Saturday, July 21, 2012

Children and Accidents

So our boys are very much boys, they ride motorbike, the run a hundred mile an hour, they play lots of sport, and never slow down.

So like any normal full on child they always have bruised chins stubbed toes, scrapped knees and elbows.

So Buddha following the tradition of his big brothers RUNS everywhere, never walks, the other night I said to Zed, will you be right playing with Buddha for a hour while me and the big boys go to the gym (in our complex)? He said yeah we will be fine. So the big boys and I jogged up to the gym, I had done one exercise and there is a knock at the door.

Opened it up and here is Zed and Buddha standing there, covered in blood. Oh my god, what happened? Zed nearly in tears tells me "Buddha and me where playing chase around the lounge room" (a daily activity in our house) "and he tripped on the doona behind the lounge and head butted the coffee table".

The doonas we have behind the lounge because it’s freezing in our house we have aircon 24/7 and the stupid little coffee table I only moved there the other day. :(

So we all had blood everywhere by the time we got home, he probably could have done with a few stitches but Zed and I made up some homemade butterflies stitches and pulled it together and it came together pretty well.

Master T did the same thing when he was a little older, head butted Grandmas window sill had to have a few stitches in the exact same place, so they will have the same scar same size and shape.



Well welcome back- I’m so sorry IV been slack over the school holidays. We went to OZ on spare of the minute holiday home.

Was great to see everyone, and the kids loved to see grandma & nanas, and we all loved to see our dog KIA. We all love and miss her like crazy...... :( We went out a lot and ate a lot of yummy Oz food.
We bought back close to 3 suitcases of food etc. I got a yogurt maker which I LOVE it’s amazing and easy!

I recommend everyone that has kids no matter where you live should have one!

Its funny when you go home you think that it’s all going to be wonderful, and like a holiday and everyone is going to love seeing you and put things aside to spend time with you because you have been away for so long-but it isn’t like that, well some people. It shows you who your REAL friends are.

So while I was home the same old people started the same old childish crap that goes on and it actually shows you how much you like to be an expat away from it all!

I missed my maid like crazy while on holidays (even though I had my mum and mother in-law doing everything) you get so use to having someone basically walking 2 steps behind you picking up after you-we make the kids still do "chores" because I still think they need to learn to do things for themselves.

I think for the kids and yourself it is important to have an "actual" holiday when you have your break. You have to reward yourself and the kids for the sacrifices you are all making.

So next break we are taking the kids to Singapore, there is SO much to do there, day/night Zoo, universal studios, water parks, elephant sanctuary, lots and lots! So I’m really looking forward to that! :)


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

School holidays

Ok wow well we are half way through this year already it’s flown by!

My twins have a whole month off school so I am on the lookout for some fun school holiday activities for them to do.

I have found out that there is an ice skating rink, (not sure if they have received their skates yet). There is the water park which we know very well. Hopefully there will be a few kids’ movies out at the movie theater. (Movies are so cheap here)

The local early learning centre runs a holiday program for children 18mth-7years so that should be great for them arts and crafts a couple of days a week.

Here there are 2 main ex-pat schools, the Australian one and the American one, the American one has broken up for summer holidays for over 2 months and most families have their breaks these school holidays so I thought there would be no one here. But have since found out that heaps of families are staying!

Anyway- I don’t ever remember having 1 month off in June/July holidays when I was at school and def not 2 months over Xmas! These kids these days spend more time at home than at school. Maybe that is why they have to send SO much homework home! :)

 Happy Holidays xxx

Monday, June 4, 2012


So it’s been awhile- SORRY! We are all great!!! It’s been raining lots here in Borneo.

My husband is back from nearly a month in Germany whilst I stayed in Borneo and kept the house running.
Not only were we all missing him like crazy, Buddha was teething he broke 2 teeth while Zed was away... horrendous nappy rash, fevers, crying and no sleeping.
Boof was sick for a week as well, doctors, school pickups during the middle of the days and I didn’t have anyone to come home and "winge" too. :(

All I can say is thank God I have some great friends here in Borneo or I would have been a basket case!

But on the upside MILK has been readily available - as you know that would make my life so much better :)

I have really missed my dog- my friends and family this past month have been home sick.

Zed loves his job and there are great new big things coming his way so he is so excited!
Some days I just feel like I’m just existing, not living. I’m sure we all have these days!

I thought maybe if I study something I might feel like I’m accomplishing something? There is no stimulation when you are an ex pat wife, like (work/learning/business) stimulation, so it gets a bit boring, there is heaps to do, coffee mornings, parties, dinner etc but Boring on the brain side of things.

But i'm trying to focus on my family and having quality time together.



