For Grimace…the best theverymoodyhousehold Dad!

I ​got home from work last night to a really upset and angry Giggles Magoo (he’d had a fight with his bestie over football. Of all things). Little Mate had only slept for 30 mins after lunch, so he was a tantruming-snot filled mess. Grimace had taken the boys out of their car seats to come and meet me on the train station platform (because there is nothing more exciting than a trip in the lift), but of course due to the above 2 children factors, they were late and got onto the platform after the train had left – I was blissfully unaware that we were rendevousing on the platform (surprise!), so had sauntered on down to the car-park waiting bay. Waiting for my lift (still blissfully unaware of the chaos Grimace is enduring), I’m playing solitaire on my phone (because hello 1990’s) and over my deathly-loud headphones I hear two young children wailing. Without looking up, I think “oh that poor parent. Dinner time sucks with unhappy kids”. We all know there is nothing worse than screaming children in the evening. 

Alas, solitaire was calling – I didn’t look up to offer assistance to the poor parent. 

I feel a tug at my pants and I look down to find a screaming/snotty/somehow also smiling Little Mate there begging to be picked up. The crying kids were mine (And who said parenting couldn’t be glamorous?). 

Feeling like shit due to ridiculous amounts of sickness, all I could think was “bloody perfect”.

Enter my beau Grimace – he gets the entire family back into the car and drives us home – cool as a cucumber. He heats up Giggles Magoo’s fave dinner (Lasagne) and seems to rid all his woes. Little Mate is still screaming, still demanding all my attention. Grimace just smiles and then proceeds to take care of everything else that needs doing in the dinner/bath time/bed time routine so i could comfort the boys and heal their football-broken hearts. 

Then, once the blanket show was in full force, he made his way (in the wintery cold) to the local supermarket in order to stock me up on tissues & vitamins; made me up a tonic for my throat (apple cider vinegar) and then a smug-homemade tea (recipe from a mum-blog regaling her tales of good health due to THIS concoction…turns out, it was awesome and i feel a gazillion times better after using it again today). 

Finally, after the evening chores complete, the wife and children cared for, he sat down and opened his laptop to do an hour or so’s work. 


So, I am dedicating this blog post to my partner in crime, my cool-as-a-cucumber-in-the-face-of-adversity Main Man. Thank you Grimace for being you; thank you for your dedication to me, to the boys and to our family. You may not always feel the love or affection (although there is plenty of “affection” in those rumbles you have with the boys!), but Theverymoodyhousehold is everything with you in it. Happy Fathers Day  xx


Another weekend…another adventure 

Well, it appears Theverymoodyhousehold likes to adventure! The weekend just finished comprised of many an adventure – the beach, the city, the Manly Aquarium, Taronga Zoo, ferry trips, late nights, sunrises, new baby cuddles (albeit briefly due to Little Mate’s desire to swim), friends, Oxfam Trailwaker, olympics and lots of love. 

We’re extremely lucky to regularly have access to family accommodation around Manly, and as a parent, I’ve loved nothing more than developing our own little rituals when we stay. The days we spend around Manly and surrounds are definitely memory makers for our family of four. I almost can’t wait for the boys to throw these memories out in a reminiscing conversation once they’re older. Buy then, that’s sort of wishing the time away, isn’t it? I’m acutely aware that this apartment will form many of their happy childhood memories. 

My childhood holidays feel like they were spent singing “we all live in a yellow submarine” hurtling down the Hume Highway to spend sneaky weekend trips with family in Albury or Melbourne/surrounds (in our hideous yellow van that backfired all. the. time). Of course these memories are ones that I remember fondly, particularly all the cousin play and the car games – it just feels like we were frequently making the long drive! 

It’s the tradition of the family holiday that I love, and have certainly carried on into my adult years – always making time to take a weekends away with family and/or friends. I certainly hope to impart this with the boys, especially when we have such a wonderful tradition building around the Manly stay.

The weekend trip was planned around the Sydney Oxfam Trailwalker event – Grimace volunteered to act as support crew for a dedicated team of four. The event aim is for teams of four to complete 100km (Brooklyn to Balgowlah) through some of sydney’s most rugged bushland, whilst raising money for the amazing work Oxfam Australia does. This event is an absolute favourite of Theverymoodyhousehold, and while neither Grimace or I have competed recently, Grimace is inspirational in his passion and drive to support these amazing people. As it turns out, Team Western Motorcycles team rocked it and completed the course in a stunning 9th place (19 hours). Amazing stuff – If you’re interested you can donate to their team here or you can get along to their upcoming Roxfam show on Sep 9 in Marrickville to support their fundraising efforts (they’re aiming to reach $7500, a mean effort in itself).

