Photos + Words = Stories

Following on from “Anatomy of a Day“, this post will be another snapshot of our day through the Week in the Life viewpoint, a concept by Ali Edwards, where you basically dissect and document *all* that makes up your day, for seven days/a week.  I am really enjoying the process and really looking at how I get about my day in great detail – through not only to-do lists, but photos, and observations.  Many of the photos I am taking are things I normally would not photograph.  Things that are, for me, normal, every day occurrences.  From the morning cereal choices – (colour coded of course)

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To the sign in process for kindy for the trio (no, I don’t find it unusual to sign in/out three times every day, but many people, in term four, still comment!)

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To the emptying of school/kindy bags each day, cleaned and ready for the next, all in a row

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And then there is the caffeine.  That first, *amazing* cup of tea that gets you going in my now mismatched tea pot as Caitlyn dropped the lid and smashed it, and my only remaining bucket (mug) from the two I bought (another casualty)

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To the *best* cup of tea in the day.  The one right before bed, that has no interruptions by children and is never cold. It is bliss.

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And then there is the havoc that remains in the bathroom after shower/bath.  The bubbles still slowly melting due to overzealous squirting of the bubble bath.  The ‘stuff’ that just accumulates in the bath, and the little watermarked foot prints across the floor.

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The countless arguments, negotiations and battles, particularly with Caitlyn, about eating vegetables, or even in fact any of her dinner.  And this face as a result –

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The washing, the ironing, and how it always seems to be a never ending cycle.

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And then work.  Fitted in around all other bits and pieces.  Slabs of time throughout the day that still see me working a full time load – and yes, I am thankful for working from home.

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Driving.  I spend so much time in my car some days – running tiny human passengers to kindy and school, and then to dancing or swimming, or tennis.  Things just keep getting added to my diary for things to ‘do’ with/for the kids.  I am not complaining.  Not at all.  I am actually really enjoying how this process of analysing a day is making me incredibly grateful for what I do have, and also for my sanity.  I never in a million years thought I would be a mother to four kids.  Two was our ‘number’.  Four we got.  Four kids chock full of spunk and personality.  And four people to battle with almost daily.  I cannot tell you how many times I say the following –

In a minute _____

I said wait/stop

Please stop hitting/pinching/punching ______

Please will you keep your hands to yourself

Shoosh!

Say sorry to ______ please for ________

Can you please listen to me _______

Bikes outside, NOW.

And the list goes on.  I think these are my most said ones though.  I do tend to swear a lot in my head, I think it is a reasonable coping mechanism some times and a damn site better that swearing at the kids.  Now, there is no sugar coating here, and I certainly lose my temper with them, but not without good reason.  I think the triplets feed off of each other sometimes, as Hayden was never like this at this age – and it can be an ongoing battle/war to negotiate something as simple as dinner.  Then I look at them, really look at them, and taps that weeks ago they could not reach, they now can, courtesy of a growth spurt of a few good centimetres.  Then there is Hayden.  His ability to research and prepare for his presentation on crocodiles amazed me.  He had it all sorted, and I only needed to help him with the pictures.  It is astonishing how quickly kids become ‘used’ to computers and the ability to navigate and work through them.

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This year in school has seen Hayden really flourish.  A little boy who struggled with handwriting and order to his work now is writing so well it makes me swell with pride at just how hard he has worked to get there.  He has never complained, and I am sure he has wanted to give up, but he never has.  His ability to decipher information and read is amazing, and really puts ‘who’ he is growing up to be in perspective.

