Tag: holidays

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? 

Taking stock: July 2016 edition.

I’m sitting here on this rainy day, trying to get my brain working now that we’re home from an AMAZING trip to Melbourne. The reality of school holidays has dawned on me and I’m also realising that time is passing by so fast! I thought this would be a nice time to take stock

Currently…

Making: myself drink a glass of water. I think I’m a little dehydrated. Nothing new, really!

Cooking: Dinner tonight. Mr Unprepared has been awesome throughout the school term, covering my arse when it’s all seemed a bit hard, but I want to pitch in more! Tonight is the exotic sausage and veggies. Who knows which way I will cook it? A slow cooked stew? With pasta? Bangers and mash? The suspense!

Drinking: Water! I already told you that!

Reading: I’ve been scouring my Facebook newsfeed, looking for well written, shareable blog posts/articles. You can find that stuff on my new Facebook page, if you like. It’s like a pet side project.

Wanting: A child free day or two! I’ve loved my hang time with the Little Mister, but it has been intense! I’d love to just chill in the quiet for a bit! BUT…I don’t want to wish away the school holidays just yet either (hello – no lunches or early morning rushing)!

Looking: At my tidy house and wondering how long it will stay that way. The Little Mister is trying this new, revolutionary thing where he puts things away when he’s finished playing with them – without me having to beg him. I think the novelty will wear off soon – I think he’s in a honeymoon phase now we’re home.

Playing: Snapchat stories to kill time. Username: kezunprepared !!

Deciding: On how to structure my day. I’ve literally made no solid plans for any of the school holidays yet! How does that happen??

Wishing: That a phone call I’ve been waiting for will happen today. I am very sick of playing phone chasey with someone who should have called me first. Grrr.

Enjoying: The Little Mister’s random comments. He just ran up to me wearing a silly hat, saying “I am going to keep this on so people don’t know that I have hair.” OK… ?

Waiting: For that aforementioned phone call. The person in question has been made aware of my frustration and I have been promised a call back in the next couple of hours. Fingers crossed.

Liking: Twitter DM conversations with friends I can talk about anything with. Literally anything. Hashtag grateful.

Wondering: If I’ll cry today. I hope not. Bit stressed. (in)Fertility shit in case you’re wondering. Ha. Wondering. Let’s all wonder together.

Loving: My memories of Melbourne. So much cool shit happened. That trip away was just what the Little Mister and I needed (we were bummed Mr Unprepared couldn’t make it because of work).

Pondering: On what professionalism really means. Is it just fulfilling your job description or is it never forgetting to give a shit?

Considering: What healthy snacks to stock up on today, so the Little Mister doesn’t eat us out of house and home during the holidays!

Buying: New pillows. I have come back from my holiday and realised that my pillow situation just will not do! They’re too flat and they’ve lost their oomph. My sleep is precious, damn it!

Watching: Playschool. Under duress. 

Hoping: That 2016 can turn itself around for me.

Marvelling: At how a sick kid can still find so much energy.

Cringing: At the fact that I forgot about a wet load of the Little Mister’s washing in the machine last night and now I have to rewash it all so it doesn’t get stinky. And then I have to deal with the ‘husband washed a tissue in the previous load’ situation which is all over our dry clothes.

Needing: Some couch time.

Questioning: When to leave the house. Before or after that phone call I’m expecting? Will it rain on us when we go out?

Smelling: My perfume that my parents got me after my surgery. Still love it. It’s called Rhi Rhi or Ri Ri or whatever Rihanna called it. Love a good celebrity scent!

Wearing: Black, torn jeans and a polka dotted black tee shirt. And an air of I’ve run out of fucks and I haven’t done my washing since I got home from Melbourne.

Following: The latest election (can we even call it that) news with a bemused look on my face. So…who’s our prime minister? And how long will he last before he’s ousted? Oh, Australian politics. You suck.

Noticing: My dogs snuggling up together on the same bed because it’s cold. So cute.

Knowing: The day of the week is a bit of a struggle at the moment. I thought yesterday was Wednesday (it was) but then I forgot it was and thought today was Wednesday too. And then I remembered it was Thursday and that I must have missed Offspring last night which brings me to the next point…

Thinking: As much as I was really sad when the previous season of Offspring ended because it was my favourite show, I felt like they resolved it all so well and I was ready to let go when I’d had a few weeks to let it all sink in. Now that it’s back, I am really hoping it won’t lack the amazing everything that it had before.

