Tag: Little Mister

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

The Happy List #34

Holy crap, it’s been a big week! I’m still trying to find my groove, now that the Little Mister has started kindy, but I am oddly excited about getting organised and starting a new routine. Oh, and time to myself will be great – however fleeting it will feel between work and school drop offs and pick ups!

I have had a lot on my mind lately and in some ways, all this school stuff has been a good distraction (as much as it has been nerve wracking)!

So here’s the stuff that has made me happy in the last week…

Surviving the first week of being a ‘school mum’

The Little Mister had staggered starts all week at kindy. Each day had different requirements and start times or finish times. It was chaotic inside my brain, to say the least! I was so worried I would forget something or that the Little Mister would buckle under the pressure! But…as each day passed and I didn’t forget anything and the Little Mister did OK, I thought – hey, maybe I can do this! In fact, maybe I can actually enjoy it! Sure, that might be the honeymoon phase talking, but I am optimistic, and a little enthusiastic, as only a new school mum can be haha.

The mums all seemed nice and friendly. The right advice always came at the right time. The school feels like a community. The Little Mister wasn’t upset about it. I only cried once – a tiny little bit – in the car after dropping him off for his first full day (and to be honest I blame at least 60% of that on PMS haha).

I even made a school lunch that consisted of healthy stuff, some of which I had PRE-MADE and frozen ahead of time. Like a real Pinterest school mum. OMG.

I am excited to start Week 2 of term, because that’s when a true routine kicks in. It will be nice to not be super nervous every day and to be able to really plan everything properly. I think the Little Mister will really respond to a steady routine – last week was a bit (understatement!) nerve wracking for both of us, I think.

Taking the Little Mister to the Lion King musical

He’d seen the movie and enjoyed the songs and read the book at bed time. He loves music, so I was really excited to take him to a live show! We went along with my parents (big fans – not even kidding) and made a day of it. While he did struggle a little to stay still (maybe another year older would have been the ‘perfect’ time), he did so well and I loved looking over to him when he was clapping earnestly after a big song or when he was so mesmerised with the performance. I also can’t say I minded too much when he wanted a cuddle during the ‘scary’ scenes. It was a long day for him (for all of us) and while it wasn’t the same relaxing experience we’d have if we didn’t take him, I wouldn’t have changed it for the world. Especially when he exclaimed to Mr Unprepared as we walked out, “That was fun!”

He then decided he wanted to live at the hotel there (at Crown Perth) “FOREVER!”, so he could watch the Lion King over and over. The rest of us just wanted to go home to bed haha.

Totally amazing and totally worth it. There’s nothing like the joy of knowing you’re making fantastic family memories.

He wanted to sing Hakuna Matata all the way home!!

Freshly painted nails

I’d given my nails a break when we got home from camping. My nails were breaking and my skin was dry. But I was in first-week-of-term survival mode. I had a chance to sit down on Friday night and treat myself to a manicure. I even had some Jamberry samples sent to me by a friend (I am usually allergic to party plan things so this was a big deal), so I chucked a couple of those on – gotta love a feature nail haha. I feel like my hands are so pretty right now!

Self care for the win. So good to include it when things are stressful.

Having darker hair

I’d been rocking a reddish, brassy blondish balayage monstrosity for months. I decided that if I was to take my career as a school mum seriously, I would need to maybe not look like an adult fail/hot mess. I bought a home colour kit in the darkest shade of brown, and went to town on my skull foliage. No more brassy ends on my hair! Yippee! It did wonders for my confidence – especially as I am well aware that it has been way too long since I actually got my hair done professionally.

It’s so funny, because whenever I dye my hair really dark (i.e. closer to my natural colour), I feel like it’s too dark and I look like a goth/emo/whatever the cool word for it is at the time. But then I remind myself that I’m actually Asian and no-one is that shocked by seeing an Asian person with dark hair. I think I literally forget I’m not white sometimes!

Again, it was important self care!

Falling asleep nice and early almost every night

That’s not to say that I didn’t wake up a lot or struggle at times in the wee hours, but I really enjoyed that feeling of knowing I was drifting off without much effort. I am in love with that really lazy, comfy, I’m giving into this, kind of feeling right before you fall asleep. I think this really helped me with getting up nice and early to begin a new before-school routine.

