Monday, October 27, 2014

Do your ovaries scream loud, do they ache & cry for more? Should you tie the tubes in a knot, should you tie them in a bow?

It's no secret I still consider my uterus a fully functioning organ I hope to use again in the near future. For the first time it's become a very realistic fact this may never happen...& it's cutting me up.

It's only been eight short months since Clay vacated the oven & already I'm suffering a serious case of belly envy. With several friends up the duff or in the midst of newborn haze, I get both my belly rub & newborn nuzzling hits, along with a good old whack to the ovaries & heart strings, every time I bump into these lovely ladies. 

Reading a pregnancy announcement with a photo of a positive hpt {home pregnancy test} (for those not in the ttc {trying to conceive} lingo), brings goosebumps & a fast trip down memory lane as I flash back to all those minutes spent in the bathroom during my own POAS {pee on a stick} past addiction. The stick being a pregnancy test strip, not a twig from the garden that will do nothing to foretell of any toilet bowl hugging, stretch mark itching, watermelon sized uterus to follow in the next nine months. Exposing the roots of my crazy I still have all our positive pregnancy tests from each of our minions. Including the double ups that were taken just to be certain the first test wasn't a fluke.

Then there is the guilt. With an innumerable amount of individuals, couples & families who are a hundred times more desperate than I am to feel their belly expand & fill with the nudges & stirring kicks of life. I feel like I should just be happy with our car full & ignore the sense that someone is still missing in our troop. I am deliriously grateful for our six crazy monkeys & would never think they are not enough or take our family for granted. Still I can't shake the yearnings for just one more. 

Of course, it takes to two to tango, & to say Doug is hesitant on expanding our tribe of minions any further would be a grossly dramatic understatement. A firm resounding NO can be felt even from here as I type out this post. I understand his thoughts & completely respect his opinion. Which is probably why I am so torn up, because I doubt we will ever have nine seats occupied at our dinner table every evening, despite how fiercely my heart screams for a child.

Last night as Clay was trying to get up onto his knees for the first time my eyes welled up & my chest began aching with pride & happiness. Along with despair & indescribable sadness that this may well be very well will be quite likely (even in written form I still can't put it as a final 'this will be') the last time we get to witness these first moments. Seriously, I am going to be a blubbering mess in the lead up to Clay's first birthday, even more so than with the other minions.  

Looking around our house I can easily imagine another bunk bed, another toothbrush at the bathroom sink, another body to add to the pile on movie nights. Responding with "we have seven children" when asked how many little people we have brought into this world. Seven just fits in my own little make believe world & its consuming far too many thoughts in my real world. 

For now I will just continue on as I have been - living in hope. It seems far kinder to my heart to live in hope for however many years it takes to accept that my Mama status is only applicable to six, than to cut the strings - or Doug's testicular tubes, & live a life dreaming of the what ifs & potential regret floating in the background. So many times I have read or heard first hand of hasty vasectomies or tubal ligations that were regretted three, four, five years down the track. I'm hoping after five years the intensity of my craziness will have dulled enough for me to see reason, or at least accept we won't be anticipating another little person in our family. With Clay off to school, no more nappies in the house, & hopefully enjoying full uninterrupted sleep most nights. Maybe getting out of this baby stage once & for all is what will kick me towards embracing the next stage of life. No more forty week count downs. The baby name books left to gather dust. 

With the age gaps between our kids ranging from seventeen months to two & a half years, I'm working on the theory that a five year age gap will be just what is needed to get used to calling our brood complete at half a dozen. After having less than three years between all the minions so far, to suddenly having a five year gap doesn't sound appealing to me. Especially when I've found the shorter age gaps the most enjoyable, & if I dare say it, easier, than the gaps over two years.

Some days I do wonder if I'm not half nuts & completely irrational, wishing for seven. Mostly in the moments when Will single handedly manages to dump a 750ml pump bottle of baby shampoo into the bath I was running for Clay, & then unravel a near full roll of toilet paper around the house while I was giving Clay the above mentioned bath, all in thirty minutes. With Will reminding me how impulsive three year olds can be, I question if I really want another baby. Because after the morning sickness passes & the belly grows fit to burst, after the newborn squawking cries transition into a normal baby cry, when they find their feet & their independence, they grow up. And there is a lot of growing up to do between the ages of two & twenty. Can we raise another person through that heart bursting, frustrating, awe inspiring, angst ridden, tears of joy & tears of despair, food devouring minefield?

