Saturday, 10 December 2011

Cherish what you have

Today I caught up with my dad.  We don't catch up often, I can count on one hand the amount of times I've seen him since I moved to tassie, and he only lives an hour away.  I don't have the best relationship with my dad, for years I hated him, hated him for not having any contact with us, hated him for not loving me, hated him for walking away from his kids - divorcing us as well as my mum.

My time down here has taught me that he does love me, and any issues that he has towards showing it, are his alone. Much like my awkwardness in showing my kids I suppose, if you're not shown love, its hard to show love.  So instead of focusing on what I don't have (a close relationship, time with his grandkids etc etc) I'm going to cherish what he does give me of himself.  I know its difficult for him to take the time to come and see us, because of his current wife and what he has to live with.

So thanks Dad, thanks for coming up and seeing us today.  Thanks for taking me to see Nan's grave, paying my respects before I leave the state.

Bye Nan, I miss you.

Then I took some other pictures of my Dad with the kids and myself.  They aren't the greatest, but they are all I have.  Who knows when I will see him again - depends on whether he follows through with coming to see us all in Queensland!

Dad and The Baby

Dad with Sparrow and Coo

Speedy didn't want to participate in photos today, she's too busy getting her molars instead.

Me, Dad and Sparrow.

I've dropped my expectations of what I think a father should be, to try and make my dad live up to that isn't fair, I wouldn't want him to have certain expectations of me, I'm my own person and he should accept me for who I am and what I bring to his life.

Same as what I will now do for him.

And even though you're a hell crazy driver Dad - stay safe down here in Tassie, try to see your brother a bit, and remember that I love you.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

My inspiration

I'm sure we all have people around us that inspire us.  Tonight, I'm going to blog about mine.

My "person" just lost a lot of weight.  Several dress sizes to be precise.  Her determination and tenacity is damn impressive, and I can't wait till I'm in her company and she can pass on some of her many tricks to help me along in my weight loss journey just that little bit more.

Also - she hasn't just inspired me for weight loss, but she was also my inspiration for my VBAC.  Although I didn't get my VBAC the first time, it was her that inspired me to go for it in the first place.  This beautiful woman had 2 successful VBAC's (and with a private hospital no less ;)) and has always been one of my biggest support people.

I'm so thankful to have someone that is an inspiration to me in my family circle.  Lots of people look up to people like Michael Jordan, or some other sporting hero - and I think its sad that you may think the world of them, but they don't have a bloody clue you even exist.

So thank you Nic, for everything you have done to inspire me, for all your kind words, all your support and your nice warm hugs.

I love you like you are my very own sister, instead of just being related by marriage.  So thank you for blessing our family by marrying my pain in the arse sibling.

(Just kidding Paulie Poo, I love you too!)

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Its a weight issue...

Yes I have a weight problem.  I have been working on it, and to my delight - I've lost 4.5kg.  I'm now under that (terrifying) 3 figures for the first time in a LOOOOONG time.

So my "diet" seems to be quite odd to some, but it makes sense to me.  It helps deal with the cravings for crappy food.  And here is how I did it.  I gave up chocolate blocks/bars the first week, then lollies, then chips, chocolate biscuits, so on and so on, and every week I would replace it with something else around here - usually rice crackers, but I have been grabbing more fruit, which is a major improvement for me.  So while I was still having chocolate biscuits, I stopped buying chocolate blocks.  So I didn't feel that I was missing out on anything, and after a while, didn't even crave chocolate, and it became habit to not buy it, rather than always have some in the fridge.

So while my "diet" may be a bit weird, bit odd, a little bit quirky - its certainly working for me.

I was running around with the kids this afternoon, and I was so puffed after a little bit, it was ridiculous.  I was shaking my head at myself, how did I let myself get to this?  I have absolutely no physical fitness, I get out of breath just running after the kids to the bedroom and tickling them.  How can I be a good mother if I can't chase the kids and have a good old tickling session without feeling like I'm going to vomit up a lung?!

Things are a bit hectic now (to say the least!) but once we are in Queensland I know things will be better for us.  Elf Man will be home more (until he starts uni) so we can start going on family walks in the evening, walking our fat little dog, also in need of exercise.  We can take the kids to the beach and throw a frisbee.  Or take them to a basketball court and all have a run around.  Plus with it being so hot, there will be lots of salads and fruit thrown around for meals, instead of me slaving away in the kitchen.

We need to get our health and fitness back so we set a great example for the kids.  I don't want to be a reason why my son gets teased at school (your mumma's so fat......."insert pathetic joke").  I want him to be proud of me and proud to stand up and say "YUP, this is MY mum"... instead of being embarrassed about what size I am.  I don't want him to have to deal with that shit, and I know it happens, kids can be cruel to other kids.

So fingers crossed I can keep this up, cos nobody is gonna do it for me!

Sunday, 4 December 2011

The beginning of the end

Today was an awesome day.  Mostly good weather, even managed to get a little sunburnt.  The bbq was great, and I hope that everyone had a good time, I know I did!  Well except for the little panic about a possible pregnancy, but we all know how awesome condoms are for stopping pregnancy from happening, so I'm just gonna go with that one.....

So today there was fantastic food, yummy drinks (hello kahlua!) and lots of laughs and good conversation.

The kids had an awesome day, 3 of them fell asleep on the way home, so there were 3 crying kids over dinner - fun!

Looking at Sparrow before, I can hardly believe that he is about to turn 5.  He hardly looks like he did as a baby, I feel that I've missed so much of his babyhood, because of having so many other kids.  I can barely recognise the baby within him, he has the same spiky hair, blue eyes and dimple - but he looks so different now, its almost like I don't know who this kid is!  Soon he'll have his own family (well not soon soon, but you know!) and one day he'll undoubtedly think of me as that "stupid old woman", and I won't be the number one person in his life any more.

He said to me on the couch earlier... "mum do you know who is the one I love most in this family?... You."

Bet he won't be saying that in 20-30 years time!  I have to remember to cherish these times more, instead of wishing them away, I have to find good stuff even in the bad stuff.

I'll have to remember that in 2 weeks time when spending 3 days with all the kids in the car....

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Counting down the days

Tomorrow is our big bbq to catch up with all our friends that we know and love before we go.  Probably for most of them, it will be the last time we will ever see them.  I've been quite emotional today, randomly crying at anything, just thinking of having to say goodbye to my friends.  One of them I won't get a chance to catch up with, which is really upsetting for me - I hate not being able to say goodbye to someone that I genuinely care about.

We are so busy and pretty stressed at the moment.  Not just the moving part of it, but the Contract of Sale on the house is pretty stressful, our sale is conditional upon the Buyer's property settling on the same day - which causes me great stress because I know anything can happen.  Plus, not only do we have to pack everything up, but we also have to sand down some walls, then paint them.

