Stillness and awe

The other morning, Little R was keeping me company while I got ready. He was happily babbling away to himself and playing with some toys while I got dressed, and I tuned out for a bit, concentrating on what I was doing. Noticing that the noise had stopped, I tuned back in to see him sitting still by the window, gazing at the gusty day outside. The sight stopped me in my tracks. It mightn’t sound like a big deal, but when you’re used to an energetic dynamo of a 2-year old circling you constantly, these rare moments of stillness are a sight to behold.


He was so peaceful, so enthralled. I could almost see the cogs turning in his head as he sat and watched.

I couldn’t resist sneaking out of the room to grab my phone and race back to get a few quick photos, which of course ended up disturbing his daydream. In hindsight I should have just stayed still, soaking up the moment, watching him just like he was watching the trees. I can’t remember another time when I’ve witnessed either Little R or his big sister just sit like that and watch the world as it goes by. Such a small thing, but so beautiful to me.


I got down on the floor with Little R and we lay side by side on our tummies, looking out the window and talking about the wind and the leaves on the trees. Then he got up and jumped on to my back. I managed to wriggle him off me and get up to kneel, only to have him crawl underneath me, giggling. I nuzzled into his neck with my nose, making him laugh. And I thought “This. This is being a parent.”

The little things.



Fighting the good fight


I feel like a stranger in my own corner of the internet! I let this little place go for a long time.

Most of this year has felt like a struggle. There have been challenges, so many challenges. And many times, I felt like those challenges were too big to be overcome, like I should just fold and admit defeat. Because I’d been chipping away at them but the hits just kept on coming. It was too big. Life seemed insurmountable.

There were times when I wasn’t sure how we would pay our bills and afford groceries.

There were times when our family felt like it was breaking apart and I didn’t know if it could be saved.

There were times when I cried myself to sleep, or cried quietly alone in the dead of the night.

There were times when I wondered if I would ever get a win.

There was a lot of hard work and a lot of late nights, for seemingly no result.

There were times when I was beat down, my self-confidence taking blow after blow, my soul and sense of value and purpose disintegrating at the hands of others.

There were a lot of dreams, with no path that I could find to bring them to fruition.

There was yelling.

There was rejection.

And for the first time in years, the shady black dog of depression reappeared, much to my surprise and dismay.

I mourned my missing creative spirit. I KNEW what I wanted to do, and what I needed to do, to feed my soul and feel the wonder of the world again. But I just couldn’t. I couldn’t summon the energy or the motivation. And so this place was abandoned along with my knitting, and my yoga, and my other writing projects, and other crafty adventures.

About three months ago, we had some amazing luck. My husband was offered another job out of the blue, and with it came some major positives for our family. More income. More time together. These things combined have lightened the burdens on our shoulders and given us some breathing room and opportunities to do things we couldn’t before. It’s made all the difference.

So lately, I have been starting to fight back against the anxiety and disorder. Each day, I’m trying to take small steps towards what I want to manifest. I understand now that if you want things to happen, you have to seek them out, you can’t trust that they will just land in your lap. And so, my plans are formulating in my head, and I’m doing little pieces here and there to make it all come true. It is taking time, but I’m starting to feel productive and creative again.

So here I am again. I can’t say if I’ll be back again tomorrow, or in a week, or a fortnight. Who knows. And I know I don’t need to make excuses or apologise to anyone, the main person this space is for is me. But sometimes it feels constructive to acknowledge the good fights we fight.


Growing up – Little R, 2 years


Little R / 2 years


I think the age you’re in right now is probably my favourite – between the ages of 1 and 3. Everything is still new and wonderful to you, you’re still so happy and curious. But you have also moved into full tantrum-throwing territory, if you don’t get your way.

You are deep in the stage of being an absolutely adorable, so-cute-it-hurts toddler. You are usually busy, either on your way somewhere at full pelt, or deeply involved with a toy or a book. It’s only recently that you’ve come into the age where you sometimes choose to play with other children if you want, I’ve only witnessed this on a few occasions, and it’s just so heartwarming to see. You play well with other kids, you especially seem to like being around older kids and they seem to adore you, but you’re also still just as content to make your own fun at other times.

