Monday 30 July 2012

A party plus 8000 emotions

We had our farewell party on Saturday and while it was fun, I have to say it was a bit of a blur. It's hard when there are so many people you want to chat to and it all goes by so fast and you're trying to keep an eye on three kids.

I stupidly didn't eat and was running on nerves and adrenalin and a couple of glasses of bubbly (and a few ciggies, because it was a party after all).

By the time the big kids were quiet and the baby was in bed and I could finally relax a little, most people had left. I was left worrying about who I didn't get to speak to much and did everyone get enough to eat or drink and all those other worries you have as a party host. But I did have fun, it just makes it all feel real now.

The dates for our departure have been pushed back and pulled forward again. It's unsettling. We still don't know when we're leaving.

It's hard saying goodbye. It's hard saying goodbye to one good friend, it's heart-bursting saying goodbye to ALL your friends and family. The closer we are to leaving, the more real it becomes and there's that little voice saying "Do you really want to do this?"

Whenever there is big change in my life I worry about it, I mourn the life I'm changing. I send myself crazy asking myself why I'm changing a perfectly good life. Today I experienced about 8000 emotions in a few short hours, it's all a bit overwhelming. I think I'm going to have a lump in my throat for the next few weeks.

Wednesday 25 July 2012


I'm packing our lives into boxes. Some to give away. Some to throw away. Some to store.

As I lovingly wrap christening gifts, wedding gifts and other precious momentos a whole rush of memories and emotions swirl around me.

As I seal up the boxes I start to wonder how long it will be until I open them again. One year? Two years? More? What my life will be like. What I have seen. What I've experienced. Where will I be? Will I gasp and say: "oh I'd forgotten about this!"

It's like packing a time capsule.

The girls walked in and gasped when they saw our life in boxes. It must be strange to see the only home you've known slowly dismantled.

I remember moving boxes into this house. When it was just me and Skip.
Six years later, three kids later and half a world away.

It will be odd to open these boxes again and put our momentos next to new memories. Trying to remember Darbs as a baby, Goose just a preschooler and Lil only 5. Will it feel like a blink of an eye? Will it be a joyful home coming?

Time will tell.

Tuesday 24 July 2012

Emma Laue giveaway

I often talk on my blog about how I have super talented friends. Truly, I'm blessed to know some smart cookies. Today I'm going to tell you about another of my super smart friends...

Emma is the brains behind Emma Laue Children, a divine clothing label for little ones. Em lives in Singapore with her husband and two gorgeous kids. Since she moved from her home town of Sydney and had kids, Em has poured her creativity into designing clobber for kids and she does it so well.

I personally know how talented Emma is and I'm the perfect person to blab about it because once upon a time, she designed and made my wedding gown. Emma has also made clothes for my girls when they were bubs. Now she's a super star kids designer and I can say "I knew her when..."

All her designs are made in gorgeous fabrics in natural fibres. She designs for kids aged 0-4 and I'm hoping she's going to start making dresses in my size soon (c'mon Em, you know you want to). All of her clothes are named after little people she knows such as Piper, Annabelle, Evie.

Here are a few of her numbers:


Cute, huh? Want to pick something up? Check out her site

Emma has kindly offered to give on of my readers a pair of her 'Henry' shorts. Cute for girls or boys, Emma describes the shorts on her site: Henry represents an ease and comfort which is perfect for a tropical climate. These 'little fisherman' shorts are wrapped at the front then fastened with a soft velcro and matching self tie. The elastic insertion at the back with gather detail ensure they stay put. Made from 100% cotton striped seersucker or 100% soft linen, they are super cute and a little bit different. 

So, one reader has the chance to win their choice of either the seersucker or linen 'Henry' shorts in a size from 0-3 (would make a fantastic pressie if your little one is larger than a 3).


To win:

* Like Emma Laue's Facebook page and/or join her mailing list on website
* Then come back, comment below and tell me: if your name was going to be put to any item of clothing, what would it be and why.

