Monday, December 19, 2011

Twinkle Twinkle Little Lights...

Another year, anther beautiful night of twinkle lights and precious smiles.  It's one of my favorite family nights; driving from nieghbourbood too niebourhood to look at people's Christmas house displays.  We started out at our usual spot in Sunnybank Hills where Juan and I have been going since we were engaged. It was as usual very pretty, and the girls went crazy for every single decoration! It's so great to see their little faces light up, I just love it. We stopped in at a couple more houses on the way home, and each of us let out many a "Wow!" and lots of "Look!".

Only six days to go until Christmas, and the family traditions have began! Bring them on, I say!!


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Big Girl ALERT!!!

Anabel is such a big girl, I almost wonder if I can call her a baby anymore... that is until I change her pooey nappy, clean her dirty face and break my arm carrying her 20lb body around, and I am again reminded that yes, she is still definitely still a BABY.

But at nine months old this 'little' girl is quickly growing, and part of her favorite part of the day is EATING!!

She already picks up food like a toddler, and loves showing us all what she can do with her tiny little hands. Tori has gotten in on the act and loves feeding her with a spoon or breaking up the food for her. It's great for me too, because it leaves me free to get on with other things. Yay!! I can see this 'older sibbling' thing coming in handy already! haha. :-)

She decided one day that she will actually take my advice and give the bottle a go, and to her and my delight she now sits there sucking away on water contentedly. What a relief!! Having said this, she now is not as interested in the breast, so I don't know exactly how much longer I'll be feeding for. Fine with me, I'm ready to stop whenever she is...

Apart from being an awesome eater of everything - EXCEPT pumpkin, which is crazy because I didn't like pumpkin until I was an adult, so that was interesting to notice - she is also saying "Dada" all the time, especially when we drive to get him from the bus-stop at the end of the day, and in the mornings before work. She says "Mama" too, but not as much.. which is sad considering she sees me more than she does him.... Hmm..  :-|  We have also heard her say "nana" for Banana, which the whole family was very excited about.

I also caught her WAVING at Eadie today- Very exciting!! Her little arm was moving up and down in this un-coordinated, random way and I could just tell she was waving as Eadie stood on the other side of the window. I was excited, needless to say!

Her naps are still going well (touch wood!!!). Sometimes she is out for three hours in the morning and then one in the afternoon, and sometimes she is on and off every two hours throughout the whole day. I'm very lucky with her. But unfortunately I can't say the same with babysitting.. not at the gym, nor with family...  The gym now days only gets about 40 mins out of her before they have to come and get me because she wont stop crying (annoying thing is that I will drag myself out of the pool, shower and dress as fast as I can, and by the time I get there she is contently sleeping or eating something! Argh, I can't win!!) Alisha has sat her twice now, but she will only last an hour, tops, before she needs her Mummy fix. It's progress, nevertheless..

Last week was Isabella's 2nd birthday party, held at Lollipop Land, and the kids just loved it. But I think the person who loved it the most was Abuelo, because Anabel actually let him hold her for the first time since she was born-  No kidding!! We don't know why, but Anabel does not like being held (or looked at) by Juan's parents.. it's very strange, as all of the other grand kids, ours especially, just LOVE their Abuelos, especially Abuelito. We know it's been very hard for them to be rejected week after week by Bel, so at the party when she let Abuelo hold her for over an HOUR, I just had to take a pic. It's a little fuzzy, but it's proof that it happened once. Unfortunately last Sunday when we tried again to hand her over, she would have no bar of it to every one's disappointment..  Oh well, at least we have this photo:

I snapped some pics of her eating the other day because it is just so darn cute and well, I'm addicted to her. Enjoy!!

Oh Christmas Tree.....

Such an exciting time of year!!! Christmas is here!

And this  year is particularly exciting because we are in a house big enough to put up a Christmas Tree!!! yay! Juan and I bought one our first year of marriage and we haven't been able to put it up for four years straight because of how big it was. I thought I had remembered how large it was, but until we got it out of the box and put it up I didn't realise JUST how huge a tree it is! What were we thinking?! I must have been imaging my mum's tree at the time of purchase and thinking that her tree was normal, because for some reason we bought, seriously, one of the biggest inside house trees I think is on the market.

