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!

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!).

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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

 

 

 

 

 

Just Breathe….

Some days this is literally my mantra, these two words can just bring me back to a level of reality, and give me a little more clarity.   They also often provide me with a little breathing space (no pun intended!!) to plan my next move – in both family and work situations.

Juggling wifedom, motherhood, friendship, work and just life is just that – a constant juggle.  It is also a battle against time, four independent minds (my tiny little army) the harshness of sleep deprivation, and the real world.  Sometimes, on ‘those’ nights when one of my chickens is sick, or is having a bad dream, or is just unsettled, and it is just me, I wonder, when the nights like this will end.  But then you get really philosophical when discussing that there is no boogie monster (after searching everywhere and sitting on guard for possible ninja boogie men (true story))  and wonder how much ‘longer’ you will be the absolute centre of knowledge and well, everything, for these kids.  Right now, these four kids think I know just about everything, but sometimes Google is required, and that I can in fact fight against trolls, boogie men, ninja boogie men, and have ‘all the moves’ necessary to deploy a tactical take down of a Lego army.  That in itself is a pretty cool accomplishment!  But now, I see the role slightly shifting.

The trio have started Kindy, and their teachers are also a source of influence.  Their teachers are amazing and are truly nurturing and enriching my kids lives.  They also have very interesting questions some times for me – about little bits and pieces of our family life that obviously comes up in conversation at Kindy.  At the moment we have a ‘free kick’ policy.  If one kid kicks/pinches/hits or just hurts one other child (and let me be clear, only MY kids) the child that was hurt gets a free kick.  The hurtee must stand still and cop it sweet.  Generally it is a free kick up the bum.  It is hysterical, and is not hard, it is more about a bit of justice.  It is really difficult some days to stop the picking, and the free kick system has helped our family a lot – not that I am promoting it at all!  So the Kindy teachers got a bit of a giggle about that!  I think it is also quite interesting for them to see three siblings so incredibly different but interconnected in so many ways, go about their day and their ‘jobs’ at Kindy.

Then there is Hayden.  Who is now in grade 2.  I mean seriously, he is 7 already.  He has grown so much, and some days, I get a glimpse of the man that he is going to be.   He has an insight that is beyond his years, and has an understanding of the world that sometimes is scary.  I want to shield him from so much, but the big bad world is out there and I can only inform, soothe and ensure he is prepared for it all.  One of the biggest things with Hayden is that he is emotionally a 7 year old, but intellectually much older.  We have to try and strike the balance there somewhere and guide him safely.  He is struggling with his handwriting, but has improved IMMENSELY in the past term.  So much so that he scored student of the week last week (so proud of his hard work).  He still needs his lullaby from me every night (and if I am working clinically I have to call and sing it on the phone to him – and let me tell you, so many people have heard me sing it at work, and I am a total crap singer, and I could care less!).  He is quite possibly the bestest big brother out there – and second bestest big brother is B. 

Hayden has really taken the big brother role in his stride.  For a long time he thought it was ‘normal’ for people to have three babies at once, and I remember him asking my sister in law when she was pregnant why there was only one baby in there!  He knows the names of all his sisters teddies and dolls, and knows how they take their tea.  He knows the name of their favourite stories and even reads them too them (B included) when he thinks no one is watching.  Brendan also knows all his sisters toys names, and it is so cute to watch them seemingly take on the protective role of their sisters.  Funnily enough, if there is something really scary (like the big arse huntsman that was in their room last year) Caityln is FEARLESS and takes front stage and generally herds the ‘others’ back, and then proceeds to throw things (everything in her reach) at the said spider.  Hilarious.  Boys are prepared for all, BUT that!  Haha!

In an effort to get the kids a little more coordinated, socialised and active, we have put them into dancing.  They are in love with it.  I mean, totally and utterly in love with it.  It brings me such joy to see how happy they are when they are dancing, talking about it, and getting ready for it.  It is like a secret club as parents are not allowed in the studio’s, only the drop off areas.  I get little tid bits of information about what they are doing in there.  Hayden is even tap dancing!!

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So now we have more activities to add into our routine.  It is busy, and I feel like I can now completely understand the “Mum’s Taxi” stickers I see on cars.  I feel some days like I am running them here there and everywhere, and I know it is only going to get worse!  So they swim and they dance.  The swimming class is made up of three – so we had one class for just us!!  Hayden swims and is loving it. They are all becoming much more water wise/aware, and able to swim in a purposeful manner.  In saying all of this, I remember so many times feeling like the worst mother in the world because I had not been able to get my kids to swimming lessons (as *everyone* was taking their kids).  The reality of juggling triplets and an older sibling and getting them *safely* to the pool and home was just not going to happen.  There really is an element of fearlessness in a pack of triplets.  I think pack is a suitable word as they really feed off of each other, and just don’t see the perils of walking in from a car park with one adult and four kids.  All holding hands is just fine, but it takes but one small misstep when crossing or moving into the road that freaks me out!  This, while has not deterred me, has been something always taken into account in anywhere I go.  I have not felt, until now, that they have been aware and old enough to get to things like swimming or dancing and appreciate it, and actually thrive and grow from it!

