A Sunday mornings therapy session!

I was just skimming pinterest as I do over a coffee once the morning breakfast rush is over and I came across a quote which read…

“If you are not writing something worth reading, then you should be doing something worth reading.”

What turmoil this sent me into. Being the kind of person who is aware of the shortness of life and not wanting to waste even a moment of it, but on the other hand not wanting to rush on through it at the same time, creating an indistinguishable blur….but attempting to approach life in an almost lazily happy way, with the ability to float on through it making the most of all the seemingly mundane moments with just a twist of altered perception and a squeeze of appreciation.

Letting the slide-able slide knowing it’s not worth wasting my time or energy on.

But this quote reminded me….reminded me that PERSONALLY I don’t feel as though I’ve done either. I haven’t written anything worth reading in well over a year and nor do I feel as though I have DONE anything worth reading ABOUT….

And it isn’t so much that I would like to do amazing things simply to write about them. I mean sure it would be great to be a super amazing interesting person, but it would be nice to feel WITHIN MYSELF ALONE that I can be content with my lot…

“my lot”

What am I 72?….geeze….

I think I’m just at that imbalance again, and it would be nice to refocus back onto the important things.

To feel deep within that I’m doing something full of meaning and purpose and not just because each day comes and I have the ability to breathe so I may as well get up and appear to be living life.

Imbalanced.

Actually I know I am…..heck I am currently reading ‘Buddhism for mothers with lingering questions…’ honestly….as if the word ‘buddhism’ combined with the word ‘mother’ would transform my mind back into my placid, patient state.

It’s as if life has become superficial and skin deep….where’s the depth and meaning gone?….I’m tired of being a cranky -well my idea of a cranky- mother, I’m tired of mine and Glen’s conflicting views on parenting, as I am always right (it’s true…..I am….basically because I say so…I have no facts to support that claim….)I’m tired of supporting fights and causes that don’t really have any significance. I’m tired of being always in ‘the middle’ of something and then on completion of that something needing to find some other thing to occupy my mind….

I’m trying to listen to my meditation training (LOL worthy) and take each moment as it is, for the one before it is history and cannot be repeated and the one ahead of it is mere fantasy….it’s good as I’ve got the girls meditating too thinking we can all become relaxed, except Buddy doesn’t get the concept and it ends up turning into us trying to ignore Buddy who is laughing uncontrollably, running in and around us smacking us on the head yelling ‘GOOSE!’ and running away.

He thinks it’s just some really boring silent version of duck, duck, goose….

I’m trying to listen to all the lingering Buddha stuff….holy moly…I actually have to fend off children to have a moment to even read a paragraph…kind of defeats the purpose?!

It keeps telling me to find a quiet space and take a few moments….well thank you Zen Mother. I shall just throw some kind of sugary foods over my shoulder that my children will no doubt devour like vicious beasts…as I run off into the bush to take my well-earned few ‘quiet moments’, but alas, they’ll smell the traces of that sugar in my very pores and hunt me down like apocalyptic zombies with the scent of flesh in their nostrils.

And I can’t climb trees like Katniss.

Unfortunately.

There are plenty of things I can blame my imbalance on like wanting to complete my course and be as effective and as efficient as possible afterwards, I’d like to lose some weight (as always) before my 30th in September. I feel bad that our healthy eating is completely out the window (again!) I just want my kids to be healthy! Is it too much to ask? Apparently. It frustrates me that my house is always a mess no matter how many hours I spend on the frontline trying to defend my surfaces from junk and stuff. I wish Glen would actually understand well…me and what my life is actually like. I’m tired of never having enough time and yet somehow I always feel like I’m wasting it on pointless things.

I’d like to be IN THE MOMENT but recently I can’t help but dream of life ‘after children’…actually that’s not right, more like ‘life after children are not so dependant on me and I can go to work like an ordinary person and actually do something that I can literally say is for me.’

But then my day dreams of dropping happy kids at school, with a coffee in hand, turning up to my little business, meeting clients in a relaxed atmosphere, going to the toilet minus the midget audience/husband laughing as he jiggles the door knob….having lunch like an adult, by myself and not sharing AT ALL!…..are totally dashed once I decide to be realistic about it.

I am a dreamer, but the sadistic part of my mind always pipes up “Cristie, you’re an idiot. You do know it won’t be all calm and happy, it will be rushed and frantic, getting kids ready on time AND yourself, then making sure your appointments don’t go over time so you’re not late PICKING UP the kids, making them afternoon tea……do you honestly think your family will chip in to keep the house clean or the food supply going?…..will they even support you and take you seriously or will they act as if this is just something fun I do all day and therefore SHOULD work harder when I get home? Are you even going to be able to FIND clients to begin with?”

Yes, yes…thank you mind. Shush it.

So now my fantasies have been converted into nightmares.

Could I possibly think I could do all that I currently do and then ADD a full-time job to that?…

So does that then mean I quit all attempts?

And if I did…..when would I try to ‘be me’ again?….when my son is 20?…

(and how come I can’t accept ‘me’ as the person who is everything to everyone else and nothing to me?) ((ps….should I?))

Well that’s only 17 years away and I pray that he is self-sufficient by then….

No.

(I get too dramatic…)

Though I have noticed that my ‘thinking’ forehead wrinkle is getting more prominent than my ‘smile’ eye lines.

That’s not good.

I know that I need to literally stop thinking and accept each day as a new one. I need to not over think my actions before I act on them.

Should I exercise? …..and without thinking about how boring, or how hard or how tired I am…. I just should.

Should I clean?…don’t think about how much I hate it and how pointless it is….just do.

Should I be nice to Glen?….hmm…okay fine. Maybe he’ll be nicer to me in return?

Should I allow the kids that extra piece of cake?…they’ll eat it tomorrow anyway. Just have it.

Can they watch a movie?…yep.

Do I need to sleep in on Sunday?…there’s a lifetime of Sundays to come. Just get up.

Will my business succeed? It won’t if I don’t even try. So I’ll try.

Will I get clients? Only if I work hard enough to gain them. So I will.

So my biggest issue is me. I know that. We ALL know that. I am my biggest enemy.

I’m glad I had this chat with myself.

So how will I fix this? I won’t ‘fix’ anything I will just accept it. Re group my thoughts and refocus my energy onto things that require it, not things that drain it. My over analysis (and lack of tree climbing) is getting to me.

So, I may not currently have the time to write anything worth reading but I know that I could be transforming even the most boring of moments into times I can look back on and know I could handle reading it….

A mother of 5 in turmoil over reading a handful of words, struggling to keep her sanity while her children and husband seem determined to tear it away from her. She’s fighting each day to keep her essence alive, some shred of who she is so that one day long into the future she can grow old and be that weird one in the nursing home peering out the window on a rainy day with a smirk on her face, she doesn’t need to speak, the stories float past her pale watery eyes…always a smirk on her face as if reminiscing about a wonderful life lived.

Hell….I’d read that. Even if no one else wanted to.

I’m off to go begin a new chapter, stress and turmoil and all.

xo

Pen Pals ~WANTED~

Hello all, I used to love writing letters to my girlfriends when I was younger. We’d create cute, little strangely folded letters and pass them to each other between classes, we also had letter books to swap with each other over the weekend. We’d spend time thinking and writing instead of facebooking(or as I like to call it now…facestalking)

It just had a comforting something about it, blue ink and colourful doodles, torn pages and ACTUAL crumbs that FELT like a life being lived…spilling our secrets and asking questions which only needed a yes or no boxed ticked….

So I’d LOVE to invite anyone who may be interested to begin writing actual, good old fashioned letters….in pen/pencil…(not typed and printed) to me!

(It would be that little extra awesome if you happened to have a daughter/s who’d be interested in corresponding with Bella (12) and Sophie (7)…who are totally into the idea of having a pen pal too..)

So should you wish to participate email me :) yagerbabies@gmail.com

I hope to hear from you!

When life gives you lemons…..

