Is it ok to never be “Done”?

“so….are you done?”

A question I have heard so many times since having Blake, baby number 3.

But how does one know when they are “done” and what does that even mean?

You see, since I have become a mum many, many people have told me that I will “just know” and get that done feeling. I hear mums all the time say ‘HELL NO…Im not having more!!!”, “Not on your life…shop is shut…DONE!!!” But I haven’t had that, and I’m not quite sure I ever will to be honest. Everyone who knows how much I love having babies. I love the whole birth thing, breastfeeding, sniffing their sweet little heads…..I can’t get enough.  But that doesn’t mean I should have more. I could have a hundred babies, but thats not realistic and its not practical to have loads more and kids are bloody expensive. So where does that leave me…..us.

My husband is completely DONE. He doesn’t want more at all. We are to the stage in our lives now where many of my friends husbands have gotten the ‘snip”….but that just seems so …..FINAL. I don’t know if I’m ready for that. I had told Ryan to wait until our holiday -(which was 2 months ago) and Im sure i’d ‘know” then. But I still haven’t had that feeling, and I’m totally not ready to make it that final. But then, what if I’m never ready for that.

I have spoken to a lot of other mums over the years and I have come to realise that Im no alone on this, so that has given me some comfort that it OK. I have started selling a lot of my baby items. The rockers and swings have gone. I however can’t part with Nessa’s baby clothes and I have a stash of the boys clothes too. I just can’t part with those. Im not sure if thats because I hope for more, or because I don’t want to part with them not being babies anymore. I have entertained the idea of Nessa eventually having the babies room as hers when Blake is old enough to share rooms with Koby in a big bed. And I like the idea of slowly getting some of my life back to a degree. I can go to the shops now or out here and there without worrying about expressing etc. So I am telling myself its progress.

So I guess my question to you all is …..”is it ok to never feel “done”?”

Is it ok to still have that longing for another baby….but not actually have one?

Is it ok to dread the thought of not being pregnant, going through child birth or breastfeeding again….and yet not go back for more?

Is it ok to stop having children because life is too busy, and expensive, and yet still feel like my body could do it all over again?

If I  wait for that “done” feeling I maybe waiting forever……

 

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I do make Bloody cute kids!!!

 

 

 

 

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Where are we now?

Oh how I have missed you my little teeny weeny blog.

I just took a quick read over of the last post I wrote. wow. Time sure has flown. It feels like only yesterday that I was pregnant with bubba number 3….and now here I am, mummy to 3 kids, and the youngest is no longer a newborn. Why am I back here yet again? because I feel an intense need to pour out all the things in my head yet again. I love connecting with other mum’s, I need to vent from time to time, and i adore the idea of documenting whats going on with me so i can read it back later and think “oh I remember that!!”.  Most of my readers are friends so skip through my “Kat’s life” update if you wish, but I feel that I need to give you all a bit of a “whats happening now” briefing before I can continue to blog.

so here goes…..

Lets start from baby number 3, seeing as that’s where I left off all those months ago. That little baby is now the most beautiful little boy. Blake is his name and he is 14 months old. I am so incredibly in love with him. He has been my “easiest” baby yet, maybe because “I got this mum thing” now, or because he is just Blake. He is the happiest little thing. So incredibly content. He is however, becoming extremely inquisitive and spends a lot of time just pottering around and exploring now he is on the move (but not even close to walking yet). He adores his big brother and sister and they love him just as much back. He is a total mummies boys, and I won’t lie and say I hate it, it’s the best. However he always lets out an intense squeal when daddy comes home from work.

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My beautiful baby

My Oldest Baby Nessa turns 6 next month. Can you believe it. that little baby that made me start this blog all those years ago, is almost 6. She started school this year, and after a full term of unexpected  separation anxiety that caused stomach pains, nerves and many tears she now loves school. It blows me away how much she has learnt in such a short time. She doesn’t stop either. She is constantly reading, writing and drawing. However with all this new-found knowledge and maturity comes attitude and even more stubbornness than I thought possible. God help me when she is a teenager!!!

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My beautiful girl

Koby my first baby boy is now 3 and a half. I think he has grown the quickest out of the 3 of them. I feel like I blinked and he went from a newborn to this cheeky little boy who has full conversations and does silly things. He is so incredibly sweet….but yet so naughty and did I mention cheeky. He constantly has us in fits of laughter and moments of confusion. He looks ups to Nessa and his Daddy more than anyone else. He adores them.

my crazy little man

My crazy boy

Ryan and I stepping through this crazy little life we have created hand in hand holding on for dear life. Its busy. VERY busy. We are still juggling the kids between Ryan’s work and my salon. He is excelling at work. Like….really excelling. Beyond anything I ever imagined. His work ethic is amazing and he has finally found his calling in the great outdoors. I am so incredibly proud of him. I am super busy in the salon as always. I have also spent the last year and a bit working in Direct Marketing selling cosmetics through social media. I was loving it for a long time, but something happened and I got very tired and everything got on top of me, so I slammed on the brakes!!!

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my partner in crime.

