Sunday, October 30, 2011

How Many?

Today, we ventured out with the family to Bunnings to buy some vermin eradicators. Now, I'm not going to go into the disgusting details of why I need (yet again) to stock up on mouse traps and rat sack...but I do...Ugh.
Anyway I'm way off topic as to what I was going to post about today.
As per usual whenever we venture out...all six of us...we tend to get a fair amount of attention. People tend to stare. I can see them do a quick head count of the number of children, some smile and nod happily, some shake their heads, some actually comment...
'Wow, you have your hands full'
'Haven't you guys heard of television?'
'You do know what causes it don't you?'
Um, yes, yes we do.
We tend to get this where ever we go and today was no exception, luckily this trip was mostly positive, at other times I have either been deeply insulted by people's reactions or  really annoyed.......for example;
A while ago I was at a bit of a gathering. It was not with my usual social circle, so making small talk with relative strangers was a difficult occupation. Around my friends who know me well and understand me and my family I usually feel like a little ray of sunshine. Shiny, happy, sparkling. At an event with strangers I feel dull, boring and over-sensitive. This was not helped by a conversation I had struck up with someone just introduced to me;
‘So, are any of these yours?’ asked the person in question, indicating the group of children playing happily in the garden.
‘Um, yes’ I answered.
‘Oh, how many?
‘Well....all of them actually.’
The shock in this persons face was instantly readable as he took in the children playing in the vicinity.
Miss Two was happily eating grass at my feet.
Mr 5 was racing around with a soccer ball at a million miles per hour.
Miss 8 & Mr 11 were playing sword fights with a pair of sticks a short distance away.
‘All...... all...all of them?’  This person stuttered unbelievably.

I paused and watched the little monsters for a few moments.
I guess in this day and age having four children can be perceived as unusual. People who first meet us and find out the sheer number of our offspring usually regard us with a mixture of disbelief, amusement and a bit of an idea that we may be half crazy. Maybe they are right. But the decision we made when we were having our family is that we wanted a big one.  We love the craziness, we love the chaos, we love the sheer love that we give and receive in return. That’s not to say that these things don’t occur in smaller families...of course they do.  I’m just saying the right decision for us was four. Four felt right. Four felt complete. Four made us.
I turned to my questioner with a mixture of defiance and pride. I looked him straight in the eye.
‘Yes’ I said firmly “They are all mine....... each and everyone’

To say this conversation irked me was an understatement. Maybe I'm ultra-sensitive about people regarding my family in a negative light..and so I should be. My family is the centre of my existence and of who I am.
Anyway, rant over, I have death to dish out to rodents.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Fridays are For Us....

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For as long as I can remember Hubby has been working 7 days a week.
'The poor man' I hear you thinking, 'He must be exhausted' Yes, yes, I'm sure he is. He works hard to provide for us and we are lucky that he has a good job and therefore I can stay at home and simply 'Be Mum'.

But.....his working so much does not lead to a harmonious life. It leads to a fair amount of stress, for both of us. It also leads to the inevitable. Which is that he is missing out on the kids growing up.

Because they are growing up. Really fast, scarily fast. And I'm a little sad, because once it's gone we can't get it back again.

Mr 11 is leaving childhood. He is so responsible and so mature that sometimes I feel like shaking him and crying 'Just be a kid again!' He helps me to take care of his younger siblings, he cleans up around the house. It is wonderful, but it is also sad. Sad because his young and carefree days are nearly over. He no longer plays whimsical games of make-believe, he no longer sees shapes in the clouds and fairies in rainbows. The adult world is beckoning...and he is beginning to follow.

Miss 8 is losing her selfish streak. She is beginning to see that there are other people in the world besides her. She is starting to care. Yesterday, when she saw that her brother ran dead last in his athletics carnival running race she promptly burst into tears. On our return home she dug out her second place ribbon from last year and gave it to him. It was a beautiful moment. She still has a vivid and exciting imagination, yet she now knows that the world isn't rose-tinted as she previously night she worries about everyone and everything, she still falls asleep in my arms.

