On the train again

Another train trip to the city and this is me: 🤗😄

Not exactly one’s usual reaction to a late Saturday afternoon, public transport, hour long trip, but if I’m being perfectly honest, I’ve missed the train rides. My old job meant i traveled to the city and back two or three times a week. Since changing jobs, I now drive and I’ve missed the ghastly purple vinyl seats, the quiet carriage quiet and the camaraderie of the fellow travellers (although, on Sydney’s mountains line at this time of day it’s more than likely people I don’t have much connection to: rascly young people). Oh, and there is extra excitement as it is the train, sans offspring. Its actual no-one-talking-to-me-or-touching-me bliss.

I’m on my way to meet a couple of girlfriends at a swans match, plus then I’ll be staying at my sister’s place so I don’t have the bugger of a late night trip all the way home. I managed to remember my noise canceling headphones, and thus I’m able to listen to my preferred, non-wiggles style music; and loudly:

Now, I’m off to enjoy my happy space:

Xx

Ps. GO SWANNIES 🔴⚪🔴

Filter has changed my life

Filter Coffee has changed my life.

How’s that statement for a little hyperbole? Let’s be honest though, I’m not exactly known for my understated reactions. I LOVE everything, or anything positive WELL AND TRULY CHANGED MY LIFE!!!

This morning as I walked into one of my few local haunts (oh how life has changed. The local haunt is no longer the pub), I didn’t even need to order my coffee: The barista just knew my order. It’s not that I’m at this place everyday, but he shared with me that he “remembers all of his Filter drinkers”. Previously I was a snobby Flat White or Piccolo drinker – always analysing the texture of the milk and savouring the rather full feeling a Large Flatty would impart. But, something changed and I started drinking black coffee. Long Blacks were the way, and I quite enjoyed knocking back one or two, but I never really found the same satisfaction at the end of a good cup.

Enter Grimace and his love of Filter coffee. What an influence on me he can be. Now, don’t let the stereotype of bad (American) filter coffee cloud your judgement… If you don’t mind drinking your coffee sans milk, and you have access to a barista who knows what they’re doing with decent beans, then I’d highly recommend giving it a go. It definitely helps having a barista who is an Aeropress champion, but not necessary – I even manage to punch out a decent cup, on an aeropress, using the right beans.

I’m far from an expert on the matter, not really knowing or understanding at all why the taste is so good – but, it is and it has always reminded me of a good wine or Gin: The flavours smoothly cross over the palette, finishing with a lovely desire for more.

And while there is nothing like a good mug-o-joe to sit and savour the flavour, it is also an apt time to sit and acknowledge the simple ritual of coffee. I love any chance to reflect on life and so this morning I sat down for some good old introspection. After a double school and daycare drop off, I was in desparate need of some down time. It was in this downtime that I was able to identify what has changed for me in quite a small timeframe – I’m no longer in the popular flat white crowd; I’m a memorable filter drinker. I don’t takeaway coffee as often as I used to – I’d rather sit for a pause in my day, and let the ritual play out. I’ve also found I’m no longer as reliant on coffee to get my day going – sure, it helps that the kids are a little older these days.

There have been a few big things that have changed in my life recently, things that I anticipated, things that I certainly didn’t – learning how to run and the realisation of goal setting, the loss of my mother in law and a new job being far closer to home, all encompassed by an ever-changing family dynamic with the little people discovering more and more. But, the one thing that I savour the most, is that lovely abundance of smooth flavour in the ritual of drinking my filter coffee 🙂

 

Time out for this mumma

Getting time away from daily life functions seems to get difficult as the years pass. Either the kids have something planned or there is a birthday party or another function you don’t want to miss, or perhaps more painfully, there is just that time around home that must be spent before it gets too hard if you miss spending the time to do all those boring, yet to essential chores. It seems recently though, I’ve not had a problem with missing said boring, yet essential chores.

Getting away with Grimace nearly a month ago to celebrate 10 years of wedded bliss, followed by a family adventure down to Country Victoria and now I find myself away on a weekend trip to Berry (NSW) with my besties from uni days.

