The Bikini Wearing Basketball Lady

May 26, 2015 by Vicki

Friday is our swimming day in the Vick household.

It’s usually a family affair and we’re usually late and rushed to get there despite it being apart of our routine for a good while now. I don’t expect this will ever change. Hopeless through and through, we are.

The Vicklets relish a good ole fashioned dip. It’s a bit of bonding time for us all, that is until I can no longer stand being splashed in the face going on the 103rd time. Then, it’s all over red rover. Shower time and in the car before you could say fruit tingles bejingles.

I have not been deterred by swimming whilst pregnant, nor wearing my usual bikini attire. Let’s be honest, the one piece option is (stretched) out.

Oh how people like to gawk. I give them good reason I guess. I’d have my eyes on my pale, tiger stripped basketball belly too because it is something of a freaky spectacle.

This was me heading to the pool at 24 weeks:

24 weeks baby 3

This was last Fridays headed-to-the-pool snap of the 36 week bump:

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Yep. The basketball look is in.

I would say after 3 months, I have grown a bit, sure, stretched a bit, sure, but not as much as some would think. I just put it all out there right from the very start. Hence the ole twins one liner from strangers since about 20 weeks that is just so fun, I can’t stand it.

Anyway, this is my lazy Tuesday post for #IBOT this week because clearly I am too busy caning Mr Vick for not keeping up to my nesting schedule.

Tell me, the bump hasn’t grown in HUGE proportions has it in 3 months?

Did you swim during pregnancy? In a bikini?

Five Years On: From Knocked Up & Abroad to Knocked Up Suburban Mombie

May 21, 2015 by Vicki

So I wrote this and then fell into some kind of knocked up coma and forgot to publish it. Seven weeks on, I know present to you….

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Five years ago, I was also in a knocked up condition. The difference between my first and third pregnancy is nothing short of being completely juxtaposed. Saying they are worlds apart would be quite an understatement.

Right now, I am 29 weeks pregnant and my reality looks somewhat like this:

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Hello sleep deprived, fashion-less woman stuck in a suburban existence of average cooking skills, constant cleaning, regular assaults inflicted by child driven drum sticks, relentless child wrangling and where going on a big trip is considered to be a solo excursion to the supermarket for a big stock up.

Five years ago, at twenty nine weeks pregnant my life looked like this:

Louis in Paris

I was glowing in Paris, visiting my mate Louis. Shortly followed by afternoon strolls through Venice. As you do.

Vicki in Florence

Bit of a contrast? Wee, frickin’ wee. From knocked up and abroad to knocked up suburban mombie.

I’ve been reflecting the last couple of weeks on just how much my life has changed in five little years, from the start of my motherhood journey till now. I feel a bit mixed about it.

For my newer readers, my European dream trip probably should never have happened. Pregnancy was not the only factor that could have kept me bundled up at home. Mr Vick’s mother was also in her final days battling terminal cancer. I have never wanted to be in two places more in my life but Mr Vick was one of my biggest knocked up, travel advocates that there was. He told me I needed to go ahead with my dream trip so that I could come home and be the best mother that I possibly could be. I have always been so grateful for that completely selfless encouragement and advice. He was right. Regret is a strong emotion and I’m so glad that I will never have to look back at my first pregnancy and feel that pang.

Being knocked up and abroad was an adventure and an education. It was the best soul food although it required me to find strength and courage (I often traveled alone throughout the six weeks away), both of which held me in good stead for the adjustment into motherhood.

Now, third time around, I give myself a lot of credit for the inner strength I have built. The foundations set in that first pregnancy on that trip, no doubt.

When I look at those knocked up travel pics, I see a girl. Pleased and somewhat liberated, if not vulnerable and definitely naive. I was completely unaware about what lay ahead. What would be asked of me. What I would need to learn. What I would need to give. What I would be taught.

Now, I look at that third pregnancy picture and I see stacks and stacks of crazy, boisterous love flowing out in every direction. I see a woman who has grown (metaphorically as well as physically). Sure, she’s struggled, almost daily in fact but boyo, has she loved. Loved like she never knew she could and I will never need to move off my couch to get that again.

What life differences were between your pregnancies?

Have you ever traveled pregnant?

All The Pregnetness – 35 Weeks!

May 15, 2015 by Vicki

The sense of anticipation has slowly started it’s rolling build up. I can feel all the small shifts inching me closer to the inevitability of meeting my new baby. A new baby, oh sweet baby cheeses! That feels surreal.

