Mama Grace Has Moved !!!!!!

22 Jul

Psssst…what are you doing here ?

Didn’t you know ?  It’s all over the interwebz.

I’ve gotta new site:

So, what are you waiting for ???  Head on over there.

You may need to re-subscribe if you’re getting my posts through emails (Sorry, ’bout that…)

And if I am one of the privileged to be on your Blog Roll, please change the link.  (That’s if of course, assuming that you still want me on your Blog Roll…;-))

So, go on…scoot.  Get your tooshy over there now !

Just incase you missed it the first time:

So, I’ll see you there ?  Yes ?  Yes…

Wordless Wednesday – Whale Watching

20 Jul


"Can you see one, N ???" "Hmmm...not yet, K. Not yet..."


Linking up with the lovely Trish at My Little Drumer Boys.

Hope you head over there to join me and the others.

Happy Hump Day !

Mamas Know How To Fix Cars Too

18 Jul

I love my Hubby to the stars and back.  But I did not marry him for his mechanical skills.

I knew this about him from our very first date.

That memorable day when he picked me up in his beaten up old Mitsubishi Magna complete with the Australia-shaped coathanger for an antenna.

And for the most part, it’s been endearing.

There are *ahem* moments though, I really wish Hubby at least had some sort of “car intuition”.

You know, a sixth sense when a tyre was flat.  Or that a flashing empty tank sign meant that traveling even one more kilometre was also one phone call away from having to call a tow-truck.

So, when we were traveling along Canberra’s main road on Sunday in an attempt to have a family day out, I couldn’t help but notice a flashing sign from the dashboard.

Out of habit, I checked that my seat belt was fastened.  Yup.

Then I looked around and saw that all the doors were properly shut.  Yup.  Yup.

The flashing icon was not one I was familiar with.

And that immediately brought on the panic bells in my head.

Somehow, I managed to stay calm.

“Lovey, that doesn’t look good.  I think something’s heating up.  Maybe we should just pull over…” I even surprised myself with my even keel tone.

“Yeah, but even if we do…I don’t know what I’m supposed to be looking for, Grace”

Grace.  Grace ???

Using first names meant he was quietly freaking out too.

Out came the car manual.  Both looking through it like a “Where’s Wally” book.

Carefully searching for the matching icon that was most likely telling us that our car was about to explode.

It didn’t take us long to find it.  And, close to my prediction, it was referring to the engine temperature and the coolant system.

We pulled over near a shopping centre and I lifted the bonnett.

Both of us blankly stared at the engine.

But somehow, something kicked in.

Maybe it was because I have older brothers and male cousins who are heavily into cars and all things mechanical but instinct told me to point to the plastic clear container and to tell Hubby that the problem came from there.

Instinct also told me that we had to be careful in unscrewing the lid.

Of course, Hubby paid no attention to me and the moment he opened it, things started to bubble like a witch’s poisonous brew.

From a distance, I could see that the liquid in the tank was way below the “minimum” level.

Thinking it was water that we needed, off I went into the shops to buy 2 large bottles of water.  (Duh!)

Came back to find that Hubby had read that invaluable manual a little more and realised he needed to buy coolant liquid.

Hallelujah !  A proper solution.

So, while I waited in the car with twinlets who were getting antsy and grizzly, Hubby went to the nearest petrol station.

20 minutes later, after finally feeding our thirsty car before it decided to catch on fire, we were back on the road.

Thank God.

Okay, so I didn’t technically fix the car.

But to Hubby I was the hero.

He was so impressed with me.  He kept thanking me and lovingly held my hand over the car middle console while he drove.

After ten minutes or so, he suddenly let go.

“Hang on.  This is going to be fodder for your blog, isn’t it ?”

You betcha, baby…

Things I Know

15 Jul

It’s Thursday night and I’m frantically typing this week’s post like a racehorse because tomorrow morning we head out to the Big Roundabout to visit my folks.

As much as I love going back to my hometown…getting there is always a drama.

And each time I say I’m going to be better organised next time – I never am.

Hence, sitting here *ahem* blogging away while I still have a stack of packing to do !!!

Anywhoooo…on with the show !  Joining Shae at Yay For Home! for “Things I Know”

– Going to K-mart at 8:30pm on a Wednesday is a shopper’s paradise.  No crowds, no annoying long queues at the cash register and there is plenty of EVERYTHING !  (No, this post has not being sponsored by the Big K…)

– These $5 puppets have been “The Bomb” !  The twinlets didn’t care much for soft toys beforehand but they now have new-found furry friends.  There’s lots of kisses and cuddles for “Tiger” and “Monkey” in particular.

– The only way to keep your sanity when reading the “That’s Not My…” series over and over and OVER again to your book-crazy sons is to do it with a foreign accent.  Seriously.  Especially a Japanese one: “Za-tsu mai tu-rakku !  Eetsu tip-paaah izu sooo ridgggeeee !!!”  Finally !  All those years studying the language and living there have come to good use.

