#2601 My ‘stronger’ list

Almost a week ago I knew I had to do something different.

Something to help me get by.

Being my second pregnancy, I felt more confident and assured when it came to certain things.

The problem with knowing what lies ahead though, is just that – you know what lies ahead.

I knew labour would be hard – and it was.

I knew childbirth would be hard – and it was.

And just as some parts of recovery have been easier, including adapting to our sweet baby boy…

I know about the sleepless nights. I know how unpredictable it all is in the beginning. I know about the fatigue.

And so it was.

And so it IS.

I was mentally struggling with all of this knowledge in my haze of fatigue and roller-coaster of post-partum hormones, when I realised I had to make things better somehow.

First, I needed to mix things up at home.

Second, I needed little things to look forward to, no matter how small.

Third, I needed to train my brain to the positive, and look at more gratitude, not lack of, in the position I was in.

Fourth – I had to somehow keep score.

So, I made a ‘stronger’ list.

Tonight is night 5. Or so it will be after the night is over. In the morning when I get up, I add the date I just survived onto my list, plus a tick ✅ and then the shortest notation on how the night went. Something like “hard ’til 3am. I got through” or “slept between feeds, first time!”

My goal is to get stronger with this list. As it grows and I add to it every night, I’ll be able to see that no only have I gotten through another night, but see that things do get better, easier, and they pass.

And when there is a harder night, I’ll be able to deal with it better, knowing I’ve dealt with it before.

It’s still early days, but the concept is working. I’m going into the nights a little mentally stronger, and honestly, at this stage, it means so much for my well-being.


#2595 10 minutes outside

Since I came home with baby boy 4 days ago, I’ve been outside once to throw out the rubbish.

Today was a nicer reason. I’ve been a slave to my little one’s milk demands all night and day, and so when they fell asleep for a little longer, after trying to do some things I’ve been trying to do all day, I went out.

Everything looks different after you’ve gone through something as significant as birthing a baby. I walked our front path, the one I had gone down days ago when I was bringing a new baby home in my arms. I looked at our plants. The new buds on the rosebush. The sun shone on my face and I squinted into the horizon and the glistening waters that lay there.

10 minutes. I had so many other things I could’ve been doing, but I needed time out. I needed to breathe the outside air and remind myself of that quote:

The nights are long but the years are short.”

Well, we’re not up to years with baby boy yet, but we are with baby girl. With him, the days are short. Day 5 today will be a month tomorrow. It feels so long right now, but all I need to do is look at baby girl to know that all challenges pass.

10 minutes of me time therefore, is not much in comparison. But the act of stopping, means the world. 🙏

#2499 Wednesdays with Hubbie no. 7

Wednesday fun snaps.

Honestly I love this mid part of the week so much. It breaks the working week in two and makes getting to the weekend so much more bearable.

The fact that I have the day off with Hubbie is just gold. We drop off baby girl at school, and then do some things. He helps me with grocery shopping at the moment, lifting all the heavy bags, and then we go and do coffee and brunch.

This time of year, we always walk to the beach.

I took my sandals off to sink my feet into the sand, to ground me.

Then the rest of the day is usually spent doing our own thing… we meet again for lunch, maybe an odd job here and there, and then it’s school pick up.

I often wonder now, as is the case being pregnant, just how our Wednesdays will change, and will be come February next year. Everything will revolve around baby, and we probably will have very limited ‘us time,’ if any.

But still, I know I will count down to Wednesdays happily, knowing I have my partner in crime by my side. 🥰🥰

In the meantime, here are snaps from today. Both make me happy for various reasons. 😅☕🏖️💖

#2473 6 years of the bay

Exactly 6 years ago, on October 14th, also a Friday, we moved our lives to the other side of this city.

It somehow feels like a lot of time has passed, while in some ways it feels like it’s flown by.

There has been a lot of growth though.

We have grown. All of us. Baby girl has grown up here. She’s established her friendships and school life here, and that is something we’ve always wanted.

We finally know the secret back streets, best places that do coffee (priority) have our favourite and then our experimental beaches, as well as our reliable local grocery spots where we seem to spend so much time at.

Our house has changed. We have done a lot to it, renovations and face lifts and improvements, and yet, there is still much more to go.

But, baby steps.

Lastly, our home has grown in love. Years ago we welcomed a feline friend, saved from the local shelter no less, and the love is happily growing even more… we are making way for a new member of the family to make their arrival in about 4 months time.

