Moving -> New Blog Site

Hi There!

Ok – some exciting news – my blog is moving to www.moloneymayhem.com – I am really excited about this.  It is not a fresh start – it is just a more organised one, and it looks incredible (I can say that as I did not design it all – Victoria from Reindeer Riot did!!)

So for all the lovely people out there who follow my blog, you will need to please re-follow at my new address.  It will take 2 minutes, I promise!

This site will still be here, but I wont be monitoring it – I will be posting to my new site.  I hope to see you all over there 🙂

Happy Friday!

Ali

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Let Go

Re-blogging this for a reminder to be kinder to myself, and to take ‘everything’ in. Enjoy the little things and also think of the big things. Happy Monday 🙂

Moloney Mayhem 🙂

A few years ago, there was a great song by Frou Frou – Let Go.  I am not great at determining song meanings, but I really think this song is about humanity, and what it is like to love, live and experience every day adventures.  I love the line ‘ there is beauty in the breakdown’ – as it rings true with me constantly.  I can honestly say, that as a mother of four, I loose my crap, and do ‘break down’.  It might be over spilt milk, or another sibling fight.  But in that moment, and for every moment, I am beautiful and amazing to my kids. The relevance here?  Give me a few minutes of your time…
My four kids are going to have their perception of beauty and self image modelled by me (no pun intended!).  I am pretty crap at accepting a compliment, have next…

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Around Here

School holidays are over – already.  Term four is now in it’s third week.  Man, this year has flown.  All school/kindy ‘things’ are winding up, and Christmas celebrations are already being discussed.  Wow, just wow.

The days are warmer, the sun has bite, and the nights are still a little brisk.  It is the most glorious time of the year!

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The Jacaranda’s are in full bloom and are stunning!  I love the colour they bring to the streets around our house.  Just gorgeous.  I love that the kids appreciate the changes in season as well – and also just how beautiful nature can be.

Mindful of the sun we are trying to use play times on non-school/kindy days that are in the shade.  If you have read my blog before, you will know that I have kids that like to draw on just about anything – walls namely.  This was the latest ‘attack’

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Now this picture may look rushed – and it was.  Because it was artist interrupted.  She was no where near finished apparently, but this was a picture of me.  Not sure what I was doing.

So, to make them all accountable for drawing on walls, we made up some sugar soap and get those little hands cleaning all the artwork off.  The plan was hatched that we would turn the wall into a blackboard/chalkboard wall.

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So after cleaning and fixing any small imperfections, there was primer and then the blackboard paint.  All up, including materials it was about $100 from Bunnings.

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Here is the finished wall!  Very impressed with it.  What was more impressive was the fact that the kids thought that it was painted black because they kept drawing on it.  They had no idea (Hayden knew) that it was going to be a drawing area for them!

So after waiting the 48 hours we needed to wait.  I showed them what they could do on the wall.  The response was AMAZING!  They are so excited to have a chalkboard and it could not be in a better spot – it is a half wall that separates the kitchen from the dining area and protects the stove.

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Here is the excitement of four at once on the chalkboard!  We have only 2 dusters, and there have already been duster wars, but they end quickly – as the threat of no chalk is delivered!!

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I wrote all the kids names on the board so they could have their space (to begin with) and Caitlyn is trying so hard to write her name – she writes Mum a lot.  She is getting so clever!

So now, the kids are pretty stoked that they can draw on the walls, and I feel like we have made a big childhood memory of the drawing on the walls that they won’t forget!

My life’s {paid} work..

For much more than half my life, I have been a nurse.  I have worked through the night; been awake for days on end without sleep, worked shifts starting at 7 am, or 10pm, or 7pm or 3pm, and developed an immunity to the effects of caffeine (but still abuse the magical powers of coffee!!).

Being a nurse is as much a part of me as being mother is.  It is part of what makes me ‘me’.  I have witnessed some amazing events, some humbling ones, and some incredibly horrific ones.  I have laughed, I have cried, and have experienced just about everything else in between.

