Firstly, we have some news to share. Our family has grown! Meet Zoey (the furry one, not the pyjama-clad one). Zoey is an 8 week old Staffy X and one of hubbies 30th birthday presents. She was a complete surprise, very deserved for my incredible husband. Just as expected, he is smitten – though I think Zoey considers Marky to be her main human.
Last night I went on a date with my bestie. We had pedicures, ate too much, smuggled perfectly innocent alcohol-free orange juice into the movie theatre… and bought onesies (from the kids section at K-Mart and they totally fit!)
We saw Beauty and the Beast and it was AMAZING. I couldn’t fault it in the slightest. The original songs were honoured perfectly, the new songs were full of heart, and Emma Watson has just reinforced her role as the star of my #womancrushwednesday. It was everything, do yourself a favour and go!
Unfortunately the buzz of last night had to end this morning when I ended up in hospital with #middlelittle after he managed to break into our medicine box. Thankfully he is ok. He had a rough morning, but it seems he got lucky and the only tablet he may have swallowed was a Cold and Flu. He was quite drowsy, and at the same time super silly so the Doctors were confident of the cause.
He’s had blood tests, power spews, and horrible charcoal medicine (which sure made the spews interesting!) He is now finally resting after a big morning. We will have to stay until 1930 because one of the tablets he may have had is a slow release, lasting 12 hours.
We’ve always been very careful with medications, I even clean them out 3 monthly and date the last check on a little slip in the box. Unfortunately it seems we need to reconsider our current practice and change things to increase safety. I hope that this urges everyone reading to run a safety check on theirs too!
Well, as my little man rests blissfully in dreamland I will take this opportunity to rest myself. I’m looking forward to our hospital visit being over so I can have a healthy bub, a long, hot shower, and a real cup of coffee.
This weekend marked a new experience for me – my very first ‘Staycation’. For those who aren’t familiar with the term it quite simply means you have a vacation but you stay close to the home.
When you’re a parent sometimes you just need to check out of reality and escape to a place of bliss and relaxation. Going away isn’t always an option so why not take advantage of what your home town has to offer?
My staycation was spent primarily at the Vibe Hotel near Canberra Airport and I spent my time with one of my very favourite people, my best friend Bec. Now let me preface this post by saying that I was not sponsored by anyone or anything mentioned (totally my loss!) everything I say is my honest opinion.
When we arrived we were greeted warmly by the reception staff and they were quick to get us checked in. Thank goodness, we were obviously exhausted after our long journey (a 20 minute drive)! We were presented with two room key cards, a bottle of wine, and our parking ticket (parking was an extra $14 which is a bit of a bummer when you’re already paying for the room, but that was a tiny tiny negative that would soon be well and truly outweighed by the positive).
After we finished checking-in we took a moment to fully appreciate the stunning architecture and interior design work that surrounded us. I don’t think a hotel has ever blown me away quite like Vibe did. I mean, I have a sore neck from looking up in awe for so long!
We may have gone a little crazy with the camera, but we were power-hungry with no children demanding that we ‘take a photo of me mummy’. That, and everything was so incredible that we just wanted to soak it up and make those memories.
The first thing we did when we entered our room was run around like giddy teenagers. There were selfies, bed-dives, and toilet breaks without a single child handing us toilet paper. The room was incredible. The beds were inviting and super comfortable, the shower head could convince me to leave my husband and run away with it, and the view of the airport was awesome – and we did not hear a single airplane the whole time we were there so the sound-proofing worked perfectly!
I will say though, as beautiful as the bathroom was, the half-wall made it a little awkward at times. My friend isn’t obligated to put up with my post-childbirth, post-weightloss, melted-human candle body like my husband is. I’m sure she saw more than she bargained for.
After the reality of being alone (read: child and husband free) had sunk in we got changed and made our way to the gym. Oh my giddy aunt, I would spend all my time in the gym if it was that one. For the most part we had it to ourselves, and we took advantage of it, trying out all the machines, enjoying the view, and taking even more selfies because there were skinny mirrors everywhere. No Target mirrors at Vibe!
