Little routines that they’ll remember

Sometimes it’s not the grand holidays that kids will remember, it’s the small yet special routines weaved into family life that they seem to hold dear. I know that is definitely the case with my kidlets.

Takes for instance the times they have a sleepover at Grandma’s. Every time they follow they same routine in the morning. They wake up, all pile into my Mum’s bed with a heap of books to read. She sips on her cup of tea while the kids have their milk. After a slow morning filled with breakfast, they get dressed and walk up to the shop together. I know Mum buys the paper, usually something for lunch and I’m sure she probably spoils them with something else too that fails to get mentioned! But it’s these little things that my kids look forward to the most when they stay at Grandma’s.

We have our own routines that we have at home, some are small, some a bit bigger, some happen every week without fail and other’s are more like a treat. For instance:

}}Every Friday morning we ring Hubby at work, before any of us can say hello or good morning, everyone sings out “No More Works!!”. It signals to us all that at the end of the day we have the weekend together, two whole days without work or school, yay!!

}}Sleepovers in the lounge room. Now that the kids are a bit bigger, we bring out both of the kids double bed mattresses (it used to be just one that we fit on) and bring them into the lounge. We tent to do this more in the winter when we have a slow weekend ahead. We watch a movie together and we all drift off to sleep in their own time.

}}A cook up! This is probably one of our most regular and most requested. Usually on a Thursday or Friday night, we gather a heap of easy food and have a cook up. Think party pies, dim sims, breads and dip, chicken wings etc. Once everything is cooked, it’s placed on a big communal tray and we sit on the lounge room floor together and have a picnic.

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}}Sunday morning shopping. Now this is one I have to say I’m not usually involved in (I know, don’t get jealous, I usually do housework while Hubby and the kids are gone!). The rest of the family heads into the Queen Vic Market to do our weekly fruit and meat shopping. They have their set little shops that they visit, the fruit guy usually loads the kids up with fruit as they are walking around, getting them to try everything before they buy. They then head off to buy a bunch of lilies for the house before visiting Sylvia in the Deli. Hubby jokes that all the ladies look at him thinking what an amazing single dad he is, he says that if I ever go with him they will all think I’m his new girlfriend bahaha! And don’t forget a final stop for jam donuts, you can’t go to the market without them! Grandad has even started to jump in the car for a little excursion in to the market.

}}When we drive to our caravan, there is a spot on the freeway where we are only a short drive away and you can see the coast. Hubby or I usually put down all the windows (no matter how cold) and we all sniff the air “can you smell it?” we ask, as in, can you smell the sea air. For us, this point in the journey means we are nearly there!

Seriously, some of these routines are so funny, and so small, but yet we treasure them dearly!! I’d love to know any that you are your family have!?

The Juggle is Real!

There’s lots of things that people don’t prepare you for before you become a parent, one such thing I wrote about here little while ago but one of the other’s I’m starting to discover is the juggling of extra curricular activities.

Swimming is a non-negotaible activity for out children, we spend way to much time around the river and the ocean for them not to be competent swimmers. Apart from that, we are willing to let the kids have a go at anything, the only rule is that if you start something (especially if it requires a uniform) then you see it through for the year.

Princess stuck with ballet and cheerleading for quite a few years. When she began school, she started Net Set Go which she loves. Her Aunties both play netball and we have a beautiful friend that plays for the Melbourne Vixens that Princess looks up to. One day, she really wants to be in a team (she can’t play until she is eight) and I think a team sport would be great for her.
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This year, the dance school closed but not before Princess had already made the decision to try Gymnastics. Turns out she loves this too and is pretty good at it, meaning that a couple of weeks ago her teacher spoke to me about moving her into the next class up. Resulting in adding another hour of gymnastics and a selection of two times which both clashed with swimming and Net Set Go. OF COURSE there was a clash, of course this wasn’t going to be easy!!!

And so the juggle became real!! It’s literally taken me two weeks of writing different scenarios down on paper trying to fit it all in. As parents too, at some stage there will need to be a discussion about swimming and at what point we say to the kids you have the skills you need and you’re never going to be an Olympic swimmer, you can stop now. And this have nothing to do with our kids being spoilt and us not being willing to drop an activity, it’s more about what each activity has to offer our kids and what they get out of it.

So for now, I’ve managed to juggle my way out of this little issue but making so switcheroos with swimming and changing Gymnastics to another night. God help me though when the Ragamuffin adds in some of his own activities!!

I’d love to know how many activities your kids do? IS there a

Long days

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When you’re reading this I’ll be on school holidays. Whoop whoop!! I know some of you Mumma’s out there are probably cringing at the thought of it, but being a teacher and a mummy I totally look forward to those two weeks!! This one in particular I have been looking forward to more so.

I feel like I started this year on the back foot. Instead of our normal holiday packed with nothing but relaxation, this time our it was broken up by some beautiful weddings and other destinations than our normal one. We wouldn’t have wanted it any other way, we had a blast and so did the kids. But it meant packing bags on numerous occasions, tiredness (maybe a hangover or two) and quite a few long car trips.

When we finally did arrive home, at over 90 years young and still living home alone and driving, Hubby’s Pa fell quite ill.  What followed were long weeks of emotion highs and lows and Mothering without Hubby’s help. This of course is something that I would not change for the entire world. While Hubby had important and heart wrenching family duties to attend to, I held down the fort.

I did everything in my power to be a good Mum but more than that, everything to be a good wife. Any job that needed to be done that he had mentioned even in passing, I tried to do it. I’m sure I didn’t do it as well as he would have, but it was done, and it was one less thing for him to worry about so that his focus could be where it needed to be.

As the days rolled into weeks, they seemed to get longer. I enjoyed the moments of peace when the kids were in bed and through this regained my strength for the next day ahead. When Pa passed, time stood still for a while for us all to grieve, laugh and share stories, and to hold each other up.

When we did return to work, it wasn’t in our normally refreshed state, and I know I’m not alone in that. I’m normally pretty resilient when it comes to illnesses going around at school both with my own kids and students. But this term has been marred with many migraines, colds, stomach bugs and more. I’ve cleaned up more than my fair share of vomit this year let me tell you!

So this school holidays I’m looking forward to do absolutely nothing! Pure and utter relaxation (as much as you can with kids) and recharging the batteries fully for another school term ahead. What will you be doing?