Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Random stuff and bits of fluff

Some days writing flows out of my fingertips like water from a tap. My hands can hardly keep up with my head. Other days I struggle to figure out exactly what it is I am trying to say. The words don't come easily, the thoughts aren't coherent. I just write nonsense.

I think today is a bit of a nonsense day. But I'm going to write anyway.

When Shane is away I sleep on his side of the bed. It's weird, and I have no idea why, but it's just what comes naturally. I wish he was home. I'm sick of being a swollen pregnant lady. I don't know what I expect him to do. But having him around is just better.

I want to do so much at the moment. I want to move. I want to put up my Christmas decorations. But the box is in the garage and I don't think I should lift it. I've never realised how hard it is to not be able to do things. My body and I have always been pretty good friends. Sure, I don't take care of it as well as I should, but for the most part, it does what I ask it to. It's very frustrating to look at my dishes, or my floor, to see that the dog needs a bath.... to want to do. But not be able to. Or if I do, I have to weigh up exactly how much energy a task will take versus how much energy I have.

It's frustrating to look at my hands and have them feel so tight and... not mine. I took my wedding ring off a couple of days ago because I was worried it was getting too tight. Now I feel naked. I hate that I have sausage fingers, I hate that my feet look so unnatural. I hate that my shoes don't fit.

I get cranky at myself because I'm dwelling on the bad. When really, where is the bad? I have a happy healthy baby growing in my belly. I have a cheeky, beautiful toddler asleep in her bed. I am safe, well fed and loved. What am I complaining about?

It's raining, and somehow that always makes everything feel nice and cozy inside. Like you want to drink hot chocolate and curl up with a good book. I need to find some good books at the moment.

Pins and needles, prickling through my feet.

I wish I could write and make people feel I feel when I listen to music. I wish writing could sound sometimes. I love the way music just hits you. There can be words that are so poignant and meaningful, but you give them a tune? And they are amplified. It's the difference between hearing staticky radio and an amazing live concert.

I have no idea what it is I am writing here. No idea what I am trying to say. Maybe I'm not saying anything? Just a random collection of thoughts spilling out haphazardly. Blame it on the fact that my husband is away and my words are getting trapped. I'm not even going to proof this or fix it tonight. Just hit 'publish' and send this collection of thoughts out.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Listography - Cartoon Characters from my youth

I decided to link up with Kate Takes Five for her Listography linky when I saw what the theme this week was. Cartoon characters from your youth? Fun times. So after lots of YouTube and google- I have found them! Some of mine aren't cartoons, but they all are the TV shows that I used to watch as a child.

1. Gumby

It may have taken me a while to find this little guy, I thought his name was Gumpy. Regardless, now I look back, this green dude is seriously weird.

2. Mr Squiggle

That theme song. I can still recite the whole damn thing. This show was pretty awesome. When playing with Georgie, I will often dangle her by her legs and chant 'Upside down! Upside down! Everything's upside down these days!'. They should totally bring Mr Squiggle back.

3. The Greatest Adventure: Stories from the Bible

This was a direct-to-video series produced by Hanna-Barbera. It was about three adventurers. Architects, Derek and Margo, and 'their nomad friend Moki' who used to travel back in time to watch biblical events unfold.

My Grandma had the videos and the show really reminds me of rainy days spent watching TV in her lounge room. I have no idea how factual it was but as a child I enjoyed it. This show evokes so many memories.

4. Captain Planet

Captain Planet, he's our hero.... gonna take pollution down to zero. I used to LOVE this show. It's really quite dodgy, and it was quite ahead of it's time if you think about it. A show in the 90's all about taking care of the planet? I'm surprised that they haven't brought it back. My cousins and I used to run around my backyard playing it out. We used little bathroom o-rings as our planateer rings and my cousin Emma and I both always wanted to be Linka (Oh yeah, we were cool).

You know what really ticks me off about this show now though? There wasn't a planateer from Australia! They had 5 kids from all corners of the globe, which should be one from each continent, but instead they had two from America, one from North and one from South. Rude!

5. The Secret World of Alex Mack

Again, this is not a cartoon. But Alex Mack is just the show that was my pre-teen and young teenage years. I wanted to be her. She was just so cool. Remember her quirky hats? I used to try to dress like her, and in my secret fantasies I was totally like her. Good times. Before vampires and werewolves and wizards and witches. Just classic 90's dagginess at its best.

So that's my list. So many memories. Why not link up with Kate and share your own?

But before you do, could you please pop over to the Circle of Mums page and vote for me?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

A post of little importance about the good stuff

This weekend has been full. Georgie and I went to city with my Mum and Dad. Mostly just because we could. Shane is away doing courses and having work Christmas parties. I was lonely, Mum wanted a haircut, Dad wanted to visit a friend, and we all could have used the opportunity to get out of town and do some Christmas shopping. So we went.

It was a crazy hectic jumble of activity. Some hard bits, but mostly good. I am so glad for my parents. Don't get me wrong, there were times when I wanted to tell Dad off for the way he drives my car, and the more time I spend with him the more I am convinced that I married my father (in a non-creepy way). It is just really noticeable that Shane and Dad share some traits that drive me crazy. But mostly, my parents are awesome. And it was really nice to be taken care of a little, you know? I see a lot of my family because we all live in the same town, but there is something that is so nice about staying with family when you've got kids. It's like your parental responsibilities are lifted a bit and you revert back to being your childhood self. I needed that.

Spending time with my Mum and Dad like that made me realise how good my parents have been to me. It also made me realise how good God has been to me. I think one of the best blessings any child can have is to have parents who love God. I know no parent is perfect, and people make mistakes (Mum and Dad made heaps of them!) but the most important thing they never stopped doing was love God. Throughout all of my life, I have always known that. They stuffed up lots. But I think God can do an awful lot of fixing when he is offered a family's heart. I know I'm going to do damage as a Mummy. It's inevitable. But I hope I never stop holding onto God with one hand and my children with the other.

