What did we ever do without it?

Our deck I mean

Hubs and I were lazing around drinking our coffee together when I said to him “seriously what did we used to do before we built the deck!?”

We would carry our coffees downstairs like chumps and sit in the yard and look up at our house and say “we really need to get that deck built.” That’s what we used to do.

Now we sit up on our deck, looking down at our yard and say “We really need to get rid of all the crap in the yard.”

It’s never-ending.

A clean out

Hubs and I have had a DAY! He worked late shift over the weekend which means he started at 3:30pm at the hospital, would clear the board, get home around midnight, then hope no one would call between then and 7am, when his shift finished. This happened on Friday night but no such luck the next two nights when he had to go in at 2am both nights for a couple of hours.

He had today off and even though he must have been exhausted, he was in a decluttering mood, and I wasn’t about to stop him.

His room of choice? The combined toy/Lego room. He was ruthless. I was ruthless. And we could be since we weren’t under the watchful eye of our toy-collector Chance. We can’t get away with throwing anything out/giving anything away when he is around.

But it needed to be done. Between the boys’ birthdays, Christmas, and Quinn’s birthday all in the space of 2.5 months, we had accumulated a lot of extra toys. Hubs went through every single box on the shelf as he does.

We put away a huge box for rotation in a few months, but we also got rid of a lot of broken bits and pieces, and stuff from garage sales and op shops that have been forgotten about. There are still a lot of toys that, even though they don’t get played with often, have sentimental value that I can’t quite part with. Plus there are some baby things we put away for later on too.

It was a very productive day I must say! And even though it was pretty stinking hot, we managed okay. Believe it or not this is the after shot!

Those Snugglers nappy boxes sure do come in handy!

Nice deck

Let me cast your minds back to a time no so long ago, where I would sit on our tiny balcony with my coffee, enjoying my view, and dreaming of a deck.

Behold! This is me sitting on our new desk enjoying my coffee!

And it’s a big deck, I gotta tell you.

Oh how sweet it is. Another angle? Sure thing.

Um yeah we really need to get some furniture sorted. And here’s the side deck.

The new doors have made a huge difference as well. This is what we had before:

And now:

The breeze! Oh that marvelous breeze that rarely takes a break.

Before and after? Of course! This is day one of construction for the whole project:


And this is pretty much the end stage:


To be honest, I’m almost as excited about the slab as I am about the huge deck. The kids have a great time scooting around in the afternoons.


There is, of course, still so much more to do, but at this stage, I’m really focusing on enjoying our amazing view, and sharing it with whomever wishes to join us.

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.

Terribly exciting

It has begun. This is our house as we bought it, 18 months ago. Note the fully in-tact casement windows.


Then, that pesky little cyclone hit, and this is what it looked like 3 days later. Note, the not-so-intact casement windows.


Then we got a new roof and new windows and what a difference that made!

And this is what our house looked like yesterday


The renovations have begun.


It’s scary and exciting! No turning back now!


This was at “down tools” this arvo.


They are prepping this week, and the lift will happen next week. We are staying with our (wonderful) neighbours from Monday to Friday and they hope to have us back in the house, with front steps, by that weekend. And then they will start work on the deck. We shall see! After 18 months of talking about it, and 6 months of loan-approval and planning, it’s finally begun! Hooray!

10 things on the 10th

10 things I love about our house


1. The white picket fence. It’s so cliche and I love it.

2. It’s really drafty. Which granted, in winter isn’t such a great thing, but for those hot summers, it’s nice to feel the breeze come up through the gaps in the floor boards.

3. All the random nails and hooks and shelves around the place. Exhibit A.


4. The random beam under the stairs that is about a meter off the ground and the perfect height for pull-ups.

5. There are 3 toilet roll holders in the bathroom. Do you know how often I don’t have to change the toilet roll? Genius.


6. The bay window. I have grand plans to give this baby a facelift. Some time…


7. The gap in the floorboards at the back door where I sweep out all the sand and dirt from the pile of shoes right as you come in.


8. My kitchen. Yes, it’s small and has limited bench space and no full-size oven and it’s dark and old and pokey and there’s very little storage for anything, but it hasn’t stopped me from cooking up a storm for dinner parties or just for my little family. It drives me crazy but I love it because it’s mine.


9. The china cabinet which forms the centre of 4 different rooms. This is such a gorgeous feature of the house! In the “toy” room it’s full of china and glass, in the Lego room it houses board games etc, from the media room it’s a built in robe which has our winter coats and spare winter doonas, and from the hallway there are doors to the top section which is huge and houses our suitcases etc. It makes up about half of the amount of storage in the whole house. And it’s so pretty too.


10. The view. I know I’ve posted variations of this photo a number of times before, but I just can’t get enough of it. I really feel like I’m part of the world when I sit and have my coffee and look out this way. And when you’re a stay at home mum, often with limited human interaction outside of your kids, this is a big deal. Keeps me sane! Mostly…


But first, coffee

This happened today.


Darby’s first day at Family Day Care with Quinny. Ho boy.

