10 things on the 10th

10 things that are making me cranky/upset/frustrated that I wish I could let go

1. My milk frother. I bought this for Hubs for Christmas and have had to take it back twice for a replacement and the third one is still not working as I feel it should. Just over it.

2. The kids making a mess in the bathroom at bathtime. It’s just water. They are having fun. They are just being kids. It’s just water.

3. The kids taking a long time and multiple asking to do anything. I need to approach my way of asking better. Less hollering I suspect.

4. My family not coming for their food when I tell them it’s ready. I’m not quite ready to let this one go but perhaps I need to give more warning. 10 minutes til dinner. 5 minutes til dinner.

5. Constantly picking up toys. The same toys. Every day. Mostly Octonauts. At least they are getting played with, right?

6. Reading the same books every night. I tell the kids to get two stories each, and try to find one we haven’t read in ages. A week is ages to a 4-year-old by the way.

7. Not being able to bend over easily and tie my shoes. I know it will get harder before it gets easier.

8. Not being able to drag myself out of bed when my 6:05am alarm goes off. I was in such a great habit last year but now I’m just tired. So much of it is a mental battle and I’m afraid I’m losing that battle at the moment.

9. My apparent inability to be fun for more than 5 minutes at a time and instead just being cranky. All I can hear coming out of my mouth is “what are you doing? Stop that! I can’t believe you just did that!?”

10. The school drop off and pick up. I really don’t know how to make this easier on myself without outsourcing!

I keep waiting for things to change; for my mood to lift, to feel more rested, to be more patient, but I realise these things are going to take effort on my part. And right now I just don’t know where I’m going to find the energy to put that effort in dammit!

I feel robbed

You know, the longer you leave blogging, the harder it is to get back into it?

I guess that can be said for a lot of things; tidying up the house, exercise, etc.

The fact that we haven’t had internet at home for over a month is, well, it’s just an excuse really, isn’t it. I can always tether my mobile (which I’m doing now) but even that has seemed like a pain.

Life is cruising along nicely. Our renovations are progressing, albeit a bit  slower than we’d like, but probably at about the speed we expected.

You might be wondering about the title of this post. Well, it has to do with the year 2016. I occurred to me a few weeks ago that it was October. I don’t want to fill the screen with cliches of “I can’t believe how this year has flown” because I hate stating the obvious. The problem is, I have lived this year in 2 week increments. Ever since February, when we started the loan process to get these renovations done, we kept being told “it’ll just be another couple of weeks.” So I have fundamentally wished this year away in 2 week blocks. I just kept looking forward to the “in 2 weeks time” instead of being in the now.

The loan ended up taking about 14 weeks to be approved thanks to the sheer incompetence and uselessness of the branch we went through. Everything kept getting hand-balled to other people and no one wanted to take any kind of responsibility for lost paperwork, (we had to sign a particular form three times), mishandled emails, (our case manager left the branch without handing our file over) and unreturned phone calls. I had honestly had enough when they finally sent out the final paperwork. Thankfully we had gone ahead with getting plans drawn up and a builder was secured.

Works were meant to start in June, but there was “just a couple of weeks delay” due to the timing of things, so then it was supposed to be in July while we were in Brisbane, but because of “a couple more weeks to finalise A, B & C”,  things didn’t really kick off until September.

And woosh. There goes 7 months of “just a couple more weeks”.

Robbed I tell you. My year has been spent on the phone and computer, organising a hundred things that have to line up precisely before anything can a) start and b) progress. It’s been sad more than frustrating to be honest. I don’t like feeling the pressure of the end of the year without any kind of plan in place for November and December.

But onwards and upwards. What’s done is done, and what’s being done, ie our beautiful new deck and under the house slab, is a little dream come true. And I’m truly thankful there have been no major dramas. Touch wood. There’s still a bit to do…

Christmas this year will be a quiet affair at home, with friends who are passing through, and neighbours who will be enjoying the view with us. As much as I love a huge Christmas surrounded by dozens of friends and family members, there’s something to be said for a lazy day of playing with the kids, eating good food, and enjoying marvelous surrounds.