For as long as I can remember, all I ever wanted to ‘be’ was a nurse, and when I was about 7 or 8 my Dad got me an anatomy and physiology book on the heart.  I had in memorised in about a week and so began my love affair with how amazingly cool our bodies can be, with all the systems that work together and get the job done.  It also got me into my nerdy habits I am guessing, and I have been a booknerd for as long as I can remember.

When I first started nursing, I was in my teens.  Dad said ‘you have to start somewhere love’ and so my parents would drive me to a nursing home each weekend for a days work.  I did it for as long as I could – until sport got in the way and traveling for basketball games interstate were something I had to do instead.  I learned how to talk to people.  I mean really talk.  I learned how sometimes silence was also OK.  It was all scary at 14 to think about some of the things that I needed to do.  But somehow, my love for care, compassion, empathy and humanity won over.  I counted down the semesters at uni, and could not wait to be a registered nurse.  Six semesters and I was done.  Then it all began.  I lived and breathed nursing.

I found a new life that had so many aspects I did not even think would happen.  I had to work night duty on Friday and Saturday night, because I was the new nurse.  My friends were out and about, or going to the movies and I was at work, awake.  My friends (most of whom I still see and call my dearest friends now) adapted – thank goodness!  I even remember chucking my first ever sickie – from a phone booth a Toombul so I could go to the movies with my friends.  And they were in the phone booth snorting and laughing in the background.  Lucky my boss had no reason to doubt me!!

I learned that not everyone had the interest in the ‘things’ I had to do at work.  My definition of a shit day at work could literally be that. Seriously.  The things that could stop me from getting to my tea break – like someones heart stopping, or their breathing.  Or just that they needed me more than I needed my 10 minute break.

I grew to dread the witching hour.  3am.  The time when for no real reason other than just happenstance, people got sicker, or died.  Car accidents happened.  Drug overdoses happened.  Friday and Saturday nights were spent knowing that soon, there would be patient’s in the empty ICU beds because alcohol, drugs and driving did not mix.  My eyes were opened to the horrors of humanity – the hatred, the malice and the sheer malevolence of a terrorist attack.  I still get goosebumps when I think of the Bali 2012 Bombings.

At 19 I had seen death.  I had sat with death, nursed its next victim with dignity and respect.  Cried with the family.  Made sure that my patient’s face was clean and their hair was brushed the right way.  Fought death and lost more times than I can count – sometimes accepting that it was ok, and other times feeling incredibly ripped off – some deaths have no real meaning.  Thankfully, I have also witnessed miracles.  Patient’s who against all odds have survived.  Situations where you think there is no hope, and then there suddenly becomes a flicker.  And then the nurses get behind that flicker and soon enough it is a raging fire.

I can safely say that nursing is so embedded within me that I know exactly where on the Broslow scale my kids are, and find myself surveying and assessing almost every potential bad ending for ways to extricate said child/person, or how to treat until we get to hospital.  I also think I am a bit of a hard arse and a bandaid is all that is needed sometimes.  I mean, if it needs glue or stitches sure, but otherwise, you can stay at home kiddo!  I have performed CPR out of the hospital so many times – and so much that some people will never walk through the cereal aisle again without remembering the incident of the person who fell, split their head open after having a heart attack on the way down.  I know how to take charge of situations like this, because it is in every brain cell!  This I know.  How to apply makeup, not so much.

I work in a job where my uniform is either scrubs (which commonly get confused for pajamas) or pants and a shirt.  I have never had to think about what to wear for work or how to do my hair – as it has to be out of the way, and not just for infection control – but for my safety.  Let me tell you, a 120kg person who is off their head on drugs is pretty darn strong, and hair is easy to grab. And it hurts.  Like really hurts.  So, my wardrobe is limited.  I fret and worry about what to wear when I have to go to training days for work (and end up being the one wearing uniform, just in case I get called back to clinical!!) or even worse when I go out (and my friends can attest to the ‘what are you wearing messages’!).