Yes, things have changed. They are meant to. But our resolve to make a better life for ourself, our child/ren, our pets! has not wavered, and I think we are doing alright.

It’s a forever work in progress, a project I am happily committed to.

To many more years of beach-bum-loving folk. 💗🌅

#2448 The grass is greener downstairs

Still on the reno and our altered sleeping arrangements.

Whenever I get home from anywhere, I immediately get changed into trakkies. I can not do it soon enough. Even more so being pregnant, and even with my comfy pregnancy jeans (they are comfy with their high elastic tummy coverage) I STILL need to get into my trakkies, pronto.

This afternoon after I got home with baby girl from her swim class, she headed off into the shower, and I looked up the stairs, in the direction I usually head when I need to get changed… my bedroom.

But no. Upstairs was now officially a painting site with drop sheets everywhere and furniture taped away and protected under more clear sheets, it being day 1 of painting and all.

Our bedroom, temporarily, was now downstairs.

And I didn’t have to go up the stairs to get changed.

OMG. I had no idea how annoying this task was, even more so these last few months, until literally this afternoon. I was marvelling at how amazing it was to simply walk to another room on the ground floor, and not have to chug upstairs!

It was bliss!

When Hubbie came home and went to get changed, he soon discovered the same thing… “Oh my God,” he said. “This is the best!”

My only concern now is that this is so good, not even having to use stairs, that we won’t want to go back to our original room once the reno is done. I hope that the reno is so good, it entices us back. 😁

For now, we will enjoy the grass on the other side… or the bedroom on the ground floor. 🛏️

#2447 The 9 night getaway

Tonight we begin our 9 night mini holiday. 🥰

The last time we went away for a duration nearly as long as that was when we were in Europe on our Honeymoon for 5 weeks…

13 years ago!

And tonight, we get to have decent break, finally, yet again…

The location?

Downstairs. 🤣

We are getting away downstairs, to the spare room. Because the two rooms upstairs (including our one) is going through a little renovation.

We’re getting both rooms painted and blinds and sheers put in. The smell of paint will be great no doubt, and this job won’t be done overnight either. The paint dust and smell needs to literally settle, then early next week, the windows will get furnished!

Then, and only then, can we move back to our brand new bedroom. 😁

We’ve spent the last 5 days moving stuff out of those two rooms, bar for some heavy furniture, like the bed, cot, dresser, etc. We’ve brought out pillows downstairs, our alarm clocks, even our doona!

It is super weird to be sleeping in another part of the house, but also kinda exciting. Hubbie keeps joking it’s like we’re going away, and I gotta agree, it does feel like that, there is an amount of novelty attached to the event…

Because, you know what they say…

‘A change is as good as a holiday.’

And we are literally sleeping somewhere different for a change!

#2398 We are so close!

We are down 2 months of Winter!

It may be cold and windy outside, and sure the air is icy at hell during most parts of the day, but you don’t fool me, weather!

August is upon us, so close, tomorrow. And we all know, though the days remain cold, one thing begins to change…

The sun shines more. Buds on trees blossom. The air begins to shift.

Spring begins to spring forth.

I for one, am sooo ready for this next stage.


#2389 Feeling the Rain

When you’re sick you don’t really have the desire to do the things that usually make you happy, because you lack all motivation for it. So when I put on a favourite CD tonight as I prepared dinner, I knew I was on the up again.

Madonna, Something to Remember. I love these slow, melodic, romantic and woeful songs, especially when times are slow and dark and cold such as this. They really allow me to be present with my thoughts, feel the songs properly, and appreciate them for the beautiful melodies and lyrics within.

I paused the album as we ate dinner, then hit play again as I went to wash up. A very familiar song started up, and I like, froze. I had to listen to it properly, no interruptions, and I said as such to Hubbie as he moved around the kitchen, telling him I was trying to appreciate the song.

It’s one I’ve shared here before in depth, and I will do it again for the strength of emotion it brought forth in me tonight. It’s not only one of my favourite Madonna songs, but one of my favourite songs of all time.


There’s just something about rain for me. I can’t explain it. There is great symbology present for me, and it isn’t just that it’s connected to my novel in a big way. It’s been my fascination, a sense of curiosity, wonder, for as long as I can remember. I wrote about it before, and I feel the same, if not so much more about this ethereal element of Mother Nature.

I listened to this song, and I was feeling it. Every single word. I was quiet, my face distorting because seriously I was going to cry. Call it this past week, my body having gone through a wide range of physical and mental things, but I was seriously emotional.

