Wednesday, May 18, 2016

not ready

I'm in a weird place right now.

A twinkling, twilightly kind of space.
Three of my children have grown to be adults.
Like....ADULTS.. !
How is that even possible?

It was a blink ago that they were wee small toddlers and I was worrying over whether they ate enough vegetables ( about 22% of the time)  or if they understood the concept of sharing ( about 0.3% of the time).

It was only yesterday I walked my sweet first born in to his Prep classroom and handed him over to the education department. It was only this morning that my first daughter lost her first tooth.
Surely it was only a heartbeat ago that I held my second daughter, fresh out of the humidicrib (and whispered, " oh my darling girl, you will be trouble").

And yet here I am, with fully grown adult children , setting forth into the world boldly and randomly in a non-mum-approved manner.

My second child is all set to fly to THE OTHER SIDE OF THE PLANET in a weeks time, all set for a cosplaying Anime convention in the good ole USA. Am I ready for that ?


Hell No!

I'm breathing, and meditating and trying to remember that it's just a concept of space or distance ( and just secretly googling flight prices to the US in case I need to go and rescue/ search for/ extradite or generally bring home second child)

Friday, December 18, 2015

Sorry for the spammers

Hi everyone .

Unfortunately my change of name from Simple Loving Thoughts to Button Brain has taken an unexpected turn.

Some very enterprising spammer has registered that blog name "Simple Loving Thoughts" and is merrily spamming my old email follower list with awesome links to essentials such as herpes medications.

While I absolutely promise I did not sell your details to anyone, if you have followed by email Simple Loving Thoughts, this gives them access to you. I have asked for further support  from Blogger via their forums but right now, all I can do is apologize.

Please take care to unfollow or unsubscribe at the base of their email.

Cheers, love and best wishes


PS This shouldn't apply to followers of Button Brain

Friday, July 10, 2015

Button Brain is Back

Well hello there!

After almost a year of sitting back and smelling the roses ( or to be more accurate, doing the hard yards at work, in mothering and wife-ing) I have discovered that I miss my little blog, and the bloggy world, very much.

I miss writing, I miss interacting and I miss knowing and acknowledging that my mess is the same messy mess as everybody else. It might be a different shape or colour, but either way we are all a red-hot mess in some private way.

I miss having a hilarious moment and having somewhere to record it. I miss the virtual high fives and the encouragement when things have gone well. I miss those moments when I talk about something personal and someone else replies "I've been there too."

My community, my support base has been less without blogging. I did not realise how much my sense of belonging came from a bunch of people who have most likely never met me in real life, but who were cheering me on, wanting the best for me and sharing the laughs and tears along the way.

So I'm reopening the blog-space that is Button Brain. A couple of posts have been removed as their content is perhaps no longer my story to tell. Everything else remains. The good, the bad and the in-between. There are posts from my early blog days that are clumsy, before I knew about the "rules". If you stumble across them, be gentle. I did my best. I wrote from my heart.

In my house:

The Button Brain household is still running along at a steady pace. The kids are still all here, under our roof, eating all my food and making me wondering if I need to build a basement for them to move into when they turn 40.

The Man I Married is still the Man I am Married to ! Phew, another year, more bridges built, more rivers crossed and more lessons learned. We are forgiving souls, even though deeply flawed, and we are a work in progress. I suspect this will always be the case.

I am a night shift  nurse, working in acute general nursing and paediatrics. I love my job. I can find the funny side of most situations and for the saddest times, I feel honoured to be there when I'm needed.

Life is good. I am looking forward to once again sharing it with you.

Friday, August 15, 2014

An everyday family tradition

What is your best thing ?

Those are the words we hear every night repeated at our dinner table.
Years ago when the older kids were just little people we started an everyday dinner time tradition, to try and focus on each other's highlights and low points in the day.

At some stage in the meal someone will ask any other person at the table "What was your best thing today? " The replies are often funny, or mundane, sometimes they are revealing and pleasantly surprising. Sometimes a best thing is as simple as the snuggly welcome home someone got from the dog that afternoon, or that they managed to shoot a netball hoop after 258 failed attempts.  I LOVE it when their best thing is whatever I've cooked for dinner.