Milestones seem to be found everyday. The transition from single words into short sentences are starting to emerge, as have unique facial or physical gestures as a means of communication, sometimes so slight that only a parent would understand the meaning. Physically, you’re pushing the boundaries of course, and still need a grown-up nearby. You prefer not to hold my hand when you walk, but when you come to an uneven surface in your path you instinctively reach out for me. There’s no more wobbliness when you move around, and most of the time it’s run or nothing. We had to remove our coffee table from the lounge room, because you figured out how easy it was to climb on top of it, and from there, launch yourself on to the couch. There were a few bumps resulting from that, but after the split lip, it was time for the coffee table to go.


Some words you can currently say –

Yes, Mummy! Yes, Daddy! Yes, Moo! (for Moose)

Allo, Hi, Buh-bye (with a wave)

Toach (for toast), Milk (although until recently, this was pronounced “Mor”), Iss (for water – go figure), Juice, Treat, Nack (snack), Bick (biscuit), Podge (porridge), more-do (for more food/water/play/anything. Yeah I dunno)

Ta, No, Yes, Pease

Goal!, Catch!, Ball, Kick, Ooszh (shoes)

Baby, Cute, Uh-oh, I Know!, Butt, Fart

Wee-Wee (The Wiggles)


You have started to become fussier with food, turning your nose up at certain things (all vegetables, cheese, ham), or more accurately, waving it away with your hand or throwing it away while shaking your head and saying “ew, no, yeauk”. You’re still learning how to use a fork though, and we can’t wait for the day when we finally don’t have to clean up food from the floor anymore after every meal.

You give kisses and cuddles on command now, holding your arms out and puckering up your lips. You’re definitely more affectionate than your sister was at this age, and when Mummy and Daddy see you after a long day at work and childcare, you call our name and come running for a hug. It’s so nice.

You love making funny faces, it always ends up in giggles, for you and everyone around you. You make this scrunched up hilarious face now when you dance, with your mouth all pouty, kind of like an angry duck-face. Your other current favourites, because they make me laugh, are the toothy cheesy grin……




…..closely followed by the wide open eyes + wide mouth combo….




You crack me up kid.

You are obsessed with ball play. All you want to do is throw and kick balls all day long, and you have done ever since you were able to stand and kick. You carry a ball around with you, and will throw it at us even if our backs are turned or we’re not ready. This is probably the area you’re the most advanced in right now – the gross motor skills – you have such good ball control for your age that people comment on it all the time. Your Dad is very pleased about this, you’re showing great promise to be a star sports player!

You also, unshockingly, love playing with cars, trucks and trains. This wasn’t something we purposefully tried to instill in you, your natural attraction to these toys just slowly emerged. You even make the “brooommmm” and “errrrrrrrr!!!” sounds of cars moving and braking when you play with them!

You and your sister play really well together, most of the time. You still have the occasional argument over a toy. You have learnt to become just as rough with her as she is with you, you’re definitely holding your own now. Although I wish you’d stop the hitting. Or that I could find the secret to helping you stop the hitting.

You also love to read – more so flicking through books yourself than being read to, although you enjoy that too. You will sit quite happily and quietly for ages if you have a pile of books in front of you, carefully studying the pictures on each page. The sight makes my heart swell!

You are such a treasure, I don’t want you to ever grow up!




Mindful Sunday


Sunday is my favourite day of the week. The week that was is behind us, and if I’ve played my cards right, the necessary weekend housework and socialising has taken place on Saturday. That leaves Sunday for relaxing, reflecting, and looking to the week ahead. Sunday always feels comfortable to me, a day to just be.

I’m looking forward to this week. I feel like all I’ve been doing for months is going to work, going to job interviews, and writing job applications. I’m now enforcing a break on myself and I’m so relieved to have some pressure lifted from my shoulders. This will be a week of taking it slower, revisiting exercise, reading, and catching up on Netflix.

This is also a big week at school for Moose. She’s due to be presented with an art merit award at school assembly on Friday, and I can’t wait to be there with Big R and Little R to cheer her on. And then on Friday night she’ll be going to her first school disco, and I’ll be going to my first school disco as a parent. I’m volunteering purely to spy on the littlies, it’s going to be so cute.

