Teaching Our Children to Remember

Our family has just returned home from attending a local ANZAC Day service.

For my readers outside Australia, ANZAC Day is an Australian and New Zealand public holiday. It is a day of remembrance for those who have fought and died for our country, and especially remembering those who fought at Gallipoli in 1915. At dawn on the 25th of April, 1915, boats carrying young Australian and New Zealand soldiers approached the rocky shores and cliffs of Gallipoli. There was an intense battle while the men clambered from boats as the Turkish soldiers fired from the clifftops. Many men died before their feet even hit the water. Those who did make it to shore had to negotiate their way up the rugged terrain under heavy artillery and fighting. The casualities were high, but it is thought that the campaign at Gallipoli signified when our young nation reached adulthood.

So today is a solemn holiday as we remember not only Gallipoli, but all the brave men and women who have fought for our country and its freedom.

This morning Alex went to the dawn service with Trent. Unfortunately Jonty had gone to watch Daddy play futsal (indoor soccer) last night and was absolutely zonked. It was impossible for Alex to wake him. There will be other years though, as there are always services at dawn at war memorials throughout the country because it was at dawn when the Gallipoli campaign began.

Later in the morning there was another 10am service so as a family we all walked and rode bikes up for this commemoration. Our children are still young, but Alex and I still consider it worthwhile to participate in these services when possible. In time, they will grow in understanding of the history and knowledge of the consequences of war. For now, we encourage them to be respectful of soldiers and to know that there were many brave men and women who died so we could have a free country. We explain things in very simplistic terms. We whisper why the flag is at half mast, why the soldiers standing at attention, instruct boys to remove their hats during the national anthem. Although it is difficult, we encourage them to stay as still as possible throughout the service. It is important for them to learn there are times which require us to show respectful behaviour.

Because we were up the back, I found it alarming the amount of parents who let their children run around, rolling down the grassy banks and making a great deal of noise. I know it’s very hard to keep very young children still for long periods of time, and sometimes it just doesn’t happen, despite your best efforts. In those instances, I think parents should be applauded for at least making the effort to come. But letting children, especially those over the age of three run around with no mindfulness of the ceremony that is taking place, I feel is showing great disrespect. Mothers yelling at the kids in the middle of ceremonies or worse still, lighting a ciggy in the middle of the national anthem and having a smoke are not teaching or demonstrating to their children how to honour the dead and the sacrifice that has been made.

At one point, there was a group of children take leave of their parents and start to commando crawl up the grass banks. (At least their play was an indication of them being aware of the occassion!) It didn’t take long before the father realised his kids were on a mission and he re-directed them, as quietly as possible back to stand with the family. I think this show good parenting, recognising that kids will be kids, but quietly and firmly insisting on appropriate behaviour. I just wish a few more parents surrounding us had the same control over their children.

I think for the most part Australian are teaching our young to be mindful and remember those who have gone before us. Record numbers turn out to celebrate ANZAC Day every year, young and old. For the most part children stand with their parents, little fists clasping flags or little ones with tired eyes and heads nestled into a parents shoulder. For most Australian families, we will keep their legacy alive, we will not forget.

Our family at the ANZAC ceremony.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.

How does your family remember on ANZAC Day?


Continue Reading

A One Day Triplet Babysitting Gig

It was my sister’s birthday on Saturday. To celebrate went to Dreamworld, a theme park two hours away on the Gold Coast. We decided against bringing the triplets, and my mother-in-law kindly agreed to babysit them for the day. She decided to come around to our house to do this since all their stuff is here, she thought it would be easier. Because this was her first solo triplet babysitting gig, (although her husband did arrive later in the afternoon to help. Vital really, it makes it so much easier if there is a 2nd person around in the late afternoon.), I typed out some of their routine for her. After it was all done, I thought I’d share it with you, (plus photos!), since I thought it gave a good little glimpse of my days with the triplets. (Minus all the household chores and the three year old entertaining.)

The Triplet’s Routine
February, 2013

5:30Wake Up and play in cots.

6:00-6:30ishTake out of cots, change nappies.

6:30ishBreakfast. 4 Weet Bix soaked in milk. Drink Water. They (normally the boys) can get teary (as in possibly screaming!) and temperamental about eating breakfast sometimes. Normally they will come good with a bit of coaxing. 

After Breakfast until around 9:00Get dressed. Play. I put them to bed when they are grizzling or at 9:30 will normally be the latest I’ll let them stay up until. They normally play with their toys and with the big boys. They also like saying hello to Bronco in the morning. 

At the moment they like sitting on the dining room chairs. I will often give them an empty bowl or cup and a plastic spoon and they like stirring them as they sit there. They will climb onto the table and crawl all over it, sit on it and stand and walk on it! I just keep lifting them down and saying “No” very sternly to them. If you push all the chairs in under the table so they can’t climb onto the chairs they will most likely go under the table and get stuck on a chair underneath it. (Just so you know!) Oh, and they will probably dirty their nappies during the playtime. You’ll smell it. The boys might dirty them more than once.

9:00-10:30/11:00Morning Nap! Put them into bed with their bottles. 125ml. Toby and Jayden having soymilk, Immy: cows milk. If they are mucking around, after 15mins-30mins, go in and check. They have a habit of doing poos instead of sleeping. After their nappies are changed and dummies back in (They will chuck them around the room or under the bed) they will normally settle down.
Relax! Eat chocolate. It will help for the rest of the day. (Ha ha!)

