Monday, February 28

closeness

There are an infinite number of wishes we could make for our unborn children. Good health, fortune, beauty, intelligence, contentedness.... The one I settled on was that she and I would be close.

Of course, we never know how our wishes will be interpreted, and they are, after all, at the mercy of all else life and fate have in store. No matter the simplicity or purity of a wish, we must yield to the capriciousness of the universe.

In our case, closeness has had its challenges. As a mindful rather than a natural mother, as a woman of infinite interests, I have had a child who requires my constant proximity and attention.

We have slept together from the first day. We go to bed together and wake together leaving none of those couple of hours most parents have to regroup. In bed, she insists on feeling my body near her. She dislikes if I'm too far from her at any time (although will spend plenty of time alone with family members). Despite nearing 3 years of age, she still clings more often than not. She prefers to play with me and rarely plays longer than 10 minutes on her own.

Join me in Life Up Close


Yet also, she has a ready supply of cuddles and kisses. She tells me she loves me at least a gazillion times a day. She tells me that, 'you're the best mama'. Her heart is huge and she chooses to give the lion's share to me.

I believe that we have laid an unshakeable foundation. Of closeness.

A wish alone does not a reality make. I wore her in a wrap almost constantly for 6 months, we co-sleep, I've stayed at home with her, I tried breastfeeding and when that didn't work for us I bottle-fed with love, we talk together, we examine life together, I have allowed her to cry in my loving arms, I listen to and acknowledge her anger and fears. I respect her preferences. I never say no to cuddles.

I'm not placing any one approach as superior and the end-all of parenting with love. It's not about the specifics, but the motivation and the love behind all we do. I know it's possible to breastfeed without being present or even loving, for example.

My choice of wish, to be close, was made with the thinking that if a mother and daughter are close, all in life can be endured. We may quarrel, we may anger each other, she will go through hormonal changes, she will have challenges.... but she will always have her mother to talk with. If nothing else, to sit silently and cuddle with.

I want to remain a part of her life, and I want her to always have the safest place to land.

Right now she feels secure enough to be really angry with me and hug me soon after. She feels secure enough to tell me, 'mama, I want to cry a little bit more'. When she's 7 if a friend has betrayed her, when she's 16 if her heart is broken, I want her to know she can not only come to me and say the same, but that she can settle in my arms as daughter and friend.


What was your wish?

Saturday, February 19

lazy shortbread cookies

If you come visiting and fancy bringing me a little something, then authentic Scottish shortbread cookies will assure you of my undying love. Just saying.




Ingredients

2 cups flour (plain, all-purpose)
1 cup barely softened butter
1/2 cup caster sugar *
couple pinches of salt **
1 tsp vanilla essence ***


Method

  1. Cream the butter.
    Takes me about a minute and I just use a fork.
  2. Add the sugar and cream together.
  3. Add vanilla and mix through.
  4. Add flour + salt mixture.
  5. Mix well but don't overdo it.
  6. Push dough into a rough log shape.
  7. Place onto a piece of plastic wrap, wrap up and roll into a log the thickness of the cookies you want.
    The plastic makes the rolling super easy, plus it's where you'll keep it in the fridge.
  8. Wrap well and place onto your baking tray and into fridge for 30 mins.
  9. Slice into 1/2cm cookies, place on tray and then pop back into the fridge for 15mins.
    Not necessary if you're making these for yourself the family and don't care about them holding their shape. Essential if the Queen is popping 'round or you've rolled the dough and cut into shapes.
  10. Bake for 8-12 mins at 175C (350F).
    They're supposed to remain pale.
  11. While still warm, randomly prick the tops with a fork.

* normal sugar is fine, but caster gives a better mouth feel.
** I use slightly salted butter, so don't even need to add the salt. See, lazy.
*** Almond or orange essence work well too.


as you can see, I tend towards the rustic.

On a damp and overcast day, these were perfect for cozying up.

Have a great weekend. See you in a week.

Friday, February 18

joy pockets

Monet's Touch
It looks like I photoshopped the heck out of it. Nope. 
Only upped the contrast.
Extreme sunshine + many small flowers + short depth of field.



working out my new camera
making digital art
sunshine streaming through windows
"Look mama, lots of dances on my feet"
Wormworld Saga {hat-tip lilolu}
deleting over 500 old emails
unjoining 4 online social groups
Nourish Me series by Kat




share with me your joy pockets this week



p.s, I'll be doing joy pockets fortnightly.