I promise to be a bit more vocal on the old blog as well, now that I’ve broken the seal, so to speak. See you round.

Today, I win

If you have a partner, and have children, and one of you leaves the house each day to go to work while the other stays home with the children, you will inevitably have had the “who has it easier” thoughts/discussions/fights, and if you haven’t then you’re either a saint or it’s simmering under the surface, waiting to erupt when your partner leaves his breakfast bowl on the table yet again, even though your five and three year olds can manage to PUT THEIRS IN THE DAMN SINK!!!

Right. Where was I?

Aaaah yes. That moment in the morning, when everything is peaceful; where the children have pleasantly eaten their breakfast, are playing quietly, and your partner sighs and says “you’re so lucky that you get to stay at home with them and play all day.” You grit your teeth, because some days what you would rather be doing is literally anything else. You look at your (I’m sure well-meaning partner) and say “you’re so lucky you get to go to work and be productive and interact with other adults and not have to wipe anyone’s bum but your own and drink hot coffee and not be in this house all day because your baby boy has explosive diarrhea!”

Then there are the other days when chaos is taking over the world and your partner looks at you with sympathy and says “see ya!”

And that’s the problem. Even when the stay at home parent is victorious in the “who has it harder game” the other parent still gets to walk away, albeit the loser, but there they go. Off to work.*

So yes folks, today I win the “who has it harder” game. But the victory is fleeting, because I still have to deal with said explosive diarrhea and not go to the gym in case he spreads it (literally, in every sense of the word) which is such a drag for me because you know how much I look forward to my twice weekly fit mums class.

But YAY LOOK AT ME! I’M THE WINNER!!!!!!!!!!!!!


*you may be able to tell from my tone, that I believe I’m always the winner of the “who has it harder” game, but I let Hubs thinks he has won every now and then 🙂

1000 words

Back to where it all began.

We’ve been in Melbourne for less than 48 hours and it feels like we never left. How is that possible? Since leaving the city almost six years ago, we have moved house seven times and had three kids. That’s a lot of life changes by anyone’s standards.

Maybe I just want to feel like I never left. This is a week of freedom for Hubs and I; to live it up and do whatever we please. We’ve been reminiscing like crazy and going to all our favourite places. Just like old times.

Moving to Melbourne was a real turning point in my life, and so much has happened because of that decision to move. Hubs broached the subject of him wanting to study down here when we first got together and I’m pretty sure my thoughts were “noooooooo! I don’t want to leave Brisbane! Nanny will be devastated!” Outwardly I would have been much cooler I’m sure.

Five months later, in May 2007, we took a trip down here “just to check it out”. Oh and Frith had his interview with Melbourne uni. After spending some time in the city, and meeting his gorgeous family down here, I was sold. I was also thinking a certain question might be popped during our visit, but he had other plans for that the following month.

A bit over a year later, at the end of a long, cold, amazingly fun trip down in the kombi, we arrived as husband and wife. And a few days later I started this blog. All of our highs and lows and in-betweens have been documented here. I never thought I would keep it up for so long but blogging is just a part of my life now. I had talked about starting a blog for months, but it wasn’t until we moved that I actually felt the urge to begin.

Melbourne changed me, and for the better I believe. It was time for me to get out on my own, with my new husband; my new family, by my side. We were a unit the two if us; in love, invincible; and in Melbourne.

The first six months were hard. I went from having social engagements every night in Brisbane, to no friends and nothing to do in Melbourne. Frith made friends easily through medicine, and while they knocked off at midday on a Friday and headed to the pub, I was working full time to support us. Resentment crept in. Jealousy tapped me on the shoulder. Feelings I never thought possible towards my shiny new, perfect husband surfaced.

