The Abi Diaries: ( A Prequel)

It was this weekend, one year ago, that got me thinking about starting my blog.  It took me a few more months to actually start but when the Timehop app on my phone threw up some pretty comical memories from my Facebook posts a year ago, I  thought I should really publish them here on The Mandy Diaries.  So here they are – unedited from my Facebook posts from a year ago ….

MAY 2014: It all began when I was asked to have Abi for the weekend, while her Mum & Dad were off celebrating something!!!  This photo was taken moments after I told Fev that Abigail was coming to stay for the weekend!

Fev unhappy

Day 1: of a weekend sleepover has ended. We went shopping for groceries & came home with lip gloss, we have coloured in & made collage cards, we played with Fev, watched Frozen, played animal shows in the bath, we had fish & chips for dinner when I planned on spaghetti bol, we ate pink cakes & now we sleep! This child is her mothers daughter …. busy, busy, busy!!!  Hope I can fill the next 2 days …

2014 Abi bed awake

 

2014 Abi bed asleep

Day 2: Breakfast – Abi “I want juice & porridge with blackberry jam but no milk!” Me “OK but I don’t have blackberry jam, will strawberry do?” Abi “Yep.” Makes porridge & juice – all good ….. Abi “That doesn’t look like mummy’s porridge but I’ll try it! No that’s not right I’ll have toast with that jam on!” Makes toast with jam(eating porridge with jam and NO milk at the same time)! Gives Abi toast…. Abi “I think I’ll have just toast with butter only and a warm milo!” Me “OK” Makes new toast with butter (eats cold toast with jam while making milo!) Gives Abi toast & milo, Abi eats one piece of toast but asks “Where are the bits in the milo?” Makes COLD milo with floating bits (drinks lukewarm milo). Abi “But I didn’t want it in a tall glass, I wanted a cup with a spoon!” Me “OK!” 2 spoonsful later….” Mandy, I think I’m going to vomit & I need a square bowl not a round one to be sick in!!” Me “I haven’t got a square bowl but here’s a round one!! Do you think you might want to watch Frozen again?” Abi “Yes, & I might have one of my yoghurts that I brought with me!”
All good but it’s not even 9am and I’m exhausted!!!

2014 Abi Tea Party

Day 2: (Part 2):  After Breakfast – Abi & I had a tea party and then we built a cardboard doll house!  (Note to self: If the box says 6 & over take notice) actually I built a cardboard house BUT adding stickers is “the most & important part because Mummy says so!!”  Time to go to the park!  Lots of scooting on the pathways and some playing on the play equipment but only when no boys “because boys are strangers” (get that in writing now, Dad!) While at the park she managed to eat grapes, chicken drumstick biscuits but “you know (silly me) they are fish because Mummy says so!!”  Also, another yoghurt and a poppa juice & water!!  Just before we were ready to leave, Abi took a tumble and it was my fault because (silly me) we didn’t go to Melrose Park like Mummy does!!  Time for a band-aid & to go shopping for a pretty dress because “that would feel me better.”  At DFO we bought a pink hoodie, a pink drink bottle, a cream headband with flowers & a blue sparkly bedside lamp!!! (I have no idea how or why!!!)  Home after falling asleep in the car – Damn ….. the dreaded “fall asleep in the car, one street away from home and then wake up on arrival and think you’ve had a sleep” trick!!   You should have warned me about this one – then lunch then off to watch BabyBoy, play soccer – where more playing but this time there were girls’ to play with – not strangers!! Abi & I made a joint decision (she decided & I carried through – almost!!!) to get MacDonald’s for tea but it wasn’t until I was firmly in the Drive Thru line, that I discovered that I had left my wallet at home (winning)!  Home, tea, bath, DVD, bed.  Will I be able to stay awake for the FA Cup? Go Arsenal!!!!

