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Summer Holidays – Clothing Optional, Sunshine Not Guaranteed

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It’s Day Two of the school holidays and, apparently, clothing is optional in our house.

Here in New Zealand, we are lucky enough to have Christmas at Summertime  …

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… and so the kids finish school for the year and have 6-8 weeks off before going back in the new year. I’m thrilled. Can you tell?

Yesterday was Princesses last day at school, and today, BoyChild finished up. Last night, they (along with one of their friends) went outside onto the trampoline at 7:30 pm, in the rain, stark naked, for a bounce. My friend and I watched them from the comfort of the living room, perhaps enjoying a glass of wine. It was, after all, the last day of school. Party hard, we said. Go crazy.

And, go crazy they did.

After an hour or so, we brought the reluctant yet saturated kids inside for a bath and into their pjs. Once it was dark enough (9:30pm-ish), we piled into the car to go and check out the Christmas lights on display at other houses. I have to say, kudos to our little suburb, there were some fantastic houses. Naturally, the kids started to doze off in the car but that didn’t stop my friend and I from searching out houses and exclaiming lots of “ohhhhh”s and “ahhhh”s. Some houses were pretty spectacular. And, when we couldn’t find decent houses, we drove down the main street and “ohhhh”d and “ahhhhh”d at the shop displays. Most weren’t so much “Christmas-y” as just the standard lit up display that stores have at night time, but we had fun nonetheless.

I thought that an 11pm bedtime for the kids might have resulted in a sleep in this morning. Ha ha ha, I know, I know. Don’t be ridiculous, Mrs T! Princess was up, bright and shiny, at 8am. By 9am, she was not so bright and shiny. She was tiiiiiiiiiired. Really? You think?

After a long day of desperately trying to keep Princess and BabyGirl entertained (“I’ve got an idea! Let’s go to the Mall”. Said the craziest mother ever), we collected BoyChild from his last day at preschool and came home.

Now, this is no exaggeration – literally immediately as BoyChild walked in the door, his clothes were discarded. “No top, Mumma. No pants, Mumma”.

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Alrighty then.

Naturally, it was followed by, “He’s nakey! I wanna be nakey”.

And, before I knew it, I once again had two children, stark naked, jumping on the trampoline in the rain.

I can’t wait to see what Day 3 brings. I’m going to go right ahead and suggest it may have to do with naked children on the trampoline.

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Yay Holidays!

 

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Liebster Award!

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Well, now – this is a bit exciting. Sitting on my computer at 11:36pm after ninja-sneaking out of BabyGirl’s bedroom for the umpteenth time (ok, I’m lying – I just got home for a late night shopping trip (yay Christmas) so it has technically been Mr T doing the settling all evening) and I discover that I’ve been nominated for a Liebster Award!

A quickie search courtesy of Mr Google tells me that this is an award passed around the blogging community (the big ol’ interweb) to recognise up-and-coming bloggers and to introduce people to different blogs. Yay me. Big thanks to Nicole over at mariella & me for the nomination!

So, here it is. These are questions provided to me by Nicole :)

1. I’d you could have something right now, tangible or not, what would it be?

You know, I want to say something really meaningful, but truth be told, I want chocolate. And I could get it too, if I walked the long three metres to the fridge. Sigh.

2. What are you most grateful for?

My family. My kids and my husband (naaaaw). My awesome friends and … well, just my life. I mean, it could be a lot worse!

3. What is something you hate to talk about?

I don’t want to talk about it.

No, really. It’s funny, I suppose – there are a few things I hate to talk about (like, I knot in my stomach just thinking about them),  and I’ve typed and deleted a couple of them here but, quite simply, I don’t want to talk about them!

(Sorry, I know, that’s a lame answer!)

4. What is your one biggest regret?

As a *general* rule I try not to have regrets, because I figure, things wouldn’t be the way they are today if I had done things differently in years gone by. We make mistakes and we learn from them, and that is what makes us who we are!

5. What is your favorite book of all time?

It’s called “Growing Up Twice”, it was the first “chicklit” I ever read, the first book that made me laugh out loud, and sob like a baby. I re-read it every few years.

