Monday, 20 December 2010


I have not felt this tired in so long. We have packed in so much in the last few weeks. All fun, enjoyable, wonderful things. Ending for me with our baby's first birthday party. Ending for Hub who started a new job the next day after the party.
Yes, I am starting to think we either attract chaos, enjoy it and just keep doing stuff so it never ends, or the universe is having fun with us.

Whatever it is I am ready for a break now. Ah yes, I hear you laugh. It's Christmas in a few days! Ok so I'll have a break after Christmas and New Year. Hmm nup, can't do that either! As we have the Nevus Conference and Camp right after. We are driving there. The estimation is between 10 to 12 hours. Fun! Chaos.

February, how does that sound? Good. Universe, nothing is happening in February, mkay? Sweet.

As I mentioned the 'Baby' turned one. I'm not ready to talk about it. I wil be back later tonight to whinge, sook, whine, bask in the joyfulness of our youngest baby and the First Birthday!

Wednesday, 15 December 2010


I have a Masters Degree in Procrastination. I am so good at it, it scares me at times.
At the moment I am sitting on my arse looking up random crap on the computer.
What I could and should be doing is....

~ Washing, including folding two loads and putting them away.

~ Cleaning the kitchen and dining

~ Sorting out the list of presents that need to be bought

~ Staying away from Book Depository. Fuck I love that store!

~ Clearing all the random crap all over the front and back yards and either tossing them in the bin, cleaning them or putting them where they need to go. Random crap includes, a light sabre, spoons, cups, bowls, bikes, paper planes that have come to a crash landing and are now soggy in the rain, empty plastic water bottles and a sock.

~ Filing all the paperwork I have all over the house.

~ Getting the kids ready for swimming and packing the bag.

~ Writing a list of what we need for the Birthday Party this weekend. I am kind of in denial about this still. If I push it aside it means it's not happening right?

~ Checking to see if the kids have done a half decent job of cleaning out the bus.

Lots for me to do! Yeah, but no, I just can't be bovered.

Book Depository(no this is not a paid post, I just freaking love them) has soooo many books I want. It is a tad embarrassing how long my wish list is.
I am also lusting over some books for the older boys. Next year they are wanting to do more Geography and History. Which is great as I can mix them together and cover several subjects/topics in one day. Sweet!

I am also checking all the things for the Nevus Camp. I am so excited about it for our little man. A Dolphin visit, movies, visit to the zoo and lots of fun activities for kids. We will be taking a LOT of photos!
Amongst all the birthday and Christmas stuff to organise I then have the Camp to get ready, packed and organised for less than 2 weeks later!

I really don't have enough to do. Maybe we should have another baby.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

In a Funk

I am in such a funk at the moment. I am told it is because Mercury is in renegade until the 30th by some people, others tell me I have 6 kids, so um der, others tell me I should put the kids in school then, ha! smile and wave at that one! and others who know me and my ways well tell me to HTFU and start making changes to what I want my life to be.
I wonder if there is something in all of the above. Maybe.

I feel tired within an hour of getting up. I am forgetting to take my vitamin tablet everyday as I am not in my morning routine. The washing is seriously multiplying, clothes basket shenanigans happening at night for sure.

I am stuck in 'I can't be bothered' mode and I want out. We have visitors coming this weekend (yay!) and next weekend we have the BABY'S first birthday and party. Yes, baby. Still a baby to me. Then a week later, Christmas.

I have no choice but to drag my bum out of bed now and get cracking, or it all will not get done.
Writing lists helps me too. Even if I lose the list ten minutes later. Having written things out helps me feel organised.

So, first thing that would be the biggest help is turning off the computer! Yep, it's a hard one, but as Rose Hancock once said "Tough Titties."

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Fat, Husky, Big, Obese, Cuddly, Just More of Me to Love?

So, if you don't know already, I am a lot of the time lazy, and a big procrastinator. I do get motivated to do things that I love and am passionate about.
Mostly I like to do the least amount of work but still deliver a great result. Take the washing for example. I put it all on the line in groups of what goes to what room. So Me, Hub and Bub together, all boys together, and girls together. When it is all dry I fold them and put them in the basket. Then walk inside and it all gets put away. Easy peasy. Least effort, great result!

But back to the topic. Weight is a very popular issue, and has been for a very long time. I assume it will be for the future also.
It seems that no matter what your size, there is always someone there to critique it. It's like being pregnant. I remember with my third child. I was out shopping and had 3 people comment on my size. One said I looked small for 5 months. One said I was huge, and was I sure there wasn't twins, and the other, bless her said wow you look great!

So, like anything, it is all in the eye of the beholder. But what really matters is the person themselves. How they feel about themselves.

There is much debate about our size. Some people say we should focus on being healthy at ever size, some say we should all accept fat, some say we should all have 8 glasses of water a day and exercise for 30 minutes for times a week, some say we should 'think' our fat away, and throw in a shit load more opinions.

Basically, and this it meant to disrespect others, I say it without harshness or rudeness, but I honestly do not give a shit about other people and what size they are. I have enough on my plate to worry about and organise without adding other people and something as petty as their size, into the mix.

I also, am now at a point in my life were the person on the inside is what I care about. 50kgs or 100kgs, I don't care, so long as you are respectful to me, we are sweet. I really mean that.
Once upon a time I was very rude, harsh and judgemental about other people and their body size. I was also quite thing, fit and had not had any children and only myself to worry about.

Since then I have been pregnant 7 times, gained and lost and gained and lost a shit load of weight. My body has changed after every babe. I have also more importantly, learnt a lot of empathy, compassion, understanding, and getting to know people well and all the fantastic things they do and have to offer the world.
Part of learning this was having others judge me when being pregnant, and just after having a baby. True friends could care less about my size, they knew me well and loved me for who I was.
Those who treated me otherwise, well, who knows where they are now!

I do care about size though, when it starts to affect me physically. When my weight is very low or very high my body reacts in the same ways. I can't sleep at night, despite being desperately tired, I am sluggish, I am cranky and snappy too easily, I can hardly walk up 15 stairs, huffing by the time I am at the top, my eyes look dull and my skin looks grey, I also have an overwhelming 'Can't be stuffed' attitude about most things.

Now, it is not size alone that contributes to this. What I eat, or don't eat plays a big part. The connection is pretty easy to make. I don't eat much at all, and when I do it it highly processed, with no nutrition and I everything mentioned above, happens along with a plummeting weight.
On the other hand, when I eat a lot, and a lot of processed, no nutritional foods the weight goes up and up and yup, all those physical changes happen, leaving me feeling miserable.

I know, for my body, if my weight is at either extreme, I start to suffer physically. And I don't care what anyone says about size, this is not good.
My weight only ever goes to either extreme when I am eating shit food, basically, and not moving in the day, at all. And yes, I do categorise foods.
Some people out there so we shouldn't do it. They say we should eat whatever we want when we want.
Well I have done that, several times in my life, and look where I end up every single time?

I love hot and greasy foods, I love chips and chocolate and cola, I love crackers and dip, I love sweets and lollies. iI I eat nothing but this and I start piling on the kilos it ends up the same. Tired, cranky, breathless walking the house to the letterbox, surely everyone would agree this is not good for my body.

