An old fashioned love story

It’s an old fashioned love story. It could easily be a movie or a country song.

Two young people meet and fall in love. She is an only child and a city girl at heart. He is a country boy from a large family.

They are wed in a little local church and move into her parents’ house, the house she has lived in all her life, even to this day.

c meier (nee spall) 7

Children follow; a boy, then a girl. They work hard, love their family and are generous with their time and helping hands.

The years pass and their children have children, who have children. As their family grows, so do their hearts.

Family is their world and nothing gives them greater joy than to be surrounded by the people they love so fiercely.

They are my grandparents and the 23rd October 2014, marked their diamond wedding anniversary.

Grandparents 60th wedding anniversary

Their marriage is one to aspire to. Sixty years of togetherness.

I am sure that they have had their differences and difficulties, as every couple does, but they have stayed true to their course. They have built a marriage, and a life, based on kindness and compromise, patience and trust.

These are the values they have taught me. They have shown and given me great love.

It is a love that I treasure, now and for always.

 

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Laundry: Lightening the Load

Last week I started The Organised Housewife’s 20 Days to Organised and Clean Your Home challenge. I’d love to say I’ve kept up with all the tasks and my house is looking schmick, but let’s be realistic. After all, it isn’t called 20 Days to a Completely Change Your Personality

However, one room which has had a good going over so far is the laundry. It amazes me how this one tiny, little room is the source of so much angst and disgruntlement. 

If we ever built a house I would take the greatest pleasure in designing the laundry. There would be a long bench for sorting and folding, inbuilt colour-coded hampers, a fold out ironing board…

But I digress. What I do have is a tiny space and a large apathy for laundry. 

I had enough trouble keeping abreast of the wash, dry, fold, repeat cycle when there was just two of us, but now there are five, I’m drowning in a sea of tiny underpants and mismatched socks. 

I must say that one of the best things I’ve found about The Organised Housewife’s challenge so far is the Facebook group of participants. That group is like a homemaker’s brain trust. You can look at all the idealistic Pins and blog posts on the net for inspiration but at the end of the day, a person like me needs workable, easily adopted solutions. To be able to see what other women who are in a similar position have come up with to make life easier is truly inspirational. The best part is, they are often ridiculously simple!

At the end of the challenge I’ll share my overall favourite tips and tricks but I just couldn’t wait to show you two great laundry hacks, newly implemented in our home. 

The first one is for sorting smalls. If I calculated how much time I spend sifting through baskets looking for missing socks I’d… well, I’d be very depressed.

I am also forever getting scolded for mixing up the boys’ undies. Considering they share a room and a wardrobe I’m not sure why this is a big deal, but it is!

One of the group shared this awesome idea: 

sorting smalls, laundry, washing

A washable smalls bag (avail absolutely anywhere) labelled and hung up on the laundry wall so the boys can do the sorting as soon as the clothes come off. The advantages of this are 3-fold (pardon the pun).

1. The laundry bag can be washed and dried as-is with all smalls staying together. Note: I’m ultra lazy and generally use the drier for smalls. Mainly because we have a small washing line and, well, I’m lazy. If you hang them up, you would simply sort the smalls back into the bag as you took them off the line.

2. The boys are learning life skills that will last an eternity. You’re welcome future daughter/son-in-laws! 

3. I don’t have to touch smelly boy-jocks! 

The other trick is for sorting the kids’ clothes once they are off the line. My boys actually like folding their own clothes but when they are jumbled in with the rest of the wash, it becomes a bit of a sorting nightmare if I don’t get to Mt Foldmore for a week or so.

Enter these little gems.

laundry hamper, washing, kid's laundry, mt foldmore, mt washmore

Two simple pop-up hampers, one each, which I sort their washing directly into. The hamper gets put on their beds for them to fold and put away. Huzzah!

As you can see, these solutions aren’t sophisticated or costly but the time and energy they will save me in the laundry is priceless!!

Do you get your kids involved in doing the laundry? What tricks to you use to make life easier when tackling Mt Washmore?

 

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Parenting: Opting out is not an option

quit parenting, parenting, runaway parents

There are lots of hard things about being a parent. 

It’s hard seeing your child hurt.

Toilet training is hard.

Making decisions that impact your child’s future is hard. 

Watching Yo Gabba Gabba at 6.30am in the morning is really hard. 

But the absolute single hardest thing about parenting is an inability to opt out. 

For example, I drafted this post at 4.05am in the morning. Why the heck are you up at that ungodly hour, I hear you ask. Well after a total of FOUR wake ups by Pebbles, I was confronted by a small shape looming over me whispering the words every slumbering parent dreads… “Mummy, I wet the bed.”

Now, judge me if you will, but at this point, all I wanted to say was “Bugger off” and roll over.

Alas, that’s the killer thing about this parenting caper – quitting is not an option.