It would be easier if my head said no while my heart said yes, because then I could find reason & agree with Doug. After all, just because I feel like eating chocolate all day long, I know that I can't. It would only cause stomach aches & nausea after the chocolate induced endorphins wear off. It just sucks that both my head & my heart are screaming "pro-create! pro-create!" Even though this would also cause nausea & stomach aches after the endorphins wear off.

I fear that for me (I'm certain Doug is terrified as well) 'just one more' will never reach a final number where the longing finally evaporates. 

If only it was as easy as saying the words "we're done. No more children." 

Saturday, October 25, 2014

If I could go back I would put duct tape over the mouth of my twenty year old self

Ten years ago this {not so} little guy came along & transformed us from a twenty-something couple into a family of three. 

Before becoming responsible for my own offspring, I was full of ideals, opinions & thoughts on how I would raise our little angels. We hoped there would be more than one to call us Mum & Dad, of course it also went without saying they would be near perfect little angels.

We wouldn't be using a dummy, he would sleep anywhere, any time, with the ability to just nod off whenever the sleepy bug hit. He would eat all his vegetables & I would know how to deal with tantrums, toilet training & night terrors. 

From three months we would use cloth nappies when at home, to save money & make our contribution to saving the environment for the future of the baby {screaming} in my arms. When it came time for solids we would only be serving up home cooked lightly steamed vegetables & fruits. A new food would be introduced only after three days from the last, to ensure if there was any delayed reactions we would know the likely offender.

We would follow the {imagined} parenting handbook to the letter. In the event we couldn't find this handbook we would follow the advice of all those baby & parenting experts that are in every printed publication. At every health center. Stalking new mums in your local supermarket.

Then of course Ben came along & showed me that life wasn't meant to be like the movies or the glossy pages of a parenting magazine. He screamed. He ate baby food from a jar. By six weeks old he was sucking on that dummy harder than three year old with a lolly pop. My sanity depended on that sucker. I only ever used cloth nappies twice. In the same day, before declaring them too hard to deal with after Ben leaked poo all over myself & his legs for the second time in as many hours.  

By the time Rianan came along I had turned my jaded back on those experts & followed what I thought to be right for us. Plus Ben had well & truly broken us in, so while my ears weren't immune to newborn cries, they no longer drove me to a fetal position in the corner. Rianan also had a dummy & her bum never felt anything but disposable convenience.

'If it ain't broke don't fix it' became my motto. So we followed the same footsteps when Jack arrived. He too had a silicone sucker from the ages of ten months to sixteen months, because he wouldn't give up the milk bar. I hoped by introducing a dummy he would realize that the fake nipple I was shoving in his gob every feed time was full of warm milky goodness too.

For every opinion I professed, when my hips were still pre-baby width & I had no clue what I was spouting off, each & every one has been thrown back in my face courtesy of our minions. I am no stranger to humble parenting pie. 

I have done the exact opposite of everything I said before I knew better. Letting them finger paint yogurt on the windows then lick it off, watching the same movie again that has just finished because it stops a tantrum in it tracks, keeping them in night nappies for longer  because I can't be bothered to deal with wet sheets every night & every morning. Using food as a bribe, empty threats to discourage bad behaviour, ten warnings when I said three warnings & you're in time out. Hiding in the bathroom to eat chocolate in peace, because I don't want to share or deal with the tears that will follow when they realize the chocolate has been devoured by the Mum who doesn't share her treats.

To the kicker I have finally given in too...

As a Mama to four toilet occupying boys, I have given up the war of pee on the floor. I accept it is a daily unavoidable occurrence that comes with the male species. As inevitable as not saying no after one row of chocolate. 

I used to say my toilet would always be free of left over drips (& puddles) - both the seat & the floor. I'm not sure if it's because we have four stand-to-pee people (not including Doug, because he can aim just fine) but I have lost count of the number of times I have gone to the second {kids} toilet only to have my sock soaked in urine. Or even worse, get a wet bum.

