Tag: Little Mister

An open letter to the Little Mister.

Hey dude,

I know it’s not your birthday or any particular milestone, but I’m your mum and I reserve the right to be mushy at any time I like. I think it’s just this stage you’re at, which makes me feel particularly sentimental. I thought I’d write you a letter to tell you what it’s like to be your mum right now. Spoiler alert, it’s pretty cool.

You’re five and a half. You’re in pre-primary at school. You’re so little, but you’re so grown up. Your thirst for learning is amazing to me. Even though you spend five full days at school a week, you spend every other moment you’re with me asking questions about the world and how it works. You want to practice writing and drawing and finding out about numbers. Sometimes it’s exhausting and I might occasionally tell you to take a little break, but I am grateful you want to practice what you’re learning. Your enthusiasm for life in general is just amazing. I’ve learned a lot just by trying to teach you!

Something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately is how special this time of your life is to me. I realise you’re growing up so fast, but you still need me in so many ways. It’s actually a pretty sweet spot. Like you can wipe your own backside (haha sorry to bring that up), dress yourself, take care of some chores (often with a bit of nagging/bribing/bargaining/disciplinary strategy haha) and play independently, but I still have an important and active/hands on role in looking after you emotionally and physically.

You jump all over me because you need to be close to me. You will spontaneously explode with “I LOVE YOU” at random times. You’ll say, “Look how much I love you, Mummy!” and you’ll reach up as far as you can, arms stretched, tippy toes in full effect.

“THIS MUCH!”

Your eyes search for me in a crowd with such an urgency that it makes my heart want to burst (dude when you are old enough to watch the movie Lion you will understand why I bawled during it). It makes me feel so good to know that you don’t have to worry – I’m right there (in a not creepy, not too helicoptery way of course).

You want to be seen with me. You’re so proud that I’m your mum. You introduce me to people like you think I’m the most amazing person ever. Even though we both know I’m far from perfect! I mean, you’ve met me during the bitching witching hour. You’ve seen when I’ve forgotten things for school or when we’re running late. You know I sometimes slip up and say ‘naughty’ words. Oops! We both know what’s up haha.

I know that one day you won’t even want your friends to know you have a mother so I’m treasuring this!

You can walk alone without me worrying as much as I had to during the toddler years, but you will still hold my hand and let me keep you safe. Sometimes you will put your hand in mine just because you love holding hands.

You compliment me when I wear something new. You always tell me I’m looking beautiful or pretty. Even though I will always want you to know there’s much more to a woman than her looks, it really does melt me. Never hesitate to pay compliments when you feel them bubble up inside you. We need more kind words in this world!

There’s just something so freaking endearing about seeing a little boy behaving in such grown up ways, but also needing his teddy bears, all of his sleepy toys and his cuddles with his parents.

It means so much to me that you tell me you want to grow up to be a daddy, husband and a teacher (also a rock star – I guess your mum’s taste in music has rubbed off on you a bit haha). You see all three of those things as equally important and noble. Holy shit I’d love to take credit for that, but I think this is all you and your beautiful soul. It’s so gorgeous when you look at me with a furrowed brow and say, “How am I even going to be able to do it all??”

Oh, buddy. I can’t even begin to tell you the half of it!

I know this letter might be quite flattering to your little ego, but try not to get too big a head. Don’t forget to stay humble, be a little less of a busy body, don’t throw your weight around when you’re tired, use your inside voice and CLEAN UP YOUR DAMN LEGO.

I love you so much,

Mum.

Back to School anxiety: mine, not his.

It’s January. That time when it sinks in that the school holidays are not as long as you thought they were and you feel that downward slide back to reality. Another school year, filled with trying to remember stuff and being on time for drop offs and pick ups and SO MANY LUNCHES to be made.

I am looking forward to the Little Mister attending pre-primary full time. I imagine the first few weeks will be full of exhausted after school meltdowns, but I am excited to be able to spread my work hours out over the week more evenly and feel a lot more productive.

