Sunday, December 28, 2008

a relaxing christmas day

All the preparing and planning for Christmas - which was done weeks before the event - turned out to be a very good idea, as the lead up to Christmas suddenly became very busy with work.

The presents were wrapped, cards made and sent out, and spiced nuts ready to give to extended family.

And because the menu was sorted out weeks beforehand, on Christmas day I was wondering if I shouldn't be more stressed. I kept thinking that I had forgotten something.

Somewhere along the planning, I thought it was a neat idea to have a plate full of lollies. Around three days after the girls arrived, we all agreed it perhaps wasn't such a good idea after all.

On Christmas Eve, Kelly and I created a stick tree as our table centrepiece, which I think turned out quite dramatic and pretty:

On Christmas morn, it was all Hands On Deck (the girls were terrific), and despite a small concern about the mock turkey not being cooked (it was perfect), everything turned out okay. And the dessert options were awesome! My favourite was definitely the summer berry trifle (thanks Leah!).

Here's a sneak preview of a little of what we ate:

cheese, fruit & nut platter (made by Kelly)

pani di casa loaf with garlic butter (thanks Bakers Delight)

cheese croquettes with gravy

summer berry trifle (chef a'la Leah)

best ever pudding with hot custard (that's my mother-in-law for you)

Gingerbreads - yum! (thanks Kat & Heather)

Butter cookies with glaced cherries and choc chips (made by me - hubby LOVES these)

This year's present selections did well too. Kelly's shoes fit her perfectly (and she loved her new wedges); and Leah (who can be the hardest to please) liked her top. There was only one exchange, and I knew it would be touch and go - was Leah's jeans. Not too bad I reckon.

And everyone leaving after having their fill... what a lovely day of family fun times and gluttony!

comparisons on the bump

There has been a few requests for pictures of my bump - well actually, mainly from my mums... but anyway, I thought it would be interesting to compare my pregnancy with Madison, with this pregnancy.

I knew I had popped out, but I didn't realise exactly how much... here's me at 17 weeks, now and then (the one with the long hair and the bikini - yes, what WAS I thinking?).

How is it one can pop out so much? I am starting to dread that I won't be stretch mark free this time. My new mantra is: must be careful what I eat. The problems is I know I only have a few weeks before I will mostly likely be diagnosed with gestational diabetes again, and with the Christmas season, I must admit to enjoying a few too many goodies.

On further review of the pictures, I definitely like my hair shorter. Don't think I'll be wearing it that long again for a while. :-)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

our beautiful, beautiful boy

I realised it's been a while since I updated you with stories and pictures of our lovely boy.

As you may have already heard, he's quite the character, but lately he's been doing some very funny things.

One of them is during his 'sleep time'. Instead of the obvious, he can now be heard pulling every article off his bed and throwing them on the floor. My office is on the same wall as his bed, and so often I hear action (and singing), but assume he is rocking or moving about in the bed. But lately, I fear when I walk into the room, I will be making that bed all over again. Perhaps I should see it as a good thing, because it obviously tires him out to the point of falling asleep on the bed slats (because the mattress is overboard too). But that can't be comfortable.

The independence of a two year old is quite gorgeous. Because, they want to do everything, even if they can't.

So, we're about to go out in the car and I want to put his seat belt on.

"No, MINE do it!"

A few minutes later... 'Okay, Mummy do it."

There are just things he CANNOT do.

Like cut an apple with a sharp knife. Cut the cheese with a sharp knife. Do anything with a sharp knife.

But then again, there are so many things he CAN do.

Like decorate the Christmas tree (over and over again). Decorate the choc-chip cookies with choc-chips. Cut the mushrooms with the egg slicer (LOVES that job).

He's even getting quite clever with his clothes. And his arms are almost long enough to put tops over his head. Almost.

He's even been spotted helping daddy with the built-in wardrobes. Last week he was hammering nails in a block of wood. With sunglasses on. Just like daddy.

Then yesterday he was sitting at my laptop looking at the screen intently, hand on the mouse. With reading glasses on. Just like mummy.