– Having a 23 year-old Gen Y nephew keeps me on the “cool edge”.  He was the one that first introduced me to FaceBook (Although the actual addiction is entirely my own doing).  And just today I got an invite from him to join Google +.  He’s so awesome…

– That exploring the world only needs to start with a stick and an endless green field…

Okay, back to the packing !

Happy Friday, everyone !  Mwah !!!

Training for City2Surf: Getting Two-Thirds There – Week 7

14 Jul

5 weeks ’till the City2Surf !  Woot woot !

Stoked, scared, excited.  A myriad of emotions as the big day gets closer.

But hey, let’s start this weekly post with the fun stuff:


Since starting up this segment on my blog, I’ve discovered a couple of other kick-ass mummy bloggers who are also stepping up to the running challenge.

Tat at Mum in Search is also doing the City2Surf.  We’ve made plans to meet (for the first time, no less !) at the finishing line.  That in itself is motivating me to finish strong !

Then, there’s Kirri at Happy Mums At Home who’s training hard for the Bridge to Brisbane run.

Go, ladies !

So, although I’m running on my own, I’m kinda running with the spirit of others.  And that helps take some of the loneliness edge of a novice runner.


Dudes…I did it !  I’ve hit the 10kilometre mark !  And just to make sure it wasn’t a fluke…I ran it again…this morning !

Yes, I have blisters.  Yes, my legs are as stiff as planks.  But, to know that I can run further has given me that extra boost of confidence.

"Image taken"

City2Surf is 14 kilometres in total.

The best advice I received when I was training for it last year was:

“If you can’t cover 14 kilometres before the actual race, that’s okay.  Just target to get to two-thirds of it.”

As I was breast feeding 6 month twins at the time and pretty much housebound, the time I needed to train and run was scarce.

Not to mention the self-confidence battles I was having in trying to get fit again.

But knowing that all I needed was to get to two-thirds of the actual distance whittled away a layer of pressure.

Last year, I managed an 8 kilometre run before the big day.  I was chuffed.  I felt ready.

I still felt like a wounded soldier when I actually finished the race.

I remember during the last 6 kilometres my body was screaming in pain – trying to figure out why I was still putting one foot in front of the other.  Muscle memory was telling my brain, “Um…what the HELL is she doing ???I don’t think we’ve gone this far before…”

But that’s when mind takes over matter.

You know you’ve done two-thirds in preparation.

All it takes is another third to complete.

And come hell or high water…that’s what you do.


You may, or may not know that I’m running to fund-raise this year.

Please click here to my City2Surf fundraising page if you would like to donate to the Miracle Babies Foundation – a support group for parents and families of premature babies and sick newborns, and the hospitals that care for them.

Wordless Wednesday – “Please. No Comment. We’re Rockstars !”

13 Jul

It’s Hump Day !

And we know what that means…linking up today with Trish’s My Little Drummer Boys.

Head on over there and see how others are embracing this fine Wednesday…

Just To…Be…

12 Jul

As we nestle ourselves in the comfort of a new week; the cogs in the household wheels slowly turn again in predictable motion; the horrendous events of last week slowly whisper away with the winter wind.

But as I sit here relishing the fact that the twinlets are healthy again; that they have returned to their usual playful, cheery dispositions; I want to make sure that I record the positives as well as the hardships.

I don’t want to turn back in months, or even years from now, to only remember those challenging moments.

Those times when the green-horn mother in me was losing her head and in desperate search for some patience and sanity.

Because sometimes, that’s how we approach life; only being impacted by the difficult; only to forget what it means to enjoy the ordinary.

But like a subtle season change or when the ocean changes its tide, last Friday saw the last of the chaos.  It magically disappeared, leaving the afternoon with some serenity and peace.

After their afternoon nap, the sun was still shining brightly – inviting us to play outdoors.  And from there, everything fell in its rightful place.

The boys didn’t cry or wail like they usually do when waking from their sleepy mode.

And for the first time – in what seemed forever – I took the twinlets to one of their favourite playgrounds.

We played on the slide, they pointed and marvelled at the birds.  After almost two weeks of dreadful colds and coughs, I could see the light back in their eyes.

At the park, there are two swings – one baby one with back support and a safety chain and also a normal one for bigger kids.

I strapped Little K in the baby swing and held Little N on my lap as we swung next to him.

Suddenly, there was a calmness.  With just the gentle sway of the three of us.  Basking in the winter sun.

The boys were unusually quiet.  But as I could feel Little N sink deeper into my lap and looked down to see his eyes blinking slowly, I knew he was just relaxing.

Little K was looking up in the sky.  Studying his recent favourite find – aeroplanes.  Occasionally pointing but also just happy and content.

They were both letting the gentle momentum take control.

Knowing that the moment was perfect for it, I even began singing an Indonesian nursery rhyme.

And you know what ?  It just completed everything.

I suddenly remembered what it was like to just be.