It seems incredible that we have such a short space of time to do everything - we leave in 2 weeks!  2 weeks to catch up with friends, family (2 different aunties having bbq's as well), plus looking after the kids, packing, cleaning, painting, and other random things that come with moving!

Plus we have been having a few arguments with family members lately about christmas.  Which is bloody fantastic - not!  I hate arguing, and most of all, I hate friggin arguing about where christmas is going to be held this year.  So we've sorted it out, christmas day at Elf Man's parents house, and then boxing day at my sister's house with my family.

I'm also dealing with The Baby teething at the moment, her first ones have just come through and she isn't sleeping very well (ie, at all!) and then Speedy is pretty sooky at the moment and still being destructive and abusive, Coo is flying off the handle at anything and everything (we're thinking there are some sensory issues going on here, surely a 3 year old isn't this highly strung!?) and Sparrow is so bloody bored at home, all he wants to do is watch tv - and if I try to kick him outside to play, he will wail and scream at the door and try to kick the damn thing down!  All so I could have a "peaceful" cup of tea that afternoon.

I really feel like I have a lot going on in my mind at the moment, I don't feel at peace, I feel all jumbled up.  Like, I was certain that we had received the new cable for Sparrow's Explorer for when we are in the car, I mentally saw it in the paper bag, folded in an 8 figure.  However, when we went looking for it - we couldn't find it.  But I swore that I remember picking it up from the post office, opening the bag, looking in, and putting it aside.  Elf Man said I must of packed it in a box, I had absolutely no memory other than seeing it in the bag - what happened after that was completely blank.

As it turns out - we haven't even received it yet!!  My mind just has too much going through it, too much to think about, too much to deal with - and on 3/4 hours sleep a night, I think I'm starting to go more than just a little bit insane.

So here I am, a little sad, a lot overwhelmed, completely stressed out - and ready to break into tears at any minute.

So watch out tomorrow my lovely friends, you might end up with a soggy shoulder.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Hello teacher?

Lately we have been watching home movies of us, mainly when Sparrow was young.

It struck me the other day how different I am now. Watching those movies you would swear that I was a pretty cruisy mum, who played on the floor with her toddler, who said "whoops" if he dropped something - and if he was doing something he wasn't supposed to be doing - he got a lesson as to why not to do it, not just "don't do that", "stop it", "get away from her".

I'm afraid that the more children I had as time went by, the less I taught. The more angry I became. Less tolerant of mess, instead of "whoops" it's now usually "oh FFS why did you do that!?"

This is not the mother I want to be. It's not fair my children suffer through my bad moods because I'm tired. It's not their fault I'm sick. It's not their fault that we are moving so I'm stressed out up to my freakin eyeballs.

None of what makes me a shitty mum has to do with them. Yes they may do the wrong things, but unless I teach instead of just telling them off - how will they learn?

I can't really control their behaviour, as much as the control freak inside of me would love to. But I can control my reactions to their behaviour.

Thank you universe in advance for giving me a fresh start tomorrow - and the next day if necessary.

It's a new dawn, it's a new day, it's a new life - for me.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

My daily struggle

I've noticed from being online that not many people actually admit to having struggles with their children.  Its like if you admit that you are struggling, then you're a crap mother and your children should be taken away from you or something.

So I'm going to admit it.  I am struggling.  I'm not struggling because I'm depressed, I'm struggling because I feel I can't meet the needs of my children.  I don't know what people think of me when they see me out with all the kids.  Do they think I'm stupid for having them so close together?  Brave?  A bit of a tart who keeps getting knocked up?

Some days I long for my uncomplicated, stress free life before children.  I say to Elf Man "why the HELL did we have children?"  Children (I thought) were supposed to bring joy to your life, fill your life in a way that nothing else can - at the moment, my life is just full of stress.  I know I have to do something about my mindset, but its so hard when day after day - everything is just shit.

Sparrow and The Baby are pretty ok really.  I know I lose my temper at Sparrow, with his incessant whinging for things.  He asks over and over and over for the same thing, even if I have already told him "yes, in a minute" because I'm stuck doing something else for one of the younger ones.  He waves the playstation controller in front of my face at all moments of the day, even when feeding The Baby because he wants me to play to get him through a level.  He yells to get my attention, even if I have previously answered his question.  Its incredibly frustrating, and he's not even a big issue out of my day when it comes to major frustration and stress.

The Baby is pretty cruisy.  Eats, sleeps (sometimes) and generally a happy baby, except when Speedy is around.

Speedy.  Oh what can I say.  My near 2 year old is a major bully.  She attacks everyone.  She throws things at everyone.  She takes toys from other kids and runs away with a big shit-eating grin on her face because she knows she's just made someone upset and that makes her happy.  I call her my monster.  Which, isn't really that fantastic, but if you were to meet her - you would probably think the same.  You would probably think that Elf Man and I are doing a hideous job at raising these kids - because she is just mean to her siblings.  Every time I put The Baby down on the floor to play with toys, along comes Speedy to hassle her.  And by hassle her I mean pushing her so she falls over, pinching her arm, tapping her on the head really hard, poking her in the eye, head butting her, putting boxes on her head so she can't see anything, or if she is on the bed - she puts the covers over her head and presses down.  All this could happen in the time its taken me to get off the floor with a dirty nappy to put it in the bin.  Then she's just as mean with her older siblings.  She throws things at them, she hit Sparrow in the head with something the other day, cracked him a good one so then he was bawling.  She is very mean to Coo, and Coo is so highly strung, she stands there and screams/wails/screeches until we do something about it.  I'm at a loss on how to handle her behaviour.  Taking her away from the situation doesn't work, she'll come straight back and do it again.  Put her in the corner for a time out, and kneel down and explain that we don't push Coo into the dishwasher or kitchen cupboard - she'll come straight out and do it again.  Smack her - she'll still go and do it again.  I'm hoping this phase will stop soon and she's just working out her place in the family, because I can't handle too much more of this behaviour.

Then the Coo.  Highly strung as previously mentioned.  She wails/screeches.  Its a horrible noise, and I know its one of my triggers for my anger because it pierces through my head and gives me an instant headache.  And she does it every day.  Sometimes all day.  It could be something like Speedy is standing in her way, she doesn't think to go around Speedy, she'll just stand there and screech.  Then when you ask her to put it into words, she'll cry that she can't get through.  We don't know how to make her think "hey, Speedy is in my way, I'll go around her" so again, I'm hoping this phase will end soon too.

Sometimes I want to walk out the door on a bad day.  Sometimes I don't think I'm handling things very well and maybe someone else could do a better job.  Sometimes I think I should get stoned so things like the stuff mentioned above doesn't stress me out.  I just want things to be easy - everything is so fucking hard.  Changing nappies is hard because of tantrums.  Getting dressed is hard because of tantrums.  Getting in the car is hard.  Getting out of the car is hard.  Everything - is a struggle.