The thing is, I get anxious. Anxious that he will fit in and do OK compared to the other kids. Anxious that he’ll be anxious. Anxious that I will forget a whole lot of stuff or be totally awkward in the lead up to the first day back – book lists and the dreaded uniform shop visits (I swear I can never remember what hours or days they’re open).

I know it won’t be as bad as last year. Last year I was a wreck. The Little Mister was starting kindy at the same place I went to high school. I was having all kinds of flashbacks to my time there (nothing horrendous or obviously we wouldn’t send him there – just freak outs because I felt like I was still the student trying to be on my best behaviour and not get in trouble haha). I had never sent a kid to school before. I felt like I was still a kid. How was this happening?! Sure, we’d done day care a couple of days a week in 2015, but this was a big deal!

I had missed an orientation day because I screwed up the dates (and then my husband had unexpected surgery on his toe which would have meant we couldn’t make it anyway). I’d had a couple of false starts trying to get to the uniform shop (see – I messed up their opening hours then too haha). I hadn’t submitted my online booklist order on time, so had to send Mr Unprepared out to scramble for each individual item (which made me nervous because obviously if we got the wrong stuff we’d be outcasts forever haha). I was also feeling like a hot mess for a variety of reasons that had nothing to do with the the Little Mister’s schooling. I was not on top of things. I really was not. Even reading this paragraph back tells me that I was not in the running for “Mum of the Year”.

This year, I feel a little more settled. I know the school. I know the Little Mister has come a long way since the beginning of 2016. I’ve met a bunch of really nice school mums and I know I will meet a whole bunch more. I’ve got my shit sorted on a nice calendar now, which I keep updated. I have planned the final weeks of the school holidays so that I have everything done in time.

But still, I feel nervous. Of course I don’t show the Little Mister this and I really hope he can’t tell. He gets nervous enough on his own, truth be told.

I feel bummed that it’s not all holiday fun and games right now in my head anymore (even though that kid is driving me up the wall and ultimately I will be grateful to have dropped him off that first day haha).

I feel silly for being nervous and I feel like I’m wasting these precious last weeks worrying about school stuff when there’s still fun to be had. I’ve really got to get over myself! Just tick something off the list and then go have a blast, Kez. Seriously, woman!

Just like last year, we will survive this one too. I was struggling to get my head around a whole lot of stuff in 2016 (finally beginning treatment for infertility for one and in all honesty grief – grief that my little boy was starting school already and had no siblings that I’d always hoped to give him by the time he started kindy) and I think I should be kind to myself. It was a rough and scary year from beginning to end.

2017 may or may not be any better, but at least I will kind of know what to expect (probably jinxing myself right there).

Awesomely a little less unprepared, maybe?

Maybe one day, my heart won’t leap up into my throat when my child starts a new school year. Please tell me this gets easier! Lie to me if you have to!

Does anyone else get nervous like me? Am I …normal? Or a silly freak? 

 

The Happy List #46

Happy Monday, everyone! I managed to dress myself and a small person and get that small person to school on time today, so that’s a win isn’t it? I was a bit thrown off because I could have sworn today was Sunday, after having a Saturday type of day yesterday. Know what I mean?

So in a nutshell, let’s all cheer because I know what day of the week it is.

Kicking goals, as usual.

So here are some things that have made me happy lately…

The Olympics are over!

I know. I know. I am a jerk. I mean, I watched a bit of the Opening Ceremony. I  accidentally saw some rowing and asked my husband some dumb questions about it. I got feisty when that commentator said that Simone Biles’ (USA gymnast) adoptive parents were not her parents. I saw a woman fall off her bicycle really badly into a concrete kerb and wondered if she was alive (she was!) as the cameras kept following all the cyclists who didn’t fall off their bikes, like nothing happened. I watched my husband watching the basketball. My heart went out to Kim Mickle when she hurt her shoulder throwing the javelin.

BUT…I just couldn’t pretend I am into sport anymore than I already am (which is almost not at all). It’s exhausting. And it was on just about every TV channel. I was in it for the human interest stories, not the actual results. Now I can go back to being ignorant about it all. Yay!

Don’t judge me!