I’ve found it wonderful to rediscover, or be reminded of the liberation trips can bring (particularly the type that is sans children), and the importance of stopping to reflect on the time out you’ve given yourself. I quite often give my kids a time in; you know, when they’ve acted in a way that is less than ideal. And the theory is essentially the same… time to reconnect and to calm down/address the inner turmoil. The time -in approach relies on the human contact and closeness, where as this time out approach relies heavily on the distance. Distance from housework, distance from the day -to-day planning and distance from my loved ones to reinvigorate my inner self.

Having gone for a walk this morning amongst the stunning scenery of Berry, I’m now enjoying a quiet coffee before heading out for a very civilised lunch.

I’m hoping my little foray into self indulgence will inspire freshness within and a reconnection with myself in order to be the Moody Mumma/ individual that recreates satisfaction.

Xx

The Sixth Year

Today marks a very special place in my heart. Today, six years ago Grimace and I welcomed our first-born, Giggles Magoo into the world. It’s hard to identify why the sixth birthday is significant, but after some contemplation, I think I’ve recognised that turning six well and truly means my Little Love is no longer as young as he was.

Well, duh. They get older. That’s obvious. But, there is a boundary that changes when they are six, or rather, I’ve perceived there will be a widening of the boundaries when the age of six happens and a lessening of my sphere of influence. It’s all well and good to have thoughts on these things, but when it’s playing out, it’s pretty mind-blowing to actually be celebrating a sixth birthday!

Sure, the parenting days are very different to what they were 6 years ago: toileting habits are much more independent, feeding is no longer an emotional and physical rollercoaster that drags out for hours and sleeping arrangements are FAR easier etc etc. But, each age challenges you as a person, as a parent, just that little but more. Oh what I wouldn’t do for that connection with newborn Giggles Magoo, where I was his only world – the smiles, the gurgles and the cuddles. Don’t get me wrong – It is very lovely to see my boy connect with the world around him as a child: making friends, listening intently to other adults, absorbing the every day like a sponge – I am darn proud of him. But, I realise I haven’t processed the emotional side of him leaving newborn/toddler/pre-schooler age. I suppose while all that was happening, I was busy with the other Little Love that came into our family – Little Mate, and I probably wasn’t able to give it much thought.

If you’ve not met him yet, Giggles Magoo is a force to be reckoned with – lovely and sweet, but I defy anyone that comes across his path to change his mind when he has it made up. He knows exactly what he wants (mostly…in a six-year-old context anyway) and perhaps the bigger picture isn’t his focus yet, you have your work cut out if you try to convince him any other way. He is fiercely competitive and always quick to know what is right. He is patient and gentle as well as impatient and like a whirlwind, all at the same time. He loves his little brother dearly, if not fiercely. I hope he maintains all of these traits, along with his ability to bring a lighthearted angle to any situation. Oh my, his laugh is completely infectious – when you hear it, you can’t help but laugh along with him. Giggles Magoo, what a leader you will make.

Anyway, I hope you’ll join me in celebrating my first Littlest Love – HAPPY BIRTHDAY GIGGLES MAGOO!

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Ten Years for Theverymoodyhousehold

Dear Grimace, my biggest love.

We’ve made it to ten years. Ten years ago today, we ‘tied the knot’. That goddamn priest must have been a previous boy scout or naval sailor or something, as the knot was tied good and proper and we’ve prospered together. I still remember that night, in fact the entire weekend with so much joy. I felt loved by you, by your family, my family and our wider community. I also remember feeling pride: pride for the wonderful celebration we organised; pride for knowing I was going to have you with me for the rest of forever.

We’ve achieved so much together and on our own as individuals knowing we’re fully supported by the other (better) half. We’ve made sure we acknowledged and celebrated it all. Upon reflection, I’ve decided another of our strengths has been to learn how to celebrate the things that didn’t work out, the things that weren’t quite a failure. You make me laugh, make me scream with frustration, but mostly you just make me feel complete and way less vulnerable. With you by my side I know I just need to give something a go and your support will aid my determination.

