As a part of his job Brendan spends a lot of time writing reviews about things. Cars, caravans, holiday destinations. You name it, he’s reviewed it just about. So it was only appropriate that he provide a review of our own lives this past 12 months. And what a 12 months it was apparently. It took a while for me to remember most of it though. So while Brendan was wistfully scrolling through photos of his adventures across the nation and such, I of course did the only logical thing for a person in this situation…. I checked Facebook!
And so here it is. Our year according to Facebook.
“3 January near Bulli
River keeps getting confused between up and over. Makes for interesting playtime when all her toys are knocking each other up and then crying about it…”
It is hard to think now that our little chatterbox of a daughter ever had trouble with her words. But she did. And it was hilarious! The days of mixed up words are now few and far between for River but when they do happen they are often the highlight of my day. I look forward to the day when Asher can make a full sentence with incorrect phrases for my entertainment.
On 21 January I got my feminist on and attended a mass protest at Woonona beach pool to support breastfeeding in public. Makes me sound like some sort of mad women’s rights advocate or something but it was really just a fluke encounter and I had no idea it was happening until half an hour before when my friend sent me a message saying “hey, I’m going to a nurse-in at the beach, wanna walk down with us”. It was a beautiful day for a walk along the coast with a friend and I just happened to get my picture in the paper (discreetly) breastfeeding Asher, which was simultaneously awesome and awkward (awesome being in the paper, awkward having a kid attached to my boob at the time). And just on a side note, I have both bottle and breast fed my children (and been given dirty looks either way) so please don’t take any of this as me hating on you if you choose to bottle feed. Each to their own. Whatever works for you I say. Why can’t we just leave each other alone to feed our babies …
“2 February near Mollymook
packing up camp today 🙁 watching Brendan play with Asher and River while I tidy up makes me want to stay forever”
This was of course referring to the end of our annual trip to Bendalong for Australia day long weekend. This year was particularly great for me because there were other children for our kids to play with! We were a few years ahead of most our friends on the whole “lets have kids” front, so to finally have little friends for our little people is very exciting. I mean, I love my kids and all but sometimes you just want to chuck them in a playpen with others the same height (no my children are not taller than me yet) grab a hot cup of tea and talk to an adult about something other than princesses and unicorns. Despite the 5 out of 7 days of rain we had an awesome time and even managed to make it to the beach for an hour or 2. Our kids are obviously more like Brendan in respect of the beach. They love it. The only thing harder than getting them to come home from the beach is getting them to eat vegetables.
11pm, 12.30am, 2am, 4am, 7am …. Teething can go and get stuffed!”
Ah yes, teething. Teething has played a big part in my year this year. Also a big part in my new found addiction to coffee!!! If you read Brendan’s post you may have noticed the beautiful photo of Asher taken in January with only 2 bottom and 2 top teeth. Well those others have to come from somewhere, and come they did!! with a vengeance!! After a good 6 months of sleeping through our little night angel had turned into a demon monster from hell!! The poor guy was up at all hours most nights for months 🙁 But it all paid off in the end and he now has an even more beautiful smile full of pearly whites! Just one more step on the road to adulthood.
While he doesn’t wake up during these times, the months of sleep deprivation didn’t go unnoticed by Brendan. Mostly in the form of zombie wife before 9am, angry wife after 5pm and random bouts of crying over nothing in between. He was kind enough to send me overnight to a hotel for some much needed rest. I reluctantly (not at all reluctantly actually) left both my babies home alone with daddy and proceeded to have the best nights sleep (with the help of some natural sleeping tablets) I think Ive had in 8 years of marriage! It was a wonderful and selfless gift from a wonderful and selfless husband.