The initiator then asks " What was your worst thing today?" Again, the answers can reveal in a sentence or two whether the replier is having issues with a subject or classmate, whether they are sad about something we didn't even know about.  It's always okay to say you didn't have a worst thing.. That is a happy day indeed !

We then ask again " What is another best thing" to finish on a positive. Once that person has given their three answers it's their turn to ask another person at the table and so we go on. Any visitors to our table are included, including grandparents, aunts and uncles, sleepover visitors, even dad's mate who came for dinner on his way to a conference !

The only rules are - we all listen to each other's answers, and you aren't allowed to say "nothing" for your best thing. If the answer is nothing we all give some helpful hints, including the fact that they have a hot meal in front of them, warm clothes and a loving family. They might need to be reminded that there is only one week until school holidays, or that they got an award at school assembly.

So what were we teaching our kids ?
That there is always more good than bad in every day.
To try and focus on the positives and really think about what worked and what didn't work in each day.

They have learnt to sit, listen and take some interest in what is going on in the lives of every other person at the table. 

When kids are little, we as parents often ask "What did you do today?" Imagine how busy little people try to summarize all that happened in the day-  Impossible! Giving them a starting place and a specific question helps them organize their thoughts.
As the children have gotten older, we've found this little tradition has been crucial in engaging our teenagers in conversation. We could ask "Have you had a good day?" and we would no doubt get a monosyllable answer. With this tradition, they have to answer in a sentence and give more than just a Yes or No response. 

We didn't realise it when we started, but this simple family tradition has become one of the most important daily events in our lives.  

Do you have a family ritual or tradition ? How do you help your child reflect on their day ?

Monday, August 4, 2014

Laughing at myself - I MUST CONFESS

I MUST CONFESS - Deep inside, past all the grown up, mother of 4, responsible working nurse me, way past the mortgage paying, grocery shopping, bed making 42 year old me, there still dwells a bemused 18 yr old.

I regularly have moments of wonder.

Wonder that anyone thinks I'm mature enough for all this responsibility, that I have even a quarter of what it takes to raise another human being, let alone four of them.

I'm stunned that I am deemed trustworthy enough to work, to drive, to supervise teenagers.
And yet here I am.
Sometimes I talk to myself, from old to young, or from young to old.... one girlfriend to another.

Sometimes 18  year old me is stomping her feet saying "I don't want to do this".  Often she is looking in the mirror saying "Holy crap Lisa, what the heck is going on with your hair? "
Regularly she is shaking her head and chuckling "Wow, 42 years and you still can't put on eyeliner !"

 She laughs out loud at me ... ( she doesn't LOL becuase at 18 years of age for me there was no such thing as text messages, or mobile phones. )... she laughs out loud at my rules for my teenagers. Giggles when I lay down the "Rules when your boyfriend comes to visit", and snorts when I'm demanding that my teenage girls do some homework. She mocks me and asks "How are you going to handle this one" when my teenager declares (again) that she hates school and is quitting, and high-fives me when I manage to convince the same teenager to stay at school, at least for the rest of this week.

When my teenage daughter is telling me she hates a subject or that some teacher is boring, on the outside I am maturely trying to problem solve and explaining the importance of a complete education.
But 18 year old me is reminding me of how many times I told my parents I wanted to quit. I'm reminded of how frustrated I was at having to do subjects I hated, and how I thought most of my teachers were idiots.

18 year old me shows me a flashback, of my Mum sitting on the end of my bed, gently asking if I would consider doing just an hour of study for my HSC.. and of me laughing and saying "Nope" I had a boyfriend to visit, friends to catch up with.

When my just-turned-18 year old daughter asked if she could go to Melbourne for a night with a group of friends, 42 year old me at first said "Hell, no". After several discussions she got permission to go but only after I questioned her for details, rang the motel they were all staying at, checked on who else was going, lectured her on the possible dangers of drinking and going out in the city and the importance of sticking together.

A little whisper in my ear was again reminding me of how, just one month after turning 18, I announced I was going away for a weekend with my boyfriend, and that there was nothing my parents could do to stop me. I was bold enough to go, to just expect that I had every right in the world to do as I pleased and that they would just have to get over it.