For the most part I ignored those feelings; pushed them deep down and put on a smiling face. But a few too many wines would bring it all bubbling to the surface and everything would come pouring out. Once the booze wore off, and we were able to communicate like adults, Hubs would make me spill my guts. Everything. All my insecurities, my suspicions were all heard out and all reassured. We were still new at this thing called marriage. We had to work out our own path and figure out what worked for us.

Reality had set in and not all was perfect. But that’s what marriage is all about. Being perfect for each other, and doing the very best you can. Being your own person and not trying to be someone you’re not, just to please your spouse. I was trying to be everything Hubs wanted me to be, when all I had to do was to be myself. That’s who he fell in love with. The cat was well and truly out of the bag before we got married – he knew I wasn’t perfect and he loved me for it.

I just had to learn to love myself a little more. I had to figure out who I was without my family and friends around to define me. This took some time, and it turns out I’m still a work in progress. But I’ve learnt to love the process and the journey, and not just try and skip to the end result.

So as I walk around Melbourne now, dropping in on familiar places that feel like old friends, I remember Renae from 2008 and I reassure her that things are working out pretty well. I tell her that she and Hubs will never stop disagreeing on things, but that we always sort things out and get stronger. I tell her that even though she has to move around a lot, the adventures that follow make it worthwhile. I tell her to enjoy her sleep-ins and hot coffees, because once the kids come, they are the first things to go.

I tell her about the friends she will meet and the people who she will stay in touch with; it will surprise her who makes the effort to keep in contact. I tell her that she might want to stop at three children and not have four or five like they always talk about, but I know she’ll never believe me. I tell her how Hubs is a wonderful father but she already knows that.

I tell her that Nanny will never get to meet her great-granddaughter and that will upset her. A lot. Especially when her middle name is Maria, and she reminds her of Nanny everyday.

I tell her not to worry so much about what is to come; to trust Hubs more, as he always comes through with the goods. I remind her to tell Hubs everyday how much he is loved. He puts on a tough exterior, but, just like her, he needs to know.

So as I sit here staring at the bottom of another cup of coffee, waiting for Hubs to finish his GSSE, and wondering where life will take us next, I am grateful that we started our journey here in this beautiful city, full of incredible people and memories.

We’ll always have Melbourne.


This wasn’t supposed to happen

When Mum arrived on Friday (yay!) I began willing myself not to get sick. My body has a habit of putting the guard down once mum arrives in the scene. It’s like “yay she’s arrived! Here’s a sore throat, runny nose and whopping sinus headache. Enjoy!”

But this? This is too much. A tummy bug woke up Quindy (and in turn the rest of the house) around 3am and not much sleep has been had since. I had to leave half way through the gym session because my guts started rumbling. And a couple of hours ago, the inevitable.

I’ve been in bed all day – something I haven’t done for a very long time. Thank goodness for my mum is all I can say. I just hope she doesn’t come down with anything! Because then who will get me cold drinks!

Thankfully it seems to have been a fleeting thing with Quindy as she’s been fine since 7am. I’m hoping I will get away with the same…


… as Chanbe would say.

Since when can you email from an aeroplane? Hubs hit the skies on an A380 last night and a few hours later I got an email telling me he’d flown over Rocky and Mount Isa and was currently over Sri Lanka!

Seriously! I was so excited! I hadn’t expected to hear from him until he landed in London, which will be in less than an hour by the way. We’ve been sending little snippets of our day/flight which has been nice. He told me about his fritata and vodka and orange for breakfast, I told him the boys woke up at 5am; he told me about his beef something-or-other for lunch, I told him the kids were starting to get feral; he sent the following snippet:

No one to talk to in a crowded airport. Sitting jam packed next to people with ear buds in.
There is a couple with a four month old who have been to Spain and new Zealand. They told me it’s easy to travel with kids! And I told the person next to me that my name is Joe 🙂

And I responded with a smug “traveling with a 4-month-old is very different to traveling with kids.”

Anyway you get the drift. It’s been nice having that connection with him in this time. AND I was just chatting with a friend in line and she said “gotta go – I’m on a plane on the way to Spain.”

