Posted on May 12, 2017
If you have read my blog you know that there is a coffee shop I go to on a Wednesday morning with the school mums. Well it has changed hands, had a facelift and a new menu. I haven’t been there for a while, but yesterday there was a post on Instagram saying golden milk was on the specials board.
I never just go for coffee on my own, I just don’t. If I am out somewhere and want a coffee I will grab a takeaway, but today I headed to Gather and Feast after school drop off for a golden milk, because I have never seen a golden milk in our local area and was not missing out. The reno on the old shop looked fresh and bright with plenty of seating. My fav 70’s arm chairs were still in the corner next to the front window. I headed straight to that little corner as soon as I ordered my golden milk from the lovely lady at the counter. The enthusiastic coffee and brekky crowd was fabulous to see in our local area that is not known as a foodie heaven. However, the aromas coming from the little kitchen, the pretty food on the tables and the delicacies in the cabinet next to the cash register were a treat that I will definitely be coming back for (some of the food has flowers on it – how divine).
I know that I am going on and on about the no phone experiment that seems to have changed me forever. You can read about it here, here, here and here. While enjoying my golden milk, I tried not to pull out my phone and pretend to be engrossed in it. But I did in the end because, I looked like a crazy, stalker sitting on my own, in the corner, with a yellow drink just looking at people looking at their phone’s. It still amazes me that when people are together at a table, sharing a meal or a drink that they pull out their phone. Even before the no phone experiment I have never done that. It’s rude and isn’t it more important to spend time with the person that you are actually sitting with, than someone on line.
Anyway phone rant over. Will be going back to Gather and Feast. Everyone needs to try golden milk.
Posted on December 17, 2016
I made it…………………………….100 posts. What a relief that is over. I am glad I did the 100 posts but feel as though an invisible weight has been lifted now the 100 posts are done. Thanks to everyone that has read and supported my writing, I love and appreciate you and the time that you spent reading. I wasn’t sure how I was going to end my 100 posts but I want to tell you about an experience I had yesterday.
My husband’s phone blared its annoying alarm through our camper trailer at 4.20am. I rolled over and buried myself in the blankets and said “not today”.
“Yep, come on you wanted to do this, up you get.”
It was dark and the usually busy streets of Byron Bay were deserted. Street lights were on and neon lights were lit above the motels throughout town. We made our way up the hill, commenting on the amount of people running at this early hour, up such a steep hill. We parked the car at the closest car park and walked up the hill. It was blowing a gale, I was carrying my camera and phone and was rugged up in jeans and jumper.
We were just about at the top and I wanted to take a photo of the lighthouse in the dark with my new camera. I turned it on and click not working. Shit. One main reason I wanted to come up here was to get a photo of that. I was so annoyed with myself, I kept walking but was ranting about how it could have a flat battery and disappointed that I would have to take photos with my phone. We reached the top, after watching one of the runners that I had commented on while we drove up the hill, pass us on her way back down the hill. We sat down in a little alcove of the lighthouse out of the wind and watched the sky. I started playing with my camera, because I was still baffled and annoyed at how it could have a flat battery. I looked up and the sky had changed colour. I handed my husband my camera and went to the fence surrounding the light house and took a photo with my phone. As I sat down the light from my phone lit up my camera. My husband pointed out to me that I had in the dark put the camera on the wrong setting that is why it wasn’t taking photos. I was relieved and got up and started clicking away at the first light of the day. I sat in the arms of my husband, my back to his chest and watched the sky change colour again and again. I felt so blessed to be the only ones on the most eastern point of Australia, leaning up against an icon of the Country that was built 115 years ago to guide ships and protect the shore. As the sun started to rise, the crowds at the lighthouse started to rise. At one point my husband said to me “you better go and grab a spot at the fence if you want to see it”. I stood against the white wood and metal fence, with my husband at my back, listening to people from all over the world chatting to each other, I watched them taking selfies and posting to social media. Now don’t get me wrong I posted my pictures last night to social media but at the time it didn’t feel right. I am not particularly religious, I do like to go to Christmas Eve mass, but that’s about it. But with my feet firmly planted on the ground, standing in silence and watching such a colourful and majestic sight as the rising of the sun, for me sent goose bumps over my skin, my heart felt so much love and I had tears on my cheeks. It felt like more than a new day, it felt like a new beginning, a fresh start.
Posted on December 6, 2016
I mentioned in my last post that I am an introvert, however I have done some research and I am actually an ambivert.
a person who has a balance of extrovert and introvert features in their personality.
A couple of weeks ago I went out for dinner with some mums from school. There was 8 of us and I chatted and laughed and would’ve stayed out longer, if I didn’t have to take kids to cricket at 7.00am the next morning. At 7.00am the next morning I sat on my fold out camp chair under a tree and watched my boy play cricket, this was after I had said a quick hello to the team parents and paid the weekly fee for the end of year party.
The difference is the mums that I went to dinner with I have got to know over a long period of time. I have slowly and at my own comfortable pace got to know them and love them. The lady that I talk about in my blog all the time as my bestie, literally had to force herself on me to actually get me to open up and chat to her. I am glad she persisted otherwise I wouldn’t have my lovely friend.
The mums in the cricket team I have only met this season and am not comfortable just inserting myself in their conversation.
See once I get to know people, I am very extroverted and happy to hold a conversation and hang out. My core group of family and friends, I absolutely love to death. I find stimulating, deep and meaning conversation one of life’s biggest joys. I do however like to spend time on my own, and find it draining and stressful if I have a particularly busy week with social engagements. I get nervous and anxious meeting new people or people that I haven’t seen for a while. If I am going to a party or event where I don’t know many people, I always want to cancel. I don’t though. Part of the reason that I started this blog was to try and open myself up a bit more. The #sistertribe posts that are on the blog, are another way of me being a bit more extroverted. I find them extremely stressful, the interview and the writing but also rewarding.
I found a few other characteristics of an ambivert below:
Posted on December 6, 2016
We have just walked in the door from a two day road trip to pick up boy 1. He went to stay with my dad in Western Queensland for his first week of school holidays. The trip was about 7 hours travelling. The roads are long, the weather is hot, hot 43 degrees hot, my legs got sunburnt in the car and I was still sweating even though we had the air-con blasting. We saw more road trains on the road, than cars and the land looked as though it would self-combust. We drank 2 litres of water each on the way out, we stopped for a picnic because I refused to buy take-away and then sit in the car and feel bloated and sick, we stopped for lamingtons that are supposed to be famous for the area. I found them two big and a bit dry. We stopped in one of the major towns along the way and visited my sister and niece while they waited for their car to have a service. We walked to the pub on the corner on a melting road, the newly renovated pub had the air-con set to the perfect temperature and an Elderberry gin spritzer went down easily.
We got to my dad’s and my son nearly bowled me over with enthusiasm that I hadn’t seen in him for a long time. He wanted to spend some time with just his father and I for a while. We went to the Great Artesian Spa, and had a soak in the thermal mineralised artesian waters. We were the only ones in the aquatic centre and after getting into the pool, we knew why. It was as hot in the water as out of the water. However we paid $24 for the 3 of us to get in, so we were getting our money’s worth. We switched between the hot pool and the cooler pool, the first few minutes that we floated around in the water was actually relaxing to float in after a hot 7 hour drive. Until road trains full of cattle heading into the store sales in the next town started flying down the street directly past the pool.
After this we headed back to my dad’s place, a fair bit later than we said we would be. He wanted to take the boys to Christmas in the park. Which was as we found out; a sausage sizzle, raffle, bar, and school kids singing Christmas carols. Nice for the town folk, who being country people are extremely friendly, welcoming and will happily chat to a city slicker. But not something that we would go to where we live. I sat and listened to the carols with my husband on a park bench, slowing sipping a beer and watched the locals mingle, after nearly every single person I met said “oh you must be …………………………. (insert my middle sisters name)” “ahh no” and then the awkward “oh, we haven’t heard about you, where are you from”?
Me being my introverted self, felt almost claustrophobic watching everyone. Everyone knew everyone, everyone chatted and caught up and then moved on to the next group of people. This would seriously give me anxiety if I lived here and knew every time I walked down the street I would see someone I know. I definitely like living where I have my core people and everyone else is a stranger.
Posted on December 4, 2016
As a 16 year old I knew that I wanted to work with pre-schoolers, I was always interest in the early years. In year 12 a lady came to our school as part of a careers information session. She was from The Nanny School in Brisbane. She spoke about The Nanny School, being a nanny, what it involved and the possibility of working overseas, I knew then that is exactly what I wanted to do. So I worked part-time and saved to be able to go to The Nanny School, prior to this I had studied and completed a Certificate Three in early childhood. I went straight into a Nanning position after graduation, I was there for 15 months before moving to London with my boyfriend who was a professional rugby league player. We moved to Leeds and lived there for a year I was working in a Montessori nursery, still knowing that I wanted to go and Nanny in London. When we came back to England from Australia for another football contract in Leeds, I said to him I am going straight to London.
I have always gone through a nanny agency, they do all the screening and they know how to match you. They ask very specific questions eg. Do you drive, will you travel with families, age preferences. From this I was in a job for just under a year, the mother only need someone while her husband was away from home – he was an actor. This family referred me to a friend that needed a nanny for 2-4 weeks, while their permanent nanny went home to Australia. This was perfect for me as I was about to go travelling with my boyfriend who was playing in the Rugby world cup. I knew the children that I would be looking after as their nanny and I were friends and would have play dates with our children. One week and the mother said to me “we have spoken more in this week, than I have spoken to the other nanny in a year. Having you here has made me realise what a nanny is meant to be doing.” She went on to say that she wanted me to come back to her and nanny and live in the converted flat upstairs, after I had travelled with my boyfriend. She told the permanent nanny not to come back. So I ended up staying with them for 3 years. This was until the father wanted to be a stay at home dad, and also because I was getting too expensive as they now had three children. The third child I looked after from birth until she was two. Still to this day I call her my baby. They have four children now and I have been appointed guardian if anything was ever to happen to the parents.
The next family I went onto I was with for a year, they had two children and I did not bond with the boy child or the mother at all. From this I ended up working in Turkey as a summer nanny, even though I never wanted to nanny outside of London. But the money was so good and a friend who was also a nanny was going on holidays and her children needed someone. I knew the children, because when they would come to London we would meet for playdates with my children. I was there for the summer with three housekeepers and a driver only one of them spoke English so the eight year old would translate for me.
While I was in Turkey there were agencies in London deciding which jobs they would allow me to look at. This is how agencies work, based on experience and qualifications they usually gave you about three to look at. I was told that I was highly sort after in London based on my experience and qualifications, and serving time as a nannies helper and moving quickly onto sole charge. I was sitting on the top pay scale, which at the time was about 390 – 400 pound a week about $1000 Australian. I only worked for families where the parents were at work all day. I refused to work for someone that wasn’t working herself, as I felt if you are not working you need to be looking after your children.
I worked 12 hour days with the children, I usually had one on my hip, one at nursery, or school. We would have a strict routine. We would drop children at school or nursery and the baby and I would do our morning activities, maybe meet up with other nannies. Come home feed them lunch, put them down for a nap and then go and do pick up in the afternoon. Nannies really do have the best social calendar, you do not want to be stuck at home all day. I would have sole charge of the children, I would not clean or do general housekeeping, I would only do child nursery duties; cleaning their rooms, cooking their food and their laundry. Occasionally even on my days off or after I had signed off for the day I would still be with them, I loved them and loved just being with them.
As a mother everything that you have just said makes me want to cry. Everything you have said is what I did as a mother with my boys. These mothers must absolutely love and trust you immensely to be with their child like this.
You are right and I totally understand how you feel, at one time I had an au pair helping me with three children and when I would see her with my children, playing with them or showing the affection and I would become so jealous.
I said to the best friend of the lady I was working for “I admire and respect you and the women that work and have nannies – purely for the fact that you are willing to share your child’s love with someone else. I understand that is a choice, I mean the women that I worked for were high profile, extremely successful women, family orientated women. They had worked very hard for years to get to where they were. They loved their careers but also wanted a child. It meant that they need to work out the best balance for them emotionally and of course they still had mother guilt and had to learn how to deal with the social pressure from other women.