What I am doing is eating better. I am choosing to eat more whole foods, and vegetables. I am choosing to add more variety into my meals and yes, I will use the word, I am choosing 'healthier' foods.

Never fear though, I am still enjoying all those foods I love. Just not every day, and not a lot.
I want my children, especially my daughters to see me eating well, and that includes having chocolate, hot chips or coke now and then.

For several months now I have been eating this way, healthier, but not cutting 'bad foods' out. Healthy includes foods we love.
I am sleeping better at night, I am getting up earlier and actually getting out of bed, not laying there wanting to stay in bed all day, I can walk up the stairs in my house and am not puffing before reaching the top, my mood is better and my skin and eyes look better.
What also helps is moving during the day, getting jobs done, walking with the kids. They LOVE going for walks, and being out with their parents.
When I am not well I can't do this. Yet another factor, a very important one, that pushes me to live my life better.

As I said earlier, this size/weight/health/whatever, is about me, about how my size and eating has affected my quality of life. When I was anorexic I was told I looked great. When I am morbidly obese I was told to accept my fat and that I looked great.
Thankfully I am now at a point where I know what makes me look great is not my size or shape, but how I physically feel and how much I am able to enjoy my life. When I feel great on the inside it shows on the outside, no matter my size.

Monday, 29 November 2010

Updates in dot point form

~ The raffle is over. I had a wonderful time doing it, but am glad it is now over and the prizes have all been handed out bar one, which I am giving to the wonderful winner on Wednesday.
I am still overwhelmed at all the wonderful, kind, generous people who donated such lovely prizes for our raffle. I will always be so humbled and grateful.

~ Hub is starting a new job in a few weeks. We are both very excited and very happy that it will mean we can start plans for building our home sooner.

~ I have had a sore shoulder for 10 months now, and finally went to my Doc on Friday. I am off for xrays and ultrasounds tomorrow. I only go to the Doctors when I really need to, and the time had come for this to be checked out and a plan put in place.

~ My older children are emailing me links to presents they would like. Gone are the days for these two of looking over catalogues that come in the mail and circling what they want. Hello technology!

~ My baby is turning One in just a few weeks! I am in total denial about it, and her walking along furniture and walking holding onto our hands. I keep thinking she is only a few months old, surely.
We are having a little gathering here to celebrate. Looking forward to that.

~ I learnt today some awesome friends are coming to a Home Ed camp next year, that we are also going to. Uber excited about that!

~ My ten year old is loving cooking and a few times now has cooked the evening meal for us all with simple guiding here and there. He keeps asking to cook, so we are sometimes reluctantly saying yes. I say reluctantly as he makes a huge mess. He is leaning to clean up properly.

~ This Spring has been shocking to so many peoples health, including us. Colds, sniffles, coughs, runny noses and feeling run down. Here is hoping the weather settles down soon.

~ Next time I go shopping I am taking headphones with me. Christmas music makes me feel nauseous.

~ I am steering clear as much as I can of shopping centres this year. I already know the gifts I need to buy and Hub will be getting them in a couple of weeks on his own. Get in, get out. Hopefully.

~ The next 6 weeks are going to be crazy. If I drank I think I would stay tipsy the whole time. At least I have chocolate and orange jelly beans!

~ I only have one more set of books to order and some printing to do and we will have all our books for next year. Sweet! I found an awesome wall calendar the other day. Nice and big, a month to a page and only $4.50. Everything will be written on that so when the kids start a sentence with "What are we doing......" I will just point to the calendar.

~ I have been thinking a lot lately about learning a second language. This craze comes and goes with me. I have gone through this many times for as long as I can remember, and feel that really I like the 'idea' more than the reality.
I do have the desire to travel in the future, just me and hub and will settle for learning some words and phrases when the time comes.

~ I have felt very unmotivated lately. In my head I am full of energy and keeping up with everything. But the reality is different. I am hoping I can turn this around soon, as I feel better with energy and able to keep up with things.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

She is on the move

Yes, I know. I am in shock and denial too.
Our wee baby, who really, was only born a few months ago yes? Is walking along the furniture.
What is it with kids and their incessant need to grow so fast!

It turns out the babe is 11 months. Yeah, sigh. She is freaking amazing. My heart almost bursts every time she smiles, laughs, squeals, claps her hands with delight...ok, so basically when she breathes, she is that adorable.

We are having a little Birthday Party for her in a month. Her 1st Birthday! WTF?
I know, you'd think I'd be down with the whole kids grow up thing by now. But I'm not, despite loving every stage the children go through and enjoy watching them grow and develop.

I cherish this time so much, and take thousands of pics to remember how squishy and cute they were as babies.

I will put some pics of of our 'baby' in a few days. She is not feeling the best at the moment and is wanting to just laze about and be fussed over by her siblings.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

What was I saying?

Oh yeah, kids are the best sharers with illness. Yup! So now we have 3 kids down and another with a runny nose. Spring is always a rough time with the weather changing so much. Warm, sunny and lovely one day, freezing cold and raining the next.

Bring on Summer! Heads up though, I will no doubt be whinging about how hot I am in a months time. Never happy I know. Warm days with a slight breeze, that's what I like!

Tonight I am off to sell more tickets for the raffle! Hub took a raffle book to work yesterday and is almost finished selling every ticket! Go Hub.

We also have more prizes and more donations from locals. Which is fantastic. I really am so touched by how generous people are.

We are now half way to our goal! So exciting. Don't forget if you would like to help contribute to the Children's camp please go here.
Every amount helps, and every cent goes to the Camp!

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Murphey's Law

Is not the Law most people think it is.
"Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong" is actually Finagle's Law.

So With lots going on lately the washing has slipped behind. Well, really, it's always behind. Meh, it's not going anywhere right?

I made the huge mistake of feeling great that all the towels were washed, folded and put away. We have a lot of towels, this was a great moment. I should have known not be so cocky.

Last night the 2 year old vomited. A LOT! After stripping the bed we laid down a towel for her just in case. We did this about 8 times. Really, she is a wee thing. I have no clue how she had that much in her.
Then this morning, 15 minutes before Hub's alarm went off, we woke up to our sick toddler crying out. More mess, but this time not vomit. If you get my drift.

So in the shower she went with hub. And then clean clothes and back to bed, on more layers of towels and a bowl there ready.
Several hours later and there has been more washing, more bowl clean outs, lots of sleeping and a not very happy toddler.

Looks like tomorrow shall be just like today, if he child sharing rule applies. The rule being kids are the most awesome sharers, with illness.

Friday, 12 November 2010

Things I Know

Asked by Shae at Yay for home!

~ Nothing in my life has tested my patience more than my children. (especially with things involving safety, life and death moments)

~ At some point in parenting you will hear yourself spurting to your children the exact same phrase your parents said to you. (As soon as the words pass your lips you will think "Fuck!" in your head)

~ No matter how skilled a parent you think you are, or how superior you may feel after years of parenting, a child vomiting on your legs and shoes, or pooing on your hip as you hurry them to the loo, or wee shooting you in the eye, will bring you down a peg or two to reality. In the end we have all been wee'd on, pooed on and vomited on. There really are no levels of parenting.

