Sunday, June 27, 2010

Shopping 101

Oooh, shopping? Fun!

No. Not this type of shopping. I don't know if it's just my boys, but they are a nightmare to take shopping. I mean that in the nicest possible way.

Firstly, they don't like throwing out old items of clothing. Jeans that are basically hanging on by a thread? Noooo, they are my favourite pair. Socks that have worn through? They are my favourite. Shirts that are six sizes too small? You guessed it. THE FAVOURITE SHIRT.

Basically anything that needs to be thrown out is the favourite item. I believe that this is only so they don't have me nagging them to go out and buy a new shirt/jeans/shoes. But when it comes to new Nike's they're all:

"Oh, Muuum. When are we going to the shops to buy me some Nike's?"


So, it's a challenge to even get them to the shops. Once we actually get to the shops, then it all starts to get worse.

Do you want to have a look in *insert cheaper store name here*? Nope.

Did you want to go into *other store* before we go to the Nike shop? Nah.


We're in the jean store where they are spoilt for choice. So many lovely pairs of jeans around. Do my boys like any? No. They walk around the store staring at the walls for ten minutes while I choose out some jeans I think they would like. They're all:

"Nup. No. Nah"



They each pick a pair that is closest to their hands. They walk slowly into the change rooms. I wait outside while they put them on. Reading facial expressions and mumbles is very important in knowing if they like the clothes or not. I have put together a small guide for you:

Slight nod and "mmmm": YES! Loves! Grab and run!

Loong sigh. Unimpressed look on face: No. These are not the ones.

Nervous "yeeeah" and shifty eyes: Maybe. If you find no others, get these.

Both boys have the 'maybe' reaction. Damn it. They go back out and find another pair each. They try them on. I get the slight nod from both boys.

I am tempted to drop everything, wave my arms in the air and start shouting singing "The minor fall, the major lift. The baffled king, composing Hallelujah! Hallelujah, Hallelujah. Haaaaalleluuuuuuuuujaaaaah!"

I don't. Instead, I grab the jeans, run over to the counter, cringe at the price but think thank the lord I'm out of there. Now we can go shopping for me, yay. *ahem*

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Shock Me, Wednesday

This post is quite personal and mentions pregnancy.

Dear Diary,

Over 24 hours ago I took a pregnancy test. The result was positive.

My period returned when Ethan was four weeks. Grooaaan. It happens like clockwork with every baby. As soon as they hit four weeks, the witch arrives.

Annoying, however, very helpful when trying for a baby. It makes tracking ovulation and dates sooo much easier. So, in a way I was relieved because it meant we would be ready to start trying whenever we were ready.

We had talked about trying when Ethan turned three months. I even posted about it. We were in the middle of my cycle waiting for AF to arrive. We had planned to start trying and track on that cycle. We were a little nervous about Ethan being three months, but I was sure that I wouldn't fall on the first cycle which would give us at least another month. We were happy with the decision and very excited.

My menstrual cycle also works like clockwork even after babies. 28 days past and my period wasn't here. I thought it was strange, but put it down to the fact that my body was readjusting after baby. 29 days past and it still hadn't arrived. 30 days came and I started to worry. My husband asked if there was a possibility that I was pregnant and I said "No. There's no way."

We had been using the same fool proof contraception that worked for us between all of our babies. Apart from the twins, all of the kids were planned and we hadn't had any "happy accidents".

I was feeling a little crampy yesterday, but decided to take a test (I am an OPK and HPT freak. Seriously, ask my husband. He thinks I'm crazy) anyway. As I waited for that horrible ten minutes to pass, my husband and I chatted about what we would do if it came up positive. We were both like "Oh, well it's not going to be positive, so don't even worry."

Two lines. "Holy Effing Jesus" was my husband's first reaction. I was speechless. I still am. I really want to have that same yay-we're-having-a-baby reaction like I've had with all of my other kids. Somehow, all I can think of is what other people will think.

Will we tell them it was planned? Will be tell them it was a "happy accident"? What will their reaction be? What will my kids think?

