Saturday, 31 December 2011

Year of big changes!

2012 brings with it some major changes for our family.
The best one, and biggest we have ever done in my opinion, is our house. A home we have dreamed of for years. I have only mentioned it here now and then mainly because, well, to most it is a very boring subject. A topic only hose who are building or renovating or dreaming can really understand.
So, lucky you, I will save you from going on about types of wood, foundations, ceiling height, windows, paint colours, straw, render and sooo much more.

I have a big list of things that need to be done for the planning stage and how much we need to save for said planning stage, grumble. We meet our draftswoman early in the new year to finalise the plans and then things will get very exciting! For me anyway, I love this stuff.
So yes, a big house to fit us all with room to fling a child around.

Another big change is the older children heading off to our local school. Huge news really. I am still coming to terms with my feelings. On the one hand I would love to make them do what I want. But you can't control someone and preach about their autonomy at the same time.
Children grow up. As they grow their view and understanding of the world grows with them. The children you wanted to always voice their opinion, have their feelings heard, now have those!

I have felt it may happen one day. One, two or more would want to give school a go.
I know for me growing up, when I was not allowed to do something, I wanted to do it. Foods I couldn't have, I wanted them. Told not to do something, I did it. Always testing boundaries and pushing for things I knew I could do, or would be ok with.
My determination and lure to seeing just how far I could go, or see what I could do, has certainly been passed on to the children. I want to embrace that, as much as I can while I remind that pesky inner voice that they are growing up and I have to continually let go a bit more each time. They have minds of their own, different ways of seeing the world.
Don't get me started on how the 2 eldest boys are the same shoe size as me now and VERY close to seeing eye to eye with me.

I have also never seen schools/institutions, as the enemy, like some home edders have told me.
Maybe it is part because I went to Uni to be a teacher. Part is also certainly because I and Hub both went to school, yet here we are challenging the world and views from the moment we got together at only 15. I am here and who I am because of my past, and the journey along the way.

In a nutshell I want my children to know that we are here and supporting them through their life and the direction they want to go in. For 2012, it will be a combination of school and still some home edding. Yes, you can combine both. I know too well there are gaps in what children want to learn and what they are exposed to at school.
Maybe that is the teacher in me, trying to make sure the children are well rounded, with awesome grammar and hand writing!

As you can imagine we have talked about school a lot over the years, and especially in the last few months. I was very pleased to overhear the older boys talking about going to school and how they are excited to go but how they are glad they know they can always go back to home ed if they prefer.
I love that they know they have choices and that their parents are following their lead and supporting them as they grow up (way too fast!)

What also helps is how family orientated this school is. There is around 70 students across the 7 grades. I have spoken to many parents about teachers, the principal, the school in general etc. I also put the school through the wringer so to speak when we visited each time the kids had went. In the last 2 months they have spent a couple of hours in the classrooms getting to know the teacher and other kids. They went 4 times and each time they would tell me everything that happened, who they spoke to, what they did, what they liked, what they were not sure of.
I am very pleased the school were happy for them to do this, as it meant the children could see for themselves for deciding for certain about going next year.

Don't worry, I'm not kidding myself it is all sunshine and lollipops! There are pros and cons no matter what we do. The key is the support they have and the ability to keep open dialogue with the children and us about their lives. Communicating with the teachers is also very important to me.

So we will see what Term 1 brings come Feb next year.
I will be home with my 3 little women and must admit I am a little excited too. I have no doubt there will be a lot of play dough happening and lots of cutting and pasting. A big favourite at the moment.
Miss 3 already has big plans for us. Lots of baking, going to the park and watching Dora. Yay, I think!

Monday, 19 December 2011

Latest and lucky last babe!

Our sweet baby girl arrived in a speedy, very intense and hard labour, just over a week ago. Hub and I both were swaying more towards our babe being a boy, and laughed when we saw nope, another beautiful baby girl had joined our family. Another not so little girl! She was 11 pounds and 58.4cm long. She still feels so tiny in my arms though.

Having her first feed, all snuggled up with Mummy and her fan club! The other children all adore her and always want to look at her and cuddle her. Miss 2 wants to eat her, or kiss her to death. She will hear her cry and say 'Ohhh baby sister!'

Master 5 asked me to take some pics with her. He has been very cute, just watching her, gently touching her hand. It is very sweet to watch him, especially as I would say he is the most energetic and on the go out of all the children.

Our days have been quite slow and lazy, perfect for babymooning. Over the next week we will be getting ready for Christmas. The children are all very excited and looking forward to a day of fun at Nanna and Poppy's house.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

A long time between drinks

The hours fly by so fast. The days and weeks too. Yet it also feels like time can drag by soooo slowly.
My head is still swirling with everything and more we have going on right now, but thankfully it is not overwhelming me or having me feel anxious.
I'm nudging 35 weeks now and flow between feeling zen about when the baby will choose her or his birthday, to just wanting it over and done with already.
This is normal for me, I have done it the last 5 pregnancies. I just try to remind myself baby knows the best day and labour goes so much better when it happens spontaneously.

I am feeling very heavy in the pelvis, especially since bubs dropped about a week ago. Yay I can breathe again, but ouch at the same time!

I am still asked if this is for certain the last baby. Even by people that know Hub had a vasectomy. Yes, it is! 100% it is. It has been 5 months since hub had it done, and I am more happy and content with the decision as time goes by.
I love and adore babies. They smell, the squishyness, holding them, their sweet breath. They really are lovely.
But I know my body and mind are ready for this last baby. I know what a strain my body has been through carrying such large bubs too.

I have also been told by others how they cannot fathom making such a decision. How it is so final. How it means no more, and they can't imagine doing it. This makes me laugh. As clearly, it means they are not ready. They do not want to close that chapter of their lives yet.
And of course that is ok. I was there once. Amazed at the women making final decisions about no babies. It means no more babies!!
And now it is my turn. My turn to feel 'done. For years I wondered, and was concerned too, if I would ever feel done. I would listen to Mums talk about how they just knew, and how they were excited for the next stage of no more babies.
I honestly did not get it. Of course I didn't get it. I wanted my window to stay open. I was not ready. It was not my time.

But now I am. And I laugh at how once I could never imagine being here.
I feel happy, liberated, excited and to be honest a bit sad too. Endings are always sad.
I am trying hard to enjoy the kicks and movements of this bellybabe. Knowing she or he is the last to grow inside my womb. The last baby, our little caboose!

The current little caboose continues to make me laugh, and brings so much joy to our family. I can't imagine, nor remember life without her.
I know I will feel the same when this wee baby joins us too.

Here is Miss 1 asleep in a funny place, as usual. All our children have been such great 'anywhere' sleepers. No matter where we are, if they feel tired they fall asleep. This was the last suitcase to unpack after a weekend away. She loves to help. By help I mean she will toss everything out of the case, clap her hands, smile and say 'All done!'
I must admit, if the older boys did this at nearly 2 I would more than likely crack it, sigh and tell them not to do that. Now, many years and babies later, I am more patient, but more than anything I see the funny side, and don't sweat the small stuff. I know how fast time goes by, how fast children grow. I choose to laugh. Life is much happier this way, for all of us.

House plans are still in the making, just going very slow as we save for what needs to be done next. It is a longer process doing it this way, but it means things are paid for with cash upfront and then we don't have to worry about it again.

The builder is currently doing the final touches on another straw bale home not far from us, and then will be able to have more time for us. It has worked out well and we are grateful to find people nearby who can help us build our home.

Til next time!

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Life goes on

Whether I like or not, I have to keep going. Even with the crying, whinging, sooking, and complaining(all mine) the world just will not stop until I am feeling well enough to face it again.

Clothes need to be washed, folded and put away every day. Children want to read stories. They also want to go out and socialise and play, grumble. And what is with wanting to be fed more than once a day? sheesh!

When I look at this photo I sigh at all the washing Hub had done, ready to be folded and put away. But then I see him with some of the children reading another story that night and it makes me smile. Washing will always be there, the kids at this age will not. It is them that help me see how much life is worth living. I get out of bed each day because of and also for them, before I think of myself.