Mr 5 is on overload. He is cramming so much into that little brain of his at school that by the time he gets home he is ready to explode. Running around outside helps him to let off steam, yet a fair amount of that steam gets directed at his sisters and I. His teacher tells me that he puts in 110% with everything he does. So, by the time school is over for the day I pick up the shattered and exhausted shell that is my boy. His temper flares, he cries easily, he falls asleep in the car, he refuses to do his homework, eat his dinner or have a bath. Everything is a struggle. Sometimes, I'm almost relieved when he is asleep for the night. And yet, he can be the kindest, sweetest little boy I know...and his cuddles are truly something wonderful.

Miss 2 is a delight. That difficult and demanding stage of toddler hood seems to be finished and she is starting to become a 'real' little girl. She plays dollies endlessly, chatting away happily in her little made up language to all her charges. She dances to her own beat, kicking her legs in the air, twirling like a little fairy ballerina. She says new words everyday. Today we were playing 'doctors' and she attempted the word 'stethiscope'...with hilarious results. She is the fussiest eater going. Sometimes she seems to exist on only air and yogurt. I worry endlessly, she is two and a half and yet weighs the same as a one year old. She is teeny-tiny, with her little pixie face. Her babyishness is melting away, despite my attempts to prolong it, despite my desperation to hold onto it, my last baby is changing before my very eyes.

And so, with all of this in mind, I finally told my beloved Hubby about my fears. My fear of them growing up without him. And so, he has promised to spend a day with us.... tomorrow, Friday, is our day....and I'm going to make sure we embrace it with both hands, for all of us.

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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Birds and the Bees.

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For the past couple of months, our family has played host to a bustling community of silk worms. These creepy, crawly, ugly things have munched their way through a ridiculous amount of mulberry leaves and I have found myself constantly cleaning up large piles of silk worm poop....nice.

A week or two ago they started to spin cocoons, and it was bliss not having to scrounge the neighbourhood for leaves to feed the little buggers.

Then, wonder of wonders we had moths, a huge shoebox full of the things.

Now according to the knowledgeable Miss 8, the moths don't need food...we just wait for them to lay eggs. But while we wait for the egg-laying to begin the moths are engaged in 'other' activities.

This was brought to my attention by a rather hysterical Miss 8 one afternoon......

'Mum! Mum! The moths are doing something weird!'
'What is it honey?' I asked, none the wiser.
'They're stuck together and they won't come apart!'
She showed me her moth collection and they were all....every single one of the gross little things....... were engaged in, well, moth sex.
'Look Mum, look! Their butts are stuck together! How do I make them stop?'
'We-ll, you don't want to make them stop, they're making babies'
Miss 8 stared at me in horrified disbelief while she digested this information.
'You mean they're doing that S-E-X thing?' she whispered
'Yes, yes they are'
'Oh eeeeew! That is so disgusting!
We stared at the little moth nymphos in silence for a few minutes.....they were really going for it.

'Ugh!' said Miss 8 as she gathered up her box of pro-creating insects, 'I'm going to put these under my bed'

'Why are you doing that' I asked

'Because, these guys need some serious privacy!'

Monday, October 24, 2011

Wham, Bam, Thank you Ma'am!

Anyone driving with small children in the car may be all too familiar with scenes of pure and utter mayhem and of course, the distraction that this can lead too.

Inevitably, Mr 5 and Miss 8 will partake in some form of fisticuffs, Miss 2 will whinge, cry and moan and Mr 11 will provide a running commentary....'Are you sure this is the right way? The speed limit is 60 here you know. There's another car coming! This music is lame, can I change it?'

So driving for me involves lots of gritting of teeth and chanting 'Stay calm, stay calm'

Yesterday was no exception. After the torturous drive from the GC to Brisbane, kids packed into my people mover like sardines and Hubby absent from proceedings as usual, we made it to the park where I was meeting the assorted cousins, Aunty's and Uncles.

The next step was finding a car park.

Aaaarrgggh! Nightmare of Nightmares there is nothing I hate more than trying to squeeze my humongous mover of small people into a parking space created for people who drive a Honda Jazz or a Nissan Micra.

So, with assembled children screaming, yelling, whinging, crying and instructing, I 'attempted' to move the monstrosity into a space of infinitesimal proportions. In I went, slowly, carefully. I backed out a bit to make absolutely sure, then back in, gently, so gently. It was then that I heard it....the sound that all drivers dread....that unmistakable scrape of metal kissing metal.


