Our (new) Routines

Routines are everything once you have children, right? At least that is what you get told. Over and over again. I know I have been, at least – and then I have felt guilty that we suck at sticking to routines in our family. Then again, maybe we are doing alright – maybe we aren’t that hopeless after all.

So, recently I asked a question in my Instagram story. I asked what you guys would like me to write about on this little blog of mine. Surprisingly I got quite a lot of answers. Thank you! One of the frequent answers revolved around our daily/weekly routines with the kids.

To be honest, the word “routine” in itself triggers something in me. You see, I do know it is beneficial for children to have routines. Especially the young ones. However, I also acknowledge that our life is chaotic, that I can be rather absent-minded and routines just doesn’t seem to fit in – at least those vert strict, long-term ones.

First of all, let me just debunk the notion that “routines are everything” a bit – set routines are nice, sometimes, but you can also live a pretty decent life without having every hour of your day revolving around them. Even after having kids. Just in case you, like us, are the not-so-organised kinda people and worried it all is going rumbling down due to your awesome ability to wing it at life. No worries, we usually wing it and make it work.

I do believe balance is key to everything, even parenthood routines.

All that being said, after adding a third child to the fam bam we have realised that having some kind of routine is – not only an advantage – but a necessity to keep our family’s wheels turning.

By now we have build up two daily routines that we strive to stick to all week.

Our Morning Routine

Our most important daily routine is definitely our morning routine. If we don’t stick to a routine in the mornings the situation easily gets out of control and no-one has clothes on by the time we need to get out of the door. Literally. Especially now that Abby has started school and we have to actually be somewhere (at school) at 9 am. every day, our morning routine is crucial. Crucial in order for us to get places on time and crucial to keep relatively sane in general. Our morning routine does create less discussions, stress and tantrums and more cooperation and happy faces all around.

The routine is pretty basic, I guess:

When the girls wake up – usually between 7-7.30 – they have to eat breakfast straight away. If not, it becomes a battle to get them to the table and they also get too hungry to function like actual human beings. Afterwards they clean up their bowls and put clothes on before having their teeth and hair brushed. Only then are they allowed to play. It sounds like a well-greased machine, in reality it is more like a rusty but trusty old road bike. Usually they don’t actually do all these steps immediately or on their own – BUT they know that they are supposed to, so they don’t argue (too much) when we remind them of doing them. They actually do it. Most days.

Since Abby started school we don’t have to leave home earlier than 8.30 am. so most mornings there is time for the girls to either sleep in or play before we need to go. They are not allowed to watch TV in the mornings during the week, so when they are more-or-less ready to leave the house they often sit and draw or play some kind of game until everyone is ready to go. Sounds harmonic, doesn’t it? It’s not always the case, but occasionally it can actually be really nice and calm in the mornings.

Usually our mornings don’t get stressful until I have to get myself and Lulu ready. There is basically no morning where I haven’t gotten in the car only to realise I have forgotten something and have to go back in. At least once. Yesterday I made a new record, I think. I went back in six times. Six times! To get a dummy, to get my coffee I had JUST poured, to get Abby’s school bag, to get Lulu’s bottle, to get my bag with my wallet in…and to close the door. Yep, I got in the car, started reversing – then saw that I had left the door completely open.

“Mummy, can you please stop forgetting things. How hard can it be to close the door. You do it every day.”

Abby Rose, 5 years old.

When I mention all those steps above I have left out Lulu, because she has her own kinda morning routine. Another factor that makes routines bloody difficult in a home with kids of different ages – one of them being a baby. Yet, also a reason why it is important that the big kids are relatively self sufficient. Lulu has to be fed her morning porridge, she needs to get changed at least once before we leave and she usually gets a bit tired at some point and then she will be nowhere but in the arms of Josh or me. The art is to have everything ready before she reaches this state – that rarely happens.

Night Time Routine

Our evening and night time routine is also relatively set. We try to eat together around our dining table every night. The TV is off and we usually have a really nice and hyggelig time doing our Three Happy Questions and talking about our day. Dinner often takes 45 minutes to an hour. Especially Abby LOVES this time of day and she can easily sit a the table for hours if we are up for it.

After dinner it is usually so late that we go more or less straight into our bedtime routine.