I thought having 4 kids 4 years and under would be hard but I thought I was able to handle it.  I know its going to get better, but just at this very moment in time - its a struggle.  Its a struggle to find the joy in my children because every day I'm breaking up fights, or asking them to stop jumping on the couch/bed/table.  I'm having to ask them to just sit down and eat their dinner.  Or in Speedy's case tonight, get your foot out of your brother's dinner.  It is a madhouse.  Mostly I'm just sick of seeing my children hurt each other.  Every time they hurt their sibling, it hurts me.  I didn't want my kids to be hurt by their siblings the way that my sister hurt me.  I didn't want to raise a bully, but it appears I have one.

And I dunno what the hell to do about that.

P.s. I should probably mention that I'm sick with a cold, have a cough, am extremely tired and a little cranky.  So please don't call DOCS just yet, I'm just having a whinge.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

An early death

And I don't mean to those stinkin' spiders around 'ere.

Sparrow and I were having a lovely cuddle today.

I said to him:  "Sparrow, will you cuddle me even when you are a big boy"

Sparrow: "yes mum"

I said: "So you will cuddle me even when you are 27?"

Sparrow:  "No"

I said: "why not?!"

Sparrow: "Because you'll be dead".

So if anyone goes looking for me in the next 22 years, don't be surprised if you can't find me......

He's a crack up this one.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Please universe....

....look upon my family with kind eyes tomorrow.  Please let these people coming back for another inspection love our place as much as they did the first time and actually sign a contract of sale.

And please give these people the ability to look beyond the messy floors, the sticky windows and walls with scuff marks.  I haven't had the chance to get that much done today as I would have liked (huge headache, whingy kids, they make another mess as soon as I've cleaned one up...) but I've done my best.  I still have the bathroom to clean and would love to get some windows cleaned - but its 9.30pm, and The Baby is still awake, Sparrow is still awake, so I've probably got no chance of getting it all done.  Not to mention get stuff together for escaping to Selina's in the morning, and shower... another midnight bedtime I would imagine.

Wish us luck - cross your fingers and toes for us!!!  Even though we have a prospective buyer who is trying to raise more money before signing a contract - we would really like a sale now - not in a few months time!

Sunday, 13 November 2011

The moment of pure fear

I hate to admit it, but I am absolutely, positively terrified of spiders.  I'm the girl you would find on a chair in an office if one dropped on to the floor.  Even if I think they are dead, I still don't want to get close to them, just in case they miraculously come back to life.  By the way, my fear is not just limited to spiders, I hate snakes, cockroaches, cane toads (extreme fear this one) and mice.  Basically anything that jumps or moves quickly, I hate it.

So tonight, after rocking The Baby to sleep, I started folding up my washing that was on the bed.

Picked up one of Coo's t-shirts, looked at The Baby, mused to myself how cute she was asleep, and then noticed the big friggin spider coming close to my hand.  I did a silent "eeeeek" - couldn't wake The Baby - and threw it on the bed.  Heart pounding now, I was at a loss what to do.  Couldn't scream and get Elf Man's attention (even though it wouldn't have helped, he was in with Speedy getting her to sleep on the opposite side of the unit).  So I picked up my phone (quickly because the spider was now in the washing basket and my phone was directly under it) and sent a text message to him.

Didn't hear his phone go off with the message tone so it mustn't of been switched on.  Fuck.  Spider now moving across basket towards the edge to go on bed, towards sleeping baby.

Racking my brains, I phoned the house phone.  Sparrow answered.  Told me that I couldn't speak to mummy or Daddy because they were in the bedrooms getting The Baby and Speedy to sleep.  I told him that I WAS mummy - get daddy!  He repeated that he couldn't get mummy on the phone, she was busy with The Baby.  I said as sternly as I could "Sparrow - this IS mummy!!!  GET DADDY.  Go into the bedroom and get him to come to our bedroom, please".. Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.......

I heard him go into the hallway and into the other bedroom, meanwhile my spider is moving down onto the mattress.  Complete freak out.  I grabbed one of Elf Man's shirts and tried to flick him off the bed.  Off went the shirt, on stayed the spider.  Fuck!!  Spider started moving towards baby, I'm standing in the corner paralysed by fear and waiting for Elf Man to get on the bloody phone.  I heard Sparrow saying it was Kaleb on the phone or something - and then Elf Man answered.  I'm not sure what he thought when he heard my voice trying to force out the words that I needed help.  I should probably mention that Elf Man isn't great with spiders either and has a bit of a girly scream from time to time if they are of a fair size.  Thankfully, he came to the rescue, fly swatter in hand.

Spider dead.  Baby safe.  I need a valium, and probably new undies.


Monday, 7 November 2011

Baby watching

I hate to admit it, but I haven't been watching my babies for a long time. I don't mean that I haven't been taking care of them and that someone else has been doing it, I mean that when I rock my babies to sleep, I've been on my phone on the net or playing a game.

Tonight whilst feeding my 7 month old, she was doing a crazy dance whilst feeding and started searching for something at the side of her. I was like - what the heck are you doin kid - then she passed me my phone. My 7 month old passed me my phone. That's, well, sad really.

So while I rocked her to sleep tonight I watched her. So much peace. So much trust that I had hold of her and wouldn't hurt her. So much love.

Damn she's cute.

Which is a good thing really since she is awake again and I'm back on rocking duties....

Saturday, 5 November 2011

The benefits of a Village

Back when my mum was raising us, she didn't have a lot of help around her.  My family moved around a lot so they didn't have family around to help out, she never used child care of anything like that - and she didn't really have a lot of friends.  Of course she had bigger age gaps than I do (my brother is 7 years older than me, my sister is 4.5 years older than me), but still, she did it all on her own.  She didn't appear to need a Village to help her raise her children.

I'm proud to say that I have a Village helping me.  It doesn't make me a weaker mum, it makes me a stronger, more capable mum.  From my friends who let me vent about my frustrating days, or just make me a cuppa and pick up one of my crying kids - it all helps.  It all makes a difference in my life.  Or my aunty and uncle who live around the corner, I swear, they are just like another set of parents.  I see my uncle more than I see my dad thats for sure.  They are awesome with my kids as well, and are always there to give me a break from them - my aunty is all too willing to take all 4 of them away for 2 hours to give me a break, and I do cherish those times!  Just the ability to have a cup of coffee in peace.  Or go to the loo in peace.  Or watch what I want to on the tv.  Its incredible how you appreciate the little things after you have 4 noisy things running around all day.

I also use a child care for Sparrow and Coo for Wednesdays and Fridays.  I know a lot of mothers out there think its pretty bad to use child care when you don't work, but I love the fact that my kids are getting exposure to stuff that I wouldn't know how to do - I'm not a child care worker, I have no experience in early childhood, and the stuff they come home with - I just wouldn't have thought of it.  So I definitely count that as part of my Village.