Ok so I think I’ve been doing really well, 1 trip out of here since we got here in November, spent xmas here, spent mother’s day without my husband cause he spent nearly 1 month in Germany for work, me and the kids stayed in Borneo.

I tried to get out of here, ha ha, Germany, Australia, Malaysia hahaha but nope too expensive and we are here to save.

The twins have school holidays coming up-4 weeks (when I was a kid we never got 4 weeks off in the middle of the year) so I thought good time to take them home see Grandma, both their nanas, and all their friends- perhaps a early birthday party?

So I’ve been searching flights- Balikpapan -Brisbane easy!!! Around $3000. BUT Brisbane to Townsville an incredible $1000........
HERE IS MY WINGE: why is it that any other country you can zip from here to there for cheap? Why is Australian national flying so ridiculously expensive?

So I keep checking ALL the airlines in hope that a special will come up hahaha haven’t been so lucky as yet- Virgin blue  Just under $800, Qantas just over $1000, Jet star just under $800.

So to fly Balikpapan to Singapore, its roughly the same distance, (actually Brisbane - Townsville is shorter) it wouldn’t even cost me $400, so I ask what is the difference, the planes are equipped the same, same amount of staff, maybe more for Balikpapan - Singapore cause its actually an international flight.

They both provide meals, luggage is the same.
USA, Europe, and Asia they all have really cheap internal flights.

 Just another thing we Aussies pay way too much for. :(

Saturday, May 5, 2012


Ok So I had my first break-down last week since being an ex-pat (well aside from the scooter incident). For the last 2+ weeks my Buddha has been sick, then I got sick and it was awful, all Buddha did was cry all the time not sleeping etc and I thought it was teeth (which it was), but my 3 boys suffer terribly with teeth, ear infections, cold, coughs, high fevers, irritability so I really feel for them.

So it wasn’t a great week, and on top of this Zed had SO SO much work on that he was at the office till 6.30-7.00pm every night (this would be totally fine IF I wasn’t having such a sucky week). And then out of the blue, Zed is told that he is off to Germany in 1 week :( Great opportunity for him, and he was so excited, I on the other was not ha ha ha let me explain why.....

Zed and I had had discussions about me and the kids going back home for a visit and leaving him here in Balikpapan, Which he was NOT at all impressed with he reckoned "if I have to be here working then you should have to be as well" I can totally see his point, so I had not asked to go anywhere without him (we like to spend all our time together anyway). (And this trip is for work)

So here we are he gets told "off to Germany for 3 weeks". OMG!!!!
1st thought, "how jealous I was"
2nd thought "I want to go home"
3rd thought was "we are coming"

Being a business trip I knew we went going. So I looked for cheap flights home, argh such short notice it’s expensive as.... we just don’t have that kind of money ATM. :( So I had accepted the fact that I was going to stay in Balikpapan for 3 weeks without my man!

So Zed was flying out on Sunday and we hadn’t seen him at dinner time ALL week, and then Friday night comes, the first day he has finished at a decent hour and you know what he does....yep you guessed it the PUB.
Well now I was rope able, furious, ahhhhh here I was with a screaming sick Buddha, feeling like death warmed up he was leaving in 2 days to go away for 3 weeks...........and he thought it was appropriate to go to the pub?
WELL we talked about it and it was sorted, (we don’t dwell on things, get them out and sorted and move on).
Saturday I thought awesome we can have a WHOLE day to do family things. UMMM nope have to go to the office.

So Saturday I broke down, ha ha ha now looking at it I TOTALLY over reacted, BUT in my defense I was sick, had a sick kid and hadn’t had any quality time with my best friend/husband for a week. And had to evict a tenant that hadn’t paid rent in 3-4 weeks! My mum going back into hospital wasn’t a great week.
The twins were amazing threw this week and so helpful and well behaved (most of the time) so that was handy-but they don’t muck up much anyway.

So Sunday came and there were tears, lots and lots of tears..... I know it may sound weird to some but I love spending time with my husband, we spend nearly every second we can together, and we love spending time as a family! If I didn’t like my husband's company I wouldn’t be with him!

So anyway Zed is having an awesome time in Germany learning lots, after a horrible start to the trip, he lost his phone-gone forever, and the airline lost his luggage-which he got back a day later.

We are doing ok the boys keep asking when is daddy home, but we are counting down the days on the calendar, and trying to keep busy.

It’s funny he use to leave us for 5 weeks at a time but we are just so use to having him home all the time that it makes it harder.
 But it’s always harder for the people that get left behind and don’t go away!

But we have found some great friend here in Balikpapan and lots of things to do, Boof and master T signed up for aus-kick yesterday they had a great time, Boof saved 2 goals, and Master T kicked 1 goal... oh so PROUD mummy!

