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7 years on June 6, 2011

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7 years ago……

How time flies!

But in reality why am I wondering where all these days went…. we’ve had the 3 princesses in the mean time… that is where these 2555 days went….

It has been a fairly rough ride but when all is said and done very manageable thanks to my man.  He is the one who kept us going.  He is our rock. My rock. So thank you, dear, for having chosen me to share your life with.

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What I’m thankful for May 26, 2011

Posted by sunflower71 in about me, Life with 3 princesses, Uncategorized.
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Busy mummies are not only that.  Obviously.  We are also women, wives, colleagues, sisters, daughters, friends, etc.  And being human (I hate being apologetic here, but somehow when one becomes a mother, other roles tend to become secondary) we also get our full share of different emotions.  Among which that pesky feeling of being ‘down’.  Now when does a working mother of 3 little girls have time to feel down?  But you know, sometimes it happens.  The reasons could be various.  For me usually it happens when I make comparisons.  I know they are odious but I guess they are also part of human nature. This time the comparison was with my single younger colleagues.  And I got a general feeling that I was born too early.  I started missing the freedom to do as one pleases on the spur of the moment. 

And then a friend notices my ‘face’ looks different and after a few days of seeing this ‘face’ asks me “do you have something missing in your life? Why are you sad?”

The question shocked me.  I wasn’t expecting it and anyway it took me some time to give myself an answer.

In reality what is missing in my life?

The things I listed are not worth mentioning here. 

My friend then surprises further me by sending me this poem:

Die slowly by Pablo Neruda

He who becomes the slave of habit,

who follows the same routes every day,

who never change space,

who does not risk and change the color of his clothes,

who does not speak and does not experience,

dies slowly.

He or she who shuns passion,

who prefers black on white,

dotting ones “i’s” rather than  a of emotions,

the kind that make your eyes glimmer,

that turn a yawn into a smile,

that make the heart pound in the face of mistakes and feelings,

dies slowly.

He or she who does not turn things topsy-turvy,

who is unhappy at work,

who does not risk certainty for uncertainty,

to thus follow a dream,

those who do not forego sound advice at least once in their lives,

die slowly.

 He who does not travel,

who does not read,

who does not listen to music,

who does not find grace in himself,

she who does not find grace in herself,

dies slowly.

He who slowly destroys his own self-esteem,

who does not allow himself to be helped,

who spends days on end complaining about his own bad luck,

about the rain that never stops,

dies slowly.

He or she who abandon a project before starting it,

who fail to ask questions on subjects he doesn’t know,

he or she who don’t reply when they are asked something they do know,

die slowly.

Let’s try and avoid death in small doses,

reminding oneself that being alive requires an effort far greater than the simple fact of breathing.

Only a burning patience will lead to the attainment of a splendid happiness.

Then reality hits in and I realize I have nothing missing.  Instead I have a lot to be very thankful for.

And this list is definately worth listing here.  The order is not in order of importance.  It would be too difficult to put an order….

I am healthy.

I have 3 beautiful, healthy girls.

I have a husband who loves me and is fully dedicated to our family.

We have two jobs, a house and food on the table.

 …

 

It’s not a long list but it is a lot to be thankful for and enough to blow away any ‘down’ feelings.

Thank you for reading.

 

Something new May 6, 2011

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This mummy is going bonkers.

This mummy has gone bonkers.

This mummy has managed to carve out some time for herself to do something that she has been longing for, for a very long time.   And to be perfectly honest I don’t really care is any body starts to think any of the two statements above about me.

Ever since those crazy days of this and this post….I have been longing for some form of exercise to release the tension that I was feeling building up in me.  To me it was clear that I needed a vent.  But it was not to be back then.

