Have You a Family Ritual? We kinda do – eating out on a Friday night. It’s an excellent way to bring in the weekend. We always have fun. I’m really hopeful it’s something that will continue, even decades down the track – spag bol in Darlo with the folks, friends and whomever in tow of course. We actually messed with our standard end of week fare recently and went out with another family to their eat house which they affectionately call “Noodle Poodle”. It was another great night out and I love that we have already broken, or should I say enhanced, our new tradition.

Where? The Chinese Dumpling and Noodle House, Anzac Pde, Kingsford. Google it for a mountain of reviews. Yummy things we ate: handmade chicken noodles, dried steamed northern dumplings, dried fried beans and salt’n’pepper eggplant. 

Into food reviews? Then visit my fav foodie blog: Leo’s Feast


Four In The Bed – We moved the chaps into a room together recently – our spacious with a sun room room – and we moved to the small room. Still working on where everything goes but was pretty clear about where everyone was sleeping. At least I thought I was clear. Hmmm… I do know however we’re not the only parents to be playing musical beds in the middle of the night. Guess they just love being with us – but do they have to be with us horizontally???? 

Mother’s Day is a special day for me because back in 1999 it was the day my waters broke and I was about to enter into motherhood.  

It was evening and I was watching Eurovision when I felt the ‘pop’. We excitedly contacted the hospital and were asked to come in to be checked. There we were told that it was likely I would go into labour within the next 24 hours and if I didn’t I would be induced at 48 hours.

Day 1 passed in a bubble. Matt and I cruised around together, ate at our favourite local, went to the movies and did lovely things together knowing soon that our life was going to be incredibly different. I also did everything I could to move things along – acupuncture, homeopathy, foot massage, hot laksa, long walks, herbal teas, and even a scary movie.  

But he didn’t budge, and funnily enough my beautiful Taurean still likes to do things in his own time. So by the end of Day 2 we begged for another night which the hospital granted but were told if he didn’t start making his own way by the morning I had to be induced.

By sunrise I was sitting under the tree in my back garden crying. Arlen was just chilling out but I was terribly frighted. Things were not going as planned. It was not looking like the natural, calm birth with our doula Kylie at the Birth Centre. I was not in control of what was about to happen. Then Kylie called. She told me that however the day unfolded was going to be perfect for us and she was right.

Fortunately, the labour ward had been quite busy the night before so they told us come in a little later. Matt and I went for a brekkie and I ate heaps knowing I would need the energy. (I just have to tell you that I am weeping as I write this because it was such a special time).

At the hospital we stopped by the Birth Centre just to let them know that I was expected at the labour ward. There we met Libby who, like Kylie, I will love till the day I die. She walked us up, got us a room then set about making it look a lot less clinical. Then Kylie arrived and as the universe would have it she and Libby knew each other from a Calm Birth course. Libby then said she could be our midwife as it was looking like a quiet day at the Centre. Suddenly, I had the most amazing birth team with me. I felt blessed …and then after about an hour of receiving the intravenous “motivator” I went into labour.

I won’t go into the gritty except to say, yes of course it hurt like the billy-o but he arrived safely, naturally and drug free, seven hours later, weighing in at a whopping 4.95kg.

It was the most extraordinary experience and I loved it, and I loved him and my hubby and the world – my heart was bursting. Then to top it all off they gave me gas to stitch me up and I was even better.

For a long time after I wanted to become a midwife. I think it is the most extraordinary job anyone can do. I felt the same after Reed’s birth. It’s still not out of the question, but full time study is right now.

I know not everyone experiences great births but I truly believe it is a moment of greatness for a woman.

Our Common Bond: I love the way being a mum has allowed me to be more at ease with other people. I’m often having a good yarn with the person sitting next to me as we watch our kids play. I know on many different levels they understand me or at least who I am at this point in life. At times, I find this is comforting. Perhaps the ease at which children make friends helps too – everything is simple – want to chat? Want to play?  (Another singer that April mum, Kate and her family have enjoyed. Felt it suited).

Anyone else see the article in the Sun Herald (March 6) on primary schools? Had to share considering my wonderful March mum.

Low-tech path to success: TWO primary schools that have shunned the digital age and embraced unorthodox teaching methods are among the top achievers in national literacy tests.  Mumbulla School for Rudolf Steiner Education and Lorien Novalis School for Rudolf Steiner Education are both ranked among top schools in NSW, according to their overall performance in year 5 NAPLAN tests. Read more.


Arlen threw a big one recently because he didn’t want to have a bath. In an effort to rationalise with him (and at that cranky point me) about how life is not so bad  I began going through all the things that we did that day – it had been a fun day. By the time we got to “and are we having your favourite spaghetti bolognaise for dinner?” his answer was a happy “yes”, at which point I directed him to his bath.

It prompted me to think about how I could incorporate gratitude and appreciation more in our daily life.

I thought about my nephew (regular guy, aged 12) who attends a Catholic school and prays at the drop of a hat, his mum (sister) likes this especially for the way it makes him think there are things greater than himself. But we aren’t the praying/ grace type of family (not that I would ever mention that to our beloved Quill matriarch).