The top nanny agency in London, put me forward for a job in Kensington, I went for the interview, the agency negotiated the job for me. They called me in Turkey to say that I had just topped the pay scale for them; I would be getting 390 pounds a week, a flat in Kensington and a car – a BMW X5 and my only bill being a mobile phone. Being at this level, I knew my boundaries as a professional Nanny and always demanded respect from the families, I would only work for families where our values aligned and knew we would be a good fit. I would never travel with the families, dynamics change, and routines change. I was a professional nanny, so when the parents went to work I started work, when they went home I finished work as a live in Nanny. If you travel with them you are at their beck and call. So there are girls that are specifically holiday nannies. They only do travel with families and some only do high profile families and couldn’t think of anything worse than my position where I was stationary in London, doing the same routines everyday was their job from hell.
At the end of the day I just love being around the children under five, I love being with them and having play dates, developing a bond with them, I get so much satisfaction out of watching them grow. I loved for example the chaos and busyness of eating dinner with a table full of under-fives. It was crazy and loud and I loved it. When I moved back to Australia and would be sitting at the dinner table with my husband and it was quiet and civilised I found it boring and I suffered from what I think is empty nest syndrome. For 12 years I had a child on my hip or under my feet from when I was eighteen and I stopped when I was 30. At the end of my time as a nanny, I was just so tired of leaving families, I would just get so attached and I would end up being an absolute mess.
One of the challenges of Nanning is living in a house and living with the dynamics of a husband and wife. Working and living with a family you are dealing with them on a professional level and also an emotional level. Living within a family there is such a personal level of the job as well. The family that I worked with the longest I called her my mum away from home, and to this day we are still in contact with and I have just been invited to go and visit them in Sydney.
My biggest thing especially with under-fives is always to sit and eat with your children and eat the same food. This is so important because: children do not innately know how to eat dinner at a table and food does not motivate children under five. The only thing that motivates a child under five is fun. If they are at a table just being told to eat they are not learning, they learning by copying you. The very first thing I did as a nanny would be always to sit down and eat with the children. The family I was with the longest named me “two dinner Edwards”, because I always ate with the children at 5pm then would go out and eat with friends later. The last job I was in the little boy refused to eat vegetables, but within two weeks of me being with him, he was eating vegetables. The mother said to me I don’t know what you’re doing but keep it up, because her son had a new favourite food of broccoli. The food behaviour in the home changed because I made fun out of it and boys are motivated by challenge, so I would challenge him. “I would say to him you can’t eat a tree”. And of course he ate the tree. Eat with them, eat the same food as them – because they want to be the same as you, they role model you. So do what you want them to copy and feeding children under five needs to be fun. Do not ever clean a child up at the dinner table, let them get food everywhere, on their hands, on their face. Let them feel the food, clean them up away from the table. Let them explore it. Another tip when you do go to wash their face, don’t smother their face with the face washer. They will pull away and bat their hands. Be gentle, lean into them with a soft and soothing voice and clean off one part of their face at a time, explain what you are doing, they will relax and lean into you and let you do it. Be soft and delicate.
Routine. I had a really strict routine. It got to the point that the children could predict what was happening next. This created a sense of calm in them. If children don’t have strict boundaries they don’t feel safe and secure and they can act out because they are feeling disconnected from you. If you are consistent they always know what to expect from you and again they feel secure. Routines and consistence is the key.
Communications with under-fives is so important. Especially over the age of 3, they become much more reasonable. Appreciate that they know more than you think they do. They understand more than they can verbalise. Explain things to them, it’s not fair to dictate to children, explain why you are doing something, this brings understanding and they will be so much more reasonable.
If you want to distract, motivate or engage a child, music wins every time. Make it fun and sing, it captivates them. I spoke to a music teacher about this and she agreed with me that music changes the dynamic and a great way to distract, motivate or engage a child.
Get down on the ground with the children, go to eye level especially with boys. It’s not an innate awareness for parents to get down to eye level. Some parents have an instructional, dictator relationships with children. If they see them at eye level they have a serve and return interaction with their child. For example sit and eat with them at the dinner table, sit with them a do an activity with them.
Start with the end mind, think about how you want them to act not as babies, but as older children. Speak to them with proper words, use appropriate language. That is one of my biggest tips for parents.
Posted on December 3, 2016
For the last 3 years we have hooked up our camper trailer and driven south down the highway to Northern New South Wales to a little place south of Byron Bay. The caravan park where we stay is tucked in between a headland and the beach. The camp ground doesn’t have many facilities in itself but the location is perfect. To get our favourite camp site we need to a year in advance. The dates that we have stayed have meant that the same people have been there each year. One lady that comes to mind when I think of Broken Head has stayed at the park at the same time of year for over 60 years, all of her children and grandchildren have spent summers at the park and her husband actually passed away there, on their annual holiday. She is an expert on the weather, she out fishes the men and can be seen walking the beach everyday.
We spend our time on holiday walking over the headland in the morning, going for a swim or a surf on the way back to camp, we usually have a nanna nap, go back to the beach for more swimming after lunch, then it is “happy hour” with cheese and wine before heading back to the beach for a late afternoon fishing and a pipi hunting session. Then back to camp and cooking on gas oven, with ingredients and produce from the fridge that we take with us, we have a comfortable set up with lots of shade, the boys sleep in their own tents, and we cover our camp site with 100’s of fairy lights making it shine brilliantly.
With mostly the same people camping in the park at the same time each holidays, my boys look forward each year to catching up with their mates from all over Australia. They spend their days, at the beach, in the park, going from camp site to camp site catching up and getting to know families. The group of mostly boys in the mornings head up to the camp kitchen and cook and feast on pancakes. Most days I have to actually remind them to eat and I always insist that they are back at our camp site for dinner; otherwise I would never for the whole holiday see my children.
One of my absolute favourite things is getting comfy in my queen size bed in the camper trailer and listening to the ocean as I fall asleep, going for long walks with my little family and practising yoga on the beach is pretty high on the list as well. The 16 days that we are away each year, living a healthy lifestyle of eating beautiful food, being active everyday, spending time together is my favourite time of the year.
Posted on December 1, 2016
The feature photo is a dragon fruit cactus. Boy 2 has a diverse palate and will try absolutely anything that is put in front of him. He has a soft spot though for fruit. A friend of his bought a pink oval shaped fruit to school to show my boy. If you think of a pear it is a similar shape. The flesh of the fruit that boy 2 had a taste of was white with black seeds and has the consistency of a kiwi fruit. Apparently the dragon fruit that has its origins in Mexico, is full of numerous nutrients, including Vitamin C, phosphorus, calcium, fiber and is high in antioxidants. From the first spoonful my youngest boy loved dragon fruit. So much so that he wanted to start growing them. We live in a sub-tropical area and the medium to large cactus seems to grow well here.
We were travelling home from western Queensland and boy 2 was yelling at us to stop the car. Now my boy gets car sick so of course we pull over at a ridiculous speed, because we have been there and done that with vomit all through the car. He wasn’t car sick at all, there was a fruit shop on the side of the road with dragon fruit plants for sale out the front. So after the initial “are you kidding me” had worn off. My husband went and purchased my son two dragon fruit plants.
He has nurtured his plants, he has fertilized them, and watered them and at one point even built a bamboo fence around them to protect them from our dog. He has sculptured them so they now look like works of art.
In saying all of this and how delicious the fruit is and how artistic the plant looks, we found out recently that it can take up to six years for the plant to bear fruit. My boy has a long wait for his treasured fruit, but I am sure he will enjoy the first bight after all of his hard work.
Posted on December 1, 2016
Second last day of school for 2016 for boy 2 today. Today he formally says goodbye to, two of his closest friends, one that he has grown and had adventures with since he started at kindy when he was 18 months old. The other he has been at the same kindy and school the whole time but only became friends with about 3 years ago. My big, little guy, I call him this because he is as tall as me and has bigger feet than me but is still only 11 and the baby of the family. He is not a book learner, give him something to do with his hands or an activity or task where he can move around and he is keen to learn anything. This is my boys nature, even as a toddler I would read to him and he would politely close the book, while I was reading it to him and walk away or just start playing with a toy that caught his attention. Ask him a mathematics question and he spills the answer without even thinking. We made a decision early on in primary school to keep him down a grade than where he should be at. I initially, felt extremely stressed over the decision but the stress was more my ego and fears about him socially than anything to actually do with my boy. He seemed at peace with the choice and has since started listing a number of positives, with being older than his class mates. He is excited as he will be able to get his learners licence in year 10 and he will be able to drive himself to school by the middle of year 11. He is also pointed out that he will be 18 when he goes to schoolies. I recently asked him how he really felt about not moving onto high school next year and he said with a shrug of his shoulders “I’m glad”. He didn’t elaborate and I didn’t want to hound him.
He wrote his goodbye speech to the oldest of his friends, he was a bit stressed about it because he wanted it to sound worthy of his friend and their friendship. I asked him to bring it home so I could help him with it, but he wanted to do it on his own. He asked if he could get a haircut for the assembly today, his father took him to the barber yesterday and is looking incredibly handsome. When I woke this morning he asked if I could drop him at school early to practice his speech and be prepared for a meeting of next year’s seniors that was being held at 8.30am.
I have my tissues and camera packed in my hand bag for the 1.00pm event.
Posted on December 1, 2016
I am sitting in the Coffee club across the road from the tyre shop, where my car is currently being fitted with some new rubber. We are going to be doing a lot of driving over the next few weeks and we are able to claim the amount back from our salary sacrifice arrangement. So on go the new tyres on the first day of summer.
I dropped off boy 2 at school and went to boy 1’s school to drop off the school blazer that he has worn maybe twice, to have the left pocket embroidered with the cricket and rugby union premiership awards for 2016. One of my most treasured friends is the school receptionist, so was a great excuse to have a chat with her. We once upon a time worked together. Mostly on night duty. We met at work in 2002. I had been working in outpatients for about a year, I was pregnant and had awful morning sickness , so I started at 11am, I walked through a big heavy security door in to the area this morning and was nearly bowled over by the new girl, who grabbed my arms, and in a frantic voice asked ” do you work here?”. And that’s were our friendship started.
My husband text me this morning and I said I was going to see her and drop off boy 1’s jacket, his response was ” I will ring and change the tyres to next week!”. He knows how much we can talk. Like seriously talk for hours and hours. Unfortunately she was at work and I couldn’t hang out at her desk for hours chatting like we did when we worked at the same desk .
So I am sitting in coffee club, sipping on an iced latte. I don’t usually buy cold drinks, but well it’s day 1 of summer and about 33 degrees. Michael Buble and Mariah Carey singing Christmas carols are the soundtrack to my coffee stop .
Posted on November 30, 2016
Boy 1 is not here for the week, he is sweating it out in western Queensland with my dad. He was keen to go and stay with my Dad for this week, I think he thought that if he went out bush he would be given a little more freedom and not have his nagging mother on his back. Because that is all I feel like I have done the last few weeks as well. Constantly reminding him of homework, assignments, work, cricket, cricket training, wearing the correct uniform to school, stop wrestling with your brother, don’t talk back, blah, blah, blah.
No wonder the kid jumped in the back of my dad’s car and barely said goodbye, after I wrapped him in my arms for longer than he was comfortable with and peppered kisses all over his face. He is not a touchy, feely kid so this show of affection didn’t sit well with him. My arms and heart ached when they drove out of my driveway, I stood there in bare feet and my nightie – because that is how early they had to leave, and watched the silver V8 four wheel drive power down our street. I text and left several message on both of their phones that first day, but with limited service where they were going I didn’t receive an answer. I finally talked to my dad about 12 hours after they had left and my boy was in the shower. I reminded my dad that his eldest grandson loves a long, hot shower and to remind him not to use all the water. I got the usual “he’ll be right” from my dad. He has been gone 3 days now and I miss his energy and presence in the house. I miss his face and his demands. I talked to him this morning and my heart melted at hearing his voice. He was absolutely fine and his usual self. He was getting ready for the day and sounded too busy to talk, but I piled on the questions.
“Are you ok?”
“Have you been sleeping ok?”
“What are you doing today?”
“Please remember to drink lots of water”
“Yes, its going to be 44 here on Saturday”
“I will ring you tonight from work”
“Ok, gotta go”
“ok love you lots”
“Bye, mate, love you”.