Admiring: All the beautiful winter coats I saw people wearing in Melbourne and then remembering that I’d never wear them here, despite the Perth cold being quite Melbourne-ish this year.

Sorting: Out the contents of my suitcase. I am a lazy unpacker but I’m gonna nail this. I give myself until the weekend to have it all done.

Getting: More assertive, the older I get. This could either be a really good thing or a dangerous thing haha.

Bookmarking: Not much lately! I would love to sit down and explore some new stuff.

Coveting: A few more pairs of jeans, please. Preferably distressed, dark in colour and totally my size.

Disliking: The fact that my fitbit is charging and none of my steps have been counted today!

Opening: My heart. Yes. I went there. Cheesy AF. But it’s true. It’s a daily decision sometimes.

Giggling: feels good. I’d like to do more of it.

Feeling: Like I think I should just let some stuff wash over me instead of overthinking it. Trying to stay in the moment right now.

Snacking: On things that are not wholesome or healthy. OMG I need to get back on the veggie bandwagon. I mean, I feel like a big hypocrite because I wrote this post and then I went to Melbourne and got addicted to all sorts of things I wouldn’t normally feast on! Damn it! I promise to get back on track! One thing I did do well was drink green smoothies, at least?

Helping: is something the Little Mister tries to do all the time. I love his enthusiasm, even if the results can range from victorious/celebration worthy to OMG PLEASE DON’T DO THAT.

Hearing: The Little Mister doing something with crayons and paper and I should probably check on that…

So what have you been up to lately? Tell me, because I’m nosy!

The Happy List #41

Oh, hey! It’s me! It’s been a big week. Action packed! Filled with good things. Much needed. It’s a bit hard to slow down, because I think I’ve been trying to avoid reality (the start of a new school term and my upcoming surgery), but I’m hoping that this long weekend will give me some time to ease back into it without having a total mental breakdown!

So here is my happy list…

My Sydney getaway

Last weekend was GLORIOUS. I was starting to come good from a rough bout with my endometriosis. I was healthy. I was ready! I slept like I hadn’t slept in years (no joke – my fitbit’s sleep tracker proves it). I shopped until I dropped. I saw good friends. Had plenty of laughs with my parents. I ate ridiculously good food. COCKTAILS. OMG. I didn’t have many responsibilities. So yeah, that’s it in a nutshell.

I’d been a frustrated, sad hermit for weeks on end. It was really getting me down. This trip ended that awful feeling for me. I came back more ‘me’.

Hashtag grateful etc.

My new obsession with make-up

I have always been pretty low maintenance (read: crap) when it comes to cosmetics, but realising that my skin is getting older (with the rest of me) and needs more attention, means I’ve had to make more of an effort to age gracefully (I know – I’m positively ancient at 32 haha). It started with the need for better moisturisers, some more face masks and the search for a good primer (yet to find The One), but now it’s blown out into a full on obsession with make up brushes, eye liners, trying to look like I actually have eyebrows, and wanting matte lips.

I took a trip to Sephora in Sydney and it was CRAZY. Hats off to the girls who work there! Gotta love the adrenaline rush, though haha. I ticked everything off my wish list and I have honestly never spent that much on make up in one go before. Ever. I made great use of my birthday money! I splurged on good quality products (nothing crazy but more than your average supermarket find) that I would never have treated myself with before. It felt good. Let’s just say that I earned my black membership card straight off the bat that day…

I’ve been enjoying playing around with my look and the difference is immense. I needed that boost. I love feeling like I’ve put in an effort with my appearance. It sounds shallow, but it makes me feel less frumpy and more ‘on’. A feeling I’ve needed a lot more of these days!

My birthday

I turned 32 a few days ago. I realised that 31 wasn’t as kind to me as I might have hoped. In fact, it was pretty darn shit (sprinkled with a few nice moments). So I’m trying to close that chapter and move forward with an open heart and an optimistic outlook. I don’t mind getting older. I’ve never understood that fear of ageing thing that people have. I feel more comfortable in who I am than I ever have and I wouldn’t trade that feeling for all the flawless skin and super fast metabolism/pre baby bodies in the world! I mean, I’d consider it for a hot second, but I wouldn’t.