Today I’m going to finish off some odds and ends that I didn’t get to yesterday, and then I might take the kids out for a walk in the sunshine later. The trees are changing, autumn colour is everywhere, and leaves are sprinkled across footpaths and lawns. We’re in long-sleeves and long pants, but there’s no need for scarves and coats just yet.

And that will be it, the weekend complete. Simple, and perfect.



Geeking out – Summer 2015/2016

So, summer has actually been over for a while. But you know, life happened, and THEN when I finally got myself into action and started writing this post, something went wrong halfway through and I lost everything I’d written. That gave me a sad. So here I am, writing this all for the second time. Maybe I should just go back to good old pen and paper…..

Onward! Let us count the ways in which I treated my geeky self over summer. Because I read quite a lot over those 3 months, it would be too lengthy to go into detail for all of the reads, so instead I’ll just give you a quick summary and let you know what rating I gave the books on Goodreads. Here we go:



Bitch Planet: Volume 1 by Kellie Sue DeConnick, Valentine De Landro, Taki Soma and Robert Wilson – 3 out of 5 stars

A feminist graphic novel in which “non compliant” women are sent off to a segregated prison-like place known as “Bitch Planet”. Grrrl Power!

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler – 2 out of 5 stars

Family dynamics, growing up, and coping with grief. Oh, and monkeys.

Bird Box by Josh Malerman – 5 out of 5 stars

A dystopian thriller-horror that set my heart racing and had me flicking pages like wow. Something begins to infiltrate the outside world and when people lay their eyes on this something, they go crazy and commit suicide. Don’t go outside with your eyes open. I LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH!

Nick Of Time by Allison B. Hanson – 3 out of 5 stars

A rare sojourn into romance for me, and I enjoyed it more than I thought I was going to! It was a bit typical in the storyline and ending, but I liked the characters nonetheless. I received this as an e-galley through Netgalley.

Ms. Marvel: Volume 1 by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona – 1 out of 5 stars

A young girl discovers she has superpowers – in fact, she is Ms Marvel. Thumbs up to more female superheroes (especially females-of-colour), but I just wasn’t captivated by this.

Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed – 5 out of 5 stars

This book made me feel inspired, confident, and ready to face anything! Technically this would be defined as self-help, but it’s not fluffy or opinionated or judgy like some self-help can be. This is a collection of advice columns from the Dear Sugar feature on The Rumpus, now revealed as Cheryl Strayed.

Craft For The Soul by Pip Lincolne – 2 out of 5 stars

This is Pip’s latest book, with tips for improving different areas of your life through a slightly crafty bent. It was sweet, but I just didn’t feel like it was anything I hadn’t read before. Give it a go though if you’ve enjoyed her previous books.

Only The Stones Survive by Morgan Llywelyn – 3 out of 5 stars

I felt like reading some mystical fantasy with great world-building, and this one fulfilled that need. About two different peoples, one invading the other for their lands. Both the characters and the landscapes were well-developed and the magical elements just added to the beauty of the writing. I received this as an e-galley through Netgalley.

Fear Is The Rider by Kenneth Cook – 5 out of 5 stars

Read it in one sitting. Well, it is under 200 pages, but still – it was amazing! An edge-of-your-seat, can’t-stop-till-it’s-over thriller, based in the Australian outback. Two lone travellers are hunted by a murderous madman through the isolated and dusty wilds. All of the creeps! Another one I received as an e-galley through Netgalley.

The Martian by Andy Weir – 4 out of 5 stars

I finally got around to reading this! Who doesn’t love Mark Watney, I ask you? It was suspenseful, and enthralling, and hilarious. I only left off one star because at times the complex mathematical/technical/scientific parts went over my head, but that could just be me.

Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff – 2 out of 5 stars

My disappointment of the season. I had high hopes for this, based on all of the rave reviews I’d heard. But it kinda bored me. I just didn’t care about the characters and what happened to them. It was like it was too literary, just for the sake of being literary. But plenty of people love it, so don’t take my word for it if it’s on your TBR list.

Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix – 4 out of 5 stars

Suspenseful horror-thriller in which strange and creepy things happen in an Ikea-copycat store overnight. Naturally, some of the staff decide to stay in the store overnight to try and figure out what’s going on, which is a very bad idea. This definitely had its chilling moments, and even some really dark moments, but mostly it was just a bit of fun.


