Sunday, April 29, 2012

Computer problems...

Friday, April 27, 2012

Double yolker

As the weather cools down we have been told to expect a drop in the number of eggs we get from Betty and Wilma each week. We weren't prepared for the monster sized dinosaur egg we found in the egg box one recent morning. It was huge! When we cracked it open we found it was a double yolker!

Good girls!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Adventure time

This year Rhiannon chopped and changed her mind about 5 times as to what type of cake she wanted for her birthday.
Chocolate with Smarties and KitKats?
Rainbow layers?

Late yesterday afternoon she announced that she wanted to help make an "Adventure Time" cake. She wanted to make a cake that looked like the character Finn from a favourite tv cartoon.

She was pretty pleased with the end result!
Happy Birthday to my gorgeous Rhiannon.
Today you turn 12 and take one more step from childhood towards the teenage years.
You are truly amazing.
You are funny and sensitive, you brighten our family simply by "being"
You have a wicked sense of humour and are more like your father than I care to say!
You draw constantly and are getting more and more confident with your ability to sketch and create.
What will you be when you grow up?
An artist? A famous clothes designer? A comedian? A veterinary nurse? 
As long as you keep that wonderful smile on your face you can be anything you set your heart to...
And whatever you become I believe you will always be happy!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Lest We Forget...

Today we remember all Australian soldiers past and present who have given their all to make this land a safe place to live. The children had a day off school but they got up and put on their school uniforms and joined their classmates, teachers and principals in our local town and marched in the ANZAC memorial parade in honour of those who have gone before us so that they can live and grow in peace.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: 
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn 
At the going down of the sun and in the morning 
We will remember them.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Size doesn't matter

My attempts at growing my own veggies this year has not been overwhelming in its success...

My crop of beetroot looked amazing with big glossy leaves. After 12 weeks we finally went out to pull some for a beetroot, feta and walnut salad with warm orange, mustard dressing. They were tiny! The entire crop gave me just one handful of diced beetroot which made one lovely serving of side-salad!

We are going to sow some more seeds this weekend in the hope of another salad by next August!!!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

"Byron Bay"nham

On our recent holiday to Queensland we went to visit a town that has a special connection to Mr B. In his mid teens someone told him about a small town in Australia called Byron Bay. He didn't believe them at first but the more he heard about it the more he knew he wanted to go there someday. How amazing to be called Byron Baynham and to visit a place where your name is everywhere! As we got out of our car and left it safely parked on Byron Street we vowed to take a photo of Byron standing next to every Byron sign we could. We gave up after about 30! Here is a selection of just some of them...!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Searching for Gold!

Rugby training is back on again this year. Twice a week we jump in the car with a clean boy and an old towel to protect the car from the mud monster who returns from the training pitch an hour later. 

This week it rained all day and all the way to training. The coach fielded phone-calls from parents wanting to know that training was surely being called off due to the weather, No chance. 

As we pulled up the rain stopped and there above the pitch was the biggest brightest rainbow! Gareth reckons the pot of gold should be just where he and his team mates were standing! Keep looking boys!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Happy Soggy Birthday wishes...

It's so unbelievably wet here that even the inside of the post box has filled up with water. Today's post was sodden and unfortunately Rhiannons birthday cards that had arrived look more like paper-mache.

I have peeled the half disintegrated envelopes off and delicately opened the cards and am trying to dry them out in the laundry room.

That is, after I get rid of the slugs....!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Rain, Rain, Go Away...

We are home from our holidays.
Back to a predicted week of solid downpours and lots of wet laundry trying to dry.
I'm pleased to say that in the "Mr B v's SatNav" competition Mr B won hands down! 
Now if only he could take on the weather man and win too...

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

All good things must come to an end...

After a great week of escaping life we are back in the car ready to head for home.

According to the SatNav we have over 14 hours of driving ahead of us which should get us home after midnight.

According to Mr B he knows a better route and will have us home in time for the 9 O'Clock news...

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Stop. Revive. Survive.

As we travel to our holidays we are reminded regularly on huge roadside billboards to "Stop. Revive. Survive"

To stop and rest. Walk about. Shake the stiffness from our muscles. So that we arrive at our destination safely.

