Category: milestones

So many questions: Life with an almost 4 year old.

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So, it’s been 19 days. 19 days since IT happened. 19 days since my child made a big discovery. Yep. It has been 19 days since the Little Mister discovered the word…

WHY.

And I am EXHAUSTED!

I have become his own personal ‘google’. Or probably not google. I’m kind of like a broken down Bing. Remember Bing? Is that still a thing? Well, I’m basically a crappier version of that.

I am being asked so many questions that I don’t fully know the answers to, let alone know how to explain them to an almost 4 year old in a way that he might understand!

In recent days I have been asked…

  • What makes the rain come out of the clouds?
  • How does music get onto the radio?
  • Why does the moon follow us at night?
  • Why can we only see a part of the moon?
  • Why does Santa give toys from the shops?
  • Do cows have gutters? (he meant udders but it took me a while to figure it out)
  • How does helium make the balloons go up?

Then once I’ve given my best (but usually terribly articulated) answer, he’ll follow up with “WHY?”

WHY INDEED.

I also get the usual requests for snacks, demands for help with various things he wants to do around the house, questions about why things are where they are or why he’s not allowed to do something. Questions about what it is I am doing every second of the day.

 

I decided to do a little experiment. I decided that I would record every question I was asked. Just for a day. From the moment he got up until the moment I had time to sit down and write this blog post.

In 3.5 hours I have been asked a total of 110 113 114 115 questions.

ONE HUNDRED AND TEN THIRTEEN FOURTEEN FIFTEEN* QUESTIONS.

And I am also sure I missed a few. Not even kidding. I only recorded the genuine questions and even left out some repeat questions (i.e. the moments when he just kept slamming me with the same question until I answered – this kid gives no time to think y’all).

I did originally transcribe each question, but in the 10 minutes after the Little Mister got out of bed, I literally could not write fast enough (and show him enough attention) so I resorted to a tally system. I then just wrote down the most interesting ones:

  • Where did you live when you were a baby? Why? (he should write blogging prompts haha)
  • Did Daddy go on his (recent charity) bike ride in his car? (I answered that if he’d gone in his car it would have become a car ride and you can only do bike rides on a bike). When he got his answer, he asked – can you sing me a song about that?
  • Can you get new clothes, because your shirts fall down? (someone isn’t a fan of my slouchy off the shoulder shirts worn around the house)
  • Can you buy me more (kitchen) stools for me for my birthday?
  • Why don’t we have blueberries? WHY DON’T WE? (um because every time I buy them you say you don’t like them…?)

Today, as I tried to take a moment to gaze off into the distance, I was asked, “What are you thinking about?”

When I answered that I was just thinking about how I’d love to get a new couch for the family room (yes – I was in fantasy land), he seemed satisfied…for about half a minute.

He then spent at least ten minutes trying to guess what I was thinking about at any given moment.

“Are you thinking about ALL the furniture?”

“Are you thinking about the doors? How about the doors? Do you think about them and how you can go inside or you can go outside?”

“Why? Why aren’t you thinking about the doors?”

Um…

And the craziest thing is when I ask the Little Mister “why” (on any topic), he looks all frustrated (without any sense of irony – obviously) and says, “Ugh. BECAUSE!”

Like that’s it. His whole answer.

Now I feel like I get why mums say that classic (and infuriating) line, “BECAUSE I SAID SO!”

I feel you, Because I Said So mums. I feel you.

In the last couple of weeks I have been unable to stay awake past 8:30pm (it’s the brain drain haha) and I keep waking at 3:30am for no other apparent reason than my brain realises this is the only quiet time I will be able to appreciate.

While I am so so so stoked that the Little Mister has an inquisitive mind and asks some really cool questions, am I a bad person for also kind of looking forward to the day when he can just google that shit?

Have you fielded any great/embarrassing/confusing/complicated questions lately? Anyone want to come and answer the Little Mister’s questions for a day? Or all week? Want to ask ME a question (may as well haha)?

 

*the total kept climbing WHILE I was writing this post. Seriously. SEND HELP.

No dummy.

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So it happened. Yesterday morning. He coughed and it fell in the toilet. And that was that.

Yep. After months of wondering when the right time would be to tackle the Little Mister’s giving up of the dummy/pacifier/binky/soother (whatever you know it as), fate sorted it out for me quick smart.

