Friday, February 01, 2013

Fridays are my worst day...

Most people say that they hate Mondays, well it's official I'm a crazy person.. because I hate Fridays & I have for the past 6 years.. It's a hard one to explain and I really don't know if anyone will understand my reasoning but here goes...
Fridays are an emotionally charged day for me as they are our swap over day.. And today is the first swap over day for 2013 after having the kids altogether for a whole month! So I'm probably feeling it more so today than ever.  So every 2nd Friday this term my Step kids go back to their Mums for the weekend and Mr 7 goes off to his Dad's for the weekend every 2nd weekend all year round. 
You go from having a household of 5 kid's to having only 1 child at home.. So to say it's a bit of a downer is an understatement.  I know they are off having fun, that part i'm okay with, it's just that radical change of environment that really throws me out.   I was a lot worse at it before Mr 1 came along because the weekend's go alot faster now I have another little person to keep me busy, but I still notice that Thursday night and Friday are off days for me.
And of course your mind always wonders what their up to, are they being safe, are they having fun are they feeling okay etc.  Some people used to say Hubby and I should be having a ball on our kid free weekends, but whilst the kids aren't here physically, it's not really a kid free weekend after all. Now we have Mr 1 there are no such thing as 'kid free weekends' but thats ok, who needs a life anyways.. LOL. 
Then on the flip side the opposite Friday we have a  houseful of kidlets in residence and the term when my Step kids are at their Mums during the school week and return home on the Friday, Friday is chaos day.. fighting, settling in, adjusting, lots of noise and lots of crazy as they adjust to being in our home again.  A few years ago, I used to stop into the video shop on the way home from school on a Friday afternoon to hire some movies and buy a big bottle of Coke to get me through & the guy on the counter would always look knowingly at me and say 'Stepkids home?' LOL  -- that and I'm sure he could hear them 3 blocks away LOL. 
But you get used to the noise, you get used to the crazy and you get used to the busyness that is five kids in a blended household, its just the coming and going part that is the hard part for me and I'm sure the kids.. Their lives change frequently with different rules etc.  I often look upon large families whose children are all biologically theirs and think 'geez I wonder what that is like?'  but obviously I'll never know.  When the routine settles in again for the year I do breathe a sigh of relief because its also a lot of adjusting for a parent.. after all when you become a parent you don't imagine having to spend time away from your kids regularly... It's not something you think of from the outset..
With my Husband's children we used to have 70/30 custody of the kids in our favour, then week on/week off when Mr 9 was in prep and now we still have 50/50 shared care but we've adjusted it to term on/term off simply so these comings and goings don't happen as frequently.  When it was week on/week off, I swear none of us knew if we were Arthur or Martha!  So whilst lengthening the time they spend in one house has its advantages while they are home, it also sucks when they are away as it can be quite a while between visits.  During the away time Mr 7 and Mr 1 adjust to a whole different way of life, then Mr 12, Miss 11 and Mr 9 come home and everything changes again.. it's like living in a roller coaster at times.
So this weekend it will be very quiet and odd (Except for Mr 1 who can at times Party with the best of them!) But come Monday the house will be full of laughter, playing, fighting, tantrums and lots of Mummy cuddles.  So Friday's, bloody Friday's... give me Monday any day of the week. :) 

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Wordless Wednesday January 30th 2013 {Flooding}

Today the sun is shining & you would never know that our town faced flooding again this week. Alike everyone I feared a repeat of 2011 & although the water thankfully fell short I guess it is no less devastating for those once again affected. These pictures were taken on Monday 27th January a few hours before the river peaked. Thinking of all those affected.. My heart goes out to you all. Xx


School Lunches! Back to school Today!

School goes back today. The kids are very excited.. Iv already had Mr 7 & 9 wake up countless times each throughout the night. I half expect to see them awake and dressed by 5am at this rate! Let's hope not..

So each year I'm a bit of a sucker for new bags & lunch boxes. Quite possibly the kids could have recycled their old school bag this year, but when I saw the Mambo bags at Big W I decided I'd get them some new ones anyway. Mr 7 nearly took his old one though as he was rather miffed the new one didn't have any room for bag-tags! {oh the injustice of it all!}

I'm pretty happy with their lunchbox choice. Miss 11 got her lunchbox from Smiggle ($15), Mr 9's came from Big W as part of a larger 'Smash' back to school pack for $10 & Mr 7 found his comical bargain buy for only $7 at K-Mart. 3 different shops, but sometimes you JUST HAVE TO to find the perfect one.. {Mr 7 will tell you so everytime}

Their old bags I donate to Lifeline as they are still in good condition & I'd like to think that someone got use of them that needed them.

So now to filling them..
I usually pack 2 things for morning tea/first break a piece of fruit & something else such as an LCM, Cheese & Crackers, Corn chips & salsa, muffins, biscuits, lamingtons etc. as well as a juice/popper. For big lunch I will pack 3 things plus they have their water bottles. 4 years ago I found these handy containers with 3 compartments. So useful for putting big lunch into. I have used them for many combo's over the years but usually I stick to the pattern of entree, main & desert LOL. Which can be as simple as crackers, sandwich & lamington finger! Or as complex as you like too! Mr 7 is loving cheese & crackers at the moment so this is his lunchbox. In the morning I will add olives & cherry tomatoes also, but won't add them at night or the cheese tends to go soggy overnight. I usually try to make the lunches the night prior so I'm more organised in the morning.

I always try to be as creative and generous as possible where lunches are concerned because knowing how fussy & hungry they get when their at home I don't want them feeling empty or bored with their lunchbox choices at school. However, I don't think the lunchbox should be the place to experiment with new foods.. When teaching I saw far too many children throwing food away they claimed not to like.

A couple of hints Iv found that seem to work well. Pack 2 lunch boxes, 1 for first break & 1 for second break that way your child will be less likely to eat all their food on the one break. My eldest is terrible at this, Mr 12 will devour all of his lunch in one sitting then come home ravenous at afternoon tea time..

Make sure you wash the kids fruit before you pack it.

Wrap cutlery in a piece of paper towel or add a serviette to the lunchbox. Iv had far too many yoghurt explosions in Mr 7's lunchbox to realise they need it at school to clean themselves up :)

The kids also get Tuckshop once a week on 'Tuckshop Tuesday' which when they were younger and at home (or even now when they are on holidays) is 'Subway Tuesday' I don't remember where this started, but it stuck! Lol. Our school Tuckshop only does big lunch so on a Tuesday I am happy for them to order what they'd like. And on a Friday I send along 50c each for them to spend at the Tuckshop.

So that is school lunches in our home.. They take forever to make some nights and are devoured in seconds or bought home wasted, but I like to think while I'm making them they think of me {probably not} while they're eating them LOL.