Tuesday, 31 January 2012

WAY too organised!

You know how the Big Fella is working 7 hours away from where we live?  The plan is to move there with him as soon as he's able to get housing through his workplace (rent is exorbitant up there, which is why we're not all up there already).  At this stage our best guess is that will be the end of March at the earliest, but possibly up to 4 months still.

On Saturday my parents moved house.  They only moved within the same suburb but they were basically fully unpacked by the time I spoke to Mum on Sunday afternoon.  Until I moved out of home our family moved, on average, every 2nd year so you could say we've had a little bit of practice.

So, in my naturally organised way, I have already started sorting everything out.  All the cupboards now hold only the things we'll be keeping and want to take with us.  There's a big pile of stuff downstairs that needs to go to Vinnies (unless anyone wants to come and take some off our hands???), but that's a task for when the Little Big Fella's at daycare.  I still need to tackle the toy room and my drawer full of ribbons, but everything else is ready to go in boxes as soon as we've got a green light!

I also have a cleaning list.  One room each week; clean the ceiling and light fittings, windows and blinds and as much of the walls as possible.  I've recently defrosted the freezers (VERY good way to cool down on a hot day is to defrost the deep freeze!), and cleaned under the fridge and oven.  Lots of the shelves around the place have baking paper on them so they'll just need to be put in the bin and the shelves wiped down.

Add to this our rather busy couple of months coming up.

My best friend is visiting in a week.  When she leaves we're heading to the Big Fella's parents' holiday house to hang out with them.  March is almost every birthday in the family, including the Little Big Fella's.

I've decided to do a Cars theme for the Little Big Fella's birthday.  I've already created the invites (Ticketek tickets that look AWESOME).  I'm going to make little cardboard box cars for each of the kids (about 10 I think) for them to race in.  I saw these awesome ones from another blog http://bktribe.blogspot.com.au/2011/11/disney-cars-birthday-party.html so I'm going to attempt a basic version of those.  I've done my first trial and it was actually pretty easy.  Unfortunately the box is a little small for my not-so-Little Big Fella, but I think some of the other kids will fit in it.

I'm going to do as much of the bits and pieces shopping as I can this week and I'm trying to get it all ready so that it's easy when I'm in the middle of packing and cleaning.  I've got lists and lists of lists.  So I'm WAY organised!

Now to actually do it! ;-)

Sunday, 29 January 2012

To be continued...

I've been a little absent from blogging this week.  The main reason is it's been a not so great week.  Ho-hum was followed by terrible, then more ho-hum and some more terrible.  It could have been worse, but it certainly wasn't pretty!  Finally today I feel basically back to normal.

I'm not entirely sure what caused me to be down in the dumps so much this week.  I know hormones were a factor.  And the Big Fella being away didn't help when I had a few issues with the Little Big Fella.  And, I know it shouldn't, but rain and grey skys all week really does affect me.  A little bit of sunshine every couple of days is entirely necessary in my life!

One of the main reasons I started blogging was to help me focus on the good things in my life, and to try to find ways to lift myself out of the dumps when I get myself in them.  None of that worked this week!

And let me tell you, I tried and I tried and I tried but it didn't work for me at all!

Which leads me to wonder if there's anything that I can do when I get in this kind of cycle, or do I just have to let it run its course?  I'm hoping the latter isn't the case, but I haven't found my answer/s yet.

I guess that means this blog continues!

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Ho hum?

I often find that when the Big Fella goes back to work, 7 hours away, that the first day or so I get really down.  The Little Big Fella tends to be an extra handful as well.  Add that to a bit of wet weather and you can say that the start of this week has been...

actually, just ho hum!

Which is kind of exciting in a weird kind of way.

I'm not really down.  Yay!

Ho hum is okay.  Ho hum is just... a bit bored, a bit uninspired, a bit less-than-excited.  Woo hoo!  I'm not depressed, or kicking myself about my terrible parenting skills (I know, they're not that bad!  But some days they feel seriously lacking), or berating myself for not being productive enough.

