Saturday, June 09, 2018

To Be Actively Grateful

I think it’s been 5 years since I last made time to sit and write here... A huge part of that is the lack of time , creativity, and energy to do it. It’s been good to record details in snippets on FB so I don’t forget the seasons, but now that the boys are finally in Grade 1 and Aliyah is in Kinder (pre-school) it has created some space for me to consider writing again.... My friend Tara (who has her own set of twins) said it best... when the kids turn 5 there will be a big celebration! All 3 of mine have finally reached that magic number.

Gone are the days of sheer exhaustion and what felt like unending wild chaos. Thank goodness! Now it’s just a “general tiredness” that stealthily sneaks its weariness in when I stand still.
The kids sleep through the night, go to the toilet, and dress themselves without too much help from me. That’s a huge win. They are also getting better at making their own breakfast, putting their toys away, and cleaning their rooms, which leaves the bulk of my household duties to be washing giant loads of limitless laundry, managing conflict, and feeding the children constantly...

And boy do they eat- it is phenomenal the amount they consume- ALL DAY LONG! And there seems to be no end in sight. Levi (now 61/2) has already grown past my shoulder!!! It will not be long until I am again the shortest one in the family. 

Today was a fun day. And I want to celebrate that. I have been in a bit of a slump for the last while, and have had a hard time getting on top of it. I am not in a really deep dark place- or anything- just a boring ol’ slump that feels dull...and well... boring.

I know I  am blessed to have good friends and good family around me (I mean we actually like each other enough to spend almost every Saturday having breakfast together) and I know I am lucky to live where I do with the beautiful things I have... but isn’t it true- that sometimes even when we have so much we can still battle the slumps.

So to battle- I decided to take note of every beautiful 
moment in the day I have been given. To be actively grateful. I take a moment to stop- and breathe in- to inhale the goodness of the present moment. It sounds strange, but it’s super simple- breathing is life.

Today Aliyah held my hand during lunch and told me an imaginative story about being an Aliyah super-hero. I watched each expression and looked at her precious hand in mine and thanked God for a such a beautiful gift in that moment. (Breathing in) I realise, she may not be open like this with me forever so I will treasure this in my heart.

Later on our family went on an adventure to Wombat Hill Botanical Gardens. When we arrived there wasn’t time to stop and smell the roses as each one of my energetic children explored the park at full speed. We decided to let them run themselves ragged... up and down the autumn coloured hills, because enjoying the moment to the full for them included running and exploring it with their whole selves. (breathing in the crisp air as they ran) 

I gloried in the beautiful sunshine and the breathtaking views surrounding me while I tried to catch up. 

I was smart enough to create a scavenger hunt for them to help them stop for a bit and actually notice their surroundings as well. 

It was a good day to live, to breathe, to be actively grateful.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Enjoying the Early Years

It has been a busy season!  The kids keep growing up and I'm trying to heed the advice given to me to enjoy the early years as much as possible because this season passes too quickly.   Yet as much as I live in the moment, I can't believe how quickly the time is passing.

Aliyah is rolling around trying to crawl, playing with and throwing toys, interacting with people, babbling, and eating solid foods!  She had her 6 month  immunisations yesterday and she is doing well.  She is chubbier than the boys were so I think she responds to the shots better than they did (full term vs premie).   She loves people and is so friendly already - her whole body lights up when she smiles.  Her hair is still gorgeously dark and her eyes seem to be blue so far!

 Her brothers are so good with her still, and they often try to help her settle by bringing her toys or tickling her toes - sometimes they like to cuddle her by "laying on top of her!".  But she doesn't seem to mind!  Last week Malakai wanted to share one of his favourite things with her  - dirt - and proceeded to feed it to her.  She is learning that not every gift from them is perfect!   One of the sweetest moments was watching him try to teach her how to blow out one of those birthday party favours (that unroll).  He kept saying, "Blow, Leeyah" and he'd show her and carefully try to hold it in her mouth for her, "Doo do it!" he encouraged.

In Oct - Leigh had taken two weeks off work and it was fabulous!  We did a lot of cleaning and organising as we tried to get Aliyah's room ready for her.  It's amazing how one family can accumulate so much "stuff", but her room will be ready hopefully by next week.  It will be difficult for me not having in our room anymore, and a bit sad, as I try to let go of our 'baby' in the family.   And we're just moving her into another room - imagine school!  Yuck!

Levi is still my cuddly boy.  He loves to be in my arms whenever Aliyah is out of them.   The only problem is these days Levi is NOT light.    He is very strong, and often tries to get his way with Malakai with brute force.  He likes to play loudly.   He thrives on the drama of dumping all of his toys out on the floor, and yelling UH-OH!  Kai sometimes can't flip the toy buckets over, so Levi will come to the rescue and do it for him.  He'll also try to carry heavy items such as nappy boxes, planters, and water buckets.  In such moments he earns the nickname Bam Bam.  He has started to really enjoy projects such as play dough, and blocks, and trains.   His latest infatuation though is vacuuming, and when I say infatuation, I mean it in every sense of the word.  The first time I let him play with it, he vacuumed until he could no longer physically stand anymore, so he laid on the carpet vacuuming beside himself.  The best gift he ever received was a toy vacuum from our friends Nic and Meg for his birthday.  

