Saturday, February 28, 2009

Whingy Melt Down

Something has skipped a generation.

My Mum loves building houses and renovating.

My Dad loves building houses and renovating.


I thought when we bought our own house and it was actually MINE I'd somehow find a passion for building and renovating. There's passion, passionate dislike! I don't like choosing colour schemes or fixtures (I did for all of about two months then the reality of budgets and actually having to commit to something changed that!), I don't like making decisions about it, and I passionately dislike, with the fire of 1000 suns, LIVING IN THE MIDST OF BUILDING. I can't count the number of times in the last six months that I have just wanted to turn tail and move back to our old house (no, be moved back to our old house - the only thing I dislike more than building is moving) and if it weren't for the whole "landlords throwing you out so you have to move"** I'd happily rent the rest of my life. People keep saying I'll like it when I start seeing things come together, well things are coming together and I feel relieved in the same way one may feel relieved when a very large hippopotamus stops sitting on your head. I wouldn't say I like it.


Thankfully, our very good God had the foresight to provide me with a husband who LIKES all this stuff and has strong feelings on colour schemes and fixtures - so I don't have to. I just have to put up with the building part for a little while longer!

Whingy melt down over, we now return you to your regularly scheduled blog reading.

** Just a side note, we kept getting evicted because landlords decided to liquidate their assets and sell the house we were living in, NOT because I didn't pay rent or had wild parties. Just thought I'd clarify

Thursday, February 26, 2009

I realised it's been a fortnight or so since the last update, whoops! Life has been happening at a furious rate lately. Nothing major, just every day stuff being all consuming for a bit.

has discovered her tidy gene since the beginning of Project Black Box. She pushed the boundaries on this one on the second or third night, fiddling around and playing and even getting MORE toys out when she had been given time to tidy up. We filled the box to the top PLUS 2 garbage bags of stuff going to charity - overflow goes to charity, no exceptions. The room was very sparse after that and there have only been a few nights where anything was left on the floor at bed time. She is slowly earning things out of the box by keeping things tidy and values her toys a lot more now! Handing her the responsibility has made me a lot happier and more relaxed and taught her far more than if I was still cleaning up for her.

took a layer of skin of his nose and forehead this morning at playgroup and bit his tongue hard enough to make it bleed yesterday. It hasn't slowed him down much though! He seems to go non-stop until he sleeps these days. Since he was born really! Maybe even before that.... Anyway, I weighed him the other day and he still hasn't put on much (if any) weight since January's Great Gastro Adventure. But he is much happier and his stamina has picked up so I am just going to watch and wait now. A bit of training was/is warranted to deal with the grizzling, but we are making progress with that. I wish I was as consistent as Beloved where that type of thing is concerned. I have an awful habit of forgetting!

is going back to the Dr. soon because his back is a mass of excema. I am trying most of the natural remedies I know after the steroid cream not doing much (I need to get some coconut oil, flax seed oil and apple cider vinegar) but it is still progressing. It itches and he scratches himself bloody on the back of the neck the poor love, in spite of his nails being cut short. He is walking beautifully now (at last!) and his vocabulary is expanding, the favourite word still being Anna!

is still gaining a pound a fortnight, sleeping 6-10 hours a night straight and being the most delightful little baby girl on the face of the earth! For some reason she thinks the diagonal pine on the wall next to her nappy change trolley is HILARIOUS! She coos and laughs at it every time I change her nappy, even if she was cranky a moment before hand. I have no idea what she sees in it, I think it is ugly, but she gets so much pleasure from it, it will almost be a shame to get rid of it.

The house:
now has a partially sealed floor in the front study! Beloved finished putting it in and put the first coat of sealant on it on Sunday. We just need to rewire the house then we can put the plaster up in the study and MOVE THE BOXES out of the living area!!!!! Yay! We will also be able to make a start on The Shed which is the next big project. Laundry got a little bit away from me with some days too hot and disorganised for me to get it out, in and folded away. I am getting back on top though fairly easily. I wish I was just one of these people who can naturally keep things tidy without seeming to even think about it, but I am not. My natural state is controlled chaos. With each child though, I have become more and more organised. I am hoping that by number 10 I will have myself sorted out!

