Thursday, June 30, 2011

Freight Train

Ah, life. It's a funny thing. It thrills and excites. Damages and disappoints. It encourages and inspires. Then kicks us in the guts and laughs. I have been struggling of late. On the surface, it's hard to tell. But from deep within, I am straining. Things culminate like they never have before. Instead of one or two incidents occurring each day, it's common for a number of incidents to join forces, creating a snowball effect.

This morning, preschool drop off was bad. As if we'd regressed a full 6 months, to those dizzying days in February. Angus' bottom lip quivered and the tears welled. Then tumbled. He held onto me and didn't want to let go. My heart shattered. We have been working through some anti-social behaviours lately and fine tuning how Angus reacts to situations at preschool. Very hard on everyone. Felix did one of his famous poo explosions, whilst clinging to my hip. So extreme he required changing in the carpark. From the preschool train wreck, we went straight to a doctor's appointment. A double whammy. Felix's immunisations and a routine procedure for me (the joys of being female).

By the time we came out of the doc's office, both of us felt tired and emotional. I called one of my dearest friends, because it's been a while since we spoke and I know she has been doing it tough too. I broke down. She listened. I listened. It was helpful. Until that call, I hadn't cried in I don't know how long. I just keep powering on, as only Mama's know how. In 2 weeks, I start back at work. Like a freight train roaring towards me. It IS the strain I feel from within. The underlying discomfort I feel every day. I am not ready to leave my baby or to extend the hours my little boy is in preschool. But I have to and it sucks. I know how lucky I am, to have incredible friends and a beautiful family. I know things could be so much harder and I am grateful they are not. I just wish I could stop this freight train, to restore order and regain control over the things that mean the world to me. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Popcorn Partners

Up until last weekend, Angus had never been to a cinema. After today, he's seen two movies on the big screen in less than a week. Neither were conscious decisions of mine to take him along. Friends suggested both get togethers and it worked out really well, despite my initial doubts that he might be a little young at this stage. I can still remember my first movie on the big screen, I was 4 years old and a blockbuster about a loveable Extra Terrestrial stole my heart. I spent the latter half of the movie perched up on my Mama's lap, devastated and blubbering for poor ET and his plight to "Go home".

Today's movie, Cars 2, was a definite hit, with the three and a half year olds AND their Mama's. Animation really has come along in leaps and bounds, since the cartoons of my day (yes, I DO feel old saying that... and while I'm on the subject of the olden days, the candy bar is certainly not living in the past... $13 for a tub of popcorn and a cheap plastic cup is a bit rich). The dialogue is a treat, I just love the clever, witty quips, purposefully thrown in for adult benefit. The two babies were on their best behaviour, sleeping soundly from beginning to end. Watching our munchkins on their 'movie date' was a definite highlight for us. They are too sweet. Angus looking so very grown up with his new 'spiky' do. 

Note to self for next time though, when you're on to a good thing and it's all been smooth sailing... retire early. There is only so much love three and a half year olds can offer up, before it all becomes too overwhelming. I know this, I just sometimes get carried away with the fun myself. Certain questionable behaviours led to an abrupt departure soon after the closing credits rolled. All in a day's play I guess. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A New Look

We waded into uncharted waters today, Angus and I. From a wee babe, beautiful blonde locks have adorned his head. They grow like wildfire. Long and lustrous. Untamed and free. But of late, it has been getting harder to maintain these gorgeous tendrils. We have disagreements about how often it should be washed and when we do wash it, it causes no end of drama. I have even 'gone there', on the bribe front, on more occasions than I care to remember. As for the cutting, this has been my role from day dot. From that first little trim when he was 9 months old, I have been his hairdresser. Until this morning.

Along with the dramatic hair washes, we've also seen some academy award performances over the trims, in recent months. So much so, that I have been leaving the time between each trim longer and longer, just to avoid conflict. On most days, Angus will say at bath time "you don't need to chop my hair tonight, do you Mama?" So, he's not exactly keen. So I decided to hand over the reigns, to the professionals. He looked so cute, sitting up in the specially modified hairdresser's chair, with the black cape on. His sweet little face, poking out, looking part bewildered, part pleased with the new experience. 