At this stage I am almost five weeks along. I will have to book in for a blood test in the next week. For now I will be sick with worry and morning sickness and hoping and praying that we will get through.

Love, Tara.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Oh, teenagers

Hello. My name is Tara and I have three teenagers and one pre-teen.

People: Oh, noooooo. Teenagers? Three? How do you deal? Are they triplets? Is grunting their first language? Do they smell? Are they loud? Aren't you glad you have daughters? Will you be glad when they turn 21 and move out? Are you scared of potential daughters-in-law?

Me: Yes. Yes. I deal just fine. No. No. No. Sometimes. Yes, but no. No and No.
The word 'teenager' for most people has such a negative connotation. When mentioning that I have three teenagers, most people are shocked and ask one or more (usually more) of the questions listed above.

I'm not sure about anyone else, but my three teenagers are some of the best people I know. I'll tell you why:

  • We have great conversations. About anything. Seriously, the four of us could talk and talk for hours. Celebrities, politics, world news, school gossip, sex, happenings of our home, the baby. They are all very honest and I/they can approach them/me about anything.
  • They are an amazing help around the house. They are generally very clean. They often ask me if there are any chores that they can do. They notice when I am tired and they genuinely want to help out with the baby.

  • They don't smell and they aren't dirty. I will admit that when my boys come home from footy training they can be a bit dirty and smelly, but for the most part they are clean. Their girlfriends have both bought them cologne which they wear often -- I just looove the smell of clean boys with freshly applied cologne.*

  • They all treat their girlfriends/boyfriend with respect. I have raised them with good old fashioned manners. I didn't think my attempts at manners and etiqutie would work, but they have. They open doors, carry things, pull out chairs, bring flowers and all of that good stuff. I have often been told about how well-mannered they are.

  • They are all very close. Seeing former war enemies actually talk, laugh and get along fabulously just melts my heart. They go to each other for advice and the three of them can make a boring situation fun.

  • They aren't hard work. At all. I have often said that I prefer the teenage stage to the toddler stage. No more "Peter, please go and brush your teeth. Come on, off to bed. Oh, come on. Don't jump on the couch. Who spilt the sugar all over the floor?" They can compromise on most situations and they don't meed much that much direction.

  • They are loud, but in a fun way. To be honest, loud laughs or music doesn't bother me. I know they are having a good time and who am I to mess with that? Except. When. The. Baby. Is. Sleeping. Damnit.

  • I have two teenage boys and one teenage girl. I enjoy both genders just as much. I can talk about 'guy stuff' with my boys and go shopping and do my daughter's hair. The best of both worlds, really.

  • They make my house a happy place. I will be truly sad when they move out. They can all make such a boring thing, such as housework, fun and enjoyable. Some of the best memories are of us just hanging at home. Usually on the ground laughing at something funny that just happened.

  • My boys have fantastic girlfriends and my daughter has a lovely boyfriend. It just so happens that right now, they all are in a relationship. That doesn't bother me. I would easily have any of them as my son or daughter-in-law.**

I hope that has answered some of your negative questions about teenagers. They are lovely, really.


*Does that make me weird?

**OK, did I just say that out loud??

Monday, June 14, 2010

Your Secret's Safe With Me

When we announced that we were having baby number seven, most reactions were:

Oh My God


OH MY GOD!!!!!

These came in many different forms. Face to face reactions (my least favourite), over the phone reactions and even some Txt and e-mail OMG's. We literally only had one e-mail reply that didn't start with Oh My God -- that one started with WOW.
I realise that e-mail may not be the preferred choice of announcement for everyone. We both have large families and lots of people to inform, so e-mail is the best way for us. We tell the most important relatives and friends in person first, then follow up with the e-mail. I can assure you it is nothing like this, although I have recieved one verrrrry similar from a 'friend' in the past:

Hi everyone,

Just lettin youse know that I am preggers! Yay!!!!!!!

Hope you are all as excited as we are. We already luv our cootie pie pumpkin and we can't wait to meet him/her!!!