Time is a funny thing. It’s racing me towards the pregnancy finish line and yet it feels like a slow progression all at the same time. Such a contrast makes me feel like I’m stuck between two realities. I feel myself resisting a new rhythm which I know I should relinquish myself over to. My normal self wants to keep drumming out my regular beat and keep on galloping at life’s full pace and yet my body is trying to slow that rhythm and to simplify things so that I can embrace this heavily pregnant body and prepare myself for the marathon I’m about to face.

I must find a place where I can let it all go. To surrender to this rhythm my body is gradually demanding and to exist presently in these last few weeks of life as it is, before it is never again. This dynamic will never be repeated again.

I feel reflective and somewhat sentimental about that. I’m desperately trying to indulge and enjoy my Vicklets as they are before they’re forced to step up and mature, particularly Baby Vick. I’m all too aware this adjustment will be as big as it gets for his little life. He’s not yet two years old and having to give up his baby rights which will be confronting and unnerving all at once when the change hits. The new dynamic will seem sudden and unfair to him. Things will get hard between us for a bit so I’m rolling out the play dough with him, throwing the ball to him and soaking in his little quirks and smiles that he reserves for just the right moment.

Summer days

I visited a midwife the other day and she told me I was at the stage where I need to see her fortnightly now. She was all talk about the babies injections upon birth, and setting the cot up safely and asking if the car seat is fitted yet. Of course, I nodded sheepishly trying to be convincing. Of coooooourse, the car seat is fitted. Ha. I recall thinking to myself, I guess I better buy a box of nappies or somethin’ then.

Did you keep up a galloping pace until birth or did you manage to surrender to a slower rhythm?

Finding Mr Vick

May 12, 2015 by Vicki

I was just 16 years old when I met Mr Vick. That means he has known me for half of my life. Holy Batman.

I still remember the first time I saw him and the feeling like my heart was going to bounce right out of my chest and onto the ground right in front of him. It was like a pounding African drum nailing an awesome beat.

He was tall. The tallest thing I had ever seen and he had the body of a man. I’m sure I thought he was somewhat of an Adonis, or at least not like the weakling boys that generally surrounded me. He was 20 years old. He had his license and a job. Totes a big kid.

He had purple fitted chords on and green Doc Martins. I remember thinking he had style with a bit of edge and that appealed. I could look good alongside that.

The reason we, two strangers, came to be in the same place on this particular day was because we had been cast in a production of “Oliver”. We met at an old Salvation Army hall where we would rehearse weekly. He was playing Bill Sykes, the baddie, which somehow seemed a wee bit sexy.

I remember finding the guts to say hi. My racing heart virtually exploded into smithereens, but I did it. I remember coaching myself about how important it was to make eye contact, because that would be a sign of maturity and right then at sixteen I wanted to be all the maturity. He held my gaze, an appealing quality I thought. He wasn’t one of the awkward teenage theatre geeks that I was used to.

Each rehearsal we’d look for one another to have a chat. I thought there might just be a bit of chemistry there or was he just grown up and being nice? A complex thing I contemplated with my girlfriends for hours in the school yard. Mind reading super powers would have been excellent back then.

Come show time, we were the only two not needed on stage at the commencement of the performance. We sat in the dressing room on opposite sides having our make up done and sneaking glances across the room at one another. I couldn’t help but sneak a squiz at the spunk. Could he be feeling the same? He was definitely making eyes back.

And so it began… not immediately but inevitably. There was the fact that one of my closest friends also had a raging crush on him and I had to smoother my feelings down until I could lay my claim, the fact that we lived 70 minutes away from one another and barely got to see one another initially, the fact that I was just a school girl and he an “adult”, but inevitably it was a unity that forged because we both wanted it. It felt meaningful and comfy and exciting and loving.

We thought our relationship would just be a moment in time that would pass because we’d outgrow it, but it seems we never did.

Mr Vick is caring and compassionate. So smart and yet spontaneous and cheeky. Just the right combination for me.

vicki and al at wedding

15 years have passed since I met him in that Salvation hall, three of which we’ve been married, as of today. Holy Batman.

How did you meet your match? Care to share a love story?

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

A River

May 6, 2015 by Vicki

You know when a book really captures your imagination and steals you in?

It actually doesn’t happen to me all that regularly. I’ve got pretty yuppie standards when it comes to being won over by a book, particularly when it comes to a picture story book. Actually, I usually leave the being won over to the Vicklets being that they’re the niche audience in that department. Recently however, I was introduced to something that did capture me. Something that made me realise you’re never too old to enjoy a good picture story book.