The novelty wore off around the 10 minute mark and a degree of uncertainty set in. We coaxed him through with a lollipop and he seemed pretty happy with the end result. I'm still undecided. Glad I have given it a try, but really looking forward to it growing back. I almost felt like crying this afternoon when I realised how short it is, I am missing those beautiful locks already. It took me back to when my Mama had my hair cut in a bob style just before I started school. Oh so 80's. I hated it. Once it grew back, I never went short again. Maybe history will repeat itself and I won't have Angus' hair cut as radically again. One thing is for sure, it will grow again... and with time, the new look might even grow on me

Monday, June 27, 2011

Wall of art

The fascination with art and crafts continues in our house. Angus requests to paint and draw every. single. day. The latest flavour of the month is collage. We go through old magazines, Angus picks the pictures that take his fancy, then I cut them out and he sticks them into a scrapbook. Instead of cutting and pasting, he calls it 'chopping and sticking'. Which I think is pretty cute.

With all of these spectacular pieces and unique creations, I find it difficult to display every one of them on the fridge... which is the most practical place for them. So I was thrilled to find a clever little duvalaki (I think the official name might be art clips), designed for hanging precious bits of artwork. I'm very pleased I have a long, blank, white wall in my kitchen, which until now has looked particularly dull and bare. It is the perfect spot for an art wall, as I get to see Angus' cheery and colourful masterpieces all the time. Angus seems quite chuffed with the new arrangement himself. 

Today, we made two trips to different parks. In the morning, we played kicks, catches and frisbee throwing at Centennial Park. In the afternoon, we had a play date in our local park with friends, which meant 4 boys running amok. And they do run. amok. It's nice when the weather is as delightful as it's been this past week. Plenty of opportunity for outdoor fun... and of course, the standard indoor craft type of fun too!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Running on empty

What a fabulously fun, yet exhausting weekend. It kicked off with a girl's night out on Friday. Dinner and drinks and endless chatter at Three Weeds in Rozelle. We hadn't even realised we were the last ones there, when they hustled us along at midnight. At which point, two gals retired for the night. But three of us decided the night was still young, so we made our way into the city to Ivy Bar, for some more drinks and dancing. My friend has a friend, who is a chef in one of the restaurants, so we were lucky enough to avoid cover charges and full priced drinks. After setting up in a cabana at The Pool Bar, we shook our booties and sipped on our favourite poison. Mine being the very 80's malibu and pineapple... I get hassled badly by everyone for still drinking malibu, but do I mind? Not a bit.

I walked through the front door bang on 3am, a good effort. Also rather brave considering the five of us who were out, met at 9.45am Saturday morning, for a play date with all 10 of our kidlets! The first one in months. Always difficult to coordinate a group outing where everyone is available. First stop, the movies and because the break up with our kiddies is 7 girls to 3 boys, we saw Angelina Ballerina. The boys will have their turn in a couple of months, when Thomas The Tank Engine comes to the big screen. After the movie, we all headed to the farmer's market, to pick up some lunch and enjoyed a picnic in the playground. We had a gorgeous day together and made the most of the beautiful sunshine.

Today, I felt decidedly worse for wear. Felix woke at 1.30am this morning and stayed awake for 2 hours. For no particular reason it seemed. He was perfect on Friday night when I was out. I had him fed, bathed, bottled and in bed before I left and he didn't stir once during the night. Maybe his nocturnal activity was a payback to me for having too much of a good time the night before. Whatever it was, I am crossing fingers and toes he doesn't do a repeat performance tonight. Mama. needs. some. sleep.

Grateful for Daydreaming

It is not uncommon for me to daydream. I've always had a bit of the daydreamer in me. But this week my musings have been going into overdrive.

It started with a story I caught a glimpse of on the Today Show one morning this week. The weather reporter was presenting in Rome, showcasing some of the world famous tourist attractions. This particular morning she was standing in front of the Trevi Fountain. WOW. Instantly I was in a state of reverie. What a masterpiece. Everything about this historic monument, captivates me. And since seeing it for a split second on my screen, I have been daydreaming beautiful thoughts of visiting Rome. Not for a long time. But one day, I'd love to stand in front of the Trevi Fountain, with my boys and inhale it's magnificence.