This is good!

I wonder if this little happiness project of mine is the cause of this less-than-down-ness?  If so, thanks everyone!  Thanks for reading and encouraging me to keep writing all this nonsense down :-D  If you didn't read it, I probably would have given up on it by now (even though I didn't start out with the expectation that anyone would read it).

And realising that I'm just ho hum, has actually made me feel happy!  This is awesome!

Who would have thought that writing down some stuff you're grateful for could be a renewal of life?  A bit of gratefulness here, a decision to try to be happy there, attempting to re-learn a language long forgotten (did I mention I've switched from Spanish to Japanese?), a bit of creativity thrown in, and I really feel like I have a new life!  Who I feel like today, compared to who I felt like a month ago... it's like I'm a completely different person internally. 

And I like it!  I like the new internal me an awful lot more than the old internal me.  And I'm guessing that perpetuates the good feelings.  Which encourages me to make more little changes.  Which makes me happier again because I don't feel so stuck.

Bring on the rest of 2012!  If it keeps improving at this rate... who knows what'll happen!!!

Sunday, 22 January 2012


I love the weekends that the Big Fella comes home!

I love having him in the house, sharing parenting, sharing the chores, the different activities that we do when he's home.

I love sitting and watching TV together, just touching in that caring, deep friendship kind of way.

Am I hanging out for when we're all in the same house permanently again?  You bet!  I can't wait for the daily opportunity for incidental conversation, thanks-for-the-coffee-kisses, just-passing-you-by-butt-slaps... have you picked up that my love language is touch?

We spent part of the weekend watching the Gourmet Farmer DVD's that I bought him as a late Christmas present.  The guy sells up from Sydney and moves to Tassie to start his own farm and make artisan and foodie-type products.  This is pretty much the Big Fella's dream!  Especially having pigs and making his own salami, prosciutto, ham, bacon etc.

I realised this weekend that I'm actually into this dream too (which is kind of handy, because the Big Fella is a strong personality and it's pretty likely to happen).  While I don't mind the idea of pigs and so on, I'm quite keen on having a dairy cow, chickens and a vege garden that can supply most of our needs.

I quite like the partially self-sufficient lifestyle, and the comeraderie of like-minded small-holdings farmers.  I can see myself making cheese and butter and yoghurt (yep, I'm going to need to do a LOT of walking and running around!), and preserving fruits and vegetables.  It'll be hard work, but it's a shared dream and I'm excited that it is actually a possibility!

We also spent most of Saturday with my grandparents.  They live on a 36 acre property as caretakers for the Baptist Church.  The Little Big Fella ran around like a headless chicken, drove the tractor around, played on the playground, hit a few rounds of golf, and did a little torchlight toading (cane toads are excellent golf practice!).  It was so lovely to spend so much time with my grandparents.  We get along really well and I just LOVE watching the Little Fella hanging out with my Poppy.

It was a weekend of some of my favourite things really; being with my Fellas, dreaming together, sharing life together, playing together, visiting together.  Togetherness is definitely an element of happiness for me.

Living 7 hours apart sucks.  Yep, it REALLY does!  Absence does make the heart grow fonder, and that's not such a bad thing.  But man! am I looking forward to the togetherness of life again!

Thursday, 19 January 2012

I love my boys

Normally, the Little Big Fella goes to a Family Day Carer on Thursdays and Fridays.  But our Super-Carer broke her arm at the end of October.  We all thought it would be six weeks with a cast and then back to normal.  Not quite.

Super-Carer (I'll tell you about her some time) managed to not just fracture her arm, but completely broke the bone and injured the ligaments and tendons around her wrist.  So even when the cast eventually came off, she still needed more healing time for the rest of it.  And given that she has to lift toddlers (including our "Little" 18kg Big Fella) for changing nappies and such, she really did need the extra healing time.

