December Challenge Day 20

Great mini break.

1. Something I learnt today: Sometimes just a couple of nights away is all that is needed to reset.

2. Something I am grateful for: My bed. No matter where I go or how long I am away, I still love coming back to my own bed (especially when the family cat is curled up purring on it!).

3. Something I want to improve: The amount of washing one adult and two kids can generate in three days!

SAA

December Challenge Day 19

Such a great day. There really is nothing better than happy children (except perhaps happy, polite and grateful children……). Today was about having fun in the sun and a good waterslide is the best way I know how!

1. Something I learnt today: Kids roller coasters are really bad for adults. Small scale means high in jerks! Man I hope my neck recovers quickly from the whiplash.

2. Something I am grateful for: My wonderful travel friend. One of the most inspiring and strong women I know. Even when the kids are misbehaving and I am questioning my ability as a parent, she is the voice reminding me we all have days when they drive us mad. She offers practical ideas rather than criticism and shows me different ways to approach things. Like she says……we have to learn to pick our battles. We can’t do it all.

3. Something I want to improve: My indecisiveness. I often look at a decision, analyse it, consider the consequences and then try to work out the ‘best’ option.

When the kids are involved, this delay is seized as an opportunity to either whine or make the decision themselves. I just need to go with the first option that comes to mind and then back myself and my decision. Give them no opportunity to sway me.

‘No you can not have a bag of lollies.’

SAA

December Challenge Day 18

Pre Christmas fun! Country bumpkins in the big smoke.

1. Something I learnt today: Kookaburras call way past dusk. In fact it is 11pm and they are going for it, a whole chorus of them!! I love the sounds of a good Aussie camping ground.

2. Something I am grateful for: Great friends to share the excitement of Christmas with. We are on a two day adventure to the city to have some fun at a theme park and enjoy the Christmas lights. The kids are having a ball in each other’s company and I loved how the boys took on barbecue duties tonight. The mums are looking forward to a sneaky wine tomorrow night when there are no driving duties!

3. Something I want to improve: My ability to switch off. I am really bad with needing time to unwind before going to sleep. I wish I could just lie down and drift off. What I mean to say is, I need a way to shut my brain off quickly instead of over analysing the day! Instead, I beat myself about wasting precious sleep time and beat myself up about trivial things that happened during the day!! Double whammy.

I should be more like…..

Today was good. Who cares what went wrong. I am who I am. Sleep.

SAA

December Challenge Day 17

Today comes to you from my spot under this tree….

Day 1 of 10 days off work spending time with the kids.

1. Something I have learnt today: Looking after 5 kids is easier than 2!

2. Something I am grateful for: Bikes, beach and ice cream. Happy kids. Happy Mum.

3. Something I want to improve: I would like to rid the universe of flies and seagulls. Both have been a nuisance today, but I guess I am just picking fault in a perfect day!

SAA

December Challenge Day 16

Lovely Sunday. Sleep in, gym workout, Christmas party, cuppa with a friend and some housework. Content children playing with new found friends.

1. What I learnt today: Today is indeed a new day.

2. Something I am grateful for: My first real Christmas Party of the season! Our work party was weeks and weeks ago, we attended a show. It felt nothing like Christmas, because it wasn’t! It was November. Our usual Carols by Candlelight was bypassed due to weather and 9 days out from the big day, I was beginning to think this year was going to be a fizzer.

Roll on the Christmas lunch for my husband and my chosen sporting club………. There were crackers, hats, jokes, presents, food, wine, a marriage announcement and a few things that involved blocking the kids ears. Something to do with raunchy calendars and auctioning of a pair of Mrs Claus’ knickers!

What it was, was good old fashioned fun. The kids protested going because they didn’t want to hang out with the ‘old’ people (it is a Masters club). As it turns out the ‘old’ people know how to have fun and how to get everyone smiling. They also know…… a well placed box of chocolates and the kids are sold!

3. What I want to improve: Allowing my son to wind me up. He knows exactly how to annoy me and I bite nearly every time. Time to start ignoring the less than desirable behaviour!

