How I feel about 30.

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Yesterday I turned 30. I know I’m supposed to laugh nervously and say, “Oooh scary!”

But I’m not scared.

Or joke about it being the somethingth anniversary of my 21st or mumble my age like I’m embarrassed.

But I’m not embarrassed.

I’m excited.

The 30 year old me is a better me. A wiser me. A stronger me.

I have a looooong way to go and I hope I keep learning, changing and improving for the rest of my (hopefully) long life, but I have never felt as sure of myself in my life as I do in present day. I feel like I can welcome my 30s feeling more ‘me’ than I ever have. I think I’m finally growing up and you’d think I’d find that really disappointing, but I am not disappointed. I’m happy. I hope I’ll always be young at heart, but I wouldn’t trade what I’ve learnt for an extension of my 20s! I learnt a lot in my 20s, but I’m excited to apply all that knowledge now as I move forwards. Maybe the term is ‘growing into myself’ moreso than ‘growing up’.

Who knows what my 30s hold? I know there will be good times and bad times. I just hope that I have learnt how to cope better, how to deal with things more gracefully and peacefully. I hope I’ll remember how to say no to unnecessary drama or things that do not serve me. I want to stay strong and believe in myself more than the shaky 20 something me did. Be more brave and resilient.

It’s not that I’m not shaky now as a newly minted 30 year old. I am just less shaky. I know what I want out of life. I know that I deserve it. I am worth the good things. That’s the difference.

I feel like this is a time of real positive change in my life. Trust me, it’s a very welcome time for me!

I have had so many kind birthday wishes this year. Everything from the side spittingly hilarious, to the most caring, sentimental and *oh wow that person totally gets me* stuff. Not one person over the age of 30 has told me that it sucks or that they’re so old and they can’t even handle it. I’ve been told that the 30s are fun, fantastic and a whole lot of other words that seem to equate to ‘awesome’.

That can’t be a coincidence, can it? Unless they’re all lying to me hahaha.

As I sit here with the Little Mister, wearing our PJs because we can, recovering from the Easter long weekend (and my wonderful family birthday celebrations), I feel good. I feel optimistic. I feel lighter and brighter. I’m not that 19 year old bawling on the eve of her 20th birthday because she wouldn’t be a teenager anymore (I’ll never live that one down)!

30 just feels right. Bring it, Universe! I’m ready :)

x

How do/did you feel about 30?

 

 

 

 

 

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An artist who inspires me. Hint: He’s 2.

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Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up

- Pablo Picasso

With Easter coming, I wanted the Little Mister to enjoy getting into the spirit of it – a year makes a big difference in his understanding. I also thought it would be nice to let him get creative and make gifts for his loved ones. I could teach him about the Easter Bunny (not entirely sure he understands the whole concept but I do know he loves the idea of a day of chocolate and eating the cross off the top of hot cross buns and leaving the rest of the bun intact). I could teach him about giving and quality family time to look forward to (Easter just may be my favourite ‘family’ holiday period of the year – with Christmas coming close to it).

We headed to our local ‘go to’ store for craft supplies and found some goodies in the makeshift Easter themed aisle. I didn’t feel we were ready for anything too complicated, but I was thrilled when I found an egg painting kit, which came complete with fake eggs (made of styrofoam or something quite like it – sorry environment!), which made me really happy because last year I had tried to decorate real eggs and instantly became the Pinterest Fail Queen. Well, I was never awarded the crown officially, but we all know I was worthy. I earned that title fair and square.

We also found an A3 sized pad of sketch paper designed specifically for toddlers to paint on (I honestly don’t know how it differs from normal paper that non toddlers paint on but the cover description sucked me in and it didn’t cost too much). Some new paintbrushes and a new art smock later (don’t ask what happened to the last one – seriously) and we were very excited little bunnies. I also even found some Easter themed stickers and some special handheld foam toddler paint stamps! I really loved sharing the experience with the Little Mister of gathering all of the supplies. We’d talked about it on the way into town, I explained what we were doing as we chose everything in the store and he really seemed excited.

I had originally planned for us to create some art together after the Little Mister’s lunch time nap, as I thought we would get home a little late in the morning to truly absorb ourselves in the activity, but the excitement took ahold of us and I set him up with everything almost straight away. Little bowls (old plastic ones we’d removed from the camper van to be gotten rid of) of all the different coloured paints, some paper, the stamps and brushes.

We were going to make paintings for the Little Mister’s grandparents and great grandparents for Easter. I had been inspired because my mother in law had tried to keep an old envelope the Little Mister had scrawled on at her birthday breakfast a few days earlier. I realised she had nothing he’d created to show off or display on her fridge. It was lovely that she wanted something and I felt like a little scrap of envelope with biro scrawls (while sweet) didn’t quite cut it. I wanted her to have something made especially for her. So the idea evolved.

