Spring-Cleaning

I love this time of the year. It’s just the right time for the cold weather to calm down a bit, and we get to enjoy some beautiful sunshine without the sticky and stinky humidity our summers bring.

Whilst March is always a tough month, one I do not like at all, it also heralds the beginning of spring. And of all four seasons, it is most definitely my favourite.

I associate spring with new beginnings. After March, April starts with the promise of warmer breezes and bluer skies. I finally put my heavy jackets to rest and take out my cardigans and lighter layers, with the hope that I am not tempting the fates into throwing at us more wind and cold. I set my boots aside with a huge sigh of relief. I can finally wear sock-less flats and perhaps even dare to show my feet if the weather permits. That is after getting a pedicure, with a pretty coral colour perhaps. I slowly start removing layers and layers of clothes, scarves and socks. Skin is scrubbed and buffed, dead and dry skin discarded of,  and body parts hidden by the winter cold start getting properly prepared for the outer world to see. I start pushing myself that bit harder at training because visions of me in a bathing suit start popping up every morning at 6am whilst squatting, and panic starts kicking in. The days become longer, and so can our walks. Gozo at this time of the year still stubbornly holds on to the last of the green grass, before the brown, dried-up ambience sets in – typical of our summer.

Now is also the time when I start pining after a new hairstyle, look up new, fad diets and amazing superfoods. I restart my Bucilla kit for the tenth time because I suddenly realize that I can finish it in time for next Christmas…but only if I continue working on it for more than a couple of days.  I start a frenzy period of internet shopping because suddenly not one single female in our household has any single item of clothing to wear. I go through the girls’ wardrobes with a heavy heart because I have to empty the winter clothing, half of which will never be worn again.

After reading Island Fairy’s post, I immediately downloaded the Headspace app. Today is Day 2 of my meditation practice. With it just being ten minutes long, it’s something I can find the time for more easily than an hour-long session. I have also grabbed hold of my copy of The Universe Has Your Back, and started reading it again. I go through periods when I can not read some books. They just do not appeal to me and I physically hide them away till I feel ready to give them another go. After reading the reviews on this book, after eagerly waiting for it to arrive, once it did, I was just put off it. I read the first chapter, found myself blocking over it, and I had to stop. I now feel that the time is right to give it another go. I’m thinking that ten minutes of meditation a day and some pages of this book, will help my mind go along with the sense of new and fresh beginnings this time of the year brings.

This is perhaps my own version of spring-cleaning. I think we all have our rituals this at this time of the year. Some which we perhaps do not realize unless we sit down and think about it. I can go through spring with a clear head. It is perhaps the only season where my energy levels are higher than usual, and things are that bit more possible and happier. Summer is too hot for me to muster any enthusiasm, autumn is too busy for clarity, and winter I do not particularly like. I guess spring is my season.

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Chasing the Sun

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We Are Five

We are five years old.

Five years ago I became Mrs. Farrugia and Anthony became my husband. We’ve been through so much these past five years that it seems more time has passed.

We’ve endured lots, but we’ve made it through.

So here’s to many more to come.

We're older and poorer lol...but happier :)

We’re older and poorer lol…but happier 🙂

And this little munchkin is four. She turned four two days ago, and I’m still mourning the baby she no longer is. It’s a joy watching her grow up, but I miss the years already gone by. She is a little joy, a trouble-maker, a non-stop talker and a protective sister. She made me a mother and the happiest person alive.

Kikkina, we love you 🙂

My Queen

My Queen

Life is made of these…

Yesterday was quite surreal. My brother found a video recording of my dad, taken during a family holiday. It was startling and fascinating to watch. It was a short video, but his voice could be heard clearly and his face is focused. i listened to it over and over again. I closed my eyes whilst doing so, and for a second I imagined he was next to me talking. I had not heard that voice for nearly nine years, and try as I did, my recollection of my father’s voice was next to nil. It is easy to remember a face because a photo and a dream easily trigger the memory. But the voice is a different matter. The voice is perhaps the first memory of a person to fade away. And after nine years, my father’s was a very distant recollection.