See, although married into a Catholic family, I am not a believer of any particular God. I am swayed by Buddhist philosophy, fascinated by how accurate my horoscopes can be, and intrigued by how every time I ask for a parking space, the parking angels seem to always (seriously always) come up with the goods; but that’s about it. 

Anyway, I think I’ve found a solution. Yasmin Boland makes a good suggestion in her newest book about making a gratitude list at the end of each year for all the good things that came your way. I’ve taken that a little further. I cleared off the whiteboard in our kitchen and made it our “Today List”. At dinner time each day I’m going to write up, and talk about, the good things… Like it?

Today.. Arlen sat down on a travelator and kind of slid down on his bottom like a slippery slide. One part of me went “oh no, that’s dangerous, you shouldn’t do that” but fortunately before I could open my mouth another part went “I wish I could slide down on my bottom to see what it was like”.

I think it’s cool how kids can make small things great. They really have super powers.


I walk away from this year certain that life is too short. There is beauty and wonder in life and if you have kids you don’t have to look too far to find it.


Free to Be!  When I became a mother for the first time, I was ready. I was satisfied with all the things I had done.  I’d travelled, lived in different cities, had run a sufficient mock for a number of years and was living happily with my husband and cat.  So when motherhood came it was a surprise as it is for everyone (because we all know it’s impossible to understand what it is like until it happens) but it was exactly where I wanted to be.

Few years on with another baby and while I admit to the odd “gee it would be nice to have/be/buy moments” the one thing I have mourned is the idea that I can never be spontaneous again. There’s been no resentment around it but definitely some sense of loss. Then I had a fantastic breakthrough, and it is this that I really want to share. I suddenly realised that I am completely spontaneous with my little buddies every day and it is wonderful. “Where will we go to today? Who will we meet? What will we see? What will we make? What will we do?” These questions are part of our every day early morning conversations. 

Looking at things in a different way is certainly no revelation but this simple connection has made me feel complete to enjoy my days even more in the sandpit and all other places I investigate with my chaps.

Angels, Heaven  …Bloody hell My attempt to protect my three-year old, Arlen from the full experience of grief backfired and now I’m heading up the repair mission: Let’s get honest about the cycle of life and include the word ‘death’.

We lost a great woman to cancer last month and in the face of her pending death I dealt with it being in denial. It’s a coping strategy that works to a certain degree but definitely not recommended – especially when your actions and reactions to life are closely observed by two little boys.  

Anyway, it’s the denial that I put the phrase “she’s going to live with the angels” down to because it certainly didn’t come from any research I had done. 

At the time he accepted this explanation well but then a week later when he came down with a terrible cold he said “mummy I don’t want to be sick and live with the angels”. Good one, mummy.

So then I went backwards to go forward and did a bit of research. Of course what came up the most is that honesty is always the best policy.

Here are a few links which I found useful. Hopefully you won’t need use this advice soon but from this experience I can tell you it’s better to be prepared than make decisions in the midst of emotion and denial.

Triple P Podcast: Talking about death – “Children need to know that their world is predictable and that what’s happening around them isn’t going to impact on them being looked after – you need to [talk to them] with that in mind”. But how do you do that?

Talking to Children about Death – Many of us are inclined not to talk about things that upset us. We try to put a lid on our feelings and hope that saying nothing will be for the best. But not talking about something doesn’t mean we aren’t communicating. Children are great observers. They read messages on our faces and in the way we walk or hold our hands. We express ourselves by what we do, by what we say, and by what we do not say.

Use the word ‘death’ – Euphemisms like ‘going to sleep’ or ‘going away’ or even the commonly accepted ‘passed away’ can be confusing for young children. Also, by avoiding the word ‘death’, you unintentionally make the thing even more frightening than it is. If saying ‘death’ is hard for you, try to use it in talking to yourself, or to adult friends, so that you can feel less uncomfortable with the word.

SUN VS SUNSCREEN: Will you dare to face the sun without a lather of cream this summer? According to some, our fear of sunshine is actually causing us more harm than good. Not only are we missing out on valuable vitamin D but we are exposing ourselves to dangerous chemicals found in almost all sunscreens.

On one side of the debate we have some interesting research on vitamin D from Dr Mercola as well as a report titled: Over a Million People Die Every Year From Lack of Sun.

On the other, we have a report from the Cancer Council NSW on Vitamin D and Sun Exposure

How are you going to enjoy the sun this summer?

2 Responses to TALKABOUT

  1. melhm says:

    Noodle poodles rock! thanks for sharing our little Friday night family ritual too, lovely… xxx

  2. melhm says:

    Hi Sydney Mum – great question! I’m starting to think that some sunscreens (kids’ especially) available here in Australia are the devil’s work, as unfortunately we haven’t the same sort of regulations in place here as they do in the US and Europe… alas it seems you need a master’s degree in chemistry to work out what to avoid – I cover a few of them on my own blog:
    Happy avoiding!

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