Words Amuck

Words-Amuck Have you ever tried having an argument with a 2 year old? It’s an act in futility, they are determined and feisty and always right. At two they know everything.

Much like husbands think they do, but we all know how that usually ends.

We have a book of animals and Finn is pretty good at naming them all – we have kitty cats, doggies, duckies, wabbits, more ducks (platypus), lion (tiger), elephants, monkeys, spiders (the fly, grasshopper, ant, moth) and the goldfish (cockroach). The actual goldfish is a fish but the cockroach is a goldfish. No matter how many times I try to reason with him over these things, he is stubbornly adamant and won’t listen to reason. He often comes running out to me proclaiming hysterically to being chased by a ‘spider’ and any worm that crosses his path is a snake and requires an immediate return indoors. I’m not sure if he is just being petulant or actually has it wired into his head that a cockroach is a goldfish but I can leave it for weeks before going back to the book and it is still a goldfish.

Do you have any words that have embedded into your mind as something else since childhood? Or words that you continually muddle up either the meaning or pronunciation of?

The whole cockroach/goldfish debate reminded me of a time when I was early 20’s and went to a restaurant for dinner with some girlfriends. It was a favourite haunt of ours and we knew the menu by heart, so when the waiter came over I knew exactly what to order as a starter without even looking at it:

“I’ll have some fellatio please”

The male waiter just stared at me so I repeated myself ‘Fellatio. You know!’.

Cue awkward silence.

Yep. While my friends laughed, I didn’t get the joke straight away and then I was mortified. I just asked a male waiter for fellatio. OMG. Focaccia. Focaccia bread please.

Needless to say this has NEVER been forgotten and my friends take great pleasure in bringing it up from time to time.

I think a cockroach that is a goldfish is a much safer word muddle!

Do you have any words that you used to muddle up or that your kids do?

Linking up with Jess at #IBOT today!

Tantrums and Iceblocks

I touched on this in my last post, the mini man flu has struck super early in my household (if you haven’t had it yet, then it’s coming to a house near you!) but the two year old was taking it pretty well …. until last night that is. It all started with a terrible mistake on my part. The boys came and picked me up from work early given it was absolutely bucketing down with rain and I suspect by this point my husband just wanted to get out of the house. We then stopped for a few bits and pieces at the supermarket where I made the worst mistake known to mankind (in two year old land) and that was to leave the lemonade iceblocks at the supermarket. I mean, how dumb can you get right? Sick two year olds and iceblocks are a given and I left them behind. You’d think I had killed someone the way he carried on, so back in the car I hopped (I’m a sucker) and in rush hour traffic (fabulous!) I raced back down to retrieve the forgotten icy gold.

So that was fine. Iceblock crisis averted.


Wahhhhhhh! Mummy! I need my water cup! Wahhhhhh!

Up I hop to go to go and retrieve said water cup (this was after I had woken up in our bed with a foot in my face and a head under the covers – what is it with kids not being able to 1. Stay in their beds all night; and 2. Sleep normally in a ‘head on pillow’ manner?) and I come back with the cup.

Wahhhhhh! Not that cup mummy! No want that one! (Reminiscent of the beach tantrum, I had an uneasy feeling that that was me for the night)


No want that cup! Want bottle! No want that bottle! I need a blanket! No want that blanket mummy! I want Mickey Mouse! No want that Mickey Mouse! I want other Mickey! Wahhhh! I want water cup! I no want the water cup! Muuuuuummy! I NO WANT IT! (are you over it yet cos I certainly was!)

He literally cried for two hours repeating the words above. I wanted to lock him away in a soundproof room for the duration, but alas, we don’t have one (are they possible to build do you think?) and it was raining so I couldn’t put him outside (just joking! Kinda …)

My husband says this is my punishment as Finley is just like me, stubborn and irrational. I say that my husband is being irrational by saying such a thing, though the stubborness is certainly a feature of mine so that part may be right.

