About Me

Perth, WA, Australia
Hi friends. To those I have met in person and the many I haven't - welcome to our nest. Thanks so much for stopping by. I am a mama of six baby birds and wife to one papa bird. Our nest is an intricately woven home, crafted over time, through the highs and lows of life, and many in-betweens. We are soon to leave our Australian nest to re-locate to our second home, the UK. This is our story, of our new life in a new country, the trials and tribulations, bidding goodbye to precious friends and embracing new. I know at times, our wings will be flapping so hard to keep us moving forward that we will tire, however, a little perseverence will bring effortless gliding amongst a soft breeze, and even stronger wings for the journey ahead. Welcome to our flight......

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Ken's Tale


A terrible thing happened in our home today.  Ken was decapitated. The head was found under a chair, and the body in the kitchen.  I think rigger mortise had set in.  I was sad.  Ken had been with us for 13 years. I buried him in the recycling bin.

In retrospect, he had a good life.  Surrounded by a harem of young, blond, tanned beauties.  You could say he was the centre of attention his whole life.  He never married, but who would with the undivided attention of ten young ladies?  A shame that he never had any children as I am sure they would have been a mixture of ruggedly handsome and beautifully blond.

He didn't really have a home.  I should have set him up in a wooden construction with cardboard on the back, depicting lovely homely scenes.  Instead, most of his life had been spent in a plastic purple tub, amongst lots of teeny weeny clothes (especially bikinis), stiletto shoes, hair brushes - and lots of pink, lots.  There would have been a fair amount of dust and not a lot of fresh air, and definitely not any other male company.

I fear the only exposure to other males would have been on the construction belt in the factory where he was, well constructed.  However that experience may have caused severe trauma as all the other men folk looked exactly the same as him.  He must have wondered where his brothers all went.  What their fate was? He probably struggled with feelings of abandonment.

So, men, if you are having a rough day.  Give a thought to Ken.  He could never get away from women!  He couldn't even drive, well not in our house, as we don't own a pink barbie car or even a moped.  Imagine, the PMT, nagging and bad hair days.  He never had the opportunity to sneak away to the local for a few pints, crisps and a quick game of darts.  No male joking or back slapping.  Nobody to call 'mate' or 'buddy'.  Quite a tragedy really.

RIP Ken boy.

Monday, 6 February 2012

Oiling the Wheels.


Growing a large family takes time and energy - both of them in spades. Occasionally, I would like to rest the spade against the fence and go AWOL. Interestingly, it is not the big highs and lows that I find difficult, although of course they have their trials, it is the day to day, oiling of the wheels that I find most challenging. One part of me loves routine, needs it, and the other part of me, I fear, has gypsy blood, and dreams of escaping the norms of the world and living each day in whatever direction the wind blows. Totally unrealistic for a family our size, or even for any family in the western world, but there you have it, it is there all the while I am busy 'oiling'. Most mornings before the crew are up I take a few hours for myself. I drink tea alone, I write in my journal, I talk to God and I run, thriving on the sweetness of the early morning air and a new day. I love the solitude, the space that is just me and the outside world. My mind rests and I remember to breathe properly and freely. But then, the moment I step inside our home, those wheels need oiling and moving forward towards another day. And somebody has to not only oil but direct and steer. That is the role of a parent, if a tiresome one at times. It is a fact of life that we all need to eat and drink and shower (mostly!) and dress. To look presentable and clean for the outside world. To stretch our minds, train our hearts, show all kinds of good and noble qualities. To tidy and pay bills and ensure that all the basics are met...and then some. But, oh, how that gypsy in me calls and beckons in all of these moments. She promises me freedom and escape and excitement. To embrace a simpler life, devoid of all of the trappings of this western world. And when my hands tire of the 'oiling' I give in to these thoughts and test the OBH out. "Honey, how do you feel about sailing around the world and homeschooling the children?". Silence. "Or we could drive instead - you know around Australia?" Raised eyebrows. "Or live in France for a bit?" This last one more of a mumble. And what does my lovely OBH say, "Honey, do you need a break?" Yes please, a gypsy caravan would be just the ticket!

Friday, 27 January 2012

The Three Phases of Incubation.


For the past 14 years, we have been consumed by babies and children, filling my womb, draining our wallets and adding to our home, in more ways than one.

From my experience there are three phases of incubation, starting upon conception and that very first bottle of Mylanta and ginger tea.  It goes something like this:

Number One, are 'the necessaries'.  These are the obvious day-to-day needs that every parent has to buy - clothes, food, nappies, baby wipes, dummies, bibs and large amounts of wine (just kidding).