Seriously!? So freaking cool!

This post was going to be about the horrendous day I had with the kids today. I jotted down a bunch of notes when they went to bed, but I just don’t have the emotional energy to deal with that at the moment. I feel like a completely horrible mum after today’s efforts, yet the kids still hugged me and kissed me and told me they love me as I was tucking them in.

I guess one horrible day doesn’t ruin all the wonderful days. Kind of like when you eat well most of the time and then have a splurge. It doesn’t make a difference, as long as you move on, don’t dwell on it, and don’t let it happen often.

It’s the moving on and not dwelling that I may find challenging. But tomorrow is a new day and I have lots of things planned so the kids won’t have time to be little so-and-so’s and I can focus on the positives for the day. And now I’m thoroughly exhausted so I’m off to bed.

Tomorrow is a new day.

Tomorrow is a new day…

Dear Woollies laser lad

Hi! Remember me? You put my groceries through your checkout yesterday at around 5pm. I was the slightly frazzled looking lady with an adorable baby boy sitting in my trolley. You greeted me with an apology for taking so long putting the previous customer’s groceries through. You said you just weren’t on your game that day. I assured you that I hadn’t noticed.

We exchanged a few pleasantries; you asked how my day was, I said it had been fine; you asked where I had purchased my shopping bags, I told you I bought them at DFO in Brisbane, and so forth.

I started watching you pack my bags, and I must agree you were not on your game at all.

I’m one of those very considerate shoppers who groups like-items together on the belt so that a) it’s quick and easy for you to pack and b) it’s  quick and easy for me to unpack at home. You should be so lucky to have me as your customer. I then tended to my baby boy and took no notice of your packing.

Let me just say here that I thank you, and appreciate that you have obviously looked at me and thought to yourself “now here’s a woman who has it all together. Here’s a woman who will be unpacking the shopping as soon as she gets home.” No really – that was so sweet of you.

The reality is, if one lot of shopping gets unpacked before I head back to the shops a few days later, I’m doing well.

So it rather perplexed me when I was loading the bags into the back of my car, that you had loaded up one of the cooler bags to overflowing and ridiculously heavy, and had only put one item in the other cooler bag. It happened to be meat and I almost didn’t even notice it in there and almost left it in the car thinking it was empty.

And then this morning’s discovery. I had only managed to unpack the cold stuff when I got home last night, and again I appreciate that you would think I would make a mental note of everything I was putting away, but alas I didn’t. So when I opened up one of the bags to put the sweet potatoes, potatoes and pumpkin away, I discovered the fresh lasagne sheets and 3 stray kids yogurts.

What the hell.

Lucky for you I’m able to breathe deeply and roll my eyes and move on, but not before blogging about it.

So thanks for the blog fodder, but next time please use your noodle.



I blame the Queen

Strap yourselves in people. This one’s a long one!

My head hurts. We just finished watching the movie Predestination. Have you seen it? It’s a bit like watching Inception; with constant thinking and re-thinking what you thought to be true; analysing and over-analysing; jumping from here to there and back again; and have realisation after revelation, only to be completely wrong in your assumptions until the last second of the movie.

It was pretty good actually. But yes, my head hurts from all of the thinking.

So what does any of this have to do with the Queen? I’ll get to that.

On a side note, I need to stop writing blog posts in my head when I’m nowhere near a computer. Whenever I do that, the actual blog post is always a disappointment, as I invariably forget all the good stuff that came off the cuff (ie in the shower, on one of my walks, etc etc) and am left with a jumbled mess of incoherent thoughts. Ironically, I pretty much nailed this last paragraph which I thought up in the shower 10 minutes ago.

Let’s get on with it, shall we?

Let me tell you a little secret. Actually, it’s no secret at all. I’ve been slipping a bit with my organisation skills. In the last year, I have had three pretty major travel arrangement stuff-ups, and I’m so over it. There was the time when Jetstar didn’t let me fly at 34 weeks pregnant with Darby without a doctors’ clearance for this trip (I can’t believe I didn’t blog about that! I think I was just over it), then there was the great wrong date booking of March 2015.

