Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The return of sunny skies...

… metaphorically speaking

So I will be the first to admit that up until 3 weeks ago, I was remarkably blas̩ about kids getting sick. I mean Рthey all gotta get sick at some point right? Build up the immunity, grow nice and strong and all that.

Our brushes with coughs and colds up til then had been mild – a sniffly nose here and there, always gone in a day or two. I think after Skyes MMR vaccination she had a mild fever for a few days, but that was all.

So I was amazingly unprepared for when it all hit here.

Sick kids? Pffft… how hard could it be?

Now I know that lots of people have REAL problems out there, and I don’t want to get all “Woe is Me” here… but you know what?


There are few miseries greater than a sick, miserable baby!

Koby’s illness quickly got worse, and another visit to the doctor confirmed Croup, along with an ear infection and a very red, inflamed (and probably sore) throat.

Armed with steroids, antibiotics and paracetamol, we settled in to wait it out. And wait, and wait.

And then either the antibiotics or the steroids game him a tummy ache… and it was hell on earth.

Seriously I felt like I was in a nightmare that would never end. Sleep deprivation on its own is torture, but sleep deprivation along with a baby who wakes every hour, wont feed, wont settle, grizzles non-stop and just wants to be constantly held, is well – umm, bloody hard work!

He was like that for nearly 2 weeks.  But on Saturday, the sun started to shine a little. Gradually the grizzling made way for smiles. The crying was replaced with giggling, and we rejoiced.By Sunday he was an absolute joy, and he gifted us with the most amazing smiles all day. I feel like he gave us a weeks worth of smiles in one day, it was just beautiful to see.

The sun is starting to shine again.

Saturday, May 12, 2012


So this week our household has been a hot mess of germs, fevers, ear infections, honking coughs and snot. Not to mention two very tired and cranky adults (and we’re also coughing up our lungs and feeling miserable too, but that’s irrelevant).

Amazingly I'm coping ok on just 2 hours sleep a night.

I shouldn’t complain I suppose, this is the first time that Skye (2.5) has ever been sick longer than a few days, and it’s the first time she’s actually felt quite ill. She didn’t get her first cold until she was well over the age of one.

Consequently, I’ve never had to contend with a sick little infant, never knew how exhausting and draining it was… until this week. Poor Koby started to cough like a barking seal on Monday, and as well as some low-grade fevers, also now has a horrible sounding rattle in his throat when he breathes. I took them both to the doc on Thursday – the verdict was that Koby has a general viral illness/cold and can only really give him paracetamol – great, we just have to wait it out. Poor Skye has a double whammy of not just the honking cough and runny nose, but also an ear infection in both ears to boot, and has to have her first ever dose of antibiotics.

Having two sick kids at once has made for a very trying week. My little Klingon baby has been stuck to me like chewing gum on the sole of your shoe – I have to be holding him, or in his direct field of vision, or there will be bloody hell to pay. And don’t even think about walking away from me mama!

 Despite all this, there have still been some good moments this week:

Big Adventures

Skye loves the Wiggles. She especially loves Jeff, and yelling out “Wake up Jeff!” whenever he falls asleep. So when we found out they were coming to town a few months ago, it was a no-brainer that we were going to go see them. A girlfriend organized the tickets so that we could all sit together (8 of us in total – 4 mums, 4 toddlers) and we even planned it that each of them would wear a wiggles “colour” so that we’d have the four mini-Wiggles. We also thought it would be heaps of fun to catch the train into the city, and make it an even bigger adventure for our little ones.

As the big day drew near, we started counting the sleeps. Unfortunately Skye was already sick by the time the big day rolled around - If it was anything BUT the Wiggles, we probably would have kept her home.

Typically on the day, everyone decided to sleep in, so it was a mad rush to get everyone bathed, dressed and out the door. Koby made our lives more complicated when he spewed in Skyes hair that morning (the perils of holding a baby whilst a toddler is sitting on your lap), so she had to have her hair washed and dried first. Because of all this, we missed the train that our friends were on! AARRGH! We caught the next one on our own and made it with heaps of time to spare.

