Oh April

May 3, 2016 by Vicki

april shots 1april shots 2A few months have slipped by without me recapping the month gone by. I think I have been living in some kind of hyper fog but I’ve submerged and I’ve got my mojo back. For this month anyway.

April, she’s a good month. She’s my birth month so plenty of treats and love.

When I look at my shots on Instagram for April I can see I was all over the fresh food thing. I’ve turned into some organic green hippy (I use that title very loosely) and I love it! Mr Vick says the farmers market is my new happy place. I come back beaming and inspired to create and no husband complains about a wife who is motivated to cook do they? No wonder he booked a trip to Fiji for us.

This month we have been getting a bit more comfortable with the whole school thing. We’ve been sinking more deeply into the routine with the commencement of term two and it’s starting to feel a little more normal. I’m getting the hang of a good lunch box snack array and the dynamic of having just the two little Vicklets around. Have you seen that Mango baby? He is going on 10! Sheesh.

April was also a month of surprises. A trip to Fiji and did I mention I got a new MacBook Air for my birthday? Hooly dooly! I don’t recall ever feeling so spoilt. I think it’s reasonable to say May will be the month of counting down to Fiji and setting screen time limits for myself.

And how’s the glorious indian summer we’ve been having (except the last two days)? I don’t recall a more summery autumn in my life! But gosh, not complaining. No siree. Its wonderful and I’m happy to be left guessing when I will be able to get my overcoat and boots out.

How was your April? Any surprises?

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

Thirty Two.

April 29, 2016 by Vicki

Birthday cupcakeI’m celebrating another lap of the sun today. I’m now living my 32nd year.

It seems odd saying that number. On the interior I feel barely a day over 24. Humans are funny like that. Our spirits never age.

I wonder sometimes what I would have expected for myself at the age of 32 in prior decades. I’m not so sure I would have imagined myself slipping into motherhood and having three Vicklets by 32. That just seemed to evolve, but surprises are always apart of this life dealo right?

This year has been one of the hardest years in my story. Motherhood has certainly ruled and consumed my every ounce of everything. I haven’t had much left over for anything else. Those Vicklets just need and need and need and I have to give and give and give. Strength really can be found in surprise pockets especially reserved for the crapola times when we think we’re all but done. I learn’t that in the last year.

In many ways I would be happy to not have the hardships again from the past year, but what about all the sweet little moments dotted in between? They sure were exquisite. My third baby was born. That will always be one of my life’s great landmarks and I unexpectedly bonded with my Baby Vick because he broke his femur. There are silver linings even in the hardest days.

What I like the most about looking forward is the complete mystery of it. The unknown about where my path will lead me. The adventures, the learning, the challenges, the loving, the laughs. It’s all to be discovered. I love looking back and considering how unforeseeable things seemed at my previous birthday. I’m sure I will  be sitting here again at 33 considering all the surprises 32 brought me and how sweet it all was.

So, a new baby, a toddler with a broken femur, a husband consumed with the demands of full time study, a brother in intensive care in a coma after a motorbike accident, a Vicklet commencing school,that was my year of being 31. It was a year of adjustments. Of winging it. Of surviving and I think I might just have done that because here I am fronting up to another year of living and loving.

And I think it’ll go alright.

Considering your age, has your life gone as you thought it might in your daydreams?

Do you like the mystery of your journey ahead?

Coming Soon: The Vicklets Go Abroad

April 28, 2016 by Vicki

Travel magsSomething marvellously wonderful and unexpected happened last week.

Mr Vick declared that we should go on a holiday. A real dealo vacay abroad!!! None of that camping bullshite that I’ve been putting up with as a poor excuse for a “holiday”. A cocktail infested, kids club loving, tropicana resort style holiday.

This blew me away. I have been so set in head down, bum up mode that I presumed life would go on that way for the next ever, and here he was brewing fun ideas without me even knowing! In fairness, husbands can be alright creatures like that sometimes.

I could be found on the net precisely three minutes later researching possibilities, scanning resorts, comparing flight prices, daydreaming my ass off. I wanted to book that shit in before any reason or logic could take over our thoughts and change our mind.