Bad Moms

Firstly, it weirds me out deliberately spelling it ‘moms’ as we spell it ‘mums’ in Australia. But secondly, OMFG that movie was hilarious. I watched it with a kick arse friend from my mums’ group. Someone whose hens night will always go down in history as one of my favourite nights out ever. Because bad mums hahaha.

My girl crush on Mila Kunis went off the charts and every actress in the movie killed it (in a good way I mean).

As I hooned drove to the cinemas (ALONE!) with Seth Sentry’s song Hellboy pumped up loud in my family friendly all wheel drive wagon, I had a hunch I was exactly the demographic the movie was exploiting and I was right 😂

Totally not sponsored, but go with your girlfriends and watch it!

Friendly phlebotomists

I don’t know if I’ve put these ladies on a happy list before or not (sorry if I’m being repetitive but just wait until I talk about the weather), but they really are nice. Sadly, due to my little fertility problem, I’ve spent a lot of time in pathology being stabbed by needles. Today, they knew me by name and what I was there for before I even said hello. They are always so kind and encouraging. They joke with me. They have really made a tough task much more bearable. I am so grateful.

I talked to one of my faves today. She’s so gentle and kind (but spunky) and I laugh every time she apologises profusely while she sticks the needle in. I asked her how she does it, joking that I couldn’t do the job because I hate seeing the needle go into the skin, so I’d probably look away, which is probably not recommended! She’s told me in the past that she was scared of needles, so I assumed she took her job to confront her fears (I’ve heard that from a few phlebotomists in my time). She said she used to be a nurse and she hated to see people come onto the ward from emergency, covered in bruises, their veins all busted up from people who were rough inserting IV lines etc. She decided she wanted to be the person to give them their needles and take their blood because she wanted to do it well and make it better for people. AMAZING. I told her she’s awesome. Isn’t that compassion inspiring?

I don’t think many people might want to thank their phlebotomists for poking them with needles, but I do. Because even though I hate the reason I am always there, I am glad they go to the trouble to make me feel at ease.

Conspiring with the Little Mister

Tomorrow is Mr Unprepared’s birthday. The Little Mister is at a really cute age where we can have fun surprising people. We got Mr Unprepared his present together and stashed it somewhere top secret. The Little Mister told him we just got him “socks and clothes”. And then followed up by saying excitedly, “I’m fibbing! It’s something else.”

Because 4 year olds do not always have a filter.

So Mr Unprepared had a little giggle about that.

But he still doesn’t know what we got him, so props to the little guy haha.

The sunshine trying to kick winter to the kerb

OK, so it hasn’t been successful, it’s been cold and we’ve had a lot of clouds and rain, but I really feel like the sunshine has been trying harder to make its presence known. Like spring might actually be on its way. It’s nice. Even if it’s just an afternoon or an hour in the morning, it’s been a really nice change from grey gloom and doom.

Other stuff that has made me happy…

  • Cute dreams about the Little Mister
  • Laughing so hard about a ridiculous bicycle gang in joke with friends (long story)
  • Having social plans to look forward to
  • Online shopping (duh)
  • A beach outing with the family (silly dogs included)
  • Chatting with lovely artists about prints I’ve imagined up.

 

What has made you feel happy lately?

The Happy List #44: Melbourne edition.

Oh hey there! So, it’s been no secret on my social media accounts that this time last week I was having an absolute ball in Melbourne. I hadn’t been for 5 years (i.e. I was pregnant with the Little Mister so it’s been a while) but now I had the perfect excuse. My brother lives there – yay!

The Little Mister and I joined my parents on a trip over (sadly Mr Unprepared couldn’t get away due to work constraints) and I swear there isn’t much I didn’t love about it. Except the flight home, but that’s a whole other story (and surprisingly does not involve the Little Mister) haha.

So, here’s a shortlist of the things that made me happy – a special Melbourne trip edition!

