Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Ghost of Easters Past

So here we are at Easter already. 
Another year is speeding by like a 15 year old bombing a sick hill on his Bustin Mechanic. 
(Trans. :- boy skateboarding with unnecessary speed down a steep bitumen road.) Note how I try to fit in with the local dialect around here?

This year I feel very happy to see Easter. 

Two years ago I came home from hospital on Easter Sunday. Two days ago I got a big pat on the back and congratulations from my surgeon for getting to the third year and past the danger zone. I'm laying both arms firmly on wood as I type this.
Last year I kept remembering the year before. This year I'm celebrating being here on THIS day regardless of what the future brings. 
There have been no beautiful crafty Easter things unless you count the fifty or so roboturkeys made with year 8's before the holidays. I glazed mine in a pseudo Bitossi orange but didn't get it out of the kiln in time for this Easter.

Next year.

It's been good to enjoy home without the rush of school lunches and the guilt of after school care.
We've done a lot in two weeks. The small one has taken to having a brekkie tea some days with me out the front with the nanna tea set.

We have loitered around GOMA a lot and been back to see the animal sculptures in the Falling Back to Earth exhibition more than once. If you're local it is well worth the visit just for the serenity of that blue lake and the photo opportunities.

BYO animal.

 It's free for all the under 13's which makes it very economical for such a big exhibition. While you're there, the upper level houses an eclectic exhibition of all the State year 12 finalists for the Excellence in Art Award in 1013. If there's one thing kiddos will look at in an art gallery, it's other kiddos' art.

Like many valiant parents, I also survived the Lego movie. There were bits I laughed out loud at, others I felt intimately familiar with and parts where the five year old was burrowing her face into my shoulder in response to the sensory overload. SO many spots! If you did it in 3D or LSD, I respect but do not envy you.

None of this is very Easterish. In fact the only Easterish thing around here is the stash of eggs in the Big-High-Cupboard. It's been more about seeing some truly good friends, hanging out with my children and family, making memories and enjoying this beautiful city. The weather is sublime, the company even warmer and the next year lies undiscovered and full of hope and new life.

Happy Easter to you all!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

A Fullsome Life

It's been a while hasn't it?

A lot has happened and nothing much has happened either. You know how it is.

There have been some changes. The stalwart Birkis have been thrown over for the new old Saltwaters. They are a bit lovely to wear and since summer just won't go away.....
This is the floor at work not our bathroom after a bad eyeshadow moment
 There has been much handling of clay at work and fish are the critter du jour it seems. Here is my demo and there are substantial additions to the creepy skull collection too.

Meanwhile the ladies have settled into a delightful year of sisters only at their primary school and are handling the top and bottom rungs of the school ladder happily enough. Today was free dress day. I don't like free dress day. Somebody always takes issue with what is being worn, be it them or me. It's just more laundry I say. The school "nooniform" is the way of no arguments and peace among the ladies.

 Lala and I have been watching The Block. I guess that means we're Blockheads but it's better than finding her watching Home and No Way and drooling into her nooniform.
We like to check out the art in the background of the Block shops. We saw something like this in one of the challenges. So we made one for ourselves. This stuff is easy and everywhere at the moment. Just splash colours all over your canvea or have a beautiful small assistant do it for you, then chalk a shape over the top and colour the canvas outside the lines white. Easy Peasy, lemon squeeeezy!

Then Poopsie here went and turned all five on us. (At this point the phone was commandeered by a teen who had coveted it for his 15th birthday. He installed something hipster on the camera and I was too agog with birthdays to notice.) There was yet another dodgy rainbow cake, cream thrown over it in the boot of the car and dollar shop butterflies applied liberally. They are SO easy to please when they are little.

I forget where she got the ding in the forehead but we painted a daisy over it for the party so her friends wouldn't think she was a battered sav.

I swear chillun only taste with their eyes when they are small. 
 The big boys constructed a sheet fairy tent thing in the trees which kept all the wee-uns happy for the afternoon. You have to love a good peg and sheet construction. It never gets old.

So she rode off into a new year of being five with all the sugary pinky sweetness that was attached.

A week later these two turned fifteen. 
I took them to see a contemporary version of Hamlet where he was just another difficult whingey teenager. They loved it and went home to proceed to fence with each other over the cake. 

So it's been busy and tiring and fulsome. There have been celebrations and blow ups and laundry.... always the laundry. The mother who strained organic sweet potato through a moulie for her infants is long gone. I leave you with the contents of a rushed shop before going out somewhere without the boys one night. They "cooked" their own dinner.

Paper to wrap present for the party we were off to, Three McCain's pizzas to fulfil the tastes and appetites of all three boys, muesli bars to keep them out of the pantry after dinner, a plunger for the blocked shower and medicinal wine for mother.

