Mum’s on Strike, so the kids win.

With things till a little muddy in terms of the arrangements and timing of our move, I’ve decided to go on strike for the last two days. That means only doing what is required to look after the kids and not much else. I have really had enough of not knowing whats going on, so that’s whats happening; on strike until further notice.

Keep clear of mum, and be good, she needs some time to decompress.

Prior to me going on strike I had been really keen, getting things ready and packing up the house, boxes, cleaning and painting the windowsills, inside and out. Enjoying the house starting to look great, and even had a Mothers Day pampering; a huge morning tea with hand massage, crafting, and doing my nails. I even scored some towels to do up the house for when it goes on the market.

Windows with new locks (Ta, Dad) and a coat of paint.
Windows with new locks (Ta, Dad) and a coat of paint.
New hotel quality!
New hotel quality towels…free!









So we had an easy dinner last night, no cook chicken and chips, as we returned from the park after a long day and a very long walk to the park. Left the house and all the disasters behind and jumped ship. I even had a half hour nap while the kids were sound asleep. (No-one is sleeping today). On our walk we saw a little white ladder aside a tree. At the park my daughter practiced her ladder climbing, and set up a little train station with bark tickets, asked everyone for “tickets please”. On the way home there were twelve kids in the street, all having a go climbing up the little ladder to get into the tree. It is great to see the tides turning and the helicopter parents nowhere in sight.

To the park... diggin' trains.
To the park… diggin’ trains.
Checking out the bridges.
Checking out the bridges.









The kids have been having a ball, toys are everywhere, inside, outside, making a huge mess. They were so cute playing “dress ups” with my clean washing so I just let them do it. (Until my son cried out he had had enough of the towel over his face). There isn’t a single room in the house that could be called clean or tidy. They both just loved that I spent the morning getting out the train set to play, and this morning my son decided it would be great to plough his way through like a crawling Godzilla, and pull apart the tracks, upending a logging car to eat the tree trunks. Little miss 2 was very unimpressed with his efforts. We might need to rebuild the tracks this afternoon. Lets see if mummy can find the energy before cooking tea, we have people coming over tonight for reenactment craft, so hopefully they can find their way to the lounge-room without stepping in anything hideous.

So excited and proud of her trains, "Go grumpy diesel!!"
So excited and proud of her trains, “Go grumpy diesel!!”
Baby Godzilla
Baby Godzilla!

It doesn’t rain….. it pours.

What a difference a day makes. One day we get advice that there will not be any further movement towards Bunbury until September or October. “Oh dear” I thought, I’d have to face another cold bleak Ballarat winter, the kind that chills to the bone and goes on forever. We have had a taste of chilled days this week, just as a brutal reminder of how cold it can be and it just bucketed down with rain, filling the kids sandpit like a beach at the ocean in five inches of rainwater.

Yarowee Creek Walk Overflow from recent rain
Yarowee Creek Walk Overflow from recent rain
Learning to walk on a beam.
Learning to walk on a beam.










One day later, there is a message to husband “Call Me”, and the response is that he will be required to start in two or three weeks! Prior to this, I was living in the moment, after being given a laundry basket full of lemons and making lemonade (and other lemon based food products).

Lemonade and Lemon Butter
Lemonade and Lemon Butter
Playgroup fun
Playgroup fun









One day I set up the kids to attend the playgroup for the first time, seemed like the right thing to do given the news, and then realizing that this will be a short-term activity. Started back on the packing frenzy. Motivation is increasing once more. One day I was saying I’d better get out some of the toys that might be more age appropriate and challenging for a 9 month old, and set up his temporary accommodation in the spare room porta-cot as a “real bedroom”. The next day, its back to “just a few toys out to keep him going”.


What a week, first he starts to crawl, then he days “dad”, and then he waves at another baby he has met before at a coffee shop.  Thoughts are circulating about the ways he will be challenged with this move. We are still awaiting the work contract as a means to seal the deal later this week, but the excitement is rebuilding, and the whirl of questions are beginning to circle my head.


Its Autumn, leaves will fall and we will play.


So it’s clearly Autumn, and I am beginning to wonder if we will be in town for this Winter. We have slowed down a lot over the past month, with school holidays and Easter, and have spent time enjoying the weather, and some outdoor time.


We got a sandpit for the kids to play in, as you cant just wait around, life goes on and the kids are still growing and developing. Our daughter is wrapped to have a sandpit at home to play, and today we went out to spend some time frolicking and generally relaxing in the autumn leaves.

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I will miss the quiet tree lines street we live in, and the vibrant colors that are a big part of autumn in Ballarat. We made a lovely mobile from the autumn nature collection. Really trying to enjoy the simple life. I have sold some more reenactment gear from the 95th Rifles group too this week on Facebook, and i’m looking forward to reinvesting that into some new equipment soon. My son is really stepping up from a baby to a little boy, getting teeth and starting to get more mobile, rolling around like crazy. We also made some cute stick puppets (thanks Playschool)! which I am sure will get some use soon. Old birthday cards and chopsticks, and some stickers did the trick.IMG_0416


Its Autumn, and the Barrel is loaded.

