Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A little night time crazy

There are certain little things in life that I take great pleasure in. Some I know are probably on the more common side, some maybe not so much. But life is about loving the little things right?

•Clean, fresh sheets

•Having my grocery shopping completed and home by 9:30am

•Having dinner done by lunchtime

•Separating my lollies (no matter what kind they are) into colour groups and eating one colour at a time.

•Putting on my socks and having no wrinkles

•Cleaning my ears with cotton buds (I know, I know, you shouldn't do this)

•The taste and texture of raw spaghetti

•The washing basket empty

•Licking my finger and putting it in sand and eating it (I don't know where this came from but I have craved sand as long as I can remember)

•A full fruit bowl with a variety of colours

•Leftovers for breakfast

•Finally popping that stubborn pimple

•Scratching a mosquito bite and getting it to bleed so it will finally stop itching!

•Being in bed by 8:30pm

•Getting a piece of apple/popcorn out that was stuck between my teeth

•Having the exact amount of change in my wallet that I need

•Measuring cups of flour and leveling them off with a knife and seeing it PERFECTLY smooth

•Wrapping a sandwich in cling wrap just right

•Pulling into the Macca's drive thru and your food being ready for you when you get to that final window without barely even having to stop

Now that you have wasted a few precious minutes reading this ridiculous list, just admit were agreeing with at least one of these!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Glad today is over

Unless Tony and Carter are actually arguing with one another, we don't often have to tell them off at the same time. They are considerate enough to generally take turns being rat bags so we can tell them off one at a time.

Tony was fantastic all day today.

You know what that means for Carter......

By golly he had a SHOCKER of a day. I won't go into all the details but by lunchtime he had been a right old grump for over 2 hours. Anthony and I were patient with him.....oh boy were we patient.

But that patience cracked. You know how sometimes you can be patient for the most difficult behavior but its something tiny that cracks it. What cracked me? A little bowl of corn kernels.

Carter had calmed down and was closer to his normal self, but upon being told the result of his poor behavior this morning would be not being able to perform a concert for us (something he was looking forward to) until tomorrow, he saw red.

In his anger, he ran out the back and took a little bowl of corn kernels with him. He dramatically tipped the bowl on the floor and waited for my reaction.

I was ticked off, but didn't want to show him he had got the better of me. I sternly told him that he could not come inside until he had picked up every single corn kernel and put it back in the bowl. He didn't like this but I stayed firm and calm. He started to pick them up but then ran off yelling insults (I will share these later). I came outside again and with less control I told him to come back and finish his job.

Repeat this several times and fast forward 30 minutes and you will find me no longer calm, brandishing a wooden spoon, threatening to chase him around the back yard if need be. Thankfully the threat was enough!

He certainly tested us both today but we both kept our cool rather well for the most part. Aside from my outburst outside - neighbors I apologize.

During the disaster of a day that was today, we got some gems from Carter. In trying his best to show his anger he came up with some interesting insults.

To me;

"You eat at the toilet restaurant!! "

And to Anthony;


Talk about harsh huh!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

What my children have turned me into

Remember the game 'Opposites'? Where "yes" means "no" and "no" means "yes". Where saying you "hate" chocolate really means you "love" chocolate.

Life with children becomes a permanent game of opposites. With Mothers Day just a couple of days away, it really made me think about how being a Mother has changed my life and me as a person. I became a mother at 21. I know that by the world's standards, this is on the younger side. I was still a Uni student and my peers were leading very different lives from playgroups and baths in the kitchen sink. It was hard work, and I'm not saying I enjoyed every aspect of being a mother, but I loved our life.

But the presence of this tiny person in your life changes your priorities. It shifts certain things from important to unimportant. From a necessity to a luxury. Such as 8 hours sleep - it used to be the minimum sleep requirement but once a baby is in the house, 8 hours sleep STRAIGHT is nothing short of a miracle deserving of a Facebook announcement.

Tony is 7 now, and I still haven't got this parenting thing down pat. But I love the 'opposites' that have taken place since Tony and Carter came along.

A quiet weekend. Pre-kids a quiet weekend was boring. It meant you were wasting those precious days off work. A quiet weekend felt like a failure. As a Mother, quiet weekends are precious. Once I had children I became excited when we have a quiet weekend.

Shopping. Why in heavens does anyone ENJOY shopping??? I do recall sometime ago, back when I had my sanity, I used to actually CHOOSE to go shopping for fun! But now I shop for groceries, birthday presents, winter clothes, new school shoes, child neurofen, and countless handballs to replace the ones that end up on the school roof at recess time. I DO NOT enjoy window shopping anymore. Why would I when I could be at home on the couch watching Ellen?

This brings me to my choice of clothes. I was never particularly stylish, but I did try and make SOME effort. I still try and at least appear decent, but I'm not gonna lie - I do look at certain clothes and wonder;

"Can I get away with going bra-less under this? Would anyone know if I just wore this over the top of my pajamas? Will food smears and boogas be camouflaged?"

