10 things on the 10th

Random edition

1. The house has been lifted!

Before

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After

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It’s a bit hard to tell but it went up by almost a meter! It was pretty awesome watching them jack it up. They are now making the holes for the posts and will put the front landing and stairs on for us to be back in by mid next week.

2. We’ve been staying with our awesome neighbours for the duration. They have been very accommodating and I think they love having the kids around as they have grandchildren around the same age who they don’t get to see very often.

3. It’s raining today. Pouring in fact, and I really hope that doesn’t push things back anymore. And I can just see our backyard turning into a big muddy mess. This is the kids playing in the dirt last week. Such fun!

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4. I’m recovering from gastro. I hate being sick when I’m not at home. Hopefully no one else gets it!!!!

5. Quinn has been completely out of sorts this week away from home. You can just see her trying to regain control of something;  anything! Am trying to give her lots of opportunities to make her own choices during the day.

6. Darby continues to charm the pants off everyone. And he’s really talking up a storm. His latest phrase is “so clever”. He hears it a lot from his brother and sister.

7. Chance is turning into such a big lovely boy. He’s so wonderful with Darby and loves to teach him things. It’s completely cute.

 8. I had a wedding last weekend and 3 more coming up in the next 3 weeks. I don’t think I’ll be looking to do too many next year. I just don’t seem to have the headspace for it at the moment. With the exception of family and friends who ask me, of course.

9. It’s times like these that I wish we lived closer to family. Our neighbours truly are some of the best people we’ve ever met and we are fortunate to have such wonderful support from them. But nothing beats your own family.

10. Three weeks tomorrow, we’ll be on our way down to the sunny coast for a holiday, staying with two other very special families who we met 8 years ago through Hubs’ medicine studies. This has been in planning since February this year and we really cannot wait. So. Excited.

I dare say my next 10 things on the 10th post will be full of photos from that trip.

Terribly exciting

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

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

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

And this is what our house looked like yesterday

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The renovations have begun.

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

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This was at “down tools” this arvo.

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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!

When was the last time you felt elated?

Like, seriously explosively delighted?

I’m feeling that way right now, and I just want to tell the world. I want Hubs to come home right now so I can plant a huge kiss on his face and give him the biggest cuddle. I can’t wait to pick Chanbe and Quindy up from school/kindy and look at them and tell them how much I love them. I have just given Darby a lovely big squeeze when I transferred him from the car to the cot. This. This is such a nice feeling. And it’s been a while.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m happy. Day-to-day, life is going well. But I’ve been pretty stressed out lately due to some renovation work on the house that we were hoping would start on Monday but has been delayed another week, which means having to find somewhere for us to live for two weeks, and all the organisation that goes along with that. Plus I have a few weddings coming up which is exciting but I’m not finding the time to put the ceremonies together and I hate leaving it too late to work on them.

But amongst all of that, I decided that I would take Darby out to Yeppoon to catch up with our dear friend, and his Godmum, and not think about all this stuff, if only for a few hours. The drive to Yeppoon is about 40 minutes, and with only one kid in the car who I knew would sleep the whole way, (which meant no being yelled at about being hungry/thirsty/needing to wee/dropped something and can’t reach it) I put some tunes on and sung my way to the coast. Already I was feeling better. Sonia and I took Darby-doo out for a coffee (he had a chocolate milkshake that he didn’t have to share!) and then to the playground, and just chatted and caught up and it was just so nice. Then we decided to grab some lunch and I had the most delicious pork belly sliders. Holy moly it was so amazing. This was after staring at the menu for 10 minutes trying to decide what to get.

This is what happens when I’m stressed; small decisions get really hard for me. What to wear; what to eat; where to sit in a cafe. I know I’m overloaded when I can’t make up my mind on things, but this was such a good choice. I honestly don’t think we stopped talking for the 4 hours we were together and it was absolutely what I needed to get my mind of things. I spoke to the builder half way through our time together, and found out that the work has been delayed another week which means more time to look for somewhere to stay, but also AAAAAAAAARRRRRRGH! I know I know. These things happen, and to be honest, it was probably good to hear that so I could relax a little about finding somewhere. For now anyway.

