Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Letters to Han- Day 3.


Tonight will be a quick one, I am exhausted and the internet is playing up.  We have had another fun busy day today, and it has been so hot!  34 degrees at midday today.

We headed to the Justine Clarke concert with 3 other boys and girls today which was so much fun, it took me right back to Indonesia as all the songs she sang were on the CD I used to play over and over in the car to keep Otto busy.

As usual he didn't really get into the dancing straight away but eventually warmed up and did some very dodgy uncoordinated dancing which is so much fun to watch.  We all had lunch at Southbank afterwards, he went crazy on the playground in the heat so I figured an icecream afterwards was on order.

I had so much fun with these boys today, it has been great to get out and about and have some adventures with them both.  I must say that I am really looking forward to a home day tomorrow though, it will be good for us all to have a quiet day here.

Also, Hugo needs some mat time, he is working so hard on moving around and gets off his mat so quickly now.  The frustrated squealing is non stop at the moment, I feel so bad for him but he is not far off from commando crawling so hopefully it stops soon.

We missed the markets this afternoon thanks to a big storm and lots of rain, it is always sad to not get the chance to go, but it was nice to not have to get into the car again.  Jacinta came around and we all enjoyed having another adult around to talk and play with, especially with all the rain!  Otto has developed a sixth sense for Christmas, I had hidden the cardboard tree from IKEA really well, but he found it and there was no convincing him to wait, so we got it out and started decorating.  He was so happy with the outcome, and told me there is still more work to do.  

So happy that you will be on a plane back to us soon!  Go well, we are looking forward to seeing you walk through that door.  Love you.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Letters to Han- Day 3.

Hey babe,

We had a full on day here, full of love and Christmas magic.  To say that Otto almost exploded at the idea of seeing Santa this morning doesn't even come close, we perused his "Christmas books" which are really just the junk mail while listening to Christmas music and lighting our Christmas candle in preparation for the big event.  The one problem with that is he has now decided to ask Santa for a racing boat that he saw in a catalogue and not a bike.  I hope he forgets about that soon.

Getting them dressed up was such a highlight for me, for a change Otto actually didn't mind putting clothes on and they both looked gorgeous.  I may have given them enough cause for counselling later in life but my heart almost burst from these two.

Thankfully I wasn't the only one who dressed my children in matching clothes, those two gorgeous girls also looked to die for in their dresses.  These two monkeys provided us with lots of laughs today.

I will show you the photos when you get home.  I am pretty sure we are going to see santa again, they are ok but to be honest the Indooroopilly Santa is so much better.  Mum had plans cancel tonight so took Otto overnight to her place which is as always bittersweet.  I know he has a great time, but I can't help missing him.  It did however give me a chance to go for a run, which I am so grateful for, it has been so hot that I decided to head down and run along the river, so glad I made that decision, it was glorious there.

Also, seriously sunny for Hugo as the sun went down, lucky I was prepared!

Oh I know, how much cute can you handle at once!

A few Otto pearls for you:

  • We now have sticky steak instead of tape, don't try and correct him!
  • We have Santa aerials on the headphones of the computer, Otto is able to talk directly to Santa that way.
  • I might find this funny in a few days, but earlier today I found Otto weeing in his dirty laundry hamper, according to him it was on fire and he was putting it out.  Now I have a huge amount of stinky washing to get done.
Anyway, that is a wrap for today, we have another big fun day planned for tomorrow, can't wait for another day with these two monkeys.  Love you.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Letters to Han- Day 2.

What a perfect day we have had today.  I had one of those shining motherhood days that we all dream of while we are rubbing that pregnant belly, but in actual fact are so much rarer than anyone would have you believe.

Hugo was up and down a lot overnight, pretty much every two hours but each time he nestled into the side of my neck and rubbed my back which was so sweet!  Otto slept until 6:45!!!!!  I can't remember the last time that happened, so needless to say we were all in a good mood to start the day.