A true testament to how much time has flown is the mere fact that it is almost JUNE, yep, the halfway point of the year, and another month closer to the trio turning four.  Crazy!  This year has flown by in a blur – weeks seemingly roll into one another with the school holidays being parentheses or intermissions.  Term II, already.  CRAZY!

No matter how busy I am, I know that there will be a time (when I am not sure!!) that I will look back and miss this.  This right now – the four kids full of boundless energy, questions and ‘will you play with me’s?’.  I am feeling pretty special that I am everyone’s best friend, as Caitlyn is quite picky and quite often people are not her best friend for some small Caitlyn-esque reason.  I have four children who singlehandedly are heartstoppingly beautiful and take my breath away when I think about all that they are now, and what is still to come.  Then I look around at the devastation that is my home.  I mean it looks like a giant lego vomit some days.  They pick it all up for sure, but some days, you look around and think – if someone where to drop in now, they would think that we lived in squalor!  But, then my reality sets in – my kids have fun, and my house is a home, not a model – quite like me really, well lived in hah!  I don’t have spotless floors, or a fingerprint free fridge, but I don’t want one either.  Those fingerprints are from a little being trying to (likely) steal fruit, or get a drink.  And it is real.  So I just breathe.  I do want clean floors though, so if anyone has any ideas on how to keep them clean, please pass them on!

I have learned to let some things go.  Not cleanliness or anything like that if that is what you are thinking!  But just the importance of having a constantly neat and tidy home.  It is not going to happen.  I can’t even keep my craft area tidy, so I highly doubt my success there will spread to the household!  I try, I really do.  But there are only so many hours in a day.  Some nights, when the kids finally get to sleep, I sit there wide eyed and likely vacant looking wondering what it is now I am supposed to do.  Then I remember the list – bins, washing, dishes, recharge iPads, find lunchboxes or missing items, finish marking something, work, maybe some craft and make a cup of tea.  A cup of tea that I can drink while it is still HOT.  That cup of tea is the best cup of the day!  And the moment I sit down to do something that is not work related or child related, I fall asleep! 

I know that I will miss the mayhem of these days, and the kids at this age.  I know it.  But I also know that they are still going to need me, it is just going to be in differing ways.  I still get asked how I do it all.  I don’t know is the simple answer.  I do it all because I don’t know any different.  We chose to have kids, and instead of one sibling for Hayden, we got three all at once.  So I don’t know any differently.  I know that it is challenging and mighty expensive buying three of just about everything – but it would be similar for larger families to some extent I am guessing. It is challenging, and it is difficult, and some days I want to cry, and some days I do.  Some days I think I am drooling in the corner after their bed time, because the inevitability is that tomorrow will be the same.  I make lists, I make menu plans, I try to be consistent.  I like routine, and they seem to cope well with it.  I probably put my hand up for a few too many extra jobs with school and Kindy, but I want to be involved as both play important roles in my children’s lives.  I forget to mail cards to friends, or mail them months late, and I sometimes even then mail a belated birthday card instead of the pretty birthday card I made.  I try to juggle everything, but, sometimes I let a ball drop.  I can be crap at returning non-work calls.  Because some days I literally cannot stomach the thought of talking on the phone anymore as I have done it all day.  I crave peace and quiet – but once I get it (rarely!!) I worry that something is wrong.

I suppose my friends are the ones that are not getting as much of my attention – and it is not intentional.  It is just life.  This has been something really difficult for me to accept, and I have been really upset many a time about it.  I have four kids, I work and I am a wife; and they have lives too.  I have to find a balance and right now, I am where I need to be.  I think things are cyclical, and before I know it I will be able to devote a chunk of my time to my beloved friends again.  Just as well they love me!

There is great strength in knowing that you are doing all you can – and that are doing a good job.  For me, looking at how happy my kids and husband are is proof that I am doing a few things right.  It has been tough dealing with Jason working away from home and only being home 5-6 days of every fortnight.  But we have adjusted, and it will continue to be a challenge at times, but I think we are all used to it now.  The days that washing gets forgotten are generally the days that Jason is home as he has messed with my routine! 

So on the days that stretch into hours of tears, or sick kids, just breathe.  Because slowing down, and rethinking things can often make a situation change.  And that right now, is all I can do.  Because before I know it, I will have kids that don’t want to play with me, or don’t want a lullaby before sleep.  Until then, lego vomit is acceptable, and so are fingerprint stained doors and fridges (like how I snuck the doors in there as well!)

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The kids nightlights 🙂 I love them!