My car had taken a distinct liking to the car in the space next door and had shared its affections. On it's back bumper.

I discarded my parking attempt. Parked a short distance away and then raced back, with kidlets in tow to asses the damage of my vehicle's paramour.

A bump, bruise, scratch on the bumper was there for all the world to see. I was horrified, mortified, beside myself. The kids were all standing there and saying (loudly)
'Ooooh Mum, you hit that car, Oooooh, you are in so much trouble, Ooooh the police are going to come.' Thanks a lot kids, my confidence has just sky rocketed.

Now, I wasn't sure what to do next. Do I travel around the enormous park and ask each and every person if it was their car? Or do I leave a note?

So I wrote a quick letter apologising and giving my name and number. Then I tried to have fun at the park with the kids...which was virtually impossible. I kept waiting for the phone to ring and for some irate person to curse me to the heavens...but it didn't.

It was later, much later that the call finally came. I had made it home, with my sanity barely intact, Hubby had made an appearance not long after and it was he that took the call.

'Oh, the poor dear' said the lovely car owner over the phone, 'Tis but a scratch, tell her to not worry.....Oh, and thank her for leaving a note, that was very considerate'

Considerate? Me? The person who just rear ended your car? Are you quite sure?

So despite the new bump that my monster truck has just acquired I now feel immensely relieved that I encountered one of the few people that may have viewed the predicament in my favour. Wonders will never cease.

And I have learnt my lesson....Me + Small parking spaces = Epic fail!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Oh No! I think I'm a 'Stage Mum!'

Yesterday, Miss 8 and Mr 5 performed in their first ever major dance concert. It was at The Arts Centre on the Gold Coast and on stage in front of a rather large group of people.

Now, not one of my fabulous four attend any sort of dance school or dance training. They are unfortunately as uncoordinated and musically inhibited as what I am. Every one of us have two left feet. When we dance we look like a bunch of deranged ostriches.

My son's Prep teacher had other ideas however. Lovely lady that she is, she seems to have extreme faith in my darling children's non-existent ability. As the school's dance teacher she was full of enthusiasm that my little robotic, out of time monsters would somehow be able to perform admirably.

So, along with a whole bunch of other little (gorgeous) Preps, Grade 1's, 2's and 3's they went thorough weeks and weeks of rehearsals to reach the climax of their performance last night.

We were at rehearsals for a good portion of the day yesterday. My children were introduced to the wonderful world of dancing on the stage. They handled it well for little people who have never really been exposed to anything like that before. I, however, wasn't quite so composed. Everytime they appeared on stage, my heart would hammer, I would start sweating, tears would begin to form in the corner of my eyes. Then, I would start cheering. Yes, embarrasing 'Stage Mom' that I have suddenly become I couldn't help myself. My babies would alight the stage and I would start carrying on like a raving lunatic.

The performance last night was marvellous. I could not quite believe that this admirable teacher managed to get such a large group, made up predominatly of 5 and 6 year olds (and my Miss 8) to perform so well. But they did.

Although I had to seriously restrain myself from screaming hysterically I did succumb to tears of pride and of course, some rather well-behaved cheering (I was sitting next to my MIL after all)

So, it may be that was my first and last opportunity to be a 'Stage Mom'. Being the complete and utter shameless OTT cheerleader for my children that I am, I have to admit...I loved every second of it!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

To Sleep...Perchance to Dream.

I'm sitting at my desk with the best intentions in the world. I want to write, no, I need to write, yet some sort of external force is preventing me from writing the post I had in mind for today. This 'force' as I shall call her has decided that the five minute cat nap she had in the car today counts as sleep and therefore she no longer needs any tonight......which kind of sucks, want to know why? Because I had actually planned on sleeping. You know that thing you do when you close your eyes and actually rest? Yeah, that one.

At the moment sleep is elusive. I desire it, I need it, yet it is always slightly out of reach. Something or someone always interrupts it. Usually one of the kids needing the toilet, a drink, a hug. There are Bogey men to chase, wet beds to change, illness to deal with. It also doesn't help that Miss 2  has now joined us in bed of a night. I know, I know, rod for my own back and all that....but I'm just too damn tired to do anything about it.

