Tag: family

Our secondary infertility story: Part 6 – Only Child?

I wrote this on the 27th December, 2015 (we’d been trying to conceive since July 2014). I have been chronicling my/our journey through secondary infertility. While it’s not something I wanted to publish right away, I couldn’t stop myself from needing to write our story. 

You can catch up on previous instalments of this story here…

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

As I sit here typing, I am waiting for my period. Like literally waiting. I’m a day late and while a small, eternally hopeful part of me is getting a bit excited (despite my better judgement), I know that I am more than likely having a slightly late period due to stress. Stress or Murphy’s law, anyhow. Maybe life is trying to give me a break – a consolation prize. Like, if I am going to not be pregnant yet again, then at least I can have a nice Christmas break without bleeding from the uterus or something.

Anyway, that aside, something has been on my mind lately, just nagging away at me. Maybe it’s because the Little Mister is having a break between day care and the beginning of his ‘big school’ career (4 year old kindy). Maybe because I’ve seen him behaving as the typical, over tired, over excited 4 year old that he is at this time of year. Maybe it’s a relatively harmless comment I heard once – something that struck a nerve, unintentionally. But I have been feeling really conscious of the fact that my gorgeous 4 year old is growing up an only child (as of yet) and that with no sibling in sight for him, that’s exactly what it looks like from the outside – to those who do not know our struggles.

While I have learned a lot from being a parent about getting better at not giving a flying you-know-what about what other people think, I am struggling with this one a bit. I know the phase will pass (because I’ll become distracted or make peace or find something new to worry about or all of the above), but I am reflecting on this because I do feel that there is a stigma about only children (there shouldn’t be).

Every time my child is demanding adult attention (there aren’t many other young kids in my family). Every time he doesn’t want to share. I wonder if people might think it’s all because he’s an ‘only’ child. Yet, I know there are lots of kids with siblings who are exactly the same and it’s written off as being used to sibling rivalry. There are lots of ‘only’ children who are amazing, thriving humans – both little and grown.

I think I feel guilty about the Little Mister not having a sibling, because it’s something he wants too. While I’ve had to let a lot of that guilt go, it hasn’t disappeared. I want him to grow up with that built in someone. I want him to feel those joys and annoyances. All of that stuff. I want him to have a sibling to be with when Mr Unprepared and I become old or eventually pass away (hopefully peacefully after a long life). I want him to know what all of that stuff is like. It’s always been our dream to have more than one child. It’s not everyone’s dream, but it’s been a lifelong one for both Mr Unprepared and I – since before we ever knew we’d meet each other.

I worry that one day I might have to make peace with (and grieve) the fact that he could very possibly be an only child for all of his life. I hope that stupid people won’t judge him for being an ‘only’ child. I hope he won’t be sad that he is one or that he will understand when we are eventually forced to explain to him why.

I love him with all of my heart, but my heart is big. There is so much room to love another. I truly hope I get the chance.

5 things I love about the school holidays.

Oh, hey there! It’s been a little while since my last blog post! I’ve had some technical difficulties of late. I won’t bore you with every little detail, but it basically involved my website being down, a less than helpful web host, a transfer to a new web host, me being a clueless person who should just stick to the writing of the words and the loss of some of my more recent content! Throw in a bit of writer’s block, a chest infection followed not long after by a cold and voilá – sweet fuck all happens around this little space on the internet! Oops!

I think I’m finally back on track now – fingers crossed! (narrator: she wasn’t on track – this post took a whole lot more time to publish after googling furiously and trying to talk to support people about how to successfully upload pictures after an error showed up).

Anyway, I’m celebrating today because it’s the last day of Term 2 at the Little Mister’s school. Now I know that the school holidays can become quite tiresome for many some and I admit that the summer holidays became quite painful in my household once January kicked in this year, but I am going to make the controversial call that these school holidays will be freakin’ awesome.

And if any of you start saying, well that’s good for you, you only have one kid, I will kick you in the lady balls because if you take a little look around here, you will notice that I have had quite a rough journey trying to give my son a sibling and I assure you that there have been plenty other challenges that I have experienced that I hope you’ve never had to (and I truly mean that). I know there will always be people out there who have it much much harder than me too. I think about those people all the time and I really really care, because it is possible to feel your own pain and somebody else’s at the same time. There. I said it. Now get off my back. I don’t comment on your fertility, so don’t talk about mine! Hmmph!

Sorry. Got off track with a little rant. It’s kind of been a bit of a sore point with me this week!

Where was I?

Oh yes. The school holidays. The school holidays will be so good. Here’s why I love them…

No school runs.

Duh haha. I love having more flexibility in my day. I also love that if I know I’m just going to be spending the day at home I don’t have to put on my ‘socially acceptable and not going to hurt your eyes grown up’ outfit on for drop off and pick up! I can just get about in my ‘holy shit that’s hurting my eyes and not in a good way’ home outfits and all is well!

No worrying about uniforms. 

I can just let my kid go for his life, diving into his cupboard and drawers and digging out whatever he feels like wearing (as long as it’s weather appropriate – spoiler – it never is)! I don’t have to add up the amounts of sports socks and calculate how many times he can wear his uniform before I need to wash it and worry about it drying in time or freaking out that he’s going to lose his hat or his jumper or water bottle each day.

Getting to do all the things we can’t do together during the term.

We don’t often get to do all the big events or kids’ concerts etc during the term. So on the holidays, while being overwhelmed by the masses can be a bit crazy, I do love being able to give the Little Mister some of those experiences. Big day trips or fun events. Mid week awesomeness. No worrying about fitting things around the school day. We have a few things planned for the first week of the holidays and this stir crazy mummy can’t wait! I know he’ll be so excited and we’ll get to make some great memories as a family. I’m really lucky because I have work flexibility – often working from a home office. This allows me the privilege of being able to be there as much as I want to be.