But some of his attemps are original. For example putting himself in a Christmas sack and putting on a Christmas hat, and hopping down the hallway to show us.

Just beautiful.

Friday, December 12, 2008


It's high time I announced that we're having another baby.

Yes, a baby.

The hesitation in sharing this has mostly been due to the fact that I lost a baby almost exactly a year ago, and when that happens, you are usually more reticent to announce anything early. Just in case.

And I do confess that, now I am 16 weeks, each week becomes more and more exciting. And it feels like we will actually make it this time.

When we were pregnant with our first child, Madison, we didn't tell anyone until I was 19 weeks pregnant. But seeing that all those nether regions are all stretched, there is no way I could hide this baby beyond 12 weeks! I popped right out this time.

This baby is due on Madison's 3rd birthday. A few friends have asked me if something special happens at the end of August. Well, yes. Actually it's my husband's birthday. But please don't think that this is the only time we - you know - celebrate. But it does seem to be the time I am most fertile (the baby we lost was due at end of May too).

It's official! And it's feeling quite real now.

Have you been reticent to announce a pregnancy due to losing a baby in the past? Do tell.

Saturday, December 06, 2008


OCD. What's that you may ask? Well, it seems I have OCD written all over my body (and house), and have been in complete denial until now...

You see, last Friday I visited my hairdresser. She hasn't been my hairdresser for long, but apart from the fact that she cuts really good hair, she and I clicked. And it was this particular visit that I realised why.

We were chatting about Christmas and my ever increasing desire to put up the Christmas tree (which you will be so proud was not put up until 30 November). She told me she hated putting up and taking down the Christmas tree, to which I responded, "Why?". After all, I thought she was like me...

Then she told me that she has a little OCD problem. OCD? Yes, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, she responded. Then she proceded to tell me her Christmas story from last year.

It was in January this year when she put down her tree. Yet afterwards she couldn't sleep. That's because she put all the baubles into the Christmas tree box. You know, loose-like. She couldn't bear to think of the baubles out of order like that. So in the middle of the night, she found all the original boxes and put the baubles back in the order in which she purchased them. You know, pink, then silver, then pink, then silver. You get the picture. As she was telling me that everything had to go back exactly the way she bought it, and then put the lights back also as she bought it, she whispered to me (so none of her staff or customers could hear over the nightclub music) "It's f@$#ing sick, is what it is".

But as I giggled nervously at her frankness, you can imagine my shock and horror to think there was actually something wrong with putting the baubles back into their original boxes (in order) and folding the wires of the lights just so it looked like it was brand new. I actually hadn't thought anything of doing just that.

And then just last week I was talking with one of my oldest and dearest friends, and during our weekly chat she stated, she might sound slightly anal for doing it, but she was going to buy boxes for her Christmas decorations this year and colour code them so she could coordinate different colours combinations in the years to come.

And I thought the idea was brilliant.

But then I thought, how come these people think that simply being organised is a sin? While I think that I am slightly anally retentive, I usually relish in my organising capabilities. (And some of my friends do too!)

This same friend then challenged me to go through my cupboards and my house to see what else I do that is slightly OCD. Then take a photo.

So then I did. And here's my list:

1. There are new matching wooden coathangers in our new wardrobes (my husband's shirts are in colour order from lightest to darkest, short-sleeves to long-sleeves).

2. Our clothes are also folded in colour order (from lightest to darkest).
3. I have an 8-week meal cycle complete with rice, pasta, roast dinner and soup nights.

4. My scrapping desk is something of an art form, but everything is in matching jars.

5. My Christmas tree has only three colours on it: blue, gold, bronze.

Okay. I don't think that anything there is TOO bad. But after some comparisons with friends, I have also discovered that...

What I do not have is:

1. Alphabetically ordered herbs and spices.
2. Tins in my pantry all facing the same way.
3. Every single article of clothing ironed before it's put away.
4. Photo albums.

So, putting all those very unorganised things aside, I think I could almost say I was a balanced person.

Aren't I?