11:00-12:00Playtime. They will still probably be obsessed with the table. I’ve been giving them little games to do at it. They love sorting things into muffin tins. Watch for when they start to get bored to take the things of them otherwise they will start pegging it all around the room. (Normally I’m not quick enough and they start throwing things!) 

They have also been having little scribbles in their scrapbooks and have just started putting stickers in. They will try to eat the pens, so I’m trying to teach them to keep it out of their mouths. It’s easier for only one to draw at a time, because that will require the most supervision. They will prefer to take the lids on and off the pens more than actually drawing. If it’s easier, pack them into the pram and take them for a walk. Bronco will want to come too. Only take him if you want to. 

 12:00 – Lunchtime. In their highchairs. I make three sandwiches with different spreads on, cut them up and feed them only two pieces at a time. Trying to encourage them not to throw their food. After their sandwich, they will normally have some cut up fruit. There is plenty in the fridge. (plums, peaches, nectarines, apples, pears and their favourite: grapes, they eat the grapes whole, just pulled off the stem.)

After lunch until somewhere in between 1:00-2:30, (depending on when they woke up in the morning.) Playtime. 
Same as before. Because the big boys aren’t in the playroom, they will enjoy going into there. They might like the Duplo. Help yourself to any toys in the toybox or baskets. You’ll need to watch out though. If you leave the room at all, keep an ear out because they will instantly try to pull all the books out of the bookshelf.

1:30-3:30 (Typically?) Afternoon Nap. Probably best putting them in the three separate port-a-cots because they have been mucking around a lot and not settling lately in the afternoons when they are together. 125ml just like before.

3:30-4:00(ish) They will wake up. They can have a snack. More fruit and/or biscuits or cereal bites (on stove top)
Playing Outside. – Suncream is on the kitchen bench. Hats hanging in the garage. Feel free to walk to the park if you’d prefer. You’ll need to put the dog water up. They will make a beeline for it. Just put it back down for Bronco after they go inside if you remember please.

5:15(ish), or when they start getting grumpy. Dinner. Chicken and mushroom Pasta. In the square Tupperware container. Heat it up, but they won’t have it very hot. Put it in bowls with a spoon. Shouldn’t be any trouble, they love it.

5:30Bathtime. You can go two ways. Either bath them individually. Maybe give the two who are waiting their turn some fruit in their high chairs if they have already finished eating. Or if you are feeling game, bathe all three at once. When they are finished, either dry them and release them out into the wild naked and when you are finished drying the last one, hunt them down and put nappies on. (They love a good streak.) Or you could be more civilised and bring nappies into the bathroom and lay them on the floor and change them each as you get them out. I’m starting to put them in long sleeves overnight again because it’s getting cooler in the early hours.

6:00 Bedtime. Although if they aren’t all ultra tired, I’ve been staggering them so they don’t muck around. (They will probably poo again if they are all together.) You could put them in the three separate cots again, they might settle better. Up to you. If they aren’t settling down if they are all in the bedroom, feel free to take him/her out and put in isolation!

And that’s it. As you can expect my mother-in-law looked pretty exhausted when we got home. I think she kept the triplets very busy and content though. The next day they were wiped out! It was obvious they had a great day with Nanny.

Next it’s my Mums turn at the end of the month! Alex and I are escaping for two nights. We promised ourselves a little break once the babies were weaned and man, are we ever looking forward to sleeping in! (Hope we can!)

We had a lovely time in the Dreamworld by the way. I think the big boys loved having undivided attention for the day. Jonty went on his first big kids roller coaster, although he by far preferred the ball pit that was complete with ball shooters. Trent’s favourite was the rapid ride and the log ride. He loved getting wet! We so appreciated the opportunity to do this. Thanks R!

Our group, except for the birthday girl who is actually taking the photo!
So, what do you think? Would you like to volunteer a days babysitting service for me? How brave do you think my mother-in-law is? Have you had any ‘escapes’ recently with reduced children or no kids?

Today I’m linking up with Essentially Jess

Continue Reading

Introducing My Family.

Hi there! I’m loving the new look on my blog, are you? The amazing Miss Rachael has given Caitlin’s Happy Heart a facelift, which is very much appreciated because it has been frustrating me that it hasn’t been quite looking completely like me, but I’m too time poor and technologically challenged to do anything about it! Anyway, let me know what you like about it, or even feel free to give constructive criticism if you are feeling brave and see an area that could be improved. And if you are really enthusiastic, feel free to put my new shiny button on your page as one of your blog friends!

With the new blog look, I thought this would be a nice time to do something that The Accountant and I have discussed. That is to start using the children’s real names in this blog. We love our children’s names and would prefer to use them. Plus the little boys names were given when they were so young, they didn’t quite seem right as time has went by. Also, we want people we know to think of and use our children’s actual names, not their blog pseudo names. Another thing, that many of you noticed, is that I often slipped up and would mention a child’s name from time to time because it just wasn’t natural to use the pseudo names.

So, may I introduce you to my five wonderful children?

My six year old firstborn child. I called him J Boy on the blog because we often call him Jonty Boy. Full of energy and life. Jonty has a very strong will which makes him a very driven and determined person. I’m proud of him for being extremely polite and for his excellent conversational skills. He is really a delight to chat to!  His preferred time to have in depth conversations is at bed time.

