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!

Sponsored by Wheat

If you are following my instagram account you might have noticed that lately I have published some photos and stories of the girls wearing clothes from the Danish brand Wheat.

The reason for this – besides that I sincerely love that brand – is that we recently started a collaboration with them where we receive some of their amazing clothes and shoes (from Bundgaard shoes) for the girls and in return I send them some photos of the girls wearing those before mentioned outfits. Photos they then use (or don’t) on their instagram and webpages.

It is the first collaboration we have done and to be honest I have been a little bit cautious about doing something like this. My instagram account is not a major one in the game so the brands I have been approcahed by so far have been something I didn’t really want to be associated with or simple wasn’t interested in testing/using/wearing (for me or the kids). So, I’ve turned all offers down so far.

Then Wheat contacted me a while ago and asked if I would help them promote their new Australian branch Wheat Down Under by being a so-called storyteller for them.

For the Aussies than don’t know, Wheat is a Danish kids clothes brand – which happens to be one of my absolute favourite kids clothes brands, actually. They make beatiful clothes of a really high quality, mostly organic and sustainable and they have a great mix of basics and more uniqe designs.

Hey, Billie even got christened in a Wheat dress. So yeah, we have been fans for a while and that definitely has made it easier to agree on the terms we have gone into this co-lab on. Terms that I actually find very fair.

So far it has only been fun for the girls. They haven’t been forced to pose anymore than usual(!) and they have been over the moon about the new clothes they have received. I control 100% which photos I send to Wheat Down Under so in that way I control which photos they potentially publish of my children.

If, for some reason, we wish to stop the collaboration we will do so – for now the girls are still having fun being little models and we can’t wait to get the new autumn and winter clothes soon. So much goodness is coming our way and the girls will be warm, dry and stylish all through autumn and winter, that’s for sure.

And if you, like us, love the suttle but beautiful scandi design and is a sucker for good quality go check their sites out – Wheat Down Under and for shoes and sandals Bundgaard shoes – you won’t be disappointed and might spot a Dalsgaard McMahon girl or two in there if you’re lucky 🙂

Love M.❤️

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BILLIE BOO

Today our littlest human turns two. Two years! Honestly, where has that time gone?

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Two years ago today we went to the hospital early in the morning. The little rascal did not want to come out on her own, so when I was 9 days overdue the clever doctors decided to force her out by induction.

It was a bit surreal to wake up in the morning knowing that this day we would definitely have a baby – yet, everything still felt absolutely normal. I had a shower, ate some breakfast and off we were. No stress, no rush. Nothing like we had expected due to Abby’s early and fast birth. Billie was in no hurry.

The induction went to plan and it didn’t take long until the contractions took off. Around two hours after Josh fainted for the first time, when the nurse put needles in my hands to begin the drip, the midwife yelled: “PUSH! She has to get out. NOW. The heartbeat is dropping!” And out she came. She wasn’t breathing at first but when she finally did we got the first idea of how loud this little person can be.

After Josh had recovered himself from the hard job of watching me give birth, he got up from the chair he had been sitting in during the entire show going in-and-out of consciousness. From then on he didn’t faint anymore and we could finally start falling in love with our, for us, HUGE newborn baby. She was 3.5kg. and 52 cm. Pretty spot on average, actually.

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It wasn’t hard to fall in love with her.

She was the most chilled baby ever. She did not cry much, she slept a lot and she was generally just happy and content with life. Sometimes we almost forgot about her, because she would just be sleeping or hanging out on the floor watching the crazy show that is her family.

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Those days are long gone. She can still be pretty chilled at times. But she can certainly also be a part of the family show. Actually, she is often the center of attention around here and when she turns on her charm and sillyness she’s second to none.

Billie Maja, you have grown into a very independent and strong little girl. You have so much personality and so much temper. Oh, dear. The temper. You sure know what you want, little missy.

But not a day goes by where you don’t make us laugh, not a day goes by where you don’t give us cuddles and ask us if we are okay. You are such a warm a caring little soul.

We all love you very much and it is sometimes hard to imagine those days where you were not part of our family yet. Those days, two years and a day ago. We are so excited be a part of your life journey and we can definitely not wait to hear more of your already pretty damn funny – for a two year old – jokes in the future.


Today we will open presents, eat cake and candy, play in the garden and play with balloons. Next weekend we will party like it’s your (and Abby’s) birthday! Yay!

