Posted in Parenthood, Personal Development, Positivity, This is MY YEAR

When you start to feel all grown up

It’s such a loaded heading but it’s something I’ve been deliberating on a fair bit.

The past year has brought on an era of change.

We have become a family of four and recently we relinquished our cherished apartment to another loving owner. Realistically it’s an investor who doesn’t give two hoots so that makes me a bit sad.

I met Dan when I was twenty two, just a baby and we committed right from the get go. When he left after our first date I knew I wanted him in my life. Later that year we moved in to our apartment and that was us for the next eight years.

It was little but it was ours and it’s where our love grew, where we challenged each other everyday, drank far too much wine and where I proposed.

We came home on our wedding night figuring why would we want to be anywhere else but our own little place where we grew as us.

One single, one double and a Masters degree were celebrated in Simpson Manor. Many late nights celebrating life, cementing forever friendships over just one more drink, long walks and bike rides followed by coffee and brunch.

Then our first pregnancy was confirmed.

Simpson Manor you will be our gem  forever.

Where to now? We have become grown up with two beings relying on us. If I focus on what made us happy it might help to work out what happens next.

To be continued….

Posted in Parenthood, Positivity, Uncategorized

How do I change the culture in my home?

This morning as my child screamed for her blanket as I drove down the driveway I wondered when she learnt to expect to get everything she wants.

Do we spoil her? Let her run loose? Why is she like this? I was experiencing deep regret. Why did I let so much slide or did I? Is this normal?

So many questions. 

It made me wonder what I have done to influence her behaviours. One thing we have been a lot of lately is being tired and grumpy.

We’ve been grouchy Mum and Dad and it doesn’t make me happy. Doing this makes her think that it is okay to act grouchy towards others.

I’m not aiming for some Fluffy detergent commercial style harmony but I’m over the grumpy.

It made me bring a comparison between my work and home life. I’m very big on a positive work culture. Respect the people around you. Make them and their contribution feel valued. Ensure they feel listened to and encourage them to grow and build independence.


Changing my perspective is key by the sounds of things. We all need to work together in this family to not only get everyone to bed by 7:15 each night, but to do it harmoniously and without broken blood vessels and overworked voice boxes.

One of the biggest triggers for disharmony is when she doesn’t listen. If Dan is around he will pipe up and ask her to listen to me, it all kind of goes in circles. Pointless and annoying. Then it escalates and a tantrum comes forth rapidly. Discipline drops in. Non compliance equals the stairs. Further non compliance equals the bedroom. We have a full steam kicking, screaming three-year old taken to her bedroom followed by doors being slammed then more kicking and tears.

The demands for a cuddle are at an all time high but only on her terms. We must cuddle in a particular place and without Willow. By this stage Mum is terribly exhausted.

It doesn’t seem like we are getting anywhere because the tantrums keep on happening.

This week I will be taking a few tips on board.

  1. Use humour and be light-hearted when situations get heated

  2. Recognise when you are being grumpy/tired/short/rushed

  3. Work out whether is it a fight worth fighting.

  4. Take time out

  5. Do activities together without the baby

  6. Understand she is three. Her outbursts are because she is not coping or doesn’t understand the situation.

  7. A cuddle fixes everything (most of the time)

  8. Try not to rush, try to listen and don’t dismiss

Do you have any methods of keeping a sense of calm in your home? Do you have a way to get your child to listen without getting to the tantrum stage?

Posted in Entertainment, Holiday, Parenthood, Positivity, This is MY YEAR, Too Much Fun!

Road tripping solo plus kids

Well my last minute dash interstate was amazing. I got to see some of my family and friends but better than that I set myself something to do that was difficult and because I wanted it so much the difficulty did not matter.

So what was so difficult?

I drove with a three year old and six month old by myself!!! for 12 hours!!!!


Absolute madness.

One and a half hours in to the trip we did a petrol/pee/feed Willow/snack and stretch stop. The moment I was on the toilet watching my three year old hold on to the baby I thought maybe, just maybe it was all too much. I’d spoken to the motel concierge who chirpily informed me Knill was 4.5 hours max away. Add another two hours and we made it. Half way done.

The stops were varied

‘Mum, I don’t want this movie anymore’

Along with

‘Mum I don’t want this movie anymore’

Oh and two poosplosions.

The single bed Willow and I shared dipped in the middle so with my fear of smothering her, sleep was secondary. In hindsight I should have slept with Matisse and left Willow to herself. The lack of hotel rooms gave us two single beds. These girls did not make it work.

The motel concierge made this stop worth it. He was a gem or a gem collector. They were everywhere. He sold artifacts with one being a random dinosaur out the front. It would make for a wonderful movie set.