It is really good here for the kids to get into sport, it’s not as expensive as in OZ it’s not CHEAP here but Cheaper than OZ so it’s really good that they can try LOTS of different sports, then when we return home they will know what they really love and what they are good at! :)

I’m really impressed with what they are learning, here they have an ex pat teacher and 2 teacher aids in their class and only 10 students so they don’t get looked over or missed in their class. Their reading is just phenomenally improving-crazy!

So really LIFE is good here in Balikpapan they say it takes you about 6 months to get settled and we are getting close to that now so we are starting to get settled!

Tash xx

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


OK so in most families I know the DAD always has time to himself whether it be , golf, poker, gym, sport, night out at the pub with the blokes, fishing, whatever it is it seems that us woman are always keen for the dads to have time out for themselves. yeah OK they deserve it they work hard bring home the money- BUT we work too, being a mother and wife is 24/7 work, very rarely do I have time to myself sometimes I just want to have a shower ALONE, and without hearing "mum, mum, mum, mum" don’t get me wrong I LOVE MY KIDS TO BITS but not being able to conduct bowel movements in private sometimes takes its toll.
BUT in saying that when people do offer to "give me time" I decline because it make me feel selfish.

 But then you come across problems, well we want to spend family time together, we want to spend time with daddy cause he has been at work so where and when do you "take your time?"

I’m lucky at the moment being an expat I have a maid whom Buddha LOVES so I can occasionally leave him with her to run errands most of the time - not exactly time for myself.
So take a read:

Close your eyes for a second, and when you open them, read the words on the next line.
A day for yourself.
Now imagine yourself taking one. For readers unfamiliar with this concept, a day for yourself is defined as a series of uninterrupted hours during which you relax, read, take a yoga class, see a friend, or skip through a wheat field in slow motion, if that's what makes you feel good. What's more, you do this without regard to anyone else's opinion, hunger level, need to be at the speech therapist, feelings of abandonment, or your daughter's desire for you to help get the yellow rubber mini dress on one of those teeny-tiny Polly Pocket dolls RIGHT THIS VERY SECOND!!

Okay, so what is the primary feeling you're having at the thought of that day just for yourself? Is it:
a) Guilt
b) Trepidation or outright worry
c) Righteous entitlement, because, dagnabit, you deserve some downtime
d) Shock at that pig flying by
e) All of the above

We all know we should take a "me" day (or at least some "me" time) every so often, and we know we'd feel less addled and overwhelmed if we did. Says Emily Bender, a certified holistic nutrition consultant from Fairfax, CA, and mom of a 5-year-old, "Not only was I calmer after I went to a weekend retreat, but being away gave me a lot of clarity about what my needs are and how I parent. It freed up a colossal amount of mental space so I could see things better."
There are myriad reasons, however, that we can't or don't take a day. Some moms believe that the whole machinery of the house would screech to a halt if they were incommunicado for that long, while others don't fully trust their partner to actually engage with the children instead of planting them in front of the TV while noodling around on Facebook. If you work outside the home, you may already feel sad that you don't see your kids enough. And, of course, many single parents have added logistical and financial obstacles that prevent them from getting alone time.

But there are some deeper reasons many of us don't take a hiatus. Melissa Leffel, a teacher and mom of two in Fredonia, NY, has never taken a real day off. She says it makes her feel selfish to leave her own kids, or her students. "It's a sense that I'm not being responsible," she says. "When I want a day off, it's usually about wanting space, or to be able to sleep until nine. It's about wanting back things that I used to have before I had kids and maybe didn't realize what it would feel like not to have anymore." The thought of wishing away your family (a notion that most moms have had, at least fleetingly, at some point) feels ungrateful and somehow reckless.

Nonetheless, Leffel's sentiments are echoed in tot lots and middle school PTAs across the country. "Nobody wants to think of themselves as selfish," says licensed psychologist Ann Dunnewold, Ph.D., author of Even June Cleaver Would Forget the Juice Box and a mom of two in Dallas. "They think, Time for me detracts from time with them. How could I not put my kids first all the time? If I don't, I'm a bad mom." By this all-or-nothing thinking, says Dunnewold, a "good" mom should always want to be with her children, and what's more, enjoy every (sometimes tedious or aggravating) second of it, regardless of her own needs. Any other scenario is a sign that you're not worthy of the good fortune the heavens have bestowed upon you in blessing you with such a lovely family.
To that, Parenting says poo. Let's help you shelve those unrealistic expectations of yourself and go get a manicure (or take a walk or go to the mall or just sleep!). Because that old chestnut is spot-on: If mama isn’t happy, ain't nobody happy.