I had not let myself dabble in wanderlust since our trip to Thailand with just Little Vick five years ago. There is so much possibility to consider. How marvellous! Which white beach should I to drape myself over??? I was bubbling with happiness.

Both Mr Vick and I get a bit mopey during winter so something warm and tropical was singing to us straight away. We’ve done a bit of Asia before so the South Pacific was our instant go to thought. A good one it is too because that area really does accommodate and tick all of our boxes and it’s fairly handy in the scheme of international flights (only about a five to six hour flight for us). Fiji, where we once went as a loved up couple dangled in the back of our minds as a pretty boring type place were we could get sunned up, looked after and has KIDS CLUBS galore. When I say boring, I mean that there is no need to rush around and see stuff and it’s not party central, it’s flop and drop central. The place to go to recuperate and rejoice in Pina Coladas! Just my style.

There are lots of considerations of course when travelling with children. Things sure aren’t as simple as when I was traveling alone or even with just one child but everything has to be just right to make life easier with a family in tow because it can get exhausting and overwhelming and melt downs on vacay are the worst type of melt downs. However due to our last minute booking there’s a few aspects we’ve had to just make do, know that it might be a bit shitty (like sharing a room all together and flying through the night) but we just need to remember KIDS CLUB and COCKTAILS. I can’t be complaining now.

So we decided on this disgusting looking place:

outrigger resortCome winter that will be our home (for a week anyway). I’m gloating, maybe, just a bit.

I am so excited I am telling everyone I see. I’ve been having wild fantasies about reading an entire book! And snoozing in a lounge chair by the pool! And not having to cook for an entire week! DON’T HATE ME K?!

Of course a few questions have been poking me in the head. Can we really do this? Can we live tight and then just splurge like this? It feels mighty indulgent but there’s a deep need for a breather, a refresher and an adventure, so isn’t that need enough? And can we really manage three boys under six over international waters? Is it just going to be more a headache than a holiday? But we just have to trust.

And so when I started this blog as Knocked Up & Abroad, I never could foresee that in time it would become the tales of The Three Vicklets Going Abroad, but wow, here we go…

Have you traveled internationally with little kids? Should I be scared?  Have you been to Fiji?

{Photo Source}

My Name Is Vicki And I’m A Useless Blogger

April 19, 2016 by Vicki

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Hiya. My name is Vicki and I’m a useless blogger. Just like the title there says.

I have always liked to share. Since the days of passing hand written notes in maths class to here, rambling to an invisible bloggersphere whom I gather is reading along. I have always felt connected when I’m sharing and that has been paramount for me always but particularly since I became a mummy when my immediate world reduced dramatically. This space has been an important form of expression for me, that is no doubt why I have been here and continue to be here.

However, sometimes I have felt like offering my stories isn’t enough. I have felt like I need to serve up more to be worthy of stealing your time. There is pressure in the bloggersphere to do that. To provide a learning experience or something beneficial for readers. To post ‘how to’ type posts.

I like reading those blog posts, I won’t lie, and I’ve written a few too but the pressure to continually produce such posts is very real. I feel it and I’m not so keen on it. So much so, I have often refrained from sharing a simple story of mine because I thought it didn’t live up to expectation.

With my level of sleep deprivation and general day to day chaos of having three kids five and under, it’s hard enough to front up to this space as it is. You’ve probably noticed how sparse it can be between my posts these days. It’s fair to say I just simply don’t have the minutes to research, formulate, edit and photograph a lesson in the form of a blog post every single time. Kudos to those that do but it’s just not me. Not today anyway. I can’t keep up with the pros and such pressure stiffens my creativity and I shut up shop. Disappear. Stop writing. Stop sharing and connecting.

See, writing about shit, about nothing, about anything, about everything, that is what I’m very comfy with. I like to think you can sit down and have a hot milo whilst reading this blog. Like you’re catching up with a gf who has a story to share. It’s a chit chatty blog. I think.

Sometimes I just think about stuff and have realisations through my fingers typing away. I type it out, kinda.