Do you know what I did this week? Weeded! I look forward to doing more of it, because believe me more needs to happen. I said to beloved that if anyone asks what I want for my birthday, to tell them I want mulch, compost or gravel. If I get anything else for inside the house I am libel to cry - especially if it needs to be stored or cleaned - but stuff for the garden will make me happy!


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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Book review

Head over to Weird, Unsocialised Homeschoolers to read a review of a book called "Wild Things: The art of raising boys". I haven't read this book but it looks great and 'Wild Things" describes my boys well!

Family Ministry

As part of our family ministry we have a prayer box. It is a small box with index cards in it. On each card there is something or someone we are praying for as a family. Each meal, we choose a card from the box and pray for the person, people or ministry on that card. We have our immediate family (the kids get a kick out of having their own name come up!), our extended family, friends, neighbours, communities, countries, missionaries, outreach projects and groups of people (we have just added those touched by the Victorian bushfires). This helps us remember (it is easy to forget to pray for those you don't see often or those who aren't in the headlines anymore) and gives us a powerful ministry. I don't know how many times I rang an old friend or family member because their name 'came up' and it turned out that they really DID need the prayers at that time! It also cultivates a love for others and a heart for mission work in the children.

For more tips head over to

Tuesday, February 24, 2009 moments of self pity....

I haven't actually been feeling self pity at the moment, but using the blog-sphere the Lord dropped a few people in my lap to pray for at the moment. The one that has stood out to me is Promise She now lives at Sarah's Covenant Homes in India, an organisation which specialises in caring for children with special needs in a family style environment. If you have a moment or need a reality check....

Monday, February 23, 2009

A new word....

Christopher: "uh-oh"

Words to strike fear into the heart of any mother.......

And we fell off the wagon...

I am so far off the wagon this week I can't even see it's dust!

It all started when Beloved bought home 4 chocolate chip buns. Now I could have said to myself "Oh, I will just give them to the kids seeing as I am 'under contract' at the moment" Or even "I will pop these in the freezer to bring out on Wednesday for afternoon tea" but do you know what I did? I ate them. All of them. Let's just say this is typical of the choices I made this week and my body would be completely within it's rights to sue me for breech of contract! So here I go, climbing on the wagon again, reminding myself of how good it feels once I'm doing it!

I'm recycling last weeks goals, which were perfectly obtainable....

Walk to the post office three times this week
Use my exercise videos three times this week
Take iron daily
Restrict yummy treats to Wednesday afternoon tea and Sabbath Meals
Snack only on raw fruit and veg
Drink at least 1.5L per day
Do Kegel Exercises twice a day

One challenge I am facing is the fact that Anna sleeps 6-10 hours a night now. "Challenge?" you snort, yes it's a challenge. You see I USED that time when she woke up early to do some jobs and work out. This morning she woke up at 7:30, ten minutes before the other kids. Alarm clocks don't work for me unless they wake up a child (yes, I've even tried setting them accross the room) so I will have to do some thinking on this one!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

A Confession

Confession time.

I miss writing.

I'm not talking about the writing that I do on here or on stray bits of paper that get jammed into folders. I miss the REAL writing. The type that makes you sweat blood as you try and craft the words into something beautiful, something true.

It simply isn't something I can do at the moment.

That type of writing takes TIME.

You have to NOT think about it for an hour or so first, go for a walk, clean the bathroom, something. Then you have to pound the keyboard. After several hours of keyboard pounding, you find it. That state of being totally in the zone, words flowing, characters leaping off the page, mental images dancing in your mind. It sounds tranquil, but it isn't. Fingers fly, trying to get it all down. Your mind reaches out and grabs at the ideas, the words and characters that seem just out of reach. It is like pushing up that last Km up a mountain. Except then, you have to go back and trawl through it all to find the stuff that is really good, and after a day of work you think you have something. Then you go back the next day and nearly cry with frustration because the words on the page don't quite have the magic of the day before. So you go back, and you do it all again.

And I miss it, because I love it.

The same way a marathon runner would miss running I guess.

I wish there were four of me at least to do all the things that I want to do at the moment.