Posted on November 29, 2016
Our block of land has trees absolutely overflowing with birds. All types of feathered friends, kookaburras, cockatoos, king parrots, magpies,
butcher birds, owls and lorikeets. It can get very noisy, colourful and a privilege to see so much wildlife hanging out at our home. I often stand with a cuppa coffee at the windows that line the back of our house and watch the crazy antics of the birds, from
a distance. From a distance because I don’t like birds anywhere near me, not just wild birds, I am the same with our chickens. I am happy to throw food over the fence but that is about it. The few times that I have had to feed them, in their pen I look like
a big bird flapping my wings and making enough noise that they will not come near me. The black chook despite my efforts to scare her still pecks my feet – what a bitch, I am feeding her for god sake. I remember as a child going to some sort of zoo or bird
sanctuary and being absolutely paralysed with fear, when a bird came near me.
So imagine my absolute horror when at work I receive a photo and a text message to say that my eldest son has rescued a baby lorikeet that fell
out of its nest that was in a tree in our backyard. This one text set off a flurry of responses along the line of “get rid of the bird”, “you have to make a choice, it’s the bird or me”, “call someone qualified to look after your patient”. My whole work day
was interrupted and I was freaking internally for my whole shift as my family kept torturing me with photos of their feathery friend. My children with the bird on their head, my husband with the biggest smile on his face holding the little green ball of feathers
and the caged bird in my living room. One that said I would break boy 2’s heart if I said it had to go. I sent one back saying I was willing to risk my kid having a broken heart.
I woke the next morning to the bird crying, I don’t know if birds cry but it sounded like it was crying for its mother. I am finished with crying
babies, and I hate birds so was not thrilled to be woken with the cries of a baby bird. For now I seem to have lost the battle of the bird and it is still living with us. I am trying to be nice to it, I did approach the cage twice to look at it and both times
it has shit all over the bottom of the cage. Maybe it’s as scared of me as I am of it.
Posted on November 28, 2016
I stood in Woolies flicking through a home style magazine and the focus for the current edition of the glossy mag was hallways. My hallway is its own living, breathing beauty. The breeze in summer flows through the front door, and down the hall, streams into the living room at the end cooling the house. The cold winds in winter bluster down the hallway and up through the tiny gaps in the floor, meaning my house is like a big wooden freezer. The boards on the floor moan and creak in places. Places that my boys haven’t learnt not to tread on when they are leaving their rooms and are trying to sneak along the hallway passed my bedroom – usually at 5.00am to play on the Play station. The main artery of my home has been used for a cricket pitch – this activity was not consented by me, it has been used for a photo shoot, when my boys were tiny tots, they raced matchbox cars down the hall, at times they have tried to ride scooters and skateboards down the wooden floor. The house is not level, making it a fun game to roll marbles down floorboards. My husband and I spent a whole week painting the thirteen foot VJ walls, every single board. There’s also decorative features above the doors, two arch ways and a centre arch of decorative painted columns and moulding, picture rails that give character and are a standard feature of the Queenslander home. I haven’t in the time we have been in the house been able to decide on the perfect light fittings to light up our dark hallway. In saying that though, I have threatened several times to tape up the light switch as every single time boy one walks into the hallway he turns on the lights – every single time, day or night, it drives me mental. On several occasions I have been at our gate about to leave for the day, and sent boy 1 back to turn off the lights that I can see shining through the glass that surrounds the front door and swinging window above the door. I also want two hall runners to line the floor, the ones that I want to sink my feet into are wool and silk Persian rugs, I need two of them. No surprise then that my floor is still bare.
Posted on November 25, 2016
I spent time on my yoga mat this morning. Stretching my muscles, my breathing, my mind. I lost all thought and flowed, I flowed with the movements, the breath, the up and down. Letting everything go, breathing in light and energy, breathing out negativity. The breeze flowed around me in my lounge room, my hardwood floors were, where I planted my feet and followed the instruction to ground down through the earth. I bowed down and worshipped the sun, in the power sun salutation flow. I surrendered to the uncomfortable stressed feeling in my mind and body and worked through them as I :
1. Breathe in, Breathe out bring hands to prayer at heart space
2. Breathe in, bring hands above head, lift through chest
3. Breathe out, bend forward, bending knees, bring hands beside feet
4. Breathe in, take right foot back into lunge.
5. Breathe out, take left foot back into downward dog
6. No breath, into 8 point pose – toes, knees, hands, chest, chin to floor
7. Breathe in, into cobra – lifting through chest
8. Breathe out, into downward dog
9. Breathe in, right leg through to hands into lunge.
10. Breathe out, left leg through to meet right into forward bend
11. Breathe in, coming up, sweep hands above head, lift through chest
12. Breathe out, hands to prayer at heart space.
I sweated and I repeated the sequence, my muscles quivered, my breathing laboured, it was hard work. In the final savasana, I closed my eyes and enjoyed the buzzing in my body and my energy. The rest of the morning, I was loose limbed, and relaxed, positive and motivated.
Posted on November 23, 2016
I am not a shopper. I actually can’t stand wandering the shops. However, I had a great time Christmas shopping for my family yesterday. I love gift giving and finding nice things to give to the people that I love. And most of the people that I buy for are girls, which is such a treat, I enjoyed trying to decide what to buy. The children in my family always receive books from me at Christmas, and I have a hard time making a choice when it comes to only buying one book. I spent most of my time while shopping in the book aisle and then moved on to the book shops.
My fingers itch to hold and flick through every book in a book shop. I would spend hours amongst the shelves of books if I could. I actually avoid book stores if I am shopping with someone else, I like to just be able to meander around and scan through the books and words and get lost in the different genres of books in the shop, on my own at my leisure.
I picked up the book Anne of Green Gables yesterday and it made me think of the photos that I had looked at the day before on a work colleague’s phone. She had actually visited the house where the story was set – Prince Edward Island, Canada. I love that about books– the inspiration they stir, the thoughts that they spark, that they stimulate conversations, and provide holiday destinations.
So next year 2017, will be the year of book giving, for my family and friends. For birthdays and Christmas everyone will be receiving a book, I can see and almost hear the eye rolls now. If any of you are reading this, send me lists of books you want to read and I will endeavour to get them. Maybe not all of them will be brand new books, some may be from second hand stores. But I will be giving books next year – early warning. I will get to spend time in books shops, you know that it will be a well thought out gift and you get to read. Win- win for us both.
Posted on November 21, 2016
On a bit of a roll with writing at the moment and feeling motivated on this sunshiny Monday. Really early start to the day, after getting home at midnight last night from work. Parent/ teacher interview this morning at 7.45am. I always get nervous going to these things, bit like going to the Principals office really – not that I ever went to the principal’s office and not sure why I get nervous, the teachers are lovely . Anyway I got dressed in what I thought at the time of buying them, were a cute pair of blue overalls. When I walked past the glass doors at the school this morning, I looked like I was going to start painting the new building that is currently being constructed. I waited until 8.05am no teacher, so I left the parent/teacher interview with no interview. My husband is on a school excursion with the teacher today so he can chat to her at some point.
I did a quick pop into Woolies for more bread, milk. Had a de-brief on the phone to my bestie, made a cuppa, did some washing and got to writing. I stalked around on Facebook for a while and found a post that Daphne posted – Screw finding your passion by Mark Manson. Mark’s writing style is in your face, laced with the word fuck throughout and pretty much tells you to pull your head out of your ass and be realistic. I love it.
The common complaint among a lot of these people is that they need to ‘find their passion.’
I call bullshit. You already found your passion, you’re just ignoring it. Seriously, you’re awake 16 hours a day, what the fuck do you do with your time? You’re doing something, obviously. You’re talking about something. There’s some topic or activity or idea that dominates a significant amount of your free time, your conversations, your web browsing, and it dominates them without you consciously pursuing it or looking for it.
Womankind also had a similar article in Issue 10 – the one that I am published in (page 77). The article is “How do you measure your life”, by Madeleine Dore. “For modern people, stalked by their choices, the good life is a life lived to the full. We become obsessed, in a new way, by what is missing in our lives; and by what sabotages the pleasures that we seek” (this was a quote she used from the book “In missing out; In Praise of the Unlived life”, Adam Phillips. The article prompts readers to think about how they measure their lives: Is it day by day or year by year? Do you measure the mountains you climbed or the valleys you explored? By the dreams imagined on the hopes dashed? By the wealth accumulated or by amount you have spent?
My motivation fix for today. Have a great Monday everyone.
Posted on November 21, 2016
It’s not even summer yet and it is hot. Baking hot, my clean sheets were dry and baked on the clothes line, before I was able to hang the next load of washing out. I love when I can feel the sun burning your skin when you walk outside, when the brown grass crackles and spikes into my bare feet, when the temperature is still cool inside our Queenslander home, but I can see the heat out in the yard.
I was in the baking sun, walking on my own piece of the land in bare feet that kept getting spiked with grass, gum nuts, leaves and bark. I watered the plants in our new garden that were wilting in the heat, it is next to the stairs at the front of our house and I wanted into look pretty so we filled it with a combination of plants and flowers from both of our families. There are geraniums from my grandma and papa, there are more geraniums from my husband’s aunt and uncle, and there is a frangipani tree that was my great-grandmothers on my father’s side, hydrangeas from me to my husband and a hydrangea that mum gifted my husband for his birthday. In other parts of our garden, I have a jade plant from my great-grandmother on mum’s side. I have a king orchid from my great-grandfather on dad’s side of the family. I have bromeliads from a lady that I work with. Every time l look at these plants I think of the people they are associated with.
I was given some advice on families today when I chatted to a 102 year old lady. She is a tiny lady in stature, but has a big spirit. She is completely independently mobile and her mind as sharp as a tack. I asked her what her secret to living so long is. She laughed and said she gets asked this question all the time. She told me hard work and a loving family.
Posted on November 17, 2016
It was my husband’s birthday the other day. In our home if it’s you’re birthday, you are celebrated. Ever since boy one’s first birthday I have always decorated the bedroom with a happy birthday sign, streamers and balloons. The boy’s try and tell me that they are too old for such decorations, but I religiously deck-out their rooms on the eve of their special day. Same went for my hubby but I did the kitchen as I didn’t get home until midnight from work and I didn’t want to wake him up.
I was able to swap a shift so that I could spend the day with him. We enjoyed a relaxed morning with the boy’s (as relaxed as a school morning can be) and headed for the local shopping centre. One of my hubby’s favourite treats if we have a morning off together, is to go to Donut king. He orders a large chocolate thick shake, six cinnamon donuts and I get a coffee and a few bites of his donuts. So we did this on his birthday. Some of our most serious and deep and meaningful conversations have been had in the food court near donut king, over chocolate, dough and caffeine, on this day we tossed up if we should get foot massages or go the movies for cheap Tuesday. We ended up at Happy Feet. After a fair bit of pointing at the “menu” of services, and filling out paperwork we are seated in comfy chairs getting our feet rubbed. As I have said in other posts, I am not a fan of massages and other people touching me, but my beautiful, elegant and very talented masseuse, Joanne (which I don’t think is her real name) had me walking out of the shop feeling like I was walking with jelly legs on a cloud.
I was starting to stress a bit around school pick-up, my husband was passed out on our bed having a nanna nap. I told my husband he had to do the school run to get the boy’s. I ended up pretty much, pushing him out the door, in a bit of a sleep haze. When my 3 finally walked up the back stairs, the kitchen was covered in more streamers and party food and cake covered the table. I wish I had a camera handy for when my husband walked into the kitchen. He smiled a big, toothy, happy smile and kissed me all over my face saying thank you, for a great day. We are, drank, took photos and sung happy birthday, before I took boy 1 to work.
We feasted on pork belly with roast veg’s and more cake for dinner, we slow cooked it all afternoon, while planting flowers and trees in our backyard. We enjoyed a wine and a beer while watching the local birds find new homes after the Sunday storm destroyed some of the trees that they called home. It was a beautiful day full of simple pleasures and we celebrated.
Posted on November 8, 2016
Changed this challenge to 100 posts. I have for the last 4 days felt guilty for not writing. During the four day’s I would think of topics, or things that I wanted to include in each post but didn’t have the discipline to sit and write the post.