We don’t have a set bath routine. We have never had one. Our kids have baths when they are dirty or when they feel like having one. And then they also shower at the pool twice a week. It works for us. They don’t rely on a bath to calm them down for bed or anything like that.

Our bedtime routine consists of pyjamas, vitamins, teeth brushing, two books (one each for Abby and Billie) and then a song or five. Ususally we also massage/ground Abby while singing. And as a new addition we have started to put evening meditation stories on for them after we leave the room – it really works.

If both Josh and I are home for the bedtime routine one of us take care of the two big kids while the other one is “on” Lulu. She has gotten so big now that she actually has started to join the girls in the bedroom for their bedtime stories. It makes the entire process a bit easier. So far she is just playing in the room while they hear their stories, but if it evolves as it did with Billie she will eventually want to sit and listen as well.

Afterwards we put Lulu to bed in our bed. She has a bottle and we stay with her until she sleeps. Usually between 5-15 minutes.

Our Flexible Routines

As stated above we do actually stick to routines in the morning and in the evening. However, even they need to be relatively flexible to actually suit us. You see, it is a bit difficult for us to uphold set routines. We seem to just stick to something – until we don’t. Because our life simply has very little routine to it. Let me give you some examples:

Little things like, who leaves the house when, changes quite often. Then one of us needs to stay at uni longer than usual. Then we change the girls’ swimming lessons. Then Lulu gets older and needs to sleep at different times. Then we feel like going to the beach on a Friday. Then Josh works on a Tuesday night. Then he works all Saturday. Then he works Friday day. Then there’s exams. Then we sign the girls up for gymnastics. Then cricket starts. Then cricket ends. Then it’s uni-holidays. Then Josh has a – very exciting – job interview. And if that interview turns out as we hope – then all our routines will probably change once again.

I am actually quite okay with the way our lives unfold in terms of routines and flexibility. We do need some degree of routine, but we definitely also need to change things up sometimes. I would go insane if I had to go for the same walk everyday because that was Lulu’s routine.

Actually, when it comes to babies I know many people swear to very set routines. We are a bit opposite on that matter, I guess. We have never really stuck to any set routines with our babies and they have generally been, what you would call, “easy” babies. When they seem tired we put them to sleep in a bed, a car, a pram, wherever. When they are hungry we feed them. And they kinda just fit into all our other routines and daily chores. Babies are easy. Very easy compared to toddlers and … school kids(!)

New Times and Routines Ahead

Actually, Josh started working a couple of weeks ago – as a concierge next to his full-time uni studies. Up until now he has “only” been studying after we moved to Brisbane last January, so for him to start working as well is quite a different scenario for us. He will, obviously, be very busy as he gets less time to do his studying, so when he is home he is in his office a lot.

It has taken a bit of getting used to, but I am okay with it. I know it is not forever. Once we get to “the other side” things will be different. In fact, he has an interview with an engineering company next week. If he let me I will tell you more about it soon. It is very, very exciting for him – and us.

And obviously, if that interview turns out to Josh’s advantage it will mean that we need to change our routines once again. No biggie.

Our Week in Text – an overview

Abby has school Monday – Friday 9 am. – 3 pm.

Billie has preschool Monday-Wednesday.

Abby has swimming lesson on Tuesdays after school and cricket on Thursdays.

Billie has swimming lesson on Thursday at 10.30 am.

Josh has uni Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and usually Friday.

I have uni on Thursday.

As it looks now Josh works one evening shift during the week plus one or two day shifts Friday, Saturday or Sunday.

I will hopefully start working part-time relatively soon. For now my job is “only” to take care of everything home/kids related – it’s more than full-time.

For everyone interested I have written up our weekly program for this week underneath this cute photo of Abby wearing her rebel socks for school.

❤️

MONDAY

7 am.

Everybody wakes up, have breakfast, puts clothes on and play.

7.30 am.

Josh leaves for uni.

8.30 am.

I take all three girls in the car and drives to Abby’s school where we drop her off at 8.50 am. – in the class room, so have to get everybody out of the car to do so.

9 am.

Back in the car and off to preschool to drop Billie off. The preschool is around 15-20 minutes drive from our house in rush hour. I try to keep Lulu awake – usually I fail.

9.30 am.

Billie is in preschool and I am at the shops with Lulu doing grocery shopping for (some of) the week.

10.30 pm.