Entries close Tuesday July 31 at 11.59pm. Emma Laue will chose the winner based on the creativity of the answers (no debate will be entered into) and once announced the winner has 48 hours to contact me (it will then be redrawn if a winner has not come forward). The winner can be from ANYWHERE in the world (finally an international competition!). PS: It would also be nice if you liked my Facebook page.

Monday 23 July 2012

Four my girl

Happy birthday to my little Goose!

What a year you've had! You've grown up so much. Those wild crazy curls have gotten crazier. You're the most unique little creature I've had the pleasure to meet, yet I see my grandmother and your father so strong in you. You're happy and cranky and grumpy and kind. You're happy to share almost anything with anyone.

This year you started preschool and have kept up with the big kids
You've become a big sister. You give your brother equal doses of hell and love.
You've learnt to write your name and draw the best smiley people.
You dance to a groove in your head.
You're about to move halfway across the world so you can ride a camel.

You are love and light. You're stubborn and rash. You're patient and affectionate. You're fearless and funny.

I'm so lucky you're mine.

Love you my special girl.

Friday 20 July 2012

Changing gear

Our little Darbs is not so little anymore. In the past week he's had another leap in development and all of a sudden he seems bigger, older.

Yesterday he started doing this hilarious fake laugh on cue, which I loved but Lil informed me was 'annoying'.

I haven't been encouraging the poor boy to crawl. In fact, I've probably been discouraging him. But he's been able to get around quite well by shuffling and rolling. He starting crawling a little while ago, but could only go backwards. So he was seeing something he wanted and reversing away from it, much to his distress. He was also reversing under the lounge, under the TV cabinet, under everything much to the girls and my amusement!

Today he finally worked it out and can now crawl forwards. To say he's pleased with himself is an understatement. To be honest it's come at the worst time, but what can you do?

I should be grateful as by his age (10 months) Goose was almost walking. Although, being premmie, technically Darbs is only 8 months, so probably just the right age to start crawling. Hopefully walking (ie running away) is many months away!

For now it's nice to see the boy change gear and head in the right direction!

Check out the cuteness

Wednesday 18 July 2012

Sight unseen

When you move, you go house-hunting. You look at lots of different properties, wander around, open cupboards, peek in the attic, check the aspect. Is it a good suburb? Is it a good street? What about the schools? You get a 'vibe' about a place and all of the things you're looking for.

So, it's strange to be packing up our lives to move to a city, a country and a whole region that I've never set foot in. All I know about it is from what friends have told me and what I've read about on the internet.

And I've been pouring over the internet to get a sense of what it's all about. Looking at school websites and thinking: "Those kids look happy, my kids could be happy there too".

There are people who think we're mad. No doubt. Why would you want to leave Australia? Why would you want to take your family to a place like the Middle East? Three words that are usually followed by words like 'tension', 'crisis', 'war'.

I've had the whole scope of reactions from: "You'll love it!" to "I really hated it" or "Are you sure you want to go there?"

I'm not going to find Utopia. I'm not going to find a place to plant roots. We will come back.

So why am  I going? Well, when the offer came up I looked at our life. It was a good one, but the past six years have gone by so fast. I could easily stay here another six years and not really do anything other than the day-to-day. You only live once. I'd love to fill my life with experiences and people and places. And here is a great big opportunity to do just that.

That's why I'm going. Even if we only stay six months and decide that it's not for us, those six months will be memorable and we'll learn so much. It's an opportunity to see parts of the world we otherwise wouldn't. It's an opportunity for my kids and for us to be put out of our comfort zone. To challenge ourselves. To live a rich life. We're so ripe for it that it's not funny.

When I was small my family spent a short time in a small Californian town. It wasn't an ideal place to live. In fact it was a pretty average place. Over lunch recently, my mum, brother and I told tales about this time. There so many, much more than at any other point in our family life.

Basically I'm selfish and want this time in our family's life to be memorable, slow and jam-packed with amazing stories.

In a few weeks when we step off that plane for the first time, look around and wonder where the hell we are and what we've gotten ourselves into, I know I'll remember that moment and those emotions for the rest of my life.