I really appreciated the gifts from my family, the messages from all my friends and obviously my trip away. 32. I’ve got this! Right? Check in with me when I turn 33 haha.

The Little Mister

I swear he grew up so much while I was away (for all of 3 days haha). I loved getting home and being able to appreciate him more. It’s that whole thing about needing a break so you can come back better. I’ve really felt that this week.

We took an awesome day trip to the zoo and I liked making his dreams come true – he still thinks public transport is magical and awe inspiring, so you can imagine how he felt about everything else!

He’s still driving me crazy (because he’s 4 and it’s the school holidays), but I don’t feel like I’m ready to skip the country with nothing but my clothes on my back and start a new life anymore ???

Which is nice. And I love him so much.

Brunch with a couple of good people

My awesome Tassie mate and her Freo boyf (also known as guy I went to high school with) took time out of their weekend together to come and see me for brunch. It was so nice of them and I had fun. It blows me away that they know each other (I’ve known them completely separately for years), let alone that they’re together now (sorry guys – you’re Blog Official now)! I’ll be counting down until we can hang out together again!

Other stuff that has made me happy:

  • Cuddles on the couch with Mr Unprepared.
  • My renewed obsession with leopard print.
  • The fact that my new manicure saved me from getting a badly bruised or broken finger while I was away. I should probably try harder to not slam car doors on my hands.
  • That time I accidentally stole a fork from a cafe in Dee Why (Sydney), because it fell into my handbag, and then went on a snapchat rampage about my whole new life as a fugitive on the run with it. It really seemed so hilarious at the time. Guess you had to be there ? PS. We can never return. Ever… unless it’s to collect the whole set.
  • My latest shopping spree in Kmart. I couldn’t help it, but it felt so good.

So what’s been making you happy this week?

The Happy List #33

Yo. I skipped a week because we were away camping, but now we’re home again (back to reality) and I’m about to dive into life as a school mum, starting tomorrow! Hold me!

I seem to have stopped freaking out about name labels and booklist items, and now I’m worried about lunches and this school lunch box shaming I see so much of all the time on the internet and OMG I don’t know if I have the time/energy to be a crazy health nut Pinterest worthy lunch making mummy!!

Breathe, Kez. Breathe! Go to a happy place!!

Here are some things that have made me feel happy since the last happy list

Ticking off holiday traditions

We go away to the same place every year. There are always things you have to do while you’re there. A trip to the light house. Fish and chips from the little takeaway shop on the foreshore. Drive though the beautiful Karri forest. At least one brewery lunch. Chinese takeaway on the last night. Time in/on the water (although the weather wasn’t as conducive to that as it has been in previous years). While we always try something new too, it’s nice to experience the familiar. It’s like a little home away from home.

Not relying on as much technology while away

I love my wifi and my laptop and my Netflix and…you get the idea. But there’s also something liberating about being away from it all. Sure, I had my iPhone and a limited data allowance, but it was really quite easy to switch off. Easier than I thought it would be. I wasn’t against having a browse and a chat. I did post some stuff, but there was no pressure to. I just didn’t feel naked without my phone in my hand, like I thought I would. Sometimes I’d put it down and just forget about it for hours. Then I’d realise I’d forgotten about it and feel quite pleased with myself.

I read more. I sat in the quiet more.

I didn’t even miss my DVR. I did good, y’all.

Holiday scenery

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Coming home to my own bed and ensuite

While I enjoy camping and living more simply, I do reach a time in my holiday where I’m happy to go home and sleep well in a bed that doesn’t move when you roll over, with a toilet in the very next room. It’s the little things that you look forward to when you’re lying in your camper van bed and it’s 2am and you have to decide whether you can make it through the night without peeing or risk waking everyone up and trudging up a hill to the shared ablutions block!

It’s amazing how much I love my toilet when I get home again. I am sorry, convenient, private toilet. I take you for granted!

Good neighbours

While we were away, we were lucky that we didn’t have to worry about the mail or the bins because my sister in law kindly came down the road to tend to those things. It was so nice to save a little money on getting the mail temporarily stopped and to know that we wouldn’t come home to full, stinky bins or bins that had been tipped over or had goodness knows what else done to them.

