Wednesday, September 11, 2013

On the couch with Dr Max

As you can only expect a thinker to do, I have been thinking about life.

I'm married to a the greatest fish in the sea, own my dream house and have a beautiful family as well as the very best friends available. I am very fortunate and am grateful for this daily. There is nowhere else I would rather be(except with all these amazing people at a ski resort where whinging doesn't make a sound, but you know what I mean). We all know that having 'everything' isn't everything... so then what is life all about? What is the point?

I like this quote...

So for me, the point of life, the next part of the journey, is to be enjoying a life jam packed full of meaningful moments.

Different things are meaningful to everyone. Pondering over values in a mindfulness course(more on this later) I came to realise that the top 6 things that I value in life(the things that bring me the biggest feeling of fulfilment and vitality) are - Family, Fun, Friendship, Inner peace, Adventure, Leisure. I like this list(as I do most lists!). I find things associated with these values meaningful. Meaningful doesn't necessarily mean happiness. I am not striving for a life filled only with the happiest moments, because that wouldn't work. You have to have the ups and the downs to appreciate the greatness of the ups. Things can be hard and even unpleasant at the same time as being meaningful and bringing fulfilment. For example, helping a family member through a tough time might be difficult, but it is meaningful. An adventure could not go to plan, be rained out or not what you expected but the adventure still brings a sense of fulfilment at the end of the day. 

Based on my values here are some goals I have made for my life right now, that if followed I feel will help me to live a meaningful life and ultimately feel a sense of fulfilment and vitality for life at the end of every day.
  • To be a happy, loving mum who makes my children feel, safe, happy, proud and confident throughout their lives. To spread happiness to my children and teach them how to love life and to power on through the ups and downs of living. 
  • To spend time with family often.  So no one can escape from anyone's craziness and we can all share the load of life together, and bask in the happiness. 
  • To always be on the look out for things to do out and about(adventures if you like!) and take them as an opportunity to spend time together with family and friends.
  • Always have a holiday planned to look forward. It could be a holiday two hours down the road, or 2 days across the world.  It could be in 2 weeks or two years. The planning and anticipation is half the fun. Doesn't matter how big or small, a holidays is so refreshing, even just to think about.
  • To spend time with my man just the two of us. Doing the things we love doing like movies and dinner at nice restaurants. To enjoy being together just as husband and wife.
  • That although I am someone who is prone to being anxious when things go askew, I plan to not ever be as knocked around by it as I have before. I will embrace these traits and use them to my advantage. After all, the caveman who imagined the noise in the bush was a lion(and not a bird) was the one who went the furthest.
  • Work in a job I enjoy. I don't aspire to be the top of the ladder or bring in big bucks. I just want to enjoy going to work and find what I do fulfilling.
  • Appreciate the little things in every day. 
  • Do something to help others. Pay it forward. You never know when you will need a stranger to help you.
I am excited about this list and look forward to filling my minutes and days and years with meaningful moments. Is this list totally lame? Yes probably. This is possibly the most cringeworthy post so far and much too warm and fuzzy for even my liking. But that could be because it really is actually warm and fuzzy realising that you have all the things you need to live your greatest life (without actually needing anything at all!).


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Meanwhile at the Mansill's

Stuff that has been happening...

My baby is not a baby anymore!

Watching fireworks with dad.

Using chopsticks!!!

Being gorgeous.

A moment of stillness. Feeling the fuzz of cuddles.

More chopstick action. The precision of a surgeon. 

School holiday antics. Three in the back.

Wow, you are a stunner Miss Mansill. xxx

3rd wedding anniversary. Our annual visit to the place of our wedding. It may be blurry but there is so much love in this photo.

Funny how girls seem to be hard wired to like this sort of stuff! Fairy cousins.

Cousin movie night.

More stillness. Note the sticker on Greg's head and the bare bottom under the fairy skirt.

2 dolls.

Over the moon to be holding a REAL baby!!! Baby Jacob.

On the slide with her baby.

I don't know about you, but we watch TV on the potty here.

