Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Christmas is Done and Dusted

On Christmas Eve we went to Mass, put the presents under the tree, left treats out for Santa and his reindeer and put the girls to bed. We were well prepared but relieved to go to sleep that night.

My mother-in-law made this wonderful Christmas cake which the kids helped decorate. This was cut up for Santa.

Our wonderful Christmas celebrations started early with stockings being looked through and then the mountains of presents being opened. This year we gave the kids two presents each and a share trampoline. The got a mountain of presents because there are 4 of them and they each gave the others a present.
The house was cleaned and the food prepared before our first lot of guests arrived at 10:30am. It was fantastic to have my nephew, a strapping lad of 23, share our day too. The next lot of guests arrived at 11:30 and we began handing out presents. It was a very hectic time with 13 people in our library. Being the memory keeper that I am I had a little stress out that I wouldn't be able to know who gave the kids what gifts. I received some lovely and very thoughtful gifts, probably the most special was a gift voucher from my in-laws for a clothing store because I have lots a lot of centimetres and don't have many clothes which fit. My sister and her Mum arrived and she went out with the kids on the trampoline. Lots of bouncing occurred today.

Lunch as a simple BBQ, with the guests bringing something to share.  I was reflecting on the day last night and thought the table was rather crowded, everyone had to squeeze past each other and I thought we may need a different set up next time we host Christmas but then I realised that it is actually part of Christmas. Lots of people crowded in one place, lots of noise, lots of food. A little bit of discomfort is not too hard to deal with. Apart from the wonderful company, the best part of the day would have been the desserts. I'm a sucker for good food. Mrs Granny Weymouth always brings the trifle which it is delicious. Everyone brings something to share; salad, dessert or nibbles. It's great. Little stress and so much fun.

Cousins. Isn't he a wonderful young man?

Gran with Princess Aurora with the lilac flowers she got for Christmas.

Kevin's loot.

Lisa's first Christmas loot. That doesn't include presents she got before Christmas. We only gave her one of those presents!

Packing up the tree to get ready for Lisa's birthday on the 31st

My Aunt and Uncle, cousin and her kids, my brother and my new sister in law and their kids. Kevin had to stay home and look after a sick Lisa. It was great to get everyone together. I'm so glad everyone traveled to see us. It's a great place to meet up at as there is plenty of space for the kids and enough chairs for the adults. 

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

The Big Move

We arrived here on Sunday and showed the girls where we were going to live. Kevin carried Lisa through the door as he had done with each Knight girl as he had brought them into our home.

The removalists arrived on Monday with a container bursting at the seams with our belongings. We unpacked the beds and enough kitchen things to make a meal.

Lisa's first night in the Castle

We didn't waste much time settling in. On Tuesday we set up the Christmas tree and the lights. The kids loved finally being able to get into Christmas.

Almost all of the boxes have been unpacked. We still have some boxes stored at Kevin and Pauline's house which we are yet to pick up or if we have picked them up we have not yet unpacked and sorted through. There are years of school resources which will most likely get chucked. Don't suppose I'll be needing those any time soon. There is still the scrapbooking room to unpack. Gosh so much to do. At least our room, the kids room and the kitchen is unpacked except those boxes from the in-laws.

We had a lot of rain for the first week we were here so it made unpacking the perfect job to be doing. It also made us have to mow quite a few times in the first 2 weeks.

The kids seem to have settled in really well. Hollie has her school uniform, a class number, a teacher and books ordered for next year. Jessica has checked out the kindy we'll be sending her to and seems to like it. All is left to do is contact mainly music and find a playgroup to attend. Maybe I should just start my own with the people I know around here?

Kevin has been allocated a school where one of his mates teaches, has all of his trains in the one spot, has his shed back and is planning his first train club meeting.

Me? I'm just hoping everything is clean and tidy enough for our guests in 4 sleeps time. I can do it. I really can. I can make this home presentable in 3 days. NOT. Family and friends are just going to have to put up with it aren't they. Well the least they could do would be to keep quiet about how messy, disorganised and unclean it is but I'm sure everyone will be so glad we're back they won't notice the mess. I won't be able to fix it up by Sunday that's for sure. My scrapbooking room won't be finished but that is ok. Kevin has erected the shelving system for it so I have started unpacking. I'm so excited to have my own space. Close the door on the projects and the kids can't destroy them. I'm so lucky and so excited.

