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......

Thursday, 30 September 2010

A Sweeper or A Sucker?

I have a theory. Women are either sweepers (ie, use a broom) or suckers (a vacuum cleaner) when cleaning their floors. Of all the people I know, there is definitely one category or another.

I am a sucker. It matches my personality, which is sightly impatient (ok - very impatient), perfectionist tendencies (most of the time with all things) and strong-willed (just like the force of that vacuum hose). To me, sweeping, is slow and laborious and there are always bits left behind and then you have to use another smaller off-spring sweeper to pick it all up! And because I really do not like to pick the dirt up with my hands, I tend to leave little piles around the house in all manner of nooks and crannies, waiting for the sucker to come and dispose of it.

I like the compact, neatness of the vacuum. All hidden and tucked away in the little bag and hopefully never to be seen again. Just the sight of a sweeper and I recoil, too much fiddling and faffing about, especially if your sweeper has bristles that 'flick' instead of 'glide and collect'.

I also like the noise of the vacuum because nobody can communicate with me. Everybody in my house is aware that if mum is vacuuming, keep your thoughts and ideas to yourself until I am done. And I tend to leave the vacuum out within easy reach, in case I want to avoid a situation or person, I have easy access to my temporary escape route.

My friend is a sweeper and when I stayed with her last year, I became a sweeper too. I was quite proud of myself as I diligently swept under the table after dinner as well as the breakfast counter and amongst the chairs. However, she told me the best thing about sweeping in some houses is the little handy device which has in-built suckers on the kitchen floor in the corners. Hey presto, you just sweep to the side and the suckers do their thing and dispose accordingly. How cool is that? And how sad that I am actually excited about that?

I did consider changing camps but as soon as I got home, I took one look at my loyal vacuum friend and we were reunited.

So what are you? A sweeper or a sucker?

The Shack

It is the school holidays and we have taken our brood away for a few days to a huddle of eco-designed beach shacks with the fancy name of a resort because it has a pool and a cafe.

Every time these term breaks come around (which are quite frequently it seems) all my mind tends to interpret is the word ‘holidays’ but really it means the absence of school (ie kids at home) and no holidays for the parents (because the kids are home). And most times I desire to go away, thinking that a hiatus from home will also mean a rest for me. And the sad thing is that I fall for that line of thought every single time.

Reality, is a truckload of hard work, even harder than it usually is. This means packing for eight people, including twin babies who need nappies, porta cots, the twin pram, toys, mushy food, formula, copious changes of clothes (because of poor spit control, poo and spew), food, bikes, scooters, roller blades, swimming toys, vests and an entire medicine cabinet for the ‘just in case’ scenarios and so on and so forth ......

On route we stop for the toilet, familiarise ourselves with the nearest hospital and pray they have an A&E (because nine out of ten times we end up there on our holiday), yell at the kids to calm down, grit our teeth, stop for the toilet, fight traffic, yell at the kids and yell at each other, whilst I silently berate myself that I have fallen for the notion of ‘holiday’ yet again!

Upon arriving at the coveted destination, by which time kids are ratty, hungry and impatient, the equally ratty and foul-tempered parents have to unload the car and organise all of the stuff into a shoe box sized space with a kitchenette not much bigger than my toilet at home. Nobody has any space to retreat and just ‘be’ (me in particular!) The babies can’t sleep with all the racket inside and out owing to the amount of kids squished onto a small amount of land called a resort.

We are day two into our temporary sea change and so far the kids have received severe sun burn from the first burst of hot weather this season, their brand new pool toys have been stolen by the resort’s pool bully (he even frightened me!), twin two had her first taste of dog poo whilst relaxing in the shade of the gum trees and there are flies as big as horses buzzing around inside our shack and noisily dive-bombing us like jet-fighters.

All-in-all, a good time had by all.

Saturday, 25 September 2010

I should, I should ...

Now... I have to write this really quickly because I should be doing lots and lots and lots of other things. Twins are in their highchair (it is dinner time) and I have just fed them two cream biscuits, one pink and one brown for nutritional variety. All first-time mothers - this is very bad!. The babies have successfully managed to smear it over everything and each other. I really should have placed their high chairs further apart.