This chubby cheeked, smiling, happy baby is simply hilarious. She makes me laugh many times in the day and I am so thankful she is in our family. She has so much personality and character for a 1 year old and she loves to have us all laughing.
All she has to say is 'Mummy yook, Mummy yook' and I smile, seeing the excitement in her face at the latest thing she wants me to look at too.

Her big sister has me laughing just as much. At only 3 years old she talks so well and is very animated. If I do not here her over all the monkeys the first time she will say loudly "Mummy, I am talking to you!' and if I call her almost every time she replies with 'Just a second' Who knows where she gets it from hey. She has her own little bed, in the room she shares with her sister. They love being together and often I see them together on the same bed with the CD player and one of their read-a-long books, with the 'ding' each time you need to turn the page. I loved them when I was little. Except I had a cassette, remember those?

Very slowly, at snail pace, each day is getting better. I have had the odd day in there though that really sucked and made me think, Bugger, I thought I was moving forward. But looking over the months I can see the better, smoother days are outnumbering the low days. This is good. This is progress. My Hub, my children, my parents, and close friends make a huge difference in getting through. They are loving, caring, supportive, and help in any way they can. I truly feel that even if you don't understand what someone is going through, you can still empathise and support them.

'Til next time!

Saturday, 1 October 2011


I won't be doing Blogtoberfest this year. I just don't have it in me, and I fear most days will just be a whinge, bitch or whine as I swim through this AND. I don't want to do that to you, or me.

However I will link you to {tinniegirl} where you can follow the wonderful blogs who will be participating.

Friday, 30 September 2011

I have liked the band OKGO for years now. Hub sent me a message telling me he loves me with this link. I had forgotten about this song. I like it a lot. This too shall pass, but for the time being we will go through it together.
Thanks Hub, I love you.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

I get it, but still don't like it

I get the stigma attached to depression. All the different kinds. They all still have the word depression in there.
Most people in society hear that word and have no idea what it truly means.
They may have visions of someone in a rocking chair, looking out the window with a Nanna's crocheted shawl wrapped around them. Rocking back and forth.
No thanks to TV and movies very little is understood or even accepted in society.

You might see me at one of the children's sports. Cheering them on. I will even be smiling and hug them after the game and tell them how well they played.
You may look at me and think, she looks normal.
Grr, that damn word normal. Who the fuck is normal anyway. Certainly no one I know. There is no such thing, in my opinion. Unless normal means 'human and alive.'

You may even bump past me walking down the street, and you say sorry. To which I will laugh and say 'no worries.'

Don't think there is a rule book with depression. Everyone who has it, is different. We are all here for different reasons, and we live different lives. We are all getting through in our own ways.

For me, I don't want to be treated in a special way. Just talk to me as you usually would. Show kindness, caring and respect as you usually do, and should to anyone.

Depression or not, we all have shit going on. Bills to pay, meals to make, things to worry about.
A bit of compassion goes a long way. Taking a big breath before opening your mouth goes a VERY long way!

For me I am taking one day at a time. I have a calendar with everything going on in our lives, but I am still looking at only what I have to do today. It certainly helps we are in school holidays at the moment, so we have a break from the kids activities for a couple of weeks.

The house plans still carry on. Despite everything going on with me, I know we need to keep things in motion. It's something to look forward to, along with waiting for our lucky last family member.

Friday, 16 September 2011

What word makes people go quiet?

And for most of them they will nod there head, say quietly "Uh ok" and then make up some excuse to leave the room, building, state.

Depression. Most people have NO idea how to deal with the word, let alone how to them talk to someone who is going through it.
Phrases that start with "You just need to...."
"All you need is....."
"A friend of mine had a cousin who had depression and he took up.......... and he snapped right out of it. Maybe you............."

I would like to believe the majority of people say the above out of ignorance, and just not getting it.
Why else would they say "You need to do x, y or z and then it will go away"

If you were to look up Antenatal depression you would not see a picture of me. There is very little information out there for antenatal, loads on postnatal though.
Antenatal is through pregnancy, postnatal is after giving birth.

Nearly everything I have read about antenatal depression does not ring true for me. I did find one article that mentioned feeling blank/numb a lot of the time. This is a tick for me.
It also mentioned feeling tired no matter what time of the day it was and regardless of how well you were eating or taking care of yourself. Another tick for me.
They did all mention feeling teary at times, but then again this is something that happens to most pregnant women at some point. It did not mention the amount of crying though. I assume once in a while would be natural, every day would not. I fell into the every now and then category.

I found in the articles I came across a big emphasis on the first time mother, and also 'surprise' pregnancies.
Clearly I am not a first timer, and I was and still am very excited about our planned baby. This could be why I waited even longer to see my GP. I love feeling the baby move, am very excited about our last family member joining us and am not concerned at all about coping, or how things will be.
I think this is where more information about antenatal depression needs to be put out there. So mothers who already have a child/ren can get information for them too.

I am a strong believer in trying natural remedies first when possible. If 3 months goes by and there is little improvement you know it's time to seek out more professional help.

Which is what I did. I am very fortunate to have a great GP whom I have been seeing my entire life. Apparently when I was 1 years old I was sick and having a tantrum, and he helped calm me down. We have a long history basically, and I trust him, and he knows me very well.
We talked about my past pregnancies, life in general, big things happening at the moment and of course the children. I explained how if anything I am getting through the days because of the children. I get out of bed because of them. They keep me going. They are also actually not a burden like some people say, and certainly not causing how I was feeling.
They really are great kids and a wonderful help.

We spoke about hormones in pregnancy, and how each pregnancy is different. The hormones are not exactly the same each time. Every pregnancy and baby is different, and we need to go by what is happening with this pregnancy. I had noticed how annoyed I felt this pregnancy, in a physical way. It's hard to describe, but sometimes I feel like I want out of my skin. I am just annoyed all over.
I told him how I feel the hormones have wreaked havoc this time.

He talked about how he knows how I feel about medications and that I do prefer to try naturally first. I told him all the things I had been doing over the months. I know I am lucky that he knows a lot about natural ways and agreed with what I was taking to try and help.

Then we moved on to medications. He explained to me the different types and how they work, and what is safe/not safe in pregnancy and breastfeeding.
He gave me a prescription to start the next morning, a low dose. Also to see him in 2 weeks again.

We then chatted about seeing someone to talk to told me about a few women he highly recommends for mothers. So we are in the process of getting to see one of them too.

He said that while he would rather I was not going through what I am, that he is very pleased I came to see him.

So now I am still taking my supplements, along with my prescription. I am glad I am able to keep taking the supplements, as I know how important they are for me to have.

And that is where I am at. A post I have found very hard to write, but feel important to get it down, and press publish before I chicken out!

Sunday, 4 September 2011

I need to Pee

Yup, no such thing as TMI on this blog.

"Needing to go to the toilet is very common at the start of the first trimester and end of third trimester. You will more than likely have a break in between."


Why do so many 'information and advice' articles and books say this? Ask 50 pregnant women and I guarantee those who had that nice break are in the minority.

Telling women this sets us up (ok me) to whinge and complain even more. This pregnancy I have not had a break AT ALL. All day at least every half hour, all night it stretches to every hour.
This is when I get that feeling. But do I go straight away? Of course not. I am a grown adult who still tries to ignore it, cause, you know, it might go away. Ha!

Empathy to all the Mummas out there who know what I am talking about.

Here's to the last trimester!

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Absent, in a few ways

I haven't blogged much at all in the last 5 or so months. To be honest this pregnancy has been quite hard on me emotionally. I am very excited to be having another baby join us, and looking forward to everything that goes with it.
I feel the hormones this time are wreaking havoc inside my poor head.
The kids are great in the scheme of things. There is no one thing that is 'causing' my low feelings. I am also not low or down about anything much at all. I just feel down, in general.

This sucks. For me, Hub and our family. I would never choose to be feeling this way, I don't believe anyone would.
I have kept up with vitamins, making sure I get the nutrients I and bub need. It is bloody hard taking care of yourself with life and children needing you too.