As for one of our greatest passions – travel….its still there. We both have the constant desire to pack everything us and travel the world (which we all know isn’t realistic) so for now we are saving, saving, saving (ok well paying off the credit card from our last holiday) and dreaming of the next adventure. Watch this space for that one!!!

So yep, that’s where we are at.

So, hold on to your seats for my future posts. I have no idea what they will be about as of yet, but you can be sure that there will be no holding back, 100% honesty and lots of crazy in between xoxo

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Pregnancy number 3

97 Days since my last post. And as usual it’s not because I have given up on my blog but simply because life with 2 kids I busy…. Very busy. We all know how, so I won’t go into that- but I thought seeing as I am on my Christmas holiday and hubby is here and I have 5 mins away from house work and playdough I would write a post…… 
So…..if you follow Instagram or my Facebook page your will have noticed that baby number 3 is on the way. There have been so many different emotions and feeling connected to this baby, so as always I thought I’d share how number 3 differs from number 1 and 2. 

– This bubs came with totally different reactions to my first 2 pregnancy announcements. Words like “again”, “crazy” and “your insane” came more often then “that’s fantastic”. Luckily I didn’t take any of it to heart and just laughed. Those with 1 or 2 children thought I was bonkers for going again, and those with 3+ smiled and I instantly felt accepted into an elite club of “crazies” who relished in and loud and busy life. 

– pregnancy number 3 is exhausting. Way more exhausting than the other 2. With Nessa (number 1) I worked full time and when I didn’t work I slept. I didn’t cook until about 20 weeks, hubby did all that while I survived. With Koby everytime that Nessa napped I napped too…. Everyday for 40 weeks. It was the only way i could function. I now had to cook but with the extra rest I soldiered on. Number 3 and at 20 weeks pregnant I have so far had 2 naps, and this was when we have been away (oh and once when I had gastro) most days I try to get Nessa to cuddle me and have half hour of tv while Koby naps, but this isn’t always successful. Between 2 kids, no napping and working nights I am utterly exhausted most of the time. 

– people tend to have zero sympathy with number 3. With Nessa the world stopped to help me out cos I was growing a baby, with Koby I got sympathy cos I had a toddler and was pregnant (even though it was less than number 1) and by 3 ha ha wow, it’s almost forgotten that I’m ya feel like shit a lot of pregnancy. I have had offers for help here and there but I’m too busy and stubborn to let them, hubby god love him tries but most of the times forgets how draining pregnancy is let alone 2 young kids as well. (This isn’t a poor me post, just pointing out reality) 

– your belly appears the minute you have conceived. All muscle control on the belly gives up and instantly your look 6 months pregnant. 

– there is a certain sense of sadness with this one. I am pretty certain this is our last baby, meaning my last pregnancy. I am trying to embrace each little flutter in my belly and enjoy each stage. 

– with my other 2 pregnancies I had questions and was scared of how things would change and how life would work. This time I’m not bothered. I know this baby will fit in the same as Nessa did and how Koby did. I know things will be busy but I am confident I will adjust. A lot have people have told me number 3 is really hard but I am not bothered. 

– and lastly but most importantly when I was pregnant with Nessa I had no idea the love I would feel. I tried to imagine it but I couldn’t. When I was pregnant with Koby I had a huge fear that I couldn’t love a child as much as I loved Nessa. 

And like that, you had “boo” for the very last time.

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Dear My baby Girl,

It’s been 7 weeks since you last had “boo”. I know because I have been anticipating and dreading the last time for almost 4 years. I miss it, and you miss it. No one else understands, and I don’t think they ever will.

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Our nursing bond was a painful start. I didn’t know what I was doing, and neither did you. But we worked together and through love, determination and pure stubbornness on my part we made it through 6 months of pain, confusion and tears. From then on we danced the dance together and we knew no different. By the time your baby brother was in my belly I worried and wondered if this was the end of our special bond. But you didn’t stop and even though it was painful, watching you nurse, seeing you so content,  i didn’t mind. Many questioned what i would do when your brother arrived, would I stop feeding you. I didn’t know the answer, but I knew you would. You always did. The day Koby arrived you asked for “boo” as he was trying to find his way like you had done 2 years before. I was scared and skeptical how it work, but you cuddled in with your new-born brother and that was the start of another journey for us. At the beginning you nursed like a newborn too. Every time  Koby wanted it so did you. I let you at the start but decided it was time to go back to normal a month later. I think it made your acceptance of your brother easier. You didn’t resent him for having ‘special cuddles” that you couldn’t have. You just joined in. I had more than enough milk for both of you and you decided which one was yours when it came time to go to bed (which was eventually the only time your nursed). You knew Koby always went first. 21 months later and we were well and truly used to the routine, it was normal, it was our normal.

Many people thought you were too old for “boo” but I never told you that. It was non of their business. All that mattered was that you were happy, I was happy, and your daddy and brother were happy. And we were.

I mentioned to you a few times that maybe we should top soon. Your 3rd birthday came around and it passed by with you still needing me. And to be honest I needed you. We both needed the special embrace that we had created together. When night-time approached we snuggled in, you embraced my chest and snuggled into the warmth, I am sure you could hear my heart beating for you every time you nursed. Your eyes rolled back into your head and you drifted off to the most peaceful sleep. How could I take that away from you.

