Posted in Writing

Always Learning

Day one of the creative writing course and I feel so inspired. It feels so intimidating to go in to a class and feel like you are the lonely figure with not much experience. I felt immense anxiety even at the intro section, this was in the first five minutes, I didn’t know how I was going to cope for the day.

Matisse had dragged all energy out of me in the morning, waking at 6 AM and screaming from 7-8:30, over what I don’t know. Headed to the Abbotsford Convent I resorted to dummy and comfort toy just to give a little space before I started the course. Major drainer Matisse, major drainer.

The day progressed well, it went so quickly before I knew it there was our break and then we were out of there. I learnt very quickly that we all had varying levels of writing experience and sharing a common goal unified us to an even playing field, we wanted to better ourselves creatively.

No more bull, it’s time to get this book done. The teacher was effective in calling me out on my downfall, theme verses character development and that in itself is invaluable to get me in the right head space to move forward.

At the end of the day I got picked up by my lot with a bunch of flowers waiting for me in the car, I think Matisse was apologising for the crappy start to the day. I’ll take it 🙂 On to day two tomorrow, now I’m off to do my homework. Have a lovely night people!

Posted in Relationship

We did it! 

Happy anniversary to my lovely husband, nine insane years married and we haven’t killed each other yet. It makes me feel old to think that we have been married for that long but I was a baby when we got together. 22, finishing up uni, balancing it all and mostly focused on going out and having fun.

He managed to capture me with his amazing generosity and cheekiness. Plus he kept me grounded. I was in desperate need of a bit of guidance through my 20’s and he truly put up with my shit, being five years older he had a bit of perspective. Well, we put up with each other’s shit and that’s what has made us work so far and we’re damn proud of it.

We got to go out last night by ourselves!!! We went to this amazing restaurant called Transformer, it’s behind the Vegie Bar in Fitzroy. We chose to partake in their ‘Feed Me’ selection which was various dishes chosen by the chef. To be honest I have no idea what we ate, there was so much food and I was a little nervous about leaving Matisse for the night but we thoroughly enjoyed it. They had so many pretty drinks, being the driver (good wife) I went to town on the mocktails.


  
  

It was all so pretty and romantic the restaurant was divided by petitions covered in fernery and each table hand its own cool lighting going on. You will have to excuse the crazy pictures we were experimenting with said lighting. Receiving gorgeous texts from my friend looking after Matisse helped to calm my farm a little. She obviously understood that I was a little on edge so I got a series of photos.


  


I’m very lucky. We survived our first night with both of us away and she had an absolute blast. I still woke at 6:30 waiting for her singing to come through the monitor but instead I got an amazing slow start to the day without the words: bottle, mummy, potty or cuddles. Thanks Caitlin and Tim, you guys are the best, we owe you one x

Nine years down and with many more to come, I love you Dan you rock my world and are still the most generous and cheeky person I know xx

Posted in Entertainment, Uncategorized

Movie A Go Go!

I don’t get to go to the movies too often but over the summer I’ve had nights out with the girls and caught a few. Don’t I feel all up to date and part of the movie going set.

I love the movies, I remember seeing ‘Edward Scissorhands’ when I was a kid. My Aunty Lorraine packed a bunch of snacks and it was the best, it was such a new adventure. My first movie a few years before was set up at the local hall in Cleve. I can’t honestly remember the movie, I was too young but the place was packed out. Another movie memory was with my big brother, when he would babysit me, he was capable being 10 years older, he cultured me in the likes of Rambo, Mad Max, Star Wars and Jaws. All movies far too old for me and I may have come away a lot scarred from Jaws but it was an awesome bonding experience.

It would be amazing to write a script and see it up on screen. Another medium of storytelling. I’ve done a little bit of script writing in the past, it is an intense genre to explore.
Back to my movie going.

Date one: Joy

Who with: My awesome high school friend Stacey. The perfect date for this movie.