Back home with Lulu. Hopefully she is now asleep in her bed. If not, she’s eating or playing. Then we do our things like play in the garden, dance around, sleep, eat, drink, maybe we go the park, I do some house work if Lulu will let me and sometimes I even get to drink hot coffee and write a bit on my blog.

Lulu naps 2-3 times during the day atm. Usually she has a short nap in the car to or from preschool in the morning, then a longer nap around 11 am. and another late nap in the afternoon – this repeats itself every day.

2.30 pm.

I walk to the school with Lulu in the pram to pick up Abby at 3 pm. Monday is assembly day, so it is expected that parents come earlier than usual to show support for the kids and the school. We try to make it.

3.30 pm.

Home for a bit before we have to get Billie from preschool. I prepare a lasagna for dinner while Abby and Lulu play.

4.30 pm.

Josh is home from uni, so he can stay at home with Abby and Lulu while I go and get Billie from preschool. It takes roughly 20 minutes to drive there at this time of day.

5.30 pm.

Billie and I are back from preschool. The girls are playing and watching TV. Lulu is asleep. Josh is doing whatever. I am preparing dinner.

6.30 pm.

Family dinner. We try to eat together around our dining table every night. The TV is off and we usually have a really nice and hyggelig time doing our Three Happy Questions and talking about our day. Dinner often takes 45 minutes to an hour. Especially Abby LOVES this time of day and she can easily sit a the table for hours if we are up for it.

7.30 pm.

Bedtime routine starts. Pajamas, vitamins, teeth brushing, book reading, song singing. Lulu tags along in the girls’ bedroom.

8-8.30 pm.

Abby and Billie are in their beds listening to night time meditation stories. Hopefully falling asleep within 15-30 minutes. Probably will come out at least once to have a drink or a cuddle or to tell a secret.

Lulu gets a bottle in her (our) bed and usually falls asleep within 15 minutes. We stay with her until she sleeps.

9 pm.

All girls are usually, finally, asleep. The much needed adult time kicks in. Time to clean up, do uni work, read and/or fall asleep to a series on the lounge.

11 pm.

Over and out! I try to be in bed no later than 11 pm. every day. If not, I will be a grumpy face all day next day.

TUESDAY

7 am.

Everybody wakes up, eats breakfast, put clothes on, plays.

8.30 am.

Josh and Abby leaves on their bikes for school and uni. I take Billie and Lulu in the car to drop Billie off at preschool.

9.30 am.

Back home with Lulu. We do our things – see Monday. Hanging out with a baby is iterative, I tell you.

2.30 pm.

I pick Abby up from school in the car with Lulu.

3.30 pm.

After getting Abby from school we pick Billie up from preschool and go to the pool for Abby’s swimming lessons.

4 pm.

Abby has her swimming lesson and I am in the pool playing with Lulu and Billie.

Josh goes straight from uni to work.

Lulu and Billie fall asleep in the car on the way home from the pool.

5.45 pm.

We are back home. Kids are hangry. I prepare left overs for dinner.

6.30 pm.

Family dinner. Even when Josh are at work at dinner time we still do our best to stick to our dinner tradition/routine.

7.30 pm.

Bedtime routine starts. Without Josh at home it can be a bit harder to get it done especially if Lulu is clingy. But they will eventually get their stories.

8 – 8.30 pm.

All girls are usually in their beds by now, stories have been read, songs have been sung. Since Lulu and Billie fell asleep in the car on the way home from the pool they are not tired. At all. Abby falls asleep in 10 minutes listening to meditation stories.

9 pm.

Billie and Lulu are finally falling asleep – little fighters. I am done!

10.30 pm.

Josh comes home from job. I go to bed.

WEDNESDAY

7 am.

Everybody wakes up, eats breakfast, puts clothes on, plays.

8.30 am.

Abby rides her bike and I take Lulu in the pram and walks to the school.

Josh drops Billie off at preschool before going to uni.

9.10 am.

I am at a philosophy work-shop with Abby (and Lulu) in Abby’s school. It is a so-called philosophy school and I am here to learn more about what that actually means – and how they practice it.

11 am.

Home and Lulu is sleeping in our bed. I blog.

2.30 pm.

I walk with Lulu in the pram to the school to pick up Abby

3 pm.