One very happy 3 year old :)”
We celebrated River’s 3rd birthday with a new bike and by heading to Symbio Zoo. River has an amazing love of all animals so it was a no brainer to spend her birthday surrounded by wildlife. She had the time of her life running around after Kangaroos and feeding goats and sheep with her cousin Zalia. I love that River and Zalia already have so much love for one another. I spent quite a few hours (days) in the kitchen beforehand making River’s birthday cake, as requested a rainbow purple pony cake. It was actually a lot of fun experimenting with the icing etc. I kind of like food you see. Part of the reason why I joined the gym in April. I love food but hate exercise. The gym is kind of perfect for me though as it provides an opportunity to have some time completely alone (I go after the kids are in bed so no one is there!). I watch television shows rated higher than G and listen to music written by someone other than the wiggles or Justine Clarke. It is a relatively painful way of doing those activities but I am enjoying the extra fitness I find myself with these days so I guess it is worth it. And maybe one day I will be skinny and wonderful like my sister 🙂
We also celebrated Asher’s 1st birthday in March, this time at home in the back yard with lots of family and friends. His birthday fell right in the middle of Easter long weekend so we invited everyone expecting no one to show up. For the first time in the history of man everyone showed up! It was a bit of a squeeze in our tiny little courtyard but we managed to fit you all in and it was a great day of celebration!
Other happy memories from that month include chasing ducks in Camelia Gardens with Madeline and Zalia, visiting my sister and her family on the central coast during one of Brendan’s many trips away and making new friends at church through a weekly women’s group I attend with the kids.
So Asher just walked across River’s bedroom…”
Yep, he was on the run! literally, as soon as he worked out how to do it he tried to run everywhere. There were a lot of tumbles those first few weeks but he is pretty good at it now (and pretty fast too!). We celebrated our 8th Wedding anniversary that same day so what a great gift for us both to see! A picnic and bike ride were meant to be the plan but bad weather kept us in doors for most of the day so we had a party on the lounge room floor instead. We were together for the day though and thats what counts. Brendan surprised me with baby sitters and we had a nice night eating too much mexican food and taking photos around our local area. It was a wonderful way to celebrate the last 8 years and I can’t wait for the next 8 and the next 8 and the next 8….
“11 May near Morisset
Onesie family – with Donna Wilkins and 2 others”
One of the biggest highlights of every year for me is having my whole family together in one place. It doesn’t happen often with some of us in NSW others in QLD and more in VIC but when it does I look forward to it more than anything. This year my mum and sister Melissa bought us all matching onesies and much to Brendan’s dismay, we all wore them at the same time, and enjoyed it! 🙂 River and Asher especially love these times when they get to see Nanny & Grandpa and their aunties “Missa” and Donna. But more importantly – their cousins!!!! Their cousins are so amazing. The older ones just have so much time and love for our kids. My eldest niece Hannah is always such a blessing watching the kids so I can do things like shower, dye my hair, paint my nails. You know, all the essentials. Thomas is such a wonderful playmate for River. They enjoy each other so much that there is always tears when it is time to leave. In fact, River loves Thomas so much that when we can’t visit she makes up a pretend Thomas and plays with him! She says Thomas is her best friend “prince charmin”. I love my family.
“22 May near Crescent Head
That awkward moment when you arrive at your destination several hours away only to discover the container of pumpkin soup you took out of the freezer to have for dinner did not arrive with you. Should be interesting in 2 weeks time when we get home…”
Despite the missing pumpkin soup, we enjoyed a fantastic break together in Crescent head this year, followed by 1 week on the Gold Coast with my parents. For those that don’t know, my parents are quite the rock ‘n’ roll buffs. They are members of basically every RSL on the Gold Coast so they can go dancing wherever the music is best, they are members of a rock ‘n’ roll dance club and also do the occasional classic car run in their 1971 Valiant Convertible. I grew up with this as a regular part of my lifestyle. It was who we were. I listened to Elvis and the Beatles by choice as a teenager and I learnt to Rockabilly in primary school with another friend’s daughter as my partner (not too many young boys were interested in dancing I guess). We would go out every weekend and I would dance with my dad and have the best time every time. I always love taking River dancing when we visit (much to Brendan’s dismay) and see her having just as much fun as I used to. I love seeing her get dressed up in the rock ‘n’ roll kit just like I used to. It brings back so many wonderful memories of a very happy childhood and Im glad I get to share it with her like this.
