My Super Powers

I entered a competition a few months ago and the prize was a DC Super Hero Girls cape. All you had to do was leave a comment about what super power you would choose to possess.

My response went like this:

I’d love to have to power to wake up each morning in a good mood, regardless of the lack of sleep, jump out of bed enthusiastically, and start my day with a smile.
Maybe it would be easier to fly…. ?

And would you believe, I won a cape! Quinny loves putting it on and being my little super hero.

Funnily enough, I’ve thought a bit about my response since then. Not long after this competition, we started our new morning routine, and it was so great. We did that for a few months, between trips to Brisbane, and I actually never minded getting up. I wouldn’t exactly say I jumped out of bed full of energy and eager to start the day, but I certainly wasn’t as cranky as I used to be, and was happier in our new routine.

Then we spent 6 weeks away from home and things kind of went out the window a bit. Mum got up with the kids most mornings while I stayed at Woody Pt, and Hubs got up with the kids most days on our holiday. Since we got back to home sweet home, the sun has been getting up much earlier, as have the kids.

Like 5am early. This is not sitting well with me. Don’t make me do it. Don’t make me be that person who gets up at a time that begins with a 5. The people who do that are crazy. Okay, not crazy. Admirable. But I don’t want to be one of those people!! I just don’t! Hubs keeps saying “I guess we are those early to bed, early to rise people now.” I’ve been going to bed around 9-9:30pm and I hate going to bed that early, and missing out on “my time.” But I seriously cannot keep my eyes open after that!

5am. Seriously kids. Get your body clocks sorted, will you??

When there’s too much to say

I feel this constant nagging, tapping on my shoulder. “You haven’t blogged in a while” it says. I have so much to say and share but nowhere to begin or end. There’s no huge announcement; no big realisations; no milestones to report; it’s just life. Life in all its monotony and mundane, and all its joy and abundance.

I’m sitting here on some very lush grass in Brisbane city waiting for my friend to arrive for a catch up. All the day-to-day happenings of the last 10 days are swirling around in my head but there’s nothing mind blowing to report. I want to document these things on my blog for nostalgia but I’m so tired of blogging from my phone. The photos take an age top upload and typing is tedious.

I found myself (actually carefully planned to be) child and husband free today. I started off by hitting up a few op shops and then had, I dare say, the BEST pedicure I’ve ever had (at Ella Bache Paddington for those playing at home.) The foot and leg massage went for a solid 20 minutes and I very nearly fell asleep I was so relaxed. I also bought a new pair of Birks.

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How cute am I right?!

I then had lunch with this lovely lady

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Before wandering into town for my 3rd coffee of the day and a stroll around. Which leads me to this grassy patch. And since the photos are taking no time at all to load, I’m going to share with you my last 10 or so days before I met up with my friend. Enjoy.

Road trip!

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Nanna time!

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The double scoop with free topping seemed like a good idea at the time. It was not.

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This man. This achievement.

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A visit with these ladies and this little guy. So much history here!

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Am amazing day on the water watching whales with my crazy family. Such a great day.

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Getting these two kids back together for a two hour run around in the playground.

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Cuddles with cousins

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And sisters (practically)

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Good wine, yummy food and the best company.

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And a night alone with Hubs.

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It’s now Wednesday morning (I got distracted halfway through writing that post) and I’m enjoying my last few hours on my own. I’m about to hit up some brunch before heading back to pack up. We hit the road tomorrow to head back to Rocky and even though it’s been an amazing holiday it’s always great to get home. It’s been lovely catching up and until next time xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

A shout out

Today I got what I feel was the biggest validation of my life as a wife and mum.

Let me back it up a bit.

My dear friend who has just moved to Rocky asked if I could help out by looking after her two gorgeous daughters, aged 4ish and 2ish for a few hours today. No problem, I said. I knew that Hubs was around this weekend and would be only happy to help out too. While the youngest slept, Hubs took Chanbe down to our friend’s place for a play, and offered to take Darby, Quinn and my friend’s oldest daughter for the walk, while I stayed with the sleeping 2-year-old. Except he didn’t come home. He sent me a text to tell me that he’d also picked up our other friend’s 3-year-old and they were heading to the park.

Not long after, I received this photo and a text that read: “I don’t see what the big deal is with 4.”

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Hubs just goes about parenting without the drama. When I head to the park, I pack water bottles, food, nappy bag and sometimes toys, and I drive there. When Hubs heads to the park, he walks out the gate with the kids in the pram, and sometimes takes a nappy bag. He spent the whole afternoon there, and the kids had a blast, while I had the house to myself and 1 toddler to look after once she woke up from her nap.

I didn’t have to ask Hubs to do it. He didn’t  have  to do it. He just did it because he knew the kids would have fun and I would get a bit of a break.

And it gets better.