So, way back in October, my sister and I decided that, instead of sending our boys off to a different carer for six weeks, we'd each have the boys one day a week.  And I have to say, mostly I have really enjoyed it.

I've enjoyed spending some more time with my oldest nephew (turned 3 in October).

I've enjoyed cooking with the boys and making huge messes with flour and such (although the clean up wasn't quite as fun).

I've enjoyed adding art projects to our days together.

I've enjoyed thinking about not just entertaining them, but continuing their education... at least a little bit.

I've enjoyed taking them to parks and to feed the ducks and for walks and a splash at the water park.

I've enjoyed watching the boys together and how polite and lovely they are to each other most of the time.  I love that they are friends and brothers.  As the Little Big Fella says, "L is my best, best friend".

I've enjoyed sitting on the stairs eating ice blocks with them, and chatting with them and playing with them, and running around like an idiot with them, and jumping on the bed with them, and hiding from the crocodile under the covers with them.

Super-Carer will be back on deck from January 31st and I think I'm going to miss our day a week together.

I love my boys :-)

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

My two toddlers

Did you know I have 2 toddlers in my house? Yep! The Little Big Fella and my inner toddler.

My inner toddler throws tantrums really well!

She eats food she knows isn't good for her, even when she's so full she feels sick.

She refuses to go to bed, even when her eyes are sore and closing all by themselves.

She wants to play instead of doing what needs to be done.

The problem is, just like with the Little Big Fella, disciplining my inner toddler is hard! It takes energy, especially when I'm tired. It takes focus and attention, when there's so many other things to do. It's another demand in a day full of demands.

But, just like with the Little Big Fella, when I relax the rules for my inner toddler, she starts to push the boundaries a little bit further... then a little bit more... then she runs all the way over them as fast as she can and I have to chase her down!!!! And then I have to clean up after her.

It's messy and exhausting!

However, when I set the rules and make sure they're followed, life flows a little easier and the peace and happiness in the household grows. Negative self-talk is diminished too.

And despite the fact that I know this about both my toddlers, I get lazy and choose to let things slide. And then I start kicking myself for letting things go so far because it's always so much harder to put the discipline back in place than keep it there the whole time.

I suspect this will be a cycle throughout my life though, which is kind of depressing. And kind of reassuring, because it doesn't matter how out of control I let things get, I know that it IS possible to get back to that place of peaceful co-existence in my household... it just takes a bit of work.

Monday, 16 January 2012

The joy of being nearly 3

I was sitting here reading a couple of blogs and so on when the Little Big Fella runs up to me.

"Look at me mum!"

I turn around and there he is, fully clothed, with bubbles all over his feet.  He'd stepped into the bath while it was filling up then jumped out again!  He was so impressed with his bubble boots!

There are now bubbly little feet prints all over the house.

How can I not laugh at that???

Some days these things drive me crazy and some days they make me laugh.  Today is obviously a laughing day.

Speaking of laughing, how good is the sound of a little kid laughing?  There's nothing like it in the world!  It's fresh and free and makes you at least smile, if not laugh along.  Tickling the Little Big Fella is definitely on my list of weapons to improve daily happiness levels :-D

Sunday, 15 January 2012

I am so great

At the risk of having a big head and bragging, I am so great!
Little tune in my head (thanks Simpsons): I am so great!  I am so great!  G-R-A-T!  I mean, G-R-E-A-T!  I am so great!

I've decided to do a Cars party for the Little Big Fella's 3rd birthday.  It's not until March but given the strong possibility of moving around at that time, I thought I'd get a head start. 

I'm making the invitations look like Ticketek tickets (using Photoshop Elements 3) and they look AWESOME!!!!  (When they're actually complete, I'll give you a peek.)  I'm really stoked!  This is the first graphics-type stuff I've done in ages and it's looking SO cool!  And I'm so happy with it and with me.