The song finished, and I couldn’t help it, I had a cry. The last time I had listened to it I was different. The last time I had written about it I was different. Today, again different. I thought about life, the unexpected beautiful and difficult things that hit us in the face, throwing us off balance, I guess, a bit like unexpected rain.

But rain is beautiful. The song is beautiful. And I think if we learn to embrace all of life’s changes, good and bad, just like a well-known quote, we will be able to dance, no matter what.

“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass… it’s about learning to dance in the rain.”

I’ll share the video again, just because it makes me so happy. 🥲🌧️💖🎶

#2305 The swimming roster

This is a major motherhood gratitude post.

But even non-parents I think will find sense in this logic.

Today baby girl had her first swimming lesson, that was back on a weekday.

She’s been doing Saturday morning lessons at 10:45 since she moved up a class at the beginning of the year. Now you might say, oh 10:45, that’s alright…

I thought so too…. initially.

But no. No it is not alright.

I get a bit of a sleep in, yes… so does baby girl.

But then we can’t chill. Each weekday we are go go go, and then I have the added pressure of needing to get her out of the house earlier when I work, so that I can rush back home and clock-on by 9am.

We rush, ALL THE TIME. Saturdays used to be –

Sleep in.

Get up… slowly.

Eat breakfast… slowly.

Watch Friends while we are doing everything slowly. 1, sometimes even 2 eps.

Then we might keep sitting on the couch. Just because.

Eventually I will get up, wash some dishes, tell baby girl to brush her teeth because it’s now 11:30… 😆

You get my drift. We are slow.

Well, we used to be, until Saturday morning swimming. 🤔

We had a little bit of leeway, but not enough. We couldn’t go slow. Suddenly it felt as if it were a hybrid weekday/weekend morning, where we got to sleep in a bit, but as soon as we awoke it was “time people, look at the time!”

Last week during her Saturday class, I very casually, without expectation, went over to the office to see if there were any weekday classes she could swap to. When we checked last year, only Saturdays worked for us.

But kids move on and drop out of classes. Things change.

The woman said to me, “we have Monday at 3:45 – (bzz, wrong, we tried that once and it was so hard to get there so soon after school finishing) – and we have Friday at 4:15.”

Hmmm. I paused. I thought.

“Some people don’t like Fridays, swimming’s the last thing they wanna do at the end of a long week,” she went on.

“No, that could work!”

We booked it in, and later I told baby girl about it as she finished her class…

And ALL week, the relief has just been lifting off of me, OH MY GOD.

I didn’t even realise how much Saturday morning swimming stressed me out, until I changed it! Even baby girl complained often, and rightly so. She just wanted to do her own thing on weekend mornings, not have to run around and do classes and stuff.

Today was her first Friday class!

So you know what that means… tomorrow we sleep in and go SLOW! YAY! 😆😁😁😁😁😁🏊‍♂️

#2280 How to turn a grey day around

Yesterday was the perfect grey day.

Today, not so much.

I felt flat, and really quite down. What made me feel somewhat better was learning that so many people around me also felt the same… was it the colder weather? The clocks changing? The dark, overhanging skies?


Just knowing I wasn’t the only one feeling it today, helped. But then I did a number of things to try and lift my mood this evening/night.

I put on an album, Queen 2. And just as it too matched my mood in its solemness and slow heavy music, it turned upbeat in the last two songs so much so that I pumped up the music and was singing “Funny How Love Is…!”

I lit candles. Like, a lot. I lit three as the rooms got darker much earlier than what we have become accustomed to with our summery days, and then I went a step further and lit some incense, taking the musky smelling stick from room to room.

We need to change the atmosphere when things feel dark and dim, so introducing light, scent, even sound to our environment can profoundly make an impact.

I set in motion plans. There is nothing like taking charge of that which you can control, and by making future plans for something that you will look forward to, immediately puts you in a better mood, even if the event is weeks away… you can see it. You know it’s coming.

Lastly, I took charge in another way, and did something wild. I booked something, WILD. And when I say wild, I don’t mean Las Vegas wild, I mean SmikG Writer wild.

And if you still don’t know, well that’s because I’m frankly terrified right now, but let’s just say it’s right up my alley… or right up my bookend… something like that. 😏🤔✍️📖

And those are my little itsy-bitsy things that turned my grey day into something much nicer after all. 💖💖