That is all xxxxx

Monday, August 5, 2013

Not enough hours in the day

Whoever first said that there are not enough hours in the day was wrong. Really wrong. There is more than enough time in the day. Well at least more than enough pre-bedtime hours in the day and possibly not enough time during the night.

It is midday and so far today Evie and I have managed to watch TV, have breakfast, do puzzles, eat more breakfast, have a shower, refuse to get dressed, jump on the trampoline, read books, sing ten million nursery rhymes, take underpants on and off, on and off, on and off, scrub the kitchen floor, empty the dishwasher, stack the dishwasher, vacuum the carpets, wee on the floor, wee in the potty, watch Sesame Street, cook pizza pinwheels, reject pizza pinwheels, paint, eat the paintbrush, draw, pull the inside of the crayons out of their plastic holders, check the mail, play on the slide, play on the swing, look at flowers, play on the scooter, play with some stones, draw on the stones, do some more puzzles, play with lego, stand on a stool, watch play school, read books, cook lunch, eat lunch, clean up from lunch and finally put a toddler to sleep. I somehow managed to fit in breathing but not putting on makeup or using the bathroom.


Half way through the day and we have run a toddler entertainment marathon which hopefully results in a long rejuvenating sleep for Evie and a vodka on the rocks for me. Just kidding i'll have a wine ha ha or maybe just a tea.

This quote that mum recently sent through really rings true. "The days are long but the years are short".

I will definitely look back on the toddler days with much much happiness despite the longness of some days. Seconds after bedtime the longness is long forgotten, memories sorted and filed under fond. Any memories that I am not so fond can usually find themselves under funny...especially after a family sized block of chocolate.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Something I want you to know

Dearest darling daughter, there is something I want you to know. It's cheesy but it's true.

You can change the World.

You have the ability to change the worlds of everyone around you. A smiley face and a positive attitute is contagious. Bring the smiles to everyone's day. Being a pleasure to be around can make someone's boring day at work a lovely day, a sad day a better day, a long day a worthwhile day. A helpful hand, a listening ear and a big friendly smile all bring happiness. Spread happiness and change someone's world. Like choc chips added to a plain cookie, your attitude can make good things great.

But I hope too that you are surrounded by other people who spread happiness, because you have a smile that is too amazing not to be on display and even the smiliest of smiles needs recharging from time to time. Hunt these people down and stick together. 

Of course you might change the World in other ways too. Like being the best manicurist in town, or curing cancer, or being a hero to a classroom of 5 year olds. But that would just be a bonus because you already have what it takes to change the World.


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

An ordinary day

Even days of nothing are jam packed full of something. Ordinary days weave themselves together to make memories to be fondly remembered later. Here is a day in the life us on an ordinary day not so different to any other but completely unique at the same time.


Joy! We are woken by a little voice shouting "It's morning time!". The outrageously expensive (bought only by desperate parents) Groclock that we bought, to encourage Evie to sleep until the sun is up, has worked! Put to bed the previous night with instructions to go back to sleep until the clock displays a sun, she was now waking us with joyous announcement that the sun can be seen. I jump up(we alternate getting up early and it's my turn) to congratulate her on sleeping in, to the absolutely respectable hour of 6am and get excited about the smiley sun on the clock to show her how cool her clock is. Mr Clock we may have just fallen in love with you.

Update: Day 2 was not as successful, with a wake up at 5:30 but she stayed in bed until 6 despite her pleas to get up. I have faith in you and your powers little clock.

It's still pretty early so we snuggle on the couch to watch some Dora the Explorer. Love Foxtel for these out of the ordinary hours cartoon offerings. Evie holds my fingers while she watches, a subtle sign of love that doesn't go un-noticed.

Crazy bed hair x 2


"Shall we have breakfast now?" We head into the kitchen and prepare Evie's staple of 2 x Weetbix with frozen raspberries. While Evie eats I pack away the washing up from last night and answer the many curious 2 year old questions that float my way. "What are you doing" "What is daddy doing" "What are you doing"feature regularly. For some reason I don't find the constant questions annoying like you might expect. I love filling my curious girl with information.


