Indie & Sloan GIVEAWAY!

February 2, 2016 by Vicki

Sometimes it’s like I wake up out of my mombie transfix and realise a whole slab of time has gone by and I know not if I’ve even been awake. I must have been of course because the Vicklets are right beside me doing okay and growing and becoming generally very capable and cool individuals.

I haven’t been getting my camera out and capturing their childhood nearly enough with these entire slabs of existence escaping from me. With this in mind, I wrangled the Vicklets into the car and headed for a playground just out of town, dressed in their new Indie & Sloan tees which had just landed in our mail box.

Of the 63 zillions shots taken I have chosen my favorite of each Vicklet to share with you today and a couple of extras for baby spam sake.

1-DSC_1645Little Vick is now five and here he was counting down the days till he started a new chapter, the school one. He was both enjoying the freedom from schedules and routine and yet getting frustrated and bored because he actually craves them. His Pippin Rabbit tee suits his information seeking, robust nature. My Little Vick is grounded yet seeks the comfort of home.

1-1-DSC_0053Baby Vick is two and a half and a completely different breed to his brother. Like COMPLETELY x 100. He is my little James Dean. So cool and full of spunk. He ignites concern in me from his wild, fearless spirit. I continually worry about him yet I couldn’t wish for anything more in a little person who is seeking out his place in this world. So his ‘Stay Wild, My Child‘ tee is ridiculously perfect. Everyone who meets him and sees this tee on him can’t help but nod.

1-DSC_1438Then there is my Mango, my burst of sunshine. For the last seven months of his life he has been so contented, so smiley, so warm and embracing. He teaches me so much with his generous nature. He is wearing Cap’n Iggy Owl tee because cute matches with cute right?

Could I get three more different children??

1-DSC_0176When I realised I was destined to be a mumma of boys I was determined to dress them well. The idea of construction and Avengers tees made me cringe (although we do have plenty of them). I wanted to find unique, stylish and quality clothing for my men in making. Girls don’t just get all the fun! So I went about finding labels that fulfilled my check list and it was here that I discovered Indie & Sloan, a mummy made company. Their clothing is designed and printed in QLD and don’t we love we like to support Aussie?

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Their generally unisex designs are spunky with a dash of attitude which suits my Vicklets to a tee. Like, perfecto! The fact that their 100% cotton, made with eco & kiddy friendly paints and aren’t made in a sweat shop ticked all those moral things inside me which makes me feel like I’m supporting something good, something quality.

They also wash up real good, because here they’d have to. I’m a fan.

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Thanks to Megan, the superstar creator behind the label who has teamed up with Knocked Up & Abroad for my first GIVEAWAY for the year, you could get your very own Indie & Sloan tee! Yeeha!

HOW TO ENTER:

Click over onto the Indie & Sloan website here, check the range out and leave a comment below on the blog about what tee you would like to win, what size and tell me how you choose your children’s clothing.

It would be real sweet if you followed Knocked Up & Abroad & Indie & Sloan on Facebook too (although it’s not a condition of entry).

The competition is open to all Australian (only) residents and will be drawn based on your creative skill. A winner will be announced on Tuesday February the 16th at 8pm (AEST) via Knocked Up & Abroads Facebook page.

Good luck groovers!

***Please note no cash was exchanged for this
post however the t shirts were gifted in order for the review to be honestly written

Sliding Doors

January 27, 2016 by Vicki

I have spent the last three days watching the most marvelous individuals working tirelessly fixing and caring for all the broken bodies. I cannot think of anyone more gifted or generally awesome.

They go about their work as if they’re folding newspapers or something completely incidental but in the real, they’re saving lives, holding together families, humbly acting out the role of a hero without knowing it.

Loved ones sit quietly in the waiting room longing for news, desperate for it to be positive about their broken loved ones. Their faces are washed with concern and they hold one another to fill each other up when strength gets low. Some haven’t changed their clothes in three days. Some haven’t left that waiting room for three days. Too afraid to leave their broken person for just a moment.

This is a place of life and death. If you find yourself here on a bed, playing patient, you are being confronted with those two very real options. You either leave this world or you survive and keep living it. Those who do survive are often never the person they were before. Lives are changed forever here. It’s a place of miracles and it’s a place of harrowing loss.