We also appreciated our good neighbours when we came home and they told us that they had scared off an intruder from our backyard! Some not so good neighbours (totes from the next street over of course) had hosted a rowdy party not long after we’d left for our trip and someone, presumably from that party, had decided that entering our backyard was a cool idea. Joke was on him when there were no drinks in our outdoor fridge, and when he discovered that Mr Unprepared had locked our side gate up. He couldn’t get out, so his rattling had woken the next door neighbours who had bravely and kindly decided to go outside and scare him off. It’s kind of comforting having good neighbours who are burly and have tatts and who at first glance would scare the bejeezus out of you if you were a stupid, drunk kid!

Nothing was stolen. Our house wasn’t damaged or broken into. We somehow gained a tennis ball (not sure if that’s related) and had damage to the dog kennel by the back fence, but we were lucky. Nothing like an unofficial Neighbourhood Watch to make you thankful!

Other stuff that has made me happy:

  • Trying Pana Chocolate for the first time. I highly recommend the mint flavour! It’s raw, organic and handmade, but hear me out! It actually tastes good. Not even kidding. I can’t wait to try some more! Also, I know I risk sounding like a health obsessed wanker (see the below item on this list to see why I am so not), but the cool thing about it was that just one piece was such a nice inside-my-mouth experience that I didn’t need any more than that in one sitting. Perfect for those after dinner sweet cravings! [not sponsored – just impressed]
  • Red Rock Deli sea salt flavoured chips. I am addicted and they aren’t the best thing for me, but I ate my body weight in them while I was away, with no guilt at all. YUM.
  • Getting some solid sleep since we arrived home.
  • Watching the Little Mister building mud castles on our holiday. He was So. Happy.
  • When I’ve been a little confused about the Little Mister’s school’s dress code requirements – hair and shoes – the barber and the sports shop staff knew exactly what he needed, so I won’t get in trouble. Gotta love great customer service!
  • The realisation that there is life after school holidays. While I’m nervous AF about the Little Mister’s first week at ‘big’ school (kindy), I am kind of also getting excited to have some time back to work and exercise and tick things off my ever growing to-do lists.
  • While the weather on holiday was quite cold and windy, it was a nice change from the relentless heat we’d been experiencing at home.
  • Having nice hair on holiday – the water is not so harsh there and my hair always fluffs up nicely and feels so soft when I’m away!

I’m sure I’ve forgotten so many things, but tell me – what would be on your happy list this week?

 

The Happy List #30 (first one for 2016)!

It’s the first Monday of 2016! I have mixed feelings about this. I am kind of glad to launch into the new year for reals (I like routine and a not-so-chaotic house), but it has been nice to be in holiday mode – where you don’t really have to be responsible for all the drives-you-nuts daily administration that comes with running a home and being an adult. I’m waiting for all of that to hit me like a ton of bricks any time now!

I hope that 2016 has been kind to you already and if it’s been kind of crap, the good news is that there’s plenty of time left for it to be an awesome year. We’ve got this!

Here are the things that have made me feel happy in the last week or so…

Slowing down

I spent a lot of the last few weeks of 2015 feeling exhausted – mentally and physically. I felt like no matter what I did, I could not catch up on sleep. I also never felt energetic. While there were very valid explanations for this that were pretty unavoidable, I think I was still pretty hard on myself about it all. In the past few days, as much as I’ve been stressed about some emotional stuff, I have had some slower starts. I’ve been able to take care of myself a bit more and gain some energy back. I actually sat still on the couch quite a few times! Hell, I even fell asleep at my parents’ house on Christmas day haha. I am so glad to start a new year feeling like myself again.

The Little Mister’s post Christmas honeymoon phase

The Little Mister has been in a blissful state where he’s been so utterly content to be at home, playing with his loot from Santa and his ridiculously generous extended family. He’s been quiet, calm and has enjoyed playing independently – his imagination going wild. It’s been a joy and has really assisted in the whole slowing down thing I was just talking about. He’s even slept in a couple of times – wonderful!

