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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The things we do

In the name of motherhood, we do so many things!  Things that I am sure when I envisioned motherhood, I never thought I would be doing *so much* of.  The real, every day stuff.  Like constantly being called by four tiny humans.  Varying levels of “Mum/Mummy/Muuuuummmmmmy/MumMumMumMumMummy” at least 400 times a day.  Yep, in one day.  Idle thoughts like “Muuum, can I have an apple?’  “Mum, I can’t find _____”.  Most questions revolve around food, or equality (she has more, she hit me twice, he has my car, he tricked me).

Or when you got to a theme park or zoo and you see many like-minded and weary parental faces nodding, smiling and waiting.  There is always waiting.  Waiting in line.  Waiting for a show to start.  Waiting.  “Mummmee, how much longer?” is repeated as many times as the incessant “are we there yet” phrase that we all like to pull out a few hundred times on any trip.

You stand, holding a bunch of hats, contorting yourself so you don’t drop any, holding them all in one hand so you can smile and wave as your child/ren go past on the ride each time.  I think I look like a grinning idiot waving madly to make sure they see me and know they are ok.  But the fun they have makes up for it; even if it means they have five rides in a row.  And then they get a bit bigger.  And they don’t look for you like they used to and you find yourself waving harder so they do catch your eye.  Funny how you miss the little things like that.

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So much time – traveling to/from places.  Organising the extra things like swimming and dancing.  Usually 1/4 or sometimes 2/4 don’t want to go and have changed their mind because ____ is more fun.  Negotiating to get them all there.  Bargaining.  These kids are borderline terrorists with their demands!  Waiting for them to finish.  Waiting for them to start.  Using that waiting time to do some crochet.

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Brushing hair. There is a good hour every day between them all.

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Making/baking preparing food.  Add another couple of hours.  On a good day.  Home made cheese and bacon rolls are now a family favourite (recipe here).  And popcorn (just plain, popped in a saucepan with a dusting of icing sugar) is a big fave.  Apples, by the kilo every day, and at least 4, sometimes 8 bananas.  Then the yoghurt.  And milk, and bread!

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So add groceries to the list – and yes I know that it is only going to get worse.  I always seem to be filling the fruit bowl, topping up the cereals and flours.  Ongoing.  Never ending.

Then when they are sick.  The unspeakable things you have poked down a plug hole.  The offensive smell of bodily fluid that is all over you that you cannot care about because child 2 or 3 or 4 or even 1 needs you again to hold back their hair or just hug them.  The washing that everything needs after all of this; and washing it again because you either forgot to get it out in time and it got too hard, or you forgot that you forgot to rinse the bulk of the spew off of it.  The child freaking out because they are not her undies, but her sisters.  The way you know that Emma likes to be cuddled a lot, and Caitlyn carried like a baby no matter how big she is, Brendan likes to be sat on your lap any old way, and Hayden likes to still be held when he is sick.

The stern voice you have to ‘get’ right.  The voice of authority.  The voice that has to tell your kids off for doing any amount of things even when you really want to just laugh with them and not care that they drew on the walls for once.  When you have to be adult enough to not laugh at toilet humour when your kids are playing cupcake to unwilling participants.  But also the voice that protects them.  Keeps them in a row behind you and safe.

So many things that you don’t realise will take up the bulk of your day.  The impromptu singing and dancing to a new song on the radio – and their interpretation of the lyrics is always hilarious.  The cuddles.  The story telling.  The reasons why they cannot possibly eat any more dinner as they have ‘full tummies’ only to ask five minutes later for a yoghurt, or cheese, or an iceblock.  The way they refuse to smile in a photo that you want of all them, and instead poke out their tongue, look away from the camera, or just walk out of shot.

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The pretending to love Frozen just as much as they do.  Or dinosaurs.  Or both.  For the first time in forever I think Let it Go is out of my head to be replaced with another tune from the movie (pun intended).  Going to the movies means you are going to see something G rated and will likely say ‘sit down’ a hundred times; and surrender your popcorn because they will eat all of theirs before the ads are over.  Gone are the M+ movies that have a plot,  replaced by something animated, with merchandise and a soundtrack that will have you rocking and drooling like a post op lobotomy patient, and broke from getting it all four times.

