Living With The One Year Old Mango Baby

July 26, 2016 by Vicki

DSC_0712Flop and dropping in Fiji overshadowed the fact that I now have a one year old. ONE YEARS OLD!

He is a toddler. The baby years are behind. I’m too tired to really feel all the feels that maybe I could about that.

Mango, who is so much happier being on his feet and cruising and having a geezer about everything, has mastered a good sturdy walk now and even lets me put shoes on him (it was a no go there for a bit). Of course it means I have a shadow wherever I go. He is there and everywhere in .5 seconds flat and you can bet if the front door opens or the toiler door slips ajar, then he just zips on through and into those zones that send me running.

This day I obviously didn’t run quick enough.

IMG_2438

I forgot the golden rule. Silence means trouble.

The loo is his favourite hang out. I’m sure he’ll keep that up right until I start asking him to use it.

So he’s curious (obviously) and messy. Fairly typical traits for his age I suppose but sheesh I’d forgotten how exhausting they are. He is fully dedicated to those causes. He will poke his nose in anywhere that is a bit inconvenient for me and shove his hand in and mess it all around, then probably pull it all out on the floor and wander off down the hallway leaving a trail along the way. I find random pieces everything all over the house. Nothing belongs where it should. This lesson about control is sending my a teensy bit mad. We have something like five TV remote controls about the house but naturally when we finally get to sit and watch something we have to hunt through toy boxes and under beds for just one to even turn it on!

I’ve been asked if he’s talking and I have to say, yes, kinda. He’s not like some babies that announce their first word and say it over and over. He yabbers on and off, and more than his brothers ever did at this age. It’s mostly gibberish and then on occasion he will pull out a big word like any three year old would and it sends us all reeling. The perks of having bigger little people teachers hey?

Mango is still very sweet and smiley but he’s also learned how to put on a ripper sourpuss and scold me real good. He can turn on the fiery-ness when he feels there is a great enough cause. He often calls upon it when he wants to prove he is capable enough to do something by himself. I can sense that’s the nearing two year old in him warming up.

DSC_0674

DSC_0666DSC_0630He’s an international traveler now too. Fancy having a first birthday and two days later getting out his passport and jetting off to an international destination? I knew nothing like it as a child. My first trip overseas was when I was 18 years old and I paid for it myself. Interestingly it was to Fiji, and it was with Mr Vick but that’s a story for another day.

Of course he was a complete baby rockstar in Fiji because he is the white buddha baby, with blonde hair and blue eyes. Trifecta in terms of amazingness to the locals. They honed in on him and flapped all the attention about him, hoping to get a mere smile. Mid shift they would flick open their mobile phones and take a picture of him. I was all like, um, huh? aren’t I the tourist here?

DSC_0561

He took the attention, of course. He showed very little concern about snuggling up with strangers. I’ve noticed that about Mango. There is a certain comfortableness and trust that he has. Is that a thing with third borns?

If you asked him how his Fiji experience was and he was able to comment I’m pretty sure he would say it was fairly shitty considering he contracted Hand Foot and Mouth disease. Isn’t that bag of fun balls? I think he screamed two night flats. Happy holiday!

The real issue, that is an every day thing, is his night wakings. I kid you not when I tell you that I still attend to his cries during the night three to four times. For the most part I don’t mind delivering the needed comfort that he desires ie. my boobs because he is already proving being small is for a short time and this season will not last, but then again on the other hand I am not managing my sleep deprivation as well as I have previously. Previously I have not had three children. So I am all arms up in the air about it. How long should I keep playing his game? I think I’m going to have to be the one who makes the shift because seemingly it’s not something he is growing out of. I’m such a dummy to believe that that will happen every time.

DSC_0029

It’s easy to harp on about the illness, the messiness, the sleeplessness but every so often Mr Vick and I will be watching him and he will turn around and smile at us and say something in his cute gibberish lingo and then he’ll lurch himself towards us for a big squeeze and we comment that this is a precious time. Being one is really special. It’s the best of both worlds. Babyhood and childhood mashed into one. And this in between child can teach us so much, even the third!

Anyone else parenting a one year old?

What age did you first travel over seas?

Today I’m linking up with Kylie Purtell – Capturing Life for A Happy Birthday IBOT special.

