Thursday, 30 September 2010

Same same but different

I remember my mother-in-law saying to me once, the one thing that surprised her most about motherhood was the individual personalities of all her kids. They all four were so different and it was something they were born with, nothing to do with how she raised them.

At the time I think I probably just rolled my eyes and thought 'Of course, we're all different people'.

Now, that I see my two girls together, I realise what she meant. My girls are incredibly close and have many similarities, but there are parts of their personalities that are completely different. Such as, the way they react to certain things or situations. Their outlooks and how they cope. I'm constantly amazed and surprised by them. Sure certain things are due to their different ages and developmental stages, but there are some core parts of their personalities that are unique to them alone.

Lil-lil is creative, imaginative and thoughtful, she's impatient with life but can sit back and watch the world with enthusiasm. She worries about people and is very perceptive. Goosey is methodical and clever. She fearless and wants to dive into life head first, but she also has the patience of a saint. She can also dance like it's no-one's business.

I've now realised is it's the secret to enjoying parenthood – discovering their little personalities as they discover them for themselves. Seeing them blossom into people, watching how they find their niche in the world. What they enjoy, how they do tackle things, what lights up their eyes. Best of all, it's just the beginning.

Image by Gabor Palla

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Winning moments


I'm delighted to announce the winner of the Dettol No-Touch Hand Wash System.

The five winners are Naomi, BabyMac, MMBB, Gifts of  Serendipity, Sam.

If the winners could please email me their details, I'll have one of these beauties sent out to you.

Thanks to everyone for playing along!

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

A spring in my step

I've had one of those mornings when I've got things done. I've taken a leaf out of the King's book and taken care of business. I've cleaned, I've dusted, I've made phone calls, I've made playdates, I've made appointments, I've done washing, I've thrown things out and I feel so in control. Nothing better than a to-do list all crossed off by 9.30am.

The doors and the windows are open and fresh, warm spring air is mingling with music as it comes out of the stereo. It's invigorating!
The kids are pottering round and playing little games. Most importantly, they're not bickering.

Spring has got us all buzzing like bees around clover.

Have you got spring fever yet?

PS- Thanks for all your lovely comments yesterday.  I really do appreciate every single one of them. The support and friendships I've made through this blog continues to blow me away. 

Monday, 27 September 2010

Shy low

One of the first words I remember being used to describe as is shy. 'Little Rin is shy,'  is something I heard a lot of as I hid in my mum's skirt. Shy. It's a word that's haunted me for the rest of life. I'm a shy person and, quite frankly, I hate it.

On my first day of kindergarten, I threw up in a garbage bin. I repeated this morning ritual for many days and even years afterwards. Being with a group of people I don't know well throws me into panic. While growing up, having to meet old family friends or relatives I didn't see very often made my stomach sink.

I vividly remembering thinking as a child that when I grew up I wouldn't be shy anymore. While I'm less shy than when I was five, shyness is something that still plagues me.

Events over the weekend that just passed made me think about my shyness and how it affects my life, how it affects my kids and how or if I can change it. Firstly, I met up with a bunch of bloggers for churros and coffee. This is something I would never normally even contemplate. Meeting a bunch of strangers. A group of strangers. Having to sit down and talk to them. Eeek. I decided to put myself out there and go. I must admit I nearly backed out a number of times, I wasn't feeling 100% so nearly used that as an excuse. Skip said to me "Go, you may just have fun." So go I did. Guess what? I didn't completely flake out or say anything incredibly stupid. The other women were lovely and I did, indeed, have fun. I was proud  that I put myself out there.

On Sunday, I took the girls to the park across from our house. Being a lovely sunny Sunday, there were some birthday parties going on. One of them was for a child the girls often play with in the park, and the guests were a whole bunch of other kids they play with. Almost every day. I could see Lil-lil watching and wondering why they were all having a party without her. It killed me as I knew the answer. The reason was me. I often talk to the other mums and dads one-on-one but they've formed quite a tight knit little group and, me being me, can't make myself part of their group. They probably think I'm being snob. Think that I don't like them. Think I'm being aloof. In reality, I'm way too shy to talk or chat as part of their group. It's like the wiring in my brain short circuits and the words can't physically come out.