You see, being HAPPY makes me want to do things. Watching these little people develop and grow provides me with a million different moments of inspiration in a day. I could spend a few hours just writing about Anna's belly button (seriously, the swirl of her belly button is increadable! I spend ages gazing at it every day. It is sort of shaped like this: @. And Christopher's is like this: *.... No, I was talking about something else, one day I will do a special post about belly buttons another day).

Sleep, while nice, seems like such a waste of time at the moment. When they are awake I want to watch them and be with them. Drink them in and take pictures with my mind and be a Mummy. When they are asleep I want to DO. I want to clean, sew, write, blog, create, love, dance, sing, learn, teach......

But this pesky body has it's limitations.

I just hope this over abundance of creative energy has a long shelf life so I can still dip my hands in its quicksilver between rocking grandbabies one day and WRITE again.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

A giggle.......

A man and woman had been married for more than 60 years.
They had shared everything. They had talked about everything.
They had kept no secrets from each other except that the little
old woman had a shoe box in the top of her closet that she had
cautioned her husband never to open or ask her about.

For all of these years, he had never thought about the box, but
one day the little old woman got very sick and the doctor said
She would not recover.
In trying to sort out their affairs, the little old man took
down the shoe box and took it to his wife's bedside.
She agreed that it was time that he should know what was
in the box. When he opened it, he found two crocheted dolls
and a stack of money totalling $95,000.
He asked her about the contents. 'When we were to be married,'
she said, 'my grandmother told me the secret of a happy marriage
was to never argue. She told me that if I ever got angry with you,
I should just keep quiet and crochet a doll.'
The little old man was so moved; he had to fight back tears. Only two
precious dolls were in the box. She had only been angry with him two
times in all those years of living and loving. He almost burst with
'Honey,' he said, 'that explains the doll, but what about all of this money?
Where did it come from?'
'Oh,' she said, 'that's the money I made from selling the dolls.'

A Prayer.......
Dear Lord, I pray for Wisdom to understand my man;
Love to forgive him, and Patience for his moods.
Because Lord, if I pray for Strength,
I'll beat him to death, because I don't have time to crochet

I thank the Lord daily that He had the wisdom to give me a husband who has enough strength to withstand my moods, fads and foibles. I thank Him that Beloved is consistant when I waver. I thank Him that Beloved's strength allows me to be soft. I thank Him that Beloved is proud of my gifts and celebrates who I am.

And I also thank Him that the times of pure, unadulterated FRUSTRATION are significantly LESS now that we near the end of our first decade of marriage!! Thank-you Lord, that you know us better than ourselves and dragged us through the rough spots in our marriage (sometimes kicking and screaming!) because He knew He made us for each other. In giving me Beloved, He gave me a best friend, lover, confidante and support. He gave me my husband.

Friday, February 20, 2009

He Speaks......

Christopher: Nana, Nana, Nana, der's Nana!!!!

Translation: Anna, Anna, Anna, there's Anna!!!!

Seriously, Christopher.

He's been saying it non-stop for a few days now, every time he sees her.

I am soooo not ready for him to be this grown up!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Rule Review

This is something that I picked up when I was teaching and I use it all the time with my kids.

Before doing something, review the rules.

For example, when we sat down to have songs and prayers this morning

I asked "What do your feet do during songs and prayers?"
They chorused "be still and not touch anyone"
"What do your hands do during songs and prayers?"
"Be still or do the actions"
"Do they touch anyone?"
"Do they fiddle with the rug or poke the furniture?"
"What does your mouth do during songs and prayers?"
"Sing, pray or smile quietly"
"Do we move around the floor when we are having songs and prayers?"
"What do your eyes do during songs and prayers?"
"Look at Mummy"
"Do we gaze around the room or stare at your brother or sister?"

This is done in happy, cheerful tones and goes some way toward preventing misbehaviour by congratulating them on their expertise in knowing the rules. It also meant that when Billy reached his foot out and kicked Erin and Erin started making frog faces at the window and forgetting to sing, it could be dealt with immediately. No "but I forgot" excuses.