The 2nd instalment to my head in the clouds state, came from a spur of the moment sticky beak at an open house showing, just down the road from our place. Are we in the market for a new home? No. Are we looking to sell our home? No. Can we afford an increase on our current mortgage, to purchase such a property? NO. This didn't stop me from popping in, having a little wander around AND falling in love with the house. So for a good 24 hours following, I envisioned every possible scenario on why we needed to put our house on the market and why we needed to buy this home. Then I dreamed about just. how. gorgeous. the house really is. Thankfully, my level headed husband always comes to the rescue when I go into this 'daydream' mode and gently reminds me of our reality. 

So this week, after the odd low point here and there, I am ever so grateful for daydreaming. It is free, so long as I don't act on it (yes, have to keep reminding myself of this). It fills my world with hope and possibilities. And it contributes to my goals, both short term and long term, which has to be a positive thing. Joining in with Maxabella and all the other grateful's to share the dreamy spirit. 

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Best of friends, Worst of playmates

I've noticed an interesting situation occurring in the social world of Angus and his buddies. It has been happening for a while, but I only recently came to realise that it's not just Angus being the difficult one. In fact, following a couple of recent play dates and discussions with my friends, it turns out that all the kidlets around the 3 and 4 year old age bracket are doing exactly the same thing.

When they're not together, they talk about each other incessantly. Incorporating thoughts of their besties into everything they do. Angus speaks of Lilly and Charlie, Josh and Chloe, Fletch and Sacha. He ponders what they might be doing now? Do they like spaghetti bolognese too? Will they be going to preschool tomorrow also? and When will he see them next? He likens random children on the Tv, to these best pals of his. Because they might have the same hair or eye colour or same cheeky smile. And as I discovered, the feeling is very mutual towards Angus, with his little bunch of besties.

So why, when they do get together, for play sessions in the park or visits to each other's houses, do they automatically feel the need to disagree? To push and shove. To squabble and tell tales. To become ever so defensive and overly protective of their patch or belongings. And why is it only when it is time to say goodbye, do they fall all over themselves to cuddle one another to within an inch of their lives? I am sure it is just the age and hopefully with time, we won't have these intense encounters. Or at least the intensity will be lessened somewhat. It is just partly upsetting, partly frustrating and partly overwhelming for us Mama's to witness. We know the love these kidlets have for each other. We hear it, see it, live it. Day in, day out. We just want them to get along. And so begins a life time of difficult, awkward, confronting social situations. Breeeathe Mama.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Honey toast

My fifth brother and I are 12 years apart in age. Not that you'd know it. He has always been a big kid. When I was little, I would follow him everywhere. Because he was interesting. Fun. Eccentric. People are naturally drawn to him because he's loveable and a kind human being. One of the fondest memories with my brother, are of Saturday and Sunday mornings, watching the weekly music countdown on Rage, then flicking over to Video Hits for the commercial version. I distinctly recall many a Sunday morning, hassling him out of bed, to watch the music video's with me. I never understood, as a child, why he was bleary eyed and dusty on these Sunday mornings. I realised some years later, that weekend night's for adults (which he was at the time), are often not about getting a solid 12 hours sleep, as they are for children.

He used to make THE best honey toast. Ever. I mean I make it ok myself, it's not hard. But whenever I eat it these days, I am instantly transported back to childhood. Commissioning my big brother to fix another piece of honey toast for me. And he always did. So on the lounge we'd sit. Watching the likes of Kylie and INXS and Bon Jovi and Bananarama. Munching on delicious, warm, buttery, honey toast.