6. If you could tell your 16 year old self something, anything, what would it be?

Relax, it’s not that big of a deal. Nothing is as dramatic as you think it will be when you are 16. Chill out and enjoy life. Things happen when they happen!

7. Why do you blog? For who?

I began blogging for myself – I used it as a release from the hectic goings-on in my life. Now, I still blog for myself, but also for people out there in a similar boat to me – to let people know they aren’t alone.

8. What one thing about your house/living situation would you like to change?

Another bedroom would be awesome!

9. What is your favorite memory as a child?

Playing with my sisters. Amidst the fighting and bickering, we actually had a pretty wicked upbringing. Thanks, Mum and Dad!
10. What are three goals you have for 2015?

Continue blogging, maintain my health and fitness (she says as she pigs out on chocolate) and enjoy my family – less stress about the small stuff!

11. What are you most proud of (aside from your kids!)?

This blog. I’m really, genuinely proud of it. I enjoy it and I love getting feedback from people who enjoy it too. It’s something I never considered doing in the past, and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

And now, 11 random facts about myself

Goodness

Um …

1. I can NOT handle soggy things. Bread. Cookies. No. Just, no. I literally gag if I touch soggy bread. Ugh.

2. I have three sisters and one step-sister.

3. I collect M&M memorabilia. Not to be confused with Eminem memorabilia.

4. I love to bake.

5. My “other” job is being a Wedding Celebrant, which I adore.

6. I had a cuddly toy monkey (that looked a lot like a sheep) called Cuddles who I slept with until I was well into my teen years. I offered him to Princess to sleep with the other night, she looked horrified and asked me to put the scary sheep back into the cupboard. I may or may not have slept with Cuddles that night.

7. I always wanted kids. Regardless of what my career aspirations were growing up, being a Mother was a given.

8. I have been married twice – my first marriage lasted 11 months. I was 22.

9. I do not like my toes. Or my eyebrows. Needless to say, these are two things I always notice about other people.

10. Further to #9, I was born with a monobrow. Thankfully years and years of plucking and tweezing have killed any shred of hair between my now-wonderfully shaped eyebrows. I was very glad that none of my kids were born with monobrows, I won’t lie.

11. My little fingers are crooked – the look like they’ve been broken but they haven’t. Apparently it’s a trait in people who like to help others. Two of my children also have them.

And now, for my nominations!

http://lazybutloving.blogspot.co.nz/

http://solomamalife.wordpress.com/

http://modernmothercraft.blogspot.co.nz/

http://theoneinamillionbaby.com/

http://thiswasntinthemanual.com/

And, what do you do?

Your job is to answer these questions provided by me, and “spread the Lieb!”

Your questions:

1. What is your favourite food to eat? And, your favourite food to cook?

2. If you could wake up tomorrow and have one thing different about yourself personally, what would it be?

3. What are three interesting things that happened to you in 2014?

4. What are three interesting things you hope to happen to you in 2015?

5. What is your favourite season, and why?

6. What (aside from your kids) makes you happy inside?

7. Tea or coffee?

8. Who do you hope will one day stumble upon your blog?

9. If you could meet one person, real or fictional, who would you chose? And what would you say to them?

10. You have one million dollars – how would you spend it?

11. Ketchup/Tomato Sauce – in the refridgerator or in the cupboard?

Here are the rules of the Liebster Award:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you, and post a link to their blog on your blog.
  2. Display the award on your blog — by including it in your post and/or displaying it using a “widget” or a “gadget”. (Note that the best way to do this is to save the image to your own computer and then upload it to your blog post.)
  3. Answer 11 questions about yourself, which will be provided to you by the person who nominated you.
  4. Provide 11 random facts about yourself.
  5. Nominate 5-11 blogs that you feel deserve the award, who have a less than 1000 followers. (Note that you can always ask the blog owner this since not all blogs display a widget that lets the readers know this information!)
  6. Create a new list of questions for the blogger to answer.
  7. List these rules in your post (You can copy and paste from here.) Once you have written and published it, you then have to:
  8. Inform the people/blogs that you nominated that they have been nominated for the Liebster award and provide a link for them to your post so that they can learn about it (they might not have ever heard of it!).
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School Reports

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Ah, technology. It’s always changing, always improving. Though we still don’t have the floating cars that Beyond 2000 promised us, we aren’t doing too poorly.