Sunday, November 02, 2008

feeling christmas a little early

I know it's October, but I am feeling the Christmas vibe right now. Inspired by my card making, it's been so much fun to create cards from scratch. And after making 20 or so cards, I was ready for a specific project.

So first job on the list was to create a Christmas card which I could duplicate for family and friends... and off I went.

And in a two-day sitting they were done. So, what next?

On Thursday, I started the Christmas shopping. Immediate family members: check. Hubby: check. Close friends: check.

Then I headed to the Myer Christmas Store and bought more baubels to go on our brand new big tree (which our eldest Kelly and I purchased just days before Christmas last year – and looked very empty last year). Needless to say I want to put it up already.

I asked a friend if it was too early to put up the tree now, and she said (ever so politely because I am sure she thinks I have gone completely nuts), it’s possible after the Christmas pageant (yes, South Aussies have one of those). So, technically I can put it up next Saturday.

But then I asked my hubby, who by the way, is MUCH too practical. He says it's way too early. His very rational reasons included the fact that Christmas would be too long a wait for our two year old... which of course is much too logical for me who just wants to do it... just because!

I am happy to wait perhaps another week or two, but I am sure I can find an excuse to put it up sooner than 1st December! Perhaps I can use the following excuses:

1. There is a lull in madness right now and to prepare for Christmas which will be REALLY busy...
2. The lounge room needs a little something extra in it, like some colour...
3. I need another creative outlet...
4. Madison is sick of playing outside (cough, cough that will NEVER happen)...
5. I need a weekend activity (like we don’t have enough of those with our built-in wardrobes needing painting, our gardening needing finishing, etc)...

I think all those excuses are way too weak. I need a really good excuse, but am failing dreadfully to come up with a real goodie.

Monday, September 22, 2008

what's in a name?

How accurate is this?

What Kym Means...

You are a seeker of knowledge, and you have learned many things in your life.
You are also a keeper of knowledge - meaning you don't spill secrets or spread gossip.

You are a free spirit, and you resent anyone who tries to fence you in.
You are unpredictable, adventurous, and always a little surprising.
You may miss out by not settling down, but you're too busy having fun to care.

You are confident, self assured, and capable. You are not easily intimidated.
You master any and all skills easily. You don't have to work hard for what you want.
You make your life out to be exactly how you want it. And you'll knock down anyone who gets in your way!

the simple things

I was just reading a friend's blog about The Simple Things. You know, playing with your children, reading them stories, spending time with your friends and family, and just hanging out with your partner.

The Simple Things have taken on a new meaning because, quite simply, the last few weeks have been pretty awful. In three weeks we have lost a very dear friend, a grandmother, three friends have been diagnosed with cancer, and a friend of ours lost his mum in a horrific car accident.

If I've learnt anything it's this: life can be gone in the blink of an eye, so enjoy The Simple Things.

I read a few years back that life is 5% joys, 5% sadness and 90% maintenance. And the more I ponder on that thought, the more I think it's pretty much 100% true. That means when cleaning, preparing for meals, cleaning the house and putting on your makeup - make it fun, make it enjoyable, and remember every moment.

Now I know that sounds a little bit mad, but if life is 90% maintenance, there is lots of time that could be wasted if you're not making the most of it.

For example, instead of running the bath every night, I've been showering more often with my baby boy. Is it better? You bet! I get to feel his silky skin against mine, hold him close, see his expressive face and watch the excitement as he gets water on his rosy cheeks. I get a chance to listen to his chatter, hear what excites him and laugh with his squeals of joy. All the with double bonus of getting clean.

Today, when I was hanging out the washing, my son was fascinated by the dragonfly sitting on a wet pair of jeans. Then he got down on his stomach across the garden path and watched the ants trailing back and forth. So I stopped and watched his fascination with a millipede, a slater, a ladybird. The Simple Things are pure heaven.

Life is too short to be busy working, cleaning and maintaining without pondering something greater or including something worthwhile in the monotony. And I certainly hope that I don't need another death or diagnosis to remember The Simple Things.