This week has seen the return of the lengthy day nap for Felix. Which has meant Angus and I steal a couple of hours in the middle of the day, to just hang. Most days, lunch is nothing flashy. We try to use up the supplies we have on hand, then on the days when we are out and about at lunchtime, we pick up something extra nice to feast on. Yesterday Angus requested honey toast for lunch. Fabulous, I thought. And fabulous it was. As simple and probably non-nutricious as it is, there is nothing quite like butter soaked toast with honey. I will always love it, for many reasons. For now, I am appreciating toasty, sweet, lunch times with my little big man.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Trapeze Artist

Nothing erodes my confidence faster than a 'Mother of the Year' moment. In public. When I have one in the privacy of my own home or car, I dust myself and the boys off, have a little chuckle and move on. Making a mental note to never again think... "oh they won't do that"... because chances are, they absolutely will. When I have a moment in full public view, with numerous onlookers, I wish the ground would open up and swallow me whole. I had one of those very public examples today.

Wild child Felix has a fiercely determined head on his shoulders. He likes to try and match it with his big brother at every opportunity. At the playground, is no exception. He has been in the baby swing at the park on many occasions. But today, in the 10 seconds it took for me to move across to Angus' swing and give him a push, Felix decided to bail out of his comfy position. Arching his back so vigorously, he did a back flip right out of the swing. Seeing the whole thing unfurl, I screeched his name and dived to get a finger to his jacket, just as he plunged into the bark chips below. In that instant I felt like the worst Mama in the world. Like no other Mama in the history of time had let their 11 month old baby plummet kamikaze style out of a swing. Funny thing was, he didn't cry, or yell, or appear perturbed in the slightest. As I dusted bark chips and dirt out of his hair and jacket, he wriggled and giggled, trying to get back in the swing!

My bruised sense of pride did not get in the way of the boys enjoying the rest of their time at the park. Though if we hadn't just arrived, I would have packed them up and headed for the hills, to at least ease the prickly, hot feeling in my face and body. I think my rascals have plenty of those moments in store for me in the years to come. Angus pleads with me to put Felix on the slide with him, every time we go to this particular park. And I stand right there, ready and waiting, in case Angus lets go of him. So far, that has not happened. It would almost be wrong of me to deny them of such fun. Never mind my delicate Mama nerves they are both so adept in shattering. 

Monday, June 20, 2011

The leaning tower of... everything!

Little abstract structures are cropping up all over the place at the moment. My kitchen bench has combinations of margarine tubs, tupperware containers, jars of vegemite and peanut butter, spoons, bowls, saucepans. Pretty much anything that will... stack. Precariously balanced. Piled sky high.

Angus is in major construction mode at present. As if every lone object is required to be married up with another object, regardless of size, shape or compatibility for stacking. He will spend ages playing happily with his set of blocks. Planning, designing, building, knocking down, re-building. With intense concentration, he works. Our lounge room no longer resembles a place of relaxation and order. Cushions, blankets, random articles of clothing, nappies, toys, bath towels. Basically anything that is not securely fixed to the floor, becomes part of Angus' tower. With unabashed enthusiasm, each object is added to the teetering structure. When it can balance no longer, the pile comes toppling down. This is often marked by outbursts of frustration from Angus. Felix regularly bears the brunt of blame for crumbling handy work. It's a tough gig... the construction industry.

A friend who also has 2 boys, told me a story, just before Felix was born, that bears striking resemblance to the latest craze in our house. His boys would pile every cushion in the house on the floor of the lounge room and dive bomb off the lounge into them. Just last week, fresh out of the bath, Angus skimmed across one of his famous 'towers', in a daring naked leap off the lounge. As he picked himself up from the floor, he promptly announced that he was surfing. Amazing how one thing invariably leads to another. Looks like surfing might be next on the agenda. Boys will be boys.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

In the zone

There was an undeniable spring in my step today. The boys slept beautifully last night and I managed more hours than average myself. The sun shining, the sky crystal clear. I felt good. Determined to get amongst it all, I hit the training circuit early. I am exercising so infrequently at the moment, that when I do get a chance and feel as enthusiastic as I did today, I go for broke. And today, I achieved a personal best.

