Monday, August 29, 2016

Hurry up!


How many "hurry ups" in a morning is the quota allowed to a rushed mama, with pressing time constraints to actually make the 40 minute drive on time to get her child to school by 8.30am????

I'm sure this morning's quota of hurry ups was well and truely used up on Charlie today:

Good morning. You slept in. We only have 25 mins till we have to leave for school. So you need to hurry up and get out of bed.

Ok now, stop playing with your toys under the covers and hurry up.

Please hurry up and get dressed.

Yes, that shirt is fine. Hurry up.

Oh goodness me, leave that fantastically interesting bit of blue thread in your shorts pocket alone and hurry up and put the shorts ON!

Let's get on with eating breakfast shall we? You do need to hurry up now, your weetbix is getting soggy.

Just hurry up and eat it even if it has passed the acceptable level of palatable sogginess.

Right now we don't have time for an in depth conversation on Star Wars. Please hurry up and eat your breakfast instead.

Ok, please brush your teeth and do your hair now. Hurry up. Yes, the dog will be fine on his own for a while.

For goodness sake, stop pulling faces in the mirror and get your hair done. Hurry up.


Oh my goodness, stop dancing in front of the mirror and hurry up and get your hair done!

Really, you don't need to precisely place each individual strand of hair into place, just hurry up and then get your teeth done.

 

Yes, the toothpaste tastes perfectly fine. Hurry up and put in on the toothbrush.



Great job on your teeth! No, don't go getting toys out we have to get going. Hurry up and find your shoes and socks.

Where are you? Hurry up and get back here with your shoes and socks.

No, you don't need to take an arm load of Star Wars figures to school with you. Where are your socks? Hurry up we have to go.

I'm happy that you've found your socks. And a dozen Star Wars toys too! Did you get shoes? No? Please hurry and find them now.

No, I don't know which obscure part of the house you last left your shoes. Just hurry up and find them. You can put them on in the car.

Ok, time to go. No, you can't say goodbye to Daddy. You see as he's a Daddy he's lucky enough to be enjoying a sleep in while I get the joy of getting your ready for school. Lets just hurry up and get going to school, shall we?

I'm sorry, we don't have time for last minute searches for more books to take with you and then leave in the car and forget. How about we hurry and just get in the car instead?

Great work getting ready for school so fast today! Now, hurry up and put your seat belt on........................................


Thursday, August 25, 2016

The Special Age of 8

My now 8 yr old has had a wonderful few days celebrating reaching this special age.

8 is an amazing age, the time of leaving little childhood behind and embracing independence.

Climbing to the very top of the tallest tree and reveling in the bravery of it all.

Being enthralled in a novel and discovering whole new fictional worlds.

Both mind and body expanding as the child grows into who they are to become.

Yes, 8 is a wonderful age to be!



And it seems being 8 is even better when you receive presents and cash!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Introducing Katy the Kitten

Charlie received a very special surprise today.

 
His very own kitten.
 
He's named her Katy Cleopatra.

She's only about 6 weeks old, and was found abandoned on the streets a week ago. She'd been given in to our vets, and when Del saw her photo he was the one who suggested we take her.

Her sweet pointy little face got to him, and he couldn't resist giving her a home. And who better to give her to than Charlie.

And hopefully it might stop him asking for a little brother or sister perhaps?

Sorry kid, your destined to stay the youngest child in the family, but here have a kitten to boss around instead.

Already we see her naughty cheeky personality coming out, she's a real handful and so very confident. Her time on the streets has turned her into a tough one I think.

How are our other pets taking her arrival?

Our dog Trooper just wants to play with her, but as he's a million times bigger than her, he's being very careful and not pushing it yet. I think he's letting her warm up to him first. She even takes his bed and he just lies on the cold tiles next her. His eyes follow her everywhere. I can't wait for the day I find them snuggled up together on his bed.

And Merlin, our 15yr old cat, just ignores her and walks past with disdain, probably thinking "Humans! I never gave permission for another cat to enter the household. I shall show my disapproval by ignoring everyone".

Friday, May 6, 2016

A Bittersweet Time

So Kaiden moved out of home today. Not sure what to say.

I'm both happy and sad at the same time.

I'm not the only one a little sad about this it seems.


