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March 28, 2015 by Vicki

“A portrait of my Vicklets, once a week, every week for 2015″

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Little Vick: Last weekend we followed your Dad away for work. The pretty location was enticing and I always like the sound of a weekend away together. Typically it wasn’t quite as dreamy as I’d sketched out in the pre visuals of my mind. Sunday morning saw us all with a case of the crankies thanks to your brother thinking 2.30am was an acceptable bed time and not a moment earlier. So, everything was hard and we didn’t like each other much but we were determined to achieve an outing to say we’d done something nice on the trip. We ventured up to the Venus Baths, about a km or two out of the township of Halls Gap. It’s a lovely five star tree walk and you embraced it like a true little adventurer. I’m always impressed with what a good sport you are when it comes to a spot of hiking. Prior to arriving at our destination I had not considered what you and your brother might like to do there. I’m not sure why I was surprised to discover nudity was the game plan but seeing your milky skin blend into the natural tones of the rocks and water cheered me. You climbed amongst the rocks and dipped your feet into the icy pools but you couldn’t be encouraged to go in. You’re so sensible like that.  Instead you ran your fingers through the water and watched the patterns of the ripples. The innocent spirit and simplicity of this experience cheered me and all my crankies dissolved.

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Baby Vick: You’re not quite so reserved as your brother. If there is water, it is there to be swam in. That is not negotiable. Water is one of your great loves so it wasn’t surprising that the pools provided great wonderment for you. You slopped right on in and explored independently. Your little limbs were frozen from the icy water and yet you wouldn’t relent. Here you were taking a break from blowing bubbles in the water. It wasn’t long before you were laughing about throwing your wet fringe around and threatening to get us all wet. Not like you to be a prankster or anything.

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The Happy Apples

March 24, 2015 by Vicki

One of my happy rediscoveries over summer this year was our garden. We have a plot in a community garden as well as growing a few things in our tiny front yard.1-DSC_0847

The garden is one of my happy places. It reverts me straight back to my days as a girl on the farm where we lived virtually self sufficiently. In true country form, the garden was an all in thing. We all helped out but the passion was driven by my Dad. My Mum worked on the flowers, my Dad was the veggie expert. My Mum however did cook, pickle and stew them all, so again, team effort.

I seem to have some natural knack for the garden biz just from watching my Dad all those years. Likewise, Little Vick seems to have his Pops favor for the veggie patch which tickles me pink. He doesn’t realise just how much he is like my dad. Some things just naturally filter down the line I guess.

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Last week we decided it was time to pick our Jonathan apples which we’d watched patiently bud, grow and ripen to perfection. This event was, in true form, an all in thing. I’d love to say we have an orchard, but alas, we only have one tree but she gave us three full bags of delectable apples. 1-DSC_0839We planted this tree some 12 years ago when Mr Vick and I first lived in our home as teeny bops. He tells me on the day we planted it, he daydreamed of us picking and eating apples with our children in the future and so, here we were. I can’t say I ever expected to still be in the same home, but there certainly is beauty and pride in watching the life of a tree.

We loved sharing the picking as a family and the boys could not help but eat as they worked. In fact, it became a lazy family time on the green grass in our yard, examining bugs and biting into as many apples as we so pleased. There’s something earthy and rewarding about eating straight from the tree.

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I even managed to get #inthepicture thanks to a nudge from Bron at Maxabella Loves. I look puffy and tired but I wanted to be in the collection of photographic memories for my boys to look back at. I don’t always have to be invisible in the photo albums.

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So, now I have stacks of apples. Everyone is looking to me to do something with the ones deemed useful for cooking rather than eating. I can imagine I’ll make a pie and then what?

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What would you cook using apples? Hit me up with your recipes please!

Today I am linking up with Essentially Jess for #IBOT

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March 22, 2015 by Vicki

A portrait of my Vicklets, once a week, every week, for 2015

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Baby Vick: I had to share this series, my wicked little cutie monster. I can’t get enough of it. You are full of expression and joy. The simplicity of life is highlighted through your jolly discoveries. An apple, a shiny, red, home grown apple here was enough for you to spill into these gorgeous faces. It makes me quickly forget your tendency to live as our resident grump.

