Sporadic “Newsletter”: January 2015 edition.

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OK, so this isn’t really a newsletter, it’s more of a “newsletter” because it’s not really a proper one. I am far too lazy and unfocused to actually send them regularly. Hence, the fact that it is a sporadic “newsletter”. Basically, this series will just be some random stuff I’ve been doing/thinking about/reading/watching…or whatever. Gee, I’m really selling this. 

Now that we’ve recovered from Christmas and New Year (trust me – a dear friend referred to it as an ‘emotional hangover’ which described it perfectly), it’s been great diving into January with great excitement for all of the possibilities that 2015 might bring. I love that whole ‘fresh new year full of potential’ feeling.

So what have we been up to lately?

Losing actual sleep over toilet training. 

Yeah. I’m not proud. The night before last, I woke at 3am and started irrationally panicking about the Little Mister’s toilet training progress. I have no idea what possessed me as I lay in bed googling the shit out of the situation (or should I say ‘shit-uation’). Maybe the fact that he seemed to keep waking in the night (but not needing my help) because he’d held in his number 2s for a couple of days and was clearly not too comfortable. He has had a phobia of doing them on the toilet, you see. He’d get really anxious and freak out a bit, despite trying to please me. I was starting to worry about how backed up he might be getting and I didn’t want to pressure him and like scar him for life or anything.

So instead of learning that worrying in the middle of the night is not good for you, I came to the conclusion that an incentives chart was what he needed (revolutionary I know). So yesterday we gathered everything we needed. A hanging whiteboard, some dry erase markers and some cool little toy cars from K-mart that cost hardly anything, but would be FANTASTIC bribes to dangle in front of him. He has to get a certain number of ‘ticks’ on his chart to get a reward for various things, like doing wees without us having to ask him to go, wees when we ask him (he has to work harder for this because he’s already fairly good at it), and just one big tick for a poo on the toilet. When he gets all the ticks for a certain task, he gets a little car/truck/helicopter (one of whatever’s in the multi-packs I bought). As he progresses, I will up the ante – wearing jocks all day, standing up to wee, using the toilets at the shops (hey – I’d want a reward for that too) etc.

So on our way home from the shops with all these toilet training incentive supplies, he told me “I need to do wees.” He then held on until we got to our house 5 minutes later (I had offered that we could go to the shops if it was urgent). This never happens. Usually he has to be prompted or he wets his training pull ups because he doesn’t think to tell anyone ahead of time. Then we were home and right before his day sleep, he told me he needed to poo and blow me away with a feather, he did it. On the toilet. No accidents. No hiding anywhere, no crying, no fussing. Yes!

I have heard that sometimes the novelty wears off quite quickly, but I shall remain hopeful and try to keep things interesting and motivational (but still realistically achievable) for him. I don’t think he’d understood the concept fully before, so that’s probably why we didn’t introduce it earlier. The moral of the story? Insomnia pays off. Sigh. I am not nailing this whole ‘functioning as a grown person’ thing haha.

Planning our camping trip.

We’re really excited because we’re going camping soon. I’ve been excited about it since last year! I am looking forward to beach days, fish and chips from the front shop (the best ever) and watching the Little Mister run around. Mr Unprepared has done some stuff to make sure our camper van is ready for another year (it was made in the 80s – the type with the pull out ends) and I have been making some lists. Because I’m good at lists. It should be so much easier to pack this year, because we set so much of it up last time. Such a relief, because I HATE PACKING.

There’s been plenty of beach time at home too.  1743670_10152726859693218_2598099152522802652_n Yep. That’s my fam and that’s our local. A beauty, isn’t it? We’ve also been enjoying my parents’ pool (I recommend that everybody’s parents have a pool haha). The weather has finally started to heat up and while we’ve had some stinkers, it’s still worth it (and I know I only say that as a spoilt person with aircon in my house and parents with a pool). I love the summer.

I’ve been watching a lot of teevs.

Yep. I am loving the fact that now summer has come (and brought with it a lot of lame TV reruns and sports), I can finally start watching everything I’ve recorded on my DVR for the last year or so (I’m not kidding)! I’ve had a massive Parks and Recreation marathon (best time of my life) and now I’m obsessed with the MTV show Catfish. Like the episode where a dude sent a chick money and she bought an engagement ring and sent it to herself without him knowing (rendering them engaged for all intents and purposes) and it got all creepy, or the time a chick was a catfish but then came clean with the dude she was chatting with, but it turned out he was a (transgender) catfish too, but they fell in love anyway. Yeah, I know. Weird and wonderful stuff. If you don’t know what a catfish is, this doesn’t make much sense. Basically, it’s when you lure someone into an online relationship, by pretending you’re somebody else (usually a fictional person you’ve created by using stolen profile pictures and stuff). You’re welcome.

Hey, I’ve had to fill the hole in my life that has been left after I finished listening to the Serial podcast!

Catch up on Awesomely Unprepared here!