By the time your 4th birthday was approaching we started to talk to you about one day the possibility of mummy having another baby in her belly. We explained that mummy wouldn’t have the energy to feed you, and Koby and grow a baby. You accepted the idea but you were smart enough to know that there wasn’t a baby there yet and that it wasn’t going to happen until  we returned from England (our next big adventure). So we continued, but each night I mentioned it to you. You would be 4 soon. Tears welled up in your eyes and your lip quivered and you told me you were still my baby girl every time I suggested you were a big girl now. I didn’t want to push you. This was about you and not everyone else who thought surely it was time you stopped.

The day before we left for England you nursed for the last time. I get teary over the thought of that last time. It began and ended like every time before. You didn’t know it was the last time, but I did. I breathed you in, and felt you relax as you slipped into peaceful sleep. And like that our special embrace ended. You didn’t forget about it easily (which I am glad really), you asked for “boo” a few times while we were on holiday, but with a gentle talk we cuddled and you fell asleep in my arms. When we returned home you asked a few times again, but I knew it was time. There was part of me that though “would one last time really hurt?” but I knew you were ready. Probably more ready than I was.

I tried to explain to your Nanna one day what it was like, the idea of not nursing you anymore. The only way I could describe it was being told that I could never cuddle you again. Its heart breaking and petrified me that we will lose our bond. But deep down I know that what we have created is an incredible bond that stemmed from an amazing nursing embrace, but it goes deeper than nursing. Nursing was what made the roots grow deep and attach to my heart like I never imagined 4 years earlier.

You are smart, fiercely independent, stubborn, creative, intelligent, compassionate, full of energy and humour. You will always be my baby girl, and I will forever hold you in my arms, close to my chest so that you can still hear my heart beating for you and I will never forget.

Love always,

Mummy

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London in 2 day with 2 kids under 4

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Last month we were lucky enough to visit London. What an amazing place it is!!! So much to See and do! We spent 2 nights there but could easily of spent a few more nights there. After what will be a total of 4 weeks in England I couldn’t just narrow London down to combine with “our favourites” of England….it was just too amazing. So I thought I would give it its very own post!!!

Keep in mind before you read this that we have a 4-year-old and almost 2 year old…..please don’t expect fancy restaurant reviews etc etc….this is strictly a kid friendly post.

(also all photos were taken on an iPhone so please don’t expect stunning photography)

Ok…….
Accommodation Firstly when we were looking for somewhere to book we were we almost choked at the price of hotels in London. Even the cheapest chain hotels were over $250 a night (including no breakfast or space) we were becoming completely disheartened until I stumbled upon Air BnB. If you haven’t heard about it before, it’s basically a site that allows people to rent out there house, apartments,boats etc to other travellers. We decided on a 1 bedroom apartment (you can have a squizz at it here)in South Kensington that was hosted by 2 girls that were extremely easy to organise and communicate with. It was an incredibly safe area for families, and was close to the train station and shops. We got to see LOTS of fancy cars and fancy houses as we walked past (and fantasize about how the other half live). London is pretty expensive so having an apartment with a kitchen also meant that we could buy some breakfast supplies so we didn’t have to buy that each morning and somewhere to store and prepare snacks etc. Couldn’t recommend air BnB more.

Hubby with a new toy

Hubby with a new toy

Transport – travelling around London is REALLY easy. It can seem completely daunting at first but is easy and fast. The Tube is amazing. It can get you from A to B to Z quickly! There were plenty of people to help….but we really didn’t need it, there are signs everywhere. The down side was that some stations weren’t very pram friendly so it was lucky there was 2 adults, one to carry the pram and one to direct/carry the children. The Ergo Baby carrier we bought with us came in extra handy just for the trains as i could strap one too me and hold the other one super tight. We also used a hop on hop off double-decker bus tour. Yet again it was quite expensive (like everything in London) but decided it was a good way to see the sites on the way round London. We opted for “The original Tour company” mainly because they had a children’s channel the kids could listen to on the bus. It worked out to be about $50 per adult and we didn’t have to pay for the kids (under 4s are free….Nessa remained under 4 for 3 weeks after she turned 4). You can also take prams onboard as long as the were folders up. The things you get to see and learn on a bus tour is amazing. The only down side was it took ages due to London’s crazy traffic!!! We also had to run off at one stop to take Nessa to the toilet (so much easier when they are still in nappies). If you want to get for A to B fast don’t take the bus tour….take the tube.

Top Deck- no better place to be!!

Top Deck- no better place to be!!

Ergo Baby being put to good use on the Tube

Ergo Baby being put to good use on the Tube

Hubby impressed with lugging the pram around

Hubby impressed with lugging the pram around

It was a BIG few days

It was a BIG few days

Food- As mentioned before London is EXPENSIVE compared to the rest of England. We took snacks with us and made breakfast in the apartment before we set off. We had lunch in a cafe one day and I paid $14 for a salmon bagel…..just a bagel….not even a side salad. I almost died. There are better options so keep your eye out. We ate at “Giraffe” on the first night as recommended by my cousin’s wife. We were really impressed. The kids were presented with pencils and paper when we arrived. Followed by a balloon and a little giraffe figurine. The kids options are healthy (a nice change from most kids menus) our meal was beautiful too. They had a change table in the toilets too and the manager was more than happy to let us charge our phone while we ate. The second night we chose a noodle place (can’t remember the name ???) that was near the london eye. It was quick and the kids were happy. On our last morning there we remembered a recommendation from a good friend (who is an even better friend after recommending this place to us) and marched on into “the Hummingbird Bakery” …..cupcakes for breakfast as acceptable yeh? Amazing!! There are not enough words to describe these cupcakes……oh and coffee, good coffee…….so if your nearby just go.