At least most mornings, before anyone comes over, I remember to do the compulsory commode cleanliness check. In the event I haven't done the required checks & clean ups, I quickly race past, knocking our guest into the walls as I charge past them down the hallway.  

Because it's one thing for my socks to get wet, but something else entirely for someone else's.

If the last ten years I have taught me anything, it's to never presume you know what you're talking about. Especially on anything to do with birth, babies, kids & parenting.

Happy tenth birthday Bendjabum.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Mrs Minions money tips...A guide of what not to do

I'm often keeping an eye out for different budgeting tips, ways to save money or make it stretch further. After all, we're all aware that kids cost moolah, & with six minions to our tally, we're definitely stretching the wallet.

With ten years of working our budget around a single income under our belt we're no stranger to most of the saving tips, budgeting ideas & other such related topics that are all over the www. While skimming through one such article the other day I thought to myself, I could probably write something on what works for us with cutting costs or making that dollar stretch further than a maternity shirt.

Then I laughed, & I laughed some more. To the point I scared Clay a little, because after my little episode of hysterics he wasn't all that sure on being carried around in my arms, giving me a wide eyed, discerned look.

I am so not the person who can help turn your 'fiddy cent coins into one hundred dollar notes. My talents lie in finding more unnecessary, but at that immediate point in time {presumably} needed, crap to purchase. 

I am the queen of buyers remorse.

So instead of writing a detailed guide on how to save & spend wisely while to raising a big family, I thought I'd share my wisdom & first hand experience of what not to do. By not following in my footsteps I may just save you some 'dosh after all.

Do not buy a bag of grapes for $27.

Big error & oversight on my part. Do not pick up a bunch of grapes when they are $29.99/kilo & put it in your trolley. Those juicy suckers weigh more than you think. 

If you sign up to a direct selling company to save money & pay off debt, do not spend your profit back on the products you are selling.

I was so good at convincing people to buy Tupperware, I even convinced myself. Okay, not entirely true. I was not so great, but the other demonstrators around me were & had me hypnotized with their glittery words & inspiring examples of mushrooms staying fresh for longer than three weeks in the $60 containers. When I don't like mushrooms. Several years ago I joined up to get out of the house & to feel like I was contributing financially, with the goal of significantly paying off some debt & getting four digits in our savings account. This may work if you put your profits into your bank account or credit card account. Instead spending up big on the products you are selling...To earn more money. Go figure. 

Step away from the Ikea knick knacks

I love me some Ikea. There is also a reason I almost never go there. The last time I went I blew over my spending limit, even after I re-evaluated my intended purchases before heading to the check out queues. When walking through their expertly & effortlessly styled miniature rooms, walking past shelves & racks & center aisle displays of handy little bits n pieces that cost next to nothing, keep a tally of what you are mindlessly throwing into your blue Ikea bag. I tend to forget that the cushions & throws, container sets, cooking utensils, finger puppets, childrens' play food, plus five little stuffed toys & a circus tent will all add up to a triple digit figure. I see all the bargains & lose my mind a little. Step away from the strategically placed impulse 'snatch n grab' stands

Stick to the shopping list. Do not turn left, do not turn right, go straight to Go

Very similar to the Ikea advice, when you go to Kmart for birthday invitations & a gift card...Only buy the invitations & a gift card. If the budget blunders of Ikea taught you anything about my shopping habits, I don't need to expand it any here. Let's just leave it at that.

It's only a bargain if you need it. Or wear it within three years.

I recommend only buying clothes that you know with a 98% certainty you will wear. Especially if the item, or items, are quite expensive, even after taking 40% off the original price tag. There may or may not be a dress or two that cost more than I'd like to admit & never been worn. I take solace in the firm fact I am not alone here.

Fuel savings

Driving 30 kilometers out of your way to save 4 cents per litre is not recommend. It is false economy & legit fuel wastage. Instead, stop at the nearest petrol station on your route. Chances are their fuel prices are the same, & you'll save yourself ten minutes in time & dollars avoiding the detour.