I watched the Little Mister sitting there ever so seriously (while full of joy his face was one of concentration and creativity). It was frickin’ cute, actually. He embraced the project with enthusiasm and didn’t once question whether he was going to do it right or wrong. He never stopped and thought about whether someone else might not like it or might make fun of it. He was busy making art. He was feeling it. I can’t remember a time as an adult or even as a slightly older child where I truly felt like that (other than when I’m writing but even then I do get self conscious or feel the need to censor myself slightly more than necessary). I’m sure I was just like the Little Mister once, but I cannot actually remember it. I’ve spent much of my young life anxious about whether someone would like what I did or not. When I felt unsure at school or doing my homework, I was almost paralysed with worry until I saw someone else get started and then realised maybe I could give it a go too. Always scared of failing or making a mistake. Of sticking my neck out first and being vulnerable with all my flaws on display!

As I watched the Little Mister at work, I saw how the colours mixed and the swirl of the paintbrush. I was inspired. The Little Mister has retaught me the art of…art. I really was reminded of the spirit of creating. Of not worrying what people think – just making something from the heart for somebody else who loves us and would never judge. Or even just for ourselves.

Between then and Easter, the Little Mister painted his eggs and stuck beautiful stickers on his gift projects. He mixed several colours at once until some of his work was a brown sludge. He made stamp impressions of Easter bunnies and eggs, then painted right over them with the brush until you couldn’t see them anymore. It didn’t matter. He was proud of his work and so was I.

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I got caught up in the moment and totally forgot the part of my brain which wants to tell him what to do and how to do it so that the art work comes out looking perfectly colourful or effective. What is the right way to create art anyway? Who would I be to tell him he’s not doing it right or could do it better (it’s not about me but about him)? I do not want to be the first person who makes him hesitate when it comes to his creative endeavours. There’s plenty of time for him to be graded and assessed, criticised or taught ‘correct’ ‘techniques’. Right now it’s all about him learning the basics and exploring the possibilities.

Needless to say, his loved ones thoroughly enjoyed his gifts and he was so excited to give them.

What would you do if you were fearless again? x

Seeing things differently.

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I did something really wild and crazy yesterday. I think it’s because I’m 30 in a few days. Who knows.

Anyhow…

It all started a few nights ago. Mr Unprepared and I decided to climb into bed and watch The Tourist. The movie with Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp (a film with something for everyone *wink wink*). Now, I don’t know if you’ve seen the movie, but the opening scenes involve English subtitles because parts of them are spoken in French. We don’t have a very big TV. In fact, it’s an old little Panasonic fat backed thing with a set top box to make it watchable, because we’re not fussy and I think if we don’t upgrade it then I can tell myself we’re not old people who watch TV in bed. Oh that old thing? We don’t care about that. Hardly ever watch it *cough cough*

Anyhow, I was tired and I couldn’t read the subtitles is what I’m getting at. I tried to blame the small TV. I tried to blame the people who make the movie for not having bigger subtitles. Then it hit me. I’m old and I can’t see.

“Read me the subtitles, Mr Unprepared, please”.

And bless him, he tried. He didn’t even argue. He read them to me. Each and every one. That bugger has near perfect vision.

Which was really actually very annoying. Not his fault at all, but it just was. He just didn’t read the lines with enough feeling. Bad seeing eye man, NO!

I got up and started scrambling around in my bedside drawers. I started muttering and grumbling in an old person frenzy (hello I was missing the movie).

“Where are my glasses?”

“In the bathroom near your jewellery rack,” came the reply.

How did he know that? Anyway, I found them deep underneath some clutter (trust me – it’s not pretty) and blew the dust off. Literally.

The daggy old-lady-trying-to-be-trendy-many-many-years-ago frames felt foreign on my face. I glanced in the mirror and saw the biggest non ironic nerd ever. Shocking. I don’t think I even liked them back in the day when I chose them.

BUT HOT DAMN. I COULD SEE.

Those teensy tiny subtitles were sharp and clear. Angelina was all hot and mysterious but it wasn’t mysterious anymore how hot she was. THE WORLD HAS EDGES, PEOPLE. THINGS HAVE EDGES AND OTHER PEOPLE CAN SEE THEM. AND WORDS. ALL THE WORDS.

What a revelation.

So… yesterday.

I went into a store (which I won’t name but ‘should have gone to…’) and asked about the frames for sale. Before I knew it I had got myself an appointment to have my eyes re-tested and had tried on some new frames, with the great advice of the optical assistant (I knew that was what she was because it said so on her badge). She had some amazing ideas for my face that I would never have thought of and I found myself liking my potential new look…and even considering the fact that I might actually not mind wearing glasses in public if I bought some! I didn’t mind what I saw in the mirror and now I am actually excited!

Also, the glasses didn’t seem as expensive as I had thought they would be. Also? Two for one deal. SWEET.

