Tag: love

Mother’s Day shout outs.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now, onto you lot.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*raises glass*

To us.

via GIPHY

The Happy List #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? 

When tragedy strikes.

Last week, some terrible things happened – notably in Paris and Beirut. Sadly, much like the constant news we hear about shootings in the US, I fear that we’re all falling into a routine in our reactions to such awful events. It’s not that we’re desensitised (at least I hope not) but it’s very sad that we can now predict exactly how the initial aftermath will play out.

Shock and adrenaline.

We’ve all sat by our Twitter accounts and watched the live feeds as terrible news breaks. We hear rumours of terrorism. We are transfixed – we want the latest updates. People are scared and horrified. Our hearts break. The news becomes a trending topic across social media. We make sure to mention that we’re thinking of all those affected, because now that the world is seemingly so connected via the internet, it feels wrong not to acknowledge that something terrible is happening. We can’t ignore it.

Outrage.

When we hear more and more about the disgusting things that ‘terrorists’ have done, we become outraged. We want to do something. We start to show our support for those who are attacked. We change our profile photos on Facebook. We sign petitions. We share what we feel are important messages on how to navigate such horrible news. If we’re in a position to, we donate to related charities or organise to show up at certain events.

Out come the haters. The ignorance runs rife. Newsfeeds are filled with weird propaganda of scumbags who preach hate against Islam. You start to realise the true colours of people who you used to think were a little smarter than that. You feel disappointment as you start clicking ‘hide’, ‘block posts from this page’, ‘unfollow’. People become competitive and start arguments about who is more caring. We’ve all seen it.

“Oh, look at you all supporting the people in Paris. You don’t even care about what’s happening in x, y, or z every day of the year.”

“Hashtag activism is pathetic and lazy. Why aren’t you actually doing something about it?”

Politicians whose views should never be given the air time come out of the woodwork. It all starts to feel like some sort of shitshow and you despair.

Horror stories break hearts. 

As time rolls on, horrific firsthand accounts emerge from survivors. Eventually we click on a couple. We want to know what these poor people have been through. Last night I finally read some and I found myself in tears. I had to stop. It was a luxury that I could. My heart truly does go out to the people who live through events like this. You wonder if your heart can take anymore and then you wonder how people actually living through it must be feeling, if this is how you’re feeling so far away from the situation.

Waleed makes so much sense. 

Then the thing comes that we’ve been waiting for with bated breath. The awesome Waleed Aly of The Project comes through with the goods. He is always the voice of reason. He nails everything I’ve been thinking but cannot express as eloquently. Waleed is not taking any bullshit. He will smash your ignorance into smithereens if you let him. He will use facts and intelligence and wit. No-one gets out dumber. A little hope is restored.

ISIL is WeakWaleed talks about how we can stop ISIL #TheProjectTVWritten by Waleed and Tom Whitty (@twhittyer)

Posted by The Project on Monday, 16 November 2015

What can we change?

Now this is just my opinion, but here’s what I think…

We can stop judging the way other people grieve, mourn or show solidarity with the victims of such attacks. Do you really think you’re a superior person because you trolled or insulted somebody who shows compassion for other people in this world? Do you really think you’re achieving anything by dismissing their love and empathy as empty nothingness? We can educate people about the lesser known social injustices occurring around the world without shitting all over other people who show their support and sadness about something more visible. We can stop buying into racist or xenophobic rhetoric. We can speak up for love and reject hate and anger (that is what fuels such evil people to do these things – why would we think it’s going to make us better?). We can raise children who are generous, tolerant, accepting, but who also know how to critically analyse what they’re seeing and hearing every day from the media, politicians and evil ‘organisations’ who are trying to divide us. We can talk about terrorism as basic, cowardly and an extreme act of stupidity. We can be proactive when we have the opportunity. We can choose our thoughts and our tweets. Like my homeboy Waleed says, we can choose to NOT give ‘terrorists’ what they want.

We can hug the people we love extra hard each day and never let them doubt how we feel about them. We can remember what’s really important. We can send and share that love and kindness everywhere we go. Because love is contagious and it really can start at home. Anger that is directed in all the wrong places is poisonous, but love is energising.

We are all better than a handful of deplorable, awful, violent people. I believe love can win if we choose it.

 

The Happy List #20

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I had PMS big time this week (there’s a great way to start a blog post), so I really wondered at times if I’d have anything to put on my happy list! Man, I was feeling ALL of the feelings, none of which were happy (unless you managed to catch me on a nice 5 second upswing before the down swing haha). I’m so fun to be around. But now that I’m sitting here, I’m exhausted but I can see the positives and I am really grateful.