This is the ICU department at The Alfred hospital. A place I have not had to dwell in in the past but for the last three days my heart has hung out in the open here as my brother chose his path.

We are the lucky family in the waiting room. We have been together talking, retelling the story of how it all happened, going over the little details, being grateful for the little wins and advancements, smiling and breathing relief into our tense bodies. We are not the family who has sat next to us for three days who will not get to talk to their son, their fiance, their brother ever again. He arrived with a similar trauma injury and he will not walk out of the ward alive. They are learning to accept his fate, beginning to grieve and let him go. It seems like such a sliding doors moment where it is my brother who will get to live, but someone elses wont. It’s feels so bitter sweet and I wonder how we won this lottery card.

On Saturday night as I lay in my bed unknowingly feeding my baby boy, my brother came off his farm motorbike as he traveled the short distance from his dairy to his home. A route he has taken hundreds if not thousands of times before. He lay with a cracked skull for who knows how long before, and thankfully, a passerby found his bike on that country road and assistance was called.

I don’t like to think about what he was going through there in the dark. What he could feel, or not and what thoughts may have confronted him, if any at all. Did he feel alone? Did he feel scared? Did he know that God was sitting on his shoulder that night and decided to give him another chance to live? Seemingly that is the only thing we can know.

An air ambulance (more hero’s), landed in a nearby paddock and took him to our gifted friends in ICU in a critical condition where they have nurtured and cared for him since, bringing him back to us.

There is a certain fear that ripples through ones body when you hear the words “induced coma”  attached to a loved one. Those initial worries ran deep. It did things to my thoughts. I contemplated all the possible ways this could go, there aren’t many when someone has brain injuries. I allowed myself to hang in each awful one for just a moment to prepare myself for the reality just in case. It was confronting.

As the days have passed we feel a miracle has been gifted to us. Although each day is a hard day for him now as his brain recuperates, we still have him. Whilst we’re still waiting to learn the extent of the injury we are comforted that he knows us, that he talks, that he moves, responds and huzzah he even eats toast. He thinks that he should be getting home to milk the cows and it tickles me when he drops the f bomb at every chance he can get because I know he is still my brother even in his sleepy medicated state.

And people are awesome. Bringing food, baby sitting, offering beds, sending love, so much love. Again, the tribe around us has proved itself as being a warm, giving, generous pouch that knows when it’s needed the most.

There is just so much thanks here right now.

My Six Month Postpartum Body

January 22, 2016 by Vicki

This body of mine is ever evolving. It changes with each season of my life.

My relationship with it is dynamic and complex. Some days I accept and praise and others days my head is full of self loathing and degrading thoughts. I never know which voice I will adopt from day to day.

Six months ago I gave birth to my third baby. This is my latest postpartum selfie (excuse the Instagram quality): 6 months post partum I don’t look very different to the day I gave birth. My stomach has remained bulgy and pokes out.  It’s soft and jelly like. People have asked if I am pregnant and it’s easy to figure out why but it draws my awareness to my physique which need not be my priority right now. I prefer to see the beautiful creature perched on my hip who is vibrant and embracing the life we prepare for him.

I developed diastatits during my pregnancy as I did with my last as well. It’s where the abdominal muscles separate and time is required for healing. Aside from that, I think my body just needs to be like this postpartum. It’s it’s natural groove.

There was only 14 months between my two last babies. Exercise was not a priority at that time. My body was not as strong as she had been once before yet there is a depth of strength that never lets me down. I’ve written about it once before here. I wish those words were in my core and conquering my thoughts now.

I still get up at least three times a night to my baby and often once or twice to my two year old. My drastic sleep deprivation dictates my energy levels and right now there is never enough to get through. Chocolate has become my go to for a pick me up. It is necessary for survival but chocolate has added a extra layer of softness and padding to my skin.

I have virtually bought a new wardrobe of flowy tops and semi trendy moo moo’s to disguise the traces of trauma and triumphs that has been my bodies journey. I don’t know why I feel like I need to hide it.

I feel a pang of vulnerability when I catch my figure in a mirror now. I don’t quite look or feel myself.

I am aware of how I look. I am not fat. I am not skinny. I am surviving.

That need all be said. That need be all I tell myself.

How do you feel about your body?

Did your body bounce back after a baby?

