The blog

2017 – Our first year in Australia

I can not believe it has been over a year now since we moved from the UK to Australia. We moved in October 2016. So much has happened in this past year, its been slightly crazy. It only seemed like yesterday my partner came home to tell me he quite his job and wanted to move to Australia.

So, where do we begin, well you can read all about my first 3 months in Australia here living in oz, 3 month update But since then, as soon as Carl’s bridging visa came through he got a job, I then stopped working to take care of Timmy again. Plus I was heavily pregnant and was ready to put the brakes on! We got ourselves a rental house which was basically empty when we first moved in with the odd bit of second hand furniture courtesy of my family. When we moved over here, we came with nothing. Literally a couple of suitcases and that was it. Our house honestly looked like a second hand furniture shop full of mix matched items, nothing went together and we did not even have a dining room table, no blinds or curtains on the windows. It took a little while before our house started coming together. But we were just so happy to be out of our family’s house as it was more then cramped with so many adults and a child under one roof! On our first night we were greeted with a lovely huge Hunstman spider running across the floor, me screaming and jumping on the sofa for carl to kill it. Welcome to Australia. Then only a couple of days later I had a redback spider crawl right next to my leg on the sofa. I was not impressed! I hate spiders with a passion, no matter if they are big or small, they need to go, there is no room in my life for them!

For a while I needed to drive Carl to work every day as we only had the one car which is lent to us from my family, but with the help of my lovely cousin and her hubby we were able to get a second car. Carl got his driving licence and he started to drive himself to and from work. This made life for me so much easier. We love our second car, it is truly a great car. Except for the first week or so, I thought there was something wrong, as when I was diving it, it would not change gear ( it is automatic!) I thought we had brought a lemon. Hmm, nope turns out it was my stupidness and I was driving it in the manual setting. How stupid can I be? I don’t think I will ever live it down. I will be hearing about that for the rest of my days if Carl has anything to do with it. So yes, Carl quickly got settled into his new job, I enrolled Timmy into swimming lessons, which did not last long because when he realised he would have to go under the water at the end of each lesson and that was that. The fight to get him to go every week was not worth it! I found a play group with lots of lovely ladies and even had a night out to dinner with them. I have not been in a while now as on that day Timmy is in school now and I have been very busy. But now Elijah is older, hopefully I can get back into going again! Timmy is in preschool which he loves! He goes to school 3x a week, I call these days my days off, even though I still have Elijah to look after. I gave birth to Elijah back in March, went through a few months of hard times with some postnatal depression. Honestly, I started getting better, then just a few weeks ago I felt waves of it coming back. I ran into a lady and she asked me how I was doing, I burst into tears which I was not expecting! but yes, I suspect it is still with me but i’m aware of it. I think I am going to start to revisit  The Parental Stress Centre you can see my post about them here The Parental Stress Centre honestly, the programme I did with them was exactly what I needed. If there is anyone reading this that struggles day to day, it does not have to be PND but in general. You find being a parent hard, stressful, have anxiety or are even just struggling please look them up they offer different course options, and are seriously affordable. They did me wonders, and ill keep using them to keep me in check and get me back on track when I fall off.

I finished my childcare course from overseas which I started before I knew we were leaving the UK. I have since enrolled into a diploma of childcare via online here in Australia which I am enjoying, but really need to make a more regular pattern of studying! It took me a long time after having my kiddies to decide when I go back to work what I wanted to do. I have now decided for sure child care is what I want to do, so while I am a stay at home mum it is the perfect time for me to get my qualification!

Carl got approved for his temporary Australian Visa, then the company we went through fast tracked our application for a permanent visa, which was instantly approved. Normally you need to wait for 3 years I think before you can apply for the Permanent, but as we had extensive proof we had lived together, and the fact we have 2 children together helped in our favor!

We managed to get a couple of holidays in, we went last year to visit Granny in Grafton with my cousin. We went again this year after I had Elijah to visit her, but this time we turned it into a real family holiday and went to Queensland for 4 days and did the theme parks. Which you can read about here Our Family Trip to Queensland

We have also had a few weeks here and there where we have managed to go down the coast for a couple of days. We enjoy going down south, it is so beautiful. Every time we go down we manage to find something new to do or a new place to visit. Our most favorite place to go lately is Jarvis bay. It is so spectacular. It is well known for its white sand. Honestly breathtaking!

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This is Chinaman’s Beach Jarvis Bay

We had Carl’s parents come to visit us last for 3 weeks. That was super lovely. They got to see a fair bit and spend a lot of time with Timmy, which I know he loved so much as did they. It went so fast.

So, as you can see it has been a fairly busy 2017 for us! Things have now settled down and we are settling in properly. Christmas 2017 was  a really good one. This is the first year we have had our own Christmas tree. The first year, we were on Sark, it was a borrowed tree. The second year we were in Australia visiting family, the third year we were in Bristol for Christmas, that was a tough time personally for me and Carl finding out we had a molar pregnancy and the operation right before Christmas. Miscarriages and Molar pregnancies But we did not bother doing a tree that year as we were going to be in Bristol and that Timmy was at that age where he would see lights and just try to pull them down! Then last year we were at my dads house after just moving to Australia. So this year, we are in our own home, we spent the morning opening presents in our own house right before we headed out to go to dads house for the day. I really enjoyed the champagne and orange juice for breakfast! However dad and Carl were both sick with this horrible bug that seems to be going around, I had it only a couple of weeks earlier.

