Tuesday, 15 October 2013

adventure time with Dora

I took my three toddlers on an adventure today. We went on a train to the city to see a live Dora show at a beautiful old theatre. It was epic. In planning, it seemed really simple. It was, however, epic.

I stocked up on snacks in toddler size, you know the ones - loaded with sugar and individually wrapped so they could be thrown in a bag quickly and easily. I even bought emergency boxes of Smarties in case it all went to hell ie triple throw down tantrums in a busy public place. I planned the timing, checking train timetables and how long it would take us to walk from the station to the theatre, then adding the obligatory 15 minutes of toddler dawdling time. We set off on time and to be honest things went a little downhill from there.

Traffic was a bitch. The normal drive from here to the train station of choice is about 15 minutes. Today it took 30 and meant the kids were a bit tetchy before we even got out of the car. Some loud music and car seat dancing eased that. We walked from the carpark to the station and before you know it, the whinging of 'my legs are hurting' started. A few minutes of train spotting and lift riding and the whinging was quickly ceased ie forgotten about. We bought our tickets and boarded the train really easily. I started to get cocky at this point. What was so hard about this? This was easy!

A random lady on the train started talking to me, asking how old the kids were, how far apart, commenting on how well behaved they were. This was obviously a sign for the kids to start acting up as all three started asking for drinks and snacks simultaneously. Snacks were handed out, silence once again reigned supreme - for 2.3 minutes anyway. Water was promptly spilled, meltdown #1 followed closely by as I didn't have a change of clothes for Missy Moo. Previously mentioned sugar didn't take long to kick in and the kids started running riot on the train. They were shrieking and laughing and swinging off rails like monkeys. I did my best to control the chaos but lets be honest, I was fighting a losing battle. I will say that Monkey Man in particular was interested in the station names and liked to practice saying them which was pretty cute. I had visions of them being snatched or pushed out the doors and falling between the train and the platform when we stopped at each station so I didn't dare take my eyes of them for a second. Any time they went near the doors, my heart was in my throat.

Due to the traffic holding us up we ended up on a later train than planned, so my 15 minutes of toddler dawdling time was gone. We got to the city with a few minutes to spare and had to hightail it to the theatre. Little Miss was in the stroller, Monkey Man and Missy Moo were walking until both started complaining about 'broken feet and hurty legs' again. I loaded Missy Moo onto the back of the stroller and kept boosting Monkey Mans ego about what a big boy he was, how good a job he was doing and how he was walking so fast with Mummy as we practically ran through the city. He kept saying 'we're going SO fast!'.... we were! Imagine going all that way, all that build up and then missing the bloody show? No freaking way!

We made it just in time to dump the stroller in the parking bays and find our seats. All three once again started asking for food - damn those sugary snacks burning off already!! The thought of taking all three out of the theatre again to buy more food was daunting to say the least, especially as the lights were dimmed and the show about to start. My emergency Smarties supply was handed out and rapidly demolished. I was now helpless in the face of a triple meltdown so I had to just cross my fingers and hope for the best.

The show started, Little Miss didn't like it much so climbed onto my lap and stayed there for the show duration. The fact that hubby didn't come as we bought 4 tickets only was now void as there was a seat for him afterall. Bugger. She did get into the show after a few minutes but wasn't giving up her seat on my lap for love nor money. Monkey Man started asking for flashing-made in china-over priced merchandise which I said we would look at after the show. Crisis averted. Missy Moo started asking for a dummy as naptime approached and the tears started when I said no. Those tears quickly stopped when she realised I meant no. I promised some lunch as soon as the show ended. Once the show ended we joined the hundreds of people trying to exit all at once. We battled to get the stroller back and load Little Miss in - both she and Missy Moo decided they wanted in and of course today I only had the single stroller so a hair pulling, clothes yanking battle of wills commenced in the middle of more than a hundred people. More tears flowed. Monkey Man started asking for merchandise again but I said no, telling him the girls were tired so lets go and get lunch and an ice cream and then we're going back on the train. He didn't ask again.

We commenced the 700m walk from the theatre to McDonalds. According to where is.com it should take 8 minutes. It took much freaking longer than that. Missy Moo dragged the pram, pulling at my hands and legs, demanding a dummy and crying that her legs were hurty. Monkey Man kept asking how much further. All three wanted a drink and kept saying it was so hot, Monkey Man and Missy Moo kept fighting over who could ride the back of the stroller. I'm sure we were quite the sight! We made it, I swear it took like half an hour to get there and I ordered lunch for everyone. We all sat down to eat and of course Monkey Man decides now he needs a wee. The toilets weren't far from where we were sat but what to do? Do I pack up the food, load it into the stroller and take everyone to the loo? Do I ask a random to watch the girls and take Monkey Man to the loo? I can't send him by himself? Argh! Great timing my son! He keeps reminding me he needs the loo so its now or never. I decide to let him go in by himself once I realise there is only two cubicles and I can see him from the door if he leaves the door open. I can stand at the door, pretty much smack bang in between the girls and him and sort everyone out.

Everyone eats and drinks and before I know it, its almost time to go. Little Miss decides to get down from the table and go and sit on the floor, right in the middle of everyone ordering food in a busy restaurant. When I tell her to get up, she lays down! Kill me! I drag her to her feet and back to the table and decide to call it quits and head for home. As I'm loading her into the stroller and trying to keep the other two with me, Monkey Man starts climbing up and down the stairs. A maccas employee yells in my face to 'CONTROL MY KID!!' I'm shocked and angry. He backed down a little, saying that 'he will hurt himself' which I get was his intention but to have a random stranger yell at me like that, and say what he did really pissed me off. I went and found the manager and told him perhaps he should control his staff and they should not be permitted to speak to paying customers like that.

I gathered the troops and we made our way to the train. Both the older kids whinged all the way to the station and Little Miss cried til I let her out of the pram. All three were overtired and ran about the carriage all the way home with multiple tantrums every few minutes thrown in for good measure. I had three randoms tell me 'you've got your hands full'....  Good times!

Overall it was a good day, 3 toddlers and I on a little adventure - making memories is what its all about right??

