Monday, 3 March 2014

Big Kids = Big Beds!

From this

Yup, I've done it. I dreaded it. I thought I'd missed the boat on it a little but hooray it's been fine.

First night at home 1 week old

My little secret? Do it before they begin to climb out of their cots. Then they don't even have that in their heads. If they've never climbed out of a cot, they're less likely to think to climb out of a bed.

                                                                About 8 weeks old

That's what I did with the big kids, that's what I've done with these 3 and I'll do it again for the next one.

First time alone in their cots - 10 weeks

Honestly, only the boys climbed out twice each, straight after doing it the first time, on different occasions. I told them to go back to sleep and helped them climb back into bed then when they got out the second time I gave them a little smack on the leg (yep - I'm a smacker) and said it was 'nigh nigh time' and that was that. Ailah has yet to climb out.

My other secret? A really, really solid night time routine. Dinner, bath, dry in the bathroom, walk up to the bedroom, lie down for a bottle, get dressed, walk back to the bathroom for teeth time, walk back to the bedroom for hair brushing then they climb into their beds. I feel that's a really big thing. Get them to take ownership about bed. Sure there are times that they don't do it when I tell them, so that's when I assist them to climb in but essentially they're putting themselves to bed. At 17.5 months.


The beds (which were their cots) have little rails on them that help them not to fall out. They still have. Isaac on the first night, Dylan on the third night and Ailah twice since. I put blankets on the floor so it was a cushioned fall. Both Isaac and Ailah woke up crying but were soon back to sleep when I gave them a cuddle, Dylan I found asleep on the floor in the morning. I heard nothing on the monitor that night. Hehehehehehe!


I don't let them play on the beds. They're only for sleeping, I also feel that this plays a huge factor in the change from cots to beds. The one day they didn't go down well I had a friend over who also bought her dog. The trio didn't know the dog was there and while we were having a cuppa Dylan and Isaac got down, opened the front sliding door in their room and went onto the front deck. Holy Dooley did they get a shock of their life when big Tess came bounding up to them! Needless to say there was a lot of screaming going on! After that they went down without any problems. Ailah has a new trick - lying in bed at night smiling and yelling at the top of her voice 'Muuuuuumeeeeeyyyy', even if I'm still in the room. It was cute and funny the first few times she did it. Now it happens every night and a lot during the day when she's walking around the house.


The same day we (thanks Anita!) converted their cots to beds we only gave them 1 day sleep. This has helped immensely as they were so tired by the time we put them down that they did nothing but sleep. By the time they're used to 1 sleep a day they'll know that it is sleep time and will just go down without any fuss.

That's the plan. So far, so good!

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Big Families

I've been writing this post in my head for a few months now. I hope it turns out the way I intended it to and gives you an insight into 'big' families and answers the big question - "Why?"

No, I don't need to explain my choice to anyone. But I know LOTS of people are curious why I chose to have another child (including my husband). But you see this is a relatively new concept to me. Ask anyone - I only ever wanted 3 children. (Just to clarify I'm going to say a big family is 5 or more children) Then when the trio came along it all changed. I really, really did not want to stop. People laughed me off originally but I think they then thought 'crap, is she serious?!' Yes I was.

I had to do some soul searching. I had to try to understand WHY I wanted another. Did I want that last 'normal' pregnancy? Or was I grieving the last home birth I did not get? Did I want the child - or just to be pregnant and give birth again? Did I want 6 children to raise until adult hood or was I in a trance like state imagining that this time, this one would stay a baby forever? The answer?
Yes. To all. If that makes sense.

So then I had to turn Dan around. I'll be honest, we didn't have a great Christmas holiday. Lots of bickering and crankiness at each other (it was the longest time we've spent with each other all year!) which left me feeling flat at the end of it and wondering how I could imagine bringing another baby into this family - then BANG - I found out I was pregnant. Basically we had not 'been careful' over the holidays. Which I was quite happy about as I'd told Dan when I was fertile. Yes, he knew! He still shakes his head and says 'how the hell did that happen?' I think it must have been the new hair do I had done that day before he came home - all part of my plan *insert evil laugh here* Thanks Sharna!

So anyway, here I am, 9 weeks pregnant with just 1 baby (Huge sigh of relief from Dan). And I'm happy. Really happy. The kids are so excited too. They want a girl to even things up. 3 of each sounds good hey?

But back to big families.

I honestly do not complain. I chose to have this many children. You don't hear me saying OMG I can't believe I have 5 kids and I have to do ______ and _______ and its all too hard. Nope. I just get on with it. I accepted that I have a large family that is getting larger and I move forward. I wish those around me could do this. I hear all the time - are you taking/bringing ALL 5 kids? Yes - I'm bringing all my children. Would it matter if there was 12? I'd still take them as they are MY children. My family. We do things as a family unit. The only time I count my children is when I'm doing a head count. I'm very good at counting to 3 and 5. What comes after 5?

