Category Archives: Family meal times

A non-stop day

Most days are just non-stop from the word “Go”.

This morning, I wish with all my heart that I don’t have to get out of bed till 10.00 am because thanks to Piglet’s teething woes I have been in and out of sleep since 4.00 am.

Headache or not, Little People get moving by 7.00 am. Nudging me. Snuggling up to me. It’s all quite cosy, but the point is ….

I’ve had a bad night.  At 7.00 am I not only have frog eyes but also have to deal with a whole mountain of soiled bedsheets because I absently let Lamb drink too much water before bedtime – waaaaaayyyy to0 much water – and I’ve been too preoccupied nursing Piglet in the ungodly hours to take his older brother to the loo in the middle of the night.

Sweet Man’s gone off to work early and I rush to get the 3 kids through their showers and tooth brushing, fix breakfast, spill the oats all over the countertop and some on the floor.  Wipe the countertop. Wipe the floor. Grind my teeth.

I read Piglet’s potty cues all wrong so he wets on me and I have to change my top. Grind my teeth some more and wonder why I have an idealism about potty habits this early.

I somehow manage to get Puppy to school on time, and I’m glad the boys and I can get out to the park.  But when we get back, I find we’re out of cooking gas and almost break my back lugging the 12kg spare into place. Does this have to happen today? Today? Does it?

I have the usual breakfast clean up and more, because on this momentous day, Piglet discovers for the first time how to open a muesli bar all by himself.

Wipe the floor again.

In my foggy state, I can’t decide what to do for lunch, I can’t for the life of me remember what I planned the night before.  I take out some chicken, put it back, pull out some fish, forget I’ve run out of ginger and spring onions, put back the fish and take out the minced beef.

I prepare lunch so slowly I don’t know what’s wrong with me this morning and get mad at myself for spending too long in the kitchen neglecting the boys.

School’s a shambles because I didn’t tidy the school shelf the night before and can’t find the materials I want.  Usually I can roll with the punches, but today I just don’t seem to have any energy at all.

I think I’m a failure, I wonder how long I can keep this up, I don’t want to try anymore.

Reading aloud settles me somewhat, but Piglet refuses to nap and I have to rush the boys out in the blistering heat to get Puppy home from school. They bicker about who’s getting more of the car’s air-conditioning and I have to deal some Law and Order.

By this time, Piglet’s all tired and grouchy. Taking him through lunch is that much harder.  Crash! goes the plate on the floor.

That’s right, take a photo! Piglet will must remember this.

He must also remember I expend gazillion amounts of patience trying to sneak tiny amounts of food into his 15 month old mouth while he tries to feed himself too, throw some food in the process and smile at me. He hates being fed with a spoon and I have to do it all by hand. Morsel. By. Morsel.

At the end, Piglet has yogurt in his hair and a bit in one ear. I have yogurt spattered on my top, smeared on my shorts, oily fingers on both hands. Lunch’s over, there’s clean up again and I’m thinking, didn’t I just get down on my hands and knees to wipe up mess a more than a few times a few hours ago?

Then I have this to contend with -

… because Piglet simply loves getting into my plastic containers and figuring out which lid goes on which box. I don’t have the heart to put a lock on the door because my warped mind sort of tells me that I’d enjoy this kind of activity if I were a 15 month old. Really, I don’t know why I just don’t go get that lock and save myself all the trouble.

Thankfully the older kids are reading happily by themselves while I’m cleaning up, and then we get through some more reading aloud upstairs before nap time.  By this time I am SOOOOOOO crazed for a nap.

When I wake up after an hour – 30 minutes extra than what I’d planned for – I feel guilty for not spending enough time with Puppy who doesn’t nap anymore. I think of all the things other mothers might be doing with their kids and how I’m letting her down.

Then I pause and recall all the punishing thoughts I’ve had about myself in the day. I have to give my negative self a good hard kick in the pants because after everything I’ve done since 4.00 am, I really do deserve something more like a 3 hour nap for Pete’s sake! A 3 day nap, rather!

I’m surprised at Puppy’s eagerness to practice writing. During my snooze, she’s given herself some practice with Malay words – and marked her own efforts. Wonders will never cease.

