FYBF – The Empty Tank

Our electric blue beat up Ford Falcon has a deceiving petrol gauge.

No, actually. It just doesn’t bloody work.

FYBF The Empty Tank

Despite it telling me the tank was full, I found myself one morning, in the midst of peak hour traffic, trawling up a hill. Two year old twinlets in the back seat were getting agitated.

Just like dogs, they could smell utter panic.

Calling Mr Surfer to get his butt over and rescue us, I will never forget that last 800 metres to the petrol station.

Our heads abruptly jerking forwards and backwards in time to the car’s sputtering as it chugged slowly on its last fumes.

Just as we got to the intersection, it completely died.

Bondi Road commuters were not happy campers that morning.

Thank goodness for kind strangers who helped Mr Surfer push the heavy metallic beast up the driveway.

Fark. I NEVER want to go through that again.

Ever since, I’m constantly paranoid.

Whatever the tank says – empty, full, half way – if it’s been a couple of days, I won’t believe it.

I’ll fill it up, anyway.

My body and mind can be a bit like that stupid petrol gauge.

I accelerate with the pedal to the floor, getting all cocky with my super hero energy.

Then, I’m suddenly bone deep exhausted,  wondering why the extra super crabby bitch Grace suddenly surfaces.

With the blubbering emotional version to follow suit.

Life’s been powering through at a highly turbo charged paced this past month and I’m starting to feel the tank is just above that red line.

While this is probably not a good thing, it’s common.

We all take on much more than we can nibble on.

But it’s an invaluable skill to be able to stop, pause, pull over and fill up before we’re just left with the dregs of our mental and physical energy.

Knowing that my schedule next month isn’t getting any quieter, I’m taking time out this weekend.

I’ve sadly cancelled social engagements (Sorry B and K. You too, Alison!) but I just know me.

My petrol gauge doesn’t work properly.

And I need to fix that.

Does your petrol gauge work? When was the last time you ran out of fuel?

1. Follow With Some Grace.

2. Sign up to the awesome Digital Parents community ( if you haven’t already done so). DP was created by Brenda Gaddi who happens to be the creator of FYBF. She’s also created 4 gorgeous kidlets. In case you’d like to know. Or maybe not. But we’ll share that info just the same.

3. Add your post URL to the FYBF linky. Please only link up one post.

4. Grab the funky FYBF button and post it on your sidebar. Help spread the blogfloggin love.

5. Visit the blogs of your fellow FYBF’ers and share the comment love

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FYBF – Cyclone Scumbag

Driving all day yesterday, the radio news updates on Cyclone Marcia and Cyclone Lam were increasingly disconcerting.

I hope all my feisty friends up North are safe and completely out of harm’s way.

Stand brave, guys.

Yet, with all this volatile meteorological activity, there are the pressing questions:

Who gets to name these great forces of nature?

Where do the actual names come from?

FYBF Cyclone Scumbag

Is there a weather man who has an incurable love for 70’s hit shows about too good to be true blended families?

On the flip side, is Lam a girl’s name or a boy’s? I’m confused.

Apparently, in Australia the idea of christening cyclones has been a century old tradition. All thanks to pioneering weather nerd Clement Wragge.

“Hi, I’m Clement. Let me whirl you with my Hurricane…”

In fact, according to an article (Thanks, Daisy), Clement was so into all things wild and woolly, he came up with the brilliant idea of using names of politicians he disliked.

“Severely dysfunctional Cyclone Tony’s exit into the sea of bad leadership is gradually intensifying into a Category 5 while unassuming Cyclone bill remains politically idle amidst storms of public scrutiny and frustration”

A big believer in recycling junk of the emotional kind, personally, I would use ghosts of boyfriends past.

First up there would be “Hurricane Rodney the hot-cold commitment phobic douchebag.”

In close second, “Cyclone Chris the narcissistic, egotistical maniac”

But the most tempestuous of them all, “Big Blow Dave the lying, cheating scumbag”

Yes, give me some passing wind and I will liken it to the dregs of my dirty past.

Unfortunately, similarly to Clement’s penchant for political name-calling, I think my idea would also be short lived.

Meh.

At least I get to mention them here on yea ol’ blog.

Anyway, dear friends, all jokes aside, please take care.

As I heard the Queensland Minister for Police and Safety, Jack Dempsey on the radio remind us about floodwaters and to avoid driving through them:

“If it’s flooded, forget it”

What name would you give a cyclone? Name (and shame) the worst boyfriend you ever had. Go on. You know you want to.

