Wednesday, October 30, 2013


When I was pregnant with Boy, I worried a lot.

I worried a lot about life, about how we would cope with having a child and living with Hunna's parents.

But there is something I worried about more than anything else.


I don't like babies. I mean ... I really don't like babies.

I have to say it.

I wouldn't mind if all babies arrived at about 4 months old. I'm happy with a 4 month old. I like 4 month olds. They're predictable. They interact. They smile.

{ I do understand why we don't push out 4 month olds, imagine that! }

But really baby babies and I have a somewhat rocky relationship.

Sometimes I feel pressure, pressure to pretend that I'm in love with other people's babies. That they are joyous and cute and I can't get enough of their baby smell.

I feel that I mustn't be maternal enough or perfect enough because I can't automatically love them or coo at them or trace their features with my finger.

People would tell me ' It's different when you have your own. '

But as my due date drew nearer, with Boy, I wasn't overly concerned about getting him out.

Because then I would have a baby.

And not just any baby. A baby that I couldn't give back. He would be my baby.

I desperately hoped for the instant bond that others said they experienced after birth.

But I can genuinely say. It wasn't instant.

I'd never had a baby. I'd never had a child. I didn't know what loving my own child was, or how to do it or how it would make me feel or react.

He was essentially a stranger, with different ideas on life. With different ideas on sleeping and eating. With different ideas on everything.

It was awkward and new and different and insane but eventually.

He changed me.

He taught me about pure love. About how it starts very small but grows and grows until you think your heart will burst.

How it fills you and radiates through your entire body.

How it changes you so radically that you know you will never be the same again.

Boy taught me about selfless love.

He taught me I have a greater capacity to love and be loved.

So, this time I am excited. I am allowing my self to look forward to having a new baby.

I know it will be hard and awkward and I accept that perhaps I'm just not a baby person.

But I also feel it will be different with this baby.

Because Boy with his infinite patience and understanding has paved the way.

And I can't wait to love and cherish and adore another member of our family.

Even if it will be awkward just for a little while.


Monday, October 28, 2013

It's about food.

When I was younger and living on my own, I loved to feed people. It began after dating an apprentice chef for a while.

His love to cook was catching and after we stopped dating I continued to learn and cook and invite people over to test my food.

Early on in the piece I had a guy friend. We had been friends forever. I would invite him over to eat ( one of his favourite past times ).

We had never dated, I don't think we knew where we were going at that point in time and we both accepted the fact that friends are much more reliable and fun than being interested in each other.

One afternoon I invited him over to try some pasta.

It had pesto and potatoes and beautiful thick pappardelle mixed in with garlic.

Unfortunately, instead of putting the right amount of garlic in, I had doubled the garlic needed.

It was obvious that the pasta was destined to fail once I realised what had happened.

He insisted on trying it anyway, and in what others would see as gentlemanly- ate it anyway. Insisting it was good.

The only thing was, I knew it wasn't.

And right then I knew - over some extremely garlicky pasta, that I wasn't ever going to marry someone who couldn't be truly honest. It annoyed me that I couldn't trust him to be constructively critical ( he was a very honest person, I'm not saying he wasn't) I just didn't want anyone to insist I was perfect or what I made was prefect because .. well.. we all know I'm not.

Which is strange because I coin myself as a romanticist. And that is a very realist perception.

When I met Hunna. I fell in loke almost immediately, I fell in loke because of his good looks ( haha ) charm, and genuine concern for me. But I fell hard in love with him because of his honesty. But the right honest. Not the rude, condescending honest. The well balanced honest. The improving honest.

I remember cooking for him, this time the pasta dish was a spaghetti with thin lemon sauce, pine nuts, chives and other yummy light summery ingredients.

At the time I was very use to eating mainly vegetarian meals to keep the shopping bill down.

He had come from his Mothers house, where scottish traditions of meaty meat and veg with gravy and bread reign supreme.

I loved the dish, I thought it was light and zesty.. But it needed more sauce. It was a little dry.

Hunna ate his dinner up and when I asked him what he thought his reply was honest, considerate, constructive and beautifully formed.