Georgie was all kinds of good while we were away. Granted she did get grumpy at times, (after all she's a kid), and it wasn't great when she got a nappy rash from teething- it hurt her so much poor button! But she was fantastic in the car, and I think she really enjoyed that time with her Grandma and Poppy. Plus, she has a new word she is using a fair bit. "Yish!" (yes). It is so cute when she says it, and it's funny that she has said yes before no. Fingers crossed she's setting a pattern for the future. But I doubt it, she's a willful little thing. However, she is super lovely at the moment.

I'm kind of sad, but happy at the same time. Because I am enjoying, (relishing, savouring!) this time with her. She is so absolutely delightful. But it is almost bittersweet. I am trying to squeeze everything good I can out of this time because I know it will never be just Georgie and me again. I'm happy because I do want this baby, and am getting quite excited at the idea of another little squishy newborn, but I get very sad at the same time for what we will miss and how hard it is going to be on my little girl.

But for now. It is nice to be home. I am missing Shane, so much. I feel a little disconnected from him. Telephone is just not the same. I really want to just be together again. But, mostly it is good to be back. The little girl went to bed tonight with nary a peep, and I like my space.

It was a pretty good weekend.

Oh, and please, please go vote for me (if you don't mind?) I would so love to feel a bit special!

Sunday Song: Life is short

Friday, November 25, 2011

5 Things that tell me I know I am over being pregnant....

The clock is slowly ticking. Four weeks left. I am starting to be really over being pregnant. So I decided to link up with Shae for a pregnancy-themed Things I know this week.

Sadly, NOT me.

1. I hurt. Everywhere. But especially my back. I am so tired of lying down, and then not being able to get back up because I literally can't. Even the physio is not doing much good anymore. I just want to be able to move!

It's a funny picture, but it actually is quite sad how much this cat and I have in common!

2. This week I have literally cried over spilled milk. I am crying all of the time. I am so touchy and hormonal and I cannot seem to do anything about it (but cry).

3. I know that I am definitely over being pregnant when bending over to pick something up becomes a marathon task of epic proportions.

4. Sore feet and cankles. Not pretty. Enough said.

5. The idea of sleepless nights, a screaming infant and sore sore boobies all sound better than the idea of being pregnant a moment longer.

I'm also linking up with Sar-Wah for Flog Yo Blog Friday. Happy Weekend everyone!

Oh, and if you don't mind, I would love it if you could pop over to the Circle of Mums page and give me your vote. I really would appreciate it!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Finding the joy

I've been a little hormonal and emotional lately. Life has just been a..... challenge at times. But my little girl has been such a little ray of sunshine. And tonight she made me laugh. A big belly laugh that was hard to contain. She was eating her spaghetti, was insistent on doing it herself, and was making a hell of a mess. I kept on prompting her 'use your spoon' and she was trying so hard poor darling. But she just reminded me of the Beast in this scene from The Beauty and the Beast.

It was so funny! I could not stop laughing. And it made me realise I haven't been laughing much lately. I've been living a little like I'm anesthetized. That needs to change. So I'm going to try to live, and find the joy a little more.

As part of that I've also decided to try, actually try for something. You see, I was nominated for the Circle of Mums top 25 Australian Mum bloggers. It may seem trivial, but to me it was a bit exciting. But I did the whole 'Oh well, it's nice, but I don't stand a chance, so why even bother trying.' And so haven't really been making much of an effort to get people to vote for me. Because it's easier to act like it's no big deal and not win, than it is to make an effort and lose. At least then you can pretend that it didn't really matter, and you never cared anyway, right?

But the fact is. I do care. It's not like I'm going to be devastated if I don't get into the top 25. But I'm looking at the tally and right now I'm actually standing a chance of possibly making it into the top 25. I'm currently at number 37.  I know I am only a little fish, there are still many more days before the competition ends, and I don't blog for PR or anything like that. But, I've been blogging for almost a year and a half and this is the first thing like this to come my way. And it would feel good. I think we can all admit that a little bit of validation and recognition is nice. Particularly when you're a Mummy who spends her time being covered in snot and drool and poop. Motherhood doesn't come with many trophies.

So, if you like what you've read here, would you mind popping over and voting for me? It would mean a lot. I've just found out you can vote every day, so feel free to vote for me more than once! :) I'm going to try not to get stressed about it all. If I don't make it into the top 25, I don't and that will be okay. But if I do it would really make me happy. I'm going to try. I'm going to make a bit of an effort to live, to be myself. It's something worth doing.

I get that this may seem stupid to other people. But you know what? Not everyone is a plum. And it matters to me. Not earth-shattering, world-changing, important stuff. But right now a little validation would be nice. So I'm putting myself out there, not squashing what I think because I'm too busy agreeing with other people. I do that far too often. I get that this isn't for everyone. I get that it's a bit of a popularity contest and probably a bit unrealistic. But I'm giving it a go. I don't want my example for my kids to be 'don't try if you have no chance'. I want them to aim high. Live extravagantly. Want things. There is nothing wrong with trying to achieve something. Even if you don't get it, at least you tried.

I'm linking this post up with Kate for Thankful Thursdays, because I'm thankful my little girl inspired me to find the joy.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Normally I'm a huge fan of Christmas. I love it and get right into the whole thing. I love decorating our house for Christmas and it's a struggle to wait for December. I love helping to plan the menu, and getting together with my family. I adore the day. I love buying presents for people- it's just so much fun! I love so much about Christmas.

But this year, I'm just not feeling it.

I'm trying to. But at the moment I'm not feeling much of anything. I'm in a bit of a funk. I don't think I could pinpoint exactly what's wrong, and if you asked me I couldn't tell you how to fix it. I don't want to change anything. But everything just feels like such an effort at the moment.

