Thursday, July 28, 2011

Cutting down requires tough love,,,,,even for Hubby lol

Now that all my little cherubs are back at school (yes even Mr9 who went back yesterday :-)  he is feeling much better, still has a little pain but he wanted to go to school and see his friends and managed quite well), I finally can get back into my routine.  The word routine is very loose in my life lol but I try!!

Like so many people around the world, money is tight and we are needing to cut back as much as we can in order to get by.  On the home front I do what I can and for the most part my family haven't even noticed.

I make my own laundry powder, which saves us alot considering the amount of washing I do.

I have made my own spray and wipe by using vinegar and citrus peelings.  I can't remember where I first read about this but I know that yesterday Tania over at Outback wrote about it (Thanks Tania :-)  ) and it is great stuff.  You can find it here: 
Easy Peasy Citrus Cleaner

I have, much to my boys horror, cut down on the amount of meat that we eat.  Most of us in the family could do with losing a few kgs so meal sizes in general have been cut and for the most part I no longer make enough for left overs.  While leftovers are great to have, I did find the boys would often sneak a second helping of the meat rather than leaving it to create my leftovers lol.

I have started cooking from scratch more.  I always have when it comes to main meals, but cakes and biscuits I would often get lazy and buy them when they were on special.  While sometimes this works out pretty cost effective, most of the time it doesn't and I know that cooking these treats from scratch is so much healthier for us anyway.  (Besides lol, I have a cooking blog to fill up and I certainly have the recipes to do it with!)

I am starting to shop at op shops more regularly.  It seems to very hit and miss in my area, particularly with kids clothes but I plan to expand my op shop list and make sure that I explore more op shops when I go to areas I don't normally frequent.

We are watching our water and power usage and I aim to cut this back as much as I can too.

I have been making sure to do my errands in groups rather than flitting in and out during the week, thus saving on gas.

Decluttering our house has become a regular thing and listing things online to sell has become my job of sorts.  As I have mentioned before we have heaps of stuff that we can get rid of and we won't even notice it gone.

Now we also have a computer overload in our house.  Yes we have a large family but I hate the fact that we have/had 3 computers plus my eldest got a laptop for school for his birthday, hubby has his work computer and we also have an old laptop that is just purely for the internet as it can't handle much else  lol.  Our original plan was to get rid of the 3 desk top computers and just use the laptops to help save on power.  This was a good idea in theory but I have to admit I tend to love the desk top as I just find it easier. 

Now getting to my point lol,,,,,,,Hubby's precious laptop that he plays Call of Duty on (the only computer in the house that will run that game, don't ask me why lol) has died.  My idea was to just get rid of that computer, but hubby refuses lol.  He has spent $25 trying to fix it, didn't succeed.  Now he is waiting for some guy he vaguely knows to get back from holidays to give him a hand to try to fix it.  I have had endless conversations putting my point across that this computer has now been out of action for 2 months and seriously, no one has really missed it.  Yes it was the computer that the younger kids had their games on, I know this, but hey, they haven't complained yet.  The only person to truly complain has been Hubby.  The kids can use this computer provided they stay away from my folders lol.  I keep pushing the power usage it takes and how it will cost more money to fix it and we will survive without it.  His response is, "well I will only turn it on when I play my Call of Duty, so that will be fine"  (Can you tell he isn't the one that has to dust and clean in this house???)

So the stand off continues.  Right now this is the main computer.  The other desk top is a dinosaur that is very slow but it is fine for my second eldest to do homework on.  I would be happy to cut back to just this computer but I guess in this house, that will never happen.  I told hubby that once the kids have all left home I will expect us to be a 1 computer house, he laughed and said "yep one desk top.......and a laptop for me, its all about portability u know hun" lol Sheeeeeesh MEN!!!

Monday, July 25, 2011

When your child needs surgery.....

On Friday my baby, Mr9, needed surgery. 