When he got home, and the girls had been picked up, and after he had walked down to pick up Chance, I went to give him the biggest hug and thank him for his efforts. And he said something like this:

I honestly don’t know how you do this every single day, honey. I was walking home and thought if I had to cook dinner when I got home after this, we’d have Maccas every night, and I’d buy new clothes for the kids every day cos there’s no way I’d want to do the washing as well. And you have a grumpy husband who asks you what you’ve been doing all day long when he gets home from work and bugs you for sex at night after you’ve put the kids to bed by yourself because I’m too tired from work. I can’t believe you do this every day.”

I almost cried. And I’m almost crying as I type this. He gets it. Today he got a taste of my life and instead of trying suggest how I could maybe do things better, he empathised and he got it. And as a stay at home mum to three kids, and a devoted wife to a budding orthopaedic surgeon, there was no greater gift he could have given me.

This Man. And he’s pretty easy on the eye to boot 🙂

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It’s a little bit funny

… this feeling inside.

Ha! I love that Cleaver Green (aka Rake) is The Duke from Moulin Rouge. Classic stuff. By the way, how awesome is Rake??

Wow, already at a tangent. This is going to be interesting. And I haven’t even been drinking…

To start with, here are three things I am utterly failing at, at the moment. You know just to kick things off:

1. I’m struggling with the balance of being a “fun Mama” and discipline. I really need to work on letting more things go, and focusing on the more important, lesson-learning things; things that will actually make a difference to Chance and Quinn’s behaviour. I guess that’s the challenge of parenting kids at such different ages. I’m trying to teach them all about consequences but I have to do it in three different ways. So I guess I’m not failing as such, I’m merely learning. Just like them.

2. Napping. Man I used to be able to nap like a pro and now I just can’t. I can do a mean sleep-in (just ask Hubs) but when it comes to a quick kip during the day, I fail hard, even if I haven’t had a coffee as yet. I’ve even tried my coffee/nap/coffee 3-punch combo, to no avail. I was right on the verge of drifting off yesterday while Darby was having a sleep, but I woke myself up with thoughts of him spontaneously having stopped breathing so I got up and checked. Yeah, that still happens. Then it was all over red rover. Hubs thinks it must be because I’m getting “so much sleep during the night.” So adorable.

3. Deciding what to wear each day. This is just embarrassing. I have severe decision fatigue over my wardrobe and I really struggle each morning to choose my clothes. Though, I did have a win on Tuesday morning when I threw on an outfit that I’d never worn and ummed and ahhhed for about 5 minutes and was going to change because I wasn’t sure how I looked and then I thought “stuff it” and walked out the door, and actually got complimented by 4 people at playgroup. I should just go with my gut like this more often!

There is a lot going on around here at the moment, with house plans being approved, loans being finalised (we hope!) and looking into job possibilities for Hubs for next year (tis the season!) but we are all plodding along nicely. The kids are going great-guns, and I’m feeling pretty cruisey, even with my above-mentioned shortcomings. It’s
small stuff and I’m trying not to sweat it.

And to end with, here are three things I’m doing well at the moment:
1. Not drinking booze
2. Not snacking on crap food
3. Exercising regularly

Boom. Done. Now for a cuppa.

A happy mothers day

Simple. Easy. A bit relaxing. That’s all we ever really want isn’t it? Hubs has been working pretty much every day lately so I assured him that I didn’t mind going out and buying my own mothers day gifts this year. I picked out a couple of new shirts and a few other things I’d been eyeing off. All I asked was for a yummy brekky and some time to myself.

I didn’t snap any photos of the yummy brekky but Hubs delivered as always. And we had our friend and 2 of her boys over to join in as her hubby was away at the time.

We just spent the rest of the day pottering about and I got to do some baking which was awesome. We headed to the neighbours for arvo tea and then I had to drop Hubs off at the airport to go to Brisbane for a course for 2 nights. We stayed at the neighbours house for baked beans dinner so by the time we got home it was time for bed!

Yummy cupcakes

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Squashy cuddles (see that spoon? I bribed Quinn with more icing if she sat in the photo with us. Oh yeah.)

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Hubs was a bit apologetic that it was a bit of a nothing day, but I assured him I had a lovely day and that the ending was the best.

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Kids in bed, leftover garlic mushrooms on toast for dinner, house to myself, a glass of bubbly, and some Nashville to catch up on. What more could a Mama want?

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.

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Happy birthday to me

Birthdays are funny things as an adult. Chance was getting very confused as to why there weren’t a dozen huge presents to open, since that’s his recollection of his last birthday I suppose. But for us adults, at least in our household, birthdays go a little something like this.

Breakfast in bed. Hubs makes killer poached eggs and bacon. A great way to start the day.

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A bit of bling from Hubs and the kids. This piece is called a “sphere of life”.

 

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We headed out mid-morning to hit some op-shops together as a family. I hit the jackpot with a dress and skirt, both $6 and both brand new with the tags still on them! The kids got a little something each, and Hubs found a couple of things we’d been looking for for a while.

