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!

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!

 

Seriously…

I hear this word at least 100 times a day.  That means about 25 times per child….which sounds about right.  Seems they think I am never serious and ask repeatedly ‘seriously Mum?’.  Yes, seriously!  It is the buzzword in our house right now, with even the kids questioning the authenticity of some tales they tell each other with ‘Seriously B?’ and so on.

So, here are some things that are ‘seriously’ true for this family!

I did not dress the triplets in pajamas until they were almost two. Yep, for real.  I figured I changed their clothes enough times in a day and one less (from pj’s to clothes) was a time saver for me.  Hayden on the other hand, was dressed every night in PJ’s and then changed in the morning.

Hayden was at a sleep over last weekend, they played hangman.  His word was ‘doppelganger’ (he spelt it correctly and was able to define it also!).

We have a ‘free kick’ policy in our household.  If one child hurts another for no reason, we allow the hurtee to kick the hurter (not hard!) up the bum.  It is a source of entertainment and the kids hate being the hurter, so it does not happen as much now!

Sometimes I estimate how much it would be to chuck something out and buy another one against how long it would take me to clean it.

M & M’s are like currency in our house.  “I will give you 5 M & M’s if you let me have/go/do…”

All four kids have their own tea cup.  A cute one from Daiso, but their own nonetheless

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The triplets still all sleep together and are always touching in their sleep.  We have tried separating them but with not too much luck as yet.  B misses his sisters too much.

Hayden still needs a nightlight – and his doby.

Some nights we have cereal for dinner.

There are apples in the fridge that are ‘snacks in progress’ – the kids go and have a bite and put them back for later.

IMG_5577I cannot cope if the fuel gauge is under 1/4 tank – I have to refill!

I quite often used to sleep in my clothes.  When the triplets were younger it did not matter what I was wearing through the day – it was vomit bait anyway.  I would wear PJ’s all day, or just clothes – either way I would sleep in them!

I can go around 30 hours without sleep before I start getting a little nutty.

I love sending and receiving snail mail.  There is something amazing about a handwritten letter!  I am looking for another penpal if anyone is interested!

I hear “Mummy” at LEAST 250 times a day.  Varying pitches – ‘Mum”, “Muuuuum”, ‘Mummy’, “Muuuuummmmmy” – you get the picture.

I really dislike it when people (at the shops or in public) say “wow, you have your hands full, or, poor you, or any other statement that they feel is appropriate for someone with four kids.  I get asked regularly if ‘they’ (triplets) are natural, my response now “no, they are robots”.

So, we have some interesting tid bits, and yes, they are all true – seriously!

I hope you got a giggle 🙂