Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Push It, Push It

Lately I am tripping over objects wherever I go, inside outside, doesn't matter. Muddy Bubby is trying to be on his feet with whatever means he can. Be it truck, cart, desk chair, high chair, washing trolley, dining chair or ladder. If he can get on his feet and push it he will.

Every so often he surprises himself and lets go and finds himself standing on his own, then he realises what he's done and quickly grabs hold of whatever is closest.

I have bruises up and down my legs where I've walked into things he's walked somewhere and then abandoned in favour of something else that moves, or makes noise. It's so much fun to watch him have fun and be so proud of being on his feet. It warms my heart and brings sunshine to a cold winter day.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Grateful for our 'Local'

When I was growing up I can always remember the TV show 'Cheers', not that my parents were big TV watchers or even fans of the show, but the theme song, it got me every time and I can still sing it today (always badly). 'Where everybody knows your name', I can remember wondering how in a big city a place like this existed, but there you have it, that's the magic of TV shows!

Well we do have a local pub, 'where everybody knows your name', it is nestled in the little village straight up the railway line. There isn't much in the village, a shrine of remembrance, an RFS shed with firetruck, a few homes and the grain silos and of course the CWA rooms. This pub used to be a sad and sorry sight, when I first started visiting Muddy Hubby out here he'd take me down for a cool drink and 9 times out of 10 it wouldn't be open, or you'd be lucky enough to find it open and be halfway through your drink and the publican would declare he wanted to go home, so you'd either skull your drink or leave it behind before he shut the doors on you.

Over the last 5 years though it has undergone a massive transformation, it was bought by a young couple who reintroduced regular community BBQ's and functions (this weekend they're doing Camp Oven lunches), they have renovated the pub inside, it is now open and light and welcoming, and the fact that they're smiling, happy publicans helps too. It's child friendly and when it's a quiet Sunday afternoon like the one just past the kids can hang out and eat their chips and iced water and give us some respite as they enjoy their well earned reward.

Yes, I do bribe my Muddy Kids with a visit to the pub for Chips and a cup of ice, the publicans have a little girl 3 months older than Muddy Bubby, so there is always toys to play with and some company for the Muddy Kids. In winter there's a roaring fire inside and a fire outside as well. The Muddy Kids love to run around on the grass or play in what was the 'Ladies Lounge', while we catch up on the local gossip!

This week I am expressing my gratitude for my wonderful local, for being warm and wonderful and a place the whole family can enjoy, and for being an excellent reward when you don't have a park within a 10 minute drive.

Linking up with Maxabella for 52 Weeks of Grateful at Village Voices. Head over and check it out, you'll be pleased you did!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Bus

Time and Time again I am reminded that time passes quickly and before you know it your kids are growing up and doing things you thought were so far away. This morning my Muddy Pixie took the big step of catching the bus to Preschool. We have been talking about the possibility for a while and each time she's seem pretty keen, so with the start of a new term we decided to give it a go.
The Muddy Pixie was practically giddy with excitement, she bolted out the door this morning (unheard of for her who is always the straggler) back pack and all, bounced out of the car when we got to the bus stop and then held tightly onto my hand while we waited for the bus to arrive. Then the time came and up she went onto the bus and off to preschool. Simple as that.

I have been an anxious Mum and rang preschool to check she arrived safe and sound (she did), I was reassured that all the staff did the big 'Oh wow you caught the bus, how exciting, what a big girl thing to do' with lots of positive praise and high-fives (again I am so lucky to have such a great preschool and staff). So from now on this will be how it is, two big girls catching the bus to school and preschool and home again, 'except on special ocassions' as my Muddy Organiser says.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Chicken Infused Pork

No this is unfortunately not a recipe, this is a horror story (not really, but as close as I get) and yes it has given me nightmares.

We have 2 pet pigs, one girl (Sow) named Alana, and a boy pig (Boar) named Leopard. Over the last few months I have become quite fond of my pigs, they've got their own little personalities and they are very cheeky. We have been letting them out in the house paddock during the day, and in the evening they see me coming with the scrap bucket and put themselves in their pen, have a feed, a late afternoon camp in the sun, before they tuck themselves into their tin drum together at night.