I SHOULD HAVE DONE THIS AGES AGO (and more often)!

Is it sad that this nearly 30 year old got a massive thrill out of this event? Yes, I called it an event. Stuff like this is an ‘event’ when you’re almost 30. Well, I speak for myself…but y’know. You other 29 year olds can get back to your bungee jumping and boozy tours of Europe while I finish this blog post about *old person’s voice* eye glasses.

Maybe it’s the whole ‘self care’ thing? I felt really amazing taking care of something I’d been neglecting and putting to the bottom of the list for so long. Something as simple as seeing properly. I mean, I can see well enough, but I have been depriving myself of EDGES and DEFINITION for too long. I also liked who I saw in the mirror in those awesome new frames. That girl was cool. She looked like she did cool stuff and knew cool things. She was going places. I wanted to know who is this glorious librarian hipster (disclaimer: I probably don’t actually look that cool in real life but I was enjoying myself immensely)? What’s her story? I liked her. Also, most of all, this girl looked like the kind of person who could read signs and stuff.

I can’t wait to be that girl. You know. The one who can see stuff and things.

Now excuse me. I am lost in a very deep rabbit hole of Pinterest pictures of hot girls in glasses.

So, it’s your turn. What have you done purely just for yourself lately? x

Underrated toddler milestones.

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I have to be honest. All ‘terrible twos’ jokes aside, I have really enjoyed the Little Mister’s toddlerhood so far (key words so far…don’t want to jinx it). It’s a fun age where a little person can suddenly explore the world like they never could before. There is so much wonder and curiosity. There are new ways to communicate and express feelings. The start of understanding yours. Saying funny things. Learning new ways to move. Dancing so freely. They’re still so little that almost everything they do is cute. Just like babyhood, there are rapid changes and milestones galore. There are the usual ones, like first steps and the first time sleeping in a proper bed, but then there are those underrated moments that you might blink and miss. Those achievements that bring a parent great joy (and often relief). Lately it feels like something has clicked inside the Little Mister and his development has suddenly sky rocketed (he’s usually a bit slow on the uptake but then rockets ahead to catch up).

Here are some of my favourite underrated toddler milestones:

Drinking from an open cup without spilling.

This is the latest. I’m over the moon. This is exciting. It means that when we’re at home Mr Unprepared and I won’t have to wash fifty parts of a training cup or a sippy cup each day (of which we do not have many of). We can grab any plastic cup and just pour something. And gosh, he looks so grown up. If we’re caught off guard (by ‘off guard’ I mean I usually forget his water bottle) while out and about, there are so many more options if he needs a drink. Awesome!

Knowing when he needs to use the potty and being able to wee on cue. 

No more accidents! No more watching him like a hawk, with my breath held! Woohoo! Something just clicked a few weeks into potty training and it’s so good. I can ask him to try if he hasn’t been for a while and he’ll know what to do and how to do it, therefore preventing accidents. He will also run to the potty when he knows nature is calling and he seems to understand the feeling in his body. I think we’ll be able to have visitors over again soon hahaha. If only he could wear pants too…

Also, under this potty training umbrella…saving money because we use a significantly smaller amount of nappies! Win!

Being able to tell me where he’s hurting or that he even is hurt.

When they’re babies, we all lament the fact that it is heartbreaking knowing they are in discomfort, but having no idea what is wrong. We spend all our time trying to be super sleuths and freaking out that we’ve missed something. Now the Little Mister will say he’s hurt or that he fell on something etc. If I ask him where he’s hurting he will point at something or try to verbalise it. It is such a relief to know for sure, so you can deal with something immediately. It’s not a perfect system – sometimes he’s too distressed to speak or he doesn’t quite have the vocabulary, and you might find out a day later that he was bruised from falling on his toy car, but it’s a lot easier than it ever was.

When longer term memory kicks in.

OK, so this can be a curse because sometimes he won’t let an issue go, but on the whole it has been so much fun watching him relive his highlights of the day or week. He’ll remember small details you told him about something and apply it to a situation further down the track. He looks forward to things we (selectively – we’re not stupid) tell him about ahead of time to build the excitement. He loves to tell other people what he’s been up to and what he enjoys. We went on a train for the first time recently, and the Little Mister told his dad about it each night at bed time for two weeks. He remembers all the people he meets (especially my friend Sarah who he asks to see almost every day even though he hasn’t seen her in a couple of weeks). It’s sweet to hear him talking about the people he cares about and the good times he’s had with them.

Knowing how to sleep under the covers. 

This plagued me ever since he started sleeping in a toddler bed without a sleeping bag. We made the move at the beginning of summer, safe in the knowledge that the Little Mister wouldn’t freeze if he slept with nothing on him besides his PJs. Which he did. For months. He’d kick everything off him. He’d spin himself around so when he was cold he couldn’t figure out how to get the covers back on him. I’d wake at 5am and wonder if he was cold when I saw him on the video monitor, doing that silly overthinking thing where instead of going back to sleep, I’d worry about him and whether I should do something about it. Now he loves being tucked in and will tuck himself back in if he wakes in the night. He’ll be right as rain when the winter months kick in – yay!