I am not going through this because of 'all those children.' Those who think that do not understand the large family dynamics. The children are very good when I am pregnant, tired and needing extra help. The older children are wonderful with tidying up, folding clothes, vacuuming if need be etc.
Truth be told it would be much harder going through this without them. They are happy to read to the littlies or get them a drink.

I know I will get through this, and for the moment I am really just floating through the days. Doing what I can and trying to look after myself.

And no, I can't 'get over it' or 'just cheer up.' as some suggest. It doesn't work that way. If you think it does, you need to do some actual research and reading and maybe a lesson or two in compassion and empathy.

You might see me out and about with 'all those children' and think I have it together, am doing great, and wow even smiling and laughing. I do have good times and moments, amongst the numbness and wanting to just stay in bed all day and night.
Seeing me happy does not mean I am now better. It just means what it is, that I am happy in the moment.
You can't make yourself happy, or force happiness.

I have added a break from Facebook on my list of things to help. I had noticed a fair amount of negativity, sadness, anger and some things that were just depressing lately. I don't want to stop any of that completely from my life, as sometimes it is unavoidable, but by taking a break from Facebook I can cut some of it out.

My posts here will be sporadic at best for a bit longer.
I am ok but I am not ok. I am working on it in my own way and doing what I need for me.

I do appreciate thoughts being sent my way, cheers.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Things I have learned this week

~When you are building a house and call people in specific jobs, for example town planner, do not assume they actually know their job and can answer your basic questions. Lower your expectations from the beginning and expect to talk to a lot of people to find one simple answer.

~ Town Planning, generally suck. If you are lucky enough to find a person who can hold a conversation, speak fluently and coherently get down ALL their numbers and hold them around their legs and do not let go!

~ No matter how many times you think this time it will be different, it won't. What am I talking about here? Phone calls, when children are still within a 2km radius. No I am not exaggerating. I keep getting sucked in, damn it. Unfortunately we only have a phone attached to the wall at this house (how old fashioned?!). I keep meaning to add cordless phone to our shopping list. But really, I wonder if I keep forgetting because I remember back to when we had a cordless (before it was broken, sigh) and it really wasn't that much help. The kids would follow me, or hunt me out when I thought I was clever and had snuck away, or if I shut the door and held it closed with my foot they'd call out 'Mumma' in a sing song voice while kicking their feet against the door in rhythm.
Who knows what I will do!

~ I have a hatred so high for scary/horror movies, I am now convinced it will always be there, and I am ok with that. Hub and I watched a movie the other night, and while it was mild in regards to the horror genre it still had me sleepless all night after watching.
I told Hub no more. I'm done. Drama, Happy and Rom Com only for me, and kids movies too of course.

~ I will never get used to vomit. Ever. In the last week we have dealt with a lot of vomit. It's bad enough when I am not pregnant so you can imagine how much the stench affected me this bout of sickness. This time the second eldest woke me in the morning, telling me he had vomited in the toilet. I'd been up and down with his younger brother through the night so was a bit grumbly at being woken up for that. I told him no worries, just grab a bowl and hop on the couch and rest.
Soon after younger brother came in saying he wanted to use my toilet. I asked if someone was on the kids toilet. He said no, there is vomit in there.
So I got up and assumed he wanted me to flush it. Nup. There in FRONT of the toilet, on the floor, a huge vomit. Gah! Second eldest son obviously meant the toilet room.
Hub was at work. You know what this means. I was the only adult i the house. I had to clean it up. Damn. So I did. Sooking and whinging all the while.
Fingers crossed we are done with sickness for a while. All healthy and bright eyed again.
But I am sure some bug will find us within minutes of us having every sheet and piece of clothing washed, dried and put away.

~ I really, really, really want a laminator and a binder. They are up top on my homeschool supplies list. Seeing other home ed Mums show me how fun they are does not help the coveting.
I have heard they pop up now and then at Aldi. A couple of Mums have purchased them there and are very happy with their quality.
I remember when I was in school and we would type up our own stories and then bind them. It was so much fun, and I loved having my own 'Books.' I'm looking forward to doing the same with the kids.

Friday, 8 July 2011

Still Alive....

How slack am I?! 3 weeks and no posting. Let's blame the 6 kids and growing belly ok? Cool

At least the nausea has settled right down now. I am still a wee bit tired, but really, it's to be expected.
Some days I remember back to when I was pregnant with my first. Oh how I could just sleep, with no care in the world. As my 9 year old loves to say 'Those were the days!'

Time is flying by this pregnancy. Although it seemed to drag when in the throws of nausea, now that I am feeling better the days are zooming by. I'll be 'halfway' before I know it.

The kids are on holidays at the moment, although really most home ed kids we know are never 'on holidays.' They still want to play, learn and create, even in cold weather like now.
My 6 year old spent a few hours today at a friends house. They are both similar in that they love the outdoors, playing and having fun. The girls collected lemons, twigs, big leaves and such to make their own nature tea party.
They also cut out and decorated bookmarks and then laminated them. I am the proud owner of a new book mark, now I can replace the folded receipt I have in my book I am currently reading.

At the moment the kids are loving 'Horrible Histories' on ABC 3. I must admit, I am too. We have not had free to air TV for such a long time, and I and the kids missed ABC. So Hub fixed the aerial and set it up again. The little ones love shows like Dirt Girl World, Small Potatoes and of course Play School. The bigger kids love Horrible Histories, Behind the News, Mister Maker(little ones like this too) and of course Soupe Opera! We all love that one, the music is quite catchy.
So far so good with the TV. Some of them would sit their all day, and others are happy with their fave shows and that's it, so I do regulate for the couch potatoes. A bit on the morning, and then again when I am preparing and cooking tea.

We are all looking forward to starting Story of the World in a couple of weeks. Up until now I had just put together bits and pieces for history and geography. Some from my own collection as a primary teacher, some from friends, some from the net etc
I have looked at history curriculum now and again and recently started searching more thoroughly. What I love about all the curriculum out there for every subject you can think of, is that when it comes to Home Education, you can go as slow or fast as you want, you can stop for a while, or you can skip ahead, come back, do whatever you like really. I love having that freedom.

It frustrates me when people will talk about curriculum and how if you use it than you are school at home 'types'. This is not true and just shows their ignorance, and lack of understanding, or lack of wanting to understand. Curriculum for me is like anything. You use it how you want, when you want, in a way that suits the individual child.
In a school setting the goal posts are very narrow. 25 odd children all being told the same thing at the same time, with worksheets and projects all done at the same pace. Yes they can source more info out of school, but the premise is at school. Everyone doing the same thing.

This is another reason I don't do labels. No matter what type you call yourself, the end result is that your child is doing what suits and fits them. This can be similar with siblings, or can be the complete opposite. I have 4 children all learning in different ways, with different interests, needs and wants. Some things cross over and are able to used for more than one child. Math-U-See for example has clicked for two of the kids, with another being more at home with my thrown together maths. One child loves a Grammar curriculum, the other doesn't.

While on the topic of labels, another misconception is that there is 'School at home' and 'Uncshooling.' This could not be further from the truth. Many years ago in America homeschoolers were mostly religious. The few who were not wanted to distinguish themselves away from the term homeschooler, as society assumed they were religious families doing school at home. As most religious homeschoolers followed a set curriculum and would do 'school at home.'
Hence John Holt's term Unschooling was used to distinguish the difference between school at home with set curriculum with a more rigorous and strict approach at teaching children and the more relaxed approach that other families were doing which was following the child and family interests with no set curriculum.
He uses the term to mean schooling that does not look like school. Since then it has been changed, adapted and moved around to mean many different things in America and the rest of the world.
(I have several close friends in America who have explained what I have just said clearly in regards to the evolvement of home education from the 1970s til now and am confident in retelling their experiences and knowledge)
I do not have any problem with anyone using whatever label they like, if it suits them and their family go for it. I only have problems when that label becomes restrictive and people stress about doing exactly what the label says. For example I know unschoolers who use some curriculum. I also know unschoolers who would say that if they use a curriculum for all subjects, or even one subject, then they are not unschoolers. One very popular 'unschooler' in America has even said to people whether she thinks they qualify as unschoolers or not.
This is when I see problems. Fitting into the label. It can be freeing for some, but also restrictive too. It is the very reason that if I am pressed to answer what 'label' we are, I say that we are Eclectic. Bits on bobs from here, there and everywhere. I feel freedom in the term eclectic as it truly is anything and everything, whatever suits.