One more poosplosions and the ‘are we at Nanna and Pa’s yet?’ question starting 30 minutes in to our second leg. Five and a half hours later we dragged ourselves inside to find Mum baking. Bliss.

Well, I felt like I needed a bit of a holiday after that mission.

And a holiday I had.


Posted in Parenthood, Positivity

What is Mother’s Day?

Happy Mother’s Day to all the gorgeous Mum’s of varying forms out there. I hope you have an incredible day. 

For me it is a time to celebrate en masse the amazing privilege we have been lucky enough to enjoy, our kiddies. 

Each day we are thankful to have these beautiful little beings in our lives. To see that learned action, cheeky smile, grown confidence or amazing kindness. It is there each day for us to enjoy as a Mum. Matisse is very big on telling us that she loves us at the moment and it is beautiful. Sometimes it’s because she is happy and wants to share the love, other times she has been naughty and it’s her way of saying sorry or smoothing things over. So I feel constant love and appreciation but Mother’s Day for me is special. Mostly because I get to ignore the hard bits and focus on the positive. 

Waking Mum up with burnt toast, terribly strong coffee and a handmade gift. I understand. I can see my Mum’s bleary eyes waking up to this but her smile. I understand. She is seeing beauty and she is seeing love purely directed at her, no distractions as it’s her day and no matter what is brought to her at this time she knows. She is the most important person in the room right now. 

Mum, I love you. I wish I could be serving you burnt toast this morning but I’m sure Dad will help me out there. You are the most important woman in my life and I thank you for everything you have done for me. Including the mass of washing you waded through on your last visit 😘 Even though I’m not there today I hope you feel my love beaming towards you. Happy Mother’s Day xx

This is the moment I became a Mum. I was going to edit the crap out of this pic but thought that it captured the 21hour labour perfectly. Pure joy mixed with absolutely physical devastation. 

Posted in Parent Zone, Parenthood

I can’t do it anymore

Dan came through the door as I was changing a nappy covered in a puddle of tears.  I said five words I haven’t verbalised for quite some time. I CAN’T DO IT ANYMORE!

It’s not what you think either. I’m coping with the newborn it’s the three year old who I can’t seem to work through.

This age are notorious for having small attention spans. She stresses me out beyond belief with her inability to listen and her ability to do everything possible to be naughty.

How is it that two seems impossible?  I had been warned about it being hectic and the first born often reacting badly to the new addition. Maybe this is her cry for attention.

It’s gotten to the point of this continuous dialogue increasing in volume as she cheekily says NO!

‘Matisse can you stop doing that please?

Matisse can you stop doing that please?

Matisse sit down with me’ (explain why I don’t want her to be doing what she is doing)

Continues to do whatever I don’t want her to be doing


Then there are tears and tantrums for 30 minutes.

Or there are the quick bursts of

STOP!STOP!STOP! And a big scream of STOP! At the end to top it off. That one happened last night as she was about to stomp on Willows head as she jumped on the bed. This is my reaction to a dangerous situation yet it is still ineffective.

I got her in to bed and she was happy as Larry when Dan got home to give her a goodnight cuddle. I wanted to be him for that moment.

As I unloaded on Dan it became painfully obvious my coping mechanisms were completely broken. Broke down long ago I feel. Getting to bed late and Willow waking a bit in the night wasn’t helping the situation. So I got told to go to bed.

I had nine hours sleep! And will be going to bed early from now on.

Now to work on my communication skills… how do I get her to listen without getting to the yelling stage? And how do I avoid the tantrums? Any advice would be appreciated because I am completely drained emotionally. I want to enjoy the time I have with her, not be telling her off all the time and have her rolling around on the ground crying.

Often stopping and asking her for a cuddle and telling her I love her works but sometimes I need her to learn that crossing the road with out an adult is not okay.

What are your suggestions? I’d love to hear of your experiences.

Posted in Parent Zone, Parenthood

The Dummy Fairy is Coming!!!!

It was all very random. I was looking at Matisse’s teeth this morning and remembered my dentist gently prodding me to stop the dummy before she is five. At that stage I was heavily pregnant and insisted once this baby was out the dummy would be gone. I’d let her get used to the new human making changes first. So here we are.

My sister told me a story about the dummy fairy coming one night and miraculously erasing them forever. Leaving a little present in her wake.It worked for her kids so why not give it a shot. To be honest I wasn’t overly confident.

Matisse thinks the world of her cousins so I sold her a story about when they got a little brother or sister they became big kids and didn’t need dummies any longer.