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Little Vick: You are a lover of animals and all creatures. You marvel at the most deadliest and yet the smallest of creatures found in your own backyard. Here you had discovered a lady beetle. You carefully constructed a little home for her in a tub with weeds and sticks. You watched her carefully, being gentle until you decided she needed to be set free. Then, you chucked her out the door with scary force but all with good intent in your heart.

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The Bully I Know

March 19, 2015 by Vicki

Of late there has been some testy business going on around here that I ain’t all that fond off. It’s been making my job as a parent a whole lot less comfortable.

Little Vick has become a “no” loving, brother thumping, defiant, unruly, rough head four year old that generally wants to make my day complicated and exhausting from sun up to sun down. It happens. Four year olds can be known to be fairly disgusting, especially the male species. I’m sure many of you already know this.

Much stress it has caused here in the house of Vick. Most days I want to tear my hair out in a furious rage and/or fall onto the ground and belt out some serious ugly crying. I have not felt so tested in all my parenting times. Pregnancy does not help here. In fact, I’d say I’m fairly aggro and easily infuriated right now which does not help the cause, friends. No siree.

My entire day circulates around policing conflict between my two Vicklets. They’re both strong willed, physical individuals that continually collide. So often I will leave a room they’re in and I will instantly hear the cries of Baby Vick who I find scattered all over the floor, in hysterics with a red welt on his head and one older brother, aka Little Vick looking quietly guilty but insisting he did “nuffin”. Other times he doesn’t try to hide it and he’ll unleash his aggression and frustration at his brother in front of me through the form of growling, pushing, hitting, pinching, slapping… all the ugly behavior. All the ugly behavior that he never used to do but now there are just so many wars. The whole concept of playing together and taking turns of things is completely despicable to Little Vick. It’s an exhausting thing to parent. I have spurts of patience where I guide him through it reasonably but generally I have been at my wits end. His behavior can feel exhausting and relentless.

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I knew there were issues swirling at home but when I realised the aggressive tendencies were leaking out into public interactions it was clear it needed to be addressed immediately. When you turn up to take your son home after a play date and you’re informed that there was “an incident’ which ultimately was due to your child biting or pulling hair or pushing someone elses child, or you start to get texts saying my child is upset by your child’s behavior, there is a real problem. On these occasions I feel completely mortified. Worrying about it has been terribly consuming for me because I’m a parent who really cares. I have prided myself in nurturing gentle behavior, compassion and consideration in my children and to Little Vick’s credit he has adopted these qualities (he isn’t all evil) but seemingly there is something else that has crept in and overpowered my nice little guy *crowd lets out a big booooooo*.

Realistically bullies are not born, they’re raised. The whole ‘I must be a terrible parent talk’ has been terribly nagging but I’ve had to put my adult-ness on and put it aside to actually nut out what internal things that might be the cause and to figure out a strategy to overcome it and nurture my little guy through this. It’s not easy to be this honest with yourself but these are some possible contributing factors I’ve summed up:

1. Testosterone. It’s commonly known boys around the age of four get a surge of testosterone into their system and some literally turn bonkers. They know not what to do with themselves except turn hypo crazed  and/or thump someone. This is thought to be a stage. I live in hope.

2. The up rise of the little brother. Baby Vick is s very demanding individual. “No” is never a barrier for him. He is fearless and curious and capable so he requires an Everest amount of parenting focus and attention. Attention once spent on his older brother. Although Little Vick is not really the jealous type, he certainly must feel the downgrade in time and attention spent on him. It’s even created an unbalance in power perhaps? Also, Baby Vick need not be four to be a rough, unruly type. At the age of one he is so casually comfortable with pulling hair and biting which often his older brother falls victim to. To date we have found it hard to know how to discipline a one year old for this behavior and I fear that the firm talks we give to Baby Vick (and witnessed by Little Vick) have not been sufficient in promoting a no tolerance environment in our home. If his brother gets away with it, he should too right?

3. Misguided affection. I know that sounds like a far cry but I watched Little Vick interacting with some older boys over the weekend and he LOVED the berserk energy of those guys. The running, pushing, tagging, shoving, knocking energy of them all. He bought right into it of course and fitted in despite being a good 2-3 years younger. Seemingly (and this is new to me being of the female variety), if you like someone you wrestle, push and generally act like an aggressive caveman which works well UNLESS your buddy know not how to speak caveman.