After we were finished doing the grown-up thing by working out we took the obvious next steps – showered, changed, and stuffed our faces with burgers at Treehouse. And I mean stuffed, they were huge. And delicious. It’s one of those meals that make me wish I could temporarily reverse the gastric sleeve surgery because it was just so delicious that I wanted to keep eating it! I don’t think Bec was hating the wine either, considering how quickly two glasses went down!
When we had sufficiently stuffed our faces (no really, I got the hiccups because I ate too much), we made our way back to Vibe and stopped in at the incredible bar on the ground floor. A knowledgeable, friendly, and extremely helpful gentleman by the name Pawan served us, and while Pawan and Bec talked wine I succeeded in downing the first of (too) many perfectly mixed vodka and OJ’s – my first drink in four years (thanks to pregnancy and breastfeeding)!
We honestly had absolutely no bad experiences when it came to customer service at Vibe. The staff were all super friendly, and efficient, and they knew what they were talking about. Even the room-service staff that delivered more drinks and a scrumptious Affetatti Plate to us later in the evening, a young lady who I affectionately nicknamed ‘Non-Steve’ (I was three drinks in, sorry!) was so lovely that I wish I had grabbed her real name! She was fantastic! We just can’t fault anyone!
The rest of the night was spent in our room where each of us were treated to a luxurious massage with the smooth sound of Michael Buble in the background, and then we channelled Shrek in our avocado and oat face masks. We even threw in some drunk yoga for kicks! Add-in a good old fashioned D&M and our evening was complete, and absolutely perfect.
The next morning after a quiet coffee in bed we ventured down to the buffet and let the amazing food wash away all the fuzzy feeling from too many drinks.
I sat and contemplated the incredible healing that the weekend had performed. Every parent deserves a break from the norm. A time to reflect, and relax, and rejuvenate. A time to act like a teenager with no responsibilities, a time to drink a little too much, a time to talk about the things that really matter, and a time to completely switch off.
A time to truly be themselves, and to have that be enough, because they don’t need to be what anyone else needs them to be.
A luxury resort in a faraway land may not always be an option, but luxury can be found close to home, so try a staycation and melt away in the moments.
I love you, but I love you for different reasons now that we are actual adults, you know, adultier adults.
I love you when you change a nappy that smells like satans breath.
I love you when your muscles glisten with sweat as you Gumption away Mr 2’s latest wall art.
I love you when you cook different meals because one has to be gluten free and you don’t want to see your little man in pain (and up screaming all night).
I love you when you let me sleep in even though your eyes are hanging out, you keep forget the kids names, and you just tried to put a bib on the cat.
I love you when you talk me down from an anxiety attack. Most would run for the hills, or tell me to harden up, but you always know how to bring me down softly.
I love you when you wash every piece of linen we own after food poisoning has taken us out.
I love you when you tell me that you think I’m beautiful even when I haven’t showered for two days and I’m wearing your ratty old shirt and granny undies that are four sizes too big.
I love you when you go in to settle the terrors for the thirty-fourth time that night.
I love you when you speak up and say ‘I just can’t go back in there, they’ve broken me’ because we’re a team, and I’ve got you.
I love you when you read to our children. I know you don’t like reading. I know it makes you feel awkward and silly. You do it for them anyway.
I love you when you play computer games with a child on each knee. I love you when you teach the boys how to play and I love you when Mr 4 comes to teach me how to land an aircraft,because that’s all you.
I love you when you perfectly lip sync the ‘Trolls’ movie. I also cringe though, sorry.
I love you when you sing and dance while you clean, like a better-version of Tom Cruise with a symmetrical face and without Scientology.
I love you when you watch something boring or gross on Netflix and I end up watching Good Mythical Morning on my phone. Then you stop watching your zombie crap because GMM is more interesting, and we realise that we should have just put it on in the first place and agree not to let you choose anymore.
I love you when you shave for work every morning because you want to look professional, even though we both know at heart you’re a bearded beast.
I love you when you discipline the children so that I don’t have to (for the twenty third time).
I love you when you recognise that even though I will only be working once a week, that doesn’t make my work any less important to me than yours is to you.
I love you when you tell me to study. Even if I do spend most of the time doodling ‘my husbands a jerk because he’s making me study’.