(Merlin is our cat who is very attached to Kaiden and slept in his room, which is now empty. Sob!)

Monday, July 20, 2015

Right now I'm.....









Right now I am :

:: thankful for having a whole week off work with my beloved, which co-oincided with school holidays

:: savouring the slow pace of our days this week (no 6am wake up alarm!)

:: happy to have managed to make Charlie a Jedi robe (dressing gown) that not only turned out to fit him but he approved of. Parenting win!

:: overfull after a family dinner out tonight. No cooking = a happy mama.

:: relaxed after my slow week of being at home, something I love to do yet rarely get to.

:: enjoying the sight of two of my boys happily drawing together (until Charlie gets distracted and climbs on the furniture). Quiet, contented family moments fill me with joy,

:: loving the set of shiny new pots and pans my husband suprised me with yesterday.

:: pondering if it's a bit sad to be so happy over new pots and pans? The previous set were almost 20 years old!

:: satisfied with the sight of tidied and rearranged kitchen cupboards, to make room for said shiny pots and pans.

:: thinking of all the planned chores I didn't managed to get done this week. Somehow the item 'tidy out the linen closet' kept getting bumped to the bottom of my daily list. 

:: releasing any guilt for not having achieved everything I wanted to this week.

:: pleased that I prioritised sleeping in and coffee over chores.

:: anticipating a very busy working week next week to make up for the time off this week.

:: planning a menu of easy dinners for next week due to the anticipated busyness. Soups! Stews! Casseroles! Slow Cooker!

:: listening to Charlie humming Star Wars music to himself. Not just right now but ALL DAY! Save me from the Star Wars theme music. Please.

:: watching Del labour of Airfix model planes by himself. A Daddy and son project that now is just a Daddy project. With occassional overseeing from the son.

:: preparing for the return to school on Monday, and the making of school lunches once again. Does anyone else find it difficult to make new and interesting food for lunchboxes?

:: wondering how it is that Corey only has one more term of school/college left to go.

:: hoping to continue the slow relaxed pace into next week.

:: doubting that I'll manage it.

:: grateful for a wonderful week in this eccentric life of mine.



Tuesday, July 7, 2015

One of Those Days

Yesterday was a real day. What I mean by that is that life wasn't perfect, but it was real.

It started with that on edge, mild headache-y feeling after waking from a sleep filled with nightmares. Not the best way to start a day I find.

As the morning progressed there were a few other minor hiccups along the way. Then came the straw that broke the camels back. Minor, inconsequential and totally not worth it in the scheme of things. Yet there is was, the thing that took me to edge of tears and frustration.

And just when I thought it couldn't get any worse.... it didn't.

It got better.

My three boys rallied around me and each in their own way helped me over this little hurdle.

Kaiden lent me his hands and physical strength to help me complete the task, getting on with the details of what was needed even without me asking.

Corey used his head and put pen to paper and came up with an awesome solution to the problem.

And Charlie. Dear little Charlie. He used his heart to share love and bring happiness, which was just the extra boost I needed. He took this modest little branch he'd collected and decorated it with all the love (and sticky tape) he could.




This was what really made me take a moment. And a deep breathe, and then smile.



Each of my boys helped me by using their different abilities.

Head. Hands. Heart.

Three things that in my opinion, if used well, create a wonderful person. And my three boys, each embodying one of these qualities.

I'm such a proud mama.









Saturday, July 4, 2015

What To Do During School Break


It's the mid year Winter break here. Charlie has three weeks off school. Hooray for time off! More time to play. Days at home filled with stories, games and lots of hot chocolate.

Yet three weeks is a very long time for a 6 year old to be amused at home, it seems.

Especially as I still need to work during this time, meaning I leave him at home with his older brothers.

Willing and wonderful babysitters they may be, yet this arrangement can be a beautiful blessing or a terrible chaotic necessity depending on the day.

Thankfully my work outside the home is not usually for more than a few hours at a time, so it's not too long before I'm back home and able to join in the fun.




















When the dining table becomes a rather spacious cubby for Charlie. And a rather tiny one for anyone else.





































The day bed on our enclosed patio becomes the perfect place for games during the more pleasant winter weather moments.




