Monday, 31 August 2015

The tension of the last minute

I realised late last week that we only had 6 weekends until our probably moving date, which promptly sent me into a list-making frenzy, which caused a bit of a freak out as I remembered how much work there is in packing and cleaning a house!

But I've finally done it!  I've finally packed my first boxes!  Not just sorted stuff out (because why would I pack stuff that I don't want/need???), but actually packed boxes!

Packing is a messy thing for me.  It takes up lots of room, and some packing can take lots of time.

All that stuff on the floor was in the open box.  I don't think I've looked through the things in this box since we moved here!  I've added, but not looked through, which is sad because this box holds reminders of wonderful people and times in my life.

There are (way too many) bits and pieces from when I was a child (including a project book I did in Grade 6 that I was particularly proud of), our wedding (including the flowers that my Aunt and cousin made for our cake), living overseas (photos, a baseball, journals), and the art and debris of an only child's first six years of life.

I'd been looking forward to, and slightly dreading, dealing with this box.

And as I made the mess and sorted my memories, I came across old friends, wonderful times, special moments.  My life has been full of good times and great people and I am so incredibly lucky!

But this box distracts me every time I move, and has hijacked my post!

So, I finally sorted and packed all of these wonderful memories, and moved the boxes downstairs, all stacked and ready to load into our new house where we'll make all kinds of new memories!

One room packed (well, packed enough for 6 weeks to go) and ready to move the furniture, remove the curtains and clean it top to bottom.  I am determined to follow my own advice from the last move, and start early, getting as much done each weekend as possible.

I had hoped to get a bit more cleaning done as well (ceiling fans and the tops of the kitchen cupboards are on my radar!), but I'll just have to tackle those throughout the week, or next weekend.

This morning I contacted our mortgage broker.  According to our contract, the finance needed to be finalised by today, and the contract would then be unconditional.  We'd been in contact last week and knew everything was moving along, but I was concerned that the bank wouldn't provide official approval in time to let the broker know, to let us know, to let the solicitors know, to let the seller's solicitors know, and that the whole thing would collapse.  (I know, first home buyer stress-head here!)

The mortgage broker assured me all was in process and they would follow up again after lunch.

By 1pm I had a whopping headache, completely caused by tension in my neck and shoulders.

I contacted the brokers again, who assured me they'd been talking to the guy at the bank who was handling our application and all was well.

At 3pm I contacted the brokers again with an email something along the lines of, "how's it all going?  What happens if it doesn't go through today?".  They said the bank had told them to call just before 4.

My headache was knocking me about and my stomach had joined in the fun, making me nauseous.

I texted my Mum who assured me that, "banks, like God, like to leave things to the last minute".  Have I ever mentioned how wise my mum is?

I finished work at 4 and called the broker.  She had been assisting another client and was about to call the bank again.  She told me the bank's computer system had issues, and that the part that allowed them to press the "approved" button wasn't working.  I was not to worry, she said.  She'd spoken to our solicitor, and if it wasn't sorted today, they could arrange for an extension on the conditional part of our contract.

Not worry.  Ha!  I don't know if my body could handle the stress!

I carried my phone on my person whilst I went to the petrol station.  I kept it on charge in the car.  I carried it in to collect the Little Big Fella from after-school care, and in to the post office.  If I'd gone to the bathroom, you can bet your bottom dollar that I would have had it in there too!!!

We got home and the Big Fella asked what was happening.  He laughed when I told him.  I didn't see the humour!

Just after 5pm, the Big Fella got a call on his mobile.  The loan has been approved and the documents will be in the mail for us to sign.  The solicitors have been informed.  Congratulations.


The tension started leaving immediately.  The Big Fella had a big grin.  Plans were made to get something bubbly to celebrate.

So, now it's really, really happening.  There's no going back now.  We will actually be moving at the start of October and we will have a pool and a wonderful back patio that we will practically live in 9 months of the year.  We will have a place that we can change and decorate anyway I feel (subject to finances, obviously).

Now I can go ahead and organise the electricity and phones and water.  We can finalise our wills.

And the packing up of my box of memories is not in vain.  I think when I unpack them in our new house, I'll store them in a way which makes it easier to go through them a little more often than once every 3 years ;-)

Wednesday, 26 August 2015


"No way, you're not doing that."

My son didn't believe my husband.

The Little Big Fella didn't jump up or protest as the Big Fella went and filled a bucket of water.

He didn't react when I asked if we needed the stuff from upstairs, or if he'd just use the one downstairs.

He placidly knelt in front of the bucket, obviously not believing we'd follow through...

And then all hell broke loose and I wonder if we've traumatised our child and permanently given him trust issues (whilst laughing our heads off).

The Little Big Fella had Book Week Parade yesterday.  All of the kids were told to dress up as their favourite book character.  I've been reading the Harry Potter books to him each night (we're up to book four - The Goblet of Fire), so I wasn't surprised when he said he wanted to be Harry.

I managed to snag a costume, which included the Griffindor robe, glasses and a wand.  Then I grabbed a can of black hairspray.

Here's the end result:

He was really happy with it and ran around saying "Avada Kedavra" all day.