It’s been a busy long while and time has flown. I have so much to say and complain about and to be proud of in that time so I should probably just get to it. Where to start?

How about with the complaining, why make everyone wait for that juicy goodness?

So my first complaint is about the government…..I won’t get into the specifics of every single detail of WHAT exactly bugs me or I’d end up writing an entire book!…but only the parts that  apply to me.

I feel like I have wasted the past 14 weeks of my life. Stressed and tired, late nights and palming my kids off onto meaningless tasks so I could study….so that in the end I could go to uni and get some kind of fancy paper which entails my expertise in some thing that despite my lack of skills and hands on experience, meant that I knew something about something….so that I could go and be a contributing member of society earning said government their precious tax dollars……though now….. after the governments proposed changes to uni fees and HECS….I shall not be doing. I had already emotionally wrestled with the fact that I’d have a debt hanging over my head before I’d even begun my career…but I fell for the mantra “invest in yourself” It was a fine line they’d shoved me over and now with all the uncertainty and intentions to increase the interest rate and decrease the income threshold….no thanking you!

So….I have wasted my time. No uni for me and I’m totally okay with it. Though I am curious about the future in which my children will have…. Any who…I did gain a small level of confidence through the credits and High distinctions I got…but what’s the use?….I don’t need a fat head….from being super awesome at writing papers on how  rings in Tibetan trees correlates with the increase in global temperatures due to climate change…..which is going to help me how??? and NOR did I need the kick in the guts from my ‘communicating at university’ tutors stating that my essay writing needs to be ‘firmed’ up, my paragraphs were wrong and my referencing sucked (okay they didn’t say sucked because they are far more refined than that…)

…heck I write…I write what my mind is saying….I find it hard to pick my own thoughts to bare bones and then meaty them up with ‘university’ standard language….I feel I say what I need to in a language that it understandable to the everyday person….I LOVE words and they way you can mix and mingle them to create almost songlike swirls in the mind….so to be told basically that I am bad at it…well it plain hurt my feelings. It’s like being told that your favourite dress the one you’ve had for years and is always a fall back on those days when nothing else works….actually makes your butt look like a barge ad gives your love handles a little extra emphasis…..so crappy to be told it’s terrible. I love to write…allow me this ignorant bliss , let me pretned that I’m kinda (bad choice of word there…) okay at it?!!!

I know there are certain ways of doing things…but then again there are things that kind of go against who WE are…and I’m no uni student. What I learnt about university is that I feel honoured to be a part of a world that was above and beyond ordinary people….as if I was going to be created into a better, superior person because I’d stuck my head into one book of one particular subject and sucked it dry…. I don’t agree. Not one bit. I love to learn, but I don’t feel the need to change the very core of who I am in order to do so. The real world is where the learning is. (Though I must admit I would have liked to have become a midwife or perhaps gained a degree in science…but shhh.)

So no uni for me…..(I could have just said that couldn’t I?) BUT…..I am two weeks away from my Remedial massage therapy certificate 4 and then onto my diploma. So exciting! I’m going to combine my aura reading and kinesiology, my art of breathing and meditation certificates into one bundle of relaxing heavenly bliss for women! I’m going to also take some therapeutic bathing and yoga classes….this is going to be an interesting spot to watch!

Okay second complaint. SCHOOL. Now most of you would know about Bella and her home schooling, but most would not know that I had made the personal choice to home school illegally…ooooh…ahhh…..I know sounds rebelish schooling ‘legally’ is to fill in all the board of studies registration forms, post them off and then have someone from Sydney travel all the way to our house to check all of our work and to check out our house to make sure it was a suitable learning environment. Every three months. All the while pressuring us to return to a school environment.

There is also a second option…which is to fill in all the board of studies EXEMPTION from registration forms, post them off and then have someone from Sydney travel all the way to our house to check all of our work and to check out our house to make sure it was a suitable learning environment. Every three months. All the while pressuring us to return to a school environment. hmm…..Also being a ‘registered’ home schooling parent means that you MUST adhere to the board of studies syllabus….basically the list of things the government wants us to force feed our children in order to turn out the most efficient tax producing machines….(do they really think we are stupid enough to believe that the CARE and LOVE and WANT to nurture our children MORE than we do as parents?)

So really to be a registered home schooler you must be happy to have people in suits and ties coming into your home and telling you what you are or are not doing, telling you that you don’t know your child as well as they do and what they need or want. Can you see my issue here?…..(I could go on all day.)

So what happens if I don’t register? I could get a $120 fine. If I still am not pressured into sending my child back to school within 6 months of that fine…? I could potentially get another $120 fine…. So why am I not giving in? BECAUSE! (should be good enough…but it’s not…I guess) Because, my child deserves better and now after home schooling for a while I know it is the best thing I have ever done for her and being a parent whom often feels guilty I’m NOT doing the best thing I’m going to cling to this like there’s no tomorrow….

I only wish I’d done this sooner for Bella. I am getting increasingly frustrated with the Bella’s ex school as they’re seriously harassing me, I received a letter last week that literally tried to make me feel like I was the worst parent on the face of the Earth and that I have Bella sitting at home watching brain-dead television all day. The fact of the matter is…..my daughter consumed pills and alcohol. If this had occurred in MY home…I’d have the department of community services knocking on my door trying to figure out if my child was in a suitable place!!!

AND YET!……they want to try to force me to put my daughter BACK into that environment?!…. makes no sense to me….. Why is no one investigating if SCHOOL really is the most suitable learning environment for a child???…..Has anyone ever actually done that?….A comparison between school and home school? Probably not…but why would they when clearly the government cares far more for our children then we as parents do…. Okay so I’ll try to get out of this frustrated mood….and ps…I’m not quitting and I am NOT giving in.

I will pay fines, I will cop all their crap….I won’t quit for Bella. She’s important here and that is all that matters. Now that I’ve gone on and on about our home school I might just share what Bella’s been up to.

Our maths has gotten super cool and fun, she’s been planning her café` or salon or market stall each week and now we’re almost running a pretend business! This afternoon she’s doing an afternoon tea café for her sisters and I shall be the big mean government and bank. She’ll only be given $500 dollars to start up her business, with that money she needs to pay (me) some rent money for the ‘cafe’ she also needs to purchase her ingredients from our pantry to make all her food, she needs to pay me if she requires a ‘service’ which would include making drinks or helping with her cooking, she also needs to hire the equipment needed. She’s going to then have to make all of her food/drinks and create a menu with pricing also including at least one percentage discount and a special. She will need to make back her $500 to break even, but we’ve discussed her need to ‘make a profit’ as she’ll need to pay her taxes and work out GST.

She also needs to think about her “family at home and how she’ll pay the bills and buy food.” She is totally loving that her maths involves cooking and the measuring of ingredients and how it’s got a lot of pretend scenarios and role playing…I’m just super impressed with how she’s grasping all this real world math. (Honestly I don’t care if she cannot add x and y……if she can run a small business, personally I think that’s better. Wouldn’t you agree government?) As she progresses we’ll add things like wages and loading and over time….

She’s recently opened an Etsy store too, I give her $5 a fortnight and she collects interesting glass jars or vases from 2nd hand shops, she then covers her costs, adds a mark up and postage and sells her items. All the money she makes goes to Oxfam. She’s carefully chosen where she wants her raised money to go too….she’s chosen a women’s shelter in Sri Lanka, water wells and colouring books/pencils for villages and children in Cambodia, seeds and chickens for families in South Africa. SONY DSC Science we totally love, it means doing things…interesting things! SONY DSC We’re doing heaps of nature science and are fascinated by volcanoes, SONY DSC Earthquakes, geology, anatomy……

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and began working on different eco systems, we’ve created our own river eco system…….

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as we’ve been catching crayfish in our river. SONY DSC We’ll be doing life cycles on them and studying their habits and preferred habitats until we get ours just right. SONY DSC She has also been helping me work on my natural beauty range, helping to make natural chemical reactions and produce organic make-ups, body and hair care stuffs

Good for her skin and her self-esteem and an interesting fun thing to learn.