After my last post I spent 2 hours on the phone to my sister.  I vented and raged and it felt great just to hear someone say "I know exactly what you mean, mine are the same".  Its hard being a stay at home mum, sometimes you feel so isolated and like your kids are the only ones that act like this.  Its nice to have reassurance that other kids are like yours, and most of the things they are going through are just classic phases of childhood.  And more importantly - you're not alone suffering through it.

I really don't know how my mum did it alone - because I would be so lost without my Village.  I just hope I can create a similar Village in Queensland.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

A very bad day (includes swearing)

When I first started this blog, I wasn't sure what direction that I was going to take it in. If I was going to be one of those blogs that sprouted off about things I was passionate about so everyone could read my opinion, or if I would make it like a daily diary of my life type of thing.  I don't think I want to sprout off my opinions.  I mean really - who cares what I think about home birth, breastfeeding, formula, vaccinations, or any of the other subjects out there bound to cause arguments on forums.  Would my opinion really matter in the grand scheme of things?  Fuck no and I wouldn't expect it to.  So I'm not going there.

A daily diary?  Well, with all days being like groundhog day, I wouldn't imagine it would be an enthralling read for anyone.  That's assuming people actually read this....

So I think this blog is just going to be about me.  About my growth as a parent - and a reflection of my "lightbulb" moments that I have from time to time.  But with the good, comes the bad.  I'm also going to be open and honest about my bad days, because does anyone really say how shit their day was?  Its like its a taboo subject, my word, for the love of God, never admit that sometimes you have days where you can quite honestly kick your children in the shins for being shit heads!  (ok, so not in the shins, but you get my point......)

Today, was one of those totally fucked up days that you wish you had been totally stoned and oblivious to the shit falling down around you.  From my wake up at 3am and then back to sleep by 5am and up again by 6am - it was quite honestly - fucked up.

All the kids had their whingy pants on.  I know people around me know about my "fucked up Thursday" thing I've got goin' on, we always seem to have a rougher day on Thursday than any other day of the week.  So to start off by being so bloody tired, sick with a stupid head cold and cough AND a raging headache, I knew this was going to be bad.

And bad it was.  Everywhere I turned today there was a whingy child, or two.  Even when I had company, I had both Speedy and Coo wanting to sit on my lap at the same time.  When the company left, I tried feeding The Baby, and a fight broke out between Speedy and Coo beside me, screaming, wailing, hair pulling - the works!  It was just ridiculous that all day this shit had been happening.  Sparrow belted Speedy across the back several times in the sandpit after she had knocked over his sand castle.  I was furious!  So even though I was rocking the baby to sleep (and she was nearly asleep) I had to put her down, dash outside, grab Sparrow and chuck him in his room.  I was so furious that I didn't trust myself to speak to him, or not hit him, so I hid him from my sight.  He then stayed in his room for the next hour, because I was just so angry with him.  Usually he hits her only once, but to hit her several times, it was horrible to see.

So that was a major part of my crap day.  Lots of whinging.  Lots of bad behaviour.  Speedy is one of those kids that you have to keep your eye on, she likes to play in the toilet (even if pee and poo is in there, and it quite often is since Sparrow forgets to flush most of the time after he goes), she likes to play in the cat litter (usually used), she climbs on everything, gets into everything, throws stuff around the room (today it was the pencils from the container, we have heaps of them and it was done several times even though I was telling her not to do it!), she is just a really full on child.  Add her tantrums to that, and you have one child that demands your attention at all times of the day.  And its just impossible to give her that with 3 other children, all demanding your attention as well.

Today I was stretched to my limit and I admit that I didn't cope very well.  I yelled.  At times I screamed at them.  I spoke in a very low, very slow tone at my most furious because I felt like I wanted to rip their heads off.  It was frustrating, and infuriating - and I absolutely hate that I wanted to walk out at one stage.  Just get up and walk, and keep on walking.

These days don't happen all the time - which is good - cos they suck balls.

Let's hope tomorrow will be better, cos fuck me, I don't think it can get worse.

P.s.  Happy birthday to my SIL Janine.  See you soon lovely.

P.s.s.  I'm really really bad with dates, the worst person ever - so I totally forgot about my friend Selina's gorgeous baby girl, Adele, turning 6 months yesterday.  That makes 6 months exclusively breastfeeding for my beautiful friend.  And she is thriving on her mumma's milk - and I'm very proud of you, my awesome friend!

Here is a pic of the gorgeous baby girl and The (skinny - thrivin' on my skim milk, no full cream here!) Baby just hangin' out.....

So cheers to you Selina, you freakin' rock.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

The trouble with parenting

I reckon (and this is just my personal opinion and this is my blog so I'm gonna say it) that the trouble with parenting is that you always think you are doing a (scuse the language) fucked up job.  Everyone has an opinion on what you are doing, and of course its wrong - no matter what you are currently doing.  Everyone else knows how to do it better than you do.  Of course they do.  Even authors who have never met your kids seem to know exactly how to get them to go to sleep.  What they don't usually tell you is how to get them to stay the fuck asleep.

Elf Man and I are troubled.  We have no idea why our children don't seem to like sleep as much as we do.  I mean, maybe its because we average 4 hours sleep a night, and have done for nearly 5 years now (except for one random night when all 3 kids slept through before we had The Baby) that we seem to crave more sleep than they do, but really - sleep is fucking awesome!  Our children just don't seem to agree though.  We've tried so many things, the soft approach, the stern approach, the leaving approach, the sitting at the door not moving a fucking muscle approach - nothing works.

Sometimes I think my house is possessed by this evil little spirit who pokes and prods at my children until they wake up in the middle of the night - just to torture us.

So it comes to this - is it our parenting?  It has to be really doesn't it, for all 3 big kids to have issues with sleep?  Not just sleep either - they hardly ever eat their dinner.  The only things that Sparrow is guaranteed to eat is pizza, spaghetti and pasta with cheese.  Not exactly the healthiest of meals on any level, and I refuse to just make those three meals so he will eat.  Coo won't eat, just plays with her food.  Likes to cut it into little pieces and not eat a single crumb.  Speedy likes to push it off her plate or get up and run around the place, all while Elf Man and I are trying to keep some sort of order at the dinner table.  Wine helps with calming the temper I must admit.  But still - how embarrassing if we ever go out to a restaurant and our children do this?  People would think that we have no authority or power over our children.

So is it that?  Is it a power struggle between parent and child?  Is it that they aren't hungry/too hungry/overtired - a combination of all three?  Should we move dinner to just the children eating at 5pm and Elf Man and I eating at a later time?  Should we forget about a "family dinner" like we had as children with our families, and just see our kids for who they are - kids that don't like to eat when the adults are eating, and eat on their own schedule of time, and not necessarily in conjunction with our schedule?