Salted Caramel, some amazing chocolate deliciousness, and a pretty cupcake Nessa picked because it have star on it.

Salted Caramel, some amazing chocolate deliciousness, and a pretty cupcake Nessa picked because it have star on it.

Heaven

Heaven

Delicious

Delicious

Rip off Bagel anyone?

Rip off Bagel anyone?

Now for the things we visited ….

Day One:

Natural History Museum– we only managed to go to one museum in our extremely limited time in London, so we chose the “natural history museum” as it seemed to have to the best reviews and the most for the kids. All the museums in London are free, which amazed me seeing how big they are!! I have always loved the Melbourne museum…..but NHM was humongous!! There was ALOT for the kids to see and interact with including a bug exhibition, ecology exhibition, human body exhibition (including birth illustrations….interesting to explain to a 4-year-old), animal exhibition, dinosaur exhibition and much more. We skipped the Dinosaurs due to that fact that it was packed and about an hour or more wait!! The only other down fall was it was bloody hot inside. England doesn’t seem to cater for slightly warm weather (24 degrees) never mind the 100s of people all breathing in the same room so after a few hours we made a speedy get escape!!

Sizing herself up

Sizing herself up

figuring out how joints and stuff work

figuring out how joints and stuff work

you looking at me?

you looking at me?

Harrods– we briefly whizzed through here because it was nearby and everyone said “ooo you must go and buy something just so you can have a Harrods bag”. We went in and everything was very ooooo wooooow posh. We were there for a whole of 5 mins. I was too scared my kids would touch something that we would have to remortgage the house if they broke. I am sure it’s a lovely place…..but not somewhere I wanted to let my kids loose in.

safer from afar

safer from afar

Princess Diana memorial Park / Hyde park– after a busy first day we decided to take the kids to a park so they could run around and burn off some energy. Im a sucker for a good park so I was really impressed!!! Its based around “peter pan” and was built so that children with disabilities could also enjoy the park.There was a giant pirate ship set docked in a massive sand pit, a water area with a little pump and a little stream, lots of wooden play areas with swings and slides and a 3 cute tepees complete with a treasure chest. There is a really nice toilet block with a  baby change area and a litre kiosk too to purchase beverages. the Park is completely enclosed and the bit I liked was that it had a security guard at the entrance and if you didn’t have children with you then your weren’t allowed to enter!!!

water play area

water play area

playing in the tee-pees

playing in the tepees

giant pirate ship

giant pirate ship

strike a pose!!

strike a pose!!

Day 2:

Buckingham Palace– this was our first “hop off” on our hop on, hop off tour. I have been there once before but was still mesmerised but the place. I’m not quite sure what it is about Buckingham palace….maybe Royal Envy, but I could sit and watch the people coming in and out of the gates all day. We missed the changing go the guards (I assumed it would be everyday in summer…It was every second) so make sure you check before you go. The kids were also surprisingly impressed.

Royal Selfies

Royal Selfies

Hello Queenie

Hello Queenie

Tower Bridge
– we walked across Tower Bridge. We considered actually going inside and walking across the new glass platform but decided against it as we wanted to get to the Tower of London (across the other side) – even so it was still awesome to walk over something that was so recognisable.

Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge

Over we go!!!

Over we go!!!

Tower of London– This was an impulse decision made by me. I had seen it in the travel guides but wasn’t sure if hubby or the kids would be interested (not knowing much about the place) however we decided to throw caution to the wind and go in any way. Like everything in London it was quite expensive to get in but when you take into account you could stay there for a full day its worth it (we were there for maybe 2 and a bit hours). There is plenty for the kids to see here and there was a lot of interactive things for the kids to (try on army helmets, flaps and doors to opens, puzzles to do etc) in all the exhibits. There are shows on all day (knights and queens etc) and guards doing their thing protecting the crown jewels. We really enjoyed it and the kids were just as impressed. We decided when we entered that we didn’t have the patience to wait over an hour to see the crown jewels (assuming it was just one crown we would see) so we passed on that….until we noticed half an hour before closing that there was completely no queue at all so we raced in. We were dazzled by sparkles, gold and diamonds. Nessa was just as impressed and now I am so glad that we actually got a chance to see them!!!

He got me!!! this kid cracks me up!!

He got me!!! this kid cracks me up!!

and again!!!

and again!!!

such a poser!!!

such a poser!!!

Please behave!!

Please behave!!