We of course had our play after breakfast, and as usual Otto was naked.

Hugo was happy, and also very screechy, I am really hoping that this stage of such a high pitched noise is over soon.  I sat with him at his favourite spinning toy for ages, then realised that he was sitting there on his own, I was barely holding him at all.  

While Hugo was safe and entertained that freed me up to be Otto's newest patient, don't let that grave face fool you, apparently I will make a full recovery, just so long as I eat popcorn and apples.

Hugo went for a nap and it was brilliant, three uninterrupted hours with Otto was lovely.  We achieved so much!  

We made a simple cobbler with berries,

Otto wanted to help me iron, so after taking a good 20 minutes to convince him that he needed to at least wear underwear he ironed some tea towels.  I have to say, he was pretty good and really concentrated on the task at hand.  That might have had something to do with how I finally got him to put underwear on!  

Then this happened.  I started the Christmas floodgates!  We may not be able to put up a tree until you are home, but that doesn't mean the magic can't start yet.  I set up the portable north pole email again, you should have seen his face light up when Santa knew his name and had a photo of him.  I asked him if he would sit on Santa's knee and he promptly told me that he would kiss him so that he felt the prickles of the beard.  We shall see.

We went to swimming, Hugo is doing really well.  I am constantly surprised by how amazing babies are.  He is already learning to hold his breath when he falls into the water, which surprises me, the instructors are constantly surprised by how happy and placid he is. 

I am not sure how we got to be so lucky, two amazing children, yin and yang themselves, a reflection of us behind their eyes.

Otto decided Hugo could do with some flair.

And then the parenting miracle happened.  They both slept at the same time, Hugo had two hours (!!!!) and Otto only a short one, he stumbled out just as I was about to wake him and promptly fell back asleep on the couch.  10 seconds later he sat bolt upright and asked for TV.

We packed up and headed to IKEA, I thought for sure I had pushed the perfect day too far by doing that, but you know me, once I have an idea I have to do it right.that.second.  Otto was big enough to leave in the kids room, he was asking for it as soon as we got there but I wasn't so sure, luckily it was really empty and plenty of supervision so I thought I would try him and just check back regularly.  I shouldn't have worried, he had such a great time.

That left Hugo and I to wonder around, in peace, for a whole hour!  You couldn't keep the smile from my face, a whole freaking hour to myself in the paradise that is IKEA.  So I celebrated by taking a picture.

But then, wait for it.....................

He fell asleep, leaving me to wander the great expanse of IKEA without a care in the world, which may have led to a few incidental Christmas purchases.  

Yep, that totally came home with us.  You know you love it.

The only thing that would have made today better was seeing you at the end of it, rolling your eyes at my childlike enthusiasm for Christmas and helping me take out the rubbish.  Oh, I forgot, Otto has worked out how to use Siri on my phone, I caught him using it and listened for a while.

O: My Daddy went on an airplane.
S: I don't understand let me search the internet for you.
O: My Daddy went on an airplane.
S: I don't understand let me search the internet for you.
O: My Daddy went on an airplane.

Over, and over and over again until he just gave up.  So sweet, you are certainly never far from any of our thoughts.  We love you.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Letters to Han (day1)

Hi babe,

This morning was a sad one, Otto was most upset that you didn't need him to go on the plane with you and has continued to ask me all day when Daddy is getting home.  We had some fun though, Hugo had a good nap so we painted, played with water and he had soon forgotten that it wasn't just a regular work day.

Otto decided that he wanted to play in his room for a while and I wasn't allowed!  I was even blocked entry to his room with his bed rail.

Quiet time came around and even though he was exhausted I had such a battle on my hands, the worst part, the game of Dumbo is finally up.  Otto came out twice telling me that he had miraculously woken up, only to show me exactly how it was done.

Dumbo spent the rest of quiet time sleeping with me in the lounge room!  Oh well, we got a good fortnight out of the sleep training clock.  Otto did eventually fall asleep and Hugo had a huge two hour nap with no help from me.  When I went in to retrieve him from his cot I was rewarded with this gorgeous smile.

