Tuesday, 7 June 2016


How is it June? (I should note that when I first started this post it began 'How is it May? Turns out time will stop for no man, woman or blogger).

I just wanted to let you all know that we are alive ...

Buglet has had her year 12 ball, and has turned 17.

Tink has her first job at a Fish'nChip shop, and is taking the world by storm. She also has purple hair.

The Pixie is the Pixie. I am super proud of her for getting an award for good attitude and leadership in the Elite Sports Program at her school. I am worried that she was confused as to why she would be given an award for good attitude and leadership.

The kittens are now getting along. Pickles grooms Pumpkin an awful lot for an inside kitten. Not sure if Pumpkin smells bad or if Pickles has an incredibly high standard of cleanliness.

Flip-Flop went for a week's holiday with her previous owners while I was in Melbourne (and the girls were dispersed around the country-side).

My youngest niece has gone to long term care with her family (sad for us, but hopefully the best for her long term happiness and we knew she was going to be a temporary placement) ... and a week later my sister gained another little boy (NT Nephew III)!

But that's not all .....

... I am an auntie again! (Again, again. NT Nephew III is the first again, keep reading for the second again).

Pie and OJ have a new little brother (Freddo for blogging purposes. Pie wanted to call him Freddie; his parents disagreed so he will have to make do with it as a blog name).

Not only am I an auntie again twice over ... I am also a Godmother! Freddo's baptism was last Sunday so it is all official and everything.

For those trying to keep up, this makes 6 Godchildren, 3 nieces, 9 nephews, and 1 Godson-nephew (plus the temporary nieflings I've had to let go of physically, but who I keep close to my heart).

And me ... well ... the last few months have been a bit of a roller-coaster!

Work has been busy. Life has been busy. I have a couple of projects on the go which are mostly keeping me out of trouble.

One of aforementioned projects is that I am now Vice President of a fledgling organisation called Chat For Change. If you want to help support us, it would be super awesome if you liked us on Facebook or connected with us on LinkedIn. This paragraph is a blatant attempt at self-promotion. Not that I have done a lot so far, I've only been on board (pun intended) for six months, but I still feel that promoting is the right thing to do.

You will all be pleased to know that I took a week off and run away to Melbourne to hang out with a friend. Was v good just to have some down time. I also bought books. Rather a lot of books. (If you want to see my pictures check out #runningawaywithness on Instragram.https://www.instagram.com/philosophy_minors/).

The other "exciting" thing is that my doctor is of the opinion that I most likely have ankylosing spondylitis. This sounds like a dinosaur, but it is actually an autoimmune arthritisy disease causing chronic pain usually starting in your back. Most people shorten it to AS, but I like saying the whole thing 'cos if you are going to have a nasty disease it is sort of fun to have one that sounds like a dinosaur.

While I haven't had an official diagnosis (because this takes ages), it does explain a whole heap of things. For starters the chronic back pain, but also the fatigue I have been battling even when my iron levels are normal. I will write more about this later, but the whole thing is having a bit of an impact on my life. The fatigue in particular has been messing with me for the last six months, with the worst part being three weeks were I was only awake long enough to work (and still had to nap in my lunch break every day).

Moral of the story: If something doesn't feel quite right. Go to the doctor! I only mentioned it to her because my boss told me I had to tell her about the constant back pain and the Monkey Butler told me I had to tell her about the constant pain in my fingers.

  • It is doubtful I am qualified to give parenting advice, there is still time for me to stuff up.
  • I am really not qualified to give medical advice.
  • I am not even allowed to give legal advice without supervision.
I would recommend finding more reliable sources for any advice of any nature.

Friday, 29 January 2016

What's one more?

We have a new addition to our family!

Another fur baby (side note, I am not sure how I became the sort of person who refers to my pets as my "fur babies" but I am. And I don't care. Judge me if you will but I love them so very much).

It is my great pleasure to introduce you to Pumpkin Belle aka "the Teeny-Tiny Kitten" (she really is tiny!) or "the Ginger Ninja" (she is really not a ninja, but she does try very hard).