I have a love for toilet humour, a knack for acronyms and a nose that is just about able to identify anything.  I have worked more Christmases than I have had off, and have learned that making the most of the time with my family on those special days is what matters. I have bought in the new year in the back of ambulances with lights and sirens, or just a ‘happy new year’ from the nurses I am working with in between doing our jobs.  I have left work late almost every single shift in my life because we cannot just clock off if there is no-one there to take over.  Or something happens.  Or another admission.  I am late home to my family because I have been looking after someone else’s family.  My kids are ok with this now, and ask every time – ‘did you make them better mummy?’.  They have the empathy bone.

I have had my nose broken by a patient, a couple of ribs here and there, been called some pretty choice names, and been abused for all sorts of things.  It’s not all rosy.  I have had to look after ‘that’ patient again because I am 6″2 and that sometimes makes patients rethink their abuse.  I have had blood filled syringes held at me, scalpels pointed at me, urine and faeces thrown in the general direction of me and been spat at.  It has its down sides this nursing thing.  I have been in the back of ambulances, choppers, planes and boats, all in the name of trying to get to someone or trying to get them somewhere to get them better.  And while this sounds fun, it is not always great traveling at warp speed trying to administer medication or blood when there is that thing called gravity.  Or batteries go flat.

I have seen the insides of our very being.  I have seen things that you cannot really see, but only feel.  I can tell you the exact moment someone has died, because something in the room shifts, and the smell of death is gone.  I have looked after people from all walks of life – from movie stars to politicians, to real people like you and I, to prisoners, murderers, and adulterers.  I have looked after brand new humans, tiny bundles of sweet smelling babyness, to children who have terrible illnesses that make me want to howl because life is so unfair.  I have often felt like I am in the middle of a Jerry Springer show when the mother is pushing out a baby to whom she is not sure which baby daddy is which.  There are things that are so incredibly unbelievable that you would not laugh me out of the room if I tried to tell you.  I have fought for my patients, for their rights, for things they cannot possibly understand sometimes, for their dignity and for their comfort.  And I do it every shift.

I love being a nurse.  I love all of it no matter how tiring it can be; because all of the good outweighs all of the bad.  No two shifts are ever the same, and that is both a good thing and a bad thing!  Nursing is a challenge.  A constant battle, with disease, and our own intricate balance required to keep us working properly.  Nothing beats winning!  Watching a wound that you once could fit your fist into heal, watching someone ‘wake up’ after being in an induced coma for a massive head injury to actually be able to recognise family.  Watching a baby take their first breath when things looked bad for a bit.  Being a part of someone’s last wishes, and respecting them.  Believing in yourself because your patients do, and they speak about you to their family and you get introduced as “that nurse who did….or that nurse who saved me…”.  The chocolates we get as thanks, the hugs from kids, the tears of joy from happy parents taking their child home.  All of it.  I would not change a thing.  Because no matter how bad some shifts can be, the good always wins.  And yeah, that sounds a bit Marvel/DC Good V. Evil, but that is the way of it, I choose to be a nurse.  Although, when I look at it, I think nursing chose me.

Let Go

A few years ago, there was a great song by Frou Frou – Let Go.  I am not great at determining song meanings, but I really think this song is about humanity, and what it is like to love, live and experience every day adventures.  I love the line ‘ there is beauty in the breakdown’ – as it rings true with me constantly.  I can honestly say, that as a mother of four, I loose my crap, and do ‘break down’.  It might be over spilt milk, or another sibling fight.  But in that moment, and for every moment, I am beautiful and amazing to my kids. The relevance here?  Give me a few minutes of your time…
My four kids are going to have their perception of beauty and self image modelled by me (no pun intended!).  I am pretty crap at accepting a compliment, have next to no fashion sense or any idea of style, and would list my favourite clothing as pyjamas.  But to my four kids, I am a rock star.  I am ‘so pretty mummy’, have the nicest shoes (pink chuck taylors), and have the bestest t-shirt (featuring wonder woman).  None of these items of apparel will land me on the cover of a magazine; but for my kids, I am the prettiest lady in the world.  And I need to learn to accept this.  Because, I do not want my chickens thinking that there is anything wrong with them – we are all unique, we are all magical, and we are all beautiful.  Easy to say, harder to prove!