My girls are both very outgoing, shyness is something they don't often experience, so it kills me that I'm holding them back. When we're out they will often greet and chat away to strangers, inside I'm dying as I find it so, so difficult to do what they can do with ease. They often force me to talk to strangers, but stomach will tie in knots, I'll sweat bullets and I'll talk rubbish.

At school, I had a small group of good friends. I remember at a school excursion in Year 10 a fairly popular boy trying to talk to me and me clamming up. He said: "Why do you hate me so much?". Of course, I didn't hate him, I just couldn't talk. Or say anything that was particularly witty, nice or clever. Sure I could think of a million great things to say, but none of these could actually be spat out of my mouth. I had completely shut down.

When I studied journalism, we had a class of about 25 people. I spent most of the time in silence. I never really contributed or was part of the group. I had a couple of friends, but my shyness crippled me so I couldn't speak up or join in. I worked hard and I did well, but I think I was still known as the aloof one.

My career has definitely not progressed probably as far as it could have because of my shyness. I struggled to speak up when I had good ideas. At my first job as a journalist, a workmate and I were put up for consideration for a good position. The publisher said to: "There's no way you could do the job properly, you're too quiet." I was furious. I worked hard and I was good at what I did. A few months later I ended up getting the position due to a string of strange events. I did a fantastic job and the client who I was putting the magazine together for told the publisher how happy he was that I got the job.

Other stories have not ended so well. When I worked on big titles with a lot of staff, I tended to blend into the background. I wasn't the charismatic person who was pushing or selling myself. When I worked on small teams and I had the time to get to know people and come out of my shell, things worked out much better. Still I think my career would be quite different if I wasn't shy.

When I got into my 20s, alcohol became a way to get over my shy. Dutch courage. The problem is as a 34-year-old mum, alcohol is not a good way to get past shyness. I've had a couple of unfortunate incidents recently when I've been uncomfortable in a situation and drank as way of relaxing myself. Of course, I drank too much and embarrassed myself and those around me, which is really hard to admit and write about. Which I'm so ashamed of. It's why I really try and watch what I drink these days. Make sure I'm not drinking to squash the shyness.

Shyness is a weird thing. As I said, it can cripple me and affect me every day of my life, but I'm sure there are people close to me who wouldn't think of me as shy. When I know people and I'm comfortable, I can be a chatterbox, I can be out there, I can be loud. It can take a lot to shut me up.

I wish I could smash open the shell that forms around me. Let the real Corinne out. Be relaxed and calm. Be witty and charming. Be the me that goes on in my head. Let other people in.

I hope, one day, I can.

Image by Martin Sach


Good morning, good morning, good morning. Monday morning, yet again.

Despite being completely exhausted after barely sleeping for the past 10 days, feeling a little under the weather from a cold and having a busy week ahead, I feel lighter and brighter today.

The past few months have been challenging in so many ways, but I feel like a corner has been turned. Brighter, happier and more fulfilling days are ahead. Like the 'Little Engine that Could', I thought I could and now I'm at the top of the hill and it's all going to be smooth coasting from here. Please. Universe? Smoothing coasting from here? OK?! Do you hear me??

I have a bit of an epic post in the works, hopefully it will be up this afternoon. So hold onto your hats.

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Great full

I've recently discovered the wonderful Maxabella, she's funny, smart and very thoughtful. Each Saturday she invites  bloggers to share what they're grateful for, so I though it might be fun to play along.

This Saturday I'm grateful for...

* Skip who drives a suburb away and gets me coffee at 6.30am every Saturday and Sunday from my favourite coffee place.

* I'm grateful for the warmer weather. It was such fun see how excited the girls got this morning as I put them in pretty summer dresses. Lil-lil has been asking for weeks if it's summer yet so she can wear a sun dress.

* My mum, who watched a sick Goosey yesterday, so I could watch Lil-lil's open day at ballet. She's also going to watch them again today while Skip's at the track so I can meet some bloggers for a coffee.

Happy Saturday!

Thursday, 23 September 2010

A little handy - PLUS GIVEAWAY

As a blogger I receive a few offers to promote product on my blog. You see, A Day in the Life readers are a valuable commodity! The kind of A-type people advertisers and companies want to connect with.