Starting to say ‘please’ and ‘yes’.

Toddlers LOVE to say ‘no’. I am happy to make the generalisation, because I have chuckled to myself many a time in public, hearing toddlers from all walks of life telling their parents “No no no no no no”. For a while it seemed like ‘yes’ was never going to happen, no matter how much I tried. Even to the point where I could probably ask him if he wanted a chocolate, ice-cream covered new toy car on top of a playground slide that was made out of Peppa Pigs and he’d still say no automatically.

‘Yes’ is like music to my ears. ‘Please’ is just thrilling. We’re working on ‘thank you’ and we’re finally making progress. It’s so much more pleasant to listen to and he seems so much more agreeable!

Becoming ‘useful’.

I don’t mean useful as in being your ticket to grab all the best parking spots (‘Parents with Prams’ anyone?). I mean it’s great that the Little Mister will tell me when I’ve forgotten something on our way out of the house (he will rattle off a list of things we normally leave the house with). He’ll pick something up that I’ve dropped when I have no hands left. He’ll wipe up a spill or tell me when something needs tending to. It’s fantastic! Finally, giving something back haha. That’s tongue in cheek by the way. Having him in my life is a reward in itself blah blah blah ;)

Bossy, helpful…same thing? Haha.

Teething for the last time.

I saw his gums the other day. All the way back there, that last molar is fighting its way through. The gum is all bruised looking and tender. The skin hasn’t been broken yet. It looks painful! The Little Mister has been such a trooper, but he’s been a bit sensitive and cries easily over things like he always used to with his other teeth. The worst is yet to come for this one last tooth, but the good news is that it’s the last one!! It’s easier to deal with when you know there are no more to come.

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So that’s my take on it, based on our experience! Can you relate? Anything you’d like to add to the list? x

What we’ve been up to: March-April 2014.

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Sometimes life feels like one big blur and I easily forget all of the things we have enjoyed/achieved or survived! I want to be able to look back and appreciate it all. It’s also a way of remembering what to say when someone asks, “What have you been up to lately?” because I blank out every. single. time.

Awkward.

Friends and family.

In the past month, I celebrated the temporary arrival home of a beautiful friend (who stays with her fiancé in the US). We caught up a couple of times and the Little Mister appears to have a bit of a crush (he won’t stop talking about her)! I miss this gal so much and I am so excited for her next trip home – we’re going to have a hens night!

Mr Unprepared and I dressed up like old people for an old (haha) friend’s 30th birthday party and played lawn bowls badly.

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The next day I backed it up with a kitchen tea for Mr Unprepared’s gorgeous cousin. I tried to look young again, but I was feeling a little ordinary! It was so great to catch up with the ‘ladies in-laws’ and this made me excited for the May wedding!

We caught up with some friends at the beach for a play date and I wish I’d taken photos because the weather was stunning! The Little Mister made a little friend and everyone made sand castles. I still have SO MUCH cuttlefish to clean out of the back of my car (thank you little collectors)!

I had dinner with a couple of girlfriends chatting about everything. EVERYTHING. It was nice to get out of town and driving home was a little exciting (or scary) as a storm had suddenly appeared! The lightning was amazing as we headed down the freeway. I would have taken photos but then we would have died. So sorry.

We celebrated my mother in law’s birthday last weekend and you’d swear the Little Mister thought it was his birthday.

It was great to have a slightly quieter month, with lots of quality time with my grandparents. I love that the Little Mister gets to see them so much (especially as he’s old enough to remember them), so we take any opportunities we can. The Little Mister has become very good at asking for “coffee and a muffin”. He doesn’t get coffee of course (can you imagine?!!), but he’s been brainwashed by all the adults in his life (except me)! Very impressionable haha.

Travel plans. 

Lots was achieved in this area. We booked all of our accommodation in Korea and in a big rush (accommodation options were being booked up by the minute), we also somehow managed to sort out Japan. Now we just have to get the train and coach transport sorted! It’s great because now we can think of all the fun stuff we’d like to see/do. We’re busy figuring out what we’ll be packing and what we’ll be carrying it in with all manner of back packs, suitcases and carry bags! We have an abundance of great luggage, but no idea which combination we’ll use for easy travel! We had several family meetings over whichever weekends we could all get together (we are going with my parents and brother), where everyone sat around with all the Apple products you have ever seen, researching and confusing ourselves with ALL OF THE REVIEWS on tripadvisor.

 

The Little Mister. 