A few weeks ago one of my chooks went missing, I put it down to foxes as there's been a few about. A couple of days later another chook went missing, it was at night and in the morning there were feathers in the pig yard. Now the two yards are next to each other and I had noticed the pigs digging around the fence line but hadn't thought anything of it, the chooks however have decided to start escaping that way, and unfortunately the pigs decided that the wayward chook that came wandering into their yard was a tasty morsel.

I was initially skeptical that it was the pigs, I gave them the benefit of the doubt, then one day I let them both out in the house paddock together (the 2 remaining chooks and the 2 pigs). What took place next was my stuff of nightmares. The pigs cornered the chooks in the chook yard, working as a team the had them cornered and went in for the kill. I was screaming 'Stop, Stop' but the pigs were focused on their goal and as I've since been told 'they're not like dogs you know, they're not going to listen'! One chook came squawking out of the yard at full pace, ran straight into the garage where I promptly shut the door to keep her safe. The second chook I thought was a goner, she had escaped to another corner but the pigs had followed and I hadn't heard a squawk from her, then like Lazarus rising she came flapping out of the yard at full pace, I opened the garage door to let her in and quickly shut it down to keep her safe. Needless to say the chooks and I are both traumatised.

The pigs aren't quite big enough to become Christmas Pork and Ham yet, so we have them for a little longer. I now only let either the chooks or the pigs out, never both and make sure the kids don't smell or look too appetising when we feed them at night! I have been wondering though whether my pork will taste a little like chicken and if I'll be sad eating my pork knowing the reason is tastes so good is because it was fattened on chooks?

Friday, July 20, 2012

Grateful for a night away

Last Friday this was what greeted me in the evening when the sun was going down, it had been a big week, it had rained lots and the Sunset I took as a sign of good things ahead. I was right! Saturday afternoon Muddy Hubby and I headed out, not just out, but away for the night! The whole night, away from the kids, away from the noise, away from the early risers.

We chilled out at the motel, before getting all frocked up for my Muddy Brother-in-law's 30th birthday celebrations. We walked to the venue (it's been years since I've been able to do that), we enjoyed some good company, some lovely food and some nice wine. We chatted without being interrupted, we got to eat our food warm. We got to walk back to the motel (again unheard of) and sleep soundly knowing our children were safely tucked up in bed (until 2:30am when they woke up for Nana, Sorry!) and wouldn't be coming to wake us up in the morning. Bliss, pure Bliss, I did wake up as per usual early, but I just lay there enjoying the silence, dozing lightly, not having to think about other people's breakfasts or what they're going to wear, just soaking up the quiet.

This week I am grateful for my Mum (and Dad) for looking after my 4 Muddy Kids to allow Muddy Hubby and I this precious time away (24 hours in total). I am so grateful for that morning of silence, to help me recharge and get back into Mummy mode.

This was the AWESOME Birthday Cake, perfect for a sheep farmer.
Linking up for 52 Weeks of Grateful with Maxabella at Village Voices.
What are you Grateful for this week?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Balancing My World

Today marks 3 weeks until I return to the work force! I'm in two minds as to whether I want to cry or whether I want to cheer that I will be getting to have some time that reminds me that I'm not only a Mum 2 days a week, that there are other aspects to me. Please don't get me wrong I love being at home with my kids but for me returning to work is what I need to bring balance back into my world.

A couple of months ago I knew I was ready to go back, Muddy Hubby came home one day and I was in tears, I had made a big effort to do nothing house related all day, to just play with my kids, the first half of the day was great, by the end I'd had enough. I cried to Muddy Hubby 'I don't actually enjoy playing with my kids ALL day' and I was so upset because I know how many women out there would give their right arm to be able to sit at home and play with their kids all day and I felt guilty that I wasn't one of them.

I have said it before and I will say it again, I take my hat off to full time stay at home Mums, I think they are a very special breed, with patience and tolerance in abundance, which I do not have.These 12 months have been perfect, I got the last few months at home full time before my Muddy Organiser started school, I got to be there each day for bus drop offs and pick ups for the first 2 terms, I even squeezed in Canteen Duty a few times and have enjoyed being at home full time.