It was still stinking hot so off we went to the water park (of course), it was crazy busy and Otto spent a few moments with me before diving in and having a great time splashing, swimming and running around.

 Hugo did more of this!

Seriously this kid has been an angel today.

Otto had so much fun there today, and every plane that we saw was Daddy's plane, every time that Hugo cried Otto said that it was ok, Daddy would be home soon.  I also don't play anywhere near as well as Daddy before bedtime, those darn plastic shape things are not my specialty at all!

We had to have some cuddles after a bad case of "chips and noodles"  (pins and needles)  which I didn't mind one little bit.

I did some more baby gazing, while Otto tried so hard to be a bigger boy and play a complicated game with some older boys, didn't work out, he just looked like a maniac running around and laughing at them.  They were good sports though and just let him be.

I then got to be that mum leaving the park with two screaming children, one being half dragged behind me screaming that he didn't want to leave yet.  Priceless!

Day one is done, we miss you so much.  Good luck tomorrow.


Today I watched Han pack up for another week away with work.  This isn't unusual, for most of our life before children this happened regularly as we often lived apart while Han worked in remote areas of the country.  We both decided once the children came along that this would stop, and it has.  True to his word there has been no more mention of a fly in/out roster.  Travel however is an inevitable part of his role and we are lucky enough that it is infrequent.

I gave up crying over these goodbyes, and we certainly gave up airport goodbyes a long time ago.  Today was different, I watched him pack a satellite phone and two distress beacons along with the usual socks and toothpaste.  There were a few tears and final hugs.  Where he is going is dangerous, we have traveled together to dangerous countries before and not been concerned, this time though we have children, he is without me, and I am not by his side facing the challenges together, you see together, we make the perfect travel companions.  I am the yin (relaxed) to his yang (stressed).

I know he will be more than likely fine and safe, these things always work out ok.  Han's company has ensured that their safety is a priority, I have details of people to contact if I don't hear from Han within a certain time period.  I have details for bank accounts should the unlikely scenario of a hostage scenario occurs.  All our bases are covered.

Until I see and hold him again though you can be sure that there will be a few prayers said and fingers crossed.  Each day I will be writing a letter to Han here, so that even though we are in different time zones and sleep patterns he can log onto this blog and see a glimpse into what our day has looked like from this end, a small piece of our home.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Just do it.

I have always been a fit person, through school I competed in cross country running, netball, tennis and continued that throughout University, adding high intensity aerobics when I started working.

I love feeling fit, healthy and comfortable in my own skin.  After I had Otto it was harder to find the time to work out but I still managed a one hour walk once a day and that kept me feeling good enough.  With two kids at home the time to workout, or even go for a walk now that we are heading into a long hot summer is harder to find.  I have been missing it so much, especially as my figure hasn't bounced back into any sort of shape after having Hugo and the normal jiggly bits are a little too jiggly for my liking.

This week I have declared that enough is enough, Hugo wakes between 5 and 5:30 for a feed, I usually put him back in his cot until around 6 or when he calls out, and Otto sleeps until around 6, this gives me the perfect time to complete a workout on my own.  This morning I pulled on my running shoes and headed out by 5:45 to complete the C25K program.  It felt amazing, music going, a nice cool breeze and some very important time to myself, on the days of rest I am going to go for a gentle walk.

For some extra motivation I am signing myself up for this event, hopefully I will be able to complete the whole race and then spend a lovely weekend with my family by the beach.  I am excited, motivated and feeling so positive about completing this for myself.  I will be sure to keep an update on here to keep myself accountable.

Farewell jiggly bits!

Thursday, November 15, 2012


There is so much going on in our little world at the moment.  Earlier this week I left both boys at home with Han, and, coffee in hand, ventured off into the world of peak hour traffic travelers to the hospital at which I work. In a few weeks I will once again head into the recycled air, fluro lights, rubber shoes and sterile world for a few hours.