 

We’re growing seeds and cuttings and anything at all. SONY DSC We’ve been foraging….

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and exploring ways of being sustainable, finding our own food and we’ve learnt how to filter our own water. SONY DSC It’s been fun showing the kids where I once would go when I was a kid to find free food, it’s weird how the city has kind of grown around them….it’s now like urban forging. I hope they do the same with their when they’re parents (if these precious plants last another 20 years…). They now know where to find fruits, nuts and proteins….FOR FREE!…(awesome when nothing IS free..)But more delisciously…..

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bush lemons in season and abundance means lemon meringue pies and homemade lemonade! Oh MY!

SONY DSC Bella now also know all the major bones in the body from the clavicles all the way down to her metatarsals! SONY DSC We’ve moved onto the nervous system and digestive system, this has been super cool as because I’m learning a tonne about muscles, body systems, cells and basically the entire body make up in my own studies we’ve been able to intertwine and she’s been able to learn more advanced anatomy and I’ve been able to use hers to translate all the complicated things I don’t understand!!! SONY DSC SONY DSC English we’re making our own plays and comic strips as we’re not too fond of essays….and I want our writing to remain fun and inspired and not about how well we string together sentences. I want it to flow and be free and creative not hindered and restricted by ‘correctness’….it’s an artistic expression….so it should be free….

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ART…holy moly I am impressed, she’s totally blossomed and LOVES going to her art classes with the lovely Rhondella each week, she’s been invited to work shops and to sit in on extra classes!! She’s just excelling We are learning about Aboriginal history and to get Bella interested further we’re incorporating a lot of art. We’re reading about Aboriginal life and their tendency to create art from their Dreamtime stories. So we’re studying Aboriginal symbols and going to translate our favourite aboriginal stories into artworks. We’re also learning about how and what happened when we came over to live/invade this beautiful country. There are some terrible horror stories but I do think it’s essential to know the WHOLE truth, not just the glossy hero stories. She made a bunch of impressive power point presentations and does really cool presentations …this impresses me because I didn’t even know how to do that until a couple of months ago! SONY DSC She’s been cooking baking heaps and getting more confident. SONY DSC   She’s also been working on sewing her own upcycled rag quilt.

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We’re now also enrolled in an 8 week meditation course. Who doesn’t need a little extra peace and serenity?   Anyway….I’m going to keep ‘breaking the law’ and being a crap parent. Her learning is not something that concerns me one bit. I know for a fact she was never this inspired or creative in school, nor cared about, she has a curious passion to discover things now and to find out the why, what, when and how of almost everything we do. Our entire life has become a classroom. And there is no need for her to wait until second period next Tuesday to gain access to her teacher to answer those questions or to gain help. We’re ALL teachers, and we’re ALL here for her, we’re ALL learning WITH her. (AND my little ones who have also gained so much from our ‘home’ school.)

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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ We were all super sick for quite a while which was devastating, especially when it hit me, we were throwing up and doing other gross things at the other end….I was so sick I couldn’t get out of bed and for me….who thinks she could run a marathon with no legs…..it was tough. Glen was at work, so poor Bella was struggling to help as best she could. I was in bed doubled over in pain, crawling to the bathroom while she struggled to keep the peace. I couldn’t do a thing. I am just glad the nightmare is over. If Glen was home I would have gone to hospital. But I couldn’t. Who would watch the kids?…..Honestly the worst time in my life. SONY DSC Sophie caught it after me the poor girl and thankfully everyone else just got a frustrating head cold. It’s been coldish…so we’re all living in the lounge/my bed room so we’re closer to the fire at night which I kind of like. I can hear my babies talking in their sleep and snoring lightly which with the crackle of a warm fire is really comforting. SONY DSC I LOVE winter, if only it would get colder….darn climate change. SONY DSC We’ve been outside a lot more before it gets too cold, building huts and playing with our now numerous and mischievous pets….(seriously someone needs to lecture me on this…) SONY DSC We’ve been setting our crayfish traps to catch some yummy ‘dinner’ which we fall in love with their cuteness and can’t then…eat them! Bike-riding….building,…..just outside in this nice temperature.

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Buddy’s birthday is so soon and I’m so excited! Oh and Glen and my 3 year anniversary too! I’m actually getting him an AWESOME gift. I always think my gift ideas are really cool and I’m always so excited to give him what I have spent ages thinking outside the box to get him only to see his face as he opens whatever it is….and then my wide-eyed joy kind of crumbles. Clearly my idea of amazing is not the same as everyone else’s…..I still can’t believe he doesn’t love that he owns a plot of protected wilderness in Scotland!? Like seriously, having the ability to legally add ‘Lord’ to his name due to his land ownership….what the? so darn cool. So yes, I am being all ‘normal’ and getting him a ‘normal’ present. I can’t tell you because I really want it to be a surprise. Oh I should go. I’m out of coffee…I also need to pee and I’ve written so much already…I wanted to write more but honestly if you can sit through all of what’s already here without skimming…you are wonderful to listen to my carrying on. Until next time….bye.

A compliation of things a good parent would never do.

  • A good parent would never accidentally drop a portion of their child’s meal onto the floor when serving dinner and think ‘eh, he’s two and eats germs all the time anyway…’ placing the food back on the plate. Calling him to the table “COME ON dinner time…it’s extra special tonight!” (mmm….nature encrusted.)
  • A good parent wouldn’t shave their legs while having a shower with a toddler whose playing bakery on the bottom. Rinsing the razor unthinkedly….opps too late, soapy stubble racing down their little back. (They’ll never know.)
  • A good parent doesn’t use words that they made up. eg ‘unthinkedly’ regardless of how awesome and necessary they are.
  • Good parents never answer the question “is it hard being a mum?’ with “no, it’s not. It’s wonderful.” and then yells at said children to clean their rooms.
  • Good parents try to dress their children at least once a day. If not they will have to ‘train’ their kids to WEAR clothes…..harder than toilet training…..so I’ve heard. But I’m not sure. Because obviously I am a good parent. Whose son is always perfectly clean AND clothed. *eye roll* possible  *thumb twiddle*
  • A good parent doesn’t ‘pass wind’ or as we like to call it in our family “FART..HAHAHAHAHA” when sleeping head to toe with their child during lounge room camp outs. Seriously, they are already happily snuggled up cheek pressed to dry cracked old heels; there is no need to project gaseous poop particles in their direction.
  • Good parents never force their child to love them. for example….

parent – “I love you.”

child – “…..”

parent – “do you love muma?”

child -“….”

parent – “do you love muma? Say “yes muma.””

child -” yes muma.”

parent – “aww…I love you. Say “I love you muma.””

child – “I love you muma.”

parent – “AWWWW! I love you too baby!!!”

  • A good parent doesn’t make delicious snacks that their kids can’t wait to eat and then announce “let’s have a picnic!” forgetting completely that they have a dozen chickens and four dogs. You could almost hear the silent cries of ‘why must you punish us like this?!’ as the yummy food they’ve so patiently waited for is devoured by frenzied animals.
  • A good parent never agrees to everything. Such as..

child – “Am I a princess?’

parent – “yes.”

child – “A REAL princess?”

parent – “yes.”

2 days later…

Child – “My friends hate me! I’m not a real princess! And they won’t bow!!!’

  • A good parent never makes a negative-ish comment toward their pre-teen without some kind of self depreciating comment to follow.

1. eg…

parent – “Your hair is really oily. Could you please wash it?’

child – *DEATH STARE*

parent -“I don’t mean it in a bad way, I just remember when I was your age and no one told me my hair was oily I walked around glistening in the sunlight, I just want to help you.”

child – “you had greasy hair?”

parent – “yes it was really bad.”

