The Block

The Block's Norm and Jess share their baby plans and the joys of being parents

'I just love watching the kids develop'

By Zara Zubeidi
They're the confessed bogans who've won over the nation as they compete on The Block.
However, when cameras stopped rolling, Norm and Jess faced their biggest challenge yet: being away from their adorable two young children, Freddie and Matilda.
At an exclusive photo shoot with TV WEEK in their home town on the Sunshine Coast, the couple insist the time apart from their kids will be worth it if it gives them the financial security they crave.
"We're not special," Jess, 33, says.
"Every family in Australia would love to be in that position. But if we do well on The Block, we'll get to do more together."
It doesn't take long to realise Norm and Jess' household thrives on love – which is not surprising, given how warm and friendly the couple come across on the show.
Jess and Norm love being parents and are keen to add to their brood.
Freddie, four, and 21-month-old Matilda are constantly showered with hugs and kisses.
And when Norm and Jess talk about what it's like to raise two little ones, their faces light up.
"Jess is a great mum and she'd do anything for the kids," Norm, 40, enthuses, while Jess describes her fiancé as a "ripper" of a father.
"I always had a philosophy that I'd have a really supportive, positive household that encouraged and nurtured, and made everyone feel comfortable in whoever they are," Jess explains.
"I'm really proud that we achieve that on a daily basis. We remind Freddie and Matilda that they're great and we love them, without making them feel self-righteous. You can't go wrong with being positive and loving."
"I just love watching the kids develop," Norm adds.
"Freddie will just come out with something and you'll sit there and be like, 'Where has that come from?!'"
Jess and Norm on set of The Block.
Known for their own one-liners on the show, it's clear the apple doesn't fall from the tree. Freddie is confident, warm and welcoming and tells us he wants to be a builder, just like daddy.
"He's Norm all over," Jess laughs.
"He's such a happy-go-lucky character and just wants to be like his dad. When he was younger, he'd put toy hammers down his nappy like a tool belt!"
Freddie even offered his building services when he visited The Gatwick – the private hotel in Melbourne's St Kilda where The Block was filmed.
"He said he'd come down to The Block only if he could build," Jess adds.
"When he saw Bianca and Carla [the team of retired professional netballers who are among their competitors], he said, 'Anything need doing, ladies?' He had his tool belt on!"
To read more about Jess and Norm's plans to foster a child and what they have in store for their upcoming wedding, pick up a copy of this week's issue of TV WEEK. On sale now!

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