Sunday, 31 October 2010
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
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.
Friday, 29 October 2010
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
Wednesday, 27 October 2010
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
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
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
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!!
Saturday, 23 October 2010
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.
Friday, 22 October 2010
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
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.
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
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
~ 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
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
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
Friday, 15 October 2010
Thursday, 14 October 2010
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
Tuesday, 12 October 2010
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
Sunday, 10 October 2010
Here is miss 6, carefully laying the fleece.
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"
Saturday, 9 October 2010
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
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
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.
Tuesday, 5 October 2010
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
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
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
~ 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
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"
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.