Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Made for ME

This is incredible - this NEVER happens to me.

We were at the shops looking for a light for the lounge room. And even though we had decided on one we loved, we continued looking at others for some reason. I saw another one I loved and noticed that the name of the light was called the "Chelsea". 'How cool is that?' I thought. 'To have a light named after a friend of mine, wow! That would never happen with my name...'

Looking, looking... suddenly - "Juan! How cool is that light? I love it!" I exclaimed. "Which one? That one there?" he liked it too. We found the box which had its details on it, and you can imagine our shock and delight when we look down and see that the light is called the "Rani" !! Whoah! Both of us were so shocked we just HAD to buy it and it now is hanging above out bed. It looks as awesome as a light called 'Rani' should. :-)

Up to her old tricks...

So I am at a loss with what to do about my second daughter. Yes, Eadith Indiana.
Wait, I'm having a deja vu moment right now... I think I've written this post before... Yes, I remember. The one about Eadie hitting and pushing... That's right, I was at a loss then, too... Hmm... Well, the pushing hasn't come to a complete stop, so I guess I'm not expecting this one to either. But for memories sake I'll add this in so when she is older I have examples to explain why she spent more time in the Naughty Corner than any other space in the house.
This is why:
The little ratbag is at is again! She's unstoppable! I swear I am at my witts end. Look at that face up there. Grrr, it makes me mad that she is so darn cute! Yes, that's toothpaste in the corners of her mouth, but it could pass for little fangs, just like a little devil...
Look what she did to my couch! And this is NOT by any means the first time. But it is just getting so ridiculously rebellious I just had to put it in here so I can feel justified when, by the time they are teenagers I find myself living in a mental institution. 

I had just finished cleaning that off when I went to the shops only to find she had removed my bank cards from my wallet so I couldn't buy anything. But then yesterday while at the shops she smashed a jar of Capers on the ground - shattered everywhere, a total mess! Of course, this is not mentioning anything about the time she fell from the TOP of the stairs - not DOWN the stairs, but from the top, to the ground after we had told her repeatedly not to play sliding games on the stairs. But I haven't said a thing about the drawing on the walls, the ripping books, the broken DVD player - and broken camera, nor the scratched DVDs or my missing necklace. Not to mention the broken door handle in the car or the melted pastic 1/2 Cup measuring scoop in my oven. Don't believe me?

Anyway, today you can imagine my horror when I look down and see more pen! MORE!

I've given her warnings, talks, smacks, the naughty corner, you name it. I've spoken sternly, I spoken softly; I've had her clean it, I've made her watch me clean it; I've put her in the Naughty Corner , I've sent her to her room; what more can I do? It was within 48 hours of the other episode!

And so here I am. I am to the point where all I can do is see it, tell her not to do it again, take a photo, and write about it in the hope that 1) It will stop with age, and 2) I can show her these pics when she has a little ratbag just like her. And then we'll see who's laughing.

Hmmm.... That's right Eadie McGreedie, then we'll see who's laughing!!! Ha ha haaaa!!

Now, if you'll excuse me I have to go and clean her latest artwork off my couch, and figure out how to get my cup measurer off of my oven rack....

I'll show Juan yet...

Anyone who knows me well, is aware of the fact that I cannot grow plants to save myself. I kill vegetables, plants, herbs, flowers, you name it. Whether they are inside or out, consider them dead.

BUT, I think I have found a fabulous way to avoid all this death and disappointment. I have invested all of my faith and enthusiasm into a beautiful plant which survives solely on water. That's right, only water. No dirt, no sun, no re-potting, no weeding - just WATER. How awesome is that? It's like having a bunch of flowers that never die!

What's my secret , you ask? It's this beautiful plant right here:

It's BAMBOO! I know, right?! How cool is that? I got the idea from an Asian lady who did the photo shoot of me and the girls. She had a HUGE bunch of them in a vase in her office and it looked great. I just fell in love and knew they were the plant for me.

They grow taller but can be trimmed from the top if they get too high. Within a couple more weeks they should have roots showing at the bottom of the stems which I trim if I want, or just let them grow out. They are slow growing and I'm told I should have them forever so long as I change the water once a week and peel off any low growing leaves below water level. I can do that! 