You have always encouraged me – encouraged me to be the happy and driven person. You’ve set me up with a mountain bike, a motorbike, a passion for running and walking, a passion for live music (it was you who made me listen to Camp Cope…I still remember you saying “Babe, I’ve come across this band that I think you’ll really like”. It was you who introduced me to The Bronx, to Against Me! and to a multitude of other bands that have become a big part of my music love). I always feel inspired to encourage you and I hope that you see my harassing of you as the same encouragement that you offer me. Perhaps I need to fine tune the delivery of my encouragement 🙂

Your kind, caring and gentle soul always seems to get a smile and a story out of everyone you come across. While you are a self-confessed introvert, I see the joy you get out of hearing everybody else’s story – you are fascinated by the  unique way each person will walk this world. I’m learning that your gentle soul can also be awash with ferocity when there is something that you want, or believe should be. Not ferocious in a violent way, rather a focused and resilient way and you will work hard to make it work. You are incredibly loyal and I have benefited in so many ways from you and all these wonderful traits. I’m learning that you are a direct replica of both your mother and father by emulating their approach.

Grimace, here’s to the 10 years past, and the rest we have ahead. We are reaching for the stars together with love, companionship and laughs. The tougher times seem to blur into the shinier times. Maybe it’s my predisposition to see the happier things in life, but I genuinely feel that most of our time is happiness and that is joy. I love everything about you babe xx

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Where is our autumnal weather?

The autumn months have hit our calendar, but the weather isn’t really playing along… it’s not the conventional autumn we’re used to (it’s going to be a top of 33 degrees today) and so we are full of anticipation; restless in our anticipation for when it is going to get cold, impatiently anticipating all those things that a change of season brings.

A few things have been ruffling the impatience and restlessness…When daylight savings was stopped for the season all those weeks ago, I felt a sense of relief that I must admit I’ve never felt before.  I was relieved that the season would be changing, the days shorter and the weather cooler. Yet, here we are still feeling the lack of energy only a hot day can impart.

I’m off work today with Little Mate who has unfortunately fallen foul of the flu – those with young ‘uns will know very well that sickness is the first sign of change of season. Doc confirmed an ear infection is really the cause of the miserable behaviour, and while easily treatable, I can’t help begrudge the unnecessary heat at this time of year as being the cause.

Giggles Magoo has just about finished his first full term of school (4 days to go), and quite remarkably is not ready for holidays. He has fallen into the throes of school with ease and is enjoying the ‘everyday’ of his teacher and peers. But, I do think the holidays will come and the right time to keep him feeling engaged. And us too. Grimace and I have survived the school induction and are awaiting the school holiday craziness.

So, my general theme at the moment is waiting: waiting for autumn to really appear (and for the heat to kick it down a notch), waiting for the complete change in pace that winter offers. Waiting for life to find it’s groove again.

 

 

 

Long Weekend = Family Time

Our Easter Long Weekend wasn’t so much planned – previously, we’d committed to a camping trip, but after the sudden passing of Grimace’s mother we thought it best to stay close to home and family. The thought was to not plan anything and just see how the weekend plays out, and we’d come through the other side well rested and connected. Ha. Didn’t really think that one through – as the weekend drew closer and closer, there were dreamy chats suggesting bushwalks, there was talk of house and yard work, of baking, of picnics, of play dates with friends, of concerts, of attending football matches, easter egg hunts – the weekend was ours to do as we pleased! And didn’t we just do that…actually, we just about did all of that!

Thursday was a very busy day for us, with Giggles Magoo’s first Easter Hat Parade at school plus a few other errands that I had stupidly left until the day before the long weekend. After the madness that was that day we rented Boss Baby and enjoyed an easy Thursday night to relax into the long weekend.