No school lunches.

It’s so funny because if I need to make lunch for the Little Mister at home, I’ll whip something up no worries. I’ll even enjoy doing it! But when it comes to preparing a lunch box the night before, Mr Unprepared and I find it to be so tedious! It will be so nice not worrying about it for a little while. I’m also one of those parents who is super conscious of what foods I put in my kid’s lunchbox. I worry about judgement. It will be nice relaxing the ‘rules’ just a little. It’s a bonus that Mr Unprepared has the first week of the holidays off work too – no work lunches need to be made for him either! Yippee!

I get to ‘sleep in’! 

On school days I have to get up before the Little Mister in order to get ready and have us both out the door in time. On school holidays I get a whole extra 45 minutes extra to sleep! YES!


So tell me! Where do you stand on the whole school holidays thing? Love them or hate them? Got any cool plans? 

Mother’s Day shout outs.

I was just going to make a little Facebook post for Mother’s Day, but realised that I have soooooo much to say. Probably a bit too much for Facebook. Which wouldn’t be out of character ?

Anyway, I’ll start with myself (what an ego – kidding – just getting it out of the way)!

I am so grateful to be a mum. When I say that, there’s a lot of weight to it. I have truly realised in the last 3 years of secondary infertility hell that being a mum is not a right. Becoming one is not a certainty for anyone. You can do all the right things (and then some) but at the end of the day it’s nothing but a crazy, lucky privilege (even if it seems to come easier for some). And for all my struggles to add to my family, I am so ridiculously grateful that I get to be called mum (probably 50,000 times a day – more on weekends and school holidays). I am so glad I get to whinge about about how hard it is and so glad I get to celebrate how amazing and heart burstingly fulfilling it is. Whatever happens from here on out, I will always be so glad that I have the Little Mister – he’s made me a mum and I am so glad he was meant to be in this world, hanging out with me and being my kid. I wouldn’t change that for ANYTHING.

Now onto my mum. My mum is amazing. She (and my dad) went through infertility struggles too. These led to the history making decision to adopt. And bam – there I was – in her arms (followed 3 years later by my bro). Well, not ‘bam’. It wasn’t easy. It was a long wait, with a lot of gruelling hoops to jump through. When you adopt, you have to actually prove you are going to be a good parent. It’s like having to earn a parenting license. Not many people have to do that. Maybe more should! But here we are. My mum is someone I have not always got along with (those teen years were a bit rocky!) but I have always been able to trust her. If she says she’s there, she’s there. If she says I need to figure something out for myself, it means she knows I’m strong enough. She’ll never tell me a white lie to make herself feel better. She’ll tell the the truth so I know I can believe her. She’s strong, assertive and confident. That inspires me. She’s also pretty effing amazing at putting outfits together and fantastic for the fashion advice! She’s been there for me emotionally, especially through the infertility stuff. She’s been there physically too. Babysitting and driving the Little Mister to school. I’m so lucky to have such a supportive network of people around me. She cries at the drop of a hat when talking about how she feels about being my mum and that makes me feel kind of special (can you IMAGINE when we went to see Lion together?!). My parents taught me that family isn’t just blood. Because of my parents, I am the compassionate people person that I am. I have no doubts about that. I love you, Mum!

My mother in law deserves a mention too. She loves the Little Mister to bits. She will never say no to being there for him or us and while I insist that we never take advantage of her, it is so nice to know she’s there in our corner. She always calls me on my birthday or checks in if Mr Unprepared is away. Thank you!

To my mums’ group. The OG MG. You have helped to shape my experience as a mum. We met on a fateful day in early 2012 (after a few weeks of trying to get the hang of leaving the house with an infant) and we’ve never failed to support each other or be there since. We have laughed, cried and stood up for each other. We’ve celebrated milestones and we’ve found out we are good drinking buddies when we can get babysitting too ? Thank you – each and every one of you. For being exactly who you are and bringing together our crazy melting pot of personalities in the most wonderful way.

Now, onto you lot.

I wish all of my fellow mums out there an amazing Mother’s Day. I hope you are pampered and loved. I hope you feel safe and happy. I hope the most important people in your life have let you know just how special you are to them.

To all of the women who dream of being a mum, but have struggled. I am so sorry. This shit is hard. I hope that one day your dream is realised. I am sorry that today might be hurting your heart. I’m thinking of you.

To the women like me, who feel their family is yet to be complete – we are so lucky to have what we have, but it’s OK to want more. Our hearts are big enough. I send all of my love to you. I hope this year is our year.

To those who no longer have their mums around. I’m sorry. I can’t imagine.

Happy Mother’s Day to those who have stepped up to parent and love children who are not biologically theirs, whether through fostering, adoption, blended family situations.

Happy Mother’s Day to the single mamas out there. That shit is tough!! I won’t even pretend to know the half of it! You’re amazing. You’re strong. You’re doing the best you can and that is bloody good enough. Probably more than.

My thoughts are with those who have suffered the loss of a child of any age – from pregnancy to adulthood. They were so lucky to have had you as a mum – even if it wasn’t for anywhere near long enough. My heart goes out to you.

Basically, if you are a mum in your heart, I wish you the best. Not just on Mother’s Day but all of your days. No matter what your situation is, I hope you have/find joy and laughter and love.

*raises glass*

To us.

via GIPHY

The Happy List #50: Birthday Week edition.