I love you when you talk about my grandfather. It kills me that our children didn’t get to meet him, but you did and you help me keep his memory alive.
I love you when you get home from work, tell me to go and have a rest, and brace yourself for the onslaught as three boys come flying at you from every direction and I run like I’m being chased by a mass murder.
I love you you get excited about me watching 50 Shades of Grey because you think that I’m going to come home wanting to pretend you’re Christian. Mate, it was one time.
I love you when you sleep walk. When you jump out of bed yelling at me to run because ‘they’re coming’. When you roll around the ground so ‘they’ don’t see you. When you laugh about it while I tell you of your adventures the next morning.
I love you for so many more reasons, but at least one child needs me so I have to leave it at that.
I love you. I just really, really love you. I love you so much I want to squish your cheeks and never let you go.
I love you more, but I love you differently.
I love you for the gross things, the boring things, the necessary things, the real things.
I love you for navigating your way through this ridiculous, crazy, life with me.
So I’ve been wanting to write about this topic for a while but have been struggling to find the right words to get it going. It’s something that is so close to me I really don’t want to do it a disservice by messing this up.
Being pregnant these days is a completely different experience to what it was for our parents. They started solids early – farex of course, now we know it’s best to start at around 6 months and we know that farex is as nutritious as cardboard. We know that rear facing is the safest way for our babes to ride. We jump online and ask ‘what is this rash? Can you see two lines? Is this a bite mark?’.
It’s totally different. We spend so much time asking other mothers for advice that I do sometimes wonder if we’ve quashed the ability to trust our own intuition. On the plus side of course, you have many different women who have been through things similar to yourself, who can offer advice, and comfort, experience and support.
It is the latter thought that brings me to the whole point of this post. When I fell pregnant with my first in 2012 I scoured the internet for any sort of advice about breastfeeding, gender specific symptoms, morning sickness and everything else that you question when your womb has been invaded. I found a lot of answers, but what I really wanted was conversation about all these things. I wanted to be able to talk to other women who were feeling the same things that I was. The doubt, anxiety, nervousness, excitement, joy and pure fear that I was feeling. I wanted to know that I wasn’t alone. That’s when I found my due group.
Due in December 2012 (now fondly known as DID) was my home. The women in this Facebook group quickly became my friends. We would speak about everything pregnancy related with no judgement (and I mean everything). We would support each other through things completely unrelated to pregnancy. We would have huge conversations about absolutely nothing at all.
When I was 30 weeks pregnant bub decided he would try to escape early and I was transferred from my small country hospital in Bega, NSW to Canberra. Thankfully my labour was stopped, but I had to remain in Canberra, staying with my parents and hubby had to continue working at home three hours away, until the little ratbag arrived nearly nine weeks later.
It was an extremely scary and stressful time and those beautiful, beautiful ladies were there for me, reassuring me, keeping me positive and distracted the whole time. Not only that, they all pitched in to send me a gorgeous bunch of flowers and a hamper full of goodies. That was the moment they transformed from ‘imaginary’ online friends, to family. These women, scattered around Australia, cared for me as I cared for them. It was almost unfathomable to me that people who didn’t even ‘know’ me, could be so completely and utterly selfless.
I’m still in DID. Our conversations have changed over the years from ‘how do I know if my waters have broken or if I just wet myself?’, to ‘my baby won’t stop chucking and screaming, help!’, to ‘any toilet training tips?’, and now ‘when should I be starting the school enrollment process?’.
People have come and gone and come back again, we’ve shared laughs, we’ve shared advice, we’ve shared our lives. We’ve supported each other’s businesses and career choices. We’ve sent gifts and received gifts. We’ve kept each other sane and sent love when people felt as though they’d lost their sanity.
I think we have all met at least one other group member now and are hoping to organise a whole group catch-up one day.
I have new due groups from each of my other children and I love them all, there is something extra special about your very first one though. There is a bond formed when you band together and support each other through a truly life changing experience. Genuine, lifelong friendships are made.
I will never be able to express just how special these women are to me. They have pulled me up so many times when I’ve fallen and I’m sure they’ll pull me up again.