Thursday, 31 January 2013

some people just give perfect gifts

Over the weekend we caught up with my Dads side of the family, to celebrate Australia Day but also do the Christmas thing we sadly never managed to achieve during the festive season. We had a laid back sausage sizzle while the kids ran about like lunatics. It was casual, relaxed and drama free which is my kind of gathering.

Last year was a flurry of wrapping paper, gifts, tears, excitement and to be honest, just plain confusion. I know Christmas for children can be about lots of presents but I'm determined that it won't be JUST about lots of presents in this household. When I heard my 2.5yo Monkey Man shout out 'whats next, where is the next present?' I knew things had to change. So this year we extended our kris kringle process to include the kids as well. With 8 kids between us, there is the potential for present buying to get out of hand, not only cost wise but actual presents. My nieces and nephews are all older than my kids and last year the aunts and uncles got a bit carried away buying cute things for little kids ie mine, and it was a present frenzy! This year was much more civilised with the kids getting one gift each and I gotta say, I think they appreciated it alot more.

My step mum gave my kids a truly thoughtful combined present; my first garden. The cutest little garden in a box.

In her usual, thoughtful and caring way she went the whole hog buying potting soil, strawberry plants, gardening tools, watering cans and gloves for each - all in mini sizes, and decorative things to keep the birds away. We've planted our strawberries and are watering them every day, so now we watch them grow. I am no green thumb so lets hope they survive?? Pray people.

Honestly, talk about a perfect gift and just so thoughtful. I wish I was like her when it came to buying gifts. I try, I really do but I never get it as right as she does. I used to be fab at remembering birthdays, anniversaries etc but then I had three kids and well, life got so busy. Poor excuse really and I feel terrible every time I miss something. Also FB came along and people seem to say happy birthday, merry xmas, happy nye etc etc all on there rather than by text or card or even in persona anymore?? It's quite sad really. Anyway, I don't think my step mum gets enough credit so I wanna take this opportunity to say thankyou (I did face to face too!). For someone who is so busy she always manages to keep in touch, to remember birthdays and milestones and to always always think of others. She'll be out and ring me saying "I just saw xyz and thought it would be perfect for Monkey Man's birthday" or whatever. On Sunday she was meant to bring fruit for dessert but she made a cake as well. She's just awesome! When I grow up, I wanna be like my step mum.

Do you have someone that gives perfect gifts in your life? Or is that you?

Sunday, 27 January 2013


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

This weeks photos were taken by my hubby. He spent the day with them while I worked and took the opportunity to get some snaps. I love how they show how he sees them. 

Our kids, through their Daddy's eyes. 
 So full of action, cheekiness and laughter. 
Pretty much how it is around here,

Thanks for the challenge Jodi, I'm loving it.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

my third little chatterbox

Almost 18 months ago when Little Miss joined the fold, I was blessed with my third child. Another very loud little monkey who made her presence and/or hunger known at every chance she was given. Loud at birth, loud today and everyday I am reminded of this fact over and over again from 6am to 7pm. I lose count of the number of times I have to say 'inside voices please'. Missy Moo seems incapable of singing at anything other than top decibel and the girl likes to sing, alot. Monkey Man shouts everything especially if it's an exciting moment in the game/day/tv show/etc and Little Miss well she just wants to be heard I think and given the volume she's competing against, well I guess shouting is her only option. I really do feel for my neighbours as I imagine its just non stop loud coming at them, all day every single day.

Almost 12 months ago I blogged about how I had two chatterbox children and today I've begrudgingly accepted I now actually have three. 12 months ago Little Miss was a 6 month old baby who sat and stared in awe at her siblings. She smiled for a rusk or piece of banana. She stayed in one spot (oh those were the days!!). Times however have changed! Praise the heavens, my Little Miss has found her voice and her vocabulary is expanding hourly. I must admit I was a little worried that at 16 and 17 months she wasn't really saying much but I got over myself quickly. She went through a stage of calling me Nanny which distressed me alot, and thankfully that's passed. I'm pretty sure she knew it revved me, smart ass that she is. She was saying no, daddy, down, more, dora, melmo and nanny and that was about it. Mummy was in there, she'd said it before but chose to not say it often, evil child she is! This last week she's mastered coming down the stairs by herself and brace yourself for the epic tanty if you try to help her. At almost 18 months old, this headstrong, independent, determined young lady knows what she wants, she knows what she means and every single day she masters another word to communicate exactly that. If she can't find the word she points, dances, shouts, grunts, squeals and points some more until we understand each other and her need is met. Or she throws a huge bloody tantrum out of frustration. Whichever way it goes, each exchange is generally a long process and both of us are very frustrated by the end of it. This time last year I was dealing with the exact same thing with Missy Moo, but had a baby to deal with as well. I should be grateful for small mercies right?