Child – “hahahahahahaha, I’ll go wash my hair.”

parent – *cries with shame*

2. eg..

parent – “can you please stop wearing that playsuit I bought you when you were 7? It looks like you’re wearing an underpants suit.”

child – *DEATH STARE*

parent -“well it does.”

child – *scoff….death stare continues…*

parent – “like big granny panties sewn to a singlet…seriously…”

child – “I’ll change…*growl*”

Honestly…..I couldn’t come up with anything better, I just never wore anything that give me massive wedgies on purpose…I couldn’t relate.

  • A good parent probably never blogs about their child’s wedgies.
  • Good parents should avoid saying things like “if I worked like that in my job I’d be fired.” In regards to child and house chores, the usual response is either ‘where’s my money?’ OR ‘please fire me then.’
  • a good parent never teaches their children to do the laundry work, because if they do they run the risk of anything ‘wet’ being ‘dried’ in the dryer regardless of cleanliness. If you wonder why all your clean towels smell of urine precisely at that moment you dry your face with it after a nice hot rejuvenating shower…. it might be because your two-year has decided to dry his ‘wet’ bed sheets, skipping the ‘silly’ washing step. What a good child.
  • Good parents don’t threaten to cut their children’s hair when they complain about having it brushed. example…

parent – ‘”stay still and let me brush your hair or I’ll cut it off.”

child – “okay cut it off.”

parent – “Well… I will! But I just don’t feel like it right now.”

child – “no need to brush it then….”

parent – “you suck……”

 

  • Good parents don’t raise smart children, because they end up SMARTER than you.
  • Good parents do not correct their children or they run the risk of irreparable damage. eg…

child- “Ouch! I have peanut noodles in my legs!”

parent – “I think you mean pins and needles.”

child – “Pins and NEEDLES?!”

parent – “not real ones….”

child – “I have PINS AND NEEDLES…..IN. MY. LEGS?!”

parent – “no, no….oh god…..”

  • A good parent tells the truth about pets who’ve passed away or they must remember to keep up the ‘she ran away and lives with a wonderful loving family now’ routine for years….like seriously YEARS!….8 to be exact…and counting.
  • A good parent would keep gossipy relationship talk between adult friends private or when your budgie is squawking and you ask “what are you cranky about bird?” you may have a small child pipe up “leave him alone! He’s talking to his woman.”
  • A good parent shouldn’t promise their children specific pets to take with them when they ‘move out.’ Especially when said parents have a bad habit of not have an equal ratio of pets to children.
  • Good parents don’t nod and agree with 4 year-olds who ask if they can get their belly button pierced when they’re 6. They actually TURN 6 and they REMEMBER!
  • Good parents never mumble sly remarks under their breath like “liar” at the mums on the neurfon commercial who claim  a teething temper tantruming child is the most glorious thing in the world. Don’t talk to TV’s. Just don’t.
  • And finally and MOST importantly….. good parents never tell people about all the un-good parenting they do.

It seriously is the KEY to being a good parent. Do NOT admit a thing.

To be a good parent means to be silent about how bad you really are and ensure that you ONLY highlight those rare moments when you actually think you know what you’re doing.

I hope this has helped all those sub standard parents I know.

 

take care.

xo

 

Let’s catch up…

Life these last 6 weeks have flown by in a colourful blur.

It feels kind of nice to be filling every moment with something but also not so nice because time seems to slip by faster and faster.

I am thankful for school holidays! Even though it feels like the Christmas ones had only just ended!

My initial uni pathways course has only a couple of weeks to go and about 4 assignments due in that time so my stress levels have risen a tad. I’ll be glad to have said I’ve completed it all and able to move onto something else. I have postponed my midwifery degree as after lots of research and pondering I don’t see how I could possibly complete it right now.

I’d need to follow along with a specific amount of pregnant women for appointments and the likes and be able to drop everything to attend births, even in my first year. With Glen working away half the time and no one to step in and watch my little ones, I would hate to work so hard only to be unable to attend births and ultimately fail.

So I shall wait….

However in the meantime I have committed to a remedial massage therapy diploma, which I plan to focus on ante-natal, post natal massage and perhaps baby massage workshops for parents all from the comfort of our own home.

I’m excited. But you probably knew that because most unknowns are exciting to me!

I will admit that trying to study and making sure that Bella, now home schooled is doing all she needs to be is tough at time.

We hit a massive hurdle when she flat-out began refusing to do her math work.

Heck I hate maths too and most of the time wonder why I ever needed to work out the area of a square…but I didn’t want to give up (or give in. What next? English?) So I tricked her with awesome fun. And slight bribes.

I decided we’d do some real world math and make it something she could relate to and enjoy.

First Bella created a café`.

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She also created her own descriptive menus, made the items she’d put on her menu which included ice tea infused with frozen raspberries, banana cake and peanut butter cookies. (Knocked our cooking lesson on the head in the process.)

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She set up ‘shop’ before her sisters got home from school.

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She made ‘money’ and gave it to them to pay.

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Bella took orders worked out the prices, she had specials and discounts.

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The girls were given their food and drinks and then came to Bella’s counter to pay, Bella had to add up their totals, minus any discounts and give correct change.

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She had a tip jar which she needed to work out 10% of the bills total (if her customers were generous enough) She also sold coffee (well empty boxes of..) at a 2 for one special…

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I seriously jammed as much math into her as I could get away with and she totally loved every minute of it.

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Though the best part?

Her younger sisters learnt a lot too AND…..

THEY WERE ALL SUPER NICE TO EACH OTHER!

I not only want to teach my own daughter all the academic stuff but I want her to learn to treat her family with respect and love. I want them to have a stronger bond, in other words…I want them to stop fighting with each other all the time and care about one another!

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It was awesome for me to see the cooperation, consideration and courtesy.

Anyway, the week after Bella decided on a salon.

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We totally upped the math.

This time she had to make appointments at 5 minute intervals, it was good because she has trouble with time and this really helped her a tonne.

Glen and I also made appointments for things like facials and massages but then tricked her and cancelled our appointments and swapped them around.

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She did more complicated discounts and specials this time offering a hand, foot and shoulder massage at 25% off and if someone made a 20 minute appointment they’d receive a free 5 minutes and 30% off.

I must admit she was kind of stressed dealing with making appointments and also offering ‘complimentary tea, or ice water’ and actually painting nails or facials…but hello real world….hello indeed.

I like that she uses English skills and descriptive writing to crate her menu’s and price lists, I like that we insist she be ‘professional’ and ‘kind’ and ‘polite’ to her customers…I like that she sees the excitement she can create for her sisters when they come home to find out Bella has ‘opened shop’ again.

They love it and I can see Bella’s pride as they tell her how cool and awesome it all is.

She learnt so much more than maths and I love it.

I’ve slowly begun to realise that I need to up my pace for her learning too, she now knows all there is to know about Billie Holiday, Cleopatra and Mother Theresa. She completed profiles on each, researched and complied her own mini biographies and then combined the 3 to create her own inspirational (fictional) character. Her assessment consisted of creating a profile a story and a picture of her fictional character.

It hasn’t taken her months to soak in as it would in school, as we literally could sit and talk anytime we chose, not waiting for a specific 45 minute period during the week.

Sooo….

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We’ve also moved onto Arthurian literature for English, which I hope to stretch for the next entire term. And why not?? All of my kids love the stories and we’re trying to bring different parts into the real world too, making armour and writing our own plays to perform.

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I am learning heaps too so we’re all excited by all the new information and fun being injected into our lifestyle.

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Bella attended a 3 day art workshop where she totally surprised herself creating amazing pieces of art and gaining wonderful comments from the art teacher, who said he had ‘exceptional talent’ and was ‘quick to understand artistic concepts.’

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She’s completed her online photography course and also her unit on colonial Australia.

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She combined the two when we took a trip to visit an antique store in search of items to photograph from the 1800’s.

We couldn’t find much, except one gold and ruby necklace from the 1800’s and a newspaper from the early 1900’s…close enough. But Bella did get some interesting shots.