And then I really look at how big they are getting.  Tiny hands that used to be completely encircled in mine are now just holding onto them –

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And I know that in another year, all these tiny things that make up my day, will be different.  And I won’t know it, because we get so bogged down in our routine that we don’t always notice when something changes.  We forget how grapes used to be called apple trees.  Or when Emma said she needed new undies because her ‘booty was too big for them’.  Or how Caitlyn is so fiercely independent she would rather die than ask for help.  When bumnoises become farts, and when Mummy becomes Mum.  All these little changes creep up on me, and sometimes, I worry I won’t remember all the amazing things we say and do.  The little ‘isms that make up our family, and separate the kids from each other.  The way that one is ticklish and another isn’t; that even though they all have blue eyes they are all vastly different shades of deep blue and full of different expression.  Their laughter, their songs.  Their bed time toys and routines.  The amount of mummy cuddles they need before they go nigh nighs.  All of these things and more will always make up who we all are, and spark a strong memory or feeling.   I am hopeful that some of these words + photos will spark something for not only my kids, but for me in years to come.  Years in which I am no doubt I will still be busy with them, but busy in a different way.  And, as tough as many days can be, I never want to forget these days.  Even though I lose my temper, and only usually get ONE hot cup of tea a day, I know I will miss these days.  I will miss these moments.  So I hope my stories do them justice.  And I hope that through my eyes, in years to come, my kids can see what kind of ‘life’ we had.  And I will miss Caitlyn’s sense of fashion (in 31 degree heat!!)

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The Anatomy of a Day

This week, I am completing the Week in the Life project by Ali Edwards.  I love the idea behind this and a big part of why I blog here is so I don’t forget the little things.  This project focuses on what we do, how we do, and a bit of why we do, every day, for seven days in a row – or a week.  I am finding it interesting to say the least and am taking a lot of photos.  I know that I already have a fairly well formed routine, but it is interesting coming at it from a different angle – telling all the stories that happen in a day, be it routine or otherwise.

If I break up a day, right down to even an hourly time line, so much happens!  Monday morning, the week begins.  I went in to sort out the triplets – so help select appropriate clothes for Kindy (otherwise Caitlyn would wear a costume everyday) and get them ready.  We then trudge downstairs talking about what our dreams were of, and how much fun we are going to have today.  Their fun meter is always higher as they don’t have ‘boring mummy jobs and work’.  Nice.

This morning featured a nice little addition of having to shower Brendan and Emma courtesy of Caitlyn putting baby oil all through their hair (to make it shiny apparently).  Emma’s hair is almost to her bum.  Let’s just say, we washed her hair quite a few times, and I swore *a lot* under my breath.  Along with the baby oil, Caitlyn decided to draw on the door that divides their room and wardrobe.  We had this build 2 years ago when they kept breaking in and throwing *everything* out on the floor – nappies, clothes, wipes, you name it.  It was tiring.  So the door was put in.  It is a saloon type door.  Well, they are taller, much taller now, and can open it.  Yay.  So we have a bit of hiding of things in there and getting to them in the morning (fruit, biscuits, lego).  Anyway, she drew on the door.  After our talks last week and the ‘installation’ of the chalk board downstairs she knew she could not draw on the walls anymore – but this was a door.  So apparently it was different.  Ho hum.  And it is not even a picture, just scribble, which is not like her.

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So after the interruption of having to shower two kids it was back to normal things like lunch prep.

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And yes, I go through A LOT of fruit!  Packing bags, getting hair ready (girls) and teeth brushing comes next.

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We all then pile into the car, and call Jase. This morning I asked for a photo of them all before we got in the car.  After about 20 shots, I got one reasonable one –

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Every morning on Mondays – Wednesday’s we call Jase from the car.  The kids take turns, and mostly talk over the top of each other, but it is good time of day to get everyone to share their stories of what they are going to do.  For some time now I have been asking Brendan (aka Beebo) where his brain is today (mainly because he is so absent minded, and goofy).  On Monday he had us in stitches.  I mean absolute hysterics.  He said his brain was in the car over there (pointing next to us).  We left it at that, as commonly his answers are, in the fridge, in his bones, on the roof, in the fridge as it is hot, or on the moon  – you get the picture.  When we drove off, he started by saying ‘oh no come back with my brain car, my brain is driving away’.  It was hilarious and I am so glad that Jason was on the phone to hear it, because it would not be as funny told the second time (even here!!).

