Friday, April 22, 2016

Behind every great kid.........

This morning I was at the supermarket trying to cram as much as possible into my trolley in record time, (it's my day off......there are books to be read and tea to be drunk) when I ran into an acquaintance I hadn't seen for a while. We exchanged polite chit-chat before she hit me with THIS bombshell; 'I saw you out and about with your children the other day' Gulp, here we go, I thought, insert some criticism veiled thinly as advice regarding offsprings vile behaviour here. 'They were SOOOOOO well behaved, you must be so proud............'
 Well, my jaw hit the floor, my eyeballs shot out of my head and in the stunned silence that followed you could have heard a pin drop. My first thought was 'that couldn't be me, she's mistaken me for someone else - some other blonde, late 30-something lady with 4 kids- there's plenty of us around. My second thought was 'maybe I could track down this amazing doppelganger of mine and we can trade kids, I'm sure she won't mind.' Supermarket lady was adamant though; it was definitely me; 'Your youngest was wearing a tutu, crop top and gumboots' Okay, yeah, definitely mine then, my youngest is the only nearly 7 year old on the Gold Coast who is still kicking 3 year old demented fairy fashion.
      Well, after that encounter I had a spring in my step and joy in my heart; 'My children are well behaved!' I sang quietly in my head as I conquered the fruit and veg section. 'My children are well behaved!' I wanted to blurt to the checkout dude as he took a million hours to load my groceries, 'My children are well behaved!' I grunted as I heaved my monstrosity of a trolley to the parked car. 'MY CHILDREN ARE WELL BEHAVED!!!' I stuck my head out the car window, blared music out of the stereo and felt the sunshine on my face as I drove home.
    The reason for such unadulterated joy? The feeling that maybe.....just maybe I haven't stuffed up this parenting gig entirely. That despite the fact that my children spend a good portion of their time screaming at each other, leaving apple cores under the couch and half drunk glasses of curdled milk on windowsills, that there is a teeny, tiny chance that I am doing a good job and that I am building good people.
    When the 15 year old's boss comments on his amazing work ethic.
    When the 13 year old comes home with mostly A's and excellent behavior on her report card.
     When Mr 9's teacher tells me how polite and well-mannered he is.
     When Miss 6 lights up a room with her cheeky smile and joie de vivre.
When our Friday afternoons are filled with laughter, mess, games and relaxation together. Those moments, those times, are telling me I'm doing a good job. And guess what? I bet you are too.


Friday, August 7, 2015

When Kids Say Stuff......

Kids say the darndest things. And the cutest. And sometimes the rudest......
Watching them wrap their little mouths around words such as spaghetti and stethoscope usually has highly entertaining results.
       But occasionally they come out with a word that you really wish they could blurt out accurately.
   In my 20 years of working with small people the number 1 word that kids mispronounce guessed it......truck. I swear 9 out 10 kids at some stage of linguistic ability put a big fat "F" in front of it instead of the acceptable "Tr".
   One child of mine was particularly memorable at this stage. He could deadset sense a truck approaching from miles away and the excitement would begin...
  "Here comes a F-uck Mummy! A F-uck!!! Here it comes! It's coming! Will it be a big F-uck? What colour will the F-uck be????' A great, big F-uck!!! Always at the top of his lungs and always repeating the word about 20 times. I swear the neighbours thought we were complete and utter potty mouths. Or he pulled the word out when the MIL was that was always 'interesting'.
    Here are some other shockers that my children have 'announced' at usually inappropriate times......
The time my daughter told me she wanted to grow up and become a 'Fashion Vagina"
When a certain Mr (that of 'truck' fame) referred to the Supermarket as the "Stupid Market" (and I tended to agree.....)
When we took my nephew bushwalking and he was looking everywhere for a big (st)dick.
Or very memorably when my sister (who is in her 30's) referred to an octopuses tentacles as "testicles"
     Along with the downright embarrassing linguistical nightmares comes the downright cute. Some of our cute little family sayings are now woven into the folklore of our family and we pronounce them this way permanently, they still give me a smile whenever I hear them......
   Inside Out is 'Inside Outside'
   Mozzarella is 'Monsterella'
   Kabana and Cheese is "Barnacles and Cheese"
   Coathangers are "Hoatcangers"
   Eleavator is "Alligator"
   Happy Birthday is "Happy Smurfday"
And we all love a trip to "Bunnies" instead of "Bunnings"
My favourite however is a big old fashioned "Huggle" instead of a hug. Infact I still subject my nearly Mr 15 to a huggle whenever I can. Now it's my turn to be the embarrassing one.....
What are some of the cute (and scary!!) things your kids have said over the years??


