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Maria: creature of habits May 31, 2011

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Our Maria is really and truly a princess who likes routine….

One fetish of hers is to watch movies over and over and over again.  I know that most children her age are like that but I also think that she is a little bit more stuck to something once she likes it.  She is just over 4 years old but she has already been through her Annie phase, The Sleeping Beauty phase, The Sound of Music phase and now we are currently in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers phase.  Every free moment she has, she wants to watch the same movie.  The running commentry she makes up while watching them is also unchanged.  What is funnier though is her sisters’ s reaction to her suggestion to watch her current favourite….they are already resigned to her constancy, and they are just, simply, patient with their sister.  The dynamics between the three girls is amazing.  At their young age, it is impressive to see how they are coping with each other’s character traits. This is one of the moments that gives me most pleasure – seeing my princesses building bridges towards each other and learning how to live peacefully together.



boys March 6, 2011

Posted by sunflower71 in Life with 3 princesses, Uncategorized.
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With three girls in the house, it goes without saying that their relationships with boys will feature in our conversations every now and then.  I had imagined this would happen sooner or later but I hadn’t figured it would happen so soon.

We’ve had this conversation:

TC (4 years old): Today me and GL (her heart-throb for this last year!) spend all our time in the yard running after each other.

TP (5 years old): Mum but why don’t I have someone who loves me like she has? (in tears)

Me: well you have me and dad and TS and TC who love you very much

TP: but I want a boy like GL to love me.

Me: (Giving her a hug) You will one day my dear.

then a few days later….

TP: Ma I support Liverpool like N.  (On this rock it’s very common for football lovers to support English, Italian teams)

Me: Really.  That’s nice.  Do you know what Liverpool is?

TP:  (in an exasperated tone) It’s a football team.  N plays with them.

Me:  Ah.  I think you mean he likes them.

TP: No he plays with them.  His back pack is a Liverpool one too.

Me:  But who is N?

TP:  He is my friend.  He tries to catch me in the yard but I run very very fast and he hardly every manages. He manages only when I let him!

Me:  Then I think he likes the football team called Liverpool FC but plays football here in town.  Liverpool is in the Uk.  Your dad has been there.

TP: I’ll ask him tomorrow if it’s like you say or not. 

Then one afternoon…

TS (aged 2): Today GL hit me.  (I’m sure he didn’t as they are in different play groups in entirely different towns,)

Me: Who is GL?

TS: the boy of TC!  He hit me very hard!

I’m sure there’s more to come…

We wish you a merry Christmas December 30, 2010

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(belatedness being the name of the game here….)

Our crib was the Princesses main play thing until Santa crossed our path.  The figures were never in the same place, spent a generous amount of time elsewhere (read here – on the floor) and we obviously have two sets of the main characters.  Next year they will be three as I’m sure The Star will complain and will want to have her own. In reality we did start off with 3 sets but one of them was made of breakable material and were reduced to unmendable masses of bits in less than a day.

Our Christmas day was spent mostly on Gozo but as usual we also visited our other part of the family on the other island Malta.  The girls had a very good day but The Princess has now serious doubts about the existence of Father Christmas who this year they met early in December (I’ll write a post about this, promise), got her and The Cherub identical toys, knew we would be in Gozo on Christmas Day,  and visited us again at our relatives in Malta but this time it was really her cousin dressed up. The Star was not so worried about all this.  Her thinking skills focused on the content of his sack!

Adjusting October 5, 2010

Posted by sunflower71 in about me, Life with 3 princesses.
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This is the one single word that best describes us right now.

I am adjusting to being a full-time working mom of 3 girls aged 5 and less.

My man is adjusting to being the husband of a working wife.

We are both adjusting to being busier, have more to do in less time. 

The Princess is adjusting to her  new school, new uniform, having homework after school (I know it’s sounds cruel but she has her 1 and i and l to write 😉 ).

The Cherub, now finally had her first day at school, and finally can tell us about what she did at school, and what her teacher said.  She seems to be, to me, the one who is coping best with the changes.

The Star still can’t get used to being, not at home, but at her playschool during the day.  She still occasionally starves herself during the day, or cries her heart out when I leave her in the morning, or starts crying (to complain for being left there so long, I think and hope) the moment I walk through the door in the afternoon when I pick her up, or all three on the same day.

The Princess and the Cherub are now being accompanied to school by our friend/home help/nanny who as turned out to be our angel without whom the tight morning  schedule would all apart as would the odd but fairly common afternoon when the usual timetable is tweaked and my planning falls through.