Joyfully:
The Curious Kitty
Maggie's Nest

Tuesday, February 15

my girl + thankyous

I adore her.


Although I stopped passing on bloggy awards quite some time ago, I feel bad for not thanking those who have kindly thought of me.

So thanks to...

The Globetrotting Gamine for the Stylish Blogger award. And the same one from MJ at Wander Wonder Discover. Thanks to Captivus Living for the Trendy Blogger award.

And sort of combining elements of each and making up my own thing, here are 5 confessional things about me...

  1. When eating pizza, I usually leave the crust.
  2. I suck at social etiquette (like formal thankyous, offering refreshments, phonecalls) but I care deeply.
  3. I will leave off washing my hair until I need to see other humans.
  4. Although I thoroughly enjoy cooking, if I lived alone I would probably only do so once a week (or less).
  5. If I had the funds I would truly love to send all my readers mail art.

If it's been a while since you checked the Holistic Mamas roll, take a peek at the latest list.

Monday, February 14

home and refreshed

We arrived home a week ago but I decided on a bloggy-break. Wanted to unpack, settle into home, do some cleaning and sorting and such. I also wanted to preserve the slower and simpler pace of our time away. Well, socially it was hectic, and we were out often. Yet I did away with my usual self-imposed demands. Out of our routine and away from my things, I settled into mostly just being. It was a necessary respite.

I returned refreshed and wanting to be domestic (well, a little any way, let's not go loca), as well as feeling oh so super clear.

I have a rough plan of action (and non-action). To achieve a couple of big things that I've, painfully slowly, been working on. I know many people jump in with NY resolutions, but I prefer to take the Winter to reflect and simmer. And simmer away I have.



My philosophy for this year is about Quality.

More precisely, quality over quantity. I huge life-long issue for me. Always wanting to do more. Either achieving my goals and feeling burnt out, or just as often, always busy and yet never accomplishing much. It incorporates the focus and simplicity that I've been nurturing throughout the previous year.

Some motivations (not keen on the word goals)...

work on my book
take many photos
consider promoting my art
nap regularly
read more fiction
never, ever compare my achievements with other bloggers
change the world in small ways
daydream
cultivate friendships
nourish my body

It may sound like a nice sweet list. But if you know me at all, you know these are all significant shifts. Some difficult ones. All necessary ones.

I've also come up with a fortnightly blogging plan. Blogging is a big part of my days and future aspirations, but there's no way round it that it takes a lot of time (if you're a conscientious blogger and comment on others' blogs). I can't blog and not comment, feels selfish. And I love commenting. But I don't want to stop blogging. So I'll blog every 2nd week. And take a whole week away to pursue and focus on other things. We'll see how this pans out.

Astrologically, this year won't be the tough task master of last year, (knocked most of us sideways, huh?) but it's still going to require perseverance and work from us. I hope you have found clarity, or at least some, to get you moving forward this year.

Friday, February 4

joy pockets



a blank journal
echinacea
a woman honouring her moontime
snail mail
Winter sun despite the forecast
sensing Creativity just around the bend
knowing when it's enough
boho bags




share with me your joy pockets this week


joyfully:
Dreaming aloud
Maggie's Nest
The Curious Kitty


Wednesday, February 2

January in Review

January has passed by in England - visiting family, a little shopping, eating, catching up with friends and extended family. We'll be home by Sunday night.

A thought...
Feeling irritation is a choice.

A sound...
Clang, clang, clink, clink, clang. Clonk. Clonk. Clonk. go the heating pipes at night

A taste...
Everything we don't normally get!
cheddar cheese, good brie, Fox's Viennese, clotted cream, toffee, good pizza, sliced bread, spices....

An image...

Nottingham

A scent...
Household cleaning products, including bleach. (I make my own).

A word... (anything word related)

Bookworm mama enjoying library time with my bookworm girl.
Our books.

A touch...
Icy wind that works its way right through your bones.

A gift for me...
Sinking into doing little.

A post you may have missed...
Other bloggers joining in with joy pockets.

Your reader's may have missed out on some content this month, you have new or occassional readers, or you didn't post much. Consider a Month in Review post. I know I can't keep up with all the wonderful blogs out there. Just copy & paste the headings above and add your responses.

Did you do a review? Let me know, and a link back of course would be nice.

littlebeeandbutterfly
The Curious Kitty
There's A Pickle in my life