28 February 2012

Chocaholic's dream


This was Saturday's family morning tea.

I'm glad we don't live closer to this place, or I'd be tempted to go much more often!

27 February 2012

Froggies

Remember the taddies?


Well, we were away overnight Saturday night and when we got home on Sunday, a few of them looked like this!



So, to avoid our new friends finding their way inside the house to try out their hopping, we decided it was time for them to move out of home.

We took a little family walk yesterday afternoon to a waterway near our place which often has frogs and tadpoles in it. Hubby, myself, MissyMoo1 (5), MissyMoo2 (2) and MissyMoo3 (5 months) all went along and even The Fat Cat followed us over there. MissyMoo1 and MissyMoo2 helped tip the nearly-froggies out of the buckets. One beat them to it and hopped out of the bucket into the water.

MissyMoo1 was a bit sad at first, but she had a great lesson in loving, caring and then letting go.

I have a feeling that searching for tadpoles might become a new family pastime!

26 February 2012

Pancake Tuesday

On Tuesday afternoon, in the car on the way home from school, I was talking to the MissyMoos about Ash Wednesday the next day. While doing so, I had a lightbulb moment and realised that it was Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Tuesday. MissyMoo1 (5) excitedly said that they had spoken that day in class about how people eat pancakes the day before Ash Wednesday.

Now I'm not usually keen to give myself an extra cooking project in the afternoons, as even preparing dinner can sometimes be too much. But I found myself getting caught up in the excitement and before I could stop myself, I offered to cook the MissyMoos pancakes for afternoon tea.


Pancake Batter Recipe
1 cup flour
1 cup milk
1 egg
I also added a dessert spoon of caster sugar and about a quarter of a cup of dessicated coconut, just to add a bit of flavour. It wasn't too bad.
Beat until it forms a batter.



 My attempt at pikelets - the MissyMoos thought they were the bees knees.





24 February 2012

Facebook

I just started a Facebook page for this blog called "Francesca Writes Here" (original huh?!). Anyway, if you like the blog, "like" the page on Facebook!

22 February 2012

Draw something that you like to do at school



MissyMoo1 (5) drew "going home".

21 February 2012

Tadpoles

Silly me thought that getting a cat would be the end of my children's critter-hunting...



After quite a lot of rain last week, a big pool of water appeared in front of our place, and Hubby, MissyMoo1 (5) and MissyMoo2 (2) founds heaps of "taddies". They collected them, with help from some kids down the street, and put them a little paddling pool.

Since this photo was taken, most of them have begun to grow legs. We might have to return them to the lake before they're able to hop into the house!

20 February 2012

Foot photo


This photo tells me so many things:

These three sisters are so little and cute.

My bigger girls have grown so much since they were babies.

These three sisters love each other so much.

These three sisters are similar in many ways, but they are each individuals.

17 February 2012

Milestone madness

The changes that have happened in the last couple of months have been insane. Really.

It seems like the MissyMoos have grown up so much in such a short space of time. And it's not just one of them reaching milestones, all of them have.

In the past couple of months:
  • MissyMoo1 (5) started school;
  • MissyMoo2 (2) moved into a big bed;
  • MissyMoo2 stopped using dummies;
  • MissyMoo2 stopped wearing nappies during the day;
  • MissyMoo2 has started being able to go up and down the stairs by herself without holding my hand (and without me having a heart attack worrying she might fall down the stairs);
  • MissyMoo3 (4 months) moved into a cot;
  • MissyMoo3  got out of her harness;
  • MissyMoo3 laughed for the first time;
  • MissyMoo3 rolled over;
  • MissyMoo3 started solids.
I used to get nostalgic when MissyMoo2 was a baby and reached new milestones. My excitement was tinged with a little sadness in the knowledge that she was growing up. Not any more.

Now I'm happy to see each of them growing bit by bit and achieving new milestones in their lives. As each day goes by, my life becomes incrementally easier. I know every age has its challenges and things will be far from plain sailing in future. But crazy, newborn-with-two-other-small-children stage is over and the light at the end of the baby-stage tunnel grows slowly brighter.

Instead of lamenting the passing of time, I am now comfortably conscious that no stage in life lasts forever, so I am enjoying the good bits while they last and rejoicing waving goodbye to the bad bits once they've passed us by.

