Thursday, 15 November 2012

us right now

I’ve been somewhat of a slack blogger lately, and I thought I’d just pop in a quick update of us, right now.


Peter has been working in Early Childhood almost all year now. He moved over to a new centre not long after Reuben was born, and love love LOVES it. He is the kindergarten teacher, and is thoroughly enjoying almost everything about his work (EC teachers have a LOT of paperwork – he’s not so in love with that!) and adores working with the age group. It makes me so happy to watch him going off to work each morning excited about his days.

He has introduced a lot of great stuff with his kids, including a literacy program – and is so proud that he will be sending almost all of his kids off to Prep next year with the ability to recognise all of their letters, tell you the sounds they make and recognise and write their own names!

Pete came home very excited last week because a brand new mobile interactive whiteboard had been delivered to his room. He mind instantly was full of exciting and engaging learning he could do with his kids using this great tool. Then on Monday this week, he was delivered four iPads and a new laptop also for use in his room! Add this to the mini computer-lab with three PC’s and his kindergarten classroom is more technologically advanced than most primary school classrooms I know of!!

His biggest time consumer at the moment is writing Transition Statements, which are basically like report cards that tell you where your kids are at in regards to the Kindergarten Curriculum before they start school. He has set himself such a high standard with these, and each one takes him hours. It’s paid off though, because he has gotten some really great feedback from his regional director, and been told that his are the best quality of any of the other centres in her care! I believe they’ve even been used as an example to some other teachers who are struggling with what to include.

I’m so proud of him, and all he has achieved and accomplished this year. I love how much he loves his students, and how hard he works to make sure that they are learning and playing and having FUN!


As you know, I’m loving life as a stay at home mum. My days are filled with playgroups and playing with my kids, baking for my family and keeping house. I don’t know how I could possibly do everything that I’m doing AND work!

I am eligible to have (unpaid) maternity leave until term 2 in 2014, which is the year that Mayana starts school. Next year is her last at home, and I really don’t want to miss out on this special time with her. I have decided that I won’t be returning to work in 2013, at least on a full time basis. I’m considering putting in for relief work at some local schools, but only being available 1-2 days a week. I’m still undecided as to what I will end up doing in 2014… who knows, maybe by then we’ll be ready for a Baby Three!

I’ve also started doing Mary Kay. This is mainly because myself and my mum and sisters have fallen in love with the product, but it’s also turned out to be a great way to meet people and get out of the house and talk to adults (you know what I mean Mums, right?) and make a bit of pocket money. It’s just something a bit fun on the side.

Now that we’re mostly settled in our new home, I have a hankering to get back into my sewing and maybe see what I can do in reviving my little online business. We’ll see. I don’t want to get too deep into anything other than being a Mama for my two kids. They are definitely my number one priority.


Mayana is growing up at an unbelievable rate. My heart hurts a little when I think about her turning four in a few short months. She’s definitely not my baby anymore.

She’s a genuinely delightful little girl, and I love spending time with her. She’s a real girl, and loves princesses and mermaids and fairies and all things pink. This year she has done a dance class on Tuesday afternoons, and her year’s work culminated in a concert last Sunday. I don’t think I’m being biased, but I’m pretty sure she was the cutest little dancer in her class. While not the youngest in her group, she is certainly the smallest, and just looks so darn cute in a little fluffy tutu, even if she is half a step behind everyone all the time!

Mayana still loves to learn, and is enthralled by letters. She is always saying things like, “dog…. d-dog starts with d. Dippy Duck (a letterland character for the letter d). What else starts with Dippy Duck? d-dump truck, d-dimple……” and so on. She’s so clever, I just want to do everything I can to stretch and challenge her and  make sure she doesn’t lose her love for learning.

Mayana still is at kindy two days a week. She really enjoys playing, and is benefiting from the social aspect of dealing with kids her own age. Next year she will advance to the Kindergarten room, and I’m looking forward to seeing how she enjoys that new level of learning. She’s already excited about going to Prep when she ‘gets five’, even though it makes me a bit teary thinking about it – yep, I think I’m going to be one of those parents!

For now though, I’m enjoying this all-to-short period of Mayana, my little girl, who still calls me mummy and loves nothing more than climbing into my lap with a book or six.


This boy is also growing at a rate of knots. He’ll be seven months next week, and I’ll do a big post all about him then. He’s just delightful, and developing a very spunky personality. He’s baby-hood is whizzing by and I’m afraid that if I blink I’m going to miss it!! Like I said, lots more about our ReubsCubes and how he’s going next week!

So there you go, you’re all caught up!!

What have you been up to?

Thursday, 8 November 2012

blueberries + cruskits and how they saved my life

I’ve been at this parenting gig for nearly four years now. And only yesterday did I realise the power of food.

Since I’ve had the two kids I have hated going grocery shopping. I used to love it, and I had no problems doing it with just Mayana. But with two kids, man, what a nightmare. We’d get through half of it okay, but then inevitably by the time we got to the register one of them would lose the plot. We’d have screaming or arguing or nagging, and annoying Aldi checkout person who doesn’t wait until you’ve got your trolley around before they start scanning… (seriously, what is their problem! It’s not like they even have to pack the bags! A little bit of patience for a poor woman with a screaming baby in a sling and a whinging pre-schooler in the trolley goes a looooong way – oh sorry, I’ll save that rant for another day). Suffice it to say I am NOT a fan of going solo grocery shopping with two kids. Yesterday though, we were in a pickle. We were running out of food and other necessities (like baby wipes – and Reuben needs baby wipes a lot. The kid does number twos about 16 times a day *le sigh*). So I had to face it. I let Reuben have his sleep, spent some time playing with Mayana, and fed them both before I left the house.

