28 December 2013

See you later, or not at all

 

I have a love/hate relationshp with  my blog. I crave to write, yet when I sit down, the words do not come. I want to record our little slice of life to look back on, yet the words and photos I take just do not capture what I envision. I want to blog to connect but I do not know who reads my drivel.
 
To close up, or take a break? I'm sad that I'm not writing about all that we do but I just have a block, I cannot seem to get it out and down in words.
 
I'm indecisive.

16 December 2013

My baby boy


My little guy. He is the sweetest, funniest boy in the world. Cheeky smile and a whole heartd belly laugh along with a wicked sense of humour. He keeps us smiling and laughing! Just look at hime - sweet, right?!
 
He also worries us. He's tiny, I know I have written about this before. At 4.5 years old, he has two pairs of size 0 shorts that fit. He only just fits a few size 3 pairs of shorts. He has been sick on and off forever (since he was 11 weeks old to be exact). Recently he has been much healthier and has recovered much faster when he has been sick.
 
A couple of weeks ago we met with the deputy and principal of M's school, to "fight" for permission to delay O's entry in to Prep. We won and I hate to even say that we had to fight. O is in the right age bracket to start next year (he turns 5 by June 30th next year) but he is just not ready. We need to give him every chance to be as big and as strong as his classmates. His coping skills and his non-ability to cope with change need so much time and practice. I am so, so relieved that we are able to delay his first year of school until 2015. Logistically and cost wise, yes it would be easier to send him to school. But this journey of school is a long one and it is not only about where you start this journey. He may not have a growth spurt until he is 16 or even older, and he needs to be given the chance to build his coping skills too.
 
On Thursday he had his day care Christmas concert. Each year at day care, both my kids have cried and cried. This year was no different, except I joined in too. Why is it so hard for my boy? He was the only one in the whole class to sob the entire way through ten songs and Santa visiting.
 
I love him so. I hope he is OK. Parenting is so, so hard.

13 December 2013

Life events


I've realised (with a little help) that the last few years have involved some pretty large, stressful events. I thought that I was pretty OK with all this but maybe I've just been brushing my reactions aside. I don't talk about the big stuff much on here but if you read those lists of "most stressful life events", there are a few on there. Losing a job and not being paid for a few months of that job, subsequent unemployment, disappointing limbo land of new jobs, divorce (not mine!), illness and extended family members passing away.

In amongst that, I feel like I have "lost" a very dear friend, someone I used to share so much with. That person has a great deal going on in their life and to add my worries to their pile just feels very wrong. My worries affect them and I just don't feel comfortable leaning on them at all, for any support. At times, when I desperately want to reach out, I don't - because it feels wrong and that closeness has dissipated.

What do you do when you lose a dear, dear friendship? How do you move forward? There are days when it really hurts to think that I won't have that kind of relationship with this dear person again.

4 December 2013

Treasured, local, handmade

When I first heard "school stall" I had visions of homemade jams, and plants potted in recycled tins. Not so at our school, it's mainly imported cheap plastic bits. Times have changed and I'll be honest, if I had to contribute to the stall I would be stuck for ideas and time, so I do get it. However I'm not a fan of the imported plastic bits for several reasons.
 

My girl
 
When I received the note home, telling us that M would visit the school Christmas stall this week, I decided to offer her a deal.
 
$5 for the Christmas stall. Or $10 to spend on anything she wants at The Village Markets. She has had her eye on a handmade owl softie at these markets for a litttle while now, and her eyes lit up when I asked her what she had loved there. I talked to her about buying something lovingly made by hand and how our purchase will help that person's Christmas. When I asked, she couldn't remember what she had bought at the Fathers Day stall, so we then talked about buying gifts that we will treasure with our hearts. I also said I will still give the school $5 and then tried to explain they got to keep that whole $5... That was a bit difficult (profit margins, little bit hard to explain to a seven year old!).
 
She understood the concept of buying handmade and locally and she loved the idea of helping someone with their own Christmas. So I think it was a win/win situation and she handled her class going to the stall without her quite gracefully. My lovely girl.

1 December 2013

Corporate what?

I started a new job recently (yes, another one!). It's quite a corporate environment and I feel a little out of my depth in some ways. I'm not a slick suited girl and I never have been. I don't do my nails, I don't get treatments in my hair, I didn't know you could get eyelash extensions and I don't really care all that much about makeup. I don't wear heels unless I am going to a function, and I can count a total of three times in the last year that I have worn them.