4. This one hurts me a bit to say but perhaps this behavior is a cry for attention. With a Dad who is working ridiculous hours away from home he is getting less one on one Dad time and being stuck with a yelly, impatient preggie of a mum. It must be no fun. I’ve been saying ‘no’ more often because I just can’t deal. I have had less negotiating ability and just less of me to give in general. It’s difficult to teach emotion regulation to your child when you’re having trouble regulating your own outbursts. Little Vick is sensitive enough to change brewing but with a mumma who has already dramatically changed it must be difficult to understand. Likewise there is a lot of rushing about in our family at the moment. Mr Vick and I are juggling work commitments and handing the parenting baton back and forward and only just managing to keep all the balls up in the air. Again, less time for kiddy activities, interaction and attention. Being time poor and fatigued affects kids more than we can imagine. I think we need to seriously look at our lifestyle and the effect it is having our little people.

5. All of the above. I am smart enough to know there is probably no one contributing factor playing out here but perhaps more a combination of a number of things which are all compacting at the same time.

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I can tell you this article really has encouraged me. I read it earlier in the week and it has given me some perspective and direction because hooley dooley, I have been dry on the suggestion front. I have done time outs, I have done sticker charts, I have tried taking toys away, I have tried patiently guiding him through frustrating scenarios, I have tried to ignore stuff and there has been improvement at times but still it continues. This article speaks a lot about unbalanced power, discipline vs punishment and encouraging the good rather than focusing on the naughty. Very handy for those of you who find yourself dealing with a shiteful little caveman like me.

I’d really love to hear from you my readers however about what you find effective. You are the experts of course. Lend a girlfriend a hand will ya? How do you treat aggressive tendencies in your children?

A Little Life Update

March 13, 2015 by Vicki

I’ve been a little AWOL from the blog scene this passed week or so apart from the odd lazy photo post. This preggie has been doing it all. Well, when I say doing it all I’m referring to working on occasion. It feels like a lot. It drains my life out like a whole LOT. When I work I have to be prepared to do a whole heap of nuffin’ afterwards because I am good for nuffin’ following the outlay of extra energy.

Last week I worked two days teaching and then sung at a wedding gig on Saturday night which ultimately means I don’t get to bed until ridiculous o’clock when all the teeny bops are getting home from the discos (actually they’re probably just getting their dance shoes on). The following two days afterwards I spent in a sea of muddle and fatigue and let’s be honest there was crying. A bit of it because this little preggie was strung out. I don’t know how you preggies out there work full time and come home to bouncing balls of energy, aka kids. What super-preggie-heros!

Anyway, by chance I’m doing it again this Saturday night. It’s not normal for me to do two gigs in two weeks anymore but it’s just the way it’s worked out. It’s all very good for my pocket money (to spend on Cherry Ripes and Easter eggs which I’ve taken a fancy to) but I think we can safely say I need to be forced into retirement starting anytime now. I expect Sunday and Monday to be completely ugly again. Blerg.

I have learned something weirdly wonderful however. This baby is a bit musical. Not surprising considering it has two parents who are musicians but it has a favorite song already! True dinks! It loves all the happiness in ‘Walking On Sunshine’! At the gig last weekend I was mid song when I felt some difficulty breathing. It’s kinda important when you’re singing and it’s a tough sing as it is with it’s monotonous, boppy energy but when you’ve got a baby insisting on inflicting some good ole Braxton Hicks contractions at the same time, it’s a real experience! This was the first time Mr Braxton has made an appearance this pregnancy so I was a little taken aback not to mention having to work double as hard to get through the song. THEN, last night when I was rehearsing for my upcoming gig this weekend, yep, sung the sunshine song and it kicked up a storm having a good ole hoe down party in my womb AGAIN! Not effected by any other songs, just ‘Walking on Sunshine’. Not kidding! I found it amusing anyway.

In and around the work and yawning life demands to roll on (how rude). I have been transitioning Baby Vick into daycare life. We made the decision to put him in for a day a week for all of our sakes. It’s been a long process finding one that has availability and that feels likes a fit. We never put Little Vick into care until kinder so of course there’s been lots of questioning about if we’re doing the right thing which is a natural releasing thing but after watching him in orientation yesterday where he played and interacted more happily than I have seen, I know we are. When this Baby Mango arrives and I’m occupied elsewhere and his brother is at kinder, the boredom will eat him up and I suspect I will need the day to get me some snoozing. Despite a small reluctance I know we will be laughing in a few months to come when we’re all benefiting from this. In fact, I can sense I will become a devout advocate for daycare!

