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 ๐Ÿ™‚
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! ๐Ÿ™‚

Then and Now

Mia and Darby in April 2015. Darby is about 4 months old and Mia is about 2 days old!!

And this was Mia and Darby yesterday ๐Ÿ™‚

I know I keep banging on about it, but I love having friends in our life who have kids around the same age as our kids, and that they are growing up together and creating these memories together. It’s so special and it will be such a big support for the kids and I in the years to come.

And since then, the family have welcomed another baby into their family, which makes four for them and four for us! Now to try and get a photo of the eight of them together…. ๐Ÿ™‚

Happy 6th Birthday Quinn

Our baby girl is certainly not a baby anymore!ย 

Quinn started her birthday week at their new school, and it went wonderfully well. (Huge sigh of relief from me!!!) She and Chance both made new friends and some of the mums even came and introduced themselves to me which I really appreciated. And yes, the uniforms for the new school are almost identical to their old school.ย 

All the kids actually slept in a little on Friday, and once everyone was up, Chance hid Quinn’s three gifts to find and unwrap. She is a very grateful person, no matter the gift (or no gift) which makes me very happy ๐Ÿ™‚

She took cupcakes to have with her classmates which were well received.

And we had a little cake with a few people on the Friday night. We were supposed to have fish and chips and cake at the park, but as usual, my rainmaker baby ensured that wasn’t going to happen!! Just like the last three years on her birthday!!

For Quinn’s birthday last year, I had the crazy idea that I needed to inviteย all the people, and even though it was so amazing having my people surrounding us with love, it was not what Quinn wanted. So this year she invited three of her friends from school last year, and their mums and one younger brother stayed, and we had a super low-key day at home.

It was the absolute best!! They ate food, opened presents, made beaded bracelets and keyrings, ate cake, jumped on the trampoline and finished off with a movie. Exactly what she wanted. She was thrilled. And she liked the cake too. ๐Ÿ™‚

I thought it looked kind of dodgy, but it was my orange polenta cake with sour cream ganache (I didn’t have normal cream so I googled sour cream and it’s a thing!!) and my goodness it is the most freaking delicious cake ever. Even gluten free!!ย 

What a year it has been for you Quinn. You talk about Dadda all the time and you are keeping his memory beautiful and pure and alive. You remember so much and I hope you always hold the love he had for you, close to your heart.

I’m so proud of you, and even though we clash a bit, with you being so strong-willed, I hope I can learn to be more patient with you, and to not take your outbursts so personally. I know it’s not about me; it’s about you exploring the world around you, and testing the limits. I promise to always be here with a safe, warm hug. I love you so much.ย 

Love, Mama xxxxxxxxx

Good Grief

Another book title I’ve contemplated along the way. It also comes from one of my favourite come strips ofย all time. The kids have been watching Theย  Peanuts Movie lately and I love that they are picking up lines from it. For instance, they frequently call each other “my sweet babboo” which I freaking love! ย 

So back to it. I know I’ve been a bit absent on the old blog lately. Where has this year gone! Ha ha. I know it’s only 27 days old, but there goes January, just like that. I gotta say, it started well, and if I’m honest, has been pretty up and down since. All to be expected, and my new normal it seems, but it still leaves me exhausted quite a bit.ย 

I wanted to catch you up on a few things! Like Christmas!!

What a wonderful day! I really wanted the focus to be on a few special gifts that were unwrapped and appreciated rather than just tossed aside for the next one and the next one etc etc. And we succeeded! And to be honest, as long as my cousins and my kid’s cousins are around, it’s always going to be a great day.

A few fun days away with Julius’ Fairy Godmother ๐Ÿ™‚

And New Years!! SO much fun ๐Ÿ™‚ (There were more celebrations after this, but I didn’t get many photos!! Ugh!)

And then I went away for a week with some incredibly gorgeous friends. It was just amazing. These people!!! And can you believe this photo?? All looking at the camera and all looking fabulous. I can’t even! What an achievement in itself!!

My birthday was wonderfully awesome and low-key and special. I used to be all about the big parties with heaps of people all at once, and it maybe just because I’m getting older (sheesh) or I just don’t need the big fuss anymore, but I really prefer to enjoy quality time with small groups of people these days. And yes, I’m already planning for my 40th next year ๐Ÿ™‚

So many things coming up in the next week or two, including Chance and Quinn starting at their new school tomorrow, and Quinn turning six on Friday. After that, I’m hoping it will all be about getting the house ready to move into, hopefully by Easter. To be honest, part of me is super super keen to get in there and have our own space, but I am also really keen to have everything done and completed before that happens, so I’m in no great rush. When it’s done it’s done.ย 

So here we are in 2019. Who would have thought we would be where we are, but life just keeps on keeping on, and either we let it take us along, or we get left behind. The choice is ours, and more subconsciously I suppose, I’m choosing to keep on keeping on.

I refuse to be left behind.