I can not believe that in two months time, he will be gone for nine years. So many things happened and so many things changed that it’s difficult to think about how much he missed out in the meantime.

Which makes me affirm our decision to move back to Malta. England was great. England was about new experiences, opportunities, new friends and horizons. But Malta is where our roots our. Our family is here, our friends are here, our familiar places are here. And having children only made us want to settle down here more and more. It was not easy, I’m sure you all remember my posts back then. But over time, we have come to adjust quite well, and even though England will always hold a special place in our heart, Malta is home now. And perhaps the one thing which reaffirms our decision again and again is seeing both sets of families with our children. All faces light up. It is chuckles all round and smiles as big as that of the Cheshire cat itself. Having them experience both children growing up on a daily basis made each difficult step of this journey worth it. We didn’t want them having a weekend every month. I didn’t want the children seeing our families a couple of days a year, not knowing who their parents families and friends are. I have to say that one thing that always puts a smile on my face is seeing Cesca play and interact with children of our friends, and knowing friends who had children around the time Bettina was born. It feels as if a full circle is being drawn and things are being completed.

Because I have learnt that life is all about memories. Small snippets of happy moments is what makes a life worthwhile. And although we may have missed out by moving back to Malta, it definitely does not feel like it. Because my children are making beautiful memories with our families, and the grandparents are in seventh heaven in the meantime. We meet up with old friends and laugh, and have learnt how to be a couple again, with some proper ‘us’ time. My dad’s demise taught me that. It’s all about the little, simple things. The rest does not really matter after all.

And although my dad is not here to experience Cesca and Bettina first-hand, I know and feel that he is their guardian angel. Which makes them lucky children. From every aspect.

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The Waiting Game

Finally September is here. I have been waiting for this month for weeks now. Not only does it (hopefully) bring about a change in weather from the humid heat to cool breezes, but I’m hoping (and praying, and praying) that this is the month our baby will arrive.

The final months are not glamorous. Not at all. There is nothing glamorous about being at your biggest weight ever, having what looks like the worlds-greatest cankles ever, a painful back to accompany you day and night, and if you live in the Maltese islands, you top everything up with the heavy weather which makes you seem and feel a hundred kilos heavier.

I am now fed up of my maternity clothes. There are only a few ways on how you can make a simple black maternity dress look special and different each time. There are no proper maternity shops here on the Rock, and any shopping I did during this pregnancy were online.  I have a couple of websites which I browse regularly  (Asos, Gap and New Look amongst others) but in all honesty I am now fed up of seeing elasticated waistlines, baby-doll styled tops, high-waisted dresses and flat shoes. So what I have now is what I will wear for the rest of this pregnancy. And after that, I’m organizing a huge bonfire.

It was quite a pregnancy. I had low lows but definite high highs. And now, hopefully by the end of this month, I will have a baby in my arms. I’m so looking forward to meeting the little kicker I have inside me, who starts dancing the minute I lay down on the bed and who has stretched my belly to unbelievable proportions.

We have so many changes in our life coming up this month. A new baby, Cesca starting school, we will be starting building our home soon, the winter season coming up – it’s all about changing and adapting our lifestyles. I have hopes that we will all turn out okay, especially Cesca. The only thing I’m fearing where she’s concerned is her first couple of days of school. But I’m praying to the higher powers that all will be smooth and fine.

In the meantime, this is what we’ve been up to…

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Bump is now 35 weeks old. This photo was taken at 34+1 weeks when I was off for what was supposed to be a girly dinner. My friends had other plans…

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..In actual fact I was dressing up for my baby shower! It was quite the surprise seeing all my family and friends gathered up. Best feeling ever 🙂

We have avoided playgrounds because of the total lack of shade. However I took advantage of the shady weather and took her for an hour to run around. Her facial expression was priceless :)

We have avoided playgrounds because of the total lack of shade. However I took advantage of the cloudy weather and took her for an hour to run around. Her facial expression was priceless 🙂

August was a tough month where the weather was concerned. When not plastered underneath the a/c unit, I am normally lying down on the floor trying to catch a cool (or otherwise) breeze.

