Thursday, 29 December 2011

Another Christmas Gone - Another Family Disaster

Ever feel like you are just sinking under a giant pile of you know what?

Well, that's exactly how I feel at the moment.  I look at other families and I think, wow, what a wonderful life they have.  Everyone seems so happy and so loving.  It's just that perfect picture of happy families that we all strive to achieve.  And then there is me and my seriously dysfunctional family that doesn't even come close to that happy picture.



As many of you know I lost my brother to suicide last year.  It was the worst time of my life.  Something I honestly thought I would never ever EVER have to live through.  It was something I never thought I would ever have to face in a million years.  Obviously I was completely wrong.

I seriously hope I don't sound completely heartless when I say this but as a result of my gorgeous brother's death, my mother has now become completely unbearable.  And I mean unbearable.  As in, I seriously can't deal with her any more. 



I hate airing dirty laundry for all to see and read, but then you know what.......I think of what a wonderful supportive community of mummy bloggers are out there and I think, it's okay.  They won't judge me.  They will listen, and although they don't know me, they actually care about me.  And for that, I thank you.

As it stands, as at last night, apparently I no longer have a mum.  But that's okay.  Because I have a truly wonderful mother in law who has faced hardships and issues that no one should have to face.  And she loves me for who I am, and most importantly, she doesn't judge me.  She is just there for me.

I won't bore you all silly with what caused me to longer have a mum, needless to say, I can no longer deal with the martyr-dm that is my mother and the way she deals with things.  Please don't misunderstand me.  I know she has lost a son.  And she lost a beautiful, talented, amazing son, but I'm still here.  I'm still right in front of her.  I have given her three beautiful grandsons, all-be-it slightly feral ones at times, but that's boys for you isn't it?

I don't know if mum and I can salvage a relationship after what has just happened, and that is something I will have to live with, but I can't go on the way things are. 
The person I feel most sorry for is my beautiful Dad.  He's such a quiet un-assuming man, and he tolerates so much.  He, like my brother was, is an intellectual, a physicist to be exact.  Me, well I love watching trash TV like the Kardashians so I know I don't have his genes - LOL.  But at the same time I know he loves me, and he just shakes his head in humour at the fact that I don't have the ABC network on my radar.  Although I have to admit, he has threatened to write me out of the will on more than one occasion for my love of the Collingwood Football Club, something I can't help I'm sorry, black and white thru and thru I am.

I suppose out of all of this, what I'm trying to say, is just be you.  Be who you are and don't make apologies for that.  Because at the end of the day, you are only answerable to yourself, and if you can live with that, then you must be doing okay.
Amanda
xxx

Photos courtesty of www.pinterest.com & www.thestickerfamily.com.au

Thursday, 22 December 2011

A Boy And His Bat

Those of you that follow my blog would be used to my ramblings about cricket - with the 3 boys there is no hope.



I did think that maybe the youngest may choose a different summer sport when he is older but as you can see, no such luck.






Look out Michael Clarke



Check out the bowling action....


What sports do you think your little one is going to take up?

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

End of Year Gallery

This a blog in pictures this time.


Thought I would share with you some end of year masterpieces from the boys.


What do you think?


City Scape

Here Fishy Fishy

Beachside Retreat

Has anyone seen summer?

Christmas Time

Autumn Days

????

Amanda

And thanks to Harry & Cohen for letting me share their works of art.

Visit us at www.purely4kids.com.au

Sunday, 11 December 2011

A Roller Coaster, A Christmas Tree, And A Toy Soldier

As the mother of 3 boys you can imagine what my life is surrounded by.  Cricket, dirt, smelly things, cricket, footy, washing that never ends, cricket, more dirt, and more cricket.

Well yesterday I put my foot down.  I told said family that as the only female in the house (other than the cat) it was my day.  They were all coming into the city with me to look at the Christmas decorations and they were going to enjoy it whether they liked it or not.  They were going to admire all the lights and they were going to say "ooooh, ahhhh, aren't they pretty!!!!" 



Of course I could see the joy written all over their faces, in fact I'm sure I heard hubby say "you know there are more of us, we could revolt".  Thankfully he thought better of that extremely quickly. 