I was teaching a grade 3/4 class when I was asked to read this book at the request of their teacher who I was replacing for the day. It was brand spanking new and newly released to boot. It was ‘A River‘ by Melbourne writer/illustrator Marc Martin.

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There was something about the rich yet moody colour pallet that depicted the textured illustrations of nature, that drew me in.

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I also like the possibility of the narrative. Where could the little boat travel? What could the character discover?

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It seemed to capture everyone in that classroom that day.1-DSC_1294

I ordered the book moments after I knocked off work. I wanted to read it to my Vicklets but also to have it in my teaching kit to pull out at any given moment when I might need something for additional entertainment in the classroom. The activities that can be done around it are endless and would appeal to a wide age group. For example, I like to get the kids to draw their own river and to illustrate a scene which they would drift through on their boat and perhaps as an extension, get them to write about it too.

This is something I’ve done at home too. Little Vick loved exploring the journey possibilities and we’ve had many conversations about the boat, whether it be real or imagined.

Books that start imaginative conversations, they’re the good ones hey?

Have you read a picture story book recently that you loved?

This Nesting Business

April 28, 2015 by Vicki

I got zee nesting bug, bad.

I have little control over the itching I get to do. To write lists and tick off all the things.

If I could I would have my house completely de-cluttered, dusted, washed, folded, categorised and insanely orderly. Boy, all that sounds so sexy to me, in a slightly OCD manner.

Nesting is a primitive, instinctual thing that is driving me a little preggie mad. I get so cranky because I’m not achieving and keeping up with the productive flow of ideas in my head. I just wanna do.

I want to change all the bedrooms around. The Vicklets who have had separate bedrooms will need to learn the art of sharing together. It’s truly a frightening prospect. We have recently bought bunk beds which are yet to be constructed and we need to buy more toy storage, and then actually re-organise it all and redecorate. It needs to be achieved before Baby Mango arrives and with that time ticking down I am feeling a sense of urgency. The pressure is increasing. Let me at it!

Mr Vick is much more breezy about it all. As men are. He is trying to calm my farm but as I keep telling him, he just needs to be my muscle. I’ll do the rest.

To him, there is almost an entire two months before this baby arrives and that’s seven whole weeks to achieve all the things. To me there is ONLY seven weeks. In that time I gotta achieve a whole lotta list ticking and I know how quick the weeks can melt away into kinder drop offs, appointments, work, washing, supermarket visits, blah blah.

It’s a natural urge for a woman to feel prepared and reassured that she is in control before it is all relinquished in the hands of a brand new little person. I know I wont get a chance to sort that linen cupboard out once Baby Mango arrives. I won’t get a single moment to sort anything out for about eight years, I don’t reckon. And there is a point where a woman gets too preggie-fied to nest. Too tired, too big, too achy to get stuck into the jobs, so this is why I’m pushing. You’re on my side right?

Today I’m constructing one mother of all lists. When I’m finished I think it might resemble a scroll more than a list.

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I feel a bit clearer already just getting some of the clutter in my head down on paper. It’s fair to say I’m a list writer for therapeutic sakes. Now let’s see how much of it I can get achieved this week.

Do you write to-do lists?

What’s on top of your list right now?

{Today I’m linking up with Essentially Jess for #IBOT. Head over for some spunky reading}

Releasing Fear & Accepting Change

April 23, 2015 by Vicki

Change is a funny thing. It can come into your life sweeping suddenly and unsympathetically or it can sneak in inch by inch allowing gradual acceptance and adjustment.

Having a baby is perhaps one of the biggest changes an individual, a couple and a family can experience. How each individual in that equation experiences that change can be so different.

For me, coming to terms with the arrival of another baby and the paramount change that comes with it, began early. I think that is apart of the nine months thing. Not only is it for the baby to grow and develop, but it’s also for a mother to accept and start adjusting to her new role.

Many weeks ago, I was paralised with fear about another baby coming into my world. I could think of only all the dramatic, challenging aspects that a baby brings and I was scared. I was actually beyond that, I felt regret. I thought we were unnecessarily complicating our lives and that I could cope.

My head space was consumed with all the it’s too hard thoughts. I was scared of the long cold nights of feeding, the zombie fog that follows me when I have a newborn, scared of all the giving that would be required of me, scared of pushing my body again, scared of becoming a yelly horrid mum to the two Vicklets I’ve already got, scared of feeling disconnected from my husband, scared I wouldn’t get all the things ready in time, scared of juggling the three kid act, scared of feeling cooped up, scared of feeling isolated in my newborn cave, scared of the workload, scared of feeling rung out and scared of losing myself again.

