My youth was not wasted

Today, I’ve had a revelation. Today, I’ve begun to realise a key difference between mid-twenties me, and soon to be mid-thirties me. I’ve realised, that my youth was not wasted, and that a lack of sleep does actually hurt. You see, mid-twenties me would adventure, socialise, party it up, see millions of live bands… And then enthusiastically back up the next day with Uni, work and then in my late-twenties, parenting responsibilities. I think I thought I had a super-duper super power that made me immune to sleeping. With both youth and coffee, I COULD DO ANYTHING! 

But, you won’t be surprised to hear, it turns out I fabricated my super-power AND anti-aging properties. You see, last night after work, I met Grimace and a bunch of friends for dinner, drinks and live music. It was the best night out (particularly the best school night) I’ve for a long, long time. 

It was all laid out for an awesome evening… Little Mate and Giggles Magoo were having a sleepover with their Gra and Grumps, we were going to eat some yummy food and then see my favourite live band, The Bronx. In my mind we’d have an awesomely carefree night (we did), then I’d get home and get about 6 hours sleep and wake up ready to take on the day, with sickening zest. Then, I’d grab my usual morning coffee and enthusiastically take on the challenges that the 31st October 2017 threw at me. And I’d win. I’d beat everything, and achieve everything there was to achieve. And it would be ok, my superpowers would get me through.

I hope you’re laughing with me now 😂

After getting home about 1am, having a shower, deciding it was a great time to read social media, then finding some sort of comfort with the ringing in my ears, I fell sleep about 2am. Only to wake up at 3am, then 4am, 5am and 615am, each time startled, convinced I’d overslept.

So, my planned enthusiastic Tuesday morning went more like: 

  • Alarm, snooze, alarm, snooze, alarm, snooze, alarm, snooze, ALARM. 
  • World slowest makeup application
  • Losing of work clothes, about 27 times
  • Stumble out to kitchen for breakfast
  • Scream out of house to catch train and attempt to catch up sleep on the train (miserably failing that attempt)
  • Get my morning coffee earlier than usual (and hate myself for it later in the day when that fix ended)

It wasn’t a terrible day – it all went fairly smoothly, I wasn’t hung over, I wasn’t queasy; I was just freaking tired. And my body physically hurt. No amount of coffee could replace sleep in mid-thirties me. 

And, so I sit here thinking that maybe, just maybe it turns out I’m like every other person. I can’t maintain the energy of a twenty year old. I’m not upset at this thought, rather I’m seeing it as a chance to remember all the awesome things I was lucky enough to experience in my youth… There are so many awesome experiences, and seeing bands live on stage were always a big part of my happy memories. As inevitably happens, life’s priorities are fairly different to 33 year old me than 23 year old me, and as such I don’t get out to see too many bands at the moment. 

But, last night, Grimace and I saw The Bronx, marking 13 years that I’ve been seeing this band live. 13 freaking years! Grimace introduced me to them in 2004, and I’ve not missed an Australian Tour since. Their ability to explore the deep, dark and dirty themes in life, focusing on times when perhaps you’ve pushed the limits too far to find yourself looking into the void, or experiencing the consequences of crossing that threshold. I am drawn to the stories their songs tell. The angst, the disdain for social expectation and the release their ferocious songs play out have seen each of their five albums with an intense energy. 

The high energy, loud and at times anthemic tunes from The Bronx ensures a live performance like no other; each time I see The Bronx, their performance blows me away. And their show at Oxford Art Factory in Sydney was no exception.

Lead man Matt Caughthran is the ultimate showman – His bald head owns not only the stage, but the mosh like only a few others I’ve seen – think The Boss, Dennis Lyxzen from Refused or the lead singer of Fucked Up, (whose name escapes me at this point in time) – not staying still at any point in the performance, whipping the crowd into a frenzied exhale of stupid social norms. Punching out crowd favourites, The Bronx owned everyone in attendance last night. I even allowed myself be told how to behave (eg. Matt commanded everyone in the room to get their arms in the air – usually, I detest being told how to enjoy a show. I always think ” I’ll enjoy the show on my own terms, thank you very much, I don’t need to be told how to display my enthusiasm for the music”!) But, last night I followed his lead and felt myself mirroring his dancing, screaming and sweating.