The show was great! Skye sat with her mouth open, gaping in amazement for at least the first 5 minutes when the Wiggles came out in the Big Red Car. So cute. I was obsessed with taking photos of her reactions, hoping to capture some of her enthusiasm and wonder to show my husband when we got home. She really got into it for the first 45 mins, but then started to get a bit restless and played in the seats with her friends for the rest of the show. It’s a long time for a toddler to stay in the one spot.

After the show we got some lunch (although Skye wouldn’t eat much after chowing down on rice cakes all through the show) and then caught the train back home with our friends. The adventure wasn’t over though – a police incident at a station down the line meant that we had to get off a few stops later, board a bus, ride around on the bus to the next few train stations, and then get back on the train to get home.  All while trying to keep our over-tired and hyperactive toddlers under control - you should have seen the dirty looks we got from a couple of other frustrated commuters... I'm guessing that along with a delayed journey, they didn't appreciate having to listen to rowdy toddlers who were in desperate need of a nap!

And finally, one station before we were due to get off, Skye had a massive coughing fit, and puked up all the rice cakes she’d eaten during the show. Luckily mummy has quick reflexes and “caught” it all in my hands, while my friends scrambled for a nappy bag to dump it in, and hand me baby wipes to clean it all up… all while poor Skye was still gagging from coughing so much.

Ahh the joys – but my girl had a fantastic day, despite the yukky ending.


Oh… my… I am so addicted to Instagram. I love connecting with my friends, and getting glimpses into the lives of other people, famous or not. I love the food photos, the kids, the pets, the sunsets, the rainbows, the self portraits…

In between dealing with feverish little bodies this week, I collapse on the couch and get my Instagram fix. I think it even might be taking over my Facebook addiction.

My user name is @hilh if you want to follow my feed

A new car

We upgrade our cars pretty regularly around here. My hubby has a slight… um… addiction when it comes to cars. We think he’s got to have had close to 30 cars in his driving life. I wish I was kidding. And he’s only 36 years old.

I haven’t kept a car longer than 18 months, in the whole 13 years we’ve been together. Not by my choice either.

Anyhoo – a few weeks ago we got another car – a 4WD, and its for me. And every time I get ready to go out somewhere, I stop and think “Oh yeah, I get to drive the new car!” Nice.

And no - its not a Big Red Car, I'll leave that to the multi-coloured, skivvy-clad men below:

Wishing all the mamas out there a BIG happy Mothers Day for tomorrow - you all do a great job, and deserve a day off! 

Or at least put your feet up and relax for a bit  :D

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Mother-isms - things my mum taught me

If theres one thing I’ve learned from experience, its that you probably never FULLY appreciate your own mother, until you become a mother yourself.

Suddenly I’m having all these light-bulbs go off… these “aahaaaa!” moments. Suddenly I understand!

Please note: I mean no disrespect to the non-mums out there, what I’m trying to say is that although I loved, valued, respected and appreciated my mum all my life, until I became a mama myself, and went through all those sleepless nights, the illnesses, the toddler tantrums, the stress, the joys, the pride, the constant questioning of yourself if you’re “doing it right” etc – well, I now have a deeper level of appreciation. I suspect it will only increase as time goes by and I struggle to be a good parent during the upcoming difficult times, the school years, the teenage angst and rebellion, the constant “mums taxi and drop off service” that I’ll be providing etc for the next 20-odd years…

My own mum is a gem. She grew up in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and by all accounts was one tough cookie when she was a kid. As a mother, she has never been one to drag out that old line of “Just you wait til your father gets home”… No siree – my mum was more like “I’m dealing with this here and now!” Yep, mum was the disciplinarian at my house. And if I'd been naughty, when my dad came home from work we’d all sit at the dinner table and mum would tell dad how naughty I’d been. Then he’d sit there and say “Oh Hilary…” in such a tone of disappointment, and give me this look – honestly, it was worse than any punishment I ever got from mum LOL!! I was always more worried about disappointing my dad than any punishment my ma could dish out!