Abby, Lulu and I go to the park to have a play and meet up with Josh who is getting home from university soon.

4 pm.

Josh is home and he takes Lulu and Abby in the car and drives to pick up Billie from preschool.

FREEDOM! I am, for the first time this week, child free. I go for a run/walk (after preparing dinner, but of course) by the river. Shit, I love this beautiful place we live in!

6.30 pm.

Everybody is home. Dinner is on the table and it’s family dinner time.

7.30 pm.

Bedtime routine starts. Josh is on the ball tonight.

8 pm.

Girls are in bed. Even Lulu (see I don’t actually know this yet, but I hope….)

Kid free time for the rest of the night. Both Josh and I have a lot of uni work to do, so that is what we are doing until bedtime. It is actually pretty hyggeligt when we are both studying in the same room at night time. Somehow it feels a bit like we are “just” students again. Students without three kids sleeping next door.

11 pm.

Zzzzzzz

THURSDAY

7 am.

Everybody wakes up, eats breakfast puts clothes on, plays.

8.30 am.

I leave with Abby on our bikes. I drop her off at school at 8.55 am. and goes straight to uni from there. This is “my day” at the university. I love it!

10.30 am.

Josh is at the pool with Billie and Lulu for Billie’s swimming lessons. They all have a swim.

3 pm.

Josh takes Billie and Lulu to Abby’s school. Abby has cricket from 3 to 4 pm. in the school’s oval. Parents have to be there to watch.

6 pm.

My day at uni finishes and I ride my bike home. Am home around 6.30 pm. just in time for…

6.30 pm.

Family dinner

7.30 pm.

Bedtime routine.

8 – 8.30 pm.

Abby and Billie are in their beds listening to night time meditation stories. Hopefully falling asleep within 15-30 minutes. Probably will come out at least once to have a drink or a cuddle or to tell a secret.

Lulu gets a bottle in her (our) bed and usually falls asleep within 15 minutes. We stay with her until she sleeps.

9 pm.

All girls are usually, finally, asleep. The much needed adult time kicks in. Time to clean up, do uni work, read and/or fall asleep to a series on the lounge.

11 pm.

Zzzzzzzz

FRIDAY

7 am.

Everybody wakes up

Josh leaves for work.

8.30 am.

I walk with Lulu in the pram, Billie and Abby on scooters to the school and drop Abby off.

9.30 am.

Home again with Lulu and Billie. Lulu has a nap around 10-11 am. for an hour or two. Meanwhile I play with Billie and/or she watches a bit of TV while I do chores. Sometimes we go out for a while, maybe to a friends house or South Bank. We have also gone surfing sometimes.

2.30 am.

I walk with Lulu in the pram and Billie on her scooter to the school to pick Abby up.

3.30 am.

We are all home – including Josh from work. Let the Friday begin.

6 am.

Dinner – usually something easy and child friendly because today we eat in from of the TV for our…

6.30 pm.

Firday movie and Friday candy time

9 pm.

Movie has ended and the girls are going to bed. They don’t get stories on Fridays.

Time to watch a movie and have a beer, I think!

11 pm.

Zzzzzzzz

SATURDAY

7.30 am.

Everybody wakes up. The breakfast routine is the same on the weekends, but they don’t have to get dressed immediately.

8 am. – 12.30 pm.

Free playtime for everyone. We tidy and clean a bit. Do some garden work. Lulu has a nap.

12.30 pm.

Josh leaves for work.

3 pm.

I drive with the girls to Enoggera Dam to meet up with some friends for a swim.

5.30 pm.

I drive to said friends’ house for dinner and hygge and beer.

9.30 pm.

Josh comes to our friends house after work and we all go home together. All of our children are still awake.

10.30 pm.

Good night

SUNDAY

7.30 am.

Everybody wakes up.

9 am.

We pack the car for a day of playing, swimming and surfing at the beach

10 am.

We leave home just in time for Lulu’s nap. We have a 1.5 hour trip ahead of us. Currumundi Beach bound.

12 – 5 pm.

Living the good life at the beach. How I love this place!

5 – 7.30 pm.

Driving home with a McDonald’s pit stop along the way. Sunday traffic back to Brisbane is a bit of a killer. But still so worth it.

8 pm.

Kids are in bed, having their bedtime stories and songs.

Billie and Lulu slept in the car so they are wide awake.