Tuesday 17 July 2012

Strange days indeed

The past two weeks have felt like an eternity. The school holidays felt like 6 weeks instead of two. It's been a strange mix of great times and awful times. When I took Lil-lil back to school today everything felt a little different and it is I guess.

The kids have taken it in turn to be sick. Lil-lil fell ill the first day of the school holidays, then Darbs the next weekend, Goose a week later. Goosey is still very sick. I considered taking her to the hospital yesterday because I was that worried about her. Instead she went back to the GP for the third time in five days. Today she seems a little better. She's still pushing temps of 40 degrees, but I'm hoping we've turned a corner.

So with two weeks of illness and little sleep I feel exhausted. It's been a rough time. Plus I'm just mentally overwhelmed by what we have to do before we leave. To be honest, my head is already in Dubai in a lot of ways.

To counterbalance this I've had some really wonderful times as well. A truly fun weekend in Kangaroo Valley. Lots of lovely dinners with people I adore. People who I'll miss. Making lots of memories to take with me. While it's been busy, I'm soaking it up because soon we'll be in a city where I know no-one.

The next few weeks will be much of the same. A slog of getting things ready and fun times saying farewell (not goodbye, because we will be back).

I remember when BabyMac moved to the country and she said she was taking her friends in her laptop, I totally get this and I'll be doing the same. Tweeting, Facebook, the blog – it will be like you're all living there with me. So while Skip will have work and the girls will have school, I'll have all of you to talk to and share my adventures with.

A lovely catch up with Pink Patent Mary Janes. 

Sunday 15 July 2012

Tough nut

My little Goose is one tough cookie. To be honest I'm a little in awe of her.

She's fearless. She'll take on people double her size if she thinks she's been wronged. She'll do it without thought.

She's so stubborn, she has an iron will.
She has a bravado that is chink-free and only her mother glimpses a rare crack in.

She'll squint her eyes ala Clint Eastwood and seek revenge. You can almost see the words 'Make my day' on her lips.

This week I've been reminded by just how tough she is. One night last week she woke in the night crying and said her ear hurt, by morning she said she was fine and we carried on with our day.

The next day she slept all day. When I asked if she was sick she said: "I'm just tired, nothing hurts." I took her to the doctor and on the way she said: " I'm just tricking I'm not sick."

The doctor said her temperature was 40 degrees and her ear was terribly infected. Goose denied her ear hurt no matter how many times the doctor asked. The doctor was concerned and asked me to bring her back the next day.

She woke the following morning and was chipper. Playing, laughing a little bleary eyed but happy. We went to the doctor. Her temp was still over 40 and ear raging red. The doctor took her temp three times unable to believe this chipper child had a 40 degree temp and a red raw ear.

I worry about my little toughie. But I worry about who ever crosses her more.

This photo was taken enroute to the doctor:

Friday 13 July 2012

Stuffs up and care bears

I'm having one of those weeks where everything you touch just stuffs up. I've spent ages putting together an ad to sell our car and when I check it the next day it's vanished. Completely gone. Like I never did it. I put a pot of vegetables on and walk away and come back to it boiled dry.
I spend half a day picking up passports (you know getting into town, finding a park, walking around, lining up) and then the next day find out I have to go the exact same place to get birth certificates authorised, that I had in my bag the day before. Could've all been done. But no, there goes another half a day.

We've all been sick. Ear infections, fevers, coughs, colds. Our last man (girl) standing fell last night. Poor old Goose has a raging fever and is so unwell.

The house is chaos. My mind is churning with 800 things that need doing yesterday.

Poor Lil is bored and every time I turn around she's created another 'mess'.

It seems that every school in Dubai is full. So what do I do? And then out of the blue a school says 'Yes, we can fit in your children' and I start thinking well what's wrong with it? It can't be good if it's not full. (It would seem that I'm becoming that crazy).

Truly, I just feel sick and tired and would love nothing more than to climb into bed and pull the doona over my head. The worst part of being a parent is feeling so unwell and not being able to call in sick. Not even at night.

Yes, there is a big pity party going on here. Poor me.

