Sunday, February 6, 2011

A school career begins for Oscar

Oscar's first day at school
The day has come!!! Oscar and his first day of school. Marg was a mess of course and I was actually ok, although I was sort of nervous like it was me going to my first day of school. I was more worried for Abigail as she was going to lose her big brother and her best friend. It was never going to be the same at home. Not a great tragedy but the realisation that your children are growing up even though you do as much as you can to be with them for as much time as possible in these early years can sometimes feel like not enough at these succinct moments. So in this context I was a little melancholy for Abigail but very happy for Oscar as he embarked on his next adventure in life. Abigail will be joining him at school next year so it won't be long before they are reunited again. Look out teachers of APS!!! Abi's on her way and bringing her personality with her.
In terms of Oscar I'd already heard of other children who were so excited that they woke up at 5:30am had put their uniform and had breakfast and waiting at the door for the parents. Not the same story for us. We actually had to remind Oscar that he was indeed going to school and that he had to put his uniform on. I wasn't worried that he was going to cry when we left him there as he was going to be joining two of his friends from child care. He had been at their parties and been friends for a few years so seeing a few familiar faces was going to ease him somewhat.

Is his brand new uniform... bought the previous day in the nick of time

His first lunch

The younger ones are going to miss him

Lookout Ashbury Public School the Oehlmann kids are coming

In this photo you can actually see me grit the words through my teeth and a feigned smile
"Just look at the freaking camera Oscar!"

Have fun at school big brother!

Life after Oscar's first day at school
Well I thought that having one child in school and two at home was going to be easy. After all one less mouth to feed. Abigail tends not to fight with Byron so just a walk in the park...right? WRONG!. Life has become so much busier. (You can gather that by the reduced frequency of blog posts). Every part of the day has a deadline. I made this task and its associated deadline table (just for the morning) so you can understand what I mean...

Consequence of missing deadline
Wake up
Risk of missing breakfast
Risk of going days without shower and reduction of personal hygiene
Make school lunches
Byron & Oscar wake up imminent and possible backlog of tasks. Chance of whiny voice/hunger cry.
Delaying Gabrielle’s departure (she leaves for school at 0715 for a 0845 school start in the next suburb!!!)

Supervise Oscar’s breakfast
(Oscar can prepare his own breakfast, but doesn’t clean up after himself and can often spill milk...lots of milk.)
Risk of mess to clean up
Ensure wife awake and in shower
Risk of another stressed adult in the household.
One is enough
Feed Byron
Hunger Cry and miss preparing breakfast for recently woken Abigail. NB if Abigail misses breakfast she won’t whinge’s a delayed reaction, she’ll react in the most inconvenient time and location.
Clean up breakfast dishes
Risk of wolverines entering whilst I’m out to eat scraps forcing a bloody conflict between our dogs and wild animals.
Make beds
Possible nervous breakdown when returning from school drop off and seeing the bedrooms in a hideous state. Feeling of insurmountable obstacles at 0915 is not an ideal scenario.
Clothe children
Possible removal of children by Docs and charges laid by police.

Teeth brushing preparation

 (NB Hand towel must be placed on collar prior to giving loaded toothbrushes)
Risk of fistfuls of hair being ripped out of my scalp in frustration when children emerge out of bathroom after teeth brushing with toothpaste and saliva all down front of clean shirt/dress forcing a change of clothes.
Teeth brushing

Risk of cavities forming causing tooth decay, pain then child high intensity pain screams then trip to dentists then dentist bill then adult high intensity pain scream.
Tooth brushing quality control check
See above
Ensure wife eating breakfast
Risk of another stressed adult in the household.
One is enough
Ensure Margaret has sufficient lunch
Risk of cranky wife arriving home
Ensure Margaret has departed for work
Risk of punctuality performance management by her peers...yeah right!!!
Ensure that I am fully clothed
Risk of arrest by police
Ensure that I am fully clothed to an acceptable level
Risk of arrest by fashion police
Ensure Oscar has lunch in bag and deliver the ‘lunch brief’
Risk of Oscar not eating lunch
Ensure kids in car
Risk of Principal Skinner outburst in car at end of street due to high traffic

Saturday, January 29, 2011

The week before the school year...

On Sunday 23rd of January we drove out to Mowbray park farmstay to rough it a little bit... yeah right! We stayed in a lodge which had air conditioning and showers, although the bathroom floor was on what felt like a 45 degree angle as it sloped to the wall. If you've ever thought about doing a farm stay with the kids... just do it. The kids had a ball and I became an Akela for a couple of days as there was another family staying there (grandparents with their grandkids) and we took them on the outings where the oldies wouldn't dare to go. We had lots of fun, there were only a short list of activities to do on the farm but the kids (I include me in that term) were never bored. Here are a few pics to show what we got up to.

Guess who wants more riding lessons?

This smile is not fake Dad... honest!