He said he recognised the dish was yummy and that he could see other people would really enjoy it. He said it definitely needed more sauce but in the end, his personal taste meant he just didn't like it that much.

A few weeks ago, we sat in our favourite cafe in 3056 and each ordered a sandwich.

Menu: Miss Marmalade

He had #1 ( full of meat and cheese ) and I had number #2 ( packed with delicious flavour ).

When we go out, we each order something and share half with the other.

We each ate half our sandwiches and handed the other half to each other.

I took a few bites out of my new sandwich and he took a few out of his new sandwich and without saying anything we swapped back.

Hunna said " It's a delicious sandwich I can see why you like it, it's very you"

And I said " It would be good for you because you love meat"

I love that we agree on almost everything. But I also love that when we disagree on things some times; we can both be honest. I relish our different opinions. Because we can always talk constructively about stuff and not feel offended if its not what the other person thinks.

And its good for Hunna because if he lied and told me something I made was tasty I'd probably make it for him again!

Hunna has taught me that honesty is the best policy, when delivered with tact and thoughtful consideration.

He has taught me, the way you package something is just as important and what you are trying to give.

*although I may not always get the tact right, hey Collette?


Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Finish.

Hunna finished his apprenticeship the other day. It's been three and a half years of trial filled with little excitement or hope.

We learnt big lessons. We learnt that although it's tough and hope is rarely given. It is made. It can be manufactured in our minds.

Hope can be found where we foster it. It's found in the little things. The small pleasures, the big dreams.

It's found in big plans which are solved creatively because of a little purse.

It's found in freedom, faith and free things.

In friends and in family.

On his last day as an apprentice, a Thursday, he was away from us.

There were no loud bangs, large epiphanies or exuberant celebrations.

Not in his hotel room, and not in our apartment at home.

Nobody slapped him on the back for a job well done. Nobody called his name from a stage and handed him a scroll of ribbon tied paper.

But as I went to bed that night, I smiled at the empty spot next to me.

I smiled because we made it, he made it.

So here's to you Hunna. Here's to self reliance, to creativity and perseverance.

Here's to turning the next page and continuing the adventure.

Here's to wangling life.


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Teaching Boy.

I have no qualifications other than that; I have an opinion, have been a child and I am a parent.

But I feel sometimes that can be qualification enough.

I want to respond to a post I read. It seems I have more to say on parenting than I thought.

This is in response to an article by Mayim Bialik on Today Moms.

When I was young I was taught to say please and thank you with a wooden spoon.

In other words. I learnt to say things without genuinely knowing why I was saying them. I learnt to say them to get out of trouble/hurt, I learnt to lie.

When I went to school I learnt to memorise, I passed an entire geography test on Tasmania ( there was a picture of Tasmania with numbers all over it ) by memorising what number (1) corresponded with what town/city ( Launceston) on the map. If the teacher was smart enough to change the test from the cheat sheet He had given I would've been completely stuffed.

It wasn't until I learnt to drive at 17 that I actually remembered where the Midland Highway was, because up until that point I had never wanted to drive down it before.

So you see. I learnt a whole lot of stuff in school I will never remember because it wasn't relevant to me at the time and it wasn't even made to seem relevant. And to be honest, it's not relevant now.

In fact, I don't know most of my times tables instantly - if I want to figure something out it takes me longer because I never bothered memorising it and if I can't be bothered counting, I'll just get out a calculator.

I still sing my 6 times tables to the song on a tape that Mum gave me as a kid. 1 six is 6, 2 sixes are 12, 3 sixes are 18.. ( you get the point) it's not the best when I'm in the middle of a shop...

( I actually think its less important to know everything and more important to know where you can find out something )

So basically. I didn't know WHY I was learning a lot of things, and I didn't know WHY I was saying a lot of things.

All I knew was that apparently I needed to do, say or be something or I would get in trouble.

As an adult, I have a massive problem with motivation because I was never taught self motivation.

I was always motivated by ' getting in trouble ' and not the curiosity to learn and apply something.

So now my motivation doesn't depend on anyone else, I have little. Sound much like Gen Y?

Lots of us are all muddling around, because we don't know what we want to do, or what makes us fulfilled, in a melancholy state. Because we don't know how to be genuinely self motivated.

