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Archive for the ‘10 things’ Category


1. Prep is going well for you so far. You cried every morning for the first couple of weeks, but then your teacher started playing the Sound Waves song at goodbye time, and now you drop everything and dance!

2. You really are a gregarious little person. Bubbly and friendly, when we walk through playground on the way to school you wave and say hi to friends, teachers and parents. I love your confidence and willingness to be anyone’s friend.

3. You have one new friend in particular who you seem very attached to, and she to you. In the afternoons we sometimes stay at the play equipment so the two of you can play for longer. I admire how generous and unembarrassed the two of you are with each other. It seems like a solid, genuine friendship, even though you are both only 5.

4. We are still getting screamy tantrums from you quite regularly. I think some of it can be put down to tiredness after big days at school. But I do wish you weren’t quite so prepared to screech at us.

5. You have a very kind heart. We recently gave some blankets and toys to a Sudanese family who have just moved to our area after fleeing their country and spending the last 5 years in a refugee camp in Egypt. We all had a discussion about what that would feel like, and I can tell you really got it. You said you felt sad for them and wished they didn’t have to run away. It made you feel better that we were doing something small to help them set up their new home, and to make them feel welcome in our community.


6. You have had a big growth spurt in the last week or so. I can physically see that you’re suddenly taller. I keep wondering who those long legs belong to? My little Molly is growing up!

7. We had hoped that you might try rollerblading lessons this term for sport because you love rollerblading so much, and seem to have a natural talent for it. But on your first day, you put your foot down (wheels down?) and refused to have a go. I was pretty disappointed. I haven’t been able to work out where your apparent anxiety about it has come from; we’d been to the skate centre before and you had an absolute ball. Anyway, you’re now saying you’d rather do swimming, so we have you booked in starting this week. I guess we can always try rollerblading further down the track.

8. You have been a star getting ready for school in the morning since I implemented the ‘tick chart’ system (all you kids get yourselves ready, ticking off jobs as you go). You weren’t too bad to begin with, actually, but the visual aide helps you to organise yourself more efficiently and get more play time at the end.

9. Sometimes you are a little know-it-all, and it reminds me so much of me that I can’t help cringing just a little bit. At this age it is extremely cute, and I love hearing what you think about ‘taste bugs’, and why we should brush our teeth and look after our pets, etc. I just hope you don’t find out the hard way that your peers probably won’t appreciate all of your helpful advice.

10. You are a bit of a scallywag at times lately, and don’t mind giving a loud ‘no!’ to most instructions. I think you do it just to be annoying because most times you go ahead and do what you’ve been asked anyway, you just need to be a little bit defiant first.




1. You love us to do ‘Round and round the garden’ with you, and ‘This little piggy’, only you make us substitute the teddy bear and the piggies for werewolves. “This little werewolf went to market, this little werewolf stayed home, this little werewolf had roast Neave, this little werewolf had none, and this little werewolf went Awooooooooooo all the way home!”

2. You still come into our bed in the very early hours of most mornings. And when you don’t come, I miss you.

3. Now that both your older siblings are at big school, you are going to have to learn to make your own friends. You like playing with other kids, but you tend to let Molly and Tiernan break the ice before you will join in and play with them. It will be interesting to see how you go.

4. So far, you have been enjoying our Mummy and Neavie days at home while the others are at school. However, yesterday you told me it was too quiet and you wanted Tiernan and Molly to be home with us. I felt bad for you but I think you will get used to it. I like the peace and quiet! But will admit to being slightly bored sometimes and not really sure what to do with you. You want to be entertained. I don’t always want to be entertaining. We’ll have to work it out between us.

5. In one of my more ‘entertaining’ moments, we invented a game where we are monsters and we hunt teddies to eat around the house. We sneak up on them quietly and then pounce at the last minute and gobble them up. Then we be cuddle monsters on the couch after our big lunch.

6. You like helping me in the garden. You put on your over-sized gloves and dig around in the dirt, and then you want to plant seeds so I tip some into your tiny hand and you pour them into the hole. Five minutes later you ask if they’re ready yet.


7. This week you went to Kindy two days for the first time since moving here. I thought you would take a while to get used to it but you actually seemed quite keen to go, and only freaked out just a little bit at drop off time. This is a really good thing!