Here are some of the blog posts I’ve written lately (and some updates on those situations)…

Happiness starts with us. I’ve been reflecting on what happiness means. The whole toilet training insomnia thing shows me that I need to work on the ‘not stressing excessively’ part, but we’ll get there :)

Reading list. I listed the books I am keen to devour. I am making good progress with Mindy Kaling’s book because I’ve sacrificed some stupid time wasting I was doing before bed (playing a rather addictive word game on my phone). I am really enjoying it, thanks for asking ;)

My thoughts on spiders…and how to kill them. So I confessed to my ridiculous arachnophobia and how to kill a red back spider the Aussie way (hint: it involves footwear). Just last night, Mr Unprepared saw a huntsman spider jump out of nowhere. He emptied his lunchbox (for work the next day) and threw it at the spider, in the hopes of trapping it…but accidentally killed it in the process. It was equally horrifying and hilarious and terrifying. I mean, killing a spider with a lunchbox? Who does that? My husband does. The lunchbox was re-packed (well – a clean replacement one was) and I sat there for the rest of the night, wondering where the spider had come from and how many times I had walked past it. Also, THEY JUMP. Spiders should NOT be allowed to jump. Oh holy sh*t.

What have you been up to lately? Tell me everything! x

Happiness starts with us.

Happy was my 2014 word (although it turned out to be ‘brave’ by the end and that’s not so bad either). I’ve been doing some thinking about what happiness is and how to be it. Probably because my 2015 word is ‘peace’ and I think the two kind of go hand in hand. I then saw the documentary ‘Happy’ and now my brain is just full of inspiration… I’ve been thinking about the things that help to make me a happier person. Ways of thinking and being. I think it often comes down to the choices we make – how we choose to view our circumstances. How we keep things in perspective. Remember this? It’s so true.   3dfecb7a62a145b2f8f0ea0d861021ee

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This quote isn’t designed to make us feel bad about our good fortune in life, but it serves as a reminder that if someone else can be happy with far less than what we are blessed with, perhaps we can choose to be happy too. It can be easy to get caught up in the “I’m not going to be happy until I have…” mentality, always chasing the next thing we don’t have. Sometimes we need to remember the things we are so fortunate to have. Realising we can be happy right now. We don’t have to wait to be happy. It’s a state of mind. We can choose it. It’s not always an easy choice (it can be f*cking hard), but we can find little things that bring us a smile – even in the tough times.

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Oh boy, try telling someone who suffers anxiety about this! It is so much easier said than done, but it is something I strive for and use as a compass to muddle my way back from all out panic. Stress and worry is not going to change the outcome. It is just a strain on your mind and your body. What matters is the actions you choose to take to achieve a goal and how you deal with knowing you’ve done all you can, or the fact that some things won’t go to plan because REAL LIFE.

I think sometimes we equate stress with the importance of a situation. Like we worry that if we don’t worry (crazy huh), it means something isn’t important enough to us or it won’t get done. We could have been spending all that time and energy choosing to NOT FEEL LIKE SH*T and STILL arrive at the same place.

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Oh boy, this has never been more relevant. I feel like today’s world is all geared towards external validation. We forget to love and validate ourselves first. While it is lovely to receive positive comments, great website traffic, Facebook and Instagram ‘likes’, favourites on Twitter, recognition at work and compliments on our outfits, it isn’t going to make us truly happy inside unless we love ourselves already. Other peoples’ approval is just the icing on the cake. If we believe in something, if something makes us happy, then that’s good enough. So you share that beautiful photo – the one you took – that makes you feel like life is so worth living and no-one ‘like’s it on social media? It’s still a f*cking beautiful photo because you love it and it comes from your heart. If it makes your soul sing when you look at it, there is no reason to stop loving it. Don’t do everything for others’ reactions. Do those things for your own satisfaction.

In saying that, be sure to show those who make you feel happy that you appreciate them. Spread the love and it might just come back :)

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Being happy doesn’t mean that everything in your life is awesome or running smoothly. It’s a choice about how we react to the problems that arise. Yes, I realise I’ve taken a quote from a fictional pirate, but it’s still a good one, right?

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Sometimes it is easy to become discouraged because the big thing we wanted to achieve can feel impossible. We can give into the desire to give up or lose motivation. Sometimes, the little things are what really matter. If we can just do what we can with what we have at the time, it is better than nothing. It can pull us out of the hole. It can be OK to realise you’re just one person with only 24 hours in a day and many people to please. Just do what you can. There is no point beating yourself up for not being the mythical Bey-f*cking-yoncé (not the real woman with all the help and the stress we do not see but the seemingly flawless one who gets her name shoved into weird ‘inspirational’ quotes).

Sometimes all the small things can even add up to something massively, amazingly awesome.

Don’t delay your happiness. Life is too short. 

Even if you have to start by seeking help because you don’t know where to start or you’re in a really dark place, that is truly a huge step in the right direction.

x

Reading list.

I’ve decided that I want to try to read more books this year. It’s not a new year’s resolution, but something I’ve been thinking about for weeks. I’ve been spending a lot of time playing this silly word jumble game on my phone before falling asleep, watching bad TV and consuming blogs at a frightening rate (nothing wrong with that), but I also miss the joy of experiencing a good book. I’ve been kind of mentally compiling a little list of stuff I want to get through. We’re going camping in a few weeks, and while I will be busy running around with the Little Mister, there is often some quiet time in the space between when he’s tucked up asleep in the camper van and when Mr Unprepared and I are ready to sleep. I tend to wake early while we’re away too, so it’s nice to enjoy some reading in the mellow early morning before everyone wakes. At least that’s what I’m hoping…the universe (and my little family) may have other ideas!

Here’s my reading wish list:

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Revolution by Russell Brand

He might be a bit nutty and all over the place (his brain must be so chaotic to be inside), I really dig what he says about society, politics and the world’s media. I find myself nodding along when I see him ranting on TV – “YES! YES! THAT’S EXACTLY IT!”

