Wordless Wednesday: The Boy That Turned Cassowary

November 26, 2014 by Vicki

Times have been quiet on this space. Standstill even. Life is stealing my time. Sheesh.

I’ve been busy painting hair blue and stuff, being a wicked mumsy type. Basically. Here’s my proof.

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From my time away I have learned very important life things, like how hair spray and a straightener will turn your kid into a punk rocker. A very happy one at that.

DSC_0674 (2)This was all in aid of Little Vick’s Crazy Hair and Sock Day at kinder. Never was there a day more anticipated.

DSC_0668And do you know what the kid thought he looked like? A Cassowary! A CASSOWARY!!!!!! (If you haven’t read about the obsession with Cassowaries you can catch up here). He’s been practicing the kick up and down the lounge singing “cassowary kick, cassowary kick” over and over until it’s in EVERYONE’S brain and they’re humming along too. The old show girl in me is a bit proud of how high he is getting his kick which resembles somewhat of a Moulin Rouge performance. Occasionally he’ll make gobbling noises about the house too. I shit you not. Madness, complete MADNESS.

Speaking of madness, I’m considering a career in hairdressing (you know sarcasm when you see it right?) I figure this is the first of many kiddy styling sessions I’m going to have to lead  especially when Little Vick hits the school years and the themed days start rolling out.

What’s your kidlets favorite dress up?

Do they believe they’re an animal, another person, or thing?? (Tell me so)

Five Simple Toddler & Pre-School Activities To Zap Boredom!

November 21, 2014 by Vicki

5 Toddler activities to zap boredom

There are days when Little Vick asks me for an activity and I think it’s great he wants to exercise his creativity but I have not one single brain wave about what I can suggest. So much for all my Pinteresting.

Eventually I’ve come up with a few newby ideas of late which Little Vick raves about. I thought I’d share them with you so when you have a clueless blank you can turn on your smug mummy and whip out an instant activity. Believe me, there is nothing genius or even original about these but I thought I’d share from one mother to another, what’s been inducing some delicious quietness.

1. Catalogue shopping

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One day Little Vick was looking over my shoulder whilst I sifted through the pile of catalogues we’d received in our letter box. I love catalogues. I could ponder over them and procrastinate forever. Seems the feeling is mutual in our household because Little Vick asked if he could circle some products he’d like to buy and so he did. He went shopping right on our kitchen table. He circled products he liked, cut them out, drew a basket in his scrap book and glued them onto his basket. I was impressed with this little activity that Little Vick created all on his own. I also plan to use them for some educational purposes too. Right now we’re learning the alphabet and I plan to ask Little Vick to find things that start with particular letters and get him to cut them out and stick them next to the letter. I suspect there could be many variations invention using ye olde catalogue.

2. Make a garden

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Terrariums are all the rage right now and anyone can make one, kiddo’s included. If you want to check out an official explanation click here but there is no right or wrong. I found this glass at an op shop for $4, bought some succulents, stones (for the bottom of the glass), potting mix and the figurines and gave Little Vick instructions on how to create it. Thanks to Dirt Girl he was super keen and nailed it. The figurines made it that bit extra fun for him and he is super proud of the final product. It is his job to water it (not too often) and I get a pretty cute terrarium to decorate our front porch too. Win, win!

3. Paint the house

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I bought a set of 5 brushes for $2.95 from a cheapo store, filled a contained up with water and gave the Vicklets the job of painting the house. It was taken very seriously of course. It’s a simple activity but well loved especially on a warm day!

4. Design a necklace

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Straws, a needle and a piece of wool were the only materials required for this activity. I cut the straws shorter for threading and gave Little Vick a piece of wool and off he went threading and creating his necklace (which I have had to wear ever since of course). It’s great for dexterity and getting kids to work patiently and intricately.

5. Decorating Christmas trees

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It’s that time of year why not get in the spirit? Simply create the outline of a Christmas tree, or have your child draw or paint one before giving them a variety of materials to stick on as the trees decorations. We’ve used dot stickers, cut up cellophane and pom poms but you could use cut up xmas paper, scrap material, sequins and glitter. Little Vick loves this one so we’ve made oodles of Christmas trees which he wants to give as gifts to his favorites. He’s a thinker!

 Let the crafternoons begin!

What keeps your kiddo’s happy?

Wordless Wednesday: The Five Day Photo Challenge

November 19, 2014 by Vicki

Bree from Twinkle in the Eye nominated me to partake in the black and white five day photo challenge.

I suck at photo challenges. I always have great intentions but my creative dedication usually lasts for an entire 1.5 days before life takes hold and all is forgotten. But five days, maybe that could be achievable.