Awesome girls day out to see Yo Gabba Gabba! Train, ferry and Ferris wheel rides were all a hit”
River and I left the boys at home and headed out to Luna Park to see one of her favourite shows brought to life on stage. River LOVES Yo Gabba Gabba. It was the only thing she would sit still and actually watch on tv for quite a while. We had a great time singing and dancing but I think the highlight for River was probably the Ferris Wheel ride at the end. She squealed with delight the entire time while I squealed with dread every time she got close to the bars! Pretty sure I had a mild heart attack actually. I think if River could write her own memories for the year, this would be one of her top 5. It is definitely one of mine.
Quick trip to the park before the sun goes down”
One of the best things I decided to do this year was buy a bike. Just about every free weekend we hop on our bikes together and ride to the park or the beach or the duck pond. It is one of our favourite things to do as a family. River is even able to ride on her own all the way to the park now! When we first started she could only make it to the end of the street. I can’t wait for Asher to be able to ride on his own as well. It also helps that we live 500 metres from a bike track that runs all the way along the coast.
Home made taco mix FAIL!!! The gates of hell have just been opened in my mouth and there is no relief!!! “
This year I also discovered pinterest. If you are easily addicted to things I suggest you stay away from this site. But also, Isn’t the internet amazing! Someone has an idea, makes something from that idea which is actually kind of ok, they take a photo, shove it on pinterest and suddenly thousands of humans everywhere have access to that singularly genius idea too. It is a good thing that pinterest is only an ideas place and not an online store because if we ever get around to buying a house our bank account would be in big trouble. I would also have the same kitchen, dining room, bathroom and back garden as my friend Elissa!!! As you can see however from the above status update, the internet also LIES!!!! I had seen this recipe for taco seasoning posted by so many people, it was always popping up on the popular page, all of them claiming to have it taste “just like the packet!”. so I tried it. And it didn’t. It tasted like Molten Lava! It was horrible. Just ask Brendan. If he still has a tongue to talk with after I burnt it off with my taco mix.
Road tripping tomorrow to visit Daddy B on location…”
Yes Brendan goes away a lot, No I don’t mind (ok, I mind a little bit sometimes). If your spouse had a dream job in which they got to visit amazing places, see amazing things and do amazing stuff, would you mind? What if your partner was doing just what they love but that meant shift work and so they sometimes have to sleep in the day and work during the night. you might not see each other for 4 days that week either. Not much difference really. Yes it is hard sometimes but there are also bonuses like eating all the chocolate (which I have to go out and buy because we never have any in the house because I eat it all), in bed, whilst watching Bridget Jones or Grey’s Anatomy. Or the miraculous way our house seems to stay clean. This is because I can’t sleep when Brendan isn’t home so I stay up late and clean things. This does not mean that Brendan makes all the mess (yes it does).
The best trips of course are the ones we are allowed to tag along on like the one in this post where we drove to Merimbula and spent 4 days hanging out watching whales pass whilst Brendan drove around in a 1973 VW. It is not as glamorous as it sounds with lots of driving and stopping for photos and stopping for more photos and driving some more and stopping for more photos. Other times Brendan just goes out and does his thing like a normal work day and we meet him back at whatever accommodation he has brought with him this time. But at least we get to eat dinner as a family and hey, how many of you get to go to work with your husband AND bring your kids AND get your photo in a magazine occasionally? (yeah, thats right, I’m totally a model in a magazine). This year we have managed to travel with Brendan to Merimbula, Narabri, Crescent Head, Hay, QLD, Echuca, Flinders Ranges. So its not so bad really.
And thats only half the year!!!