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Archive for October 2010

This happened a little while ago, but I didn’t get a chance to post it – it’s been a rather hectic week!

Molly was playing with her dolls, Polly and Baby Jeff. Well actually, Baby Jeff is Tiernan’s – we bought him when we were expecting Molly so that Tiernan could have a baby like Mummy. He wasn’t into it, but now that Molly likes dolls, Tiernan will occasionally claim Baby Jeff from her and take him for a rigorous zoom around the house in the stroller!

Anyway, Molly was playing with Polly and Baby Jeff, which mainly involves putting nappies on them, wrapping them up for bed, putting them to bed and telling everyone to ‘shhhh’, waking them up noisily (she yells “CUP!”, which is ‘wake up’), taking them for walks, feeding them, pushing them on the swing, singing them songs, and asking them if they’re okay (not really sure about that one, but it seems to be important to her!)

Tiernan decided he would join in, and it was lovely to watch the two of them caring for their babies together. Tiernan really got into the role, and spent some time cuddling and rocking Baby Jeff, before reading him a story. I commented that he was being a good Daddy, to which he replied, “I’m not being a Daddy, I’m being a Mummy.” I apologised and amended my statement, and then asked what else Mummies do. His response was, “Mummies put their baby boys to bed and give them a kiss.” He then proceeded to put Baby Jeff to bed. It was very sweet to watch him being so loving, and I thought to myself, “Yep, I taught him that!”

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Don’t read this if you’re squeamish!

1. Tiernan’s undies when he pooed in them at a friend’s BBQ. These friends don’t have any children yet, and this may have put them off for a while longer.

2. The bathroom floor. You may have gathered that Tiernan is experiencing some toileting difficulties this week, despite being toilet trained for a little while now. We haven’t got to the bottom of it yet (pardon the pun). On this particular occasion, Tiernan made it to the bathroom, but the poo just ‘fell out’, as he put it, before he was able to climb onto the toilet. He then walked in it. Thanks Tiernan.

3. Tiernan’s shoes. Understandable if it’s dog poo and you’ve just stepped in it, but this was Tiernan poo and it was INSIDE the shoe. I have no idea how it got there. Maybe when it ‘fell out?’

4. The bathroom floor again. This time Tiernan did make it to the bathroom, but decided to use the potty rather than the toilet. He then, helpfully, decided to tip the poo into the toilet instead of calling me to help him. He missed.

5. Inside Tiernan’s table. Not Tiernan’s fault this time – Molly decided to join the poo party. Lately she has been taking her nappy off and refusing to put it back on. I don’t mind when I’m close by and watching her, but this time I was distracted with Neave. Molly went into Tiernan’s bedroom, climbed onto his table and pooed into the hole in the centre, which is for storing cars. Lucky the cars had all gone out for a drive.

I think it may be time to start toilet training Molly soon, although with the week I’ve had with Tiernan, I’m not keen!

Funny in hindsight, but not pleasant at the time! I hope next week is better…

Tiernan is really into monsters at the moment. We are visited daily by our friendly monster neighbours. Sometimes they come for morning tea, and sometimes they come to chase us. Only occasionally do they make scary noises outside our windows, but that’s okay because we have installed ‘Monster stickers’ on Tiernan’s door, which keeps them out of his bedroom.

So the other day, while Molly and Neave slept, Tiernan and I made some mini-monsters of our own. I borrowed the idea of wrapping wool around a toilet roll from Kid’s Craft Weekly. Then I partially blew up some balloons to make monster heads, and wrapped more wool around to help keep them on, although plenty of sticky tape was also used! Tiernan was sick of wrapping by this stage, so I did his monster head for him. Next we stuck short bits of wool on top for messy monster hair, and decorated with bits and pieces – buttons for eyes, coloured toothpicks for stripes, felt triangles for a tail and other markings.