Having a tidy home again

Often over the Christmas/New Year period, we find ourselves running in and out of the house to social occasions with family and friends. Often this involves packing an esky with food, nibbles, drinks. Picnic stuff. Throw in some camping chairs and goodness knows what else (nothing like enjoying the summer outdoors) and it’s like moving house every time! It’s fun, but we often get home at the end of a big day and everything just gets thrown wherever and then we start again! Chaos! As much as I am definitely not the biggest neat freak (understatement), I do like to feel the calm that comes with having a bit of order in my house. I feel like we’re finally back in that place. You know, until our camping trip later in the month of course haha.

Meeting friends and some animals too

It was a stinking hot day yesterday and I felt super guilty heading to a little local zoo without the Little Mister (there were several reasons it was for the best but the mum guilt is strong with this one), but I was excited to get out of the house to meet my friends Tash and Olivia. It was my first time meeting Tash in person (she’s a Kiwi who appeared on Twitter one day and we never looked back) and it had been probably way too long since I last saw Liv.

We saw some cute animals, y’all. Tash got to meet some kangaroos. There was a ridiculous alpaca who was grotty from rolling in some mud and loved when I hand fed it. Some deer. A funny cockatoo who said “How ya goin'” while dancing ridiculously (I got this hysterical mental image of a human version in a nightclub). A beautiful fox. Still disappointed Tash didn’t want to have a cuddle with a snake, but can’t win ’em all haha.

I’ve been really lucky lately, having all the people come to Perth to visit. I haven’t had to go anywhere!

Getting fancy camp chairs

Yes. Sometimes the weirdest things make it onto my happy list. I picked up two absolute bargains – gotta love an end of year sale. They came with extra cushioning and solid framework and SIDE TABLES WITH DRINK HOLDERS attached! I don’t know whether to love myself sick for these purchases or hate myself for not doing it rough enough haha. I can’t wait to sit in those luxurious seats and enjoy my BBQ meals and nibbles (and maybe a holiday cider or three)! Who says you can’t do it in style, right?

Other stuff that has made me happy: 

  • Seeing hilarious pics on Snapchat from a tipsy friend who shall remain nameless haha.
  • The Little Mister’s swimming lessons starting back up for the year.
  • Binge watching Packed to the Rafters again. I don’t know why but it’s so soothing.
  • Plotting and scheming – can’t say what about for fear of incrimination haha.
  • Looking forward to our camping trip.
  • Seeing the Little Mister’s veggie plants growing (he was gifted a little mini veggie garden and some seeds for Christmas by my parents – so cool).
  • The feeling of relief when we got a bit of bone out of our dog’s mouth – it had got jammed. We still have no idea where she found it, but it was a hell of a job to get it out! Poor Blitz.
  • Having a smidgen more time to read my favourite blogs.
  • Not putting as much weight on over Christmas as I thought I had – in fact none at all (turns out I was just bloated with the dreaded PMS). Nice to know I’m starting 2016 ready to kick arse with my fitness and weight loss. I can make even more progress, without having to undo any setbacks! Yay!

So what is on your happy list for the first week of 2016?

Trip of a lifetime: One year later.

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Exactly one year ago, my family took a very important trip. We went to South Korea. We also couldn’t help but add Singapore and Japan to the list (which were AMAZING), but let’s face it. Korea was where it was at on a very personal level.

If you’re new to the blog, let me quickly catch you up. My brother and I were adopted from South Korea when we were only a handful of months old. We’ve been raised as Aussies and until 2014, we’d never been back to Korea before. The opportunity came up (after years of talking about it) because everyone in the family was free to do it at the same time in June 2014. We just had to seize the moment and book that shit in!

We travelled for a month. Myself, Mr Unprepared, the Little Mister (who was 2 and a half), my brother and my/our parents (adoptive but I prefer to call them my ‘real’ parents because they are).

Looking back on the experience a year later, I have so many mixed feelings! Some of my memories are just amazing. I feel so much pride that we undertook such a crazy journey – especially with a 2 year old in tow. We ate some amazing food, we soaked up the culture. We lived out of suitcases. We just threw ourselves into it and got as much out of the experience as we possibly could.