We have already spent a lot of time in the garden pulling out unwanted plants and pruning, even breaking a pair of secateurs in the process. This morning I spent 1 and 1/2 hrs in the garden pruning and pulling before heading to the shops. Upon my return I returned to the garden to prune, pull and dig the horrible weed out of the gardens. We had hired a trailer to collect the last of our large items from the in-laws yesterday and were still in possession of it today so it was loaded up with garden waste. It was a 5x7 cage trailer and it was full. It was 10:30 before I finally stopped. What a morning and there is still so much to do. The next thing to bring back from the in-laws is the mattock to dig out all of the plants we have cut back. It is looking a little bare but we think it is best to start with a fresh look.

Saturday, 29 October 2011

A date with my darling husband

It's not often as a mother of 4 very young children that I get the opportunity to have a date with my husband. Well this week I had two. Two!. One was just in our loungeroom. But  we shared a meal. Just the two of us. We had candles. We had music. We had children in their room and we had adult conversation. Oh the joy of just us two.
The next night we had a date away from the house. We went on the river cruise. It is a tourist boat which has a sunset cruise, nibbles on board, a camp meal and a bush poet, dessert, tea and damper. I had wanted to go on this since we arrived in Longreach but we just kept having kids and it all seemed too hard until my friend Deb insisted we go on it. It is closing down of the season and we were lucky enough to get tickets on the last trip. I'm so glad we did. It left at 4.50pm which of course with young children is not a good time but Deb insisted it would be ok. We had a wonderful time. We even got the top deck for the sunset. You have no idea how wonderful it is to be away from the kids to spend time with adults and that one you love unless it happens so rarely as it does with us. It was fabulous to spend the evening with Kevin. 

The Thomson Belle our cruise vessel.

It was an extremely hot day. At 2:30pm it was 39.2C which is almost 100F. 

We had to wear these beautiful necklaces to give us access to the top deck. Only 3 tourists allowed at the top at any time. 

Only an outback sunset looks like that. It's simple beautiful.

If you get the chance to come out to Longreach this cruise is a must. If you get the chance to spend an evening alone with the one you love, do it. 

Wednesday, 12 October 2011


One of my friends today told me she was pregnant. I was so excited for her. Happy for her news, happy for the joy it would bring her family however it made the think of all the things I hate about pregnancy. I remember with my first pregnancy my Mum told me to enjoy every moment of it because it is over so quickly and it is a miracle. Well, every time I threw up during that first pregnancy, which was all day and night for 18 weeks, I said, "Yes, this is a miracle. Thoroughly enjoyable." Women are designed to forget what it is like. No sane women would let a man near her again if she truly remembered what it was like. 
We are still deciding, no I think we have decided, to have another baby. Yes, that means throwing up again for 18 weeks, sleepless nights during the pregnancy, 2-3 hourly feeds for 4-6 weeks, complete and utter exhaustion, teething and everything else that comes with having a baby. If you're a mother you'll know what I'm talking about. If you aren't, you think you understand but really you have no idea. So with all of that, why would I think having another baby is worth it? 
A life of joy with the new baby and watching them grow up. You can't actually put it into words. There aren't enough mushy words to describe how it feels to be a mother. I used to think I didn't have enough room in my heart to love more than one but the more I've had the more my heart has grown and the more love I have in it. My children are just amazing. Sure they drive me nuts and I feel like running away sometimes. Who doesn't? I am still learning how to be a mum. These kids challenge me every day. They test my patience. They make me wonder what I'm doing. They smile and look up for a cuddle and everything seems ok. I hear them tell their friends how wonderful their Daddy is and my heart melts. I just love being a mum. I don't think I'll ever do anything as important as be their mum. No. I know I won't. I know that it is what I'm meant to do. I know I am good at it. Usually I'm good at it. They have taught me so much about the world and about myself. I can't imagine what my life would be like without them. I am truly blessed. 
So yes, I will go again. 9 months is exceptionally short in a lifetime of joy and happiness. And this time, my last time, I will savour every moment. 

