Thursday, 31 May 2012


Kids are festy. They are crusty, quite literally crusty. They pick up weird diseases, bugs, germs. They sneeze green snot and are more than happy to leave that slug on their face. They are Petrie dishes cultivating exotic dieseases.

The crustiest of all childhood ailments has to be conjunctivitis. Held in fear by me only slightly less than nits. Goosey woke this morning eyes swollen, glued shut and crusty. Sigh.

Thankfully, it wasn't a preschool day but we did have to take Lil to school. With Goosey looking like she had the plague. The kid is social and wants to talk to (and hug) everyone, I gave her a pep talk about not touching ANYONE. We approached the gate and saw a mum we knew. Her face contorted with horror.

"what's wrong with her??"

I told her I thought it was conjunctivitis. She offered to take Lil to her class freeing the school from Goosey's pussy visage.

Sighing with relief I took the girl off to the doctor. "so what's wrong? Well, besides the obvious of course," the GP asked.

We were off quickly and happy to discover the antibiotic drops no longer need a prescription as I'm sure we'll be needing more when the other kids are struck down. (note, I say 'when' and not 'if'. It's inevitable isn't it?!)

So for now, we have a big red 'X' painted on our door. Enter at your own risk.

What's your most feared childhood ailment?

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Happy birthday to the Skip

Happy birthday to my wonderful Skip.

The first of his birthdays we had together was his 21st and boy have we both changed since then. We've been together almost 15 years so we've grown up and old. The hardest part about marriage is changing and growing with each other. You hear people say that their spouse is not the same person they married. There's no doubt that Skip is not the same as the 21-year-old I fell in love with, lucky for me, he's better.

The past 12 months have been full-on and life changing, I think Skip is definitely a different person from this time last year. Someone I love even more.

Happy birthday, Skip. I hope its a good one.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Mourning morning

I used to love the mornings with the toddlers and babies. Even though they get up early, it's usually their nicest part of the day. They're happy, not whinging. Munching on some toast, sipping some tea, I even used to find it was the best time to knock out a blog post. The kids happily played or ate while I typed. Not having to rush out the door. Hang in our PJs if it was cold or rainy. It made up for the horrendous sleepless nights.

Mornings are now a VERY different scenario. Two kids going to different places. Two lunches to make. Two bags to pack. Hurrying them to get dressed, brush their teeth, tidy up. While trying to scoff down some breakfast myself and get dressed. Oh and feed and dress the baby too, who's usually whinging for some attention, poor third child. All to the soundtrack of: "Get dressed, get dressed, get dressed, get dressed, GET DRESSED! Pack your bag, pack your bag, pack your bag, pack your bag, pack your bag, pack your bag, pack your bag, PACK YOUR BAG! Brush your teeth, brush your teeth, brush your teeth,  brush your teeth, brush your teeth, brush your teeth, BRUSH YOUR TEETH. No you don't need to make a bed for Pooh-Bear right now. No, I can't paint your face. No, the bathtub isn't where your PJs go. Please, JUST GET DRESSED!"

Yes, these days, the hours between 6 and 10am are stressed to the max. I come home after the drop-offs put the baby to bed and breath a sigh of relief. And then I look at the destruction that has been left in the wake of us trying to get ready. I wonder, what happened to my life? Was there a time when I was more than just a nagger and a cleaner and a cook and a bum wiper? Was there a time when my life wasn't consumed with bread crumbs, Weet-Bix smooshed on the floor and washing, so much washing?

What are your mornings like? Calm and peaceful or manic?

Monday, 28 May 2012

Baby fights back

Baby D often gets a hard time. He has two older sisters who poke him, prod him, sit on him, whack him, shake him. All in the name of love and affection of course. Rough love.

I keep trying to tell the girls that one day he'll be big and will be able to fight back. They look at me like: "Yeah, whatever."

I think his day of retribution is not far off. I think it's already begun.

Friday, 25 May 2012

Friday Fun - Herbal Essences

A little while ago, Lil-lil told me that she was going to buy me some special shampoo so I could become a rock star. I had no idea what she was talking about but I liked the idea, if only it were that easy! A few days later she pointed at the TV and said that was the rock star shampoo. It was an ad for the Herbal Essences Tousle Me Softly range.