Nevertheless, we had lots of balls to put on it, and the girls loved helping put all the decorations up one afternoon together. Juan did the traditional 'daddy star' on the top and we stood back and I must say, considering I had gone to almost no effort as far as decorations were concerned, thanks to mum giving me some of her 'filler' balls and beads, the new Montes Christmas Tree looked pretty good. (Looks better at night with the lights on.... (*sigh*) I love twinkle lights..)

I'm looking forward to taking advantage of bargains after Christmas and stocking up on really nice ornaments to fill it over the years. Until then, this is our family tree, and it feels great to have it up again!


Needless to say, those balls on the lower section are now completely removed thanks to my darling little ratbags...

Why? Why?? Why?!

Enough said.

The New Me!

Happy Happy Happy!! I love my new Do! I am so excited about it and so relieved and -- ahh!- just very happy. :-)
I was so nervous all day, but as soon as I sat down and Denis (the greatest hairdresser ever) came over and felt as excited as I was about the change, I was 100% full of confidence and excitement. He tied it up at the back and then did a huge SNIP - check this out:

I felt so free as soon as it was off!! I actually loved the look he made just with that cut! So I knew I was in completely safe hands and I trusted him without a doubt. With every snip my smile got bigger and bigger, I had never been so excited about a haircut, or much else for that matter! There was no shock or horror, it just felt like I was discovering the new Me.
The whole way through, the hairdresser and I just kept saying to eachother, "this looks great! It feels so natural and looks so good!" I was so happy to see it come together with every snip.
The final product was so exciting. Denis did the most amazing job and I am definitely recommending him and going back again and again. He made it so that I can 'puff' it up on the top if I want more fulness, or I can smooth it sleek for a completely different look.  I'm confident that I can have a few different looks to work with which I actually wasn't even expecting! In a couple of months I am also going to colour it lighter, and everyone in the salon agreed that light auburn brown would be perfect, which is what I have wanted for the past year.

I did it, finally after all these years! I am totally stoked and I can't wait to experiment with my makeup and jewellery and styling to see what looks I can create! Until then, here's some more pics:

Very Happy Pixie Girl!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Take a deep dreath.....

It's official, I am going to CHOP all my hair OFF!!  AHH! So exciting!
I have wanted to do this for like 10 years, and finally I am at a stage where I not only want to do it but I also NEED to do it.
Having babies doesn't just affect your body, it also greatly affects your hair. With the first two my hair fell out for about three months and I thought that was bad, but now with Anabel since I'm breastfeeding, nine months later my hair is STILL falling out (they don't tell you that in the brochure...). It is just awful. But the worst part is that my hair grows so fast that even though I'm still in the middle of this falling out mess, it has already grown back at least an inch all over my head, so I have massive clumps all over my head of inch-long regrowth that just will not look cool. The condition of my hair right now is just awful. There are a few reasons:
First, I have a confession to make... I cut my own hair!! It's true!! I once looked at it and thought "I'll just snip those ends...:" and then the next time I said "I might just trim those ends..." and now days when I think I could do with a haircut I just go to the bathroom and hack away! I'm not exaggerating! No babysitting or money required. I haven't had any bad comments from people yet, but I think thats because I either wear it up, or curled, so no one can tell. So, this is probably one of the reasons why it looks terrible, but I also think the curling has made the ends very dry and split. Then there is the color which I can no longer make light because I have put so many dark browns in. Premature greying sucks. Even if I was to buy a light color for my hair, only the new growth at the top of my head would be affected by the dye. The rest of my hair is just a dark mass of... well, dark! So I am really looking forward to being able to experiment with different colors since the hair on the top of my head is all untouched new growth.

So about a month ago I knew I had to cut it. I had two options: cut it shoulder length, but then I would still be combating the one inch regrowth, or... work WITH the regrowth and cut it ALL one inch! And so, executive decision, I will do it!
Today at 3pm I will be stepping into a well-respected, expensive, and very popular salon to have all my hair cut off by a guy named Denis. I asked around for referrals because I didn't want just anyone to do such a huge thing.. and my friend Anna recommended her guy of five years and I remembered that I ALWAYS see Anna's hair and think it looks awesome, every single time. So I knew I was in competent hands. Having said this, I am so sooo NERVOUS!! I get butterflies every time I think about it or imagine it.
But I am also super excited. I have been told by multiple hairdressers that I have the 'right shape' face for the style, but whether or not the cut will do me any favors is yet to be seen. Part of me is afraid of looking like a boy, but then I figure makeup will help with that, and then another part of me is afraid it will just look... 'fine'. You know, does nothing really for me, but I can get away with it..? I really hope it suits my face, and not just "well, you did it and it will grow out..". So yeah, those are my nervous concerns.. Apart from hoping that I get the cut I am going in for of course! Here, I'll show you a pic of the exact look I am going for (and carrying these pics in there with me):

