Come Again Another Day

There has been a lot of rain these last few weeks.

And at the end of the day, there’s only one thing you can do with 3 very active, rowdy, young boys bursting with energy and excitement.

You put raincoats and boots on them and take them to the park.

Liam at the Creek

This is the creek that cuts through the middle of our local park. It’s basically a water catchment for all the drain water flowing from the streets.

It’s not exactly a sparkling blue lake with meadowy aspects.

BUT it’s got flowing water, rocks, stepping stones, muddy islands, tadpoles, a waterfall, lots of trees and a narrow section of the creek where kids can jump over to get to the other side. It’s absolute heaven for little people.

Usually my husband takes the kids to the park at the end of the day.

But because he’s away at the moment, I have to do it. I irritates me a little, because I have a zillion things to do back at the house. And I have to be honest, I get very bored, standing around doing nothing, for an hour… in the cold, wet rain.

Not to mention, in winter it gets pretty dark by 5:30pm. And I feel absolutely crazy, being that irresponsible mother who lets her children play in the dark, on slippery rocks, in the pouring rain.

But, sigh, the kids love it.

They always come home wet, muddy, exhausted, smelling disgusting, but with big, wide, happy smiles on their faces.

So I always try to slow myself down and try to enjoy the moment.

Yesterday, I took this snap (above) with the camera on my phone.

Quick, scroll up to have another look!

I let my 2 year old climb the rocks by himself. He negotiated all his footsteps very carefully and made it to the waterfall’s edge.

The whole time (and every time) I watch my children play – I am at war with myself.

On one hand I think – Holy crap! That’s so dangerous! I shouldn’t be letting them do that!! What if they fall and split their head open on the rocks? Break their teeth and lose an eye? Blood will spill and it’ll be on your watch Karen.

And on the other, I’m all – Oh just chill Karen. Kids have to be kids. You can’t go around wrapping them up in cotton wool. This is what childhood is all about. Remember all the stuff I used to do when I was a kid? They’ll be fine.

And I just stand there, in the rain, tense and tormented by my own thoughts. This is one of the things I dislike about being a mother. All this constant worrying is such a drag.

Anyway. Funnily enough.

This particular day, my middle child (6yo), was perched on the OTHER SIDE of the waterfall, after I took this photo.

He took a step, slipped off a rock and PLOOP! He went in face first, straight into the lake. He was completely submerged in brown water and sludge… and re-emerged 3 seconds later, spluttering and shouting and looking like a swamp monster from outer space.

I saw everything in slow motion. And what did I do?

I laughed. I totally cracked up.

I can always rely on Sean for slapstick comedy. It completely made my evening. Just what I needed to shake me out of my own self-inflicted grumpiness.

He was a bit shocked, but thankfully he saw the funny side of it and was very cool about it in the end. Not to mention, I was all – Aww you poor baby. Did you hurt yourself? Are you cold? Let me give you my jacket.

We all walked home… wet, smelly, exhausted and very happy indeed.

Missing Dad

Missing Dad

My husband is currently away on a 3.5 week overseas trip to Scotland. He has been gone for 3 weeks… with only 5 days left before he comes back!

It’s the longest time my children have been without their dad… and they are missing him a lot. A few tears have been shed, and there’s a general low mood in the house in the evenings.

We have had lots of communication with him – phone calls, texts, emails and postcards – so that has helped a lot.

Their behaviour has been pretty much the same. Their daily routine is also the same.

If anything, my two older children (8yo and 6yo) have been doing a lot more work around the house. They help me vacuum the floor, put dishes away, put their laundry away, tidy up the outside area, tidy their rooms, and tidy up the play room at the end of every day.

I’ve been pretty strict with them. The poor kids don’t get any sweet treats (including NO HONEY on their cereal) until their jobs are done.

In turn, I give them a bit more independence (and a bit more time with their computer games).

And it’s been quite nice. It’s like having 2 young men look after me.

My youngest child is a bit clingy though. He probably understands what’s going on to a certain degree. Beyond that, he just wants to be cuddled a lot.

Missing Dad

But the biggest question everyone is asking is – “How are you coping with THREE KIDS Karen??“

Honestly, things have been going fine. I’ve been managing everything quite well. I just get on with life, really.

During the day, I’m very busy. I go out a lot, I look after my youngest kid – so it’s as if my husband was at work anyway.

After school is usually the hardest part of the day. My parents have been coming over everyday for 1 or 2 hours to help me. They bring afternoon tea, they bring makings for dinner, they bring eggs and fresh fruit, hot croissants and homemade chicken pies, they bring smiles and new stories to share. They have been an absolute blessing.

In the evenings, I help the kids with homework, I bath them, we do reading or some other activity, we clean and tidy the house.