So we piled into the car, again with reminders of "you will behave, you will put a smile on your faces, and you will go gaga over the pretty decorations", which of course was met with promises of "yes mum, okay mum".



We parked over at Darling Harbour and caught the roller coaster over to the QVB building.  For those of you that don't have a 6 year old, a roller coaster is actually the monorail.  After 10min of hysterical crying because he didn't want to go on the roller coaster, (what if it fell off the tracks and we all died), the monorail finally arrived and we managed to encourage him drag him kicking and screaming.  Of course after 30sec he loved it and we had to do a full loop before he would allow us to get off at the QVB.



So let me set the scene for you.  We walk into the QVB filled with it's beautiful fairy lights, magnificent tree decorated with swarkovski crystals and the crystal cave where Santa sits.  It starts with the 10+ year old who instantly starts with the "I'm hungry, when are we having afternoon tea" (he just had lunch), a 6 old who's tummy is "killing" him because he is starving (he too had just had lunch), and a husband muttering under his breath about the "crowds".  The baby at this stage is quite happy in his pram, so that is something I suppose.



I "forced" the family to stand in front of the tree and smile for the camera - you can see just how delighted they are. After more whinging re their lack of food they found a model shop full of toy soldiers, trains, cars, planes and anything else that moved which of course they thought was just fabulous.



We left the QVB and the 10+ year says to me, "Mum, that was awesome".  I smiled and said that's great buddy, what did you like the best?  "Oh, easily those little soldiers - did you see them, they were cool!!!"  I thought I might actually self-combust then so he was very quick to add "oh, and the tree was okay too."  Was he seriously trying to tell me the highlight was the hobby shop!!!!

This of course put me in a mood for at least the next hour as I stomped and pouted my way back to the monorail and back to Darling Harbour to find something for dinner.  My husband's idea of trying to cheer me up was to simply shrug his shoulders and say "Well, they are boys". 

Dinner was the usual fun event I have come to expect from dining with a 20month old.  After wandering around Cockle Bay and Harbourside trying to find a restaurant with main meals less than $50 each we finally settled on one over-looking the harbour.  The 10 year old refused point blank to order off the kids menu for $7 so instead he had to order a $20 chicken schnitzel (which he didn't finish), the husband had to order the biggest (and most expensive) steak on the menu, the 6 year old had to insist that his stomach had since died from hunger pains so he couldn't possibly eat now and the 20month old proceeded to throw his food at us while the 10 year old shouted "incoming". 



It was at that point that I thought to myself, why am I even looking at the menu - just bring me the list of alcohol available.

Yet we got thru dinner, broke, but relatively unscathed from flying objects and thought we would go for a stroll over to the playground area.  There was a moment where I thought I would seriously lose the plot when the boys asked what was for dessert because they were hungry, but I was very proud of myself.  I took a deep breath and looked at the "pretty" Christmas tree and instead chose to simply ignore them.

After another loop of the roller coaster the boys saw the sign stating that every Saturday night was fireworks night from 9pm so it was back down to Harbourside to ooh and ahh over the sky as it lit up, while calming the 20month old that everything was okay.



We somehow managed to pile them all back into the car and head home.  All three of them were asleep before we even left the carpark.  I sat back, took a deep breath and thought, "yep, they were pretty cool toy soldiers weren't they."


Amanda

Visit us at http://www.purely4kids.com.au/

Sunday, 4 December 2011

I FOUND A GREY HAIR

Ok I am seriously freaking out now.  It's like the world has ended (and I'm allowed to be melodramatic remember - we've had serious tragedies this last 18 months)......anyway, I digress.  Back to my serious drama.

I FOUND A GREY HAIR

Yes, I did.  In fact not just one, but two.  How is that even possible?  Only old people are supposed to go grey.  And I'm not old, am I? 



I can't be.  My parents are grey, the grandparents up at the shopping centre are grey- I'm not supposed to be grey.

I'm not ready to play bingo yet -barefoot bowls is kinda cool, but lawn bowls????