My three year old big boy. I called him T-Star on the blog because we call him Trentster. When he smiles, it’s like a burst of sunshine. Trent is our early bird, often appearing at our bedside at ungodly hours, annoying us by repeatedly telling us “It’s wake up time now. It’s morning. Wake up. It’s wake up time.” (Repeat x50) Trent loves being around people and is a very enthusiastic friend to have. Especially if it involves roaring loudly.
The oldest one year old in our family. (By a matter of seconds.) I called him Joey on the blog after a Joey kangaroo. Toby, the blue triplet, is a little go-getter. Very active, the other two babies have learned to run away from him, or scream loudly, because he has a habit of stealing toys. Toby is the most enthusiastic child outdoors, and will get grubby the quickest. Most times he makes sure that he will be dirty by rolling and rubbing himself  in the dirt.

The red triplet. Jayden is very gregarious. He loves people and will often be waiting to catch anyone’s eye and laugh and smile and babble away. I called him Chook on the blog, because that is an Aussie way of saying chicken. He is also the triplet most likely to keep the other two awake at night by keeping a party like atmosphere in the crib(s). He can also be very sensitive and cuddly.
My only girl. I called her Missy on the blog, because this is what I call her sometimes, I also call her Miss Mouse and Miss Im. Others call her Immy or Imogen. Imogen is already a little chatterbug with an impressive repetoire of words and phrases for a one year old. She is feisty and will put the boys in their place if necessary. She loves shoes (makes her mother’s heart swell with pride) yet can still make impressive engine noises for toy cars. (Just to equal up Daddy’s pride.)  
Continue Reading

My Week According to Instagram

Firstly let me congratulate Jodie for winning the Personal Planner. I loved Jodie’s enthusiasm to fill her year with special moments with friends and family. I’m a big advocate of seizing the day and creating memories. All the best with entering coffee dates in your diary Jodie!
Along the same lines, here are some happy memories I have captured over the past week on Instagram.
The Accountant and I, at the last moment, went out for a Chinese dinner on our 15th Wedding Anniversary. So grateful to Grandma babysitting, especially since she was happy to come late so Alex could play indoor soccer first.

Fortune cookies. I don’t know if we’ve been awarded a great honor but we have certainly had lovely days with family. Easy? Not exactly. I don’t think you get easy days when you have triplets under the age of 2.

On the weekend we celebrated my Dad’s 60th birthday. I made the cake. I was making chocolate scrolls, but the silly rolling pin rolled over and squashed everything. Eventually the chocolate curls worked out.

Missy and Miss Rachael

My neice.

Our wedding anniversary gift from my mother. And we still haven’t used them. What’s with that? Loved my flowers from the hubster too.

The finished cake. Oh the drama. A very extremely wet weekend is not the best time to be decorating cakes I’ve discovered. The large variety of instructions/helpful (unhelpful) hints for peeling the photo from the backing were completely useless. It’s just as well it didn’t melt when I followed the instructions to put it in a slow oven to peel off. The backing started curling up within five seconds. Took about heart failure. I was saved by advice via facebook after a desperate status pleading for help. In the end ignoring the advice from the instructions which said 10-15 SECONDS (capitlised by them) in the freezer. I put it in for almost 15 minutes and it came off eventually.

We had lots of partying over the weekend. This is how little Missy went to sleep in between events. Sometimes you’ve just got to fall asleep right away.

We had a beautiful evening at Gabbinbar Homestead celebrating my parent’s 40th Wedding Anniversary.

Daddy walking his boy to school on J Boy’s 1st day of Year 1

Little Missy decided to wear pink gum boots. She looked quite comical bustling around in her pink boots and nappy.

Meanwhile the boys were getting into mischief. AGAIN. Climbing on furniture is considered an elite sport here at the moment. By all except Mummy.

Feel free to follow me on happyheart75
I’m participating in tinagray.me‘s:

And for the first time, I’m also joining with Insta-Friday at Life Rearranged

life rearranged

Continue Reading

First Day of Year 1

Jonty starts school again today after a two month summer break. He has now had his first day of year 1. It’s funny I’ve been thinking lately how grown up he is getting. But when I just looked at his photos from this morning, I’m grateful to see that he is still little. I’m cherishing this time while they are young.

It’s a bit funny being the parent bringing my child into school on the first day. I used to always be the teacher. I kind of miss that first day vibe. Greeting excited children, enthusiastic about the year ahead. Reassuring parents and making a good impression so they will have confidence leaving their precious offspring in your hands. Getting to know the students, learn names, (actually, I don’t miss that, I’m awful at remembering names), determine ability levels and work out how to best cater for the unique individual needs throughout the year. There is always a buzz of excitement as children are keen to display and use their new books and stationary. The clothes and shoes are often new, ready to become marked with stories of their school year. Although not too marked. I remember the awful feeling sending home a little girl who had enthusiastically rubbed black paint onto her paint shirt, but it soaked right through onto her uniform. It never came out. The Mum was not happy. Understandably. I made sure J Boy’s art shirt was plastic backed, just remembering this experience.