On the online front, here were a few gems that I found recently-

Kate from Picklebums tallies up a great list of things you can save for play and how to use them. Great for those times when you feel like you should be playing with your kids but you’ve run out of ideas!

From the one and only Book Riot, a post that rang my Booktube-addiction bells – 22 favourite booktubers.

And one for all those wannabe gardeners out there (like me) – veggies that you can regrow again and again!




I haven’t been watching much TV at all. We finally got caught up on House of Cards, and just as we did….the next season dropped. So now we are behind again!

We watched the first episode of Making a Murderer, because of ALL of the hype, but we just didn’t feel motivated to go back for more? There’s got to be something to it though, I haven’t heard a bad report yet, so I’m thinking of just diving in to episode 2 and seeing how I go.

Also, I haven’t seen it yet but I REALLY want to see the new Jungle Book movie. It definitely doesn’t look like something to take kids to, even though it’s rated PG. But it just looks amazing, and I’m a huge Jungle Book fan, so I can’t wait!



I’ve mainly been listening to podcasts over music! There were some good things rotating on my playlist over summer though. A few of my picks – Ocean Drive by Duke Dumont, Can’t Feel My Face by The Weeknd, Trust by Half Moon Run, and Dreams by Beck (he’s back!).


I hope you’ve been enjoying some good reading, watching and listening lately! Let me know about it in the comments!


Growing up – Moose, 5 years & 10 months


Moose / 5 years & 10 months

You’re a “big” school kid now! And you have transitioned into school life like you were made to be there. Your curiosity has outshone any apprehension you might have been feeling about any of the numerous new things there have been to learn – people, places, and processes. I wouldn’t have known if you had been feeling anxious about any of it, because you certainly haven’t shown any anxiety! You have been beaming with pride and confidence since you started 5 weeks ago! Good on you, little darling. I have a feeling you’re going to do very well.

We’re already learning lots too. You’re bringing home readers, and we’re practicing those smaller, common “filler” words, like “the”, “is”, and “at”. Your writing gets better and better all the time, the other day you copied the front cover of a favourite picture book of yours, and you even copied the title and the name of the author, just like it appeared on the book, all by yourself!

On a few occasions already, when I have been with you either before or after school I have witnessed an array of children – most of whom I don’t know and some of whom are obviously in classes above you – come running up to you shouting your name, and embracing you like a long-lost friend. When I say to you, “Who was that?”, occasionally you’ll have a name for me but most of the time you say “I don’t know” or “I can’t remember”. Sounds to me like someone is already too popular for their own good! I currently have 3 birthday party invitations for you sitting on the kitchen bench that need to be answered, and that doesn’t include the one party we’ve already attended this year, and the one we have coming up next weekend.

You’re making new friends, and you seem to do it so easily and without bias. You’ll be friends with anyone as long as they’re kind to you. And making friends at this school is easy, because as a whole the kids all seem so friendly and welcoming. I’m always witnessing the bigger kids helping out the smaller kids and making sure they’re ok. There’s a real sense of community and pride at this school. I’m really glad you’re a part of it, it suits you to a T.


In other news, you’re back at swimming after a long absence, and with a renewed interest and confidence. It’s like you never left! You’ve just picked up where we left off so long ago. In fact, I’ve been told that you’ll probably be moved up to the next class shortly. Way to go, Moose! I’m so glad to be able to give you an outside-of-school activity, and to see you thrive in it.

Speaking of renewed interest, you’ve also come back to your old love of drawing and colouring-in. Some days you’re proudly presenting anywhere up to 6 drawings to me, and these are not just simple, quick drawings. You take a lot of pride in them and you spend time in them, every corner of the page is covered and no detail is left behind. I really think this is a talent you could take with you right through to adult life if you wanted to, keep it up! You’re amazing!

You’ve definitely assumed the role of protective older sister. One day, in your last months at childcare, I arrived in the afternoon to pick up you and Little R, and found that his toddler group was playing in the big kids playground with your group. I wasn’t very pleased with this, that playground is not appropriate or safe for the children in Little R’s group, and he was and still is too young yet to be playing there. I scanned around the playground, trying to spot Little R amongst the dozens and dozens of children zooming about, but I couldn’t see him and started to feel that panicky feeling rising in my gut. Then finally I saw him, with you, in a far corner of the playground. You and some of your friends were with him, holding his hand and dancing with him. When I came up to you, you told me that you were worried he was too little to play here and would get knocked over by one of the bigger kids, so you were trying hard to keep him with you so he was safe. And then my heart burst with love and pride.