I feel grateful. I am so glad I had that experience. On a personal level, it really cleared some things up for me. I’ve never had a desire to find my biological family. I mean, never say never, but up until now my feelings have not changed. Going to Korea really made me feel comfortable with this. The language barriers, the cultural differences (travelling with a child really highlighted this). Being reunited with your birth family would be an enormous undertaking. It wouldn’t be that easy. And that’s if your biological relatives even wanted to meet you (there’s a lot of shame). I don’t think I am missing enough in my gorgeous life to be willing to go through so much. I am at peace with that. Really, deeply peaceful about it.

This trip changed my life. I wondered if I’d feel a strange resentment towards the country that gave me up and made me look ‘different’ from a lot of my Aussie peers (a great source of curiosity for the ignorant). Would I want to back pedal and claim no likeness to the Korean people? Would I feel so culture shocked that it traumatised me? Would I feel ugly if I compared myself to their beauty standards (they’re big on plastic surgery and the K-pop image)? Where the hell would that leave me after spending my childhood feeling inferior to my white friends (luckily I’m well over that now)?

Turns out, I realised I own my identity as an individual. A unique person who has an amazing story of my own to tell. I got to go to this strange (to me) and wonderful country and I got to sit on both sides of the fence, so to speak. I realised I’m different everywhere I go! And I’m so stoked with that! I’m just me. I’m not a culture. I am not a race. I’ve never felt more ownership over who I am in my life. That trip made me stronger. I will be eternally grateful for it. It changed who I am because it didn’t change who I am. How’s that for confusing? But do you know what I mean? Realising that visiting Korea wasn’t going to unravel me or throw my identity into chaos and confusion, was so…oh I don’t know the word. It was positively powerful.

There are some tough memories of course. The weird, overwhelming sadness I felt at times. Shit had happened to me in this country. It led me to an amazing life, but shit happened. Shit I’d always wondered about and felt sensitive about (rejection issues anyone?). While I’ve worked hard for a lot of my adult years to understand myself better and to grow through these feelings, visiting there unexpectedly (who was I kidding?) opened up some wounds again. I felt very tender. Add the fatigue and stress of wrangling a 2 year old – probably leaving me a bit more vulnerable – and there were some feelings/moments that still feel very raw to this day. I hope that rawness fades over time.

Sometimes I even think, who the eff did we think we were trying this kind of trip with a small child?!! The things we did! The stress we were under daily! The fast pace of the holiday! Even the child free me would find it a huge task! It really wasn’t the kind of trip you would normally plan, with a toddler in mind. At least not something I (a big chicken) would normally plan! But we just had to do it. We couldn’t waste time. No-one wanted any regrets. This was the trip of a lifetime and I am so grateful that our beautiful Little Mister got to share it with me. With us. How very special.

A lot of fun was had. Some days I just walked around in awe. I couldn’t believe I was able to have such an amazing experience. I wanted to absorb everything I was seeing. Oh, if eyes were cameras, dammit!

So a year on, I feel a bit jealous of the travelling me of 2014 (certainly doesn’t help that my parents went to New York without me – the injustice!!), but I feel happy to be home too. Feeling more settled than I have in a long time.

Hashtag f*cking blessed.

Peace out xo

Sydney is only a day away.

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Somebody. Pinch me.

Tomorrow, I will be in Sydney. For a few nights. Child free. And while I’ve been very excited about it, and feeling a little guilty about not feeling guilty (haha), I think my nervous stomach (blergh) has betrayed me. This will be the longest I’ve ever left the Little Mister for. It’s not a super long time (not even a week – four nights), but it’s new to us. Of course, he will be fine with his dad. This could actually be quite good for the both of us. Still, it’s weird. The best thing that could happen is that I have a great time and miss him terribly by the time I get home. Then I’ll know I had just the right amount of time out!

Let’s just say I’ve been terribly stir crazy lately. I am more than ready to shake everything up!

True to Kez style, I haven’t really packed yet. Yesterday I threw stuff at my suitcase. Literally. Just threw stuff. At it. Not into it. At it. I wrote a list, though. I may be crap at packing, but I’m good at lists. I know that by tonight’s end, I will have way too many things in my case. My method of packing is not meticulous and well thought out like my mum’s (she’s amazing). I just throw in ANYTHING I might need and then remove a few things so it all fits. When I reach my destination, I end up living in about 5% of the clothes I took with me and something is sure to be missing. Very precise. Not.

Did I mention that there needs to be room for all the things I hope I can buy while I am there? Oops.