Speaking of presents. I bought some pretty awesome ones from us and from my parents online. They didn’t get here on time so for now she got a cheap keyboard, a book and a potty for her teddy. Of course she loves it all. But I will still love to show you the toys that are on their way for her, because I am very excited for them to arrive:

A Micro Scooter from my parents, because they are awesome and Billie deserves her own scooter and not just have all Abby’s old and half-broken stuff.

Micro Scooter

A wobbleboard – unfortunately I couldn’t get my hands on the original Wobbleboard – but this one from Kinderfeets looks pretty good too. Balance training, heaps of open ended play options and lots of fun to be had – for everyone in the family. Win! 

The tea set from Green Toys because Billie loves pretend play and because I love Green Toys. Such good quality and no harm to our kids or the planet. LOVE!

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ABBY & BILLIE ARE TWO PERFECT LITTLE BOYS

“Your kids are absolutely perfect. I love it how wild and energetic they are. They are exactly how I imagined my children would be – if I have had boys

Abby in her usual gymnastics leo tard

So yeah, those were the exact words of a fellow mom at gymnastics today. She herself has two girls around Abby and Billie’s age, but for some reason she thinks my girls are particularly awesome – had they been boys.

I could not help but laugh. I thanked her, of course, and then I did tell her that they are both, indeed, girls. In the same breath I did say some shit like ‘no worries, we’re used to people confusing them with boys, maybe because we don’t always dress them in pink‘ and ‘the little one is called Billie, which does confuse people sometimes’

For some reason I feel like I have to make up excuses for people not being able to get my kids’ gender right.

The other mom, who I usually refer to as The Hippie Mom, is actually pretty cool. Like, she has this hippie kinda vibe about her, hence the nickname – and I mean that in a very positive way. She’s pretty relaxed and she’s very loving towards her children – not a given around here, but that’s a whole other, controversial story I might get into someday, if I’m brave.

The Hippie Mom got a bit embarrased, but said that she loves it when people challenge stereotyping. Cool! What puzzles me is that she doesn’t seem to do it herself. If she really dreamt of having two wild boys – why can’t she have two wild girls. Fair enough, her children might not be wild from nature. That’s fine. Maybe they wouldn’t be if they had been boys, neither.

The Hippie Mom’s comeback was strong: “Ohh, yeah I do see now that Abby is wearing pink socks.”

And we aaaaaaaaaaall know:

Pink = a girl

No pink = most definitely a boy

Jup.

Actually, I take what she said as a compliment. I love that my children are wild and energetic and make a good impression on people. But I find it a bit sad that their behaviour is somewhat sought after – if they were boys.

I believe that, at least in general and especially here in Australia (over Denmark), girls get treated just a little bit different. They get put into pretty little pink outfits. They get told it’s dangerous to climb high. They get told to be careful when they run wild. They get given just a tiny bit less freedom to move than boys. And if the boys are being wild and crazy ‘they are just being boys’ – if a girl acts the same way, it’s not really acceptable or ‘she should have been a boy’. That last sentence annoys me to the moon and and the stars and beyond. No, she should not have been a boy. Not unless she feels uncomfortable with the gender she has been born with. She’s a girl. And girls can be wild. Just like boys can be sensitive and play with dolls.

I guess my point is, one thing doesn’t have to rule out the other. Being a girl or a boy should not dictate how or what you play. Or how you are acting at gymnastics.

At gymnastics our girls are quite cheeky. Especially Abby is in her element there. She makes jokes with the teacher – who calls her crazy – and she is all over the place. The girl’s got energy and that energy needs to get out somehow. She’s also pretty loud. And she never wants her hair up. But most days she wears the most girly-girly little leo tard known to man. However, as soon as she rocks up in a more neutral outfit people completely forgets and thinks she’s a boy again – mainly due to how she behaves, I think.

I think she’s perfect, just the way she is. So is her sister.

Sometimes they are wild. Sometimes they are calm. Sometimes they wear pink. Sometimes they wear grey. They are always girls.

I truly hope that they will stay true to themselves, and not cave in too much to what society tells them about being “real” girls. Not now and not in 10-20-30 years.

Maybe our two rascals will even inspire The Hippie Mom and her girls to be less worried about how girls are “supposed” to look and act. That would be awesome.

Love M.

