Thursday, October 28, 2010

Wash Your Mouth Out

Hi. My name is Tara and I have said that I am back about 394847464 times now and never actually been back.

I feel terrible and out of routine but things are slowly starting to slow down here. Finally.

* * *
We're at Woolworths. I managed to drag my boys along with me, as well as the baby and my 5 and 8 year olds. I'm going about my shopping, while the older boys are entertaining the younger ones.

We get to a busy aisle. I look around and do a quick head count to make sure I can see all of the kids. I can. I turn back around and start looking at the chocolate biscuits health section.

"Hey, all you fuckers!"

WTF. Geez, someone needs to teach their children not to swear in public. Hang on?

That was my son.

*hangs head in shame and hopes that my oldest son looks like the father of my son*

Who knows where he got that language from? I blame my teenagers. Damn that schoolyard language.


Thursday, September 16, 2010

10 Good Parenting Commandments

After saying that I was back almost a month ago and then not actually coming back, I can now say that I am officially, officially back. Just as I was getting back into the swing of things, one of my son's best friends died in a car accident. This really rocked my teenagers and I just needed to be there for them. I am in the middle of compiling a blog post about the whole thing, but in the mean time go and read Stefanie from Ooph's three fabulous posts about teen drivers.

As a matter of fact, check out Whatever Nation. There is hardly any content out there for parents with teens. So freakin' excited about it. There are some fantastic posts - some have me rolling on the floor and others have me in tears.

My daughter takes a class called 'Family and Life'. I have previously mentioned that in this course she had to bring home a virtual baby. Oh. My. God. Hell! My son recently made a joke that he wants to take the class because he would love to bring the baby home again. I was so scared that I fell off my chair before I realised he was joking.

One of her latest assignments was titled:

What makes a good parent?

As she was researching for this assignment, we came across a site which listed the '10 Commandments For Good Parenting'. In an effort to make myself feel better (or worse, I'm not sure yet) I decided to see whether I follow the parenting bible or if I am a parenting sinner.

1. What you do matters

Hmmm. I can't say that I am the best role model. Especially when I am yelling at the children to stop yelling because the baby is asleep. Or when I tell my kids that they can't have any chocolate while I am finishing my 50th piece. Or when I tell them that I will not allow them to get married until they are over 30, when me, myself got married at 19. Or that time when I tried to give my teens a no alcohol speel while sipping on a glass of wine. I could go on, but for your sake, I won't.

2. You cannot be too loving

I try to spoil my kids with love and not material things. I want them to look back on their childhood and think "wow. I really had it all" and not mean their Xbox 360 or iPhone. I have this little thing where when one of my kids says "Muuuuum. I really need a new iPod", I make them wait three months. I write it down in my little calender and in three months time, I remind them. Nine times out of ten, they're like "Aw, nah." Except for this one time when my daughter wanted this My Little Pony playset and asked me everyday for about six months to buy it for her.

My boys even told me once that they enjoy hanging out as a family more than playing Call of Duty. Uhm, yeah riiiight. I wonder what they wanted that day...

3. Be involved in your child's life

This one is easy for little children. Particuarly because they want you to be involved in their life as much as possible. Not so easy for older kids. I try to be as involved as I can without being too over the top and in their faces. By involved I don't mean commenting on their Facebook statuses about how they are sooooo cool, dude.

I am so very lucky that my older kids and I have great relationships. They are very open and honest with me and I love it. Every night (well, the nights when someone isn't at footy training, or netball training, or hockey training) we all sit down in our family room and just hang out. Watch television, read books, laugh, sing, whatever. We have a desk in the corner for my older kids to do a bit of homework, but they're usually hanging out with the rest of us. Once my littlies go to bed, the teens and I stay up (sometimes waaaaay too late) and talk and laugh about our day. Hands down, favourite part of my day!

Sidenote: I get up at 5am, have about 15 minutes of peace before the rest of my children get up. YES, WE GET UP AT 5:15 ON SCHOOL MORNINGS. It takes my children about 30 minutes to get ready and then for the rest of the time we do homework. I don't know of anyone else who has their homework routines in the mornings. But we do. And I love it. Works really well for us and my teens say thay have a lot more focues and motivation in the morning. Morning homework FTW!

4. Adapt your parenting to fit your child

So, this one is tricky around here. I have teenagers, pre-teens, children, young children and an infant. Ooooomg. It's hard going from baby talking with Ethan straight to trying to list every possible place I can think of where my teenager's footy shorts may be. Sometimes I'll even baby talk my teenagers (by accident, of course) when their friends are over and let me tell you, THEY DON'T LIKE IT.

But yes, clearly the old 'if you brush your teeth, then I'll ready you a story' bribe doesn't work on the older ones. 'Brush your teeth and we can do tequila shots' usually does the trick.