14 laps (or 7km) in soft sand, on magnificent Coogee Beach. My goal was to complete 8 laps. When I reached my target, I still had energy in reserve and alot more to give. I decided to push to 10 laps. Knowing this would force me to work through the dreaded pain barrier. After 10, I convinced myself a couple more couldn't hurt. Then on the dash to 12, I proposed if I could just make it to 14 laps, that would be 7km. Exactly half the distance of the City to Surf, of which I'm in some kind of haphazard training for. 7km. In soft sand. By the home stretch on lap 14, I began to feel physically ill. It was definitely time to pull up stumps. But I did it. I am pleased. Tired. Stiff. Sore. And probably going to regret that personal best for the next couple of days.

What a perfect Winter's afternoon for games in the park. Scott and I, although worn out from our independent training sessions, mustered enough energy to run both boys ragged. Kicking, tackling, throwing, chasing, rolling, crawling... and plenty of hysterical laughter. These moments are among the highlights of my weeks. Just the four of us. No restrictions. No time limits. No pressure. Nowhere to be. Yes, today I had a definite spring in my step and I made the most of every single stride.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Grateful for all the small things

After a trying week of rainy, grey skies and chilly temperatures, it was a great relief to wake up with a clear, crisp, sunny morning on Friday. It also marked the first successful night (in I can't remember how long) of Angus sleeping in his bed. My Kilimanjaro of dirty washing, finally met with the clothes line and a strong, steady breeze. And a glorious light engulfed our home... streaming through my bedroom doors like rays of hope.

Angus has not been the biggest fan of having his hair washed lately. He will suffer it, but with significant protest. Of course, on the night's we don't wash his hair, he also dislikes getting it wet. So how was I to resist a couple of cute frog and duck shower caps, from Star & Rose. It seems the scallywags enjoy clowning around in them a little more than bath time itself. But hey, if it encourages a positive tub experience, who am I to complain!?

With the makeover on the boy's room a definite work in progress, I continue to source fab finds to decorate the surrounds. The room looks a bit of a mish mash, with no particular theme, but it is bright, happy and inviting. I couldn't resist a set of funky cars and adorable zoo animal decals for the walls... and on sale... extra bonus!

Felix has been challenging the existence of days naps lately. On Friday afternoon, with big brother at preschool and Mama cuddling him on the lounge, he drifted off to dreamland for a solid 2 and a half hours. I may have even nodded off for an hour of that session myself. It was time well spent and reinforced just how grateful I am for snoozy, snuggly, arvo naps with my littlest babe. 

Linking up with Maxabella and all the grateful posts, to share my gratitude of all the small things making me smile this week. 

Thursday, June 16, 2011


At 3.24am this morning, I felt defeated. Frustrated. Tired. Cranky. Helpless. I felt anything but the kind of Mama I like to be. Or need to be. I felt out of control and entirely out of my depths. And a self confessed control freak like myself, struggles hopelessly at times like these.

I think it's important for me to realise that sometimes things don't go to plan. They don't make sense. I cannot change or reason with them. Sometimes things are what they are. When friends or family tell stories of weeks, months, even years of sleep issues with their children, I listen sympathetically. I nod with knowing and understanding. But I don't truly understand. The truth is, we have been pretty lucky in the area of sleep, with our boys. So when patches of repeated restless nights or sleep deprivation are presented to me, I don't mind admitting, I find it difficult to cope. Apart from feeling crabby, slow, uncoordinated and insular the next day, there is the customary Mama guilt that is just part of the territory.

Scott and I will work through this testing period, as we always do. We will arm ourselves with patience and confidence, because we are the parents and our boys are the children. We should always remember we have the upper hand. There will be some short term pain, for a whole lot of long term gain. Angus will sleep through the night in his bed again. He will learn to go back to sleep when he wakes from a dream and he will accept that this is the way it has to be. It is our job to set the boundaries and to follow them through. And we will.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


We have been house bound since Sunday. Sunday! That is 3 whole days indoors. No wonder my head feels fuzzy. Angus has not been 100%. The weather has been abysmal. So on those counts, I haven't minded too much. We mostly find plenty of things to keep us occupied. Though once we have exhausted the puzzles, books, painting, drawing, play dough, memory games, blocks, cars and tupperware cupboard, I am forced to turn to a bit of audio visual entertainment. For peace and quiet, if nothing else.