So what do you do in this situation? You load them in the car in the pouring rain (just to add to my day it is sopping wet outside) and leave them at Nanny’s house while you go to work.

What’s a bet they are angels for her the rest of the day while I struggle to stay awake?

Coffee time.

Are Boys REALLY Easier Than Girls?

Boys will be boys

Yesterday I discovered something rather monumental.

There is a fate worse than a sick husband with so called ‘man flu’. 

That fate is in the form of a 3 year old boy who has ‘mini man flu’. He’s not even really that bad at present, he has a mild cough and a cold and his 2 year old brother who has it ten times worse is taking it more in his stride than him. But the three year old is dying. I believe his exact words were ‘Mummy, I can’t live like this anymore *cough cough* I’m dying!‘.

I remember both times when I was pregnant with my boys well meaning strangers would say to me ‘Oh, you’re having a boy! Boys are so much easier than girls’. I would smile and say that yes, I had heard that before. I think the general consensus was that boys are much simpler creatures. Less talking, less whining, less drama queen antics, less teen angst. Sure, they said, they are physically far more taxing. They run, wrestle, jump, dive off furniture and never seem to stop moving or get tired from being on the go all day. However, emotionally they are much easier to navigate through the minefield of childhood. You don’t get the silent treatment and the ‘I hate you’ thrown in your face quite so vehemently (or the high pitched squealing) and you don’t have to worry so much about emotional bullying and the cruelty that can come with little girls. With boys a push and a shove and it’s likely over in the playground, as opposed to the ongoing emotional trauma that little girls tend to instill in their victims. 

On the flip side, I have since heard that many people consider GIRLS to be the easier sex. I think the general consensus has also flipped to girls being on trend as the preferred sex too, they seem to be the latest accessory in celebrity land and the world is full of people feeling sorry for all boy mums (this is a whole different topic I will delve into at a later date, you wouldn’t believe half the things strangers have said to me upon hearing I have only boys!). I think people consider girls to be quieter (when they’re not talking your ear off of course), more likely to sit in a corner playing dolls or tea parties and less likely to destroy the house. 

But is it true really? 

My boys are physical but they also have the soft and sensitive side too. They always demand snuggles and kisses. The little one never shuts up. He could talk the head off a donkey (where the hell did that come from?!) and they bloody well do squeal (though to be fair they did pick that up off their girl cousin!). The older one is always dying. Or cold. Mummmmmy! I need you! (Translation: needy). They can sit quietly playing cars (for about 2 minutes) and my little one loves to go shopping and socialise and then have a coffee with mummy (his coffee is a cheeseburger though, as if he needs more caffeine, being a boy and all!). They’re also pretty sensitive creatures, they just hold it in a bit more.

So are little girls really as whiny, dramatic and difficult as they are made out to be? Or are boys actually  the ones who are harder?

What do you think? Is one sex easier than the other or does it simply come down to personality?

My First Award!

Thank you so much to Rookie Mommy for the nomination!

I actually think she must be the American version of me, her posts never fail to make me laugh out loud and nod in agreement! She’s awesome, go and check her out over at http://rookiemommyraisingboys.com

Part of receiving this award means that I have some questions to answer. But there are also some rules!

  1. Put the Liebster Award logo on your blog.


  1. Thank and tag the blog who nominated you.

Thanks again, Rookie Mommy! Take a peek at her blog over at http://rookiemommyraisingboys.com

  1. Answer their 10 questions.

1 .If you had to be stranded on a desert island and could only have one person with you, who would it be and why?

My husband, simply because he can catch fish and is a great outdoorsman so it would be in my best interests in order to survive!

2. What was your favorite book when you were a kid? Why?

The Brambley Hedge series, I loved them simply for the map of the village in the front cover, I would spend hours tracing the map with my finger and imagining which house was mine.

3. What gives you the best material for your writing/where do you find your ideas?

I look to my life experience. On top of that my boys give me lots to write about!

4. If you could have ONE super power, what would it be?

To be able to travel back in time and revisit past experiences and people.