Fast forward to now and Herbal Essences are offering The Daze of My Life readers the chance to win two winter hair care packs. They may not turn you into a rock star, but their floral scents will mean you can have a little steamy tropical holiday in your shower.

The packs are worth of $60 and include:

  • Herbal Essences Drama Clean shampoo and conditioner
  • Herbal Essences None of Your Frizziness shampoo and conditioner
  • The entire Tousle Me Softly styling range
  • A treatment product
  • A Supersized Set Me Up hairspray
  • (See images below for what's included in the pack)

To win, comment below and tell me what your favourite song to sing in the shower is. It would also be great (but not necessary) if you could follow The Daze of My Life and like my Facebook page.

The best two comments, judged by me (or someone nominated by me), will win a pack. Entries close, 11.59pm Thursday May 31, 2012. Open to Aussie residents only (sorry). Please include your email address if it's not on your log-in.

Vtech Storio winner

Happy Friday all.

I'm here to announce the winner of the VTech Storio winner. I got my mum to judge the entries as I knew so many of the lovely people and I didn't want to be biased.

So the winner, as chosen by Mrs Daze Sr, is

Sarah of Somerville Lane.

Congratulations, Sarah. Email me your address and your choice of Storio (Cars 2 or Dora) and I'll get it send out to you.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Mothering mums

I know I have harped on about my non-sleeping children, but please, let me write this one last post. Non-sleeping kids is the most boring topic on the planet but, it may just help you, or someone you know.

When Lil-lil was a wee babe she rarely slept, except for short bursts. I remember being in Adelaide hotel room when she was about 6 weeks old, standing an a weird angle in the middle of the room in the middle of the night. They only position Lil would sleep in. I would slowly go to sit down and her eyes would pop open and she'd start crying. How on earth can I stand here?? This is insane. But stand there I did.

That girl, god love her, almost broke me. In fact, sometimes I think she did break me. The severe sleep deprivation was beyond my belief. When she was 12 weeks old, I did a residential stay at Tresillian, a centre in NSW that provides mothers with support and settling techniques. I went there feeling like a total failure, but was the best thing I could ever have done. The nurses there gave me the most amazing support. Lil started sleeping better, not great but better. Even better was the rest that I caught up on, the support and the kindness I received. Those Tresillian nurses are angels.

Over the years and three kids later I have been back to Tresillian a few times, have called their hotline countless times and even tried out their online chat service. I can honestly say, I think that motherhood may have broken me if it wasn't for the support that Tresillian has given me over the years.

A few weeks ago, I was invited by Johnson's Baby to a talk by a leading sleep expert, Dr Alex Bartle, at a Tresillian centre.

As well as Dr Bartle, staff from Tresillian got up and spoke about their history and the services they offer. I burned bright red as little did they know they were preaching to their choir.

There was so much information at the event but the two big things I took away were:

  • In a recent international study, Chinese mums were found to have the most amount of sleep issues with their babies. Dr Bartle said he believed this was because Chinese families lived in close quarters and were more disturbed by their babies murmerings than in places where families lived in big(ger) homes. I now call our house the China Syndrome, as I think this has a lot to do with our situation. Five of us in a small 2-bedroom home....
  • While talking to one of the Tresillian staff, she said it's not just about helping babie but about supporting mums. Everyone needs a little mothering and a little taking care of,  even mums (ESPECIALLY mums), this is a big part of what Tresillian do. I certainly felt that when I've been at Tresillian. And by mothering I don't mean being told what to do, but being asked if you're ok and being encouraged to have a lie down or a cup of tea while they watch bub. Hell, I've even been literally tucked into bed by a Tresillian nurse.

Unfortunately, not everyone has access to a Tresillian centre, but the Tresillian Live Advice instant messaging service can be accessed on your smart phone or laptop around the world. So, you can have access to a registered Tresillian nurse even if you're pushing your child on a swing at the park. No more having to listen to the Greensleeves hold music. Johnson's Baby have sponsored the Tresillian Live Advice service 100%, which I think is amazing, kudos to them for doing that. [The rest of the Tresillian services are funded by the NSW state government as well as other sponsorship and donations]

If you're a mum who has sleep or feeding issues or any baby issues (and who doesn't?!) visit for information about how you can access the mobile Tresillian Live Advice service.

This post was not sponsored. I wrote it purely because I believe in the Tresillian services and wanted to give back after they have given so much to me. 