8. I’m looking forward to you starting swimming lessons again in a few weeks. You recently made a breakthrough and you’re now able to propel yourself forward very well under water. Coming up for air is a problem for you though and we often have to pull you up so you can take a breath. It will be nice when we don’t have to worry about that!

9. I still can’t quite believe that this time next year, you might be at big school too. I’m very undecided about whether or not you should go next year, and whether or not I want you to. No decision needs to be made yet, but it won’t be long. You’re just so little. It would be nice to have you home for longer, but we both might get bored. I wonder if you will be ready in a year? We can only wait and see.

10. You have been quite independent about getting dressed for a long time now, but I love that you still put your sandals on the wrong feet every single time. You are very good natured about fixing it though when I point it out to you. You just sit down and get on with it.



1. You are definitely carving your place as the cheekiest of our three. You wantonly ignore many of the ‘boundaries’ we set, all the while grinning from ear to ear and giggling. The cute is wearing off, but it’s still there, so we sometimes have trouble keeping a straight face while enforcing the rules with you, again and again.

2. All little kids talk in a cute way, but you have a distinctly ‘Neave’ way of saying things. All your f’s and s’s sound the same, which is somewhere in between ‘s’ and ‘th’. You can now say ‘L’ but you like to linger on your l’s and so you say “Mollllly, I want a lllllolllllly.” And you add extra words into your sentences, like “I did do it Mummy.”

3. It’s obvious you’re growing up and becoming less toddler-ish. I can tell because you no longer think packing up is as fun as playing. Lately, at pack up time you have been disappearing into your room while everyone else pitches in (or doesn’t, depending on their mood). It’s a shame because you used to be the best packer-upper.

4. You still come into our bed most nights. I love waking up next to your warm little body. I miss you on the mornings you don’t come in.

5. I think I have been taking for granted how easy you and Molly are to have around during the week. It will be a big change next year when Molly goes to school and it’s up to me to be your entertainment instead… Hopefully we will meet half way, doing things together and also doing things apart (me house stuff, you playing on your own). I am looking forward to having some one-on-one time with you on a regular basis though.


6. We took you all to the pool last weekend and wow, you are suddenly a little fish. All your swimming lessons seemed to click into place, and you were zooming around doing rockets, backwards and forwards to the side of the pool. Watching you practice and being so confident was such fun.

7. On a similar note, you are also confidently riding Molly’s bike (with training wheels). We haven’t bought you one yet as we got Tiernan and Molly there’s on their 4th birthdays. I wonder if you can share Molly’s for that long, or will you be ready for one at Christmas? I’ve been looking forward to you all having proper bikes, so we can go on proper rides together!

8. You’ve been quite defiant of late, often yelling “No!” when we ask you to do something. Not for any good reason, just because you feel like trying it out. Subsequently, you’ve also been spending a bit of time in ‘time out’ as well.

9. You are growing more and more confident with strangers and in new situations, when you used to be so shy. Maybe you are following Molly and Tiernan’s example, or maybe you are just coming out of your shell in your own time? It’s funny to have three such friendly, open kids who are eager to sit and have a chat with just about anyone.

10. I know I say it all the time but I just can’t believe how fast you’re growing up. You’re my littlest baby but you’re not really a baby any more. At least you’re still happy to let me ‘baby’ you, sometimes. Just keep on being you my little Neavie cherub!




It makes me feel old to say I now have two children over five. I can’t quite believe how quickly things have changed, from 3 under 3 to 3 over 3!

1. Your confidence is amazing. You are just so engaging and friendly, always happy to have a chat to just about anyone. You also really understand the two-way nature of a conversation, you give and you take. I think this makes you stand out a little, particularly with adults, who seem drawn to you. You are very entertaining!

2. You’re a smart little cookie, always thinking about things and working them out. You recently told us you knew that three times two is six. Apparently the buckets in the bath taught you (because there are six of them and you like to line them up in groups of two).

3. I have my fingers crossed for smooth sailing when you start school next year. I think you’re going to fit in just fine. You are keen to learn new things, especially about reading and writing. I think the biggest problem you will have is learning to wear your shoes all day! Right now the only footwear you will deign to put on are your ballet shoes, your plastic high heels, or your thongs. Socks are right out. Apparently this was an issue for me too,. Hopefully you will be so happy at school that you will soon forget your loathing of shoes!