My blog hasn't been created to make money (for me or anyone else), but occasionally I get a product that tickles my fancy that I like to share. I also like to make sure there's something in it for my readers (and there is, if you can make it all the way to the bottom of the post).

Dettol PR got in touch with me and asked if they could send me some a sample of a new product, an automatic hand soap dispenser. To make it fun, they also offered to also send a finger painting kit so we could put their new handwash to the test. Who was I to deny my arty girls the chance to get grubby? Plus as Goosey likes to wash her hands a lot (oh, about 1800 times a day) some new handwash wouldn't go astray in this house.

So, one sunny afternoon this week I set up the paints in the backyard and let the kids go crazy!

Let the fun begin!

Things started off fairly sedately,

but got more hectic and frantic fairly quickly!

Before long everything was a nice green/black colour.

Hands included!

Enter the hero of this story – Dettol No-Touch Hand Wash System!

Magically the soap is dispensed from the holder!

Before long their hands are cleaned, but they want to go back for seconds and thirds to see how the 'magic' soap works.

Skip, ever the cynic, rolled his eyes when he first tried it out, but I've noticed he's been coming back and washing his hands a little more than normal. He was even a little panicked when I turned off the dispenser and he thought it wasn't working. You know, men love a good gadget.

Me? Well, as our house has been germ-infested this week I have been washing my hands a lot. The cucumber splash variety smells really nice and my hands haven't dried out in my germaphobic hand-scrubbing mania.

All the while, I couldn't stop thinking of a lovely girl I worked with whose germ phobia led her to all sorts of acrobatics in the work bathroom to ensure she didn't touch any of the hand washing facilities with her bare skin. She would LOVE this gadget.

Now for the best part. Dettol would love to give five of my readers a No-Touch Hand Wash System.  To win, all you have to do is comment below. Entries close 11.59pm Tuesday, 28 September 2010. 

Wednesday, 22 September 2010


We've been hits with illness, which means sleepless nights and sooky children. Snotty noses and a few tears. I knew this was coming when I spoke aloud the words : "Gee, the kids haven't been sick for a while," last week.

You things aren't right when little ones collapse in tears over something they'd normally brush off. When you hear that crow-like cry in the dark of the night. When the only thing that will help them sleep is being held in your arms.

At the moment my body is running on caffeine and that energy that miraculously appears in a mum when her child is sick and she hasn't slept in many nights.

Poor little Goosey is home alone with me today while Lil-lil is off at her playgroup/kindy. As I type she's cuddling her rabbit and staring out the window saying "Lil isn't home yet, Mummy."

Hopefully tomorrow is a less snotty day.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Come back to the five and dime

Next week, September 30, is the 55th anniversary of James Dean's death. I'm a massive James Dean fan. As a teen I watched his movies over and over – East of Eden still remains my favourite film.

Besides being incredibly gorgeous, he was phenomenally talented and has influenced style even 50 years later. Look at those pictures, the first one could be from a modern fashion mag.

While watching his movies I often wonder about the amazing catalogue of movies he would have created had he lived.

Anyway, I'm using this anniversary as an excuse to post these pictures. Enjoy!

Thinking, thinking, thinking

Well, yesterday was quite productive and I managed to cross off quite a lot on my to-do list, which is always nice.

I'm feeling a bit preoccupied. I have to make a decision this week about preschool for Lil-lil. What I thought would be a simple decision has me tied up in knots. I know whatever I decide will be fine for her, we're deciding between two great schools where I'm positive she'll be happy at either, which is a real blessing. It's more about what's going to work as a family and for Goosey (whether she'll go too or stay home with me) and about whether I work or not and how much. It's hard as I feel like I'm trying to find concrete answers in hypothetical situations. Hmmm decisions, decisions.

In other news, I bought my ticket for the Aussie Bloggers Conference next year, which sounds like it's going to be a lot of fun! If you're an Aussie blogger, make sure you're there! Go and get your ticket now!

Monday, 20 September 2010

Monday morning again

This morning in the haze of half-slumber, my body craving more sleep, I was certain it was Sunday morning. It felt like a Sunday morning. I couldn't really remember Sunday actually happening, so it must be Sunday morning. But no. It was Monday morning. Oh well, up and at 'em.