Let’s get into it…

Good people making tough stuff so much better

I had to get an ultrasound this past week (no I am not pregnant – that’s the point). I was feeling anxious about it and I had to travel for an hour to get it done. I hadn’t been treated with much warmth and sensitivity by the person on the phone in my own hometown when trying to book (the ultrasound had to be at a very particular time in my cycle and I could not miss that window) and when you’re battling PMS, you really don’t handle being inconvenienced very well (I may have embarrassingly stewed about it all day haha). However, my mum and the Little Mister kept me company and turned it into a surprisingly nice day! The sonographer and his assistant were so lovely and put me at ease (I’ve heard horror stories of ones who are not so good with the people skills). There was no bad news to report. It really could have been a more harrowing and emotional experience than it was – I am so grateful for everyone that made it a little better. The Little Mister was a ray of sunshine and while normally I might find it a bit harder to drag him around, I was really grateful for my little buddy and for my mum who helped to look after him and who was awesome with the emotional support.

Fitting back into some of my clothes despite the emotional eating (and lack of exercise)

I’ve slacked off lately and I was worried that I was undoing my progress in toning up, so I decided to try on some dresses from my wardrobe. I figured that if I was busting out of every single one of them I would be motivated to fix that situation quick smart (I have a few events to go to in the next couple of months and I felt like I need a kick up the bum to stay in some sort of shape – even just for practical reasons – i.e. saving money on dresses). I also figured that if I looked good in some of them, I would find that really encouraging and it would be reason not to give up. Well, I was really pleasantly surprised! YAY! I felt comfortable in most of the dresses I tried on (like I would actually leave the house in them) and the one dress I was using as a measure (the one I couldn’t zip up at all the last time I tried it on) ZIPPED UP! ALL THE WAY! I am so glad to know I haven’t wrecked my progress.

I shall be back on the wagon very soon.

Feeling like a ‘real’ mum because I totally did some activities with the Little Mister from the Woolworths Ancient Animals file (not sponsored – just brainwashed like everybody else)

The Little Mister has become fascinated with collecting dinosaur cards for his file (if you spend a certain amount at the supermarket they give you some). Inside the file are lots of facts about dinosaurish type creatures (there’s a bunch of ‘eras’ and stuff that I can’t be bothered getting into) and some food based activities you can do with/for your kids. He noticed these (he’s very motivated by snack related things) and to my surprise, some of the activities were really simple and I had all the stuff (there’s a miracle – here’s the kicker – they were from the rival supermarket haha). We made dinosaur eggs y’all. I also made some kind of ancient anemone sandwiches with avocado and grated carrot and shit. For a minute there I felt like a really ‘good’ mum. Like the ones you see on TV and read about on OTHER blogs!

The Little Mister was stoked. Mum brownie points ahoy!

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Mr Unprepared

I just love that guy, you know? This isn’t a cop out, generic item for my happy list. It’s a real heartfelt, thank you for being there for me – this week I’ve really really felt it thing.

(even if he forced me to watch Star Wars with him last night when there were apparently back to back Channing Tatum movies on another network – it’s criminal!)

My online friendships

You know who you are. You’re the ones who I group message with far too frequently (causing Mr Unprepared to give me a quizzical look when I’m absorbed in your snapchats haha). You’re the ones who know my secrets and whose secrets I guard fiercely too. You’re the ones whose cycles synced up this month with mine because I swear that’s not a coincidence – we’re just too much lady power together hahaha. Any time of the day or night, we’re all there supporting each other. I am so lucky to have great friends both offline and online.

What is on your happy list this week? x

Kez Gets Physical: Loving your body (and yourself) NOW.

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When I say ‘love’, I don’t mean that you have to be head over heels, loving yourself sick and thinking you’re the sexiest beast to walk the planet every time you look in the mirror – no improvements needed (although you are totally a sexy beast – just saying). I mean the act of love. The ‘being kind to yourself’ kind of love. The kind of acceptance for yourself and your body that you would give anybody else that you care about, but somehow forget to give yourself. The remembering that you are more than what you look like. That kind of love.

I used to be of the mentality that I would have to work hard to get the body that I want and THEN I could love myself – you know, when I got really hot. And you know what? I was MISERABLE. I was all about the destination and not about the journey. Holding off my happiness and acceptance of myself was not the best idea I’ve ever had. In fact, it turned out to be really counterproductive.

Also, WTF. How shallow is that?? I would never treat somebody else like that. Why do it to myself?

The funny thing is, it took me being the heaviest and most unfit I’ve ever been in my life to actually start loving myself (this was only a few months and a couple of kilograms ago). I think it’s because I had to accept that if I got myself moving and really made an effort to improve my health, it would take a lot longer than it ever has before. It wouldn’t be a quick fix (and nor did I want it to be). That’d be a really long time to wait to be happy.