I think they look great! Once they were dry, Tiernan gave them names and played with them for quite a while afterwards. His monster’s name was Cauliflower, and he liked to eat smarties. I am kicking myself for not writing down the other monster name, because I’ve forgotten it and it was just adorable! Oh well, I’ll post it if I ever remember…

When I first thought about starting this blog, I decided to research some other blogs and see if I could find any other Mums out there in similar situations to mine. I found quite a few excellent blogs written by dedicated Mums of two, three, four, FIVE children, dealing with some of the ins and outs of their daily lives. I am so impressed, and completely in awe, at the level of organisation and planning some Mums put into, well absolutely EVERYTHING! (see especially Planning Queen’s site). I can only take my hat off to them, and hope that maybe one day I might possess their considerable talents!

I had actually (until now) considered myself to be a fairly organised person, preferring to pre-plan most things… but only if I can be bothered. Since having three kids, it generally seems that, no matter how much prior effort I put into being organised the night before, I can never, ever, ever get anywhere on time if it is before 11am. And if my husband happens to be home, you can add an extra half hour to the Estimated Time of Arrival! He is perfectly capable of getting himself organised with enough time to be somewhere, but if the kids are involved, he doesn’t help, he hinders.

So today was a particularly bad day for me as far as organisation and punctuality goes… We had to be at playgroup at 10am. Playgroup is in the community hall at the park across the road from us, literally 20 metres away, so how hard can it be to get there on time? I always fall into this trap, and think I don’t need to do anything the night before, but I always regret it. Today was no exception: 

Most mornings my older two kids sleep until about 8am. They go to bed at 7pm, so this would be fantastic, except that I still get woken by the baby at least once or twice a night. So I sleep in until 8am too, instead of rising before them to start preparing for the day. I guess you could call this organisation mistake #1!

This morning I needed to have a shower and wash my hair. Usually I shower at night once the kids are in bed, but last night I was too tired and didn’t fancy going to bed with wet hair. Organisation mistake #2! This morning after the older two kids had eaten breakfast, I let them watch ABC2 while I quickly jumped into the shower. Well it was supposed to be quickly, but while I was in there I had to: entertain the baby (who was sitting in her bouncer watching me) and constantly retrieve her toys when she dropped them; wipe Tiernan’s bum when he came into the bathroom to do his morning poo; and stop Molly from climbing into the shower with me, fully clothed (so much for ABC2!).

When I finally got out of the shower, I had half an hour to get myself and all three kids dressed, brush 3 sets of teeth and hair, feed our pets, put some washing in the machine (ditched that), hang out the washing that I discovered still sitting in the machine (ditched that, too), pack fruit, bikkies and water, and get out of the bloody door! Organisation mistake #3 – should have done it all the night before (including dressing the kids!) In the meantime, the baby decided she wasn’t going to play along nicely this morning and I ended up having to ‘feed’ her to sleep, only to wake her up 10 minutes later to leave. Poor thing!

So by the time all this was done, it was 10:15 and we were officially late. Add another 10 minutes to walk the 20 metres across the road (don’t ask), and we were officially even later! Once we got there, playgroup went quite well, until Tiernan wet his pants about 15 minutes before it was time to leave. I was in the process of asking him if he needed to use the toilet when it happened! And, of course, I hadn’t packed spare undies or shorts, had I? (Organisation mistake #4).

The poor kid had to stand by the door in his wet undies and shoes, while I frantically tried to find a bucket and mop, find a tap to fill the bucket, and mop up the wee, which by this time had been walked, by scores of tiny feet, from one end of the hall to the other. Nothing discrete about that! After the wee was mopped, it was time to say goodbye. My bribe for getting the kids to actually leave with me was a promise that we would have a nice sandwich for lunch as soon as we got home… except that we had no bread (Organisation mistake #5 – ALWAYS have bread!) 