I've got a lot I want to achieve and get sorted this week. So many things to tick off lists. So many things to put in their boxes, so to speak. I'm finding as the girls get older, the basic tasks of feeding, clothing, bathing and sleeping are not the only things I need to think about when looking after them. Their needs are getting more complex, which means the lists in my head get a little longer. Their emerging and differing personalities require more thought on my part, not just simply running on routines and autopilot.

So as the sun comes up on the day, I best get cracking. Cross some things off the list and still make sure there's time to actually enjoy the day.

Friday, 17 September 2010

A week in review...

Wow, it's Friday again. What is it about this time of year that has life set on fast forward? It's like spring hits and the weeks just zoom by.

In some ways my head is already in 2011 as this week has involved a lot of thought about what we'll be doing next year – preschool, work, holidays. I haven't come up with any concrete solutions but we're getting there. Though I must say, the plans I am working on are scaring me half to death!

This week in highlights:

* Going to see some friends' band play at a rockerbilly/mod festival. They sounded fantastic and there was the BEST people watching ever. The girls absolutely loved it and Goosey danced her socks off until an unfortunate poo incident had us running for home.

* Showing the girls Skip and my wedding DVD. They thought it was great until they realised they weren't in it and quickly got bored and wanted to watch Dora.

* Catching up with a good friend. Though the visit was first disrupted by two girls who tore apart the cafe and when we escaped to a park it bucketed down, drenching us all. I'm sure my friend was happy to go home and get warm and breathe a sigh of relief that the kids weren't hers.

* A good bloggy friend reaching out; being a bit down and feeling pretty negative, someone lovely inspired me to challenge myself and put myself out there. It worked a treat and I'm feeling hopeful again.

* Lil-lil  receiving her new ballet shoes from eBay in the post. Her toe has been pointed ever since and she hasn't taken her eyes off them. It's true love!

* Tonight I'm looking forward to a perfectly cooked steak and a glass of fabulous Pinot. A fine way to end the week and start the weekend.

How was your week?

Thursday, 16 September 2010


I really like Thursdays at the moment. When I was working on weekly mags, Thursday was the worst day of the week  – deadline day. Which meant it was hectic to the max, stressful and, more often than not, it lasted until late in the night and sometimes even to Friday. Getting home from a long day at work to find night owl Skip already tucked up in bed asleep was depressing.

I don't think I'll ever work in weeklies again, I never really enjoyed the last minute rush. Completely changing something you lovingly created in the last minutes before sending to press. Seeing a mistake you'd previously overlooked and knowing that  you spend another few hours into the night waiting for new proofs. Jumping when the publisher walked in and hoping to hell he was going to look at the pages and smile and not make any changes.

Nowadays, Thursdays are very different beast. It's the time of the week where the girls and I are busy with their activities. I'm not scratching my head thinking of ways to fill the day. The past few weeks we've also caught up with good friends for a coffee and a play, which we all look forward to. We usually have something particularly yummy for dinner. Later I get to settle back and watch Mad Men, knowing the weekend is only a day away.

Yep, Thursdays are actually a pretty good day. Sure it doesn't have the thrill of Friday or the specialness of Saturday, but all-in-all I wake up happy on a Thursday.

So happy Thursday to you all! Do you have a day in your week that you know will cruise along nicely?

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

The root of the problem


Now, if you know me real life, you may be shocked to know that these golden highlights of mine need a little help from Mr Peroxide. Shocking, I know! I'm definitely not as naturally blonde as I used to be, more an 'awful mousy colour' as a lovely hairdresser once told me.

Anyhoo, I recently bought an amazing deal online to get my hair coloured and cut. The only problem is I have to wait a number of weeks before I can get an appointment. Which means that I'm stuck with hair that desperately needs colouring now, so I can't imagine what it's going to be like in a couple of weeks.

A complete first world dilemma, I know. So for now I'm trying to work out ways to rock my Britney Spears locks at the unusual amount of social functions I have on over the next few weeks.

Any suggestions or hints my loyal readers?

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

A little piece of advice to myself

Do you often give people advice? Try to inspire them to be their best? Encourage them?