We’ve been potty training. It started off a little rocky (not sure that he was quite ready yet) but he had some developmental spurts and suddenly something has clicked. We just do it at home for now, with nappies while we’re out, but he’s doing great. I learnt that the anticipation of toilet training a toddler for the first time was actually scarier (terrifying in fact) than just mucking in and giving it a go. We took a relaxed and positive approach and it seems to have paid off. It’ll be a while before we’re all the way there, but we’re not rushing – just taking it a step at a time. I get a little bit over the top excited when he takes himself to the potty without my help (or even without me noticing on occasion). So proud!

I have noticed that he is finally teething again. His last ever molar. Last I checked it was a bit bruised under the gum and waiting to cut through. Another of many little milestones.

We had a bit of a fun practice day for our big holiday with him recently. My mum and I took him on the train to the city for the first time. He was so good and only got the littlest bit restless (this was all without the aid of any electronic devices which I’m sure would help even more on longer journeys). We bought some things for our trip and then had sushi for lunch. He was so cute, trying to copy us as he ate his tuna roll. He loved the little fish shaped soy sauce squeezie thingies. Who doesn’t, right? He asks to go on the train all the time now. Breaks my heart to tell him we’re just going to the supermarket haha.

The (well…slightly more) boring stuff.

We’ve been busy budgeting and squirrelling away holiday money. It’s been going better than we expected. Just goes to show that when you pay closer attention to what you spend, there are so many savings to be made! It’s made me appreciate what we have so much more and has made me realise just how much more financially comfortable we can be even when we’re not saving for a trip. I think we’ll do things a lot differently when we return from Japan and Korea. Money has been tight in the past too, but I think it’s easier when you know it’s for a really awesome reason.

While having a family budget isn’t very new to us, we did add the extra meal planning aspect. Groceries can be so much more streamlined when you know exactly what you’re eating each week. You don’t have to buy “just in case” food items or waste as much food. Saving money – yay!

We’ve been enjoying more family time, visiting the farmers markets, exercising together, taking the Little Mister to just about every park ever. Running wild on the beach. We didn’t always have that balance in life before and it feels good.

 

Now that I look at what I’ve written, we’ve been fairly busy in between all the usual daily routine stuff we have to do all week. Sometimes I get all weird and think I haven’t done enough or seen enough people (it’s a weird insecurity that bugs me from time to time and I’m working on not equating being ‘busy’ with feeling important). It’s good to check in with myself and appreciate it all.

So…what have YOU been up to lately? x

Grateful.

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Today I think I’d like to focus on the good things. Those little joys in life. It’s all about positive thinking and what not! I want to start the week feeling good. So here are some of the things I am grateful for right now:

1. Little hands

I love my Little Mister’s tiny hands. My mum pointed out that they’re not much smaller than mine now (which makes them still quite small because I do have the hands of a child – it’s crazy). I love the feeling when they grip onto my hands as we’re walking down a path. When they reach out for me. The feel of those little hands brushing past me or resting on my shoulder or leg. I love watching those little hands as they learn how to put stuff together. I know that one day they might be big, man hands that don’t think it’s very cool to hold mine, so I am appreciating them now.

2. Exercise 

I am so glad I’m getting more active. In the last week or so we’ve managed to do almost daily 3km walks with a dog at a time and a toddler on a trike (with random huffy puffy bursts of pathetic jogging). I feel so motivated to be strong and fit for our trip to Korea and Japan (with stopovers in Singapore). I want to wrangle a toddler in a few foreign countries without dying of exhaustion or busting something. Mr Unprepared and I have also been doing a 30 day planking challenge. I’ve given my abs their biggest work out since I had a C-section in 2011 and it makes me feel good to gain confidence in that area of my body and reclaim it. In saying that, it would take a miracle before it looks like I’ve actually done anything, but I am also grateful that I don’t care about my appearance as much as my strength and fitness. Getting my priorities right, finally. I have to say that reading Portia de Rossi’s book, Unbearable Lightness, really brought it home to me that there’s no point looking really ‘amazing’ in society’s eyes, if you are actually very unhealthy and unhappy inside. Body image isn’t worth anyone’s sanity.

3. Family

This is one of those constants. It kind of goes without saying. I’m particularly grateful for my parents this weekend after a sanity saving visit, where we walked around their beautiful 5 acre block and showed the Little Mister so many things. So peaceful. We stayed for dinner and my brother made us burgers. It was just what I needed when I needed it. They’re good at that.

4. A cleaner mind

Because I normally have such a dirty mind hahaha. Kidding. What I mean is, I’ve been working on what I let into my brain on a conscious level. I’ve been doing some guided meditations when I’ve had the time or the need (nothing airy fairy – just some really good relaxation stuff). I’ve cut down my Facebook feed trawling to once a day. I resist negative click bait more often on Twitter. I stay off social media when I’m in bed and read a book instead. I guess I just want to take more notice of what I’m letting in. Is that wanky? Probably sounds a bit that way, but it’s working for me. This may be the information age or whatever they call it, but it isn’t always healthy for me to deliberately bombard myself with ALL OF THE THINGS all of the time. Interestingly, I don’t find myself feeling so generally anxious on a daily basis and for that I am truly grateful. I have a long way to go but it will take practice, I guess. I am thankful that I’ve started. It’s empowering.