I don’t know if that makes me nuts too, but the part of me that studied social justice at uni goes a little mental when I hear him speak. I’m a few pages in (my awesome brother got it for me for Christmas) and while I struggle to read it without hearing his actual voice in my head the whole time (Essex accent and all), I am looking forward to how the book will unfold.

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Yes Please by Amy Poehler

Because she’s funny and smart and I’m obsessed with everything she does. Let’s not talk about my recent Parks and Recreation binge. It went on for many days and I laughed. Oh how I laughed. Oops. I talked about it.

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Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling

OMG. I admit to being a few pages into this book too, because I’m disorganised and I started reading it months ago but got too distracted. Mindy is magnificent. So funny. Charming. Witty. Relatable. Honest. She writes the way I’d love to write.

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Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham

OK, so I will confess…I’ve never watched her hit TV show Girls. But I’ve seen her do interviews, I’ve read some kick arse quotes from her on a range of issues and I am curious. I know, I know. There is a very obvious theme to the kinds of books I like. I am nothing, if not, predictable. And before you ask, yes, I’ve read Tina Fey’s Bossy Pants already hahaha.

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Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

I am usually reluctant to read books before I see the movie adaptations (or even after for that matter) because let’s face it, they’re always different and often the movie is not as good. I love movies too, so it’s a confusing conundrum for me. However, I am thinking this might just be an awesome book. It’s the kind of thing I’d pick to read, movie or no movie. I like a bit of suspense and mystery if it’s done well. I also don’t mind chapters voiced by alternating characters. I find it fascinating how an author can really give them strong voices and delve deep into who they are. I hope this book won’t disappoint…much like the movie is sure to haha.

Have you read any of these books? Any more recommendations? What kinds of books do you enjoy most? x

My thoughts on spiders…and how to kill them.

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OMFG. I just put that picture up there ^ and just looking at it gives me the heebie jeebies. I like, seriously, cannot even look at it straight on. It’s creeping me out and now I’m wondering if this was even a good idea. It’s just a picture, but the thought of even touching my screen makes me want to run away. If you are scared of spiders too, I promise that’s the only photo in this post. 

I suffer from arachnophobia. It’s a bit of an issue when you live in Australia, I’m thinking.

Right now, summer is finally making itself known and despite it being my favourite season ever, I am ON. EDGE.

You guys, I just went outside with the Little Mister to replace the dogs’ water (it’s hot so I change it out and add giant ice blocks). We were BAREFOOT so I told the Little Mister to stay out of the sun and off the hot bricks (*annoying old timey voice* YOU COULD FRY AN EGG OUT THERE). I thought that was my biggest concern. We were about to come back inside, to the comfort of our air conditioning, when the Little Mister pointed up above our heads.

“Spider.”

IT WAS HANGING THERE. JUST HANGING ABOVE US. I can’t think of anything that is more menacing than a big, deadly red back spider just HANGING over your head. Breathe, Kez. Breathe. Which, might I add, is something that red back spiders DO NOT DO while you try to spray them with poison. The EVIL f*ckers HOLD THEIR BREATH. This makes them infinitely harder to kill. OH HOLY SHIZ.

AND THEN…I saw one on the wall too. The wall right next to the sliding door. That thing could have been absent mindedly brushed against by either the Little Mister or I at any moment.

When faced with this situation, there is no other choice. You MUST use the Aussie weapon of choice.

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That’s right. The thong. No, not the underwear. The footwear.

I now had two missions. To kill the spider hanging from the gutter and the one sitting on the wall.

I have killed a lot of spiders since the Little Mister was born, despite my ridiculous fear of them. My need to protect my offspring overpowers that fear. JUST. Mama bear is in th’ house.

Also, I kind of don’t want to lose face in front of a 3 year old. Or pass my fear onto him. Because, one day he’ll be old enough to save ME from spiders if I play this right. Right?

There are two techniques. The One Thong Slap or the Two Thong Clap (yeah I just made that up).

For spiders on the wall, you must slap one thong at it. It’s not too hard to be accurate, but you have to hit HARD.

A hanging spider is MUCH more terrifying. You have to clap two thongs together into thin air. This requires a lot of accuracy. You have to not only get the spider on the first attempt, but you have to hit hard and stay out of the drop zone at the same time. If you are not accurate, the spider can drop onto the ground (or worse – onto you!) and then WHO KNOWS WHERE IT MIGHT GO.

By now, you’re barefoot and YOU MIGHT STEP ON IT. ANYWHERE. ANY TIME. See? Too scary.

So you see what I was facing here.

The first one was a quick, clean kill. My relief was palpable. The Little Mister was watching me through the window (I had ushered him inside upon his spider sighting). The second one? It was like my life depended on it. Which sounds a little dramatic. But when you have a big phobia AND in all fairness, it is actually a deadly spider, then I think that’s a fair call.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it…

Adrenaline rushed through me. As those thongs (my favourite navy blue Havaianas) clapped together, and I realised that the spider was not going anywhere, I felt a massive sense of relief. Mission complete. Body count for good measure: two corpses stuck to my thongs. Phew. I turned and gave the Little Mister a big thumbs up – job done. He grinned at me enthusiastically.

I then ran back inside, scanning my surroundings (especially the ground) for more red backs. See, killing a couple of spiders brings little relief to an arachnophobic person. There’s always the fear that there are more where they came from. And there probably are. They like to drop from the tin roof when it’s too hot on top. It’s gonna be a long summer.

How do YOU feel about spiders? And also, can someone come and check my car port? I have to go out later…

Reflection on the year that was.