I do.

Do you ever listen to your own advice? Do you ever encourage yourself to be your best? Do you ever tell yourself you believe you can do something great?

I rarely do.

Today I was reminded that I should take my own advice a little more often.

So here is a clip to inspire myself. To remind myself to live life fully. I hope it inspires you too.

Cross roads

This week, I feel like I'm at cross roads, yet again. So many decisions to make and so little to base the decisions on. Being the proactive person I am (not), I have not even begun to think about what I need to. Instead the deadline looms even larger with me no step closer to making up my mind. Schooling, work, kids, life.

I have always tended to live by the motto 'Whatever is meant to happen, will happen'. I've never had a strong passion or goal to work to, so I've kind of ambled down the best path presented to me. Right now, I wish I had a list to tick off to get to my goal rather than wandering round in the mist trying to work out where I'm going.

I guess I'm lazy, I would love the right answers to fall in my lap. Once I know what my destination is it will be much easier to find my way.

Image by Paul de Bruin.

Monday, 13 September 2010

Mini me: Point & Shoot

If you've been reading my blog for a while you may have noticed my 'I'm dreaming about' pic at the side. I change it when the mood takes me, but for the last little while it's been the picture of the mini on a country road. Well the Saturday just past I made the dream a reality, one that's been in the planning for two years!

A couple of friends, Skip and I hired a couple of soft-top Mini Cooper S and headed off early Saturday morning on an adventure. We've been talking about and planning this day for two years and  we finally hit the road. Our farewell to Sydney came in a low flying Emirates plane as we passed Tempe, nothing like the smell of aviation fuel in the morning, especially when you're in a convertible.

The sky was pure blue and the sun shining. We headed off down the Princes Highway and turned off into the Royal National Park, the smiles on our faces set solid by the blowing wind. I can safely say, my hair has never had so much air.

All up we drove more than 400km, down the coast and up into the Southern highlands and back down to Berry again just in time for lunch. It was the best stress-buster I could think of. Cruising around winding mountain roads as the rainforest soared above and around us, i could smell the dank, rotting vegetation with the top down. For a brief moment as we flung around the tight, windy, narrow roads, I forgot about being a mum and all the other responsibilities of life. Instead I was 19 and all that mattered was the music blaring, the scenery flying past and smile on my face.

We headed home and reluctantly dropped the car back. It was quite a come down to have to get public transport home the Cross.

I expected wind-blown locks and sun burnt noses. The one thing I didn't expect was the exhaustion. We were all completely shattered! Our lucky childless friends said they went home and collapsed on the couch and fell asleep, us on the other hand landed right back smack in reality, home in time to feed, bath and bed our two girls before we could stop. But what a day!

Join in Chantelle's Point & Shoot.

Friday, 10 September 2010

Slim pickings

I have spent the past 34 years either being a fat person in the body of a skinny person or skinny person in the body of a fat person. I have yo-yo'd from being fat/skinny/fat/skinny my whole life. I know there are probably many women out there who've probably done the same thing.

My first memory of being body conscious was in about second grade, a girl commented that my thighs were quite chunky. That has stuck with me to this day. I still don't like my thighs, they will never be skinny enough. Funny isn't it that an off-handed comment by a kid can leave a wound that lasts until adulthood.

As a chubby child who turned into a self-conscious teen I have a vivid memory of just wanting to be slim, to be 'acceptable'. I think around the age of 15 or 16 I just stopped eating. Skipped breakfast, had a can of coke at lunch and maybe nibbled some dinner. I'm sure this diet turned a moody teen into a complete monster, but I thought that's what was needed. I got skinny pretty darn quick. A little while later, someone close to me commented "You're too skinny, what are you doing?" It was like a slap in the face. Too fat, too thin. It was impossible to make anyone happy. And looking back, I guess that's what I was doing – trying to make people happy. If they could like my outside, then maybe they could accept what was inside.

In my late teens, I started to eat more sensibly and had a normal figure, but in my head I was still big. I never thought of myself as slim. I was still the chubby kid. Still not happy.