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Mini style stars

Some comments on my post yesterday about Goosey's wig and Goose coming out dressed for preschool this morning clad in a pair of checked shorts and a sparkly singlet, got me thinking.

Most parents I know start out with having set clothing style for their babies. Often it's an extension of their own style or something they wished they wore as kids. As the babies turn into kids they start to develop their own style and sometimes the battles begin.

From a really young age, Lil-lil has been very particular about what she wears. It must be "beautiful", it can't be pants and it must be pink, purple or another occasionally another beautiful colour. This started around the age of two and has stayed strong ever since. I can't for the life of me get her in jeans, "Jeans are just yucky, Mum" so last winter it was skirts/dresses and tights. She won't wear sneakers, just beautiful ballet flats or mary-janes. She likes to accessorise. The only time she will wear pants in when she goes to get an early coffee with her dad on the weekend, but she'll change out of them as soon as she gets home. She looks really cute in pants and she also looks amazing in blue, but it's not a beautiful colour apparently.

Goose will pretty much wear anything but it's dependant on her mood. Like this morning, she decided it was a checked shorts and sparkly singlet kind of day, despite being freezing cold. Once she's made up her mind on an outfit, it takes some convincing. In the end a compromise was made, she wore jeans and a long top under the sparkly singlet. She looked pretty ridiculous, but she thought she looked great.

Lil-lil tells me she wants to be a 'fashion star' when she grows up. Well, actually it's a fashion star vet, but we're talking fashion today. She loves to put outfits together, most of the time they are mismatched and clash, but she's over-the-moon with her creations. As she has to wear a uniform during the week and spends Monday to Friday being told what to do, I figure her outfits on the weekend give her a choice, freedom and creativity. Even if I do have to bite my tongue at some of the things she wears. Sometimes I make a suggestion, but if the clothes are weather and occasion appropriate, I let it slide.

One of Lil's friends is a complete tomboy, she only wears her brother's hand-me-downs (including school uniform). Her mother is very stylish and always looks put-together. I asked the mum this morning how she felt about her daughter not wanting to wear pretty or nice clothes, she just shook her shoulders and said: "That's just her."

I know that this would kill a lot of parents, who feel their kids' appearance reflects upon them. I know parents who feel it's really important to dress a certain way, which is fine and I understand that. For me, I'm not too bothered, the only thing I don't really like is kids dressing like adults.

In saying that, one of Goose's friends dresses like a miniature of her mum - skinny jeans, cropped cardis, ballet flats, maxi-dresses. I always thought it was strange, until her grandmother told me it was the little girl who insisted she wear the same type of clothes as her mum, not the other way round.

There are those kids who wouldn't think twice about clothes and will happily put on whatever is laid out for them. Then there are those who want to be a fireman or a fairy, all day, every day. Or want to wear their PJs to the park or only wear a certain colour (I knew a little boy who would only wear purple) or a certain item of clothing (or won't wear a certain item of clothing as in Lil's case). Often it's just a phase and another odd fashion phase will come along soon. Sometimes it's long-lasting, just like Lil's pant aversion.

Yesterday, Lil got mud all over her winter tunic and so I said she had to wear trackies. She put them on and when I asked how she felt, she said she was worried her teacher wouldn't recognise her. The tunic went back on today, but I think she just might wear trackies again. The world didn't end after all.

Do you like your kids to wear certain clothing or have a certain style? Do you enforce it? Do you let  your child go out in clothing of their own choice, even if it looks odd? I'd love to hear your thoughts on this one.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Wigging out

I'm not an attention seeker. I'm the kind of person who really quite enjoys flying under the radar, blending into the background. For example, I recently was at a party and met a mother from Lil's school, she said that I mustn't do the school run because she'd never seen me before and she knew everyone. She was shocked when I said I'd been their every morning and afternoon.

My kids are the complete opposite. From babies they've loved attention. They will talk to anyone and everyone they come across in the street, which is incredibly painful for me. They love to create a scene and be at the heart of the action. They make sure that everyone knows who they are.

Today was just another example. For the past six months, Goose has been tying toilet paper to her hair, she thinks it makes her look like Rapunzel. It drives me bonkers. In an effort to cut down our toilet paper consumption I went to the $2 shop and bought her the longest, out-there wig I could find. It was love, a complete success. Except..... she now won't take the bloody thing off. She wears it to the shops, to preschool, to Lil's school, she even wears it to bed.