5. The month of April

I have always loved April. Probably coincidentally because it is my birthday month. This year is the big 3-0 and I am actually excited, which is probably confusing to some because most people find it scary. I just think I’ve really grown into myself and I would prefer to be the 30 year old me than the 20 year old me any day. I am excited for my future because I’ve learnt some hard lessons in the past decade and I’ve grown so much.

Also, the month of April is my brother’s birthday month (happy birthday for Tuesday, bro)! Our birthdays are only a couple of weeks apart and we’ve always celebrated them in tandem. I love that.

Easter usually falls on April dates and it’s a special time of year for me. It holds lots of precious memories. It reminds me of a decades long Easter tradition of holidaying in chalets with family friends and hunting for Easter eggs around the beautiful holiday park (while our parents nervously guarded the eggs from other children haha). We do not stay there anymore, but we visit our friends there on a day trip each year. I love sharing such a wonderful place with the Little Mister and I am so excited about that.

Even though I don’t love the fact that winter is coming, there is something special about April’s change of weather. Maybe it’s the memories attached. It’s a feeling the weather brings. Like I know it’s April and it makes me happy.

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What are you grateful for today?

x

Sunday Self Improvement.

I’ve been contemplating some things this weekend. Doing a little soul searching about who I am. Why I think and feel the way I do – what makes me tick. What I can do to keep improving as a person. What I should care about and what I should let go of. I think I’m making some headway on a couple of issues and it feels good because these issues have bugged me all my life. Of course I had these revelations in the middle of the night instead of sleeping, but I am grateful for them nonetheless.

Here are some quotes to get you thinking too x

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For my sake. Not anyone else’s. I have to bring a sense of peace to myself. Also, in case you haven’t noticed, I can be a chronic over thinker. Nothing has helped me more than making the realisation that I can just let it go. I don’t have to solve all the world’s mysteries. I don’t have to agonise over finding answers within myself when something makes me feel ‘off’ or hurt or confused. Just let that confusion be. Let the dust settle. The answers can come at the most unexpected moments if you just settle the f*ck down sometimes.

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Oh yes. I am so terrible at this. I am very hard on myself. When a situation goes a bit awry and my feelings are hurt, I jump in beat myself up even more – finishing the job of the person who (probably unintentionally) started it. I question myself. I get angry at myself for not avoiding the situation. I lose sleep listing the reasons I have no right to stand up for myself – because I tell myself I didn’t handle something perfectly. I tell myself that my voice isn’t worth hearing. That no-one will like me if I speak up. I agonise over whether I am a hypocrite. I then get mad at myself for feeling things I don’t have the right to feel. I don’t validate my own feelings. I get mad at myself for NOT standing up for myself more. I get mad at myself for EVERYTHING! What a waste of energy spent on not having compassion for myself!!

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This is a big one. Happiness should come from the inside and radiate outwards. I shouldn’t give power to external things or people over whether I get to be happy or not. I need to maintain my inner peace. I shouldn’t waste my time feeling icky feelings that are only hurting me. I could be busy feeling happy!

I hope everybody has a very happy week x

Parenting: a collection of near misses.

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I gave the Little Mister some freedom today. Thing is, give a toddler and inch and he’ll take a mile. I usually carry him through car parks and then set him down when we’re safely out of the way of any passing cars on a path or in a shopping centre. I hold his hand everywhere, because he’s a bit too curious about everything and everyone – some kids stay close and others are explorers and need stronger limits (guess which one I have). He is only 2 years and 4 months old after all.

This kid is getting heavy for me to carry and while I am pretty impressed with my newfound strength (I think my muscles have adapted with him as he’s grown – it’s a great daily weights work out), it is becoming a bit much. After a really crazy day of toddler chasing, I have been known to suffer from strained stomach muscles which does NOT feel good and upsets my gut (also not fun). Being only 5 foot tall, I am lifting a human being over half my height and I’ve been feeling it’s time to start teaching him more consciously about how to conduct himself a little more independently, which will help us both. Particularly with a rather full on overseas trip coming up where there will be strange people, places and road systems.

Today we walked together hand in hand across a zebra crossing. I knew this was within his capabilities and that I could keep him safe. He knew he was doing something new and he questioned me, looking a little wary when a car came a little closer. When we reached the doors of the shopping centre, he spotted my mum and my grandparents waiting for us. Once we were safe, I let him run excitedly to them for a big cuddle (giant cheeky grin included). Everyone gets such a kick out of that. It does tend to make you feel special.