2014 Abi paper house

2014 Abi posing in the park

Day 3:  Breakfast – Firstly, Congratulations to my beloved ARSENAL for WINNING the 2014 FA Cup ….. but did you have to leave it to EXTRA TIME, which meant the game & presentation finished around 4 am? 4 am people!! That means our trip to Church is cancelled this morning & Monsters Inc is already showing and it’s only 8 am!!
Oh yeah, breakfast …. I did better ….. but she’s still a sneaky little poppet xx

2014 Peach

2014 Abi butter wouldn't melt in her mouth
Day 3: The Rest of the Time – Well, we had intended to go to church but I was tired & Abi had FROZEN on her mind!  Did you know, that I am NOT allowed to sing Elsa’s songs because Abi is Elsa and I am NOT??!!  Threading was another quiet activity …. until a very long necklace made for Mummy “because she has a very long neck”, was picked up by the wrong end ……. then we played pick up a million beads!!!  It was time for morning tea, so Abi took her ‘executive food platter’ outside and requested that “because she had already finished her treats of some gummi bears & some marshmallows, as well as those special ‘fish’ biscuits and an ‘expensive rescued’ peach …. she should also maybe have an icy pole and some ice cream & peaches!!! This did not occur because I had been watching Sons of Anarchy and I can be Gemma when I need to be!!   Scooter riding in the backyard was NOT a success but arranging gemstones ‘diamonds’ in my bird bath was!!  More birds arrived than ever before.  A toilet break was necessary, so I decided to make myself a cuppa & grabbed a couple of dry cracker biscuits.  I took a bite and a voice from the toilet said “What are you eating?” Me ” A biscuit.” Abi “Are you eating one of my special fish biscuits?”  Me “No!”  Abi “Wait on, I’m coming to check!!”  Me “Don’t forget to flush & wash your hands with soap!”  She arrives to count her biscuits, there are only 2 left.  Abi “You ate some!”  Me “No I didn’t, I ate my own – see?”  Abi “Well who did?”  Me”You did!”  Abi “Oh!” She runs off.  Me “Where are you going?”  Abi “To flush & wash my hands with soap!!!!!”  The rest of the day was taken up with baking, icing & sprinkling cupcakes and watching Monsters Inc & sneaking away to replace her lip gloss.  Lunch was uneventful, even though the cheese toasted sandwich did not have “lines”!  

Mummy & Daddy arrived to much excitement (and Abi was happy too!)  I now know why you should NOT have children once you are over 50!  Girls’ ARE different to boys!  Abi is growing up fast …. at no point this weekend did she mention my ridiculously sprouting facial hair (which I had forgotten to remove) ….. as she did, constantly, last time I had her!!!  I just realised that I have not had a shower since Friday!!!  It was a pleasure Mummy & Daddy but please do not call me tomorrow – it is my day off!

Photo evidence of Day 3:

2014 Abi beads

2014 Abi baking2014 Abi snackSo it was because of the reaction to these Facebook entries, one year ago that I started to think about blogging!

Thankyou, Abigail – from the bottom of my heart xx

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The Abi Diaries (part three)

I’m in the middle of a 2 day 1 night stay by Abi.  I woke at 5am this morning and she is still sleeping, so thought I’d get some thoughts down before she wakes.  Have I told you lately, that she’s not a baby any more?  Well, she isn’t and I have to say when she called me last week, to tell me that she hadn’t had a sleepover at my little house these holidays, I very nearly lost it!!  I mean, she’s my baby right and she was asking when it would be “suitable” to come and stay and maybe Friday/Saturday would be best and would I like to stay for dinner when I drive her home?

Abi starts Prep this year and she is ready … leaving me dragging behind on the preparedness stakes.  So this will be my last sleepover with her before school begins to mould her.  Our conversations, have been at times, deep and meaningful and  I am listening closely and learning much.  She is a patient teacher!

This is how our weekend has gone so far.

They arrived, Abi and her family, just after 9:30 am, for morning cuppa and a chat.  The kids, Abi has 2 brothers, went in search of Fev, my furbaby, then settled in my only spare room that, apparently turns into Abi’s Room the moment she arrives.  Her mum and I sat down for a catch up but it was only a matter of moments before we could hear her calling for help because in her words “T is messing up my room and he won’t share my things!”  Secretly, my heart skipped a beat – she knows she belong in my home!2015-01-16 07.29.26

After, coffee and donuts and an hour of chat, Abi’s Mum and brothers were on their way home, leaving Abi and I cheering on my doorstep!  Hurrah! They are gone.  Girl time …. but not for long!  Her overnight bag had been left in the car, so back they came!  Thank goodness!  That bag contained important things like Zelfs and My Little Ponies as well as clothes and toothbrush etc.