I don't like to split up my kids. Yes there are times when it is needed, easier ect. But unless its vital, I don't. Most of the time what one does we all do. Like soccer. Like Pony Club. Like food shopping. Like going to the park. Of course it is so nice to have one on one time with them. And I like to think that I do that each day - just a little. Big things like birthdays I like to do something special with them individually. They're all used to it. Sometimes the big kids ask if I can do something with just them and I try to. But because they're used to having so many brothers and sisters then they're used to the crowd of children, the time it takes to do things, the gear we need ect.

Having a big family helps children in so many ways. They learn respect for each other and their property. They learn patience in so many areas - time, teaching a younger sibling. They learn how to 'teach' a younger sibling things which helps their problem solving skills. They learn empathy for each other. They learn that there is no such thing as selfishness in this house, but plenty of selflessness. They help out. All. The. Time. They're learning responsibility from this. In a big way. They learn how to include others from a young age but also how to withdraw and find a (semi) quiet space and have time out. They learn to play together - mostly. They learn compassion, love, manners, good and bad habits from older siblings, but one of the most important things is that they learn family.

All for one and one for all.

I've been asked before how can I possibly give 6 children all the love and attention that they need? Easy - I give them some and their siblings give them the rest. They don't know what it means to only have attention and love showered on just them all the time. So it's not something they miss. It's not something they look for - mostly. They're still little people who want love and attention and that's fine they get it - just in smaller amounts.

Now I'm not saying that families with one or two children are spoiled brats or anything, this is just about big families - my family.

Take last weekend for example. Amali had her very first Pony Club day on where a whole heap of kids go to the grounds and get riding instruction for the day. People were shocked that I was taking all 5 kids. Yes, I took all my children. The babies love horses (neigh-neighs) and Jordan doesn't mind them either and I knew there would be other young boys for him to play with. Plus he could help me with the babies. (Unfair? No, he's just used to it) We had a great day, Amali rode great all by herself for the first time at Pony Club and her pony was very well behaved. Jordan helped out, compared computer/phone games with the other boys and ate sausages. The babies loved watching all the horses and 2 out of 3 slept for 1.5 hours in the pram. And did I mention I drove the horse float up, doing 2 trips to get the other girls horses there too? Yep. It's not far and the bubs are happy in the car. No problem, they even slept on the way home for both trips.

Am I special for doing this? No. I just do it because it's Amali's thing (ok, and mine!) and she loves it. Jordan starts soccer this week and we'll all be going most of his practices and games. No problem, it's his thing and he loves it.

Financially, sure, it'll be hard at times but I make so much of our food from scratch and buy in bulk that I'm fairly sure I feed our family of 7 cheaper than a family of four. There will be hand me downs. But with the cost of clothes these day being almost the same as some OP shops, it's not all that expensive to clothe 6 kids. I cloth nappy. That will have probably saved us close to $100,000 for all 6 kids over their nappying life. Back to school will cost around $1000 a year I'm sure. We buy good quality shoes and bags and lunch boxes so they last the whole year. Christmas and birthdays will be expensive but we will also be teaching them that it's not always what you get, or how much things cost, but who you are with and how much fun you have.

And the best part - imagining them all here, on our property, with their partners, wives/husbands, children. Imagine that!

And anyway - look at Dans family! There were 8 (siblings and their families and mother) others missing! This is siblings, grandfather,  aunt/uncle, father, and one cousin and her family. We've got some catching up to do lol!

Sunday, 9 February 2014


Yep you read that correctly!! I've been asking for 6 months or so and he finally agreed!
Baby #6 is due mid-late September. 

Thursday, 9 January 2014

A Big Update - 16 Months

Ok people. Are you ready for a photo overload?
Sit down.
Strap in.
Because here we go......!!!

Amali's very first ballet concert, She was so excited and I was so proud.

Then the school holidays began. I made a 6 week calender, asked the kids what they wanted to do (within reason) and we planned it out, including birthdays, weddings, Christmas and when Daddy came home. Our first day out was to the local play center/cafe. This used to cost me around $40, including food. This time it cost me $90 because the trio are now over 1. Eeeeeeek! At least they had fun right?

Ball pits make for the best photos.



Family photo - kind of!

Then it was the BIG surprise. I wrote it on the calendar as CCBB. They had no idea. Until we drove into the Lyric Theatre parking area in Brisbane and they saw the signs advertising Chitty Chitty Bang Bang the stage show. Then they got even more excited!!! They love the movie and watch it often. 
We all loved getting dressed up too!

Man I'm a lucky mumma hey?

And then before we knew it - it was Christmas!

Playful Isaac
 Loopy Dylan

Miss Serious

Cute tush's!!