Seeing the Little Mister with his uncle

Definitely the biggest highlight. It was hero worship all the way. He’d been missing his uncle a lot since he moved to the eastern states. I think there’s some weird soulmate thing they have going on. Any time we went somewhere, he chose his uncle’s hand to hold and whatever his uncle said, he pretty much did without complaint (by 4 year old standards haha). Just the way he literally looked up to him was freakin’ adorable. He wanted to be just like him and while this means that he now wants to support a rival AFL team (Mr Unprepared is not sure what to make of this) and spent the holiday wanting to stand on the tram like a grown up (because apparently that is the very definition of being a grown up), I am so happy for him that we had that experience.

Getting to visit mythical places that I’ve only ever seen on social media

Yep. Look. I’m from Perth. Things are looking up for us, but it’s not quite Melbourne, OK? Melbourne has this well established ‘cool’ factor that we do not. So, of course when I saw (and partook in) places like Doughnut Time and we ate at Supernormal, Kitty Burns and visited the Jurassic World exhibition at the Melbourne museum, I was going out of my mind with the obliteration of the FOMO I had been storing up since forever!

My black puffer jacket

It was a last minute purchase right before we left for Melbourne. I had started to freak out about the cold weather and even though it was pretty much the same as the weather in Perth while we were there, I was scared there’d be more wind and rain. It cost me $30 from Cotton On (I think it was on sale) and boy was I glad I bought it! Not only did I blend into Melbourne wearing it (pretty much the whole population had a black puffer jacket but for me it was a sign that I was nailing the whole ‘dressing for winter’ thing – something I am horrendous at normally) but it truly went with everything I wore and kept me feeling cosy.

Nailing that step count!

While eating tons of delicious and not always nutritious food was a big weakness, I was so stoked with the exercise we got done. We caught a lot of public transport (gosh the tram system is amazing) and walked so far. It was awesome. My fitbit was going off all over the place! We had three full days in Melbourne (not including plane travel days) and I racked up 46,252 steps during that time. Which is a lot for me these days, as I have struggled to hit my daily target of 10,000 a lot.

Reliving great Melbourne memories with my Little Mister

Like I mentioned above, I hadn’t been back to Melbourne since I was pregnant with the Little Mister. It was obviously a very special time for Mr Unprepared and I. We had just announced my pregnancy publicly and we were off for a fun time interstate before we became parents for reals. It was so fun telling him that he’d been to Melbourne before in my belly. Great memories flooded back of dinners with friends, footy games and wandering around the city doing whatever we felt like. Sharing some elements of that with the Little Mister meant so much to me.

It was a really nice escape, which I think I needed on an emotional level, because when you’re going through all the infertility shit you just have to get away sometimes. Remembering my first, very special (although fraught with ailments – the rose coloured glasses are only so good haha) pregnancy and the fact that my body did that and could maybe do it again, was a nice reminder to look at the positives and to not be scared to feel hope.

All in all, the trip was a massive success. Here are some other things that made me happy:

  • My expectations for travelling with a 4 year old were spot on, which meant no disappointments. He did so well and it was way less stressful than the last time we’d done something ‘big’ with him at the age of 2.5!
  • Catching up with family friends.
  • The electronic babysitter aka iPad (it doesn’t come out with us much but was very necessary in a restaurant at dinner time after a long day)!
  • The Little Mister sleeping well every night in the hotel room.
  • Hilarious conversations with the Little Mister (often in public and on embarrassing topics at a loud volume).
  • The Little Mister telling everyone in Melbourne that we were from Australia. I think he meant Western Australia, but it was bloody funny. If I tried to correct him, he was most offended!
  • Realising that I’d packed the EXACT right amount of stuff for the Little Mister and I. I nailed it. I packed so well. This is not a common occurrence. Some might call it a miracle!
  • Seeing how happy Melbourne has made my brother since he moved. Good decision, bro!

I’m sure there are many other things that should be on my list, because I truly had an awesome time. I missed it as soon as we got on the plane home! Lots of great memories were made.

Have you travelled lately? What’s been making you feel happy? 

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 ‘You Didn’t Put it Away’ box.