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I want 2015 to be as peaceful as this photo makes me feel x

Look, I am a total New Year nerd. As much as I work on self improvement and celebrating moments all year round, I just cannot resist the allure of December turning into January. I get to use a new diary (whatever’s the cutest at Typo – yay) and everything feels like a fresh start. When I discovered these questions over at Maxabella Loves (and some great answers from Kelly over at A Life Less Frantic) I couldn’t resist. The perfect way to spend a little quiet time (lucky me) on a NYE morning.

Here goes!

1. What word do you think best summed up 2014?

Brave. It probably wasn’t very outwardly noticeable to others, but for me it was a big theme. I started to speak up in small ways and to become more assertive. I learnt to be brave enough to say ‘no’ and brave enough to say ‘yes’. I became braver in sharing more of myself and my life on my blog. I stopped censoring so much. I did things that had scared me all my life and I triumphed. I think perhaps this explains my obsession with Sara Bareille’s song which is obviously called Brave.

2. What did you do for the first time this year?

I visited the place I was born. I had so many unresolved feelings about being adopted. Feelings I probably didn’t even fully realise were unresolved until I got there. Stuff that made me sad. Stuff about my decision to not search for biological parents. Stuff that weighed on me. Which brings me to the next question…

3. What is one thing that happened that will have lasting consequences?

Being in Busan, South Korea (where I was born) was HUGE. I finally know what the people of my birth country are like. I know so much more about their customs, their food, their way of living. I also know about the language barriers. The cultural differences between Korea and Australia – as well as some similarities. I see a little of what could have been and I am glad for what has been. Korea is no longer some weird mythical far away place I have to put on every form ever (which still pisses me off haha). I realise more fully that my identity is MINE. It is not defined by where I was born or where I’ve grown up – that is just a part of it. I am ME from wherever I am from and I am OK with that :) This has brought me so much peace (after 30 years). I cannot begin to tell you. HUGE.

4. Was there anything you wish you’d done differently? Why? How?

I wish I had been less affected by the drama of other people. I wish I had been able to practice maintaining my own inner peace. While I am a very compassionate person, some things just shouldn’t be my battle.

5. Do you have a favourite moment from the year? What made it special?

Oh. So. Many. A vast collection of moments that showed me how much I love the Little Mister – any time my heart burst. No better feeling. While there were many mixed feelings about visiting Korea, I am SO glad we went there (and Japan and Singapore). I am glad we travelled. I am glad we had those experiences. Once in a lifetime stuff. A big highlight of the year. Sorry to keep bringing it up haha.

6. What lessons has 2014 taught you about yourself? About others?

I’ve learnt that I am inspired easily. If I have a tough time, I have the drive and determination to turn it around. I rarely just sit there and give up or wallow. I see obstacles and mentally challenging times as a call to action. I realise now that this is a strength of mine, whereas I think I always took this attitude for granted. I’ve learnt that there are people in this world who are ‘dumpers’ and ‘drainers’ and that it’s entirely up to me how I choose to react (or not react) to such treatment. Take it personally or realise that person is being an a**hole and move on? I think I know what I’d rather do. It’s a work in progress!!

7. How will the lessons from this past year change the way you approach the new year?

I just want to keep building on my personal strength and courage that I have found in the last year or two. I want to be less ruffled by things that do not matter. I want to beat my anxiety.

8. What do you most want to do in 2015?

Keep blogging, have a happy healthy family, watch the Little Mister grow. Chase whatever wonderful opportunities come my way. I love that I don’t know what those are yet. I want to say yes more but I want to say no more. It’s all about getting them in the right balance :)

9. What do you most want to change about yourself? The world?

*best beauty pageant voice* I want peace. Peace for the world. More compassion. I want for us to all become less self absorbed and more mindful of others. What we do/say/write affects other people. While we shouldn’t worry too much about what others might think of us when we make the best decisions for ourselves, we should be considerate and kind. A lot more considerate. Remember our manners. There’s a difference between being honest and being an a**hole about it.

10. What one word do you hope will sum up what you hope to achieve in 2015?

You could probably sense this, but my key word will be ‘peace’. Peace in my mind, peace in my family, peace in my community, peace in the world.

PEACE OUT.

OMG ‘peace’ is a weird looking word. I think I have officially typed it too many times – ever have that happen? Haha.

If you want to answer these questions too, please let me know where i can find them – or you can leave your answers in the comments :) I don’t care if they’re super long x

2014: Top 5/Bottom 5.

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So, I’ve been looking at my blog’s statistics for 2014 and what a year! I thought I’d share my top 5 blog posts and my bottom 5 (let’s give them a chance haha) of the year. They weren’t necessarily written in 2014 but they had the most traffic in the last 12 months!

TOP 5 BLOG POSTS OF 2014

1. The Secret Life of Jimmy Giggle? Turns out a lot of you are very excited to know more about Jimmy Giggle. Got the hots for the dude in the loud PJs, huh? Hey, I’m not judging. His real name is Jimmy Rees by the way. Oh, and I found out he has twitter, just in case you were wondering. Which you all totally were, judging by my stats haha.

2. Bear Grylls – Hot or Not? Judging by the comments, you overwhelmingly voted ‘hot’. Beg to differ (and I offer a compelling argument for ‘not’)? Well, it’s not too late to add your own opinion ;) You would be so surprised (or maybe not you crazy ladies) how many people google ‘bear grylls hot’ on a daily basis.

