{The Birthday List} What I have learnt this year

So every year some time around my birthday I complete a list of all the things I have learnt in the last 12 months. It’s far from a comprehensive list (one would hope I learn more than 30-something things a year) but I really enjoy reminding myself how far I have come and what I have come to realise about those around me, my life and more importantly myself.

So here we go the 2017 edit:

  1. You will get a chocolate Labrador puppy who you love madly and will make your every day brighter, but she will eat your shoes.
  2. You will recover from postnatal depression but you will never be the same. Something has intrinsically changed in you forever.
  3. You will be paid actual money for writing. Some might even call you a freelance writer.buganni
  4. Your husband is a solid 10 and continues to make you a better version of yourself.
  5. She who forgets to add baking powder ends up not rising to the occasion.
  6. Your little sister will get married and it will go swimmingly – dolphins and all!
  7. The world will seem quite dark some days but your children will remind you of the sunshine.
  8. Despite the fact you have two children who sleep really well your third will not.
  9. No matter how many times you try, you still hate eggplant.
  10. You will finally convince the hubs that a Kitchenaid and a Thermomix are two very different appliances and you need both.
  11. You learn that you can’t keep expecting different reactions from the same people. Some people are just sucky.
  12. Dumplings are always a good option.
  13. Pelvic floor exercises are no longer an optional way to spend time, they are an essential element to everyday.
  14. You will go on your first cruise, get weird seasickness but love every moment and realise how important girl weekends away are.bugshayne
  15. Hangovers and children are the worst combination.
  16. You cannot please everyone.
  17. Your toddler will use sleep withdrawal as a torture method. You. Will. Survive.
  18. You will basically break your toe while walking up the aisle at your sister’s wedding. I warn you not to look to your other sisters for emotional support, they only offer laughter and sarcasm. Bennett_0509
  19. Even though you thought you had reached premium procrastination levels before, this year you will achieve a whole new skillset. Enter Youtube cute goat videos.
  20. You join the gym and actually like it. Then you get pregnant and nearly pee all the time so stop going. Just promise yourself that you will join the gym after the new baby.
  21. The kids will eat basically anything in a wrap. Keep wraps in high supply.
  22. Pregnancy is tiring. You already knew that, but this time especially.
  23. You will continue to have friends who are closer than blood ever was.
  24. Macaroni & cheese is an entire meal for three children under six.
  25. Letting go isn’t a thing you do once, it is often an action that has to happen over and over again. bugshayne2
  26. Listen to podcasts. They teach you stuff about things.
  27. Despite all the nay-sayers you do wear all seven pairs of your sunglasses on a fairly acceptable rotation system.
  28. As frustrating as studying law is, you are so much closer than this time last year.
  29. Not everything has to be perfect all of the time.
  30. You will still hide in the laundry from your children some days.
  31. Don’t say maybe when you actually want to say no. You’re only hurting yourself.
  32. The heartbreak from missing loved ones never goes away, but it does eventually change to a dull ache.
  33. Some people just let you down but you can’t fix them.
  34. Good coffee matters.
  35. People in power are not always good but the good people don’t always seek the power.
  36. For the second year in a row you will not need any moles removed. Just remember though, you are basically one big mole so don’t get too comfortable.
  37. You are enough.bugcruise

{The Nest Writes} Why I let my daughter watch the news

The world has been quite senseless lately and as an adult I have days where I really am struggling to understand the whys. Having said that, I still find myself aching to know what is happening around the world and who it is affecting.

I have heard that a lot of people are stopping their children from being exposed to the news. That people are blanket banning news from their homes and in particular the eyes and ears of their children.

I am the opposite, don’t get me wrong I don’t sit on the lounge with my six year old and make her watch the graphic London footage, but it is on in the background. Her father and I continue to have conversations about events like those that are shaping our world.

My daughter understands that sometimes bad things happen to good people and that you can’t live your life in fear. She recognises that there are extreme people who don’t represent all people and they choose to do nasty things.

Just last night I had a discussion with her about different faiths and how you can’t simply categorise all people into the same basket. The conversation started because she had heard the term “All Muslims are terrorists”.

We spoke about how the Islamic faith is actually one of the most peaceful religions in the world, but that some people choose to interpret it entirely differently. Much like how some people can choose to read the Catholic bible differently to most.