45 minutes of peace to enjoy a hot coffee and some brownie with home made ice cream and NOT SHARE ANY OF IT! Do not underestimate how amazing this time was for me. And excuse that huge pile of old guttering – they are picking that up tomorrow.

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I was also spoilt with a surprise cake from my neighbour, and some friends came over with their kids in the afternoon to share it. So so lovely.

An easy dinner for the kids.

 

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Cute kiddies in the tub. It’s getting a bit squeezy in there these days I gotta say…

 

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A special dinner for Hubs and I. Even though I cooked these creamy garlic prawns on rice, topped with basil from our garden, myself, it was still a big treat. Plus I love cooking if it’s the only thing I’m doing at that exact time.

 

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Accompanied by my absolute favourite sparkling white at the moment.

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So even though Chance was disappointed with the lack of wrapped presents, all in all it was a lovely day. Hubs and I are saving our celebrating until we get to Melbourne. Then, look out!

A day in the life

I didn’t plan to do this, but today I found myself whipping out my camera (read: phone) to take photos of nothing in particular and it turned into a bit of a day in the life of a (somewhat bored) stay at home mum. Enjoy!

Hard to see here but I was trying to get a photo of what Quinn dressed herself in this morning – fairy dress from Aunty Heather, brown shorts and black boots.

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Then off to the Sunday markets for some fresh fruit and veges. Chance has decided lately that he is camera shy. Unlike Darby.

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After that it was back home and while Darby napped, we cracked on with a bit of Lego Technic.

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Things went a bit pear shaped when Darby woke up and C & Q were acting up a bit. I retreated to my bed with my baby for some cuddles and chuckles and also had a bit of a pity cry. Then it was selfie time.

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See the puffy eyes? And of course Chanbe & Quinndy wanted in on the action.

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I may have allowed myself a small smirk at this point and tried to turn it around. Next up was lunch and more playing, after which Darby went down for his big sleep (lucky thing) and the kids wanted to do some painting. Why not, I thought!

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Then Chance all of a sudden remembered that we still had to build a model aeroplane which he gets to do whenever he sleeps in his big boy bed all night long. Let me clarify – I get to make it and he gets to play with it. The instructions assume a lot more talent than I possess but I  must say I’m getting better with each one! This was today’s creation:

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Impressed? He was too. It was then time to clean up the Duplo that was scattered everywhere but we ended up just playing with it for an hour. And I decorated the kids toy boxes with the day’s artwork. From this:

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To this!

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In the mean time, you could find Quinn walking around with her brown shorts and no top on, (“just like Dadda”) messy hair, talking on “her” phone making big business deals.

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And Darby was just, you know, TAKING HIS FIRST STEPS!!!!! I did get a video of it but it goes for 2 minutes and it’s not actually that good but it was SO EXCITING! He did it for Hubs as soon as he got home from work which was lovely too.

And this is pretty much what things look like around here once Hubs gets home:

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And after they have had their fill of mango, they are clearly not interested in the lovely dinner I have prepared for yet another evening and I am left wondering “why do I bother???” But then I remind myself that they filled up on mangoes and not chocolate so I get over it.

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And then it may be time for stories.

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The best part of the day? Has to be what’s waiting for me once the kids are in bed, asleep:

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No not that! It’s this! Our neighbour makes the most amazing cheesecakes and he dropped off some leftovers.

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Oooh yeah. So incredible and so needed after another “normal” day for me. I’m in a bit of a new year funk at the moment that I’m trying to shift out of. Hoping I get around to doing a few big things on my list this week. I hope you enjoyed your day 🙂

 

Can somebody give me an ommm?

I am getting back into yoga this year to benefit my head and my heart and I had my first beginner’s class on Tuesday night. I promised my sister in law I would go twice a week for a month to give it a really good go. I went to a restorative session tonight accidentally, thinking it was the “all levels” class. This entailed maybe 10 poses/stretches all being held for 3-5 minutes each.

A few years ago I would have been bored and annoyed that I was wasting my time and money when I could “easily do this at home for free”. (Ha!) But tonight, I embraced the peace. I’m finally starting to get it; to function at my best and wear all of my hats every day, I need to invest in me. And that doesn’t always have to mean doing something. Tonight I was still and reflective and appreciative of the calm around me.

It’s funny because, as per my blog post earlier today, I have had a lot of energy after my big sleep overnight. I got heaps done and I spent a lot of time just playing with the kids. Chance played with his (Dadda’s) Lego for around three hours today. Three! My point is, I wasn’t frazzled or stressed going into the class and I still feel like I got so much out of it.

The other thing is, I categorically know that there’s no way I would EVER put aside an hour for myself to mediate and stretch, nor would my darling children be able to leave me alone for that long. God love them.

So I’m feeling extremely indulgent at the moment, what with my two fit mum’s classes a week and now two yoga classes. Hubs assures me that he’s happy to support my outrageous lifestyle. I might hay have to cut back my latte-sipping a bit!