And now, a new winner. You see, I’ve been meaning to renew mine and Hubs’ passports for years. Yes, you read that right. Mine expired in 2011 and Hubs’ expired in 2010. It’s been on my to-do list all that time, but I just never got around to it, and never really had the need. Until just over two weeks ago. Hubs was told that there was a place in a course in Wellington NZ available due to a cancellation, and would he like it. Well yes he would!

Two weeks was plenty of time to get a passport! Except that we needed a signature of someone who had known Hubs for over a year. Thankfully, Friday week ago, my dear cousin was coming to visit, so we intercepted her at the airport here on the Friday night, so Hubs could attend his appointment to get the passport on Saturday morning.

You’re still waiting for the Queen, right? Or maybe you’ve figured it out already?

We were still being assured at this stage that the passport would arrive in time. I had booked Hubs’ flights, accommodation, paid for his course, booked his domestic flight from Wellington to Auckland to visit his bro and sister-in-law (helloo!!!!!) before returning home. We were set, but just to make sure, Hubs paid the extra $110 for “priority post” so nothing was left to chance.

By Friday, it still hadn’t arrived, but we were told it was on the way. And then Monday was a public holiday. But it was okay. We still had until 1pm on Tuesday, as Hubs’ flight to Brizzie left at 1:30pm. So while Hubs was at work on Tuesday, we waited for the postman to deliver the goods.

By midday, we were getting nervous. By 12:30, Hubs had arrived home and we were panicking just little (a LOT!) And then we spotted him down the road. I got into the car and raced (drove carefully) to find the postman. I pulled him up and enquired about the passport. He didn’t even have our street’s mail!!! It was at the depot, but being the kind soul he was, he said that he would meet us at the depot in 15 minutes to get it for us.

I flew back and picked up Hubs, and we felt sweet relief. We were going to make it after all! I was just so excited as the adrenaline pumped through my veins. We met the postie when he advised and he set about finding the registered parcel.

Except there was nothing there.

Devastation/frustration/fury/disappointment/bewilderment… you name it, I was feeling it. I was defeated. But Hubs had one trick left up his sleeve. If he could get onto someone in Brisbane, maybe just maybe he could still get some kind of paperwork that would get him there. After being on hold, and being cut-off, he had to make a split decision: Call in quits or get on that plane to Brizzie and try his luck.

He chose the latter. But to no avail.

Too bad, so sad was pretty much what he was met with. So he spent the next 5 hours at the airport, waiting for a return flight to Rocky.

So on Monday we celebrated the Queen’s birthday with a public holiday. And I can pretty much guarantee that the passport would have arrived in time, had it just been a normal Monday. You know, since it arrived today.

So that is why I blame the Queen.

A big week

It’s been great. But I have very few words. There is so much I want to say but my brain is just happy to smile and nod. So I’ll try and upload some photos to share.

Okay. So I tried, but it didn’t work. I’m on my nephew’s MacBook Air and I’m having issues with uploading my photos from my phone.

So I guess I’ll just have to use my brain after all. Okay. Here goes.

We flew down to Melbourne, (Melvin according to Chanbe) all 11 of us, last Thursday, and picked up our hire cars to drive down to Sorrento on the Mornington Peninsula. Our traveling party consists of our family of five, Hubs’ sister and her group of 5, and Hubs’ brother, and we’ve been having a grand old time.

Okay okay. Everyone keeps telling me to suck it up and try harder to upload photos. FINE! I’ll try!

First, there was this guy. On the Tuesday before the Wednesday that we were flying down, I was in an absolute tizz. I dropped a coffee off to Hubs around 11am and he told me to take a deep breath, go home, and play with the kids. I told him I didn’t have time to play with the kids, and he told me I didn’t have time not to play with the kids.