9.30 pm.

Billie and Lulu will not fall asleep. I go and lay with them in our bed. It works – and I stay in here with them.

Zzzzzzzz

And that’s a wrap for that week!

Sunday Blues and My Empathy Super Heroes

I have been a bit down this weekend. Especially today I basically just wanted to go back to bed. I have had no energy and everything has been a struggle. It might sound relatively normal for a mum with a teething baby, but for me it is an alarm bell I have to take seriously. If not, things can get a lot worse – I am planning on writing more about my mental health, but it takes time and curage, so for now I’ll just tell you my little Sunday story. It’s actually a feel good one, if you stay ’til the end 🙂

Mummy is just gonna paint a wall

Luckily Josh caught me before I really fell – he took the girls and sent me to bed in the airconditioned bedroom. A nap and a cool down (it’s bloody hot here atm.) gave me enough energy to go and paint the bathroom. As you do, right? Maybe not your average stress-down activity, but when I struggle in my mind it helps me to focus on a specific hands-on task. This bathroom has been a running project for weeks now. Stressful in itself.

I sweated and painted for four hours.

Meanwhile I could hear the girls play together in the garden. Play. Not fight.

Then, at one point I could hear screaming from the living room. Billie fell down the stairs and bled from her lip. Apparently Abby “accidentally” pushed her. Well, I went out to save, what I thought was, the sinking ship. While I gave Billie a cuddle, Abby came over and said sorry, gave her a kiss and they shook hands (that’s Billie’s thing these days) and hugged each other. Then all was good and they went outside to play happily together again.

Wait, what just happened?

A little later Abby came and slit a drawing under the bathroom door. She made it to make me feel better. You see, when I don’t feel good we let the girls know that mummy is tired or maybe even a bit sad. Then they accept that I need a break and they, somehow, get extra loving and caring towards me – but also towards each other. It’s like some kind of “family above all”- thing is happening.

My Emphatic Super Heroes

While I was wrapping up my painting I could hear the girls talking to Josh:

“Mummy has painted a lot today. I think she’s trying to make us proud of her. I am proud of her, but she doesn’t need to paint so much. I am always proud of her”

Oh, my heart!

I am so proud of them. They often drive me nuts, but their intuition of when they need to step up is (almost always) spot on. It becomes so obvious that they do have loads of empathy hiding underneath their cheeky, rascal surfaces.

The Flower Dilemma

Actually Abby is in quite a dilemma due to her emphatic nature. It can be hard to have loads of empathy and be an aspiring scientist at the same time, I tell ya.

So, Abby wants to find out if flowers have feelings (don’t ask). Josh set an experiement idea up for her: get two similar flowers. Plant them in similar pots, place them next to each other and give them exactly the same amount of water. Then, one flower you keep telling how much you love and the other you keep telling how much you hate. Then, if flowers do have feelings, the loved one will flourish and the hated one will die. Logic.

Abby gets the idea and really wants to try the experiment. However, she is very worried about doing the experiement in case flowers actually DO have feelings – because she doesn’t want to make any flowers sad. Oh dear.

Mummy, are you okay?

At dinner Billie said to me: “now mummy, you don’t have to paint anymore” and gave me a kiss and a cuddle. I think it was her way of saying “mummy, are you okay? I hope you are feeling better.

And I do feel better. Exhausted, but better. Fingers crossed for a good nights sleep. Ready for the Monday rush in the morning.

Oh, and I actually do have to paint some more. The little sucker of a bathroom needs another coat. Exciting when that’s going to happen.

❤️

Helicopter Parents In The Making

We felt like naughty, little school kids getting sent to the office, but we did it. We went to the principal’s office to have a chat to her about Abby’s class situation as we will like her to change classes. We have been talking about doing it for a while – basically since Abby started school. Yet, we doubted it a lot during the past weeks. Were we over-concerned? Or over-controlling? Should we just let it go?

Having children is such a constant learning process. As soon as you have adapted to their current development stage they change and their circumstances change as well.

We have never had a school child before and we know that she will have to learn to act withing the immediate school setting she gets put in – she can’t just change teachers or class mates whenever she (or we) feels like it.

However, this is only prep and getting a good start to her school life is so important, so we decided to follow our gut feelings and take action. And I am glad we did.

