I Love You Extra Today

I love you

I had some extra love to spare today so I thought I’d share.

This is my second post today and for very good reason.

You!

Fellow bloggers, readers, like button clickers and followers.

I reached the amazing milestone of over 200 likes today. It is also my last post for the first month of my blogging odyssey. I don’t mean last last. Just the last for January.

I’m not going anywhere. To be completely honest, I think I’ve become a punkie (post junkie-sorry, there’s probably a proper label/title for it that I don’t know about yet and this is the best I could come up with at short notice).

A BIG thank you and blog hug to each of you that have dropped in, stopped a while, read numerous posts and exercised your index finger.

Take some love with you today and give someone you love a little bit extra.

Love your work,

Kelly.

I Love You at Soccer Practice

I love watching you at Thursday afternoon soccer practice.

We’ve just broken the land speed record to get here straight from school but now I get to sit and relax for a bit while you do your stuff.

Your eyes are on the coach the moment he blows the whistle. Your ears are ready to listen to instructions. Your feet can’t keep still in anticipation of kicking the first goal. You can almost taste victory. And this is just practice!

First comes the warm up and your competitiveness is evident right from the get-go. You want to ‘win’ just doing laps of the field. Next in the ritual is stretching. Your serious face makes me laugh as does your version of push ups and sit ups. Drills complete the pre-game action. I watch you pass, dribble and take shots at the goal with such concentration.

soccer

Finally it’s the business end of the session, your favourite part. You and the other boys are broken into two teams. I know you need to learn about team work but not much team playing happens during the game. Your main aim seems to be to get the ball and kick a goal. There’s sometimes tears if your team doesn’t win and pure excitement if you do. I can’t wait until you actually play a proper match against another team.

The passion and determination you show for this sport at such a tender age is admirable. I love watching you at soccer practice.

I Love You Like No Other

I love my kids like no tulipsother.

Until I had my own children I ‘loved’ all children equally. As well as being known as ‘Mum’ to two now, I have been ‘teacher’ to thousands of children across the state. There are no red tulips when I am teaching. Everyone is an equal and no one is treated better than another. Each student is a yellow tulip but I foster the belief that each of them, as individuals, should perceive themselves to be that red tulip. The only one in a field of flowers-unique, amazing and capable of things beyond their expectations.

My own children are red tulips to me. They each have distinct qualities that set them apart from each other but I love them equally. They have their own distinguishing charateristics, some not so admirable and others that make them downright gorgeous!

My boys should grow up knowing there’s no one in the competition of being them. They’re a once-in-all-history event. One in a million. One of a kind.

I love you like no other because there’s nobody quite like you.

Image from: here.

I Love You When School Starts

back to schoolI love you when you go back to school.

And for many reasons other than the obvious. It’s a fresh start, a new year. It’s like having the ability to wipe the slate clean and start anew.

This morning your collar is straight, buttons done up, you don’t have bed hair and there’s no streak of toothpaste across your cheek. We’re running early which probably won’t happen again all year. You look ready to begin this year’s journey.

There’s something about new stationery too. Pencils, pots, glue sticks, textas and books all brand-spanking new. You share my stationery ‘fettish’ and your eyes bug out of your head when you spy your named pencil pot.  Inside the pot they’re all shiny and pointy, just begging to be used. It won’t be long before they’re chewed, lost, broken, worn out or covered in gunk.

Your bag is in its place. Lunch and hat inside. The bell goes and it’s time for you to get down to business. We say goodbye with a big kiss and hug that fills my heart with joy and pride. It overflows as you hug your brother like you won’t see him for a month.

This is the second best part of my day. It’s only outranked by picking you up when school finishes.

I love you when school starts. Have a super day!

I Love You Full Stop

stop pleaseI do love you but please STOP!

