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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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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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!

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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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!

Fractions

A maths subject at school I always found interesting – mainly because it was logical!  Fractions are how I find myself breaking down my time and my day with four {not so} tiny humans.

I get approximately 1/5 of my food.

I get approximately 3/5 of my cup of tea – and more if I make the kids a cup so they won’t scab off of me!

I spend 18/24 of the day awake

I juggle the rule of thirds daily – prioritising their needs and wants.  Then the big brother that makes it a rule of quarters.

Some times I don’t have enough hands to juggle them all, particularly when they are crook.  Things like this happen –

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Booga overload!

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Chocolate overload!

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Art overload onto the walls!

I have been a wife for ten years and with my husband for 1/3 of my life

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I have been a nurse for 1/2 my life

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And a mother for 1/4 of my life

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Always in birth order!

I spend 3/24 every day being an events coordinator

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And around 2/24 as a caterer

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And around 6/24 a cheerleader a week (officially, the other 18/24 I cheer silently!)

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A good 2/24 a day as a negotiator –

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And in all honesty 100/100 a mixture of happiness, concern, frustration, fear, fatigue, joy, pride and hope.

I think any more fractions will send me cross eyed.  Best get back to it!