So before we could go home we had to walk via the shops, with poor Tiernan still in his wet undies and shoes. At least he didn’t seem too fazed by it, calling out to everyone we passed “I’m all wet, see?” By the time we got home and ate our lunch it was 1pm and I was ready to call it a night! Lucky we had no other plans that involved any kind of activity that required me to be the slightest bit organised for the rest of the day.

Heaven help me when Tiernan starts school in a couple of years’ time!

Neave

Posted on: October 11, 2010

Neave is just the sweetest little thing! She has these gorgeous, really big, blue eyes and she stares at you with such wonder that you really feel like a very special person indeed! It’s never hard to get a smile from her – just walk into her view and say hello. Her brother and sister adore her, and she loves the attention she receives from them (well, most of the time!). At almost 6 months old she is becoming much more mobile – she’ll grab onto anything within her reach and stick it straight into her mouth. She is enjoying her first tastes of solid food (well only rice cereal so far, but it’s early days), but, being a breastfed baby, can’t quite figure out what she’s supposed to do with her sippy cup full of water. She has almost mastered the art of rolling from her back to her front, but is often disappointed with the result since she’s always hated tummy time!

I feel so blessed to have little Neave. She is the baby I thought I’d never have after Molly’s traumatic arrival into the world. I can’t believe that, after having two premature babies, I finally got to walk out of the hospital with my baby in my arms 24 hours after her birth! Many people try to tell mothers that how they ‘get’ their baby isn’t important, as long as the baby is healthy in the end. This is partially true: I was able to get over some of the disappointment and shock that I experienced after both Tiernan and Molly’s births much easier because after it all, I (eventually in Molly’s case), got to take home two, beautiful, healthy babies. However, I still grieved for the small things that I missed out on, that were made impossible by the health risks I faced. Even though I faced the same risks in my pregnancy with Neave, and during her birth, I approached them differently, which enabled me to experience some of the things I had previously missed out on. It seems strange to say this, but I really feel that Neave’s birth helped me to let go of some of the things I’ll never have (like a spontaneous labour), and to be more at peace with what happened in my previous two pregnancies, and why. Of course, that’s not what I was aiming for in having her – in fact I was terrified that her birth would be even earlier and more traumatic than Molly’s. But it is a nice end result. It also means that I don’t ‘need’ to have any more! Although, I think I will always be a clucky person. I guess I’ll just have to learn to live with it.

So Neave will be our ‘youngest’. It will be interesting to see how she will fit in with her brother and sister as she grows. Already there are some aspects of her personality coming through – she is quite relaxed and happy most of the time, and enjoys sitting and observing the world around her. She also loves chatting, cuddling and being tickled. She sometimes gets upset when she’s overtired, and it can be difficult to get her to settle at these times, but she never gets hysterical like Molly used to! Apart from some ongoing minor problems with reflux/colic, and one short stint in hospital with bronchiolitis, it really has been smooth sailing so far with Neave, and I sure hope this continues (touch wood!). We absolutely love Neave to bits, and are so lucky to have her completing our little family. We can’t wait to get to know her more and watch her learn and grow!

Molly

Posted on: October 10, 2010

Molly has just turned 2, and is suddenly not a baby any more. She is a delightful little girl, who loves to chat, dance and sing, and to be the centre of attention. She, like most toddlers, can be quite moody and fussy – she has a very clear understanding of what she wants, and is determined to get it! I always describe Molly as intense – she is either really, really happy, or really, really NOT happy – and she can go from one to the other very quickly and with very little warning. As a 1-year-old, she threw the most amazing tantrums that often lasted up to an hour and involved much falling to the floor and head-butting of furniture! Since she has started to communicate more effectively now, these are getting less frequent, but still remain part of her repertoire.

Like her brother, Molly also happens to be gorgeous, with amazing, blue eyes and a cheeky smile, complete with dimples! She also stands out as our only blonde child (how surprised were we to get two red-heads!) Despite her volatility, Molly is often very sweet and caring towards others. When Neave cries she lets me know by running to me and saying, “Uh-oh, crying!” She just loves to give Neave kisses at every opportunity.