Today I decided to count the amount of times I said stop to either of my boys. 23 times. 23! Here are just a few:

  • ‘Stop jumping on the lounge, thankyou.’
  • ‘Please stop doing that.’
  • ‘Stop it. Your brother doesn’t want you on top of him.’
  • ‘That’s enough. It’s time to stop now.’
  • ‘No more lollies now. You need to stop or you’ll be sick.
  • ‘Stop wriggling. I need to wipe your hands.’
  • ‘You need to stop now and pack up. We’re going home.’

I don’t think they heard any other word with the same frequency, with the possible exception of the word ‘no’. I certainly didn’t tell them I loved them 23 times today. The only thought that gave me any solace was that I cancelled out the ‘stops’ with positive comments. Praising them as many times as they were asked to refrain from doing something made me feel a little better.

Using the word so often made me realise how often we see, hear or say it in our adult world. The ‘s’ word features in/on:

  • TV shows, ‘Stop! Police!’
  • advertisements, ‘Stop everything! Come in for 50% off store-wide.’
  • road signs (of course we need these ones)
  • radio, songs like, ‘Stop. Hammertime.’, ‘Stop Right Now’, ‘Can’t Stop Loving You’, ‘Stop! In the Name of Love.’

I also noticed that it tends to lose its effectiveness the more often the kids hear it. It begins to fall on deaf ears. So I made a decision today. I’m going to try singing my stop instructions to them tomorrow. At the very least I’ll probably get their attention because they’ll think that Mum has lost her marbles. They’ll probably double over with laughter but they will have also stopped doing whatever it was they were doing.

I love my kids when they stop if asked to. They’ll probably be asking me to stop singing tomorrow. I’ll keep you posted!

I Love You In The Kitchen

cooking with kids

I love cooking and baking with my kids in the kitchen.

Spending time creating culinary delights with my boys is something I enjoy doing. My eldest is not so keen anymore unless bribery is involved. A comment from me like, ‘you can’t have any chocolate caramel slice unless you come and help make it,’ will generally see him make a beeline for the bench. My youngest is only too willing but lacks the basic understanding necessary to keep his fingers out of the food.

I try hard to ensure that we have germ-free goodies and that the licking of the spoon and bowl at the end is when you get to taste the treat, not during. Temptation proves too great for Master 2 and he is often caught in the act of popping portions into his pie hole or with his mitts in the mixture before we are done. He loves to sift, stir, mix, blend, pour, measure and weigh. ‘Next time me do,’ is his response if I try and actually do some of the cooking myself. It’s like I’m his Sous Chef not the other way around.

Having the boys help has other drawbacks too. The fairness issue comes into play when they are both being mini Masterchefs. Who has had a longer turn with the electric beater is a common complaint or who measured and added the most cups to the bowl. Then there’s the clean up of the flour on the floor and the crumbs on the counter. No. 1 will make an early exit while No.2 will wait at the sink for suds.

Lately I’ve had to bake or cook a variety of things for different occasions. Sometimes they’re on short order so I sneak off to the kitchen when I hope noone’s looking. I figure if I can manage to get part way through before I’m joined by one of my apprentices then I can shorten the length of time neccessary to complete the process. Whipping up a dip becomes a pain if they want to puree. I don’t want to discourage them-it just takes that much longer when they’re loitering.

One of the kids’ favourites is sultana and cornflake cookies which I recently made for a school fundraiser.  A double batch of bikkies was required so we would have some left at home for my kids to crunch. We add dried apricots and a small amount of chocolate bits to the receipe. We also reduce the sugar stated in the recipe by half because the extra fruit and chocolate makes them sweeet enough. Head over to here if you’d like the recipe.

I do enjoy baking biscuits and making muffins with them. I’ll continue to encourage my boys to be involved particularly when there’s no rush (despite the mess they make) so that hopefully they will be self-sufficient in the sustenance department in later years.

I do love cooking with my children.

My Little Aussie Champs, I Love You.

australia day

I love my little Aussie champions on Australia day.