I shy away from the camera, and if I do have to have a photo taken, I scrutinise my appearance.  I don’t know why because I am yearning for the near impossible.  I am never going to look like ‘that’.  I am never going to have junk in my trunk because let’s face it, my trunk has been through two pregnancies – one a triplet pregnancy, and it has now in my 30’s seen better days.  But my laugh lines, are that – my laughing, smiling and absolute moments of hysterical laughing.  Moments etched in time, and etched in lines I guess is a good way to put it.  My stretch marks on my tummy are my kids paintings.  I tell them that when they were in my tummy, they got bored sometimes and this is what they did.  I kinda like that they are there, they are a reminder that I can do and grow pretty good things.  And that I am strong.  But they are not that pretty!

Despite all my perceived faults, I have a husband who loves me, and children who know nothing different as I am their mum.  Sure the scales vary, and I find it harder to coerce them the ‘right’ way sometimes when that baked delight is looking so incredibly good, but I have to learn to shift my focus before my kids learn bad habits and perceptions from me.

The revelation of this nearly floored me the other day.  I don’t want my children to worry about numbers, I want them to focus on being healthy, active and happy.  I think that is the crux of my beliefs.  You cannot put a size on healthy.  You can put a perspective on it though, and that is what I need to start being more mindful of.

The kids take countless selfies and photos of me when I am not expecting them.  I look at them and often grimace as I am looking tired, drawn, sometimes cranky (usually if I am trying to get my phone back!) or other times plain defeated (4 v 1, you get the math).  But this is how my little chickens see me!  But I sit there and delete the photos before the cloud even gets a look in.  Why?  Because I don’t like the photo – I don’t like the angle, or I don’t like how my stickyouty tummy is sticking out a bit too much there, or I have terrible posture (from a childhood of stooping as I am so tall), or I just don’t like it!  The irony here is that I love the natural, and unposed photos of my kids.  I love looking at them when they think they are not being watched.  The happiness, the delight in play, brushing a dolly’s hair, building lego – I love it.  Yet if they were to take a picture of me working, or doing something mumsy, I would delete it.  What example am I setting here?

Every week I document our lives through Project Life.  Every week I have countless photos of the kids, and rarely any of me!  How will the kids be able to remember what I looked like when they were four?  I need to start applying the principles of healthy, happy and active to myself!  I cannot change a great deal about myself – yeah the kilos could be shed and I am working on that, but I have to change my perceptions of me.  We all have flaws, and I certainly know mine.  From the big nose that has been broken, to the monkey arms…my list is extensive.  But for all intents and purposes, my kids see me as beautiful.  I can kiss away owies and apply bandaids with master precision.  I can soothe unsettled sleepers, I can frighten off the boogey man.  I can fix things, I can bake things, and I can tickle and make them giggle until they are literally unable to draw breath.  I can guarantee you that I am the only one that can do this.  And for this reason alone, I am pretty darn special.  I am strong, fearless when it comes to my kids and their safety, and a master chef.  I am a ‘super organiser’ and a ‘nurse who helps sick kids and their mummies and daddies’.  I need to stand taller, walk prouder and remember all that I am rather than all that I think I am not.