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Sad news

My sister's sister-in-law died yesterday at the age of 21 from dengue fever. I am so sadden by this even though I have never met her. I feel for my sister and her family. I cannot imagine what it feels like. She was so young and had her whole life ahead of her.
Junaid is returning home to be with his family where 2 other members are ill. He has missed the funeral as, according to Islamic tradition, the body is buried as soon as possible after death. She only survived for a few short hours upon admission to hospital. She was on a hand held ventilator during her final hours. We really don't appreciate how lucky we are living in a country which has such a great health system. Where anyone can get state of the art medical treatment when ever and where ever they need it. We are so fortunate. I have not had a negative experience with our health system so I can't understand why people complain about it and compared to what others go through, ours is perfect.

Monday, 3 October 2011

On a health kick

I did my first session with the personal trainer this morning. I didn't realise how unfit I was until she put me through the paces. I cannot believe after all that walking all through winter that I have lost so much fitness. In 5mins on the treadmill I ran 900m so I can still run. It's the weight bearing activities that are my challenge. Everything with my arms is very difficult and that has to do with my shoulder injury and the lack of work they do. I can only improve from here.
My aim is to loose 7kgs so I can get my holiday without the kids. Now just to find someone to have the kids. One of my friends here offered to have the kids, she is a mother of 4 herself, but I don't think I will have got within my BMI before I leave.
Kevin is also on a health kick because he wants to purchase EuroStar which he can as soon as he gets in his BMI. Kevin has already lost 1kg this week. So unfair but good on him. We have decided not to purchase any treat foods until our Christmas celebrations. We have also decided we won't eat any food unless we have to prepare it or have it prepared for us ie. by each other or if we are lucky enough to get to go out to dinner.
One of my biggest problems is getting to bed early. One of my main goals is to get to bed by 10:30pm. That won't and hasn't guaranteed  I actually get to sleep early but I have so start somewhere. Right? I have been a night owl my whole life so it is difficult to change this habit. There are two main downsides to staying up late. Firstly I don't want to get up in the morning and then it makes it difficult to deal with the kids. Secondly, I eat at 10-11pm which is not conducive to loosing weight. For the last 5 days I have not eaten after 8pm. I have been drinking a lot of water in an attempt to ward off hunger pains but it doesn't seem to be working.
My workout routine will look like this:
Mon- PT 6-7am
Tues- walking 6-7am
         aqua aerobic 6:30-7:30pm
Wed- PT 6-7am
Thurs- walking 6-7am
           aqua aerobic 6:30-7:30pm
Fri- walking 6-7am
Sat- 1/2hr swim
Sun- rest day
A pretty full schedule. Isn't it lucky I have such a fantastic husband who supports me.
Stay tuned for some photos and an update on how I'm going.

Friday, 16 September 2011

The holidays

Yay. It's the holidays now. It felt so good to only have to drop Jessica to kindy today. The state school had a student free day. The girls and I walked to kindy, we gave a train demonstration (the kids had been interested in trains and I offered to bring in some of Kevin's trains to show them. We played trains for about half and hour.), spent time with the girls at home doing puzzles, colouring in and playing dolls. It was a great way to start the holidays. Now if only Lisa would sleep through tonight I might be able to feel normal in the morning.

Here are a few photos of our week.
We went to the RM William's Muster on Sunday. Instead of watching the crazy men and women ride horses, Jessica and Hannah dug in the dirt.

After a terrible night awake with Lisa I found her like this under the coffee table. No wonder she was awake most of the night. Anyone want a kiss? I certainly didn't. She is such a mobile baby at the moment. I don't think it will be long before she crawls. There is a lot of scooting backwards which is why she was under the coffee table and a lot of rocking on all fours. She's cute just not in this picture.

Hollie's class had a picnic in the park with the other classes with year 1 students in it. They modeled their costumes and then had a variety of games. I love the look on Hollie's face here. It made me want to jump in a sack and have a race too.

After nights and nights of not sleep I thought I would give Lisa a formula bottle. I thought, like with the other 3, my milk was drying up or wasn't enough for her. She didn't sleep through so no more formula just yet. I look reasonable happy about it but I was crying on the inside. All I could think was, "If she's my last baby, it's too soon."

I think Daddy's going to have to buy a gun. They are just so beautiful. Daddy took these just before dinner yesterday. Hollie looks so tired but still so beautiful. Not that I'm biased or anything.

Hollie is such a helpful (most of the time) big sister. She cut up kiwi fruit for Hannah and herself and they enjoyed it on the veranda. I love the way she takes responsibility for her sisters and is usually willing to help them. You're growing up too fast missy. 