The London Eye – Nessa wanted to go on “the big eye” the minute she saw it, so even though I absolutely HATE ferris wheels I took one for the team and agreed. We went quite late and decided to get dinner before hand so it was about 8.30pm by the time we got on, but it was really perfect timing. there was barely any queue and the sun was starting to set so by the time we had made it around (about half an hour) we got to see London lit up. It was beautiful (even if I was digging my nails into the seat!!!) There are interactive iPad type touch screens that can tell you the history of what you are looking at in the distance and plenty of photo opportunities. Yet again….expensive but we came from the other side of the world so we thought why not!!!!

from the Thames

from the Thames

Amazing View!!!

Amazing View!!!

Smile!!!

Smile!!!

Big Ben lit up in all his glory!!!

Big Ben lit up in all his glory!!!

Me holding on for dear life!!!

Me holding on for dear life!!!

It was a crazy 2 day, but well worth it. I have been telling my dad he must take mum next time they go back to England, and everyone else who shows any tiny interest in going to England. I couldn’t talk more highly of London. I wouldn’t hesitate to go back again….and will….many times!!! The kids loved it too and it was a VERY child friendly place.

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Up up and away- Australia to England with kids

Almost a week since we left and I am writing from the UK. After a lot of planning, pondering and packing we survived 3 flights, over 24hours travelling with 2 kids under 4. “How did it go?” Is the question I am getting asked (and got asked 100 times  2 years ago last time we travelled to the UK) 

So…… Here is it…..
Our flight was at 12.15pm (usually this would be close to nap time for the little man…. But we never plan on that when travelling) – when we arrived at the airport we checked straight in- our first dilemma came when we realised we had misread that hand luggage could be 10kg when it can actually only be 7kg- oops- so I had to quickly buy a cheap bag to take some weight out (we still had another bag allowance so just split the weight) and then headed  for coffee…. I mean to sit and pre-fill out the boarding card etc (this saves time with restless kids in a long line later on) they had a snack and we got everything sorted. 

   
   
We went straight through to our gate – we took the pram straight to the boarding gate with us- this is handy so your not juggling bags and kids (however we found out we wouldn’t see it again until we reached London so I recommend taking a baby carrier as well for flights that you have to get off and get back on again, especially if you have a baby sleeping intransit). They let families with kids on the plane first which is great so we could  stow our hand luggage above as close to our seat as possible for easy access. 

   
    
   
So what does a family with a toddler and pre-schooler pack for a long distance flight? 

Ok….. 

One case we dedicated to activities. That way we knew where all the toys,books were etc. I had everything. I bought a lot of cool stuff in the months leading up- here are a few bits I packed 

    
    
    
    
    
   
   
    
    
    
    
  

I also had playdough, cutters, and 2 iPads full of different apps and movies. 

In the second carry on case we packed pjs- (it’s an overnight flight so we thought it would be a good signal for the kids that it’s bed time and make them more comfortable) nappies, wipes etc, and a change of clothes and toiletries. (We had a 2 our drive after our flight so wanted to freshen up and clean our teeth etc at the airport) we both took a book to read…. In hope…. But that never happened

We had a large backpack that we purchased from IKEA of all places. It was brilliant with so many compartments and can be made into 2 smaller backpacks if needed. (Follow ikea link to check it out) we filled this bag with 101 snacks!!! My kids snack ALOT- we had healthy snacks from fruit and cereals etc to treats like lolly pops and chocolate  (nothing lifts a tired and cranky kids spirits like a lolly pop or chocolate…. Or my spirits) 

  
We also packed sandwiches and cup of noodles knowing that airplane food is pretty crap and served at times that don’t suit kids (they want food NOW!!!) 

And the last bag we took was my handbag. This had more nappies and wipes etc (and food) we made sure we packed about 4 dummies and 2 bunnys (Nessas comfort toy) just incase we lost one. We bought travel panadol with us too just in case. 

Ryan, Nessa and I had our own seat but we didn’t have to buy Koby one as he is under 2 so saved a lot of money there. this means he had to sit on our laps. We did however request a bassinet for him which was great for a few hours break from him being on me (and for storage) The first flight Koby had a nap on my lap and Nessa was entertained with the inflight movies (she got her own). The flight was a novelty by this point so they did some drawings. Ate. Played etc. being such a long flight I made a map for them with a little circle representing each hour we were on the plane so they would hopefully understand how long we had to go. This is one of the best things I did!!!  

 
We got off the first flight in Brunei at about 7pm ish (Aussie time) we let the kids run around as much as they wanted. They played with other kids in the airport too. This is when we put on their pjs ready for the next flight which would be their bed time. 

   
   
The next flight Koby went straight to sleep as we boarded at about 10.30pm. Nessa however was awake past midnight (Aussie time) poor thing was exhausted and couldn’t sleep until she was cuddling mummy.  We had Koby in the bassinet and made a bed for Nessa on the floor so she could stretch out. We bought a pillow from home too so that she was more comfortable. 

 
We tried to sleep- but I got about 2.5hours broken sleep. We landed in Dubai about 4am. The kids were tired but handled it like little troopers. We again went for a walk and coffee . We boarded the next flight 2 hours later. Koby went back to sleep. But Nessa took some convincing (she doesn’t nap anymore so was hard to convince her to when she thought it was morning)  they had a couple of hours and felt much better. We even managed to watch a movie.