The big kids woke up first. Our tradition is that I put a present on the end of their beds that they can open straight away. Then they can come in and wake us up. They can open a few stocking (Santa) presents but not all until both parents are up, then they get to open the rest. Once all family members are up we sit and open the tree presents (from us). Santa only fills stockings in our house. This is to stop kids from asking for ridiculously big toys as Santa is so magical he can afford them......!

 The plastic wrapped pressies are the trio's bikes. I used Christmas tablecloths!

 They came running down the hall and just stopped dead! We hadn't been able to put any presents under the tree until Christmas Eve as they would have just ripped them all.

 Dylan loves to point!

 Sheer and utter bewilderment! 

 The cubby is a BIG hit. They love it. Especially when they run in there and hide from me!

Dancing in the kitchen to Amali's new 1D CD on her new Barbie CD player. Note the cute bags? They are insulated lunch backpacks that also come with a little leash! 
The things you buy when you have triplets......

 How good is this!!! Second take. Self timer on the camera. I put the singing Santa next to the camera and pressed his button. He did his song and rang his bell and flashed his lights. And they ALL looked! And Dan's eyes are open, which is always a bonus :)

For all my international followers - this is what an Aussie Christmas lunch looks like. Moreton Bay Bugs and Oysters on the BBQ. There was also prawns (no, not shrimp!), ham and yummy summer salads.
And some Vodka.




From left to right - Step Dad Kerry, Mum Dianne, Dan, Me, Step Mum Nilong, Dad Arjuna. It was only us for lunch but this lot came in later for dessert. Damn. I was planning on having 2 serves!

 Me and my girls x

 There was also plenty of swimming. I prefer the river, Dan prefers the beach.
 Love this shot of Jordan!

We also had the pleasure to have Dans sister and her family stay with us for a week after Christmas. It was rather crazy with 7 kids running around and 4 adults - including one who was 33 weeks pregnant! We sure did go through some food - especially fruit (Ange I swear your kids are little fruit bats!) but we had a great time. Mitch can't sit still for more than a minute so we used him for his fencing skills and tractor driving skills and repaid him in food and beer. Thanks buddy! Ange was the washing up queen (just a little obsessed with bubbles, a weird pregnancy thing apparently!)

Then we had a 1st Birthday to go to. Yo may remember my best friend who was at the trio's birth and was pregnant? Yup, her little girl Aria turned one. And Queensland turned up the thermometer for that day. Thankfully Taryn has a pool. But seriously - are they not the cutest??

Everyone say it together - awwwwwww!

What did you do for New Years? I was baking and icing a cake (not my finest) for my biggest boy Jordan who comes of age on the 1st of January each year. A big 7 this time!

He had chosen to go to the Noosa Aquatic Center and as it was on the calendar it had to be done. Good day to do it too, hot and sticky and barely anyone else was there (they obviously were NOT baking cakes the night before!) 

 'The Crew' This is how we roll. They had a blast!

 This kid had a great birthday

 I don't know if I ever showed it to you all, but Dan got a tattoo of the babies on his arm, in the positions they were in in my tummy. It is amazing and took 8 hours in one sitting. The only problem was that the had to turn it up the other way as it just didn't look right the 'correct' way.
So the top of Dan's shoulder is my cervix.
That's just weird.
But you get the picture!

 J for Jordan

 Cutting a cake is serious business you know.

Two days later we were off to the Gold Coast to stay for 3 nights and be at Dans brothers wedding. Amali was flower girl, a job she took very seriously but loved very much!

Of course, the rest of the tribe had to get dressed up too.

The Trama/O'Brien/Bovill/Smith/Allen side of the family! Only a few were missing which was a shame! Bloody pregnant women and army men!

The all important family shot. Too bad we were looking at different cameras. Ignore the watermelon soaked babies ok?

And then the outtake when we tried to get one of all of us looking at the camera. Gotta laugh (but I wasn't at the time!)

A nice shot of Dan and I. And my boobs. That's what happens when you borrow a dress but don't try it on. Oops.

Two days later we were back on the birthday train. Thankfully we came home to a beautiful, clean house thanks to Mum. Jordan's balloons came down and up Amali's went. My baby girl turned 5.
Off to big school this year!

Opening her presents in the morning she was ecstatic to see her ballet picture on a canvas for her room.

Pancakes for breakfast are a tradition in our house.

And of course, the cheapest present always wins out. $8 baby carrier from Kmart. She has barely taken it off!

I needed to get her school shoes and a few other things for her birthday party so we went shopping together. When I first told her she seemed bored - until I told her it was just her and I. Then she was a happy little chappy! We shopped then went for High Tea!

Excited much? She even had a tea.

And then home that night for cake. Again, not my finest. Miss Ailah is to blame for that! I'd baked the cake (an oversized cupcake) the night before but didn't want her to see it so I put it in the cooled oven. The next morning Ailah turned the grill on (must lock oven!) and a few minutes later what did I smell? Burnt cake. I had to get rid of the whole top section! Cheeky monkey!

And that's it.
A big few weeks!