The Girl Who Stews Fruit

January 12, 2016 by Vicki

When tiny feet have finally stopped running, the house is still and quiet and the sun is setting it’s final dusky highlights, I have been finding themselves under neith the most wholesome and generous apricot tree I’ve ever known. In the silence of the night I pick the softest, luscious fruit marveling at the sheer volume of them and their perfect orange skins. With each apricot picked another layer of the day peels off and the hardness of kiddy wrangling washes away until I’m just myself again.

When my cane basket is bursting with fruit or when the night has closed in too full for me to see any longer, I contentedly trot inside with my prizes.

DSC_1344I gush and show off my pickings to Mr Vick like they be a new baby. We converse about all the recipe possibilities before I settle in front of the telly with a tool kit consisting of saucepan and a knife. I watch the screen whilst I break the fruit in half and remove the pip, occasionally cutting out an over ripe spot before placing it into the saucepan.

There Mr Vick and I get to just be. There is no chattering in the background or demands flying at us continually disturbing our thoughts or conversations. The silence rebuilds our stamina and through nothing more we reconnect as just us.

When the saucepan is full I pour some water in and turn the knob of my stove and hear the familiar click click as the flame ignites. The fruit sits and quietly bubbles as Mr Vick and I continue watching our dose of escapism. I check the saucepan at regular intervals taking care to not under cook or over cook my babies.

DSC_1351I delight in tasting the nectar and deciding if any sweetener is needed and if so dosing it to a balanced perfection. Mr Vick doesn’t like overly sweet things but I adore sweet things so the balance has be just right to keep all consumers contented.

I remove the saucepan from the stove with pride. I beam at the result and hope Mr Vick will walk through the kitchen so I can show off my efforts. Somehow stewing fruit makes me feel like a better wife.

DSC_1354The whole process feels wholesome, nurturing and healing in ways I cannot properly articulate. Perhaps it’s because it connects me back to my roots when I was no more than a young girl watching my mother stand in front of the stove stewing pot after pot of fruit. When it was normal for sweet aromas to continually fill our kitchen and when fruit and custard was standard for desert every night. Stewing was my mums thing. Sometimes I thought nothing of her doing it and other times it kinda irritated me. She gave so much time to it  but it was her way of feeding us in the months when fruit wasn’t available or was too expensive. As a mother now, I can appreciate how that fruit and her effort got us through.

And just like then, our freezer is now full of stewed fruit for my family to consume. I’m pleased by this yet I do wonder if I’m slowly turning into my mother but would that be such a bad thing? Not this part anyway.

It’s funny where delight and little pockets of contentment are found as a mother. I never thought I would become the girl who stews fruit.

Have you turned into something you never thought you would?

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

Our Summer Bucket List

January 7, 2016 by Vicki

SummerA while back Steph at Stephs Joy posted about her Summer bucket list. It totally inspired me to jump on the bandwagon and write up my very own with the Vicklets.

Summer is half way done (sob) but given we’re in the thick of school holidays now, I can almost hear the cries of desperate mothers seeking ways to entertain/distract/enthrall/quieten their little people. So, I’m sharing ours today in the hope that you might get some ideas or maybe even write one of your own:

Make icy poles

Go camping (even if it’s just in the backyard)

Blow bubbles in the sun

Build sandcastles at the beach

Fly a kite

Take a Sunday afternoon drive to who knows where?

Dance under the sprinkler

Grow a veggie patch

Paint the house (with brushes and water)

Create a nature treasure hunt

Have a picnic

Collect shells at the beach

Have a BBQ with our favorite friends

Play cricket

Lightsaber battles on the trampoline

Paint with chalk on concrete

Feed the ducks (or seagulls)

Go kayaking

Go berry picking

Have a water soaker fight

Watch the sun set

Visit the zoo

Skim stones at a lake

Go see an outdoor movie

Go out for ice cream (maybe even make your own)

Pick a bunch of flowers

Make a bird feeder

Go bike riding

Visit the local gardens

Make home made lemonade

Did I miss anything? What’s on your summer bucket list?
How are you entertaining the kids this holidays?

Looking backing: 2015

December 31, 2015 by Vicki

It’s always nice to look back and recognise the little wins through your year isn’t it?

I know here on the blog this year I have felt a fair deal of frustration because life has really run away with me and I’ve had to actually, well, live it in the reals and not always online.