And finger puppets get left discarded once the intrigues of the royal court lose there appeal, and little boys move on to more enduring favourites.

Such as Lego. Most of his day (and bedroom floor) is filled with Lego.
 













Lots and lots of Lego.

If only the clean up at the end of the day was as much fun!



Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Wintery Days


It's winter here in the southern hemisphere.

Winter for our particular part of the world is mostly sunny blue skies, warmish sunshine and cool nights.

I know, hardship right?

Yet for us the temperature dropping to a barely acceptable 3oC overnight means it's winter. So colder evenings are filled with lovely things. Such as warming soups for dinner.



Evening artwork by the heater - today Charlie's illustrating a song he's learnt in German class about the seasons.

Thank goodness for Google translate. How else is a non German speaking mama to figure out what 'trauben' means.

Grapes it turns out.



 Our evenings also include lighting the candles on our winter nature table. We've pared down what's on our nature table considerably, I refuse to allow sticks that are almost the size of tree branches here.

No matter how much someone insists that they're part of nature and represents winter.

Well, this particular part of nature can stay outside with the rest then.



Charlie decided to 'surprise' me by rearranging the bathroom today. He wanted to make it look better I was told.

My interior design and artistic arranging skills are obviously not up to par, so he needed to step in to rectify this.

This photo shows the bathroom benchtop with items now neatly lined up in a row.



This photo shows the window sill next to the bath with all his toy cars now neatly lined up in a row.



 This photo shows our recently hand carved soaps now neatly lined up in a row.



I think I'm beginning to see a decorating theme emerging here.

So it seems if I just neatly line up everything in the house in rows then I could be in the running for the interior designer of the year award. Only if there's a 6 year old judging that is.

But for now I'll just sit quietly in my comfy corner of the bathroom, to knit and oversee bathtime and turn a blind eye to the row of soap fish staring at me.




Monday, June 29, 2015

Back to the Blog

Life has been happening, during this long hiatus.

Lovely, joyful, gentle, sometimes stressful and frantic, eccentric life.

My time and focus has been on simply being, enjoying my family and the sweetness of the days, weeks, months and years as they pass by. As well as trying to remain sane being the only female living in a house full of boys!

Today has been a slow and restful Sunday with my littlest boy Charlie feeling a little ill with a fever. Thankfully not full blown man-flu, still a few more years to go till that kicks in.

So the day was passed in a cosy, sleep deprived blur of cuddles and small bouts of productivity. (I even managed to get clothes hung on the line. Getting them back in might be another thing though).

And time was definitely made for stories on a blanket in the warmish afternoon sun. Priorities you know!


Time also to check on my decimated vegetable seedlings. Note to self, I need to do more to combat the snails and slugs. Sadly the beer traps just aren't working efficiently enough, all the beer guzzling snails were lured in but seems there are still plenty of tee totallers hiding out there.








And there's always time to take a breath and watch the late afternoon sky for just a moment. Or two.





Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Trouble With Teenagers.

The trouble with teenagers is that deep within them lies a really awesome human being. Bet you didn't expect that, did you?

But it's just such damn hard work getting past all the moodiness, gruffness, the messy rooms, the smelly shoes and the daily contradictions in order to see it.

And that's just the boys. Girls, I've been told, have a whole different set of challenges that I will never get to experience, being as I'm surrounded by my honour guard of males.

So who's fault is it that teenagers are so difficult to live with?

For a while there I resided on the 'it's the teenagers fault' side of the fence on this issue. I mean, how dare they not show me respect and make up their own minds about things? Why should they be the ones making decisions about what's right for them when it come to life choices and bodily hygiene?

All these years I've looked after them and kept them safe and done a perfectly good job of it. I've got them to this point, what gives them the right to relegate me to the 'She's just Mum, what does she know' group that I relegated my mother to all those years ago. This time it's different, right?

Well, after a few years in this mindset, I finally realised that perhaps, just maybe, I was a little off track.

Conflict abounded in our house, tug of wars over privileges and choices, room tidying expectations and the minimum number of permissible showers per week (7, if you're wondering).