Tonight all the kids were playing up (again, with the exception of The Baby, she eats quite well for a 7 month old and of course she can't run around, and even if she could, she's in a high chair and can't climb yet) so Elf Man and I put them in for an early bath, and then bed without their usual cup of milk.  I put Speedy and Coo to bed, which is something I never do, its Elf Man's job to do.  They were asleep by 7pm.  Speedy usually goes to bed at 7pm, and is asleep by 8pm.  It took 15 minutes for me to put them down instead of Elf Man, they muck up for him and can take up to an hour each child to get to sleep.  So is that the way it should be done?  Is that the secret?  Do I have to put them down to sleep because they see me as the meaner parent?  Am I more strict than Elf Man?

Or should we try controlled crying.... a gate so they can't get out....drugging them to reset their body clock.... we don't know.  That's our answer.  We. Don't. Know.  We have no idea what to do.

So that's my trouble with parenting - not only are we always wrong, but there is all this advice out there and we STILL don't know what to do. Everyone fails to mention that parenting is a high pressure job, cos if you fuck up, you'll end up with a kid who has massive issues and of course, blames their parents for their dysfunctional life. There is a huge pressure to "do well" at this job, however, there isn't any on the job training, and I'll be fucked if I can find where the manual is, but it didn't come attached to any of them at birth, and I'm not going to have another one to see if that one pops out with one!

Sunday, 30 October 2011

If its not working - change.

Things haven't been fantastic lately in our little chicken coop.  The kids have been driving me insane with all their demands, and I've been feeling so overwhelmed with everything.  I'm sure most people don't think that having 4 kids under 5 is hard, but let me tell you - it is.  I feel like I can never meet everyone's needs, and everyone needs me at the same time, and its awful having to pick and choose between your children and upset one (or two) of the others.  I know it will get better, once The Baby gets better at sleeping during the day and doesn't need so much of me.  I'm not sure how long she will need 2 hourly feeds during the day, or have 20 minute cat naps, but I'm hoping that she will work out soon that sleep is bloody fantastic, and she really should do more of it.

Speedy is awfully needy (haha speedy is needy) at the moment.  Plus she has quite the temper on her, and lets fly at anything and everything.  The Coo has an awful screeching thing going on, whenever something is being done to her, or someone is taking something off her, instead of talking like we know she can - she screeches.  Its an ear piercing, blood curdling, mind numbing screech.  And it drives me up the wall.  She was doing well with toilet training, with the exception of one thing - she would never poo in the toilet or potty.  Poo had to be done in her undies, 2 - 4 times a day.  Another thing to drive me crazy.

Sparrow loves playing games - computer games, playstation games, explorer games - but drives me up the wall when he is playing the playstation and he wants me to get through a level for him because its too difficult for him.  I just don't have enough of me to go around, which is funny to say, considering I'm the size of a house.

So I've made some changes, some that some people won't understand, and some will think I'm crazy - but I'm coming to realise that other people's opinions shouldn't matter to me, unless they are in exactly the same position I am.

So my changes.  I've put Coo back in nappies.  I just couldn't do it any more, couldn't change her undies several times a day, and it was something that had to be changed then and there, and she had fantastic timing, usually it was when I was rocking The Baby to sleep or feeding etc.  So, she's back in nappies.

And nappies - all the girls are now in disposables.  I was finding it so hard to keep up with the washing for the girls in cloth, plus all our clothes.  Less work for me will hopefully help me not be so overwhelmed.  I hate that it is so much landfill, but I think I need a few months break to find my groove again.

Also, I've packed most toys away, so I don't have so many to clean up and the house never looks like a bomb has hit it (except for my bedroom at the moment with all the washing waiting to be folded)

My "size of a house" problem.  I've decided to try and wean myself off junk food, because to be honest, I'm not good at following diets.  I always say "thats it, no more junk food" and then I have an absolute shit of a day, and Elf Man gets me stuff on his way home to drown my sorrows.  So I'm working on changes there too.  This week, I didn't buy chocolate.  Next week I won't buy lollies.  The next week I won't buy chips.  The next week I won't buy sweet biscuits.  And then the next week, I won't buy maccas/take away.

I'm a work in progress at the moment - but I'm hoping by taking little steps - I'll get to find myself (....and my waist.....?)

Sunday, 23 October 2011

A fab weekend

This weekend was pretty darn good.  I know Elf Man wouldn't agree with me cos he had the cranks on for most of it, but I think it was a good weekend for the rest of us.

Yesterday we spent most of the day at the park because they had a kids event on, with jumping castles and all sorts of goodies.  We met up with some friends, and it was just so lovely to be out in the sunshine and out of the house!

Here's my favourite pic from the day:

And the funniest:

Speedy loves that ice cream!!

Today we just hung around at home, but we actually got things done that we have been wanting to do, I cut Sparrow's hair finally - I've only been at him for ages to let me because it was totally out of control.



I think my favourite part of the day was tonight after I came out from putting The Baby down for the night, Sparrow and I started taking pictures of ourselves.  Some of them are beyond hysterically funny, and we were both cracking up.  I can't remember if we have ever done that before - the cracking up part.

I can't believe that only a week after going offline how different I feel.  I think I was getting so emotionally involved with things online, so empathetic towards people who are going through some really rough shit, that I had no empathy left for my children, I was completely drained and had nothing left to give them after giving it all to people online.  I didn't realise how overwhelmed by everything I was - the house was a mess because I wasted so much time online. Now the house is still a bit of a mess, but day by day, I can feel it getting just that little bit better, and I don't feel so down any more.  I feel happy.  I am happy.

I'm dealing with tantrums better.  Sometimes I have to stop after handling a situation completely different than how I would have dealt with it a week ago and just go - woah - so THAT'S how I was always supposed to do that.  Its amazing how much improvement I have made in my parenting abilities just by...being here.

I'm happy to keep being "here" for just a little bit longer.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

6 years today

Today marks 6 years of marriage for Elf Man and myself.  It doesn't seem that long ago really that I was nervously awaiting the arrival of some random guy I met on ICQ at my house.  I remember when he got out of the car, I didn't really know how to hug him because he was so tall!!  My soon-to-be-ex-husband was only 5 foot 4, Elf Man is 6 foot 7, so I was a little intimidated by his height.

He came inside, we shared some beers (classy chick that I am), some pizza and listened to some tunes in my bedroom.  I thought that he was pretty cool because he liked all my music - and I do have some random albums in my collection.  We agreed on a lot of stuff.  We talked a lot, we sort of slipped together like two pieces of a puzzle - and unlike every other relationship - I couldn't think of any reason of why we should break up.

So after a year (and a bit!) we got married.

Of course we don't look like that any more, bit more wearier, a bit more grey, and both about 20kg heavier.

So 2006 was great.  We bought a house.

Inherited two kittens, Jagger and Kruger.

Bought a puppy - Pepper.

Fell pregnant with Sparrow, but didn't find out until after a huge drunken session with workmates.  That's my excuse on his not-so-bright days.

