Solo week away

I’ve been trying to blog about my week away for over a week now, but I’ve been having some photo uploading issues. That and I’m addicted to The Crown. Moving on…

When the school holidays were fast approaching, I decided I really wanted to get away with the kids for a week, preferably with someone else on hand to help out. I then realised that Nanna’s 100th birthday fell on the middle Sunday of the school holidays, so if I was going to go away, it would have to be the Gold Coast. I jumped on line and found something fairly reasonably twice (reasonable after 2 glasses of wine on a Friday night if I’m being honest!) and just booked it.

So on the Friday in the middle of the school holidays, armed with my niece and brother-in-law (who drove the kombi), we set off down the coast.

I had rented a 3 bedroom townhouse on a canal in Elanora called Isle of Palms, and honestly, apart from being a bit on the small side, it was perfect. There was a lot of this:

Josie and Jacques only stayed until after the party on Sunday, and after that, it was just me and the kids, and my father-in-law 10 minutes away.

Even though I was a little apprehensive, part of me definitely wanted to know that I could do this whole “solo parenting” thing, so I went in armed with patience, loose plans, a positive attitude, and plenty of snacks, and gave it my best shot.

And you know what? We did all right. Better than all right. The place was just fantastic for the kids, and we got to spend a lot of time with “Poppy” (Frith’s Dad.) This was at our back door.

I did every evening on my own, and thanks to allowing them to watch TV every night while I put Jules to sleep, everything went really well and they were all out to it by 8:30pm each night. Which meant it was time for Commonwealth games watching with a glass of wine for me! Winning!

I was definitely exhausted by the time we were heading home, but I had booked in a sleep in for the Sunday morning, so I had that to look forward to. All in all an amazing week, and I would definitely go back to this place!

Flashback Friday

Frith all packed up and ready to drive the Land Cruiser during our move from Mount Isa to Rocky, January 2015. We met him there. He made an awesome playlist for the trip that I still have today. He was really into making awesome playlists. It’s comforting to listen to them now. Something else he left for me to remember him by.

Thanks again for that damn globe, Felix 🙂

Nanna is 100

I’ll let the photos tell the story… (mostly…)

My kids just love running around with their cousins, and their cousins are incredibly loving and generous with their time and enthusiasm. Such a gift.

Jules taking Uncle Jacques for a walk (one of many!)

Cousin love (second cousins? I don’t know. They’re all cousins to me!)
Nathan and Chance just hanging out together. This was roughly the age gap between Frith and Nathan (nephew) when they were growing up. My heart swelled watching them together.
“Quinn can I please take a photo of you?”
“Yep hang on while I get ready.”
Such a poser!

We had such a lovely afternoon, and as Darby lay asleep in my arms at around 4pm, I counted many many blessings in my life. Family, cousins in particular; all of whom came into my life, or were brought into my life, because of my love for Frith. Although he wasn’t there that day, he was never far from all of our thoughts, and he certainly brought a smile to my face and warmed my heart on a few occasions. He truly is always with us.

Flashback Friday

This photo was taken a year ago, on a work day at 7:11am.

“Can I do up your buttons Dadda?”

Already running late for work, Frith would never say no to his kids. No matter how long it took. Gosh I hope the kids remember this stuff. And if not I’m so glad I have these little moments documented.

And just to take the edge off, we were also dealing with head lice. It went on for weeks and weeks and the only effective method was conditioner + combing.

The three kids, (Jules was still tucked away in my tummy) every second day for 10 days. More than once!  Friggin nightmare!

An old story

This is an old story that I just remembered and wanted to document here.

Just after we moved to Melbourne, (2008!) I had to meet up with someone Frith knew who I’d never met. When we found each other, she told me “I knew it was you. Frith described you as “tall and pretty” and here you are!”

I replied with “really? That doesn’t sound like something he would say?” But she was adamant that that’s how he described me. I was still skeptical but let her think it anyway.

I asked him about it later. “Honey, just out of curiosity, how did you describe me to your friend?”

“Pretty tall…”

Ah. There it is. That was more like it. ❤

10 things on the 10th

10 of my favourite things (in no particular order. Except maybe # 1 & 2…)

1. Red wine – Cab Sav or a bold Barossa Shiraz if you don’t mind.

2. Dark chocolate – 70-80%

3. A good book, and having the time to read it – I’m trying to start a new book at the moment and it’s not really happening for me. Hmph.

4. A sleep in – I don’t do afternoon naps, I do sleep-ins. Getting out of bed once a day is enough for me.

5. A well made coffee – Pair this with a nice view and 20 minutes of peace (bahahahaha) to enjoy both, and I’m a happy woman.

6. A good weights work out. I miss my fit mums but have found somewhere to sweat it out down here.

7. Silence.

8. Fast Internet – this was always a high priority whenever we moved house, and I got very used to it!

9. Looking at photos – I (generally) love how Google photos sends me a “this day 1 or 2 or 4 years ago” album a couple of times a week. Obviously some of those photos are hard to look at but they are treasured memories.

10. Blogging. 10 years in July and I’m still here. Loving it, and this year it has been such an important outlet for me.

Worrisome

A few years back, Frith and I started asking the kids some questions each night.

“What was your favourite thing about today?”

“What was your least favourite thing about today?”

And more recently,

“Was there anything about today that worried you?”

We would normally do this at dinner time, but as of this year, obviously, it’s been a bit hard to keep on top of our usual routine. And I certainly haven’t had a lot of opportunity to ask these questions of Chance or Quinn on their own.