One thing I love about the Little Mister is that he’s super creative and inquisitive. I love the way that he can use his imagination to turn a crappy box into a car or a bunch of pipe cleaners into a pair of ridiculous glasses. He’s always so busy! It’s fantastic and it makes me feel good (i.e. relieved!) that he often opts for play over screen time.

This can come with its drawbacks, though. He hoards every little treasure he finds. Because everything – even a ripped piece of paper – can turn into the most magical thing. So you can imagine how hard it is to throw things out sometimes! Like, I wouldn’t say you’d find him on a kid version of the show Hoarders any time soon (I’ve read about some extreme cases), but he obviously accumulates a lot of clutter if you let him. On top of that, he’s 4. He doesn’t want to stop playing to do something as boring as tidying up. I am constantly nagging him to pack one activity up before he starts another.

A few weeks ago I really felt like my message was not getting through to him. I was sick and tired of the mess in his play area. I could tell he was slowly inching his way out into the family room because obviously (not that he could admit it) he was finding that he didn’t have the space to play. Which of course created more mess. I know. Who’s in charge, you’re asking? Well, despite my best efforts (and trust me I tried), I was not. It was relentless!! It was challenging to find a balance between expecting him to be accountable and learn how to do it himself, and not enabling him by losing the plot and doing it for him. Ex-bloody-sausting. I tried so many ‘appropriate’ parent-y things that came to mind. Some things helped a bit, but it felt like we just weren’t getting there without the constant whining and arguing and stand off tactics (my mum would say it’s my karma haha). Absolutely gorgeous kid, but OMG – stubborn (don’t know where he gets it from).

Finally, I remembered a concept I’d heard of a while ago. I decided to try my own version. After a bit of tailoring it to our situation, I think I’ve made some progress!

I have introduced the ‘Black Box’. It’s not as ominous (or aeronautical) as it sounds. It just happens to be a black and white, collapsible storage box from Kmart.

I bought one that doesn’t look anything like the storage boxes the Little Mister already uses in his play room. This is a different box. A special box that holds many powers. It can be a negative consequence and a reward all in one.

If I’m noticing the spread of chaos and destruction (i.e. toy/play clutter) getting a bit out of hand, I bring out (or threaten to bring out) the Black Box. I will give the Little Mister manageable tidying tasks to do or a time limit and if they’re not completed, he knows those items are going in the box. Originally, the plan was that he wouldn’t see those items for a week, but his sense of time is still not fantastic (although getting much better) and to be honest, he created so many other games/things to play with (he’s very resourceful – an asset to his character but not helpful in this situation haha), that I wasn’t getting the desired effect!

I modified this system. Now he will lose things he hasn’t put ‘where they belong’ (my mantra) and when he does tidy up properly (without arguments or constant whining), he can pick any toy (just one at a time) from the box to put back into circulation (provided he puts it where it belongs of course haha). It seems to be working!!

The only exception we make is for his sleepy comfort toys. They have to go straight to bed to wait for him. None of us could handle it if he was forced to bed without them 😳

I also secretly like this system because it gives me a chance to quietly cull some junk each week (of course this is a very tricky thing – I have to be sure he won’t miss it but I do have the out of sight out of mind thing on my side)! Things like ripped up pieces of paper (not kidding), drawings and scribbles that he’s forgotten about and aren’t sentimental or indicative of some new stage in his development. Textas that are all dried up, parts of crappy $2 shop type toys that are broken, etc. You know the kind. They’re like the scourge of the earth and no matter what you do to stop them from entering your home, they cannot be stopped! Aargh!

I am wondering if I could even start a Gumtree (online trading post) toy selling racket from this hahaha.

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SOURCE

OK, I’m kidding, but it’s tempting!! Although, creating a little ‘donate to charity’ collection around birthdays/Christmas may be a possibility.

In all seriousness, if some ‘good’ items stay in the box for a prolonged period of time and are overlooked repeatedly, they may just go to a ‘better place’ (the op shop) or be archived for sentimental reasons (mine)!

I am hoping this system continues to work! Wish me luck!

How do you convince your messy kids to tidy their stuff? How do you get away with ditching some of their crap treasures? Any other cool ideas that work/ed for you? 