These pics make me so excited!! I know I'm no Victoria Beckham but she kind of reminds me of my mum when she was about 20, and my mum looks great with a pixie, and I look a lot like my mum, so I'm hoping I can get away with it as well as Victoria Beckham! Oh, and of course it might also be a sign that Vettoria's name is almost the same as hers, and my husband is obsessed with Soccer, like Victoria Beckham's husband! :-D "It's a sign!"
Haha, don't know about that, but time will tell! I'll post a pic as soon as I can! Two hours to go... So... Take one more look at the photo up top cause you wont be seeing that again for a few years! Wish me luck!!

P.S. Juan isn't too excited about it since he is a 'long hair' guy.. so I hope I look hot enough to change his mind!! ;-)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Summer Nights

It's Summer again and that means night-time swims and family walks in the city... my favorite time of year! We went to Southbank a couple of weeks ago for our first summer swim and even though it was still too cold for us grown ups, Tori loved every minute (such a water-baby!) and Eadie loved just getting into her new gorgeous togs. Check out these cute pics :

 Anabel LOVES The camera!!

They love their twinkle lights!

We're In!!!

It feels like a lifetime since I wrote just over a month ago! So much has happened.. Where to start?  I guess I'll start with The House.
We are IN! We have moved into the new house and we absolutely LOVE IT. It is big and light and shiny and so spacious; everything we could ever want. Cassandra, Alisha and I began the move by loading Cassandra's parents' ute with tonnes of boxes and anything else our cars could carry.

Did I mention we did all this while looking after SEVEN children under FIVE years old?

That's right baby, Super Mamas!!

Then the next day we hired a truck, and friends and family helped us move everything else into our new place. That same day we went out and bought a couch to go in our living room, and the old couch is now in what I call, the Quiet Room. The other day I told Eadie to take something into the 'lounge room' and she corrected me, saying "no mummy, it's not the lounge room, it's the quiet room". That made me happy. :-)

As for the 'old house' it still has not sold.. I know.. sucks. It's empty and completely cleaned just waiting for the right person to come and claim it. Over the past two and a half weeks we have had about four couples through, and another offer which was too ridiculous to even mention, so we are still waiting. We have once again reduced the price $10,000 which is a lot for such a cheap place. As we are now paying rent and utilities here, as well as in the old house, we really want it sold. We are now even willing to come down to the price that was initially offered in the first week For Sale. Unfortunately that lady is no longer interested in buying it, so we have given up on her. There is another person going through tomorrow, so fingers crossed they like it and make an offer....!!! At this point we really don't want to put it up for rent, it just feels like way too much hassle and not worth the cost. So we will give it til about mid January next year and hope it sells. If not, we will revisit renting and see how we feel.

Meanwhile we are so stoked to be in this house, we just love it. The backyard is totally fenced and the kids can play out there and run and I don't have to worry. Even Anabel loves to sit out there and play with toys on her blanket.  Of course there is still the issue of Eadith being... well, Eadith. Naturally she manages to somehow damage the yard and herself within the first week... first she digs up the garden like a three week old puppy.....
Little Stinker!!

...And then she had to fall off the only thing she could, which is a 80cm drop from the top grassy level to the bottom garden level. We had warned her more than once not to walk along the edge... but Eadie took it upon herself to prove us wrong.. and this was the result:
Poor Bubba...
She is actually not one hundred percent happy with out new house.. She sometimes asks to go back to the "big house" because it is "taller" and "warmer than the white house". When we went back there to clean one day she layed down on the carpet in the lounge and said "Ahh... nice and warm..." referring to the fact that she can't lay down on the tiles in our living area and watch T.V like she used to. They're just too cold for her little body.. Also in the new house she can't climb all over the newly purchased couch, or rest her little feet on the walls, and it takes her twenty steps instead of just two, to get to mummy and daddy's bedroom... can anyone blame her for liking the old house better?

Tori meanwhile raves about her new house and loves how big and clean and "shiny" it is.

Meanwhile I'll take some pics and keep you posted! :-)

Monday, November 7, 2011

All according to plan........