The Biscuit Barrel that is….I’m generally not much into baking, but this month has been different. While we continue to wait for advancement on the move, I have decided to take the more reIMG_5097laxed approach to our plans and to do some things with the kids. This month saw my daughter turning two, and really developing in her language skills. The change in weather and autumn leaves falling makes me wonder if we will still be here come wintertime, and I’ve already had to raid the shed to unpack some boxes of kids clothes as they continue to grow with the seasons.

Toddlers are fussy little beasts, and I couldn’t tempt her with these treats, or cookie dough, or even her own rainbow birthday cherry cake. But the chili beans “jumping beans” was fantastic, and even used up a tin of beans from the pantry and a jar of peri-peri marinade in the fridge. Pancakes which often are a bit of a favorite remained uneaten, even with the inclusion of this funny little fella. (She has been unwell and teething). The pantry stock has declined, and there will be very little food in the house to deal with when we move. My son has been loving trying new foods.

Tasty chilli beans with fresh yellow capsicum from the garden.
Banana pancakes, monkeying around.
Number 2, Rainbow Cake. Easy to make, just a ring tin cake.

We have been able to offload a wide range of reenactment gear over the last few weeks, and will be doing a good trade off with a  friend later this week, so will hope to pick up some “Viking gear” which we will use in our new group. Birthday time has brought in new toys and more new fun to be had at home. so its been great just to spend some time playing with Playdoh and diggers and going to the park, and out for nature walks. I hope to make a  mobile out of our nature collections, and to roast the chestnuts we have collected on the chilly days. Even did some shopping from home online, there are just things that need to be replaced, we cant just wait until we move, especially with the basics. No-one wants to brush teeth with an old brush or to wear thin and holey undergarments, so we need some new supplies. This cool weather is requiring the logistics of wardrobe changes, coats and gumboots for jumping in muddy puddles.
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I want to wear a helmet ….. Like my mummy.

DSCN0867We finally made it to the Easter encampment for some well earned time off.  Mummy packed up her mummy chest, and off she went to fire arrows at people in the woods, leaving two small children behind with their dad for a while to fend for themselves. Combat archery is great fun, highly recommend it, and I hadn’t done any since before my first pregnancy. One of the things people tell you is that our children will want to do everything mummy and daddy do. And its just so true, never been more graphically illustrated than here, “Helmet on…gloves on…” she said, dressing up like mum is fun “again…helmet on again”.










This time of year is always considered the time for families to “Go camping”, as the warmer weather becomes temperate, and is in advance of the winter season, it seems like this is what all Australians seem to do. It will be interesting to see what our new adventures in Medieval Reenactment will entail, and how we will be able to adjust to working physically in the heat. My husband has met with a group in Perth, who train weekly, but earlier in the morning. One little girl very excited to be going camping again, and somewhat sad to have to say goodbye after just one solid day of fun. One very tired mummy who hopes to use her sweet gifted mummy chest for many years to come.


Easter also brought family gatherings and feasting, chocolate eating, and the well developed traditional “googy egg” for Sunday morning. Flea bombings also ensued due to an aging cat and a dry season, expecting drier weather and sandier soil over the west. Easter Monday was a craft day, making bunnies and having a pajama day.


There were a plethora of pom poms around the house today.

Eat the strawberries, and keep on walking.

IMG_4405[1]Most days we go outside my daughter scopes the herb garden hoping to spot a little strawberry, eating them whether they are ripe or not. She hadn’t done this in a little while, as we had been away from home a bit. I found 6 or 7 lovely little wild strawberries, very small and super sweet.


The decision: Eat the strawberries or share them. Usually i’d tell her and show her, and share the harvest. Not this day, its time that I enjoy the fruit too!! How often do you eat the fruit, honestly I don’t do this enough.

Mums have to look after themselves too. MIMG_4498[1]ake sure we get our rest when we are feeling down and a bit under the weather, like having a pajama day for everyone and watching the twirly-woo’s. Making a paper headband costume to wear too. Kids can be hard on you and wear you down, no one else will look after you if you don’t.

Kids also spill oily pesto on comfortable suede mummy shoes. grrrr. Solution, spend some time and some cornflour and make those shoes look like new again. Don’t just let them sit there with a stain making you feel disappointed. It really worked well and they cleaned up a treat. Do something for yourself today and walk tall.


40 years of life, what will change in the next 40?

DSCN0566Yes, this is “a cake” Nothing fancy or handcrafted, just picked up from the bakery and brought home for a little BBQ for my husbands 40th Birthday.

He was very happy to be spending this weekend, and the rest of his birthday weekends in the future at the School of the Soldier, an American Civil War event. Great people sharing their love of living history together and having fun bringing battles and struggles of setting up a camp to life. The quilt I made him a while back was used to help the remote southerner’s camp to feel more homely.


We are thinking that we wont be able to do quite as much of the living history as we used to now that we are heading over to the west coast, and had a little shop to sell off some excess equipment, things that he had anticipated using for years to come. With the changes, we will have to focus more keenly on the Medieval era kit, and develop new friendships with the people from WA.