Other stuff that made me happy this week:

  • Mr Unprepared having my back when I really needed him to.
  • Clearing the air.
  • Getting back to work.
  • My new lightbox (from Kmart – I only went in for some plastic plates and bowls I swear).
  • My mum’s group. They give the BEST advice and reassurance and are honestly, the most loving and supportive people. If it wasn’t for their little pep talks and encouragement, I don’t think the past week would have felt quite so manageable x
  • Watching crappy ‘reality’ shows (but not MKR – ew). I am not even sorry, bros.
  • Unexpected sms conversations with an old friend.

What would be on your happy list this week? x

 

The Happy List #32

It’s Sunday morning and I am taking some time to breathe. I am not gonna lie. The honeymoon of getting to spend more time with the Little Mister over the holidays has kind of worn off. This mama needs a little sanity back! It’s not at all about him – he’s great most of the time. It’s about me. I think I’ve kind of tried to be SUPER AWESOME MUM and I think I need to take a step back and be REALLY OK MUM WHO ISN’T ABOUT TO LOSE HER SHIT. His dad can be SUPER AWESOME DAD for a bit! I’m really looking forward to our camping trip – a nice circuit breaker. I have got to get out!

So here are the things that have made me happy in the last week…

The Little Mister’s new habit of saying ‘excuse me’

I was getting really annoyed by the Little Mister’s constant nagging. He was not being very well mannered – shouting that he wanted to talk to whoever I was on the phone with, demanding all the snacks NOW etc. I decided that this was not good enough (I am a stickler for good manners), so I told him to practice saying, “Excuse me” and then waiting until someone could tend to him. It wasn’t really getting through until I had some strong words with him earlier in the week and now he’s saying it all the time, instead of repeating himself over and over at ever increasing volume. It’s like music to my ears! He’s not perfect, because 4 years old. But a lot closer!! I’d say the loud, insistent nagging has probably decreased by at least 70%. Amazing.

Double yolk egg

Mr Unprepared buys free range eggs from a guy at work who has his own chooks. He only charges $3 for a dozen and they’re great! It’s awesome knowing where they’re coming from and it’s fun to see all those REAL eggs, with different coloured shells, feathers stuck to some of them.

The guy knows that we have a curious little dude, so he thoughtfully packed a huge double yolker in the last carton we received. This week, I got to crack it with the Little Mister and he was quite amazed. Honestly, I’d never seen one in real life so I was too!

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I was a bit disappointed that I broke one of the yolks, but it was a bit hard not to! I felt for the chicken that had to push it out, though. It was huge!

Writing lists when I feel anxious

I was getting really overwhelmed the other night. Reality started to sink in that the Little Mister would be starting school right after we get home from our little trip and that there wouldn’t be many ‘shopping’ hours left before his first day. I knew I had to really nail my booklist items and know where everything was before we go. It was something I could have just looked at the next morning, but I was feeling pretty hyped up worrying about it and we all know the kind of sleep a person gets when they’re in that state!

I decided to refresh myself by going through all the info we’d been given and I wrote myself a shopping list. That was all there was to it. Once I’d got it all straight in my head and knew all I had to do was wake up the next day and tackle the list, I felt so relaxed. I love that feeling of getting your worries out of your head and onto paper into some kind of action plan. It’s fantastic!

I also have done this with the stuff we have to do to get ready for our trip. I even put weekly planners up in the kitchen on the pantry door – for the next month (kind of a crazy hump we have to get through)! So much relief.

Re-watching Rush on Netflix

It wouldn’t be my happy list if I didn’t mention Netflix at least once (I need a sponsorship deal haha). Lately, I’ve been watching Rush again. I absolutely loved it when it was on TV, but after their fourth season they never came back. It’s like my perfect kind of show. It’s got action, buff cops (they all look hot in their uniforms – hello – and the female characters are awesome), the psychological aspect of negotiating (the show’s about a fictional tactical response team), it’s set in Melbourne and *ahem* Rodger Corser who I have an unexplainable crush on. I don’t know why but I really love the theme music too. It actually seems to capture the mood of the show (and Melbourne) perfectly for me. I have no idea if the show is anything like reality (I’ll take a stab in the dark and say probably not), but gosh it’s fun to watch. It’s got a pretty good cast too. Even the guest roles.

Look, it makes me happy OK? It’s been a quiet post-new year period. I haven’t got out much! I don’t have to explain myself to you haha.

