Common Chaos Chronicle

Not everyone can lay claim to the ownership of their very own MONSTER SQUAD!!!

The Toy Trap. February 28, 2011

Filed under: Getting Organised... — commonchaoschronicle @ 10:29 pm
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Christmas.... The time of TOO MANY TOYS!!!!

So you can only just begin to imagine the mountains upon mountains of toys and assosicated bits and pieces that 5 spoilt children can clock up…

Infact, I can honestly say that there has been many a moment in the past where one could quite easily assume that the local ‘Toys-R-Us’ had exploded right through the entire length of our house.

Is this something that you can relate to?

Are you totally sick and tired of skidding up the hallway on a Tonka Truck like a rollerskate?

Are you fed up with tripping over Barbie’s Car, Jet, Wardrobe and everything else she owns?

Could you collect up all the Tea Sets scattered amongst the rubble and invite the entire neighborhood ’round for a cuppa?

Have you had just about enough of painfully prying the sharp edge of a Lego Block out of the heel of your foot?

Hmmm.. well if you are sitting there nodding along with me, fear not, as I am about to share my plan of action with you. It has been a good 12 months of trial and error but I have finally come up with a system that seems to be working for  us.

My hope in writing this post is that someone, somewhere out there can take away some strategies and put them to use in their own home. Even if it is just one little thing that helps you, it will have been worth my time in writing this. So here goes…..

Firstly I would like to make a note that these random acts of organisation have been inspired by many things that I have seen done in the past, by countless different people and celebrity organisers.

This is my version of the TIDY TOY BOX!!

STEP 1.

At my wits end I decided to start this process room by room. So the night before I asked the children to take all the scattered toys to their correct rooms. It didnt matter if they wern’t put away just aslong as i knew which room they belonged in. The next morning I made sure that the kids all had somewhere to be. You will not achieve success with helpers…. I can guarantee it.

In each room I took 2 garbage bags.

Bag One: for the rubbish, so any toys that were broken beyond immediate repair….. IN THE BIN BAG.

Bag Two: for anything that was still ok but the child had grown out of, didnt play with anymore or simply has 12 of…. This bag is for your local OP-SHOP / CHARITY Shop.

Right get rid of these two bags before the cherubs return or they will be fishing through it and undoing your hard work.

Now you’ve cleaned out and decluttered, you need to take a look at whats left. Place the sentimental teddy /doll on the bed or a shelf if your child is too ‘grown up’ for that. Theres only so many of the similar soft toys they can use to be a bit ruthless and cull a few more.

STEP 2.

Purchase yourself 2 decent sized plastic storage tubs. Now comes the fun…. Divide whats left into 2 fairly equal piles. For example… A doll in each tub, A tea set in each tub, A toy pram in each tub, A truck in each tub. As long as its fairly well divided with a range of toys and some variety you’ll hit the nail on the head.

Now the idea behind this is that:

Tub1 =  Toys out to be played with this week / fortnight (What suits you best)

A shelf version of the TIDY TOY BOX. Rotated weekly.

A shelf version of the TIDY TOY BOX. Rotated weekly.

Tub 2 = Toys out to be played with the following week / fortnight.

So if you rotate the tubs regularly, the children will maintain interest in the boxes and you will only have half the amount of stuff lying around. I should point out that the spare toy box should be well hidden otherwise at the first hint of bordom they will be on the search for it.

I do think its fair that if your child is focused on one particular toy from the first box at swap over time, allow them to keep it out but in return for a trade from the other box.

Now that’s the toy box / bedroom sorted. If your place is anything like ours you have probably collected some larger toys and sports equipment along the way aswell. I have stored things like large plastic kitchens, doll change stations and cots outide in the cubby house. Toy mowers, Tonka trucks and the like also live outside. If you have an excess of a particular kind of toy, eg: tea set or a doll, set it up outside so they dont have to drag the inside toys out!

My daughters room after the 1st major clean out!

So in ‘THEORY’ all this sounds great but it takes some time going from utter chaos to a civil state of organised. Dont give up the moment something doesnt go to plan. Persevere with it, tweak it to suit your needs and do what works best for you.

It used to take us close to an hour to tidy up the rooms at the end of the day before bedtime. We’ve now got it down to between 5 and 10 minutes. Totally worth it in my world.

xoxox Jac xoxox

 

The Teeniest Weeniest Monster….erm….