When Fiji Nearly Didn’t Happen

July 19, 2016 by Vicki

IMG_1354

Fiji nearly never happened.

We arrived at the airport with excitement in our eyes, even in the weary little ones. Our flight was at 11pm and everything had sailed swimmingly well with getting to the airport. We’d unloading the car, caught the bus to the terminal with our pile of bags and children in tow with ease. We had it covered. It felt like the holiday had already started.

Check in was going to be easy because I’d already done it online, so it was just a matter of checking our passports and handing our baggage in. Easy peasy.

That was until the flight lady behind the counter started examining one of our passports more closely and whispering to her colleague next to her. Still, we had no cause for concern. Right?

The flight lady very diplomatically informed us that Little Vick’s passport was only valid for a further four months, however to travel to Fiji, immigration requires a passport to be valid for six months.

Alarm instantly rung through my every inch. BUT IT’S A VALID PASSPORT I said in my head.

Flight lady went to the boss lady to talk it over. Surely, she was going to see sense in the matter and somehow shoo us through. This will all just be a scare!

No. Boss lady calls us over to her desk and proceeds to tell us that we won’t be able to fly tonight. Just like that. “You’re not flying tonight, this will not be accepted”! My mouth dropped (don’t do this to me, don’t do this to me, don’t do this to me….)

Apparently we would need to get a letter from the consulate in Canberra via email the next day to say we’re good and well citizens and Fiji should feel okay about letting us in. And apparently we should have looked at the immigration website because it’s all there in black and white for the reading. Our bad.

Boss ladies next suggestion was for three of us to travel that night on our booked seats and two should follow the next night and can she book that for us now? We looked at her with our dead pan eyes. Seriously?

Mr Vick instantly told her that we would not be separating. Boss lady explained that the flight the next night was already over booked so she couldn’t guarantee that there would be seats for five. Mr Vick again very sternly said we would not be separating.

I could feel a battle coming on. Deep breaths, deep breaths… my mind was instantly filled with all the things. Why didn’t I just update the passport when I got the two other Vicklets done? Don’t they know how much we need this holiday? Don’t they know how hard we’ve worked to make this holiday happen? Don’t they know? And then, why would we check the immigration website? It’s Fiji – it’s virtually an extended state of Australia! And then, can I pull a teary? Can I squeeze a tear out? Nup, nothin’.

She continued to stare at us willing us to make a decision and for it to be the one she was telling us to take. I explained that we had a returned flight booked for a week later and showed her our accomodation details just to clarify that we clearly had no intention of staying any longer. Still no deal so I asked her if she could at least see if there was any seats available for the next night and how much the difference would cost us.

The wait seemed like an eternity whilst she went off to make phone calls and look all very serious and proper. The free time we had was suddenly disappearing and they closed the flight and the terminal was emptying as everyone was making their way to the gate to board. My heart was racing.

Boss lady whilst still on the phone whispers to me that the seats to fly the following night would cost $2000!! WHAT? I felt ill.

More waiting. So many things were swimming through my head. I paced up and down trying to get Baby Mango to sleep in my carrier.

A few moments latter she puts the receiver down and smiles. Immigration was willing to give us a pass this time but next time we will need to read the guidelines of immigration when flying internationally.

Lesson learnt, lesson definitely learnt. Check the immigration website team even for those things completely unexpected. Travel smart.

Have you ever had problems at check in?

Do you read the immigration websites of countries you’re visiting?

Today I’m linking up with Essentially Jess for #IBOT

Coupling in Fiji

July 12, 2016 by Vicki

DSC_0655The hardest thing about parenting three little people is being with your partner all the time but only being and talking parent. Not so much couple.

In the last six years Mr Vick and I can count the number of dates we’ve been on on one hand. Okay, maybe two but the point is it’s a rare commodity and I never wanted to become one of these couples. For that reason going to Fiji was very important to us.

We needed to go all the way to Fiji to have a break from kids. It’s true. We have a smaller community around us at home to help out with the Vicklets and when they can they’re usually only for short bursts of time which we are always super grateful for but Mr Vick and I were in need of something a bit more to really recharge.