I GUESS WE CAN’T AVOID THE DOWNS AMONG THE UPS

The observant Scandiroo reader might have noticed a lag of posts from me lately. To be honest, I have struggled to find something to write about. You see, when I started this little blog of mine I wished to make it essentially about positive things going on in my life. You know, happy little stories about love and laughter and silly kiddo incidents. I think I was scared, that I would otherwise be perceived as a whinger and a pessimist. Which I’m really not. Really. At least not when I’ve been fed and had my beautysleep.

However, it turns out that life isn’t always filled with rainbows and beach days. Sometimes the picture perfect family life is swopped for constant power battles with an almost three-year-old, bickering with Josh, and back pain from dealing with the giant, little Billie Maja. Worst of all, with all that comes a level of stress I’ve never experienced before in my life. It might sound weird to some. I mean, what do I do all day, right?!

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Well, some days I basically do nothing else than trying to keep my offspring alive. Most days I even manage to have some fun with them, and on the goody good days I also do some washing. It is pretty basic, but it can also be very exhausting both physically and mentally. True story.

We had Abby in pre-school for three days for a couple of months, and it was great. She started making a lot more friends there, so she was suddenly happy to go in the mornings. I had enough time off with Billie to give her the attention she needs, and to get a little bit of stuff done in and out of the house too. Basically, it was just the right amount of time to suit our family. Now, due to bureaucracy and regulations we’re back to only two days a week. And it really tax my mental health. Actually, it has eaten into the whole family’s surplus of mental resources and we’ve been close to going into red figures all around. It’s like we’ve just been lacking that tiny bit of extra energy that could make such a positive difference in our every day life. Everybody has just been tired, grumpy and emotional on-and-off for the past month or two.

Fair to say, Josh’s busy life and my lack of a life (without kids, that is) is not the best combo in the world.

Hands down, I have never missed my mum and dad as much as I do right now. When they were here over Christmas they were true superheroes, and helped out in every possible way. We never needed to stress about a dirty house or a late dinner during those days, and there was always someone who would climb trees with Abby in the garden when she was going a bit crazy in the house.

Obviously I miss all that practical help now, but actually, lacking their company is the worst. I can kinda deal with the cleaning and the food preparation, but to see Abby cry because she misses them, just breaks my heart. On the tough days, it’s the main reason why everything gets a little bit harder than hard. Even though we have some lovely people in our life down here, the persons that love us the most are just too far away, too often. Booohooooo!

On the more positive note, we will travel to Denmark and see my family and friends relatively soon. To say that I am excited would be the understatement of the year. I can’t wait to go home. It’s been a year since I went last. The longest I’ve ever been away. Too long…

And hey – we’ve also had lots of fun times lately. Including a holiday weekend to Port Macquarie and the Ironman Australia, a family wedding, friends visiting and lots of outdoor adventures in the awesome autumn weather.

On the even more positive note – today Josh stayed home from uni. Partly because he slept in, but mainly because he wanted to give me a much needed break from the girls. Ahhhhhhhh! He took Abby to pre-school and has gone to Wollongong to hang out with Billie for some hours. They do need a bit of daddy/daughter-time and I do need a bit of me-time. All good. I might even kick myself in the butt and go to yoga later. Who knows, tomorrow I might even be on top of the world and sparkling with positive energy again 🙂

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We’ve Started Billie On Solids – Didn’t Bother With Puree

Why bother with puree and baby rice meal, when you can have popcorn? I know what I prefer.

Yesterday Abby had popcorn. Like she has every other day, really. Josh and I are way too quick to give in when she is nagging us, because she’s “soooooo hungry” – but won’t touch an apple. She loves popcorn, just like her mummy. She also loves sharing – even her beloved popcorn.

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So, when I was preparing dinner, Josh was doing whatever, and Billie was playing happily on her playmat, Abby decided it was time for her 4-month-old little sister to taste the snack over them all: Popcorn. She was even so kind to help her put it in her mouth for her, and then leave her alone, so she could really get a good taste of it.

How long she had it in her mouth for only Abby knows, I just know that I reacted like a mean baby rescue machine, when I went in and saw Billie with red eyes laying on her back, gagging on a popcorn that was stuck in her throat. It took about 1/1000 of a second to get her up and literally force the popcorn out of her mouth by turning her upside down. Thank you gravity!