I am so excited about them because not only do they look fabulous, but they are the exact color I love to splash here and there throughout my home. Are they not my ideal plant?
I think so too. :-)

Friday, August 19, 2011

Mother Moments

Something happened to me today that kind of epitomised the frustrating moments that mother-hood can dish out. When it occurred, I stood there almost in a numb state, quiet and worn out as the situation settled within me. It was as if it was a spur-of-the-moment, slap-in-the-face reminder of just what my life had become since having kids..

The morning was filled with usual mummy-moments; a little humor, a little policing, a little work, a little play, all before 9am. Tori was constantly trying to order Eadie around, Anabel was being her usual baby self, and Eadie was trying to see how far she could push me before I cracked. I had just finished cleaning off the pen art-work Eadie had scribbled on two couch arms, and decided it was time to get ready to go to the shops. What used to take 15 minutes as a single person now takes over an hour most days, between feeding, dressing, preparing, changing, and ordering everyone around. Just putting us in the car takes 10 minutes. Finally we find a park and I unpack everyone and everything. With two kids in the pram and one walking beside me, I'm standing in line with my products in hand ready to purchase. When I pull out my wallet though, I notice something is missing. My bank card. It wasn't there. Without having to think too deeply about it I knew Eadith was to blame. I explained the situation, left the products, and slowly pushed the pram and led the way back to the car, the usual comments by passers-by filling my ears; "looks like you've got your hands full there!". But it was all a blur. I piled everyone back into the car and drove home.
I still haven't found my card. Just like I couldn't find two other cards that have been lost by my children over the years. So far it's $45 in card replacement fees.

*  *  *

Motherhood is such a whirl-wind roller coaster of moments and emotions. It's like an exhausting ride you just want to get off, but at the same time you're having such a thrilling time you are afraid it will end all too soon. It's so tiring, for a number of reasons. Not just the fact that you are no longer allowed to have an uninterrupted sleep-in -- or just sleep, for that matter. And it's not just that you are bending down and picking up things all day long, carrying around 20lb babies on your hip up and down stairs, or that you have to repeat yourself saying the same thing day after day after endless day, over and over and over again and again. But it's that, even when you are relaxing, you're not even relaxing. The moment that once really was an effortless, thoughtless, wondrous space of time spent laying on a blanket under the sun just letting the world slip by, is no longer. Its gone. Even if you do get a chance to lay on a blanket with the sun shining down on you, it's not your time. Your mind is still, still, still ticking, ticking over and over and over; "Where are the kids?", "What's that smell?", "Do they need more sunscreen?", "What time is it?", "Get that out of your mouth", "What do you mean your hungry again?", "But I don't want to lift you..", "ouch, stop kicking me", "It's just a dog, don't worry", "Put that down, that's disgusting...", "Come back here please", "I said put that down", "Leave her alone", "We don't throw sand", "Ugh I just changed you", "Are you ok, what happened?".... And so the day continues. Day after day after day after day.

But how is it that the smallest of good moments somehow overshadow the moments that weary you? A kiss, a hug, an 'I Love You'. A prayer, an apology, a handmade gift. Why do they make up for all of the constant, exhausting overwhelmingness of it all? How is that possible?

I don't know how, but I just know that it does. I'm sitting here on my couch writing this and I'm really tired. It's 12.45am but I'm still awake. I'm awake because I CAN be awake. There is no one telling me what to do or disobeying or yelling at me. No one is begging for my attention or pulling at my leg, literally. No one is climbing on me or dobbing on someone else. I have the choice to stay awake or go to sleep. It's a choice that I have. And this is what I miss. Choice is taken away when you become a mum. You day is consumed by your children and their needs. Your day becomes their day. Their day becomes your day. They win. The moment they are born and you hold them as that tiny newborn in your arms, they have won. Your day is no longer yours. Your time is no longer yours. And your heart is no longer yours. Serving them becomes what you do and what you do becomes who you are. You are a mother. And, despite it all, despite the fatigue, the yuck, the smell, the yelling, the tantrums and the tears, the ride is worth it. Somehow. In some weird, twisted yet understandable way, it is all worth it. And you go to bed and wake up the next day and hug your babies good morning with a smile and a kiss, as if the day before never even happened. And you do another day all over again.

Yes, I am tired. But, I am happy. I am a Mother. And on that note, I choose to now go to sleep. Goodnight.