Sounds easy.  I know it is not going to be as simple as deciding to simply just do it – I am going to have to work at it.  But my challenge will be to get in the photos, let the kids keep the photos they take without me ‘approving’ them.  And be happy in the knowledge that, just like me, the kids have take a photo for a reason.  For whatever reason they pointed and clicked they wanted a photo of me.  Their mum.  Their mummy.  And I have to be OK with that.  Because if I am not, well, what message am I sending them?  That photos are to be reviewed and approved?  That we cannot look less than ordinary?  Nope.  Not going to do that.  There will be enough hardships that they will have to encounter- other kids and their experiences, different opinions, different or unfamiliar situations.    They need to be confident in themselves, as people before they an learn how to adapt and change to the societal setting that is school.  They need to be strong enough to take a hit, and safe enough in their own self worth that they are going to get through.

So, there is my challenge.  I don’t think it is anywhere near as overwhelming as I think the safe passage of childhood is.  But I think it is an integral part of it.  Visually we are a society now where we are inundated with pictures and advertising in many forms. So I need to steer my chickens through a path focused on being healthy, being active and participating, and being happy!  Not just being happy, but choosing happy.

So here is me…I don’t think I have brushed my hair properly, I am running on about 3 hours sleep, and I am make up free (I don’t actually know how to put it on properly).  But this is me.  Ali, Mum, Mummy.  Watch this space 🙂

Photo on 21-07-2014 at 12.40 pm

 

Building Birthday Memories

This week saw my three three year olds turn four.  Yep, they are four.  I cannot believe how fast (and yet so slow some days!) the time has gone.  I have four little people now, each having their own little personality and idiosyncrasies.  Hayden is still the ultimate big brother, who knows all of his sisters toys names, knows how to fix a tea party, and who has unconditional love for his siblings.  This is one of the first photos of him being a big brother – here he is visiting Emma (about 6 hours old) and singing to her (Miss Polly had a dolly who was sick sick sick…)

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Being school holidays, we have had the fun of having them home every day.  Last week we took them to a special high tea (Enchanted Forest High Tea at the Stamford Plaza in Brisbane) to celebrate their birthday, get dressed up like princesses and princes and have tea and cake (a daily mission for them!).  We were the only ones there, and we got the special treatment.  The kids were overwhelmed with the tea pots, cake and sandwiches.  It was very special – and reports from the kids “I think that high tea is very special Mummy”.

High Tea!

High Tea!

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It was an amazing time – and so incredibly worth it (we got 2 for 1 vouchers off of Facebook, so it was very affordable!).  They all had an excellent time, and had happy birthday sung to them!

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Moving along to their actual birth ‘day’.  They all wanted different cakes.  Yep, three cakes.  They all decided (as a collective I guess) that they wanted to go “Birthday Camping” for their birthday wish/present.  So, for the cakes, Brendan wanted a fire truck, Emma wanted Slimer from the Ghostbusters, and Caitlyn a Princess.  This is what we ended up with –

Cakes are even in birth order!

Cakes are even in birth order!

We sang happy birthday three times, and they had a small piece of each cake.  (we still have left overs even after giving some away!).

B

B

Ems

Ems

CJ

CJ

After cake, we set off for birthday camping.  We went to Murphys Creek Escape, in the Lockyer Valley.  It was amazing.  The kids love the caravan.  So do I.  It is some quality screen free time where we all have to work together, play together and be together.  We had a camp fire every night, and some marshmallows roasted over the fire one night. 

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We set off on a “safari” where we wandered through the creek bed and the rocks.  It was a wonderful few hours (yep hours!) where the kids were able to safely explore and look around.  Even though it was cold and the water was freezing, they all unanimously decided to go for a ‘safari swim’ and build a dam.  Thank goodness for warm showers (20 cents for 2 minutes) and extra clothes!

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All four kids were dripping wet, covered in sand, mud, and red dirt.  But they had FUN.  And so did we.  Watching them work together (for a bit!) building a dam, then running off and splashing, playing and just being kids.  It was beautiful to watch.  And I know they will remember it.  No fighting, just fun and exploring safari style.