There are more examples I could spout off here I'm certain. If I asked Doug to remind me of some spending shockers I probably won't be able to shut him up. 

So I'm not going too. 

Last words of wisdom to impart you with, 'Do as I say, not as I do'. You'll be fine. 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Troublesome tresses

At some point point in our life I think we've all experienced a horror hair cut. A tale to tell from the tress tamers. I think I can tick the boxes for just about every hair disaster. Dodgy color jobs, perms that look nothing like I hoped (more than once. I've learnt my lesson now. My hair does not do permanent curls. Or if it does hold the curl I look like a poodle hitting the 80's flashbacks hard), fringes too short, home trims, tresses tangled in styling devices, a styled cut left faaaar to long between upkeep cuts. I think the only box left unchecked is searing my hair off, Literally. (ff to 1:05)

Several years ago I wiped the slate clean. Literally. I crossed off a 'to do' on the bucket list & shaved my head to raise money for cancer research. 

Since then I have not let a dye or a strand altering chemical within fifty yards. I have also been on a mission to have long hair again. Mission accomplished. I'm not rivaling Rapunzel, but my hair is still short enough that I don't sit on it, but long enough to get tangled up in my bra strap hooks every morning.

It's almost a waste though, because my signature look, & I use that term loosely (more appropriately lazy look) is rolling the mane up in a top bun. Messy if I can pull it off. Whenever I try to do the effortless just flipped my head upside down & 'ta-da' instant gorgeous, chic, messy bun it never, ever looks effortless. It looks like a flock of birds have made a nest on top of my head. So I spend time {I don't have} every morning trying to get it to look semi presentable - if I can reach somewhere between birds nesting & ballerina-bun-face-lift look then I call it safe for public viewing.

If it was four inches shorter (this is a PG rated blog so pick up your minds from that gutter you're rolling in) it may be more manageable but I refuse to cut it. It takes F.O.R.E.V.E.R for my hair to grow, except when I'm pregnant & temporarily turns into Cousin Its', well, cousin. After having no more than 3mm of hair, seven years & three pregnancies later the ample length is back (minds people, pick 'em up) & due for a cut, desperately. The problem, besides having six children that I do not want to take with me so time needs to be juggled precariously. Also, going to the hairdressers for a trim inspires anxiety of epic portions. Watching those scissor wielding, chatty, distracted, snippy hands come closer & closer to my hard won for coiffure & I'm sweating

We all know "just take a centimeter or two off the ends please" is hairdresser speak for hack it all off.  

Lacking the aplomb to bring sharp devices within fifty yards of my person, a top bun works just fine. It also keeps my hair off the dirty plates as I load them into the dishwasher, out of the urine being emptied from Will's potty into the toilet, getting yanked as it gets stuck under my arm or giving myself whip lash whenever I go to turn my head whilst driving. Who else has long hair with a mind of it's own? Tell me I'm not the only one with tomato sauce tainted, urine soaked tresses?

Despite the hassles long hair can bring (because the ick factor of dipping your ends in urine is higher than a sky scraper), regardless that less than half my hair sees the light of day trapped on the top of my noggin, or that my arms fall off whenever I blow dry, straighten or try to get some curls to hold, I refuse to cut it. 

Since seeing the shocking split ends earlier this week, the time has come to find some of that courage that has seen me through six labor's & births & prioritize some time without the minions to get myself within the presence of a scissor wielding, instruction following hair dresser. I'm hoping that getting this all out there is the motivating force I need.

If I have not reported back sans split ends before the first sunrise of 2015, you have permission to inundate me with images of the most heinous & horrifying hair styles you can find.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The silent treatment

When your three year old is quiet for longer than ten seconds, never presume they are still reading books in their brother's bedroom, where you last saw them only a few minutes before.

{Will's handy work #763}

I should know better than that by now. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Curious minds

"Hello emergency services, what do you require, Police, Fire or Ambulance?"

We all know the saying "Curiosity killed the cat, satisfaction brought it back." Ben is now also familiar with this adage. He also recently discovered what happens when you dial 000. 

For no other reason than childhood inquisitiveness. 