Thursday, July 23, 2015

Hi There.......

What's that sound?? That strange, creaking tapping sound? Oh yeah, it's my fingers on the keyboard. It's been about a hundred years since I last wrote anything (or more accurately 3 years....but who's counting?)
     I'm suprised that when I pulled the crusty old laptop out of my bag I didn't get attacked by a flock of rabid moths (do moths live in flocks? Or is it a herd of moths? A pack of moths? I'm going with flock......flock sounds good)
  Anyway, off on a tangent already. I feel terribly guilty that I have let my passion for writing diminish. I feel rusty, slow and out of shape, like all of my creativity has dried up or taken off on a very long holiday.
   But a few things have been calling me back to my little corner of cyberspace. I have been writing a little bit in secret. Just a scribble here and there, but when I get a teensy space of time to myself (and I'm not lying, any moment to myself is fleeting) my hands itch for paper and pen. Then a friend told me that they really miss my blog, that I always made her laugh with my descriptions of our crazy life. Hubby then topped it off by telling me I should write again (yup, he's still here, poor bugger)
    Hmmmm, I pondered, is the Universe trying to tell me something? Should I write again? So I popped onto my poor, neglected blog and had a look around.
  And she's exactly the same as she was, my old friend. Sure, she's slightly overgrown with weeds, disheveled and in the need of a good makeover. But a little bit of love an injection of sunshine and I'm sure I can make her glow again. And maybe, just maybe she can inject a bit of joie de vivre into this old writer.
    In my hiatus quite a few things have changed; The children - my terrific, tedious and terrible tribe are essentially the same personality wise. Just bigger.......more stubborn.......and not as cute. Sure, they still light up my life, but each day presents a range of challenges and disasters, just to keep on my toes....and slightly loopy.
   Hubby and I are older, a bit more wrinkled, just a little more worn and happy.....bursting with happiness.....just an exhausted kind of happiness.
   Our house is the same. A mess. Infact if it's humanely possible it's even more of a mess (I'll tell you why in a minute, and no, it's not because I'm lazy, although that is also true)
Toys occupy almost every surface, crumbs litter the floor, sand is embedded in my carpet and Mt Kosciwashko still takes pride of place in my walk in wardrobe.
     The big change is that I went back to work. Yup. You heard it. Work. Me. My life of leisure (Ha!) and luxury (HaHa!) is over and I am officially a WAHM. And guess what? I love it? I opened my heart and my home to a lovely group of little people and set up my own daycare. And it's perfect. It's messy, it's loud, it's funny and I have a life full of unconditional love and just a bit of mayhem. My kids are 'big brothers and sisters' to my daycare kids and our world bumps along nicely.
  So somewhere in the middle of this crazy town madhouse I hope to recapture a bit of my old creativity, recreate some of my favourite stories and reignite the fire that is this (neglected) passion of mine.
     Wish me luck!!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Run.......for your life.....

Yesterday I did something that 6 months ago would have been impossible. Yesterday I did something that not long ago people would have laughed out loud at the very prospect.

Yesterday, I ran in my first ever 10 kilometre fun run.

To me, I have just accomplished a miracle. For the past 10 years I have done very little in the way of exercise. I was busy, making and bringing up babies. No excuse, I can tell you now, but I used it all the time. I sneered at the thought of physical exertion of any description.

Coffee, Cake and Couch....that was my motto.

I don't know what changed. Maybe deep down I knew that I was unhealthy. Perhaps I knew that to continue this lifestyle would lead to my own self-destruction.

