My Muddy Pixie turned six last week, we had agreed that because it was her first year at school she could have a birthday party, because that’s what the Organiser had. We kept it small, just a few close friends, but the cake…oh my goodness the cake was definitely oversized for such a small gathering.
It’s that lovely time of year where we get out all the lolly decorations, our cupcake size patty pans, and get our decorating hats on for the big local show.
Once again my kids have excelled themselves in topping their cupcakes and arrowroot biscuits with as many lollies as they can, in what they interpret to be a face or an animal or some other interesting object. I absolutely love it! The hardest part is loading all the exhibits in the car and making sure they arrive in one piece. Today I actually had to lay down the back row of seats to make sure they would all fit sitting flat and not sliding around,
This year however we branched out into the unknown territory of ‘novelty object made of fruit and/or vegetable’ with some inspiration from the cousins, whose local show was last week, we were pretty proud of our dancing pumpkin legged man and our penguin.
We raced into town before the 9:30am entry cut off, paid our 50 cent entry fee for each entry and now we wait for the show day tomorrow! The whole town pretty much shuts down, as it’s a local public holiday, school, preschool, day care and most of the shops in the main street. The best bit is seeing the Muddy Kids find their entries and see what everyone else made or decorated, giving them inspiration for next year. Then to top it all off we get to watch fireworks to end the big day.
I recently read this article through a Facebook link. It is absolute gold. It talks about the 10 ways that marrying a farmer will change your life. I have tried many times to explain to my town and city friends why Muddy Hubby can’t make it to weddings or will pull out at the last minute, or why I can’t commit to travel dates until just before or the day of. This article sums it all up.
Our weekends for the Muddy Kids and I aren’t made up of Saturday morning sport or a play down the park, partly because I know I am the only one who would be doing the driving to and from town or other towns, but mostly because we live our farm life and every weekend for us is different and it is hard to commit. One weekend we might be shearing, the next heading north to have a go at cotton picking, or sowing or cleaning out dams or yabbying or just enjoying poking around our big open spaces, creating our new garden, establishing a veggie patch, cutting firewood or just hanging at home (if it’s raining).
Some days if I’m up early enough and get myself together I may get a chance to have things in order before walking out the door, but more often than not I feel like a terrible parent because we’ve had to drop everything and run out the door without doing the hair or sometimes even still in PJs with breakfast on our faces and plates left all over the kitchen because Muddy Hubby needs a hand with something. I have had to learn to let go of my hang ups about all of this, because weighed up against the excitement of going to work on the farm and being together as a family, neat hair will play second fiddle. We just have to go with the flow and brush all the knots out when we get in the shower at night!
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So I am just starting to try and get back into the swing of blogging. I’ll be honest it’s been bloody hard. I sit down, I go to write and something else comes up. It might be a child wanting something or my Muddy Hubby calling to ask me to help with something on the farm. I do not begrudge any of this, but it makes it hard for me to sit down in one sitting and write. Then there’s the photos, because I know I love a blog that has photos, you like to see a photo that goes with the writing, it helps make that connection for you. Often I start to write then stop, because I know I haven’t had time to download the photos and resize them and I don’t want to blog without them, as it feel somehow empty.
Enough with the excuses already, you’re probably screaming as you read this – Just Do It!. So to help me I am linking it all to bloglovin’, you can follow me with bloglovin’ and that might guilt me into ‘Just Doing It’ more often!
And because we know I don’t like to blog without a photo; here’s a photo of our Lupins after they’ve just broken through the topsoil. They are just gorgeous to see and I love watching them grow.
There’s apparently an old farm saying that says ‘There’s money in mud’, which makes sense because without it the ground would be too dry to sow any crops. In February things here were pretty dire, no decent rainfall in a very long time, feeding sheep, dams going dry and we were starting to clean them out. Then in a turn around of weather over the last couple of months we have had enough rain to sow our crop. We have so far planted Lupins, Canola, Faba Beans, and just this last week begun to sow our wheat.
We are definitely by no means out of the woods yet, but at least we have hope, enough to keep us going and smiling. The Lupins are even up and out of the ground, The kids love to go up the paddock and check where all the crops are up to. Which ones are going great guns, which ones might need to be resown or which ones already need spraying for weeds.
I absolutely love the fact that my kids are so interested and involved in the farm, they ride along in tractors and farm vehicles, help out in the shearing shed and the sheep yards. It warms my heart to know they are growing up out here and learning so much about our farming life while they do it.
Friday night my Muddy Organiser and Puzzler had their twilight swimming carnival, other than the overtired children it’s actually really great, lots of families, a sausage sizzle and lots of parent volunteers!
I had one of those moments though, you know the ones, where the lump rises in your throat and you think oh my goodness am I going to laugh or cry, you get so emotional it overwhelms you.