For this reason we chose our destination almost solely on the reputation of the Kids Club. The kids had to be happy to go to Kids Club each day. HAD TO BE. And they were (I wrote about how well kids fit into Fiji yesterday here)

This allowed Mr Vick and I firstly to thaw out a bit. Mr Vick has had a constant flow of colds and chest infections for the last few months, which typically continued even when we were away. He was ultra sick with cold sweats and then wearing jackets to keep warm (IN FIJI for gawds sake!). I was holidaying with flu man. Not as sexy as I envisaged but he had a change of recuperating  and we still had time together.

I had also been at my parenting capacity and on the borderline of mummy burn out, so I also needed some time to not play mum but alternatively to play Vicki and wife. We didn’t have to do much. We just needed some moments without kids.

Laying beside each other at the pool without a sound was a luxury.

Talking to each other about adult stuff without interruption was a luxury.

Eating tapas in peace and not having our food stolen from our mouth was a luxury.

DSC_0651

The view from at our tapas date with not a child in sight!

Going for a walk and not carrying a child was a luxury.

Having a massage together was a luxury.

Having a milk bath together and sharing champagne was a luxury. Really, it really really was.

DSC_0443 DSC_0447

DSC_0455

The view from our milk bath

In those little moments we were able to connect and revitalise again ready to push through the next chapter as a unit.

Sure, we were still in parent mode on and off throughout the day but knowing there was dedicated time for just us daily was a liberating and nourishing thing. Of course we can’t always nick off to Fiji to create couple time so we need to figure out a way to make it a reality at home. That will be the challenge.

I will try and remember how I felt on our first day. I was looking at Mr Vick and thinking “hello husband!!!”. I felt like I hadn’t really seen him for six years. I watched him on the side of the pool and thought wow he is still here. I noticed this patient soul who had been waiting for me all this time to duck my head out of crazy mother land and give him some deserved time. Finally in Fiji we got to meet in the same place without all the interruptions and nagging responsibilities.

Our romance has never ended. Having the Vicklets might have dulled the intensity but it’s still burning, but only if we keep it that way.

How do you create couple time?

Have you been to Fiji?

(Today I’m linking up with Essentially Jess for I Blog On Tuesdays)

Kids Visiting Fiji

July 11, 2016 by Vicki

DSC_0561

We visited Fiji fourteen years ago as a young loved up couple. Our visit this time was destined to be very different with three Vicklets in tow but after our first experience we knew Fiji was the right place for a family vacay.

I have not met one person who has been to Fiji who wouldn’t say the Fijians are the most warm and hospitable culture. Dead set, they’re so wonderful they almost make me feel bad for not pulling my socks up and making more effort. With their big smiles and enthusiastic “Bula!!” every time they see you, it’s easy to be won over. Kids are no acceptation.

Fijians have a real appreciation for children. It’s obvious when you watch them interact. They have a very special knack of connecting with little people. They get down on their level and they make all the funny noises and pull all the funny faces. They’re complimentary and they want to know their names and remember them for future interactions. They make them feel important and equal.

The Vicklets were not in the resort any longer than 12 hours and they were known by all wherever they went.  They were buttered up on every interaction. They felt so good just being there and in Little Vick’s words “they filled up his bucket”.

This kind of breeding happiness in kidlets can only make them feel at ease and trust (which is super when you’re sending them to kids club) and help everyone have a relaxing, harmonious time away. I don’t know if the Fijians deliberately recognise this or if it’s just their nature, either way kudos to them.

Our Vicklets connected with a number of individuals that they would talk about all day long after an encounter. They were captivated by them. I think for my gang they loved the cheekiness and zest for fun that seems to be embedded in the Fijian men.

DSC_0637

I mean look at those smiles! Normally I can’t get them to look at the camera and smile like that for no one.

We chose our resort (the Outrigger Beach Resort) solely on the Kids Club. It had to be superior to ensure our Vicklets were well cared for and well entertained so they would willingly attend every day. The Fijians had this under control of course so our Vicklets trotted off quite happily and feed fish, did crab racing, weaving, ice cream eating challenges, face painting, all kinds of marvellous kiddy business.