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She ended up having a great conversation with the lovely old man who worked there about the old jail which had been used in the 1800’s as he once lived in it years ago!(Not as a prisoner!)

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 She made an interesting poster about what life would be like back then.

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She also wrote a story from the perspective of a 12-year-old girl living on a sheep farm in the 1800’s living without electricity and running water.

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Later in the year I’ll be taking Bella and Sophie to Taronga zoo so Bella can do an entire day of training as a zoo keeper, she is in love with big cats and wants to work with them when she’s older so I figure I could perhaps help her along the way to that dream.

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I’ve spoken to a course provider who is happy to allow Bella to complete some certificates in zoo keeping and wildlife conservation, so we’re considering it for next year. Bella is really excited, and I’m happy for her, and it totally feels nice to be in a position to completely support her passions and actually help her achieve her goals.

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It really struck me when Bella said “If I told my friends at school I wanted to get a job working with tigers they would tell me I’m stupid and that I never would do it.”

And I believe her. Adults do the same to each other as well. Crush each others dreams, and never do we seem to be happy for anyone else.

It saddens me that we lessen our potential to suit others, it’s like a little boy telling his parents he wants to be an astronaut and they act as if it is some fanciful idea that is ‘cute’ and will never happen…..HELLO?! There are such things astronauts…they do exist and perhaps the difference in becoming one and dreaming of being one is the belief and encouragement of others….

it is NOT impossible….

(Shall we try to improve on this behaviour? Or teach our kids to admire instead of envy? To strive instead of settle? Anyway, I won’t lecture..)

I am impressed so far with Bella’s attitude changes, she still has her emotional pre-teen moments but over all she’s kinder and way more involved in our family in a positive way than she’s ever been.

There is no more angry storming off in the morning (most days she begins working at 7am while I make breakfast…just because she wants too.) And no longer does she come home in a foul mood because of something someone has said or done during the day to make her feel bad….which she would ordinarily take out on me and her sisters or simply sit in her room alone.

I seriously wonder why we’re told school is for everyone…..because in my personal opinion my daughter has never been happier, more encouraged, ambitious and inspired and as a mum it gives me that heart swell feeling.

For once I feel like I have done the absolute right thing.

It’s like a breath of fresh air.

Anyway….

In other news, Violet had her 6th birthday!

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I can’t believe it, and I know I say that with each and every birthday that goes by but seriously….6?…

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wow.

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Violet had asked for a rainbow cake, but I’d felt like I’d done ordinary rainbow cakes too many times so I went for something simple but effective.

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It was kind of cute, but the rainbows begun to sag which then made it look like a weird McDonalds themed cake….and I just was too lazy to find yellow for the M’s…ergh.

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She totally loved it so that was all the mattered.

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And it did taste yum as ugly as it became….

We also had Easter early….which was good, Glen was home. But also bad, because as I write this my kids know it is the ‘real’ Easter today and question why our bunny occasionally comes early….”He just likes us more…”

(sorry to any children who still have faith that the bunny exists who may be reading this….)

We also have two new babies….Zoe and Darling, two adorable and extremely naughty puppies. They’re the very young relatives for Loch and Victor our super old dogs…who I think are Zoe and Darlings great uncles….

Zoe

Zoe

We believe in family here….

My gosh I need to go, my kids have turned my lounge room into a jumping pit with mattresses as I type….the joy of divided attentions.

Have a happy Easter!

Eat LOTS of chocolate!

(make me feel not so bad….because I did!)

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I hope to write again soon but if not…I’ll do a special post for this little guy will be 3 in June and Glen and I will have been married for 3 years too!

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Can you believe it?

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Nope me either!

A lesson for you, a lesson for me.

Facts I’ve learned from being a parent.

  1. Hardest thing I will ever do.
  2. Most important thing I’ll ever do.

Two weeks ago now I got up and got my kids ready for school as I do every other weekday. We rushed around, yelled at each other to find socks and hurry up breakfast. We called for stolen underwear and cried over misplaced bus passes. We got shoes mixed up, one all lefts and one all rights.

Then finally Bella declared she was ready. With a quick peck on the cheek she was off.

Half hour later I was buckling aka wrestling, children into car seats and off to the bus stop myself.

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I was in the shower, wrist deep in chemicals scrubbing the tiles when the phone rang. Molly and Buddy were happily playing and allowing me this moment of domestic bliss aka hell, so I let it ring and kept on scrubbing.

It rang again.

FINE.

I stopped and went for the phone but missed it.

I listened to the message that was left and I heard something along the lines of…

“Mrs Yager, this is Mr… from the high school. Please call us immediately, Bella has taken prescription tablets. Call us immediately.”

My heart dropped. I began to shake.

“What the heck?” (or something similar went through my mind.) My child? MY child???

It was panic.

I did not expect this on this ordinary day. Actually….any day.

Ever.

I called. And was informed that a fellow student, a young girl had raided her mum’s medicine cabinet and grabbed what she could and decided to bring it to school, and that Bella and 4 other kids had taken some.

They’d called the poison hotline and were told that what they’d swallowed was an anit-nausea tablet.

(But those kids wouldn’t have known that! It had a big long name on the bottle.)

The part that distressed me the most?

My daughter simply put something in her mouth and swallowed it.

Would she have done the same if offered rat sack or some serious drug by a ‘friend’?

Highly possible.

This is not what I’ve taught her.

This is not AT ALL what I’ve taught her.

She wouldn’t take something from a stranger…(or would she?) but she would from a ‘friend’?

How did this happen???

Bella’s side…

“My friend* showed us the bottle of tablets and said she wanted to get high, I’m not sure what that is…. She asked me and my other friend if we wanted one and we said no. But when the bell rang my friend changed her mind and said she’d try one. I said I’d have one too. I bit the tablet and it tasted gross so I spit it out, but my friend said to have the rest so I put the other half in my mouth and she gave me her fizzy drink to swallow it with so I did.”

Oh god, hard to hear, but I wanted to know what went through her mind.

Not a lot as it appears.

Thankfully another student saw the kids doing this and told a teacher about it. They immediately searched for the bottle, which the ‘owner’ had thrown in the bin and they called all the kids involved into the office to keep an eye on them and call parents and for medical advice.

After meeting with the vice principal and crying like a distraught idiot, thankful I was picking up my child from the high school with a two-day mandatory suspension rather than visiting her in hospital in a coma!

We came home.

An hour or so later I was called from the high school again.

They further informed me that the drink Bella was given to swallow the pill was full of vodka!!!

Bella didn’t even know.

The told me they’d called the poison hotline again and that by now if ‘anything was going to happen it would have by now.’

Pills and alcohol???? 12???

What?!?!

Why?!?!

I’d been so happy for Bella having made new friends, she’d joined the principals award scheme….she wasn’t at all focusing on her education (this was not entirely a surprise with Bella though) but I was confident that once she’d settled with this new group of ‘friends’ she would get into the routine of learning.

To say I was wrong and living in some magical fantasy land is an understatement. Not all things work out, not all things ‘fall into place’ without some persistent guiding.

The 12-year-old girl who’d decided to get ‘high’ that random day and raid her parents alcohol and medicine cabinet for some unknown reason and then involve MY daughter…..and then with a ‘friend’ decided to ‘rough up’ the student who had informed the teacher!

Honestly, if they’d taken something dangerous (or MORE dangerous) they’d be thanking that kid!!!

I had no clue this would happen or be happening….I’m not ignorant and I did stupid things when I was young….but I’d been aiming for ‘difficulties’ of this sort for around year nine…never if I was one of the lucky mums.

I am not proud to admit the fact that in this scenario, I would have been the instigator….I would have been the girl who’d raided the cupboard….I was the ring leader…..I was never one for peer pressure….or to pressure others…I just did whatever I wanted, stupid things or not….Figuring that Glen and I rarely drink let alone have a supply of alcohol in the house and the strongest medication in our house is panadol….I just didn’t think that others would expose my child to these things…………

I figured if Bella was curious she’d talk to me or question me, we’ve had many an awkward and uncomfortable conversation I wished we hadn’t but glad in the end she’s confident to come to me….