At the beginning of 2015 I seriously contemplated re-vamping Knocked Up & Abroad. Should I change the name to reflect where I’m at now? Should I just re-design the space? Should I launch an entirely new blog? TOO MUCH TO CONSIDER WHEN YOU’RE A DEAD HEAD PREGGO. So you know what happened? Nuffin’ but I’m still contemplating all the same things 12 months on. Just now I have so much less time to do anything about any changes.

Then there was the Vicklets keeping me forever running and my journey into childbirth for the third time and the actual baby himself! My, he’s gold isn’t he?

Then there was a little rat bag that decided to break his leg to show up his new baby brother too. Well, that was different. That really cramped me style for a couple of months there and very little blogging was achieved because OVERWHELMING was my duties to these demanding little people but we were an awesome team Mr Vick and I. My favorite motto from that time was “you can never keep a good Vick down”. True, true.

Slowly as the year comes to an end I’m finding my mojo again gradually. I’ve had a pool of sponsored posts that I caught up on towards the end of the year since the first half was a deluge of fam bam stuff. I’m starting to creep out of the baby phase and find some times of just … well, being. There isn’t an intense sense of overwhelm and I’m not frantic and out of my mind continually. So that is good. Real good. I’m sure 2016 will have it’s moments but it will bring some flow and I will have sunken my feet into this mother of three thing a bit more.

I thought I would just highlight the top seven posts that I am particularly proud of and by all accounts where your favorites too.

The Golden Years > A post where I felt overwhelmed by the hardship and beauty of motherhood. The real complexities of the job.

A Letter of Apology To My Vagina > Well, I owed it to her! Pregnant and anticipating my third birth I had to acknowledge what I was about to put my old girl through once again.

Finding Mr Vick > A romance story. ‘Nuff said.

When the Euphoria Dries Up > This post was about life with a new baby when the adrenaline and offers of help dry up.

The Femur That Broke > Like seriously, why did it have to do that to my 2 year old?!?

Birth Stories!  Everyone loves a birth story and my third was no exception. Both part one and two were favorites of yours and I was pretty happy with how it all unfolded too!

And finally, the post that went viral this year, my biggest fantastical post I have ever written straight from my heart about not getting the baby girl I’d always wanted: In Mourning For The Daughter That Never Was.

I loved revisiting this work. It’s such a reflection of the journey!

I am always so grateful to have a community where I can openly share a part of my self and feel heard, appreciated, in arms with a sisterhood, nurtured, entertained, liked, cheered, supported. I am so lucky that you guys are such an amazing sound board and keep reading. Seriously! You keep reading! Amazing!

I hope that you have a blessed 2016 and that you continue to read and share with me. Your stories that you share in reflection are seriously the best thing about this gig. It’s the people to people stuff ya know?!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

5 Months On Earth Side And Grinning!

December 19, 2015 by Vicki

DSC_1166That Baby Mango kid, he’s still charming the crowds with this dazzling grin and it’s not getting old. He certainly hasn’t grown out of it now he is five months old. Yeah, 5 MONTHS people! Almost six if we ignore the fact it’s taken me 3 weeks to actually write this post.

He is on the verge of being with us for half a year. What a wicked thing!

He really is that cute and generous with the smiley action. It’s not just for the paparazzi. He’s my little go to when I need a little pick me up during the day. A little tickle torture and the smirks are all going wild and it’s contagious so I overdose on Mango and get back on with my day.  We have an arrangement him and I . I provide the boobs, he provides the grins.

DSC_1155Those feet are real good to gnaw on!

In the last couple of weeks he has made a marvelous discovery! FOOD! And like my two prior boys, once he got a taste, it was ON. He has a talent for it. He eats anything and how I love a good eater (it’s in the genes). He went from eating no food to demanding at least three meals a day. I’m not sure how his poor guts is feeling about it but his desire is certainly being fulfilled and he is now trying to master holding his own spoon. ALREADY! His wild independence might nearly see me out of a job soon. Never fear, I have the boobs and they’re still the favorite – especially come night fall.

We are so unorthodox with what we feed him. You can tell we’ve done this too many times perhaps and the care factor is ranking much lower. There is certainly no text book following or any kind of calculative approach about it. It’s all very mixed up and what do we have in the fridge kinda thing. Anyway, he likes so we’re probably not going to change a thing.