I won’t go too much in to detail as you will want to see this if you are wanting to be inspired to succeed. A classic story line of the main character overcoming adversity but knowing it’s a true story and well performed by J Law it was a good watch. It was a slow burner and I found myself a little lost at times but I walked out of the cinema feeling empowered and ready to tackle on the world. The message and acting outweighed the movie itself.

Date two: Sisters

Who with: My Melbourne little sisters, Janelle and Jen. Couldn’t have laughed more with anyone else.

It was completely ridiculous, but such a laugh. Both movies had female leads, they both had very real back stories. Being a comedy Tina Fey and Amy Poehler took it to the next level of crazy and that was the fun in it. I walked out with sore cheeks and plenty of throw away lines. They both served different purposes but ‘Sisters’ explored the sisterly bond with one lifting the other up when they were struggling. The stronger of the leads needed help too and then the roles were reversed. It was a story line that worked in to a comedy, everything blows up and the world is a better place. I’m not bagging this movie as it served its purpose and it was a lot of fun but it’s not a stand out.

Please send movie recommendations my way. I’m thinking I need to move past the Rom/Com/Drama genre and dip my toes in to some Sci-Fi.

Posted in Parent Zone

Is It Always My Fault? 

I read an article that targeted parents as the source of their grown/teenager children’s behavioural issues. It angered me slightly as the article zeroed in on discipline as to why they are turning out this way.

A little ridiculous to not take in to consideration social or societal factors. Stating that discipline is lax and that children will turn out bad isn’t the answer or even insightful.

It is scary not knowing what you will face as they grow up. Who they will become friends with, will they mix in the right crowd? and make the better choice? You can only do your best. I hope to have open dialogue with my kids and make sure that they know it’s okay to mess up but to own their choices and face the consequences. This really sounds like a solid plan doesn’t it??? I have NO idea what I am doing but really, when do you?

Having everything so much more accessible now completely freaks me out and also wondering what technological changes will occur before Matisse becomes a teen is another. Do you think about how parenting your child now will shape them as adults or teens? How do you know you’re doing the right thing? And lastly when do they stop saying ‘I don’t like it!’? Matisse’s current phrase of choice.

With all of this in mind, you make what you think is the better choice for your child. Cross your fingers and toes and hope like hell it won’t lead to some sort of awful behaviour in the future.

Posted in Just Me

Thirty Four Highlights and Life Lessons in Thirty Four Years

Now you will know everything about me.

1. Meeting Dan

2. Having Matisse

3. Seeing all of my nieces and nephews come in to the world. Truly amazing human beings

4. Getting married

5. Buying our apartment

6. Turning thirty and leaving my 20’s behind.

7. Becoming independent- knowing that you can rely on your good self.

8. Traveling- far too many good times and experiences to list individually.

9. Giving up smoking, meat and alcohol (the booze didn’t stick as much as the others).

10. Realising that the past is in the past.

11. Completing a Masters

12. When I understood Post Traumatic Stress Disorder my life changed and I let go a little.

13. Seeing that little thing smile every morning and watching her grow and change each day.

14. New York City!!!!! My most favourite place in the whole world made all the better for meeting up with Emma.

15. Getting together with my family

16. Speaking to my mum and dad.

17. Laughing, I love it. When my sister and I laugh together it’s my most cherished of times.

18. Catching up with my friends all of the times

19. Meeting new people and learning about them

20. That moment in Year 8 when I decided I wanted to be a writer.

21. Hearing my Dad say that he was proud of me in his speech at my 21st

22. That moment years later when I remembered that I wanted to be a writer and started actually writing

23. Every time I have tried at something and been unsuccessful.

24. Being happy and following an optimistic mindset

25. Exploring Buddhism, meditation and yoga. Incredible life altering things each of them individually.

26. Moving

27. When I decided I wanted to leave fear in the garbage

28. Abseiling down a 50 meter waterfall.

29. Listening to myself

30. Dreaming. I may be a bit of a gonna but it’s fun to give different things a bit of a shot.

31. Moving to Queensland when I turned 19 and then on to Melbourne.

32. Listening to my brother. He was right the guy wasn’t right for me.

33. Being stubborn. Good and bad I’ve learnt a lot from being stubborn but I’ve also had many highlights sticking to my guns and going after what I want.