We drop Hayden off first, and he has his routine.  He goes to each window and says goodbye to everyone, and Caitlyn always says “have a good school Hayden” which I think is adorable.  She is starting to realise that it is not the correct grammar, and trying to work out how to correct it.  I will be a little sad when she does.

Then it is kindy drop off.  The kids are focusing on learning to write and using the correct grip.  Brendan does not really care, where as the girls do.  They concentrate and try to get it right.

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After that is done, they have to put all their things away and wash their hands, put on their hats and go play.  Monday was a scorcher here, and I think it was around 32 degrees at 9am.  I put a second ‘coat’ of sunscreen on them!  Then, after 9, I leave them to their thing.

My day is then focused on work.  So I get stuck into it, and always am surprised when it is 215pm and time to prepare ‘snacks in the car’ for eating while waiting for Hayden as they have dancing at 345pm on Mondays. Snacks in the car are a big treat, and they are different every week.  This week, as it was so hot, we had some nice cold grapes (I took an ice brick even!) some popcorn, and some rice crackers and sultanas.  And cold water.  They are happy enough to eat it in the car and know that when we get home they have to get changed for dancing.

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So then it is time for dancing.  And after their concert on the weekend they were a bit excited to see everyone and talk about the concert.

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Hayden & I then headed to do some groceries.  Monday nights we always have ‘random things from the fridge’ – so chicken, cheese, cherry tomatoes, gherkins, and anything else – ham/salami and fruit.

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Enderman even came shopping with us!  I also love this little bit of time with just Hayden.  I get to hear him talk a mile a minute about any and everything and not have to fight for my attention.  It is pretty special.

Then we had the heat finally break with a corker of a storm.  Amazing lightening display and a downpour almost from nowhere!  The afternoon then becomes early evening and it is tea time.  Followed by bath and bed time.

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Then the trio {finally} go to bed.  And actually sleep.  And Hayden gets a little bit of one on one time with me as well.  Then he is going to bed (still with his doby) and I almost fall into bed asleep as well.  But, I try to stay up, get a bit of work done, and do the boring things like cleaning up, putting bins out and getting ready for tomorrow.  And all of this in one day.  And that is not including all the stories of today.  Like the kids leaving their clothes *right next too* the laundry hamper.  Not in it, on it, but near it.  Drives me bonkers.

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Or the singing of “if you are happy and you know it” and twinkle twinkle little star.  Or Hayden reading Cinderella to his siblings at bed time, not because he likes it, but because they do.  Or the kids, at bed time, wanting their kiss, hug, huggies and tickles before they are even able to remotely think about sleep.  Or brushing Emma’s hair again, and again, to make sure there is no more baby oil.  Or listening to Hayden talking about his school project, drifting off mid sentence of what he is saying and seeing him in 10 years time, tall, strong, and still passionate about dinosaurs.  The text messages through the day from Jase, sometimes our only form of communication all day.  The texts from friends.  Reading and deciphering emails.  So much screen time in all that we do now!  The groceries, the choices, and how I stick to what I know and use the same brands over and over.   How I find myself sitting at traffic lights and looking (with a non-stalkery glance) at the cars opposite me and wonder what they are doing, or what their life is like on Mondays, or any day for that matter.  Wondering when it will get less ‘busy’ and less ‘noisy’.  Probably never.  Wondering always about remembering everything. Hoping that maybe today the kids will actually listen to me and I won’t have to pull out the cranky voice.  And then it is a new day.  And much of it is repeated, but some of it never again.  The anatomy of my day is unique each and every day.  And I am glad to take the time to analyse it a little more by doing ‘A Week in the Life’.  I am also glad when it is time for sleep!

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The things we do

In the name of motherhood, we do so many things!  Things that I am sure when I envisioned motherhood, I never thought I would be doing *so much* of.  The real, every day stuff.  Like constantly being called by four tiny humans.  Varying levels of “Mum/Mummy/Muuuuummmmmmy/MumMumMumMumMummy” at least 400 times a day.  Yep, in one day.  Idle thoughts like “Muuum, can I have an apple?’  “Mum, I can’t find _____”.  Most questions revolve around food, or equality (she has more, she hit me twice, he has my car, he tricked me).