~ A person giving the advice to tell a 20 month old how important it is for them to keep their arms in their car straps either has a freaky, never moving or talking child, or no children at all.

~ Heed my warning. This with children, open a savings account when they are babies. A special account called "Money to have when my kid breaks other people stuff, property, furniture, etc"
The 8 year old broke a friends window today. I felt awful that my first thought was about the window, and how it was another persons house, then moved on to my son and his bleeding arm.
My friend however, went straight to my son, bless her.
This is not the first time something has been broken, and it will not be the last.

~ The Kindness of Strangers can have you sobbing like a baby. I am overwhelmed, so thankful and in awe of the people who have donated goods and money to the paypal donations account so the Nevus Camp next year can happen. Our goal is $500 and we are already at $200!
I am selling tickets at as many places as I can between now and the draw on November 25th.
Fingers crossed we make our goal, or even pass it!!

~ The first strong day of hear and humidity will bring the banshee. "Stop touching me!" "Move away from me" "Don't breathe near me" "I'm hooooooooooooot" (And that was just me)

~I miss central cooling, a LOT!!

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Thank you

Thank you so much to everyone who has posted my previous post all over the net, twitter, Facebook, blogs etc Hub and I appreciate it so much.

We received an email from the reporter who came to do a story on our son and the camp/conference and the fundraising we are all doing to make it happen. She told us he will be on the front page!! I am so excited. This camp means so much to all the Nevus families and this will be fantastic to spread the word about it, and also for others to know the support is there.

Anyone out there if you can link back to my previous post, (and if you want copy the button of our gorgeous boy on the top left side and put it on your blog) we would be over the moon with appreciation!

Thank you to those who have donated prizes to our raffle, and also money which goes to the camp. You all rock!

Not to get too sappy, but I don't think most people get, and that is understandable, just how difficult, hard and trying life can be for our little guy and us. We are seen by others as having our shit together, working well together ans hub and I as an awesome team who are doing a fantastic job.
While this is partly true we are also human. We struggle with lots of things, have low times, hard time and worry about our children.

This camp/conference is a very big deal for us and all the Nevus families, especially the children who are affected.
We feel so thankful to those who are helping make this happen. I have cried several times since we began our fundraising mission at the generosity and kindness of others.

Sunday, 31 October 2010

Day 31 with shameless begging

So here we are, the last day of Blogtoberfest 2010. I must say I have really enjoyed the experience. Some days were challenging, finding something to post about, but it's all good. I have read lots of blogs in the last 31 days, met lots of new and interesting people and also discovered some gorgeous work from others, be it painting, drawing, craft and others.
I am looking forward to next year.

Today I am using the last day as an opportunity to spread the word and also ask for help in making a dream come true. I have posted before about our little man and the condition he has, Congenital Melanocytic Nevus, and what he has been through so far.

The support group here in Australia has been fantastic for him, us and the whole family really. Talking with other parents, asking for help and advice, learning about the latest information, and finding out about doctors and hospitals and care. The support group is small, but fantastic. They are invaluable. As Nevus is quite rare, our group is small, compared to many other charities and organisations that help children and families with medical conditions.
Everyone who helps is a volunteer. Everything is done in peoples spare time.

Every two years the group organises a camp and conference. We call it The Big Bash. The last was held in Sydney in 2008. It was fantastic, for all of us. The children met others with Nevus and talked about their lives. The parents met other parents, and talked about what life is like, doctors, surgery, hospitals, other people staring, how to cope, and lots more.
We parents were part of the conference, meeting doctors in the field and learning about the latest research and information across the world.

While the conference for the parents was happening the children were busy drawing, painting, and being entertained with performers. They had a wonderful time.

The camp/conference is funded entirely by all the Nevus families and donations. We fund raise over the 2 years to make the Big Bash possible.
The next Big Bash will be in Adelaide in January 2011. We are all very excited and looking forward to catching up with friends, and meeting new children and families who have joined us in the last 2 years.

Iam holding a raffle in my corner of the world and it will be drawn November 25th. I am overwhelmed with how generous and wonderful people truly are, donating their time and prizes to our raffle.

As well as the raffle I am sending a call out here for help for donations to the Big Bash 2011.
Every cent donated will go straight to the running of the Big Bash. Every one involved is a volunteer and all give their time so generously.

To donate there are several options. You can visit Nevus Support Australia and donate via cheque, Money Order or Direct Deposit. The lovely Michelle Sibbons started and runs the group. If you are able to donate let her know I sent you.

You can also donate through paypal by clicking on the link on this blog on the top right hand side.

I would also really appreciate it if you could link back to this post, on your blog, to spread the word about our goal to make this happen! You can also click on the button apwool made, on the top left and put it on your blog and link back to this post too. Anything done to help raise for the children is greatly appreciated.

I will post updates about the raffle and also how the fundraising is going.

Saturday, 30 October 2010

My Funny Little Man

This boy, pushes me to the edge with every emotion. My heart bursts with love and pride for him at times. And other times I get so frustrated with his screaming and '4 year old ness' I think I might explode.
He is the most energetic, loud and boisterous of all the children, proving that the birth does not have anything to do with personality. Of all my births, his was the most gentle, quiet, and just really beautiful. (Don't get me wrong, it was still bloody hard work!) He is FULL of life and if his life was a TV ad, it would be Pepsi Max, remember those extreme ads?

He is also sensitive to others, loving, and gentle. Even when he is upset at his 2 year old sister, he will screw up his face and say 'Ohh bubby, no no" It is cute to watch.
He makes me laugh so much, and is very animated. Above are just a few of his many faces. He loves the camera, and insists on seeing every single picture taken of him. And when I turn the camera around for him to see, every single time he will laugh and say "Nawwwwwww"
He is a crack up, and when he is not here the house is extra quiet, but we miss him still.
Yesterday was such a day. Hub took him for his check up with his surgeon. As the surgeon expected our little man will need a few more minor surgeries done. The next one will be around his eye and eyebrow. So he is back on the waiting list again. Which is in some ways disturbingly normal to us now. On the list, wait, go in for surgery, home, back in to surgery, recover, second verse same as the first.
It certainly does not get any easier though. Every time is hard, for all of us, us as parents, him going through it, and his siblings too, seeing their brother go through it and for them to be understanding and considerate, something which can be hard for young children.
But we take a few (many) deep breaths and soldier on. Life doesn't slow down. You have to keep moving forward!
After the surgery visit hub and our little man went to Hubs work for the rest of the day. Apparently the son who can run around all day, scream at the top of his lungs and drive us crazy, was an absolute angel. Several people spoiling him with snacks and lollies, and comments on what a gorgeous child he is.
Hub said he was happy drawing and watching movies on the laptop and really well behaved.
I said then our job is done if the kids are only little asshats at home, and a pleasure out in public.

Friday, 29 October 2010

My Quilt Square

I posted last week about the Quilt Square for a wonderful Mama who is welcoming a new baby very soon.

Here it is. I did not have a hoop small enough so I used freehand to embroider. It still turned out great, but the hoop really does help that extra bit.