Last week was my 33rd birthday week. Not just a day, but a week! I sure know how to milk something for all its worth haha. But y’know, sometimes you have to stagger out some of the celebration/s and somehow it just becomes one big festival of birthday. I am not complaining! I think being alive for another year is always something to celebrate, whether you’re 1 or 100! Or you know, some kind of obscure, non impressive, non-milestone number like 33. Although, 3 is my lucky number, so two of them next to each other has to be a good omen, right? RIGHT? Oh goodness, I hope so!

I had so so much to be happy about in the past week or so and I sincerely thank everyone who had anything to do with me enjoying my birthday so much. You’re awesome.

Here are just some of the many things that made me feel happy…

Celebrating with my MG (we’ve been over this – it stands for mums’ group)

We don’t just celebrate our kids’ birthdays, but our own too, and I was so excited to have a girls’ night out! Not only do these girls have my back in so many tough situations, but they’re a shitload (technical mathematical term) of fun to hang out with in the good times too. We had dinner and I had pork belly and mojitos and the bitches wouldn’t let me pay for anything and they surprised me with a gorgeous gift and man, am I a lucky girl.

Our night after that was just an average bogan night on the home town (if you lived here you would understand ?), but good company made it so awesome. We danced to ‘pub rock’ played by a cover band, the 40 something year old front man sporting dyed black hair and a ginormous flavour savour – which is how all pub rock should be delivered – and sang all the back up vocals loudly from the dance floor whether anyone wanted us to or not. I really think that classic pub rock playlists have not changed one bit since before I was born and that it is quite amusing.

It felt really good to be out and about, with a new outfit and a face of make up too. Feeling like I’d actually made an effort! What a novelty!

Getting my guitar out

Some of you may have already seen my Insta story on the topic, but basically I hadn’t played my guitar since some time in 2010. It’s a beauty and she’s as good as new because sadly, she got put away not too long after I received her as a birthday gift from Mr Unprepared back then. We had a quite terrible year that year, followed by a year in which we became parents (which is awesome but time consuming – HA HA HA) and I just never picked it up again. Just kept it in its bag and moved it from room to room.

I’d mentioned to Mr Unprepared that I’d love to get playing again (especially to share the joy of music with the Little Mister), but that I’d like to get a few things for it first. He listened and he took care of everything! I walked into my office on my birthday morning to find my beautiful baby with new strings, a flash tuner, a new stand and even a matching pick.

AMAZING. She’s more beautiful than I remembered and she sounds AWESOME. I am so grateful. I’ve got to face the fact that I will have to cut my beautiful manicure short to play properly but that’s OK haha.

Turns out I only remember how to play (I use the term ‘play’ very loosely – I’m no musical prodigy) Blink 182 songs…might be time to update my repertoire (and grow out a nice flavour savour BAHAHA).

Dinner with my little family

I appreciate any family bonding time as a little family of 3 so much. We hadn’t been out to dinner, just the three of us, in so long. It was so great. Of course we laughed our arses off at being in the restaurant at 5:30pm (a five year old’s hangry meltdown avoidance strategy) – it was empty! Mr Unprepared joked that he’d booked the whole place out just for us for my birthday. He thought he was Kanye West or some shit. It was great, though. The Little Mister was very well behaved and if he occasionally forgot his indoor voice, nobody was there to notice!

The food was great (it was so well presented I felt like a Masterchef judge when I shoved a fork into it) and the mojito was strong. Perfect! I think we should do that more often, birthdays or no birthdays!

Online splurging shopping

On my birthday, I was feeling really disillusioned with the current clothes shopping situation in my home town. There’s not a whole lot of variety to choose from at present. I was feeling frumpy again and I wasn’t sure if I’d have anything cute to wear for my girls’ night out. I also realised that I lacked a great casual wardrobe that is easy to put together as we transition from summer to autumn to winter. It’s that weird in-betweeny time.

Luckily, I remembered that I had internet access and some birthday money! After some false starts (dodgy aforementioned internet and some crap where I had to call my bank), I finally picked out a great wardrobe for myself (with everything 40% off)! Almost every top and skirt will mix and match, can be layered up for winter and should be fat day/PMS proof (fingers crossed I’ve nailed the sizing because I fluctuate like a mofo)! SO EXCITING. I am impatiently awaiting delivery!!

Getting my hair did

I was very excited to make a hair appointment for the first time since August 2016. My hair was getting really long and I would describe the style as blaaaaaaaaaaah. I was quite over it.

I went to my fave salon and they did some magical shit. We’re working on gradually lightening some panels under the top layers so I can rock some rainbow inspired hair (currently the turquoise is working for me). Which means I’ll have to go back again soon. Bummer. NOT!

I also got a beautiful cut – a long bob which falls just right – because my hairdresser is a genius. SO GOOD.

I know it’s such a cliche thing to say, but there’s nothing like a fresh hair style/colour to really make you feel good about yourself. It has given me such a boost!

It can be a bit hard to keep this stuff up financially, but I think I will try harder this year to prioritise it.

Other stuff that has made me happy:

  • Wrapping up my 100 happy days photo challenge – more on that later…
  • Absolutely nailing my ANZAC biscuit making
  • The Little Mister attending his very first ANZAC Day dawn service (and being so good)
  • Lilac fingernails
  • Surviving the school holidays with only a couple of “OMFG WHEN WILL THIS END” moments
  • Nailing all of my self care goals for the week – it felt so self indulgent but I must have really needed it – been through the wringer and back with all of the infertility/fertility stuff I guess
  • The Little Mister’s musings about just about anything (as long as he isn’t interrupting the grown ups incessantly or whingeing of course haha). He makes me laugh.

What has made you feel happy lately?

The Happy List #49

Well, hello there Monday! How the hell are you?