34. Today was a highlight. I have a roof over my head, we are all healthy and happy and I have plenty of love around me. I Can’t ask for more than that!

That was a challenge and there was so much more that I wanted to include but I couldn’t be any more indulgent or sappy.

What are the highlights in your life? It’s hard to keep the list short isn’t it? It’s nice to reflect and be thankful for all of the moments.

I hope you have a great week.

Xx MummaKate

Posted in Uncategorized

We Almost Did It!

My wonderful friend offered to have Matisse for a sleepover tomorrow night so that Dan and I could go and live it up in the city. Cue bathrobe, bath, room service and um, sleep. Throw in some wine to keep it exciting. 

When she first offered I was all up for it, how exciting a nice night out. Working out logistics, her kid goes to the same child care. All was perfect in the world. 

Twenty whole hours later and I feel guilty. I’m worried she will be confused. It would mean dropping her off Monday morning and not seeing her until Tuesday night. We haven’t both been away at the same time but she would be hanging out with her bestie so I’ve got no stress there. It’s this thing, I just can’t do it. We have been given a free pass and I was requesting a luxury hotel, swisho food but I’ll miss her. Not sure who I’m worried for more, me or her. 

I know there is no time limit or magical moment when it is okay but I don’t think that moment is yet and I’m no way convinced it will be soon. Baby steps, we will do a sleepover when I can pick her up in the morning. Less stress for all, er, me. 

I start two weeks of training for  work tomorrow so that is also on my mind as I won’t be seeing her too much. Wish me luck 🙂

Posted in Uncategorized

For The Love of Shoes

We ventured out yesterday to get some shoes as the feet never seem to stop growing. It is awesome as I get to indulge in my love of shoes, there are so many cute designs out there that are less expensive than buying for myself. So I thought. If you go Supermarket style and compare cost per gram I’m not winning. They are teeny tiny little things and they’re upwards of $80 thankfully we have an outlet near us so it made it a bit cheaper. So we are all shopped up for 6.5 and before we know it she will be size 7. Not winning again. We did win however when she went bananas when we were purchasing them and the happiness took over. Cute shoes, happy child, happy Mum. 

Today we even made use of the boxes and painted them up. See making the most if it! Craft activity, tick.

 
We then cut up the calender my lovely sister-in-law gave to us Editlast year and sorted the pictures in to the individual boxes. I have made these shoes work for me 😉 She spent plenty of time sorting the pictures.    

 

Posted in Uncategorized

It’s Not What You Think It Is!!!

You are looking after yourself, thinking you’re fab, living the life and being healthy. You eat your vegies, throw in a bit of tofu, oodles of Zoodles (I’ll tell you about them later) and you think to yourself why not try a meal replacement shake? So healthy. We’re now feeling a collective appreciation for how amazing we are, resisting all of the temptations put in front of us. Ice-creams are even handed out to your desk at work and you said NO! Thank you, sigh, you love ice-cream. The days are getting easier and the moods swinging less, this is towards all but your husband of course as he incites his own shade of moodiness. Life is good. You are sitting there having a casual chat with a work colleague about the amazingness of life and how you love this new you and then she says it. ‘Have you seen how many teaspoons of sugar are in those meal replacement shakes? It’s around 5 teaspoons’ what?????? Here I’ve been thinking I’m doing the right thing yet I’m getting duped. ‘Diet’ products aren’t always what they say they are, read the labels I hear someone saying. Well… I did and now I’ve thrown my entire collection of very expensive, healthy, fix your life in 20 seconds products in the bin.