Angus was not into television, at all, up until a couple of months ago. It was part of my stance when I had children, that they would not be glued to the box, all day, every day. Thankfully, he has never been interested anyway. When he turned 3, I felt content to let him watch a couple of shows, so long as they contained an educational flavour to them. So I tried him on various network and foxtel offerings. But nothing seemed to spark his interest. Until Toybox came along.

These days, I hail Toybox. The colourful characters and catchy tunes amuse my boy for the duration of the show... and more often than not, he pleads to watch another episode. Needless to say, I have a selection of Toybox stored in the planner, which has come in very handy, this week in particular. Seeing the delight on his little face as the scenes, songs and dances are played out, is worth every bit of Mama guilt I have for giving him square eyes.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Wrecker

I have a little wrecking ball in my house. He is about 13kg now, strong and moves with speed. Actually he can also strike like lightening and I think that is what makes him so tricky. Tricky AND destructive. There is no doubt Felix has pressed the buttons and pushed the limits alot sooner than Angus did. He has a sparkle in his eye, that has been there from day one and takes in EVERYTHING. Which often leads to unexpected events in our day.

Over the weekend, Felix added another skill to his dare devil repertoire. Climbing the stair case. Overnight he acquired the confidence to give it a red hot go. He made it to the sixth step, before I realised what he was doing. As heart stopping moments tend to happen, it was all in slow motion. I tried not to startle him and walked from my upstairs position, towards him. As soon as he noticed me, he smiled, threw his arms in the air and went to sit down. Not a good look when climbing stairs. He tumbled backwards. Once. twice. three times. Before coming to a halt on the floor boards below. Angus and I saw the whole thing. Thankfully, he was fine. I picked him up and after a few high pitched screeches, he was smiling again. Angus, a real brother, laughed and exclaimed excitedly, "Felix fell on his head!"

So my mini wrecking ball continues to weave his trail of destruction. With shattered tumblers, snatched from the kitchen bench top (twice) as I innocently walked past with him on my hip (note to self: use plastic tumblers for the next few years). A broken vase, wrenched from my cupboard, left open for a split second too long. Fire place guard torn down at every opportunity. Toilet paper roll shredded if ever the chance is presented. And my favourite for his display of ingenuity and dexterity... removing the grate in the bath, as the water from the bath was being let out AND dropping a facecloth straight down the open plug hole, in one swift, 5 second motion. 
He is a true little boy and lucky for him... very cute and cuddly.

Monday, June 13, 2011

A long weekend in June

Before I was old enough to appreciate the true significance of the June long weekend, it meant just one thing to me. Cracker night. At my primary school. In our backyard. In our neighbour's backyards. Hundreds of fireworks displays launching all over the district. And I loved it. I associate cold, clear, night's in June with that very memory. My brother's and Dad setting them up on the lawn. The mad panic when each was lit. Then an excited dash back to the safety of the pergola area to watch them burst. Crackling, whooshing, exploding into colour against the dark sky. The residual smell of sulphur permeating the chilly air across the neighbourhood in a smoky haze. Then an emu bob of the frosty lawn next morning. Collecting empty plastic shells and little parachutes that had come to rest in obscure places all over the garden. Sweet sweet memories. 

It is a shame fireworks have been banned for private use. Though I do acknowledge the danger of them. We managed to avoid any damage to eyes, limbs and skin in our yard... though my Dad's beloved garage was not so lucky to escape a battle wound or two over the years. The scorched, black, pattern from a rogue firework, splattered on the old roller door was always a sign of a good cracker night. My Dad's dramatic reaction... equally priceless.

This June long weekend, delivered a mixed bag of happenings. Beautifully relaxing catch up's with wonderful friends. Wrestles and rumbles. Painting and drawing. Hearty, home cooked meals and tasty takeaway. A couple of unsettled nights thrown in for good measure and a sick little Angus, right at the tail end, which just about broke my heart. Then a day of mooching about indoors, PJ's on, keeping warm and dry as the wild weather howled in the outside world. No backyard fireworks display for my little boys, but one day when they're old enough, I look forward to sharing the tales of cracker night from my childhood with them. And making our own family traditions for the Queen's birthday long weekend. 