Bought another puppy, Keenan.

Looking back on it now, our first year of marriage was huge.  Then of course, 2007 was the year of our first child, 2008 the year of our second child, 2009 the year of our third child (plus the sale of our home, and our move to tassie), 2010 was the year of buying another house, and 2011 for our final child.

We've had a lot packed into our 6 years of married life, and I wouldn't change a second of it.  We've had our ups and downs, but I'm glad I've found a person who respects me, trusts me, and not only loves me - but likes who I am as a person, even if I'm not sure exactly who I am.

And I feel the same way about him.

Happy anniversary my love.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

The desire to do better

I dunno what it is, but I've always had a desire to do better the next time if I stuffed up (stuffed up by my own definition that is).

I didn't get my VBAC so I wanted a VBA2C.  I needed to do better than to "fail" at something.  Failure in my own head that is, if Coo wasn't born by c-section she probably wouldn't be here today.  I failed at breastfeeding with Sparrow, Coo and Speedy so wanted to do better this time.  I'm not sure where my drive to do better comes from, but wherever I get it from, I'm very appreciative because I think it makes me strive to be a better person.  A complete pain in the arse as well I'm sure, right Elf Man?

Anyway, today I lost my cool at Speedy.  Not completely unusual, she is a toddler, and just a little bit frustrating at the moment.  She wants to do so much on her own, but just doesn't have the ability yet.  We were making biscuits and I lost my temper because she didn't cut out the biscuit properly so I couldn't put it on the tray, but she wouldn't let me help.  Now, its probably because I'm sleep deprived, but I told her off, which then caused a huge crying tantrum from her, which then caused me to yell more because I didn't want her to wake The Baby, so she cried louder and eventually even I shed a few tears in frustration - I was trying to do something fun with my kids and it all seemed so difficult!  Why can't things just be easy!

So putting her down for her nap, I was stroking her silky curls and was going over the incident in my mind.  What I should have done was give her a little bit of dough of her own (not a huge chunk like the others had) and a few cookie cutters to play with on her own, and then did the rest with the bigger kids.  Instead of getting upset with her for being loud and (eventually) waking The Baby, I should have walked away from the bench and given her a cuddle in the bedroom and calmed her down.

Being offline is giving me the ability to think about situations differently - and if I'm not happy - do it better.  I wouldn't have thought about this all last week, I just went on doing the same thing, day in and day out - and it wasn't getting better.  Because I couldn't think of how to do it better.  Spending just these last few days with the kids have me thinking more clearly about how to handle a situation differently because I'm more connected with them. I may not be thinking it at the time, but today's incident shows that I have changed, even just that little bit from being offline.

After our biscuits were made - and I didn't have any baking powder so they didn't turn out quite right - they still looked good!

Then I made a cubby house with the kids, that they spent approximately 10 minutes in, and had a few fights in, so we abandoned that idea.  We ended up going to the park, grabbing maccas for lunch (not healthy but meh, I'm not perfect, I've said that before) and grabbing Elf Man on his lunch break and enjoying a picnic lunch at the park with the kids.  It was pretty good, it was the first time in a long time that I've taken the kids to the park, and played with them.  Sure I took them to the park before, but I always had my phone to check out facebook or one of the forums, just so I didn't miss the goss.  But I missed a lot more than that by not playing.

Happy kids....

A pondering baby....

A few accidents...

My kids growing up before my eyes....

I've realised that Ferris was right - life moves pretty fast.  If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.  I've missed a lot already. 

Wednesday, 19 October 2011


I've been doing a lot of thinking lately - well, since I've been off Facebook and my forums, what else is there to do!  Today I realised how absent I have been as a mother.  Sure, physically I've been here, but I've not really BEEN here.  So today, I went through and tossed out all our plastic toys that play pretty tunes and have nice flashing lights. I no longer will let my children be entertained by something that runs on batteries (minds out of the gutter girls!) but instead - I will get down there on the floor and play with them.

So today, I read a book to Speedy.  Sounds like a nice, normal thing to do yes?  I can count on my fingers how many times I have done it.  I should be ashamed of myself.  When Sparrow was around 14 months old, I spent 3 hours reading to him, because he wanted me to.  I read to him until my throat was sore and my voice was nearly completely gone.  I didn't have anything better to do than to entertain him, so I played with him, instead of watching from afar and being completely detached from him.

So I read a book to Speedy.  Then another book.  That same book 3 times.  She really likes green sheep it turns out.  Then I played blocks with her.  And later in the day I played with the trains with her.  And it didn't kill me, I wasn't bored out of my brain, I was actually having fun.  And she was happy.

Why is it so hard to let ourselves go and just be kids again with our kids?  Why do we have children if not to play with them?  Why not be a "play at home mum" instead of a "stay at home mum"?

I think we spend so much of our own childhood trying to act older than we are, then we reach adulthood and we have to be so mature and responsible - that we forget how to be kids again.  And then because we forget what its like, our children become annoying, or naughty - because we can't see the fun in what they are doing.  So today I let Speedy put sand in the dog bowl.  She was having fun, and in the grand scheme of things - was it hard to put the sand back into the sand pit once she was done?  Did the dog care if there were some grains of sand mixed in with her dinner?  I doubt it, judging by the way she hoovered it down - I doubt she even chews it half the time.

So tomorrow I'll be playing more, and helping my little nerd burgers use their imagination with their non-flashy, non-music playing toys.  Maybe we'll build a castle, or a cave.

Or maybe, just maybe, we'll build some fantastic childhood memories for them.  After all, my children don't care if my dishes are done by 10am, or if my washing is up to date - but they do care if mummy reads them "Where is the green sheep".  Be it once, twice, or even three times.

Monday, 17 October 2011

A change in the wind

Today we found out that the people who came with a ridiculous offer to buy our house have accepted our counter-offer.  Its still way under what we would like to get, and we will return to Queensland with absolutely nothing to show for being down here.  We've lost... ooh I'd hate to think about the figure, but its definitely over $50,000.  My sister told me today that "it was a very expensive lesson to learn".  Lesson?  I'm not sure what she meant really.  Let us look at what we have done down here.....

My gorgeous nanna got to meet my family (well except for The Baby) before she died in 2010.  I got to see her and laugh at her sense of humour before she died.  She was so funny!  Kept on saying that she wanted to get up and run out of there, not seeming to notice the fact that she had had a stroke and couldn't move half of her body - she was a stubborn one!  Before that I hadn't seen her in 20 years.  So because we came down here, I got the privilege of seeing her again.

I had two beautiful births.  Not a home birth, but the next best thing.  Independent birth centre births.  With lovely midwives.  Had I stayed in Queensland, I'm pretty sure I would have had a 3rd and 4th c-section instead of the chance for a supportive (and successful!) VBA2C.