There are not two types of out school 'learning.' There are hundreds. Every family is different, and it frustrates me when I hear and see people break down Home education into these two 'definitions'
At the end of the day, Home Education is Freedom. Freedom for each child to follow, learn and educate the way that suits them best. Whether that means using a box curriculum, some curriculum, no curriculum, Charlotte Mason, only Natural Leaning, some natural learning, religious based learning, Steiner, Montessori, De Bono, Frobel, travelling on the road leaning, in a cabin in the woods learning.
It is Freedom to go as fast as the child wants, freedom to start and stop when you need, freedom to change as you want or need, freedom to use whatever tools you like.

Ok off the soapbox, that stretched longer than I thought! I have a lot floating in my head, about so much. It can feel overwhelming as to where to even start.

I will post when we start Story of the World and then post maybe ever week or so about how it is going. It would be nice to have a bit of a record online about the progress.

Schooling/learning has changed a lot here in the last few months, as the older boys head into what society calls 'Highschool' education.' This is both exciting and scary! They are showing stronger interests in one or two areas and wanting to delve more into them. I have recently learnt about a program that is offered in our state for homeschoolers in high school level. They pick what subjects they want, and only go to the school for them. The rest of the week they pursue these areas more and also can follow other interests too. They meet with mentors once a month and talk about what they are doing, how they are going etc It is all lead by the student and they can change as they need/want. I am keen to learn more about this program. So far speaking to a parent and her daughter who is in the program has certainly made me interested to learn more. The young woman in the program said she is loving it, being able to learn more about the subjects she wants and having the freedom the program offers.
It is great learning more about what is out there for the higher levels of education and learning.

What a post! Hope you made it.

Monday, 20 June 2011

Oh yeah, I have a blog.

"So, I used to read this blog. There would be a post every couple of days, now it's just quiet. A shame really as I loved reading regularly. You may have heard of it, it's called "With Hands and Hearts Full"

"Good one Hun. Yes I know I know. There is so much I have to write about it, it feels a little overwhelming really. What do I want others to read, what do I keep to myself. Not to mention some of my thoughts I know will cause a stir. Gah."

It is true, I have so much going around in my head the last few months. News articles that touch me greatly, others opinions based on what they think, rather than what they have studied themselves that I feel furious about, People who say one thing yet I know they do the opposite leaving others to be led to believe they are someone they are not, building a house while pregnant and home edding with 6 munchkins, people who really, really should NOT have children, a harsh judgement I know but it's the truth I see with my own eyes, and through the mouths of said parents themselves, and of course the bane of my existence, trying to keep things in some sort of organised chaos.

Along with all this we have had 3 birthdays in just over a month, Hub getting a vasectomy(woot) and us celebrating being together for 17 years.
Our eldest spent an evening in the ER with Hub a week ago after he had his hand slammed in a door while chasing his younger brother who slammed said door as oldest put his hand out. A few hours a stitches later he was home and feeling better.

I am not feeling 100% yet. This pregnancy has me all over the place, emotionally mostly. There is so much happening around here, I feel like I am overwhelmed and cannot do it. So Hub and I had a chat and have changed a few things. He is now taking over all the budget, bills, money going out etc. We will be having a 'changeover' next week and then he will take over. I have a diary just for money and budget, it is a huge help and does make it a lot easier. I know Hub will catch on fast, and the weight off my shoulders will be a huge help.

I will keep on with the paperwork and what is needed for the house to move it forward. I can make phone calls in the day which Hub can't. It is not much to do in these stages so no stress at all. It's still in the exciting phase.
I have 99% finished drawing up our plan and am quite chuffed with it if I do say so myself. It includes a kids retreat, 5 bedrooms and my favourite a large walk in pantry that will hold lots of shelving, a chest freezer and full fridge. I won't post much about it here, as not everyone gets as excited as Hub and I about house plans, paint colours, kitchens, windows, doors, barns and the list goes on and on! If you are interested you can follow us at our house blog here.

I'll do my best to write more often, ok hub.

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Where I'm at

Now that I am up the duff, with child, in the family way, pregnant or my least favourite old fashioned term that makes me shudder 'in confinement' things have changed a little.

I am not walking much, or moving much in general really. I am soooo tired, and nausea is with me all day and all night. Like that friend that just will never leave your side.

When I am pregnant I add in a few extra things to my diet. Spirulina, Floradix and if being more vigilant about drinking water.

The first trimester is a killer for me. Extra tired, very cranky, feeling like I am going to vomit all day and night, my patience is nearly non existent and I just want to bite off everyone's heads, everything is annoying me. I hate feeling this way. It is annoying and drives me bonkers.

Not long until the second trimester and fingers crosses close behind will be me feeling much better, and people will want to be around me again.

I had a strong urge to run away from everything lately. Brisbane was popping up everywhere I look and I started feeling nostalgic again about it. The nicer weather up there in winter is such a draw card. Tee shirts in the middle of winter, sigh. I even looked up houses in the area we used to live just to see how much they were at the moment.
I think it was actually making me feel worse. So last night I cracked open the house design software again and worked more on our house plan. I also looked up house plans, I love looking through them.
On my travels I also found the fire place that is almost exactly how I want ours in our living area.

I felt much better after looking through pictures, plans and making progress on our own house.
I don't know why I have such itchy feet. I lived in the one area for over 20 years and was fine. Yet somehow I get the feeling of wanting to move every year or so.
I spoke with hub more about it and we do have to put the kids first. A place where they can stay for a long time, be with their friends, play in their sports and activities and enjoy being in one place.

This doesn't stop the itchy feet of course! So we will be making sure we have as many trips away as we can, and hopefully in a few years we will be able to get to point where we can spend 2 months of the year somewhere around Aus. Preferably in winter, so we can go somewhere warm.

So that is where I am at. For the moment.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Sunday Salutations and Sickness

I feel like crap. I feel tired, useless and and that I am letting my family down.

The kids, bless them, don't seem to mind how lacking in energy, and patience I am. They ask me if I am ok and give me hugs.

What is going on? Well those with large families, or who know us well, the first thought is 'Clare's pregnant again'

You would be correct. This pregnancy is very planned and wanted. It is also kicking my arse. I feel like I am on the verge of throwing up all day and all night. It doesn't matter what I eat or drink, the feeling never goes away, and believe me, this is being pregnancy number 8 I really have tried everything over the years. I just have to ride it out, and wait until everything settles down.

I feel tired all the time. This is what is hardest on everyone. While normally I am pretty lazy, I at least can get things done, and will go on rampages washing, cleaning etc.
Not now. Not when pregnant. But, when you already have a few kids, there is no choice but to get things done. There is no help like when you were pregnant with your first or second. People lose interest after a few kids, and their lives get busy too.
Kids need feeding, clean clothes, driven around to swimming, sports, activities etc. There is no stopping.

At the moment we have library every Thursday morning, swimming and basket ball training on Wednesdays, Basket ball training on Thursdays, home school group every second Friday, then swimming lessons on Saturday along with 4 kids playing basketball on Saturdays too.

So, I just suck it up, and do what I can when I can. Waiting for the magic time when I realise it's been a few days since I last felt sick. Bring it on.

Bubs is still feeding too which is adding to the tiredness too. She is 17 months now and while I am a big advocate of child led weaning, to be honest I would welcome her slowing down right now. While I am being honest I am also hoping to not tandem feed again. It is probably the hardest thing I have done parenting wise. I know others have found it wonderful and life was able to carry on wonderfully while tandem feeding.
I am just not one of those women. My 3 year old weaned herself 2 weeks ago and it was VERY much welcomed. Feeding two munchkins while in early stages of pregnancy was bloody hard. I was relieved when she was ready.