Over the past four days, I spent time having coffee with my mum and we did a bit of shopping my heart was full after spending a few hours with her and having a chat. I also had an incredibly interesting conversation with a lady that I work with, it was her first shift back from 6 weeks on holidays. She was telling me about her solo drive around Tasmania, the haunted BnB she stayed in, the amazing seafood, the lovely people and that for 48 hours she was listed as a missing person when she was travelling through dense bushland in the mountains of Tasmania and the last words that she said to her daughter on the phone were “ I am so isolated and frightened, if anything happens to me here you will never find me.” She was actually fine after a day with no phone service and no emergency service time was wasted looking for her.
I worked two night shifts, that were horrendous and made me pissed off and frustrated with stupid people, made me angry that anybody can procreate and thankful for emergency service workers.
On Friday night and into Saturday I didn’t see my children and my arms ached to hug them, didn’t sleep well with missing them.
Sunday I had three hours sleep, while my husband and boy 2 were fishing and diving, boy 2 was incredibly sea sick and still looked a bit green when he got home. Boy 1 wrangled another night at his friend’s house and then more time going to the movies with him. He came home tired, cranky and with a severe attitude problem, that didn’t sit well with my tired and emotional state coming off night duty. I spent Sunday with one of my oldest and dearest friends, we ate cheese, drank wine, talked while our children swam and laughed and our husbands talked and drank beer, we laughed and shared dinner together with our families, and then we all made our own individual Pavlovas. It was such a simple joy for the eight of us to be in the kitchen making a treat.
Yesterday, boy 1 went on camp, we didn’t part in a great way as he absolutely hated me for sending him to camp, apparently none of the cool kids go to camp. He thought it was also uncool to take a towel, toiletries, lunch for yesterday and water. We argued all morning about packing a couple of life’s necessities and he barely said goodbye. I cried, his father was fuming and he rolled his eyes.
I loved my husband a little bit more yesterday after our disastrous morning, when he hung new curtains in our bedroom. I have wanted curtains for the longest time, but never got around to it, or didn’t want to part with an exorbitant amount of money for material that covers a window, I also quiet like waking up with the sun. Now that I am back on nights I needed curtains.
End of post 69
Getting ready for work, the weather here is hot and humid and the makeup is sliding off my face.
Boy 1 is on school camp and can’t wait until he gets home.
Feature photo is me watching the cricket after waking up from night duty.
Posted on November 3, 2016
I have written in previous blog posts that I completed a 7 day nature challenge (bloody hell me and challenges this year – at least they are positive and helping me grow) with the hope of being published in the Womankind magazine. I dashed into the newsagent, grabbed the bright yellow magazine and raced to the counter and handed over $14.95 to see myself in print. I jumped back in my car and had only a few minutes to get myself to work. I parked in the carpark and thought “I really need to take a selfie of this for the feature photo of the blog today”. So I uncomfortably snapped a couple of photos of me holding up the magazine. I took the selfies, and flipped through the magazine. Issue 10 is all about Vietnam there are articles, photography and art work about the Asian country. My heart was pounding and my nervous giggle came out. And then there I was in print, my words printed on the pages of a magazine that other people can read, people that I don’t know and in countries all over the world. The excitement, pride, fear and accomplishment is so addictive, it makes me just wanna tap my fingers over the keys and keep on working on my writing. To see my words in print on soft duck egg blue paper is exciting. So when I was driving in the drive way at work and passed my husband, I stuck my head out the window and waved the magazine in his face, “I got published”. He couldn’t stop as he had traffic behind him and I don’t think he knew what I was doing waving a bright yellow and red a4 thing in his face.
It is now 11.46. Illuminated by the stove light, I have just finished pawing over the other entries of the nature challenge. I am stoked to be among the woman that completed the nature challenge and were also selected to be published.
End of day 68
Really short entry today, I had hoped that I would find the magazine and be able to write about it, so hadn’t thought to write anything else.
Had Wednesday coffee with the school mum’s this morning. Paid for our Christmas holiday. Posted a photo for the #loveyourspouse challenge. It was a photo of us when I was 18 and about to board a plane to then board a cruise ship for 7 days. After our very first major argument, I went to the travel agent and booked a holiday on my own. Had the most awful time, I was sea sick for 3 day and my luggage was lost for 4 of the 7 days
Posted on November 1, 2016
My sister nominated me in the #loveyourspouse 7 day photo challenge on Facebook today. Even though I am challenging myself to the ridiculousness of writing and posting for 100 days, I don’t enjoy taking part in challenges. I had a dig around in our old photos that are stored in a box under our bed for something decent to post. My heart hurt and melted with love looking at and holding some of the photos from our past. I sat for a couple of hours on my bedroom floor, with a cuppa coffee and all of my beautiful memories. I found the very first photo ever taken of my husband and I, we weren’t together yet, but I liked him a lot. He was a 19 year old surfer, long blonde hair, green eyed, bad boy– with his surf board, part-time job and lots of friends. I was the sweet and very innocent 17 year old good girl that had just finished school, never had a boyfriend. I had purchased my own nice car, landed a good full-time job that paid well for my age.
We still joke and laugh about how on earth we managed to become a couple. We are complete opposites in our opinion of things and don’t have much in common. I met him at a party that he was right at home at, and one I didn’t want to go to, but was dragged to by my cousin. Then for the next few months I would see him at other parties and a couple of times when we were out at pubs, the photo that I posted was on a surf camping trip over Easter and where we actually got to know each other a little better. In the face of our differences we were never one of these on/off couples. We somehow managed to work our way through difficult times. Sometimes I think back to times that we have struggled and wondered why one of us didn’t walk away, wondered what holds us together, we have had this discussion between us. And the answer has been from the both of us that we don’t want to walk away, there is truly some days that I question why that is. Then on other days, my heart can’t imagine doing life without him. I was looking at the nearly 20 year old photo and it made my heart melt a little bit at the way that he was looking at me. He still looks at me like that, and although there are some big issues that we don’t agree on at all. There is also a thoughtfulness in our relationship, little everyday things that help bind us together.
The good morning text, a flower picked for me and on show in a vase on the kitchen table, he loves when I am at home and have cooked a nice meal (sounds old fashioned and probably sexist, but he has definitely done his share of this when I work most afternoons of the week.) going for a walk together. He says it drives him crazy every single night when I have a sip of whatever he is drinking at the dinner table, but I know he loves it.
So although I groaned and cursed my sister for this #loveyourspouse challenge, I have loved going through photos today and being reminded of why I married my husband.
End of day 67
Melbourne cup day.
Cannot believe it is the 1st November
Posted on October 29, 2016
Summer Saturdays are a busy day for my little family. It is 7.36am, my husband and boy 1 are already at cricket, boy 2 is at home with me, he is getting ready to go and spend the morning with a friend. I am thinking of everything I need to do between now and 2.00pm. Take boy 2 to his mates house, go and get a birthday present for the party that he is going to at 6.00pm, plan on texting my bestie to see if she wants to inhale a quick coffee, go and watch boy 1 play a bit of cricket, come home cook dinner for the family, lay down and have a quick nanna nap before getting ready to go to work at 2.00pm. And all of that is why my fingers are flying over the keys this early because I don’t want to be writing this at 11.30pm again and the rest of the day is overbooked.
A couple of thoughts of the day, to carry me through.
I have four decks of affirmation cards in my office. All with varying messages. Today, I picked one from the Money and law of attraction cards by Esther and Jerry Hicks.
My life is as good as I allow it to be.
Many people focus upon unwanted things, with no deliberate attention to the emotional guidance within the, and then they try to compensate for their lackful thinking with physical action. And because of the a misalignment of energy, the y do not get results from their action, so then they try hard by offering ore action , but still things do not improve. Like the air you breathe, abundance in all things is available to you. Your life will simple be as good as you allow it to be.
The “on this day” feature on my Facebook showed me a memory from a year ago and it is a good thought
“Thou shalt not judge, because thou hast fucked up in the past also.”
End of day 66
Not even close yet, seen at it is 7.52am but wishing everyone a happy day and will see what today brings.
It is now 12.09pm I have done everything on the list above and also sat in 45 minute’s worth of traffic. It would usually take 14 minutes to get home from the local cricket field. About to go and rush through a nanna nap.
Posted on October 28, 2016
Feelin’ the love today.
Mum, I missed you yesterday! Are you staying home tonight?
Morning babe, please tell me you’re not working tonight!
Mum can you please pick me up from school today? I love when you are at school in the afternoon.
My bestie shared my feature blog post for askingmums (read about it here) website, on our school closed group Facebook page and there were heart felt, thoughtful comments from parents of the school about my writing.
There has been increased traffic on the blog this week.
And I have been included in an Instagram group of women from all over the world. The purpose of the group is to encourage and support each other.
A video and article on Facebook appeared in my feed today on Why women need a tribe. It was a great read and an interesting video with facts and scientific research about why women thrive and are healthier when they have the love and support of their sister tribe. It made me think of the love I receive from my sister tribe. If I have learnt nothing else from this 100 day blog challenge it is how the positive words, love and encouragement from my sister tribe has kept me on track, has made me get the hell out of my comfort zone and the encouragement has made me confident and wanting to extend myself further.
This afternoon I was in the kitchen and my husband called out from wherever he was in the backyard. “Babe, I need you down here, can you come here now”. I silently muttered about how bossy he is, and got down stairs to a wine and cheese set-up on the grass, and my husband telling me how happy he was that I wasn’t going to work today.
End of day 64
The wine that I have had tonight has me feeling the love of a pounding headache already.
Posted on October 26, 2016
This summer I am going to wear pretty dresses. I have a couple of nice summery dresses but not enough to get me through every hot day until March. I treated myself to a maxi dress with my tax return. It fits perfectly, the material is stunning, the dress draws attention and every time I wear it I get comments about how beautiful it is. It was $104 that included postage. I cannot be buying dresses at this price to fit out my summer wardrobe.
About three weeks ago, I hopped on EBay. With a passion I hate online shopping. However I found some cute dresses that are my style, I got my measurements because I didn’t want to be caught out buying a small if I needed a medium. I found a cute little dress from an online store overseas. White lace, with a neckline that sits on my collarbone and a hem that falls to my knees, slight A-line, summery and pretty. Snapped it up for the $1.99 plus free postage. I mean how ridiculous is that price?
I came home last night from work, the only light on in the house was the light over the stove. I could faintly see white material draped over the chair at the end of the kitchen table. It was my dress. This morning after dropping the boys off I came home to play dress ups with my pretty new dress. So glad that I ordered the Extra-large dress when I am usually a small to medium. Because the pretty little white lace dress with the neckline that sits on my collarbone and the hem that falls to my knees that I ordered. Is actually a pretty little white lace dress with the neckline that sits on my collarbone and the hem that falls to my barely my arse. So instead of having a new dress I have a new top.
End of day 63
Feature image is my new dress.
Another little writing beauty from my book 642 tiny things to write about from my bestie.
Write 20 things about your first car.
Posted on October 25, 2016
The wall that I am standing in front of in the feature photo is the wall in my bathroom that hides my toilet. I hate this bathroom with a passion, I have said from the very first inspection of the house that it reminds me of a public toilet. I have over the years had several opinions on this monstrosity, some people have said embrace it and make it a feature, some have said knock it down and rearrange the whole bathroom. I would actually like to do a bit of both. Turn this bathroom into the “boy’s locker room” style bathroom so the wall could stay looking like a public toilet. My bedroom is gigantic, so would love my own little slice of heaven and privacy in the form of an ensuite. A meme that I had posted on this day 4 years ago showed on my Facebook page today, and it is a prayer to children to leave their mother alone in the bathroom, that I love you, but leave me the hell alone and give me a minute of privacy once I step into the bathroom. YES this is something I crave.
Last week I was soaking in the bath, my two were playing in the backyard and I was enjoying the burning water on my skin and the lavender scent surrounding me. Two minutes, two minutes this lasted until I had one boy come running into the bathroom to pee, then the other one came in and asked me what was for dinner (roast and veg told you about 10 times now), could I make him a smoothie (no its 5.00pm- dinner will be ready soon), could I hurry up in the bath as he would like one (no go away).
I was in my own personal public toilet the other day, the bathroom door was shut. Then the door was open one of the boys was coming into fix his hair – GET OUT I screamed, then he screamed I need to fix my hair as he slammed the door.
This morning I am shaving my legs and an argument breaks out in the bathroom over an apple juice popper that was in the freezer and as to who was the owner and would get to take it to school. Once I was all smooth again and dressed, I took the popper and no one got it. This was after I fought for the mirror with boy 1 who was trying to make himself look beautiful before school, not that it made a difference and we had an argument over tucking his shirt in (he tried to tell me that he doesn’t have to tuck his shirt in because it’s summer) well I will have to show him the email I received from the school today to tell me that my son has community service because his shirt was untucked and he looked untidy.