Or when you got to a theme park or zoo and you see many like-minded and weary parental faces nodding, smiling and waiting.  There is always waiting.  Waiting in line.  Waiting for a show to start.  Waiting.  “Mummmee, how much longer?” is repeated as many times as the incessant “are we there yet” phrase that we all like to pull out a few hundred times on any trip.

You stand, holding a bunch of hats, contorting yourself so you don’t drop any, holding them all in one hand so you can smile and wave as your child/ren go past on the ride each time.  I think I look like a grinning idiot waving madly to make sure they see me and know they are ok.  But the fun they have makes up for it; even if it means they have five rides in a row.  And then they get a bit bigger.  And they don’t look for you like they used to and you find yourself waving harder so they do catch your eye.  Funny how you miss the little things like that.

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So much time – traveling to/from places.  Organising the extra things like swimming and dancing.  Usually 1/4 or sometimes 2/4 don’t want to go and have changed their mind because ____ is more fun.  Negotiating to get them all there.  Bargaining.  These kids are borderline terrorists with their demands!  Waiting for them to finish.  Waiting for them to start.  Using that waiting time to do some crochet.

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Brushing hair. There is a good hour every day between them all.

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Making/baking preparing food.  Add another couple of hours.  On a good day.  Home made cheese and bacon rolls are now a family favourite (recipe here).  And popcorn (just plain, popped in a saucepan with a dusting of icing sugar) is a big fave.  Apples, by the kilo every day, and at least 4, sometimes 8 bananas.  Then the yoghurt.  And milk, and bread!

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So add groceries to the list – and yes I know that it is only going to get worse.  I always seem to be filling the fruit bowl, topping up the cereals and flours.  Ongoing.  Never ending.

Then when they are sick.  The unspeakable things you have poked down a plug hole.  The offensive smell of bodily fluid that is all over you that you cannot care about because child 2 or 3 or 4 or even 1 needs you again to hold back their hair or just hug them.  The washing that everything needs after all of this; and washing it again because you either forgot to get it out in time and it got too hard, or you forgot that you forgot to rinse the bulk of the spew off of it.  The child freaking out because they are not her undies, but her sisters.  The way you know that Emma likes to be cuddled a lot, and Caitlyn carried like a baby no matter how big she is, Brendan likes to be sat on your lap any old way, and Hayden likes to still be held when he is sick.

The stern voice you have to ‘get’ right.  The voice of authority.  The voice that has to tell your kids off for doing any amount of things even when you really want to just laugh with them and not care that they drew on the walls for once.  When you have to be adult enough to not laugh at toilet humour when your kids are playing cupcake to unwilling participants.  But also the voice that protects them.  Keeps them in a row behind you and safe.

So many things that you don’t realise will take up the bulk of your day.  The impromptu singing and dancing to a new song on the radio – and their interpretation of the lyrics is always hilarious.  The cuddles.  The story telling.  The reasons why they cannot possibly eat any more dinner as they have ‘full tummies’ only to ask five minutes later for a yoghurt, or cheese, or an iceblock.  The way they refuse to smile in a photo that you want of all them, and instead poke out their tongue, look away from the camera, or just walk out of shot.

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The pretending to love Frozen just as much as they do.  Or dinosaurs.  Or both.  For the first time in forever I think Let it Go is out of my head to be replaced with another tune from the movie (pun intended).  Going to the movies means you are going to see something G rated and will likely say ‘sit down’ a hundred times; and surrender your popcorn because they will eat all of theirs before the ads are over.  Gone are the M+ movies that have a plot,  replaced by something animated, with merchandise and a soundtrack that will have you rocking and drooling like a post op lobotomy patient, and broke from getting it all four times.

Or having to speak fluent Minecraft.  Knowing what a Mob is.  Or a zombie pigman.  Crazy places like creative, nether and survival.  Pretending to be amazed by it all.  A crafting table.  Oh the terms – they really should write a parents manual.