Unfortunately, by the time he got home, he'd been running around sweating all day and there was black all over his face and neck.  So after he played around after school a while, we sent him to have a shower.  There were explicit instructions to clean his head and face, rubbing with a cloth and using soap/shampoo.

After a very short shower, he returned - wet and still rather black, except for a little patch at the very top of his head.  We informed our Little Big Fella that he would require another shower, to which he responded with a lot of attitude and informed us that he wasn't going to have another shower.

It was at this point the Big Fella threatened (jokingly) to run a bucket of water (he graciously offered to make it warm), dunk the Little Big Fella up and down in it and wash his hair.

"No way, you're not doing that."

My son didn't believe my husband.

And thus the joke turned into reality, the bucket was prepared and the shampoo and towel were brought to the scene.

The Little Big Fella knelt in front of the bucket on the grass and the Big Fella got him to tip his head into the bucket.

Apparently the water was warmer than the Little Big Fella liked and the joke/entertainment was transformed as we now attempted to finish the job, throwing more water over his head and rubbing shampoo all through his hair (strongly suggesting that he keeps his eyes closed).

The Little Big Fella was reacting in a much more negative way than we'd anticipated, and wouldn't put his head back in the water to rinse off.  The obvious answer to this, according to the Big Fella, was to take the entire bucket and up-end it over the Little Big Fella.

The Big Fella and I were quite enjoying all of this and laughing quite freely.

But the Little Big Fella was absolutely inconsolable, and it was at this point (amidst my mirth) that I wondered if we'd just damaged our sensitive son's psyche.

We rubbed him dry, got him to change his pyjamas, and had a chat about doing what he was told, and gave him a big hug.

I think next time we ask him to wash his hair, he might follow through a little more thoroughly the first time round!

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Goodbye Winter

I believe Winter is over here in Central Queensland.  And while I've enjoyed it, I'm not overly sad that we're moving on.

I'm enjoying waking up and not quite needing the heater.

I'm enjoying the warmth of the afternoons and appreciative that they're not too warm yet.

I'm enjoying the inspiration that the sense of impending Summer brings me.  Inspiration for new projects, Halloween and Christmas decorating, fresh food and plenty of outdoor activities.

So beside these reasons, how do I know that Winter is done?

Well, I think the main reason would be that I've decided it's time to remove my "winter coat".  Yes, this week I removed the surprisingly long hair on my legs.

Goodbye Winter!

Friday, 21 August 2015


It's been super busy at work lately.  And kind of stressful.  Everyone has so much going on, and they're under a lot of pressure from those at Head Office to get things done in somewhat unreasonable time frames.

It's good for me!  It keeps me busy enough that the days fly by and I feel like I've achieved something.

But the constant stress has brought a lot of negativity and the blame game has had a good airing.

By the time I get home most days, I feel tired.  Part of it is that I'm not overly inspired by my work, even though I know I do it well.

And then with everything happening with buying our house I've been wishing I could be at home sorting and packing and (dare I say it) cleaning.

This morning I was working away, very busily, and trying to get something done that wasn't quite working.  I was starting to feel the stress rising as my computer slowed to a crawl and the list of demands from my colleagues grew.

Then, out of the blue, I received a text message.  That's not entirely unusual at work, but to get one from the Big Fella really is!  The Big Fella rarely texts, almost always preferring a phone call, even if the "conversation" started as a text.

My semi-pause in my work to check my phone turned into complete distraction as I sat pondering the interruption my husband had sent.

I was thinking this morning how much I like my life.  I have a lovely wife, son, and a good job.  We have a brilliant life.

And, you know what?  He's completely right!

I love my Fellas so much.  I am completely lucky to have a husband who cooks, cleans and can fix anything.  He respects me and treats me like a lady, and forgives me for being lazy or ungracious.

My son is perfectly healthy, usually polite, intelligent and good at sports.  He is interesting and funny and great company.

And my job is good!  I get paid really well to do something that I'm good at.  It gives my life structure (that works really well for me) and I feel like I'm contributing.  And when I compare it to how I felt as a 100% at-home-mum, I appreciate my job even more.

My day progressed and got more chaotic.  My computer cracked it and had to be re-started, and I was loaded up with more to do while I was attempting to complete everything I already had before the weekend.

Normally I'd be getting frustrated and slightly losing the plot.  But today, because of this simple interruption, I was in a good frame of mind and just worked my way through it all.  I even got to leave work 10 minutes early!

Amazing what a little reminder of the good things in your life can do to your day!

Sunday, 16 August 2015

And so it begins!

We have about seven weeks until settlement, assuming all goes well.  So this weekend the process of moving has begun.  And the thought of it all is exhausting me already!

I've started sorting out bits and pieces throughout the house.  I've taken bags of things to the Vinnie bins, and there's more room in my linen press than I've had... since we've been here I'd think!

But the Big Fella has really gotten into the mood!  He's filled the trailer with a load (so far), started digging up the plants we're taking with us, started clearing out the sheds and shipping container, pulled the blinds down outside the kitchen and the shadecloth on the Western side of the house, and today he pressure washed all the outside of the house.