We have done something pretty crazy.
As you know, our house has been up for sale for about 5 weeks now. We had always had a plan to sell it or if it doesn't sell in three months then we would put it up for rent; either way we would move into a rental and decide over the next year what we wanted to do with buying, building, or moving, etc.

Over the past week Juan and I decided it would be a good time to see what the rental market was like so we knew what to expect. Juan had the prerequesite that the house was new or at least close to it, and I had the simple prerequesite of four bedrooms, two bathrooms and two living rooms. For all of these requirements it meant the places we were looking at were not as cheap as others. We were making plans to apply for a couple of the houses when all of a sudden a random house appeared online that was just around the corner.

I had a look in it and was shocked that it was exactly like the style of house I had imagined us living in while renting. I knew what I wanted, and this was it. And it was only a year old, so I knew Juan would be happy too. And what's more, as a nice surprise it was $100 less per week than the other houses we were about to apply for! Even better!

So, after going through it and knowing I just had to have it, I took Juan to have a look and he agreed it was too good to let pass by... so we applied for it..... only three hours later we received a phone call.... We got the house!

That's right- we will be moving into a new house in three weeks!! How exciting!

Now all we have to do is sell this house!! Ahh!  :-O

So, we have a couple of options now... We sell it, we rent it out, or if we can't do either of those, we pay for both. Our desire is that is sells, and we do have one card to play, with the lady who has already made an offer. Because of the tight timeframe we are now willing to come down closer to her price, so we will be offering her another price this week. We are really praying that she will accept it so that we wont have to fuss with it all for too long. But if she doesn't and no other offers come in, then we will put it up for rent and hopefully someone very nice and clean will rent it out.

So anyway, that is our news on the home front (literally)! Very exciting times, and I often have to remind myself that we have to start to think about boxes and packing and moving furniture and everything involved with moving house. But one thing is very exciting to me above everything else -  we will have a Christmas tree up this year!! Yay!!! (And of course shopping for new furniture for my new and bigger house... Mwah-ha-haaa!! ;-)

Although the situation sounds nerve-wracking and may even sound foolish, we have honestly felt led throughout the entire process of selling the house. Even simple things like getting the thing we needed was on special that week, have led us to feel 100% that selling out house is the right thing. We still feel that it is, and hence, we are continuing to make plans to continue to move ahead... Whether that means selling or renting it out, either way we know it is time for our growing family to move out and move on. Meanwhile, we're fasting ourselves skinny and praying day and night that selling is the Lord's Will! Until we know more, we'll keep you posted. :-)

Just a cute pic because...


I can probably count on one hand the times an actual miracle has taken place in my life, or at least to me. But something happened recently that I really do believe was a miracle. I'll start from the beginning, but promise to get to the point quickly...

So Alisha and I were driving in separate cars out to a suburb about 25 minutes away to look at some land I might be interested in. I was in front and she was following as we were driving down the freeway. Suddenly in front of my wheel line I saw a small black tube-like piece of material and I wasn't able to avoid it and incidentally drove over it. I felt and heard a large clunk under my back left tyre and instantly thought "oh no... I hope I don't have a flat tyre...".

After about one kilometre I heard a faint whizzing sound. I knew I had a flat, but it wasn't doing the usual shuddering sound I was waiting for. I continued driving as I didn't want to pull over with the three kids and Alisha and Olivia and try and fix the tyre on the side of the freeway. I knew I could call Roadside Assist but did not want to wait for an hour or more until they came. So instead I just prayed and prayed I would make it to a quieter part off the freeway so I could change it myself (finally all those Young Womens Tuesday night 'car maintenance' classes would come in handy!).

As we came to a quieter section I still didn't feel I should pull over. By now I had driven at least five Ks since I ran over it. The whizzing was a little more prominent but I still didn't feel the shudder as I had once before with a flat tyre so I assumed it was still ok to go on a little more. I called Alisha to confirm that the tyre was in fact flat. She agreed that it looked lower than the others, so I made a plan to pull over within the next couple of kilometres. But as I came around the various bends I just didn't see a good place to pull over. The car was still making the whizzing sound, and now I could feel a slight tugging to the left and I knew I didn't have long to drive before my time would be up. I kept praying it would hold until I got to the small community I knew was up the road.
The roads seemed longer than I remembered, but the car still held on, however it was now pulling quite a lot to the left. Finally I saw a police station and I knew that would be a decent place to stop. I must have driven close to nine or ten kilometres (maybe even more) since the freeway.  I pulled over just in front of the station and Alisha and I got out to assess the situation. The tyre was completely flat. We opened the trunk and I searched around for the the new tyre, jack and the bolt un-doer (forgot the name for it). We had a new tyre, thank goodness, and I also found the jack. But for some reason I couldn't find the bolt un-doer. We tried Alisha's and to our surprise it was too big and couldn't undo the screws. By now we were just laughing. Four kids, two wives, two cars on the side of the road.. What to do? Of course! The Police station!