Stacey from The Veggie Mumma (an exceptionally awesome chick) wrote a little something a couple of weeks ago about this very topic. I was so glad for her words that left me feeling encouraged. I was glad to hear that bloggy sharers are still cool cats. That we should keep the sharing going and feel like our truths are enough because people sharing their stories is never dull. True yeah?

So, I am going to keep writing about completely useless shit. I’m saying it here and I’m a okay with that. I hope that you are too.

What do you like to read online? What type of blogs do you follow?

{Today I’m linking up with Essentially Jess for IBOT}

{Image source}

Baby Face

April 12, 2016 by Vicki

Augie 9 months

This little face is ever changing.

Some people say Mango is looking like me. Other people say he is definitely looking like his dad. I say he looks like himself with a pinch of both his brothers.

Baby Mango has been here for nine months. Nine months in, nine months out but it feels like he has been apart of us for so much longer. He had a place in our hearts long before he arrived.

I knew I wanted Mango that day I was faced with letting all our baby goods and tiny clothes go. His brother was recently one. He was fleeing babyhood and stepping into the role of boy. As I looked at all those tiny little things on the way out, I felt a sadness. I didn’t feel ready to let it go which told me that there was room for another baby in my heart. Seemingly Mango’s place in this family was always inevitable, I just didn’t know it until that moment.

I took this photo because I wanted to capture that darling little face. I so rarely get time to peep in at this sleeping being and just be there with him in his dreaming space. I wanted this slice of time captured forever before he too tips into boyhood and our baby years are left behind forever.

I can say forever now. I have started giving away our baby things and as they leave this home there is no regret or sadness (well, a little, but not enough to keep all the things again). That speaks so clearly to me about our decisions. That we have made the right ones.

So for now we treasure this little baby face because these baby years aren’t going to go on forever at our place.

Do you feel contented with the number of children you have?

How did you know you had procreated enough?

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

Another Round of Camping Stories

April 6, 2016 by Vicki

DSC_0572DSC_0566We nearly always head away every Easter but this year we broke tradition and had a stay-cation at home for the long weekend. We had four days to ourselves with very few plans so it felt lazy and cosy. Albeit we did have a little person outbreak of gastro so we were forced to be confined to the house but that was actually just what we needed. Not the gastro, but the home time all together. The days were relaxed and snoozy. Nanna naps all around which was just perfect for the end of our first school term that required some form of adjustment from all of us.

So instead of rushing off, there was a sense of anticipation and excitement for the Vicklets about going away camping. They are long time camping lovers. Give them some dirt and a campfire and they’ll be happy forever.

I’ve mentioned Blanket Bay here before a few times. It’s our special little spot that we have a bit of history with. Our boys share the same sentiments towards it too. I think it will be somewhere we visit for a very long time.

With that said the time there was chaotic. Kids will be kids after all. They were zipping in and out of the campsite constantly, demanding activities and food. They talked and yelled and jumped around and I have to wonder if camping does something to their little motors. Can I blame the fresh air maybe?

With all the outlay of energy it seemed to induce the munchies and we know how to do the whole eating munchies biz real good. We were camping with our friend, the home chef extraordinaire, so we got some real treats and it made me realise camp food need not be drab.

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DSC_0610And did I mention that our camping neighbour was a diver and caught fresh lobster in the bay and shared it at the communal fire place? I can’t say I’ve ever had that fresh of lobster before and for the Vicklets it was their very first try of lobster at all. Setting their standards pretty low and all.

We walked a bit because we had to hike off all the munchies. The kids set out at a cracking pace leading the way of course. Enthusiasm that was no doubt going to wain and about half way in it died abruptly. Of course they were hungry and going to die from those pangs in the belly and there were multiple hypochondriac injuries requiring full attention.

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Mango however gets full marks for being an excellent camper. He was more than happy to play in what we fondly called ‘the prison’. Thank the baby cheeses for his relaxed demeanour or we’d have been rooted. Of course he didn’t sleep, but that’s just his style and I have not known a camping trip with kids where there has been decent sleep.