To say she attracts attention in it is an understatement. She had the playground at Lil's school alight this morning as the kids and the parents laughed and watched this mop-headed child run around. Even the mum who swore she'd never seen me nodded an acknowledgement.

I wonder how long this attachment is going to last?!

Flying solo

If you've been reading the past few days, you'll know that I'm solo parenting this week.

That dinner/bath/bed hour is chaotic and even more so when you're doing it on your own. D's at that age where he's hungry and tired and just cries for an hour or more. The girls are loud too. Juggling baths and meals and getting them all into bed is exhausting.

I also miss that adult conversation. Sharing what went on in your days.

But... as with everything, it's not all bad. So to focus on the positive and get through another week, here are the positives about being the only adult in the house.

  • I make dinner and bed earlier, so I can dinner and bed earlier too
  • I can make simple meals. Beans on toast, if need be.
  • I can have complete control of the remote and watch shows like The Voice or Wife Swap without judgement.
  • I can sleep diagonally in bed and hog the doona.
  • I don't have to share the Tim-Tams
  • You get a chance to miss each other and appreciate him when he comes home. 
What's your favourite thing to do when you've got the house to yourself?

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Sunday, the apple of my eye

With a busy few weeks behind us and a busy few weeks ahead, we decided to spend a Sunday just the five of us. Some much needed family time.

We packed up the car for a Sunday drive. A picnic with a side of adventure was the mission for the day.

We turned D's car seat around and he's pretty pleased to be able to see the world. Skip and I looked into the backseat wondering where all these kids came from.

We headed to Richmond to share some morning tea with the ducks, who I'm not sure will ever recover from their encounter with my enthusiastic kids.

We then headed up this mountain to Bilpin. Perfect on a crisp autumn day, blue skies framed with red and yellow leaves.

We took a bush walk through an eerie part of the national park, building up an appetite. We then threw the picnic rug down and ate and laughed until our cheeks hurt.

The girls were eager to go apple picking and thankfully there was one orchard still open for picking. We strolled through rows of trees in the sunshine in search of the perfect fruit. The girls perfected their picking technique and filled their basket with the crunchiest pink ladies and granny smiths.

Before long it was time to head home but we couldn't resist pulling into a roadside cafe for a quick Devonshire tea and apple pie.

Tired, but happy, the backseat was quiet all the way home, except for Lil declaring it was a "super-dooper fun day".

I'm solo parenting this week, so today was the perfect place to jump off from.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Friday Fun - Vtech Storio

Recently, my girls were sent a Vtech Storio to try out. It's an interactive reading console to helps 3-7 year-olds read and also play games, a kind of Kindle for kids if you will. I'd actually flirted with the idea of buying Lil-lil one for her last birthday as she loves reading and words. She and Goose are also glued to my iPhone and iPad whenever they get the chance and I get sick of fighting them for them.

I tell you games have come along way from the Game'n'Watch I used to have as a kid, they even make the Speak'n'Spell look prehistoric. (Why did electronic games in the '80s have "'n'" in them?)

When the pink package turned up they were thrilled! I was a little dismayed when I discovered it took batteries, but it only needed 4xAAs and they have lasted amazingly well. I haven't had to replace them yet, despite a lot of use.

Immediately, the girls were reading the Dora story that came with the console. They could turn the pages as the story was read, the words illuminating as they were said. Before long they were playing all the games, which Goose loved. Lil-lil loved that she could practice writing numbers and letters with the pen that comes with the Storio. Drawing and creating artworks was another hit feature. 

The Storio comes with one story cartridge and other cartridges can be bought or stories downloaded from the Vtech website store. The Storio comes with three free story downloads. I jumped online and downloaded them, which took a little time. Then I was dismayed to find that I needed a SD memory card for them to work on the console. This was disappointing, but I should have read the instructions beforehand. 

You can keep an eye on how the kids are progressing by syncing the console with the website. This give parents data on what they're reading and what questions they're answering correctly in the games, etc.

I was also happy to discover that the Storio could be linked with a Vtech camera that Lil-lil had. They could upload photos and drawn on them and create their own artworks. Very funky. 