"Just tie up the ponies under the tree when you've finished"

Tractor ride

Feeding the donkey...Shrek no where in sight

Patting a possessed rabbit

This blue eyed Alpaca turned up in my dream later that night wanting to kill me

Oscar & Gabrielle milking a cow... what a great big sister!

Sometimes... you catch them behaving their love for each other
Byron was one happy little vegemite
Kids say the funniest shit
When we were eating dinner one night at the farmstay, the grandmother of the other family staying there told us that their 5 year old granddaughter asked them;
"Babies come from their mother's tummies right?"
"Yes that's right"
"Well I think that baby came from his daddy's tummy, because he's always pushing him around in the pram"
...she was pointing to Byron & me!!!

Abigail's on fire
After we got back from the farmstay and with the heat in Sydney making it almost impossible to go out without a melanoma appearing on your face we had to stay indoors and keep the house and ourselves cooled ...somehow. So to pass time I got the camera out and started having fun with the kids. This video I made of Abigail in a classic conversation has kept my sister and her family entertained for many hours. Apparently it's on repeat constantly at their house and always makes them laugh. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did making it. Feel free to make a comment after watching it on youtube and feel free to pass onwards (I have no comments on any of my videos :=o ).

During another conversation with Abigail trying to get her to bed whilst resisting hte urge to pick her up and throw her into bed with legs and arms flailing she comes out with this classic;
"Abigail, it's time for bed" 
"No I don't want to go to bed"
"Abigail the sun has gone to sleep and so must you... bed time"
"NOW Abigail!!!" Saying this as firm as the parenting laws allow me.
"Don't bitch me Dad!"
I had to pause for a moment as I didn't think she said the word bitch but she repeated in my hesitation.
"I'm not going to bed and don't bitch me"
She says it with this glare and all the authority that a 3 year girl has over her father knowing full well she's going to get her way. Her spunk and flair just makes me laugh and she laughs along with me. Not letting her win, I grabbed her for a cuddle and when she put her arms around my neck I pick her up and took her to bed ... arms and legs flailing!!!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Happy New Year... not for all Australians though

So with Marg at home for the school holidays until the end of January and not being technically a house husband I don't want to bore you all with the mundane ins and outs of our home life and marriage. So I 'll sumise the life at home with the kids, bring you up to speed with what's planned for 2011 and re-count a few funny stories and then post again when I am a veritable house husband.
Saturday 26 December
House guest
On boxing we were asked to look after a family pet. My sister had two of these "pets" and they pretty much ruled the house. Tristan was no different, he came in and stole our hearts (and our seats) and left us wanting one of our own.

He wouldn't move for Gab

Friday 31 December
New Year's Eve
I actually worked tonight which turned out to be a blessing in disguise. 10 years ago I used to be one of the drunks roaming the CBD wishing totally random strangers a Happy New Year, but now I look at these scourges of society and shake my head in disappointment as how pitiful they look staggering around the streets trying to get a laugh from everyone. When I get to thinking like this I suddenly snap out this stupour and think to myself shit I'm getting old. 
In all seriousness though last year's New Year's eve we took the kids out to watch the early family fireworks show and there were people getting arrested for public drunkeness at 6pm!!! That's just excessive.
Anyways, I arrived home at approx 11pm to have a few beers and welcome the new year in with my family all awake and the fireworks on the TV. A modicum of revelry at our house. With the end of a year and a new year comes with it, reflection and projection. I hope this year at home with Abigail and Byron will be filled with lots of fun and learning. Oscar's first year at school I hope it will be enlightening and opens his eyes to new friends and a new environment and he brings joy to his teachers like he does to us at home. For Gabrielle I hope that

Things I've learned to do this year which I previously though were physically impossible whilst holding an infant in my arms 
  1. Put on deodorant under both armpits
  2. Wash my hands (this is actually quite tricky)
  3. Take off/put on a T-shirt
  4. Scold a toddler without waking sleeping infant.... (it's all in the angry eyes)
  5. Chat with a friend on facebook one handed

 Things I've attempted to do this year which I previously though were physically impossible whilst holding an infant in my arms and still are physically impossible... for me anyway.

  1. Put on a pair of jeans
  2. Juggle
  3. Have an animated conversation on the telephone....apologies for the stereotypes, but picture an Italian talking and gesticulating... yes ...impossible
  4. Slice a tomato
  5. Taste test a simmering bolognese sauce...Physically possible...maybe? But I just didn't have the nerve to approach the stove
Saturday 1 January
There's a tupperware party coming to a house near you
When I looked at the stats this blogging tool has of how many page views there has been, there it was 763!!! Which means I have a promise to fulfil. I have no idea what to do or how to go abouts planning one, but I guess my tupperware consultant will guide my through it. I hope to invite some readers of this blog and will be open to any orders and hopefully follow a fellow blogger's lead and giveaway some tupperwarre.