The Mama has a photo of her and her daughter and when I saw this drawing it made me think of them.

Just as a woman's heart knows how and when to pump, her lungs to inhale, and
her hand to pull back from fire, so she knows when and how to give birth.

Virginia Di Orio

Blessings, love and strength to you Mama Owlet.

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Art by Water on Concrete

The Spring 2010 Collection

This is titled The Baby.

The next two are the same piece, titled 'Fy-a Pow-a' inspired by the movie 'A Night at the Museum 2'

Here is the artist demonstrating with his work

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

A disclaimer

From yesterday's post, a small disclaimer.

I have nothing against anything organic, be it food, clothing or any other. My issue is with such things being seen as the gold standard of parenting, rather than a complement of parenting itself.

Any more questions, feel free to ask.

In other news I have completed my red square and am both excited about it, and in a silly way, a tad embarrassed. My piece is very novice, but I enjoyed doing it, and am pleased with how it looks.
When the wonderful Mumma has the square I will post a picture.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Mother guilt and Mother pressure

Our world today is so much harder on Mothers but also a lot easier. We have modern conveniences to help our days go smoother. Washing machines, dish washers, clothes dryers, vacuum cleaners, not to mention the myriad of foods we can purchase from the supermarket.

We know more about health and development of our children. We know more about the effect of treating children and others poorly.
Most of us do our best with what we have at the time.

And yet somehow along the way, this is not enough, for some of us. We feel guilty if the kids have McDonalds or Hungry Jacks and feel the need to quickly say how the day before they had home made organic yogurt with fresh made granola followed by apples and strawberries picked from the garden.

Why? Because the pressure is so bloody great amongst Mothers and society. Pressure to give our children the so called best of everything. Happy Mummy, who has the house clean in case visitors pop in, washing all done, children all happy, playing nicely in their organic hand made clothes, snacking on organic food and sipping water that came from the tank outside beside the veggie patch, cause that's best too you know. Let's not get started on the must have 'educational' toys that children just can't live without.

Mothers of my Nana's generation lead quite different lives. In their day if the child ate 3 meals a day, had clothes on their back, shoes on their feet and a roof over their heads that was the best. That was enough.
Of course there would still have been pressures no doubt. But from what I can tell from Mothers of this generation talking to me, it is much greater now. They tell me how Mothers today worry too much, about little things that don't matter.

What happens when Mothers feel the guilt and pressure of being the best mother they can? We crack, we get depressed, feel angry, upset that we are not doing as good as we could. This is magnified too for many mothers who feel isolated.
Never before have we been so close in contact with the world, and yet still alone. The Internet and telephone have others at our finger tips. I love modern technology. How I can blog, email and be in contact with so many others. It can be a farce though. Others giving of themselves only what they want them to know. We can be anyone we want. Any kind of mother we want.

We do this because we want to be seen in good light. That we are doing all these wonderful, honourable things for our families, and have it all together.
I understand this. I myself do it in some ways. Wanting too for others to see the great parts of my life only.
And then I see toys all over the floor, half eaten bread rolls under the table, apple cores behind the couch, wee everywhere but IN the bowl, finger prints all over the windows, milk spilled through the fridge,and a huge pile of washing whispering to me to fold it.
Ah the flipside of reality. Hiding in the shadows, not always seen but there, and we know it.

I think in some ways mothers are scared. I know I am time to time. Scared of being judged. Scared that I am not doing everything I should, or could be doing for my children, and myself too. Scared that my children will be pissed off at me when they are older and angry at all the things I did or didn't do.

A person can make themselves sick with the pressure, worry and guilt. this is not healthy and it needs to stop.
Let go of the guilt, it does not serve you.
Let's get back to basics and focus on what our children and families really need, and not what others tell us we must have, want or be. (I don't believe children will be smarter if they listen to Mozart in utero)

Lets be there for each other, without judgement. A chat on the phone, a catchup at the park, babysitting children, passing on clothes, being honest, and most importantly in my opinion, validating each other and the perils we go though as mothers.
That is the crux of it. Feeling validated and listened to by our fellow Mother friends.
Being a Mum today is hard enough. Let's cut ourselves some slack and be there for the highs and the lows.

My name is Clare and some days my children eat cereal for tea, have food stains on their clothes, stay up til midnight and are lucky to have a bath twice a week. My home is lived in and it shows. I am who I am and that is good enough.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Growing Up

I knew the time was coming. I have been watching it with other children for a few years now.
The youngest to start that I knew was 3 years old. That's so young I thought.

I don't know why exactly have issues or a problem with it. But I do dammit. It means another step closer to adulthood, and another step away from being a baby, toddler, little.

What is it? It is my older kids asking if they can be like their friends and call Hub and I "Mum and Dad'

I think the reason I have been hesitant is because I think once they older ones start then the littles will follow soon after, and they are just baybeeees!

I'm not ready!
But they are, and so I will take a deep breath and embrace this next stage.
I know it seems like not much to others, but when you have a child pushing teenage hood faster than you would like, everything seems a big step.

Life, always moving forward. Whether we like it or not.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Slack 'n' Lazy Sunday Post

Yeah I know, what a surprise right. I'm tired and ready for bed. We had a car trip with far too many stops. I am certain we hit double digits. Three of these was for a vomit stop. TMI yep, but hey, details are important.

We have an inspection on Tuesday, so I have put away a huge pile of clothes hub washed and folded. Bless his cotton socks. It would have been at least 7 loads all up. The biggest problem is the 6 year old, as I have mentioned before.
I cleaned every corner of her room, with her there, so I could remind her how much easier it is when the room is at least clear of clothes. She has a huge chest of drawers and wardrobe. Use them!

So tomorrow I have the fun job of putting away the last of the clothes, toys, and general crap and taping the kids to the couch until the inspection is over. Kidding of course! But that doesn't mean the thought didn't cross my mind. Just for a second.

I have so much on right now. Lots of small things, that together take up a lot of my time. Finding a surveyor to get the ball rolling on our house, a raffle I am organising (more on that soon), sorting out the budget for next year(yes I get organised early. Budgeting is VERY important to us and the flow of our family.) and don't get me started on Christmas!!

Til tomorrow!

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Their own style

Some of our kids drive me bat shit crazy over clothes. One in particular can change up to ten times a day. I am totally OK with this, SO LONG as the clothes that have been worn for 5 seconds get put away! Washing is my Nemesis. I freaking hate it.

I do love the combinations of outfits the kids come up with though. Our 2 year old has a thing for goggles. She loves them. Once she wore a pair on her head for an entire day. The eye bits on her forehead, not on her eyes all day.
She loves all colours and believes anything goes. The colour wheel she is not privvy too yet.
It certainly makes life more interesting, and fun too.

Should she be swimming and a freak snow storm appears, she is ready.

Friday, 22 October 2010

Day 22 blues ~ Scrambling for things to say

What to write about. I guess the correct term is really, type. What to type about.

I have lots of things swirling around my head at the moment. I have a blessingway to attend tomorrow for a wonderful mumma pregnant with twins! How wonderful. One pregnancy, two gorgeous babies.