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

breaking news: wild animals spotted at local shopping centre

For the past few weeks all 3 of my kids have refused to go in the pram when we're at the shops, out and about etc. I'm pretty over it. No one in the pram means 3 kids running, constantly, in three different directions. It also means everything in reach is touched, climbed on, pulled down, played with etc. I also cop many looks of disdain from other people re my 'uncontrollable children'. Funnily enough its the other parents that are the worst with the dirty looks. Seriously.

Today we went to get a script filled and a little something for Fathers Day. We got into Target and the kids were into everything. They were running, quite literally, through the store and going into every aisle. They were bringing me things, shouting out 'Mummy, I want this', I could hear things crash onto the ground, I could hear people tutting and sighing and knew it was aimed at my kids. No matter how many times I asked or told them to come and stay with me, it was pointless - I was ignored. I offered donuts in an attempt to get some good behaviour and that too was an epic fail. I was getting more and more flustered, shopping was a waste of time so I decided to call it quits. I told the kids we were going and Monkey Man and Missy Moo came with me, Little Miss however decided to ignore me and continue pulling books down. I took the 'walk off and leave her' approach... she wasn't even bothered and continued pulling books down! She didn't even notice I left her! Gah!!! I grabbed her and we left the store with her under my arm, screaming her head off.

We headed to donut king for a snack and a rest before heading to the chemist. The kids devoured a few donuts and a milkshake each, there was sprinkles and icing bloody everywhere and trying to get them to stay seated for more than 2 minutes at a time was near impossible. Before I knew it they were climbing all over the bench seating nearby where people were minding their own business. Monkey Man was pulling things out of other peoples shopping bags and Missy Moo was seconds away from patting an old man on the head. It was time to go. I rounded everyone up and we started heading towards the chemist. A tantrum started from one as I told her to get out of the fountain just as another started crying because I yelled to stop at the crossing rather than walk straight onto the road. Now, it was time to go - home! I told them the outing was over and we were going home. All three started screaming now and continued to scream all the way down the travelator. There was filthy looks coming at me from all directions. As we entered the carpark, Little Miss decided to sit down in the middle of the road and refused to get up. I had three screaming children and traffic was officially stopped. I had no choice but to pick her up, kicking and screaming and haul all three to the car. Everyone continued to scream as I strapped them into their seats and I could feel my blood pressure rising with every squawk.

I snapped. Totally lost it. All the way home (a whole two minutes drive) I went on and on about how that was it, no more freedom at the shops and it was back into the pram for every outing from now on. I told them how embarrassing it is when they carry on like they do in public and how I don't understand why they can't be good. I ranted and raved. I went on and on and on and on. You don't want to know what I said. . . There was steam coming out of my ears and my head was pounding. The kids were silent and listened to me raving. I think they were a little stunned to be honest and writing about it now, I'm a little embarrassed that I went off the way I did. They're just 2,3 and 4. I think maybe my expectations are too high and I need to accept their limitations. I also need to assert that I am the boss and they're not ready to roam free in the shops just yet, and thus we won't be selling the pram anytime soon. Little Miss asked me this evening if I was 'still angry mummy?' - yep, the guilt just went up a notch.

If people think I enjoy chasing my kids everywhere, picking up after them all the time and telling them to constantly stop it, come here, get down, put that down, get up off the floor... well they think wrong. It's bloody exhausting and stressful.  I can do it at home so why the hell would I want to do it in public too?  I would just love them to walk with me in the shops and let us get on with the errands we need to run. I know they're kids, I'm happy to factor in toilet breaks, food breaks, toy stops etc... I just want them to behave, a little. Please???

At what age did your kids graduate from the pram? At what age did they learn to behave and stay with you in the shops? Am I the only one with crazy wild children?

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

never give a 4yo weapons

Monkey Man is obsessed with ninja turtles and superheroes. He wants to be batman or superman or spideman most of the day, and in between, in those rare down times, he'd happily be a ninja turtle. Every fcuking thing is a weapon, and I mean EVERYTHING! eg. tea towels, bags, jackets, hats, scarves, yoghurt tubs - the list goes on..... Bottom line is, the child is never to have actual weapons as I'm sure there would be an eye out or a limb broken within minutes. If anyone asked me what to get him for his birthday recently I indicated turtles etc but please no weapons. He was desperately hoping for Leo swords but sadly (thankfully) was let down. Sucks to be 4 with an opinionated mother.

He did however get a little golf set and well, you can see where this is going right?
Within minutes the clubs were disassembled, the heads taken off, and he was running around being 'Leowarno' the blue turtle with two 'swords'. There were lots of sound effects being played out as he ran, jumped, dived and crashed into everything he could. The girls were asleep so it didn't matter really, I mean smacking yourself with a plastic golf club apparently doesn't hurt when you're a ninja turtle.

Shame though that it did hurt the girls when mere minutes after they woke from their naps they were being attacked by a ninja turtle. The neighbours were no doubt thrilled by the screams coming from our backyard. Just for something different. I gave half a dozen warnings about using toys as weapons, I threatened to put them in the bin - nothing worked and then Missy Moo got a golf club square in the eye and I snapped. The clubs were picked up and thrown in the big bin while Leowarno screamed his head off and Missy Moo cried about her head hurting. I shouted the odds about weapons and how we shouldn't hurt each other and the moment was over almost as quickly as it started.  Sorry neighbours.

Later that day as I put rubbish out I felt masses of guilt seeing the golf set in the bin. It was a present after all, I mean how ungrateful was I being? They hadn't played with it that much and maybe it should be a supervision only toy? Maybe it was my fault that it all ended in tears? I took it out of the bin and left it in the backyard... next time would be different. I would keep a close eye on them and maybe encourage them to actually play golf with it.

I noticed the kids playing with it over the weekend. Of course they'd found it, nothing is sacred or secret in this house! I watched them playing turtles/superheroes whatever, once again using the golf clubs as weapons but on this occasion they weren't hurting each other.