For me, the happiness I feel when I’m saying nice things to myself, is what actually motivates me. I’ve made so much more progress in my journey to better health since I decided to be happy with myself NOW than I was ever making when I made the choice to loathe who I saw in the mirror each day.

How do I love myself and my body NOW

I used to think that there was no point buying nice new clothes because I’d be heaps smaller and slimmer one day, so what’s the point? May as well make do with what I had until I was ‘hot again’ and then I could spoil myself. That was a HUGE mistake. Each day I faced a wardrobe filled with things that didn’t fit anymore. Stuff I was waiting to fit back into. See, I never got rid of that stuff because I thought that if I did, it was like telling myself I’d never wear that size/style again. I thought it would be like admitting I was giving up. Thing is, I was also subconsciously telling myself that I didn’t deserve nice new clothes that fit and flattered, because I didn’t think I was good enough how I was.

Each day I would have to wade through the stuff that I couldn’t wear anymore. I would feel sad and annoyed (it also was a big waste of time). Every day. I would put on some drab piece of clothing – probably something super floaty I could do nothing but hide in and hope I blended in with. It was often a few seasons old or it looked overly worn out. I never felt good.

I also never worked out. I told myself that until I was ‘hot’ enough to wear gym clothes, I shouldn’t buy any, like I didn’t have the right to buy it because I wasn’t ‘the real deal’ or experienced enough. But then I would never be able to exercise the way I wanted, because I didn’t have the right clothes or I felt frumpy and out of place when I improvised! Funny that.

So one day something snapped in me and I went into a little bit of a frenzy. I packed all the stuff that didn’t fit me into bags. One for charity and one to put aside somewhere just in case (in a container to be stored away so I didn’t have to see it every day). My wardrobe looked quite bare, but suddenly there was room for new stuff. Stuff I deserved to buy myself. Best decision I ever made.

Now I go clothes shopping when I can (which is not often but I make it count) and I put some effort in. I deserve it. I deserve to look and feel nice no matter what weight I am or where I am in my progress as I strive to be healthier and stronger. I have a couple of aspirational clothing items but I keep them to a minimum and they are realistic aspirations – not crazy dreams of a size 6 mini dress – the kind worn only by Hollywood socialites on the red carpet (socialite in mini dress I am not)! If I ever get small enough for that kind of thing (and someone invites me to a red carpet event haha), I’ll go buy it when I need it. For now, I’m happy to dress for where I’m at. Yes. Happy. I’m gonna be sexy NOW damn it!

The more I exercise and eat better, the less I care what people might think of my appearance. Because there’s something magical about knowing your truth. If I’m doing all I can, people can think whatever the fuck they like. When I was miserable and secretly eating my feelings every day and hiding in grey muu muu dresses, I thought that any negative thoughts people had of my appearance would be all I deserved. It wasn’t and to be honest, I don’t think other people thought much of anything. I was just projecting my own feelings about myself onto them. Deep, huh?

Another thing to do is to find inspiration (and perspective) in people who are more like you, physically. I know heaps of beautiful girls of all sizes and shapes who look AMAZING to me all the time and not once have I ever looked at them and thought bad things about them just because of how they carry their weight (or any other physical trait). In fact, I see who they are shining through more than anything. If I don’t judge them, should I be judging myself? Hell to the no! That’s also a good indicator that other people probably aren’t judging me either!

Now when I look in the mirror, I look for the good things. Sure, I might do a quick ‘does my back fat look too obvious in this’ check (old habits die hard), but I look for the little differences in my muscle tone since I started exercising more. I look at the things I like about my outfit or my body. Because I put love into my body and my wardrobe NOW, it is much easier. I’m proud of a ‘look’ I’ve achieved, rather than relieved I can blend in for another day (or horribly anxious that someone will ‘out’ me as not being good enough).

Even if my clothes aren’t fitting great (and the stuff in the shops is not helping either), I find ways to pamper myself. Cute accessories (they’ll always fit), colourful shoes, getting my nails done (or taking the time to do them myself). It doesn’t matter what size I am. I know I’m working hard and things will improve. I am kind to myself because I deserve my own kindness NOW (or at least I am working really hard on it).

Because what’s more motivating? Someone bullying us and saying we’re not good enough or someone telling us they care and that they’ve got our back and they know we can do this because we’re worth it?

Don’t be your own bully!

You are beautiful in so many ways RIGHT NOW!

The big question: Do you believe me?

The Happy List #3

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This is a little list I write each week (or whenever takes my fancy), to remind myself to savour the good things in life and to help me start a new week in a good headspace. 

I think the loose theme for today’s list is ‘love’. It’s an accidental theme, but it’s…well… gosh darn lovely! So I’m just going to get down to it and share that love now:

Friends getting engaged.