Question of the Week

"Am I really becoming a more patient person, or am I just too worn out to yell anymore?"

Profile of a Princess

Name: Vettoria Nicolle Montes
Age: 4 years, 1 month
Favorite Dinner: Chicken Stroganof Pizza
Favorite Sweet Food: Ice-Cream and Yoghurts
Favorite Take-Away: Subway
Favorite Movie: Tangled
Favorite Music: Walt Disney Soundtracks
Favorite Subjects: Spelling and Maths
Wake-Up Time: apx. 6.30-7am
Favorite Drink: Water
Best Friend: Ivy
Favorite Color: Pink
Favotite Outfit: Any pretty dress with sparkly shoes, a flower headband and necklaces - and a touch of lip-gloss.
Tori is very good at:
- Memorizing words to songs, movies, and books
- Singing
- Acting out her favorite characters like Rapunzel and Ariel
- Speaking Spanish with an excellent accent
- Holding Anabel when mummy needs her help
- Mixing cake batter in the bowl
- Playing the piano (she learned 'Mary had a little lamb' in a couple of hours!)
- Kicking soccer balls into the goal
- Writing all the letters of the alphabet
- Conducting Family Home Evening
- Preparing and giving talks in Primary
Tori is looking forward to:
- Going to 'big girl school' next year (Kindergarten)
- Doing a talk and singing in the Sacrament Primary Presentation
Tori loves to:
- Play 'shops' and 'order' cookies and lollies from shop-keeper mummy
- Put on 'the show' where she takes on a character and mummy or daddy say "Introducing Tori Montes!" and she walks in to the room and then they interview her
- Play at the park
- Paint and do crafts with glue and scissors
- Help mummy cut out cookies and decorate them with icing
- Swim in pools and at the beach
- Watch movies and play on the computer
Tori's Ideal Day Would Be:
In the morning go to South Bank to play on the toys, followed by swimming in the pools for a couple of hours and then building sand-castles. She would then love to go on a Citycat boat ride along the river, followed by falling asleep in the car on the way home. Once home she would play the computer and help mummy make cookies. While they were cooking in the oven she would do lots of painting and arts and crafts. This would then be followed by a bath with Eadie after which she would come downstairs and read some books, doing come coloring-in while watching t.v before dinner. After dinner she would love to conduct Family Home Evening and then do an activity in the Friend Magazine before heading to bed and reading a fun book from the library, say her prayers, and fall asleep in mummy and daddy's bed.

Vettoria is, in a nutshell, a delightful little girl. She is smart and inquisitive, and she loves to have fun. She likes playing outdoors and getting dirty, but also loves playing inside doing quiet activities. She sometimes likes to play by herself, drawing and coloring or just sitting and reading a book. But she also loves to play with Eadie, especially when they play characters from their favorite movie.

But sometimes Tori isn't in the mood for games and 'fun'. Sometimes she just wants to be by herself and have a little peace and quiet. This can get frustrating for Eadie, and hence Vettoria! Tori is very responsible and will even try to 'mother' Eadie to encourage her to do the right thing. She will get upset if Eadie is rebelling and not doing what mummy wants her to do and sometimes gets frustrated when others don't do what she wants them to do. At church Tori loves her Primary class. But sometimes she doesn't feel like participating, and would prefer to sit back and watch. But when she is asked to do a talk or a prayer, she always stands up and does an awesome job!  She is a little girl who loves to please others, especially her mum.  She goes out of her way to do things she knows is right, and likes to make sure mummy sees and hears about it. She loves playing games with daddy, especially jumping on him and playing soccer with him. She is very competitive and will try to compete in anything and everything! Just walking up the stairs, putting on her PJs, or finishing her dinner often turns into a competition to see who can do it the fastest. Even doing a drawing or making an art project is compared to those of others around her. This has its good and bad sides.. good because she is driven to be the best she can be, and not so good because everyone around her has to be the 'loser' or she is upset... much to her sister's and parents' dismay..

She is so excited to start kindergarten next year and asks every day whether it's time for her to start Big Girl School, yet. She loves everything to do with music, writing and numbers; mummy says she is 'like a sponge'. Her memory is incredible and she loves to enhance it with new knowledge. She also likes to use it to memorize entire dialogue in movies. She knows a large variety of movies word-for-word and acts them out without being prompted. She also has entire CDs memorized in both English and Spanish! She is quick to apologise, and quick to forgive, and loves to tell mummy and daddy that she loves them.
When Tori grows up she would make an excellent:
Dad's guess: Teacher
Mum's guess: News reporter (actually 'teacher' is probably more accurate... ;-)
We love you, our beautiful big girl!