I just feel so rejuvenated! We talked about all lovely and wonderful things; about big plans and little plans and ideas and our boys (okay, men) and kids and the future and…. Ha ha it’s starting to sound like a date! And it totally was. There’s something about being around a young, optimistic, vivacious woman that is contagious, and I left with a feeling of innocent delight.

On the way home I chose to listen to Jewel’s 1995 (whaaaaaat??) album “Pieces of You” and sung my freaking heart out. I also had a little happy-sad teary in a few of the songs that hold some memories for me, and also some that mean so much more to me now, having been with Hubs for almost 10 years (double whaaaaaaat???) And now I have all this energy and can’t wait to put on my active wear to walk down to pick Chanbe then Quindy up, then come home and just play play play with my beautiful kids. If I could bottle this feeling, I would. But I know that it’s the stressy times and the challenges that make these moments even better.

I just hope I can rub some of it off on someone else to pay it forward, because I want to share this joy.

10 things on the 10th

Seriously, I feel like I just compiled my last “10 things on the 10th” and my reminder popped up on my phone on Monday for the next one! What the?… I actually already had this one written as it came to me not long after I wrote the last one. I’m sure a few of you will know who this gem of a friend of mine is 🙂

10 things a good friend of mine has taught me in the 18 years I have known her:
(These aren’t things she specifically went out of her way to teach me, just things I observed and have really appreciated at the time, and beyond.)

1. Don’t smoke just to be cool – I went through a smoking-while-drinking phase at uni and it gave me the worst smokers cough, not to mention what it was doing to my asthma. But I wanted to try it and I wanted to fit in. She helped me see the light.

2. School is fun – I remember her telling me that her son happily went to school everyday and she asked me if I knew why. My first thought was “because he would get into trouble if he didn’t?” The answer was much more simple: her son was excited about going to school every day because she would tell him, and he would agree, that school is fun. I have always remembered that when talking to the kids about school, and it really does catch on.

3. Tying shoes – another parenting one. Her son, who would have been maybe 5 at the time, came and asked for help tying his shoes and she made a huge deal about praising him for asking for help. Apparently he had been going through a stage of getting upset if he couldn’t do something, instead of asking, so this was real progress. Again, such a small thing, but it really stuck with me.

4. First eyebrow shape – she plucked my eyebrows for the first time and I’ve never gone back. I remember she was so excited to have a “blank canvas” I think were her words.

5. To love my body and how it works and moves – oh boy we went through so many weight gains and losses together in those first 10 years. We ate a lot of chocolate and drank a lot of beer and wine together, and were always looking to drop a few kgs. And although she has been much more successful than me in maintaining a healthy lifestyle in the last 8 years, she really inspires me and encourages to be my best self. Not in a “you’ll feel better if you drop some weight” kind of way, but in a “be confident and comfortable in your own skin. The number isn’t who you are” kind of way.

6. Sex and the City – she totally introduced me to this show, and we used to have a Monday night ritual where I would come over (with chocolate) (and sometimes wine) and watch The Secret Life of Us, followed by Sex and the City, and if I was really rebellious, I’d stay for Six Feet Under. Best Monday night trifecta baby.

7. How to flirt – I remember going out with her one night and told her drunkenly that I wish I could flirt better, because I had absolutely no air of mystery about me (still don’t…) so the following weekend I went over to her house to get ready and we went out for a night of practice. And I got pretty good at it I must say! So much fun 🙂

8. To add a bit of moisturiser when applying my foundation – I watched her do this one time at her place and have done it ever since.

9. Lip gloss can do wonders – she rocks a lip gloss like no one else I know.

10. Yoga and wine go well together – enough said.

SO much love for you babe  xxx

Between a rock and a dumb place

Tell me it’s not just me. I seem to spend most of my time going back and forth between two extremes and can’t find any middle ground.