Number four child has also demolished four biscuits. I have just finished painting a chair pink (why not?) when I should have been doing the laundry and packing to go away for our school break holiday on Monday.

There is a strange smell in the house. I think it is coming from the bin which could mean a combination of very bad nappies, leftovers and sour milk. Of course, I lit two vanilla and jasmine scented candles to disguise the smell. It's not like I want to go near the festering source.
My OBH and the three older children have been out for hours running errands and doing 'chores'. However, some of these so-called things to-do involve the shopping mall and eating ice-cream. If at any time, coffee or a treat is purchased whilst on an errand, said errand turns into an outing. So they went on an outing for three hours.

My floor is sticky, I have clothes on the line and clothes soaking and clothes waiting to be washed. Dust is well and truly at home in my abode, there are smear marks on nearly every window and mirror and goodness knows what is mutating in my fridge. Not a bother, I think I will go and give that chair a second coat.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

The Forgetful Baker

Our oven has decided to retire gracefully. The fan still works but there is no heat. Kind of like a relationship that has cooled - a lot of puffing of air (ie talking) but no chemistry (or heat!), and then it just kind of fizzles out and doesn't work at all.

What has surprised me most about the out-of-service oven is how many times during this week I have forgotten it wasn't working. It made me feel really stupid when over and over I would plan a lovely delight to bake, either for dinner or a treat, and at the last minute felt the crush of disappointment - no yummy smells forthcoming any time soon. Out went my plans for quiche with homemade short crust pastry, roasted garlic and smoked ham, smashed baby potatoes, warm turkish bread, bran and whole wheat muffins etc etc. Note to Self - 'YOU CAN'T USE THE OVEN SO REMEMBER THIS IN 5 MINUTES TIME!'. I even went as far as turning the dials until I had a flash of memory. Either I have serious absent mindfulness issues (aka 'baby brain') or I am just obsessed with what I am going to eat next!

So the weekend is imminent and it is likely we will be without the poorly appliance. I think I will have to write a big 'Out of Order' sign and stick it on the front, otherwise I may find myself being hospitable (shock/surprise!) and inviting over a glut of people for a big roast dinner with all the trimmings. I can just imagine their faces when they sit down to a meal of raw roast lamb bleeding all over the table with crunchy sides!

Sunday, 19 September 2010

The Growling Princess

We think our number four child, our second daughter, is really very beautiful. As a baby she was one of those cherubic, gorgeous looking little bundles, with rose-bud red lips, soft dark hair with a perfect curl on the top of her head and huge, baby blue eyes with long, thick lashes.

She still is gorgeous at four years of age. Her hair is long and silky and her lashes even longer. She loves to wear girly things and accessorise with jewellery, lip gloss and flowers in her hair and can often be seen floating around the house with a tiara perched atop her shiny head.

She is also really scary and can make one break out into a nervous rash with her definite ways and strong personality. There are a few actions to observe which usually precede a 'moment'. One is the shaking of the left leg, in succession with also tipping the head to one side and losing all ability to speak. The next is becoming deaf and mute which also accompanies grunting and low toned animal sounds. However the worst is the growling. It is amazing how such a sweet and small individual can create such fear in a big person's heart (her entire adult family members) by simply uttering a low-toned growl and a sharp look, that says, 'tread carefully because I am on the edge and I hold all the cards'.
If you are very astute and on-the-ball as well as extremely clever, you can catch all of these things early and before the full blown episode takes hold. It is all about mental and physological tactics. Some days I am onto it but others I let my demeanour slip for just a moment, and like a hungry lion, she sniffs the vulnerability and weakness and goes for the throat. Should such a moment ensue, basically you are stuffed. Head to the kitchen and grab ammunition, usually in the form of alcohol or chocolate, although caffeine in large quantities, works well too.
Sometimes I hide until it is all over. Other times I stuff my ear-phones as far into my ears as they will go and listen to 'Amazing Grace' as loud as I can, hoping and praying that 'this too shall pass - very soon'.
'The Growling Princess', on a lighter note, can also be totally adorable and sweet and tells me 20 times a day how much she loves her Mummy and how proud I must be of her. She plants kisses all over my face and wraps her soft and chubby arms around my neck.
I am afraid though that this is just a smoke-screen because if I utter the wrong word or look at her the wrong way I inadvertently place myself in the vulnerable position then, whammo, the leg starts to shake and so do I, from fear and trepidation of what is to come.
We probably have another 20 years or so of this to which we can then hand her over to her poor and unsuspecting husband to enjoy!

