The frustration of it all

It can be incredibly frustrating when things don’t work as you anticipate they will. Think technology, social routine or function; nobody wins when shit doesn’t work as it should. I’m sitting here on my (late) train ride home and I can’t get my internet connection to work…it was working this morning, and works EVERY OTHER AFTERNOON, so why not now? I’m sure there is a perfectly reasonable reason for this (why else would it be reasonable), more than likely user-error, but, the overall experience is one of frustration. 

I am on the verge of a very long christmas break – a sneaky trip to Melbourne for an extended family pre-christmas party, followed by a couple of days of work, followed by the ultimate: weeks and weeks to spend with my darlings. But, as I sit here thinking about all the things I should be packing for our trip to Melbourne City or all the christmas tasks I need to achieve before the magical day, I am sitting here trying to make technology work. 

Actually, I’ve all but given up on it and thought I’d write about it instead, as I think the frustration of things is a common theme at this time of year… children don’t act like they normally do (thank you to all the social and celebratory commitments the time of year inevitably brings), society seems to be largely stressed and freaking about the inevitable end of the world on 25th December (or is the 26th December?) and then there is the instabilty the weather seems to offer…is it going to about one billion degrees, will it be rainy and stormy, or will it bizarrely drop to a wintery-like coolness (despite the ridiculous humidity). 
All in all, this time of year is C.R.A.Z.Y. Like, batshit crazy. It can be incredibly furstrating the amount of meaning that can be placed on this time of year – at the end of the day, family and friends should be the focus. By definition, family and friends will probably completely understand if you choose to live under a rock for the entire period, only peeping out to see the sun for a moment before retreating into your hovel; your friends/family can (hopefully) probably see the pressure you’ve been under and can see the frustration starting to amass and spill over…so at a guess, I’m going to say that if you aren’t the best company ever, you’re in the clear… 

Well, that was cathartic, wasn’t it!? I guess what I’m trying to say in a round-about kind of way is (thanks to the frustration of technology not working the way it should!!!!), I hope you too have managed to regather some perspective/focus and remember that this time of year is about spending time with those that you love, so don’t let the craziness and frustration of the season sour that. 

If you can, try and re-frame – think about the exctitement that builds to the end of year; the break from the full on moments the day-to-day routine can inflict. I love the anticipation of fun times ahead; the thought of Christmas Pudding (many thanks to my mum and the annual Pudding Day she attends), the idea of seeing my children revel in the love the end of year offers.  

As i sit here typing, i think my tablet has taken offence…the bloody snap-on keyboard has stopped working! I’ve decided this maybe a sign I should just quit typing and get lost in my romantic notions of the end of year (that, and the smith street band). Sleep well x

 Swimming Hole Adventures

I have always loved summer, particularly December. The heat is becoming unbearable, the anticipation of a swim is intoxicating. Christmas and all the end of year celebrations are in full swing, and it’s my birthday. How could I not love it?  This time last year however, Little Mate was 7 months old-ish and due to an unfortunate infection, I found our summer disappear very quickly inbetween visits to the hospital, doctors and other medical professionals. He was really very unwell for a period of time; we were incredibly fortunate for everything to turn out for the best. But, it meant the endless summer indeed felt endless, just not in that “I Love Summer” way…more in the Groundhog “will this ever get better/end” way. There were limited visits to swimming holes, only a few summer activities experienced for fear of re-infection or having to re-dress the wound.

the boys helping to get the house set for Christmas 2015. You can see the bandages Little Mate is sporting to help fight the infection

I was an anxious mumma, trying really hard to help my youngest son get on top of the infection. It meant losing the fun summer memories and focusing on somewhat more important things. This summer has started not in the style I’d wanted, either. Cue the sympathy, please – ha yep, shall i hashtag it #Firstworldproblems ? I’m still working full time, so it means weekends are spent washing, grocery shopping, prepping for the week ahead and of course, spending as much time with the kids as possible.  

In an effort to make more out of summer this time around, Grimace and I decided to take action. We packed a day bag, bundled the kids in the car and made our dash to the coffee shop. Ha. Got you. I cannot function of a Sunday morning (any morning for that matter) without the delicious brew… but you know that. 

After getting our takeaways, we made our way to Glenbrook National Park and took the long dirt road to our secret (ha, not so secret) walk that drops you in at Kanuka Brook swimming hole (also known as Crayfish rockpools due to the abundance of what I can only assume is crayfish). This walk is one of our favourites – only 1.8km return, there is a reasonable a hike down to the swimming hole, including some old fashioned srambling and bouldering. It’s fun! We really challened Giggles Magoo as there is no way in hell I am carrying him down or up. I’ve recently had a few visits to the physio and osteo due to tight hammies, butt muscles and sore lower back…I am not about to carry my offspring up or down the hill. Heartless, I know. 

Sunday was HOT. I don’t care for official temps…all I can say is it was hot and humid. One of those days where you can’t walk on the bitumen in barefeet as it will burn, burn, burn. So, we were probs taking a gamble in doing a steep walk with Giggles Magoo – there were bound to be tears and protests; but alas we didn’t let those negative thoughts stop us. Little Mate started the walk, and seemed to cope well with a few obstacles but after a hundred-or-so metres, he asked to be picked up…I agreed, and put him straight into the Osprey pack on Grimace’s back. Well, wouldn’t you know it, the world was surely going to end. Little Mate made sure that Grimace was well aware that he didn’t want to be carried in the pack, and more so, by him. Much to Grimace’s patience and deciation to the kidlets, he powered on down the hill with a screaming Little Mate in tow. 

I however, had a delightful walk down with Giggles Magoo. He has recently engaged in a Bush Kindy concept at his day care centre, and he was pointing out all the fascinating things a bush walk entails. Flowers, trees, ants, birds, rocks, seeds etc. It took much longer to get down, but I relished spending the one-on-one time with him, helping to drown out the sorrow ahead from Little Mate (and the mother guilt that I was definitely feeling). Chatting away, giving all the more insight into the growing mind of a four year old. He handled himself very well down some of the more steep scrambling sections, and I could see his confidence in his own capability growing nicely. 

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Eventually, Giggles Magoo and I caught up to Grimace and Little Mate. We all made our way to the little lookout overlooking the amazing swimming hole, and then down to the little sandy beach for a paddle. We snacked and paddled, and paddled and snacked and thoroughly enjoyed being the only four people in what I’ve called paradise. 

Have a geez of the pics below, and you’ll see why. 

After losing ourselves in paradise for some unknown amount of time, I remembered a 5 year old birthday party that Giggles Magoo was attending that afternoon…and we hot-footed it outta there. Back up the hill, in the scorching heat that is on offer through the middle of the day. Giggles Magoo impressed me no end – sure, we weren’t walking at any break-neck speed, and even though I kept promising a rock shelter to sit down and rest “isn’t far off”, he did not kick up a stink when we reached said-rock shelter and couldn’t stay long as he’d hoped there was a few wasps hanging around. He almost looked like he was going to fall asleep while walking…and he did fall asleep almost immediately when he hit the car. I made sure we took the time to recognise the effort he had put in;  by him keeping on having a go, with his hard work (when he really didn’t think we could), he could achieve great things…his determination can take him far. He beamed with pride when he realised he had done the walk all by himself. 

I’m pleased we took the time on Sunday to do the walk – we just as easily not done it, and then slowly but surely, probably see our summer disappear (again). 

a few of the treasures the boys found for me


crayfish rock pools, glenbrook national park