I am travelling with my parents. They were already going over for my dad’s work, but some good timing (and a little advance on my birthday privileges) means that I am now tagging along! I am excited about quality girl time with my mum. We are going to shop until we drop (if picky me can find anything I like)! We are also going to spend time with family friends and a long lost cousin of my dad’s who I am going to meet for the first time (she’s not ‘long lost’ anymore haha).

I find that I am excited about the smallest things.

  • Sitting on a plane child free.
  • Reading a magazine. I am determined to finish a Marie Claire. Just the one.
  • My handbag containing no child related items.
  • Doing my hair and make up properly EVERY day.
  • No-one yelling out for me in the night (it could be creepy if they did haha).
  • Not having to have constant eyes in the back of my head, always supervising someone.
  • Not having to plan each day around the needs of a three year old, which can often limit your options.
  • Not cooking dinner. No rushed meals as witching hour descends. Sorry, Mr Unprepared! 😉

Sorry not sorry, Little Mister! Haha.

I am going to miss him. I mean, duh. I am going to enjoy photo updates from Mr Unprepared. We’ll probably Face time or Skype or something. I’m going to tell everyone (who wants to know) about him. I will think about him every day – especially when I see/do things I know he’d love. But I am going to enjoy this break. F*ck yeah, I am!

When did you last get a break? What would you do if you could take one right now?

Camping 2015: Hot days.

This year we went camping in the first week of February. The best time if you have some leave from work and kids who aren’t school age yet. The massive crowds have gone home to get back to real life after the school holidays and it’s nice and quiet. A lot of retired folk (as evidenced by the sheer amount of older ladies wandering about in their big floral nighties) and young families.

This year was uncharacteristically hot! We weren’t used to this – we’re usually more likely to experience a stiff, cool breeze and a bit of rain. A couple of really bright sunny, calm days if we’re lucky! A majority of the time we were away, the weather was in the mid 30s (Celsius) at least. It got quite warm in our camper van (canvas topped) and we had to leave all of our windows unzipped so the air could get through. It became clear that we would need a strategy to keep cool through the day, because it was just too hot to sit around our campsite in the hot sun – even if we were outside.

We figured out a system where we spent the mornings in the water.

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We would then come back to the caravan park, have cool showers, and get dressed. We could then get into the air conditioned car and drive somewhere for lunch (preferably somewhere with more of a breeze…and maybe some beer) over the heat of the day.

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By the time we would find our way back to the campsite, the weather would be a bit cooler and we’d sit around eating waaaaay too many nibbles (or dinner if we even had any room left in our stomachs). After that, it’d be bed time for the Little Mister and then we would sit around looking at the stars. My mum has this ridiculous app that tells her when every single satellite is going to go over, so everyone nerded it up until we were too tired or it got too cloudy.

Of course, there was also ice cream…

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The Little Mister loved that part almost as much as he loved the beach, of course! Here he is seated outside the local supermarket, next to the ice we had purchased for our eskies (coolers). I kind of love this photo because it kind of sums up how we were all feeling that day – what a sweaty stinker! I wanted to hug that ice!

Basically, we made the most of the fact that we got more time in the water than we had in previous years and we made the hot weather work for us. It was a really amazing trip. We were so relaxed and everything just went well. It was the break I had been looking forward to for weeks (maybe even months). Next year we will have to join the throngs before school goes back (the Little Mister will begin 4 year old kindy – eek), so I am sure it will be a whole new experience to blog about for 2016!

What’s your favourite way to stay cool on a hot day?

Camping 2015: A-maze-balls.

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While we were away camping earlier this month, Mr Unprepared’s dream finally came true. He’d waited 3 years and finally, it happened.

We visited a maze.

Yep. He’d been going on and on and on about it for years, but it had never worked out. Something always stopped us from going. The weather, time limitations, you name it haha.

He was probably starting to lose hope, poor guy!

This time around, we were lucky enough to squeeze it in on our last day. My dad decided to come along, while my mum opted to sit in a comfy seat in the maze’s cafe and read the paper – not too shabby!

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It really was the perfect time to try such an activity, though. The Little Mister (3) is just the perfect age for it and it was lots of fun.

