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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Remember those ‘bad’ days?

Friday I had one of *those* days.  One that felt like it was never going to end, and one where I was fighting an uphill battle against four little humans, gravity, and well just about anything that I tried to accomplish. 

Normally I do our families memory keeping predominantly through Project Life and this blog.  I also have email addresses set up for all the kids (all just moloney._____@gmail.com) where I send them an email about something (even mundane) they have done with a picture and sometimes just a story.  In any case, I will hand over the reigns of the addresses to them when they are older.  Not sure if it is an 18th Birthday moment or not.  I have been doing it for about a year now, and love it.  I hope the kids do as well.  Anyway, I digress!  Mainly our week is documented through photos and words.  I like to add in small tiny humanism’s.  For example, yesterday, Brendan said he couldn’t go to kindy because….wait for it….he could not feel his legs.  I lost it laughing at him!  That right there is what I love recording and keeping a moment captured for all of us to appreciate and laugh, cry or cherish in times to come.

Most of this documenting, is not focused on one bad day.  So I thought I may as well get something ‘good’ and a bit of craft out of my day.  It was actually an amazing experience.  Because even though there were moments where I thought I would combust with frustration, there are so many more moments that in hindsight, were truly beautiful moments.  Here is a glimpse –

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The cover of my mini book.

I have used a bit of everything….

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My whole purpose was to be honest, real, and create something that I know in 20 years time will bring me right back to the moment!

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This smiley face was seriously taunting me!  I did NOT want the coffee to end!!

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I saved one of the (three) mini muffin boxes to keep in the mini book, more so because it was cute and the kids get these tiny little muffins!  But underneath I wrote the cost (which is crazy for four kids and an adult!!).  Then the little things that make me smile – Miss Caitlyn drinking her cup of tea from her mug, yep a real mug, not plastic.

Then trying to do the groceries….Image

And then….out to the car and….

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And my very fitting # tag seeing as I did not get time to cook tea…..#motheroftheyear…

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Then onto bed time – where they really did rip apart a book 😦  Not cool!

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There is about 10 pages of handwriting in the mini book as well, which was great.  I could really say everything.  On the whole though, looking back at the photos, even though at times it was so difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel, I eventually got through, and was able to smile, laugh and realise it was not that bad when I did this reflection.  I am now making more of a concerted effort in not saying I had a bad day and breaking it down to something like – well breakfast was a milk splashing nightmare and I find it makes it a bit easier to keep on going and I am not as stressed or cranky!!

Thanks for looking 🙂

Happy Wednesday!