The Happy List #39

Aah, the joys of parenthood. The Little Mister is home sick from kindy today. His fever from yesterday is still lingering (although he’s not as hot as yesterday thank goodness – he was almost in the danger zone) and he claims to have a ‘wobbly head’, which is actually the cutest thing for a sick kid to say. Poor little guy. Not that he isn’t milking the situation a little, but I think I’ll allow it! His symptoms definitely warrant a little bit of pampering.

While it sucks that he’s sick (I really hope that day care last year helped his immune system because I swear he spent most of winter 2015 out for the count) and I hope he feels better soon, I’ll take the positives too. He’s nice and quiet and he gives good cuddles (if you’re into being close to a germ filled child that feels like a hot water bottle on a 40 degree day)!

He has until Wednesday to feel better – fingers crossed!

Here’s my happy list for the past week or so…

Making a hair appointment

I had been hating on my hair for a while and I was starting to feel pretty blah about myself. I find that when my hair is flat, drab and there’s lots of breakage, that’s pretty much my mental state!

I am so happy because I have a voucher to get my hair done at a pretty swish place (thank you Mum!) and while I had been putting off making an appointment (citing ‘mummy’ type reasons excuses for not having the time/energy), I finally bit the bullet and just did it.

In just under two weeks, I look forward to a decent pampering! I have been saving Pinterest pics of hair styles I like and imagining the whole new life I’ll have once I have new hair haha.

Emerging from a hormonal fog

So lately it has felt like my whole life revolves around my god damn cycle. It’s always about the damn hormones and counting down to appointments and tests etc. UGH. It’s like if I don’t have my period, I’m waiting for it.

I love that feeling when it’s over for another month and I start to feel like a normal human being again. Even if just for a little while before the PMS monster kicks in again!

Booking flights to Sydney!

I couldn’t write about this earlier, because I wanted to surprise a friend who lives there, but now it’s blog official! I am going to Sydney next month for a super long weekend and I can’t wait! It’s kind of my birthday present to myself. I get to sleep on a fold out couch (hello – free accommodation) and spend quality time with my mum (and Dad when he’s not working) and family friends and no responsibilities. YES.

Oh and shopping. Maybe a tiny bit of shopping. Sephora – I have my eye on you!

Meal planning and saving money

We have made an effort to return to meal planning. It’s been really helpful in keeping us on track financially. Mr Unprepared has been really involved and that’s been great.

There’s less wastage and nobody can whinge about dinner suggestions, because it’s already written up on the planner haha.

That feeling of relief when you wake up from a stressful dream

This is a silly one but yesterday I had the most stressful dream. It involved day care schedule nightmares, people clashing with each other, people in hospital, family dramas and all kinds of crappy things like going to pick up your child but realising you don’t have their car seat in your car etc etc. It was just a clusterf*ck of very average problems that could happen very easily in our waking lives. Bit too realistic haha.

I eventually woke up and I swear there’s no better feeling than that first realisation that it was all just a dream and the day is yet to start!!!!

Other stuff that has made me happy…

  • Finding Full House (the original series) on Netflix in all its 8 seasons of glory.
  • Setting myself little goals to work towards – gives extra motivation and a sense of purpose at a time when I’ve really needed it.
  • Productive conversations.
  • Sleeping through Mr Unprepared leaving for work early in the morning – a rare and special achievement.
  • The Little Mister’s drawings of our family (including pets). He’s getting a lot better at it and there’s something so charming about stick figure people with arms and legs that come straight out of their huge heads.
  • When your gel nail polish starts to grow out, which means that for once, you didn’t wreck your manicure straight after you did it.
  • That time I lost a whole kilo overnight just because I didn’t indulge my usual potato crisps addiction. Really brought it home to me how much I did NOT need them haha.

What has been making you happy lately? 

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 #37

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I’m experiencing  a touch of the Sunday blues right now – it feels like I have so much stuff to organise for the coming week – eep! But I’ll be fine – just have to write some lists. Lists make everything seem easier, I find!