And really, that’s all I have to say. Nothing profound. Just a little sharing to end the week and did you know? Last weekend I flew a kite for the first time! See, all the learning is happening here!

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How goes your week?
Do you juggle parenting and work life?

Are you a daycare advocate?

 

Wordless Wednesday: A Backyard Moment

March 11, 2015 by Vicki

1-DSC_0704Mess everywhere, spilled liquid draining across the ground, a rogue climbing child: welcome to the house of the Vicklets!

To keep updated you can follow Knocked Up & Abroad on Facebook

10/52

March 9, 2015 by Vicki

“A portrait of my Vicklets, every week, for 52 weeks in 2015″

{well ya know, I’m managing about every other week but lets keep mum about that}

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Baby Vick: There are words starting to fall right out of your mouth. We’ve waited for sometime to hear more than “mum”, “daaad” and “no”. We still have to listen really hard and play detective full time to figure out what the words might actually be and certainly a translation is required to anyone from the outside visiting, but what you choose to say and the inflections are super cute. Heart warming even. By nature you don’t feel the necessity to express words as often as your brother did and does. You are mostly happy to watch and allow your brother to speak for you even though you now can. Typical second child business.

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Little Vick: You are all about the first child business. You like to master the everything. You have learned that there is benefit in refining skills even if that skill is blowing massive, kick arse bubbles. Bubbles are always a winner !

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Corn & Vikings. Why Not?

March 6, 2015 by Vicki

I’m not sure what it is but this week has been crushingly exhausting. You know those ones?

These weeks are not my favorite. I don’t like muddling through my days out of my mind and wondering how I can somehow slip out of my own body and do a runner from all the consuming fatigue and sense of restlessness.

Things aren’t that bad. Really, they’re not. It’s not going to be that kinda post but I’m just saying, I’ve had easier weeks, ya know?

It’s been a tracky dacks and fluffy hair type of week and it’s most definitely been a, I-require-Lindt-chocolate-on-hand-full-time kinda weeks.

This pregnancy is doing funny things to my sleep. I wake always feeling hung over. Ripped off that the morning light has arrived sooner than I hoped and it’s straight into the full wonderment and chaos of having two young, maniac zippy boys. They have little sympathy for my condition and I find my patience is running on zilch. Nada. Diddly frickin’ squat.

I feel the yelly mummy coming on way too often and I hate myself just that little bit for it but I have no idea how to get out of that cycle some days. Mr Vick usually tells me to leave the house for some breath o’clock so I promptly do as I’m told.

Life is a web of so many complexities. Baby Vick is teething and over tired from all the night wakings (ME TOO) and Little Vick is wetting the bed again and in general is being a crazed, testosterone filled nutter who has taken to violent outbursts towards his brother which in return makes me feel completely incompetent as a parent because I have not a single brain wave of a clue about how to effectively deal with it. Mr Vick is seeking my guidance whilst making big decisions about his degree and which career path to take. We’re trying to decide how to order our life for the year ahead so we can all cope with another Vicklet babe landing. I’m trying to decide if a day at daycare is the right option for my Baby Vick. There’s discussions about money and the ever short supply of it. I’m trying to do the working mum thing on occasion and generally getting in a tizzy because I’m late or communications with colleagues is weird (why can’t people be straight forward?). Discussions about the size of our (smallish) home, do we need a new one and alternatively if not then how do we organise all the things effectively to create space that just isn’t really there?

There’s just too much adult-ness going on and I don’t like how it compacts together all at once. Making decisions when you’re knocked up is like scraping an empty barrel for a lick of anything good. It’s been dry for a good six months now peoples!

And then there’s that other thing. Doubt, which just creeps in and unsettles me. All the how-are-you-going-to-manage-another-baby-on-top-of-all-of-this? How much will my current children hate me from being a cranky mole when I have another newborn? Will I ever feel rested again? Will Mr Vick file for divorce due to my shit stink moley ways (otherwise know as fatigue induced crankies) when the baby arrives?

Yikes, this brain of mine is like a shark. Can someone just give me a break and comatose me until late June after baby Mango has arrived?

Since this wasn’t going to be one of those venting, miserable kinda posts I have to balance it up with some good so you might be all tricked. I’m loving our garden fierce right now. She is so good to us. Look at this perfect corn will ya?