Filed under: The Monster Squad... — commonchaoschronicle @ 4:06 pm
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During April 2009 we welcomed the long awaited arrival of another BOY child!!! WooHoo….. Finally!!! Introducing Levi Kaelan…

The big boofer of the family weighing in at a giant 8lb 6oz…. I guess in general speaking terms a baby of this size is really quite normal, but after the others, he has just always seemed HUGE!

Ahhhhh my little Levi, melts my heart every time. Some (The Husband) might suggest that since the arrival of Levi, I have gone all soft. Somewhat mooshy even. I’m not sure what it is, might even be a mother/son thing but I just cant help it. He is the big cuddles, the silly stunts and at the age where everything is an adventure. While I am certain the “ahhhh mooshy feeling” will wear off rather quickly once the “terrible 2’s & 3’s” commence, I will just enjoy this free range toddler as he is!levi 3mths

In his less than 2 years in our family Levi has developed such an amazing personality! He’s a little bit of all the others rolled into one. He’s a little cuddly and caring, a little stubborn and impatient, a bit obnoxious and cheeky. He’s a clown and loves a laugh, he’s creative (just check out the murals on my walls….) and he’s full of energy and life.  He fits in perfectly at the end of the pecking order 🙂

Levi’s most favourite things include tractors, trucks, helicopters & basically anything that has wheels. He has discovered his big brothers Lego and loves to build and build. He’s an avid Toy Story fan, well Buzz Lightyear that is, even though he has never sat down long enough to see more than 5 minutes of the movie!! He’s the only one of the squad that has an attatchment to one particular toy and have mercy on us if we forget to bring the precious dragon on holidays….

Levi is our little monster, of the cutest variety of course…. 🙂xmas levi

 

Introducing Monster Number 4……

Filed under: The Monster Squad... — commonchaoschronicle @ 2:59 pm

The great chicken wrestler..Today I’d like to introduce you all to the 4th member of our Monster Squad, little Veruca Rani….

Now before you go jumping to conclusions and getting in a flap I would like to say that Yes, I am aware of what her name means and No, it’s not after a great love of Willy Wonka.

Veruca was born in November 2006 at the Ballarat Base Hospital. She was yet another cesarean delivery, but all was well and she weighed a healthy 7lb.

Now about her name…. During my teenage years i developed a healthy obsession with Rock music. One of my all time favourite bands is Veruca Salt (yes they got their name from Willy Wonka), none the less, i wanted my musical past to be a part of my familie’s future so we decided to call her Veruca (and yes she is a spoilt brat). On her Birth announcements we wrote :

Veruca: A Born Entertainer, Rani: A queen….. Couldn’t have given a more appropriate description if we wanted too !!! So thats what her name means to us, and thats all that really matters.

Veruca is the comedian of our family, not a day goes by where I am not reduced into fits of hysterical laughter with this child. What more can I say than “She cracks me up”. Her vibrant personality has won many over, family and friends alike. She’s the only 4 year old I know that has met her soul mate and is deeply in love…. LOL

When she’s not being a clown, she’s busy being a friend to all creatures great and small, thus why she has been given the nickname of Dr Doolittle…. It is far from uncommon to see Veruca pushing around a cat in a dolls pram, running a dog ragged for hours on end or out in the yard discovering bugs and insects alike.Rockin Veruca

I must be fair and admit that while little miss Veruca is a laugh a minute, she has had 3 very experienced and qualified teachers in the great art of MENACING!!! Yes that right, this little cracker can give all of her other siblings a run for their money.  A Rat Bag extraordinaire… Lucky she’s just so damn loveable!!!

So thats Veruca, rough, tough and super funny. 🙂

Veruca and chilli

 

Monster number 3…. The real monster??? February 27, 2011

Filed under: The Monster Squad... — commonchaoschronicle @ 10:16 pm

Exactly 12months and 2 weeks after our double trouble bundle arrived we welcomed into the world another precious “Surprise”…

Introducing….. Zafirah Odette. Healthy baby Girl, born May 2005.  7lb 6oz.

Alot can be said about our dear little Zaf. It really is quite a challenge to work out where to start. Nagging Zaf

Ok, If we needed a picture to place along side a definition of “Middle Child Syndrome” , She’s your girl. She’s loud, she’s obnoxious, she’s always in your face. Zafirah has to be the centre of attention…. all of the time…… But thats the way we love her. 🙂

Zaf-anna MontannaNow dont go thinking I am all harsh on this one. Zaf is Miss Popularity. She has more close friends than any other girl her age, adults and children alike. While she spends most of her time being the menace of my world, she impressing the socks of everyone else we know. Bless her preciousness!!!