First day at home, and the realisation that she is way too small for her new collar.

I am not giving Pumpkin a "blog name". I never use anything other than Pickles' real name (as those of you who follow us on Instagram will have noticed). If you want to check out the not-so-frequently-asked-questions about the fur babies and their names, I answered lots of them when we got Pickles. Things like "why do your pets have middle names"? And what is the kitten's surname? (Both Pickles and Pumpkin have the same surname).

The perfect place to cuddle is right between a human and a book.

Pumpkin's first name was easy to pick.

Last year, Buglet began her campaign to get a ginger kitten for her 17th birthday. Her arguments included:

  • Tink has Pickles, the Pixie has Flip-Flop, I am the only one who doesn't have a pet; and
  • You have always wanted a pet called 'Pumpkin'. If we had a ginger kitten that would be the perfect name.
I posted something about this on facebook and a friend sent me a private message saying that their cat had a litter of kittens on Halloween ... including a ginger female (and apparently ginger females are quite rare). How could I not say yes? 

Soft kitty, warm kitty, little ball of fur.

Pumpkin was officially a Christmas present, but she arrived mid-January when I got home from New Zealand.

After much debate, we decided her middle name was 'Belle'. Buglet wanted her to have a "real" middle name, and at Christmas my nephew named the unicorn handpuppet I was given from Pie and OJ (and family) "Bella" so it all seemed to fit quite nicely. 

"Bella" the unicorn puppet.

Pumpkin has settled in nicely.

Battle Cat.

Flip-Flop is besotted and was very impressed to get a new kitten-sister for her puppyversary - Pumpkin arrived the day after Flip-Flop's three year anniversary of joining our family. A week later and the level of excitement has calmed down to the point where I am not worried that Flip-Flop is not going to accidentally kill the kitten through love. Flip-Flop has a lot of love to give!

"You got me a KITTEN?!"

Pickles is not impressed about becoming the middle furchild. At first there was a lot of hissing. There has also been a lot of standoffish behaviour, but now their relationship has settled into mostly ignoring with a little bit of play fighting. The hissing has stopped (even when Pumpkin goes near Pickles' food) so I have hopes they will become happy soon.

"What do you mean 'it is staying'?"

The girls and I totally love her (even the Pixie). DB says that any more and I will a crazy cat lady. I am ignoring him because:
  • I don't care what he thinks;
  • I don't mind being a crazy cat lady; and
  • based on his reasoning I can get 2 kittens before I become a crazy cat lady because Pickles and Pumpkins are the girls' cats.

  • It is doubtful I am qualified to give parenting advice, there is still time for me to stuff up.
  • I am not qualified to advice on pet raising. 
  • I am totally a crazy cat lady and I am ok with this.
  • I am not even allowed to give legal advice without supervision.
I would recommend finding more reliable sources for any advice of any nature.

Friday, 11 December 2015

Slow down world, you're spinning too fast

I was flicking down my facebook page yesterday, because:
(a) I am egocentric; and
(b) I had a feeling I had missed some things people had posted on my wall and when people take the time to post, I do like to respond.

I had missed a few posts, but I had a massive WTF moment when I realised that, without intentionally doing so, my last three posts showed how the girls are really grown up now.

The Pixie appointed herself in charge of decorating my office ....

The girls' Christmas bears reading the Nativity story in my office

... including making the window out of random stuff and making a paper mache snowman ....

After he's finished his job at work he is going to live with my colleague's daughter!

Buglet has arrived safely in the Northern Territory to babysit her cousins for a week, before helping my sister bring them all home for Christmas. Her first solo plane trip.

(I don't have a photo of Buglet to share. She's been home for a few weeks, since school finished early for her, and most of the time I have seen her she has been in a crop top and boxers. Not appropriate to post on the internet!).


My Middling One

Tink was one of the speakers at a school presentation night and I was genuinely gobsmacked. She has the makings of a superb public speaker. She wasn't fazed by the technology messing up, and she didn't touch her face or hair once. She is more well presented and confident than I could every hope to be in a life time and I am so incredibly proud!