1. Follow With Some Grace.

2. Sign up to the awesome Digital Parents community ( if you haven’t already done so). DP was created by Brenda Gaddi who happens to be the creator of FYBF. She’s also created 4 gorgeous kidlets. In case you’d like to know. Or maybe not. But we’ll share that info just the same.

3. Add your post URL to the FYBF linky. Please only link up one post.

4. Grab the funky FYBF button and post it on your sidebar. Help spread the blogfloggin love.

5. Visit the blogs of your fellow FYBF’ers and share the comment love

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Putting Compassion and Love Into Action

This post is written in collaboration with Kids Business for Camp Quality. All opinions are my own.

In those dark times, while looking for gaps in the clouds and a little respite for my mental health, I went to the library to start doing some research.

What would it take for me to recover?

I picked up a book of personal accounts of people suffering from mental illness – discussing diagnosis to where they are today with their specific conditions.

While each story was somber, they were also inspiring.

There was one particular story of a lady who, in her journey of severe depression and anxiety, she took up volunteering work as a way to give her redirection, placement and a sense of belonging.

Putting Compassion and Love Into Action 2

The story stayed in the forefront of my mind for a very long time. Unfortunately, it didn’t go further beyond that.

I understood how personally rewarding volunteering and charity work could be but I was still yet to overcome my own hurdles before helping others.

It’s taken me two plus years to finally get my ass into gear and while there is a slight tinge of regret of not acting any sooner, I always look forward to Thursday.

It’s my day to give back; to act on what I feel passionate about.

Coming from a less than privileged background, I see great importance in helping women of disadvantage to be self-sufficient and above all, financially independent.

The bittersweet of being a volunteer is while it’s so very rewarding, you also quickly realize how never ending it is.

There is always, always someone in desperate need.

Countless.

If it wasn’t for the Bloggers Brunch 2 years ago – where I first heard Liz Montgomery from Fitted For Work – it would’ve taken even longer to open my heart and offer my time to a worthy cause.

At the Bloggers Brunch last month, Camp Quality took the floor.

Putting Love and Compassion Into Action

Committed to their purpose in creating a better life for every child living with cancer in Australia, Camp Quality holds a wide range of programs, focusing on family support, hospitals, education and recreation.

Trying to keep optimism and happiness at the front line, there are also programs that offer support at each stage.

Whether it’s the kind we experience ourselves or of those around us, there’s undoubtedly a lot of sorrow, pain and struggle in this world.

At the very least, we know that there are plenty of opportunities for putting compassion and love into action.

There are so many amazing, determined organizations like Camp Quality to who would welcome our help.

Kids Business Communications hosts the Bloggers BBQTM series of events where bloggers and brands meet and mingle. These events also raise awareness and funds for different charities. For more information www.kidsbusiness.com.au

Are you involved with a charity or non-profit organisation? If you had all the money and time in the world, how would you feed your passion?

Joining Essentially Jess for #IBOT

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FYBF – Bone Deep Exhausted

Skepticism and doubt plagued all possibilities.

Energy levels so drained that just getting through the day was an insurmountable challenge.

Going back to the work force was completely out of the question.

But here I am.

2 and a half weeks in, endless hours of walking, dozens of client meetings, 3 sessions of falling asleep on the couch, one massive toe blister and (at last) a sales order later…I am doing what I thought was simply impossible.

Becoming a working mum.

In the same vain people keep asking “How do you do it? Raising twins…”, Mr Surfer keeps asking where I’ve suddenly found the energy.

If It's Important

You just do. You figure out a way to just do.

“Something’s gotta give, though,” he warned.

If I didn’t know my husband better, I would say he was trying to give me an ultimatum.

But I do know him and I understand which plane he’s coming from.

He’s worried about my mental health. He doesn’t want to see me running on desperate fumes and anxiety again.

Fair enough.

Stripping down to complete raw honesty, I’m a little apprehensive myself.

How’s it’s all going to pan out?

Twin wrangling, part time work, blogging, volunteering.

That’s a lot of juggling.

But it’s all worth it. They’re all important to me.

I have always loved sales. Just hated my douche bag bosses.

But this job? It’s a dream.

It’s churning a fire back in my belly.

Something I doubted I’d completely find again.

And this boss? Thank goodness, she’s not a douche bag.

There are no regrets in doing this earlier. I wasn’t ready. It wasn’t important.

Now I am. Now it is.

I am exhausted. Bone deep exhausted. But unequivocally, I am profoundly satisfied.

What puts the fire in your belly? What makes you deeply satisfied, yet exhausted? Have you ever had a douche bag for a boss?

