Flashback Friday

2 years ago today ❤️❤️❤️

This is the best photo from about 20 that I took. Julius is 6 days old, Darby 2, Quinn 4, Chance 6.

There are a few blog posts around the time Julius was born that I’ve just re-read and am so grateful (yet again) that I have this amazing record of our lives for the last 12 years. Not just photos, but stories that, over time, you forget. It’s so lovely.

If you want to catch up, head here. (It’ll be newest stories up the top, so scroll down for chronological order 🙂 )

Soooo I am child-free for the next 24 hours! (Thanks Mum and Dad!!!!) I have already gone to Pilates, had 2 cups of coffee, I have a hair cut in half an hour, and have planned my dinner tonight (seafood marinara with zoodles and a hint of chilli! And a glass of bubbly) and I have to decide what movie(s) to watch. Oh I’m so excitied! I have no set plans for the afternoon, but I’m sure I won’t have any trouble filling in the time. And I get my bed all to myself.

I love my kids, and I love them more when I get a chance to recharge! Bring it on!

It’s been too long!

Hey guys! How’s things?! Gosh it’s been a while, hasn’t it? I know I missed the 10 things this month; I was even going to do a “20 things on the 20th” yesterday, but missed that as well! It’s all been happening around here; up/down, good/bad/ugly, and everything in between!

Most importantly, Julius turned 2!!

This kid cracks me up. He is getting more and more communicative and adorable by the day. And so independent and full of ideas!! Still happy to (mostly) go along with the other kids, but he’s learning to stand his ground, that’s for sure!

I was pretty pleased with the cake I made for him too.

Chance and Quinn and I got so hooked on Lego Masters. What a great show!! I was super skeptical to be honest, but I loved how it really was all about the building and not about the drama. After putting the boys to bed, we would wait until they were asleep and sneak the TV on. It was lovely actually!

Speaking of lovely, Mothers Day was really nice this year. I went out the evening before for my cousin’s birthday, and while Darby and Jules had a sleepover at Gran and Grumpy’s, I got a great night sleep at home, and Chance and Quinn got themselves up and put the TV on and let me sleep in until 9:30!! Had a nice catch up with Gran and Grumpy for brunch and then back home for rest time, movie time, gardening, and fish and chips for dinner. Then the seven of us watched Lego Masters together! 🙂

This was the view from our house the other morning!

I found an Easter Egg last week that the kids obviously missed in the egg hunt!! Bonus!!

We got a pet fighting fish that the kids named Jeffrey, after a character in a show they watch called Deep. The character is also a fish. The kids want guinea pigs, but a fish is even better!! 🙂

I think that is just about everything to catch you all up! I have a few blog posts kicking around in my head at the moment, but am finding it hard to get the motivation up when I have the time, and adding brain space to the equation… well….. it’ll happen some time I hope!

I don’t really want to join in the choruses of “I can’t believe it’s May already” but honestly, I feel like I’ve lost a year. I know I can’t get it back; I know I can’t turn back the clock, and I know I have to find a way forward, and to forgive myself for my unhealthy lifestyle, knowing it doesn’t have to be like this forever. But gosh it’s hard. Some days are better than others, but generally I’m just finding the day-to-day grind takes everything out of me.

I wish I could outsource my “self care”, but I guess that’s the point. It’s about putting myself first, if only for half and hour a day, to recharge, so I can be a better Mama, and a nicer person to myself.

Now I might have a quick nap before the afternoon shenanigans begins!

Aaaaaaaaaand Julius just woke up….

A Mixed Bag

And it’s not even the 10th of the month! Although it seems to be fast approaching! Ugh. In fact, it is May the 4th today, International Star Wars Day. A lot of random things have been popping in to my head the last few days. What better place to share them, than here!

I love my kids, and I love watching movies at home. However, I do not like watching movies at home with my kids. They get so excited that I’m sitting with them, that they jump all over me and ask a million questions. Hard pass.