Until one fine day, I’m casually chatting to another mother of 3 kids, while our children are at the swimming pool about what kinds of things we’d like to get involved in if we had the time.  I mentioned kick boxing.  (You see, she is not Maltese so with her I feel a tad more comfortable to say something like this.  Every one else I know except my ‘crazy’ sister looked at me incredulously when I mentioned this.) ‘But you should go then.  We have it in Mosta (where we both live). My sister-in-law and her husband go there!  There are lessons every day, you know!’  I remember feeling very but very excited about this.  Suddenly, this ‘secret’ wish that I had started looking possible.  But somehow I never managed to get the telephone contact of this organisation.  She just told me the whereabout of the location.  I scouted around the area a bit but I missed somhow missed them.

Then, just to prove that this was somehow meant to be, I recently befriended someone who lives in the area of this, until now for me, ghost organisation.  She was, like every one else, very surprised to hear that I was interested in this, but managed to get me their number.  I immediately made contact but due to the Easter holidays and my man’s work schedule, I postponed the appointment a number of times.  Until finally I decided that I had postponed this thing enough and got an appointment and finally kept it.

So two days ago, my sister and I (I had to have her with me at least the first time), went along.

Neither of us knew what to expect.  The people we saw coming out of the gym looked very decent to us.  (We, both of us, can be real snobs if we choose to be.)  Even the ladies, we said…..’hm, ok, it seems ok from the looks of them’.  On entering, that is, we make and entrance  because the lesson had already started, the instructor greeted us very warmly.  ‘Very nice’, I immediately though of him.  ‘I already like it!’.  They are doing some stretching and general exercises to begin.  As we settle in to the routine, we start spotting people we know.  Actually between me and my sister we knew half the class!  Half way through, we were told to work with a female instructor.  She is ‘cute’.  definitely not some one I would have associated with this sport at all.  Not in a million years. 

So we work with her on the moves….or better how to hit, how to hold your legs, how to move…. and we do a few repeats, and learn or rather try to get familiar with some terminology and some hand movements.  By now, I know I’m not in a kick boxing class, but ‘only’ a boxing one.  From what I had seen till now, to me it sounded enough for what I had had in mind.

Later we join again the rest of the class for some final stretching.

And finally the ‘very nice’ instructor starts explaining to us what we could expect of this kind of class.  Now it seems crazy to me that we didn’t have this chat before we even started but anyway, better late than never.  We filled in some forms and decided to subscribe to a 10 session programme.  And, moreover, my sister and I are now the proud owners of a pair of boxing gloves, bandages and a skipping rope!

Now last night I went for the second session.  And now the real work started.  The instructor is some one else.  Not as ‘nice’ but equally professional.  I can sense I’m being pushed to my limits.  What feels good is that, he sees my limits and stops pushing me.  I like this and feel confident I can come back here for more.

Before I close off, one thing to put straight is that what I am doing is not going to make me a boxer.  I wouldn’t want that one single bit.  But I’m doing some exercise, that I who has never exercised before, is finding fun and challenging.  And at the back of my mind I know my next trekking holiday is looming pleasantly near and I want to be much fitter for it this time round.

Figolli April 18, 2011

Posted by sunflower71 in about me, activities for children, Food.
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Gourmet Worrier is the best food (and more) blog there is in my modest opinion.  Now the lady behind it had the great idea to create the “World Figolli Day“.  Joining the group was easy….sticking to the promise less so.  With the 3 princesses wanting to participate in everything, cooking with the three of them is not so simple any more.  But over the last couple of days we managed to make the dough and filling and finally compile the figolli, bake them and decorate them.  It’s not a task for the faint hearted.  But with my man’s full support we have just managed to finish all the batch.  For practicality’s sake, this year we stayed with the heart-shaped figolli.  The recipe is from this guy.  I think it’s one of the best recipes around especially the filling goes out till the edges.  Try it …. you might get hooked.

This year's batch

100 March 16, 2011

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wow!

I never thought I’d get this far!  This blog is just over a year old and I’ve written 100 posts.  This calls for the bubbly!

Thank you to all those who have visited and to those who have visited and left a comment.  All of you are very very much appreciated.