This will be our last baby. The end of the line. Our little caboose.
I thought our last baby would be 'it'. To be honest I would tell people it was, but in my head would think 'maybe, not sure actually'
This time I know for sure. I adore babies, they are just lovely. So tiny and perfect and I could just stare at them for ages.
I love all ages actually, all with their ups and downs, laughter and challenges.
I am ready for our next stage of our life. Building our next house, the children spreading their wings as they get older and become more involved with activities and their futures.
Hub and I being able to go away for the night or weekend as the children grow. No little one who depends solely on me.

I always wondered what it felt, to be ready to move on. No more babies. I know I will feel a bit sad, and feel a tug at my heart whenever I see a baby. But this is our number. Lucky 7 who will join us around Christmas time-ish. A lovely way to end 2011.

Friday, 6 May 2011

Things I know

Playing along with Shae at Yay for Home!

~ Most people have no idea what homeschooling is.

~ The same 'most' people will tall you all the things wrong with home education and how they knew a friend once who had a neighbour and the child was homeschooled and went crazy one day and drove a car into a baby animal farm. (Yes, the stories are that crazy)

~ Most people will take YOUR decision to home educate YOUR children personally. One of the first responses I get is "But have you been to our school and checked it out, it's fantastic"
"That's nice, for YOU. We are happy how things are" Insert very big, cheesy smile.

~ 99% of the time the next questions is "Is it for religious reasons?" (This is especially true for me when they see my children, and nod their heads as they count to six

~ Most people will tell you (based on facts from their neighbours cousins postie) that only teachers are allowed to home educate their children. NOT TRUE! Anyone person can do it!
Just smile here, or if you are feeling really bold look around you, then back at the person and say "Ssshh we don't want the cops to be called on us"

~ Your eyes will glaze over upon being asked the million dollar question "What about Socialisation?"
You can answer this in so many fun ways. One mum I know said "That's ok, we're vaccinated for that"
Another fun way, which I like is to look at them with a serious face and ask "What do you mean" They usually go on about children needing to interact with other children and people, and learn how to 'be' in the real world.
You can then say "Well we go to the library, shopping, visit an elderly peoples home once a week, dancing, Basket Ball, Swimming, Scouts, visiting with grandparents and family every week, running their home ed group with other home ed children, going to camps, helping out with our family meal planning and budget, they also play in the local music band and take bread to local families every few weeks. Any of that Socialisation?"

~ People will try and quiz your child, more than likely right in front of you, some weird math or science question that they themselves more than likely don't know. This frustrates me soooo much. Do not try and make my child out to be an idiot, because more than likely you will not only fail, but he will make you look like the idiot you are.

~ Sometimes you just want to get away from the idiots. Smile politely and say you have to run. Then run!

~ Most people will tell you they would love to do that but........(insert several reasons from they work, to their kids drive them crazy enough in the holidays)
I do not care why, and I am not saying this in a mean or facetious way. I am truly just not phased what you do with your children. If they and you are happy then cool!
However, I will demand, and deserve, your respect back also, for how my family works.

~ Most people will assume you think you are better than them. Again not true, and don't care. Neither of you are better, you are simply travelling along a different path. Different strokes and all that.

~ At the end of the day we are all doing what we truly believe is right for our child/ren and family at the time. We all love our children, and it does no one any favours, in particular our children who are listening and watching us more than we realise, to be rude to people, either to their face or behind their backs.
How nice it would be to live in a world were we could just live and let live when it comes to the education of our kids.

Monday, 2 May 2011

What you may not know, or think is that important, after having a baby

Now I say after having a baby, because what I am going to talk to you about happens to us all regardless of how I babies are born.

Muscle separation. Also known as Diastasis Recti.

What are Separated Muscles?

During pregnancy, many women experience a separation of their stomach muscles. Known as diastasis recti, this condition occurs when the main abdominal muscles (called the rectus abdominus) begin to pull apart. The left and right sides of this muscle separate, leaving a gap in between. Separated muscles do not tear or rupture, so little pain is involved, at least initially. Instead, the muscles thin out, creating a space in the abdomen. This gap can get worse over time and may result in future health complications.
The important muscles are the Transverse Abdominus. These are the innermost/bottom layer of your abs and they run across your abdomen.

What Causes Separated Muscles?

The rectus abdominus is kept in line by your transverse abs (the girdle like muscles that help keep your stomach flat) and your oblique abs (the muscles around your sides). During pregnancy, your abdominal muscles are tend to separate due to the growth of your baby in your uterus. This growth exerts pressure on the rectus abdominus muscles, causing them to split. Women who experience rapid growth of their stomachs during pregnancy are more likely to suffer from separated abdominal muscles. Women with particularly weak abdominal muscles may also end up with a split between the left and right side of the rectus abdominus.

How Common are Separated Muscles?

Separated muscles are actually fairly common during pregnancy. About one-third of all pregnant women experience separated muscles at some point throughout their pregnancy. Separation of the stomach muscles is more likely to occur during the second trimester or third trimester of pregnancy. However, separation also frequently occurs during labor and delivery.

Symptoms of Separated Muscles

Separation of the abdominal muscles is typically painless but there are a few symptoms that will help you to identify the condition. These include:

•a gap or space just below your navel
•a bump or ridge running from your breastbone down to your navel

Complications Associated with Separated Muscles

If you are suffering from separated muscles during pregnancy or in the postpartum period, it is important to take steps to encourage your muscles to reattach. It is unlikely that these muscles will reattach on their own and they may actually continue to separate after you have given birth. If left untreated, separated muscles can cause health complications, including:

•Chronic lower back pain (due to the fact that the abdominal muscles help to support your back and spinal column)
•Altered posture due to weak abdominal muscles (which in turn weakens your back muscles, leading to back pain)

Checking for Separated Muscles

It is very easy to determine whether you have separated abdominal muscles.

•Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.
•Slowly raise your head and shoulders off the ground. This should cause your abdominal muscles to tighten.
•Place your index and middle fingers just below your belly button.
•Press into your abdomen with your fingers. You should feel a soft gap between two hard muscles.
•Measure the space of the gap using your fingers. If the gap is greater than two finger widths, you may be suffering from separated muscles.
Repeat but put your fingers just above your belly button.

Treating Separated Muscles

There are some easy ways to help treat separated muscles after you have given birth. Simple abdominal exercises can help to bring the left and right sides of your rectus abdominus back together. These abdominal exercises are designed to help target weak muscles and won’t cause extra stress to your stomach or back.

A lot of women make the mistake of thinking after having a baby, and when they feel ready that sit ups or crunches will be good. This is incorrect, and can actually make the separation more pronounced and make healing and bringing the muscles back together take longer. They can cause the transverse muscles to stay separated and not come together.

The exercises I have found the most gentle for when you are starting out is at

I am posting this today as a sort of follow up from my last post about being fitter and healthy after pregnancy and birth. As I mentioned the first 5 times I found it fairly easy. The 6th time I did not take as good care of myself as I should.

I wanted to bring to your attention about muscle separation because many women do not know about it, and some of those who do are given the wrong advice about what to do about them.

After my last baby I noticed my separation was bigger than after the other births. I also have poor posture and a lot of lower back pain. The lower back was a combination of carrying such large babies, movement in my pelvis, pregnancy and poor core strength.

Slowly I have worked on all of these and core strength has been very important, especially as I love to carry my babies on my back. I am pleased to be getting there.

So there you have it, some friendly info about stomach muscles, core strength and how to take care of yours.

Friday, 29 April 2011

Things I know

(Playing along with Shae at Yay for Home!)

I have had a post ready for quite a while about my weightloss/getting fitness back after yet another baby. I like the idea of making it into a 'Things I Know"

The following is all about me. Please read it and see it as me only. I truly do not care (in a loving way) what other people look like, what size they are, what they eat, whether they exercise or not, whether they sleep upside down. Seriously, I am very much a live and let live person, who is happy when others are happy.

So here we go..............

Things I Know

~ I have lost approx 20kgs since birthing my last child over a year ago.

~ I have gained and lost between 20 and 30kg with each child. That is SIX children. Lots of stretching and weight moving on my body.

~ I have walked/run for as long as I can remember. I truly like to do it. Even just an hour a couple of times a week, to be on my own in the fresh air. My thoughts are my own and I have no one to think about but myself. This is both good for my physical health as well as my emotional/spiritual health. I can clear my head and feel good, helping me be a better Mummy when I get back home.