We use this technique when sitting in the car before going anywhere to review the "road rules". We often use it before going into a shop or another area full of temptations for little fingers or before walking where there are likely to be cars etc. We don't do it every time and sometimes we just do an abbreviated version that touches on the areas of difficulty. At times they surprise me with their insight into what appropriate behaviour is and once or twice they have added to the 'rules' and caused me to have higher expectations of them!! They get wrapped up in showing off their knowledge of the rules and slip - hehe.

for more tips go and see Mama Hen at

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Monday, February 16, 2009

First contract week

Prayer Requests:

You may have noticed the "Pray for Mercy" button on the right hand side of the blog (scroll down if you can't see it). This is to ask for prayers for Mercy Peterson who has a large Hemangioma and other problems as a symptom of PHACE syndrome. I am a regular reader of her family Blog, Home of the Peterson Clan, and have been praying for this little girl for a while. Her Mum has sent out a request for any and all prayers as they face the ongoing medical, emotional, spiritual and practical challenges in store for them.

The Lockwood Family continue to need prayers as they face the challenges of a very tricky pregnancy! Placenta completely covering the cervix and growing into an old c-section scar. This with the challenges of having to settle in back in the USA (they had been in Mexico as missionaries for many years until this pregnancy caused them to have to move temporarily) and raising their other 11 children.

Close to my heart and home are the victims of the Victorian Bushfires who are homeless, grieving for loved ones and/or injured. This will take many years to even superficially heal, whole communities have been wiped out. Check out this Etsy Shop that is fundraising for bushfire victims. Also, the victims of the Queensland flood. Especially the parents of the little boy who is thought to have been taken by a crocodile.

And closest is my Big Bro who is still healing from surgery and a marriage break up. Thankfully, his home has not been touched by the fires. Please continue to keep him in your prayers.

Well, this is the end of the week. It seems a little trivial after the big prayer requests, but it is part of stweardship of the baby making machine God entrusted me with! And I have to confess, I think my goals weren't quite as realistic as I first thought!

Ride the exercise bike for 20 minutes four times this week............Um, oops, not once!

Walk to the post office four times this week (weather permitting)...
.....yes I did do this one

Use my exercise videos three times this week.
..........I only managed twice

Take my iron supplement every day to build up my Iron stores.
.......yes, did it!

Restrict yummy treats to Wednesday Afternoon tea and Sabbath meals...
.I went to playgroup on Thursday and there was a lady there with some slice and, well, she may have been offended if I didn't at least TRY some. I also need to get into a 12 step program for my addiction to chocolate milk, it was only by sheer will power that I only slipped once!

Snack only on raw fruit and vegetables
......I managed this one too, but we are running very short on carrots now! It wasn't easy, I found myself looking wistfully at the peanut butter a lot!

Drink at least 1.5L of water per day
.............I only missed this two days out of the week

Kegel Exercises twice a day..............did it!

Overall, I do feel like I am starting to make SOME progress toward NOT being the saggy baggy elephant and I can feel my tummy and back muscles starting to get back to normal, even get some tone back, which will make the next pregnancy MUCH more comfortable (I hope!).

Next weeks goals (a little more realistic perhaps?)

Walk to the post office three times this week
Use my exercise videos three times this week
Take iron daily
Restrict yummy treats to Wednesday afternoon tea and Sabbath Meals
Snack only on raw fruit and veg
Drink at least 1.5L per day
Do Kegel Exercises twice a day

And last of all, a link to an interesting interview with a mother of 20 - and people say MY family is large!! While I don't share her theology, the faith evident in her words and her passion for her children draw me to her!

Science of Cooking

I just found the most fantastic science resource for anyone homeschooling their kids. Mine are a bit young for it yet, but check out Science of Cooking, it looks like a wonderful way to combine getting messy in the kitchen with science!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Toy Control

I've done a few posts about how we control toy levels in the house and the criteria for toys comming into the house - but there is another part of toy wrangling that needs a little tweaking here.

I walked into the bedroom last night to put the kids to bed after they "cleaned" there room. Notice those little "" marks? They mean that they weren't cleaning. They were pretending they were cleaning, but they weren't. Billy was sitting on a pile of books reading a book, Erin was standing in the middle of the room with a toy in her hand "deciding" where to put it - apparently she'd been doing that for the whole twenty minutes she'd been in there. The toy actually has a place where it lives, but apparently she forgot that. I had specifically told her to pick up the tea set that was strewn accross the rug, but she forgot that too. Yes, she is that vague, she inherited it from me!

