So this is the beginning of the journey to stop raging conversations and negative thought loops. I looked into meditation and mindfulness exercises to see if it could be of help. I found there was a depressing amount of practical information on how someone can stop the negative replay of raging conversations.

There were some practical exercises about how to bring oneself out of negative thought loops with YOURSELF, but what can we do when another person is involved? How do you calm down enough to stop hearing them with a negative filter on?

Imagine you’re in yet another angry argument with your spouse. Then somehow you get the mental fortitude to say, “stop, I need to meditate and calm down before we go any further.” How would that go if the other person is angry as well and they are unwilling to back down? In an argument with someone else, you can do everything right on your part and still it’ll end up horrendous if the other party does not relent.

Well. This is a record of my experiment. I will attempt a calming exercise the next time I am in a heated argument with my husband and we’ll see how well that goes.

Expectations versus Reality

Everyone says marriage is hard, but sometimes I wonder if it's really supposed to be THIS difficult.

Right now everyone says it's the new baby that's throwing us off. I really hope that is all it is.

How I Live Now

Wake up around 5 or 6 am in the morning and wash my face. If Finn is grumbling, I let him grumble while I go through the morning facial routine–one of the few routines that survives motherhood because my brother’s wife is the same age as me but my skin is much older than hers. She has been properly taking care of her skin since she was 20. I was boozing it up with friends when I was 20, not a care in the world about anything, the least of all my skin.

Then I change Finn’s diaper–nappy, as they say in Australia–because that usually calms him down a bit. He likes staring at me from his laying down position. His eyes roam about, looking like he’s writing my face into memory. I have seen the same look before on another baby: my baby brother. Finn makes these cute baby noises and sometimes smiles at me. Changing Finn in the morning is a favorite part of my day.

The two of us wait for Jamie to wake up, or sometimes he is awake already and that’s when I hand Finn over for Daddy-Time. They both enjoy that.

Between 7 am to 8 am, we make our way to the main house from our little hut. We usually bring a bag of things we want at the house. This is where we start our day. Me with the daily baby washing (his clothes and nappies) and Jamie with his morning chores.

For our breakfast, Jamie has coffee and I have a mug of hot chocolate. I used to have at least a cup of coffee a day, but since I’ve had to give up caffeine during pregnancy, I have felt so much more energetic overall. So I decided I would not go back to having coffee daily. Of course there is still caffeine in hot chocolate, but really not enough for it to have a lasting effect on me, I find.

Usually I feed Finn during my breakfast. Then I do the breakfast dishes while everyone else start their day’s work. The rest of the morning depends on whether Finn falls asleep or not. If he falls asleep and stays asleep, which is rare, then I spend the morning either reading or walking around the yard. If it’s a washing day (house laundry), then I spend the morning hanging out the laundry that Marion’s washed.

Lunch is usually a casual DIY deal. I most often have instant noodles, because it’s the easiest.

The afternoons are passed much like the mornings. Again, it all depends on how Finn is. My main activity is reading. I try to continue my writing projects, but it is difficult to do when your thoughts and inspirations can be interrupted by a crying infant.

Most days are passed in a blur. It is usually supper time in a few blinks of the eye. Jamie comes in from his day’s work around 5 pm. He showers so that he’ll be clean enough to handle the baby. I shower just after him. Then we eat. After-dinner washing up is usually my job as well, as I’m the worst at running away after dinner. That and because I hardly ever cook dinner now.

After post-dinner wash up, I soak Finn’s reusable nappies from that day so that they’ll be ready to be washed the next morning. Jamie and I head off to the Hut with Finn and try to get an early night. We go to bed now generally between 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm.

During the night, I’ll wake up between three to four times, depending on how Finn eats. Some nights I can’t even stay awake and I fall asleep with him still attached to my breast. Some nights I can’t fall asleep and I stay awake reading while Finn sleeps. The extra time feels stolen–cheated, but it’s an essential. I find I need those hours when I am still just myself. When I’m not a wife, not a mother, not anyone but ME.

This entry has taken a whole day to write. Finn is the main reason, but it would be unfair of me to say that I had no free time whatsoever. Finn is laying in his laundry basket of a cot next to me, with a pacifier in his mouth. He is awake but not grumbling because he is sucking. I used to be one of those new moms that decided I wouldn’t use a pacifier. Look at us now.

Today we spent the morning before lunch down at the Bottle Brush Paddock. I sat in the UT with Finn while Marion and Caromy helped Jamie collect fallen pieces of wood. Jamie plans to plow the rest of the paddock so they can get rid of the onion grass growing there. Onion grass has taken over the paddock and the cattle doesn’t eat it.

This is how I live now.

 

Finn

Everytime I look at my son, I am amazed at how much one can possibly love a person.

When I think of having another child, I think that I couldn't possibly love another as much as I love Finn.

But I suppose it would be different, wouldn't it? Much like how you couldn't really compare your love for a sibling with your love for a spouse. I wonder if it is always the first born that is most loved or if it is the last.

I am a middle child.