Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Striking out

There's a teachers' strike in NSW today, which meant I have the sweet Lil-lil home with me today. She's extremely excited at having a day off school, she literally yelled it out when we dropped Goosey off to preschool.

When I asked her what she'd like to do, the decision was easy – lunch at the Japanese restaurant up the road.

As we walked up, we pondered all of life's mysteries that had been bothering her, including why the she had a day off. I explained that the teachers had a disagreement with the government about how the schools were run. She decided that the government was being mean. I explained that people had differing opinions and that it was important to voice your opinion and talk and come up with solutions. My explanations must have bored her because she popped out with : 'Some times I think my toys come to life.' Obviously time to change the subject or perhaps she was suggesting something?

We walked up our main drag and saw lots of friends from school. We sat and chatted and laughed.
It's rare to get time with the big girl, doing stuff, just us (oh and D in the stroller). So, thanks NSW Teachers Union and thanks Barry O'Farrell.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012


I've got two left feet at the moment. Do you go through stages where you trip, drop things, run into things more often than normal? At the moment I'm completely unco and not with it.

Yesterday I lost the car keys. Turned the house upside down looking for them. Was running 20 minutes late for school so I just grabbed the spare set and left the back door unlocked. After dropping the kids off I tucked my cold hands deep into my pockets - lo and behold they were there the whole time!

Then you have that thing when you try to get around someone and they go the same way and you end up having a little dance. You get three types of reactions when this happens: the embarrassed person who doesn't want to acknowledge it; the busy angry person who's in a rush; and the person who laughs at the ridiculous tango you're doing.

Then there's the even more embarrassing tango. When you go Iin for a friendly peck on the check and you both go the same way. Then you move and end up planting one right on the lips.

This morning I put Goosey's shoes on the wrong feet. Then I put D in the wrong car seat. I cut my own toast into quarters. I put dirty clothes in the bin and a dirty nappy in the washing basket.

I'm tripping, I'm stuttering, I'm a walking accident!

It's just not working for me!

Tell me I'm not alone and you go through phases like this too?

Monday, 25 June 2012

Jumping in the deep end

I'm not one for safe and secure. I don't want to plod along and watch time pass. Time passes by too quickly and since I've had kids it's on turbo charge. Weeks and months have sped past like seconds.

There are so many variables in life. While you can plot and plan life has a way of changing your perfectly planned course.

Life is scary. Terrifying. To really get the most of out of it, to really live, some times you've just got to close your eyes, take a breath and jump in the deep end. More than likely you'll bob back up to the surface with a smile.

As I tell my kids, don't worry if you make a few mistakes, just try again. You'll get there in the end and it will be worth it.

Do you like jumping in the deep end?

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Chilling out

It's a very chilly Sunday morning in old Sydney town today, but I don't mind. It's nice to be able to curl up on the lounge and soak up the heater.

It's almost July, which is just crazy because it was Christmas just five minutes ago. As the year is flying by so quickly, I'm naming July appreciation month. I'm not one to really like winter, it's just those dark months in the middle of the year that always seem to take me by surprise. From right now, I'm going to enjoy the chilly weather.

I'm going to soak up cuddles with babies in fleecy all-in-ones.
I'm going to have chats and giggles with my girls over hot chocolates and babycinos at our local  cafes. I'm going to leave for school earlier and enjoy a leisurely walk in the winter sun and stop and chat to neighbours.
I'm going to catch up with my friends. Have a drink and a laugh in a local pub.
Cook something warm and slow more often.
I'm going to enjoy every minute of my birthday instead of not wanting to make a fuss.
I'm going to eat a bacon and egg roll where the yolk drips down my chin.
I'm going to curl up with the kids and watch a movie and eat popcorn.
I'm going to the movies with Skip. Which is something we NEVER do.
I'm going to make more effort and see friends instead of putting it in the 'too-hard' basket.
I'm going to enjoy lazy mornings during the school holidays.
I'm going to enjoy a leisurely Sunday lunch.
I'm going to make a big pot of soup.
I'm going to visit a country town and breath in fresh cold air until my lungs sting.
I'm going to appreciate this life I've got here with my friends and family.