I also despise spending money on work clothes. Last year I loved having several uniform shirts. getting dressed was easy. But this new job? The girls are extremely well dressed and maintained. To be honest, I feel like a dry old shell of a woman. I'd like to get  bit more organisd and polished with clothes but I can't change the facts - I won't be wearing heels, I won't be getting false nails or eyelash extensions. I'm not out to impress the boss with anything but the work I do.

And speaking of the work I do... the work is interesting, at times challenging and I am learning a new skill set. It challenges my ethics.

A few books for Christmas


Holly the Christmas Fairy
My kids have been going to the same day care centre for years. Every Christmas Santa comes to visit and every year we've had at least one hysterically frightened child. This year will be no different... but usually they cheer up when Santa has handed out the presents. The centre asks us to supply a wrapped booked for our child, which Santa will then give them. Here are my picks this year.

Fireman Sam Christmas Story Library: The Runaway Santa
Peppa Pig: Peppa's Christmas
I'm not so much into Christmas and I'm trying not to be to bah humbug and ruin it for my kids!

16 November 2013

The Pass

Our cousins came to visit recently - Itay's sister also lives here in Australia, but as they live in Melbourne, we see them about once a year. This year, they came to stay with us and we headed to The Pass. Itay and I were actually married on this beach in Byron, exactly 13 years and one week ago! I think the views speak for themselves. Stunning.






Isn't that view simply gorgeous? It was equally as lovely watching the cousins love each other, bicker and hold hands.

15 November 2013

My little people... photos

We celebrated a little friend's birthday recently, a Sunday afternoon BBQ in a park on a hill. Remember I wrote about the Sunday pickup? Add in a long afternoon in the park and it gets a bit crazy, but it was so lovley to break from the normal end of weekend crap.


She's just so pretty.


He is so sweet and ridiculously delicious.

12 November 2013

Weekend adventures

Recently, we took an impromptu drive in our new car. We came across some of these:


Llamas or alpacas? I think they're alpacas.


 

Some views like these...

 
And then this big gate, newly welded shut. No more exploring for us.

 
We ended up here, at the Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk. 300 metres of bridge, 30 metres up in the air. I stepped on and began to sweat and my stomach heaved. Pasting on a smily, happy, isn't-this-so-fun face, I clenched the railing and painstakingly walked behind my family. Even my feet were sweating. The platform that you walk along is mesh, so you can see straight down, and you can get your thongs (flip flops) caught in it. I was hating every second.


Family were loving it.  


The skywalk itself was quite short (even with a very intense dislike of open steps/mesh and hating every step) and then the rest of the walk was pretty bland. I'll be very honest, it was a complete rip off. I do realise we are very blessed to live somewhere that we can experience scenes far prettier than that in the photo above for free, and less than an hour from home. The cost left me with a very sour taste. Anyway, the kids thought it was fun and that's what counts. And I don't think they suspected that I was white knuckled and grinding my teeth while walking across the bridges!

8 November 2013

Icecream with sprinkles



Some days, when several crappy experiences pile up, it's best to get to the beach. Give your kids an ice cream. Walk. Be brave. Parenting through really tough personal situations is so hard, but so necessary. At these times, when all you want to do is sob in the shower, you need to get out and add sprinkles.

29 October 2013

What's for dinner?

I used to write down our weekly planned menus as a record for myself, and even now I'm a slackety slack blogger, I still look back on our weekly menus for inspiration. So I'm going to try to start recording these meal plans again. I'm no food photographer and there just isn't time in our evenings to fluff around with taking photos of dinner in beautiful light with pretty props. For me, it's enough to know that we sit together around the dinner table each night to enjoy our food and each other. It's not all fun, there's a whole lot of "just try it please" and arguements about eating the protein and vegetables - not just the carbs. O could live on carbs. Anyhow, here's a few from weeks past.

Chicken schnitzel w/ rice & vegies
Thai fish cakes w/ corn & salad
Steak & salad
Beef kebabs w/ rice & vegies
Pad Thai
Tacos
Prawns & salad

Prawns & salad
Paprika chicken
Lasagne w/ salad
Homemade pizza
Meatballs w/ pasta
Beef fajitas
Panko crumbed fish & chips

Rice paper rolls w/ wontons
Beef stirfry
Chicken burgers
Salmon, snow pea w/ soba noodle salad
Steak, sausages, corn w/ salad
Caesar salad
Panko fish & chips

28 October 2013

Celebrating seven

Catching up! M's birthday morning.