I am making sure I am soaking up the last weeks, making sure I spend time with each of the kids, getting them ready too. I think it will be a bumpy road ahead til we get into a groove!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Balancing it Out

I don't like getting too dirty. I don't mind if I'm working around the farm and get dirty, that I can cope with, as long as once it's done I can have a hot shower and clean up I'm fine. I can be a bit of a fussy parent at times too about the kids getting dirty, I KNOW that it''s all in fun and it helps with learning and creative play and all that, but still it's dirt! Which is why I LOVE that Muddy Hubby is the opposite, he gets dirty and doesn't even notice, comes home and goes to sit on the lounge filthy and I have to stop him before he sits down. I love that when the kids go with him it's almost guaranteed that they will come back having had a wonderful time and covered in dirt. If I go along with them I am fussing and trying to minimise the damage. Muddy Hubby on the other hand lets them go hard until they're worn out, no matter how dirty they get.

The same goes for risk taking, I am not an overly adventurous person, I always over think things and stop and hesitate before jumping into a task. Muddy Hubby again is the opposite, he whacks the kids in the bucket of the Dingo and doesn't hesitate to raise them up in the air, while I on the other hand fret about 'What if they fall out'. When he discovers an Emu nest he jumps right in and gets the kids in to check it out, while on the other hand I am having visions of angry Emus finding me in their nest and chasing me around the paddock (yes I have had this vision several times). Muddy Hubby has the confidence that the Emu has long left the nest and the few remaining eggs will not hatch and it's OK for the girls to pick them up and bring them home. He doesn't flinch when the Muddy Puzzler drops the Emu Egg on the Dining Room floor and it smashes open,while I am having a heart attack about how to clean it all up (true story)!

This balance we have evens it out for our kids. I'm sure if it was 100% up to me my kids would end up reserved, clean freaks with no sense of adventure.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Memory Lane


So at the end of last week I found myself talking a nostalgic walk down memory lane. I happened to drive past one of the first houses I lived in when I moved out west for a job, over 10 years ago now. I don't often end up in that part of town but when I do I make sure I check out my old haunts. I was horrified to discover that the house, which holds such fond memories of the single, carefree life I lived was now a 'Massage Clinic'. I know it has changed owners several times but was not expecting that. I called my old flatmate who I lived in the house with and we had a good laugh about what type of massage clinic it was, and whether or not if you went for a massage it would have a 'happy ending'. We had a little catch up and I remembered all the good times we'd had living together.

Then Saturday night we went back to town for my Muddy Brother-in-law's 30th Birthday, it was held at what used to be one of my favourite restaurants when I lived in town. I found myself remembering birthdays, farewells and dinners I've had there and again got a little nostalgic.

I find that this often happens, I go for long periods without thinking about how I got to be where I am, and then through circumstances end up with several things that take me on a walk down memory lane. Sometimes I really love that jog of the memory that 'Oh so this is how I ended up where I am', then there's the memories that bring out the cringe factor 'did I really do that, what was I thinking' and trust me, there are lots of cringes!

The best bit about a walk down memory lane is knowing that no matter how I got to where I am, the most important thing is where I am now and that I'm happy. That there are no regrets. These walks down memory lane really got me thinking about memories and what you hold onto and what you let go of. One of my favourite movies is 'The Notebook' and it makes me cry every time, because she doesn't remember the love of her life, only in those rare lucid moments, I am scared that at some point I won't be able to do these walks down memory lane. For now though I am enjoying them.

Do you take walks down memory lane often, or do they catch you by surprise like they do me?
Do you like them, or cringe at them? Or are you one of those people that never look back?
Did your old house end up as a Massage Clinic too?

Friday, July 13, 2012

A Week of Gratefuls

This week has been a tough one, second week of school holidays and we've been busy busy, so to try and pick me up this week I've tried to focus each on what I'm grateful for in each day. I saw another grateful blogger do this the other week and I loved it. It has worked well for me, so this week following on from last week's grateful post:

Saturday - I was grateful for a dear friend having a girl's only 40th birthday party and I got to spend a lovely evening, child free, catching up with some lovely friends and getting to know some new ones.

Sunday - I was grateful for some time on the four wheeler shifting sheep with my Muddy Pixie, we didn't fight, she wasn't throwing tantrums, we just enjoyed being on the bike together, a rarity nowadays.