I am not thrilled.

We need me to work, not a lot, a shift a week with an extra thrown in every now and then, I should be happy.  I worked hard to earn my degree and the level of respect that is afforded to me by my colleagues.  It will be good to contribute to our household finances, maintain my professional registration, learn new skills and keep abreast of the constantly changing mode of care giving in a hospital environment.

And yet I am still not thrilled.

Some of my closest friends work hard, both inside the home with their children and running their own business, I have recently felt envious of their motivation, their desire, to do more, and more, and more.  Sure, they are stressed, tired, and at times overwhelmed by all the responsibility, and yet, the passion for their chosen path is clear.  I lack that passion.

Not to say that I lack passion for life, or my life in particular, nothing could be further from the truth.  I am passionate about many things, but walking into a hospital setting just doesn't seem to evoke anything within me.  I could easily change my career, go back to university and study again, but what would I study?  I have always wanted to be a nurse, I have been passionate about the diverse roles I have held throughout my career but those roles are currently out of reach for me as I prefer to be at home with Otto and Hugo during the day and work at night while I can.

I am still continually surprised by the amount of people who ask me what I do for work, while wrangling an infant and toddler somewhere, I am pretty sure that mothering is the hardest work I have ever done, and yet, there is a constant expectation, that there is more, of what I don't know to be had outside of our home environment.  That my worth, as a person, wife, mother, is measured by my ability to juggle home and work life seamlessly.

There is no point to this rambling post, I don't want to go back to work, I adore (mostly) my home life with my children and taking care of my family each day, even if it is as simple as washing, cleaning and cooking.  I am passionate about providing an environment where all members thrive, but does that make me old fashioned, dependent and not valued in today's society?

I read articles like this one and feel offended by the authors view of my life, and yet at the same time sad that she must feel the need to be so judgmental of a group of society trying our best to share our lives, improve our lives and those around us.  Instead of taking the opportunity to learn and have an understanding, the author admits to having a preconceived idea of the world according to "mummy bloggers" and takes no time labeling that world as inconsequential.  She must feel more of a woman now that she tackles the glass ceiling and writes challenging columns.

I don't expect people to stop judging each-other, we need judgment, it keeps us in check and motivated to do more in our own lives.  I would like to see, however, that if an invitation into someone else's life is offered that we accept it as an opportunity to see how they live, what is important and of worth to them, not to imagine living it ourselves, only then, will appreciation for choices be fully understood.

One random morning.

Just found this is in my drafts, no idea why I haven't posted it until now.  It is a few weeks old, reminds me I must make slime with Otto again soon.

This household was hit hard by a virus last week, I had both children at the doctors multiple times as well as Hugo's first visit to emergency.  To say I am tired won't even cut it, I am physically, mentally and emotionally drained of everything I have, how melodramatic does that sound!?!  This sickness has coincided with some challenging behaviour from both boys.  Hugo needs to be held almost constantly, or at least be no further than 5cm away from me, and Otto is testing his independence, a lot.

One morning when Hugo actually slept for a while I got a few activities ready for Otto so we could have some fun together.  Neither of the activities lasted for too long but it was lovely to spend some time with Otto during such a hard week and enjoy ourselves.

First up was slime.  I have never made it, I know, what mother of a 3 year old boy hasn't made slime!  We really enjoyed making it in two different bowls and mixing them together.

I really thought making slime was much harder than it turned out to be, although I recommend taking it outside, blue food colouring ended up everywhere.

These instructions below are from
  1. Pour the glue into the jar. If you have a big bottle of glue, you want 4 oz or 1/2 cup of glue.
  2. Fill the empty glue bottle with water and stir it into the glue (or add 1/2 cup of water).
  3. If desired, add food coloring. Otherwise, the slime will be an opaque white.
  4. In a separate, mix one cup (240 ml) of water into the bowl and add 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of borax powder.
  5. Slowly stir the glue mixture into the bowl of borax solution.
  6. Place the slime that forms into your hands and knead until it feels dry. (Don't worry about the excess water remaining in the bowl.)
  7. The more the slime is played with, the firmer and less sticky it will become.
  8. Have fun!
  9. Store your slime in a zip-lock bag in the fridge (otherwise it will develop mold).