I actually really enjoy doing graphic arts, desktop publishing and all that kind of stuff.  It really rocks my boat.  Hmmm, maybe I need to look at this as a career option?  I'm much better at graphics and words than I am with numbers too.  And I normally have plenty of internal motivation to do this kind of stuff too.  (Why did I work in accounts?  Oh!  That's right!  They were willing to pay me! :-D)

Turns out it doesn't take much to make me happy some days :-D

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Is busy-ness equal to happiness?

I wonder if busy-ness is equal to happiness? Is it perhaps a part of the requirement for happiness? Or is that when we're busy, we don't notice if we're happy or not?

I'm not talking about crazy-busy (like pre-Christmas can be, for example). I'm talking about having enough, and maybe a bit more, to fit into a day; Things that need to happen, or that you have a strong desire to have happen.

Yesterday I had a lovely day to myself. Except it wasn't quite lovely (see yesterday's post, A Day to Myself).

Today, having the Little Big Fella home meant that things needed to be done, even if only to entertain him. So we've been for a bike ride along the beach, mowed the lawn, washed and vacuumed the car, and played with the neigbourhood kids. And my happiness rating is definitely higher today than yesterday.

And I've noticed this about myself. As an at-home-mum/housekeeper/wife/nurse/taxi/negotiator, the days can be rather repetitive, so motivation to “get stuff done” can sometimes be hard to come by. I can always fit it into the next day, or the next, or the next.  I'm finding this especially so with the Big Fella away because there's no one in the house who'll care, or even notice, if stuff isn't done. There's no one to “perform” for.

Which leads me to think that I'm a rather shallow individual with no self-motivation.

Which doesn't make me happy.

But the thing is, on a busy day where I accomplish lots of things (be they housework tasks, errands, entertaining or educating the Little Big Fella, catching up with friends, getting my “craft on”, or whatever) I feel much better. And whenever I'm evaluating my life, my answer always seems to be to do something else.

I guess my question is, by doing something, am I actually addressing the core need, or am I just masking it with more stuff?

Friday, 13 January 2012

A day to myself

I had my first day on my own for the year.  No other people, only 1 thing that absolutely needed doing.  I was excited for the day to come.  I haven't had a day to myself for at least a month, and most of the ones before that were filled with the pre-Christmas rush.

You'd think it would be a great day right?

Well, it's been nice... I guess.  It's been lovely to be on my own for a whole 7 hours!  That's for sure.  I'm ultimately an introvert so I really enjoyed being alone after having so many (lovely, wonderful) people around.

But it feels like a bit of a wasted day to be honest.  I did the thing that absolutely HAD to be done first thing.  And I've done a little bit of house cleaning up.  And I finished my book.

But I guess I didn't have anything I really wanted to do either.  Sure, I had a list of housework and a few other bits that I could do.  But nothing I really wanted to do.

So now I'm at the end of my on-my-own time and I'm feeling a little... flat.  Not down, just flat.  I wish I'd been able to put a little vibrancy into my day.

But, the day is not over yet!  Maybe I'll squeeze a little something in before crashing tonight???  It could happen!

May your day be vibrant, refreshing and satisfying!

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Today I'm thankful for...

Today I'm thankful for...
  • Sunshine
  • Airconditioning
  • Friends
  • A full cupboard of food
  • An easily entertained toddler
  • Plenty of "safe" water
  • Good physical, mental and (most of the time) emotional health
  • Enough money to pay the bills and do a few fun things
  • A great car and enough fuel to go in it
  • Late night supermarket shopping (the Little Big Fella doesn't mind shopping when it's dark)
  • Running-water showers with the ability to change the temperature
  • Literacy for women and access to the internet
  • Sea breezes
  • A really comfy bed :-)

Tuesday, 10 January 2012


It was HOT here today!  It feels like our sub-tropical summer is actually starting (it's a little late this year).

What to do?

Head to the pool of course!!!  The Little Big Fella and I prefer the pool to the beach.  There's lots of sources of entertainment (shower things, spraying things, slides, big pools and little pools), lots of other kids doing fun stuff that encourages the Little Big Fella to expand his swimming skills, and we can sit on the grass in the shade to have a snack before jumping back in again.