Enjoying the small stuff: taking in the views at Port Douglas; Llevella (who was diagnosed with breast cancer this week) with Xavier and Madison; Art (who lost his mum in a car accident) reading to Charlie and Madison after taking their bath together.


On the rare occasion, I get to catch up with an old school friend who has recently moved to Melbourne. We don't exactly live within five minutes of each other, so our visits are not regular I must admit. But when we do, it's like no time has passed and we talk non-stop and also to observe the dynamics between our boys. They are only a few months apart, and so are at that joyous 'sharing' stage.

Although I tried when he was a baby, Madison was not interested at all in a dummy. But as you can see after this visit, he was quite interested in trying one out. When we got home from this particular day, he said, "My Dummy, Mummy". So I scrounged around in his old baby stuff and, low and behold, found just one. So, he popped it in his mouth (upside down to top it off), and pretended to be a dummy sucking expert - for a few minutes anyway.

I'm sure the dummy has gotten 'lost' somewhere just recently. And it seems he has forgotten it for now... but I wonder what will happen at our next visit?

Above: Emerson and Madison defending the dummy title.

twins birthday bash at miniature railway

It wasn't last week, in fact it was over a month ago that we enjoyed a day at Eltham Miniature Railway. Dear friends of ours had their twin boys - William and Regan - birthday party there.

It was just so much fun - endless rides on the mini train and lots of yummy treats made by Kate, the birthday boys mum and host. To say it was a blast for the kids was an understatement. Luckily the Melbourne weather held back the rain, but it was a tad cold and windy on the day. Good thing there was plenty of sustainence by way of fairy bread and scones to keep us warm!

Above: Action shot taken on the train; my favourite boys; Jacob having the time of his life; the birthday boys ready to blow out their candles; Ruby sharing with Madison (or is that Madison just helping himself?).

Thursday, August 14, 2008

a new addiction?

My Wrapping Desk

My very first card - for my cousin's little baby girl Tilda Kelly.

My second card - for my dear friend Mish who turned 30 this week.

My third card - for my step-brother who just became a daddy for the first time. He thinks his son is the most beautiful thing on earth.

My best friend will be so proud - I think I have a scrapbooking addiction.

You see, it was she who has been working on me for around four years now. And her hard work and scrapbooking gifts have finally paid off.

But it's not really officially scrapbooking though.

Because I have other friends who are big into Wrapping Rooms - you know, rooms that are filled with pretty papers, cards, ribbons and set up like a little shop for gift wrapping. One very creative and talented friend even has a clipping on her fridge of her dream Wrapping Room - it's to die for. And I wanted a Wrapping Something. And because we aren't flush with space in our house, a desk was all I had.

Did I mention that I love wrapping paper? And if I find something I really love, I buy it. Simply because it's pretty. And these treasures lie around with no home and I don't really use them because they're not in a space where I can see them (and usually I buy something else with the gift). So it was time I became more organised.

On top of this, I find it crazy paying $5-8 for a card. Just a card. And there's nothing more personal than a hand-made one. This was my compromise to scrapbooking: creative stuff in a smaller format. And something I could justify.

So, with my new desk 'space' - a lovely old desk that my hubby lovingly crafted in our formal lounge - has been converted. Glass jars filled with ebellishments, rolls of wrapping paper bundled together, and ribbons in vases. Oh I am indeed inspired and in heaven.

Now I confess I am no natural and there may be a little way for this amateur to go before she can sell her cards for money. But I've been wanting a hobby apart from blogging, Facebook and cleaning, and this could well fill that creative gap.

I madly created two cards and two tags in one night. And that night I dreamt of all the other things I could create. Is this where the obsession starts? Is this what happens to fellow scrapbookers? It's becoming clearer what this addiction involves...

Thursday, July 31, 2008


This week has been a biggie. It was the first time I have been filmed to go on TV. Yes, TV. And what an amazing experience it was.

Six months ago my boss passed by my desk and asked if I would host a show for the upcoming Australian Project Hope series which would air in around 3-5 months time. The show was "My Story: His Story" and it's a 13-part series which will be shown on Hope Channel - a family friendly television network that spans the globe (so if you have a satellite or Foxtel you'll be able to see it).