Kintsugi

Kintsugi is the name of a Japanese art form and philosophy. In the art of Kintsugi, cracked and broken pottery is repaired with lacquer, mixed with powdered gold. As a philosophy, the breakage is seen as our most vulnerable point in life. The repairs are not disguised but highlighted to signify something that is fully healed and stronger. The repaired piece of pottery has strong core values, which is used as a metaphor for life, to not skip the struggles but to embrace it, by showing where your character is built.ย 

My beautiful cousin Emma gave me an early birthday present, and a lovely card explaining these black and gold hearts. I’m not sure that I’m fully healed, or that I will ever be, but I guess that’s the point. The cracks in my life are golden, they will always show, and I’ll never try and hide them.

Shock took the first half of my year, and I feel medication took the second half.

Don’t get me wrong. I needed both of these things, in precisely measured doses at these times, but it’s hard to look back at my year and not feel as though it was taken from me.

There are pockets of the year that are a mystery to me. I know I was living day to day, sometimes hour to hour or moment to moment, but months seem to have vanished.

I certainly have a lot of paperwork and paid bills to show for my year. I also have kids who are all a year older, and a few more wrinkles and several stress kilos added to my body, so the year definitely happened.

A friend asked me last week if I thought I had gone through the whole grieving process. Intellectually, yes I have. Emotionally? I’m on my way, as I’ve been working on it. I have time for that. There is no hurry. The golden cracks aren’t going anywhere.

I have made efforts this year to work through things, with counselors and psychologists. I am learning that I don’t need to make everyone happy; that my job is to work on my own happiness, as well as my kids. I’ve mostly come to terms with the lack of answers I will ever have. The coping strategies I used last year (mainly food and booze) are not long-term solutions, and I’m looking forward to backing off on those this year, and rediscovering other things that make me happy instead.ย 

This time last year, my world had fallen apart, but thanks to family and friends, I have started to rebuild. I look forward to 2019. It’s going to be a-okay.

What a great day

You know those situations where things don’t exactly go to plan, but you just decide you can’t do anything about it and just go with it? That was today. I had planned a birthday party in the park for Chance and Darby yesterday, but due to fevers and a spot of spew, decided to postpone to today, and hope for the best. And I got it!

We had such a nice, simple birthday celebration at home, with a big bowl of chips, a couple of cheeses and some Jatz, and a few plungers of coffee.*ย 

The boys are really into Super Mario at the moment, with Chance always choosing to be Mario, and Darby in love with Luigi, pronounced “Louie-Gee”. It’s the best! And easy to find inspiration for their cakes! I also found the hats and tashes on ebay, and just couldn’t resist!

I had so much fun making the cakes, (the 8 was my signature orange polenta cake with chocolate ganache, and the 4 was the best chocolate cake with chocolate icing – I’ve been making this for years and it’s best served at room temperature, for those playing at home) and it was nice to take my time with the decorating. I used pre-made royal icing (it’s the best!) and put it all together fairly easily. With a glass of bubbly and no interruptions, it was a great Saturday night in my books!

The boys were so happy with the end product. I hadn’t told them what I was doing, so it was so nice to see their faces when they saw them, though clearly, Darby has his poker face on here…ย 

My heart is so full as I type this and look at the photos. It was really exactly what I was hoping it would be – easy, relaxed, a few kids to play with, lots of adults around to help with the kids, (thank you in particular Nathan, Josie, Uncle Felix and Aunty Kate!!!!!) and very happy kids. In my present circumstances, what more could I possibly ask for?

And to top it off, Darby just came out and told me he had an itchy arm and can he have some cream on it. I put some Sudocrem on which I usually use when I change Julius’ nappy and he said “that’s butt cream.”

The perfect end to a marvelous day.ย 

*personally I had Aeropress with a good glug of Kahlua, but that’s just me ๐Ÿ™‚

Trying to remember all the things

I fear my memories of Frith are fading.

I was trying to think of one of our silly jokes that we used to always do, and I can’t remember the punch line. It’s really frustrating me.

We used to do this other joke where one of us would say something like “want some chicken?” and the other would say “you’re a chicken”. It works with many things. “Have you seen my mouse pad?” “You’re a mouse pad.” See? So dumb and so versatile.

Once when we were unpacking after one of our moves, Frith asked me what was in the box I was unpacking. I said “Crafty shit” and he said “you’re a crafty shit.” Oh my gosh I couldn’t stop laughing. It still makes me smile as I type this.

That was a running gag between us for years. Anytime I was crafting, Frith would say “what are you doing” and I’d say “crafty shit” and he’d say “you’re a crafty shit.” And from then on, whenever we moved, I would label the box of craft with “crafty shit.” This was before the kids could read, thankfully ๐Ÿ™‚

Whenever the kids asked Frith what he was doing, regardless of what he was doing, he would reply “making a sandwich”. The funny thing was, he pretty much never made any sandwiches, but on the rare occasion he ever did, the kids would be cluey enough to catch him out, and ask him. I try and do that too. When the kids ask me what I’m doing, I try and remember to respond with “making a sandwich”.

I’m finding myself desperately trying to remember all our silly bits and inside jokes. They are getting harder to recall. I’ve been writing them down as much as possible, but I know I won’t remember them all. And it seems the harder I try to remember, the more the memories elude me.

I just hope that they come back to me in other situations, in the years to come. I hope that I can be transported back to a memory with him; a sweet moment, captured in time by a dumb, off the cuff remark, that is in the depths of my heart, waiting to resurface, and to give me a little smile.