I was pleased with myself the other day there was a bundle of peaches for $1.79 which I snapped up and stewed. Then I zipped them up and I packed them away in the freezer, all ten serves. It worked out they were 17.9 cents per serve. How economical is that?? I’ve got my eyes peeled for cheapo fruit every time I hit the supermarket now.

DSC_1178La-di-da baby eating

I have been thinking about what a happy and peaceful baby he is and how I feel the same way about my mothering this third time around. I’m not sure if it’s Mango who makes it easy, or my approach. Either way, it’s a good marriage. I feel so glad that we took the crazy leap to have number three. You people out there who told me having the third was just the best, what do you know? You were TOTALLY RIGHT! Mango is such a blessing. That word often gets thrown around willy nilly these days but really, he is the light.DSC_1171

I’m so pleased I got to feel so relaxed within my parenting because it sure is unprecedented and I feel so much more fulfilled. I’m chilin’ about the small stuff and taking time to notice Mango and being present in the moment more. Some might say I know it’s my last so I’m savoring it all. I’d so correctomundo!

Before I leave you, I thought I’d share something that will wake up your sleepy ovaries:

DSC_1149How much beautiful is that? It overwhelms me. I did that. Twice over. Shizens.

Do you love a grinning baby?

The Cost of Education: A Review of ASG Education Funds

December 15, 2015 by Vicki
***This is a sponsored post for ASG

ASGLittle Vick is becoming a real grown up kid. It’s happening with gusto regardless of what I feel about it.

He has been transitioning from kindergarten to primary school the last few weeks and fitting in just so comfortably. To him school is just another kindergarten, with a different costume on.

I think school is going to be marvelous. He needs it. Oh boyo does he need it. His superior attitude and tendency to get into fistycuffs with his younger brother are proof, it is TIME. Not to mention how he wants to know all the facts. School is the only place for a curious soul like him, so we’re excited!

The reality of this transition struck the other day when I had to hand over $200 for his school uniform. Oh, yowzers, that hurt. Just when I had a $400 electricity bill due, my car registration, and that little thing called Christmas just around the corner! Finances are tight at the best of times but the end of the year always asks us to stretch just that bit more, even more so now we have schooling in the equation.

I can now empathise with my sister who for years has been complaining about the costs of schooling for her two daughters. The looming payment deadline for their new laptops required has been an evident stress that has made things tight for her little family. Indeed, the reality of technology becoming a normal part of schooling has created greater financial pressure for many. I’m not there yet but the day is a comin’. I can feel it in my bones.

So, you maybe thinking $200 on uniform isn’t so bad but it’s just the summer uniform. The winter gear with the jacket and it’s fancy price tag is yet to be purchased and there will be new school shoes, new lunch boxes, school fees and the infamous book list which I’m yet to receive. A friend was flabbergasted when she had to pay $400 for her preppies first book list. $400 on pencils and scrap books??? And yet we have to don’t we? This is one area where I’m not willing to scrimp and cut back. Education is waaaay too important. We all know education opens doors and shapes lives.

I’m shocked I guess because I hadn’t given the financials much thought or maybe it was more that I hadn’t thought ahead because I’ve never had to. Now I will be thinking about the mulla especially when the time comes for all three of my Vicklets to go to school. IMAGINE (I know many of you don’t have to). I’d be fibbing if I said I wasn’t freaking a bit.

With my recent realisations my inner spendthrift has been on high alert. No doubt she feels threatened but I discovered something recently that opened my eyes up to being smart when it comes to education and finances that would get my all planning, frugal mother nodding in approval.

At a blogging brunch recently I met the ASG crew. ASG believe all children deserve equal access to education regardless of wealth, status or capability. I wasn’t going to argue with that.

ASG is dedicated to supporting children’s education and has been doing so for more than 40 years. They’re no amateurs right? What I discovered is that ASG offers a range of education funds ideal for just about anyone’s situation or needs.

At first I thought it sounded all serious and boring and it did not appeal to me at all and then I looked at my five year old and it rang out in my head YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE for educating this little person and he deserves it all including parents who aren’t stressed about finding the dollars to do it. So for him and my other boys, I did my homework.