I let her preschool handle Malay, and we get through our usual list of English words and sentences. We do some Math exercises, Science reading and worksheets, some music theory. I don’t know why, but the girl’s on a roll today. It’s isn’t always like this. By the time she decides she’s done, the boys wake up and we’re all hungry for a snack.

So snack time it is. Puppy and Lamb have fun making iced cocoa drinks but I have to try not to get irritated at spills. A lot of spills.

It’s one of those rare days Sweet Man will be back late from work and I struggle through dinner prep. Piglet refuses to be put down and I let him wail on the floor while I try to cook.  Finally, I can’t bear his misery any longer.  I chop vegetables with one hand with him dangling from my other arm.

After what seems like forever, I’m finally finally finally done with cooking and get the kids out for a walk, for some fresh air, and clear my mind.  The blue blue sky, the sight of birds flitting here and there, singing, the evening breeze, it all feels so good.

Sweet Man arrives home with his mother who joins us for dinner.  We’ve been through a bit in the past 2 months after she suffered a minor stroke.  It’s hard to write about my emotions on that one. So ……. I won’t.

I have to be patient with Piglet’s stupendous meal time mess again over dinner time.  Thank God Sweet Man’s here to help with dishes.  I have the floor to deal with again, scrub down the high chair and do a quick clean of the toilet.

Sweet Man sends mum-in-law home and it’s a done deal circus act getting 3 kids and myself bathed with tons of giggles and sliding about in the bathtub. Little teeth get flossed and brushed. We wade through books and enjoy devotional time and tonight it seems so much longer before the boys are finally asleep.

I stumble downstairs to face the laundry while Sweet Man’s out getting groceries.  It’s also baking night and I set about making the usual wholemeal loaf. I just have to. I love it that much. My favourite kind of bread, especially when toasted. Just look at all the goodness that goes in there, 5 varieties of seeds included.

And look at what I forgot to put inside the machine before all the goodness went in!  The kneader!

I started laughing at myself at this point. Else I’d have cried.

It was a non-stop day. Some of my teeth got worn down, grinding. But it was a good day.

Our ‘O’ week

I don’t know why, but we had more than a couple of ‘O’s recently.

The Bunnies made octopuses using recycled paper towel rolls. They love painting and it was a nice change from using paper towel rolls as microphones. This Mama enjoyed some peace and quiet for a good few minutes! After letting the rolls dry for a day, they cut out lines on the bottom to make tentacles and drew in an octopus face at the top.

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I’m not sure what we’ll do with the end product yet. Maybe make more sea creatures and have a little stage play. Hmm?

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Last week, I made pizza for lunch. Actually, Sweet Man very kindly made a whole batch of pizza dough and bunged it in the freezer so I would have them on hand whenever I needed a quick lunch. (Isn’t he nice!) I just ditched lots of fresh tomatoes, tuna, cheese, onion and garlic on top. Oh, and the kids insisted on olives – their favourite part of pizza – so, here you are. Plenty of olives. I love them too!

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Do you know what this is? 10 points to those who guess correctly! (10 points in what scheme I don’t know yet!)

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It’s part of a toy shopping trolley. Turn it upside down and you’ll see it’s the bit where the child is supposed to sit.

Lamb found an ingenious use for it. He wore it on the outer part of his shorts. Oh yes. Why? I don’t know! He appeared in the kitchen with it, looking very serious. I said, “OH!!!

We called it his Fantastical Pants. Belly laughs all round!!

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Linking up with Jenny Matlock for the letter “O”

Piglet eats

Piglet went past his 6 month mark this week.

He had his first solids – finely ground millet, steamed and mixed with the best stuff … what else? Mama’s milk!

Puppy and Lamb have been waiting anxiously for the day they can watch their baby brother actually EAT something. They were so excited the night before, they couldn’t stop talking about the next day’s breakfast.

Piglet pretty much went for the whole teaspoon. His expression was ….. To Die For.

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I think he liked it.

He still hasn’t the foggiest idea that his crazy Mama is deviously planning to turn him into a raw-foodie-junkie, just like his brother and sister.

Poor babe.