Example 1: Between a rock and a messy place
I’m either completely on top of the housework and feeling really motivated and pumped about it and determined to keep the house tidy and in order, the washing done and the kitchen table clear; I see the value in it, and how it frees me up to do more things with the kids. OR I’m saying “life’s too short to worry about keeping the house tidy!” I currently have a loungeroom overflowing with rummaged-through suitcases and odds and ends from our roadtrip that I need to put away, but Hubs has the day off and we have no kids, so all I want to do is go and drink coffee with him and stare into his eyes and without being interrupted every 4.2 seconds. Where’s the middle ground????

Example 2: Between a rock and a drunk place
I’m either all but completely abstaining from alcohol and focused on eating well and keeping active (like this time last year). OR I’m knocking back wine on a nightly basis and am feeling seedy more mornings than not! On the one hand, I love feeling fresh and seeing the results of hard work and motivation to be healthy, but on the other hand, drinking wine is relaxing and fun and social and lets me be an adult (or not, ha ha) and gives me a sense of release. I know the middle ground here is to just have a couple of glasses on the weekend to unwind, but I’ve just gotten into this habit of drinking again.

They are probably the two biggest things that I am obsessing over at the moment, and it’s all taking up WAY too much of my time and brain space. So here’s today’s middle ground. Do one hour of unpacking, go out for coffee with Hubs, do some shopping and tidying when I get home, then switch the part of my brain off and just BE with the kids. So if you don’t mind, I have some unpacking to do.

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

Thrilling and fantastic

Wow. Just wow. The last couple of weeks have been very challenging for me as a mum. Our sweet little princess, Quinderella as Dadda likes to call her, has been going through some interesting changes lately. I think puberty has hit early. Seriously, this girl has got the moods like Jager-bombs. She has had a few absolute doozies lately, and most of those outbursts have been in public. I think it’s partly because we are winding back her day sleeps and she’s just not as well-rested, particularly in the afternoons, as she used to be.

The thrilling threes are sure giving me a run for my money.

I was telling my friend the other day that I’m just not feeling properly equipped in my parenting skills to handle this behaviour at the moment, so I’ve been doing some reading and some asking around to get some help. That’s what being a parent is about; we’re all in this together, so we might as well share the wisdom around.

And I don’t know if it’s just because we were getting used to cruising along with Chance, but he is in the throes of some pretty fantastic-five behaviour right now. His aren’t so much outbursts, as they are complete meltdowns. This kid is not handling disappointment well at all. I’m figuring it comes with being the first in line to the throne. He got used to getting his way for a long time, and now there’s serious competition with pretty much everything and it’s getting in the way of how things used to be. I’m trying to get some one-on-one time with him, playing Lego or doing something he likes to do, also being mindful of not rewarding bad choices.

Ugh the balance is so damn hard! We are bombarded regularly with awful stories of parents losing children to sickness or accidents; them telling us to hold our kids close, and not to sweat the small stuff and to chose our battles. But then on the other hand, if kids have no boundaries, they can become pretty feral very quickly. I honestly feel so stuck between wanting to “let it go” and chose fewer battles with them, and seeing them fall into bad behaviour patterns very quickly because I was relaxed about something the night before.

Anyway, I think I went a bit off topic there.

One thing I do try and be mindful is language, hence the “thrilling threes” and “fantastic fives.” It started when a friend of mine spoke about her son going through the “terrific twos.” The language helps. Thank goodness Darby hasn’t hit the terrific twos just yet. It will be here soon enough I’m sure. For now though, he is super chilled and friggin’ hilarious with  his antics. Oh boy he makes me laugh. Such a clown.

Any pearls of wisdom to be shared about how to manage a firey, determined, defiant little Miss 3, and an emotional, sensitive Master 5 would be much appreciated!

“Youth is wasted…

On the young…”

Now I KNOW that my Dad isn’t the only person who says this. And I’ve always thought “yeah yeah” when I hear it, catching his meaning; young people don’t know how much potential lies before them etc etc.

But I’m going to take it back a few years to early childhood, and I’ll tell you why.

My kids call out to me and I come running.

Generally I drop whatever it is I’m doing (within reason) and see what it is they are desiring at that moment in time. They don’t care about future potential! They care about instant gratification.