The Little Mister is 3 years and 4 months old(ish). He has had a dummy for sleep time for most of his life. Until he got all of his teeth (May last year), he had one whenever he really needed one because it helped soothe his gums somehow. He hasn’t regularly had a dummy when we’re out and about since he was maybe just turned 2, I think (he had a setback when we travelled overseas and he felt a bit out of his comfort zone mid 2014).

I remember worrying so much when a nosy, opinionated check out operator judged me for giving him one. The poor kid was only 18 months old or so. Now I look back and realise I shouldn’t have given a rats what she thought. So he looked older than he was. Big deal. I knew the truth and I knew what he needed. I cringe when I think of myself feeling so damn self conscious overseas. My poor kid looked almost 4 years old, but he was 2 and a half. None of the kids in Korea his age had them. Truth is, he didn’t normally have one in public at home anymore either. But he was insecure and anxious without it – the dummy gave him security, soothed him and helped him to handle our crazy trip so well. I should have just been proud of him. Realised that it was an issue for later, back on home soil.

I feel embarrassed that I cared so much what others (strangers might I add) thought. I don’t know why, but people have a real bee in their bonnets about dummies. Seriously? For the Little Mister it was just as effective as a teething toy. It was his teething toy. It worked so much better than any Sophie the Giraffe or whatever other trendy things are on the market (and might be working really well for a lot of other children). He didn’t want the frozen teething rings, the special chewable toys. That worked for him. What’s the difference? Why is it OK for kids to chew on frozen finger foods and teething rings, but not to have a dummy in their gobs? It’s the weirdest double standard.

When he started to talk, I would tell him I couldn’t understand him if he had his dummy in his mouth. We started gently to tell him that dummies are for babies (which has backfired occasionally in public when he’s felt the need to tell other toddlers – just for the record I know he’s been such a hypocrite and I am not judging anyone – especially after our own experiences haha). We created a routine where he wouldn’t get breakfast or any snacks until he’d given up his dummy for the day (he is highly motivated by food haha). Baby steps.

When he started day care earlier this year, I sent him without his security items. He only goes once a week so a skipped nap isn’t an issue. I just wanted him to not get used to it there. He knows going to “school” (as he calls it) is a big kid thing to do, so I started him the way we plan to continue. I figured that if he absolutely freaked about not having those things, the staff could call me or I could revise my plan later. Turns out, he’s been just fine (although he doesn’t sleep he has quiet time). Yes.

Over the last couple of years, I flirted with the idea of going cold turkey. Of wondering when it was time to force the issue. But my gut just said it wasn’t time yet. He wasn’t ready. It’s kind of like toilet training has been for us. I was waiting for the signs that he was ready.

I have so rarely seen primary school aged children using dummies and other than in documentaries about strange and unusual addictions, I have never seen an adult who couldn’t kick the habit! Which gives great hope, doesn’t it?

So, back to yesterday…

I got him out of bed and guided him to the toilet. He had handed me his little security blankie (which I will let him have forever because CUTE) and he stood at the ready for his morning wees.

*cough*

*plop*

Uh oh…

Let’s just say that dummy was never going near my child’s mouth again!! EW.

It was also his last one. A long while ago, I had decided that I would not be purchasing any more. Once he ran out and had broken or lost all of them, that would be it. I never predicted it would all end when he’d drop one in the loo!

So. I had a choice. Run out and buy a new one before nap time or see how he reacted when I rinsed it and put it in the bin in front of him. I chose the latter. He was a little bit sad…until breakfast time. He is at that stage where he understands that if you have no more of something, that’s it. When we’ve run out of his favourite snack, he can’t have it that day. When he wants something, if we do not have it or cannot find it, he understands. So I figured we had that on our side, at least.

He did suggest to me that we buy some more, but I told him that if we did that, then there would be none left at the shops for all of the babies who needed them (we don’t have a younger sibling for him to blame the milestone on haha).

That morning I found the Sesame Street episode called ‘Goodbye Pacifier’ on YouTube. I showed it to him and explained that Elmo called his dummy a ‘binky’ (an American slang term – wish there was an Aussie equivalent for kids to watch – if there is then let me know!) and that even his hero Elmo (who also taught him about toilet training haha) has given up his dummy and said goodbye to it. He liked the song, ‘Bye Bye Binky‘ (also on YouTube).
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I felt cautiously optimistic. I was flying by the seat of my pants. Awesomely unprepared if you will! I had always envisioned myself spending weeks preparing him for this moment. Research, a big picture plan all laid out by me. As if! I should have known he’d get a cold, then cough it into the toilet when I was least expecting haha.