Hub picked up a second hand bookshelf today and I have put away the last boxes of books. Yay! I said to hub how I am kicking myself that we every bought furniture brand new. Second hand is so much cheaper, and has character.
This bookshelf was an absolute bargain and will definitely stay in the family for a very long time.

We have an inspection next week for this property. Hopefully the only one we have. We have cleaned up this house a lot since we moved in. It was looking in dire need of a clean up and scrubbing. We even did the inside and outside windows. All of them. There is a lot of windows in this house.
Hub has done more than me, and I am so grateful for him and his energy.

My baby is cutting 2 more teeth. Top middle. These have been more painful than the last two and it pains me to see her upset. She is such a trooper and is so well looked after by her siblings. Especially my 8 year old. He adores her and is so gentle and loving to her. It is blissful to see how he is with her. He will hear her upset and come in with arms out asking her if she wants a cuddle with him.

I am struggling with my quilt square. More to the point I am struggling with how novice my work is. I know the mumma will dearly love every quilt square. It is just me, my own silly thoughts.
I am still excited to do it, and very keen to do my best.

As has been the pattern here the last month, the sunshine is a tease, only to be followed too soon with coolness and rain.
The boys keep coming up to get a drink, go to the toilet and tell us how cool the lightening is.

Here's to a busy day tomorrow!

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Ten years ago...

I married my best friend. We had been together 6 years and had a gorgeous little baby boy.

Here we are in high school. The last day. Life seemed so hard and difficult at times back then. If only we knew!
Hindsight is a you know what.

Before we knew it we had a house, and two little boys.

Then we blinked and there was six! (one is hiding on my back. you've seen pics of her, you know what she looks like)

I am so proud to call you husband. To share our crazy, zig zag life together. Our journey may always seem bumpy and with lots of detours but we get there in the end, together.

Happy Anniversary hun. I love you so very much.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Home made Pizza

There is nothing quite like anything home made, in your own kitchen.
For a while now we have made home made pizzas.
Hub makes the dough, I am banned.
The few times I have made it, the dough has turned out crap. So it is now officially Hubs job!

Since we began making them we have had take away pizzas maybe 4 times. Every time we do the kids tell us that the homemade ones are best. Which suits us fine as we agree, and like making them ourselves, knowing exactly what is in/on each pizza.

The kids love making their own, and have learnt quickly that your toppings need to be put on sparingly, not heaped on, or the pizza turns out yuck and slushy.

So tonight was home made pizza night!! Yum And while I have cut right back, I will never give up coke completely. I have it once a week on Pizza night. You just can't have a pizza and no coke.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Bits and pieces

~ Today we went to a park to hang out with other home ed families. The children all had a wonderful play in the Sunshine. Yes, sunshine! I am hoping we have turned a corner and Spring is now here.

~ Hub chose 2 movies for us tonight. One was the Aussie film Animal Kingdom, which was ok. The other movie, Eden Lake, he just turned offf. Crap, and leading into more scary parts, which I strategically leave the room for. As I always do with movies with scary bits.

~ At the moment the eldest boys are right into Titanic, so I have purchased a few bits from Currclick to add to their collection of resources. I am not affiliated with the site, just really like it enough to share.

~ Tomorrow I will be checking out a few Oppy's nearby I have not been in, and also visiting my fave which I haven't been into in far too long. I will be kid free! I am looking for a HUGE ass pot. For our little family of course, and also in particular for preserving.

~ The fire is going out as I type. Hopefully the last one until the cooler weather comes again next year.

~ There is laundry to be folded, and dishes to be done. Meh, they'll still be there tomorrow.

~ Here's hoping for a better post tomorrow eh.

Monday, 18 October 2010

Musical Monday

Thank you to apwool for the idea today!

When I was little there was nothing with my name. No rulers, no pencils, no hairbrushes, cute little badges or pencil cases. On the very rare chance we saw something, the name was spelled with an i in the name.

The first record ever bought for me was of Gilbert O'Sullivan. My Dad bought it because of the song 'Clair' on it. It was so exciting to me to hear my own name. I never knew anyone else with my name or saw it on books or movies. I remember when Dad would play records late at night when we were in bed but not asleep. I would ask for my song.

I loved that song! and still do. It makes me smile every time I hear it. I often play it on Youtube so the kids can hear it while I sing, well attempt to anyway.

Here it is for you to enjoy too. My favourite part when I was little was the little girl laughing at the end, so sweet.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Linky Lucy today

Today I am refreshing my memory about embroidery. Why? Because I am doing a red square for a wonderful Mumma.

I have been having lots of fun looking at other ideas, and also having lots of links sent to me. Mumma Owlet is happy for mixed media in regards to what people use for their square so long as the colour is red. Which suits me too a T as I adore red.

I am still deciding what media to use but I am certain of the design which is exciting. Stay tuned to see the final piece soon!

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Way back Weekend

First time parents, First baby, First cuddles.

Friday, 15 October 2010

For you Mummy

Most days I am presented with several different flowers from the children. I love that they do this, and that it hasn't grown old. I love that amongst all the playing and fun they are having outside, they stop to pick me a flower.
Hopefully there are still many more flowers to rest on our window sill.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

A quicky

Sorry everyone, just a quick post today. I have been in bed pretty much all day feeling horrible. Sniffly, sore throat, sore tummy, lethargic and constant headache.
Poor bubs has it too, though not as bad as me thank goodness.
The 4 and 2 year old have followed in the last few hours, poor things.

Here's to a better day tomorrow!

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Day 13 ~ Self Portrait

Tinniegirl has proclaimed today self portrait day.

So I sifted through several pics of me and found this one, I loikes it, so you get to see it!
Me and filthy baby and a pile of washing ready to be folded behind me.
A little snippet of my every day.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Letting loose, carefree dancing and laughter

One of the things I love about our family (Just one Clare? haha) is the way my children can dance and run around freely. In our house, outside, at a park, wherever the mood takes them.

The will jump, twirl, tap and hold hands as they spin faster and faster. They don't care about anything other than the fact they are having fun. They don't see people watching as intimidating, rather that they are watching because the child is so damn entertaining and knows it!

Their legs and arms flailing all over the place, squeals of laughter clear happiness around them fills my heart joy. They all love music and dance and it has never crossed their minds to just sit down and listen (like their mother does) No, as soon as music is on they jump up and start moving and grooving. They always grab my arm and say "Come on mummy dance with us!"

I was never one to dance. I would rather go to a pub then a club, and ugh dancing at parties sucked. I was one of those people who sat there saying how I didn't do dancing.
The closest I have ever come to dancing was the dances we did for the Debutant Ball. But even then it was structured dancing, hardly carefree, footloose or fancy free.

Seeing my children dance over the years has helped me to let go. To enjoy the feeling of moving to the music, not worrying about what others might or might not think of me.
Children certainly don't care. To them there is not a care in the world, just enjoying the music and dancing!

Us adults can learn a lot from our children. Lesson one, dance to your own beat.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Pony Rides

Free pony rides! They all loved them, and a few went back again and again.
You know what happens with pony rides?
"Mummy, can I have a pony?"
"Umm, ask Poppy"

Sunday, 10 October 2010

For April

Today we went to an expo that including blacksmithing, wood turning, all things old fashioned and medieval too, pony rides, knitting and spinning, pottery and............ felting!!

