Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Turning Over a New Leaf

With the dawn of each new year, come new seasons in our lives. My three big children have started back at school and kindergarten after their six week Summer break. We are now back into the predictable routine of going to our places of education, my prince Charming to his workplace, and the baby Cherub takes his morning nap and I have this very welcome slot in my day where I can take the phone off the hook while the baby sleeps..... I take time for myself to relax, instead of scooting around the house at 90 miles per hour, being bogged down by hum-drum housework. I choose what it is I would really like to do. I enjoy reading books or magazines that make me feel good: "Your House and Home" (and "Weight Watchers" because I'm enjoying losing some baby weight now that I have stopped breastfeeding!). Listing my "Favourite Things" reminds me of a song of the exact same title, that Julie Andrews sings. My favourite things are: putting my Zumba DVDs on and having a workout with no interruptions! Making Hokey Pokey and cupcakes for the kids lunchboxes. Weeding the garden and planting cheerful pot plants (a new skill, as I have finally found a little bit of time to potter about in the garden). Booking myself in for sewing lessons (my first lesson is this Sunday afternoon!), as I want to learn how to simply thread a sewing machine and learn to replace zips and mend hems - anywhere is a good start! My mother dropped off her old sewing machine at our house - a good incentive! Four years ago I had three children in nappies (diapers, for my American pals!), and my days were filled with changing babies (twins!!), sterilising bottles, and using a breast pump to keep it all going! A friend once remarked to me, "Princess Daisy, if you can get through the day with everyone being fed, then that is enough!". Forget the weeds, back then it just wasn't an option! Time is precious luxury!

Lately our latest gardening project is purchasing several Swan Plants for our growing caterpillar family! Several weeks ago, I witnessed creation in all its glory - a Monarch butterfly flitting graciously over the neighbour's fence and landing with perfect angelic precision, onto our single Swan Plant. Not long after, I found tiny white eggs floating on the leaves. Almost in no time at all, the eggs hatched, bringing with it a tidal wave of caterpillar babies! Munch, munch, munch.... weeks later, shortly before the last leaves were eaten, I took the children to the local plant nursery and purchased x2 more Swan Plants. Four days later, every last leaf was gone! Back to the plant nursery to buy x2 more Swan Plants. You guessed it, in four days, every last leaf was eaten..... now there are x4 shimmery green chrysalis and three hungry looking caterpillars! Guess where I'm taking the kids this afternoon?! :0) We will buy just ONE Swan Plant today, as I am certain there will be three new chrysalis very soon!

So I'm writing a blog about decluttering and you are probably wondering what butterflies have to do with cleaning up - well, our front garden is a work in progress! For the last six months we have been concreting what used to be a rambling, weedy flower bed, strewn here and there will rambunctious brambles! Attractive pot plants now grace the place where weeds overtook the pansies and snowdrops! The children are learning that gardening can be fun, and much more than dirt piles and boring old weeding!

Soon the bright orange Monarchs will be gracing the skies, flapping their newly formed wings in the Summer breeze... they will flit over the neighbour's fence and they will alight on another Swan Plant and then the Life cycle will begin all over again.

A new year. Turning over a new leaf! And then on we go to the next season of life, wherever it takes us. These are a few of my favourite things!

Thursday, 2 February 2012

It's Raining Cats and Dogs!

There is a reason why I chose this picture of a pet shop! After six long weeks of the aptly named, "Long Summer NZ holiday break", Miss 6 promptly asked The Big Question! "Where did my brothers and sister come from? REALLY? You told me they came from the Pet Shop, so... can you return them... pleeeease?! So.... it can be just you and me again and we'll have a quiet house - we can go to the beach and go swimming, and go to a thousand movies without ....THEM!!". At this point, I was ready to herd the kiddliwinks in the car and drive to the nearest pet shop just for fun! I haven't yet answered the Big Question; I just don't think she is ready to know the real story as she is only six years old.... but she does recall I had a very fat tummy last year when baby 4 was on his way! And the Pet Shop theory just didn't cut the cake so to speak, when Miss 6 discovered her baby brother in an incubator, at the Neo Natal unit! These deep questions bring back humourous memories of when my own mother gave me a book called, "Where Did I come from?" at the ripe age of 10  - or was it 11? My response was "Yuck!" and I never wanted to know ANYTHING about it as the thought just grossed me out! Obviously, we have four children now, so things changed, and it turned out to be a great decision: having kids! They are all great and I really don't want to return any of them to the "Pet Shop!". In life, we all arrive in a little bundle, smelling sweet with that baby smell that only very new mothers know; a little heaven-sent (scent!) treasure from above! When my precious twins were growing in my belly and when I was ballooning outwards, I just could not fathom ever having enough love to go around three children! I loved my firstborn soooo much, so how could her parents equal that love for two more babies? Then at 34 weeks and 5 days to be exact, my twin babies arrived rather dramatically after a routine check that picked up one of the babies wasn't growing properly... and the rest is history! I did indeed have more than enough love to go around... and four years later, Cherub number 4 arrived, perfectly completing our family..... and we still had more than enough love to share. As parents of several small children all under the age of seven, words can't describe the equal love you have for x4 completely unique personalities! It is amazing, this gift of love! The Greek word for "Love" is "Agape". It's the best love you can ever have for a small person, let alone anyone! When Cherub Number 4 is old enough to attend school, I might just consider running a pet shop. You just never know!!