Nap time arrived and I was nervous but played it totally cool. I put him to bed and he was sad, but accepting. He cried with heartbreaking little whimpers, but he knew it was time. He knew I believed in him and I told him that it was OK to cry and be a little bit sad (gotta validate those feelings – it’s a big deal), but I knew he was ready because he was such a big boy. I told him I’d be back later and I left the room. I then had to sit on my hands as I watched him on the baby monitor. He whimpered but he never needed me – so brave.

He didn’t sleep (I really didn’t expect him to) but he played in his bed and sang ‘Bye bye binky’ to himself – oh the cuteness!

I’d put a call out to Mr Unprepared to bring something home as a reward. He headed to the shops where he’d found a Thomas the Tank Engine collectible set. The little trains cost $2 each and there was a special display/carrying case for them. Perfect. He could keep it in his room as a visual reminder of what he was achieving. Much like when I gave up mine as a toddler, in order to get myself some really cool glow worms (remember them?!).

Last night I was nervous. He got to bed and a couple of times he told me he wanted his dummy back. I gently reminded him that his dummy was yucky and had to go in the bin. I read him a couple of stories and then told him that if he was a really good boy and was able to be quiet and go to sleep, he’d get a new little train in the morning. HE DIDN’T CRY. NOT EVEN A WHIMPER. I was so impressed. He was a bit tired (from skipping his nap earlier on) and fell asleep in record time. No dummy! I thought, no doubt he’ll wake in the middle of the night, reach for it and be too disorientated to think rationally. I pictured him screaming for it and me stuck in the doorway of his room shooshing him in a soothing tone for hours.

But…he slept right through – no worries!! I thought, maybe when he wakes for the morning just before 7am, he’ll yell out for it. NOPE. He just waited for me to get him like usual. I THINK I’LL KEEP HIM.

It seemed too good to be true (and might still be – understandably – he’s kicking a lifelong habit haha), but then he napped today. No tears. No begging. He did absent mindedly look for it for a second when I came to get him up, but all was good. My Little Mister gets it and I am so glad he was ready.

So much of parenting is about following your gut feeling. Don’t let anyone bully you or shame you for your decisions when it comes to petty things like dummies. Do what is best for your child and they’ll show you when they’re ready for something. Also, no amount of planning can guarantee something will go smoothly. There is nothing wrong with trial and error. Nothing wrong with changing your mind in order to protect the process and nurture your child.

I’ve at least learnt that much in 3 years 🙂

What are your thoughts? How have you done it? Do you feel the pressure from others? Or simply wish me luck for tonight!!! x

Leaving him at day care and finding myself.

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Oh hey, here I am trying to pretend that taking selfies comes naturally…oh the awkwardness!

 

This week marked the Little Mister’s second time at day care.The first time (last week) I put him in for just a half day to ease him in gently. He was so excited when we got there. He wanted to run off and play and he remembered it from the time we’d come to suss it out and sign him up (he’d been allowed to mingle while I talked to the staff and filled out paperwork). He was asking the carers (he calls them his teachers) if he could go play in the cars outside and I had to get him to focus so I could show him where to hang his little backpack and how to put his fruit, for sharing, in the basket. I was so nervous, but relieved he was happy. I knew that saying goodbye would be a little hard for me, but it was great seeing that it wasn’t difficult for him. I gave him a really quick hug and kiss (like they advise), then it felt really odd to walk out of the gate without him! He was taken to the little window that faces the car park and he waved goodbye to me. He said, “Bye bye Mummy!” and he looked so little and cute. As he climbed down from the step at the window, with the help of his favourite staff member (he told me she’s his favourite yesterday haha), I heard him proudly say to her, “That’s my mummy!”

Then I sat in my car for about 30 seconds and I wanted to cry!! Not so much because I was leaving him in someone else’s care. Not so much because I’d miss him (I have had time without him before). Just the sentimentality of him growing up and reaching this big milestone. It almost got to me, man!

I took a breath, started the car and drove home. Five minutes later, I was wandering around my house in a daze. I had spent the previous couple of weeks fantasising about all the things I’d do at home alone once he was in day care (housework and blogging and bad TV watching and home admin and baking and maybe a nap – yeah right – like I had that much time haha). I had decided that his first (half) day would be a quiet day. I’d take it easy. Celebrate getting him to this point in his little life. But there I was. Wandering around feeling a little giddy, but mostly confused. My house was no different to when he’s there, but it felt different and it threw me off! I think it took over half an hour for me to even decide what to do! Apparently my brain doesn’t work when he’s not around? I was overwhelmed with the freedom!