I dwelled on these points for weeks. Resenting the inevitable changes that I had invited in.

Then there was a shift. A new thought, I would be scared to not have this baby. Scared of always feeling like this family was incomplete. Scared of never trying. Then, I started to inhale breathes of acceptance and released the fear. This pathway was the right one.

I am contented about reaching a point of complete acceptance. I can exist within this moment without resistance and there is room for more favorable emotions. I feel ready.

accepting change

And yet now I see Mr Vick grappling with accepting the change. I suspect he would prefer to confront change when it’s arrived, when he has to. Shuffling the bedrooms around and buying bunk beds for the Vicklets has been a huge point for him to overcome. I can see him resisting and tugging away even though he knows he will be flung shortly into the change regardless because time will demand it so. He is experiencing his own journey and whilst I have learned that I like to grapple with change early so that I am fully equipped to dance with it and manage when it hits, Mr Vick rides the wave differently. It’s confronting for him right now. I have to let him run with all the fears, as I did.

In time we will have both acknowledge the fears, existed in them and have shared them. Time will dull them, they may even dissipated and we will be ready together to face this change.

How do you face change?

Do you think it’s easier to be thrown into change or to gradually accept it?

Do you think men and woman deal differently with change?

All The Pregnet-ness > 32 Weeks

April 21, 2015 by Vicki

Hello third trimester. Somehow you were that far off, never never land that I wouldn’t meet for a very long time and yet, you’ve just popped up like as if I should be prepared for it or somethin’. Sure, I’ve looked like I should be in the third trimester for about 3 months now, but the reality of this baby and the actuality of getting it out is starting to linger in my mind. I really should stop the preggie torture and retire from watching Call The Midwife and The Midwives. I’m like a dodo moth to a light, I tell ya.

In the meantime I’m happy to keep myself distracted with my favorite form of nesting, shopping! The Country Road baby girls range right now is killing me. Mustard yellow corduroy, damn you!

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It took all my might to not slap a dozen girl items on the counter upon passing. I hope such restraint is rewarded with an actual girl. I’m not going to be coy and pretend that I wouldn’t love my own little mini Goldilocks. Sure, being healthy and all that but there is no denying there is a little longing for a girl. For the sake of some Country Road shopping, if nothing else.

Little Vick is still convinced he will get a sister and isn’t there that sibling third sense, psychic thing? When asked why he would like a sister, his response usually is “because girls have good behavior. Boys do not have good behavior”. He also logically points out he “already has a brother”. True, true.

On the health front, my last appointment with the “baby doctor” aka midwife, informed me that my hemoglobin levels have decreased during the pregnancy. No wonder I’ve been eying off chunks of steak and virtually considering cannibalism for some light sport! It sure explains why my limbs have felt listless and lifeless over recent weeks. So I’m dosing up on iron supplements and feeling better for it already.

I fear I look like I have met with old age early. I have busted my pelvis good an proper. My nesting over come me and I vacuumed up a storm, and carried heavy washing about and a few other activities I should have perhaps bypassed, only for my pelvis to say, “lady I’m done”. From that moment I have been experiencing all the pain. Oh sweet baby cheeses I have, and by the end of the day I am nothing short of a cripple only good for the couch and watching The Outlander. It’s fair to say I have retired from vacuuming. No big sense of loss there and Mr Vick is picking up the slack which is obviously the way things are meant to sail. I have found comfort via Facebook from you all telling me how normal it is and how dozens of you have experienced this kind of pregnancy misery. Yes, your misery is my comfort – thank you. Fortunately a friend came to my aid with a belly belt which has fixed me right up, although I am now very mindful of being a little more conservative when it comes to my choice in activities.31 weeks pregnant

{The 31 week bump donning some retro print}

So 32 weeks, we’ve met and we move a step closer to meeting this Baby Mango Vick. Flashes of hospital bag packing and buying maternity pads have swept through my mind but I’ll leave them for a rainy day, down the track when I will have come to grips a bit more about what awaits.

Do you like the mustard Country Road numbers?

Where your kids right with guessing the sex of an expectant baby?

How far along before you packed your hospital bag?

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

Read my last All The Pregnet-ness installment here

{This is not a sponsored post, although Country Road should feel free to to sponsor me up with mustard corduroy goodness}

The Camping Champions!