5. Establish and set rules

Again, this one is tricky with the large age range. BUT. The rules we have in place around here are mostly manner-y ones. I want my children to grow up with lovely manners. In fact, I've trained my boys to open doors, pull out chairs send flowers and notes and all of that good stuff. Of course we have the 'no killing, bombing or shooting' rule, but I thought that was pretty standard on everyone's rules list. No? Just us.


6. Foster your child's independance

I usually like to let my kids learn from their mistakes. Unless it's something life threatening to either them or their siblings. So, knowing my kids, this is usually 99% of the time. Damn.

7. Be consistent

Ya know, I can't say I'm really that great in this area. What works for one kid sometimes doesn't really work for others. What worked for a couple of months suddenly doesn't work anymore. What worked for us before lunch, now doesn't at 1pm. For the most part, I'm consistent but for others it.just.doesn'

8. Avoid harsh discipline

Oh. People aren't doing the whole washing mouth out with soap and mustard power, wooden spoon, locking in rooms thing anymore? Sheesh.

Naughty corner; here we come!

9. Explain your rules and decisions

I'd like to think that I'm good at explaining things to my younger kids, but not to my older kids. You know why? Because they have such great comebacks. And sometimes? They say better things than me, which make much more sense. I also have a tendency to muck up my words when I'm trying to get my point across. Waaa.

10. Treat your child with respect

The best way you to get respectful treatment from your child is to treat him respectfully. You should give your child the same courtesies you would give to anyone else. Speak to him politely. Respect his opinion. Pay attention when he is speaking to you. Treat him kindly. Try to please him when you can. Children treat others the way their parents treat them. Your relationship with your child is the foundation for her relationship with others.

Agree. Agree. Agree. Not much more to say on that one.


So, that's all well and good. I get down to the bottom of the 10 Commandments list and see this:

There is no guarantee that follwing these guidelines will result in perfect parents... remember, there is no such thing!

Ah. WHAT?! You mean I just went through the commandments, realised I was close to what you would call a perfect parent (no flaws, *brushes shoulders*) and now you tell me there is NO SUCH THING.

Guess I'll go back to trying.


Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Past Month in Tweets

It has almost been a month since I have posted. I needed a break. I spent lots of time with my family and friends and I am now feeling refreshed and wonderful.

Here's what you missed...
(mostly conveniently taken from my Twitter account)

From my last post you will know that I miscarried at 8 weeks. Probably one of the worst moments of my life. My family were all so supportive and I don't know what I would have done without them. We decided to call our little baby Jamie. Mostly for my little kids who didn't really have a clue what was going on. I got a txt message from my daughter a couple of days later which said this: Jamie was too beautiful for this earth. I think that just about sums it up.

July 25th: Seriously, you guys. This year I have been pregnant, given birth, pregnant again and then miscarried. I think it's safe to say that there won't be any action in the uterus until we're safely in 2011.

July 28th: OOOOOOMG. This baby almost broke me. It cried and cried and cried and cried and screamed and cried. Oh, wait. Did I mention that it cried? Worse than my own five month old angel. My teenage boys thought that they were the "masters" of this baby, but even they couldn't handle it. We were all glad to see the back of that thing.

August 2nd: This girl is ah-may-zing. Never have I seen my son's room so clean. She is one of the sweetest girls I have ever met. I am so glad my son chose her.

August 4th: I can't do it. I just can not do it. Call my five year old daughter 'my baby', that is. I'm so used to calling my eight and five year olds 'the babies', but now with a true-real-100% baby in the house, they haaaaaaaaaaaate it. Waaaaaaaa, our life sucks. We keep getting called a 'baby' by our Mum. WE ARE BIG KIDS NOW.

August 10th: Please tell me someone else out there has done this. Let me explain...

I am browsing Facebook. Then, this happens:

Eldest son I'm horny. (girlfriend) come to me!!!1!!!

*gulp* *scream* *vodka* What?

So, yeah. I try to think of something witty to say but then think "f*ck it", and send a long message about respect through to both of their Facebook accounts. I get a "WTF Mum. So-and-so was on my account. I would never do that. You know that..." reply from my son and an "OMG, Mrs K, I am so sorry. I didn't know that (oldest son) would write something like that. I promise I had nothing to do with it. Argh, love (girlfriend)*" reply from my son's girlfriend.

Cue argument between son and girlfriend. Oops.

Then I got RT'd by HornyWatch. Shoot me, please?

August 13th: My omg-i-hate-running-sooooo-much daughter went in the running event at her sports carnival "just for sh*ts and giggles"**. She broke the 5 year record. Whaaaat?!

And now, you're all up to date. Happy to be back, kids!

*Oh, is it weird to write 'love ya' at the end of my messages to my son's girlfriend?
**Apparently what all of the k00l kidz are saying the$e dayz.

Saturday, July 24, 2010


I have miscarried.

I am now meant to be ten weeks pregnant. Instead I am un-pregnant and in a great deal of physical and emotional pain. It sucks.