Number two are 'the I wants'.  This incorporates decorating the nursery (a specific theme is also quite acceptable and thus included within 'the I wants' budget), buying maternity clothes for the incubator (mum!), the odd pedi and mani, when said incubator is feeling frumpy and fat, special maternity nanna- knickers with ultra huge elastic waist and padding for sloppy pelvic floors, and basically anything to do with the incubator's general health and well-being and the continuation of it for 9 months (and thereafter when incubator is no longer incubating but a milk machine - that's a whole different story!)

Now with number three, we are moving towards a bit of a grey area, as this is 'the I am going to have, just because' phaseMen usually start to turn grey at the temples throughout this stage, as well as a bit green around the gills.  And sometimes their beer intake is raised just a tad.  So number three is quite sly and goes something like this:

When 'the I wants' have been purchased, 'the just because' sneakily sidles up to the incubator (aka, the emotional flaky one) and has a quiet word.  "Good choice with the recycled, vintage, organically made, height adjustable, changing table.  The correlating change matt will go superbly with this piece, but (and here's the catch) have you considered the ergonomically designed head-rest, made in Germany, scientifically proven to enhance baby's restfulness as well as general posture and well being?".  Hmm, ok yes, we'll take that too!  "Excellent decision, oh wise incubator!".  "and for just a small token, you can also install an inbuilt classical music system within the headrest to assist in baby's brain regeneration, which latest studies have proven, actually have better outcomes than fish oil".

Incubator duly reeled in.  The male of the family, can often be found in a foetal position of the store, wedged between the jogger prams and the 10 speed baby rockers.

And finally....and I do regret to expand on this topic, but once the gorgeous little ones can actually walk and talk, there are the toy aisles of the major department stores.  One senses an air of tension and conflict coming from these bulging shelves of plastic anonymity.  Tantrums are rife, Mum's snapping at children and using trolleys to push them out of the aisle and Dad, well they can be foetally found somewhere within the store.  And for some odd reason, there is often a Jack or a Jordan down one of these aisles, going great guns towards plastic toy consumption.  Negotiation is rife.

However, this leads me to Phase Number Four, and that I will leave for another day.  Go retrieve your foetal partners.

Thursday, 26 January 2012

The Scary Spin.


A few days ago I went to my first RPM class (or spin class). I have no idea what RPM stands for but my guess is 'repetitive pain movement'. The actual process of pumping my legs in a circular motion for 51.5 minutes (I was timing!), including hill climbs where one actually stands up to tackle 'the hill', is quite disconcerting, considering you don't actually go anywhere, and my scenery view was a brick wall that stated 'wipe the sweat off your bikes after your workout'. Nice!

Even more troublesome than a bike that moves but doesn't move, was our instructor. Think Scary Spice meets Pauline Hanson...really. At first, I didn't know where to place my eyes, as I was trying to follow the routine, which changed every few seconds, but every time I look at Scary, well, she was scary. Picture a body so toned and buffed that every muscle was like a 3D map. Her fingernails were long and black, my guess to be used as ammunition for lazy spinners, and her voice was loud and gravelly with punctuations of 'yeah, let's go baby' - scary!!!

However, the very worst of it, was the sweat. Pouring out of her, and dripping off her, running down every hill and dip of her body builders frame. I was in the very front row as was running a tad late and all of the other dedicated spinners had been warming up for 20 mins. Rats - can't slack off now. Anyway, as Scary was starting to really get into the routine and her eyes were rolling into the back of her head in total exercise ecstasy, she would sweep her long finger nailed hand towards us and a downpour of sweat would spray outwards - landing on me. What was one to do? One lady had already walked out mid-session, where Scary growled 'can't stand the heat ey?'. I think I let out a small whimper at this stage and wanted my Mum. This really got her started and she began to wax lyrical on living in the land of Vegemite and beer, and if nobody liked it here they could 'bxxxxx well go back to where they came from!' Enter, Pauline Hanson persona.

Finally the torture came to an end and I made my way around the swimming pool of sweat on the floor, dodged the fingernails and made for the door. However in my frantic haste for freedom (and the comforts of my Mum), I forgot to wipe my bike down. So like the moral and responsible citizen I am, I took a detour and escaped out the back door.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Fish & Chipmunks...

There is a worrying trend amongst women and it goes way beyond what they eat for breakfast, how much they weigh or how quickly they have flattened their baby bumps. Its called 'fish lips' and 'chipmunk cheeks' aka fillers.

For a while, I couldn't work out what was wrong with certain celebrity's faces - they all had the same 'look' - puffy cheeks, pouffy lips and the inability to smile and move their mouths freely. Apparentely, when one ages, ones faces sink, enhancing wrinkles and causing one to look haggard. So, in an attempt to re-claim ones youthful perkiness and fresh face, cosmetic fillers have become all the rage, starting at a whopping $700 for one tiny ml.