3. I support you: it’s your baby. Feed them however you need to. I was really proud of this one. It spread far and wide. I wanted to get my message out there – a positive one in a sea of ridiculous mummy war crap. I’ve been very passionate about supporting new mothers (or any mothers) in how they want or need to feed their babies. We need to stop being so outraged when someone does something differently to ourselves – there’s always a story or a struggle we don’t know about. We need to choose education (for ourselves – not the other person) and compassion before judgement.

4. Goodbye. I wrote this really short post when my grandfather (my dad’s dad) passed away in 2013 after a battle with dementia. A lot of people find it when they’re looking for how to say goodbye to people they have lost. I don’t really know that my blog post holds the answer, but I wish all of those people well.

5. Kez gets physical, physical! Look, I feel a little guilty about this one. In 2014 I have not really done my best with fitness or weight loss. I kind of let things slip. Although, I did get quite fit in Korea and Japan, it all went downhill when we got home at the end of June! Oops. I’m trying again, though. Maybe I need to take my own advice ;) Still, I am glad I might be inspiring some of my readers? Maybe you could kick my lazy arse in return ;)

BOTTOM 5 BLOG POSTS OF 2014

I know that declaring loudly and proudly that these blog posts didn’t perform well this year is not really a great way of selling them, but I am hoping there are some gems in here that maybe just fell through the cracks. Chances are, you’ve missed them and they might be completely new to you and not too boring either – have a click! Go on! Maybe they’ll be my top 5 next year! Or not, but still…I’m sure they’re more great Kez rantings haha. Get to know me a bit more. Go on.

1. I can’t wait. I made some new year’s resolutions for the first time ever, heading into 2013. I KNOW. And it took me a couple of years to achieve most of them, but at the time I needed them, y’know? I was just starting to feel more like ‘me’ again after having the Little Mister in late 2011.

2. Are you a boofhead? I wrote an ode to all the boofheads out there. You know who you are. Hats are never big enough. You struggle to get your heads through t-shirt neck holes. You get stuck in weird places – head first. I thought it was funny, anyhow.

3. FAQ. I wrote this shortly after I announced my pregnancy in 2011. It just seemed easier to answer the questions I was asked the most often in one convenient blog post! Oh, those were the days. Being pregnant for the first time was difficult (it wasn’t the smoothest experience for me) but it was pretty special too. I had no idea what I was in for!

4. It was just one of those days. I was very hard on myself when the Little Mister was smaller. I was still figuring out what was OK with me (about my abilities as a parent) and what wasn’t. I tried my best, but some days I felt like I’d done terribly. This was one of those days. I look back and I think, oh well, I learnt something. Everyone was OK in the end and that’s what matters. It happens. But back then, I took every little bump, scrape or mishap so personally. I wanted to document it because I felt there was a need for mums to just keep it real. I hoped I wasn’t the only one who struggled to be kind to myself when I had ‘one of those days’.

5. From one burnt out mother…to herself.  I needed a hit of inspiration. I was feeling rather exhausted and I was struggling when we returned home from travelling to my grandfather’s funeral. I put together a bunch of quotes to help me get back on track. I recommend reading this one if you’ve just been through an upheaval of some kind and you’re feeling pretty bloody tired.

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I just want to say a huge thank you for reading this crazy little blog. It has a long way to go, but in the last year I have been thrilled with how far I’ve come with my confidence and my ability to be braver and find my voice. I am so glad for my readers – long time and new. You really do make me feel like a million dollars and ninety-nine cents. I don’t care if you stumble upon posts from 2011 (when my blog started) and want to comment – you comment. There is no expiry date. There are no ‘stalkers’ – just loyal readers who make me smile so much when you dig deep into the archives.

You guys are so awesome and even though I’d keep writing if none of you saw a single word I wrote, I am SO grateful that you stop by.

And because I’ve had a rather strong vodka something or other that I invented with what was in the fridge, I shall leave you with the lyrics video to a song that inspired me and got me through the year. It’s truly my anthem and it’s only a tiny bit cheesy.

Inspiration: Stuff I’ve needed to read.

I hope everyone has had a merry Christmas. I had a great day filled with love, thoughtful gifts (plus a selfie stick hahaha) and wonderful people, but I admit that I am feeling a little flat in the aftermath (in the interest of keeping it real – the lead up was emotionally trying for many reasons as it can be for many people at this time of year). I’ve been searching for some quotes to give me a bit of an inspirational hit because I need to find my energy and enthusiasm again!

I hope that these quotes inspire you too…
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I need to remember that doing the same thing over and over and wondering why it feels like crap each time is not the answer. Life is constantly giving us chances to learn and grow and change – we need to take them.

There is some stuff that I don’t plan on repeating.

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Sooooo much easier said than done. But I shall keep on trying.

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There are people in life who replenish us and make us feel full of life and energy and those who…well, those who don’t. I want to be a fountain. I want to surround myself with other fountains. I want my legacy to be that I gave and I energised and I made people feel better for being around me. I want to be more selective about who I ‘put myself out there’ for. I can’t let myself become an empty vessel trying to please the ‘wrong’ people. Self care is important too.

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Ain’t that the truth. I want to be beautiful ;)

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Yep. We are grown up people and we have the power to lead our lives the way that is best for us. Sometimes it can be easy to forget.