~ For over ten years I have gone to gym classes. They ebb and flow through time, depending on the weather, illness, pregnancy, just given birth ect
I feel the same as I do with walking/running. It is lovely to have an hour on my own, and with a class the added bonus of laughing and chatting with others and enjoying the time while I shake my butts.

~ I make the effort after every baby to improve my fitness again, and slowly increase my walking/exercise. It is usually a slow process, but those first 6 months are important for me to go slow, focus on baby and boobing and healing after birthing yet another baby the size of Danny De Vito.

~ Our last baby I put on more weight then any other pregnancy. Towards the end I was more tired than I ever have been in my life. It was soo hard to move and just get around. I did not take as good care of myself as I should and could have. This made things harder also after baby was born. I had no energy and getting our family rhythm did not happen for far too long.
I had trouble sleeping, despite baby sleeping through from day dot. I had difficulty breathing, especially at night time.
I struggled walking up our short but steep driveway. It was about 15 steps, it killed me every time. My knees hurt every time I walked.
One day I had pains in my chest and I had a panic attack that something would happen to me while 6 kids were with me in the store.

~ I nearly cried when we went to a new dentist and discovered their was a flight of stairs to get up to her. I felt tired just looking at them. When I got to the top I pretended to fix my daughters shoe lace so I could try and catch my breath.

~ I know that...This was not me being healthy. This was not me loving myself. This was me, having gone too far with my last pregnancy. Eating poorly and not taking care of myself.

~ I Knew that.....My whole life was now affected. I was sad and upset that I could not do the things I wanted to with my young family. I was sad that I could not play with my children when they asked me too as I knew I would get puffed out quickly and need to sit down.
I was not enjoying my life. My physical health was very poor and my emotional health was sad and grim and I was feeling depressed.

~ I knew.....This was not the life I wanted. I knew things needed to change. I knew that I had not treated myself nor my body very well this time.

~ Others told me to just accept my body how it was. That I should focus on just loving myself.
Uh really? Focus on loving that I can't breathe? Focus on loving that I can't walk up a flight of steps without stopping half way? Focus on loving that I feel physically unwell?

~ While I feel they meant well, and that they did mean that I was a wonderful person no matter my size, I knew they were missing the point. I just don't know if they were missing it on purpose or accident. I felt betrayed and let down. If people truly cared about me surely they would see how unwell I was and want to support me in getting better and healthier on the inside and outside.
It was for this reason that I only had one person(out of my female friends) to turn too. One person was honest with me and listened to me and said they would support me. I am very grateful for this.
Hub as always has supported me from day dot, no matter how sane or crazy I seemed.

~ I know that weightloss is NOT a dirty word. I feel some people can read far too much into it, and get far too engrossed on everything negative. I do understand this, as there is a lot of pushing and money to be made with weightloss and people can be drawn to unethical companies and practices.
I saw it for what it was. My body was struggling carrying this extra weight, and suffering from my poor diet. Solution, start eating well, moving my butts, and work on a healthier body that suits my shape.

~ I know that Breastfeeding for two and eating well is hungry work. Once I got in a rhythm with foods through the day I found it easy. I had done this 5 times before(yet not at this higher weigh obviously) and I knew I could get there. I wanted to get there.

~ I now know.....You do not have to exercise to lose weight. The first ten kgs I lost I was not intentionally exercising. I was merely eating very well, and eating often. Eating when I was actually hungry was a huge factor also. Having lots of healthy snacks on hand and meal planning.
This said a lot to me. I learnt that my body was not meant to be that size. Well I was if I didn't move and ate nothing but poor foods.

~ I know that I refuse to give up foods I love. I don't agree with some people and their advice to cut out all 'unhealthy' foods. Bugger that. Instead I just cut down the amount and frequency of eating certain foods. Sharing a block of chocolate with Hub every single night, well, I'm sure even chocoholics would agree that is not the best idea. Especially when you throw in some coke and lollies.
Moderation and being smart about foods.

~ I know that often I felt alone in this journey. Soo many people telling me that I looked fine how I was, that I should not submit to society's pressure of skinny, that I should just enjoy life and love how I am.
Gee, thanks for caring, and totally not only missing the point, but not knowing me well enough that I don't give a shit about skinny. I just wanted to feel good again, and get up a flight of stairs or play with my kids without collapsing.
Give me some credit.
I've had curves and a pot belly for as long as I can remember. There is footage of my at around 7 years old in my bathers sporting quite a cute belly.
This will never change. I love them and I always will. I want a healthy body that fits 'my body' not an ideal of what others think is right or what society deems as 'sexy, thin, whatever'. If you really know me, you know I think that is crap for all women. We all have our own shapes and sizes that fit us. These shapes change over time, and especially with having children.

~ Lastly, I know that losing weight and getting healthier and fitter was, and always is only about me. About me feeling good about myself. About me physically feeling well. I have only ever done this after each baby for me. Well to be totally honest I also do it for my children. For them to see me taking care of myself while still indulging and enjoying life. So they can see moderation, well being and not to mention enjoying a happier mother. Enjoying a happier and healthier mother for many years to come.

If you made it this far well done, and thank you for reading my drivel. I have more to say but I will leave it for another day.

Saturday, 23 April 2011


I remember taking this photo. You were such a chubbby bubby with soft skin and edible cheeks. Your eyes so blue, I've yet to see eyes like yours yet. So sparkly and bright.
You were such a happy baby. Relaxed, easy going, content to go anywhere and go with the flow of our life.
You taught us that every baby is different and personality is there from a very young age and it plays a big part in how we are.
I wish I could go back in time just to blow a raspberry on your gorgeous cheeks! I'd do it now but you'd rather I didn't.

Four years old holding a Koala. Not much changed from when you were a baby, well the talking and taking yourself to the toilet of course. But you were still a happy, content little boy. It was so rare to see you get upset or angry. You had , and still do have, a big heart and lovely nature.

Here you are with your new baby sister, the morning she was born. You are a wonderful big brother. So loving and kind. Always ready to give your younger siblings a cuddle or help them. Who knew the baby you are holding in this pic would grow to be your shadow. She adores you, and wow, you have sooo much patience for her. Sometimes more than I do!

She will want to play with you, or have you read her a book, and you laugh or sigh and say 'ok bubby.' She demands that you sit next to her wherever we drive, and it makes you laugh. You will giver a piggy back ride from the bus to the house and she loves it, of course she gets you to do it by saying her legs have stopped working, while smiling.

On your ninth birthday. (Scuse the filthy faces) You were so excited about your birthday. Just one more year until double digits!

You are the same shoe and head size as me now. I see you reaching my height by Christmas next year, which makes me laugh and cry at the same time. Laugh because I can see our roles reversing, and me passing things to you to put away in higher cupboards, and cry because time is going by way too fast and my baby is growing up. This could not be more true then when a few months ago you had a main sized meal at a restaurant. No more kid's meals for you! Even after you ate your meal you were asking your siblings if they were finished and if they were 'going to eat that' I am wondering if I am going to have to get paid work just for food!

One thing that can make me laugh and also want to bang my head against the wall is your sometimes very relaxed nature. You do things at your own pace, when you are good and ready. I imagine if the house is on fire we will be running around in a panic, while you casually make your way up the stairs with your hands in your pockets. This you do with any book work we do, sports, playing a game and even eating. For you there is no rush.

Take your time growing up. There is no rush.

Happy Birthday my bright eyed boy.