SAA

December Challenge Day 15

It seems that today all that mounting pressure I was feeling yesterday, came to a head with a mighty explosion. It turns out I was not the only one in our house feeling the tension build.

Along with the Christmas build up, there has been the bubbling end of primary school/start of high school anxiety. I think we possibly underestimated the emotion, insecurity and fatigue this time would bring. Team that with the parents modern day nemesis ‘Fortnite’ and you have a recipe for disaster!

1. What I learnt today: Walking the emotional tightrope means falling off the side at any given moment and…….. that is probably normal and to be expected.

2. What I am grateful for: In the middle of outbursts and the emotional pressure cooker, I snuck out the door and finished the Christmas shopping. Wahooooo it is done. Now to think about the food.

3. What I want to improve: The way my husband and I deal with the outbursts. We are poles apart and really need to find the middle ground.

Like a wise friend of mine said today…… ‘Some days are harder than others, but tomorrow is a new day’.

SAA

December Challenge Day 14

Another long, busy day. Just like most people around me, I am feeling the pressure that this time if the year brings. It feels like life just gets turned up a notch. There are more things to get done, there is more money to spend, more expectations to fulfil.

This one date……. 25th December, seems to dictate everything. At work (healthcare industry) people want to feel better by Christmas, so that they can best enjoy their time with family and friends. We all want to get the right gift for people, one that says we love and appreciate them. Those of us not so talented in the kitchen, suddenly want to transform into Nigela Lawson to ensure we cook the best, most amazing meal for that one special day.

But really we should just be taking a step back and looking at what we do have.

1. What I have learnt today: You can’t pretend to be someone else. Embrace our differences. Don’t be ashamed of who you are, stand tall, go forth and embellish your point of difference.

2. What I am grateful for: My home. I love that after only 18 months, our house is becoming the meeting place……not only for our extended family but our friends, the kids friends and even our hobby groups. People know our house as a central and welcoming home.

3. Something I want to improve: The sense that I need to defend myself for being me. I want to be proud of who I am, what I have achieved and what I have to offer.

SAA

December Challenge Day 11

Day 1 at home for school holidays. The next 7 weeks are going to be a lot of juggling as we negotiate work and kids with no school. Some days at home, some with grandparents, some with friends and some at the dreaded Vacation Care! It is so tough being a kid!

  1. Something I learnt today: When everyone pitches in together, anything is possible.
  2. Something I am grateful for: No more homework for 7 weeks!
  3. Something I want to improve: The amount I allow phones and electronic devices to distract me from living in the present.

SAA

December Challenge Day 8

Take two, first attempt at today’s blog disappeared into the ether! Deep breath! Anyway, it is the weekend here in paradise!

  1. Something I learnt today: I get bored very easily and have difficulty with idle time(and I wonder why my children are the way the are). Apparently, according to my husband, and likely in a bid to prevent boredom, I engage in drama. It makes me feel like I have purpose and that I am helping. It is true, I admit it………… I want to fix things. I guess it is really a good trait, so long as I am careful to draw boundaries and make sure these pursuits don’t interfere with everything else in my life. Also I need to realise, some things are beyond one person. Sometimes it is not possible to fix it!!
  2. Something I am grateful for: Picture this scene and tell me how I could not feel grateful. The sun is setting over the ocean, an iconic jetty, an incredibility unique playground, a stage, good music, markets, food and friends. To top it off, and in the words of one of the dignitaries at tonight’s event  ‘what better noise this there than the sound of happy and content children?’. I know I have written about this before, but we really do live in an amazing place. Having travelled a significant amount I can honestly say there is nowhere else I would rather raise my kids. My husband was saying to some friends of ours only last night, that every time he goes to the waterfront he wants to take a photo, because even after living here for a decade, it still surprises him how beautiful it is. I also find that each time we go, I find something new to see, whether it is a dolphin, cloud formation, colour in the sky or bloom on a tree. Truly grateful.
  3. Something I want to improve: the boundary drawing. I guess it comes down to my ability to say NO and realising the impact of some of my endeavours. I think in the last few months I have made great progress in this area, but I still have a way to go yet.

SAA