Monday, 29 December 2014

Growing up

Image from here
The school holidays are well and truly upon us. We have had a deliberately quiet couple of weeks; some much needed down time for all. Late nights and late mornings. Messing up and tidying the house several times a day. Numerous Lego constructions, craft projects and backyard cricket matches.

I have been on a rampage of sorts too. I've thrown several bags of stuff out of the house (to make way for the Christmas influx) and de-cluttered all the paper hot-spots. All to the sound of wrestling matches and bickering from 'bored' children.

Most days have involved an activity out of the house; mainly swimming. Today I took the kids to the new pool. All four of them. All on my own. I am largely unscathed by the experience too.

I swam with them for much of the time and had my turn on the water slide*. But as I supervised them poolside with a book in my hand, I realised something. They have actually learnt to swim (even the ones I thought never would). They have also learnt to look out for each other and to play together and to have oodles of fun together. It is just fabulous.

There were times when I actually wondered when I would see the light at the end of the tunnel. Today I realised that there is not only a light but I have made it through the tunnel. The other side looks pretty damned peachy.

* I was the only adult on the slide. The kids couldn't understand why I only had one turn when it was so-much-fun. I felt like a slow-learner.

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Dear John

One minute it was April and then it was December! The year has flown. Don't you think!? 

I have barely blogged this year and I feel so sad that all the tiny little memories from the year have slipped by unrecorded. I want to write it all down but already I have forgotten. The little stories. The funny one-liners. The things that let you see the trees in the forest.

So here are a few of the bigger things. They will make no sense to anyone but me, but they will be there. A forever reminder of the year that was...
Back to work full time.
Brown became purple, white became red.
The bed that rolled. And rolled and rolled.
The plans were finalised, the green light was given.
Happy 10 in Blackheath.
A wildly endured 50 and reunion with my long lost friend, asthma.
Al's baby launched into the world.
The astronaut, 60s rocker, little red vest and bossy ballerina.
Two critical thinkers, an English champ and a little boy lost.
52 of your closest friends for a disco celebration.
A cricket tragic was born.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Tipping the balance

Image from here
I went back to work full time in February. You might note this correlates with a complete dirth of blog posts. The balance has definitely tipped with the "work" in work/life balance taking the lion's share. There's something about having somewhere to be five days a week that cuts into your 'me' time.

My return to work full-time has had an unplanned consequence. I've entered another 'I don't know how you do it' stage which, quite honestly pisses me off. 

It is usually one of two types who try to turn me into a super-woman.

Exhibit A: Those who are lead equally ludicrous lives who want to engage in a 'busy off' and 
Exhibit B: Those who are barely coping with their extra commitment to look after a friend's bird for three weeks because it cuts into their routine.

Any way you look at it, it is tiresome and unnecessary.

Monday, 28 April 2014

The story of Chip

Nugget has always been called Nugget. All the nicknames I use on the blog are real. My poor children are actually called Doo Dah, Dew Drop, The Minx and Nugget in real life too.

When he was a little fella, Nugget was a very chubby bubby. He ate like a champion and did absolutely nothing to expend the energy. He had roll upon roll in that delightful way that babies do.

We called him the human speed hump as he parped around contemplating the world and his place in it. He was early to talk and late to walk and his Nuggety goodness clung to this thighs while he sat on his nappy-clad butt and whooped.

Nowadays Nugget is a far cry from being a chubby bub. He has just turned nine and is a string bean. Tall and thin in a boney way. He doesn't eat much, unless it is fried. If it is fried, he'll have a whole plateful. Needless to say, he doesn't eat a plateful all that often.

He asked me the other day, as he slid into his brother's size seven jeans, why he is called Nugget. "Is it because I love eating Nuggets?" he asked.

I told him he'd been Nugget well before he'd ever fallen in love with a nugget. I explained about his chunky baby goodness. After a bit he said, "You know Mum. I don't think I should be called Nugget anymore. I think I should be called Chip".

Meet Chip. Formerly Nugget. Aged 9. Loves reading, karate, Cubs and playing the trombone. Wants to be an author when he grows up (so he told his class in his recent Topic Talk). Pictured here with Uncle B while fishing at Husky. If you look carefully you might just spot the brim that he caught.

