Tuesday, 31 January 2012


Before the past five weeks of holidays become just a faint memory, here is a little recap of all the fun we had....

Playing with good friends

Baking for Chrissy
Beach babe
Dad and son at the races

Tortured by big sisters
Harbourside picnic dinner
Visiting the museum
Just hanging in the backyard
Swimming at Balmoral
Practice putting up the tent

Mount Warning
Fishing in Pottsville

Hurt head

A lot of running on the beach.
Rain, lots of rain and floods.

Dancing on the beach

Good view for an Australia Day drink
More dancing on the beach
Goodbye beach...

....Hello, Sydney.

Monday, 30 January 2012

A little bit different

Reality. She always comes a'knockin' no matter how hard you try and keep her away. Today she thudded on our door as hard as Seventh Day Adventists on a peaceful Saturday morning.

We made it home safely from the north coast, around a few flood detours. I had a bit of a heavy heart being home. It will be years before we get five weeks to spend together as a family again, it seemed to fly by. But we did a lot of fun things and created a whole bunch of memories.

Skip was back to work this morning. As he came out cleanly shaven, the girls barely recognised him with five weeks worth of beard gone.

Goosey went back to preshool, so eager to get there. Lil, D and I dropped her off. The teachers oooh and aaah'd over how much D had grown. Goosey ran around discovering her place again. Lil felt a little weird that it wasn't her preschool anymore and commented on the new layout.

Lil doesn't start school until the end of the week, so I'm enjoying spending time with her before she goes.
When we got home she commented: "I think this day should be called 'a little bit different day'. Because dad looked different and preschool looked different. It's all a little bit different."

She nailed it. There has been a definite shift. It's a new year and everything has changed from the last. Something new is in the air. Reality is here and it's time to get moving and shake the sand from our toes.

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Floods and foreheads

It's been wet. That is an understatement. On Tuesday the rain started coming down hard. Very, very hard and did not ease in the slightest until 4pm on Wednesday. I can say, without hesitation, I've never seen rain like it. Ever.

A couple of times I thought of going down in the lift to the chemist about 10 metres away and I didn't dare go. The weather was too awful.

Yesterday afternoon, we decided to go into town (Kingscliff) to get some supplies. Roads were flooded, the rain still pelting down.

We turned into Chinderah and the Tweed River had swallowed half the road. We were forced to drive in the breakdown lane. Just after we slowly drove through, the cricket on the radio was interrupted by a somber voice telling us that the small town was being evacuated.

We got our supplies and headed back to the village we're staying in, having to turn back a couple of times as the roads were flooded.

As we pulled in our holiday home the rain stopped. Finally. The wind dropped.

We seized the moment and took to the beach. It was far too rough to swim, but we ran and played and soaked in the fresh air. It was glorious.

Later that night, the girls had gone to bed. I was settling D when I heard a sickening thud. Goosey had dived and whacked her forehead on the metal corner of the bunk beds. I came out to see her pale and a dribble of thick red blood running down her face.

Having knocked her head a few times before and sat in the ER with her, I knew she didn't have a bad concussion. The gash was deep and probably could have used some glue or a stitch. That would mean driving in rising flood water at night. Instead, we managed to patch her up quite well.

So not the best day of our holiday.

Two more sleeps and we're headed home. Fingers firmly crossed that we get some dry weather to enjoy here and then for a safe drive home.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

School , it a cometh

While I've been away, I've had lots of time to think about Lil-Lil starting school. I must admit, I've never understood the mothers who weep at the gate as they wave goodbye on that first day of school. I've always thought it would be more exciting than sad. As the day approaches though I'm starting to get it.

Lil-Lil and I have been through a lot. Being a firstborn she's has the rough job of breaking me into motherhood. It's been a long journey these past five years, which is why I think firstborns have a unique relationship with their parents. Poor kid.

As I get ready to send her out into the world I'm starting to panic a little. Have done well enough by her? I should have has more patience, been more engaged, soaked up the days with her a little more. Will she cope being thrown into the deep end of school?

Maybe it's my anxiety, knowing all the challenges she's going to face. Bitchy girls, cranky teachers, teasing boys. Mental arithmetic. Urgh. Her innocence will be lost and at the moment I'm soaking in that gorgeous innocence. She's naively so happy about the 'fun' of big school, but it's really her first step into a lifelong journey of challenges.