Ever heard the quote " I get more house work done in the 10 minutes before someone comes over than I do in a whole week?" Well, that's me. External motivation.

Now don't get me wrong, external motivation IS important. It helps regulate us so we know what is socially acceptable in certain circumstances. If we weren't externally motivated at some point we would all end up behaving like brats saying stuff like " I'm not doing it because I don't want to do it" or the current " YOLO" .

So there is a balance, in everything.

So here's where my childhood affects my parenting.


I try to parent genuinely.

I try to understand things are interesting to me and not to Boy. Things that are relevant to me are not relevant to him.

I use real world opportunities to teach and they tend to stick more than, singing the ABC song.

( He does sing the ABC song but his WHY right now is because he loves to sing, he just thinks its a nice tune..)

It's more important to me that he sits in a cafe and, looking at the waitress, orders from his menu. ( Seriously, way Mum proud )

It's more important to him and me, that he learns how to wipe, put his wee in the toilet after going potty, flush and wash his hands independently than it is for him to count to 100.

It's more important right now that he learns communication and self regulation than what the square root of any number is.

Shock, my 3.5 year old can only count to 16 and maybe 17 on a good day.

Why? Because he doesn't need to count any higher.

Right now, his real world application range for counting (" Mumma, can I please have three pieces of apple " ) stay within the limits of 1 - 17.

So he uses what he needs.

He is motivated by : communication.

( *I fully expect this will change in the future and I will hopefully adjust accordingly.)

I want something, I want a certain amount of something, or I need to describe something to get it.

So I'll use some counting, some colours, some shapes, some size references.

One day I sat with a bunch of shapes and tried to teach him their names and it just didn't work. He wanted to build a tower which he could knock down. He didn't want to look at shapes. He didn't have a reason.

Yeah I could've drummed it into him, until he'd memorised it and become a child genius.

But when I teach, I try to give him a reason. A reason why he wants to learn this. A reason why he wants to remember it and a reason why he wants to do it.

Today it's because he wants to communicate.

But this rarely ever happens over a piece of paper or siting at a table.

We started with:

" Mumma, look a dog "

Me " Wow. What a little dog "

( next time we see a dog )

" Mumma look a little dog "

Me " Wow. Look at that little brown dog "

Boy " Yes, and white too "

But this extends past general mathematics.

It also extends to saying please, thank you and sorry. It extends to sharing and behaving in a socially acceptable manner.

He will only remember it and do it; if its applicable to him. And I want him to do it because he is self motivated not externally motivated.

I want him to be genuine. There's nothing worse than getting a disingenuous apology as an adult. It sucks and it makes me feel invalidated.

The good thing on this occasion is that he genuinely wants to be heard, loved and accepted. He wants to communicate with me and others positively. And when someone is upset he knows that its not positive.

Which is why, if he asks politely for something, even if he doesn't say please I thank him for being polite and give it to him.

Imagine if you approached someone and said " would it be possible to have that put over there?" And instead of acknowledging your polite and reasonable request they said " Say please, say please or I'm not doing it for you" ...

Well, you'd say please to get what you wanted, and then you would learn to say it simply to get what you wanted. But I don't think you would learn to be genuine.

And ironically, insisting another adult say please is pretty rude in a social situation. We just don't say it to our peers. So why do we say it to our children?

Model the behaviour, praise them when they use it and teach them why so they learn to be genuine. ( rinse and repeat )

One of the other big issues I have is saying sorry.

If Boy upsets me or does something wrong I communicate why.

" Boy, you really upset me when you spoke that way. It hurt my feelings."

( and because he is 3.5 he doesn't get the implication that he should apologise, in-fact I'm glad he doesn't because one day this happened.)

" Boy you really hurt me when you threw the toy and it hit me, I feel hurt now.. ( awkward pause) ... you should say sorry.."

And then he said " I don't want to say sorry."