So in the interests of Mummy's sanity, there is a new rule. Anything on the floor when I put everyone to bed, gets put in THE BOX (cue appropriate scary music). If I go in and there is nothing on the floor, they each get to choose something from the box.

I figure if they end up with NO toys in their room, they won't be able to make a mess! Obviously, we have not been consistant with tidying up and now we are reaping the consequences. We will do a big tidy up today to remind them what tidy looks like, then they will be responsible for their own stuff. I don't do nagging, I forget to do it and it all falls apart anyway. I can do consequences!

I'll let you know how it goes.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Who they are and who they are going to be...

Do you know what Erin is? A big big BIG sister.

Do you know what she will be when we have another baby? A big, big, big, BIG sister!

And when she is grown up and has her own babies she will come and take care of the boys and Anna (and any other kids we have while I go and have babies.

Do you know what she's going to be when she grows up? A doctor (pediatrician), a midwife, a racer and a teacher who teaches other people to be pediatricians and midwives.

Do you know what Billy is going to be? A racer and a doctor - not a people doctor though, an animal doctor who takes care of (wait for it) PIGS. He is going to take care of pigs in his racing car - ambulance?? He will have one, two, three, four, FIVE pigs in his racing car.

I love having a two year old in the house, they look at life a whole different way!

Thursday, February 12, 2009


We are trying to get back into routine now with school work and afternoon tea on Wednesdays etc. Overall we are doing really well! Just a quick update this week.

Is officially four and a half! Last Thursday was her "unbirthday". We celebrate the half way point between birthdays as unbirthdays, where we have cake and give special thanks and blessings. Erin had vanilla butter cupcakes with lemon icing and sprinkles, made using the cook book and silicone muffin pans that Nana Julie bought for Christmas. We also made cookies today to eat at our weekly afternoon tea, cut out using alphabet cookie cutters. We made the names of each member of the family. So Erin has been cooking a fair bit this week, as well as doing school work again, giving us lots of special time together.

has been sleeping for almost three hours each afternoon BUT he is much, much better over all. I think there may be a bit of a growth spurt happening which means he just needs more sleep than usual. He is still a bit emotional, but this has also improved with a bit of clamping down. His work ethic is still amazing though. I asked him this morning to tidy up the toys out in the yard and he did a fantastic job all by himself.

is officially WALKING. Well, staggering. He does tend to look a little like he has been on the drink as we weaves his way across the room, but it is happening. Looking forward to the day when he doesn't want to be carried around everywhere anymore - but let's face it, that may not happen for another five years! He is still giving Anna the loveliest big sloppy kisses and cuddles whenever he can.

is doing beautifully. Growing very quickly and a happy, placid baby most of the time. She usually wakes up during her daytime naps after about 45 minutes (one sleep cycle) but after about three minutes of grumping, she goes back to sleep and she sleeps for 5-6 hour stretches overnight. Yes, I know, I am very, very spoilt!

The house:
is fine other than the portacot full of clean laundry that needs folding! I let that get a little out of control. The house itself is fine though, I am very much giving thanks that we can afford to have Sarah come over and clean every Monday though, I would struggle if that weren't the case.


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Kind Words

Anna Voskamp of Holy Experience wrote a wonderful post on this topic that touched my heart.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

13 rules

(Compiled by Jamsco. I am not a very inflexible father, but these things I’m pretty unyielding on)

1. I don’t always get to do what God does, you don’t always get to do what Mom or I do.
2. Likewise, you don’t always get to do what your brother/sister does.
3. The only things you kick are balls outside.
4. I believe that you love your doll or stuffed animal, but Daddy only kisses or hugs people.
5. Except for kissing, don’t touch other people’s faces.
6. Unless you are sitting on it or cleaning it, there is never a reason to touch a toilet.
7. Wrestling is Pain. I will try to prevent hospital trip injuries, but do not join in the fray if you’re not willing to handle a skinned elbow or twisted arm.
8. Never ever wake up a sleeping brother or sister unless specifically told to by one of your parents.
9. If you find yourself repeatedly making a loud noise, with your voice or an implement, be aware that it is most likely annoying to someone. Don’t.
10. Do not say anything bad about anybody in our family to someone outside our family.
11. When singing, it is always annoying to everyone else if you intentionally sing faster than everyone else. Don’t.
12. The only thing you should step on is the floor, the ground, or a stool. (i.e. not books, papers, toys, furniture, or your brother)
13. Don’t say anything bad about food that your Mom has made for you.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Please don't mistake my lack of comment on the fires as lack of caring. I have just felt so shell-shocked about it I haven't been able to put words to it.