I can report that I lasted an entire four days before life stole me. Let’s be fair, four days is a huge improvement from my past record. I have since taken a fifth photo so I did complete the challenge, in my own kinda way.

I have to say I did love having my camera out daily. I have been missing out on so many snap worthy opportunities of the little people. They are just so photogenic and funny and wonderful. So I thank you Bree for poking me into action and getting me to dust off my DSLR. It was well worth it.

Without further ado… the four five photos:

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Why don’t you give the five day black and white challenge a burl?

The Baby That Was No More

November 14, 2014 by Vicki

Oh crazy world, the things you do to me. You took my baby and turned him into this:

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My grumpy little baby who disliked cuddles and had a strong fondness for frowning has grown into a kissing, giggle pot who loves nothing more than to climb the EVERYTHING.

This Baby Vick I fear has outgrown his name. Baby Vick, is now 17 months old. Not much baby left I’m thinking.

This photo really captures his true essence. I’ve been trying to nab that in a photo for the past 17 months and then bingo I got it. It doesn’t take much to read that this Vicklet exudes cheekiness. Everything is for shits and giggles. He is the BIGGEST prankster out there, in the one year old world anyway, and I can see him gracing our future screens staring in Jackass already. A mothers dream hey?

The cheek is naturally accompanied by an innate sense of curiosity. Read this as it is people. He is fearless. FEARLESS! Talk about install nothing but fear in his poor mother. He has no reservations. Climbing generally gets him closer to what he wants and he certainly doesn’t have his mumma’s nerviness of heights. For this reason I am a 24/7 watchdog. My eyes are constantly fixed on this adventurous spunkaroo. I wish he’d stop trying to be three.

He can be brutal as well. His inability to verbalise his preferences means he has a fondness for expressing his frustration in the form of biting, pinching and pulling hair. His older brother usually is his unsuspecting victim. When I’m not grabbing Baby Vick from the top of the kitchen bench holding a knife, I’m policing conflict generally stemmed from sharing issues or someones chomping tendencies.

This is the kid who will turn me grey. Probably about next month I’d say.

Do you have climbers? How do you get anything done????

Life Of Late, Photo Style

November 11, 2014 by Vicki

Life can be busy but the amazing never stops existing around you. Perhaps there’s less time to notice it but I’ve been trying to remind myself to capture it all the same. It doesn’t really take that much to press a button and seize a moment in photographic existence forever and I never want to forget these little feet, even if it does drive me berzerko bananas having to chase up shoes scattered all over the house, ALL DAY LONG. Forget leaving the house wearing a pair. 1-DSC_0288Baby Vick has a few obsessions currently. Shoes and blueberries. He’s my kinda kid.

1-DSC_02901-DSC_0293We’ve spent time out. OUT! Oh boy it’s good to break the domestic monotony. There’s so much to see out there hey?

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Cows even! The Vicklets were completely mesmerised by these grass eating, poo spraying milkers at Mum and Dads.

1-DSC_0306Now this is my kinda sight! This is our special little spot. I’ve written about it before here.

1-DSC_03941-DSC_0350It always amazes me that boys can be so completely happy with going hunting for sticks. STICKS! 1-DSC_0361

What would the images of you past couple of weeks look like?

What adventures have you been on?

Parenting With Words of Love

November 4, 2014 by Vicki

Growing up my parents fed me, clothed me, gave me pocket money, drove me to wherever I needed to go, they encouraged my educational pursuits, they did the whole Santa thing and they even opened a packet of chocolate biscuits for dessert on a Sunday night (the ultimate).  They could be giving and loving in all these ways but I always felt a yearning for more.

Perhaps it’s a generational thing or perhaps it was the way my parents were raised or perhaps it’s just the way that they are, but they were never overly affectionate parents. Never did they lathered me in cuddles or gave me a squeeze on the shoulder just ‘cos or give me a rub on my back when I was unwell. Equally their words weren’t gushing with affection either.

In recent years I’ve considered the lack of conversations discussing feelings and emotions between my parents and I and how I longed for an open and free dialogue and an innate sense of understanding. Of course there wasn’t time to dwell on feelings in our household where there was constant hard work to be done but I wish I could have spoken candidly to these people who were supposed to care the most. I do believe that this is the case by the way, that they did and do care enormously but their inability to openly talk about emotions or feelings as individuals became a barrier in their parenting. A barrier between them and ultimately their child.