It hasn't been all bad, the funniest thing I've heard this week was the girls chatting in the back of the car yesterday:

Lil: You've got to share. Sharing is caring.
Goose: I don't like sharing and I don't like caring. I'm not like those crazy Care Bears. They're crazy.

Those crazy Care Bears.

Thursday 12 July 2012

For what ails ya

It's been a pretty miserable school holidays around these parts. We've all been sick at different stages - ear infections, coughs, colds. There has been very little sleep happening. I've had to spend a lot of time chasing passports, researching (and stressing about) schools, selling cars and all that kind of stuff. Just generally not being a fun mum (or person).

This has meant that has been very little fun had. This morning I decided enough was enough. We'd go on an outing that I'd been promising. A trip to the cinema.

Our local cinema has been playing Disney movies at the early session, so we rocked up ready to see whatever was playing. It was Dumbo. We've seen Dumbo approximately 800 times. They actually watched it yesterday. Oh well. We bought a 'small' popcorn and sat back in the cinema, enjoying the novelty of it all. To be honest they loved watching it up on the big screen. We were out of the house, doing something fun, not feeling too sick. Win, win, win. I let them dance around in front of the screen, no-one seemed to mind.

It really is a beautiful film and you realise just how wonderful it is up in Technicolor on the big screen.

So they can go back to school on Monday, my mind eased that they've done something out of the house that's vaguely fun.

How have your school holidays been?

Wednesday 11 July 2012

Neither here nor there

I feel like I'm in limbo at the moment. So many loose ends of a life to tie up. A whole bunch of new strings to tie. Trying to do both at the same time.

We're pretty much taking the clothes on our backs and starting a new life from scratch. Which is scary and exciting. For now, I have to pack away the current life we've got. Give things away? Store them? Sell them? It's a big job.

The farewells are starting too. Saying goodbye. Doing things for the last time. Trying to squeeze it all in and enjoy the last few weeks here too. Imagining what our new life will be like.

I'm definitely in transition. Cause I feel like I'm neither here nor there.

Tuesday 10 July 2012


Apparently the average age of a Wikipedia user is 36.

Welcome to average.

Happy birthday to me. Cx

Saturday 7 July 2012


This weekend we are taking a little break away. The kids are at home and we're at Kangaroo Valley celebrating my birthday and taking a breather before the big move.

Originally Skip and I were going to come on our own but we decided we wanted to share some quality time with a couple of friends too.

It's gorgeous and green and Australian and I'm soaking it all in. I'm trying to fill every pore with it so I can take a little bit with me.

Something has hit me this weekend and that is I'm going to have to say goodbye. To family and friends. And that's going to rip my heart out.

Thursday 5 July 2012

Big news. Huge.

If you read here regularly you've probably guessed that there is something going on behind the scenes. It must have been my completely unsubtle murmurings.

There is in fact something big going on. Something exciting. Something life changing. Something blog changing.

Recently Skip was offered a new job, a big promotion. This new opportunity also meant that we would have to relocate. We couldn't say no.

So in approximately four weeks we are packing up our little family and moving.
Where? To the MIDDLE EAST! And I don't mean Bondi Junction.

We're moving to Dubai.

I know. I can't quite believe it myself.

The next few weeks are going to be a flurry of packing, goodbyes and trying to adjust to the fact we are moving to the MIDDLE EAST. The freakin' middle east.

I have no idea what we are in for, but I know it's going to be one of the biggest adventures of my life.

Stayed tuned!

Tuesday 3 July 2012

Disco queens

Last Friday night was the school disco. I ummed and ahhh'd about going, then at the last minute one of the mums said: "c'mon it'll be fun. I'll help you with the three kids."

Lil and Goose spent the afternoon preparing their best glam disco outfits complete with facepaint. Goose dreamt about which boy she would dance with.

Finally the hour arrived and the girls excitedly walked to school. We pushed through the crowd into the hall and into my worst nightmare. The room was pitch black except for the twirl of glowsticks and a psychadelic light show on a screen.

Immediately the two girls disappeared into the black heaving mess. The music pounded my ear drums. It seemed we were in some kind of hardcore nightclub or rave. I was transported back to a club I frequented briefly in the Cross in late 1997.