End of day 62
Off to use the bathroom to get ready for work all by myself as my children are at school.
I am the feature blogger for this week on www.askingmums.com.au have a read of why I chose Montessori education.
Posted on October 23, 2016
After burning my hands I had to call in sick to work yesterday, because I actually could not touch anything. I came to work today. I asked to be allocated to an area where I wouldn’t have to type much because of my fingers. They haven’t blistered thankfully, but they look like I have rolled my fingers in maroon ink and are stained. They aren’t particularly painful, but they are sensitive and smooth, I have burnt off my finger prints. When I wash my hands – which I do religiously because of where I work, I have a similar feeling to when I burnt them. When I type they feel tender. I made a cup of tea, the heat coming off the cup made them feel the same as when I burnt them.
It is 10.08pm I am having a cup of bad coffee while I write this and for the first time in ages I can’t think what to write. I am sick of talking about what I have done during the day (not much today, I slothed on the lounge with boy 1 this morning before work and watched Queensland and New South Wales play cricket. Boy 2 was cranky with us because he didn’t want to watch and it was raining outside and I denied his request to take him to the skate ramp. I came to work and well I worked.)
On my tea break I stalked around on my sisters and my besties Goodreads accounts to see what they have been reading as I need a new book. When in Rome, the book that I was reading was annoying me and I really couldn’t get into it, so it was put back on the bookshelf. I did find some interesting books that I will look at further when I can use my home Wi-Fi, instead of the data on my phone that seems to run out extremely quickly.
While sitting here sipping on my bad coffee that I have to drink with my right hand, I am listening to registrars think up diseases and conditions that they learnt about in medical school and will probably never see or have to treat. They are trying to remember the symptoms and treatments. I want to ask them why they are doing this, it seems pointless.
End of day 60
Typed this with two hands today, but used my finger nails to hit the keys.
Just got home to a child that is sleep walking.
Posted on October 23, 2016
I am typing this blog post with 1 hand. Last night I took a plate of garlic bread out of the oven, put it on the dining room table, and then grabbed the plate to move it further into the middle of the table. The result was me roasting four fingers on my left hand. The pain made me want to vomit, the burning agony travelled up my arm. I ran my fingers under water, clutched an ice pack and continually smothered Aloe Vera gel from our plant in the garden all over my fingers, I medicated myself on Panadol and Neurofen. I had an uncomfortable, sleepless night and today we had cricket, groceries and I was supposed to work this afternoon, I called in sick as my tools of the trade now resemble burnt chipolatas.
Cricket didn’t last long for me today, my boy was opening bat and he was out in the first over, he got caught off a ball that he should of left. My cricketing fanatic is having trouble settling into his new team, I am not sure if we have done the right thing by his game by pulling him from his old team. The team that he had played with for 4 seasons, was elevated to the senior’s competition this year. I wasn’t comfortable having my fourteen year old play with adult men. He is cocky and arrogant enough about his abilities and I wanted him to grow naturally with the game and his age not be shoved into an older team. The boys that he has played with for the past 4 years, played seamlessly together, they all new each other’s strengths and weaknesses, they supported each other and knew how to deal with each other when the emotion and spirit of the game was at fever pitch or they were having a hard day on the field. All the boys in that team were on par with their cricket skills and abilities, this lead them to 4 grand-finals. Being in this new team he hasn’t gelled with this new team at all. There seems to be big differences in cricketing skills in this team and he seems to have lost his passion and enthusiasm. I was thinking today as I watched him, if it was more his old team and his mateship with them that made him step up and play the way he did, because his manner and energy toward the game is not the same since we made the decision I am now not sure about. After he came home from his game of cricket this afternoon, which he was filthy with me about, because he wanted to leave when he got out. We argued because I said it is a team game you will stay until the end of play. He went and spent the afternoon with this old team, he helped them warm up and co-ordinated the batting practice and bowling with them, he hung out, talked and laughed with his mates and watched them play with the seniors. When he came home after 5 hours with them, he was like his old self, the enthusiasm, the passion and the excited conversation had returned.
Boy 2 was with me the whole day, while his brother was at cricket and his dad at work. We did the cricket run, had coffee and iced chocolate with my mum, we did the groceries. Today he was the most amazingly kind, generous and thoughtful boy, he helped his one handed mother do everything. He helped with groceries, he helped with preparing food. He didn’t complain even once. He was constantly asking if I was ok.
End of day 59
This typing with one hand is bloody hard
Going to clean and dress my burnt little fingers.
Posted on October 21, 2016
I meet up with Marina this morning at her friends store/coffee shop Gallery B on Enoggera Road, Newmarket. We were seated on the decking for a couple of hours at the back of the building, drinking Turkish tea, talking and throwing around ideas, thoughts and details for a little project that we are going to do together. Excited to start the research for the project.
It was an incredibly warm spring day today, not sure what I was thinking this morning when I pulled on a pair of skinny jeans, but by the time that I left Marina and drove the 45 minutes home I pretty much ran into my house and was ripping the denim off as fast as I could. I replaced denim jeans for denim cut offs and a really comfy cotton singlet that I only wear around the house. My brain was exhausted with so many ideas swirling around, so I curled up on my bed and fell into a glorious nanna nap, only to be woken by my phone ringing next to my head. It was my dear husband who was doing school pick-up on his way home from work. The times was 2.55pm and he was calling to tell me that he was still about 35 minutes away and to see what I was doing. In my half sleepy state, for the life of me I couldn’t figure out why he was only calling 5 minutes before boy 1 had to be picked up, boy 2 was riding so he was fine. It doesn’t matter where I am or what I am doing, even when I am on night duty or have plans, school pickup is always on my mind and making sure that I will be at the school when the boys finish. I wanted to say “what the bloody hell?” “Why didn’t you call me earlier?”, “you know it takes longer than 5 minutes to get to the school!” But pick your battles and all that. So I flew down the stairs and just as I was starting the car boy 2 rode in to the yard. Anyway all was well got boy 1, and when my husband finally got home her brought me marvellous creations chocolate.
End of day 58
The feature photo is of my unfortunate school pick up outfit that I forgot to change out of because I was in a hurry to get to my kid at school and didn’t think of my clothes.
Went for a long walk this afternoon with boy 2, my husband and our dog. Again we were stopped every 5 minutes with people admiring our big dog.
Posted on October 20, 2016
My fingers are tired and sore today, and my heart and soul feel light. I have written 3 posts today for different blog sites, two I know will be published and one I have sent away hoping it will be published. I can’t post them on here but when they are published I will post links here so you can have a read. The first one was why I chose Montessori for the boys. The second was being a FIFO wife and how that impacted how I was able to work. The third one was: For November, write about a place in motherhood where time felt out of step or distorted. Or, when was time just right? Endlessly long days at home with toddlers, snippets of time with teenagers, too much, too fast, slow motion, memory, etc. I wrote about when boy 1 was four days old and I loved and hated him at the same time and how he grabbed my finger and looked in my eyes and melted my heart.
At The Gunshop café on Friday night my bestie gave me a book: 642 tiny things to write about. I have opened the book to a random page and the question that I have to write about is……………………
Write about the time you broke a bone.
The school that my boys go to have an end of year concert that is held on the last Thursday night before the September school holidays. In 2009 the school held the concert at one of the local public high schools. The school had a very well set out stage and seating area. We had taken our seats and my 4 year old decided that he absolutely had to go to the toilet. Off we went to the toilet after he made it very well known that he wanted me to take him to the toilet and not his father. We were walking out of the theatre and down 4 polished wooden steps, when my 4 year old knocked into me and my cute flats with the smooth sole slipped on the polished wood and I fell straight on my bum. I knew instantly that I had done some damage. No one helped me up and my 4 year old looked at me while holding his crotch as if to say, “Can you get off the ground before I pee myself”. When I got back to my seat, the thought of sitting down made me want to throw up, but there was nowhere to stand. I tried to tell my husband what had happened but the concert had already started and he couldn’t hear me. Of course my 4 year old wanted to sit on my lap. I tried several times to tell him to sit with his dad and was getting increasingly frustrated because I was in excruciating pain and felt nauseas. I eventually whispered yelled in my husband’s ear, “I think I have broken my ass.” Immediately after my boy had performed we left, so I could go home and get some pain relief. I ended up going to work a few days later when it was getting worse and not better and was x-rayed and yep broken coccyx – or broken ass as my family was now referring to my break. Seven years later and if I have walked a lot or have done lots of yoga my coccyx aches.
End of day 57
All my boys are home tonight, we have no training, or work. We are all having dinner together.
– will let you know what I think.
Posted on October 19, 2016
I applied over the last few weeks, to be a guest /feature blogger for two different blog sites. Today, both accepted my proposed ideas on posts that I would like to write for them. If you had a read of the blog post from yesterday day 55, you would understand why I am constantly chanting to the Universe, asking for writing opportunities and occasions to meet people that can inspire, help me or offer me writing experience, applying for guest/feature blog opportunities and trying to get my writing to be known, so that I can earn money doing something that I love. Also found out today that my published writing piece for Womankind magazine will be out in stores on the 29th October. You can buy it here: Leading bookstores, 3,000 news agencies, Coles, leading art galleries, airports.
My husband was home today, so he did the school run, while I battled the peak hour traffic, to get to work, while missing out on Wednesday coffee with the girls. I was dressed in a mid-thigh length stretch material skirt (I am not a sewer so don’t know the material, but it clung to my butt and was fitted) a loose top covered the material covering my butt and a lace pair of sneakers that look like Converse but aren’t Converse. It was a simple, comfy, cute outfit. I was told I looked like I was going to play tennis, you need a filter people – you don’t need to say everything that pops into your head, I don’t even play tennis.
Dinner was prepared and ready to be cooked when I got home and the dishes were done and kitchen clean by the time the boys were ready to leave for cricket training. The fruity and fresh, clean skin red, that was sitting on my bench is now keeping me company while I write this and it is very fruity and while it is nice, it is kind of giving me an instant headache. Don’t want to blame the wine though, because it does taste good and it was in a great price range.
End of day 56
Off to have a Panadol, take off my tennis outfit and soak in the bath
Going to research some more writing opportunities and ideas
Posted on October 17, 2016
Pupil free day today. Boy 2 had to finish the last part of his book review this morning, it was a scrapbook. I am the least crafty mother on this planet. When the boys were little I NEVER had paint in the house, we never sat around cutting things out or making crafty things, no that was all reserved for their two days at the Montessori children’s house. I remember them having play doh, but we always played with it outside. So to make a scrapbook worthy of a school assignment was slightly stressful. But it looks great, there are a couple of photocopied coloured photos out of the book, he has written quotes and information throughout the scrap book amongst actual gum leaves, he has crated boarders around the pages and themed each page and written relevant informative information on each. The trick to getting him to complete this creative work! Tell him if he completes it to the outstanding column in the rubric and have it finished before I go to work. I will get his father to call into the bike shop on the way home to pick up a new tyre for his mountain bike. Seriously this sneaky and underhanded bribery worked. He was frantically looking for scissors, glue and tape, he was photocopying interesting photos and maps to include in the scrapbook, he rifled through draws to find the Derwent colour pencils. He did a very good job in a short amount of time, there was no whinging and bitching he got stuck in and proudly showed me the finished product. I did help him a little bit with when he couldn’t decide what to include and what he thought may be relevant. I just had to find the currency that would put a rocket under him.
While this craft work session was happening at the kitchen table, boy 1 was outside with his homemade sling shot. He found the instructions and list of materials needed in the book that boy 2 was reviewing. He cut up a piece of leather and rope tied knots and spent the morning perfecting his shot. I did have to scream out to him a few times to stop shooting stones up onto my tin roof. There was also a few close calls with my glass windows.
Nice early blog post today. As I am off to work and don’t want to be sitting up at midnight again.
End of day 54
Still thinking about some of the topics, thoughts, goals and dreams that my husband and I were talking about next to the fire last night. Kind of screwing with my head but also refreshing to be so open.
Really hate working on a Monday afternoon, busiest shift of the week. I hope I am working with good staff.