I love that O is even more excited than M here!


The Furby. That thing is annoying. No off button. Talks all the time and when it turned evil, it made M cry. She doesn't play with it now as even she is annoyed by it.


We were both lucky enough to have the Friday off for M's birthday, so we headed to the beach for a BBQ and a swim.

And then... the party.



The party. I tried to do minimal junk food, actually minimal food in general as it was an afternoon party. We served sausage rolls, fruit, marshmallows, fairy bread and those pastels lollies in the jar above. Other than the kids asking "is it time yet?" every second minute, the 2 pm party was good timing.


No one ate the fruit.


My cake. No cake disasters this time. Who am I kidding? The first two cakes stuck to the pan and  I had to start again. I learned some lessons with this cake. Inside it was ombre pink, four layers. In the end, less than one layer was eaten. So much work and so much waste! Next year, even more simple.

The whole party was actually very easy. At this age, the parents can just drop and run, so we had nine squealing girls and one excited little brother. The girls danced, made bead necklaces, decorated biscuits, made a mess in M's room, opened the presents and cut the cake. Really, that was about it - but they seemed to have a great time. Itay and I were even able to sit down during the party and relax for a few minutes. This has never happened during other parties! I made a decision to really limit the guest list, telling M that she could invite seven kids (her age). This was blown out a little when I realised just one girl in her class was not invited. Some could not make it, as it was over the school holidays and on a long weekend here in QLD, but the nine girls were great together. I also didn't invite our friends and their kids. That felt a bit weird, but it made the party super easy.


So now she is seven.

27 October 2013

The Sunday Pickup

Sunday afternoons at our house are really annoying. Completing prep for meals that we haven't had time for earlier in the weekend. Ironing uniforms and work clothes for three people. Sunday night dinner. About three or four loads of washing in from the line, folding and putting clothes away. Changing sheets. Lunch prep for the next day for three people. Packing school and kindy bags. And then the Sunday Pickup. I hate the damn Sunday Pickup. Over our two whole days at home we (I mainly mean the kids!) generate a huge amount of crap. Piled up, all over, from everywhere. So it then needs to go back. Or in the bin. Or in another pile. Agggh.




Sunday afternoons ae a little bit stressful at our house. We have to work out a plan to ease the busy-ness. What do Sunday afternoons look like at your house?

5 October 2013

She is seven

She is seven. The baby girl who made me a mother has reached the 7th celebration of her birth.

 
(stuffing her party bags)

She is fiesty, bossy, a leader, emotional, creative, curious, smart, challenging and beautiful. She is a perfectionist and her confidence is easily undermined. She has a "boyfriend".


(wearing one of her birthday presents)
 
She follows me everywhere, she asks one million and fifty seven questions in a day. She is very, very aware of her body, in the sense that she will vocalise the slightest discomfort, scratch or bump. She gets flustered easily and wants things doe in a certain way - or it's just not happening.


She cries easily. She is effusive in her affection. She is seven.

25 September 2013

Swell


What a lovely pair of ... pears!

Every year, Currumbin Beach hosts Swell, a beautful scupture exhibition. It's a stunning location and each year I've checked the sculptures out, there have been a few I have just loved. This year it was just me and the kids, Itay was up the coast picking up our new car. he's not into the scultpures so much anyway.

O loved this one in the photo above, spotting it from the car as we were looking for a parking spot. (The parking! What a drama!) We sat next to the artist and she told us that some kids see boobs, some see pears. O saw pears, in case you were wondering!


Isn't this mermaid just gorgeous?


Pigs might just fly.


This was one of my favourites. I also took on a few pictures and posted on Instagram and funnily, when I had a look at the #swellscupture hashtag, these chairs were facing the beach in most other photos!

 
O wasn't really into the scuptures, once we started walking along the beach and paths. This is what he did for most of the afternoon... drove his little fire trucks in the sand.
 
 


They both loved this fabric bike and dog (not pictured!).


Their absolute favourite? the mobile woodfired pizza ovens. That's our pizza in there.


They loved this pizza!


This was O's favourite scultpture, a pile of concrete rubble with this little scene on one of the rocks. M just loved the scuptures and wanted a photo with every single one. Next year I'll just take the girl!