Overall the kids have had a lot of fun with it and it's been a hit. The only cons were needing an SD memory card for the additional downloads and features (which doesn't come with the Storio) and needing to buy additional cartridges for new stories. 

The Storio retails for around $130 in the shops. I have one Vtech Storio to giveaway to a lucky reader (the winner can choose from the Dora or Cars 2 consoles). 

To win, comment below and tell me who in your life would like a Storio and why.
Open to Aussie residents only. Entries close 11.59pm, Thursday May 24, 2012. 
One entry per person. 

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Fixing broken babies

Lil-lil, my little screamer

When Lil-lil was three weeks old, I dissolved into tears and looked at this tiny, screaming baby and thought: "I've broken her. It's only taken three weeks, but I've completely screwed her up. That must be some kind of record." And I truly believed every word I was telling myself.

Five-and-a-half years down the track, I now realise that as a mum all I can do is my best. So much of my kids' personalities and the way they handle and do things has so little to do with my influence. All I can do is love them, give them my all and keep my fingers crossed. Lil-lil didn't cry all the time because of something I did or didn't do, that is just one of many examples.

I've seen, read and heard a lot recently that preys on new mums' fears, promising the key to 'fixing' their baby. Making their baby the smartest, the best, the most content. On blogs, Twitter and Facebook, I have also heard a lot of mums wondering what they've done wrong. Why their child isn't doing what they're 'supposed to'.

So to all those mums out there, here are some things that I've worked out since having my three:
  • Every pregnancy and every birth is different. They're both unpredictable, even if you've done it before. I've had both extremes of super easy and super hard. You never know what you're going to get and you can't plan for it. 
  • All babies are different, even if they've come from the same DNA. They may look alike and you can parent the same way but a baby will be whatever it will be, no matter what you do. 
  • All the things you worry about when they're babies will mean nothing in a few short years. When they roll, crawl, walk, talk, their first tooth, when they sleep through – all this will mean nothing. It has no impact on how smart, dumb, kind, sassy, sporty, articulate they will become. It may seem like the most important thing now, but you'll eventually even forget when they did what. 
  • Same goes for how they were fed or put to bed. I don't talk to the parents of my five-year-old's friends and ask:  were they breastfed? Did you use control crying? Did you toilet train at one or four? The things that are all consuming at the time soon become irrelevant. 
  • Different babies respond to different things. People always seem surprised when something that has worked for one baby doesn't work for another. We're all different, I bet you're different from your brother/sister/friend. The hardest part of parenting is unearthing the key that works for your child.
  • Trust your instincts they are usually right, but stay open to suggestion too. Sometimes a fresh perspective can be just what you need to solve a parenting problem. More often than not the answer to a parenting quandry will be easier than you think. 
  • Babies and kids don't need fancy or expensive educational toys. Your interaction is the most important thing. A set of keys, some pots and pans or a box can be just as fun. Looking at the garden and pointing things out. Singing and dancing. Reading to your child is the best thing you can do.  After  all, Einstein didn't become a genius because he watched Baby Einstein DVDs.
  • Some kids will wake at 5am. There is not much you can do. I know, I've tried. One day they will sleep longer (hopefully). If you have a child that sleeps late, think yourself lucky. 
  • Kids are adaptable, they are resilient. All they really need to be fed, loved, appreciated and made to feel special. Funnily enough, they are just like us, only smaller. 
I just ask Lil-lil what she thought the most important thing a mum can do to look after her kids, her response?
"To love them and to help them clean up their room." Says it all. 

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

The old switcheroo

Skip and I often joke that there is someone awake at any hour of any day in our house. Sadly it's not a particularly funny joke. Give me a knock, knock instead.

Things have been slightly better in the sleep department in recent weeks, but last night was like some kind of scene in a bad '60s comedy.

I'd not been asleep long when a sick Lil-lil started crying. I went in settled her and went back to bed when a snuffly D woke crying. I settled him and returned to bed to find Goosey in my spot. I put her back to bed when Lil-lil started crying again. I climbed into Lil-lil's bed and cuddled her until she drifted off. Just as that happened I heard Goose's footsteps heading for my bed again. I grabbed her and jumped into her bed until she went to sleep. I woke from a nap in her bed, went back to my own bed. Before long D was crying again. Skip whispered: "Are you OK?". I shushed him: "Go back to sleep" and grabbed D and headed for the couch. Rinse and repeat.