For those who don't know, Victoria, the state where most of my family live, is currently burning. Well over 100 people have been killed in the fires, most are saying that the fatalities will likely be 2oo or over when the final tally is in. Thousands are homeless, hundreds are injured. My family has stayed safe and as far as I know all their houses are safe too. It was touch and go for my older brother's house, he couldn't even go and defend it because he had major back surgery on Friday.

Please pray for all those affected by the fires and especially pray for my older brother who has been facing a triple whammy of a marriage break up, back surgery and having his home at risk of burning to the ground.

Donations can be made at:

Finding Time

I have managed to find a way to get some more jobs done in my day, spend quality time with Beloved AND work in a morning nap!

Here's how:

After Anna's 5am-5:30am feed, I get up.

Now I love getting up early in the morning, the solitude, the sunrise, the crisp cool etc. You know, the only thing I like more than getting up early is STAYING IN BED! Anyone who knows me will tell you that I bring a whole new meaning to the words "NOT a morning person".

But I have made a deal with myself, get up and do just one thing and then you can go back to bed. So I do and half the time I end up doing more than one thing once I am up and rolling. Because everyone else is asleep and I have no extra "helpers" I get things done a lot faster. It also gives me quiet time to pray, meditate on scripture or just plan my day in my head.

Sometime before 7am I make Beloved a coffee and take it back to bed, climb back in beside him and give him a cuddle. A whole lot nicer to wake up to than the alarm! Sometimes we chat, other times I go straight back to sleep for an hour or so before the kids need to get up and going. I need more sleep because we very often don't get to bed until late (we're both night owls) and I am feeding Anna through the night. I also know that I need to get up early, so I've started to think outside the square.

This works for me for now, things will change over the next few months and years and I dare say I will do things differently, but this works for now. Thinking outside the square is what will work for me long term.

For more tips visit Mama Hen at

James 3 - a story

One word, humbling

Monday, February 09, 2009

My work out contract

Now my fourth pregnancy is finished I am feeling a little like the Saggy Baggy Elephant! I also have a few things that I'd like to do to make my next pregnancy more comfortable. The thing is, I have a severe case of "that which I know I should do, I do not do, and that which I know I should NOT do, I do".

For example:
I know I should exercise, you know I should exercise, we ALL know I should exercise. I feel better when I do it, it increases my fitness and stamina and strengthens the muscles that I need to carry these babies around (both the ones on the inside and the ones on the outside!). BUT, somehow it slips down under cleaning the toilet, reading to the kids and watching drivel on TV on the priorities list!

Another example:
Chocolate is yummy and I have no issue with the occasional treat. The word "occasional" is the key word that kind of slips. I do NOT need mugs of milk piled high with tablespoonfuls of Milo. I do NOT need snacks of chocolate and biscuits. I do NOT need to have 51 snacks a day, justifying it to myself as "oh, I'm breastfeeding" This habit is the reason why if I were cut in half, you'd be able to tell how many kids I have by counting the layers of "chubby"!

The point?

I need to be accountable to myself, and I am going to use the Blog to do it! I am setting myself some "S.M.A.R.T" goals (simple, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely) and I will report back each week. I don't diet as such when pregnant or breastfeeding (so ever really!) but I can make better choices than I do.

This week the goals are:

Ride the exercise bike for 20 minutes four times this week.
Walk to the post office four times this week (weather permitting)
Use my exercise videos three times this week
Take my iron supplement every day to build up my Iron stores.
Restrict yummy treats to Wednesday Afternoon tea and Sabbath meals
Snack only on raw fruit and vegetables
Drink at least 1.5L of water
Do Kegel Exercises twice a day

I'll let you know how I do, I'm sure you will be waiting with baited breath!

