We have arrived

It’s Friday night, Hubs and Chanbe are having a shower, I’m drinking a glass of milk, and all is right with the world. As I mentioned 6 days ago, things were going to be better in 6 days. Today they are better. In fact, things are the best they have been in months. Hubs and I are smiling. And not in the strained “we just need to get through the next few months/weeks/days” way we have been smiling this year. We are happy. We are relaxed. We are (almost) ourselves again. And I really can’t express how good that feels.

You see, this week has been pretty sh*t. (Sorry, but it has). Hubs has been away in Shepparton for exams since Sunday afternoon, so I have been solo-parenting this whole week, and after this experience, all I can say is that I have even more admiration for full-time single parents. Oh wow. Seriously. It was hard work. Especially since I hate staying at home on my own. But I’ve known this week was coming for a long time, so I did a lot of mental preparation. I didn’t want to spend the whole week anxious and scared, so I started focussing on the positives, and rationalising to myself that there really was nothing to fear.

And you know what? It worked. Chanbe and I actually had a really great week. I made sure I had things to do each day to keep us occupied (including taking a train down to Kilmore to pick up the car and drive it home – turned out the alternator crapped itself and it didn’t cost as much as we were thinking. Woo!) and I just really focussed on keeping positive and realistic about my expectations.

Sunday to Wednesday were quite challenging with Chance waking up every night for an hour or so for no particular reason (he probably missed his Dadda) and not having particularly long naps during the day. Wednesday was my mental “hump day” – if I could get to Wednesday without cracking, I could get to Friday. Wednesday was a really great day, with playgroup in the morning and haircuts in the afternoon – one of the mums in my mothers group is my hairdresser so I go to her house and our boys play together while we cut, colour and chat. I was there for over 2 hours and it was so lovely. By the time we got home, it was just about dinner/bath/bed time which was great.

And each night I had something to look forward to – I watched 5 or 6 episodes of Sex and the City every night. It was very decadent. I decided I was going to do 1 load of washing a day, but as far as other housework went, I was giving myself the week off. No pressure, no guilt, no worries. And it really worked for me. By the time Thursday came around, I was on the home stretch and I really enjoyed myself. I topped the week off with a night out with my mothers group where we went out to dinner, had dessert and laughed so hard we got a stitch. It was so therapeutic.

So after my week off from housework and good sleep, I made up for it today. Chanbe went to childcare at 8:30am, I came home and slept from 9:30-12:30, then did housework til Hubs came home at 3. And the hug I got from him when he walked in the door was one of our best hugs ever. We had made it. We had gotten through the toughest time of our marriage to date, and we were on the other side. Damn it’s good to be here 🙂

Happy Birthday Hubs

Even though yesterday didn’t go exactly to plan, (I’ll explain later), Hubs’ birthday weekend was still lovely. Much more low-key than previous years (for a number of reasons – I’ll explain later), but still a great celebration of a wonderful man’s life.

There was cake (friand)

A belated breakfast of creamy garlic mushrooms on toast (that I forgot to take a photo of) and a massive fail brioche. This is how it was supposed to look:

This is how it actually looked:

And a visit from one of the local doctors:
Hee hee! (Costume courtesy of Aldi!)
And of course presents!!
We got Hubs a workbench for his man shed. I’m sure he can’t wait to put it together once exams are over!

Even though it was a bit of a crazy weekend, everything worked out nicely in the end. Happy Birthday Hubs. You continue to amaze me every year with your constant love, support, sense of adventure, and beautiful heart. I love you so much for the Husband and Father I am getting to know more and more each day.

No structure

I often find myself in a bit of a tizz. I feel overwhelmed by my tasks and can’t get my head around what to prioritise. When this happens, I end up doing one, or all of the following:

– I sit around watching Chanbe play (which is a lovely way to pass the time)
– I flit about from room to room, and look at what has to be done but not actually do anything
– I eat chocolate or chocolate-related goodies
– I pick a fight with Hubs about how I do everything around the house, even though it isn’t true, but you know, whatever
– I blog
– I play words with friends
– I watch the minutes pass by and get annoyed that I’m not one of those people who can just get in and get stuff done without complaining/procrastinating

And I know what needs to be done. I know what needs to change. We need a routine. We need structure. We need to do regular things on regular days at regular times so I can feel balanced and, for want of a (much) better phrase, “in control”.

So what does a routine and structure look like for us? At the moment, Hubs doesn’t really have regular hours and days that he is at the hospital, as he is in study time; Chanbe and I have mothers group (yes we still meet every week!) on a Thursday afternoon; I have decided on Tuesday and Friday mornings for Chanbe to be in care so I can go to the gym and do things around the house; I want to do some regular sewing and crafting; I want to take Chance for a walk and play in the park most afternoons (weather permitting) to get us both out of the house and to get my foot moving again; I want to go to our fruit and veg lady each Friday; I want us to go to Church each Sunday morning; I want regular “alone time” with Hubs.