And I know that in 10 years time I will miss this.  I will miss their level of need for me now.  As bone tiring and repetitive as it can be; I will miss it all.  From the hair brushing, teeth brushing, washing and search and find rescue missions for lost toys, I will miss it. The interruptions, the detours, the calamities, the constant chatter and movement.  It will all be so different even in a years time.  And I know my role will evolve so quickly that I won’t always notice it immediately; it will only be when I have the time to think about it I will notice it.  But wow, what a ride.  Waiting in lines and all.

In the

The Time of Our Lives

Saturdays.  A day where activities are usually dictated by kids organised ‘things’ – so things like dancing, swimming, birthday parties, hair cuts, and library book returning.  I know even in 10 years time even I will look back and miss this.  Right now is probably one of the best times of my life – days bursting with activity, boring bits like washing, cleaning and groceries, and fun things like baking, cuddles (un-prompted), giggles and story telling.  Right now – it is happening.  Some days I need to remember this more!

Today has already been a flurry of activity.  I am onto the third load of washing already (boring bits!) and the kids have finished dancing for the day.  Getting the girls hair ready is always something that takes me a bit of time –

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Miss Caitlyn has curly wurly hair.   A mane of thick strawberry blonde hair that when brushed straight is half way down her back, but otherwise bounces up defiantly to her shoulders.  Today we had to had to have two buns.  Like Anna (from Frozen).

Then there is the polar opposite –

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Miss Emma with her mix of colours (mostly brown, light brown and blonde) and dead straight hair almost to her bum!  She has ‘a bigger bun than me Mummy’ (Caitlyn) and is not the greatest with sitting still when getting her hair brushed.

Now this hair thing is getting serious.  Real serious.  In a month the kids have their dancing concert.  Makeup (natural looking, not over the top clownesque), hairspray and wiglets.  I am silently freaking the hell out.  I have next to no ability to apply makeup.  Stemming from laziness, and lack of exposure to the ‘products’ I am now hopeful that there are some good YouTube videos for application.  Then there is the hair.  Product.  Again, I have gone with the path of less resistance and that is a band and a pony tail.  The hair for the concert has to be –

* Fly-away free

* Secured with hairspray

* The bun must be styled when wet

* Bun net must be worn

* Must be secured with multiple bobby pins

* Sustainable and non-moveable when dancing

Ok, they lost me at the first one.  I have crazy hair that means sticky-outy bits almost everywhere.  So does Emma.  Caitlyn has escaped this.  Little curly bits (despite our straight hair) that just happen.  I am wondering how to tame these bits!  Then hairspray.  Uhm, I envision my own hair being hairsprayed into place from the angles of spraying I am going to have to take to ensure they have hair spray in.  Oh dear.  It is going to be bad.  The written instructions provide me with no comfort either.  I am hopeful that for the full dress rehearsal next week some mother will take pity on me and have some tips of how to do it all.  Seriously!  I won’t even have Daddy back up as he will be away at work.  So I will totally be winging it.  I am the type of girl that always looks at other women with their amazing hair in awe, not nasty ‘she sucks’ awe, but pure amazement that it is possible (and power to them!!).

Today though, we may have an option.  Hayden got his hair cut, and for the first time ever, said yes to the ‘product’ the lady always asks him about.

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He looks so grown up!  A real, gulp, boy.  Gone is the ‘little’ boy.  It suits him, and he is telling me that ‘hair product is not that hard’ (after correcting his grammar, I informed him that for me, it is).  But it again shows me that even though I know how to do so many things, there are still so many more things that I am going to learn to do for my kids.

Inserting bobby pins, applying eyeshadow to twisty turny four year olds, building lego, making paper planes, understanding Minecraft, and making blankets for toys that are otherwise going to be cold are just a few things I have to learn to be fluent in.  There is no guide.  There is no book of answers, though I suspect that in many households YouTube and Google come in very close to being solutions!  But right now, even though I am absolutely petrified of having two girls take the rehearsal next week in crooked eyeshadow and wiglets that fall out (apparently you don’t want to be that child’s mother) I know that ‘this’ is the rocking chair moments.  The “remember when I had to…” memories that are so visceral because you can feel what it is like to be thinking of a million things to do and how to do them all in the name of Motherhood.