Evie is finished and the washing is packed away so I sit down to eat my breakfast and drink my tea. I chop up some banana for Evie to eat at the same time to prevent her from trying to eat my breakfast, or climbing on me while I eat or trying to get me to do something else instead of eating.


7am... or close enough. Time to wake the sleeper inera up! I open the bedroom door and let the Evie alarm head on in to work her magic and sneak away to finish my cup of tea and check out what is happening on the Today Show. Greg makes his breakfast and we plod around doing random things, followed very very closely by my shadow who wants to be involved with everything I do. Do I go to the toilet alone? No way! We are team players here.


Fill the washing machine with whites, but then remember that the machine is broken. Try to fix it but water gushes out the bottom of the machine. Decide it is too hard to try and fix this right now. It's time to get dressed instead. Sneak away and close the hallway door so that I can have a shower without a surprise visit from my helper. She is sad she can't get in and I can hear her crying :(. But it is so much faster showering alone. Showering at the same time as blocking a fully clothed 2 year old from getting in OR putting things in through the shower screen is possibly the reason why 24 hour deodorant was invented. Or is it just me that doesn't shower much anymore!? Time to get Evie dressed. This involves a debate about which nappy she is going to wear today, but she quickly forgets that she hasn't been allowed to wear the requested Wiggles (night time) nappy when she realises we are going to the doctor... which for some reason causes a lot of delight.


Head to the doctors surgery for the dreaded pap smear appointment. Greg has come with us to watch Evie while I go in(don't want to traumatise Evie with the procedure, or give her any ideas of things to try at home). We drive in separate cars so he can dash off to a meeting straight afterwards. The receptionist is in love with Evie :) Super proud of her cuteness. She pretends to call Nan on the pretend phone in the waiting room.  They end up waiting outside so Evie can run around. "I am going to find Mummy" is not a fun game for a parent to play in a waiting room with lots of doors.


Traumatic appointment over. Back home for morning tea in the kitchen. Mmmmm another tea.


Evie seems a bit tired and I am too so put on a recording of Play School (Evie's favourite show). Evie watches the show while I check emails and Facebook. Relaxing. I resisted the use of television for so long, mostly because of brainwashing by perfect parent magazines that tell you that television will turn your child into a horrible person. But I have now seen the light. TV is GREAT embrace it.


Sit down to play with the Beetle game for a little while.


Playing with the Beetle games pieces has turned into eating the pieces so it's time to head out to the library. We have a really overdue book and it is story time at the library for 2-5 year olds at 10:30. Evie sits on my knee while the librarians sing songs and read the Billy Goats Gruff.  There are more stories after this but it's not that entertaining and Evie would rather walk around so we go to look at other books and randomly bump into Nan! Decide to go to Nan's house straight form library after a quick detour to the swings at the park and our house to pick up the whites out of the washing machine. Sing songs in a wildly exciting voice and give Evie something to eat to prevent her from falling asleep on the way.


Lunch at Nan and Grandads house and lots of happy playing. Lots of cuteness and singing from the sweetest voice (Evie... just in case you were wondering about Grandad). Evie is so content just playing by herself listening to the grown up conversations that are going on. She seems to switch her mumma magnet off when we leave the house. I remind myself that there will come a day when she doesn't want to play with me so to enjoy the magnet at home while it lasts.


Evie goes down for a nap an hour later than usual because Nan's house is so exciting! I am so glad she loves it so much there. I take this opportunity to head to the mall. Buy a coffee and browse the book shop.


Return home just in time for Evie to wake up so that Nan and I can walk to the school to pick Riley and Ciara from school. Riley is super cute introducing Evie to everyone as his little cousin.


Afternoon tea and more playing. Not sure where it came from but Evie has a case of the crazies! Running around being VERY energetic


Evie is getting a bit tired. Head home to hang up the washing we did during the day at Nan's. My little helper helping of course. Have a quick clean up of the house from the mornings activities while Evie helps to produce more mess for later  :)


Set Evie up at the kitchen sink to play with some dishes in the sink while I do some washing up. Cook her some scrambled eggs and keep tidying while they cool down. Greg is normally home by now but has to stay at work a bit later today.