We Have Tried it Before

Last year, when we just moved to Brisbane, we put Abby and Billie into a preschool which they absolutely hated – not from the word go, but after a short while. It was horrible. Still, we could have said “it will probably get better soon”. We considered doing so. Thinking we were overreacting and that it’s normal that kids are sad when starting a new place.

But it just felt wrong and we had to trust our gut feelings. We moved them to another preschool and it was the best thing we have done for them. The new preschool – the one where Billie is in now – is amazing and the girls immediately blossomed there.

Abby hasn’t been miserable in her current class. She’s doing okay, but she’s not loving it either. Especially socially. She hasn’t really connected with the other children yet – and to be honest, I think there’s already a bit of a toxic environment going on there. A couple of, apparently popular, girls already teaming up ignoring the other girls when they feel like it. Girls! Seriously, they are five years old!

In the other class Abby has a couple of friends already and the girls seem pretty chilled – as well as the teacher.

The chemistry between us and her current teacher could be better. Her way of teaching is quite conservative and old fashioned and I hope the other teacher will suit us and Abby better. You see, to really florish Abby needs to be set free a bit. She is so true to authorities that it almost becomes a hindrance, if you ask me. She will do anything to please the teacher, so if the teacher is very strickt, Abby won’t try to think “out of the box” or follow her own creativity – she will just sit straight up and down (with her hands on her knees, because that’s “the rule”) and “always do as the teacher asks – also when the other kids are being little chatter boxes”.

That ability probably will be a general advantage in this rather conservative australian school system, but if we can push her a bit in the other direction we will. Afterall, I did write a post only this week about how being scared of making mistakes has always been a huge disadvange for me and still is to this very day.

So, Will She Move or Stay?

Anyway, the final decision whether to move her or not will be taken next Friday, when we go there for a follow-up meeting.

The principal took us very serious and her and the two prep teacher will observe Abby during next week and then make a decision based on their findings – together with our informations about Abby’s behaviour before and after school (she has complained about stomach pains a couple of mornings).

No matter what, just the fact that we acted on our concerns feels good. And even if she stays in her current class I hope that her teacher, now being aware of our concerns, will be encouraged to integrate the kids better socially.

School should be fun when you’re only five years old❤️

Being Perfectly Average

I have been struggling with some major, lets call them, self definition issues lately. “Just a mom” doesn’t cut it anymore, but who am I, these days? Well, maybe I just need to get a hobby. Who knows.

I just feel like I am standing at a cross road – and I cannot move. I just stand here like a fool. But I want to move. I want to go somewhere. Anywhere, really. And then again…I want to lead the way. But I feel lost. And it frustrates me. Mainly because I do have some ideas I wish to follow. E.G. I want to give this little blogging adventure of mine a real go, but I hit the wall again and again. Ouch! Here’s why. Or at least here’s a bit of the ‘why’…

I am a perfectionist.

Yeah right, what a silly statement from someone who’s clothes are cringled and who’s house is a mess. Hang in there…

I also have a relatively intelligent head put on to my body. Ohh! An even more ridiculous statement to throw out into the open, from someone who never even managed to pass her studies back in the day. Well, we’re not talking mensa smart here, but I get around, right… (even if Josh did score higher in the intelligence test we took a while back. Yes we did).

Sounds like a great combo, ay. Unfortunately it can be a troubled one. You see, I am a smart, lazy perfectionist.

True story, I don’t make this shit up – I have it from my psychiatrist. He was very convincing.

So, what does it even mean? A smart, lazy perfectionist. Well, it means that I can do almost anyything I set my mind to. In theory. In reality, it often means that I don’t even get started on my projects or tasks. I get overwhelmed – because I know that getting it perfect will demand a shit load of work from me. And then I give up beforehand.

A side-effect, or a side order, of this mind of mine is that I am ridiculously scared of mistakes and failure. This being my biggest issue, really. Because we all know that you learn from mistakes – and constantly trying to avoid them or hide from them doesn’t do anyone any good. Ain’t no exciting future in that, I can tell you.

So, bottom line is that I am very aware of my weak points when it comes to self development and I do know what it takes to get somewhere. Anywhere. Unfortunately there’s sometimes an extremely long way from knowing to doing for me – hence me writing this right now.