I recently treated my sore back to a massage at a spa and came out with handfuls of paraphernalia on all sorts of ways to freshen and revitalise my face which evidently has been ravaged by the environment, stress, even sleeping on my pillow (did you know it pulls your face down - 'down' being the taboo word! Nothing that heads south is good news - ever). In for a massage, out for a facial re-construction. I didn't know my arterial vein had collapsed in my upper lip causing lipstick bleed - bad!! I didn't even know I had an arterial vein....

So why, when we are young, do we want to lose our cute, chubby, baby faces and look older and more mature, and when we are pushing 40, we want it all back, in strange proportions? And there are billions of money spent on all of this. Trillions even.

I am off to embrace my collapsed arterial lip vein, as well as my hollow cheeks, sagging eye-lids and snake-slit lips. I guess it is all down hill from here... Aaah, there's that 'down' word again. I meant to say, it is all peaks and troughs - hopefully peaks.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Drive on Through


It has been a particularly trying week as we have all had coughs and colds, including the twins.

There has been a lot of extra cuddles, rocking and lullaby's (and that has just been for me). A fair amount of Vicks Vapour Rub has been used for congested chests, regular doses of baby Panadol, and a lot of coffee .. for me!

After one extra long and stressful morning (and it was only 9am!) of peeling off crying babies from my legs and wiping snot from nearly every pore of their little bodies, I bundled them in the car for the 'SOS drive'. Now, the 'SOS drive' is something that every parent should be aware of and have up their sleeves for those days when life in general is getting a teensy bit overwhelming. It consists of grabbing child/children (copious children in my case), strapping them into their car seats (excellent as they can't move), filling their chubby little hands with food (for a peaceful trip), and heading towards the nearest drive-through coffee venue. The whole idea of drive-through being that you don't have to lift a cheek (or anyone else's) to get out of the car in order for your caffeine hit. Smile and wave girls, smile and wave ...

Anyway, on this particular morning, by the time, I had reached the drive-through, the biscuits were gone (feeding a cold was obviously fore-front in twin number two's mind), and she started to wail, loudly. Being the super-quick, cool-chick of a mum I am, I reached into my bag to grab something to keep her entertained, whilst at the same time, ordering my triple strong, extra hot coffee. I should have twigged that something was amiss when the young girl serving me gave the twins an odd look. After following her quizzical gaze, I turned, and saw that twin two's 'distraction toy' was indeed my super-sized tampon, complete with applicator. Twin two was having a ball sucking on the big cotton wad with the string hanging out of the corner of her mouth like a cigar, whilst trying to piece together the two applicator bits. Blissful fun!

What can one say in these instances? I grabbed my coffee and did a little nervous laugh, 'It was all I could find to keep her quiet', I whispered.

I guess I won't win 'Mother of the Year', but on a good note, it wasn't used ...

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Making Friends


Our number four child, Miss four, is in the friend-making-business, and apparently there is set protocol for pre-school aged children to follow.

We were having a discussion as to what sort of birthday party Miss four would like to have for the big impending day (I must add she has not had a proper party before -dinner at Hungry Jack's doesn't count, nor does cupcakes shared with my girl-friends). When you turn five, you can't be fooled any longer and a girl needs a 'proper party' with candles and 'chocolate inside' (not quite sure what the 'chocolate inside' means, as opposed to 'chocolate outside', but this has been clearly emphasized by Miss four). It could have something to do with the fact that she is tired of applying greasy suncream lotion to her face whenever she steps out the front door, and on her special day, she would like to glow from her own specialness instead of oily cream.

So ... we want candles and chocolate and no suncream. What about the friends? She thought long and hard about that one and informed me she would let me know when she had some time to think. Wise choice. You can't rush into these commitments lightly.

Later on, the OBH heard her softly talking in the darkness of her room.
'Friend X and I, Friend x and I'.
'Is X your new friend', he asked?
'No', she replied.
'A pretend friend perhaps?'
'No' she answered.
'Does Friend X play with you at school?'
'No - but she does play with friend Y and Z, and, she is in the room next door to me'.
Right, so, the low-down is that friend X is in the pre-school class next door to Miss four. Friend X is a ring-in to Miss four's group, in-so-much that she sits with the group during play time but hasn't yet acquainted herself properly to our precious one. Friend X is not a proper friend yet. She is still an X.

Phew .. it is exhausting just writing about it. But it got me to thinking. As adults when does a friend become a friend? Is there a certain waiting period, when you morph from a stranger, to an acquaintance, or a friend-of-a-friend, to your own friend. And then when does one turn from a friend to a close friend to the coveted and highest-esteemed best friend. Let's face it, no matter what your age, every girl wants a special friend, and believe me folks, it starts in pre-school and should come with its own rule book, training DVD and bonus motivational speaker to boot. Just so everyone is on the same page and each party know what is required.

Well, I am happy to say that I have had many experiences of friends X, Y and Z, and a priviledged few make it to the inner-sanctum spot of 'very special besties'. I will just have to remember to include the candles and the 'chocolate inside', minus the oily suncream.