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Ikea Fever

The new Ikea catalogue is out. This means lots more flat-packed furniture and plastic thingies for the house. The goal is to create a more harmonious and organised space where we live and to be clever with storage and hiding stuff away. I think 'Mr Ikea' is a genius as each year he presents all of these 'must have' new bits and pieces' for the home which are relatively cheap and quite good inventions. This in turn means the consumer goes to buy all the paraphernalia that will fit in an Ikea trolley, along with all of the extra Ikea storage boxes to store the Ikea stuff.

So off we went on Saturday (yes, Saturday) after having a burst of inspiration and motivation towards 'doing up our study'. We were clever though and planned it all on the internet first so we would know exactly what we needed. In the past there have been quite a few meltdowns on my part in the middle of Ikea as one can become very overwhelmed with all of the possibilities and combinations.

One word to say about our very silly idea of Saturday shopping - B U S Y !!!!!

Oh my goodness - the people!!! So many of them in one place, all moving like a giant caterpillar throughout the various twists and turns of that enormous place. You can't actually stop to look at anything otherwise the caterpillar of people will all bunch up and start spitting green goo at you.

Our number one daughter did point out that we were indeed adding to the throng of people with our large mass of people but four of ours are only little.

So here's what our afternoon looked like:

Everyone piles into the car (fighting and irritable - good start)
Mum take strong painkillers for her headache
Mum feels sick in the car from taking strong painkillers
Baby number 2 cries THE WHOLE WAY to Ikea (which is an hours drive!)
Everyone piles out of the car and tries not to get flattened by other cars and lots of other flat-packing goods
We all join the giant caterpillar walk
'Other Better Half' has his 'I am stressed face on', to which his bride (me) snaps 'get that look off your face, your lips are a thin line'. Nice hey!
Baby number 2 has a soaring temperature and is chugging down her own nasal secretions at the rate of knots
Number two daughter announces she needs the toilet (why do they always want the toilet in these situations??)
We park all the kids in one of the lovely set-up living rooms and then leg it around the shop grabbing the little stickers to make our purchase and cutting in and out of the caterpillar amongst grumbles and growls from some of the insect's body parts
Number one daughter announces she feels faint and ill and needs food NOW as she skipped lunch
Everyone was promised sugary treats at the end of the line
Everyone perks up a notch
Leg it to the checkout and wait 20 minutes in line - that is OBH not us as we were all on the other side scoffing $1.00 hot dogs, ice-creams and chocolate for sustenance and sanity
Finally make it to the car
No roof rack! Oops forgot we took it off a few days ago.
OBH nearly wets his pants in fear and breaks out in cold sweat. Screaming babies, eight people to get in the car and a whole flat-packed study to manoeuvre around the bodies (including two super-comfy/gas-controlled swivel office chairs) and there are still people everywhere as well as cars
I slink away to the nearest chemist for Nurofen for screaming babies and stay there for as long as I can, even making small talk to a complete stranger about the benefits of pro-biotics. Anything but go back outside to the car.
I return
Everything and everyone is in the car! Nobody can move and breathing is minimal
Babies take Nurofen.
I take more headaches tablets
We all go to sleep, except OBH, who is trying to rearrange the stress from his face and make his lips look normal.

Did I say it was hideous?

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Kids Play

Did you ever wonder why kids love to play imaginary games?

In our house the favourite game of the past few years (!!!) has been 'The Tiger Game'. My take on it is that if anybody is feeling annoyed, grumpy or angry, they play 'The Tiger Game' which allows them to snarl, bare their teeth and pretend to rip each other apart, limb by limb, whilst walking on all fours. If excess energy abounds (usually the boys), out comes 'The Spiderman Game' which entails leaping from tall buildings, aka the furniture, and lots of finger pointing towards walls and ceilings. Usually the odd 'pow' and 'kerching' is thrown into the mix as well.