ASG has a range of education funds. There’s one that helps pay the basics for secondary school fees and encourages children to pursue post-secondary study, and one that assists parents to take greater control of expenses from primary through to post secondary education and the new Pathway Education Fund which appeals to me because you can make contributions for any stage of your child’s education journey including pre-school and post secondary education. It’s pretty straight forward, you put the money in, allow it to build through ASG’s conservative investment approach, then you can withdraw it four times a year when you need it for your child’s education. No stress about it and definitely no rude awakenings come the end of the year when you have to cough up the funds. Even those extra curricula costs that pop up are covered!

Although they have education funds that’s not all they do. They also have a range of resources and perks to go with being a member to help support and guide you as a parent through the education process. I like the look of their educational packs that included DVD’s and books to help build children’s social and emotional skills. Any extra help with this gig is pretty neat right?

If you’re not sure what to expect then you can jump online and use their calculator to estimate your children’s future education costs which I reckon is pretty nifty because it’s always good to be informed and prepared.

What sits well with me is that ASG endorses many of the same motto’s that I believe in. Like the fact that all children should have access to quality education and the opportunity to explore and nurture their own interests and talents. Isn’t that exactly what we all want for our children? Everyone’s children?

It’s worth considering isn’t it? ‘Cos I sure know I don’t want to have to say no to my children out of necessity when it comes to education and them pursuing their dreams.

For more information you can visit ASG online here or call 131 ASG (1131 274) or if you prefer a face to face meeting you can enter your details here. Also if you want to sign up to an education fund before 29 February 2016, ASG are offering a $0 enrolment fee for Knocked Up & Abroad readers when the voucher code: FREE-ENROLMENT is used.

ASG 2

How do you manage with education costs?

Kiddy Books We’re Reading Right Now

December 15, 2015 by Vicki

Kiddy picture books seem to be getting better and better, don’t ya think?

I feel like I’m getting more and more captivated by a good book as I get older. I can really escape into the dreamy illustrations and the imaginative narratives AND I’m not even the target audience!

Reading is an important part of our daily bedtime routine. There is always reading come night fall and I’m trying to integrate it more regularly into our days as well because books bring calmness and I like all the calmness I can get. Also, I want my kids to turn to a book sometimes not just always a screen. Am I dreaming?

I thought I’d share some of our favorites straight from the Vicklet bookshelf.

Too Busy Sleeping by Zanni Louise & Anna Pignataro1-DSC_1186

My bloggy friend Zanni from My Little Sunshine house released this book this year at precisely the right time for our little family. This arrived in my mail box not too long after Baby Mango was welcomed home and I started reading this to the bigger Vicklets who were adjusting to having a new baby brother taking the limelight and who seemed rather boring with his excessive sleeping habits. This book beautifully depicts the frustration and beauty of welcoming home a new sibling with gorgeous illustrations to boot. 1-DSC_1187

“Duck” by Janet A. Holmes & Jonathan Bentley

1-DSC_1207As you will note from the cover, this book is well loved in this house. It’s Baby Vick’s favorite and he reads it most nights. It’s a cute tale about a boy who looses his favorite companion, his toy duck! Through missing him he learns the value of duck and just what his companionship means to him. This is a good one for the newborn to two year old age range and comes in hard cover for those rough nutters like my boys.

“The Storm Whale” by Benji Davies

1-DSC_1194Take a look at that front cover?? It stole my heart in the book shop and I resorted to buying it for Little Vick’s birthday which was a very convenient excuse. We could just sit and look at these illustrations and  be completely captivated without reading a single word. Although the story is rather lovely too. It’s about a boy who discovers a whale that was washed up on the beach that he lives on. He cares for him and eventually returns him to his ocean home whilst resurrecting his relationship with his distracted father.

1-DSC_1197“Mesmerised: Captivating Pictures for Babies & Newborns”

1-DSC_1214You’re never too young to start reading right? This was a gift to Baby Mango from my cousin and we’ve loved it. I’ve loved sharing a real dealo book with my baby who I’ve discovered has been rather captivated by the high contrast black and white graphics (they make it easier for babies to see). Just what it’s designed for funnily enough! This is ideal for newborn babies until about six months of age when they’re developing this sight and provides good stimulation.