I've been willing Little Miss to talk for what feels like a long time (I know its not actually been a long time) and now that she is, well I guess the saying 'be careful what you wish for' comes to mind. As of today she will nod for yes, shake her head for no, point at what she wants, bang the fridge for food, she says no, yes, peees (please), mork (milk), nanny, mummy (which is also the word for dummy so confusion reigns supreme at bedtime), daddy, ri-re (ivy), mooman (ewan), rogat (yoghurt), dora, daisy, book, ball, me, mine, NO, no and no. She grabs toys from her siblings and runs, laughing or squealing as she goes. She hits, kicks and as of yesterday pinches with quite the pincer grip. She wants exactly the same things as her siblings, irrelevant of what they are. She's got dark hair like me, blue eyes like her Daddy and like I had at her age. She's got dimples like me and the cheekiest of smiles. Out of my three children she looks the most like me - not hard given my other two look exactly like their Dad. All three however are exactly like me in personality. They talk non stop, its a battle of wills as to who is the boss, they shout, they get frustrated and they fight with each other all bloody day long. It's loud here, oh so very loud. And I suspect its only going to get louder. Sorry neighbours xoxo


Sunday, 20 January 2013


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

Little Miss, 17months old and obsessed with food. She's also developed a penchant for dipping every morsel of food into sauce of any kind. This is uber cute and amazing to watch develop as her Daddy does the same thing.... and its taken to child #3 for this to happen. It's also a tad frustrating that I have to either carry or order sauce wherever we go. And the combinations she comes up with are grose! This evening she dipped hot chips into tartare sauce, then tomato sauce, and then sour cream. So disgusting!

Monkey Man, 3 and a half and presently obsessed with wearing this hat. Everywhere. Wants to sleep with it, wants to bathe with it. Tantrums when told no to both requests. Every single time. Snapped here playing in my wedding dress - I had visions of beautiful photographs of my girls in my dress, lace and beads surrounding them. Instead the girls refused to go near it, Monkey Man didn't want to get out of it and the outtakes from this mini photo shoot feature my two toddler girls running around in the background, near naked, laughing hysterically. Added bonus of dragging the dress out of its box; I realised its now about 4 sizes too big. Yay.

Missy Moo, 2 and a half years old and full of serious attitude. Also extremely cute and very aware of her cuteness! Recently taken to saying CHEEEESSSSEEEEE every time the camera is out, with the strained, forced smile, followed by running to you to see herself on the camera. Loves seeing herself and 'her pretty hair'. This photo was taken during the week when I told her Daddy was coming home early. A tad excited right??

I'm definitely snapping more pics of the kids and this challenge is in the back of my mind all the time. Thanks Jodi

Friday, 18 January 2013

It's my blog and I'll *brag* if I want to

My blog is about my life with my kids, my kids annnnd my kids however sometimes I forget that I'm a person as well as a Mum. I was a person well before I was a mum. Us mums get on with things, we don't really stop to appreciate how far we've come or pat ourselves on the back for a job well done. This post is a little pat on my own back *blush*.

In the past year I have lost 45kgs, or is it 47? Whatever, it's a huge amount and I don't think I give myself enough credit for this. I'm not really into bragging but some friends made me do a comparison photo timeline tonight and faced with that proof, staring back at me in full colour glory, well I was forced to acknowledge that yes I have lost weight. And I couldn't be happier.

Putting it out there, upfront. I refer to myself as a fat person because I was and am one and thus have the right to use the term. I mean no offence to anyone else.

Don't get me wrong, I am super proud of myself. I know I have lost weight. I don't think I am suffering any genuine body dis-morphia disorders but bottom line; I still see a fat person. Not in the mirror - does anyone really look at themselves in the mirror? - or in photos, just in my mind. Being honest, I am still fat, with a way to go but still, 45kgs are gone and I'll be damned if they're coming back. Hell, if someone told me they'd lost that much weight I'd be thrilled for them. I'd be saying, rather excitedly, how that's like a whole person!! Albeit a small person but yes 45kgs is a person! I'd be stoked for them. I'd know what work it takes and how bloody hard it is. Admitting how much you've lost almost means you're saying your starting weight out loud - almost. Would you get on scales in front of people? Would you stand up on national TV, Biggest Loser style, and be weighed like a circus freak? I doubt it and I know for sure I wouldn't. I won't say my starting weight but it was *ahem*, *blush*, large.

