Thursday, 14 April 2011

House-Wifely Thoughts

Today is a beautiful day.

Technically it is Autumn and winter is fast approaching, but today it feels more like Spring. There is no wind except a soft, warm breeze. The morning began with a chill in the air which gently dispersed as the sun rose higher in the sky. This is my favourite kind of morning. It prepares me for action like the usual waking-in-a-pool-of-sweat Queensland morning never can.

Having taken on the cloth-nappy life-style one of my first chores of the day is to drain the nappy bucket and tip the contents into the washer for a double rinse-cycle. I can't explain what it is, but there is something strangely satisfying about this task. Maybe it is the fact that I have an electrical appliance that does most of the work for me? I know I have it easy compared to previous generations of women.

While I am busy in my laundry I sometimes think about the women who must have slogged it out there before me. Most of them would have done all their washing by hand. The concrete slab that my washer and dryer sit on is a new addition to the 100 year old house we live in.  The laundry basin is original. It's three huge tubs are molded out of worn concrete.  This is an excellent laundry tub for washing cloth-nappies in, by the way. Each tub has a dedicated tap. One tub even has a built-in washboard, should I ever get the urge to do it the hard way.  Opposite the triple-tub is the brick surround of an old fire-place. Above the fire-place is a platform with a large round hole in it for the 'copper' - the huge bowl that my modern washer has replaced. The 'copper' is long-gone. Maybe cashed-in by a previous home-maker to pay for her shiny new washing-machine.

I'm relieved that I have a sympathetic landlady who also loves old things and only performed minimal improvements on this beautiful house.

The house is built in the typical 'queenslander' style. It is raised from the ground enough to have storage and laundry underneath, but not high enough to be legal head-height. This creates a laundry ceiling height more suited to midgets. Thankfully, I am part-midget, having never grown more then three and a bit feet in my whole life since being born at the ridiculous length of two feet long.

I have wanted to live in a house like this all my life. Although there are things that bug me, literally - like mosquitoes flying in through the unscreened windows, I am grateful for the chance to live in this house - even if only for a little while. This house was a gift from God. He went above and beyond answering my small prayers.

It is a pleasure to have a job to do and then be given the tools to do it. This morning I am grateful for my mummy job, grateful for sunshine, grateful for my old-lady house, grateful for modern washing machines, grateful for a loving husband, grateful for my lovely monkeys and grateful for, and to, my God.


  1. Hello Ange!

    I got your comment... you are a lovely munchkin. I sent you a text but not sure if I have an up-to-date number, so... yes, I'm still pregnant! For another 9 weeks or so anyway. And yes, we'll be home this easter so it would be lovely to see you and all your boys, who seem to grow in number every time you come down! I hope all is well, and I'm glad you enjoy washing the nappies :)

    love katherine

  2. Hello! I am a new follower from Finding New Friends blog hop! Looking forward to checking in with your blog often! I hope you will follow my new blog!

    My blog:


  3. I love the post! Now a days being grateful it something you hear rarely and I am glad that I am not only one that is that way! I am your newest follower from the finding new friends blog hop over the weekend. I am one of the hosts! Stopping by to say hi! Hope to see ya on all my blogs :)

  4. I love old houses like that. Ours is from the 1920s and we're undoing some of the half-finished re-dos that the previous owners did.

  5. hey you have a new follower. please follow back.

  6. What sort of cloth nappies are you using? I have been using disposables since the twins are born but now that I've surfaced for air, I'm keen to start using cloth at least part time. It won't be full time because I have twins and also we are in an apartment with no outdoor drying space. A friend gave me a couple of PeaPods and another friend says she likes Itty Bitty. Or are you using old-school terry towelling?

    The modern disposables are really amazing - I really don't have to change them very often at all and the twins have never had nappy rash or redness.

  7. Hello lovely Caitlin, what a nice surprise to find your comments on here! I hope you and your beautiful family are well and the twins are growing nicely. Yes, I use modern cloth nappies. The brand I use is Baby Beehinds and the type is Magic-Alls Multi-fit. I'm very happy with them. You can buy them direct from their website. They're quite expensive initially but much cheaper for the pocket and the planet in the long run. I've written a post about them here:
    Using cloth is very different to disposables and hard to get used to at first. They are certainly not as 'convenient' and need to be changed with each feed and usually before/after each nap. If you're doing lots of feeds at night you will definitely have to change nappies at night too. If you're only planning on doing cloth part time, can I suggest that you stick with disposables for night-time until you are down to only one or less feeds a night? And when you will be away from home for more than one nappy change. Having two means you will struggle to take cloth nappy supplies with you for both babies for a whole day. The websites won't tell you this but we have to be realistic :-).