But enough of that, here’s the stuff that has made me happy in the last week…

A night out with friends

Last night we celebrated the engagement of a couple of friends. It was a fun night out – so great to see everyone together in the same place. It was one of those great parties where you know almost everyone and you could mingle with ease and just be yourself. There were many hilarious, inappropriate conversations. It was fantastic.

I’d been feeling a bit out of the loop lately, as it felt like a lifetime since I had seen some of my favourite people in a social setting. It was nice to reconnect.

Bonus points to Mr Unprepared and I for good decision making. We didn’t get totally wrecked, we saved money and we got home nice and early (we were really needing it after a big week). Proud of us!

When you’re loving your own look

I know it sounds utterly vain, but I was loving my look for the engagement party. I had put in a lot of effort. I did my hair a little differently from usual (nothing fancy – just one side clipped back – something this moon face/double chin owner never has the courage to do). I was wearing a sexy dress (with a classy amount of cleavage – ooooh). I liked my make up. I only wish I had taken more selfies to record one of the rare times I felt that good about my presentation haha. I think I may have even been a little photogenic last night (please – don’t prove me wrong other people with cameras). What a waste!

I guess I just loved the confidence I felt. Feeling like you’ve still got it. No matter what you weigh or how rarely you make it out of the house. At night time. Kid free.

Working out again

I’d been in a big slump, exercise wise and this past week I decided it was time to re-motivate myself. I am back on the fitbit wagon (sometimes having a measure of what you’re doing or not doing can really get you moving) and I decided to start the C25K (an app that helps you to go from nothing to running 5km step by step) again from scratch. I’m going to ease my way back to where I was (about halfway through the program), and beyond.

It felt good to get moving again. I didn’t love the first work out I’d done in a while, but I finished it and I felt like I’d accomplished something. I know my body will love me for it.

Quality time with the Little Mister

As much as he can be challenging at times (it’s the fucking fours I tell you), I really love that kid. He’s actually a pretty good egg (hashtag blessed blah blah). We get less time together now that he’s at kindy 3 times a week and on Friday I loved just having a chilled out day with him. There were cuddles, he was better rested. He was a great little buddy to hang out with. It’s nice to be able to stop and appreciate him so much more. Life can get so busy and everyone can get so rushed. It’s nice not having to hurry him up.

A general feeling of survival – happiness that you made it through the week

Some weeks take it out of you physically and mentally. Last week was one of them. There was nothing like getting to Friday night and breathing out again. We did it. We made it through the week. Hallelujah!

I have a feeling that the next week will feel a bit the same (juggling appointments/fighting illness etc), but we can do this!

Other stuff that has made me happy: 

  • Well timed hugs when I really needed them (thanks Mr Unprepared)
  • Funny car conversations with the Little Mister
  • Nailing the school lunches (well mostly)
  • Fuller House on Netflix. It’s corny and it’s cheesy and has way too many in jokes referring back to the original Full House series, but gosh it takes me back to a simpler time in my life and it is kind of nice to be nostalgic.
  • Hearing Mr Unprepared bonding with the Little Mister on a Sunday morning while I sit in bed and write my happy list (my little me-time treat).

What would you put on your happy list this week? 

Inside the brain of a parent who wants to run away to the circus.

Seriously. Right now I am feeling the fatigue of being the parent to a 4 year old who is testing boundaries and going through big life changes which bring about new anxieties. This can often mean some acting out or regressive behaviours. I am a pretty compassionate being, a fairly patient parent and of course I love the little ratbag to pieces, but I’d be lying if I said that right now I am not considering googling the nearest touring circuses to see if they’d like a new clown (I can do the ‘bumbling idiot’ routine quite well when I’m tired – I’d be an asset). I figure a circus would be less crazy, right?

It’s not very often that I feel so utterly over it. It takes a lot for me to crack and feel utterly helpless and burnt out while my child goes through a challenging new phase. But when I do, there are some very recognisable thoughts that appear in my scattered head!

I have realised that there are stages I go through whenever something tough, of the parenting variety, pops up and punches me in the throat.