That’s not too much to ask, is it? The problem (read: my excuse) is that we have so many interruptions in the next 3 months that I don’t see the point in initiating such a routine. But I know it will benefit us if I do. So, starting Wedneday week (we are away next week and the following weekend, back that Tuesday), I will try and get some sort of structure to our week happening. I may even make up a chart. Oooooh I do love a good chart!

Wish me luck!

A day for mums

Today is Mothers Day (in Australia), and what a day it has been so far. Last year, I got very spoilt with a beautiful Kenwood mixer, and since that was my first mothers day, I figured things would be a bit more low-key this year. But then, I remembered who I’m married to…

I woke up to the sounds of our little man, who is the reason we celebrate mothers day in our house, and went in to bring him to our bed for some cuddles. He wasn’t in a particularly cuddly mood, so Hubs got up with him around 6:45am (neither of us are morning people) while I turned over and promptly went back to sleep. At 9am I awoke to the smells of another delicious breakfast being cooked for me (Hubs actually cooks me breakfast at least once a week anyway!) and a hot cup of tea sitting on my bedside table.

I came out to the living area and was greeted with cuddles and presents!! What better way to start the day?!

Even though we are on a pretty tight budget at the moment, Hubs kind of ignored that for the greater good (my extreme excitement and happiness!) and surprised me with:

Oh yeeeeeeaaaaahhhhhh….
I can’t even begin to tell you how much this excites me! Now when I’m pretending to host my own cooking show as I’m making dinner, I have the right equipment! 🙂 I have wanted a Chasseur pot for a little while now, but could never justify the expense in our current financial situation. But Hubs could! YAY! I was ready to get up for breakfast, when I saw these notes in the bottom of the pot:

There’s a trainer at our gym who looks SO much like Luke Wilson it’s ridiculous! I’ve been struggling a bit these last few months with my broken foot, and have been feeling pretty down about my body etc, and I told Hubs a couple of weeks that I really would love some personal training sessions. So that was present number 2! I’m so excited about this, and have already booked in 2 sessions for this week.
Surely that was everything?? But no. As I was walking to the breakfast table, I saw these:
The one on the right (remember it?) is almost life-size! And our wedding shot is just gorgeous. I may not have a wedding album yet, but this is a great substitute for the time being!
I was exhausted with excitement even before sitting down for my favourite breakfast (poached eggs, bacon, spinach, tomatoes and toast). After said delicious breakfast, Hubs and Uncle Ben (down for a visit this weekend) took Chanbe outside to do some more manly work, and here I am lazing about, reading blogs, listening to Adele and Paul Simon, and loving the fact that the house is a mess but I don’t have to clean it up! (That will be a job for Tuesday 🙂
Happy Mothers Day, to all the mothers out there reading this, and particularly to my Mum, who has not only been indescribably helpful these past few months, but who has taught me so much about how to be a great mum to our little guy. And to Hubs’ Mum, who is such a great role model and inspiration to us. We wish we could see you more, Ma, but we know that it’s all about quality, not quantity. We can’t wait to catch up with you both next week.
Thank you Chanbe and Hubs for another beautiful Mothers Day. You sure do spoil me rotten and I love you both so much.

“Time for bed”

Those 3 words used to conjure up images of gnashing teeth and serious screams (except when it was about me going to bed.) I’ve mentioned the trouble we had with Chanbe’s sleeping habits before, and I just kept saying that if we had a routine, things would be better.

Enter broken foot.

When I was lying on the floor in KMart, after hearing an audible crack come from my foot as I fell, I just kept thinking “this is the worst thing that could possibly happen right now.” But you know what? It turned out pretty darn well. Yes, I had to have a cast and a boot and/or be on crutches for the better part of 3 months, but this gave Chanbe a time to settle in to a house for more than a week or 2 at a time. And it has done wonders for his sleeping. More than I could ever have imagined.

Now when bed time comes around, one of us takes him to his cot, puts music on, lies him down and says “sleepy time” and, this is the best bit, WE JUST WALK OUT OF THE ROOM!!! No more patting to sleep, no more tears (most of the time anyway) and often, even if he doesn’t go to sleep straight away, we can hear him talking to himself and amusing himself until he can’t keep his eyes open. And get this. At night he’ll sleep from 7pm (ish) til 6:30am (ish). Yes. We have one of those kids now! It is absolute bliss and it also means we can have dinner at a reasonable hour now.

So, as it turns out, breaking my foot was the best thing for our little guy. Let’s hope I don’t need to break anything else for toilet training…

Back in business

Our internet finally got connected yesterday (woo hoo!) after almost 3 weeks of being off-line. Apart from our phones. And the Library. And Hubs’ work. But it’s different to just being able to sit anywhere in the house (hooray for wireless!) and surfing/blogging/paying bills/emailing to my heart’s content. My neck didn’t cause me too much grief and it was all better within about 5 days, thankfully. We are still unpacking but the end is nigh. These bookshelves that Hubs made really helped!!