Ah, Life- she is always changing!

Thursday, January 30, 2014


 The little boy on your left has grown 6 inches since last January and turned into this 13 year old on your right. He just started high school this week and was most gracious about it being a little overshadowed by the Short Divine One starting Prep school.

 Times have changed in other ways too. I recall back when the four biggies were in early primary when a Contact and covering marathon of several days would have to be undertaken. The Big Fella would take them out while I sticky taped and peeled and folded into the hot wee January hours once with a swarm of flying ants for company. No longer! Number Four declared it highly uncool to cover any books or even to have her mothers' uncool handwriting on them. In fact I left a pile of pens and exercise pads on the table and told them all to organise their own bags this year….and it was good!

Of course, I covered Shorty's tiny selection and took great delight in going overboard with sparkly glittery stuff because I only had to do it once!!

We bought approximately (sung to the 12 days of Christmas) seven pairs of shoes, six pairs of socks, five boys' shirts, four boys' shorts, three girls' blouses, two pairs of skirts and a laptop bag of required denomination. Not to mention the padlocks, belts, lunch boxes, etc) The coffers are well empty!

 There were no first day photos. This one was crying because she did not like the 'stupid' dress (aka the nooniform). She fell asleep at 3.45 pm after her first day. The second day was a breeze. 

homework- Day 1

This one refused to be photographed so I sneaked one from behind the tower of lunch boxes while he was checking his diary for the thirty seventh time.

We can't get a group shot because the B1 refuses to put on shoes until we drive into the school driveway and the B2 is gone to swimming training before the normal people get up. I may have to pay them to sit for a first day photo some time around the twentieth day when we've all recovered.

Wednesday I was so tired I wagged the doctor. Yesterday I came home after drop off and crawled back into bed for an hour.
Who'd have thought? Five of them…all at school. The happiness, the excitement, the bittersweet sadness, the fun, the quiet, the laundry…..the relief!

Thursday, January 16, 2014


Yesterday I got home from a couple of weeks in the wonderful Mater Hospital. One of the y's crackin' sons quipped that I'd been in all year. I've come home to find all is well, there's a new dishwasher, the dog ate Shorty's craft table, there is a glut of eggs.

The kids have been walking the dog/ hawking the eggs to neighbours. Best of all there is a new persona here now. In the absence of ol' Lefty, we have been delivered of a new, bouncing baby breast named Alys and my (now) C- cup runneth over.

'Tis a Christmas miracle! The surgeons that  made this possible and available are truly good people.
We got some nice clear scans back too so it is looking like a lovely new chapter. Thanks for all your kind emails and comments over the last two slightly cryptic posts. Support comes in many forms, be it lycra, flowers or simply kind thoughts and wishes. Thank you, all. We hope to resume normal transmission again soon.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Word from the Y's

Sometimes the smallest people amongst us are the wisest. 
The youngest one here has been asking a lot of profound questions lately. 
She is going through the "Y" phase. 
She has also taken to collecting Y's. 
We have a whole vinaigrette of Y's in the living room now. 
They come from car parks, beaches, kindy…U name it.

There is always variety in the Ys. Once she found a whole family of Y's.

 Sometimes the Y's are quite tricky. This is known as a hairy Y.  

Lately she has been asking a lot of hairy Y's about me and my "bump" and where it has gone and how I will get a new one. Answering her Y's has been oddly comforting and calming. By making the answers simple and not scary, they become so for me too.

To be  honest I've been asking a lot of Y's myself. 
Y me?
Y now?
Y can't they give us the all clear?
Y am I going back for more?
Y am I so lucky?
Y are all  the appliances breaking down?
Y did B1 chip his front teeth sky larking after being told only last week that they are the best ones in the family? Why did he do it this week?

Y do children find all this so much easier to cope with and understand and respond to than adults?

 I have learnt to never dismiss a Y as irrelevant.  They are all different and all important.


she never lose

her Y's.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

We can rebuild her!

I had two nutcrackers.
One had an unfortunate encounter with the dog.
We threw it out- thought it was best for everyone concerned.

Lala thought differently. She retrieved him from the bin. With straws, bandaids and some prosthetic limbs made of plasticine and plumbers' tape she attempted the impossible.

We CAN rebuild him!

Isn't modern reconstructive surgery amazing….?

Endings and Beginnings

2013 saw some final events for us that were big moments in small people's lives.

There was the last kindy concert- the real last one this time!
I may have shed a tear. 

There was the last day at kindy with friends that will go to different places. 
I loved that kindy for a good eleven years. This time I did not joke about having another baby so I could stay on. I have learnt that lesson.

It was the last swimming carnival in a small co-ed school for the long pale streak.
He finally cracked an age award. There may have been another tear.

