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Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

It seems I start so many of these posts with, “It’s been a while…” But, I’m going to do it again. Because it has. Been a while.

Here are some pics of what’s been happening.

Tiernan got an award at school (and a buzz cut after trimming his own hair with scissors!):

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My garden grew:

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Neave turned 4:

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Face paint fun:

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Spider Girl:

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More Birthday Cake:

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Tom’s parents stayed for 2 weeks, so we did lots of fun stuff, including a picnic at Redcliff:

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We cafe’d

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And visited Australia Zoo:

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The adults enjoyed morning tea at Mt Coot-tha one fine day:

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Then, after Nanny and Poppy said their goodbyes and flew back home to Sydney, the rest of us sent to Suncorp Stadium for the A-League Grand Final:

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Last of all, Molly learned to ride her bike! And Tiernan wrote her this sweet note:

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2014

Posted on: January 1, 2014

This post is going to be my ‘happy moments’ post for 2014. Pic, going to keep adding to it throughout the year, kind of like adding scraps of paper to a jar but in a more virtual way. So here goes:

1st January – the five of us went and saw ‘Walking With Dinosaurs, the Movie’, and had an enjoyable time together. The kids are about to have a go on their new slip n slide in the backyard now that we are home.

2nd January – today we went Geocaching! (An explanation of what this actually is will happen in another post, soon). But suffice to say, we had a great day exploring some new places in our local area, and the kids even came home with some goodies. A really cool way to spend time outdoors!

5th January – went rowing in a single scull for the first time in 6 months. It was very nice to be out on the Nepean again with my sister. Loved it!

6th January – took a ‘proactive’ approach to antsy kids this afternoon by getting them out to the park (with quite some effort). But once there, had a good time and even summoned the energy to be a ‘tickling octopus’. The kids were really well behaved this evening, so the effort paid off!

9th January – had a lovely Indian dinner out with three fabulous friends. Chatting and catching up made me realise how much I’ve missed them, and how lucky I am that we are still great buddies after all these years.

28th January – first day of school 2014, went off without a hitch (except for some first day tears from Molly, who started Prep). Most impressive was our punctuality, and my calm throughout the arduous task of getting everyone ready in the morning! So proud of both my big school kids, I hope they both have an awesome year.

4th February – shared some bonding time with Tiernan this afternoon when he offered to help me cook dinner. He was helpful, enthusiastic and patient while we made salmon pasta bake, listening attentively and learning some new skills. This really made my day.

8th February – went out for dinner, drinks and dancing with my new group of Brissie friends, to celebrate my birthday. Had the best time out in about forever! Maybe I’ve finally learnt to party at the age of 30? The night had the perfect amount of friends, drinks and crazy dance moves (from me, who doesn’t dance). Completely awesome and I will remember it forever. The only thing that could have made it better would have been the presence of about five wonderful people that I miss from Sydney… but I will get to catch up with those guys before too long anyway 🙂

10th February – turned 30!

2nd March – regatta at Coomera with Toowong Rowing Club. First sprint races in about 10 months. There’s nothing like working hard towards something and then going out and doing yourself proud. Our first race could have gone better, but that’s how it goes. Our quad felt amazing though and we came second. Very proud of all of us. I love rowing!

9th March – went bike riding on some trails with a friend and had an awesome time. It was my first time on the bike in over 6 months, and also first time doing any kind of off-road riding. My poor little hybrid might need some modifications to cope with any harder trails, but it held up ok. Can’t wait to do it again soon.

17th March – sshh, don’t tell the kids but Tom and I sneaked off to the Gold Coast to spend the day at DreamWorld! Rides and slides galore, with no crowds or queues. Had the best time!

21st March – Tiernan got his first ever award at assembly. Very proud of him, he’s been working hard and trying to concentrate more. Beautiful boy.

16th April – Neave’s 4th birthday. Had a non-party at the park (read extra long play date with friends, who brought plates of food to share because they’re awesome). Was a really nice, relaxing day and Neave had a blast.