I went into the station and sure enough one of the police men offered to let me use his screw un-do thing. He brought it out and began changing the tyre. I offered to do it, but he insisted on helping the damsels in distress. So it looked like I wasn't going to get to use my tyre-changing skills after all...

So where is the miracle, you ask? Well, when the policeman took off the tyre, everyone stood back, shocked... This is what we saw:
That's one big hole!!

We were absolutely shocked! We were NOT expecting a hole like that! How did my car drive on as far as it did with that hole in the tyre? And why wasn't anything damaged? Needless to say we were all surprised. Looking at the tyre really made me grateful, and not only that we made it as far as we did. I was also grateful because if I had pulled over on the freeway and tried to change the tyre myself, we would not have had the tools and the tyre would have flattened before we could drive anywhere else. Also I was grateful we didn't have to wait the long time it usually took to call Roadside Assist - not fun with four kids under five years old on the side of the freeway!

So, it was quite the adventure, and I am happy to say we saw it as just that - it was fun and, even though I still haven't changed a real-life-situation tyre, I was still grateful for the experience and the reminder of how following the spirit can lead to miracles. :-)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Halloween 2011 - New Traditions!

Halloween 2011 was a lot of fun, and we have discovered new fun traditions to do with our friends. This year we were invited to a "Trunk or Treat", an activity where you line up your cars and decorate your boots and the kids go from trunk-to-trunk doing 'trick or treating'. I had no idea what to expect or what to do, but our trunk ended up pretty 'hallowweenish' considering about 5 minutes worth of effort went it to it five minutes before we left the house ;-) Shh! Don't tell anyone!

Needless to say, our girls looked adorable. Tori and Ivy swapped princess dresses for the event and Tori went as a dark haired Cinerella, while Ivy's blonde hair matched perfectly with the pink dress and went as Aurora. They were so cute - check it out:

Meanwhile Eadie and Kenzie were fairies and soo edible!! Eadie was asleep in the car for the first part and naturally, woke up tired and grumpy. She refused to leave Daddy's side, until.....
 Anabel wore the traditional 'first Halloween' costume that all of our girls have worn, and I must say she was the cutest pumpkin there ;-)
Leading up to the night Juan and I had pretty exciting costume plans as well. I was going to be a Fairy Godmother and I was going to force Juan to be a Prince. If Eadie had agreed to be a Mouse we would have had a perfect Cinderella fairytale story... But alas, is was not meant to be.. I wound up sick the night before and also the morning of (no, not pregnant! - thank goodness), and instead of running around getting us all fairy-tailed up, I was contemplating whether I could actually even go. Juan was only too happy to go as himself, so I'm sorry to say that all I did was put a kids bendy headband with little pumpkins stuck on the ends on  my head and tell everyone I was the "Mother of the Pumpkin"... But, we sure did have a great time with the kids anyway! Plans have already been set for another one next year, only this time we are hoping to have it a little later in the evening, and a BBQ and sparklers!! Looking forward to it already!


Ready for Summer!

We went shopping today for new swimmers and the girls love their togs so much they refuse to take them off! We went to a couple of different stores and I gave them the choice of whatever they would like. As I held up different styles I loved watching them look and assess and follow with either "No", or "Yeah..." and then finally a "Yes!" when they finally saw the pair they loved. Even though there were so many swimmers to pick from I think the different styles they chose match their personalities perfectly!

While I was doing the dishes they both said they wanted to "play bubbles" with the soap suds. I said that was fine, as long as they take off their togs so they don't get suds on them. They hesitantly took them off, but no kidding, within five minutes they were all done with the bubbles and asking for the togs to be put back on. That NEVER happens when they play with bubbles!!  So I thought I would put a pic of them all dolled up and ready for the beach! So cute!!