When Princess started school back in August, I purchased, as part of her basic stationery pack, a USB stick. To be perfectly honest, I had no idea why. Today I found out  – it was handed back to me, containing Princess’s school report. Or, her “End of Year Learning Journal”, to be precise.

Gone are the days of paper school reports, it seems. This is 2014, and this is, apparently, how we do it. I see the definite advantages to providing school reports on a USB stick – flashbacks to school and trying to come up with creative ways to hide my report from my parents. My friend in High School lit hers on fire, I was highly impressed. Her parents, not so much.

There are disadvantages as well – my dear friend who, at the ripe age of 64, looked at her USB stick today with a puzzled expression and declared she had no idea where to put it.

Nevertheless, I plugged the End Of Year Learning Journal into the computer and had a look-see.

I was thoroughly proud of my little lady, even though I was relatively lost while reading the report. From what I can decipher, she is doing very well in reading, writing and mathematics. I particularly liked the example of her writing given:

“At the weekend my family and I went to the dairy. I was so happy”

I’m so glad that, of everything major happening in her life, her biggest and most exciting thing is walking 200m down the road to the local store. What can I say? That’s my girl.

She is doing well in Mathematics, though it did mention she is unable to “Read 1/2 and 1/4 and match them to a fraction diagram”. I will let that slide, though – I was in a chicken fast-food place last week and the woman in front of me ordered a (and I quote) “One-slash-four chicken, please”. Suffice to say, that lady wouldn’t be passing Year 1 mathematics either.

Overall, it seems Princess is doing superbly well at school, and her teacher comments that her “sunny disposition and happy smile make her a pleasure to teach”. Oh, gush. Proud Mumma. Buy that teacher a cider.

And, of course, it wouldn’t be Princess if she didn’t have the last word.

“At school I like to play with my friends. Next year I’m going to work hard to get my wiggly teeth out”.

Aim high, my Princess. Aim high.

 

 

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Reasons My Children Cried Today

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It’s getting close to Christmas. And, of course, it’s getting close to the end of the year. It’s a funny time of year, this. And the kids are clearly feeling it. They are tired, school is wrapping up for the year, Christmas is fast approaching, and they are feeding off the stress inevitably coming from us parents as well.

Kids cry – it’s their way of dealing with things. Having three small kids means that some days, there just seems to be an endless stream of tears in my house. Today was one of those days.

Here are just some of the reasons my kids cried today.

  • I put jam on the toast before the peanut butter, not after.
  • I put peanut butter on the toast before the jam, not after.
  • Princess wanted to wear footless tights and I’d put out footed tights for her.
  • I put BabyGirl’s toast on the wrong plate.
  • It was raining
  • Princess didn’t want to wear a raincoat
  • The umbrella went up wrong
  • BabyGirl didn’t want to wear gumboots
  • BoyChild wanted to go in the car, not the pram
  • I opened the door
  • I closed the door
  • Princess wanted her hair in one ponytail, not two
  • It wasn’t Christmas tomorrow
  • It was raining
  • BoyChild wanted to sit in Princesses carseat
  • BabyGirl didn’t want to get into the car
  • BoyChild didn’t want to get out of the car
  • I opened the door
  • BabyGirl didn’t want to go in the pram
  • BoyChild wanted to go in the elevator
  • BoyChild wanted to press the button
  • BabyGirl wanted that drink
  • BoyChild wanted that muffin
  • BoyChild didn’t want to go to the toilet, despite needing to
  • BabyGirl didn’t want to sit on Santa’s knee
  • BoyChild didn’t want to sit on Santa’s knee
  • BoyChild didn’t want to leave the mall, he wanted to ride the elevator some more
  • BabyGirl wanted an apple
  • I cut the apple incorrectly
  • Babygirl wanted a banana
  • Princess wanted to carry her umbrella home
  • Princess’s friend called her “stuck in the mud”
  • There was an unfair distribution of popcorn and chippies
  • It was raining
  • It wasn’t Christmas yet
  • I wouldn’t let the girls play outside in the rain, without gumboots on
  • A birthday invitation had the birthday girl’s name on it, not Princess
  • I wouldn’t give Princess invitations for her birthday (in August)
  • BabyGirl and BoyChild got to see Santa today but Princess didn’t
  • I make Princess go to school
  • A Christmas card was wrong
  • Princess’s friend put a bell on her face
  • I wouldn’t let BabyGirl get into the shower with her tights on
  • I put too much bubble mixture in the bath
  • Princess’s friend left his backpack at our house
  • And a jumper
  • It’s not Christmas TODAY
  • It’s raining and its never going to stop raining EVER