In my early 20s, I met Skip. Happy and content, I ate what he ate and put on weight. Lots of weight. It was then that it was compounded in my head – fat = no respect from people. Skip loved and desired me, but I felt the contempt from others around me. No matter how much support I got from Skip, the whispers that I was worthless because I fat were echoing in my head. There were the innocent comments that people made "Look how skinny you were in the photo!" which I heard as "Look how fat you are now!". There were the malicious comments, such as overhearing myself described a monster by someone who was a friend.

Then I decided to lose weight. I did. About 15 kg (about 33 lbs). People's reaction was always one of amazement. Of course those that mattered most didn't seem to care. Then there were the people who were my friends, who suddenly held me in higher regard. I was suddenly a 'real' person, not just the fat friend. One comment was "Wow, you look great now. You used to be such a muffin.", which shattered me inside and made me forget all the genuinely nice comments that were made.

When I lost my first baby, I put on a bit of weight. When I had Lil-lil I put on weight and never lost it. During that time when I was so fragile and sleep deprived it was impossible to lose weight. Again, amongst some people I went back from being worthwhile person to fat friend (though I must stress, not with the people that really matter). Which in a really fragile stage was shattering.

Now, I'm not the biggest I've been and I'm not the smallest. I would like to lose 5kg, in an ideal world I would like to lose 10kg. I'm a lot more comfortable with my body. I have come to terms with how my body works and accept that the dodgy metabolism I was born with has been infinitely screwed by the starvation I put it through in my teens. I know that I should lose some kilograms and I know the effort that I need to put in to do that.

Over the years, I have learnt to be healthy and for me this is a great achievement. I eat a healthy diet and I try to be active, though exercise and I aren't the greatest of friends. Losing the weight would be a health benefit, yes, but for me it's more than that. I have been skinny and extremely unhealthy, so I'm not one to believe that weight automatically equals health.

I have friends who can eat, eat, eat and never gain a pound. It makes me chuckle when they say things like people should just eat normally to maintain their weight, if I ate what they ate I would be seriously obese. To be their size I would have to restrict my diet to almost starvation levels. But of course, there is still the idea that fat = greedy and lazy. It saddens and frustrates me, that they don't realise that just 'losing a bit of weight' can be a monumental, almost impossible, effort for some. I'm not using this as an excuse though and I don't resent their luck in the metabolism stakes. But I do know what's required for me to lose 10kg, I have done it before. It's a physical, mental and emotional journey.

Now, I have to decide whether I can put in the emotional effort to do it, because for me that is by far the hardest part. The mental dedication as well as the feelings that are dredged up.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

The right medicine

I've had a fairly crap day. A day that started at 4am when the girls woke and decided not to go back to sleep. As the day wore on it got worse. I won't bore you with the mundane details. It wasn't life or death stuff, just annoying. The only highlight was catching up with my friend Justine for a much-needed cuppa.

The bright side? I won two blocks of Cadbury Bar of Plenty which arrived in my letter box this morning and a new episode on Mad Men is on tonight. That is enough to keep me plugging on! Tomorrow is another day, after all!

Images courtesy of Cadbury and AMC

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Peaked interest

This year is the 20th anniversary of the TV series Twin Peaks. As I've mentioned before, I was a little obsessed with the series when it first came out. I was in high school and would tape every episode and watch it over and over.

When I went to the States with my dad at age 15 we visited the small town of Snoqualmie Falls (the real life Twin Peaks) and even stayed at the famous hotel at the top of the falls. I even had brekkie at the Double R diner. Now, I thought this was a little obsessive, but after a little look around the net, I've come to find there are people a whole lot MORE obsessive than me. They're still obsessive to this day. In their minds Laura is still dead and wrapped in plastic.

Over at the site In Twin Peaks  a gent has studied and researched every (and I mean every) location in the series and noted where it was. Even down to the shot of the bird in the opening credits. Extreme or what? Especially as the series was filmed in three different states. It's literally a 20-year devotion.

Twin Peaks Props identifies all the little background props and where they are now (!). The latest entry identifies a blurry McDonalds' mug seen in the background of a shot. Wowsers!