The Princess – God please keep your hands on her, on the driver and the rest of the children – now takes the school transport to get home from school.  I had planned to bring her home myself but the traffic in the area plus the lack of parking spaces anywhere close to her school have made it impossible for me to do it.  God bless also My Princess’s docile soul who just took this ‘slight’ change in her stride.  She is only 5.  Can’t even be seen in between the huge seats of the coach.  But she seems fine with the arrangement and what surprised me was that she understood our  need for this change.

It is too early to see if my going out to work instead of staying here to mind the house and the family’s needs exclusively is helping or harming the family in any way.

There is one other thing, that is adjusting, that maybe is positive, in the whole e.  It’s that I’m getting 6 hours every day (ok, maybe it’s a bit less as I still phone our nanny for updates) that I am thinking of other things, having conversations with adults, discussing strategies and groupings, problems and possible solutions, approaches and attitudes.  And all in all, I don’t feel any more tired than I did when I did not work… strange but true!

PS I still can’t bring myself to write about my work itself.  It is an emotional experience both at best and at worse.  Maybe I start another anonymous blog about that.  We’ll see.

29 August – The Gallery September 1, 2010

Posted by sunflower71 in The Gallery.
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Our Sunday had a particular highlight.  We took the girls for a swim in this particular peculiar spot.  I took the hint from the island fairy and we didn’t regret it.  Here are the princesses enjoying our beautiful sea.

On the day that 3 popular mummy bloggers are travelling to Bangladesh to raise awareness families face there, Tara at Sticky Fingers chose this promt.  Our children are lucky but I try to make them aware that not all the children are such.

1975 revisited July 25, 2010

Posted by sunflower71 in Life with 3 princesses.
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These are my brother and I.  I was 4 and he a few months old.  I kind of have a memory of this photo being taken or maybe it’s just a very dear memory of snuggling in this cot.

2010. Different house.  Different cot.  Other children.  Same cuddles between siblings.

well....its' impossible to get all three looking in the same direction... this is how TP and TC like to wake up TS when they decide she had slept enough

Breastfeeding June 29, 2010

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It’s a mummy’s life and I were thinking the same thing for different reasons today…. not very odd after all… we’re both parents to toddlers and babies.

In the Time issue of July 5, Alice Park writes about the latest findings on Infant Health and in particular about how long to breast feed.  Well… to save you going there and reading the article it concludes that the latest results support the World Health Organisations’ 2001 advice that all children should be breast-fed exclusively for the first 6 months of their life and that these same studies suggest also that, 4 months of breast-feeding only also benefit babies’ health.

Now here I don’t intend to criticise moms who decide not to breastfeed for whatever reason.  Having a child is traumatic enough in itself…. it’s even more than traumatic for some so I’m really not trying to push the point but I have been meaning to say my two bits on the issue for some time.

But before that…. I breastfed each of my 3 princesses exclusively for approximately 5 months.  I was a SAHM at the time (still am).  I was encouraged to do it by my man’s niece who had breastfed 3 of her own (since then she had her 4th child!) and so I took the plunge and survived the ordeal.

Because it is an ordeal.  Breastfeeding has its benefits.  I believe all that and I wanted to offer that to my girls.  But it is an ordeal.  It’s a task that cannot be delegated (I hated expressing), is time-consuming and tiring.  Above all this, after 9 months of doing only and exclusively what is good for baby (and feeling guilty for that sip of wine, that bite of tuna, that little blue cheese), then you get to prolong this agony with another few more months.  In reality, in the grand scheme of things, this is not a long time.  What are a few months of sacrifice in comparison to all the benefits gained?  But hey, when you do this twice and then the 3rd time in less than 3 years and a half….then believe me, the occasional sip of wine becomes a need… an obsession really.

I do admire women who are able to even continue breastfeeding beyond the 6 month suggestion…though I absolutely think that beyond the 2 years is really not on.  I don’t think this kind of dependence is healthy for the kids or the mother.  This is not a researched comment.  It is just my honest opinion based on my experience with my 3 girls.

Now back to It’s a mummy’s life and the this bit from BBC, for me too, after the delivery and while in the midst of those never-ending months of being the best mom for a newborn baby, the idea of sex was simply not there.  Now some might put in here a snide remark on how come my eldest has sisters… and you’d be right of course 🙂 but for me, after the ordeal – physical, mental and psychological – in my head, sex was only a link to another, similar, ordeal.

Hmmm. That said, I need to conclude on a light note. Now what could be a light note on breastfeeding? That the breasts end up closer to the ankles?  Yes, but that was said by It’s a mummy’s life and indeed for me it is the only plastic surgery I would like to submit myself to. Soon.