Afterwards, the emotions started rolling in and I might have shed a little tear or two. Honestly, it scared the sh*t out of me. Both because of the immediate disaster that we just prevented, but also due to the fact that it can, and probably will, happen again any day, any time. We’ve tried to explain Abby, that she never ever is allowed to put anything in Billie’s mouth. However, she obviously doesn’t understand which devastating consequences it can have, so we really can’t leave those two alone together. Not at all.

This whole “having a toddler and a baby in the house at the same time”-project is starting to get real around here. “It’s never boring”, they say. I say: “There’s never gonna be a chance to get privacy in the bathroom again.”

For now, I think we’ll wait a month or so to introduce any further solids to Billie – and I doubt it’ll be corn porridge when it happens.

Where Was My Mummy Club Invite?

Other mums scare the sh*t out of me. Seriously.

Before I became a mum I had this idea, that once I got my own baby I would automatically gain lots of friends with children of their own, because children attract children and most children come with cool parents, right?! Actually, it was one of the reasons why I thought it would be a breeze to move to the other side of the world with a newborn, back then. Surely, I would get a huge network of lots of awesome mums and dads in no time.

Didn’t happen…

“You can’t expect people to come to you. You have to make an effort yourself,” they say.

So, for the last 2.5 years, every time I’ve arrived at a playground I’ve quickly scanned the area to see if there were any potential new best mummy friends around. Exactly as if I were going into a night club back in my pick up heydays, and since – without exaggerating – I were quite good at it back then, I more or less use the same tactic. If I spot anyone, I will do my very best to gain eye contact, smile and maybe even throw a little giggle at them when their child does something silly. Status so far: I’ve gotten some smiles and a couple of giggles back, but it always seems to stop at “how old is your little one?”. Maybe I should just buy them all  10 shots of tequila and we might get the playground party started.

However, it’s not just at the playground, this scenario takes place. It’s also at swimming class, gymnastics, pre-school, Gymbaroo, Musikidabra, Little Kickers…Whenever I step into a room filled with babies/toddlers and their respective mums, I become the 17 year old that doesn’t know how to communicate with grown-ups – while everyone else in the room turned into mummy clones.

Seriously guys, they look the same, they talk about the same stuff, even their babies look alike. I’m pretty sure, they all shop in the same members-only mummy shop with nice, slightly boring clothes and none of them would ever wear a pair of Vans. They have dinner ready at 6 o’clock for daddy when he gets home from work, and on Tuesdays they clean the bathroom.

It’s like they all joined this secret mummy’s club, and my invite was lost in the mail. Maybe I forgot to pay the joining fee on time. Wouldn’t be a first.

Honestly, I have no idea how to talk to this species. Okay, I have never been a champion of small-talk, but baby small-talk, ohh mayn: It’s just like russian to me.

Baby chitty-chatty is simply not my thing, especially not with strangers. Surely, I love talking about babies and children – I even have a blog, where that’s pretty much all I do,eh. I love talking about development and I love to hear if they did something cool or funny at the park. Sometimes.

But – this is real – I have more than once overheard some of them talking about nappy prices. Nappy prices! I just can’t do it. Yes, our children use nappies. Many of them, so we buy them. Every week. Just like we buy toilet paper and milk. I rarely talk to my friends about those things. Like, never.

I feel utterly uncomfortable in those settings. I totally feel like I have lost my skill of communicating and that I have absolutely nothing in common with any of these people – Except the fact that we have all reproduced.

Maybe it’s just me. Maybe I really am the odd one out. At least, that’s what I thought until I spoke to a close friend of mine, who just had her first baby 5 months ago.

This girl is probably the opposite of shy. Let’s call it what it is – she’s pretty loud and outgoing. Surely she would have no problem whatsoever to navigate this mummy world, she has just entered with a boom. But you know what – she is also the first one to leave the Gymbaroo. She also thinks it’s awkward to stay around and mingle with the other mums. She also thinks they all blend into each other. She also thinks it’s weird to talk to strangers about baby stuff. And she also thinks she has completely lost the ability to connect with people and keep a conversation going for more than 30 seconds.

That gave me a bit of hope. Not that I’m happy she also struggles with all these things, but it made me realize that I might not be so different. Maybe this mummy club isn’t so exclusive after all. Maybe the members are actually all just trying desperately to fit in and maybe they really have no idea what to say to each other – but we will always have nappy prices.

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FYI. We prefer to use Naty nappies (trying to be eco conscious…when we can afford it), but they are quite expensive, so if they are not on sale, we go for Coles’ homebrand-ish ones. Cheaper and they work just fine.

 

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