But there wasn’t even any forethought…no motive in this split second decision to ‘just do it.’

This was not what I expect from Bella, in the first term of year seven.

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It’s no secret that I am open to home education.

And that is exactly the path we’ve chosen to travel now.

The school snail mailed me a ‘plan’ for Bella’s future involving behavioural tactics and binge drug and alcohol type educating…..

but….

I mean when the principal of a school who didn’t even know your child existed as an individual until something bad has happened holds a piece of paper in front of your face so your child can’t see that reads ‘head lolling to the side’ and ‘eyes rolling back in the head’ are the possible symptoms of the pill she’s taken…….

Well…..

What can I say?

I think I should have a greater say in the ‘plan for Bella’s future.’

I’d decided long ago that home education is the BETTER option for education, especially for Bella as an individual. I know her well. I know that she doesn’t take her education seriously, I know that school is merely a social gathering for her. I know that teachers are over worked and don’t have the excessive amounts of time (or patience) they’d need to get Bella up to speed in every class.

She’s ALWAYS been left behind in school, one of those kids that are difficult to teach and doesn’t learn in the same way a majority of the class does and no one ever makes room for the minority.

As long as the top two thirds of a class passes…..the rest are just labelled ‘slow’ or ‘difficult.’

Her Maths is barely at a year five level, and her spelling is terrible, she’s only now in the last two weeks of home education learnt how to tell the time!

The views of others and the idea that home education is only for ‘religious’ families or ‘weirdos’ was enough to make me settle for a system I don’t care for.

Dear me….peer pressure…DID get to me.

People’s constant ‘oh but what about socialising?’

It just felt easier to do the ‘normal’ thing, to avoid criticism even if I didn’t feel comfortable with it. But you know what?

SCREW THAT!

There have been many incidents where I have been tempted to remove Bella from school. Like being teased and bullied by year ten boys who’d ‘asked her out’ and when she’d called them idiots been bombarded ever since. By girls who make her feel inferior because she doesn’t have the newest of Apple gadgets, kids who make her feel bad about herself because of pimples…(mind you ever second child at that age has them!)

This was the last straw.

Combined with Bella’s lack of comprehension of the gravity of what happened and her lack of thought into it….

This is a slippery slope I’m putting an obstacle in front of.

Enough is enough.

This is our second week of home education and I am so impressed with how she’s working and how well everything is going.

Being a perfectionist I am making sure I don’t miss a thing while still being as relaxed and caring as possible.

I am not aiming for a nazi holding a wooden ruler over her knuckles. I am aiming for a loving environment of inspiration and complete involvement of Bella’s wants and needs where education is more of an absorption rather than a forced feeding.

She’s joined a choir, and drama classes and art lessons which she has chosen. (Hello socialisation with like-minded peers!)

No more messy mosh pit, which there is much time for once she’s developed a healthy dose of maturity and sense of self. I mean this had been a concern of mine too, not having enough time to mingle and be with people, but I was mistaken. She has been able to come to senior citizen morning teas, join groups during school hours….personally I believe she’s had MORE quality socialisation since being removed from school!

She’s enrolled in guitar, piano and photography lessons online.

She’s researching inspirational women who’ve made positive changes in this world for English and reading books which she’d never previously been interested. We’re learning about Australian history and currently in the middle of a project about colonial life, we’re visiting an antique store tomorrow so Bella can test out her new photography skills, taking pictures of items from the 1800’s to create a collage of what life must have been like.

Science, we’re focusing on understanding the human body, how and why it is so amazing in all it’s capabilities and we’ve begun an awesome bug board, collecting insects of all kinds and researching them and adding the information to the board.

Maths we’re simply taking it easy, working on Bella gaining the skills she’d missed out on in school and raising her awareness of the basics like time, money and fractions and from there we will expand once her skills are up to speed.

She’s begun an art journal which we’ve recycled from a beautiful old hardcover book, we’ll be trying out different techniques and making notes and adding it all together to create something she can treasure forever.

At the moment we’re working on her cooking skills and if she decides to move onto sewing, or jewellery making, or wood working, or whatever…. we will.

There’s a lot of learning going on in this house in areas like this anyway, basically we’ve just had to figure out the levels at which she is at and add what society requires of us. Then record and document her progress.

We’ve added world and current affairs which will include learning about the world and people in it and their unique lives and situations, we’ll include volunteer and community work, inventing and implementing fundraisers. I’d like Bella to gain an appreciation of her own life through helping others and understanding how lucky she is, even if she doesn’t have the newest of gadgets. I’d like her to feel useful and worthy and capable of making a difference.

I want to teach her to be a good person.

I want her to learn.

I want her to have friends.

I think she can have both even if it is separate.

So I guess this will be the first of many ‘home education’ posts that is if I get the time. I am still studying myself!

I do not assume it will be easy or always fun, but I do know that it is the very best thing I can do for my own daughter as an individual and if I weren’t prepared to sacrifice, work hard and do all that I possibly could for her then perhaps I should never have become a parent.

So good luck to Bella, good luck to me.

This is just another life lesson to learn and grow from.

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If you’re a home schooling mum I’d love for you to contact me, I’m sure I’ll need advice and encouragement along the way.

I hope all is good in the world you live.

xox

Food Hero

Originally posted on The Eco Princess:

I am hardly a food hero, but I do know what it is like to not have food.

At the age of 14 I lived on the streets (technically youth housing, but I found roaming the streets at night safer?!) I know what it is like to have no food, no way of buying food or getting food. It leaves you completely helpless, hopeless, vulnerable and afraid.

Things like the 40 hour famine are a good idea to raise money but even if you participate and ‘not eat’ you still have that peace of mind that if you do get too hungry you can simply open your fridge.

Go to www.oxfam.org.au/foodhero and sign up. It is free and there are no obligations except that you help spread the word. Seriously if you CAN’T do that…well…tut, tut.

Poverty and starvation are FACTS in many people’s lives daily.

They are in pain…

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My precious little beings.

The life of a fairy princess can at times be stressful

The life of a fairy princess can at times be stressful

 

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behind the scenes

behind the scenes

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behind the scenes

behind the scenes

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And…………….I found these gorgeous portraits of Violet and Molly on my sd card taken by Bella! She must have taken them when I ducked inside.

What a nice surprise!

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And to finish…..I tried my hardest to get a shot of all my babies together, but unfortunately Buddy had lost his pants before I could.

Though he kept them on for a full 25 minutes and that’s a bonus!

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Well we’re off now to take our pretties from the line and be busy being princesses and princes!

xox

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Feed your belly & heart & soul.

For the past 6 weeks we’ve been trialling a new diet in our house, now I must stress that by using the word ‘diet’ I don’t mean we are trying to loss weight and I don’t mean that we are restricting our food so that we’re starving all the time!

I mean diet as in a new set of foods we consume.

I got extremely tired of the guilt I felt at feeding my kids things which in my heart knew were bad for them.

Sugar, fat, chemicals. (and that’s just the shortlist!)

Yuck.

However I didn’t want my kids to feel like they were missing out on anything, I knew if I cut out everything they liked and replaced it with something leafy and green they’d basically hate me for ruining their lives.

1 egg, 1 cup wholemeal flour, 3/4 cup flour, 1/2 banana. (double or triple) Place in a bowl and beat into a batter. Add tablespoons to a hot pan, flip when bubbles arise. Serve with strawberries and drizzle with teaspoon of honey.

1 egg, 1 cup wholemeal flour, 3/4 cup milk, 1/2 banana. (You can easily double or triple this recipe)
Place in a bowl and beat into a batter. Add tablespoons to a hot pan, flip when bubbles arise. Serve with strawberries and drizzle with teaspoon of honey.

 

So, I’ve had to be creative.