Today we are in the middle of a ten hour drive. As I listen to the advice for safe traveling I can't help but think it applies to our lives too.

Here's looking forward to taking some time out from normal life to stop and rest, revive our spirits and survive!

The kids have spent the last 7 hours shoulder to shoulder in the back of the car and seem to be surviving (so far!)

Sunday, April 08, 2012

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” – Plato

I can't believe I left two weeks go by without blogging...

I've been a bit like a circus clown over the last few months, spinning

plates. Being a working Mum with three kids is always going to hectic
and normally I relish the busyness of my life but recently the plates have
started to fall.

We all have lives that are made up of good times and challenges
and I know that what I'm going through is not worthy of any more
sympathy or support than any one of you out there. I know many of you
have faced challenges I cant even begin to imagine. What I'd love to
know is do any of you have any practical advice on how to keep things
together when life is trying to unravel?

I felt like I had found a good balance of being a good mum, a wife, a
nurse, and a good sister and daughter too. But since one of my parents
in Ireland became unwell I have struggled to be all to everyone.
Living 10,000 miles away from my birth home my ability to provide
practical support to my parents and sister is a challenge. I can't
batch cook food for their freezer. I can't step in to visit the
hospital giving someone else a much needed break. I can ring daily
send cards weekly and send little gifts occasionally to lift spirits
but it just never seems enough. I carry a knot of anxiety in my
stomach and tears never seem far from my eyes.

I am unable to blog about most of what I'm going through because I
know that this blog is read occasionally by family in Ireland and
also by family friends. I have to be respectful of their privacy and
have been asked to remove information in the past out of concern that
it would cause upset. I really hope that what I am writing here today 
isn't going to upset them . I hope they won't ask me to remove it. 
I just truly am reaching out for some support and advice from a larger 
group of friends than just those in my day to day life. 

This is not a situation that will resolve in the coming weeks. I'm
looking at a situation that will continue into the long term future. I
will be traveling to Ireland at some point in the coming weeks/months
to spend a week trying to make up for all that I cannot do from afar.
It seems a pathetically small gesture when I compare it to the life
other family members live day in day out without respite.

Even now I can see the effect that all this is having on my family. I've
been on the phone in the evenings where I used to be cuddling next to
my kids on the sofa. The call may only be half an hour but I feel
distracted and disconnected and I know I find it hard to go back to
being "Mum" again. I'm a bit snappy and less tolerant of the silliness
that three energetic kids get up to. I've missed tucking them into bed
and kissing them goodnight some evenings. They are not babies and they
have their very capable Dad to care for them too but I am their Mum
and I'd like to think that they will never be too old for a goodnight
chat and hug. All this at a time where Byron is working hard on a new 
business venture and I am supposed to be helping him in the evenings 
with paperwork and moral support. Somebody clone me please!

I'm not running such an efficient ship here at home. I start jobs but
don't finish them. I leave things to the last minute and feel like I'm
chasing my tail. My GP this week looked me in the eye and asked me if
I feel depressed. Really looked me in the eye. I answered an honest
no. I can still find happy moments in my week I just have to make more
of an effort to stop and appreciate them. Whatever the struggles I am
going through it will never compare to how hard life is for everyone
in Dublin. They get no escape from their problems. They can't immerse
themselves in the giggles of kids or the distraction of a holiday.

I have some really wonderful friends and they have reached out and 
offered so much support but I worry that I am sounding like a stuck 
record. That I will wear people down by talking about my problems to 
them over and over. Especially with no ending in sight. So I bury things 
deeper and deeper and hope that they will go away. Even typing this I
know this is not a good solution.

So how can I be a pillar of support to family on the other side of the
world who are going through devastating changes?
How do I get rid of this knot of guilt that sits in my stomach?
I don't want to wake up ten years from now feeling that I neglected
my parents and siblings at a time they needed me most.
But equally I don't want to find my three kids have grown up and
left home and feel as though I didn't cherish every moment of
being their mum?

How do you juggle all that life throws at you without losing yourself
in the process?

Easter Blessings.