Tag: Little Mister

15 weeks pregnant.

Week 15 of my pregnancy felt like a bit of a roller coaster of emotions! I blame the hormones!

I learned that I’m a bit more sensitive to the energy of other people when I’m pregnant. One example was a beautiful, sunny day when we went out to a community event. There were people everywhere and there was a wonderful, buzzing atmosphere. We ran into heaps of people we know and it was lovely. I actually had a really great time! When it was all over, I felt like I was completely wrecked and on the verge of tears! I think I had just gone into some kind of overwhelmed state and I couldn’t process everything. I was also feeling a little awkward as so many amazing people were excited to congratulate us in person and I never know what to say (although the sentiment is so lovely and it feels so nice to know so many people care so much). I think I just needed a nice shower and a rest.

The next emotional moment was a heart wrencher! One day, the Little Mister had written everyone’s names on his little chalkboard. Mummy, Daddy, Little Mister (obviously he wrote his real name) and the joke name for my bump. The names of everyone in our family. It was very sweet. Later that afternoon, Mr Unprepared walked past and noticed that the Little Mister had rubbed his name off the board but left everyone else’s. He asked why he had done that and the Little Mister replied, “Because when the baby comes you won’t love me anymore.”

He had the saddest little face and Mr Unprepared scooped him up in the biggest hug and tried to reassure him that it could never ever happen and that we would love him forever and ever no matter what. I had been in the other room and walked in wondering what was going on after hearing the tail end of their conversation.

When Mr Unprepared explained, I wanted to cry for my little man (who has wanted to be a big brother for the longest time)! I hugged him tight and told him that one of the reasons we wanted so much to have another child was because we wanted two children to love and who could love each other – not one! I said the family would never be the same without a very important person in it – him. That Mummy and Daddy’s hearts are so big that there’s plenty of room for us to love two beautiful children just as much as each other and that would never change. He seemed really reassured by that and afterwards, his demeanour changed a lot. He seemed a lot less anxious and more sure of himself. Poor little mite.

I was trying to figure out where he got that idea from. We had certainly not treated him much different. We talked about the baby coming, but I had always made a point of not obsessing in front of him. We had talked about the dogs – one of our dogs is very old and we were worried about her health (turns out the spritely old bugger is fine) and had mentioned in passing that when she was no longer with us, we might just stick to one dog for a while. Could it have been that?! I felt a bit bad when it occurred to me! I’d been giving the Little Mister extra cuddles and affection since I’d found out I was pregnant because I wanted him to feel special. Did he think I was just getting my last hugs in before the big goodbye where we set him adrift?! It was heartbreaking to think that he could even believe that we’d stop loving him. Whether he likes it or not, he’s got us for life!!!!

This week, I also started to get a bit self conscious about how fast my bump was growing. Being my second pregnancy, I think I’m a bit bigger than I was at this stage with the Little Mister growing inside me. I can’t be sure because I never took photos (sorry not sorry for the spam but I don’t want to miss out this time), but I felt like I was getting huge. I don’t know if it’s a throwback from the extra hormones from IVF but I think my boobs are much more massive than they were last time too! I thought people would be staring at me thinking I’m about to pop. I felt a bit embarrassed that I was only 15 weeks along. Like maybe people would think I was just 90% fat and 10% baby. Even though if that was the case, it would be nobody’s damn business anyway!

I think I felt like I started this pregnancy a little bit behind with my fitness and my eating habits and my weight. IVF (and all that had come before it) had been rough and I weighed more when I fell pregnant than I had with the Little Mister.

Even though the rational me knows that a growing baby/bump is a good sign (it’s the not growing that has to be worried about) and that looks are nothing compared to mine or the baby’s health, the irrational, temporarily insane, pregnant me had a cry anyway. My bump will grow how my bump will grow and it’s a miracle and I needed to get over myself! Mr Unprepared set me straight one night when I did the hormonal crying thing and it really did help. I did get over it.

By the end of the week, my energy started to return. It was a really good feeling. I could make it through a whole day without needing to have a nap! I still fell asleep quite early at night, but that’s acceptable I think! I had started to think that maybe being an exhausted sloth was just who I was now. It was a relief to find out it wasn’t!

Do you have more than one child? How did your first born react when they found out that a sibling was on the way? Did they worry? 

{From the Vault} Where do you draw the line?

As I continue the ‘From the Vault’ series (where I FINALLY publish long forgotten blog post drafts), I bring to you a post I wrote in January 2014. I don’t think I had the courage to hit publish on this one because I felt that it could be perceived as shaming other parents who do things differently to me. Honestly, it was not coming from a place of judgement. I just wanted to explain why I have rarely made my son’s face public and how I’ve personally chosen to go about things. The thing is, we’re all really still exploring what it means to have a social media/blogging ‘digital footprint’ and what it means for our children. There are many ways to go about sharing our lives.