And even though the day turned out so hot (especially mid-afternoon), I enjoyed the warmth and the sunshine.  I enjoyed playing with my son and watching him learn and grow before my eyes.  I enjoyed sitting with him and having a snack.  I enjoyed the sun-drained feeling on the way home and how easily the Little Big Fella went to sleep for his afternoon nap.

I'm pretty sure these are the kinds of days that I'll remember when I'm old and chillin' out in a comfy rocking chair on the front porch (although, I suspect it'll be more like a recliner with cup holders for me).

I'm pretty sure I'll look on them as "the good ol' days".

I want to remember to enjoy the sun-blessed days like today as they happen and make lots more of these kinds of "good ol' days".

Monday, 9 January 2012

Oh shoot! Is that the time???

Okay, so I should have been in bed an hour ago.  Or at least showered and heading in that direction!  But I'm not.  Why?  Because I've just started looking through Pinterest.  How addictive is that website???

But!  I can claim it as part of my Happiness Journey research because I was looking particularly at the humour page and having a good old giggle :-D

Sometimes it's good to use the web as a source of mirth and entertainment.  Those sites that have the cat or dog photos with clever captions.  You Tube comedian videos.  E-mail jokes that you've read a thousand times but still make you smile (or maybe even LOL!).

Time to share people!  What are your favourite sources of mirth and entertainment?

Sunday, 8 January 2012

When it all goes pear-shaped

I don't think I could say today was a happy day.

Going into details is unhelpful and will possibly make me cry, but the basic gist is that the Big Fella went back to work today and will be away for two weeks, the Little Big Fella pulled every trick in the toddler handbook throughout the day, and we both ended up in tears by late afternoon.

I wonder if tears are an inbuilt re-set button?

We both seemed to settle down after that (to the point that the Little Big Fella fell asleep on my lap mid-cuddle) and the evening has been pretty smooth.

But it makes me wonder; when all is going pear-shaped, what can I do (other than crying) to re-set?  I know that these things make me feel great:
  • laughter (especially making the Little Big Fella laugh)
  • creativity
  • a sense of personal growth
  • recognising good attributes in people I love
  • a clean and tidy house
  • healthy food
  • enough sleep
  • feeling that I'm doing well as a parent
  • feeling close to the Big Fella
  • getting out of the house to do something active (particularly if it's something the Little Big Fella enjoys)
But how do I use that information to re-set my day?  And when trying to incorporate one of these in my day turns pear-shaped too, how do I deal with that?  Because right now, it just makes the day feel so much worse.

I don't have an answer for this one yet, but I think when I do it will probably be a major turning point in my happiness project!

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Tiredness is not conducive to happiness

Part of my happiness project is to discover both the things that help to make a happy day for me, and the things that make it really difficult for me to be happy.  Today I discovered a big one for not helping a happy day.

Do you ever have those days where you're dragged awake WAY before you're ready, after having a pretty shocking night's sleep anyway, and the day just doesn't seem to improve much?  That was my day today.

After not sleeping that well for the past week or so, I couldn't get to sleep last night, then the Little Big Fella woke up crying a couple of times, then my phone beeped every hour from midnight, waking the Big Fella (not me funnily enough) and disturbing our sleep generally, then the Big Fella's alarm went off at 5:30 and the Little Big Fella came in having wet through his nappy all over his bed.  I wanted to cry!  I wanted to roll over and go back to sleep and try to re-start the day.  But that wasn't going to happen.

I tried and tried and tried all day to get myself into a better mood!  I swear I did!  And I succeeded for little bits at a time.  But tiredness is not conducive to a happy day for me.

So I'm going to bed! :-)

Friday, 6 January 2012

2012 Preview/Review

I was reading the Single Dad Laughing blog (http://www.danoah.com/) the other day and Dan was reviewing the year of 2012... in January! He was writing down what he wanted the year to look like at the end – what he wanted to change in himself and putting the power of positivity to use (without being over-the-top unrealistic). It really got me thinking.