I woke up to the news. I had really hoped it was coming and I am so happy for them. SO HAPPY!

Same sex marriage declared a legal right in the US.

For the whole nation! All states! A landmark decision (that should have been made a long time ago). I am so so happy for all the humans of America. It’s not just ‘gay’ rights. It’s human rights. I keep on hoping that Australia will catch up soon.

It brings me so much joy to see my Facebook feed light up with so many rainbows and outpourings of support from all over the world!

The Little Mister sharing his teddy bear.

Mr Unprepared has had to spend a night away this weekend (he’s a groomsman for a wedding and has needed to help set up the venue and attend a day-before rehearsal some distance away from home) and the Little Mister watched him pack an overnight bag. I explained that Daddy will be away until after the wedding. The Little Mister reappeared with two teddy bears. He held one for himself and gave one to Mr Unprepared to sleep with while he was away from home.

Cue HEART BURSTING AND ‘SPLODING EVERYWHERE.

But that wasn’t the end of it. Mr Unprepared totally took the teddy bear with him. And then he sent a snapchat photo for me to show the Little Mister, of the teddy bear keeping him company on the train. I managed to get a quick screen cap. I didn’t want that moment lost forever.

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That’s some good dadding right there. Dadding is totally a word, if anyone asks.

Rebuilding my website. 

If you know me (or are a blogger yourself), then you’d totally understand that my blog is a labour of love. I love writing. I love the sense of community. I love trying to make it pretty and give it care and attention. This past week, I spent a lot of time figuring out how to find a host for it and make it all mine (blah blah it’s kind of boring to explain). It was scary as f*ck. No joke. I have spent every second minute freaking out that the website will suddenly disappear on me. I have read so many instruction guides and felt like the biggest noob (do people still say noob?). BUT…I’ve done it myself. I nutted it out. I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and I love how my site looks. I love that I took a risk and that I’ve achieved something I put off for way too long because I was scared about trying something I have NO experience with. I don’t call myself awesomely unprepared for nothing haha.

I am sure there will be new challenges and hiccups along the way, now that I have so much more responsibility for this space (I liken it to going from renting a home to owning one) but I am SO happy I took the step. Or more correctly, took a giant leap (for me anyhow)!

Special shout out to Corrine from Frock and Roll for her moral support behind the scenes! She truly gave me the courage to go through with it when it was not much more than a scary “Could I? Could I REALLY? Like just DO IT?”! What a legend.

What a rush! Kind of like the feeling I get when I’m online shopping and I actually click ” proceed to check out” instead of just emptying my cart and never speaking of it again haha.

A good shopping day.

OK, so I am not so sure how to tie this into the ‘love’ theme, but let’s ignore that for a moment, because you guys, this was awesome.

I had to shop for a new dress for a wedding (the one that Mr Unprepared is a groomsman for). I only had black dresses or ill fitting summer dresses. While there’s nothing wrong with wearing black to a wedding if that’s your preference (I do love me a great LBD any other day/night), I get a little funny about it and I like to celebrate with colour. It’s like my own personal superstitious quirk. I was a bit worried about it because I couldn’t go shopping until the last minute and I would only get one real shot at it child free. I had already exhausted a lot of more local options and I needed to get myself to the city for one last ditch effort.

I was CERTAIN it would end up like any other need-an-outfit-last-minute shopping day – full of stress and rushing and self esteem shot to pieces as dress after dress made me look like a bursting sausage (I swear I’m always ‘between’ dress sizes).

BUT…the city was strangely peaceful and calm (which helped me to keep peaceful and calm). The weather was lovely. I found The One really quickly (a heavily discounted designer dress). It was the after-thought dress I grabbed off a rack on my way to the fitting rooms of MYER (along with my massive armful of just about every dress that looked like it might remotely look okayish on me). It was just a ‘what the hell – it’s in my size’ dress that I didn’t think I’d like. I put it on first and it fit like a glove. I actually felt pretty in it (as opposed to resigning myself to ‘it will do’). AMAZING. I got all the accessories and even a pair of shoes (most being on sale) in record time! I even found some time to get my nails done to match! I was on a train home by lunch time and I didn’t feel exhausted and drained afterwards.

Woohoo! There is NOTHING like a good shopping day. It was so nice. I don’t know much about astrology but seriously, the stars must have all been aligned or some shit.

So that’s what’s been making me happy. What has been making you smile?

 

Feel good Christmas gift ideas that won’t break the bank.