  1. Use white glue, such as Elmer's brand. Most 'school glues' do not have the correct composition.
  2. Don't eat the slime - it isn't especially toxic, but not good for you either!
  3. Slime cleans up pretty easily. Remove dried slime after soaking with water.

What You Need

  • borax powder
  • water
  • 4 ounce (120 ml) glue (e.g., Elmer's white glue)
  • teaspoon
  • bowl
  • jar or measuring cup
  • food coloring (optional)
  • measuring cup

Give it a go when you have time!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A brothers love.

It has been interesting watching the relationship between Otto and Hugo develop.  It is easy to say now that there is a lovely, powerful, mutual love between the two of them, one that I hope continues with them throughout their lives.

A sibling's love is unlike any other and I am thrilled to be able to watch Otto and Hugo experience it, although I imagine theirs will have less hair pulling than my sister and I, but maybe more wrestling?  Who knows, this boy world is brand new to me, I am sure it will soon become apparent though.

scraping barrels.

I feel like I am scraping the bottle of the barrel.  My patience and sense of humour have all been used up, but boy I hope they come back soon.

I feel blessed each day with what I have been given, and I understand that these are first world problems, I have a roof over my head, ample food and freedom, and yet. this morning I found myself day dreaming of running away.

My gorgeous smiley happy Hugo has decided that he will only fall asleep while screaming, in my ear, in the cot, in the pram, it doesn't matter, and I have tried everything to make it stop.  What is worse is that every 20min he is waking up screaming again, and we start the whole process once again so that this sweet little one can get some rest.  I am beyond tired, sick of being screamed at, constantly trying to settle a baby while simultaneously keep a three year old occupied.

Otto has decided that bedtime should also be a battleground.  Regardless of whether he naps or not I am starting to dread 7:30.  He calls out, makes up every excuse under the sun to have me stay with him and can make an hour feel like a lifetime.  After a full day of attending to each child's needs I have no patience left.  I have been giving him extra attention during the day to ensure that he isn't feeling left out while Hugo is struggling with sleep so much, yet it doesn't make any difference.

I found myself today at the playground, trying to juggle getting Hugo to have a little sleep to catch up from his early wake up and playing with Otto, suddenly, with no warning hot, fat, tears were falling from my cheeks.  It only took a moment, a quick look at Otto's thrilled face and a glance at Hugo smiling back at me to wipe them away and carry on, but I will heed their warning, I am exhausted.  No one can mother well while they are exhausted, time to take some time to look after me.

Monday, November 5, 2012

5 Months.

Our lovely Hugo is marching through these monthly updates much to fast for my liking.

5 months with our cheerful, delightful contented little man.  This month was our most challenging in terms of sleep, he just wasn't interested, day or night in shutting those little peepers which had me exhausted.  And also slightly cranky.

Fingers crossed, touching wood and anything else superstitious, but we seem to have jumped that hurdle and the sleep fairies are once again with us.

The biggest milestone was rolling over, oh the frustration of a baby learning these things for the first time is simultaneously hilarious, and heart wrenching.  Hugo has taken to try and surprise himself with attempting a roll.  He stays perfectly still and then in one big jump launches himself to his side, only to be stuck again by one arm that just refuses to behave.  Over the month it has become much more fluid and he has really got the hang of it.

Our other milestone was commencing solids, if there was any doubt that he was ready it was quickly forgotten once he started grabbing the spoon from me and shoving it in his mouth!

As always it has been a pleasure (even a sleepless pleasure) to spend another month basking in this gorgeous little boys life.  I am currently in denial that next month he is halfway to one.