That time the weather cooled down for a couple of days

It’s been a hot few weeks, but gosh it’s nice when the weather breaks just a little and the heat that has accumulated for days just blows away with a nice cool sea breeze. I love summer, but it can get unbearable at times. It’s nice when you can feel your air con becoming efficient again and when you can walk outside first thing in the morning and everything’s so mellow and mild. It’s like a breath of fresh air…literally! I’m hoping that every day will feel like that when we go away (it’s usually a few degrees cooler at our favourite spot).

Other stuff that made me happy…

  • The Little Mister putting on his Superman cape and doing lame (but funny) stunts on my bed (which of course involved all the pillows).
  • Dancing to MC Hammer in the kitchen.
  • That one time I didn’t want to make dinner because I always make dinner so I didn’t make dinner.
  • Remembering the fun stuff that’s going to happen in February – like going to see Josh Pyke and the Lion King musical.

What is on your happy list this week? 

I’m not ready (to be a school mum)!

OK, so technically I am ready in the sense that all of the booklist items have been procured and the Little Mister’s uniform is ready and all I have to do is put his name on everything. I learned about being prepared nice and early because BC (Before Child) I worked in a stationery and school supplies store and the stress the ‘last minute’ parents put themselves through was SO not worth it (and it made them into horrible monsters).

But mentally ready? Not. At. All.

As for the Little Mister – he seems nervous but glad to be a ‘big kid’ at ‘big school’ soon (we’re talking kindy for 4 year olds). He asks me questions about it all the time and he sounds so adorably naive and he thinks anything that is remotely grown up will be on offer at kindy. Like maybe he can use knives there and drink from glass tumblers and stuff. Because grown up. But he also asks if he’ll still get nap time and toys to play with.

He is also mourning the end of his time at day care – it’s started to sink in that he’s never going back (even though I started preparing him before Christmas last year). We run into his little day care buddies all the time in this small world we live in. He cries about missing one particular boy he used to play with a lot. He also misses his favourite teacher.

We’ve had little chats where I’ve told him that while it can be sad to leave a place and people that we love and know so well, as we grow up we have a chance to have new adventures and learn new things and make new friends we might love just as much. I’ve promised him that it’s OK. That as grown up as he is becoming, he is still my little kid and I will always be there for him to help guide him and explain how things work. He’s not on his own. Not yet!

All the while, I’m running a parallel shit scared commentary in my own head.

What if I’m a big fail of a school mum? What if I’m that mum that forgets stuff all the time (I seriously struggled with a couple of kindy preparation related things last year – probably me being in denial – and it really knocked my confidence)? What if I hate having to be so much more organised? Pressure’s on to get my act together! What if I am not the ideal ‘private school mum’? What if I just look like a hot bogan mess at school drop offs and pick ups and everyone else is wearing the latest active wear or corporate outfits or on point ‘mum’ clothes? What if a lot of the other mums are much more ‘proper’ than I am? I don’t even really know where to park my car. Not even kidding. I mean, there are several car parks but I have no idea which ones are for who. I never asked. HOLD ME.

Not to mention that being an ex (high school) student of that same school, I get crazy flashbacks walking in there all the time. I feel like I’m still the student. Like at any moment, I’m about to break a rule about how to wear my uniform or realise I haven’t done my homework in time or will somehow offend a teacher and get in trouble! I actually had a pretty great time there. I made great friends and the sense of community was strong. It was also a quality education that I was given. Which is why we picked the place for the Little Mister. But still. PTSD much? Haha.

How am I allowed to have a kid and send it to school? I’M NOT EVEN A GROWN UP YET AND I’M 31.

TELL ME. HOW?

I worry about whether he’ll get in trouble – not because he’s a bad kid, but because he can get a bit too excited about things. He’s very…exuberant (and strong minded). I just try to remind myself that he’s only 4. They’ll understand this. They’ll guide him. I’m sure of it. I hope?

Don’t even get me started on the first day I have to leave him there. In his little uniform. Waaaaaaaah.

Don’t get me wrong – he’ll be fine. Me? Who knows. My mum sent me a message the other day, regarding this. She told me to buy a box of tissues and used a wine glass emoji.

*gulp*

I mean, we both did fine with the day care drop off thing last year, but this just feels so much more emotional! Why is that?!

Is anyone else going to be school mum/dad for the first time this year? Have you got some experience under your belt – got any advice or reassurance to offer?? 