4. On your fifth birthday we were able to have a little party for you and invite some new friends you’ve made already at preschool, plus your neighbour friends. The kids you chose to invite were all lovely, as were their parents, who stayed for the party to. It made me quite proud of your social skills, to be able to surround yourself with nice friends so soon after moving.

5. I think further testament to your social abilities is that you obviously still miss your old friends. We had the opportunity to see two of your best friends, whom you’ve known since you were tiny, on our recent trip to Sydney. The three of you were so excited to be together again, and you slipped right back in to playing without any fuss or shyness at all. You were quite upset when we had to say goodbye again, poor thing. But we’ll be sure to visit again next time we’re down that way.


6. You’re quite bored at home some days. Ideally, you’d be at preschool two days a week instead of one, but that’s all we could get at your new preschool. You’re quite happy to play with Neave, most of the time, but I think you’re really ready for bigger and better things. I find it hard to motivate to get out and about, because you seem to think you’ve seen it all and done it all. At least you got a stack of crafty things for your birthday, so you’ve got quite a few things to keep you occupied for the next little while.

7. You can be a right miss at times, quite demanding and rude when things aren’t to your liking. And there is still that dreadful scream to contend with. I have very little patience for you when you are like this. You spend quite a bit of time in your room or time out, ‘adjusting your attitude’, as we say.

8. The thing about you is that you’re well balanced; you are equal parts awful and super sweet. One minute you’re bellowing that you hate me, the next minute you’re telling me that you will love me forever and that I’m the best mummy in the whole wide world. Little suck-up, that’s what you are.

9. When we go out, you are usually the one I can rely on to be sensible, follow instructions and listen. You are unique in your ability to do that (your brother and sister are missing the listening gene, evidently). I’m grateful to you for that. Instead of having to chase three of you around, I usually only have to chase two.

10. You went through a stage where it was very difficult to get you out of bed in the mornings, despite your previous reputation of being the early riser in the house. I think it had to do with you being embarrassed about not staying dry at night. However, in the last few weeks you have made a big improvement, and are only wetting occasionally at night. You’ve got your morning spring back, and are once again happy to get up and dress yourself, and even start making your breakfast without much prompting. Well done, you!


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Oops, a bit late with this one, again. Well, it has been rather busy around here!

1. You have settled in to life in Queensland surprisingly well. I’m so proud of the way you have taken all of these new changes in your stride, mostly. The distance from your old friends and your grandparents has been upsetting for you at times, but you are so accepting of our new situation that you can graciously count down the days until they come to visit, without causing too much fuss over it. Well done, you, and thank you. This could have been so much harder than it has been.

2. In the mornings, you are almost a completely different person; you spring out of bed, get your uniform on, eat your breakfast, brush your teeth, pack your bag. I no longer have to fight with you every step of the way, which means you even have time to play before it’s time to go. Amazing!

3. You seem to be enjoying your new school. You’ve made some new friends, and your teacher seems happy with the way you have handled the change so far. I think the more relaxed atmosphere of Prep really suits you. There is a little less academic work and a little more hands-on stuff, which is very much to your liking. You are stoked with last term’s ‘theme’, which was your favourite subject, Pirates. Mrs T, the TA in your class, told me you were encouraging the class to ‘vote pirates’ when it came time to choose. Fingers crossed for another exciting theme this term.

4. You love having a neighbour your age. Every weekend since we’ve been here, you have wanted to ask him over to play, or to play at his house. Luckily, he has a nice family who seem only too happy to have you over, or to let your friend play here. His younger sister is Molly’s age, which is also very convenient. I love how easy you find it to make friends.

5. You’ve even taken a sudden interest in practising your writing a few afternoons a week. Perhaps the marshmallow bribe has something to do with it? It’s possible. But there’s no bribe needed when it comes to Reading Eggs, which you’re happy to do most days.

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6. We brought the Prep guinea pigs home for a weekend, at your request. I’m not a huge fan of vermin usually, but must admit these little guys are pretty sweet. It was nice watching you and your sisters pouring your love and affections on to them. Although, none of you were much help when it came to cleaning their cage out.

7. You recently started swimming lessons because it really is time you learnt to swim. So far so good, although you are being your usual difficult self when it comes to after school activities. You really love the idea of going, but once we get home from school, you dig your roots in and don’t want to leave again, even if you know you will enjoy it. It’s completely frustrating, not to mention boring, having the same arguments over and over again.