Now don't worry it wasn't anything serious or life threatening but just something that he had to have done to ensure his future health.  It was something that was brought to my attention a few months ago and after having it seen to by our family doctor, he agreed that it needed specialist attention.  So off to the specialist we went and as we don't have private health cover we thought we would be waiting 6-12 months for the actual surgery.  Amazingly I had a phone call just a few days after our appointment with the specialist saying we could have the surgery done in 2 weeks time.....well that was a little soon for my liking, especially after reassuring my little boy that it would be at least Christmas time before he had to worry about it!  So I put it off for a further four weeks.  This date was July 22.

I was astonished when my little trooper wasn't at all nervous about the surgery.  We had to be at the hospital at 7am and he got up at 6am without complaining.  No breakfast could be had, but he didn't complain.  After checking in at the hospital they showed him to his bed.  He played video games for a while  and then it was time to go to theatre.  He said he was getting nervous and I thought "Here we go, I can see the tears coming" but nope, he remained calm.  He decided that he didn't need me to go with him while they put him to sleep, he wanted to do it by himself.  I just about fell over at this point lol, my little boy was acting so grown up! I went and sat in the waiting room just outside theatre.  I tell you it was the longest hour and a half of my life.   I hate to think how I would have felt if it was something serious he was having surgery for!!

Finally I got to go to him in recovery where he had been sick.  10 minutes later they moved him back to the ward and he started to return to normal,,,,,until he got up to go to the toilet.  He was sick again, then a couple of hours later when they said he could get ready to go home, sick again.  They ended up keeping him for 8 hours instead of the usual 4 hours after surgery.  When he had dinner and kept it down for about an hour they decided he could leave.

He said that he wanted to stay because he had more games he wanted to play lol.  That was when I was able to breathe again properly, I knew my little boy was back!!

I hate it when my babies are sick in any way, I'm sure there isn't a mother in the world who doesn't agree with me on that one.

Today is the first day back at school for the kids, Mr9 has scored an extra couple of days at home with me so I will try to get this house back into shape around him, while still taking time out for our DVD watching and snuggle time.

Enjoy your day everyone!

Friday, July 15, 2011

The Tween Years - Issues with Lying

It is school holidays and this is the first week.  This week I have my step kids here as well as my 4 boys and the "floaters" that seem to come and go.  We have had sleepovers and generally just bummed around the house.  Pretty boring but pretty standard when Mr Autism is in the house and hubby has to work.  Due to the way Mr Autism is for me I cannot take him out which means we are housebound.  During this week the kids play way too much Xbox and watch way too much TV interspersed with bike riding and some baking etc.  But it is only for 5 days out of the holidays so I am okay with that.

Yesterday was a bad day, I had one of those moments where I was totally unsure of what to do and I exploded because Miss12 pushed my buttons in a major way. I don't like liars and I particularly don't like my own children blatantly lying.  Its not something I generally have to deal with, my kids have never been a problem in that area.  Miss12 on the other hand has been having issues at her mum's house in the same kind of way.  I had been happy that we hadn't had to deal with it here so far,,,,,,,,until yesterday.  I won't go in to all the boring details but it ended with her crying,,,,,alot,, and sneaking down to call her mum on her mobile phone.  I ranted and raved, not knowing that she was on her mobile phone to her mum so her mum heard all of my rant.  Not only did I catch her out lying to me, but then I also caught her as I found out, telling her mum that she was scared and she wanted her mum to pick her up because she was scared that I was going to tell her dad about what she did and he would hit her!!!  That is what pushed my buttons majorly.  How dare she accuse my Hubby of that!!!  Once she got off the phone, after I had spoken to her mum (speaking to her mum isn't something that I generally do! so that was interesting lol) I really let her have it and asked her if she knew what lies of that type could do.  She sat there crying and it broke my heart to see it but at the same time I was so incredibly angry at her.   I had told her mum that there was no hitting going on in the house and she said "don't worry I know I have been having issues with her lies too".