I think it's a combination of so many things. The heat, the fact that I feel 18 months pregnant, the fact that Georgie is so full of energy that looking after her feels like the clean up after a tornado. It's also a bit hard with Shane's new job, it's kind of all-consuming for him at the moment. And I get that, I really do, he's stressed and doing the best he can. Plus, it looks like he has to go away for a week for training stuff (although thankfully, not to Canada!). And I think it's all getting a bit much right now. I'm just feeling a bit out of everything, and having a good old pity-party.

So Christmas is just the last thing I want to think about. It doesn't help either that we're trying to be super frugal at the moment, just until we get back on our feet a little after the holiday and job change. I could be awesome at buying Christmas presents if money was no object! But unfortunately it totally is. Normally by this time of the year I would have at least half my Christmas shopping done. This year I have 20 presents to buy (big family) and have only got a couple of little things for Georgie that I bought earlier this year. And honestly I just don't care. It feels too hard.

I'm also so sick of stressing over presents. Most of the time the gift-giving is just really fun, but I find a couple of people on our list particularly hard to shop for, and (of course) they're the people who really do 'judge' the kind of presents they receive. It just feels like a bit much right now, and I don't see any way out of this hole, except for slowly crawling out, one painful step at a time. Or else maybe I can just cancel Christmas? Tell people we're just not doing it this year, that we'll be busy having a baby instead?

I know that's not really an option. I would be so disappointed in myself if  I didn't make the effort. For Georgie, for us, we need to have Christmas. I think I just need to go watch a whole heap of Christmas movies to help get myself into the spirit. Play some Christmas Carols, and maybe look up some Christmas-themes on pinterest.

I'll get there, eventually. I just have to get my grinch out.

*I wrote this post this morning and am since feeling slightly better. I went downtown this morning and managed to find three Christmas presents! Only seventeen left to go.... but at least it's a start. How many presents do you have to buy this year?

The thief


I love this song by Third Day. It gives me tingles. And hope. So much hope.

There is also just something about Mac Powell's voice that I absolutely adore.

You might not know the story behind the song. But if you're curious and have never heard it before, it's in Luke 23:32- 43.

I was going to write more about it. But I have actually decided I shouldn't. The song kind of speaks for itself.

Here are the words:

I am a thief, I am a murderer
Walking up this lonely hill
What have I done? I don't remember
No one knows just how I feel
and I know that my time is coming soon.

It's been so long. Oh, such a long time
Since I've lived with peace and rest
Now I am here, my destination
guess things work for the best
and I know that my time is coming soon

Who is this man? This man beside me
They call the King of the Jews
They don't believe that He's the Messiah
But, somehow I know it's true.
And they laugh at Him in mockery,
and beat Him till he bleeds
They nail Him to the rugged cross,
and raise Him, they raise Him up next to me

My time has come, I'm slowly fading
I deserve what I receive

Jesus when You are in Your kingdom
Could You please remember me
and He looks at me still holding on
the tears fall from His eyes
He says I tell the truth
Today, you will live with Me in paradise

and I know that my time is coming soon
and I know paradise is coming soon.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Tasty Tuesdays: Coconut and Mango Meringue roll

I haven't done a foodie post in a while, mostly because I've been lazy. But I mentioned this recipe in a post last week and a few people asked me to share it, so here it is:

Coconut and Mango Meringue roll

4 egg whites
3/4 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup dessicated coconut
1 tsp cornflour
2 tsp white vinegar
2 tbs dessicated coconut, toasted
1 tbs caster sugar, extra
Mango butter (see recipe below)
whipped cream
extra mango, diced

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Grease a 25cm x 30cm swiss roll tin, and line with baking paper.
2. Beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar and beat until thick and glossy. Sprinkle over coconut, cornflour and vinegar and gently fold through.  Spoon into tin and smooth top. Bake for 15 minuted until just set.
3. While meringue is cooking, lay a clean tea towel down and put more baking paper on top. Sprinkle paper with toasted coconut and reserved sugar. Turn cooked meringue out onto the paper and peel away the paper lining. Cool for two minutes.
4. Spread mango butter over the top of the meringue, (you may only need 1/2 a cup), then top with whipped cream and roll using the paper to help. Transfer to a serving platter (which can be a bit tricksy). Top with sliced mango, and chill before serving.

*Note, if you want to, you can also put a teeny bit of coconut essence in your whipped cream.

Mango butter

Blend the flesh of 1 large ripe mango with 2 egg yolks, 1/3 cup caster sugar and 2 tbs lemon juice. Once smooth, transfer to a saucepan and stir over medium heat until sugar has dissolved. Add 80g of diced butter, one piece at a time and whisk constantly until mixture thickens. Pour into small clean jars, seal and store in the fridge. This can be made a day before you make the meringue roll.

I didn't take any photos, but here's a picture of one that looks very similar.

It sounds a little complicated, but I found it surprisingly easy to make and it is one of my favourite sweets. I think it is just such a quintessential summer dessert, and so delicious! I made it for Christmas last year, and it was a big hit, I think it was nice to have something so light in the midst of all the heavy Christmas food.

Linking up with Jess for I blog on Tuesdays....

and with Kate for the Menu Monday Linky....

Saturday, November 19, 2011

I haz Rainbow Cake!!!

I am so grateful for my family, and my sisters. I was feeling a bit ho-hum about my birthday this year, and mentioned how I'd love a rainbow cake. And lo, and behold! At our church christmas party last night, what should appear?

Rainbow Cake!!!!

I have to admit, I didn't really want to have my birthday mentioned and have everyone sing happy birthday. I just didn't feel up to it. But when it actually happened, it was just really nice. My sister Jenny is a very clever lady, and spent two days creating this masterpiece. Isn't it awesome?