He melts my heart. We had a simply marvelous time building lego and reading stories. I tried not to look at the time and tried not to think of what I needed to do.

Then there was this little cherub:


She just cracks me up. My little Quinndy comes out with the funniest things and she loves her new little jeggings.

And my little Darby-doo.


My little guy who sleeps, eats, and gives me lots and lots of snuggly cuddles.

So I did get around to packing, and I was in a much more calm state when we boarded the plane Wednesday morning. Traveling alone with 3 children was a little daunting, but with my positive attitude, wonderful flight crew, and helpful fellow passengers, the trip was an absolute success. And the kids loved the train from the airport into town.


Dad picked our bags up from the airport, and Mum and I took the kids into town, then onto Hubs’ sister’s house. We spent the night there then all flew down together on Thursday, taking up most of 2 rows. We arrived at our holiday house after 9pm that night – HUGE day – and then spent Friday morning just chilling out. I had booked myself a pedicure and massage for Friday arvo which did not disappoint, while the rest of the gang hit the op shops and got some cracking bargains.

The wedding was absolutely delightful in every way.




Sarah, the bride (Hubs’ cousin) asked me, and many other guests, long ago for photos from our own weddings, and she made placemats out of them:


How cool is that??? We each had a placemat themed with a family members’ or friends wedding. It was such a lovely touch. SO much thought, love and detail went in to the day, and the bride and groom had a great time which at the end of the day, is the main thing. But I just realised that I don’t have a photo of Sarah and Justin on my phone – I was too engrossed in the ceremony.

We’ve had lots of down time and fun time here, including in the pool…


(Not me – are you crazy??)

We head back to Brizzie tomorrow and will all stay over Easter which will be nice. I’ve been really looking forward to this trip for 6 months, and it has met all expectations.

Until I blog again…

A Rocky Road

Gosh, where do I begin with this one? It started about 2 months ago, a couple of days after I returned from my last trip to Brisbane. Our friend in Mount Isa who works with Hubs, emailed through a position in Rockhampton, beginning 4 or so weeks later. It’s a job in Orthopeadics. which is where Hubs thinks he wants to specialise, so I said GO FOR IT! I was pretty excited by the idea or leaving Mount Isa early, and getting set up in a new house, in a new place before the baby was due.

Of course, it had its down sides too, in that we would have to pay back some of the “benefits” we had received, with Hubs ending his contract in Isa early, but we decided it was worth it for the right job.

Let me just say here, that if you had told me a few years ago that I’d be excited about moving to Rocky, I would have told you you were crazy. But, things change, and for the right opportunity at the right time, I was keen as mustard.

Hubs applied for the job which was to start “ASAP” and a week later, was told his interview was in a week’s time. Not exactly “ASAP” kind of action in our opinion, but we were excited. The interview was on a Thursday, it went well, and he was offered the position the following day, to commence 4 weeks later. To say we were excited is a complete understatement, and being the person I am, I told everyone. Texts were sent and phone calls were made. I even lined up a removalist. It was happening. The only thing I didn’t do was announce it on the blog. I knew that the contract had to be signed before I did that.

Unfortunately, the following Tuesday, things changed. The hospital informed us that, for various reasons, the contract was to begin on the 2nd of February next year, instead of ASAP. I was absolutely devastated. I had built my hopes up so much on an early departure, and then it all changed. Tears were shed and frustrations vented, but at the end of the day, it was still a great job that Hubs was excited about, and he accepted, with the revised commencement date. It took me a few days to get over the disappointment, and Hubs and I thought of some positives about staying; more time with good friends we had met; having the baby in Mount Isa, close to those friends; and a bit more time to plan the move.

So yes, it was certainly an emotional week or two around that time, but we are looking forward to the move and hoping that everything works out so that we can stay for 2-3 years. Oh, and I just found out that someone else I know is moving there next year as well, so there’s another positive!

In other news, I have just over 6 weeks to go until I’m due. It’s certainly nice to be in a cooler city for the time being!