Needless to say, there was a lot of sighing and silently counting by me, and a lot of cuddles and comforting pats on backs. All three kids are fast asleep now, no doubt dreaming of Christmas and rainy days.

And me? Tomorrow is another day. Tomorrow is another day.

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It’s starting to look at lot like Christmas ♪

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“Mum? How far till Christmas?”

“4 weeks”

“BUT YOU SAID IT WAS 6 WEEKS YESTERDAY!!!! WHY ISN’T CHRISTMAS HERE NOW???!!!!!??!”

And, so it begins.

Today is December 1st, and therefore it’s time to put up the Christmas tree. A lot of people have already put theirs up (or so says my Facebook timeline) but in our house, December 1 is the day. Much to Princess’s dismay, putting up the tree does not, in fact, mean that Christmas is coming tomorrowl. No matter how many times she tried to convince me that I should move the day on the calendar to Christmas Eve (she still doesn’t quite “get” the concept of time, I think!), I didn’t do it. Nay, I couldn’t do it. I’m sorry, Princess.

She was appeased, however, by the lure of an advent calendar. The thrill of opening one tiny, numbered window a day and being rewarded with cheap chocolate is still exciting, for all three kids. Which brings us to the next issue – BabyGirl’s dairy allergy means that she can’t eat the chocolate in the calendar. She is at the age where she will definitely notice that the others have something she doesn’t, and I certainly considered making one for her. But then I had the genius idea to buy a basic, cheap calendar and swap out the chocolate with food she can eat (dairy free chocolate, marshmallows, etc). Great plan, Mrs T. Except that, after painstakingly opening each window on her advent calendar (feeling very naughty as I did it – please don’t tell Santa!), I realised that (a) the doors don’t re-close, and (b) nothing fits in the teeny holes left behind. Oh, me. I might have to be more crafty next year, I think!

Princess has always been a little apprehensive of Santa, so I’m curious as to how the subject will be tackled this year. Last year I sorry to admit that I had to tell her the truth. The semi-truth, at least. I told her that many of the Santas we see at malls etc, are, in fact, not the real guy. I justified it as, Santa is far too busy to be at every appearance, every time! So he gets his friends to fill in sometimes. But, don’t tell anyone! Shhhhh! It’s a special grown-up surprise that kids don’t know.

I know, why on earth did I tell her that?? Well, she is completely terrified on Santa. She was only two when she asked how he could tell if she was naughty or not. She said, “I don’t want Santa watching me when I sleep”. Neither do I, Princess. Neither do I. Anyway, she seems to have handled this little *secret* well, and doesn’t seem to be telling people. And, she still believes in Santa. Thank goodness. It’s also BoyChild’s first year acknowledging Santa. He even seems mildly interested in the whole Christmas palava. He had a nice conversation with his dad the other day – “Daddy? What are you getting me for Christmas? Lego? Good plan! Mummy, what are you getting me for Christmas? Thomas? Good plan!”. Bless him.