Tonight, at 8pm, Chance sidled up to me and said he wanted to go to bed. I took him upstairs, he brushed his teeth, and I tucked him in to bed. We had some cuddles and I asked him what his favourite thing about today was.

“uuuuummmmm playing my switch?” (Nintendo)

Whaaaaaat? He had had the day with his uncle Jacques and cousin Josie and his Poppy (Frith’s Dad) mostly in the pool or on the beach! I gave him some curry about it, but realised he was joking a bit as well.

What was his least favourite thing? Nothing. He said “absolutely nothing.”

The third question. “Was there anything about today that worried you?”

Chance: “There was one thing that worried me.”

Oh my gosh. What is it? What’s happened? Did you overhear my talking about Dadda? Has that made you sad? Did someone say something or do something to upset you? Did I upset you? Are you hurting? Is your heart breaking because you miss your Dadda? Tell me. I’m here for you sweetheart. Oh my gosh I want to protect you. I need to protect you. Tell me anything and everything. 

All of these thoughts rushed through my head in a second. I asked my boy, my sweet not-so-little boy, what worried him about today.

“I was worried when Darby hurt himself.”

Relief and gratitude and pride and joy swept over me in an instant. Darby had stepped on something sharp near the pool and his toe had bled (a fair bit) just before dinner. (He’s fine now.) I gave Chance the biggest squashy cuddle, just overjoyed at his empathy and concern for his brother, and he started giggling like crazy.

“What are you laughing about?”  I asked innocently.

“You squeezed me so hard that I farted!!”

A job well done I’d say.

Flashback Friday

This time 2 years ago. Isabelle and Darby.

Us saying goodbye at the airport after another lovely visit.

And this was us today. These girls are gorgeous and generous and kind and helpful and I’m proud to call them my nieces ❤❤❤

A hundred things a day

I seem to be going through phases of struggling with particular things. Some of them pass, other times they just get added to the pile of things that are making life harder for me.

In light of recent events, I would have thought that I wouldn’t sweat the small stuff as much; that I would know what was important and what was worth getting upset over. But no. I just get frustrated and annoyed at pretty much everything. All the time.

Other drivers on the road, the kids doing kid things at a glacial speed, or the lady before me in the line at the cafe today who took an age to place her order because she changed her mind 18 times and seemed to order for 18 people, and then, bless her cotton socks, when she went to pay, she wanted to let her two primary-school aged kids use their own money for their food, so she wanted to split the bill.

Give. Me. Strength. It was all I could do not to give an audible sigh of exasperation and storm off in a huff.

I used to tell Frith everything. I would regale  him with the most stupid stories when he’d get home from work (like the one above). And if they were particularly note-worthy I would text him during the day to fill him in, or give him a chuckle. I would tell him little anecdotes about the kids and text meaningless crap every single day.

Sometimes he would text back, and if I got a call I knew it was a slow day. If I didn’t hear anything it meant he was in theatre for the day, but I would just keep sending.

It’s been three months and a day, and the stuff I want to tell him keeps piling up.

He was the only one I could tell certain things to without feeling like a horrible human being. He was the one I could make awful inappropriate jokes to and not feel judged. There were so many dumb jokes we had together that only took one word or one look for us to giggle over.

I would bounce ideas off him, and make decisions with him about so many things. He was my go to, every time.

Not having that anymore has left such a void in my life. I have friends I can talk to of course, but you know it’s not the same. I’ve tried writing to him, but you know it’s not the same. I’ve yelled and cried and asked him why, but there is only silence.

I feel like I could burst with all the crap I want to share with him. Sure, he might know it all, looking down from above, but that’s not sharing, is it.

It’s just not the same. And it really sucks.

 

A happy Easter

Gosh what a weekend. I’ll get straight to the photos.

I had a lazy start to good Friday, getting the opportunity to go back to bed for a sleep in (thanks Mum and Dad!) and not emerging until nearly 10am (woooooo!!) After a bit of coffee and colouring,

we then got set to watch the start of the Brisbane to Gladstone yacht race. From the comfort of our balcony. With snacks.

The kids got such a kick out of it!

Darby with his “noculars”

After some yummy lunch and some quiet time, we bundled the kids into the bike pram and scooters and…. headed across the road to “our beach”.

That’s mum and dad’s house up there on the far left. Next to the huge block of units.

So yeah, like I said. Our beach. Jules getting his squat on to build up those quads.

Gosh this kid loves any kind of water!!

And Quinn is never afraid to get a bit of dirt in the skirt! (or boardies in this case)

If Darby has a truck in his hand, the world is good.

And Chance always says he doesn’t want to go to the beach because he doesn’t like the salty water and sand, but once we get there, he’s right into it.

It sometimes feels like a lot of work getting the kids across the road to the beach, but it’s always worth it and they always have an amazing time.

We went for a sleepover at aunty Liesel’s house last night, which included a huge stacks-on, meat cooked on the BBQ, and a Lego hunt this morning, all of which Frith would have been proud of. Not many photos taken, as I just wanted to soak it all up.

Now there is faaaaaaar too much chocolate in the house for my lack of discipline at the moment, so I might take it upstairs for Mum and Dad to watch over. I can’t believe how much chocolate the kids put away today (okay, I can)!!

Even though I’m still finding it hard to find joy in my days, I always see it in my kids. They have fun. Every single day. I know it will come again for me, and in the mean time, I will feel snippets of it through them. They truly are gorgeous, spirited kids and I’m so blessed to call them mine.