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So for the best part of it all I was crazy, grumpy tired. My usual bag of fun stuff and the whole episode felt like a lot of hard work. It’s easy to wonder why we do it to ourselves a couple of times a year but do you know what I love about it? Kids being allowed to be kids. Totally old fashioned stuff. They get dirty, throw sticks around, play chasey, daydreamed, create make believe and give not a single thought about any screens or technology. It’s such a good reset. For all of us really.

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DSC_0426And when we returned home after four days of drop toilets and no showers and dirt clinging to every pore of everyones skin and with frayed patience we asked, as we always do, what was the best part of the Blanket Bay encounter this time. We each shared our stories and for the Vicklets it went something along the lines of ‘playing… toasting marshmallows…beach’, but for me I recalled one moment that was quiet and private in the early hours of the morning. Little Vick and Baby Vick awoke with the sparrow farts when the light was still dark. I outed them from the tent before they woke Mango up and I was handling three well before I was happy to be playing parent. We walked around the bush and landed on the steps at the top of the cliffs over looking the beach. It’s five star eye candy in terms of scenery. We sat quietly talking about this and that as we looked at the sky beginning to lighten. There was dusty pink and slabs of peach tones streaking across the horizon. We took turns at describing the colours we could see and I explained what was about to happen, what happens every morning whilst they’re still normally laying in bed. I explained to them that they were about to see something really lovely, something unique and something that is a little bit different each day. It was something they’d never seen before, nor had I shared with them and sure enough after a few moments of anticipation, and fidgeting, a day began with the rising of the sun. We all gah’d at it’s beauty. Even a five and two year old could appreciate that and I most of all, for that quiet, stillness together all snuggled up to see the very start of a brand new day and marvel at all it’s possibilities.DSC_0575

 

How was your Easter weekend? Anyone else tackling the camping thing?

One’s A Holiday!

March 23, 2016 by Vicki

Mr Vick and I did a crazy thing on the weekend. We had a holiday with just one Vicklet. One. What a sweet number.

See, Grandad did a marvelous thing and came and got the biggest two Vicklets and made a big deal of the fact they were going for a sleep over by giving them a train ride. A+ for distraction ability and trying to win as favourite. WHATEVER WORKS I say.

This meant that Mr Vick and I drove off on our holiday with just one baby who looked like this:

Augie 8 months

No complaining, no whining, no arguing, no crying, no hunger pains, no toilet stops. Only smiles and snoozes. What a dream. Mr Vick and I sat and enjoyed the views of the country side and talked. TALKED. We have three children and we got to talk! Unheard of wouldn’t you say?

When we arrived at our destination we were delighted by the accommodation. I am all for colourful beach side apartments. In fact it was bigger than our apartment at home and again only ONE child to fill it!?! It felt ridiculous almost. I knew how much the boys would have loved it there particularly overlooking the skate park. I could almost feel the guilt slipping in but I was quick to snub it.

Lady Bay

Spending time with just Mango was a delight. Eight months is a rewarding age with smiles and tricks and so much love beaming back. It was nice to sit and just enjoy him without the distractions of a two and five year old. Just one felt like a holiday and yet when I had just Little Vick it felt exhausting and all consuming. I think no matter how many you have, you feel like you’re at full capacity, ya know? But three minus two is a beautiful thing.

In truth, getting away over night without the other two has never happened. Since Baby Vick was born almost three years ago we haven’t had a night away from him. So I guess it was a big dealo and yet Baby Vick just ran with it all coolio, because he was going on a train (bravo Grandad). Little Vick, the five year old, was teary and unsure upon departure, just like he always has been but there was comfort in having his brother. That security is a beautiful thing.

It was refreshing to talk adult to adult, to think and not be interrupted, to drink a cup of tea and not let it get cold, to be a HUMAN not just a robotic parent.

To be truthful, I’d forgotten what silence sounds like. I exhaled deeply in it. Some nasty shit flew out I think. I hope because gawd I’ve been needing that.

We actually were a bit busy, going to a wedding and stuff but when we finished up we went back up to our room and had a spa. Oh yes we did. Oooo la lah. I haven’t had one since Baby Mango was delivered in the bath. How ridick.

One of the best parts was returning and seeing just how much the Vicklets had realised how much they LOVE us. Like, we are the bomb! Those smiles and cuddles were pretty alright.