Exactly a week ago, I felt like something was wrong. I made myself keep quiet about it and just pretend that it was to do with the morning sickness and dull cramps I was having. That night, I just had to tell my husband. I could see that he was also worried, but trying not to be.

We made an appointment for the next day. "I'm sorry, Tara, but....." were the words that made my heart sink. I didn't know what to do. The baby's heartbeat stopped at about eight weeks. Eight weeks?! How could I not have known that? My own motherly instinct had failed me.

It has now been five days since we found out. The pain is slowly starting to go away. Luckily, we haven't told our families, so no unpleasant announcements. I told my eldest daughter and she cried as if it was her own baby.

I am so lucky that I have my beautiful family around me at this time. We will get through this together.

Nikki suggested that we name the baby. I think we will do this as a family. Once we have had some times to heal I will be back with a name. In the meantime, I appreciate all of the support. It really does help.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

What Would You Do, Tuesday?

Update: I had a talk with my sons (in the car. Thanks, Stef!) and it all worked out okay. It wasn't so much the beer I was worried about, it was more the hiding and dishonesty. It's not like my son to go all ninja-hiding on me. Then again, I know it's all pass and parcel of teenage behaviour. We spoke about the dangers of too much and the consequences of drinking. I said I would prefer for him to have a drink in someone's care (i.e. me or my husband) and he agreed. Thanks for all of the supportive comments. They really helped to put things into perspective.

If you found a six pack of beer under your 16 year old son's bed?

Two missing.


This is when it all gets hard.

I've never experienced anything like this. No major issues with my teenagers and being my first lot of teenagers, I've no idea what to do.

Drinking age here is 18. Maybe I would think differently about this situation if my son was 17, in his 18th birthday year. He's not. He's only 16 years old, and at the start of this year he was only 15.

A million questions are running through my mind:

Where did he get the beer from? Has he actually had the beer? Is he giving them to a friend? Which friend? Why would he do this? Why? Why? Why?

Oh, teenagers...

Little children, headache; big children, heartache.
~ Italian Proverb

Friday, July 9, 2010

My Biggest Wish

... is for all of the families out there to be granted their wishes for a child or more children.

I am extremely lucky to have seven naturally conceived children, including a set of twins. I know there are so many people wanting, waiting and wishing for a child. I think about those people all the time and I don't, for a second, take any of my blessings for granted.

I have had children who have taken only one month to conceive, yet Ethan took over a year to conceive. In a way (having six children already), I know how painful and heartbreaking trying for a child can be. Seeing just one line, or having AF show up in full force month after month is draining, stressful and just generally tiring.

The day you finally get your two lines is a day that you will never forget. Whether it is your first child or ninth, the feeling doesn't fade. All of that stress, pain, heartbreak and hope was worth it for that one day. Hopefully, nine months later, a miracle is welcomed into the world.

I wasn't planning on blogging about my pregnancy until I am well past 12 weeks, but I will say this. While we are over the moon that we will be welcoming another addition into our family, I can't help but think of those who aren't as lucky.

I wish, wish, wish that for every unplanned baby, two more could be granted to those who are patiently waiting.

Unfortunately, life doesn't work like that.

Good luck to all of those who are trying for a child. I am constantly thinking about you.

Monday, July 5, 2010

I Know I'm Lucky

My kids don't cook that much. Mostly because (I can't stand little people around me while I cook) I cook a lot of things in bulk (usually multiplying your average recipe by six or seven and even then, that is only for three night's worth of meals), usually when the kids are at school. However, I do try to include them when baking things like cakes, muffins, quiches and other things like that but my patience wears thin when these sorts of things start happening:

Daughter drops 1kg of flour onto the floor
"Muuuuum! What do I do?"

"Muuuuuum! What does 1C mean? What does 1 little t mean? What does 1 big T mean? What is 200 small m, big l? What's whisk???"

Recipe says 1tsp of vanilla essence
"Oops. Mum, I accidentally put one cup of vanilla essence in. Does that matter?"

My eldest daughter is a great help in the kitchen. Sometimes I think that she can cook even better than me. My teen boys... not so much. Even something like two minute noodles is a hassle and ends up being a huge mess which I'm forced to clean up. It's safer for me and for them if they don't enter the kitchen unless it is absoloutley necessary.

But today...
they surprised me.

We (16, 11, 8, 5 year olds, baby and I) had been out for a looong day at the shops and in the car ride home I was thinking about how much I wanted to NOT cook dinner.

When we arrived home, this was all ready and waiting to be put into the oven:

Recipe and image here

Yes, my 15 and 16 year old boys worked together to make the above creation. It's not the hardest recipe ever, but I am very excited that they can actually put something together without having to be asked. At least that's one less thing for their future wives to complain about.

I am seriously hoping and praying that it tastes as good as it looks. Will report back later!