As I sit here typing this, my train is late home meaning I’ll be late to my running class. I’ve forgotten my socks, so it means I’ll be running without them. My eyes are trying to close and I feel like my life is dishevelled. But, it is all worth it as I realise my youth was not wasted 

Slow Lane

My life is well and truly in the slow lane when all I have to write about is the toilet training of Little Mate. But as I sit here brain storming ideas on topics, I keep coming back to my weekend’s focus. And doesn’t it take all the focus!

While my slow lane is slow, Grimace on the other hand seems to have moved into the exciting Autobahn. You see, over the weekend Grimace headed south to check out the MotoGP race at Phillip Island in Victoria. While I’m stoked for him as it meant: 

(Look at how close he was, and to the starting grid too… It’s always been my favourite part of the race)

I felt a twinge of jealousy – not only was he getting three nights of uninterrupted sleep, no responsibility and some down time, it meant the early stages of Little Mate’s toilet training were all on me. I don’t know what I was all that worried about though… Little Mate has come such a long way in that department, and it’s all because I allowed him the time around home to recognise the sensation and learn what to do. 

If Grimace wasn’t away, I’m entirely positive I would have kept us busy with family or social engagements, limiting his experience to figure it out. Instead, because Grimace WAS away, and Friday was a rainy rainy day, I felt undaunted about staying indoors and close to the flushing loo/cleaning products. Staying close to home worked a treat, and the little guy seems to have figured out the basics for keeping his pants dry. 

He has even got to a point where he doesn’t want a nighttime nappy – his refusal to put one on has seen him go three nights and be (mostly) dry in the morning. He’s fairly grumpy in the morning (or during the night of he wakes) and I assume because he has an extremely full bladder. Watching him move around trying to distract himself from the fact is incredibly fun, and I’ve learnt how to gently guide him towards the bathroom to help that association. 

I forever want to remember the look of excitement/recognition/pride he gets when he makes a squeeze into the toilet. In fact, it’s that look he gives me that keeps bringing me back to blogging about his toilet training… His delicious dimple, his bright eyes and bustling little body are a happy reminder about how young he is. The innocence is completely joyous and I’m so completely pleased to be able to experience it, together with him.

If you have an interest in my approach to help Little Mate get the hang of using the toilet, I’d refer you to this site. It was actually my only reading up on toilet training and while I can’t relate to all the points made, it formed the basis for my approach.

Anyway, happy slow lane me is reporting a steady update on the toilet training aspect. Now I just have to overcome the pang of sadness I get at putting away the cloth nappies. Sob. (mostly as it means a butt-load more washing in the meantime as I stripwash then before bagging them up for storage). 

I should put a little disclaimer into this post though: Slow Lane me wasn’t all that quiet over the weekend though…I did manage the local markets, coffee dates and a picnic with some of my dearest girlfriends overlooking these beauties 😊

Toilet Days, Part II

You know there are certain things that are going to have to happen in life, despite not wanting some of these things to occur. The ineviatble will eventually happen and you’ll just have to run with it. Well, as the parent of a deliciously-wonderful two year old, I’ve been actively avoiding the internal debates about when to start him with the old toilet training.

You can understand the thoughts of putting it off right? It means my baby is well and truly growing up (avoiding those thoughts!); there’ll be more mess, more time needed to go everywhere/do anything, MORE WASHING…how can there be more I constantly ask myself. Well with all that on-board, I’m just about sure you understand my less-than-enthusiastic response to getting him all TT.

