Category Archives: Muddy Puzzler

Money in Mud

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.

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The Sharing Thing

We are on struggle street lately when it comes to sharing. Especially the Muddy Puzzler and the Muddy Baby Boy, they flat out do not like to share. It could be a drink cup, a bunch of grapes, a shovel in the garden, an elastic, anything, if one has it the other wants it, and they will do anything to either hold onto it or try and get it off the other.  No amount of negotiations will help, no amount of bribery or coercion, it’s just flat out no sharing.
It has worn pretty thin, the tantrums, the tears, the fights, that is one thing they are both happy to do together, cry. I can tolerate the odd tantrum but when the two of them are home together it goes for most of the day. We are managing at the moment by being outside as much as possible and sending them to opposite corners of the garden, but as Jack Frost has also started visiting the time outside is getting shorter so I am in search of new strategies to stop the carry-on.
Baking works as long as they both have identical utensils, books work provided they are both allowed to sit on a knee, and that is where I have run out of ideas…….If you have any tips to help them learn to share or keep them separated I am willing to give them a go!

Too Fast…..

My Muddy Puzzler is a little bit of an enigma, stronger in nature than her older two sisters and focused on whatever task she chooses to pursue, even if she knows it’s the wrong thing to do and it will turn my smile upside down, once she starts something she must finish in her eyes.
For me she is growing way too fast, she is three and a half going on thirty three, she is way more ahead in areas than her older sisters were at the same age, focused on practicing writing letters and copying them whenever she can, doing somersaults on the grass, riding a bike, all things that even now her older sisters sometimes struggle with.
I am in awe of her everyday, especially when she shows me something new she has learnt to do. I know she has her older sisters leading the way and she is desperate to be doing exactly what they’re doing but for me it’s all too much too quickly. I want her to slow down, I want to savour her being a 3 year old, tantrums and all.

The day they saw my bra

After all her initial bravado about catching the bus my Muddy Puzzler has turned all that on it’s head and it has become a battle to get her on the bus in the mornings. It’s not that she’s crying, it’s not that she doesn’t want to catch the bus. Her answer when I ask her why she’s upset is ‘I just want you’.
Yesterday was the worst day we’d had, I ended up climbing on the bus with her (those steps are big steps), sitting her down on the seat next to a little Kindergarten girl while I tried to peel her hands off me and she kept repeating ‘I just want you Mum, I just want you’. In the process she has pulled my top down and every kid on that bus copped a look at my bright purple bra (no, I kid you not, it was purple).
It breaks my heart, but the bus driver and the other kids on the bus tell me she stops ‘crying’ just after the door closes and she’s fine the rest of the trip, it’s just the actual getting on the bus that seems to be the hard bit. The bus drivers are wonderful and the preschool staff are always so good at getting her off the bus and onto it in the afternoons, I’m just not sure how we overcome the actual first bit of the bus trip. At the moment though I cry each time the bus drives off as I’m wracked with mother guilt. I know that if I start driving her in (which isn’t always possible) then it will be back to square one and even harder when she next has to do it, so for now I’m sticking to my guns and you can be sure I’ll be wearing high-necked tops from now on!

Grateful for the bus driver

I love the excitement of a first day, all that nervous anticipation, the barely contained nervous laugh as they try to contain both their anxiety and their excitement. We had three kids start school and preschool this week, and I am breathing a sigh of relief as we slowly return back to the normality of a routine (almost).

Amongst the return to normality was my Muddy Puzzler’s first day at preschool. We were dressed and organised early, I was going to take her in, but we pulled up at the bus stop for my Muddy Organiser and out she jumped backpack on ‘I’m catching the bus Mum’. Now of course I was incredibly apprehensive about this, incredibly. I talked her through it all, changing buses and where the bus would stop before it got to preschool, including the fact that once they stopped at my Muddy Organiser’s school, that she would be on the bus on her own and the bus driver would drive her straight to preschool where I would be waiting. ‘Yes Mum I’m going on the bus’ was her constant reply. On she jumped, not a problem in the world, happy as Larry until of course every other passenger got off the school bus, then the tears started and did not stop til she got off the bus at preschool where I was waiting.

So this week I am very grateful to the lovely bus drivers that drive my kids to school and safely home. To the bus driver who calmly talked to my Muddy Puzzler while she cried her little heart out. I am so very grateful that he has decided to change his bus route just for her and drop her off first before he does the other school drop offs so she won’t cry again on him! Yes he is that lovely and I am so very appreciative of his kindness and care for my kids.

And rest assured my Muddy Puzzler was quickly calmed down and off to do craft within minutes of arriving at preschool, confidently telling the staff that she’ll be catching the bus home!

What are you grateful for this week? Make sure you check out 52 Weeks of Grateful over at Village Voices where Maxabella hosts a lovely link up each week.

Lotions and Potions for my Scavenger

I’m starting to wonder if my Muddy Puzzler might become a bit of a Chemist, either that or a treasure hunter. Every time I turn my back she has snuck away another one of our creams, or soap or gels. Glue has also gone missing in action, as well as sunscreen or lipstick. It’s not only creams and gels though, nothing is exempt from my little scavenger, before we went to a BBQ on the weekend she snaffled the salad servers, they took me 15 minutes to find hidden under the spare bed, my iPad gets the same treatment, as does any bit of jewellery. The one that got me last week though was a box full of band aids and Muddy Hubby’s lunchbox which had his leftover afternoon tea in it. By the time I found her she had a full belly and both her and the lunch box were covered in band aids.
Nobody is able to escape her ministrations though, Muddy Pixie has been decorated in makeup and had her hair cut, Muddy Bubby has had his hair styled with sunscreen, and the pillows on my bed are often smeared with hair gel or deodorant. My phone is one of her favourite things to sneak away, she puts it on silent so she can watch videos of herself or play games and I follow the vibrations in the floor as I ring it, until I find it and her!
I am not worried, I know she’s bored, very bored, very ready for preschool next year and some outside stimulation. I make no excuses for the busy way things are at the moment, we will get there and she won’t forever be sneaking under beds with make-up and creams (I hope). Each time it happens though I am reminded to pack things away properly in either very high or lockable spots to help minimise the chance of it happening again!