Posted on October 17, 2016
It is book review time for boy 2 again. My second boy finds no joy whatsoever in losing himself amongst the pages of a book. He gets this from his father. Boy 1 and I love nothing better than ignoring the world and reading a good book. This term the assignment is read a book, write a review and produce a scrapbook that represents the book from your point of view. It is very lucky for my children that I found Montessori as the alternative to “conventional school”, because we wouldn’t have survived home schooling. I don’t have the patience. The frustrating thing with boy 2 is he can read and if I ask him to read aloud to me he is a good reader. But trying to get him to do it is nearly impossible. He is not a story reader, for this review he read The Dangerous book for boys. It is an encyclopaedia for boys with everything in it from making a paper aeroplane to the lineage of the English monarchy. It has instructions on how to identify birds and what books every young boy should read. This morning after breakfast I locked us in the office and began the torturous task of the book review. We read through the criteria and I told him we need to focus on the outstanding column in the rubric. So I asked him the rich questions about the book, I asked him simple questions that he could answer with great detail. We wrote a 400 word book review the book only received a 7/10 for the rating and when I asked him why, because he had justified and reasoned and given great information on the book he said because it is a book. I challenged him and said I think your being really hard because the rating and the review don’t match it should be at least a 9 from the words you have written. His answer – No. We will make the scrapbook tomorrow, on the pupil free day, we both need a break from the dangerous book for boys.
This afternoon was spent with my husband sitting next to the bonfire that we have in our backyard. The boys were outside playing cricket, riding bikes and playing soccer next door. The aroma of the roast lamb and vegetables cooking on the barbecue carried on the breeze every so often. The king parrot the swooped me while I was hanging clothes on the line on Friday, made an appearance. I sipped my way through half a bottle of wine and my husband had two beers while we chatted and stared into the fire. There is something healing about being able to talk about dreams, ideas, arguments, worries, while looking into a fire.
End of day 53
My mother in law mended some dresses for me, two of boy 1’s school shirts and cricket pants. So grateful.
This only took me a few minutes to write, must be the wine. There is a saying write drunk edit sober. Will have to check this in the morning.
Posted on October 15, 2016
My first game of cricket for the season today (well not me I didn’t play, boy 1 did).
I love and hate cricket season. Boy 1 is crazy obsessed with it and he is an absolute arrogant, selfish nightmare when it comes to Saturday cricket. This morning was no different he slept until 6.35am – this was after me trying several times to wake him. We need to leave by 7.00am to be at the grounds on time. He was yelling and arguing about his whites, breakfast, water, sun cream, boy 2 and I being ready to go.
We got to the grounds a few minutes late but by that point I didn’t care less and was ready to go home. Because you know 14 year olds know everything and cancer doesn’t affect them. So why do they need sun cream on a 27 degree Celsius day when they are going to be standing directly in the sun for the next 4.5 hours!
My boy is known for his bowling and has done very well with his skills over the last 3 seasons. So you know, 14 year old boys know everything so why not change to being a wicket keeper, and not use the skills that he has worked on tirelessly and driven everyone mad about for the last 3 years, to do a position he has never played before. Yes that is what happened today and I have never been the pushy parent, but I mean it made sense to me that if you have established skills and you are in a new team trying to prove yourself, would you not use the skills that you already have?? Mmm apparently I don’t have a clue when it comes to this and my boy played wicket keeper. Which seemed like a waste but, whatever. So I sat in the sun and watched like a good mum. No shade was provided by trees or any form of shelter at these grounds, I felt like I fried my face off, but the wind was cold, so I also wanted a jumper that I didn’t bring. It was a very long 4.5 hours today, because when he went in as the opening batter he was caught out after hitting the ball in the air in his second over (hitting a ball in the air is a big no, no in cricket – unless you can slog it for 6).
In the end our team won, boy 1 wasn’t happy with his game. He now has a headache because drinking water is also as uncool as sun cream.
End of day 52
I am home alone as the boys have taken Val to a car show. That they arrived for at 4.30pm for what they thought was a 5.00pm start, but doesn’t actually start until dark.
Feeling fried so going to have a soak in a coconut oil bath.
Posted on October 15, 2016
I am writing again at 11.31pm, but I am up late writing tonight because I met my bestie in her soon to be new home suburb of West End in Brisbane. I parked my big car, on the street in the tiny lane, behind her home that her husband is currently renovating. I had the grand tour of the two units that will be rented and air bnb’d out. Her hubby has done a great job in transforming the units. The space that has been revamped is a perfect blend of the original building and the modern reno. I was walking on wide old floor boards with the modern light fittings above and funky bathrooms, modern kitchen with original windows and doors in the same room.
My friend loves a good walk. I should have taken this into account when I was changing outfits twenty times, because I didn’t walk to look like the Caboolture school mum, while dining in West End. The inner city suburb that is known for its style and eclectic mix of alternative and vintage, with lots of art galleries, and a great café and restaurant scene. So I dressed in black skinny jeans, a funky little jumper with a gorgeous neck line and heels. Yeah, heels not the best choice as I now have a blister on the underside of my foot running from my big toe to my little toe and I am kind of limping. We ended up at The gunshop cafe which is 1.4km from where I parked. We stumbled on this place while looking for another well-known restaurant. I am so glad we decided on this little beauty with exposed brick walls, mottled lighting courtesy of the unique light fittings and relaxed atmosphere. I had; Creamed leek risotto, Garden Greens, Persian feta, dukkah. The flavours were amazing, it was light and creamy and fresh and I loved it and savoured it slowly while chatting to my friend and sipping on Shut the Gate Shiraz x 2, followed much later by hot chocolate with brownie and ice cream.
We were the last ones to leave the funky little café. I hadn’t even noticed the time or the coming and going of other diners. I looked up just before we left and one of the staff was mopping the floor. That was how great of a time we were having chatting about anything and everything, catching up, talking about family and friends, and work and renovations, holidays and creative ideas and study. I caught my first uber, the driver was lovely, the car was nice and clean – he got 5 stars on his review. It only took a few minutes to drive back to my car, but this totally saved my feet.
End of day 51
Off to bed because it is nearly midnight and I have to get up early for cricket.
I love simple pleasures they fill my heart with joy.
Posted on October 13, 2016
50 days of writing, well sort of. There were a few days of writing that I chickened out of but they will be added to the end of the 100 day challenge. I feel like I should celebrate 50 days some how, not sure how to do that, but thought I would recap on some parts of the last 50 days, follow up on some the blog posts.
Where to start? Well the 5 days that I chickened out of writing, I found it a relief not to write and blog for a few days. I was sick of writing and reading my own babble. I was finding this writing challenge to be lonely, even though people take the time to read and comment on my posts. I was frustrated that my husband knows that I write everyday but he hasn’t read any of the blog posts. Usually this doesn’t faze me at all but this week it did. Unfortunately the only routine to when I write is when I am on my own, the kids are at school, husband is at work, when I am on a tea break at work, after work at midnight. I write the blog posts on my phone, on my work email, on my home pc.
I wrote a post on day 43 about my favourite thongs breaking. It was a post that really surprised me. As I was writing it I felt a bit ridiculous writing about rubber thongs. But my readers enjoyed it and it was one of my most popular posts.
On day 47 I wrote about cricket training being at a time that sends my OCD dinner tendencies a bit mad. This was exacerbated as my Dad called on the day and asked if he could stay the night. He lives in western Queensland and was coming to Brisbane for a funeral. He was a very good cricketer in his younger days and has a deep knowledge, experience and advice when it comes to most subjects and cricket is one. He came to training with us. I was waiting all day for him to ring me and say that he would be late or that something had come up and he wouldn’t make training. I hadn’t told my boy that Pop was coming to cricket, because I didn’t want him to experience the disappointment of Dad cancelling on him. But he shocked me and he was there and he helped my boy, he gave him invaluable tips and small adjustments to make my boy 1’s game better and kinder on his body.
On day 4 I wrote about working on my marriage and looking back on the last 50 days of writing I have skimmed over all the hard work that we are both doing in our marriage. It is definitely not all roses, but we are working the hardest we have ever worked on us. Some days suck and I am pretty sure that we hate each other, but instead of letting issues and comments brew and fester we are talking them through or texting each other if we can’t chat. Our happy place is the beach and we find it easy to reconnect, relax and enjoy each other there. There is a definite theme running through the blog in relation the beach and the ocean. With the way that we have plotted our rosters it is favourable for the boys, but definitely not great for our relationship as we pretty much high five each other on the way in and out the door. I took a sick day to travel to Northern New South Wales with him and was excited because we would have dinner together.
Another part of the 50 days that I has kept me writing is the #mesistertribe interviews
What I have noticed over the last 50 days is how much more aware of the little things that I am, how I look for the positive in everyday and how I am much more observant of how I spend my time.
End of day 50
I am now on 3 days off and I can not wait to have the weekend off.
Thanks everyone for reading over the last 50 days.
Posted on October 12, 2016
We drove the coast road home from Coraki this morning. We toured Ballina to see the first house that my husband lived in after he was born, we checked out the little pastel green house that belonged to his grandparents on
his fathers side. The four of us, plus my mother-in-law walked Sheeley Beach at Ballina. Whales were playing in the water and giving us a breathtaking show as we stood on the beach with our feet in the water that wasn’t as cold as I thought it would be.
We snagged the last outdoor picnic table at The Belle General cafe across the road from the beach. I ordered us the prettiest morning tea of Raspberry torte and a berry custard tart. The presentation of these divinely tasty treats was on round wooden plate with a strawberry sauce and edible flowers. The small sized glass of chai latte was the absolute best I have ever ordered.
After the deliciousness of our morning tea we continued up the coast and stopped in at our absolutely favourite beach. I am a Queenslander girl to my very core, but there is an energy/vibe in the Northern New South Wales area that calls to my heart and soul. Even though I have never lived anywhere but Queensland, I feel completely at home in this part of the country the beaches, the bush and hinterland wind a spell around me every single time I spend time there. Every single time I come home from being in that area I miss it intensely. Broken Head our favourite beach and camping spot, that is six kilometers south of Byron Bay, was almost deserted the waves were clean and small and I was considering calling in sick for this afternoons shift at work.
I did end up coming into work. I couldn’t really call in sick, for the luxury of staying at the beach for the rest of the day. It has been flat out busy but I am working with one of my faves.
End of day 49
It is Pa’s 96 birthday today.
I have had multiple messages and a phone call making sure my family and I are fine after another shark attack happened at Ballina today.
The feature photo is me getting home at 11.45pm
Posted on October 12, 2016
Travelled to Northern New South Wales today to visit Scott’s nanna. By the time we reached the farm at Coraki, my whole body was vibrating with stressed out energy. I wasn’t angry, or upset, I had mother stress going on, where I didn’t know whether to scream or ignore them or disown them. My two had been given red/green/cola medium sized Slurpee’s when we stopped to get fuel. I think that BP laced that coloured ice with speed or some such drug. My kids were off their faces. We have a duel cab Hilux Ute, so not lots of room but usually enough. Not on this trip. They were being loud and silly and poking each other, kicking chairs, laughing hysterically about nothing. It didn’t matter to them one bit what I said or asked or threatened them with, they thought it was hilarious and cackled about everything. As soon as we got out of the car, I made them run to the gate (about 200 meters) and back, made them skull water and not come anywhere near me until we had to go and visit nanna. They ended up climbing trees, doing laps around the yard, checking out the cows. I sat on the wide open veranda and had a cup of coffee – wanted wine but thought it was probably rude to ask.
We visisted the nursing home to see Nanna, had a tour of the farm, feed orphan baby calves, made the family smile a lot while I snapped away with the new camera, drank wine on the deck. Nearly peed my pants at some of the family stories that were told, ate home grown and killed duck with roast veg for dinner, slept in the most comfortable bed in the cutest little room in a Queenslander style cottage that has been Scott’s aunt’s family home all of her life.
End of day 48
Made some great family memories with the family
Dreading getting in the car with two kids again.
Posted on October 10, 2016
My house is feral.
I have spent the morning washing, vacuuming, folding and putting away 5 million pieces of clothing, washing dishes, tidying up and shopping for groceries. I miss my house when all I do is work, try to sleep and sloth on the lounge because of the lack of energy or motivation. But once the fog has lifted and I look at the pig sty it grosses me out. So today is housewife day and it feels great.