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Book Ends & Bunting

With Angus at preschool today, I thought it would be a good opportunity to continue my decluttering streak. Our dining room or "kid's corner", as it is more commonly referred to, was in urgent need of a ruthless cull. It is no easy task when I usually have a very curious 3 and a half year old breathing down my neck. Plenty of useless nick nacks were discarded and a handful of long lost pieces found. It wouldn't be a cleanup without a few random objects shooting up the vacuum pipe. My rule: If it's small enough to be sucked up into the vacuum bag, then it can stay there. Especially with a teething baby (who gnaws on anything he can lay a finger to), crawling around the place.

It was a good chance to go through the pile... no, TOWER... of books accumulating under the boy's activity table. It has been bothering me for a while, the books not having a proper home. A place they can be displayed, admired and kept safe from boisterous play. Since the purge I did in the boy's room (which included bidding a fond ebay farewell to the enormous baby change table), space has been created and I love working with it. I've been on the lookout for a set of book ends, to cradle a collection of Angus' favourite titles.

This morning, during a brief shopping session, I found just what I was looking for. The cutest pair of wooden owl book ends, in bright, funky, happy colours. I love the Licorice brand for kids. Beautiful, decorative delights for bedroom and bathroom. And how was I to resist a cheerful strip of fabric bunting (also by Licorice and on the same shelf as the owls) to add to the wall above the new book ends. Some things are just meant to be.

This week I am grateful for book ends and bunting and that little extra space to fill with such finds. Joining in with Maxabella to share the grateful spirit. 

Thursday, June 9, 2011

All the lovers

She was my first real crush. The year was 1987. All of 9 years old and I was in love, with a pint sized, fresh faced, pretty blonde. Bursting on to the scene with a memorable (alright cringe worthy) rendition of the 1962 classic The Locomotion. I had to have every LP copy this song was recorded on. Not just the single, or the album, but all the compilation records too. I commissioned my Mama to sew a red ruffle skirt for me, of which I wore to almost EVERY party I was invited to that year... it was quite the craze.

My Dad and brothers teased me incessantly. Said she wouldn't last. Would never make it. That she was manufactured and had no real talent. They relished in getting a reaction from me at any opportunity. And on this one, they got the reaction they were after. Kylie Minogue seems to have been a part of my journey from that point on. I watched as she rose to fame. Became a pop princess. And a household name. Her songs make me buzz. They are happy. Free spirited. They inspire me. to. DANCE. There is a beauty to Kylie that can't be described. She radiates warmth and energy from just being. Through all the turmoil life has thrown at her, she has always rised above it and kept it real. A true blue Aussie gal.

Last night was epic. To say the least. Kylie's Aphrodite masterpiece delivered a non-stop, groove-inducing, tush-shaking blend of classic and modern hits. Teamed beautifully with a visual delight of dancers, costumes and stage props. Quite possibly the most awesome encore I've ever seen (and I have seen the likes of U2, Foofighters, Rolling Stones, Elton John, Powderfinger, Silverchair). Utterly captivating. My girlfriends and I were literally beaming afterwards. Something that can make you feel that good, is worth the price of admission... and then some. Such a long way from the girl next door on Ramsay Street. And I still adore her. 

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Cold as ice

I feel it in my fingers first. Quickly creeping to my hands and wrists. Next, it infiltrates my toes and feet. The coldSO invasive. I don't do the cold particularly well. I have never been to the snow and unless I were to stay the duration in a warm, toasty cabin/pub, I'll be happy to keep it that way. I could never live in a really cold climate. I fear I would just stop functioning. Today was the first day that I truly felt the cold, in a long time.

I'm sure I didn't feel the full effect of Winter last year. 9 months pregnant, followed by 6 months of breastfeeding, whilst tending to a newborn can do that to you. I actually felt comfortably cosy last Winter. This year is going to be a challenge. I have often thought how wonderful it would be to just head north for the Winter, like a whale migrates to warmer waters. Not sure how far north I would go. Just somewhere... warmer.