For this reason I have always felt my parents are somewhat detached and don’t entirely understand who I am. The very chore and essence that is Vicki. Sure, they know what I’ve achieved and the practicalities of my day to day life but they have no clue what my inner dialogue or emotional voice is. How I feel about the world, what makes me sad or happy, what emotional struggles I’ve lived. I’ve been more open with mere acquaintances. I’d even suggest that you my readers have more of an idea of me as an emotional character.

Still to this day when I talk to them I list off what I have being doing. The activities only. Never the honest, raw truth about how I feel about those things. Not the fact that I am feeling completely and utterly depleted by motherhood. That I feel frustrated by certain relationships, that I feel lonely sometimes, that I feel three steps behind and beaten by my own to do list and that sometimes I want more. That perhaps their help at home with the kids is precisely what I need but oh how hard it is to ask for it because of all this emotional barrier stuff that they’ve created.

I had an epitome the other day during which I was able to spit these words out to Mr Vick. I resent my parents for not allowing me to need them more. I’ve wanted them to play a closer role in my life. I want the detached feeling to be null and void. I don’t want to look at my friends and their parents and think, yeah, I want those guys as my parents because they can talk together. Really talk.

Sometimes I wonder if all of this could have been avoided if a few simple words were said to me when I was a child. Three simple words. I love you. Still to this day I cannot recall them ever saying that to me. I know they do of course but nothing should ever just be a given or presumed especially not between a child and their parents.

My parents never realised the power of their words or rather the impact of the words left unsaid.

As an adult, I still need to hear those words but know not to wait for them. There’s a little bit inside of me even as a capable and emotionally equipped adult that feels a bit hollow because those three frickin’, simple words were never given to me.

It hurts.

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Whilst I feel up in arms about my relationship with my parents it has taught me exactly how I need to parent my boys. Those words will never go unspoken in this house although sometimes I fear I do hold my cards close to my heart. That’s the way I was conditioned to operate but I don’t want to replicate the relationship I’ve had with my parents now with my boys so I have work on it always and make the effort which will ultimately foster that kind of warm dialogue and openness that I desire.

The other night I jumped in beside Little Vick, in his toddler bed, and lay with him in the quiet before he drifted off to sleep. I turned and looked at him and told him that I loved him more than the lovely sparkling stars, much more than the spectacular silver moon that shines so bright and much much more than the great powerful shining sun. That he is so much more beautiful than all those things. It was corny and mushy but I needed to talk on his level and I knew I hit the spot when he turned to me and his little eyes glowed with worth. He pulled me close and said “I like you forever and ever and ever mummy”.

I knew in that moment, despite my own hang ups, I was doing alright. I am being the parent I need to be. I am being the parent I want to be. There will be no barriers here. There will only be an open avenue for words and honesty and always a home for my boys to come back to and divulge their souls, no matter how big they grow. I will always be available if they want me to be. They will always know my parental love because the lasting stamp on a child’s heart is not just the cuddles, the glow of adoration in their parents eyes but their words. The words which are an affirmation which concrete their sense of worth and validity in their existence and don’t they deserve that?

Do you tell you children you love them?

Were/are you able to speak frankly about emotions with your parents?

Bye Bye October!

October 30, 2014 by Vicki

Well, there goes another month. Done and dusted.

Has life upped it’s pace to supo basuko or something? I’m suspicious.

I can feel the descent into the festive season. Can you too? The shops are decked out, shopping is being considered and the diary is starting to fill up ALREADY. The pressure cooker has switch up a notch.

Times are busy. I’ve been MIA from the blog for no real reason other than, life. Ya know, that good old thing that happens sometimes. Every day even.

I’ve taken the step back into paid employment. I know, it’s so against my life motto right now but ya know the money monster get’s even the best of us stay at home types.

We’ve been feeling the pinch with Mr Vick fully committed to be a university geek. I also decided Baby Vick has taken that inevitable step closer to independent boyhood rather than needy baby and that I could actually manage this working thing. That we all could as a family unit. I’m just dabbling currently. Teaching casually which suits me and allows me to work on days Mr Vick is home who is now juggling being a studying student, stay at home daddy, and housewifey like a champion BOSS.

We’re both stupidly tired but winning, particularly as a couple. Sharing the burdens, communicating, hugging during the lows, encouraging self care – all the good stuff that I was told marriage should be. I’m proud of us.

So for now the balance is all up in the air and I don’t know where my writing is going to fit in. It will, it bloody well jolly will, but I just have to figure it all out and get over this working-mummy-eye-balls-burning-exhaustion. Then the words and time will come again and who knows maybe that will be next week?

So since I’ve been crapola up dishing up reading material, I will present you with a few posts that I was touched by, or found enlightening, or funny or just shit hot. These are my picks for the month of October, you should click on by.