I'm really glad for my family... It was a good day.

Linking up with Maxabella for her Grateful Saturday's Linky.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Things I know....

I know I *may have eaten an entire one of these today.... but calories don't count when you're pregnant and it's your birthday right?

*and by may I mean did.

I know there is nothing funnier than watching your child fall asleep while eating lunch. It's the little things that make parenting great.

I know birthdays get to be a lot less exciting when you get older. But I still have a wonderful husband who has never yet failed to bring me flowers on my special day.

I know my child is a really heavy sleeper. Because when our smoke alarm went off today, (I totally forgot I was cooking something) she didn't even stir.

I know I have been thinking a bit about Christmas lately. And you know what? I think Mary is my new hero right now. Think about it, she was fully pregnant and had to make a huge journey (on a donkey no less, which could not have been too comfortable) plus, she was probably in labour during that time. It's given me a whole new appreciation for just how much she would have gone through, and I am so glad I'm not her!

I know I'm going to make a Coconut and Mango Meringue Roll for the party tonight. It is one of my favorite desserts, and one of those wonderful things that looks very fiddly and impressive but is surprisingly easy.

I'm linking up with Shae at Yay for home, for Things I know, and Glowless for Flog Yo Blog Friday.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thankful for being a Stay at home Mummy

This week has been a big one for our family. Shane has started his new job. And while I am insanely jealous of the fact that this job has provided him with an iPhone, a brand new laptop, and he will probably be traveling to Canada some time in the near future (it's not fair!).... I have still been watching him this week with much sympathy.

Because he is really challenged. I have great faith in him, and believe he will work hard and do a very good job. But at the moment he is drowning a little. It is just such a huge change for him. There is so much to do, so many new things to learn.

And I am just so glad that I don't have to do what he is doing right now.

I know we stay-at-home-mums have a pretty tough job a lot of the time. We often talk about how hard motherhood can be. But in my opinion the good still outweighs the bad. We are our own bosses to a certain extent. We do have our own challenges, and sometimes they can be pretty big. But at the same time there are many pitfalls of the modern workplace that we get to avoid.

I am so grateful that I can afford to stay at home with my children, and I hope I can make the most of it for as long as possible. I am thankful that I can play with my children, and enjoy them. Not just survive them. I am so glad that I can focus all of my attention on my household, that my heart and my world can be wrapped up so small. Sometimes it feels a little smothering, and too small. But really it's only for a very short time in the grand scheme of life. I think that my kids need that from me. I need it too.

I am so grateful that I don't have to juggle a sick child with work commitments. I am glad that I don't have to stress about childcare. I am so glad that I can get up a million times in the night, and while I may be exhausted, I don't have to go to work in the morning. I am thankful that if I am having a rotten day, we can take it easy. I am grateful for the support I have from my husband in my role. I am glad that he sees that what I am doing matters, and he works incredibly hard so that I can do what I do.

I am glad that I don't have to deal with new bosses, new colleagues and new roles. I am glad that I can make my family my most important priority. Stay at home motherhood is far from easy. Some days it would be much nicer to get out of the house, go to work, and then get to clock off and come home, rather than be surrounded by my work for every minute of every day. Some says I feel like there is no me left, and my children are slowly taking everything I have.

I know men and women have their own different challenges to face. For example, I am not looking forward to giving birth in the next 37 days. But, I also think that with motherhood comes an amazing intimacy with your child that is something fathers don't get to experience. I also am so glad that I am always there for my children. I have that unique opportunity to be there for them every step of the way in their young lives. I know this works both ways, in the fact that I am never without my children. (Some space, oh please, give me some space!) But, it is still something I am grateful for.

I am not doing nothing. I am glad that I am investing in the future, and that what I am doing is important. It is easy to get disillusioned with it all. Motherhood can be a never-ending, all-consuming, thankless task at times. But it is so worth it. And I am so glad that I have the opportunity to do it, and give it everything I've got.

So today I am linking up with Kate, for Thankful Thursdays, because I am thankful that I am a stay-at-home-Mum.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Have you ever had a 'big change' haircut? Like gone from really long to really short? And every time you go to wash it for the first little while, you reach back... but there's no hair there to wash. And you remember, 'Oh yeah, that's right. Short hair.' Even though you know your hair is short, you still have to re-train your brain, change your habits, until eventually you get used to your new hair, and it becomes a part of you. And you can wash your hair without that funny little reflex.

I think when someone dies it's a little like that.

It's been just over a year since my Grandma passed away. It's weird that I'm talking about it now (obviously it would have made more sense to write about it on the one year anniversary, but I didn't. And that's okay).

It's funny. I miss her.... but I don't. It's not like an everyday ache, it's just funny little reminders that spring up on you when you least expect it. It's not like I'm weeping over her or anything. She was old, she was sick, and she loved Jesus. I would not bring her back, even if it was possible. But it's a bit like the hair thing nonetheless.

We were quite close. Especially in the last few years. Shane and I bought the house next to hers and I used to see her often. What annoys me though, is that I lived beside her for about two years and didn't see enough of her. I was busy with work and my life and I saw her a fair bit, but not as much as I could have. But in that last year, I spent a lot of time next door.

I was on maternity leave, and she was gradually getting worse. Plus my Mum was there a lot, she even lived with Grandma towards the end. I was there even more often after I had just had Georgie, because it was just so handy to go next door for help and company.

But I am still angry at myself that I didn't see her as much as I could have, especially when she was healthy, and whole and happy. Busy, busy, busy, doing nothing of importance.

It's been a funny year, without Grandma. She has always been a pretty big part of my life. Not huge, but at the same time just a constant comfortable presence. Growing up, we lived down the road from her (we really must like this street, huh?) and I couldn't tell you how many times I trekked up the road to Grandma's house as a girl. Hers was a house for sleepovers, playing madly with cousins, big lunches, and above all, Sunday afternoon tea.