After a while though, I got sick and tired of it all. Day after day was the same routine. Off to work (me) or school (teenagers), come home, straight into housework and dinner prep (me) or homework (them), dinner then zone out in from of the tv (me) or xbox (them). Interspersed within these activities was the conflict (initiated by them I thought) and moodiness (from both sides if I'm honest). Repeat. Ad infinitum.

None of us were happy. None of us really wanted it to be like this. Not that teenagers will tell you this, they may shrug non committedly though if you ask.

Then had a lightbulb moment!

I no longer had a connection with them.

As they grew they had started to move away from me, which is a normal and healthy step on the way to independant adulthood, but what was shocking to me, was the realisation that I had started to move away from them.

You see, when kids are little and cuddly, and think you're the best mummy in the whole wide world, it's easy to be close to them. They need you, and truth be told I needed them, to fill my heart with love and fill my days with smiles. But as they grew it was a little more difficult to pick them up for a cuddle (ever tried to pick up an unwilling 6'2" teenager for a cuddle and a tickle? It's best not to try).

I had bit by bit stopped trying to connect with them, as they pulled away, thinking that's what they wanted. But underneath it all, despite exterior gruffness, they really still need their mum. Just in a slightly different way.

Suddenly, from a mothering point of view, things had changed. And I wasn't ready for it. There's the saying about kids not coming with an instruction manual, but at least when small, children are a little more forgiving if you make a rookie parenting mistake. Teenagers, not so much.

They give you the sigh and an eye roll, and then proceed to moan about you to their friends. Suddenly you've been demoted from best mummy in the whole wide world to little better than the annoying woman who puts food on their plate and clean clothes neatly on their bed. You've now become the worst parent ever because the parents of all their friends always let them do this or that. I'm sure you know the drill.

Teenagers unconsciously challenge you, searching for a weakness. It's their forte at this age, apart from sleeping. And eating. Oh, and leaving previous neat and clean clothes in dirty piles all over the floor. Apart from those things, finding weakness in their parents is their forte.

And then I fell into their trap.

The trap they set is they bring out the teenager in us parents. That self centred, stubborn and argumentative teenager we thought we'd gotten past being about twenty or years ago.

Imagine this. Teenager wants to stay out all night. You say no. Teenager argues the point. You calmly give your reasons for saying no. Teenager ignores every single point you've calmly made and reiterates their reasons for staying out. You not so calmly reiterate your reasons for them not to stay out all night. Teenager stubbornly repeats the exact same points they previously made. You restate yours. Frustration makes you a little more forceful this time. Teenager yells "You just don't understand" and stomps off to their room, full of eyerolls and muttering. You stomp off to the kitchen muttering about how you wish they'd start listening to you. Stalemate. They've reduced us to their level. Damn, I hate it when they do that.

Being a good and loving parent however, an hour or so later you go back with the intent to talk calmly and bring your teenager around to your way of thinking. Within five minutes it's back to frustration, eye rolls and mutterings again. Neither side listening to the other, or if they do, only superficially.

It's like arguing with a toddler. You can't win.

And I've found that's the best way to view teenagers. As toddlers. Just slightly larger, but often just as temperamental. They need love and cuddles too, even if they do try to push you away.

If you think about it, toddlers are standing (or wobbling) on the threshold of moving from babyhood to childhood, breaking new boundaries such walking, talking and tantrum throwing.

Teenagers are also on a threshold, this time of adulthood. Only they are breaking boundaries of every sort, rules, courtesy, family congeniality, you name it. And they've already perfected the tantrum throwing, now they just up the ante.

This may seem all rather dire that's it a wonder anyone comes through raising teenagers a sane person. But I've discovered there is a magic to this parenting teenagers gig, a secret I never got told about.

Something, that although not making us a perfect family, has certainly made us a closer family. With a lot less eye rolling.

And no, it's not shutting your eyes and downing multiple glasses of alcohol. Though that is optional.

The solution that has worked for me is.......

.........hmmm, this post is more than long enough already. Stressed out parents of the internet, you'll have to wait for this to continue at a later date.

In the meantime, fix yourself a stiff drink and keep your eyes shut.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Fashionable & Fabulous Friday - The Return!


 What day is it today? Friday, you say?

Well now, that jogs a vague memory. What was it that I did on Fridays again?