It's not overwhelming at all to know that Hope Channel is aired in over 13 countries (including Aruba, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Norway, Nigeria, Philippines, Russia, and United States of America) while negotiations are under way for it to be free to air in the US (apparently it's quite popular over there).

So, what is it that I can enlighten you about being on TV? Perhaps I should go through it all blow by blow...

Friday, July 04, 2008

trip to adelaide

Having just returned from Adelaide got me thinking about how much fun it was.

After all I have family and friends all there (many with similar aged kids) and we all have so much fun when we get together.

It makes me wonder all those years ago why I might not have wanted to live in Adelaide again.

But I think I have actually changed my mind.

Where else can you go to a shop that sells only yoghurt; buy Spritz; shop at The Parade; and go anywhere in the city in only 20 minutes?

It's a great place. And it's been so long since I have lived there that it's now a real holiday destination. A time to rest, relax, sleep and shop (and I live in the fashion capital!).

Even Ikea isn't busy in Adelaide.

That's got to be worth something!

Above: Lovely Little Miss Kaitlyn; Madison breaks out of goal; Enjoying Pancake Sunday at step-sister Karen's place, Kate & Madison enjoying Wacky Warehouse, Enjoying uninterupted bliss thanks to Wacky Warehouse Kellie & Me

Sunday, June 22, 2008

the pay off

Just wanted to say that 'letting it all go' has paid off big time. I received a lovely letter and apology pretty much straight away.

So worth it.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

letting it all go

Sometimes I feel really great about life, and there are other times when it is just plain ho hum.

Today a 15 year old weight was lifted off my shoulders and it feels awesome.

Usually I pride myself in being someone who doesn't hold grudges and gets over stuff. But I have to admit, I've been clinging onto something I should have let go of long ago.

You see, I've been angry at someone. Angry because this person really hurt me and others who I cared about. They lied about me. And basically the friendship I thought was real, simply was not.

If I could look at my life, I could say that I feel good about most things that I have done, or I have treated people to the best of my ability. I've even "forgiven and forgotten".

But after hearing about this person from another friend (who has been absent from my life for quite some time now), I got all upset and angry all over again. And it's this fragmented friendship that sits in the back of my head unresolved and getting bitter with age.

So grumbling and getting upset about it for the most part of the day, I got on with it: washing, a pre-production meeting at the office, caught up with an old friend, grocery shopping, putting my boy down for his midday sleep, getting my work done at the home office, then the afternoon chores such as preparing dinner, preparing my son for bed and all that goes with it.

When it was all done, I lay on the couch and picked up a book I've been picking up and putting down for some time now, but just haven't finished. You could say it was timely, but the book is called "Seven Secrets for Feeling Fantastic" and the chapter I started reading was "Looking to the right things".

There it was in black and white. As I got to the subheading "Friends and Foes" I thought, this is ridiculous. I have to let this bitterness go. It has to go to God finally, and forever.

And just like that I got over it. And you know what? It feels great.

Nothing has really changed in reality, but my heart and my mind has changed. My mutual friend had given me the opportunity to contact this person, and I did it. I told her, it was okay. And despite the hurt, it's in the past.

And it really is.

Monday, June 09, 2008

our boy is two

I guess it had to happen: our boy turned two in May. And I would sound like every other mother who says how quickly the time flies, and how I can't believe he is two already.

But I AM a mother, and so will agree wholeheartedly to all the other things that mothers say too.

Some of the highlights of the past year have included being able to have great conversations with him now, giving him instructions which he now can do perfectly, and of course, the best bit where they still love you unconditionally.

Isn't it the best? And I believe it gets better as it happens for a few more years yet.

So to celebrate unconditional love and all the best bits, we had professional photos taken on the boy's birthday - which really was a milestone for more than just him. Why it's our girls' that have also made pretty important steps too - Kelly has recently turned 21, and Leah 18. Big steps for everyone.

And the photos will be there for us to remember forever this moment. And as Kelly said, "I want us to be this way forever".

Wouldn't it be nice?