Friday, 1 April 2011

Random things I say

~ Shut the door (Obvious one right?) ~ If you don't like her biting you keep your fingers out of her mouth! (Seriously, I know right?) ~ We eat food in the kitchen people! ~ Please don't run on the couch ~ I already asked you to not run the couch ~ Stop running on the freakin couch! ~ Oh yes, jumping from the top bunk into a bean bag is sooo much better ~ Yes I LOVE your bionicle, it looks awesome! (Hmm, looks exactly like the last 50 you showed me, but dammit I will love them all ) ~ Lego! (Always followed by scampering feet trying to get to me before I get to the bin) ~ Good night, sleep tight, don't let the bionicles bite (For my 4 year old. It cracks him up every time, which makes me laugh) ~ TTB! (Anyone else grow up with this? Teeth, Toilet, Bed) ~ Sorry, remind me, who is the parent? ~ I really don't think Daddy would like you taking that apart just to see how it works inside (Toaster, Computer, mobile phone, dvd player. Take your pic) ~ Gee, you're not close enough to the TV hun (Said to all of them, except the baby, who is not interested in TV, for now) ~ Shhh I just put the baby to bed. ~ I have no idea how life would be if.............................. there were only women, we all had super powers, you ran the world, we all had bionicle robots, we lived under the sea, the sun exploded, (and my personal favourite) You were the only child we had (This is always asked when we are dishing out dessert or talking presents. ~ Club Penguin is the best I agree! ~ Yes, we do have the most adorable baby in the world. (We are not biased at all) ~ No, I love Ben Ten more! ~ Daddy's Home!

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Token Baby photo

Alseep at the dinner table.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Quote of the Day

"I remember the good old days, when it was just me and big brother. "

Said the 8 year old. Said in relation to the fighting going on over who would sit next to Poppy.

"Hera Mummy, for you" (From the 3 year old)

"What is that? Oh yuck honey, what is that?"

"From my ear-a. I got it out"

"It's earwax hun, get a tissue"

"Is that a bit of hamburger the baby is eating?"


"As in, hamburger we ate LAST night for tea?"

"Yeah, it's ok, it's still good"

Ok! Looks like the 15 second rule has been stretched out to the 14 hour rule at our house. This could save me a fair amount on the shopping bill.

Monday, 7 March 2011

Yay, another dot point post, what fun!

Meh, it's Monday, I'm lazy. A few things you may not know about me.

1~ I am lazy. Well you have probably figured that one out already actually. I am the worst kind of lazy. The kind who every now and then gets a burst of motivation and goodness help everyone else who is not as energetic, excited and ready to pop like me.

2~ I am extremely good at short cuts. If there is a short cut with running a large family, housework or anything else I have to do again and again you can bet I have fine tuned it to still get the same quality in a lot less time.

3~ Sometimes I give the kids sandwiches for tea, and sometimes for breaky too.

4~ My all time favourite movie is My Friend Flicka, the original, from 1943. I adore the characters, the horses, love it. I have always loved the Mother in this movie. In once scene she is in a dress cooking up breakfast, and in a later scene she is wearing 'mens clothes' riding a horse and hops off and has a conversation with her husband and another man, holding her own and being respected. I love that the director included these scenes, that were not very contemporary for the time.

5~ I wear tracksuit pants far too much, but they are comfy damn it!

6~ Since cutting out and down on non nutritional food I have lost over 14 kgs. I walk a few times a week to the park or shops but nothing hardcore. This is very telling to me about the size my body is meant to be.
I feel soo much better for it! My energy level is higher, I hardly get a headache anymore, I can get up out of my bed and chair with ease, I can run around with the kids, play ball and push them on their bikes without huffing and puffing, and best of all I can breathe so much easier, it's fantastic.

7~ I don't think I love my children more because we are Home Edders. Really. I am flatter some people think that I think a lot about this, but really, I don't.
So long as others care and love their children with respect and compassion, they're good with me.
My oldest sons best friends go to school, and they get along wonderfully, and have done so for 6 years. I too get along just as well with their Mum who is a very dear friend to me and my family.

8~ I don't have a favourite child. Hand on my heart honest. I have read elsewhere about Mums who do have a favourite, and they believe mothers who say they don't have a favourite are lying and just trying to be nice to all their kids.
I honestly do not. I can't imagine picking one child out of the six. Every child is so different and all of them have their own little ways that make me laugh, or fill my heart with joy and pride.

9~ I do not believe in one size fits all learning philosophies. To say one is the way to go for all children is to discount just how unique our children, and also us as adults learning, are.
The best way of learning is what suits the individual child.
One learning philosophy is not better or superior than another.

10~ One of my favourite memories as a child was laying on the floor in the cool mornings. Watching the Early morning TV and cartoons as the sun shone through the window warming me up. Mr Ed, Leave it to Beaver, Worzel Gummidge and of course The Smurfs!

Friday, 4 March 2011

Honest Motherhood

We all have intentions as mothers.
Intentions to be good role models for our children.
Intentions to yell less.
Intentions to not sweat the small stuff.
Intentions to cook wholesome meals for or family.
Intentions to listen attentively to our children's questions and wanderings.
Intentions to make the most of every moment with our children.
Intentions to not brush our children off when they say 'Hey Mummy....' for the 243rd time that day.
Intentions to put down what we are doing and go look at the newest, and greatest Mega Lego creation.
Intentions to be the best Mother we can be.

What happens?
Reality? Laziness? Tiredness? The need for time to just sit, alone, with no one asking questions, wanting something, needing us? Things piling up, causing stresses and headaches which in turn leaves us with less patience?

All of the above and more? I'd say yes.

Lately I have felt overwhelmed. Not all the time, but enough for me to sit down at the end of the day, children and hub all asleep, the house quiet, and let out my frustration.
I vent, whinge, sook, let it out.
Then I think about what is happening, why, how, and most importantly if it is not working this way, what can I change? Another just as important question is, could the change need to come from me?

One thing on my mind is yelling. I hate it. I hate how it makes me feel. I hate how I know it makes the children feel, and Hub too.
Usually it is over the floor. Pencils, food, toys, shoes, clothes, staples, sticky tape, blu-tak, books, cups, cutlery, paper, pillows, substances now unrecognisable.
It really drives me nuts, or really I allow it to drive me nuts. I have 6 children, hello? of course there is going to be crap all over the place.

Lately I have made a few tweaks and reminded myself to breathe deeply when I see stuff all over the floor, rooms and stairs.
It's not easy, I'm still getting there, and no doubt will always be working on it.
I am finding more ways for everything to have it's own home. This is what works best for us so far. Slowly over time we have added furniture, boxes, corner nooks, little tables and tubs for all our stuff.
The kids are able to see something on the floor and know where it lives when it is not being used.

Then there is working on me. I don't think I will every be truly zen. Are any mothers?
I actually don't want to even try.
Of course I don't want my kids to see a raving lunatic mother yelling over a Mr Potato Head moustache like it was the end of the earth, but I also don't want them seeing me as something I am not.
I want them to see my emotions. I want them to know emotions are good and healthy. But an emotion that can be frightful or scary, for both Mumma and child is not good. Yelling, and feeling out of control is not good.
This is mine to sort through and work on.

When I have yelled or lost control and become frustrated I quickly recognise it and stop, feeling horrible. Take a deep breath, and say sorry to my kids for losing it. Telling them that it's ok to get frustrated and angry and upset, but not ok to take it out on others.
A parent apologising to their child is important. For the child and the parent.

I adore my children, and have a love for them I never knew was possible. I know that when I am angry or frustrated it is not about them. I am the parent, the adult. It is about me and trying to work out the tools I need to help me.

As well as being more organised with our stuff another thing I have added in is going out once a month with some of women friends. Just a few hours to go to dinner or a movie, talking, laughing, venting and supporting each other.
I appreciate being able to do this, and feel much better after my night out.

Being more organised, having time for me and adding more rhythm to our house and the running of it is helping.
Baby steps.

Sunday, 20 February 2011


The first time you looked into my eyes. I was saying hello to you and you opened your eyes wider and looked into mine. A moment etched into my memory like it was yesterday.
This photo is so very special to me. Our wonderful Doula took it while Daddy and all your siblings leaned beside us looking at you, so excited to meet you.

Here you are at 6 months wearing a 'royal crown' made by your older siblings. They were having a wonderful time this day making hats and crowns. You, as usual, smiled the whole time.

Sisters. Here you are with your big sister. You can get along like a house on fire, but also can fight like crazy on the odd occasion. You love playing with together making cubbies, dressing up and playing with your babies. The kind of games the older boys are not really into anymore. Although they will amuse you and sit in your cubby made with the table and lots of blankets, which is cute to see.
I do hope so much that you and your sisters will be close as you all grow up together. It is such a special bond.