I'm glad he knows the number, I think I'm glad he has now done a one time only 'trial run'. What I do wish is if he had timed his call a little better, maybe during an hour of day when it wasn't bedlam & didn't sound like there were dying chimpanzee's in the house. 

It was nearly 5pm, time to cook dinner, organize baths & showers, tidy up from the afternoons events & invite chaos to reign supreme. On this day it was also the time motivation hit to vacuum the floors quickly. 

The concept of vacuuming quickly in our house is like mixing oil with water. It just doesn't happen. 

So, it was pretty close to pandemonium here. I was vacuuming, Rianan was either in her room tidying or playing with some friends down the road (I honestly cannot remember if she was here or not at a time that I'm certain will be seared into Ben's memory for life.) Will was watching 'Wreck it Ralph' {again} with the volume turned right up to 90, ten percent below full roar. Jack & Blake were in their bedroom under the instruction to put away the toys. In reality they were wrestling each other in a game that was yet to turn violent.

I'm over half way through my ridiculous idea to vacuum during crazy hour when the phone rings. Knowing Doug has recently finished work I presume it is him calling & let Ben answer the phone. All good, it was Doug who had a quick chat with Ben, who then relayed the conversation back to me after hanging up.

Our little bubble of disorder continues on. I look up to see Ben gazing intently at the phone that is still in his hands. I think little of it beyond he is investigating & familiarizing himself with the handset. Turns out I was somewhat correct in this assumption.

Two or three minutes pass since Doug's call when the phone rings again. I let Ben answer the phone again predicting it is Doug calling back, having forgotten something from the earlier call & continue on with the vacuuming while Jack & Blake are still shrieking in the background & the television is blaring.

Ben comes up eyes all wide, handing me the phone & says "It is the police."

"The police?" I question, thinking he is tricking me, or perhaps it is one of my Brother in law's who is a police officer. Why would the police be calling us?


"Hello, this is the police, do you require emergency assistance?"

"No. No we don't. I'm sorry, I think my ten year old son may have called you & hung up", I reply apologetically, while looking at Ben standing in front of me.

"Are you certain?" The stern voice asks me. "Who is screaming in the background?" she firmly questions.

Oh God. I'm embarrassed, rueful & slightly amused at the predictament all at once. Mostly embarrassed, & if I'm honest, feeling like a crappy mum. I should be cooking dinner, kids all settled quietly, as the older three taking their turns to have a shower. Instead I have let the minions mostly roam free within our four walls, loud as they want because they can't hear me telling them to quieten down over the deafening racket that results from the tv, the vacuum & their own shrieks. 

"That is my seven year old Son & four year old Son, playing in their room. Which they are meant to be cleaning." I confess while walking to Blake & Jack's room, as if being in their presence would allow the operator on the other end of the line to see for herself no one is being hacked to death. Which probably didn't allay her concerns any because they were still rolling around on the floor shrieking & screaming. 

I know, I know, Jack isn't seven years old yet he is still six for another two or so months. Neither has Ben had his double digit birthday, though we are in the countdown. Turns out that under pressure & interrogation I can't remember how old our minions are. All I can manage to drum up is their nearest birthday age. Another black strike. Especially when Jack pipes up loud enough for all to hear "I'm not seven, I'm six." Great, now she has caught out a lie, an inadvertent one, but a lie none the less in what is to her a serious situation. Thanks Jack for your helpful information there.

Still on the phone to the emergency services operator, standing in the middle boys' bedroom doorway & glaring at them, mimicking to be quiet, she still questions "So there is no emergency? You do not require police assistance?"

"No." I confirm, walking back into the kitchen where Ben is hovering. "We do not require police assistance. There is no emergency." Stating this clearly & firmly in case they need it distinctly stated for their records.

Obviously she is not yet convinced that all is indeed legit, because she questions what is going on again. "There is a lot of noise there, what is going on?" (or something to that effect.)

"I'm in the middle of vacuuming, our three year old son is watching a movie so the tv is turned up extremely loud. The other boys were in their bedroom which they were meant to be cleaning but were playing instead." I admit, trying to explain why an ordinary evening here is so loud it has the emergency services questioning the authenticity of my explanations. I also don't admit that Clay is asleep in our room. I figure it is useless information at this stage. 