Monday - Saw me be very grateful for my Muddy Hubby taking 2 of the kids so I could race into town and do some jobs with only 2 Muddy Kids, definitely lightened the load

Tuesday - Gratefulness was in abundance that it hadn't rained yet and we could keep shearing the sheep for a bit longer

Wednesday - Ironically I was grateful for enough rain to give our crops a much needed drink

Thursday - I was grateful for having such a lovely little red head with me when my Muddy Organiser came shopping with me, we had some lovely time together with Muddy Bubby before school starts back, we ate lunch in a cafe and enjoyed being together. We even bought some new fish for the fish tank.

Friday - I am very grateful to have my Mum and Dad visiting so I can try and restore order to my house, getting some time to fold washing and put it away, do the office filing and catch up on the farm accounts.

Linking up with Maxabella at Village Voices for 52 Weeks of Grateful, head on over and check it out. What are you Grateful for This Week?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Wool Lovers

We've spent most of the last week and a half in and out of the shearing shed, it's a good thing my Muddy Kids love it!

Linking up with Trish at My Little Drummer Boys for Wordless Wednesday, make sure you pop over and check it out!

And what do you think of my new header? Do you love it as much as I do? My wonderful, talented BFF Laura created it for me and I am eternally grateful for her help!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Mini Break Snapshots

When we headed north for a couple of nights we managed to squeeze in a few touristy things while we were away. We took the Muddy Kids fossicking for Opals, somehow I think Muddy Hubby enjoyed it just as much as they did! We checked out the Lake which is normally farming country, but because of all the rain and floods it's a lake at the moment. We did the 'Car Door Tours' to see some of the town highlights and the opal fields. It's definitely a unique town, and despite all the touristy things every time you asked the Muddy Kids what they wanted to do next their answer was always the same 'Can we go to the park?'.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Shearing Up North

At the start of last week we went shearing up North on our lease block, I took quite a few photos, here's a few to see how our two days went. Shearing starts early in the morning, the first run starts at 7:30, most shearers get to the shed about 7. The day is broken up into 4 runs 7:30 - 9:30, 30 mins morning tea, 10-12 then 1hr lunch, 1-3 then 30 mins afternoon tea, then the last run is 3:30-5. The shearers we had were each shearing between 130 - 210 sheep a day.
We got the sheep in Sunday afternoon and put some in the shed and under the shed

The Muddy Puzzler and Muddy Organiser oversaw the whole process

The sheep need to be sheded to keep them dry

We had 4 shearers, in a day and a half they shore just over 1100 sheep

Muddy Hubby Classes our wool, he likes to tell the girls what he's doing

My Muddy Puzzler likes to check it all out

At the end of a run the sheep are counted out of each shearer's pen, the shearers are paid per sheep

All the wool has to be baled up and bought home on the truck, Muddy Puzzler tries to help, the bales weigh about 190kg each

Muddy Hubby drives the truck home with all the wool bales and other shearing gear
We've started shearing back at home, we only have 3 shearers going here, but they're powering through the sheep. It's supposed to rain tomorrow which means we'll knock off when we run out of dry sheep, as the shearers won't shear them if they're wet.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Love a Good Preschool

I am a big supporter of Early Childhood Education and I'm a get involved kind of person. When we first enrolled our Muddy Organiser in Preschool I didn't hesitate to put my hand up to lend a hand and volunteer. At times the behind the scenes workings get you down, but more often than not I find it rewarding to see the enjoyment the kids and staff get out of events or fundraisers.

One of the BEST things I've been able to watch is the process towards renovating the outdoor space at preschool. It was already pretty cool with a bike track, cubby, massive sandpit, climbing equipment and a few chooks. What they've done now though is build the area into a more natural environment. There's a slide built into the hill and a climbing wall. There's going to be an 'outdoor learning area' and at the moment the Landscaper is working on improving the mud patch, so it will have donkey pumps and a bridge and all manner of get messy stuff.

I had a meeting last Thursday for the upcoming Trivia Night Fundraiser and all my Muddy Kids had an absolute blast exploring the updated area showing that it has definitely been worth the work. I feel so very lucky to have such a fantastic resource in our town, I know so many towns struggle with staffing and funding, so I am extra grateful this week for the fantastic Director, Staff and Preschool we have here in town.

Linking up with Maxabella at Village Voices for 52 Weeks of Grateful. It's definitely worth checking out, so head on over and have a look.