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.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Thursday Op Shop

It seems like ages since I wrote Thursday Op Shop post. I have not been in a couple of months and am missing my favourite little shop. We are now only 5 minutes from this shop since moving out here and you would think I would be able to stop in.
Sickness, catching up with others and getting things packed, put away, then moved again because I have changed my mind with where things should go, have taken up a lot of our time.

I have several Op shops I like, but the one near me always has such a great eclectic variety.

This small Ladies travel case is by far my favourite purchase so far. It cost five dollars and was brand new. The key was still in it's little envelope inside the case. Looking at google it is from the 1960s
I bought it for my daughter a few months ago for her 6th birthday. She loves it. She packs books, paper and pencils when we go on long drives, and will take it outside when the sun is shining and sit and draw on the decking.

I could not get a very good picture to justify the lovely colour it is. It is actually a lovely cream colour with brass lock and clasps.

It also came with 2 bottles, not sure where the other one is at the moment. Probably in the bathroom where my daughter fills the bottles with water.
As you can see it has some wear and tear from being used, and loved. I don't mind though as my daughter loves it and uses it almost every day. Money well spent!

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

12 Things I am Scared of, in no particular order

1. Clearly if you have been paying attention to this blog, there are Moths. I hate them. They are fat, with weird legs and fly erratically trying to attack humans at will!

2. Jumping Spiders. Oh my goodness have you ever seen one? They freak me out, and give me a shudder just thinking about it.

3. Finding insects/bugs in shoes or clothing. Say no more.

4. Running out of toilet paper.

5. Hearing one of the kids call out "Um Mummy, you better come quick"

6. The 10 seconds after I hear number 5 until I see it. Usually followed by me saying "Gah, is that all" OR "Are you freaking kidding me!"

7. That my daughters will be teased and bullied by , how to put it, little bitches when they are going through that awkward growing up very fast stage. I am hoping the fact that they have eachother will help. I would rather go through childbirth than suffer those days of torment again.

8. That any of my children ever feel less than the wonderful people they are. That others will hurt my precious babies in which I will be forced to hunt them down.

9. Like only in Hollywood, my car/bus will somehow go over the edge of a cliff. Weird, strange yes, but I am scare of it nonetheless. Ahem,

10. That I will pulled over, or bump into someone I know, and it will of course be the day when I nip up the shops with no bra, trackie daks and no shoes. Classy.

11. That despite my best efforts I am forgetting funny things my kids say and do, how they are right now. Taking photos and video certainly helps a lot. I laugh at so much during the day and wish I could remember it all.

12. Don't laugh. But for as long as I can remember I have to shut the wardrobe doors before going to bed. I know right! ah well. I can see myself at 86, still shutting the doors,

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

The country, harden up.

The country is not new to hub or myself. We both grew up with grandparents with farms. His more bush, mine a dairy farm. We rode motor bikes, horses and learned to drive in paddock bombs. We played for hours exploring, getting muddy, helping with the animals and enjoying the occasional bonfire.

So while we know a lot, it is quite different to being here every day.
The fire is something I have a love/hate relationship with. I love how it roars and crackles and warms you up in a way no electric or gas heater can.
I hate the maintenance though, ugh, the cleaner, the starting, the poking and looking after. Not to mention the hauling, moving and stacking of the wood. My arms are getting quite impressive.

Another love/hate relationship is outside. I love how much fun, enjoyment and play the kids get out there. All that land to run around on, make tree cubbies under the big branches and scare me by riding bikes and toy dump trucks down the huge hill.
I hate how much washing it makes! They get so filthy, and dirt and mud gets in everywhere. This annoyance I try to keep to myself. My mantra is, it's ok, they are washable. Keep saying it to myself, ha!
Here is my 4 year old, who dressed himself, outside. You can't tell but he has no undies on. Here he is pointing at rocks he had found. That's great honey, just keep them outside, mkay.

Another fun part of being in the country, bugs! Creepy crawlies! Shudder. I am much better now than what I used to be, but for the life of me I can't get past the common moth. I hate them!
There is LOTS of bugs here. Ants, mozzies, butchy boys, spiders, moths, flies now that spring is here, and lots more that we are learning about.