I love this event with all of my heart – the concept is brilliant as it not only challenges people physically, it achieves it in such a way that the comrade rare is remembered more than the hurt the track inflicts on you (okay, so it’s been 6 years since I completed the event! Time has obvs healed all wounds!!), while raising money for my favourite charity.  I will do the event again one day (is 2017 the year? Probably not, but I’m hoping to support Grimace and his quest to participate in his fourth event) and I know this years event has added inspiration and deepened my adoration for getting out in the bush…and I didn’t even get to any checkpoints. 

While Grimace was attending to the legends that area Colin, Britta, Ian and Adam on Friday, I adventured with Giggles Magoo and Little Mate at the beach for the day – with a few visitors, of course! What’s a memory if you can’t share it with those you cherish? 

Grimace returned to us in the very early hours if saturday morning. When Giggles Magoo was sick of watching olympics (and i was sick of telling him to stay away from daddy…he was excited to hear all about trailwalker) and Grimace had caught up with a few hours sleep, we made our way to the Manly Ferry (and searched for a delicious coffee). We were headed to the city to purchase an early father’s day present (the Osprey baby carrier). Little Mate thought the ferry trip was the best thing he’s ever been able to do – so many people to smile at, so many places to explore and so many boats to wave to. 

After the excitement that was the ferry trip, Little Mate passed out in the pram – so we hit the MCA cafe for a champagne (adults)/strawberry milkshake (Giggles Magoo) brunch and a geez at the beautiful area that is The Rocks/Circular Quay/Sydney Harbour Bridge/Opera House. Highly recommend the dumplings! 

After we’d made the Osprey purchase we climbed back aboard the ferry – bound for the Manly Aquarium…and an ice cream treat.  It was the best watching the kidlets guzzle the sugary goodness of sorbet and then run wild at the aquarium. Another great spot – plenty of fish, sharks, penguins, manta rays etc etc… and it’s small enough that it’s not overwhelming.  

After the aquarium outing we were looking for an early dinner – and after a week of day-care olympics, Giggles Magoo (who had competed for Japan…Javelin champion!)  put in a special request for Japanese. We sussed out one restaurant away from the hustle and bustle of the Manly  Corso, and dined on more delicious dumplings (and Ramen). 

We’d planned a trip to Taronga Zoo for the sunday – and it definitely didn’t disappoint. The cracking weather obviously helped, particularly with Sydney as the background… it certainly is an exciting place to be! Highlights for the fam bam were pthe snakes, giraffes, chimps, gorillas, lemurs, elephants, seal show and the sky safari back up the hill.

Two very happy and tired boys…come to think of it, four very tired and satisfied people come sunday evening. 

I wonder what adventures the next weekend will have in store? Xx 

Spring is in the air

Life can be such a funny thing. A wonderful, funny thing, but it always needs to be laughed at (And I mean laughed at in a good way, not in a bitter/degrading way). 

Just like that, the waves of normality are flooding through Theverymoodyhousehold. The normal amounts of love, tears, time and clothes washing have returned…and I couldn’t be happier. Over the weekend, I found time to just “be” with the boys one on one; I found time to wash enough clothes for all of China; I found enough time to spend with one of my closest humans (and her beautiful children…at the park); I found enough time to meal plan, shop and cook meals for the week; I found enough time to chat with my Deutch-sister and my northern-Australian sister and to find out how their last few months have traveled; I found enough time to spend with my dad and revel in the laughter he causes; best of all…we found space for another TheverymoodyhouseholdADVENTURE. 

Sydney’s weather has somewhat improved since my last post, and when the weatherman (ie. The Weatherzone App) told me Sunday was going to be glorious, Grimace and I agreed to take full advantage. We have both bemoaned our current fitness level (lack thereof rather), so hitting the trail seemed the best option… activity outside on a glorious springtime day, while spending time as a family unit = winning. 

We hit the road by 830am (since children, it’s unheard of in our household on a sunday to be up and out the door pre-midday. Just impossible for some reason), grabbed a coffee from Zac at Cassiopea in Springwood and headed up the Mountain for the classic Undercliff loop walk via The Conservation Hut at Wentworth Falls. 

As a side note, You’ll all be pleased to read that I didn’t require a helicopter rescue with this walk. In fact, I didn’t even fall over! I took great delight in regaling the boys with my rescue/broken foot story from 2010 during a walk at the same location – for any of you yet to hear the story, I’ll save it for another time. Giggles Magoo has since interrogated me about why a helicopter was necessary, but I maintain its necessity. The highway patrol police officers that were despatched to carry me up the one billion stairs would also agree, I’m sure. 
Giggles Magoo wasn’t overly pleased about having to walk (his preference was to be carried – much like a king), which meant Little Mate happily sat in the carrier…anything to help set big brother off! Nonetheless, Giggles Magoo thoroughly enjoyed all 3 hours of the walk, only needing a shoulder ride up a small section of steps. 