We attended another graduation. Last time we went in 2011, our family was bubbling happily along. I'm so glad nobody graduated last year. This year it was all happy again and yet  more wetness in the eye-ish area. We did have to tolerate scoundrel Newman, the local pollie, flogging his dead horse for a while but the children's speeches made up for it. He should employ some of them for his speech writing.

There was the last strings concert in a little ensemble with a big instrument. I may need to bribe him to continue. 
Did I mention the youngest has voiced a desire to play the tiny triangle?  We are pleased. Yes there were tears again.

  There is a lot of newness ahead for our little mob next year and hopefully only happy tears again all the way through!

  Be happy tonight, be it noisy or peaceful and relish all the newness of the year ahead.
Happy New 'Ear, to the lot of you !!!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

post Christmas post

Tis the season to be obsessively writing lists.
Here's one I prepared earlier.

December 15th

1. Get Santa photo. It may involving bribery with cold hard cash this year or just the promise of a $1 slushy from Hungry Yucks. My kids are cheap to bribe. Last year I only managed one with the youngest. It is the only year we have missed a group shot. They are not always perfect. One year Offspring 2 had vomit on his shirt from Offspring 5 and Offspring 4 had just had a tooth pulled. It is one of my favourites Santa photos. Now some of their voices have broken, I am not so sure of their co-operation.
Token Christmas photo 1

2. Get tree up. This finally happened yesterday between the marauding dog thinking she'd died and gone to heaven on a bauble chew-ability scale and several offspring needing to be dropped off/ picked up/ have things delivered/ have things bought for them. It is a simpler tree this year. I have misplaced a box of decorations. I don't care.

3. See family and friends on assigned dates to switch on relaxed, Christmas spirit for assigned time before re-entering the frenzy that is Christmas with a posse.

4. Stalk the local rotary Santa. Every year we track this sweaty hero down as he meanders around the streets of our suburb. 

5. Attend lots of medical appointments in readiness for the impending muffinectomy and reconstruction in the New Year. The presence of tinsel and tiny conical trees in the waiting rooms will no doubt make it much less nerve wracking except that they will constantly remind me that I need to attend to items 1, 2 and 3. If one more well meaning person tells me how "lucky" I am to have the muffinectomy, I may choke (them) with said tinsel.
Token Christmas photo 2

(Time passes…..)

December 29th

I never did finish that post. It was on my list. We did however get the Santa photo. Only because I booked them all at the dentist Christmas Eve morning so I had them captive in the car and drove them to the mall Santa throne. 

Two of them had haircuts while we lined up so they even looked tidy for a change. This year nobody had vomit on their shirt, a bung lip or a bald head. It was all good. 


They complained that it was a waste of skate boarding time. I countered with, "I am your mother and all I am asking for is an hour of your time to make my Christmas complete." Is that enough tinselly guilt for you? It was more like four hours if you include the dentist. 

They did receive a free toothbrush and some foam antlers. Shorty Divine and I wore them all the way home in the car singing along to loud carols from my Rosemary Cloony Christmas CD. They shrank in horror. I do believed they loved it. I did. It was like that scene from Wayne's World with Bohemian Rhapsody only seasonal. Embarrassment is good for the teen soul. (They did also get the $1 slushy each from Hungry Yuck's.)

The tree went up and the dog did not eat any of it although we found some mysterious sparkly tinsel poos in the front garden. Must have been the reindeer. It is a new tree this year. Sturdy and bushy and I didn't even get stupidly sentimental about the old one although it was bought for the first offsprings' first Christmas fourteen years ago.

We saw the entire family this year on the pre Christmas enormo-bash. The whole 25 grand-off-spring were there from the first high school graduated 18 year old to the four year old pre school tag alongs. There was much wagging of chins, some tears, some dancing, a lot of loud joyous laughter. It is good to have a Christmas like that.

Several other late nights and carrying sleeping children from the car to the beds have followed. Sometimes we have extra children here in the morning when we wake.

The stalking of Santa was accidental this year as we nearly ran into his road block rounding a corner. This was a healthy counter to the four year old at Kindy that told my four year old "Santa is dead." Who tells their wee-uns such things???

Christmas day was the usual chaos. They all came to church although the boys' hair looked like they'd woken up in an alley. I looked around to see many similarly bleary teen boys. It must be the Christmas vogue. We sang carols and visited the stable. I cried. I'm a sucker for a newborn. Everything touches my heart a little more profoundly these days. 

The Big Fella spent a lot of time on a beautiful lunch with Nanna M and we adjourned to Nanna J's for cake and drinks after as is our tradition.

I hope you all had love and laughter in your Yule tide parcels this year. 

For us it has been hectic, happy and fulsome- a fitting end to a triumphant year of recovery, rediscovery and creativity. More of the same, please!

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