And I am feeling a tiny bit better. Hope all is well with you. I want to jump into 2015 with a great attitude and make it a kick arse year if ever there was one.

x

45 Things I did in 2014.

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Around the new year, I like to do a review of the year that has been. Often it’s the unremarkable (and sometimes funny) stuff I find in my day planner. I usually do it month by month, but this time I decided on a brand new way to bore the pants off the few of you who are reading this during the silly season! I wanted to name a thing a week that I did in 2014. That’s about 52 things. Except I was terrible at keeping up with my diary, so it’s a nice round 45.

Before you ask, yes. I am a maniac. A maniac who likes to preserve her memories. I’m also a sentimental fool. Even over the weird, insignificant stuff.

A memory hoarder, if you will.

Here goes…

1. I went for brunch with one of my best friends (we’ve known each other since we were 6). She told me she was pregnant. I was overjoyed. We took the Little Mister to the park across the road from the cafe and I drilled my friend with all sorts of excited questions. When she told me her due date, I flippantly joked, oh no! We’ll be away (in Japan) then! Tell that baby to wait! Of course I let her know I was totally joking and to pop him out way before we got home because no woman deserves to go over-due! Of course, fast forward and he was quite over due and made his appearance after we got home. I felt a bit bad for telling him to wait haha.

2. The Little Mister got his first ever passport this year. Have you ever got a 2 year old to pose for a passport photo? He kept leaning to one side and tilting his head. Or looking away. Or making overly animated facial expressions. Much credit to the photographer, who clicked away furiously, “We’ll get something!!!”

3. Everyone except the Little Mister got gastro. So that was fun. It was our first family outbreak of something. Isn’t that sweet? Is it bad that even though I was suffering from extreme discomfort during my turn with it (Mr Unprepared followed soon after), I kind of didn’t mind lying on the couch all day watching Sex and the City? Parenthood – lowering expectations of leisure time since 2011.

4. I tried to get a head start on packing our camper van before our camping trip in February. I went into list writing overdrive. It was really hard to pack with a 2 year old around. Still, I was grateful that once it was set up, there’d be less to do in 2015.

5. We took our camper van (purchased from my parents) on its maiden voyage (with us). We had a great camping trip and ate ourselves stupid, in between beach trips and brewery visits! Perfect. Oh, and I still can’t paddle board very well, but I pretended I could whenever people passed me in their boats or kayaks. I’m so excited to do it all again in 2015.

6. Made Valentine’s Day cupcakes. I don’t actually celebrate it, really, but I do celebrate excuses to bake. The Little Mister kept stealing the toppers and shoving his hands in the frosting.

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7. My Gran turned 85. That’s pretty cool. I am so lucky to still have my mum’s parents with us. I am grateful every time we are given the privilege of spending quality time together. Especially as the Little Mister has a relationship with them he has a great chance of remembering. Very special.

8. We started toilet training. Oh my goodness. I had been nervous about this since the Little Mister was born, but I soon realised that you just give it a go. Trying it is so much less scary than overthinking it beforehand. We’ve had progress and setbacks all year, but each time he’s ready to take the next step, we just go with it. I am hoping that he will really shoot forward with it in 2015 and I have faith that he will.

9. I attempted to be one of those awesomely organised (I think that’s what my exact opposite doppelgänger from a parallel world would call her blog) people who writes up a strict meal plan each week/fortnight, in order to save money on groceries and resist impulse snacking. I don’t know when I stopped doing it, but I really must try harder again!

10. Mr Unprepared and I dressed up like old people for my friend’s 30th. It was the best fancy dress party I’ve ever been to. We even played lawn bowls. Also, I was so comfortable. Old people clothes are so comfortable.

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11. We took our annual day trip to meet family friends for Easter. A definite highlight of every year for me. The Little Mister did his first ever easter egg hunt in our house. He was so happy because that was the first time he’d ever had chocolate for breakfast.

12. I turned 30. And like the freak that I am, I was excited about it. 30 has been wonderful and significant and full of stuff that has taught me so much about myself.

13. The Little Mister got his final molars and my goodness were they a bitch. The kid screamed all night, every night for weeks. I don’t want to scare anyone, but they were worse than his COLLECTIVE teething experience right up until then. Oh holy hell. We were very tired, all 3 of us. I was reminded of what it’s like to have a newborn and it was great contraception. Since then, the lack of teething has been AMAZING. You don’t realise just how much teething consumes your life in those first few years until it’s gone. So how long until the bloody things start falling out? :P

14. I nearly went insane planning our trip to Korea and Japan. I had massive DAILY to do lists for MONTHS. It took me so long because having the Little Mister made it really difficult to coordinate. I could only do what he could handle, daily. But I did it. I got there. I beat my overwhelm and I survived to actually go on the holiday! Definitely a win.

15. We attended Mr Unprepared’s cousin’s wedding. It was BEAUTIFUL.

16. During the year I dreamed about my late Nana a lot (she passed away in 2013). Her presence in my dreams has brought so much comfort in times when I’ve doubted myself. I look forward to her visits.

17. We left for our massive month long trip to Singapore, Korea and Japan. HOW NERVE WRACKING AND EXCITING.

18. I went shopping on Orchard Road with my mum in Singapore. Something we’d talked about doing ‘one day’ for a long time.

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19. Korea was beautiful and overwhelming and full of people who thought the Little Mister was some kind of celebrity.