A six year old has blind faith and she doesn’t see a reason to discriminate or judge others and that is the exact reason why I think it is important for her to see what is happening in the world. I don’t want her to hear parts of news, jokes or judgments from small minded people and think that’s how we should all feel.

I have zero psychological qualifications and to be honest am probably breaking some cardinal rule that I am not aware of but if I engulf her with protection now and ban all news reporting and coverage then how does she build her own impression of the world? airport copy

There are some really horrible things that happen in the world but I can’t change those things. What I can do instead, is to start a conversation with her.

We heard on the news a few weeks ago about a baby that had been abandoned by his mother, so that started a brief conversation about mental health and depression and the importance of watching those around us for signs.

We saw another story about a 13 year old who had reportedly been approached on the way to school by a strange man. So this time we were able to discuss the importance of stranger danger and being aware of our surroundings.

On the news we saw Prince Harry and his involvement in the Invictus Games. So that started a conversation about wounded war veterans and the support they might need when they return home.

We watched an article about childhood obesity rising in Australia so we were able to discuss ‘sometimes foods’ and the importance of exercise.

My greatest fear is that if I protect her too strongly one day she will realise what a lie she has been told. I think it is really important not to raise a naïve little person who does not see the difference between good and evil, and as unfortunate as what it is, if she doesn’t also see bad she won’t be able to appreciate the endless good that also exists.

I want my children to ask questions, I need them to want to justify things that are completely unjustifiable. The reason for this is so they can understand just how unfair the world can be. I don’t want her to grow up believing that everything will go her way because sometimes life doesn’t discriminate the goodies from the baddies but regardless you still have to stay a goodie.

I truly believe that anything that starts a conversation is good, she needs to feel free to approach me about things she hears or how it affects the world around her. Turning off the news only shelters them for a little while and isn’t it better to let them learn coping skills instead?

I would love to hear your opinions, maybe I am completely off-field but in a world that is changing and evolving ever so quickly it’s nice to have an open discussion already on foot about all types of topics with the youngest minds around us.

 

{The Nest Resolutions} The things that make me better

Having three little people under  7 and another on the way means life can be super busy for me and easily becomes overwhelming. So, in an effort to stay on pointe this year I have made several resolutions that I refuse to break.book

LIST LIFE

I make lists. Like loads and loads of lists.

Lists on jobs to do around the house. Lists of items to write about on the blog for you lovely people. Lists reminding me when the girls have swimming lessons and doctor’s appointments, school events and sports day at school. Lists to remind me about all the little things that it takes to keep our little nest turning over day after day.

I write lists not only to remember to do things but to feel good when I tick off the box next to it acknowledging that’s another job done. I find it really helps when I am feeling overwhelmed or like even though I am doing a bazillion things nothing is really getting done.

MEAL PLANNING

I cannot even tell you how much difference this will make to your life if you haven’t already tried this. Not only is that horrid decision of what to eat today already made for you, it means you save a whole tonne of casholi as well. No longer do you walk around aimlessly at the supermarket buying bits and pieces of meals to realise when you get home you have missed a crucial ingredient.

I write mine up on the menu board (from KMART)  on the pantry each week so everyone in the house knows what we are having that day.

You will also notice a massive reduction in wastage (especially fruit and veg)

MAKE THE BED

This is an easy one. I make my bed every morning so that each time I enter my room throughout that day it feels clean and organised. A messy space leads to a messy mind. I dare you try it for one week and see if your mood improves.

DON’T SWEAT IT

I resolve to not sweat all this little stuff. I have always been quite organised and strive for near perfection in everything I do, but following the birth of my third child, Coco I was diagnosed with post-natal depression and the world around me collapsed. I was so focused on making sure everything was perfect that I ended up doing 100 jobs but none of them well. As much as it is hard to remind myself some days, not everything can be perfect all of the time.  When I am feeling overwhelmed I take a step back and pick out what really matters.

DISH LIFE

I clean the dinner dishes EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. If you wake up to a clean kitchen to make a pot of coffee in the morning it makes everything smoother. This really makes a crucial difference to me but it took a long time to get in the habit of not just sitting on the lounge absorbed into primetime television after dinner. If you form the habit then you reap the rewards. Trust me!

So nesters, what makes your days easily?

{This is Life} 30 Things to do before you’re 30 (or alternatively 21 and some months)

Okay, so perhaps, maybe, possibly I might already be over the hill and far away but just in case I find the way to reverse time and somehow actually just not yet be 30 this has some great ideas on 30 Things Every Woman Should Do Before She is 30

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p.s looking this good in a bikini is CLEARLY never going to happen… but maybe go to the beach more?