August was a tough month where the weather was concerned. When not plastered underneath the a/c unit, I am normally found lying down on the floor trying to catch a cool (or otherwise) breeze.

As in Cesca's pregnancy, I am gorging on fruits this time round. I can eat fruits all day long and be happy. Better than sweets and chocolates I guess. Though I'm not exactly abstaining on those either...

As in Cesca’s pregnancy, I am gorging on fruits this time round. I can eat fruits all day long and be happy. Better than sweets and chocolates I guess. Though I’m not exactly abstaining on those either…

I have started unwrapping and washing the baby's clothes, linen and blankets in preparation for the little one. I absolutely love these Webbs products - their smell is purely baby-in-a-bottle!!

I have started unwrapping and washing the baby’s clothes, linen and blankets in preparation for the little one. I absolutely love these Webbs products – their smell is purely baby-in-a-bottle!!

 

Fly By

This summer is flying by. July is suddenly nearing its’ end and I’m three-fourths of my way through this pregnancy. It seems I’m growing by the day and my wardrobe is becoming more and more limited as the days pass. Unlike my pregnancy with C, I am still able to wear some of my pre-pregnancy dresses and tops, although trousers are now out of the question, because even the elastic-band trick is not working any longer. So I have my ever-faithful numbered tops, skirts, trousers and beloved flat sandals, and I’m set it seems. The only items of clothing I can experiment with are accessories, so at the moment I’m splurging  on necklaces and bracelets. And clothes for C of course..the little missus is constantly outgrowing her clothes and gives me the perfect excuse to go shopping for her. Her clothes are my guaranteed ticket to burn.

We are spending our days swimming, going out for ice-cream walks, meeting up with friends and eating. I don’t know about you but (pregnancy aside) I eat more in the summer months. I go out more often, dine out more frequently and finish each meal with an ice-cream or something sweet. Winter plates may be heavier, but summer eating is much more frequent it seems. At least for me.

I’m enjoying the last few weeks of being a mother of one.  I am sometimes scared of ruining the balance we have reached with her when the baby comes. We know her routine and her dis/likes, we love her late mornings and laid-back attitude, and I do fear, yet know, that she will change with the new arrival. She is a tall three-year old, yet she is still such a young girl. She still needs reassurance and warm cuddles, she looks to us for smiles and kisses and is full of love. A new baby will take away some of the attention she has grown used to now, but I’m believing and hoping it will be for the better. Add to that a new school and lifestyle and she sure is in for a change. We are trying to make the transition as easy as possible for her, we talk about the baby everyday, she kisses and hugs my tummy and has started helping me out with daily chores I’m no longer able to do myself, yet I know that it will still be a shock for her. However her character reassures me that she will be the best older sister for her sibling.

Again, I can’t believe that at three years of age she will already be an ‘older’ sister.

Time is flying by. Our days are lazy ones and I’m trying to enjoy each day of this summer to its’ fullest. I can’t fully appreciate the summer as much as I did in previous years, with my aching back, tired legs and a kicking baby, but I’m doing my best.

So far, so good.

I can't believe we will soon be going back to these days...it seems surreal, slightly scary yet at the same time I can not wait!

I can’t believe we will soon be going back to these days…it seems surreal, slightly scary yet at the same time I can not wait!

 

 

Dig in and Delve Deep

I honestly never thought i would write here again. I have had periods of silence on this blog before, but never as long as this. No time ever seemed right to start writing again. No event prompted me to sit down, unearth my dusty computer and start typing. There was always something else to do, a heavy disinterested feeling descended, the urge to write withered away and life somehow ensued.

Until recently, when certain events came out which reminded me not only how much I loved using this blog, but also how helpful it was to me, in more ways than one, and in many ways which were till now unknown even to myself.

These past couple of weeks have been eventful to say the least. Things were happening and life was continuing on and instead of giving myself the time to stop and rest, think about things and proceed, I insisted on marching on and on, ignoring signs my body was giving me that am no super-woman, that I needed to stop and recharge, energize, tackle issues I had previously tossed aside and only then move forward. I was a wife, a mother, a working woman, a daughter, I had my life divided between different aspects and I could not afford to stop. I had to keep moving on.