2015-01-16 11.10.02

The day continued with playing, watching a movie, shopping, eating and swimming.  Each activity had its life lesson for me!  Each activity showed me both glimpses of my special baby girl and the independent school girl that is developing within.  She chose to watch a movie that had been too scary the last time she was here, Alice In Wonderland, only this time she knew the story and the characters.  She coped really well but crawled to lie on top of me during several scary bits “because she felt safe on top of me and my body felt like a squishy, comfortable mattress but it did have some big lumpy bits!”

2015-01-16 12.59.54

She wondered why I had bought her some Shopkins to collect rather than more Zelfs?  I told Abi that I thought her mummy would love the fact that I had introduced a whole new collecting world that she previously didn’t know about! (I got this idea from one of my favourite blogs Enjoying the Small Things by Kelle Hampton).  Of course when we went shopping I accidently bought some more and the seed was well and truly planted “I really, really like Shopkins and I can show Mummy where to find them in Coles!”  You’re welcome, Abi’s Mum!

As we drove out of my unit complex, Abi asked why it was that there were so many little houses where I lived.  I told her that there were lots of people, like me, who needed somewhere small to live because they didn’t have family close by or their family had moved away. Tears sprang to my eyes, as she replied “But Mandy, you have us – we are your family!  You could come and live with us!”  Bless her heart and bless her family for giving her such a heart.

We went swimming at my friends house and I was so proud of this little poppet for the love and friendliness that she so easily shares with my friends.  We ate chips until they came out of her ears because I knew dinner would be a little later than she was used to but that didn’t stop her from informing me that she was starving the minute we got home and every 5 minutes there after!  It also, didn’t stop her from being full up 5 minutes after she started eating dinner!  She did, however have room for some yoghurt!

2015-01-16 19.55.13

Abi has been asleep for 11 hours now.  That is one of the wonderful things about her.  She goes to bed and sleeps.  But any minute she will be up and out and our second day together will begin.  We have more adventures to have, questions to ask, places to go and I have so much stuff to learn.

I can’t wait!

2015-01-16 20.36.45

Endings and Beginnings.

Do you ever wish things would never end?  Or do you just want some things to end quickly?  I do both of these things at different times.  If the footy is poor and the night is cold – I just want it to end, so I can go home and warm up!  But if the sun is warm and the sea is rolling in gently, soothingly – I want to stay forever!

1102694-1366x768-summer

I’ve come to realise that letting go of heart stuff can be the same as something coming to an end.  Often times a quick ending is less painful than wanting to stay forever!   But not always. As 2014 comes to an end and 2015 starts it’s engine, I am aware of the necessity of saying goodbye to different important parts of my life.  These are not quick endings but long slow painful ones.

Abi 2 days old

I am losing my baby!  Well, not my baby but my gorgeous god daughter Abi, is starting school and that means “I’m a big girl now. Not your baby any more”, as she happily told me on Christmas Day.  How am I handling it?  Not well at all!  Of course, as a retired teacher, I am thrilled to see her development and growth.  I have no worries that she will cope and fit in easily.  But ME?  I really don’t want her to grow up.  Who will give me those whole body, smooshy, never let me go cuddles?  When Abi was born, she filled that constant yearning for physical touch, that comes from living with someone for 28 years and then losing them.  I could hold her and stroke her hair and smother her with kisses when I saw her and no one would know that I hadn’t actually touched another human being for a week or more.  I would drown myself in Abi, drinking up her unconditional love – hoping it would get me through the coming week.  When my Counsellor asked me what I was going to do to fill the gap when she started school – I sincerely looked her in the eye and told her as soon as Christmas was over, I would be out on the street looking for some pregnant woman who would like to share her baby with me!  She almost fell off her chair and it wasn’t until she saw my wink at the end of my statement, that she realised I was joking ….. kinda, sort of, maybe!!

I don’t want to say goodbye to the relationship we have.  I want it to go on forever.

Mum's Day Andrew & Patrick                       Jonathan Brewers Christmas 2014

My boys are men!  They are 31, 29 & 23 years old.  I no longer have any of them living at home and this has been the case for 6 or so years.  I have been saying goodbye to my little boys for many years now but no matter how independent they become, I still want to take away as much of their pain and heartache as I can.  Their dependence on me for financial back up or transport needs or the occasional home cooked meal (although all are very good cooks), means I am still their mother and they need me!   It also means that I am able to enjoy the mannerisms of their father, that I miss so much.  But I want my men to live their own lives and continue to develop their independence and find that special someone to share their world with – that isn’t me ….. kinda, sort of, maybe!!