Here is miss 6, carefully laying the fleece.

With her first creation. She was so excited about the whole process. The woman with the stall was so patient and lovely, taking time to explain every step and guide her. The finished product below was done with the bubble wrap method.

The ten year old was keen to try everything there. I was walking passed the felting with my 6 year old and we saw him having a go. My daughter said "Ohhh, I'll go and help him, cause I am an expert now"
He said it was ok, but he preferred the pottery.
And of course after he was finished she just had to have another go. This time she asked if there was any other ways to felt. The woman said yes and that she could show her, so they did!
Here she is using bamboo mats, the type used to make sushi.
She ended up having 4 goes at the felting. There was two woman at the stall and after the 2nd time they laughed when she went back again, saying "Hello again, let's go!" They loved helping her as much as she loved learning.
We definitely have a new hobby! Coming home with her felt masterpieces I said to her how much April would love to see them.
You now have a felting buddy April!

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Only happy posts?

There are many different kinds of blogs out there. Cooking, family, travelling, bikes, artists, house building. It goes on forever.

I tend to browse mostly blogs about motherhood and parenting, with a few owner building too.
The ones I like the most are those that include all aspects of life. The good, the bad, the gorgeous and the ugly.
I have read a couple of blogs that only have happy posts. Posting happy photos, happy times, and only these times.
While I appreciate the joy and do love many of the posts, I don't feel the same way about my own blog and snippets of my life I share.

For me the happy times shine because of the bad and harder times. They are heightened in my memory as they stand out amongst the myriad of days we float through.

I want to remember and share the low days so I can look back and see that I learnt from them, did better, and kept moving forward to the next day.
I want to remember that life ebbs and flows, and many days lead my journey here to the life I have now.

Friday, 8 October 2010

You've got 3 seconds....

Wednesday night I took all the children swimming. Two of the kids have their lessons that night. I always find it interesting to watch the other parents deal with their children who want to keep swimming.

As you can imagine a swim centre is not the quietest place, three pools, lots of kids having lessons. But even with all this nice I could hear a parent bellowing "You've got 3 seconds! Three.....Two......" at which point the child reluctantly got out of the water.

About half an hour later I noticed another parent. He was doing a different 'come here now' tactic. He was closer to me so I could see the situation. He called out his sons name until the son looked at him. When he had eye contact he mouthed the words 'here, now' then put up his hand and did the one finger, then two fingers, then 3 fingers, and moved forward a few steps towards the pool as the son got out with a scowl on his face.

I had to turn away as I laughed a little. Not at the son or the dad, but for the whole counting to three thing in general.
It made me wonder, what would the parent do if the child just stayed in the pool? That made me laugh, as I imagine a child in the middle saying "Come and make me"
Then what? I imagine a lot of yelling is what, from the parent.
Or, the parent taking off their shoes and getting in the pool, but can't see that happening.

I remember last year a mother shouting so loud the whole centre went quiet. "I didn't drive you all that way to a lesson for you to not go in it, now you get over there now!" She was so loud that she frightened my then 3 and 5 year old. My 5 year old asked why she was yelling at the little boy. I told her she was yelling because she wanted the little boy to do something and thought threatening him would make it happen.

I appreciate it can be trying when a child wants to stay in the water and you need to get somewhere, or have them leave the pool. But to yell and shame them, nope, not on.

Over the years we have had struggles now and then with the same thing, I know it's hard. But yelling, threatening, bellowing is not the answer.
It took a while but we are a t a place now where the children get out of the pool when we ask, the first time, around 99% of the time.

Preparation, and lots of communication is our key. When we are in the car on the way to swimming I talk to the children about what we are doing after swimming and how it is very important that when I say time to go, they hop out. I also tell them that I will give them five minutes before they need to hop out.

I then remind them again right before we go in the centre. I know, a lot of talking, and reminding. But that is what makes it work for us. Children do not always have the memory that we do. Some things need to be reminded over and over, as well as practiced over and over until they are used to the routine.

It helps that the older children know the drill and hop out when we ask, as the younger children look up to them, and follow them.

We also understand that of course the children want to keep swimming, and I appreciate that. I would too. We can't though, so the routine at swimming is very important for us.
After the lesson they have some play time. When we are ready or need to get going we tell them they have 5 minutes until they need to hop out as we have to go shopping, have tea, see friends etc. This helps reminding them that we have somewhere to go.
In that 5 minutes I will get myself and the toddler ready.
When that is done I walk beside the pool call out to the children and start heading to the changerooom. The kids all hop out and follow.

The 1% when it doesn't happen is always the 4 year old. He is the cheeky one in the bunch! He mostly hops out when he sees us get to the change room door though. When he doesn't I go over beside the pool and tell him I know he wants to keep swimming, but we have to x, y or z and that we will back at swimming again in a few days.

Of course some days are better than others but overall the hard work and what can feel at the time as mundane reminding and talking about the routine has paid off.
The kids know how it works now and the experience is more enjoyable for us all.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Thursday Op Shop

A post for two reasons. Firstly the gorgeous apron I found at a local market last week. Two dollars! It is very cute. Gingham material, in red which I love, and a handmade Tulip sewn on it. The flower is a pocket. Love it.

Second reason. I often post photos of my children and they are smiling, laughing or happy. Well here is proof they are not always like this. I asked her why she pulled that face and she said "Just to be funny"
What is funny is this is exactly how she looks when she is scowling, mostly at her brothers for not watching her dance or sing for the hundredth time in a day.

FYI she always dresses herself. I sometimes remind her to get a jacket if it is cold or suggest shorts if it is a hot day and she is wanting to wear jeans, but overall it is important to me they are free to where what they like. Besides, it's much more fun watching the creations they put together.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Fun times with Kids

Up until 2 minutes ago my mind was blank. I had nothing to write about.
Then my 2 year old started blowing her nose. No not on a tissue, come on, this is a 2 year old.
It was turning her head in all directions and blowing out her nose.
"What are you doing?"
"My node, my node"
"What about your nose? Is that a booger?"

I held her head up and looked, gah! It was a small bead from a bracelet. Thankfully it came out easily. I put it beside me tucked under my leg.
A minute later she is blowing again.

"Did you do it again!!"

Yes she did.

"Are you freaking kidding me!"

Thankfully I got that one out too, and in the bin they all go.

She is not the first to do it, and she won't be the last. Other incidents have included Lego pieces in ears and nose, coco pops and rice bubbles in nose, a Twistie in the nose, and a large Lego wheel stuck in the mouth.
There have been more but that is all I can think off the top of my head.

This blog post was brought to you by your friendly service announcer. Reminding parents to never underestimate what children will try to put in their ears, nose and mouth.

Monday, 4 October 2010

My 8 year old has been watching his older cook up quite a storm lately and is wanting to join in the fun.
It makes me laugh when the 10 year old tries to give instructions to him, like he has been cooking for years. It usually end with me sending him out of the kitchen, telling him to google some more recipes he ca add to his list.