We all feel burdened by life’s happenings at times. Sometimes we manage to deal the them, at times we knowingly ignore them either because we deem them as unimportant or because it is much more convenient for us to do so. We pile them away and we foolishly convince ourselves that everything has been dealt with. The joke is on us.

I had somehow disregarded and downplayed certain things which happened to me in the past. So many events have led me to my here and now. Some things I dealt with accordingly, others I planned on dealing with ‘later’. But life does not always allow us to do so. Other things pop up, we forget previous occurences and think all is well.

However as I now know and understand, there is only so much the mind and body can hold on to. What needs to be dealt with, can not be escaped from. Past events, as painful, frivolous or forgotten as we may think them, must be dealt with. And they usual demand to be dealt with at a time when life is smooth and plain-sailing. We are living a happy period. We are healthy, we have now fully adjusted to living life as islanders, we have exciting things in our pipelines, everything is settled. And so it was that more confusing, because why would I feel anxious when there was nothing worrying me in my present?

I did not know the answer to that. I did not now how to deal with something which I knew nothing about. If I did not know what was worrying me, how could I handle it?

Anxiety is a culmination of small fears, be they what may. Fear is a vicious circle. Fear feeds on fear, the more you fear something the more it will happen and the stronger its manifestations will be. I knew that I had to handle whatever was bothering me straight-on, without holding anything back and without prettifying it or making any excuses.

That is when someone close to me recommended Reiki. I had never heard about this and I knew nothing about it. But in my anxious state I knew I had nothing to lose, and agreed to meet up with Monica, a Reiki Master, who calmly explained it all and what it involved. I have to say that after hearing about Reiki, I was not convinced that this would help. I did not fully believe in the power my mind could exert over my body.

What I really wanted was a quick-fix. I wanted something that would help me instantly without having to delve deep into myself and deal with issues I had un/knowingly and un/intentionally pushed back deep into myself. But I decided to give Reiki a go.

After the first session I felt and appeared much more relaxed. I went home feeling lighter and I started to believe that perhaps things could really change with Reiki. It was only during the second session that I truly felt the change happening, both during and after the session. Things which I had always been doing and which were not possible in my anxious state – sitting down on the sofa and watching a TV programme, reading and playing with Cesca, were possible again. The tense and sharp edge which was characterizing each and every action of mine, was slowly slowly getting filed away.

Today I am still working on myself. I have moments when for some insipid reason I get worked up again, but I am now able to deal with it. Monica helped me set up personal mantras and small exercises which put me back on the right track. Writing here is one of those things. As silly as it may sound, this small outlet of mine was helping me so much with airing frivolous things instead of bottling things inside and classifying them as ‘insignificant’.

I now deal with whatever I feel is causing me anxiety of any sort. I stop and think it over, I reason it out aloud and I figure out why it caused me to feel the way I did. When I know it is all done and sorted, only then do I let it go. And I now know it will stay gone. And if the anxiety remains, I breath. I take deep breaths which always help in lowering any level of anxiety or unease I may be feeling.

I try and find a couple of minutes a day where I just stop. I switch off all electronic equipment and sit in the quiet, me and my thoughts. Whatever may be on my mind pops up then and that way I can deal with it there and then.

I do not speculate and think too much of something which may or may not ever happen. I now know that I can not control everything, I am no superwoman. But I do know that I can control how I deal with it, should it ever happen.

Monica suggested Epsom salts and I use them alongside the Bach remedy drops. Coupled together they work miracles, and allow any unresolved thought come up to the surface and be dealt with. The Epsom salts are great because they can basically be used anywhere and with everything! As for the drops, they’re handy and can be carried with you wherever you are.

I now talk about what is bothering me. I realized that my intention of not bothering people and therefore not talking about certain things was not really working, because the people I care for most were still realizing that I was not my usual self. I had become short-tempered, on edge and overall just restless. That was not the person I knew I was.

note

This post was originally meant as a note to myself and for my eyes only. It was never meant to be published, because let’s face, if I wanted to write a come-back post, this topic would not have been it. But thinking about it all, I realized that I wished I had read about this topic and had known about Reiki when I started feeling anxious. Therefore if any one sentence written here hits home with any one of you, just know you are not alone. I wanted someone to tell me what I know now:

a. I am normal and not alone in feeling the way I did.

b. I was just going through a temporary glitch.

c. It will get worse before it starts getting better.

d. I would return back to normal in no time at all.