Kidspeak gems: MissyMoo2

Below is a conversation which took place between Miss yMoo2 (2) and I yesterday afternoon:

L: What we having for tea tonight?
F: Chicken.
L: And what else?
F: Vegies
L: With bacon?
F: No, darling.
L: Oh ... (pause) ... sauce?
F: Yes.
L: Tomato sauce?
F: Sort of, yes.
L: Sauce with bacon?
F: No.
L: Oh... (long pause) ... I like sauce ...(pause) ... with bacon.

16 February 2012

MissyMoo2 is toilet trained (daytime)!!!

I've been close to calling it for a week now, but a couple of little accidents made me cautious. Now, after the events of this morning, I'm calling it! MissyMoo2 (2) is toilet trained in the daytime.

This morning, after dropping MissyMoo1 (5) off at school, MissyMoo2, MissyMoo3 (4 months) and I went to the shops to run a few errands. While we were at the post office, MissyMoo2 told me that she needed to go to the toilet. I had just started writing an address on a postage bag which I hadn't yet paid for so I asked her whether she could hold it or if she needed to go right now. She said that she could wait, and I believed her as I had made her go just before we left to drop MissyMoo1 off at school.

We quickly did what we had to do at the post office and then we made a run for the toilets. I'm not a huge user of public facilities - they're usually disgusting and I prefer not to visit them if I can avoid it. But when MissyMoo1 was in the process of losing the nappies, I made sure I knew where the nearest loo was in case of an emergency. That knowledge came in handy this morning!

We must have been a sight. I walked briskly with MissyMoo3 in the Baby Bjorn (I had forgotten to put the pram back in the car after doing the grocery shopping the other day), holding MissyMoo2's hand and MissyMoo2 was running, happily chatting away as she went. When we got to the loo, everything went very smoothly with no mishaps of any kind, thank goodness!

To celebrate, MissyMoo2 chose a finger bun with pink icing from the bakery. She was proud as punch. And so am I!

14 February 2012

Thumbs up!

MissyMoo2 (2) was very tired tonight and asked for her dummy for the first time in about a week. Of course, the dummies are long gone.

So I was reading the MissyMoos a bedtime story tonight. We were all sitting/lying on MissyMoo1's (5) bed: all three MissyMoos and I. I looked up while turning a page to see all three of them sucking their thumbs!

I wish I'd had the camera with me :-)

12 February 2012

Hippy thoughts - MissyMoo2's next turn is coming up

As you know, MissyMoo3's (4 months) hip issues have been dealt with (subject to any regression being detected in six months' time). But, I just realised that MissyMoo2 (2) is due for her next hip check-up in two and a half weeks. I'm getting nervous just thinking about it. I really hope that her hips have improved in the past six months and that the doctor says she doesn't need surgery. That would be the best outcome, the best news we could have.

Prayers please! And if you're not that way inclined, send some good vibes our way instead!

Sticky business

One of my newly discovered joys of being a school mum is the task of covering books.

MissyMoo1 (5) brought home seven books on Friday afternoon accompanied by instructions that they should be covered in clear contact by Monday morning if possible. I, having witnessed the pain of mums with older children who had already been through this, was prepared. I already had a fat roll of the clear sticky stuff at the ready, waiting for my turn.

Yesterday was the day. I'll admit that I approached the task with trepidation. The last time I had covered books in contact was when I was in high school and did my own books. I remembered it being a bit hit and miss, but that there were techniques to help make things a little more hit and a little less miss. Unfortunately, I could not recall what those techniques were.

The first two books were pretty ordinary. There were air bubbles - the horrible type that end up as lines. And the thing about using clear contact is that you can't rip it off and try again or you end up taking half the book cover with you. (No, I did not try this - it was something I had managed to remember from my teen covering days).  Unfortunately, I couldn't really get on a roll either because, as with all tasks I do these days, the book covering was done in spare moments when one child, or another, or another, was not demanding my attention. I kept apologising to MissyMoo1 that some of the books were a bit funny. Thankfully, she was in one of her angelic moods, telling that it was fine and thanking me for covering them for her (what a sweetheart!). By the sixth and seventh books, I had it figured out. Let's hope it all comes back to me this time next year.