Evie eats her dinner.


Dad's home! Just in time for bath time :) Have a debate in my head as to whether bribing Evie with a bubble bath(she has recently started to protest at bath time) will be worth the eczema it may cause. Decide that yes a bubble bath is a great idea to end our lovely day without tears. Evie trots off with Dad for a bubble bath while I check Facebook again. We may now have to either offer a bubble bath every night, stop bathing her or wear earplugs during bath time. Choose your battles wisely.


Put extra moisturiser on Evie in hopes that the bubble bath won't have dried out her eczema prone skin. Get her pyjamas on and sit on the couch to watch her night time cartoons. Love sitting with our little bundle while she drinks her milk, brushes her teeth and watches cartoons.


Dad reads Evie a story and we head off to tuck her in. She always requests that both of us come and we are suckers for love so we both go. We turn off the sun and say hello to the stars on the Groclock, reminding Evie about what they mean. We also turn on her nightlight and leave the door open because she has recently started being scared of the dark.

After a quick rendition of the parental bedtime rejoicing dance once Evie is tucked in (and that is NOT code for anything) I head off to Erin's for our weekly get together to watch the best show of all time. Offspring. I pick up some Zambreros on the way for dinner. Zoe comes too and we catch up on goss while marvelling at the attractiveness of Dr Patrick. Amazing specimen. Fortunately for me I am legally bound to a very handsome man already. Hi Greg :)


I arrive home and Ryan is at our house. He has come over to watch the basketball with Greg. We sit and talk for a while and then I decide to start writing down what I did today, before I forget.


Greg has already gone to bed so I pack everything up and hope that he has turned on my electric blanket for me.  It was a great day of ordinariness and I am ready to go to bed to recharge for the next.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Meanwhile at the Mansill's..

A bit of what's been happening around here...

A first bubble bath... not sooner due to eczema.

As snug as a bug in a rug. 

Why not do the dishes with no pants on?!

Date 'night' out to high tea. YUM.

I heart these two.

What a lady.

My favourite picture of me and Evie ever taken.

Three on Miss 2's bday.

A favourite birthday present. Trampoline so good I want to sleep on it. (note for histories sake... she is only pretending to be asleep!)

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

A lump in my throat

On the eve of my little ones 2nd birthday Greg asked me "Looking back 2 years, what would you say to yourself?" For some reason this question is almost too emotional to bare thinking about.

I know this topic is totally overwritten about on here and it might seem like i am being dramatic about something that wasn't worthy of so much drama... but it is one which has had a profound impact on me. When i became a mum my heart was sliced open and the wound left open ensuring that I experience everything in life with maximum force. A dangerously powerful vault of motherly emotions unlocked. The happiness was oh so very wonderful but there was also angst that broke my heart.

I really don't know what I would say to myself looking back 2 years. Nothing could have prepared me for the journey we went on and I think we handled it so well with no special advice from the future at all. I love that I was ready and willing to start it with the most amazing amount of positivity and willingness but get a lump in my throat thinking about the shock my eager, excited self got. I think it's so emotional now becuase I've realised that I have made it. I am flooded half by emotions of relief and proudness but also emotions of grief for the things that I lost. The birth that didn't go to plan, the breastfeeding that didn't go to plan and the early days that broke the camels back.  But although conditions were less than desirable we soldiered on and had fun, we went out, we celebrated life and made things great. It is this that I think I am most proud of, because it would have been very easy to crumble in a heap which would not have been happy to look back on. Instead we only have happy memories to look back on, with a few of unsettled babies in between. Which is how it was.

I hope that one day the lump in my throat will ease off and the sneaking in of anxiousness becomes fewer and far between, but the lessons that were learnt in those early days are ones we wouldn't want to be without. They taught us that my husband and I are the ultimate team, who did nothing but become closer. I've become more empathetic, patient, a better listener and more sympathetic of the ups and downs of people lives. The struggles made us stronger. Ready now for whatever life throws at us.

So I would have no advice to give myself looking back, because advice was not what was needed. Just the wise comforting words of someone who had been there before - to say that everything is going to be ok in the end. Soldier on.