I am glad it’s a new week. Last week was quite emotionally draining. I made the most of it and there were definitely lots of positives to be experienced, but I think that the craziness that was my March finally hit me. You know when you’re in survival mode, so everything’s go go go and you don’t have time to think or even feel? And then you finally come back to a baseline of normality and it’s a bit of a crash? That.

So I’ve decided to start this fresh week with a focus on the positives!

Here are some things that have made me happy recently ?

Not having to make school lunches/do school runs/wake up earlier than my kid.

Yep. For almost 3 weeks, I do not have to pack a single lunch box. YES. That is one definite highlight of the school holidays around here haha. While I do still have to feed my child (it’s kind of uncool not to), I won’t have to worry about what fits in the lunchbox or being as strict about what I put on his plate. There’s no ‘night before’ deadline to freak out about each evening when everyone’s exhausted. I can make it on the spot while the Little Mister whines at me each day. Ha!

Not having to do school pick ups and drop offs will save me a couple of hours a day. And it means our daily routine can be a bit more relaxed. I have a few things planned for my quality time with the Little Mister which is nice.

Instead of waking at 6:15am each morning, I get to wake up at 7am. This is exciting (because I clearly have a lot going on).

While I’m aware of several drawbacks of school holidays, this is a HAPPY list so shhhhh. I’ll be driven insane soon enough hahaha.

My #kezgetsphysical achievements over the last two weeks.

I have been looking after myself more. It can be hard to make myself and exercise a priority but I pushed through and exercised properly 6 times in the last week and a half or so. I ate a bit cleaner (things weren’t perfect and I am not too worried about that). I think that all of this helped my mental health and I really am enjoying the fact that my body already feels better. I am less bloated and I am tightening up all the bits that were getting a bit softer/wobblier after a bit too much time off.

I lost a total of 1.2kg and I am hoping to bust through my usual plateau soon, so I don’t have to keep coming back to the same spot over and over!

The school holidays may prove a little challenging for me, but lots of YouTube work outs and spontaneous dance parties with the Little Mister will hopefully make up for the lack of treadmill time aka alone time haha.

I’m really happy because I do not take my health or my ability to do what I want with my body for granted after some of the fertility stuff I’ve had to deal with in the last 2-3 years.

Fresh air at my parents’ house.

I don’t know whether it’s the change in the air from summer to autumn, but I’ve been getting so much pleasure from standing outside at my parents’ place (they live on 5 acres), looking at the trees and taking in nice deep breaths of fresh air. I know. I sound so zen. I’m not but I like to fake it ’til I make it haha.

Group video chatting with the fam on my brother’s 30th birthday.

My family can be a bit scattered all over the place at times. My brother is in Spain right now – his treat to himself for surviving the first 30 years of his life! My parents were recently at a location wedding. We wanted to catch up so we had to school ourselves on group video chat technology. Tip: Messenger is pretty good.

It was pretty funny. We made fun of ourselves for all being old now (with the exception of the Little Mister). My brother kept disappearing and cutting out – that was when he didn’t have a terrible robot voice.

I just love how people can be ‘together’ even when they’re all over the world now.

A surprisingly productive work week.

It felt good to get lots of stuff done. I was really lucky to have an amazing a bit of copywriting work thrown my way and I’ve really enjoyed it. I think that because life has calmed down a little (for now anyway), I was able to really knuckle down with less distractions/disruptions. Felt good.

Here are some other things that have made me happy:

  • Having a quiet drink when I feel like it.
  • Being able to confide in my friends (both online and offline).
  • Apple with peanut butter – best snack ever! How has it taken this long for me to get on board?
  • The fact that it’s April – one of my favourite months of the year. My brother’s birthday, mine and Easter have always come together. I also love those mild (but still pleasantly sunny/warm) Autumn feels.
  • Reading a little more – right now it’s The Wrong Girl by Zoe Foster Blake.
  • It’s been a few days now and I still haven’t messed up my side of the bathroom vanity!
  • Snuggles with Mr Unprepared. Laughs too.
  • Rewatching Offspring on Netflix. Watching Billie and Mick’s fertility struggles has taken on a new meaning now. We weren’t struggling when it originally aired. I feel like I get it more now. I really do. It makes me feel so good that they touched on that.
  • Making little plans for activities the Little Mister and I can do these holidays. I know we’ll probably only tick off half the list (if that) but it’s nice.

What has been making you happy lately? Share the love!

Let’s talk about my 2016.

2016 and I have had quite the relationship. If I had to make it Facebook official, I’d be selecting “it’s complicated” as our relationship status.

Because there have been aspects of it that have sucked, but if it hadn’t sucked I might not have had such a good year. Are you confused yet? Like, on the one hand, I want to say this was the worst year ever. But on the other hand, I feel like I really had some amazing break throughs and adventures. I feel like I can’t completely write it off.

Let’s start with the stuff that sucked (in the name of getting it out of the way)…

OK, so maybe it was just one thing. It really really sucked to not be able to conceive a sibling for the Little Mister. Honestly, most things that sucked about my year stemmed from this. I estimate that I had blood taken from me at least 36 times (not including that month I was completely drained of everything having blood tests almost every second day of my cycle or the extra times we needed to be sure of something or when I had my initial standard tests when we decided we needed to get help). Yep. 36 times were just the routine blood tests. Routine. I hate that fucking routine. Some of those tests may have been late 2015 but I can’t be bothered fact checking right this second. I had a lot of blood taken, OK?

I also had at least 12 internal ultrasounds (you know what ‘internal’ means). Yep. It’s a pretty all-up-in-your-bits, confronting experience. Especially when most of the time, the results show it was a waste of time.