Just in case I wasn't proud enough of Tink, she also was one of the four nomination for coaches aware for her school soccer program this year. Proud doesn't begin to describe it.

If I can't brag on my blog, where can I brag? And I am totally one proud (if totally freaking out) mama right now.

*if this statement doesn't make sense to you, stay tuned for my next post which should  have been my last post, but isn't because I haven't quite finished yet. If that doesn't make sense, feel some sympathy for my colleagues who have to work with me.

  • It is doubtful I am qualified to give parenting advice, there is still time for me to stuff up.
  • I really should have paid attention when people told me it would all go past in the blink of an eye.
  • I am not even allowed to give legal advice without supervision.
I would recommend finding more reliable sources for any advice of any nature.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Book review: 'Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer' (aka "I am that person")

So .... it is confession time ....

I am the first person to admit that I am not perfect, but there is one thing I do semi-regularly that I know horrifies some people.

I am the sort of person who buys someone a book and reads it before I give it to them.

My only mitigating factor is that I do only do this to certain people; mostly Mum, my sisters, and my daughters. I do also confess to them straight afterwards. However, considering how rarely I buy books for people I am not sure this is much of a mitigating factor. 

People are surprised that I don't often buy books. I tend to only buy them for people I know extremely well, and when I know their tastes in books and what books they already own. Can you see the problem? Well, except DB. I am constantly buying him books that I think he might like. I don't think he has read most of them. On the upside, it is not unheard of for me to get books from him that other people have given him and that he has no intention of reading. Winning!

There is one other exception. There is one book I have bought for a number of people because it is literally laugh-out-loud funny. Have you read my post on my most favourite books of all time? If not, I will write about it again later.

It was Tink's birthday last week. 

I got her a book. Well, I also got her other things, but I did get her a book.

I read it first, and it was awesome.

If you have read and enjoyed the Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson books, you will love this new series. 

The first book in the series is 'Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer'. Magnus is a older than Percy, and the themes are a little more grown up. Life at 16 is different to life at 11 whether or not you are a demi-god.  

I have always had an interest in Greek mythology, but I didn't know very much about Norse mythology. This book opened a whole new world of legend for me to explore and I had to read the book with my phone next to me so I could quickly search points that I wanted more information on. From that point of view the book is perfect. It is intriguing; a taster of what is out there if you want to delve further into the mythological world. I am very much hoping all three of my girls read it for that reason alone.

The story line is action packed. The biggest problem I had was sneaking in time to read it when the girls weren't around as it was a present for Tink. 

For adults or older teens who read Percy Jackson and found the writing and the story a little juvenile, Magnus Chase is a more complex and it is clear it is targeted at an older reader. That said, it would still be good for younger readers who like longer stories.

I am really, very much looking forward to the next installment of Magnus Chase, and in the meantime I am re-reading the Percy Jackson books!

  • It is doubtful I am qualified to give parenting advice, there is still time for me to stuff up.
  • No-one actually asked me to review this book, I just liked it so I thought I would share
  • I would suggest trying the book yourself rather than just trusting my opinion on it.
  • I am not even allowed to give legal advice without supervision.
I would recommend finding more reliable sources for any advice of any nature.

Friday, 6 November 2015

Flying the nest

Ok. I have a confession! I actually wrote a different post with the same name on the other blog. I just liked the name. That's not too bad is it? I liked the name and it works for both posts. I don't mind if you write it off to laziness.

I mentioned in my last post that Tink and the Pixie went to a Girl Guide Jamboree during the school holidays and had an amazing time. (To any of the organisers reading this BRAVO and thank you so very much for all your hard work and dedication!)

It's not the first time they've been away without me. In fact, the very first time they left me for a week was when all three of them went to Queensland for a once-in-a-lifetime weekend commemorating 100 years since the rally where Girl Guides began. The Pixie had only just turned 6, but as it was never going to happen again, they went.

I spent the week at home burying myself in an intensive unit at uni, so I coped ok.