Denial

Denial that it’s happening. No. It’s just a one off bad night (or insert other challenges here). Oh, two? Just two. Oh, maybe it’s just a rough week…there are many plausible explanations that this could be a fairly isolated incident…right?

Anger/frustration

OH FFS. Are we STILL dealing with this? Aargh. Will this never end? I AM SO DAMN TIRED. Get your act together, kid! I don’t even feel like I know you right now! I love you lots and lots and lots, but right now I am not sure I’m liking you and that is killing me!

(of course I don’t say it to him – I just scream it inside my head when he’s not looking)

Bargaining

I know I can make this better. I just know I can. Here’s every reward chart ever. Here’s me googling solutions at 2am. Here’s me begging and hoping and fighting the reality that it’s just a phase and that the only way is through. THROUGH? AS IF. I can totally get around this. I can fix this. Just give me a damn moment to fix this! WHERE IS MY SANITY?!

Acceptance

OK. So now I’ve had my little melt down during the bargaining stage, I have had some time to review. I have decided that I can in fact CTFD (Calm The Fuck Down) and perhaps accept that it is what it is, and fighting it is just going to turn me into a crazy lady. I can only do my best and it turns out that ‘through’ may really be the only choice I have.

It’s amazing how life never lets you think you’ve actually nailed the whole parenting thing.

Here are some of the things I’ve been learning about THOSE times:

  •  It’s not always the parent who is to blame. It’s important to be kind to yourself. Sometimes it’s just a developmental phase. Sometimes it’s just something you and your smallish child need to be educated on – it’s all new and unknown for both of you! There’s no other way but to learn on the job! It’s OK to feel like you have no bloody idea what you’re doing, because um…NO HANDBOOK. Seriously. Where’s my freakin’ handbook?
  • It’s also not always the child who is fully to blame. When they’re not themselves or their behaviours are driving you bonkers, it is important to remember that they’re usually going through something too. While it might not excuse certain things they do (depending on their age), it’s important to remember that this one phase does not define them as a human being. Or at least it doesn’t have to. I try really hard (it can take a LOT of effort when we’re at the end of our tether) to separate the child from the behaviour (gotta love a popular parenting cliché). I have been trying to find ways to bond with the Little Mister, rediscover all the best parts of him (there are many) and to help build his confidence.
  • Reaching out to supportive mummy/daddy people in your life is priceless. If there’s someone in your life who has kids the same age as your kids, or has vivid memories/nightmares of having kids the same age as yours, they are an amazingly reassuring resource to tap into. For me, it’s often my mum, close friends and my mothers’ group. I can think that the craziest WTF moments with the Little Mister are isolated to just him, but as soon as I reach out, I often realise that there are like 5 other mums going through the exact same thing at the exact same time (or who remember all too well) and if I’d never shared my parenting woes (or been privy to theirs), I would never have known! Nothing takes a weight off your shoulders like knowing you’re all in the trenches together.
  • Recruit an awesome team who all have your kid’s best interests at heart. Assault that bastard phase together. Show that you’re a tight, caring unit. Get your spouse, your child’s carers/teachers, the grandies, the family doctor (if applicable) all on board. A united front – a do no harm, show lots of love, but take no shit type thing – can do wonders.
  • This phase will not last forever. A reality check is good. I ask myself questions like, “Will this two weeks of crap right now really matter in 10 years?” Hell, I’m sure I’ll have bigger problems then, but that’s not the point of the exercise haha. You know what I mean. It’s like when you’re toilet training and you think your kid will never nail it but then you realise that it would be highly unlikely that your kid will be attending high school in nappies and you feel a teensy bit better.

I feel hopeful that we’re kicking the fucking fours in the goolies (for now anyway). It’s been a rough couple of weeks for everyone. It’s been good to regroup and strategise. Honestly, I’ll never know if it’s my superb parenting (BAHAHA) or whether the phase was coming to a more peaceful place on its own anyway, but I’ll be glad to see the back of it.

You know…until the next time it rears its ugly head!

So, tell me. Anything you’re going through at the moment? Want to get through this together? x