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?

❤️

Abby’s Class Situation – Update

Last Friday we went to talk to Abby’s principal to discuss the possibility of changing her to the other prep-class at the school.

We made the deal with her, that we would observe Abby at home and she would make sure the teachers did the same at the school.

As the perfect mum I am, I had forgotten the meeting and arranged a surf trip instead. Yep, just hand me that mum of the year reward now, thanks!

Anyways, Josh was a champ and went to the meeting alone, while I took Lulu and Billie to the beach. Hey, I have been to numerous meetings and parent things without Josh, so I think it was completely fine that he did it. And I completely trusted him with the task.

I think we both kinda knew the outcome before hand, really.

On the very positive side, the school has actually taken our concerns very serious. The principal herself has talked to Abby, about her friends in the class, three times during the week. She has also talked to the other students to paint a pattern of their friendships. And she saw one – a pattern. This means that Abby has connected with a couple of other kids whom she consistently during the week mentioned as her friends – and who also mentioned her. All good.

That she still prefers playing with a couple of kids from the other class is okay as long as she starts to feel “at home” in her own class as well.

Our main concern was actually the conservative teaching methods used by Abby’s teacher. This we have chosen to let go a bit. Mainly to keep the good spirit. For Abby’s sake. We might take it up later on if it evolves in a direction we can’t accept.

Bottom line is – Abby stays in her class and it’s okay. At least we made the teachers aware of our concerns and I honestly think they have been more focused on the social integration this past week. I could be seeing what I want to see, but that’s my experience – and I am still happy that we didn’t just let it be.

❤️

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❤️


Dealing With the Big Bad Mommy Guilt

This past week has been a bit tuff around here. As I wrote in my last post I found out that I do have gestational diabetes and I have just been mentally and physically exhausted, to be honest. This lack of energetic surplus has made me feel like I’ve been a pretty shitty parent. I have been grumpy and my patience has not been able to cope with two small humans’ huge emotions and arguments. Ohh, the arguments(!) So, I must admit that the big bad mommy guilt has build up a bit when I’ve zoomed out and acknowledged that what I am doing is not what I actually wish to do – I just haven’t got the energy to deal with it, really.

That being said, I know that it’s time to adress the bad habits that are starting to build up. Because a lot of it is habit. An autopilot that kicks in when everything else shuts down and right now it doesn’t do me or the kids much good. Luckily I know from earlier episode like these that I relatively easy can adjust the autopilot settings if I remember to focus on it before it’s actually needed. If that makes any sense to others than me…?

If you have a little look at the books I ordered the other day it might clear things up a bit, since they are just a tiny bit reflective of my current mindset…….

Yeah, first step is to acknowledge you have a problem, right? Think I’ve gone a bit past the first step, then. Haha…ohh, dear. If only parenting was so easy as to read about it in a book. The thing is, at least it makes me feel like I do something to move in the right direction. That in itself has a pretty powerful effect on me – and often I do actually get some good insights or even some useable tools from these parenting themed books. Excited to find out if any of these are any good. Or if I will finally learn not to give a fuck, at least.

Well, well!

While I’ve been hitting myself in the head for not being a good enough parent we’ve actually been assured that our children are doing quite alright, nonetheless.

For instance, Abby’s kindy teacher told us that she believes Abby is a very intelligent child due to her way of problem solving, her creativity and her determination to learn letters and numbers. Also, which is what I find most positively surprising, she said that her language is very well developed for her age. This is something that has been worrying me a bit lately, actually. She still struggles with the pronounciation of some letters and mixes up words and such, and I have – of course(!) – compared her to other kids her age and found her language lagging. Now, her teacher tells me I am wrong. Very wrong. How awesome! She says that her vocabulary is quite developed and her sentence constructions are very mature. One proud and relieved mummy, right here.

Then later in the same week her swimming teacher told me that she is doing really well in her lessons – and that she’s really good at correcting her mistakes and working hard to become better. Now, I am not hoping for her to become an elite swimmer. Not at all, actually (do you know how early they – and their parents – have to get up every damn day to train?!). I do, however, hope that she will become recilient, strong and determined to reach her goals whatever they may be. That’s why it makes me happy. And again, proud!

It also gives me a bit of extra encouragement to keep on keeping on.

Because eventhough it all seems overwhelming at times and I feel like this mummy business might not be the right career path for me it reminds me that my children are doing pretty damn good so far – even if I am not a perfect parent 24/7 365. So maybe I should just take a chill pill and try to focus on the positives. I will. I am. Luckily there’s so much to focus on!

I mean, just look at them!

Big Changes – Small Humans – Huge Emotions

Actually, I was planning on writing a little weekly update with something about Josh being back at uni full-time and how we’re trying to get into somekind of a normal daily/weekly routine. But instead I will focus more on the girls and them coping with huge emotions and major changes – and also tell you a little something about another big (happy) change coming to their lives starting next Monday (what can it be?).