What do you love doing in winter?

Friday, 22 June 2012

Trip the light fantastic

It's good being me. I have a bunch of lovely friends, who are not just nice people but ridiculously talented too. Actually I'm now starting to wonder why they are my friends, they're really starting to show me up with all their talent and success! That's OK, I'm happy to ride their coat tails.

One of my closest and oldest friends (and also Goosey's godmother) is a wonderful artist. It's not just me that thinks so either, she's been a finalist in the Brett Whitely Art Prize a couple of times, she's had many galleries show and sell her work. She has a wonderful way with colour (I can hear her laughing at me now, because I have very little knowledge about art).

Michele Morcos is having a solo exhibition that opens this weekend. I urge you to go and visit and check it out. If you see Michele there, go and say hello, she likes a natter. Tell her I sent you. She probably won't give you anything, but she might buy me a coffee.

Trip the light fantastic
Breathing Colours
446 Darling St

Until July 7. Opening 4pm, June 23. or visit Michele's blog

Wednesday, 20 June 2012


One of the things I love most about blogging is keeping a journal or scrapbook, if you like, of my kids' childhoods. I'm not the kind of person who would keep an actual scrapbook, but online I can do.

My kids come out with some beauties some times and I love sharing them here.

Here are a few recent ones.

Me: Are you sure, Lil?
Lil: Yep, 100 centimetres, Mum.

Goosey was sobbing her eyes out and I sat down next her. "What's wrong, little one?"
Goosey: "It's just Lil gets to spend much more time with Jesus, than I do."

Goosey: "Mum, one day you and dad and Grandma and Nanny will all die. But not Uncle Luke, he'll never die."

Lil: "You don't remember because it was a really long, long, long time ago. I was only 4." [She's five now'].

Goosey: "I don't like tuna. I only like fish."

Goosey: "What are those dents in your head?"
Me: "Wrinkles."
Goosey: "It's not fair. I want dents in my head too."

Our local wetlands when the girls tell me the 'dragons' live. 

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

My parenting philosophy

Recently I've heard a lot about 'philosophies', more specifically parenting philosophies. I've heard some fascinating ones, some whacky ones and some just plan weird. I'm not going to bash anyone's philosophy, I admire parents who put so much thought and study into how they parent their kids.

Forget free-range, attachment, authoritarian, whatever, my own personal parenting philosophy at the moment is called "survival". Having three young kids who all have their needs is full-on. There's little sleep, a lot of hair pulling and many deep breaths. My house is filthy and messy, the floors are sticky. There are piles of clean and dirty washing. My kids don't eat as healthy as I'd like and some times watch too much TV. I'm often nagging. The baby can be found sucking on a dirty sneaker. There are plenty of things I'd like to change and do differently, but often it's just about getting through the day as best you can.

If we get through the day without any major injuries; the kids are clothed, fed and vaguely washed; if I haven't had to yell too much; we laugh a little; have a hug; we get a few hours sleeps, well that's winning. Believe me, there are days when all this doesn't happen, a lot of days.

There are days when this does happen and then Lil-lil tells me about how she stood up for a friend who'd been picked on at school or Goosey tells me about how she shared her special toy with someone at preschool or I hear them tell their little brother how much they love him. That's a super-winning day. Because despite all my many flaws as a mother, we (Skip and I) must be doing something right to have three such lovely kids.

Each day I try to remember that this will all one day just be a chaotic memory. They will be able to do more for themselves, want me to do less for them, would be horrified at the thought of curling up next to me to sleep. So in the middle of the night when I've rocked D back to sleep for the millionth time and I see him sleeping peacefully, I try and push the frustration aside and soak in a little of his baby goodness. When Lil-lil has left a pile of paperscraps, playdough and textas making a creation, I try and focus on her creation and not the mess she's made. When Goosey, stands there hand on hip, defiant, pushing me to the edge, I'll hope that she keeps just a little of her feistiness as she gets older, because it will take her far.