Old mate psychiatrist also went on with something in the line of “you can do anything if you learn to manage this chaos inside you – but are you really willing? Do you dare?”

Hmmm. I AM willing. And I think I do dare. I am working on this, guys. I have learned that it is okay not to be the best at EVERYTHING. kinda. I have not yet learned to love that I am not good at everything I touch – at first try. But slowly getting there…

My studies commence next week. Last semester I studied two courses; Media & Society and Public Relations. I did fairly good at both and I have come to terms with that being okay. Afterall, I did also have a newborn baby and two additional kids to look after so barely made it to any lectures.

Putting my achievements into context like that is important for me even if it shouldn’t have to be, I guess. For now it makes it easier to have some kind of “excuse”.

I am practicing. I try to not always compare myself to the best. I try to aim less at being the best, but instead doing my best.

I am practicing and I am pretty sure it will take a life time to master. This is in my blood, guys. Hey – my brother have a custom made painting in his house saying “number one, number one, number one, no-one cares about the rest” – it’s two meters high. And red. And there’s a photo of himself in it too. Yeah, that’s where I am coming from. Haha!

Shit man.

Sure, I am in it to win it. Always will be – but I will also try my best to be in it just to have a good time. And learn from my mistakes. No matter what I get into, I hope. So please bare with me if I more consistently spam you with blog posts that aren’t ground breaking, amazingly, fantastic, ‘share it with all of your thousands of besties on Facebook’-good. It’s just me trying to find my way and practicing being okay with being average. Context and excuses, you know.

And just for the record, average can be pretty perfect.

❤️

Missing Mis

Our cat is missing. Our eldest cat, that is. We have two of them. Her name is Mis, Danish for cat, because that’s how creative we are.

We got her when Abby was one year old, and she really is part of our family now.

She’s a bit of a weirdo in the cat world. She goes into other people’s houses – also the people who definitely doesn’t feed her. The ones who are allergic to cats and find it a tiny bit annoying that this random cat always tries to sneak in their door. Mis is very curious and trusting, I guess.

Unfortunately, she gets herself into Mischief(!) in some people’s eyes.

While we were in Denmark over Christmas I got a Facebook message from an animal shelter telling me that they had our cat in custody. At first I thought it was spam, but nope – Mis had taken a Christmas holiday at the shelter.

Our neighbour went to pick her up and got told that someone had found Mis tied to a tree next to Main Street, a couple of blocks from our house. Luckily they reacted and brought her to the shelter. Tied to a tree! Who would do that? Why? I mean, even if you don’t like cats that’s a pretty fucked up thing to do. Also, this cat would most definitely put up a serious fight. No-one ties her to a tree without feeling her “love” and sharp claws, that’s for sure.

Now, we have checked all trees in the neighbourhood and she’s not currently tied to any of them.

To do something, we have been out putting flyers in people’s letter boxes and hanging posters on poles.

Last night a lady actually texted us, saying she saw our cat in her yard on Sunday afternoon – I’m surprised anyone even remembers exactly which cat was in a garden at a given time. Anyways, that means she was seen two days after she went MIA from our house. Good. Hopefully she’s just gone walkabout and will return soon. She has done that before.

Fingers crossed. Abby and Billie will be devestated if she doesn’t come back. So will Josh and I – and when(!) she comes back, Josh is ordering GPS-trackers for her and Max, our other cat. No escaping then – Big Brother will be watching, kittens!

❤️

Google knows

If only kids were IKEA furniture or LEGO figures. That would be amazing, huh? Not because I wish they were delivered on pallets (even if that would be convenient) or made out of colorful plastic – but because I wish they came with a manual. A good, easy to follow manual. A no BS manual, taking you from one step to another until you have your finished, relatively perfect, product in the end. Yeah, that would be great.

Unfortunately that is not really the case. Or…

Google knows quite a lot about kids, actually. In fact, the number one parenting skill you will need and that I have learned to master within the past 5.5 years will definitely be the fine art of information retrieval from the world wide web via our old mate, Google.

We’ve all done it. Googled the baby’s poo, the food, the teeth, the fever, the rash, the milestones, the tantrums, the “how much sand can an eight month old actually contain?”, the “when can I expect my child to make me dinner and fold my washing?”…we’ve done it. And you know what, I will keep on doing it. No regrets!