I vacuumed under the couch and felt so excited and smug (but traumatised – OMG). I baked. I sat on the couch and had a bite of lunch, while surfing the internet and watching my DVR. Soon enough, my time was up. I felt excited to pick him up, but secretly wished I could have had a bit longer on my own.

When I picked him up, he was still running around trying to play! It took a while to get him out of there! I saw this as a sign that he’d be ready for a full day the next week and we left. He had a massive sleep after we got home and the next morning he wanted to sleep in FOREVER!

He talked about ‘school’ on and off all week and it made me happy that it makes him happy. He did get a cold he’d picked up from there, but it wasn’t too bad and he recovered in time for round 2!

I was nervous for this week’s full day. I noticed a few positive changes in him this time. He was more focused when we walked in the door. He helped to put his bag on the hook, took his banana to the fruit basket and gave his lunchbox to a staff member to put in the fridge. He was a bit too excited to say hello to them properly and I had to remind him to say goodbye to me, but we can work on that! He waved at the window again and I felt good about leaving him. Knowing he’s happy there really brings me great relief. I have been warned that a few sessions in, kids who started off happy to be left at day care, can suddenly realise what that means and can start to fret and cry, so it will probably take a few more weeks before I feel complete ease!

I had originally planned on running some pesky errands that have been haunting me, but circumstances conspired and they suddenly went away (for that day anyway)! I was meeting my mum at 10:30am to buy my Gran a birthday present and the rest of the day was mine! I headed to Target (not sponsored but wish I was) and wandered around in the same daze I’d been in the previous week at home. It is so ODD. I am used to having to be on a MISSION. An efficient, well organised mission. I must have done about 3 laps of the store before I managed to get my brain working again. I felt so self conscious being on my own! More than when I have a chatterbox toddler in a trolley, pointing out anything and everything he sees at the top of his voice. Go figure!

I spent a whole $29 on two skirts and a top for myself (bargain!). It was pretty awesome trying on clothes alone, I must say.

Long story short, I realised that it was quickly becoming a day of self care. I’d had an emotionally stressful week and I needed to look after myself. I was feeling fragile and drained. I booked a last minute hair appointment and I bought myself a gorgeous blue necklace, enjoyed an uninterrupted chat with my mum and slowly became more comfortable with the wandering alone in the shops thing.

I realised that in recent weeks at home (camping trip notwithstanding – that was awesome) I had kind of lost myself. I’d stopped styling my hair, putting on some pretty make up (a simple little pleasure for me), or doing my nails. I wasn’t even trying to dress nicely. Just chucking on the nearest thing that didn’t smell (yeah I’m a delight). I’d lost inspiration and I felt crappy.

So, this day became ‘the day Kez found herself again’. It was so needed.

My hair appointment ran late, so my mum collected the Little Mister from day care. I felt a tiny bit guilty that it wasn’t me, two sessions in, but I knew he’d love the surprise and he’d be really comfortable with it (what matters most). When I called the day care to let them know, they told me he’d had a great day and had even had some rest time (something he’d struggled to do the week before). Yay! He was stoked to see his nanna and when I picked him up from her house, he didn’t want to stop partying haha.

Sure, I’ll be back to spending my day care days running errands and doing housework soon enough (until I start doing a little casual work here and there that is), but I remembered how to care for myself too this week and I am so glad.

Welcome back, me.

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

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.

~

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.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dyAfjUHlFSM]

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? 😛

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

It’s Christmas month…I mean, December!!

You guys, I am so excited. Why (like you even have to ask)? Because it’s December! Which means Christmas! My favourite time of the year, because it’s kind of like it’s EVERYBODY’S birthday all at once! And birthdays are awesome, am I right, baby jeebus?

Unless of course your birthday IS on Christmas day, in which case it probably sucks a little bit because no-one cares and they wrap your presents in Christmas wrapping paper and don’t even get you separate gifts…I take my hat off to you guys…

I love seeing the decorations, eating calorific treats I wouldn’t normally indulge in throughout the year, the feeling of summer festivity in the air (nothing like an Aussie Christmas) and the giving spirit alive in so many of us.