   
    
 
We arrived at Heathrow – London at about 6am London time (but Australian afternoon) we collected our bags and snuck into a disabled toilet to freshen up, get changed and clean our teeth. From here we went and collected our hire car. 

  
Needless to say the kids were exhausted and fell asleep after a few tears. 

  
Most people think we are mad for taking such a long trip with young kids on a plane. But I try to tell them it’s just a really shit 24 hours and I have had a fair few of them being a mum. And it’s what you make of it. We got to spend 100% of attention on the kids for 24hours. No washing, no work, now phones, no distractions. It’s an adventure and one that is well worth the journey……. We just have to come all the way home again in another 3 weeks…… Eeeeeek. 

 

lumps, bumps and saggy boobs – your ok.

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When I was 17 I was 65kg. I remember my Ex boyfriends mum telling me that I looked good but if I lost a few more kilos I would look even better. I felt to incredibly deflated. I had dieted and dieted and it still wasn’t enough to look “good”. I remember sitting in class in year 12 and my stomach would grumble and I would think “that’s good, that means I’ll lose weight”. I think this was the beginning of me obsessing over my weight.

I put on weight as I got older, I was happy, I moved out of home, became an adult, got engaged. Life was good…..When I split up with the aforementioned ex I lived on cigarettes, alcohol and a muesli bar here and there. I started to run, play hockey (having a cigarette at half time) and hit the gym to fill in time. I got to 75kg. I wore a size 14 Ripcurl jeans and I felt i looked pretty good. This is when I met my future husband.

Pre-kids

Pre-kids

96kg – is the number I got to after being smitten and in love.
80kg- the weight I was when I fell pregnant with my first child
76kg- is the weight I was when I fell pregnant with my second child.
22kg- is the amount of weight I gained with both pregnancies.
69.1kg – is my current weight.

Baby number 1

Baby number 1

post Baby Number 2

post Baby Number 2

Why do I remember all these weights? Because this is what happens when you become obsessed with your body image.Can you see the pattern? When I was happy I gained weight, ate chocolate and relaxed. When I lost weight I didn’t do it in a healthy manner – I starved myself and made unhealthy choices and deprived myself…living and cigarettes wasn’t my smartest diet choice.

Slowly as I am getting older I am trying to accept myself a little more. Some days I’m ok with me. Some days I binge and then beat myself up over it. It’s a never-ending battle. This time around I managed to lose 10kgs….but the right way. I ate properly, reduced my sugar intake and ran. I ran a lot. It has been a huge stress relief for someone who is constantly thinking, constantly with her kids, and constantly stressing.  But it isn’t easy. I am always making comparisons with myself and other people. Weighing up whether I am “good enough”- “slim enough”. I hate every minute of that I waste on worrying about the way I look.

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After one of my Runs in 2015

After one of my Runs in 2015

But ya know what ….today I stood in the shower and thought “FUCK THIS” !!!!

This body grew 2 of the most perfect and beautiful human beings ever created. It is a little stretched and saggy and I have a fabulous little “curtain” at the bottom of my stomach, but it’s stretched because my babies lived there!!! My boobs are deflated. My beautiful size D (sometimes DD) boobs are now a shrivelled C cup, but they nourished, and comforted at least 1 of my children (sometimes 2) for 4 years non stop!!! My legs are veiny from standing up for 10 years hairdressing, but they allowed me to stand in a job that I love to provide money for my family. My Thighs have ample dimples and lumpy bits but those thighs have grown muscle from running and gave me the stamina to run 15.5km when I ran “run for kids” at easter (one day I’ll crack the half marathon!!!). And who can forget my bum….full of cellulite and not exactly perky and firm but my husband loves it. Not a days go by that he doesn’t attempt to grab it at some point!!!

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Me now – size 12 – post 2 babies

I’m not perfect. I never have been…I never will be. What is perfect anyway? But I’m a mum whose children idolise her, a wife of a man that can’t keep his eyes and hand off go me. I am a friend. A hairdresser. A daughter. An Auntie. A sister. I am Way more than my lumps and bumps and imperfections. So if I eat chocolate, miss a run, gain a kilo, loose a kilo…..thats ok.

I have forgiven myself!!!

Stop spending money, start spending time

what do you remember about christmas as a child?

what about your 5th birthday? how about your 10th?

what are your favourite memories as a child?

I can almost put money on it that you the toy you got wasn’t what your remember, or the lollies you were bought, or the pocket money you were given.

Mothers Day Memories -Mothers day Classic 2015

Mothers Day Memories -Mothers day Classic 2015

Do you know what I remember about my 9th Birthday? we went to Disneyland. we were immigrating to Australia and my 9th birthday fell on the days of our journey. It was my most favourite birthday. We had so much fun. My dad was dorky and wore Mickey Mouse ears, we watched the Beauty and Beast stage show. We laughed. I wouldn’t be able to tell you if we bought anything from the gift shop when we left. That holiday I remember eating crispy bacon and pancakes with butter. I remember the americans constantly saying “have a nice day now”. We laughed about that a lot.