1-DSC_1215“The Night Before Christmas: A  Brick Story” by Clement C. Moore1-DSC_1199 - Copy

Every year I buy a new Christmas story to join our collection. This is the latest and I couldn’t go past this one because 2015 has been the year of the Lego in the Vicklet household. Lego madness I tell you and this book is illustrated purely by photographed Lego!

1-DSC_1204 - CopyYou would be right to say the Vicklets LOVE it!

What are you reading right now?

What’s your favorite all time kiddy book?

Dropping By

December 8, 2015 by Vicki

Oh hi ya! Thought I’d drop by this ‘hood today, as my very exciting title would indicate. I’m going to sell millions with that one.

I’m struggling to get to this space as much as I would like and I have a backlog of drafts banking up waiting to see the light of day. I always have good intentions to finish them off and share them with you every single week. Maybe this week is the week? I even have some paid writing I should be doing right this second and what am I doing? Having a yakkity-yak with you lot!

My days are melting from one into another into another. My nights are almost as busy as my days so there is no end and no beginning. The work load is plentiful. You can guarantee there is always dishes to stack, toys to pick up and washing to fold. If someone could just give me a week off from the ruddy washing it would be like a HOLIDAY IN BORA BORA. Virtually the same.

My nights are particularly long because Mango has had a cough. Sweet baby cheeses it’s a frightful sound from such a small being. He has been in a bad way and had a case of the cranks to go with it which is probably a first for the little guy who is virtually a prototype of an angel.

Augie 5 monthsThere’s my angel. On the mend ‘cos the smiles are back!

Yesterday his brother (Baby Vick) was diagnosed with tonsillitis and an ear infection which would explain the constant furnace like heat radiating from his body and lack of will to live. Poor Vicklet, last weekend he caught a case of the voms too precisely four minutes before we stepped out to a Christmas party that I had been particularly looking forward to. Christmas was cancelled that day but that just seems to be the go in this household right now. Someone always has a cough, someone always has a funny tummy, someone always needs a cuddle. Playing nurse means there is little time for frolicking doing all the interesting things.

Even though TB and the plague has been demanding our confinement, I have also been deliberately trying to stay in more. It’s so not my style but I’m learning it brings more calm to our existence. I’m over the rushing, the yelling at the kids to do the right thing (when all they want to do is play ‘cos kids!) and the exhaustion from it all and then the messy home that we inevitably return to and be 45 steps behind with. That shit breaks me and I put myself through it time and time again voluntarily. So I’m trying my hand at stopping put. I’m getting quite good at that thing called productivity actually and so far I am proving myself in the domestic field. I spent an entire morning cooking last week!! I am loving myself sick for it. I just wanted to make stuff. Real food for us all and to freeze for those drastic moments where KFC might call if I don’t whip something out real quick.

homemade pieChicken & Leek pie. Recipe stolen from Maxabella Loves here

What I’m also discovering is that the messier the house, the more contented children I have. Dead set, they love living in a piggery. The more toys and random crap on the floor at once the better. This is not revolutionary news for most of you, but SHIT, I’m learning. If I loosen the reigns a little then everyone seems to find their contented groove.

Occasionally I catch a glimpse of my reflection in a mirror and I get a shock. I look so very tired and plump and slightly disheveled. I rarely get time to style my hair and I chuck on the first thing within reach and generally don’t quite look myself but these are the hardest days. My vanity has taken a back seat and survival and happy kids have to take priority. I keep reminding myself that my vanity will have her day again and I will dabble in lipstick and hair straighteners and look civilised and my lovely best again. All. in. good. time. I’m so getting bored of that statement but I have to cling onto something right?

You know how the simple things sometimes can bring you a moment of clarity? Little Vick brought this picture home from kinder the other day and I looked and wondered what had happened?

Banjos christmas drawing 15My boy has gone from scribbling random pictures of who-knows-what to illustrations of very clear and definite things! You can really see what’s going on here in this picture can’t you? Just how much he is growing up hit me right in the guts. He is ready for school. I have stuck the picture to our lounge room door as a reminder of the progress we’re making with these little people. I’m a tad proud of it. The trenches can feel heavy and never ending but then something like a drawing can show you just how close you are to creating real capable, achieving individuals. I feel all the better for that realisation.

What are you noticing as we came to the close of another year?

What’s keeping you busy?

Today I’m linking up with Essentially Jess for I Blog On Tuesday.