Today though, today was another story. Today all three were smacking the bejeezus out of each other with plastic golf clubs within seconds! It was one big screaming match, tears were flowing and yet they were still smacking each other with those bloody sticks!!! I lost it. The entire kit went in the bin. The bin is collected and emptied tomorrow night and the fcuking golf kit will be gone. Apologies to my friend that gave it to the kids, I'll replace it with something less weapon-like. No more bloody golf in this house! The cricket kits he got for his birthday will also be staying packed away for the forseeable. Sorry Monkey Man.

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Monkey Man turns 4

Another year, another birthday. I am now the proud mother of a 4 year old. And I can't believe it.

Gaining more and more independence every day. King of the tantrum - hahaha. Stubborn, strong willed, clever, determined, loud, loving and caring are just a few of the words I would use to describe my handsome little man. He never sits still for more than 5 minutes, he's obsessed with ninja turtles at present, and spiderman, and ironman, and batman and well anything remotely hero like.

He was so excited this morning he came in to my room and said 'mummy, mummy, mummy!' yes I replied... 'I'm 4 today!' he exclaimed and ran off downstairs.

This is 4:

Note: we have to get the next size costume I think, as well as costumes for the girls as all 3 wanna be ninja turtles!

Love this kid, with all my heart and am thoroughly enjoying seeing him turn into a boy. Can't believe he's 4!

Monday, 17 June 2013

wet weather

Another day, another adventure for my 3 little monkeys - this time to the library. I try to take the kids to the library at least once a month. We often attend story time and I shake my head in embarrassment as my kids hurtle around the library shouting at the top of their lungs while all the other kids sit quietly and listen to the story or participate nicely in song time. Why is that my kids seem to be the only ones misbehaving, every single bloody time?

I try to encourage reading and book love. I am a book worm and believe it's important for kids to be into books. I remember as a child I would say I was going to bed and wait til everyone else was in bed before shutting my door and turning the lamp on to read 'just one more chapter'... hours and chapters later it was be stupid AM and I'd be buzzing from finishing a great book but heading to school exhausted. I look forward to the day when my kids love books for more than their use as a weapon or for how quickly they can hurl them off the shelves. or at each other. I fear I may be waiting a while.

All 3 are at a stage where they want to walk rather than be in the pram which is great fun. I'm constantly chasing them out of shops, off fixtures and out from under furniture. If they're not dragging their feet and slowly walking behind me, they're racing off on me. Do the maths. 3 of them, one of me. My chances of catching them before they pull all the apples off the stand, or before they knock down that table of nicely folded jumpers, well they're slim to none. Heading out at the moment with all three is stressful and blood hard work.

We went to a couple of shops before we tackled the library which was probably mistake number 1. Quite simply, my three can only handle one activity or outing per day. Two birthday parties in a day? Forget about it! Going from one shopping centre to another? Not a chance in hell. Two lots of visitors in one day? Are you freaking mad? We should have gone straight to the library as we normally do but I mistakenly thought maybe today would be different? After chasing them out of a department store, listening to screaming tantrums as I wouldn't let them have every single toy they saw or every bloody chocolate or lollipop they wanted I was feeling very flustered. I decided it was time for a donut break. Mistake number 2. Should have withheld the donut and milkshake offering until after good behaviour was demonstrated or at least until we'd completed our errands. Milkshake was spilt everywhere, donut sprinkles and icing were in places I didn't think possible, and somehow Little Miss managed to sit on and smoosh donut all over her bum.

Off we went to the library with all three on a sugar high. It was technically sleeptime for the girls so I believe by now they were delirious. Mistake number 3. Attempting to go out ANYWHERE at sleeptime is bloody suicide. All 3 ran around the library like wild animals. There was a trail of books everywhere they went and shrieks of laughter mixed in with brawling screams as one snatched a book from another. To all the uni students there trying to study for upcoming exams, well, I apologise for my children profusely. I chose their books for the month as they clearly weren't interested and tried everything to get them to calm down. I was getting close to a meltdown so decided it was time to admit defeat and head home.

Monkey Man decided, of course, that he needed the loo. We borrowed our books quickly and headed into the disabled public toilet - the only one that would fit the pram plus 4 of us. He did his thing. Missy Moo was attempting her turn but needed help with her jeans so I was helping her while telling them not to touch anything. Public toilets are grose, for real, like for really real. It was at this moment that a normal outing for us became, well more normal. . . .

Little Miss turned the shower on, hard. on Missy Moo and I.

In seconds she was soaked through, my jeans were wet and the entire bathroom was flooded. It was a freezing cold, rainy day outside and we both looked like we'd been standing in said rain for hours. Missy Moo screamed for ages. Little Miss got screamed at locked in the pram quicksmart - safe from temptation and naughty choices. She screamed alot. Monkey Man kept telling her she was a naughty girl and she had to stay in the pram now. She screamed some more. Missy Moo kept screaming at me that she was 'weeeetttttttttt' as if I'd somehow missed it. I used paper towel to try and dry her off. I put Monkey Man's hoodie - a size too big but dry - on her and put the newly purchased batman hoodie on him. I'm surprised no one called the cops on us given how much noise would have been coming from that public toilet. He then ran through the shopping centre with his hoodie zipped up over his face, 'kapowing' everyone he saw and jumping over every crack in the footpath. Missy Moo cried that she was wet. Little Miss kept crying and screeching that she wanted out of the pram.

Another day, another scene. When does it get easier?

Oh and in case you were wondering, Monkey Man's hoodie has a zip up face mask thing on it, so he was fully masked while he zoomed through the shops as I pushed two screaming girls behind in the pram. sigh, where was my frigging batman mask??

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

no more babies

oh yes, it's birthday season!! In a less than a months it all begins, mine, then Monkey Man, then Missy Moo, then Little Miss and we end with hubby.... To add insult to financial injury one of the cars is also due for rego and insurance, rates are due and well, bah humbug its just so expensive! Mine and hubby's birthdays are pretty much forgotten about for the time being, we do something in August for both of us, and we concentrate on the monkeys - and the car and the rates etc etc. Being a grown up seriously sux balls at times, doesn't it?

It's exciting for the kids I know. With all three birthdays within three weeks, a combined party in the middle plus their own little parties at daycare and a mothers group party plus friends' parties - well its just one big long party in their eyes. Once the festivities are over we do endure a period of asking when the next party is.  The questions continue for quite a while . . .

