Grateful for Kindness, Honesty and Compassion.

It feels of late that our family has been put into some sort of tumble spin, and life has spun a little out of control.

If the issues that we have faced were mine alone, I would explain every inch of them to you, but as they are a story that belongs to many people, I feel that it is not my story to share alone, it would be not fair to only share my side and leave others versions unspoken.

What I can say, and what some of you know, is that almost 3 months ago we took on our 15-year-old niece in emergency circumstances.

Life sure had thrown us a big learning curve, getting used to a teenager in the house, and all the joys, emotions and moments that come with it.

Miss 5 has not taken the change and upheaval so well, and in turn her behaviour has spiralled out of control. Mega tantrums that were not even seen in the days that were labelled “terrible twos”. Biting, screaming, swearing, destroying, exhausting tantrums that start unannounced and last for hours on end.

I stupidly thought a holiday that had been long-planned was what we all needed, the tool to heal all wounds, I realise now on looking back how naive I was.

As the Mother of the house, I want to protect everyone, I want us all to be happy, and to work as a complete little family unit as best as possible. In turn I have been exhausting myself with worry and frustration at the situation.

Amongst all of this, I still have a lot to be grateful for, as the title of this post says, Kindness, Honesty and Compassion.

In being honest in my feelings and the issues going on in my family, others have been open to sharing their stories with me and in turn making me see that each family has our own issues to work on an any given time.

Not one person has made me feel inadequate in my situation, only beautiful, kind, thoughtful words of encouragement have been shared, and I am so very grateful for that.

In searching for some sort of extra assistance, I phoned parentline today. It is an awesome organisation that I only found when trawling through the phone book with hope to find something or someone to help me. It is only available in Northern Territory and Queensland, but it is set out to assist parents in their time of need.

Dear Henry, a kind man with an Irish accent took my phone call. Henry had probably only started his shift for the day and was not expecting a blubbering mess like me calling him. I had thought he would give me answers, some guiding clue as to what to do. I told him that lately I feel I am faking it till I make it, and very rarely making it at that.

Henry listened, he spoke, he encouraged, he supported me. He did not have the magical answer that I was looking for, but he did make me feel that I was doing the best job that I can right now. It was nice to talk to someone uninvolved, no judgement, just an ear to listen.

There are so many beautiful people who I am grateful to have in my life.

My husband who has taken this out of control ride with me, and supported me the whole way, held my hand when what seems like millions of tears have fallen from my eyes recently.

I am blessed to also have such beautiful, supportive friends, caring about our family. It was a joy to talk to one such friend who lives in New Zealand today. Deb rang me for a catch up, it was nice to hear her friendly voice on the other end of the phone. Deb lives an ocean away, but sounded like she was only around the corner. It was nice to just chat, to be listened to , and to listen to her in return.

I have also been touched by messages, both public and privately shared by you, the readers who have touched my heart over the past year. Some of you have shared your own upheaval that you are individually experiencing at the moment, and I am grateful that you have included me in your life, that you take the time to wish my family and I well, or to simply tell me that you know we will be ok. You will never know how thankful I am for each and every one of you. Most I have never met, yet I feel I know you, and in turn have shared a little bit of myself with you.

For the school Mums, who have seen me drained and empty at the school pick ups and drop offs, for those who have supported me, watched me cry, be upset, confused or simply drained, yet still cheered me on, I am thankful to you.

For my friends, who have simply told me “I am here, whenever you need me”, your kindness and support has always been such a huge gift that I feel so blessed to have in my life.

For my little family. We may seem to be on a little roller coaster at the moment, in fact life is very much like a roller coaster at any one given time.

We will get through this little family, we will pull together, support each other, make mistakes, apologise when need be, we will laugh, we will cry, we will live, and it will all be that little bit extra special, as we have done it together.

No one ever said life would be easy, but it will sure be worth it.


What I learnt on holidays

We just recently returned from our first family holiday in years.

Our previous one was taken in a caravan park, on the Atherton Tablelands, not too far from where we live.

Our 3-year-old son had never been on a plane until now, and our 5-year-old was a baby when she had her last plane trip, so had no memories of it.

It almost seemed like we were holidaying for the first time, it has been that long, and we have been in such desperate need for one.

The holiday did not always go to plan, but we did have fun, and along the way I learnt many things, here are some of them:

What I learnt on holidays

  • Spending more money does not mean that you will have more fun. We found some amazing free parks, and lovely little beaches, and found the moments spent at these places were the most peaceful of our holiday.

  • The one time you don’t pack a  spare change of clothes will be the one time your fully toilet trained child has an accident (in the most inappropriate of places)
  • The dreams and expectations you have of some places may be hard to meet, yet the places that you think are going to be not so great end up being the most great experiences and eye openers.

  • Kids do not always understand that their parents are having a holiday too, and perhaps need the odd reminder.
  • Seeing and experiencing things with your children is a magical experience, to see the wonder and joy that they hold for all these new things to them, even if it is something that you have experienced before yourself, the fact that you are doing it with your children for their first time makes it feel extra special.
  • Being away with your children also gives you more of an excuse to act like a child. BC (before children), you may have been given an odd look if you were caught cavorting amongst the ball pit at the caravan park you were staying at. With children on tow, people just think you are being a hands on parent.

  • Girly shopping trips are fun ,had not done one in many years, but met up with an old friend while on holidays and had  great girly morning out, trying on clothes without having the change room door flung open on me by an escapee child.
  • I come from a rather small town, so bigger cities often make me end up feeling like a country bumpkin.
  • I forget how many great companies that we still don’t have in our town, so would often hear myself getting excited over cafes/ stores /supermarket chains that locals thought I was being a bit of a wacko.
  • Holidays can help your children create new dreams. When my kids saw the amazing dolphin show at Sea world they both   decided that they are  going to one day become a dolphin trainer.

  • When you have not had to pack a suitcase in years, you find that your packing skills may have somewhat diminished. (didn’t help that I did my packing after a big day/night before celebrating  my friend’s wedding)
  • No matter how much walking you do, or how many fun things, or how well the day seems to be going, that insomniac child will go from happy to screaming banshee EVERY night of your holidays.

  • Kids don’t understand that staying in close proximity to others means that they need to tone that voice down NOW!
  • Hybrids are great cars! (our hire car was one, loved it, and sooooo economical on the fuel)
  • After a huge day out with the kids, you will find yourself saying “I could really use a drink tonight”, but find yourself so tired that you cannot even be assed walking across the road to the bottle shop, and decide on an early night instead (wow, when did I get so old!)
  • As much fun as holidays are, there is no place like home, or the feeling of joy as you fly into your town, and see the things you love about it, the cane fields, the blue skies and the mountains, and the knowledge that you are now home.

A new use for spaghetti

Today Noah and I were playing with play dough.

Along with the normal play dough tools, we decided to use a bit of uncooked spaghetti and pasta shells as well.

Noah’s photo of his truck and playdough with pasta speed bump

An Echidna

Then it just got a bit silly…………..

Lovely Peacocks

Walrus Boy

Here I was thinking I needed a makeover, turns out I just needed to stick some uncooked spaghetti in my hair!

I just cannot get over the transformation!

Noah’s Self Portrait:
“My Mummy has lost the plot!”

Noah was horrified when I suggested that I keep my new “Spaghetti Hair” in place to take him to his swim lessons.

He got the last laugh though when he commenced to eat my work of hair art!