After dancing today, Brendan very happily tells me “I don’t need any makeup or hair Mummy, I just dance and wear my costume”.  Is it bad that I am relieved that his routine will be simpler?!  Despite this, even if he did, I would make sure he got it and that it was ‘right’; but I am so thankful it is one less to freak out about.

So now we are into the afternoon, and we have a birthday party to head too.  Three presents for one kid – she is going to feel special!  Hayden is reveling in the fact that his siblings will be gone for much of the afternoon, and I will be putting a roast on (lamb!) and hopefully replying to some pen pals!

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Saturdays are busy but fun, and as we near the tenth month, I really do have to take stock, and see, that right now, is likely going to be one of the busiest, but most amazing, times of my life.  So go, hug your kids, pat your dog, and look in honest reflection at what is happening now.  It may be that you too are in the time of your life 🙂  Enjoy it.  Live it!

And for no other reason than that he was not in any photos, here is B.  His usual, crazy, goofy self.

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Children {to the power of three + one}

If you had of asked me five years ago, or even 10 years ago, how many children we wanted, the answer would have been two.  Followed by, two healthy kids, boys or girls or both – we were not fussy.  Hayden came along 7 1/2 years ago, and was an only child for a while; for a good while; where we were almost at the point of accepting that he was all the good we would create.  I think we had all but accepted it, and then, I started feeling less ordinary, and thought…maybe…..

At the time, we lived in Broken Hill, and medical cover is limited – especially of the obstetrics and gynecological type.  My blood tests were flown to Sydney for some pregnancy stuff, and so my pregnancy stayed unknown to us for a few more weeks.  At 9 weeks and 2 days we found out I was pregnant with triplets.  January 9, 2010 was the day (I will always remember it).  The sonographer was in more shock than we were.  Jason was maniacally laughing.  I was all calm and serene, for about five seconds, then realisation hit – and I don’t think I have ever looked back, or been calm and or serene since!

I had an amazing pregnancy; truly, it was just beautiful – in hindsight!  I of course, felt like a big fat cow from about 18 weeks onwards.  I was measuring 36 weeks at 18 weeks.  I am just a bit stubborn and refuse to let things like pregnancy stop me from working (“I am not sick, I am just pregnant”…etc).  Well, at 18 weeks, I did have to stop clinical nursing.  I remember finishing CPR on a patient (the patient lived by the way), and I had only been at work for an hour; I felt done.  Drained.  Exhausted.  I realised then, that growing three babies was going to be a little bit tough.  I did still do everything I could; and going to bed at 7pm became my only way to manage!

The struggle was not the pregnancy, but fitting everything else in with the pregnancy!  Running around playing with Hayden became brisk waddling.  Going down slides stopped for a while (especially the ones that are completely closed!); and I found myself having to assess the stability of the swings before plonking on them!

Hayden had always wanted to go down and through the Daydream Mines.  As we were moving back ‘home’ to Brisbane, I really wanted to make sure he did it.  The mines were built by Cornish folk, who, were no taller than 5″  I am 6″2 – so it was cramped for want of a better word.  I did it, and there was only one spot where I worried about being squished!  Hayden LOVED it.  Had his very own miner light, and a million questions for our guide.  I was 20 weeks (and a few days..) pregnant here.

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We then moved interstate packing up our house that we had just finished renovating.  The irony in that is not lost on me.  We were commuting from Broken Hill to Adelaide every 2 weeks for check ups and scans on the babies.  It was all so busy.

Time flew, it really did.  I was still able to play soccer (I am totally crap at it) with Hayden in the back yard until 32 weeks.  Then, I felt like every part of me was stretched, and I was so unbelievably tired.  Figured it was a warm up run for the newborn stage.  Sleep was something that I could never find easily.  I was so big that comfort was difficult to find.  Every day was a blessing, another 24 hours of baking babies to mark off of the calendar.