5. Who has inspired you the most in your life?

My mum. She was amazing.

6. What is your favorite quote?

‘Do not regret growing older, it is a privilege denied to many’

7. If you could go back in time 10 years and give yourself advice, what would it be?

That everything would work out in the end and to not just rush through life waiting for what you wanted to happen. In hindsight I feel like I wasted much of my 20’s in limbo land trying to get pregnant and missed out on enjoying those years on our own.

8. If someone gave you $20,000, what would you do with it?

My practical side would want to use it to put towards renovations on our house (we NEED that third bedroom!) but the non-practical side would want to go to Disneyland!

9. If you had to eat the same lunch every day for the rest of your life, what would you have?

Hard one! I get sick of things easily. Maybe homemade chicken pie if I could guarantee not turning into the size of a house!

10. What would your perfect day be like? What would you do?

A great family day out to some exotic fun location with no whining or crying or misbehaviour and a magical fairy babysitter to give my husband and I time out for a nice dinner afterwards to recharge. And coffee. Lots of coffee!

  1. Come up with 10 new ones for your nominees.

Here are the questions YOU have to answer:

  1. If you had to choose between sweet or savoury for the rest of your life, which would you choose?
  2. Are you a crazy cat lady or dog person?
  3. What has been your all time favourite TV series (old or current)?
  4. If you had to choose a reality TV show to feature on what would it be and why?
  5. What is the most extreme thing you would do for $50,000?
  6. If you could go back and change one thing in your life, what would it be?
  7. Most embarrassing moment. You know you want to share it with us! 
  8. Were you a goodie two shoes or a rebel in high school?
  9. If you could recommend ONE book to me to read, what would it be?
  10. Do you have a phobia and if so, what is it?
  1. Nominate 8 blogs with less than 200 followers, let them know you’ve nominated them, and link them in your post. No tag-back.

Here are my nominations! These blogs are awesome and all so different from one another so go and have a look see!

Yes Peas Mummahttps://yespeasmumma.wordpress.com

A Little Bit Morehttps://positivelypeachie.wordpress.com


It’s Marie Madehttp://itsmariemade.blogspot.co.nz

Holy Schmidthttp://holyschmidt.net

City Mum Rural Lifehttp://citymumrurallife.com

A Big Thank You

I just wanted to send out a huge and heartfelt thank you to everyone who responded with such kindness after my post on Tuesday. It was a difficult piece to write, though the words flowed pretty freely once I put fingers to keyboard. I have been getting the most beautiful responses from far and wide, from family to friends to strangers.


Many people have been asking me if I feel any kind of relief after having written it. Right now I just feel a little emotionally drained but I am sure with time the benefit of having got that off my chest will pay off and bring with it some sort of peace.

I have been trying to work out why this has started to really play on my mind lately, why 12 years later the residue of this loss is starting to come to the forefront of my mind and play havoc on my emotional wellbeing. I was talking to a friend about it recently and her response made total sense.

From the day she died I have had distractions.

First, my relationship with my now husband was literally a couple of weeks old when she died. So I had him as a distraction. Then we got engaged and I went to Europe for my big overseas holiday. Planned a wedding. Got married and bought a house. Started trying for a baby and discovered it was not that easy. Cue three years of battling infertility, an obsession of trying to get pregnant that took over my life. 3 x IVF cycles. Finally, a pregnancy! Cohen was born, new motherhood awaited. Surprise! Baby #2 was on their way when Cohen was 9 months old. Pregnancy again and another newborn.

So many distractions to keep my mind and life busy.

Now, the boys are 3 and 2. Life has settled down into a routine and my mind is quiet by not having so many huge events one on top of the other to concentrate on. So things long buried are starting to come back up.  I will probably use this blog at times to write about those.