The camaraderie that is experienced on the field is no less in the campsite, with many of the soldiers and the women assisting me with the kids when they were really struggling with the humidity. Having no naps to speak of made for two very tired irritable children, and a mum with dehydration and heatstroke from trying to get them to nap in the tent. Hydro-lite was administered to me and we headed home early, with a long trip home in the car. I knew it would be hard, with two kids and no mod-cons, but the chance to give the kids this experience was well worth the effort.

Still feeling unwell as I write this post, grateful to a husband who caringly looks after his family and gets us all home safe. How will our family enjoy simple times together for the next 40 years? With determination, lots of preparation and with intentional plans to make our own memories together.

Family and support, enjoying the here and now.

My husband spent the weekend in Bunbury, one day at the new workplace, and another looking at houses with a real estate agent. We stayed in Melbourne with my parents, to give me company and support while he was away sorting things out.

There were a few places that fit the brief, and as I thought, some homes that looked fine in photos were really quite tired and worn (floors and walls & other not photographed messy bits). It seems we may need to spend a little more to get a home that is in better condition and this will be very important, as he will not have much time for doing work around the house with the new job.

Feeding the Ducks with Nan
Really noticed that my daughter had developed a fair bit over the last month and is becoming a real little toddler. It was lovely to see the relationship between her and her Nan and Pop blossoming, and the love that they share. Very delightful to see my Dad taking my son on the swing, and riding him around on the little trike. Both very happy to play together in the sand building sandcastles. Dad (also an engineer prior to his retirement), engineered a little cover for him from a teatowel to stop him eating the sand. Trips to the park and feeding the ducks, memories being made for the children, bonds being formed before their big move away from the family.

Pop’s Little Ray of Sunshine
My brothers came home for dinner with their families one night, and we had much to celebrate with my sister in laws; one pregnant and the other asked my brother to marry her (it was on the leap year day). Just as we are getting to see one another more, and the kids are all becoming familiar with one another, we will be separated.

Immense enjoyment and appreciation of the shower now that its back in use.
There is currently a lot of support for us with our children, as both of our parents regularly travel to Ballarat to help me take my daughter to swimming lessons. Lately they have also been helping to get the house up to scratch to sell, painting the laundry, and building and tiling the shower recess, if not, its just he day to day, getting kids to bed and making lunch.

It was great just to live in the here and now, forgetting that there was a storm of activity ahead in the blueprint, and enjoy time with my family. How life and relationships will change with distance, only time can tell, but the weekend highlighted for me just how important family support can be.

Introducing the Kids

Learning Together, Laughing Together
I have two very special children, very loved and cared for. We had been awaiting their arrival for some time, and a great deal of science (IVF & non IVF) and planning went into them coming into this world. Our eldest, 23 months old was our first and she loves to get involved in what everyone is doing, loves horses, reading and singing and music. Our second born son is 6 months old, and is just delightful. He has a wicked smile that really makes people take notice, and an adorable giggle. He seems to have a sense of humor and likes to play and sleep and eat. Just a textbook perfect little lad, we couldn’t have asked for two more perfect children had we had the completed request form. (I suspect that all parents say this about their kids, but we have had so many people comment on them). My aim in Engineering this Life, is to make it the best life I can for them without going overboard and forgetting my own life in the process.

Building the Mechanics to Crawl
Our happy little boy
Just having fun at home
Loves to play outside
Wiggly Worms:   I have been working on stimulating variety of activities for the children, being a full time Domestic Engineer, its really a big part of my vocation, and today we made “wiggly worms” out of fruit packing boxes. We were going to paint them, (and perhaps add googly eyes) but the heat outside kept us indoors, using felt tip pens to decorate the worms. I still do most of the drawing, but new skills today included stenciling on a brown paper bag and using markers instead of crayons, pens and pencils. You cant do this sort of thing everyday, its just not manageable, but its good to do something new at least once a week to keep everyone entertained,

“Decorating” the wiggly worms.IMG_3892[1]

Time for the Engineer to plan

First blog post, time to begin this new world of blogging, as I have some time to ‘rest’, coming down with a sore throat. Alas Mum’s cant really rest, today I have still washed clothes, changed and fed the kids, watched lots of ABC kids, and some dishes etc. A domestic engineer has many operational duties, much of which goes unnoticed, but if maintenance is neglected, even during such downtime, the structural integrity of the family unit could be at risk. That being said, planning ones future involves a lot more that day to day maintenance, and all good engineers are fantastic at future planning. What I have trouble with presently is the “Vision”. Cant crystallize exactly what I would like our new life to be, i’m guessing it will unravel with the decisions that are being made right now and those that are yet to be made. Decision making is an opportunity, and my decision today was to start a blog, one that I hope will be of value. Getting called off to the “kit-n”, for the purposes of freezing an ice brick. “Mum-up”.

The photo is an orchid given to me from a friend when I was pregnant with my daughter, when the kitchen was a quieter place. The symbol of growth has blossomed into a real family for us, and a kitchen full of love and meals.