Three beds and one couch - a few snatches of sleep. By 6am we were all up for the day, thanking the lord the sun was coming up.

Am I the only one who sleeps in multiple places? Do you have to chase kids through the dark in the night?

Monday, 14 May 2012

What's the traditional Mother's Day dance?

What a top weekend it was. Catching up with friends, lots of good food and lots of laughs.

I was spoilt on Mother's Day with a gorgeous pair of Peter Alexander PJs and a box of choccies, both of which will be making a grand appearance on my lounge tonight. The girls also made the best cards at school and preschool which are going straight to the pool room. We went for a walk in the cool autumn weather and had coffee. For lunch, we headed to Skip's mum for a BBQ. Relaxing and stress-free the way Mother's Day should be. The girls love a 'day', any event when they can wish someone a happy whatever-day, they're in heaven. Everyone they met got a rousing "HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!"

This morning we had Mother's Day breakfast at Lil-lil's school, which wasn't quite as relaxing. After the two youngest tag teamed in waking me up all.night.long, we had to be at school by 7.30am. Even without eating breakfast, getting lunches made, kids dressed and out the door was a mission. Seated in the hall, juggling a baby and getting food for us all amidst kids running everywhere, was not the way I normally spend a Monday morning. Before I knew it, I was being dragged up to do the Chicken Dance. You know, as you do on a Monday morning before 9am.

Mums were muttering everywhere all you could hear where snippets of "chicken dancing", "cold", "not even 9am".

As I stood on that cold stage, arms flapping and looking down at Lil-lil's face beaming, it hit me, this is what being a mum really means – doing things that you would do for absolutely no-one else on the face of the planet.

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Mother's Day

I feel pretty darned blessed this Mother's Day weekend. I have three healthy, happy kids. The best gift a mum could have.

Just 8 months ago, I was laid up in hospital, unwell. My bub scrawny, in intensive care on a ventilator. Now he's got the rosiest of cheeks and strangers comment: "he's so full of health!" (code for "he's a hefty lump") unaware of his start to life. In another time or place things could have been so different.

Lil is happy with life. She loves school, she loves her friends, she just loves life. She's sweet and gentle. She tells me: "I just love my family so much".

Goose is cheeky, feisty and sweet all in one. She's fearless and funny. She has a temper and calls me mean often. When I say "yeah, I know I'm the meanest mum", she stops and through her anger will say "no, you're the best mum".

I love them all so much. It's a privilege to be their mum. Watch them grow. Watch them become little people. Help mould them, let them mould me.

I'm also lucky enough to have a wonderful mum in my life. A mum who supports and loves me unconditionally. Who loves my kids. Who loves my family. Who is there at the drop of a hat.

I also have a mother-in-law who is kind and supportive. Has never said even a hint of an unkind word to me. Who supports our family unconditionally. Who adores our kids.

So, yes, this Mother's Day, I'm feeling blessed.

Happy Mother's Day to you.

Friday, 11 May 2012

The world's worst housewife

Picnicking instead of cleaning. At least the crumbs stay at the park.

Every day this week I've looked around my house. I've sighed. I've thought: "I really need to tidy this place up."

I tidy up and it stays that way for about 4.5 seconds.

I look around and sigh. I really should tidy this place up.

And then lunch with friends pops up and the house work goes to the back of the line.

Then the sun comes out and we decide to go for a picnic. The house work goes to the back of the line.

Then we go for another picnic. The house work goes to the back of the line.

Then Goose asks me to read her a story. The house work goes to the back of the line.

It's now Friday afternoon. There's clean washing piled high in the basket, desperate to be put away. But the cupboards are full. The baby's asleep and I don't want to wake him. I'm lazy.
The place is dusty, there are crumbs on the floor. Clean dishes drying on the rack, desperate to be put away. But there are bills to pay. Blog posts to write. Phone calls to make. I'm lazy.

Why tidy up when it's going to be turned on its head 30 seconds after I've finished? Five of us living in four small rooms equals constant chaos.

I just looked around and sighed. "Look at this place!" Goose said: "It's a pigsty."

It causes me constant stress and grief. I'm truly the world's worst housewife.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Winds of change

I've been thinking a lot this week about parenting. Since becoming a parent, it's all been about providing a stable environment for the kids. A safe, comfortable (albeit squashy) home. Good people around to be friends and protectors and inspiration. A good school. Somewhere to play that's safe and fun. Reliability. Security. Stability. 