"How many children do you have there?" she inquires. Well there goes that idea.

"We have six children."

Yep. This was a bit of a 'large family defining moment' for me. Perhaps I should not have been vacuuming at a time when I would normally be cooking dinner. But to be honest, it is not uncommon for the rest of the house to be that loud while the vacuum is going regardless the time of day.

"Would you like to talk to the ten year old who called you?" I ask her, thinking that by now she realizes it was a prank call, not an emergency after all & that she would like to have a quick firm word with Ben about the seriousness of calling triple zero when there is no cause or concern.

"Yes please."

I pass the phone over to Ben, who looks hesitantly between me & the phone. 

"Hello?" He says into the phone. A few seconds pass, "No." Then he passes the phone back to me. 

I later realize, that perhaps she didn't want to reprimand him at all, but wanted further assurances that neither himself or the other kids were in any danger or feeling scared for any reason. 

With the phone back in my possession, the operator & I round the call up with me stating I would be talking to Ben about this call & the seriousness of what he has done. Hanging up, I look at Ben & quietly tell him to go wait in his room, I will talk to him about this later.

Doug gets home shortly after our eventful conversation & I inform him of what has just happened. I'm fairly adamant that Ben will be grounded for life. No sleep overs, no electronics, no special privileges, no going to friends houses or birthday parties. A little over dramatic perhaps, luckily Doug took front point from here. 

Ben's curiosity has been sated & now understands while we are glad he knows how to call for help, it needs to be for a genuine reason next time. He is not grounded for life. But he did have to do three big jobs around the house & also has to do Rianan's daily chores for the next two weeks.

As for the rest of the evening, I spent it waiting for a police patrol to knock on our front door. Even now nearly a week on I still don't know whether to laugh or cry about the whole debacle. 

Oh & Clay slept through the entire house crashing noise. 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Ahead of the trends

I heard someone remark today that large families are becoming the latest trend.


Let's just re-hash that. So people are having large families, that take a {horrifying, uterus screaming} four year minimum, because it is the latest rage. 

"Oh look, they have six children. Doesn't she look simply stunning with her three children hanging on her arms, look at the color co-ordination with those other three children running around her legs adding to the ensemble. I'm envious of the deep dark circles under the eyes & muffin top belly accessorizing her look. I must have a large family myself."

Said no one ever.

The only thing large families & the term 'rage' have in common are all nighter's. For vastly different reasons. I doubt an eighteen year old would find my 3am's as much fun as theirs. My perception of an all nighter these days is not the same one that comes to mind when the term rage is bandied about. Lack of sleep perhaps the only common denominator.

I'm sure it was just an ill thought through comment & if I'd had the opportunity to find out exactly how she came to this conclusion I would have loved to be enlightened on her thought processes & perceptions. 

As mentioned above, having a large family rarely happens overnight (except in exceptional cases usually with non-biological children. Families merging together, a group of siblings coming into the care of next of kin, etc.) Deciding to have a big family is not something that is decided on a whim. Some couples know they won't call their family complete with one, two or three little people, others perhaps find it to be a natural progression over the years & as the youngest child slowly grows. The size of a family has years of discussion behind it, not the simple minutes a whim decision brings.

I can't speak for others, but I can speak for myself & our reasons for having a large family had nothing to do with trends, fashions or popularity. I really can't see how anyone could base their greater than average minion numbers on any of those, which is why her comment has had me stumped all afternoon. 

Maybe she is confused with 'common'. In our friends & community circles or places we frequent, we often run into other families with four or more children. Perhaps this mind occupying stranger has also noticed more families that have a minimum 2:1 child to adult ratio than families of four or five. Could be the basis for her assumption is because the street she lives on has drive ways full of people movers instead of zippy little five passenger mobiles. Despite an afternoon of pondering I'm still clueless & no closer to cracking her comment open.