On this day each year I always think about how lucky we are and try to impart some of the reasons why to my boys. I believe it’s important for them to have a sense of what it means to be an Aussie. Aside from the lamb chops on the barbie and lamingtons for dessert, I’d like my kids to have a deeper understanding as they grow of the importance of this day.

Normally we would spend Australia Day with family as we have done every year for quite some time as my sister-in-law’s birthday is the same day. This year her birthday celebrations are being held on Monday. When we’re with family I chat with my eldest about the fact that they have family on both sides who were born in other countries. My husband was born in the U.K so on his side our kids are first generation Australians.

This year we were invited to friends of ours for a BBQ. They also have two young children who were sporting temporary tattoos like the boys were. I had expected that my husband’s Australian flag thongs would make an appearance today but they were a no-show. The bucket hat was, however, worn with pride. Others had donned tshirts and shorts bearing various symbols we associate with our country. Triple J’s hottest 100 countdown played in the background. The highlight of the day for me though was hearing my 2 y.o. chant his first; ‘Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, Oi, Oi, Oi!’

I love spending Australia day with family, friends and my little Aussie champs.

I Love You Unconditionally

conditions do not apply to my love for you

A mother’s and father’s love is unconditional.

‘Unconditional love: noun, affection with no limits or conditions; complete love.’

Whatever the forecast-stormy or hot. The weather conditions won’t make any difference.

Whether your room is tidy or needs a clean. It doesn’t matter.

Whenever the path gets steep or rocky, hold my hand. I’ll be there and won’t let go.

Wherever you may find yourself in the future, near or far. It won’t affect how much I care.

Whoever you choose to love in the future. It won’t change a thing.

Conditions do not apply to me loving you. I Love You unconditionally.

I Love You When I’m Doing the Dishes

When you help with the dishes

I love it when you ‘help’ me with the dishes.

As I run the water you are already asking me if you can help do the dishes. Without waiting for an answer you have grabbed your step (an upturned plastic milk crate covered with cardboard and material) and are zooming over.

It’s not that I don’t appreciate your offer. The last thing I want to do is quell your enthusiasm for such a routine task that I’m sure you’ll grow to dislike. Fighting tooth and nail is one expression that comes to mind when I think of you donning the rubber gloves once you reach maybe 4, 5 or 6. The novelty will wear off and you’ll find it a chore, I’m just not sure when. You’ll turn to me and say, ‘can’t we just put them in the dishwasher?’

So you are assigned to the rinsing sink. Your role is simple-to remove the bubbles off the dishes and then put them in the drainer.  Instead you enjoy pouring water from cups into bowls and containers into plastic bottles. In the meantime, as you assist me, we end up with more water on the floor than in the sink. You try and steal my bubbles and put them in your side or on your face to make a beard. Not many items leave your side and go into the dish drainer so I remind you or just do it myself. That means I need to go around you or over your head to reach. When you do put some in I need to rearrange them after otherwise they’d still be full of water in the morning. I’ll give you one thing in all of this. You’re an expert plug puller-outerer. Your face gets ‘that look’ if I forget and you don’t get to do it.

When we’re done I’ll mop up the water from the floor, rearrange the drainer, change your top and we’re done. Phew! Dishes used to be an easy task.

But it’s special time that I get to share with you that makes it worth the effort. I love you when we’re doing the dishes together.

Naturally, I Love You!

We love natureNaturally I love my kids. I love the fact that they naturally love me too (most of the time).

I also love the fact that they get to experience some natural wonders at home. We live in a suburban area that backs onto natural scrub and rural properties and are, therefore, very fortunate to have some overnight visitors and home-stay guests.

Featuring in the parade of wildlife we have seen are echidnas, koalas, kangaroos, blue tongue lizards, possums, bats, sleepy lizards, scorpions and brown snakes. Of the feathered variety are rosellas, rainbow lorikeets, black cockatoos and owls. The koala in this photo regularly stays a night or two in a ghost gum in our backyard. He’s a true ‘local’ who spent many a night up our tree as a youngster clinging to his mother’s back before flying solo. He’s aptly been named ‘Blinky’ and the kids check daily to see if he’s around.