For now I will just sit quietly, reflect and see where that takes me. x

An Open Letter to My Mum for Mother’s Day

She picked me a handful of flowers today
Marguerites, pansies, some dandelions I had ferociously
attacked last autumn
but which had nevertheless survived

I looked into that expectant face
tendrils of hair falling against the wild flush of summer
in her cheeks
and knew that soon
there would be no more lovingly snatched flowers
or breathless smiles
quite like that

and so although they weren’t my kind of flowers
I put them in a vase
and kissed her
and listened to all the things she was trying to say

for childhood cannot be stilled
or put on hold until that last desperate moment
feeling it flutter its wings against us
we clutch it too tightly,
too late

Like a bird
it will simply struggle
and fly away.

You wrote this poem about me when I was just a little girl, about the age Finley is now I imagine. You always had a way with words, with creativity and imagination being forefront to the hobbies you later developed into an art. So super talented and boy was I proud to be able to call you my mum.

I look back now and wonder if there were some divine intervention at play in my teenage years that neither of us were aware of. When all my friends were going through an ‘I don’t want to be seen dead with my mum’ stage I was looking forward to our Monday after school shopping trip and afternoon tea at McDonalds, not giving a second thought to all my friends and peers being at the same mall in groups, none of them hanging out with their mums for fun as an after school activity. We always used to share a thick shake and cheeseburgers taking it in turns to switch between your favourite, chocolate and my favourite, banana. The boys at school used to stare at us and whisper as they walked past but it wasn’t me they were looking at, it was you! I think you were quietly flattered to have so many young admirers, my to-be future husband one of them (little did I know then!). The cheeseburger tradition on a Monday is now something I share with my own son Finley on a Monday while Cohen is at kindergarten, except I have swapped the milkshake for a flat white. Perhaps the milkshake will make a reappearance in the future but for now with a three year old and two year old (and boys at that!), a strong caffeine infused coffee is more my cup of tea so to speak. These two boys are hard work! You would have loved them to pieces. 

I see you in Cohen sometimes, the way he will stare into space away with the fairies imagining who knows what. Nana says that is something you used to do as a child too, lost in your own little world. Cohen is more like me and Finn is definitely his fathers son and yet opposites attract, with Cohen trailing his father around like a shadow and Finley preferring me. Perhaps in later years that will change as I realise more and more just how alike we are as I get older. 

I’m 33 now which is only 7 years off the age you were when you found out you had breast cancer. I remember being in New York on 9/11 and your panic at wanting me to come home immediately. As a parent now I understand your panic, but little did I know at the time that part of the reason behind your hurry was that you had just been diagnosed and you needed me home with you. Life was never the same after that with the cancer hanging over us all like a dark cloud, even in remission. 

When it came back I don’t think I ever comprehended the finality of it all.

I had loved and lost before, first with Grandad and then with Aunt Deb. But truly, who can imagine a life without their rock and best friend? I recall a friend at high school losing her mum when she was around 16 and I just couldn’t fathom at the time how she had the strength to go on. 

Just 5 years later there I stood in her shoes.

I remember it all happening very quickly. One minute we were in a cafe having a lovely lunch as a family and being in denial that the cancer was back and what that meant, the next I was being called into the bosses office at work early in the morning and told to go straight to the hospital because you had been admitted after waking one night with tingling in your legs that turned into paralysis literally overnight. I spent practically every day thereafter at the hospital. To me it seems like it was months but it can’t have been, though I don’t actually remember for how long it was. I remember we used to hang out and talk about our favourite TV shows, read gossip magazines and drink coffee from the hallway coffee cart. I still didn’t comprehend it. Who can? 

But you never came home again.

I don’t think even you knew or cared to admit you wouldn’t be coming home. You were still making big plans. You had giant scrapbooks at home filled with all the places you were going to go, some of them the places you had been before when you lived in London as a young, vibrant and beautiful woman full of promise and big dreams, before I came along and forced you to return home. I hope it was a decision you never came to regret, the decision to keep me and do it all on your own. Deep down I don’t think it was ever something you regretted, though it must have been an extreme change of plans for the life you had envisioned for yourself as a dreamy teenager imagining the adventures of Europe and the big impact you would have on the world with your talents. I must have altered your entire path.