Saturday, February 07, 2009

In the course of a 12 minute phone call.....

Started tea cooking

I picked up and resettled Anna who became cranky

Plucked a very wet, fully dressed Christopher out of the bath (he had decided that the bath he had earlier didn't do a good enough job and climbed into his sister's bath!)

Dried and re-dressed Christopher

Convinced a lovely (very softly spoken) church member that face washers really are a great gift for the baby - so PLEASE don't buy me any more stuff that I'm not going to use. I can't handle the guilt when I get rid of it!

All this in 12 minutes according to the display on the phone!

No wonder I feel tired at the end of the day.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Billy: My special girl is just gorgeous isn't she Mummy?

Yes honey, she is :)

I had someone ask me if I am getting any tantrums etc. from the older ones now that we have a new baby in the house. I had to tell them, the worst issue we've had in that department is Billy and Christopher arguing over WHOSE special girl she really is!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Economic stimulus package

I found this on another blog and it gave me a giggle:

This year, taxpayers will receive an Economic Stimulus
Payment. This is a very exciting new program that I will explain using the Q and A format:

Q. What is an Economic Stimulus Payment?
A. It is money that the federal government will send to taxpayers.

Q. Where will the government get this money?
A. From taxpayers.

Q. So the government is giving me back my own money?
A. Only a smidgen.

Q. What is the purpose of this payment?
A. The plan is that you will use the money to purchase a high-definition TV set, thus stimulating the economy.

Q. But isn't that stimulating the economy of China ?
A. Shut up.

As a disclaimer, I loved my Christmas Rudd bonus, it paid my midwife and is rewiring the house!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Knick Knacks

Over the years I had collected quite a few knick knacks. I hadn't actually BOUGHT any of them. Most of them were gifts that were kept and put on display out of respect for the giver or tokens to remember a certain time in our lives (i.e. a couple of items from our wedding that we hadn't really liked on the day anyway!). Before Christopher was born, in a bid to streamline my home making, I did something drastic (and some would say obvious). I got rid of them!

I have actual memories from those important times in our lives, I don't really feel the need for mementos. Plus, rather than feeling guilt about the build up of dust and spider webs around these things, I would rather reflect on the memories and thoughtfulness they represent while someone who had the time, energy and inclination enjoyed the actual items! I did feel a little worried that I would hurt the feelings of those who gave me the gifts, but those who noticed did seem to understand. I did keep a few items, this was my criteria for keeping something.

Something was kept if:
...Beloved wanted to keep it. It isn't nice to throw out his stuff when he's not looking!
...I loved looking at it enough to maintain it regularly. A small crystal squirrel my Grandfather bought for me in Switzerland met this criterion. had a practical application. A few items that work as book ends were kept for this reason.

Even these items are packed away at the moment due to plaster dust, lack of display surfaces and the fact that we are in a very busy season of our lives.

I'm also replacing some items with easier care versions. I was given a few 'fancy' picture frames over the years. They take a fair bit of dusting, so I am replacing them with some nice, matching, plain picture frames soon which actually display the pictures to much better effect!

SO, if you don't love it, get rid of it. If you do love it but you are in a busy season (renovation, new babies etc.) pack it away to enjoy later. Don't get trapped into bondage with STUFF.

If you have enough stuff for display to warrant it, consider things like display cases which can limit the need for dusting.

Go and visit Mama Hen for more tips for growing families

Tuesday, February 03, 2009


We survived the heat - just. Sarah-the-saint told me she measured 43 degrees C in her back yard at 4pm last Friday. There should be laws against that type of heat! We tried to escape it on Saturday afternoon by going for a drive (the car has air conditioning). As we got into Launceston the electrics in the car went haywire - no air conditioning. Long story short, we finally got home at about 10:30pm that night, exhausted, hot, overtired and looking very much forward to a shower!

would be happy if we could go swimming every day! Unfortunately, it has been too hot to take the little ones out lately but I am hoping to take her to the pool again one day very soon. School work is very irregular at the moment while we smooth out the bumps of having 4 kids in the home, but she thoroughly enjoys it when it happens. I HAVE to change nappies on the babies etc. but because she is older it is easier to let one on one time slip where Erin is concerned. School work is one of her special times at the moment.