Do you have a philosophy? One that works?

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Cousins and chocolate crackles

This weekend we had my niece's 7th birthday party. She's visiting from Vietnam so we hosted the do at our place.

Gorgeous Mi decided that she wanted to sleepover with her cousins the night before her big bash and Lil and Goose were thrilled at the prospect of a night guest.

We braved the rainy Saturday night and took her to our local Vietnamese restaurant as she's not that keen on western food. We attempted to order her favourite dish but when something completely different arrived from the kitchen she rolled her 7 year old eyes, grabbed the waitresses elbow and started a conversation in Vietnanese. Soon after she was slurping up her favourite noodles and teaching her cousins how to cut noodles with spoon.

We took our full bellies home, the kids asked the important questions: "Do you have pillow pets in Vietnam?" and tucked up on the lounge to watch a movie.

It was so gorgeous to see these girls so happy in each other's company. Growing up in different worlds but still cousins. Sharing little bits about their lives, holding hands, bonding over nail polish, giggling at silly songs.

They woke up this morning excited about the party. Helped me make a cake and decorate the house.

The had a ball running around, eating cake, dancing, playing games.

Tomorrow Lil has to get up in class and talk about what makes her happy. I'm fairly sure it will be something about her cousin.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Week in rewind

This week has been a frightfully busy week. Hardly a moment to stop and take a breath. Or stop and blog.

* Last Sunday we were invited to our neighbours place for a hangi (an islander custom, where a whole pig, lamb, vegies are cooked on hot coals underground). The rain teamed down and we all huddled in their little terrace, chatting and gossiping with people from the street. The kids ran around and had a ball. The neighbours all gossiped about our reno plans. 

* We were planning to take the kids to Dubbo for the long weekend and visit the zoo. We didn't manage to pull this off so we went to Taronga Zoo instead.

*On Tuesday, my brother and his kids arrived from Vietnam. The cousins were all reunited for the first time in two years. It was the first time that D had met all his cousins.

* Wednesday night, Skip and I went to the State of Origin. It was my first time to a State of Origin and I must have brought the Blues good luck as they crushed Queensland much to Skip's distress.

*Thursday and Friday flew by in the normal routine and we awoke to an amazing red sunrise this morning just in time for the rain to start, AGAIN! 

Fill all the gaps between the nice stuff with architect meetings, appointments and other errands and the week was over.

This weekend is busy too. Preschool working bee this morning. Having my Vietnamese niece come and stay with us tonight. And then the big one - my niece's birthday party tomorrow which we are hosting. So we'll be making a cake, stuffing lolly bags, making fairy bread, blowing balloons and getting the house ready to be filled with people. It's not often that all my brothers, my parents and all the grandkids are under the same roof so it will be pretty spesh, not to mention fun. 

Stop! Hangi time.

All the cousins!

D's first trip to the zoo.
Sky safari fun at the zoo.

Go the Blues!
Saturday sunrise.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

I'm bringing sexy back

Like 99.9% of the population, I love music. Just a few notes can transport me back in time, it can bring up a long forgotten emotion or it can lift my mood.

Being a teen in the early '90s means I'm a rock chick with an indie slant. I do love the '60s too and The Beatles will always be my favourite band. Though as I've gotten older, I can pretty much listen to anything without the music snobbery I used to have. Essentially, though, I'm a rock girl. Dance, R&B, rap - they all have their place, just not in my iPod.

Despite this I do have a few skeletons in my musical cupboard. I'm going to just come out and say it. I love Justin Timberlake. As an actor? Not-so-much. As a musical genius? Why, yes, yes I do. It flies in the face of all my musical loves, but for some reason I love him. I even went to his concert a few years back, it was rad. When people I know in real life discover this, they are often perplexed. JT and I aren't a natural match. In fact, I recently said to Skip when we were watching Friends With Benefits, I mean The Social Network: "When is JT going to give up this acting caper and get back to making music?"