Maybe it was my Dad getting sick at the end of last year that made me realise that we are not all immortal. That I am not invincible. That I need to take care of myself to take care of my family properly.

I want to be a good role model for my children. I want them to realise that their Mum and Dad are healthy, fit and accomplished people.

Toward the end of last year I had started running/walking a short distance but had slacked off over Christmas.

So in January I started...

Wake at 5:30am, running gear on, dog on his lead, off I go.

That first day was hard, I swear I barely managed a kilometre. I huffed and puffed in the early morning sun. The dog pulled me along, almost dragging me.

I finished, exhausted....but strangely euphoric. Strange, that euphoric feeling. I hadn't achieved much and yet it was there, shimmering gently under the surface for the rest of the day.

The second day was much as the first, but at the end that happy glow again.

Day three, why am I liking this so much?

The end of week 1- hard
week 2 - still hard
week 3- 2 kilometres, no stopping.......... I tell you now I could have conquered the world that day.

As the weeks raced by, I ran further and faster. I clicked over 5 K's easily. But I struggled to get to 6 and then 7.

Then, one day the dog stopped dragging me, I started dragging the dog.

The day I ran 8 kilometres without stopping was amazing. I felt on top of the world, like I could achieve anything.

It was on my 10th week of running that I finally reached my goal of 10 kilometres.

I ran it easily several times before my ultimate goal of the 10km fun run.

Yesterday was hard. There were a lot of people jostling for position. The wind was strong. It felt far and difficult.

My head kept telling me, 'you can't do this, you can't do it' .......I can and I will.

Running towards that stadium was amazing, I knew my husband and children were there waiting for

As I ran in they yelled and cheered and I felt unstoppable.

I finished in under an hour. Which is my best ever time. But in all honesty I was just happy to finish.

The rest of the day was an exhausted, happy blur.

Last night as I tucked my gorgeous Mr 5 into bed, I was all geared up for the rain of compliments he always gives me if I do something great.

'So what did you think of Mum running in a race today?' I questioned.......
'Well, Mum I really didn't want to tell you this but it was kinda embarrassing'

Ummmmm, OK.

'Why?' I asked

'You run funny' was his prompt reply.

Thanks mate......the perfect end to my perfect day.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Healthy-ish Chocolate Chip Cookies

One of the many things that I seem to do at the beginning of each year is to give my family's eating habits a bit of a kick up the a***. I start to freak out that we are not healthy enough and then I give our whole pantry/fridge a make-over.

    Anyone familiar with my obsession with food would be aware that I love creating, making and baking sweet treats. I would bake up a storm at least three times a week and then we would eat it all. Of course our meals were always quite healthy, but these were also put under the microscope and given a bit of a shake up.

I really went to town on the sweets though. I haven't stopped baking, it is one of my favourite hobbies after all, I'm just giving our treats a bit of a healthy kick.
This recipe was tested out on friends only last week and was given the big 'thumbs up'. Now they are not 100% healthy, but I have substituted several ingredients to make them healthy-ish.

Healthy-ish Choc-Chip Cookies

3/4 cup rolled oats

1 cup SR wholemeal flour

½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

¼ cup butter, softened

¼ cup canola oil

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup brown sugar

1 large egg

I tsp vanilla extract

1 cup dark chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Grease and line two baking sheets.

Process oats in the food processor until fine. Transfer to a bowl and add flour, baking soda and salt. Beat butter with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add oil, sugars, egg and vanilla and beat until smooth and creamy. Add dry ingredients and beat together on low until combined. Fold through the choc chips.

Drop a teaspoonful of dough onto the baking sheets one at a time, 2 Cm's apart. Bake for 15 minutes or so. Cool before transferring to wire racks.

Monday, April 16, 2012

How To Be A Good Parent......

The year is 2012, which means several things. It's 20 years since I settled permanently in Australia. It's 8 years since I first started dating my husband (then boyfriend obviously) and it's 10 years ago that I became pregnant with my eldest daughter.