I got to experience a 24 hour kmart.  Seriously - its one of my most favourite things down here.  Especially the time when we were buzzing my hair and the damn thing broke half way through.....and the freaks there late at night are well worth the trip.

I met lots of beautiful people, and as previously mentioned, have fantastic friends down here.

I've learnt that my dad will always be just the way he is, even if he's not the father I want him to be.  And that its ok.  I can't force him to be anything more than what he is, but I can change my attitude towards it.  I'm at peace with our relationship, quite a difference from the 21 year old who rang him, drunk as anything and called him the "c" word and told him he was "the worst father in the world".  Coming down here has changed my perspective on our relationship.  I would never have had that chance if we stayed in Queensland.

We appreciate our family more.  I now appreciate my in-laws, they may not say all the right things, or do all the right things, but I know they love my family.  And I appreciate that more than ever now after not having that in our life for 2 years.

I've learnt to appreciate Queensland weather.  Enough said.

So all in all, my sister may see it as an expensive "lesson" but I see it as a life changing event.  How I see myself and others has changed - for the better.

And I think that is pretty priceless.

Friday, 14 October 2011

The addict in me

I'm an addict.  Not to anything remotely exciting or anything worthy of juicy gossip unfortunately.

I was a smoker once.  Smoked for 8 years, then went cold turkey and quit.  It was hard but I did it.  I then replaced that habit with another habit - eating.  Now to no surprise, I'm overweight.  I got addicted to buying nappies.  I still have to fight against that all the time.  I also buy carriers - a lot.

I'm an addict to the online world.  Facebook in particular.

So I'm quitting the online world.  I've already left a forum, and now I'm about to deactivate my facebook profile. Not because anyone has hurt me, or pissed me off - because I'm addicted to it.  I'm tired of my children having access to only a part of me - they deserve all of me.  They deserve a mum who spends all of her time with them, with her full focus on them because their childhood is going so quickly.  Sparrow is nearly 5 - so will be going to school next year full time, and I think I was a better mum when he was a baby because my whole focus was on him.  I wasn't part of a forum, and I didn't have a facebook profile.  The only thing I did online at that time was see what was on tv that week, or buy things on ebay.

So my focus is going to be on them for a change.  I'm going to listen more, and talk less.  I'm going to hug more.  Instead of pushing them away from me, I'm going to embrace them.  I am going to be one of those mums who sit down with their kids and read books to them during the day, not just before bed.  I'm going to sing songs with them, play playdoh with them, play hide and seek with them - I'm going to make them my new addiction.

I want to know them, not just what their favourite colour is (Sparrow's is orange btw, Coo's is green) but actually know them.  Instead of looking over them or trying to see through them - I'm going to look at them.
I'm not sure how long my self ban will last - might be one week, one month - I'm not sure yet.  I'll be back when I feel the time is right.

It's going to be hard - but I'm going to try my very best.  Everything I do is for them.  Just as it should be.

p.s. this obviously doesn't include my blogging activities when all the children are in bed at night ;)

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

The return of the worm

Book worm that is.

I used to be an avid reader in my younger years.  I loved books, the more books the better.  I loved to get lost in the writing, escape to another world and away from my own life (I think this happened more often after my parents divorced).  I remember when I was around 12, I would get home earlier than my sister from school, so I would hide under her bed and read her copy of "Forever" by Judy Blume - she had forbidden me to read it, and of course because it was forbidden, I loved it even more.  I had to hide under her bed just in case I was so absorbed in the writing that I didn't hear her come in - didn't want to get busted reading it after all.

I haven't read much these last few years, and I really miss it.  I do feel its part of who I am - not just "mummy" (or as Coo says - "mumma" or as Speedy says "Marrrr-meeee") but part of being Mel.

Some days I struggle to remember what I was like before I had kids.  Seriously, with all this constant sleep deprivation over the last 4 years, I'm lucky to remember my name most days.  But I do remember loving books.

Maybe one day I'll actually have the time to read something that isn't on a computer screen, and find that "Mel the Book worm" chick again......cos I think I miss her.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

More than words.....

Somewhere between my failed first engagement at 17 and failed first marriage at 26 (not to the same person!) I lost the ability to be comfortable with saying "I love you" to someone.  I never invested as much of myself in relationships after that one at 17, he broke my heart and it took me 10 years to be able to listen to a particular Bon Jovi song without bursting into tears.

Even when I met up with Elf Man, he would tell me so many times that he loved me, and I told him to stop because it made me so uncomfortable!  Most women beg their husbands to tell them that he loves them, and I tell my husband not to say it at all.

So this in turn, has caused a problem with me in expressing it to my children that I do love them.  Does it matter that I can't be comfortable with telling them I love them?  Surely they know that I do love them, I mean, they are fed, clothed, and I haven't kicked any of them out of the house for longer than 10 minutes yet......

I just hate saying the words, and I hate that I hate that.  I feel like a fraud when Sparrow says it to me, and I say it back to him, because I know he's waiting to hear it.  I want to say it when I feel totally overwhelmed and could just smoosh the heck out of them cos they are being really cute - not when they are sucking up because they know they've just done something really naughty and mumma's gonna be pissed!

So - I thought since I can't say it, I'll blog it.  Kids - mummy is pretty useless at things like this, but if something ever happens to me, please read this post.

Sparrow - my only boy.  As the first child he gets to bear the brunt of all our parenting screw ups.  And he's still a pretty cool kid regardless of everything we did "wrong".  He's affectionate, sometimes too much (ie, please don't pat my boobs, they are not kittens).  He's funny - has the ability to come out with the funniest one liners, many I share on facebook.  He is smart - sometimes has "arse" attached to it as well.  He's pretty cute considering he looks more like me than his father.  He's quirky - he hides when people sing happy birthday.  He's pretty darn cool and I'm super proud of him (most of the time).  So Sparrow - I love you.

Coo - my first girl.  Love her for being here on this earth because I didn't think she was going to be, and blessing us with being part of our family.  She has amazing eyes.  She is my miracle child, my healer.  Quirky as well, loves music and dancing, and makes me laugh every day.  Coo - I love you.

Speedy - my second girl.  My first child born vaginally, and my closure on my self-doubt on whether I could push a baby out.  She (unfortunately for her!) looks like me, and is quite different in looks to the others.  She is so so cute in personality, but also a bit of a brute.  She can turn around and smack her siblings, then make you laugh at something irresistibly cute.  I think this is her survival method.  She's one crazy dancer, she knows how to shake her booty!  A lover of all things musical, and "door-wa" (dora).  Speedy - I love you.

The Baby - gave me a beautiful birth.  Was a champ at breastfeeding so healed that part of me.  Loves cuddles.  Is super cute (if I do say so myself!).  The Baby - I love you.

So to my nerd burgers/monkeyfarts/chickens - whatever nickname I decide to go with at the time - mummy loves you, never doubt it - even if she has a hard time saying it.  Its my issue - please don't make it yours.