I'm not normally a goal-oriented person and, despite appearances, I'm not a New Year's resolution kind of person either. But I do think about what I want from my life periodically and how I think I might get there. This blog is the result of that and just happened to coincide with a New Year.

Anyway, here's my version of 2012 from a January perspective:

What a huge year!!! So many changes, big and small, so many ups and downs!

January started out with my happiness project, including a blog (which I never thought I'd do), and learning Spanish and Japanese from phone apps. The project was hard work some days, but the overall effect has been almost miraculous. I'm slower to get angry, I feel like a valid part of the community, I'm much nicer and more fun for the Little Big Fella, and the Big Fella has noticed the change in a myriad of ways.

We also celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary in January. The Big Fella was able to come home for the weekend closest to it and we had a lovely candle-lit dinner and several romantic moments while he was home. We decided to delay our presents to each other and went hunting through the gem fields later in the year. I had a beautiful ring made for me from the rubies we found and I had a Celtic-style band made for the Big Fella, which he loves.

We finally moved into the same house with the Big Fella in March! We'd been living 7 hours apart for almost 5 months, and it is absolutely wonderful to be sharing our lives again! Our marriage is growing stronger and more delightful and I can honestly say I'm more in love with this man than I was when we first got married almost 11 years ago.

Starting all over again in a new, smaller town has been really tough, and definitely challenged the happiness project on many occasions. The little things are the biggest challenge; like having to collect mail from the Post Office, sorting out the supermarket/bakery/fruit shop/butcher shopping, new rubbish bin days. It's not that it's hard, but that you have to think about it, and normally you don't!

And then there's making friends! That's a challenge! But the happiness project helped encourage me to make opportunities to meet people and spend time getting to know them. I have a couple of great friends as well as lots of acquaintances and I'm looking forward to these friendships growing even stronger.

The Little Big Fella is getting so big! I look at the photos of him from last Christmas and I'm blown away that he could grow that much in such a short time. And not only has he grown in stature, for his age his vocabulary continues to be phenomenal, his physical skills are incredible (especially sports-related skills) and he is such a delight to be around. His manners are just awesome and he makes me so proud so often.

After a lot of to-ing and fro-ing, I decided to go back to work in June. The Little Big Fella settled in really well at his Family Day Carer's house so I felt okay about going back to the workforce and helping us meet our financial goal of buying a house. I love my job! It has it's boring bits of course (all jobs do), and the first few months were a BIG learning curve, but I love contributing in that environment and interacting with adults on a daily basis again. And I really love being around my colleagues. We have a ball and work together so well!

I'm exceptionally thankful that, once again, health has not been an issue this year. The Big Fella was able to get a specialist in the major town 2 hours away that he's really happy with. I'm so glad he doesn't have to fly to the capital for his 6 monthly check-ups. Amazingly, given the motorbike riding, pushbike riding, bushwalking (running?) and so on, the Little Big Fella has not yet broken any bones. I'm sure it'll happen one day and we'll deal with it just fine, but I'm glad it wasn't this year. And, yay!, no Dengue fever for us! Mozzies (mosquitoes for any non-Australian readers) love me and the Little Big Fella and Dengue fever can be a bit of a problem around here, especially if there's big floods. But no big floods, so fewer mozzies and no fevers! Woo hoo!

We got to fly to see our family interstate later in the year and had such a wonderful time! It was especially good to catch up with the Big Fella's sister and her partner because we haven't seen them in a few years. We also got to enjoy the multi-cultural aspect of that city, especially the food! The Big Fella is SO into food and it's so much fun to enjoy good food with people you love. The Little Big Fella loved catching up with his grandparents and aunts and uncle again, and he really enjoyed the Aquarium. The Big Fella and I have been trying to go there for about 6 years so it was great to finally see it.

