Monday, 31 October 2011

BOW Award - Rose

After being presented with a romantic card and gift on the morning of our anniversary, Dean then chose to not return the gesture. Spousal suicide! Perhaps the three days of silent treatment was a convenient holiday for his ears, I don't know, but when I mentioned his faux pa to family and friends, they were shocked (maybe even scared for his life - and rightly so).

Dean is not known for his acts of romance. I am lucky when there is an occasion where he is forced to make and effort, and he actually does. He shows it more by his everyday actions. A coffee, sitting on the bench, ready for me to take on the school run each morning, crowned with a foam shaped heart. The way he cleans utensils before using them on my food, because he knows I am completely crazy, and don't want my food touched by anything that has touched meat - now that is love.

Our CHOGM long weekend was spent working up a sweat at our house. Dean knocked down walls and I removed nails from secondhand jarrah floorboards. Rose would have to take out the Best on Worksite Award - she ploughed through nail after nail, removing them one at a time with a crowbar. I was so proud of her - not a single complaint, a complete workhorse. Dean comes a close second, I am sure he aged 10 years over the weekend from pure exhaustion and stress induced sleep deprivation.

Workmen on site today - yeh!
Our old bathroom now has no wall.
It will be built out to where the photo starts
and include a full size shower/bath and double vanity. 
Today Grace went back to the podiatrist. Apparently her feet are still "deformed" but she has a little more movement in her ankles than this time last year. We lost one of her orthotics a few months ago and she has been unable to walk for more than a few minutes at a time without pain. In two weeks she will have two new, purple shoe inserts that will mean no fancy shoes, but pain-free, "sensible" feet.

Grace getting her feet re-cast.
Of course, today is Halloween. My three big girls went trick-or-treating with Nanna back in our home neighbourhood. Cate and Rose were witches (original, I know), and Josephine was a punk/cheerleader/doll/mumhasnoideawhoIam.

Thanks Nanna for helping out at the house this weekend, for sitting while Dean and I went out for an anniversary beer (sigh, Dean's attempt to gain forgiveness) and for taking the big girls trick-or-treating while I went to the chiro and podiatrist with Grace. Big green, candy coated kiss.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Nine years and counting...

Dean and I met at a nightclub in May 2000, shared an address by December, bought our first home in May 2001, engaged December 2001 and married less than a year later. Expecting our first babies before our honeymoon was over, was of no surprise.

I love you Dean, you make me the happiest person in the world. I am amazed by your beautiful soul and gentleness. I feel so blessed to be the one you love and to share an amazing family with you. xx

The beatutiful bridesmaids - Natika, Toni, Tami and Ness.

Tony, Matty, Jason, Timmy and the dishy groom.

Nine years of wedded bliss, eight cars, seven houses, six in a bed, five babies born, four nephews, three first days of school, two parents proud, one baby angel in heaven - the sum of my magical marriage.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

House update: OCT.2011

We had a great start to the day today, the house was abuzz with men in workboots on a mission! We had a crane at the crack of dawn and beams installed by breakfast. Trouble was, by lunch the house was lonesome and left to wait patiently for tomorrow. I won't be selfish and pray for no rain, but I might suggest the rain make a left at the city and miss my suburb - just a thought!

PS. To the wife of a certain tradesman working at our house, sorry if he comes home grumpy - feeling a bit grumpy myself with the problematic plans - I owe you a coffee.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

A deadline!

A deadline. Not just a date thrown at Dean by me, but a contract of completion!

We met with our kitchen guru yesterday to discuss our new kitchen, and he informed us we had 7 weeks to be ready for installation. I was overcome with nausea as the rain fell, wetting us as we stood in the kitchen to be, sheltered by no windows or roof and standing on an unfinished floor.

 Ok a second storey is starting this week (I know we've all heard it before - but it is true this time), and a glazier is just a phone call away but all things come in order and there is a lot of things before the kitchen!
  1. Rest of the roof removed
  2. Beams installed
  3. Internal walls removed
  4. Electrics/plumbing 
  5. Ground floor ceiling
  6. Timber framed walls
  7. Gyprock
  8. Floorboards
  9. Windows
  10. Doors
I am sure I have forgotten some things, but that is a lot already and I think I just threw up in my mouth! (Sorry)

So, to calm my nerves, I made a few lists. Lists make me feel like I have a little perspective and all things are achievable, especially if you litter it with jobs that can be crossed off quickly, superficial jobs that aren't really a challenge, but are there to fool your subconscience.

I also made a "wishlist" of things I want need - important things like a new dinner set (currently I have no bowls, they seem to smash easier than plates???). Towels - who wants crappy towels thrown on the floor hanging in a sparkling new bathroom? And then there are the things that conveniently need to be replaced like our toaster and iron (it died from neglect). 

So if I look a little frazzled, it's because I am. Don't cut me off as I may honk and wave unladylike fingers in your direction. Don't ask me to babysit your kids (or don't be surprised if they have a nervous tick on their return), and please, don't hold the next seven weeks against me, I am sorry in advance!

