Category Archives: Mother Angst

So many questions…..

When I was a teenager, say about 14-15 years old I was starting to become interested in boys, was busy listening to music, starting to get into musical theatre and hanging out at stage door and the furthest thing from my mind was how to make a quick buck.

This weekend my Mum and Dad’s house was robbed, they smashed a window, damaged two doors, pulled everything out of the wardrobes and drawers. Pulled things off shelves and threw them on the ground. They also stole some items, nothing massive, but enough to be a nuisance and they caused enough damage and mess to make the clean up a big effort.

The thing that bothers me about it though is that the police think it was most likely amateurs, kids at that. Their theory on this is that the things they stole were small, portable and easily sold for cash, a quick buck. To quote ‘if they were professionals, they would have cleaned out everything’.

So for my Mum and Dad’s sake it’s a good thing it was amateurs as it could have been a lot worse. I find it sad though that kids would break in to a house, make a massive mess and take what they could. What turns them to this? What makes them tick? Who raised them to have a values system where they feel they can do this? Are there older people guiding them, coaching them, fencing the things for them? Do they even think about who’s house their invading and whose privacy they’re violating by going through their things?

For me this robbery has raised lots of questions. Did teenagers back when I was one do this? Or has society changed and robbery is getting younger like most other things?

The hard thing though has been trying to explain it to the Muddy Kids, why someone would come into Nana and Grandpa’s house and take things that are theirs. Why someone would throw their clothes around and make a mess. Two things that I try to instill in my kids are that they don’t take or damage things that are someone else’s and to clean up any mess they make! Obviously the young robbers were raised under a different parenting system to mine.

Have you had to explain robbery or property damage to your kids? How did you explain it?

Scattered Thoughts

Chaos reigns supreme at the moment, there are swimming bags and towels and swimmers everywhere. There are half folded piles of washing spread around the house. The kitchen is overflowing with Christmas cooking, a variety of delightful things made for parties, catch ups and just because it’s Christmas. Containers of leftovers and ‘don’t touch until Christmas’ goodies.

No matter how hard I try my house looks like a tornado has gone through it. I am learning to let things slide a ‘little bit’ but do not function very well if they’re let slide for too long. Tonight I employed flat out bribery to get the toy room and lounge room tidy for the first time in a few weeks. The 3 Muddy Girls were rewarded with a square of Cadbury Mint Bubbly Chocolate for doing a superb job of tidying up!

I am feeling a little bit calmer. I know that the tidiness of my house should not affect my mood so much, but it does. I find it unsettling, the messier my house gets the more out of control I feel. I don’t mind so much the dust and the cleaning, as I do the best that time allows, as long as things are tidy I can find a balance. With school holidays starting in a couple of days and people coming in to look after my kids I have a pressing need for things to be in order!

Please tell me I am not alone in feeling like this! Do you need things tidy or a you a sparkling clean and tidy person? Any advice on how to let things slide a bit more???

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!

The thing about sheep….

There’s this thing I have about sheep, sometimes I love them and sometimes they drive me insane, especially when I waste over an hour chasing them round and round a paddock. Today was one of those days, a simple task shifting sheep from one paddock to another to ensure they have feed to eat turned into a frustrating, hair pulling task. The neighbour’s lambs had got into our paddock a few weeks ago and he was supposed to come and shift them out, unfortunately he hadn’t done it, which left me chasing cheeky rogue lambs round and round trying to get them in the yards. I’d get them altogether and they turn off and split into different groups and all head in different directions. So we’d start again and almost get them there and they’d take off again. I managed to exhaust a few of them and when they lay down I picked them up and put them on the back of the ute.
The others however remained elusive and we will need to go back with reinforcements to get them all in and sorted out with the neighbour. One little fellow though decided he was more human than lamb, and when I cornered him against the fence and jumped out of the ute to catch him, he circled round the ute and jumped in the open driver’s door. The Muddy Girls were in hysterics, they didn’t know whether to laugh or scream. I laughed and took a photo, because otherwise I think I would have cried and nobody would have believed me! I pulled him out and popped him on the back of the ute with strict instructions for him not to jump off and the Muddy Girls were beside themselves with excitement to tell everyone the story of the lamb that jumped in the ute, not to be forgotten any time soon.
Muddy Pixie is starting to open and shut gates and takes it very seriously.

Cheeky Rogue Lamb wanting a driving lesson.

The Volunteer Thing

When my Muddy Organiser started Preschool I was so excited, I put my hand up whenever I could to help, including joining the committee. I have really enjoyed being a part of the Committee, helping to shape the direction the preschool is heading and helping to nurture our young and enthusiastic new Director. I have continued to put my hand up as my Muddy Pixie started this year and will keep it going through the Muddy Puzzler and Muddy Bubby. I can’t help it, I am a ‘Helper’ by nature, when someone needs a hand I am keen to say Yes.

Then when my My Muddy Organiser started school this year I was equally excited and again put my hand up to help, Canteen Duty, Grandparents Day, Liturgy Morning Teas, Special Kinder Lunches, if work and the other 3 Muddy Kids allowed I was happy to help.