And I stopped .. and instead of forcing him to say sorry I said. " Ok, if it happens again you will loose the toy "

( please note: even if he apologises and says sorry there is still a consequence.. For instance: " Thank you for saying sorry, if it happens again you will loose the toy, perhaps you could do that outside so you don't hurt anyone else ")

I didn't force him to say sorry. And here's why. 10 minutes later he came up to me and he said " Mumma, you no sad, I'm sorry " and I knew he felt genuine remorse. He thought about it. And that was way more positive than forcing him to say sorry because I wanted him to.

It also taught me not to get hung up on receiving an apology to forgive. ( Hunna and I often model this behaviour in our own dealings- sometimes we need time to cool down before we can give a genuine apology. Because that's real life. )

In fact. I've over reacted about something and lost my temper, thought about it, and later apologised to Boy and he's even said " I'm sorry too Mumma"

Its the genuine positive communication, the type where he is the instigator and he uses his self motivation that makes me feel like we are raising him to be a darn real good member of society.

So I really don't give a hoot if he can't count to 59, why would he need to?

Sometimes, as a parent, there is so much pressure to make sure our children succeed by ' societal standards' that what we actually do is end up stifling their creativity, their ability to self initiate learning and their motivation to do good.


*If you want to know my philosophy on sharing, then I agree whole heartedly with that particular section in the article from Mayim Bialik.

Please note, I don't agree with everything in the article I am responding to.

*all of the above is my ( currently ) self validated opinion. Externally validated because I think I have a very patient, loving, genuine and polite son.

Which is probably partly to do with my parenting but more likely to do with the fact he's just a cool kid.


Thursday, October 17, 2013

Dear Baby

Dear Baby,

Two weeks ago I started feeling your first little jabs and now they are strong enough that even your Dadda can feel them.

^15 weeks (September 27th)

In another two weeks I find out what you are. I'm sorry if you wanted it to be a surprise. I'm just not very good at surprises.

Your Dadda thinks you are a boy and some days he thinks you are a girl. I think he can't make up his mind!

You are growing every day. I like that.

^18 weeks (October 18th)

I like the way you make my belly rounder every week and that I get to feel curvy and feminine. I don't get to feel curvy very often.

I am very happy for you to stay inside for a while longer, I don't feel bloated or sick or anything except maybe a little moody.

In fact. You've been so good to me that I only felt a little tired in the beginning.

This spring/ summer will be our last as a family of three and when Autumn comes so will you.

We are savouring every moment of it being just us three for now but we are equally excited for your arrival.


Yours truly,



Monday, October 14, 2013

DAY 12

* the cutest monthly desktop calendars can be found on Love Mae


On day 12 without him.

We finished our conversation and I text 'Love U' & he replied 'Love you' and I felt so cheap.

One tiny little word difference: YOU.

And I felt like his 'you' had hurled my 'u' into orbit.

He had spoken. It was final. He loved me.

I realised the power of words.

Words not spoken, words spoken.

Spoken so clearly, so directly, that they could not be misunderstood.

And I wished so hard that my lame little 'u' would morph into an orbit hurling 'you' too.

Because I really wanted to tell him.

Just how much I missed him.

Just how much I loved him.

Because I do love YOU dear Hunna.


You are mine and I am yours for eternity.

WE are married- not just til death- but forever. Fact.

This alone comforts me the most when we are apart so much.

Because I think that's just about the absolutely, most positively romantic thing you could ever have done for me.

When I play ' what if ' in my head and plan vastly different life scenarios where my life leads to endless riches or Nobel prizes for curing cancer.

You are always there. You take me to the alter in every new scenario just so I can kneel across from you and say " YES! Yes, yes, yes!!" over and over again.

I want to be with you forever. I love that we are together forever.

If there was a choice ( in another life scenario) of only remembering one thing and forgetting everything else; I would choose to keep the knowledge that you and me are together, forever.

Screw you death.


Also, in this scenario I would hope we'd have a special notebook and you'd patiently read it to me every week to bring me back to full cognition, even for a moment.

Except in this scenario, the knowledge we would be together forever would make the final scene - our two old dead bodies next to each other on a single nursing home bed - way more romantic and emotional.


* if you've missed my corny splurges, you'll be happy to know the Internet had finally been connected in our new home and regular blogging updates will of course now re-commence.

( I know you've been hanging out for this stuff Collette ..)