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Horsing around

Today Rose had her first riding lesson. Having four kids, especially four of the same sex, it is easy to just bundle them up and do things as a group - today was just about Rose.

I think it is important to encourage their individuality and this was a wonderful opportunity for Rose to shine. Dean, the girls and I, all watched her glowing with pride and excitement to be doing something alone. A proud tear ran down my face as she walked so confidently passed me, on her tail-less pony.

(This is the first time I've put a video up - and it doesn't work on my iPad.
Sorry to those who can't see this.)
Abby the tail-less pony.
Josephine asked me why she had no eyes also!
My sweet little horsewoman.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Spring miracle

Oh sun, why must you taunt me?

The bricklayers are solar powered, and when you don't grace us with your warming rays, my home cries rain on my precious, undressed floorboards.

My big girls moan, strangled in their shirts and ties, restricted by their handsome winter uniform, gleefully waiting in anticipation for today - the first day of summer uniform! But, due to your appalling attendance we had the "school jumper standoff" again this morning.

Dressed in their sweet, summery school attire, coughing with the remains of a cold from your last hiatus, they promptly refused to wear the school straightjacket. Sigh.

But, the absence of sunshine didn't deny us four amazing little girls this morning. By the break of dawn, they had dressed, brushed, cleaned, washed, made beds (big helping little), packed school bags (including making their own sandwiches) and cooked and eaten breakfast. I rose to a tidy, straightened house, resembling that of the night before, adorned with four perfectly presented princesses. Amid the lack of sunshine, there was a spring miracle!

 Happy Tuesday.

Sunday, 16 October 2011


Because it was my MIL's birthday while we were on holidays, we decided on an impromtu Sunday sunning by the pool, followed by a bbq. My MIL and NIL (Nanna in law) stayed for dinner, but the tiny little pool here did overflow during the day, with my SIL, BIL and nephews too.

My MIL and NIL are two amazing women. Not only has my MIL moved out to live with NIL so we can stay in her home, she also spends three days a week looking after my and Dean's sister's children, while we work. 

I come home from work and the girls are in their pjs, fed and exhausted. Nanna has played with them, cleaned up after them and entertained their every whim. The floors are vacuumed and washed (even though I did them the day before), and all washing that has not been hidden in drawers, is washed and ironed (including underwear).

They come to all of the kids special occasions and are always there for us in any way imaginable. I feel completely blessed to have them both in my life, and would never divorce Dean just to keep them in my life!!

Today they both sat outside and watched the grandies frolicking in the pool for hours, and then were dished up a bbq with one salad and potato bake - not much in return for what they do for us! (In my defence, Dean did the shopping and it was very last minute.) 

Happy birthday Lyn and thank you and Nanna for all that you do. We love you both very much.

Here are some happy snaps...

Grace was running around in her pyjama top with no underwear on while these shots were taken, hence why she is not featured here.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Heart shaped chicken and HOP

The dress code for today was strictly pyjamas only, (although our visitors came in clothes - my girlfriend and her kiddies gate crashed for lunch). Luckily I had on some jimmy jams that are much more appealing that my actual bed attire - Dean's footy socks and a long grey jumper.

The girls and I had a pj movie day. They went shopping yesterday and purchased party food, so today started with spaghetti, porridge and yoghurt ice creams! 

Now I'm sure all you mums know that "pj party" is actually an alias for a day of fast food, no chores and slothing! I get to cuddle on the couch with my girls and watch kid's movies. We have fish fingers with butterfly and heart shaped chicken nuggets for lunch (no food shaped such a way can be good for you), and snacks consisting of more yoghurt ice cream, avocado and strawberries. As you can see, there is no actual menu, they just eat what they like, even if they don't really go together very well.

A few months ago, Cate went through a Roald Dahl reading frenzy. She read about ten of his books within a few months, so fittingly, Matilda was our first movie for the day. I'd not seen Matilda before either and enjoyed it just as much as the girls. Grace sat staring at the screen, her expression becoming more and more grave as the principal terrorised the children in the movie. She was hilarious. By the end I had three perched on my lap, while Cate who knew the ending, didn't flinch.

Our afternoon movie was Hop. With quilts, blankets and pillows carpeting the lounge room floor, the girls sat, still in their pyjamas, and watched in silence. I love school holidays. We don't get to do this on days when Daddy is home as he can't sit still long enough. The last day of the holidays, have now unwittingly become a lazy day tradition.  (Technically they don't go back until Tuesday, but I work on Monday.)

Some days were just meant to consist of cuddles, bedtime couture and cinema, although, no day is perfect without - chocolate!

P.S. My next post will be my 100th, maybe a celebratory champers is in order.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Today's gripe

This week, I feel I have been bombarded with images of families, sitting peacefully on the pages of the newspaper, with the caption announcing their disapproval of smacking.

