Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Step by Step

Still no luck on the job hunting front for my husband or me. I know we just have to keep plodding along, applying, working at finding work, bit by bit, but it can be so discouraging. I'm trying to work on my attitude, because I know me being snappy and negative doesn't help anyone. But I fail at this, a lot, and it isn't fair to my family.

I finally caved and took the twins to a toddlers' group. It was fine, they had fun playing about. At song time, Gareth held back close to me, but Molly was right in among things shaking a toy tambourine. I'll take them again, it's good for them to have a large hall, and other kids to play with, especially since a lot of the time now, it's too wet to take them to the park. I'm glad as well, that I don't really have to interact much with other people while I'm there, just keep an eye on my kids. That suits me fine. I'm not there to make friends, I'm there because apparently it's good for Molly and Gareth.

We separated their cots a few days ago. They had been pushed together to make one big, enclosed double cot. The first night didn't work out well, I think because we had the beds at different sides of the room. I don't think they liked being so far apart. The next day, I moved things around so the beds only had a narrow gap between them, and since then (knock on wood) they've been settling fine. Next thing to tackle is potty training.

Even though it's only September, signs of Christmas are everywhere in the shops. There are mince pies along side the treacle toffee, selection boxes next to the Halloween treat bags and witches hats. The commercialization saddens me, but it's the way of the world, and it reminds me that it's better to think about these things in advance, rather than panicking at the last minute. Especially since this year, I'm hoping to focus on home made things, and that takes time, and planning. It also means that the little I do buy will be spread over a few pays, which is always the smart way to do it. My booklet of saver stamps, which I've been collecting since early summer, is almost full, and that's what will pay for the Christmas food and drinks.

So, really, this is a hard and stressful time, but I'm trying to take some cues from nature and the world around me. I love autumn, with it's colours, textures, crispness and cosiness. I lovely the homely evenings, and how the very world seems to slow down, and rest. I love the reminder in every changing leaf, in every ripe berry on the hedgerow, and in every flock of geese overhead, that whatever happens, the world keeps turning, the seasons keep changing, and we all go on, step by step.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

New Achievements and a Little Noshtalgia

Ah! The rollercoaster that is life with 2 year olds. While they might drive me to distraction with the yelling, and the clinging, and the drawing on the walls, I can't help but be delighted at every little achievement. For example, Gareth can now walk down stairs, instead of crawling down backwards (although sometimes he still slides down, for speed), they can both climb ladders to go down slides at the park. They can make the appropriate animal noises for cat, dog, lion, cow, sheep, duck, bird, and cockerel (as well as doing a completely adorable squirrel impression). Molly has started speaking more, and will say 'shoes off!' among other things. She will count to 5 (she always misses out 3, but hey, she's 2 years old, I'll take it). Gareth likes to help mummy when we go shopping, by carrying the nappies in from the car. Both of them now hug me and their daddy, and if I tell Gareth 'nice and gentle', he'll stroke my hair.

They really are lovely, bright, kind children. If I lay down on the floor and pretend I'm going for a nap, they'll run to get a blanket and pillow. Despite their sibling bickerings, they're kind, and generally pleasant, and I couldn't be prouder of them.

In other news, my husband unfortunately lost his job recently, so things are a bit tight. We're both applying for things, and hoping something turns up soon, but in the mean time, we're in what might be politely termed as a State of Financial Embarrassment. In an effort to keep our food bills down, I'm trying to cook low-cost, somewhat old-fashioned meals. The things I remember my mum and nannie making when I was younger. Soup, mince and potatoes, stew and dumplings, toad in the hole, liver and onions, rice puddings. I like to call this harking back to the foods of my childhood 'noshtalgia' (sorry, I can't resist a pun). It's a way of almost making this time into a project of sorts, and attempting to keep what could otherwise seem like a pretty bleak time, fun.

I think it will be good for us. We will (hopefully) develop good habits, eat more veggies, and less meat. Think more about what we buy, plan meals. I'll be inspired to try more recipes. When I make a tasty, somewhat old-fashioned dish, and it turns out well, I will endeavour to blog about it. I'm going to call this 'The Noshtalgia Project'