The dedication makes my interest in the show look, well, rather pathetic! It's nice to know there are kookier people than I out there in the world.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Things I learnt at Wildlife World (as God knows what my kids learnt)

As mentioned in my previous post, I'm all about get the kids out and about as they need so much stimulation at the moment. Today's excursion was to Wildlife World. We recently bought the annual pass for here and the Aquarium and as it's only a few minutes drive from my house, makes a good (or so I thought) morning outing.

Being an educational place  I thought I'd share what I learnt at Wildlife World today:

  • The kids like the pretend animal figurines better than the real animals.
  • The kids like pushing the buttons on the vending machine better than looking at the real animals.
  • The kids like the kiosk better than looking at the real animals.
  • My two-year-old is more mature than a group of 15-year-old school kids (as pointed out loudly by their teacher).
  • It's important to watch my two-year-old very closely when someone asks if she'd like to pet an animal, the poor snake at Wildlife World is still trying to get its gizzards down after almost being strangled by her.
  • That out of all Australian wildlife, the species I most closely resemble is the wombat. Brought to my attention by Lil-lil:
ME: Look at that cute wombat! He's having a nice snooze.
Lil-Lil: It's a lady wombat. It's a mummy.
Me: How do you know?
Lil-lil: It looks like you.
  • Lil-lil is afraid of some escalators. She nearly fell getting on the one going down from Pyrmont Bridge. Then when we went back up she froze and wouldn't step on. I either had to leave her there or drop Goosey over the side. She stood there watching me go up and nice lady tried to help her as I yelled back down. For the first time in her life I could hear her say "I should wait here for my mummy." As I headed back on the down side, she must have changed her mind as she was going up with a sweet group of Muslim school kids, so we headed back up again! Finally found her and thanked the students before going on our way with Lil-lil in a vice grip.
  • Sometimes, we should just go to the park or play in the backyard instead of going out.

Tiresome wonderful

When you have kids you go through golden moments where life is calm, the kids are wonderful and you feel like earth mother. Then there are the stages when you seriously question why you became parents, these seem to come from out of nowhere and leave you feeling crazed maniac.

For me, it started from birth when people would say "The first six weeks are the hardest, then it gets much easier." This statement went from six weeks, to eight weeks to 12 weeks to six months and then 12 months.  Let's face it, the first 18 years are hard. My mum would probably say the first 43 years are hard.

When I had Goosey, a lot of people would say "It will be hard at first, having two close in age, but it will be wonderful when they can entertain each other and play together." I had images of them playing tea parties for hours on end. Well, they do play together, which is wonderful, but now they also fight – a lot. The lovey-dovey games can turn to all out war in a matter of seconds and the screeching and crying is driving me completely insane at the moment. I feel like a referee constantly sorting out differences and who's done what.

I love having kids who are out of the baby stage, they're little people with their own minds and personalities. They're fun, cute and entertaining, but my word, they are hard work. As neither of them are in any sort of care, I now find myself as full-time entertainer, teacher and activities master, as well as stay-at-home mum. They rarely sleep in the day so, filling in the hours from 5am - 7pm can be tough. In the past, when a trip to the shops or a walk down the street was enough to entertain, they now need much more. Each morning, Lil-lil asks: "Where are we going today?" so if we don't have a planned activity I find myself racking my brains for something to entertain them. Yesterday, it was planting flowers, today, well, I think we'll head to the zoo. Their bodies and minds are aching to be stretched and challenged.

In all honesty, this is the most tiring stage I've been through with them. It's unrelenting. When one was a kid and the other was a baby, it was challenging in some ways, but having a compliant baby who's just happy to get out and see the trees and not ask to do something different from her sister was fairly easy in hindsight. Now I have two distinct little personalities who have their own wants and demands (and boy so they know what they want).

Things will be a bit easier when Lil-lil heads off to preschool and I know she'll be thrilled with the stimulation and vast supply of friends.

In saying all this, yes it's exhausting and yes I sometimes would like to have a little lie down and read a book, I don't regret a moment of it. Being able to spend these years with them is amazingly special and a gift I treasure, even if I do end up kissing the front gate of Lil-lil's school when the time finally comes.

Monday, 6 September 2010

Weekend wrap

Well, it's Monday morning yet again. Another weekend down.