When we entered the coffee shop, he devoured his apple and cinnamon muffin (a bit of a tradition) and then I let him out of the high chair to play at the little kids’ table that is always stocked with dried up texta markers with the lids off and colouring in books (not to mention the muffin crumbs of the children who have occupied it before him). He was free to roam around the small radius that was our table and the kids’ table. The shop wasn’t busy, so it was the perfect opportunity to let him explore new boundaries (without annoying anyone). He was very well behaved and I was feeling good that he’s reaching an age where he is starting to stay closer and is more easily occupied than say a year ago. It feels nice to let him be more independent.

Spoke too soon, Kez.

He’d had a taste of freedom. He was enjoying being a ‘big boy’. The world was his oyster.

There was a door that opened up onto the path outside (which leads to the car park). He’d ventured closer to it and just as I said, “Stay close please” he was out the door. He was enjoying the game of chasey he’d started. Mummy couldn’t get him right away – FREEEEDOM!

Thing is, like a lot of other toddlers, he enjoys a game. If you run after him, he giggles and runs faster. Only thing is, in this situation it could be fatal should a car come at the wrong moment (the driver obviously not keeping an eye out for a small child whose head wouldn’t even reach the top of their bonnet/hood). We reached an impasse, him dangerously close to the edge of the road and me knowing I had to stop him without accidentally encouraging him to run out faster. I made the instinctive decision to stop running and yell “STOP” in my most commanding tone. Something he doesn’t hear from me often. It worked and I was so relieved. It could have gone either way (in which case I feel I would have become faster than Usain Bolt). He was carried unceremoniously back inside and got a friendly little lecture from my mother, myself and his great grandparents. There was no point being mean or yelling at him because he didn’t know better. It was just our job to teach him, not scare him.

Later, I told him, “You can’t ever go outside without mummy. Cars can be fun (he loves them) but they can also hurt you if you get run over by one and we have to be very careful. Mummy would be so so sad if you got hurt by a car, so that’s why you can’t run outside where there are cars around.”

As we left the shopping centre with a couple of groceries (and my heart rate had settled a little), we crossed the zebra crossing with him strapped into a trolley. A couple of cars had stopped at a respectful and safe distance for us and the Little Mister looked a little freaked out. He said, “Car. Careful. Hurt. Sad.”

He was starting to get it. I explained that he was safe because I was with him and I am a grown up and I have had more practice at knowing how to keep safe on the road and that with practice he would be good at it too, but for now Mummy would help him.

I still don’t trust the little bugger just yet haha.

It’s so funny, because it seems like such an insignificant moment. It happens to parents all the time. Near misses. Moments that could go one (terrible and tragic) way, but more times than not (fortunately) go the other. Parenting is made up of so many of these moments. It feels like a crazy game of ‘luck’ and we just pray that we stay ‘lucky’.

The times we haven’t realised immediately that our child is sick enough to need medical assistance outside of our abilities as parents. The times we have watched them bounce off some furniture or leap off some stairs – all despite our best efforts to keep them safe. The moment we realise in our tired state we forgot to drain the bath the night before and while our toddler has gone nowhere near it since, the idea of what could have happened if they had. You name it, it’s happened to a well meaning, loving and competent parent somewhere. It’s a part of parenting and being human!

Today reminded me that I can know my toddler inside and out but he will still surprise me (and probably himself). I don’t want to smother him or take his freedoms (limited as they are for a 2 year old), because I believe he needs to develop a sense of self confidence, but I know I can not afford to get complacent in this parenting game.

As I sit here and look at my Little Mister safe at home playing with his toy cars (they’ve just had an epic smash and have landed under a cabinet while he lies down on his belly and reeeeaches) I am so grateful for every moment in which a ‘near miss’ has not become a terrifying hit. Parenting is hard work, y’all!

When did your heart rate last get that bit faster?

 

You can find me on Facebook x

(Part of) A day in the life with a 2 and a bit year old.

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The Little Mister is 2 years and 4 months old. Already. That’s 28 months old for those who are good at maths (you don’t want to know how absurdly long it took for me to actually add that up in my head – TIRED).

You saw my post on a day in the life of having an almost 2 year old, but now for posterity’s sake (like a snap shot in time to look back on), I feel it’s time for a new instalment.

I was…

…woken when Mr Unprepared got out of bed early in the morning to get ready and leave for work. The sound of the shower also woke the Little Mister from the other end of the house. Luckily, the Little Mister went back to sleep but I knew I was doomed. I thought that on the bright side, I could spend some quiet time catching up on blogs and lounging about in bed for another couple of hours. That precious alone time that seems so fleeting these days. About five minutes into enjoying my favourite blogs, my tummy felt all crampy and uncomfortable. Turned out I’d strained my stomach muscles (this has happened once before) after a massive day wrangling the Little Mister yesterday. Sometimes I just can’t take it. Everyone looks at me and wonders how I lift him so many times a day (he’s big for his age and I’m small for mine haha). While I’m proud of being pretty strong these days, it turns out I have my limits.