I have distinct memories of bushwalking as a young child, and the happiness and freedom I felt being out in the wilderness; not much has changed…except my age and the walking buddies. You can imagine my satisfaction when both offspring also seem to revel in the outdoors. I read somewhere once that if you’re going to take kids walking, make sure they have a buddy of similar age – and while I agree, taking friends walking infinitely increases the distance a child can walk, (complaint free), we seem to be able to encourage Giggles Magoo to walk without too much influence.

While the walk isn’t particularly hard, it is set in a beautiful part of the world (that allows for more challenging extensions if you prefer) for a comfortable 3 hour walk (at kids pace). Our fitness levels definitely weren’t challenged, but our family dynamic hugely benefited the time. It is definitely our intention to keep bushwalking with the boys, building their tolerance to longer walks. I’m excited at the prospect of attempting The National Pass walk (one of my all-time faves to the base of Wentworth Falls and along the Jamison Valley floor) with the boys in the not too distant future, but then, here’s hoping I can actually complete the ascent, helicopter-free!

With spring in the air, the days are getting longer. Work life has been funneled back into balance (just where it should be) and I’m feeling more content as the hours pass. Xx 

A very Moody hinterland

After what feels like a chaotic first half of the year, Theverymoodyhousehold packed a bag, and migrated north for a glorious 5 days, lodging in the beautiful Springbrook National Park in the Gold Coast Hinterlands. I should clarify – when I say a bag, what I mean is approximately one thousand bags…travelling with kidlets means you must take the entire contents of your house, just in case.

With the only expectation of the time away being to reconnect as a family, our days were filled with unexpected adventures, time together and lots of cuddles.  Although the boys were still awake at the crack of dawn each day, we still had slow starts, not wanting to rush around. There was a lot of tea, toast and television (kidlets) and book reading in front of the fire (adults).

When we felt the need to find a coffee, we’d get moving for the day – on the first day however, we sadly discovered quality of coffee in Springbrook was incredibly average, so had to branch further a field, searching for THAT quality brew. Luckily, our friends in the local area introduced us to some superb cafés around Currumbin and Palm Beach. As such, we ended up heading down the mountain (45min drive) each day to make sure our holiday featured some delicious food and beverages.

Now, the weather up north was just perfection. Cool nights, followed by stunning days – the antithesis of the wet, grey and cold weather that is currently on offer. Think perfect, blue skies; warm sun, slight breeze and you’ll have us. Perfect holiday weather.

One of the bushwalks we completed was the Purling Brook round walk (4km-ish), right in the middle of Springbrook National Park. We hadn’t really planned a long walk, and as such only had limited supplies. Our initial thought had been to walk the easy 300m out to a lookout, but upon arrival at the lookout the stunning waterfall seduced us to see it’s base. Back in our days before children were on the scene, Grimace and I were lucky enough to get to Iguazu Falls in Argentina – seeing the water rush over the edge instantly reminded me of that holiday and the power that a waterfall can hold. Purling Brook waterfall was in no way similar to the size of Iguazu falls, but it was nice to be transported back to that moment in time, and the intensity of my astonishment at the sheer size of the naturally formed attraction; how insignificant our “busy” lives are in comparison to the trillions* of litres that are pushed over the edge of every single waterfall around the world, each second of the day. I am completely liberated by that concept, and standing at the bottom of the giant waterfall at Springbrook brought those feelings flooding back (see what i did there?!). I cherished the opportunity for reflection.

We were incredibly pleased we took the unplanned walk – Giggles Magoo walked over three of the four km’s and the scenery was breathtaking. It was beautifully satisfying to take on the challenge as a family and come through the other side with such lovely memories (and photos). I am determined to channel the experience and be open to more spontaneous activities when the moment allows.

A few other family outings included a visit to Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary (and the Friday night food markets conveniently right next door to the sanctuary…brilliant concept), spending time with beautiful friends and their family just taking in their relaxed vibes, beach/river/park play around Currumbin/Palm Beach and driving excursions through the countryside taking in the water and mountainous Vistas.

Our trip home turned into a “Jack and Jill” style trail- as it turns out, we were determined to leave something at each of our pitstops. From leaving the family’s entire toiletries bag at the accommodation we’d rented, to leaving a whole heap of items in the hire car, to nearly leaving a child on the plane as co-pilot (see pic below), culminating in the piėce de résistance…leaving Grimace’s work laptop at the airport security gate… of course everything has turned out for the best and what was possible to have returned has been (Giggles Magoo definitely disembarked the plane). Something tells me that we will attempt to find that trail back to the Gold Coast Hinterlands again soon.

Rconnecting as a family unit, learning new things about the boys (Little Mate and the onset of his gorgeous chit chat; Giggles Magoo and his growing self esteem), reintroducing myself to Grimace – all in a beautiful setting. I’d say it was a very beautiful, Moody hinterland xx 

* I have absolutely zero statistics or studies that prove this claim; who doesn’t love a gross exaggeration/made up stat.