Molly’s prematurity has caused a slight lag in her speech development, but she is catching up quickly and now chats all day in single words, with a few two- or three-word phrases thrown in. She is eager to please, and is getting very good at listening to instructions and following directions, which makes her very handy to have around when it comes time to pack up the toys! I would have to describe Molly as a ‘girly-girl’ – she is really into hats, shoes, jewelry, babies, Dorothy, Dora, and all things PINK! Don’t ask me where it came from because I used to loathe pink and have never really been much of a ‘girl’ in this sense! I love watching Molly bathe, cuddle and breastfeed her babies, taking them for walks in her stroller and feeding them ‘weet-bix’ (her favourite food). It’s even nicer when Tiernan joins in for short stints and they play together happily. Of course, Molly doesn’t spend all of her time with her dolls – she also occasionally enjoys playing with the train set (Tiernan’s obsession!), and has recently become very good at building tall towers out of Duplo. Another love of hers is reading. Since she could crawl she has been taking books off the bookshelf to read to herself, or with an adult – one of her first words was ‘read’, which is what she says when she presents someone with a book to be read immediately… please!

Molly has always been a bit of a Mummy’s girl, which I have to admit to quite enjoying. I think our very strong bond has in some way made up for the guilt I initially felt for her premature birth and less-than-ideal start to life. I can’t help thinking that she must somehow remember the hours I spent just holding her during her time in hospital, and this is what helped to form our bond. I know I will have to let go of being her favourite person in the world one day, so I’m going to enjoy it while I can! I hope that, no matter what happens in life, we will always be close. Actually, the same goes for all of my children – I don’t have to be their absolute favourite person forever, but one of the top few would be nice!

Tiernan

Posted on: October 10, 2010

Part of my motivation for this blog is to take time to reflect on each of my children as individuals. Being so close together in age, there isn’t always a lot of time for me to spend one-on-one with them, but I always try to grab the opportunities that do arise. It’s easy to lump them all together as ‘kids’, ‘toddlers’, ‘babies’, but really it’s already obvious that they each have quite different personalities, which is reflected in the different ways they think about or do things.

Tiernan, my big boy who turned 3 in June, is becoming quite a thinker. He has an amazing memory and often surprises me with the things he says, sometimes about things that happened 6 months ago! He is at the stage where he wants to know the reason for absolutely everything – he would constantly be asking ‘why?’ if he knew the word, but instead he asks ‘what?’ Sometimes it’s incredibly frustrating, and sometimes I struggle to come up with an answer that will both satisfy his curiosity but not confuse him with too much detail. He also has an amazing vocabulary (apart from not picking up on ‘why’ yet!), and I love the convoluted way he expresses himself when he is unsure of the words! He is very loving and affectionate, especially towards his baby sister, Neave (she can’t run away yet!), and I love it when he climbs onto my lap for a cuddle and kiss. I’m trying to soak up all the cuddles I can now, because I know it may not be long before he’s not interested anymore.

Eating, as usual!

Sometimes he is incredibly sweet, saying the most lovely things that just make your heart melt. Last week I was getting ready to have dinner with some friends and was despairing of finding anything nice to wear. I settled on a dress, but felt frumpy and gauche in it, until my beautiful boy said, “Wow, beautiful dress Mummy!” He made my day and I walked out the door with my head held high! Of course, he is no angel – like all kids he is prone to the odd temper tantrum, and he also can get completely over excited and crazy sometimes (almost bouncing off the walls). But he is a sweetheart none the less!

Tiernan is simply gorgeous, with beautiful reddy-blonde hair. His name is Irish and it means ‘Lord’, so perhaps it’s our fault that he can be a bit of a tyrant when it comes to sharing toys/food/space/in fact anything he happens to want. However, that is the toddler/pre-schooler way, and we’ll give him some time to grow out of it!