DSC_0587

Something that really won me over was that they had a free nanny service available at breakfast time. Wouldn’t we all love one of those full time? There was a morning (or two) when we were lining up for our monster buffet breakfast and Baby Mango wasn’t going to play the game so the nanny stepped in and took him to a little creche set up on the other side of the restaurant. He was happy because he got to play and have one on one attention and we were happy because we didn’t have a wriggly, grizzly Mango on our hands. In fact if the kids were ever a bit ya know, kiddy and shuffling around, yelling, running away or crying someone would step in and pick them up, play a game, pull faces whatever it took to shift the focus and give us a moment of not having to parent and that I sooooo appreciated. They loved a cuddle and getting a smile from my Vicklets and the thrill seemed to be completely mutual and genuine.

Many people have asked me if Fiji is a good place for a family holiday and the answer to that is absolutely. To date I have not been anywhere else that is on the same calibre when it comes to accomodating kids, entertaining kids and appreciating kids. It’s a beautiful thing!

Have you been to Fiji?

What culture in your travels have you discovered to be beautiful with kids?

A Fijian Photo Special!

July 7, 2016 by Vicki

Bula!

We have returned from Pina Colada paradise (aka Fiji) where the theme was most definitely flop and drop and only move to bring your cocktail to your mouth. Just my kinda place.

There’s nothing really unlikable about Fiji. That’s a fair evaluation I’d say.

Yet, would you believe we’ve returned and all fallen sick. The fun of it! So I don’t have the gusto to write a big post today about our Fijian times but I will share some snaps with you ‘cos some of you have been asking to have a sticky beak.

So here is Fiji in a photo album for you:

DSC_0455

DSC_0136

DSC_0119

DSC_0412

DSC_0179

DSC_0584

DSC_0036

DSC_0626

DSC_0598

DSC_0640

DSC_0561

DSC_0665

DSC_0317

DSC_0720DSC_0708Stories to come team. Many stories to come.

How was your week? I’m guessing a bit less blue skies?

A First Birthday Party!

June 28, 2016 by Vicki

Wasn’t it just a few weeks back that I was apologising to my lady bits and writing my birth story here and here?

As far as I’m concerned I had Baby Mango last week, but as far as reality is concerned it was actually an entire year ago.

Yes, MANGO is ONE! Sweet baby cheezels!

An honorary bash had to happen to acknowledge a year of sweet Mango smiles. I was particularly adamant about this because I feel it will be the last first birthday we host. It had to be a special little hoorah!

Our apartment can cater for about 6.4 people so I needed to find a suitable wintery spot. I recently went to a market to raise funds for a local hall just out of town. I dunno what it was about it but the country air and the sheep across the road, it all felt so homely to me with my country roots and all. The hall induced all kinds of nostalgia in me because I spent every Friday night of my childhood going to old school dances in an old hall. So, a cute country hall was to be the host of Mango’s celebrations.

Everyone commented on a what a lovely space and feel it had. It had a certain days gone by type charm.

DSC_0577

DSC_0576I filled it with home made treats, a pirate jumping castle, balls, a face painter and loads of lovely people and so then, we had a little partay!

DSC_0615

DSC_0559

Augie turns ONE - 32

DSC_0565

DSC_0599

Augie turns ONE - 25Augie turns ONE - 21

Augie turns ONE - 26

Augie turns ONE - 42

Augie turns ONE - 41DSC_0556And let’s not forget the little “one” of the moment! He was curious about it all and didn’t leave his charm at home.

Augie Colour editedAugie turns ONE - 18

Check out his “One” top created especially for the occasion by Claire at Little OG & Me. I loved it so and got oodles of compliments on it’s cool-ness. Claire creates some really awesome designs for all the milestones of the little people.
DSC_0649DSC_0727Augie turns ONE - 28DSC_0666IMG_1595-213556106_10154096535820861_823787326_o

And then there was my 10pm birthday eve creation. I can never seem to get the cake made any earlier!

The bigger Vicklets are a bit Pingu mad right now so it was their decision that Mango’s cake could be nothing else.

Augie turns ONE - 43Augie turns ONE - 45

I think Pingu looked a bit stoned, or at least looked how I felt at 12.30 am when I finally went to bed post cake creating. Augie turns ONE - 52Augie turns ONE - 55

I look at that photo with three little people around us and I think, golly. Really? They’re all mine? I will treasure that image.

And now we are into the chapter of toddlers and boyhood. A new era. The time of babies will be a nostalgic memory just like that hall from my childhood. There are things I will easily forget and other memories that I will clutch closely. This chapter has forged a new me with it and I know that my identity will keep evolving with my journey through motherhood.