Back in the olden days we had a school dance in year 6. We wore pretty dresses, did the heel & toe, the pride of Erin we may have even jumped around to Katrina and the Waves.

School discos have become a lot more sophisticated it seems. The DJ had the five year old girls grooving to Single Ladies and Barbie Girl.

Each time I passed a mum I knew I heard this uttered: "this is so much worse than I was expecting".

By the time we left both girls were sobbing. Exhaustion and sensory overload. I may be a little old fashioned but I think there's a place for the old heel & toe and not trying to make our five year olds, sophisticated 25 year olds. What's wrong with jumping around to One Direction with the lights not so low?

Monday 2 July 2012

Fifty shades of grey

No I'm going to write about the erotic e-novel, it's much more obscene than that. But wait, I'm getting ahead of myself... Let's start at the beginning.

On Sunday, my head was really itchy. Being the mum of school-aged child I thought I better check in the mirror and see if there were any critters in there. I didn't find anything but saw just how bad my roots were. I was toying with the idea that I should just go au natural and let my dirty blonde color grow out. When I saw a couple of hairs that didn't have any dark roots.

"How weird that those couple of hairs never grew so the light blonde stayed in the whole length," I thought.

Hold on. That doesn't make sense.  Why would I have hairs that just don't grow. Maybe they're just naturally platinum hairs, really fair like I had as a kid. It's possible that I had a few of those. Then it hit me. Oh. My. GOD! No, it couldn't be...

I pulled one out. Oh god, it was. A grey hair!

Now, it shouldn't be a shock. My dad went grey young. My grandmother went grey in her 20s. I quite like the silver hair look. George Clooney is hot. I even like silver-haired women. Or so I thought, until I saw that grey.  I couldn't have grey hairs. I'm young, really young. Grey hair looks good on other people. Like Skip's nan.

This grey has come at a bad time. I turn 36 next week. It can't be possible that I'm four short years away from 40. I'm now officially in my late 30s. Again, I'm not one to be scared of aging, I'm more scared of not aging. It's just sometimes it gives you a shock that time is passing so quickly. In my head I'm like 26, actually I could even be 19.

So there you have it. Late 30s, wrinkles, grey hair. I never thought it would happen to me...

So tell me, have you found some greys? How did you react? Is it time for me to get a purple rinse?

Sunday 1 July 2012

Blog slog

The blog has been a little slow of late, I'll be the first to admit it. I have been struggling to find time to blog and then when I've had time I haven't been motivated. Rather than bore the few people who read with something that even I don't find interesting I just haven't blogged as much.

I haven't been active in the 'blogosphere' lately and haven't really felt part of 'it' for a while. I haven't been excluded, more that I haven't included myself. That has made me realise how more effort is required to be a blogger. For the past few years, it hasn't felt like an effort, it's just felt like a natural way to spend my time. I was also startled how quickly you can drop out of it too. And that's fine, I haven't had the energy or the inclination and for me the number one important part of blogging was my enjoyment.

There have also been lovely bloggers who check in on email and Twitter (thanks Eleanor, Linda, Cherie and P23) and people who always read and leave lovely comments (thanks Julie, Shar and Nat).

There's also been some big stuff happening in life that I haven't been able to write about and so that has been made blogging feel less enjoyable for me. Blogging has always been getting my thoughts out onto the page and when you're consumed with something it's hard to find other topics to write about.

Annnnnnnnnyhoo, I've just kind of stepped away from it and that's been fine. Life has been busy enough without it.

Then yesterday, some friends said to me: "What's going on? I miss your blog."
I just sighed and said: "I just haven't felt like writing."
And they kept encouraging me to write. So I'm writing. It's nice to feel missed. It's nice to feel like someone enjoys coming to visit here. To be part of someone's daily ritual is a real privilege.

So, for you two girls (and myself), I'm getting inspired, because I really do love writing here.

In the next few weeks I hope to have a whole new look here, which is going to be a lot of fun!

Thanks, so much for reading. I really do appreciate it. xxx
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