I rugged the boys up this morning and braved the chill, to go for a little play at the park. Angus insisted on taking his scooter. He tinkered with it for all of 5 minutes, before declaring that I was to carry it for him, while he played on the 'toys' in the playground. He is good at that. Delegation. The park did look lovely though, in a bleak, frosty kind of way. And the boys had fun, which was well worth the pain of freezing my extremities off.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Spun Gold

I still remember the old hair dryer clearly. Clunky, white and ugly, with various comb attachments. Very 70's... or maybe even 60's, my Mama rarely updated equipment, unless it broke down. I used to think it was so cool to have my hair go from wet and lacklustre to dry and silky, in a matter of minutes. I loved the way my hair gleamed after it had been blow dried.

Angus has one thick head of hair. Lustrous, blonde locks, that started growing when he was just a wee babe and haven't stopped flourishing since. I have performed many a haircut on his little head (can't half tell by the obvious bowl shape to his do) and within weeks, it always requires more trimming. It's a fairly high maintenance mane. Lately, he is kicking up a bit of a fuss when having his hair washed. He never used to. I have a secret weapon however. He loves the hair dryer. Which works perfectly, as now the weather is cooler, I prefer the boys not to have wet hair after their bath.

Like history repeating, I'm transported back to my own childhood. When my Mama would gently comb through my damp hair and the heat of the dryer would warm my shoulders. Angus requests that I dry his chest, tummy and shoulders, every time we use the hair dryer. When we're all finished and his hair is fresh and clean, I look at it shining under the light and think of what my Mama used to say once my hair had been washed and dried. My little boy's hair looks like spun gold. He is the image of his Daddy, this is for sure. But his hair is exactly like his Mama's was, at the same age.

Sunday, June 5, 2011


Inquisitive. Adventurous. Tough. Rough. Mischievous. Effervescent. Cheeky. Determined. Strong. Cuddly. Quick. Loud. All wrapped up into one very loveable, 11 month old little big man. This time last year, I was a large, swollen, exhausted Mama. Carrying around an additional 23kg, on my buckling pins. I had finished up with work and was anxiously awaiting the arrival of babe number 2.

Angus and I would nap together every afternoon. Some days, for as long as 3 hours! I'll treasure those days forever. Physically gruelling, yet emotionally comforting. Safe. Happy. My boys and I resting together, before I even knew I was a Mama of 2 boys. I've always been in awe of time. What it cultivates, discards, nurtures and heals. Since becoming a Mama, my concept of time has changed significantly. I am learning to manage it more effectively. Waste it, alot less. Live it, to create valuable memories for the future. And most importantly, appreciate and enjoy it, because it runs away much too fast.

Having Felix has opened my eyes to this even further than Angus' first year did. I do. not. know. where the past 11 months have gone. In a haze of hard work, adjustment and sleep deprivation, I'm guessing. But I feel so lucky to be learning incredible lessons on life, from these little beings Scott and I created. These often challenging times, will be distant memories before I know it.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Grateful for A Vivid Experience

In recent weeks, Angus has developed a distinct fascination with The Harbour Bridge. I only have to drive in the direction of the city for the queries to start. Keen to know if we are going to go over it, or under it, or across it. Objects even remotely similar in shape or design are dubbed "The Harbour Bridge". Therefore, it was quite the adventure when we headed over to the harbour this evening, to meet up with Scott after work.

Except The Harbour Bridge wasn't the star of the show tonight. The Opera House being the landmark turning heads. A spectacular light display covering it's giant sails. Commencing at the family friendly time of 6pm, Vivid kicked off with a series of light sculptures scattered around the harbour. A fire dance set to music, with flames bursting into the sky. And of course, the majestic Opera House with a technicolour explosion of images splashed across it. A beautiful sight, with an audience of thousands, making their way around the harbour. Taking in all the vibrant colour. The artwork. The atmosphere.

So this week I'm grateful for my Vivid experience. Seeing Angus enthralled with his beloved Harbour Bridge, lit up in the cool night sky (even if it was not entirely the reason for our visit). A crisp and clear Winter's night, with a continual rainbow of light dancing playfully upon it. And of course, creating some extra special memories as a family. Joining in with Maxabella to share the light.