Sunday afternoon tea was the biggest constant. Every week without fail, all the uncles, aunts and cousins that lived in town would gather around the kitchen table for scones and pikelets and cake and tea and talk and just be. We still get together. But it's not the same anymore.Weekends are too busy, people are drifting away, changing. There's less in common now. We're having families of our own. And there's no Grandma. Short hair.

It was odd watching her house transform too. All of her things being split up and thrown away. The house being empty. Then no longer hers. I think when the new people next door ripped up and redid the garden not long ago, that was a big change. Especially because she loved her garden. It had to happen. It's their house, their yard. Life is change. But I look over the fence, and sometimes the reminder just kind of slaps me in the face. No Grandma. Short hair.

Then there's the little, tiny things that have all stopped being habits. Checking the lights next door when I go to bed. Making sure the bin is out on a Tuesday morning when I put mine out. In the beginning she used to put ours out often when we forgot.... but it changed over time, until eventually it became our job to do both. Little chats over the fence. Trekking next door to borrow her lawn mower. We never even bought one, hers just used to do both yards. We borrowed it, and in return Shane tried to mow her lawn when he could. Now it just does the one yard. Ringing up when either of us ran out of something, and exchanging sugar, flour, milk, tomato sauce, over the fence. Our little dog Chloe no longer runs next door, treating that yard as her own. Her phone number is no longer in my phone book. I didn't remember her birthday this year. No Grandma. Short hair.

It doesn't hurt. But at the same time, it just feels a little bit odd. So many reminders.

She seemed to enjoy her life. She had pain, but at the same time, she lived well. And she died well. Despite having cancer on and off for so many years, she never suffered too badly. She managed to go from home, to hospital, to heaven, and it was quite quick. Not too much lingering in pain like some. Hers was the way to go. She was herself too, right to the very end. And she got to see Georgie. She enjoyed baby Georgie for a couple of months. She was so tickled when we named Georgie after her. Georgina Shirley.

Life marches on. In a way it's nice that her yard is so different now. It's not hers anymore. But she will never hold this next baby. That hurts a little. She doesn't get to enjoy Georgie now. That hurts too. But mostly it's fine. And now it's all less habit. The loss has become a part of my history, part of me. I don't wash my hair with that funny little reflex anymore.

Linking up with Jess for I blog on Tuesdays.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Listography- Top 5 randoms

Today I am joining Kate Takes 5, for some Listography, because I feel like my writing has been a little heavy lately and I want to do something fun.

This weeks top 5 is the Top 5 things I like. But it's supposed to be a bit quirky. So here's my attempt.

1. I would be absolutely useless at Survivor. I like to have two showers every day. I cannot sleep well if I have not had a shower. I need to feel clean when I get between my sheets, and I also don't feel ready for the day unless I've showered. I'm a little pedantic about it, and I know it's not water-wise. But I can't help it. I have a really specific routine when it comes to my shower, and I just feel so dirty and horrible and unclean if I can't stick to my routine. (I think I may be slightly autistic, or OCD, or anal, or something)

2. I am currently making a sourdough starter and I just adore the smell of the fermenting yeast. It smells like beer or wine and to me, it is just lovely! I told Shane I should work in a brewery.

3. I love birthdays and I am slightly emo because it is my birthday this week, and (a) I feel like I am getting old before I ever got to be young- even though I'm only turning 24 and (b) we have a Christmas party that same night so I don't get to have my own special night.... pathetic I know!

I so want this rainbow birthday cake!

4. I actually enjoy cleaning my bathroom. It's probably one of the household tasks that I find the easiest. I think it's because you see such a difference when you clean a bathroom. Plus, it's not the kind of job that is never finished and has an endless cycle, like washing clothes or doing dishes. You clean a bathroom, and you don't have to do it again tomorrow! It actually stays clean at times for more than a minute.

5. Last night we went out for dinner (just Shane and I) for Chinese. And we went to the restaurant where I used to work as a waitress when I was a teenager. And part of me just wanted to get up and start working again! I loved hospitality work because it was so busy and it was a lot of fun. I especially liked working behind the bar making drinks and the occasional cocktail. I missed it a little, watching it all still happening. But it brought back some great memories and conversation with Shane about our teenage years.

So that's my attempt at it. Why not head on over to Kate's blog and give it a go yourself?

Friday, November 11, 2011


Today it's the eleventh of November. A day where at eleven am, Australians observe a minute of silence in memory of those who died or suffered in all wars and armed conflicts. And today my husband Shane, who is trying his hand at blogging over at Journeys With the King, has written a guest post with that in mind.


Before I start I would like to say that I have no experience in the armed services and cannot even imagine what a war/battle situation would be like. I am writing this as a husband, father, son, and mate who is forever grateful for those who have, are, and have yet to sacrifice their lives for the freedom of many.

Today we Remember.

I find it hard to believe in the glory of battle or in death. I believe the glory of the world is in the things that are pure and good. Like the love on a father's face when he holds his child for the first time, the wonderful feeling after that first date when you kiss the one you will hold forever, or the beauty in a setting sun. I don't know what goes through a soldiers mind during his last minutes, but I would like to think it is not about the courageous thing he is doing, but the glorious things that he is doing it for.

I have been a father for a little while now, and a husband for a bit longer. How those men we remember today had the strength to leave what I have behind, I will never know. The only thing I could fathom would be 'duty'. As much as I love my family, I do believe that as a father and a husband I have a duty as long as I breathe to protect and honour those I hold dear. I would like to think that the following is true when it comes to it (and if it ever comes to the call of men again) "Love holds them here and it was love that sent them there." I don't think I would be wrong in saying that there would be many fathers or husbands that would go to the very depths of hell so that their loved ones would never have to suffer the darkness in the hearts of wicked men or have to fear such evil.