Sponsored by GroupTogether

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When I think of Christmas, I think of the act of giving. I think of the ways in which we can show the people in our lives that we care about them and that we have appreciated them throughout the whole year. Christmas to me is about togetherness. In the ever increasingly commercialised world that we live in, we could almost be forgiven for thinking that it’s about ‘stuff’ and ‘money’ and ‘more is better’, but we don’t have to remortgage the house each year to please those we care about. Truly. A little imagination and a lot of love can go a long way (which is what really counts don’t you think)!

Here are some great ideas (if I do say so myself) that won’t break the bank. They are not only fantastic if your budget is a little tight, but for anyone who has a lot of people to share the love with. And? The coolest part? They aren’t tacky, generic crap. They mean something and they’ll bring a genuine smile!

Group gifts.

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I think if I was given the choice between several itty bitty gifts and one thing that I really wanted, it would be a no-brainer. Just think, if your family/friendship group/sporting team etc all put in just a few dollars (whatever they chose to give), it would add up pretty quickly! You could give a loved one a much needed spa appointment, an experience (hot laps in a race car or sky diving anyone?), or that thing they really want but have never been able to justify buying it for themselves, because they’re so wonderfully generous to everyone else in their lives.

There’s even this awesome website called GroupTogether.com which makes it ridiculously easy! It is pretty cool because the organiser doesn’t have to work so hard to make a group gift happen, which is nice because it can take up a lot of time we don’t have at this time of year. Basically, you set up a collection with GroupTogether, it sends around an email to the others in the group and if they want to contribute, they pay online and add to a gorgeous gift card (yes – you don’t even have to rush down to the shops for a massive card and then somehow arrange for everyone to physically sign it at the last minute)! Basically, this helpful website tracks payments and can even send reminders! When the time comes, it will transfer the money to the organiser who can purchase the gift! Yay! That is a lot of brain space saved for us to fill with other festive chaos 😉

I know that group presents aren’t everybody’s cup of tea, but I find that not pressuring people to spend more than they can give (or judging those who choose not to) and setting realistic targets makes it a really positive experience! GroupTogether is perfect for managing that!

Also? For added feel-goodedness (not a word but I don’t care for your rules), GroupTogether even lets you nominate a portion of the gift amount to be donated to charity! Yes!

Which brings me to my next idea…

Charity donations.

The perfect thing for the person who has everything or needs nothing. At this time of year, I realise just how lucky I am and I try to remember those who may be less fortunate. Every year my mum purchases gift cards from World Vision for the family (isn’t she awesome?). They aren’t just any old Christmas cards, though. Each one can help World Vision to provide anything from school pencils, to immunisations or school books for children in need around the world (you can pick what you want to give). Each time I receive one of these cards, I feel genuine happiness inside – especially since I’ve become a mum. It brings me a warm feeling to know that someone has donated on my behalf to give children the things my child will be lucky enough to take for granted. Other organisations such as Oxfam provide a similar service.

If causes closer to home are more your thing, there are often present drives for charities in the bigger department stores. You can select a gift for a child, wrap it and place it under a tree there. It is sure to brighten somebody’s Christmas day.

You can also simply choose a charity close to your heart and make a donation on behalf of your loved one/s.

Let’s share the love around these holidays.

Home made gifts.

I know. It sounds like too much effort. Or it sounds lame. But, hear me out. I am a fairly average crafter, with very little experience AND I have a toddler. I have managed to somehow fool people into believing that I am actually OK at this home made gift caper and if I can, you can too!

Here are some ideas you can find online (or on Pinterest where I found them)…

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‘Cookies’ that can be baked later 🙂

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A Sundae kit

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Rein-beer!

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A naughty hot chocolate in a jar 😉

You can also put together great little (affordable) ‘care’ packages – mini manicures/pedicures in a jar (let’s just make peace with the fact that everything’s in a jar these days haha), little survival kits for anything from a frazzled parent to someone who is scared of zombies! Perhaps a uni student, a parent-to-be, or …well, just about anyone! Just get creative!

Oh, and if you do have a toddler like I do, SLAVE LABOUR. They think they’re enjoying some awesome new pre-school activity, but really you are teaching them about Christmas and the spirit of giving and then everyone receives something adorable (because it’s made with love by their favourite little person/people)! Yes. It’s a win/win situation, right there haha.

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Salt dough ornaments

I could seriously go on and on and on and on. But I won’t. Although, you can contact me if you ever want more ideas. I’ll be all over that sh…tuff (I found out on Twitter that I swear too much and I’m on the naughty list – oops)…

As long as you put a little bit of love in it, people will enjoy it x

Something meaningful.

Sometimes something straight from the heart can be the most valuable thing of all. These are one of a kind, very personalised things that no-one else will ever give that person.