I don’t want to say goodbye to the relationship we have.  I want it to go on forever.

And then Sons of Anarchy finished – forever!!!!  Yes, I know!  It’s a TV show!  It’s not real!  The characters were BAD boys!! But have you seen Jax Teller?

Jax 2

I know that TV shows do not go on forever ….. kinda, sort of, maybe!!

I don’t want to say goodbye to the relationship we have.  I want it to go on forever.

With endings come beginnings!  Just as endings can be hard, so too can beginnings have their dangers.  It’s a risk to do something new or different.  Just in the same way, looking at old relationships with new eyes and expectations is also difficult.  Fortunately, humans keep changing and growing – especially young people – and that forces us to keep changing and growing as well.

So with 2015 only one day away, I am thinking about the ways I can make sure those special relationships do go on forever.  Not as they were, but as they can be. Will be!  Have to be!!  So the changes that occur will be natural and satisfactory for all involved.  But there will be changes.  My 2015 Resolutions will not be the normal unattainable  ones of years gone by – lose 30kgs & get fit.  This year they will be simple and helpful.  Encouraging me to keep changing and growing.

I will simply ……..

add a little structure to my life

forgive myself

love myself

If I can do these 3 things, who knows what beginnings lie ahead for me?

Love yourself

And as Jax Teller would say

Jax

“I got this!”

The Abi Diaries (part two)

I really don’t get it!  Having only been the mother of sons, little girls obsession with changing their outfits multiple times a day is a complete mystery to me.  Now I know I am generalizing here but it’s my Blog so I am allowed!  Don’t get me wrong, I love clothes as much as the next girl but I do not remember wearing more than one outfit a day as a youngster, unless I was going out or swimming.  You also, need to know that all the boys in my life, when little, have been only too happy to dress up when the time was right.

Jon Andrew Dress up
BerlinBoy and BossBoy – early days!
Andrew dress up
BerlinBoy – legs for miles! It must be the heels because he is the shortest!
Patrick dress up
BabyBoy had expensive tastes!

My gorgeous god-daughter, Abi, is a totally different level of fashionista!  She loves clothes and at 4 years of age, has a very definite opinion of what she will and won’t wear.  Did I mention accessories?  That girl knows what she wants!  So after having spent a wonderful day with Abi, while her Mum & Dad were at work, I decided to look back over some of her best outfits and the reason she gave for the fashion story!  Some are from awhile ago but they are too good to ignore.  Some of the photos are taken by her parents and sent to my phone to enjoy.  Others I have taken when babysitting!

Abi fashion 14Abi fashion 13Abi fashion 2Abi fashion 12

The first series of photos show Abi’s frilly frou frou stage.  If there was a tutu to be found – you should definitely wear it or them!  Over your pj’s, your nappy, your mother’s boots or if the occasion was really special – over another few tutu’s!

As Abi grew – it became all about the accessories!

Abi fashion accessory 2

Abi fashion accessory 4

Abi fashion accessory 3

They are pretty she says!  Too much?  No she says!  Abi loves to clash her colours and accessories.  Almost but not quite, matching colours and BIG flowers are the go!  Any colour big flowers because they are pretty and make you smile she says!

Abi fashion 5

Abi fashion 6

Abi fashion 8

One of Abi’s favourite things to do is costume dress up.  Whether its a party, a game or just to read a story – dress ups are a favourite.  Life is one great big occasion!

Abi fashion 9

Abi fashion pirate

I love this little fashionista with all my heart and if she continues to bring smiles and colour and happiness to the world with her outfits – I can cope! But I don’t think I will be following her beauty tips any time soon…….Abi cream

FurBaby Fev.

I have a FurBaby called Fev.  When we first got her, she belonged to BabyBoy but seven years on she is well and truly mine. I’ve always been a cat person and have always had one or two cats in my life but never have I had a cat like Fev!

Fev was a rescue kitten from a litter given to our Vet to dispose of and man, did we hit the jackpot!  Just as we rescued her, so to has she rescued us.  Firstly, BabyBoy during those particularly tough years after his Dad passed away and secondly, ME – every minute during and after.  She was small and cute and mildly fluffy and had the best nature.  She was different to any of the other kittens/cats we had owned in that she was social …… all of the time!  If I was there, Fev was there.  If I moved to another part of the house, Fev followed.  She wanted to be near me all the time.  She quickly became my FurBaby.  My love for her grew.