Who decides to commit to ten to fifteen years of continuous pooey nappies, sleepless nights & broken sleep. (That is just the 'under-five' years. I'm not going to touch the sleeplessness & anxiety ridden teenage years, the raising of six independence-claiming, know-it-all's that will span nearly two decades in the near future.) An intermittent eighteen months of toilet bowl hugging & parasite embryo induced narcolepsy. Then another inconsecutive eighteen months of back spasms, esophagus searing heartburn, fluid retention & leg cramps. Rounding off with four, five, six, seven jaunts through the labor & birth ward where the midwives know you on a first name basis on sight without glancing at your record. Potentially a week's worth of contractions & after birth pains. Months of cracked, tender nipples adding up to nearly a year. All based on a trend, a fad, a fashion, a rage, the in thing for 2014.

It's what all the hip people are doing. You'll find us in the kitchen serving up meals on nearly a dozen plates, or in the laundry putting through the eighth dirty washing load for that day. We're recognized by our little troops traipsing along with us & our great, big, minimum seven seat cars.

While big families may not be glamorous, unless your name is Brangelina, we certainly are fun. For every negative there is always two positives to cancel it out. The lines slowly emerging on my face are more from laughter, crinkles around my eyes that show a happy life. 

My wardrobe may not be full of the latest designs from the catwalk. I have no designer tags to flaunt. I've got myself something better & apparently it's the latest family trend.

Full arms, full heart & a full house. We hit the Jackpot.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Six sanity sapping suckers

I am certain we had a real life alien experience last night. I'm expecting another visit tonight too. When our own minions are returned to us & then to collect these hair pulling imposters that were left in their place. 

Unfortunately I don't believe in UFO's & the like. In consideration a conclusion has been drawn. I must be bat shit crazy to have convinced Doug to breed six of the little life draining, sanity sapping, energy sucking creatures.

Well, two of them at least, maybe three.

By the end of today I couldn't even get their names straight. Not that it really mattered. Jack, Blake & Ben were all behaving like a pack of wild orangutan's so names were irrelevant really. Lucky they weren't listening to hear me call them the wrong name. Every time.

The thought of plucking out my winter long leg hairs one by one was quickly becoming more & more appealing the longer the afternoon wore on. If someone had said that for a miracle to occur & our three boys to stop arguing with each other, all I had to do was pull out each toe nail...Pass me the pliers already. After all toe nails grow back over time. However, frown line wrinkles are permanent. Botox not withstanding. 

Today I am completely over hearing my own voice, over their shrieks, the words 'time out' & 'grounded' have lost all concept & meaning. Grounded, grounded, grounded, grounded, grounded, grounded...Semantic satiation in action. The sound of a dentist drill grinding against my teeth is more appealing to my ears at this moment.

In the aftermath of an attitude stand off between Ben & Jack I devoured an entire twelve pack of fun size mars bars. Three minutes flat the bag was empty & my food remorse was high. I needed the sugar high more than they did.

In light of the fact listing children to the highest bidder on Ebay is both frowned upon & illegal, my next best course of action was putting the main offenders to bed ninety minutes early. Not that this bolstered any parenting strong hold. 

The little turds are still awake. 

Two hours later. 

I'm sure I'll love them again tomorrow. In the mean time I'm off to have a bath. These legs are in need of some serious attention with summer pending & I need some intense relaxation. A hot bath with a good book I can lose myself in is just what the quack ordered.  

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Sunday (non)sleep in

Our last few days have been occupied with playing with friends both near & far, while our nights have been filled with sleep overs. 

Pass me the coffee & sugar please.

No, it wasn't that bad. Everyone went to sleep before eleven pm & while Blake stayed true to normal fashion of waking with the sun, everyone else at least got another hour of snooze time. So it wasn't ridiculously loud, ridiculously early. 

{Everybody dance now...}

{Artist : Minion #5 aka Will} 

 {Hazards of having long hair & the reason I keep it up in a top bun 98% of the time} 

{A day out at the movies & a pair of new wheels, from an awesome Uncle} 

{The proud new owner of above skates}

This morning, with only our little people filling up the beds, I thought I was graciously lucky enough to have had a little sleep in...Until I compared the time on my phone, which I had first looked at, to the time on the big clock in the dining area. 

I forgot daylight savings began in the early hours of today. 

For those overseas, daylight savings is where a handful of states in Australia move their clocks forward one hour on the fifth of October. Then come fifth of April next year we move them back an hour. 