11 February 2012

Kidspeak gems: MissyMoo2

The other day, after dropping MissyMoo1 (5) off at school, MissyMoo2 (2) was in the backyard with me while I was hanging out the washing. Puss was sitting quietly near my feet. MissyMoo2 was pulling on a baby wrap which I had just hung on the washing line, which led to the following exchange:

MM2: I Dothy cos I've got the sheet.
F: Which Dorothy are you? Are you Dorothy the Dinosaur?
MM2: No (through her cheeky grin).
F: Are you Dorothy the goldfish?
MM2: No (so cutely).
F: Are you Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz?
MM2: Yes.
F: You know, Dorothy has a dog called Toto.
MM2: I Dothy from Wizard of Oz and Fat Cat can be Toto!

Kidspeak gems

Realising how great this blog is for helping me remember things down the track, I've decided to use it to record funny things the little ones say.

I have a few things jotted down on a piece of paper for MissyMoo1 (5) when she was younger and, more recently, for MissyMoo2 (2). Now I just have to find those pieces of paper...

Una bella chiacchierata

The title means "a nice chat". I think that's how to spell it. (I love how it sounds - kya-kye-ra-ta - sounds "chatty").

Anyway, this post is about a lovely chat I had this morning.

I try to call my great-aunt in Sicily from time to time. But with the time zone difference and busy family life, finding an opportunity, when I'm also with it enough to converse in a different language, has been difficult over the past couple of months.

This morning, with nowhere to be and no timetable to adhere to, I realised at 7am that it was a decent time (9pm) to call Italy. So I did.

I found Zia P at home and we had a lovely chat. I told her all about the MissyMoos and what they were up to. She told me about all the cousins and their kids and we just had a nice, easy chat. I think my Italian has improved slightly since practising a little with Nonna when we spend time together. The great thing about chatting with Zia P is that even with my sometimes dodgy grammar and missing bits of vocabulary (my "Swiss cheese" Italian!), she knows what I'm on about, and I can understand everything she says.

It put a smile on my dial first thing in the morning!

09 February 2012

Reading myself to sleep




MissyMoo2 (2) loves it when we read to her. She's always grabbing a book from the bookshelf and climbing on the couch next to me or Hubby, wanting us to read to her.

Today while MissyMoo1 (5) was at school, I was sitting on the couch feeding MissyMoo3 (4 months). MissyMoo2 appeared with The Little Mermaid, curled up next to me on the couch and asked me to read to her. Now this version of the story, while in a small book, is a little wordy and takes a little longer to read than your average little kids' story. But, MissyMoo2 is really enjoying her time at home with mum while her big sister is at school, so I didn't want to send her away to go and get a different book.

I read to her. When I got to around three quarters of the way through, my eyes started drooping. I could hear my words slurring as I read out loud to MissyMoo2. I fought the urge to close my eyes. I surprised myself really, I'm not much of a napper during the day, so when I feel the need to sleep during the day, I know that I must be really tired.

I ended the story with relief. I suggested to MissyMoo2 that she go and get a puzzle, then gave in to the weight of my eyelids. MissyMoo3 and I had a little cosy snooze on the couch and woke up just in time to see a couple of finished puzzles!

08 February 2012

Big school girl!

MissyMoo1 (5) started big school on Monday! After months of enrolment, orientation and preparation, the day had finally arrived.

We had a very quiet weekend in the lead-up to Monday, not wanting to tire MissyMoo1 out too much when she would be facing a long week of school ahead. She had been invited to a friend's birthday party on the Sunday afternoon but Hubby and I decided to keep her home so she wouldn't be too tired for Monday. So on the Sunday afternoon, after her nap (can you believe it, she actually napped!), partly to make up for not letting her go to the party and partly just because, MissyMoo1 and I had some special one-on-one time together. We packed her bag - it was so nice sitting together crossed-legged on her bedroom floor chatting and putting items in her schoolbag. We did some big girl craft too (in between my running between the other kidlets), much to the indignation of MissyMoo2 (2) who just had to be a part of what we were doing!

Monday morning, I had everything planned to get us all ready and out of the house on time, leaving a buffer of time for any nappy or feeding emergencies. I was so prepared, in fact, that we were all ready by 7:30am and for the next 45 minutes all I heard was: "Is it time to go to school yet?", as MissyMoo1's excitement grew with every passing second! At least it left plenty of time for photos...





Hubby, the MissyMoos and I all went to school for MissyMoo1's special morning. She wasn't nervous at all, just so excited. I had a niggling worry that the excitement might get too much for her and she might get overwhelmed and upset, but she just blew me away with the way she handled herself (actually, she has done that in a few situations lately). We took a few photos and then MissyMoo1's buddy found her and took her for a walk around the playground.