For me, well not only is it super costly, its a time where I actually feel a little sad. My babies are growing up. This year they will be 2, 3, and 4 - not this year, next month in fact!! Hooray to surviving thus far, boooo hiss to them growing up. Before I know it they will be teenagers with attitude as opposed to toddlers with attitude. The house across the road is full of teenagers and I hear them coming and going at all times of the night and I see my future flash before my eyes. Oh how their parents must worry. One of them recently had a birthday as we had a street full of noise on Saturday night, loud music, laughing, chatting etc followed by a jumping castle the next day with more noise and chatter. They were out there bouncing around at 9pm at night, in the rain. I suppose if I was their parents I'd be happy they were safe at home with friends rather than god knows where doing god knows what. Oh the fun times I have to look forward to - 3 kids getting their license one year after the other. I just know I'm gonna worry relentlessly.

Monkey Man is gonna be 4. 4!?!?!? Seriously, I mean where has the time gone? I still remember the first few days in hospital, the first few weeks at home, I remember it like it was yesterday. I thought I knew everything, I'd read the books, classes were just a formality and it was gonna be a breeze. Yeah right! Out came a screaming bundle, larger than life and constantly hungry to a mumma that couldn't produce enough food for him and battled the guilt and feelings of failure on an hourly basis. Why wouldn't he stop crying? Why was this so hard? What was I doing wrong? Eventually I accepted I couldn't feed him, formula was for us and things calmed right down.  I also realised he was a tummy sleeper and oh how things calmed down.

Missy Moo came along just after Monkey Man turned one. Things were hectic but we managed - somehow. I'd been there and done it before so I was a lot calmer the second time around. Breastfeeding didn't work again, despite medication and the guilt was once again a total bitch but I accepted it alot quicker. I just got on with things and soon we were in a routine, life was good. I even went back to work for a little bit for a little me time and of course a bit of extra cash. I then found out Little Miss was on the way, unexpected and unplanned and everything changed. New house, quit my part time job, back to my proper fulltime job/career, 2 kids in full time daycare, intense mother guilt like I've never freaking felt before, knowing I'm doing everything at once but nothing well at all.... oh good times.

Little Miss came along the day before Missy Moo turned one, two weeks after Monkey Man turned 2 and I can honestly say I don't remember much of her early days. Thankgod I took lots of photos as I just don't remember what it was like. One Big Blur. Third time around though I was calmer, more confident and more at ease with my ability as a mum. Things were crazy, feeding didn't work again, three screaming babies at once and often just me to deal with them as hubby went back to work after a short period of time due to starting a new job just as the baby was born. But these were good times. I was a mumma of 3, our family was complete and now we just had to find our groove.

I can confidently say I've found my groove and it's only taken, ummmm about two years, or four if you want to get really technical. I can herd my little monkeys like sheep with fairly high confidence. We venture out, people stare and we survive. I can generally pick a cry and its reason before it gets out of control. I can predict clothing and shoe sizes a season ahead and buy during the sales, saving myself $$ and meaning I generally have clothes ready for those pesky unpredicted growth spurts. Missy Moo is toilet training so very soon I will be down to one child in nappies. One! It's been an intense 4 years of 3 kids in nappies. Little Miss no longer has bottles so we're officially formula free. All three can feed themselves so I'm no longer required to make spoon aeroplanes or wash countless bibs. We're in the middle of a toy cull, getting rid of all the little baby squeaky and soft toys. I'm hoping we'll be rid of dummies by the end of the year at the latest. Disrupted sleep is almost becoming a thing of the past - if only they'd sleep past 6am?

Oh Happy Days ahead! I'm so excited by the next chapter of motherhood; dealing with the tooth fairy and big bikes and starting school and friendships and after school activities and sports....oh my! Who has time to be sad about babies growing up when the next phase is so exciting. I'll get my newborn cuddle fix from friends and family as they have babies and enjoy the little people I have at home. I'll get excited about buying booster seats for the car and maybe even a 7 seater car to transport little friends and cousins given that soon I won't need the boot space for the big double pram. Yes, exciting times ahead as my tribe turn 2, 3 and 4. Can you believe its gone so quickly??

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

talk the talk

Over the weekend I noticed alot of water under and around our hot water system and despite not knowing anything about hot water systems, I knew it couldn't be good. In fact all I could see were $$ signs. Hubby knows less than I do so between us, we're completely bloody clueless and with no plumbers in the family, it was time to call in the professionals.

A couple of really nice guys came out this morning, on time too - can you believe it? - and delivered the news that our 9 year old hot water system was knackered. For a grand sum of $1400 we would be out of trouble and have a brand spanking new system, with ten year warranty. Gah! Just the news you want at 7.15am. I asked for temporary measures (none!), I got quotes (we ended up going mid range), I did some digging and yep they were right, it was buggered, they weren't ripping us off so I gave them the go ahead to get the system and install it, today.

I'm starting to notice that the people before us really didn't do much maintenance here and truth be told, I think they moved when they started to notice it was time for maintenance. Smart bastards!

While the two guys were here installing the system my three children dragged seats over to the end of the deck, took up position and proceeded to talk to them through the deck, non stop. They told them everything and anything, all of it irrelevant but to their credit the guys stayed interested and patient with them. I'm not sure I could have done the same thing, but an hour into it they were still saying yes and asking questions. God love em! They were enthralled with tales like 'I did a wee in the toilet' (Missy Moo), 'my mums name is mummy' (Monkey Man) and 'maaaaan, maaan!!!' (Little Miss). The only time they stopped was to get a snack and they ended up taking their food back out to their perches and continuing to chat incessantly. I bet they were glad they drew my house on their job list.

I was telling my Mum about this mornings events and she laughed alot, apparently they sound just like me. When I was a kid I used to follow our next door neighbour up and down the fence line. He would be gardening on the other side while I walked with him and talked his ear off. Every few minutes he would say 'yes Eliza' and pretend I hadn't just told him all the family secrets. I often made him blush telling all sorts.