Baby Fev

Fev is a totally indoors cat  because her ‘mildly fluffy’ fur became a ‘you must be joking furball’, that would pick up every grass seed, prickle and small insect nest if I let her outside.

Furball Fev

She has the most beautiful green eyes, is really tolerant and she is gentle – except when BabyBoy comes home for a visit!  I have hardly ever (maybe 3 times) heard her hiss or spit.  She plays ball and will bring it back to me if I throw it for her.  She likes to drink from the bathroom tap, even though she has her own running filtered water fountain.  She then likes to curl up in the cool basin for a snooze.

Basin Fev

Fev doesn’t really miaow either – she talks.  We have many conversations and we completely understand each other. She replies to all my questions and mostly tells the truth.  She runs to greet me after work and is quick to inform me when I have been on my laptop for too long!  She has a fun relationship with the birds and kangaroos that visit my yard.  They chat to her through the window and she chases them from room to room.  Fev always lies on top of me, if I am watching TV and accompanies me to bed each night.  I love her!  She is my best friend and my comfort.

But there are some things I do NOT like about Fev!  I don’t like that she leaves fur … EVERYWHERE!  On the bed, the furniture, the bathroom basin, my clothes, in the drawers.  I have even found fur in my fridge and pantry!!  I don’t like that she scratches my chairs and will not use a scratch pole or even a mat.  Sometimes, when I’m, not looking, she scratches other precious things that I love.

Abi scratch

I have a FurBaby called Fev, and yes she has an unfortunate name – thank you BabyBoy for that!  But  she has helped me in ways I did not think possible.  I get unconditional love (yes this is a cat I am talking about) and the ability to cuddle something whenever I want.  My home is never empty when I come home and I always feel needed.  She gives me far more than she takes from me.

Don’t make me choose, people!  Because as my Boys already know and my Body Corp found out.  I will choose FurBaby Fev – every time!

Curtain Fev

The Abi Diaries (part one).

I don’t have a daughter!  Just three lively, creative boys.  Well, men actually, because that’s what they are now.  I have nieces & great nieces and I have god daughters and I have Abigail!  Abi is my youngest god daughter by about 20 years!  She came along when I thought my godmothering days of little girls had ended!  But I’m so glad they hadn’t!  I love and care about all my god children but Abi is something else!

I’ve known Abi’s mum since she was 6 years old.  She was one of the first helpers I met when we moved to Brisbane.  We were moving into a new church house and when the truck with our belongings arrived, who was there to help unpack but Abi’s mum and family!!  I can remember Abi’s mum opening the boxes with glee, proclaiming her wonderment at all the new and exciting things as she emptied  box after box!  On the floor!  Of any room she chose!!  I grabbed Adrian (my husband) & dragged him into the bathroom, whispering “Who are these people and do we have to like them?” 

But I digress … Abi came into my life almost a year after Adrian had died!  I was lonely & craving cuddles.  And then there she was, this gorgeous little pink bundle.  Shared so selflessly with me by her Mum & Nana.  I really didn’t think it was possible to love someone else’s child as much as your own but I soon found out – it is!  My heart was full to the brim with so much love.

Abi is 4 years old now and she sometimes comes to stay over at my place.  We have fun!  We have tea party’s, go places, buy stuff and I love to brush her beautiful, long, silky hair.  She is bright and energetic and smart and, man, has she got STYLE!  She is interested in all the things my boys were and many they were not!  She notices stuff!  Like new clothes, shoes, hairstyles.  Like when I haven’t shaved my legs or I have a menopausal pimple or how my boobs are BIG & JIGGLEY (not at all like Nana’s or Mummy’s)!

If you had told me that almost 6 years after Adrian’s death, I would be making sure all those things you do before going on a date, are once again being done – before a 4 year old comes to visit – I would not have believed you!  But, yes, I check that my clothes, makeup  & personal grooming are all up to scratch when Abi comes to visit!  If I don’t, she will notice – that stray chin hair, stinky breath, lack of earrings or old daggy clothes!

I am so thankful for this little ray of sunshine.  She keeps me on my toes and she freely gives me love and laughter and giggles and cuddles.  We will continue to grow together and I hope I can be a special person in her life forever!

And that question I asked Adrian all those years ago –  “Who are these people and do we have like them?”    Well, I’m so glad  that they became my Australia family and I don’t only like them – I love them!

Abi ponytail