34643_444442187577_6727642_nThis was 32 weeks and a few days.  I was exhausted!  I was using the time between not sleeping and Hayden waking to make lists of things to organise/buy and reading absolutely everything I could on what to expect (and in 2010 there was not that much information, or Facebook Groups!).  I had stockpiled nappies, washed and folded hundreds of jumpsuits – I was ready.  As ready as I thought I ever would be.

Fast forward a few weeks – and on July 8, 2010, our trio arrived.  Brendan first, followed by Emma (born in caul) and then Caitlyn.  We were incredibly lucky, they spent 1 week in a tertiary hospital followed by a week at the hospital closest to us to fatten up.  Then it was home alone with three babies and Hayden.

I often get asked about how I managed.  Truth is, I used lists and plans for the week.  I would have never gotten through without them.  I often relied quite heavily on them to know what day it was.  I can recall specific moments of twin feeding the girls (because B was such a fussy feeder) and thinking of how overwhelming it all was, and how many minutes sleep approximately I would get between this feed and the next.

Days revolved around the kids – Hayden included.  To keep him feeling included he had a chair right next to me when I was feeding that he would sit in and either do a puzzle, read a book to me or just talk.  This was pre-talking triplets.  Now we almost need a deli style number dispenser to get a conversation in!

Days looked a bit like this –

57028_10150107866112578_4559554_oI filled two notebooks with this type of listing.  This is not the newborn stage (it is December!) so it is not showing all the feeds through the night.  It is interesting to see this as Emma still is the last to wake.  I remember feeding them all one night when they were particularly unsettled – I got about 40 minutes sleep between feeds (after feeding I expressed, and this feed took 1 1/2 hours!!) and woke thinking I was in Groundhog Day!

Sleep deprivation is cruel.  I think being a nurse and shift working for many years prepared me for some of it.  I say some, because it is almost inhumane how sleep deprivation can make you feel! There is a bright side –  I feel as though in the last year I have been able to sleep soundly and remember what a wonderful feeling having sleep can be!  Nothing prepares you for a new born though – one or three.  They are little creatures that don’t speak your language, don’t communicate effectively anyway, and have no patience!

I have vivid memories of cleaning all the bottles every day – it would either be 4am or 4pm.  Often I would not know which one, just that it was 4 because I was cleaning bottles.  Then there was the solid food.  I cannot believe how projectile sweet potato can be.  I mean every nook and cranny.  Every inch of skin as opposed to into their mouths.  Crazy!  Little things like this that come flooding back if I sit and think about it.  So hard to imagine now, looking at a 7 1/2 year old and three 4 year olds how little they were, and all the things you do for them when they are babies/toddlers.

I also remember going to the shops some days just so other people could listen to the babies cry – there was nothing wrong with them, they were just too silly to sleep, or were teething.  Then the questions.  Oh my goodness the questions on a sleep deprived woman!  Yes, my hands are full.  Yes I have a TV.  Yes they are triplets.  On repeat.   I wonder now, when I am up with sick kids how we managed.  Gastro in four young kids.  Not fun.  Poo and spew everywhere, and images of sitting Emma down after just bathing and changing her to hear an all mighty squelch – to turn and see poo spreading up her onesie – I think I cried as I changed Brendan and hoped he didn’t do the same.  Oh the stories I have!  I am trying to write them down.  Trying to record them for prosperity as the saying goes. Because sometimes, I doubt people will believe some of the stuff my kids have done, and things I have had to do as a mum.

So four kids, and a million stories.  Time to start writing and recording as many as I can remember now; before the perils of sleep deprivation and motherhood dampen my memory!

 

Art – Subjective Right?!

We have many varying forms of art in our house – from paper based, to wall based, to face based (makeup by brothers!) and the streaming into footwear art.

Not all of it is a good thing.  I will never forget last year when Caitlyn was bursting with excitement to show me her art.  She dragged me outside and said “ta-dah” pointing to this –

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We suddenly had a 2m ‘canvas’ of various stickers, textas, crayons and coloured pencils.  Well played Caitlyn, well played!  I did not have the heart to wash it off, and it is still there – all be it somewhat faded.  She still smiles when she sees it.