Whatever you are comfortable with is your own line in the sand, and I think a majority of parents who post photos of their children publicly have thought deeply about what is in their best interests. We’re all just doing what we hope works best for us.

I know my stance on the issue isn’t the most locked down or perfectly protected system, nor is it the most relaxed. I just hope I’ve hit the right balance for my family and my son.  

As a blogger and as a parent who is nuts for uses social media, I am always asking myself – where should I draw the line when it comes to the way I treat/use my child’s online identity? That sounds icky just to type it – “my child’s online identity”. Whether I like it or not, he has one and he has had one almost since birth. With the sharing of that first hospital photo and birth announcement, it began! For some, it begins before their child is born – ultrasound photos of a 13 week foetus!

It’s a sign of the times. I could be really hardcore about it and leave no digital footprint, no evidence of my son’s existence, because let’s face it, he cannot consent to each image or anecdote that is out there in the world. But I’m not. And I am far from being alone. I can only draw my imaginary (but nonetheless important) line in the sand. Everyone’s line is a little different from another person’s, but I think most of us would agree there needs to be one.

There are so many reasons for this and I think they boil down to these:

  • Your child’s future embarrassment
  • A need to protect your child from predators and those who do not have good intentions
  • To teach your child by example

OK, so the ’embarrassment’ factor is a tough one to draw a line on. Kids are cute and unintentionally funny. They will wear funny things, say funny things and do funny things almost from day 1. I know I’m guilty of privately posting photos of my son wearing funny costumes – I’ve loved every second of it! What a laugh! However, right now he’s only 1 and I hope that by the time he has an awareness of what’s really going on from an older person’s perspective that he will just see it as mum being a bit embarrassing and at least they’re just cute baby photos (ie not him humiliating himself as a tween or older).

I blog about my life with the Little Mister. I do humourous (at least I hope they are) posts on my blog’s Facebook page about his experiences. However, there is a lot that I do not publish. I won’t publicly post photos that reveal his face in intimate detail (unless it is an image that has already been made public in other approved and legitimate ways – even then I feel wary), I won’t publicly post photos of him naked or even just in a nappy. I won’t use his real name. Most of what I post about is the stuff that most toddlers and babies do at a given age. He’s very special and unique to me, but let’s face it – I’m describing thousands upon thousands of toddlers when I share my stories. In a way, I feel like I am portraying my own experiences moreso than his. It’s about how he makes me reflect on my own life and how much I am changing and growing through being a parent. At least that’s my intention. As he grows older, I will have to inspect my line in the sand again – the goal posts will no doubt keep moving.

When it comes to social media, my personal Facebook page is as private as I can make it. I regularly check that Facebook hasn’t done the dirty on me with alterations to the privacy settings and again, I do not post naked photos (bath photos etc) and rarely any videos of the Little Mister. Tagging can be a risk (it can expose your photographs to each and every friend of the friends you’ve tagged), but I try to make informed choices. It’s not a perfect world, but I do my best. No-one has the right to see my son’s naked body splashed all over the internet. No matter how perfect and innocent and little and cute he is to me right now. You don’t know who your friend of a friend of a friend is. You don’t know who might access these photos or manipulate and save them. I’m sure I’m not exactly as hard to track down as a person in witness protection (in fact I know I’m not) but I like to think I’ve made my boundaries clear.

Today I was accosted at the local shopping centre by a baby photography company trying to drum up business, by offering the allure of a chance to go in the draw for your child to win you $5000 in a national cutest baby competition. This means that if you pay the small fee to get your child’s photo taken, some stranger you’ve never met will look at these photographs and decide if your child is the cutest or not. I know $5000 is a lot of money and it could buy your child so much stuff, but I don’t enter these things (online or in person). I do not want to make money off of my child’s looks. I do not need some anonymous person to tell me if my kid is cute or not. Dammit, I know he is the cutest in the world because he’s mine and I am incredibly biased and I don’t care if anyone else thinks so or not as long as I raise him to be a good human!!

Some of these photo competitions offer discounts on baby products, huge educational scholarships etc. They sound like they’re wonderful (because the prize can ultimately benefit your child), but basically these brands/companies are saying that my child can get possible opportunities for a better education (by way of financial means) if he LOOKS cute enough.

It just feels like the wrong message? I do not begrudge others for doing this – again, we all have different lines in the sand – but for me, personally, it doesn’t feel right. I share photographs with friends and loved ones, because they care about our family and I do it (relatively) privately with no intentions of world wide distribution for marketing purposes!

Does my blog following/interest suffer because I do not post lots of fun, personal photographs that would let you into my world/family on a much more visual level? Probably. That’s OK with me. That is my line in the sand.

I cannot guarantee that I will feel the same forever or that I might not make exceptions in the future (don’t want to be a big hypocrite), but I do guarantee that I will always consider the best interests of my child’s online (and therefore public) identity first and foremost. It would take a shitload of good reasons lot for me to change my mind.

How do you feel about the online presence of your child/children?

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? 

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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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?