The Happy List #27

This past week has been a mixed bag. Some things have brought great joy and others…well, they can stay in last week, thank you very much! I am so glad that I write this list every week (and grateful to those who read it), because I really do think that it has helped me to think more positively. And not in an insincere, cheesy way either. I can be really picky about what goes on the list, because I don’t write about what I think I should have been happy about. I write about the things that genuinely made me feel happy. Sometimes those things are colossal, life changing things and sometimes the smallest (or most left of centre) things can bring the most joy.

Here goes…

Attending Christmas events with the Little Mister

I love taking him to do festive things. He really appreciates all of it in a way that only a child can and it makes me so happy to relive that wonder with him. We took him to the local Christmas pageant last week and he sat up on Mr Unprepared’s shoulders, watching the parade, squealing in delight at every new float or costume. He danced to the band who were playing Christmas songs and he got to see his first ever fireworks (along with his little friend who had seen them on Peppa Pig before but never in real life – so cute). He found the noise a little overwhelming but I think he felt very grown up. When we asked him what he thought of them afterwards, he said, “They were a bit loud but they were very pretty.”

I loved his mature response. I’ll keep him.

We also attended his day care’s Christmas gathering. I went solo (i.e. minus a husband) and I was a bit apprehensive – sometimes his excitement overwhelms him and he runs me ragged – but he behaved so well. He was actually a delight! I felt a bit guilty watching some friends struggle with juggling two little ones on their own, but then I realised that I’d love nothing more than to feel that struggle so perhaps having the perks of dealing with just one 4 year old are my pay off for now.

I have also discovered that there is nothing more adorable than seeing the Little Mister singing Christmas songs with his little friends. Nawwwww.

Giving myself permission to ignore social media sometimes

Now, I have in no way abstained – I am certainly not that disciplined or extreme. I just realised that I had been picking my phone up instantly for every single notification that popped up for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat (ha – addict much?) instead of just letting things be so I could chill out or just exist in whatever moment I was in. I didn’t reply to everything right away. I didn’t spend hours reading blogs (although I do miss doing that more) in my rare down time. I tried to rest my brain, instead. If I wanted to be a zombie, I let myself be a zombie. It was that simple.

I still posted a fair bit, but I felt like it was more on my terms. I wasn’t just constantly reacting or responding to everything that was sent my way. If I made time for it, it was because I was in the right space to do so.

I hope I can keep that balance. It’s liberating to remember to unplug – even if it’s just for a few hours.

 A couple of nights of good sleep

They’ve been few and far between, but a couple of nights I managed to make it to about 7 hours of sleep and it felt like a huge victory after the last few weeks of interrupted sleep I’ve been having. I don’t want to jinx it, but I am hoping that this is the start of me feeling more human again. Sometimes sleep really does fix a lot of things.

A little bit of exercise is better than nothing

I felt a bit disappointed that I didn’t feel up to running this past week, but I am glad I did something. I did a couple of little mini ab work outs and went for a walk with the fam to the shops and back, and had a laugh doing some hip hop cardio work outs (because dancing is so much fun and I like to pretend I’m good at it – I’m not – and it’s even funnier if I do it in front of Mr Unprepared because he thinks I’m weird and I don’t care). I am feeling my ab muscles this week, but I’m glad I’ve been doing something about them. They have been the missing component of my exercise routine, in terms of wanting my body to (eventually) resemble some kind of toned, fit shape. I always need to feel that smug, virtuous feeling that I’ve done something and that I haven’t totally given up. I am glad I did a little. A little is ALWAYS better than nothing.

Having a nice manicure

I did my own nails yesterday and I’m loving them sick. It’s nothing too special (just a bit of festive gold glitter here and there), but it’s perked me up and made me feel like a ‘finished’ person 🙂

You know what I mean?

My nails are getting long and even though that can irritate me sometimes, I am kind of loving the look of them. I may have mentioned on Twitter that it’s probably only a matter of time before I become a pissed off Wolverine who can’t get a grip on anything (my tolerance is admittedly much much lower than that of the long nailed Kardashians of the world), but it’s fun for now!