It is amazing how organised evil can be. When looking at the time of the great world wars I find it hard to comprehend that so few men can lead so many to carry out acts of incomprehensible evil. Those of you who follow this blog would know by now that we are a Christian family, and from that we believe in the one true God. I know that there is a power at work in the world that is always waring against all things good, righteous, and pure. In the bible it does mention the war in the spiritual world. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places]. Ephesians 6:12. The more I dwell on it, the more I see that this is how evil is so organised.

The odds are always stacked up against the good in this world. Evil always seems to outnumber those striving to live in peace. But for some reason, what is good always seems to have a power that is greater than evil, regardless of the odds. I believe that the very thing that has sent many men and women to the heart of the darkest places to face the greatest evil is love. Love is far more powerful than hate and greed. History has proven this many times when those who are few, fight for something they love rather than something they hate, and they have triumphed.

So why do I stop today and remember those who have fallen? Because today I woke up with my family safe, around me. I enjoyed a peaceful cup of coffee in the morning, packed up my lunch, got in my work gear, and went to work with the privilege of freedom. My life could be so different, if those before me hadn't sacrificed. They gave up exactly what I enjoyed this morning, for the hope that their children and grandchildren could enjoy what they didn't, and never have to endure what they had to.

 Today I remember, and am forever thankful.


I'm linking this one up with Glowless for Flog Yo Blog Friday.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Be intolerant, because some things are just plain wrong

This post may be a little full-on for some. I hope it doesn't offend. But I can't help it. I have to write it.

The fact is I am intolerant.

This may sound kind of funny coming after my WWJD post when I talked about Christian zealots and bigots. But I think there is a huge difference between a bigot and somebody who knows the truth. A bigot is a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices. That's they key. His or her own. This is not necessarily all my own opinion. In some ways it would be so easy to be tolerant. To say live and let live, and it doesn't matter. But the fact is, this about truth, and the most important, fundamental truth that there is. Not me. And I just can't hear someone say 2 + 2 = 5, have them believe that, and pretend that it's okay.

Jesus didn't say 'I believe what I believe, and you believe what you believe, and that's just fine and dandy.' No, he said I am the way the truth and life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6.

So I am lovingly intolerant.

The fact is, there is good and bad. Things are black or white. I am so sick of all this grey that is around. I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm--neither hot nor cold--I am about to spit you out of my mouth. Revelations 3:15-16.

I seriously believe that Satan must have coined the word 'tolerance' because it dilutes the truth. The fact is, the world is not a tolerant place. People are dying for their faith as you read this. Martyrs exist. While we are busy being tolerant, there are others who are dying because of their beliefs.

You know what else I have so much trouble with? It's that 'well I'll offer my kids a balanced view of 'religion', I'll let them look at a few and make their own decisions'. That's like saying, 'well I know my kids are thirsty, but I'll offer them lots of different poisonous drinks and water and let them choose which one is best for them.' Here's the thing. That sounds great in theory, but everything else will kill them. Why offer them something that's bad? Why offer them lies? I understand that people need to make their own choices, and children cannot be pushed into their parents faith.... but at the same time, I'm not going to willingly send my kids to hell. I'll do my utmost to keep them from it.

Now honestly, it doesn't matter if you respect my faith. It sounds good- but that's all. It might make my life a lot easier and more comfortable to live in a society where my faith can be respected. But at the end of the day it does bugger-all. Respecting faith is not believing, and believing is the only thing that is going to bring salvation. Because the fact is we are all screwed up. I'm not talking about the 10 commandments, or any of that. But our hearts. If you look into your heart can you honestly say that you are pure and decent and wonderful, all of the time? Because I can't. Nobody is. That's why He died. That's why Jesus is the only way. We can't fix this mess on our own. The more we try the worse it gets. (Have you noticed?)  It's not about churches, because they're all still run by people, and people are not perfect. It's about the truth of the word and his sacrifice. Beside that everything else is so insignificant.

I get that this probably sounds very over-the-top. I sound like some freaked-out Christian. But to me, this really is the most important thing in the world. It's like watching so many people around you marching their way into a deep dark, hole that they are never going to get out of. And they don't see it. They are completely oblivious to the fact that they are going straight to hell. I can't just head in the opposite direction and wave and say "Well, see you later then!" I just can't. So I'm doing the best I can, the only way I know how- to stop people from losing everything.

Please, don't think I'm crazy, But at the same time understand that I cannot be tolerant of the lies that exist out there when I know the truth. Honestly, I don't mind about whether you like me or not, or respect this or not, (it's nice, but it's not the point). Seek the truth.

 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. John 8:32.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Where did my baby go?

All of a sudden, my baby girl is no longer such a baby. She is a people. She has become such a big girl, seemingly overnight. It's been coming for a while, but I think we are definitely hitting toddler time. I love the games and the laughter, she finds the fun in everything. She is a little ball of crazy, relentlessness energy, that can leave me whimpering in the foetal position at the end of the day. One minute is all is takes for her to create so much carnage.

But I loves her. I loves her so much. I love the fact that she is walking now, just like a big girl. I love the 'Mum' and 'Dad' and 'Pup' and other assorted gibberish that actually means something now. She thinks. All the time she is watching and thinking. She points and communicates and never stops moving. She copies everything now (which can be very dangerous). She is developing problem solving skills. I love the independence, but the fact that she still needs Mummy.

I have to admit, I am worried about how she will go with a new baby. I have 6 weeks to go and am doing my best to enjoy the time we have left as just us. But I think God knew exactly what he was doing when he put our little ones so close together. A sibling will not hurt this little imperious girl one little bit. It will be hard. But I also really do think that children aren't meant to grow up alone.