It also feels great to wear clothes during the day and not pyjamas. Back in my Mumma uniform of my favourite pair of jeans, a cute top and my new thongs that I hate. They are uncomfortable and not broken in. I nearly face planted when they got caught on the step, on the side of my car when I was climbing in after I did our groceries.
Boy 1 has cricket training from 6pm-8pm tonight. This does nothing good for my OCD tendencies about dinner at a reasonable hour. It is a bit of a dilemma for me, do we have dinner at 5.00pm and then the boys are starving from the work out at cricket. Or wait until we get home, but I would never ever wait until 8.30pm to start cooking dinner. That thought sends ridiculous anxious thoughts through my head. So I feel like I am having to do double dinner. Dinner at 5.00pm and then a light supper at 8.30am.
I have also just realised that in my tired state that instead of hitting publish on the last 3 blog posts, I was pressing save. So none of them were published. I didn’t even click to this when there had been no likes or comments.
I have also spent time on Google and found a writing retreat in Tuscany that I dream of attending. It is called Wide Open writing and it not only incorporates writing but massage, yoga and Reiki.
End of day 47
It is not the end of the day but I have lots to do in the next 2 hours before school pick up.
Hope you found all my now published blog posts from the last 3 days.
Posted on October 10, 2016
I don’t have to drive down the highway or walk into that bloody department today. I feel better today, I think I am way passed tired. I drove in to my driveway this morning to my family driving out. I cried. They were going to the skate park so I could sleep. I asked my husband to drive me to my Papas birthday lunch, he said yes. I cried. I choked down muesli and yoghurt, camomile tea and magnesium tablets then tried not to vomit it back up when I had a shower that left me light headed from the heat. I don’t remember getting into bed. I remember waking up at 9.28am thinking it was 9.28pm and that I had to get ready for work. With a racing heart and a confused head I figured it was morning not night and curled up and went back to sleep for another hour.
By the time that we got to lunch, I felt like I had a bad hang over, but had a delicious lunch and a great time spent with my family.
Today was the Bathurst 1000. I don’t know anything about cars or car racing, I really had no clue what I was watching, and it was a testament to how deliriously tired I was, that I sat on the lounge chair after a shower and changed into my pyjamas at 2.30pm and watched cars going around in a circle. I was completely into it and watched it until the winner crossed the finish line. Even had a little cry when the winner made his speech – don’t know who he was, but I was happy for him and his accomplishments.
It is 5.15pm after our massive lunch, I have just had a dinner of avocado on toast, my husband has taken boy 1 to work and boy 2 is playing soccer next door. I am planning on being in bed in the next 15 minutes when hubby and boy 2 get home.
End of day 46
This is a short sweet post but has taken me forever to write.
Excited I can sleep in my bed all night.
Not taking a pyjama photo, so the feature photo is one from when I was having dinner with a girlfriend.
Posted on October 10, 2016
Today is the worst day of this week. My whole body feels like it weights 100kgs, I am squinting to keep my eyes open and my brain feels as though it is wading through mud every time I have to make a decision or do something, my skull feels as though it is being ripped in two. I am freezing. My hands are shaking, my hearing is heightened, I feel that I can hear everything 10 times louder than usual. I am teary.
I called in at cricket on the way home this morning. First game of the season and I wanted to wish my boy luck, I didn’t get to see the start of the game, I decided I needed to get home and off the road before I killed me or someone else. I inhaled my brekky of muesli and yoghurt, a camomile tea and 2 magnesium tablets. I always take magnesium before I sleep after night duty, otherwise I get excruciating leg and feet cramps.
I was woken at 1.02pm when the boys came home from cricket. Dragging myself out of bed, I shuffled to the lounge room where the sun burnt holes in my eyes and I felt as though I was going to vomit. I rested my head on the back of the lounge and my feet sprawled across the coffee table, eyes squinting while boy one told me about his great game. After an hour I had to excuse myself and head back to bed. I woke 2.5hrs later and felt marginally better, but still tired and trying really hard to reign in my foul mood at having to go to work again.
My husband cooked a big meal of steak and salad for dinner and was highly offended that the smell and sight of steak made me want to be sick. I ate only the salad much to his disgust and headed back to bed for another 1 hour before work.
End of day 45
Last night of work
Wearing jeans to work (not allowed to, but not like anyone from management would show up on a night duty, a comfy t-shirt with a bra that crosses at the back, so when I am at my desk I can secure a heat pack on my shoulders and neck.
Posted on October 10, 2016
Looking at the gated area that is filled with garden beds, potted plants full of colourful blossoms, and outdoor play equipment. I could see one little head amongst the rosemary, one blonde little girl with a blue watering can drowning purple petunias, a wooden chair sitting in the shade held one little guy reading a book, and another boy was scaling a climbing frame. I witnessed this 10 second snap shot of a Montessori day as I went to pay for boy 2’s senior shirt for next year. I was in a foul mood because I had already worked 24hrs in 48hrs, I have to do night duty for the next two nights, I was feeling exhausted and we had an awful school morning, I was cranky because I had to go to the shops to pick up cricket whites for tomorrow for boy 1. But when I walked by that scene and even though my two are in older grades at school, my bitchy mood lifted slightly, because this school and a good education for my boys is why I do the crap shifts, with the penalties. Since the day boy 1 was born I have been focussed and driven in why I work. I have fought from the day boy 1 started his first day at the children’s house, to keep them in an education method that has nurtured them, has let them learn and grow and challenged them. A method of learning that has cultivated broad thinking, open minds, to work independently while also being considerate of the multi age class they are a part of.
Montessori has enabled my chalk and cheese boys to thrive in different ways. One boy is very strong willed, opinionated, has strong views on subjects that he is passionate about and doesn’t suffer fools and is happy to let them know, he can be arrogant and thinks he knows all. Montessori helped him channel all of these qualities in positive ways and was encouraged to study and learn about the subjects that he was interested in or wanted to learn more about. His principal from our very first interview with her knew exactly how to handle his arrogance and know all attitude and would sit and debate, challenge or make him carry out research on his views. They ended up with a solid and deep relationship.
Boy 2 is all about movement. He likes to move, he likes to study moving things, if he can use his hands or body to learn he flourishes. He is a thoughtful, kind, gentle giant my youngest boy. From day 1 of the children’s house if he was able to wash a window, sweep a floor or water the plants he was in his element. But put him in front of a bookshelf and ask him to pick a book and he will do anything in his power to find another activity. The directors that he has been blessed with throughout his Montessori journey have all recognised this in my boy and adjusted his learning accordingly ( for one book review he was allowed to read an instruction manual on how to build a car engine. He read the manual, built the engine and got top marks for his review). He came home today and talked to me all afternoon and during dinner about the new project that his teacher will be running every Friday, that is being facilitated by a local university, where the kids are given an iPad, an app and materials to code and build a different robot each week. He was thrilled this afternoon that his group was the first to finish coding and building their robot for this week and could start on the next level one for next week.
End of day 44
Spent money on a new pair of thongs today that are not at all comfortable. I hate them already.
Spent time on Pinterest today laughing my head off at quotes about night shift. Made me feel much better.
Posted on October 4, 2016
Our home is devoid of boy’s voices and their presence today and I feel a bit lost. There wasn’t the frantic rush and nagging this morning to get ready for school, where is your belt, where is your tie. I was parked on the drive way watching my boy close the gate, and he had on his belt and his tie and it was 8.00am and we were already on our way to start a new school term. “I love you extra hard this morning mate, you are wearing your belt and tie and we didn’t argue about it.” “mmmmm” he says with the tiniest, tiniest of movement of lips towards a smile, he didn’t smile though.
We live in a Queenslander home, it was originally located at West End in Brisbane city and previous owners relocated it to where we are now. I always wanted to live in a Queenslander. Our house has so much character and imperfections. Whoever moved it here didn’t do a great job of getting the height to standard, because everyone except children have to duck when they walk under our house. There are small, tiny gaps between floor boards and walls where wind whistles through in the winter. None of the doors shut properly and if there you place a ball on our kitchen floor it will roll away. Our toilet that is in the bathroom reminds me of a public toilet. There is a single floor board outside of our bedroom door that creaks when you stand on it. It is a home that makes its own music, the tin roof pops with expansion or compression in the heat and the cold. The floorboards in the lounge room echo when they are walked on. Windows without screens and trees nearby, mean that bird sounds pour through our windows, along with the occasional butcher bird that likes to sit on my kitchen bench and mozzies and sand-flies that like to feast on my family. All of these noises kept me company today with no children around.
I sat with a cuppa and eggs on toast and finished the book that my sister recommend to me the language of flowers. Don’t know if book club books are my thing, but then maybe they are because, I either hate the book or wouldn’t usually read that style or make me think a lot. I finished this one, I loved the start and hated the middle and I yelled are you serious at the end. I thought she was a selfish bitch, who never really grew up. I know that she was an orphaned foster kid, but the people surrounding her showed her love, kindness and how to be a decent human and she learnt nothing. There was certain parts in the book that made no sense and I found very frustrating. (I won’t go into it too much don’t want to spoil it), glad I read it only because I can have an in-depth chat to my sister about it.
End of day 41
Just got called in to do an overtime shift tonight.
Want someone to pay me to write so I don’t have to work night shift.
Posted on October 2, 2016
I rode a bike today. I haven’t ridden a bike since I was in primary school. My husband and boy 2 were teasing me mercilessly about not being able to ride a bike.
“I can so ride a bike”.
“I have in 19 years never seen you ride a bike- prove it”.
The bike that was forced on me was my husband’s mountain bike. I did a quick lap (kinda quick, while dodging our rose garden) from the house to the chicken pen and back. Boy 2 was running beside me in case I fell off (these men have no faith in me). Boy 2 was trying to tell me how to change gears, and “don’t use the front brakes Mum, or you are going to fly over the handle bars and scrape your face off”. I was happy with my quick lap around the yard and was happy to leave it at that. No, no my husband and child challenged me to ride down our street, turn left on to the newly concreted path and peddle to the next street about 1 kilometre away. You know when you watch documentaries about new born animals and they stand up for the first time and are all wobbly. Yes, well this was me trying to ride a bike down our street and then down the hill that is made of concrete.
Boy 2 stayed by my side the whole way down the hill. He was on his scooter and was coaching me through the gears. My nervous giggle as I was flying down the hill was making him nervously laugh. We raced each other up the hill and passed my husband and our massive dog who was taking up the whole path. Boy 2 and I were yelling “move”. Boy 2 made me go back down the hill, ride back up and home again. He wanted me to ride to the other end of our street. He is one tough trainer. The whole way he was saying things like, “proud of you mum”
“you are so good at riding a bike mum”,
“you could go all day mum”.
My heart was full from learning something from my boy, enjoyed my ride and came home and enjoyed a goblet of red, while cooking roast pork.
End of day 39.
Football grand final on the TV, what a bunch of Neanderthals.
Enjoying reading The Language of flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh. I will never look at flowers the same way again.
(I was going to write a post about our house, that is why I am hanging out on our back stairs in the feature photo)
Posted on October 1, 2016
My sister, who often receives comments about how much she looks like my mum, called in for a cuppa this morning before her 6 hour drive home. We sat outside in my garden, literally in my garden bed, on a log in the sun, and drank coffee and chatted about kids, and her new book club book. For some of the hour or so that my gorgoues family visited, I made my nieces smile nicely with their mother, and
used my new camera to capture the beautiful moments of me demanding they smile (I did worn my famly and friends, when I was gifted my new camera that I needed to get my monies worth so they would be saying cheese alot).
She lives in South West Queensland on a cattle property, almost at the end of a long dirt road. This dirt road is two hours from any major town. The dirt road is located in a small knit community. We have driven this
dirt road numerous times, during droughts, flood, summer and winter. When we go over the last grid, we all crane our necks to see who is the first one to see the house.
Once a month my sister travels down this dirt road and drives for another hour to her book club. I love her commitment to book club. There have
been numerous stories I have heard from her book club. The one I remember the most is when she accidently hit a cow on the way to enjoy conversation about the book and a glass of wine. I tried book club once. It was with some of the parents from the school
my boys go to. I hated the book, but loved the wine on the deck and hearing other book club members take on the book.
This month my sister and her reading posse are engrossed in – The Language of Flowers, the first novel by Vanessa Diffenbaugh. I downloaded it
today and am loving the style of writing. Definitely my type of book. Will keep you updated on what I think.