I still shop like a fat person. I still pick up my old sizes and am genuinely shocked when they're too big. In true first world problem style, I have to admit I have no idea where to shop anymore. Plus sizes, where I have been forever, are now too big for me and I'm clueless when it comes to normal sizes. What brands are appropriate for my age, my lifestyle? Could I actually walk into a 'normal' shop and find something that fits with ease? Seriously? I'm wearing clothes, PJs and underwear that is all too big for me. Why? A) I don't have the cash to replace everything, especially when I want to lose more. B) See above, no idea where to shop. C) having to buy new stuff means I have to acknowledge I have lost weight. Until now, I've been kinda happily ignoring it, saggy baggy clothes and all. I thought I'd be so excited to go shopping but truth be told its a pain in the ass at the moment, and I end up buying for my kids instead as its a shitload easier.

I'm not sure it ever goes away, the fat person in your head. I reckon once they move in they stay for life. I know for me there will be a lifelong battle with the bitch in my head. I will never be stick thin, nor do I want to be, but I am determined not to get back to obese again. I just wanna be average, and healthy enough to be here for my kids.

On the whole I just carry on, I just exist and ignore the white elephant (pun intended) in the corner of the room. Why don't we celebrate our success more? Why don't we say 'yay I did something fab' without it being perceived as showing off? I'm still not in enough photos and when I am they're badly taken 'selfies'. Is this how this chapter of my life will be remembered? Something has to change with the way people see me, the way I see myself. I need to accept my new reality and find a way to live with it in harmony, and I am quietly hoping my kids don't remember me as fat mummy. I'm happier blending into the background than I ever was standing out like a giant marshmallow.... And I need to find myself some new clothes STAT! Hello, lotto????

The timeline I mentioned: a shit load of weight gone, never to come back and a moment of 'yay me'. Bring on 2013 and getting those last kgs off! Woohoo!!

Monday, 14 January 2013

you'll live by my rules while living under my roof

Have you ever had a moment where you experienced flashbacks and a glimpse of the future, all at the same time???

For those playing along you'll know that my Mum is living with us at the moment. It's been a *while* and there is, so far, no end in sight. Let's just not go there, ok?

Saturday night and hubby and I had a quiet night at home. We made dinner, we constructed a toy kitchen for our monkeys that we've been promising to do since Santa delivered it on xmas eve - bad parents hey! and we caught up on a couple of shows we recorded and haven't had a chance to watch. Life just gets in the way sometimes.

Mum is usually home, either from work or her new place at about 7-7.30 and eats with us. When we made dinner last night we put hers aside as she hadn't appeared by the time it was ready. I had a fleeting thought to call and check on her as she was expecting a tradesmen at 6pm. Too many episodes of SVU I suspect, so I pushed that dark scary thought to the back of my mind and got on with our night. I expected her any minute though so left her dinner out. We assembled the kids kitchen, swearing alot at each other during the process and re-settled the monkeys a few times as the heat and barking neighbourhood dogs disturbed them. It was 11pm by the time we finished and there was still no sign of her so I put her dinner in the fridge. I then started thinking she must have gone out with friends and forgotten to mention her plans. And it was about now that I started feeling annoyed. Really annoyed.

I had flashbacks of my late teens and early twenties when I lived at home and she used to say to me "I don't care if you're not home for dinner but let me know what you're doing so I can either keep dinner for you or not worry about yours".... oh how I used to hate checking in and explaining what I was doing, with who and where but I did as I was told. To be honest, if I didn't call before, I would be in the dog house for days and have to put up with one of her filthy moods. It was just easier to call and cop the inquisition beforehand.

A few times in the last few weeks she has not come home for dinner, or at least been home later for dinner. I've said nothing about it, she's a grown up, as am I and I figure she doesn't have to explain her whereabouts to me. In the same respect though, I am annoyed by this whole thing. I mean, if it was necessary for me to check in while living in her house and under her rules, why doesn't the same rule apply to her? This is my house and I too would love to know if she'll be here for dinner. I would happily cook a chilli or a curry on the nights she's not here as she doesn't eat hot foods so at the moment, I'm just not making any of those meals. I would love to get a little excited at the thought of having dinner just hubby and I . . .I mean, it's the little things right? The little things that make you smile and take away the pain of a crappy stressful day.