Of course there is the selfish fact that she's going to need me less. That Maddy or Sienna or whoever at school is suddenly going to be smarter/cooler in her eyes. She will probably worship her teacher.

As much as I've downplayed it to myself, starting school is a big deal. And I will miss her. That precious time of her being a little kid at home is over, but I feel lucky to have had it.

I'm also a teeny bit excited to watch her blossom, as I'm sure she will. I will probably shed a little tear on that first day, but also a big sigh of relief that we made it this far. That we've survived the first leg of childhood relatively unscathed. Let's hope we survive the next!

Friday, 20 January 2012

Perception is every thing

This morning while buttering toast I quipped to the kids that we had 8 sleeps left of our holiday.

Lil-lil promptly burst into tears and sobbed: 'eight sleeps? That's not long at all."

I tried to console her saying: "We still have eight whole sleeps. We've only been here for six sleeps. We still have lots of time to have lots of fun."

Tears stained her red cheeks as she tried to process this. She sighed and said: "It's still not long enough. I want to be here forever."

Me too, kid, me too. Not the optimist I wanted her to be, but I understand.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Making hay

The weather where we are is shit. No other word for it. When the inclement weather leads the news, you know it's not good. Especially for a beach holiday.

We woke up yesterday to pelting rain, disappointed that our dreams of ambling across the road to the beach and hours of splashing and playing on the sand weren't coming true. It would have been easy to get grumpy, down about it, but you can't change the weather.

As soon as there was a gap in the rain we headed to the local farmers markets. The best I've ever been to. Small but every stall bursting with flavour and all local. Skip was in heaven picking out tomatoes so ripe they're about to burst, fragrant basil (a little too fragrant for Lil), cheeses and fresh laid eggs.

Feeling good we then headed to Byron Bay. The heavens opened up again. Instead of heading to Wategoes for a swim we stopped for a coffee. Skip declaring it the best coffee he'd ever had. After we munched down some morning tea, the rain had stopped and we headed down to the beach. The waves pumping, surfers were out in force. The girls decided to try their hand in the surf having a ball.

We managed about 30 minutes of the best fun before the rain started again.

Home for lunch and a rest, just in time for the clouds to roll back once again. We grabbed rods and took the girls fishing for the first time. They were surprisingly keen.

We fished and swam until dinner time.
I was smart enough to marry a man not only interested in food shopping but who loves to cook (and is brilliant at it). I sat with a G&T and watched him turn our purchases into nibbles and dinner. The girls lay in awkward positions and watched a Barbie movie.

Yep, for a rainy miserable day we managed to squeeze every bit of fun out of it. Now please, can the rain stop and we get some sunshine??

This silly Blogger app wouldn't let me put my pix in order, so it's like a little puzzle... Enjoy!

Monday, 16 January 2012

Boy joy

This holiday has made me realise just how much I'm enjoying having D.

As I've said a million times before, I'm not a baby person, but he's an absolute delight. He's slotted into our family so easily, it's surprised me.

I tossed the whole third child thing in my head for so long. I really didn't know if I could do three. Could I go back to the beginning again? Would my life be unbearable. I then decided that I could see another little person in our life. I then decided 'yes' and I was pregnant before I could change my mind.

All through my pregnancy I encountered people who said they found three difficult, more difficult than they expected. I even met one person who said they regretted having a third, which terrified me.

I don't know if it's because I'm an old hand at this, if it's because the girls were "difficult" or because he's super easygoing, but this whole thing has been a lot easier than I expected. Even with his dramatic arrival.

Most of the time he's a joy. Sure he's a baby and he cries, often for no obvious reason. It's sometimes harder to get out and do things, but it's fun. He's so happy just to be here. He's gone from being frail and tiny, to being a delicious little dumpling.

I knew to expect the unexpected, I just really didn't expect it to be pure and simple.

He's made our family unit feel so complete. In a way I never expected.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

I see the sea

Sunday morning, rain softly pit-patting on the window, surf rolling and crashing. Chirping kids out splashing in puddles fetching me a coffee with their dad.

So far, holidays have been all right. Skip, not having taken leave in such a long time, has managed to take five weeks he'd accrued off - unheard of in these parts.

It's been great having time at home but it's even better to be away. Creating a new daily routine, even if it's just for a couple of weeks.