  • I’ve really been enjoying the sweetness of Kristen from Whilst At Home. She writes beautifully every time and managed to wiggle into my heart with Feeling Invisible because um, me.
  • Malinda over at Brown Paper Packages talks about how to deal with Overcoming the Overwhelmed. This is great for those who do too much, so like, that’s all of you.
  • This one is fun. Bron at Maxabella Loves is the queen of the kiddy birthday partay. She knocks up a Pinterest dream and her latest efforts are not to be excluded. Check out her Island Party and start a dreamin’.
  • This month I met Lauren from The Thud who made my almost wet my panties with such refreshing hilarity with her post about having a third pregnancy and risking having a possible third son and all the commiserations. Sydney Mum Risks Possible Third Son is a must read.

Sorry about the dot points, it’s the renewed teacher in me. Actually this might just be the ugliest post I’ve ever created…..

Anywhoo, that’s a wrap folks. What have you enjoyed reading recently? Is November going to be good to you?

10 Tips On How To Become A Nifty Thrifty Shopper

October 23, 2014 by Vicki

I’m just going to serve this straight up: I’m a fully fledged thrifty junkie. I’m way trendy with all the hipster, upcycling types out there but in all honesty op shopping, thrifting, charity shopping, whatever you call it, it’s for everyone and it is about so much more than having no money.

A lot of people admire my thrifty finds and sigh wishing they could be a good thrifty shopper too. The thing is anyone can be. Admittedly it isn’t always as easy as rocking up and finding a wicked piece straight off the bat. I pour time into this obsession. I op shop on a weekly basis and have developed some motto’s about how to get the good shiz.

10 tips

1. If you don’t know where to go to find the thrifty goodness, check out these Australian op shop listings here

2. Go with an open mind. Be prepared to see creative possibility. Some of the most beautiful garments have been created simply with the touch of a great belt or a slight alteration.

3. Be prepared to rummage. Sometimes the best stuff is in the bottom of a box hidden underneath the racks so give yourself time.

4. Check garments carefully to ensure there are no hidden pulls, holes or a busted zipper. Sometimes things are at op shops for a reason.

5. Check what colour price tag is half price or what specials each store has. $1 racks are my personal favorites!

6. With the above point in mind, don’t barter! It’s just not cool. Op shops are generally run for charity purposes often by volunteers and items are already cheap. You don’t need to be stingy and if you’re feeling guilty about your spendings then remember, you just made a donation to charity AND you’re recycling. Well done upstanding citizen you!

7. If you think you like something but you’ll come back and get it another time – DON’T. It won’t be there. Good stuff walks. You need to think quick in this thrift business.

8. Start a conversation with fellow op shoppers. I can’t tell you how FABULOUS some of the people are that you will meet. Sometimes I’ve had fellow shoppers looking for things that I want simply because I started a conversation off with a warm smile and simple hello. Once I even met a talented woman who offered to make my wedding dress!  Friendships can be made rummaging at op shops besides isn’t the whole idea of op shopping about community? Go on, get friendly.

9. If you’re strapped for time or overwhelmed by all the stuff don’t try and look at every single item. Scan racks and look for quality fabrics. Quality and quirky pieces generally will grab your eye. These are the pieces that deserve a look in.

10. My favorite of all favorites: If it’s a maybe it’s a no. My bestie Jo from Op Shop Tours Australia made me adopt this motto. Often we get excited by a bargain or something really fun but it actually isn’t right for us or it might be something we realistically won’t wear. If an item is just a maybe it will sit in your cupboard unworn. If it’s completely a YES, I FREAKING LOVE IT! Get you to the counter and whip that plastic out.

So go forth and make me thrifty proud!

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Do you have any additional thrifty tips?

What is the best thing you’ve ever found at an op shop?

The Weeks That Were

October 17, 2014 by Vicki

You may have noticed I’ve had a little less to say about this place and on my bookface page these past two weeks. It’s rare. Rare indeedy-o.

You might have even been enjoying it. Good for you.

I’ve been in some foggy, zombie like existence. I’m away somewhere else where writing isn’t even close to the horizon and yet here I am click clacking away trying to drum up something.

My body is in motion but no one is home. Meh, I don’t even care. That’s how VAGUE I am.

Mr Vick is on holidays and I think I might have overdosed on feel good hormones from all the fam bam quality time, so much so I’m now in some kind of dead head coma.

Banjo and Aika

See, so much loveliness it’s makes your brain want to freeze over in a permanent zombie dream state right?