To stop being muddled by the madness of motherhood.  To stop being frustrated by my children who don’t even understand their own frustrations.

In that brief point of time, I made sure I grasped onto the beauty of being a mum to my two beloved boys.

A New Lease On Life…

11 Jul

With my hair straightened and blow-dried, I precariously applied a light coat of lip gloss.  I studied myself in the mirror one last time and thought, “Hmm…not too bad, girlfriend.”

The meticulous preparation and the subtle pep talk to self was reminiscent of being single and first dates.  But it wasn’t.  Instead, I left the bathroom and went to find my husband to ask for his opinion.

“Wow !  You look like a brand new person…” he beamed.

The moment his face lit up when I walked into the room, I knew I hadn’t just been placing tabs on myself.

I knew I felt good.  I knew I felt confident and comfortable in my skin.

But he proved that it was also visible.

The new me.

Walking to the bus stop, waiting in anticipation, I was eager to meet up with my newly acquainted friends.

I believe that people step into your life at the right time for the right reasons.  I found it to be true when meeting my husband.

Having only met these ladies once before, we established a connection in the first instance.  So much so that I went home not being able to sleep – my head whirling with the possibilities of where the friendship could take us.

The only natural progression was to see them again soon after.  To be absolutely sure we were on the same page.  That the initial profound conversations were not a fluke.

And they weren’t.

We immediately picked up where we left off – sharing secrets, trading stories, planning goals together.

It had been awhile since I felt involved.  Where my opinion mattered.  Where my past experiences in the corporate world were considered valuable.  An asset, even.  Delving into the conversations – feeding off from each other’s excitement and passion – I felt alive again.

I know I never died.

This is not to claim that my roles as a wife and mother are unsatisfying.  Or that my existing long-term relationships and friendships are inadequate.  Getting caught in the humdrum of life, sometimes there is little time left for family and a handful of friends.

So, how is it possible that I establish a new circle ?

Where did the need come from ?

The unquenchable search to figure out my purpose in life beyond motherhood.

That it is possible to find an even newer lease on life…

Training for City2Surf: Little Miss E – Week 6

10 Jul

To end a crappy week, last Friday afternoon was one of the most brilliant and memorable that I’ve had in a loooong time.

A special little girl came to pay me a visit.

It had been almost six months since I had seen her last, at her first birthday party.  But the moment she walked through the door, she still made my heart melt just like the first time I met her back in the days of NICU.

Little Miss E was born three days after the twinlets at the same hospital.  As the surviving identical twin, her start to life is a story of true inspiration.

This little tyke was born 13 and a half weeks premature.  And her birth weight was 720 gms (less than three slabs of butter).  After battling through three long months in NICU, Little Miss E beat the odds.

She started here…

And in 11 months, progressed to here…

To be the smiling cherub who came to visit last Friday…

On August 14, as I pound that pavement in the City2Surf, I’ll be running for Little Miss E – the Miracle Baby that holds a special place in my heart.

Please click here if you would like to donate to the Miracle Babies Foundation – a support group for parents and families of premature babies and sick newborns, and the hospitals that care for them.

A big thank you to Little Miss E’s mum for allowing me to share her daughter’s journey…Love you, Mama Tim Tam xxx

Things I Know

8 Jul

What a rollercoaster week it’s been in our household !

Sickness has run rampant over here and there were some fragile moments where I thought I was going to lose my head.

I,  for one am glad that it’s Friday – not because the weekend is around the corner (like that makes a difference to us mums…), but because it looks like the boys are finally on the mend.

Linking back to the lovely Shae at Yay For Home! for my list of “Things I Know”

Starting with the obvious:

Dealing with sick twins is really, really, REALLY hard work.  Due to his wheezy cough Little K has been on asthma preventer medication as well as ventolin.  In the meantime, Little N has had a nose running like a crazy tap and was up and down with a fever.  It’s been heartbreaking to see them in such discomfort; not being able to understand what’s going on with their little bodies.

Staying all day in your pyjamas is one thing.  Actually having a morning shower, then changing into a fresh pair of pyjama bottoms was my way of surrendering to another day of indoor confinement and concentrating on getting the twinlets better.

Sexy ? Yes ?

Grabbing two take-away coffees is a great contingency plan when facing a day with grizzly sick twinlets.

$2 calculators are a great substitute for mobile phones yet still make a great distraction for the twinlets.  Also, we no longer need to worry about cell radiation.

"Two squared equals...twin trouble ???"

It only takes three special (and secret) ingredients to make these “never fail” scones.  A big thanks to an old high school friend who entrusted me with the recipe.  If I’m really nice to her, I’m sure she’ll let me share it with you all.  In the meantime, can you guess what the ingredients might be ???

The photo doesn't do these scrumptious babies justice...

I owe a big thank you to everyone for their support, love and caring comments on my blog this week.  You guys all played an integral part in getting me through these rough few days.

Hugs and love.

See you next week xxx

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