Does this mean this is how my kids see me?  When my eldest asked me if we had TV back "in the olden days" he obviously wasn't joking - argh......that's how he sees me.  OLD.

Of course, it's all good now because said grey hair was ripped out at the roots, and if I go bald pulling out every one that follows well then so be it.



And yes, thank you very much, I do know I'm being melodramatic.........

Have you had that sudden realisation that you are getting older - are you coping or, like me, do you just plan to stick your head in the sand and ignore it - LOL.

Amanda
xxx

Photos courtesy of http://www.pinterest.com/


Monday, 28 November 2011

Budding Artists

I posted earlier on Facebook my youngest son's first piece of art.  I was so excited when I picked him up from daycare last week and his carer handed over this beautiful glass creation he had made.  Obviously with a little bit of help - lol, but I'm still telling everyone he made it all by himself.




I am one of those completely hopeless mothers who has to keep every single creation my children make - I just can't help myself.  I honestly thought I was going to be buried alive under a mountain of hand painting and a is for apple when my eldest son started kindergarten.  Every day something would come home and of course I just had to keep it.  




Thankfully from Year 1 onwards they started using workbooks so the amount of work that came home diminished significantly.  Let's not mention the fact that my middle son started Kindergarten this year so of course it started all over again.........argh!!!!!!!


If you ever can't find me just give the crew from Hoarders a call - you will find  me in there somewhere, under that pile.




I did hold an intervention on myself a few years ago and managed to throw out some "artwork". You know the ones.  The reems of computer paper that have one green stripe of paint on them, or the piece of paper with a scribble on it.  Well I did it, I threw them out.  That took care of approximately one 100th of the pieces of paper but it's a start.


I know I have to cull.  Really I do, but I just don't understand how to do it.  How do I decide what to keep when everything looks so cute.  HELP!!!!!!




What do you do with all your children's masterpieces?

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Oooh, That's Pinteresting......You Are My Sunshine.

Inspired by ooh-pinteresting-sunshine-edition here are some of my favourite "Sunshine" pins this week........

 These flowers even look like the sun.

With all this Sydney rain I need to start singing this song......


Just because I love this picture.

What have you found "Pinteresting" this week?

Monday, 21 November 2011

A Very Lucky Mum

As I sit here trying to drown out the sounds of my feral children fighting through every second of their backyard cricket game I'm taking lots of deep breaths and reminding myself how lucky I am to have 3 healthy boys.

I had to take the youngest feral to see a specialist at Westmead Children's the other day. All is fine - he is just a seriously late walker so my GP thought it would be safe to get him checked out.

I always find it such a heart wrenching trip going to Westmead, knowing there are so many children struggling with various illnesses, even worse knowing that some of them may never get better.

It really makes me take a deep breath and just take a moment to realise how truly lucky I am.  Sure they drive me crazy sometimes, and I get frustrated with them.....often......but at the end of the day they are beautiful healthy boys and I am blessed to have them.



Amanda

Monday, 31 October 2011

Pocket Money

You will notice from my previous rantings that I have THE laziest children to walk the earth. Everything is a drama, an issue, or a saga.


Requests to help with something are met with protests of "Oh what! I just sat down" or as you know, my personal favorite "I have to do everything around here, Dad does nothing". Hah, I still laugh at that one.


I've tried explaining to them that this is what families are all about, helping each other. I've tried reasoning with them that picking up after themselves means I don't have to nag them later in the day. I've tried ignoring the state of their bedroom but when things start growing in there I just have to step in.




I've reassured my eldest that he won't actually die if he misses an over of the 1987 one day match between Australia and Sri Lanka because I've told him to unload the dishwasher - which by the way is his one and only official job he has to do.


I've had so many bursts of enthusiasm where I've been so excited by my fabulous new idea. I've run up to Kikki K and bought Chore Lists and Star Charts. I've designed some myself and bought fun and funky stickers to put on them. All of which have lasted approximately 2.5 days before the novelty has worn off and they are back to simply lounging around the house imitating a dying swan when asked to pick up their PJ's off the floor.