The closer I'm getting to this baby's due date, the more settled I'm feeling about it. I'm still dreading the sleepless nights, the pain of breastfeeding, the newborn squalling. I know that life is going to be pretty full-on soon. But at the same time I don't think it will be quite as hard as it was the first time around. Because even though all babies are different. This time I will already be a mother. I won't be trying to adjust to life at home and not having work to go to. I know that generally, the kind of day I have depends on my attitude and actions. I won't be turning my world upside down quite so much because I already am a parent. There is also a sense of 'I can do this' because I know that I have done it before.

I'm sure it will still be incredibly difficult. I've told myself to remember that the first three months are just about survival. But at the same time, I do feel a little more relaxed about the whole thing this time. Even while getting organised, I haven't been quite so anal and compulsive. I know that babies don't actually need that much stuff. Plus, our house is still mostly set up for a baby. All I've really had to do is get the cradle out, and some clothes ready. There is still a bit to do. But it's not the same stress-fueled intense time that it was last time.

So right now my life is a jumble of enjoying, organising, cleaning, nesting, aching, relishing, chasing. But we're doing okay. My baby girl is a toddler. But it won't be long until I have another baby again.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Thinking just makes my head all hurty

I have a confession.

I sometimes really struggle with the fact that I never finished University.

I went to Uni straight after school to complete my Bachelor of Education. I lasted a year and a half. I don't really know why it is such an issue for me sometimes. Because I honestly do not want to be a teacher. I think about it from time to time, and the answer's always no, I don't want to teach.

Yet it still sits badly.

I quit Uni for a few reasons. Shane and I had just gotten married and it would have been really handy for me to be earning some decent money, I was tired of study. I didn't feel like I fitted in at all at Uni, because I was young, but married, and just didn't really find my tribe. But I know none of that would have mattered if I'd really wanted to teach. But I didn't. Not enough anyway.

I love children. But I was studying a degree that would have enabled me to teach children from grades 1-10. And when on prac I realised that I really don't like older children. It's not like I hate them or anything, but once kids hit about grade 4 or so, I just find them so much harder work. (Plus, you know, you have to know stuff to teach them)

So I ended up getting a job in childcare and found that I loved it. I ended up in a babies room, and it was great. I discovered that I really enjoy the early childhood years. Yes, they are hard in some respects. But in others they are so easy.

Nonetheless. I still feel a little less... worthy, or something because I didn't get that piece of paper.

I don't really understand it. I don't think any less of people who haven't gone to University. And I know plenty of people who have a University degree and they have done nothing with it. I know there are lots of people who have studied and studied for years, but they still haven't lived.  I know that a degree doesn't mean a person has wisdom or common sense. Some of the best people I know don't have a bunch of letters behind their name.

But still.

I've considered going back to Uni. But why? To study what? I don't just want to study for the sake of a degree. I don't see the point in studying something unless you want to, unless there is an end goal in sight. I still don't want to teach. I don't really want to go back to childcare either. It was great, but it was also a very demanding job, physically and emotionally.... for not much reward. Motherhood beats it by a mile. Maybe that will change when my own children grow up, but I don't know. And as much as I love the idea of being a high-powered career woman. I don't really want that life either. I think I'd be quite happy to stay at home with my kids for as long as I'm able, and then when the time comes go work in a job in retail, or in an office that doesn't demand too much of me, so I can still make my family my top priority.

I don't see anything wrong with that. Really I don't.

But at the same time I do. I can't put my finger in it. I never would have imagined being here now when I was at school. I wasn't the brightest crayon in the box, but I did okay. I won some awards, I used my brain. This isn't what I envisioned my life to be like. Married at 18? Having children young? I guess I thought, like most people that all that kind of thing would just happen after I'd lived a bit first. I never imagined that the first boy I dated would be the one I would marry. But I am so glad it was. I wouldn't want to change my life even if I could. I am really happy the way it it is. Sometimes it's more work than I thought possible. But it's so right, you know?

I wish I understood how you can feel so many different conflicting things at once. I wish there was more of a road-map to life. I wish being a grown-up was as easy as I thought it was when I was a kid. Part of me feels a little cheated because I'm only 23 and I feel like I'm 30. I feel like I am living like my Mum and Dad already. I want to be young and beautiful. I want to stay out late and party and dress up. I'm scared of turning into an old lady before I've been young.

But at the same time. I wouldn't change this. I love my life. My family. They make everything worth it. I just wish I wasn't plagued with doubt all the time about the choices I've made.

I just shouldn't get all introspective. It makes my head hurt. Just live one day at a time Robyn!

Do you get what I'm trying to say here? Do you feel the same way? Or are you one of the clever people who did everything perfectly? (Do those people even exist???)

Linking up with Jess at Diary of a SAHM for IBOT :)

Saturday, November 5, 2011


Do you ever lie in bed at the end of the day, replaying the conversations you had and the things you did and said, just to make sure you didn't say anything or do anything stupid?

I don't always do it. But on days when I've been out of my comfort zone I do tend to.... check myself.

Take today for instance. I went to the baby shower of a friend. I suppose I felt a little uncomfortable to begin with because I really like this woman, but am not very close with her. To be honest I kind of felt a little odd to be invited. She is a truly lovely person, but because of life stuff we've never been super-close. So I was a little 'off' because of that. Then I managed to arrive late, so I felt uncomfortable, because there is nothing worse than walking into a room where everyone is settled, and feeling totally out of place. Plus, I wouldn't really say that there were any of my close friends at the shower. There were plenty of women who I like, and who I see often.... but they are all more acquaintances that people I can be completely myself with (if that makes sense?).

For instance, when my close friends come over, they can arrive no matter how I or the house looks. When these people come over, I make sure I look okay and I give my house the once-over first. I don't necessarily want to be like that, but it's something I can't seem to shake.