What has become obvious though, as the years go on, is that despite there being over 50 families at preschool and 125 families at the school, it is generally the same people volunteering. The same families lending a hand at working bees, or special events. The same Mums baking and working on stalls. I am constantly amazed by this.

Maybe it’s my Helper gene that can’t understand why people don’t want to help as much as I do. I can empathise with busy families or single parent families, but I have also seen single parents and extra busy families not hestitate to put their hand up too. So why is it that it’s the same people always helping?

Is it that they possess the helper gene too? Do others not even realise the amount of work it takes to run events or keep the school canteen going? Is it just me or is it the same everywhere? Is it a core group of families that continue to volunteer in your schools and preschools too? Am I being too harsh, should it just remain those core of volunteers and too many helpers would mean ‘too many cooks in the kitchen’? Or is it just one of those things to which there is no answer and I will be forever wondering?

Part and Parcel

Thursday night was the end of my working week and I was feeling exhausted, both physically and emotionally. I decided to take matters into my own hands and sent a call out to my close friends for them to join me the next afternoon for Friday afternoon drinks after the school bus pick up. It gave me an excuse to get in and clean my house, to catch up and recharge with my friends and have a few nice glasses of wine.

What I was not expecting was the 3 unwelcome visitors, that chose that inopportune time to come visiting. 3 brown snakes in varying size and shades of brown, but equally scary and all had me shaking in my boots, let alone worried for the safety of the 12 kids, 2 babies and 5 adults who’d responded to my drinks call! The Muddy Organiser had eagle eyes and spotted the first one, this one we dispatched out of the house yard with Oranges (they were the closest weapon), it took off for a pile of sticks, and even had a gnaw on one of the Oranges on the way.

Out next visitor was a little bit bigger, and came sliding across the veggie patch, under the swings and headed for the outdoor setting, we herded the kids inside and we sent this one on it’s way with an empty wine bottle, some bricks and a vehicle attempt to scare it. Just as we thought the scare was over, the final visitor popped into the house yard, he must have been the Daddy one because he was the biggest, he got the message and headed off to find a hole to camp up in.

I am by no means a snake wrangler, in fact I am as far from it as you can possibly get. They strike fear into my heart and almost make me wet my pants. I am continually reminded though that they are part and parcel of living where we live.

I have accepted them as part and parcel, I can generally cope with one snake visiting the house yard at a time, but 3 in a very short space of time scares the crap out of me and makes me on edge. You need eagle eyes and the Muddy Kids aren’t let out of my sight at the moment. Muddy Hubby has always said ‘They’re the most active in October’ as they’re coming out of hibernation and looking for some loving. I sure hope they’re satisfied soon and don’t feel the need to use my house yard as their meeting place for much longer!

Did I really sign up for this?

I will warn you in advance, this post is about Poo, read on if you like or walk away like I wished I could have at the time….

Most Days I love being a parent, no matter how hard the day is, I still feel so blessed to have 4 beautiful healthy children. The whinging the whining, the tantrums it’s all part of parenting. The messy house, the crumbs everywhere, the toilet training, it’s all good. Some days though there are things that make me stop and go ‘Did I really sign up for this?’.

I had one of those moments this week. In the midst of ‘Happy Hour’ me trying to cook dinner the Muddy Girls packing up all their hair elastics, ribbons and clips that they had spread all over the bathroom, and Muddy Bubby very proudly tottering around the house on his feet, up and walking, I heard a sentence I don’t want to hear again

Muddy Pixie: ‘Mum, He’s got Poo on his Cup’,
Me: ‘Sorry, say that again’

Out comes the Pixie with Muddy Bubby’s drink cup in hand ‘I said he got Poo on his cup’
I looked and yes sure enough it was half covered in Poo. As I was gagging I asked how it happened, ‘He put it in the toilet’ she said, ‘but why has it got Poo’ on it I asked. ‘Because I didn’t flush my poo’. There quite simply, she forgot to flush, something I thought I would have taught her as a parent and reinforced over and over again, but no, it is a parenting fail, one that won’t be happening again, I have repeated the phrase over and over to them since it happened ‘Remember to flush’.

We disinfected everyone and the toilet, we disinfected the cup, and ran it under hot, hot, water for ages, I then washed it, and then because I can never look at it in the same way again, I threw it out. Yes I felt wasteful, but at least I don’t have to look at it and gag every time I see it.

And still I think ‘Did I really sign up for this?’ Do you have those moments too? Please tell me I’m not alone in wondering if this was part of the deal of parenting?

On the Bright Side

In the effort to be a little less stressed and try and go with the flow a little more, I’ve had to let some things that I really love move to the wayside for a while, try and focus on the bright side of life and the everyday.

I’m really missing boot camp and my body is showing the changes with me not going, but on the plus side I am grateful for the chance to take my Muddy Organiser to Ballet and watch the joy it brings her, watch her confidence grow and her dancing definitely improve!.

I have been annoyed at having to travel to the big office for work this week but very grateful that I could tick off things on my to do list and move forward with some projects, at the same time as seeing some wonderful work people face to face, always better than the phone.

