Friday, June 26, 2015


My 3 month old starting sleeping through the night from when she was 6 weeks old.

Did you just think, "How lucky of you to have such a good baby" ? That's the response I always get. And it annoys me. Yes, this baby actually is really good. She has a calm and chilled-out nature. She's alert and very responsive to human interaction. But that's not why she sleeps so well.

She has been put on a strict routine of sleeping, feeding and wake times since she was 1 week old. This has involved waking her up at times when I just wanted to let her sleep, and putting her down while awake (she, not I) to settle herself to sleep (translation: cry). The long term (ie lifelong) goal is to stabilise her hunger and sleeping habits. The short term effect is that she sleeps through the night from what seems to many to be an impossibly early age.

So while I agree that this wee bundle of joy is indeed a good baby, please note that the more important factor is that she and I have worked very hard for this result. Three kids on, it's still heart wrenching to listen to your baby learn to settle themselves to sleep. It was more than "luck", and more than having a "good baby". Give me some credit man!

Rant over.

PS. I'm always happy to give tips on implementing routines to those who ask :)

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The secret

What is the secret to a successful marriage? This is the type of question that one gets asked upon reaching a marriage milestone. As we approach our ten year wedding anniversary I have found that, like the dragon scroll and the noodle soup in Kung Fu Panda, there is no secret ingredient. *Gasp*

I have often read in blogs, articles (and other things that people with time write on the internet) that marriage is not work, because loving someone means the time and effort you put in to your relationship doesn't count as "work". Let me just say that from my own personal experience - what a load of horse shit hogwash!

Living with a person, sharing a home, children, extended families, dreams and fears - this opens up a world of vulnerabilities, and an infinite number of opportunities to hurt and be hurt by this person, on a level that is unimaginable. Your Venn diagram intersects for the really important issues/values, but there's so much of your individual circles that are still separate (refer diagram below for geeky mathematics illustration).

Their circle, your circle, and the intersection

After 5 years of marriage I thought we had made it over the hump and it would be smooth sailing the rest of the way. As it turns out, life isn't quite done with us yet. There have been many more highs, lows and kids. I would be lying if I said that maintaining a stable marriage in the midst of the craziness of life isn't work. But through this work, our relationship has matured and deepened. It's different. It's better.

This rambling post is not to discourage from marriage. I am happier today in my marriage than I ever have been. But along the way I have also been the unhappiest I have ever been too. I am now more understanding of those who have made the decision to end a marriage. I am now more understanding of those who have persevered to save a marriage.

So what's the secret to a successful marriage? When you see someone who has gone through a drastic weight loss, you want to know the secret to their success. The shortcut. But the answer is already widely known, it's the same and only answer that has truly worked - diet and exercise. I have found the same to be true here. There is no secret ingredient. Communication, compromise, forgiveness, acceptance, love. That's all. Now good luck ;)

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Landlord-tenant relationships

I hate renting. Partially because it's too much of a lottery what kind of property and landlord I end up with. And partially because I want to live in a house that is mine, so I can tinker and really start putting into practice the extensive (ummm would we say extensive?) knowledge I've gained from watching a million house renovation shows.

In the past 4 years we have moved 3 times, and in a month we will be moving again. Roughly around my due date. Happy happy joy joy. Clever us.

I've noticed that there are 3 phases of the relationship between landlord and tenant:

Phase 1: The Courting Phase
You need a place to stay and he needs someone to stay in his place.
You: [portraying the hard-working, super clean, super joyful person you're not] No condition on the rental property is too much. Want a cup of tea? Some scones? How is daughter?
Landlord: I'm sure you guys will be great. Let me know as soon as anything needs maintenance and I'll get onto it RIGHT AWAY. I don't think your children will be too noisy for the neighbours at all.

Phase 2: The Reality Phase
He finds out that you're actually too busy and tired and lazy to keep the house as spic and span as it looked in the first inspection. You start to accumulate (hoard) things that stack up unattractively throughout the house.
You realise the lack of storage that you thought would be a minor factor is actually a major pain in the ass, and you run out of space to store your stuff.
Random tradies turn up on the property without you knowing.
You don't weed the garden for a year or so.
The email and text communications start lacking in smiley faces and LOLs.

Phase 3: The Love-And-Leave Phase
The lease is coming to an end. You want to leave. He wants you to leave.
You need a good reference. He needs you to present the house well for potential tenants.
You: Sure, I'll clean the top of the rangehood that no one will see. Clean the shower again? Of course! We are free for viewings anytime that suits you.
Landlord: Put me down for a reference, I'll be sure to give you a great one. Let's plan the viewings around the kids' nap times. I won't give the address out in case people come by unannounced and hassle you.
etc etc

And round it goes again. Rinse and repeat.

Please Lord give us a place that we will want to stay at for several years. Or better yet give us a million bucks so we can buy our own house. Amen.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Happy ... year?

It's the 20th of January now, so is "Happy New Year" still an acceptable thing to say?

Oh well, it still feels new to me, because we only arrived back in our home 2 days ago after a month or so visiting family in Auckland and Fiji (more on THAT to follow!)

No resolutions this year, except to not get pregnant ever again. #lolnotlol

It's looking to be a challenging year up ahead with the following:

* paying back debt from taking a holiday we couldn't afford

* new baby (God willing) plus all the stress and financial strain that will come with her

* rebuild of our extended family home and all the financial strain from that

* family reunion planning and all the financial strain from that (is it just me or is there some kind of pattern here??)

So I guess another resolution should be to not miss buying a Lotto Powerball ticket every week. Problems solved.

Here we go again. Boobs up and asses out!