When I'm feeling a bit out of place I tend to do one of two things..... talk too much or not enough. (I'm guessing that's probably pretty common) I ended up talking to a few different ladies, but I really struggled striking up and keeping up conversations with people who I hardly knew at all.

So tonight, my mind's on rewind and replay.

I just keep running over everything that happened and everything I said and did and making sure I didn't do anything wrong. Wondering how this was perceived. Hoping nobody saw that.

This might make me sound like such an insecure person. But I really don't think of myself as insecure. I am pretty okay with me. And in my own circle I am comfortable. But when I'm out of my comfort zone I do tend to over-analyze my behaviour.

I don't even know what I hope to achieve by it. It's not like I can go back and erase things from people's memories or anything. But I just... watch myself. Judging, critiquing. I've long known that we are our own harshest critics most of the time. But it's a habit that I find hard to break.

Maybe that's why blogging holds so much appeal. You can hit save, and think about things before you let the world see it. And even in conversations on other social media platforms there is often an edit or delete button. Real life can be much trickier.

Tonight I'm trying to shut myself up. Because I know that things really aren't that important. And everybody else is busy with themselves without dwelling on me. But still, my mind's on constant replay. So tell me, am I alone, or do you do this too?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

This thing called Life...

Some days I feel like I am doing well. Other days I wonder what on earth I am playing at, and how long it's going to take before somebody notices that I'm doing everything wrong.

Some days the house is beautiful. I look at where I live and I feel happy. My yard is spacious and green and lush, the garden is lovely and my house is clean and tidy. My floor is spotless and the bathroom looks nice. Some days the washing up is done, the folding is put away and my washing machine motors away merrily. Some days I feel like I am winning in the constant battle against untidiness that seems to fill my life.

Other days the house is a pigsty. My garden is a mess and everything is dry and yellow and horrible. The lawn is overgrown and 'didn't we just mow it the other day?' The floor is filthy and I have to put on socks just so the anal OCD side of me doesn't burst into tears just because I am walking around feeling dirt gather on my bare feet. On those days nothing is clean and it is never going to get clean. There are just too many dishes piled up on the sink and the folding basket is overflowing. Those days cleaning is just too hard and there is no point anyway- it will all be dirty tomorrow. On those days days my family are the soul-sucking leeches that continually mess up everything, and they have no thought or appreciation of the fact that I spend my life cleaning up after them.

Some days with my child are good. She sleeps well and has long naps and is quite happy to play independently. She is cheerful and smiles at strangers and is obedient and well-behaved. We play together and I just adore her, and her smile seems to be everything in the world. Some days my child is so happy and I feel like I am doing a fantastic job as a mother. Some days I know that I am exactly where I am supposed to be and could not imagine going back to work and leaving her because I know that what I am doing is good and worthwhile.

Other days my child is a holy terror. She screams and hits and scratches and bites and is miserable and unhappy. On those days she does not sleep, eat or listen to a single word I say. Other days she whines and cries and follows me around moaning all day and I struggle to keep myself together until she finally goes to bed. Some nights it feels like I have hardly even touched my bed and I am literally a walking zombie. Some days I wonder what on earth I am doing as a parent and it is all I can do to stop myself from calling the nearest childcare centre, because even a trained monkey could do a better job as a mother than me.

Some days I am a good wife. My husband is happy and he comes home to a happy, smiling wife and child. Some days he has plenty of clean clothes to wear and a nice dinner to eat. Some days he is happy in his work and we communicate effectively like two grown-ups. Some days the love I feel for him is so great I can hardly contain it. Some days I feel like the most beautiful, wonderful woman in the world.

Other days my husband comes home to a screaming banshee of a child and a wild-eyed, psychotic woman for a wife. He is unhappy in his job and has had a terrible day and all he wants to do is sit down and have a beer and watch some TV, but his wife makes unceasing, complicated demands on him until he feels ready to explode. Those days he comes home to a house that is in shambles, he has no clean clothes and there is nothing to eat and home certainly doesn't feel like a safe haven. Other days my husband is a negative, miserable unhappy man who I have no idea why I married. We have nothing in common and our level of communication is frighteningly similar to that of toddlers.

Some days I am glowing in pregnancy. I feel the movement of life within my tummy and am astounded at the life within me. Some days I feel like a beautiful picture of femininity and cannot wait to meet this baby. I have plenty of energy and feel like pregnancy is a wonderful experience.

Other days I am tired of being pregnant, and just plain old tired in general. I hurt everywhere and I feel unwell and am so sick of my body not being able to do the things I want it to. On those days the baby continually jumps on my bladder, or kicks me in the ribs and I am so uncomfortable. I wonder what kind of God could think that pregnancy or birth was a good idea and surely He could have designed things better? Other days I am terrified of going through labour again and cannot stop myself from thinking of everything that could go wrong. I do not want to have two children under two and have no idea how I am going to cope. I feel like huge, unattractive ball of yuck and just want to hide in my bedroom because nobody could possibly want to look at me.

Some days I am witty and intelligent. I write a post and receive many comments about it and feel encouraged like I really do have something valid to say. Some days the internet feels like a nice, friendly space and I am so grateful for the people I have met and gotten to know.

Other days I spend my life slaving away at the computer and neglect my life. Other bloggers and commenter are rude and stupid. Nobody ever says a single thing to me, or replies to any of my tweets or comments, so I may as well be invisible. Obviously I have nothing to offer the world and I cannot write for peanuts. Everyone else is better than me and I should just stop wasting my time and just get on with my life.

Some days life is easy and it works. Other days living can be the hardest thing in the world. Some days I feel like I've got it right, others I wonder how I could ever be so far wrong and I am glad that every day is not like that. I like that most days are a mix of both, not cry-yourself-to-sleep dreadful, nor dancing-on-clouds happy. I'm very grateful for some days, but on other days, the best thing that can be said is that the day is over.

Linking up with Glowless today because it's Friday!
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