She ran with this and went and scooped all of them up around the house. Too easy. When going to bed she broke my heart saying ‘I’m sad, I have a dummy all of the time’. The enormity of the situation was made clear. Every day that she has been alive she has had a dummy by her side.

No nappies, no dummies. I have a BIG KID now.

Willow better stay in baby land for a while.

This morning she was very happy to find a little present and a certificate.

Posted in Parenthood, Positivity

I’ve got a problem

She’s sitting right next to me on the couch, breathing lightly, moving so effortlessly. Making me look at her, not want to move, just stay.

I have a confession to make. I haven’t gotten out of my pyjamas today, or even showered. Normally I at least have a shower and put clean pyjamas on. Who am I kidding? This is modas operandi. My life.

During the week we are incredibly busy so it’s nice to take a step back and chill. I’m finding this pace far too comfortable and more often not motivated to go out. I judge myself for this, it’s almost like this second baby was always here and life goes on but then I have this stop button. Like literally I just stop.

I don’t want to go out I just want to soak up this little baby stage for as long as I can cause before I know it she’ll be three and shocking me with swear words in context. But that is another story.

My beautiful Willow, you are too much of a delight to hang out with.

Posted in Parenthood, Positivity

Newborn Baby Fade

Today I had a little moment. It is more complex the second time round but each baby brings with it some version of challenge. For Matisse it was the birth then feeding and sleeping. Seeming incredibly significant at the time to my sleep deprived brain my focus was that she was healthy and happy.

We had a whirlwind four weeks with Willow. I got the perfect birth a relief after Matisse’s traumatic one. We sat there in amazement at how incredible the experience was.

Everything appeared to be falling in to place. She was alert and feeding constantly. We had mum and dad staying with us helping out with Matisse. Lots of wonderful visitors, life was peachy. Then her weight went in to free fall.

She was from a good paddock starting out just over 4kg so I didn’t fret at the usual loss. She was within 10% which Matisse wasn’t so I thought we were golden. Home and hosed no fuss needed this time.

Natural birth, healthy baby we were home for afternoon tea. I was over the moon for Matisse to be unfazed by it all. We went in the middle of the night, she came to visit in the morning with Nanna and Pa. off to childcare and home to her new baby. Life was not too different. Plus Willow came in to the world with an Elsa costume for Matisse so she totally rocked.

After all of the wonderfulness I couldn’t foresee any feeding problems. Each weigh was a loss. Each weigh got more frequent. Each weigh the midwife got more and more worried and I became stressed. Why wasn’t my baby putting on weight?

She didn’t have any outward signs of being ‘sick’ she appeared to feed well and for lengthy periods. She wasn’t crying for more. It was a bit worrying.

On this particular weigh in I’d already started the milk supply drug Motilium and had been giving her top ups. Still not much of an improvement. My midwife at the hospital wanted a paediatrician to look over Willow to give her the all clear. Let the fun begin.

In to emergency we go. Three paeds saw her, sleep deprived mother feeding three hourly round the clock and distressed from witnessing her babies first ever traumatic experience. Three viles of blood dripped from her foot. I couldn’t comfort her enough and felt incredibly numb. She was being admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and I couldn’t contain the tears at the thought of leaving my newborn in hospital two weeks after taking her home.

Dan whizzed to the hospital half a day in to his first day back from paternity leave. We were escorted up to NICU and it felt like they took my baby from my arms, without word, placing her in the humidicrib, stripping her off and placing a heart monitor on her. Nothing appeared reasonable at this stage. I asked the nurse if I was going to be able to hold her again while she was in the crib. The answer was yes but only for feeding. My newborn bubble was being burst.

I felt incredibly silly feeling so ‘on edge’ when there were beautiful babies surrounding us that were noticeably struggling. Their parents eyes drawn at having been doing this down pat routine for weeks. It was heartbreaking, I kept thinking they were subtlely telling me that my baby was actual sick. Dan and I were scared.

Dan left to pick up our bigger baby from childcare and organise all that we’d need for our stay. Silver lining, they had a room for me I wasn’t going to be too far from Willow after all. Good news was the blood test came back clear, no infection detected. Bad news, it was to be repeated the next day and we still had no indicator as to why we were admitted.

The Paediatrition came by and said she needed a urine specimen, good luck getting that from a baby. She convinced me that she needed to place a needle directly in to Willows bladder to get the urine. I was told to leave as it was more distressing for the parent. I wanted to comfort her but felt like I would break if I stayed. How I couldn’t be stronger was beyond me, I was failing and not coping well at all. The nurse came to get me and alas the procedure had failed, Willow had a wee as the Paed placed the needle in to my little babies bladder. I wish I’d said no. Days later we were discharged without urine specimen the importance placed on this was a farce but at the time I needed to help then uncover any problems.