I hope you are all having a fabulous week.

I’ll get Matisse to introduce Zoodles for you.

   
   

  • Get one zucchini
  • Use a spiraliser and get the spaghetti strips going
  • Grab some paper towel and get the excess water out
  • Fry up in a skillet with a bit of oil and that is how you get Zoodles

    To leave on a happy note shedding the sugar has shed 1.7kg in the last week. 

    Note: not all meal replacement shakes are high in sugar. Some use sugar alternatives. 

    Posted in Uncategorized

    Screw You Sugar!

    Day Seven and getting crazy

    Is it a seven day slumber, seven day itch? Or am I just a moody beep? Seriously what is up with this crazy need to come up with a recipe that has sugar in it? I’m feeling a little like the dude in ‘Trainspotting’ clawing at the walls, desperate to get out of the room he was locked away in. Totally melodramatic, I know. Seriously it’s only sugar. I have always been a little bit ‘in’ to it through my life, maybe a little bit too ‘in’ to it but my pregnancy brought on a true love of the stuff. I had no other devices I felt like I owed it to myself to have this one thing.

    Screw you SUGAR…….

    Yup, that was my screaming voice, she has officially lost the plot people.

    I’ve decided the only way I can possibly make myself feel better is to cook up some caramel popcorn and turn on the Netflix, I’m joking, seriously though I have actually been battling with this plan for over an hour. I’m in trouble.

    My actual plan is to research why sugar is doing this to me and take some power back damn it! I want the control back and I want to see what it has actually been doing to my insides. That was the best motivator to quit smoking and also knowing that I wanted a Matisse in my life.

    So here we go, come on a little ride with me, I so wish I had a glass of wine right now. Decided to give that the heave ho’ too after too much Christmas cheer. Green tea anyone? It’s infused and has a hint of lemon. Stop your judgement I’m putting the kettle on.

    Here goes…

    I’m not sure if you have heard about the comparison between sugar and cocaine, I feel like I am setting up a joke here, I am not. There is research proving that the former is more addictive than the latter according to healthline.com. I myself have steered clear of the stuff as I know I have a very addictive personality and I’m a good girl, yeah right but I knew if I was to indulge it would become a problem, Instead I have another problem, something much more accessible and a hell of a lot cheaper.

    I’m reading all of this information like it is new to me, it’s not but it is so interesting to have it spelled out to me, especially when I am open to listening about it. As I mentioned in my previous post ‘You Can’t Stop The Music’ I have a massive motivator in my husband. I have been so blind to how it affects him because my brain has become conditioned to crave sugar and like other drugs it is building up an intolerance. I’m sitting here thinking wow, I can’t believe I let something mess with my brain to a point where it is permanently altered and creating hormone imbalances. OLD! I had an old moment but it’s funny to see this 30’s me vs the 20’s me.

    The bonus to reducing sugars, especially refined sugar is that naturally sweet foods will seem even sweeter! Is there anything else???? This actually took a bit of a search as there is such a focus on the negative aspects of sugar which scare people enough not to bother with the benefits post reduction. I suppose this is because it is mostly obvious and well known:

    Weight loss benefits, if you don’t replace sugar with carbs.

    Your skin will clear up, this is something I notice straight away when I get off the ‘good’ wagon.

    Healthier teeth, sugar pumps those bacterial suckers up.

    Decrease symptoms of mental health and improve brain function.

    So we will see, writing this article has distracted me away from the bad stuff, made me want to pee due to the green tea and helped me to see it’s not a bad thing to try a good thing. I would call myself a bit of a wanker for promoting this but I make sure Matisse has nutritious balanced meals and Dan has low sugar dietary requirements so it’s about time I started to be real. Even if I am losing weight or exercising just because the Tim Tams fit within my calorie count for the day or I have exercised my ass off enough to gain more calories according to some App. It doesn’t make sugar any better for me, it is still sugar.