I can tell you now that the exact same reactions come from the reveal that we were trying to concieve. We made the mistake of telling people we were trying for another child after our twins and most people saw that as an open invitation to be rude and make stupid remarks. We have learnt our lesson and we decided not to announce when we were trying or our pregnancies until 15 weeks.
So, little blog, I am going to let you in on a little secret. We have decided to try for another baby.

Oh My God


OH MY GOD!!!!!

I am 90% this will be our last baby. My clock is ticking - I'm not getting any younger and after 16 years of babies and kids, we've decided on just one more.

I know, I know. My baby is only 3 months old! However, he is my best baby yet and an excellent sleeper and just remember, I've done this once before with twins and a newborn. Two young babies will be a breeze.*

I have had babies that take one cycle to concieve and babies that have taken more than a year. It's hard to say when or even if I will fall pregnant.

For now we are just counting our seven blessings and hoping for the best.
So, shhhh! Keep it a secret. Pinky promise?


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Bad Things Happen Indoors

After school on Monday my husband and I took the younger (the baby, five year old, eight year old and 11 year old) kids to our local indoor pool. It is winter here, too cold to swim in our pool at home, so I decided to treat them to a trip to the heated pool - whirlpool, water slide, fountains - lots of fun!

While hubby was sitting with Ethan out of the pool, I decided to take the kids into the spa. There was hardly anyone around, so we had the spa to ourselves. We were splashing around and having lots of fun...


This happened:

And, no. I'm not even joking. I told the kids not to put their heads under because "you never know what is in the water". I am splashing around and then...

"Muuum, what is that on your arm?"


"THAT?! Ewwwww!!"

"Omg! Ew! *expletive *expletive"

As I peeled the disgusting band-aid from my arm I was yelling "Out! Out! Come on, we're out of here."

I think it's the fastest we've ever packed up and left.

It's true! Bad things do happen indoors...

Monday, June 7, 2010

Riding Solo

My husband's new job requires him to go interstate for work every two months for two weeks. This time, it happened to be when my baby was only one month old and he had to stay for 12 extra days.

It was tough. I won't lie. I missed him. My kids missed him. Even the baby missed him.

We are only in contact for about 1/2 and hour every 2-3 days. By the time my kids talk to him, I only have about ten minutes to catch him up on everything. That is a challenge.

A few days ago, someone asked me: "So, what is it like being a single parent?" I said it was tough, but I don't think you could class me as a 'single parent' -- even a temporary one.

After having an almost three week stint of solo parenting with seven kids and a baby, I now have such an appreciation for all of the single parents out there. I only tried it for three weeks and after about three days, I was ready for my husband to come back.

Knowing that there would be no one to eventually come home so you could tell them that your 5 year old drew on your leather couch and have them actually understand your depression over the beautiful lounge setting you paid $1,000,000 for, would be tough. Knowing that you couldn't jump on Skype, even after three days, and just talk about what your kids had been up to would be even tougher.

My husband came home today and I am so thankful! I'm not sure if he is feeling the same way, though. He's already been assigned to night and nappy* duty.

I seriously admire all of the single parents around the world. Keep up all of the hard, stressful and sometimes even enjoyable work!

*That's a diaper for all of you American peeps. I was trying to find a suitable picture for this post. When I was looking for diaper pics, I came across a scary site. Let's just say in the name of the website was diaper, fetish and Adults Only 18+ *shudder*

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Mum, Mum, Mummy

Today I had a moment kind of like* this:

I decide to check my phone. I had only checked it about 30 minutes ago, and since then I hadn't heard anything. Maybe it was on silent...


Wow. 12 missed calls in 30 minutes, y'all? For a split second I think WOW, I am soo loved. Then, I realise they are all from my son and home phone.

At this moment I start freaking out. My heart starts beating and I start to mummy-panic. Just as I am about to call him back, my phone starts ringing.

"Mum, don't freak out but..."

The world stops around me. My palms are sweating. My heart is beating out of my chest. I am at 11 on the mummy-panic scale.

"The dishwasher is making funny noises!"


*Not really - but my kids just looove that clip ;)

Friday, June 4, 2010

Mum's The Word

Sometimes I wish I wasn't "The Mum". I love my kids dearly and I love being their Mum but when it comes to making decisions or disciplining, I wish someone else could do it for me. I know, I know. It's all a part of my job but I feel like I really suck at it.