I’ve got 3 little humans depending on me and they, quite frankly, don’t give a damn about how much sleep I’ve had, or that I’m not a morning person, or that I was in the middle of a really nice dream involving Channing Tatum and all 31 of Baskin Robbins’ icecream flavours…

It pains me to admit but I’m not the world’s tenacious person. I kinda get into stuff and love the guts out of it for a while, then drop it like it’s hot. Things like belly dancing and weight watchers and university degrees. 

But parenting is one thing I can’t drop. No matter how hot that spud gets, I have to hold on tight and feel the burn.

Difficult conversations – gotta have ‘em.

Endless meals of sausages and pasta – gotta have ‘em.

Wet beds at 4am – gotta have ‘em. 

My kids won’t be little forever but while they are, here I am right in the thick of it. Sure, I may be a little grumpy and my clothes are usually unironed. I also have some pretty mean battle scars in the form of stretch marks, bad skin and a debilitating caffeine addiction.

But I won’t give up. I can’t.

No matter how good that icecream dream of Channing was…

Somedays do you just want to quit parenting?

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Operation Clean & Organised

It’s been a crazy 12 months or so.

Bathrooms have been renovated, babies have been born, 3 full households have been relocated over 90km (us & both sets of parents), grandparents have been ill, pets have died, husband’s have been diagnosed and treated for cancer … all with three kids in tow.

Consequently, my house has suffered BIG TIME. Stuff gets piled up, cleaning takes a backseat and Mt Washmore continues to grow. There are boxes yet to be unpacked. Projects have been started and put to one side and, most frustratingly, every time I seem to get one area of the house sorted, another is reduced to chaos. I wish I was the type of person who comfort-cleans instead of comfort-eats!

Instead, I tend to put off jobs thinking that I will get to them when things get back to “normal” (whatever that means).

However in the last week or so I’ve come to the realisation that there will always be SOMETHING.

Hopefully not in the form of more babies or cancers but someone will get sick, something will need to be fixed.

Life is not all smooth sailing and I really need to get out of the habit of putting things off until things calm down. Because let’s face it, life with three kids? Seriously, calm doesn’t even factor in the equation.

So, to help me get things back on an even keel and motivate me to get the house ship-shape, I’ve signed up for The Organised Housewife’s 20 Days to Organise and Clean Your Home (can you hear The Man cheering?). The beautiful Kat from The Organised Housewife is kitting us out with daily tasks, checklists and tips on getting our house ship-shape!

organised housewife, cleaning kit

I just hope I can stick with this the whole way through. Today is Day 3 and I’m already 2.5 days behind… but in my defence I have a dreadful head cold. I’m telling you, its so bad its bordering on man-flu!

However, I do already feel more inspired by reading Kat’s tips and seeing the progress of others in the group. Fingers crossed I can build up some momentum and stay organised!

Are you an organised person, even in times of crisis? Or do you get distracted and overwhelmed like I do?

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Letter to Pebbles – Happy first birthday!

Don’t forget to enter the #pebblesturnsone giveaway here!

Pebbles at 1

My dearest darling girl,

Today you are one!

I simply cannot believe it. In some ways the last 12 months have flown by, but I also find it difficult to remember what life was like before you burst onto the scene.

Unbeknownst to me at the time of your naming, Jessica means “gift” and that my love, you truly are. You have been an absolute blessing over the last 12 months, a time of much upheaval.  Tending to your everyday needs has helped distract me from the various stresses facing our little family. The special bond we share has been a balm for my very battered soul.  A gift you are indeed.

Watching your personality develop has been wonderful, although I fear we may be in for a bumpy ride in years to come. Your moods change like the wind, demanding and loud one minute, cheeky and flirty the next. You drive us all crazy with you insistent yells for attention but when you have centre stage you are an absolute delight. Yes, I do foresee trouble ahead!

At 12 months you are nearly walking – taking a few tentative steps unaided but yet to take off independently. You zoom around when holding on to something though, and you resent being restricted by the playpen. You say “Mum”, “Dad”, “bubba”, “poo”, “num-num” (food), “ni-ni” (tired) but your favourite word is “Will”. You always light up when he enters your line of sight & he adores you just as much in return.  

I think you are really going to give your two big brothers a run for their money. Already you love to wrestle and play rough. Constantly busy, I think the only time you are still is when you are sleeping! I must admit though, when you are sleepy you give the best snuggles in all the world.

Your favourite tricks include panting like a dog in response to “what does a dog say”, pegging toys out of your playpen (you’ve got an awesome throwing arm!), clapping and dancing. In fact you love anything musical and can even belt out a mean tune on the xylophone. 

For some reason you even like my (very bad) singing. Twinkle Twinkle always gets you doing the hand movements and Rock-a-Bye Baby is the one thing that manages to soothe you when you are resisting sleep. That and boobie, of course! 

Yes, we are still breastfeeding, a feat I’m quite proud of, and you love your solid foods, too. Your current favourites are blueberries and sultanas. Oh, and CAKE! You are your mother’s daughter, after all. 

Gorgeous girl, everyday I’m grateful to have you in my life.

Thank you for being my daughter. 

All my love

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