End of day 38
My Saturday night dinner dates, were an absolute hoot to spend my half an hour work break with.
Going to make a nightly ritual of disgusting coffee and eat arnotts biscuits, before I finish work.
Posted on September 29, 2016
Our school has a school Facebook page and one of the teachers posted a fascinating article about parenting on the page.
It was called Abandon parenting and just be a parent the article is an interview with Alison Gopnik about her new book The Gardener and the carpenter. I also did some more research and the Guardian also talked to Dr Alison Gopnik about her new book.
I found these articles to be a fascinating read. I suppose I was more inclined to read it, you know with it being the school holidays and spending more time with the boys. I look at them some days and cannot believe that I gave birth to these gorgeous humans. I have always loved the saying “it takes a village to raise a child”.
I do worry about our parenting style. I do try to be a fit free range with the boys and let them explore and discover and learn lessons in their own way. To a point though. I do sometimes feel like a bit of a helicopter parent and feel as though I am getting a bit worse with that the older they are getting because they are stepping out into the real world, so different to toddler lessons and primary lessons. Alison touched on the work parenting and that it is a term that was introduced in the 1970’s.
It’s interesting that the very word “parenting” is so recent. It only showed up as a word in 1960 and became common in the 1970s, even though, of course, the words “mother” and “father” and “parent” have been around for as long as English has. The rise of that particular word came with the rise of a particular cultural picture of being a parent: that your job as a parent is to get expertise, information and tips that will help you shape children.
I have included some fascinating paragraphs that caught my attention when reading the articles.
What ends up happening is parents are so preoccupied with this hopeless task of shaping their children to come out a particular way that their relationships with children at the moment become clouded over with guilt and anxiety and worry and the need for expertise.
I so understand this. I found it especially hard when helping boy 1 to pick subjects for year 10. I took the route of if you love your subjects then you will learn lots, get good marks and then you will have lots of options at the end of school. I really tried not to go down path of what do you want to do when you leave school and pick subjects from that, because well his mind may change 10 times in the next 3 years and he may end up doing subjects he hates and fail. He was excited about his subjects so we will see what happens.
Gopnik musters all this evidence in an attempt to persuade parents and educators to stop trying to mold children into adults with some desirable mix of characteristics, the way a carpenter might build a cabinet from a set of plans. Instead, we adults should model ourselves on gardeners, who create a nurturing ecosystem for children to flourish, but accept our limited ability to control or even predict the outcome of.
It should be fundamentally both reassuring and liberating for parents to know that children are doing most of the work. All the research that shows how incredibly sensitive and intelligent and powerful and good at learning children are and that they do it by observing and watching the people around them doing the things they do every day and by playing spontaneously. Children learn much more from using their own brains to just observe and play than they do by having someone sit down and teach them.
Yes, yes, yes this is why I love Montessori education.
The things that come out of play and free exploration, which are things like capacity for creativity and innovation, those are things that we need more than ever in the adult workforce. It’s a bit ironic that we’re taking a school system that was designed for 19th-century factory workers to be able to do the same thing over and over again—it was to try to develop human robots. In the 21st century, what we need is innovation and creativity, but we’re extending the robot model to younger and younger ages and more and more children.
The message is if you do the things that come naturally to you, that’s the best formula for being a successful parent.
End of day 36
Boys and I spent time at the Skate Park and slothing on the lounge talking, laughing and enjoying each other today.
I got absolutely fried on the beach yesterday and today I am wearing jumper, jeans and socks.
Posted on September 28, 2016
Day 35 – which should really be day 39.
I have been MIA the last few days. I just couldn’t post on here. I was feeling fragile, tired and was sick of writing about myself every day. Ridiculous work hours, no sleep, school holidays, pms, and a husband that I was really trying hard to love, but really hated, put a halt to my feeling creative and focused. I had started this 100 day blog challenge for myself to help improve my writing and to see how I would grow or change in the 100 days. However as the days have gone on I have looked forward to the writing and people’s reactions to it. I found myself starting to stress about the stats of the blog and was stressing about the writing of it and if it was what people were wanting to read. Last week on night duty while on my breaks I was researching blogging and sending myself crazy, comparing my blog to people that have hundreds and thousands of followers and feeling like a bit of a failure. I had myself feeling like the picture below (Willy Wonkas Chocolate factory when they visited the TV room and the little brat shrunk himself and he turned into 1 billion pixels, I felt like I was the billion pixels floating in the air)
I had a read of a blog post by Dr Ashlee Good growing pains are real, it was what I needed and it helped ground me. My friend (not my actual friend but love her work) Elizabeth Gilbert wrote a post called go to the water. I did this, this morning with my little family and I floated in the ocean for a couple of hours, I breathed deep, I sunk my feet in the sand, I watched my 3 play and enjoy each other. Amazing how salt waters heals all.
End of day 35.
I am not naked in the feature photo, on the beach, just wearing strapless bikini.
Off to work, but feeling good about writing for me again.
Posted on September 23, 2016
I read motivational books, and I practice yoga, always try and find the positive, I scroll through Pinterest looking for inspiring quotes, do things like a 100 day writing challenge, to get me outside of comfort zone. But today was a profound day. I went to my Nannas funeral today. As I wrote in a post a few days ago, I wasn’t close to her and felt sorry for her because of the life that she could of lead and the life that she chose to have. Today I went to the funeral as a support for my Dad. As we arrived and I watched how the family interacted with each other, I was glad that among us there was no false emotional greeting. We greeted each other with polite indifference, just like when we were growing up. That was about most honest thing that happened in in the hour and a half that we were together.
My sisters and I sat towards the back of the chapel while the rest of the family was in the first few rows. We were actually more comfortable at the back, we weren’t there under false pretences, we were there for our father. As the three of us sat and listened to the obituary and other tributes we were remembering our own memories of our Nan, completely different versions of the same memories that were being recalled. It was interesting as the rest of the congregation seemed to be doing the same thing, as I glanced at her surviving children in the first row, both had their heads bowed and seemed to be lost in their own memories of their mother. One of the tributes was from my Nans, brother. He was amazingly honest and real in his recall of his sister, saying that he didn’t know her as well as he knew his seven other sisters, and that he had to research her so that he would be able to speak at her funeral.
As my sister and I drove home with had our youngest sister on speaker phone we dissected and debriefed on the funeral. I said to my sisters, I think that has been the most motivational/ profound experience I have had. It makes me want to be a better Mother, wife, daughter, sister, and friend. It makes me want to get out and live a beautiful life, to be kind and thoughtful and get out of my comfort zone and experience life. The motivation wasn’t because this is what my Nan did. The motivation is because I want people to be able to speak honestly about me and not have to do research to be able to pay tribute to me at the end of my journey on this earth.
End of day 34
My sister has had to leave her broken car in my yard, and drive 6 hours home in our other sister’s car. This means that she will be back in a week or so to pick up her repaired car, can’t wait to see her again.
I felt incredibly overdressed for the funeral, but was proud that I stood with my sisters and represented mum and dad in a way that said we were raised right.
Posted on September 22, 2016
Boy 2: Mum, I have something in my hair.
Me: If you have nits you are getting number 1 clippers all over.
I walk over to my boy and look at where he has parted his hair.
Me: ahhh, where is the phone I need to call your Father. You have a massive tick.
My Husband: Hey babe.
Me: Tom has a tick burrowing into his head, I can’t remember which way to turn it, clock wise or anti- clockwise! Do I need methylated spirits, I don’t have any in the cupboard. Oh shit why do these things happen when you are at work. How do I get it out? What if it’s the type that can kill him, shit what happens if I don’t get it out?
My Husband: Turn it anti-clockwise and just pull it as you turn it.
Ok into the bathroom, get the torch, I will get the tweezers, sit on the bathroom floor and I will sit on the bath.
Hold your hair.
Hold the torch.
Ok I am going to try and get this thing, oh god it’s burrowing in deeper.
Shit, I can’t get it, it’s going deeper, oh god it’s still moving.
Where is your father when I need him!
Ok, I got it, I got it. AHHHHH it’s still alive and moving those creep little parasite legs.
End of day 33
Completely freaked out about the tick in my kids head.
Went for a massive walk with my husband and dog this morning, while boy 1 was riding his skate board at the skate park and boy 2 was at a friend’s house. We didn’t get swopped by magpies, in an area where everyone gets picked on.
Posted on September 21, 2016
I have bookshelves in the lounge room, my office and the library. I also have a stack of books that I keep on my kitchen bench, in easy reach for me to grab a little daily inspiration if I need it. I have Oprahs – What I know for sure, Elizabeth Gilberts – Big Magic, Sophia Amoruso #Girlboss and Lisa Messengers Life and love – creating the dream . Today I reached for Oprahs – What I know for sure, curled up on the lounge with my youngest boy, a cuppa tea and a crocheted blanked and flicked through it. I usually hold whatever book I choose for the day, take a deep breath and ask for guidance or a message for the day (sounds a bit kooky hey, but whatever works). After finishing night duty this morning and only having three hours sleep, I needed some sort of guidance and didn’t think the red variety in a glass would help, so I left it to Oprah. I opened up to page 49 of the book and it was the start of the chapter – Connection. I want to share a few phrases/ sentences that touched my heart from the chapter:
At our core, longs to be loved, needed, understood, affirmed- to have intimate connections that leave us feeling more alive and human. I loved this one because on my About me page on the blog, this is what I am striving for, for myself and for the readers of my writing.
What I know for sure is that a lack of intimacy is not distance from someone else; it is a disregard for yourself.
I’ve always thought that communication was like a dance. One person takes a step forward, the other takes a step back.
These two resonated strongly with me in regards to my marriage, we have had a shit year and we are working really hard on our relationship and reading these made me think back to the worst and lowest point this year and our lack of communication and I could see clearly the thorough disregard, dislike and frustration that I felt towards myself and how I was projecting that on to our marriage.
I have found myself looking forward to hanging out, laughing, connecting and embracing others as a part of the circle. It’s added new meaning to my life, a feeling of community I didn’t even know I was missing. This struck a chord with me after a Facebook private message conversation that I had with a friend this afternoon about this exact thing. Connecting with genuine people and them becoming your tribe, and only when you found these relationships did we realise that we have missed not having them all along.
When you make loving others the story of your life, there’s never a final chapter, because the legacy continues. The only thing that will have any lasting value is whether we’ve loved other and whether they’ve loved us. Yes well this is the whole point to life isn’t it cause at the end of the day it is the people and the love that make up our lives not the things.
End of day 32
I saw my husband for about 30 seconds this morning and he hugged me so hard I have a sore shoulder.
I braved egg collecting today, I HATE birds/chickens. But there beautiful eggs where sitting in the chicken coop needing to be collected and I did it. I may have had tears in my eyes from fear and was making a hell of a racket so the chickens wouldn’t come near me, but I got the eggs.
Posted on September 20, 2016
It is 11.37pm, this a late post today.
I have just finished reading Daphnes latest blog post (Daphne was my last feature for #mesistertribe). It is a thought provoking read about choosing to live the best life that you can right now. It may not be what you imagined, and there may be overwhelming challenges and fear and wishing for something different and lot’s of explaining to do to people that question and judge. But it’s your life right at this very moment and you are growing into more of you by living through the challenges and the fear.
It made me think of how a few months ago I was struggling with different choices that I had made, and how instead of feeling like I was growing and moving forward, I felt like I had taken 20 steps back. Tonight is a perfect example; I am on night duty again. Three years ago, I swore black and blue that I would never do another night duty again in my life, after I resigned from this job. A few months ago, on my first night duty back at said job, I cried the whole way to work. Night duty sends me crazy, sleep deprivation is a form of torture for me, and it makes me a complete and utter cranky bitch who can not function.
As Daphne said in her piece, she didn’t choose solitude; she chose the best life she could. This was sage advise for me as I sit at my desk typing this. Because I didn’t choose shift work and to go back to a place I didn’t want to, but I am choosing what is the best life for my little family right now.
The feature photo is an example of the choice that I made, my youngest took this of me while we had a cuppa this afternoon, shift work and night duty means that I can be there for them during the day and spend the holidays with them and then while they are having sweet dreams, I am making money.
End of day 31
Ate home grown lettuce and radish for lunch, grown by my husband and it was delicious
My two went screen free today and they made creative use of my new camera and their imaginations.