We've had round table family discussions regarding what a wonderful thing pocket money is. How they can actually earn money by doing jobs around the house. How they can save up this money and put it in the bank for something really big they may want later. I've even suggested they can spend the whole lot on lollies and follow up dentist care for all I care - something has to resonate with these boys surely.




But no, the offer of money didn't work either for more than 1 week. After said week, Sunday rolled around - they didn't ask for their pocket money, which really irritated me as I had my whole speech planned out as to why they wouldn't be getting any money that week. Instead I had to make a point of announcing to everyone that "oh and by the way, I was going to give you your pocket money this week but because you didn't do your jobs without whinging, fighting and carrying on like pork chops (still don't actually know how a pork chop carries on, but anyway) you miss out." Well that worked. They both just looked at me blankly, muttered something like "oh what!" and then ran outside to play cricket. Arghhhhhhhh


So, now I've resorted to Plan B (or is it J by now). The reverse pocket money plan - where I can actually earn some money from them. Here is my latest brainchild that I'm super excited about this week, and I just know that unlike all my other attempts, this is the one. This is to going work. How can it not!


At the beginning of the week I give them each $10 in cold hard cash which they then have to put straight into their wallets. There are reminders of all the wonderful things they can save up for (apparently an Xbox is on the agenda) and then they are off. BUT ......the beauty of this little scheme is that if they don't do their jobs and help out around the house, or they fight with each other, or they refuse to keep their bedroom inhabitable then they have to pay me. Don't you love it!!!! I earnt $1.50 yesterday because one of them insisted on spending the entire 10min game of backyard cricket antagonising his brother while the other whinged, cried and generally acted like a 2 year old (he's 10) because he had to pick up 5 things off his bedroom floor. Ah the power!!

Ask me in another week how my little plan is going........I have big hopes for his one.

Do you give your kids pocket money?  Are they prepared to help out around the house?


Amanda


photos courtesy of www.pinterest.com  www.dreamtime.com  www.kikki-k.com

Sunday, 30 October 2011

My 16 Year Old Self

I don't normally buy magazines but I was drawn to this month's edition of the Women's Weekly as I'm a huge fan of Asher Keddie and Offspring, I just love it.



This month there is a really interesting article/interview with the author Di Morrissey.  She's written a letter to her 16 year old self.  It got my thinking.  Wouldn't that be a wonderful thing to be able to do.  To know what we know now and yet still be 16 again.  To be able to tell ourselves that everything is going to be okay - eventually.


I know if I could sit down and write my 16 year old self a letter it would be pretty confrontational.  I would want to tell myself that I am a much stronger person than I realise.  That I am a survivor.  I look back at what has happened in my life the last 18 months, and I know without a shadow of a doubt, at the age of 16, if you'd told me what was going to lie ahead for me I would have told you that you were crazy.  I would have thought I could never survive, but I have. 

I would tell myself I will have a wonderful husband, 3 beautiful boys, but I will lose my beloved brother to suicide when my youngest son is only 3 weeks old, I will lose my grandmother who I adored more than you can possibly imagine because she will never recover from the loss of her grandson, that it will feel like my whole world has ended.  But you know what, 18 months on, I'm here, and I'm standing and I'm surviving.  Actually, that's not true.  I'm not just surviving, I'm living. 



For those of you that read my blog you'll know I generally try and put humour in my writing.  I love to laugh at my life and my kids and have fun with all the crazy antics that go along with being mum to 3 boys.  But today, after reading that article, I felt I had to write this, and for that I hope you will forgive me for the more serious tone than normal. It's what was right for me today.  Tomorrow is another day and I'm sure it will come with lots of fun and laughter again.  Ooooh, and lollies and chocolate.  It is Halloween after all.



Pictures courtesy of http://www.magshop.com.au/Australian-Womens-Weekly, www.beyondblue.org.au, and www.pinterest.com

If you could sit down and write your 16 year old self a letter, what would you say?

Friday, 28 October 2011

Justin Beiber Has A Lot To Answer For

Now I know I shouldn't complain, it could be worse.  I could be dealing with posters of Justin Beiber plastered to the bedroom walls or wincing at his name being tattooed into an arm in Biro.  I'll leave that joy to all you mums out there with girls.