Thank you for keeping me.

To this day I regret not being by your side when you passed away and from the depths of my heart, I am sorry. I just couldn’t do it. By then you were a shadow of yourself, you could barely open your eyes and my pain was too great after watching the woman I loved literally fade away to nothing. But in maturity I now see that I should have put that aside and been there the way I would want my sons by my bedside when I pass over. I can’t imagine them not being there. I was 21 and only thinking about myself as so many young people do. 

I hope you can forgive me.

I loved you so much.

Grief does funny things to a person. For me it manifested itself in irrational phobias that were never something that I feared before. It zapped my confidence. It locked me in a ‘paddock’, in a comfort zone that I still struggle to this day to step outside of. I didn’t learn to drive until I was 27 because it terrified me. Flying makes my heart race and makes me feel physically ill, so I avoid it at all costs. When walking alone around the neighbourhood or with the kids I am acutely aware of dogs and I am scared a stray dog is going to attack us, however ridiculous that sounds. At one point I wouldn’t even walk out to our letterbox alone. Social situations outside my group of friends are awkward encounters. Going some place new makes me incredibly nervous. Heights. Water. So many crazy things at complete odds with who I used to be before you left. I have heard however that these things are pretty normal and I am working on it for the sake of my own sons, I do not want them to grow up to fear the world. I need to try and make those changes and step outside of my ‘paddock’. It has been long enough. 

So Mum …

Happy Mother’s Day for every one of the 12 years that have since passed and the many more to come. You will always be remembered for the Shona that we knew.

Mother, daughter, sister, wife, niece and friend.

You touched so many lives and I hope you know how much you were loved as you took your last breath. 

Loved in every sense of the word.

I can only hope I leave behind an imprint on people’s lives as deep as you did on ours. 

Never forgotten.


What does your house REALLY look like behind closed doors?


Has your house gone to the toys?

Or in reality should I say, gone to the kids? Because let’s be honest, the toys don’t move themselves. And neither do the kitchen utensils. Though I have seen Toy Story so many times that on a particularly sleep deprived evening I could probably be convinced it is true if there were wine involved. Or any alcohol really.

I am currently taking a break from doing my domestic duties on this lazy Sunday and sitting in my reading chair (with a cup of coffee of course!) while looking at the scene playing out in front of me.

Two children fighting over cars, a bottle still on the floor from this morning (oh wait! That one was last nights), a box of opened crackers, the clothes horse with all the clothes hanging on by a thread, one of the rails bent where Finley has taken to sitting on it. The bathroom has a mop leaning against the sink, no toilet mat because three year olds have a habit of getting distracted and missing the bowl, the floor has muddy prints on it after a visit to the park resulted in muddy shoes.

And toys. Everywhere.

Sounding familiar?

I was looking around the house and thinking, thank god none of my friends are here to see this. What would they think of me? Then I got to wondering … Am I really alone here? Am I the only one who seems to feel like they are living in a continual state of chaos? Surely not?

Let’s talk washing – how many of you have so much washing you just simply cannot keep on top of it? Overflowing hampers, washing to fold, discarded towels that have been used by the kids once and are still clean but somehow lay abandoned on their bedroom floor.

And did I mention the toys?

If I am having pre-arranged visitors then I will go all out to rush around the house like a madman trying to get the place looking presentable. But to be honest, I can’t always be bothered. I want my weekends too. And no matter how tidy we make it, within an hour it is back to the state of a pre-school playroom.

So, be honest. Am I alone?

What does your house REALLY look like behind closed doors?


Food For Thought Friday

To do one thing that is true
to yourself,
not listening to the voices
that would mock you
into staying ordinary
To do all the many things
that are inside
and need to get out,
not remaining beholden to
the suffocating tedium
of other people’s expectations
To be brimful with anticipation
for whatever new passion might be
waiting to unfurl;
To have stories to tell,
instead of nothing to say
How sad to live a life
that is not like that.

A poem written by my mum that featured in her funeral booklet.