Now, I would say I am not a smacker, but I cannot say that I have never smacked. Smacking is not my first disciplinary action, I have never smacked one of my children without having exhausting other methods prior. But, after saying that, I think that to enforce my authority, I do shout. I am not proud of it, and I play it back in my head and hope that I can shout less the next day, but I have four kids and when they are all excited and giggling, I need to shout.

I am having a gripe this week about the pressures of parenting in twenty eleven. How can I raise the upstanding, conscientious children of the future, if I cannot discipline them? At what age do we stop "letting them be kids" and start preparing them for life? Here is my interpretation of modern day parenting...

  • Don't smack your kids - by all means, spend your day screaming and yelling instead, fruitless threats work a charm on an already undisciplined child.
  • Let them be kids - because when they aren't kids they are teenagers, and we all know how hard it is to control a hormonal, rebellious teenager.
  • Eat ice-cream - yes, give them sugar, then try not to smack them when they are crazily racing through the carpark!
  • Put them on the naughty spot - then watch them get up and walk away.
  • Feed them organic, healthy meals - oh, so no ice-cream now. Crap, too late.
  • Say 'yes" to your children - this is why kids don't know the meaning of no.
  • Teach feelings - my favourite. Teach them that it is ok to get angry, but you are not allowed to get angry. 
Now luckily, I have four amazingly well behaved children, so to smack or not to smack wasn't really a decision I've had to make, but I do believe that the media need a good smack! Stop putting images of these perfect families in your paper. And stop telling us that children these days have no manners, no respect for their elders, no life skills, then not let us raise them to achieve these goals. 

It is hard being a parent. I make a million mistakes a day, and chances are, I am going to mess up at least one of my children. I hope for happy, secure, confident kids, but I also want them to be able to integrate into school and society with normality and know that they are behaving in a appropriate, social manner.

Gripe over.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

All I want for Christmas...

Home. Well technically I am back at my MIL's house, but it is home for now.

We weren't supposed to be home until tomorrow, but as always, we have another hold up at the house. I have been very fortunate to have had my recent getaways, but honestly, I would just love to be in my own home.

The walls are up on the ground floor and the second storey was to begin its erection tomorrow, but after being viewed by a number of people, including the council, engineers, builders, Dean etc etc, a very important part of the plan is askew!

On one set of plans, the second storey and roof will apparently sit safely on a stud wall, but on another set of plans (not necessarily the most recent) it is resting on a brick wall. This means pulling up our existing floorboards, installing footings and building a brick wall in the middle of our house, which we would have happily done, about 3 months ago! There is an easy fix, run a beam across to an existing brick wall, but it does need to be discussed with the powers that be (the builder/engineer - not the council).

I am not sad to be home, I am not even upset by the halt in what was our first real week of work on our house, I am however, saddened by the fact that I'm immune to it now. While on holiday, Dean finally admitted that we won't be home by Christmas. I think when I have to put up the tree here, I might spend a few days in mourning. I now plan on being a good girl and ask Santa that we at least be home before the new school year. Fingers crossed.

Friday, 7 October 2011

Happy holidays

It has been absolutely wonderful on holiday, relaxing as a family. We have thrown away all of the "rules" and let the girls control most of our break.

They have been at the beach, with no hat or sleeves, in the cold, just being kids. Late nights, bubble baths, ice cream, sausages in buns and sandcastles. We had a few sniffles at the start, and the occasional grumpy girl at night, but otherwise it has been fantastic.

Today we went caving. In theory it sounded like a wonderful idea, until the tour guide told us we were going 375m underground - panic. We slowly ventured down the steep steps, Dean holding Grace so she didn't tumble into the canyons. I was behind them crying in silence so I didn't frighten the girls. I hate confined spaces, being underground, heights and places that make it difficult for me to ensure the girls' safety - caving! My legs were shaking, I felt like I had run a marathon, my heart was racing and I was light headed and teary. I was still bursting into tears an hour later thinking about it. Meanwhile, the girls had the best time, even Grace handled the 350 stairs without so much as a moan.

Yesterday we went for a drive to Augusta. I have never been there before, and was so amazed at how neat and perfect it was. Here are some photos from yesterday. (No photos of the cave, couldn't hold the camera and the railing at the same time!)

In real life, she has a bumpy run and tiny little steps,
but whenever she is photographed, she always looks so ladylike. 

I overheard Dean ask Grace today, "who made you the boss?"
I had to remind him that she has been the boss around
here since the minute she was born!
She listens to no one.

We tried this with all of the girls, but Josephine's was the best.
Grace, unknowingly, had a man between her and the lighthouse, making
it look like she had chopped his head off.

We came across this little pink house in Augusta,
looking exactly like a dolls house.
It had little black and white striped awnings. So cute.
* Note to Dean - wedding anniversary present!!
(I've got more chance of him letting me paint our house pink,
and even that is slim!)

Not really made for small people, but Rose will always find a way!
I think that Dean and I might take home some of our adopted rules. The girls have displayed an amazing amount of camaraderie since being here. There have been very few arguments and they have just loved being together. 

I love being on holiday.

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