So today is the first day of 2018, I am hoping this year will be just as good, just as busy and full of amazing adventures! Today I have started a Detox program which i will write about later, as after Elijah i have basically lived of Chocolate and I’m tired of putting on weight and feeling like crap. New year, new me! So happy New years to you all.

LETS DO THIS!

Candice xx

The blog

Our Family Trip to Queensland

We were lucky enough to be able to go to QLD for a week for a family holiday! Carl got a week off work, and I desperately wanted to go visit my granny again, as she had not yet met Elijah. So we decided if we are going all the way to Grafton to visit granny, lets go the extra 3 hours and visit Surfers Paradise while we are there.

Now Grafton is north from where we live and its a good 10 hours drive. I know what you are thinking, 10 hours in a car with a 3 year old and a 4 month old are we mad?! Well, I can honestly say our kiddies were made to travel! They did amazing, although I was not worried about Timmy at all. He has done more travelling in his short 3 years life time then most have done and he has always done well, never complains and just takes it all in his stride! He has actually done this long Grafton journey 2x before. However I was not so sure how Elijah would cope as we have not yet traveled with him before and he does not like being kept in his car seat for long periods of time. He was amazing! He got a good 9 hours in before he decided enough was enough and had a good cry. Honestly, we got lucky with our boys and their ability to travel well.

We set out at 5am in the morning, so we could get through Sydney before peak hour traffic started. We got through, no worries at all we even had a couple of stops for breakfast and feeding baby. We even stopped at the Iconic Big Banana where Timmy had to eat a frozen banana dipped in chocolate and some much needed coffee for us Adults! We made it to Grafton at 4pm and checked into our accommodation. We normally stay in hotels, but this time around we thought we would give self serviced apartments a try. I can honestly say it was the best decision we made and in future when travelling with kids, I will always go this way. No more hotels for us! We had a bedroom for the kiddies, and a bedroom for us. Kitchen, bathrooms and our own space. Its nice to be able to relax after such a long journey in a separate room from the kids and with a nice glass of wine. If it wasn’t so cold, we would have made use of the balcony!

We cofvisited Granny, it was so lovely to see her with her great grand-kids. I love we were able to travel and take the kids to see her. She has met Timmy twice before, but this was her first time meeting Elijah.  So after a short but sweet visit with Granny, we went back to the apartment, bathed the kiddies put them to bed and we sat down with a takeaway Chinese and wine for dinner before crashing ourselves as we were up early again and heading further north to QLD! Once there, we checked into our apartment, this time with an Ocean view, a very large balcony and a spa bath! Talk about feeling spoiled! The Atrium apartments complex also had a roof top pool and a heated spa. Was such a beautiful place. Once we checked in we decided we wanted to extend our stay, we originally booked on for 2 nights, but we decided 3 nights would be better! we came all this way, lets make the most of it. It had been a while since we had a proper family holiday. So we unloaded the car, and headed straight out to Movie World.

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Timmy with daddy on his favorite ride the merry go round!

I was so excited to take Timmy and see all the characters and just watch his little brain take in everything he was seeing. I love watching him experience the rides and everything all for the first time. I remember going there for the first time when I was younger, it was such a magical place for me, so to see Timmy experience that was incredible. Timmy absolutely loved the Dodgem cars with Daddy, but his favorite was the merry go round! After a very busy day, we headed to Woolies and stocked up on groceries for the next few days and headed back to the apartment where we relaxed and fell asleep exhausted.
The following day we woke and headed for Sea world. This place was absolutely Timmy’s favorite place. Carl loved it too! We watched the Dolphin show, Seals, polar bears, stingrays and Timmy really enjoyed the under water world.

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There were sharks, fish…he found Nemo and Dory! Timmy loved all the rides, they were a lot more catered to his age. He loved the Flying Banana and the submarine. I even managed to get him on a small roller coaster, but there was no way he was going on that a second time! So that night back at the apartment, we all sat down and decided were should we go on our third day? We could go back to Movie World or Sea world or we could try some of the other parks. Timmy was sure he wanted to go back to Sea world. As we all loved it so much, a second day at sea world it was!! But as it was a Saturday, it was a lot busier then it had been the day before so we had to Que a lot for rides and wait a lot longer for everything. But even when it was time to leave Timmy did not want to go! He got to meet Dora and watch Dora’s show. He had such a great time!

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Then on our last day, we woke went for a walk along the beach and found a lovely place to have some breakfast. Then we headed into Surfers Paradise, sat on the beach and let Timmy have a little play, had some lunch before going back to our apartment. Timmy had a swim in the heated spa which I joined them with Elijah. Was lovely and exactly what we all needed!

Then we headed back to Grafton to visit granny for the day on the way home. We stayed in another serviced apartment, this time a little closer to where Granny lives. We went to dinner and then the following day up and on the road by 5am again. We made it back home by 4pm. I honestly did not want to come home and back to normal life. I could have happily stayed another week at least! This trip was exactly what we needed! I can’t wait to do another holiday.

IMG_20170812_170722.jpg CHEERS TO GREAT FAMILY HOLIDAYS!