Given how much all three of my kids love to talk, I suppose its only a matter of time before they start repeating things they shouldn't. Well, actually they already do that . . .

Monday, 22 April 2013

Shoes shoes and more shoes

For those of you that really know me, you know how much I love shoes. For many years of my twenties I bought shoes rather than ate. It was a no brainer.

So far it seems I have passed this genetic trait to both my daughters. Missy Moo will often change shoes a few times until she's happy in what she's wearing - despite my OCD inner self screaming at the colour combinations!! Little Miss will scream and fight until you put on a pair she wants to wear, regardless of colour co-ordination or practicality - hello furry slippers in the backyard!?!? Note: she also does this with clothes and for the first time out of three kids I'm experiencing a fussy dresser, but that's another story.

This morning I was taking the tribe out to run errands; return this, pick up that, buy this, grab that. There was a plan and not a huge amount of time to complete it in - as per usual. We all managed to get dressed with minimal fuss or tears, from me anyway. Missy Moo kept telling me her boot hurt her foot. This was the first time she'd worn them so I was concerned. Don't tell me they're too small before she's even worn them?? I felt for her toes, I got her to wiggle them, I took the boot off her and checked inside for stray plastic or loose zippers, I held the boot to her foot and by all accounts it should fit fine??? After much swearing (in my head) I told her we'd go and get her a new pair. They must be too small? PISSED OFF! So off to the shops we went with yet another task tacked onto an already busy to-do list. We got boots eventually. The kids ran all over the shop, around the fitting room, up and down on the shoe fitting seat thingy. I could feel judgement from other parents but given how long it was taking to get served, well I figured as long as they're occupied they're happy. We got boots, in the same size as the ones at home and I still wondered what had happened to make them 'hurting!'

She loved the new boots! She'd strutted in front of the mirror, she showed them to everyone she saw, she ran and played in them, scuffed them before we came home because of course she had to wear them straight away. Of course.

Shopping was stressful. It's school holidays here so the shops were heaving. The couple we sat next to in the food court were not happy about my kids and I sitting so close to them ie. the table next to them. Weirdos!! The noise was epic. We took too long at the shops so the kids were over it by the time we left and I struggled back to the car with screaming toddlers in the overloaded pram and a run away toddler who kept disappearing every two bloody minutes in his attempts to walk everywhere! Stress was highhhhhh!!!

It's taken me all day to get over it.

I've just gone to bed and looked at the boots from this morning again.... And found tissue paper stuffed in the toes of the one boot that was hurting. No wonder they hurt. Turns out we didn't need to go buy another pair. Now the child with a growing shoe obsession has two pairs of boots for winter. All thanks to a wad of tissue paper.

And speaking of shoes, did I mention I start a new job next week? Oh yes, Manager of the ladies shoe department at Myer. I'm in heaven already just thinking of all those shoes!! Here's to building my girls shoe obsessions!! Hahaha
Tuesday, 26 March 2013

a better day at the Easter Show

Today my little family and I went to the Easter Show. We dropped a shedload of cash, there was a few tanties and I consumed a dagwood dog but it was fabulous!! We had a really great day, and I'm pretty sure the 3 exhausted little monkeys currently snoring their heads off upstairs would say the same.

Taking my three toddlers to the easter show was no easy feat I gotta say. Missy Moo was pretty scared in the animal nursery. When I say pretty scared I actually mean terrified but she was last year too so we expected it. Last year Little Miss was only 8 months old so she wasn't bothered one way or another. This year however she too was scared - joy!! Managing two scared toddlers would have been ok between the two of us, but add in a third toddler who was fearless and trying to climb into the animal enclosures and pick up baby goats and sheep, well it was interesting to say the least. I got a few photos but it was certainly intense in the animal enclosure today!

Taking three toddlers on rides when there is only two adults is pretty much impossible. Monkey Man says he wants to go on everything but once he gets to the start line he freaks and wants Mummy or Daddy with him. Missy Moo at least has the decency to be upfront about her need for Mummy and Daddy to come on everything with her, as she should at 2.5. Little Miss just cries and doesn't really enjoy rides as yet. We went on a big ferris wheel as a family and spent the entire time telling her to sit still, not to touch the doors or to jump around the cabin. Pretty scary at however many feet up in the air!! I took Monkey Man and Missy Moo on a little roller coaster rider and can't say I enjoyed it. Both kids seemed to so that's all that matters right? My back is screaming at me from the jolting and jerking that bloody ride did and I still have a headache however many hours later. (god I sound old!!) On a sidenote, all 3 of us fit into a carriage made for two which was a total woohoo moment for me. This time last year none of the kids would have fit in there with me so yeah to progress!!

Speaking of a year ago, I had to go and find the photos from Easter last year to compare my monkeys and how they've grown. One of the troubles of having 3 kids a year apart is that the last 3 and a bit years are really a blur to me. Sometimes I genuinely have trouble remembering how they were at that time.
A year ago my Little Miss was a baby. She's now a determined, stubborn, head strong toddler with a will that is fierce! The girl knows what she wants, no doubt about that!

ignore my stupid head hahaha

A year ago Monkey Man was 2.5, camera shy and too busy being busy to have his photo taken. Now he tells me to 'take my photo mummy' and will pose. Ok its for a split second which is barely long enough for me to get the camera out and he usually does that painful looking cheeeeeese face but you know, its all progress right?

A year has made a big difference to our kids, they've grown so much. A year has made a big difference to our easter show experience. Next year I reckon it will be even better - hell we might even be able to stay for the night time show... pushing it maybe?? Only time will tell.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

relaxing coastal break for us

In a couple of days we're heading up the coast for a few days of relaxation. Oh wait, the kids are coming too. . .  we're heading up the coast for a few days of, well, a few days!! Holidays with kids are hardly relaxing are they? Between packing every bloody toy we own, 100 changes of clothes and then trying to fit all of this crap into our car between prams, carseats, beach balls and buckets, making sure I remember important sleep toys and the current favourite cup or bowl, the lead up alone is enough to give me a migraine.