I am working on the principal of ‘if it comes from Earth, ie plants and animals it is natural, therefore healthy.’

So we eat fruits, nuts, veggies, eggs, meat, honey. I make exceptions with wholemeal flour and bread and also our overly processed milk.

I make them hot chips, only I bake them. We have air popped pop corn sprinkled with herbs or natural salt as a crunchy salty alternative to chips. We’ve swapped white rice for brown (which is actually yummier) We have a handful of dried fruits or frozen berries instead of lollies. We freeze our own fresh squeezed juices instead of ice cream or icy poles. We have porridge with sultanas or honey for breaky, wholemeal salad wraps for lunch.

Fruit for dessert.

Baked pineapple/capsicum/prawn with brown rice with egg and vegetables.

Baked pineapple/capsicum/prawn with brown rice with egg and vegetables.

There are lots of better choices to make.

We no longer buy sugar instead we used dried fruits or honey as a sweetener and the kids have adjusted without complaint our aim was not so much to cut down on sugar but more to find a natural healthier alternative.

We no longer use butter at all, not for sandwiches or toast or for cooking. It wasn’t a big deal we got over it, though I’ve had a harder time trying to find alternatives for baking purposes, which I must admit has taken a bit of trial and error but I got there.

Fruit, veg and chicken diced, skewered and barbequed.

Fruit, veg and chicken diced, skewered and barbequed.

Making things for the kids lunch boxes has been the hardest part, I’d normally make some muffins or cakes to make up part of their recess but I’ve finally got a small list of recipes and the kids love it.

(Thank goodness.)

ALSO I wanted to add before you say things like “I can’t afford to eat like that!” rethink it. Price is always the biggest thing I face when grocery shopping, considering how much I LOVE food I really dislike spending money on it but like to make sure we have plenty on hand.

Baked vegetables and chicken with home-made cheese (unsalted/unsweetened) on home-made wholemeal tortillas.

Baked vegetables and chicken with home-made cheese (unsalted/unsweetened) on home-made wholemeal tortillas.

It is a little trickier for me to work out simply because I shop fortnightly and there is a whole lot more fresh food to deal with but it is possible. I’ve gotten my ‘shop’ shopping (things like toilet paper, flour, rice and meat) down to $100 a fortnight. I use online shopping instead of going into the shops, it has saved me so much, (not to mention the stress) even if I am tempted by something online I can ‘add it to my trolley’ and at the end I can cull my shopping.

You end up with only the essentials in your trolley before even committing to purchasing it.

It is really rewarding being able to cull your total shopping price from $150 back down to $100 knowing that you probably shouldn’t have added that second packet of busicuts anyway.

Buying 3 prawns per person is affordable (compare specials while shopping online)

Buying 3 prawns per person is affordable (compare specials while shopping online)

(Can you tell I LOVE online grocery shopping?)

Using a dash of water to avoid sticking the pan instead of oils or butter and use the lid during cooking. Yummy, moist meat!

Using a dash of water to avoid sticking the pan instead of oils or butter and use the lid during cooking. Yummy, moist meat!

Meat I refuse to buy anything processed so I choose hormone free meats.

This can get costly so I have decided to halve our meat intake as we eat a lot and don’t need meat every single day. (though you may not have a family of 7 to think about.) I substitute with eggs and other protein filled foods. Instead of pulling 4 chicken breasts from the freezer I only get out too and make it stretch by dicing it and adding to a rice dish or we just have smaller portions and add more veg.

I then have $100 to take with me into the fresh food shop. Who the heck cares if I’m tempted into buying an extra kilogram of plums?! Or that extra head of broccoli?

Just make sure if you choose to shop this way you are prepared to use the fresh food before it goes bad, otherwise its a waste of money no matter how cheap. Be creative, check the fridge to see what NEEDS to be used and jump on google for recipes and try something new. Don’t forget to take a risk here and there recipes don’t HAVE to be followed strictly, if something requires a huge lump of butter, swap it for cooked pumpkin for savory, banana for sweet (or again google alternatives.)

OR you could do the responsible thing and plan out your healthy meals. (I wish I was disciplined enough for that.)

Oh and !!!!FOR GOODNESS SAKES!!!! DO NOT buy drinks!!! Why would you waste money on sugary poison when we have free water coming straight from the taps?!

I don’t get it.

(though I do drink coffee with skim milk AND tea…so I’m a hypocrite I guess. DON’T ADD SUGAR!!!)

Anyway…enough blabbing….

Here’s a recipe for my Mango & Pumpkin cake. (alternatively strawberry & banana)

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  • 1/2 cup cooked and cooled pumpkin cubes (OR 2 bananas)
  • 1 med-large mango (OR I cup chopped strawberries)
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 cups 100% wholemeal self-raising flour

Now literally add it all to a mixing bowl and beat until smooth. Pour into a greased (use a spray oil lightly) cake tin or loaf pan and bake at 180 degrees for 35 minutes or until golden brown and springy to the touch.

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It’s simple, its delicious and moist (thank you pumpkin/banana) and there’s nothing in it that I would feel bad about my children eating in a slice of cake.

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It’s been hard to find things that I can bake that are 100% natural but I’m still trying. Feel free to add a link in the comments to any healthy treats you have made.

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There are many health benefits of eating ‘the way nature intended’ we don’t feel like we’re missing out on anything we’re just trading for natural alternatives and using different cooking methods to avoid the added fats and oils.

Our behaviours are calm yet energetic, we’re soaking in the vitamins and minerals! Our skin hair and nails are much healthier and we all just feel good knowing we’re not stock piling unhealthy chemicals and fats inside our precious bodies.

We only get one, so we intend to keep ours happy!

Have a lovely, healthy day!

Life in this moment ~ and our animal friend photos.

This is quite a random post I know; I know.

I wanted to write about our lovely furry/scaley/feathery friends but I also wanted to give an update on all our exciting family life goings on too.

So I’m doing both. Why not?

Our baby chooks getting bigger. Snuggling onto their favourite mat (?!)

Our baby chooks getting bigger. Snuggling onto their favourite mat (?!)

School has returned and again it reminds me of just how much my little ones aren’t so little anymore. Bella is in high school and so far she loves it. She likes feeling grown up, packing all her rather large high school books in the evenings and making sure she’s gotten herself ready by 7.35am as this is the time she needs to head off on the 10 minute walk to her bus stop.

Needless to say I stressed myself unnecessarily with logistics of having 5 children in 3 different schools. Bella in high school catching a bus from the end of our road (2kms away…) Violet and Sophie in primary catching another bus from 15 minutes drive away from home and then Molly and Buddy needing to be driven 25 minutes away for preschool on Tuesdays.

I figured it out pretty quick and now regret my pointlessly wasted energy. All that matters is that they reach school on time, in a relatively neat and tidy state and also are picked up.

Which they are.

Our new fishies. Princess Sparkles, Dollar and Spodges.

Our new fishies. Princess Sparkles, Dollar and Spodges.

Everything else is just detail.

Sophie turned 7 in January and had her ears pierced, she was so nervous but was so proud of herself when the beautician announced that she was the ‘first little girl she’d heard laughing during the pain.” (perhaps this is a weird mix of emotions she’s inherited from her mother and aunt. I broke my foot and could do nothing but laugh hysterically. Nic badly hurt her ankle in a moped accident requiring skin grafts and surgery…but as she lay in the gutter with bones hanging out all she could do was laugh! Better than crying in agony I guess!)

Sophie’s now in year 2 and LOVES it, she adores her new teacher which she’d already had quite a good relationship with being a small school and all also from being a part of the small schools, big impact concert last year which her teacher choreographed and led.

I think she’s also enjoying NOT sharing a classroom with her little sis Violet.

Violet has been tending to her ‘fairy gardens’ which have popped up. We’re convinced that they like Violet due to her cuteness and pixie like features and have decided to sprout large patches of purple flowering weeds of different varieties around the place, in her honour (actually pretty cool)we circle them with large branches to make them more garden bed like despite their random placement.