I know. Some of you probably hate me for being so cheesy right now. But I love all of you adorable little grinches, anyway. Because CHRISTMAS!!!

Since the Little Mister came along just over 3 years ago, I’ve been getting more and more excited to share the Christmas spirit with him. This year was a great milestone year because it was the first time he could help Mr Unprepared and I with the decorating (yay for coordination)! I found myself just trying to soak in that moment and really appreciate it. I had to stop myself from making gooey, lovey dovey “nawwwwwwwww” noises every couple of seconds.

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He really liked putting ALL of the baubles (love that word – baubles – it’s ridiculous) on one tiny branch.

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At one point, he found two of our Christmas stockings, took the idea quite literally and strutted around with them on his feet, like he was the bees knees.

Kind of unrelated: What’s so awesome about bees’ knees? I never understood that saying…

So far, we’ve made some salt dough ornaments to paint and the Little Mister has painted some transparent Christmas stickers for the windows (you can’t really tell what they are anymore and all the colours are quite mixed together but ‘nawwww’). The Christmas tree went up yesterday (a day early), because it was the weekend and Mr Unprepared was off work, so we could do it together.

Christmas cookies were made and distributed to the grandparents (and the Little Mister’s belly and Mr Unprepared’s lunchbox and I might have sampled for *ahem* quality control) last week (OK so I cracked before December despite my best efforts haha).

It was so messy and fun letting the Little Mister take the lead (I was mostly just in charge of measuring and the hot oven).

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This cookie man (above) never fails to make me giggle. The dough was a little soft and stretchy, so some of our cookies were a little bit wonky. The Little Mister affectionately called this one “Daddy”. Very amusing. The longer I look at this photo, the more I laugh. I assure you that my husband doesn’t actually look like that…much…(this is just one of several little tests I include in my blog posts to see if he actually reads it as much as he says he does haha).

Who knows what other crazy crafting/baking ideas we’ll tackle next?! I’ve become a little deranged, but in a lovely enthusiastic way, at least (I hope)? I don’t know who I am anymore. I even bought some Christmas presents in OCTOBER. Are you shitting me??

I hope that this month, we can all share the Christmas spirit with our loved ones (whether they are our actual relatives or our various ‘chosen’ families). Let’s all be a little forgiving, very loving and look out for those who might not have as good a Christmas as we are fortunate enough to have.

Let’s drive considerately, keep our stress in check (especially in the supermarket or with those certain relatives) and remember to show the people in our lives that we care. It’s not all about giving extravagant material gifts to one another, but about giving of ourselves somehow.

Happy December, everybody!

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How are you planning to celebrate Christmas this year? If you do not celebrate Christmas, how will you spend your holidays? Do you go nuts like me or are you more restrained? What does a typical Christmas day look like for you? x

Three.

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Dear Little Mister,

Today you are 3. You are also the best little buddy I could ask for. I read somewhere that you should never call your son ‘buddy’ or ‘mate’, because then you are not setting the boundaries between parent and child firmly enough. Well, that’s crap. I know that you know I’m mum. I’m very clear about that!

BUT…you are my little buddy too. You make boring things interesting. You come with me everywhere I go (OK so it’s not ALWAYS ideal but I love ya). You keep me company, while I wait. For anything. You make me laugh. I love love love that you’re young enough to think of me as your best friend too. I shall cherish this for as long as it lasts (which I am sure is not long enough).

You’re a threenager now. That’s for sure. For the first time in your whole life, I’m finding my patience pushed, stretched and tested. You will scream ‘no’ fifty times to a lovely snack I’ve provided for you, then a few minutes later I’ll find you munching on that same thing when you think I’m not looking. What tantrum, Mum? You’ll boss me about, interrupt my adult conversations, look me straight in the eye as you do something I’ve just told you not to do…because you want to see what happens. Each growth spurt, each new development, you will spend days extra tired and…hangry. Really hangry. You’ll wake in the night all worried and bothered.

But damn it, you’re cute. This is a cute age. You’re definitely your own little person now! We have conversations. We walk alongside each other. We disagree on things, because you have your own opinions. Sure, they’re rarely based on fact or logic, but we’ll get to that. I assure you, little man, that Granny really is Nanna’s Mummy just as much as I am Nanna’s daughter…but for now we’ll just have to agree to disagree.