I’ve been known to make photo books filled with special memories, and when the Little Mister was a baby, we ordered special little brag books for the grandparents and great grandparents. You can either print the photos out yourself, go to a printing place (for just a few cents per print) and then buy cheap little albums to put them in. OR you can order them as pre-made books online. A lot of websites will run amazing bargain priced Christmas specials and you can get them made at a very low cost.

Here are a couple of other ideas:

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“Open when…” letters to a loved one

These are great for when you need to spend time apart from your partner – perhaps one of you travels for work. Or it would even be great for your kids if you have to be apart for whatever reason.

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Pre-planned/pre-paid (if required) date nights for every month of the year

Oh my goodness. I would love this! Sure, it does cost something some of the time, but the time you would get with your partner (kid free) would be priceless and you deserve to treat yourselves all year round if you are lucky enough to get the child care (this kind of gift would be great motivation)! Perhaps the envelopes could include movie passes, reservations for a restaurant, baby sitting funds, something for a concert etc etc. However, there are a LOT of things you can do for free together too (and not just the bow chicka wow wow if you know what I mean haha), with a little imagination!

Your time/presence.

Last but definitely not least, give your time. Just be there. Show your loved ones how much you care all year round. It is the most important gift of all. You are very special to some people in your life and you can never be replaced. Find a way to be there in spirit, even if/when you can’t be there in person. Turn up when you can 🙂

~

I hope these ideas help a little. The thing I like about them is that you can tailor just about all of them to your budget or your particular situation.

What great gift ideas do you have? Have you tried these things before? x

Three.

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Dear Little Mister,

Today you are 3. You are also the best little buddy I could ask for. I read somewhere that you should never call your son ‘buddy’ or ‘mate’, because then you are not setting the boundaries between parent and child firmly enough. Well, that’s crap. I know that you know I’m mum. I’m very clear about that!

BUT…you are my little buddy too. You make boring things interesting. You come with me everywhere I go (OK so it’s not ALWAYS ideal but I love ya). You keep me company, while I wait. For anything. You make me laugh. I love love love that you’re young enough to think of me as your best friend too. I shall cherish this for as long as it lasts (which I am sure is not long enough).

You’re a threenager now. That’s for sure. For the first time in your whole life, I’m finding my patience pushed, stretched and tested. You will scream ‘no’ fifty times to a lovely snack I’ve provided for you, then a few minutes later I’ll find you munching on that same thing when you think I’m not looking. What tantrum, Mum? You’ll boss me about, interrupt my adult conversations, look me straight in the eye as you do something I’ve just told you not to do…because you want to see what happens. Each growth spurt, each new development, you will spend days extra tired and…hangry. Really hangry. You’ll wake in the night all worried and bothered.

But damn it, you’re cute. This is a cute age. You’re definitely your own little person now! We have conversations. We walk alongside each other. We disagree on things, because you have your own opinions. Sure, they’re rarely based on fact or logic, but we’ll get to that. I assure you, little man, that Granny really is Nanna’s Mummy just as much as I am Nanna’s daughter…but for now we’ll just have to agree to disagree.

I love the way you snuggle in close to my neck when we hug. I love the way you are always looking out for everybody. I love that you are so friendly. I want to jump up and down with happiness when I see you saying please, thank you and sorry. You say each word with such sincerity. You really mean your manners. It means so much to me. I’d love to take all the credit but really, you are just one good little guy.

You’re sensitive. You take things to heart. You can be quite dramatic (gee I don’t know where you get it from). But you rarely hit out. I once witnessed you walking up to another toddler who had smacked you in the arm, saying firmly, “Ow. You hurt me.” with such impressive (for a 2 year old) articulation of your feelings. Sure, he hit you again for your troubles (intervention was necessary), but in that moment I have never been prouder of you. You stood up for yourself and you were not mean. I love you so much. Your communication skills impress me.

I love how you dance. I love how you sing. I love watching you play when you think I’m not watching. I love your wicked sense of humour. I love the unintentionally cute things you say every single day – you’ve never let me down with the hilarity. I love the way you laugh and the way you try to communicate with me with silly made up sounds. I love how observant you are (although it keeps me on my toes). You always know when I’ve done something with my hair, painted my nails a different colour or bought a new pair of shoes (the ladies like that). I melt when you think I’m beautiful and I laugh when you say my face is yucky because you don’t like my make up. Your honesty is fantastic (it’s lucky you’re cute)!

You’re always trying out something new. Lately you’ve been telling people to have a nice day. You sound like you work on the check outs at the supermarket, but at least you mean it haha.

For a while you wouldn’t let anyone call you anything but your first and last name. Your full name at all times. You’re slowly softening your stance and I secretly fist pump when I can sneak in a cute nickname. I totally called you ‘sweetie’ like five times yesterday and you didn’t even correct me. You’re slipping in your old age!