I had surgery. A laparoscopy/hysteroscopy. It was nerve wracking. I was sick a lot through winter – so much more than usual. My immune system was so screwed up and I really think it had a lot to do with all of this.

Maintaining some of my friendships proved really difficult. It was so hard to commit to things when you knew your period would/might arrive and wreck everything (and I’m not talking ‘normal’ periods – I’m talking hellishly heavy ones) or you’d be scheduling last minute doctor appointments and scans, all dependent on what your body decided or not decided to do at any given time. Or when you were sick all the time. Or when you’d had awful news and you were feeling so down that you just needed to curl up in a ball and have a brief pity party before summoning up as much resilience as possible to be able to get back up the next day. Some people bothered to ask about it and understood and showed me they were there no matter what, some people stopped checking in. I had to make some tough decisions to allow myself to stop feeling eternally guilty or left out. Or hurt.

Look, a lot of women go through this shit (and much worse). I hope I haven’t come across as totally melodramatic. While it has been an emotionally awful time, it did just become part of a routine and I did get on with it. What choice did I have if we want what we want? I guess, after two and a half years it starts to wear thin. I hope 2017 will be kinder in this aspect of my life.

Here’s the stuff that was good…

I had friends who really pulled through for me. I also learned how to develop friendships on my own terms so I didn’t always feel like I was at everyone else’s mercy when times were tough (the FOMO was strong in this one). I had friends who took the time to announce their pregnancies to me in the most heartwarming, kind and compassionate ways. I felt honoured to be told the way I was and so thankful for their kindness. I hope if you’re reading this, you know who you are.

I found friends who stuck it out with me through the infertility stuff, who never judged when I felt down or couldn’t be there as much as I wished I could, and who comforted me even though I imagine they understandably didn’t always know what to say. You tried and you were there and I cannot thank you enough. You helped me to realise I’m a good friend still too – some things/people led me to be so damn hard on myself, but because of you I am learning to let go of that.

I finally swallowed my pride and joined some online support groups for secondary infertility. Finally, I was talking to people who had been through the exact same stuff as me. I have also found other groups with some of my blogging type friends, where I can just be me (even about the stuff that can’t be blogged).

I found strength inside myself that I never knew I had. I wish I didn’t have to exercise it so much, but I would never take it back! I even became a bad ass comic book super hero, thanks to the love of my fave arty friend, Em.

She has purple hair because I feel like you can’t not kick arse in life if you have purple hair (I dream of actually having purple hair – she’s a bit aspirational haha). Ripped jeans? Check. Lighthouse tattoo (to symbolise so many things but mostly keeping myself and my family safe but also radiating light) and a big heart tattoo, because through all of this I want to remain open hearted and be a lover of life.

Em? You are amazing. Talented. Kind. I shall hang this in my (STILL not completed) office so I can see it every day. She/me symbolises those moments when I am struggling but then I remember I am tougher than anything that is thrown at me and I get the fuck back up. It’s probably a little weird but I have genuinely imagined this ‘hero’ every time I’ve struggled – she’s been so helpful. I highly recommend getting yourself made into a comic book hero (and I’m not even usually into that stuff!)! Hey, whatever works!

I had to ditch a lot of fear and stress. I lost a few kilos (the stress weight I’d added by eating my feelings) and I started living healthier.

I became a school mum. It was nerve wracking at first and I felt awkward and like I just did not have my shit together for half the year (at least) but I made it to the end of the year with a Little Mister who has grown so much in so many ways (I love that kid so damn much). I don’t feel so scared anymore. I feel a lot more settled and I feel like myself again. I think I’ve got this (ha – we all know I’m speaking too soon).

I went on a few adventures too. I said yes to things I would have hesitated to do in the past. The best way to keep my spirits up was to change the scenery – have a little respite. Sure, I wasn’t getting pregnant, but I did not want to stop living my life. I might have felt like I was walking around with a big hole in my heart, but I filled my life with positive things – things I might not have done if I was pregnant. It was not a perfect consolation (nothing is) but it was all a wonderful distraction and a way to make the best I could out of the situation I was dealing with.

I went to Sydney, Melbourne, camping in Kalbarri, camping in Augusta, saw Josh Pyke twice, Bob Evans once and I fulfilled my teenaged dream of seeing Unwritten Law! We grabbed life by the you-know-whats and had so much amazing quality time as a couple and as a family. I said yes more but to the things I ACTUALLY wanted to do. No regrets!

My friend Alice moved to WA to be with my other friend Trent – I cannot say enough about how happy that has made me!

I had the courage/good fortune to go after a working life that makes me happy and fits in with my crazy life. I have jobs that fulfil my creative side, my love of good grammar and my ability to wear whatever the fuck I want at the office. I am grateful for the opportunities that I have been presented with. I like being a working mum (most of the time) and I am grateful that I can work flexibly, which helps me to overcome so many logistical challenges. My confidence has grown (after I had been out of the work force for a while) and I am excited to see where my professional life takes me.

What next?

I don’t know where 2017 will take me. I really hoped 2016 would bring me a baby or a pregnancy. I really thought I’d feel settled and more content. I guess I hope the same for next year (but with a few more adventures thrown in). I think I’ll be braver and I think I’ll be brighter. I do feel like 2016 shook everything up and put it back in the place it should be, all ready for next year. I just hope that fate comes to the party. I know I said that at the end of 2015 but shhhhh. I can’t help but be optimistic, even a little bit. Bring it, 2017. I hope that all of my loved ones have a good year too.

How was your 2016? 

Stuff to do in Kalbarri, Western Australia.

Have you ever been to Kalbarri? It’s just over 500 km north of Perth. It’s a bit of a drive, but it was just the thing we needed after a long, cold and ridiculous winter. It was quite the family affair: my brother in law, sister in law, a couple of nephews and my parents in law were all in attendance.