Leads us to the walls inside.  They have had a beating over the past 2 years.  It has really only been a few times.  But usually when a ‘foreigner’ is watching them-  so thankfully not very often.  They have gotten Granny a few times – run off, been quiet, and have remodeled the wall for me.  Lovely hues of red, pinks and yellows (dead give away to who did it!).  When Caitlyn worked out she was getting caught because it was always in pink, she decided to do a little wall art in blue in Hayden’s room.  Kinda all over his wall really.  In blue, to try and blame Brendan.  She did not realise that Brendan was actually with me the whole time the ‘art’ occurred and as such, it could not have been him.  Nice try though.

Caitlyn and Emma have a love for colours.  I still am not sure exactly who is the culprit for this – as the second time they did it they washed their hands afterwards so I could not tell who did it.  And they still won’t say who was responsible.  I have narrowed it down to the girls.  Great detective skills I have hah.

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Just a little neon art (thanks to my craft supplies and the convenience of a spray bottle for them!).  They did not stop at the wall however.  They gave my boots a ‘go’ –

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I actually have not tried to remove it.  I love my boots – they are older than Hayden, and they are so comfortable.  Yep, they need a clean.  But they look lovely and neon-y right?

Now the face art.  I was, admittedly very surprised when I overheard Hayden volunteer himself to putting on make up for Caitlyn.  She has make up from her Hello Kitty Showbag from the EKKA.  It is eyeshadow only, so I figured there was not a great deal of harm to be had.  They all stepped outside to their cubby house (admittedly, alarm bells were sounding).  Hayden came inside some time later absolutely wetting himself laughing.  He had done Caitlyn’s makeup – as Elsa as requested, but he had written ‘Idiot’ in eyeshadow in her forehead.  Now that is hilarious.  By the time I got a photo (she was running all over the place and touching it) it looked less like ‘idiot’ but I could still make it out –

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Hayden was in hysterics.  Then, it was like a realisation hit him.  “Mum, stop her, before she gets to the mirror to check it”.  I asked him why – “she will be able to see I wrote idiot” – then I reminded him that she could not read yet.  And then, and only then, was he relieved.  Which I found even more hilarious!

I cannot wait to see what else they will start doing to each other – all in the name of sibling love.  I won’t tolerate blatant cruelty – not that they have ever done it, but sometimes they start to take a joke too far and it is always nipped in the bud.  They are just hilarious though.  And I often wonder if it is only my four that get into so much mischief.  The triplets room has a hole in the wall still from their ‘bridgewalk’ (they go the slats from their bed that were not nailed down and made a bridge) and the slats on their beds are now all nailed down.  They still have a 3/4 door separating them from their ward drobe so they cannot get in there and wreak havoc (like throwing all the clothes out, or now that they are older, putting them all on and dressing up at 2am).  Hayden’s room still has Caitlyn’s drawing on one spot as he wanted to keep it.  Needless to say, we will be repainting next year!

As frustrating and time consuming as the antics of the trio can be, I don’t think I will ever know what it is like to wake up to my two best buddies every day.  These guys giggle and talk conspiratorially every morning when they wake up.  So many times I have sat at the door and tried to hear them.  It is beyond cute.  When we go camping Hayden sleeps with them and the four of them do it.  We are trying to separate Brendan to go into Hayden’s room as he wants too. But every time we try too, he misses his sisters too much.  Guess it is that innate triplet bond.

With the sibling bond of all four there is a ‘don’t dob’ mantra.  None of them will turn in the real culprit, unless it is something bad.  Even if the threat of no icecream is made, they still won’t.  I hope that they continue to be that close when they grow up, I really do.  They are quite happy to pick on each other and tease (do not ever do it to them or you will have an almighty wrath!!) but they are fiercely protective of each other (Hayden included).  It must be so cool knowing that you have the back up of three behind you!  Leads me to the point of always being outnumbered again…ho hum!

Happy Friday!