So I will sit here being 21 and some months and tick off my own bucket list.

What do you think is missing from this list nesters?

 

{The Nest Christmas} THINK just a little differently about Christmas this year

It’s Christmas time again. You’re running around the shops like it’s the final mile in a marathon, trying to throw in the trolley something for your mother in law’s boyfriend that you hope you didn’t buy him last year. The Christmas carols sound like the high-pressure music they play at the end of a gameshow, and if one more pensioner bumps into you while reaching for the cold meat, you won’t be held responsible for your actions. This is everyone’s experience at this pointy end of the year.gift

It’s funny that the culmination of a years worth of work, ends with a frenzy of shopping, purchasing and more hard work.

This year, I would like to put forward an idea for something a little bit different. I know you still have to purchase presents for those important loved ones, you still have to provide a meal for all of your visitors on the big day, but this year I want us to do something different – I want us to THINK.

Be aware, be present, be mindful and be thankful.friends

This is not a preachy kind of post, it is a chance to be aware of how much we have and ask ourselves, how much do we really need? This Christmas, THINK about what your family truly needs when you are gift giving. Are you just buying an extra present because there doesn’t look enough under the tree? Are you just buying them something because you feel you have to? We have all received gifts at some point that we say thank you for, but know they will be hidden in a cupboard for years. This year, don’t buy a gift card just to give someone money because you can’t think of a gift.

Your relationship is the gift!

Hold them close, tell them how much they mean to you and what you’ve loved about the year you’ve experienced together. Make some time to sit with your family without using your phone. Make a connection with them and enjoy the way that just been together feels. Play board games or just take a walk around your neighbourhood. Visit your neighbours and spread goodwill in the community. There are so many people around the world with so little, please be mindful when you purchase groceries. A big meal on Christmas is a great tradition and one that is enjoyed by all, but should there be so much leftover and thrown out over the coming days? All I ask is that you THINK when purchasing your food and not waste food you don’t need. We are all being advertised to in such a way that over indulgence has become indicative of the season, and saying no to anything seems almost impossible. I can guarantee a day with your family sitting around, really connecting, without the demands of phones and social media would mean much more then a day of excess food and gifts. If you have an opportunity to donate, do so. No matter how big or small your donations are, it’s a way of recognising how lucky we are and that we have enough. There are so many charities out there that cater for all sorts of needs in the global community. If you have children, suggest they purchase a small gift for another child their age who will not be so lucky this Christmas. There are so many places in Our area that will hand out these gifts on your behalf to needy families. Go global. THINK about the world we live in, not just our small part of it. You can purchase a prosthetic leg for a landmine victim in Cambodia or purchase a goat, a pig or a chicken for a small family in Africa. Provide clean drinking water to people who desperately need it, donate to the conservation of your favourite animal, or, if your family has unfortunately been affected by an illness this year, donate to the corresponding charity to help find a cure. I want you to enjoy your Christmas. I want you to have the meals and the gifts that your family deserve.family

All this post is trying to do is make you THINK. We are all global citizens and there is so much going on in this world right now that affects us all.

Christmas is an amazing time to celebrate our love for one another. This year let’s just engage our brains before we go down the road of over indulgence and wastefulness. You don’t need to slave all day in the kitchen to provide a massive meal for your family, ease up on what you purchase and remember that presence is way more important than presents.

Happy Holidays.

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{This is Life} Menopause at 38..

Did you know that premature menopause affects 1 in 100 woman?

Nope. Me either.

The gorgeous Renee from Mummy, Wife, Me is one such woman and has shared her story. You can find it here -> Menopause at 38mummywifeme-vers41-1024x400

It is certainly worth a read.

Happy reading Nesters x

{This is Life} Why the F&%K not?

Are you living your life? Not surviving life, but really actually living it?

This article on Taking Risks, Why the F&*k Not? really resonated with us.

If you had no fear of failure, what would you do differently?risks

We aren’t necessary talking about your fear of spiders or snakes, but rather your fear of unknown, of unemployment, of not living a full life.

It is so easy to slip into a monotonous existence of everydayness, but maybe it is your time to stand up and start Taking Risks, Because Why the F&*k Not?

This may just be your new mantra.

Happy reading Nesters x

P.S The article does contain some rubbish bin words.