Unfortunately, our house isn't water proof when you use the pressure washer, and there was dirty water on several of the inside walls (through the gaps in the windows, by the way).  This means that my inside cleaning had to begin already.  And it just reminded me of what a big job moving house is.

I'm SO glad the Big Fella will be helping this time around!!!  And that the Little Big Fella can entertain himself (and help a bit)!

I got to visit my next door neighbour this morning, who is no longer my next door neighbour as she moved to the next town a couple of months ago.  It was lovely to catch up and chat like old times, and see her new place and hear her plans for it.

Despite my trepidation about the actual process of moving (and especially the cleaning), seeing my friend reminded me that it will all be worth it and we're going to love the change!

Now if only I could do a little time travel and be at the other end!!!! ;-)

Thursday, 13 August 2015

A Special Birthday Gift

It was my birthday this past Saturday.  I received lots of lovely messages from friends and family near and far, but it wasn't a great day.

My son gave me the flu for my birthday.

I spent most of the day on the couch, oscillating between freezing, covered with blankets, and sweating up a storm, opening all the doors and windows and turning on the fans.

But it wasn't all bad.

I received lovely gifts from my mum, best friend, and mother-in-law, and I bought myself some cheery daffodils with money given by the Big Fella's Oma.

I got to sit and chat with my Fellas, and they looked after me really well throughout the day.

Strictly speaking, the Big Fella didn't give me a birthday gift.  I'd told him weeks before that I couldn't think of anything I wanted other than to spend some time with him and our Little Big Fella.

But he did kind of give me a house on my birthday!  Yes, after thirteen and a half years of marriage, the Big Fella and I finally signed a contract for a three bedroom, single storey home in the next town (where I work and the Little Big Fella goes to school).  It is in lovely condition and has obviously been well looked after by the retiring owners.

It has a big three bay shed, as well as a double drive-through carport, an in-ground pool, and a large outdoor entertaining area.

We've been imagining our totally Australian outdoor lifestyle, and we're not really sure how much the dining room will be used for nine months of the year.

Like I said, the house is in great condition and doesn't need any work done on it.  However, we've got plenty of ideas of how we'd like to improve it when it's ours.

Unfortunately, in the meantime there's a lot of paperwork, packing and cleaning to do!  But we have until the start of October to get it all sorted, and so far the stress levels are quite reasonable.

I've been back and re-read my old moving tips post to remind myself of the things that stressed me out last time.  Thankfully the Big Fella will be taking a much more active role in the process this time than the last two!

The Big Fella has also suggested that we get a cleaner in to do the final clean!!!  Yay!!!!  If you were around on this blog back then, you may remember my horror with windows?  You guessed it!  I'm only going to give them a vacuum and wipe over.  I'm going to let the paid personnel finish them properly!

So, we're excited and looking forward to finally having our own place.  We want to invest in things that contribute to our lifestyle, especially as we're both very much "home bodies".  And the Little Big Fella is so excited about the pool that he started crying the other day because we can't move yet!

Bring on the new adventure!!!

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Discovering fillings

The Little Big Fella was super excited!  He had a follow-up appointment at the school dental van to get three fillings - his first ever!

Mummy, however, was having major flashbacks to needles, pain, discomfort and fear from visits to the school dental van as a primary school girl!

The Little Big Fella bounded out of the car and up to the van.  He read the sign that told him to knock and then step back off the stairs so that the door wouldn't knock him over.

Boy was he eager!!!

When the dentist opened the door, he just about stampeded his way in, but the dentist asked us to sit on the chairs and wait because they weren't quite ready for us.

Disappointment number 1!

A few minutes later they opened the door, and having been there for a check-up last week, the Little Big Fella made his way around to get on the examination chair.  But there was something on it!  He looked at the dental nurse as if to say, "what is that doing there?  Don't you know that's where I'm supposed to go?"  She made a funny noise and cleared the chair so that he could sit down.

My son is rather curious about a lot of things, especially anything mechanical (thanks Daddy!).  So the dentist let him turn the light on and adjust the examination chair's position.

Bad move, Doc!

From then on the Little Big Fella wanted to have a go at everything!!!!  "Mr Water" was a particular favourite (the drill type tool that sprays... water), as was the spit sucker that turns on with a little handle that flicks up and down.

Unfortunately, the Little Big Fella wasn't here just for a check-up this time.  He had three little holes in his molars that required fillings.  Thankfully, they were small enough that no anesthetic was required.  Unfortunately, that meant there was nothing painful about the visit so Mr Curiosity went nuts!

The dentist was great, explaining what he was doing and making sure the Little Big Fella was comfortable.  He gave the Little Big Fella plenty of opportunities to "rest his mouth", but his idea of rest and the Little Big Fella's turned out to be quite different!!!

At one point, the dentist had to tell him to stop talking for a while so that they could actually put the fillings in!

The process was quite quick, and when they finished the third one, the Little Big Fella had a sulk because he wanted another one!!!!

Needless to say, it wasn't a scary experience for my boy, and we all had a few good laughs throughout the visit.

Maybe it's my turn to face the dentist's chair again?

Yeah, maybe not!