Skip and I spend often spend a Friday or a Saturday night listening to music. A few months back we would lose ourselves for hours watching cheesy music videos on Foxtel. More recently we discovered digital radio and we'd be listening to stations across the globe cheering when we found all-Beatle or all-AC/DC radio stations (Skip, not me). In the past few weeks Spotify has rocked our world. OMG! I'm obsessed with Spotify. (If you haven't discovered it yet, I urge you check it out). You can stream pretty much any music you can think of to your computer. AH-mazing.

The thing with Spotify is that it's linked to your Facebook account. So say you do enjoy listening to a little JT but you don't want the world to know about it, well what you listen to can come up on your feed. So while your friends are all listening to cool new music, JT can suddenly pop up and tarnish your image.

So, if you're a Facebook friend and you do see me listening to JT, don't judge. Maybe listen to a little yourself. You never know, you just might like it.

What musical skeletons are in your cupboard? What do you secretly love that would shock the people who know you? C'mon, share, we can't be uber cool all the time. Also, how do you stop Spotify showing what you're listening to?

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

The write stuff

Writing has always been my biggest outlet. Something I enjoyed. A way to vent. For me, it's like breathing, not something I consciously do but I need it to live.

For whatever reason I'm not feeling it right now. Every time I sit down to write, it's not there. Probably in part because I don't know whether I'm Arthur or Martha at the moment. I feel like I'm chasing my tail, lots of action but not actually getting anywhere.

The house is a wreck. I looked at the kids this morning and I feel like I'm really letting them down. They are not the happy little vegemites they should be. I glimpsed myself in the review mirror and saw a mess. The basics are missing – good food, adequate sleep, time to breath. Everything feels rushed.

So starting now, everything goes out the window. Fill the kids bellies with good food. Laugh with them. Attempt to get some sleep for us all. (The broken sleep is awful. The musical beds drives me crazy.)

Hopefully the writing will follow.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Baby, it's cold outside

A lazy Saturday morning. Nowhere to be, nowhere to rush to. PJs. Toast. Coffee. Kids playing quietly and happily. Basking in the glow of a good night out. A truly delicious dinner and a lot of laughs.

Three whole days lie out before us. It's brisk outside but the sun is shining and it's warm and cozy on my spot on the lounge.

A pretty bloody good place to be.

Have a good one. 

Friday, 8 June 2012

Ahhhh it's Friday

Say it with me! Ahhhhhhhhh

It's a long weekend in our neck of the woods. Thanks Lizzy for having a birthday (wasn't that back in April? Oh well, who cares?!)

We wanted to go away, but only thought about that on Monday, so a little late. Instead we're going to enjoy all Sydney has to offer. Tonight Skip and I are headed to our fave local restaurant. Can.not.wait.

Tomorrow we'll have coffee (multiple times) and catch up with friends.

Best of all, on Monday, my brother and his kids are arriving all the way from Vietnam. We haven't seen him and my nephew for a whole year. We haven't seen my niece for two years! Lil-lil is especially excited as it's her only girl cousin and her 'bestest friend'. I'm really looking forward to catching up with them and can't wait to see the kids together. It's also the first time any of them have met baby D. Exciting times. Being a staunch republican it's nice that my brother arrives on the Queen's (fake) birthday.

I hope you all have a great weekend, long or otherwise. Have a toast to Liz and enjoy what every frivolities come your way.

The winners from last week's In The Night Garden giveaway are:
Heavenly Ingredients

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Totally heart melting

There are some days (read most days) where being a mum feels like a thankless job. I feel blessed that most of the time my kids are pretty affectionate and there are more "I love you, mum" than "You're a mean mum!" Although I'm sure that will swing the other way at some stage.