Other stuff that’s made me happy:

  • Watching The Interview (that movie with Seth Rogen and Dave Franco). In theory, I should hate it, but it made me really laugh out loud when I needed it. Yeah, I am not the high brow person you think I am. Oh, what? You never thought I was? Well, thanks – you’re right haha.
  • Deciding on a Christmas present to send to my brother (that bastard who moved to Melbourne this year).
  • Knowing that the Little Mister wanted to get me a present for Christmas and knew exactly what he wanted to get me and that he took his dad to get it for me and it’s all wrapped up under the Christmas tree already. So cute. And yes. I know what it is because he told me (4 year olds should not be trusted to keep surprises to themselves haha). He’s already told me what he wants to get his dad, so it will be fun to do that too 🙂
  • Time to write my happy list. Alone. In peace.
  • Work
  • When good stuff happens to people I care about.
  • Conversations with good friends, reminding me of the importance of self care.

What is on your happy list this week? 

 

The Happy List #26

I had a choice between having a nap, working out or writing this week’s happy list. If you’re reading this, you know which one I picked. Honestly, I probably should have chosen the nap, right? I think this time of the year has caught up with me! It might be tiring, but it is fun.

Here are the things that have made me happy this past week…

November turning into December

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It’s not magazine perfect but it was decorated with love (and the help of a very enthusiastic 4 year old).

I have this big self imposed rule where I quite often refuse to do anything Christmas related until it is December (other than some early Christmas gift buying if I am feeling super organised). I’m stubborn about it. I feel like I want my Christmas celebrations to be about quality time, not quantity (i.e. starting in September). It also helps me to compartmentalise all that is involved with this time of year. I can put it in the ‘don’t worry about it yet’ basket for 11 months of the year!

But when December 1st rolls around, I am crazy for all things Christmas related. It’s so much fun when you have a little one. We’ve got the advent calendar (this time it’s a felt one that you can reuse every year which makes me feel very out of my parenting league). The tree is up. I put ‘Christmas’ in the Pinterest search bar. You know it’s serious, when you crack out your Pinterest account haha.

There will be so many more fun things to do in the lead up to Christmas. Yay!

Anniversary date night with that guy I married 8 years ago

I am not kidding when I tell you that we were excited about it for months. Our date nights out are often very few and far between, with us often settling for an ‘after the Little Mister has gone to bed’ date night in. We headed into Fremantle for a delicious and simple dinner at Little Creatures, before going for a nice walk and reliving the good times we’d shared when we’d lived very close by. We weren’t really out very late (we were a little sheepish about how tired we were haha) but it was just so bloody relaxing! Just the two of us, finishing conversations without being interrupted, holding hands. Making things up as we went along. Bliss.

We grabbed some takeaway dessert and came home to watch a movie. We slept in. Not much. But a lot by our standards.

It was so nice to connect as a couple – alone! I’m still bloody tired (you know when you get one OK night of sleep and then instead of being grateful your body decides that it wasn’t enough so you end up feeling more tired?), but I feel loved up and all that spew-in-a-bucket cheesy stuff.

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The best selfie we managed to get. You know when you’re weirdly self conscious about being seen taking a selfie by strangers? And then the wind was…windy and we were laughing at each other half the time.

Hearing the Little Mister singing Christmas songs

It’s just so darn cute. Especially when he’s learnt something new at day care and comes home and performs it for us with pride, using his little kid voice. Seriously. You’ll have to take my word for it. It’s frickin’ adorable.

Maintaining a small weight loss

I’ve been stoked to have lost about half a kilo in the last week or two. I’ve managed to maintain that loss (it is usually a really annoying plateau/hump for me) and even though it’s not much, it’s been really encouraging. I must keep motivated in the next few weeks though. As soon as I conquer a bit of my fatigue, I’ll be hitting it hard again this week coming. Yay. I never thought running would be my thing, but seeing how it’s been changing my body has been so amazing.

Being so proud of the Little Mister when he got his immunisations (and knowing they’re the last ones until he’s much much older)!

I was a bit nervous. The Little Mister had no recollection of getting his last immunisations (he was only 18 months old) so he had no idea what to expect, but all of the awareness of a 4 year old. I had explained to him that he was getting some needles to make him really healthy and strong. I warned him in a clear but gentle way that they would hurt for a second or two but that it would all be over really quickly. It helped that I have been getting lots of blood tests myself lately (my usual disclaimer: nothing to worry about by the way and no I am not pregnant – that’s the point). He was so excited to be such a big boy.

He came with me and he brought his precious stuffed hippo. He was adorable when he asked me if I would stay with him while he had his needles – as if I would be anywhere else. I had to have him in my lap, holding his arms down in a tight hug while two nurses gave him his two needles (one in each arm) at the exact same time – good tactical move for sure. He tried so hard to be brave. One of the needles hurt more than the other and he said a little surprised “Ow!”