For instance it’s after 10.30pm and Quinn just called out to me. I rushed in to the kids bedroom (the 3 of them share so it was more out of necessity as I didn’t want the boys to wake up) and the problem?

My little angel was cold. The poor dear had kicked off her blankies and needed me to put them back on her.

And it doesn’t end there.

Ruggy lost the middle of the night? Call Mama. She’ll find it amongst the covers and sheets.

Need a drink of water? Mama will get that for you.

Can’t find something? Mama seems to have an electronic database that keeps track of every item you own. Go hit her up.

Sibling bugging you? Mama would love to hear all about it. In detail. More than once.

Hungry? Well you get the drift.

This is the stuff that is wasted on the young!

Seriously! If we knew what the whole adulting and parenting gig really entailed then who would actually willingly sign up for it!?

I know I wouldn’t have appreciated all these 5 star luxuries when I was growing up so let me take this opportunity now to thank you, Mum and Dad for always being at my beck and call.

Now it’s time for you to enjoy a little something I like to call “what goes around comes around. ” I think I can hear Darby waking up for some cuddles… lucky they are so damn cute…

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10 things on the 10th

10 things I love about our house

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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…

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Brick Event 2016

Oh wow. You know when you have little expectation of something (little as opposed to low) and you are just blown away by it!? I love when that happens. Those little surprises in life make me happy, especially when they also make my kids happy.

I took the kids to Rocky’s Brick Event this morning, along with a babysitter to help out, and it was one of the best things I’ve ever taken the kids to. 20160709_084808

The reasons for my expectation level, is due to this event that we went to last year. Looking back, I can’t believe how little I wrote about it! I think that’s quite telling. As I did mention, I was hoping that there would be more interactive things for the kids, other than the trays of bricks at the end. That’s where this event was different.

The displays were AMAZING and had heaps of moving parts.

Retro train set! Wooooo wooooooooooo!

There was SO much Star Wars Lego. My kids were so excited.

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See?

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We were among the first to arrive to beat the crowds (which was my plan) and it was great as it meant I could put Darby in the stroller (he took some convincing!!) and he could still see everything without other people getting in the way. By the time we left, there were crowds 3 or 4 people deep at each display so it would have been impossible for him to see. He loved it!

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So busy!

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There were probably about 40?? displays, but this was my favourite by far.

I couldn’t stop watching it! So amazing.

After seeing all the displays, there were a bunch of tables for building Lego! And not just any Lego; the kids could build their own train carriage to be put on the back of a running train! The kids thought this was so awesome. Here’s Chance and Quinn’s efforts (the 2 end carriages). (Gotta love Quinn’s comment at the end!!)

There was a staff member there the whole time, taking carriages off and putting new ones on to go for a spin. All the kids were so proud of their creations being shown off like that.

And that’s not all! There were a few towers like this with heaps of different shaped Lego for kids to make their names. Quinny had some help, but Chance did his all by himself. Such a great idea.

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Sooooo much Lego. Almost as much as our collection at home!

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And of course, because I’m a massive softy, I couldn’t not buy the kids some Lego to take home. I had told them not to ask me to buy any, and they honoured that, so I surprised them at the end. Of course they wanted to go straight home to build it.

Quinn chose Cinderella (quite fitting, as one of her nick-names is Quinderella) and Chance chose the Ambulance rescue plane.

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We were only there for an hour and a half, and if it wasn’t so crowded, I would have loved to go back and look at the displays again, but it was just too crazy and the kids were ready to leave. I’m glad I had our friend there to help with Darby as I didn’t want to just keep him in the stroller the whole time. There was a Duplo table for him to play at while the kids were building their creations, but he was more interested in running around.

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I think the biggest difference between this expo and the last one, was this was really aimed at kids. The one in Brisbane was more about showing the design side of things, and showing off creations, which were really impressive, but not that exciting for kids after about 10 minutes. This one was all about showing what you could do with Lego and really encouraging kids’ participation and creativity. 10 thumbs up from this crew. Will definitely keep an eye out for more events in the future!