April 16, 2015 by Vicki

Holidays with small kids is such a lucky dip experience. It’s heading into the unknown with a very optimistic heart and hoping for some small mercies. Camping with small kids is that bit more risque. It’s upping the anti with a few more factors working against you. I don’t quite know why we always think camping is a good idea and that it might be relaxing, but we still nick off and attempt it a couple of times a year. In recent times, it has been nothing short of disastrous! I’ve written about these times here and here.  What can I say? Moaning about camping has become a favorite past time for me.

The thing is, my usual optimistic attitude has been ground down and down to nothing after some really shitful camping with kids experiences. When you have such low expectations and when you presume the parenting challenges will over weigh any holiday about it, you might just get a neat little surprise! It might just be better than you expect and I can say, this time peeps, IT WAS! We came home feeling like the camping champions and that we had had a smidgen of holiday over the Easter weekend bonanza! Hallu-fricken-lujah!

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{We’re were all celebrating about it}

You know, I can’t share any secrets about what made it a success because when we camp we just roll with the breeze and hope like crazy that it will turn out okay. It’s all within the Vicklets hands really and this time they decided to play nice. I can say taking some friends with kids the same age really helped with the entertaining the kidlets and there was something cathartic about the shared bitching between the adults regarding how crazy the kids are too.

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There was a bit of hiking, a bit of sand digging at the beach, a bit of fishing (seems the fish were on holidays too), a bit of lazing about, a few sneaky snoozes and a few laughs.

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The camping life is simple. Little is really achieved and most of these activities were based around eating. Eating is definitely the central activity, but when is it not?

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There is something really earthy and nurturing about preparing a fire to cook on and if you’re able to prevent it from turning charcoal, it tastes so good. Camp cooking has got it’s own flavor and I think we did alright with our cuisine considering we had not even a fridge or an iced Esky. It took some fine planning on my account to ration and plan the food.

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{Baked potatoes done in the coals of the fire and smothered with butter, cheese, colesslaw and baked beans}

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{Pancakes for breaky. Who says you have to rough it?}

The blood moon and eclipse provided some spectacular night sky sights. Did y’all see it?? My my, what a show! I felt really privileged to be parked by a camp fire with friends watching it all unfold in one of the most clear, mesmerising nights I’ve ever witnessed. Had I been at home, I’m sure I would have been parked on my bum on social media and not known a thing about it.

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{The camping preggie at 29 weeks}

So was it relaxing? Kinda. The key to this this for me is balancing my energy and not tipping into a pit of exhaustion. If the kids are up frequently during the night and then siphon my energy all day long requiring constant supervision and interaction then I am as good as fried. This is the way it has rolled the past two times, but I’m happy to report a new rhythm played out this time. Sure, the kids awoke a couple of times at night seeking reassurance or an extra blanket but they found their own groove of independence during the days. Little Vick has reached the age where he has developed enough confidence to approach other kids and recruit them into his cricket matches. At many points he had all the boys at the camping ground in a communal game of cricket. He was in his happy place. Oh boyo was he happy and I was in my happy place because I got to watch on and admire his growth into boyhood and remember how it played out the same way for me when I was a kid and camped. I also got to breath. Just breath and it felt goooood.

1-DSC_1247{Smiling and snuggling! Things were going well}

Similarly, Baby Vick was happy to dig with his toys in the dirt and be a general filth monster but I was happy for it because again, mummy breathing time. I know Mr Vick felt the same. We were able to all connect in some silent yet tangible way. Something was in our favor even if I don’t know what, I am grateful for it. Grateful to come home feeling like I like my family and that one day we might be able to achieve a happy little camping story again.

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Did you go away for Easter?

Are you brave enough to tackle camping with little humans?

15/52

April 12, 2015 by Vicki

“A portrait of my Vicklets, once a week, every week, for 52 weeks”

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Little Vick: You have wanted to go fishing for months and finally the right opportunity presented during our Easter camping trip at the beach. Just prior you were nudging us continually to get the rods out and baited up. Eventually, you held the rod patiently whilst the other kids flitted about on the sand around you. You were not perturbed. You had fish to catch. Your commitment to the task was admirable although after about 41 seconds you turned to me with this face and asked why you hadn’t caught anything yet? After 7 minutes you relented and joined the kids in being kids and retired from fishing with the idea that the visible fishing boat on the horizon clearly had pulled out all the fish for the day.

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Baby Vick: Things are just cool, especially helicopters that dart across the sky. They’re worth smiles and flapping arms and all kinds of outwardly celebration. You zip across a room to sneak a glimpse of a flying something out the window, so you were obviously going to be delighted when a helicopter passed low on the beach this day. Helicopters are just marvelous and so is the sparkle that fills you when you see one.

52 project