20. I visited the place I was born for the first time since I was adopted at the age of 5 months. Gosh, it was emotional. All these feelings jumped up and I felt very…bruised. It was very confusing at first! I felt happy because I was there and it was an awesome place (hello – they even sold cocktails in little plastic bags and you could drink on the streets – ON THE STREETS), but I felt exhausted and sad at the same time. I name this as one of the defining moments of my life so far. It’s up there with graduating from university, falling pregnant, having a baby, getting married. Big stuff. I made peace with a lot of things on that trip. Like I said, HUGE.

21. I had one of the weirdest pedicures ever. It was in a hotel in Busan (where I was born in Korea). The guy didn’t speak a lick of English and we communicated by pointing at things and looking at each other like we were both aliens. That was just the part where we tried to set up an appointment! I sat down and picked out the colour I’d like my nails. The guy got excited and suggested something else by showing me a photo of nail art in his phone. I agreed – why not. He then put a table in front of me and climbed underneath it. He was shy and didn’t want me looking at him? Who knows. When it was finished, he took a photo of his handiwork, shoved my thongs (flip flops) back on and embarrassed, he shoved me out the door because he didn’t know how to say goodbye or thank you to me. Hilarious.

22. Japan was one of those places I have always wanted to visit. I LOVED it. Sadly, we didn’t have as much time there as we might have liked, but we got to have a taste of Tokyo, Hiroshima and Kyoto. The people – so orderly, polite and COOL. I drooled over the way the women wore their clothes. I’m not talking about the stereotypical cosplay stuff or the Harajuku girls (although they were fascinating too), but just the every day women walking down the streets. So effortlessly stylish. Oh, I wish I’d bought all their fashion magazines before I left. The food. The sights. TAKE ME BACK.

23. While in Japan, we visited Hiroshima. Wow. Do it once in your lifetime. Please.

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24. We had a crazy flight back home from Singapore (where we’d stopped over on our way back from Japan). The Little Mister was so restless, despite normally being a great flyer. The flight attendants were so smitten with him. He went to the back of the plane with them and received extra ice cream (just great for keeping him calm and rested – not haha). He was given gifts galore. Oh, boy. We were glad it was the final leg of the holiday.

25. We set up the Little Mister’s ‘big boy room’. I painted a feature wall. Mr Unprepared assembled flat pack after flat pack of furniture. Finally it was ready and our little boy had moved in. He is still really proud of it to this day. I’m so glad he likes it and it’s so much easier now that he has a full sized single bed. Big milestone!

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26. My Dad turned 60. We celebrated by having dinner at a local Japanese restaurant. We all missed the Japanese food SO MUCH.

27. I attended the hens night of one of my best friends. It was a close group made up of her gorgeous sister in law and a bunch of us old high school friends. It was a big deal and we even stayed in a hotel in the city overnight! We drank shots and saw strippers and danced…we were very classy of course (haha). It was one of those nights where we went home and gushed to each other online that we loved each other so much and shared terrible photos via Messenger for hours. I felt young again (until the fatigue set in of course)!

28. My love of online grocery shopping was revived. Sometimes it was just easier. It was like remembering an old friend. Oh hello. I loved you when I had a newborn and I love you now I have an almost 3 year old who is quite awful when he is having a growth spurt.

29. Got the dog vaccinated. The Little Mister came along (he loves riding in the car when the dogs are in the back – gives him the giggles). We weighed him there at the same time as the dog. Happens every year. Mum of the year.

30. We were invited by the Little Mister’s school to attend an information day and a tour for kindy 2016. This gave me a heart attack because it was a sign that he is growing up. It was kind of funny, because we went to an interview for him while he was still 2! I was assured that his behaviour in the interview would not affect his chances of being accepted haha. He coloured in under the principal’s desk and played with her calculator. It was such a relief that he got a place! Now I get to be in denial for another year before sh*t gets real!

31. We went to a Play School concert. A highlight of the Little Mister’s life so far. Although, he remembers the car park more than the actual concert, because I lost my car…it might have taken half an hour to find it? Not my finest moment haha. Every time I park in an undercover parking complex, he looks at me hopefully and says, “Playschool concert?”

32. We went to a local agricultural show. So fun sharing it with the Little Mister. He got a balloon which bopped us all in the head. We had ice cream. A Peppa Pig show bag was acquired.

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33. I started my Christmas shopping in October. Oh boy, I was smug. Sadly, plans kept changing (which resulted in gift lists following suit) so my smugness quickly dissipated, but that’s a whoooooole other story!

34. We toured day care centres (OK so we only looked at two) for the first time. The first one left me feeling nervous and unsure (I just figured that’s how any parent feels before leaving their kids for the first time), but the second one just made me feel happy. The Little Mister starts one day a week next year! I’m actually excited for him. I think he’ll be happy there. He had a play on the day we checked it out and I signed up on the spot. He didn’t want to go home! One day a week will get him used to me leaving him (before 3 full days the next year at school) and I will get one day a week to GSD (Get Shit Done).

35. My brother did some valuable baby sitting this year. I’ve been really grateful he’s been there to help fill a gap between now and day care starting. I think it’s really helped the Little Mister’s bond with him. So nice to see.

36. Reached the 12 years together milestone with Mr Unprepared.

37. Mr Unprepared took on a promotion at work. Proud of him for doing what makes him happier – it’s different from what he did for so long and it took courage but he did the best thing for him, finally. Yes.

38. Melbourne Cup day was spent at a friend’s house. There were toddlers and babies everywhere but we dressed up a little and had a good day! Life has changed! Oh, and I wore a bird in my hair. Not a real one like my Tasmanian aunty once did, but I made a little effort haha.