But for now, happy birthday Baby Mango! You will always the baby in our house.

Did anyone else go to old school dances as a kid?

Thanks to Penelope Bruce & Jess Kamau for their photography greatness

Today I’m linking up with Essentially Jess for #IBOT

Images of a Mother

June 27, 2016 by Vicki

I often wonder what kind of mother I look like on the outside.

On the inside it feels all chaotic. Like I’m a workhorse who has great ignoring ears, like I turn a blind eye to a Vicklet demand because I just need to daydream for a moment into my phone, someone who is too busy loading the dishwasher to get the paints out, someone who snaps a response before fully listening to their little words or someone who is trying to round everyone in the car rather than listen intently to Little Vick’s constant rambling conversations.

There is a comfortable, contented mother who dwells here but there is also one that pines to be released from the continuous responsibilities. One that wishes to skip through these hard years.

Sleep deprivation taints my outlook and I worry that I’m not always as present or nurturing as I should/could/would be.

In the true essence of being a Mum I worry that these shortcomings in small moments are what paints my overall character as a mother. That it is these very things that my Vicklets will remember and worse, shape the way they feel about me.

I have been sifting through the snaps from Mangos first birthday party yesterday (post coming) and have been delighted to find some with me and my boys. Strangely vain thing to say I know, but it’s so rare for me to be captured with them because I am usually doing all those behind the scenes kinda things that Mums do or, taking the photos.

Despite what might be going through my head and the chaos that it feels, these images show a side that I have hoped was there in all the fogginess that can be my head.

IMG_1491and my absolute favourite:

13556106_10154096535820861_823787326_oThe images tell a different story to those ones in my head. I think I must be there more than it feels.

Why can’t these moments leave an imprint into my memory and shape my self image as a mother?

How present do you feel with your children?

Do you take all the photos too?

Thanks to Jessica Kamau for these images

Painting The Town Mustard

June 22, 2016 by Vicki

I have a wild crush at the moment.

I have always had a thing for mustard yellow in the fashion stakes and these feels have not dulled this season.

I often stop in my tracks and applaud a good mustard piece because I fancy a flash of colour in amongst the usual black and grey winter staples. You with me?

I won’t lie either, the mustard compliments my ranga locks. With that said, I own nudda of the stuff. How that has happened baffles me but in truth, finding the good stuff isn’t always easy. I haven’t laid eyes on a good mustard piece in an actual shop so I just “had to” go and do some research online. For this post, and all.

So here are my top nine mustard winter pieces that I’ve found. Feast your eyes and clutch your credit cards mustard lovers.

Untitled design-2

From left to right:

1/Dotti Full Mood Cardigan. Now $29.95 down from $59.95! (This is a great temptation friends)

2/ ASOS Alter Petite Pinafore Tailored Jumpsuit $104.00 (how good would a tailored shirt go under this?)

3/ Vofaln Mustard A-Line Mini Skirt $39.00

4/ Sportsgirl Curve Hem Sweater $79.95

5/ ASOS Vesper Cold Shoulder Cape Dress with Keyhole $122 reduced to $85.00 (soooooo fancy!)

6/ Review Imelda Jumper $149.95 reduced to $79

7/ Etsy Mustard Boot Cuffs – $41.61 (mustard accessories all the way)

8/ Yellow Women’s Business Stand Collar Raglan Long Sleeves Suit Coat

9/ Ella Sanders Baltic Sweater Cape $349.00 reduced to $259.00

Any of my picks take your fancy?

What tones do you like to wear in winter?

10 Things I Am Grateful For

June 17, 2016 by Vicki

DSC_0878I can bitch and moan. I can bitch and moan real good about all the things I think I could have in my life or that aren’t going to plan but it brings little joy. In fact, moaning is a dead set kill joy.

Recognising the sparkly bits, now that will not be killing too much joy. If we can recognise good and show gratitude for it, we have hope of growing a happy heart and we all desire one of those right? Happiness, now that’s everyones drug.