I was excited for sunshine and a bit of camping. Well, when I say camping, it was all rather civilised. Powered sites, our cosy camper trailer, roast dinners (not joking – Weber BBQs can do amazing things), those super comfy camp chairs that I got on sale at an outdoorsy warehouse place.

I thought I’d share some stuff you can enjoy there (because we did):

Be thrashed at Play mini golf at the Pirate Theme Park

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Look, I am not that good at mini golf. Unless the wind is in my favour or I play against small children (who may still beat me). But I love a good putt. It brings out the silliness in people of all ages and the Little Mister somehow got a hole in one (this has happened both times he’s played in his very young life – what the hell)!

We played as a fairly big group and it made for a really fun morning.

Get out on the water

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We got a couple of great beach days in. Sandcastles were built. Water fights between cousins were had. At one point, the Little Mister just cut out the middle man and poured buckets of water on himself, he was having so much fun!

The town is situated where the Murchison River meets the ocean and it’s just stunning – perfect calm, shallow water for kids to play in and for everyone to get on the water with every kind of apparatus imaginable!

We hired a pedal boat (they look really relaxing and fun but OMG it’s a good leg work out) and a stand up paddle board (SUP) and had SO much fun! The family shared them so the cost of the rental wasn’t exorbitant. I am not a typically sporty person as such, but if you get me on the water, I’ll try most things! Well, except for kite surfing, because I don’t want to die!

Feed the pelicans

Turns out this is a big deal! Every day at 8:45am, local volunteers will tell you everything you ever wanted to know about pelicans, and then with any luck they’ll fly in like clockwork and peeps can feed them some fish!

It’s so funny, because even though I’m so used to pelicans (my hometown being quite a popular place for them to steal people’s take away food and terrorise small dogs on the foreshore), there was something quite fun about everyone getting together and making it into an event! Some things are just more awesome on holidays!

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Visit the gorges and walk along the cliffs

You cannot visit without checking out the god damn beautiful scenery. Holy shit. My eyes were just hungry for it. I just wanted to take in all that natural beauty and the wide open spaces!

We visited the gorges first. It’s probably not for anyone with a massive phobia of heights, but wow it’s worth a little bit of a wobbly kneed peek over the nice solid look out barriers at the very least!

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From the gorges to the cliffs over the ocean, I was blown away…not literally, because that would be fucking scary. But you know what I mean, right?

Again, not for those with a debilitating phobia of heights, but amazing all the same. I was so scared I’d lose my phone or camera over the edge but the adrenaline rush from fearing a permanent loss of your technology really is like participating in an extreme sport for some (ahem me) haha.

I wish we’d had more time (and a more cooperative child – his new nickname is Sacka – short for Sacka Potatoes) to walk the amazing trails along the coast, but there’s always next time (I really want there to be a next time)!

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Eat fish and chips

I really feel like you can’t go on a coastal holiday in Australia without sampling the local fish and chips. We went nuts for it on the last night of our stay. It was perfect because nobody had to cook and we (the middle generation) also got to shout the parents in law because they’d been really generous throughout the trip and they needed some payback!

Kalbarri has a few fish and chips spots, but we chose The Jetty Seafood Shack. May I add that it was a really good choice? Because it was. YUM.


So there you have it. The highlights of our recent holiday getaway. And as I sit here listening to my husband trying not to throw his guts up after eating a dodgy chicken servo pie on the way home (WHY?!), with the wind and rain howling outside, I am grateful we got a proper taste of spring before our crash landing back to reality!

Have you been to Kalbarri? Anything you’d add to the list? Where do you like to escape to when winter gets too long (I may just take notes)? 

The Happy List #43

Hello! How are you today? I’m OK. Had crappy sleep all weekend, but I’m excited because today I plan on getting back on the treadmill for the first time since forever (my health kept getting in the way). I AM PSYCHED. Gotta get my endorphins and stop feeling so wobbly haha.

Anyway, it’s time to share with you the things that have made me happy in the last week or so. Not the cliché stuff everyone feels they have to say, but the stuff that has really made me feel good. It’s my way of reflecting on the week that’s been, before diving into a new week full of possibilities (and probably school mum fails and other ridiculous stuff)!

So here is my happy list!

Buying concealer for the first time

I mentioned a little while ago that my confidence had been shot to pieces with recent events. One of the things that really bothered me was my skin. All the mixed up hormonal stuff and the constant sickness before my surgery meant that I was sprouting a billion (slight exaggeration) zits every month. I felt like an awkward teenager and not the self assured 32 year old woman I would have liked to be. While I’d love to be super awesome and realise I am much more than what’s on my face, I am not really there yet. So I did the next best thing and researched googled concealer (which I knew nothing about) and made a plan.

That simple purchase has changed everything! Now I don’t mind as much when I have a pimple and even though you can never hide spots perfectly, I have stopped wanting to hide in general! That’s progress!

Feeling recovered from surgery and optimistic about the future

I am finally starting to feel good, physically. I get a little bit sore at times, but I am stoked that 3 weeks later, I am able to go through the motions of a normal day without crashing halfway. I can work comfortably. I’ve caught myself sleeping on my stomach for the first time in weeks. I feel ready to do some light exercise. I can wear jeans for almost a whole day! Yippee!

Also, most importantly, I feel good about life again. That surgery answered some questions for me and while only time can tell if it will help the fertility issue, I am so glad to at least feel a sense of hope again. I realise these hopes could be dashed over and over like they were for the (almost) two years prior, but right before surgery I truly was feeling despondent and negative. It’s nice just to feel optimistic again. I worried that I never would.