When we got to the shops, I put Reuben in his trolley mate, and enlisted the help of my very big girl Mayana to be my very special helper, armed with her own shopping list. As we walked around the shops, I slipped Reuben pieces of cruskit. He loves the things… absolutely devours him. And you know how they get kind of sticky when they’re sucked on (trust me, they really do), well he enjoys exploring his arms and hands and trolley mate to find the bits that have stuck in places other than his mouth. They occupy him quite effectively.

Mayana lasted well until the checkout, where she had a mini-meltdown over who knows what. I calmed her down with the promise of blueberries. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned before but I’m not above bribery, and at the end of any successful shopping trip Mayana is allowed a treat. She generally chooses a ‘sausage’ (twiggy stick/salami) or little packet of nuts or sultanas (they have them near the register at Aldi). Even in the face of lollipops and chocolates, these are her treat of choice. Love that kid. Anyway, she usually gets to have her treat once we get in the car. Yesterday, I had a stroke of genius. I asked the lovely young cashier (oh I’m going to line up for young Joshua every time I go to Aldi now. He waited until I had the trolley around and the children settled and went slow enough for me to pack my trolley properly as I went… the perfect Aldi specimen) to scan the blueberries first. I sat Mayana down on the floor next to the trolley and opened the punnet. I handed Reuben his last piece of cruskit. Aaaaand I didn’t hear a peep out of either of the children the entire time my huge load of groceries were being scanned and packed. The lovely Joshua even commented on how well behaved my children were. Mayana ate nearly the whole punnet of blueberries but meh, a good hit of antioxidants isn’t gonna hurt her, and they were only $2.49. $2.49 well spent if you ask me!!

I survived shopping, with two kids. There were no tears, no hair pulling, no arguing, no whinging. Pure, pure bliss. My lesson is learned. From now on, there is always, always, going to be food in my bag.

And that my friends, is the story of how blueberries and cruskits saved my life. Or at least my sanity.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

home sweet home

Tonight will mark one week since we moved into our new home.

We are feeling settled here already, and I think every night so far Peter and I have looked at each other and said I love our new house! We really do. It suits us very well. As much as we have loved living in our Queenslanders, there is something wonderful about being the first ever people to be living in this brand new house!

I feel as though things will be easier here. It’s the little things, like the fact that the laundry is inside my home. I can easily pop on a load of washing on the way to the kitchen in the morning – and I don’t have to duck downstairs leaving a screaming baby or balancing him on one hip and an overloaded basket on the other. Because the laundry is inside, Mayana can help me with putting clothes in their proper washing baskets, and collecting her folded laundry to put away.  Plus there is a living area right in front of the kitchen bench… the perfect spot for Reuben’s play gym and a few toys, where he can see me when I’m in the kitchen. It’s so much easier to get things done! The kid’s playroom is right near the living space, not right down the other end of the house, and the TV is in its own loungeroom, which we don’t go into until later in the day, and Mayana is watching far less ABC2 without the TV right there nagging her. It’s all just so convenient.

We are pretty close to being unpacked, and when we are I’ll give you a proper tour of things.

I just want to segue momentarily and just say what an amazing experience it was moving with the help of our church family. Our lovely friends (and Reuben’s Godparents) Brad & Petrina had done a few loads for us with their trailer through the week, and I had done my best to get as much else organised at the old place as I could while still living with my two small children. Saturday morning, we had just finished breakfast and were pottering around organising things when the hoards descended. I think we ended up with three trailers and a ute, and more helping hands than I could count. In less than three hours, the house was completely emptied, and our amazing friends had even started in on the cleaning. Meanwhile at our new place, more friends (including some very capable and wonderful young teens) had been taking care of our children. One of these lovely young ladies even stayed with us for the entire afternoon to entertain the kids while we got some essentials unpacked. Later that evening, her Mama came to our house, set our table ever-so-beautifully, and provided us with the most delicious meal (um, peanut butter chocolate brownies with salted caramel ice-cream anyone?) We had other friends come in with cold drinks (oh how we needed those) and delicious food throughout the day. Pete had help doing the yard clean up at the other place this week, and one of our friends even came to do mowing and a dump-run while Pete was back at work! I cannot even say how completely and utterly blessed and honoured and blown away I felt by people’s willingness to just help us and bless us. I love being a part of this group of people!!

So. Things are going well at this new home of ours. The children have adjusted seamlessly – I think our decision to completely set up their room the day we moved in has helped with that. While this house has more bedrooms and two living spaces, in square meterage it is smaller, which has meant we have to downsize some of the stuff we own. I’m quite happy about this, and am looking forward to holding a garage sale (hopefully next weekend) and getting some of our excess and unnecessary bits and pieces off our hands.

In the meantime, I’m enjoying making this lovely, brand new house into our home sweet home and can’t wait to show it off to you!

twenty seven + twenty eight

twenty seven

Week 27

My beautiful boy. This week, we mostly spent our time packing. But in-between we had a few fun times, including visits with friends and a trip to play down at Hervey Bay. See that realllllly cute photo of you down the bottom there? That was moments after I’d had to run you a second bath because you pooped in the first one. Seriously. I did not think it as funny as you did!

twenty eight

Week 28

Sorry my darling hardly any photos this week! We were busy unpacking. Which Mama likes much better than packing, I must say!!

We did have a visit from our lovely Nana Joy though, and may have gone out for a coffee or two. We really loved having her here, and she loved having lots of snuggles from you and your sister!


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