On your 3rd birthday you wanted to go to the library and the park. So it was! We go to the library every week and you love it. Piling up the books on the seat beside me and handing them one at a time for me to read to you. Some times you will stop half way through and hand me another book.
Only those close to us know the true fire cracker you can be. You are the little mouse that roared. You don't care how big anyone is, if you have a problem with them you let them know!
This can be frustrating, as you can scream, squeal or shout very loud. Not so good when you are sitting right behind me while I am driving.

You love telling people who bought you what. "Daddy bought this for me" "Mummy bought tis for me" and at times "I bought this for me" to which I will act surprised and say "You bought it? wow, did you go to the shops?" and you will say "Yes, I did" and raise your eyebrows as you do. It is so cute. You have such animated expressions, it often makes us laugh. Your eldest brother can never be mad at you as you make him laugh when you are yelling at him. He thinks you are adorable.

Another cute quirk you do at the moment is to say "I can't" I will ask you to pick up something, or put some rubbish in the bin, put your thongies on, shut the sliding door, basically anything you can do. But you will slump your body and pull a face and exclaim "I can't!"
You also throw in a reason at times, such as your legs are broken, or your leg hurts, or that you just can't move.
When you 'can't move' you will put your arms in the air and say "Carry Me" which we all usually do, your older brothers included. They just laugh at you and will pick you up, or give you a piggy back.

You have only been 3 for a few weeks, yet somehow it is like switch has be turned on, ramping up your quirks a bit more. You have been squealing and screaming louder and more often. Crying and being very upset very easily and over such little things, such as someone else walking in the door first. But these are clearly big things to you, so we take a deep breath and try to talk to you, or cuddle you, whatever helps at the time.

You are an absolute joy and we are all so glad to have you in our fun and crazy family.
I'm looking forward to the next year and watching you grow.

Thursday, 10 February 2011


A lot happens in the first 12 months of a child's life. From snuggled against our chests, to crawling and for some even walking by the 1st birthday. In my opinion you can never take enough photographs, nor have enough cuddles and kisses.

We make a big deal about birthdays in our house. Of course we love and adore our children year round, but we love that we all have a special day, the day we were born and changed the world forever. With several children it also means the other children get excited too, for their own birthdays but also for their siblings, which I love to see. Sneaking into the birthday persons room early in the morning and waking them up by yelling Happy Birthday at them, and of course the obligatory gently jumping on them.
The day is spent as a family, at various places, depending on the weather and where the birthday child would like to go. We also have a special dinner and cake, again what the birthday person wants, within reason of course. For example I love that they have confidence in my level of baking skills, but some of the cakes they want, wow!

The last birthday in our family is our youngest member. You love it when I talk in cliches so I will indulge you again. In so many ways it feels like yesterday, but also feels like she has been here forever.
Her birth was as unique as she is. Proving to me that I did not know it all about labour and birth thank you very much, and that babes can and do turn right before being born.
She was so welcomed and loved the moment she was born.

My precious dark haired, chubba bubba. Locking eyes on eachother for the first time, after knowing eachother for a long time.

One week old with her namesake, my Grandmother. A woman I adore, admire and look up to in so many ways. A woman who raised young children before television, play dates, modern speedy appliances and a washing machine. I love hearing her talk about raising a family, and life 'back then'
I love that when I told her I was having another baby she laughed and said "Oh Clare, you're catching up to me, how wonderful. Are you having this baby at home too? It's so lovely to be at home isn't it?"

6 months old and where she still loves to be, on Mumma's back. I so love baby wearing, and how much easier it makes mothering several children. I especially love it in winter, babe and Mumma keeping eachother warm.

On her 1st Birthday. We took her to an animal sanctuary and she had a wonderful time, we all did. Here she is hamming it up for the camera. It never ceases to amaze me how she knows what a camera is, and how she pulls faces and laughs as soon as I grab it.

We visit our library every week, it is quaint and lovely. The librarians know ua by name and make an effort to get to know all the children. We all enjoy going. On our recent visit I noticed the book 'Hello Baby' on the shelf beside the table. I laughed when the older children pointed it out and thought it was marvelous that our library had it.
As I always do I put Bub down and looked at the Junior section with the older children. When I turned around I saw she had not only climbed up into the chair, but had grabbed the book and had it in front of her. So of course what a great photo opportunity!

I am still totally besotted with this little being. She is so close to walking. Her brothers and sisters all love watching and encouraging her, clapping and laughing with glee as she stands up and takes a few wobbly steps. She will fall on her bum and whack her hand against her forehead and laugh.

She is quite demanding about food now, and wiggles and reaches her hands up beside her seat reminding us to not forget about her. It is so cute having her sit at the table and nibble away on food.

She is growing up so fast, which I love, but also wish she would slow down. I tell her there is no rush, no need to walk and talk in a hurry. She just pokes my eyes or nose and laughs.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Where to Start?!

I know, it has been far too long. 4 weeks is a long time between drinks!

We have been so busy the last month and a bit. Any free days in between have been spent lazing about eating icy-poles or swimming.

I will use dot points as there is just so much that has happened. A few of these deserve their own posts, and I am working on that.

~ Miss I thought she was only a few months old turned ONE! Ugh, I won't bore you with my usual carry on about kids and bloody growing.

~ Hub started a new job the week before Christmas. Yes, we are crazy. We live on the edge and jump at opportunities that may seem nuts, but heck, why not!
Hub is loving his new job and there is a big difference in his mood now. It's always hard leaving a job you are comfy in, but we feel it is also important to enjoy your work, and not forget that emotional health is just as important for well being.
I am so proud of Hub, for his courage and determination to move on and find another job. And still being there for me and the munchkins.

~ Christmas. Can you say crazy?

~ 2nd Christmas. Due to the fact we forgot the presents and really didn't want to drive the hour and a half back home to get them, and the return hour and a half to get back to my parentals.
We decided to have a 2nd Christmas at my bother and sister-in-laws house. It was a brilliant day.

~ Gorgeous babies being born. There really is nothing lovelier than a precious baby. I feel so blessed to have worked with some of the mums with care and breastfeeding help. Even with 6 children there is still much to learn about feeding, and being able to help other mothers. But I am determined, passionate and have a strong desire to help others. I know my beginning journey with feeding would have been so much smoother if I had the help. Then again I may not have become as passionate and fiery as I am now had that journey been any other way.

~ New Years Eve/Day. We went to bed before midnight. Oh my gosh. Yes we did. When, how, did we become old farts? Last I checked other 31 year olds were up late, drinking and having fun.
I always look forward to the new year. Fresh beginnings. There was a big group of people partying and ringing in the new year. We figured we would know it was midnight soon enough. And we did. All the cheering, and laughter and shouting of 'Happy New Year!'
Bring on 2011 I say!

~The Nevus Camp/Conference which was held in Adelaide. We all had a wonderful time. Our little man was so cute and sad when we had to leave. He was so sad that he would miss his 'birthmark buddies'
The children had so much fun together. And the parents had a great time being able to ask each other questions, learn more and be able to relax and chat with other parents who get it.
(This needs a post on it's own. It will be big)

~Starting to get details for our house. I have several contacts and a list of information we need to get started on the first steps of building our 'dream home'.
I am so excited. Sometimes it feels it will never happen, time is dragging. It feels so far away. Like a vision for down the track.
But now we are down the track. And this house is not going to build itself.
There is lots of work to do, and lots of phone calls and meetings, and no doubt fights and tears and whining, but I am excited!

~ The kids activities are have started. Back into it! Swimming, Basketball and this year Archery! Hub will be taking the young Archers as he is keen to give it a try too. Have fun!

Among all that there was visits with friends, birth day parties, family gatherings, packing and unpacking for trips, tired parents and at times cranky kids, but over all we had a wonderful time and are looking forward to finding our rhythm to our home again.
We will have another week or so of 'holiday mode' then get back into it. Well, I have a few syllabus to write and scanning, printing and books to be delivered first. Those things help a little when you have 4 people doing Home Ed this year!

I will do my best to get the other blog posts up ASAP. I now have a LOT of other blogs to catch up on!