1. Follow With Some Grace.

2. Sign up to the awesome Digital Parents community ( if you haven’t already done so). DP was created by Brenda Gaddi who happens to be the creator of FYBF. She’s also created 4 gorgeous kidlets. In case you’d like to know. Or maybe not. But we’ll share that info just the same.

3. Add your post URL to the FYBF linky. Please only link up one post.

4. Grab the funky FYBF button and post it on your sidebar. Help spread the blogfloggin love.

5. Visit the blogs of your fellow FYBF’ers and share the comment love

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Popping the Camping Cherry

The camping cherry has been popped! Our kick arse Black Wolf 12 man tent has been christened!

Most importantly, we survived!

And despite my ramblings last week, we didn’t go completely “wild”

There was running water, electricity, public toilets, showers and BBQ’s. (Cheating!)

But hey, packing nothing more than half a sandwich bag for toiletries deserves virtual high fives all around, yes?

Popping the Camping Cherry

A collective “woohoo” at least?

Finally arriving at the camp ground, of course we got into a heated debate about which way the tent should be pitched.

Despite eventually letting Mr Surfer have his way, I quickly discovered that our respective egos would hinder us getting through a round of “Survivor”.

Popping the Camping Cherry 2

The twinions were completely wired – jumping on the air mattresses, looking out into the stars – our little fort didn’t turn in until 11pm.

Popping the Camping Cherry 3

Then somewhere around bright moon rising and possums stirring, Mr Surfer’s air mattress deflated and I wound up with two squiggly bodies on my bed. Arms and limbs everywhere.

The lack of sleep didn’t make a lick of difference to how breathtaking One Mile Beach is.

Popping the Camping Cherry 4

Back in the day of no children, we spent a romantic long weekend in the same place.

Funny how having children changes the dynamics completely.

Popping the Camping Cherry 5

The love is still there, though.

Popping the Camping Cherry 6

One Mile Beach Caravan Park is situated right behind the beach and is an ideal family get away.

With the Tomaree National Park close by, we had a few wildlife visitors drop by, including this massive mofo.

Popping the Camping Cherry 7

The problem with a weekend that’s close to perfect are the inevitable meltdowns encountered when time to depart.

K-Bear cried incessantly as we drove out of the complex. He left his heart at the pool with the slide.

Of course, there’s camping hangover to contend with – the exhaustion of packing up (that bloody tent!), an aching body crying for a proper bed and a long warm bath.

But being in the outdoors is addictive.

No doubt we’ll be back.

Joining Essentially Jess for #IBOT

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FYBF – Mama G Goes Wild

“Wild” is one of those movies that captivated me from the get go.

Cheryl Strayed is a broken woman who sends herself on a journey of self-discovery. With nada experience, training and preparation, she impulsively decides to hike 1,100 miles through the desert and harsh terrain of the Pacific Crest Trail.

Crazy.

I just wish my husband saw it before he decided last minute that we’re going camping this weekend.

At least we’re one ahead of Cheryl because in less than 24 hours before taking suggested trip, my husband had the brilliant idea to first test build the kick-arse, who-needs-the Hilton, three room tent.

In the front yard.

FYBF Mama G Goes Wild 2

Free entertainment for the entire neighbourhood.

Concerns were first raised when Mr Surfer pulled out all the awning poles out of the tent bag big enough to fit a corpse.

Poor guy just glared at the long pieces of aluminium.

“Three…I only need three. Sooo, why are there six?”

FYBF Mama G Goes Wild

The puzzled look quickly turned to one of desperation when trying to read the instructions:

“Why? Why??? I don’t understand why!”

I tried to be helpful. Suggesting perhaps that there were six poles because three were for the front and the other three were, um…for the back?

Anyway, we eventually figured it out.

I’m just relieved that the tent is another thing my husband can get up.

Ahems.

Have you gone camping this summer? What’s been your most memorable adventure? Have you seen Wild yet?

1. Follow With Some Grace.

2. Sign up to the awesome Digital Parents community ( if you haven’t already done so). DP was created by Brenda Gaddi who happens to be the creator of FYBF. She’s also created 4 gorgeous kidlets. In case you’d like to know. Or maybe not. But we’ll share that info just the same.

3. Add your post URL to the FYBF linky. Please only link up one post.

4. Grab the funky FYBF button and post it on your sidebar. Help spread the blogfloggin love.

5. Visit the blogs of your fellow FYBF’ers and share the comment love

 

Did you like this? Share it:

The Year of Getting School Ready

This #ASGLittleLearner review was written in collaboration with Kids Business and ASG. All opinions are solely mine. No monetary payment was exchanged.