The only trouble with nature’s neighbours is that the nocturnal ones can be a little on the rowdy side. On occasion my eldest will know we have a koala in the backyard before he gets up because he has heard it the night before. Have you ever heard the noise a koala makes? It puts the words cute, soft and cuddly right out of your brain.

I also love watching my boys try and catch a gecko by the tail. I have vivid memories of being successful at this when I was a kid. I screamed when the gecko’s tail continued to wriggle for quite some time after it had become detached from the gecko by way of my vice-like grip. The only thing I do worry about is the snakes. I’d rather my boys never see a brown or black snake in our yard but they know what they should do if one crosses their path.

Naturally I love my kids. That’s how nature intended it to be. It’s only natural!

I Love You In The Middle of the Night

walking to your room with one eye open in the middle of the night

It’s been a while since I’ve had to do a middle-of-the-night trip to either of my son’s bedrooms. Last night I had to do just that.

3 a.m. and my ears pick up the beginnings of a cry. Moments later my feet hit the floor as the sound intensifies. My knees almost buckle when I stand up. As I stumble down the hallway with one eye open for guidance, the noise has reached its crescendo. Other than bashing into the door jambs on the way, my only concern is that number two will wake number one.

Morry, the teddy, has fallen out of the bed! I thank my lucky stars that’s all it was, tuck both in and give my boy a kiss. As I fumble my way back to bed my mind has ‘there were two in the bed and the little one said, rollover’ playing on repeat.

This morning I have two backpacks under my eyes. It’s going to be a long day. I am grateful that this happens rarely now. I’ll rethink our plans for today. My pillow is calling but it’ll have to wait. Maybe some board games to keep the brain active, walk the dog after lunch for exercise and a kids movie at home in the afternoon for relaxation purposes.

I love my boys in the middle of the night. I’d just prefer to do so with my eyes tightly shut until daybreak.

I Love You Treasure

heart made of hand prints

Evidence of you is all around our home. Toys in the lounge room, dishes in the sink, pictures you’ve drawn on the fridge and photos of you on the wall.

When you were born we had your hands and feet cast, dipped in gold paint and framed so we would never forget how little you were when you began your life with us. As I look at that frame it occurs to me that I don’t stop very often to actually take note of how small you were. I treasure that frame, and your brother’s frame, and will have more time in years to come to notice those details more frequently.

Right now I see the handprints you leave on the T.V, the wall, the door, the table and any other surface you come into contact with. Each week I try to wipe away any evidence that you’ve left on surfaces all in an attempt to have a clean home. The handprints in the photo were special ones that you made as a gift for your dad and I with the accompanying poem:

I know you wipe some away,

but these handprints were made to stay.

So keep them forever, a treasure they’ll be.

A special ‘I Love You’ for you from me.

So I’d just like you to understand that I love you, treasure, and I’ll remind you everyday even as I wipe those other handprints away.

I Love You No Matter What

lollies snakes and jelly beans

Recently my little guy has taken a liking to the word ‘what’.

‘What’s this?’
‘What’s that?’
‘What you doing?’
‘What’s this for?’
‘What’s inside?’
Or just the plain, garden variety, ‘What?
I won’t even go into the where’s, when’s and who’s right now.

The most amusing of the what’s is ‘what’s inside?’ How do you explain to a near 3 y.o. what’s inside a jelly bean or a lolly snake? Other humorous questions relate to what’s inside the body wash we use in the shower, tennis balls and poo.

As tedious as it becomes to hear that word by the end of the day and trying to explain the unexplainable I try and keep my patience and do my best to describe as succinctly as I can what it is exactly that he’s trying to fathom. I guess I should thank myself lucky we’re not up to the ‘why’s’ yet. They’re probably just around the corner though so I’ll take the ‘what’s’ while I can.