In between flashbacks to my teens and 20's, I couldn't help but see my future. I have 3 children. I will be in teenage hell for multiple years. I'll wonder when my adolescents will be coming home, if they'll be coming home, who they're with, what they're doing?? I'll be having this same chat with all 3 of my kids, won't I? I'll be saying things like:

"let me know if you're home for dinner"
"call me if you can't get home, irrelevant of the time"
"don't get into a car with anyone if you think they've been drinking or taking anything"
"don't accept a drink (or anything else!!) from strangers"
"don't leave your drinks unattended"
"if you think you're going to school/out dressed like that, you can forget it"
"that's not a skirt, its a belt"
"whose house are you going to, will there be any adults there?"
"do I know these people you're hanging* out with?" *or whatever the term at the time is??

I've come to the conclusion this is some kind of preparation for when my kids hit this stage. Or perhaps some kind of payback karma for the times I said I'd be home for dinner and then was too drunk/distracted/busy having a good time (or all of the above) to actually come home for dinner? Some kind of revenge for lying to my mother all those years ago? bah! I'm over it! I'm not enjoying sharing my space, I'm not enjoying having another person to care for and clean up after. Over it I tell ya! I'll be sure to update you when she does eventually move out. Don't hold your breath though.

Sunday, 13 January 2013


2/52 - yep, I'm sticking with Jodi's challenge from Che and Fidel - seriously, check this blog out, it's just beautiful....

This week I wanted to share this Saturday afternoon tickle session with my three toddlers. . .  I was once again reminded that it really is the simple things that kids enjoy and remember, and us parents treasure forever.

It's been a few weeks since I've been home for a Saturday play with my kids as I've been working all weekend, every weekend - and until I looked back at the photos I snapped quickly on my iphone during this last minute, post dinner, end of day, kids in much need of a bath, tickle session, well I didn't realise just how much I missed them. .  .

I chose this photo despite it being blurry and out of focus, despite the fact that my son isn't looking at the camera. I chose it because it captures my toddlers perfectly, they're happy, they're smiling, laughing in fact and they seem really pleased to have me home. And I love them so.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

its moments like these

This afternoon my 2 oldest toddlers were just full of love for each other, and it was beautiful to see. All three played together really well for about 45 minutes which has gotta be some kind of record in the house of fighting tots!

Missy Moo had not long woken from her day sleep and was sat at the table having some afternoon tea. Monkey Man approached:

Monkey Man: can we have a cuddle?
Missy Moo: not right now, I'm a bit busy
Monkey Man: just a little one ok?
Missy Moo: ok, but make sure it's a little one
Monkey Man: I love you
Missy Moo: I love you too..... That was more than a little cuddle by the way

The last part made me giggle, she's so my daughter! I don't like my meals being interrupted and I'm not a huge fan of physical contact, unless of course its on my terms. hahaha

They then spent the afternoon playing shops, work, holidays, dolly dress ups and generally chasing each other around like lunatics. Considering it was some 43 degrees outside, they did well being cooped up inside. Little Miss desperately wants to play with them and she tries, and despite many knock backs, on rare occasions like today, the three will play and laugh together for what seems like forever. It really is moments like these that make the hard times worth it....

The house was trashed, there was trains and potato heads and cars EVERYWHERE but to see my 3 monkeys playing nicely together, hearing them say I love you and you're my best friend..... well, SO worth it. 


Sunday, 6 January 2013


I've decided to join in with Jodi from Che and Fidel and play along with her 52 Project - a portrait of your children per week.

I'm also doing Chantelle's photo a day challenge but I know me, and I know I won't stick it out til the bitter end, although I am determined to give it a red hot go!

So, here goes..... hopefully this little project sees an improvement in my photography skills, the willingness of my children to smile for a photo and my ability to see a project to the end... wish me luck. Lets face it, all 3 avenues need improvement. With three toddlers to capture, its a regular battle to get decent photos

Sunday 6th January 9.30am - sorry neighbours, oh and please excuse the washing in the background. It would be criminal not to take advantage of such beautiful summer weather xxoo