Days at the Zoo

Days at the Zoo

Do you know what my favourite memories about christmas as a child are? Waking really early and getting into my sisters bed and watching cartoons while we waited for a suitable time to wake mum and dad. Seeing the apple and orange at the bottom of the stocking every year that “santa” had left behind. The HUGE turkey we had for lunch, the coin in the christmas pudding, the mince pies. The games we played. Dad laying on the floor playing with our toys (well putting them together) with us. Mum and dad helping us on our roller-skates. A whole day where the day revolved around us kids, playing and eating. Dad wasn’t at work, mum wasn’t doing the washing.

Christmas Day

christmas day smiles

I think of all the money my parents have spent over the years for our birthdays and christmas. and out of 32 birthdays and christmas’ I think I possibly remember a handful of the presents I received. Not because I didn’t get any. I did. I got ALOT. but my memory has pushed the unimportant stuff to the back of my brain. Only the fun stuff remains.

Midweek night out int he city

Midweek night out int he city

I see so many parents feeling so guilty about the amount they have to work and the long hours they are away from their children. They try to ease the guilt with a new Barbie doll, superhero, DVD or the next new gadget. Lollies and chocolates are purchased to sweeten their kids in the hope that it will make them seem like they are “giving their kids treats” and being  good mummy or daddy (and let me tell you, going to work doesn’t make you a bad parent!!!) But that’s not what kids want. They want you. They want tickle fights, games of hide and seek, bouncing on the trampoline, the same books read from start to finish 20 times. The joy of a new toy lasts the whole of 10 minutes. The memories of time spent with your kids will last into adulthood.

Next time you feel guilty that you had to work an extra shift, or had a house full of washing you have to get done, don’t race to the toy store or lolly shop. Come home, ask your kids what they want to do for the next half an hour and enjoy every giggle!!!

How we make the Chaching Chaching work for us

We are heading to England in 6weeks. This is our second trip to England in 2 years. We have also been to Malaysia twice (one of which was our honeymoon) and Thailand and a few interstate trips. We have added a few renovations to our home,2 children, a wedding, caravan and all the extra expenses that come with having a family. We have lived a lot.Travel is our thing. Its what we love and the reason we desperately want to pay off the mortgage (no mortgage = more holidays)

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Redang Beach Malaysia

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Langkawi

Disneyland Paris

Disneyland Paris

malaysia

Nessa’s First Flight

We often get asked how we afford to go overseas so much. We don’t earn a lot . Im a hairdresser and hubby is a Labourer. Not huge money making jobs, but it does help that I work for myself. We have had conversations with many family members and friends about how we budget etc so I thought id share a little bit of wisdom about how we make it work….keep in mind this  is our lives and these tips won’t work for everyone, nor will everyone want to live like us. (we are tight asses when it comes to a lot of things….mainly because holidays are our priority)

-we started by writing down ALL our bills and expenses (including car registration, kinder fees, insurance etc) we figure out how much our expenses are weekly (car rego is annually but we divide by the 52 weeks in a year) that was we know how much we have to put away so there are no scary bills that come for hundreds of dollars that we have nothing to pay with.

-We take all the bills out of hubbys pay. Not because he earns heaps more- his wage just covers everything and is the constant wage that doesn’t alter. I don’t get sick pay etc working for myself so if Im sick that means no income for me. I also have the time off to have the babies. (I understand not every relationship works on combining money but it works for us, and we have the same goals and same prioroties)

-All bill money goes into a bill account. Every week we have direct debits come out for everything. For example $20 goes on the gas bill etc, $20 to the mobiles – this way we don’t see the money leaving in a huge lump sum. it just goes and we don’t notice it.

-We put extra on the mortgage. We put what we can afford. Id like to pay more but its not worth stretching ourselves too much.

-We are lucky that the our government gives us parenting payments. I don’t get why, but hey its nice. You can opt to have it fortnightly etc. We don’t. We wait until the end of the financial year. We don’t rely on it, its not something we want to include in our income just incase it gets taken away. The lump sum at tax time is a nice surprise.

-I meal plan. Every week before I shop I plan our weekly meals. I do one big shop (sometimes I do have to get extra fresh bread and milk) this saves spending extra money on extra shopping trips (we all know women can’t go to the supermarket and actually walk out with only what they need)

-Cook in bulk and freeze left overs (even if its just enough for the kids) one meal is one meal.  It saves time when you can be bothered to cook or having a shitty day!!

-When we have family days put we ALWAYS take lunch. Eating out is so freaking expensive at places like the zoo etc. Nevermind the 20 snacks kids eat. Im not paying $5 each for a kids sandwich or a bucket of chips  and our meals on top when we can buy a whole loaf for bread for $2. Its healthier and SO much cheaper!!!

– I don’t buy brand named clothes. I don’t give a shit if I don’t have the best label clothes. You won’t notice the tag in all our holiday photos. And lets face it I have gained and lost weight that often my clothes need to be changed so often anyway. Im not ashamed to say I have bought $10 kmart or target jeans. Koby is so grotty that a $4 kmart top is better value and less heart breaking to throw out than a pumpkin patch top for $30

– Im never ashamed to except 2nd hand clothes. Don’t get me wrong, I go through them. and if there is anything grotty I get rid of it. Most of the time its family or clothes friends passing on clothes anyway. If the clothes were good enough for my nearest and dearests kids then they are good enough for mind.