You like things a certain way and you are always trying to rearrange chairs or cushions or something. One day our couch is a boat in crocodile infested waters, another day you’ve built a barn filled with imaginary farm animals. You’re amazing with your Duplo now. So creative. I know because you show me every single creation you’ve ever made and I’m always being told (not asked) to fish around for all the stray pieces that have ended up under the couch.

You love playing outside. Any chance and you’re barrelling out of the sliding door, big red bubble car at the ready. You especially love time with your dad. You have taken to calling him ‘my daddy’ and it melts my heart. He’s not just any daddy, he’s your daddy.

You love to pretend to be a dog. That’s pretty funny. You call yourself Heidi-dog because that’s the name of our dog. You love her so much. I have photos of you pretending to be one of the dogs, waiting for your dad to throw a stick at the beach. Just letting you know in advance, before they come out at your 21st birthday.

Yesterday we were lined up at the council offices to pay a couple of bills. The queue was kind of long and you looked at me, confused. You asked me where everybody’s suitcases were. I had to explain that even though everyone was lined up, it wasn’t an airport (to the amusement of the lady in front of us). I could have eaten you right up at that moment. So freakin’ adorable. It’s those little moments that just make my day. If anyone ever asks if parenthood is worth the trouble, I say yes. Just for the silly little moments like that. They are priceless.

I love how well travelled you are. You have so many stamps in your passport and you’re only 3! Japan, Korea, Singapore. Even a couple of trips to Tasmania – that’s technically overseas, right? You’ve experienced stuff that some people take a lifetime to ever have a go at. Dude, you’ve sat in a genuine Japanese restaurant and have eaten real, honest to goodness gyoza dumplings and sushi. MADE BY JAPANESE PEOPLE IN JAPAN. You’ve napped at the Shibuya crossing like it’s no big deal. You’ve walked the streets of Korea. That is just so f*cking cool. Sorry for the swear words, but I figure by the time you read this, you’ll be old enough to handle it.

For all that cultural experience, I secretly love that you think poo is a hilarious word. That when you fart, it sends you into so many giggles (the kind where you’ve lost control of your laughter). Toilet humour starts early, folks. Once you announced to complete strangers that you ‘done a wee’. So there’s that.

We’re working on toilet training. We’ve had some setbacks but I know you’ll let me know when you’re ready to go all the way with it. You’re a bright kid. I have faith. Eep! Next year is day care once a week, buddy. As much as I am ready for this stage, don’t think I’m not a little irrationally nervous!

I can’t wait to see what the year of 3 brings. As much as it can be bittersweet at times, I love watching you grow. Each new milestone is genuinely exciting.

I hope you have a fabulous day. I promise there will be cake.

Happy birthday, my ray of sunshine.

Love,

Mummy.

Triangles and one grubby little hand.

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Triangles on the Little Mister’s IKEA toy box cushion (it doubles as somewhere to sit). A grubby little hand.

“Take a picture, Mummy!”

“Triangles!” he proclaimed with great pride.

“That’s right!” I exclaimed with the same amount of pride. Maybe even more.

I knew he has his colours sorted, but shapes? This is a wonderful new development.

I think the Little Mister is experiencing a growth/developmental spurt again. He’s been eating like a maniac and one time? One time, he actually ASKED me if he could go down for a nap EARLY. He’s also a bit clingy and easily frustrated. More so than usual. It always signals the same thing. Once everything evens out again, he goes back to normal and it’s like he’s a new child. At least I hope this will be so every time it happens! Last time it happened, we were overseas on a very intense holiday – great timing, huh?

The Little Mister is 3 in less than two months. How has this happened?? Gosh, I love that guy and those grubby little hands.

Three in three months.

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filling his pockets with shells

Something has happened in the last week or two. Suddenly I realise that my (mostly) terrific two year old is almost three. In three months he will be three years old. That is just positively ancient and very very grown up. I don’t know if I’m ready! I’ve been watching as the baby section of each store I visit becomes a more distant experience (apart from the times I buy gifts for the massive baby boom my friends are having). The toddler section seems to blur into the ‘big boy’ stuff. The Little Mister is getting a big boy room soon (it’s half done). With full sized furniture. No cot/toddler bed. No change table. No port-a-cot shoved in the cupboard. NO NURSERY.

It feels like overnight he has become this new little person. He’s still got the same gorgeous soul he’s had since he was born, but he won’t let me do anything. Won’t let me put him in the car seat. Won’t let me lift him into, or out of, the car. Won’t sit in a stroller (he’s getting so big for it that he can ‘brake’ it by planting his feet firmly into the ground). Won’t hold my hand when we’re out (or even let me touch him or imply in the slightest that I am somehow assisting him in any way). Which makes for great car park arguments. Safety is not a toddler’s priority.