(Okay, I have included some random photos from our week – everyone loves photos, right?)

Because, you know, the week went alright. It had it’s ups and downs, sure, but we’re managing and adjusting and learning and getting better and better at living this Brissy family life. But instead of getting into too much details about all that I’ll rather write a little something about how the girls are and have been coping with their new life.

If we think our adult lives have been turned around lately it’s nothing compared to the girls’. They have never lived anywhere else than in Wollongong (at least what they can remember) and their entire world has been evolving around the same house, the same garden, the same preschool, the same friends, the same gymnastics school and even the same couple of playgrounds for, yeah, their whole life.

Then we, without much warning, took them out of their safe little environment and placed them in a new home in a new city where they don’t know anyone and where all of their normal, weekly activities have been replaced with random trips to Bunning’s and the occasional (pretty awesome) trip to Southbank or the local playground. In other words, they have not had much stability and have been rather understimulated socially.

All in all they have taken it like the little troopers they are, but especially Abby has been reacting a bit to it all. She has been rather restless and gotten into many, many conflicts with Billie due to pure boredom and frustration. It’s been a bit draining for everyone involved including the cats that have to deal with Billie’s rough love when she’s bored or frustrated at Abby.

It has helped a bit that we’ve started swimming lessons two times a week with them. She loves that and is always very excited to go there to swim and to see her friends and her swimming teacher.

Abby is a very social girl. She absolutely loves and needs her friends and there’s no doubt that her mood swings is closely connected to her missing her friends from preschool, gymnastics and our old hood.

At the same time she is also a sensitive little person – e.g. the other day her swim teacher told me that she got happy tears in her eyes everytime she saw that I was watching her swim in her lesson. So imaging what else is going on inside her. She feels a lot and she feels it big.

Friday morning she got a lot of very happy tears in her eyes ones again as we told her that we were going for a tour of her and Billie’s new preschool/kindy. That’s right, guys! We got them both into a kindy and they are starting next week(!) It’s still a bit unreal since we only got the call from the center early Friday morning and went for the tour and meet ‘n’ greet a little later that same day.

In front of the new kindy

Abby’s reaction when we told her was priceless. She started crying happy tears, gave us big hugs and said “yay, I’m gonna get new friends!”…ohhh, my heart! And the feeling didn’t get less positive after we’d checked the new place out. Both girls loved it there, so did their parents, and we left with a very good feeling in our hearts and stomachs. I think this will be very good for the girls – and for all of us. Actually, Abby already seemed a lot more grounded that same afternoon and I think this is exactly what she needs to really feel at home and happy here.

It’s all happening. Slowly but surely. Hey, even our house is turning into a pretty decent home these days. Still a bit fixing and painting left to do, but we’re getting there. And soon I promise to do a photo tour especially for you, right here on my lil’ domain 🙂

Happy weekend ya’ll❤️

So, now we live in Kangaroo Point

Wow! We did it! We moved to Brisbane – and we have no regrets. 




We do have a lot of work to do in terms of painting our entire(!) new home, unpacking, getting organized, finding a new preschool (which apparently is called kindy up here?!), new GP (doctor), new midwife, new gymnastics school, new swim school, new network, new bla bla bla…

But hey, things are sloooowly happening. I mean, I have painted the walk-in wardrobe in the girls’ room and we have found the box with party accessories, so we’re off to a good start, I’d say. 

Ohh, and we have found our new Bunning’s, Coles and, most importantly, IKEA. So yeah, we’re getting there. 

Moving with kids is always a bit of a hazzle, I think. And moving interstate doesn’t make it any easier. However, we are trying to make it as easy on them as possible. They were both little troopers on the long 1000 km. drive up here and they have taken in all the new impressions in style. Yes, they have been tired. So have/are their parents. Yes, there are some big emotions going through them, especially Abby, when they thinks about their friends back in Wollongong. Yes, they probably do get affected by the chaos that is our home at the moment. But they also have fun and experience a lot of new, exciting things every day. To them, for instance, it’s absolutely amazing that they can ride their bikes and scooters to the local park to have a play. 


And yesterday we went to a beach on Bribie Island, around an hours drive from our home. That was love at first sight. Never have I seen either of them jump in the waves for so long and with so much energy. They were loving it and Abby even caught some waves on her surfboard – with no complaints about the cold water. Because the water isn’t cold – at all. It is beautiful. Even I enjoyed swimming in it. Says a lot. 


I can definitely picture us going to the different beaches up here regularly, getting our surf on. Yay! 

For now we will keep on making our new house into our home, while exploring this amzing city and it’s surroundings. Ohh, and also attend to my cousin, who is currently visiting us from Denmark. We think (hope) she has a good time even though she has been thrown into the middle of our moving chaos and our tired tantrums 🙂 


I’ll try to keep you guys updated on the progress around our house and with our new life in Brissy in general. So stay tuned if you like to follow our new, exciting journey❤️

Love M.