Then I read posts like this from the always wonderful Eden, who is throwing in the house and instead is going to live overseas with her kids for part of every year. Swapping work and life stress for adventure. Spending more time together. Seeing the world together. Living life.
And I start thinking, which is better for me? 

Creating a life for the kids where they walk through the same door every afternoon to the same meal. Growing up with the security of the same friends and family around them. This is a wonderful and secure life to lead. A base for a great life.

Then I think, but is it living? Are we forsaking today (and ourselves) to provide a 'safe' tomorrow? Wouldn't being adventurous and taking risks be just as educational and enriching? Does it have to be the same roof over our family's head? Does it matter if there are lots of different ones, as long as there is one each night. 

It doesn't necessarily mean moving physically, but perhaps moving careers. Or moving directions. These will all have similar impacts. 

When we moved into our house, a lot of people asked why we didn't live in the area where we grew up? Where a lot of our family and friends still live. I didn't want to live in that area as I wanted to feel I had grown, had moved, was breaking the cycle. That I was doing something different. I didn't want my kids to go the same school I was went to. I wanted movement, growth, however small and seemingly insignificant. Growth and stability in one. Creating my family's life – secure and settled.

Secure and settled. Secure and settled. It's been my mantra.

It feels like the universe is pushing for change though. Everyone I meet or speak to are embarking or about to embark on big change. Shaking things up. Taking sudden veers in the course of their lives. Unexpected opportunities. 

It makes me wonder if I'm going to be just an observer to all this change or be swept up in it too. With all this pondering, I'll be ready for an answer 

Monday, 7 May 2012


Today I'm tired. There is just a drizzle of petrol in the tank. The weekend was busy and there was very little sleep to be had.

The three kids and I walked in the school gate this morning and Lil-lil ran up to her best mate and her dad. Goose told them that they looked sad.

The dad replied: "Nah, not sad, just tired."

Goose replied: "My mum and dad are tired too."

He nodded and said: "Mums and dads are always tired. That's just how it is. Little people wake them up all night and then they make lots of noise and cry during the day. Mums and dads are constantly tired."

Goose said: "Yeah, we like to wake them up and get in their bed in the night!"

He said: "Mmmmm yeah and sometimes mums and dads get so tired they just want to sell their kids to the gypsies so then they can sleep, sleep, sleep."

Goose looked shocked and then laughed: "You're just tricking!"

"Yeah, I'm just tricking. We'd never sell you. We'd happily give you away for free."

It's good to see Skip and I aren't the only tired parents in Sydney today.

What about you? Are you a parent who's always tired?

Friday, 4 May 2012

Friday fun - glitch

Happy Friday! Is it just me or are the weeks of 2012 flying by at super sonic speed?

Here are the winners of the War Horse DVDs:

Judith M
Amber B

I have had issues with the prize I had scheduled to giveaway today, so instead of offering something crappy, I'm going to miss a week. Sorry guys, but tune in next Friday fo sure.

Have fab weekend, whatever you're up.

Thursday, 3 May 2012


I love the chaos of a family. Even if it drives me mad and I constantly crave peace, quiet, solitude, space. There is truly nothing better than all five of us laughing, teasing, living - together.

The one thing that makes me a little sad is the little one-on-one quality time I get with the kids and Skip. When it does happen it makes me even sadder that it doesn't happen as often it should.

Last Saturday night, Skip and I went out for a meal and it was so nice to be with each other. Laugh, enjoy the moment and not be distracted by little mites. Remind ourselves why we got together and created this chaos in the first place, it's easy to forget sometimes. 

This morning, I took Lil-lil to school on my own. A leisurely walk there, discussing all important issues of the day. No "Quick! Over here! Don't touch that!" Or dragging little ones around. I played number games with Lil in her class. She smiled brightly and soaked up the attention.

After Mr Dooby went for a nap, Goose and I sat on the lounge, cuddled watched the sun through the window. Chatted. Just sat with each other as she so often wants to do, but there's always a nappy to change, a mouth to feed, a load to put on or take off. 

I love those moments when I just get to smile with D. Make him laugh. He's so easygoing that often he's dragged over the countryside without a peep. He doesn't get the intense attention a first-born gets, when you could spend all day just staring at them. Those moments, just him and me are precious. 

