Thursday, December 30, 2010

Post Christmas Wrap Up

We had an awesome Christmas.

I was not expecting this.

It was "just us", just our little foursome, one of whom barely eats.

Mark was so excited, he woke up the first time at 5:30am and I sent him back to bed. At 6:30 he came in, I can't wait any longer, we could hear that Ryan was awake (he was doing his normal chatting to himself whilst in the cot), our challenge would be to wake Jamie. I managed to get him up by stating that in 3-7 years times when Marko is in the full throws of teenage-hood the little boys will be waking him up early in excitement to open Christmas presents, so this year is Mark's payback... seemed to work. All I know is that for the next 12 or so years, we will have a 5-6am Christmas morning! (oh help me now, I'll be nearly 50!)

Our sad Christmas tree looked very full underneath. We have had it protected by the playpen as Ryan is a bit of a destroyer and since his birthday, he has worked out how to open presents.

Mark got a good stash of presents.
  • A Simpson's Scene it DVD game
  • Statue of "The Stig"
  • Lollies
  • iTunes gift card (that he was a bit confused about but then became evident why)
  • A wallet
  • A big Nerf gun - the latest craze; and
  • His own iPhone.
He is beside himself about the iPhone, we have not got a SIM card for it, will wait and see really how necessary it is for a 12 year old to have a mobile phone in this day and age. The iPhone is really and iPod Touch which phone availability. I don't' think it has left his side (hand) since he got it. We pimped it with a bright green cover, so it doesn't look the same as mine, and he's been downloading lots of apps for it.

Ryan, well, just had a birthday, so it was a bit harder for him. But he got a truck, some Thomas trains, a flip out couch, a blankie and some clothes. (I'm sure there was other stuff, but its 5am and I need to go back to bed)

Jamie and I got food! Jamie gave me a Kenwood Patissier Kitchen Aid which is a lovely retro bright red. I was beside myself with excitement and have been baking up a storm. Jamie had purchased himself a remote controlled helicopter towards the end of the year, so that was considered his present.

Lunch was good, I cooked my first turkey... still not the biggest fan of turkey, so will hopefully not bother next year, but then again, I might get swept up in the emotion of Christmas again. One where I'm the mum to three boys and hopefully living in Melbourne again ;)

Will post some photos in the *real* morning.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Justice according to a 12 yo.

I have only "sort of" following the story of Keli Lane murdering her daughter Tegan, you can read a 7.30 Report story about it here.

This morning during the news, they reported that Keli will be spending Christmas in jail because she was found guilty of the murder yesterday.

Mark then said "Oh that's sad, she'll in jail for Christmas"
Me: "But she murdered her baby daughter"
Mark: "But that was in 1994!"
Me: "It doesn't matter how long ago...."

He then lost interest in the conversation and went back to playing with his baby brother.

BUT, isn't that interesting. If something happens 14 years ago, he doesn't think she should be punished. Or is it that he doesn't understand what the report was saying and only heard "jail for Christmas" I just found it quite fascinating.

WOW Thanks.

What an awesome bunch of girlies I know. I shall be implementing some of these ideas over the next few months.

Today we're in our 24th week of pregnancy. Time seems to be standing still, but racing along at the same time.

Ryan turned one last week - he's a boy with a mission, that mission is standing!
Mark is emotional, but quite good considering.
Jamie is worrying me though - he's sick so much, need to convince him to see a doctor. He needs a new job, I'm positive its related to anxiety over his current job and bad nutrition which I can't convince him to fix.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

I need help!

Advice time please.

My dearest son, Mark, is now 12.5 years old. It appears he is in the midst of puberty.
Check out the photos.... this one was from one year ago - probably to the day - he is a boy, young fresh and innocent!

This one is from a couple of weeks ago, the face shape has changed, he is bigger, his feet have become flippers! You know what I mean.

My problem is constantly asking for stuff and saying no to everything. Yes I'm aware this is quite normal, but how does one deal with it.

EVERY single day, he says "I don't want a shower", and it truly is every single day. Mark is a sweater, he has the beginnings of acne. I want him to take pride in himself, being clean, nice smelling and caring for his skin. In the bathroom, we have lots of different cleansers for pimple prone skin.. he is still fighting using it. I've explained that he's not doing it for me, but for his own self esteem. He is a very good looking boy, he doesn't need acne, if it comes despite us trying well that is one thing, but not trying at all is failure. His hair is always greasy and his skin is sticky from sweat. It doesn't seem to bother him, but we're a modern family and have access to clean water and it is cultural to have daily showers. Why does he fight this. At 6.45am this morning he came into my room and whispered in my ear, not fully checking if I was awake... "Oh mum, I don't want a shower this morning ok?"
So we have a fight at 6.45am.. yes that's a nice way to start ones day.

Other issue is money and shopping.
He has no concept of money and its worth. We haven't done pocket money, not really sure why, but it hasn't' worked for us. I must admit, I spoiled him as a younger kid, when we went shopping, I'd get him a Matchbox car, they were only $3 and it was a nice thing to do. Now his tastes have changed. Its Nerf guns he wants. "This one is only $20 mum, its really cheap", "This one is only $50 and its really rare" and of course I say no. Then he stomps off, then he gets in my face and asks over and over and over and over again. So I have to say no over and over etc... well you get the picture. So then it changes to oh seems I can't have a Nerf gun, can I have a coke, a chocolate bar, a movie, a new pair of shoes, a hat, a ball, a donut, a book (oooh mum you want me to read) and it continues until I get so cross I nearly cry. So instead of saying "no" once, I have said it 15 times and he's almost crying and so am I.
We often discuss that its not fair to ask for things all the time, that we have a limited income and will soon have three kids. He understands that and then the comment "If I be good for this trip and don't ask for anything, can I have a clear **insert whatever blasted thing he wants**"


I'm 23 weeks pregnant, someone who can't cope in heat, and its hot, I have a small baby, I don't sleep very well, I get worn out. He wears me down, sometimes I give in, probably too often which is why he keeps it up. But my last comment makes the most sense. If I spend $20 on something for Mark each time we go out (which he seems to expect, and no I don't indulge him that often) when Ryan and the new baby are bigger that is $60... we can't afford that, no one can. Its totally wrong to indulge that much anyway, I'm aware of that.

My mother has suggested that we start giving him an allowance and all his indulgences he has to pay for himself. That makes sense, what is a good figure for allowance? We plan to give him a prepaid phone for Christmas, one for him to text his friends and call me, so that will be about $30 every two months... that is my expectation. I can see that being a huge battle when the credit runs out.

We also have issues with extreme screen time, he will be on the computer from the minute he walks in the door until he goes to bed given the choice. That is 6 hours!!! I have to drag him away to do his chores which are a really basic feed the dogs and empty the dishwasher daily. Mow the lawn and generally help out when asked. But its such a chore.

Ok I'm going to stop now, I really need help, Mark is living with us for at least the next 5 years, we have to live in a way that doesn't require me to yell... cos that doesn't work either.