And so, today is the day it all begins. When the kids get home from school, Princess and BoyChild will write their letters to Santa. Mr T and I are still in negotiations about the location of the tree this year (I say, behind the fire guard as we have done for the past three years, he says under the bay window, in full reach of the children), but nevertheless it will go up tonight.  Tonight when he gets home from work, the kids can decorate the house, and open their advent calenders. Except BabyGirl. Someone already opened hers.

Ah, Christmas.

 

 

1

This Parenting Gig – It Ain’t All Bad

Today, this blog was the subject of a conversation on Facebook – a good friend of mine shared it on her page, and someone commented words to the effect of, “why are parenting blogs so negative? Why don’t people write about the good things that happen? It scares those of us who are child-free!”.

I read these comments and thought, fair call! I mean, a lot of my subject matter could quite easily be construed (especially by those who don’t have children of their own) as negative.

Now, I don’t intend it to be negative, and am very careful about not identifying my kids, therefore somehow attempting to protect them against the big bad Interweb. Another friend of mine was a keen and witty blogger about her kids, until a supposed “friend” of hers forced her to discard her blog, by making her feel horrible about “making fun of her kids”. Again, this was absolutely not her intention, but that’s how this (child-free) person read it.

So, my subject matter today – Parenting isn’t all bad. Of course it isn’t. I mean, how can it be all bad, when you have created little people who, no matter what, are completely dependant on you for their everything. This is both flattering and overwhelming. Princess often tells me she loves me, tells her brother she loves him, tells her sister she loves her, yells at them when they don’t say it back …

Children are hilarious. Freaking hilarious. Oftentimes I am literally crying with laughter because of something my kids have done. Their outlook on the world is second to none, and a lot of adults could benefit from taking a leaf out of their books. Small things, like BabyGirl calling my Stepfather by his first name, or saying “Bless you” when I sneezed. Or watching BoyChild painstakingly decide which bush to pee in while we were out today. “I’ll water this garden .. no, this garden .. no, I’ll wees in this garden .. no, this one!”. Or Princess, upon hearing that all plastic containers were 97c at The Warehouse, slipping under all the adults gathered around the stand to make sure we didn’t miss out, and then asking a staff member to please get us a basket for all our containers. And then, turning to me with a huge grin on her face and declaring, “This is SO MUCH FUN, Mum!”.

But, here’s the thing. While it’s fair to say that parenting isn’t all bad, it isn’t all good either. And, one of the main reasons I started this blog, was to allow people to see the other side of things. The side people don’t tend to talk about. That kids, no matter how awesome they seem, still throw tantrums. They are funny and clever and infuriating and awesome and cool and miserable and scary and sad and hysterically happy and hysterically upset. All within one day.

Which leads me to the question – is it worth it?

Hells yea. No hesitation.

I love being a Mum. When I think about my kids, I tear up. Like every other mum out there, I get fed up with my kids, but miss them like crazytown as soon as I’m gone. Last weekend, I worked from 11am till 6pm. After my last job I was offered a drink and some food – I declined because all I wanted to do was get home and see the kids before they went to bed. All the way home, I felt myself getting more and more excited about what I would talk to them about when I got home. I walked in the door and was greeted with loud shouts of “MUM’S HOME!!!!!”. Worth it? Hells yea.

So, if you are reading this and you don’t have kids, don’t be disheartened – the good is certainly worth it. If you do have kids, I don’t need to tell you because I’m confident you already know. And you also know, sometimes you have to laugh. Otherwise you cry.

I feel I should throw in here, tomorrow night Mr T and I are spending the night away from the kids, for the first time ever. We have lots planned, mostly centered around sleeping (shush, you dirty-minded people) but I can guarantee a lot of the evening will be spent talking about the kids, reminiscing about the kids, missing the kids.

Because, this parenting gig, it ain’t all bad at all!

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Have Three Kids, You Will Barely Notice the Difference

“Go on, have three kids. You will barely even notice the third child. Once you have two, you might as well have three!”

Right. Good one. HiLARious. Yes – a good, dear friend of mine told me this after I’d had two kids. Now, she does have three kids (three girls even) so, naturally, I believed her. And then I had three kids. And then, I glared at her. And pointed my finger in her direction. And said, “You. Lied”.