He wants me to read him his bedtime stories over and over for infinity so he won’t have to go to sleep (luckily he does most nights). He tells me when I’m wrong (even if I’m right).

Getting him ready to leave home is quite time consuming. It involves a lot of chasing, firm words (both of ours), grovelling on the ground (both of us), trickery (both of ours) and patience. Shoes and socks? That takes a while. Typically it goes like this:

Me: Time to put on our shoes and socks! Can you sit down so I can help you, please? 

He gets distracted by something. Runs away all cheeky like. Sometimes grovels on the floor underneath the chair in his room. Sits on the chair…facing the wrong way. I attempt to put one of his socks on backwards. He then gets off the chair, grovels around a bit, gets distracted. Repeat for the second sock. He runs off before I can put his first shoe on. Comes back because he realises he is “needing shoes” (he knows shoes mean he gets to go out and do fun stuff). Insists on putting on the shoe by himself. Bats my hand away. 

“Little Mister do it!”

Decides that putting his own shoe on is too hard. Asks me to do it. So I do. I deftly apply the second shoe while he’s already making a move for it. If I’m lucky. 

So if that’s just shoes? Imagine everything else!

The Little Mister refuses to leave home without his car keys. A big, colourful toy set of keys designed for babies (he doesn’t have to know that). He wants to be like me, because I always grab my keys on the way out of the house. Cue meltdown if he’s misplaced them and we are running out of time to be somewhere! When we get home he insists on taking off his shoes and lining them up on the garage step next to Mr Unprepared’s old work boots. He’ll scrunch up his socks and shove one in each shoe. Just like Daddy.

The Little Mister’s imagination has just suddenly become so huuuuuuge. He sees things that the boring adult cannot see. The bubbles in his bath become Peter Rabbit’s house. Dinosaurs. Cafés with coffee served outside on little tables. Couches. Mummy and Daddy’s house. Trees. Train tunnels. Cars. Boxes and washing baskets become cars for teddy bears and trains. I am always calling teddy bear on his toy phone to come and assist because a train carriage has tipped over. The Little Mister will pick up his Mickey Mouse lunchbox (given to him by flight attendants recently on a flight home from Singapore) and jump into his bubble car to go to ‘work’ just like Daddy.

Some mornings, I’ll have had requests to go to five different places (library, playground, Nana and Poppy’s house, the shops, to see his friends) before we (I) can even wake up properly.

Last night he ran around the house wearing an old lady wig (complete with bun) that he found in my wardrobe, lashings of hot pink lipstick (his insistence – he doesn’t see gender – just bright colours and stuff that one of his favourite big people – yours truly – does), a coral coloured handbag draped over his shoulders, his dad’s old sunnies on (upside down of course) and no pants (par for the course). I think a dress up box will be in order soon. Oh, the pictures I could get for his 21st birthday! The joy!

When we go to playgrounds or peoples’ places, if there is a rideable car, tractor or bike, he is going to hog it and defend it to the death (without adult intervention). He has been learning about sharing, but still doesn’t realise it applies to him. He just thinks everyone else should share. We’re working on it! He’s so sweet, in all other areas of playground matters, though. He says sorry and thank you and please (most of the time). It kind of balances out a lot of the ‘no’s or the NOOOOOOOs or the nopes or the nahs that I get served up daily, anyhow.

He is still a chatterbox (always has been), but now the words he uses are getting clearer and occasionally he’ll come out with some hilarious things. He’s learning how to play games. Hide and seek is the latest.

Hide and seek with the Little Mister:
I have to close my eyes and start counting. He goes and hides in the kitchen (the same place he ‘hides’ every single time). Then he runs out very loudly and conspicuously to find me with an excited grin on his face before I even get to the count of five.
I guess he likes doing both the hiding and the seeking all at once. Funny little man. – Awesomely Unprepared Facebook page.

This latest development spurt has been an adjustment for me too! Each time the Little Mister makes a leap, I am forced to catch up. Fast. From my Facebook page last week:

When the Little Mister has a developmental spurt he is usually a bit more of a handful for a little while until he settles into it and let’s just say that has been the issue most of the week! So I reach Friday night and I am all exhausted but excited to have a nice big sleep and wake up a bit more refreshed. So what do I dream about? I dream that I’m toddler wrangling…how (un)lucky!

I’m getting there. While the Little Mister’s crusade for independence (regardless of whether his current skill set can allow it) is certainly a challenge, even for a saint like me (HA HA HA HA HA), he more than makes up for it with his humour, affection and quirky ways. I love that he has so many awesome ‘firsts’ to experience no matter how grown up he seems.

Goodness knows what is in store when he turns 3 for real.

So, if you’ve had a three year old at any point, what can I expect?