The kids are watching Ratatouille tonight. As a rule, I generally don’t like when animals and people interact in movies, but I love this movie. I also loved eating some delicious pasta with sauce from my freezer, made with love by my lovely friends who visited a few weeks ago. Delicious thanks ladies!!!

Me and the lovely Sarah

I spent a whole day (finally!) yesterday, child-free and unpacking and organising and sorting my house and it finally feels like my home. As I was getting ready for my shower last night, I found a piece of Lego stuck to my boob. I remembered that earlier, I was picking stuff up, I found some Lego and didn’t have a pocket so I stuffed it in my bra. Classy as.

People keep telling me to take time out for myself. And I do try, but Quinn has been particularly clingy lately (and super feisty!!) so “me time” is often “us time” but I do love colouring in, so it’s quite lovely. Today we had a couple of hours to kill while Chance was at a party, and I wanted to hit up a couple of op-shops, and she didn’t want to, so I pestered her for an hour until she finally caved. Winning.

Julius turns two in two weeks. He is so hilarious and cute and a delight and funny and adorable. But he is also nearly two, and he is all that comes with that territory. And I’m being re-introduced to all the challenges that come with two-year-olds. The tantrums, the defiance, the lack of effective communication skills, the getting in to everything, the fussy eating etc etc. It did occur to me that this is the first time I have had a two-year-old without a newborn in tow, so that’s got to be a plus, right? RIGHT???

Look at that strut!!

Julius has also be sick on and off all year. Hoping to have at least a few weeks off from illness now please!!!

Poor Bubba 🙁

Anyway, back to the date today. May the 4th has a very different meaning for me these days. It’s the day that Dr Andrew Bryant Died by suicide in 2017. My mum showed me the article when it came out, as he was her doctor at the time, and I remember it really saddened me. The day after Frith died, I told my cousin about the article that I had remembered, and told her that I needed to somehow get in touch with this Doctor’s wife. And because it’s Brisbane, my cousin knew someone who knew the family, and days later, I had Sue’s email address. We have been meeting up semi-regularly (not enough!) ever since, and she has been an amazing support to me.

So, Andrew, I never met you, but you sound like you were so like Frith; always the life of the party, quirky, intelligent, and a very deep thinker, and so much more. I hope the two of you are out there in The Force somewhere, watching over us all.

Melbourne Trip

Nearly a month has passed (flown by) since I took Chance and Quinn to Melbourne for a few days to stay with my brother and sister-in-law. It was so much fun and completely exhausting all at once! I honestly thought it would be such an easy trip, just with the two older kids, and that it would actually feel like a holiday.

Logistically, it was definitely easier. No nappies or toddler paraphernalia to pack, no stroller or nap times to consider, no bag of tricks for the plane ride to entertain kids for 5 minute intervals etc etc.

But emotionally? Woah. The kids were in this constant state of excitement/tired and overwhelmed I think, which was the perfect combination for meltdowns at 10pm, just around the time when I wanted to be hanging out with Kris and Kate, drinking delicious home brew. Not consoling a 6-year-old the first night and an 8-year-old the next night.

I really tried not to pack too much in to the trip, but I hadn’t really factored in all the walking we did, and all the time spent in the car getting from A to B. It really did take a lot out of them!

Anyway, I am already planning our next trip in October for PAX, and I’ve learned some lessons from this trip for sure! On with the photos!

Easiest plane trip EVER!!!! I got to read my book!
I took them to Frith St, Brunswick 🙂
And of course, Savers on Sydney Rd!
There were lots of walks with Brews the Dog – the weather was STUNNING!
And a lovely catch-up with my gorgeous niece
Quinn got to know Brews and by the second day of our trip, was patting him and not as scared!! This was HUGE as Quinn is pretty much terrified of dogs, generally…
Melbourne really turned on the most gorgeous weather for us, but that meant I just carried jumpers around wherever we went! Trust issues much??
We spent the morning at the Melbourne Aquarium which was great and included a 4D Ice Age show which was hilarious!
Fluffy baby penguin!!!!
Ice cream every day! Of course!
We headed to St Kilda to see the penguins that night as well. It’s a thing!!
The Melbourne sky line from St Kilda pier, with all the boats. Just gorgeous.