We’d learned that one of Grimace’s besties was in town with his little gal, so for Friday we organised a bushwalking party like no other – Gra, Grumps, Grandad, Timmy, Lucy, Grimace, Giggles Magoo, Little Mate & I made our way with what seemed like ALL of Sydney to Blackheath in the Blue Mountains National Park and we walked from Pulpit Rock to Govett’s Leap Lookout.

This is a beautiful walk to do, with views that go on for dayssssssssssssssssssss. The Pulpit Rock lookout is my lookout of choice in the mountains – you find yourself pretty much out in the glorious valley. The walk is definitely achievable for kids – just maybe take a friend, plenty of water and snacks to keep them interested. The walk is listed as 3km and hard grade, but I think it was closer to 4.5km and a medium grade (no real technical components to the trail, no large hills – grandparents and toddlers all coped just fine with it).

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Friday night was spent with Grandad by the pool for what will more than likely be the last summer swim. We BBQ’d some seafood and then watched some cricket and tried to avoid talking about the much-discussed sandpaper-treason.

Saturday saw me take an 8km run, followed by a lazy day with the boys – grocery shopping and messing things up around home. The paint was out, the cricket was in action, we bounced each other on the trampoline, we played bike races and watched the clouds blow over. I was in mummy-heaven. Laughs were a-plenty, dirtiness was key and there was much talk of brothers being best-friends.

Following on from the afternoon activities, Saturday evening included beers (for the grown ups) and more BBQ action, this time with some Moreton Bay Bugs. I gotta say, I think I adore bugs more than prawns. As I’ve grown up, my taste buds aren’t enjoying the prawns as much and I’ve found myself going for the bug option when I can. We kept it super simple, with Garlic, butter, flat parsley and pepper as the flavours, serving with an crunchy-asian slaw and a simple garden salad. Delicious! We ate this far too quickly to snap any pics, so you’ll just have to re-create it yourself for an image.

Sunday was the busiest day out of the weekend – easter bunny delivery discovery from 6am, followed by an extended family breakfast and egg hunt, running into a Royal Botanic Gardens picnic, finishing with our first Sydney Swans AFL game for the season. Needless to say, there was much tiredness that night!

Monday saw me at my most adventurous…I ran 16km with the Serotonin Running Group, heading out along the Kedumba Valley fire-trail.

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This is definitely the furthest I’ve adventured in a loooooong time, and I have to say I absolutely relished the chance to take in the views, challenge all my body parts on the 5km vertical climb out and the proud feelings I had at the completion. The best thing about it all was that I’d returned home to the boys by 10.30am and was able to enjoy a home day, getting up-to-date with some much-neglected yard and house tasks.

I think we all ended up back at school or work for a rest!

sidetracked

It’s been the most turbulent month of my life, I think. Anyway, things have started to move in a direction that I want to call forwards, but that word doesn’t seem to fit. I’ve been really looking forward to writing about my thoughts and feelings, plus the few adventures we’ve had.

So, I made myself a Gin & Tonic and thought “I’ll sit down, have a quick yarn to Grimace and then I’ll knuckle down and bang out a post, soothing my soul along the way”. Ha. Well, I drank the Gin & Tonic (double shot, I might add), spoke to Grimace and started internetting kitchen renovation designs. And 90 minutes later, here I am: an empty blog, an empty glass and an empty soul after looking through millions of perfectly designed show-room kitchens.

So, I’m awfully sorry – I’ve been sidetracked; don’t expect much more from me tonight!

Our little world is changed forever

Grief is an odd thing. It comes in many forms, and is usually unpredictable. It brings with it big feelings: enormous scary feelings of loss, change and sadness, all overlaid with an odd haziness that is hard define. Many of you know that you’ll also find it in unexpected places – these are sometimes the hardest to grasp, grabbing you in the moment and quickly reminding you of the loss you are processing.

Theverymoodyhousehold has unexpectedly said goodbye to Grimace’s mother, the boys Nanna and my Mother-in-Law. The unexpected nature of the heartache has been somewhat difficult to process, and I am in awe of Grimace’s family that have been able to to come together to form a tight, supportive and loving unit.