8. You are way into Ninjago at the moment. As well as Ninja Turtles, and well pretty much anything ‘Ninja’. You are intensely interested in weapons like swords, nun chucks and stars. Most of the imaginary games you play involve fighting. I still struggle to be ok with it all, but the horse has well and truly bolted now so my energy is probably best spent worrying about other things. Like whether letting you do Tae Kwon Do would make you more or less likely to fight at school…

9. You had a special friend at school last term, a girl who is so much like you it’s not funny. You seemed to get along like a house on fire. We were lucky enough to be able to arrange a few play dates with her Mum, so you both got to visit each other’s houses, and I got to chat to her lovely Mum. However, it seems the relationship has turned a little sour of late, and you say she isn’t your friend any more. Apparently, she told you she doesn’t like you. I’m sad for you, although you appear to be fine about it. You tell me you have a new best friend, another girl in your class. We’ve had a few discussions about whether it’s fair to assign people as your ‘first’ best friend, or your ‘second’ best friend… I think you’re coming around! I hope you and your old friend are able to work it out, and that you find a way to be friends with lots of people, without anyone being upset. It’s tricky! I remember. Good luck, my big boy!

10. You are so very creative! Your drawings are just great – I particuarly love your pirates, complete with curly hat and scull-and-crossbones. You are also really clever with any type of Lego. You make things all out of your own head, like a dinosaur with claws, a tail and everything. You also make really cool things out of things from the recycling box. I just love how you can, in no time at all, make something out of almost nothing. You just get an idea, and off you go.

You still drive me crazy on a fairly regular basis, but I can see that you are growing up and becoming quite mature in lots of ways, too. And I can usually rely on you for a good laugh, when I need one! Keep on being you.

This is you being a velociraptor, in the jungle you artfully arranged out of palm branches.

This is you being a velociraptor, in the jungle you artfully arranged out of palm branches.

Oops, this post has been sitting in my draft pile, half-done, since Neave’s birthday in April.

There have been many distractions lately, since I have been working a lot more and busy with a lot of new things that have been going on.

Also, we’re kinda moving to Brisbane in 3 and a bit weeks!

Long story short, Tom has been offered a fantastic job up there and it was too good an opportunity to turn down. So right now, we are busy cleaning out our crap and getting ready for the big day. As well as working, studying, schooling, and you know, normal stuff.

So yeah, a quick catch-up post now, but then it might be a bit quiet around here until we are settled and have essential things like Internet again.


1. You have been taking yourself to the toilet quite reliably for a couple of months now. I’m not going to say anything about it to jinx myself (we had about 18 months worth of toilet training with Molly), but it is nice! It’s especially encouraging that you are staying dry overnight, too.

2. I love the way you skip happily around from place to place when you’re in a good mood. You often chatter and sing to yourself, too. And dance. So lovely to watch.

3. Your vocabulary is growing and you are finding new and interesting ways to express yourself. You love to chat on the phone, and will often ask whomever you are speaking to (usually Gran or Aunty Kate) if you can go to their house. Then you ask what they’re doing, and tell them what you’re doing. You are definitely the best three-year-old conversationalist I have met, although you can be a little difficult to understand at times, which is frustrating for everyone involved.

4. You are getting to be quite demanding, and it’s obvious that you’re used to getting your own way, because you hate it when you don’t. You hate it long and loudly. We’ve had to make a conscious effort to not give in to your charming and winning ways quite so much now, lest you become a bit of a brat in future. You are getting better acquainted with time out these days, too. Just another sign that you’re growing up.

5. I made the decision to cut out your day sleep a few months ago and we are all much happier for it. It was getting too hard to co-ordinate sleeps and school drop-offs and pick-ups, and then you were taking far too long to go to sleep at night. So now you and Molly have a ‘movie rest’ in the afternoon for an hour while I take some me time, or get other things done. You are often very tired by the time 5 O’clock comes around, though, and you sometimes fall asleep and miss dinner, but you’re adjusting.


6. More elements of your personality are starting to come through as you get older. You absolutely love our cat, Elle. Molly and Tiernan do, too, but neither if them are quite as doting as you are. You will happily lie with her and pat and kiss her for as long as she can tolerate your affections. It makes me happy to see our pets finally getting some of the attention they have been missing out on since you three kids landed in our house and pushed them out of it (sorry, Elle and Winston!)