I love helping my little guy solve the ‘what’ mysteries in his ever-expanding world even if it means talking about poo!

I Love You – No Words

auslan sign language

Auslan sign ‘I Love You’

Words cannot express the love I feel for my children. They remind me daily of how lucky I am and how precious they are.These holidays I have already taught my 5 y.o. to say ‘I love you’ in German. Today I decided to learn with my son how to say ‘I love you’ in sign language.

I love those lightbulb moments and the ‘ah-ha’ as their sponge soaks up some new information. It’s magical to see that twinkle in their eyes when they realise how clever they are. I love learning with my kids.

American sign for love (informal)

American sign for love (informal)

Photos from: here and here.

I Love You in the Morning

coffee before the kids get upGood morning world and hello coffee!

Actually, I won’t start the day off with a lie. I really drink tea. It just doesn’t have the same ring to it. Anyway I’m going to keep this short but sweet as I’ve noticed my entries getting longer each time I post. Plus my two monkeys will be up shortly and an uninterrupted cuppa is a purely heavenly way to start the day and happens very rarely.

So if you’re reading this while you’re having your morning sabbatical you’ll probably have time to check out some other blog posts before you get to the end of this one. Or maybe enjoy the serenity before your kids surface. I hope you’re lucky this morning.

I hear a toilet flushing. The morning has officially started. I’m off now to skull the rest of my tea before it goes cold and get the toaster cranking.

I love my kids in the morning but I love that brief rendezvous with my tea mug just a smidge more. Until tomorrow………………………

Photo from: here.

I Love You on Pasta Night

pasta night

It’s pasta night at our place. For us it usually occurs sometime midweek or when it’s been really hot and my enthusiasm for ‘cooking’ is at a low point.

A big batch of home-made pasta sauce which has been made, lovingly, by hubby prior to tonight and frozen into batches comes in really handy. Boil the water, add the pasta, defrost the sauce, whack some garlic bread in the oven and, voilà, dinner is served.

The eating part is pretty easy and fun to watch the kids do too. There’s never normally any complaints at the dinner table on pasta night. There’s lots of slurping, not much talking and Dolmio Grins all round at the end.

If only the clean-up were as easy or fun. Bits of slurped sauce seem to stretch for miles. There’s stringy bits of pasta everywhere that have started to congeal. If you miss one during the clean up and find it x days later it’s set like concrete. Crumbs from the garlic bread are all over the seats. And, please, let’s not even discuss dirty hands. The hands have been used in place of a fork to get those last ends of pasta into the mouth when they can’t slurp it in any further. If one of the kids manages to escape the table without having been wiped down first I’ll find those pasta prints on the sides of the chairs from when they’ve climbed down. That’s before the table and kitchen even get a look in.

So there’s a price to pay for my slack cooking. The clean-up is a drag. I do love watching the kids suck that fettuccine on pasta night. It makes it worth the lack of effort. Feel free to share your throw together meals that your kids love.

I Love You in the Summertime

writing in sandSummertime: sea, swimming, sandcastles. How I love summer with my boys.

Today it’s a 37c day so we pack our car to go to the beach. We have all the essentials plus all the things the boys love to take (boogie board, shovels, spades, footy, etc.).

I remember loving the beach as a kid. As an adult, not so much.

Sand is not one of my favourite things. It gets into every orifice known to man. It causes friction rash between your thighs and it sticks to the sunscreen all over your body. I’m sure sandwiches got their name after someone ate theirs on a seaside holiday. Hair resembles straw when it dries after a paddle in the deep blue. Getting into that hot car after you’ve had a dip is the icing on the cake. Heaven help you if you forgot to put the sunshade on the windscreen.

On the plus side you’re thoroughly exfoliated when you leave, like spending several hours at the spa. Then there’s the sand removal from every item you took with you when you get home. It will be evident in the car, however, for weeks to come. Oh, the joy!

So why do I go?