Here is a crawly we found downstairs. If you know what it is please let us know. Hub squished it after taking this photo and said it was fragile like, not thick. (Yes, the renovator in my is crying about the poor paint job. You won't see cornices like that at my house, haha)

The shops close early. Our nearest supermarket is 10 minutes away, so if you need milk or want a bit of choc, it's a 30 minute round trip. Planning ahead is a must! It is also a good thing sometimes that the nearest take away place is 45 minutes away. So if you feel like a cheeseburger it is an hour and a half round trip for it. This has definitely helped in the eating better department.
I am seeing this as more of a good thing. By planning better due to shops and stores closing before the street lights are on, we are eating better and are much more savvy with our money and budget. A big bonus there.
It is also good to be renting before we build our house. There are a few things we had not thought of that we will certainly want and need in our own house.
One is a big area outside the front door for a bench to put on and take off shoes. Not to mention have storage for the extra footwear. Shoes, boots, gumboots, snow boots, and that is just winter!
It is also great to be living in the community our land is in. Meeting people and making friends we will know for a long time.
It really is lovely here and I am so glad we are able to grow our family here.

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Gain, lose, gain, lose, gain, lose...

Weight that is.
I have been this height since I was 11 years old. From then until I fell pregnant with our first baby my weight stayed the same, within a kg or two.
In the last ten years my weight has gone up and down 6 times, with each pregnancy/baby.
I am proud of my body. I am proud of me. Carrying our babies, birthing them, nourishing them. 4 of them being over 5kgat birth!

I have never understood the term 'Getting my body back' I feel it is a set up to failure, false hope, telling women your body was not yours for a period of time and is now inferior.
After having a baby a woman's body will never be the same again. She can be the exact same wight, or even less, but her body is never the same. And why should it be? Why should society put pressure on women to think how they are after a baby is less than acceptable, and they are only worthy if they look how they did before their baby was born?

Our breasts get bigger, our hips spread, pelvis opens to be bigger to hold our baby and birth, our rip cage gets bigger, our skin stretches, our feet and hands can swell, and lets not forget the weight gain.
This is all a part of being a mother. Bringing a new lift into our world, our lives.
It is a rite of passage, a badge of honour for some.

Society tells us that sure, have a baby, but be sire to be back to your pre pregnancy weight as soon as possible and we will glorify you. And if you are still not at that acceptable size straight away we will remind you of it by plastering celebrities on magazines and how they were able to do it withing 3 weeks with thanks to their live in nanny, personal trainer, Chef and full gym at their house.

As if being a new mother is not hard enough, caring for a newborn, caring for ourselves, falling through the days and adjusting to this new life. Apparently you also have to be hair free(in the 'right' places, have a clean house, dinner ready, hair done, make up, and body looking acceptable. But for who? It's not for the baby who just wants you and to be fed, clothed, changed and loved, not for your partner who loves you and supports you no matter what, not for true friends who are there to help and support you.

So who is it for? If you ask me it is for the billion dollar industry out there that relies on woman to feel that they are not enough as they are. They need hair products, make up, waxing, plucking, and lets not forget the ever growing weight loss scams.
They don't care if you are struggling with feeding your new baby, or struggling to learn why your baby is still crying for the 4th hour in a row, or that you can't sit down as your arse is killing you from birth and stitches.

Nope. They just want your money. Plain and simple. Make out that women are not good enough and tell them how with x,y and z products they can be fabulous again, like they were before.
Fuck off I say!
We are still gorgeous, beautiful, wonderful and fabulous. We are just different now. We are mothers.
No matter what shape, size, colour or whether we wear jammies all day or gasp wear no make up.
Be who you want to be, because you want to, not because someone who couldn't give a crap about you says how you 'should' be.

What I do believe however is that we do need to look after ourselves. To be healthy, but also realistic.
Forget about media, society and others, and to find the place that makes us feel comfortable.