Thank you mostly to those of you who have visited frequently.  Thanks for following my passage from a highly stressed stay-at-home mom to a very busy working mom.  I’m obviously better at being a working mom – juggling the re-start of my career and my family’s needs than by having only the family’s needs to see to.  I feel so much better about my self, my man, my children and my world in general. I am very thankful for what I have, for what we have and for what this big family has become.  Thank You God for keeping your hand on us .

medals March 10, 2011

Posted by sunflower71 in about me, My trekking holiday, The Cherub, The Princess.
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There are many things I have never done in my life.

One of them is to win a medal.  Not even one of those that are given to everybody for participating in something.  No not even one of those.  Am I missing something?  Will I be forever marked by this? 

To tell you the truth I don’t think so.  But I do feel that I lack a certain je ne sais quoi for anything remotely related to sport.

I recently go another wake up call to this fact, not because I needed it but it happened to confirm this fact. I was probably not aware of the extent of my limit in this respect.

A few days ago I happened to be chatting to a very sportive type of guy – sportive in the sense that he has won many medals representing this rock internationally, as well as in attitude.  So the conversation is going some thing like this:

Him: I might quit competing (in his particular sport) and will try to go for refereeing (in the same one)

Me: ah, there is refereeing in this sport too?

Him (he is too kind to look incredulous, but he nearly was looking incredulous) : every sport has a referee

Me: ah yes of course. 

So there we go.  I have another definition for me: highly unsportive.

Any one would be right to think that my lack of interest in anything that involves physical movement of any sort other than that strictly needed to survive decently must be stemming from a very lazy person.  Well, I’d like to think it all started, or better, didn’t start,when I growing up in the seventies and eighties on our little Mediterranean rock.  The only sport back then (and now, as my best friend stuck there with two teenage children insists) was football for boys.  Full stop. For girls.  Zilch.  When I was old enough already to have been put off anything involving a ball, a basketball team was created in another village.  And anyway I didn’t really like the crowd that hung around this sport.  Than a bit later a volleyball one too was born….My sister, 8 years my junior was in time for that. Lucky her.

Back to the beginning or rather to where I got my distinct antipathy for sports.  I think it must have been when I was 10 or 11.  My Physical Education teachers were females who insisted on making us wear horrible blue shorts that fitted badly even the most athletically looking of us and an equally horrible plain white t-shirt come cold or heat to our twice weekly 45-minute sessions.  I remember both these teachers wearing a navy blue circle or thereabouts skirt to the lesson!  Can you imagine what an attractive picture we were given!  Then we come to the lessons – I distinctly remember standing in our school grounds listening to all sorts of rules about basketball, volleyball and netball ad nauseam.  I also very, but very distinctly remember  being hit badly in the face by a basketball during our boring practicing of passes and that spelt the end to my interest in this game.  Volleyball is to me only the way the 6 players on each side rotate and probably also how high the net has to be and that someone in a particular position starts the game.  Netball, I remember hating because I was never chosen to play and have spent many of the biweekly sessions forced to sit to watch my class mates trying to play.  The only game I remember enjoying playing was rounders.  I think it was sort of baseball but I think we called it rounders.  I must have been pretty good at it as I was always chosen quickly to be part of the team.  Probably I was a fast runner and could hit the ball well.  But sadly that was that.  This is the extent of my sportive background. 

But hey, I have high hopes for the princesses.  With them I try to be the sportive type, showing interest in all things sportive. So I take TP and TC to swimming lessons every week.  And while watching them I dream awake of accompanying TC to competitions overseas! (I know…. I dream exaggerated!) But, really, who knows?  I guess even Micheal Phelps’ mother took him to lessons aged 4.  The girls are also enrolled in another sports session on Saturdays where they get 3 hours of different types of skills related to sports.  We chose a reputed organisation run by professionals that encourage the children along.  I try to be as open-minded as possible while to instil in them a love for striving to be better. 

