Sunday Scribbling

The photo has nothing to do with my writing what so ever, I just like it.

Writing for the sake of writing. That is my new thing in the evening after all the kids finally have gone to sleep. Writing about anything, everything or mainly nothing in particular.

Being the good girl I am, I do it because I was told to by my professor in one of my two courses at the university this semester; Creative Writing – expecting to get a “good job” sticker someday soon.

I have never had any writing education or training after I finished high school half a lifetime ago, so I think it is about time to get some tools and some direction.

The first lecture debunked a bunch of myths about writing that I actually feel like I have been restrained by. And then it set the forthcoming direction for us:

Write, write a lot. Read, read a lot.

Easy. In theory.

Time is not always on a parent of three small kids’ side. But hey, tonight I have already read two entire books before 8 pm. That they included pictures, a grumpy princess and turtles that celebrate brithdays is immaterial.

Our professor wants us to write at least a full page of whatever, by hand, for each tutorial. By hand, guys. She warned us that we would probably get sore hands and underarms, since no-one is used to hand writing anymore. She’s probably right. My hand is yet to be fatigued. One advantage of being 15 years older than most other students, maybe. The “forced” writing is good, though. It works. The words get out and down on paper. Words that I had no idea was in there, somewhere in my mind. It almost feels like therapy.

Self help writing. It’s actually a thing. I have used it before, but that’s a whole other story which I might share with you one day – if(when) I find the courage.

For now, I will keep on writing. Another day. It’s time to go to bed and do some reading (for two minutes before I fall asleep) instead.

Good night❤️

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.

❤️

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!

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❤️