10 years ago today - the date memorised, I peed on a stick and those two little blue lines appeared. I remember it as though it was yesterday. A rush of emotions; disbelief, shock, trepidation, fear and joy....pure, simple, unadulterated joy. I had always been one of those people that hurtled toward parenthood, that made the decision very early on that 'When I grow up I wanna be a Mummy' and here I was pregnant...with my first baby.......all of my dreams, hopes and aspirations collided at that point.

Right from the start my focus was on my baby. I was obsessed about proper nutrition, exercising gently and even 'educating' the tiny little person growing inside me. I was one of those people that put headphones on my burgeoning belly and played Mozart...cringing now at the memory.

I read everything......and I mean everything about healthy pregnancies. Problem is that pregnancy is the easy part, it's when little bubs emerges that the 'real work' begins.

So, here I was tiny babe in arms and a big, bad world that I had to bring her into. Scared shitless doesn't even begin to cover it. But, in my typical obsessive style I did everything I could to become the 'Best Mum Ever'

Every waking moment, every second of every day was spent with this lovely, little person. I was devoted to the extreme. I cuddled her every time she cried, I freaked out at every little scrape and bruise, I obsessed over every little scrap of food that passed her lips.....poor bloody kid.

With my second pregnancy I relaxed slightly, I craved hash browns, eggs and bacon and ate them. I didn't read nearly as much. I rescued the poor child from listening to classical music.

When he arrived I was a bit more laid-back. I didn't carry-on about every squeak and whimper. He grew and thrived without me freaking out.

And so to child three. As you all know by now, relaxed doesn't even begin to cover it, she eats dirt, licks the dog, enjoys the cat's biscuits, plays in toilet water and thrives. Absolutely thrives.
She's independent, feisty and intelligent....they all are. But it surprises me that my parenting has changed so much, from obsessive to laissez-faire and everything in between.

What have my children taught me over the past 10 years? To be a good parent. To relax and enjoy. To care and love........To be the 'Best Mum Ever' for my children.

My greatest accomplishment!!!!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Cat's Miaow......

As I sit here with my new laptop on my (you guessed it!) lap, I am getting constantly interrupted. I've rewritten the same starting sentence around five times. I've corrected several spelling mistakes (and as we ALL know I do not 'do' spelling mistakes)

Now, you all may under the misconception that Miss Tornado Two is having another one of 'those' days. Well today she is a little ray of sunshine. Playing happily and quietly with her dolls and her dollshouse.

Today I am being interrupted by someone and something totally, let me introduce you.......

My helper........

Meet Pippa, our new and very adorable kitten.

On Friday Hubby and I made the journey to the GC Animal shelter and picked out Miss Pippa. It was a hard choice to make, there were so many lovely little babies there. Timid ones, shy ones, naughty, boisterous, crazy kittens everywhere.

Of course we chose a rumbustious one. Our household is pure chaos and a timid cat would soon feel the strain. Miss Pip fit the bill nicely, although lively she wasn't the craziest there. She loved getting picked up and having a snuggle. She purred loudly and often.

Once we had filled out our adoption papers we headed home.

The surprise waiting for the kids when they arrived home that afternoon was wonderful. Miss 9 (our animal lover) cried tears of joy. Miss 2 squealed with excitement, Mr 5 pulled out all her new toys and insisted she play with them 'now', Mickey (our dog) wagged his tail and gave her an enthusiastic lick.

When Mr 11 joined us the very next day he was beside himself. His cat that he had from when he was a baby passed away last year. So having a new friend really made his day, she slept with him that night and he was overjoyed.

As cute as the little ball of fluff is she is also very naughty. She races around the house at top speed. Her claws are sharp and she loves to launch herself at an unsuspecting passer-by. At night is her favourite time to play, she doesn't care if you are asleep or not, she'll just attack any limb protruding from the bedclothes. We have all taken to closing our doors at night to keep her out. Being awoken at 2am with claws digging into your foot is not an enjoyable experience I can tell you now.

So, as you can probably tell, Pippa is the perfect addition to our crazy household. She fits right in amongst the screaming, yelling, mess, mayhem and pure and utter joy that is our house......................

Welcome Miss Pippa-Cat!