Friday, 7 October 2011

Friends vs Family

I have great friends down here in Tassie.  Fantastic friends. Every time I get together with them they make me feel great, there isn't any judgement, no bringing me down - its just awesome. (well, not including the unfortunate incident yesterday when a girl said people who had home births were irresponsible - in front of my best friend who has had 3 home births - helloooo awkward!!)

And in two months - I'm leaving them.  To be closer to my family.  I miss my mum, my brother and his wife, my sister - and my nephews and niece.  My support network.  My children will get to spend time with their nanny, their uncles and aunties, their grandparents.  And that's a good thing, that is one of the biggest reasons for moving back there, so our children will get to know their extended family.

But I know that I'm going to miss my friends.  I'm worried that I'll get to Brisbane and then not have any friends like the ones I have down here.  I have a best friend down here.  I have friends that are like sisters to me.  I have friends who are part of my family now because they are Speedy's godparents.

It scares me that we're going up there and I'll be even more lonely up there than I am down here because even though family means the world to me - I need friends to keep me sane.  Is it right to choose one over the other? I wish I could have both - in the same place, at the same time.

After all - I don't think my mum would ever have a few drinks with me, or have a nice long chat about home birth ;)

Friday, 30 September 2011

Times they are a changin'....

I know I'm not perfect, I have many flaws, I swear way too much, I drink way too much coffee and of course, I have absolutely no fashion sense.

But things are changing in my house.  This weekend is the last weekend of junk food here.  I tried to just have little bits of "bad" food for when I'm craving it, but let's be honest - once you have a little bit, you crave more.  Then you eat more.  Then you crave more and before you know it - there goes half a block of chocolate in one sitting.

So no more.  From now on my focus will be healthy eating, with some exercise thrown in if the kids will let me....

Another thing that has changed recently - I've left a parenting forum of which I was a member for nearly 4 years. A very active member.  A member who had over 14,000 posts in that time.  I was very addicted, and I admit, it made me a better mother because it opened my eyes to things that I had never thought about before. I don't parent my 4th child the same way I did my 1st.  I know better, so I do better.  However, with this extra knowledge and "friendships" there came a cost.  I ignored my children's needs sometimes. Got angry at them - "for godsake, just let me write this post!" springs to mind.  Did the people on that forum really care if I answered a thread?  Probably not.  Did my kids care that I yelled at them so I could do so?  You bet your arse they would have.

So no more. Its time to cherish my kids the way they should be cherished.  More listening. More dancing.  Less yelling.

And like my friend had on her facebook status one day - "Love your children like they are your own.  Discipline them like they are someone else's."

Its time for change.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Celebrating but not celebrating...

Today The Baby turned 6 months old.  6 months!!  Halfway to a big 1 year old, then I will never ever have another baby, just a few toddlers and some preschoolers.

Today also marks 6 months of breastfeeding.  I've been congratulated about it, worth celebrating because it blows all my previous experiences out of the water.  But, I feel weird celebrating something that is perfectly natural.  Same as I did after my VBAC's - I felt weird being all jolly and all "wow, I did something amazing, I had a natural birth after 2 c-sections".  Because all I did was something that happens every single day all over the world.  I'm not special, I'm not amazing, or strong or any other cool stuff - I'm just doing what heaps of other women do.  All the time.  All over the world.

I think its sort of sad that these things have to be "celebrated" and its far from the norm of society.  So today is a bittersweet celebration, I acknowledge what has been achieved, and I'm proud of that, just wish it didn't have to be "celebrated" - you know?

Anyway - here's to 6 months Baby!

 And here's my chicken - comes complete with dimples.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Questioning the label

I've been thinking a lot about labels lately.  I've described myself as "a little bit crunchy".  A few months ago, I didn't even know what a "crunchy mum" was, I had to ask my friend.  Apparently its those ones that have home births, breastfeed, co sleep, cloth nappying, babywearing, non vaxxing, you know - all those "hippy" types as my mother would say - at least that is a quick sum up of it.

However, in my musings over the past week - I'm really not "a little bit crunchy".  On paper, yes, it appears this is the case.  I basically had two homebirths. I breastfeed The Baby.  I babywear - and own 3 different types of carriers.  I haven't vaxxed my youngest.  I co-sleep. I use cloth nappies.

If ever I was asked why I do these things - my answers certainly wouldn't match up to the normal "crunchy" type.  I had 2 previous c-sections, one purely because I didn't want to ever go through labour.  I have formula fed the 3 other children, its only the 4th one that its been successful with.  I wear The Baby because she won't let me put her down to sleep during the day, and I have 3 other children to take care of.  We haven't vaxxed The Baby because we haven't finished our research as to whether we want to or not.  We vaxxed the first two, and delayed with Speedy.  We co-sleep because Sparrow and Speedy creep in overnight at some ridiculous hour, and The Baby wakes up if we move her once asleep.  So I keep her next to me.  Cloth nappies?  Disposables are expensive when you have 3 in nappies.  Plus, it is less landfill and they are pretty cute.

So I'm changing my "label".  I'm not "a little bit crunchy".  For me, my new label will be "Whatever Works".  All those things work for me.  I'm a normal mum, doing Whatever Works for me.  For my family.  For our family happiness.

I hope people look past "labels" and see that every mother out there is doing whatever works for them, regardless of whether or not it would personally work for you.  More acceptance and less judgement is pretty much all we are asking for.  Actually, no - its what we deserve.  Sometimes its worth pushing past those labels and getting to know the person underneath - because they could turn out to be a pretty awesome friend.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Poppin' my cherry

In blogging world that is.

I'm not sure if this blog will go anywhere, if I will ever publish more than one post, but I suppose you have to start somewhere.

A bit about me - I have 4 kids.  3 animals. Only the 1 husband (but I have an ex-husband if he counts...).  We live in Tasmania, soon to be relocating to Brisbane just before Christmas.  So my children are Sparrow (4.5 years), Coo (3 years), Speedy (nearly 2) and The Baby (nearly 6 months).  They work together as a group to frustrate and entertain me in (almost) equal amounts on a daily basis.  Sometimes more frustration than entertainment, however if I'm in one of my "exhausted beyond belief" moments, I'm usually so giddy with exhaustion that I find everything more amusing that I normally would.  Which is probably good for the kids because those are the days where mummy is slightly crazy and spends most of the day laughing at nothing, tickling, dancing and being stupid,  opposed to the regular days where she's one step away from curling up in a ball and rocking in the corner.

Today I am having a Thermomix demo (I already own a Thermomix and not exactly sure why I'm having a demo but I believe I got talked into it somehow...) so I suppose its time to go prepare the food, clean toilets etc.  Plus Elf Man (my husband) has just asked if he can murder one of the children, so I think that's my cue to come in and ask if he wants another child.........or at least ask him to make me some breakfast!