This morning as I was racing around, making lunches, changing nappies and surviving the general chaos that is morning, I noticed Lil-lil clicking away on the laptop for a nano-second. I wasn't too concerned. She's been fairly sheltered from the whole computer biz, but now does computer at school so has a little tap now and again.

This morning after I returned home and opened up the laptop, I found this:

Seriously? My heart trickled out of my chest and into a puddle on the floor. 

I love these little gems in the day. 

When was the last time your heart was caught unawares? 

Tuesday, 5 June 2012


The sunrise this morning. The calm before the storm.

Anticipation. It's a weird thing. It can be exciting. Scary. Wonderful. Dreadful.

Some times, it feels like you live your whole life in anticipation. Of something. Anything.
Maybe life is actually just anticipation of the next thing.

There's a severe weather warning today for Sydney. As the meteorological guy on the radio said yesterday, it's one we'll remember weather wise for a while. Yet, for most of the morning it's been a glorious day, blue skies and sunshine. Despite this there's electricity in the air, anticipation. As I type, the clouds are rolling in and the wind is starting to bluster.

Lil-lil has her very first school excursion today and to say she's excited is an understatement. As we pulled up to the front of school and she saw the bus waiting she nearly jumped out of her skin. "We're not doing school work all day! It's going to be so fun!" She doesn't know what to expect, but this she knows it's another first in a year of big firsts. I think the excitement she felt this morning will be more thrilling than the day itself.

Then there's that type of anticipation that churns your stomach. You try and imagine what it's going to be like. Feel like. But you're clueless. It's like clunk, clunk, clunking up a roller-coaster and you hit that point where the ride is really about to start. Your stomach rises up. There's no way of jumping off. You don't know if it's going to be exhilarating. Boring. Wonderful. Scary. Dreadful. Disappointing. All you can do is close your eyes, clench your fists and go with it. The anticipation is so thick it envelopes you, almost lifts you up off your seat.

We've got a whole heap of balls up in the air at the moment. Who knows where they're going to land. If they're going to land. Are the going to create a dent or a crater or not be felt at all? I hate not knowing. I always want to flip to the last page and see what happens. Anticipation. It's a beautiful, torturous thing.

Friday, 1 June 2012

Friday Fun - In the Night Garden

Well, it's that time again - Friday, when I give away stuff to my fabulous readers.

The answers from last week's Herbal Essences giveaway impressed me but the two winners threw in a little extra. Dance steps! I'm so going to be singing AND dancing in the shower this weekend, it's something I've never attempted. So congrats to:

  • Jodie Williams
  • butterflytameR
Please send me your deets and I'll get your prizes out to you.

An honorable mention must go to MrsP23 who put "We Built This City" in my head for the rest of the week. No prize for doing that I'm afraid!


This week I got sent the brand-new In The Night Garden DVD What Lovely Music. The Goose is a little obsessed with ITNG at the moment, she says that it gives her lovely dreams. So when this little beauty arrived on our doorstep she was more than a little excited. 

Goose gave her day time nap long ago (on her 2nd birthday to be precise) but she still needs a little quiet time during the day. I've been putting this disc on the past two days and the Tombliboos, Iggle Piggle and Upsy Daisy have been entertaining her and keeping the whole house peaceful. There are five episodes too, so she hasn't gotten bored of it yet.

I find Derek Jacobi's narration really soothing too, although I do get flashbacks to watching old BBC Shakespeare videos at high school. 

This DVD is available on BBC DVD June 7.

I've got three ITNG DVD packs to giveaway. Each pack contains two DVDs: the new What Lovely Music and Out For A Walk.

To win, comment below and tell me what gives you lovely dreams. (G-rated please). It would also be great (but not necessary) if you could follow The Daze of My Life and like my Facebook page.

The best three comments, judged by me (or someone nominated by me), will win a pack. Entries close, 11.59pm Thursday June 7, 2012. Open to Aussie residents only (sorry). Please include your email address if it's not on your log-in.

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