Then there is Hubby. Hubby has a tendency to want to grope at night time. He would happily sleep with his big, hairy body wrapped around my significantly smaller and rather more hairless version. Trouble is that it's kind of hard to exhale (or inhale for that matter) with the great lummox on top of me. 'Would you move!' I growl as best I can when having difficulty breathing. So, he grumps off to his side of the bed and then proceeds to fall asleep and snore.....loudly. I'm sure that it's his way of seeking revenge.

Even when they are all sleeping soundly it seems that I am not. I toss and turn. I think endlessly. I hear strange noises and imagine all sorts of things. The clock ticks pathetically in my ear. 'Sleep dammit, just sleep!' I tell myself, although it seems that it's not only Hubby and the children who don't listen to me...... I don't even listen to myself.

At some ridiculous hour I finally nod off, only to be awoken by an affectionate lick from the dog, waking me to take him on his morning sleep is forsaken for another night.

But tonight I have other plans......

While I have been writing things have brightened, I am sipping relaxing chamomile tea given by a friend. Miss 2 has finally dozed off on my lap (Hallelujah!) Hubby is still at work. A few chapters of a good book are awaiting me. There is hope for me yet.

So sleep, my elusive friend, tonight I am seeking you. Please, please, please co-operate and let me partake in some much needed and wanted rest. Thank you!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Write On Wednesdays....Sunshine!

Write On Wednesdays Exercise 19 - Sunshine in a cup. Write the words of Emily Dickinson: "Bring me sunshine in a cup" at the top of your page. Set a timer for 5 minutes. Write the first words that come into your head after the prompt. Don't take you pen off the page (or fingers off the keyboard). Stop only when the buzzer rings! Do this exercise over and over if you wish. Write beyond 5 minutes if you like, you can link it up as an extra post.


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The clouds formed an ominous blanket over the world, shrouding it in darkness.
The little girl stood on her front porch, her face turned skyward, drops of rain tapping gently on her visage. Then, suddenly, her eyes widened with surprise and then joy. She watched the sky with awe, her face creased into a wide smile. A smile of innocent beauty.

She darted inside, flushed with excitement;
'Mumma! Mumma! Come and see, come and see!' the child's voice reached a high and piercing note. Her Mother, busy with a small baby, smiled knowingly at her daughter. She silently wondered what the child could be excited about now. A fairy in the garden? An imagined unicorn? Maybe a mermaid in the swimming pool?
'What is it now sweetie?' said her Mother as she followed her toward the front of the house.

Then, she saw it too. A single ray of light breaking through the clouds. It sparkled, it shone, it shimmered. Her eyes followed its glowing path to the point where it suffused the world with warmth and light.

'Mumma' said the little girl, her voice hushed with wonder,
'It's an angel fallen from heaven'

Visit inkpaperpen for some more sunshine!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Beautiful Butter Cake with Lemon Icing

This is a classic cake. Easy, delicious and absolutely fool-proof. The cake itself is moist and beautiful, the icing; tangy and sweet. Perfect for a special occasion....or any occasion really. I make this regularly and it never ever fails.

1 2/3 cups self raising flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 pinch salt
125 grams butter
250 grams caster sugar
80 mls oil (I use canola)
1 tsp vanilla
zest and juice of 1 lemon
3 eggs
125mls milk
1 tsp brown vinegar

2 cups icing sugar
100grams butter
zest and juice of 1 lemon

Preheat the oven to 170C, line and grease a round cake pan and line with baking paper. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. In a measuring cup pour in your milk and add the teaspoon of vinegar, you want the milk to go sour, which creates a similar effect to buttermilk. In a separate bowl mix together oil, butter, sugar, vanilla and zest until the mixture is thick, pale and creamy. Add eggs to the butter mix one at a time ensuring you incorporate each one fully before adding the next. Add half the flour mixture and sour milk and beat until combined, scrape the bowl and then add the rest of the flour mixture. Beat until all incorporated. Pour your batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool completely before icing.

For the icing, sift the icing sugar into a bowl. Add butter, lemon zest and juice and beat with electric beaters until creamy. Spread liberally over the top of the cake.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The make everything better fairy.