Or having to speak fluent Minecraft.  Knowing what a Mob is.  Or a zombie pigman.  Crazy places like creative, nether and survival.  Pretending to be amazed by it all.  A crafting table.  Oh the terms – they really should write a parents manual.

And I know that in 10 years time I will miss this.  I will miss their level of need for me now.  As bone tiring and repetitive as it can be; I will miss it all.  From the hair brushing, teeth brushing, washing and search and find rescue missions for lost toys, I will miss it. The interruptions, the detours, the calamities, the constant chatter and movement.  It will all be so different even in a years time.  And I know my role will evolve so quickly that I won’t always notice it immediately; it will only be when I have the time to think about it I will notice it.  But wow, what a ride.  Waiting in lines and all.

In the

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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My Own Little Army

Right now I live in a dictatorship.  Yep, in Australia.  A dictatorship run by a little army I created.  Four little beings who without a doubt will be the best things I have ever made in my life, rule my life.  Rule my every day, and my every night.  The world according to the ‘regime’ is seemingly delightful if you are the dictator!  Things like pink milk, an endless supply of bananas and yoghurt, and breakfast items for dinner such as porridge, pancakes or Nutri Grain are the constant demands.

I am constantly outnumbered.  They know how to gang up on you.  They wait all day and lull you into a false sense of security.  Thinking that you have stopped them from snacking after 330pm so they may in fact eat their dinner.  Little did you know they had previously *stolen* food from the pantry to dish out later when they want it before dinner.  That split second you take to get the veggies out of the fridge for dinner – that is when they choose to eat the stolen goods.  And then have the audacity to say that they are ‘starving hungry mum, cannot possibly wait for dinner’.  Hmm.   So I cook dinner, in high hopes that they will in fact eat some of it.  Find myself saying ‘eat your tea’, and ‘sit down at the table’ a lot.  A. LOT.

I hide veggies.  I try to pick ‘kid friendly’ meals.  Here are some dinner time snippets –

“Mum, I am not eating this” – pointing to dinner consisting of spaghetti – “So why don’t you just save yourself time and make me a toastie (toasted sandwich) now?”  Insightful, delightful – tactics of a three and a half year old!

“Mum, I can’t like (note it is not won’t or don’t) this…….please can I have a sandwich/cereal?”

“Mum, I am not hungry anymore”

“Mum, I only wanted a sausage, not all this stuff as well (veggies)”

“Mum, this tastes (fettuccine carbonara) like it has like a lot of vegetables in it, are you sure there are none in it?  I am a detective you know”

Some nights it is really quite difficult to keep a straight face.  Seriously, where do they come up with this stuff from?!

Some nights we have a standoff.  And we won’t let them leave the table until they have eaten their dinner.  Caitlyn actually won one night.  She refused to eat her pumpkin.  An HOUR I sat there with her.  After an hour and 15 minutes I gave in.  Seriously, this kid has spunk and will power.

The Pumpkin Incident!

The Pumpkin Incident!

This is the pictorial evidence of the “pumpkin incident”!

Some days it really does feel like I am in the throes of declaring war.  Or am in fact in the middle of a war zone.  Other days, it feels like I am quite literally being dictated too. This tiny little army has me completely exhausted most days, begging for five minutes reprieve of the constant demands –

“Mum, Mummy, MUUUUMMMYYYYY”!

Or the countless times I say

“______ give ______’s ________(insert item here) back to him/her”

Or

“Keep your hands to yourself”

“Stop hitting/pinching/slapping/kicking your brother/sister”

These are, however, the rocking chair moments.  The bonafide life experiences that will always bring with them the feel of chaos!  I will remember these things in years to come, and like to think that I will recant them to the children ad nauseum – particularly when they have kids!

Right now my little army dictates a lot.  And granted most of these demands are seemingly reasonable – I mean who does not want to have a fairy tea party for dinner every night?  If I took all of the fun out of everything I deserve to be dictated too!  Right now, these kids are full of imagination, mystery and wonder.  Their minds are overflowing with ideas, dreams and possibility.  I love them more than words can type or say, and I know that they love me as quite often they say it, particularly when they have not eaten all of their dinner, or in fact want ice cream for dinner because that is what Knights eat.  Hmm.  Dubious much?

