What Made You Happy Today?

Seriously, think about it for a while. It is so easy to get caught up in all the negative stuff that happens around us. Especially when the everyday is rolling away and chores and errends and jobs and tasks and demands and what-not fills up our days. We get stressed. We get tired. We get grumpy. Sometimes we get bored. I get bored a lot. Then the negativity spiral takes off. Damn it.

Negativity breeds negativity

I read this article explaining how emotions are contagious, the negative once even more so:

“Many experts believe that negative emotions are a lot easier to catch than positive ones. Some believe this is reflective of our evolutionary past wherein being highly attuned to other people’s negative emotions (pain, fear, and disgust) was directly linked to survival. Those who could pick up on someone else’s pain, fear, and disgust were more likely to survive than those who could not.

But – positivity also breeds positivity. Phew!

It most definitely does. Take it from the experts and take it from me, the self-acclaimed negative/positive expert that I am.

Saying positive things. Doing positive things. It spreads positive vibes.

So, am I positve all day everyday? Hell no. I am often the opposite. I am prone to dwelving in my own missery, but that is exactly why I need to do something active and conscious to force the positivity into my life – otherwise it all gets too dark and dull to handle. Worst of all, I can give my negative vibe onto my kiddos.

My bag of little tricks to boost my own and my family’s positive spirit is pretty jam packed. I think I need to use it even more, ay?

Well, this particular trick is a family one, because our family needs to calm the fuck down and be postive every night – we can be such a bunch of whingers otherwise.

What is it we do?

It is pretty simple and something everyone can do every day. We eat dinner together every night and while eating we take turns in telling the other which three things that made us happy during the day. Simple.

Does it really work?

Yes! Focusing on some positive things that we experienced during the day help us to:

1. Start good conversations about the day around the table.

3. Give everyone a chance to get a word in and be heard.

2. Focus on the positives and go to bed with that in mind – or at least we can remind us self that life isn’t that bad afterall.

It might sound basic, but, as you know, back to basic is the new black. Some days it is really easy. Some days it can actually be pretty hard. On all days it is a good idea.

Here are some examples from our dinner table:

Today it made me happy (kids edition)…

…to play with my friends.

…to eat pizza here with you right now.

…to play in the sandpit.

…that I love my whole family.

…to get lollies.

…to swim in the pool.

…to play games together.

And the adult edition…

to paint the bathroom.

…to have a nap.

…to see Lulu take her first steps.

…when you girls played nicely together.

…to finish my assignment.

…to hear back from that job.

…to get the shopping done.

And one that very often goes again around the table:

Right now, eating dinner together.

As you can see, it does not have to be huge magnificent things. It can be, but it can also be tiny little things that made your day better in some way or another.

Have a go yourselves tonight and let me know how you go. Also, be a bit patient. It somehow gets better over time. At least that is my experience.

What has made you happy today?

❤️

In Other News

It’s back to reality around here. The University of Queensland is back on this week. Josh started on Monday and I am going there tomorrow – I only have to go once a week, every Thursday from 9am. – 6pm. Making a day of it, you know.

We still haven’t really figured out the logistics of it all but that will come. Right?

Besides uni, both Josh and I are currently looking for part-time jobs to pay our rent and our camping trips. It’s been a bit harder than expected, to be honest. It’s not easy finding a job in a city where your network is tiny and when your last real job was 6 years ago in Denmark.

Last weekend I actually took a 5 hour barista course to get a little bit more on my CV. If it will lead to an actual barista job time will show. No matter what, it was fun to learn something new and I now know the actual difference on a cappuccino, a latte and a flat white.

And yes, I dream of going camping a lot more. Once we’re all settled in with uni and jobs and what-not we’ll start planning. Straddie, Byron and somewhere up north is definitely on the list. Fresh air, sandy feet and surf beaches are a must.

We still haven’t finished painting our bathroom.

The weather has cooled down a bit here. We can really feel the autumn coming our way – today it’s only 27 degrees and I am actually wearing a long sleeve as I type.

Today is my mother’s 75. birthday. I really wish we were in Denmark to help celebrate her. It sucks being so far away on these occasions. Thankfully we have FaceTime and we will sing her a little song later tonight.