And ya know what? We quite fancy the idea of doing it again. To let go. To hand over and trust and reboot. Gotta, in fact. For the sake of our marriage and the sake of our own sanity. Can’t keep doing a good job otherwise and we like to be excellent at what we put our hearts to.

It’s just nice to see the Vicklets getting to an age where this can happen.

Do you ever have weekends away from your kidlets? How do you reboot and recharge?

We’re All A Mess

March 15, 2016 by Vicki

mother mess

I don’t know how to start this blog post. I’ve written seven or eight attempts only to press delete just as many times. When I’m completely bamboozled by motherhood I find I have to concentrate so intently to pluck out a single coherent thought from the swirling whirlpool that is my mind.

My thoughts race by at a frightening pace. They nag at me to start all the chores, to cook better, to spend more quality time with the Vicklets, to be more patient, to start exercising, to pick someone up, to stop yelling, to go to bed earlier, to buy that thing, to make that repair, to look at my screens less, to shag my husband more, to invest in myself more. All the things, they’re hidden in this mind of mine.

To stop and catch a thought for a blog post and make it sound completely rational/creative/intelligent/funny/insightful can be damn hard. That’s often why I shy away from sharing when I’m feeling overwhelmed in the trenches of crapola parenting.

But I’ve been reminded this week about the importance of sharing. It can’t all be Instagram perfect and this space has never been about that anyway.

I don’t know when exactly this gig got hard because it always is isn’t it? There is no start or end to that in this line of work. It’s always all consuming and all heart, no matter what stage of parenting you’re at. All I know is that extended sleep deprivation can do crazy things to a person and strength, no matter how deeply rooted can only prevail for so long.

In the last month I have started crying more, laughing less. Yelling has become second nature and then of course the attack of the guilts quickly follows, like a tail to a dog.

Baby Mango has always demanded night feeds from the get go and continues to do so as if he were a feeble, weak thing even at eight months old. I have not had longer than two hours of sleep in a row for at least eight months now. In the moments where I think I will let him grizzle a little bit and not succumb to his calls, his cries wake his brother and then I am trying to settle a stubborn night owl of a two year old and I do not have the vigor for such fun. So, I get up to the baby because somehow it seems easier than the alternative but I know it’s not ideal. That same two year old has started having nightmares about ‘monsters’ and most nights I have to attend to his calls anyway. The oldest Vicklet often wets the bed still so I’m changing a little person in the dark as well.

During the light hours my mind either is slow and finds it’s hard to compute and remember things or it races at a terrifying pace. I can’t ground myself long enough to catch my breath. Those days are the worst because I am hard on everyone as I try to physically keep up with the pace of my mind. I work myself into the ground and still crucify myself for not keeping up, like as if anyone else is.

Sometimes I feel resentful towards the constant interruptions and constant demands. I just want some silence. Some time to take a breath.

I’ve started teaching again too which is as good as a boat with a hole in it but the pressure to help financially whilst Mr Vick commits to his studies is there. It’s only two days a week but it sets me behind that bit more with my other responsibilities and quickens the pace up around here even more so as I step out into the real world.

Other stresses have crept in too. I’ve been agonising about where we need to live, how we can make more money, should I be having a career change? And feeling dismayed because I can’t get to my hobbies, my me things as much as I need to and like other mums do.

I have sat Mr Vick down numerous times to express how burnt out I have been feeling. That I am getting hung up on the little things. He understands but like me, he lacks suggestions about how we can manage it right now. His hours at university have increased and the intensity has really upped the anti. This is his time. It’s crucial to his success, I cannot ask him to give any more. He already pours himself into us when he can.

I’m sure I’ve told this story to you all many times before. This story is so many peoples truth.

Recently I have come into contact with other mothers who have the same creases on their forehead indented from lack of sleep.  Mothers who can’t spread themselves enough. Mothers who feel like they don’t have the answers.

These strangers unload their burdens so trustingly with the hope of a knowing smile or nod. These were woman in the supermarket, woman at the school gate, other bloggers but all strangers. It reiterated how important sharing is and how it binds us together in this sisterhood. How it clears the deck a bit, emotionally re-gears us and makes us feel more okay with ourselves and the struggles.