I did have a little revelation though: as Little Mate is in cloth nappies, there may actually be LESS washing. Hear me out, hear me out…Sure, I’ll be folding more and more of his adorable pants, shorts, underwear and socks…but, I won’t be doing the cloth nappy washing. That will be two entire less loads that I’ll have to do (with the exception of night-nappies…I’m not that into the power of positive thinking/sleep deprivation).

It must’ve been this revelation, coupled with some wonderful play times together that convinced me I could do anything… I must’ve been lulled into a false sense of positivity, and I forgot what toilet training actually entails: I <irrationaly> DECIDED IT WAS TIME. It was time for the wet pants, the incessant questioning and interrogating of bowel movements and the prompting of visits to the bathroom to “squeeze, wipe, flush and wash”.

He was very open to the idea at the time, and I felt encouraged. In the last few weeks he has been very interested in reading the few books we have about using the loo…Maybe that was what was lulling me into the idea that it could be a good thing… However, it turns out Little Mate is not really open to the whole ‘learning to use’ concept. Instead, I’m sure he has this strong belief that he is already a pro at the whole thing, and doesn’t actually ever need to use the loo. Refer our constant conversation:

ME: “Little Mate, it’s squeeze-o’clock, want to come with me and we’ll read a story while you sit on the toilet/potty?”
LITTLE MATE, shaking head: “No, I’m pine, I’m pine mummy” (adorably, he gets the F sound mixed up with the P sound).
ME: “Come on mate, both Giggles Magoo and I are going to visit the bathroom, come along too and you can have two stories”.
LITTLE MATE: “No mummy, I’m pine. No queeze.”
<30 seconds later, you know how it goes: wet patches>
LITTLE MATE: “NO MUMMY, don’t touch underdants!!”
ME: “But little mate, they’re wet. Lets get you in a fresh set. Come and choose the ones you want. I have some awesome dinosaur ones or a bright red pair”
LITTLE MATE: “NO!!! My underdants stay on”
(how can I refute that sort of self-determination?)

Anyway, it’s obviously still really, really early days and I could at any point just abandon the whole thing and wait until he is demanding it be done… but, what’s life without a challenge? I’m going to celebrate the fact that despite his overall general disinterest, he was dry after both his weekend day sleeps (let’s not address his refusal to then sit on the loo afterwards). 

Wish me luck – and tips! Send me your boys’ toilet training tips. Despite doing it before with Giggles Magoo (don’t worry, I don’t sport a 5 year old still in nappies), it has thus far been a VERY different experience. Giggles Magoo was sitting on the toilet from around 7 months old, and properly using it from about 20 months old. He was keen as mustard to be able to use the loo and get out of the nappy. It’s a good reminder that they are two vastly different children and have vastly different interests/ways of doing things.

Anyways, I’m on my way home from work to wash a bag-load of wet things, and just add to our internal drying station!








Well, what a difference the change in season brings. I’m sure it’s not just me either – the days are longer, the weather is far warmer, the attitudes of the general public seem lighter, the flowers are blooming and the baby animals are all cute (even those noisy myna birds).

A month or so ago, I was not enjoying August. I was snappy, impatient, focusing on the wrong things and generally all over the shop. I certainly shed a few tears, but then something wonderful happened… I somehow remembered to re-frame how I was perceiving things. Sure, it wasn’t instantaneous, I’ve had to work each day to keep the re-framing positive, but overall life is pretty bright again.

As September rolled through into October, Theverymoodyhousehold has had some clarity on school and care options for the boys in 2018, which has allowed the planner in me to start looking at how our life will take shape in the new year. I’ve been able to start inserting each of us into any plans we had and find it amazing to see the change in perspective this brings.  

Add to the mix a little self-care, and a happy summer seems imminent. I’ve recommitted to writing each day (either here or in a gratitude journal), I’ve joined a local running program and holiday plans are edging closer and closer.