On the topic of blogs, if you're planning on starting one my advice is to research the tools available. I'm not completely happy with blogspot/bloggers. The shortfalls are;

1.     Slow to upload photos 
2.     Chunks of text seem to moved around the page after you save your work... mysterious
3.     Cannot upload text from a word document
4.     Cannot embed videos into the window.
I came across another lady's blog which I find hilarious, is her website and she has lots of giveaways, facility to upload your own blog and what not. Not to detract away attention from my blog, but if you've 15 minutes to spare you can read a few of the stories she has on her posts.

Abigail's stunning anatomical knowledge
I was bathing Byron and being closely observed by Abigail. No joke, she's quite the performance manager... So there I was bathing my fourth child (I should be pretty good at this by now) and she's dropping bombs like these below;
"Dad you missed a spot"
"Dad don't be so rough with Byron"  
After he splashed the water everywhere and wet my shirt almost completely...
"Dad, he doesn't know what he's doing!!!"
So after I finished bathing Byron and to Abigail's inspected satisfaction I lift him out of the bath tub and transport him to the change table with Abigail in tow and watching me closely for error. Suddenly she repeats excitedly;  

"Dad, Dad, Dad, Dad, Dad, Dad, Dad,"
 "What is it Abigail?" (I'm struggling here 'cos I'm doing something else at the same time, the old male incapable of multi-tasking thing going on here )
"I can see Byron's brains"
"I can see Byron's brains...look"
Byron was supine and naked. She steps up on the storage tray of the change table and lifts herself to get a better view and guess where she points? ... his testicles!
"Abi, you're not too far from the truth!"
She never fails to make me laugh. 

Saturday 8 January
Festival first night
The Sydney festival is a wonderful month long event for people who have the money to go and see all the acts that are on offer. This afternoon we went to the showcase concert which had many acts on the program but I wanted the kids to see Lah Lah's musical wonderland which sounded quite interesting on the festival guide, but really it's nice to get out and see live music with  kids, so much dancing, acting crazy and eating ice cream getting all hyperactive and then throwing up all the junk eaten. The kids also get a kick of out seeing a children's musical band also.

Mum... Dad's acting crazy on the train again
Strategy for keeping infants still in the!

Look out the window and see if you can spot any kangaroos

Nice shot of lower left & right central

Do children's entertainers ever think ...
gee I feel like a dickhead

When I'm on the street with the kids acting crazy.... I do!!!

Byron gets a name plate
When the last 3 of our four children were born we received as gifts, ornamental letters spelling out their name. Gabrielle was the first to receive a very special name plate. A cork board (made from bottled wine corks) with her name on it ...see below.

I wish I can say that we drunk all those wine bottles

Abigail & Oscar's name plates

Byron at this stage has his own room

Cherished Christmas presents
It's so wonderful seeing the Christmas presents that our kids received being treated with so much love and getting so much life out of them. Below, I just had to take a photo of Abigail with her Jessie doll in her pouch.

Kangaroo with a joey in the pouch

Oscar & Abigail's toys get the couch for TV time
Oscar & Abigail get the floor

Wednesday 19 January
Asleep on the job
So after I mow the lawn on which ended up being a hot day. It only took me 5 hours to mow the whole yard. Mowing the lawn gives me the royal shits. I enjoy having a neat a tidy yard but bloody hell I don't enjoy trimming edges, re-feeding the line in the line trimer several times within 15 minutes, sweeping up unmulchable matter, mowing, emptying the grass catcher and sweeping upthe second time when it's all done. So afterwards, I have a beer (not my choice btw, I'm on a bit of a dry month to tell you the truth) and it subsequently makes me sleepy. This photo was taken without my consent...

Yes my eyes are fully closed and yes I was pretty much asleep...

Thursday 20 January
Daddy needs a park
Margaret has taught the kids to chant out "Mummy needs a park" over and over again whenever she enters a shopping mall carpark. It's a cute little game that makes the kids believe that their will and best wishes actually help her to create and obtain a car space for the people mover.

I was driving the car today and I enter the car park and I get bombarded with;
"Daddy needs a park, Daddy needs a park, Daddy needs a park, Daddy needs a park, Daddy needs a park, Daddy needs a park, Daddy needs a park"
That's just the first verse, the chorus, 3 other verses their respective chorus, bridge and fade out sound exactly the same. I felt like Principal Skinner in this gem of a scene. It takes lots of deep breaths to keep me silent.

School preparatory activities continue
There were a few things to buy for Oscar's first day of school ... in TWO weeks. F**k me!!! Off we went to the shoeshop and Oscar was fitted for his new school shoes. I'm not one for product placement (not unless I get a freebie in return), but the sales assistant and The Atheletes Foot at Burwood Westfield totally rocked. She was awesome and very helpful
Size 13 hoofs

OK the photos are getting boring now
Byron gets a seat
Usually when we go grocery shopping we get the trolley with the child seat AND the baby capsule. This means Oscar is on his own walking through the aisles. It is a manageable situation and everyone's happy.
Today however, Byron decided that he didn't want to be in the capsule, he's decided that he's old enough to have a seat of his own.

Look Bee-hatches... I won the battle of the wills, I got my own seat

An insight into our grocery shop...two trolleys worth

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