Mum loved trotting out those old familiar lines:

“You’re like a bull in a china shop!”

“Stop crying or I’ll give you something to really cry about!”

“My house, my rules! If you don’t like it, you know what to do”

“Finish your dinner, think about the starving children in Africa!”

And my own personal favourite, when mum got sick of that endless question, always spoken in that annoying, plaintive voice that kids have:

Muuuum… whats for dinner?"

She would always reply “yim yams”.

I still, to this day, do not know what a ‘yim yam’ is.

But mums can also the bearers of some amazing wisdom…

There are some things that mums teach you from an early age that you carry with you all your life. Pearls of Wisdom.  Not all of them were good ones as I remember, and a few of them had to do with going out with boys and what you should and shouldn’t do… I wont share those little gems, but my mum does have a few very handy tips.

I bring you - Lessons from my mum:

Folding washing at the line

Ok this one is probably the most useful one of the lot. Just like my own mum, I detest ironing. Well I don’t actually know anyone who loves ironing, so I guess I’m not alone there. The lesson here is that you should always fold the dry clothes while you are at the washing line – that means it takes longer to bring the washing in because you have to fold each item as soon as you unpeg it, but honestly it saves you a ton of time later on by not having to sort, fold or iron.

I have expanded on this lesson too – I have a basket each for my husband and myself (I do kids clothes separately). So as I take an item off the line, if its mine it gets folded and goes straight into my basket. If its his, it gets folded and goes straight into his basket. Then when you bring it in it’s a very simple matter of putting the already folded clothes away in the wardrobes. Or in my case, I put hubbys in neat little piles on the bed – he can put his own clothes away!

Result = very little ironing required.

Unless you’re one of those people who likes to iron everything, including underwear. I know of one person like that!

Scrunch test before buying clothes

This one kinda goes hand in hand with the previous lesson – when you are standing in a clothes shop, thinking about buying an item of clothing – do the scrunch test on it.

I cant count the number of times that I’ve witnessed my own mum do this. Always done very inconspicuously of course – almost on the sly in case someone saw her doing it… she would grab a small handful of material, scrunch it in her fist and hold it for a few seconds (and casually look in the other direction as if she's daydreaming). When you let go, if the material is really badly wrinkled, step away from the clothes rack!

Hmmm, now that I think of it, I'm beginning to think my mum REAAALLY hated ironing!

(Apologies to anyone in clothing retail who might be slightly horrified at this destruction of your carefully displayed clothes! In my defense I’ve only done it a handful of times myself, cos I usually feel a bit guilty about doing it)

Tips for selling a house

So our last real estate agent scoffed at this, and I admit its quite a strange one. But seriously, my parents were the experts at buying and selling houses when I was a kid. Of course they never actually made any money doing it, but I think I lived in about 7 different houses when I was growing up, all houses that we bought, renovated and sold.

Mums theory was that you needed to get your home smelling nice and “homely” and she thought that nothing beat the smell of beef mince and onion cooking – so whenever a potential buyer was coming around, we would conveniently be having spaghetti bolognaise for dinner. All it took was for one person to say “Mmm, that smells nice!” for her to continue doing it!

Never discuss your political preferences in public – EVER

A good rule of thumb which I still practice today. I never discuss this with anyone other than my husband.

Roast Potatoes

The best “roast” potatoes are not actually roasted in the oven at all, they’re shallow fried in the fry pan, with lots of oil so they go all crispy crunchy on the outside, and all smooshy and soft on the inside– oooooh yum…

I wonder what pearls of wisdom I will pass on to my own children?