Anxiety is a lonely thing. You can not explain it rationally to yourself, let alone other people. I am thankful for meeting Monica and for being introduced to Reiki. And I mostly proud of myself for dealing with it with the power of positive energy alone.

Life works in mysterious ways. In the darkest moments I found the most positive experience I could have ever imagined. Please note that this post is not an advert for Monica or her clinic, because any one who has ever met her will understand me when I say that the calming aura that surrounds her makes you realize how special she is, and she definitely needs no words of recommendation from me to do what she is so ably doing. I only mention her because her words and sessions have helped me so much, and are still doing so today.

There is nothing wrong in asking for help when you can’t understand something.Do not ever underestimate the power of the mind. It is a strong healer and it has the ability to cure us of things which at their worse, seem impossible.

So I’m back it seems. Again, not the Back-Blogging Post i had in mind. But then rarely do things go according to plan.

 

Randomness

My mind is full of ideas. Yet like I wrote last time, I am finding some difficulty in composing a fully-fledged post. So for now I’ll resort to bullet-listing what’s happening and what’s been cooking in this mind of mine. If this is the way this blog will work for the time being, then so be it.

– We vowed that 2014 would be calmer and less hectic than 2013. We’re happy 2013 happened but we’re much more happier that it’s gone and done with. At moments it felt like one never-ending roller-coster ride. It’s good to be in the midst of calm for at least a moment or two before madness finds us again.

– It seemed just months ago I was pregnant with C, and now we have just chosen schools for her to start attending this October. Yes, SCHOOLS!! We won’t know for certain which one she’ll attend for a couple of weeks, but to have even started thinking about it broke me down in a one big panic attack and emotional mess. How did this come about so quickly? I don’t think I can get away with calling her a baby anymore… 😥

– We are excitedly planning some trips for our little family. Living in Gozo and staying here for long stretches of time does make us fidgety and restless. If there’s one thing we miss from England, it has to be the ease with which you could travel and change scenery. The closest thing we can do here in Gozo is travel to Malta. And if you’re Maltese and think that’s pathetic, well know you can imagine how impossible it is to be cooped up in Gozo for a long period of time.

– As much as I complain sometimes how impossible 2013 was at times and how hard it sometimes is living on a small rock, I have to admit that we have all found ourselves again. I have started working and as much as I miss my little C, I have to admit that I am a better person because of it. I needed so badly to start waking up, dressing up in something other than track-pants, meeting adults and getting my brain back to normal working order. My time with Cesca is much less than what I had with her in England, but the quality is much better. I will never forget or regret the 2 years I was with her 24/7. But it is so easy to lose yourself in the process and to forget who you are and what you love doing. I am still trying to find a balance at times and it is not an easy thing to do, but I do believe I am in the right track.

– As for Cesca, she is now a little girl. She loves ‘singing’ Sandcastle Royale on Disney Junior, she switches on the radio to dance, she is still learning how to jump and she is adamant on keeping on her nappy for as long as humanely possible it seems. She now forms full sentences and is much easier to communicate with. She is a stubborn monkey at times, and a ‘no’ always remains a ‘no’, no matter how much chocolate I bribe her with. She is still a fussy eater and still screams but I’m not bothered about that any longer. So little yet so much remain of the Cesca who moved to Malta last year. I can’t get my head around how much she has grown. It is only when I find myself buying her size 4-5 clothes that I realize it!

For 2014 we prayed for lots of things. Health, wealth and happiness of course. And some other things – finally being able to start building our proper house, Cesca starting and liking her new school, appreciating the little things and always seeing the good in whatever situation.

I prayed and still pray to wake up with the extra weight I have, suddenly disappearing (no such luck yet), and for H&M and Boots to start shipping to Malta (not lucky there either).

I’m not giving up though…

Talk to you later x