Dining out.  Ah I can't tell if it was real or a dream but food was once a social thing. You enjoyed eating new foods and scanned the menu freely milling over all the tasty sounding option. My choice of a restaurant is now one that has a kids play area that I can supervise without getting up from my seat and re-fills for the echildren (heaven knows they wont eat their meal but they will certainly drink their weight in drink). I know eating with children means their attention span clocks start ticking the second you walk through the door so I check the menu online to save time and of course the all important instructions to the waiter;

"Just bring it out as its ready. I don't care if dessert comes first and I end up with soup and a side plate of fries at the end, just bring it as its ready."

Handbag size.  A cute, girlie little handbag was once something to show off.  Other female friends admired such a purchase.  Of course you couldn't really carry anything aside from a credit card and lip gloss.....but look how cute!  Even though I 'technically' am not in need of a nappy bag these days, my handbag has pretty much taken over the job.  If it doesn't resemble the bag Mary Poppins had, it's useless to me.  On any given day you could check in my handbag and find my wallet, keys, diary, 11 pens, gum, a muesli bar, tweezers, a banana, lollipops, 99 bobby pins, a sandwich, wipes, tissues, floss, hand sanitizer, toy cars .... You get the picture.  I am going to take this opportunity to brag and tell you I ALWAYS win the handbag game at Bridal Showers.  It's my shining moment!  Pre-children you go for cute little handbags, post-children it's a case of the bigger the better.

And of course this opposites game affects your sleep.  Not just that you once gots some and now you don't, but your sleep patterns.  I recall a time when it was great staying up late.  Fun stuff happened late.  If there was a dance or party on that started at 8pm, it was vital to not show up til about 10pm because it wasn't fun yet.  You stayed up late and simply slept late the next morning to make up for it.  But no longer!  A sleep in is 7am.  To make up for this lack of sleep, I have, like many Mothers, resorted to adding those extra much-needed hours of sleep to the evening instead.  Once my boys are in bed, I'm in bed. Normally by 8pm - I kid you not.  I even make sure I am in my pajamas about 5pm so I don't have to waste precious sleep time getting changed.  Any social event I go to, I am mindful of the clock. Once it hits 9:30pm, I turn into Cinderella trying to get home before midnight.  My mental clock is counting down how many hours of sleep I will get if I go to bed much later.   I know,
I know, I am extremely lame!

You see though.  It's not just little changes to your life - in many cases it is a complete 360.   Becoming a mother has changed my life in such a way that no other decision can even come close.  It's not glamorous or easy, but boy do I love it!  I am so thankful I get to be the mother of my two precious monkeys - they make my world brighter than I ever thought it could be.

Friday, May 10, 2013

This one's for you

I know my children think I can do just about anything. In their eyes, anything is possible. It comes with the 'Mum' territory. That is why they can't fathom how I forgot to sign their homework while I was making lunch, finding clean clothes, brushing teeth, finding pairs of shoes, filling drink bottles, wiping spilt breakfast, finding shoes that ACTUALLY match, and getting library books that need returning.

I thought the same of my Mum. Even with 6 children, she could do it all. She was patient, capable, kind, hard-working, and charitable. She was showered every day. She made a home-cooked dinner each night. She helped us with our homework. She even found time to spend 30 minutes one-on-one with each of us once a week after the other kids were in bed. In my eyes, Mum was perfect.

Once you get older and hit those teenage years, you realize your parents are mere mortals who actually do get tired, cranky, and frustrated. They don't have unlimited stores of smiles and energy. They have their worries and share of bad days. They sometimes ruin your fun and have no idea what it's like to be your age (you know, when they were clearly born as 30 year olds already armed with a mortgage and children). You see your parents are human.

I don't think it was until I became a Mother myself that I really 'saw' my own Mum. I now see how strong she was. Every challenge that I faced with a new baby, I asked my Mum because she had done this 6 times. When I was in need of a listening ear during the day, I would call my Mum. When I was at the end of my tether with exhaustion, I would think of my Mum, because somehow she did this and didn't seem to crack it. I don't think my Mum is perfect, because noone is, but when you have children of your own, you almost go back to that child-like perspective of your Mum. I am in the young-child stage of life, and I know that amidst the joy and satisfaction, comes some tough moments. My memories of being young always involve my Mum smiling and laughing, taking us to the park, cooking in the kitchen, lying on the hallway floor reading us stories, and sitting next to her on the couch having my back scratched. Knowing the realities of parenting, my view of my Mother is back to SuperMum.

Happy Mothers Day!
Love you Mum xxxx

Monday, May 6, 2013

So politically incorrect

Today was a good day. Nothing special in particular happened, and I guess in some ways that is part of what made it good, that our everyday routine makes me happy.

I had errands to run as usual (doctors appointment for me in the morning, and one for Carter in the afternoon), Anthony had work, Tony had school, and I had a friend visit briefly (which is always nice). Having two appointments in the one day is a big day for me at the moment physically so I was a bit apprehensive about how I would go, but I managed well enough and an early dinner and bed should help just fine.