I am excited about this trip, I really am and its been a long time in the planning. We're staying with friends and their family. Oh did I mention, there will be 5 kids under 4? Insane right? Last time we got together there was only 2 kids plus one in my belly. The time before that, back in the day there was no kids but plenty of booze. And dancing, I'm sure there was dancing? I pity the poor people in the surrounding cabins. I bet we're the neighbours people complain about for noise pollution. I also bet we have loads of sleep issues including kids awake at stupid AM. It's ok though, we've booked accommodation that's walking distance to pubs and we've scoped out the nearest bottle shops. The pain.will.be.dulled. There will be photos of kids playing on the beach - which is to have no waves as per Monkey Man's stipulation this afternoon. Missy Moo then instructed there be no sand either. Apparently neither like sand or waves. Hmmm could be interesting?? Maybe the photos of kids playing on the beach will be of random kids rather than mine? The buckets and spades are ready for action though and I'm pretty sure their swimming costumes from summer still fit. Probably should check shouldn't I? I'll squeeze them in one way or another as I am not rummaging through sales racks trying to find reduced swimwear in bigger sizes for them.

Yep, the circus is heading off on a holiday. We'll do touristy activities and we'll no doubt be tourist attractions ourselves with loads more randoms getting the opportunity to ask me if they're twins or triplets, if we planned them so close, if we have our hands full, if we have a TV etc etc... just today someone asked me if the girls were twins. We were on a travelator at the time which is a common place for random chat, except it wasn't working so we were walking down it - or in my case I was being dragged downhill, struggling behind 50kg of toddler and 20kg of pram on the downhill slide. Those travelators are pretty slippery truth be told. All I could think was shut up woman and let me concentrate on not letting go of this load. Visions of human bowling were making me smile and panic all at the same time.

My friend and I have made plans, we have lists baby! We've sussed out all the indoor play centres in the area, we've checked out the clubs and worked out which are family friendly, we know which beaches are wave free (sorry Missy Moo, can't do much about sand), we've worked out where the plaster fun house is and where the kids can make their own pizza. We've worked out how far the play ground and jumping pillow are from our cabins. That should cover the first day or so right?? And we've planned to escape at least one night and leave the Dads in charge - hell they should be grateful we didn't book ourselves into the day spa for the week.

If you hear of a crazy woman chasing three kids out of an actual dolphin pool or a family being asked to leave a holiday park due to noise or breakages in the next few days, there is an extremely high possibility that its us. Don't judge. Don't hate. Don't wish it was you on a 6 hour drive with 3 toddlers. Don't wish it was you crammed into a little cabin with 3 kids that still wake up overnight and will most likely want to start the day at 5am and then refuse a day sleep.  Jealous?

Would it be acceptable to self medicate before we even set off???  Bourban be totally counted as a breakfast option if I hide it in a smoothie? right? Wish us luck!

Monday, 11 March 2013

mourning the loss of babyhood

My Monkey Man will be 4 in July. He's hardly a baby anymore, I know but it still pains me to think of him growing up. These last few weeks there has been a shift in normality around here and I am devastated. The end is nigh, the end of his. . . . . . daysleeps. Yes my friends, the short and only period of time in the day when I have all 3 asleep, at the same time. My girls are 1.5 and 2.5 so they still need a daysleep, Monkey Man on the other hand has been fighting his for weeks. More than anything, and most bloody importantly, I NEED THEM TO SLEEP!!!

If he has a day sleep, he fights sleep at night and its more than an hour after bedtime before he actually goes to sleep. If he doesn't have a daysleep he's a feral grouchy bear from 4-7pm. I don't know which is worse. Yesterday he didn't have a sleep and we endured a horrible dinner time, talk about tantrum central. Today I put them all to bed and he appeared to go down without a fight. Result! I went to hang washing out and came back in to find him playing in the lounge room. Um, I don't think so my little friend! Back to bed, now!! Right now I can hear him playing around upstairs. arggghhhhhhh

This mumma needs a break, this mumma needs my three toddlers to have a daysleep, at the same time. I need a toddler time out, I need it, I really really do!!! Why won't someone think of the mamma!!!

I'm officially in mourning. I should be dressed in all black, for real. I don't want him to grow up, I don't want him to out grow the daysleep. I just don't want it. Can't he stay a baby forever?? Seriously.

Sunday, 10 March 2013


"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013 "

Today my three monkeys helped wash our car. They also washed the concrete, the grass, themselves and the paddling pool. Why wash one thing when you can wash many? They had ALOT of fun and the damage will all wash out in the washing maching. Making memories, that's what it's all about. . .

I've missed a few weeks of the 'portrait a week challenge' set by Jodie at Che & Fidel but it's all good. I have the photos, just lost my blogging mojo a little - haha. Anyone seen it?  


Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Karma in the form of a fountain

Do you remember that scene from The Sound of Music where the Von Trapp children are laughing and screeching with joy as they climb trees and sail down the river. They're filthy dirty and wearing clothes made out of curtains, much to the horror of their father. This is the scene in case you need a memory jolt:

I'm always torn watching this scene. The OCD, control freak part of me agrees with the father, kids shouldn't be making huge scenes and should be tidy at least, especially in public. I have no issue with them wearing clothes made out of curtains. I'm not sure if I'm putting this across how I wanted to but there it is. The fun loving mother in me also disagrees with the dad and thinks that kids should laugh and have fun, of course they should.

At my local shopping centre there is a set of fountains, those ones that go off and on and shoot up at various heights, ie toddler height (there's a correct, technical term for it which evades me right now).  I've managed to keep my kids out of them so far. I've managed to promise 'next time' or 'after a donut' or 'another time' and it's worked every time. I've walked past there many times and seen kids playing happily in the water, fully clothed. I've judged, I've said nasty, judgemental parent things to myself like 'oh for gods sake, put a swim suit on your kid' or 'for fcuks sake, is it really the place to play?'... I've used words like bogan and feral when seeing these kids in the fountains. I've also smiled when I've seen the joy on these kids faces as they splashed and jumped. Again, I'm torn between OCD control freak mum and fun loving mum.
But seriously, I mean the bloody fountain is in the middle of a busy shopping centre and surely its for decoration purposes, right?  Until today.