We're supposed to be on the Gold Coast this week, having a bit of a family break at Seaworld while Skip did some work. Unfortunately, plans changed and Skip will just do a fly-through trip, quick presentation and then home, while I do some more single-parenting. Sigh. At least the sun is out today.

Our weekend was good though. A perfect mix of fun time, alone time and family time. Friday night I roasted a chicken, the first time since the Canadian burnt chook fiasco of 1996. I didn't burn it this time, thank goodness. Saturday we braved the rain to breakfast with friends and later in the day baked banana bread.  That night Skip and I went to a party, a house party, no less! I can't remember the last time I went to a house party sans kids. It was to farewell some friends who are moving overseas for a couple of years (lucky buggers). It was terrific fun to catch up with old friends and pretend to be young and carefree.

Father's Day we treated Skip to Bircher museli, banana bread and coffee before heading off to the Campbelltown Show. Skip loves to take a Sunday drive and this way we had a destination that the kids loved. Dodgy merry-go-rounds and dodgem cars, cow milking, acrobats and strange carny folk with missing teeth. The show had it all. Lunch at Maccas topped off a grand day, before we drove home.

How was your weekend?

Friday, 3 September 2010

If you say so

Things my kids have said this week:

Me:What's your name?
Goosey: Goosey!
Me: What's my name?
Goosey: Poo Bum!

When telling her about when she was born, Lil-lil asked: "What did I say to you when I was born?"

Goosey: Mum, where do bike riders come from? [Copying her sister, who always asks where xyz comes from]
Me: Ummmm, their house?

Lil-lil to her kindy teacher: "Amy, why are you pretending to be a teacher?"

Lil-lil: Mum, my mummy's not dead is she?
Me: I hope not!

Goosey: It's not fair! (this said approximately 150 times this week)

Goosey ending every sentence with 'you know'. eg: I don't want to sleep, you know.

When Lil-lil was asked when her birthday was, she replied: Knocked over! [It's in October]

Lil-lil: I've got a brilliant idea. Let's go and buy chocolate frogs!

Edited to add my favourite quote from today: 
Lil-lil: I think Goosey's brains are broken. She can't think any more.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Paging Dr Lil-lil

My three-year-old is obsessed with her body and how it works. It started off as endearing, now it's starting to get a little tough as my kid-friendly answers to her 'Why?' aren't cutting it. Let's face it, I don't have answers to a lot of her questions.

Why do I have knee caps? What don't my elbows have caps? How does the blood go round my body? Why does blood go round your body? How do my brains think? Why do we need bones?

I have been resorting to YouTube, unearthing lots of educational videos of the circulatory system and the digestive system. How much she understands, who knows, but she seems fascinated.

She's always liked going to the doctor. The day she had to have a blood test, I completely freaked out, Lil-lil on the other hand asked if she could do it again the next day! The day she spent accompanying her sister to the hospital was one of her favourites, getting to watch the ambulances come and go from emergency was the peak of excitement. She decided there and then that she wanted to be an ambulance driver, getting to treat patients and drive a car with flashing lights – it doesn't get any better for her.

I just hope her questions don't get much more difficult or I may have to go and get a medical degree.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Stone cold madness

How fabulous is this cover of Rolling Stone? Yes, it's true, I do love everything Mad Men at the moment. It's been ages since I've gotten into a TV series. Even Skip has become hooked. The storylines are gripping, the attention to detail is stunning, the costumes are to die for and the dialogue is almost perfect. 
Plus, who can't help but look at the beautiful people...

Little, beautiful moments

When I started blogging, I never expected anyone to read my little ramblings. I never expected to make friends. I never expected to feel a sense of satisfaction and fulfillment. Yet, all this has happened.

One other thing I realised this week, is how blogging has made me appreciate the little things in my life. The small moments that may not seem significant now, but will become wonderful memories in the future. By writing them down and sharing them, I realise what they mean to me, to Skip and my girls. That is very special.

Blogging has made me take note of the small beautiful things that happen in the day that might ordinarily get lost in the chaos. As when I think of things to write about it's these small stars of my every day that usually get the nod. Whether it's a blooming daffodil, a yummy dessert, something funny the girls have said or a passing thought or idea. It's not only wonderful to have a record of them, but a reason to watch out for these gems each day.
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