This is one of my favourite photos from the trip away –

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I have started the impossible washing load (am 6 loads in…a few to go) and the kids have mentioned a few hundred times how much they love camping and want to go again.  And soon. 

So now I have a 7 year old, and three 4 year olds.  I cannot wait to see what the next year brings!

When I grow up…

This question and statement seems to be making its way around our little family right now.  “When I grow up I am going to….” and it is so amazing looking at their faces when they realise that they really can do anything.  The possibilities, right now, as a 7 year old and an almost 4 year old, are seemingly endless.

Currently, and for the past few years, Hayden wants to be a paleontologist on the weekdays and a Veterinarian on the weekends.  The weekend work is ‘to help the animals’ and to have a ‘place where people can bring their pets and I won’t make them pay so they can have pets that are not going to get sick’.  He also wants to invent something to get rid of the paralysis tick on dogs and cats – “like mozzie spray but better Mum”.  Gorgeous, and I totally hope he does!

Now the trio are hilarious when they talk about ‘being grown up’.  Unlike Hayden, they think of what they can do without getting into ‘trouble’.  So they want to – drive, get a job (a job anywhere Mum, just need money to buy stuff), and not go to bed when they are told too but when they want.  Yep, a collective voice on the bedtime by the trio.  Hilarious.  Emma does want to be a ghostbuster though, and Caitlyn a princess.  B is still undecided – either a fire man or a police man.  The think about being ‘growed up’ a lot and are always asking me things like “when I am 10 will you still tell me I have to go to bed?”  Or, “When I am a big girl, ah, about 12, can I pick what I want for tea every night?”

Makes me wonder what is so bad about sleep!  I am sure, one day, they will realise how amazing sleep is, probably when they are parents in all reality.  Now there is a scary thought!

Getting back to when I grow up.  The kids often get asked “what does your mummy and daddy do?”  Fair question.  So for me, they say ‘mummy is a nurse and a teacher’.  Both professions I take great pride in.  I suppose though, for some kids, a nurse is pretty boring and not the ‘bestest’.  My kids tell me sometimes about how one of their friends parents is a ‘big boss’, or a ‘truck driver’.  Both are apparently very cool, and the kids have a bit of a pecking order about this.  They have even asked me several times ‘do you drive trucks when you are at work?’ or ‘do you boss people around a lot to get them to do things’ in effort to see how what I does compares to what their friends parents do.

I get asked if I want my kids to be a nurse.  My honest answer – I want my kids to do what they want to do.  We have to work for such a large portion of our lives, so it should be in a profession or field that we are passionate about.  I don’t mind at all what they grow into job wise, but I do mind about who they grow up to be.  Right now, my most important job is making sure that these kids know that they are not the centre of the universe and that their actions affect others.  That they have to work at things to improve, be kind and respectful, and importantly, patient in achieving their goals.  They have to listen, and not just hear.

When you are handed your newborn baby, you see this tiny little miracle that you made and someone who has heard your heart beat on the inside.  Your biggest job is to feed, clothe and bathe them early on.  Then the needs change.  You become someone who can make ouchies all better again, bake the best cookies in all the universes, and know exactly what your child needs.  You know all the words to “Let it Go”, and can name all the Disney Characters in under 2 minutes flat.  You live off of next to no sleep. Your payment is in huggies and kisses, laughter and your hair being brushed by strong fisted four year olds.  But watching them grow – that is priceless.  Watching their personalities emerge is amazing and still blows me away when they talk about things they want to do.

I have no idea what any of my kids will ‘be’ when they grow up, and I don’t know how much of the ‘who’ they are will influence that. I just know that right now, they can do anything, be anyone, and most of all, they can dream.

My four...Photo by the amazing Kate Scott at Baby Boo Photos

My four…Photo by the amazing Kate Scott at Baby Boo Photos