Long story short, my so called early morning leisure time turned into toilet time. I will not say any more on the matter, other than it was NOT relaxing and I felt gross.

First thing…

…in the morning, the Little Mister started chanting “Van? Trip! Van! Trip! Pwease!”

Puzzled, I asked, “Huh? Did you say you want to go on a trip in the camper van?”

The poor kid then thought I was offering and jumped up and down on the spot in excitement, thinking we would just pick up and go on a camping holiday right then and there.

I let him down gently and he seemed to accept that we were not indeed embarking on a mid week holiday by ourselves, with no preparation whatsoever. Crisis averted.

Later…

…the Little Mister had a potty emergency which required me running with him out of the play room and towards his potty. I was in such a rush with him that I stepped on the one small piece of Lego out of his whole big Duplo collection. Yep. The one small piece out of hundreds of big (not so hurty) blocks. OWWWWWW. Am I a part of the club now? I feel like I’m a real parent now. Did I mention I was also on the phone to my mum at the time and a tiny little drip of wee got on my shorts and I was in such a rush to get started with the day that I Febrezed it because ain’t nobody got time to go get changed?? This is real talk. Seriously.

We started to make some headway towards leaving the house for the grocery shop and pharmacy, when the Little Mister then asked for yoghurt about 50 times and broke into the lounge room and snuck a handful of my secret stash of M+Ms from a party favours bag I’d acquired on the weekend. Y’know, after not wanting breakfast.

When…

..we were finally ready to head to the shops for reals, the Little Mister refused to go with me, insisting that he ‘drive’ his little red bubble car there. And no, we don’t live within walking distance, so it’s not something we’ve ever done either. He just thought it was possible. I had to get in the car by myself (in the garage) and wait for him. He got the idea… eventually.

This was all before 9:30am.

After this, the day continued with me trying to teach the Little Mister how to say dump truck (“Dumb F—”) and hitting my head on the dryer about 4 times in the same place (explains my slow brain) while trying to clean various potty training paraphernalia throughout the day. I might have said ‘dump truck’ to myself a few times.

I also spent the day deciding whether or not to respond when the Little Mister yelled, “POTTY! POTTY! QUICK! QUICK!” in a sneaky attempt to get my attention when he did not indeed need the potty quickly (or at all).

Update: Immediately after I hit ‘publish’ on this post, the Little Mister found the soap I’d bought and unwrapped each bar like a kid at Christmas. Mr Unprepared found him with one in each hand looking gleeful, announcing, “Two soaps!”

And tomorrow we’ll probably do it all again! Life is definitely not boring with a 2 and a bit year old in the house!

How was your day?

Frumpier is comfier.

Last weekend I was such a nanna. Usually when I say this, I mean I spent the evening at home sprawled on the couch watching TV, trying not to fall asleep before 8:30pm and making peace with the fact that I can’t drink more than half a glass of wine before I feel a bit drunk and woozy.

But last weekend I was not at home. I was at a friend’s 30th birthday party dressed like some kind of Mrs Doubtfire/old lady from Tweety bird cartoons hybrid. Stunning. I know.

It was time to show ourselves off in all our op shopped glory.

I never realised how liberating it is to be ‘old’. The frumpier I was, the comfier I was. In fact that will be my motto.

“Frumpier is comfier”. I like it.

When you’re old (or even just pretending), you can be a clumsy hot mess all the time. You don’t care how you look or what others think of you and you can say wildly inappropriate things and they seem funnier and more adorable.

Also. Lawn bowls (which I suck at but that’s besides the point).

Sure, I don’t actually know many old people who are as ridiculous as we were on the weekend, but that didn’t stop us from hamming it up!

Maybe it was the ‘memory loss medicine’ aka several shots of liquor?

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Yes. Nannas take selfies. Is this the future? Scary, huh? Seriously, can you imagine old people stopping to take bathroom mirror selfies on their way out the door to meet their friends for a game of bridge (I don’t even know what that is)? On their iPhone 500s?

It was amusing looking at all these grey haired people sitting chatting in the corner of the party, engrossed in their iPhones or moshing to music from ‘back in the day’…Silverchair. OK, so it was only two of us who were ‘moshing’. The birthday girl and I. And we weren’t so much moshing as we were jumping up and down making stupid faces and making sure there weren’t old lady boobs flying everywhere (I do not speak for myself here haha – sorry mate)!

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Have you ever wondered what it would be like to grow old with your husband? Well, I found out…

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Anyway, don’t say I didn’t update you. By far, this was the best fancy dress party theme I’ve ever had the joy of dressing up for. Hope I’ve brightened your day… or scared you so much that your day can only go up from here!

Don’t forget to come and ‘like’ me on Facebook :)