But today. Today was about being the parent. After weeks of preparing him for school, the day came. He has been nervous about his new teacher. She is known to be strict. Of course, since Jonty is very strong willed, The Accountant and I are delighted with situation, knowing that his teacher will ensure he be respectful of others and learn obedience. Jonty will learn soon enough that she also has a sense of humour and will be sensitive to his needs also. But over the last few weeks he has been nervous about starting school. Thank goodness he has been open and honest enough to share his concerns with me. I hope that he always will be able to feel comfortable to speak to me about what worries him. It has created some lovely moments of teaching where I have advised him of the need to apologise should he do something wrong (he will, I’m sure of it) and to accept responsibility for his behaviour and to recognise when he has done wrong and change the course of his behaviour. We have prayed together and I have seen him face his fears with a quiet confidence.

The Accountant and I both took him to school. Miss Rachael came in early and looked after the younger children. These are the type of things that mean a lot to Jonty, and quite frankly, Alex and I rather love sharing these moments with him. He has a brand new classroom. Lucky fellow.  Shiny, new and equipped with all the mod cons. He found his desk, and approved of it’s location. He said to me, “I love this spot. This is a great spot!” And so I left him sitting at his desk, ready for a year of learning and growing. I can’t wait to hear the stories of his day when he gets home.

My thoughts are also with the thousands of Queensland children who will not start school today because of the floods. We are praying that as the waters peak and recede they will have strength and grace to rebuild and continue your lives. I’m especially thinking of Bundaberg where I lived as a teenager and often visit still.

Did a child you love begin school today? What have been your first impressions of the school year for 2013?

Don’t forget to enter to win a Personal Planner. Click here because time is running out! (This competition has now ended.)

I Blog On Tuesday with Essentially Jess.

Continue Reading

Anniversary Reflections

At this time fifteen years ago I was preparing to get married. It was the usual flurry of hairdressers, chattering bridesmaids, make up, finery and photos. Then there was a pause when I was ready, the girls had driven away in their cars and I was sitting with my Father waiting for my turn. I wanted to arrive at the church on time. My Mum had wanted to arrive on time, and hadn’t. I wanted to do it for her, I wanted to ‘break tradition’. (I was too young to realise that I actually love keeping traditions. The youth in me just wanted to break status quo.) My father didn’t agree. “Brides have to be late”, he had said and then wasted time and ignored my requests to get in the car. I was nervous. I knew what came next was enormous, life changing and meaningful. I was nervous, but I was certain. I wanted to marry my Alex.

And so I eventually arrived at the church (late) and married him. My Alex. My best friend. So cliche, but so true. He was, and is, my best friend. I couldn’t imagine it being any other way.
I wish I could say I never regretted the decision to marry him. It’s not true. Because marriage is hard. I can remember driving in the car with him sometime during our first year of marriage. Absolutely furious and wondering what on earth I did. What had I got myself into for the rest of my life? Because at least I always had the perspective that this was a life deal. There are times when it would have been so easy to walk away from the deal. If I had, I would have never known the amount of happiness I would have been missing out on just because I chose to halt in a moment of unhappiness and unforgiveness. Instead, I can say that I love him now more than I did on that wedding day when I passionately, with all my heart said, “I do”. I know that I am absolutely 100% glad that I did marry my man, my Alex. 
There are times when I have been so frustrated, hurt and angry at this man I love. There are times when I think I never want to see him again. I want to pack up and leave this whole crazy scenario called marriage. And, I know that he is just as frustrated. But we don’t leave. Somehow we grit our teeth and we stay.
When I made those vows, “Until death do us part”, 15 years ago, unlike current trends, I really did take them seriously. To stay together until death parts us takes an enormous amount of hard work. It requires humility, graciousness, patience, acceptance, compassion and a whole list of other character traits. Divorce is not an option. Happiness is an option, and we have chosen it. We have chosen that the times after we have fought to apologise and to make things right, to sacrifice our own agenda for the sake of our marriage, and now for the sake of our children. Our marriage isn’t easy, because it never is when two people from different background, different desires and each with sinful natures combine. However, our marriage is happy. It’s fulfilling and it honours God. It means that for the one time that I wish that I wouldn’t see that man again, there are 20 times that I am infinitely glad I share my life with the guy that makes my heart full with his corny jokes, his silly mannerisms and his unconditional love.

Fifteen years ago I had one of the best days of my life. It was the perfect celebration of the first day of our marriage. Our lifetime commitment. 
Keep tuned as the story continues. For it will. Until death do us part.
What does marriage mean to you?
And because I’m thankful for my marriage this Thursday, I’m joining in with Six By The Bay for Thankful Thursday.


On another note. Congratulations to Sharon Fawcett, Melissa Bowdler and Juanita who wrote funny rhymes about burps, missing undies and nose picking. My son loved them and couldn’t resist awarding, “Good Night, Sleep Tight” to your amusing poems!
Continue Reading

My Week According to Instagram – The New Year Edition

 Hello, hello! I’m terribly sorry if you’ve been hoping to read a blog post, I thought that I might get a few done over Christmas/New Year, but obviously I was terribly wrong! We have had a great family getaway. I hesitate to use the word holiday, as to be truthful it was simply exhausting, but we have had lots of fun, and Alex and I are so very glad we made the effort to do a road trip with the five kids, even with the 14 month old triplets!

We arrived home yesterday so I’m busy unpacking (or well, I should be…) but I thought I’d participate in Tina Grey’s My Week According to Instagram, which will give you a brief overview of what we’ve been up to lately. I’ll start on January 1 and continue until yesterday.