I needed the day to do the clean up after having all of our windows replaced. We went from casements to double hung. They look amazing but the prep work created quite the mess so this is what I’m doing for my “day off”.

Hey at least I’ll be productive. Right after I finish this cup of coffee…


I’m not good with fast talkers

I’m not a fast thinker. And when you add in some sleep depravation for good measure, a fast talker can be faced with this:


Or this:


I just find it really hard to keep up and to process what is being said so I can give a thoughtful reply.

I just had a builder here giving some quotes and ideas for our renovations and I seriously couldn’t keep up. I hope I gave him all the info he needed and that it was correct, otherwise we could be looking at a very different set of plans…

Darby’s Baptism

Yes! It’s finally here! The blog post that is. The Baptism was in June. Am I forgiven? Good. It really was a lovely and special weekend. Darby’s Godfather flew in from Mount Isa, and his Godmother, along with family and close friends, all traveled up from Brisbane to stay for a night or two. Hubs cooked up a storm on Friday night on the BBQ, while we did a bit of prep work for the next two days.

It meant so much to us to have “our people” with us for the weekend. There was so much just sitting around, shooting the breeze, and enjoying the company. As usual, the photos tell the story best!

Darby-doo with his Godfather, Felix



And Godmum Sonia



The kids absolutely loved all the attention! As well as the hammock that Uncle Felix bought us. Winner!




Hubs with his 2 BFFs

Darby Baptism weekend 1


This scene spells out pure joy for me. Wonderful friends and family, fantastic food, and not a care in the world.



This was the order of service the church put together for us. It was so gorgeous!



Darby looked grand in the family Baptism gown that his older brother and sister wore before him.



And the service was really lovely.



A few nice family photos before Chanbe and Quindy went too feral.




And then back home for more good times and good food.



And of course, there had to be “foot” cakes, just like Chanbe and Quindy’s big days.



We made a little toast to a wonderful weekend.



Thanks again everyone for coming and sharing Darby-doo’s special day with us, and for being some of the first people to see our first house. It was such a great weekend, and we look forward to more in the future! (Great weekends, not more kids to baptise… 🙂 )



Where oh where to start

I’ve been doing a lot of standing, staring and sighing in my house lately. There’s so much to do to make this place more liveable, but it’s hard to know where to start. Julie tells me to start at the very beginning, as it’s a very good place to start. So I headed to the kitchen, and promptly made myself a coffee. And while I was at it, I ground a bunch of coffee beans to make some more cold brew.  That’s been on my list for a while. Let’s start a new list shall we? (See below)

Do you cold brew? No? Oh you must. It’s amazing! I just googled this and got the above link and learnt that the coffee should be coarsely ground. I’ll remember that for next time. So once my coffee was made, I walked around aimlessly for a while and here’s what I found:

My little man, fast asleep. He turns 9 months old this week. He’s been an outside baby as long as he was an inside baby. There goes 18 months, just like that.

Darby sleep

The toy room. *shudder*


Remember when it looked like this a couple of months ago? I think that lasted a day or 2. Yeah. A distant memory for me too.

toyroom after

I’ve pretty much decided to put half of the toys away. I’m so sick of the kids emptying everything out and then moving on to the next thing because they’re overwhelmed with the volume. So let’s add that to the list as well.

And this room, that I call the Lego Room. *double shudder*

lego room

Oh. Good. Grief. This room sends my neck into spasms every time I walk into it. And then I promptly turn around and walk straight back out. We bought those blue and grey containers and started sorting out the Lego into sizes a few weeks ago. Remember?


It never got completed, and since then, Chanbe has been playing up a Lego storm which is fantastic! Except that he’s using the couch to look for pieces. Not to mention the fact that Quindy comes in and throws handfuls of pieces in the air, yelling “abraca-zebra!” That is not fantastic. “Sorting the Lego” is a huge job, and one that I see the benefit of only half the time. So we’ll add it to the list, but I’m not hopeful…

I feel I need to apologise to some of my mummy friends up here, as I’ve been adding the most mundane things to conversations lately. Like the fact that I’ve started doing the washing at night, as I can’t seem to coordinate a time that fits in with all 3 kids. So I’ll do 2 or 3 loads in the evening and try and hang them all out, and bring it all in the next day. Have I mentioned that I switched from daily washing to only twice weekly? It means a bigger job at once, but the daily washes were bringing me down.

Oh, and I bought a spray mop and I’m waiting for it to revolutionize my mopping experience, as promised. I haven’t actually used it yet, as that would require the floors to be clear of debris.

And oh dear, look at that. Now I need to apologise to you for discussing such mundane things. So now it’s 1:20pm and I need to leave in 1 hour to pick up Chanbe and then Quindy from their respective places of care. Just enough time for a nap if you ask me…

Grind coffee beans (woo! Look at me go!)
Put away half of the toys
Sort Lego
Mop floors
Get house clean and tidy
Keep house clean and tidy for more than 5 minutes
Look out over my balcony at the lovely view and watch those pigs fly…