At the very least, just knowing that my endometriosis has been removed is quite a joyous thought.

Taking the Little Mister for a haircut

I took the Little Mister for a hair cut the other day, because he tends to look a little wild. His hair has a really funny crown which makes his hair grow out all swirly and haphazard – it’s a real pain! His school is quite strict with uniform/dress code etc and while I’m sure they are a little more relaxed with kindy kids, I did not want to be the first kindy mum to find out that they’re not haha. There was no way we were going to make it through the last three weeks of term!

His hair grows ridiculously fast, so he’s been getting hair cuts since forever. He’s really used to it. He is getting so good at sitting still and he’s starting to get to know the ladies at the barber’s. This week, I almost died from the cuteness. He’s always answered the chatty questions he is asked while he sits in the chair, but this was the first time he initiated conversations. He was so earnest and he used the exact tone and timing you’d expect of an adult. I was blown away and it was so funny coming from a person so small they had to sit on a massive booster seat!

Afterwards, the lady who cut his hair (magnificently) told us she loved the chats and it made her morning. It made mine too!

Witnessing the Little Mister’s first ‘solo’ ferris wheel ride

We took the Little Mister to a country town festival over the long weekend. We’ve taken him every year and it’s so much fun seeing how he’s grown since the previous times we’ve attended. It’s good old fashioned family time and I love it.

This year we felt he was old enough to go on the kiddie ferris wheel by himself. He normally rides on stuff with his dad (ha – I totally dob him in) and has a ball, but that ferris wheel had been taunting him since he was old enough to be excited about rides. His day had finally come. He was so excited and he gave the ticket to the ride operator by himself (a totally big deal haha). He was sat with a little girl who was also going by herself for the first time and her mum and I almost lost it making “AWWWWWW” sounds – Mr Unprepared stood a safe distance away!! Seeing his little face light up each time they went around was just priceless. Stoked is an understatement!

Having a big cook up day on the long weekend

Last weekend I was able to rekindle my love of cooking. I spent ALL day in the kitchen. Not because I had to, but because I wanted to! There was no real time pressure like there is during the work week. I made chicken pot pies, some pin wheels for school lunches, a cake. BLISS.

Now that it’s winter, I am loving this stuff. I am a big fan of roasted veggies and soups right now.

Other stuff that has made me happy: 

  • Figuring out how to make emoji move in snapchat videos. It’s a simple pleasure haha. Do you know how? Hit me up (kezunprepared) and I’ll tell ya haha.
  • Feeling a bit yuck about something I found out and then feeling the liberation of realising it’s not my circus and certainly not my monkeys.
  • Having a new healthy living challenge to look forward to – it starts tomorrow and goes for two weeks! Click here to find out more. Let’s just say I am going to have fun trying to eat a truckload of vegetables each day! Bring it!
  • One of my besties getting a fitbit so now we’re fitbit buddies too and it’s SO exciting! #addicted
  • Red wine. I have never been a red drinker, but I have recently realised it’s perfect in cold weather, all snuggled up at night. I’m grateful that one of my lovelies left a bottle at my house a lifetime ago and told me to keep it!
  • Laughing with the Little Mister and my parents as we tried to fly a kite in no wind yesterday. Hilarious.
  • The Judd Apatow show ‘Love’ on Netflix.

So, your turn! What has been making you happy this week? 

The Happy List #38

It’s the Monday of a long weekend here in WA. That alone deserves a spot on the happy list! I love the feeling that we’re counting down to Easter and then the school holidays. Yay!

So, sometimes I really suck at the whole pre-amble thing. Let’s just get right to the good stuff.

Here are some of the things that have made me happy in the last week…

Having an extra long weekend

It’s been fantastic. We haven’t done much (funds are a little low and we’ve all been a bit tired), but Mr Unprepared took Friday off work and the Little Mister doesn’t have kindy again until mid week! I’ve been relishing in the fact that I have had a sweet, sweet break from school drop offs and pick ups.

It’s also been nice to slow down and finally beat some of the ridiculously persistent exhaustion that has been plaguing me for the past 6 weeks or so. By no means will this weekend be a miracle that will stop me from being tired forever, but it’s nice to refresh a little while I can!

I figure that by the time he does get back to kindy, I will be ready for a break, so it works out for all of us!

Ross Noble

I don’t know if you’ve heard of the UK comedian Ross Noble, but the guy is super funny (as comedians should be). His improv skills are just unreal. I was lucky enough to see him with a bunch of friends last week. It was a bit full on for a mid week night time outing and I was really tired (the day had been the most intense emotional roller coaster let me tell you), but I was so happy that I pushed through it and went for the therapeutic laughs. Laughter really is the best medicine.

A bonus of it all was that my fitbit even recorded an hour’s worth of my laughter as a legit fat burning work out!! Nice! I think I need to see more comedy haha.

Beach time

I am a beach person. I don’t get there as much as I’d like, but I am the kind of person who needs to feel the comfort of not being far from the ocean at all times. I need my fix of fresh, salty ocean air and cool blues and greens. The sound of the water.

I was glad to get much needed time at our local this weekend. I took a dog and ran/walked/struggled there, meeting Mr Unprepared, the Little Mister and our other dog (they went in the car). Here’s the proof haha…

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We made sandcastles (which the Little Mister took a lot of delight in smashing) and paddled in the white wash and laughed as our dog swam for a stick, learning the hard way how to surf her way in without getting dumped.

There was nothing like watching the ear to ear grin on the Little Mister’s face, the entire time we were there. He just exuded pure joy. I think he loves the beach as much (if not more) as I do!