Ohh, and Abby just lost her first tooth in school today. My little trooper didn’t even tell her teacher, because she was scared of getting in trouble. The tooth fell our in the middle of a lesson where she was “supposed to be learning stuff, not play with her tooth”. We assured her she would never get in trouble for loosing a tooth – or the teacher would be in trouble with us.

We have started a family tradition around our dinner table each night. Everyone has to say three things that made them happy during the day. It can be big or small. Billie usually says something in the line of “I was happy in the sand pit” and “I just love my whole family”. Tonight I will definitely say, that I am happy to see so many people have tuned into my little blog lately.

Thank you!

❤️

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.

❤️

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❤️

Weekend Vibes

I love our weekends here in Brisbane. The everyday is up and down – but the weekends are special to us.

When we lived in Wollongong Josh worked shift-work and he very rarely had the weekends off and, anyway, we never knew if he did until Friday afternoon at 4 pm. so we didn’t have much time to plan anything. So yeah, back then weekends were pretty random. If Josh was working I was just hanging out with the kids like on every other day. If Josh had the weekend off we mostly went to Sydney so he could play soccer with his friends. It was actually pretty hyggeligt. I sometimes miss the continuety of knowing that I would hang out with some friends and have a beer or three on the weekend. If we had a “real” weekend, that is.

However, even if we often opt for the same activities the weekends up here are ours completely – and I really, really appreciate them!

Our weekends start out Friday afternoon, I guess.

Like, this Friday we took a ferry (free city ferry, I love it) went to the Gallery of Moderne Art Brisbane for a couple of hours, listened to some LIVE music in a park and went to the beach pool aka. South Bank with some friends before we went home to have a sneaky Maccas meal followed by our Friday movie and Friday lollies – that’s a tradition, don’t mess with it!

Saturday was pretty chilled. No big plans. The mood was good all around all day – not a given with three kids, I tell ya.

Today the weekend peaked at the beach. Being a bit homesick for Denmark I had to be reminded of why it’s so amazing to live here. Why we are so lucky to live in this little gem of a spot. And I was. Reminded.

People travel so far to experience this. We have it in our backyard. Well, a backyard an hour from our house, but still. Going here with friends on a normal Sunday in January is not too bad at all.

And ohhh my, the feeling of freedom when I’m out there on my board. Then I almost forget how annoying the girls were in the car on the way there…

…and now, as I write this in the car on the way home, all three girls are sleeping/relaxing with no complaints about life whatsoever.

The beach is always a good idea!

New Year, New Me

2019 will be the year! The year of change! The year of new beginnings! The year of shit loads of healthy stuff! The year of no sugar, no TV, no alcohol, no, no, no!

…it sure will. Not for me, though. 2019 have started out pretty much where 2018 took off and it’s quite okay, really.

However, I have gotten a renewed energy boost for getting myself back into the good ol’ blogging game.

As most of you probably know, we went to Denmark to celebrate Christmas and New Years. We spent 6 weeks there and only got back to Australia one week ago. I might get back to that later on, since the trip moved something in me that our prior trips haven’t done in the same way. Anyway, getting back has been a bit tuff. We have been very jetlagged and tired, especially Abby has been restless and bored, the tantrums have escalated and settling back into our Aussie life has taken time – not completely there yet. And speaking of restless, I have had a hard time this past week. It’s like there’s SO much to do – practically – that my mind goes into an understimulated state, where I get ridicoulesly restless and frustrated. Even bored, even though there’s heaps to do. All of the mixed emotions about being back here doesn’t do much to help on the matter.

So, here I am. Blogging. Because it relaxes my mind. I need to relax my mind these days. If only I was one of those people who actually relaxes by doing the laundry and cleaning the house – I’ve heard they are out there somewhere. For real life! – Ohh mayn, I’d be the most relaxed woman south of Darwin. Unfortunately that’s not the case. But hey, fortunately Josh is pretty good at the laundry duties and my blogging game is ON. Again. Ahhhh…bliss!

Ohh, and let me not forget to wish you all a very Happy New Year – thank you so much for reading my lil’ blog❤️P.S. Here’s a random photo of me and the girls ready for a bike trip – because it makes me happy.