So I’ll just this.  The Cherub often asks me about why my breasts are ‘so’ big (well they are not small but I believe they are quite in proportion with my frame).  My reply is always the same, “because they had milk for you, and your two sisters when you three were babies”.  To which she replies, “but granny’s are much bigger…she had 9 children!” (my man is one of 9 kids).  How I love their honesty!

Thank you for reading.

The Point: Millie’s Cookies June 23, 2010

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On Saturday, we headed to a new shopping mall – The Point.  I think the developers were thinking too big this time… but then I’m no economic guru. It’s just that we didn’t all suddenly had an increase in our disposable income.  And our population hasn’t overnight increased by 10%.   Anyway time will tell.  And for the time being we go there as the girls love its long escalators, panoramic lifts and the water fountain.  I love it for it hosts Millie’s Cookies.

This time I had a choc & orange and a double choc, plus a cappuccino. The cookies are good, very good.  Actually just right: not too big, not too small. Baked to perfection too.  Not too crunchy, not too chewy.  The double choc tasted heavenly.  The choc & orange, I’d have liked it to be a teeny bit more tangy.  The cappuccino is one of those produced by a machine that needs not human intervention except to place the cup and press the right button.  On the whole an enjoyable break except for the girl who served me.  Let’s just say that she is probably new and is used to being on the other side of the bench.  In the meantime, the girls enjoyed the Jumping Castle outside the toyshop on site, that was for once offered for free together, with some face painting (the The Cherub refuses to have on her face but want only and always just a butterfly on her hand).

In between the jumping and the face painting, I overheard this conversation:

TP: Let’s go to have our face painted!

TC:  I don’t want my face painted, I want a butterfly on my hand.

TP (taking her sister by the shoulders): Ok my dear one, if the lady speaks to you in English, I will tell her what you want, don’t worry.

The Princess is too sweet and caring.  I hope she stays this way.

PS We speak predominantly in Maltese but both TP and TC can follow and continue a conversation in English.  Ah, and this is not sponsored post.

The Gallery: Motherhood June 18, 2010

Posted by sunflower71 in Life with 3 princesses.
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This week’s prompt on Tara’s Gallery on Sticky Fingers was Motherhood.

I found this prompt particularly difficult to visualise in one single photo.  Where could I start thinking….

This phrase from an old tv advert on Italian tv described being pregnant as “Quando hai capito che non saresti mai piu stata sola” that translates into “When you understood that you would never again be alone”.  I wasn’t even thinking of having kids when I noticed and liked this phrase.  But it is only now, with 5 years into this ‘motherhood’ experience that I am starting to begin to understand its meaning, realising as we go along that my life with my 3 princesses is and will be an emotional roller-coaster, a 24/7 unpaid job and an endless thinking process.  And that I am never alone.  I know that physically I will one day be, but  I also know that I will never stop thinking of them.

So here is my summary and simplification of all this in the following 4 photos.

These are my 3 princesses at Mdina, a beautiful, still-inhabited medieval town in Malta. This picture was taken by my sister. I like it because it is very much what we do...always out and about in the most beautiful spots of our islands in to keep the girls entertained while attempting to pass on to our love for our beloved, beautiful island steeped in history.

This picture is very dear to my heart. It was taken at Ta' Qali, a new, and one of a kind adventure park, on this rock. My man managed to capture my dream for my children in this photo. I hope my children will find in themselves the courage to find their own way in the world, that they will always have each other however far or near from each other they might find themselves and that they will always know that whatever happens their father and I will always be there for them.

I know what's for dinner, the breakfast and lunch dishes can wait, and the ironing basket is not yet piled up too high. So we play pretend! This time, The Princess and The Cherub are both doctors. The Star is their trustful patient. I was here attempting to preparing them for our next visit to our pediatrician. Thanks S for taking the photo - I'm not looking my best but the moment was too precious.

This is my life, taken over by my children.  That is motherhood to me.

Thank you for reading this post.

Anatomy lessons June 1, 2010

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This morning TP managed to undressed one of our baby dolls.  Its clothes were not easy to take off which is probably why they had never come off before.  On her ‘achievement’ she exclaimed, “Look mama, this doll is poo pooing (hares ma, din il-pupa qed taghmel koko)”.

“That’s not poo, that’s his willie (dak mhux koko, dik id-duda),” retorted TC.

Please note: TC is 1 year 5 months younger than TP who is 4 years 8 months old.  I hope ours is a simple case of one child having been curious about things that haven’t yet caught the attention of the other.