-we get things like zoo memberships for xmas. this weekend we spent the day at the zoo and it cost us $2 in parking….and as above we took our own lunch

-I have a change tin. Any extra coins hanging around go in there. I also sell a lot of stuff on “buy swap and sell” sites on face book. It maybe only $10 for a dress you wore only once but putting a few $10 notes into the tin adds up to a lot. Last time I opened it there was $187 inside….all for no extra work!!

– we aren’t embarrassed to just say “we can’t afford it” – Its not that we on the poverty line, we just have different priorities. Hubby had a bucks night to go to last year. It was going to cost well over $100 to go on the fishing charters and get drunk after. So he just said “hey i can’t afford the fishing charter, ill just meet later for drinks”- and let me tell you he made up for not going fishing by getting so drunk it took all weekend to recover. And no one thought any worse or him (well as far as I know)

-we don’t buy the kids toys unless its their birthday or christmas. Lets face it, they don’t need it. they have WAY too much anyway. If Nessa asks for something I explain we are saving for our holiday. She gets it. I explain all the fun stuff we will get to do (peppa pig world etc) and she is fine with it. She doesn’t feel like she is missing out.

– we buy anything and everything we can second hand. All our furniture (minus our couch and mattresses) are second hand. We have saved SO much this way. So many people redecorate that often and have home make overs, furniture is so disposable by many. Its amazing how much “Ikea” furniture you can find on ebay. It may have s light scratch here and there …. but hey my kids would do that to a new piece of furniture by the end of the week anyway.

So there you go.

I really think its about changing you frame of mind. As I said above, its not about living on the poverty line and saying “we are broke” its about telling yourself you have more important things to spend your money on. We really don’t feel like we are missing out by  not buying new “trendy”clothes etc. When we board that plane in 6 weeks and have 4 weeks making memories with kids all the things we were stingy on will be worth it!!!

I’d LOVE to hear how you make ends meet!!!….please share!!!

What I have learnt from baby number 2

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2 years ago I wrote a post contemplating life with plus 2 . I was petrified to have a second child. I discussed being scared, about not being able to love a child as much as I loved Nessa, breastfeeding more than one child, and how would I cope with 2 kids? Well now here I am 2 years later with a 19month old little boy, and an almost 4 year old girl. 2 children….and Im still alive…slightly more insane….but alive.

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I have grown so much. Learnt so much. So I though I would share my wisdom about what having a 2nd child has taught me about myself, my daughter and life.

When I had  Nessa I struggled, ALOT. The first 12 months I doubted myself as a mother. I listened to too much advice, read too much, and didn’t trust any or my instincts. (you can read about that here ) Having Koby made me feel like I could forgive myself for not letting myself enjoy the first 12 months of Nessa’s life. I enjoyed every moment and every stage with him. I shrugged off any unwanted advice, blocked my ears and only listened to my heart. The second time around is so much nicer. Less scary.

I learnt it was infact possible to to feed 2 children at the same time. The female body is an amazing machine. It let me continue nursing through pregnancy and beyond. At the beginning it was exhausting, I let Nessa feed when she wanted. But after a month I pulled back and restricted her to only night time. I had enough milk, plenty intact. my body adjusted and made what it needed for a toddler and a newborn. I think Nessa adjusted to her brother a lot easier because of the nursing bond too.

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I realised that I could love a boy. All the snot, dirt and sticky fingers. I was scared that having a girl already how could I possibly love a boy. But WOW, how I love him!!! He is so incredibly different to Nessa. He loves machines, cars, tools, balls, bugs and dirt. He can’t sit still for more than 5 seconds. But of how I adore him.

I got to watch Nessa grow into the most amazing big sister. They fight….alot. But which siblings don’t. But she loves him so much, and he adores her. He was sitting on the potty the other day and she was front row in his very own cheer squad. She is fiercly protective of him and I often catch her sneaking sweet kisses on his forehead of caressing his hand.

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I realised that we were infact a proper family now. I know people can be a “family” with one child. But for us it confirmed it. We have this weird little circle of love now. Its not just us pouring our love onto Nessa and her looking up to her parents. It now a whole new dimension of sharing love, time, and moments with each other. Nessa has had to realise that we can share our love with another little being  and she is still just as important to us. There is a whole new set of amazing dynamics.

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When I had Nessa I loathed being away from her. But now, since having Koby I know its ok to have little bit of time away from them….and not feel guilty for it. This took along time for me to learn, but I truly think I am a better mother because of it. Even if its an hour having a coffee with a friend or a wander around the shops, its the breath of fresh air that I needed. I still haven’t left them overnight, and Im not sure I will be ready to do that for a long time, but thats ok too.

There are 100 other things that are great about having another child in our lives, but it has confirmed for me that I want a 3rd child. Everything that came with having a second makes me so excited to have a 3rd child. I think 3 will be it for us (but I’m guessing that will be a whole new post in itself) but I have no doubts now that I can love another child as intensely as I love my other wild ones.

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What did you learn from having a second, or third child?  or what has stopped you from having a second?