    Posted in Uncategorized

    Taking The Plunge- Travelling With a Toddler

     

    NEW CALEDONIA

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    I was having a chat with one of the parents at Playgroup before our trip to New Caledonia when he asked me ‘so is the hotel child friendly?’ I thought to myself, what do you mean? Not wanting to sound like I truly had no idea what I was getting myself in to. The truth was I was scared to find out if it wasn’t child friendly. We had a massive trip ahead of us and playing it cool a little kept the anxiety at bay, slightly. Trust me I seriously went in to overdrive in preparation for the flight (busy bag queen right here) and packing but I needed to let go a little, mostly for my own sanity.

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    Running off energy before the flight
    The answer was NO the hotel was not child friendly. Firstly there was no room service and the hotel restaurant was decommissioned due to a downturn in tourism which left us with our Tuna tartare at 9PM as we arrived later than expected. Not the best start, we made up for it with a traditional French breakfast the next morning but I was worried the hurdles were going to keep coming at us for the proceeding two weeks. We had one room with a kitchenette and it was nice enough but no room for romance and well we could barely have the TV on as it was keeping the toddler awake. One of the days my husband went out and left the two of us to nap. The cleaner had left the plastic dish rack on the stove and I’m not sure if it was me or the little one but it was turned on and let’s just say we had the fire alarm going off and management at our door. I was beside myself that something tragic could have happened and well, it put things in to perspective, the rest of the holiday could only be better.

    No glamour shots on this island!

    So there we were in our stinky hotel room with a child that slept for a solid 2.5hrs right in the middle of the day, no child minding service or room service and zero chance of romance. We had to get out of the town, Noumea was totally different to what I was expecting. After visiting Vanuatu a few years prior and loving the laid back atmosphere there I was expecting the same in Noumea. The pictures led me down the garden path a little but I was up for an adventure.

    The activity bag followed us everywhere

    We went to the travel agent and unfortunately hit their closing period of 12-1pm, everything closes at lunchtime. We took advantage of this break and had a sneaky beer while little miss was asleep in the pram. Oh yes, we managed to get her napping on the run. I was watching the clock a little as I wanted to get all the booking for the next 10 days done while she was still asleep, she read my mind, clock strikes one and she is awake. We get in to the travel agent and quickly realise we have a language barrier. It was in that moment that I had my AH HA! Moment, oh yes that’s right, I am a Mum now I should pre book these things so that I know everything is going to be O.K. I should have known from the look in people’s eyes when I told them before we left that ‘oh no! We are only booking the first three days’ that I should have been more organised. They knew, damn them, but sometimes we have to learn for ourselves.

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    No more photo’s!!!!

    Five seconds later after all of these thoughts ran through my mind another travel agent walks through the door. Oh, she said, you don’t speak French, come over to me. Sigh of relief. She booked everything for us to spend the remainder of the holiday touring the whole of New Caledonia, right to the top. I was beyond excited as this was the adventure I was after. Next step I needed to book a car. Note to self, next time book a car from the airport then you have the independence to explore. It’s a different kind of adventure with a child.

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    Sightseeing in Noumea

    Without a navigator for the car, thanks Dan, we get convoyed to our first stop in Bourail by a lovely local. From the bustling Noumea we were now in paradise, amazing. Dubbed as an eco- resort with lush green foliage and rolling mountains surrounding we had a sigh of relief as we came up the driveway of the Betikure Parc Lodge. Here was the holiday we were after. Matisse enjoyed playing with the owners dog’s mostly by yelling ‘puppy’ at the top of her lungs and as soon as any interest was given she ran screaming. Bourail itself was quiet, we hit a public holiday so there wasn’t much on while we were there but the beaches were the bluest of blue. We had great fun playing and walking along the sand until the rain hit. Just like that, it hit us and we ran. Baby in arms we sprinted to the car, sand all over us we jumped in and that was it. Beach over until next time.