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My parents are the produce growing champions and they cannot get their corn looking this marvelous. We have to head down and harvest the crop tomorrow and we’re still picking a dozen zucchinis a week too which is like Christmas every single time. The Vicklets are actually eating things they may never have tried because they picked it out of the garden themselves. Love that.

And just for random pleasure. Take a look at this man:

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{Source}

Straggly a bit. Ruggard, yes but I’m crushing hard. This is Ragnar from the telly series Vikings. Grotty vikings aren’t my usual style but no undercut pigtail has ever looked sexier. I seriously want to call our Baby Mango Raygner if it be of the male sex variety. Mr Vick strangely isn’t agreeable but he can’t stop me from a little viewing pleasure!

Happy Weekend team!

What complexities are you living with right now?

Do you fancy my Viking crush?

Hooroo Summer

March 3, 2015 by Vicki

Can it really be? Can summer already be three days gone?

Each year when summer passes we question if we made the most of it. It’s so longed for and yet when it’s upon us life fills up with all the busyness and we meander through it like any other season. Then we scramble to achieve the things we had on our little mental wish list for summer in the final hours. We always pine for more time at the beach and this year, with Mr Vick studying and working exorbitant hours it has meant there has been jack all beach times.

When I look back through my summer snaps on Instagram, I can see there was a whole lot of goodness though. I really don’t deserve to sook.

It served up berry farms, ice creams, chickens to raise, buckets of fresh home grown produce, baby chickens, new beginnings, sprinkler times, sunshine, cricket, camping, BBQ’s and family hanging.

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That last photo is undoubtedly the the rock star winner of the lot. It’s one of only a handful of family photos ever captured of us all. It was a happy day that one, just shit kicking in the park together.

I think they’re the best memories from the summer. The ones where it was just me and my boys free and loving in one anothers company. Those times might have been more limited than we’d hoped, but they filled us up and nourished our needy little souls.

Did you get to have many summer time adventures?

What was your favorite thing about this summer?

{Today I am linking up with Essentially Jess for #IBOT}

All the Pregnet-ness > 24 Weeks

February 27, 2015 by Vicki

24 weeks baby 3

That there is all 24 weeks of my bump. Yeah, I would have said 34 weeks at least too.

I’m getting the eyes of pity from passerbyers. The “oh that poor girl who is about to give birth” look. Yeah, nah. Just getting going with the bump really. It’s just warming up which is a little frightening considering the pressure my poor little pelvis is trying to deal with already. With 16 weeks to go, I think my pelvis is going to be the Hulk of all pelvises. I’m banking on it anyway. Although part of me suspects that this is going to be the pregnancy which will bust my vagina – before I even give birth!

Obviously that vag of mine is right out of sight from my view now. Long gone. I don’t know exactly when it happened but two weeks ago in the shower I looked down and realised the bump has over taken any views below. I just have to splash some water around and hope for the best now. I wonder if it lets me out of waxing maintenance? If I can’t see my designer fur triangle, need it be done (until precisely a week before due date when I realise her moment is virtually on)?

Of course I’m keeping up to the preggie stereo type and feeling all the feelings. Just call me the teary tragic. Water seems to just fall from my eyes about zee everything. I emotionally invest way too much. I’m so deep right now. I want to dissect and talk about everything. Mr Vick is ready to hire a new husband for me I suspect.

I have had the realisation that I have to enforce an intervention against myself, being myself. I just can’t do it all. I can’t load up my days with all the things I might normally achieve comfortably and live off minimal sleep. It creates one irritable, bumpin’, crazy lady. The penny dropped last week: LADY YOU’RE PREGNANT, like really, and you’re responsible for two other little people who siphon energy like it’s endangered air. I just don’t have the stamina that I had during the previous two rounds of pregnetness. I need to be kind to me and I’m really shit at that so I’m giving myself little pep talks to lay off virtually every day. There will definitely be no backpacking around Europe this time.

Here’s some tidbits for you:

Eating: Cherry Ripes and Bushman Nut Selection

Feeling: Baby Mango kicks ALL DAY LONG. I was hoping for a calm individual and I fear this is not consistent with my dream

Wanting: To find some preggie zen at pre-natal yoga. Always wanted to give this a go

Did you cry a lot when you were pregnant?

Did you have to slow down during subsequent pregnancies?

Have you missed a post from this week?

A Family Holiday

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