We held a beautiful and devastating service yesterday, attended by a startling number of people, whom she had treated only ever with kindness. The beautiful flowers and beautiful words were only fitting, to pay tribute to the beautiful woman, who previously held so much warmth, kindness and everything my boys hold dear in their Nanna.

Grimace and I made a conscious decision to keep the boys involved in all aspects of the loss and grief. They visited their Nanna in hospital, less than 12 hours before she left our world. This was a particularly hard decision for us to come to, but one we are pleased we took. Death is hard and scary, and everything you want to theoretically protect your loved ones from. But, in the end, it comes to us all – and talking with my loved ones about it will hopefully help their grief, and in turn work to help mine. By talking with the boys about Nanna and her passing away, we are navigating the grief together, and with that, we are finding the stories and memories of Nanna easier to tell; easier to remember with joy. We will keep their memory of Nanna strong, making sure they know how much she loved them, and how much she was loved by everyone.

Death is definitely a definite: perhaps, the only one in this life (after the Taxes component seems to becoming less and less definite, depending which business you own!). While I am processing the loss of our favourite Nanna, I am in awe of the mature way in which both Little Mate and Giggles Magoo are processing their grief. They have so much love for this woman who cared so deeply for them – I feel so incredibly lucky to have the memories I do of their faces lighting up when they’d previously spotted Nanna coming down the drive. This lovely woman was so incredibly dedicated to her six grandchildren, she would constantly give herself to ensure they (and their parents) were supported through their everyday.

Our lives are forever changed with the loss, however her legacy will live on – we will continue to live our life, guided by her warmth and kindness for all who come our way.

Nanna, Narelle Anne Moody (nee Hunter 14.11.1953 – 05.03.2018) –

Forever in our Hearts xx

That’s what weekends are for

Running, bushwalking, swimming, finding delicious market produce (okay, okay, and finding some dumplings too), hanging out at home, hanging out at the coffee shop, hanging out with the kids and friends at birthday parties, hanging out for dinner at the parents place, one on one puzzle time, giggles in the grass. The weekend is definitely for all these things, or rather, the weekend that is now only a memory was filled with all these things.

After a week that has included many an adult stress for Grimace and I, it was lovely to spend lots of time outdoors and with the kiddies.

I’ve begun to realise that my two are at the age now, whereby they will remember a grab or two when they’re older, or entire scenarios from this time in their life. It’s the time in their life where The Endless Summer is exactly that: long days, filled with fun things and v.e.r.y. little responsibility. The bushwalks we take together, the pool swims, the backyard cricket games – all these fun, yet entirely unplanned things will give them their warm and fuzzy summer identity.

The irony is not lost on me as I sit here writing this, it’s cold and rainy (and I’m definitely not complaining, the rain is a much-needed and a welcome change from the stifling heat and humidity we’ve been having), but the inclement weather didn’t stop us spending a fun few hours at the public swimming pool. It’s these hours that I adore as a parent – Carefree, focused on the moment as it is playing out, smiles and laughter don’t need any work (they come oh so very naturally at these times).

I probably haven’t picked the best activity as an example of a carefree parenting moment, but it’s the last activity we did so it’s clouding all my thoughts 🙂 Sure, swimming always requires that little bit more attention, however with one very capable swimmer, two parents in the water and a whole heap of kiddies around to play with, carefree and living in the moment were definitely themes from the day. Thinking about it though, swimming with kids is essentially a great activity to practise ‘being in the moment’. Your thoughts cannot wander, your focus needs to be on the activities of each kid – your own, or others close by. Sure, you can chat and play away, but at the end of the day your mind needs to be able to clear out any topics that will distract you from your responsibility. The risk is far too great.

Wow, started to get a bit lecturey and dark there, didn’t I? Thanks, introspect. In all seriousness though, finding the balance of being an organised parent, along with the ability to be carefree and live in the moment is a hard balance I’ve been working on for near on 6 years now, and I can say that the work does pay off, especially on the weekend. Afterall, they are for enjoying x