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I have a fairy. No, really I do. She's the 'Make everything better fairy'. Unfortunately for the poor dear I rely on her quite a lot to wave her magic wand and fix all the problems in my little world......

Feeling unappreciated?
Children being ratbags?
Deprived of sleep?
Grumpy spouse?
Squashed under the massive load of unfolded washing?
Deprived of Internet access?

Just pay a visit to said fairy and the day will seem brighter, the worries will melt away and you can face the world again.

Now, the 'Make everything better fairy' is in great demand. Seems that her reputation for fixing things has become widely known. There are others in far greater need than I. But somehow my fairy has time for everyone.

Sometimes I wonder, 'Who makes everything better for my fairy?' Should I pull out my magic wand, dust it off and attempt to wave it in her direction? Isn't it only fair that after years of her fixing everything for me that I should reciprocate?

So, I'm pulling out my 'How to be a better fairy' book, I've found my wand and I'm dusting up my skills. Because one day, my fairy friend, when you need me, I'm going to be there for you too.

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Thursday, October 13, 2011

How Do I Love Thee?

Let me count the ways....

1. When I wake in the morning and the first one I see is you. You smile your little pixie smile and reach out to brush my cheek with your hand. My heart lights up with the joy that is you.

2. We cuddle and snuggle to greet the day. You slurp up your favourite drink (Milo) and look so cute with your little milk moustache.

3. I have a shower and without fail you will join me. I pick you up and you nestle your head into my shoulder. I cover your little face in kisses.

4. You choose your favourite outfit for the day. As long as it's pink and has frills and ruffles you are happy.

5. We take the big kids to school. You greet everyone with a cheery smile. People are enchanted by your verve for life, your cheeky nature. You walk into your brother's classroom like you own it. The teacher smiles knowingly.

6. The first tantrum of the day. Although your arms are flailing and your face is red from the exertion of yelling I scoop you up in my arms. 'It's OK' I mutter while I quietly shush your cries and wipe your tears.

7. I watch you play with your dollies. You love them and cuddle them. One day you will make a wonderful Mummy.

8. 'Mumma, Mumma' you jabber in your cute little language 'My eat a appie?'
'Yes, darling you can have an apple'

9. Music is playing and you bop away happily. Dancing to a rhythm all of your own

10. Asleep and oh, so beautiful. I watch you for a moment, gently breathing, your eyelashes flutter.

I love you my darling.

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Chore Bore....

If there is one thing that is kind of 'expected' of a Stay At Home Mum - besides taking care of the children - would be to keep home and hearth neat, tidy, pristine.

Although that doesn't seem to happen in this household.

You see, I don't like housework. Quite frankly, I find it boring, hideously strenuous and a complete and utter waste of time.

It's a waste of time because the minute after I clean something up it all seems to be back again moments later. Mess, mess and more mess...all caused by those darling little creatures called children.....

Case Study #1:

Mr 11....

Quite possibly the tidiest of the four....although has the tendency to hide all his clean/dirty clothes under his bed in an untidy jumble. Either because he can't be bothered to put the clean ones in his draws or he can't be bothered to put his dirty dacks in the laundry.

Case Study #2:
Miss 8.....

Although she is a mean creator of fabulous meals in the kitchen, her clean up afterwards leaves a lot to be desired. Same goes with the clean up in her bedroom, or after she's been in the bathroom....or anywhere really. Money is the one and only motivator for this sassy young lady.

Case Study #3:

Mr 5........

Although every one of his toy cars may be precisely lined up in his bedroom, doesn't mean that he plays the same game when it comes to tidying anything else up. Typically this little guy has a strategy if he's asked to help with any job whatsoever....and that is to run away and hide....and you know what? It seems to work for the miniature monster.

Case Study #4:

Miss Tornado Two....

She's cute...and therefore exempt from anything other than being damn gorgeous.

Case Study #5:

The Mumma......

Bone-idle lazy. Adept at making cups of tea and reading large novels. Doesn't like any housework that requires effort. Quite talented at batting eyelashes at he does all the work. Amazing at making a huuugggee mess in the kitchen...and leaving it for the aforementioned spouse.

Case Study #6:

The Hubby....