New Family Members

My Muddy Puzzler only had one request for her 3rd Birthday – Ducks. Our first attempt at the Poultry Auction was a sad outcome, we came home with nothing. Now, however I’m quite pleased we came home with nothing, because I found 6 little ducklings to fulfill the request, and to top it off they’re my FAVOURITE type of ducks. They are Indian Runners, they can’t fly, so they can’t escape on me, they’re great for training your sheep dog (so Muddy Hubby is happy), and they are so good looking and friendly once you’ve got them used to you.
They had a long trip to make it home to our house, I picked them up and they attended their first baby shower, before spending the night in Nana’s shower recess, then a 6 hour drive home. They were very pleased to be put in their new home, have something to eat and a nice bath and drink, before the Muddy Kids started the cuddles!
They have kept the Muddy Kids entertained for hours, just sitting and watching, or sitting and holding. Muddy Bubby has tried to climb in with them a few times, or tried to pull down their light, but he’s getting used to them.
There’s one little duckling we’re keeping an eye on, she’s a little bit smaller than the others, the runt of the bunch. My Muddy Organiser has named her Sprinkles and yesterday she was being bullied a little bit, today the other ducklings are being a bit nicer, she’s getting something to eat and drink and seems to be growing and happier. There’s no doubt about it, they’re a very welcome addition to our Muddy Family.

Thank You Posie Patchwork!

A little while ago now I was lucky enough to win Posie Patchwork’s comp where the prize was Louise Fulton Keats latest Recipe/Story Book titled ‘The Best Ever Birthday’. I had been eyeing this off for a while so was VERY excited to be a prize winner. I promised Posie that the first recipe I would make would be the Butter Cake, and it’s taken me a while (thank you to the thermostat in the Oven going) but this week I did it! I used the Basic Butter Cake Recipe to make the cake for the Muddy Puzzler’s Birthday Cake. As promised by Posie, it was delicious, just like my Grandma used to make, all moist and buttery goodness.

It was the perfect cake to use for the Butterfly chosen by my Muddy Puzzler and by the reactions they loved it!

A Huge Thank You to Posie, the book is already a big hit, we read the story all the time and the Muddy Kids have picked out what’s next to make.

Overthinking with Cake

So I’ve been traveling along pretty well, almost in denial I think that the return to work is looming, blithely I have planned a birthday morning tea for my Muddy Puzzler, have made countless phone calls asking people to donate prizes for our Preschool Trivia Night, followed up leads on ducks for the Muddy Puzzler and rearranged the way our household works to accommodate going back to work. Suddenly though it’s the day before and I haven’t even ironed any work clothes!

I did think I was doing pretty well, then about a week ago I started waking up in the middle of the night and tossing and turning for hours and hours, until I can finally get out of bed and start the day without waking the entire house. I put it down to everything except work, then Muddy Hubby declares ‘it’s because you’re going back to work you know’. Of course he’s right, I get like this each time before I start back, that nervousness of ‘will I remember how everything works, what is the latest research on evidence based practice to make sure what I’m doing is right, will I have a desk to sit at and will I have a phone, what has changed since I’ve been on leave (12 months is a long time), how many e mails will be there waiting and what will they expect on the first day?’ All of this worry and anxiousness, and chances are I’ll walk in and not much has changed, but it still doesn’t stop the torrent of thoughts. Does this just happen to me or is it a common thing this over thinking and over analysing and worrying????

So tomorrow I head back into it all, and I’m hoping that once the first day is over I’ll be back to sleeping again at night! For today though I’ve distracted myself with the Muddy Puzzler’s Birthday Morning Tea. I baked up her requested cake, I invited friends over to exhaust them and now I have laid them all down for a rest in the hopes they will sleep and I can run around like a mad person making sure my house is in order to return to work! Because of course it makes all the difference in the world to my work day knowing my house is clean and tidy!

Poultry, Poultry and More Poultry

You would think that the trauma of the pigs and chickens would have put me off purchasing any more poultry pets for a while. Alas no, our Muddy Puzzler turns the big 3 this week and she has put in a request for Ducks. All she wants when you ask is ‘A little Ducky’.

So Sunday we headed off to the big Poultry Auction. It’s held on the first Sunday of the month and has all manner of poultry available, Chooks, Roosters (hundreds), Special breeds of Chooks, Ducks, Guinea Fowl and yesterday one great big Turkey. We walked the Muddy Puzzler around and she pointed out what she would like, including a pair of ducklings and alarmingly the Big Turkey.

Alas it was not to be, one pair of Ducks she liked went for over $200 and Muddy Hubby was the losing bidder on a few other pens, so we came home Duckless and Thank Goodness we also came home Turkeyless. It was a fun day out though, a definite eye opener as people raced to out bid each other on what they obviously thought were prize Chooks.

There’s a man on mystery at the auction each month, the rumor going around (which auction stalwarts were eager to share) was that this particular individual lives in a massive mansion in Sydney and earns a lot of money and each auction he puts on his daggiest clothes and buys up all the cheap roosters ($1-$2) and takes them back to Sydney. There is lots of speculation on what he does with them, including running rooster fights. My bet is on selling them at markets or pet stores, but the mystery still remains.

Now the hunt is on for ducks before the big birthday arrives!

Hanging Close by the Turkey!