Here is the budding chef cooking up a batch of pancake batter. There is enough there for us to have two each. We have to double most recipes nowadays.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Rap skirt?

I was admiring this gorgeous skirt just now.

Made by the very talented Zaleoqui.

I called Hub to come and see. He said it was nice and I need more clothes like that. I agreed.
The 8 year old then wanted to see.
"Oooh what kind of a skirt is that?
"A wrap skirt"
"A rap skirt? for rapping in?"
"Umm well it is wrap, as in wrap around, but yeah I guess if one wanted to they could rap in it too"

What a gorgeous skirt for Spring though. After a beautiful day today I am now on the lookout for lovely skirts and tops. Sigh, I love Spring!

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Fly on the Wall

If you were a fly on the wall in my house the last 24 hours you would have heard such things as

~ Is that wee? or is that juice? No don't lick it to find out!

~ Please stop licking the window

~ Mate, it's 3am, go to bed already

~ You just had a bath and you've put on the same dirty t shirt you just took off? Are you freaking kidding me?

~ Yes I would totally think that is a satchel like Indiana Jones and not a handbag

~ Seriously, I can only handle so much conversation involving Transformers before my brain starts oozing out of my ears, no offence.

~ Gah who farted (This said more times than I'd like to admit. What is is about boys and farting?!)

~ No the baby is not saying she likes that she is saying get your finger out of my freaking eye!

~ I had no idea trolls can regenerate

~ Sigh, I'd love to be a troll

~ I remember the good old days when there just me and you (said by 2nd son to oldest son. He was 2 when his younger sister was born, but yeah, good times)

~ That guy is 12 and he is an alcoholic.

~ Not alcoholic, alchemist.

~ Mum (at least 400 times)

~ Poo bum stinky poo head ( I know, all class in our house)

~ Me to 4 year old "Off the computer"
4 year old to me "I yogging off gimme a bwake"

~ a Robin Hood costume? sure.

~ You licked the icing off and want me to have the cake? I'll pass thanks.

~ No it's not an antique, it was mine as a baby, it's only 30 years old! Sheesh, how old do they think I am!

~ Yes, when I die you can all fight over my jewellery. Your love is overwhelming.

~ Dare no monster in da bath, it jut bubbles, don't be scared Mummy.

~ Mummy, Mummy, Mummy, Mummy! Yes? You name is Mummy.

Friday, 1 October 2010

Blogtoberfest Day One ~ Chores/Learning responsibility/Child Slavery

All on a par really, yeah?

Today is day one of Blogtoberfest. I am looking forward to the challenge of posting every day, hoping I ahve enough to write about!
My theme for today is Chores!

As the children grow we have tried several ways to implement chores.
It always ends up failing. Mostly because...
~ I suck at implementing them
~ I suck at reinforcing them
~ My eye twitches when I watch the child attempt to do said chore
~ It's just easier for me to do it and do it right

Yes, sorry kids, Mummy can't do everything so she tries to delegate chores, but then you all suck at it so get out the way and just let me do it.

I am getting better at this whole chore thing, but we still have a way to go, mostly on my part, I'll admit it.
I need to learn to let go, accept the children are not as good/efficient/right in doing the chore as me.
I need to take deep breaths and increase the patience when I am showing them for the 24th time, how to do a chore.
I also need to remind myself to remind them, as much as I don't want to, that they need to do the chore.

In theory all children can do some chore. My 2 year old can pack up toys, put clothes in the laundry hamper and even help me do the veggies for dinner each night.
This is something I remind the older kids whenever they start whining about chores and what a great mummy I am throwing the fact their 2 year old sister can do more than them.

My eldest 4 children know how to clean their room. We have been doing it for years now, it's not that hard. Pack away toys, books and any clothes on the floor that were worn for two seconds. That is it. Really, it could not be any easier. You'd think so anyway,right.

We have been in this house a few months now and are settled in. Our chores don't really change much day to day. Our day in chores goes something like this.

~Eldest son is on dishwasher duty. He is to empty the dishwasher every morning before breakfast
~ After breaky everyone puts their dishes in the sink.
~ I wash dishes and wipe down kitchen
~ Lunch and dinner is same as breaky
~ After dinner we have the whinging/crying/yelling/crying/begging hour (most of that by me) One cleans down the table then sweeps the floors. Eldest stacks dishwasher. And everyone cleans up the loungeroom.

This is how it goes on a good day.

Something we don't do, is tying an allowance to chores. I know it works for other families and is an incentive for kids to complete their chores, but in our family my kids are immune to incentives.
"Clean the floor and I'll give you some chocolate" "Yeah, um, I'm going to pass on that Mum"
Little buggers.
There are also times when while they may not do the said chores every single day, they do help me in other ways and with free will.
My 8 year old will often come in my room when he hears the baby is awake and take her, telling me he will play with her while I have a shower.
My ten year old last weekend made me eggs on toast and brought them to me in bed. (While these may not be under the 'chore' umbrella, they are things that help and are very much appreciated)

While we don't give an allowance, we do want the children to know we appreciate their help in running our family. Every few months hub will take the kids out and they will pick something they really want. Something they have been thinking about or talking non stop about.

What do you do in your family? What chores system or rhythm do you have? Do you have all kids of all ages help out, or is there an age where they start?
Id love to hear about it.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Homeschool Freebie of the Day

Grab it quick before it goes!

Taming the "Homeschool Information Overload" Monster.

Information overload is a factor of life. At times we all get tired and stressed, and either stall out or stray from our plans due to too much information. But it isn’t enough to just know what causes information overload. You must actively guard yourself from it, and take strategic steps toward taming it and getting back on track as soon as possible. In this report, discover practical strategies for dealing with "homeschool information overload" and learn how to free up more of your precious time for what is really important in your life. MUST reading for every online homeschool mom!

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Funny things my kids do

Squeeze into clothes that do not fit them. They never believe us when we tell how them how they have grown and clothes do not fit anymore. Nope, they have to struggle into said outfit to find out for themselves.

Falling asleep, anywhere and everywhere. My children never cease to amaze me how they can sleep, especially through the noise!

My son who surprises me now and then with notes. Most have pictures cut out of catalogues and the notes say 'for Christmas' or 'for birthday'
Recently I went into to my room and found this. The box is a jewellery box my mother was given in the 60s. She never used it and gave it to me. My son asked if he could have it as it has a lock and he liked that he could lock up his treasures. (Lego)

The story goes that son left it on the floor, and other son stood on it as he didn't see it there in the dark. Son who broke the box knew it was 'antique' (his words) and felt bad and wanted to let me know via note, maybe he thought I would be mad being told face to face.
Either way I laughed out loud when I found this.

Yes, another funny brought to you by the 2 year old. She is hilarious at the moment. She puts together the funniest outfits. Here she is modelling bathers that are too small for her now and goggles. She insisted on wearing the goggles everywhere, outside playing, at the shops, but not at swimming lessons.