And she giggled.

This picture is circulating around social media at the moment. How do I know this? Well, because it has been sent to me. I’ve been tagged in it. It’s been posted to my Facebook page. Three times.

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I have three thoughts about this.

1. Yes, that does reflect my brain. Quite accurately.

2. I’m not sure if I should be concerned, or proud, that so many of my friends think of me when an image like this surfaces.

3. I really, really want devilled eggs. Yum.

Mmmmmmm. Devilled eggs.

Wait, where was I?

Ah yes, three kids.

A lot changes when you go from two to three kids. Which doesn’t make sense, because it’s not like you are going from one to two kids. THAT was double. So why, oh why, is this so much more?

My cousin has three kids, and he said to me while I was pregnant with #3, that, regardless of who is home, as long as one child is not there, things will run smoothly. And he is 600% correct. It doesn’t matter what combination is here, things are a lot easier to deal with when one is absent. Again, I’ve no idea why.

Some significant differences you will certainly notice when you go from two kids to three.

1. You simply don’t have enough arms. Or eyes. Or hands. You learn pretty quickly how to watch all three kids at once, no matter how far spread they are. Which can make me appear a bit twitchy – trying to discuss something with a store person while simultaneously feeding BabyGirl in the pram, batting Princess’s hands away from the glass cabinet full of ceramic Fairies and watching to make sure BoyChild doesn’t suddenly scoot out the main door, prepared to drop all and dash if he does.

I have a double pram and it is amazing. Three kids? Get a freakin double pram.

2. Things are much more expensive. Food is more expensive. I had three in nappies for a short while, so obviously that was expensive. But now I have three kids who eat a lot of food. We go through tons of bread and milk. And bananas. A 1kg of minced beef used to easily be split into thirds and frozen but now I’m having to split it in half, or bulk it out with other fillers. Don’t even get me started on takeaways. Three Happy Meals?? And, the kids are still little. I hate to think what it’s going to be like when they are all teenagers. Goodness me.

And, it’s not just the food that’s expensive. Three lots of friends having parties. Three lots of extra-curricular activities. Three lots of clothing. Three lots of therapy for Mum. Just kidding.

3. Sleeping through the night. Or rather, not. There are some nights, when, with absolutely NO exaggeration, I am up with the kids non-stop through the night. Not because one is up, but because all three get up, at different times. It’s like they plan it. It’s like they know.

4. Bigger EVERYTHING. With three kids, you need a bigger house. We have a three-bedroom and I would love a fourth bedroom. Having two sharing is less than ideal, especially when they don’t sleep (see above). We needed a bigger car. Yes, cars have five seats. But a lot of cars don’t fit three carseats across the back. And, do not talk to me about installing the damn things. It has taken a year of practice for me to have mainstreamed the process to under half an hour. But, you can guarantee I’ll be cursing by the end of it.

5. More mess. Three kids. Three ages. Three stages. Three phases. When one leaves a phase, one enters it. Just when you think you can get rid of all the annoyingly noisy toys, the next kid discovers them.

6. It’s takes an eternity to get ready. It’s a wonder I’m not a hermit. You can bet as soon as you finish dressing them all, one needs to pee, one has spilt something, one has lost their shoes and one needs to pee AGAIN.

7. “GEE! You must be BUSY. You clearly have your hands FULL.” *sympathetic pat on shoulder*. It’s three kids, not seventeen for goodness sake. Do I really look that frazzled??

Of course, there are lots of advantages to having three kids. And I’m sure I’ll discover them soon. Just kidding. I adore all three kids, and they certainly have their own personalities. The great thing about three kids is, well, having all three kids. Because I couldn’t pick one to get rid of. Not that I’ve considered it. Often. I love them all, the little monkeys. And I know, I’m very lucky to have them. Princess tells me this regularly.

And, you know what they say – once you have three, you might as well have four. You won’t even notice the fourth.

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No.

Three is fine, thank you very much.