Up until recently, we were having a problem on most afternoons, in that you and your brother would just……go crazy. There’s no other way to put it really. You would both just go bananas and be so naughty and we couldn’t calm you down, until eventually you would wear on our patience and we would end up yelling in frustration, or one of you would get hurt in your roughness with each other. And then one day I had a brain wave – it was happening at the same time every day, the “witching hour”. Clearly, calm was needed. And we were going to give that to you, in the form of TV time. A window to relax in. So Big R and I made a deal – we would stop letting you watch TV during the day when Little R was napping, and instead commit to spending that time doing something one-on-one with you (effectively working on another problem that was bothering us – not spending enough quality time with the kids). Then later in the day, when I was making dinner, you would both get to rest and watch a little TV, during the time when you would usually be wrecking the joint. And it’s worked so far, we haven’t looked back. Probably the best parenting solution I have come up with yet!

Other things you’re interested in at the moment: geography, science in general, makeup (uh-oh), Sarah & Duck, and Mister Maker.

Overall, my impression of this time with you is that I feel like we are more becoming “friends”. Hanging out with you is fun, and we don’t always have to have something planned, we can just be in the same space together, doing our own things. Having a conversation with you today is so much different to what it was even a year ago, you’ve matured so much and it’s changed the way I talk to you because I know there’s a lot you can grasp now. There’s also a lot you can do for yourself now, which is a relief, but at the same time it’s nice to know that you’ll still need us for a long while yet.



Hello, stranger


It’s been a long, long time.

You know how sometimes life just revolves your priorities around for a change? For what feels like months, my priorities have become reading, spending time with loved ones, more reading, and writing job applications.

I’ve always been a keen reader, but for the past two years my urge to read has been stuck on “insatiable” and I don’t see it moving any time soon. And I am totally fine with that, I’m enjoying it so much! So reading has been a priority for me, but not only have I been reading, I’ve been completely immersing myself in the bookish world. I’ve been reading blog posts, listening to bookish podcasts, watching videos on BookTube, and drooling over photos on Bookstagram. I’ve also been blogging a bit over at my bookish blog, even if I haven’t been blogging here, and that’s totally ok because I don’t subscribe to blog guilt! So, if you like to hear about what other people are reading you could always head over there and take a look, but I’ll also do a little (ok, big) bookish update here soon too.

I made a few quiet resolutions for myself this year, just some goals and areas I wanted to work on. One of those was to spend more time with friends and family, because I’d noticed that I was feeling sluggish and as a result, wasn’t making the effort. And those times are always worth making the effort for. So far I feel like this is going well, although it would go better if Big R didn’t work two weekends out of every four, but anyway. Part of this is that I wanted to spend more time with Big R, Moose and Little R, and in that respect I’m pretty happy. Big R and I made an agreement recently that we wouldn’t let the kids watch TV during the day anymore, and instead we’d keep that in reserve for the “witching hour” when they really do need some chill-out time, lest they go hyper. I felt like we weren’t making the effort to spend enough one-on-one time with the kids, again, because we were feeling sluggish. Since we made this resolve we’ve both been arting, crafting, reading, and playing a lot more and I feel like a better parent for it.

2016-03-19 22.53.18

I’ve also been trying to make more time for journalling, and yoga, and I’ve generally just been spending a lot of time thinking and reflecting and exploring. Basically, just trying to figure out how I can be the best I can be.

And then there’s the job applications. Oh, the job applications. I think I’ve written at least 8 in the past 4 or so months? They take so long and are really not fun, but unfortunately they’re necessary if you want another job (funnily enough), and I DO want another job! That’s been another of my “unofficial” (but kind of official, especially because I’ve now put it here in words) resolutions – I want to be in another job by the middle of the year. And the months are zooming by, so time is fast running out if I want to make that goal a reality. So until that becomes a reality, answering selection criteria will unfortunately have to remain a priority.

So that’s me. It’s not really that interesting, but it’s life! I hope yours has been full of all of the good stuff.