is still pushing the limits on a daily basis, and still finding them! I'm not unconvinced that there is some link to him still not being 100% and I will be happy once he has regained a little weight, but in the mean time I am not going to start letting him get away with stuff. A kid who looks for the limits and doesn't find them, in my experience, is much harder to deal with than a child who frequently tests the limits!

continues limited forays into the world of walking, but crawling remains his main method of self-propulsion. I sometimes wonder if the move and the limited space has anything to do with him being slower to walk. He is physically capable though and climbs better than some four year olds so I am not too worried about him! He is LOUDLY playing peek-a-boo with his reflection in the lid of the lap-top at the moment.

has gained a pound in her first fortnight of life on the outside! She is filling out, has a real belly button, almost completely stopped getting colic/reflux and is smiling. She is already growing up too quickly for my liking! She is still doted on by all.

The house:
is in need of a little TLC in the form of fridge cleaning out expeditions and one or two "hot spots" that need addressing. The laundry also slipped behind whilst it was too hot to hang out anything. BUT the bathroom, bedrooms and kitchen are still clean (except for the fridge) and order is still the main theme. I can't wait to have things more unpacked and sorted. I am strongly considering making it a rule that if something new comes in, something old HAS to go out until we have more space because I feel like I am drowning in STUFF. I got given some ornaments when I had Anna which are going to have to find a different home. I don't really DO ornaments anyway and the fact that we are going to be combating plaster dust again soon and there aren't really any display surfaces anyway means that they would have to be packed into a box somewhere and would probably not be displayed for another five years, if ever.

The Garden:
Beloved has fixed my gardening fork. When the weather gets a bit cooler, watch out weeds!


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Monday, February 02, 2009

multiple myths

To the concerned community member, well meaning family member, worried church member, stranger on the street,

Let me just bust a few myths for you, it being mythbuster Monday an' all.

I know how it happens.

My uterus is not going to fall out if I have another baby in the next 18 months.

I am (relatively) fit, healthy and young with straightforward, insanely easy, pregnancies and deliveries. If you have any ACTUAL basis for these mythological "things" that can go wrong having "so many" kids "too close", I would be interested to hear it. Otherwise, your concern, while appreciated, is completely without basis and just a little annoying.

I know the birth control options. In fact, I have thoroughly researched the various immoral, messy, inconvenient, unreliable and downright annoying options there are out there AND their side effects. The choice of what we use is none of anyone's business except my husband, mine and God's. Thank you for your interest.

No, I don't believe non-abortificant means of birth control are sin. No, I'm not judging you for having less children than I do. You'd be surprised how little attention I pay to those around me, I really am quite self-involved!

Yes, I really did mean to fall pregnant last time.

I really do like the idea of more kids.

I kinda wasn't joking when I said 14 is a really good number.

No really, think about it, it is the perfect number (seven) times TWO, isn't that cool?

Plus, it is possible that I'm a TEENY bit competitive and the idea of having the most kids of anyone we know kinda appeals to me. The same way I was stoked when Christopher was over ten pound. It is the same part of me that wants to win the "biggest pumpkin" comp at the local agricultural show.

I would be just as happy and content if Beloved decided we were done having kids now, a tiny bit disappointed for a while, but not devastated (as Beloved put it "Honey, you'd be disappointed if we had twelve and decided to stop then" - well, 14 IS a nice number! Two for each day of the week!)

Hang on, I got sidetracked, where was I? Myths.

I am not living off your taxes by having so many kids. We pay more in tax than we receive in benefits. It is likely my kid's taxes will help support your retirement. You're welcome!

No, my body isn't 'shot to pieces'. Beloved finds my stretch marks kinda sexy, given we made them together! Thank you for your elegantly put enquiries about my health and fitness, I'm not particularly interested in discussing my pelvic floor with you right now. Ever, in fact.

Being that my mother is a Psych Nurse and has worked in the mental health industry in some form or other most of my life, I have some grasp of the definition of "insane". My choices in terms of number of offspring or the spacing thereof doesn't tip the balance either way.

So there ya go,

another Mythbuster Monday bought to you by Jess!