Pepper and Tinker bell living the high life.

Pepper and Tinker bell living the high life.

She’s in grade 1 and is still with her amazingly lovely teach from last year and she too is happy that she has the class and her friends to herself with Sophie in a separate classroom. Her reading has picked up over the holidays, I think she just needed that little bit extra maturity and patience.

Molly Moo is still interesting and now has an imaginary friend. Well she’s had her for roughly a year now, as her speaking has gotten better we’ve all become more intrigued by her stories of her friend and take her more seriously when she talks mentions her. Her name is Strawberry and occasionally I’m almost convinced she is real, or maybe a past life Molly herself has had. Molly’s imagination is so vivid and descriptive, she talks about Strawberry as if she has sat back and watched this other individuals life from beginning to end as if it were a movie. She can intimately describe different times in Strawberry’s life. It’s actually pretty cool.

Molly lost her first tooth, which annoyed the heck out of Violet who was yet to lose her first. Molly had been telling me she had a wobbly tooth for a couple of weeks but as Violet hadn’t lost any at the age of 5.5 and Molly only recently turning 4 in Sept last year I figured she was kidding. She often sees something on telly like someone with a broken leg and then hops around saying hers is broke too.

I thought it was one of those cases. Until one night she said “Wobble it mum.” I did and was like “oh my god, you weren’t joking.”

It was hanging on by a string!

She asked me to pull it out.

King blue

King blue

So I did.

She was so overwhelmed and happy, giggling and rambling about the tooth fairy. I was so happy for her and proud too. I told her she should have a look in the mirror, as I mentioned this she beamed a smile….which allowed me to see her new gap AND her mouth full of blood.

I quickly decided her happiness would turn to horror if she saw it so Glen and I distracted her, instead deciding to hurry to bed so the tooth fairy would come.

We put her tooth in a glass of water by her bed.

Bella snapping some pictures of Pooki, our budgie....adopted from my sister Nicole.

Bella snapping some pictures of Pooki, our budgie….adopted from my sister Nicole.

As I said Violet wasn’t happy the tooth fairy visited Molly before her and two days later Violet came home with an envelope from her teacher, it read -

“Dear tooth fairy, enclosed is Violet’s tooth which she lost in class today. Thank you.”

Violet’s first tooth!

The very next day, Molly lost her second tooth!

The tooth fairy was very busy this past week!!! (and hoping for an early night at some point……)

Buddy, my adorable Buddy Robert…he’s gotten so big and besides the occasional accident is totally toilet trained. No more nappies for this mum. (I feel so old and unwanted.)

My lovely Chapman

My lovely Chapman

He will be 3 in June coming and is far too big and heavy for me to even consider him a baby anymore (but I do…and probably always will) he is speaking so well now even though most of the things he says have been picked up from his sisters. To mention a few….

Damn it!

What the?!

I hate you.

Though he does say some very lovely things which melt my heart like….

Tank you Mama….

I lub you Mama.

Peace out man.

Sweet dreams.

Awwww!! I could squish that kid…..

and I don’t care if I sound like a gushing, biased mother because I am one.

He’s just perfect (despite his tantrums and naughtiness.)

King Red

King Red

Glen and I are good too! And decided to make positive changes in our own personal lives to create a stronger, happier life for us all as a family in the long-term.

I have final pin pointed what I would like to do with my life, and thankfully at a convenient time. With Molly in school next year and Buddy beginning in 2017, the timing could not be better. I can almost seamlessly move from stay at home mum, to kids in school mum at work…mum (or whatever they’re called these days.) I have decided to follow my passion, decided to do something I feel naturally inclined to be a part of. Really it is just a continuation of the life I already have in a sense, the furthering of skills and knowledge I am interested in.

This is GrapeSeed, a poor little sugar glider who was tangled in our barbed wire fence.

This is GrapeSeed, a poor little sugar glider who was tangled in our barbed wire fence.

I am going to university to become a midwife.

I begin studying in a week or so.

I am more than excited! I am passionately obsessed.

I have once again quit Facebook and returned inward to create a little quiet, intensely focused bubble….it’s how I get things done. I’ve started reading and researching, I figure a little insider information wouldn’t hurt and I am determined to do this to the best of my humanly capable possibilities!!! (did that even make sense?)

Cheeky Tinker Bell

Cheeky Tinker Bell

Though with it comes massive planning issues for me, like the fact that as of next year I must study on campus, which currently is 2 hours away. So perhaps a relocation is in order. Having to be there 4-5 days a week over 3 years with five children to organise for school which begins promptly at 9 and over at 3…well it will take all my determination, will power, motivation but I am fairly certain I am not the only woman on earth to have managed something similar and I know I can if I really try.

It may be tough but we’re young and adaptable. We will get through this and be better for it.

Anyway…enough about me…

Glen would love to become a policeman one day, he’s mentioned it on more than one occasion, he gets excited about it and finally I said he should “DO IT.”

I guess he married the right person if he was looking for a pushy butt kicker to motivate him.

SONY DSC

And I’d be happy to do it. I’d love for him to be happy and doing something in his life that he’s dreamed of.

Glen’s goal has also motivated me further in mine, because he is currently our money-maker, so I MUST obtain my goals so that we can afford him to take the time off in order to do the training needed to reach his.

I guess for the first time in my life I have a 5 year plan.

WE have a plan! (and admittedly, it kinda feels good.)

My beautiful Ginger-Blu

My beautiful Ginger-Blu

I am of the mind that anything is possible with encouragement, determination and enough passion to want something so bad. I’ve never had a support network so I have always had to either push myself or do nothing. I’m actually quite grateful to have no one but myself to blame for either my failings or success.

I do it OR I do not do it.

Simple as that.

I mean..my ultimate motivation is death, as morbid as it sounds…it’s true. I feel intense sorrow for those who spend their entire lives in situations they hate. I have seen it too often. I can’t stand people who have no motivation to do something about their circumstances when most things are possible and we are extremely lucky to live in this country.

Not everyone has the opportunities we do.

Take advantage.

Be who you want to be. Do what you want to do. Yeeeeah. (That sounds like an ad of some sort….I can hear the tune in my head….)

Forget your excuses! (And I am the worst for them.)

I think my main goal in life is to end it knowing I’d done what made me happy and perhaps inspired others to do the same. We’re always saying “life’s to short…blah blah blah.”

But who actually LIVES by it?

SONY DSC

I hope that Glen and I can also give our kids some valuable life lessons to. They’ll be right there to see us struggle and succeed, They’ll have a real understanding of what it takes to get to where you want to be, they can join in our progress and I hope that they too, no matter how, where or what they choose to do they; realise that limitations are not real.

They’re just our heads telling us they are.

I hope I can show my children that it doesn’t matter how old you are you can change your path. Life is a changing, moving, progressing thing and it doesn’t have to be done ‘right’ it just has to be done passionately and enthusiastically at every age you ever are.

Life isn’t really a ‘path’ I’ve learnt, but more of a web. We are at the centre and we have 360 degrees of options branching away from us, not just one we must travel with blinders on. It has many strands all of which offer some kind of lesson and it’s totally okay to travel along one thread only to return to your centre, self-asses and chose another instead.

I’ve dabbled and explored, experienced much of what life can offer, been places, done random things, gained stuff and lost stuff, tried things, succeeded and failed and at the end of the day it is what makes me happy that pulls me closer.

Drawing me in toward my ultimate purpose.

And I would like that for Glen and my children too.

SONY DSC

We’re still young. We can still change our minds about who we are and what we want to be when we grow up (and so can you, no matter the number of years you have been here.)

So there you have it.

A new path (opps…I should probably use my terms…) a new strand/thread for our family.

I’m excited though I think I mentioned that.

I hope you enjoyed my animals pics….as random as it was.

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Take care and be good! (what ever your definition of ‘good’ may be.)

xo