For me it is not where I am right now. I gained more weight in my last pregnancy than any of them. I'll be honest, my diet was not balanced. My weight has gone down since bubs was born but I hit a plateau a few months ago and stayed there. Winter set in and the nights got darker and I stopped going for walks. I also found comfort in winter meals and coke. Damn coke.

About 3 weeks ago I was uploading pics, we take a lot here. I came across some the kids had taken. Mostly extreme close ups of their faces, their toys, the ceiling, the curtains etc There was also some of me. I looked at the picture and it matched how I was felling. Flat, sluggish, heavy, unhealthy and unfit.
I was finding it hard to walk up our driveway to the letterbox, it is about 75 metres. I loathed going down stairs, because it meant going back up stairs.
This is not how I wanted to be. I felt blah. I knew I had to make some changes to improve my health and over all well being.
I wanted to be fitter, to go for hikes with our family, play basket ball with them, go bike riding, and just feel physically better to be more active.

So in the last nearly 3 weeks all I have done was cut right down on all the drink and foods that were making the biggest impact on my tiredness, sluggishness and over all not feel physically well. It has made a huge difference and I feel so much better already.
I have not given up my favourite treats, but am being more realistic with how much and how often. I love them and am not giving them up.

I was playing outside with the kids today and I could noticed a big difference in my fitness. Walking up our huge hill was not a struggle. It was great. The payoff is certainly more than worth it.
I have not actively been exercising. Our laundry is downstairs and with the kids being outside a lot lately I am getting more than enough walking done up and down the stairs and around the house.
I have lost weight which I can see from my clothes. I'm not sure why I was surprised at this. But it makes sense. If I am losing weight just by cutting down foods with no nutritional value it proves just how crap the food is and how much of an impact it was having on my body.

I have been in this position a few times now. Letting my fitness get away, going for the easy, quick and rarely healthy choice. It is my own doing and I accept that. Life can get damn busy and who the heck can do it all, all the time? Not me.
I'm far from perfect, and I get in slumps and I know I will again. I just hope I don't fall this far again. I don't like it, my body doesn't like it and it seems the easy way out. But it's not.

I am hoping this post makes some sense. It has only taken about 10 starts and stops, over 5 hours, to get to here.

To summarise we all need to find the right fit for our unique body and lives. To be happy with ourselves, with health being the main focus.
But also to not be so hard on ourselves. Be more forgiving of the ups and downs, and support each other as mothers who are all trying to do our best for our babies, children, partners, family and usually ourselves last.
Being a Mum is hard enough and having other Mums to talk to, catch up with and who understand makes such a big difference.

I will keep you posted on how I am going. I'll say in a month, with the hope it motivates me to keep going.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Father's Day

Father's Day 2010 marked the tenth Father's Day for Hub, also his first with our scrummy 8 month old baby who really is so cute you just want to chomp into her cheeks.

The day started with Eggs on toast for Daddy, along with many hand made cards and trinkets made by the children at homeschool group. Gotta love homeschool group if only for the fact all that glitter, glue, felt, feathers and fun did not happen at my house.

We then set off for our traditional Father's Day trip to a gorgeous town, which unfortunately had all shops closed due to losing power from storms the previous night. So we decided to still walk around and the kids to play and have lunch elsewhere.

Every year we also have a pic on the huge log there. A few more kids needed to fill the log!

Here we have Miss 2. I wish you could see her face when she does this , it is hilarious, and very hard not to laugh out loud. Her little legs cannot carry her as fast as the bigger kids and as soon as she notices she is left behind she drops her head, slumps and walks slow with her bottom lip dropped. At this point Daddy will pick her up and chase after the big kids which makes her laugh and all is well again.

After a lovely day, boob and snuggles with Daddy our baby is very tired.

Happy Father's Day to the best Daddy and Husband, we all love you very much.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Almost Wordless Wednesday

I love that so many other blogs are doing Wordless Wednesdays too. Has been far too long for me to even blog at all let alone on WW!

This first pic is the view out of my lounge, from where I am sitting now. Bring on Summer so I can sit on the decking watching the children play/argue/scream/laugh.

My ten year old. I love that he is not inhibited to be himself. Footloose and carefree.