Hmmm.... rush to finish the weeks work all in one day? After work drinks? Plan the weekend's parties? A couple of martini's snuggled on the couch with my beloved?

No, that's not right.

Well, maybe the first one. Occasionally. Often. Oh, alright, every Friday afternoon.

But there was something else....... yes, I remember now.

Fashionable and Fabulous Friday!!!!


If you missed out  previously (before I slacked off for a year or so!) there are one or two, or three or four, F&FF posts you can look back at and enjoy the fun, and negligible fashion sense, by clicking on the Fashionable & Fabulous Friday post label on the side of my blog page. Just scroll down, I did. And had a good laugh at myself.

The aim of Fashionable and Fabulous Fridays was/is to inspire people of the world to dress to make themselves feel good.

It also might just be a way for me to live out my narcissistic tendencies. I'm sure my husband thinks so. But we won't go there.

So without further ado, I present the first F&FF post for 2013 (yay!) :


 Awkward posing. Gosh, I must be out of practice!


Yes, I'm wearing purple.

If you had asked me a year or so ago, I would have never in a million years thought I would wear purple. Too bright, too out there for my shy and retiring nature (ahem, no snickering please).


Yet another awkward pose? I really should have practiced in front of the mirror first.


I wore this dress into the city today for an appointment, and got lots of looks. Admiring ones, I'm hoping.

I think I may have stood out just a little against the backdrop of black and grey business suits. Good.

This dress is so retro that I love it. It hardly needs any accessories. Just some vintage gold and pearl earrings, my watch and 2 carets worth of bling on my finger and I'm set to go.


 Mama? Why have you got your arms sticking out like that?


Of course, as per the usual way of previous F&FF posts, a certain little someone had to get in on the action. Modelling is full of competition from younger, more good looking models trying to steal your limelight. Where's my manager?


 But look at him! So cute and cuddly. How could I not share my photo shoot with him?


So there you have it folks. Fashionable and Fabulous Friday is back (by popular demand. Well, one person mentioned they missed it. About a year ago. Give me a break, I take what I can get with positive feedback!).

Have a wonderful weekend, and listen up everyone -  be fashionable if that's your thing, but always remember to be fabulous!



Thursday, March 14, 2013

A 'Write Off' Kind Of Day

The house is dark in the middle of the day, lit only by the flashes of lightning from outside.I love it!

Autumn weather has arrived in force today. Perhaps my front lawn might actually turn green with all this rain!

I really enjoy thunderstorms, but the furry members of our family not so much! The dog has just slunk into the room with me, unsure about those loud booms and rolls outside. And our cat was found hiding in the pantry just now, his place escape in the most dire situation. Which clearly this is to him.

The less furry members of the family are relishing the freshness of the storm, the cool breeze through the window, the cosy, snug feeling that the dark grey sky gives.

But I must give some consideration to my husband who is out working in this weather, so I'm sure he's not enjoying it much as me. Any moment I expect to hear the garage door go up and to find my soaked husband home, in dire need of a hot cup of tea.

And unfortunately, Charlie is still not well. Sniffles are abating but being replaced with a chesty cough. The recovery process is not helped by a sleepless night. 4.30am is a ridiculous time to wake up for the day, if you ask my opinion. Which I would happily give once I've finished my fourth cup of coffee (and it's only midday!) and if I'm still awake.

Why is it that these sleepless nights occur just when I really need to be awake and alert to deal with things? Not that there is ever a good time for such an early wake up, but still. I have so much to do and deal with at the moment. Why today?

And by mid afternoon, when I start to wilt from tiredness, I will vow to myself to have an early night and catch up on the sleep I so desperately need. Only to get to 8pm and get a second wind (all those cups of coffee finally kicking in perhaps?) and not be able to sleep till midnight - again.

Am I the only one who is like this? Please tell me that this is normal for busy mamas.

So today, I've decided is a write off day. A day where I will accomplish what I can and not feel too bad about what I didn't get done. Dishes piling up in the sink, floor unvacuumed, minimum amount of work done that I can get away with though I will have to play catchup over the weekend, and I'm ok with that - sort of. Overcoming my perfectionist nature isn't easy, you know.

Today therefore will consist of lots of sitting on the couch watching the rain and cuddles with my sick boy.

I guess life isn't so bad after all.