But the best thing about the year is that I really DO feel happier and more content than I did this time last year. What a wonderful project this has been! It's taken me to places I never thought it would, I've met so many precious people, and has helped me to recognise what a wonderful life I already had. Now, the project for 2013 is...

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Braggin' bout the Big Fella

It's our 10 year wedding anniversary today! That's a pretty big achievement these days. Unfortunately the Big Fella's away at work but he'll be home tonight or tomorrow morning, which is a great surprise because we thought this was his away weekend. So I'm taking him to lunch and movie on Saturday (after dropping the Little Big Fella and my brother elsewhere).

So, I just need to brag about my Big Fella today. Because he's awesome, and I love him and I'm SO lucky to have married him!

My Big Fella cooks. Really well! He cooks WAY better than me and loves to do it. He gets really inspired about it and watches cooking shows and tries new things. And they always taste awesome! (Well, there was one time that turned out rather... average, but we'll give the guy a break – he is human!) I love that when I was pregnant and for the first 6 months or so after the Little Big Fella was born he did ALL the cooking! What a blessing!

And (are you ready for this?) he cleans! Not so much at the moment because he's at work and I'm at home and most of the time when he's home it doesn't need to be done, but that's not the point! He does everything on the cleaning front, and normally without me asking him to do it (and sometimes before I even think about it). He even cleans the oven, which I hate doing!

My Big Fella is handy with tools. He has a trade and he's good with his hands (keep your minds out of the gutter people!!!). He can fix or build just about anything to a pretty decent standard.

But here's the really good stuff! He's really happy to ask people who know better than him for advice. He's humble without being falsely modest, and he's working really hard on being more patient. He stuck around when I wasn't much fun to be with, and when I didn't give him enough love and attention. He's caring and enjoys chick flicks (well, not all of them, but enough that we can enjoy that together sometimes). He's strong and manly. He's ruggedly handsome (I'm writing this post so dissenters... keep it to yourself), and he treats me wonderfully. He's a reader, he's intelligent, has an amazing memory! He's so much fun to go to a restaurant with because he somehow makes the whole experience feel like hanging out with a bunch of friends, even if it's only the two of us. He's interesting and challenging and I love him to pieces. Of course, I find him sexy too!

So honey, here's to you! Thank you for a wonderful 10 years (even the hard parts). May the next 10 be full of even more love, fun, friendship and adventure. I love you.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

The power of positivity and encouragment.

Wow! Talk about encouragement! There's something that instantly ups the happiness value of the day! Thank you to everyone who “like”d my first post link on Facebook and for all the encouraging comments.

It kind of freaked me out a little, of course. I mean, you don't go from a generally negative point of view to a positive one overnight do you??? (That would be nice though. I'd love to have a switch for some things. Attitudes. Hairstyles. Body size. Hair removal. Libido. Oh! Hang on! That's not what this post is about!!!!)

So, as I was saying before my post was rudely hijacked by... me! I was a little freaked out. I didn't really expect anyone to read my blog at all. So suddenly, as well as being encouraged, I was also feeling a bit under pressure to write interesting stuff. And that kind of flies in the face of how I've been feeling over the past few months, possibly years. I don't feel very interesting these days.

But apparently my humdrum life is shared by a few people and someone may actually be encouraged by me writing about it and trying to find the fun and joy in the middle of cleaning up for the millionth time after you've just told the Little Big Fella NOT to touch something because it will break and make a big mess.

I am amazed at the change my "happiness project" has made already.  Such a small decision; "I think I'll try to be happier every day".  And writing this blog kind of keeps me accountable to myself - especially now that I know some people are reading it.

I have hope!  I've made a tiny little change in trying to find something happy and positive in my days and I'm actually finding happy and positive things about every day so far!  And more than one thing most days!  The future suddenly looks bright and hopeful, even if I remain an at home mum for an indefinite period of time!  I feel so relieved!  So hopeful!