Usually if a situation occurs that requires a decision to be made or discipline to be given, my husband and I sit down and talk about the best way to handle it. We make the best team and I admire him for his awesome advice and intelligence - basically he just knows what to do.

This time around, my husband was away for work*. A little background information before I go on: My twins hang out with the same people at school (a very lovely bunch of friends, I must admit). My daughter's boyfriend is in their circle of friends and a very good friend of my son's.

My son had four of his friends over to 'hang out'. They ended up staying until quite late so my son asked if they could all sleepover. I said an enthusiastic "Sure!" without thinking. One of the boys is of course, my daughter's boyfriend.

Hmmm. My daughter had been out all day which is probably why it didn't click. I have always made it clear that there will be no boyfriend/girlfriend sleepovers until they are over 18. Was I to let the boyfriend sleep over (with constant, over-monitoring), say no to the boyfriend sleeping over or say no to all of the boys staying the night? Aargh...


I had four children already asleep so taking the boys home myself was not an option. I felt rude asking the boys to ask their parents to come and get them AFTER they said they were sleeping over.

I ended up sending the boyfriend home. *cringe*

It was the only decision that I could think of after a long and exhausting day. And now that I think of it, even though I had my daughter, son and the boyfriend hating on me; I feel like I made the right decision.

Case closed.

*When he is away from work, we only get to talk to each other once every three days, for about 1/2 an hour. No time for a quick call to ask for advice.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Eight, nine... ten kids?

Since having a baby, certain things in life have become more difficult. I can no longer pop down to the shops to pick up a few groceries with my younger kids. I now have to time my supermarket visits, so they don't clash with feeding, changing, pooping or sleeping time. We can no longer have loud music playing throughout the day. Instead of yelling "Woo! Let's party like it's 1999!"*, I am instead yelling at my kids to turn things down or stop yelling because! Of course, me yelling at the kids to stop yelling is totally ironic. But, whatever. It's a case of 'do what I say and not what I do'.

One thing I was determined not to do was miss out on good quality family time. As my teens are growing older, they like to do their own things on the weekend with their friends or girlfriends/boyfriends. I respect that, but I have made sure that at least once a month we go out for dinner as a family. Each child** gets a turn at picking where we go.

I let my three older children invite a friend along. In total their were ten chilren. Ten? Yes, ten. AND A BABY. I must have been feeling braaaave that night. We went out to a large Italian family restaurant.

Passeggiate! Lo amo la cucina Italiana!

As I rang up to reserve our table of 12, the lady on the phone assumed it was a booking for two or more families. I know this because basically every time we book a table somewhere, we are known as a "group" booking.

As we walk into the restaurant, I can feel the looks. Every person in the restuarant turns to us and their eyes say to me "Oh, no. Please, God - don't let that large family of whing-y, whiney kids sit near us."

We got sat next to a lady (around my age) and her adult daughter. I thought that maybe, just maybe this lady would have some sympathy for me, should my kids act like total nightmares. She turned to her daughter and said VERY loudly:

"Oh. My. God. Seven... oh, wait. Eight..."

"No, there's another one. That's nine. Holy Cow!"

"You forgot the baby. Oh, so ten. TEN KIDS! Faaaaaark!"

Mmmmm. Classy. My baby started grizzling. Cue eyerolls.

My kids were amazing. Yes, they mixed little pepper and salt sachets into their drinks and blew bubbles. Yes, more than one of them didn't like their meal. And yes, one of them went under the table and had a tantrum at my legs, but overall it was very succesful.

As we were leaving, I looked back to the lady and her daughter and heard:

"Wow. Those kids were actually alright."


Oh, and obviously the photo of the pizza isn't what we actually ate. I mean EW, it has all of this yucky red and green stuff on it!

*Kidding, obviously. I was too busy having babies for partying.

**This is always fun - except for when it's one of my daughter's turn to choose. We go to McDonald's every.single.time. This would be all well and good, except for the fact that my eldest daughter and I stopped eating fast food more than a year. *sigh*