So this is what I am feeling grateful for this funny old Friday:

  1. The big box of veggies that was delivered yesterday. They’re all grown on a local farm and delivered to my kitchen looking immaculate and like little health ninjas. Filing my house with the right food gives me a silly little buzz.
  2. My husband for rocking the hubby gig. He just gave me a sleeping in because I had a headache. Just an example at his awesome-ness.
  3. Netflix. Yes seriously, Netflix for bringing entertainment to my life when I cannot get out of the house for say a date with the hubstar to the flicks, for example. Modern technology makes motherhood a smidgen easier yeah?
  4. For being embraced in this space. Like always. I have been trolled once and the army of supporters that come to my defence was an amazing show of support and I totally felt like the cool kid. You guys always read the complete dribbling rambles here and it amazes me! To top it off you usually have something profound to share in response that rocks my world.
  5. My kids. Total nutters but always my little teachers and little love givers.
  6. For having things to look forward to. Fiji for example. The hard days are a little bit easier when there is something to look forward to and I am grateful I will get to experience the good life after a hard-ish year with my little family so very soon.
  7. For the stranger who made the effort to smile at me in passing, just ‘cos. I appreciated it because so many other couldn’t muster up the effort. Smiles can heal.
  8. For my faith. I’m a Jesus lover. Bet ya didn’t know that hey?
  9. For Licorice Leg tea. My new winter comfort often shared with Mr Vick and we all know tea is best shared.
  10. Community. Wherever I go I develop and adopt communities. When I met Mr Vick he couldn’t believe how many people I had in my network and that I considered to be my people. I soon realised that I adopt people. I like feeling close to them and luckily people seem to embrace me in return. These people are often attached to a community and give me so much energy and support often unknowingly. I love having a multitude of little families.

Alright team, your turn! What are you grateful for this Friday? Write them down. Share them here, if you please. I promise, it feels alright (good even)!

The Arrogance of the Third Child – 11 Month Update

June 13, 2016 by Vicki

 

DSC_0081

Oh sweet baby cheeses! This time in two weeks I will be writing my first birthday letter to my baby Mango.

In the last three months since I last dedicated a post to Mango, he has become all kinds of capable and it’s all shades of terrifying.

He is walking. Walking at 10 months old. It’s as scary as it sounds. He is everywhere you don’t want him to be and getting there faster. Of course he is totally loving himself sick for it.

It has given him the confidence to climb all the things too. He is my 11 month old Spiderman. I could spend my entire days supervising him but alas, he’s the third so more often than not I leave him to his own devises because I have chilled out like that as a parent and because I’ve got shit to do. He gets himself into some precarious situations no doubt. My favourite hairy moment was finding him standing on the edge of the bath. STANDING ON THE EDGE OF THE BATH!! He was holding on to the bench with one hand, don’t worry.

The good news to come from the walking, climbing spiderman business is that the poor dear Mango gets all tuckered out from it all. I am sometimes getting five hour stints at night time people!! 5 hours! It’s good news for my sleep bank and banished sanity.

My sweet, compliant baby seems to be dissolving into some kind of three-nanger. The kid throws tantrums already! Talk about balsy. He is decisive and determined which is good for him but can’t he wait to be an adult before he practises such traits?

He has many demands and a list of no no’s that would rival Mariah Carey’s appearance stipulations. No sitting in the hair chair, no cleaning his face or hands, no food unless it’s been tried and tested, no restrictions regarding his mobility, no strapping into the car seat, no hugs or kisses (gasp), but definitely no hugging his siblings either, no shoes, no socks, no hats, no nappy changes, no nappy at all in fact and forget getting him dressed. That’s a twisty, yelly nightmare of a situation. Needless to say, he’s got shaking his head nailed.

I can smell a certain arrogance about him and it’s unprecedented here. His brothers have had their own wacky idioscincracies but not to this level of confidence and pushiness. Is this the way it goes for third babies? Do they up the anti in order to be noticed? As if the stakes weren’t high enough. His brother broke his leg for beeping sake.

I was kinda hoping it might feel a little easier as we neared his first birthday (idiot).

He still loves a good tune and his ability to sing along with the Star Wars theme song is quite impressive and a sure sign he is third in line with big brothers.

There’s other cute stuff too. His waving, clapping and obsessive adoration for the retro telephone pleases his fans. We shall not forget the good stuff.

So, now I have to proceed with my first birthday party planning, as reluctant as I am. I have said this before, time apologises for no one and keeps presenting the little shifts into new chapters. I am a helpless bystander in this phenomenon.

Any ideas for a first birthday party? 

Do you think third born children can be arrogant?