So January 1 we said Goodbye to our family at Trinity Beach (near Cairns) and started the road trip home. Unlike getting up there, we took our time going home. It was a bit sad for the cousins. The  distance means that they don’t get to see each other often and they had got on famously. The big boys had been so good with the babies also. They all had a great time.

On the road again.

Our apartment in Townsville. Joey particularly loved looking out the large window onto the street below. I just love how he often stood there with his hand on his hip. Heart melt.

This is J Boy’s heart. Kind of.

Ma and Pa. It was the end of the day. Can you tell?

The resort we stayed at Yeppoon had a lot of wildlife. It was an exciting moment for the kids when a goanna ambled by.

The rooms were dodgy, but the pool was amazing! The kids loved it. But I’ll tell you what, watching five kids in the water is very exhausting for two adults!

But it’s all worthwhile for happy family memories.

You’d think their appetites would be huge at the end of the day. But no, the triplets have started eating their toes while they are being fed. They think it’s a great game. I find it frustrating, but it is super cute.

 Going to the Yeppoon Beach with my big boy.

And my monkey.

“Take a photo of this shell Mum.”
Next onto Bundaberg. We often visit Bundy and it’s become a compulsory stop visiting our very friendly barber, Mr. Matt. There was no one else I would let cut the little boys hair for the first time. He was skilled enough to do two at once! There were tears though. They look so grown up now. (No instagram pics to prove it yet!)

We stay at Bargara when we’re in town. The kids love going to “Grandma’s Beach” opposite the beach house my parents own.

One of my favourite pictures of the whole trip. Missy was just so overjoyed to be out of the car after a six hour drive and was running in circles around the beach, arms outstretched, chatterin

g away and enjoying life. My sister has labelled this “Missy’s Happy Heart.”

Finally, back in the car for the last leg home. I had put tinsel up at the start of the trip, but the kids wouldn’t let me take it down after Christmas, although that didn’t stop them breaking it! I loved turning around and watching this moment as T-Star and the baby in the back were laughing uproariously.

We added another two hours to the trip home by going to Brisbane first to watch our nephew (from Cairns) who was in Brisbane playing cricket. 

The Warrego Highway. Almost there.

 No time for photos since we got home. Made dinner and got tired cranky kids to bed. Sat down ‘briefly’ to eat dinner while watching TV. Bad move. Went to bed late after doing a quick tidy (not that it made any difference) before tumbling into bed. I suppose I ought to get back to work now! It’s all about organising, tidying up and re-establishing routine today. (And probably for the next few days…)

Happy New Year to you all! What have you done so far in 2013?

Continue Reading

A Case of Mistaken Identity

On Sunday morning I had the child dressing production line in full swing, decking the children out in their Sunday best.

I was rather enthralled watching the morning TV as I grabbed a baby and started dressing the bub as it compliantly sat on my lap. When I was all finished, (shoes and all, which is an accomplishment for me, shoes can be such a bother), I called out for Missy, who was supposed to be next on the triplet dressing production line. I was totally shocked that  the “boy” I had just dressed looked up expectantly!

Whoops! I dressed my darling girl in her brother’s clothes!

004 - Copy

But somehow. I didn’t think she minded all that much. She’s already a fan of boys toys.

002 - Copy
Don’t worry. She went to church dressed as a girl! 
011 - Copy
And truly, as much as I love little boys clothes, it is just a delight dressing my little girl in pretty clothes.
What mistake have you made lately that made you smile?

Today I’m linking with With Some Grace for:

Continue Reading

Things That Once Terrified Me About Having Triplets

Last year I wrote a post outlining some of the things that really frightened me about the prospect of mothering triplets. So, I have to say, I really had a pretty good realistic expectation of how it was going to be. I knew it was going to be hard. And it was. I knew there would be much joy. And there is.

Since the triplets are now one year old, I thought it would be good time to go back and re-cap on how it has been. If you want to see my original post, check out Part One and Part 2 (I’ll only address Part One today.)

1. Having 5 Children 5 and Under.

Oh man. It’s been tough. But wonderful. I just look at the five kids some days, and marvel that they are mine.  It just seems normal having them all around. I sometimes wonder why this is a big family. I just couldn’t imagine life without any of them, and having lots of kids around is our normal.

It did make it easier with the babies, as I had expected, having been there done that before. As with any mother who has 2+ children, you can just apply what has worked before and move on from there. My sister once made a comment that I seem more relaxed with five than I did with one. Perhaps it is true. Sometimes first time mother’s feel overwhelmed by me and they question why they find it so hard when they only have one and I have five. I try to explain, that I too found life difficult when there was only one child. 

Having said that, I’ve often thought how much simpler my life would be if I did not have to deal with the older two kids and could just work according to the triplet’s schedule. Dealing with the behaviour issues with the older two is a constant juggle. At the moment we are struggling with T-Star being rough with the babies. He throws things at them, hugs them too tight around the necks, picks them up and throws them and rolls around the floor holding them while they scream desperately trying to escape. People have chuckled as they have heard me say things such as, “Don’t stand on the baby please.” And I understand why it is a funny statement to listen to. (Once it has been verified that the baby has survived the ordeal.) But my goodness. It’s so frustrating trying to teach a two year old gentleness, especially when the lesson does not interest him in the slightest.