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Another Longreach kindy kid

Here are some photos I meant to post back in term one. Jessica didn't get to start kindy until half way through the term because there weren't any places left. She had to wait until someone dropped out of kindy for her to get a place. We were delighted to recieve a phone call offering Jessica a spot at kindy. She didn't understand to start with because we'd spent close to 6 months telling her she wouldn't get to be a kindy kid this year but by the end of the day she understood that she would finally get to be a Longreach kindy kid and there would be no more hoping.
On her first day she didn't want her photo taken. I was a little sad. I wanted one of those posed kindy shots to put in her scrapbook. She wouldn't have a bar of it though. She was so excited to be a Longreach kindy kid, she barely said goodbye to us before taking part in the class. She didn't have any dramas and fitted in really well even though everyone else has been there for 6 weeks. She fitted in so well the teacher and the teacher aide had to keep reminding themselves that it was her first day/week and she didn't know all the rules and routines. It helps if your big sister was a kindy kid the year before.

Here are a few photos of her first day. First lot are her hiding from the camera. The second lot are her arriving at kindy.

Monday, 5 September 2011

MCN- Modern Cloth Nappies

I have bought two brands of MCNs and have been happy with both brands. I have bought Hippybottomus last year and used them with Hannah and now with Lisa. I recently purchased Spunky Bums. These have been fantastic so far. 
So just a little bit about my nappy habits before I begin.
I wash my nappies at night and hang them out to dry so they have all night drying time in case I need to use them early-ish in the morning. I usually wait until I have only a few nappies left before I wash that way if they don't dry overnight I still have a few to use until they dry. I have 12 pocket nappies. These dry really quickly. I have a huge supply of boosters that if I need a nappy that has been on the line over night and the boosters aren't dry (They take a while because they are 4 layers of cloth stitched together.) I have enough boosters to be able to get me through. I have all-in-ones and pocket nappies. The all-in-ones are pocket nappies too, they just have a booster sewn into them. I often add a booster too that why I don't get leaks. In the pocket nappies I generally put two boosters in. My girls have been big wee-ers during the day. I've only even had leaks when I have left it too long to change a nappy  and that can happen with disposables anyway. 

When I take them off the line I put the insert/s in because then when I'm trying to find a nappy I don't have to stress about the nappy being in pieces when what you really want is a quick change. When I get upstairs (if I have time and I'm not making dinner or dealing with a fight) I put the liners in otherwise the nappy would go on with no liner and result in more work for me. I then stack the folded nappy, complete with liner in the cupboard next to the change table.

I have recently started dry pailing my nappies. That is when you clean off the nappy of any soiled parts and give it a quick wash with pure soap if necessary, then dump the nappy into a bucket. I was a little unsure of this method when I first read about it. I thought it would result in really stinky nappies but it hasn't so far. I keep adding nappies to the bucket, with the booster taken out, until the bucket is full or I'm in desperate need of nappies. Then the whole process starts again. 

The following nappies are all-in-ones. These are from Spunky Bums. See link earlier in post. 
I have a selection of all-in-ones. I have velcro ones, 2 rows of clips and 1 row of clips. Probably my favourite is the nappies with the two rows of clips because they seem to be the most versatile. These would fit a baby from birth to toilet training. The  velcro ones go on just like a disposable. Just fasten the two flaps. These are fantastic for Dads because they just go on. No stress or worry about getting the clips right and they are time savers. Sorry Kevin. I know you hate it when women bag men. And the ladies know I have a wonderful husband. This is for the "other" Dads. 

This is one of the one row clip all-in-one nappies I have. I haven't had a leak from them yet but they seem to gap a little on the side which I can foresee problems in the future with a more active child.

This is an all-in-one nappy showing the pocket opening for the extra booster. You can't really see the sewn in booster and the booster.

You can kind of see the stitching in this nappy. This is the all-in-one.

The two clip all-in-one nappies. I think to start with people are a little unsure of the clips and where to clip the different parts for different sized babies.

The following nappies are pocket nappies from Hippybottomus. These have one row of clips all the way along the top and and second row on each side to about the half way point. The placement of these clips are excellent. I have been very happy with the clips and the elastic around the legs. I would suggest two boosters though.

Everyone should give MCN a go because they will save you heaps of money and save the environment too.