22nd April – Molly learnt to ride on two wheels! It was very special having Tom’s parents here to see it too. They are staying with us for two weeks – big, happy family.

26th April – found out my sister Kate has been selected to row for Australia for the World Championships in Amsterdam. So excited for her – she has worked very, very hard.

30th April – watched Kate on TV promoting a campaign for the NSW Guide Dogs. So proud.

1st May – quietly celebrated our 13th Anniversary. 13 years of being a couple, good grief!

4th May – took our tribe to see the A League Grand Final, Wanderers v Roar. We had a great time and the kids did pretty well, maybe even had fun (well, Tiernan did!) It was unfortunate the Wanderers didn’t get up, but maybe next year. The best part was the massive support for the Wanderers – made me proud to come from Western Sydney!

9th May – finally, finally, got my registration number for teaching in Queensland. After nagging several people for the last two months, I am now almost ready to start teaching again. I have been volunteering in the meantime, and look forward to getting into the classroom with some renewed energy and plenty of inspiration.

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Summer fun with their young at heart Nanny!

The Queensland school holidays are about to begin. I have desperately been looking forward to this. I’m exhausted! Our life revolves around school drop off and pick up times, and the few activities, or errands, we can squeeze in between. Only, some days we can’t do everything in school hours, and we do more running around, to and fro, after school. I’m so grateful that at least Tiernan and Molly can do their own seat belts up, because getting in the car is something we do at least eight times a day.

I’m just looking forward to not going anywhere for a few days!

But I’ve realised something. In my haste to welcome in the school break, I’ve forgotten to prepare myself for having all three kids at home. All the time. Every day. It seems that, you can take any two of my kids and do just about anything with them – go out, stay at home, whatever – and you will have an okay day. There will be some bickering, some silliness, some mess, and some frustration. But you will be fine. It’s not that bad.

However, when all three are together, all day, that’s different. There will be some sweet moments, where everyone either plays nicely together, or nicely apart. But mostly, it will be chaos.

We haven’t done this for a while. And I’m realising I’m just waaaay out of practice. I have forgotten how to just let it all wash over me, and pick up the pieces at the end. I have come to value quiet and tidiness just a little too much. I am quite short in patience lately too.

None of this will wash. If I approach the next six weeks with my current attitudes and priorities, then I predict I will be a blubbering mess by the end of week one.

So today marks the first day of my major shift from ‘Uptight, Borderline Control-Freak Mum’ to ‘Zen Mum’. Obviously this is a continuum, and I don’t expect to make it all the way. I ama teacher. All teachers have Control Freak tendencies. However, my aim is to move along at least a few notches.

Like this:

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I drew a diagram in DoodleBuddy to illustrate my point. That’s how committed I am.

Of course, I will need strategies. I can’t just decide to be more calm and cool and fun, and expect it to be so. I have to change the way I do things, too.

I will have to let go of all expectations. If you don’t expect anything, you won’t be disappointed. So I won’t start the day expecting to get the housework done. Or the groceries. Or dinner cooked. If they don’t happen today, they’ll happen eventually.

Standards of behaviour, dress and cleanliness will have to be lowered, too. I’m not going to argue about silly things like wearing shoes out, or brushing hair, or wearing swimmers 24 hours a day. Who cares, right? As long as everyone showers, or runs under the sprinkler, at least once a week.

Arguments about food won’t happen because there probably won’t be much food in the house to argue about.

Bickering won’t bother me because I won’t get involved. I’ll just let them fight it out and establish their own pecking order. Simple, really.

I won’t step in and take over with cooking and craft activities. I will let them learn from their own mistakes. I won’t care if the results aren’t perfect. I won’t.

I will see the funny side. Of everything. Like when Tiernan knocked that glass off the kitchen bench and it shattered into a million pieces, spreading from our front hall to the bedroom doors. Hilarious!

