Thursday, May 27, 2010
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Don't worry. While I can appreciate that it's a good film, I'm not one of those crazy 'twi-hards'. Except apparently I am. Huh? Let me explain.
Without giving their names away, one of my kids has the name of the hottest werewolf in the movie. Another one of my kids shares the first name of the actor who plays that character. The shortened version of one of my daughters' name is also the main female character's name. Totally a coincidence.
To add to that, my middle name is actually Vampira.
Oh, just kidding. I couldn't even imagine if it was. I already get asked* if Twilight was the inspiration for my children's names. Um, hello? My kids were born long before the books and movie even came out. But yes, I'm thinking Cullen for my next child.
*especially by my 16 year old daughter's friends
Saturday, May 22, 2010
This means that they can both legally learn to drive. The rules state that you must carry the permit with you when you drive at all times with a supervised driver who has had their license for more than five years and you must clearly display this little sign on the front and back of the car:
Unfortunately as we are a large family, we don't have a small, easy car for them to practise in. We have two people movers which are big and bulky, but at this point in time, they'll just have to do. With my husband away for work and a five week old baby it makes it hard to take the kids out to drive. So far we have only done driveway reversing and 10-15 minute drives* in a car park near our house. If you see quite a large car with L-plates, a nervous driver and a Mum who is trying her best to stay calm and juuust breathe; you'll know it's us.
After my twins have been driving for six months, they can sit a practical driving assessment. They are assessed on eight key points: look behind, flow, movement, path, manoeuvres, responsiveness, signal and vehicle management as well as two exercises called Stopping for Shopping (this one sounds fun!) and I've Left Something Behind (oh, no!). To be honest, I have no idea how to teach/show my kids many of these key points, so it looks like I'll be learning something along the way - something other than extreme patience and perseverance, that is.
After another six months and 25 hours each of
It's not over just yet. Once they remove their L-plates** they are known as a 'novice driver' and will need to clearly show this little sign on the front and back of their car for six months:
Wearing this plate has restrictions. You are required to have a BAC (blood alcohol limit) of 0 at all times and you are not permitted to drive between 12am - 5am. After six months with the red plates, they need to change to these for 18 months:
Only then can they finally drive Mum free and sign free. Phew!
Can I just use this time to point out that I am SO glad that I don't live on the other side of my country. Their learner drivers have to complete 120 hours before getting their P's. I'm not so sure I would have enough time nor patience to spend 360 hours in the car with my L-plater over the next two years.
*driving up and down the middle of the car park with only one or two turns. My son is already very confident and I'm sure will be out on the roads soon. My daughter... not so much.
**along with the L-plates comes copious amounts of teasing from their siblings: "L is for looooser!"
Friday, May 21, 2010
In the end everything worked out fine. My 8 year old got her homework done. We bought a gorgeous card for my son in the morning. I managed to write a lovely passage about my 14 year old and I also gave my daughter the money to give to her friend.
I often hear them using the "Oh, we just work better under pressure" excuse. They're right - it's amazing how hard a bit of pressure can make you work for an English assignment due in less than 24 hours. I just wonder where they got their last minute-ness from. Clearly not from their very organised, efficient, intelligent and perfect mother. *cough
*read: giggling, chatting and doing everything they can to get out of going to bed
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
I am so fortunate to have three beautiful, well-behaved, respectful teenagers. They are doing well at school, are all busy with sports and they all have a wonderful bunch of friends. They were only 10 and 11 when our last baby arrived, so while they were able to help out, much of their focus was on Spongebob Squarepants repeats on Nickelodeon.
This time around, my husband and I thought carefully about how to handle the whole baby-and-teenager situation. Most parents go through baby stage then the teen stage. Not us. It's all happening at once over here.
I must admit that we were worried for a while about our teenagers. Would having a baby affect them? Will they still want to bring their friends over? Will they get annoyed at me asking them to use their "inside voices"? Would they get stressed over changing one.more.nappy?
All of my fears turned to tears when our eldest son held the baby ever so gently and said "He's so beautiful!" We knew then that the precious bundle had captured their hearts. My son even turned down a date with his girlfriend to watch the baby sleep!
I have tried to make our life feel as normal as it possibly can be with a five week old baby. We still sit around watching OTH (One Tree Hill for all of the non-fans) while talking about our day after the younger kids have gone to bed. I still make them coffee in the morning just before they wake. I still allow groups of teenagers to 'chill' at my house. In fact, the other night I had four 16 year old boys sleepover. My son says this was very 'awesome' of me. Woo! Bonus Mummy points.
Instead of "Son, go change Ethan's nappy, will ya?" we have tried to say "Did you want to help us feed Ethan?" or "Would you like another hold of the baby?" Chances are, they're already in the nursery or wanting to help out, anyway.
I hope my teens love parenting as much as I love to parent them. They bring such joy and happiness into my life.
*along with "Oooooh. How many days to go?" Hrmph. About ten weeks.
We had the twins when I was 21 (I'll save you the hassle of getting a calculator. I'm now 36). I will admit that they weren't planned but after the initial double shock: I'm pregnant! There's two!, we were both very excited. The twins were the best babies. So calm and chilled out. So much so, we decided to try for another. Nine months later he arrived. Life as a family of five was great, but we couldn't kick the feeling of wanting more.
Both my husband and I grew up in large-ish families, so we wanted the same for our children. Three years later my second daughter entered the world. Another three years later, I had my third son. Yet another three years later, we welcomed another girl.
Fast forward five years and our fourth son was born just over a month ago. He is snuggly, squishy and adorable and all of my kids love having him around. My teens, in particular are beyond amazing. They are so very helpful and their unfound love, care and gentleness toward him touches my heart. We are already (gasp) thinking another one. I believe my husband's exact words are:
I would love to use this blog as a place to come and share some wonderful stories and memories. The little things. Things that I'm not going to remember when they all grow up.
(Which is now. My twins are 16! Sixteen! *tear* *sob* *vodka* What?)