My 6 year old loves to dress up her younger sister. Oh how I would have loved a younger sister to dress up!
Twice a year I take all the clothes that don't fit the kids anymore and spread them on the floor. I do this right before Spring and Autumn. Clothes that are still good and can be passed on, stay. Clothes that are beyond repair, get tossed.
I then break out the big bags full of clothes to reshuffle. Anything that does or is very close to fitting comes out. Clothes from the first big pile that will be kept go in.
The great clothes reshuffle is not an easy job. I loathe it. My 6 year old daughter loves it! All the clothes that I get out of the bags she goes through. Several times while I am sorting she will grab something and run off. A few minutes later the 2 year old will emerge and say 'ta da!'
I love how they do this. It is fun, keeps them busy and is lovely to see them both enjoying time together.
Some fun amongst the boring, big job of the bi annual clothes reshuffle.

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Fun at the Dairy Farm!

Today Hub and I made a trip with friends of ours to visit mutual friends. Our friends are currently house sitting, and the house is on a dairy farm.
Hub and the children were lucky enough to go over to the milking and feeding sheds for a tour and some educating!
The people working were keen to tell the kids how everything works, and our kids were just as keen to fire off lots of questions.

Here they all learning about how much different dairy farming is from 100 years ago. Machines and technology have come a long way!

Learning about the milking machines, and how nowadays they only need to be attached. Each pump has a sensor. When it senses the milk flow dropping it releases and the pump attachments are pulled across and up out of the way by a cord.

All the calves being fed. While I know this is common practice in dairy farming I do not agree with it. Calves are fed from fake teats that are attached to big mixers, that mix the powdered milk.

The children did enjoy seeing calves up so close though. One calf in particular was not very shy and came right over to the children.

Having a lot of fun in the bales.

One thing about farms, the mud! Ooey, gooey, sticky, wet mud! The kids loved it! Especially this cheeky monkey who ran straight for it. He ended up covered completely, with a bit of skin showing so I knew it was him.
Good thing kids are washable!

They had such a wonderful time, and I am so thankful for our friends for hosting us and taking such an interest in our children, and showing them not only the cows and milking, but also about the other animals on the farm. The children especially loved the chickens, and are looking forward to when we can have our own.

For a more thorough post and lots more pics about our weeekend go visit Hub

Thursday, 23 September 2010

A day of food in numbers

I have been asked a few times about how much food we go through. So here is a rough estimate of our day. I will use yesterday as an example.

~ 3 litres of milk, includes cow and rice milk

~ One loaf of bread

~ 20 rolls

~ 1kg carrots

~ 2kg apples

~ 20 weet bix

~ muesli sprinkled on weet bix in cereal

~ 500grams of small steaks

~ 18 sausages

~ 2 cups of corn

~ 1kg of potatoes made into cheesy potato bake.

~ 2 dozen home made biscuits made by the junior chef

~ Bananas

Yesterday was a below average day. Usually there is cheese, strawberries and yogurt too. More often than not there is also broccoli, cauliflower and pumpkin with dinner also.

We are looking forward to the warmer weather because it means BBQ!! Salads, staying outside later, sitting on the deck with hub. Sigh. (Remind me of this in 3 months time when I am whinging and bitching about the bugs and heat)

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Monday, 20 September 2010

Confessions of a Large Family Mother

~ More than often I have laundry all over the house. Clothes in the hamper, clothes in the washing machine, clothes in the dryer, and clothes on the couch waiting to be folded.

~ I do not use cloth nappies all the time. Disposables save my sanity.

~ I sneak in my children's bedrooms when they are asleep and watch them for a minute. Marvelling at how big they are getting, especially my oldest boys are so close to being bigger than me. I am actually looking forward to it, all the jobs they can take on!

~ While we do not have commercial TV we certainly do have a DVD player and the kids watch something at least every day.

~ Some times my children have cereal for dinner.

~ My children have a bath once a week, unless they have an accident or get covered head to toe in mud from playing outside.

~ The only reason we do not eat fast food is because it is a 2 hour round trip. We have it so rarely now, when we have to go into the city.

~ I remember to cut my children's nails only when I notice them or get scratched.

~ I ignore the mess in our bus until crumbs, clothes and books fall out when the door opens. Then I find the motivation to clean it out, and while I'd like to say it stays that way and I make an effort to remind the kids to bring in everything, it doesn't happen. And 3 months later we are back at square one.

~ Hub and I hide sweets and eat them when the kids are all in bed.

~ I wear tracksuit pants every day.

~ Sometimes I let the kids eat whatever they want for lunch so I can chat with apwool on MSN.

~ You would think I would learn not to wait a second when a baby needs a nappy change. Even when it sounds like only a little, it may not be. Full nappy and clothes change needed!

~ I hate being told what is best for my children or family by people who are not with us 24/7, have no idea how we work and only want us to do things as they do, so they will feel better about how they do things. (Does that make any sense? ) Different is not wrong!

~ I also hate being told about a friends sisters neighbour who knew this family who homeschooled..............blah blah blah Just.don't.mkay.

~ I go to bed after midnight more often than I do before midnight.

~ Some days I can't wait for that quiet time after the kids are asleep and I can have a conversation with hub and we can actually hear each other.

~ I eat my pancakes with lots of butter and Vegemite. I also have Vegemite on scones.

~ Hub and I have a crazy, hectic, busy life. It feels like it has always been this way, we have just added some kids into the fun over the years.

I wouldn't have it any other way. Life can be hard sometimes and we can feel low, but I am so thankful to be married to my best friend and have our beautiful children who fill my hear with joy and our lives with laughter and happiness.

Saturday, 18 September 2010

9 Months

She did it again. Another month flies by, that I did not ok.
Our beautiful 6th baby and 3rd girl. So little yet taking such a large part of our family that could not be filled with anything other than her bright blue eyes, big smile and hilarious, contagious laugh.

The smallest noise from her has her siblings running to her side. I love watching them together, playing with her, or watching a movie with her on their laps, her sleeping their face or pulling their hair and laughing. They just laugh along with her and sigh.

My heart truly does grow with each child. So you can imagine how big it is by now.

Here she is in her second favourite place. The first is taking up her 3rd of the bed between hun and I.
In her carrier on my back. She falls asleep so easily in there, and it makes life so much easier when out and about, doing housework or outside watching the kids fly down the hill on carts a hundred times.

If you look close enough you can see her tooth on the bottom. It came through 3 weeks ago, and the other night the tooth next to this one came through too. I loved how excited the kids were when they noticed. The novelty of milestones never wears off.

With big brother. She adores her big brothers. She wails her arms up in the air and squeals with delight when they play peek-a-boo with her. They hide behind the couch or the door and jump out. It's hilarious to watch and hear her laugh louder and louder, which makes them laugh more too.

Trying to take a photo with everyone pulling faces at her so she would laugh. I have many photos like this of the last few kids.
Check out her gorgeous chubby bubby rolls. Some would be mistaken to think she was eating solids. Nope! It's all breast milk, FTW
We believe in following our babies lead for when they are ready for solids, when they are ready after 6 months exclusive breastfeeding.
So far this has ranged from 6 months, right up to 12 months.
Clearly our bubba is not lacking in any way!

Before we know it we will be celebrating her 1st birthday! I am not ok with this, but of course I also have no choice. Damn babies growing up. I do feel so privileged to watch them grow and flourish, moving closer to adulthood and further from my side. Sniff.