Poor Bastard.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

My 'Kick The Bucket' List;

 I think that most people at some stage have written a bucket list. I've read and heard many, many of them and nodded away thinking 'I would like to do that too' For some reason I have never attempted to write one of my own....until now.

Do the Gold Coast Marathon 10K run. I know that it's not a huge distance, the marathon itself would be a far more impressive goal...but this is me I'm talking about, until recently I was 'allergic' to exercise of any kind so 10Ks is a pretty decent aim for someone of my fitness calibre.

Travel around NZ in a camper. Which is our plan for next year. Hopefully we will return with our sanity intact!

Drive a rally a race. Sounds insane...and it is. But for some reason it has always been a secret ambition of mine.

Go to Hogwarts....And I'm only half joking.

Get published. A book or either writing for a newspaper or magazine would be my idea of career heaven.

Go to the loo...without being interrupted, small goal but it is nigh on impossible.

Dance in the moonlight.....completely and utterly starkers....Oh, I forgot, already done that one...Ok, would like to do it again!

Foster a child. Although I've finished having my babies I know that there is room in our lives and hearts for more. It would be a wonderful thing if we could brighten the existence of a little person who's future would be bleak otherwise.

 Lie on the beach on a tropical island....and read. (A Pina Colada wouldn't go astray either)

There are many, many other things that I would like to do and achieve personally and as a family. But this will do as my little tentative 'bucket list' .....for now anyway.

Do you have any secret goals/plans that you would like to achieve? Either in the near future or at some point in your life?

Friday, October 7, 2011

It's a Jungle Out There!

Her destination loomed up ahead. Large and frightening....a blot on the otherwise pristine landscape.

The Mother shuddered with a mixture of fear and loathing. Her heart pumped manically through her veins, her palms sweating, her brow furrowed with concentration.

She had a get in and get out as fast as she could...with minimum loss of life and limb.

This was her job, her responsibility, her role. The Mother, The gather she must.

On her arrival, she saw that many had arrived before her. It was a chaotic scene of tempers and frustration. She joined them; clutching her youngest child protectively to her chest.

She fought for position, for dominance. To procure the best for her offspring. To ensure that they would survive. I am Mother....hear me roar.

Her child wiggled and flailed about. She struggled to restrain her as she tried to
collect the necessities she needed. The Mother hastily fed the child the last of her  dwindling supplies. She, herself, ate nothing. Operating on pure adrenalin alone.

Then, she saw one. Another of her kind. The same panicked expression, the same frenzied grabbing of provisions. Holding her child securely, attempting to ward of any unwanted intruders or worse, bestowals of advice.

They looked at each other, the Mothers, and between them crossed a look of understanding, a common goal, the same instinct of survival.

The Mother approached the end of her journey with relief. Still not letting her guard down, but with a sense of impending freedom approaching.

And then she was out, finished, complete. Child safe. Supplies gathered. Her job was done.

As she drove away the sun shined, the birds sang, the child slept. She sighed with relief as she looked in the rear view mirror - at the quickly fading reflection of the giant 'Woolworths' sign.

'Thank god that's over' she muttered....until next week anyway.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

An 8 year old Fashionista!

Today was free dress day at my children's school (or as a friend says 'pay dress day' as we all are expected to make a donation)

Anyway, I digress; today was free dress day at school.

Mr 5 was up at the crack of dawn as always. He quickly choose some appropriate clothing...jeans, long sleeved shirt, jacket...and was off to eat breakfast.

Easy, not a problem, stress free, argument free, just dress and go.

Miss 8 on the other hand was a different story. It was a debacle more fitting to a temperamental teenager rather than an 8 year old girl.

I had already put out some clothing that I deemed appropriate for her age and the weather. She poo-pooed them as soon as she saw them on the end of her bed.

'Mu -um!' she sighed in her best exasperated 'you don't know anything' voice.
'I can't wear stuff like that! I'll look like a baby!'

What's wrong with a shirt and jeans? That's what I want to know.

I hastily pulled out another outfit. Long top and leggings.

"I wore that last free dress day Mum!' she exclaimed in her best 'you don't remember anything' voice.

Scavenging through her wardrobe I came across a pretty dress.

'No one wears clothes like that Mum! It's not fashionable!' said Madam in her best 'do I really have to put up with such stupidity?' voice

That was it.
I had had enough.
'Choose your own clothes then' I huffed and flounced out of the bedroom.