Today we were close by meeting Dirt Girl, The Cat in the Hat, Shaun the Sheep, and Tweety Bird (don't ask!) and I was hoping the fountains would be switched off. No such luck. We met the characters . . . Monkey Man went up to all of them with no fear whatsoever, Missy Moo was a little hesitant but after a few high 5's she wanted to go back again and again. Little Miss clung to me, wrapped herself around me, dug her fingers into my back and screamed in my ear the entire time. She was apparently not keen. We had cake earlier on, the kids had balloons, and I chased them out of the fountains a few times. I mean in toddler terms of a day out it was perfect, right? I thought I'd gotten away with it, kept them out of the fountains for yet another day. Until I turned away for 2 seconds. Then I found this:

It was over. They were soaked head to toe, I had no spare clothes or towels for them, it was over. I was officially one of those parents who let their feral children run wild in a public place. The Baroness** would be disgusted... Every OCD fibre of me wanted to scream at them to get out and to bundle them into the car. I fought myself, I fought hard and found a way to somehow, let go. It was bloody hard I tell ya, especially when I heard other people walking past comment on 'how wet those children were'. The tone of those comments were pure disdain and disapproval - judgement. I became the Mum I've looked down my nose at and commented about previously. Karma. It gets you eventually. 

I had no idea how I'd get them out of the fountain let alone to the car and home. I knew the pram would get soaked, I knew I had no clothes and definitely no towels with me so we would have to go and buy some. I usually have a bag of spare clothes in the boot of the car but knew it was currently sitting in the study. Buggeration!

I asked another Mum friend I'd run into to watch them in the fountain while I ran into a store and bought them clothes, towels etc. There was a plan, I was calm and I was actually enjoying watching my kids run, shriek and laugh. The plan was abandoned when Missy Moo decided to hide in a corner and fill her already full nappy. The smell was horrendous and her nappy was officially bursting at the seams. Given it was full of water, I knew there wasn't long before it all ended rather nastily. It was time to go. I bunded two kids into the pram, made Missy Moo stand on the skateboard as I figured sitting on that load would no doubt cause an explosion and into Target we went. It took ages to find summer clothes in their sizes as everything is on clearance and just a giant jumble sale of clothes. Missy Moo peed all over the floor as her nappy was now officially overflowing and all three were dripping water everywhere. I had a baby wipe on the floor and was wiping as we went with my foot, like some kind of idiot. God I was embarrassed! Some random old lady asked me in serious WTF tone 'what on earth happened to them??'... I explained rather sheepishly that I let them in the fountains but now we had to find clothes urgently as the nappy situation was getting dangerous. God bless her (ie so she fcuking should!), she put aside her tone and judgement and helped me find clothes. She did so while saying nothing about the smell. She clearly was a mother. She must have remembered what it was like to lose control and vote fun over rules. Maybe she had no sense of smell?

We took over the parents room, dried everyone off, changed bums and threw all the wet stuff into a plastic bag. Mothers with newborn babies, clearly their first babies were looking on rather horrified. You could see them also wondering what the hell happened. Crisis averted and 3x new outfits purchased... just another day out really.

**The Baroness was the cranky woman who almost married Captain Von Trapp on The Sound of Music, in otherwords the almost step mum. Luckily for us all he chose Maria and all was right in the world. Seriously if you haven't seen it, you're missing out.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

a relaxing stroll

This week I've been housebound with my 3 monkeys as our car has been in for repairs after the hubby had a bit of an incident with a carpark pole. Ahem, moving right along. I didn't realise how much I relied on my car until it was gone. As the saying goes, you don't know what you've got til it's gone - well I be missing my freedom bigtime!!??! Playgroup returned this week and rather than not go, I decided we could walk there. It's only 4km away. Today we had to get out. So I loaded my monkeys into the pram, the girls in their seats and Monkey Man on his skateboard, hats and sunglasses on and off we went. The walk there was actually ok. Apart from one reasonable hill where I was fairly puffing, we did ok. We did it in 40 minutes, and it would have been quicker but we had to stop frequently to adjust hats, put sunglasses back on, pick hats up off the pavement, look at rocks, examine how big trees were and to explain why some people have mail in their letter boxes when others don't and why some people have long grass in their front yard and others don't. For the record, I did my best to explain that everyone is different and thus treat their houses differently but I don't think it was understood as Monkey Man spent the best part of 1km telling me how some people are 'just disgusting mummy!' .... hmmm ok, we'll try that one again another time.

We made it to play group, cold water was consumed by the gallon as I composed myself and fun was had by the kids. We then had some lunch in the food court with a friend and her very well behaved 18 month old. Both mother and daughter looked on in amazement as my 3 'angels' carried on, yelling for more food, fighting amongst themselves as someone looked at the other the wrong way or something or other. . . . sigh. Fun times. Monkey Man ran off into the playground after I said it was time to go, just to ignore me and then screamed all the way back to the table whilst everyone looked on in disgust. I can bet you my friend was thinking something along the lines of 'thankgod my child is well behaved'. I know I would have. I had a fleeting thought of 'how I miss having a placid baby/toddler that just sits and eats'.

Given Monkey Man was throwing a mini tanty that wasn't far off a full blown melt down I made the call to strap him into the pram. I was worried he was going to try and escape on the way home and given we had to cross a major road, it wasn't worth taking the chance. I was also worried he would want to go to sleep on the way and I honestly wasn't sure that if I stopped to swap the seating arrangements I would actually be able to go on again. It was a long walk, and mostly downhill on the way there which of course meant it was mostly uphill on the way home. Gah! Who's bloody idea was this anyway? Oh that's right! *blush* A) I grossly underestimated how far 4km is. B) I grossly underestimated how hilly our area is. C) I didn't really think about the timing, ie playgroup finishes at lunchtime which means walking home during their normal sleeptime and more importantly, the hottest part of the day. Bugger. Little Miss was on my back in the carrier and it was windy so her hat kept coming off, and as a result the poor poppet is a little sunburnt. Man do I feel guilty about that. I copped the most sun but Missy Moo has little red knees, Little Miss is burnt on her face, arms and legs and Monkey Man talked at the top of his lungs ALL THE BLOODY WAY HOME. Meanwhile I was too busy huffing and puffing my ass up every bloody hill to actually talk back to him much, meaning he got cranky and frustrated that 'I was ignoring him'. It's a bloody hard slog pushing 35kg of toddler, 20kg of pram and carrying another 15kg toddler on my back.

this is pretty much how we looked setting out. coming home was a much more disheveled look!