4 of my coffee mugs have been broken in the last week or so, plus 2 child locks on the cupboard doors as my Muddy Bubby finds his feet with walking and exploring, so while I will miss my lovely mugs I have something to put on my Christmas list and absolutely adore watching the look of excitement and pride on Muddy Bubby’s face as he gets more confident with walking.

I have zero freezer space left after packing away all my Pork, Ham and Bacon, but on the bright side we have been having beautiful roast Pork and I have finally managed to get sublime crackling!

I am struggling to get my head around living with a Vegetarian, who used to be a Vegan who has certain things she can eat and certain things she won’t, but am loving being able to expand my cooking repertoire and have an excuse to try new recipes.

The Ducks have moved out of the house yard and into the Duck Yard for day and the Chook Yard (foxproofed) at night, I worry every night when I hear funny noises that it’s the fox coming back to take them, I send Muddy Hubby out to check, and when he’s not here I traipse out myself ready to take on the fox. On the bright side our back step is no longer covered in Duck Poo and the Muddy Girls have been using the Duck’s box as a stage to sing and dance on.

Each day when I focus on the bright side it makes my day go a little better, makes me remember to be grateful and appreciate what I have. Linking up with Maxabella at Village Voices for 52 Weeks of Grateful. Take a moment to think about what you’re Grateful for, you won’t regret it!

Foxy Loxy

For almost 10 years we have had chooks here at home, they have lived quite happily in the chook yard. Before us there was gap with no chooks, but prior to that there was always chooks around when Muddy Hubby was growing up, and never was there cause for alarm. Until Saturday night.

My beautiful flock of chooks (and one Rooster) had a little visitor. Foxy Loxy came calling and on Sunday morning when we went to check on the chooks, there was only 1 chook left, much to my dismay, the Muddy Kids distress and Muddy Hubby’s frustration. One lonely Rhode Island White, the sole survivor. Until this morning.

Muddy Hubby went to check on his Fox Proofing efforts and found one lonely little Wyandotte wandering outside, unable to get back in. Somehow she had escaped Foxy Loxy, and she was quickly caught and placed back in the re-foxproofed chook yard. So now we have 2 chooks.

I am not expecting any more to miraculously reappear, I have been bringing the ducks back inside at night to ensure their safety, while we bait for foxes and ensure the safety of the yards. Fingers crossed Foxy Loxy won’t bother us again, at least for a little while, as we get over our shock and grieve the loss of our 1 Rooster and 6 Hens.

Sometimes living on a farm is hard on the emotions I can tell you!

I ate them and I liked it….

After all the trouble the pigs gave us I was a little sad to say goodbye to them. The morning we had to send them to the abattoir I was dressed and ready for work when Muddy Hubby said he needed a hand, so like any good wife I whacked on my farm boots and headed down to the yards. After almost an hour of trying to hunt them up the race and failing we had resorted to running them into the drenching race and Muddy Hubby lifting each one individually onto the crate on the back of the ute.
In my head this was a good idea, in reality it was a nightmare. I will never ever forget the blood-curdling squeal these pigs gave off as Muddy Hubby caught each one and slowly inch by inch lifted them up (we had been feeding them up well, so they were no light weights). I was useless (happy to admit it), I tried to get Leopard’s foot unstuck when it got stuck but each time he turned his head to me I’d squeal and pull my hand away, terrified of having him bite my hand off (you’ll remember I had nightmares about these pigs so that didn’t help the situation). Eventually they were safely ensconced on the back of the ute and the Muddy Kids came and said their goodbyes.
This week they’ve been returned to us……packaged in boxes! Well, the pork has been, the ham and bacon should be arriving by the end of the week. So what to do with this much pork landing in your kitchen……Roast Pork of course, followed with a serve of Sweet and Sour Pork Stir Fry (Recipe Below). I am cracking out the recipe books to diversify my pork cooking – any suggestions welcome!

500g Pork fillet chopped into bite-size pieces
3 teaspoons soy sauce
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons tomato sauce
1/3 cup vinegar
1 tablespoon cornflour
3 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 cup fresh pineapple, chopped (I used tinned)
1 red capsicum, chopped (I used green because that’s what was in the fridge)
1 large onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped

Place the pork in a non-metallic bowl, add soy sauce and toss through so all the pork pieces are coated, set aside.

In a medium saucepan over low to medium heat, whisk together the sugar, tomato sauce, vinegar and cornflour and allow to simmer.

Meanwhile bring a Wok or large non-stick frying pan to a high heat, then add 2 teaspoons of oil. Swirl the oil around so the bottom is coated. Toss the pineapple, capsicum and onion and stir-fry for about 4 mins until they begin to caramelise. Add the warm sauce and remove from the wok and set aside.

Add another teaspoon of oil to the wok and then the pork and cook until the pork is browned and just cooked through (about 8 mins).

Add the sauce and vegetables, allow to come to a simmer then remove from the heat and serve immediately with rice.

This is a recipe from Kidspot, and they know their stuff as this was a huge hit with the Muddy Kids, barely a spoonful left in their bowls.