Two hours (exaggeration) and 45 outfits later (exaggeration) she emerged from her room wearing precisely the outfit I had originally picked out for her. She looked at me with her best 'don't you dare say anything' look. I looked back at her and smiled.
'You look lovely darling' I said soothingly....
 But secretly...what I wanted to say was.....

'Nah, nah, nah-nah, nah, told you so!'

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Write On Wednesdays.......A Ghost Story

This week for Write On Wednesday the theme was choose your own adventure. Now, technically I was supposed to go back, choose an activity from a previous week and do that....but I've been very naughty and I chose to write a little ghost story directed at my 8 year old daughter who is right at the age of loving to be scared by such things!
I hope no one minds too much that I deviated from the actual activity!

Hopefully blogger will let me comment on every post this week, and if not I'll attempt to email instead.

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 Her footsteps echoed loudly, announcing to anyone listening her presence. She
stopped just outside the closed door and placed her hand upon it. The wood was
unnaturally cold, she could feel the rough grain underneath her hand and it
grounded her. Mackenzie reached for the knob and turned it - the door opened easily - she stepped inside and looked around;

Although sunlight streamed through the open window, the room was oppressing
and cold. The chill seemed to seep from the floorboards, through Mackenzie’s
shoes, into her very bones. Mackenzie could sense the baleful influence that permeated the room making the hairs on her neck and arms prickle with fear.

‘Hello?’ She called out apprehensively, 'is anyone there?’.......the seconds ticked by
as she waited for some sort of response. She knew there was a presence in the room.... she could feel it.

Then she heard something, the soft sound of somebody weeping. Childlike and
feminine, Mackenzie instinctively knew that it was a young girl. The sound was
terrible; heartbroken, distressing, it tore at her soul.

‘Can you hear me? What’s wrong?’ she called out; the weeping then became louder.
‘I want to help you!’ Mackenzie cried as she looked around wildly. Suddenly the door behind her slammed shut; Mackenzie jumped with fright and whirled around. She reached out to open the door, fumbling in her fear and desperation. Panicking, Mackenzie tried desperately to turn the knob but it would not yield. Something had locked her in!

Then she realised the child was no longer weeping. Laughter filled the room,
malicious, spiteful laughter.

Head over to inkpaperpen to read some more adventures!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Honesty Is The Best Policy!

It is my theory that all babies are born with an honesty gene. This gene remains dormant during infant hood and then rears it's ugly head at around the age of 3, peaking at 5 and then generally diminishing after the age of 8...until around 10, when children become masters of tact and 'the little white lie'

So, if my theory is correct, Mr 5 should currently be in the throes of brutal honesty........which he is.......let me demonstrate;

This morning, after returning from my usual run I vanished into the shower for a few moments of quiet and blistering heat. Mr 5 followed me and moments later was joining me in the shower with an array of his favourite super hero dudes...honestly, I would much prefer to shower without Batman looking on...thank you very much.

I tried to ignore his boisterous game in such a confined space and went about washing my hair as usual.

It was then that I felt a sharp poke on my bottom cheek.....
'Mum' said Mr 5 cheerfully "Mum, did you know your butt wobbles when I poke it? Did ya know that Mum? Watch Mum and I'll show you...look!'

Poke, Poke....Wobble, Wobble.

'Thanks for that mate' I muttered as I extricated myself from the shower cubicle. Yes, I did know my butt wobbled and no, I didn't need the demonstration as proof.

I swear if I listened to everything my children said I would have the worlds biggest complex;

There was the time - shortly after Mr 5 was born and Miss 8 had just started her 'honesty phase'  - that we were in a change room together. I was trying on a dress for an upcoming wedding and was having trouble finding something that didn't enhance my very obvious mummy tummy. 'Mum!' shrieked Miss 3 (at the time) 'You have the fattest tummy ever! Look it's all blobby!' Unfortunately all the nearest holes to crawl into and die were already full of other mortified Mothers out shopping with their honest children.

'Oh good girl Mummy' said she of the loudest voice in history - when we were in a public toilet together one day,  'You did three big poos!'
Needless to say we hid in that cubicle until all the other patrons had took quite a while.