I love the way you snuggle in close to my neck when we hug. I love the way you are always looking out for everybody. I love that you are so friendly. I want to jump up and down with happiness when I see you saying please, thank you and sorry. You say each word with such sincerity. You really mean your manners. It means so much to me. I’d love to take all the credit but really, you are just one good little guy.

You’re sensitive. You take things to heart. You can be quite dramatic (gee I don’t know where you get it from). But you rarely hit out. I once witnessed you walking up to another toddler who had smacked you in the arm, saying firmly, “Ow. You hurt me.” with such impressive (for a 2 year old) articulation of your feelings. Sure, he hit you again for your troubles (intervention was necessary), but in that moment I have never been prouder of you. You stood up for yourself and you were not mean. I love you so much. Your communication skills impress me.

I love how you dance. I love how you sing. I love watching you play when you think I’m not watching. I love your wicked sense of humour. I love the unintentionally cute things you say every single day – you’ve never let me down with the hilarity. I love the way you laugh and the way you try to communicate with me with silly made up sounds. I love how observant you are (although it keeps me on my toes). You always know when I’ve done something with my hair, painted my nails a different colour or bought a new pair of shoes (the ladies like that). I melt when you think I’m beautiful and I laugh when you say my face is yucky because you don’t like my make up. Your honesty is fantastic (it’s lucky you’re cute)!

You’re always trying out something new. Lately you’ve been telling people to have a nice day. You sound like you work on the check outs at the supermarket, but at least you mean it haha.

For a while you wouldn’t let anyone call you anything but your first and last name. Your full name at all times. You’re slowly softening your stance and I secretly fist pump when I can sneak in a cute nickname. I totally called you ‘sweetie’ like five times yesterday and you didn’t even correct me. You’re slipping in your old age!

You like things a certain way and you are always trying to rearrange chairs or cushions or something. One day our couch is a boat in crocodile infested waters, another day you’ve built a barn filled with imaginary farm animals. You’re amazing with your Duplo now. So creative. I know because you show me every single creation you’ve ever made and I’m always being told (not asked) to fish around for all the stray pieces that have ended up under the couch.

You love playing outside. Any chance and you’re barrelling out of the sliding door, big red bubble car at the ready. You especially love time with your dad. You have taken to calling him ‘my daddy’ and it melts my heart. He’s not just any daddy, he’s your daddy.

You love to pretend to be a dog. That’s pretty funny. You call yourself Heidi-dog because that’s the name of our dog. You love her so much. I have photos of you pretending to be one of the dogs, waiting for your dad to throw a stick at the beach. Just letting you know in advance, before they come out at your 21st birthday.

Yesterday we were lined up at the council offices to pay a couple of bills. The queue was kind of long and you looked at me, confused. You asked me where everybody’s suitcases were. I had to explain that even though everyone was lined up, it wasn’t an airport (to the amusement of the lady in front of us). I could have eaten you right up at that moment. So freakin’ adorable. It’s those little moments that just make my day. If anyone ever asks if parenthood is worth the trouble, I say yes. Just for the silly little moments like that. They are priceless.

I love how well travelled you are. You have so many stamps in your passport and you’re only 3! Japan, Korea, Singapore. Even a couple of trips to Tasmania – that’s technically overseas, right? You’ve experienced stuff that some people take a lifetime to ever have a go at. Dude, you’ve sat in a genuine Japanese restaurant and have eaten real, honest to goodness gyoza dumplings and sushi. MADE BY JAPANESE PEOPLE IN JAPAN. You’ve napped at the Shibuya crossing like it’s no big deal. You’ve walked the streets of Korea. That is just so f*cking cool. Sorry for the swear words, but I figure by the time you read this, you’ll be old enough to handle it.

For all that cultural experience, I secretly love that you think poo is a hilarious word. That when you fart, it sends you into so many giggles (the kind where you’ve lost control of your laughter). Toilet humour starts early, folks. Once you announced to complete strangers that you ‘done a wee’. So there’s that.

We’re working on toilet training. We’ve had some setbacks but I know you’ll let me know when you’re ready to go all the way with it. You’re a bright kid. I have faith. Eep! Next year is day care once a week, buddy. As much as I am ready for this stage, don’t think I’m not a little irrationally nervous!

I can’t wait to see what the year of 3 brings. As much as it can be bittersweet at times, I love watching you grow. Each new milestone is genuinely exciting.

I hope you have a fabulous day. I promise there will be cake.

Happy birthday, my ray of sunshine.

Love,

Mummy.