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

The pink dog

For a while now, my girls have been asking for a dog. "Oh we'll look after it, it will be so good."

When I ask what type of dog they want, Goose always says: "A pink one!"

When I tell them there's no such thing as a pink dog they're bitterly disappointed. "But we LOVE pink!"

"I promise you there's no such thing as a pink dog," I tell them.

Goose likes to make mischief. She's not always good at it and obviously sneaks things behind her back and gets so cross when I ask her what's she's hiding. "How do you know everything?" she squawks at me. "I'm your mum, it's my job," I tell her.

Yesterday, as we picked up Lil from school, I was just pulling up to the traffic lights when she yells out: "Oh my goodness, I can't believe it! It's a pink dog!"

Lo and behold, there was a pink dog:

Goose was beside herself. "See! I knew it! There is a pink dog. I told you there was. You don't know everything. You and Dad don't know everything," poured at of her mouth.

I don't think they'll ever believe a word I say again.

(And really, who dyes their dog?!)

Have you ever been caught out like that?

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Stepping back to step forward

Hi, you may (or may not) have noticed I took a little break for a few days. Sometimes this blogging caper and online life can be a little overwhelming and you need to take a step back and think: "What am I doing here?!" But I'm back, baby, I'm back.

So we returned from Byron Bay. There is so much about Byron Bay I shouldn't like. So much that I don't want to like. The try-hards, the backpackers, that a small town can be so crowded all year round. The truth is, I love it. There is a certain magic about that place (and the area around it). Every time I go there, I feel at peace, calm, I can't-explain-what.

The first time I went there, and actually stayed longer than a few hours, was when I was 18. I'd just finished school and a friend I'd known most of my life was headed there with some school friends. My own school friends weren't doing anything too appealing so I tagged along. Twelve hours on the train. The first time away from home with zero responsibilities, full freedom and independence. It was intoxicating. Byron Bay 17 years ago was a little more innocent. Hippies, their dogs and their drums filled the parks. There weren't any chain stores. Patchouli and pot filled the air. The beach sparkled like diamonds under the headland as the lighthouse beamed out.

My friends and I had the most fun. It was completely innocent, but fun. The most reckless thing I did was drink too much kahula and milk and get my nose pierced (though not at the same time). We laughed and felt free, not having to be home at a certain time. No one watching over your shoulder. Just doing what we wanted, when we wanted. I felt really alive.

That trip changed me. I felt different afterwards. I went back to Byron every December for a few years after, dragging along whoever I could to get them drunk on the Byron love.

I stopped going and occasionally would stop off for a day or a night every year or so. Seeing the place change. Seeing the hippies slowly go (or start up a chain store). Slowly the place got less innocent and more jaded, just like I was.

Skip and I have stayed around Byron on holidays for the past few years and just love the area. The beaches, the hills, the light. It's special.

Arriving on that Saturday, a week and a bit ago, and standing on the beach. The surf licking my toes, the golden light making everything glow as it set. I felt a sense of calm and peace.

It's been a tiring start to the year. Ridiculous sleep deprivation. Getting used to the busy life as a mum of three. School, preschool, baby life. I've struggled to adjust. Things just haven't felt right. I haven't been right. I've felt like I've been dog-paddling to nowhere. I've felt tired and, truthfully, I've felt a little crazy and even a little paranoid.

This last minute trip was needed to break the cycle. Change directions. Take a breath.

I kept thinking of my 18-year-old self walking through the same streets and then I'd glimpse myself in the mirror and not recognise the person looking back. It's a weird feeling, not recognising yourself. I looked old, worn out and tired. Empty. Blank. The spark was gone (or maybe just missing).

I want that spark back. I want to look after myself better. Eat better. Exercise more. Dress better. Take time for myself. Read. Listen to music. Dance. Laugh. Be inspired. Be a better person all round. For me. For Skip. For the kids. Because I think we all need a better version of me. I think the kids and Skip deserve a better version of me. After all, the only thing I can really change is me. I write all this here so I remember it and be accountable for it.

I think Byron has changed me once again, or at least is the turning point.

Maybe one day I'll live there, in the hills or on the beach, and drink up that magic potion every day.

For now, it's the first step forward to finding that spark.

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