Just so that I’d have said everything there is to say, there are in reality 2 types of sports…if we can call them that that I love:  The first is abseiling.  I had my very first experience with a 50 long rope in this fantastic place.  Terrible as a start but it left me longing for more.  The second is trekking.  I started this in the most beautiful mountians of the world – the Dolomites, and I feel hooked.  If I had to choose activities that I love doing… these would feature in the first 4 or 5.  So while I will never win medals for any of these, I might get a few thrills and the adrenalin pumping sensation anyway.  My next trekking trip is planned…. And that reminds me, why don’t I give the guy I trust with my life most in the world (after my man, obviously) to go for a couple of descents?

Libya March 6, 2011

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While all news bulletins of all tv stations have this unique subject, over here on this rock we are getting the side effects.  Sadly for the unfortunate Libyan people we seem to be getting our 15 minutes of fame since the name of our minute state is being mentioned against footage of ships full of people being evacuated from this country.

Personally, my feelings are for all those who are suffering but with regards to footage we only see men protesting, trying to flee to Tunisia and Egypt, etc.  Where are the women? Are the children safe at home?  And if the men are out and about sadly getting killed or fleeing, how are women coping with this situation? 

On a different note, between 1981 and 1987, during the whole 5 years of secondary education, I had 4, 45 minute lessons every week of Arabic.  Libyan teachers tried to teach us their complicated language and we did our best to learn the twists and turns of their consonants, the strange way they do their vowels, their rich vocabulary.  While our language might sound more similar to Arabic than any other language, in reality, the only similarity lies in the sound.  I have very clear recollections of my friends and myself painstakingly attempting to write a few sentences as expected of us during our last year.  Many of us went on to get passes in the Secondary Education Certificate in this subject but I often wonder how many of us, since then, has attempted to even read anything in this language.  So much effort, so much time, so many wasted hours that we could have spent learning something else, another language … or even if it had been simply having more time for sport.

All this talk on Libya

King Colin March 1, 2011

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A week ago, I was lucky enough to get an invitation to the Premier of The King’s Speech.  It was a fund rasing event of SMOM that was very well attended.  My sister-in-law (who invited me) and I pushed down the average age of those present by a number of years but on the whole I enjoyed the adult conversation during the standing up pasta supper that preceded the film.

The film itself was much more that I had expected but then this is an obvious statement from a true Colinista.  I will watch this film again very readily and recommend it to anyone who loves a good story. 

But the best part of it is the Oscar Colin Firth got last Sunday.  He deserves the statuette.  His was a great performance.  Very very well done.

thank you March 1, 2011

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Over the last week-end, purely by coincidence, I met the Island Fairy.  (On these couple of rocks where we reside, it is quitethe norm to meet people you know all the time.)  She is currently very pregnant and looking more beautiful than ever.  I so wished we had more time to chat.  But it was not to be.  She was soon gone but not before encouraging me on with this my blog.  Thanks you so much.  You don’t know how much your last gesture meant to me.

When she was gone, I realised that I had actually admired and liked her bump…. I had been hating meeting pregnant women for the feelings of helplessness I used to get and for not having a ready word of encouragement for them.  I know how much I had liked it when women showed understanding towards me during my pregnancies.  After my last one, I had avoided having to meet expectant mothers nearly like the plague.  For me a pregnancy had come to mean only more work, less sleep, less time for me, a further reduction in the time to give to the other kids and my man…. plainly negative aspects if there ever were any.  But I can say those feeling are now officially gone and I hadn’t realized.  Thank you Island Fairy for highlighting this….I’m nearly ready for the next one….no no… only joking!

a beautiful white dress February 21, 2011

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I don’t normally write along these lines having no particular sartorial insight other then wowing at beautiful dresses. But this particular backless dress left me speechless for the sheer skill with which the designer Emilio Pucci defeated gravity and how very sexy it is…

wearing it is Elisabetta Canalis during the second evening of this year’s Italian song festival commonly known as San Remo that I have a habit of watching more often for the satirical parts than the songs… though occasionally there is a song or two that take my fancy. 

How I wish I had the figure, the money, and the occasion to wear some thing like this…. it seems it was not to be 😦