Confusing perhaps, but getting that extra hour of daylight in the summer months is worth any disorientation as our body clocks adjust to the change.

The best bit, come April fifth, I get an extra hour's sleep that morning. 


Thursday, October 2, 2014

Waking with the birds

Ugh. I really do not like mornings. I am by no definition a morning person. I wish I was, it might make life a little easier. To rise with the sun, enjoy breakfast & a morning cuppa in solitude before any of the minions wake for the day.

 Ha, who am I trying to kid. Even if I was a morning person who woke when the birds did, solitude would never happen. Because our minions are morning people. Ugh, again. 

{Mummy, I can hear the beach.}

This morning I did not wake with the birds, I was woken by Blake who woke with Doug as he got ready for work. After Doug had left for work, Blake then woke Will, who woke Jack, Ben & Rianan before coming into our room to wake Clay as well.

Fighting against the inevitable, I stayed in bed with Clay to keep me company (while he had his morning feed). As the minutes ticked by the noise levels slowly crept up.

 What started out as some quiet chattering, soon turned into giggles, then shrieks, before evolving into screams. Of both joy & sibling torture. 

With a big sigh, I get out of bed, hoping it is only their behaviour that has disintegrated & not the house too. 

{Seeing the kids running back, Blake turned around half way to dash back & managed to win the race.}

All that hoping was futile.

Blankets (at least ten, a combination of quilts & big fleece blankets) pillows, pyjama shirts, Clay's toys, pencils & textas, drawings half finished, unwanted drawings screwed up & dropped around the table. 

 {Rianan was the only one who managed not to turn into a drowned rat.}

Attitudes were running riot, angry words thrown about between Ben & Jack. Blake & Will running around & screeching at the top of their lungs. Clay just took in the hullabaloo, clinging to the safety of my arms. 

{Clay in the sling, camera strap wound multiple times around my wrist, every one & every thing is safe.}

Painfully & strenuously order was gained inch by inch. Blankets were put into bedrooms (right in the doorway but at least they were in the relevant rooms. A small win) pyjama shirts were put back on & toys put away.

Will lost it at breakfast time. He asked for nutri-grain for breakfast, & he was served nutri-grain for breakfast. He's three & entitled to change his mind as his whim takes him. As far as I could tell I think that is what caused the end of his world, if his cries were anything to go by.

 Blake lost it when I served him nutri-grain too, when he had asked for cornflakes. I had nutri-grain on the brain. What evs. It is far to early for this crap.

Fast approaching brain oozing levels, the unwanted nutri-grain I served Blake was dumped & his bowl refilled with cornflakes. 

{Jack's 'baby jellyfish' he named "Squishy".}

By this stage Ben, Rianan & Jack were on to their second bowls & in their rush to beat one another sugar was spilt, milk was splashed & weet bix crumbled all over the floor.

I finally get my own bowl filled & sit down at the table next to Blake...who is making an earth & moon image with his his milk...on the table.

Getting dressed meant running around with (clean) underwear on top of their head. Brushing their teeth entailed painting the shower door with (used) toothpaste, the toothbrushes their tools. Putting dirty pyjama's into the dirty washing basket was interpretted to throwing them around the bedrooms. 

It was time to get them out the house before I went bald & the day, along with my mood, deteriorated any further.

 Mornings {usually} run smoother when we have a place to be, a schedule to stick to. Required to be in a specific place within a certain time. 
I may love the idea of a lazy morning, but it doesn't love me back. 

{Jack was so excited to find a dinosaur bone, I didn't have the heart to wipe out his elation.}

A quick detour to pick up a vanilla mocha for me, some biscuits & water for the kids, then we were on our way. 

Feet on the sand, wind in our hair & sun on our faces.  

Shells in our hands & seaweed around our ankles.

"Don't get wet" I said.

"Yes Mum" they replied.

 But it's ok, the beach saved our day.   

We went home with a boot full of wet & sandy clothes.
Barely clothed boys in their seats. 

With smiles on our faces & moods back to their
 normal optimum optimistic levels.

{A bit wet there Jack?}

I don't love mornings, but I do love our minions.

Hopefully they all sleep in tomorrow morning...

A futile hope.