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39. The Little Mister had his annual family birthday party. He was very excited and now thinks any gathering we attend is a party for him. I made a cupcake train I saw on Pinterest and wrote him a letter (sure he can’t read yet – minor detail).

34. I attended about four baby showers in 2014. SO MANY BABIES.

41. My mothers group had a hens night for one of our friends. Mother’s groups are wild. Just saying. I might have found myself dancing in a local night club at 2am. WTF. Blisters for days. Best night ever.

42. Celebrated 7 years of marriage.

43. The Little Mister went up a level in swimming lessons. Now he goes in without a parent and has to take turns with a couple of other children and listen to his teacher more. It took about 4 lessons for him to understand this, but we’re making progress. It was a big adjustment and a little nerve wracking for all of us!

44. Attended the local community Carols by Candlelight evening. For the first time in his whole life, the Little Mister was able to stay for the actual carols. It’s a big deal when your toddler can stay out after dark without losing the plot haha.

45. I bought a diary for 2015. Buying a diary for the next year is my favourite thing to do. I’m a stationery nerd.

 

So, how was your 2014? Tell me about the highlights, the milestones and the stuff you survived x

A Christmas message from (someone who is not) the Queen.

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OK, so I’m not the queen. Unless you’re talking about the queen of procrastination. Because I’m supposed to wrap the Little Mister’s presents from Santa and it’s halfway through Christmas Eve and I haven’t done it and I’m kind of mad because I thought he had elves to do that kind of annoying stuff? What kind of show are you running here, Santa? WHAT IS THIS MADNESS?

I am also in no way regal or ‘proper’. I don’t think ‘the people’ would really appreciate my swearing, burping or crapness at sending a thank you note (although I do always show my appreciation somehow I just find it difficult to put that into writing that goes in the snail mail). Truly.

So here are the things I’d like to say to you all, my motley crew of amazing readers…just read the bits that apply (I have sorted my message into categories for your convenience because I’m awesome like that – you’re welcome):

If you do not celebrate Christmas…

I don’t care. I love you, man/woman. I hope you enjoy the holiday and whichever customs/traditions you most value. Have a great day off and spend it with loved ones! Woohoo! :)

PS Sorry about all the Christmas stuff – probably bored the pants off you. Thanks for hanging in there. Back to regular programming soon!

If you have children in your life…

Hug them really tight at this special time of year. As 2014’s news headlines have shown us, we are so lucky to have them and they are so lucky to have us. I hope you find joy in all the little traditions and create some very special memories. I know I am out-of-my-head excited to see the Little Mister enjoying all the Christmas wonder this year. He is starting to understand what Santa does and has helped with everything from baking to decorating the Christmas tree, to making gifts for loved ones.

May Santa deliver the presents safely (with no interruptions from excited sleepless children) and may you get some rest before The Big Day. May your children remain lovely, despite the sugar and the probable inability to nap properly.

I hope your day is magical. It really is so awesome to celebrate with children around.

If you are having a tough time…

Maybe you are grieving the loss of loved ones. Maybe you have just had the mother load of bad luck land on your doorstep and it feels like you can never catch a break. Maybe your family drives you f*cking insane at this time of year. Perhaps you struggle with mental illness or you feel lonely for whatever the reason. Just know that I am thinking of you. Do Christmas your way this year. Find small joys. Let love in. You deserve happiness, even if you’re not feeling it – just know you’re worthy of it. Let difficult people know you’re not interested in unnecessary drama or hurtful things. This should be a time of peace, but I get that it rarely is for many people. I still hope for you that you will have a peaceful Christmas somehow. I hope 2015 brings you better things.

If you saw my Little Mister have a mini meltdown at Woolies the other day…

You. Are. Wonderful. Human. Beings. Your kindness and your empathy were just so refreshing. What fantastic people. A little love shared by the baking aisle and then the fridges where they keep the quiches. Oh, you – I have all the time in the world for you. Let’s all be those lovely people at Christmas time. We’re all tired, we all have stress of varying degrees. A lot of us have tired children too. Let’s show a little kindness. We’re all in the same boat. Let’s survive it together! :)

A message for all of you…

Often Christmas time is a time of reflection for me. In amongst the chaos, I think about what family means to me. About the memories of my own childhood I’d like to recreate for my Little Mister. I think about how to do it better next year – how to give more freely and creatively, avoid negative stresses and to keep improving on the positives. It’s no wonder so many of us think about our new year’s resolutions at this time!

I hope that wherever you are, however you celebrate Christmas, that you have a wonderful day and a great holiday period. I hope you and your families stay safe and have plenty to eat. I hope there is laughter. Joy. Closeness. A nanna nap (lucky for those who can get it). Loose pants. Comfort. That you are lucky enough to feel the generosity of those around you. That you feel great because you gave too. May your Christmas most importantly, bring you the things that money can’t buy.

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Some words on the Sydney Lindt Cafe tragedy and a moment of silence.

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Like many people all around the world, I sat and waited and hoped and wished that the siege in Martin Place, Sydney would end peacefully with no loss of life. Like many people, my heart went out to the hostages in the Lindt Cafe and all of their loved ones. I also felt afraid for the Muslim community and the backlash I feared might come afterwards. As I went to sleep, I felt heartened by the #illridewithyou social media movement but scared for the people still stuck inside that cafe. Like many people, I woke up to the awful news that we had lost two innocent people through the night.

Sydney, I am feeling for you.

Nothing I had originally planned on blogging about has felt right over the last couple of days, so I will take a moment of silence.

xo