The very first thing the Pixie said to me when she hopped off the plane was this: "Mama! Mama! I rode a camel and he went like this [insert very vivid imitation of a camel chewing]".

They have been on week long school camps, other Guide events (including two interstate Jamborees for Buglet, and one interstate Jamboree for Tink), and trips with my family.

One thing I always notice every time they are away for more than a weekend is that they come home just a little bit more grown up; a little bit more independent.

It really hit me this time.

Do to reasons beyond my control (ok not totally, beyond my control, partly due to panic and not reading signs properly) when I picked the girls up from the airport, they had disembarked from the plane and collected their luggage. This is what I was greeted with .....

My travellers
Backpack on her back (which she proceeded to almost knock out approximately one person every five minutes), day pack on her front. They totally had it sussed.

I had a flash of insight that this was only the first time I would be doing this. All three of the girls have been bitten by the travel bug and are all planning various trips, some as a family and some independently. I know I want them to be independent, but why does it happen so quickly?!

The flash forward to young adult years was quickly broken by our fist verbal exchange ....

Pixie: Mama! Look! I stole a blanket from the plane!
Me: Pixie!!! You can't steal things!
Pixie: Except from aeroplanes.
Me: Not at all.
Pixie: Except when you don't get caught.
Me: Not at all!
Tink: I wouldn't worry too much if I were you, she was waving it around showing the aeroplane people as we were getting off. They just smiled.
Pixie: I am surprised more people don't steal things from planes. It was really easy.

This was followed by a Pixie who could not understand why we had not brought Flip-Flop with us to the airport.

Happiness is a puppy who is reunited with her person

Meanwhile, Buglet has just scored a trip to the NT to babysit her cousins for a week before helping my sister bring the babies home for Christmas and then it is my turn to travel!

  • It is doubtful I am qualified to give parenting advice, there is still time for me to stuff up.
  • I am definitely not qualified to give travel advice.
  • I am working hard on the Pixie and her attitude towards petty crime.
  • I am not even allowed to give legal advice without supervision.
I would recommend finding more reliable sources for any advice of any nature.

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Spring has sprung!

And so have I. Been sprung I mean. I am not particularly springy at the moment.

That first sentence was as far as I got in writing during the week, despite my best intentions!

It is now Sunday evening and I am in my pyjamas writing after spending the day in bed having a sick day. Stupid man flu. Although, being sick, is one of the few times it is nice to not have the girls home.

Buglet is here, but she is in her own room being anti-social. We bonded yesterday watching the AFL Grand Final. (Buglet takes this very seriously. There was a lot of shouting. I live tweeted during the game so I didn't annoy her too much, just in case you want to check it out!). Her interaction today has consisted of getting up to get food, and popping in to see me, feed me and call me lazy. I am not lazy, well not today anyway, I am legitimately sick, MAN FLU. I did actually go to the gym and to the shops first thing this morning, but as that was before she got out of bed for the first time that doesn't count, apparently.

Anyway, when I first started writing the post, I actually meant that I had been sprung not having blogged for two months. (Waves to the lovely reader who asked when I was going to write next, you know who you are.)  I am not actually sure how that happened. I have half drafted Bali posts. Because they are all linked, they have taken longer to write than I intended. Then there have been the technical issues (broken phone, photos on my temp phone, not being able to work out how to get my Instagram photos on the blog).

The last two months have been filled with the normal kind of busy.

I have been playing around with a few writing projects, and Instagram and Twitter. Facebook updates have been fairly consistent.

Work has taken up an awful lot of time. It has slowed down to normal levels now. Catching up after taking annual leave was a pain in the butt. I was so excited to book leave in a five week month, that worked around the girls and school, I totally forgot July is one of my busiest times. I have only been at the organisation for 11 years.

Buglet had her year 11 Dinner Dance.

My baby is all grown up, and she is beautiful.

I had the Best Day Ever. I will blog about that later. It totally deserves it own post.

Just a tiny part of the Best Day Ever

We caught up with friends.

I actually cleaned my room (annual September long weekend event).

You know, all that sort of stuff.

Did you pick up on the fact that Buglet is the only one home?