J Boy has own moments when he has had mammoth tantrums that have needed to be addressed. This will than put out the whole routine of the home, which will result in screaming babies which only escalates the tension in the home. Also, because this is J Boy’s first year of full time schooling, we have found homework a real challenge. This is such a disappointment to me. The teacher in me was so looking forward to doing homework with my kids. I’m afraid some days it can only be described as hell. It doesn’t matter how many fun ideas I try to implement, J Boy refuses to participate in the spirit of frivolity when learning. I have to push aside my own agenda often and just let him read the flashcards, because he would prefer to do homework in the ‘boring’ way rather than participate in the alternate games I have suggested. But even still, there is great wailing, moaning and gnashing of teeth from both of us before homework is accomplished. (For the record though, I still believe in it. The exercise of practising learned work really does help a child consolidate his/her learning and help increase achievement and confidence.)

Then there are other issues. The triplets get a lot of attention and the boys will often be ignored by some people. The triplets get things given like lots of baby food, milk, clothes, even today there were smash cakes for a photo shoot. (Can’t wait to share that one with you!) The boys don’t want the things like baby food or baby clothes, but they do notice that the triplet’s have been given something and they have not. Luckily they are very loved boys and do receive attention from many people, so they remain confident and (generally) well behaved boys.

2. Lack of Sleep


I have never experienced anything like the level of sleep deprivation I have endured throughout the last year. When they were newborn, it was common to only get four hours sleep, and that was interrupted sleep. I can remember wistfully thinking that all I wanted was to sleep more than two hours without being interrupted.
3 weeks. Sleeping newborns, so precious. Never through the night though.

I was right about it being hard to cat nap through the day also. When they were young, the same rule applied. They would need to be fed in three hour cycles. That normally only left one hour before the next feeding session began. And if you wanted to do anything for yourself like pee or eat, your time was reduced. And ther

e was also other children to consider also.

I didn’t like going to sleep during the day, and found it very uncomfortable to just say to whoever was in the house that was what I was going to do. I did do it. I probably should have done it more. I wanted to. I would often spend a feeding session pep talking myself that I needed to just get a power nap in, even if it were only 20 minutes. And then I didn’t. If I were to do it all over again. I don’t know if I would improve though. It’s just the way I felt and sometimes I would prefer to be tired rather than uncomfortable. That’s just the way it was.

Alex was an amazing help, and I truly don’t know how he functioned at work some days.

As for the books I read before I had the babies on rigid sleep routines which would help them to sleep through the night earlier. 


It maybe works some people. But it didn’t work for me. One year on and we are very almost (fingers crossed) at the point where they are sleeping through. It has been a ridiculously long process. Much longer than the first two children. Which is the ultimate irony. If I was going to chose the worst sleepers of my five kids. Probably wouldn’t have chosen the triplets! Oh well, you deal with the hand you are dealt.

Update: Since writing this, at 12 1/2 months the babies started sleeping through. Hip hip hooray!

3. Housework

So this has been either as bad (I imagined it to be pretty bad!) as I thought it would be or surprisingly, quite often it’s heaps better than I imagined. 

I have been so embarrassed from time to time when people came to visit because there was (is) just stuff everywhere. But to be truthful, I can remember being embarrassed for the same reason before multiples as well. The biggest difference I’ve found in my current situation is that when I know people are coming, I do what my friend Belinda defines as a Panic Clean. (Go on read her post. It’s a brilliant little phrase she’s coined up, and she gives some helpful hints on how to Panic Clean well.) Most of the time I used to make my home fairly presentable before people came around. (So long they didn’t open closed doors.) These days, the Panic Clean, well …. often you wouldn’t really know it happened. It often still looks like chaos when people arrive. Or it really didn’t happen because the kids interrupted me so much. Or it happened too early and got messed up again before people arrived. Sigh. 

Normally I try to throw things out of the way when I take photos, to make it look a bit tidier than it really is. Or take the shot from another angle. Sometimes it doesn’t happen. Like this shot taken in the playroom on the weekend. The playroom is often such a mess it’s difficult to walk into it. Oh, and in case you are wondering what’s happening in this picture. Missy is mad at Joey for taking her chair so she is in the process of trying to reclaim it. (She eventually sat on him.)
In the early days, it was almost a hopeless cause getting housework done. I died a thousand deaths when people came into the house, (even if they were coming to help), especially after the weekend. So often I literally didn’t have time to do anything. The only way it got done was thanks to a lovely older lady who volunteered to come in once a week and clean my house, and the paid help that we had pitching in. According to In Home Care guidelines, the carer is only allowed to clean up after children. I justified this to the co-ordinators that it was to include things like sweeping, mopping and cleaning the toilet after the boys (Yuck. Boys make such a mess.) After all, it is the kids mess. We are also very lucky that Miss Rachael is a tidy person. My Dad always said it makes sense to staff your weaknesses. In my case, being a “messy”, I sometimes just marvel that Rachael walks into our house and half an hour later it is remarkably tidier. It makes everything instantly seem a bit calmer. Although I’m watching carefully, I kind of don’t know how she does it, because I just can’t seem to replicate it. It just illustrates that because of the extra help, it can certainly be better than I thought.