Time-off obstacles, overcome!
Below, some of the big reasons moms hesitate to pull a temporary disappearing act -- and permission to do it anyway.

"I'm okay. I don't really need a day off." All moms need days off occasionally, and you might not realize that you're at the end of your rope until you find yourself dangling over a precipice. "Everyone is like a pitcher of water. If you keep pouring it out -- taking care of the children, pets, bills, your mother-in-law -- without filling it up again, you'll be running on empty," says Dunnewold. "Remember: You're doing a good thing for your kids if you do something for you."

"The kids will suffer if I leave them for that long." That would be true if you vanished off the face of the earth, never to return; we're talking one day (or half a day, if that's all you can swing). Your children may be upset when you actually say goodbye, but they'll get over it with ego-crushing speed. "We think that things will fall apart or something bad will happen if we leave," says Dunnewold. "But ask yourself, is getting your nails done or having lunch with your friend really going to wreck your kid?" Says Gina Osher, a mom of 2-year-old twins in Los Angeles, "I tell myself it's really good for my kids to be with other people, so it's not all about Mommy."

"My husband/babysitter won't keep her in her routine." Even if you write it all down for your partner or caregiver, there's always the chance that naps will be late or nonexistent, or that your child will not get the afternoon snack that keeps her from becoming a monster by dinnertime. But is it really such a disaster if it happens once in a while? Kate Miller, a mom in Providence, RI, has learned to let this stuff go on her weekly day off, when her husband has guys' day with their two sons. "So he lets them watch too much TV, and he doesn't wash their hair properly, in my opinion," says Miller. "It's fine. Everybody's alive." Besides, whoever's left in charge will learn firsthand why that snack and nap are critical -- and deal with the consequences. (The key here is to stay out long enough that you miss the meltdown, which may not even happen.) "This is less anxiety about the child than it is anxiety about control," says Dunnewold. Let it go.

"I work all day, so I already spend so much time apart from them." This is a toughie, but working at an outside job still doesn't give you all you need to feel human. Besides, working brings home the bacon, which is another form of caring for your children. "If you're the type to feel guilty about this, maybe you should feel guilty if you don't take the day off," suggests Miller. "You're not letting your kids see their mom in a good state. They don't get to experience you when you're rested."

"I stay home and my husband works hard all week, so I feel bad taking a day to myself." Well, you work hard all week, too, if you're taking care of kids -- some would say harder, given the zillions of details you keep track of and all the needs you must satisfy. "There are labor laws in this country," Dunnewold points out, and you can decide that they apply to you, too. For every eight hours you work, you're entitled to a half-hour lunch and two 20-minute breaks. If you're a stay-at-home mom with no help, you work 16 hours a day. That means you have 14 hours a week coming to you. If you take even half of that you're still not slacking off. Raising children is a valuable contribution to the world; you should be rewarded for that.

"I'd feel better if I used time alone to take care of things that are stressing me out." Okay, but use some of it for fun. If you have three hours off, be constructive during only one of them. And then keep reminding yourself: You will be a better mother, on all levels, if you tend to yourself.

Create free periods
You might find an hour or two while your kid's in a karate class, at a drop-off play date (return the favor to the mom-on-duty next time), or even during a kid movie you don't want to sit through, if your child's with an old-enough friend -- just set them in their seats with snacks, and sit right outside the theater read or knit or play Minesweeper.
"If I have to do something, like go to the dentist, I will try to add on one frivolous thing, like getting my nails done." -- Gina Osher
"I get up, get dressed for work, and don't tell anyone that I'm not going to the office. I work out, see a movie, and I'm home by dinnertime. And I don't feel guilty at all." -- Nancy Smith, Parenting staffer
"I take the dog for 'a long walk,' but I actually walk over to my sister's, where I sit and have coffee and chat." -- Lisa Bain, Parenting staffer

Signs you NEED a day away
1. The nail-polish remover is just where you left it: on the refrigerator door with the salad dressing.
2. You look forward to your annual Pap smear because at least you'll be able to lie down in a quiet place with no children nearby.
3. You hear your big kid warning your little kid, "Dude, steer clear. She's got that crazy-lady look."
4. Sometimes when you pull into your driveway, you don't really want to get out of the car.
5. Your unsympathetic, ass-in-chair-style boss gently suggested that you take one.

How to stop "checking in"
1. Get your nails done -- it's hard to use a cell phone with freshly painted nails.
2. "Forget" your phone in the car glove compartment.
3. Consider the fact that your husband might resent it when you check in and be insulted that you don't have confidence in him.
4. Realize that he might have questions ("Where are the razor blades? We're doing an art project") that could stress you out.
5. Give your cell to a friend to hold, and confiscate hers.
Stephanie Dolgoff is Parenting's editor-at-large.