Have you ever seen that movie ‘Cheaper by the dozen’ ? Take note of the girl called Sarah Baker. It’s Zaf to a tee!! Infact we have often joked around with her and called her this in which she has replied.. “yep, looks a bit like me too”  OMG!!!

Zafirah’s talents lie in the acting arena and she cant be any happier than when she’s prancing about on a stage, putting on fake accents and creating dramatic masterpieces…. all at age 5…. She’s recently taken up dancing classes and is loving every second of it!!!

So our middle child can be a ratbag….. but when she’s not instigating nonsense she’s busy helping me with the cooking, washing and dishes. She also enjoys helping her younger brother explore his surroundings and has personally taught him the skills of perfect door slamming. Ahhh Yes, another high maintenance GIRL…. But arnt we all?

Happy ZafI think it’s safe to say that Miss Zafirah Odette is the life of our house. It would be a very boring and mundane existence without her. She makes us smile day in and day out….. 🙂Sleepy me and zafKinder Zaf

 

Introducing MONSTER number 2!!!

Filed under: The Monster Squad... — commonchaoschronicle @ 5:39 pm

Monster Number 2 Aria

Introducing my Monster Number 2…  Aria Monique.

Aria was born in May 2004 at the Ballart Base Hospital. She’s the second monster in our squad missing the title position by a whole 3 minutes. Yes she is a TWIN!

Aria was born by cesarean section and weighed a healthy 7lb 3/4oz.  She looked so much bigger than her brother Jai, but really…. he was just a weeny beeny 🙂

Aria's Big Smile 10weeks old. Aria is a headstrong little character who always knows what she wants and usually has a decent plan to get it. She can be placid and easy going but more often than not shes your typical high maintenance ‘GIRL’… or “stinky pink” as Jai calls his sisters…

It’s not uncommon to find Aria with her head in a book or creating pictures and artworks. She has developed a love of craft from an early age and excels in both reading / writing and the arts.

During her first year of Primary School she wrote and recorded her own song “I like Ponies & Horses”. Totally rocked!!! LOL  🙂  She seems to have developed an obsession with horses and has started pony riding lessons each week. When we get spare time Aria and I enjoy Scrapbooking together! Aria riding MagsAria 2009

Occasionally I may refer to Aria as Bug, Buglet, Buggle or in moments of utter disbelief, high maintenance and complete frustration….. Paris.

Nicknames she has aquired along the way…..

 

Monster Number 1…

Filed under: The Monster Squad... — commonchaoschronicle @ 4:52 pm

Monster Number 1Introducing My first little MONSTER…. This is Jai Phoenix.

While it appears he is all there I really must mention that the other part of him is Monster number 2… Yes, thats right Jai is a TWIN!

Jai was born in May 2004 by cesarean section in the Ballart Base Hospital. He was yoinked out 3 minutes before his sister and will lay claim to being the oldest sibling of the squad.

He was a delightful little baby, only 5lb 15oz at birth but quickly caught up to his giant sister Aria who weighed in at 7lb 3/4 oz.  🙂 (She’ll love me for that one in years to come…).

Jai is our patient all rounder. He is calm, understanding, caring and easy to get along with. He fires up when needed – always provoked by his sisters – but is generally a peaceful little person.

Whilst Jai is a twin, we have always been determined to raise our babies as individuals. This has paid off wonderfully as he has developed his own special personality, unlike any of the others, and is not afraid to use it.

In saying that, I should also mention that Jai and his twin sister Aria are still to this day, thick as thieves. They are comfortable apart but inseperable at times often speaking for each other and predicting each others thoughts…. Definately a force to be reckoned with when teamed up!!

Our favourite past time is building lego creations together.  I am definately looking forward to this mansion of a house he intends building me when he’s “Bigger”…. all this Lego building must pay off somewhere… right???Jac & Jai 3mths old

 

Yes, Yes, I am insane….. February 26, 2011

Filed under: Introducing..... — commonchaoschronicle @ 7:46 pm
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The Monster Squad!!!The Monster Squad, Dec 2010.

“How many children?”  you ask… Only 5. And a very awesome 10yr old step daughter. So we’ll just round that up to 6 to make numbers easy.

They are my life, the reason i get out of bed each morning and I wouldnt change it for anything in the world. I am not insane (no matter how many times I get told I must be), a little vauge, distracted and loopy sometimes but in the end I’m just a Mum.

Welcome to my blog. A day to day insight into running a large family in country Victoria, Australia.