There was nothing grand about today though. There was of course a few amusing/humiliating moments courtesy of Mr Tarts, but that is to be expected.

Just prior to my doctors appointment, I went to the post office to mail something off for Mothers Day. While Carter and I waited in line, he checked out the about 70-year-old gentleman behind us, who smiled and said hi to Carter. Once we had been served, I went to the little bench to address our card. By the time I had finished, the man behind us had also finished being served and so as we walked out, he happened to be walking out behind us. As the automatic doors opened for us to walk through, Carter tugged on my hand and loudly announced for all to hear;

"Mum, I'm getting pretty scared. That guy walking behind us, I think he is following us. Yep, look at him, he is DEFINITELY following us. It's so scary."

In this man's defence, he was definitely NOT following us. I don't think he could have kept pace with us if he tried. He was simply in line behind us and happened to be walking out the doors as we were. BUT.....the embarrassment only got worse as we headed to our GP.

We have a great GP. She always runs about an hour late and you have to know you are going to be sick about three weeks in advance to get an appointment, but she is worth it. She is Asian, but has a very Australian accent and Carter really likes her and can understand her easily. She always makes an effort to make a trip to the doctor pleasant for our boys and has great bedside manner. I was going to tell you her name.....but she is already busy enough and I don't want anyone else to try and steal her time :)

Anyway, while we where in her office and she was talking to me, Carter was watching her with interest. After about ten minutes, he leant forward resting his elbow on her desk with his chin in his hands and announced;

" You're Asian!"

I must add here that for the past few months, Carter has been interested in all things Chinese. Prior to that is was all about Samoa. He is very keen to spot anyone who looked Chinese to him while we are out and about but often he points it out to us. I can tell you it is MUCH more embarrassing when he is telling the actual person.

Our doctor thankfully misheard and said with a smile;

"I'm ANCIENT?? Oh no, I didn't think I was that old, am I Carter?"

BUT.......,Carter made sure he clarified himself.

"No, I said you're ASIAN. You know, Chinese, Japanese. What are you?"

I literally had nothing to say.

She laughed and complimented Carter on speaking so well. I wasn't feeling so complimentary.

Yes, it was embarrassing, but it makes me laugh thinking about it. See, not a perfect day, but we started the day happy and we went to bed happy. There were no major dramas and everyone is relatively healthy. We ate dinner together and spent time playing together. Our boys were kissed goodnight and tucked up in bed and we read 'The Famous Five' together for a little while. Everything that we needed to get done today got done. I love when life is 'normal' for us - it brings such a feeling of contentment.

It was a good day.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Rooting for the devil

Our boys played their first game of Rugby Union yesterday. They played for the Gosford Devils as our local team (Kariong) didn't have enough players to make teams in the boys age groups. Carter played in the Under 7's and Tony in the Under 8's.

I am not much of a sports fan. It's just not my thing. However, it's different when its your own children playing. If you want to have a good laugh, watch a kids sports match. Tony's game I was entertained because it was exciting watching my big boy playing. Carter's game just had me cracking up.

Carter was so excited to play. He has been talking about it non-stop. Anthony and I weren't too sure how he would be once he was out on the field though; his excitement usually gets the better of him. When we play hide-and-seek, he hides but as soon as you call out;

"Ready or I come!"

Carter comes bursting from his hiding place and comes running to you in fits of laughter. He simply cannot contain himself!

We imagined him running with the ball and seeing the opposing team coming for him and turning the opposite direction, throwing the ball in the air and running off laughing.

But he didn't, he kept up and chased the ball around as best as his little legs could carry him. He did great - even if he did try and convince the coach they needed to do a haka mid-game.

Tony was next up. He really impressed me. Tony had played a season of League when he was 4 and he ran like he was holding invisible briefcases. He was also pretty shy when it came to tackling other players. He tried hard but I was just imagining him playing like an older version of his 4 year old self. He was so much better though! He got right in there and wasn't shy at all to tackle and chase the ball. He even scored a try early in the game. He had a great sense at following the ball and was always right in the middle of the action. He did get rather puffed in the last part of the game, but managed to keep up til the very end where he had the final run and almost scored but was tackled at the last metre or so.

Carter was his biggest fan though and cheered for Tony the whole game, even when he was nowhere near the ball. When a member of the other team tackled Tony, Carter exclaimed;

"That team, they are trying to snatch the ball from MY brother!"

He got very protective. When Tony took a knock to the hip during that final tackle and was hurt, Carter rushed on over and squatted down in front of an upset Tony and insisted Tony tell him who hurt him. He kept saying;

"Tell me who did it Tony. Who hurt you? Was it that guy? Tell me!"

I am curious as to what he would have done had we told him but we thought it best he just learn this is part of the game and that the other player hasn't done anything wrong. He is a very protective younger brother.

It was a long time to be upright for me and was exhausting, but it was worth every second. I look forward to a lot more entertainment from my little fellows!

And now for a few pictures.....