When I’m left to my own devices, things go pear shaped quickly. It also doesn’t help that when I’m on my own I often have five kids and often if the babies are asleep, the boys start demanding attention. This is justified. It’s only fair that children get as much as their mother’s time as possible. Throughout the year, T-Star in particular, has watched a lot of TV. Sometimes it’s the only way I can get anything done. It’s always my goal to counter-balance the screen time and give him other opportunities again. Alternatively sometimes if I’m on my own with sleeping babies, I choose to ignore the housework and do things (like blogging) that I feel guilty doing when other people are around. 

In many ways though, the triplets are helping me to be more organised, even in the cleaning department. I’m more aware of keeping on top of things. You just have to. Catching up is almost impossible.

4. Lack of Privacy

I’ve coped with this better than I thought I would. If I’m feeling frustrated, I just paint a picture in my head of what life would look like if I didn’t have the extra people around. It helps me get over any feelings of frustration pretty quickly. Like I said above, having people around has often made things better than I expected.

Miss Rachael when she first begun working with us.

Of course, I do really wish sometimes that it was just the kids and I. I think about all the fun things I did when it was only J Boy and I in the house. We played hard building block cities, roads all around the house, making hospitals, and doing grandiose box constructions of castles, crocodiles and space shuttles. Play got less extravagant when there was another baby in the picture, but with five kids, I really try to play as much as I can with them, but there’s always so much to do. And absurdly, even though I’m grateful there is someone with my kids and keeping them very happy so I can get much needed tasks done, sometimes I just can’t help but feel a little jealous. I would always prefer to be playing with my kids rather than doing jobs! I sometimes worry that they will love me less because maybe I’m ‘not as much fun’, or I ruin it all by having to discipline them, but then I have to kick myself out of self pity. I know I’m the Mummy, which includes the good the bad and the ugly. There’s always going to be a bond with my children and I, and because I work at strengthening that bond we’ll always be close, even if I am busy in the meantime. And because life is full of contradictions, I’m grateful that I have help around the place, because often it means that I am able to play with my kids more because someone else is doing that task for me.

Or sometimes, no kids, just myself. I have had many daydreams about being sent away to a day spa and receiving massages, facials and manicures. Heaven. Alex and I have decided that when the babies are all weaned and sleeping through the night we will have a little overnight getaway, leave the kids with Mum and Dad, (Mum has also conscripted my sister to come over too for re-inforcements!), and we will have some time to ourselves to dine elegantly and SLEEP UNINTERRUPTED! (Hopefully in a swanky hotel room.) You don’t know how often I have thought about this. Must anticipated overnight stay ever.

5. Being Stuck At Home

We do spend an awful lot of time at home. I don’t mind much. I’m a homebody at the best of time, (50% introvert) and because there has been so many people passing through the doors, the 50% extrovert in me stays satisfied.

I do feel sorry for the triplets sometimes. Like the time I took them to the park and they were acting like cats who are placed in a new situation. They were so cautious and wary of the grass and when they hit a new surface like sand or dirt they would freeze and cautiously assess the new situation. As they are now getting older and the weather is getting warmer, they are starting to get outdoors a bit more. Which has the disadvantage of three little bodies diving bombing and trying to rush out to fresh air and freedom when the door is opened.

Being stuck at home all the time means sometimes you have to get creative when finding new places to have fun.

They also are starting to need the extra stimulation of alternate activities. It’s very hard though because to go to playgroups, etc. They are always scheduled in the mornings. Right during their daytime sleep. It takes a day (sometimes two) to get over any outings. (For instance, Mondays are always a fall out day around here from having gone to church on Sunday.) Then there’s people coming and going at set times that we have to work around as well. It makes life very complex.

Me time is now often when I have been able to sneak to the grocery shops without T-Star. Having people around does mean that grocery shopping is easier for me than most mothers with five kids because I will often leave them with a carer and head to the shops by myself or with one or two kids. I do sometimes yearn for the days of old though where I could dilly dally around the shops with a child in a pram for half a day (or more). I miss browsing and being able to shop for myself. I now shop like a man. I go into somewhere, see it and buy it. No looking at another store. Speed shopping I call it. Surprisingly this type of shopping means that I can spend just as much money (if not more) as I did after all my carefully considered purchases of old, even though I’m shopping a lot less. 

I’ve never gone shopping by myself with the five kids or even with just the triplets. There’s two reasons. Firstly there’s almost always someone around the house, so I would be a glutton for punishment if I took all the kids with me when they could be looked after at home. Secondly the triplet stroller is so ridiculously heavy that The Accountant has advised against me using it. He probably doesn’t want to pay for extra sessions at the chiropractor. I’ve got scoliosis and sometimes get a bad back just pulling a double stroller in and out of the car. The few times I’ve attempted to fold it up, I’ve failed. It’s very sticky, rusted in a few spots (the one drawback of an awesome 2nd hand deal) and I can’t remember which lever to pull and fold out where.

Can you remember something that terrified you? How did it work out for you? As expected, better or worse?

Today I’m linking up with Essentially Jess for IBOT (I Blog On Tuesday)

Continue Reading

Happy 3rd Birthday Trenster!

My little boy has just turned 3. 3 year old boys, from my experience are extremely cute. Which they need because it makes them easier to forgive their challenging behaviour, which in our family seems to come with the age.

Trent is one of those kids who universally would be acknowledged as a gorgeous boy. He talks in beautifully crafted sentences, which coming out of his young mouth are heart-warming and often so funny! Do you know how many times my little boy makes me laugh during the day? So much. So very much.