Hey, I did it last night. I Googled: “Is our five year old daughter turning into a little maniac?”

And wooptidoodledoo I got, not one, but lots of hits on that exact theme – five year olds who are acting like maniacs.

Hmmmm. So, we’re obviously not alone and it seems like a rather normal issue. That is kinda relieving.

Okay, Google: “What to do, when your five year old is behaving like a little maniac?”

Google says: “Calm the f*ck down, take a chill-pill and keep on smiling!”

Touché.

A while ago we did a week of basically that. We decided to try to only focus on the positive things she did and said and to only approach her in a positive manner – and her sisters, for that matter. The results from that were actually surprisingly good and fast. We saw a change in attitude instantly. It felt amazing and we were all so much more relaxed and happy during that period.

So why didn’t we just keep it up, then? I am not sure. Somehow we just didn’t maintain it and it is so easy to slip back into bad habits, I guess.

We will try again. We will basically try to positively encourage Abby and her sisters to be good human beings. We will be focusing on all the things they do and say right, instead of constantly correcting them and telling them what they are doing wrong. And last, but definitely not least, we will try to be better role models ourselves. We have to get better at holding them no matter how crazy they act – tell ourselves that in those situation they need us the most and that they don’t do it to be mean or “bad” – they do it because they are kids with undeveloped brains and giant emotions going ballistic inside them. And sometimes we just gotta count to ten, or a million.

Frankly having a maniac child can be a bit of a downer on the party vibe, but even if Abby doesn’t change her behaviour immediately the mood in our house will – if we stick to our positive plan – and that in itself will be a victory.

Thanks google. Stay foolish, mate❤️


We’ve Got a School Child

Abby started school today. Real school. Big school, as she calls it. Wow!…I thought I was cool about it. I wasn’t. Not at all. I freakin’ cried when I left the classroom. What?! Obviously it was partly due to the fact that my first born all of a sudden has grown up and starts school – and that I lay awake half the night reminiscing all of our fun times together at home and out and about the past 5.5 years (somehow all the tantrums and conflicts had already faded).

However, it knocked me over that it wasn’t what I had expected. I had prepared for one thing in my mind and I wasn’t ready for this. I wasn’t ready for the chaos. It seemed extemely chaotic in the room and, more importantly, I wasn’t prepared for not knowing anybody.

Before Christmas Abby went to prep orientation on two different days. Days where she spent two hours in the prep-room with other future prep-kids while us parents (read.mums) were hanging out together in the yard. It was actually really nice. After those two days I had a great feeling in my stomach and in my heart – this was going to be good. Good for Abby and good for me. You see, Abby connected with some really nice kids, who she already started calling her friends – kids who had mums who I also connected with. Say what?!! Ever since Abby was a baby everyone has been saying “just wait ’til she starts school, that’s when you’re going to get a great network of friends amongst the other parents”. Yeah, I have always been a bit sceptical about this, since finding new friends amongst my kids’ friends’ parents have been a bit up hill so far. However, during those orientation days I actually felt like it was going to happen. It didn’t feel awkward, it just felt pretty nice and natural to hang out with these other mums. That, my friends, means a lot to someone who gets minor anxiety everytime I have to get near anything parent-related.

So, back to today. Abby started prep and in amongst all the chaos there were no familiar faces. No kids or adults we knew. All the kids who she connected with during orientation have gone into the other class. Auch!

She somehow felt the same as me, I’m sure. She started crying and didn’t want to let go of me. I hadn’t expected her to react like that at all, but I cannot blame her. She expected to walk into a room of familiar faces and there were none. Thankfully, a teachers aid who she had met during orientation came and helped her settle. And at least I didn’t cry until we had left the room. Geez. I used to be so tuff.

But hey, I know she’ll be fine. I know she’ll make friends in her class in no time. But I still think it sucks that she’s not in the class with the kids with the mums that I like – buhuuu! (I know, I know…there probably are some really nice parents amongst this new group as well, it was just so calming to know that I had already crossed the awkward “hi, so…yeah, I’m Abby’s mum – which kid is yours? Where abouts do you live”-part).

Phew! Okay, now that it’s out of my system (thanks for listening), I’ll try to enjoy the first day in a loooong time with only one child around. And I cannot wait to pick up my Abby in 4 hours – I’m sure she’ll be all smiles – and so will I❤️