Pretty in Pink

We were about to head out one Saturday morning but I stopped suddenly when I noticed Juan and Vettoria standing next to eachother....
How cute is THAT?! I must say though, I found it more humorous than Juan did.... :-)
Like Daddy, Like Daughter!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Juan Turns the BIG Three-One!

The Birthday Boy looking a little under the weather on his big day
 Juan's birthday was about a week ago and, even though he thinks it is a waste of space writing about it because nothing much happened, I wanted to make mention of it anyway, as he is the patriarch of the home after all ;-)

We made the plan a few weeks before to go to a steak restaurant and have a lovely lunch together as a family. I was so excited about the big day and was tossing up whether to have the waiters sing to totally humiliate him or not... decisions, decisions! (He promised that if I ever did that to him, he would stand up and walk away leaving me sitting there being sang to in the middle of the restaurant; something nobody ever does to me! So that image may have had something to do with my decision to NOT go through with it....). We were then going to go to the drive-in that night and see two movies that we both really wanted to see - what a great day!
So you can imagine our disappointment when, that morning Juan was still coughing terribly. To his male disdain I called the doctor and made him an apt. So instead of eating steak over lunch we were instead sitting in a doctors' waiting room and then purchasing bronchitis medicine. We did however get pizza a little later, even though Juan was too sick to really enjoy it. And then in the evening instead of going to the drive-in, we ended up sitting in our lounge with a couple more pizzas (at the birthday boy's request I might add). So, the day didn't turn out exactly as we had planned, but it was still nice to be together anyway. And Juan loved his present which was a framed professional pic of me and the girls to put on his desk at his new job. We love you!


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

That time of the year.....

The past couple of weeks have been a great big blur. I mean this in every sense of the word. Yesterday I even had to ask Cassandra whether it was Tuesday or Wednesday - I honeslty had NO idea! So much  has been happening and yet we have not left the house in days. This is why:

1) Juan left Ausenco, the engineering firm he has worked at for the past 4 years. This was a big step for him and for us, as we  decided to go for a contract position. This means he wont be classified as a full-time employee with full-time wages. Instead he is contracted as an independant Electrical Designer employed through a recruitment agency and paid per hour. The new company is called Oricon and a part of the company is one he worked for when we were first married five years ago (Connell Wagner), so he was happy to see a couple of familiar faces on his first day. We opted to go through the recruitment agency as they automatically take care of all superannuation, tax, HECS, and liability insurance, which saves us a lot of hassle as first time contractors. However we might look at going independent in six months time when we have the option.

The poor guy was sick as a dog the last week at Ausenco, and you can imagine how embarrassed he was as he used some of his remaining sick days to get over bronchitis so that he would be well enough to start the new job the following week. On his last two days at Ausenco he quickly got used to teasing sarcastic comments like "So, using up all your sick days before leaving huh?" and "Yeah, sure you were sick, we believe you!" My poor husband is the type of man who likes to make and leave good impressions, and be honest in his dealings wherever he is, so on his last three days he made sure their assumptions were met with just enough coughing and nose blowing to let people see he was not lying... hehe, what a cutie :-)

2) Meanwhile, stuck at home the girls and I were facing our own challenges! Tori, Eadie and I had all developed our own version of what Juan had, and it was really taking its toll. It seems Anabel is the only one who wasn't sick that week (thank heavens she has been an angel, what a relief for me!)  There was one day in particular when every one of us were laying in our PJs on their own couch covered in doonas, eyes half closed, sipping our medicine as we watched DVD after DVD. I had never seen the girls so still for such as long period of time. I only wish I had been awake enough to appreciate it... So you can imagine my relief when Alisha came around to go to the shops for me. Thank you Aunty Alisha!

It is now a couple of days later and we are gradually feeling better. Now my job is official Nose-Wiper and Boredom Controller. But, things are looking up -  it's off to the shops today for the first time in over a week, so its sure to be a fun trip carrying tired little legs, wiping snotty noses and pushing a double stroller, all at the same time..... Lucky mummy! ;-)