At the end of the day I told her dad the whole story and her mum called last night to talk to her to check she was okay and to talk to hubby.  She said she had told her that the lines of communication were now open and she would not be getting away with things like this any more.  Apparently at her mum's house she has been using the "I don't have to live here, I'm going to Dad's".  Now, we have never had a phone call (her mum would never allow that to happen,,,,but that is a whole other story lol) but I told hubby that he needs to say to her mum that that is precisely what should happen.  She wouldn't want to live here full time, she gets away with a lot more at her mum's.  Here, apparently, she has to do too much (her chores are to pick up her dirty clothes and to keep her part of the room tidy!).

After it starting out as such a small incident, it certainly blew up into massive proportions yesterday.  I was shocked at how easily she was could put it on and accuse Hubby of, well basically, abuse.  I find this incredibly disturbing and it makes me wonder how far this girl will go.  It is one thing saying things like this to another parent, but what if she says it to her friend's parents or a teacher at school.  These kids just don't realise how serious these lies can be.  It truly scares me.  I feel like I am watching a train wreck with this girl at the moment and as she is her mum's golden child her mum won't put her foot firmly down with her.  She needs discipline that she isn't getting from her mum.  At mum's house there aren't actually consequences for her behaviour.  Yesterday she lost her bike for the day and the promised trip to the shop for an icecream didn't happen, she didn't like that at all.  As hubby said yesterday, he thinks she is out of control at mum's house and mum is doing nothing about it.  All we can do at the moment is to sit back and see just how "open" these lines of communication are and keep close tabs on her while she is with us.

KIDS!!  I have never had a problem like this and was hoping to never have one but I guess with 6 kids it had to happen eventually right?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

How can things like this happen?????

On the radio this morning I heard that an elderly lady who lived in Sydney I think it was, was found dead in her home.  Now while that is nothing rare to hear, the part that shocked me was the fact that they think she died up to 8 years ago!!!!  Apparently no one had reported her missing and the last time people apparently saw her was in 2003!

This just saddens me to my core.  How on earth can someone not be missed for 8 years!  I feel so sad for her.  Obviously she had no family or friends that cared and no neighbours found it strange that she just seemingly disappeared.

Is this a sign of how society is turning out these days???   Do we honestly not care for anyone anymore?

I hope this poor lady can finally rest in peace.  Words are escaping me right now so I will end with this beautiful picture that I found online.....

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

My Stats Tell Me.....

.....that I have had visitors from far and wide over the last week.

Some times it still amazes me how the internet links people together.  To think that my little ramblings have been read in all these far off countries is quite astounding in a way lol.

My little Stats counter thingie (geez I'm just so technical aren't I lol), shows that this week I have had visitors from:
New Zealand
United Kingdom
Germany and 


I want to say  a friendly aussie "Hi" to all the people that have popped in.  Because I am a naturally inquisitive (aka "nosey") person lol, please say hi to me in a comment and share your blog with me if you have one.  I love finding new blogs to read.  You see, in my house I have kids that are Xbox addicts and a hubby that loves his fair share of computer games.  While I don't mind playing the occasional game, I would much rather read blogs and learn new things in the process.  I love to find different ways of doing things, new recipes, craft ideas, all sorts of things.
So if you pop in, please take an extra minute and just say a little hello.  I promise to return the favour :-)

I thought I would share with you a few songs from an Australian Aboriginal band which made it big a number of years ago.  The band is "Yothu Yindi".  Their music spoke volumes to me and inspired me to learn more about Aboriginal culture.  While today, I have to admit I still don't know all that much, I feel that this band made Australia in particular, stand up and take notice of what had happened to the indigenous people of this country.  The first song is called Treaty and while it holds a strong political message, it is a song which has a fantastic beat and I have listened to many, many times. 
This next song is World Turning Right.  This would have to be my favourite song from Yothu Yindi.  It always made me feel happy.

And finally, here is "Tribal Voice", this one talks about indigenous people all over the world.  Fantastic Song.