In our household we are dealing with what we term the "Beiber" flick.  I had to laugh when my parents visited from interstate recently and asked me if Harrison had developed a twitch.  No, no twitch, just a flick.  The Beiber flick.  It's basically an excuse for my son to grow his hair so long that I can almost put it in a ponytail while he continuously "flicks" it out of eyes "Beiber" style.

Now I suppose I should fess up and take some of the responsibility here.  I do like his hair a little longer, as opposed to the current "mop" look.  And I must admit, between work, the kid's school commitments, band commitments, sporting commitments, birthday parties and the fact that I have a 19 month old who will sit still for approx 3.5seconds, it's not always easy to actually find the time to take the boys to the hairdresser, but seriously, this is now out of control.

I actually wondered last week if maybe there was a colony of extinct animals living in there that had set up home thinking it was a safe haven.  I say safe haven because I'm sure the mop never gets washed.  Showers are clearly just for thinking when it comes to boys.  When they are simply standing under the water, arms folded staring aimlessly into space that's what I assume they are doing.  The number of times I've had to yell out to them to turn the shower off before they empty Warragamba Dam........argh, don't get me started - that's a whole other blog.

Anyway, I am now pleased to report that Beiber is now gone.  We went to the local barber and the "mop" has now been replaced with a No. 4 short back and sides with just enough growth on top to "spike it up mum" with gel.

Of course, this brings with it a whole other set of issues.  Mainly the fact that now he does actually have a twitch because he's so used to flicking that stupid fringe that it's become a habit - can you believe it?  Seriously, we're walking through the shops after said haircut and he's flicking an invisible fringe!!!!

But there are other new found issues now.  "Mum, how can I wear my school hat, it will flatten my hair", followed by "is my hair still spikey, is it?  It hasn't gone flat has it?"  Truly, can someone just shoot me now.....PLEASE!!!!
Let's not forget of course the incessant whinging that then follows from my 6 year old.  "Why can't I have hair cut too?  Why can he have spikey hair and I can't?  That's not fair!!!!"  After a number of deep breaths I then try and explain to my darling 6 year old boy that unlike his older brother he has very curly hair which means unless he wants to go with a buzz-cut look he can't have his hair spikey because lopped off stumpy little curls just won't stick up!!!!
Who said dealing with girl's hair was hard?

Please share with me your fun-filled kid's hair stories.  Please, I need a laugh.  I need to know that you too share my pain........PLEASE.


Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Our Fun Filled Photo Shoot

Not that you'd know if from looking out the window at the moment here in not-so-sunny-Sydney, but we had the most perfect weather this weekend.  We made full use of it on Sunday and roped all our children into helping out with a photo shoot for us.  Our beautiful friend Karen provided the amazing back-drop of her resort-style backyard and off we went.


I have to be honest, I thought the day would resemble something close to trying to herd cats but the kids surprised us with their willingness to help out.  Of course I think the promise of a swim afterwards helped that situation.



We've had some fabulous arrivals from Little Bubble and Tree and More4Boys that we couldn't wait to photograph.   The main issue from the day was the mop that sits on top of my eldest's head.  Seriously buddy - GET A HAIR CUT!!!!!  Argh, I swear half the socks missing from my house could be hiding in there for all I know.  I've got it all worked out today though.  School pick up will be met with the standard "I'm hungry, what can I have to eat".  This time I can reply with "Nothing until you get your hair cut".  Yes, it's off to the hairdresser today.


Now, back to the photo shoot.  The girls looked adorable in their flowing skirts and kaftans, just perfect for that next trip to the pool or beach.  Mind you, we were wondering if we were creating a monster with some of the poses, look out Jennifer Hawkins - you may have some competition soon.


All in all though it was a great day.  The weather was perfect, the kids were perfect, the clothes were perfect.  We really couldn't have asked for anything better.


Most importantly, it reminded us of what purely4kids is all about.  It's about family, it's about children, it's about doing what we love, and it's about all our fabulously wonderful Australian designers out there that we have the absolute fortune to support and promote.


Amanda

http://www.purely4kids.com.au/

PS - I got him to the hairdresser - lol.