Unfortunately Hubby is rarely the one 'copping it' in the honesty stakes. And when he does the children are quite complimentary; like the time we were at a friend's BBQ and Mr 5 announced to everyone 'My Daddy has a big penis'.

'That's my boy' said Hubby proudly.

My advice to anyone about to enter this brutal...but very entertaining stage.... is to lie low for a while. Avoid confined spaces where children can look at you under a microscope. Avoid public places where they can blurt to the world about all of your faults. Avoid any situation that may bring you embarrassment and ridicule....or you can develop tough skin, laugh it off and enjoy this funny, delightful and very truthful age.....just like I did.

Monday, October 3, 2011

A Romantic Getaway.

First of all I would like to send ‘big hugs’ to all the lovely people who floated past this page yesterday/today and left some love. You all helped me to feel so much better. Today, I feel stronger and happier. Today my head is clear and I feel like I can deal with the world just a little bit better. Thank you.

Now, I’m going to rewind just a little bit. To Friday night when my darling husband and I made our little ‘escape’ and managed to spend a whole night all alone........mmmmm, bliss!

We had planned to go away months in advance. So, I had researched romantic getaways on the Internet. We didn’t want to travel too far from our children so we settled on the picturesque mountain village of Springbrook.  Anyone not knowing where this is it is in the hinterland behind the Gold Coast. One of the (many) great things about living on the GC is that you can be at the beach and then 15 minutes later you can be out in the rainforest...amazing.

So, we travelled  the winding (and sometimes frightening) road up the mountain and before long we were in the beautiful little village of Springbrook. We made our way to our accommodation, which had been recommended to me via a friend.
'The Mouses House' is set amongst pristine rainforest . When we arrived we visited the friendly and accommodating owners and then made our way to our chalet; The chalets are set a good distance apart to insure complete privacy...which is oh, so important when you are on a romantic getaway!

The chalet.....

and the view outside.

To say the setting is reminiscent of a fairytale is not exaggerating. And it wasn't odd or even remotely cheesy that the chalets were named after fairytale characters. The chalet that welcomed us was very aptly named 'Bashful'
Bashful wrapped us up it's warm embrace from the moment we entered. The interior was gorgeous, inviting and very, very clean. We were at home straight away. It wasn't long before we settled in front of the fire place with a glass of, that's what I'm talking about!
Everything was beautiful and comfortable but the thing that struck me, more than anything else...was the silence.....having lived in close quarters with four children for a very long time does not give you much of a chance for contemplative thinking or long intense talks with Hubby or even a visit to the toilet uninterrupted...but we did all of these things...and more (wink, wink!)

Looking a bit craggy first thing in the morning!
We ate delicious food, went on rambling walks and generally soaked up the beauty and the atmosphere. We slept...all night long (yes, a miracle!)We talked for hours and reconnected. It was wonderful...magical.

So we've planned to return. Every year on our wedding anniversary (even though the children will probably come with us from now on) Next time we plan to stay a little longer and you know what? I can hardly wait!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

I'm doing the best I can.

On struggle street. Drowning in chaos. Up shit creek without a paddle. That's me.

I'm doing the best I can. I'm trying to manage the children, this house, the mayhem of everyday life with as much aplomb as I can's not working.

After the fairytale that was Hubby's and my escape on Friday night we returned on Saturday to reality...and to complete disorganised chaos. I thought I had everything planned to a tee. I thought I had communicated with everyone that I needed to and we could have a brief amount of alone time, time to recoup and just be together. We did just that, but when we returned....let's just say the proverbial shit hit the proverbial fan.

So, today I'm flat. I'm disappointed and I'm just a little bit annoyed (a little bit? Let's just say a lot) We won't be doing it again....which is sad. Because we needed it...we really did.

I try to always do the right thing. I really do. I've always gone out of my way to make sure people don't think I'm taking advantage of them. If I make a mistake it is completely accidental. We all make's how we learn, grow and move on.

I don't always live up to expectations. I feel like I'm constantly trying to prove that I'm good enough, I work hard at keeping everyone happy. It's impossible...I know that now.

Today, I feel a little bit broken. Today I feel like I'm in a million pieces.

But tomorrow.....I'll be brave again tomorrow.

image from