Tomorrow is another day full of possibility – and already, at bed time, I have had “Mum, can we have sausages on bread for tea tomorrow night?”.  Ho hum…

Planking – Triplet Style

Yep, the name says it all.  Planking – with a triplet twist.  We often sit and wonder ‘what’ they will do next.  We try to out manoeuvre and out think these guys, but clearly, we are more than three steps behind.  Today’s “let’s play” was planking; well a very basic form of it.

We awoke to an almighty bang.  Sprung out of bed – and found a bed slat on the floor and a hole in the wall.  Now lets back up a bit here.  Months ago, we nailed down all the slats on the beds to prevent the 2am games of slideybeds.  Obviously, one slat was missed.  So, Caitlyn, who is now against the wall, sleeping away from Brendan and Emma (her choice, and surprisingly Brendan and Emma were fine with it) had put the slat from her bed to Emma’s and was using it as a bridge to walk over to her siblings beds.  It went a little pear shaped the second time when Brendan tried to do it, as he thought he would move it and then in moving it, he put it straight through the wall.

There are many points here to try and discuss.  And for all of you non-believers, you are more than welcome to stay over a night and see exactly what these little imps get up too!

The recollection of the story took the whole day to obtain.  With not ONE of them owning up or dobbing on who did what.  It was not until I put them to bed tonight that they finally decided to tell me what happened.

The conversation went something like this –

Why is there a hole in the wall?

Caitlyn – it was accident.  Brendan was trying to make a better bridge.

Brendan – Yeah (he really says yeah!!) I was trying to fix Caitlyn’s bridge.

Emma – it was a bridge to my bed. My bed is where you land after the bridge.

Why were you using the wood from your bed?

Emma – don’t be silly Mummy, we can’t make a bridge out of anything else (yes she really said that).

You know that you are not supposed to play with the wooden slats, that is why Daddy nailed them down.

Caitlyn – but we didn’t play slideybeds Mummy.  This was no same.

*I am really trying to NOT laugh so hard by this stage*

Why did you need a bridge?

Caitlyn – to get to the other side a different way.  It was fun.

Brendan – we had to try to get over floor.  Yeah.  I tried to fix it, but it broke.

Right about now, I lost it!  I mean seriously – who thinks like this?  Talk about teamwork!  I have to give it to them – they did not dob on each other (and Caitlyn is the first to dob!!) all day nor would they tell us what happened.

We walked into a room with beds moved, a slat on the floor, and a hole in the wall.  And three faces knowing they were about to cop a smack on the bum.

The hole...

The hole…

They took the smack on the bum, and refused to talk about it all day.  Until bed time.  Probably as Daddy is at the Broncos they fear little to no punishment from me!  Earlier this afternoon I had promised them that we would make banana bread tomorrow (we finally have some brown bananas – which is no easy feat in a 6-8 banana a day family!!); and the were so concerned that because they finally told me who did what they would not get any banana bread!  Oh the insight!

This honestly, was one of the funniest things they have done.  There is no way to prevent their imagination or ingenuity.  Trust me though, there was no slat left unturned or un-nailed today, so this cannot happen again. It could have gone badly, with one getting clocked in the head – but we cannot watch them every minute of every day, and accidents happen.  I am in no means making light of the situation, but these guys are a force to be reckoned with!!!  Funny thing is, I can picture them doing this, and Caitlyn would not have been in direct line of of the slat – she would have been pushing the other bed with Emma…so it was likely very well planned.  I wonder sometimes – do they just lay in their beds and discuss and plan what they are going to do? Their imagination is unbelievable!

The joys of parenthood eh?  This is definitely one of the stories that will live on for a long time and be recounted to them by Jase in his innate ability to story tell masterfully at their 21st!

So now they are all in the land of nod, no doubt dreaming up what scheme or game they can do!

And no, we are not getting video cameras for their rooms!