I'm pretty sure that 18 year old me is a bit shocked at all the seriousness of this parenting gig. She's certain that this isn't at all like we had imagined. I think she thinks I'm a bit of a bore.

But that's because she's 18, and she doesn't know what I know now.


What would your 18 year old self say to you now? 

On Mondays I love to linkup with Kirsty from My Home Truths for I Must Confess.

She is having a teensy little break from blogging so I am hosting the I Must Confess linkup this week. Please join in - add you post confessing anything, or just sharing what's going on in your day. We love to see new faces so add your link and have fun visiting the other blogs. xx

Prompt for next weeks I Must Confess Post is  'If I could go back to one single moment in my life, it would be...'  hosted by Emma at ... get typing bloggy friends.

I'm also Linking with One Mother Hen for Open Slather 

Monday, July 28, 2014

Taking care of spiders - I must confess

Fear is a strange thing.

It can take perfectly normal, sensible people and turn them into shrieking toddlers.
There are degrees of fear.
A general feeling of disquiet over a thought or possible event.
Anxiety and worry about our loved ones. 

A raised heart rate, dry mouth, wide eyes....
Then there is the 'fight or flight' adrenaline pumping full blown : Holy sh*t I'm about to lose it, jumping around like a ninja kind of fear.

I feel it when I think about snakes. When I get surprised by a picture of one, the idea of one.

I wrote about my INTENSE fear of snakes in Snakes Alive

I understand the feeling, the fear, the irrationality of the reaction. I understand the superpowers a person can instantly develop in their need to escape. I want to vomit at the notion that one might be in the backyard, near my kids or my animals (or me!). I will argue loudly that snakes should all be rounded up and sent to the Galapagos Islands. Far away from me. 

And yet, weirdly when someone else is experiencing that same level of fear, over something  that doesn't really bother me, it's hard not to find their reaction hilarious.

On Thursday night my friend came to visit for a while, we chatted, made some plans...
Then she got ready to go home. I walked her out to her car in the cold winter darkness. She climbed into the drivers seat, flicked her hair and  promptly LOST HER MIND !

I have never seen anyone climb out of a car so quickly, she leapt over the centre console, levitated across the passenger seat and threw herself out the door on the other side of the car all while shrieking like a fire alarm. A spider which, according to her ,was "as big as a walrus" had dropped past her hand.

This is the point when you would think that as a caring friend  I would have be gentle and caring, soothing and full of compassion. And I would have been, had I not been laughing so hard I nearly peed my pants. There she is begging "Lisa, Lisa, you have to find it. Now, You have to !" And I'm snorting, doubled over in the middle of the road. 

Eventually I found some composure. The spider had of course taken itself into a small dark corner and I couldn't find it. We sprayed an entire can of fly spray in the car, closed the doors and she took my car home.  The next morning I checked again and returned her car to her, twitching from the nerve gas lingering in the car. I had checked under the seats, flipped down all the sun visors, searched in the glove box and found no spidery evilness. No doubt the poor little thing jumped out of the car as quickly as she did and went to find more welcoming accommodations. 

That's why we are friends. I will take over when walrus spiders attack her, and she will protect me when nasty evil snakes cross my path. 
Because that's what friends are for.

What is your irrational fear? Have you ever had to face it?


Linking up this week with Raychael from Ms Mystery Case for I Must Confess

Please visit Raychael for more bloggy confessions, and the prompt for next weeks exposé.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Sticky Tape

This morning as I was getting myself and our household on track for the day, Miss 10 went to the stationery drawer and found the clear sticky tape. 

As her room is already overflowing with crafty bits and pieces pilfered from that drawer, I stopped her and told her whatever she needed to tape up, she should bring it out to the table & do it there. 

I kept going with morning tasks in the kitchen. I could hear the sound of sticky tape being pulled off. Gosh she was using a lot of it. I turned around to find her happily sticky taping her tragically broken sneakers together for sport! 

I died ! 

Firstly, how completely and innocently unpretentious is she, that she didn't even think to ask for new sneakers? 
Secondly, obviously I've been parenting with blinkers on for a few months, cos I had no idea the state they were in ! 

We raced to the local department store before school started and bought new sneakers, and sticky tape. 

Just another Mother Of The Year moment !