My Muddy Organiser hasn’t been the quickest to learn to swim, but she gives it a red hot go and that’s all we ask. Friday night she decided she wanted to swim in an across the pool race (the town pool is only 33m long anyway), I was amazed that she was going to give it a go. She lined up with the rest of the girls, jumped in, did a few strokes and then this look of sheer terror crossed her face, it was ‘holy crap I have to make it the whole way without touching the bottom’. Quite literally the lifeguard moved to stand right in front of her, seeing her panic, but I was so very. very proud, she gritted her teeth and she kept swimming. AND she made it! All the way across the pool, on her own without stopping or touching the bottom.
Yes, that was my lump in the throat for this week. These are the things people don’t tell you about before you have kids, those heart wrenching moments when you know they need to find strength inside themselves, but all you want to do is scoop them up and tell them they’re OK.
The thing about boys is that basically I have no idea about most things related to them, most obviously at the moment – the toilet training. With the girls I found it quite straightforward, they sit on the toilet, when they have an accident you clean them up, sit them on the toilet and let them know what they’re supposed to do when they go. For my Muddy boy though, it’s been a whole different kettle of fish, from standing on the grass, to sitting on the toilet, to standing on a step at the toilet, none of which have had any success!
The hardest part though has been the peer pressure from his sisters ‘Do you want to go?’, ‘shall we go to the toilet and try’, ‘do you want me to take you’, ‘can I get you some undies to wear?’ and on and on the questions and badgering come from them and in his efforts to please them he goes and has a try, but I think he’s even more confused than when we first started.
Our other challenge comes from him climbing on or over everything he can find, we found him swinging from the wool platform at the shearing shed the other day, with no idea of how he got there. While I love his independence and his amazing differences to his sisters, he continues to be a mystery to me in so many ways.
I am grateful for any advice on raising boys, particularly the toilet training, which is proving to limit our social outings!
A lot happens when you forget to blog. We have moved house, I’ve started my own business, my Muddy Pixie has started school and I feel like I am losing time as my kids are growing so quickly.
Oh yeah, I’ve also moved my blog, or rather my best friend moved my blog for me, as I am nowhere near tech savvy enough to do something like that!
I am hoping that I don’t forget to blog again for soooo long an interval, but you know life is very busy and sometimes it just happens that way.
This weekend we have just been doing bits of this and that, trying to put up a house yard fence, shift sheep down the highway so they’re ready to be crutched in the morning and staying as cool as we can in almost 40 degree temps. Yesterday that meant we headed down to the river (or what’s left of it) and went fishing in a small pool of water that’s left, using a net and hands Muddy Hubby managed to catch a few fish. It was good old fashioned fun and after some initial reluctance the Muddy Kids loved it, especially my Muddy Boy!
What have you been up to while we’ve been missing in action?
Muddy Pixie on her first day of school
Catching fish in the river
- Caught One!
Saturday was race day in the closest town to us, a big day once a year where people get together, not just for the horses, but for a social outing before the harvest build up kicks in. The Muddy Kids had never been to the races and it’s been a few years since Muddy Hubby and I had been, so we got all frocked up. This of course included the Muddy Girls wearing my complete set of fascinators to finish off their outfits.
Once there they could not be convinced to enter the children’s fashions on the field, despite being potential strong contenders with their headwear. Their sole focus was the horses, watching them run, watching them cool down and watching them be hosed down. For them it became all about the horses and the colours the jockey’s were wearing, as it should be really at the races.
We are not horse people, we don’t have any and I am convinced that every horse I go near has it in for me, to the point where I have been spat on and thrown off twice when riding them. Hence I stay away. The Muddy Kids however gravitated towards them, they even got to pat a winner while it was waiting for it’s hose down, now you can’t say that every day!
The last few weeks have been typically busy, I have come to realise that it’s just the way it’s going to be, there is always going to be something happening, a new challenge to keep us on our toes. Last week it was Muddy Hubby and the Chicken Pox, this week who knows.
To help make holidays a little less frantic and more about the kids I sat down with them all on Saturday morning and we made some lists of what they’d like to do these school holidays. The answers I got when I asked them what they’d like to do I found surprising. They were simple things, but things to do together as a family.
There were no major holiday activities like theme parks or zoos or movies. They included – Make Pizzas, Plant seeds, Water the Garden, Bake, Go Lamb Tailing, Ride our Bikes and Help tidy the house. It was a little bit of a wake up call to me that these kind of things have been let slide in my busyness and that these are what my kids value and enjoy and I need to make more time for.
The downside to writing a list is, that like me, they want to pack as much as they can into one day so they can cross them off their list. So….we’re all trying to slow down a little, pace ourselves over the holidays and savour the activities and time together rather than rushing. A nice reminder for me, to just hang out with my Muddy Kids.