I hope you enjoy the music.

And please don't forget to say hi if you can :-) I would love to "meet" you.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Blogs are so addictive but can be helpful in deciding what you want to do with your life!

This week has been a very quiet week.  I have been pondering life and the choices that must be made and the impact our choices will make on the future of our children and of course us.  Also while pondering I have been exploring many new (to me) blogs and becoming absorbed into the lives of the people who write them.  Now of course blogging is only a tiny picture of someone's life.  People choose the parts of their lives they are willing to share and keep private those that they feel unable to share.  For me, this blog has been my little place where I can have a moan and groan about life on several occasions but also to share the fun bits.  I have mentioned before that Hubby and I would ideally like to move to a place which has more land.

For a long time now, Hubby and I have dreamt of being able to grow more vegetables and fruits.  We would also love to have angora goats.  Hubby would love to have a dairy farm but finances just won't allow that kind of thing to happen.  I would love to have a cow that we could milk though, just for ourselves.  I dream of having a decent size chicken coop, being able to produce our own eggs each day would be wonderful. 

Naturally though, we worry about being able to support ourselves.  To live our dream we would also like to move interstate.  Doing this of course would force the kids to move schools and restart their lives and their social circles, not to mention their part time jobs etc.  It would also create issues with our ex partners when it comes to visitation for the kids. 

We have a lot of work to do to this house to get it up to scratch for selling, this will take time.  I have been working at listing things on Ebay/Quicksales in order to declutter and also making lots of donations to the local op shops but there is still so much clutter to conquer.  Add to that painting inside and out and floor coverings that need replacing and we sure do have our work cut out for us.  We are thinking of giving ourselves 2 years to get everything sorted and then make a move. 

We have a lot of decisions to make.  Reading blogs keeps my dream firmly planted in my mind as I read blogs about large families making decent lives for themselves in country areas.  I desperately want to lead a more simple life as I truly feel suffocated here.  Suffocated by not only our clutter, but also the constant pressures imposed on the kids to have bigger, better, more of everything.  I want to scream and say "You just don't need it".  As I have mentioned before, our house contains the usual array of gadgets and I don't mind to an extent.  I just want to prove to the kids that this life in suburbia isn't all there is.  There is another way to live, one which doesn't revolve around screens.  All their friends are the same though, the world revolves around their Xbox or computer and it makes me really sad.  I try to limit this but it is always an uphill battle for me as I am trying to go against the "norm" of society and their friends.  I drag these kids out for walks and bike rides.  They enjoy these things once they are out but these days it isn't something that they choose to do willingly. 

Yesterday Mr14 was at soccer and Mr16 was at his part time job.  Hubby and I dragged the younger two out for a bike ride.  I had a sore back so Hubby and I walked and we went down along the Little Para River trail.  It was lovely with many rainbow lorikeets flying amongst the gum trees and the river had a gentle flow to it (the river is more like a stream or creek than a river at the part where we live).  It was beautiful and if you can block out the sight of the houses on either side and just absorb yourself into the 50-100 metre wide wilderness setting in the middle it is really nice.  The kids enjoyed not having to watch carefully for cars reversing out of driveways and stopping at each corner to wait for us to catch up.    Hubby and I have decided that this will be our regular weekend bike ride now maybe even taking a picnic lunch to have along the way.  This area is only a 15 minute walk from our house but is one that we don't get to very often,,,,yet another thing that makes me sad.  Our lives are just so full on that we have to remember to stop and make the time to just chill out and relax.

I apologise for yet another ramble of a post but there is so much going on in my little brain right now, it is kind of fried lol.  I'm sure though, that I am not the only one to feel this way so I know that there are many people who will nod their heads and agree with at least snippets of what I have said above.

Here are a couple of the blogs that I have been reading which have reinforced my desire to strive for a simpler life:

Gooseberry Jam
Killiecrankie Farm
Farm Mama
Hazeltree Farm

I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!