Our twin babies are included as well - as mascots. They also make good rocks and tree stumps to hide behind when the baddies come. Number 1 twin is apparently very co-operative with the games as she is the larger of the two and at the moment is crawling like a slug so she does a good job of the whole imaginary play thing. And she doesn't mind being carted around from room to room as the game progresses. Mind you, one needs a mini crane to lift her these days as she is lugged about.

Our number 4 daughter obviously has two older brothers to interact with as her game of choice these days is 'crashing and fighting' with Ben 10 or 'Sonic the Hedgehog'. She does it with style though with all the feminine touches a girl brings to a boys game - namely the lip gloss in her pink leather-look handbag, along with her hair brush and some sunnies and beads. Everything is all at the ready to fight the baddies with the boys and the babies.

Who needs play dates when we have a mini creche in our home every day?

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Chucking a Sickie

Our number 3 son 'chucked a sickie' today. At first I wasn't surprised as the whole family have had a few weeks of the usual cold and flu type symptoms, all except number 3 son.

Maybe he felt left out whilst we were all complaining about our sore throats, achy bodies and runny noses. Was it time to take another Panadol? Where were the tissues? Who fancied a mocha-slushie for a burning throat?

Number 3 apparently felt poorly in school and advised his teacher, who took him to the sick bay (remember them from school?), who reported the unfortunate event to Dad who works at the school, who then phoned me on the land line, then mobile and then escorted him home. Quite a process for a sore throat!

So I was duly informed and all the sympathy and compassion went into overdrive. My 'poor baby' was hugged, kissed, given Panadol (!), changed into comfy clothes and then .... sent to bed ... of course. That's when his little face dropped. 'Do I have to go to bed Mummy?'

'Why yes, of course, my love', I answered, 'that's what happens when you come home from school sick'.

Fifteen minutes later I hear a creak as a door opens down the hall way. I find the little one slinking along the wall. When he sees me, he breaks into a big smile and announces, 'Mummy I feel much better now'. Hmm, back to bed and once again tucked in when all of a sudden the most offensive, stinky smell hit me in the face and hung in the air like a nasty, green gremlin with very bad bodily excretions. 'Was that YOU?', I asked my precious one.
Yes indeed. It seems a sore throat wasn't the problem but rather a gassy tummy and a smelly bo-bot! Aww bless!

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Creepy Crawlies

My twin babies are crawling! Well, in a fashion. Number two twin crawls with her head instead of her hands which is quite strange but seems to work for her. And number one twin moves along slowly, kind of like a slug. As she is the bigger of the two she has more weight to shift so I guess she has decided to forgo trying to get up on her knees and just pull herself along the tiles with her strong arms.

It is kind of sad really. No longer are they little babes, happy to just sit and stare at their hands or feet or the cute little rattle in front of them. Oh no, there is a whole new world to explore and endless possibilities are around the lounge suite or under the wine cabinet. Just today I left them on the mat in the lounge room and before I could blink, there was a wail as number one twins head was stuck under the TV cabinet with number two egging her on to try and squeeze under just a little further.

Today was also their first tiff. I call it a tiff because I am not ready to accept that my two cherubs will actually need any sort of discipline in the near future, which of course they will, but I am already busy disciplining the other four and it gets kind of tiring. Anyway, I digress - the tiff, was over a book that they both wanted to read (OK hold, oh go on then, shove in their mouths). Number two twin has it first, however it is quickly swiped by number one, but no, before it reaches her mouth, number two has it in her hands again. And so on and so forth. It was like a face-off. They were actually sitting opposite each other, really close, with the whole back-and-forth thing. Yep, I have a lot to look forward to over these next few months.

And sadly, I have to report that twin two has started the leg stiffening. Gee isn't it a bit early to be throwing her weight around? Can't a parent have at least 12 months grace and continue to bask in the newborn euphoria for as long as possible, before they become proper little people?

I think I am having trouble adjusting to life with little twin people in my family as opposed to twin babes.

Can't they just stay luscious and little forever?