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    Saramea Couldn’t have been more beautiful

    Kone’ was more inland and a much more established town, it had traffic lights after all. Dan was super excited about his plane ride organised for the next day and we managed to score a bit of a date night. A restaurant right at the front door of our hotel room. Wine and a buffet what more could we ask for, I was so full I couldn’t stomach another drink after dinner. The next morning Dan comes back to the hotel full of beans, he had just flown a plane and couldn’t contain his excitement, he had a bird’s eye view of the ‘Heart of Vu’ and he got to fly a PLANE! By his French only speaking co-pilot who claimed he was an instructor. I was completely jealous but fear had stopped me going and I wanted Matisse to have at least one parent in case something went wrong. I regretted letting that stop me but I think I would have crapped my pants if I went up in that very small plane.

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    Another day, another Dan flying a plane!

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    Pool at our door, restaurant just to the left of it

    We hit the road for Plage de Poingam and that full stomach turned out to be a dodgy one, we had a few stops where I had to talk to the nature. Thankfully it was all upwards, I don’t think I could have coped with the alternative as it was a long windy drive ahead of us.

    Relais de Poingam, a basic camp right on the beach with traditional huts and outdoor bathrooms. No Wi-Fi, no Television no air con but it had a pool. Even with all of our sickness, Dan too, this was such a highlight in the context that it made us stop and see what was right in front of us. Thankfully it wasn’t the dangerously positioned coconut trees right at our front door, we did google death by coconut at one stage in our trip. It was the nothingness, the beautiful adventures down the beach with our bodyguard, Roger, the local dog who slept on the job. We were safe and at peace, even when we tried to walk to the other island with a child on one hip. Yes the water became a little dangerous and being that it was Mother’s Day and I had previously felt utterly rubbish it was so nice to have a bit of fun. The women who run the camp work tirelessly to ensure their visitors have a comfortable stay within a traditional environment. Even with their meat heavy nightly feast they provided us with delicious fresh produce that never left us hungry.

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    We managed to keep her laughing

    Our drive to Hienghene took us from complete relaxation to absolute terror. Thin winding roads through the mountains with speeding trucks, poor Dan had to seriously concentrate to keep us all safe. We almost had a head on with a bus as it came careering around the bend on to our side of the road. This was all after our little detour of four hours and getting bogged in the middle of no-where with no phone reception, mud, dirt and awful heat. Why I said yes to explore the road that not even Google knew, I’m not sure. We survived. Why we tried to drive through the mud a second time at a different angle and then proceed to get bogged again, I’m dumbfounded. After getting out of the mud we then realised we had to turn back to the camp as we had forgotten some important medication. The day was draining, beyond belief but the hotel we stayed at was beautiful. It had beer, a pool looking out to the beach and hamsters running around the garden. The most expensive pizza possible and an early night, we were happy to get moving to our next stop.

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    The rest of our trip was mostly uneventful, we wished that we had spent more time at Poindimie. Our last day there took us on a boat to Aqualagoon which provided an eco-tour and walk across the island it was all in French and partially interpreted by another tourist. We went snorkelling and Matisse had a little friend to stare at as we all hung out on the white sands, anything that didn’t involve winding roads we were happy.

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    Our last days were spent at another traditional camp in Sarramea, just as lovely as the other but we were spent. It was time for this little family to head home. We were blessed by a lovely big nap from Matisse on the plane. I couldn’t watch anymore Frozen or Big Hero Six but had been forever thankful during our desperately sick days to have it as a distraction.

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    Plum Tuckered

    Lessons learnt? The activity bag is a great idea and stop stressing, bad things will probably happen but you will always bounce back. With our first overseas holiday done it is on to planning the next one. We’re thinking about staying local and tackling Central Australia. Have you had any holiday mishaps travelling with your family? It is amazing to think that we are only at the start of our holidaying journey, I can’t wait to create more memories, even if they are a little scary.