It’s funny isn’t it, how words that we say every day, when repeated in those baby voices are suddenly completely adorable and make us chuckle. When he makes a mistake, he has said, “Silly old Trentster.” He refers to himself as Trentster now. That is cute also. He has been so looking forward to his birthday ever so much and in the lead up has been singing “Happy Birthday dear Trentster”.

So here is an update on what my little star is doing now that he is three.

Oh my, this child likes to eat. He eats all day long. By that I mean all.day.long. I am constantly hearing the refrain, “I’m hungry.” Luckily he is easy to please. He is an absolute fruit bat. He will happily eat nothing more than fruit if I let him. He will always choose fruit over cake. He loves cooking and will often beg to make muffins, but once they are complete he will have the smallest little bite before pushing it away and begging for an apple. Apples are his (and J Boy’s) favourite fruit. Other favourites are sausages, pizza, noonels (noodles) and if you ask him what we should have for dinner, he will almost always say “Pasta”. Although once the pasta is in front of him, he isn’t always pleased. I haven’t exactly worked out what he is picturing when he says pasta!

Apples are party food for Trent!

Potty Training
Thankfully he never really used the potty. I was so grateful. Horrid things they are. And cleaning them. Ugh. Anyway, I digress. Our little champ does all his wees on the toilet, but we are still perfecting the correct place to dispose of number 2’s. Cleaning jocks is something I do regularly (Thanks to him being a fruit bat). He does have some success, hopefully it will continue to increase!

A completely social child, Trent loves his friends. He adores going to Storytelling on a Monday morning and Playzone on Wednesday mornings. He always comes home talking about ‘my friends’. Trent is getting better at playing on his own. He loves playing with playdough and making pizza, sausages, snakes and people from gingerbread cutters as well as the various playdough gadgets. Proving that he is definitely masculine, this play will often involve brutal squashing, cutting off of heads and snakes biting his beloved Mummy to death. He is morbidly fascinated by dying at the moment. Of course he has no idea of the implications of death.

He loves playing with his wooden train set and enjoys Mummy and Miss Rachael making him tracks. He’s starting to be able to connect the pieces to make his own track also. (Normally in a straight line!) Big trucks and cars that he can wheel around the house are also a popular choice to zoom around. He has a little blue indoor trike that he calls his “motorbike”. He jumps up and down when he starts to ride it like he is kickstarting it, then he will zoom “off to work”, “to the shops” or “to the beach” on it. He also hooks up a pull along dog toy to the back and will drive around the house with the plastic dog faithfully following wherever he leads.

A big fan of the outdoors, you will often find my little man outside playing on the swings, trampoline, sandpit, and generally having a great time with his brother once J Boy is home from school. He loves going on Grandad’s quad bike and has Grandad twisted around his little finger.


There’s not too many reasons why Grandad would miss postpone a Sunday afternoon sleep. But Trent’s requests are mostly granted and his enormous smile is during these trips are worthwhile. (Perhaps another motivating factor is the hope that perhaps developing a love of the motorbike and the land on which it drives will help breed a future farrmer.)  On Saturdays Trent and Jonty like nothing better than to traipse around in the yard with their father. It is so heartwarming watching them and knowing that this is an important part of their early lessons on how to become men of character.

Just to keep it real, it’s worthwhile putting on the record that Trent is certainly not a completely angelic child. He can really be a very moody. Often when people arrive at our house, they walk in the door and say hello and Trent will give a very discourteous growl at them, and no matter how nicely the person speaks to him, he will continue his ill mannered growling until they leave him alone. He has also decided that he would like things done his way and will quite often do everything possible to ensure that his will is not crossed. This will often result in exceptional tantrums with much crying, wailing and protesting. They are not reserved for the privacy of our own home either. (Although, who am I kidding, our home is not very private at the moment, there’s almost always someone here.) On Sunday he gave a spectacular performance after the service was over (thankfully not during) because he objected to Daddy’s refusal to take him to the women’s toilets. Thankfully with most of these battles we know it is a simple case of weathering the storm and staying consistent and not giving in. We’d much prefer to fight these battles now while he’s small in the hope that it will decrease the number of battles to fight during his teenage years.


The beauty of growing up around the extended family is watching the blossoming relationships as the cousins play together and the children relate to their grandparents, aunts and uncles. These are Trent’s favourite people. He has a firm friendship with his cousin Nay Nay. In fact, she was certainly the most important person on his party guest list and according to Trent it was imperative that she attend. (As if she wouldn’t!) He enjoys Saturday afternoons with Nanny at the house and Thursday mornings have become his special Grandma mornings where he will often visit and delight his great grandparents.

He is such a loving member of our immediate family also.  He knows the way to make a woman feel soft and mushy. He will often come up and say, “You look pretty Mummy, you look like a ballerina.” or “You look like a flower Mummy.” Trust my words son, the girls will love you if you continue to appreciate their fashion and express it accordingly.  He dotes on the babies, too much often, but he is gradually learning  (I think, I hope) to not kill be gentle with them. He will follow his big brother to the ends of the earth and is often content to just do whatever Jonty chooses, just to enjoy his company. (To  which Jonty exploits.)

I’m so thankful for my little boy and all he brings to our lives so I’m linking up with Thankful Thursday.

Continue Reading