Tink and the Pixie have just spent a week at a Guide Jamboree, and are now spending a few days with my cousins in Queensland (I know! I am v jealous). I heard from them briefly yesterday.

Sending my babies off into the big wide world without me.

Tink had an amazing time and has no voice.

The Pixie lost a tooth, fell off a mountain bike, got bruised, and allegedly got cuts (but she didn't notice them). Also the sun comes up at a different time in Queensland, and they don't know what "hair lackeys" are.

My cousin has been sending pictures and they look like they are having a great time. Three sleeps until I get them back!

Buglet abandoned me for a week too. DB took her away for a week, camping and then to spend some time with Nanna and Granddad.

DB specifically sent this picture for me to share with BlogLand.

The furbabies and I had a quiet time. the Cattern had her shots, and is now safely microchipped and desexed. ("Gherkin" just isn't working for me. She may just stay as "the Catttern" on here. Don't tell the girls). She was very sad and cuddly for a few days, but is back to her normal ninja kitten self now.

So, so sad.
Buglet wants to keep the cone to threaten her with when she is annoying.


That is it.

The last two months in a nutshell! Stay tuned for the long awaited Bali post, and a few other bits and pieces, but basically .... we are back!

Happy Spring!

  • It is doubtful I am qualified to give parenting advice, there is still time for me to stuff up.
  • I am totally technologically challenged.
  • My favourite season is actually Autumn.
  • I am not even allowed to give legal advice without supervision.
I would recommend finding more reliable sources for any advice of any nature.

Sunday, 26 July 2015


Last time I wrote it was about our school holidays.

The final day we sussed out a new church, which conveniently is not only local, but Lutheran which is my family's denomination. You could be wondering why we hadn't been there before (which would be a good question). Mostly when we go to church we go with my mum, but her church is 40 minutes away. I have been meaning to find one closer to home for about 8 years (I am a fabulous procrastinator).

The girls came home from camp excited about a church near us with a youth group where some of their friends go. Perfect!

The sermon last Sunday was on the importance of compassion for others, but also about looking after yourself. The need to take holidays and not burn yourself out was also mentioned. Sold! It just felt right.

And it was one of those moments where the message just came at the right time.

Last week was pretty ordinary. Not awful, but tiring and definitely not the best week ever.

DB when to take Buglet to get her learner drivers license. We couldn't find her passport.

This lead to us having a big fight. Not really surprisingly in the circumstances.

I hurt my back. Two trips to the chiro has helped, but is not how you want to be spending your money the week before you go on holidays.

Work was insane. When I booked the trip I was booking around the girls' school and my monthly meeting cycle. I totally forgot about the mid-year insanity. I have no idea how. I've only been there for 10 years.

Monday I broke my phone. This means only very limited access as I have borrowed the Pixie's phone and it just doesn't support much.

I was very sad about the phone. I had been looking forward to being able to take lots of good photos, not to mention I won't have access to my audio book, fitbit syncing, or farmheroes for the trip. You know what, its all about priorities.

But you know what, I have been reminded none of it matters. Tink basically said toughen up and I can listen to a movie on their laptops if I need to (although she did relent and put audible on her ipad for me). She may get this very sympathetic attitude from her mother. Admittedly her father is not much better. The Monkey Butler lent me a camera.

More importantly, I realised that no having constant access to social media can only be a good thing for spending quality time with the children. I am not sure how the children feel about this. I will let you know.

I need time out, and I refuse to let the little things ruin a long awaited holiday. We have worked too hard to get here.

Convenient picture of lemonade.
We took it as part of our alphabet adventures.

Plus it is a good time to practise what I preach .... taking those lemons and turning them into lemonade.

Look out Bali ..... we are on our way!!!

  • It is doubtful I am qualified to give parenting advice, there is still time for me to stuff up.
  • I am writing this at the airport, so it may not make any sense!
  • We probably shouldn't be trusted with breakable things.
  • I am not even allowed to give legal advice without supervision.
I would recommend finding more reliable sources for any advice of any nature.