I really loved taking the kids to Melbourne. For me, it was where Frith and I really established ourselves as a married couple, and we have so so many memories that I fall back on.

On the Friday morning we hit up ScienceWorks which was heaps of fun, then while Kris and Kate went their own way for some important business we headed over to our good friends place for a huge med school catch up. Almost all of our close friends from Melbourne Uni days were able to make it which was completely fabulous! There were 8 kids there and 9 adults for most of the evening and it felt wonderful being with my Melbourne crew again. These people are some of the best I know, and I love that we have all stayed close over the last 10 years.

Saturday was more catch-ups and then the flight home in the evening which was delayed for nearly two hours all up, but the kids and I kept ourselves entertained with eye-spy and guessing games.

Darby and Julius went really well with Mum and Dad (thank you!!!!) and we even found a gorgeous penguin onesie for Darby at one of the op shops we visited!!

I was honestly so exhausted by the time we got home, but with a little more planning next time, I know we can have another great trip.

Blood, sweat and tears

And boxes. And bags. And random stuff thrown into piles and dumped into the back of my car.

The sweat was me, the blood and tears were poor Julius. Yes, our first night in the house and we had a mouthful of blood. I think he did a big old face plant (which may have be accidentally instigated by Darby rushing past him) and put his tooth through the side of his cheek. Poor little guy.

Though they looked pretty happy once they were fed and bathed and ready to play again! Julius paused just long enough on his way up to Quinn’s top bunk to give me a big cheeeeeeese!

And I’m pretty pleased with myself now, with all of them asleep and the sound of my keyboard tapping away. Because the Wifi is working and the NBN over this side of the bridge is so much better! Winning!

I still have heaps to do, but we’re in and everything else will come in time. Happy School Holidays, one and all! 🙂

10 things on the 10th

10 things that are changing for us

1. I’m hoping to move is in to our new home early next week. It’s the first time I’ve lived on my own, as in the only adult in the house, in my life.

2. Chance is growing up, physically and emotionally, before my eyes. He is taking on more responsibility (most of the time) and really reveling in it.

3. Julius is such a chatterbox! Repeating everything he hears (not always a good thing, right Mum!!? 🤣)

4. Quinn seems to be having lots of power struggles at the moment; things need to be on her terms, and if they are not, you’ll know about it. Like she couldn’t open the door at the new house the other day and yelled at me for buying a house with such a heavy door. 🤪

5. On the flip side, she can be the most caring, gentle angel, wanting to help with Julius and just shower him with love. It’s a delicate balance (on a knife’s edge!!)

6. Darby is basically perfectly behaved when I’m not around. I try not to take it too personally… When he does make a bad choice that I pull him up on, his response these days is “that’s my bad”. Hysterical!! He is really coming in to his own as well, and we are already talking about how he will be in prep next year!! What?…

7. We are leaving our safety umbrella of mum and dad’s, but we are only a 12 minute drive away…

8. The kids have all been in the same bedroom together since we moved to Rockhampton over four years ago. At the new house, Chance and Quinn will share a room and Darby and Jules will share the other. And let’s be honest, I’ll be sharing with all of them. It’ll be interesting to see how they go!

9. Julius climbed out of his cot a few times last week, so I might be transitioning him to a big boy bed as soon as we get to the new house. Crazy, I know! Am I really ready for this??

10. Everything. Basically everything is changing again. New memories to be had in a new house, but it will all take some getting used to. Thanks for coming along for the ride. ❤️

There should be six

I had a moment the other morning, where I was caught out. I was filling up everyone’s water bottles for the day. School for Chance and Quinn, kindy day for Darby and Julius, and I was going on a walk with my dear friend for the morning (thanks K). I thought to myself “there should be six water bottles” since I was getting one for all of us.

But there were only five.