Recently we got our hands on a second-hand, second-hand little tykes car.   This has been a huge delight for the boys.  If anything it has taught the boys about taking turns, and I proudly watch as they step back allowing each other their "turn" in the car.  How many times have they've driven so recklessly they have overturned the car?  Too many to count!  We also were able to score a second hand plastic playground with slide, which they love to play on as well, while chewing on mint they've picked from daddy's garden.

Malakai would spend all day, every day outside if he could.  He loves to dig in the dirt, and play in the sand pit.  He especially loves finding sticks and hitting things with them.  The dirtier he is, the happier he seems.  He loves to play hide and seek, and will spend hours hanging out in his cardboard cubby house.  What Levi has in strength, Malakai has in speed. He is a quick runner, and will rarely walk anywhere.  I am finding it hard to catch him these days, so I will need to keep fit, to keep up!  He absolutely loves Auntie Sezzy's puppy and would play for hours with Ty, who is just as happy to have someone play with him too.  We have found that he is becoming more and more in love with soccer and will dribble the soccer ball up and down the hallway over and over again.

Both boys are excelling in their swimming lessons, and are brave enough to jump in and swim on their own now in the deep end (with water wings).   It has been amazing watching what little kids can do in the water once they are confident around it.  Both boys have no fear of putting their heads under  the water and have even swam through daddy's legs.

All three kids are still hugely into music, which is why we decided to have a music themed birthday party for the boys.  Our invites were "ticket invites", and we held a small children's concert at the party.  I personally would have loved to have the time to "go-all-out" and create a stage, with lights, and swag table, etc but I just didn't have the time.  Everyone seemed to have fun anyway, and it was a delight to watch the boys enjoy all their family and friends that were there to celebrate with them.  

We got the boys new bikes for their birthday.  They are called balance bikes and unlike a bike with training wheels, teaches kids to balance on their own giving them confidence to transition to a real bike much more quickly.  They are a tad short for them yet, but in a month or two will be able to do it on their own.  I am looking forward to the day that we can all go riding bikes together!

Monday, August 05, 2013

Lots of Love

The love for each other is overwhelming in our family... 

Thursday, July 18, 2013


I can't believe that Aliyah will be 11 weeks this week and the boys will be reaching 21 months next week! It has been a good few weeks now that I'm not feeling as ill as I was.  Aliyah is starting to make a routine which is helping me out immensely. The colic is starting to lesson - Thank God!  It allows me to plan and organise better which gives me much less stress and much more rest!

It has been a week though where the boys have been exploring their boundaries. And of course I want to do everything "right"! And instead find myself yelling in exasperation "Haven't I just told you NOT to do that 3 times already today?" And one kid looks at me innocently as in "Mom, what's the big deal?" And the other shouts back, "no,no,no!" "So you DO know then? You're just seeing how far you can push mommy today?" Great!!!

What? Oh! You DIDN'T want me to pull the tissues out and rip them up into tiny bits!?
Yesterday my mantra included "Stop playing with the toilet brush. Stop pushing your brother. Please stop wrapping that cord around your neck. I'd like  it if you wouldn't pull out all the tissues please. Stop climbing that!  Please stop sitting on Aliyahs head. Can you stop throwing food on the floor please? Please don't touch that! Please stop jabbing your head with that fork! Mommy is not a jungle gym! Watch out for your brother. No jumping on that please. Please stop throwing that toy!


And then you wake up the next day and start all over again!

Look Mommy - I can climb up to see Aliyah myself!
I think the hardest part is when you go through the whole effort of teaching one child NOT to do something and they actually listen to you and 5 minutes later the other one tries it as if to say, "I wonder if this goes for both of us?" And I'm tired by then and want to ignore it but can't! I've also noticed they've learned that once I'm feeding Aliyah they can get away with more as I'm more immobile.   They are smart!

Today Levi pulled the plate for the powerpoint (socket) off the wall and when he saw me coming he quickly threw it into Malakai's lap and pointed his finger at him and said "Uh oh! Oh no-no-no!"  Hmmm...

Friday, July 05, 2013

Growing Up Every Day!

Levi shows off his bravery.  (the next video I filmed, I didn't post as he fell and hit his head!)

Aliyah shows us how she can smile

I thought I had video of Kai drumming but can't find it - But here are two photos enjoying drumming inside with 2 harmonicas and daddy's drums, and outside he found a stick and a stump to use...