We told him what we had to do – enter the maze and find our way out the other end – and he embraced the idea, often leading the way and trying to solve the problem. He held the ‘map’ (the informations sheet they give you – which does not give a thing away) and felt very important.

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Handy fact to know about me: I have NO sense of direction whatsoever. I am not even slightly joking. It’s not that I don’t try. I just truly struggle! The only thing I can do is find the beach from anywhere. There’s a certain kind of motivation involved, I suppose! Other than that, I can become quite confused quickly! But that’s OK. I like a challenge…and I travel with others.

We found quite a few dead ends and at one point, it was looking a little frustrating, but there’s something fun about getting your problem solving skills out just for fun and not for actual problems haha.

We made it to the centre of the maze, where there is a really cool look-out. You can stand up there and see the whole maze from a great perspective. It’s so pretty! After that, it was fairly easy to make it out the other side.

Something funny I noticed on the day, was the number of pregnant ladies with their partners (and no other children). It brought memories back of that pregnant-for-the-first-time feeling. You can still get away and do anything you like child free (provided you were physically able), but there’s that excitement about being a parent, getting to do all that fun stuff with your child to be. So you find yourself at places where you want to take your child/children one day, embracing your own inner child! I remember taking a very sneaky ‘baby moon’ where we walked (I waddled) around a really cool underwater aquarium, looking at the other parents who had brought their kids and being excited that it would be me one day soon!  That was some unexpected nostalgia for me and it made me smile.

There were lots of other great little games to discover – puzzles you need to solve physically, giant chess and checkers games and a great area for picnics. Next year we will definitely have to conquer the mini golf!

Mr Unprepared was pretty happy afterwards. Tick that off his bucket list, everybody! Haha. As for the Little Mister, he was EXHAUSTED! We tried to catch a quick bite for lunch at a cafe in town afterwards, which didn’t go so smoothly (Mr Unprepared had to remove him from the premises for a bit, let’s say), but he did sleep in the car on the way back to our campsite, which was such a relief! I don’t want to wish this time away (and I live for his nap times some days), but I must admit that I do look forward to him having more stamina in the future for days like that.

While camping, we often survived by him napping in the car after lunch, or having quiet time in the camper van (or my parents’ caravan) watching a movie (the same one over and over which turned out to be quite economical for us). He just can’t seem to catch a day sleep anywhere except his bed at home (gets too excited about life and doesn’t want to miss anything), these days so we had to adapt. We weren’t worried about the change of routine while we were away – it was just for a week. When we got home we were all so tired that he napped again during the day quite happily!

I highly recommend visiting places like this – lots of fun and they often cater for kids/little ones well! Think, places for picnics, safe places to run and play, change facilities in the toilets etc. Great way to spend the day!

When was the last time you got to embrace your inner child? 

Home again.

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Aaaah. We’ve just got home after a crazy, glorious week away camping. I often say that you have to get away for just long enough that you start to appreciate home comforts again. Not that we were truly slumming it, to be honest. There are smart phones and brewery feeds and goodness knows what else to enjoy these days (usually involving several varieties of gourmet cheese). Not to mention brilliant little barbecues that can cook ANYTHING. But we lived simpler in our little camper van with the pull out beds. With the non soundproof canvas ‘walls’ and the dirt and the wildlife. Living out of a bag of clothes, having to walk to use the toilet or a shower. No way to regulate the weather conditions. No heating or cooling systems besides clothes vs no clothes. Just the river or the ocean. Maybe all the windows open.

There was less stuff to think about. No house to clean. Getting back to the basics. Reading more. Stressing less. Being more ‘present’. More physically active. Quality time with family every day – no exceptions.

As I sit here in my comfortable queen sized bed that doesn’t sway or creak each time we move (keep your minds out of the gutter), with my toddler peacefully slumbering at the other end of the house. As I type this blog post on my laptop (my dear darling laptop), while the TV blares some horrible bogan show at us. As my DVR sits out in the lounge room and records wonderful things. As my internet/wifi gives me almost unlimited data. As the air conditioner keeps us cool.

It all feels a little bittersweet to be home.

Like I say every time we return, I hope to remember how to keep a little bit of that holiday feeling in my every day reality throughout the year.

That’s all I have the energy for tonight, but gosh it feels awesome to blog again after a short break!

x