Despite the twin ions turning five this year, we made the call much earlier on that we would hold them back a year from starting “big school”.

Getting School Ready

While they’ve had to say goodbye to some classmates who have gone ahead to the school around the corner, my boys are now the oldest (perhaps, bossiest?) in their Bears class.

I’ve had some mixed reactions from people when I tell them that my boys have stayed on in daycare. Some completely understand, others are busting to tell me what they really think but have been polite enough not to say so.

Although it seems everyone has an opinion on the topic of school readiness, not everyone has a set of identical twin boys.

Regardless, I have never regretted my decision.

Already we’re seeing huge developments. Where my introverted, daydreamer Nunu got a Superstar award earlier last month, K-Bear soon followed in getting his just last Friday.

No doubt, “Big School” will carry with it many complex emotions and circumstances.

The playground can be a vast, scary and intimidating place for a five year old, not to mention the competitive nature of the classroom.

Making friends, finding confidence, being organised – all important foundations for a young school starter but how does a parent begin those discussions?

To help both you and your preschooler in getting school ready, ASG is focused on supporting children’s education – it’s all they do.  They’re typically known for their education funds, however this pack is an example of the educational resources they provide.

ASGs Little Learner Pack-3

The fantastic pack includes:

  • The Cat in the Hat DVD, containing four episodes from one of Dr Seuss’ most popular characters
  • Five hardcover children’s books from highly regarded education consultant, Michael E Bernard, featuring stories on how to get along, confidence, resilience, being organised and persistence
  • Membership to MY ASG, an ever-expanding source of articles and resources from parenting experts
  • Discounted access to Parentingideas Club, an online parenting centre founded by Michael Grose – one of Australia’s leading parenting experts
  • Discounts on all CD’s and DVD’s distributed by Marcom Projects, ASG’s multimedia educational products division
  • Discounted health insurance with mediGUARD Heallth Cover, provided by Australian Unity

In reviewing ASG’s Little Learner Pack, K-Bear has became engrossed with the books. His favourite is “Before The School Bell”, which covers the topic of being organised. Something his Mama could also learn a thing or two.

Getting School Ready 3

Nunu loves The Cat In The Hat DVD and if allowed would undoubtedly watch it on loop!

Getting School Ready 2

Offering more than $180 of value for only $49.95 is a fun and educational gift for children under six years of age.

Like my decision in holding the twinions back a year, I don’t regret introducing them to these great books and DVD.

I won’t be surprised if we read them every night right up until that imminent day when they’ll walk through the big school gates for the first time.

What are your tips to get little ones school ready? Did you hold your kids back a year? Or planning to?

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FYBF – The Back To Work Mama Edition

And just like that…I’m back in the work force, baby!

Could the universe spin any faster?

In the whirlwind hours of my first day, here are some discoveries of what it takes to get back in the corporate game but also some pearls that other part time Mama friends have passed on:

  1. Prepare two outfits the night before – one that you actually plan to wear and the second that you’ll end up with because WTF? When did those work pants shrink down a size (or three)? Because surely I didn’t put that much weight on in the past five plus  years.
  1. The best accessory I can wear to the office is a smile. Maybe it was just the nerves talking but I smiled at everyone – the CEO, the lady at the photocopier, the photocopier…

Fake it till you make it…and your cheeks get sore.

FYBF Back to Work Mama Edition

  1. As I mentioned on Instagram, I didn’t feel guilty that I didn’t have mother’s guilt because, well, I love my boys. They know I love them. I’m a much nicer mum to be around when I’ve done something for myself and they know that too.
  1. A fellow twin working Mama friend said, “There’ll be days when you think, ‘I’m all over this’ and others where you’re not but it’s all part of the fun”
  1. Another working Mama friend forwarded this gem:

“You’ll no longer worry about the stupid, insignificant office politics because you just don’t have the time or the energy to! You just want to do your job, do it well and pick your babies up on time!”

Oh, and to answer all those lovelies who were concerned about how I had just donated 2 HUGE garbage bags of corporate clothes only weeks before getting this new job…I regret nothing!

Those suits and I have long past our decorous time together. I couldn’t squeeze into them anymore, anyway.

And er, hello? Shopping!

Got any other tips/pieces of sage wisdom to add to my list?