Then the needle started to really sting him and he couldn’t hold it in anymore. He cried and looked so sad and bewildered. Oh, my heart!

We had to stick around for 15 minutes afterwards to make sure he wouldn’t have any adverse reactions and that was where the problems started. He was suddenly tired, overwhelmed and becoming irritable (a side effect). He screamed and cried when we had to leave. Like heartbreaking, volume 11 stuff – I am lucky enough to say that it was not like him at all. I had to scoop him up, carry him to the car and lever him into his car seat. He was almost inconsolable.

Later, I told him how he had been so brave and that I admired his courage and he was my super hero. He seemed to not believe he’d done a good job at being brave, but seeing him instantly calm when I told him that he was not in trouble for crying, that I understood that it is hard and even most grown ups don’t like needles, was just a really moving moment.

It might have been a tough day for him to begin with, but it was a lovely day full of cuddles and love and tenderness from then on. I am still so proud of him. I don’t want to raise a boy who thinks it’s bad to cry or feel pain. I want to raise a son who understands that it’s OK to and that true courage doesn’t mean you’re not scared. It means you do something even though you’re scared. I just felt like he learned to believe in himself a little more that day, you know?

Gosh, it’s hard work raising a human, but so rewarding.

Other stuff that has made me happy: 

  • Watching Elf with the Little Mister – our annual tradition.
  • Hearing about all the fun stuff the Little Mister did with my parents when he slept over for our date night.
  • Realising that the people who stick needles in my arm all the time are so nice and I am so grateful because it can be stressful for me.
  • Seeing the Little Mister in his ‘big school’ (he starts kindy next year) uniform for the first time, all proud of himself.
  • Master of None on Netflix.
  • Cider.
  • Wine.
  • I might have a problem.
  • OOPS.

Haha.

What is on your happy list? 

The Happy List #22 – Little Mister’s 4th birthday edition.

Wow, I almost forgot to write a happy list for this week! It’s been a big one as we’ve celebrated the Little Mister’s fourth birthday! He didn’t have a birthday party this year and as family and friends have been all over the place, we’ve simply decided to celebrate his birthday over and over in smaller ways, the lucky thing.

Here are the things that made me happy this week (in no particular order)…

Surprising the Little Mister with a trip to AQWA (the Aquarium of WA)

We wanted to do something special with the Little Mister (in lieu of a birthday party) that he would remember, so the day after his birthday, we decided to surprise him with a trip to the aquarium. It’s a bit of a trek from our place and something different. We didn’t tell him that his uncle, aunty and cousin were coming – he knew nothing! He asked where we were going a few times on the drive there, but he just seemed happy to be along for the ride.

When we got there, he was so happy he was wriggling with joy to see his uncle and aunty. Then we got in the doors to pay to get in and he was all, “WOW! WHAT IS THIS PLACE?!” with so much wonder and joy in his voice. He has been to an aquarium before (in Korea) but he had never been to AQWA and we knew it would be the last thing he’d be expecting.

He loved the experience (almost as much as he loved the conveyor belt thingy that takes you around underwater) and he forgot his indoor voice a few times!

Afterwards, we went for burgers and ice cream. It was honestly the most lovely day and I was so glad we got to give it to him.

He slept all the way home in the car!

The love everyone has shown the Little Mister for his birthday

We are so appreciative of all the messages, Face Time sessions (from those who can’t be close by), gifts and hugs that the Little Mister has received this year. He’s a very lucky and loved little guy.

He got to see his grandparents (my inlaws) for Friday Fajitas (our little tradition) and cupcakes on his birthday and he got to spend quality time with his great grandparents too. Not to mention AQWA. He’ll see my parents next weekend when they are home from one of my dad’s work trips. Um hello – birthday WEEK!

Barbecued corn – seriously. Makes me happy.

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I’m not kidding. I live for it. Even when it’s cold in the fridge the next day, I do not care. YUM.

Trying to get two massive bunches of helium balloons from the shops into the car

I was prepping to surprise the Little Mister on his birthday morning with a bunch of green/dinosaur themed balloons. He had asked for balloons for his birthday a little while back. I kind of went all out because I knew he wasn’t getting his gifts until later in the day when Mr Unprepared got home from work. Turns out, it’s more embarrassing than you think to get helium balloons from the inside of a busy shopping centre to the car. I had them in a trolley and I couldn’t see where I was going and little kids everywhere were enchanted and it was bloody hilarious. I looked like a freakin’ idiot. Even better when the breeze kicked in just as I got to the car! I’ve never laughed at myself so much (actually I probably have – have you met me?).