So there’s been some sandy times when the shy ole sun decided to pop and get our hopes up for an above freezing spring and we also recently bought a membership for the Zoo. Best. Thing. Ever. The Vicklets lose they’re shite over the zoo. They happily run and talk animal for like an entire day. It doesn’t get old and so far, it hasn’t for us parentals either. Last week we roamed around the Werribee Open Range Zoo and pretended to be safari adventurers.

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There’s been some other cool stuff going on too to make the time float by. Like how I just noticed, for the most part, I’ve stopped buying fake food. AKA canned and processed goods. Our fridge is rocking so much fresh goodness. Snacks here now consist of almonds, Saladas (kiddy staple) or fruit. As a result I’ve lost 2kg’s straight off the bat. BAM.

I’m pretty sure however I put those 2 kg’s back on just laying my eyes on this chocolate cake which was devoured without a spare second at my sister in laws.

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I’ve spring cleaned the shizen out of my house including the nightmare piggery of a pantry that I was way ashamed of. I went a little OCD with new tupperware and labels and all things organising smarts adore. I love just looking at her now. If you come over for a visit expect a tour.

Mr Vick being home means a social and well pampered Vicki. I milk that opportunity DRY. So, I’ve had a facial. I’ve done some very enthusiastic window shopping. I’VE EVEN BEEN TO THE GYM. Hells. Frickin’. Bells.

I stole away to the city to act uber trendy with some gf’s at a new hotshot bar/eatery place and caught the musical “Once” and remembered my old life.

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So the zombie fog isn’t all bad and these are just the weeks that were.

Have you been enjoying some quality time with the fam bam recently?

What neat things are going on around you?

Crying It Out

October 13, 2014 by Vicki

Last week I read a great post from Sarah at Sarah’s Heart Writes about breaking down, crying and finding the light of resolution. My message to her was there is nothing like a good spring clean out of oneself. Sometimes you just need to have a teary. A good session of crying it all out. Washing all the crapola away with tears.

I must confess, I no sooner had written these words and I found myself having a good “spring clean”.

Mr Vick and I was trying to communication and I was in my usual state of being dead on my feet. I was getting sensitive, confused and emotional. The auto pilot state of many mothers. Then Mr Vick mentioned the V word. As in, vasectomy.

He didn’t specify a desire for one or not. Just that we should talk about it but clearly ‘the talk’ indicates his preference.

I wasn’t angry. I thought I might be. I just felt sad.

I was sad because I felt like I could have dealt with the the Baby Vick chapter better, that I could have handled life with a newborn baby more convincingly. I could have managed the fatigue better, been more gentle, I could have cried less and sure as hell yelled less. I could have been a better wife and a better mother.

Then the real landslide of tears unleashed.

I tipped right into a whole crater of inadequacies that I had kept silent inside myself.

I felt sad because my mothering hasn’t been quite as top notch as I want. Sad that I say ‘in a minute’ or ‘no, I’m busy’ so often to Little Vick that I even hate the sound of myself. I felt sad because I don’t laugh enough with the Vicklets. Sad because I feel like I’m always rushing and pushing them along to the next thing too often. Sad because I try and fob them off to conquer my to do list when they simply want me to join in. Sad because I am too quick to snap. Sad because sometimes I disappear into my iPhone world rather than really validate their words. Sad because I’m not doing as many educational activities with them that I would like to. Sad that I don’t take them to the playground as much as I should. Sad because I don’t kick the footy with them when they request. Sad because I don’t get to read to Little Vick at night times anymore and share a moment of quiet connection. Sad because I don’t have the patience to nurture them as wholeheartedly when they’re crying like I once would have. Sad because we don’t sing our special song together nearly as often. Sad because I don’t have the energy to always cook them good nutritious meals. Sad because I snatch little fingers away. Sad because I cut my boy off sometimes before he gets to finish what he is saying. Sad because I put them in front of the TV too often. Sad because I count down to bed time desperately. Sad because I look forward to having more time with Baby Vick next year when Little Vick is at kinder for longer but sad because by doing this I am wishing time away with my older son. Sad because his needing will be just a little less in the next chapter which is just around the curve.

Sad because I just could have done all of this better. I could have proven myself. If I was better at mummy things then I could have proven I could manage another baby. If….

And then I had nothing.

The tears eased.

The emo clouds cleared.

I felt a calm resolve. I had been reset.

This hadn’t been about a vasectomy, this had been about me.

I had spring cleaned out all the crap swirling about inside infecting my self worth.

I needed this.

I was okay again. Good even.

So I resumed my imperfect mothering.

crying is ok{Photo source}

Do you ever need to just have a good cry?

Today I’m linking up with Eva at Mummy Mondays & I must confess at My Home Truths