In short, because the kids LOVE it. A trip to the beach is like a mini holiday. There’s things to explore, things to collect, things to do and things to see. Fish and chips is our cuisine of choice. Dining on the grass of the foreshore is preferable to on the sand. Building sandcastles (with a moat of course) rates high on the list of activities for both the boys. The eldest loves to collect shells and use them to decorate the top of the turret. The squeals of delight as they chase seagulls or run away from the approaching waves puts a smile on my face every time. Soon they’ll be heading off to the coast for lazy sunny days in their own cars with their mates.

I’ll love every moment of the summertime with my boys while I can. Promise!

Photo from: here.

It’s No Secret-I Love You!

megaphone

Yes, it’s no secret. By now it’s pretty obvious. I love my little guys.

So what lengths would I go to so the world knows how I feel?

I could:

  • participate in a one-woman march through the centre of town with my placard and megaphone chanting, ‘I love my boys’.
  • paint the roof of my house so the planes that travel their flight path over our home can see my proclamation.
  • post a letter to our local member of parliament asking that it be declared at the next caucus meeting

OR

  • I could just sit here in my pj’s blogging for those of you who care to drop in and have a look-see.

Yes that sounds like the best alternative. I’ve always been more of a spectator than participant in demonstrations. I’d probably fall off the roof and I don’t think my bill would get to the House of Representatives. That megaphone might come in handy when I’d like to be heard over the noise of my three fellas though.

So the secret’s ‘out there’ folks. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll get my message to the masses without needing a megaphone.

Photo from imagerymajestic at: here.

I Love You From Your Fingers to Your Toes

hand with bead bracelet

There isn’t a single part of either of my boys that I don’t love. Let’s face it-they’re a product or combination of myself and their dad so why shouldn’t I?

As adults we may find fault with ourselves or gently point out not-for-the-better changes in our partners. By the time we’ve reached parenthood though, it’s not so much about physical appearance. It’s more to do with health and ensuring you have enough energy to chase around, or after, your kids.

My childern are not perfect but I love them as much as if they were. Right from the tips of their fingers all the way down to their toes.

My eldest has freckles. They’re sporadically placed all over his body. He may end up with moles like me. He’s olive skinned and has tan lines where his socks stop. When he takes off his socks it looks like he’s still got a pair on. He’s a perfectionist (where’d he inherit that from?) and looks like he’s growing some warts at the moment on his feet.

My youngest has coarser hair and blue eyes unlike his brother’s which are brown. He’s stockier and will be taller I’d say which will go down well with the older sibling. There’s a bit of a wingnut characteristic to his ears which is more obvious when he’s had a haircut. Talking to anyone who will listen is commonplace at the moment and he has had numerous minor accidents resulting in blood and doctor’s visits.

Although all these things about them are noticeable I don’t ‘see’ them. I love them just as they are, from their fingers all the way to their toes.

I Still Love You

boy jumpingFrom the moment you wake up, after rubbing the sleep from your eyes and a stretch not dissimilar to that of an African lion, you are on the move.

I admire the unbridled enthusiasm and the limitless energy you possess for the day ahead. You aim to make the most of all of it. You get to run, play, jump, skip, create, make and talk your way through it. It’s tiring watching you sometimes. I wish I had your exuberance. I wish I had your job. All I need to remember is to pause for an instant, a moment or maybe even two to watch you. To take some time out of my busy life to join you as you play your way through the day and see the world from your perspective. From your viewpoint it’s, ‘what do I want to do next?’ not ‘what do I have to do next?’

Sometimes I’d like you to be still. I’m not complaining because it won’t be long before I’ll be trying to separate your rear end from the couch with the barbecue scraper and encourage you to be more active. And like any other mum I’ll probably be quoting George Bernard Shaw saying, ‘youth is wasted on the young.’

I still love you even though you’ve got a neverending case of ants-in-your-pants and I’ll still love you even when the bugs bite less often.

Photo from: here.