Name one incident where you faked it till you made it? And noooo, I’m not talking about that time *ahems*

 

1. Follow With Some Grace.

2. Sign up to the awesome Digital Parents community ( if you haven’t already done so). DP was created by Brenda Gaddi who happens to be the creator of FYBF. She’s also created 4 gorgeous kidlets. In case you’d like to know. Or maybe not. But we’ll share that info just the same.

3. Add your post URL to the FYBF linky. Please only link up one post.

4. Grab the funky FYBF button and post it on your sidebar. Help spread the blogfloggin love.

5. Visit the blogs of your fellow FYBF’ers and share the comment love

Did you like this? Share it:

The Working Gal

2015 is shaping out to be an interesting year.

Having come across a potential job opportunity before Christmas, initial talks with the potential employer were strictly casual.

Casual because as the opportunity came up quite suddenly.

For the guys offering the job, the need to fill the role was urgent.

As it worked out – casual can materialize itself into commitment.

Which then transforms a coffee meeting last Friday into a part time role as a business development manager for a thriving and innovative financial services company, starting tomorrow.

Yes. TOMORROW.

I officially become a working gal.

But I’m ready.

Equally nervous as I am excited.

The thought that there are expectations to be met is a little daunting.

Then again, being a mum those are constantly tackled and successfully slam dunked every day.

It’s just been so long while since I’ve been put on that corporate measure.

Five and a half years to be exact.

I don’t know how this is going to pan out.

While the job has got the two big ticks I need right now – flexibility and permanent employment – the circus juggling is going to be crazier than ever.

One day it’ll be spinning plates chaotic.

The next it’ll be breathing eating dramatic.

I know it’s going to be about military precise time management.

I know I will need to be easy on myself.

I know I’m up for it.

I know I’d rather give it a go, then fail rather than be too chicken shit to attempt at all.

The Working Gal

I also believe in signs.

As it works out, the day I go back into the work force, – starting this significant new chapter in my motherhood journey – happens to also be the very day the twinions turn five.

Yup.

Shaping out to be a very interesting year, indeed.

Joining Essentially Jess for #IBOT

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FYBF – The FIVE Edition

It’s less than a week until the “twinions” turn five. FIVE.

FYBF Five Edition 3

No doubt, time will fly by before they will soon be dubbed “the twin-agers

Then again, I doubt if I’ll still be blogging by then.

You. Never. Know.

As per usual, we are completely unprepared for their birthday celebrations.

K-Bear is still crying over the sad fact Christmas is over.

Despite explaining that there’s a good chance he’s getting his own “Shark Play Set”, just like the one he’s obsessed with at daycare, almost 5 year old logic doesn’t seem to grasp that receiving for his birthday, isn’t as long of a wait.

FYBF Five Edition

“Noooooo!!! I want it for Christmas, OKAY???!!!”

Okay.

Unperturbed Nunu couldn’t care less either way. Just don’t touch his Stegosaurus or Triceratop, OKAY???

Okay.

FYBF Five Edition 2

If there’s anything that’s going to be a constant family tradition in our household, it will be that the twinions will ALWAYS be getting a birthday party…
3 weeks after their actual birthday.

They should be so lucky we’re even throwing one.

There was, after all a four year recovery, er I mean hiatus after their first.

FYBF Five Edition 4

While last year’s wasn’t a complete shambles, the memory of my shirtless husband slaving away in the kitchen at 2am, decorating two dinosaur cakes with Maltesers, green food colouring and choc drops has been burned on my mind.

That and of course the moment I realized that over a dozen preschoolers were bashing the Thomas Pinata to no avail because…I was supposed to fill it up with LOLLIES!!

Come on! Buy the Pinata AND the lollies? What happened to “All in One” deals?

Whatever shin dig we come up with this year, invoices will NOT be sent to last minute no-shows.

Seriously. Some people.

Anyway, the twinions are turning five.

Fünf Jahre alt. 五歳. Lima tahun.

FIVE YEARS OLD.

Someone, hold me.

Any SIMPLE ideas for five year old birthday themes? Did you hear about the parents who invoiced the no-show parents for their kid’s ski party? Were you Team Party Parents or Team No-Show Parents?

1. Follow With Some Grace.

2. Sign up to the awesome Digital Parents community ( if you haven’t already done so). DP was created by Brenda Gaddi who happens to be the creator of FYBF. She’s also created 4 gorgeous kidlets. In case you’d like to know. Or maybe not. But we’ll share that info just the same.

3. Add your post URL to the FYBF linky. Please only link up one post.

4. Grab the funky FYBF button and post it on your sidebar. Help spread the blogfloggin love.

5. Visit the blogs of your fellow FYBF’ers and share the comment love

 

Did you like this? Share it: