And just like that, we are coming back…

We moved at the beginning of last year, wanting to see how this went, wanting to see how we would go. Away from our families, away from our comfort zones, our little family on our next big adventure. We started our adventure excited, and, until this day, we have truly made the most of living by the beach.
Our kids are well and truly beach kids, Leo would happily spend his days kicking the footy and laying in the sand, Maisie in the amongst the waves, and little Posy watching it all from the comfort of her tent. We have tried our hardest to keep busy, to go and find new places, to give our children the best opportunities, to find shells, explore rockpools, eat fish and chips and ice-cream all along the South Coast. We have had the most amazing time, we feel lucky to live in such a beautiful part of the country and I know that the memory of our time here will be treasured forever.

Knowing all this and knowing how much our children love it here may make what I am about to write seem a bit odd but, as much as we love it here, it is now time to go home.

If living here has taught me anything it is that we are the type of people, I am the type of person, that needs my people around me. Home sick is something I thought I could never be as a grown woman, but I think that’s what it was.
We have kept busy, yes, because we love the ocean and it will forever be the place that brings me the most peace, but we kept busy to distract from the fact that we had no one to go visit. No one who would be popping around, no one to mind the kids while Duncan and I needed a much needed catch up, no Grandparents or Aunts and Uncles for our kids to be offloaded to. We had a new baby, children that missed the people that they used to see so often, we had created this amazing lifestyle but we felt alone.
We missed what we had taken for granted in the past. I noticed how happy I was when my sisters would come and how sad I was when they would leave, I spent my time looking forward to the next visit or when we would be going home next.
We were living in arguably one of the most beautiful places that you could be and the only place I wanted to be was where I used to be, closer to our families. So we are doing what will give us the greatest happiness, and that is, getting out of here.

In saying that, I will miss it. I will miss the beach, the sense of freedom it brings. I will miss the sound of the waves, I will miss the water.
I will never and would never regret the decision we made to move here, I will always look back on this time with happy memories, this is where we brought our third little baby home, this is where our big kids learned to love the sea, this is where Leo started preschool. Our time here, although parts of it sad and lonely, was mostly wonderful. It was a chance that not many people get to have, a grown-up gap year, before we enter the world of big school, regimen, routine. Where we would have dinner early just so we could spend evenings at the beach or weekends driving to different towns just so we can build a sandcastle on a different stretch of sand. I will forever be grateful that we took the initial leap and moved, our life for the last year has basically been a holiday and our children have the most fortunate lifestyle because of it. But if being away has taught us anything it is that for us, family, being close to those we love, will always trump lifestyle.

So, let the packing begin! The thought of another interstate move with now three little ones is making me want to run for the hills, but I know this time this is it. This will be our last move, (at least last change of town move), we are moving home to grow up, to start saving towards our forever home, to be closer to our support, and, most importantly, to give our children the utmost wonderful opportunity to grow up surrounded the ones that are most important, our families.

Look out Shepparton, the Moodie’s are coming!

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The last one of 2017

What a year we have had.
For us it has been like no other. A new town, a new lifestyle, preschool and a new baby. Never would I have imagined that in 2013 when I was having Leo that in four years this is where we would be, our little family complete and our life in a completely different state.

As I have eluded to in previous posts this year, this has been a big one for us, but I am quickly learning that as we get older and as our children reach new stages every year is “a big one”. There is always something happening, there is always something coming up, we move towards new stages and say goodbye to old ones quicker than we may be ready to.
2017 has been a year of reflection for me, maybe it was the beachy air, being home with the children, or being away from all the people we love. Whatever it was, all my reflection has lead me to three simple conclusions. Time passes, things change and our children grow, we cannot slow it and nor would we want to stop it, it just makes being present in the moments so very important.
Blink and you’ll miss it.

Our little family is still adjusting to the changes that happened in 2017, we are still working out the intricacies of functioning as a five, I am still telling people we have “just moved here” and Leo has only, in the last few months, gotten used to the idea of going to preschool. Posy is no longer the newborn that I think of her as and Maisie is a running and jumping little chatterbox, things are changing, constantly. In a way it’s scary how quick it is all going.

But instead of focusing on the past and how quickly time is stealing my babies from me I thought I would end the year on this, a resolution if you will. Next year will be our year for adventure, to explore and to enjoy these little people as much as we can while we have them all to ourselves. It will be our last year before a certain someone goes off to school and I plan on making the most of it…even if he drives me a little bit bonkers sometimes!!

So Happy New Year everyone and I hope that your 2018 is filled with wonderful moments that you will treasure for years to come xx

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For the birthday boy

It is Leo’s fourth birthday on Monday, just ask him he will tell you.

Four years ago I was waiting, not so patiently, for our baby to come, not knowing who he was or how much he would change our lives. His due date came and went, November 6, it was Melbourne Cup Day that year and I was so sure that would be the day. I hung on to that date my whole pregnancy, convinced we would have our baby by then. Then Cup Day came and went, the days after the Cup came and went and I started to think that this was it, I was just going to be pregnant forever (not really but anyone who has gone over in pregnancy knows what I am talking about). A week after his due date he came in to this world, our big, bald, baby boy.
We knew nothing about being parents. We had never been around babies, I still remember driving home from the hospital in disbelief that they actually let us take him home, that we were responsible, that he was ours.

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We learnt on the job, like most new parents we were thrown in the deep end and we had one choice, to sink or swim. We had our moments, the times where we would look at each other, not knowing what the hell we were doing, so much of his quirks we accepted as normal and it wasn’t until we had our girls that we realized maybe they weren’t so ‘normal’ more just what Leo did. Like the way he fed like he would never eat again, or the way he would vomit ALL THE TIME, with me carrying him around a constant vomit cloth draped over my shoulder, that slight stench following me everywhere. I didn’t know any different. I thought all babies spat up that much, I thought all babies wolfed down their food, I thought all babies dribbled so much they needed at least four changes of clothes a day, but that was just my baby and it was just how he was.

I look at him now and his baby-ness is well and truly gone. That once big and round head has grown a mop of curls which have now all been chopped off because “he likes it short”, his solid little body that was once so heavy, chubby and permanently attached to my hip is now long and spindly, he jumps and he hops and he doesn’t need carrying anymore. He talks, all the time he talks. The boy who was once so shy that the slightest bit of communication from a stranger would warrant his head to firmly bury itself into my legs now answers back and elaborates. He tells stories, he recites things that he has learned, he wants to know how to spell everything, he drives me crazy and he is wonderful.

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This past year in particular he has gone from a toddler to a boy, a little kid.
Tall, cheeky, clever and creative.
He has started preschool, he has become a big brother once again and despite him once telling me he wouldn’t be able to handle another sister he is handling it perfectly. He sings, he dances, he is obsessed with Taylor Swift and he loves drawing rainbows with our names written all around them.
He is still learning to catch and kick a footy, he still struggles to say the ‘S’ sound when it is at the start of a word and he still tells me he doesn’t have friends only teachers at school.
I was once so worried about him all the time. Will this shy boy ever survive anywhere without me? What will he be like when I am not there to comfort him? When he doesn’t have my leg to hide into? Will anyone else ever see how clever and funny he is or will he always be covered in this blanket of shyness?
Then he came out of his shell. He went from a shy 3-year-old to a confident 4-year-old, he is completely different and I am no longer worried. I know he will be just fine.

In many ways, he was our learner baby. The one we practiced on. The one that taught us what worked for us, that taught us that babies don’t follow a textbook or anyone else’s pattern but their own.
He was the reason for much frustration, self-doubt, googling, love, joy and laughter.
He was the one that taught us to be parents, that taught me what it was to be someone’s Mum. He may have only been here four years, but he has shaped who I am, he is a huge part of the reason I am who I am today.

Four years ago I had no idea what amazing chapter I was about to enter into. Now I could never imagine my life without that chapter.
Leo James you changed who we are, you made our lives wonderful and you were the beginning of this wonderful little tribe that we have collected. I will always be grateful that you chose us to be your parents, I will always love the sound of your little sister yelling out “LEO JAMES MOODIE” when she is playing with you and I promise I will always try to appreciate your inquisitive mind, even when your questions are far past the knowledge of my own.

The week of their birthdays I always get sentimental. I think of their birth, I think of my baby, who they were, what they liked, how they have changed, how they have grown.
Ultimately as each birthday passes the same realization seems to hit me every time, these years are going too quickly. I can’t help but feel I just want to bottle it up and remember it all because something tells me I will look back on these as the best years of my life.

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Going from 2 to 3

We have survived as a party of five for a total of seven weeks now, and I thought I would share some things that these seven weeks have taught me. How does life change when you go from four to five? Is it even really that different or is it just that now I am being forced to sit down when I feed the baby that I am seeing just how crazy this little house of ours really is.

So where do I begin? What do I need to prepare you for if you are thinking of going from four to five?
For us, I feel like there are so many little things that have changed, but at the same time, life with the two kids was pretty hectic, so maybe, like I say, it’s just that when I stop to feed the baby I see the crazy. Either way, I stopped and thought about it for long enough to write it down, and here it is, a tiny taster into how your household ups the ante when you go from two kids to three;

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  1. At any point in time one or more people are usually screaming, yelling or crying. It is always loud, most of the noise is good, happy noise and sometimes it is just noise for the sake of noise, it is loud. Don’t worry, you get quiet when sleep starts.
  2. Sleep is sacred and coffee is liquid gold.
  3. If the children are awake it is messy. Almost instantaneously. There are toys and clothes everywhere, the term ‘organized chaos’ comes to mind, although I can’t help but think it is more chaos than it is organized.
  4. The washing never ends. Even if a load of washing looks small, baby’s clothes are also small so there will be 10,000 items hiding in there all folded up ready to surprise you.
  5. If you ever go somewhere with all three of them, people will comment, get ready for at least four people to tell you how busy you are, like you don’t already know.
  6. On the topic of leaving the house, when you do decide to go somewhere with all of them, getting all three of them into the car takes longer than most of the errands that you need to do, so be prepared for that.
  7. You are severely outnumbered. Some days you will really feel it, some days you won’t. No matter how hard you try you can’t be three places at once and it is hard, and it will at times exhaust you.
  8. Someone is always touching you.
  9. Someone is always following you.
  10. Privacy is long gone and you will get to the point where going to the toilet with the door closed with no little person coming to talk to you half way through is actually a weird thing.
  11. Feeding the baby is the perfect time for the older children to decide they are hungry, need a drink, do a poo, climb on the bench and get the permanent textas/scissors/knives/loaf of bread, pretty much anything that you don’t want them to do, when you are feeding that is the time for them to do it.
  12. Apparently a new baby is also the perfect time for the two-year old to decide they don’t want to wear a nappy anymore, like you don’t have enough to do you can add cleaning random puddles up to the list.
  13. On the nappy thing, there are so many of them and you are constantly running out of them, you think maybe it’s a good thing the middle child doesn’t want to wear them anymore, then you remember the hell that is toilet training and scrap that idea.
  14. Any rustling of any wrappers that come from the vicinity kitchen prompts the onslaught of little scavengers, like seagulls to a hot chip, they swarm. So practice your stealth opening of chocolate bars while you are pregnant and they are sleeping, unless of course, you want to share.
  15. Prepping dinner while at least one of them is sleeping is annoying but necessary. Although my kids did both tell me it was their ‘best dinner ever’ when I gave them baked beans on toast the other day so maybe just have a few cans of baked beans in the cupboard for those can’t be stuffed nights.
  16. Witching hour is contagious, it never just lasts an hour and it will always happen when you least need it to (generally dinner/bath/bedtime).
  17. Tired is your new normal, you look tired, you know you look tired, but you’re offended if anyone tells you you look tired because everyone knows that saying someone looks tired is just the polite way of telling them they look like shit, and let’s be honest no one ever wants to look like shit.
  18. There is a minus one rule, everything is easier minus one. Trips to the shops, the playground, tantrums. Knowing this rule gives you nothing really, just makes you realise it could be worse, you could be alone with all of them.
  19. It is EXTREMELY difficult to get a nice photo of all three of them together. Extremely difficult.
  20. And finally, all these things, this big boring list (if you made it this far) it’s all worth it. The mess, the noise, the exhaustion, yeah it will do your head in at times, but you wouldn’t have it any other way.
    There is nothing like a new baby and what it does to a family. When you overhear your nearly four and two-year old telling their baby that they love her, or when they laugh as she cracks her first smile at them, it’s unlike anything else.
    I won’t lie, it’s hard at times. It’s loud, it’s messy and it’s chaotic. And I’m sure, over time, there will be more lists, but I know I wouldn’t change any of it for the world.

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For my three little loves

My favourite pastime, my favourite view,
Is the view that I get when I’m watching you.
The shape of your lips, the curve of your nose,
The kink in your ear, and the size of your toes.
All of the faces, all of the sounds,
Your cheeky chuckles, to your little frowns.
The way that you wriggle, the warmth that you bring,
Watching you sleep, it’s my favourite thing.
Cuddled up on me, feeling your breath,
Your little hairs, that tickle my neck.
The way that you fit, so well on my chest,
For it is me, who you know best.
You heard my heart beat, from the inside,
You are the reason, I am filled with pride.
My perfect baby, my perfect love,
I can’t help but think, you were sent from above.
I know you need me, but if only you knew,
How much it was, that I needed you.

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