Taking my time painting my nails

I am usually in a rush when I do my own nails. There’s usually an event I have to do them for, with limited time and I’m usually so bone weary I can’t enjoy the ritual. I usually just want to get straight to bed (but not before botching my left hand). This week, I was able to take my time and enjoy it.

I now have the fingernails of a 5 year old girl haha. Sure, I didn’t quite nail (pun unintended) the application of the nail wrap this time (a popular brand that shall remain nameless) and I always flood my cuticles, but it was fun to do anyway (and saves the moolah on expensive manicure appointments)!

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I always feel more polished (pun intended) when my nails are done.

Random compliments from the Little Mister

This morning, while sitting at the kitchen table, wearing my hair in a daggy ponytail, my muu muu nightie and (obviously) no make up, I got told, “Mummy. I think you are very beautiful.”

Now tell me that doesn’t feel good!

He then drew me a picture of a love heart because “You love me and I love you.”

Even though he screamed for me about 1000 times when I tried to go to the toilet alone earlier, I think I’ll keep him.

Other stuff that has made me happy:

  • When people tell me that they appreciate me ‘keeping it real’. I think that’s a big compliment.
  • Bonding with my big boof head dog while out running/walking/struggling.
  • Being able to wake up in the morning after a tough time and remember that life is good and people are good.
  • Wine. Bacardi. Cider. Not all at once haha. But it’s nice to enjoy a quiet drink. Especially when you’ve been so good.
  • Being able to watch movies past 8:30pm because old.
  • Drinking more water.
  • When timing is everything.
  • Cooler nights.
  • Feeling like autumn is coming – my favourite season.

So what has been making you happy lately? 

The Happy List #29

My Happy List is a day later than usual. Patchy internet and a busy schedule had a lot to do with it! I know I could have taken a break over the festive season, but I really didn’t want to because there’s been so much to be happy about.

Here are some of the things that have made me happy…

A relaxing Christmas/Boxing Day

For the first time in the 13 years Mr Unprepared and I have been together, we managed to finally realise the dream of only attending one location per day. We had our first Christmas on the 25th at my parents’ house and then a second Christmas on the 26th with the inlaws. So nice. We were able to have slow starts each day (which were much needed!) and a couple of times Mr Unprepared and I even had an accidental nap/food coma on the couch. There were great, thoughtful gifts, huge pavlovas and lots of quality family time at both.

The Little Mister’s excitement about Santa

I absolutely loved helping the Little Mister to prepare for Santa’s visit on Christmas Eve. We put out a carrot for the reindeer (something pulled from the bottom of the veggie drawer in the fridge), some cookies, rocky road and choc truffles – Santa was so freakin’ spoilt! We also put out a special key for Santa so he could get in our house, even though we don’t have a chimney. I had tried the whole ‘he can magic his way into anywhere’ thing but the Little Mister had been so worried about it that I’d caved and ordered a special key ahead of time this year!

On Christmas morning it was so awesome to see the Little Mister’s awestruck face when I told him Santa had come. I seriously love doing Christmas with a kid. So special. I hope we’re giving him some awesome memories.

Catch ups with one of my besties (and co)

I get so excited when my friend comes out from the US. It’s one of those drop everything – whatever it is – and catch up scenarios. So much fun is had. Yesterday we were able to celebrate her marriage to her great dude. They’d got married in Hawaii much earlier this year, but had a lot of loved people from home to share it with. We got to watch the ceremony video and I was all, “OH MY GOSH – THIS IS WHY I WANT TO GO TO HAWAII” and TRYING NOT TO BAWL. Even though it was only a video, it was just gorgeous and when my lady love got all choked up saying her vows and I saw the absolute grin on her husband’s face I became a ball of mush. They truly are good peeps.

Of course, afterwards things went a little nuts. We hit the town. Hard. I don’t want to alarm you, but there were mojitos and there was dance floor action. We are too old for that shit. But oh my goodness, it could only happen with them. Arguments were had over who is the worst influence (I am most certainly not interested in telling you what the majority consensus was) and I don’t think I’d laughed so hard in forever.

Let’s just say that this morning was not kind to me. Props go to Mr Unprepared – a great support in times of need!

Also, if anything about this post seems a bit off, like my brain has malfunctioned – it probably did.

LEGO

This year, the Little Mister graduated from the larger Duplo to the real deal. I love it for so many reasons (not sponsored haha). It gets him really creative and I get such a kick out of seeing the things he makes. I also love that he can literally sit there for hours playing with it quietly. It’s been so great when he’s needed some down time and when I was baking like a crazy woman before Christmas, he would sit at the breakfast bar and make some so he could be close to me. He was so well behaved and I was able to get so much done! It’s eclipsed the TV for babysitting rights, which is awesome haha.

A well earnt lazy day at home with the fam

I am so stoked to be able to chill all day at home with my little family. It’s been a crazy week month! It’s nice sometimes to just drop your social mask (and bra and make up and nice clothes and the belly you’ve been sucking in) and laze about a bit in your own space. Nothing like it.

Other stuff that has made me happy:

  • Air conditioning. It’s really a modern wonder in the hot summer.
  • That feeling of victory when you realise you’ve survived another busy Christmas and you can breathe out a bit again.
  • Seeing old pictures from my Gran’s family and learning a bit more about their history.
  • FaceTiming with my brother on Christmas Day. We missed him heaps but it was so great to have that stupid banter and feel like he was a part of our day.
  • Seeing everyone’s great Facebook posts for Christmas – so much love everywhere. I hope it was all real and that everyone had as much fun with their loved ones as it looked like.
  • Buying hangover food. Not the scientifically proven, healthy stuff that is actually good for your hangover cure, but the gross stuff that does nothing for you but just hits the spot.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas or that you survived it if you did not.

What would you put on your happy list this week?