It took me probably 10 seconds of absent-mindedness to realise why there weren’t six. I think I rolled my eyes and kicked myself and was brought back to my reality.

And it just happened momentarily once again, as I was skimming through the Woollies catalogue. I saw that Heinz Meat in a Can was half price and thought “I should grab a few”.

I would never eat meat from a can, but somehow Frith thought it was okay. Well, it was more the convenience of having a whole meal that he could take to work and leave there, and it would still be okay two months later. Not like the leftovers I would send to work with him that would stay in his bag all day, that he would remember about at 3pm, and would eat after microwaving the crap out of it (and melting my Tupperware in the process several times) and declare it was “still good!”

I always thought it was funny that he had an iron gut for some things, for example reheating leftover KFC chicken after it had been sitting in the fridge for a week, then promptly forgetting about it, discovering it in the microwave the next day, and reheating it once more. And eating it. And living to tell the tale. (Actually, that was one of the stories his best man told at our wedding. Classic stuff.) Yet when he started eating hot and spicy KFC a few years ago, he would suffer the next day. Every time. Yet he persisted.

I feel like I’m a year behind in my grief. Does that make sense? I feel like, the way I’m feeling and behaving now, is how everyone expected me to feel and behave a year ago. But this time last year, I was a machine. No one could believe how well I was “coping”. I was filling out forms like a mad-woman; I was exercising pretty much every day; I was there for the kids emotionally and physically; I was just go go go and in survival mode; I knew Frith wasn’t around, and I didn’t expect him to be, because nothing in my physical environment reminded me that he should be here. (The kids are my emotional environment FYI.)

But now, getting up every day is hard; exercising is a chore and always comes last in my to-do list; I’m still filling out forms, but with lest gusto; I’m finding the kids’ demands so… demanding!

I’m having moments of forgetting that Frith isn’t here anymore.

More than anything, I’m finding this all very interesting, and not as upsetting as the story sounds. I’m unpacking so much of this with my new psych, and I feel like I’m actually moving forward, slowly, with my journey, instead of being stuck.

I’ve been stuck, so stuck, for months. Unable to see anything in my future that could possibly bring me joy. Perhaps this is the ominous cloud lifting. Perhaps nothing will change for a few more months. Undoubtedly, it will be hard to get out of bed for a while longer, since I’m not a morning person 🙂

That’s enough for this rainy Friday night. Thanks for reading. Thanks for being here.

It helps.

10 things on the 10th

Random edition. I know there have a been a few random editions, and I guess it’s because that’s how my life is rolling at this time 🤪

1. I got ripped off on fb marketplace while trying to buy cool Bento-style lunch boxes for my kids. They took the money and ceased contact with me. Never happened before. What is wrong with people??

2. We had an awesome time at Wynnum today with the kids. They loved it!! And it was great catching up with a friend while we were out there.

3. Renovations are still going! Have had the floors sanded and polished and they look incredible. Looking at more like April at the earliest to move in.

4. I had been pretty low these last couple of months, and the last few weeks in particular. Thursday began with me almost not being able to drag my sad sorry self out of bed. Mum and dad obviously noticed and helped out even more. And then mum said to me, as I was crankily making a jam sandwich for Quinn that I knew she would barely touch, “maybe it’s time to put some music on?” And it helped. Gee it helped. Thanks Mum ❤️ I think I turned a tiny corner right then and there.

5. I’ve started seeing a new psychologist and I like her.

6. Chance is doing great after his surgery and I’d say is almost 100% better.

7. Watching My Kitchen Rules actually gave me anxiety the other evening, as the contestants were being so awful to each other!! I know it’s all heavily produced but it honestly made me ill.

8. I got to spend International Women’s Day with my uni girls. We met in our first year of uni, 20 years ago this month. It was the absolute best way to honour such an important day 😍

9. I got to go out with a gorgeous bunch of ladies last night for dinner. So good!!

10. I’ve just discovered a new show on Netflix called After Life. It’s all Ricky Gervais and it’s crass and inappropriate and just what I need right now. 😜