Once the kids are in bed, I usually wash the dishes, clean the kitchen, and tackle some laundry.

After that, when the house is all quiet, I have to admit that I do get a bit lonely.

Sure it’s nice to have the whole evening to myself – to do WHATEVER I WANT. To read, to blog, to watch tv, to surf the internet til 1am in the morning…

But after a week of it… being by myself sucks.

I know myself. And I know I need some kind of emotional support and connection to keep me sane.

So on top of all this, I have been making a HUGE EFFORT (so much so, that it’s almost ridiculous) to keep my weekly schedule full and very social.

I set up play dates with girlfriends, organise girl-night-outs on the weekends, have lots of dinners with friends, manicure nights, movie nights and more. I have some big event every day, and haha it’s been great!

So with 5 days to go, I look back and try to sum up the experience…

I feel happy, tired, lonely, and very proud that I’m managing it all so well.

A Book by its Cover

A few weeks ago, my husband came home with a very old book.

It was quite possibly the oldest book I have ever seen, touched and smelt. (You don’t smell books too?)

book_edinburgh02

It was old, worn and ragged. It was very cool, like pirate’s treasure book, or some ancient spell book.

When my husband first requested the book, the librarians couldn’t find it on their shelves. And librarians don’t like that. They had to go down into one of their deep book vaults to find it.

And when they did find it, they gave it a new barcode sticker and scanned it into the computer system – for the first time in it’s existence. This book had been slowly mouldering away on a shelf, in a deep dark room, for a very long time.

book_edinburgh01

When I opened the book, on the inside, it was like new.

I thought was a bit odd. It was published in 1925, but the pages were still white, and the print still crisp.

I was amazed that the outside was so old, and yet the inside so preserved. How could that be?

And then I looked at the old fashioned “due date” stamp in the back… check out when it was last taken out and opened!

book_edinburgh03

Up to 50% off at My-Wardrobe

The other day I was talking about some clothes I bought recently, all the clothing sales (online and offline) that were popping up everywhere, and how I was wincing from the pain the temptation was causing me.

Well, behold, here’s another sale to get excited (or scared) about…

Up to 50% off at My-Wardrobe!!

I was given a special opportunity to pop over to the site… and choose a few items to review!

First up, where do I start? Everything was completely drool worthy.

My-wardrobe Haul

I looked at my own wardrobe and knew that I had lots of basics and classic pieces. So I was looking for something that made a bit of a statement.

I loved the look of this black and white Helmut Lang Maxi Skirt. I thought both the cut and the print were very cool. Suffice to say, in real life, it was very cool indeed.

Will it sound tragic if I said my heart skipped a beat when I put it on? Oh well, it’s been said. Don’t judge me. I think I just found my perfect skirt.

The print is just gorgeous. It looks dark and edgy, almost like an xray of bones. But then you look again and it looks like tropical, black and white palm leaves.

It’s made from soft, sheer jersey. It has two layers that wrap over each other on the side into a cool ruche. And I love the split! It’s like a mini skirt, with an asymmetric hem.

My-wardrobe Haul

The second item I chose was this ACNE Snakeprint Dress. It’s a racer back dress with some wide pleats at the front.

It’s such a versatile dress. It can be worn to work, to an evening function, or worn casually.

As you can see, I even tucked into some jeans, and it worked as a top. It was really lovely.

My-wardrobe Haul

And lastly, I chose an item that was very (very!) affordable, yet versatile. This ACNE Tube Dress is really one huge stretchy tube.

It can be worn as a long maxi dress, and you can probably scrunch it up and make it a mid or mini dress. But I suspect it is most useful as a slip, worn under drapey layers. As the ACNE collection contains a lot of billowy sheer dresses.

So yes, I did have a lot of fun choosing, receiving, styling, wearing and reviewing the clothes, but alas I had to return them.

I also made a list of other items I had my heart set on. Enjoy!

Up to 50% off at My-Wardrobe

And happy shopping!

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

Check out more of my favourite online shops in my Women’s Online Fashion Shopping Guide.

My Week of Smells

For the past week, I have been a bit sick, with flu like symptoms, a bad cough and no sense of smell.

Thankfully it’s all resolved, and this is me celebrating my new found ability to smell again.

My Week of Smells

The musky, rich and heady smell of rose petals.

I love the crazy, firework colours and patterns on this rose.

My Week of Smells

Hot, buttery, honey smells from homemade Anzac biscuits.

I made these for an after school snack for my kids, here’s the recipe if you’re interested.

My Week of Smells

Warm, fresh, soapy smells from the children’s bathroom.

All three of them piled into the bathtub and went crazy with the bubbles.

My Week of Smells

Slow cooked lamb stew, with fresh herbs from the garden.

It sat on the stove for 2 hours, bubbling away, filling my house with the most amazing aromas.