Sunday, 27 April 2014


The Geege awoke in the middle of the night and crashed and banged down the dark hallway, in a hurry. I awoke to him crying out "It's got Fluffy! Fluffy's dead". I raced towards the scene of the crime to see a pile of blood stained feathers.

"What was it?" I asked, standing completely still with my hand over my month. Immediately traumatised. Immediately wondering how we would break the news to Doo Dah. "Where are the others?"

"A massive feral cat. Third generation at least", the Geege responded without the slightest hint of a joke. "It got them all."

We went about cleaning up the backyard. There were feathers and parts of birds everywhere. It made me a little sick and very, very sad. Our poor chickens had met their death. It was brutal.

"Oh God! What are we going to tell the kids?" but before a plan could be generated, we heard a noise. The Geege turned on his heel, a look of pure determination in his eye. "It's still here!" he said. He turned a whiter shade of Bear Grylls before my eyes and set off in the direction of the noise.

But it wasn't the predator, it was its prey. Fluffy. The slightly nutty leghorn. She had somehow survived the jaws of her killer.

She was always skittish. She now has a full-blown mental health condition. She is tetchy. Anxious. We frightened her near to death trying to catch her to protect her from the return of the cat. She spent a few days in our laundry, laying beautiful eggs like clockwork. Each egg brought a tear to my eye.

Our dear neighbours have now kindly taken her into their flock. A crazy chicken can't live alone. So now she has a new gang to peck her and steal her food. She feels right at home.

RIP Shadow and Rainbow. And long live Fluffy.

Friday, 31 January 2014

New beginnings

I was at the gym this morning. One of the other punters asked me if I had children. IF I had children. It has been a long time since I have blended into a world that doesn't revolve around children.

My two little pre-schooler shadows officially started school this week and so I am now one of those women who operate independently during the day. Well, I will be for the next week, until I recommence my full-time job.

People keep asking me how I will cope working full-time with four children. I have no answer to this question. I don't even yet know that I will in fact cope. It will be a little mystery.

I am spending my one week of (mostly) child-free holidays sorting out the household systems. We have nailed the school routine, although my 'made in advance and frozen' sandwiches stuck together in the freezer to the point that they were inseparable on Day 1...

I think I have the grocery situation worked out now (minus the meal plan that it all hinges on...) but I have no solution to the piles of washing. Mountains. I can't keep on top of it now, when I only work three days, so I am baffled about how we will manage when I am out of the house every week day. I fear my weekends could become one long date with the washing machine, washing line and washing piles.

One last week to tighten the routines, catch up on the mandatory appointments (dentist, optometrist) and recharge before the new stage begins.

New beginnings. Never what you expect.

Any ideas for dealing with Mount Washmore?

Thursday, 30 January 2014

And then there were four...School children

Day One 2014.
Smooth as silk.
The twins slotted in like old pros.
An overwhelming sense of relief washed over me at about noon when I picked them up.
We did it!

How was your first day back? Anyone's little people start for the first time?

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Summer lovin' 2014

*The post is brought to you by Vivobarefoot kids who kindly supplied us with some fabulous wet shoes for Nugget and Doo Dah to enjoy the Summer. And they have.*

I love Summer. I love the long days of light, the clear skies and the endless opportunity to line dry the washing. I love the trips to the beach (excluding sandy crotch), fun at the park, and time in the garden. I love the fresh salads, cocktails and ginger beer. I love the fruit - berries, watermelon, pineapple; the freshly squeezed juice; the intoxicating joie de vie; the parties and BBQs and the amazing spiegeltent at the Sydney festival. I love the endless supply of animated flicks -Frozen, Cloudy with a chance of meatballs and Free birds, we've seen them all. I love the sandals and thongs, with painted toe nails on display. I love the lack of school lunches and the absence of routine. I love the early morning runs and the random long evening bush walks. I love cooling down in the spa after a long day in the sun. I love playing backyard cricket with the kids. I love falling asleep under the fan. I love light meals and drinks with ice. And ice blocks. I just love ice blocks.

Are you a Summer person? What are you lovin' about Summer?

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