When the school bell rang, we all assembled in a shady area, and the kindy kids sat with their parents. Thankfully, Gina hung around too and took MissyMoo3 (4 months) for a little walk when she started to get restless so I could stay with MissyMoo1 (Hubby had had to go back to work at this stage). The kindies were matched up with their buddies in front of where the parents were sitting, first one class and then the next. MissyMoo1 was in the first class called. As her classmates' names were being called out before hers, I could see her looking calm, but a bit serious. I squeezed her hand and she looked up and me and smiled. Once the whole class had gone up the front, the buddies held their little hands and led them off to their classroom. MissyMoo1 was beaming. She gave me a big wave and off she went.

I had numerous comments from people saying how well I was doing not crying at my first child going off on her first day of school. But I wasn't sad at all. I was excited! A whole new world opened up for her that day: new friends to make, so many exciting things to learn and do, and new experiences to have. And with MissyMoo1 being so happy to be there, how could I be teary?!  

04 February 2012

Dummy-free?

MissyMoo2 (2) loves her dummies, always has. Her sisters both ditched the dummies for their digits early on, but not MissyMoo2.

When she turned two, we made a concerted effort to keep dummies for bed time only, rather than any time of day. But we didn't take them away completely, because with a new baby on the way, we thought she would need her comforter.

Yesterday the big MissyMoos went to the dentist. The result was that the dummies must go, dentists orders. MissyMoo2's teeth are fine, but the dummies are starting to affect them, so it's best to say bye bye to them now.

MissyMoo2 has asked for her dummies a few times, but hasn't been inconsolable without them - so far so good. She even managed to get to sleep last night, dummiless. Let's see what tonight brings!

03 February 2012

MissyMoo3's first solids

MissyMoo3 tried "solids" for the first time yesterday. I say "solids" because the consistency is minutely less watery than water itself.

I'm not sure what the current recommended age for commencing solids is, and I don't really care. When MissyMoo1 (5) was a baby, it was strictly not before six months of age. But at four and a half months of age we had a baby who wasn't putting on a lot of weight, was waking and feeding constantly and was eyeing off my food at dinner-time. So, my practical baby health nurse suggested starting on solids even though all the books said I shouldn't.

When MissyMoo2 (2) was a baby, "they" recommended solids be introduced between the ages of four and six months. This seemed much more practical to me, considering all babies are different and a flick of a "needing solids" switch does not suddenly occur at the age of six months. Particularly as food is rarely injested in the first few attempts anyway - it takes a while for baby to get used to the texture and different swallowing action required to consume something other than milk from a teat. Miss L exhibited much the same behaviour at the same age as her older sister, and solids were promptly introduced.

Last week at her weigh-in with the baby nurse right on four months of age, the nurse asked me if I was thinking about starting MissyMoo3 on solids. To be honest, it caught me by surprise. I mean I knew how old she was, but still thinking of her as "the baby", I thought I would have longer before the food phase started. However, upon reflection, I realised that it was nearly time. She had gone from just about sleeping through the night to waking every three hours for feeds as well as feeding every two to three hours during the day. She had begun to show an interest in whatever it was that we were doing sitting up at the table in the evenings. I waited a little longer, being lazy, knowing that introducing solids would bring with it a whole lot more work than exclusively breastfeeding: steralising water to mix with rice cereal, cooking and puréeing food, being prepared with food for outings. I waited a little longer, thinking that maybe nights might start getting better on their own.

They didn't.

After a week of next to no sleep, I knew it was time. So yesterday, MissyMoo3 had her first taste of rice cereal. She didn't hate it. I think she even ate some. And the big MissyMoos had a great time taking it in turns to feed her. I hardly got a look in. It might be more work, but I've got some great helpers on hand. My little baby is growing up, but to be honest, I'm quite happy about it. I love my kids and I would do anything for them, but after three of them, I'd begun losing patience with the newborn stage. Bring on the milestones I say!


01 February 2012

New toy

I got a new toy yesterday!

A smartphone. No more "borrowing" Hubby's iphone. I now have my very own super dooper new phone!

If I sound a little excited, it's because I am! It is the first time in four and a half years that I have had a new phone. It's very nice and I am enjoying playing with it. I feel like a grown up again - no more worrying about running out of credit on my old prepaid phone. The only problem is that it might be a hindrance to my ability to keep my new year's resolution to resist addictive technology!
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