Now Grimace and I just need to work a little harder on those all important date-nights. That, and Little Mate/Giggles Magoo need to work a little harder on sleeping through the night. I love their squishy little faces, but I’m not so kind at 2am when one of them inevitably runs into our room with tears about the dark. No matter what we do (night light, no night light; bathroom light, living room light, front light, torch, water bottle, cuddly toys, other toys) we just can’t seem to shake their phobia of the dark and quiet. I’ve become far more accepting of the wake ups, and whilst I wouldn’t say completely at peace, I’d say my capacity to deal with them has certainly improved over the 5 ½ years I’ve been parenting. I’ve begun to welcome the cuddles that need to occur to help the soothing process, the stroking of my arm. As Giggles Magoo has aged, he no longer needs me anywhere near as much, and inevitable Little Mate will be the same. One day, right?!

But, I’ve diverged…the weekend is on me (ha yep, I don’t work Fridays) and I’ve got a running session I need to do. Ciao x 

Toilet Times of 2017… At least with a view

Last week was the kind of week you don’t ever really desire to have. Sure, there were some happy times: dinner for a birthday celebration, we spent a couple of nights away in Manly as a family over the long weekend and I passed my Motorbike P’s test. BUT, there were some less than glamourous moments, that’s for sure. You see, both Grimace and I were struck down with the dreaded gastro bug.

I got caught out apparently bragging about my family’s good bill of health across this winter/spring period… and didn’t I get my comeuppance?! I was talking all about the changes I’ve made with the boys (focus on diet and gut health) and how it must have had a positive impact…that and the fact that our family evacuated Australia at the onset of what is documented as being one of the worst flu seasons in our modern history**. Kombucha and probiotics, I proclaimed, plus an international summer holiday, have turned the family health into something that doesn’t tear through your sick leave.

I’m currently touching all of the woods, but neither Little Mate nor Giggles Magoo picked up the disgusting little germ, and thank goodness for that! It was enough getting through the outbreak for Grimace and I, without having to reason with a 2 or a 5 year old why they should just remain as close as possible to the bathroom.

We’re mostly all recovered, but I tells ya, I do not wish the cramping hell on anyone! It wasn’t all bad I suppose though…this was my view for the first 12 hours of gastro hell:

Hope you’re all off to a good start to the week x

**(I’m sure I read that headline somewhere, but of course reference schmeference. I want to join the league of crazies on the internet that can just claim something and not have to produce any reference or documentation to support the crazy claim)

Hanging in there

Life rarely plays out how you (loosely) plan for. I envisaged a light and funny blog, exploring our life – family, adventures, feelings, music, food. Of course, that’s how it started out, but then life’s happenings happened consistently enough to distract me from producing content.

I enjoy writing these little entries, but of late I’ve shied away from writing. Whether it’s been a time factor, content factor, forgetfulness factor, busy factor or whatever; at the end of the day they are blocks for me. I’ve had a lot to write about recently, but perhaps not the concentration to type something out. 

I’m quickly turning this little blog into a promise of doing better, aren’t I? An excuse for why I haven’t been writing, closely followed by a promise at getting better. What is clear to me from these vague statements is that I do want to do it better – now just to find the winning formula to keep me coming back. 

I did have a bit of a personal win this week – I finally got around to printing a Photobook from our July holiday. And, it’s awesome. I’ve been promising myself since the 2nd July that it’s something I really need to do, so I’m publicly celebrating the achievement. Compiling all the moments caught on camera into a pictorial depiction of the trip has all the makings for intense warm and fuzzies, and of course a glass of bubbles to toast the creation! 🥂🍾

It’s the very first photobook I’ve ever made up, and secretly I’m feeling pretty proud of the outcome. I did some research and wanted to use an Australian-based company. I probably paid more, it potentially took longer, but at the end of the day, the result is a fantastic product that I’ll happily show off to anyone who is remotely interested. Maybe avoid me for the rest of the year if you’re not interested…

Now, to get onto the almost-finished blog piece, reviewing the first stop in our trip… Montreal. Maybe stay tuned, but then again, maybe don’t. Who can say?