We were moved within the unit after a few hours and with every move you are deemed lower risk. ‘Keep moving us’I said. I was put on a strict feeding routine. Feed, give expressed milk. Express, clean the parts to the machine. It would take 1.5hrs and feeding 3hrly I was able to get plenty of cuddles but very little sleep. I was struggling to eat, shower get the very important coffee and go to the toilet. I didn’t want my baby to feel like I’d left her. I was failing. My body was failing.

She appeared to be well, they couldn’t tell me anything otherwise But they wouldn’t let realease us without a diagnosis or weight gain.

Being a full term baby we got a daily weigh, yay us! But they wouldn’t do it until 2 in the morning so I added that to my current calendar of events. On the second night I suggested we do a before feed and after weigh to determine how much milk she was getting. 5ml after a 45mins or so I was devastated yet relieved at the same time. I needed to up the Motilium and focus more on me to get my supply up. Her nappy was drier and drier each change it was time for formula top ups and at this two am weigh in I was so exhausted there was not much more to give.

Now we were on to breast feeding, expressed milk top up, formula top up then expressing again. The in house lactation consultant was available when needed and helped me to get a very tired Willow feeding properly.

All we needed was a weight gain and the bloods to be clear. I’m sure the nurses wanted me out, with each day my conversations got more and more delirious.

On the third night we had a gain, I was ecstatic we had done it and hopefully with a clear blood test in the morning we would be on our way.

What made our discharge an even happier one was seeing our mate across the way going home too. He had been in for the long stay. Over 100 days and his parents were overjoyed to finally be taking their baby boy home.

We had no idea what they were looking for. When I had a nurse home visit she told me that it is fairly common in the special care nursery to have babies whose bodies reject the nutrition of the milk. I was then informed.

Never do I want to repeat that experience again. Willow had a slow gain for a while as we got home but now she is finally over her birth weight and getting chubbier every day.

Almost six weeks in and I’m still attached to a breast pump after each feed. She will eventually get the feeding business as she gets older but now I’m just happy she is healthy and giving us the cutest smiles. Hospital didn’t ruin our happy baby after all.

This is an extremely long blog post but in saying that it has been cathartic to share my story.

Posted in Parenthood

I found my place and it’s called ‘Our Place’

our place

9am – 5pm at 16 Ivanhoe Parade, Ivanhoe


Sometimes you stumble upon a little gem, maybe a rough diamond even but it just works. Our Place takes the stress out of having that caffeine hit.

We are very fortunate in the area to have plenty of cafe’s to choose from and they are all very accommodating to children but that doesn’t take any of the anxiety out of grabbing a coffee or a bite to eat when your child just wants to run around and be, a child.

Our Place has a community feel and half of the cafe is dedicated to a play area for the kids to do whatever they please. They even have an unlocked old school gaming machine which might unleash the kid in you.

All profits made from the cafe are supporting the Kids off the Kerb not for profit organisation benefiting disadvantaged and at risk teenagers. The project assists youths with training and employment opportunities giving them a pathway into paid work.

So grab a drink, relax, let the kids play away and feel good that you are helping out a worthy cause. You can’t go wrong there. As a bonus if you are in need of more energy being burned there is a playground just around the corner.



Posted in Parenthood

I see you, I see me. 

Raging energy pulses through this child’s veins. She courses through the house searching for the next thrill. Climbing is now her thing. Jumping to her first broken bone I fear is inevitable.


She screams, the frustration of not yet knowing how to articulate her feelings. How do I parent that? It’s not her fault she has passion but we are learning to breathe. To take time and understand one another. I want to keep that patience to understand her. Know why she gets angry if she doesn’t get her own way. Give her that voice that she’s not yet learnt and guide her to better choices.


One thing I want her to always keep is the passion in her expression. I fear the day when she shrugs her shoulders, throws her back pack on and walks out the door. Owning it all and leaving me in a heap. Teenage years will descend too quickly and I will be living my own Mum’s biggest threat. ‘ I hope you have a daughter of your own so that you can experience this’. She showed no malice but frustration. I had shutdown and hated authority. She was my enemy and I had worn her down over the teen years.


I’m not even sure the years of preparation as an awful teen will suffice given that twenty odd years later times have changed. A new world to lose her to and no advice from me.

I will bide my time until these years hit but ‘threenager’ is being thrust upon me rapidly. I will continue to take that breath and be kind to myself. We can only do our best in that moment of fire!

MummaKate xx