Betty Crocker (not sponsored haha)

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I do love baking a cake (or 12) from scratch, but sometimes it just needs to be easy and no-one ever notices the difference anyway. I just used some dinosaur sprinkles, some green food colouring for the pre-made Betty Crocker tub of frosting, my own patty cases, a piping bag (you can get these awesome disposable ones) and Bob’s your uncle! The Little Mister was quite pleased 🙂

Betty has been saving my arse for a while – she’s my secret weapon!

Other stuff that’s made me happy this week…

  • Having visitors meant I had to kick myself up the bum and clean everything. My house is nice… for now haha.
  • The fact that I am sitting down to write this. So nice to take a breath!
  • Reading about Bruce’s (of Big Family Little Income) wife Tracey having a fart in hospital (I know that sounds really out of context if you haven’t been following but trust me it’s wonderful news). This isn’t just good news for their gorgeous family, but for me because I can now tell my husband he should not take it for granted (and in fact should be grateful) when I let it rip while we watch TV in the evening 😉
  • The Little Mister putting me to bed when I said I was tired. I had to lie down, have a blanket put over me and I was given a cuddle toy. He then ran out of the room. Which then worried me and I thought I’d better find him haha. But still, it was quite sweet I think!
  • Knowing there are some fun things ahead this month AND THEN IT’S DECEMBER WHEN I LET MYSELF GET EXCITED ABOUT CHRISTMAS!

What’s on your happy list this week? 

Four.

 

Dear Little Mister,

I can’t believe you’re four today. FOUR. That’s such a big number. I’ve always thought of FOUR as a pretty big deal. I mean, that’s pretty grown up. You’re like a fully fledged KID now. Not a baby. Not a toddler. A KID.

A kid who loves the colour green and is starting to become interested in dinosaurs. A kid who is incredibly caring, bossy, affectionate, creative, inquisitive and NOISY.

Right now, you swear that you do not like chicken. At all. You think chicken is just so not an option. Unless you’re eating chicken nuggets. I mean, duh.

When my mum is on holiday, you ask Siri to search for Nanna (like you literally want to find her). You think everyone can see you when you’re talking on the phone so you try to show people things around the house and they have no idea what’s going on. You still call my iPad an OurPad because I share it with you when you’re being good. It makes sense to you, I guess! Nice try, buddy haha.

You’re the biggest dibber dobber on the planet. You call Daddy out when he’s sneaking chocolate from the top shelf of the fridge (where we keep the good stuff). Nothing gets by you. NOTHING. I think I only JUST got by with hiding your birthday presents this year. Santa is going to have to be really really clever this time around, I think.

You’re always singing. Whether it’s a song you learnt at school, something that’s popular at the moment, or something you’ve made up. You literally wake up singing some days. I hope that’s a sign of a really happy kid. Some of my own happiest moments are the times you burst out into song when we are least expecting it. It’s still freakin’ adorable when you mix the lyrics up. I COULD JUST EAT YOU. Well, figuratively speaking.

Can I just say that I am very proud of the toilet training progress you’ve made in the past year? It was a big milestone (for me) when you started to go to the toilet on your own. So much of my day is freed up now (no joke) and I love how grown up you feel when you can take care of it all! We still have to remind you to work on your aim sometimes, but hey, things are going pretty well! I remember being so scared before you started toilet training. I think almost every parent gets worried their kid might still be in nappies by high school at some point. It’s so awesome to see how far you’ve come. I love that you can dress yourself and that you pick your own outfits. Yesterday’s Hawaiian shirt was something to behold.

You’re cheeky and you have the best sense of humour. Your comedic timing is spot on. You’re such a natural performer. I can see we’re going to have to find ways to channel that energy as you get older!

You start 4 year old kindy at the ‘big’ school in a few months. I can’t believe it. It’s so bittersweet for me! You’re growing up so fast! I want you to know that I don’t just love you but I really really like you. Even when you’re losing the plot and the house is a ball of noise and everybody is tired, we get by and we learn some lessons together. There are always some more laughs to be had, soon enough. I hope I’m a good teacher, because I’ll tell you this – I’m learning all the time too.

I hope that the year ahead is full of brand new, wonderful memories.

Lots of love,

Mummy.