This list of strategies is not exhaustive, but it at least provides me with somewhere to start. I’m sure we’re in for a very happy holiday.

New house

Posted on: August 5, 2013

This post is mainly for family members who are interested in seeing what our new house in Brisbane is like. I haven’t had any luck emailing photos as the files are too big, and haven’t figured out how to zip them.

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The front.

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Entry / hallway. Formal lounge of left. Door to garage on right.

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Formal lounge.

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Formal lounge through to formal dining. Currently used as clothes-drying area! We’ll probably put a desk in there rather than another dining table.

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Meals area through to kitchen. Family room far left. Entry to garage far right.

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Entry to garage. It’s tidier now!

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Molly in the kitchen.

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Kitchen through to family room. Door to patio on left (you can just see the door mat!)

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Family room. Entry to spare room on right (out of view).

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Spare room.

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Hallway. Molly and Neave’s room on the right. Tiernan’s room on the left. Master bedroom straight ahead. Bathroom, toilet, laundry far right.

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Molly and Neave’s room.

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Tiernan’s room.

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Bathroom.

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Toilet (occupied).

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Laundry.

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Master bedroom.

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Ensuite (occupied).

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Broom cupboard (occupied).

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Patio.

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Winston in the Fairy Garden!

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Backyard. Trampoline now up on right side of house. Just fits!

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More backyard. Behind master bedroom.

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And more backyard. Other side of house.

Ta da!

Yay! School holidays are here at last! It was such a drudge going back to school after Easter. It really felt like we’d earned a break already. But anyhoo, here we are, holidaying.

We’ve just come back from spending a few days on the south coast, first with my mum at her house, and then with Tom’s parents at a family friend’s holiday house.

The kids had a great time, but were rather ratty. Not sure whether it’s due to the change in routine, or the excitement of being away, or whether they’re feeling a bit off. Either way, we spent what felt like a large chunk of the trip arguing with each one of them about various things.

Despite this, a good time was had by all. Tom got to check out a brewery he’d been wanting to see, and he also managed to escape to the pub to watch the A League Grand Final.

I managed to finish two books while we were away, so that’s two more books than I usually finish in a week. Result.

New skill.

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Sliding with Gran.

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Checking out a demolished lighthouse with Nanny and Poppy.

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Checking for dolphins.

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We headed to an indoor play centre due to bad weather on Day 2. The kids had a ball. They even tried rollerblading for the first time.

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Neave enjoyed dancing in the lights as much as the rollerblading.

Checking out the local sights with Dad while Mum relaxes packs and cleans up (with a bit of relaxing time thrown in after!)

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A quick stop off for ice cream on the way home.

So now we’re safely home again and still have another week to enjoy before school goes back. Lucky us!

The kids got some new face paints for Christmas and, given the stormy weather, this afternoon seemed a good time to give them a go.

Molly and Neave both requested butterflies, and through the magic of google, we soon found a nice one for me to copy. Simplicity was the key, as I’m really not the world’s best face painter.

Here’s how Molly’s turned out:

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I was quite pleased with it, but after running to the mirror to check it out, Molly declared she hated it!! The lines were a bit chunkier than the one I was copying, and the colours not as bright. However, after a few minutes she looked again and decided it was acceptable. Phew! Looks like Mummy needs some practice.

Next came Neave, and as usual, she wanted exactly the same as Molly. I got as far as the pink and purple base before she changed her mind and wanted a cat. Oh.

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I thought I made a pretty good save, actually. Neave was happy, too.

Tiernan kept changing his mind between wanting Spiderman, Batman or Ben 10, so we just looked at a few images and he settled on, well, I’m not really sure what it’s supposed to be:

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Some kind of gruesome zombie/skeleton thing I guess. Anyway, he has been running around, jumping out of hiding places and scaring us all afternoon since his ‘transformation’, so he’s pretty thrilled with the results, too.

All in all, a nice way to spend a rainy afternoon.