So I’m in the trenches, mothering, looking for myself, waiting to be granted some sleep. I’m the full cliche.

But we are all a mess. We are all tired. We are all trying to do better.

I guess, we all just gotta dig deep.

Are you living or just surviving right now?

Feel free to share away with the sisterhood

(Today I’m linking up with Essentially Jess for #IBOT
Thanks also to Fat Mum Slim for the image that she recently posted on her Facebook page)

The 8 Month Old Man Child

March 8, 2016 by Vicki

 

Augie 7 months bThat Mango bambino there is eight months old. Eight months going on man. It’s written all over his face, the way he observes his brothers computing the shenanigans. He has a certain pout of curiosity and a need to know which is both beautiful and freaking terrifying.

He is on the move, as man babies do. He’s got the army crawl nailed. Too easy. So easy apparently he felt it’s necessary to move onto standing. He just casually pulls himself up on the furniture as if he’s going on 1.5 years old. MAN BABY. How rude.

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Eating is going strong. He is his mothers child. Again, he’s pushing the boundaries there demanding that he tries to feed himself. Doesn’t he realise how good he’s got it? Never again will someone so willingly spoon feed him in the entirety of his life but alas, he is determined to add to the piggery styling of our home with squished mash in every square inch of EVERYTHING. Let me just mention, carpet and children together should be deemed inhumane and at least illegal.

All this progression towards manhood and yet, he wants absolutely zilch changed about the boobin’. The breastfeeding game is permanent, seemingly. It must be available on call any time of day or night, mostly nights when concentration can be dedicated solely to the boobing and waking one mother who has adopted the walking dead style. When will the man baby get bored of this? I have given up hoping. I am enslaved. Some mornings I awake convinced he is trying to kill me through the deprivation of sleep, and most mornings it FEELS like it’s working. Ugly times my friends, ugly times.

Oh and it is a clever man child. He claps now with such delight. He gets me there. I have to smile at such a sight and quickly I have forgotten the previous nights abuse. That smile too, golly what a pretty man child with this big blue eyes. Totally Hollywood style. A real show stopper which pulls up many passing by in the street. I have made many new blue rinse friends because of it.

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My days are spent waiting and watching for him to inevitably try and kill himself by placing his brothers Lego in his mouth and if it’s not Lego it’s something else. I cannot tidy quick enough to combat the toy throwing two year old brother.

And me the 8 month old man child mum? I’m as mental as a cut snake most days but I’m keeping the going going.

Oh how he fills my days that lovely, sleep stealing, man child.

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

Slides of Summer

March 2, 2016 by Vicki

Can you believe summer has escaped us again? Dang it.

I don’t recall another summer wearing t-shirts all day and not fetching even a cardigan come night fall. I have so enjoyed it.

I’m aware of how much I need to treasure these last days of warm sun as we move into a new season. I need to feel that vitamin D soaking into my skin and store the feeling so it lasts for an entire nine months.

I already can feel a change in the nights. That distinctive crisp autumn feeling is there and threatening to intensify. It’s only a matter of time.

I always like to reminisce and look back at a season and consider what it’s meant to me. I recall the times shared and captured, and consider the things learned and a tone usually merges for that season of life. Summer 15 a

summer 15 bsummer 15 csummer 15 d

There was a lot of family time spent this year. We were slowly finding our feet as a family of five and after the shocker of a year we had had. There was a real value placed on investing time with one another before the pages changed forever with the first Vicklet going off to school. These were unique and special times as we stood at that precipice of this change.

The beach always lures us in and with three boys, what could be a better playground?

I discovered a Nanna love for stewing fruit which became my little bit of therapy when the Vicklets retired to bed. Actually a new appreciation appeared for real food in general. A change in diet to promote health and healing (but don’t worry still plenty of hot chips and chocolate) because shit, I could make this food stuff work in my favour.

So how do I sum that all up into one word? The closest thing (without sounding too wanky) that I can get to it is: nourishing.

What was your summer flavour or theme this year?