7. When you dress up as a princess (which is often), you always put your tiara on the back of your head rather than the front! It doesn’t matter how often we show you Molly’s one, perched princessly on her regal brow, you always opt to slide yours on the other way, your orange curls looped among the glittering jewels and diamant├ęs. Like a modern princess, peeps.

8. Every morning we do major battle over which spoon you are going to use to eat your weet bix. You insist on the purple spoon, of which there is only one, so if it is in the dishwasher then bad luck, baby. However, we are likely to hear about it for the next 15 minutes when this happens. Your dad, in his wisdom, decided to buy a whole packet of new spoons, so we now have three for you to choose from. Great move, except now you have taken to eating with all three at once. Back to square one!

9. Each night when I tuck you in, we go through a rigorous routine of kisses. You point to a spot on your face and I have to kiss it. Then you point to the next spot, and so on. When you’ve had enough you say, “Go away now.” Such a delight.

10. You still come into our bed in the early hours of each morning. This is a divisive topic between your father and I. He wants you to stop because you interrupt his sleep with your tossing and turning. But I like your snuggles and feeling close to you. I know it won’t last forever. I guess we’ll wait and see how this one plays out…



1. You are generally a happy, bubbly kid. Pleasant to be around, cheerful and funny. However, over the last two weeks you have been very inclined towards tantrums, even over silly little things that normally wouldn’t bother you. I hope you’re just tired and that you will snap out of it soon.

2. You are now one of the ‘big girls’ at preschool and at dancing, and you are enjoying this different role for you. Having always had a big brother, you don’t get to be a ‘big kid’ very often. It’s nice seeing you getting this chance to shine a little and be a leader for your peers.

3. You still absolutely love dancing, so you’re really happy now that your classes have started up again. You had a concert last week at a local event, and you had a blast. So much so that someone in the crowd came and congratulated you afterwards for your enthusiasm and concentration: you had a big smile on your face and never took your eyes off your teacher the entire time!

4. I’m really fed up with your screaming. Playing, tantruming, crying, happy, sad, angry – any excuse will do for you to start screeching at the top of your lungs. It’s contagious, too. Neave and Tiernan are quick to join in once you start. It’s a wonder the neighbours haven’t put in a noise complaint.

5. You are making good progress with your speech therapy, even though I don’t make time to practice with you as often as I should. You enjoy the attention you get from the speech pathologist, and from me when we practice, so you are keen to try. Your program ends in another month or so. I really should get my act together before then.

6. You’re still not keen on playing soccer when we’re at your actual game, but you had a fantastic training session last week. You joined in with the exercises, dribbled the ball, kicked, passed and played a game at the end. You even scored a goal! So I am encouraged to persist with you and keep taking you to games. Hopefully you will realise soon that games aren’t much different from training.


7. You don’t seem to need your day sleep as much anymore. About two day sleeps a week seems to be enough to keep you going. I actually prefer it that way, because when we have to pick Tiernan up from school, it is very difficult to coordinate sleeps as well. If I try to get you down too early, you’re not tired and it doesn’t work anyway. But if I leave it too late, you don’t get enough sleep and when I wake you up to go, you are cranky and awful for the rest of the afternoon. Even when you don’t sleep, I still have to sort Neave out somehow, but it just seems easier when I only have to worry about one.

8. Now that Tiernan is off to school, for the first time I am thinking about what school will be like for you. It seemed silly to contemplate it before Tiernan had started, but now he has and I’m beginning to wonder. I think you will like it. I think you will be ready and confident. I think you will know some stuff already, because you are very interested in what Tiernan is doing, and you seem to be taking some of it in. I’m really excited for you. It’s still a while away, though, so I want to make this a good last year at home for you. I hope we will get time to do some fun things together this year, to show you you’re my big girl who is nearly ready for school.

9. Your asthma has recently started playing up again after we took you off the preventer, thinking you didn’t need it any more. Oops, better start you on it again.

10. You have escaped needing glasses yet again. At least, for the time being. This is a big relief, because the longer we can wait, the better, I think. I’m happy with the specialist’s decision to wait because he seems quite conscious of the balance between waiting too long that you struggle with letter recognition, and starting too early that its a big cost, not to mention a hassle to get you to wear them. I can’t say I like the guy much personally, but I think he has made the right decision. We’ll review it again later in the year.