I got everyone home and into bed, peeled my hot sweaty clothes off and collapsed in a red, puffy, sweaty heap on the lounge with the air con cranking. I considered a sleep myself but had visitors arriving and a car to collect. Oh yes, my car is back, repaired and good as new and tomorrow I will totally drive her wherever we need to go. Just cuz we can. Terry, we missed you baby girl xx

Sunday, 17 February 2013


"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013 "

 3 loud, cheeky monkeys in a very moment of quiet - checking on Nanny's birdies... I think they'll be sad when they leave here and we may end up having to buy some birdies of our own.
When 2 died Monkey Man said they flew away to find Nanny at her new house. Gotta love the innocence.
Who am I to argue with his logic?


Sunday, 10 February 2013


"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013 "

Take a tub of water, chuck in a few plastic toys and freeze.
Add three toddlers, three wooden spoons and an afternoon in the sun
and the result is much hilarity, hysterics and fun 

Thursday, 7 February 2013

a normal noisy day

Yesterday was a day like most others at this zoo. We were at home, and despite forecasted rain I decided to be a rebel and do some washing anyway. I'm so hardcore like that. Once the washing was finished the monkeys and I headed outside to hang it out.

They were busy running around the yard playing with sticks and leaves despite being repeatedly told not to, checking the birds aka yelling 'helllloooooo', shrieking at the tops of their lungs, climbing in and out of the paddling pool, pushing said paddling pool around the yard, banging the side gate and yelling at passing cars and neighbours, running through the white sheets and towels which were blowing in the wind - again despite being told over and over to stay away from the washing... It was all very normal, loud and normal.

Next thing Monkey Man yells at me, loudly and rather desperately 'I need a poo mummy!!!'. He silenced the neighbourhood with that announcement. Now this kid hangs on so when he's gotta go, he's gotta go and if you hang around, well you're just gonna be cleaning up a mess. So off to the loo we head just as he starts whimpering/crying. I told him not to panic, we'll be there in a sec. I left the girls in the backyard and Monkey Man and I quickly stepped inside. Our downstairs toilet is mere feet from the back door so I could not only hear but also see the girls playing - no need to call DOCs, I was supervising them. It was still all very normal to this point.

Monkey Man got settled on the loo and was doing his thing when he noticed there was a slight um, accident on his pants. Well the tears started, along with the distress to 'get them off, I need clean ones' etc etc etc. As I'm trying to reassure him and get the soiled undies off without getting mess everywhere, my two delightful girls started up - such fab timing they have?? Turns out I was right and didn't need to worry about whether I could see or hear them from the loo, no such problem! Both started banging on the back door, hard. Little Miss decided to scream this loud annoying and non stop  'aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh' while Missy Moo yelled over and over and over 'I did a poo, I did a poo, Muuuummmmmmmmmyyyyyyyyy I did a poo'... Oh yes, if our neighbours hadn't heard us before now, there was no way their peaceful breakfast wasn't interrupted by this performance. I suspect they may be used to our noise or I hope they are?

I had 3 toddlers yelling at me, poo all over the place and I hadn't even managed to have breakfast yet or get a full load of washing out on the line. Like I said, just a normal day really. I mean there have been other poo incidents and I'm sure there will be more. It was a morning I'd rather not repeat but undoubtedly will do, I mean I am a realist. Life with my three toddlers generally means I am dealing with poo before 9am, and throughout the day, thankfully I'm not squeamish but I know parents who are. It's all glam this parenthood gig isn't it? Do you reckon Miranda wipes her own kids ass??

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Stories of me: First Day

I read a really good blog today by Fi about her First Day at school and try as I might, I cannot remember mine. It's forever ago! I can however remember my last day at high school, which of course was the first day of the rest of my life - as all teenagers think.

I graduated in 1997, 18 years old with big hair, engaged (yes really) and full of promise.

you can see the engagement ring (and big hair) here!
argh I can hear that song line 'regrets, I've had a few' right now!

I did ok in my exams although I've no doubt I would have done better had I not been involved with a boy like I was. Mum was right, he was no good for me and I was wasting my last years at school. . . Annoyingly so, Mums are always right and now that I am one, I actually accept that fact.  I wanted to be a lawyer but my results meant that wasn't an option, not right now anyway.

I was growing out a perm from a few years back and the wave fringe was in style so I had rather large unruly hair. Argh looking back I really needed to do something about that hair.

 bad bad hair right there!

 I was a member of the hockey team - note even bigger hair was sported at the time this photo was taken!!

I was also on the volleyball team, the debate team, school council, I edited and compiled the year book for 3 or 4 years (?) and I was a peer support leader - hello, major nerd alert! I was well respected I think? There were disagreements along the way but I got along well with most teachers and students and had a close knit group of friends. I along with two others gave the farewell speech on behalf of our year at our final assembly. Um, major achievement at high school right there! 

 My little peer support student had a crush on me which was just adorable.

I loved school and enjoyed study. I got distracted by a boy which is something I will forever regret and I will do my best to ensure the same thing doesn't happen to my kids - I know, I know, I can't control everything. I had some dear friends and yet in the years after school those friendships disappeared. Funnily enough thanks to social media I am back in touch with alot of those people and who knows if we may end up friends again. In real life, if you know what I mean.

The last day of school was fun, it was exciting and it was full of what ifs. Promise. At that point, on that day, you could be anything you wanted to be. Absolutely anything. The first day of the rest of your life, right there in front of you.... I can actually feel that excitement right now. The First Day is exciting, its nerve wracking, its full of questions and promise. First days should always be documented and remembered. always. I can't wait for my 3 monkeys to have their first days at school, bless em.

Thanks to Fi from My Mummy Daze for the prompt, it was fun!