So today my thanks is to you! Whoever is reading this! Because you've helped turn my day (my life!) around and made me feel like the life I'm living is valuable, even though it may be appear a bit boring on the surface.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

The incompatibility of motherhood and housekeeping

Unsurprisingly, today has been more difficult for my happiness project.

I realised this morning, as I was trying really hard not to yell at the Little Big Fella for the 3rd or 4th time, that motherhood and housekeeping are actually incompatible.

I mean, think about it!  Motherhood - looking after a child/children (in my case a toddler), who learn best by touching and playing and experimenting with as many new things as they can possibly get their little hands on.

Compare this to the goals of housekeeping - keeping the house clean and tidy.  Like I said, completely incompatible!

Thankfully, the day picked up.  We went to the pool with my sister, brother and two nephews and had a good play and splash around, finishing up with a little picnic lunch for the Little Fellas.

I ran into a friend at the pool who was telling me about their family health issues that have come up over the past few weeks.  So again, high on my grateful list for today is that my family is healthy.

I know it sounds tacky and a bit passe but I think being thankful for your health every day is actually a really good thing.  I know I remember to be thankful for it every time I get a cold!!!

Oh!  And the other thing I did last night was download an app for learning Spanish.  I've wanted to do it since going to Mexico when I was 19 so I think it's about time I had a go at it!

On that note, adios!

Monday, 2 January 2012

A New Beginning

Well, welcome to my blog!  I never thought I'd be a blogger - I mean, who'd want to read about a housewife's life right?  But, whether people read it or not, I think it'll help me so I'm going to do it!

What's brought this on, you say?  Well, I had my son when I was 30 years old and it has been somewhat of a life-changing event.  Okay, it's completely turned my life upside-down!  And before you ask (because everyone does), no!  We're not planning to have any more kids!

The Little Big-Fella is almost 3 and he's absolutely adorable, gorgeous, funny, exceptionally entertaining, and bloody hard work.  He didn't start sleeping through until he was about 2, he still wants me to pick him up all the time (and he's almost 18kgs), and he has a strong personality (he's very much like his Dad).

I always thought being a mum for me would be like being a fish in water.  Nope.  No such luck!  It's been a hard slog and I've been really down on myself SO many times over the past 3 years.  It's affected our marriage and my previous almost-always-smiling personality has had a major overhaul.

Thus the beginning of this blog.  I'm sick of being down.  I'm sick of being cranky.  I'm sick of being a mean mum and a surly wife.  So, even though I'm not big on New Year's resolutions, I've decided that 2012 is my year to increase my happiness.  And I'm starting with gratitude.  Almost all the happy books and websites seem to include this as a top priority so I'm going to start with that.

And at the risk of overdoing the gratitude on day 1, here's today's list:
  1. I'm super grateful for my family!  My grandparents, parents and all my siblings (except my sister's hubby) and nephews were here for Christmas and we had an awesome time.  I love that we get along and that mum, in particular, put so much effort into making sure we treat each other with respect and dignity.  I know it's pretty rare to be friends with everyone in your family by the time you get to my age, and I love that we are.
  2. I'm grateful that the Big-Fella (my hubby) was able to be here for Christmas.  He just got a new job at the end of October and is away except for every 2nd weekend.  We thought he'd have to leave at about 1 or 2pm on Christmas Day but he didn't end up having to go until Tuesday morning.  Love it!
  3. I'm grateful for my health.  I know, it's corny, but it's true.  I'm so grateful that there's no major health issues in my life.
  4. I'm grateful for the beautiful weather we had today.  It was perfect for drying the washing :-D
  5. I'm grateful for my house.  It's a rental and there's stuff about it that bugs the life out of me some days, but there's a mini-apartment downstairs for people to stay and we're close to the beach, and it's not too shabby for a roof over our heads.
  6. I'm grateful to be an Aussie.  We really are a lucky country (despite the current political influence ;-)).
I reckon I'll leave it at that for today.  So, here's to happiness and gratitude in 2012!  Let the journey begin!