We drove up the coast, stopping just north of Coffs Harbour to pitch a tent for the night. The three kids loved it. I'm impressed we camped with a 4-month-old. Up the next morning for the next leg and more games of I Spy, we soon arrived at our apartment (which is bigger than our house).

We are enjoying the space, the time. Looking out and seeing the ocean. Sandy feet. Lazy days.

Hopefully I'll feel inspired to write again as inspiration seems to have vanished with Christmas.

Monday, 9 January 2012

My kids have holidayitis

These kids make my head spin. There's no other way to put it. It think they are getting a little holiday frazzed. A little too much excitement. A little too much fun. Few too little vegetables and early nights. Any which way, they have got me up against the wall.

For example:
  • this morning Skip decided to take the girls to the zoo. I offered to stay at home while D napped, thinking of all the things I could catch up on - cleaning, washing, reading a book on the lounge. Bliss. About 30 seconds after the front door closed the wonderful peace was broken by a crying boy. Dagnamit! Why, oh why does this always happen? Last week when we wanted him to wake early so we could make the shops before lunchtime he decided to sleep for three hours. 
  • For the past three weeks all I have heard out of Goosey's mouth is "Not fair!" or "I hate you, Mum." Delightful. She usually follows it up with "I love you" and cuddles, but then there's another hefty dose of "not fair".
  • The girls are iPad mad. I stupidly let them play with mine and they are now obsessed! They hassle me day and night to play it. Goose thinks her in-car DVD player is an iPad and won't be convinced otherwise, I think she'll be a little disappointed when we hit the road later this week. Lil-lil is so determined to get an iPad she told me that Santa will bring her one next Christmas, when I replied: "We'll see." She told me: "Santa will bring whatever I want, that's what he does and there's nothing you can do."
  • There are great tears when dinner is served and it's not sausages or something with tomato sauce.
  • Every day they want to know what special thing we're doing/eating today.
  • They are already asking when Easter is. Take a breath kids. Let's get over this holiday first. 

They're high on the buzz of holiday routines. Empty threats are being flung around left, right and centre. We're hitting the road and heading to the beach for two weeks in a few days. I think we all need to get out of the house, suck in some fresh sea air, run on the sand and de-frazzify for a new year. Then it will definitely be time to get back to a normal routine.

Do you or your kids go holiday loco?

Saturday, 7 January 2012

What is it like having three? No, really.

I've been asked this a few times the past couple of days. Two good friends are about to have their thirds any second and they've been asking for the lowdown. My answer is this: "Its not as bad as I was expecting. Though it's kinda like when you have two and think 'I had no idea how easy it was just to have one'"

I've reached that stage when I don't remember what life was like before D. The only thing I remember was wondering what he'd be like and knowing I'd reach that stage of not remembering life before.

The girls are loving sleepovers at their grandma's at the moment, they adore going there, she adores them coming and we love the chance for some peace and quiet (and reliving how easy it is just to have one baby). Admittedly D is an easy baby, the other two were not.

This afternoon, Skip and I strolled around Manly pushing the pram, pretending to be parents to one baby. We stopped for a drink and a snack in a small funky wine bar, something we'd never normally be able to enjoy with three kids. D just tags along too small to run amok.

Tomorrow the girls will return with squeals of glee from all of us, because even though the peace is nice, we really are a family of five.

Below are shots from our outing. You have to love a mini burger, food always tastes better in miniature. The gin is actually a water bottle, though a Hendricks and tonic is my all-time favourite drink so this touch won me over at the Hemingway-inspired bar, so much so I went home and had a real one.

Friday, 6 January 2012


Wow, almost a whole week without blogging. That must be a record for me. I've been too busy holidaying at home. Going to the beach, catching up with friends, cleaning up the mess that comes with having the five of us home.

To be honest, Fat Mum Slim's instagram photo a day challenge has been the sum total of my online life. I do love Instagram, def been my fave thing of the past few months.

All this time away from blogging has my mind swinging from making this blog the best ever in 2012 to just walking away from it altogether. Where will the blogging road go? I don't know. I'm pretty certain I'll be here in some form or another though. Once the kids are at school I'll work out what 2012 holds for the Daze. First things, will be a makeover, I think it's time, don't you?

For those not on Instagram, here's what I've been up to:

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