Finally, we are planning to get pet fish. A fish, or some fish? Freshwater fish, or tropical fish? I don't yet know. (Advice welcome.) Possibly in a stand-alone aquarium, as we don't seem to have shelf or surface space for a tank. I cannot believe the range of aquariums (aquaria??) out there. And this is even before we get to the fish itself, or themselves. But, prepping the aquarium is the first thing, as I understand it. (And my first priority is ensuring it is toddler-proof, believe me!)
The girls have been promised pet fish for what seems like forever. (My husband's allergy to short haired furry pets has proved a convenient deterrent to bringing in other kinds to pets, but I've always been enthusiastic to have some fish in the house). I think we originally said last Christmas, but that was when I had morning-noon-and-night-sickness...then maybe Easter.....and look where we are, summer! We were almost jettisoned into the decision by FirstSister's attempt to give up sucking her thumb to get to sleep. She has been waiting for a fish for a long time. Both of her best friends have them. So, it seemed like a good idea to reward her efforts for going cold turkey after 6 years of self-soothing to sleep.
We have as a family tried to discourage the thumb sucking for a couple of years now - we had managed to persuade FirstSister to cut it right back, so she was only sucking to sleep. But after thinking about my child and doing some internet research, the only one who I figured would get through to her was the actual dentist. And the dentist did speak to FirstSister directly about it, but only after I refused to be the person responsible for insisting it stopped (and/or painting the thumb with yucky stuff.) The dentist wasn't happy. "I know you have your hands full" (indicates my three children) "but you are the parent, and sometimes parents have to guide their children," she chastised me. In front of my brood. Yeah, thanks for that. I also happen to know the best way to get through to the eldest, and that's often by having an authority figure explain things so that by sheer force of will, based on her own decision, she will take responsibility for her own actions, and act accordingly.
And what is that "having your hands full" malarkey about anyway?!! The dentist and the mother of SecondSister's friend both spoke those words to me on two consecutive days (and not because of any witnessed bad behaviour or other challenges - just, I think, because I have three children including a new toddler.) Now I'll be the first to admit I do have my hands full raising three spirited girls, but a) that's my choice (ahem, I mean God's plan), b) if my hands weren't full, I'd be depressed because they were empty and c) aren't everyone's hands full, in some way, these days?! Thankfully, I came across this piece of writing which now gives me the response I need to give to people: MY HANDS ARE FULL OF GOOD THINGS!!! HALLELUJAH!!!!
While I'm referring to other bloggers, I must thank the wise Betty Beguiles whose personal shopper postings have given my wardrobe a new lease of life. As I'm UK-based, I haven't used Betty personally, but her words of advice about clothing and sample pictures of outfits she has put together for other people have inspired me to get my wardrobe equipped with all the basics, and try something new....
....and I shopped at People Tree, which happened to be having a sale, so my new clothes are all fairly traded! Normally I find the costs of buying Fair Trade clothing prohibitive, which is ironic given that cheaper clothing is usually only lower priced because it's unfairly traded. But I found some nice pieces, both for this season and next, which were affordable, stylish and a little bit different. Thanks to Kristen at We Are That Family whose post reminded me about the true cost of clothing. I find it easy to spend a little extra on tea, coffee, rice and bananas, but with clothes, I try to cut costs. Must. Try. Harder.
In case anyone was wondering whether I am living in a little bubble (fish? fashion?), yes, there have been riots in our country (in our city, in fact), and it's unsettling and devastating. Whether they are a response to racial tensions; economic downturn; corrupt politicians; the prominence of wealthy celebrities and footballers; a consumerist society; an increasingly secular society; or a combination of all these things, the jury is still out. But my soul was relieved this week to learn about the Riot Wombles, who came out equipped with their brooms to clean up the physical mess, at least.
See more Quick Takes hosted by Jennifer Fulwiler here. For some reason my comment wouldn't post on there last week but I think we should - especially me!) heed what I wanted to post - we don't need to be on top of things, sometimes we just need to be - be present for our children, our spouses, our God and our selves, without striving for the control and order over our situation which may prove elusive for a time yet. Have a good week all.....