Pretty gorgeous hey!? So I spent yesterday filling the middle and top shelf, and I’m now left wondering what to do with the bottom shelf. It might work nicely as a little desk for Chanbe actually. And who says unpacking has to be hard and boring? (Excuse the sound – that’s me laughing hysterically…)
So we’ve had some fun over the last few weeks as well as working very hard. We have a very busy few months coming up, with going down to Melbourne for a weekend, then I’ll head up to Brisbane for a week for a wee holiday and a couple of celebrations while Hubs stays home to study, then he’ll head to Shep for a while for exams, then we’re taking a trip over to Adelaide in July to visit friends which I’m REALLY looking forward to! And lots in between! So much for staying put for a while. *sigh* At least we love our house. 
More pics to come!

Happy days

I’m so so so tired. But so very happy. We are still unpacking our new house but we have made a real dent and I really think we’ll be done by the end of the weekend. And then we can just relax and really enjoy our time here. It has been pretty amazing having Mum and Dad around to help, especially since I’m still hobbling on my foot, and thankfully Hubs has been around a lot to help with the unpacking and setting up. We still have a few pieces of furniture to buy, but things are going well.

I went to mothers group today which was so great, and have volunteered to host next week at our place. Exciting!

We’ll hopefully get back on line next week (I’m currently using Mum’s “dongle”) and hope to be back to regular blogging, with photos, very soon.

On the home stretch

On Sunday we headed to Lakes Entrance for the day, to get out of the house and to have a look around. It was quite a cool day, but the sun came out enough to keep it enjoyable.

It was just SO BUSY! We had fish and chips for lunch (when in Rome!), took a walk along one of the lakes and then hit the playground for some action. It was quite a lovely day.

Monday’s weather was absolutely miserable. A cold front was coming up from Antarctica and the combination of wind and rain and low temps meant we stayed inside all day long with the heater on. (Remember, just 3 days earlier we had the air con on! Gotta LOVE Victoria!) The sun came out at about 5pm so we took Chance out for a little runaround before dinner. He did pretty well but he was going crazy by the end of the day.

Tuesday we set off around 11am to stay with more rellies in Melbourne for the night which was really lovely as well. And then we popped in to Wang on Wednesday on our way back to MB to visit Hubs and sign our lease. It was a glorious day so we had lunch in the park which Chance played in the playground. Of course it was lovely to see Hubs and give him some encouragement.

We arrived back in MB at dinnertime and were all pretty exhausted. We are really really looking forward to moving in to our new place, but it has been lovely to visit with family and friends in the mean time!

House news

We got the house (rental) in Wang that we (I) wanted!!!! SO EXCITED!! The only thing is, we don’t have a date we can move in as yet. The current tenants’ lease doesn’t finish til the 13th of April, but we are hoping they’ll want to move out earlier (this weekend would be ideal!). We have to move out by next Wednesday and it would obviously be best if we could move straight into the new place. But the real estate agents haven’t gotten back to me about that, so it’s not looking good. It took a week for the landlord to approve our application which was annoying, and they couldn’t ask the current tenants if they would be prepared to move out early, until we were approved. Which is a shame because it would have worked out really nicely.

It could still happen though. Otherwise, we’ll be looking for somewhere to stay for the week in between moving out and moving in. That wouldn’t be much fun, but this house is totally worth the wait.

Can’t wait to show it to you! But here’s a sneak peek in the mean time…

(Disclaimer: it probably won’t be furnished as nicely when we move in, unless Vinnies is particularly well-stocked at the moment 🙂 )

Aaaaahhhh FREAK OUT!

Le freak isn’t C’est chic either.

A month or so ago I asked Hubs about the possibility of us moving back to Wangaratta earlier than July (when he was due back there) as he was having to spend so much time there anyway, and I have a lot of friends there that I really miss. There is much more to that story, but in the end he agreed that we could let the real estate agent know that the house would be available after Easter if anyone was interested in taking over the lease. We felt this was unlikely, but it was worth a go.

In the last few weeks, since my accident, I have stayed in MB the whole time, Chanbe has a great sleeping routine happening, and I’ve just been enjoying myself here. (Possibly because I haven’t had to lift a finger, and I’ve had Mum’s company.) Last week we had a potential tenant come through, but they decided on another house. Today we had someone else come through, and, you guessed it! They decided they wanted it on the spot and they want to move in over the Easter weekend.

I am so full of mixed emotions right now. I’m SO excited that we get to move back to Wangaratta; I’m terrified of the amount of packing we have to do and the fact that I’m not going to be able to help with it much; I’m curious as to what house we will find (we will have a look at a few next week and hopefully decide on one); I am sad about leaving the friends we have made here, but I’m also keen to come back on some weekends to visit; I’m excited that I’ll be able to attend mothers group again, and get back into the gym once the cast comes off.

The happy thoughts definitely outweigh the freaking-out, and I’ll feel even better once we find a place to move to in Wang. Now, where’s that packing tape?