I usually ask the kids what they want for their birthdays. This is the only day in the year when most of their whims can be granted.
True to his nature, Pio has no idea what to do or ask for. While his siblings already had grand plans for their own birthdays (i.e. overnight at Mt Bawbaw, trip to Red Hill, Puffing Billy train ride, etc). We had to coach him to ask for the moon.
So he had a lunch date with the Captain, watched the Return of the King (Lord of the Rings), frosted his favorite Chocolate Cake and had a boisterous dinner with his big family. I served sausages, pizza and chips as per his request.
Pio is too easy to please.
He’s not one to ask for grand things so we decided to drive the entire crew to Philip Island on Anzac Day. It reminds them of the best ever holiday
we had there with their cousins.
I love having all my kids at home.
(The mess they bring is another matter. Let’s ignore that for the meantime.)
I don’t dread school holidays. I look forward to it. I enjoy them now more than ever. More than half of them are in school age. I never thought the time will come when I can bring all of them out and actually enjoy it.
We mostly went out to the woods. It’s a great time to be outdoors.
Libraries are one of our favorites too. I resumed teaching them swimming then got severe skin allergies as a result. We need to have mini crosses in life. Can’t be always parties.
My best time this school break was actually at home with the kids while watching the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. We never watched a movie as a family before because someone will start crying or will jump here and there or will spill something or will start a fight. You know what I mean, life with little people.
Now movies are possible. Questions from all ages were relentless though.
Thank God for subtitles.
Last week was particularly LONG. The Captain was out of town most of it.
I usually get very anxious when he’s not around. This time, I’m a bit better. Maybe the kids are also behaving better. Although the work load is not easing out, I managed well. It must be the level of help each child is giving me now.
Girls helped a lot with the meal preparations and in feeding the baby. Boys helped in vacuuming the house and in keeping Kiko busy. Anton remains to be my comic relief.
These they did on top of their usual jobs and homeschool work.
Of course the quality of their work is not commensurate to mine. But I’m happy that they’re helping me more. It will take time for them to refine their skills. But you know what? Time is what I have now. I’m privileged to be home with them and see them grow little by little everyday.
Anton knows that whatever he wants, he doesn’t necessarily gets. Well at least for the time being. But he has a day when he can request whatever he likes and it will be hard for his Mom to say no.
He usually goes like this..
“Mommy on my birthday can I have a can of softdrinks”.
“Mommy on my birthday can we go swimming”.
“Mommy on my birthday can I go to Pioneer’s Park”.
So on and so forth.
The list goes so long that I cannot even imagine doing all of it on his actual big day.
But some of his wishes came true.
Like a day at Lysterfield Lake Park.
Play at McDonalds with his siblings.
and a Lollipop Cake.
Happy birthday to my clown, easiest boy, future fireman, non-stop talker.
We love you.
We just finished Sunday lunch of Tony’s Chicken Tenders with Potato Salad and frozen lemon tea. We topped everything off with ice cream. It made the kids scream out of joy.
We were enjoying a perfect spring weather. Tatay was Facebooking. The Captain was having his siesta while I’m massaging his head at the pergola. I was enjoying looking at my babyccinos. Everyone was into something they like. Pio has his Lego, Luis has his gadgets, Anton was gardening, Kiko was taking his nap. The girls were giggling in the hammock.
You just want to freeze this moment. If possible, for life.
So I wished.
Not more than 30 minutes into this heavenly bliss, Nina came to me crying, screaming and bleeding. She fell off the hammock and cut her chin. She was inconsolable.
We rushed her to the (Emergency) hospital as advised by my (doctor) sister in law.
The one at Casey was so packed, I think her cut would have healed on its own even before we’d be served. So we went to Angliss Hospital at Upper Ferntree Gully as suggested by a family friend. We were treated quickly and decently. Now we know where to go next time.
Our life is mostly like this. You can’t sit down for a long time. The adventures never end.
I want to have more of those frozen lemon tea please.
Naturally the boys want another boy and the girls have been praying for another girl.
As for me, a girl would be nice to balance off the numbers somehow. We currently have 4 boys and 2 girls. But I find that my girls are difficult to feed and a tad too chatty. Boys are the opposite. They are a joy to feed are not too dramatic. Although they want to climb every chair, every table, every mountain….
So we are having another baby BOY!
God has made His choice.
Now we just have to come up with a name.
We had vague plans of what to do last Sunday:
Hear Mass at the city
Have a picnic at a park
Drink great local coffee
So we heard Mass at St Mary’s Star of the Sea and met up with a family friend visiting from Singapore.
We had no clue where to go after that until we found ourselves parking next to the Parliament House. We walked a bit. And a bit more until we saw this grand garden right before us.
Just what we need for a picnic.
We were looking for a picnic spot until we were drawn to this observatory.
Too hungry, we decided to eat at the closest bench we found. Mat on the floor. Lunch was unpacked.
Ducks and birds were all around.
Then something pulled us to this old cottage house.
The kids wanted to see the Fairy Tree right in front of the Tudor Village so we moved on.
Fitzroy Garden is beautiful even in the midst of winter.
It is probably the best garden I’ve seen in Melbourne.
We left soon and found myself trying these Sicilian pastries with my babyccinos.
What can I say?
It was one of the best winter weekends ever.
Morning sickness is finally over.
My favorite (second) trimester is on.
My strength is revived.
My zest for life is sweetened.
God blessed us with another soul.
I am sure this babyccino will be beautiful like the rest. I am sure this babyccino will have such a great time in our family. I am sure this babyccino will have an adventurous life.
Our seventh child is due end of October.
The radiographer who did my 12th week scan couldn’t figure out how I will handle 7 kids when she can’t even cope with one.
I told her to have more. It gets easier. You will never know until you try.
As the lovely Blake Lively, 1 of 5 kids, pointed out: “Parents don’t only take care of their children. The children also take care of each other.”.
I totally agree.
It’s a big milestone for us whenever a child turns 1.
Those sleepless nights, anxious times of sickness and many days of maintaining the noise level low to keep the baby from waking up are getting fewer and farther in between.
Days turn to joy with every baby step, with every tooth coming out, with every meal shared, with every smile which seasons our ordinary existence.
Life is growing. Love is enduring.
We thank God for our bundles of joy. They make our lives worth living.
Happy birthday Nicolas.
Your Grandpa thinks your the most handsome of the brood.
The first PARED (Parents for Education) school finally opened in Victoria this year. We are proud to be a part of it.
It’s officially named Harkaway Hills College.
There are 13 students of a combined class of Prep and Year 1.
Luis and Nina are among the first students of the school. I had separation anxiety from withdrawing them from homeschooling. I was so used to having them with me all year and all day long.
But when I saw their beaming, excited, happy faces, I knew it was well worth giving up homeschooling for.
I am certain the school will help me to strengthen my children’s interior lives. The faculty live their Catholic faith to a heroic degree. I am very impressed. Character formation is the core focus.
Frank Monagle, the principal, will be the kids’ tutor, math instructor, lunch buddy.
Having said all these, I was still at a loss on the first day when my Luis and Nina were out of our house. I decided to cancel our class.
Time for a cuppa with my babyccinos @ Little by Little Cafe.
This is my way of celebrating. For what? We have four kids now in primary. Two in homeschool, two in the only school I am willing to give up homeschooling for.
All kids are happy. Me too.
Harkaway Hills is now accepting registration for incoming Preps 2017. PM me.